Pointy Horns or Black Hats
Title: Pointy Horns or Black Hats
Disclaimer: The Sunnydale universe was created by Joss Whedon; the Hogwarts universe was created by J.K. Rowling.
Summary: Inspired by EmylnII’s “Ever After”, a picture you can see here:
Giles and Severus: brothers, best friends, bitter rivals.
A/N: This takes place after S4 in BtVS and after Book 5 in HP universe. In fact, it should probably be noted that this was started before Book 6 came out, and is now completely AU for that series. This is my first attempt at a long story in the Potter'verse, so I'd appreciate any feedback as I go along.
“But, I’ve got a history exam tomorrow afternoon.”
“I somehow doubt the demons will check your syllabi when planning the next apocalypse.”
“But Giles, it’s no fair!”
“You’re right. It’s terribly unfair, but I still disarmed you, and that means we do this again.” Giles picked up the staff and threw it at the slayer, who easily caught the weapon, despite the blindfold. “You’ll have plenty of time to study tomorrow morning, and if you’d like, I can quiz you on patrol.”
“Gee, that’ll be swell.” Buffy smiled sarcastically as she moved into a fighting stance.
Giles was about to crouch into a similar position, when Buffy stood up. “What’s the problem now?”
“Your phone is ringing.”
“It is not.” Giles reached for his back pocket to make sure.
“It’s in your coat pocket and set to vibrate.”
“Ah, well, just a minute.” Giles dropped his staff to fetch his new phone from the heap of clothes by the door to the main store. He still didn’t know why he let Buffy talk him into getting the infernal contraption. She insisted that it would be good to have one just for emergencies, but given the town, that meant he had it on at all times. Fumbling through his jacket pocket, he found the silver phone that was indeed vibrating. “Hello, Rupert Giles speaking.” He answered.
“Mr. Giles, I’m from Sunnydale General.” The voice hesitated for a moment then continued on with the prepared speech. “I regret to inform you that there’s been an accident. The bus driver said he didn’t even see him step in front until it was too late.”
“Who’s hurt?” Giles interrupted her, not caring a whit what some bus driver said.
“Currently we don’t have a name. There’s just a slip of paper in the billfold that instructs anyone to contact you in case of emergency.”
“Do I need to identify a body?” Giles' mechanical voice belied the worry he felt. The only people who had this phone number were his family back in England and the kids here. The thought of Xander being hit by a bus was too much to bear. He didn’t even notice as Buffy dropped her staff.
“Well, the doctors have operated, and there’s a good chance the John Doe will recover fully. However, if you could come down to the hospital to identify him and possibly start the paperwork for him, that would be nice.” The nurse sounded tired.
“Right, I’ll be on my way.”
“Is it Xander?” Buffy asked as soon as Giles closed the phone.
“Quite possibly. I don’t know who else would have this phone number.” He didn’t even try to lie, knowing his slayer could probably hear the entire conversation anyway.
“I’m coming with you.”
“Very well.” He didn’t even wait for her to undo her blindfold before grabbing his keys and heading out the back door.
“Maybe it’s not Xander.” Buffy spoke to fill the silence in the car. “Maybe it’s just a stranger looking for the Magic Box.”
“My phone number is unlisted.” Giles replied. “The only people who have it are you folk and my family.”
“It can’t be Xander.”
“The doctors said he was likely to recover.”
“Oh god, and I’ve been such a jerk to him lately.” Buffy cringed. Giles drove on in silence, knowing that no words would be adequate for this situation.
“Xander wouldn’t step in front of a bus. He would know better, wouldn’t he?”
“Might I suggest we save our tears until we actually see what happened? Perhaps it’s something else entirely.”
“Yeah, maybe it was just a demon calling, and they’re leaving a trap for us at the hospital.”
“The fact that you see that as a better alternative makes me wonder if we all could use a vacation.” Giles sighed, pulling into the hospital parking lot. They quickly found the triage nurse, sitting idly at the reception desk. “Hello, I’m Rupert Giles, I was called about…”
“Right, you’re here for the John Doe in room 113?”
“Yes thank you.” Giles replied, only to find Buffy already halfway down the hall.
“If you would wait, we can have a nurse walk you down there.” The nurse offered.
“I believe I can find my own way.” Giles took off after Buffy, not waiting for the nurse to mess around with her clipboard and identification tags.
“Oh my god.” Buffy called from the doorway.
“Buffy, what is it?” Giles skidded to a halt about a foot short of the door.
“It’s not pretty, but it’s not Xander. Thank god.” Buffy collapsed against the wall in relief.
Giles was about to take a peek inside, when the nurse flagged him down. “Mr. Giles! Mr. Giles!”
“Yes, nurse?” He wondered briefly what his face looked like. His stomach felt like it was still flying as his mind processed what Buffy had said. It wasn’t Xander. Part of him wanted to do somersaults of joy that it wasn’t the young boy while part of him dreaded what lay behind door 113.
“Could you please put this on?” She handed him a visitor’s tag. “Now, I should warn you. The man in there is suffering from severe internal bleeding and still has not woken up from his coma, which is probably a blessing. If you could just take a quick look and let me know if you recognize the man, we can leave him to rest and take care of this elsewhere.”
He tried to ignore his fingers shaking as he turned the doorknob. He took a step into the room and froze. Even through the bruises and bandages, the face was instantly recognizable. He hadn’t realized how long he had been staring at the man before the nurse prodded him. “Is he familiar, sir?”
“He’s my brother.” Giles whispered. “Oh, Sev, what the hell have you been up to?”
“Brother?” Buffy looked up at her watcher. “I didn’t know you had a brother. You have a family?”
“What, you thought that I just hatched from an egg? Please don’t answer that.” Giles spared a glance sideways to see that Buffy had come to stand beside him.
“I just thought your family was all England-y, that’s all.” Buffy muttered, staring at the man in all the casts. “Oh god, Giles, I’m so sorry. He looks awful.”
“He’s probably seen worse.” Giles noticed the tattoo on the man’s left arm that was just visible over the edge of a cast. It had scars surrounding it, as though the man had attempted to cut out the tattoo on his own.
“Sir, if we could return to the front hall…” The nurse interrupted Giles’ inspection of the sleeping man.
“Right, right, of course.” Giles slowly turned to leave, not quite trusting his own senses. Buffy wrapped her arm around his shoulder and helped him down the hall, trying to be the silent strength for her watcher that he’d always been for her.
The nurse led them to a small cubicle with a stark gray desk and a single ball point pen attached to a chain. “If you could fill these out, and then bring them to the front desk.” She placed a clipboard on the desk and left.
“Giles, do you need my help with anything?”
“Thank you, but no.” Giles picked up the pen and frowned at his shaky penmanship. “I’m sorry that your training was interrupted.”
“Hey, no sweat.” Buffy shrugged, not quite pulling off that grace slayers were known for. Knowing her fear of hospitals, he wondered how long it would take before she started pacing.
Giles stared at the first blank for name and set the pen back down again. “Oh dear, I’m not quite sure what to write.”
Buffy peaked over his shoulder. “All it asks for is name. What, did he get married and you can’t remember his married name or something?” She asked before catching herself.
“Well, I just can’t help but wonder why he is here. He would not seek me out if he were not in the gravest of dangers, regardless of any buses. If he is being hunted by whom I think would be looking for him, I would hate to lead them here.” He quietly admitted to Buffy.
“So is this a Hellmouth-y kind of problem or a ‘Vinny says to pay up’ kind of problem?”
“A little bit of both.”
“Ah. So, I should probably get you a cup of tea from the cafeteria.” Buffy nodded understandingly.
“If you don’t mind? Actually, do you need me to drive you back to campus? I would hate to keep you up all night with papers when you have an exam tomorrow.”
“Mneh, who cares about the French and Indian War? It’s not like I’ll ever go to India.” Giles stared at her. “I’m kidding! Geesh, Giles, I do know that American history isn’t about India. Give me some credit.”
“One Earl Grey coming up.” She smiled.
“Thank you.” Giles stared at the sheet in front of him and took a deep breath. With a prayer for forgiveness in his heart, he carefully wrote: “Steven Giles, (nickname Sev)” in the blank for name.
“Now, this is an important day for me, Rupert. I expect you to be on your best behavior.” The elder Giles straightened his bow tie in the mirror before turning to the young man next to him. “Do you understand?”
“Yes father.” The boy tried to look anywhere but at his father.
“Come now, chin up. It’s not every day a boy gets a new mother and brother.”
“Well, no, I suppose not.” The little boy admitted, enjoying the shine from his new patent leather shoes. “But, I’ve been thinking, do I really need a mother? I’ve lived eight whole years with out one. Between you and nana, I really don’t see that it’s necessary.”
“Rupert.” The warning tone left no room for argument. Evidently Mr. Giles firmly believed that he needed a mother.
“Yes father.” The boy slumped his shoulders in defeat.
“Your tie is a mess; how did it come undone so quickly?” The man bent down to straighten the little black bowtie. “It’s going to be alright, Rupert, just trust me.”
At the other end of the church, a similar discussion was going on. “Mother, I think this is ridiculous.”
“Oh you do, do you?” The woman took a break from charming each of her raven locks into place to stare at the boy sitting on the couch.
“Yes. I do.” The boy answered with conviction. “I do not need a new father; the old one was quite enough, thank you.”
“Severus! We do not speak of the dead with such utter disregard.”
“I’m only saying that I had a father, I do not need a new one, so you should stop this foolish marriage business at once.”
“Severus, dear, this time will be different. Mr. Giles is a young man who will love us dearly, and he has a son your own age. You can be friends. This marriage will be better.”
“I don’t want friends. May I have a new broom instead?”
“Severus.” The child kicked his feet back and forth, but knew better than to argue when his mother used that tone of voice. “This is an important day for me, and I expect you to be on your best behavior. Understood?”
“Good, now let me take a look at your robes.” The woman bent down in her pale ivory gown to smooth some nonexistent wrinkles from the boy’s shoulders. “You’ll make quite a handsome wizard one day.” She smiled warmly at her surly son.
“Yes mother.” The boy rolled his eyes.
“Now run along. I expect you to stay by your grandmother’s side the entire time. Make me proud.” The boy nodded shyly then ran out of the room. “Merlin, help me.” The woman sighed before returning to the mirror.
The ceremony was pulled off without a hitch, even if the folks on the right of the church found it odd that the other side all wore garishly bright robes and the folks on the left of the church found it peculiar that the other side all wore morose black suit jackets. Both sides knew better than to cross Sir Bradford Giles and Cassandra LeStrange Snape, and thus kept their opinions politely to themselves. It was only at the reception, once the champagne and firewhiskey began to flow, that the guests began to let loose. Caught up in the music, food, and general cacophony, none of the guests noticed the two people left sitting at the table of honor.
The two boys had been staring at each other through the service, through the dinner and the toast, through the cake cutting, and were so caught up in their stare-off that they had even missed the send-off of their parents in the white horse-drawn carriage.
“So you’re him.” The black haired boy finally snarled.
“I’m Rupert.” The boy replied. “And you must be Cinderella.”
“So you’re admitting you’re the evil step-sibling?”
“I’m admitting that you’re wearing a dress.” Rupert casually replied, tearing off a piece of his dinner roll and eating it.
“These are formal robes.”
“Looks like a dress to me, Cinderella.”
“My name is Severus Snape.”
“No it isn’t.”
“Yes it is.”
“No it isn’t.”
“Yes it is.”
“Your mum married my father, and that makes you a Giles … if you’re worthy. If not, then we’ll put you in the stables and you can just be my stable boy.”
“I am Severus Snape.” The boy growled.
“Look, you’re obviously confused, what with the dress and all. When two people get married, the man keeps his name and the woman loses hers. That’s the way it goes. You lose, I win. Understood?” Rupert tried to emulate his father’s lecturing tone, but the effect was lost by his boyish pitch.
“That man will never be my father. My father was a famous wizard, and I’m going to be a famous wizard, and wizards are named Snape, not Giles.”
“You are not a wizard. Everyone knows wizards don’t exist. Unless you’re from Oz, is that it? Are you from munchkin-land?” Rupert teased, secretly wondering if the boy across from him was completely off his rocker. First he put on a dress for his mother’s wedding and then he insisted he was a wizard.
“Take that back or I’ll hex you.” Snape threateningly waved his spoon at the other boy. He knew it was an idle threat as he didn’t have a wand, and even if he did, he didn’t know any good hexes yet, but the boy obviously needed to be threatened.
“You’re a complete dodo, you are!” Rupert laughed.
“Oh yeah? Well, you’re a muggle!” Severus shouted back.
Rupert had no idea what that meant, but figured it was bad enough to need a reply. “Yeah? Well, you’re a smeghead!” Once again, Rupert had no idea what that meant, but knew it had to be bad, as the gardener had nearly attacked the cook when the cook called him that last week.
Rupert decided it was time to take the fight up a notch. Glancing around to make sure no one was watching, he carefully loaded his spoon with wedding cake and flicked it straight at Severus’ face. “See, you’re a stable boy! You’ve already taken to eating at the trough.”
“I am not a stable boy! I am Severus Snape. I will always be Severus Snape. I would never be a Giles, even if you paid me a million galleons!” The boy roared, attracting the attention of the closest guests, then launched himself over the table, straight at the other boy’s throat.
“Immobilis!” A shrill voice called out, causing both boys to freeze mid-food fight. Severus would have cringed if he wasn’t frozen. If there was one person in the room he didn’t want to notice it was the woman holding the wand right at him. If Cassandra LeStrange Snape Giles was a force to be reckoned with, her mother, Medea LeStrange, was the force beyond reckoning with. “I think it’s bed time for certain young wizards.” The woman muttered coldly, before casting a spell sending them both to sleep on the table. “The day they go off to Hogwarts will be a day of rejoicing.” She rolled her eyes and slid the wand back into her robe. She turned back to her husband and smiled gracefully. “Now, how about a waltz?”