Secret Agent Man
Spoilers- HP- up to OOTP
BTVS- S5, up to and including The Body and Forever.
Disclaimer- None of these characters are mine, they belong to J.K. and Joss.
Note- Many thanks go to GreyMatter, who so kindly beta-ed this for me.
Hank Summers sighed in relief as he flooed into the headquarters of the Order of the Phoenix. It had taken a month but it was finally over. He could do a quick debrief with Dumbledore, shower and then he could find a phone and call Buffy and Dawn.
Hank grimaced. He hadn't spoke to them in a while. One month deep undercover, trying to suss out dark witches and wizards, meant no contact with people from his regular life, children included. To tell the truth, even before he went undercover he hadn't seen or spoken to Buffy or Dawn for weeks. Being a member of the Order wasn't conducive to excellent parenting. Especially if your children didn't know about the wizarding world.
He could tell, should tell them, but Voldemort had destroyed so much of his life already. His parents and his brother were all victims of Voldemort's first reign of terror. Hank constantly having to apparate back to England when rumours of the Dark Lord appearing again had started had placed an enormous strain on his marriage.
The Abigail, his school sweetheart, had come to provide him with a link back to the remaining members of the original Order. She was his secretary. He had been weak. He and Joyce were always fighting, Buffy was getting into trouble at school and poor Dawnie was confused. Abigail was there for him, comforting and concerned. He didn't have to lie to her. It was all too easy to fall back into a relationship with her.
Hank wasn't proud of what he did. And he knew that as much as Buffy and Dawn loved him, there was a part of them that hated him for what he did.
Hank still loved Joyce. He would be stupid not to, she was an amazing woman. Sometimes he really missed her. The way she laughed, the way she smiled, the way she smelt and those little noises she would make in the back of her throat when she was irritated with him.
But he wouldn't be anywhere else. This time Hank Summers wasn't going to stand aside and let Vodlemort kill his people, his family.
"Hank! You're back." Molly Weasley beamed at him.
Hank smiled and gave her a kiss on the cheek. "Hullo, Molly."
He looked around the sparkling kitchen. "Kids have been keeping busy I see."
"Have to keep them out of mischief somehow. And after the battle at the Ministry…" Molly shook her head and tutted.
"I heard about that. I'm sorry I wasn't here to help."
Molly sighed and patted him on the arm. "It's perfectly fine, dear. Your mission was far too important. How did it go?"
Hank took off his cloak and threw it over a chair. "Got a list of names for Dumbledore. I even managed to find a few new allies. Met up with some old one as well."
Molly raised an inquisitive eyebrow.
"I came back through Romania. Ran into the Kalderash tribe. Serina said-"
"Serena? I don't remember a Serena."
Hank frowned. "She only just turned twenty-five. I haven't seen her in years. She's got long, black hair and blue eyes. She took over monitoring that vampire they cursed after Janna was killed."
"Oh yes. How is Serena?" Molly ushered him into a chair and began to bustle around the kitchen, preparing him something to eat.
Hank leaned back and wearily ran a hand over his face. "She's fine. The vampire's some champion in L.A. now. Apart from a few worrying incidents a couple of months back it hasn't been much of a chore."
Molly plonked a plate in front of him.
"Thanks, I haven't had a hot meal in a long time. I gave her a few of the names. The tribe will keep an eye on them for us. She also said to owl her if we need them. Serena's become quite proficient in wandless magic."
"A few more allies," Molly noted with relief. "Dumbledore will be pleased to hear that. We need as many as we can get. He is becoming stronger everyday."
Molly suddenly changed tracks. "In the meanwhile, while you wait for Dumbledore to arrive you can check your mail." Molly summoned a large stack of parchment. "Ted's been looking after your phone lines and muggle mail and owling them here."
Hank quickly swallowed his mashed potatoes. "How are Andy and Ted?"
"Ted still worries. He has just gotten worse now that his daughter joined the Order as well."
"He wants to protect her," Hank said softly. "I can understand that."
Molly frowned fiercely and began slamming dished into the sink. "But sometimes you just can't protect them. They put themselves in harms way time and time again. Fighting Death Eaters, giant spiders, hippogryffs- with no though to their own safety. Stealing their father's car. Could have been seen by muggles! No though to what they're putting their father and I through-"
Hank wisely remained silent as Molly ranted, shoving forkfuls of food into his mouth. This was precisely why he didn't want his family to know about this war. Molly was a far stronger person than he was. Four sons in the Order, as well as Arthur and herself, and Ron and Ginny so closely aligned with Harry Potter and his exploits. It was far more than Hank could bear.
With one hand Hank started going through his mail, using his knife to break the wax seals.
Three calls from Joyce four weeks ago.
One call from Dawn two and half weeks ago.
Another call from Dawn two days later.
Three calls from Buffy two weeks ago.
One call from somebody named Rupert Giles a week ago.
Hank frowned. "Something's wrong." Hank looked up at Molly. "What was Ted using as my cover story?"
"That you and Abigail were in Spain. Why?"
"I've been getting a lot of calls from Sunnydale. Something must have happened."
"Oh dear." Molly wrung a dishcloth between her hands. "I hope it's nothing bad."
Hank's forehead creased. "So do I." Hank reached for the next letter in the pile. It was from Buffy. She never wrote him letters. In explicably panic seized his chest. Slowly he opened the envelope and pulled a single sheet of paper out.
Molly watched quietly as Hank read the letter. His expression grew grim as his eyes scanned down the page and suddenly he crumpled in on himself. His shoulders shook as silent sobs racked his body.
"Hank! What's the matter?"
It took him a long moment to answer. "She's dead. Joyce is gone. She dies two weeks ago."
"Oh, Hank. I'm so sorry."
"My wife died. And my daughters think I was too busy on vacation with Abigail to come to her funeral. They think I've abandoned them."
"Surely they would believe-" Molly was cut off by Hank thrusting the letter at her. She read it quickly, her eyes widening.
"'You don't have to worry about the service. Giles and I organized everything. I'm taking care of Dawn; she doesn't need to be uprooted at a time like this. She'll be fine. We both will. Have fun in Spain with Abigail. I hope she was worth it. Buffy.'"
A solitary tear ran down Hank's face. Voldemort had taken so much from him. Sixteen years ago Voldemort had killed his family, and now, thanks to Voldemort, he may as well be dead to his daughters.
He could go back to Sunnydale. Try to make it up to Buffy and Dawn. To restore his family in a way that he thought he had time to do later. To become a part of their lives rather than just that guy who sends them cards on their birthday and Christmas.
But his work for the Order was important too. He was helping to protect the world for a threat few had knowledge of and fewer had the courage to fight. And fight he would.
Hank Summers would sacrifice his life in an instant to stop this war. He would sacrifice a great many things.
Unfortunately, his family was one of them.