Deus Ex Machina
Summary: After Buffy kills Angelus, what if instead of running from somewhere she was running to someone?
Pairings: Buffy/Draco and a little Ron/Hermione
HP takes place just after Book 5 and Buffy is after Becoming Part 2
Disclaimer: I don’t own anything! I wish I could have Tom Felton!
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Chapter One: Escape
Buffy spent her days as ‘Anne’ in a miserable blur. She had slowly gotten over the pain of Angel’s death by pretending it had never happened, by acting like she’d never been a slayer at all; which was easy with no one from Sunnydale around to remind her. It had been months since she left, and with no word from Willow, Xander, or Giles, she was sure they’d given up hope of ever finding her if they’d even tried at all. She wouldn’t have blamed them if they’d wanted to forget she’d ever been part of their lives.
She only hoped that Giles would be okay; she’d briefly seen what torture Angelus had inflicted on him. That was another reason that she been able to cope with having lost Angel – she’d seen the monster that he’d held within, seen what he did to Jenny and to Giles; and even if she hadn’t had to kill him, Buffy didn’t think she could have forgiven him.
One day, a curious man entered the café. It wasn’t what he looked like that first drew her attention to him, though his luminous blonde hair was an eye-catcher, for he was dressed like any business man would be. It was the energy that hummed all around him, it nearly over-powered her senses. He had a malign trait about him as well. When she’d stumbled slightly at his entrance, she’d seen his eyes flash with glee.
“My name is Anne and I’ll be your waitress today. Can I start you out with something to drink?”
“Some coffee if I could – no sugar, no cream – and a blueberry scone please,” the man replied without looking at the menu she’d handed him.
Buffy hurried off to get his order and then deliver it back to him. Her suspicions about who he was had dimmed to a mere fascination with his energy. He hadn’t done anything to warrant her worry, just eating and drinking like every other patron. She supposed he could be like Giles, in the way that he had a great deal of harmful power but merely possessed it and did not use it.
When he finished, she came to take his plate away and asked if there was anything else she could get him.
“Just the check if you would, Buffy.”
She nodded and turned back toward the kitchen. It only took a moment for his words to register in her head and she had to calm herself down to seem as if she hadn’t. Buffy walked into the kitchen and right out the back door, ignoring the screaming cooks and other waiters. The minute she felt fresh air on her face, she broke into a run and headed for the closest payphone. She booked the next flight out of LAX with the money she’d earned from the café then hurried home to pack, all the while watching for luminous white hair.
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Meanwhile, at number 12 Grimmauld Place ….
The Order of Phoenix was in the middle of a meeting about what to do with Harry Potter.
“He’s deeply troubled by Sirius’ death,” murmured Albus.
“I think we all are,” admitted Remus.
Snape thankfully chose not to remark about his feelings on the subject, for even if Black and he had never seen eye to eye it didn’t mean that he wanted the poor man dead.
“Did he refuse to go to the Dursley’s?” Tonks asked.
“Quite the opposite actually, he’s become rather docile. I think he’s stopped caring about anything really. Losing Cedric was painful for him but losing Sirius I fear has done him in,” Albus confided.
“That poor dear! I worry for him like he was my own,” Molly gushed.
“Now that school in back in session, I’m sure Hermione and Ron will keep him busy…” Arthur concluded.
“Not if they’re too busy with each other,” Snape broke in. “Granger’s grades are slipping. She’s spending too much time with your son!” he spat.
“What’s that supposed to mean?” Arthur bellowed, knocking his chair out from behind him as he stood. Snape too stood knocking his chair away.
“I believe that we were here to discuss Harry, not to start fights. Arthur, Severus, if you’d take your seats…” directed Albus.
The two men, properly chastised, started to realign their seats when a knock came at the door. Every member froze, for everyone that was in the order was already in house. Remus and Snape took point and slowly started for the door, wands raised, ready to fight. The pounding became more insistent and so Mad-Eye joined the duo headed for the door.
Remus was the first to arrive at said door and so moved to open it, Snape behind him to cover and Mad-Eye on his right to face the intruder. As soon as the lock fell out of place and gust of wind flew past them and into the house. The Three waited in nervous silence for something to happen not noticing the gasps behind them. When nothing and no one came into sight, Remus closed the door and turned to question Albus only to find him with his hands full.
There, with pale arms wrapped tightly around the Headmaster of Hogwarts was a tiny blonde haired girl. While everyone else looked on in incredulity and amazement, Dumbledore simply ran his hand through the young girl’s hair. Just when everyone had started to calm down, she said something to Albus that sent them into an instant uproar.
“Daddy, I need help.”
Chapter Two: Getting Acquainted
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“Daddy, I need help.” The words hung strangely in the air. The entire room was silent save for the slight hitch in Buffy’s breathing as she tried to calm herself down. She honestly hadn’t noticed any other people in room until they gasped. She had been so intent on getting away from the cagey man in the café she hadn’t noticed much of anything really.
“What?!?” the order seemed to scream in unison. Remus seemed most taken aback by the news because in all the time he’d known Dumbledore he was certain they’d formed a deep enough friendship that Albus would have told him of something of this magnitude.
“What happened, my dear? Where is Joyce?” Dumbledore appeared unflappable in the face of such a surprise and immediately wanted to know what was bothering his daughter.
“She kicked me out! I refuse to go back there and be treated like that again! Who does she think she is! She’s not even my mother!” Buffy was so angry at Joyce for treating her as such and so, in reliving those final moments between the two of them, she missed her father’s wince.
“Now Buffy, Joyce is a good woman. She agreed to take you in after we felt it was too dangerous for you to stay here. You know with what happened to your mother… it was impossible for me to protect you on my own.”
“Protect me! She and Hank locked me away Daddy. They put me in an asylum! I was so scared there Daddy… and then I had to lie so that they would let me out. Hank left us and so Joyce thought it best to send us right into La Boca Del Infierno where I died and then had to go and kill my boyfriend only to be expelled and kicked out of my own home. So then I head out to LA and get a crappy job in a dirty café and have this totally-freaky-blonde-haired-dude come after me…” and here is where she ended her Willow-like babble.
The rest of the order had been in a continuous state of disbelief for her entire tale… Asylum? Boca Del Infierno? Died? Killed her boyfriend? But strangely it was Snape who found his voice first.
“This blonde man, what do you remember about him?” he pried.
“I don’t know… he had that power buzz that you all do. He seemed really nice for a while, almost posh manners like he was well-bred, you know? And, and he had something face.”
“He had what face?” Arthur had to ask – maybe it was some muggle term he didn’t know.
“She means he had a purposeful look,” Albus supplied knowing his daughters odd way of speech. He already had an idea of who the man was and by the look on Severus’ face so did he.
“Malfoy!” Snape jeered.
“Malfoy… Daddy isn’t he the one who keeps trying to get you fired?”
“Yes, my dear. Now I think you’ve had quite a bit of excitement for one day, you should rest. I should have someone take you up to a room…”
“I want him to take me,” Buffy announced as she pointed to Lupin.
Remus looked as puzzled as everyone else felt. ‘Why would she pick me? She doesn’t even know me…’ he wondered.
“My dear, are you sure you don’t want Molly to take you? I’m sure she’d love the chance to hover and see to your comfort.”
“Yes, Daddy, I’m sure.”
“Remus, would you mind terribly…”
“Not at all Albus, I shall enjoy this chance to acquaint myself with your daughter.”
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On the stairway up to the rooms, Remus still pondered about this girl, Buffy, and all the excitement she brought. The girl in question was following him slowly, the adrenaline having worn off the minute her father took control.
“Have you come to England often, Buffy?” Remus asked, hoping to learn more about her. “Buffy…” when she still had not given him an answer, Remus turned to find her stopped three stairs down. She was staring at him with a little too much enjoyment for his taste.
“Do they know you’re a lycan?”
“Some of them know. How did you? Did your father tell you?”
“No. You are unmistakable. I can see the resemblances between you and Oz already. I wonder if all of you are that way, or if it’s just you two.”
“I don’t understand what you are saying Buffy…”
“I get that a lot more than you would think.”
“Who is Oz?”
“Another lycan; I don’t know him too well but I’d like to think I can read him well enough.”
“Maybe we should just get you off to bed…” he volunteered uneasily. If she could tell he was a werewolf… could others?
“Sure,” Buffy sighed and once again began following him. Silence was not something she was used to, even though she’d been in hiding for the last few months. That was a different silence – there she just had no one to talk to, here no one knew what to say.
“Who do you think was most surprised by my visit?” she asked gleefully. Buffy wanted to know little things about these people. She knew most of there names well enough, even if she did butcher them, because her father talked about them often but she didn’t know the intricacies that made them up. The slayer wanted to know who was most skittish and who could be trusted but she couldn’t ask such questions and get straight answers and so she decided to try Giles round-about method of questioning.
“Snape I suppose,” Remus sighed. ‘Hadn’t the girl been exhausted mere moments ago? Where did she get her energy?’ “He hates not knowing things and the fact that Lucius was involved probably irritates him greatly.”
“Tell me more about him…”
“Why do you want to know about him Buffy? I can tell you he’s not the most welcoming person.”
“He’s probably just uncomfortable around other people and hides it behind a mask of bored annoyance…” Buffy thought Cordelia was like that in some ways.
“Yes, I suppose that could be it. He was terrorized quite a bit in his days at Hogwarts. You wanted to know about him? He’s the potions professor and Slytherin house-master. He demands perfection. He was once a death-eater but now helps out Dumble… your father.” He wondered if he should have added that last part, but seeing as she was Dumbledore’s daughter he didn’t think it too unwise.
Snape sounded like a grumpy Giles, and to that affect, Buffy decided that she would make him become her new best friend!
Chapter 3 - Q and A
Buffy spent the night thinking about all that had happened. She couldn’t believe that she’d been scared of one man – but it wasn’t him that frightened her per say. He had an aura of death and darkness around him. She left Sunnydale to get far away from her life as a slayer, not to possibly encounter something worse. She’d also had a feeling that the blonde man had something to do with You – Know – Who and Snape’s reaction had proved it.
She was glad to be back with her father, whom she’d never gotten to spend much time with before, and glad to be away from Joyce.
“You walk out of this house, don’t even think about coming back!”
She knew that Joyce wasn’t her real mother, but she had been her only one, and the betrayal had hurt deeply.
When she woke in the morning she decided that she had best try to fit in with the others. They would be around often on Order business; she wanted to help, but if she were to upset them, she may be turned away.
Most everyone had left by the time she made it to the kitchen. Only Molly and Remus were in house and Buffy quickly felt at ease with both.
“Good morning dear,” Molly greeted.
“Hello…” Buffy hesitated and grinned sheepishly. “I’m sorry I don’t remember your name. I’m really bad with them.”
“Good morning, then, Molly, Remus. I was wondering… do either of you have time to take me to Diagon Alley today?”
“I do,” Remus volunteered. If Dumbledore saw fit that he and Buffy should get to know one another, far be it for him to avoid it. Besides he wanted to hear more about the other lycan. “What do you need there?”
“Some cloaks and a wand.”
Here Molly exclaimed, “A wand! Why don’t you already have one? Did someone break it?”
“No, nothing like that. My dad just didn’t want me to have one on the hellmouth. We weren’t sure how it would react.”
The other two exchanged a look at the word ‘hellmouth’ but kept silent none the less.
“We’ll go when you’re ready then,” Remus suggested.
They took a portkey because Buffy still wasn’t comfortable with walking into fire. They went to Madam Malkins first and, while Buffy was being fitted, Remus finally found the opportunity to talk about the other werewolf.
“What is he like?”
“I told you I didn’t know him that well. He’s quiet and plays the guitar. I guess music really does calm the savage beast huh? I’m pretty sure that he’s worse off than you though; I mean that he has no control and no magic to help.”
The news wasn’t what Remus was hoping for. He’d been hoping that the boy had mastered it somewhat and that he would share such secrets with his magically counterpart.
“Tell me Remus,” Buffy implored, “what do you think of Harry?”
“I thought you’d have known this. He’s famous for defeating Voldemort when…”
“That’s not what I asked. What do you think of him?”
“Well, Dumbledore is quite fond of him. Harry always seems to get out of trouble with your father.”
“Remus, I know how my father feels. I hear about Harry quite often. What do you think of him?”
“He’s a young boy with the world on his shoulders. I think that he is doing remarkably well. I admire him, I guess, for doing all that he has done even excluding his infant miracle. He reminds me of James, and so, I suppose I like him a great deal more than the other students.”
“Yes, a lot of people seem to feel that way – especially my father.” Under her breath she whispered, “He doesn’t even think the same things about me.”
Once her measurements were done, Remus suggested they go to the Leaky Cauldron before heading to Ollivander’s. Buffy couldn’t see a reason not to and so they went. While Remus went to order, Buffy wandered a bit looking for a good table. Not paying attention, she ran into someone, and they both tumbled to the floor.
“Oh God, I’m sorry,” she started.
The boy simply waved his hand, shaking off the apology as unnecessary.
“I just can’t seem to get a break recently,” he muttered.
Just as Buffy was about to question his last remark, Remus rounded the corner and stopped dead.
“Draco Malfoy… what are you doing here?"
Chapter 4: Patience Is a Virtue
“What I’m doing here is none of your business,” Draco snarled. He sent a glare at Remus and attempted to storm past Buffy and out the door.
Attempted was the key word. Buffy caught his arm and held it steadfast. She slowly turned to him, her nose wrinkling, and calmly said “You’re bleeding.”
Twin gasps and incredulous stares came from the two men surrounding her. Remus shocked by her audacity; Draco by her knowledge of a wound he knew he’d dressed properly and hidden well. Buffy tilted her head slightly, giving the blonde a fierce once over looking for the signs of blood she knew she smelled. When she caught his eyes she paused far longer than she normally would have: there was just something about him.
“You seem… familiar,” she settled on at last and finally released the arm Draco had long ago given up trying to free.
Draco was at a loss to how this strange American could possibly think they knew each other at all. Remus however had no such confusion.
“Buffy, the man from the café, this is his son,” Remus explained hesitantly. He had no idea who to watch out for. Did Draco share in his father’s goal? Did Buffy still hold enough fear to take it out on the young Slytherin?
“So you’ve met my father?” Draco had no idea what the Death-Eater could possibly want in this slip of a girl and at the moment he didn’t really care. He needed to rest. He needed to find some place safe. Mostly he just needed to get away from anything that involved Potter and that included the werewolf standing not five feet from him.
“Briefly, I didn’t much care for him,” was Buffy’s only reply.
“Yeah, well, what can I say? Dear old dad isn’t all that lovable. Do me a favor will you? If you see him again, tell him if he wants me dead, he should send a better wizard next time.”
Remus, while surprised, took in everything Malfoy said in hopes of relating it to Dumbledore later. This could just be the break they had been waiting for. Buffy, on the other hand, seemed unruffled with the assassination attempt admission.
“Remus, tell my father I won’t be home tonight. I’ll be staying upstairs with… what was your name again?” Head turning from one man to another, Buffy waited for an answer. She was not in a patient mood right now. She wasn’t looking forward to staying the night in Diagon Alley but she was sure not even her father would let her bring the blonde creep’s son back to the Order house.
“Draco, I’m Draco.”
“I’m Buffy. We need to get you in a bed and checked out. How can you still be bleeding? Didn’t you take a potion? A spell? Anything?”
“I was in a hurry at the time. I was more involved with just getting away.”
“Never mind, I’ll treat you myself. Lord knows I have enough practice healing wounds by now.”
Remus had stood by silently during the conversation, hoping that he was just imagining what he was hearing.
The lycan tried to be the voice of reason, “Buffy, I don’t think…”
“I don’t care Remus!” she snapped and then seemed to calm herself in seconds. “I’m sorry. Please just tell my father I won’t be home tonight and not to worry. Can you do that for me please?”
“Of course, but Buffy…”
“Goodbye Remus. Come by tomorrow and we’ll finish shopping all right?” Not waiting for an answer, Buffy pulled Draco along with her over to Tom to ask about a room. They soon disappeared out of sight and Remus was left standing with only a dumbstruck look on his face.
He’d known the girl a day and already he’d lost Dumbledore’s daughter! The werewolf hoped for his own sake that she was prone to going off on her own and that the headmaster was well aware of this fact. Maybe then he wouldn’t be in so much trouble. Why did he suddenly feel like a teenager again, walking with his head down up the spiraling staircase to talk over yet another transgression of the Marauders? And to think that he had once thought James Potter was a handful! No wonder Dumbledore seemed to have the patience of a saint, or at least Remus hoped he did.
Chapter Five: The Games We Play
When Remus arrived back the next day, he had Dumbledore in toe. Albus knew his daughter could be forceful and commanding but he’d never seen the air of authority that Remus had described. The headmaster supposed that was the toll of not being around his daughter enough while she grew up. It had hurt to practically give her away. Ninety percent of the communication they shared was via owl.
So Dumbledore was anxious to see Buffy but he was also there to check on young Malfoy. The boy was under his charge during the school year after all and he felt it was his duty to look after him.
Buffy was already downstairs by the time they arrived. She was talking enthusiastically with Tom about the dangers of serving beer in a place where magic was as common as a hiccup. The poor bartender didn’t seem to know what to say to the girl in response to tales of cavemen and fires. When he spotted Dumbledore, his shoulders sagged in relief and he pointed out their location to the young blonde.
She smiled and led the two gentlemen back on the street. She’s been cooped up all night in the room watching over Draco and the lack of slaying left her jittering with energy.
“Buffy where is Draco?” her father questioned.
“He’s still not feeling well. I left him with strict orders not to leave the room. He was up half the night explaining everything to me and getting patched up. It was kind of nice. I haven’t been around someone my own age in a while,” Buffy enlightened with a smile and a shrug.
Albus was glad to see his daughter so happy but he was still worried about the Slytherin’s welfare.
“How is he really? Remus told me you seemed in a great hurry to get him off his feet.”
“He’s doing much better. He’d been hiding for a few days with no one to trust so he hadn’t taken any time to help himself. I know what that’s like,” here she paused and seemed to shake herself out of a memory. “At first he seemed reluctant to even let me see the wounds, but I guess he figured the whole ‘the enemy of my enemy is my friend’ policy was going to apply. His dad hurt him, his dad is after me - hence I am really the least of his worries.”
“Remus said you smelled blood. I’m curious to how you did that when someone of Remus’ …capabilities… didn’t smell a thing.”
“It’s something I did. I was researching spells with Wil… a friend…and I figured that smelling blood would come in handy. Some people never get the chance to scream so I don’t get to them fast enough. I figured if I could smell blood from across town I could find the baddies easier.”
Both men looked shocked at the revelation. Something of that magnitude should have been far above Buffy’s ability. Buffy simply smiled and continued to walk.
“Buffy,” Remus sputtered, “how on Earth did you accomplish that without a wand?”
“I studied Wicca and other techniques instead of doing my homework. What’s the point of doing homework for a class I was going to have to skip to save the world anyway? I just decided it was more practical to find ways to better protect myself. Magic on the Hellmouth is strange though. Nothing ever works perfectly. The blood thing, for example, makes being in hospitals unbearable. I had hoped that it would only work while I was slaying.”
“So you do wandless magic then?”
“Mostly. I had to learn how to channel all that power somehow. It itched under my skin. Being a witch and a slayer allows for a wide spectrum of attributes. It’s like double the magic sometimes.”
“Buffy I hate to bring it back up… but you were parleying information about Malfoy’s condition…” Sometimes Dumbledore could be a stickler for details. His daughter knew this better than anyone.
“He actually hurt himself. It’s quite funny actually, though I’m sure not to him. He was running away from the death-eaters his father sent and he slipped into a ravine of sorts. He nicked his side rather badly. It’s a superficial wound though; he should be fine by tomorrow.”
Dumbledore seemed satisfied with her diagnosis and so Buffy decided to let them in on the juicy gossip she’d learned the night before. You can take the girl out of the valley, but you can’t take the valley out of the girl.
“You’ll never guess who it was that found him there, in the ditch, and helped him to escape,” she giggled in excitement. It was so fun knowing things that others, especially her father, didn’t. Well it was fun until said father ruined it with his response.
“Severus told me how he’d heard Lucius’ plans and decided to join the group in order to save the boy.”
“Oh go on and take away all the surprise,” she grumbled. Then she had a devious thought and turned to Lupin. “See Remus, I told you Snape was a good guy. He’s working as a double agent to help save humankind.” When she saw the effect her words were having on the werewolf she nearly jumped for joy. He was getting antsy about hearing Snape’s good graces. If her father was going to spoil the guessing game she could always find her fun elsewhere. “He was like a white knight coming to the rescue; so very brave and heroic,” she even swooned as an added flourish.
“Yes well, shouldn’t we be getting you that wand?” Without waiting for a response Remus started for Ollivander’s.
Dumbledore waited until Lupin was out of hearing before he turned to the slayer. “You know you really shouldn’t tease him like that.”
“But he’s so easy to fluster; how could I not? Besides only half of what I said was for show. Severus really does seem like a decent guy and Draco sees him like a pseudo role model by the way he was talking.”
“Yes, I suppose Draco would. Did he tell you why his father had an attack planned?”
“Draco refused to join the death-eaters. He may hate Harry but not enough to sell his soul.”
“I always saw potential in him. I’ve just been waiting for him to show it.”
“Everyone has got to step out in their own time dad. It took me a long time to really embrace the whole slayer deal. I think he was trapped in a role that he’d been placed in at birth and has just now found the will to break free.”
“And when, my daughter, did you become so wise?” Dumbledore wrapped an arm around Buffy’s shoulder.
“Just recently.” The teen snuggled into the wizard’s robes more firmly, never wanting to let go.
Chapter Six: And Jill Came Tumbling After
When the trio arrived at Ollivander’s it seemed to be completely empty. Unfazed, Dumbledore walked in with a smile on his face that to Buffy seemed more like he was entering an old friend’s home than a highly frequented shop. All she could see was shelves upon shelves of boxes.
“Maybe we should come back another time?” she inquired. Albus simply shook his head and walked more fully into the shop.
Just as she was about to suggest leaving once again, Buffy heard a voice from her right.
“Dumbledore, to what do I owe this pleasure? I didn’t think I’d be seeing you for a few months yet.”
“This young lady,” he gestured to the blonde teen, “would like a wand.”
As quickly as a breath Buffy was confronted with magic measuring tape flying around her measuring things she felt couldn’t possibly have to relate to the wand. Ollivander himself was not far behind, circling the girl and scrutinizing every detail.
“So you just found out you’re a witch have you?” he queried.
Buffy looked to her two companions for any hint as of how to answer the question but Remus seemed as lost as she did and Dumbledore pretended not to notice her glance. “Sure,” she finally decided, “we’ll go with that.”
Ollivander was confused by her answer but chose not to pursue it. He simply headed back into the stacks, picking out boxes her thoughts might suit her. Even after his departure the tape continued to hover beside the girl and it was making her antsy. Several minutes later Ollivander returned with ten or twelve boxes by Buffy’s estimate. He handed her one. Immediately she could feel the wrongness of it. Nothing clicked with it in her hand. She shook her head and held it back out to him.
“Are you sure? You didn’t even give it a go,” but even as he said the words Ollivander reached out and took the wand back from her.
They went through box after box with the same results. Buffy never even flicked the wands before she turned them down. She was certain that if a wand was for her she’d feel it right away. Ollivander left and came back with ten more boxes. None proved to be the slayer’s. They continued this way for an hour. Just as Buffy was about to give up Dumbledore walked over and placed a comforting hand on her arm. From the very first wand she tried, he seemed to be a war with himself over something and it appeared that he had finally come to a decision.
“Ollivander if you would please get the box I left with you. I think it’s ready for a new owner now.” Though his voice was content the shade of his eyes was duller than Buffy had ever seen it.
Ollivander was shocked by the request and couldn’t quite form the sentences he needed. “Are you sure… I mean it was… and this girl she… why would she…that wand?”
“Yes my old friend. Please, if you would, bring it here.”
“What wand is he getting and why is he only getting it now?” Buffy was confused. If Albus thought this wand was right for her why hadn’t he brought that up an hour ago? The headmaster didn’t answer.
Ollivander came scurrying back to them with a box far different from the others. It had flowers carved into its edges, the wood was darker, richer, and even Ollivander himself held it with more regard. He held it out for Dumbledore even though he was unsure of the decision.
The wizard took it and looked at it lovingly for a moment before he turned to the blonde. He then opened the box and lifted the wand from inside. Buffy took the wand from him and instantly felt the connection flair. The room pulsed around her and she could feel the shift in the air. She turned toward Dumbledore with a questioning stare but smiled to let him know it was the correct wand for her. He smiled affectionately back.
“It was your mother’s.”
Buffy nearly dropped the wand in surprise. Her father rarely mentioned her mother; it pained him too much. Sometimes Buffy forgot the smell of her perfume or the sound of her voice, she had so few memories to work with. Now that she knew though, the wand did feel as comforting as being cuddled in her mother’s arms after a nightmare.
Ollivander stared at the girl. He had been so confused at why Dumbledore would give such a precious thing away to some random girl. It made much more sense now that he knew her to be the man’s daughter.
Buffy had forgotten Remus was even there until she heard him stumble onto a chair. As much as she felt like doing the same, Buffy needed to be close to Albus. He wrapped an arm around her much as he had earlier. Then with everyone staring at him to explain, the headmaster opened up.
“The night of the attack I had taken you with me to Hogwarts. You wanted to play with Fawkes as you so often did back then. I didn’t even know what had been done. She had no chance to run. Voldemort killed her quickly. He didn’t leave his mark above the house as he normally did. I walked in with you asleep in my arms to find her lying on the ground. I still do not believe he had any intent on her. He wanted to attack me, to hurt me, and that was one of the best ways to do it. After that I couldn’t chance you getting hurt Buffy. I couldn’t watch you all the time and I was afraid the minute I looked away you’d be gone. So I sent you to America so that you would be safe. There was a small ceremony. I sold the house. I gave Ollivander the wand to keep. I had no doubt that someday another wizard would need it. I had thought… I had hoped that it would be you.” He finished softly, looking down at the daughter who reminded him so much of the slain woman in his nightmares. His love for her swelled. No matter what had happened, this beautiful girl was still alive and that brought him hope.
Buffy tried to piece together everything he had told with her own memories. She remembered playing with Fawkes. It was the one and only time her father had taken her with him to Hogwarts. Thankfully she was spared the image of her mother’s corpse. She had been fast asleep long before they’re reached the house and hadn’t woken until the next morning. She remembered first meeting the Summers’. She remembered being three and missing her daddy after her first nightmare in America.
Remus now had the information he had been seeking for days. He remembered the time around when all of this would have been happening and things fell into place easily. Dumbledore had become so cheerful suddenly during his second year. The lycan guessed this was when Albus had met Buffy’s mother. Then, in his seventh year, the headmaster had withdrawn from everyone. He’d missed a few days and didn’t tell anyone where he’d gone. The funeral and the arrangements to send Buffy away had taken those days. Remus was saddened to think of how alone Dumbledore must have felt. He’d kept that part of his life a total secret. Not even The Order had known about Buffy.
Buffy looked down at the wand she clutched. “Jack and Jill raced up the hill…” a nursery rhyme her mother had quoted often. “… and Jill came tumbling after,” Buffy whispered.
Chapter Seven: Buffy, Draco, and Snape – oh my!
Draco grew anxious waiting for Buffy or whoever to come back to the room. She was very adamant when she told him to rest but Draco never took much stock in following the rules. He would be damned if Potter ended up being his escort to safety. It would be unacceptable for the Gryffindor to see him in this condition. While his injuries had improved with a good night’s rest, Draco was not at his best. The last thing he needed was mighty “St. Potter” to come rescue him.
The Slytherin slowly rolled out of bed, preparing to find a safe house on his own. Maybe he would contact Professor Snape. Severus had been unable to do anything helpful other than cause a distraction while Malfoy ran away. Sometimes his double status kept him from doing a fair share of good. Now though, the potions professor would be back at Hogwarts or at least somewhere he could store Draco away in secrecy. Just as he was fixing his cloak the door behind him opened.
“And where do you think YOU are going?” Buffy demanded.
“Out,” he answered shortly.
“Yes, because that is something everyone who’s hiding should do – move into the open.” Buffy sighed. “Never mind, I was sent here to get you ready to go anyway. Give me a few minutes and we’ll leave.”
“You’re taking me somewhere?”
“Remus and Dumbledore have already gone ahead. They had things to discuss.” It was vague but mostly true. “I’m taking you to the Order house.”
“Does anyone know you’re doing this? I mean, I’m not the most well liked candidate for dropping in on the Order of Phoenix.”
“Just trust me would you?” Her hands were on her hips and she was getting aggravated with all these questions. They had to leave here as soon as possible and he wasn’t helping.
Draco just continued to stare at her. Buffy had only revealed her slayer history to him the night before. Perhaps enlightening him to some of her contacts to Hogwarts would put him at ease.
“I’m in the Order.”
The shock on his face couldn’t have been more obvious.
“Ok so now do you think we can move? I for one do not want to stay in a vulnerable place for very long. Your father is not someone I want to see again in the near future and by now he’s got to be looking for you.”
Those words were all the motivation Draco needed. The two of them were on the street not moments later headed for the one place he never thought he’d see.
“How did you get in the Order? I thought you’d just arrived here a few days ago.” Draco couldn’t see how this girl could be useful. She killed demons and vampires for a living. She was strong, yes, but she didn’t kill creatures with souls.
“I know some people.” Buffy was used to thinking on her feet, “I mean you saw me with Remus just yesterday.”
“Have you seen Professor Snape?”
“Why would I have seen him?”
“He’s in the Order.” The words were dry. Draco was tired of the girl giving all his questions the run around.
“I assume right here is where I’m supposed to deny that. I should tell you that it was just random chance that Snape allowed you to escape. That’s what the death-eaters think anyway.” She stopped and he came to a halt beside her. “But I don’t think lying helps anyone and you’ll find out the truth soon enough. Besides, you seem to know already. Yes, he’s a double. Yes, he’s in the Order. Yes, I’ve seen him. In fact, I’m taking you right to him. I heard he’s worried about you.”
Draco’s eyes grew larger in shock before he caught himself.
“Yeah, I know. The news shocked me too,” Buffy giggled. “Here grab hold of this.” She held up a shoe that she had pulled out of her bag.
“Is it a portkey?”
“Yes, it will take us close.”
Draco grabbed an edge of the shoe. He soon found himself on a regular street facing several houses.
“So which one is it then?” He was surprised to find himself slightly excited to be able to finally see the Order of Phoenix and all it entailed.
Buffy pulled a scrap piece of paper from her pocket. “Read this.”
Confused, he did as he was told. The house appeared between two others, slowly pushing them apart to accommodate its size.
“Come on then. Try to be quiet although I doubt the painting will holler at you.”
She led him through the door and dropped her things. “I’ll get them later,” she shrugged. They continued on to the kitchen. Severus Snape was there sitting at the table. He looked up from his writing as they entered.
“One boy, mostly intact, as promised,” she sassed.
To Draco’s surprise Snape didn’t even bat an eyelash. He didn’t glare or yell. “Yes, thank you Buffy. You can go now,” the slight sneer with his words ruined his image of courtesy.
“What? And miss your shining personality – never.”
Draco couldn’t understand her need to aggravate the man. “Buffy, maybe you should go put those bags away now.”
“They’ll be fine,” the slayer smiled at him. Then she took a seat across from the potions master and smiled prettily at him. “Severus, have you seen Dumbledore?”
“He’s upstairs. I would prefer you refer to me as Professor Snape.”
“I can’t. We’re going to become so close in these next few months, and calling you Professor Snape would only delay that process.”
Both Slytherins looked confused now. Snape looked at Draco only to find the twin look of shock reflected back at him.
“Didn’t anyone tell you? I’ve decided to make you my authority on all things magical until school starts. Dumbledore wants me caught up enough to start with the sixth years, so we’ll be spending tons of time together I’m sure.”
Snape sputtered for a few moments, unable to comprehend how it had all happened. The girl was there three days and had already somehow taken charge and enchanted several followers within the Order.
Buffy smiled in victory. “You know what? I think I will go take those bags upstairs. I’ll leave you two to discuss matters.” She sauntered out of the room with a wink to Draco.
Severus looked at his student for two reasons. First, to make sure Draco’s wounds were properly dealt with. Second, he had to see if maybe he imagined his conversation with the Californian girl.
Draco sighed with a slight smile. “Yeah, she’s kind of like that.”
Chapter Eight: Lessons Taught
The next morning Buffy woke early, unused to and unable to sleep for long stretches of time. She slipped into the kitchen just as the sun was rising and contemplated sneaking out for some time alone when Snape appeared in the doorway behind her.
“Good you’re awake. Since I’ve had no luck convincing Dumbledore that this arrangement is in no way profitable, I plan to work you to the bone. You will be ready and waiting every morning at this hour to begin your lessons. If I’m going to catch you up we’re doing it the right way. There will be no skimping or glossing over the material,” Snape’s expression never changed throughout his entire speech, lucky because otherwise Buffy might have thought he was joking.
“That is the most I have ever heard you say. If I didn’t know better, I’d think you were excited to teach me,” she teased.
“Then it is a good thing you know better.” Buffy’s smirk fell a bit here. “Follow me,” Severus commanded and left without a backward look.
He spent the morning teaching her Potions. It was something he didn’t have to be completely alert for and a bit like her muggle Chemistry. He felt that History of Magic and Potions would be good transition classes to work her into the magical world.
What he didn’t know was that Buffy could have just as easily done Transfiguration, Defense Against the Dark Arts, or Charms. In fact, Buffy felt that all the other courses would have been easier. History and Chemistry had not been the focus of her high school career. When she had shown up to class, she was bored out of her mind and totally distracted. With all the spells she, Giles, and Willow had done, the slayer felt she could grasp the concepts quite easily. For DADA, evil stays the same; only the names change. Buffy wasn’t going to speak out about it though for several reasons. One, she really did need to work on her Potions and History more thoroughly. Two, she felt that Snape would refuse to teach her should she question his judgment this early on. Three, it was fun to watch the little vein in his forehead swell every time her cauldron blew due to her incorrectly following his instructions.
By midday, Buffy had grown tired of messing things up purposely and had begun to make real headway into her studies. Snape found that she was progressing faster than he expected and had to repress a growing fondness for her. The girl asked intelligent questions, found reasonable links to her other courses of study, and had no fear of his watching over her shoulder. She was almost an ideal pupil save her incessant need to make some sarcastic or jaunty remark.
After she completed another nearly perfect potion, Snape allowed Buffy a break for some food. He decided that they would start into history when lunch was over. Unlike earlier, the kitchen was brimming with people now. It was a funny site to see Draco sit so stiffly between Remus and Tonks. Apparently he wasn’t quiet comfortable yet surrounded by Aurors and professors. He smiled slightly at her entrance but then quickly fell into a disinterested mask when he saw Snape behind her.
“How are your lessons going Buffy?” Remus asked.
“They’re going pretty well. I haven’t blown anything up in hours,” the blonde giggled and slid into a chair across from him.
“I bet you’re excited to start doing spells. You are a natural I’m sure.”
“A natural because Dumbledore is her father you mean?” Snape mocked.
“No, a natural because she already does wandless magic!” Remus rose to her defense, speaking before actually thinking it through.
A silence permeated the kitchen as most of its occupants stared in shocked fascination at the petite blonde slayer in their midst. Dumbledore and Remus had agreed to keep that little piece of information about Buffy to themselves for the time being. It was very rare trait indeed that a witch or wizard could do magic without a wand, and never in one so young.
“So…Professor Snape I think that it’s time to get back to my studies right?” Buffy was in no mood to explain about her life and her abilities to a room full of people. She felt like that old nightmare where you walk into school only to notice you’re naked. She didn’t want to be the female Harry Potter. The boy got more scrutiny than any Hollywood star. In Sunnydale if she did something extraordinary or something strange went down the town ignored it. She didn’t think she’d be so lucky here.
Surprisingly enough Snape played along with her and hustled her out of the kitchen threatening the others not to interrupt his teaching. “Distractions only lead to disasters,” were his last grumbled words on his way out.
Once they were ensconced in a room again, Snape reverted to a less than forgiving professor. “Why didn’t you tell me you’ve been performing magic?”
“It hadn’t come up yet?”
The Slytherin house-master merely growled. “There are laws!”
“Those don’t apply to me!” She shouted over him. “You’ve wanted to teach DADA for so long I’m sure you’ve come across The Slayer. Well that’s me – The Chosen One. It must be a thrill for you being surrounded by two kids you think are positively annoying but are the only ones who can save the world.”
The anger had drained out of Severus’ face, replaced by a soft look of near pity. The Slayer was a legend that had fascinated him endlessly in his youth. Even now, the tales of young women fighting to their deaths pulled at a side of him that people seldom see. He’d lived a hard life and closed his emotions off to keep his soul intact. It was a rare occasion that he let something slip through the walls he’d put in place.
“How long?” He whispered.
Buffy didn’t even try to fake misunderstanding. “Three years.”
Then Severus Snape did something he hadn’t done in more than a decade. He squeezed the girl’s shoulder in an attempt of comfort.
Chapter Nine: Common Ground Softens Tensions
Buffy lessons with Snape progressed throughout the next three weeks. He worked her tirelessly but she found the time worthwhile. She picked up the concepts more quickly than she thought she would and it was nice to be proficient in something other than death. Snape had warmed to her as well as he could. He didn’t scold her as often or mock her quite as strongly when she happened to make a mistake. In fact, Buffy almost allowed herself to believe that he didn’t mind her presence entirely as much as the others.
The one person Snape allowed any public polite acknowledgment was Draco. He truly did seem to want to take the boy under his wing but didn’t feel capable enough to know how. Buffy had no such qualms. She and Draco could often be found tucked away in a corner talking about their families and extreme adventures they had taken part in. Snape could be found close by, looming Buffy called it, listening to the tales and storing information away in his head for future reference. He was shocked to hear some of the tails Draco told about his father, a man Severus thought he knew well enough. In his mind, Severus swore that when the death-eaters were finally taken down he would make sure Lucius received the harshest punishment possible. The stories Buffy told about all the creatures and monsters she faced bought his interest in Defense of the Dark Arts back to the surface. The two platinum blondes made quite the picture of heavenly angels if not for the shadowed look in their eyes.
Dumbledore spent less time with his daughter than Buffy would have liked. She understood the pressures he was under with You-Know-Who and the various dark happenings going on near Hogwarts. If anyone understood the responsibility being the protector entailed, it was the slayer. It stung that whenever Dumbledore was around he seemed to always been accompanied by one Harry Potter. Dumbledore seemed to think that she and the-boy-who-lived would become instant companions. They were both ‘chosen’ in a way and literally had the weight of the world on their respective shoulders. Her father did not like the amount of time she spent with Draco Malfoy. While he believed in the ability to change and found the boy’s reaction to his father’s command admirable, he still felt Harry would provide better understanding and friendship. Buffy didn’t see it that way at all. She felt a much stronger kinship with the Slytherin who lived and breathed darkness for several years like herself than with Harry who had come in contact with it but never absorbed it into himself.
Snape encouraged Buffy’s interest in his star pupil even against Dumbledore’s wishes. Harry had Mr. Weasley and Ms. Granger to stand behind him and discourage others from going after him. Draco had not had close friends, only allies among the Slytherins, and with the rebellion from his father he would no longer have those. The boy would be a sitting duck among his classmates who would know of his mutiny against Lord Voldemort. Having Buffy on his side would keep Malfoy relatively safe.
“…and there was a time where Xander was under the spell of a She-mantis…” Buffy giggled. Draco sat at her side in the kitchen. They were taking advantage of a rare break from Snape’s teaching. The Potion’s professor had been sent on a mission to spy on death-eater dealings.
“Buffy, dear, how are you?” Dumbledore strode into the room, Harry not far behind.
“I’m fine. I was just telling Draco about my first year in Sunnydale.” Dumbledore kissed the crown of her head as he passed. He nodded to Draco in turn and asked about his health.
“I’m doing well, Professor.”
“Buffy if you would accompany Harry to Diagon Alley, he needs to buy supplies and I’m afraid the others are busy with Order business.” Buffy knew it was more a command than a question. Albus was nothing but polite but the expression on his face booked no argument.
“Of course,” She answered. “Hello, Harry. Are you getting supplies for Hogwarts this year?”
“Yes I am. I was hoping to go early to avoid certain people,” Harry smiled at her.
“Just let me grab a cloak and then we can go. Draco you should come as well. It would be silly to go twice for the same supplies.” Without waiting for a response she grabbed the Slytherin by the arm and pulled him up the stairs toward the room she currently occupied.
“Fine,” He remarked, “The Dursley’s avoid me mostly. I am glad to be back though. Hogwarts is more a home to me than Privet Drive.”
Draco and Buffy shared a look, speaking volumes, and both softened slightly toward the bespectacled wizard. They all had their own reasons for wanting to be as far away from their real homes as possible. Buffy danced ahead, moving in such a way that if not for her slayer reflexes she would have fallen. She had much too much energy without nightly slaying.
Harry and Draco shook their heads at her antics and followed slowly looking at store windows as they passed. The boys stared longingly at the newest brooms for sale. Buffy would never understand their love for Quidditch.
She asked for their opinion on everything at Madam Malkins, causing both boys to sigh more than once at her incessant questioning. They spent a whole day at the Alley in comfortable camaraderie, mostly due to Buffy acting up anytime gloom or animosity settled into the conversation.
“Yeah, well, don’t expect it to happen again. I only did it because you were there.” Draco’s cheeks were tinged red at being found out. He tried and failed at his signature, superior attitude. Buffy scoffed but placated him by nodding none-the-less. She pulled herself up by the railing and turned to head up the stairs. At the last second she turned to him and kissed him lightly on the cheek.