A/N: Sorry about taking so long to update but I didn’t get my computer back until recently and RL has been trying it’s best to keep me from writing. Anyway, I truly appreciate all of your reviews guys. Knowing that people are reading the story, and liking it as well as pointing out things that could be improved helps keep me motivated and keep writing…thanks guys!
Something I haven’t said before is that in this story the episode Helpless turned out a little different, well kind of a lot but you’ll see for yourselves ;)Chapter 2:
In the daylight, it seems simple
Simple choices, black and white
But it’s hard, to face the shadow
That's the fear that walks the nightThe Siren’s Song
– Rebecca Lavelle
If it was anything Buffy never would’ve thought possible, it was that she’d be remembered. Or that it would happen on her first day back in London. It felt surreal, but at the same time she knew it was true. She’d seen him. Maybe it wasn’t so strange that he recognized her, after all she, Harry and Ron had spent so much time with him during the short year that he was the DADA professor. Remus Lupin had never been stupid, nor had he been forgetful. Maybe it was because of the werewolf in him, she couldn’t tell for sure.
She just didn’t know what to do now. Would they come looking for her? Would they even bother trying to find her? Would Lupin even tell anyone he saw her?
The questions were running through her head as she sat quietly by the window and watched the cars drive by on the street below. It might be dark, it might be late at night, well more like early morning, but the city was still full of life. And it made her feel peace. She never slept much, even less than she did before, nor did she ever really feel peace, not after graduation. But every now and then she’d find that moment of silence and she’d be able to breathe.
Giles was fast asleep in the other room; despite the walls between them she could hear the faint sound of his breathing. Knowing he was close made her feel safe. But he didn’t completely understand what she was feeling, what she was hiding. The guilt she still felt, nor did he know about the dreams or what she saw in them. He didn’t need to know. After all, knowing would only make him sad. And Buffy didn’t want to cause him more pain.
She’d seen the surprise in his eyes when she’d told him about Lupin, about the werewolf seeing them. And she’d seen the brief relief as well. She didn’t know what to make of that. Why was he relieved that they’d been spotted? He knew she didn’t want the past to come back, his reaction was confusing her. But she hadn’t said anything. And it wasn’t unusual for her. Not anymore. She rarely spoke, and if she did it was never questions. It was easier not to know because knowing wouldn’t make a difference.
Giles had once told her he had known Lupin back in the days where he was a student at Hogwarts, they hadn’t really been friends. After all, while Lupin had been in Gryffindor and Giles had been a Slytherin. She hadn’t been surprised when he’d told her that. If anything, she’d found it amusing. It suited him in some strange way, at least with the wild youth he’d led when he was a teenager. And it didn’t change or take away her trust in him.
When the sun finally rose, Buffy was still sitting by the window, lost in her thoughts. And in her hand was a photo taken of her, Xander and Willow just a few weeks before they’d died. In the picture they’d all been smiling, as if laughing at some secret joke. As she gazed at the picture, she smiled sadly. She hoped they were happy wherever they were, and she hoped she’d see them when her time came.
She wasn’t stupid, nor was she crazy. She knew a slayer lived a hard life, and she knew sooner or later she wouldn’t survive the fight. Hell, if it hadn’t been for Xander the master would’ve killed her the night at the prom. He’d saved her life. But she hadn’t saved his.
Flinching at the memory she rose and slowly walked into the bathroom. She felt numb in so many ways, but she wasn’t numb from the pain or the guilt she felt over not saving them. Or her mother. As she looked at herself in the mirror, she didn’t recognize herself. Or the tired look in her eyes, as if she no longer wanted to be alive.
On some nights she’d dream her mom was still there, she’d dream she wasn’t alone. In the dreams she’d be happy, she’d be living a normal life, a life that didn’t include fighting for a cause she no longer really cared about. In her eyes she’d failed, she wasn’t a hero, she wasn’t a savior. She was the reason people died.
And that foreign look in her eyes just proved it even more.
She shouldn’t be alive.
The knock on the door startled her, and she dropped the soap she’d held in her hand. She wondered how long she’d been standing there. Slowly she turned the water off as the continuing knocks just became more persistent.
She paused for a second outside Giles’ bedroom but when she didn’t hear any noise suggesting he was awake she continued to the front door, glancing slightly at the clock on the wall as she walked past it. It was barely 7.30 AM.
There was no reason for anyone to be knocking on their door. Convinced that it was a mere mistake, Buffy opened the door quietly; ready to tell whoever it was they had the wrong room. But the moment her gaze fell at the persons on the other side of the door she froze.
She didn’t understand how they would have been able to find her, how they knew to look at a muggle hotel instead of a magical one.
“Hello Hermione.” Professor Dumbledore’s eyes twinkled a little as he smiled at her, Remus Lupin doing the same.
Swallowing before finally managing to get herself to speak, she stared at them, forgetting about her decision to never ask questions.
“Wha…what are you doing here?”
“We’d like to speak with you. Could we come in?”
Not knowing what to do, or say, Buffy took a step back and let the two in. For a brief moment she pondered the thought of waking Giles up but for some reason she didn’t understand herself she decided against it. Following the two men into the “living room”, without bothering with closing the door, she stopped at the entry to the room, standing as far away from the wizards as possible.
“It’s a nice room.” The white haired wizard said, smiling warmly, as he turned around and looked at the young woman whose eyes he no longer could recognize.
“How’d you find me?”
“We’ve been looking for you a long time Miss Granger, when I saw you yesterday and we were unable to find you in the wizarding world we figured you were hiding among muggles.” The werewolf spoke calmly, as if talking about the weather. “Turned out we were correct.”
“I still don’t understand.” Buffy said finally. “These rooms…they aren’t under my name.”
“But they are under Mr. Giles’ name.” Dumbledore said softly. “And Remus here recognized Rupert as the man you were with.”
Looking away, Buffy took a deep breath in an attempt to calm down her beating heart. She didn’t know how to handle the situation, or what to do. Nor did she really care, for some reason she just wanted the wizards to go away and leave her and Giles alone.
“You scared us a great deal when you and your family disappeared. We feared that…”
“That Voldemort took us?” Buffy spoke up, looking straight into their eyes, not missing the surprise in their faces when she said the name without flinching. “You were wrong.”
“I’m glad for that. It’s good to see you alive and well.”
“What is that you want?” Buffy interrupted, growing more impatient to deal with the men by the second.
“We want you to come back with us.”
“You’re in danger.”
As soon as the headmaster’s words sunk in, the slayer snorted. Apparently, they didn’t know who she really was, what she had become.
“I assure you, it is no joke, Voldemort is after you and if he finds you he will hurt you.” Remus spoke calmly, but his face showed a growing seriousness.
“And that’s supposed to scare me?”
Refusing to look away as the two men continued to stare at her, Buffy stood silent and unmoving, even as her old headmaster took a step closer to her.
“What has happened to you Miss Granger?” The emotions in his eyes made her heart flinch, for a second he reminded her so much of her mother but she quickly closed herself off. “You’ve changed a great deal.”
“I grew up.” Buffy said, her voice sounding bored. “Now, would you please leave? You’ve said what you came to say and my answer is no, I will not go with you.”
“Why not?” Remus retorted.
“Because she has a duty to fulfill.” A British voice suddenly intercepted.
Turning her head, her face became emotionless as she recognized the group a few feet away the hallway. And hate filled her as she came face to face with the one man she hated.
Memories flashed by in her mind. Memories of her mother lying dead on the cold floor, killed by the vampire she’d been supposed to fight but had been unable to due to the Council’s so called test. Her mother had been the first sacrifice. Time might’ve passed but the pain was still there, as was the anger. She’d forgiven Giles for his role in it, but she hadn’t forgiven him
“Are you getting forgetful in your old days Quentin?” Buffy asked coldly, hiding the fear she suddenly felt. “Don’t you remember that I quit?”
“Yes, well, I had hoped you had re-evaluated your decision by now.” Quentin Travers replied as he took a step closer.
“I haven’t, nor have Giles, so you can just walk right back out through that door and never come back.”
“My, my, your temper certainly hasn’t changed much, has it?” The older man laughed, not bothering with acknowledging the other men in the room.
“I told you, I want you to leave.”
The older man tsk-ed before he casually took another step towards her and Buffy had to fight with herself hard not to take a step back, instead she stood her ground, forgetting completely the other people in the room who now were watching the entire thing with great interest.
“Now what would your mother say if she caught you behaving so rude? My dear, I believe she’d be very angry with you…”
“Don’t you dare speak about her!” Buffy cried, taking a step forward, her eyes filled with anger. “My mother is dead because of you and your little
test! So don’t you dare talk about her!”
“That’s enough Buffy.” A voice suddenly said, making Buffy tense even more but control herself.
Giles appeared fully dressed from his bedroom, his face unreadable but his body tense. He didn’t acknowledge the two wizards who still were in the room. Instead he had his full attention of the group led by the man he’d come to despise.
“I was beginning to wonder when you’d appear Rupert.” Travers said coldly. “I see you’ve managed to teach your charge some manners at least.”
“What do you want Quentin?” Giles retorted, ignoring the man’s comment.
“I was merely popping in to greet some fellow co-workers…” The man replied airily.
“Well if I recall correctly we aren’t co-workers. And we never will be.”
“But you were once my dear friend. Not even you can deny that.”
Almost as abruptly as the group had arrived they left. And what remained in their wake was silence. After a long moment Buffy closed her eyes, trying to breathe deeply and remain in control over herself. She didn’t move when she heard Giles walk over and close the front door, nor did she move when she heard the phone ring.
The signals sounded throughout their quarters but neither made any attempt to pick up the phone. As Giles came back he barely even glanced at the phone, instead he looked at the remaining people in the room. Years might have passed since he’d last seen either of them but he would recognize them anywhere.
“Professor Dumbledore.” He greeted tiredly. “Remus.”
“Aren’t you going to answer that?” Dumbledore suddenly suggested.
But before either could reply the answering machine picked the call up and Faith’s voice was suddenly heard.“B are you there? B?”
She sounded almost frantic. “Look I don’t know what’s going on over there but Travers men have been sniffing around here. I think he’s up to something. Wesley does to. Just…just call us when you get this. We need to talk.”
Buffy snorted humorlessly when the message stopped.
“Looks like coming here wasn’t a good idea.” She said, her words more of a statement than a question.
“Buffy…” Giles began but was interrupted a second later.
“I need to get out of here. I’ll see you later.”
Despite hearing the pleading in her mentor’s voice Buffy walked away, leaving the room and its occupants. A second later she closed the front door with a bang behind her before she disappeared down the stairs and away from the hotel, vanishing among the people that were crowding the streets.TBC…