Of Memories Best Forgotten and Revelations Best Remembered
I just had to write this chapter so that you didn't have to wait over three weeks until I had a chance to even start it.
If you're still reading the fic, Zira, this is the chapter you've been waiting for! I'm really nervous about it because I'm not sure it will live up to your high expectations. Hope you like it as much as I enjoyed writing it :D
Oh yeah, I made a stupid mistake with the last chapter. I put Black instead of Evans for Hank's real surname. SO please check that you've read the right one :P
Chapter Seven - Of Memories Best Forgotten and Revelations Best Remembered
“Evans?” Harry asked. “But that means…No, you’re wrong.”
“I’m afraid, Harry, that I am correct,” Dumbledore assured Harry resignedly. This was yet another bit of news that he had to break to the young boy, and it might not be too pleasant, as usual. “We’ve traced back Miss Summers’ family, for reasons we won’t go into now, and it’s been discovered that Hank Summers was originally Hank Evans, your mother’s brother. He ran away from home after he’d been caught stealing at the age of 17 - and it wasn’t the common shoplifting crime I’m talking about. Little did Hank know that he would change the future of so many lives by taking something that wasn’t his,” Dumbledore looked at Harry piteously before continuing. “He ran all the way to Sunnydale in America, in fact,” Dumbledore turned from Harry to Buffy and Dawn, “where he started a new family.”
“So it wasn’t the first time he’d left his family when he left us, then,” Buffy said bitterly.
“Obviously not,” Dumbledore said. “He - like your aunt, Harry - was not a wizard and didn’t like the fact that Lily, your mother, got all the attention from their parents.”
“So, Harry and I,” Dawn started slowly, speaking up for the first time since they had entered the room, “we’re cousins?”
“Looks like it, doesn’t it,” Harry smiled nervously at Dawn.
Dawn fell silent, all her feelings for Harry mixed up and confused in her head, swimming round with thoughts and memories, bewildering her even more.
“I knew I felt something the first time I saw you,” Buffy said. “It’s a Slayer thing; I can usually sense when my family’s near,” she explained when Harry looked confused. “And I’m almost sure I’ve seen you somewhere before, but we’ve never met until this year,” Buffy puzzled.
The door opened and Giles and Snape entered, followed by Boo who managed to sneak into the room before the door closed. In the first day, the little black kitten had already caused traffic jams in the school corridors. Boo had developed the habit of pouncing out from behind curtains and playing with the students’ robes. Most of the girls thought Buffy’s pet was adorable and stopped to stroke the cute kitten, blocking anyone who wanted to pass. Occasionally, however, Boo would attempt to ambush a Slytherin, who almost always carried on walking with Boo dragging behind them, attached to their robes.
Boo immediately went to Buffy and jumped onto her lap. Buffy rubbed the kitten’s belly while she glared at Snape. She had no idea what Willow saw in the man; he was obnoxious, sarcastic and of the dark-gloomy type. Then again, Willow had dated a demon computer so this was a definite improvement. Buffy had been shocked at the news of their wedding, especially since the last time she had seen Willow she was interested in women. She wondered why Willow had made the switch. Did this Severus Snape make her change her mind? Did he offer something to her that Willow needed? Was he really good enough for Willow to marry him? Buffy was surprised to realise that she had finally forgiven Willow. She thought of them as friends again. She had even started getting protective of her, sizing up her fiancé to see if he deserved her. Even after the talk they had after breakfast Buffy still wasn’t sure about the man. Severus seemed act like he hated the world. Probably something he and Willow had in common, Buffy thought.
“Excuse me, Professor Dumbledore,” Snape said, looking away from Buffy, indifferent to her stare. “But Professor Giles refused to tell me why I have had to leave my class of second years brewing a complicated and very dangerous potion.”
“You are here, Severus, to discuss Miss Summers’ wand,” Dumbledore told Snape, holding out Dawn’s wand.
Snape looked blankly at it until Dumbledore said, “Ebony. Eleven inches. Slayer blood in its core.”
Snape’s head snapped up from the wand and he looked directly at Dumbledore.
“Unusual combination, don’t you think, Severus?” Dumbledore said. “Almost unique.” It wasn’t so much of an accusation as a question for him to explain the wand’s existence.
But Snape looked away and did not answer; he preferred not to be associated with the wand, and reliving the days back then was not something he wanted to do.
“Severus,” Dumbledore said gently. “We merely need to know the history of the wand.”
Snape looked at Dumbledore, malice burning in his eyes. Why does it matter? Snape thought. Why’s he forcing me to humiliate myself? But he knew that Dumbledore wouldn’t ask him if it didn’t make a difference.
“Severus,” Dumbledore prompted again.
Snape reached into his robes and drew out his wand. Before anyone had time to react he shouted, “Invado Articulus!”
* * * * *
The night air was cold, the sky cloudless with the stars tiny pinpricks of light trying to penetrate the darkness. A breeze whispered mysteriously in the trees which provided breaks in the cold grey of the gravestones that littered the field. In the distance noises of a fight were interspersed with a girl’s voice making droll remarks.
“Ha! Another one bites the dust!”
“I know that voice,” Buffy said.
Snape silenced her with a look. They walked towards the sounds quietly, following Snape until they reached a group of trees which separated them from the fight.
They watched in awe as they all saw Buffy, younger than she was now, slay a group of vampires.
The young Slayer was standing her ground, surrounded by vampires almost a foot taller than her who ran forward one at a time, too stupid to think of ambushing her all together.
“Take that! And that!” Buffy shouted as they watched her beat up a vampire and then stake him in the chest. The attacker turned to dust right before their eyes.
“Wow! I was good!” Buffy said as she saw herself dust two more vampires immediately after each other. Every now and then she contributed a punch, as if enacting the battle.
Suddenly the fight stopped. Everyone was frozen in their positions, apart from the time travelling group. The youthful Buffy stood with one leg high in the air, joined to a vampire’s cheek while her right hand pressed a stake into another’s chest. The rest of the group of vampires, now considerably fewer in number, were frozen in a circle around her, their expressions menacing as they bared their fangs.
A movement on the other side of the circle of vampires caught the group of onlookers’ attention. A young adolescent man entered the fight scene, holding a glass vial. He had greasy black hair, sallow skin and wore black robes. Snape almost growled at his younger self.
Obviously he didn’t approve of what he had done as a youngster. Buffy couldn’t help wondering what he’d done in his past that was so bad. Her musing stopped when the teenage Snape reached her younger self and pointed a knife which he’d drawn from his robes at her outstretched arm. Buffy watched attentively as Snape made a small cut on her arm and held the vial close to catch the blood that trickled out of it. Once he had collected enough blood he placed a stopper in the small bottle and placed it in his robes. He looked around suspiciously then skulked back to the safety of the trees before pointing his wand at the battling group and whispering something.
Dawn, Harry, Buffy, Dumbledore, Giles, Snape and Boo all watched as the scene sprung into life in front of them. Buffy rolled up the sleeve of her pale blue robe of her right arm and found the tiny scar from where the blood was taken.
“You cut me!” Buffy cried indignantly.
Snape just glared at her; the Slayer annoyed the Potions master greatly, largely owing to the fact that she was the professor of Defence Against the Dark Arts, a position Snape had wanted since he first started his teaching career.
“Buffy,” Dawn said, “that doesn’t matter at the moment.” She carried on before Buffy could interrupt her, “The real question is why did he want your blood in the wand?” As she said this last question she turned to Dumbledore who nodded his agreement.
Everyone turned to Snape for an explanation.
“Reverto!” was all he said and they left the young Slayer fighting the vampires in the dark graveyard in Sunnydale.
* * * * *
Buffy closed her eyes when she finally landed back in her chair; the spinning was too much for her. Time travel apparently didn’t favour Boo either, as the kitten jumped out of Buffy’s arms and hid behind the curtains as soon as they arrived back at Hogwarts.
“Would you care to explain your actions?” Giles asked Snape with a hint of anger in his voice.
Snape smirked at Giles. So, he thought, Rupert cares for his Slayer. That’s not the Rupert I remember from school.
“Ok, let me rephrase that for you. What did you think you were doing?!” Giles exploded with rage.
“Rupert!” Dumbledore stood up to stop Giles from harming Snape. “You shall be asked to leave if you cannot act civilly to your fellow colleagues.” Turning to Severus he said seriously, “Severus, please explain your actions.”
Snape stopped smirking at Giles and faced Dumbledore. “I was under orders from the Dark Lord, Headmaster.”
“And why had he sent you on this mission?”
“He knew The Slayer was powerful. He’s attracted to power. He wanted the most powerful wand he could have. I was the one chosen to collect the blood and give it to Mr Ollivander to make into a wand.”
“What happened then?” Dumbledore asked Snape, concern etching on his old, tired face.
“The wand was made, and the Dark Lord was pleased with me. He went to Ollivanders, disguised as a first year student and tried the wand. But the wand didn’t choose him. He was furious. I still have the marks where He punished me," Snape simply stated the events as though he didn't want to remember the emotions attached to them, although his hand went to his side as if he felt a pain in his ribs. "He soon got over the failure of the mission and carried on with his attempt to rule the world."
"Why is it that all the big bads wana rule the world?" Buffy said breaking the silence. "It was bad enough for me being the leader of the Scooby Gang, let alone the being in charge of the whole world."
Everyone turned to look at Buffy in surprise that, after finding out that her blood was used in a part of an evil plan to conquer the world, all she did was complain about the ambitions of the enemy.
"What?" Buffy asked them, curious as to why they were all looking at her. "It's just something I've always wondered."
Dumbledore's eyes were sparkling again. He was glad he had hired the amusing young woman; not only is she good at what she does, she can still manage to be light-hearted when there seems to be nothing to laugh about. "I think, Miss Summers, that the others are surprised that you can take this news so well."
Buffy looked at each one in turn, ending with Harry. "That's it!" she exclaimed, unexpectedly jumping up from her chair. "I knew I'd seen you before."
"Buffy, what are you talking about?" Giles asked. Harry was looking apprehensive about what Buffy had just remembered; as far as he knew, they'd never met before that time in Diagon Alley.
"Harry!" Buffy said excitedly, happy that she'd finally worked the puzzle out. "He's the boy in my dream!"
Harry's expression changed from anxiety to confusion. "Dream?"
"Dawn didn't tell you why we're here?" Buffy said, looking at Dawn.
"I didn't know if I should tell him," Dawn explained to Buffy.
"Oh," Buffy turned back to Harry. "Well, I had this dream a few months ago of you in the Department of Mystics-"
"Mysteries," Giles corrected her.
"Mysteries," Buffy gave Giles a grateful look, "with this other guy Sirius who...who..." Buffy stopped before she got to the end of the sentence, realising what she was about to say. She quickly embraced Harry, which took him by surprise. "I'm so sorry," Buffy said. "I didn't mean to bring it up, I - I've only just worked it out."
"It's ok, Buffy," Harry said with difficulty until Buffy realised that she was hugging him too tightly and let go. "Really," Harry reassured her. Siruis' death still hurt but Harry had learnt to cope with it over the summer. Harry had had to cope with a lot of things in his life, like living with his aunt and uncle -
"Wait a minute!" Harry said excitedly. "I can live with you now!"
"What?" Buffy asked, taken aback by Harry's sudden outburst.
"Well, that is, if you want me to. I don't really have to it's just that..." Harry's embarrassed mumblings trailed off as he realised what he had just asked.
"Of course we'll have you," Buffy said smiling at Harry.
"Really? You will?" Harry looked up hopefully.
"Sure. Dawn's told me all about your aunt and uncle and how they treat you and-"
"Sorry to interrupt this little reunion, but if my presence is no longer required, I have a class to attend," Snape said turning round and leaving the room, his black robes billowing behind him.
"I just can't understand him!" Buffy exclaimed. "Or Willow’s liking for him, either. He's just...just," Buffy thought hard about how to describe him and came up with, "Snape!"
Everyone laughed at the small blonde woman distressing over Snape.
"Don't worry yourself," Professor Dumbledore said to Buffy, his eyes dancing with amusement. "But I do believe that Professor Snape has a point; we all have classes to get to."
"Oops! I forgot to tell one of my first years that I was going to be late! Gotta go!" Buffy sprinted out of the room to her classroom.
"Miss Summers. Mr Potter," Dumbledore nodded at the students and exited the room, leaving Dawn and Harry alone.
Dawn had been almost silent the whole time and was about to leave without saying anything to Harry when he asked if she was OK.
"Only, you haven't said very much at all this morning."
"I - I'm fine," Dawn replied, then left.
Harry let her go; he could tell she was distracted and needed time to think things through. You can't say you don't learn anything new at Hogwarts, Harry thought as he too left, picking up Boo who was playing with the tassels on a rug by the door, on his way out.
A/N: OK, so nothing much really happened in this chapter but I only had three days to write it. Hope it's enough to keep you going until the next chapter. Please review!