Illusions of Me
Title: Illusions of Me
Author: Karen U
Category: BtVS/Harry Potter
Pairings: Faith/Marcus Flint, Katie Bell/Oliver Wood
Disclaimer: All Harry Potter characters belong to JK Rowling. BtVS
characters belong to Joss Whedon.
Distribution: ask first
Spoilers: HP - Prisoner of Azkaban, BtVS - eary season three
Summary: What if Faith hadn't gone to Sunnydale after her Watcher was killed?
Notes: It's possible that, at least for a large portion of the fic, Faith will be the only BtVS character appearing.
There was blood on her lip, and as she stumbled to her knees, her stomach heaved, causing her to empty the contents of her stomach on the rain-drenched ground. Gasping for breath, she wiped the back of her hand over her mouth, closing her eyes briefly. They popped open again almost instantly, the horror on her face nearly doubling as the images she was running from came back to her in a rush.
Coughing and retching, she forced herself to her feet, stumbling like a drunk as she made her way through the rain, ignoring the thunder and lightning that shook the buildings around her and lit up the sky. She barely even jumped when lightning touched down barely fifty feet away, sparks and fire sizzling through the air as the tree burst into flame.
She swore as she stumbled, her shoulder scraping against the hard brick of a building, and she shook her head, screaming out expletives as her world seemed to shatter, her fists flying as she hit the building repeatedly, ignoring the blood and the pain and the chunks of brick that filled her existence. She wasn't sure how long she stood there, slamming her fists into a rundown old building, but when she stopped, the rain had let up some, though it had remained heavy long enough to put out the fire the lightning had created, and the thunder wasn't so near nor so loud.
Forcing her gasps to become deep breaths, she looked down at the bloody masses that were her knuckles, barely cringing at the sight of bone on her left hand. Blinking away the tears and the rain, she held her hands out, her palms facing downward as she let the rain wash away some of the blood and the grit. She walked this way, hands out in front of her as if she were feeling her way through the storm, her steps brisk and sure, the stumbling all but gone. It was too dark and wet for anyone to be out here, so no one noticed the teenage girl making her way through the streets, blood on her hands and clothes, makeup streaking down her face. One strap of her tank top was torn away completely, leaving only the strap of her bright red bra in its place, but she didn't seem to notice, just as she didn't notice the tears in her jeans. She walked quickly, automatically, a blank look on her face as if she wasn't really there. And really, in her mind, she wasn't there. She was back in the swamp. Part of her, she knew, would always be back in that swamp.
Her stomach rolled again as the images bombarded her mind, and it was only through a great deal of self-discipline that she was able to avoid losing the contents of her stomach again... If there was even anything left in there to lose. She frowned slightly, her mind running over what she'd eaten that day... Not much really. She'd been too nervous, too keyed-up, too... Excited. Excited over the prospect of the fight ahead.
The memory nearly made her sick again.
She closed her eyes, her bloodied hands coming up to cover her ears as the screams seemed to fill her head, and she took a gasping breath as she shook her head. The girl forced her eyes to open, making herself drop her hands from her ears as she broke into a run, part of her afraid that the slapping of shoes on pavement wasn't just her own, that it wasn't just her and the echoes of her footfalls she heard, but that someone was behind her. Someone behind her, coming for her, coming after her... Wanting to finish the job.
Her hands clenched instantly into fists at the thought, her feet pounding harder on the wet pavement as she ran faster, her wet hair plastered on her cheeks, her tears mingling with the rain that still pelted her face. Her breathing came faster, almost in gasps as she turned a corner, finding a small cottage that she knew all too well. She didn't stop to search for a key that she knew she no longer had, instead breaking the lock, entering quickly. Knowing that she couldn't go anywhere with bleeding hands, she fixed them hurriedly, cleaning then as best she could, her hands shaking as she dug bits of grit out and poured alcohol on the wounds, then wrapped them in gauze. Once that was done, she rapidly began packing away toiletries, freezing when she caught sight of herself in the mirror.
Pale, bruised, and bloodied, she looked far too young and far too afraid. Slowly, watching herself carefully, she reached up to touch her tear-streaked face, then quickly reached forward, turning on the water and wetting a cloth so that she could wipe her face clean. Once that was done, she hurriedly changed clothes, leaving the others on the floor before tossing her things in her bag and grabbing the stash of cash that she knew was there. She counted it out quickly, knowing it wouldn't get her far, but knowing it was all she had. Biting her lip, she reached out and took the ATM card, too, thanking God that she was a sneaky little brat and had figured out the PIN number. She didn't like to think about what she'd have to do to survive if she didn't have access to that account.
Survive. Survival. It was something she had always thought she was good at. Now... Now she felt that the walls were closing in on her, like the wolf was at the door, like...
She shook her head, forcing the frantic thoughts out of her mind as she got to her feet, grabbing what she could reasonably carry, shoving all the cash and the cards she could use down her shirt, not wanting to lose the money if she lost her bag. Taking a deep breath, she headed to the door, not even looking back as she stepped out of the cottage and back into the rain, only one thought on her mind.
She owed her Watcher that much.