Disclaimer: I don’t own any of the characters from Angel; those belong to Mr. Whedon and whoever else has a piece of that pie. I also don’t own any of the characters in the Anita Blake series; those belong to Laurell K. Hamilton. And finally, I don’t own any of the characters in the Harry Potter series; they all belong to J.K. Rowling.
Spoilers: None really for Angel though this is set during the time when they were still at the hotel, after Cerulean Sins for Anita Blake, and Book 1 for HP I guess.
Summary: Response for Cooper_666 for the HP Improv ficathon. Requirements below.
AN: Just ignore the fact that Angel is a different vampire than the kind mentioned in the Anita Blake books, please. You'll be happier if you do. :) There’s two different points of view in this. Anita and Cordelia’s. Each one is labeled so there’s no confusion.
This was a difficult challenge to write, and it ended up being more Angel and Anita Blake centered than Harry Potter-ish but I hope you’ll like it anyway.
Challenge: (HP, AB, BtVS xover) Cordelia, Anita and Lily were best friends in elementary school but Anita's mom died and Cordelia moved so Lily was alone until she was sent to Hogwarts. It was Cordelia’s selfishness that made Anita feel horrible (and into the hardass she is now) over her mother’s death and Lily didn't understand, although she did try, because no one had ever died before that was close to her. When Lily and Anita both snubbed Cordelia, she became bitchier around every1 but mostly them. Lily tried to keep everything together but was too young to be able to pull it off.
Now, years later, Anita hears of an agency in LA who mite b able 2 help her and she meets Cordelia again. They (somehow) find out Lily is dead. What happens next and how they communicate (if at all) is up to u.
Most people would say I’m not a sensitive touchy-feely sort of person. So then why is my life filled with emotional drama? It’s not enough that I’ve got to deal with the ardeur and the complications that have arisen with it, by complications I mean 90 percent of the men in my life, or my failed relationship with Richard and all the crap he’s pulling, or trying to form a relationship with Asher and Jean-Claude… No, now I’ve got emotional baggage from the past coming back to gnaw on my ass.
Cordelia probably wouldn’t be flattered by that description but I’m not feeling too charitable either. Now all we need is Lily to complete this uncomfortable scenario.
“Anita. I-I can’t believe,” Cordelia stopped then seemed to gather herself. Her spine straightened, her shoulders went back and she locked her hands onto the counter in front of her, determined to face this latest problem head on. Anita observed this with an irritated sigh. Looks like her short stop here just became a long detour. “What are you doing here?” Cordelia challenged.
“Is this Angel Investigations?” Anita shot back with a hard glare. She had followed Jean-Claude’s directions to the letter and been surprised when they led her to an old hotel. The surprises hadn’t stopped there though, for she had quickly been faced with a blast from the past in the form of an ex childhood friend upon entering the lobby.
It’s a good thing Jean-Claude wasn’t here; he’d have been sighing in disappointment by now. A diplomat she was not. She didn’t care though. Anita just wanted to get this done as quickly as possible and get out. She didn’t want to linger and argue with Cordelia. She reminded herself of her resolution to try and control her temper one more time.
“Correct me, if I’m wrong, but wasn’t it our agreement to never see each other again?” Cordelia shook her head. “And yet here you are,” she concluded with a glare. “Where’s Lily?” she asked. “Cause that’s all we need now to make this perfect,” Cordelia said, unknowingly echoing Anita’s thought of a few moments ago.
Anita sighed and wished that anyone but her and Damian had been able to make this trip. She hadn’t wanted to go in the first place but she had been the only one available. Some days it really sucked to be her. “I don’t know where Lily is. I haven’t heard from her in years.” Why would Cordelia think she’d know? Her eyes narrowed slightly in speculation. “Have you?”
“Have I what?” Cordelia asked, snippily.
“Heard from Lily,” Anita repeated through clenched teeth. Damian stepped forward so that his back was to her front, and slightly to Anita’s left. His hand reached for her left hand, which was clenched in a fist, and brought it back behind her. His fingers rubbed soothing circles over her fist. The motion calmed her and Anita relaxed a little.
Cordelia observed this with suspicious eyes.
“Damian.” Anita answered as if that explained everything, knowing perfectly well it didn’t. She might have to be here, but that didn’t mean she had to like it.
“Damian,” Cordelia drawled.
“Yep. That’s what I said.” Anita answered, tongue firmly in cheek. Damian brought up his other hand, unseen by Cordelia, to rub her back, reminding Anita that she was heading for dangerous waters and to quit playing with Cordelia like a cat. Well, Anita was Nimir-Ra of her very own were-leopard pard with her very own beast inside, even if she wasn’t technically a Were. She arched marginally into his caresses like the feline she was. Being Nimir-Ra had definitely changed her and Anita was slowly becoming more comfortable with their ways, to the extent that now she acted very much like she was one herself at times. Damian stepped up his stroking when he felt her lean into them and Anita almost wanted to purr.
She knew without looking that Damian was very pleased. Damian was her vampire servant and he had been acting much more aggressive in his pursuits of her attention. She hadn’t intended to make him her servant, but he was and since then he had been trying so hard to please her, to carve out a spot for himself in her affections. This would only encourage him, but since it was keeping her out of trouble for the moment there was nothing she could do about that. “You never answered my question, Delia,” Anita said to divert the attention from Damian, unconsciously using the nickname from their childhood. “Have you heard from Lily?”
“Maybe,” Cordelia offered ungraciously.
Anita felt a flash of hurt, though she tried not to show it. Why had Lily kept in touch with Cordelia and not her? How long had this been going on? Once more she felt excluded. She had been an outsider as a kid because of her abilities, Cordelia and Lily had been her only friends as a kid; and then she was pushed away in college when her fiancé had left her because of her heritage. Recently she was shoved out of the lives of Ronnie and Dolph because of her associations, and most hurtfully Richard didn’t want anything to do with her because he thought she was becoming one of the monsters. A lifetime of rejection still hadn’t numbed her to the hurt she was feeling now.
She was mortified to realize she wasn’t hiding the hurt as well as she thought when she saw Cordelia’s face soften.
“Look,” Cordelia began, “This is stupid. We’re adults now and past these childish games where you hurt me, I hurt you and so on. Sometimes you’ve just got to spank your inner moppet and move on.”
Anita felt a trace of amusement at Delia’s words.
“I’ve changed a lot since I was that selfish, self-centered kid,” Delia continued. “You probably have too.”
This time Anita did snort in amusement at Delia’s words. She smiled cheerily at the sound and went on.
“I have been in touch with Lily, but only for a couple years now.” She grew serious. “Things have really changed for me. I’ve been through some stuff.” A trace of sadness flickered across her face before she pushed it away. “I’ve been hurt, I’ve grown, I’ve learned, and hopefully I’ve become a better person for it. And I decided I needed to right some wrongs, to make up for the mistakes in my past. I’ve regained my friendship with Lily and I hope someday I can regain mine with you.”
Pretty words, Anita thought. The cynic in her started searching for the flaws in them. “So why haven’t you contacted me?”
Cordelia sighed. “Truthfully?”
Yeah, that would be nice, Anita thought sarcastically. “Yeah, truthfully,”
“Because I was afraid,” Cordelia answered. “Of all the wrongs I’ve done, of all the people I’ve hurt, you were the first, and the worst. There’s no way I can take back what I did to you or make up for it. You were my first real friend and one of the best I ever had, and I didn’t want to contact you and find out that all chances of having that again were lost for good. I wanted to keep the hope that it would work out forever, rather than know it wouldn’t. It’s stupid, but there it is.”
Maybe she would never get back the friendships she had with Ronnie or Dolph and the love she had with Richard. Truthfully she wasn’t completely sure she wanted those back now. She had come too far to change the course she was on. She did have the chance to get back the friendship she’d had with Cordelia though, and she would be a fool not to take it.
So she bent a little and took what was offered. “I hear second chances are being offered every day.”
Cordelia drew in a breath and looked hopefully at Anita.
“Yeah, I want you in my life again, Delia.”
Cordelia smiled brightly and walked forward to give her a hug. It was a credit to Anita’s time with the pard that she didn’t stiffen uncomfortably like she would have a year or two ago. That still didn’t mean she was a sensitive touchy-feely sort of person. Just ask anyone back home.
So obviously, Anita was the last person I ever expected to see walk through the doors of Angel Investigations. Of course I can’t say I’m disappointed she has. I’m actually pretty pleased.
We’re all about redemption here and Anita was one of the biggest wrongs I’ve made that I wanted to see righted.
And I even accomplished it without Lily.
The plan originally had been to have Lily accompany me when I finally got the guts to apologize to Anita. Lily always was the bridge between us. She was the softest one of us all. Don’t get me wrong, Lily had the temper to go with that red hair and she wasn’t afraid to stand up for herself. But, Lily has always been the one was never afraid to be vulnerable emotionally.
Not like Anita and me.
You hurt us and we’ll draw our defenses round ourselves like our hearts were Fort Knox and someone was attempting a breach. I do it with my bitchy exterior and Anita does it with her anger. We’re slow to trust and even slower to open ourselves up to hurt. Not like Lily. No, she had shared her caring heart with anyone who would let her. She was the one who brought us together as friends and the glue who tried to keep us that way. She had never stopped trying for reconciliation. I know she’s going to be over the moon when she hears about this.
So as soon as our business is taken care of, (Anita had come with Damian to see Angel looking for allies, and Lord knows they need some with what’s going down soon) and we’re alone again in my apartment catching up with each other, (Damian is at the hotel doing the same with Angel) contacting Lily is the first suggestion I make.
“You know Lily would want to hear about this,” I say gesturing between us and emphasizing how civilly we’re talking to each other for once.
I can see her retreat a little at the suggestion. Understandable. Lily has always been very dear to both of us and I bet she’s as afraid of talking to Lily after all these years, as I was afraid to talk to Anita. Old hurts linger forever it seems.
So I make an attempt to reassure her. If the people in Sunnydale could see me now, they’d probably collapse from the shock. I perfected my bitchy exterior in Sunnydale, after all.
“She’d be absolutely thrilled at the news. She’s been nagging at me for years to make things up with you. She really misses you, Anita.”
She relaxes a bit at that, well as much as anyone like Anita ever relaxes anyway. She has definitely changed. I’ve never seen anyone who carries that many weapons all the time.
“We should tell her tonight,” I say excited.
“Tell her? Tonight?” Anita echoes, looking nervous.
“Yeah!” I jump up from the couch and rummage around in my desk for some paper and a pen. “We can owl her the news tonight,” I say, waving the new found paper triumphantly.
“Not call?” she clarifies, looking less nervous now that that distinction has been made.
“Nope.” I grab her hand and pull her off the couch, heading for my dining room table to write the letter.
“Remember when she got that letter to Hogwarts?”
“Yeah,” Anita answers. “She’s a witch now?” she asks curiously.
“Yep,” I answer. “They don’t do things like us normal people do. They communicate mostly via letters they send by owl, or by fireplace which we can’t do since I’m out of powder, so letter it is.”
“Oh.” Anita settles into a chair and ponders this information. “Strange.” She glances around the apartment curiously then asks, “Where’s your owl?”
“Oh, I don’t use one, I use the public owl office down the street.”
I glance consideringly at the parchment, how to do this…
A few seconds later decision made, I turn to Anita with my idea. “How about we each write a letter? I’ll explain things in mine, and add some personal stuff since I was due to write her again soon anyway, and you can write your own letter telling her anything you’d like to say, in addition?”
She agrees to the idea like I thought she would and we both get busy writing. I finish mine before her and wait patiently for her to finish. When she’s done, I place both of the letters in an envelope and address the owl to Dumbledore. Since Lily went into hiding we’ve been sending letters to each other by way of her old headmaster to keep her whereabouts hidden.
“Want to come with me to drop this off?”
Anita nods agreement saying, “I’m curious to see what a witch’s post office looks like.”
The trip is swift and Anita is a little disappointed saying she expected it to look more witchy. Truthfully I agree, but I guess mail is mail no matter who sends it.
We spend the rest of the visit filling each other in about our lives since we last saw each other. Unfortunately, the day before she leaves we get the worst reply to our letter. Lily is dead and so is James, only Harry survived.
I never realized how much I had been expecting things to work out someday. That once again in the future the three of us would be together again and as close as we were as children. The hope must have been hiding in the back of my mind because I certainly never thought of it consciously before this visit to LA.
It hurts to realize that will never happen.
Oh Lily, you were the best if us all and I can’t believe you’re gone. And poor Harry. I know well the hurt of losing a parent, but Harry has lost two and at such a young age that it’s unlikely he’ll remember them. He’ll never know who they were, never remember all the things I loved about Lily. Like her devious intelligence, her caring heart, her streak of mischief.
This week has simultaneously been the best and the worst of my life. I regained an old friend and lost another. Both of us are grieving but we won’t be grieving together much longer. I’ve got to get back to St. Louis, things are moving fast now and I’m needed. Cordelia needs to help Angel finish up some cases before they can leave for St. Louis. I won’t see her again for a couple months.
We’ve made promises to keep in touch, but it won’t be the same. For a few days I had thought of us as a trio again. Now we’ve got to learn to live as a duo. It won’t be easy but I’m praying we’ll make it. We’ll need everything we’ve got to survive the year.
If you’d like to receive updates to any of the stories I post, know when my site is updated, or talk about my stories then join my group!