So, I posted the first three chapters of this FF a few months ago and realized that people who read fanfiction, really know their stuff. I was called out on a couple of minor details, but decided that before I continued forward to fix them so that there is less confusion. So, if you were following and are receiving updates for stuff that looks familiar, I apologize. At the end of what you’ve already read is a brand new chapter just for your enjoyment.
This is an AU, but I will attempt to explain any variances that are not obvious. Feel free to point out areas where you have questions so that I can write it into the story.
Okay – onward to the story!
Disclaimer: I do not own anything related to Buffy or Harry Potter. Anything you recognize is the property of either Joss Whedon or JK Rowling.
If the tweed-clad watcher felt at all intimidated by the room full of wizards, there was no outward indication. If anything he eyed them with supreme aloofness and mild disdain. It was a look that Severus Snape mirrored as he glared at the unwelcomed interloper, though he felt there was likely a good dose of annoyance edging the set of his mouth as well. At least he hoped there was.
The other Order members present – Albus Dumbledore, Arthur Weasley and Remus Lupin - did not look disdainful or annoyed at all. Instead they all appeared intently curious. The fools were probably reeling in wonderment over the fact that a muggle had somehow gained entrance into number twelve Grimmauld Place.
But it was a curious thing, not to mention a dangerous one, and Severus was about to say as much when the previously silent headmaster finally deigned to speak.
"This is most unusual."
Snape turned to his left and snorted as the very true sentiment left Dumbledore's lips. He watched as the older wizard reclined back in his chair, eyebrows disappearing beneath his rather unconventional and extremely absurd hat. Yet even in his evident state of surprise, he managed to look thoughtful and his eyes sparkled in amusement.
Snape felt himself grow even more annoyed.
"I am curious, Mr. Sirk, how you have not only managed to locate the Order's headquarters, but also how you have seen beyond our wards?"
Snape would have told him the obvious - the wards were hugely inadequate - but he doubted his opinion on the subject would be welcomed at that moment.
The muggle, who introduced himself as Rutherford Sirk, offered a small but derisive smile. "Though I will admit that your lot has been particularly…elusive…I have my means."
That was vague, and Severus Snape did not like the sound of it. He edged forward in his seat, sneering, and not bothering to hide his displeasure over the situation. "It should not be possible."
But the intruder was apparently immune to the voice that made so many others quake in fear. Another point of annoyance for the potion's master, and for his efforts Snape received barely a cursory glance.
"You underestimate the abilities of the Watcher's Council."
Turning his full attention to Dumbledore, Rutherford let out a haughty breath. "As I'm sure you are aware, seeing as several notices were sent to you and thusly ignored, we have a bit of a problem. Namely your Dark Lord."
Dumbledore templed his fingers and leaned over the table, smiling in a much friendlier manner than had been offered him. "I have received your notices as I am certain that you have received my replies. At the sake of sounding repetitious, Voldemort is a problem for the wizarding world, not the muggle."
"And if it were being contained, I would agree with you. However, this is not the case." Rutherford pulled a briefcase from the floor, letting it drop loudly on the table. With a resounding click, it popped open. Removing a stack of papers, he tossed them face up.
Arthur, who had been watching the full exchanged with rapt attention, surged forward. "Muggle papers? Fascinating!"
"Hardly." Rutherford derided, frowning at the red-head. "These are recent publications, two from London, the other three from the surrounding area."
Dumbledore reached out and arranged the papers so he and the other Order members could see the headlines.
~ Family Disappears: Whereabouts remain unknown.
~ Burglary Goes Awry Leaving Entire East End Family Dead.
~ Couple Murdered in Bed.
~ Man Return's From Holiday to Find Wife and Child Murdered.
~ House Erupts into Flames Killing Seven; Origins of Inferno Still Unknown.
Snape nearly flinched as he scanned over the black ink and stationary pictures. He recognized each of those occurrences, if only from second-hand accounts.
The twinkle behind Dumbledore's bright, azure eyes dimmed as his brow furrow. "This is tragic, however…"
"Do not even try to tell me that there is not a connection. Each of these families was destroyed by Death Eaters at the whim of a mad man. Though the Council has done well to keep certain details from surfacing, but our own sources have clearly traced a magical residue at each location." He continued to eye Dumbledore, blatantly daring him to disagree. And though the old wizard didn't go so far as to acquiesce, Snape understood that his silence was enough for Rutherford to continue. "You're wizarding problems are leaking into the muggle world which means that they are now our problem as well."
Snape felt his ire swell. What was this man thinking? And why wasn't Dumbledore attempting to put a stop to this nonsense? "So what? Are you planning to send an army to our aid? You will quickly find that such a tactic will hardly be effective. Muggles cannot stand against wizards and if you know as much as you claim, than this should hardly be news."
"Wizard's do not hold a monopoly on the supernatural." Rutherford barked, finally giving Snape his full attention and matching him scowl for scowl. "You simply allow it to run amuck. We have alternate ways of dealing which are very useful. And quite frankly, it doesn't matter if you agree or not."
Rutherford took the opportunity to gather his papers, glaring at all of the Order member's in turn. Snape was mildly happy to note that the other man's stern visage did not have near the effect of his own, though it was only a mild recompense.
"I am offering an alliance. That would be preferable to sending my so-called army in on a separate mission. Pooling our resources would be only beneficial. However, if you don't agree, I will not simply turn away and consider it a closed matter."
He snapped the lid to the briefcase shut, but didn't bother to sit again. "Either you allow me to provide help or I do this outside of the Order." He fixed a pointed look on Dumbledore as he spoke. "We want to help and I worry that if we do not work together on this, we may be at odds. And that will only aid our mutual enemy."
"You are leaving me very little choice." Dumbledore sighed. "But I do admit that such cooperation could be beneficial."
Severus couldn't believe what he was hearing. "You cannot seriously be considering this?"
"And why not." Lupin chimed in for the first time. Of course he would agree with such an unorthodox and completely idiotic notion. "Help is help, Snape. Why would we turn it away?"
"Because muggles, no matter how many this Watcher's Council has at their disposal, cannot win in a fight against Death Eaters! They cannot help therefore they will be a supreme hindrance."
Severus knew his argument was valid but he also knew that he was being ignored.
What else was new...
"I am glad we have this settled." Rutherford said with a tip of his hat. "I will send you the details of their arrival as soon as I know."
Severus did not think it settled at all, but that was the last thing that the watcher said before gripping the handle on his briefcase and strolling out the door.
Let me know what you think!