Disclaimer: I wrote it, but I didn't create the stuff that someone else did. I claim no rights to copyrighted material of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Harry Potter. This takes place after the ends of BtVS and AtS and just before the HP movies.
Feedback: All kinds are very much encouraged!
Willow donned her robe and slipped her wand into the secret fold of her sleeve. She didn't always carry it with her, but it did help her focus her magic. She hadn't accidentally made anybody blind or made anybody's socks catch fire in over a month. With a final glance in the full length mirror standing in the corner of her room, she was ready.
“Time to see the wizard,” she giggled to herself. Hogwarts had been quite the education. In just a couple months, most of which was taken up researching and fighting Zaffron, she had learned about a whole new way to use magic. More importantly, she’d learned there was a whole magical world out there that she’d never heard of before. Spike had, of course, but he’d been as bound as everyone else was by Dumbledore’s spell. Hogwarts couldn’t been seen or spoken of without direct invitation by the headmaster, himself.
Willow sighed and, lifting her wand, used her favorite new spell.
Spike still felt a right prat in his robe, but he had gotten used to the feeling in the past two months since they had first come to Hogwarts. Dumbledore had broken his long silence and owled Spike with his message of dire need. He’d accepted, as had Willow once she’d gotten over the shock of an owl flying through the window to deliver a wax-sealed note.
"'Course no one calls for tea anymore - always Hellmouth-this and Evil Beast-that." He grumbled under his breath as he stared into the empty fireplace, his hands buried deep in the pockets of his black robe.
"Still complaining about the injustices bestowed upon your noble soul, Spike?"
Spike's hated robes swung prettily as he swirled to face his favorite witch. "Bloody hell, Red - I thought you were going to start using the flue like the rest of 'em."
Willow shrugged. "Well, I always get so dirty in there and I wanted to look nice for Dumbledore."
"Oh, like he'll even notice. The old wizard's been smoking so much lately you'd think he had glaucoma." With a mocked bow, he waved Willow ahead of him down the hall to Dumbledore’s rooms.
"Come on, Spike. You know he's not been smoking anything odd - he's just a little absent minded since we killed Zaffron. I'll hate to leave him." Willow's constant smile faded for a moment as she thought of leaving her new friends. "Still, it will be nice to get back to the world I know," she added unconvincingly. Then, with a ring of truth, "I miss our simple little lives."
"Well, we'll be home soon." Spike spoke with a falsely chipper note. He had been ignoring thoughts of those he had lost over the past few years. Anya, Dru, Fred, Gunn, Wesley, and even Angel were gone. And now that the rest of the gang barely bothered to ring let alone visit…Best not to think on it.
Spike cleared his mind as he looked at Red. They had gotten to be good friends over the past year. They lived together, keeping the nasties to a minimum in LA and just generally sharing the expense and stress of a normal life. With the Sunnydale Hellmouth closed, there were few apocalyptic battles to fight anymore and things had gotten a bit ... run of the mill. Neither of them was really looking forward to facing their version of reality. Not after the adventure of Hogwarts.
They stood for a moment outside the door, neither willing to walk through. Both knowing that it was time to face the truth and tell the Wizard it was time for them to go. At "the peak of night at the place twice seen by one from each side of power's waking" they would seal the death of Zaffron. Tonight. Then, they would leave. Tomorrow.
Willow clasped Spike's hand for a moment, then turned from him and opened the door.
Dumbledore greeted them with a distracted smile. "Willow, William, please come and sit. It is time we discussed your leaving. Tea?" The tea appeared and poured itself as Willow and Spike glanced sideways at each other - just enough for their friend to see. "Yes, I know you two must leave soon. You know you are both welcome to stay. I have enjoyed our conversations Willow, and my dear William - when you are not threatening my staff your presence is also bearable."
"Oi - that was 60 years ago you daft old ..."
"Now, now, Spike. I said it was forgiven, didn't I?" Dumbledore said with a wink at Willow. She had loved the story of Dumbledore's first introduction to Spike. He had been causing a row in Diagon Alley with his drunken ranting about "his princess" who had gone off with some cat that turned out to be a student's familiar. Dumbledore had helped him find Drusilla (and subsequently the student and cat) and in return Spike had promised to come to Dumbledore's aid if ever he should be needed. Which is why they now sat surrounded by the tomes they had been studying in preparation for this night.
Snape had come to Dumbledore with the impossible need for a dead man that could fight a hell beast and a witch that could do magic without a wand. After some thought on the wisdom of inviting the evil undead to help them out, Dumbledore had done a bit of research and found that William had actually been busy saving the world off and on for the previous 8 years with a group of humans that usually included the Vampire Slayer, Buffy. Looking into it, he had learned that Willow was perfect to play the part of the witch in the coming battle.
Spike’s response was superseded as Snape knocked and entered Dumbledore's chamber with his usual dour expression. "Albus, although I appreciate the invitation, I really must complete my preparations for this evening."
"Oh Severus, relax. We've done all we can. We're ready. Now come and sit and have some tea. Willow and William will be leaving in the morning and you will be going with them."
"What?!" All three exclaimed at once.
"This school has no professors familiar with the sorts of evils that you two have so very much experience with. Therefore, Professor Snape is going to return with you to your lives in Los Angeles. He will apprentice with you for a time and then return here to teach our students of vampires and demons with a focus on classification, interaction, and defense. The muggle world may not be willing to admit such things exist yet, but we are already familiar with various changelings. I see no reason to maintain our general disbelief in things that we all know to exist."
"But..." Severus began with a look of horror in his eyes.
"I will hear no quarrel on the matter. It is decided. Besides, Severus, you can continue Willow's tutelage in the use of her new wand."
"Fine" Snape snarled, secretly intrigued by the adventure to come. "I'll go pack." With that, he left Dumbledore to explain to Willow and William exactly the sorts of things they should be sure to teach Snape.