Title: First Time
Email: email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org
Summary: Response to the Quickie Challenge, Pairing # 22.
Notes: I'm changing a few things, making Willow the same age as Ron
and having her at Hogwarts since she was sixteen.
Notes2: Interlude in the Visions Series, found at the Quickie Challenge: http://quickie.moonlitpaths.com
"Maybe we're not ready for this step."
"We can't get any more ready. Not be nervous. Just relax and let your instincts guide you."
"I can't help being nervous. It's well, you know?"
"Your first time? Yeah, I know. I was nervous my first time too. But I learned, if you just let yourself relax and go with your senses, it'll come to you."
There was a brief silence, interrupted by a nervous sigh.
"What if it won't, you know, get up?"
"Don't worry. It'll get up. It has to, kind of it's purpose in life."
"But what if it doesn't get up tonight?"
"It's doubtful that it won't get up. It has to. Eventually, it'll get hungry."
Harry gulped audibly, turning to fix his companion, one Xander Harris, a frightened look.
"It's hungry? As in, it wants my blood?"
"Your blood, my blood, as long as it's blood, they don't discriminate," the young man shrugged. "Unless, you know, it's a hippy. Most vamps won't eat hippies."
"Why not?" Harry asked, leaning forward to look more closely at the fresh grave in front of him.
"Don't know," Xander confessed. "But Deadboy says it's because they can't guarantee the hippies were ever clean."
"Deadboy?" Harry repeated, eyebrows arched. Xander shot a grin his direction.
"My loving nickname for Buffy's undead boy toy," the man revealed. "Don't tell her that you heard me say that, because she gets touchy about it. Even more than Deadboy, which is kind of funny since you figured that he would have more reason to be offended."
"You know that it's probably not a good idea to call a vampire names, right?" Harry needled him, sending him a wry grin. Xander just shrugged this off.
"It's okay because Buffy and Wills would do some serious damage to him if he tried anything on me. My femmes are all kinds of attached to me. Good thing, because it keeps me alive in spite of my ill sense of humour."
Harry laughed, easing back a bit on his heels. He didn't know quite what to say to that, deciding to let it slide. Xander seemed quite content to be the way he was, regardless of the fact it was probably going to get him killed one of these days. Especially considering where the young man lived.
His eyes flew back to the grave in front of him, wondering if the fledging underneath was even awake yet. He reverted his eyes quickly, not wanting to dwell on the vampire sleeping below for too long. It was his first time out on patrol since he and Willow had arrived in Sunnydale, and his nerves were pretty shot. So far, he had met only one vampire, Angel the souled one, and even though Willow assured Harry that he was a good vampire, it had still been very frightening.
"You know, if you stay this tense, you're likely to end up on the wrong side of our dead friend's fangs."
He shook his head, sending a worried look up at Xander.
"Can't help it," he muttered. Xander nodded, sinking down onto the grass beside the Boy-Who-Lived, stake clasped firmly in one hand while there was a cross in the other.
"First time can be rough," the Sunnydale native assented. "My first time, well, I pretty much hid and let Buffy do all the work. But in my defense, at least there wasn't any unmanly screaming. That would come later in my Slayerette experience."
Harry chuckled, marveled at how at ease Xander could be in a graveyard. Willow was that way too, cool and collected as she calmly got ready for the fight against undead demons. It was a side to his friend that he hadn't known existed before. It was interesting, and definitely something he would have to tell Hermione and Ron about.
That is, if he could pry Ron off Willow long enough to tell him the next time they all met up. Which wasn't going to be easy if the letters from Ginny were any indication. Ron was very anxiously waiting the return of his girlfriend, driving everyone in the Burrow mad with his obsession of it.
"Perhaps we're at the wrong grave," Harry finally suggested, more to just break the silence than anything else. Xander grinned and shook his head.
"Right one," he confirmed. "Just taking his sweet time. You're going to have to cut him so slack. I'm told this whole process of waking up in your own coffin is quite disorienting."
"Angel?" Harry guessed. Xander nodded, sitting up straighter as voices floated over to them. He grinned, yanking Harry to his feet so they could greet the newly arrived Willow and Buffy.
"Hey boys!" the Slayer chirped happily. "Any action yet?"
"He's still sleeping," Harry offered with a shrug, noting the new tear in her shirt. "But you met yours, I presume?"
Buffy nodded, bouncing on her feet a bit.
"Totally dusted," she squealed before sobering. "Sorry, on a bit of leftover Slay drive."
"Perfectly understandable," Willow interjected. "Though I'm thinking you were just toying with that last one. You could have finished him off way sooner."
"Hey, look, I don't tell you how to be a witch, don't tell me how to be a Slayer," Buffy retorted, the smile on her face undermining the harshness of her words. "Besides, I need to have some fun, don't I?"
"Your idea of fun is quite interesting," Harry mumbled. Buffy just grinned, switching her gaze to the grave the boys had been watching earlier.
"Well, you're about to get a taste of my fun."
He turned, eyes watching in morbid fascination as the dirt began to shift. He strained his ears, picking the muffled sounds of grunts or possibly growls. Suddenly, a hand shoots out of the ground, grasping at the earth around it in order to pull the body up and out of the grave.
Harry felt Willow's hand on his arm, but he brushed it away. His eyes were on the vampire, and he wasn't giving up this opportunity for the life of him. He clenched his hand, secure in the stake there. Buffy had whittled him one earlier that day, declaring it to be his patrol stake from now on. Quirky lot they all were, but he liked them nonetheless.
The creature sprang forth from the grave, face set in ridges and fangs as it snarled at its audience. Harry felt Buffy push him aside before delivering a mighty kick to the vampire's face. It's head snapped back, stunning the creature and allowing Buffy to land more punches to it.
He watched with bated breath, unable to look away from the battle before him. Buffy tossed him a quick grin before landing a vicious punch on the vampire's jaw. It fell to the floor and ceased to move for a few minutes.
He didn't need any more prodding. He leapt forward, driving the stake straight into the heart of the creature before him. It cried out and then fell away into ashes.
Harry straightened, breathing heavy but face glowing nonetheless.
"Um Buff?" came Xander's voice. "Wasn't that incredibly dangerous for Harry?"
The Slayer shrugged, a sheepish smile on her face.
"I promised he could stake at least one tonight," the blonde confessed, throwing a look Harry's way. "Don't tell Giles."
Willow huffed, shaking her head at both of them.
"You expect us to lie to Giles?" the redhead demanded incredulously.
"Not lie," Harry interjected. "Just don't volunteer the
information. Besides, its not like I wasn't prepared."
He shifted his jacket, showing Willow he had his wand in the inner pocket, ready to go lest something should have gone wrong with the slaying. The redhead pursed her lips, and then grinned.
"I know," she revealed. "It's just, be careful Harry. Extra careful. Mrs. Weasley will have my head if I let anything happen to you."
"Please!" Buffy protested, hand on her chest. "I am the Slayer. I wouldn't have let any harm come to him. That vamp was beyond beat up before I let Harry anywhere near him."
"Well, let's not argue," Xander broke in. "After all, what's done is done. And we're all okay, and Harry's first patrol yielded his first staking. We should celebrate. Celebrate in a Bronze-like atmosphere."
"I'm all for that," Buffy grinned, skipping over to link arms with Xander. "Lead the way Xand."
Harry smiled himself, offering his elbow to Willow as well before following the other two out of the cemetary. He felt incredibly alive, it was beyond description. He didn't know why everyone was so down on the Hellmouth back home.
He kind of liked it here.