Dinner with the Staff
Disclaimer: Still don't own 'em
Reviews: Love 'em. Please review lots!
Pairings: Buffy/Severus, Hermione/Ron, Harry/OC
Learning to Live Chapter 3: Dinner!
Buffy followed Severus towards the Great Hall. His face had shown true shock when she had told him off just a few moments earlier. Surprisingly, Severus Snape, infamous Potions Master extraordinaire, seemed to be taking care to make sure that she could keep up. As she walked next to him, Buffy began to ask him questions, "Is potions like Muggle chemistry?"
"Though I loathe to compare such a fine art to the crude concoctions of Muggles, yes, there are some similarities that I cannot deny," Severus told her.
"Do all students take Potions?"
"Through their fifth year at least."
Buffy seemed to think for a few moments before asking, "Professor Snape, could you help me learn how Potions work? They seem to be a key part of a good Defense Against the Dark Arts curriculum and I think I need to know how they work."
"Potions is a very serious subject, Buffy, it would take up a great deal of time; time that is perhaps better spent on learning Charms and Transfiguration," Severus replied, surprised that someone just asked to be under his tutelage.
"Mr. Dumbledore said that such things will be of no concern for me once I learn to master the magic I have in me. Since I'm not actually a witch, my magic mojo apparently works differently. So, I figured I need to learn everything I can about that which I can relate to," the blond Slayer reasoned.
Snape was speechless. He could find no holes in her logic, nor did he want to. Finally, a DADA teacher who was not evil, dimwitted, arrogant, or a combination of the three had been employed. "I would me most pleased to help you, Buffy, but let's wait until you know what else you have to do before school starts to schedule anything," he found himself saying.
They had reached the Great Hall. "Thank you for your help, Professor Snape," Buffy gratefully told him.
Severus again found himself doing something completely out of character for him: he was smiling as he said, "You're very welcome, Buffy. Please, call Severus." And then he looked behind him. Apparently, Minerva and Poppy had come up behind them as they entered the Hall. Both were shocked at the courteousness and kindness the "greasy git" had just bestowed on the new teacher. "What are you looking at, Minerva, Poppy?" he hissed as he walked swiftly into the room.
Dumbledore was already seated at the table in the Hall. "Welcome, everyone. Here I want to introduce you to the newest member of our faculty, Buffy Summers!" he announced. "Miss Summers has come here from Boca del Inferno, California to teach our Defense Against the Dark Arts class with a returning faculty member, Remus Lupin. Please assist her in any way you can, she has been living in the Muggle word her entire life, so please try to help her understand your respective specialties."
A short little man popped up, waving his hand. Dumbledore nodded, and the man started, "I am Filius Flitwick, Charms teacher here. May I ask how you are qualified to teach such an important course in these times?"
Buffy responded, "Professor Flitwick, I am the Vampire Slayer. Apparently that means that I'm some sort of magical creature. Most of defense, no matter what you're up against, is physical. Physical fitness, agility, speed, and quick thinking. Four things that I have excelled in during the past eight years to keep me alive. Even now, I could move faster than any of you could fire a curse to hit me. That, along with strategy, will be my neck of the woods this year, and, according to the Headmaster, Remus will cover the magical part." Filius had started to blush and sat down. A silence had fallen over the whole room.
"Now, let's eat!" Dumbledore decided. The silence was broken as food appeared on everyone's plates. Buffy again only picked at her food, but Minerva and Dumbledore said nothing.
But Severus did. "Buffy, why don't you eat more?" he asked quietly.
Buffy looked down into her lap and mumbled, "Because I was trained not to."
"What!?" Severus cried, taken aback by her words.
Buffy leaned very near him and whispered in his ear, "For two and a half months, I was denied any food except the bare minimum to keep me alive. And that was raw flesh."
Surprised but suddenly understanding, Severus nodded and went back to his meal. All the teachers were stunned to see the normally evil man suddenly so reserved.
Several minutes later, Buffy leaned towards Dumbledore and asked, "I need to learn to do a few things before school starts. Flying, Potions, basic DADA theory in practice, stuff like that."
"Remus will help you with the DADA things, Buffy, beginning tomorrow, whenever you want to. Any one of our House Quidditch coaches could help with the flying, and Severus will help you with the Potions. It isn't often that someone actually asks to learn potions," Dumbledore replied happily.
Buffy clinked her goblet and asked to everyone in the Hall, "Would any one be willing to help lil ole me learn to ride a broom properly?"
Only two hands went up: Minerva and Severus. Filius didn't like being high above the ground and the rest weren't very good fliers. Dumbledore whispered something to Severus and he put his hand down reluctantly.
"So, Minerva, um, thanks," Buffy mumbled.
Minerva smiled and told her, "Remus wants to work with you in the morning. And Severus would probably prefer to work with you before lunch because he tends to have afternoon appointments. So why don't we meet after lunch?"
"I'd love to, but where do I go?"
"Ask Dobby to show you to the Quidditch pitch," Minerva told her.
Remus found Buffy as she was leaving. "Buffy, do you know where the DADA room is?" he asked.
Buffy shook her head and then asked, "Why is there a special DADA room?"
"It's equipped to contain any wayward curses, spells, or hexes within the room so the castle doesn't randomly explode. I must tell you, it's very useful when Gred and Forge Weasley decide to test their new products," Remus told her, with a hint of sad nostalgia. He was far more youthful than the rest of the professors, except for maybe Dumbledore.
Buffy smiled and laughed with them, "Do they own the building labeled as 'Future Home of Weasleys' Wizarding Wheezes?"
"Yes, that them. You'll have them, and their younger brother and sister this year. The entire Weasley family is quite possibly the nicest, most kind family in the English wizarding world. Quite large too, three older sons, though one's a git, the twins, and Ron and Ginny. Ron is Harry's best friend. The Weasleys have pretty much adopted Harry since Sirius died," Remus told her somewhat tearfully.
"Come on, Remus," Buffy beckoned, "Walk me to my room, with all the staircases moving, I get really confused." Remus lead her towards her room. After a few moments, she mentioned, "Sirius was your partner in crime, right?" Remus nodded. Buffy continued, "I lost a couple of close friends earlier this year too. I'm sorry for your loss."
Remus nodded and asked her, "Why did leave your home and come to a world that you don't understand?"
"There wasn't much left there except for one friend in a coma, my Watcher, and a shitload of bad memories," Buffy told him.
"Escaping your past?"
"Yeah. Haven't you ever tried to escape your curse? I mean, someday, everything you know is just too much. All I've ever had in California is pain and death. Don't you get tired of being a werewolf? I was sick of being the Slayer on the Hellmouth," Buffy ranted.
Remus laughed and agreed, "Yeah, I think we all reach that point. Wait, how did you know about my curse?"
"A former boyfriend of one of my friends was a werewolf. He left a couple of years back to learn to control his beast," Buffy explained, "I can just feel one now."
"How did he learn to control it?"
"I think he went to a Buddhist monastery. He had a quite a bit of success till he got pissed."
Remus looked excited and truly happy for the first time in months. "Could you tell me more about this person?"
"I'd love to, but he disappeared about a year ago. Giles is expecting him to come by and pick up the things that his ex-girlfriend left him in her will, so I can tell you when he visits my Watcher," Buffy told him, with tears in her eyes.
Remus saw the tears and quickly said, "I asked too much. We're at your room now. Why don't we just talk about everything tomorrow at breakfast?"
"Thanks, Remy. I'm fine, it's just still a sore subject," Buffy told him as she disappeared into her room after whispering a password to the portrait of Dracula.