Disclaimer: I don't own Buffy or Harry Potter. Buffy and related characters belong to Whedon. Harry Potter and related characters belong to JK Rowling.

Originally for TwistedShorts August Fic-a-Day Challenge (Day 23)

A/N: This is set post-book 7 of Harry Potter, and sometime after the end of season 5 of Angel. And, of course, it's set after "Extra Credit." I disregard the comics from both Buffy and Angel in this, save for an idea snagged from the Buffy one. I hope you enjoy!

Pass or Fail

He had told her to go. He'd destroyed enough girls' lives in his time, and he wasn't ready to add one more. The going had gotten tough at Wolfram & Hart, and Spike had told Hermione to hightail it back to her fiancé. She'd tried to fight him, tried to confess that she'd fallen in love with him. But Spike had heard that before from another pretty girl. He knew a lie—well-meaning or not—when he heard one. But nobody handles rejection well, and they ended it on a fight. Nothing good really followed in Spike's life, since the Senior Partners had decided soon after to unleashed Hell on LA. Of course, that was just because Captain Forehead had decided to poke them in the sore spot one time too many. But he didn't mind. He was a fighter, born to brawl to the end.

So, months after several died and the world didn't end, Spike was more than surprised to receive an invitation by owl to the wedding of Hermione Granger and Ronald Weasley. He was downright flabbergasted.

He wasn't going to go. Of course he wasn't. But then… he did.

To be honest, he tended to avoid wedding ceremonies as much as possible with only a few exceptions. Probably because they were mostly held in the daytime. However, Hermione had hers scheduled to begin promptly at seven in the evening… in the fall. Spike hopped the Pond and found himself outside the room the blushing bride-to-be was getting ready in at precisely six. He lifted his pale fist and knocked, twice.

She was already in her dress. It was white—Spike fought down a grin at that one. Its skirt was huge and ruffled with a tight-fitting bodice. She looked like something out of a fairytale, some rescued princess. Her hair was pulled high, her veil sheer and covering. She blinked, surprised. And, after a moment, she threw her arms about Spike's shoulders.

"You came," she murmured into his shoulder.

He felt a little too out in the open, so he gently pushed her inside of the room, shutting the door behind him. She was on her toes, her lips pressed onto his. Before it could even occur to him to push her back, she broke off, eyes wide.

"We have to go. Now. I'm getting married in an hour!" she said, whirling in flurry of white.

"We're not going anywhere, pet," he said, stopping her from shoving the contents of the vanity in front of her into a bag.


Spike shook his head. "You still haven't figured it out. Not at all?"

He sat her down on the small stool behind her, kneeling so that they could look each other right in the eye.

"If you didn't come to leave with me… then why…?" Hermione asked, shaking her head.

"I came because I needed a dose of happy, to be honest. I've seen some gruesome stuff in my day—did some gruesome stuff—but nothing like what happened in LA after you left. I did a lot of heavy thinking during all that… the heaviest I've done in a long while."

"And?" Hermione asked, trying her best not to sound too hopeful.

Spike grinned. "And I remembered how you left."

Hermione blinked. "But I tried to stay. You made me leave!"

He nodded. "I did. But I didn't stop you from coming back."

She sat back, leaning heavily on the vanity. It looked as if someone had sucked all the air out of her.

"I—" she began, only to cut herself off.

"You don't have to feel bad. That's not why I'm here," Spike explained. "My point isn't that you left me so much as you stayed with him. Now, I figured, since I got the invite, that you might still be feeling those cold feet of yours. So I came to do a good thing. Ask yourself, Hermione… how did you feel, being here, whenever you were alone with your husband-to-be?"

She didn't answer immediately. Her eyes were searching the air above him, unfocused and lost in her own thoughts. Then, slowly, a single tear feel as a small smile lit her face. Spike nodded.

"That's what I thought. Go get married, Hermione. You deserve to be happy."

He stood, ready to leave, when her hand caught his coat, stopping him.

"So do you," she said softly.

He laughed. "Maybe. I wish you a happy life, luv. I think I'll be leaving before the festivities begin, you understand."

She nodded, and he left the room. He shut the door behind him for the second time that evening and turned, surprised to see a man in a very nice tuxedo with the brightest red hair he'd seen on someone since he last saw Willow. Spike had never seen a picture of Hermione's fiancé, but he knew that this man was exactly that.

"You've got a good girl there," the vampire said, causing Ron to jump, surprised.

"I know. Who are you?" he asked, his eyes narrowing.

"An old friend who can't stay," Spike said, clapping the groom on the shoulder as he passed.

Ron didn't say anything else, and neither did Spike. Lighting a cigarette as soon as he was clear of the wedding venue, Spike shook his head. It was off to Scotland now, to deal with another pretty girl.

End Notes: And that was the end of this one. This of effectively removes the AU of the other one, but I still had to include that in the author's note so not to rouse suspicion. And this also concludes this little one-shot pairing. Hope you enjoyed!

BTW: If you're interested in a Hermione/Spike story that might lead to an actual pairing between the two of them, I recommend Slinky-And-The-BloodyWands story "Book Girl."