Chapter 2 Let The Healing Begin
Healing At Hogwarts
Spoilers- HP: Up to OOTP
BTVS: Up to Becoming pt2 and borrows some stuff from Anne.
Disclaimer- not mine, they belong to J.K. and Joss.
Note- When i posted this story on fanfic.net i received a flame about my little joke in the disclaimer so i'm adding this little disclamier here.
I am aware that Joss is the recipient of profits made by Buffy merchandise, including media tie-in's. However, I also know that he doesn't receive all the profits, the author's of those tie-in's are paid for writing; they don't write them for the pleasure of it, like fanfic writers.
Severus sighed as the girl fell into unconsciousness. She had obviously seen the vampire, as well as Severus's use of magic to dispatch it; and that meant that the wizarding world had been exposed. By Ministry law the girl had to have a Memory Charm placed upon her.
Severus frowned as he looked down at her. Just what was she doing in a dark alley by herself? Had the vampire lured her into the alley under a false pretense?
He looked around, finally noticing two other dust piles littering the floor of the alley. He looked back at the petite girl lying on the ground; surely she couldn't have done this. There had to be some other explanation, maybe the vampire he had disposed of had killed the others to have the girl to herself.
Severus knelt down next the girl, frowning at the bruises and cuts that marred her skin. He raised his wand to perform the memory charm, when she frowned and mumbled. He leaned closer to her.
"I don't want to slay tonight, Giles." She shifted slightly, revealing a large gash on her forehead; the blood had already clotted. There were particles of brick and dirt embedded in and around the wound; she had obviously hit her head on the wall.
Severus froze. Slay? Surely she couldn't be the slayer; she was so small. Much of the Wizarding world believed that the Slayer was a myth, a fairy tale that muggles who knew about the supernatural made up to make themselves feel safe. Severus knew that the slayer was real though; Dumbledore and others in the order had made contact with the Watchers Council. They had attempted persuade the Council that Voldemort was a concern not only to the Wizarding world but to the muggle world as well. The Council had refused to send their Slayer to assist with the fight against Voldemort and the talks between them had broken down.
Severus looked back at the mouth of the alley, then back to the slayer. If she was in fact the slayer then he couldn't very well take her to a muggle hospital. Slayers were reputed to have enhanced healing, far beyond that of normal humans. If he were to take to a muggle hospital he could doom her to a life of being studied, being tested to determine how she healed so quickly.
Severus sighed. The American Ministry had joined the British in their denial of the return of Voldemort, so he couldn't leave her there. They would question why the Potions Master of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry had left Britain during the middle of a school term. They would ask him questions that he could not, for one reason or another, answer.
He studied her. Perhaps if she was the slayer, she could be of great assistance to their fight. There was something about her, should one chose to look past the surface. She was the image of a blonde American 'air-head' on the surface, but underneath there was something that showed in her aura, strength and self-control.
Severus shook himself out of his thoughts as she shivered. With her head wound and the cold ground she was freezing. He sighed and swept her up into his arms, being careful not to knock any of his bags against the ground; there were some very volatile ingredients in his bags and should any of them be broken or shaken the results would be disastrous.
He looked down at the small girl nestled in his arms; she had burrowed into his chest the minute he picked her up, seeking warmth from his body heat. He chuckled grimly to himself, many of his students believe that he was as cold-blooded as the mascot of his house; they would never have believed that he actually had body heat to share.
Severus looked once more towards the mouth of the alley, and shook his head. No, there was no way around it; he had to take her with him. If she turned out not to be the Slayer then it would be easy to Obliviate her and return her to L.A. If she was the slayer, however, she could be extremely useful. He sighed; it looked like Hogwarts was about to receive an exchange student.
Then with a loud pop they disappeared leaving the alley empty. Leaving the wind to pick up the remaining ashes of the vampires and scatter them through the air, removing all traces of their presence; making it as though they were never there.
Severus grunted as he adjusted his grip on the girl, he had to arrive a few miles outside of Hogwarts to avoid the wards. While she was quite light, she hadn't gotten any lighter during the walk up to the castle. His arms were beginning to ache. Severus came to a stop at the main doors, he glared at them. Dumbledore hadn't been informed of his return and with his arms full he could neither open the doors magically or manually.
The door swung open, revealing a rather amused looking Dumbledore. He clapped his hands together. "Ah, Severus. I see you have returned, and you have brought a friend."
Severus scowled at him. "I think she's a slayer."
The usual twinkle in Dumbledore's blue eyes brightened. "Ah. We should get our young slayer to the hospital wing. Minerva will take your bags."
She gave him a tight smile. "Good to see you back, Severus." She took the bags from his hand, her eyebrow rising as she felt the weight in them. "Why didn't you just shrink the ingredients?"
Dumbledore laid a hand on her shoulder. "I do believe we should let Severus take our new guest to the hospital wing. That wound on her head looks troubling."
Severus looked down at it. "It's not as bad as it was half an hour ago."
"Oh, my." Minerva placed a hand over her mouth. She nodded at him. "I'll have the bags placed in your chambers."
Severus nodded a quick thanks and started striding quickly through the halls. It was almost curfew, so there were very few students littering the halls. Three of the students that still wandered the halls were Harry Potter, Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger. They stared at him, their mouths hanging open in shock; they hadn't been expecting Snape back for a few more months, and truthfully they had been hoping that he wouldn't return.
Severus glared at them meanly. "Shouldn't you be on your way to your common room?" He never broke stride, his long black jacket swirling out behind him.
Hermione stared after him, watching the way he cradled the diminutive blonde carefully in his arms. "Wow."
Ron gaped at her. "What?"
Hermione glanced at him distractedly. "Humm?"
"You just wowed, about Snape! Slimy, Slytherin Snape! How could wow about him." Ron started to wave his arms around as he spoke.
Hermione adjusted the strap of her overly full bag primly. "I'm sure I don't know what you're talking about."
Ron frowned and crossed his arms over his chest with a huff. "I can't believe you wowed Snape, it's disgusting."
Hermione rolled her eyes at him, coming to focus her attention on Harry. He was still fixed to the spot staring out into the direction Snape had just went, his hand half raised to his scar.
"Harry, are you alright?"
"Yeah, mate. You don't look so good." Ron ouff-ed as Hermione's elbow hit his stomach, hard.
Harry looked at his half raised hand, then at his two best friends. He gave them a halfhearted smile. "No, I'm fine." He wasn't sure whom he was trying to convince, his friends or himself.
Madam Pomfrey jumped, one hand placed over her heart, as the doors to the infirmary crashed open. Severus Snape stood in the doorway, a slightly sheepish expression on his face.
"Severus, what is the meaning of this?"
He laid the girl on a bed and swept the hair out of his face. "She was attacked by a vampire, or vampires. I'm not sure."
She looked down at the pale girl on the hospital bed. "Is she a witch? I don't recognize her."
"Poppy, I think she's a vampire slayer."
Poppy stopped her assessment of the girl's wounds. "Really?" She looked at her closely. "I never would have guessed. But I guess that's the point, isn't it?"
Severus leaned against one of the nearby beds. He watched as Poppy bustled around the ward, moving from her office to the potions cabinet and back to the bed. She pulled on a pair of dragon hide gloves and opened a lid of a small container. She dipped her gloved hand and covered the gash on the blonde's head with a bright yellow paste.
"I don't remember making that." Severus commented.
Poppy carefully peeled off the gloves and dropped them in a small basin. "You wouldn't. I make that myself. It's the usual healing paste but I combined it with an indicator potion. If there is any serious damage, beyond what we see, it changes colour. Different colours indicate different degrees of severity. Hopefully it will stay yellow, and then we'll know that she hasn't received any permanent brain damage."
They watched, waiting to see if the sticky paste changed colour. Poppy let out a sigh of relief as the paste turned a slightly lighter shade of yellow. "She'll be fine. Give it five minutes and that gash will be healed."
With a quick wave of her wand Poppy healed all the little cuts and bruises that blemished her skin. With another wave she changed the girl from her stained uniform to a clean pair of pajamas, cleaning all the dirt off her as well.
Severus read a sleeve and arched an eyebrow at Poppy. "Really, Poppy. 'Yummy Sushi.'"
"I didn't choose them, her subconscious did." Poppy carefully raised her head, giving the unconscious girl a dose of the dreamless sleep potion. She capped the bottle and returned it to its place in the cabinet, dusting her hands on her apron. "There, she should rest easy till the morning."
She turned to Severus. "And I suggest you do the same."
Buffy rubbed her hands over her arms, the sun was setting on the deserted beach, leaving a cool breeze to raise goose bumps on her skin. She smiled as a strong pair of arms wrapped around her waist and rested her head against his chest. "Angel."
She frowned as the arms slipped away, leaving her feeling suddenly very cold. She turned around, but he was nowhere to be seen. "Angel, come back! Angel, don't leave me!"
She jerked herself out of sleep, coming to prop herself up on her elbows. Through her sleep blurred eyes she could make out a figure clad in black. "Angel?"
There was a chuckle from the other side of her bed. "I think that's the first time anyone's called you an angel before, Severus."
Buffy threw back the covers and jumped out of the bed all in one quick movement, her fists coming up in a reflex guard. "What the hell is going on?"
Her eyesight was still fuzzy; she could just make out general shapes and colours. She shifted her guard as a colourful blur moved towards her.
"Now, Miss, we are not going to hurt you." The voice was soothing, yet still cheerful.
"How do I know you're not lying?"
A smooth velvet voice answered her. "If we wanted you dead, I would have left you in that alley. So why don't you just return to your bed."
"Alright I can accept that, but I'm sitting because I want to." Buffy felt her way back and sunk into her bed; her really comfortable bed that obviously wasn't the one in her meager apartment. There weren't enough lumps in it, for one thing. Buffy blinked rapidly, clearing her eyesight.
She gaped at the old man beside her. "Wow. Hello, Gandalf."
He smiled down at her, his blue eyes twinkling. He stuck his hand out at her. "Albus Dumbledore."
She shook his hand, still gaping at him. "Buffy Summers." She turned to glare at a dark scowling man who was leaning against a wall near her bed; he had snorted derisively when he heard her name. Buffy turned back to Dumbledore, gesturing with her thumb. "Who's the human bat?"
Dumbledore chuckled and smiled at her. "That is Severus Snape. How are you feeling this morning, Miss Summers?"
Buffy raised a hand to her head. "Surprising good."
"Now, Miss Summers, would you like to tell us exactly what you were doing in that alley last night?"
Buffy's face tightened. "No, actually I wouldn't."