In Truth, Beauty

by Kathryn A

Universe: Harry Potter/Buffy
Category: Crossover, AU

The worst thing was that she was a Muggle. It stood like a wall between them, not because he was prejudiced against Muggles, but because he wasn't.

It wasn't as if she didn't know about the Wizarding World. After all, they'd met because she kept a "magic shop" in Muggle London, catering to the strange Muggle ideas of magic, but also one of the best sources of potion ingredients he'd found in the whole of the British Isles.

Her hair wavered between blond and indifferent brown. She cared about nothing but money. She was appallingly direct. She had absolutely no tact, but then neither did he. She hated men. She was afraid of death, and snatched at life like a starving man at a banquet.

And here he was, sharing tea and scones with her as if Wizarding wars were as mythical as Yellow-Bellied Crumple-Horns. He sipped his tea.

"Do you love me?" she asked.

"Yes," he said, surprising himself.

"Will you marry me?"

Instead of raising his eyebrow and remarking that it was usually the man who asked that question, he found himself answering, "No."

Her eyes narrowed, and storm clouds gathered in them. "Why not?"

"Because it's too dangerous," he said, and that last unintended confession set his alarm bells ringing. He stared at the lineaments of her face, the frown that was even now smoothing out, and then his eyes zeroed in on his tea cup, still half full.

He picked it up and thrust it at her. "Drink it," he grated.

She jumped at his abruptness, looked at his glowering face, and nodded. She drained the cup.

"Veritaserum?" he asked, though he knew the answer.

"Yes," she said.

"Where did you get it?"

Her chin came up, and her brown eyes flashed. "I made it myself. I'm not stupid."

"Indeed, it seems not." He studied the lovely, treacherous face. "How much did they pay you?"

"Nobody paid me anything."

"Are you working for Voldemort?" If Voldemort had sent her, then his double game must already be uncovered, even if she hadn't learned anything.

"No!" she said. "Working for Big Bads just gets you killed. Oh dear, I sound just like Xander..."

"Like whom?"

"Like my ex-fiance. He jilted me at the altar," she said. "That's why I came to London. Men can't be trusted!" Her eyes sparkled with tears. "I needed to know. Can you be trusted?"

The direct question forced his answer. "No."

Tears trickled down her face. "You fancy someone else, don't you?"

"No," he said. "Nobody else."

"Why can't you be trusted?" she asked.

"Because I'm a spy."

"Oh, that," she said. He was surprised at her lack of surprise.

"You know?"

"That you're a double-agent working for Dumbledore? Of course I know," she said. "Don't think for one moment I wasn't going to have the man I love thoroughly investigated."

"But - but how?" He was doomed.

"Oh, don't worry, Voldemort doesn't know. I have friends in low places. Ones that would laugh at the idea of working for a puffed-up half-human with delusions of demonhood."

He winced. How could she dismiss Voldemort like that? He was terror incarnate; his long shadow had darkened the Wizarding world for too many years.

"But that doesn't mean you're not going to give it up once we're married, darling," she added. "You're right, it's too dangerous."

"We're not getting married," he said.

"But I love you and you love me; of course we're getting married."

"How can you love me?" He bared the Dark Mark on his forearm. "Doesn't this mean anything to you? I've killed, I've tortured --"

"Don't talk to me about dark pasts! I used to be a vengeance demon."

"What? Not that Anyanka?"

"Yes, that Anyanka."

"Oh." Well, that explained the 'friends in low places' remark. And why she wasn't impressed by Voldemort. He started to laugh.

"What? Why are you laughing?"

"It seems we are well-matched after all," he said. He gazed at her face, drinking in her flawless lips and her not-so-innocent brown eyes. "Why me?" he asked.

"Your sexy voice makes me want to have orgasms with you. And babies," she said, smiling. "You're not scared of anything, not even truth."

He kissed her.

Severus Snape and Anya Jenkins got married six months later.

Thanks to Mistral Amara and Sarah Izhilzha for beta-reading.

This came to me while waking up from a half-doze on a lazy Saturday morning, and I spent the rest of the morning writing it up.