Not So Much with the Heaven
Disclaimer: Buffy the Vampire Slayer and anything associated with it doesn’t belong to me, but to Joss Whedon. All things Harry Potter are property of J.K. Rowling. No copyright infringement is intended and no profit is being made (believe me!).
Author’s Note: There are a couple of questions that keep coming up in reviews. I have decided that I can answer them without giving too much away. However they do deal with some fairly significant aspects of the story, so those of you who don’t like SPOILERS had best look away.
1. Will this fit in canon/will Buffy go back to her own time? It is my intention that this story will end in such a way that it could fit in with Buffy canon. Therefore, Buffy will be returning to her own time at some point. If I write the tentatively planned sequel however, I will be ignoring anything after season seven of Buffy, including not only the comics but also Angel season five. It will most definitely not fit into the Harry Potter canon.
2. Is this a Buffy & James pairing/What about Lily? Yes, this is a Buffy/James story. As for Lily, well, wait and see.
Finally, I’d like to say thanks again to all of you who are reading my little tale here, and offer special thanks to those of you who leave reviews. They are very much appreciated.
She stood at the side of the grave, unseeing, shaking the hands of the mourners that seemed to pass like a line of vultures before her, come to pick at the bones of her heartbreak.
“I’m so sorry for your loss,” said a blurry form cloaked in black.
“Pamela was a lovely child, dear. I don’t know how you’re standing it,” a man said, much too loudly.
“There will be other babies,” a woman whispered wrapping her arms around Poppy’s thin, shaking frame in what she probably thought was a comforting manner.
That was the one that snapped her out of her reverie, made her start screaming, reaching out to try to claw the face of the person who had the gall to whisper that at her daughter’s graveside.
“How dare you? How dare you?” she shrieked, twisting in Julian’s arms. “My baby’s not even cold yet and you-and you-” But she couldn’t go on, and she leaned into her husband’s embrace, sobbing at last.
Later she realized the woman had been her sister and she cried all over again.
Poppy jerked awake, the afghan flying off her as she sat up. She had fallen asleep on the sofa again. She leapt up and crossed the room in three quick strides. She yanked open the bottom drawer of her desk. With a shaking hand she withdrew the scotch she kept hidden inside. She unscrewed the cap and, without bothering about a glass, swigged straight from the bottle.
Why was she having these nightmares? It had been years since she dreamed about her family; was one slip of a girl really enough to bring them back? She knew the answer though. Just any girl couldn’t have done it, even a girl as broken as Buffy had been. It was the hair. The hair that was the precise shade and texture as Pamela’s had been. It was like a knife to Poppy’s heart, even after all these years.
Poppy drank until her shaking subsided, and then placed the bottle back in the drawer. She closed it, and then leaned against it for a moment, drawing comfort from the solidity of the wood. She took a deep, fortifying breath and then, squaring her shoulders, she turned to go to bed.
“Oh, my God!”
“I’m sorry,” Buffy said, moving silently into the room, her newly acquired white cotton nightgown billowing around her “I didn’t mean to scare you. I heard noises and I just wanted to check on you. Um, are you okay?”
Poppy sank into the chair by her desk, her hand clutched to her chest as if to steady herself. “Yes, yes, I’m fine. I just had a nightmare is all.”
“Oh. And you’re okay now? Do you need anything?”
“No, I’m alright. Really. Go back to bed.”
Buffy turned away, although Poppy thought she did so rather reluctantly. As she slid quietly through the doorway, her hair caught in the candlelight, and Poppy choked with the sudden memories. That hair . . . .
“Wait!” she cried, and the girl turned. “Um, are your rooms alright?”
For the first time since Poppy had known her, a truly delighted smile crossed the girl’s face. “Oh yes,” she said, nodding enthusiastically. “They’re perfect.”
“Well, I’m glad the Headmaster decided to bunk you in my quarters then.”
“Yeah,” Buffy said, the smile fading as she yawned. “Well, goodnight. And look, if you need to, I can talk. I have some experience with nightmares.” She said the last part sadly, as if she had more knowledge about the subject than any girl should ever have to endure. And Poppy supposed that was the case.
“Thank you,” Poppy whispered as Buffy left.
Buffy tried to go back to sleep, but she couldn’t get the haunted look that had been in the nurse’s eyes as they talked out of her mind. What was there in this kind, gentle woman’s past to cause such pain?
Buffy shook her head. She didn’t have the time or energy to worry about someone else’s heartaches. Her own were bad enough at the moment.
“Why are my powers gone?” was the first thing she asked Dumbledore, almost before she even sat down.
“Well, you do jump right to the point, don’t you?” he’d said, chuckling at her. He placed the tips of his fingers together and surveyed her over the tops of his glasses, for a few moments before he spoke again. “Are you sure you would like Mr. Potter to remain in the room?”
“Yes,” she snapped. “Why are my powers gone?”
“You have a one track mind. Ah, the wonders of youth. Well, Ms. Summers, there are any number of possible explanations. You technically do not exist yet, so perhaps your powers do not either. Or perhaps, there already being one slayer at the time there cannot be another. I do not know. My best guess however is that it is a combination of these things and a side-effect of your journey through the portal.”
“The portal?” she asked, confused.
“Yes. You must understand, portal-lore is an extremely obscure branch of magic. Very few wizards have studied it, and none of those in-depth. It is generally accepted however that, because they possess such strong magic of their own, portals often have unpredictable effects on those who go through them. In this case, the portal that brought you here has stripped your powers.”
“So I’m not getting my powers back?”
“I don’t believe so. If you return to your own time at some point, I hazard a guess that the portal’s effects will reverse themselves, and your powers will return, but I can’t say for certain.”
“And will I be able to do that?”
Dumbledore sighed, and looked at her sadly. “Barring an act of God, I don’t believe so. We have a tool that allows us to travel short distances of time, but to travel so far into the future . . . no, it would not be wise.”
She looked down at her hands, and fought back tears. James reached over and placed his hand over hers and she clutched at it gratefully. “So I’m stuck here then.”
“I’m afraid so. Don’t misunderstand me, I will continue to explore the complexities of your situation, and should more information come to light, I shall certainly share it with you.” Dumbledore replied. “But rest assured, Ms. Summers, I will make your time with us as pleasant and easy as possible. And on that note, if you could just give this a wave.”
Buffy raised an eyebrow as he handed her what she assumed was his wand. He nodded at her and, pushing aside her skepticism, she gave it a flick. “Um, was something supposed to happen?”
He raised a hand to his forehead and massaged his temples. “No, I wasn’t expecting anything. This does make things more complicated though.” At her confused look he elaborated further. “Had you displayed magical abilities I would have offered you a place at the school and you would have been taught magic. After graduation you would have been able to make your way in the Wizarding World.”
“Oh,” she said quietly. “And you’re sure I can’t just live in the non-magical-”
“Muggle,” James interrupted.
She glared at him, but continued. “In the muggle world?”
“Oh yes, quite sure. You cannot rip the fabric of time as significantly as your arrival will have done without people noticing, and most of them will not have your best interests at heart. You would be most unsafe in the muggle world.”
“But surely I’d be safer?” she argued. “After all, who would think to search for a time-traveler among perfectly ordinary people?”
Dumbledore chuckled. “You do not understand, my dear. The magic from the portal is burned onto your skin. You reek of it. It will lessen in time, but it will always be there. You can never hide.”
James frowned. “If there’s magic on her skin, then why can’t she use it?”
“I don’t know, Mr. Potter. It may be that Ms. Summers never had the ability to access magic. Perhaps the magic is so ingrained in her skin that it will not allow itself to be channeled into a wand. I don’t think that’s a question we will ever be able to answer.”
“I’ve done magic before,” Buffy said. “A couple of Wicca spells.”
“Then it will be the second,” Dumbledore said.
Buffy sighed. “Well, what am I supposed to do then? If I’m not safe in the muggle world and can’t do magic to live in the Wizarding world, what’ll I do?”
“I don’t know. I’ll have to give that some thought, but rest assured, I will help you. In the meantime, I have arranged for you to have quarters in the Hospital Wing.”
Buffy snapped out of her reverie and looked around. They really were lovely rooms. On the opposite end of the hospital wing from the doors that opened into the school, there were living quarters meant to be used be the resident healer. There was a short, narrow hallway, with three doors opening off of the far side. The door in the middle opened into Madame Pomfrey’s office, a large room, filled with shelves of medicines, a small desk crammed into one of the corners. At the right end of the hall were Poppy’s quarters. Buffy’s were at the left end.
A heavy wooden door opened onto a small, cozy sitting room. The walls were painted a light, soothing blue and the floors were covered by plush carpets. There was a cushy sofa, and a couple of large overstuffed armchairs in front of the fireplace. The left wall was lined with bookshelves, filled to overflowing not only with books Buffy recognized from her own world, but also unfamiliar titles such as Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. On the back wall, a large picture window opened out onto the grounds. A window seat lay under it, spread with fluffy pillows. In the back right corner of the room, a spiral staircase ascended to the bedroom, where a massive four-poster with the softest mattress Buffy had ever felt was the centerpiece of the room. There was also a beautiful armoire and another window seat. A smaller, but no less luxurious version of the bathroom in the Hospital Wing opened off the bedroom.
Still, as nice as her rooms were, and as kind as everyone was being, Buffy couldn’t help but want to go home. Would she ever see her friends again? Her sister? Herself?