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Moving On

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Summary: Sometimes you need to close the door on your past to move on with your future

Categories Author Rating Chapters Words Recs Reviews Hits Published Updated Complete
Harry Potter > Willow-Centered > Pairing: Draco MalfoyKarieFR1513,032133,53724 Mar 0624 Mar 06Yes
Title: Moving On

Author: Karie

Discaimer: I don't own any characters in BTVS or HP and the song "Moving On" belongs to Rascal Flatts (one of my very, very favorite country bands of all time)

Author's Note: Yes, this is a song-fic, but this song has been running through my brain for a while now and I just *had* to write it =) Might be a one-shot, but if you guys like it I might add a sequel ;)

I've dealt with my ghosts and faced all my demons
Finally content with a past I regret
I've found you find strength in your moments of weakness
For once I'm at peace with myself
I've been burdened with blame, trapped in the past for too long
I'm movin' on

"I'm gonna be gone for a while," I said to the pretty angel monument covering Tara's casket. I ran a cold, trembling finger across her name, trying to keep from crying. Over the last year and a half I had stopped coming here as often as I had at first. I still came and placed flowers on it once a month, but my life had taken a strange turn since her death.

I had found a family and a life beyond Sunnydale. Beyond the United States, at that. When Giles took me to England for 'magic rehab', I met some people I could relate to. When we first arrived I didn't realize I wasn't the only one to go through the program. Hell, I didn't even realize it was a program. I'd thought I was the only one. Apparently not. There were three others there with me, relearning to safely use magic without it using us.

There was so much to take in at first. And when introductions were had, I was immediately hurt and angry. There was an entire wizarding community that I had never heard of. There were schools to teach children how to use their abilities. And Giles had known. The man who was supposed to be closer to me than my own birth father, the one man that I had always looked to for guidance, had kept that knoweledge from me. Even though he'd known the dangers of having an untrained witch that powerful on a Hellmouth. I didn't speak to him the first two weeks we were there.

I quickly made friends with one of the three there with me. Hermione Granger was the most unlikely dark magic adict I'd ever seen. But then she was really good at putting up a front, I realized later. She was a pretty witch about my own age with long, curly brown hair and big brown eyes that reminded me a little of Tara. Maybe that's why I was drawn to her so quickly. But she couldn't have been farther away in personality. Where my Tara was quiet and very shy, Hermione was just the opposite. She was very opinionated and nosy. Whatever the definition of shy was, it wasn't her. But then, she had the smarts to back it up. I don't think I have ever met someone who was so close a match for my thirst of learning. Once we got over the initial awkwardness, I think we talked for four hours straight about everything and nothing.

Harry Potter was her best friend and the reason she was there in the first place. Seems during the Great War, as they called it, they had been forced to use some of the darker magicks to defeat the bad-guys. Personally, I didn't really think Hermione belonged in the group. Later, those suspicions were found true when she admitted she'd only volunteered to get Harry to go. That admission made my heart squeeze.

None of my friends back home tried to even contact me while I was gone. Not even Xander, who had pulled me back from the edge. And Giles had stayed for about three weeks then left me there in what he called the 'capable hands of those who are more experienced than I.' Yeah, right. He just wanted to get away from the person who had single-handedly broke him and nearly destroyed the world. I remember how he still felt about Angel. And that had only been a bit of torture. Well, you know what I mean.

I understood Harry most of all. The dark haired man was only a couple months older than me, and looked almost too much like Xander. Sometimes I could see his dark hair fall into his eyes a certain way and I would want to cry. I missed my best friend and the idea that our friendship was all but ruined hurt so bad. The Boy Who Lived was just that. He lived and survived when others died. He'd snapped in the last days of the war. Once that part of him that kept the darkness out broke, it wasn't too long before he defeated the Dark Lord and demolished his followers. I understood that, and he knew I understood better than anyone else could.

When he'd watched his best friend, Ron Weasley, die at the hands of someone he'd trusted, he'd gone a little insane. A lot like I had after Tara was killed. He'd closed himself up in a tower room of Hogwarts- the wizard school that I wish so desperately I could have gone to as a student- and had slowly let go of all his barriers against the dark magic.

The events after he came out of the castle were nearly legend, even three years after the fact. He'd teleported into the Dark Lord's stronghold and hadn't come out until Voldemort and most of his followers were dead. He'd left a note for Hermione and the others, telling them where he was and to stay away. He'd been arrogant enough to believe they would listen. They'd shown up about halfway through, Hermione right beside him as they killed bad-guy after bad-guy, pulling no punches. They'd been aided by the last person they'd expected.

Draco Malfoy had been in the lair at the time Harry had decided to crash the party. A spy for Dumbledore along with his mother and Severus Snape- a man I had the misfortune to run into a month after my arrival-, Draco had immediately started helping Harry. The first person the blonde killed had been his father. Lucius Malfoy had been about to kill Harry, attempting to hit him in the back with a killing curse. Cowardly and unacceptable in Draco's eyes. But then, the Slytherin Prince was surprisingly unlike his peers. He not only stopped his own father from killing Harry, but he had started blasting Death Eaters right and left.

I hadn't understood a lot of the tale at first. Death Eaters sounded like a vampire-eating demon or something like that. And things like muggles and mudbloods were beyond me. Hermione had been trying to clue me in on some things when Draco himself had stepped in to explain a few things.

I'd been introduced to him before and I'd seen him around. But until then, he hadn't even given a glance my way. I admit, I watched him a little in class. Isn't that funny, they had classes to help us relearn how to use our magic safely. There was a whole mess of them, ranging from how to channel white magic instead of black, to how to use art as therapy. Some of it was useful, but most of it was crap designed so that the Ministry of Magic wouldn't throw us in prison.

Now I understand them throwing me into prison for what I'd done. I am the first one to admit that I did wrong. I killed a man for revenge. I tortured my friends and nearly sucked the world into blackness. But Harry and Draco had been heroes. They had ended the reign of the magical equivalent of Hitler. Hermione hadn't been in danger of prison, but Harry had been close to being thrown in because they were scared of him.

They had given him the final choice. Go through this rehabilitation or go where he couldn't hurt anyone if he lost it again. From what I'd heard, Azkaban wasn't a fun place. And Draco... He'd never really been given a choice. The only reason he hadn't been immediately carted away was his role in the final battle. That and Harry and Hermione had pressed the issue and promised some very, very bad press. To have a war hero put in prison because he'd used the dark arts to help defeat their magical serial killer/cult leader didn't make for warm and fuzzy feelings come election time.

We endured the stupid classes together, all of us slowly coming to be friends. And eventually, they felt more like my family than my friends back home. We were together a full six months before something else happened. Draco kissed me. And I don't mean a peck on the cheek, I think of you as a sister, kiss. And Goddess help me, I kissed him back. When we broke away, I stood there for a full minute, my lips tingling and my mind reeling. Then reality crashed in on both of us. One look into his clear gray eyes and I could see the regret, the guilt. I suddenly felt sick to my stomach. I'd betrayed Tara less than a year after she'd been gone. I did the only thing I could in a situation like that. I ran.

I avoided him for a good three days before Hermione finally had 'the talk' with me. My curly-haired best friend took me by my hands and forced me to listen to her. I didn't want to. Hell, I would have rather listened to Anya talk about sex. But she made sense. Tara was gone, and unless I decided to follow her soon, I was going to be here for a long time without her. Moving on wasn't a betrayal. It was honoring her in a way. Then she asked me, point blank, if Tara would want me to be alone and miserable for the rest of my life.

I argued that he regreted kissing me. That he hadn't really wanted to do it. That he must have felt sorry for me. Hermione had startled me by laughing. No one forced Draco Malfoy into doing *anything*, especially kiss a pretty girl. She told me that the only reason he regretted doing it was because he realized I wasn't ready. He didn't want to ruin the friendship we'd started. Looking into her honest dark eyes, I knew she wasn't lying to spare my feelings.

It took me two more days before I finally went to find him. As incredibly sappy as it sounds, we sat there under the stars for hours before we finally started talking. It still makes me blush to think back on what we did after we ran out of words.

Classes ended six months after that and I was faced with a difficult decision. Go home to Sunnydale- a place I wasn't entirely sure I belonged to anymore. Or go with Draco, Harry, and Hermione back to the wizarding world where I would have a place among people like myself. With people who understood what it meant to be feared and to walk that line between good and evil. With people who wouldn't judge because they recognized their own faults. Unlike my 'friends' back home, they would never turn their backs on me because I scared them.

When everything was said and done, it wasn't that hard of a decision. Which brings me to where I am now, kneeling next to the grave of the one time love of my life.

I've lived in this place and I know all the faces
Each one is different but they're always the same
They mean no harm but it's time that I face it
They'll never allow me to change
But I never dreamed home would end up where I don't belong
I'm movin' on

"I still love you, Tara," I told the sad angel quietly, my shoulders lifting and falling with a deep sigh. "I think a piece of my soul will always have your name on it. But it's time for me to move on. I think you already know, but I had to tell you myself. Draco makes me feel whole again. He understands me better than anyone else ever could. He's walked the same path I have and we're both still struggling to make it in a world that can't or won't understand."

I felt a large, gentle hand settle on my shoulder and I looked back at my lover and soon to be husband. He smiled that special smile at me, the one that he rarely shows anyone and I felt my heart swell. "We're getting married next month. Buffy and the others don't know and I'm not going to tell them. They don't want to know and I don't really care what they think anymore."

"Potter and Granger are waiting, Willow-mine," Draco said quietly, helping me to my feet. I had to grin at his continued refusal to call either of our friends by their first names. He still has a bit of a time calling them friends out loud- but we all know the truth. If it hadn't been for the two of them, he'd be long since dead or in prison.We never would have admitted our feelings if it hadn't been for them.

"Be happy for me," I told the angel monuement before turning my back on my past. This was more than just saying goodbye to Tara. It was saying goodbye to my past and hello to my future. I saw Harry and Hermione waiting just outside the cemetery gates, the setting sun lighting up their figures. I must have been in one of those poetic moods because to me the light seemed to do funny things to them, outlining their figures in a halo of sorts. Not that I would ever really say something like that out loud.

"You ready?" Harry asked me and I nod, reaching out for his hand with the one not clutched in Draco's. The dark haired wizard grinned at me then, his green eyes lighting up in a way that they hadn't a year ago. He grabbed Hermione's hand and then we apparated out, reappearing outside the large house on the outskirts of Hogsmeade we all went in together to buy. In less than two months, Hermione and I were to start the school year as professors at Hogwarts. Draco's godfather, Snape, wasn't openly thrilled about the idea, but everyone else was happy with the arrangement. Hearing Dumbledore talk, Hermione had been a shoo in for the new Charms professor and who better to teach the Defense Against the Dark Arts class than a former dark witch?

I was still trying to get Harry to be my assistant, or co-professor, if you wanted to call it that. His parents had left him very well off, so the job would only be to occupy his time. I didn't really think I'd actually get him to agree to it. I thought he and Draco were planning to open some kind of magical private investigation/
security firm. Kinda like Angel's first attempt in LA. They weren't letting us into the plans yet. I thought maybe they wanted to make it a reality before telling anyone about it.

I'm movin' on
At last I can see life has been patiently waiting for me
And I know there's no guarentee's, but I'm not alone
There comes a time in everyone's life
When all you can see are the years passing by
And I have made up my mind that those days are gone

*~ Later that night, standing in the large kitchen with Hermione, stirring the sauce for our dinner, I thought back on how lucky I really was. I have a family now, I found myself thinking, looking over at where my dark haired best friend was cutting carrots at the sink. I had a real family that wouldn't turn their backs on me if I did too much magic, or if I said or did the wrong thing. They might get mad, yes. No one's perfect. But they wouldn't kick me out of their lives. I shook myself out of the slight melancholy when Hermione turned to ask me something about our weekly shopping trip scheduled for the next day. Not for the first time I was reminded that life went on.

After watching a movie after dinner, I sunk down into a bathtub filled with hot water and scented bubbles. It had been a hard day and I was exausted. Closing my eyes, I leaned back against the porcelian back. I heard the door open and smiled as the scent of Draco's cologne hit my nose. I opened my eyes with a grin when I heard the sound of his zipper being lowered.

"Thought you didn't like smelling like lilacs," I reminded him, my fingers playing with the bubbles that barely covered my breasts.

"I think I can deal with it for a while." His gray eyes shone as he stepped into the huge claw-foot tub, the water rising dangerously close to the brim. With a quick wave of my hand, a couple inches of water disappeared so we can both fit without overflowing. Within half a second, I was in his arms, straddling his lap. I had no patience for foreplay tonight, so it didn't take very long before we were really making the water slosh over the edge.

I loved it when we came together like this, hot and fast. I liked to take things slow too, but after the hellish day we'd both endured, it was good to take the edge off. From the look in his eyes, this was just the beginning. The beginning of many, many wonderful things to come. I had put my past to rest today, and right now I was finally starting my future.

I've dealt with my ghosts and faced all my demons
Finally content with a past I regret
I've found you find strength in your moments of weakness
For once I'm at peace with myself
I've been burdened with blame, trapped in the past for too long
I'm movin' on


The End

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