Disclaimer: I don't own Buffy the Vampire Slayer or Harry Potter. Buffy belongs to Whedon, and Potter belongs to JK Rowling. No money made.
A/N: Slowly, so slowly, I'm making my way through those belated wishlist stories. Once again, I'm giving only the prompter, since giving the actual prompt will give away the plot of the story. The timeline for Buffy is shortly after the episode, "Passions," in S2. As for Harry Potter, I'm actually gonna line up the timeline. This is shortly after the Battle of Hogwarts, post Book 7. I hope Luna likes what I did with it! Please enjoy!
"Please, have a seat," Headmistress McGonagall said, motioning to the chair across her desk.
Her hair pulled up into a tight, severe bun underneath a black, pointed hat, McGonagall took a seat herself behind the desk. She flipped over the parchment letter before her, skimming the words written there.
"You've recently come from… Sunnydale, California, in America, have you?" the Headmistress asked.
Across from her, Jenny Calendar nodded. She pushed a lock of her dark hair behind her ear, and straightened the wrinkles out of the skirt of her lightly floral dress. She took a deep breath as she indicated the other slips of paper sitting at McGonagall's fingertips.
"Yes. I did. As you can see, I do have a letter of recommendation from an old teacher of mine. I believe he graduated from here."
McGonagall nodded, her lips pursed together as she continued her search through the papers at hand. She held up one, in particular, staring at it with slightly skeptical eyes.
"A technopagan? That's what you call yourself?" the headmistress asked.
Jenny nodded again, breathing in sharply. "Yes."
"And you would define that as…?"
Jenny fidgeted in her seat, trying to keep her eyes locked—confidently—on McGonagall, but no so locked that she came off as creepy.
"I integrate technology, such as computers, into the old magics. Through that, I am able to form digital covens, cast spells, access more knowledge faster than ever before."
McGonagall set her sheet of parchment down, clasping her hands and resting them on the desk.
"Are you aware of the laws about magic in the United Kingdom?"
Jenny bit lightly at her bottom lip, and she found herself hoping that her darkly purple lipstick was not wearing.
"Well," McGonagall sighed removing her glasses, "let me inform you further. The mixing of muggle technology and magic is strictly prohibited here, unless you go through the proper channels. And even then, it is very rare that the mixing receives approval."
Jenny shook her head. "No, I understand that. That's what I classify myself as, but I don't intend to teach magic in that way if I am awarded this position. I'm aware of the laws here."
That seemed to satisfy the headmistress as she moved the piece of parchment aside.
"Very well. If you do not intend to teach Defense Against the Dark Arts as your self-assigned classification, it begs the question of your qualifications on the subject."
She had dreaded this. Jenny knew this part of the job interview was coming, that she would have to detail exactly what had led to her application to this post that was so far away from her last hometown. But she steeled herself.
"I had to leave my last job very abruptly, as I explained in my application. A vampire, by the name of Angel, lost the soul my people had cursed him to have very long ago. I felt guilty. I felt like there was something I should have done to help prevent it. So I began to research the spell that had cursed him originally. And Angelus—as the vampire calls himself without a soul—found out. I knew he would come for me. To kill me. But I've dealt with Hellmouth towns before. It gives you a lot of perspective on spells necessary for survival in such places."
McGonagall listened silently as Jenny paused, trying to find the right words to complete her story. A ball of guilt—one that just would never go away, she was sure—welled up in the pit of her stomach. She looked away from the headmistress and continued.
"I conjured a double. A decoy for Angelus to go after while I escaped. It worked. That's one of many, many spells I can use to teach the students at Hogwarts."
McGonagall leaned forward in her seat, obviously interested. "And how successful was it, the decoy?"
Jenny's tongue snaked out, wetting her lips—which felt so dry at the moment that she feared she might be dehydrating. Could guilt alone dehydrate someone? Was that possible?
"Very. I've… heard that Angelus… killed it, the decoy. The people I knew there, in Sunnydale, believe me dead."
The headmistress's eyes widened. She leaned back, pulling her hands out of sight to rest on her lap.
"And you've let them continue to believe this?"
Jenny shook her head, heat rising to her face.
"I had no choice! He was going to kill me! I left my work behind, in a place where the others could find it. I finished the spell. They can save Angelus. My work was done," she said, her voice a tad louder than she had intended.
The witch sitting across from her raised her hand, holding it out toward Jenny, who was now standing once more.
"Calm yourself, Ms. Calendar. Obviously, this is a very personal thing to you."
"Y-yes. It is," she said, sinking back into her chair. "I… left a lot of people behind, and I'm sure, if they ever found out what I've done, they'd be… hurt, to put it lightly. But my personal issues aside, I've been watching the activities here. I know what happened at this school, with the Dark Lord and Harry Potter and all that. I believe I can help the healing process for the students that will be coming back. I believe I can help them feel… peace, a return to normalcy. My teaching methods will probably be, admittedly, a little unorthodox, as my heritage has only led me to partial contact with the Wizarding world. But I can do this. My experience with the Hellmouth, with Angelus, with everything in my entire life… I can use it to help these kids. If, that is, you give the position."
McGonagall nodded, apparently deep in thought. Then, with a sad smile, she chuckled.
"Considering the fact that the last holder of the Defense Against the Dark Arts post was a Death Eater, I believe you would be a bit of fresh air. You have the job."
Jenny smiled, extending her hand. McGonagall shook it once, and Jenny hopped to her feet.
"You won't regret this," she said.
McGonagall rose as well, gesturing toward the door out of her office.
"I hope I will be able to say the same for you. I'll show you to your new quarters."
Jenny nodded and fell into step beside the headmistress. However, just outside the door, McGonagall stopped, turning toward her.
"I must warn you, Ms. Calendar. I don't approve of running as a viable option of defense. I mean, certainly, there are situations that call for it, but I need you to understand that standing your ground, actually defending the Dark Arts is what I want my students to learn."
Jenny's heart seized for a moment. Being chided by your new boss about past choices was never a good feeling, especially considering that Jenny didn't exactly feel right about those choices herself. But she nodded.
The two of them descended the staircase leading to the main castle. Just as they stepped out from behind the statue that hid the stairs, McGonagall laid a soft hand on Jenny's shoulder.
"You'll have to tell your friends, one day, that you're still alive. To not do so is cruel."
"I know. And, one day… "
But Jenny left the sentence hanging. McGonagall smiled, and patted her shoulder.