I found this challenge on the main page and the dark nature of it made me interested. I'm not sure this is exactly what the challenger was looking for, but its what came out of the typewriter when all was said and done. The last paragraph of the big scene is more or less taken directly from the challenge. Maybe it's just a good start.
That being said this story was written in a single night (all 4400 words of it, which is a huge amount of fiction to write in a single night, for me) and I don't really have any plans to continue it.
If you find any spelling/grammar/continuity issues, please let me know!
As usual I do not own Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Harry Potter, or any of the IP involved. I'm not making any money off of this. I'm also a poor university student, so suing me would net you no money. I assure you this.****MONSTROUS
Buffy never spoke anymore.
It wasn’t the most disturbing part of how Buffy was, now. Hell, it wasn’t even close, but to those who knew her it seemed odd to see Buffy and not hear her. She had always been a social girl, before.
Joyce had been despondent for a week, but soon after had rallied herself for her daughter’s sake. It wasn’t that seeing Buffy like this didn’t crush her soul each and every time, or that she didn’t cry when thinking about times when Buffy had been younger and not...damaged. It was just that now more than ever she had to take care of her little girl, and she couldn’t afford to spend time wallowing in the pain it caused her.
Joyce stepped into Buffy’s room in the morning and opened the curtains, letting sunlight stream through the window. “Good morning Buffy.” Her daughter’s eyes were open, but as usual there was no response. It was ok – Joyce was used to it now. Buffy didn’t do anything on her own. If they left her in bed she’d stay there, silent, sometimes awake and sometimes asleep. It was hard to tell – she didn’t react to anything they did even when her eyes were open. When her eyes were closed she was the same way. She didn’t respond to tickling or pain, although the doctors said her nerves registered it. She didn’t respond to anything. If you sat her down she stayed sat down. If you left her standing she stayed standing. If you knocked her down, she stayed on the ground.
Joyce pulled Buffy from the bed, and took her to the washroom, helping her daughter with her morning necessaries before giving her a quick bath. Afterwards she dressed her – a pair of blue jeans and a sweater. She put Buffy in her wheelchair, and used the lift they had installed to get her down the stairs. Feeding Buffy had been something that had horrified her, at first. She tried not to think about it anymore – forcing a tube into her daughter’s mouth and down into her stomach so that Buffy wouldn’t starve. She was told it wasn’t painful, and the alternatives were worse, but it hurt her a little each time she did it.
After breakfast Xander came to take Buffy outside. Joyce was a bit in awe of Xander, who she had just seen as a likeable goof before Buffy’s...accident. Joyce tried hard to talk to her daughter throughout the day but she always struggled to find topics to fill the time, and to take her mind off the depression. Xander somehow had the ability to talk to her daughter endlessly – not about nonsense but about the goings on of Sunnydale, of the high school, of Buffy’s friends, and a million other things. Somehow he could push her chair around for hours, and come back and still be chatting and joking away to Buffy, almost as if her golden-haired girl had spent the time responding instead of sitting in the same position and not giving him a single indication that she could hear him. Joyce had never seen him run out of steam, not even once.
Joyce saw the sadness in Xander, though he didn’t show it when Buffy was around. She couldn’t really tell what he was thinking in those moments when he watched Buffy with a faraway look on his face that spoke of grief and something else
The doorbell rang not an hour after the two had left. When she opened the door she saw the last person she expected to see approach her – the man who had ruined her daughter’s life. “Mr. Giles, Kendra isn’t here right now. She went out with Mr Zabuto early this morning to clear out a vampire nest somewhere.” She began to close the door before he could get a single word out. She was surprised when he stuck his foot in the way.
“I’m sorry for being terribly rude, Mrs Summers, but I have to discuss something very important with you. I know you blame me for what happened to Buffy, and lord knows I blame myself as well, but I think I’ve found someone who can help her.”
“Help her?! Like the doctors your council suggested she see that did nothing but prescribe her medications that also did nothing, and then suggested that the only thing we could do was electroshock? NO THANK YOU!” She noticed that she was yelling. She pushed harder on the door, but his foot didn’t budge.
“No, this isn’t from the Council, nor is it doctors. I called a friend of mine who is a very well connected wizard. He gave me the contact information of the best magical healer in Britain, perhaps the entire world. I’ve been talking with her and I think she’s interested in coming here to see if she can help your daughter. All she needs is your permission.”
Joyce’s heart pounded in her chest. Each time the doctors suggested a drug or treatment might work she had been given a sliver of hope, and each time Buffy had continued to ignore the world, and each time Joyce’s disappointment killed her a little more. Still, anything was better than this living death her daughter's existence had become. Any hope at all, no matter how much disappointment it might end with.
“I won’t agree to anything that could hurt her. No electroshock, no cutting or anything like that. No magic that would hurt her.”
“Mrs Summers the last thing I want to see is Buffy hurt more.”
“Then the healer can come, but they have to ask me before they do anything.”
Giles removed his foot from the doorway. “Of course. I’ll call you once I know when she’ll be coming.”
Hermione Granger cast another diagnostic spell over the motionless blond girl, willing the results to appear on a piece of paper on the table nearby. “How long has she been like this?”
The girl’s mother, Joyce, answered. “Seven months.”
“And no one saw what caused her to suddenly lapse into this state?”
This time the man who had contacted her, Rupert, answered. “Buffy is the Slayer. She fought vampires, but she had a complex relationship with a souled vampire, Angelus. He lost his soul and became evil, forcing Buffy to fight against him. After she went missing we found her outside of the burned ruin of Angelus’ home. She was just lying in the grass...” Rupert shook himself. “Angelus is nowhere to be found, nor are several other vampires who were known to be in this area. We assume they were destroyed by the fire.”
“From all indications your daughter’s condition is not a physical issue. There is no damage to her brain, nor can I detect any of the poisons or curses that could cause this condition. Whatever happened that night has caused your daughter to seal herself away in her own mind. It isn’t uncommon for people to seal away traumatic memories, to forget horrible events that their conscious mind cannot deal with, but Buffy has gone a step beyond that. That she’s maintained it for this long...it isn’t good. From what I have seen if she isn’t led out of this state she isn’t likely to come out of it on her own.”
“Can you help her?” The woman’s plea came out with an unintentional quiver.
“I personally can’t, but I know the person most likely to be able to help her. In fact, so do you, Rupert. Severus Snape.”
“Snape?! After seeing how he treats his students...”
“Severus Snape is currently regarded as the most skilled Legilimens in the world. If there is anyone who can delve into Buffy’s mind and discover what exactly occurred that night, it will be him.”
Joyce cut in. “Legilwhat? Who is this person and why should I let him near my daughter?”
“Legilimency is the branch of magic dealing with delving into a person’s mind and seeing their memories. Severus Snape can tell us exactly what happened that night – what caused Buffy to...go away like this.”
“It sounds invasive. I’m not sure...”
“He won’t actually change anything, not without your permission. It’s no more invasive than an x-ray or a cat scan. Without someone to tell us what happened that night I’m not sure if we can bring Buffy back to herself. His personality is a little abrasive, but I think I can convince him to help us.”
Joyce closed her eyes, tears forming at their edges. “Ok.”
Severus Snape was not amused.
“You want me to use Legilemency on the mind of an injured highly dangerous magical creature? Ms Granger, I had thought that in the time since graduating you had gained more sense. Clearly I was mistaken.”
“She isn’t a magical creature, Severus. She’s a girl, a rather heroic one at that, who has given up quite a bit of herself to protect others from real dangerous magical creatures. For some reason she has sealed herself away in her own mind. No one knows what happened, and you’re the best Legilemens I’ve heard of.”
“The Slayer is a magical creature – just like a vampire is a magical creature. Both began as ordinary people but were transformed by demonic energies.”
“We both know that. We also know that the Slayer fights to protect people, not to feed on their blood.”
“You’re missing the point, Granger. Using Legilemency on a non-human can be complicated, and using it on a demonic non-human can be dangerous. Ordinary humans cannot block it, and wizards must practice Occlumency to protect themselves. Some demonic creatures can defend themselves from a Legilemens instinctually, and the result is usually damaging to the one invading their minds.”
“Severus, if she isn’t helped I fear she will be catatonic until she dies. Not just for herself - she has saved a lot of lives. She deserves help.”
Severus glared at her. “I will look. If she has any innate defences I will withdraw and offer my apologies.”
“Excellent. She lives in Sunnydale, California.”
“I will not attempt it on the Hellmouth, Granger. Bring her here.” He waved his arm to indicate his office, the office of the Headmaster of Hogwarts.
Hermione opened her mouth to protest, but promptly shut it when she realized he had agreed to help the girl. “No problem.”
Severus Snape looked at the unresponsive girl sitting in his office, ignoring the mother standing anxiously beside Ripper. He turned to Hermione. “I will make the attempt. I must warn you again that should she have any mental defences it will be too dangerous to continue.”
“Dangerous? Hermione said that this wasn’t dangerous and that it wouldn’t hurt Buffy! I’m not too sure...” Joyce’s nerves were making her more frantic than she normally was.
“Dangerous to me. Your daughter is quite safe.”
Joyce could only nod.
Snape took Buffy’s chin in his hand, drawing her eyes to his. There was no awareness in them, no life. They were open and they were empty. “Legilemens!”
Her mind appeared empty. Instead of looking at her memories he just saw a white emptiness that went on forever.
He cursed under his breath. “Are you sure this isn’t a result of a curse, Granger? I don’t see any memories. It’s like she’s been obliviated until there’s simply nothing in there.”
“I’m sure. Diagnostic spells indicated that she’s in there but she’s cut herself off.”
“Hmm. I will try again. Legilemens!”
This time he put a little pressure on her mind, carefully so that if she had any ability to harm him he could remove himself quickly. There was no resistance. On an ordinary person one had to push and suggest ideas to get relevant memories, but here in the emptiness everything was available to him. Memories of school, of friends, of fighting vampires and walking to her own death knowing it was coming. Memories of trauma, of injuries, of laughing and joking the day after fighting for her life and then going out to do it again the next night.
He looked up at Ripper and the mother. “I need to know what to look for. This vampire who is missing, what did he look like? Don’t describe him, just think about him. Think about where he lived.” He found the face and the large mansion in their minds, along with their feelings on the souled vampire. Ripper’s mix of revulsion and admiration was interesting.
He went back into the girl’s mind, looking specifically for anything involving the vampire. They flew at him quickly, memories of fighting at his side, memories of awkwardness, and then of closeness, of horror at learning his history, but also of hope. And then there was resistance. This catatonic girl had retreated into her mind, but she had held onto some specific memories. He pushed a little harder and they came free.
The first memory was of sex, and in her case love. Then soon after the love turned to horror as she learned that the vampire had lost his soul. Memories of not being able to bring herself to kill him, and then a memory of the vampire picking up a muggle weapon, smirking at her, and shooting her in the shoulder. The girls heart was destroyed. Her lover was gone and in its place was a monster.
The next memories were different. They were seen through a haze of pain and anger. Buffy spending time recovering from the gunshot, sitting in bed, stewing as the depression and anger built.
And then the night in question. The night that destroyed this girl. He looked through the memory in its entirety, making sure to miss nothing. Then he withdrew.
“I found it.” He took a pensieve from the shelf behind his desk. Using his wand he removed the relevant memories from his mind as bits of silver liquid and placed them in bowl. Then he set a bottle of brandy and a cup on his desk. “Get out of my school.”
They were in Hermione’s office at St Mungo’s. Buffy sat in a chair, facing an open window. Joyce was still stunned at the abrupt dismissal from Snape’s office. She wanted to know what happened to her girl, and how they were going to fix her. She pointed to the bowl on the table. “That thing...he took those silver things from his mind. Those are the memories?”
“Yes.” Hermione looked down at pensieve. “Giles or I can view them now.” Snape had lived for years masquerading as a loyal Death Eater while spying, but he had been disturbed by what he saw in those memories. She had never seen him drink. It filled her with apprehension.
“I’ll look at them.” Giles knew that whatever he was going to see was terrible.
“No. You can look if Joyce wants you to, later, but for now the most important thing is that I see what caused this so we can fix it.”
Giles wanted to protest, but she was right.
Buffy walked down the path to the front door of the mansion. She had a sword in her hand and some stakes tucked into various places on her person. Her heart beat loudly in her ears.
She didn’t even pause at the door; she reared back and kicked it completely off its hinges. The lower level was filled with minions. One attacked her as she walked through the doorway, but turned to ash as his arm and this his head were quickly separated from his body. Another attempted to jump her from behind but met the heel of her boot, and then also turned to dust as the sword slid through his neck. She moved through the rooms in silence, slaying the inconsequential vampires with an efficiency she’d never had before. Strike, slash, strike, cut, strike. She was holding the sword in one hand and a stake in the other, using both to dust vampires. There were no protracted battles – vampires approached her and died. She wasn’t sure exactly how many she had killed but by the time she reached the stairs to the second floor she was breathing heavily.
There were no minions on this floor. She went directly for the room she knew Angel preferred, and inside she could hear noise. She kicked open the door. Inside Angelus was fucking Drusilla on his bed. He was behind her, one hand on her naked hip and another tangled in her hair, pulling her head backwards towards him. They had frozen momentarily when the door was forced open, but Angelus recovered quickly. “Care to join us, lover?” That smirk, that smile that he never had as Angel but that followed every sentence when Angelus spoke to her...she hated that smirk.
Drusilla had dropped, holding her head in her hands and mumbling something about the world not being right, and things happening too soon. Buffy didn’t care. She was going to kill them. She leapt forward, swinging her sword at a very naked Angel. He dodged, once, twice, but the third time she caught his arm, stabbing into it. He grabbed her wrist with his other hand and forced the sword from her grip. That was ok. She swung the stake in her other hand towards his heart, knowing that he had miscalculated, and that this time he would die and take the smirking face of the man she loved with him to dust.
Before the stake could reach its target she was grabbed from behind and thrown into the plaster wall, cracking her head against it. She got up immediately, and saw that the third vampire was Spike. Three master vampires, one who had killed two Slayers before, against her. There was no worry in her mind. She had been transformed, by the strength of her rage, by the determination of her will, by the dark spirit that had been forced into her and had given her power beyond that of a normal girl. She had become something else, though the vampires couldn’t see it. Something harder, colder, and more powerful than the Slayers they had fought before.
This time she attacked Spike, as Angel hopped on one foot putting on a pair of pants. Spike was good, and their previous fights had never seen a true victor. This time there was no contest. Spike looked shocked as Buffy overpowered him, grabbing his wrists and twisting them behind his back. She jammed him against a wall face-first, and while he was slightly stunned from that let go of a wrist to grab the back of his head and slam it against the wall several more times. On the third impact Spike’s head went through the plaster and wood lathe behind it. She then grabbed his arms and threw him across the room, tossing him into the opposite wall. He lay there, stunned.
Drusilla had gotten up while Buffy was beating Spike, a hiss of anger at the abuse of her Childe escaping before she attacked Buffy with her claws. Buffy took a swipe to the shoulder and then moved into Drusilla’s reach, grabbing the crazed vampire by the hair. Pulling a screeching Drusilla along, she went to the window and threw the crazy bitch straight through it. She turned around to see Angelus staring at her, stunned at her attack on his Childer. “Anger issues, Buff? You aren’t the first girl who’s been dumped when a guy found out she was a cold fish in bed.”
The taunt didn’t affect her. It skimmed over her shield of determination and. She punched him in the gut, doubling him over, and then kneed him in the nose. She pulled another stake from her jacket, this time swinging at his exposed back. Again someone else knocked her over before she could complete her task.
Spike was more careful, this time. Whatever was going on with the Slayer, it made her a thousand times more dangerous. Before she had been about as strong as he was, now she could swat him like a fly. She was faster too. She had recovered from the kick that had knocked her away from Angelus instantly, and now she approached him. He dodged away from a trio of punches and a kick, the last passing so close to his face he had felt it on the hairs of his skin. Another kick went low, knocking him off balance. Then she grabbed his arm at the wrist and pulled him towards her while kicking at his armpit.
Spike was on the ground, in pain beyond any he could remember. That stupid bitch, that cold crazy bitch who had replaced the Slayer he was used to, was holding his arm completely removed from his body. He screamed. From downstairs he could hear Drusilla, now making her way back, also scream his name in fear. “Spiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiike!”
Buffy turned to face Angel, still holding the arm by the wrist. Angel looked at it, then back at her emotionless face. “I don’t suppose we could talk this out?” She didn’t reply. Instead she came at him, swinging the limb like a cudgel. The effect was more psychological than physical, but it worked. Angel was knocked off balance as the elbow slammed into his face, then knocked to the ground in agony when a super-powered kick hit him in the groin. He was given a momentary reprieve as Drusilla attempted to jump the Slayer from behind.
Drusilla scratched at Buffy’s neck, but the Slayer was just too fast. With her arms extended she had nothing to defend herself with when Buffy again stepped into her reach, this time swinging a stake at her heart. A slight frown marred her features before she turned to dust.
“No!” It was shouted by both the other vampires – Spike now standing, and Angel still curled up on the floor.
“You bitch! I’m going to spend a week torturing your family before I let you die!” Spike was running at her, the sword she had lost in his remaining hand. She kicked at his wrist, sending it crashing into a well, but leaving her off balance as he pushed into her. They both fell, him on top. It didn’t matter, though. He only had one arm. She grabbed his head by the hair, and pulled him off of her, his other arm trying to grab her throat. She got up and kicked the now one armed vampire in the stomach, again and again. Then she moved to his face, kicking and stomping it. She wasn’t sure when he had passed out in pain, his face unrecognizable, and she didn’t care. Reaching down she grabbed his head by the jaw and top, and twisted sharply while pulling up. As it came off his body the head turned to ash, along with the rest of him.
Angel had gotten up, and hobbled over to pick up the sword. “You bitch! Who do you think you are!?”
She turned her eyes to his, letting him see the emptiness in them. “I am the Slayer. I am your death.”
She ran at him and he stabbed, wanting to get her to run herself through on her own sword. She twisted her body to the side, then pushed the blade away by pushed her hand against its flat. She grabbed the handle and pried his fingers off of it, then kicked him in the stomach to force him to let go completely.
He looked at her, desperation in his eyes. “Buffy, you don’t want to do this. We shared something together, something you’ll never have with anyone else.”
She breathed in deeply, testing her emotions for weakness and finding none. Instead she found rage and hatred – rage that this monster had tortured her, and hatred that he had betrayed her, had ever had her trust. The Slayer was a creature of death, and her goal was to bring death to all like him. “You’re dead, vampire.”
In the brief fight that followed Angelus realized that she wasn’t trying to kill him. Instead, she was dismembering him – like she had done to Spike. He lost a hand, and then the forearm at the elbow. She took the other hand a minute later, and then the entire arm at the shoulder. Angel screamed as she brought the sword down through one leg and then the other, cursing her between pained shouts.
At the end she looked down at the pitiful creature in front of her and shoved the sword deep into its gut and into the floor, pinning him there. She watched as it struggled, waving its stumps and swearing until it ran out of energy and anger. It looked up at her from the floor. “So what now, Buff? Gonna leave me here to starve?”
She gave it the first smile of the evening, her first smile of the past weeks, even. “No.” She took a lighter from her jacket pocket and lit the window curtain, and then the bed linen. She watched as the fire caught quickly, spreading and filling the room with smoke. “Now you die like you should have two hundred years ago. Goodbye, Angelus.”
She walked out of the room, catching its last words faintly. “I was made a monster, Buffy, but you made yourself into one. Live with that.” She kept walking.
On the lawn in front of the mansion she sat down to watch it burn. It took hours and hours, but no one came to put it out. Firemen in Sunnydale had learned the areas to stay away from. When there was nothing left she came back to herself.
He had called her a monster. Maybe he was right. She had dismembered him, mutilated him and then lit the fire that she left him to burn in. Those weren’t the actions of the person she wanted to be. She looked at the carnage around her, at the death and destruction, and knew it was at her hand. Angelus - and Angel - was dead, as were Spike, Drusilla and their minions. Angel, Angel was dead... Her mind tried to process that fact, tried to regain the cold safety of the Slayer's mentality, but now, after the fight, Buffy the girl was too strong. Grief bubbled inside her, welling in her throat. Her throat dried, became sore, her eyes burned and she let out a single scream of pain. Then her mind shattered...
Seven months later, in an office at St Mungo’s Hospital for Magical Maladies and Injuries, Hermione Granger twisted to the side and emptied the contents of her stomach on the floor.