On a rainy day at the end of May, students sat, gowned and capped, on plastic chairs in the Stonewell Comprehensive gymnasium. Their parents, cameras at the ready, sat on the bleachers behind their children, poised and ready to immortalise the moment their babies set foot into the world beyond Secondary school. The Headmaster stood before them at a podium, the staff seated behind him.
“…And so we gather here today to honour these fine students. Through the years, then have proven themselves worthy of the title we now bestow upon them: Graduates of Stonewell Comprehensive. Congratulations, class of 2003!”
As one, the students stood and threw their caps in the air amidst the strobe-light effect of hundreds of camera flashes going off. Despite the pouring rain outside, the mood in the gym was sunny and exuberant. As the cheering died down, the crowd broke into smaller groups, with students hugging their friends and joining teary-eyed parents.
“Dawn, you looked so beautiful up there!” Buffy sobbed on to her little sister’s shoulder.
“Aw, Buff!” Dawn squirmed in the Slayer’s embrace. “Here,” she said, handing her sister a tissue, “wipe your eyes, then take a picture of Kiley and me, would you?”
As Buffy was taking the picture, Kiley’s parents joined them. “Oh, stay like that,” Mrs. Granger said as she pulled out her own camera. “They are beautiful, aren’t they?” Mrs. Granger shared a proud maternal look with Buffy, whose red-rimmed eyes matched her own.
“Mum!” it was Kiley’s turn to squirm.
“Really, what is it with mothers and cameras?” A new voice joined the conversation.
“Hermione! You made it!” Kiley turned to give her sister a hug.
“Couldn’t miss my little sister’s graduation, now, could I?” Hermione slung her arm around Kiley’s shoulders.
After a mini sister-bonding time, Kiley introduced the others. “Mione, you remember Dawn? Well, this is her sister, Buffy, and her... Uncle, Rupert Giles.”
“Pleased to meet you.” Hermione smiled.
“Oh, you’re her sister?” Mrs. Granger remarked to Buffy. “Now that I think of it, you do look a little young to be her mother.”
“It’s the hair, isn’t it?” Buffy grimaced.
Mr. Granger turned to Giles. “Rupert Giles? I’ve been meaning to ask you, you wouldn’t happen to have been employed at the British National Museum about 25 years ago, would you?”
“Actually yes, I was. Were you? You look extremely familiar.”
“No, I was studying dentistry at London College, but I spent a lot of time at a pub called The Flying Turks Head.”
Giles looked more closely at Mr. Granger. “Denny? Is it you?”
“Rupes, my man!”
With the “parental units” occupied with their counterparts, Kiley gave Dawn the signal and drew Hermione aside. She watched until Dawn faded into the crowd, then turned to her sister.
“You know, I found out that Ron Weasley was a player. Is that why you left him?”
“Kiley, where- I never told you that!” Hermione was caught off guard, as planned.
Kiley ignored her sister’s protests and asked another seemingly random question. “Heard from Damian Fide recently?”
Hermione couldn’t figure out where these questions were coming from, but knew her sister would eventually get to the point. “I erased his message before listening to it. But what does this have to do with Ron, and how did you find out about that?”
“We, Dawn and I, that is, had a very interesting conversation with our English professor a few weeks ago. His mum was a Black so he was really interested in our poetry project. He even pulled out a copy of Poems of the Night and asked us why it wasn’t in our Bibliography, especially since we referenced the Daily Prophet.”
“You’re not answering my question.” Hermione began tapping her foot impatiently, but Kiley kept going with her story.
“Turns out he went to school with you, same year, different house. Apparently, he’s liked you ever since you punched him in your third year.” Hermione’s foot stilled as her mind began spinning at the implications of what her sister was saying. “According to him it was a huge joke that Ron was fooling around with all these girls behind your back and you had no clue. He said it made him, and I quote: ‘want to hex him (meaning Ron) more than usual.’”
Hermione’s expression went from calculating, to shocked, to perplexed. Her sister’s English professor was a Wizard. That she apparently knew. Who was he, and what did this have to do with Damian? Kiley had better be nearing her point.
“Of course, the name he’s using now isn’t his real name, I don’t think. He was forced out of school at the end of your 6th year because he got mixed up in his father’s machinations. He was able to escape, and so he went into hiding in the last place either his father or any of his... associates, would ever dream of looking: the muggle world.”
There was only one person that fit that description.
“Draco Malfoy.” Hermione said in unbelief.
“I haven’t been called that in nearly six years.” Came a voice from behind the elder sister.
Hermione spun around. It seemed Dawn had gone to fetch the afore-mentioned English professor.
“Draco Malfoy, huh?” Dawn said. “The Draco part suits you. But I think you’re more of a Fide that a Malfoy.”
Kiley nodded in agreement. “Draco Fide. I like the sound of it. Well, we’re off,” she said, taking Dawn’s arm, “Professor Fide, you have some explaining to do. Hermione, hear him out before you make any decisions.”
The two friends sauntered off. “Well, that’s one down. Does Buffy need any matchmaking help?”
“She does have notoriously bad luck when it comes to relationships.” At Kiley’s quirked eyebrow, Dawn elaborated: “Two vampires and a super soldier.”
The girls were delayed in their getaway by a woman in an old-fashioned white dress that swept Dawn up into a hug.
“Nibblet! Auntie Dru is so proud of you!” Dawn uncomfortably endured the hug.
“Dru? What are you doing here?”
“My Harry wanted to see his old neighbourhood school”
It was then that the girls noticed Drusilla’s companion.
“You!” It was the green-eyed vampire from the warehouse in London.
“Yeah, me. Look, I’m really sorry about London, but I’ve got to thank you for introducing me to Dru, here. We’ve decided we only hunt criminals.”
“Oh yeah? Then why’d you take a chunk out of Professor Fide?” Dawn demanded to know.
“Yeah, over there.” Dawn pointed back at Hermione and Damian, who seemed to be on the verge of making up.
“That’s Draco Malfoy! He’s a bleeding Death Eater!”
“Oh yeah? Then explain to me why he left the Wizarding world to live as a muggle before Voldemort was defeated.” Kiley put in her two-cent’s worth. She wasn’t at all surprised that this vampire knew about Death Eaters. Actually, he seemed kind of familiar, from somewhere other than London.
“He tried to kill Dumbledore, and he ran away from Hogwarts with Snape”
“He was forced to do so after refusing the Mark. Voldemort would have killed his mother, and his father would have killed him. He knew he was on the losing side and he knew you guys would never trust him so the first chance he got he escaped into the muggle world. It helped that Snape was living in a muggle neighbourhood. What, don’t believe me? Why don’t you ask him yourself, you vampires can smell lies, can’t you?”
The green-eyed vampire looked over at the blond professor. “I’ll do that.” He stalked over to them, Drusilla on his arm. Dawn and Kiley exchanged glances and took off after them.
“Malfoy. I’ve been told you refused the Mark.” The Vampire confronted the Professor
“Well, well, well, if it isn’t the Saviour of the Wizarding world. Come to take another bite, Potter?"Potter? Professor Fide knew the vampire? And was that a
sneer? Never seen Fide sneer before.
“Harry? What are you doing here?”Hermione knew him too? This was getting more interesting by the minute.
“Dru’s niece was graduating.” Harry answered Hermione absently, then went back to grilling Professor Fide. “So, Malfoy, did you?” He said, his nostrils flaring.
“It’s Fide now, and yes I did. What’s it to you?” The professor snapped back at Harry.
“And yet you still did that Snake-faced bastard’s bidding after!”
“If you mean the whole Dumbledore thing, it was the only way I could get them all off my back while I figured out a way to get away from it all. Notice how I never actually managed to kill him? If it hadn’t been for my mother’s meddling in getting Snape involved, he’d still be alive.”
“Is that why you left the Wizarding world?” Hermione asked, trying to mute the hostility between the two schoolyard nemeses.
“It presented me with an opportunity that I didn’t think would come again. As far as they’re concerned, I was killed by muggers outside Spinner’s end. There was no way your group would accept me after all that happened, and if my Father thought I was still alive, he would hunt me down and kill me.” At Hermione’s shocked expression, he continued, “What? It wouldn’t be the first time he’s killed his heir for not aiding the Dark Cause. You know, I really hope he didn’t survive this time.”
Hermione gave him a sympathetic look and shook her head. “I’m sorry. They believed the Imperious story again.”
“He’s still alive?” Professor Fide said weakly.
“Not for long,” Harry said firmly. Much to his surprise he had not smelled a single lie from Draco, and now a new target had presented itself. “Come on, Dru, we’re off to Wiltshire.” He then turned to Professor Fide to confirm: “That is where he’ll be living, right?”
Professor Fide nodded, then realised just what was being asked. “Wait, why do you ask?”
“I only eat criminals. It keeps Dru away from the innocents, and they’re apparently much more fun to hunt. I thought you were one. I was wrong, and for that I apologise. Your father, however, certainly is a criminal that deserves to die.” Harry explained.
Then you’ll need this” Professor Fide pulled out a ring that he had on a chain around his neck. “The mansion’s unplottable. This’ll help you find it, and get you past the wards once you do.”
The vampire sniffed the air, and detecting no lie, took the ring. “I haven’t drained a wizard since Voldemort. It’ll be interesting.”
As they parted, he fixed a glare on his schoolyard rival. “By the way, you hurt Hermione and I’ll make an exception to the criminals-only rule.”
As Harry and Drusilla melted back into the crowd, the “parentals” came to gather the “youngsters”
“Was that Drusilla?” Buffy asked Dawn,
“That young man looked remarkably like your friend Harry Potter.” Mrs. Granger said to Hermione at the same time.
“It was Harry. His friend’s niece was graduating.” Hearing Hermione say this, Buffy raised her eyebrow at Dawn.
“How nice.” Mrs. Granger said vaguely, glancing curiously at Professor Fide.
Hermione took the hint. “Oh! Mum, this is Damian Fide. I met him in London a while ago. It turns out he’s the girl’s English Professor.”
Mrs. Granger wasn’t fooled by the seemingly innocent introduction. “Well, Kiley’s graduation roast is probably just about ready. You’re welcome to join us, Professor.”
“If Hermione doesn’t mind, and please, call me Damian.”
“Well, I don’t mind,” said Hermione, “but it is Kiley’s roast, so I suppose it’s up to her.”
All eyes turned to Kiley. “After everything I did to finally get you two to talk? Of course I don’t mind!”
“We’d better get going, too, Dawn,” Buffy said. “Now all we have to do is pull Giles and Mr. Granger away from their reminiscing.”
The Summers sisters had finally managed to get Giles and come home from a long afternoon.
“Well, at least your graduation went better than mine.” Buffy said as she shook the rain from her coat before hanging it up.
“Fortunately for us, Surry doesn’t seem to have all that much in the way of the supernatural.” Dawn remarked.
“Yeah, all it does is rain, it seems. Honestly, Giles, does it ever stop?”
“For a few days in July, Buffy, and in December and January when it snows instead.”
“Oh, yeah. I remember the snow now.”
Just then, the doorbell rang. Giles, who was nearest the door, opened it and immediately stiffened in shock.
“Give a body some room, would you? It’s not like I’m a ghost that can walk right through you, you know. Not anymore, anyway.”
That voice! It couldn’t be! The person at the door stepped past Giles over the threshold without a verbal invitation. Dawn’s, and especially Buffy’s jaws dropped.
“Spike? How?” Buffy didn’t know what to think.
Spike, born William Equuleus Black, took Buffy’s hand and placed her fingers at his throat. Buffy vaguely noticed his hand was surprisingly warm. She wondered at the placement of her fingers, but then she felt it. A pulse.
“Angel’s dust, Wolfram and Hart’s destroyed, and I’m human again.”
Buffy launched herself into his arms. “You’re alive, you’re alive, you’re alive!” she sobbed into his chest.
“I’m not going to leave you, not if I can help it.”
Dawn and Giles began edging out of the entry, to give the reunited lovebirds some privacy. They would have made it, if Dawn hadn’t knocked over a pile of stuff that was on the table in the foyer. A pile of stuff that included a certain shoebox.
“Are those my journals?”
Well, I hope you all liked this story. Finally got around to posting this last bit, had to re-write parts of it because of HBP, and it'll probably end up AU in 3 months 6 days 2 hours and 39 minutes as of posting this, due to the release of Deathly Hallows.
I'd love to hear what you all thought, and it'd be great to get something beyond 3 word reviews.
By the way, there apparently really is a pub called The Flying Turk's Head in London, not far from the Order of St. John headquarters. They grew out of the Templar and Hospitaller Knightly orders, and at one point in their history, they were besieged by the Turks on an island in the Mediterranian (I think it was Rhodes, but it might have been Malta) and they ran out of cannon balls so they used the heads of the Turks they had killed.