Striking A Balance
Main Characters: Willow and Snape
contains some Ron/Hermione, George/Katie, and Snape/Willow
seventh and last 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 sighed, leaning against Severus as she sat on the train. The Watcher's COuncil had agreed that she should be quite fine studying at Hogwarts, which she had interpreted to mean - please go far away. They wanted to do something to play nice, but they didn't really want to care. A month ago, the idea would have made her furious. But a month ago, she hadn't met the Weasley twins, hadn't tried their potion, hadn't met Severus. Everything had changed for her that day.
Now, things were good. Somehow, through chance or fate or the mercy of the gods, the concoction of the Weasley's hadn't caused any disasters, and had actually been the catalyst for a number of new relationships. One of them was the relationship between Katie Bell and George Weasley himself, both of whom had known each other for years, even being on the Quidditch team together. Another was Hermione Granger and Ron Weasley, a little younger, and a bit less active in public, but terribly sweet.
But Willow was happiest about the blossoming relationship between herself and Severus Snape. Granted, at the moment they were just friends, but that might change in the future. She enjoyed his company, and their friendship seemed to be helping both of them heal from their emotional woulds and scars. She hadn't asked what haunted Severus, what kept him from sleeping well in the night. He'd said that he occasionally had 'unpleasant dreams' about 'mistakes from the past', and it had been clear that he didn't want to go into details. But that was alright, Willow had her own mistakes.
"Knut for your thoughts?" His voice had an undertone of amusement. "Or were you just watching the lovestruck Weasleys?"
“Just thinking about how things have changed. I’m happy with my life now, and a lot of that is because of you. And maybe a little help from a little blue bottle. For the first time in a long time… happy Willow. And the whole rush of new couples from those bottles has been oddly happy. Nobody’s tried to hack someone into bits, no attempted kidnappings, not crazed mobs… just a lot of happiness going around. It’s amazing, and sweet.” She snuggled a little closer to him, smiling up towards his dark eyes. “Anyone ever tell you that you have wonderfully comfy shoulders?”
He chuckled, the sound like triple chocolate. “No, Willow. But then again, I can’t think of anyone but you that would dare find out. You’re right though, it has been a remarkable spread of happiness.”
“See, it’s good to be happy. That chuckle… it’s been proven that brooding all the time is bad for you. And you have a nice smile.” Willow grinned, teasing him just a little bit.
“Who’s proven such a thing?” There was surprise and amusement both in his voice.
“Angel. Someone that I knew in Sunnydale… brooding too much made things really awkward for him, and well… long, ugly, painful story. And for those of us who are but mere mortals, it leaves headaches.” One hand rose up, her fingers touching the glass where she and Severus were reflected. “But here is calmer, quiet. A chance to learn and grow and figure out Willow.”
“Were you listening to the Weasley’s talk about the last five years?” His laughter almost drowned out the words. “They have not been precisely safe.”
“All depends on what you’re comparing them too.” Willow smiled, resisting the urge to cheer as Katie stole a kiss from George, causing him to blush. The color clashed with his hair.
“True. I can’t quite picture you abandoning that entire fight. Giving up protecting people.” His arm had somehow managed to wrap around her, his hand resting comfortably at her waist.
“I’m not giving up. I’m learning better ways to fight. And besides, it sounds like there are plenty of problems on this side of the ocean.” Willow closed her eyes, breathing in the scents of the train. Breathing in the scent of Severus. “And here, I won’t feel so alone. I can… I can rest when I am tired of fighting, and there will be people that will understand what I’m talking about if I mention demons, or vampires, or magic. The secrecy can get exhausting.”
“You won’t be alone, Willow. You should never have had to try to muddle through on your own.” His words were soft, and behind them was an offer of companionship, of help, of caring.
“Good. Being alone hurts too much.” Her soft words were filled with everything that her time with Buffy had taught her. “But now… the future’s changed.”
“Just try to balance your future with protecting people. And remember that you are not alone.” His words were comfort, and a balm to her soul, soothing aches that she’d long since learned to ignore.
“A balance between duty and my life… the ability to have a life. Sounds good.” Willow smiled, allowing herself to feel at peace. The future was ahead of her, and for the first time in years, it made her smile.
End Striking a Balance.
End Love in A Bottle.