That Old Trick
Title: That Old Trick
Series: The Firewhiskey Chats
Disclaimer: Rowlings owns HP, Whedon owns BTVS.
Spoilers: OotP for HP, S7 for BTVS.
Summary: Just a drink before the war . . .
Notes: Dedicated to angelaask, on her birthday, who asked for any
Willow pairing with any HP male character, and that got me to
thinking of some I hadn't tried before. And behold! A new series on
the horizon. I hope you enjoy angelaask, and happy birthday once
~That Old Trick~
Willow hadn't felt this worn out since the days of combatting with the First. Right now, sitting in the library of the new Watchers HQ, surrounded by books and her computer and with that same tiny fear in her heart, Willow was distinctly reminded of the days when the End had seemed almost at hand.
Of course, this wasn't all out warfare. The world at large knew nothing of the struggle that was brewing right under their noses, even though more and more of them were falling victim to Death Eater attacks. Disappearing planes, train wrecks, bombings, you name it, the Death Eaters were doing it. And the Aurors and the Slayers were doing their damnedest to stop them.
The witch sighed and rubbed at her eyes tiredly, deciding to ignore the chaos around her to focus in on what was on her computer screen. Dimly she could hear shouting as Buffy got into it with another Ministry wizard, no doubt that Percy guy Fudge had sent to "oversee" things on this end. It was a nice way of saying that he was spying on them, and there wasn't one person at HQ who didn't understand that. It was just one of the many annoying things Fudge had done since the alliance had been signed and agreed to, and Willow was sure it wouldn't be the last. The man was just too meddlesome. He had to go.
She was briefly jarred out of her thoughts when someone rammed into her chair. Willow turned irritated green eyes upwards to meet the apologetic face of her longtime friend Xander Harris. Xander, still sporting the eye patch that was a physical reminder of their battle with the First, was supposed to be with Giles and Dawn, sorting through the various pieces of intelligence that came pouring in at all hours of the day. The three of them had their own team helping them, and they were doing a fantastic job of organizing all the information into useful data for the people on the frontlines. If the Aurors and Slayers were having any luck in stopping Death Eaters before they started, it was because of them.
"Sorry Wills," Xander said with a weak grin. "Dawn sort of shoved me this way. Apparently Giles wants to know how things are going from your end."
Willow managed a small smile for her friend before waving to her computer screen. "Well, I'm still working on it," she replied. "I'll get it ready to go when the time comes, but this plan is very risky. It depends entirely on the Death Eaters to be gullible enough to fall for the trap. How often have we faced a bad guy that did exactly what we wanted to?"
"Not many," Xander shrugged. "But here's hoping this will be one of those few times. It's all we got at this point. And this war is getting increasingly out of hand. Faith just called in to inform Giles that another airplane has mysteriously disappeared just off the Scottish coast. She and Harry are leading a team to investigate as we speak."
"It could be a trap," Willow muttered unhappily.
"Oh, it is a trap, but it's one that we're expecting, so it's bound to work out all right."
Willow frowned at the sound of the new male voice. She recognized it instantly and rather than facing the new arrival, she turned accusing eyes towards Xander. Her friend only shrugged and flashed her a mischievous sort of grin.
"Did I forget to mention that Seamus is here?"
Willow made a face at Xander, one he just ignored as he waved goodbye and was on his way. She glared at her friend's back until he was out of the library, and by then she was stuck. Left with no other choice, Willow turned around and faced the one wizard she had doing her best to avoid for the past four months.
"Ah Willow," Seamus mock-sighed as he approached her desk. "It's true what they say, distance does make the heart grow fonder."
"Seamus," Willow shook her head. "I assume that you're here on official business."
"Am I ever?" he asked her playfully in reply. Willow let out a breath and seemed to deflate in defeat. Seamus, though a wonderful Auror and brilliant wizard, was an unrelenting suitor. Ever since that night in the courtyard of Hogwarts, he had made his intentions quite clear. And he certainly hadn't wasted any time.
Now, based on all the corny romantic-comedies Willow had ever seen with Buffy, this would be the point where she was showered in gifts, flowers, cards, and sappy love notes. But that was not Seamus's way. Unfortunately, Seamus's way was a bit more subtle than anything Hollywood could dream up. Instead of sending gifts and flowers of a mind-boggling quantity, Seamus opted for a very few well-timed appearances at her workplace. He didn't bother with all the other crap that came with wooing. He merely showed up, found her, and proceeded to try to charm the pants off of her.
And it had almost worked on more than one occasion.
"You know, we are in the middle of a war," she told him stiffly. "Shouldn't you be out there with the other Aurors, catching bad guys?"
"Can't," he said simply. "You know that they alternate our shifts around so that no one is in the same place for long. Guess what I've been assigned to for the next two weeks?"
Please don't say Watcher duty. Please don't say Watcher duty. Please don't say Watcher duty. Please don't say-
"That's right! Watcher duty!"
Willow didn't even try to hide her reaction to that news. She flinched and shook her head in dismay. Watcher duty had been something that both the Ministry of Magic and Albus Dumbledore had insisted on before embarking on this alliance. Regardless of the fact that HQ was crammed full of Slayers at any given time, they had insisted that some Aurors be on hand to monitor the safety of their new allies. Giles had agreed because he felt that if maintaining the magical defences were left entirely to Willow, it would prove to be too great a strain on her. Besides, Giles needed Willow for other things besides maintaining all the wards and charms on the HQ. Willow was Head of the new Research Department. She had many other responsibilities that demanded her time.
Willow had initially been okay with the idea of Watcher duty. Less work for her to do. That was until Seamus began showing up every so often, assigned to spend two weeks within HQ to maintain the magical defences. That meant two weeks of him living in the same building as her. Two weeks of having him hanging around constantly. And two weeks of being very tempted by the prime piece of Irish meat in front of her.
Irish meat? Goddess, she was spending way too much time with Faith.
"Try not to get too excited about it," Seamus said sarcastically.
Willow gave him a look. "Seamus, you know that we're in the middle of a war. I have a lot of work to do, and a lot of responsibilities that I need to look after-"
"And I'm too much of a distraction for you. I understand completely."
Willow bit her lip and tried her damnedest not to smile. Seamus just grinned at her, moving from his spot by the doors to come perch on the desk just beside her computer.
"That's not what I meant," she finally said.
"Methinks the lady doth protest too much," Seamus quipped lightly. Willow swallowed a growl of frustration and turned her attention back to her computer. If he insisted on staying here, that was his business. But she had work to do, and she could ignore the hell out of him to get it done.
It worked until he came to stand behind her chair and lean over her shoulder to get a look at what she was doing. Willow jumped nervously when she realized how close he had come to her. And though he was aware of how his closeness affected her (as could be seen by the smirk on his face), his eyes remained glued to the screen. Slowly, almost in shock, Willow watched the mirth and teasing washed away from his face. His mouth was set in a thin line, his eyes hard and serious as he looked over the skeleton of their attack plan.
"This is dangerous," he said softly.
"What isn't nowadays?" she murmured, still looking at him instead of her monitor. It never ceased to amaze how quickly Seamus could from playful to business-like at the drop of a hat. Sometimes, right when he was in the middle of draining one of his Firewhiskey bottles, she would be convinced that this man hadn't one serious bone in his body. But he proved her wrong again and again.
"It's still in the first stages," she continued to say quietly, again looking at his face rather than her screen. "I'm supposed to get it organized down to the last spell. By the time I'm done with it, it'll be solid. They wouldn't survive something like this."
"That is if we can get old Voldemort into place," he said, pointing out the one key factor that the whole plan hinged on. "No Dark Lord, no dice."
"Well, Buffy's heading up the team that working on the plans that would get him here," Willow shrugged. "But all my attention is supposed to be on this plan. I have to get it right, down to the very last detail. Otherwise, it would be a catastrophe."
And with that, the grin was back on his face. "Are you suggesting that I would detract your attention away from this very important project? My, I would have to have considerable charm to pull off something like that."
"Seamus," she said softly, with something like a whine in her voice. He turned away from the screen and looked her straight in the eyes.
"I get it," he told her before she could speak again. "I really do get it. And if you want me to behave myself while you work, all you had to do was ask."
"Like that's worked so well in the past," she muttered darkly. Seamus laughed and chucked her playfully under the chin.
"You're right, but now I'm serious," he swore, one hand over his heart and the other held up towards the ceiling. "I promise to contain myself while I'm here, and right down until the end. I may not like it, but I can abide by it. Besides, it'll give me something to look forward to after this blasted thing is finally over."
"Thank you for being so reason-"
Her words were cut off when Seamus quickly pressed his lips against hers. Willow gave a squeak of shock and tried to sink back into her chair away from the kiss. But he followed, and soon, far too soon for her liking, she was into it. Not surprisingly, she found that he tasted a bit like Firewhiskey. She began to kiss him back when he suddenly pulled away. She struggled to catch her breath, staring up at him with wide eyes.
"To hold me over until then," he said in way of explanation. And with another smirk and a quick wave, he was off towards the library doors, presumably ready to relieve Auror Longbottom from his post.
Willow drew in a shaky breath and collapsed against her chair. The plans were still there in front of her, but she couldn't focus for the life of her. She could still taste the Firewhiskey, and her heart pounded rapidly in her chest as she licked her lips to catch the last traces of it. Her eyes were glued to the doors where she had last seen him and a frustrated groan escaped her throat.
"Stupid, lovable Irishman."