AN: This is my first story. Feedback is more then welcome. Still in the market for a new beta.
Pairing: Willow / Severus, others unknown yet
Disclaimer: This piece of fiction was created for sheer fun, no profit is being gained from it. The non original characters contained within belong to their respective owners.
'thoughts' | --------- Changes of scene
“A word Miss Willow if you don't mind” Dumbledore fell into step walking by the lake with the young Miss Rosenberg-Lupin.
Willow jumped up slightly “Professor?”
“I've asked Severus to accompny you on your trip to Diagon Ally. Please try to not judge him harshly for his manner. He's had a very hard life. And certainly don't let his words discourage you. It's rare that a student regardless of their age gets the glowing praise you have.” The old wizard smiled kindly.
Willow paused walking and looked out on the lake “Is that why his magic smells like darkness and pain? Oh please don't tell him that I can tell sir... it's just... I can... and it ... and it's there in every spell he does”
“You and young Mister Snape have more in common then you imagine. Only where you are an endeering young lady with many who love you Severus was never so fortunate. He did however find his way back from the dark too. And Merlin knows how difficult it must have been for either of you.”
“Did he?” not sure if she should pry into Professor Snape's private affairs Willow hesitated “Did he lose someone too?”
“Now that would be telling more than I'm able to of Severus' story. Just try to have patience with him. But not to much. It's been a while since someone off of the staff has had the nerve to stand up to him” a rich chuckle erupted from the head masters chest. When he calmed himself he smiled “I will meet you and Severus later to escort you to your home.”
Willow lightly ran her hand along the spines of the books. Oh Goddess. Breathing deep she inhaled the dusty smell of old books and smiled. Her things had been packed. Her money had been exchanged. She'd already toured Diagon Ally and had been promised a quick trip before school started to Hogsmead. Most of her supplies had been ordered (in the case of robes) or bought so she was spending her remaining time in the book store before going to get a real wand and potions supplies. Both Remus and Professor McGonagall assured her that most spells would be slightly easier with a wand that was tailored specifically to her magic. Up until now she'd been using practice wands like those normally used in pure blood families to teach children before they reach Hogwarts.
As it was she could feel the glamour crawling over her skin. It was a safety precaution. In case her grandfather or any of his followers had made the connection between the rouge witch who helped the slayer and her mothers child. Probably wouldn't hold up under much scrutiny but it should buy her some peace while shopping. Willow was just thankful that no one would recognize her for now. Though it had been a hassle getting robes. The lady at the shop kept trying to get her into styles and colours that would compliment her glamour. It had been a struggle to get emerald green robes instead of a pale blue fabric that Buffy probably would have killed for.
Since most of her family had passed away or been disowned Willow it seemed was the last in direct line to the Black family fortune. Luckily her grandmother had not been aware of her existance or of her mother's defection other wise she probably would have found her name burned off of the family tree and the vaults outside of her uncles closed to her.
As it stood she had access to the Black family fortune. Something that at this point in time was quite incomprehensable to Willow. She was trying to figure out the magical system of money but it was so unlike anything she had come accross in the past. One thing was for sure she did not ever want to go into those vaults by herself. Everywhere she turned there was a pulse of dark magic taunting her, tempting her and pushing her control inch by inch.
Though it would be worth it if she could get her hands on a small fraction of these books. Goddess Giles would be salivating when he knew what sort of books were common here. Between books, pranks and chocolate Christmas shopping had just got a lot easier for this witch. Willow licked her lips and glanced at the book to her left in a slight daze.
“Miss Rosenberg” The curt voice startled her out of her daze distracting her from the tempting book.
“Rosenberg-Lupin if you don't mind Mister Snape.” Willow snapped. Of all the people to escort her to Diagonal ally they had to send him with her.
Severus Snape gritted his teeth “Professor Snape.” As if he had nothing better to do than baby sit an ignorant girl. If he hadn't of needed to fill his own potion stocks with ingredients from the apothocary he certainly would have never have come. “Due to your limited abilities in potions I selected the necessary ingredients for your studies. At least this way you will no longer be able to use personal incompitence in terms of your recognition as an excuse for failure. Now if you will finish dallying and make your purchases so we can leave”
Willow gritted her teeth. Out side of the We Hate Cordilia Club she wasn't used to disliking people. But he really was such a... jerk. She took a deep breath thinking back to Dumbledores talk with her earlier in the morning. She could be nice. She would be nice... even if it killed one of them.
With her books purchased a vice like grip was made on her shoulder directing her to the wand shop. “This is absurd Mister Snape! I'm not a small child that needs a parent to hold my hand!”
“I think Miss Rosenberg that I will be the judge of that.” Willow fumed while Severus hissed. “Do not think your laps in the book store went unnoticed. I will not have my efforts of training you wasted on having you become everything The Dark Lord would wish you to be”
“But you... but how... but I... I didn't” she stiffened and spluttered and stuttered.
“You came close enough. One thing about The Dark Arts and this world is you will find temptation at every door. You must learn to steel yourself against it or you will succumb to it. As it is you are apparently unable to be left with out direct supervision so it falls upon me to ensure you do not wander away down the darker paths is that clear”
Willow would have responded but all of a sudden she could feel it. Later on she would learn the place was called Knockturn Ally. In some points like the one they were passing connecting allyways intersected between the places. It sang with temptation. Curling up slowly around her. Drawing her attention and focus towards it. So much more than was in her family vault. Unconsciously she licked her lips and then before she knew it all she could feel was a pain in her shoulder. Snape had dug his nails in as he continued to steer her passed.
Just as quickly as the feelings started they disappeared. They had passed the connecting point and the temptation was gone. Willows body sagged under Snape's grip “You knew? You felt it there too? What was that place?”
Severus continued walking and steering but slowed his pace by a fraction. “The feeling will get weaker as you adjust. You may rest when we arrive at the Wandmakers”
Once inside Olivanders Willow was distracted by the sites while Severus took a seat off to the side and watched the wand selection process intently.
First Willow jumped back and tried to shoo off the measuring tape. After some reassurance from Olivander she sceptically allowed the tapes to measure her. They really did rely so heavily on magic here. Did having a wand for a focus make so much difference that they didn't become dependant or addicted to it? Dependant possibly. But no one seemed to be unable to function.
“No no no.. it wont do”
Became the mantra of the rest of the afternoon.
“Willow wand” the proprietor smiled at the use of her name in the material of the wand “interesting core. Willow is good for healing spells and protection charms. Now this wand is balanced out with basalisk venom which is typically good for Dark Arts and curses. Give it a wave”
Tentatively Willow took the wand. Half hopeful the afternoon would be over. Half tentative because of the core. Willow gave the wand a light wave and colourful sparkles sprayed out harmlessly. The store wasn't destroyed. No one got hurt. It felt like doing a spell correctly when she'd first started practicing. A small grin lit up her face “I kinda get why you use these things now. Not fully. Because I mean lose your wand and you're toast. But wow... that was... wow. But I can't... I'm sorry this wand cant' be for me it's good at Dark Arts and curses... and I'm not supposed to...”
Olivander smiled enigmatically “Ahh but Miss Lupin do you not after all have a talent for the Dark Arts and curses. Why I should have thought of this wand sooner. All this time I was trying to give you wands that leaned towards light magic or dark magic... when really you needed one that was proficiant at both. Yes really should have thought of it sooner. And anyway my dear it's the wand that chooses the witch not the other way around. Despite what you may like to think about yourself you've obviously got some talent at curses in there some where.”
“But... but... that's bad... and what if and” Willow spluttered as she collected her money pouch to pay the man “You are sure that just maybe the wand was wrong?”
“No wand has ever been wand Miss Lupin! To suggest such a thing. Being good with curses doesn't necessarily mean the end of the world. Many a good curse breaker has used such a wand. Many a good curse has done the world and the cursed a whole lot of good.”
As soon as they left the wand shop Snape's hand immediately went to Willows shoulder guiding her through the street. As they began to pass an area of concentrated dark magic both Snape and Willow tensed up. Though only Snape swore.
“Severus!” A commanding aristocratic voice called out from down the ally way. Stepping out of the darkness had to be one of the most predatory men Willow had ever seen. Sure he looked like an angel with his long blond hair and his clear blue eyes. How he carried himself though reminded her more of ... well Angelus. A very snooty Angelus. “I had heard you'd been unavailable for any... social events these past few days. How we've missed you. Narcissa does send her regards. And who is this young thing you have with you? Surely she's to old to be a new Hogwarts student.”
Severus relaxed a fraction when the girl tried to play up her innocent apperance and misdirected her nerves over her closeness to dark magic by seeming even more bumbeling than usual.
“W...w..w...illow Rosenberg sir?” she smiled a wide and shakey smile not quite meeting this new man's eyes.
“Rosenberg... I'm not... familiar with that name... Severus?” Lucius raised a perfect blond eye brow.
“Willow is an exchange student from America. I'm sure the board has heard about her from the headmaster by this point?” Was all the information Snape provided.
“American... and her family... Severus” cold gray eyes seemed to size up Willow. Some how she felt like she was being evaluated for her usefulness. Even Angelus who was probably one of the most calculating villains she'd faced hadn't quite had that look. It made her skin crawl. “T...t...t..turns out..t..t that I w...w...w..was adopted. A...a....a...apparently in A...a....a..america people who a...a...a..aren't f...f...f...from magical f...f...f...amilies don't get t....t...t...raining. T...t....t..the records showed t...t....t..that I w...w...was listed uuuu...uuu...uunder a m... m... m... muggle name.”
“Enough Miss Rosenberg. Save your stuttering for your own time. Yes, yes, it's all rather tragic. Do try not to spill any more tears on me today.” Snape seemed to snap. As Willows head shot down towards her shoes Snape explained “As you can see I've had my hands full shepherding Miss Rosenberg from here to there for Dumbledore. If you give her a chance I'm sure she'll try and explain how tragic it has been to never know she was a witch until now. Or how excited she is to be attending hogwarts. I'm sure I'll get together with everyone very soon. There will be much to talk about and I'm sure we'll all have stories to share however dull mine maybe?” Snape smirked at the other man.
they expect her to catch up so much material at her age? Dumbledore never quite explained that
to the governors. I had assumed when he had mentioned an American exchange student it would have been from an American school.” the blond haired man looked down his nose at the quivering timid young woman.
Snape sneered “And Lucius I had imaged that I would have my free period to myself. Instead the head master has requested the teachers volunteer their free time in order to help progress Miss Rosenbergs education along. Much like I never saw myself giving up my weekend to help her purchase new books.”
“Perhaps then a break is in order? Would you two care to join me...”
“... s...s...sorry sir, b..b..ut... P....p...p..professor d...d...dumbledore is w...w...w..aitng for us and w...w....we're ... l...l... late” Willow didn't raise her eyes from her shoes. ' Please don't let him look to close, please don't let him look to close. I am an invisible mouse. I am invisible Willow. Nothing to see here. Please don't notice how I want to munch your allyway. Or how distracted I really. Please don't notice how much I need to get out of here'
“Severus!” Lucius admonished. “You can't be seen keeping Dumbledore waiting... what ever will he think.” The cold laughter that followed the fair man rang after them as they rushed away.
"You were acceptable back there. You may fit into a house other than Minerva's yet. Now do calm yourself before we meet the Headmaster"
"Mister Snape? How do you know that man?"
"Professor Snape Miss Rosenberg and now is neither the time nor the place for that conversation. Needless to say keep your wits about you around Lucius Malfoy. Please do not make me reconsider my previous statement"