Fallen With You
Disclaimer: Harry Potter belongs to J.K. Rowling. Buffy the Vampire Slayer belongs to Joss Whedon. I do not own anything. I am making no profit whatsoever in writing this story. This is an amateur attempt.
A/N: The time just seemed to fly by. This story is now finished and I want to thank all those who stuck by it. This chapter’s for you.
Oh yes, I have also borrowed some excerpts from an episode of Buffy. It should be fairly obvious which one.
Chapter Ten: Fallen With You.
“You haven’t said – you haven’t been saying much. How DO you feel about, you know, everything that’s happened?”
He stared out of the window for a moment, the view so familiar, then turned. “I’m not sure, really. I don’t know what to feel. It’s all so . . . bizarre.”
“That’s one way of putting it. I can’t even imagine what you’ve – what you’ve experienced.” Harry came to stand beside him, scratching a brow in a pensive sort of way. He, too, stared out of the kitchen window. Various Weasley’s and Weasley relations were still congregating in the garden, but Sirius had decided he needed some space. Bill and Fleur Weasley’s wedding had been like any other, except for the Death Eaters. Those hadn’t been expected. Or perhaps they had been. The Order members and Sirius (mostly Sirius) had taken care of them easily enough.
“What was it like, in that other place?” asked Harry. His green eyes were almost hidden behind locks of messy black hair and thick-rimmed glasses, and Sirius thought that a convenient disguise for hiding one’s emotions. His godson’s tone had been nonchalant, but Sirius knew better.
“Which place? I think I was in several.”
Harry licked his lip, looked down. “Buffy’s home,” he said softly.
“I met her family —”
“You told us that already.”
“What else do you want me to say?”
Harry bit his lip. “I dunno. Buffy told us about the Hellmouth. I guess I just thought . . . Did you have to fight?”
“You’re too tall,” Sirius muttered, glaring up at Harry and hoping to avoid the question. When Harry merely stared blandly at him, he sighed. “Yes. I fought demons. And vampires. And all manner of evil fiends from hell. Was there anything else?”
“No, but — and please don’t take this the wrong way — but you’ve changed. A lot. You’re not you anymore.”
“Er, he-llo?” said Sirius, spreading his arms wide. “I think anyone who isn’t blind can tell me that. NOT that I need to hear it. Again.”
“I don’t mean the girl thing, I mean mentally. You know, er, emotionally.” Harry threw his hands up. “I don’t know how to say it!”
“I know what you mean,” said Sirius.
They stood in the steadily dispersing quiet until Molly decided to enter the kitchen. “Oh,” she said, looking startled. “THERE you two are. Why don’t you go outside and have supper, I’ve just put it on the table. Harry I know how you love my treacle fudge. And Buffy, there’s a chocolate cake out there with your name on it.”
“In a minute, Molly,” said Sirius, adopting an America accent. “I just need to talk to Harry for a bit.”
“Never thought you’d pass up cake, dear, but that’s all right. I’ve just popped in for the kettle. It was my great-grandmother’s,” Molly continued, rummaging through the bottom cupboards beneath the sink. “I’d never thought to place an unbreakable charm on it, so I didn’t want to risk a summoning spell. I’ll remedy that soon enough. Goodness it’s dusty. Haven’t used it in years, I suppose.” Molly unearthed a beautiful, but indeed dusty, kettle. The rim was gold and silver and had runes around it, while the rest was transparent. “Lovely, isn’t it?”
Sirius and Harry murmured in the affirmative, watched as Molly banished the dust and, with a final hint for them to go outside and eat, strode out of the kitchen.
“Why don’t you want to tell anyone?” Harry asked as the kitchen door closed.
Sirius couldn’t believe Harry didn’t know. “Because it’s too weird! They’ll look at me all funny.”
“I don’t look at you funny,” said Harry. At Sirius’s narrowed look, he blushed and amended. “Do I? Please tell me I don’t.”
“Not as much as Remus at any rate,” Sirius was forced to admit. “Maybe I shouldn’t have told him.”
“What? That’s stupid, of course you should have. He’s your best friend.”
“Yes, but I know where he’s coming from,” Sirius sighed, leaning on the sill. Which, he thought resentfully, he could now do without straining his back because he was short enough to. “I mean, think of it this way: if Ron had suddenly been pushed through the veil, then came back in the body of the person who took his place, would you feel a bit confused? Baffled? Disbelieving?”
“I’d feel more than that,” Harry admitted reluctantly.
“But how is that any different to what *I* feel now? I may not have been your best friend but I was your fam — I was your godson. You were my only family.”
Hearing that, a searing heat filled his chest. Guilt. God, he was an utter bastard. Not once had he thought of Harry for a long length of time in the other dimension. All he’d thought about had been himself. He’d never thought how Harry would be coping, without him. “I’m sorry I left you alone.”
Harry gave a short, bitter laugh, so incongruous to how he was as a person that Sirius stared. “YOUR’RE sorry. Sirius, I got you KILLED! It was MY stupidity that got you killed. If I’d only listened to Hermione. If I’d only remembered about the mirror.” His gaze fell to his shoes. “I’m so sorry.”
He tried to curb a sniff, but didn’t quite make it.
Sirius moved, he moved so fast that he surprised himself, and grasped Harry, gently, by the shoulders. “Never. Say. That. Again. I would do it a thousand times over again if it meant that you lived. That you were healthy. D’you understand me.”
Harry looked down at him, brilliant green eyes wet with unshed tears. Then he frowned. “This is so odd. I know you’re not Buffy but . . .” His eyes widened, full of fear. “Merlin I’m so sorry. I know you don’t like to talk about it.”
“It’s all right.”
“It is if I say it is,” said Sirius, now getting impatient.
Harry jerked away from him. Paused. Then: “I miss her.”
“I only just got to know her, you know, in these last six months. I–I wasn’t very nice to her when we first met. I mean, I tried not to speak to her. I sort of couldn’t. All I kept thinking about was you, and why she fell out of the veil instead. Why couldn’t you have fallen out? She tried, you know, to get you out.” Harry picked at the splintered wood at the corner of the sill, staring into the garden.
“I know.” He had a new set of memories now, ones that had stayed with the body. Just like the first time. Bizzare didn’t even cover his life.
“She threw Bellatrix’s body in, but you didn’t come. And that’s because you weren’t there, isn’t it?”
Harry turned with his query and Sirius tried not to stare. He looked so grown up and Sirius had almost missed it. Almost. “Yes,” he managed to say around a suddenly tight throat. “Around that time I was probably crawling my way out of Buffy’s grave.”
There was a sudden pitched gasping noise, and Sirius realised that it had come from his godson, who hadn’t quite managed to stifle a sob.
“I shouldn’t have said that,” Sirius said quickly. *How much more stupid can I get?* “You shouldn’t have had to hear tha —”
“Stop it!” Harry yelled, fists clenching. “I’m glad you told me! I don’t want you treating me like a kid too! Not you.”
Pause. “All right.”
“I just . . .” Those green, green eyes stared, imploring. “I don’t know what to feel anymore, Sirius. I miss her, but then I see you, in her body, and I know it’s you, and that makes me . . .” Lids fell. And rose. “That makes me so happy. But then I realise she isn’t there, that she’s really gone, and that you’re you but you’re not you, and that makes me furious. For some stupid reason. I think I think it’s unfair. Like, I have you back, finally, but I can’t look at you without seeing YOU. I can never look at you again as you, and . . . I don’t know what to do. I’m confused.”
Sirius fought the gulp in his throat. “Wow.”
“Yeah. I can’t believe I said that either.” Harry fidgeted, looking anywhere but at Sirius. “Maybe, maybe if you told me how you came to be here . . . why haven’t you told me?! You told Professor Lupin and Dumbledore. Don’t I deserve to know?”
“Yes. You do.”
Harry looked stumped. “I thought you would have argued a bit more.”
“Well, you reminded me that you’re not a child anymore.” He crossed his arms. “It hurts to admit that, but there you go.”
“So will you tell me? Now?”
The wizard turned slayer plonked his bottom in the nearest chair and gestured for Harry to do the same. “Where should I start?”
“When you found out how you could cross over into our world again?” Harry suggested, eyes now eagre, though still slightly wet.
“Ah.” Sirius paused, considered. “You know, it isn’t like I stumbled on some big secret. It was actually quite boring.”
“We’d been researching for hours until Rupert finally found something. Then he took forever to work it all out and explain. The next day Willow performed the ritual, and here I am.”
Harry rolled his eyes. “Great job, Sirius. Now the longer version if you please.”
“All right, but like I said, it’s not very interesting.” He hadn’t wanted to think about the people he’d left behind in the other dimension. He hadn’t wanted to think about them for days. Ever since he’d got back. But he forced his mind to think now. He forced himself to remember . . .
*“If, indeed, it was Buffy that exchanged places with you, you will switch souls with her,” Rupert lectured, polishing his glasses. “If it wasn’t Buffy, then you will be doomed to live behind the veil until you find the motivation to cross over.” He had placed a hand on Sirius’s shoulder. “And I’m certain you shall, Sirius. You have a very strong will.”
“I’m pretty sure I don’t want to spend eternity wandering limbo. I’ll be fine.” Though he thought he didn’t sound too convincing.
“I’m sure.” Rupert’s gaze turned uncertain. “Of course there is still yet another possibility: If it wasn’t Buffy but someone else, then we shall have to deal with the repercussions. It will be that person’s soul that will enter the body you are currently residing in, and you will enter their body.”
“But if it’s evil —”
“We shall deal with that when it gets here.”
“Don’t let them trick you,” Sirius urged. “It could have been easy for me to do so. I had all of Buffy’s memories. I could even talk in an American accent if I wanted to. I chose not to because I didn’t want to deceive you, and I wanted to get back home if I could.”
“We know, and we’ll keep it in mind. I can read auras, don’t forget. Now, we just have to, er,” The watcher swung his hands about, gesturing to the ground before them, “rehearse your position.”
“You were serious about the coffin thing?!” Sirius blurted.
Rupert blinked. “We’re not going to bury you. Look, I-I realise it sounds morbid, Sirius, but we have to recreate exactly what happened that night. Down to the precise detail.”
“And you’re sure that doesn’t include burying me?”
“I’m positive. Now get to it.”
“I feel a bit ridiculous practising in the magic shop. And there isn’t even a coffin to lie in!”
“Weren’t you just complaining about having to —? Oh, never mind. Just do it. I’ll go and make tea.”
“Make me one too, would you?”
Rupert paused. Smiled sadly. “At times like these I remember you aren’t her.”
Meaning he usually didn’t? Sirius opened his mouth, closed it. He didn’t know what to say.
“Right.” Rupert shifted and frowned slightly, at himself more so than anything else. “I’ll make that tea shall I? Y-you just get started. Remember; lie with your feet facing north.”
“Which way’s north?”*
“And that’s pretty much it,” said Sirius now, leaning back in his chair. “Willow said the spell; I started getting Buffy’s memories straight away. That is, memories of her time here. And now that I have all of her memories, I can say for certain that she started getting mine too. You were there when they hit her all at once.”
“Yeah.” Harry licked his lip. “She wouldn’t wake up for days, and when she did she was you.”
They both smiled. Sadly, quietly, but it was a step in the right direction. A healing step. Sirius laughed suddenly. “It’s strange. I didn’t even realise until now.”
“What didn’t you realise?”
“That I haven’t even met her at all. I know her as well as I know myself — more than I’ll ever know anyone else — and I haven’t even met her or spoken to her, yet I share her face. It’s odd, that’s all. Sometimes it feels as if she’s with me still. Inside me.” He realised he’d been staring into space, blinked, then smiled. “Why don’t we go and have supper?”
Harry stood and Sirius followed. “Are you ever going to tell anyone besides me, Dumbledore, Remus, and Tonks about, well, you?”
Harry was certainly tenacious today. Sirius thought of sighing, but reconsidered. It wasn’t worth the expulsion of breath. “When the time is right. Can’t risk the Prophet finding out.”
As they walked out of the door and into the back garden Sirius thought he heard his godson whisper, “I missed you,” and something else more personal along those lines. He grinned. He would miss the other world, he would miss his new friends — he would especially miss Dawn, his now real life sister that also shared his Summers’ blood — but he was glad to be back. And if he had to be a girl for the rest of his life to have his life, than he would be so. He had Harry back. He had his life back.
That was all that mattered.
(Of course he would try spells and potions first, before giving up on having, er, man-parts. He wasn’t quite ready to throw that part of his life away. No indeed).
*“I know I haven’t been here for long, but I know each of you very well.” He pointed to his head. “Well, the memories provided everything. I don’t feel as much for you as Buffy did, but I do feel, even if it is a distanced feeling.”
“I-I never did realise as to the extent of your memories. How clearly do you remember?”
“I suppose the closest I can describe is . . . well it’s as if I’m looking at it through fog. It was a lot clearer when I first came here, but lately I’ve had to access some memories myself. It’s there for —”*
She jerked out of her haze, blinking around. “What? Yes. Huh?”
“Xander’s come to take me to school.”
“Xander?” She looked around. Froze. “Xander!”
“Hey Buff,” her friend grinned. He was holding a long rolled up piece of paper, which he tipped to his head in greeting, and wore a dark blue business suit. “You know I rang the door bell like, twenty times, but nobody answered so I figured I’d let myself in seeing as I saw you sitting on the couch through the window.”
“Oh. Window. School. Right.” She stood from the couch, looked at her sister. “Dawn you haven’t eaten. I made cereal.”
“Okay,” said Dawn absently.
Buffy blinked. Her little sister was busy perusing her extremely heavy math textbook, and hadn’t even looked up. Buffy turned instead to Xander. “You’re unconscionably spiffy today.”
“Client meeting. How exactly do you make cereal?” Xander quipped as Buffy stalked to the kitchen, the rest following.
She tossed back her head. “I pore in the milk.”
“I pore in the milk, too. Everybody pores in the milk. Let there be milk, we say,” joked Xander.
“I do it slayer style.”
“As opposed to . . .?” Xander gestured with his hand.
Buffy smiled. “Shut up. You want something?”
“No. I’m good. How are you?”
“I’ll tell you later?” she tried.
Xander placed his roll of paper onto the bench. “I was gonna show you the blueprints for the new high school and how the Hellmouth is now sitting underneath the principle’s office —”
“Does that mean he’s evil?” Dawn interjected, looking up from her bowl.
“— but I think we should talk about you instead.”
“We should?” said Buffy.
“Come on, Buffy, we’re not stupid here. Something’s bothering you. We’ve all noticed it. Even Dawn.”
They looked at Dawn. Her eyes widened. “What?”
Buffy sighed. Drew a seat from under the bench. Sat. “It’s been almost a year.”
Xander nodded. “Ah-ha.”
Buffy frowned, looked up. “It’s been almost a year.”
“Almost a year? Oh! Almost a year since . . . oh.”
“Since Sirius left us,” said Dawn, her gaze dropping briefly to her cereal, then back again. She started upon noticing everyone staring at her. “I’m all right. Just because I’d spent the most time out of all of you with him, and shared a house with him, and listened to his cool stories, and made his hair, and let him help me with my homework, doesn’t mean I miss him. Much.”
“Everyone knows you miss him, Dawn,” said Xander. “But that’s okay. He was like your big brother, only in Buffy’s body.” He thought about that. “That’s kinda disturbing, but hey, compared to Hell Goddesses it’s a walk in the park for us right? And sorry Buffy, I mean not to sound unpleasant, but you’re thinking about this now because . . .? Like you said it’s been almost a year. You feelin’ a bit nostalgic?”
“I’m always feeling nostalgic these days.” Damn it. She hadn’t meant to say that.
“You miss the people back there?”
“Yeah. I-I miss Harry. And Remus. And Dumbledore. God I miss that old man.” She hesitated. “And Sirius. I . . . I miss Sirius. I feel like a part of me has gone.”
“Of course you do you have his memories.”
“You don’t know how right you are, Dawn,” said Buffy quietly.
“What do you mean?”
“I have ALL of his memories. Every single one. Even before he inhabited my body.”
Xander stared. “Wow,” he said. Slowly.
Buffy realised the atmosphere had gotten a little edgy. She cleared her throat. “Yeah, so, to suddenly be cut off from essentially another part of myself, it’s a lot . . .” She blinked, looked around awkwardly. “Well it’s a lot.”
“So technically — and I can’t believe I’m going to say this because it’s just too weird — you feel that you are Sirius, right? Not just Buffy, but Sirius too?”
“Holy . . . Do you think he feels the same?”
“He has to. I-I’m sure he has to.”
“You’re sure?” asked Dawn. Her cereal had been long since abandoned.
“It’s like, sometimes, I can feel him still. Inside me.”
Xander laughed. “Like you’re sharing the same soul or someth — oh God you’re not joking, are you.”
A/N: Yes, it’s the end of Fallen and, I hope, it finished in the same style with which it had started. There’s a reason why I chose to end it this way. I’d never planned for Fallen to have a perfect ending. I wanted it to be semi-happy and semi-sad. I wanted it to be a little frustrating and a little content.