I don't own anything.
Author's Chapter Notes:
A/N: I’ve changed the timelines slightly…so Buffy is still 15 when called, still 20 when dies, and Harry is still 14 at the time the story takes place, but I’ve moved the Buffy timeline back several years, so that Season 5 takes place at the same time as GOF, if that makes any sense.
Disclaimer: I do not own anything that J.K. Rowling or Joss Whedon also owns.
Harry Potter—Willow-Centered—Pairing: Severus Snape
Title: Unexpected Guest
Summary: In England, Giles finds an unexpected guest and takes him back to Hogwarts, bringing a friend along the way. Very much AU.
Rating: FR-13 (FR-15 for a few chapters)
Spoilers: Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, the beginning of season 6 of Buffy.
Bashing: None, really.
“I can’t stay long Harry; I’m in a Muggle’s fireplace and they’ll be home any minute,” Sirius Black said quickly, his gaunt face set firmly in the fire. “But first, let me give you a little help with those dragons…”
The Muggle in question was out to get groceries and see a friend, but the Muggle in question was not exactly a normal Muggle. He worked for the Watcher’s council and had recently returned home to England, and his name was Rupert Giles.
Giles bought tea and biscuits at the supermarket after checking in with the Watcher’s council. He had finally decided to retire after a long five years with his Slayer, Buffy Summers. That summer, Buffy had lost her life to a hell goddess named Glory, and Giles had been heartbroken. He had continued to run his shop, the Magic Box, as normal, but had returned to England, leaving Anya Jenkins, ex-demon, to run the store. That was not to say he’d left without a fight…Willow, Tara, and Xander, close friends of Buffy’s, had wished him bon voyage barely three months ago. When Buffy had been brought back to life because of Willow’s powerful magicks, Giles had quickly returned, but disaster struck and Giles had realized that he was not able to stay…
He had bought a plane ticket back to London, and had not regretted his decision since. Living in London once again was very peaceful. It was beautiful being able to drive on the left side of the road again and be able to walk from his home to the grocery store. Giles missed his Slayer and her friends with an extreme passion, but he could not say he wished that he had not left.
Sighing and opening the door to his nearby home, Giles nearly dropped everything he was carrying when he saw a man with his head in the fire. Taking a deep breath to clear his head and set the groceries he had previously bought down, he walked quietly over to the man and watched him speak. It was a huge mystery to Giles as to how the man had his head in the fire without burning himself, but Giles had seen enough supernatural events to not be terrified.
The man continued to speak.
“No, it must be someone over your end,” said the bedraggled man. “There can’t possibly be anyone over here; the Muggle isn’t due back for hours at least…”
There was a slight pause in which the man did not speak, and then, slightly nervously, he said, “All right, I’ll check. Remember to use Conjunctivitis on the dragon.”
It sounded quite odd, as if he was speaking on the phone, but as the man removed his head from the blazing-hot fire, he was muttering to himself. “Muggles…impossible…but…I got to…get out…”
Giles wasn’t positive whether to say anything, or cough, or do nothing, so instead he stood there politely and waited for the clearly insane man to notice him. In good time, the man looked up and choked on his own words.
“What…l?” was all he managed to say, either confused or angry, Giles couldn’t tell which exactly. “How did you get here? Who are you? What did you hear? Why aren’t you bloody calling the police?” He looked around wildly. “Don’t you know who I am?”
“Should I?” said Giles, glad that the man had not immediately attacked; he looked quite dangerous.
The man spat out the piece of bread that he was holding, obviously from Giles’s pantry. “I’m the most wanted man in Britain! I’m Sirius Black ! Are you joking?” He laughed hoarsely and derisively.
“The fire,” said Giles, ignoring Black’s comment about being a convict. “Are you a demon?” He said it perfectly seriously, but Black only continued to laugh.
“Me, a demon? I’m only a wizard…although half the population seems to think I’m a demon,” he said in a more subtle tone.
Giles, however, did not laugh in the slightest. “I would like an explanation, please,” he said coolly. Sirius Black grinned, showing yellowing teeth. His hair was wild enough; it looked like it had not been brushed for fifteen years, let alone brushed.
“I’d tell you if I could, believe me,” he said, pulling out a thin, reddish brown wand. “But I can’t. So I’ll be on my way.” He attempted to push past Giles, but Giles did not relent.
“You’re a wizard, are you?” he asked. “With a wand?” Giles knew enough from the Council to know the major magic schools of Britain. “Did you happen,” Giles said slyly, “to go to Hogwarts?”
It was a remote guess, but Black stopped dead in his tracks and sank into an armchair without asking Giles if he could.
“Do you know,” Black said slowly, “the name Harry Potter?”
“Let me guess,” said Giles, rather angrily. “He’s one of your convicted friends, and he’s the man you were talking in the fire with.”
Black laughed again, a haunted sort of sound. “Only one out of two. He’s not a convict. He’s pretty close to the most righteous man in the world.”
Giles raised his eyebrows a small amount. “Yet he was talking to you, an escaped prisoner who’s a wizard, and went to Wizarding School…”
“Harry Potter,” said Black again, and there was a slight surge of affection in his voice. “He’s a wizard too. The wizard who defeated Lord Voldemort.”
At this point, Giles could not take any more. “Are you mad?” he asked.
“Quite possibly,” said Black seriously. He took another giant bite of the bread he was still holding and gave a manic grin.
“Get out,” said Giles quietly, “of my house.” He was not good with dealing with insane people; look what had happened with Faith. Giles was prone to blame Wesley for this incident, but he knew it was close to his own fault.
“Just so you know,” said Black rambunctiously as he jumped forward and out of the window, “I’m an innocent convict. And you’d never guess how I escaped.”
Giles watched his shadow disappear and then become much smaller, and then Black was gone. Only a large black dog remained. Giles did not know what to think. But before he could call the police and say he’d spotted the prisoner of Azkaban, the phone rang for him.
Giles didn’t know who it was; he was just praying it wasn’t the London police calling to ask why he was harboring Sirius Black. He answered the phone.
“Giles?” It was Tara Maclay, one of Buffy’s friends. Giles took off his glasses with one hand, and said quickly,
What could Giles expect to hear from Tara? She’d wished him the most heartfelt good-bye when he had left, and had seemed to understand the reasons why he’d done it. Tara loved Willow, so what could she have to say? Giles knew there would be an unexpected reason.
“It’s Willow,” said Tara nervously, and Giles could almost see her glancing around to see if Willow was there. “She—she—her magic…it’s almost like she’s addicted to it.”
“Good lord,” said Giles, certain that the reason Tara had called was in hope that Giles would be able to help Willow.
“Giles,” said Tara quietly, “I left her because of it. I tried to get her to stop…but we all lost her memories…you were there…She’s really getting kind of dangerous, and I…I—I need your help.”
“I don’t know what to say,” said Giles tonelessly. He wanted to help Willow, he truly did. But he had no idea where to start, and frankly, he hadn’t seen her in a while.
“Giles,” whispered Tara, and she was nearly crying over the phone. “You’re the only one who could help. She…she won’t listen to me, and Buffy and Xander and Anya…they wouldn’t know what to do.”
There was a long pause while Tara waited for Giles to respond. When he said nothing, Tara continued.
“Please, Giles. There has to be something.” There was a click of the phone, and Giles was disconnected from Sunnydale, so far away from where he was now.
Giles had a spark of an idea, to openly help Willow, because…because at least Sirius Black had not been addicted to magic, but his only chance to get Willow to a place where her love for magic could be channeled out via a wand was gone…Out the door, because Giles had kicked him out without a second glance. Could Giles get Willow to Hogwarts? Could he let her addiction to magic lessen as she learned how to use potions and history of magic and astronomy along the way? Giles didn’t know anything about Hogwarts other than the fact that it existed, but he knew that it would help Willow…
The only problem was how to get her enrolled there…
Giles opened the back door where Sirius Black had left and called out loudly, “Sirius! Sirius Black!”
There was no response, but Giles had very well expected that. Wizards had their ways of getting from place to place, and Sirius Black, although he had no wand, could find a different way.
The only thing that occurred was a great, loping black dog walked slowly and arrogantly out of the forest towards Giles’s house. About to close the door, Giles turned away for a second and the pitch black dog bounded up onto the back porch and into the house. Giles attempted to push the dog out, but it stayed firmly where it was. When Giles finally gave up and closed the door, walking to finally put his groceries that he had bought away, the dog stood up on his hind legs. When Giles once again turned around to check on the dog, Sirius Black stood there instead, rather smugly.
“You wanted to talk to me,” he said. It wasn’t a question. Giles stuffed the last of the eggs into the refrigerator and walked over to Sirius, sitting down in his only armchair and watching Sirius intently for a second. Sirius did not move.
“I wanted to know,” said Giles, “how on earth you get to Hogwarts.”
Sirius Black grinned manically one last time, but he did not laugh. Instead he asked briskly, “Why? You know what magic is, but that doesn’t make you a wizard.”
“No,” said Giles. “But I have a friend in grave danger who’s a witch. Hogwarts may be able to help her.”
Sirius did not reply for at least a minute. “Witches in grave danger aren’t my specialty,” he said darkly. “The last witch I knew who I tried to protect is dead. That’s why I was in prison.”
“So make up for it now!” said Giles angrily. “Willow needs to go to Hogwarts, or she may very well kill almost everything she knows because of her magic! She can’t control it anymore, and Hogwarts needs to teach her how.”
Sirius looked as if he desperately wanted to help Giles, but didn’t know exactly how to do it. Giles sat back, nearly out of control, in the armchair. Sirius was sitting gravely on the hearth. The difference between the two men could not have been more obvious.
“Write a letter to Dumbledore,” Sirius said suddenly. “I’ll get you an owl. I can’t afford to have another life lost because of me.”
Giles nodded, and they stood up together to draft a letter to the most powerful wizard on the earth. Across the globe, Willow Rosenberg could not have been more upset.
“Willow, you are using too much magic!” Willow’s ex-girlfriend, Tara, cried as her hair flew around her face. Willow, her eyes black with magic that Tara could never reach, shook her head and let her fingers sparkle with spells.
“You know it’s fun,” said Amy Madison, passing more and more of her spells to Willow. Willow knew what she was doing was wrong, but she could not stop, and she could not stop.
“Willow!” Tara watched the one woman she loved rise into the sky and throw lightning into the air, crushing a home as it struck down.
“Willow!” Amy said, smiling with glee at the one deed she had managed to accomplish and do correctly.
“Willow!” An unknown voice called. “Willow, I need you!”
“Willow, I need you to get up!” said Buffy Summers, shaking Willow and awaking her from her restless sleep. “Can you get Dawn to school all right? Please? I’m going to the bank…”
Willow nodded. “Sure, Buffy. I hope you get that loan taken care of.”
Instead of taking a shower, she snapped her fingers with magicks and her hair was freshly washed and combed. She clapped her hands again and she was dressed, her hair dried, and completely ready to go. Willow raced down the stairs to see Dawn already making breakfast, her long dark hair ready without using a bit of magic.
“Here, Dawnie, I’ve got it,” said Willow, jerking her head at the pancakes being made. “Cook,” she said, and barely a second later, Willow flipped the pancakes onto the blue ornate plate Dawn had ready by the counter.
“I kind of liked making them by hand,” said Dawn in a small voice, taking the pancakes and pouring syrup on them, sitting down at the table.
“But magic is so much quicker!” said Willow enthusiastically, now beckoning orange juice to pour itself into a cup for Dawn. She pushed the full cup over to the table with more magic, almost spilling it, but catching it with a draft of a spell.
“Okay then,” said Dawn, not really believing what she was saying. She cut the pancakes up and began to eat while Willow bustled around the kitchen doing nothing much.
“Done?” asked Willow the second Dawn completed her breakfast. Before Dawn had time to nod, Willow said, “Clean.” The empty plate and cup flew to the sink and rinsed and dried themselves in under ten seconds.
“Willow, are you sure you should be using so much magic?” Dawn asked nervously. “Your eyes are all black and stuff…” She trailed off.
“They’ve always been this way, silly!” said Willow, hiding how anxious she really was about the magic she was using.
Dawn didn’t respond to Willow’s exclamation. She was a little scared to. Instead, she picked up her bag and lunchbox and headed out the door before Willow could use any more magic on her. It was a little too late.
“Want to know a fun way to get to school, Dawnie?” Willow asked, her eyes completely filled with black and sparkling with magic. “Here!” She snapped her fingers and Dawn was whizzed to school by glittering spells. She went so fast she almost looked like a blur, and it was lucky she didn’t burn up like Sweet’s victims had.
At school, Dawn bit her lip, but didn’t say anything about Willow’s behavior to anyone. Dawn was scared, though. Willow’s magic was becoming a little out of control. She was using spells for things she didn’t need at all, and she was using charms for things she could have done herself in five minutes. It was almost like she was getting high off of magic, but that was impossible, Dawn realized.
Once Dawn was safely at school, Willow broke down crying. She knew she was using too much magic and she knew she was practically addicted to it, but she couldn’t seem to stop. She needed help. She wanted Tara back. Tara could have gotten her through this time, but Tara had left her because of her magic. Willow had no way out of the prison she’d put herself into.
Willow swallowed her tears when the phone rang, and picked it up, hoping beyond hopes it was Tara so she could apologize and admit she needed help, but it wasn’t. It was Giles.
“Willow,” said Giles as soon as she picked up the phone. “I hear you’ve been having some…trouble…with your magic.”
Willow’s voice shook as she pretended nothing was wrong. “No! Everything’s fine. Me and Tara, everyone.”
Giles sounded amused in a cruel way. “Tara called me this morning, Willow. She told me you were addicted to your magic, and she asked me to help her find a way to cure you.”
Willow, far from being upset, sounded a little glad. “She did that? For…for me?” Willow had been convinced that Tara hated her.
“Yes,” said Giles. “And I’ve found a way to help you.”
Willow couldn’t even pretend that this prospect sounded dull. “Really? What—what is it?” Her voice shook again, but this time it was from excitement, not from pain.
“It’s a school here in England,” said Giles, “called Hogwarts.”
Chapter End Notes:
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