House of Black
SETTINGS: Post Becoming II. (Buffy 17)
Post Prisoner of Azkaban. (Harry nearly 14)
DISCLAIMER: Not mine. Joss Whedon and JK Rowling rock my world.
NOTE: Buffy killed Angel, got kicked out of the house, got expelled, but she didn’t leave town. She's staying with Willow.
PAIRING: Buffy/George Weasley. ;)
SUMMARY: After Sirius escapes Azkaban, he goes to Dumbledore for help in locating his wife and daughter. To his surprise, they’re living on a hellmouth and his daughter is the Slayer.
ONWARDS:CHAPTER ONE: ASKING
Over the last few months, Sirius Black had mastered the art of entering Hogwarts unseen. He knew the castle like the back of his hand and sticking to the shadows was as easy as levitating a feather. What wasn’t easy for Sirius, and never had been, was admitting to needing help.
Ever since his thirteenth birthday, he’d considered himself an independent sort of person, and now at the age of thirty-seven, he definitely hated admitting to his weaknesses. The problem was, he did need help.
He quietly padded towards the large statue of a phoenix with its wings outstretched. Stepping back, he transformed from his animagus form of a large black dog, back into his normal appearance. He listened carefully, making sure there was no noise coming from the hallways. When he was convinced there was no one else nearby, he looked up at the phoenix and hoped that the Headmaster hadn’t changed his oddity of having his passwords be names of sweets.
“Chocolate frogs. Lemon drops. Cockroach cluster. Jelly Beans.”
The phoenix suddenly began turning clockwise, a large stone staircase spiralling upwards. Sirius stepped onto one of the steps and allowed the staircase to take him up to the office that belonged to Albus Dumbledore.
He listened at the door, but was grateful to hear nothing but the sound of Fawkes the Phoenix in song. Sirius knocked quietly and entered.
He was a little nervous about entering Dumbledore’s office. The only times he’d ever been in there had always when he and his friends had been in trouble, and Sirius couldn’t help but feel as though he was back at school about to face the thought of a detention with one of the Professors. Plus, there was also the fact that Sirius wasn’t entirely sure of what Dumbledore knew about what had truly happened the night that Lily and James Potter had died.
Dumbledore looked up and Sirius was amused by the fact that Dumbledore didn’t even seem to be all that surprised by his sudden appearance within the school.
“I’ve been wondering when you would drop by,” Dumbledore said. “I’ve been expecting you.”
“So, you believe that I’m innocent then?” Sirius asked, breathing out a sigh of relief.
“I had suspected as much for years,” Dumbledore replied. “It is unfortunate that Peter Pettigrew managed to escape however. His confession would have guaranteed your innocence.”
Sirius nodded, understanding the truth to Dumbledore’s statement.
“But you are not here to talk to me about Peter, are you?” Dumbledore asked.
Sirius shook his head. “No.”
Dumbledore nodded and shifted forward in his chair.
“Do you know where they are?” Sirius asked.
The Headmaster nodded, but Sirius knew that he was missing something. The elderly wizard was wearing far too serious an expression to be someone with good news. The thought of bad news made Sirius’ heart sink.
Dumbledore sighed, wishing he had better news for one of his old favourite students.
“Your wife was devastated by your betrayal,” Dumbledore began. “Unfortunately, she wouldn’t even consider the fact that you were innocent. When the reports came through about you being the one to betray the Potter’s…well, it was just the icing on the cake.”
Tears pricked at Sirius’ eyes. It had only been in the last few months that the memory of his wife and his daughter had even come back to him properly. While he’d been imprisoned in Azkaban, all the happy thoughts he’d ever had about his family had been sucked out of him, leaving him with nothing. And to hear that his wife believed that he was guilty was devastating.
“So…what happened?” Sirius asked quietly.
“The Ministry officially annulled your marriage. She fled from England and…moved to a muggle area in America. I’m sorry Sirius, but I have to tell you that she remarried,” Dumbledore explained gently.
Sirius felt as though he was going to be sick.
“And Eliza?” Sirius whispered.
“She was raised muggle,” Dumbledore replied.
“Muggle? She’s a pureblood witch! You can’t just raise a witch to be a muggle!” Sirius yelled, jumping to his feet and beginning to pace the room. “Unless…she’s not a squib. She was showing talent when she was two years old. My daughter was no squib.”
“No, not a squib. And no doubt she would be very talented if she was taught to use a wand,” Dumbledore replied. “Unfortunately, your ex-wife decided that she wanted nothing to do with magic or any of our community. All of the letters that were sent to her were returned un-opened. All of Eliza’s Hogwarts letters were sent back to the school. Her name is still on the Hogwarts list however.”
“So that’s why Harry was living with the Dursley’s then,” Sirius said. “Because she wouldn’t take him in?”
Dumbledore nodded. “Unfortunately it was I who decided that Harry should stay with Petunia. Joyce wanted to take young Harry with her, but…I suspected that she would never return to England. She took Eliza and fled without another word to anyone. She was devastated when her brother died.”
Sirius couldn’t believe what he was hearing. The woman that Dumbledore was describing didn’t sound at all like the girl-woman that he’d fallen in love with. Where was the kind and vivacious woman who had never let anyone or anything get her down. He remembered her smile and the mischievous look in her blue eyes. But the woman that Dumbledore was describing sounded cold-hearted and not at all like the woman he remembered.
“Does Eliza even know about me?” Sirius asked.
Dumbledore sighed and shook his head. “I’m afraid not. Your wife remarried and modified your daughter’s memory so that she wouldn’t remember you at all. She married a muggle man. She took his name and gave Eliza his surname. And the most unusual nickname as well.”
“Nickname?” Sirius asked.
“Yes. Buffy. Buffy Summers.”
Sirius raised an eyebrow. It was definitely one of the more unusual names he’d ever heard. What still bothered him though, was the fact that his wife had gone and remarried another man. A muggle at that.
Dumbledore opened up the drawer to his desk and pulled out a manilla folder. He slid the folder across to Sirius who took it curiously. His hands immediately started shaking as soon as he opened the cardboard folder. He swallowed hard as he looked at the picture in front of him. In the photo there was a girl of seventeen with shoulder-length blonde hair and hazel green eyes grinning at a redheaded girl beside her. They were laughing in the picture and Sirius felt his heart begin to burst with joy at the sight of his daughter.
“She’s beautiful,” Sirius whispered. “She’d be seventeen now. Nearly a woman.”
He flicked through the pile of photographs, some of them dating back several years. He came to one with his daughter hugging a man with light brown hair and a kind smile. He knew automatically that this was the man Buffy believed to be her true father.
“And…and this Summers bloke? Is he…is he treating my daughter decently?” Sirius asked.
Dumbledore winced slightly and Sirius began panicking. The thought of his daughter been hurt by someone didn’t sit well with him, and it was all he could do to stay in Dumbledore’s office and not race off to America to search for his beloved little girl.
“He and Joyce were recently…well, divorced I believe is the muggle term,” Dumbledore explained. “They’re no longer married, and until recently, Buffy…or Eliza, was living with her mother.”
Sirius nodded, taking in the newest information. He suddenly froze, something about Dumbledore’s wording putting him slightly on his guard.
“Until recently?” Sirius repeated.
After Harry, Ron and Hermione had explained about Sirius’ innocence in regards to the murder of Lily and James Potter, Dumbledore had done as much research as he could to find out about what had happened to Sirius’ wife and child. What he’d found about them had been…extraordinary to say the least. While it was clear that Joyce had wanted nothing to do with the magical or supernatural world, Eliza –Buffy, he corrected himself- seemed to be unable to avoid it.
“They had a…slight altercation, and…your daughter was firmly told to, and I quote ‘not even think about coming back’. To the best of my knowledge, she’s currently staying with a friend of hers, Willow Rosenburg,” Dumbledore explained.
“You’re certain that you’re talking about Joyce?” Sirius asked incredulously. “Joyce Potter-Black? You’re certain that this is the same person?”
“I wish I had better news for you Sirius,” Dumbledore said sadly.
Sirius sighed and shook his head in disbelief. He couldn’t believe that the Joyce he had known would ever ask their daughter to leave.
“What was the argument about?” Sirius asked.
Dumbledore’s forehead crinkled into a wince once more. “I was hoping you wouldn’t ask me that,” Dumbledore admitted. “Sirius…your daughter is a Vampire Slayer. She managed to keep it a secret from Joyce for nearly two and a half years, but…Joyce discovered the truth, and…let’s just say that your daughter definitely inherited her sense of honour from you. She chose to save the world rather than stay in her mother’s good graces.”
Sirius was once again completely stunned. “A Slayer?” Sirius whispered.
He knew what Slayers were. He’d never met one before, though he’d often thought that the legend surrounding the Slayer was absolutely fascinating. Now that he’d been told that his daughter was a Slayer, it suddenly seemed less fascinating and far more frightening. They lived hard and died young, and that was not something that Sirius Black wanted for his daughter.
“I’m sorry Sirius,” Dumbledore said gently. “You came to me for help and I’ve given you nothing but bad news.”
Sirius shook his head, knowing that Dumbledore had done his best. The Headmaster hadn’t needed to have even tried to keep an eye out for Sirius’ wayward family, but to know that he had was heartening for the newly ‘freed’ man.
“You said they were in America? Where?”
“California. In Sunnydale.” Dumbledore paused for a moment, not wanting to deliver any more bad news to the already distraught Hogwarts Alumni. “Atop a hellmouth.”
Sirius’ jaw dropped.