Main Character: Willow
story #2 in 'Love in a Bottle'
Disclaimer: I do not own anyone from BtVS or the Harry Potter books.
Distribution: If I've given permission for my other BtVS/HP fics, yes. Otherwise please ask first.
AU post 'the Gift'/season 5. Tara broke up and left, Buffy is dead. the Weasleys are in their seventh year.
Willow wanted to study the bottle more closely, to figure out what was in it. She could feel the small amount of magic tickling at her hand, so she knew there was something there, but... Another person bumped into her, reminding Willow of all the reasons why she shouldn't study strange magic potions in glass bottles in the middle of the street. She had to go somewhere less crowded.
With a soft sigh, she looked up, discovering that a store with potion supplies was just a little over that way. The stupid Council of Watchers, having discovered that not only had their refusal to help deal with Glory resulted in Buffy's death, the loss of Rupert Giles as an active Watcher, and an active vendetta from William the Bloody, had decided to put forward a few apologetic motions, in the hopes of saving their tweed covered backsides. Nobody in Sunnydale had bothered to tell them about Spike's chip, figuring that the Watcher's could get a little taste of their own back, and have to find out for themselves. As an apology to Willow, they'd paid for her to come to England, and had agreed to pay all the fees for her to get a real education in magic.
She had wanted real guidance for her magic for so long that their gesture of apology had almost worked. If their refusal to help hadn't cost her Tara and Buffy, it probably would have been enough to erase all her grudges. But Buffy was dead, and Tara had regained her sanity and decided to move far far away from Sunnydale, from vampires and demons. All Willow could do was wish her luck. The little fact that Buffy's first death had triggered Kendra, and then Faith, had an interesting side effect - Buffy's second death didn't trigger a Council trained eager potential Slayer. Apparently, the Chosen Slayer was Faith, and Willow thought that she was still in prison, where the council's efforts to kill her had caused her to flee to. Willow was a bit fuzzy on all the details.
She hadn't forgiven the Council, but they were paying for her to learn. Which meant not only would she study hard, she would equip herself thoroughly, with the top of the line, at the Council's expense. Staring at the prices for things, such as a 'scoopful' of beetle eyes for seven knuts or powdered Dragon's Blood at sixteen sickles an ounce, she shook her head. There was a secret society of wizards in England, and they had their own money system. She'd only just started to get the hang of converting pounds and pence to dollars and cents when they'd sprung that news on her. It wasn't that hard to keep track of how many sickles to a galleon, but... how much was seven knuts in British money? Or American? This was rather frustrating.
Hmmm... pick up fascinating ingredients or examine the bottle? Which to choose, considering that she couldn't gather her shopping while trying to figure out the potion.
A glance around the store made up her mind. A handful of people with full baskets were moving towards the clerk, so that would definitely take a while. Why find herself standing with heavy baskets in a line for a long time? She could examine the potion, and then gather things.
Settling herself in a corner filled with carefully labeled bottles, she looked at the small bottle. It was just big enough to cover her palm, and a rather pretty blue glass shaped like an oval, the base slightly flattened. All the magical feeling was coming from the fluid inside. It wasn't strong enough to coerce lust, or to incite anything that wasn't there before, which was reassuring. No taint of dark magics, which was also encouraging, but... There was still a lot of possibilities for trouble.
Opening the stopper, she smelled it, curious about this potion. It smelled like lilacs and honey, with a touch of ginger... sweet, and a bit odd. It fizzed a bit, almost like a carbonated soda. Replacing the stopper, she smiled. Someone had certainly gone to some thought to make certain this potion would be easy enough to drink. It smelled nice, and probably tasted pleasant as well, and the bubbles would make it tickle.
Closing her eyes, she tried to 'see' the pattern of the magic in the bottle. It felt like there was a blended spell, something that felt like it should be harmless. But what about the ingredients? Could they have been blended in such a way as to cause other effects without further spells? Hmm... good luck in love... what did she have to loose? She didn't have her very own somebody to cuddle with, she didn't even have any prospects right now.
Tucking the potion in her pocket, she began gathering her ingredients. She was putting together the supplies for her studies, and there were some things not on the list that were always useful for various things. Since she wasn't the one paying for it, she could afford to pick up all the interesting things that she'd like. She smiled shyly at the man who was also reaching for a small jar of powdered dragon scales, feeling a bit intimidated by his dark eyes and flowing dark robes.
"Here, allow me to get a bottle down for you. They look a bit high for you to reach easily." His voice was like velvet and dark chocolate.
Taking the bottle of Dragon's Scales, she offered him a small smile, wondering if a voice like that was even legal. "Thank you."
She was still smiling, and oddly enough blushing a bit as she continued gathering the things she wanted. Sneaking a glance at the mysterious man with the delightful voice, she found herself looking at long black robes that entirely covered his body, leaving only his head and his pale hands visible. His hair hung to his shoulders, dark and loose, almost as if he was trying to conceal himself. But just because she had tried to hide behind loose clothing and long hair didn't mean he was doing the same.
On her way out, having spent a good helping of the council's money, Willow glanced at Mister Chocolate-Velvet voice again. He was standing in the line, and had this space around him that nobody seemed to enter. As if they didn't want to be very close to him. Was he lonely?
She would be lonely in that situation. Perhaps she would see him again. With a sigh for her rambling thoughts, she shrank her parcels, dropping them into her pocket as well. She would just go sit down and try some wizard's ice cream and some of that potion.
end Willow's Question.