title: Immortalis Gratiosus
summary: Famous Harry Potter meets another famous witch under somewhat unusual circumstances.
disclaimer: Not mine, you realize. The BtVS ones belong to Whedon. The HP ones belong to Rowling.
*Pairing #23 (W/Harry) on the quickie challenges at Witch's Love Fanfic. (I think this might be a few words longer than 2000 words, but we'll all just get over it, won't we?)
Harry Potter REALLY didn't want to be where he was at the moment.
It was a brand new year. It was snowing outside, and he'd rather be out in it with the brood of Weasley children... especially the lovable brats that belonged to Fred and Angelina and George and Alicia. Stupid press conference-promotional-type-thing. Why on earth they wanted a twenty-five year old wizard for a wizard trading card was beyond him. Yes, he was the boy who lived. Yes, he had defeated Voldemort again in a VERY final way some years ago. Yes, he had played seeker for Whistlemere University when he was studying to be an Auror and had never lost a match. Yes, he had spent one year playing Quidditch for England. Yes, he'd gone to the Quidditch World Cup that year and had faced off against Viktor Krum. Yes, he'd gotten the snitch. Yes, he was now the top Auror in his department. Yes, in a few short years he had wrangled up more Death Eaters than Moody had. But he couldn't take all the credit for that. Hell, Draco Malfoy had been the one to help him bring in Lucius and Narcissa.
Harry sighed. He was chocolate frog bound though. He'd already had to promise Ron a few of them. Imagine being twenty-five going on twenty-six and still collecting wizard cards. But Ron was Ron, and Harry would not alter him for the world. He would not alter either of his best friends.
He sighed again and paced the length of the room they'd put him in until he would be ushered into the crowd like a freak at the Muggle circus. Harry had never liked all the attention that seemed to find him.
They were waiting on the other 'new card' it seemed. An American witch who had single-handedly closed something called a Hellmouth. Sounded dangerous. She was probably some old hag with two teeth. Most of the wizards on the chocolate frog trading cards had none or very white hair. They were decades upon decades old. Harry sighed yet again. He was happy to be in Dumbledore's company though.
Harry heard the door and turned. Some redheaded woman crept in quietly. He heard a man's voice from the other side of the door.
"We'll be waiting, Willow. Don't be nervous. You'll do fine."
"Thank you, Giles."
Harry's mouth opened a bit. She couldn't be. Pretty little creature with a soft voice like that? She closed a Hellmouth? She was dressed in a long velvet dress that was such a dark shade of green it was almost black. Her red hair hung all around her shoulders and face. She was wringing her hands.
The woman turned abruptly. "Hi." Her voice shook a bit nervously.
Harry blinked. Her face had a pixie quality. Her skin was ever so pale, but not in an unhealthy or vampiric way. Her eyes were a wide and mossy green.
He held his hand out to her. "I'm Harry Potter."
"Oh!" She took his hand eagerly. "I'm Willow Rosenberg, and I didn't... I mean... you're so... cute. Er, um, young. I meant young. Honestly. Oh Goddess." She flushed bright pink.
Harry couldn't help smiling. She was lovely. "If it's any conciliation, I was expecting a witch who'd closed a Hellmouth to be a white-haired hag with two teeth."
She giggled. "I think I should be insulted, mister."
They were still just standing there holding hands when the door opened.
"Miss Rosenberg? Mister Potter? They're ready for you now."
Harry offered her his arm. Willow blushed again as she took it. What was she? In high school again? He was giving her the serious tingles. And why not? He had black hair that stuck up wildly off his head, huge electric emerald eyes behind round frames, just enough height to look menacing, a pretty well-defined form from what she could tell under his black robes, and a wonderful smile. He was quite possibly the most handsome man she'd ever laid eyes on in all her twenty-seven years, and that was including Angel and Spike.
When they got into the auditorium where the panel was, camera flashes started already. Harry was almost blinded. He tightened his hold on the redhead's arm as she stumbled a bit in her nervousness.
"I don't like being the center of attention." She whispered.
Harry smiled. "Me neither."
She turned and grinned at him. Harry grinned back. They were having this whole little flirt in front of the press. He needed to be smarter than this, but that was falling a bit to the wayside in the face of such loveliness. Harry pulled her chair on the panel out for her. Willow nodded shyly in thanks and sat down. Harry took the chair next to her.
Meanwhile in the crowd...
Draco Malfoy was standing next to his fiancé watching with interest. "If I didn't know better, I'd swear Potter's flirting with the American witch."
Ginny Weasley grinned and took her fiancé's hand. "Harry deserves some happiness, Draco."
Just then Ron and his wife managed to squeeze in next to them. "Hullo." He said breathlessly. "Have we missed anything yet?"
Draco sighed. "Just Potter trying to charm the American witch a bit."
Hermione's brow furrowed. "The other new card? Isn't she..."
"Quite lovely." Draco finished.
Ginny elbowed him.
"Ouch! I only said that because she looks a bit like you, luv. All that red hair."
"Red, you say?" Ron asked, peering over people's heads to see.
"She could be a soddin' Weasley cousin with that hair." Draco said as the crowd started to settle down and take their seats.
"Holy cricket." Hermione said. "I hate to say this, Malfoy, but you're right. She's lovely."
And in another part of the auditorium...
"Whoa, Giles." Dawn said. "Who's the hottie helping Willow into her seat?"
"I would think that would be Mister Harry Potter. The other card." He said to one of the council's newest watchers in training.
"He's just about a hunk of salty goodness."
"You've been hanging about Cordelia too much, I fear."
"Pfft. She's right. British guys are hot and have yummy accents."
Several people near them turned and looked at her.
"Stop it. You'll make me blush." Giles whispered with a bit of a smirk on his face.
"I live to make you blush."
"No, you live to make Spike sputter in indignation and shock."
"He is my vampire."
"And it's lucky for you that I'm the head of the council."
"Pfft. You were one of the only watchers to survive the coming of the First. Big shock they made you the leader after that."
"Perhaps it's Faith you've been spending too much time with." He said in mock irritation.
"I hear my name?" The slayer said as she dropped into the chair on the other side of Giles.
"I'm always late, G."
"I thought I had asked you repeatedly not to call me G."
"Old habits die hard, G."
"What are you doing here, Faith? Where's Wesley?"
"Wes is around. He ran into some guy he knew, and they were boring the shit outta me. And like I'd really miss Red's big day."
Giles smiled as Faith straightened in her chair and peered up to where Willow was.
"Oh. Who's the dark-haired honey in the chair next to Red? He is absolutely fuckable. Hell, I think I'd have to go for seconds on that. As Cordy would say, hellooo salty goodness, break me off a piece of that."
People were looking at them again. Faith never seemed to realize exactly how loud she was when she spoke. Giles groaned and rolled his eyes as Dawn tried to stifle her giggles.
Meanwhile back near than panel...
A young wizard was stepping up to a podium with a megaphone at it.
The crowd quieted down.
"Afternoon all and happy new year. I hope none of us are still very hung over..."
The crowd snickered.
"My name's Colin Creevey. Most of you know me from my work at the Daily Prophet. If not, well, I'm one of those 'slimeball reporters'..."
The crowd sent out a bit of laughter.
"It is my duty, no my privilege, to ring in another new year with the introduction of two new cards to the wizarding community that can be seen in chocolate frogs. Mister Harry Potter currently of Godric's Hollow and the Auror Department of the Ministry of Magic and fellow alum of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry..."
There was a cheer that let everyone know there was quite a bit of Hogwarts alumni in the audience.
"And Miss Willow Rosenberg formerly of Sunnydale, California... currently a watcher of the newly reformed Watcher's Council in London..."
"Hell yeah, Red!"
Willow shook her head as many people turned and looked at Faith. The redhead leaned into the magic megaphone in front of her. "She's not my slayer..." Her eyes scanned the crush. "She's his." Willow said pointing at Wesley, who was looking a bit embarrassed.
The crowd was murmuring. A slayer? Here?
Harry noticed the blushing man she'd been pointing to was standing next to Severus Snape. As Harry caught his eyes, his former potions professor gave him a curt nod. Harry could read his looks much better now. The greasy git was proud of him. He still didn't like him, at all. He still thought he strutted about much like James Potter had, but he was proud nonetheless.
"Well, um, let us get to the business at hand... the unveiling...." Colin nodded to a young girl.
She whipped a velvet drape off of a large replica of the wizarding trading card. Harry gulped. It was the woman next to him looking just gorgeous. Her portrait was grinning shyly. It would blink and blush and look away.
Someone in the audience let out a very catcall-ish whistle.
"Whoa." Colin said with a chuckle. "Miss Rosenberg, would you like to say a few words?"
"Ok." Willow said nervously. "Um, I'm not very good at the public speaking thing. I get all panicky and sweaty. All the butterflies in my belly start acting like they're in the pit at a Korn show. Not that some of you guys would know who that band is. So I get nervous and stuff. Sometimes I faint... or vomit. And sometimes I babble... like now... sorry."
The crowd chuckled appreciatively.
"I don't know what to say, you know? I just did what needed to be done. But I so did not do it alone. I had people to help me, isn't that right Dawnie? I never expected recognition for this. It's nice. I'm grateful. I appreciate it and all. So thanks."
The crowd clapped furiously.
"Isn't she just charming?" Colin said.
Willow blushed darkly. Harry couldn't help finding her hand under the table and gripping it in his own. She seemed to settle a bit when he did so.
"And now for Mister Potter's likeness..." Colin said nodding at the girl again.
She yanked a drape off of another large portrait. It was Harry smiling. Every so often his image adjusted the glasses on its face. Someone in the crowd whistled. Harry went beet-red as most of the blood in his body rushed to his face. He relaxed when Willow gave his hand a gentle squeeze under the table. The two of them were in this mess together.
"Harry?" Colin said. "Any words?"
Harry shrugged a bit. "I reckon I've always just done what I thought was right. I never thought I was doing anything so special, and when it comes down to myself and Voldemort..."
The audience shivered at the mention of the dark wizard's name.
"I was just wanting to survive. Because when it came down to him or me, I kinda had to choose me. And I, too, did not do these things alone. Certain individuals with the last names Weasley and Malfoy, and a certain woman who used to carry the last name Granger assisted."
The crowd snickered.
"And I'd do it again. I'm sure we all would."
There was a bit of cheering then. Harry swore he could pick out Ron's and Draco's bellowing in there.
Harry leaned to Willow's ear and whispered. "I know this will seem a bit sudden, but would you like to have dinner with me tonight?"
Willow blinked. Did she want to have dinner with the charming and handsome Mister Potter? Oh no, she thought sarcastically. Why ever would she want to have a meal with someone who made her have the good tingles within seconds of meeting him? When it had been even three years since she'd even had a date. Why would she want to do that?
"Ok." She whispered in shock.
"If you're busy or something... you don't have to..."
"I said yes."
"So any questions for Mister Potter and Miss Rosenberg?" Colin asked.
A sea of hands went into the air. Colin pointed at the young girl who was currently the editor for the school paper at Hogwarts.
"You two look awfully close." She giggled. "Did you know each other before? Are you guys boyfriend and girlfriend?"
Willow giggled nervously. Harry turned bright red.
Colin looked a bit exasperated. "Real questions, Miss Cameron."
"We just met today." Harry said. "And no, she's not my girlfriend." Yet... he added in his head.
Willow smiled to herself and looked at him out of the corner of her eyes. What was it that Angelus had said to Buffy that time?
Things are about to get VERY interesting.
Only time she'd have to agree with Angelus really. Because she was thinking things about the famous Harry Potter that she ought not be considering after only knowing him today.