Before There Was...
Fic: Before There Was…
Summary: A series of vignettes about the characters before there was Buffy…
Disclaimer: So this is another attempt at Jinni’s five song challenge, but this time I picked my own songs, so it’s really more like the game Clue. I chose the character (Giles, Dru, Willow/Xander, Angel, Joyce, Faith, Graham); the weapon (songs by Sting, Peter Gabriel, The Eagles, Elton John, and Juice Newton, Alannah Myles, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers); and the room (crossovers with HP, nothing, American Pie, Vampire Files, AB, Fried Green Tomatoes, Anita Blake). Note that I do not own the characters, weapons, or rooms; heck, I don’t even own the game Clue, but I do like to play with it from time to time.
#1- When We Dance (xover w/ Harry Potter, song by Sting)
Moving was never a fun task, and only served to remind him just how many books he owned. Still, this was an opportunity of a lifetime; to have his very own slayer was any watcher’s dream job. As Rupert Giles lifted yet another box of old school books, a photograph fell from the book on the top.
Rupert held up the photo taken from that Winter Ball so many years ago. He could still remember all the colors of the Great Hall even though the sepia tones of the photograph had faded with age. Somehow the class historian had found him and Narcissa Black during their lone dance, and had preserved this moment for eternity. Staring at the photo, he could remember that night as though it were yesterday.
“Cissa, would you care to dance?” Rupert had come up with speech after speech of what he was going to say to her, but when the moment came, all he could do was offer her his hand.
“I don’t know.” Narcissa Black looked around nervously.
“What don’t you know? I am only asking for a dance; one dance for old times sake.” Rupert tried to smile charmingly.
“Well, alright. One dance should be alright.” Narcissa agreed, watching her betrothed duck out of the hall with his friends, Goyle and Crabbe.
Giles followed her line of sight, sighing when his eyes landed on the retreating blonde head. “It’s a waltz.” He whispered returning his sight to the beautiful girl in front of him, the girl he had been fawning over since his first year at Hogwarts. “You love to waltz.”
“Alright.” Narcissa nodded, and stood up, gracefully taking his hand. He led her on to the enchanted dance floor for one last song, hoping the dance would never end. “I hope Lucius doesn’t catch you.” Narcissa muttered as Rupert wrapped his strong arm around her waist.
“If he loved you, like I loved you, I would walk away in shame. I’d move town and change my name.” Rupert began. “But he doesn’t. I have nothing to fear from him.”
“He’s my betrothed.” Narcissa whimpered worryingly.
“So? He doesn’t love you like I love you.”
“But his family… they all expect us to wed. He’s been watching me all year, planning on our wedding in the spring. I can’t…” Narcissa rested her head on Rupert’s shoulder. Why did this have to be so hard?
“So what if his family expects it? Why don’t you just run away with me?” Rupert had a wistful smile on his face.
“I wish I could, but Rupert, it’s not that easy.”
“So when he watches you, when he comes to buy your soul, you’ll just let him? Will you be happy when on your hand is his golden ring? Will you be happy when he treats you like he owns a bird that sings?”
“Rupert don’t.” Narcissa whispered.
He twirled her out and then back in, letting them fall into a gentle silence for a measure. “Listen Cissa, do you feel this?” Rupert placed her hand over his beating heart. “When we dance, angels run and hide their wings.”
“But you love me.”
“Yes, I’m still in love with you.” She admitted. “But life is more than love. The priests have said my soul’s salvation lies in the balance of the angels. Underneath the wheels of passion, the world keeps going and we can’t get caught up in these feelings. It’s not right for me to fly off on whims like this.”
“Love is not a whim.”
“No, but loving you is. There’s no future for us.” Narcissa knew she would regret befriending the charming Ravenclaw two years ago, but he just seemed so lost in her world. She had felt a calling to guide the young man, but look at the mess it had gotten her into now. “You can’t believe it would ever work between us. Blacks and Malfoys have been wedded under the grace of God for centuries; you can’t stop that.”
“I keep my faith in my own fashion.” Rupert replied bitterly.
“When we dance…”
“I’m going to love you more than life.” Rupert whispered in her ear.
“…Angels run and hide their wings.” Narcissa closed her eyes, she could feel her heart pounding in beat with his.
“I’m gonna make you my wife.” Ruperts breath teased her earlobe.
“When we dance…” Narcissa tried again.
“I’m gonna love you night and day.” Rupert’s seductive words tried to distract her.
“When we dance…”
“I’m gonna try in every way…”
“It’s just a dance, Rupert.” Narcissa tried to push him away, but Rupert held her hand tightly as the music came to a close.
“What are you doing? You said one dance.”
“I lied.” Rupert brought her around for another dance,
the ghost band striking up a haunting tango. “Isn’t that what you want? A lying scoundrel of a husband?”
“No, I… what I want doesn’t matter.” She had wasted too many tears already on her upcoming betrothal. She didn’t want to go over this again.
“He won’t love you like I love you.” Rupert’s firm hands guided Narcissa through a complicated swirl, holding her tightly as though he was afraid to let her go.
“No one could.” Narcissa whispered, letting herself be led through the complicated steps, keeping her eyes locked on Rupert’s. He brought her closer, leaning his cheek against hers in a chaste yet intimate gesture. “Lucius will care for my needs, and our families will be prosperous. You know I can’t marry a muggleborn. It’s unheard of for a Slytherin. I can’t, I just can’t.” She tried to convince herself how incredibly wrong Rupert was for her, but all she could remember were all the moments when he had been so incredibly right for her over the years. He was the only one in the school that had treated her as a human being and not just the next generation of Black trophy wife. She didn’t want to let that go.
“He won’t care for you this way.” Rupert mumbled in her ear. “He’ll mistreat you if you stay.”
“I know.” A single tear ran down Narcissa’s cheek, onto Rupert’s, and suddenly dancing didn’t seem right. Grabbing her hand, he dragged her out into the hallway, into a nearby abandoned classroom. He sat her on the professor’s desk, and began pacing nervously. “What’s wrong?” Narcissa’s clear voice broke through the thoughts storming through Rupert’s mind.
Rupert rushed to her and grabbed her hand, bringing it to his mouth in a tender salute. “Come and live with me. We’ll have children of our own. I would love you more than life if you’d come and be my wife.” He voice held a hint of desperation.
“Is that your final answer?” He asked as though it were a matter of life and death.
“Rupert, why are you acting like this? It’s scaring me.”
“Cissa, I don’t want to leave you. I turned eighteen this month. My family traditionally goes to Oxford after our eighteenth birthday. My father is pulling me out of Hogwarts tomorrow so that I can start in the spring semester.”
“What? He can’t do that! You haven’t even taken you NEWTs!”
“It’s tradition. What can I do?”
“It’s a ridiculous tradition.” Narcissa was outraged on behalf of her friend.
“I know, it’s crazy. It’s as crazy as you marrying that prick Malfoy, when you know it won’t make you happy. When we dance, it’s magic, real magic, stronger than anything they’ve taught us here. Surely you feel that? Why should we walk away from magic?”
“Oh god, Rupert, I can’t.” Narcissa muttered, watching the quiet desperate light in her friend’s eyes slowly extinguish.
“What does a mudblood like you think you’re doing with my betrothed?” A deep, slippery voice interrupted them.
Rupert glanced between Narcissa and Lucius. “I was saying goodbye.”
Nearly fifteen years later, Rupert was staring at the photograph a friend had mailed to him. He watched Narcissa slowly twirl in his arms, the wizarding photo still keeping time with the enchanted waltz from so many years ago. “I wonder how you are, Mrs. Malfoy.” Giles sighed as he pulled off his glasses to polish, missing the tear slide down the picture’s face as she longingly looked up into his face.