the healing process
Willow was staring intently at the man before her. If he could be called a man. He should learn to keep his hood up. His face was decidedly snakelike. And the red eyes did nothing to counter that.
"Lemme guess... you're You-know-who?"
Wormtail spoke up. "He is the master of all wizards and witches. The great Lord, the-"
"Was I talking to you, bitch?"
Willow glared as he struggled for an answer.
"No. I don't believe I was. So SHHHHH!"
She waved a hand at him. Threads seemed to come from nowhere and sew his lips closed.
"And have a seat."
Wormtail fell on his backside. Willow looked back at Mr. Snaky.
"I am not afraid of you, little girl. I am Lord Voldemort."
Willow blinked. "Lord? Lord of what? The dance? The rings?"
He started to speak.
"Nevermind. Not really with the caring anyhow. So... you're the big bad around here? You're the thing that strikes fear into the hearts of the wizarding community. I hate to say it, Morty, but I've seen things that are hella scarier than your pasty snake-faced ass. One of them is me."
Voldemort hissed at her and raised his wand. "Avada-"
"Let's not and say we didn't."
Willow flicked her hand slightly. His wand flew out of his hand and embedded itself into the trunk of a nearby tree. Voldemort actually blinked.
"Oh, I'm sorry. Did you need that?"
His teeth bared, and he snarled at her.
"Scary." Willow flicked her wrist, and a fireball sprung up over the palm of her hand. "Scarier."
She hurled it at him right as he pulled out a second wand and blocked it.
"Two wands. Impressive. Most impressive."
"Why should we fight, Miss Rosenberg? Join me. Our powers would be more than the world could possibly imagine."
"I'm thinking no, emphatically not."
"Afraid to let your power take you?"
"No, actually. I did that once. Almost ended the world. It's not as fun as it appears. The real challenge isn't how evil you can be. No. The true challenge is to have darkness inside and maintain light."
"I am a foolish girl. But I don't mind being foolish. What I mind is having the person who just made me have all the good tingles lying on the ground writhing in pain. That makes me a little smidgen cranky."
His hand with the wand moved. Willow flicked her wrist again and disarmed him. This time the wand flew into her grasp. He took a step towards her with a growl.
Voldemort was blown back. As he scrambled to his feet, Willow was already gathering magic around her.
"I think it's time for you to go, Morty."
"I am terror. I am-"
Her head dipped down and when she looked back up, her eyes flashed red before going back to black. Energy was swirling around her. Her hair was flying off her head as blackness traveled from it's roots to its tips.
"I shall look upon my enemy. I shall look upon him, and the dark place shall have his soul. Corsheth! Take him!"
The energy swirling around Willow shifted and began swallowing Voldemort. She watched dispassionately as the dark wizard screamed in the whirlwind of magic.
"You're never gonna touch Severus again."
With a bright flash of light and an upswirl of wind that kicked up leaves, Voldemort was gone.
A voice swelled in her head - her own.
*I'm not coming back*
She didn't turn to look at Snape. She looked at Wormtail.
"No, I see. This one still has secrets to tell."
Wormtail then shifted into a rat.
She waved her hand. He was pulled off the ground, so that he was running in midair but going nowhere. "I don't think so." She waved her hand again, and he went back to human form. His lips were still sewn shut, and he was whimpering in terror. "Stay." He went rigid as if under the petrificus.
Willow turned to face him. All the black just melted off of her. Her eyes turned green again, her hair red.
*I'm not coming back*
"Yes I am." She whispered fiercly.
Just the mere thought of someone waiting for her had stomped the magic back down to a place where she had complete control over it. It was frightening and exciting at the same time. She could do this. She could make regular Willow come back. Tara would want her to learn to control this, and Willow had always tried to do what Tara wanted.
Then she looked at Snape. Willow dropped next to the man. "Are you all right?"
"You'll forgive me for being a bit shocked?"
Willow smiled. "Of course. Evil-looking vein-y Willow has quite a bit of shock value attached to her. Here." She held out her hands and helped him to his feet.
Severus hated it, but he had to lean on her heavily. Willow, on the other hand, was quite loving it. She flicked her hand, and Peter Pettigrew skidded across the dirt to her feet. She grabbed his shirt collar harshly then snaked her other hand around Snape's neck. She kissed him lightly, and he thought the world moved.
When he opened his eyes, he realized it had.
They were standing in the middle of Cornelius Fudge's office. The Minister of Magic was gaping. As were the visitors in his office... Albus Dumbledore, Minerva McGonagall, and the man that he did not know.
"Giles!" Willow threw herself into the watcher's arms.
"Good Lord, are you all right? I was so worried." He said hugging her back tightly.
Willow pulled back. "It was not to worry, Giles. Severus took really good care of me."
Dumbledore raised an eyebrow at Snape.
"Good heavens!" McGonagall gasped. "Peter Pettigrew!"
"Minister, here is your spy for Voldemort. Here is the villain who betrayed Lily and James Potter." Snape sighed. "Sirius Black is innocent of his death because here he sits. Quite alive, and keep an eye on him. He's an animagus."
"And Lord Voldemort?" Dumbledore asked.
Fudge sputtered. "Great Merlin, gentlemen, let us not say HIS name!"
"Why ever not?" Snape asked smoothly. "Miss Rosenberg seems to be able to handle the 'Dark Lord' quite effortlessly."
"What?" Fudge said.
Dumbledore blinked. "Where is he?"
"Ask Miss Rosenberg." Snape said with an evil grin on his face.
Giles looked at her. "Willow..."
"I 'poofed' him to another dimension. You know, the one Catherine Madison accidentally landed herself in? I think. Maybe not. Anyways. I called on Corsheth, and 'poof' no more snake face."
"You? You banished He-who-must-not-be-named?" Fudge asked incredulously.
"You know, every time you do that, you give him power over you. Fear of a name breeds fear of the thing itself."
"And yeah, I sent his snaky ass packing. What of it?"
"Do you realize what you've done?" Fudge whispered.
"Ridded the planet of one less creep?"
"Miss Rosenberg..." Dumbledore said with the biggest smile on his face. "What Mr. Fudge is trying to say is that you have just saved the world, I believe."
"Saved?" She looked at Giles. He was beaming at her.
"I'm very proud of you Willow. It sounds as though you held yourself together rather admirably."
"Saved?" Willow swallowed hard and swayed on her feet. It was too much.
Severus grabbed her instantly to hold her upright. He began whispering furiously in her ear. No one could hear what he was saying, but Willow would nod every so often and was looking a bit more calm.
"Perhaps I could take Miss Rosenberg somewhere to lie down? She's had a very trying twenty-four hours."
"Yes." Dumbledore said. "Perhaps you should have a bit of a lie-in with her, Severus. You look paler than usual."
"Yes, Albus, perhaps I will have a bit of a lie-in with Miss Rosenberg." Snape said with a very wicked little smirk on his face.
"Oh honestly." McGonagall said with a roll of her eyes.
"Feel free to use the guest room of my cottage, Severus. I fear I shall be here all afternoon dealing with this unexpected turn of events."
Fudge took off to go get someone to detain Pettigrew.
"Perhaps you would like to spend the day with me here at the Ministry, Rupert? I don't believe we've had a member of the Watcher's Council visit us in a great while."
"I...." He looked at the way Willow was leaning into Severus Snape. "I rather think that to be an excellent idea."
Severus had his eyes closed as the girl leaned back against him. He whispered in her ear so only she could hear. "That was a terrible risk you took for someone you hardly know."
"It was a risk that I took to be able to know you." She whispered. "I think I wanna know more... if that's ok."
"I think, perhaps, I'll just have to endure."
"You know we're not done fighting, right?"
"I had suspected as much. I would be disappointed if you tried to convince me otherwise."
Willow turned her face towards Snape's face.
Giles removed his glasses to give them a thorough cleaning although they were quite spotless. But there really had not been a need. Willow and Snape had apparated out before their lips touched.
Dumbledore was chuckling. "Isn't funny the way healing works? Sometimes it brings forth some of the least likely outcomes."
"Albus, do you really think one day was enough to heal that poor girl?"
"Minerva, I was not speaking about the girl."