Disclaimer: I don't own Buffy or Harry Potter. Buffy and related characters belong to Whedon. Harry Potter and related characters belong to Whedon.
Originally For TwistedShorts 2011 August Fic-a-Day Challenge (Day 01)
A/N: I'm disregarding the Buffy comics here. It's not that I don't like them, it's just easier if I do. Otherwise, this is set after the end of Season 7, and for Potter timeline, it begins sometime before the end of Half-Blood Prince. I'm also wreaking havoc on the Harry Potter timeline… just go with it, lol.
Burning for You
Buffy's first meeting with one Severus Snape had been a complete fluke. One of Willow's flukes, to be exact. The two of them had been on the search for some rare potion ingredient, only to make a visit to a village full of wand-wielding witches and wizards. It had been Willow's Cloud Nine.
And, to be honest, it had been pretty cool. Just by glancing, Buffy realized she was in a village full of Willows. And they had a candy shop. A really, freakin' awesome candy shop. And it was after losing Willow in the crowd and stumbling into the shop—Honeydukes, it was called—that she first ran into Snape. Literally.
There had been a mass of black-clad students, ranging from thirteen and up, to a handful of older people—not including the store employees—piling in around the slayer. She had made it precisely seven steps in, when a rouge foot—owner unseen—slipped under hers, sending her flying into the dark haired man standing in front of her. With a loud "oomph" she instinctually threw her arms out, wrapping around his shoulders, causing him to jump and whirl around in a flurry of black robes.
"What in Merlin's name?" he said, catching her for lack of options.
Buffy blinked her widened green eyes up at him, putting herself quickly back on her feet. His eyes narrowed, searching her. She smiled sheepishly.
"Sorry about that. Total klutz," she said, brushing a loose strand of hair behind her ear.
He was still staring at her, his black eyes oddly piercing. After all, there was nothing overly extraordinary about him. Maybe his hair was greasier than it should have been, and he was definitely grumpier than what the situation had called for, but otherwise, he was just a guy.
"Sorry," Buffy repeated. "I'm new here."
He arched a brow. "You're a muggle, aren't you? How are you here?"
"No, I'm not. At least, I don't think I am. I followed my friend, Willow, here. She had to put some sort of hocus-pocus on me to get me in this town. I'm Buffy," she said, extending a hand.
He did not take it, simply rolling his eyes and replying, "Snape. And by 'muggle,' I meant, non-magical. I assume you are referring to Willow Rosenberg?"
"Yeah. How did you know that?"
"She contacted me about a potion ingredient. Where is she?"
"Uh, yeah… good question. We kind of got separated out on the street."
With another huff of obvious impatience, he gestured toward the door, noting that they should probably find Willow, who he referred to as the "wandless witch." They made their way out of the candy shop and up the street to another small shop. Snape entered it without hesitation, and Buffy followed.
It was an apothecary shop, and Willow was standing near a display at the front. She turned with a smile, crossing the space in one stride.
"Oh, you've met Buffy. Buffy, this is Severus Snape, the wizard I'm meeting for that ingredient," she said.
"Yeah, got that, Will. So what? He's like your supplier."
"Something like that," he said, withdrawing a small vile of some sort of powdered substance, quoting a price.
Willow pulled out two, large gold coins that made Buffy's eyes widen once more. With the exchange done, not another word was spoken. Snape merely turned and strode out from shop. Buffy shook her head.
"What's his deal?"
Willow shrugged. "He's always like that. So, how do you like the village?"
Buffy grinned. "I really love that candy shop."
Buffy followed along with Willow every time she visited that wizarding village, Hogsmede. Mostly for the shops, but it seemed that every time she managed to get separated from Willow, finding Snape first. He was not the chatty type, not in the least, but every so often, she managed a few, small conversations with him. It helped that she, at least, was chatty.
"So, then, I show my sister, Dawn, that huge candy bar that I bought for her. Her eyes almost popped out of her head. She said it was the best chocolate she had ever had. I agree, although there used to be this bakery in this town I lived in that made the best chocolate chip cookies. I think those might stand a chance against the chocolate bar."
Most the time, Snape acted annoyed with her, like he would give almost anything to get her to shut up. But, over time, Buffy—in her own mysterious way—managed to talk him down. He began to actually converse back with her, even staying to have a drink in a nearby wizard pub. Willow hung around for these drinks at first, but, after a while, she began to head out earlier, saying that she had "stuff to do" and that she would "come back for Buffy" when she was done.
Three months after Buffy and Snape's first meeting, and, one night, Buffy didn't call for Willow. Instead, she woke up the following morning beside Snape—who had long since asked her to call him Severus. And the two of them were very undressed.
"Sev, our dates should really start consisting of more than just this," she said some later night, rolling over to snuggle closer to him.
He grinned, wrapping his arms around her bare body, pressing her against him.
"I don't know. I quite enjoy these nights."
She laughed. "Me too. But we aren't really learning anything about one another."
His grin was teasing. Buffy rolled her eyes.
"Well, not anything we can share outside the bedroom. We need to know more stuff, real stuff. Like, did you graduate from this school? Have you ever been married? Who was your first love?"
The playfulness was gone from his features. He sat up, making sure that the sheet kept him covered. Buffy narrowed her eyes up at him.
"Did I say something?"
He shook his head. Buffy scooted up beside him, holding the sheet to her chest.
"I'll go first. I'm a vampire slayer, which I've told you. I have a younger sister named Dawn. I graduated from Sunnydale High. And my first love was a vampire with a soul named Angel, whom I had to kill. But he came back."
Snape spared her a moment's glance at her last comment, but said nothing. She wasn't going to give up that easily.
"Come on, Sev. Nothing you tell me is going to send me away, you know."
"Don't be so sure."
And he did. All his past, sordid details. How he used to serve a dark lord, how he didn't anymore, and how he had loved her.
Her name was Lily Potter, and Buffy could feel the pain radiate from him when he spoke of her. It made her sad for reasons she couldn't explain, and by the end of his discussion of her, Buffy was hugging him.
Of course, it didn't stay just a hug for long.
"I don't believe you."
Buffy was standing outside on Hogwarts's grounds. Despite being several, several feet away from the blaze, she could still feel the heat off the groundskeeper's cabin.
"I saw him do it with my own eyes," Harry Potter—Lily's son, Buffy only knew him as—said, a harshness to his statement. "Snape killed Professor Dumbledore. He's a murderer!"
"He's not like that," Buffy argued, shaking her head.
No, he wasn't. She was sure. He wasn't a bloodthirsty vampire, or a soldier in a secret anti-demon force. He was a wizard, a human with just a little something extra. He wasn't like the rest of them. He was her Joe Normal, or at least as close as Buffy had ever gotten. He was not a murderer.
"Look! Look for yourself!" Harry shouted, pointing at the cabin. "He's responsible for all of it! I saw him kill the headmaster."
Buffy's tears were hot and running down her cheeks. She sat down on the ground, shaking her head.
Severus had told her not to come tonight. Not to see him, not to spend the night with him—like she had virtually every night since they'd begun dating, save for when slayer duties called. He had given her no reason.
But she had one now.
"He's a coward. A liar, a coward, and a traitor. He's still a Death Eater."
She remembered that word. And that memory was right beside the one where Severus swore that that part of his life was over.
How could she have been so blind?
It didn't take long. Not long at all. Harry had contacted Buffy—who had long since returned to spending most her time dealing with the Cleveland Hellmouth—to let her know. Snape was Headmaster of Hogwarts now.
But she didn't see him. Couldn't see him. Willow had tried to get her in, like she had before, but something had changed. He didn't want her there, and he did not even have the courtesy to tell her that to her face. It was all in action alone, as she was barred from the wizarding world. Only Harry was her contact, and he could not risk doing so often.
The Boy Who Lived was clear on only a couple of matters: Snape was a traitor, and this war was not Buffy's problem. But she was Buffy, and she tried her best to interfere.
Of course, this would be the one time when she failed. And no matter how she tried to deny it…
She missed Snape.
A year later. It was amazing how much of a difference that could make. Buffy had put Snape out of her mind as much as possible. Him, the wizarding war, all of it. She had even fallen out of contact with Harry.
Which was why it was such a shock when the Boy Who Lived, a year later, arrived on her doorstep in Cleveland.
"We were wrong," he said before Buffy could finish inviting him in. "About everything."
He spent the next few moments turning the slayer's world upside down. Harry laid out the memories of Snape's that he had seen in graphic detail. He explained about Snape's role in the war, and his death. And, most importantly, he handed her an envelope.
"It's addressed to you. I wanted to make sure you got it," he said.
The explanation had not been necessary. In tiny, loopy writing, Buffy's name was clearly scrawled across the front of the parchment envelope. She stared at it for a moment, an odd, empty feeling gnawing at her. Harry was silent, staring at her. Finally, he stood, scratching the back of his head nervously.
"I'm going to go. Buffy… I'm sorry. Stay in touch."
She nodded, and let him show himself out. She stared at the envelope for the longest time, not quite sure what she wanted to do with it. She had spend the past year believing the worst about a man who she'd… loved? She had not even had the time to realize her feelings for him, this man who had broken her heart.
Biting lightly at her bottom lip, she tore the envelope open, yanking out the folded parchment within.
Buffy, it read. She blinked away the hot tears in her eyes, forcing herself onward.
Forgive me. I assume that, if you're reading this, I did not survive. I only hope that you allow me this space to explain myself.
She read on as the letter confirmed everything that Harry had just told her, adding in the hurt and sadness that only Severus himself could have known about. Then, at the last passage of the letter, she paused.
I'm sorry that I hurt you. I know that I did. We were never meant to be, Buffy, and I never intended to pull someone in like this. I loved you, and I hope that you know that above all else. And, in the end, I can only ask again if you will forgive me. I pray that you will.
She read the letter again. And then she read it once more. He had loved her. And she knew now that that gnawing emptiness was just that… love. Leaning back in her chair, she let her tears flow freely.
After all, love hurt. And mostly, it sucked, burning everyone who'd let it. And nobody knew that any better than Buffy the Vampire Slayer…
Or Severus Snape.
End Notes: Okay, in my own personal crossover world for Buffy and HP—which I don't think I'd ever put to paper before this… I might be wrong on that—there are two different types of magic: wand and wandless. And I know that there's a type of wandless magic in Harry's world, but in my head the wandless magic in Buffy's world is different. I'd go into explaining it, but it's not really that important past this little note. Maybe, in a longer story, but not right now. Well, I hope everyone enjoyed this. I did a fanart for this fic. Well, more correctly I did this fic for the fanart. The fanart is posted with the fic on the Twisting the Hellmouth entry for this on my profile (name: PatriciaLouise). Or you can view it in my deviantart gallery at (replace "dot"s with periods and remove spaces): patriciatepes dot deviantart dot com. Please review!