What Binds Us
The world is much different than 25 year old Buffy Summers imagined. AN:
Basically, this is a reworking of a story that I originally posted under the name Bound By Loyalty. It’s been quite a few years since I posted the original fic, and I decided that it was time to rewrite it. It has the same premise as the first story, but it’s actually quite a bit different.
So a few things to take note of: This is set after about 6 years after the Season 5 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.
It was so dark and cold. She could feel the cold seeping through her skin into her very bones, causing her to shiver uncontrollably. Something wasn't right here. Nothing ever was. She couldn't really see anything, except for the occasional fuzzy outline of a person running. Running to, or from, Buffy had no idea what.
Sometimes, something brushed at her foot, almost making her fall. Every time she'd look down, and every time it was the same thing. A body. Of who or what, Buffy couldn't tell; it was all so silent, and she was so confused. Then the screaming began. The horrible screaming. As she grew closer to the source of the sound, she could see an outline of a house. She could also hear what was being yelled.
"Harry, not Harry... Please not Harry... Take me instead!... Harry!" At that last scream, there was a great flash of light. Green light.
It was that flash of green light hurting her eyes that always woke her up, causing her to bolt up right in bed, chest heaving. Drenched with sweat and tears, her eyes frantically searched her room. Sighing with relief she lay back down, facing the clock. 4:30. With a groan, Buffy realized she'd only been asleep for two hours. This sucks,
she thought, her mind wandering to her nightmare. Buffy knew it was more than a nightmare. Her dreams were rarely just dreams. Being the Slayer had made her resigned to the fact that she would have the occasional prophetic dream. This one… it was different. It wasn’t prophetic, it didn’t feel like something that was sent by the PTB with the sole reason to nudge her into action.
Rolling over, the Slayer fluffed her pillow and closed her eyes, hoping sleep would claim her once again. No such luck. Instead, she saw the darkness and the green flash of light. She heard the screams and the sound of a baby wailing. Her eyes shot open and her breathing came out in short gasps. She swung her legs out of her bed. No more sleep tonight.
She walked to the bathroom across the hall and turned on the light. Looking in the mirror at her reflection, she saw the beginnings of circles forming under her hazel eyes. Those hazel eyes that looked more dead each time she looked at them. She felt dead. Again. Her friends used to say that there was fire in her eyes. Giles told her that Slayers rarely had that light because they lost it when they were called. She didn't lose hers. Not until later.
"I'm not even bitter, or angry, or even sad. When I think of Giles or my friends, I don't feel anything. I don't even feel revulsion when I think of Spike. God, what is wrong with me?" Buffy asked aloud. She could feel a headache starting.
Splashing water on her face, she took out the aspirin. Swallowing two, she walked out of the bathroom, not looking at her reflection again. Buffy turned the light off with a soft click, plunging herself in darkness. She walked quietly by Willow and Tara's room. Seeing her sister's door slightly ajar, Buffy padded in and up to her bed. Tucking the blankets around Dawn, she lightly kissed her forehead and tip-toed out, shutting the door behind her.
Walking down the stairs, she headed in the direction of the kitchen. A cup of hot chocolate sounded good, especially during those times where she was missing her mom. She set a pot of milk on the stove, and left it to boil. Buffy was debating on marshmallows when a sharp sound at the window caused her head to whip up while she stifled a soft shriek. She shook her head in quiet embarrassment when she realized what she was seeing, then cocked her head in confusion when it finally registered that the owl at her window wasn‘t of the norm. She quickly opened the window and jumped back as the snowy white and ashy grey owl swooped in, landing on the island in the middle of the kitchen.
"Is it a possessed owl or something?" Buffy asked quietly to herself, grabbing a knife from the drawer just in case. Too many years living on the Hellmouth taught her to be wary of anything, even innocent looking animals.
The owl looked at her in seemingly quiet disdain, before hooting softly and sticking it’s leg out. For a second, a silly thought crossed Buffy’s mind that the owl was attempting to do the hokie-pokie, but that thought vanished as soon as she saw a piece of paper tied to the animals leg.
A carrier owl?
Buffy set her knife down after determining that the owl wasn’t evil, and tentatively reached a hand out to until the letter attached to its leg.
“Are you thirsty?” She asked, not feeling the least bit silly about talking to the creature. She got another hoot as a response, and took that as a yes. Setting down the letter, she quickly grabbed a shallow bowl and filled it with water, placing it before the owl and backing away.
The smell of something burning filled the kitchen, and Buffy swung towards the stove, having forgotten about her boiling milk. Swearing softly, she shut the stove off and dumped the pot of milk in the sink, deciding to forgo the hot chocolate in favor of reading the letter. Dear Miss Buffy Summers,
My name is Albus Dumbledore, and I am the Headmaster at the school Hogwarts of Witchcraft and Wizardry. I am aware of you position as the Vampire Slayer, currently situated atop the Hellmouth. I am writing to you on a matter of utmost urgency and importance. The Dark Lord Voldemort has risen, and we are all in danger. Hogwarts needs a Slayer. I am asking you for help, not in defeating the Dark Lord, but in perhaps helping us prepare and best defend those who have been assigned that task. You will be given the position of assistant to Professor Sirius Black, the teacher of Defense Against the Dark Arts, should you accept my invitation. Dark times are at hand, and my world desperately needs you. Please reply by August 31st. This school owl, Hannah, will come back once a week. Thank you for your time.
With trembling hands, Buffy sat on the stool in her kitchen heavily. A school for magic? A school that had an evil dark wizard? Of course. Buffy sighed, realizing she'd have to have a Scooby meeting about this. So, this wizarding world needed her help?
“Figures,” she said with a soft snort.
"So you're telling me this Albus Dumbledore guy wants you to save his world? And you're thinking about doing it?" Xander asked Buffy, incredulously.
"Well...yeah." She answered carefully. “But he isn’t asking me to save his world, Xander. He wants me to teach. What, and who I’m supposed to teach, I’m not too sure. All I know is they need my help, they need the Slayers help.”
It was eleven o'clock in the afternoon. Buffy had called the meeting a half an hour ago. She had explained her dreams and the owl surprise that had came early that morning.
"Buffy, you have got to be kidding us! This isn't one of your most brilliant ideas, I must admit." Willow told her.
"Bloody hell, woman. Listen to the witch. You can't just leave." Spike spoke up from where he was leaning against the opposite wall.
"You guys, this is my decision to make. It’s been 2 years since we’ve closed the Hellmouth, 2 years since we’ve had to deal with saving the world. I’ve partly enjoyed the quiet, not having to constantly fight… but I can’t forget that I’m the Slayer
. I can’t stay here forever.” Buffy was speaking passionately, almost as surprised at what she was saying as her friends were.
"What if this guy is some creep or loony? Or a vampire or some evil thing trying to lure you away from the us? Buffy, you could be walking into a trap!" Dawn was scared. She didn't want to lose her sister again. Things were going good. They were getting better. She didn’t want to lose any chance of making everything right again between all of them.
"I can assure you, Dumbledore is no loon or vampire. He is one of the most powerful wizards in the world. And this magic school does exist." Giles spoke up for the first time since the discussion had begun. Everyone stared at him in astonishment. Giles knew about this school? He took off his glasses and sighed. Cleaning them, he began. “The Council has known about their existence for quite some time, making sure all active Watchers were kept up to date in what was happening in that world, should the current Slayer ever come across it.”
Buffy stared at him in slight confusion. “How come you never told me about this?” She asked, voice slightly angry.
“It was decided that the world of the Slayer and the Wizarding world would be kept separate. Vampires and Demons tend to stay clear of Wizarding towns, mostly because the magic practiced by these Witches and Wizards are very much different from the magics that they are used to,” the Watcher explained.
Seeing their blank stares, he elaborated. “Vampires and Demons… they are, to put it quite simply, not quite of this world. Vampires are, in a way, just parasites that came from a dimension where they are found to be the sole rulers. The first vampire was created when a parasite slipped through the cracks, and infected a human. Any part that made that human, well, human
, was destroyed. The exact origins of that parasite, or why it is that a stake to the heart can destroy it, are unknown. And shall remain unknown, I expect…” He trailed off, lost in thought.
“And demons?” Xander prompted when the silence went on too long.
“Basically, the same origins, in that they are also from different dimensions. One cannot count how many different dimensions there are. It’s been theorized that, thousands and thousands of years ago, there was an incident that caused a temporary rift in dimensions and realities, and because of that these demons were able to cross over into our world. This was when a higher authority was created, to monitor the balance between good and evil.”
“The Powers That Be,” Buffy interjected, a dark look on her pretty face. Giles nodded in agreement.
“That is when it was decided that Evil had too much of a foothold against Good, and it was decided that several things needed to occur. First, they needed a Champion. Someone who would serve to make sure Humanity was not to be lost. The Slayer was created,” Giles shot a look at Buffy, whose face was not showing any emotion. He cleared his throat. “Second, they made is so that a ‘superior’ race of humans were able to exist outside of the demon world, so that if it came to it and humanity was lost… This other race of humans would be able to stay in existence. They gave them the ability to do Magic. Since they have been created, this Wizarding world has kept themselves apart from regular humans. They have made their own society, with their own government. They have schools and towns that are hidden from human sight. Many may even walk amongst us, appearing as regular humans.
The council has known about them since the beginning, and a law was created, stating that this Wizarding world was to remain unexposed to regular humans. They assumed that, should people know what was out there, it would cause chaos that couldn’t be detained. In doing so, it was also agreed that the Slayer would be kept in the dark about the Wizarding world, and her focus was to remain on protecting those who could not protect themselves,” Giles finished, looking around the room at his rapt audience.
“Ok,” Buffy finally said, filing away information to be processed later. “But what about people like Willow? Is she supposed to be part of this Wizarding world?”
Willow perked up at the mention of that, and looked at the Watcher expectantly, waiting for a reply.
“No. The magic that Willow practices is Wiccan magic. Basically, she draws her powers from the Earth. The Wizards in the Wizarding world, they all have a wand that ties into their energy source, and they are able to cast spells, drawing powers from themselves,” he answered, not missing the disappointed look on the Wiccans face.
“So what’s the what with this Hogwarts? If I’m going to go, I want to know where it is, and what exactly it is that I’m headed into.”
"Hogwarts is located in Scotland. There were-”
“Scotland?!” He was cut off from several voices calling out at once.
Giles continued as if he wasn’t interrupted. “…Four founders of Hogwarts: Godric Gryffindor, Helga Hufflepuff, Rowena Ravenclaw, and Salazar Slytherin. The school is split up into 4 houses, each named after a founder. The students are placed into each house, chosen by their ability that is most valued by each Founder. Gryffindor valued courage, Hufflepuff valued hard work and loyalty, Ravenclaw valued intelligence, and Slytherin… Slytherin valued ambition and cunning. It is much like a regular boarding school. They have classes they go to, but they are all magic based classes.”
"And who is this Dark Lord?” Willow asked.
“Voldemort is a Wizard who attended Hogwarts. He is extremely powerful. Well, he was in any case. Almost 16 years ago, he was defeated by a child named Harry Potter when a killing curse rebounded off of the Harry and hit him, leaving him extremely weak. He has been believed to be dead. But if what Dumbledore says is true… then that was an inaccurate assumption. Voldemort’s goal is to rid the world of all mud bloods and half-bloods.” Giles paused at the blank look he was receiving.
"Mudbloods are muggle born, muggles being regular people, and their powers are not from the family. Half-bloods are witches and wizards with a magical parent and a muggle parent. Pure-bloods go to Slytherin House, because Salazar Slytherin also hated anybody other than Pure-blood. He once tried to get the other founders to agree not to allow anything other than pure magic into Hogwarts. Voldemort was in Slytherin. He got followers from Slytherin to help him rid the world of half-bloods and mudbloods. When James and Lily Potter had a child fifteen years ago, they were both nineteen, just graduated from Hogwarts. A couple of months after Harry was born, Voldemort visited them and tried to get them to join him. They refused. He killed them. But, when he raised his wand after killing James, Lily stepped in front of young Harry and tried to protect him. She gave her life for his. When Voldemort tried to kill Harry, his spell backfired. Fleeing the Potter's house, he ran deep into a forest to start gathering his strength.”
There was a moment of silence. Then Buffy spoke, "Giles... I have to go and help them."
"I know Buffy."
The Slayer looked at her friends, searching for the anger she thought she would find. Instead, she was relieved to see understanding, love and support. They knew she had to go, knew it really wasn’t up to her to say no, not when people were in danger. Still, she felt a bit of trepidation at knowing that she would be doing this without them. One of the reasons she had lasted so long as a Slayer was because of her friends. But it was time for her to go, to get in touch with that side of herself that had been hidden away for too long. That side of herself that made her a great Slayer on her own.
“I guess it’s off to Hogwarts I go,” she said with a wan smile.