Disclaimer: I do not own Buffy the Vampire Slayer or Legend. All rights remain. Written for fun, not profit.
"What care I for human hearts? Soft and spiritless as porridge! A faerie's heart beats fierce and free!"
Willow wasn't big on the whole "blood sacrifice" thing these days. As a white witch, one had a certain image to uphold, and, well, blood and white were non-mixy things, especially on laundry day. So, it was with no small amount of dread that she read over the list of items needed for the spell. Even though, in the land of magic know-how, potion making was typically the more ick-inducing venture, with a whole slew of ingredients like eye of newt, puppy tails, baby teeth… But people often underestimated how gross prep-work for a heavy-duty spell could be as well.
Not Willow. She knew better. And in the past, yeah, PETA might have had a good argument for holding a witchhunt, but New Willow, my-girlfriend-calls-me-a-goddess-and-not-just-in-bed Willow, didn't venture into the dark stuff unless it was necessary.
Unfortunately, now was one of those necessary times.
Xander had been on a hunt with his team of girls, traveling through a particularly foul and demon-infested swamp when he'd run across a strange creature and fallen into a magical trance. Seemed rather typical of him, really. Willow had tried everything she could think of to wake him, dream-walking, potions, a good old fashion slap across the face… None of it had worked, and, humans, as it turned out, weren't meant to stay in trances for long. He was fading, and fast.
And Willow couldn't quite wrap her head around the fact that she couldn't help him.
When she'd called out to the goddess for aid of the mystical variety, a gremoire had fallen out of her bookshelf. Well, gremoire was stretching it—it was a young witch's composition notebook from the 80s, judging from the Duran Duran lyrics worked into a couple of the English incantations and the hearts drawn around a pasted picture of a young Rob Lowe on the cover…The spellbook was one Willow had referenced only a few times in the past, since, for the most part, the spells inside were somewhat basic, but there it was… "To Wake the Enchanted."
All in all, it looked fairly standard…until she reached the prep work instructions "…Once the candles and incense are lit, the sigils lain, one needs only to have the heart of a fairy to complete the spell…" Willow had stared blankly at the sentence until it finally sunk in.
Willow had been to several magic shops over the years, and she'd yet to run into one that kept fairy organs in stock. Which meant summoning one. And then murdering some poor, defenseless little… Willow swallowed down her panic. Xander was on the line here. If ever there was a time for sucking it up and killing a fairy, now was it. And, hey, what did she know, maybe a fairy would offer itself up as a sacrifice? Or maybe the fairy would be a butthead and…or, oh, evil? Somehow that didn't make her feel any better…
The wings were a good indication that the spell had gone wrong.
Summoning a fairy had seemed like an easy enough task, especially with all the tracking work she'd done for the new Council. But, as it turned out, making a few adjustments to her usual summoning spell didn't quite do the trick…
A burst of light had blinded her, and a force hit her like a punch to the stomach. When she blinked awake, Willow realized she wasn't in Kansas anymore. Not that she'd been in Kansas to begin with, but still…This place…This place was a forest of some sort, definitely not her apartment, and everything was huge. The trees towered over her and straight into the sky, a loud and mighty river rushed past the boulder on which she lay, soaking in the mist of the thunderous waterfall up ahead.
Summons weren't supposed to transport the summoner to weird giant land.
"Crap," she whispered. The word came out with a slight ring, like a little bell had been attached to the end. "Double crap."
It was upon sitting up that she realized her back felt particularly heavy, which could be explained by the fact that her wings were wet. Eyes wide, she glanced over her shoulder to see that, no, she wasn't delusional, there were actually giant golden, orange-outlined, semi-transparent wings attached to her shoulder blades.
Her wings. She had wings. Not just any wings, either: fairy wings.
"Oh boy, what have I done now?"
A shadow fell over her, blocking out the bright glow of a setting sun. Willow closed her eyes, almost not wanting to turn around and see what it was splashing through the water behind her rock.
"Why, what is this? Has a pixie lost her way?"
Willow scrambled to her feet, swaying slightly—her wings outstretched to keep her balanced. She cocked her head up at the newcomer, expecting the worst. Instead she found a young man staring down at her with a small, teasing smile on his face.
His long brown hair was dripping a puddle onto her sitting stone, just as soaked wet as his rags, err, clothes. Obviously, she'd interrupted his swim.
"Uh…hi?" She forced a nervous grin onto her face. Better to be polite when transported to alien fantasy worlds, that was her motto.
The young man squatted down in the stream bed—because, yes, she'd realized by this point that it wasn't a river and he wasn't a giant. She was the one with the size problem here. He hunched forward, burying his neck into his shoulders, and something about the movement made her think of Tarzan.
"I've never seen you in this part of the woods before…Were you brought here on the evening winds?"
"Good question." Willow gave the forest another glance. "Uh, where am I exactly?"
"The cold stream. In the enchanted forest."
Willow waited for more, but the young man just stayed in his crouch, staring at her. She managed to stop herself from sighing. "Well, okay then…Forest, it is."
"My name is Jack."
"That's a lovely name." He lost his smile, worry lighting his bright eyes. "Are you lost, Willow? Why don't you ask the animals to aid you home?"
"Why didn't I think of that?" she grumbled. She kicked her bare feet against the rock, for the first time realizing she was in a rather skimpy little number…Okay, PTB, now you're just messing with me… "Why do I get the distinct feeling you don't have a cell phone on you?"
Now Jack was fully frowning. "A what?"
Willow felt bad for confusing him. The guy had an in-your-face pout that she couldn't quite ignore. "Nothing—sorry, see, I'm not actually a fairy… I'm a witch." When Jack stiffened, she shook her head. "A good witch," she corrected, deciding now was not the time to go into a rant about stereotypes. "Not like an evil witch."
Jack relaxed. "Oh—that explains why you haven't made yourself small and fluttered away yet. Have you lost your magic, witch?"
"Uh, kinda. See, I was performing a spell…looking for a fairy."
"To ask it to be your guide through the forest?"
Oh, maybe that 'good witch' categorization was a bit hasty. "Uh…well…" Willow winced. It would be easy enough to lie to him, but, so far, he looked to be the only human in the weirdly sparkly forest where she'd landed. Maybe he wouldn't mind the fact that she was planning to slaughter one of his pixie friends. Yeah, sure. Because her luck had been great so far today. "See, a friend of mine has been put under a magical trance, and the only spell I could find to break it… it called for the heart of a fairy, and I—"
Jack's chuckle cut her off. "Ah, I see—you needed to have the heart of a fairy to perform your spell. You must be a clever witch indeed to have made yourself into such a form to learn what it is you need."
Willow blinked at him. "…Have the heart of a…" She slapped her palm against her forehead. "It meant the spellcaster needed to have the heart of a fairy not have a fairy heart…Seriously? Is this seriously a case bad wording? Wow—this is embarrassing."
"Is that not what I said?" Jack asked, puzzled.
Willow ignored him. "…But why would you need to literally have a fairy's heart yourself to perform the spell? What's the difference between a fairy performing a spell and a human—"
She blinked up at him.
"Perhaps you needn't have gone to such trouble for your spell," he said, giving her a crooked grin. "From what I hear of pixie hearts, they beat fierce and free…We humans so struggle with showing what it is we feel, but the fairy, they're too small to hide their emotions deep inside…Feelings are too big for them and burst out if kept too long."
"So, basically, having 'the heart of a fairy' meant I should let my feelings show?"
Jack nodded. "And, if you care so for this friend of yours, there should be no reason why your magic would not be weaved from love as strong as any fairy's."
Willow's wings flapped in excitement. "Then I just need to perform the spell, and Xander should wake up? That's…extremely easy. Wow. Maybe I should reference modern spellbooks more often. Thanks, Jack."
"It was my pleasure, Willow." He cocked his head in thought. "How will you get back from where you came so that you might aid your friend?"
But Willow already felt the tug at her center—as any witch knew, a summoning spell faded over time, if left inactive…It seemed her accidental transport spell was created much the same way. In the blink of an eye, she found herself back in her apartment. Her normal-sized apartment, thank the goddess, and she smiled brightly at the Rob Lowe notebook open at her feet.
"Nope—that wasn't weird at all," she muttered. She took a deep breath. "Time to save my favorite Xander."
And she turned on her toes, her wings sweeping her incense ashes into the air as she moved. Yeah, she'd have to get rid of those, too. Eventually.