Title: Broken Road
Summary: Sequel to Moving On (If you haven't read that one yet, read it before you start this one) Willow and Draco are called back to Sunnydale
Pairings: W/Draco, Harry/Hermione
Author's Note: Yeah, I know I've already got a lot of unfinished stories out there =-) But this one's already written, I'm just gonna have to break it up into a few different parts.
As always, please review! =D That's what keeps me writing.
"You sure you want to do this, love," my husband of two years asked as we stood outside of the moderately-sized house I'd once been more comfortable in than my own home. I grinned crookedly over at him, my heart melting just a little when he smiled back at me, the expression softening his handsome features.
"Not really," I admitted, "But I *need* to do this. They wouldn't have called me if it wasn't a life or death matter."
"That's what I'm worried about," one of my best friends muttered from slightly behind me, making me look over at him with a raised eyebrow. Harry shrugged back, adjusting his wire-framed glasses over his green eyes. "What? It can't be good for you to be risking harm at this point, Will. Remember what Poppy said."
I rolled my eyes over at Hermione who was standing just to the side of her new husband. She shrugged and looked pointedly down at my large stomach, which was poking out rather absurdly. "He does have a point, dear. Whatever needs to be done, I would rather you let us take care of it. We're pretty good at that sort of thing, remember?"
"How could I forget," I muttered, rolling my eyes. Draco took my hand and raised it to his lips, looking at me through his lashes. Damnit, I hated it when he looked at me like that. "All right."
"Promise. Pain in the ass," I glared over at Harry who grinned, his smile rather crooked. We were told that we looked alike by more than one person. How they came to that conclusion, I have no idea. Maybe it was the green eyes? Huh. Anyway, I turned my attention back to the house that held the slayer and her gang- to what used to be my home. Before everything went bad and I'd had to leave. "I guess we'd better get inside before they come out here looking for us."
Came looking for me anyway. Buffy and the rest of them had no idea that I had anyone coming with me. I hadn't spoken to them in about three years now. They had no idea I was married, let alone damn near eight months pregnant. They had no clue of what I'd been doing with my life these last three years. I let out a deep sigh and started up the walkway, allowing Draco the illusion that I was leaning on his arm for support. There was no way I would admit that I did lean just a little as we went up the damn stairs.
I reached out and pressed the doorbell, my fingers trembling just slightly. I pulled back as soon as I heard the thump of footsteps coming. I smoothed a hand across the pretty green and black maternity dress that stretched across my stomach and fell to my ankles. I knew I looked a little bit old-fashioned with the long black hooded cloak I was wearing over it, but it was all the rage in the Wizarding world. Besides, it was cold for Southern California and I was more comfortable with my thick cloak than I was wearing jackets or sweaters. I couldn't stand anything restricting at this point. It struck me as kinda funny that the others looked more muggle than I did right now.
I had a moment of near panic when the doorhandle jiggled before the heavy door swung open. Draco pulled me a little closer and I felt Harry and Hermione close ranks behind me as the person least likely to kill me on sight appeared. As soon as Spike poked his head out the door, he was faced with three drawn wands and I was pulled behind my husband's broad back.
"No, guys, this is Spike. Remember I told you about him? He's not going to hurt me or anyone else," I hurry to inform them, rather proud that they were so quick to recognize him as a vampire. They'd been helping me patrol London ever since they learned what I was doing. That was until I found out I was pregnant and they decided I was 'in too delicate a condition' to put myself in harm's way. Then they took over for me. It had caused many a stressful night for me, waiting for them to come home.
"Woah, Red, didn't know you had your own personal bodyguards hangin' around," Spike grinned, his hands in the air. "The Watcher told us you were over there with the wand-carriers. Didn't know you'd gone and shacked up with one."
"Shut your mouth," Draco snarled, dangerously close to hexing the blonde vampire.
"Ooh, gettin a little defensive there aren't we Goldilocks?" Spike never knew when to shut up. I decided to step in before we were cleaning up his ashes off the front porch. It was worth all the trouble just to see the smirk wiped off his arrogant face when he saw my 'delicate condition.'
"Spike, meet my husband, Draco Malfoy," I told him with a smirk of my own. "And these are my friends Harry Potter and his wife, Hermione Granger-Potter."
We were spared from further conversation, if you could call it that, by the vampire slayer herself. Buffy turned the corner, her mouth preceeding her, "Is that her, Spike? Why didn't
you-" She stopped the moment she saw us standing on the porch, her mouth dropping open. "Will?"
I sighed, looking down towards my sandals. I hadn't actually been able to see my feet for about two months now. Draco put his arm around me and pulled me closer to his side. He still hadn't put his wand away, I noticed. It was harder than I thought to face the girl that I had once deemed my best friend. The same best friend that had turned her back on me almost three years ago. I'd thought I'd let go of the old anger and resentment, but seeing her now, looking the same as she had the last time I'd seen her, I felt my face start to turn red.
"Hello, Buffy," I say, hearing the slight tremor in my voice. I glanced over at Hermione, who arched an eyebrow at me, then slowly winked to let me know she was there with me. I smiled back slightly before turning my attention back to the bottle blonde that was still standing there, staring at me. She looked a little like a fish, her lips moving silently as she tried to find the words to say. "Mind if we come in? It's rather late and I'd like to get down to business before heading back to the hotel."
"Of course," Buffy snapped her jaws shut and glared over at Spike, "Move and let them in, Fangless." I felt another surge of annoyance at the look on Spike's face at her less than gracious command. While I hadn't exactly gotten along with the vampire, I had always respected him. I'd always remembered what he was and respected him for going against his nature by aiding the white hats in the first place. I'd always suspected he wasn't just doing it because he had no other place to go. He had money, I know because I'd hacked into some of his accounts one time. You had to be a real idiot to live so long and not save something back for a rainy day.
I kept my mouth shut and followed them into the front hall and then into the living room. Other than a few minor changes in furniture and a few more and a few less pictures on the walls and stands, it looked exactly the same. It didn't escape my notice that the missing pictures were the ones that had me in them. As we stepped into the living room, I braced myself to face the people gathered in there.
Their reactions were almost comical. If it hadn't been so sad. "So you leave for a while and come back knocked up. Sorry if I'm a little surprised." It's my turn to be shocked at the venom dripping from the voice of the man I'd known since kindergarten.
"Refrain from insulting my wife, muggle," Draco snarled, sounding exactly like the pureblood British wizard he was. His silver eyes were cold as ice and twice as hard. "Remember, you are the ones that called us, not the other way around."
"I didn't call anyone," Xander huffed, his dark eyes resentful as they took in Draco's handsome face and expensive clothes. For the first time, I really saw Xander Harris for what he was. A jealous, immature little boy. I could see the hate in his dark eyes that I had seen directed at Angel and Spike for the same reason. He would never be more than the slayer's little buddy. Not because he didn't have the talent to do otherwise, but because he lacked the guts to really go his own way. From the moment Buffy stepped into our lives, we had ceased to be our own people. I realized that he was pissed that I had came into my own. Without him.
"But I did, and I would remind you all that this is very important to the continuance of worthy life on this planet," Giles cut in, his tone hard, but quiet. I looked over at him and realized with a bit of a shock that he'd aged. Of course, he wasn't as young as he used to be, none of us were. But there was a ragged quality to his face now that there hadn't been the last time I saw him. He looked tired and there were a few more lines to his face than there had been. He turned to me and smiled apologetically and I wanted to cry at the sadness in his eyes.
I was doing that a lot since I'd gotten pregnant; crying at everything and nothing. Harry moved up closer to my side and put a comforting hand on my shoulder. It was weird, but he'd become so in tune with my emotions that sometimes it seemed he knew what I was feeling before I did. For example, I'd have a fit of tears and then get a phone call from Harry or Draco asking if I was okay. If it was Draco, he'd grumble that Harry insisted he call me. It had caused a little bit of a jealousy problem with Draco and Hermione at first, but as time went by, they'd realized that the bond Harry and I shared was like that of a brother and sister.
"And who are these other people," Buffy demanded, crossing her arms across her chest. I rolled my eyes. Still the same transparent, idiot girl I'd known. I just had never seen it before. She didn't like it that I hadn't come back alone. It was pretty clear in her expression and stance that she'd expected me to come back the same way I left- a mess and wanting nothing more than to have them accept me with open arms.
"This is my husband, Draco Malfoy," I told them with a slight grin, pushing away my annoyance. I was really tired from our trip from England and I wanted to get this done and over with as quickly as possible. "And our friends Harry and Hermione Potter."
"Malfoy-," Giles' voice was kinda choked down and I looked over at my former mentor. He looked like he'd swallowed a bug. "Lucius Malfoy was your father."
"He's now dead," Draco informed him abruptly, his head held a little higher in defiance. "Killed in the final battle with Voldemort."
"And you-," Giles looked over at Harry, his eyes going to the lightning-shaped scar on his forehead. Harry scowled and sighed. He got so tired of the attention, both bad and good. "You defeated the dark lord."
"Yes, yes," Hermione stated, speaking for the first time. She too was tired and getting crankier by the minute. "And that was news three years ago. Can we please get to the reason of this visit? Willow needs to put her feet up. We've been on our feet since early this morning and I for one would like to have this business started so we can end it sooner rather than later." I sent her a grateful look. My feet and back were killing me, and as much as I hate to admit it, I couldn't help but put one hand at the small of my back and one against my stomach- the sterotypical pregnant-lady stance.
"Y-yes, of course, Willow do sit down," Giles snapped to himself and moved out of his chair to offer it to me. "Forgive our manners."
I sat down gratefully, though I would have rather just stood and pushed for us to get the information and leave quicker. I noticed none of the others were offered seats. Very rude of my former friends, but typical. I would have liked to say that they never would have been so rude before, but I remember times when we all must have seemed awful cold towards outsiders. And yes, I classify myself in that too. I had to hand it to the others, though, it didn't seem to faze them in the least. Draco moved to stand on one side of my chair, Harry on the other, and Hermione at the back. They preferred to stand, though I know they had to be almost as tired as I was. I smiled at the support, though I really wanted to get this done.
"I do have very bad news, Willow," Giles started after an awkward pause in which I found my eyes drawn to the others in the room. Dawn was unusually quiet, sitting between Xander and Spike, her big blue eyes fixed on the floor as she avoided looking at me. I know she'd been angry and hurt the last time I'd seen her. I had really hoped that enough time had passed so that she wouldn't be so damned angry. Xander was still glaring at us, his dark eyes so hateful that I was hit with the urge to cry again. I had once wanted nothing more than to see him look at me with undying love. Now, I just wanted to get away as quick as possible.
"Angelus has been released." Those words hit me like a ton of bricks. Suddenly it felt like I couldn't breathe. All I could do was sit there and blink.
"Wh- How," I asked, the words a bare whisper.
"Remember that half-ass curse you did, oh powerful super-witch," Xander spat angrily, jumping to his feet. "It wasn't enough. Soul-boy had another *moment* and then went on another murdering spree. Cordy, Wes, and some other people in LA got it first, then he came here. Then I got a present wrapped in pretty paper. Guess what it was *Wills*."
His words cut through me like knives, each one more painful than the last. I realized who was missing and I felt my dinner start to come back up. No wonder he was so angry with me. I struggled to my feet and rushed to the small bathroom off to the side of the kitchen. Thank the goddess I remembered where it was. I could hear yelling behind me, but I was too busy vomiting to really bother with listening. I barely registered the fact that Hermione was in the bathroom with me, holding my hair back.
When I was done, Hermione patiently handed me a cool wash-cloth and rubbed my back while I fought angry tears. Finally, I gave in and started sobbing, burying my face in her shoulder. "It's all my fault, 'Mione. I-if I would have really looked at the curse, I could have fixed it. I was just so busy... I could have t-taken the time..."
"No, Willow," Hermione told me firmly, anger at my former friends filling her words as she pulled away to look at me, her hands holding my face still. "Listen to me. They are just as guilty as you are. They could have been looking too. They could have found the clause just as easily. I remember you telling me that the gypsy lady... Jenny, was the one that had translated the curse to begin with, right? So, you were sixteen when you did one of the more powerful magics known to humanity. It wasn't going to be perfect. You did it and saved a lot of lives."
I knew she was telling the truth, but there was still a big part of me that blamed myself. "But, Anya-" Hermione shook her head, cutting me off.
"As hard as this is going to sound, Will, it was not your fault. You weren't here, telling him to go after her, were you? No. You weren't the one controlling him, making him kill anyone. He's a *demon*. He always has been a demon. Having a soul made him a good-guy, but when he lost it, he resorted back to his nature. That's just like taming a wild animal. There's always a chance that it'll turn on you. Anya was killed because she was an easy way to get to the slayer. And an easy way to get you back here."
Hermione's eyes went wide as she realized what she'd just said. I could feel my face turn pale as she continued. "That's why he did it. He knew they'd call you home. And then he'd have all of you here together. Easy pickings."
"No," even as I said it, the denial seemed weak to my own ears. I felt like I was going to pass out. I could feel the blood rush to my ears and my knees buckled. I could hear Hermione call out for Draco as she tried to keep me upright. Before I knew what was happening, my husband was there, holding me tight and trying to keep me awake.
"Will, come on, sweetheart, stay with me," Draco told me, his words sounding far away as my vision started to go hazy. "Come on, love, stay awake." I barely heard the rest of it before I was out. Man, I hate it when that happens.