In Remembrance of You
Disclaimer: I do not own Harry Potter or BtVS.
“Have a nice day.”
Willow cocked her head, staring at the young woman across the counter. “What?”
The girl seemed to be holding back an eye roll. “Is there something else I can help you with, mam?” she asked in a rich English accent. “Perhaps you’d like to take advantage of our three day sale—savings begin today with juniors’ jean at thirty to fifty percent off.”
The witch took a step back, surveying her surroundings. A department store? Wasn’t I on my way to the shop?
“No thanks,” she finally said to the attendant. “I think I’m done here.” No, I specifically remember catching a taxi and going to this store for their big ‘day-after-valentine’s’ sale to pick up something saucy. That’s what I remember. I think. What the hell’s going on here?
“Don’t forget your bag,” the young woman said, holding out said item.
Willow took it hesitantly. “Ok. . . Did I pay for this?”
The girl raised a brow. “Yes, mam. And you got quite a bargain. The V-day selection was on clearance."
“So, it’s February the fifteenth?” Willow asked, turning away after the other woman nodded. She walked a short distance before looking down into the paper bag. Her face flushed. Her purchase consisted of a pink thong covered in glittery red hearts and a matching push-up. Beneath the two was a box of chocolates. The cream filled kind. I hate those stupid little cream filled candies and their stupid little boxes. . . So why did I buy them?
Then an answer flashed across her mind so quickly that it made her dizzy. She had spent all Valentine’s Day moping, and then, realizing how pathetic it was, she had taken a long bubble bath, put on her favorite romance movie, and ordered take-out. This morning, she had promptly vowed to go buy herself something special and had promised to spend next year’s Valentine’s Day with someone who would appreciated it (it being a pink panty set in this case).
“That’s a load of crap,” Willow stated, her eyes narrowing at the few customers who looked her way at the outburst.
Something was definitely wrong. And that something was her memory. Though she could remember in detail what she ordered the night before for supper, she knew that it was false. None of it was real.
“Someone tried to erase my memories,” she hissed, making her way toward the store’s front entrance. "Now, if only I could remember exactly what it was they covered up.”
Willow pulled her feet under her, leaning into the couch and feeling much more at ease in her comfy sweats. She held the cordless against one ear, the remote control in the other. At the moment she felt very much like rewinding time and having a movie night with the younger version of Xander and herself pigging out on popcorn. But, alas, adulthood and witchcraft called.
“Back,” Buffy’s voice answered. “Sorry about the wait. I had to go straighten something out in the training room. Two of the girls were fighting over some guy they met at the beach. One thing let to another. You know how that goes.”
“So they busted open the weapon’s cabinet?” Willow asked with a smile.
“Girls will be girls,” Buffy sighed. Willow could tell that her friend was at least finding some amusement in helping with the ‘noobs’, as the new slayers had been honorably dubbed. “Ok, now what were we talking about before we left? Shoes? No, not that. Thongs? That was it.”
“Thong,” Willow snapped. “One. Not mine. Mine now.”
“So, you think a pervy sorcerer messed with your memory?” Buffy asked. “And he made you buy underwear and sweets. Sounds like one of Satan’s minions.”
“Buffy,” Willow whined. “It isn’t funny. What do you think they were covering up?”
“You know what I mean.”
Buffy groaned. “I don’t know, Will. I mean, if you’re sure that magic was involved. . . Can’t you do a spell or something?”
“I can, but I don’t know if I should. Messing with someone’s head can be tricky—especially if it’s the witch working the magic on herself. Plus, the memories seem to be coming back. Like, I’m pretty certain I didn’t do any of that stuff I remember doing on Valentine’s Day. I think they all should come back within another day—the perv probably didn’t realize that memory spells don’t stick too well on me.”
“So they underestimated the mighty powers of Willow.”
“In a nutshell.” Willow leaned back, her head against. . . “Buffy, I think I just remembered something.”
“Actually, I think I might have fallen asleep on a man,” the witch answered.
“A man . . . ? That’s different for you. Was he hot?”
“Buffy!” Willow growled.
“Will, you need to try to remember. Do that whole open-your-mind thing. Try to remember what you were doing when you very scandalously fell asleep on this mystery guy.” Buffy paused a moment. Willow used it to shut her eyes, clearing her thoughts of the day and concentrating on the image of falling down onto someone’s chest, her face touching the cloth of his . . . robes? She breathed in his scent. It was definitely masculine and laced with something spicy. There was a sweetness that she could almost taste stuck onto his clothing. Her heart fluttered.
“Well, I don’t think I hated him,” Willow commented, drawing herself back out. “He smelled like something familiar.”
“Someone we know? What, was he wearing Tommy Boy or something?”
“No, more like a potion ingredient.” The witch frowned. “Not that that detail is important at all. I’m going to try this dream aid tonight before bed—maybe it will help me sort through my thoughts.”
“Yeah, you do that.” Willow could practically see Buffy’s grin. “Hey, Will, actually, I needed a favor, if you’re up to it. Could you cancel your Wicca Study Group thing for a couple of days?”
“Sure, what’s up?”
“Well, you know that spell you set up for us? Slayer seeking?”
“Yup, have you recovered that girl in L.A.?”
“Not yet. We sent Andrew with a group of slayers. Would you mind tagging along?”
Willow was silent a moment. “Why not. I haven’t visited sunny California in a while anyhow. Any reason in particular why you’re sending me off?”
“Your expertise is needed.”
“Buffy,” Willow groaned.
“Ok, fine. We’ve taken a vote. You need a vacation. Ditch Andy when you get to L.A., dodge Angel’s crew and enjoy yourself for a bit. If the geek gets into trouble, you’ll be close by to back him up. Giles has already ordered your plane ticket. You leave in the morning.”
Willow suppressed a laugh. “So, I’m that pathetic now. I’m being ordered to go on vacation.”
“Yup, and Xander was the one who suggested it,” Buffy said in a sing-song voice.
“You both will pay, missy!” Willow snapped teasingly. “I guess I should go. I need to go pack my bags apparently.”
“Good luck and good dreams.” Buffy paused. “And, Will, call if anything about this memory swipe develops, ok?”
“Will do,” Willow said.
She hung up the phone with a sigh, turning off the television. It was going to be a long night.