[identity profile] zaph.livejournal.com posting in [community profile] exclusive_and
Title: Lost and Found
Fandom: Buffy the Vampire Slayer/Harry Potter crossover
Characters: Tara Maclay, Sirius Black
Disclaimer: The usual. Not my characters. Joss Whedon's characters and J.K. Rowling's characters.
Rating: PG-13
Summary: Tara finds closure after Willow tries to avenge her death, with the help of the only person who understands. (1353 words)


The last thing Tara saw was Willow's shirt and the shocked expression on her face. In an instant, everything around her became dark and silent.

As quickly as it had begun, though, the pain and darkness had vanished, replaced by a feeling of warmth and comfort, and a soft glow. She knew she was dead, but she felt at peace, and she was not angry. This must be what Buffy felt, she thought. She was aware she had no physical form, but her senses seemed oddly intact. She could see, feel, and hear, at least.

And there was a lot to hear. She heard the quiet murmur of voices — hundreds, perhaps thousands of them — all around her, though she saw no one.

Is this heaven? she asked herself quietly, discovering she had a voice, as well. Maybe that's what all the voices around her were also wondering. There hadn't been any introduction or guidance, so she assumed that anyone else first arriving must feel similarly disoriented.

She was even more surprised when a voice answered her. "I've been trying to figure that out for six years. At least, I think it's been six years. Hard to tell 'round here." The voice spoke with an accent not unlike Spike's.

She felt as if the owner of the voice were very near her, though nearness, like time, seemed to exist on a different scale than she had ever known before.

"Magic," she said knowingly.

"You can feel it?"

The murmuring around them suddenly vanished.

"It's everywhere," she replied.

"No, it's not everywhere. How do you think I found you? Not everyone here is magical."

"I'm sure we're not the only ones."

"No, we're not, but I felt your energy when you arrived. I think we have more in common than you realise."

Tara just stared. Or rather, she felt like she just stared, though the person speaking to her was not visible to her.

"We've both lost someone dear to us," he continued.

Tara was confused. As far as she could tell, they were the ones who had been lost.

"To them, yes, but we are still separated," he answered, as if he had read her thoughts.

Surprised, Tara found that she was surrounded by thoughts and feelings. Her own and others, probably mostly this man's.

"You miss him," she stated.

"All the time. You never got to say good-bye, either?"

"No. It was too sudden."

"It's always sudden," he told her, as if knowing she had told Buffy the same thing just a year ago. But he was right. Nothing could have prepared her for this. She started to cry softly.

After no more than a second, she felt him pulling her into an embrace, trying to comfort her.

"If you concentrate," he whispered, "you can sometimes feel the other side."

"Other ... side?" Tara asked, pulling back.

"They're not very far away, you know. Just on the other side of the veil. Some of them can hear us, too. Not that any of them really understand what they're hearing."

"Willow?"

"Willow isn't listening. She's ..." he trailed off.

"What?"

Tara tried to follow the man's advice, focusing hard on Willow's energy. If what he said was true, she should be able to connect at least to the earth, and Willow through —

She screamed suddenly, and felt herself drifting away from the man.

"Wait!" he shouted, and she could tell he was growing more distant. She now felt like she was falling quickly.

Focusing again, Tara tried to pull herself closer, or at least stop falling. The last thing she wanted right now was to be left alone. She felt for his energy and drew herself towards it.

"Sirius!" she called out, finally getting his name.

She heard his voice again, much closer to her now. "Tara. It will be all right. It always is."

"No ... she's going to hurt ..." The sudden force of the earth's energy was almost too much for her. She knew Willow had started using magic again. Willow's power was all she could feel.

"You mustn't blame yourself," Sirius explained.

"But she's killing people because of me. She's attacking her friends — our friends. I can feel all of it."

"And she can stop because of you, too," he continued.

"How? I'm not even there," lamented Tara.

"Now that isn't true and we both know it."

Tara thought about what she had told Dawn when her mother died. She knew that somewhere, buried under all the dark magic that currently consumed Willow, there was still a piece of herself that could never be taken away. If only she knew how to remind Willow she was there ...

"She'll realise it," Sirius told her, though his voice revealed his uncertainty.

"Before she loses all her friends? And herself?"

"I'll admit I'm concerned. I've never known anyone with this much power before. Not even Voldemort. Not even Dumbledore."

She knew Giles probably had contacts at the council who had enough power to stop Willow, but they were all the way in England, and Willow could do quite a lot of damage before they even realised what was going on.

So she did the only thing she could: she tried to release her link to Willow's energy. A part of her just didn't want to know. It was too much to feel that Willow was hurting herself on her friends all on Tara's account. But it was Sirius who drew her back in.

"No! Don't turn your back on her," he told her forcefully.

She knew she couldn't let go, and at the same time, she felt a strong wave of magical energy engulf her. There was a definite change to the tone of it, though. The darkness still dominated, but she could feel a lightness, as if it was trying to force its way in and break through the dark power.

"I can feel her changing. She's ... she's even more powerful now. But it's a different power. Purer. Lighter."

"The true essence of magic. It's nothing more than love, really. A force greater than evil and darkness and hate."

Tara considered this, and remembered that Willow had stopped using magic before, all for her. Clearly, though, Willow had reached a point of magical abuse far beyond one where she simply endangered her friends without realising it.

"Will it be enough?" she asked.

"You can make it enough."

Tara again tried to reach Willow, and found herself visualising a most unusual scene. She wasn't quite in Willow's eyes, but could see her as if she was floating just behind her. Willow was standing on a cliff, high over the sea, channelling dark energy through some demonic idol, but across from her stood Xander.

Tara shrieked as she felt Willow attack her best friend, and felt Sirius pull her towards him. Through him, she almost felt like she was holding Willow herself.

"I love you, Willow," she whispered out loud, knowing Willow wouldn't be able to hear her, but hoping that through the connection between them, the unbreakable bond of their love, as Sirius had so rightly described as the most powerful magic, she could remind Willow that she was still there.

"I love you," she repeated, hearing Xander's voice say the same words in her head. Over and over, the two of them tried to reach Willow, until finally, she felt the magic break, and a warm stream of magical energy washed over her and Sirius, Xander and Willow.

She felt herself shudder, and was surprised to find that she was crying in Sirius's arms, as Willow did the same in Xander's.

But Willow was safe. The darkness was gone, and Tara could feel Willow's love again. Not just for her, but for everyone — Xander, Dawn, Buffy — the world.

She finally felt safe herself. And complete. She knew she would always be in Willow's heart. She spoke very quietly, accepting the closure: "Good-bye."

Then Tara looked up, seeing Sirius for the first time, and at last she understood.

"Tell me about Remus," she said.

Sirius smiled.

Date: 2007-04-29 12:55 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] dorrie6.livejournal.com
What a wonderful idea! I always wished we'd see something of Tara after she died on BTVS, so I appreciate the existence of this very much. :) I'd love to hear more of Sirius' story! They are such an interesting pair. I think of Tara and Sirius as being near polar opposites of each other, which always makes for interesting friendships. I'd love to see more of this world behind the veil. Lovely!

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