Title: Redemption (Ch. 1/?)

Disclaimer: Alright, we all know everyone on the entire planet wishes they could own a piece of the Harry Potter pie…But we all know it's a snowball's chance in hell…Mainly because J.K. Rowling is guarding it with several wards and hexes, laughing hysterically at the rest of us as she sits on her literary throne…

We also wish we could get a piece of BtVS…But though Joss Whedon is nice, I'm pretty sure he's just as possessive of his baby as J.K. Rowling is of hers…

So let's just get this over with: We own nothing. We are mere cretins…Vermin…Nowhere near being worthy of the Harry Potter/BtVS gods…

So let us all just sigh in agony…

The sky was blue. The grass was green. Birds were chirping. And a redheaded Weasley-lookalike sighed.

'Everything's so bloody normal…I'm pretty sure no one realizes how close the sodding world was to ending…And oh God, Spike's a bad influence on me,' Willow thought. 'Spike-thoughts. How bloody peachy.' A sad smile appeared on her tired face. She missed her fellow Scoobies…Including Spike, for some odd reason…

She continued to stare out the train window, gazing at the picture-perfect English countryside rolling by. She didn't notice the worried look of the man sitting next to her. Her friend. Her mentor. Her 'Watcher' for the time being: Rupert Giles. The very man whose magic she sucked out of, nearly killing him. And she wondered how he could possibly forgive her. How all of them could forgive her. Goddess knows she didn't deserve any of it. She was a monster. A cold-blooded killer. A dog that should be shot and put out of its misery. A-

"For crying out loud! Bloody hell, Willow! Would you please stop moping around?! Your thoughts are broadcasting all over the place!"

Good ol' Giles. Always managing to confuse the heck out of her. She glanced at him, puzzled.

His 'Ripper' alter-ego seemed to deflate as he looked at her, glare softening. "Do you realize how powerful you are?" Giles asked gently. "Your emotions…You project them so strongly. Any mage, wizard, witch—ANYONE who is in tune with magic—can feel anything coming off of you. I'm quite positive any non-Muggle within a 500-mile radius are suddenly feeling the need to commit suicide."

Willow blushed and ducked her head. Then she looked back up, bewildered. "Non-Muggle, Giles?"

Giles smiled sheepishly. "Sometimes I forget, what with all that power contained in you, that you were not born in the wizarding world. A Muggle is a normal human with no magical blood or powers in them."

Willow pondered. "Oh…Well, I have no magical blood. But, considering all the havoc I've wrecked with them, I think it's safe to assume I have some magical power."

Giles smiled. "I believe that's the biggest understatement of the century, Willow…You are a muggle-born, meaning that you do not have magical blood, but rather the powers instead." He paused. "Yet, with all that power you possess, I wonder…You were adopted, yes?"

Willow looked away and stared out the window once again. "Yes…Ira and Sheila adopted me when I was a year old. They told me my biological parents had died in a car crash."

Giles hesitated. "Have you ever considered the notion that one, or both, of your birth parents were magical?"

Willow smiled. "Doesn't every little adopted kid wish that their real parents were cool? Larger-than-life? Of course I wondered, especially after restoring Angel's soul. I dismissed it due to the fact that my powers came late. I was 17, Giles! Shouldn't I have discovered my powers way before that?"

"But what if a spell constrained your powers? You do remember, when I faced you last week, that I had blocked your powers, if only for a brief moment-" He stopped at the pained look on Willow's face.

"Er, yes…" Giles took off his glasses and polished them as he spoke. "Well…Since you never knew about magic as a child, obviously you would never have known of the spell-"

Willow cut him off. "Wait, Giles…Yes, that may be a possibility…But who would willingly block a witch's powers unless there was a good reason to?" She gasped. "Unless they foresaw how great of a danger I was and tried to stop me! Oh, Giles, I really am evil-"

With a muttered "Silencio!", Giles shut Willow up. Giles glared at her. "Now, you listen, young lady: You are NOT evil. Never were, and never will be. I apologize for suggesting this in the first place…Of course, you never stopped to think that maybe this 'someone'—who, by the way, might not even exist—had blocked your powers for a more nefarious intent! You immediately jumped to the wrong conclusion, and you MUST stop that! Last week, your emotions got the best of you, that is true. But it's over. Get over it. I order you as your friend to stop moping and move on! Is that clear?"

Willow opened her mouth to reply in the affirmative, but she still couldn't speak. She nodded.

"Now then, I will release this charm, and you WILL NOT SULK. Is that understood?" Willow nodded again.

"Finite Incantatum."

Willow blushed. "Sorry for getting out of hand, Giles." She stared at him again. "Wait…Giles, is that a wand?!" She looked at it incredulously.

"Yes, Willow. Ebony, 10 ¾", with a basilisk scale."

"Basilisk scale? What is that, a lizard? Snake?"

"Snake. Very large, very deadly. This wand is very powerful, and dangerous to anyone inexperienced."

"Dangerous? But, Giles, what are you doing, wielding such a wand? Can you handle it?"

For probably the first time ever, Willow saw the stuffy Watcher smirk. "Willow, I am a Slytherin. I've been able to handle this wand for over 30 years."

Willow looked at him, perplexed. 'What is he talking about? What's a Slytherin?' she thought. Expectantly waiting for an answer, she sighed when she received none. With nowhere else to look, she returned to gazing out the window. The train conductor announced that they were nearing London.

Willow turned back to gaze at Giles. "I know this must be the millionth time I've asked you this…But where the hell are we going?!"

Giles smiled. "Two things, Willow: One, patience is a virtue," here Giles laughed as Willow scowled, "and two, Hogwarts."

"Hogwarts, Giles?"

"Hogwarts." Willow opened her mouth to ask another question, but Giles immediately replied, "And NO, I will not tell you what I mean."

Willow sighed exasperatedly. "Forget I asked."

And for the second time that day, Giles smirked.

Okay, people, you all know what to do…Move that mouse to this here box-thingy and REVIEW! No need to be gentle with me…::puffs out chest:: I CAN TAKE IT!