by Liz Barr
crossover: BtVS/HP; Lupin/Tara
spoilers: GoF; season 6
characters: Lupin is hers. Tara is his. They'd have pretty fiction babies, don't you think?
feedback: yes please. firstname.lastname@example.org
summary: Lupin meets Tara in a bar. It doesn't come more simple than that.
notes: Twinkledru J made me do it.
She couldn't have been much more than twenty. Pretty girl, with heavy, sleepy eyes and full hips that made him think of classical goddesses.
He could sense her, even in this crowded, noisy bar. Sense her and smell her, with the enhanced senses he sometimes tried to deny himself. A muggle-born witch, one of the many who slipped through the cracks in America.
Amateur. Powerful. Magnetic.
Almost of his own volition, he walked towards her, knowing as he did so that his muggle disguise was perfect and his wand was concealed.
"I know what you are," he said.
She looked up in surprise. "I - what? What am I?"
Her voice was soft, and she hid her face behind her hair. Scared doe-girl.
"Witch," he named her.
She stared at him, lips parted, eyes bright.
"What - what are you, then? Apart from, you know, English. Are you a Watcher?"
Hardly that, although he had connections, connections which had brought him here.
"No." He licked his lips. "I'm a teacher." By vocation, if not fact.
"Hogwarts? That's the only, uh, school in England, isn't it?"
"I didn't go to a magical school. I thought ... I guess I wasn't ... I'd have liked to be trained..."
"The Department of Magic is pretty lax when it comes to the muggle-born." This poison, leaking into every magical society.
Haunted, hurt eyes that hungered for knowledge. He wanted ... he wanted to teach her. Train her. Watch her come into her power, without being exposed to the risks that came from improper methods and faulty, dangerous spells.
"What else are you?" she asked.
She nodded and sipped her drink, one of those mixed vodka concoctions that came in cans.
He was content to simply look at her, this shining American goddess-girl.
"My girlfriend knew a werewolf once. Uh, ex-girlfriend, now." She paused. "It didn't work out."
He didn't know which relationship she was talking about, but the subtext was clear.
"It's a full moon next week," she aid.
"I know. I'd heard there was a witch in town who could make the Potion."
"There was. But she, uh, she doesn't do that anymore."
"No. I don't have the power."
"I think you underestimate yourself."
Wistful: "Could you teach me?"
"Potions? Certainly not. I barely passed it myself. Anyway, I'm leaving tomorrow. Ahead of schedule. I won't be here when I need it." Carefully: "I could teach you other things, though." she raised her eyebrows, sweet, coy and untouchable all at once. "I specialise in Dark Creatures."
"I don't think I need anymore help with that. Practical experience, what with living on a Hellmouth and all."
"Only way to learn."
"You look a lot nicer when you laugh."
"So do you."
Second drinks. Thirds.
"Why are you in Sunnydale? England not evil enough?"
"Getting there. I was sent to enlist the Slayer. There's a war coming, and we'd hoped..."
The Slayer: blank, empty girl, victim of magics no self-respecting witch or wizard would touch. He'd smelt the sex and vampire on her skin, and known there was no hope for them here.
"She's been through a lot."
So it was back to England, racing the moon. Back to report his failure to Dumbledore, and worse, to Giles.
It seemed to be his lot in life to associate old friendships with bad news.
"Do you like it?" she asked. "England, I mean. Although maybe that's a silly question. I've never really thought about liking America."
"That - that must be a nice feeling."
Impulsively: "Come with me?"
"To Hogwarts. They could teach you properly..."
Such a temptation, he knew. Such a cruel game, to offer her a place away from the Hellmouth and the failed relationship, and the hollow Slayer.
Such a temptation, to both of them.
Such a beautiful girl.
"I can't," she said finally.
The bar was closing for the night. He wanted to touch her, to take her hand and lead her back to his mundane, muggle hotel.
He kept his hands by his sides.
"It was nice meeting you," she said. "It's been nice." She smiled, and shone all the brighter for it. He watched her walking away, radiant among the muggles.
This was a Hellmouth, but nothing bothered him as he walked alone back to his hotel, tired old werewolf that he was.
Nothing touched him at all.
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