Not So After After-Life
Disclaimer: I own nothing still. Joss and Mutant Enemy own Tara, and JK Rowling owns Lily, James and Cedric.
Summary: Tara arrives in her afterlife and encounters her new 'family'. (Set In the Promverse timeline.)
James Potter looked to the sky. He and Lily had been there for a good fourteen years and knew what to expect when the storm had picked up in the way it had. A new arrival.
There had been more arriving on a regular basis now, most, well all, heading towards the village. Ever since Ricky had arrived.
Ricky had stayed with them. Originally Cedric Diggory, the sandy blonde had asked not to go to the village and had opted to stay in the woods with himself and Lil. Not that James minded. Lily had managed to find a way of watching their only child, unfortunately it was in her mind so, he was quite happy listening to Ricky tell the tales of how his boy had stopped the snaky Voldemort from becoming mortal.
Ricky in return seemed quite happy to become part of the former Potters family, seeking kinship with others that had been killed by their enemy.
"Storm's picking up Prongs."
"Okay. Where's Lils?"
"Probably trying to sneak a peek at our villages new arrival. See which witch has arrived."
"Lils." James smiled at his wife.
"James. I do not spy on the village."
"Why don't we go to the village Potters?"
"Lils is paranoid."
"I am not"
James turned to the younger man. "That we'll finally be dead."
Ricky snorted. "After the bastard cast the Kedavra on me. I better bloody well be dead. "
"You too? I told Lils to run with Harry but no she had to refuse."
"James, I was not going to leave you."
"I was already dead!"
"So, you ungrateful..”
"E-excuse me." A voice came from the door. "I-I was lost and I heard shouting so.."
Ricky ran to the doorway pulling the blonde woman in. "Sit."
"S-sorry I don't mean to intrude." She said as she sat in a wooden chair in the quaint wooden cottage. "I'm f-feeling a bit l-lost. I was just with W-Willow and her s-shirt and.." She burst into a sob.
"Don't worry.." James said hugging the blonde who grabbed him and hugged him back as tightly as she could as if he was going to disappear. He sniffed at her picking up the lavender fragrance. "..Lavender."
"Your name's not Lavender is it?" Asked Ricky sneering. "'Cos there was a really awful girl in Harry's house called that. Gossip queen. I mean if there was anyone who could gossip more than her it would.."
"We get the point Ricky." Lily said, smiling at him as she patted his shoulder. "What's your name sweetheart?"
"T-tara." The blonde stuttered.
"You smell like flowers." James said grinning.
"Don't start on the poor girl. It took me a good seven odd years to begin to understand you. She's in shock."
"So she needs to feel loved and a nice new nickname will do that for her."
"James." Lily sighed.
Tara watched the couple as they began to resume the argument. She turned to the boy at her side. "I-I didn't mean to get them arguing again. I-I should g-go."
"Sit. The Potters are always like this. Apparently like this when they were alive, so why not when they're dead. Right."
"Then that was..Oh Goddess. Will."
"That was my blood."
"I think I was s-shot."
"Shot? Sorry I don't understand, the only thing I can think of being shot with is a quaffle."
"Quaffle? Is that a type of gun?"
"What's a gun?"
Tara looked at the puzzled boy. "You don't know what a gun is?"
"No. You don't know what a quaffle is? Are you not a witch?"
"I'm a witch. Well w-was."
"Did you go to Salem?"
"Should I have done? I lived on a Hellmouth if that helps."
"So you didn't go to a magic school and you don't know about quidditch. Are you sure you're a witch?"
"Well either way you're going to be stuck without your wand."
"You don't have a wand. You are certainly going to change things around here. Cedric Diggory." Ricky held out his hand, which Tara took hesitantly. "Terrible twosome, call me Ricky. Feel free. I like it better than Cedric anyway. That's James and Lily Potter, although you might hear them calling each other Prongs and Phoenix."
Tara raised an eyebrow. "Prongs and Phoenix?"
"Both are animagus. James becomes a stag, hence Prongs. Guess what Lil turns into?"
A small smile crossed her lips "A Phoenix?"
"Yep. Although their friend also called her that because of her flaming red hair and the amount of smoke that comes out of her ears when the two of them are arguing makes her head look like it's on fire."
Tara's smile widened. "I hope you're talking metaphorical smoke not real because, disturbing."
"The only thing that's disturbing is when Lil wakes James up early. He makes sure everyone’s up them. I think that's the only major rule here. No waking James unless the cottage is on fire. Everything else and you're fine."
"You're inviting me to stay. Shouldn't you ask your parents?"
"Not my parents. Besides by the time they've finished it'll be too dark for you to attempt to go to the village. So stay. You could magic on an extra room or two to the cottage."
"Magic is not supposed to be used like that."
"Ours was. We pointed a wand and whoosh, new room."
"Ours drew magic from the earth, the air, nature around us."
"Ours came from within, so we use a wand to focus. We aren't trained to use anything else. "
"So that's good."
"Yeah, different's good."
"No, well yes. But different's good because we can combine the two. You can teach us how to focus through us and we can tell you to find your power essence."
"McGonagall explained it to me when I was trying out some spells for the Triwizard tournament. She really wanted Harry to win but, as long as the other schools didn't win. She was cool, bloody competitive but cool."
"There really is a wizard world, isn't there?"
"Yep." Ricky threw his arm around the other blonde, and guided her to her feet and led her to the sleeping quarters. "Don't know why you weren't in it though. Guess Salem sucked at finding witches. Their loss."
Tara smiled. "Guess so. Should we just leave them there?"
Cedric turned and looked at the still arguing pair. "Night Lil, Prongs."
"Goodnight Ricky, Goodnight Tara."
"Night Ricky. Night Flower."
Cedric watched the smile playing on the blondes face. "Guess you're Flower. Does make you one of us though. Think you can cope?"
"I've faced a Hellgoddess, demons, vampires and Buffy's cooking. I think I can cope with you all."
"Good." Cedric grinned. "So you had a girlfriend?"
Tara gently slapped the boy as he took her into the shared bedroom.
Later that night, she looked over at the other beds. James and Lily were still fighting although they were both asleep, and Ricky was lying in another bed across the room. She smiled. Ricky was just a sweetie, and reminded her of Dawn in a way. She couldn't go back to the Scoobies now although she missed them terribly. But, in terms of an after-life, she felt content. It wasn't like Buffy's heaven with all the peace and tranquillity but a kind of wholeness. Tara pulled up her throw, risking a glance at her new little brother as he slept and drifted off into her own dreamless sleep.