Title: Shadows and Glimpses (9/9)
Disclaimer: Nope, not mine. AtS belongs to Joss Whedon and HP belongs to J. K. Rowling.
Distribution: Anywhere I send it. Anyone else wants it just let me know.
Spoilers: Through ‘Birthday' on AtS. The first four books of HP.
Summary: What happens when you mix an amnesic Death Eater with a recently demonized Seer?
Author's Notes: Okay, so I'm changing a few things in the AtS world to make this fic work. First of all, Angel and Cordelia are not in love. They are just extremely good friends. Second, Holtz was never pulled from the past. Connor is still here. He's just a baby and staying that way. And finally, Cordelia's apartment is a two bedroom. I think that's it, for now. I'll let you know if anything changes. As always, Angel is Spike's sire. Words in *'s are emphasized, words in ::'s are thoughts, words in ~'s are dreams, and words in ^^'s are flashbacks. Enjoy!
Special Thanks: To everyone that reviewed this fic so far. It's good to know that I'm not just writing this for the sake of my muse. You all are great!
Lucius was numb.
Sitting on the couch in Cordelia's apartment, Draco beside him, he listened with detachment as Snape told him what happened after he'd been hit with a memory curse and somehow sent halfway around the world.
Apparently, Voldemort was gone, for good this time. When he'd used the still unknown spell to send Lucius away from the final battle, he'd depleted enough of his strength that the others were to step in and hit the dark wizard with an arsenal of Unforgivables.
Oh yes, and Draco had been one of the ones to do it.
They still weren't certain why Voldemort hadn't simply killed him, although Lucius was sure Snape had a few ideas. The Dark Lord knew that the only person who hated Muggles more than he was Lucius Malfoy. So, what was a more perfect everlasting torture than sending him to live amongst them, with no memory of who he was an no way to defend himself? Add to that the fact that he'd sent him somewhere where vampires and demons ran rampant, and both men were sure that Voldemort had fully expected the traitor to be dead in a matter of days. The Ministry, however, was apparently incapable of reaching this decision and therefore wanted to speak to Lucius himself about the entire chain of events.
But, not to worry. He wasn't going to be tried for any type of crime. Because, it also appeared that everyone now credited some amount of their victory to Lucius. Had he not stood up for his son and attempted to avenge Narcissa's death, Voldemort would likely have won the war.
The thought of his wife dying in his arms stole his breath away. While he may not have told her he loved her, or even shown it very often, the bond they had shared had been intense. She had been his everything and she had died at the hands of their Dark Lord for protecting her only child, *their* only child.
His rattled mind was having a difficult time processing everything. His wife was dead, his son had taken sides with the Potter prat, and he, Lucius Malfoy, Death Eater and member of Voldemort's Inner Circle, was considered a hero in the wizarding world.
He was also completely in love with a Muggle.
Well, he mentally corrected himself, not exactly a Muggle. After all, she *was* part demon. She was also gifted with the Sight. However, since she didn't have any technical magical abilities, he didn't know what else to call her. She was...Cordelia. Just Cordelia.
A beautiful woman who had taken him in when he'd had no where to go. Who had provided him with shelter, clothing, food, and a friendly face when he had been completely lost. She had offered him her heart just hours before, after giving her body to him for the entire night.
And now he was going to leave her.
At least he'd kept his word. He hadn't run away the moment he'd gotten his memory back. In fact, she had been the one to disappear. Almost immediately following the light show she'd put on in the living room, she'd escaped to her bedroom, feigning exhaustion.
He knew that wasn't the actual reason she was in there, though. No, he knew she was trying to come to terms with what she also knew was about to happen. And that alone was the only reason he was sitting on this couch listening to Snape, Draco, and the Golden Trio rattle on about Voldemort's defeat instead of being in there with her, trying to explain who he was and why he couldn't stay.
Well, that and because of the vampire currently glowering at him from the corner of the room.
Suddenly snapping out of his mental reverie, he realized that everyone was preparing to leave. Apparently, they'd told him everything they felt he needed to know before facing the Ministry, and they were more than anxious to return to their own lives as quickly as possible.
Rising to his feet, he had to bite his tongue to keep from excusing himself as he blew past everyone. Heading straight for Cordelia's room, he battled with himself the entire way.
He was a Malfoy, damn it. He didn't make excuses for what he did. He should just leave right now, go back to his home and try to forget about the amazing brunette that had touched his life in such a major in way without even trying.
However, he was also Lucius, the man that she had given herself to. The man that had held her through the night, watching her face as she slept. And, that man, whether he was real or merely an illusion created by the curse, at least owed it to her to say good-bye.
So, that's what he intended to do.
Cordelia stared out her bedroom window, watching the last rays of sunlight dance across the sky. As the reds, oranges, and yellows finally faded from sight, she sighed heavily, forcing herself to tune out the voices she was hearing in the other room.
They were basically retelling the same story, just from different points of view. This Voldemort guy was dead, Lucius had inadvertently been a part of his defeat, and now everyone wanted to congratulate him as some sort of hero.
She couldn't help but feel a little jealous at that knowledge. She was never hailed as a hero by an entire community. She helped save lives all the time, and the most she got was a thank you.
Shaking her head, she scowled. What was wrong with her? This wasn't the time to be jealous! She should be happy. Lucius had his memory back and wasn't in any danger.
He was also going to be leaving.
Biting her lip, she refused to let the tears fall. She had *known* this was going to happen. From the moment she'd seen him in that alley she had known he wasn't going to be around forever. He was just another person to save, nothing more. However, that didn't keep it from hurting any less.
"God, how could I have been so *stupid*?" she whispered harshly. She had gotten involved with a man with no memory, only to find out that he was recently widowed and had his own life somewhere else.
Shaking her head, she forced herself to think rationally. It wasn't like she was in love with him, or anything. She'd only known him two days! People didn't fall in love two days after meeting one another, right?
Looking deep within herself, she knew the truth. This pain that she was feeling, the aching inside of her heart at the thought of him leaving, could only be love. She'd felt it before, with Xander. That night that she'd seen him kissing Willow. However, this was worse. Then, she'd felt as if her entire world had come to an end. Now, she felt as if she were going to die.
Swallowing past the lump in her throat, she once again blinked back the tears that blurred her vision. She was Cordelia Chase, damn it! She didn't fall in love with strange men. She didn't become so attached that she didn't know where she ended and they began. She was a survivor! She'd survived eighteen years on a Hellmouth and three years working for a vampire. She would survive this, too.
She had to.
That decided, she stood up, determined to go in there with her head held high and say goodbye to him like a civilized adult. Turning around, she stopped, her eyes widening in shock.
Lucius was standing in her bedroom, looking very much like the powerful and elegant man he normally was. Looking him over, she noted how different he looked in the dark cloak and robes. His hair was loose, hanging halfway down his back and across his shoulder, even more pronounced than usual against the dark material. He was wearing black leather gloves and his beloved cane was gripped tightly by his right hand.
Licking her lips, Cordelia forced a small smile on her face. "Well, you certainly clean up even nicer in your normal clothes," she commented softly, her hazel eyes searching his grey-blue orbs for some sign of how he felt.
Lucius tipped his head, returning her smile. "Thank you," he replied. Taking a step toward her, he took in her tank top and low-riding jeans. God, she looked delectable. Raising his eyes to her amused face, he said, "I wanted to thank you, for helping me. If not for you..."
Cordelia rolled her eyes, waving her hand as if to shoo away his words. "Pfft. Don't worry about it. It's what I do, remember?" she stated.
He nodded, trying to figure out what to say next. Mentally, he kicked himself. This wasn't supposed to be this difficult! He had no trouble with words with anyone else.
Of course, she wasn't just anyone.
Finally, after a few moments, he began, "I can pay you for the clothing you purchased for me. I'm afraid I won't be needing it..."
Once again, she cut him off, although this time she gave him a sharp look. "Don't," she said firmly. Seeing his surprised look, she continued, "If you aren't going to use the clothes, that's fine. I'm sure I can give them to someone who will. But, I don't want your money, Lucius. I may not have much, but I *don't* take handouts."
He frowned, shaking his head. "Cordelia, I wasn't offering you a handout. I merely wanted to repay you for the money you spent on me," he argued.
Cordelia raised an eyebrow. "Once again with the I don't want your money. Now, thanks for the offer, but I'm not going to starve to death because I bought you a few outfits," she retorted.
Realizing that this was an issue of pride for her, he merely nodded, deciding to change the subject. "Very well. I..." Trailing off, he once again found himself at a loss for words.
She smiled. "Is this the part where you tell me that you have to leave, but that you'll always remember me and what we had? Because, if it is, I gotta tell you, not my favorite part."
He laughed, despite the pain he felt at hearing her words. "I must admit I'm not entirely thrilled with the idea, either. However, I find I have little choice in the matter," he replied.
"Liar," she said calmly, her grin still in place.
Frowning, he wasn't certain he'd heard her correctly. "Pardon me?" he asked.
Cordelia raised an eyebrow. "I called you a liar," she repeated. "You have just as much say-so in this as you do anything else in your life. You are choosing to leave. Which, while I may not like it, I understand. But I won't let you hide behind anyone else for this. You're leaving because *you* want to, not because someone is forcing you to go."
Lucius considered her words, finally nodding. "You're right. I am. And, while it pains me to do so, it is what's best in the long run."
Cordelia met his gaze. "I'm going to miss you," she admitted quietly.
He gave her the warmest smile he could muster. "And I will miss you as well. My only regret is that we never truly got the chance to know one another," he said softly, watching as she approached him.
Standing close enough to touch him, the Seer smiled. "Well, I wouldn't be so sure about that. While I may not have gotten to know you with memories and all, I *did* get to know you. And as for getting to know me...well, this is who I am. A demonic Seer with a big mouth and great fashion sense," she replied.
Lucius chuckled. "Take care, Cordelia," he whispered. Placing his hands on her shoulders, he gently kissed her on the lips.
"You too, Lucius," she replied sincerely.
Staring at her for a moment longer, he tried to memorize everything about her. Then, he turned around and left the room, closing the door behind him.
Cordelia stared at the door for a few moments, tears blurring her vision. Slowly, a box of tissues floated in front of her. Staring at them, she shook her head, a smile filling her face.
"Thanks Dennis, but I don't need them. I'm actually going to be okay."
A/N: So, what did you think? Love the ending? Hate it? Want a sequel or should I leave well enough alone? Press that review button and let me know!