What Binds Us
The world is much different than 25 year old Buffy Summers imagined A/N:
So a few things to take note of. This is set after about 6 years after the Season 6 episode Once More With Feeling. That makes Buffy about 25. There was no relationship between her and Spike. In the Potterverse, this is set after Goblet of Fire. During Prisoner of Azkaban, Peter Pettigrew did not escape, allowing Sirius to be proven innocent. Disclaimer:
I own nothing.
Buffy doubtfully stared down at the simple ring she held in her hand. The ring had come in the mail 2 days ago with a letter detailing its purpose. It was supposedly going to transport her across the world, to a little town called Hogsmeade. At that town is where she was going to be picked up by a Professor named Rubeus Hagrid and then brought to the magic school Hogwarts. In theory, anyway. She still had her doubts.
She closed her fingers over the ring, holding a hand into a fist, then turned to view her quiet friends. Checking the clock on the microwave, she noted the time. 11:50 AM. Only ten minutes before the ring was supposed to activate and take her away. Buffy looked at her friends, and felt sadness starting to set in. Goodbyes were the worst.
The Slayer first approached Giles, and stared at him in uncertainty. Wordlessly he opened his arms to her, and she fell into them, hugging him tightly. He was going to be one of the ones she missed the most. Her Watcher had been, for all intents and purposes, her father for nine years. He had always trusted her, believed in her, and some days she didn’t know what she would have done without him.
“Be careful,” he whispered in her ear. Buffy nodded and stepped back, giving him a soft smile. Next up was Xander, and as Buffy stepped into his embrace, she was assaulted with memories of her early Sunnydale days, before things had gone so wrong, when he and Willow had been her foundation. She stepped out of his arms, and they didn’t exchange any words.
She turned to her red-headed friend, and Buffy felt a twinge of guilt at the tears that were shining in the witch’s eyes. Soft arms enveloped her, but Buffy let the embrace last a bit longer than the others so that she could whisper something to Willow.
“I love you Will, and I want you to know that I forgive you. I forgave you a long time ago,” Buffy said, stepping back and regarding her best friend with clear eyes. Willow gave a watery smile and nodded, sniffling.
Shooting a glance at the clock, Buffy felt her heart quicken when she saw she only had five minutes left. She turned to her sister, who was standing quietly by the back door. Looking into Dawn’s blue eyes, Buffy expected to see anger. Surprised, but also relieved, she was instead faced with sadness and regret. Buffy laid a hand on Dawns check, and brushed a tear away. She skimmed her hand down the side of her hair, and drew her into a hug.
“I’ll keep in touch,” she addressed the group. “I’ll write, so wait for a weird owl to pop up with a letter. And I’m sure I’ll be able to visit. Just, be careful, and look out for each other, and please take care of each other.” Buffy spoke desperately, casting looks at the time. Only one minute left. “I love you guys. Tell Spike… tell him bye,” she said, shrugging her shoulders. The bleach blonde vampire had chosen not to come, had chosen not to say goodbye.
Grabbing her suitcase, and keeping her hand on her trunk, Buffy met her sisters eyes one last time before her kitchen disappeared and she found herself standing under a darkening sky, next to a grove of trees.
She had been waiting for only a few minutes when Buffy felt someone approaching to her right. Jumping up from her seat on top of her trunk, Buffy fell into a loose fighting stance as she took in the sight before her. Blinking in astonishment, she had to crane her neck all the way back to see the face of them man who was approaching. If he was a demon, he sure was a big, hairy one. But no, she didn’t feel any demon vibes off of him. Not entirely human, she noted, but not a demon. Buffy let her hands fall to her sides and straightened to her full height, giving the man a small smile when his face broke out into a huge grin.
“Hello! You must be Buffy,” he exclaimed, in a booming voice. He reached down to grip her hand without waiting for a reply. His eyebrow went up at her decidedly non-frail handshake, despite how tiny she looked. “The name’s Rubeus Hagrid, but call me Hagrid please. Ready ter go?” Again, he didn’t wait for a response before grabbing her suitcase and her trunk in his big hands, and striding away towards the small town nearby.
Buffy hurried to catch up, having to take two steps to his one. “Yes, hi, I’m Buffy, nice to meet you Hagrid. Is the school nearby? Do we have to walk? Because I didn’t really bring my walking shoes.” She pointed at the black, strappy heels she was wearing. He raised his eyebrow again. Buffy felt defensive. They had seemed like a great finish to her ensemble that morning, but if they had to walk…
“No, no, we don’ have ter walk ter the castle. We’ll be taking the carriages!”
Buffy’s eyebrows went up at the words “castle” and “carriage”. Just how outdated was this place?
Soon enough, they reached their destination, which was just right outside of the quaint little town she thought they were going to. Instead, she found herself faced with the ugliest horses she had ever seen. They were black, and skeletal, and very obviously dead. Couldn’t these people afford to feed their horses? She shivered when she had to walk past the horse in the lead, and she could feel its eyes on her until she was seated inside the musty smelling carriage.
Settling across from her, the big man shot her a toothy smile as they began moving, and Buffy smiled back uncertainly.
“I expected someone much bigger!” Hagrid boomed, and chuckled, shaking the carriage. “When Professor Dumbledore said Slayer, I didn’t expect her ter be so…little!”
Buffy smiled politely. She had been the Slayer for ten years, and she couldn’t count the times someone had commented on her height. Hagrid didn’t seem to take offense at her silence, instead he seemed to be encouraged to ask more questions about her. Buffy answered as much as she was willing to share, all the while wishing they would reach their destination as soon as possible.
Finally, after what felt like an eternity, they slowed to a stop. Hagrid got out of the carriage first, leaving Buffy to jump out after him as he went to grab her suitcase and trunk. The Slayer looked around in amazement. Before them was acres of green lawn, to the left a dark forest that sent out vibes that called to the Slayer part of her. Buffy’s palms began to itch with the need to patrol, but she ignored it, choosing to focus on the huge castle instead.
"And this is a school?" Buffy asked in wonder.
Hagrid chuckled. "Sure is," he answered. "Come on, I'll introduce ye to th' professor. Dumbledore should be waiting up."
They walked up a path towards the school, past a little lake that reflected the stars and moon, past a willow tree that swayed seductively, even though there was no wind. The air felt crisp, and smelled clean. Buffy shivered and pulled her jacket tighter to her small body, wishing she had thought to dress more for the weather. After a bit of a walk, they reached the castle and the big doors that left the rest of the world out.
Standing at the top of a long flight of stairs when they walked entered was a man with a long snowy white beard and half-moon spectacles. He had a deep blue hat on with matching robes. Printed on the robes were stars and moons. By his side there was a prim looking woman with her hair in a tight, severe bun. She had glasses on and black, neatly un-wrinkled robes. Both began to descend the stairs when Buffy and Hagrid walked in.
"Hello, and welcome to Hogwarts." The man, who could only be Dumbledore, said in a kind, excited voice. "I am Professor Albus Dumbledore, and this is Minerva McGonagall, Professor of Transfiguration. I am sorry to say that all other professors are getting some sleep for tomorrow. Now, you must be the Slayer, Buffy Summers."
Buffy smiled shyly, and reached her hand out to shake his. She turned to Professor McGonagall and held her hand out to her. “It’s nice to meet you both. Thank you for the invitation to come. To be honest though, I’m not so sure you chose the right person to teach your students.”
Dumbledore chuckled and turned to Hagrid. "Thank you for retrieving Miss Summers for me, Hagrid. You are probably tired, so why don't you leave Miss Summers' bags here and go get some sleep.”
"Sure Professor. Good nigh' Professor McGonagall. Nice ter meet ye Buffy,” Hagrid said, before setting down Buffy’s trunk and suitcase and turning back the way they came.
"Now, Miss Summers, to address your concerns, I expect you to be a wonderful addition, and I’m sure the students will benefit from what you have to teach them. Shall I explain your duties while you are here?”
"That would be great, Professor Dumbledore." Buffy responded.
“Please, call me Albus," he answered, eyes sparkling. He continued at her nod. “Now, your job here will to be helping Sirius Black teach Defense Against the Dark Arts. You have experience with that, of course." Buffy nodded. "So, you'll be helping with the vampires, Slayers, and demons section. You will also be patrolling the Forbidden Forest," Buffy recalled the dark forest, " and be on the look-out for trouble. If Voldemort attacks, we're going to need your help. If he doesn't, there are sure to be attacks by his followers. The students arrive tomorrow night in time for dinner. I will introduce you to the other professors and the students at the same time as a surprise.
I do love surprises. So, if you will avoid being seen by the professors or anything else until 8:00 tomorrow night, everything will work out. I will enjoy seeing the look on everyone's faces. Tomorrow, when you come out for dinner, just go down that hall," he pointed, " to the big doors. That is the Great Hall. Breakfast and lunch will be served to you in your room by the house-elves," at this Buffy raised her eyebrows, "so, Professor McGonagall, if you would be so kind as to show Buffy her room, I will be grateful," he finished.
"Of course, Headmaster." It was the first time McGonagall spoke.
"Good night, Miss Summers. I will see you again tomorrow night. And remember to be in the Great Hall by 8:00 p.m. Good night Minerva." With that he turned and walked away.
"Good night, Albus." McGonagall said.
"Well, come this way." She started to walk away, grabbing Buffy‘s suitcase and leaving the trunk of weapons. Buffy grabbed it and hurriedly followed McGonagall up a flight of stairs, down a hall, up another flight of stairs, down another hall to a bedroom with a statue of an angel in front of the door.
"You need to make up a password," Professor McGonagall said briskly.
"Sineya." Buffy said after a moments thought. The statue swung open, revealing a large office on the other side of the door. The office had a desk with a chair, a few couches, and two seats in front of the desk. The wall had a few paintings of moving people. Moving people! Buffy stared in amazement, but the action of McGonagall opening another door made her move.
Behind this door was another large room with a queen sized bed with red silk sheets. It had couch, dresser, table with two chairs, and a walk in closet. Professor McGonagall put her bags down and motioned toward the many candles and lanterns about with her wand, muttering words. The room was lit up.
Pointing to another doorway, McGonagall said, "That is the bathroom. It has a bathtub, so you do not have to worry about finding a place to bathe. Breakfast will be brought to you at 9:00 promptly. Have a good sleep,“ she turned around and started towards the doorway.
"Good night." Buffy said.
Professor McGonagall didn’t reply. Buffy got the feeling that, for some reason, the woman did not approve of her presence.
Sighing, Buffy got out her pajamas, decided to unpack tomorrow, and walked into her new bathroom. After readying herself for bed, she entered her bedroom and blew out all the lanterns and candles but one. She slipped under the cool sheets and closed her eyes, bracing herself for the screaming and green flash of light. Nothing.
Turning over, Buffy dragged her blanket over her, trying not to cry. This was not the time. Yet she couldn't help the few tears that escaped her eyes to fall down her face. Despite the time, Buffy fell into a light sleep.