Disclaimer: Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Harry Potter belong to their respective creators, Joss Whedon and J.K. Rowling.
Author's Warning: major AU.
The front door of Number Twelve, Grimmauld Place was hung with a wreath of green branches, silver globes, and white witchlight. For a moment, everybody unconsciously hung back, glancing at each other with clear disinclination.
“For Merlin's sake,” said Uncle Gideon, and marched up the steps, tramping snow in his wake.
Ginny peered up at the house. It was very big, she saw, bigger than the Burrow and much newer-looking. The whole thing was a large, black shape in the dark and the snow, with faintly glowing windows and half-shutters outlined in flat, cold light. The lower windows were completely curtained. Nothing about it was welcoming or warm at all, not like the Burrow, and Ginny found herself pressing closer to her mother, who was holding her hand very tightly.
Up ahead, where Uncle Gideon stood at the front door, there was a loud, clanging noise, like a tin bell. For a moment, they all stood shivering in the wind.
Finally, the door clicked open.
“Ah. Prewitt,” said the black-haired man standing there, and the door opened wide.
“Black,” said Uncle Gideon, and went in.
The man was younger than her uncles. His black hair was cut short, trimmed close at the sides, and his sharp blue eyes were cold and impersonal, following each Weasley as they came in. He wore long, dark robes.
“Ma'am,” he said, nodding to Mum. “Sir,” he added to Dad, though he didn't nod this time.
“Black,” said Dad, just as chilly.
Mum said nothing, but her lips pursed and she pulled Ginny along a bit more firmly than she had to.
The young man glanced down at Ginny. Their eyes met, and she thought he was about to smile, something about the way his eyes softened and his chin relaxed, but then Mum pulled again and Ginny only managed to catch a glimpse of him turning away to close the door.
“Done some fixing, have you?” Uncle Fabian was saying, his eyes on a chandelier overhead, a thousand witchlights glimmering against the black wood ceiling. “Very...very Black.”
“Thank you,” said the young man, in his low, polite voice, without looking at Uncle Fabian. He was walking down the long hallway, his steps noiseless in the thick carpeting.
Ginny was staring at a set of black curtains on the wall, next to a row of portraits. The curtains were drawn, and she seemed to feel a slight, cold wind from beneath them. George and Fred were staring around, and Charlie was whispering something to Bill. Percy was shushing Ron, and Mum and Dad exchanged looks.
“Arthur?” someone called, and a man was stepping into the hallway through a door. “Molly?”
Dad smiled. “Oh! Ron, look who it is!”
The man, a tall man with messy black hair, smiled. “Hello, Ron. Haven't seen you in ages—yesterday, wasn't it?”
From behind him, pushing through, was a smaller, skinnier shape, though the messy black hair was just the same. “Ron?”
The tall man adjusted his glasses. “Come on, everyone's in here. Where's Regulus got off to?”
“Ron, hurry,” said the boy excitedly. “He's here! Dumbledore says he's here!”
“Yeah?” said Ron, shoving Percy aside. “You see him yet?”
“No,” said Harry, and pushed his glasses back up his nose. “I just got here.”