Never the Same
Chapter 1 – Never the same.
DISCLAIMER: Buffy the Vampire Slayer belongs to Joss Whedon, and Harry Potter to J.K. Rowling. I don't own anything…
RATING: PG-13 (T) to R (M) - violence, language, angst, horror, possible mild sexual interactions, etc. If you can watch BTVS/AtS and read HP, I doubt you'll have any problem with this story.
TIMELINE: Sequel to "Out of the Blue" and "Red Horizon" (Part 3 in the series), and begin where we left in "Red Horizon" chapter 39, and a bit before BTVS season 7, though it's almost completely AU, with many changes from the real plot.
SUMMARY: BTVS/HP crossover. Sequel to RH. "You can run but you can't hide, evil finds you everywhere. Peace and quiet can no one provide, who said life was ever fair?"
Starting over is something that definitely falls into the 'easier said than done'-category. Buffy and Remus are doing their best to move on, and get used to the changes and the new turn their life has taken, but it's not easy...especially not when living on a Hellmouth.
CENTRAL PAIRING: Buffy/Remus
OTHER PAIRINGS: Willow/Tara, Xander/Anya
Special Thanks to: My Beta - CharmedChick
A/N: Well, since this is part three of the Out of the Blue series, you may want to read the first two before this if you haven't already - otherwise some things may seem confusing. (But if you'd like, you can skip this part, and jump directly to part four - Come What May. NTS doesn't really add anything important to the storyline that you can't find out through the other parts.)
Sunnydale, Revello Drive, November 8, 2002.
Buffy sighed when Remus finally let go of her, and they quickly dried their eyes. No words were spoken for a long time - they were just watching each other, pain written in their faces clear as day. Finally, Buffy broke the silence.
"We should go inside..." She hesitated. "Remus...what happened?"
Remus looked down.
"Lily and James...they're...gone."
Buffy closed her eyes. When Remus had shown up, she had known something was wrong...that something had happened...but actually having it confirmed...it was like a bad dream. A very bad dream.
"And that's not all..." Remus continued, voice croaked, and Buffy's eyes flew open.
"...Eliza's gone missing. She's...well...she...she's been missing for so long...I think...I mean...everybody thinks...I mean...nobody thinks that...she's alive anymore," he finished lamely.
Buffy took a shuddering breath, trying to keep her tears at bay. It felt like her chest had been drawn together to nothing...she couldn't breath. They were all...gone? Forever?
"How?" she got out.
"We...we think...I mean, Dumbledore thinks that she was kidnapped - by her father. We don't know anything else."
Buffy felt one single tear run down her cheek.
"Lily and James...how?"
Remus took a deep breath.
"They were targeted by Voldemort...and they went into hiding...they had a Secret Keeper."
Buffy's eyes turned hard as stone.
"Who was it? Who betrayed them?" She demanded to know. "Was it Peter? I'll kill him, I'll - "
" - It was Sirius."
"What?" She choked out.
"It was Sirius," Remus repeated. "We all knew there was a traitor in the Order...it was Sirius. After James and Lily made him their Secret Keeper, he ran straight to Voldemort...and he killed them."
"N-no," Buffy said, shaking her head. "It's not true - there must be a logical explanation...Peter must have been the traitor, he - "
" - Peter's dead."
Buffy froze for the second time that day.
Remus closed his eyes. Why did he have to tell her this?
"Sirius...he killed him."
Buffy started shaking her head again.
"No. Sirius wouldn't kill anyone...it doesn't make any sense...unless Peter betrayed Lily and James, and - "
"Buffy," Remus said sharply. "Sirius killed Peter. Peter cornered Sirius after Lily's and James' murder, demanding to know why he had betrayed them...Sirius blasted the entire street to pieces. Twelve muggles died in the process, and the only thing left of Peter...the only thing left was...his finger." Remus suddenly looked sick at his own words.
Buffy paled. Everything Remus had just told her was swirling around in her brain, desperately trying to make some sense. She didn't want to believe it...couldn't believe it. Sirius couldn't have... But another part of her brain said the opposite...Sirius was guilty...and Peter was dead...blown to pieces. She suddenly had a desperate urge to throw up. She had always been...well, not mean to Peter...but she hadn't been exactly nice either. She had always thought he was truly acting like a rat...had always suspected him...and now he was dead. She swallowed.
"Buffy?" Remus said quietly.
"We should get inside," Buffy repeated, and turned towards the door. Then suddenly, without warning, she threw herself around Remus shoulders, crying. Crying for Lily and James, crying for Eliza, crying for Peter, crying for Sirius' betrayal, crying for Harry...Harry.
"What about Harry?" She whispered. "Is he...?"
"He's alive...somehow, when Voldemort tried to kill him...the killing curse bounced back."
Buffy took a step back, eyes widening.
"What? But that isn't possible...?"
"Well, it happened," Remus said. "The curse bounced back at Voldemort and he just...disappeared. Some think he's gone, and some think he's still out there, biding his time...but for now, he's gone." He smiled wryly. "The whole wizarding world is celebrating. The 'death' of Voldemort...raising glasses in Harry's name...calling him the Boy-Who-Lived."
Buffy tried to laugh but it came out more like a choke.
"Where is he? I mean...couldn't you take him with you?"
Remus sighed, and drew his fingers though his hair, now speckled with one or two gray straws, that shone like silver in the lamplight.
"I tried...but Dumbledore insisted he was better off in the wizarding world...at the Dursley's," he finished bitterly.
"WHAT?" Buffy exploded. "The Dursley's?"
"Yeah." He laughed hollowly. "Seemed to think it was better for him to grow up with family, and much safer than to live with a werewolf somewhere across the universe."
"He must be crazy..." Buffy muttered, before taking a deep breath, trying to calm herself. This was all too muchâ€¦ "We'll have to talk more later...let's get inside."
As soon as they stepped in, they were met by Joyce and Faith, both standing in front of them with their arms crossed. Faith was smiling smugly, while Joyce was just raising an eyebrow at them.
"So, Buffy," Joyce said. "Who is this young man? Feel like introducing us?"
"Right...ehr...mom, Faith, this is Remus, you know the Remus Lupin I was telling you about..." She nervously bit her lip.
"Really, huh?" Faith said, and started to circle around Remus, looking like a huntress inspecting her pray. Suddenly, Remus felt really self-conscious.
"So this is wolf-boy, hmm?" Faith said. Remus blinked. Wolf-boy?
"Well, he certainly looks good - good enough to eat." Faith grinned, and Buffy gave her a warning look.
"No worries, B. I won't steal him from you. Yet," she added with a smirk, and Buffy's eyes narrowed.
Joyce rolled her eyes at their antics, while Remus looked uncertainly from one Slayer to the other - not that he knew that Faith was a Slayer. Joyce smiled at him, and stuck out her hand for Remus to take.
"Hi. I'm Joyce Summers, Buffy's mother."
"Remus Lupin," Remus said, relaxing slightly.
"Buffy," Joyce said. "Why don't we invite the others over for lunch, so we all can get to know each other."
Buffy gave her mother a bright (false) smile.
"Sure mom! That sounds...great!"
"Excellent! Why don't you call them over here, while I talk to Remus for a bit? Faith can join us if she wants."
Remus felt himself tense up again. Great. This was just...great.
"So, Remus...you're a friend from where...Buffy was before?"
Remus smiled at Willow. From what Buffy had told him, Willow was her best friend...although it seemed like the redhead was more of a friend to the dark haired girl, Faith, than she was Buffy's. Remus decided he'd had to ask Buffy about that later.
"Yes - boyfriend, actually," he said, giving Buffy a smile, which she returned, before looking back at her plate. Remus frowned. Buffy was so...quiet. Nothing like Remus was used to. Although, it could have something to do with what she had found out about Lily, James, Eliza, Sirius, Peter and Harry. That would be enough to shock even the strongest person.
"Right. Yeah...Buffy might have mentioned something about that..."
An awkward silence sunk down over the dinner table. It seemed like no one knew what to say, or what to talk about. Remus was confused. Weren't these Buffy's friends? So...why didn't anyone talk with each other?
Buffy cleared her throat.
"Umm...mom, do you mind if I take Remus with me and show where he can sleep?"
"Hmm, what?" Buffy's mum, Joyce, said. "Oh, right. Of course. You must be really tired." She smiled.
"Umm...a little, yes. Well...eh...thanks for the food."
He and Buffy left. When they were out of earshot, the conversation started up.
"So what do you think about wolf-boy, Will?" Faith asked. Willow grinned.
"Well, he seems like a quiet type - just like Oz - maybe it's in the werewolf-genes or something. I didn't know quiet men were Buffy's type," she mused. "But I guess Angel was pretty silent - but other than that, he and Remus seem to be total opposites."
"We wouldn't know what type Buffy prefers, now, would we?" Xander said. "After all, she's been gone for a long time. We don't know how much she's changed."
"Well, it's not like you've bothered to find out," Anya quipped, earning her stares from everyone around the table. "What? It's true!" She defended herself. "You haven't exactly been over excited about finding out what her life's been like."
"She's right..." Tara said. "We've pushed her away."
"God, I feel so stupid..." Willow muttered. "As if it wasn't enough with me yelling at her when she came back, even though she didn't deserve it, now I've screwed up even more. How could I believe she would just fit right back in? How can I - we - have been pretending she never even left?"
"I never asked what it was like for her...over...wherever she was," Joyce said. "I'm her mother and I didn't even care..."
"And I'm her watcher," Giles said miserably. "She's my responsibility. I should have researched more...done everything in my power to find her. And when she returned...I should have taken her aside...talked to her..."
Everyone turned to Spike, who stopped chewing as he felt all eyes on him.
"What?" He said, raising his eyebrows. "You don't really expect me to go all moody and Shakespeare on you and pretend like I give a damn the Slayer's back? 'Cause I bloody welldon't."
"Well, not really."
"Well, you'll have to share the guest room with me," Buffy said. "Faith has my room - or well, I guess it's hers now..." She trailed off.
Remus took a deep breath.
"What has happened here, Buffy? Whenever you talked about Sunnydale back in England, you would get this wistful, longing look in your eyes, as if you were remembering something great, and I would feel jealous because I thought you had something over here that I could never compete with. But I can't honestly say I've seen anything here that indicates at that you like it here. Everyone's acting like strangers."
"Well...I guess I never thought about how much everyone would have changed in three years. And I feel like a stranger. I'm not sure about anything anymore. Everything has changed, Rem. I feel so lost."
Remus took a step forwards, and embraced Buffy closely.
"At least we're together now," he muttered. Buffy smiled.
"Yeah...thank Merlin for that."
Remus smiled wryly.
"Well, one thing's for sure. Things will truly be different now - living on a Hellmouth and all. Things won't ever be the same."
Buffy smiled back into his chest.
"No...Never the same," she agreed.
A/N: And the story slash first (albeit short) chapter is up! I hope you like it, and leave a comment/review! As for other news, I know have a Live Journal. There's a link at my profile page. There, you'll be able to find wallpapers (three freshly made are already up - for the Out of the Blue series), icons, information/update infoabout my website and fanfiction and maybe some spoilers... Also,the Out of the Blueseries has been nominated for the Blue Moon Fanfiction Awards, so another YAY for that! And thank you SpikesDreamer at for nominating me! I feel really honoured! All readers: Wish me good luck!