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Story Notes:
Willow is unlike any witch Harry’s ever met. She doesn’t use a wand, and he can sense power that rivals that of Voldemort. He’s read her file, of course, and knows about the time she nearly destroyed the world, but he also knows that came out of grief over losing someone she loved instead of coming from a power hungry crazy place. That seems to make it more acceptable. Besides, she doesn’t use a wand, and he’s dying to learn how to do wandless magic before Hermione ever realizes that’s actually possible.

When Kingsley had originally involved him in the meetings with the Muggle supernatural group that wanted to set up headquarters outside of Bath, he’d thought the Minister was nutters. Now, though, he understands that they need to know what’s going on with this group because they have things like vampire slayers and watchers who have knowledge of demons and creatures Harry didn’t even realize existed. They also have a different kind of magic to go along with the different kinds of werewolves and vampires, which interests him a lot.

He might not have Hermione’s cleverness and thirst for knowledge, but she’s rubbed off on him some, and he’s fascinated by how easily Willow can perform magic with a wave of her hand or just a bit of intense concentration. He wants to learn how to do it to show off to Hermione, sure, but he’s also interested because Willow is not at all what he expected when he read her file. There’s going to be a day very soon when Hermione’s pulled into this project, and that’s a day when he’s going to fear for the safety of the world because Willow and Hermione together could very well take the whole bloody thing over.

Willow catches him staring again and ducks her head, blushing slightly as she continues setting up wards on the room they’re in. Wards are a lot like protective charms, but they seem to call more on nature than most of the magic Harry’s learned. He wonders if it’s possibly got any links to ancient druid magic, which is something he can vaguely remember Binns nattering on about in between the naps he often took in History of Magic. Hermione’d know, but he’s kept her away from this new group of people and vast amounts of knowledge for as long as possible because he just knows she’s going to disappear into the texts and bother everyone with questions then try to set up some new laws in their world to protect the blood thirsty vampires or demon equality acts that’ll get her arse into trouble he’s gotta get her out of. Again.

“What are you thinking about, Harry?” Willow asks curiously, tucking a lock of vibrant red hair behind her ear.

“My best friend and how much trouble she’s going to get into when she finds out about all this,” he admits, smiling wryly as he runs his fingers through his hair.

“Trouble?” Willow arches a brow. “Is she a witch, too, or a what do you call them? Muggles?”

“She’s a witch. The brightest witch in generations, without a doubt, and she’s also got a stubborn streak and a love for causes, so I’m expecting demon equality missions or efforts to rehabilitate your type of vampires, which aren’t like our type at all.” He snorts. “There’ll be buttons and maybe even knitting, knowing her.”

Willow grins. “I’m looking forward to meeting her.”

“Just promise me you two won’t try to take over the world?” Harry smiles slightly.

“Why would I promise something silly like that? I think taking over the world might be fun, especially with someone who likes taking care of those who are misjudged or mistreated.” Willow smirks. “Don’t worry. I’m sure we’ll take care of you.”

“I have a feeling that when you say ‘don’t worry’, I actually should be worried,” he says thoughtfully, enjoying the teasing and also appreciating the way her smile makes her eyes light up.

“I don’t know why you’d think that!” Willow waves her hand and the air is suddenly full of glowing bubbles. “Do you think these might work for that training you were talking about the other day? They can be programmed to attack and might be an easy way to test your aurors’ reflexes without having to actually set up specific curses.”

“You’re smashing!” Harry looks at the bubbles and moves around one, watching it hover and then dart towards him. When he touches it, there’s a minor shock, like static electricity. “This would definitely be something useful. It’d save me the time of creating the right set of charms and curses to use, too.”

“I can teach you how to, uh, conjure them,” Willow says, grinning when he looks at her. “I wanted to do something to help you since you’ve had to spend so much time here helping Giles and the others get the new council headquarters set up”

“I appreciate it.” Harry wonders if she’s been listening to everything he’s talked about with so much interest, since he’d just mentioned having to figure out a way to test his aurors and keep their reflexes strong in a casual way the other day. He knows that Willow’s last partner was a woman, but he thinks she’s been flirting with him, too, so maybe she’s just open-minded about her sexuality. “You know, with all that free time I’ll now have, I’d have time to maybe go out to eat. Would you, um, care to join me? Tonight maybe?”

“Are you asking me out for dinner as a friend, Harry?” Willow asks, stepping closer to him. “Or were you wanting it to be a date?”

“Date would be brilliant, but friends is good, too, if that’s what you prefer,” he tells her honestly.

“I’d prefer a date,” she decides. “I was talking to Buffy yesterday, and she made me realize that I was talking about you an awful lot for just working alongside you. Besides, I’m really interested in your wand.”

“My wand?” Harry looks at her curiously before he feels warmth spread over his face when she leers at him. He’s older than her by a couple of years, but he feels like a teenager out of his depth when she’s giving him that look. “Oh! My wand. Right.”

Willow laughs. “C’mon Harry. Let’s finish this room, then we can go get some food. You can tell me more about that Dark Lord of yours, and I’ll tell you about the time my high school principal got eaten.”

“You say that with more excitement than you should,” he points out, grinning as he reaches over to tug on a lock of her hair. As he watches the red strands fall from his fingers, he realizes that redhead witches are definitely his weakness.