The Kitten, the Witches and the Bad Wardrobe - Willow & Tara Forever

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 Post subject: Re: Chapter 3: Homecoming
PostPosted: Thu Nov 07, 2002 1:10 pm 
"not her last name"... okaaaay, kinda evil leaving us there. Tara didn't recognize Willow from her dream ?? The red hair should have been sort of a give-away I think. (I couldn't tell if Tara actually *saw* her hair though)



Laughed about this line: She hated flying this way, under someone else's control :D .



Now about that diary she keeps....hint...hint.... (you want an anvil with your hints?).



I wondered about Willows eyes, why were they all blacky in the plane.. just to scare people from her row ? I doubt they were black when she meet Tara since Tara would have kept well away then. (besides, being in full-magic-mode all the time can't be healthy for you)



About your reply; no I surely don't expect you to answer all my rambles :) . I tend to ask questions that usually are handled in later chapters. Feel free NOT to spoil me, those are just the things I wonder about in this fic. Yeah, I think a lot about things... I know :D



Assertive Tara... I liiiiike that...seems she was born around the time oldTara died (her age suggest that anyway). Like how you described her in the forrest, could have been Buffy easily.



Giles is going to have a minor heart-attack on debriefing the girls from this nights events, heh.



Willow picking up the 'used' stake was a bit confusing. I thought that if a stake was still in the vampire upon his destruction the stake was lost as well ? Could have been reading to much Sidestep though.



Grimmy

"You hurt Tara," Willow said too calmly. "The last one who tried that was a god. I made her regret it." -- Unexpected Consequences by Lisa of Nine

Edited by: Grimlock72 at: 11/7/02 12:16:11 pm


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 Post subject: Re: FIC: The Dark Rose
PostPosted: Thu Nov 07, 2002 4:28 pm 
Awesome! How interesting that Willow's "easy" quest has become more complicated for her. I wonder at Willow's acceptance of her dark magic, what with not needing plane reservations and all. It seems like she fell off the edge and nothing at all matters without Tara, but has she thought about how her Tara would react to seeing her as she is now?



On that note, in a previous chapter it seemed that Willow's eyes were permanently black? Did Tara notice that in the graveyard, cause that would sort've freak me out.







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 Post subject: Re: FIC: The Dark Rose
PostPosted: Thu Nov 07, 2002 10:50 pm 
just found this wonderful fic. I am really enjoying your writing and the premise to this story is fascinating. I can't wait to see what happens next.



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 Post subject: Re: FIC: The Dark Rose
PostPosted: Fri Nov 08, 2002 1:27 am 
Still confused... :confused



So if her last namme is not the same, who is this Tara????



Stef :p



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 Post subject: Re: FIC: The Dark Rose
PostPosted: Fri Nov 08, 2002 1:47 am 
Facinating update. So many questions in my head but I'll spare you :-) and wait for the next update. I like how you're answering some of the questions you've already put out there but at the same time, dumping a few more on us. Keeps us guessing. I love that. And this line:

Quote:
They had flown so high, but then she had fallen so fast and hard.


So true.



--celia

---------------------------------



"That was just rude. Now I forget what I was saying."



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 Post subject: Re: FIC: The Dark Rose
PostPosted: Fri Nov 08, 2002 7:23 am 
Willow hadn't felt this uncertain in years. I'm not sure what presumptions Willow had formed about where Tara's soul was, but her shock at what she found was well portrayed. Her repeated questions when she found out the girl's name was Tara shows again her uncertainty.

Adding up the total of a love that's true, multiply life by the power of two
Indigo Girls



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 Post subject: Re: FIC: The Dark Rose
PostPosted: Fri Nov 08, 2002 10:01 am 
When I read this I said WOW. Tara but a different last name but Willow's Tara nice.

Tara: Assume Crash

Positions



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 Post subject: Re: FIC: The Dark Rose
PostPosted: Fri Nov 08, 2002 10:41 am 
Excellent... And poor Willow, realizing she had been searching all these years, just to find out Tara was already back.

Curious to see where your going.

BV

"In front of total strangers won't you kiss me, Flowers for no reason but you miss me - OOH, I wanna be in love"

Melissa Etheridge-Skin



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 Post subject: Chapter 3 Replies
PostPosted: Fri Nov 08, 2002 10:42 am 
Did I mention I love feedback? Well, I do, and thanks again for all your kind comments and questions.



Grimlock72: Don't you like tantilizing hints? (-; No need for anvils ... It's good that you picked up on the diary, but you'll just have to wait.



I'm glad you found a little humor in this part. I've worried that there's a little too much darkness in the beginning for some kittens.



Tara wasn't able to see anything clearly under Willow's hood so she wasn't able to recognize her from her dream; I will try to make that more clear in the future. Willow's eyes are dark because of the dark magics she's bound herself with starting with the vow she made to find Tara in chapter 1.



Giles will be quite surprised about Willow's return, but who said Tara was going to say anything about tonight? *evil grin*



The stake being destroyed with the vampire never made a huge amount of sense to me. It seems like if it did, anyone holding on to the stake would be destroyed too as stake and human are both organic matter. You could lose a lot of slayers that way.



Big Dummy: Yes, she's found Tara, but that turned out to be the easy part of the quest. She's been incredibly focused on getting Tara back and since resurrections are dark magics, there wasn't much of a choice for her about using them or lease their wasn't until she discovered Tara again. You're right though, the darkness will be a problem and her eyes are permanently black which fortunately Tara didn't notice since Willow's face was hidden underneath her hood.



brendcat: Thank you. I'm really glad you like it.



deixs: It will be spelled out in detail later so I won't give it away if you haven't figured it out yet... You'll just have to keep watching her and decide for yourself.



tiredsoul: I'm happy you like the mystery as there's so much more of it yet to be exposed. That line's one of my favorites too. I wanted to show some of what underlies the darkness that surrounds Willow in this chapter.



mollyig: We'll gradually see where Willow's been looking for the last 19 years, but as the way Tara's come back was never discussed on the show, it's not something that people would think of quickly. They might assume it doesn't happen at all or that it only applies to people of certain belief systems.



BigMac: Thanks for the WOW! (-;



barnabasvamp: Hey, you slipped in while I was writing this message. Very sneaky of you.



Maybe you'll get a better picture of where it's all going in Chapter 4, "Dreams and Revelations."

--

"Omnia mutantur, nihil interit. -- "Everything changes, but nothing is truly lost."

Edited by: darkmagicwillow at: 11/8/02 9:46:34 am


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 Post subject: Re: Chapter 3 Replies
PostPosted: Fri Nov 08, 2002 12:10 pm 


With 'hood' you mean Willow is walking around like a typical witch including pointy witchy hat ?? Like this ?







That is kinda guaranteed to attract attention now isn't it ? :D



If Will doesn't want attention she better get some contactlenses, preferably green colored, heh. Actually I would expect she already has those, unless she likes being stared at for the last 15 years or so. The true witches can sense her darkness anyway. (it was re-assuring Tara referred to it as "tightly bound")



Where will Willow sleep, hotel or with her parents ? Sunnydale hotel is probably used to strange guests so that shouldn't be a problem.



Grimmy

"You hurt Tara," Willow said too calmly. "The last one who tried that was a god. I made her regret it." -- Unexpected Consequences by Lisa of Nine



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 Post subject: Re: Chapter 3 Replies
PostPosted: Fri Nov 08, 2002 12:16 pm 
Grimmy, I am LMAO after seeing that witch photo. And I have to say, DMW, that I am still really enjoying that idea of Willow magicking her way into first class. Hee hee.



That aside, however, I have this sense after reading this chapter--granted I've read it several times in several ways--of the darkness in which Willow has been steeped for so long. She seems so lonely and so weighted and so hopeless, and somehow her encounter with this Tara-like person only makes me feel that more. To have been so without hope for so long....of course this story is about what happens next, and I love that. But the past is always with us, and this story is about that, too.



And you give such tantalizing little glimpses into her past here....

"And I'm eating this banana. Lunchtime be damned!" -- Willow in "Doppelgangland



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 Post subject: Re: Chapter 3 Replies
PostPosted: Fri Nov 08, 2002 7:55 pm 
Okay, I had to laugh at your picture, but no, that's most definitely not what Willow looks like. She's wearing a hooded cloak like a monk or if you want to more dramatic like the grim reaper.



You will find out where Willow lives, but in this chapter she's come directly from the airplane so she doesn't have a place yet. I don't think I'm giving away too much though if I tell you that she's not staying with her parents. I can just imagine them running for the hills if she came to their door dressed as she is.



Tulipp, I have long legs and have often wished for that kind of magic on airplanes.



You're right though, she feels lonlier to me as I write the final drafts of the chapters. It makes me want to hurry on towards the happy stuff, but I think the final revisions are adding a lot too so everyone will have to wait, including me.



Next chapter on Monday unless my betas have too many dislikes for the changes I made today.



--

"Omnia mutantur, nihil interit. -- "Everything changes, but nothing is truly lost."

Edited by: darkmagicwillow at: 11/8/02 7:17:38 pm


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 Post subject: Re: The Dark Rose (So far!)
PostPosted: Sun Nov 10, 2002 3:47 am 
Hiya...Your imaging has me hooked already and I'm really looking forward to reading where you're going with this story...On my CHECK NOW! list...

fiat justitia,ruat caelum



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 Post subject: Chapter 4 - Dreams and Revelations
PostPosted: Mon Nov 11, 2002 12:34 pm 
Lucy: I'm glad you like the imagery and here's the next chapter so you can see what happens next...



Edited to add: Fixed a minor grammar mistake.





Title: The Dark Rose - Chapter 4 (Dreams and Revelations)

Author: Dark Magic Willow

Email: darkmagickwillow@yahoo.com

Rating: R, mostly for violence, no explicit sex

Pairing: W/T

Spoilers: All episodes through the end of season 6 though this story takes

place 18-19 years after the end of season 6.

Feedback: Yes! Constructive criticism is always welcome.

Summary: A brief second meeting between Tara and Willow.

Magic Note: Magic, even dark magic, is not addictive in my universe, so there

are no withdrawal symptoms and no dark magic dealers. Here Rack was a

dark magic teacher who used his students, not a dealer. However, you can

use too much magic and you can be corrupted by the power it gives you.

Disclaimer: I don't own any of the copyrights or anything else

associated with BtVS. All rights lie with the production company,

writers etc.

Acknowledgements: Thanks to Amanda and Juli as always.





The Dark Rose

Chapter 4: Dreams and Revelations








"I-I think there's a way we can, hmmm..." Tara said to the red-haired girl,

stuttering on the first word, and reached for a book on her cluttered desk.

The curtains were tightly closed, leaving the softly glowing lamp on her desk

and the tiny fairy lights along the walls as the only illumination. Finding

the tome she was searching for, Tara continued, "The passage to the nether

realm. There-there's a ritual. If you can find Buffy there, you should be able

to see." Even as she said the words, she felt puzzled. Who was Buffy?



"If it'll help her," the green-eyed girl said. Her hair seemed fiery in the

darkness of the room. It wasn't a red like the other reds of the room, of her

shirt, of the carpet. It was brighter, more alive.



Tara frowned, knowing that there were complications.



"What?" asked the redhead.



"Well, the nether realm exists beyond the physical world," Tara explained.

"Accessing it is... I-it-it's kind of like astral projection. It's very

intense. I'd have to be your anchor, keep you on this plane." Tara wondered

why she was stuttering. She never had before.



The redhead nodded. "I trust you," she said.



Tara felt warm at the expression of trust, but it wasn't that simple. She

tried to make her friend understand, saying "It-it's not like anything that

we've ever..."



"I trust you," the redhead said again, her eyes open and shining with trust as

she smiled at Tara.



Tara's heart swelled with warmth and love for this woman who trusted her so

much. She knew that she would do anything for her.



They sat crosslegged side by side facing opposite directions near the fringed

edge of the red patterned rug. Their eyes were closed as they chanted "The

inward eye, the sightless sea. Ayala flows through the river in me." As they

began chanting, Tara felt the tingling and warmth of the magic in her

fingertips.



They repeated the phrase and the warm sensation flowed up her arms to her

shoulders. Again they repeated the chant and the warm tingling surged through

her body down to her legs. Her heart sped up and her breathing quickened.

With the fourth repetition, her body was filled with the warmth and light of

their power. When the fullness inside her seemed almost too much to bear, the

magic emerged from their hands as light, joining to form a flaming circle

around them.



They slowly raised their hands and touched palm to palm. Tara had to fight to

keep from crying out as the electricity of their contact surged through her

body, her nipples hardening in response. She felt her breathing deepen in

synchrony with her partner's as their merged power floated the circle of light

up from the floor. Wave after wave of their conjoined energies crashed through

them, floating the incandescent circle higher and higher. The intensity of the

sensation was far beyond that of any spell they'd done before.



As the waves reached their crescendo, Tara opened her eyes and gazed into the

green eyes of her partner, seeing an ecstasy in them that matched her own.

Then the redhead slowly fell back, closing her eyes as her hand fell away from

Tara's and her spirit left her body. The circle of light rose still higher as

Tara focused entirely on her partner--holding on with all her strength and love

so that the redhead would find the way back to her.




Tara woke up from her nap, murmuring a sleepy complaint at losing the amazing

connection she'd felt in her dream. The intensity of sensation she'd

experienced in her dream was almost unbelievable. Could casting together

really be that good, that intense?



Did it create that soul-deep connection that she'd felt in her dream or was it

the other way around, the love and the connection producing those intense

sensations as they worked magic together? She wished again that she had

someone to cast with, to experience that intensity of feeling, but everyone

she'd met at the campus Wicca group was just a blessed-wanna-be.



More strongly than that, Tara wished that she had someone to love. She had

dated a girl in high school, but she'd never actually been in love. There

hadn't been anyone at university for her either. Was there something wrong

with her that she couldn't find someone to fall in love with?



Of course, her nightly activities weren't the best social opportunities and

they would make it difficult for her to open up even if she did meet someone.

Maybe her dreams were a guide to the person she was meant to be with. She'd

never seen anyone like the slender flame-haired girl of her dreams though.



She didn't feel as lonely here in Sunnydale as she had in high school. Here

she had Spirit and Mr. Giles, but their friendship was all caught up in the

slaying and she wanted something of her own, something like the connection of

her dream, two hearts joined in perfect synchronicity. Making the world safer

for humanity was great, but it didn't keep you warm at night when you lay awake

in your bed wondering if anyone would ever come along to fill that empty space

in your heart.



Tara shrugged off her blankets, yawning. She stretched like a cat then sat

up. No more time for conjecture. Tara had to meet Spirit for patrol tonight.



* * * * * *




Willow sat high in the tree, dangling her legs and thinking while waiting for

Tara. She'd watched Tara every night this week and was beginning to figure out

her schedule. She knew Tara would walk by the tree in the next few minutes.

Watching Tara was a mixture of pleasure and pain.



It was wonderful to see her love alive again, but it hurt to see her without

being able to talk with her or touch her. How could she recreate what they had

lost? What could she say to her? "You don't know me but we were deeply in

love in your past life" didn't seem to be the best way to start a

conversation. Why did it have to be so hard?



It was still difficult to wrap her mind around the idea of Tara's

reincarnation. She had read about reincarnation, but she had never studied it

the way that she'd studied the magicks of the resurrection. Reincarnation

wasn't something that she could command or control so it hadn't interested

her.



Even in what she had read about reincarnation, she had never read about a case

like this. Tara must have been reborn almost immediately after her death, and

she was where she had died, looking almost the same and bearing the same name.

Willow couldn't explain it. Despite all her studies, there was still much

about magic that she didn't understand.



She saw Tara climb over the hill top she was gazing towards, a little earlier

than usual tonight. Willow could make out every detail with her dark eyes

that drank in every beam of light that struck them, allowing nothing to escape

to betray their presence. Tara was dressed as usual in her black leather

jacket and blue jeans, though tonight the jeans were stained with mud and

grass. Willow felt a surge of worry, quickly glancing over Tara's body looking

for injuries. She sighed with relief when she didn't find any.



Tara was accompanied as usual by a young Asian girl who Willow knew was Spirit

the vampire slayer. She was truly the Chosen One. Both the slayers Willow had

known were dead. She didn't care that Faith had died in prison, but each time

she thought about Buffy's death, she wished that she had returned to Sunnydale

earlier. Somehow Buffy's death hadn't bothered her before now. Forcing her

thoughts away from her friends of the past, she looked at Tara again.



Willow fingered the soul gem as she regarded Tara and thought--there was a

solution. She could remove Tara's soul from her current body and restore it to

her old one. Willow knew the spells of protection and preservation she'd

placed on Tara's corpse so many years ago were still active. She had known

that Tara's body might be necessary for her resurrection so she'd layered it

with her strongest protections before departing Sunnydale.



Willow shook her head as she watched the young women carefully walk through the

maze of tombstones and monuments that made up the cemetery, looking carefully

for lurking vampires and commenting to her friend. How could she think such

things? Transferring Tara's soul wasn't just another spell. There were

consequences. It would kill the beautiful woman she watching.



That was Tara there before her eyes, not a pale substitute for her love.



She couldn't do anything that would harm her.



If anything, Tara had a better life than before. Willow had done a great deal

of hacking and investigating to learn about Tara's new life, past and present.

She hadn't had an abusive father and brother telling her that she was evil all

her life. She had friends. She could fight the dangers of the night herself

as she'd demonstrated so dramatically in their first meeting. Did she even

need or want a partner? But even if Tara's new life hadn't been better, Willow

still couldn't take it away from her.



Willow's interactions with people for the past nineteen years had been very

intense though usually rather short. She thought back to her experience with

Wolfram and Hart. She had learned about how they had brought back Darla.

After failing with rituals that weren't as dark as theirs, Willow had gone to

them for help.



Their price had been high, but she would've paid anything to have Tara back.

Everything had gone fine in the dark crypt where they were performing the

ritual of resurrection until a brilliant flash of light following the sacrifice

of the five vampires.





Willow rushed to the crate where Tara was supposed to appear. It

was empty. She turned to Lilah, her dark eyes flashing with fury. "Where is

she?" she demanded.



Lilah, the law firm's special projects agent who was working with Willow,

appeared calm in her expensively tailored suit. She looked at the Vocah demon

beside her, shrouded in shadows that even Willow's eyes could not pierce.

"Well," she said. "What happened?"



"Her soul is not available to be returned," it answered in a deep, hollow

voice.



"What does that mean?" Willow asked in a cold voice, full of barely repressed

anger.



"She cannot be resurrected," the Vocah said from the shadows. "My job here is

complete." The shadows dissipated, revealing nothing but empty air with the

demon had once stood. The crypt was now empty save for Willow, Lilah, and her

security team.



"I paid your price," Willow said softly as she stepped closer to Lilah. "I

want my resurrection in return as we agreed."



"We performed the ritual as agreed," Lilah said. She made a gesture with her

hand and the six members of the security team brought their guns up, ready to

fire. They were well protected against magical attack, physical or mental.

"I'm sure you don't want to argue with that."



"Don't I?" Willow asked with a grim smile. Then she dissolved into a cloud of

thick, black smoke that exploded outwards to fill the entire crypt.



Shrieks and screams followed by gunshots filled the darkness as Lilah rushed to

the exit. Nothing could be seen in the darkness as the sounds faded away. The

black cloud swirled around her, then coalesced into the form of Willow,

blocking the exit. Six thuds as bodies hit the stone floor confirmed the death

of every member of the security team.



"Now," Willow said sweetly. "What were you saying about our agreement?"





Lilah had been exceedingly helpful after her little demonstration, providing

Willow with a number of books and artifacts that had proved useful in her

search. However, that experience like most of those of the last 19 years

didn't offer any ideas on how to go about meeting Tara.



Willow couldn't imagine simply walking up to Tara's room and asking to see

her. For one thing, Willow would be terrified. For another, Tara would be

terrified too as black clad witches at your door generally didn't mean well.

And Willow definitely was not ready to reveal her face and let Tara see her

inhumanly dark eyes.



She watched as Tara and Spirit strolled out of sight and sighed. If she

couldn't meet Tara at home, she'd have to meet her at work. Willow jumped

gracefully out of the tree. She landed on her feet, absorbing the impact of

the thirty foot drop without a sound, and began her walk home. She had

research to do.



* * * * * *




Tonight had been another bust.



They hadn't been able to find anything about the new Master vampire in any of

Mr. Giles' books. He kept complaining about the small size of their library

compared to the Council's library in his early days as a watcher. Tara didn't

think that would matter as she wasn't sure that there was a new evil to

discover. She and Spirit had been encountering fewer vampires rather than more

in their nightly patrols. Shouldn't there be more vampires if a master vampire

was in town?



Tara heard footsteps behind her. She thought, Of course, maybe I'm wrong

and there's a group of vampires was following me right now,
as she readied

a stake. Glancing over her shoulder, Tara could only see a small figure

shrouded in shadow walking towards her.



She increased her pace to reach the street corner just ahead of her. The

footsteps behind her sped up to match her pace. Tara darted around the street

corner and raised the stake in her right hand, ready to strike the vampire's

heart the moment it rounded the corner.



As the black-clad figure rounded the corner, Tara swept her stake towards its

heart, stopping at the last moment as she finally recognized who her stalker

was.



It was Willow. She was dressed in black leathers as she had been the night

that they had first met. Her face and hair were hidden under the cowl of her

cloak. Tara could only make out the pale shadows of a face, but she couldn't

discern any color of eye or hair under the cowl. Perhaps it was because of the

darkness of the alley way they stood in.



Tara swallowed, thinking that that had been too close. She had to watch her

reactions after spending too many nights hunting vampires. Willow didn't seem

to be perturbed by her near-impalement though Tara wondered if she could tell

with Willow's face hidden in the shadows of her cloak.



"Feeling nervous?" Willow asked, looking down at the stake hovering over her

heart. She didn't feel nervous about the stake. It couldn't hurt her. But

she was nervous about the person holding the stake. Tara could wound her

deeply with a few simple words. This conversation had to go right.



"Sorry, yes," Tara said. "Good things don't generally follow me at night in

Sunnydale." Realizing that she was still holding a stake over Willow's heart,

Tara flushed with embarrassment and lowered her hand to her side. This wasn't

the way she'd envisioned a second meeting between them beginning.



"I understand," Willow said. Inside, her heart leaped at Tara's words. So

I'm a good thing and we've barely talked?
Then she worried. Maybe she was

a good thing because they hadn't talked much. What if she babbled? What if

she couldn't think of anything to say? She'd only practiced the conversation a

few...dozen times this evening.



"So I haven't seen you since that memorable meeting in the cemetery," Tara

said. Great. That's original. Come on, Tara, you can come up with

something more interesting to say to keep her around longer this time.




"I have news for you about the Master," Willow replied. "I found out from one

of his vampires that he's sending a large group of vampires to kill the slayer

at the school library while she's training tomorrow ... at noon."



Tara was intrigued then puzzled as Willow spoke. "At noon?" she asked, cocking

her head. "But they can't go out during the day."



"There are ways to travel below the city without seeing the light of day,"

Willow said. "Be ready." She was pleased as she turned away, swirling her

cloak dramatically around herself as she had practiced, and began walking down

the street away from Tara. She smiled giddily, the expression hidden under the

hood of her cloak where no one could see. She had the cryptic warning down.

It had worked for Angel with Buffy, hadn't it?



Thoughts of Angel and Buffy sobered Willow. She had seen how well that had

worked out, and she wanted more from a relationship than mysterious warnings

and dramatic appearances to save Tara. She had to find another way to connect

to Tara, but even as she thought that she wondered if she should forge a

connection with this new Tara.



Tara was such a bright soul, and Willow carried so much darkness within

herself. What right did she have to bring all the darkness down upon Tara's

light? Angel had a terrible darkness within him, and Willow had seen how that

had poisoned his relationship with Buffy. Willow didn't want that to happen to

her and Tara, but what could she do about it? The darkness was who she was.



Tara raised her hand and started to say something to stop Willow but couldn't

come up with anything. This was so frustrating. How could she talk to Willow

when she was always disappearing? She shook her head and turned back to the

library. Mr. Giles had to know about this tonight though he didn't have to

know where the warning came from.



* * * * * *




As Tara entered the school library, it was dark but she knew Mr. Giles was in

from the light shining through the window in his office door. She walked to

the door and knocked, saying, "Mr. Giles, it's Tara." It was always best to

announce yourself at night in Sunnydale.



Giles quickly opened the door, immediately asking, "Tara, are you okay?"



"I'm fine," Tara replied. "but I found out something on the way home that I

thought you should know about tonight."



"What is it?" Giles asked. "Something about the Master?"



"Yes," Tara answered. "He's planning an attack on the slayer here tomorrow at

noon." The warning didn't make any sense to her but the Watcher had knowledge

and experience that she lacked. Maybe it would have more meaning for him.



Giles looked puzzled. "At noon?" he asked. "I know that vampires can travel

through the sewers or even through the streets if completely covered, but look

at the size of those windows. Even on a cloudy day, it would be too bright in

here for vampires."



Tara shrugged. "I don't know how they plan to do it," she said. "I just know

that they said."



"Who did you learn this from?" Giles asked. "Are you sure the information's

reliable?"



Tara swallowed. She didn't want to tell Giles about Willow and she wasn't sure

if she could explain why even to herself. She wanted to keep Willow just for

herself even though they'd only met twice. Somehow she knew Willow felt the

same, that their midnight meetings were just for each other.



"I found it out from a vampire before I staked him," she said, feeling guilty

about lying to Giles but at the same time hoping that none of that guilty

showed on her face or in her voice. Hopefully, he would be distracted enough

by the message to ignore its delivery.



Giles thought for a minute. "Well," he said. "It might not be the most

reliable of sources, but we should be prepared tomorrow."



"You're still going to be here?" Tara asked in a surprised tone. She had

expected that Giles and Spirit would avoid the library tomorrow because of her

warning. Shouldn't you avoid a trap once you know it's there? Didn't he

believe her?



"Yes, we'll be here," Giles answered firmly. "And we'll be well armed and

prepared for anything that might happen."



Tara still felt a bit nervous but said, "Okay, I'd better get some sleep then.

I'll see you here at noon."



"Goodnight, Tara, and don't worry too much," Giles said. "It's probably

nothing."



Tara left the library and headed home for the second time that night. She

started thinking of spells that might be useful tomorrow as she trusted Willow

and expected the attack to happen on time, but her mind turned of its own

accord to softer thoughts of Willow that had nothing to do with vampires.



Who was that girl?

--

"Omnia mutantur, nihil interit. -- "Everything changes, but nothing is truly lost."

Edited by: darkmagicwillow at: 11/11/02 2:37:42 pm


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 Post subject: Re: Chapter 4 - Dreams and Revelations
PostPosted: Mon Nov 11, 2002 4:42 pm 
DMW-

This story is so interesting! I like how you've pushed it so far into the future. It's given the story so much opportunity for things that couldn't happen close to season 6.



And I like this Willow-still holding love at the center of her exsistence, but using dark magic to obtain her goals. She's not a bad guy, but not one hundred percent good either. My favorite kind of character.



I'm curious to hear about what happened to the Scooby Gang and Willow during her nineteen year absence. Some bad stuff, I think.



I look forward to your next update-

hermitstull

"...and if you've got no other choice, you know you can follow my voice, through the dark turns and noise of this wicked little town..."--Hedwig and the Angry Inch



"Stinky herbs are a go." Cordelia in Becoming pt. 2



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 Post subject: Re: Chapter 4 - Dreams and Revelations
PostPosted: Mon Nov 11, 2002 8:46 pm 
Ahh... lovely chapter, DMW. You know this already, but I thought I'd add it here. I just love this chapter. I don't know why, I just do. It's one of my favorites.



And of course, one of my favorite scenes: Willow stalking off with her billowing cloak, and the fact that she practiced to be able to do it right. :grin I love that!



Great update, DMW. :)





"We've got the only librarian who can rip off your arm with his leg. People respect that." - Terry Pratchett



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 Post subject: Re: Chapter 4 - Dreams and Revelations
PostPosted: Mon Nov 11, 2002 8:50 pm 
Really enjoyed this update...

Willow realizing she could never do anything to harm Tara, even to get the old Tara back.

:hmm Interesting that Tara doesn't tell Giles the truth about where her info came from.

BV

"In front of total strangers won't you kiss me, Flowers for no reason but you miss me - OOH, I wanna be in love"

Melissa Etheridge-Skin



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 Post subject: Re: Chapter 4 - Dreams and Revelations
PostPosted: Tue Nov 12, 2002 1:23 am 
Great update!!

So, Willow is still involved in balck magic, hm...

And is Giles the same one and if he his then he will recognize Willow!!!



Stef :p



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 Post subject: Re: Chapter 4 - Dreams and Revelations
PostPosted: Tue Nov 12, 2002 5:30 am 
Again Willow is forced to admit that she's at a loss to explain the situation. For all her amassed knowledge, this is very telling. Interesting too how her confidence is so affected by Tara - "What if she babbled?"



The parallel Willow draws with Buffy and Angel is a valid one, although I find myself being optimistic about the glimmers of young Willow we see - the nerves, the smiling giddily, the practiced conversation.

Adding up the total of a love that's true, multiply life by the power of two
Indigo Girls



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 Post subject: Chapter 4 replies
PostPosted: Tue Nov 12, 2002 8:34 pm 
Thanks so much for the feedback. It is so wonderful to write for Pens with all this immediate feedback. I also appreciate everyone sticking with me through the slower initial chapters that build up the story.



Chapter 5, "Shadows of the Heart" on Thursday.



hermitstull: I've always thought that it would take time to turn Willow dark and even then there will always be at least part of the old Willow within her, especially as you mentioned her love for Tara. There's still a lot of ground to cover before we answer your questions about the past, but we will get there.



LeatherQueen: Thank you, and you can keep saying it. I don't mind. (-; I should have added an extra thanks in the acknowledgements to you for this chapter for all the effort you put into getting me to make everything consistent with the show for the dream sequences.



barnabasvamp: Thanks. There are a lot of secrets here in the beginning: Tara's dreams, Willow's past, and even Giles has some.



deixs: Thanks! Giles is the same watcher as always though he's had some life-changing experiences in the past 19 years too.



mollyig: Vampires and evil law firms are easy to deal with for Willow, but Tara is a more difficult person for her to deal with. What she wants with Tara is so far away from what she has with her now.



Willow's younger self has been pushed down deep for 19 years, but you've perceptively noticed some parts of her slipping past the armor Willow has wrapped around herself for so long. She's still in there someplace.

--

"Omnia mutantur, nihil interit. -- "Everything changes, but nothing is truly lost."



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 Post subject: Re: Chapter 4 replies
PostPosted: Wed Nov 13, 2002 12:53 am 
So, I wonder what Giles rreaction will be when he finally meets Willow again after 19 years!!!! So I guess he knows who this Tara is?!

And what happened to Anya, Xander, Spike and Dawn?



Stef :p



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 Post subject: Re: Chapter 4 replies
PostPosted: Wed Nov 13, 2002 12:41 pm 
Hey, someone else likes Spike other than me ... despite that, he didn't make it into the first draft of this story, but I'm working on a flashback to tie him in too.

--

"Omnia mutantur, nihil interit. -- "Everything changes, but nothing is truly lost."



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 Post subject: Re: Chapter 4 replies
PostPosted: Wed Nov 13, 2002 1:46 pm 
Very entreating and the 'fantasy' undertone really makes this story fascinating.



Post an update soon!



-Allyson

"After one take, Joss did say, 'Can we have one that's less like you're going to sleep together in about five minutes?'" - Alyson Hannigan



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 Post subject: Re: Chapter 4 replies
PostPosted: Wed Nov 13, 2002 8:21 pm 
I'm glad the fantasy undertone works for you, allyson12. I really like good fantas, both published and stories on Pens like "The Stone Circle." Thinking of Pens, it looks like you have a new story up ... I'll have to go check it out.



Update tomorrow...

--

"Omnia mutantur, nihil interit. -- "Everything changes, but nothing is truly lost."



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 Post subject: Re: Chapter 4 replies
PostPosted: Thu Nov 14, 2002 7:33 am 
Late to the party but enthusiastic about this chapter; it's so exciting to see the final versions of these chapters and to see the small changes that really crafted the chapters into the shape they are in. It's a testament to the power of multiple drafts, I think.



I'm with LQ on loving that Willow had to practice her billowing cloak. Willow is so dark and so lonely at the beginning of this story, but it's to your credit that she is still herself, still Willow, with the quirks of personality that make her uniquely herself.



It's tough to keep those two threads of herself together, but I love how you do it.

"And I'm eating this banana. Lunchtime be damned!" -- Willow in "Doppelgangland

Edited by: Tulipp at: 11/14/02 6:33:24 am


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 Post subject: Re: Chapter 4 - Dreams and Revelations
PostPosted: Thu Nov 14, 2002 9:15 am 
Heh,



Willow being all pleased her cloak-swirly thing works as she practiced on it :D . She may not have real witchy hat but the cloak comes a long way :) . In some way she's like Angel now, good thing she realizes the pitfalls that come with it. Willow as grand mysterious stranger... still brings a smile to my face trying to imagine it :) .



I like that this Tara has had a better life at home and in general is more secure in life. Interesting that Willow thinks Tara's life is better then Tara herself thinks (gawd, thats a bad line isn't it?). Good she only briefly thought about putting newTara's soul in oldTara's body and rejected the idea.



The resurrection attempt at W&H; For once it wasn't W&H's fault they couldn't deliver as promised, didn't calm Willow much though. What was the price Willow paid to W&H ??



Liked this line: "Lilah had been exceedingly helpful after her little demonstration", hehe... I'll bet.



About Tara's dreams... they seem to progress in time, rather rapidly too. First we had _Hush_ (4x10) now we're at _Who Are You_ (4x16) already. If she keeps that pace she'll skip over _New Moon Rising_ (4x19) :D . Can't have that now can we, heh.



Grimmy

"You hurt Tara," Willow said too calmly. "The last one who tried that was a god. I made her regret it." -- Unexpected Consequences by Lisa of Nine



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 Post subject: Re: Chapter 4 replies
PostPosted: Thu Nov 14, 2002 11:49 am 
Next chapter in a few minutes, but first some replies...



Tulipp: Multiple drafts are essential for my writing--I don't know how some people do it without them. I think you'll like the new stuff in this next chapter too.



Thanks for your comment about maintaining the two Willows. I think it was the hardest part of writing this and your comments have definitely helped me in doing that.



Grimlock72: It seems that I struck a chord with the dramatic cloak swirling. I'm glad it helps you not miss the witchy hat.



I'm glad you liked the W&H flashback and Lilah being helpful. As for the price, well, I can't answer every question, can I? Though I will say that I wouldn't want to miss NMR either.

--

"Omnia mutantur, nihil interit. -- "Everything changes, but nothing is truly lost."



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 Post subject: Chapter 5 - Shadows of the Heart
PostPosted: Thu Nov 14, 2002 11:51 am 
Title: The Dark Rose - Chapter 5 (Shadows of the Heart)

Author: Dark Magic Willow

Email: darkmagickwillow@yahoo.com

Rating: R, mostly for violence, no explicit sex

Pairing: W/T

Spoilers: All episodes through the end of season 6 though this story takes

place 18-19 years after the end of season 6.

Feedback: Yes! Constructive criticism is always welcome.

Summary: Willow and Tara cast a spell together for the first time.

Magic Note: Magic, even dark magic, is not addictive in my universe, so there

are no withdrawal symptoms and no dark magic dealers. Here Rack was a dark

magic teacher who used his students, not a dealer. However, you can use too

much magic and you can be corrupted by the power it gives you.

Disclaimer: I don't own any of the copyrights or anything else

associated with BtVS. All rights lie with the production company,

writers etc.

Acknowledgements: Thanks to my wonderful betas, Amanda and Juli, as always.





The Dark Rose

Chapter 5: Shadows of the Heart






Willow awoke in the dark.



She was surprised by the absence of light as she normally woke late in the day. Surely, it had to be morning by now. She waved a hand, causing the blinds to open. It was pitch black outside and a heavy rain was falling.



Getting out of bed, Willow walked to the window and looked up at the dark sky. Layer upon layer of ominous black clouds covered the sky, completely blocking out the light of the Sun. Now she understood how the vampires were going to attack the Slayer at noon.



Willow was sure the slayer would be at the library. Slayers didn't avoid traps; they always walked right into them. She had planned to watch the encounter anyway since Tara was probably going to be there, and she wanted to be sure she was safe even if it was just some vampires.



Now the situation had changed. Only powerful dark magick could bring such unusual weather to Sunnydale and hold it over the city. Willow had to be there. There could be real danger. She couldn't let something happen to Tara so soon after she'd found her.



Looking over at the digital clock by the bed, she read "11:44." That didn't leave much time. Willow hurriedly dressed, picking up her leathers from the floor where she'd left them last night.



* * * * * *




Tara had completed her circuit of the school, returning to the grassy field outside the library. She had found no way to reach Mr. Giles and Spirit in the library. At least, no way except those guarded by four or more vampires. She couldn't take that many at a time. Even Spirit would have trouble with those odds.



Water dripped from her wet hair onto her nose, causing her to shiver. Tara was soaked through to the skin from running here in the cold rain. She wished she had woken up on time, but she woke up with the sun and there hadn't been any this morning. If she had just arrived in time, she would be inside with her friends instead of being stuck out here.



Looking up at the black clouds that hovered motionlessly over Sunnydale, Tara knew that they were unnatural, but she couldn't imagine the power required to summon such weather and maintain it over one spot. Who could have created this darkness?



Vampires didn't tend to have much in the way of mystical power. An image of Willow's dark-clad figure flashed in her mind, and Tara remembered her aura of tightly bound power. She shook her head. It couldn't be Willow. Somehow she knew deep inside that she could trust Willow with anything.



If she could just dispel the clouds and expose the Sun, everything would be fine. The vampires outside the building as well as those inside the library with its tall windows would be destroyed. But she didn't know if she had the power to do this. Tara heard sounds of combat from the library and knew that she had to do something soon. Mr. Giles and Spirit couldn't hold out for long if the number of vampires inside the school matched the number outside.



Tara raised her hands to the sky and threw her head back, wet hair slapping against her back. Looking up she called to the spirits of sky and water to end this unnatural weather and restore the natural order. Tara felt her power flowing lightly through her as she pushed again and again at the spell holding the weather, but it felt like she was trying to move a mountain. The black clouds continued to sit eerily still above Sunnydale, showering her with cold rain. Finally, Tara lowered her hands and looked down despondently. She just didn't have the power to break such a spell.



Tara heard the wet sound of footsteps approaching her. She quickly looked up, expecting to see a vampire, but saw Willow instead. Willow offered her a black gloved hand and asked, "Do you trust me?"



"What?" Tara asked, startled by Willow's sudden appearance. Hope rose in her heart. Together they might have the power to break the spell. However, she could feel that Willow was asking for more than Tara's trust with this spell. Somehow she knew that if she took Willow's hand, it would change her life forever.



"Do you trust me?" Willow repeated her question, her hand still extended.



Tara looked up and tried to find more than the shadows of a face in the depths of the hood of Willow's cloak, pondering for a moment. It was a scary decision to have to make so quickly. What did she really know about Willow? Despite all her questions and all that she didn't know, she knew one thing for certain. She trusted Willow. All her feelings told her that she could trust Willow with anything. Trusting her heart, she reached up and clasped Willow's hand, answering "Yes."



Willow felt the touch of Tara's hand like a ray of sunlight piercing the veil of darkness around her heart. She knew that Tara was accepting her into her life, not just trusting her for help with this spell. It was only the first step of many, but it felt so right to finally be on the path towards being together again.



"Ready to try it together?" Willow asked, clasping Tara's fingers tightly.



Tara was surprised by the heat she felt from Willow's gloved hand. It warmed her chilled flesh, evaporating the cold droplets of rain from her hand. The contact of their hands felt so right, like they had done this together so many times before. She nodded her assent.



In synchrony, Tara and Willow extended their opposite unclasped hands to the sky and gazed up at the dark unmoving storm clouds. Together they repeated the call to the spirits of sky and water. As they said the words, Tara almost gasped as she felt the warmth from Willow's hand surge upwards through her arm.



Her eyes fluttered shut and her surroundings fell away as the warmth filled her body. She opened herself fully to Willow, fiercely eager to feel the fire of their connection. She felt a certainty that she had never had before. Together they could do anything.



The clouds shuddered and began to move. First one shaft of sunlight speared through an opening in the clouds to the ground below then another sunbeam shot through a second hole followed soon by a third and a fourth. The vampires guarding the school's doors cried out in dismay and scrambled to find shelter.



They were too late.



Vast spaces opened in the clouds, revealing the full force of the Sun. The school was instantly covered in brilliant sunlight. The hapless vampires burned then collapsed into dust as the power of the Sun destroyed them.



Tara stared at Willow, lips quirking into her characteristic crooked smile, and said, "That was amazing!" She felt her body fully alive with magic for the first time. Her skin tingled and her blood sang to her. It was wonderful beyond anything she'd experienced before.



Smiling back at Tara, Willow thought how different their union in casting this spell felt than the dark rituals she had performed in the past. There was the warmth and love and their togetherness that she almost forgotten. She had cast much more complex and powerful spells, but they didn't compare to what she had just shared with Tara. The dark magicks left her empty inside. She thought back to the Ritual of Thirteen.





Willow stood in the center of a 13-pointed star made of colored marble tiles fixed to the otherwise bare grey stone floor. An adept in black robes stood at each point of the star, head bowed in a contemplative pose. The rest of the huge domed chamber was empty. Only two exits led out of the room. The one that they had all entered, and the huge gate of bone that she alone would go through.



"She is the darkness," the adepts chanted and 13 tendrils of dark power flowed from them, reaching towards the shadowy aura of Willow's own dark power. The strength of their magic began to trickle into her. They were fools, but she would open the gate as they desired. After she had absorbed all the power, that is.



"She is the darkness," they repeated and dark magic surged into her from each of them. The feeling of power was exhilarating yet also painful, like fiery ice flowing through her veins. The icy burning didn't stop her from wanting more of the darkness though.



As they repeated the chant the third time, she reached out and pulled the magic from them with all her strength, draining the dark adepts until they collapsed into unconsciousness. It didn't feel like enough, but she resisted the urge to pull for more, knowing that it would kill them.



Stepping over their bodies, she walked up to the gate of bone. The dark gate loomed over her like a mountain, dwarfing her tiny form. Hundreds had been sacrificed to seal this ancient Hellmouth. Their bodies and spirits had been used like bricks and mortar to make this gate and seal it, but she had more than enough might to open it.



Focusing all her puissance into her right hand until her body felt drained, her hand filled with such darkness that it seemed to suck all the light out of the room. She reached forward to open the gates of Hell.





All that she'd experienced in magic in the last nineteen years--the excitement of acquiring new skills, the thrill of magical combat, the rush of powerful magic flowing through her--none of it compared this single moment of union. As she answered Tara, her happiness in their accomplishment together was evident even though her face could not be seen. "It was amazing."



"I've never cast a spell with another person. Have you?" Tara asked. She shifted to let her wet hair fall forward, shielding her face.



Willow felt a pang of loss as she remembered that this Tara had no recollection of their spells together. Even if she was able to share her life with Tara again, the memories of their past together would remain hers alone. No one would ever have them but her. She felt fiercely protective of those memories now, especially the important ones like how they had first met, the nether realms spell, and so many other moments of perfect connection. "I have," she answered.



"Oh," Tara said. She felt a little embarrassed. Of course, Willow had. Just because she was inexperienced didn't mean Willow was too.



Noticing Tara's discomfort, Willow attempted to reassure her, "But not for a very long time." Willow looked down at the ground as she thought about how long it had been. She wished she could tell Tara everything and reassure her that this togetherness was just for the two of them.



Willow's comment made Tara wonder about how old Willow was. She'd somehow just assumed that Willow was near her own age, but now she wasn't certain. "Why not?" she asked.



"You have to be very close to someone for casting together to work," Willow explained. She remembered their first spell together in the laundry room, moving the soda machine to barricade the door so the gentlemen couldn't get in. She hadn't even known Tara's name at the time, but the connection had been there, stronger and more wonderful than anything she'd felt before. It was here again today.



Tara looked down at their clasped hands, pondering Willow's words. Was she that close to Willow? She hadn't even seen her face. Yet somehow she did feel safe and sheltered when she was with Willow, even under the most dangerous of circumstances. She just knew that Willow cared for her deeply and would never hurt her. Their togetherness in casting the spell had felt like the connection she had shared with their redheaded girl of her dreams. Could Willow be that girl? If she was, why did she hide her face so carefully? What had happened to her?



Willow followed Tara's gaze and noticed that they were still holding hands. It felt so natural to her, but she thought Tara must be uncomfortable so she unwillingly released her clasp. "Sorry, I forgot."



"No," Tara said, shaking her head in denial, "That wasn't..."



"You'd better check on your friends in the library," Willow interrupted then started to turn away.



Tara had completely forgotten about Spirit and Giles in the aftermath of their spell. "Wait!" she said. "Before you leave, when can I see you again?"



Willow paused then said "I'll see you on patrol at the VanOlsen crypt." As she walked away, she felt a happiness as she hadn't experienced for so many years. Residual magic sang in her veins, reminding her of how magic was supposed to feel. It didn't have the sudden feeling of raging force that dark magic had, but it had a warmth and a light that made it infinitely better. Dark magic felt great when she was casting, but she felt so cold afterwards.



Tara watched Willow walk away, wondering if she could ever have a normal relationship with this person. The connection she'd felt wasn't just magical and the feelings she'd had weren't just physical. They had shared a deeper emotional and spiritual connection than any she'd experienced before. Tara wasn't sure what kind of relationship she wanted with Willow. It was all so sudden and Willow was so different than anyone she'd ever imagined meeting.



Was it love at first...well she hadn't really seen Willow, not her face anyway...so was it love at first spell? Not traditional, but maybe that was how it was for witches. Was she really thinking of love so soon? She wasn't ready. She didn't even really know who Willow was.



All she had were the stories she'd made up since their first meeting: Willow as a masked heroine, dedicated to fighting the forces of darkness; Willow as a princess under a spell, cursed to hide her face until she found her true love; Willow fleeing from a tragic past that she wanted to forget and coming to Sunnydale to start a new life and find a love. She could weave so many stories to explain her feelings, but she didn't know if any of them were true.



With a sigh, Tara shook off her thoughts and headed towards the library. She had to tell Mr. Giles something about what happened today, but she thought she could leave Willow out of it for now. She wasn't ready to tell anyone about Willow until she had a better idea of what Willow meant to her and why.



* * * * * *




In a cavern deep beneath Sunnydale, a young vampire shrieked in pain, dropping a glowing green gem from his hand. The large uncut stone fell to the ground and rolled across the floor of the cavern, its cold emerald radiance scintillating on the smooth, slick stone ceiling overhead. He looked at his hand and saw terrible burn marks where he'd held the stone. Looking down at the Heart but afraid to touch it, he curled his hand around the pain and wondered how something that cold could burn him so terribly.



He glared at the witch who shared the cavern with him. "What happened?" he shouted. "What was wrong with your instructions?"



"Well..." the witch said, looking down at the stone whose radiance had dimmed to a faint glimmering of green.



"Don't even think it!" the young vampire said harshly, following her gaze. "I don't need to touch the Heart to burn you to a cinder with its power."



"Master, of course the Heart is yours," she said, bowing. Careful to keep any sign of her contempt for the vampire from her eyes, she continued "I was just thinking that the gem outputs more energy locally when it expends energy to change something externally."



The Master shook his head, confused, "What does that mean?"



"It means that you shouldn't hold the Heart while maintaining a long lasting spell like weather control," the witch answered. "Perhaps we can get a jeweler to set it so you can use it for spells without constant contact." She still didn't understand how a young fool like this one had found the Heart. It had to be luck. He didn't have the brains for serious planning and he certainly wasn't a master vampire except by right of the power he wielded with the gem.



"Then go and find one," the Master growled. "And find a minion to tell me how the attack on the Slayer went. I don't suppose it went well if the weather failed too early."



"Of course, Master, I will do as you ask," she said. "You will soon attain full mastery of the Heart's power."



The Master stared coldly at her, "I'd better, Amy."



Amy Madison turned away from the Master and walked out of the room. Once safely out of the vampire's sight, she smiled. She had spent her youth in search of dark magicks and her brown hair was heavily streaked with grey. But it wouldn't be much longer now. The Heart would likely destroy such a foolish user on its own and if it didn't, she wasn't above giving him a push. Then the Heart would be hers and so would everything she had ever wanted.

--

"Omnia mutantur, nihil interit. -- "Everything changes, but nothing is truly lost."

Edited by: darkmagicwillow at: 11/15/02 2:01:52 pm


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 Post subject: Re: Chapter 5 - Shadows of the Heart
PostPosted: Thu Nov 14, 2002 2:02 pm 
Oooh! :clap The arrival of Amy Madison on the scene.



And this is such a lovely chapter. So sweet with the descriptions of emerging love.



As always, great update, DMW.



Edited to add: Don't forget to add this to the Updates Thread to let everyone know. :grin





"We've got the only librarian who can rip off your arm with his leg. People respect that." - Terry Pratchett

Edited by: LeatherQueen at: 11/14/02 1:03:35 pm


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 Post subject: Re: Chapter 5 - Shadows of the Heart
PostPosted: Thu Nov 14, 2002 2:26 pm 
Simply marvelous.

Wow, that was so close to being empowering. --"Same Time, Same Place"



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