Never the Same

Epilogue.

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



Sunnydale, August 30, 2014.

Remus' POV

When I showed up at Buffy's doorstep, that day in early February, I knew everything had changed - forever. I hated myself when I told her the bitter truth and saw the pain in her eyes - Lily and James were...gone. And I hated myself even more when I told her Eliza was missing; today we know she's dead...and that Sirius had betrayed us all. I know she always thought that if anyone of us would join Voldemort, it would be Peter, and I saw how it pained her when I told her he was dead too. Murdered. By Sirius.

I know she doesn't want to believe it. I know a part of her will always deny it, and so will a part of me. We haven't talked about them in a long time...it simply hurts too much, and even if I know it will never happen, I hope someday the pain will go away, and we can remember them without having tears in our eyes.

"Daddy!" Sarah bounces up to me, and I smile. Sarah. Mine and Buffy's oldest daughter. Nine years, ten in March next year.

"What is it, sweetie?" I ask, and smile at her. Always so full of life, so full of energy. Can never sit still for more than three seconds at the most - always has to have something to do.

It must be the Slayer blood.

"Can we go to the park?" She begs, and smiles that little bright smile she knows I can't resist. I sigh, knowing there's no point arguing. We worry sometimes, Buffy and I, that maybe we've spoiled her a bit, because she's our first born. But we know it's not true. Sarah has a good heart, and knows what's out there - and that is enough to make her more mature than she seems at times.

"Fine. Have you seen your sister, then?"

Sarah nods.

"She's in the hall, waiting for you!"

I laugh a little. Sarah knew she'd get her what she wanted, and therefore, wasted no time in getting her sister out in the hall to get dressed.

"Alright. Let's go then. Where are you going?"

Sarah had started to bounce up the stairs.

"I'm just gonna show mommy something first." She says, too innocently for my tastes, and I look at her suspiciously. Why have I a feeling I'm not going to like whatever she's going to show?

I sigh again, but nods.

"Alright then, but hurry."

She smiles brightly, and then she's gone. I shake my head, and goes out in the hall to mine and Buffy's youngest, Phoebe. Phoebe is more like me, when I was little, I think, while Sarah is the replica of Buffy. Phoebe, Phoebs, is blonde, shy and quiet, while Sarah is dark-haired, wild and always talking about something or someone. Even though they're so different, I know Sarah loves her sister, and would protect her with her life if necessary. And Phoebe feels the same about her.

After I've dressed Phoebe (it doesn't take long), I poke my head into the living room, where Buffy sits at the couch, obviously in thought.

"Buffy?"

"Yeah?" She looks up.

"I'm taking the kids to the park for awhile. Do you want to come?"

She shakes her head with a small smile playing on her lips.

"Nah, I'll just stay here...rest for awhile. I'm going out patrolling tonight."

I nod.

"Just take it easy - you know what I think about it..."

Buffy rolls her eyes - I know I say it every time she's going out patrolling or slaying, and I can't blame her for thinking I'm being overprotective. I know she can take care of herself, and before the kids, I wouldn't have said anything, but now... I know she's tried to quit, but it's in her...she can quit being the Slayer just as much as I can quit being a werewolf. It doesn't change the fact that I'm terrified that one night, she won't return…

"I know," she says.

"Mommy!" Sarah comes bouncing down the stairs again, running into the living room. Her chocolate brown hair (which she inherited from Buffy - blonde is not her original hair color, believe it or not), bounces on her back, her crystal blue eyes sparkling with mischief.

"Look what I can do!" She holds up a stake high in the air, and...wait a second. Stake!

"SARAH LUPIN, PUT THAT DOWN IN THIS INSTANT!" Buffy shrieks. "THAT IS NOT A TOY! YOU COULD POKE SOMEONE'S EYE OUT! YOUR SISTER'S FOR EXAMPLE!" I understand Buffy's panic. Sarah is the worst example of trouble/mischief-maker I've ever seen, (excluding myself and the marauders...) and will most likely end up in big trouble one day. Joy.

"Where did you get that?" She asks, a little calmer now.

Sarah looks at her with big innocent eyes.

"It was just laying there."

I snort. She really thinks we'll buy that? More likely, she's been finding Buffy's trunk with her Slayer stuff...for the thousandth time. We've must've hidden that trunk everywhere by now...and still, she always manages to find it. Maybe I should transfigure it into something? But then we'll probably forget what I turned it into, and it will be forever lost...

"Give it to me," Buffy says.

"But mommy..." Oh no - not the puppy-dog eyes! I regret teaching her those...but it was only to make Buffy buy more candy (chocolate - we are all chocoholics, although the kids - especially Sarah - and I more than Buffy) - not to use it to blackmail both of us, as soon as she gets the chance.

"No," Buffy says, "give it to me, or I won't let you go to the park with daddy and Phoebe."

I grin. That's the way to go, Buffy. Sarah's eyes widen.

"You wouldn't!" She says, and I roll my eyes. Of course she wouldn't. But Sarah doesn't know that - and Merlin forbids she ever finds out. Then we're definitely doomed.

"Oh, I would!" Buffy says, and give her THAT look. (The look which says 'don't mess with me or else' - she's really good at it - and it works on me too. Buffy can be scary sometimes.)

"But mommy...I was just going to show you how to stake a vampire!"

"You don't know how to stake a vampire," I say. She doesn't, right? Suddenly, I'm not so sure...Sarah has many strong sides, but lying is one of her weaker ones.

"Do too!" Sarah says now, and I can't help myself...when Sarah says that, it is a challenge...and a marauder never backs down from a challenge. Whether he's the calmer, more mature one or not.

"Do not!" I say, and I see Buffy hit herself at her forehead - she must be tired of our game by now. Happens at least once a week.

"Do too!"

"Do not!"

"Do too!"

"Do not!"

"Do too!"

"Do not!"

"Do too!"

"Do not!"

"Do too!"

"Do not!"

"Do stop!" Buffy says, and suddenly takes a sharp breath, and I look at her worriedly.

"You okay?"

"Yeah, I'm good."

I look at her for a moment, searching her eyes after any trace of lying, but finally I nod. We turn around, just to see Sarah jump up, stake in hand and hit the 'heart' of a stuffed doll sitting on the couch. We blink.

"Alright, you do know how to stake a - " I start, and Sarah lights up.

" - doll," I finish, and smirks. Sarah pouts, and Buffy laughs.

"All right, enough you two," She says.

"How did you learn how to use a stake?"

Sarah reddens slightly (she got that from me - Buffy barely ever blushes), and scrapes with her naked toe at the floor, making invisible patterns.

"Well...?" Buffy ask, and smirks slightly.

"Ikindafollowedyouonpatrolonenight," she says quickly. It takes my brain three seconds to catch up what she says, and then...

"YOU DID WHAT!" I shriek. She must be lying, but I know she's not, even though I hope so.

Sarah shrinks together.

"SARAH LUPIN, LOOK ME IN THE EYES WHEN I TALK TO YOU!"

Sarah is still staring at the floor. Good. She should be ashamed - and scared - don't mess with the werewolf.

"Sarah, do as your father says," Buffy says, and Sarah looks up. Her eyes are filled with tears, and her lower lip is trembling. I open my mouth to answer, but no sounds come out. Not the tears! I can't stand my daughters cry...and I have to stay angry. Stay angry. Don't give in...

"Sarah, I..." I say, defeated. I couldn't stay angry. I'm interrupted when the door creeks open, and Phoebe stands in the doorway, thumb in her mouth. Her blue-grey eyes are widened and teary. I almost forgot she was waiting in the hall.

"Why is everyone screaming?" She asks, and Buffy sighs.

"Oh, Phoebs, we're not fighting," she says. "Your sister was just a bit stupid..."

"A bit?" I growl, but I know I'm not mad anymore. I can never stay mad long at my daughters. Especially not when they're crying. And definitely not both at the same time.

"I thought we were going to the park..." Phoebe mumbles, thumb still in mouth. Buffy tries to pull it out, but after two seconds, it's back in again. She'll never stop sucking her thumb.

"We are honey," I say, and grab her hand - her left, as her right is still in her mouth.

I look over to Sarah, expecting her to still be standing in shame, but...all tears - gone. The trembling lips - smiling like the sun itself. No traces that she was ever sad in the first place. The crocodile tears. Why am I not surprised?

I shake my head in defeat.

"Alright. The park. Let's go," I say, and give Buffy a kiss on the cheek, before leaving. Phoebe is at my right, holding my hand hard. Sarah is already out in the hallway.

"Be careful. No broken bones or scratched knees," Buffy says, and I smile.

"Never. Safe as a werewolf." Buffy raises her eyebrows, and I blush. I hate that.

"Alright, maybe not the best comparison..." I mumble, and find myself being pushed out of the door by Buffy.

"Get out. Get to the park before it gets dark."

I give her a quick kiss (trying to ignore Sarah's puking noises in the background), and then leave. The park, here we come.


Three hours later, we're almost home again. The kids had a good time, but I feel sorry for Mrs. Davies. Sarah had to go pull a prank on the poor woman again. I should have scolded her, but it was actually funny...and sometimes, I can't hide my marauding side.

We're still laughing when we enter the house.

"Buffy!" I say. "You wouldn't believe what Sarah did to poor Mrs. Davies! She..." I stop in the middle of the sentence when I see Buffy has a guest. But not any guest. Dumbledore. Dumbledore in his turn looks very surprised over the two small children behind my back. He blinks. I'm just confused. Why is he here? I didn't really leave on good terms with the Headmaster, and we did break a lot of 'unwritten' rules to let me come to Buffy's world at all. So why is he here? I feel myself start to panic. What if he wants me to leave? What if I have to leave Buffy and the children? What if -

Phoebe, who pulls at my coat, interrupts me in my thoughts.

"Daddy," she says shyly with big eyes. "Is that Father Christmas?"

I blink. I probably would have laughed, if it had been anyone but Dumbledore, but since it is him, and therefore, it must be serious, I don't.

"Sarah," I say slowly, with serious voice. "Take your sister and go up to your room. Read her a story, and then go to bed."

Sarah knows better than protest when I use that voice (experiences from many attack and break-ins from bad guys), and does as I say. She sneaks a quick, slightly frightened look at Dumbledore, before disappearing up the stairs with Phoebe.

"Remus." Dumbledore sounds surprised.

"Dumbledore." I say.

Dumbledore smiles a bit.

"I see you and Buffy have been building a family," he says.

"Yes, so?" I know I'm being rude, but I can't help it. To me, Dumbledore represents pain, death, bad news, and war. Not safety, happiness, trust and that 'it's going to be alright' feeling I once felt for the old wizard.

Dumbledore smiles again.

"Could we move this to the living room, perhaps?"

He asks, and I nod.

"Sure." It's not like I can drive him out.


A/N: And another story is DONE! YAY! To some - or all - of you, this chapter might have felt familiar, and that is because the same chapter has already been posted as the epilogue for "Red Horizon", but from Buffy's point of view. This is for other readers benefit, that may want to skip NTS and go straight to part 4 - as much as I hate to admit it - it hasn't really brought any important points plot-wise, and is more of a fill-up story than anything else. Anyway, part 4 will be called "Come What May" and will take place in - you guess it - the wizarding world once again. I'll try to post it in seven days or so, and a wallpaper for CMW and updates of character profiles will be found at my LiveJournal and website - hopefully already tomorrow, but if not, the day after that. See you either there or in the next part. Until then!

Love,

/Ida