Out of Focus by Emma Grant
Summary: HP/Angel crossover.  Lilah Morgan is sent on a special assignment to London -- to hire Lord Voldemort on behalf of Wolfram & Hart. ( Lilah Morgan/Severus Snape)
Categories: Het pairings, Buffy the Vampire Slayer - Angel (Series), Harry Potter Characters: Lilah Morgan, Severus Snape
Challenges:
Series: None
Chapters: 1 Completed: Yes Word count: 4788 Read: 8243 Published: 08/11/2007 Updated: 08/11/2007
Story Notes:

Originally posted: December 29, 2006

Set in July 1996, after the end of OOTP and several years before the first season of Angel . Written for pyro_manical for the btvs_santa exchange.
Links: My LJ | Skyehawke | BtVS Santa (the R-rated version)

1. Chapter 1 by Emma Grant

Chapter 1 by Emma Grant
:: :: ::

Lilah Morgan stepped out of the cab and glanced up at the overcast sky. She hadn't been to London since a trip with her grandparents when she was a child, but it looked exactly as she remembered. Heathrow was a little nicer, certainly, and the cabs were a little more colorful than the drab black ones she remembered, but for the most part, very little had changed.

The cab pulled away, and she turned toward the ornate doorway before her. Carved into the weathered stone above it were the words Wolfram & Hart Solicitors -- the storied London office. It had a body count nearly as high as the home office did, and was steeped in classist tradition. She'd been wanting to pay it a visit ever since she'd joined the firm.

She pressed the buzzer and the door clicked open. She felt a chill run down her spine as she crossed the threshold, which was probably just the effect of magical protections on the building, but it was still thrilling. The lobby was vast and imposing; the only furnishing was a single desk, behind which sat a stern-looking receptionist. She didn't look up as Lilah approached, but continued tapping away at her keyboard.

"Good morning," Lilah began, but the receptionist held up one finger.

"Ms. Morgan to see you, sir." Lilah had no idea who she was talking to: she wasn't wearing a headset, and there was no one else in the room. There was a pause and then the receptionist said, "I'll send her right up." But she didn't look up at Lilah, nor did she cease her typing.

There was a long silence, during which Lilah hid her annoyance by buffing her blood red nails on the hem of her suit coat. Finally, a door materialized in the wall to her left. Lilah shot the receptionist a smirk (which she was sure the woman saw even though she wasn't looking) and stepped into what appeared to be an elevator car. The doors closed and the elevator surprised her by sinking instead of rising.

Lilah studied her reflection in the mirrored door of the elevator car. She looked relaxed and confident, just as she should. She'd been selected for this assignment because of her consistent performance under pressure and threat of torture. She'd been told that she would be on the path to partnership in the firm if she was successful here -- and if she survived. She pressed her lips together to refresh her lipstick, and gave herself a confident smile.

The doors opened again, and she found herself staring down a long corridor with a single door at the end. She tightened her grip on her briefcase as she headed toward it, running through the names of the people she expected to meet. The door opened just as she was reaching for the knob, revealing a boardroom with a long table, around which sat at least a dozen old, wrinkly, crotchety-looking men. Every one of them turned to glare at her as she stepped through the door.

Lilah smirked. Dealing with misogynistic assholes was her specialty. She strode forward and placed her briefcase on the table, then opened it and pulled out a stack of paper. Without so much as an introduction, she handed a paper to the man to her right.

"As I'm sure you are aware, the Partners have sent me to handle an assignment you have failed to accomplish in the last year: bringing the dark wizard known as Voldemort into the employ of Wolfram and Hart." One of the men snorted derisively, and Lilah ignored him. She continued circling the table, handing each man a copy of the brief. "As you can see from the documentation I'm providing, the home office has authorized me to use any necessary resources of the London office. And I'll start with a complete briefing on your failures so far."

She sat in the chair at the head of the table, steepled her fingers, and smiled.

:: :: ::

"Ms. Morgan, I presume?" The man was thin and grey-looking, dressed in an archaic set of robes, and wearing an expression somewhere between derision and unease.

"Yes," Lilah said, pointedly ignoring the hand he was holding out to her. "You're here to take me to the contact." It wasn't a question.

The man nodded, and looked both ways before digging into the pockets of his robe. He produced a scruffy-looking rubber duck, which he held out to her.

Lilah raised an eyebrow. "Is this a joke? I can have you killed in your sleep, you know."

The man rolled his eyes. "Just take it, for Merlin's sake."

Lilah hesitated, and then reached for the toy. The moment her fingers closed around it, she felt a strange pulling sensation from the inside of her body, and then she was being hurtled through what seemed to be a tunnel of swirling light. It was extremely uncomfortable, and she couldn't decide of she should let go of the duck or hold on tight. It was clearly taking her somewhere, though -- whether or not that was someplace she wanted to go was another question entirely.

Abruptly, she landed hard on her ass on a sidewalk at the end of a row of small houses. She pushed to her feet and straightened out her skirt, and looked around. There was a strong smell of sewage, and the surroundings were dark and dank. Even the streetlight over her head flickered in disrepair. Surely this couldn't be right.

She'd landed right in front of one particular house, though. It could be the hiding place of her contact. She picked up her briefcase and climbed the three stairs to the door, and knocked.

Nothing happened.

She knocked again, then leaned around to peer at the curtained windows. She couldn't see any light behind them, but that didn't mean no one was there. She waited a full minute, and then pounded on the door.

It opened a crack, and a short man peered through at her. All she could see was a balding head and one narrow eye. "What do you want, Muggle?"

Lilah recognized the term from her briefing, but she couldn't remember if it was derogatory or not. "I'm Lilah Morgan from Wolfram and Hart," she said, slipping her foot into the opening. "I'm here to see Severus Snape, to discuss a matter pertaining to Lord Voldemort."

"You dare speak his name?" the man hissed.

Lilah blinked at him. "Perhaps you don't understand. I work for Wolfram and Hart."

The man squinted at her and opened the door a bit wider, enough to frame his pudgy face. "Be gone, filthy Muggle!"

"Enough, Wormtail," a voice said from within the house. "Invite the Muggle in."

Wormtail scowled at Lilah as he opened the door. He must be a servant of some sort; they were typically obnoxious and smug, overcompensating for their position in life. The owner of the voice was now in view, and he was a very impressive man indeed. He looked to be in his forties and was dressed completely in black. Even his pallid face was curtained by black hair and punctuated by black eyes. Those eyes ran down her form, taking in her suit and briefcase, and back up to her face again.

"Ms. Morgan, is it? I've been expecting you. Wormtail, fetch us something to drink."

Wormtail hissed at Lilah again before scurrying away into the back room.

"And you must be Severus Snape," Lilah said, extending a hand. Snape regarded it for a moment before taking it, as if he weren't used to shaking hands with people. "I'm pleased you could meet with me. You came highly recommended by the associates in our London office."

"Did I? How very interesting." He gestured to a worn sofa, and Lilah sat. Snape settled in an armchair, his eyes still fixed on her.

Lilah set her briefcase on the coffee table and opened it, and then put her business face on. "Mr. Snape, as you probably know, the firm of Wolfram and Hart has taken a keen interest in the potential of the dark wizard called Voldemort and his Death Eaters, of which you are known to be one."

Snape raised an eyebrow. "Known?"

"We know everything that happens in the magical world, Mr. Snape. And we've had our eye on Mr. Voldemort for a long time now."

"Now that he has returned, I presume?"

Lilah's smile was cool. "The Partners have been watching him for many years, waiting for the moment when he would resume corporeal form. The London office was given the task of recruiting him, but they failed."

"And so they send a Muggle girl to finish the job?"

"I'm an attorney, Mr. Snape, not a child."

"I see." Snape's expression was one of mild amusement, something that ordinarily would have earned Lilah's wrath. But instead, she was intrigued. This man knew who she was and who she worked for, and he seemed unintimidated.

Wormtail burst through the door again, carrying a large bottle and two glasses. He poured what seemed to be a dark ale into each glass, and then offered one to Snape. He set the other on the table just out of Lilah's reach, scowling.

"Now, now, Wormtail," Snape said, his eyes burning into Lilah's. "Where are your manners?"

The glass was pressed into Lilah's hand, but she found herself oddly transfixed by Snape's gaze. It was rare that anyone unsettled her, but there was something about this man that radiated power. Lilah liked power, even more than she liked money or looks. Powerful men turned her on -- bad powerful men, even more so.

Snape cleared his throat, bringing Lilah's mind back to the moment. His expression had changed a bit, almost as if he knew what she'd been thinking. Lilah felt her cheeks heat, and she forced herself to look away, fumbling through her briefcase to clear her mind. She opened a file folder and pretended to study its contents.

"We're prepared to offer Mr. Voldemort our standard consulting contract. He can accept or refuse assignments as he chooses, of course. We've assumed a solid six-figure salary, with bonuses for death and dismemberment above and beyond the requirements of the job."

Snape coughed, and paused to take a sip of his ale.

Lilah looked up at him again. "And of course, there'll be a sizeable reward in it for you if you can facilitate a meeting."

"What sort of reward?"

"Name your price."

Snape paused, his eyes flicking down to the folder in her hands and back up again. "I'm not interested in money."

Lilah smiled. "I'm sure we can come to an arrangement."

His lips twisted into a smirk. "The Dark Lord will not meet with a Muggle. He won't even entertain the idea."

"I'm no ordinary Muggle. I'm attorney for Wolfram and Hart."

"So you persist in stating. Wolfram and Hart may have a great deal of influence in some corners of the magical world, but not in the wizarding community."

Lilah picked up her glass. "I've worked with clients who were far more difficult than Voldemort. I can handle myself just fine."

"Are you suicidal, or merely foolish?"

Lilah laughed. "Are you trying to protect Voldemort, or me?"

Snape stared at her for a moment, and then leaned forward in his seat, his eyes hard. "I will do this as a favor to Holland Manners, though it is against my better judgment. I can get you to a meeting of Death Eaters the day after tomorrow. I won't tell him you're coming, so once you're in the door, you'll be on your own. I won't be able to protect you, or even to acknowledge you."

"That will do," Lilah said, leaning forward to match his posture. "And then I'll owe you one." She smiled. He didn't return it.

:: :: ::

The narrow street looked like something out of a period film, with people walking about in Victorian dress on cobblestones, darting in and out of shops displaying some of the most bizarre merchandise Lilah had ever seen. She had just stopped to stare in the window of what looked to be an apothecary when she heard whispers behind her.

She turned to see a small group of children staring at her with wide eyes. They all wore cloaks and carried bundles of books and feather quills, perhaps doing their back-to-school shopping.

"What?" she asked, folding her arms over her chest. They didn't reply; they just continued to stare at her, as if they'd never seen a lawyer before. "Boo!" she shouted, throwing her arms out towards them. They squealed and ran away. With a laugh, she turned around and nearly bumped headlong into Severus Snape.

He smirked at her. "Annoying, aren't they?"

"I despise children," she replied, looking over her shoulder at the spot where they'd disappeared around a corner. "Good thing I went into law instead of teaching."

"Indeed." Snape seemed to appraise her for a moment before indicating a shadowy alley with a tilt of his head.

The alley was narrow and dank: the cobblestones were slick with something that didn't appear to be water, and many of the storefronts they passed were boarded up. They met no other people, though three black cats dashed across the alley in front of them in the space of a few minutes. When a fourth screeched at her as it passed, Lilah stopped in her tracks.

"Where the hell are we going, anyway?"

Snape turned to face her, his robes swirling around him. "I am not at liberty to say."

Lilah clenched her jaw. "Fine."

"Nervous?"

"Of course not." But it wasn't true -- she'd had time to read through the London office's complete files on Voldemort in the previous day and a half, and she'd slowly come to realize she was in over her head. She'd always gotten by on sheer guts in the past, though. Maybe it would be enough this time. Her hand tightened around the handle of her briefcase.

Snape's eyes narrowed, but he said nothing more before he turned and walked on. Lilah stifled the urge to make a sarcastic remark, and followed him. There was something about him that made her feel like a student serving detention.

Of course, she'd screwed the teacher who always gave her detention.

They wound their way down and down, until Lilah began to wonder how it was possible that they weren't underground yet. They finally stopped before a boarded-up shop that looked like every other boarded-up shop they'd passed. Snape pointed something that seemed to be a magic wand at the door, and it creaked open. He cast a sidelong glance at Lilah and walked through it.

She moved to follow, but found herself bounced right back. She held out a hand to the doorway, and found there was something there, something she couldn't see. It was cool and not exactly solid, but impassable none the less. She put both hands on it and pushed, but nothing happened.

"Hey!" she called into the darkness on the other side of the door. "How do I get through this?" She waited, but nothing happened. She kicked the barrier, and her foot bounced off of it like it was rubber. "Let me in!" she shouted.

Another minute passed, and she began to grow angry. It didn't make sense for Snape to leave her out here. If it was a trap of some sort, it would surely be inside the building, not out on the street. Perhaps he didn't know she hadn't passed the barrier. Perhaps he was just on the other side, trying to find a way to open it.

"Fuck it," she spat, and hurled herself at the doorway. She bounced back and nearly lost her balance. She smoothed her hair down, took a deep breath, and hurled herself at it again.

And this time, she fell right through. She hit a dusty wooden floor, bumping her elbow hard as she fell. She pushed herself to her feet and looked around. It was dark save for a handful of flickering candles. The place certainly seemed to be a disused shop, with shelves and counters covered by sheets. The lumpy shape of an old-fashioned cash register sat on a table nearby. Light and a murmur of voices came from the back room of the shop, but the room she was in seemed to be empty.

And she didn't have her briefcase -- for some reason, it hadn't been allowed past the barrier. She bit back the stream of curses she would have said in any other situation. She was really on her own now.

She took a deep breath and started toward the doorway, listening to the voices grow more distinct as she got closer. She peeked around the door frame and froze -- there was a circle of people in the room beyond, all of whom wore dark robes and skull-like masks. At the center stood a demon of a sort she'd never seen before, with red eyes and a face reminiscent of a snake. There was no sign of Snape.

The demon hissed, and the masked figures all turned to stare at Lilah. She swallowed, then raised her chin and stepped forward, plastering a smile on her face.

"Lord Voldemort, I presume?" She held out a hand toward the demon, and ignored the gasps all around her.

Voldemort's eyes narrowed to slits, and he tilted his head, as if not sure what to make of her. She stepped closer, and kept holding her hand out.

"I'm Lilah Morgan, of Wolfram and Hart. The Partners sent me from the home office in Los Angeles to make you an offer."

"I know what they want from me," Voldemort replied, his voice an odd mix of the hiss of a snake and the dulcet tones of a 60s lounge singer. "They have wanted my cooperation for many years, and each time they've offered, I have refused. And now they send a Muggle?"

"I'm a lawyer," Lilah said, dropping her hand. She hoped he hadn't heard that hitch in her voice.

"The Partners insult me," Voldemort continued, raising a long-fingered hand to point at her. There was a shifting of feet all around, and Lilah realized the masked Death Eaters around her were closing in. She took a step backwards.

"All right, fair enough. I'll just go back and tell them they need to send someone more… qualified."

Voldemort's face split into a sort of horrific grin. "I shall burn the message into your bloody corpse and send it to Los Angeles with a portkey."

Lilah heard herself laugh, even as the blood was draining from her face. "That won't be necessary. I can just--"

Arms snaked around her from behind, and before she could protest, a hand was clamped over her mouth. She struggled, but she was being held tightly against the chest of one of the masked men. The others were closing in, and her mind began to spin, running through and rejecting a dozen courses of action in the space of a few seconds.

She'd really hoped to make partner before having to cash in that perpetuity clause in her contract.

"My Lord," a voice spoke just above her ear, and with a start she realized it was Snape who was holding her. "Might I be granted the task of disposing of the Muggle?" One hand slid up from her waist to cup a breast and squeeze it, hard. "It seems a waste to destroy such a beautiful creature without properly enjoying it first."

The Death Eaters around them chuckled, but Voldemort simply stared at Snape. "I would have thought you were above such base carnality, Severus."

The hand over Lilah's mouth moved down to her throat and squeezed. She gasped, and the hand clenched tighter, making it nearly impossible to breathe.

"I indulge on occasion, my Lord."

Voldemort regarded them a moment longer, then lowered his hand. "Very well."

Lilah slumped against Snape, feeling both relieved and terrified -- and bizarrely, more turned on than she could remember feeling in a long, long time. She half-hoped Snape really intended to torture her.

The hand on her throat moved back to her mouth, forcing her to breathe hard through her nose to catch her breath. As a result, she sounded as if she were sobbing in terror as he dragged her away, back through the shop and out into the street. He didn't release her then; he held her even more tightly, and something happened that Lilah did not expect at all. She felt like she was being squeezed through a hole much too small for her body. She couldn't see, and she couldn't breathe, and just as she'd started to think that Snape had killed her after all, a cool breeze flitted across her face.

They were standing on the front steps of the row house she'd visited Snape in several days before. She had no idea how they'd gotten there, or how long she'd been unconscious. The trip seemed to have taken no time at all.

Snape opened the door and pushed her inside, then closed the door after them. He leaned back against it and closed his eyes, an expression of relief on his face. Lilah stared at him for a moment, as understanding dawned. He'd just stuck his neck out for her. He'd saved her life. No one had ever done that for her before.

She stepped forward, her height an advantage as she pressed herself bodily against him. His eyes flew open just as she crushed her mouth against his.

"Ms. Morgan," he said, pushing her back with hands on her shoulders.

"Mr. Snape," she replied, and dove in again to kiss him. He allowed it for a few seconds before pushing her away once more.

"You need to leave," he said, panting a bit. "How soon can you be out of the country?"

"I thought we were going to play first," she said, unfastening the buttons running down the front of his robe.

His eyes were dark, and though he seemed surprised, he wasn't uninterested. "That was a cover. There's no obligation to--"

"No obligation, got it." She kissed her way down his throat and fumbled with the fly of his trousers.

He let his head fall back against the door and made a sound of exasperation. "Ms. Morgan, please. We have very little time."

She ground her hips against his and smirked -- despite his protests, he was quite interested. "Then we'll have to be quick, won't we?"

He stared at her, looking oddly indecisive. She doubted women threw themselves at him like this very frequently, much less a young and beautiful woman like herself. She smiled at him in a way that normally made men run out and buy her jewelry.

"Quick," he said at last, so soft she thought she might have missed it if she weren't so close. One hand cupped her cheek, thumb brushing over her cheekbone, and then that hand slid around the back of her head and pulled her close.

She worked her hand into his trousers, holding his gaze as she did, and the moment her fingers wrapped around his cock, he kissed her. It was hard and frantic, and it was all she could do not to melt against him. His other hand was tugging her skirt up, fingers scrabbling at her thighs. She helped him tug it up around her waist with her free hand, trying to maintain the rhythm of her strokes. Foreskin was sliding against the head under her fingers, feeling a bit exotic, and she wondered what it would feel like in her mouth.

His hands moved to her ass and he lifted her up, and she lost her grip on his cock as he turned her around and pressed her against the door. She wrapped her legs around his waist and reached down to tug her panties aside just as he was rubbing the head of his cock against her cunt, testing her wetness. She'd been uncomfortably wet since they'd gotten here, though, and he slid into her with no resistance.

He fucked her against the door with long, hard strokes, both of them panting and groaning, and the decrepit door creaking on its hinges with every thrust. The angle was fantastic, and she was surprised how close she was just from the feeling of his cock inside her. It wasn't quite enough, though, and she wormed a hand between them to work her clit as he moved.

"Like that," she panted, shifting her hips backward a bit and squeezing her thighs around him. "Harder." He complied without a word, pressing his forehead against her shoulder and tightening his grip on her ass.

It didn't take long for her to come after that. It was hard and quick, and left her toes tingling in a way that usually meant she could come again if she worked at it. She didn't, though -- she squeezed his cock as best she could, and tried to help him bear her weight as his finished. His groan was muffled in her jacket, and he pushed into her as far as he could go, and stilled.

It was a moment before he released her, pulling out and leaving her feeling wet and empty. He eased her to her feet and looked into her eyes with an expression akin to caution.

She tugged her skirt back down and straightened her shirt and jacket, and smiled at him. "Thanks."

He looked like he didn't know what to say in response. He stepped away and tucked himself back into his trousers.

"For saving me, mostly," she continued, folding her arms over her chest for lack of a better thing to do with them. "But also for that."

"That was quite possibly the stupidest thing we could have done." He frowned then, as if realizing he'd just insulted her. "I don't mean--"

"I know what you meant," Lilah replied, rolling her eyes. "And four minutes is hardly going to make the difference between life and death."

"It was more than four minutes," he retorted. "And yes, it might."

She grinned. "All right, five. And point taken. What are the odds of catching a cab around here?"

"Minute. I'll fix you a portkey." He disappeared for a few moments, and then returned holding a smooth stone in one hand. "This will take you to a portkey point at Heathrow, one often used by wizards. No one will see you appear."

She took it and clenched it in her fist. "How does it work?"

"Just hold it tightly. It will activate in a minute or so."

"Soon, then." She felt a strange stab of unease at the thought of leaving. "I'm not looking forward to reporting my failure to the Partners."

"If they want Voldemort, they'll have to send a demon, at the very least. Maybe a vampire, a powerful one."

Lilah frowned. "We don't have any vampires under contract."

"And he won't be easy to convince. He has a very specific agenda, and Wolfram and Hart hire far too many Muggles for his liking."

It was exactly what the men in the London office had told her, but she hadn't believed them. She'd been so confident, but it hadn't been enough. "I failed, though, and there'll be hell to pay for it. It hardly matters that the task was impossible."

"I suppose," he replied.

"So what about you, then? Are you interested in working for Wolfram and Hart?"

He snorted. "I have a job, and an obligation."

"What, as a hit man for Voldemort?"

"No," he replied, a hint of a smile on his lips. "As a teacher."

"No shit," she said with a laugh -- and then she was being pulled inside out, whirling away from him. She landed at Heathrow a moment later, in what seemed to be a janitor's closet. She stood still for a moment, as if moving from the spot would somehow cement her leaving. At last, she tucked the stone into her pocket, took a deep breath, and stepped out into the bustle of terminal 3.

Perhaps she could convince the Partners that Severus Snape would be a good ally. They could certainly pay him more that he must make as a teacher. And he was probably their best shot at getting to Voldemort.

She smiled. She'd be back. And next time, she wouldn't fail.

:: :: ::
~ fin ~
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