main characters: Willow, Remus Lupin (#29 on QPC)
Disclaimer: I do not hold any legal rights to the show or characters of Buffy the Vampire Slayer or from the Harry Potter books/movies.
Distribution: WLS, NHA, Quickie Challenge, Yourmission, Bite Me please? anyone else ask first.
set post Prisoner of Azkaban & AU post Wild at Heart.
QPC Theme for March (up to the 15th): Mardi Gras, gratuitous flirting/sex/foreplay, partying, wild abandonment, "In Like a Lion", "Mad as a March Hare".
Ever since Oz had left her, nothing had felt right. Not emotionally, not physically, not even magically. Willow had been left an emotionally gutted wreck. For a while, Buffy and Xander ignored her pain, hoping that it would just 'go away' like her various anxieties over tests had gone away. Giles had been so busy with his renewed relationship with Olivia and his new store that he hadn't noticed... surprisingly, her only sympathy had come from Spike.
Yes, Spike had offered her a bit of sympathy. It wasn't exactly that they were friends, or that she thought he liked her, but she was the one person who was willing to listen to him express his heartbroken misery over everything that Drusilla had done. He understood the pain of seeing your lover, the person that you've made into the center of your world, naked with someone else. He understood the pain, the way it felt like someone had reached up, pulling out her heart with sharp cold claws, replacing it with a lump of cold lead.
They'd noticed when her pain started to manifest magically. There were weeks that were grey and overcast, with intermittent drizzles of cold rain, rain that stung like a fall of needles. A series of emotionally sensitive demons, such as creatures that fed on pain and despair had arrived, seeming to be irresistibly drawn to Stevenson Hall. Small objects, especially things that reminded Willow of wolves or of bands would 'inexplicably' fall to the ground, often breaking.
Spike had been the one to suggest a solution. He'd insisted that this was a sign that not only did she have strong magic, but that her powers weren't properly trained. He'd suggested sending her to get proper training, recommending either Hogwarts Academy or someone affiliated with it, saying that it was the best school for magic. He'd also explained that he'd assumed Red had already been given some proper training, considering the spells and things they'd been asking from her. The vampire that had been trying to kill her had been her only supporter... life over the hellmouth was just bizarre sometimes.
So she was in England, studying magic with a woman named Minerva McGonagall, one of the professors at this school for magic. Minn had carefully tested Willow on more types of magic than Willow had ever thought about, and declared her to be 'powerful and possessing the most scattered, mismatched assortment of training and guesswork that she'd ever seen'. Willow had the feeling that this wasn't a good thing. No training, no control... no boyfriend. Was there something that she could do right?
For now, she was between lessons, and just relaxing in a small town called Hogsmeade, a town entirely inhabited by witches and wizards. It was delightfully fascinating to her. Especially since she could come here to this sort of tavern and drink something nicely warming but nonalcoholic called Butterbeer, and watch foolish youngsters partying. The way they were drinking and whooping and being overly... just, overly reminded her of the couple frat parties that Buffy had dragged her to.
"There's a bit of a crowd, would you mind if I sat here beside you?" A pleasant voice, if a bit weary sounding, interrupted her thoughts.
Turning a bit, Willow gave a weak smile as she gestured for him to sit. She looked at him, wanting to get a better idea who she'd just offered a seat. He looked older, probably near the same age as Giles. His brown hair was streaked with grey at the temples, and his dark eyes were haunted by unhappy memories, and there was something else in them, some sort of stirring that reminded her painfully of Oz. "werewolf..."
The polite, quiet man with the sad eyes was a werewolf. Like oz had been, still was. She felt the pain well up a bit, a painful tide, and her fingers clenched, and she felt this little pulsing behind her eye as she fought to control her emotions, and with them her power. The almost empty mug of Butterbeer cracked, falling neatly into five chunks, the dregs of her drink spilling over the table.
"I wouldn't want to be a bother, I can sit elsewhere..." There was the undertone of pain in his voice, as if he was used to rejection.
She shook her head, a small frown flickering over her face. "No, sit here. That's not a problem, it's just... you reminded me of someone else, and I'm... he sort of made me very unhappy, so when you reminded me of him I got a bit emotional and upset because he does that to me now, although it used to make me happy to think about him. Back before he slept with the skanky she wolf and left town."
He blinked at her, eyebrows seeking to find his hairline. "All in one breath... I'm sorry to remind you of him then."
"You don't very much, except for the whole quiet werewolf thing." Her voice was low, soft enough that nobody else would hear her words.
His fingers reached out, brushing so very lightly over her arm, down from her elbow, tracing the creases of her knuckles. It sent this oddly warm feeling through her whole body, and she shivered, feeling... she wasn't sure why he was making her feel like this, but she liked it.
"Does it bother you? What I am..." His eyes were fixed on hers, filled with an almost desperate intensity and shadows of pain.
She felt like she couldn't quite get enough air, lightheaded and almost floaty. "No... it doesn't bother me at all."
"I'm Remus Lupin." He was smiling, as if he'd just realized that he'd been remiss in his manners.
She giggled a bit, thinking how odd the conversation must sound, and how cute he looked when he blushed. "Yeah, we should introduce ourselves. I'm Willow Rosenberg."
One hand sort of hovered in the air, almost brushing her lips, close enough that her breath curled around his hand. "I wouldn't want to upset you by stirring up unhappy memories."
Flickering ideas and thoughts flashed through her mind as she found herself gazing at his lips. "Maybe I want to make new memories?"
She wasn't certain if she'd moved or he had, but they were kissing. It was sweet, a gentle exploration, but full of promises and whispers of passionate potential. New memories indeed... Willow could see herself making quite a few new memories with Remus Lupin.