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Familar Ashes

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Summary: AU from Season two. After loosing her mother and Angel, Buffy moves with Giles and Jenny to Hogsmeade and attends Hogwarts (Harry's sixth year). Stuff happens. Written with Niamh O'Leary.

Categories Author Rating Chapters Words Recs Reviews Hits Published Updated Complete
Harry Potter > Buffy-CenteredSecondSilkFR15613,6010228,86620 Jun 0429 Aug 04No

Chapter 1

Familiar Ashes

By: Niamh O’Leary and Rose Williams.

Rating: PG13 – R (for violence)

Genre: Angsty – drama stuff, but some funny
bits (includes Fred and George). As well as requisite action.

Summary: AU Season two. After loosing her mother and Angel, Buffy moves
to England
with Giles and Jenny. Goes to Hogwarts, stuff happens.

Disclaimers: Harry Potter belongs to JK Rowling et al. Buffy the
Vampire Slayer belongs to Joss Whedon et al. We are
making no money, really.

Author’s Notes: Please review. No flames,
because Niamh is doing science and knows how to kill
people and make it look like an accident. Rose is still writing her other
stuff.

Review to: majethrim@yahoo.com.au.

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Jenny looked up from her computer in Giles’s dining room to see him
carrying a tray. The tray held all the necessary implements for his tea and her
coffee. He seemed to have taken to the rituals involved in any aspect of normal
life since the most recent apocalypse. She didn’t blame him.

“How is she, today?” she asked, clearing a space for the tray.

Giles sighed deeply.

“Superficially, I would have to say much better. She’s not taking any
more stupid risks; technically her fighting is the best it’s even been. She’s
not resorting to those atrocious puns anymore. And she’s even calling demons by
their proper names. Before it’s the sort of change I’d have wished for, but now
I just want the old Buffy back. I’d even be prepared to talk about shoes.”

Giles rested his head on his arms on the table. Jenny got up to rub his
shoulder blades.

“At least she has you. I don’t think she would have survived all this
if you hadn’t been there for her, you’re more of a father to her than hers has
been.”

Jenny paused, kissing Giles on the temple, “Speaking of blood-sucking
jerks, has Hank talked to his half-orphaned daughter yet, or is he actually
determined to ignore her?”

Giles sneered, “No, Hank has not talked to Buffy yet. I’ve spoken to
him, but all I get is ‘Buffy belongs to a part of my life which is dead now,’
as if that pun isn’t bad enough and, ‘I need to self actualise and I can’t do
that if I’m holding on the driftwood of my past.’ Didn’t he read the disclaimer
on the psych text book? I feel like getting the next bus to Los Angeles to beat him into mincemeat, I
would if I could leave Buffy to patrol by herself.”

Giles looked up at Jenny with sad, deep eyes. She smiled reassuringly,
but didn’t say anything. He continued.

“Sometimes she just stares at things, a cushion, a lamp, a packet of
mini marshmallows, or that absurd stake. She can’t let go, she’s trapped in her
own world of misery. I don’t know how to help her, and she’s closer to me than
she is to Willow.
She hasn’t spoken to Xander at all.”

Giles looked down towards his brogues, sipping at his tea, savouring
the warm taste of it and trying to think of something else.

“That’s not surprising,” Jenny said, “considering Xander’s
attitude to killing Angel. And you’re her Watcher. Her Slayer’s duty is all
that is stopping her from suiciding. Think of that week, Rupert. She watched
her mother die; she had a nasty argument with a best friend on the eve of an
apocalypse. She faced Wetexea, but the cost was
Angel’s life. The ‘absurd’ stake is the last connection she has with him. Her
father won’t speak to her, her friends can’t. She doesn’t have anything here
but you. What are you going to do about it?”

She looked directly at him. She was waiting for him the answer the
question that had been plaguing her for the last two weeks.

Giles paused. He refused to think of any option that took him away from
Buffy. He stood up, took off his glasses and turned to face Jenny.

“I’m going to do this.”

He knelt down, taking an old ring box from his jacket pocket.

“Jennifer Calender, will you do me the great honour of becoming my
wife? I cannot promise to be a perfect husband, but I do promise to try.”

He flipped the box open to reveal an antique filigree silver ring. The
ring was a pattern of wildflowers; each blossom had a different stone for its
centre.

“You’re asking me now because you know the courts are more likely to
grant guardianship to a married couple, aren’t you?” Jenny asked wryly.

“Well” Giles said sheepishly, “It was certainly excuse
enough to gather my courage. This ring was Grandmother’s; I had it sent over
from the bank in London
last month. I love you, and I want to spend the rest of my life with you. So,
in nervous anticipation I ask again, will you marry me?”

“Yes,” Jenny said simply, but she flung her arms around Giles and hugged
him close.

“The only reason I never asked you to marry me, Rupert, was I thought
you might like to retain one of the traditionally male roles in our
relationship. What happens now?”

“The Council will be able to help with our application. They aren’t as
interested in Buffy now the line has passed to someone else. Her name’s Kendra,
I think; they may send her here. Other than that, there is a small village near
where I went to school. We’ll be able to fit in easily. I think that might be
good for Buffy.”

 “That’s what I was taught; you
leave the place of tragedy. I think it will be good for all three of us. So,
how does tomorrow sound for you?”

 “What?” Giles asked, perplexed,
“tomorrow what?”

 “Tomorrow to
get married. You may not have been prepared, but I hacked into the City
Hall Registration Centre three weeks ago, so that whenever you finally got the
guts to propose I could get you to the altar before you got cold feet or an
apocalypse struck. All you have to do is tell Buffy and the others, and we can
be married and preparing to leave for the UK in less than a fortnight.”

Giles almost choked.

“You know something, Jenny?” he said, when he got his breath back. “If
I didn’t love you so much, I would be running for cover right about now.”

 

* * * * * *

 

Sixth year had gone well so far, despite the rising threat of Voldemort. The new Defence Against
the Dark Arts teacher seemed to know what she was talking about. Harry, Ron and
Hermione had been quite suspicious of the strict woman in their first lesson.
By the middle of term they had settled into the rhythm of the class.

“Please, take your seats. Silently. And take
out your text books. Can anyone tell the names of any immortal creatures?”

Hermione, of course, put her hand up. But most of the other students did
too.

“Mr Finnegan?”

“Vampires, Professor Ryan?”

“Yes. Who can tell me how to kill them?”

“You can stake them, or ah, burn them,” Seamus offered.

“Chop their heads off,” Lavender added.

“Sunlight and Holy Water,” Hermione said, “and they don’t like garlic,
but it doesn’t do much.”

Professor Ryan spent half the class discussing Vampires; the laws
relating to them, ways and effectiveness of killing them, and the legends
surrounding Vampires. Then the class moved on to Phoenixes; how they
regenerated, the healing and magical properties of their feathers and tears. And the Griffin’s
power to command truth from people.

Hermione wasn’t nearly as happy as anyone else at the end of class.
Although Professor Ryan had been quite strict, and seemed to have an odd habit
of looking over her glasses, she had led the class through another interesting
discussion.

“But she believes in demons, Ron,” Hermione said, yet again. “She
accepts things that don’t exist. We have laws that deal with Vampires, which,
by the way are the same ones that apply to many innocent creatures like House
Elves. But the Slayer, really Ron, and the rest of the demon population she
fights. And that stupid myth about the first Phoenix. Anyone
who’s read ‘Real Magical Myths’ knows that Phoenixes and Griffins evolved from
the same species when…”

“Hermione, please, we’ve got Potions next, I need to stiffen my
resolve,” Harry said.

Professor McGonnegal had kept her word in
helping Harry prepare for Auror training when he
finished school. It meant that he had to continue potions, but she’d given him
a list of helpful texts over the holidays. The Order hadn’t let him in on any
of their plans. The books had relieved the boredom of the Dursleys
and Harry was feeling almost prepared to face Snape.

But only almost. The damp air in the
dungeons wasn’t helping. It had the same effect on his friends, but they simply
shifted the topic of their argument.

“Didn’t worry about his results?” Ron hissed, “Slimy git, just because
Witch Weekly voted him sexiest wizard alive.”

“We are nothing more than good friends! All we do is send owls to each
other. And if you don’t like it you can take the mangy quill of yours and-”

“Be quiet you two,” hissed Harry, as Ron and Hermione’s argument
started to heat up. “Snape’s coming, and I’d like to
go ten minutes of Potions without losing some house points.”

A hush covered the room as Professor Snape
appeared from his entrance.

“You are going to be making, or attempting to make a Dreamless Sleep
potion, today. As this is now your sixth year and you have all somehow managed
to wriggle your way into this class, we will be working more through the theory
of potion making. What are the elements you would need to combine to make a
Dreamless Sleep potion? Weasley?”

“Ah, Sleep?” Ron asked.

“Very good. You managed to think of the
most obvious and simple of the elements, Weasley, a
trait which will serve you well.”

There was a slight pause as the students realised that that wasn’t
entirely meant as an insult.

“Any others?” Snape
asked.

No one said anything.

“Miss Granger,” he said, tiredly, “Please tell
the class the element that distinguishes a Dreamless sleep potion from an
ordinary one.”

“The potion for Dreamless Sleep includes an element of mind control. Commonly associated with the plant Lethe’s Bramble, which is used
in many forgetting spells.”

“Does it also stop you being a pompous know-it-all?” Malfoy asked from his side of the room.

The four other Slytherins who had been
accepted into the class sniggered. A couple of the other the students did too. But none of the Gryffindors. Harry
had been pleased to see that neither Crabbe nor Goyle were there.

Snape, for the first time Harry
could remember, glowered at Malfoy.

“There will be silence in this classroom except to answer my particular
questions,” Snape said very quietly.

Ron swallowed and gripped his wand.

“The ingredients and the method are written up on the board. If there
are things you do not understand, you may ask me.”

Snape sat at his desk at the
front of the classroom and smiled at them.

Everyone laid out their ingredients as quickly and quietly as they
could.

Hermione raised her hand.

“Yes, Miss Granger?”

“Hey, there’s something the Mudblood doesn’t
know,” Malfoy said with false surprise. His
companions giggled.

“Five points from Slytherin!” Snape roared. “I distinctly heard myself say silence,
Mister Malfoy.”

The blood left Malfoy’s face; he appeared
translucent. No one moved.

“Your question, Miss Granger?” Snape asked, in his normal voice.

“H- how will you be marking our potions, Professor?”

“An astute question, Miss Granger. I will drink one
potion a night and write down how I feel in the morning. And do not think that
you will be able to use this opportunity to poison me. Start, now!”

 

Harry went straight to Dumbledore’s office as soon as he was able to;
he had been requested to appear with any strange information. Luckily Harry did
not have to repeat an endless litany of confectionary in an attempt to get
admittance any more, as Dumbledore had given Harry the passwords so he could
get in for his Occlumency lessons.

Once inside Harry went straight to Dumbledore’s desk and began.

“Professor, I think that either something is terribly wrong with
Professor Snape, or someone is impersonating him.”
Harry said in one quick burst.

“I take it from your statement Harry that Professor Snape
is acting in an unusual manner? Could you elaborate on this for me?” Dumbledore
removed his spectacles and peered intently at Harry.

Harry shuffled slightly.

“Ah, he didn’t pick on us today, sir. He didn’t tell Hermione off for
knowing the right answers; he even specifically asked her questions. He didn’t
do the looming thing he does. I think Neville may have gotten through it. And
he took five points off Malfoy for talking.”

“Are you protesting that, Harry?” Dumbledore asked, his eyes twinkling.

“No, no, sir. But, ah, it is unusual. And he isn’t sleeping well. He’s
going to drink the Dreamless Sleep potions we made today.”

Dumbledore breathed deeply.

“Yes, Harry. Thank you for bringing the matter to my attention. I’m
sure we’ll get your potions master back to his old self soon. I advise, though,
that you get back to the common room before Mr Weasley
and Miss Granger raise alarm as to your whereabouts.”

Harry gladly raced off into the passageway, glad the responsibility of
his suspicions had shifted. He had learnt since the previous year.

After Harry had left Dumbledore quickly walked over to the fireplace
and put his head in it, scattering a handful of powder.

“Severus, my office, now, please, it’s
important.” Dumbledore quickly removed his head from the flames, not giving the
startled Snape any time to formulate an excuse.

A short while later Snape appeared at the
entrance to Dumbledore’s circular office. His face was bleak, even for him; his
usually sarcastic expression was replaced by one so blank that he was hardly
recognisable as himself. Dumbledore sat behind his desk, fingers laced, peering
intently at Snape over his half moon glasses.

“Severus, I have always respected your
privacy as much as I could, given the circumstances,
but I fear I am going to have to intrude.” Dumbledore paused, watching as Snape further composed himself. “It has come to my
attention that you have recently been acting somewhat out of character. Now I
see you for myself, I must ask if something has happened to that which you
protect. It is the only thing I am aware of that could cause such a drastic
change in your demeanour.”

“The Fidelius charm has broken; there is only
one way that could have happened.” Snape said, not
looking Dumbledore in the eye. “Not only that but at the same time my Signali potion stopped glowing. There’s no point any more,
Albus, nothing.”

“Nothing, Severus?” queried Dumbledore.

Snape could see the Headmaster
peering intently at him, through his tears.

“I believe you once mentioned to me another aspect to your spells. Now
that they are no longer in effective, I would be honoured, Severus,
if you would allow me to take care of those details for you. You understand
what I am referring to?”

Snape looked up, his eyes
widening slightly. “To be honest, Headmaster, I had forgotten. I would be
honoured for you to take charge. But are you sure you know what you are doing?
There are some rather unusual aspects to this matter, if you remember my saying
so. I would not want it to eat too far into your time.”

Dumbledore smiled slightly. “I know what I am taking on, Severus, and I rather think that we may benefit, in the
end. Now that that has been taken care of, I suggest you get back to whatever
you were doing when I interrupted you. Also, try to be a bit more like your old
self, hard as it may be; your almost scrupulously fair behaviour during classes
today has some of your more discerning students rather worried.”

Snape smiled grimly as he got out
of his chair. “I’ll try, but I don’t think I’ll be very successful. After all
that has happened, it just takes too much effort to pretend.”

He stood, and swept out of the room, to try the first of the Dreamless
Sleep potions that had been prepared earlier.

Dumbledore sighed as Snape left. He had been
a great asset to their cause and if he was faltering… Dumbledore knew he would
have to deal with that as well as everything else. But first he had to begin
business on another front.

 
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