A Magical Kind of Comedy
Title: A Magical Kind of Comedy, Part 1a
Fandom: Buffy/Harry Potter Crossover
Disclaimer: I do not own the characters or settings, only the words. And, hell, I barely own them.
Pairings: Xander/Remus, Andrew/Severus, mentions of other pairings
Summary: A slayer is activated at Hogwarts and Xander is sent to train her. Of course, Andrew comes along.
Setting: Post-"Chosen", Post-"OotP", Spoilers for Season 5 of Angel
The airport was never a place that Xander enjoyed. He had only been there a few times in his life and each time had proven to be a hassle, what with them sending his luggage to Rome with Buffy instead of to England with himself last time. This time, when they arrived in London they found their luggage intact, which Xander found to be slightly reassuring. Perhaps his first gig as an actual Watcher-of-sorts (he was still apprehensive about the title) would not go down the drain. The fact that Andrew was tagging along did not help to back up this fact. Yet, Xander knew it was either Andrew following him or pestering Giles into an early grave. Even Xander wasn't that cruel.
The London airport was bustling with various groups of people. Xander managed to find a vacant area to place their baggage and wait for their escorts to arrive. Andrew was bouncing around him, managing to comment on everything. Xander rolled his eye, adjusted his eye patch, and continued to scan the crowd.
He wasn't sure what he was looking for, or rather who. Giles told him that someone would meet him at the airport and take him to meet his new charge. A Slayer. Not just a Slayer, but apparently a witch as well. Figures he wouldn't get a normal one. Yet, it was because of her being a witch and student at some magic school that forced Giles to send someone to her, instead of bringing her to headquarters. There weren't enough Watchers left to send out to every Slayer. So, the current process was to train them, then send them home.
"Wow, look at him." Andrew giggled. Xander followed his line of sight to see a man in very mismatched clothing. The shock of red hair was much like Willow's, standing out in the crowd almost as much as the golfer pants and business coat.
The redheaded man turned to someone next to him, gesturing with his hands as he looked around the airport. The other man was dressed in better clothing, with gray slacks and a white button up shirt that looked both well-worn and comfortable. This one wasn't a redhead, instead he had gray hinted honey-blonde hair. And even at this distance, Xander could see the golden eyes. He'd never seen someone with actual gold eyes before, but he supposed there was a first time for everything.
"Hey, they're coming over." Xander sighed as Andrew continued his commentary on the events surrounding him. He was shocked the blonde hadn't pulled out his camera yet.
"Excuse me?" The golden eyed man asked. "Would you be Mr. Alexander Harris?"
"Yeah, that's me." Xander smiled, reaching out and shaking the man's hand, then in turn the redhead's. He gestured toward Andrew, who bounced over to shake their hands. "This is Andrew Wells. He's, uh, the assistant."
"Hiya!" Andrew greeted, preening at the title.
"It is nice to meet you." The redhead smiled. "I'm Arthur Weasley and this is Professor Remus Lupin."
"Weasley? Oh, you'd be our new Slayer's father, correct?" Xander asked, reaching down to pick up his bags.
"Yes, that would be me." Arthur chuckled. "It would figure my only daughter would end up stronger than all my boys."
"Perhaps it would be best to finish this conversation at headquarters." Remus suggested, reaching to help them with their bags.
The trip to their headquarters was rather boring, if Xander was honest with himself. When they reached a vacant looking street the taxi stopped and they all gathered between two houses. Xander noticed there was a house missing, apparently someone had forgotten to add a number twelve. Xander turned to Remus, mouth open to talk but was instead handed a slip of folded paper. He unfolded it, then turned questioning eyes toward the golden-eyed man.
"Memorize it." He told Xander. Xander returned his eye to the slip of paper.
'The Order of the Phoenix can be found at Number 12 Grimmauld Place, London.'
"Let me see." Andrew plucked the paper out of Xander's hand to read it as well. "But there isn't a number 12-"
As Andrew spoke a strange thing appeared in front of him. The two houses, numbers eleven and thirteen, shifted to the side to reveal number twelve, which had appeared out of nowhere. For once, Andrew was without comment. Xander, who was used to seeing strange things, reached down and picked up his baggage. "Well, that explains that."
"We must be very quiet in the front hall." Arthur told them as they opened the grimy front door. The moment they entered the house, the front door was closed and darkness enveloped them. There was a moment's pause to let their eyes adjust, after which Xander noticed that Remus had moved on ahead without any problems in the dark, Arthur began ushering them toward a door at the end of a short hallway. Inside, they found themselves in a room with a long dining table.
Sitting along the table was a group of redheads, one boy with dark hair, and a girl with long, brown hair. Xander raised an eyebrow at all of the redheads this place seemed to have. Then, all eyes turned on them and Xander adjusted his eye patch uncomfortably. An older woman in the back stood and quickly made her way over, greeting them with a wide, motherly smile.
"I hope your trip was okay? Not too far, I hope." The woman asked, and Xander was vaguely reminded of Buffy's mother.
"No, not at all. The Council is in Blackpool, so it wasn't that long of a plane trip. I think we could of drove to save in airfare, but the boss man wouldn't hear of it." Xander grinned. "Said we'd get lost."
"We probably would." Andrew muttered to himself.
"Well, I'm glad it was a safe trip." She replied. "My name is Molly Weasley. These are my children." She began, pointing to each one as she announced their name. "That's Bill, Fred, George, Ron, his friends Harry and Hermione, and Ginny. Terribly sorry you aren't able to meet Charlie, but he had to return to Romania. Everyone, this is Mr. Alexander Harris."
"Please, call me Xander." Xander insisted. Andrew cleared his throat next to him. "Oh, and this is Andrew Wells."
"It's a pleasure to meet you both." Molly replied. "Fred! George! Take their luggage to the spare room on the third floor."
"But-" Fred started.
"Now." Molly narrowed her eyes. Fred and George both rolled their eyes before dragging the suitcases up the stairs. Molly turned back to Xander and Andrew with a smile. "Why don't you both have a seat?"
A few minutes later, after the twins had returned, the questions began. Xander noticed that his new Slayer, Ginny, was the only one who didn't ask anything. She merely watched them all from her corner of the table. The bushy-haired girl, Hermione, reminded him of Willow.
"I thought there was only one Slayer." Was the first comment out of her mouth. Everyone turned toward Xander and for a moment he wished he could just hand this over to Andrew and his cue cards.
"Well, there was." Xander cleared his throat, knowing this was going to take a while. "See, what happened was one of my best friends, Buffy, was The Slayer. As in the only one. Then she drowned, but I used mouth-to-mouth to bring her back to life. She was only gone for about two minutes." From the side of the room that his eye had view of he could see the wizards mouthing the words 'mouth-to-mouth' in slight confusion. "So, because she basically died, another Slayer was called. Then that Slayer died and Faith was called."
"Faith is like the Xena of Slayers." Andrew announced. Hermione, being the only one able to understand this connection, fought a small giggle.
"Right, well, Faith went all Dark Slayer on us." Xander continued. "So, she got sent to jail. Things were fine for a while, then Glory showed up. She was this Hell Goddess that wanted to go home, but in order to do that she had to use the blood of The Key. The Key is Buffy's sister. And working with the Buffster you learn one thing: Don't mess with her family. Anyway, Glory still opened the portal up to go home, so Buffy jumped off the platform to close it and died. Again."
"She has terrible luck, that one does." Ron commented. Xander snorted in agreement.
"Yeah, she does." Xander replied. "So, Buffy died for a second time. Well, my best friend Willow is a witch. Though, according to Giles she's not the same type of witch as you guys, she's an Earth Witch or something. I don’t know. That's not my thing."
"What's an Earth Witch?" Ron asked the most logical person to ask: Hermione.
"Someone who doesn't need a wand and works with the elements." Hermione answered automatically, before sending a glare at the younger Weasley. "Honestly, Ron, you should start reading more."
"Well, then, let me just go out and buy a copy of Hogwarts: A History." Ron retorted. Hermione's face turned near red with anger at this comment.
"Ron." Molly said in a warning voice. "Go ahead, Xander, dear."
"Umm, right... Where was I?" Xander asked Andrew.
"The part where Willow goes all Gandalf on us. Well, on you guys, I was evil at the time." Andrew said.
"She didn't go Gandalf." Xander told him. "She brought someone else back to life, she wasn't resurrected herself. And you weren't evil, just really annoying... Except the killing Jonathon thing."
"Hey, I apologized for that." Andrew whined. Xander was suddenly aware of the fact that everyone was staring at them strangely. Clearing his throat, he decided to continue with his story.
"Willow decided it was high time to get our Slayer back. So, we did this spell to bring Buffy back to life." Xander said. "It worked, but things were a little off. Turns out she was pulled out of Heaven. But that's another story. Then The First came to town. Well, underneath the town. The First is this huge collection of evil from all over the world, especially vampires. When we battled The First, all of the Potential Slayers came to help. Buffy decided that there shouldn't be just one Slayer. So, Willow did a spell to activate the Slayers. Hence, more than one Slayer."
"That took too long. We should find a way to shorten the story." Andrew complained.
"So, what exactly is a Slayer, anyway?" Molly asked.
"It's The Chosen One." Hermione answered for Xander. "Well, now I suppose it's 'A Chosen Group'. A girl with extra strength and senses, able to battle darkness. Watchers are the ones that train and educate them. Slayers mostly kill vampires, along with other dark creatures." Xander looked impressed, while a few others in the group were shooting glances towards Remus, who had been so quiet that Xander had forgotten his presence.
"So, it's my duty to kill dark creatures?" Ginny asked from her corner of the table.
"Pretty much. That and stop any prophecies concerning a great evil and all that jazz." Xander told her.
"Too bad you weren't a Slayer when we were fighting You-Know-Who." Ron commented.
"That's not funny, Ron." Harry said softly.
"Harry's right." Molly said. Ron looked ashamed. "Just because the Dark Lord has been defeated does not mean we should take it lightly."
"Sorry." Ron mumbled.
"Dark Lord?" Xander asked, raising an eyebrow.
"They must have their own Darth Vader." Andrew whispered to him.
"As long as he's dead, I don't really care." Xander replied.
"Don't worry, he's dead." Harry said bitterly. "He's been dead for about two months now."
"Thank Merlin." Fred said.
"Now maybe this year-" George started.
"Ronnikins will have a-" Fred continued.
"Peaceful year." George finished.
"It's not my fault we always got into trouble." Ron said. No one at the table look convinced by that statement.
"I think that's enough chatter." Molly announced, standing. "Ginny, why don't you show them to their room while I start dinner?"
"Oh, can I help?" Andrew asked in an excited voice.
"Please, let him." Xander begged. "He's been mourning the loss of his oven mitts for months."
"Every cook must own the bare essentials." Andrew insisted. Xander simply rolled his eye and stood to follow Ginny upstairs.
They passed the front hall quietly and made their way up narrow stairs until they reached the third floor. Xander and Andrew's room was bare, holding only two twin beds and their luggage. Ginny stood nervously at the doorway as he surveyed the room and then turned his eye on her. She was short, her deep red hair fell to her shoulders, and she watched him with a pair of hazel brown eyes.
"So, what do you think of all of this?" Xander asked, sitting on the nearest bed. "A bit overwhelming, I can imagine."
"A bit would be an understatement." She replied. After a moment's pause she walked over to the other bed and sat across from him. "How long have you been a Watcher?"
"About three months, unofficially." Xander answered.
"What about Andrew?"
"Andrew... Well, he's not really a Watcher. I guess neither one of us are. It's hard to be official when the Watcher's Council blew up, leaving only a hand full of trained field Watchers. But I've worked with a Slayer for a little over seven years and Andrew's been with us a year." Xander explained.
"You're going to teach me to fight, right?" Ginny asked.
"Pretty much. You'll learn to use a sword, an axe, a stake, and crossbow. Along with hand to hand combat, that's important." Xander told her.
"I imagine so." Ginny said softly. "You're going to Hogwarts with me, then?"
"Yup, so is Andrew."
"I don't see how that's going to work. Muggles can't see Hogwarts. It's just a dirty old building to them." Ginny said.
"People who don't use magic."
"Ah. Well, Andrew will probably be able to see it." Xander shrugged. "He uses magic, well he did use it. To summon demons. Not a very good gift, mind you, but it means he has some magic ability."
"What about you?" Ginny asked.
"I've used spells before. Remind me to tell you about my horrible experience in love spells." Xander grinned. "But, I'm not much of a magic user. Not much of anything, really. I was the humor of the group before we split up. I... Well, I watched. Guess I was cut out for this Watcher gig."
"Sometimes watching is better than participating." Ginny said.
"That's a very good point." Xander nodded. A silence fell upon them for a few minutes before Xander cleared his throat and adjusted his eye patch.
"What happened to your eye?" Ginny asked bluntly.
"Huh? Oh, the eye." Xander cringed at the memory.
"You don't have to-"
"No, it's okay. Most people just stare at it, without asking. You're forward, I like it." Xander smiled. "Well, The First I was talking about? It had this evil preacher serving it; really creepy guy. Well, we were fighting him one night and he got a hold of me and stuck his thumb into my eye."
"Ouch." Ginny bit her lip. "That must have hurt."
"Yeah, but thankfully my doctor was very generous with the medication." Xander replied. Ginny smiled in return. "So, tell me what's up with this Dark Lord that you guys fought. I got the feeling it was pretty big."
"Yeah, it was." Ginny said, staring at the floor. "Harry is what our world calls The Boy Who Lived. He survived a curse that should have killed him. No one has ever survived it, except for him. The Dark Lord, known as Lord Voldemort-" Ginny made a disgusted face as she said the name. "-was stripped of his power. A couple of years ago he returned to power and gained his old followers along with some new ones. Over the summer, at the end of Harry's sixth year and my fifth, the Order placed a siege on You-Know-Who's hideout. Harry, following the prophecy, killed him. Most of his followers, the Death Eaters, have been placed in Azkaban Prison, but there are a few that haven't been captured."
"Wow." Xander whistled under his breath. Ginny shifted in her seat, scratching at one arm.
"Does being a Slayer always itch?" Ginny suddenly asked.
"Well... Here lately it feels like my skin is crawling... Mostly around certain things... or people." Ginny confided. "This house use to belong to a rather dark family, so there are a lot of items of dark magic still in here that we haven't been able to get rid of. Every time I go near one of them, my skin starts itching and crawling."
"We've discovered that every Slayer has a different reaction toward the nasties. Buffy got cramps. Faith, well, she got... Uh... How old are you?"
"I'm almost sixteen."
"Right, can't tell you how Faith got." Xander said. "Kennedy got a surge of anger. One of the recent Slayers would get the hiccups. So, most likely that's how you're warned of a bad presence."
"But he's not bad!" Ginny exclaimed, standing.
"Whoa, who?" Xander asked, confused. Ginny bit her lip and shook her head. "Come on, tell me. I'm here to help you figure this stuff out, remember? I got to know if I'm going to be able to do my job."
"Professor Lupin." Ginny said.
"Remus? What about him?" Xander asked.
"He's a werewolf." Ginny told him. Xander was silent for a moment, leaving Ginny to fidget. "I shouldn't have told you."
"No!" Xander exclaimed. "No. Look, as long as he stays locked up during the full moon, he's not a bad person, right?"
"He stays in the attic." Ginny said. "But Professor Snape, the Potions teacher at school, makes Wolfsbane Potion for him. He's able to keep a human mind while transformed."
"Sounds familiar." Xander mused. "Willow dated a werewolf in high school. They set off the slayer sense, especially close to the full moon, but it should lessen during the other times of the month."
"Merlin, that sounds like when mum told me about menstruation." Ginny laughed, then looked away when she realized what she said.
Down in the kitchen, Andrew was busy setting the table. Molly kept glancing back at him from the stove, a look of complete shock on her face. This boy talked more than all her children together.
"I've got to go, mum." Bill announced, giving her a quick kiss on the cheek.
"Oh, okay dear. It is a pity you can't stay for dinner." Molly replied, playing slightly with his hair. He could tell from her face that she was still longing to cut it all off.
"Sorry mum." Bill grinned. "But Fleur has been trying to do the whole meal planning thing. She'd kill me if I didn't show up and praise her good work."
"Oh, and Severus should be coming by later with the file on one of the missing Death Eaters." Bill told her. "He should be here soon."
"Maybe I can get him to stay for dinner this time." Molly mused. "He really does need to eat better."
Bill merely grinned and left for home, leaving his mother with her mind set at mothering Severus Snape.
Andrew had decided he liked Molly Weasley. She reminded him of his mother, which probably explained why he gave off the vibe of Momma's Boy. At least that's what he figured, because Molly was already starting to fawn over him helping her out like such a sweet boy. Andrew wanted to point out that he wasn't a boy, he was actually twenty-one, but he was enjoying the attention so much he decided to let that drop.
It was a while later, when dinner was in it's last stage of preparation, that Professor Severus Snape showed up. Andrew was in the middle of mixing up the mashed potatoes, despite Molly’s suggestion that they use magic. Andrew would hear nothing of it, for mashed potatoes were an art form. Severus entered the kitchen like a bat swooping down on it's prey. Andrew didn't know who he was trying to impress, but it worked on him.
"Here is the file, Molly." Severus announced, handing a suspicious looking folder to the Weasley matriarch. She gave a quick nod and left the room with it. Andrew stared at Severus, taking in his pale skin and black clothing. Feeling someone's eyes on him, Severus looked over.
"Hi!" Andrew greeted, breaking into a large grin. Severus simply blinked. Andrew cleared his throat and tried again. "You're Professor Snape, right? I'm Andrew. I came with Xander. He's Ginny's new Watcher."
Severus stared at him. Andrew didn't seem phased by the stare and his grin widened in response. Andrew decided the man must be the silent-type. Which meant that he needed to fill the void. "So, you work at that magic school, huh? Hogwarts, is it? What do you teach? Is it true you're a greasy old git? You don't look so old; not very greasy either."
"I-" Severus stopped himself from replying and narrowed his dark eyes at the young man.
"So, you guys use wands? That's so cool. It reminds me of this story I read once." Andrew continued.
"You're not torturing this poor man, are you Andrew?" Xander asked, walking into the kitchen.
"Why would I torture him?" Andrew asked, a little shocked. He quickly got over it, though. "Xander! Dinner is almost ready. And doesn't Professor Snape look like something out of a gothic movie? I bet he lives in a castle with torches and a dungeon."
"Actually, I think Hogwarts is a castle." Xander replied, sitting down at the table.
"Wow, this is so cool! I can't wait until we go there." Andrew bounced.
"You will be coming to live with Mr. Harris, then?" Severus asked, his voice cold. Xander flinched at the tone, but Andrew was once again not phased.
"Well, of course silly!" Andrew said, bouncing over to Severus. The Potions Master stared down at the shorter man, his face void of any emotion. "Xander would lose his underwear if I wasn't there to help. Poor guy."
"Hey!" Xander exclaimed. "That was once!"
"Anyway," Andrew fidgeted. "I suppose we will see you there? Or are you staying for dinner?"
"I'm afraid I must leave." Severus told him. He quickly took a step back, only to have Andrew take a step forward.
"Really? You should stay! For dinner?" Andrew asked, pouting slightly.
"No!" Severus said urgently. "I must get back to Hogwarts... Potions to brew."
With that said Severus Snape escaped the horrors of the kitchen. Andrew watched him leave, a small frown playing on his lips and a sigh escaping his chest. Xander snickered from his seat at the table. "I think you scared him off, Andrew."
"I didn't mean to." Andrew mumbled, sitting down next to Xander and crossing his legs. "But, Xander, did you look at him! He's so... Dashing."
"Dashing?" Xander asked, snickering.
"Who's dashing?" Ron asked as he entered the kitchen, Harry and Hermione behind him.
"Oh, Andrew was just noticing the dashing qualities of your neighborhood Batman." Xander replied. Andrew turned bright red.
"Who?" Ron asked, sharing a frown with Harry, who had been refused the privilege of DC comics as a child and therefore did not understand the reference.
"That Snape fellow." Xander explained.
"Oh, ew!" Ron grimaced, covering his face with a hand. "That's gross, mate. Snape? That greasy old git?"
"Ron!" Hermione exclaimed.
"He's not greasy. His hair looks silky." Andrew said softly, staring off into space.
"Oh Zues, there it goes." Xander groaned. He turned to Ron and Harry. "The last time he got that look was when they came out with the Star Wars on DVD, plus a DVD of behind the scenes entertainment... That was a scary day."
"I'm heavily offended by that, Xander." Andrew said, sniffing slightly. "Now if you'll excuse me I need to finish mashing my potatoes."
"What's Diagon Alley?" Andrew asked. Andrew, along with Xander, Molly, Remus, Ginny, and the Trio, stood in the back of the Leaky Cauldron staring at a red brick wall. "Why are we staring at a brick wall?"
"We must go through there to reach Diagon Alley." Hermione explained. Andrew raised an eyebrow and sent Xander a look.
"It's a wall." Andrew stated.
"Obviously it opens up somewhere." Xander told him.
"Indeed it does." Molly smiled at Andrew. Ginny, Ron, and even Harry recognized this as the 'Oh, aren't you just darling' smile. She pulled out a wand and tapped a few bricks. A soft rumble was heard, then the wall magically split apart. They walked through and found themselves in a busy street with shops and robed men and women.
"Doesn't look like an alley." Andrew noted.
"Ron, here's your money. Don't lose it!" Molly said sternly, handing a pouch over to Ron, then another to Ginny. "There you are, Ginny. You both are welcome to join us."
"Nah, that's alright." Ron said quickly, before grabbing Hermione and Harry's arms and dragging them away. Molly turned to Ginny, who began to fidget.
"I'm going to see if I can find... someone." Ginny said, running off before Molly could reply.
"Well, Andrew is there anyplace in particular you would like to go?" Molly asked the young man, seemingly unaffected by her children running from her.
"I want a dress." Andrew stated. Molly blinked.
"A dress... One of those dressy things... Like Professor Snape was wearing." Andrew sighed, while Xander rolled his eyes.
"Oh, a robe!" Molly chuckled. "Certainly, Andrew. Xander, would you like a robe as well?"
"Eh, no, I'm cool." Xander said, adjusting his eye patch nervously as a group of witches walked past and eyed him.
"If you don't mind, Molly, I'm going to go to the bookstore." Remus said. "Xander, you are welcome to join me."
"Yeah, sure." Xander agreed, following the werewolf away from the bouncing blonde and smiling mother. Both Xander and Remus remained on the quiet side as they side-stepped shopping witches and wizards. It wasn't until they had entered the shockingly near-empty store that Xander spoke up. "So..."
"Yes?" Remus asked, stopping in front of a section of books. A gold plaque on the bookshelf read: Defense Against the Dark Arts.
"Very well." Remus said calmly, pulling a thick volume off the shelf and opening it.
"So, you're a werewolf?" Xander blurted out. He could see the sudden tension in Remus' back and was quick to continue. "Not that it's a big deal, being a werewolf. I had a friend who was all wolfie, you know. Quiet man... You kind of remind me of him. Huh... Wonder if it's just a wolf trait?"
"I can assure you not all werewolves are like me." Remus told him softly.
"So, you've met others?" Xander asked, genuinely curious. Remus shot him a look before walking further down the aisle, in the process removing them from the more open area of the shop. Xander glanced around at the books on Dark Magic, not having to be a wizard to feel the negative energy.
"Yes, I have." Remus replied simply. "All registered werewolves must spend three months with a research colony, to determine their danger level. There were about five other lycanthropes there at the time."
"What were they like?" Xander questioned, watching as Remus' gold eyes stared into the distance, as though remembering. He really had beautiful eyes, though Xander tried to fight the thought.
"Different." Remus said. "Aggressive. Dominant. It became apparent very quickly that in the lycanthropy world I was a sub-wolf."
"I don't buy it." Xander countered. Remus simply raised an eyebrow in query. "I mean... Sure, compared to some steroid pumping wolf-man you might be a little out of your league, but you seem the type to hide behind your human side. Your intelligence. In a battle of wits and smarts I bet you could beat anyone."
"I..." Remus trailed off, staring at Xander. "I'm not sure how to respond to that."
"Most just ignore me." Xander said honestly.
"I don't know why." Remus told him. "You're obviously a very bright young man."
Xander blushed under the compliment and quickly turned to the bookshelf to hide the redness of his face.
"I want black." Andrew exclaimed. Molly chuckled from her spot next to him, watching as the measuring tape darted around his body and took his sizes. "Long and black. Like Severus Snape, the Potions Master. Coolest."
"Pardon?" Molly asked, blinking at the dream filled look on Andrew's face.
"Hmm?" Andrew asked offhandedly, ducking his head as the seamstress threw a large panel of black cloth over him. He watched intently as the robes were quickly formed and sewn using magic.
"I take it you enjoyed meeting Severus, then?" Molly asked lightly.
"Oh, yes!" Andrew nodded. "He's... something, alright. And he barely talked. Which is kind of weird. Is he always that quiet?"
"I'm afraid so." Molly smiled. "Severus isn't much of a people person. I can hardly get him to stay for dinner, let alone join in on a conversation. When he does start talking, though, he proves he's brilliant. I almost want to say the man reads too much."
"Intelligent, sexy, and a wonderful dresser." Andrew sighed, his eyes focusing on a distant point in the air. "Anyone would be lucky to have him, grouchiness and all.... He's married, isn't he?"
"No! Not at all." Molly replied, trying not to laugh from the shock of Severus Snape being someone's crush. "He's single. Has been for quite some time."
"Why?" Andrew asked, quickly paying for his robes with the Council’s money and following Molly out the door.
"I don't think he believes himself to be worthy of love." Molly said sadly. "No matter how much he has done for the world, how much danger he has survived, he still believes he needs to repent."
"Repenting is over-rated." Andrew said solemnly. "It's impossible to unmake the mistakes you made in the past. All you can do is admit it, learn from it, and live to feel regret."
"You sound like you've experienced it first hand." Molly said softly, slipping her arm across Andrew's shoulders.
"Maybe a bit." Andrew mumbled, before perking back up. "Let's go find Xander! I want to catch him flirting with Remus."
"Flirting?" Molly asked, raising an eyebrow.
"Oh, yeah." Andrew nodded and giggled. "He's been talking in his sleep about golden eyes and werewolves. How many people has he met in the past week with gold eyes? I can only think of one."
"Really?" Molly tapped her chin thoughtfully, a smile forming on her face.
"What are you planning?" Andrew asked. "That's a plotting look! What is it?"
"Oh, nothing." Molly said. "I was just thinking about how nice this could be for Remus, to have someone new interested in him. Ever since Sirius... Well, it's been a little over a year, but Remus still refuses to let go."
"If anyone can get him to move on, it would be Xander." Andrew said, smiling mostly to himself. "Xander is like a White Knight who rescues you from mortal peril. He's like the prince from The Little Mermaid."
"Who?" Molly tilted her head.
"Muggle children's movie." Andrew explained.
"Albus, I don't think this is a good idea." Remus' voice drifted from the library. Xander had honestly not meant to eavesdrop. He had been reading up on some of the beginner's books in the library, and on his way to returning his latest book he came across a tense conversation between Remus and a man that looked like the wizard from Disney's Sword in the Stone.
"Remus, my boy." The bearded man, Albus, replied. "The students need a proper education. True, Voldemort is gone, but what's going to stop the next wizard who thinks he can control the world? These children need to be taught the consequences of dark magic and how to protect themselves from it. You are the one person I trust above anyone else."
"What about Severus?" Remus countered. "He's been wanting that job for a very long time."
"Severus wants it for the wrong reasons, Remus." Albus said softly. "He thinks that would be the best path for his redemption. He doesn't realize he's already reached a level of redemption that most will never see. He is my Potions Master, not my Dark Arts Master."
"But..." Remus sighed. "The parents would not like their students being taught by a werewolf, Albus. Do you expect them to just bow down to your decision?"
"Not really." Albus said honestly, before pulling something out of his pocket. He held out his hand, revealing it to be filled with little yellow candies. Xander fought the temptation to run in and grab some. "Lemon drop?"
"No, thank you." Remus waved them away.
"Remus, we need you. I need you." Albus told him, peering over his half-moon spectacles. Remus stared at him for a moment, before sighing dramatically.
"Fine." Remus muttered. "But I'm letting you open all of my hate mail."
"I doubt that will happen. You helped lead the attack on the Death Eaters, my boy! The Wizarding World respects you."
"I often wonder, sir, if your little world is accessible to others." Remus commented. Albus chuckled.
"Welcome back to Hogwarts." Albus winked.
Xander turned away from the library and rested his back against the wall. A jolt of excitement crashed through him. Remus was going to Hogwarts with him! He'd get to see him everyday, including those wonderful golden eyes. Xander sighed happily, before his back stiffened.
Why was he so excited anyway? It was just Remus. A nice guy, with a sexy voice and beautiful eyes. But Xander wasn't gay. He didn't like guys... Except that crush he had in high school on Oz, but that wasn't much of anything. Xander didn't want to be crushing on someone who was at least ten years older than him, if not more. A man. A werewolf. A wizard for crying out loud!
Xander took a deep breath. "Okay, what would Willow say?"
Xander mentally cursed himself for even asking that question. Willow would probably slap him aside his head and ask why it took him so long to realize he was attracted to men in the first place. Not that he was... Oh, great. Xander straightened up and walked back to his room. After living on the Hellmouth for most of his life, experiencing men trying to grab at his essentials during that eventful stay in Oxford, and rooming with both Spike and Andrew? It was no wonder he was gay.
"Why do you do this to yourself, Xander?" He asked himself. "Couldn't just be normal, could you? Just had to take a moment to realize things. Isn't ignorance bliss? Or have you forgotten that key factor?"
"What key factor?"
"Argh!" Xander jumped in shock and focused his single eye on Ginny. "Don't do that! You'll soon learn that's a good way to get yourself staked."
"With a book?" Ginny asked looking at the thin hardback in his hands.
"You'd be amazed at the awesome power of the written word." Xander said in a very Giles-like voice. A small smile teased the corners of Ginny's mouth, but she said nothing. Coughing, Xander continued. "Anyway... Did you need something?"
"Not really." Ginny shrugged. "I just came to let you know that you should start packing."
"We are leaving for Hogwarts in the morning." Ginny reminded him.
"What?" Xander gasped. "Oh no! I've got to get stuff prepared! I haven't even set up a schedule for your training. I don't even know where half of my stuff is!"
"Calm down, Xander." Ginny patted his shoulder. "Go through the house, room by room, and you'll get it all."
"Oh. Right. Good idea." Xander beamed at her, before walking off. Ginny shook her head, then continued though the hall until she reached the room Xander and Andrew shared. Inside, she could hear Andrew humming to himself. Peeking through the open doorway, she was greeted by Andrew dancing around the room, folding his clothes. Unable to restrain herself, Ginny broke into a fit of giggles.
"Oh my gosh!" Andrew exclaimed, jumping at the sound. He shot Ginny a half-hearted glare.
"Nice moves." Ginny commented.
"Oh, well, they aren't much." Andrew said, blushing slightly. "I've never been much of a dancer."
"Hmm, it shows."
"Well, pardon me, I'm no Backstreet Boy!" Andrew placed his hands on his hips in protest.
"Who?" Ginny asked.
"Oh, boy band of the late nineties." Andrew sighed. "I do miss the era of young, sexy dancing men."
"I'm sure you would." Ginny smirked.
"And what is that suppose to mean, young lady?" Andrew asked, turning back to his suitcase.
"I heard from a little bird that you have a thing for Professor Snape." Ginny told him, walking into the room and sitting on Xander's bed. Andrew shuffled his feet for a second and didn't respond. "You really do? Wow! This is great!"
"Huh?" Andrew frowned. "You mean you're not going to tease me like your brother, Ron?"
"Please." Ginny waved her hand dismissively. "Snape needs a bloody boyfriend, and fast. That man is so grumpy. He'd probably treat us students better if he had someone after his arse."
"Language!" Andrew reprimanded, but his was smiling.
"Anyway, I've got to go. But I highly encourage you to pursue Severus Snape." Ginny informed him sternly. "Not only will it make both of you happy, and Merlin knows that man needs to smile more, but it will also make for an entertaining year."
Xander had managed to locate the majority of his things. Though, honestly, he didn't want to know how a pair of his boxers ended up in the master bedroom. Xander had almost given up on getting that lone pair of underwear, due to the very large animal that lived in the room. They were his favorite pair, though.
Now he was standing in an office-like room, scanning it with his eye. There appeared to be nothing of his inside, but when he turned to leave something caught his attention. On the wall was a large family tree. It was moth eaten and looked as though no one had bothered to tend to it in years. Walking over, Xander noticed that certain names had been burnt off. Kneeling down, Xander narrowed his eye in attempt to read one of the bunt names. "Si...ck? Sir...ack! Sirack? No... It's longer than that..."
"Sirius Black." A soft voice informed him. Xander's face flushed for reasons he could not identify at the sound of Remus' voice.
"Ah, Sirius Black." Xander repeated. He could hear Remus walk over, his footsteps almost silent. Standing, Xander turned to look at him. He was shocked by the sad look that graced Remus' face. "Friend of yours?"
"You could say that." The tone indicated much more than friendship. "We went to school together. He was... Very important to me. He died last year. One of the first casualties of the second war."
"I'm sorry." Xander told him. Remus smiled sadly.
"I..." Remus started, but he trailed off.
"Anya died when we fought The First." Xander said. "She was my ex. We got engaged and I... Well, I left her at the altar. I still feel guilty, wondering if there was anything I could have done to save her."
"I understand." Remus nodded. "I often think the same thing."
"Maybe we should both just... move on?" Xander asked.
"I've been told that's what I need to do." Remus replied. "I'm afraid... That I have difficulty with that, though. I do not want to forget him."
"I don't think you can." Xander said, honestly. "I can't forget Anya."
"No, I suppose I couldn't forget him. I highly doubt he would let me, anyway." Remus said. Remus shook his head and turned back toward the door. "It's getting late, perhaps we should turn in?"
"Sounds like a plan." Xander smiled. Remus stared at him a moment, his gold eyes thoughtful, before sending him a small smile. Xander felt a little foolish, knowing that his tiny smile was sending a wave of calm and happiness through him. Xander could only imagine what a full blown smile would do. And to think, he thought growing up would get him over these emotions that caused unexplainable crushes.