WARNING: This is a slash story, which means it contains male/male erotic content involving consenting adults. If you're not of legal age or are offended by such material, please go find something else to read.

TITLE: Supporting Role
BY: Ratwoman
EMAIL: Ratwoman@unicum.de
RATING: PG 13; implied m/m sex
PAIRING: Snape/Giles
CATEGORY: Crossover: Harry Potter/Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Possibly weird mixture of Humour and Drama.
SUMMARY: Giles is visited by an old friend.
DISCLAIMER: Severus Snape belongs to J.K.Rowling. Giles and the others belong to Joss Whedon.

It was one of these evenings Buffy and her friends spent in the Magic Box searching for something against Sunnydale's latest demon plague. Some quite nasty blue scaly demons with magical power were in Sunnydale nowadays; nothing they couldn't cope with, though. Well, at least if they found some spell Willow could use to support Buffy.

While they were sitting over the books (well, actually Buffy was more arguing with Giles), something totally unexpected happened: a greenish cloud came out of the chimney, and out of the cloud a tall, thin man in black robes stepped. Despite his quite long nose he could have been called good-looking if only he took a bit more care with his long black hair.

Buffy jumped up and looked surprised at the intruder, as did Giles. The intruder returned Giles's gaze and said: "Hello Ripper!"

"Sev!" Giles called and quickly walked over to the man from the chimney.

'Ok', Buffy thought, 'he's coming from the chimney, but he's not Santa Claus.' He didn't look nearly like Santa Claus anyway.

The second surprise of this evening was that Giles, as a British normally not being too overemotional, and the foreigner hugged one another.

"How's the hellmouth?" the intruder asked with an accent matching Giles's.

"Still closed." Giles replied. "What's going on in Britain?"

"Guess." The foreigner said.

Giles just rolled up his left sleeve and pointed at a strange tattoo on his underarm, depicting a skull with a serpent darting out of it's mouth like a tongue. Weird, Buffy had never noticed it before. "He's back." Giles said in a voice as if the end of the world was nigh.

"Err, excuse me" Xander threw in, who, like everyone else, looked quite confused. "Who is back? And who is that man?"

"Oh, sorry," Giles seemed just now to remember that he was not alone with the foreigner. "This is Professor Severus Snape, one of the greatest wizards of the world." Anyone else would have made some gesture to show that Giles was exaggerating. Not so Professor Snape. "Um," Giles continued, "Sev, that is Xander, Anya, Willow, Tara, and Buffy the Slayer."

"Interesting," Snape said looking at Buffy. "Nice to meet you."

"Yes, nice to meet you, too." Xander said. Snape totally ignored him.

"I've got about ten thousand questions," Willow said shyly. "First: who is back, second: where do you know each other from, third: what does it all mean...."

"A..allright." Giles interrupted, "I'll explain, as good as I can."

Snape started walking around in the shop and picking up magical tools.

"Be careful!" Anya called. "You could break them!"

If looks could kill Snape would have turned Anya into ashes now.

"Err," Giles said, "he knows what he's doing."

"Who is back?" Buffy asked. She really was curious about all this now.

"Vol.." Giles started, "the Dark Lord." he said then.

"The Master?" Buffy asked with a frown. But he was dead, she had smashed his bones to dust.

Giles took up his glasses and cleaned them. "The Master was a joke compared to the Dark Lord."

"I didn't think he was funny." Buffy said almost angrily. Damn, the Master had even killed her, it had been the first time she was dead!

"The Dark Lord is a black wizard." Giles said.

Xander shrugged his shoulders. "We fought worse." He said, referring to all the demons, master vampires, cyborgs and goddesses....

"No, you did not!" Giles shouted, uncharacteristically loud. Buffy noticed that her friends were just as surprised as she was. Professor Snape just smirked mockingly at the sudden outbreak.

"Fifteen years ago the Dark Lord was about to take over the world!" Giles still shouted. "You can't imagine what a hell you would live in now if he succeeded!"

The kids were silent for a moment. "But..." Willow said carefully, "someone must have stopped him?"

"Yes," Giles said quieter, looking absent, "totally unexpected, after he killed two great wizards, he was defeated by their new-born son."

"How?" Willow asked.

"No one knows how." Snape threw in. "His body was destroyed, but not his essence. Somehow he has survived over the last 15 years, and now he's come back to finish what he started."

"When you pointed at your tattoo, what did that mean?" Buffy asked.

"That's not a tattoo." Giles said uneasily.

When he made no attempt to explain, Buffy asked what it was then. Giles took off his classes and cleaned them, murmuring something about the Dark Mark.

The kids looked still uncomprehending when Snape threw in, with a sarcastic smile: "The Mark was given to his followers, the so-called Death Eaters, by the Dark Lord."

"What?" Buffy called.

"You mean?" Willow said. Xander and Tara were just staring at Giles in disbelief.

"It burns when he calls us." Snape said quietly.

Buffy stared at Giles. Was that Giles's dark past, following a black wizard who had been about to take over world domination? She had imagined something more harmless.

Giles jumped up and paced the room. "I was stupid and young!" he called. "I hadn't thought about all the consequences of becoming a Death-Eater!"

"Neither had I," said Snape calmly, observing Giles reaction with cold interest. "After the Lord's fall, I was acquitted, because over the last months I had worked as a spy for the good guys. Ripper was acquitted for not revealing me as a spy to the Lord when he had the chance to."

Giles looked sternly at Snape. "No one calls me Ripper nowadays."

"Rupert." Snape said with something resembling a smile.

"How are we going to fight the Dark Lord?" Buffy asked business-minded.

"You are not." Snape said. "Someone needs to protect the hell-mouth. Besides, you wouldn't be of any use, Young Lady!"

Buffy was pissed. That guy was just sooo arrogant. Before she could answer, an equally annoyed Willow answered with an important voice: "Oh, we anyway have a lot to do here! At the moment we have to fight Grappos Demons!"

"That's easy." Snape replied with a shrug. "Just confuse them with an Inania spell, then paralyze them with the Quietus spell, and then you can catch them with a Capio spell, or, if you want to kill them, use the Congelio- curse."

"Err, I was going to suggest that just before Severus arrived." Giles said.

Snape sighed. "And Dumbledore won't give me the Defence against the Dark Arts."

"Actually," Giles answered, "I can imagine why." Snape almost smiled.

"Defence against the Dark Arts?" Tara asked.

"Severus teaches potions at a school for witchcraft and wizardry in Britain." Giles explained.

"They have schools for witchcraft in Britain?" Willow asked with big eyes.

"They don't have schools for witchcraft here?" Snape asked back with equal surprise.

"Too bad," Giles said, looking at Tara and Willow, "I always thought these two girls would be the pride of Ravenclaw." At their blank faces he explained: "The school is divided in four houses, Ravenclaw is definitively the best."

"He's lying." Snape said, "Slytherin is best."

Giles smiled. "Or Gryffindor, or Hufflepuff, depending on which house you were in."

"What's the meaning of these houses?" Of course Tara's interest was awakened.

"Ravenclaw is for the intelligent students," Giles said proudly.

"Slytherin for the ambitious," Snape answered darkly.

"Hufflepuff for the hard-working," Giles continued.

"And Gryffindor for the stupid show-offs, who act before they think." Snape ended.

"Err, the official definition is the brave ones." Giles replied. Snape snorted. Becoming serious again, Giles asked: "Am I needed in Britain?"

"Not yet," Snape said, "but be prepared to come over when things are getting tough."

Snape sighed again. "It's going to be bad, Rip.. Rupert. Mr. Fudge, the old fool, refuses to believe that Voldemort..." Giles started, "...is back. Just ignores everything he does not like to see. Almost everyone of the free Death Eaters returned to the Lord, only Karkaroff is hiding somewhere."

Giles looked very concerned. "And you?"

"I resumed my old role as a spy." Snape said.

"But..." Giles stammered, "did he believe you?"

Snape looked nervously at the eagerly listening kids. "At first not." He said. "But when I, after one hour under the cruciatus-curse, still said I'm no spy, he decided to trust me... a bit."

Giles looked completely horrified, but Anya threw in eagerly. "I always thought the cruciatus-curse was great." Now it was Snape's turn to look horrified at her. "Not as good as the imperius-curse, that one was funnier, I could make men do the most disgusting things with it." she continued with enthusiasm. "But definitively better than the Adava Kedavra , because that one is just too quick."

Snape looked surprised from Anya to Giles: "You have a dark witch in your circle?"

Nervously taking off his classes, Giles answered: "She... she's not a witch, she's an ex-revenge-demon."

"But now I'm human and a useful member of society!" Anya said proudly.

Snape stared distrustfully at her. Finally he said: "Whatever."

"What is the cruciatus-curse?" Willow asked carefully.

Neither Giles nor his guest looked as if they were willing to answer, but Anya was about to helpfully reply, when the door opened and Spike came in.

"Good evening." The vampire said politely.

Snape looked questioningly at Giles.

"Err, that is Spike." Giles said without any enthusiasm.

Snape's eyes widened: "The Spike?" he asked. "William the Bloody?"

"Exactly!" Spike said proudly, glad that someone knew him.

Snape quickly crossed the room: "I read two books about you!"

"Oh, really?" the vampire asked delightedly.

"Tell me, how was that in Bulgaria...." Snape started.

Giles rolled his eyes. "This is going to take a while."


While Professor Snape and Spike were engaged in a deep conversation about vampirism, Giles told Buffy and her friends more about the times when the Dark Lord was at the height of his power: Normal people had not known about it, because the wizards always had tried to hide their powers. But during the years Giles was at Hogwarts, Voldemort's name became more and more a synonym for the Dark Arts. Unfortunately Giles had been an angry teenager then; mostly because it had frustrated him that though he was more intelligent than his classmates, his magical powers were never beyond average. He was fed up with always playing second fiddle. Somehow he had hoped to succeed at least in the Dark Arts. And where could he learn more about the Dark Arts than as a follower of the Dark Lord? So he had become a Death Eater.

When he realised how far they were going, and how far they expected him to go, it was too late to stop. Honestly, they would have killed him if he tried to get out, even though he was only a member of Voldemort's outer circle.

It was pure coincidence that one day he caught Snape, one of the Dark Lord's closest confidants, passing information over to the Lord's greatest enemy, Albus Dumbledore.

Actually, Snape wanted to kill Giles because he knew. Fortunately three other Death Eaters came the way, and Giles could have easily have revealed Snape as a spy and get Voldemort's favour in return. Instead he stayed silent, showing Snape that he, too, wanted out.

From now on he had reported to Snape anything he found out, but, since Snape was much higher in the Death Eaters hierarchy than he, it usually was not new information for the younger magician.

Nevertheless, his working together with Snape was what saved him from Azkaban after the Dark Lord's fall.

Afterwards Giles had joined the Watchers, determined to compensate for all the crimes he had committed as a Death Eater.


Snape and Spike were discussing whether Bram Stoker's novel was based on any facts, when Giles had finished his story and walked over to them.

"Sev," he said, "how long can you stay?"

"All night," Snape replied, looking intensively at Giles.

"Let's go to my place." Giles suggested. "My car is outside."

"You can drive?" Snape asked.

"My mother was a Muggle," Giles replied, "of course I can drive."

Snape briefly looked at Spike: "It was nice to meet you." he said and followed Giles out of the shop.

Willow smiled. "After so many years they will have a lot to talk about." she said.

With a raised eye-brow Spike replied: "I don't think talking is what they have in mind."

No one contradicted; Spike had the annoying habit of being almost always right.


Later Giles was sitting with the younger wizard on his couch, drinking wine. People who only knew Snape's arrogant, distant manners would be surprised to see him nestling against Giles's shoulder.

"An ex-demon and a vampire." Severus mused. "You put together quite an interesting crew."

"I didn't exactly put them together." Giles replied. "They just happened to join in." With a smile he added: "We even had a werewolf in our group not long ago. You would have liked him."

Severus frowned and shook his head. "I don't like werewolves. I almost got killed by one."

"Oh, I didn't know that." Giles said, thinking that he couldn't imagine that Severus could be killed by something so mundane like a werewolf.

"It's long ago." Severus said, "long before I became..." The wizard stopped, staring into his wine glass. Giles closed his eyes, but long repressed images of those fearful years came up. The murders on wizards, torturing of enemies, of casual passer-bies, of traitors or Death Eaters who simply had failed. He had wanted to forget all about it, but now...

"I'm afraid, Rupe." Severus suddenly said. Giles was surprised, not that Snape knew fear, but that he admitted it. Even more, he started crying on his shoulder.

"We all are, Sev." Giles said calmly. Of course, Severus had more reason than most of them. Giles didn't even want to think about what would happen if Snape was found out to be a spy.

Giles hugged him tightly and waited patiently until the younger man had let his grieves flow out with his tears.


Giles woke up rather early the next morning, startling up from nightmares. He had dreamed that You-Know-Who had come back... no he had not dreamt it, it had happened.

The librarian gazed at the sleeping wizard in his bed, smiling when he remembered Severus's difficulties in getting him out of his Muggle clothes. Pure blooded wizards like Snape often were extraordinarily helpless in anything concerning Muggle stuff. Maybe that was the reason why the pure- blooded had a tendency of hating Muggles, fearing what they did not know.

Giles spend a few minutes watching Severus sleeping. The wizard looked younger in his sleep, and less tense.

There was no passion between them, never had been. Sleeping with each other was more an old habit for them, leading back to the times when they had been in constant danger of being found out of being not so enthusiastic Death Eaters as they seemed. Of being spies, or traitors, depending on your point of view. Back then, sex was for them a way to release tension and to find solace.

Today, Severus had not really come here to tell him that the Dark Lord was back; Giles had already known from the Mark on his underarm. He also had not come to ask him whether he would come to Britain if he was needed; he knew him well enough to be sure he would. What Severus had been looking for here was some psychological support. Giles had done his best to give it to him.

Briefly after You-Know-Whose fall, Severus told Giles that he would probably have gone mad without him. From that moment on Giles simply could accept that he was not born to be number one. A supporting role was just as important.