Title: A Test of Grace
Disclaimer: Joss owns BtVS, J.K. owns HP, I own Rebecca, Casper, Charity, Hope and Love.
Spoilers: All of Buffy, OotP for Hp.
Summary: What does anyone really know about their family? Faith is about to find out.
A/N: o_O six years? Really? Holy crap. A Test of Grace
Severus Snape shifted restlessly in his quarters at Hogwarts. Hours had passed since whatever spell had been placed on majority of the people connected to Love Harper had begun to fracture. He remembered the girl he’d seen occasionally accompanying the Headmaster during the holiday breaks he’d chosen to spend on campus. Another red-headed beauty who’d smiled kindly at him. Another girl, with darker hair -
A sharp pain behind his temples had Severus wincing, cutting off whatever thought he’d been pondering. Shaking his head, he reached blindly for the flask of Firewhiskey. Such heavy thoughts this night. * * * * *
Hope and Charity cuddled together on the bed, Hope burrowing in closer to her big sister. The girl who’d come with their sister slept in the bed closest to the wall, and Oliver slept in the bed between theirs and hers. Dreams poured over the youngest two Harper sisters. Charity stood sobbing next to her sister, her tiny hand enveloped by Faith’s bigger one. Mama had told her to hold on tight to Faith, told her that it was important so something couldn’t be lost. She’d gone into a little room, the door nearly shut knowing her daughters would hear her. Her red-blonde hair whipped around her as she talked quietly to another woman.
“You did it before, Grandmother. I don’t see what’s stopping you now.”
“That’s a lovely tone to take with me when you want me to do you a favor, Love,” the woman snorted.
never asked you for anything.
Mother never asked you for anything, and
Patience - don’t even get me started on what you did to my sister.”
“Don’t open that wound, Love. I did everything I could for her. Patience chose poorly who to trust -”
“She loved him!” Mama shouted, glaring at the pretty woman she’d called grandmother. “She loved him. And that bastard
knew how to get to him. You could have saved her.”
“I saved the child,” she hissed. “So don’t bring up what I
didn’t do in my face again, Love.”
“You owe me this, Grandmother.”
“Do you really want this? To make their lives
miserable? Who wins then, Love? Your werewolf lover? Your three innocent daughters? Your bastard of a father?”
“Don’t bring Dad into this just because Mother chose him over you.”
“No. Because Prudence saw what would happen to her if she married your father. Because I warned her what would happen if she chose that
instigator as a mate,” the woman laughed bitterly. “And she ran to him.”
“And she was happy -”
“When Voldemort slew her?”
“No one ever -”
“She died six months after his application to teach the Dark Arts class was denied. Six months to the day, Lovey. Don’t tell me it was a coincidence.”
It got quiet in the little room, and Charity couldn’t hear what they were saying. Something slammed, and Faith tugged her closer, bouncing Hope on her hip and crooning quietly to the fussy toddler. Charity hid her face in Faith’s leg.
“Just do the damn spell, Sainte Germaine.
We’ve seen what’s to come and this is beyond necessary. It’s the only way to keep all of them safe.”
Mama was rushing toward them, her hands shaking as she scooped up Charity and grabbed Faith’s hand. Charity saw her pause and look back at a girl hiding in the corner, her dark hair hanging over her eyes. Mama whispered something in her ear then, making her forget the girl.
“You need to remember this clearly, Charity. You’re the only one who can. You’ve got your Grandmother’s sight. Faith’s faded as she got older, but yours won’t. Remember it all, baby girl. They’re going to need you some day.”
* * * * *
Rebecca sat in her study, cigarette poised on her lips as she listened for the ghosts to come. They’d always hovered - just out of her sight, but there, waiting. Three of them. Three girls she’d loved most in all the world. Prudence, Patience and Love. Her daughter and her granddaughters. The only children she’d ever put out into the world.
“Mother. You know why we had to do this,” Prudence whispered, her fingers ghosting over Rebecca’s shoulders.
“Don’t mean I have to like it,” Rebecca sighed, rubbing at her temples.
“You’ve missed us, haven’t you, you old fossil?” Love laughed, mischief in her eyes.
“Love, behave,” Patience admonished, her dark hair falling into her face.
“I have missed you,” Rebecca murmured, looking at her family. “Why did you have to do it, Love?”
“Because you would have gone for blood if you knew the truth…”
“It was never cancer, was it?” Rebecca took a long hit on her cigarette, glaring out into the night sky.
“Nope. It was revenge.”
* * * * *
Casper shivered painfully, burrowing deeper beneath the heavy covers of her bed. The dreams were not comforting at all to her this evening. The dark haired woman stood beside the man, hovering just above the crib. Tears gathered in her large, violet eyes as she stared down at Casper in her crib.
“Mother would have loved meeting the babies.” She whispered, carefully brushing a finger over Casper’s cheek.
“Patience, don’t think like that,” the man said gruffly, pressing a kiss to the top of her head.
“He’s going to come for us, you know,” Patience murmured, leaning forward to pick up her dozing baby girl. Once Casper was settled comfortably against her shoulder she spoke again. “He’s going to destroy us.”
“Stop thinking like that! He’s not getting anywhere near you or our daughter.”
saw it! You can’t stop it, just by saying it S-”
“Your mother was not all knowing. She’d been wrong on occasion, Patience. I refuse to think that that bastard is going to kill you or our child!”
He spun away from her, his anger following him like a cloak. Casper cried and shifted against her mother, who made soothing noises at her. It didn’t help, because the baby
felt what her mother did.
Voldemort was going to kill them.
* * * * *
Hope stirred in her sleep, finally curling away from Charity. She smiled, her dreams the only ones untainted by grief that night. A mobile of shooting stars whirled above her head as four faces glanced down at her. Mama, with her red-gold hair slipping free of the coif she had stuffed it in, Hope’s pudgy little fingers grasping playfully at it. Faithie, her mouth in a perpetual grin as she waved a bunny rabbit in her face. Charity, peeking through the bars of her cradle to see her little sister. And Papa, a sad smile on his lips.
The only thing that had changed with the spell had been
Mummy’s light brown hair in her fingers, Oliver with the bunny, and Dad grinning happily
. But then
Mama was there, signaling that it was okay for her to love them just as much as Hope had loved her and Papa.
* * * * *
The next morning saw an exhausted Casper in the kitchen, helping serve breakfast with the aid of Dawn and Xander. Hope, Charity, and Oliver were the first to arrive in the kitchen.
“Good morning,” Casper said quietly, turning back to flip the pancakes she was making.
“Morning,” Oliver said brightly, trying to compensate for Charity’s glum expression and Hope’s shyness.
“Did you sleep well?” Dawn asked, trying to help out Oliver a little.
“No,” Charity glanced at the door, hearing others coming into the kitchen. “Had a bad dream.”
“Oh. I had a dream involving Justin Timberlake and chocolate syrup,” Dawn muttered.
“Oh, my god, my one eye!” Xander looked ill. “Overshare, Dawnie. Major overshare.”
was practically my sex ed teacher, in which you
featured heavily, so don’t talk to me
about overshare,” Dawn snorted.
“I don’t get it,” Hope muttered to Oliver, who was blushing bright red.
“Sorry, forgot about little ears,” Dawn did some blushing of her own. “We were totally eating a sundae, me and Justin Timberlake.”
“Who’s that?” Hope frowned.
“A Muggle singer, Hope,” Oliver explained.
It was quiet for several minutes as Casper started to dish out the pancakes. Charity bit her lip, sending the older woman secretive glances.
“You said that Sainte Germaine saved your life,” she said quietly. “How’d she do that?”
Casper licked her lips and stared at the girl for a few moments, bending her head away so the faint scar down the back of her neck was visible. Hope’s fork clattered to her plate at the heavily scarred skin that was hidden by the thick tumble of ebony hair, and Oliver’s mouth hung open a bit.
“When I was an infant, Voldemort killed my parents for not siding with him. They were powerful and pureblooded. They would have made excellent Death Eaters, I’ve been told, because of their bloodlines. They refused because I’d been born a squib,” Casper turned back to them. “And he would have demanded my blood on sight because I’m no better than a muggle, really.”
“So, they hid you with Rebecca?” Dawn asked, remembering her own ‘hidden’ status as the slayer’s baby sister.
“No. They slaughtered my parents, and left me to burn,” Casper flicked a nervous eye over to Hope. The girl was only eleven, after all. “She pulled me from the wreckage.”