A Cry For Help
All Btvs and HP characters belong to their respective owners and as always I'm not making any profit from this fic.
Chapter 34: A Cry For Help
“Let's try again. Ready?”
Buffy nodded as she stood and mentally braced herself. She closed her eyes and took a deep breath, focusing on what she needed to do.
She heard Severus call out the spell, the one that was going to try and force its way inside her mind, to try and reveal her deepest and darkest memories to him. The spell hit her with a force powerful enough to send her staggering backwards although she quickly regained her footing, which at least was an improvement from her last attempt.
She could feel something pulling at her mind, hear voices from the past ringing in her ears. Memories flooded through her vision as if she were seeing a movie of her life...
She saw Dawn standing atop a tower, lightning flashing around her as a great dragon soared past them in the sky...
She saw herself, Willow and Xander hugging, clinging to each other as if their lives depended on it...
She saw Angelus holding Willow by the throat, threatening to kill her to pass a message on to Buffy...
She saw herself as a young girl, laughing and cheering with Remus, James, Sirius and Peter...
“No.” She growled out the one word, her brow creasing as she concentrated on pushing the invading force out of her head.
She could hear laughter now, a manic laughter that she associated with crimson red eyes.
“No! I won't let you do this!”
She pushed with all her power, mentally blocking the images from leaving her mind. And all too quickly the pressure in her head left and Buffy stumbled again. Her hand found the back of a chair and she used it to get her balance back, her breath coming out in long pants. Her eyes drifted across the room to Severus, who was no longer standing where he had been a moment ago. He was lying on the floor, groaning as he pushed odd chairs away from him.
“What happened?” She asked breathlessly. “Wow, that took a lot outta me...”
“You successfully repelled the spell, although you'll need to work on the amount of force you use.” He sent her a glare but she shrugged it off easily. “It'll do you no good if you send Voldemort flying when he tries that.”
“Right, but at least I can do it!” She replied with a bright smile, already feeling a lot better.
“When you know it's coming, at least. The next stage is for you to try it unprepared.” He told her as he began clearing away the broken chairs that he had fallen into.
“Great, so you're gonna be stalking me all day so that you can ambush me when I least expect it?”
“Something like that.” He said with a small smile, and he looked as if he was going to enjoy the opportunity to catch her off guard.
“Great!” She said again, this time with a sarcastic tone.
He was about to answer, no doubt with one of his trademark snarky comments, but she held up her hand to stop him, the faint noise of a door opening in the distance catching her attention. Seconds later there was a soft knock on the door of the potions office.
“Enter.” Severus called out, sounding a bit grouchy all of a sudden.
Harry stepped inside the office with a sigh. He really didn't want to be there and he didn't see the point of learning occlumency. As far as he was concerned, it was a good thing that he had this connection with Voldemort. After all he'd managed to help Arthur through it and that had saved his life.
He stopped in his place when instead of seeing the potions professor that he had grown to loathe, he saw his DADA teacher. A quick glance to the right and he spotted Snape, who was righting some chairs and replacing some broken bits of furniture.
“What?” Buffy asked, seeing the freaked out look on his face.
“What are you doing down here?” He asked, gesturing to the room around them.
“What, I'm not allowed to socialise now? I might be a teacher but that doesn't mean I can't have friends, you know.” She told him with a straight face.
“But it's S-” He rose his arm to point at the other teacher in the room but stopped himself when he saw both the adults' expressions shift. Snape was almost glaring at him and Buffy just looked disappointed in him.
“Uh, I- sorry.” He stuttered, stepping further into the room where he dropped his bag on the floor, just by the doorway. Then he turned back to the two adults, looking from one of them to the other.
“So can we get started already?”
Buffy rolled her eyes and looked towards Severus, who was also staring at her with a strange expression on his face. She looked at the both of them again before she remembered. “Oh, right you're here for your lessons... I'll just go and leave you to it then...”
She almost laughed at the looks they were sending each other. They both looked more than annoyed at having to be there in the same room, although Buffy suspected half of the glare she was receiving was because Severus didn't want to be left alone with Harry.
She made sure to give him a cheerful wave and a grin before she left the room.
She made her way up from the dungeon and towards the great hall. It was still lunch time but most of the students had finished eating and had ventured outside or back to the common rooms. Or if they were like Hermione then they would be waiting outside the classroom for their next lesson.
Buffy grabbed herself a sandwich and small piece of chocolate cake and sat at the teachers table, happily sitting by herself and watching the students below.
As her gaze drifted across the room she spotted the unmistakable blonde hair of Draco Malfoy as he sat with his friends at the Slytherin table. The very sight of him made her shoulders slump.
He was chatting away with the other Slytherin students, grinning and laughing as much as any of the other kids, the normal kids, and Buffy couldn't help but wonder if he really knew how much trouble he was in.
Whether by coincidence, or maybe he sensed that someone was watching him, he turned to stare up at the teachers table, their eyes meeting from across the room. And Buffy was sure she saw a flicker of emotion, perhaps fear run across his features.
She resisted the urge to go over to him. She wanted to speak to him of course but she couldn't very well talk to him about death eaters in front of everyone in the room.
Luckily it seemed as if she wouldn't have to. Draco's gaze returned back to his friends before he stood, ignoring the others around him who asked where he was going. He quickly made his way over to her, stopping just in front of the teachers table.
“Professor Summers. Can I talk to you please, somewhere in private?” His voice seemed strained, as if he was trying to act tough, to hide what he was really thinking and feeling.
Usually she would have complained about him calling her professor, but she couldn't even open her mouth in fear of blurting out something that she might regret later. She nodded, swallowing a chunk of cake in the process. “I was just about to head back to my classroom...”
He nodded back, “I'll be there in a moment.”
She watched him walk back to his friends before he was lost in the crowd once again. Buffy sighed as she finished her food and stepped away from the table, heading straight for her classroom.
She had barely stepped inside and reached her desk when the door opened and Draco stepped in, his usual calm confidence replaced with fear and nervousness.
“Take a seat.” She told him, gesturing to the tables.
He sat down, looking up at her. “What I'm about to tell you can't be repeated, no one must know about it. Are you sure this room is secured?”
Her eyebrows rose ever so slightly in surprise, and then with a sigh she pulled out her wand and pointed it towards the door. “Muffilato
He looked at her appraisingly, as if he had never thought she would actually take his words into consideration, before he nodded. “Look, what you saw back there at the manor... It... I-”
Seeing that he was struggling with his words she jumped in. “I know all about it, Draco. Your parents are death eaters, Voldemort has taken over your house and they've enlisted you to help them. What I really want to know though, is if you actually want to be there.”
He remained quiet for a long moment, staring at the floor. “What difference does it make? Whether I want to be there or not I'll still be expected to be there. I can't just walk away now.”
“But would you? If you could walk away, I mean.” She asked, keeping a careful watch on him.
He met her eyes, looking conflicted. She could easily tell that he didn't know what to tell her.
“I suppose I would. But there's no point in even thinking about it, I won't ever get the chance.” He finally told her, determination settling into his expression. “Look, professor, I didn't come here to get your sympathy, I came here to ask you to keep this information to yourself. You know what I am now, what my family is, and although the other kids might suspect it, I don't want them to know for sure. I don't want my parents carted off to Azkaban because you told everyone they were death eaters.”
“Draco, I'm no-”
“No, I don't care what you want to say!” He interrupted, standing from his seat. “You can't tell anyone... Besides, I know who you are now too. And I can just as easily tell people who our DADA teacher really is.”
Buffy froze, her eyes narrowing on him. Was he really threatening her? Had they told him to do this or was he just trying to protect them? His expression wasn't giving any of it away.
She let her gaze turn dark and fiery, and watched in satisfaction as Draco unconsciously backed up, stumbling when the back of his legs smacked into his chair.
“Listen to me, Draco. You really do not want to threaten me right now. And if you know who I am then you know just what I can do, what I could do to you if you even tried to tell anybody about me. I understand that you want to protect your family, but threatening the one person who can help you is not going to get you anywhere.”
“Help? How could you help me?” His voice sounded arrogant and mistrustful, but there was hope in his eyes, it was small, but it was there.
“Right now I can't do a lot, I know. But if you get in trouble, if they ask you to do something that you don't want to do, then you come and tell me. If the worst comes and I have to drag you out of there forcefully, then I will.”
He stared up at her in surprise and maybe a little bit of awe, “You would really do that? You would risk your own life to get me away from them?”
“Why wouldn't I?” She asked, crossing her arms over her chest. “You're a student, a kid, you shouldn't be involved in wars like this one. And I hate Voldemort all the more because you are.”
Draco stared at her, seeing the hate written in her expression. “I'm glad you're okay. That you got away from him.”
Buffy looked up in surprise and had to stop herself from automatically saying that she had had help. She didn't know how much Draco knew about his potions professor after all, and she didn't want to put him in danger by telling him. “Yes, well he's way mistaken if he actually believes I would join him. Not in a million years.”
Draco nodded back to her with a small smile, “And I bet it's killing him knowing that.”