Forget Me Not
Disclaimer: I'm still making no money. I don't pretend to own this.
Time began to pace itself with Willow’s racing pulse. Everything happened so very fast. Snape had raised his wand, reaching out to grab hold of Willow. She knew what he was going to do. He was going to perform his disappearing act again. That was a good plan, nice, solid. However, the witch’s instincts told her to run. And Buffy always suggested that people follow their instincts.
Willow thew up her arm, power sweeping over her as three men armed with wands filtered into the basement, already firing spells in her direction. Amazingly, they seemed to go right past her, not even hitting the wizard at her side. She flicked her wrist, calling out to the goddess for strength. The aurors flew backwards, crashing through the wall as one solid mass and taking bits of plaster and wood with them.
Willow put an arm around Snape’s waist, leading him through the room, past the aurors and up the stairs. The house above was empty, and they reached the front door unhindered. She didn’t realize that she was still holding on to the wizard until they were out the front door and almost a block away from Snape’s hideaway. She let go over him, a nervous cough stuck in her throat.
“Impressive,” he breathed. “However, I believe apparation would have worked somewhat better.”
“Not the way I see it,” Willow answered. Her pace quickened as the two turned a corner. She could see what appeared to be shops ahead. A nice, public, crowded place, that’s what we need. And I could use a soda and a valium to go, too.
“And how, may I ask, did you manage to come to that conclusion?” Snape snapped.
“You spoke as if you had been hiding in that basement for a few months, right?” His brow arched at the question. She continued. “I’m guessing that you didn’t use any major magic in that time period. My guess, those auror guys tracked you through your apparation spell. More specifically, they got a general location from your spell and were able to find your exact location because I let myself go all Darth Me in there for a moment.”
“No,” Snape hissed. “That is not how magic is ‘tracked’. That would be virtually impossible. Do you know how much magic is used in a single day?”
“Generally, I would agree with you, but I think they were able to use your apparation to find you because they knew what point you left from. It’s a basic theorem of magical relativity. In order to find a subject transported from point A to C, if point A is known and a magic type recorded than an approximate location for B could be established wherein point C would then be vulnerable. They were probably keeping an eye on the area, saw my flash of black magic and were on their merry little ways. Severus?”
Snape stared ahead, trying to comprehend what she had just told him. “They were able to as establish a link because they knew the exact location from which I apparated?”
“That sums it up,” Willow said. “Granted, that’s just a hypothesis.”
“That you developed within five seconds before our escape?” Snape asked, clearly impressive. His face hardened again. “However, we still have not fully escaped them. How do you propose we leave the area without drawing attention?”
“Hee,” Willow squeaked. “That will take more thinking time.” She looked up ahead and nodded. “Let’s go in there. It’s open until nine, and it’s fairly crowded.”
Snape’s face twisted in disgust. “A muggle clothing shop,” he hissed.
Willow gave him a faint, apologetic smile before looping her arm through his and walking into the store. “We’ll go to the top floor and try to think of something,” she explained, pushing him onto an escalator.
The wizard took a shallow breath, looking over his shoulder toward the glass doors less than a hundred yards away. Willow tugged at his sleeve, and he stepped off of the moving stairs, automatically assaulted by an assortment of pinks and reds. The witch beside him groaned, and he turned to her with a questioning glance.
“I somehow doubt that you detest lingerie as much as I do,” he said.
“It’s their Valentine’s Day selections,” Willow hissed. “I hate this holiday.” She frowned at the display of pink thongs decked in tiny hearts. “And I hate those too,” she muttered.
Snape chose to ignore her last statement. “And what now? I don’t exactly blend in with the crowd.”
Willow took one look at his robes and realized that she needed to keep him as far out of sight as possible.
“Can I help you?” asked a bubbly blond, making her way through a maze of wonder bras. The young clerk raised an arched brow, staring with disapproval at Snape’s strange attire.
Willow let out an awkward giggle. “I know, I know,” she said, “they just keep on moving the Renaissance Fair closer and closer to spring.” She jabbed an elbow at the wizard playfully. “Some way to spend our special day, isn’t it?”
The attendant laughed, accepting the lie. “I’m guessing you two want to spend your special night in more fashionable wear?” she asked with a grin that made Snape want to puke.
“You read my mind,” Willow answered. “But I think we can find what we’re looking for.” Leaning forward, she added, “Robert gets a bit shy when it comes to these things, if you know what I mean.”
The woman nodded, her smile even larger, and turned, “Just call if you need me.”
“Despicable,” Snape hissed as soon as the young woman was out of sight. “I don’t know which one of you was more idiotic.”
“OH, hush,” Willow cooed. “At least we’re rid of her now. Let’s go somewhere a bit more private.” She could see the hint of his aura expand nervously, though his frown only deepened in reply. “We need somewhere to hide out. They won’t attack while we’re in here, but that won’t stop them from spotting us.”
“Then what do you suggest?”
Willow curved her way through the lines of slips and body fitters until she reached the back of the department. She stepped into the short hall that opened to the fitting rooms. Luckily, every one of them was empty, their doors somewhat shut. Willow glanced into one of them. Her brow furrowed.
“Maybe we should each take one. They’re sort of small,” Willow began. Snape put a hand on the small of her back and pushed her into one gently.
The witch’s throat constricted as she threw herself against the wall, watching Snape shut the pathetic excuse for a door behind him and slide its bolt into place. He held his robes up, and took a seat on the tiny ‘convenience’ stool that was braced against one wall much like a short hanging bed. It whined with his full weight.
“Would you please come closer,” he said.
Snape glared. “Unless you would like our little working friend at the register to hear us, I suggest you come closer so that we may lower our voices.”
Willow took a step forward, covering the full width of the dressing room in one stride. She fiddled her thumbs. “Maybe we should stay back. I mean, that potion—we both came in contact with it.”
“Don’t be absurd. Do you honestly think that you cannot control yourself for a few hours?” Snape asked. Willow sighed. The wizard shifted his feet, clearing a space. “Now sit here. We don’t want her to see us either, now do we?”
Willow shook her head quickly, sliding down beside him, lifting her feet so that her legs interlaced between his. After all, they didn’t want someone to see a foot handing down. This is purely to hide us. We’re doing this to protect us from the aurors. Absolutely no harm will come from this very innocent act of survival. Oh, goddess, my face is on fire.
“Is it hot in here?” Willow whispered, leaning forward.
Snape’s eyes roamed over the younger woman’s curving neckline, before shooting up. “Stuffy,” he added.
Willow slipped out of the light jacket she was wearing, hanging it on the hook above her head. “That’s better,” she muttered.
She watched the wizard shift uncomfortably, feeling his boot slide against the outside of her thigh. The contact made her jump, forcing her to grab hold of his legs for balance. Willow blushed as she realized that her hold was pulling his body closer.
“Perhaps I should turn around the other way,” she suggested. “I. . .I mean, umm, if I fell off, someone would probably hear and come to see where all the racket was coming from.”
Snape only nodded as Willow twisted her body around, scooting her hips against the inside of his legs and putting her back against his chest. “Th-that’s better, isn’t it?” she asked.
The wizard swallowed hard. “Indeed.”
Willow turned her head quickly. “You don’t think this is. . .”
“No, no,” Snape answered. “I am . . . Most likely, I am immune to the effects. I have been working with the potion for several years—dare I say decades—and a slight splash would have done nothing to me. I would know if this were anything but an instinctual act of survival.”
The witch gave him an annoyed glance. “You don’t think this is too obvious for a hiding place, is what I intended on asking,” she smirked.
“Ah.” Snape shift again. “Of course not—they’re wizards, after all. I doubt any of them will wish to visit the lingerie department.”
Willow looked back at him. “You’re not wrong,” she whispered. “You know, I have no idea why I’m still with you. After all, you’re a wanted man. Usually I spend all of my time with wanted women.” Another mental slap on the forehead for tree-girl. Good work, Willow. Find a nice, hot, older murder and explain to him your sexual orientation. Score.
Willow winced. “I mean. I’m used to odd situations, but usually they involve my friends, not total strangers.”
Snape was silent a moment. “If it’s any consolation, I would most likely be on my way to prison if you had not run into me. I own you, I suppose.”
“You’re wrong.” The witch smiled. “You so ran into me.”
Severus watched her for a moment longer, a hand subconsciously on her side. Her eyes danced over him. He wondered if she could see that in him. Could she see the black and the white mixing? Could see she that he was taken by gray, what he saw in her? The answer was yes.
Willow’s grin disappeared. Before she could stop herself, she was pushing up, tilting her head so that her lips brushed against his for the briefest and longest of moments.
Snape pulled back before the kiss could deepen. “You’re beautiful,” he said softly, Willow’s face glowing in response.
The wizard shifted once more, one final time, pulling his wand free from the confinement of his robes. “Thank you, Willow,” he whispered.
The young witch’s face dimmed in confusion, and she was unaware of the weapon being held to her back. “Severus?” she asked.
Snape’s face hardened. “Obliviate!