Title: Fighting the Good Fight
Summary: HP/BTVS Crossover; Willow, Spike and Giles are recruited to help train Harry and company during their fifth year. Spoilers for BTVS through Normal Again (Minor spoilers for Season 7, but not for the major story arc) and for HP through Goblet of Fire.
Rating: PG-13, but it's an 80's PG-13, meaning swearing, violence, and a few sexual references. If you watch Buffy, you're okay.
Reviews: Always welcome, as long as they're honest.
Distribution: Take as you will, but let me know where, since I'm always looking for good stuff to read.
Disclaimer: Not that this will save my hide at all, but I don't own any of this, I am merely borrowing. Thanks to Mutant Enemy, Joss Whedon and J.K. Rowling for not suing me, as well as creating these great worlds.
"I appreciate you coming here."
"Not much of a choice, was there?"
Albus Dumbledore peered over the rims of his spectacles at the man seated across his desk. He saw his own countenance flicker in the shiny bald head and wondered again about his newly-developed reticence. The visitor had barely spoken at either of their previous meetings, and this one was no different.
Lack of understanding gnawed at the elderly wizard. He was quite unaccustomed to that, and it bothered him greatly. Since they had met five years before, the young man had been nothing if not friendly and outspoken. Something had changed. Dumbledore had a good idea of the what, given that the young man was here by himself, but he had no idea of the how.
He suspected the how was very bad indeed.
"I suppose not. The arrangements are acceptable?"
"Are they coming?" Dumbledore strained to hear his voice, even in the silent office.
"I believe so, though I have not heard back from Ms. Rosenberg. Mr. Giles assures me that she will be amenable, however."
"She'll be safer here. What about the vampire?"
"He has accepted as well. We have something of a history together. His acceptance was not in doubt."
"Good. If he's as good as you say, he'll be a help."
Dumbledore's concern finally overcame his natural reserve.
"Dave, I must ask. What has happened to you?"
"Life, Albus. Life happened." The young man got up and walked out of the office.
"I pray you can stop it from happening here, my friend." Dumbledore's voice echoed heavily in the empty room.
"I don't know if this is such a good idea, Giles," Willow said, propping her feet up on her bags in the living room of Giles' flat.
"Nonsense, Willow. I will need the assistance." Giles sat across from her in his father's chair, sipping tea. They still had a few hours before their departure.
"But there'll be so much magic. I don't … what if … it could be bad," she concluded. He smiled softly at her.
"As I said when I came to Sunnydale with the offer, it will be difficult. However, I am convinced you will be able to master your magic much more easily away from the Hellmouth." And be safe from anyone who might try to master you, he added silently.
"Or there will be plenty of wizards to shut me down if I can't," she added bitterly. Not that she had much left for her in Sunnydale, with Tara leaving her. Buffy and Xander begged her to stay, but after her problems with dark magic, she knew the Hellmouth was too dangerous for her.
"Would you prefer I lied to you, Willow? Hogwarts does indeed provide ample safeguards against such an occurrence. But you are by no means being incarcerated."
"I know that. I just … I'm scared, Giles." Her eyes dropped to the floor. "What if I can't control it? What if something happens?"
"Then there will be an equal number of wizards to help you as there would be to 'shut you down,' I believe was the term."
"I need some time. Before I can start with the magic again. I guess to purge the badness, y'know? No magic for awhile."
"That's quite alright, Willow. Professor Dumbledore fully understands. No one will push you into something you are not ready for. And I will certainly be there for you, should you need me." She still seemed sad and withdrawn. Giles briefly wondered where the young girl with the ready smile and resolve face had gone.
"I know. Just last minute tummy flutters, I guess. We've been through this before, over and over. It's just so much new stuff, I mean, a society of witches and wizards? And a school full of their kids? Even for a girl from the Hellmouth, it's hard to believe."
"You have every right to be nervous, Willow. I must admit that I'm facing this with a bit of trepidation myself."
"You? Why? You were born to teach this stuff." She gave him a brief smile. "I mean, you taught me and Buffy and Xander everything we know about killing the things that go bump in the night. That's all this is, right? And we know more than most people."
"Perhaps," he said with a small smile. Actually, he wasn't that nervous, but he knew trying to comfort him would make her feel better. It was a uniquely Willow phenomenon, and he had no shame about taking advantage of it. "You should be excited about the teaching as well, you know. It will be an excellent opportunity for you, and as you said, you know quite a bit about those 'bumpy things'."
"I am. I'm really looking forward to it."
"Excellent. It will be quite the opportunity. Speaking of which, while we have a moment, I'd like to go over the plan for our class. Would that be alright?"
That perked her up, he saw, and soon they were chatting about lesson plans and assignment topics for the school year that was three weeks from beginning. It was a discussion that lasted well into the night.
Four of them waited for him to make his move, typical English punks leftover from the seventies with garish colors in their hair and dirty leather vests. They leered at him like fresh meat waiting to be devoured. The leader had a dozen piercings above his waist, some of them linked by chains. He was as good as anyone Spike had ever come across, and now Spike had only one shot to avoid what would probably end up as a thorough dusting.
If he hadn't been the Big Bad, Spike might have been afraid.
As it was, he just grinned and shook a cigarette loose from his last pack. The glow from his lighter illuminated his cheeks and cast harsh, angled shadows over his other features. In the firelight, his scar cut an angry swath across his eyebrow. The other patrons stared at it as they clustered around the group, waiting impatiently to see what would happen.
"Guess this'll be my last chance, then?"
Their leader growled, motioning with a head toss for Spike to get on with it. The blonde vampire reared back and fired; locked in a tight spiral, the dart slammed into the center of the bullseye with a sharp thwack. Spike watched it vibrate for a second, momentarily certain it would fall free, then broke into a satisfied grin when it didn't.
"Bastard," one of the punks breathed.
Spike tried to remember if he was Leon or Jeremy. Not that it mattered.
"Pay up, ya wankers. What was it you said? A hundred pounds that I couldn't beat you? That'll be cash, a'course." He held out a pale hand, glad he had landed the last dart. He had ten pounds left, and not covering a loss to these freaks would have meant serious trouble.
The three lesser punks started to make negative noises, but the leader held up his hand and motioned for them to pay Spike. He didn't want the rest of the bar to see him welsh on a fair bet.
They grudgingly handed the money across, and Spike smiled cheerfully.
"There now. Wasn't so hard, was it? How 'bout we toss back a few, celebrate my victory?"
The voice rumbled from somewhere in the bowels of the earth.
"Get out," the leader told him.
Spike felt the threat and took the hint. He needed to buy some smokes anyway, and didn't feel like fighting the whole bar with no backup.
"Right then, off I go." He tossed back his shot of blood and shrugged to straighten his duster. "Best not to drink with you losers anyway. Hurts the image." Without a backward glance, he strode out the front door.
He left the bar and walked casually through the foggy London evening. He hadn't been to England in years; it no longer felt like home, but the last few days had been a hell of a good time.
"Won't be many a'those up ahead," he muttered to himself as he took a short pull on the whiskey flask in his pocket and headed up a short rise. He was 100 yards from the Thames, and decided that would be worth a look while he contemplated his English holiday.
He knew it would be good to see Dumbledore again, and to be away from the damned Slayer. He had to get away from Sunnyhell; being around her but not with her was more than he could tolerate. He knew that if he hadn't left, the pressure would have been too much. He would have attacked her, or worse, and he couldn't live with himself if that happened.
"William the Bloody King Poof, that's who you are, mate," he told himself as he finished his cigarette. He flicked the spent butt into the river and reached for the pack with his left. Empty. Damn.
"Gonna be poofed is more like it, yeh fairy," squeaked a nasally voice behind him.
Spike turned around; the four punks stood in a semi-circle around him, cutting off any avenue of escape. Their feral stances and amber eyes told the story even more than their fangs. Two of them had wicked-looking hunting knives, while a third carried a wooden spear. The leader dangled a length of chain from his left hand that ended with a curved blade.
"Who do you think I am, the tax collector? No refunds here, kiddies. Now run along home to mum. Wouldn't want you to get hurt." He dragged the last sentence out and added what he knew was a rakish grin. Actually, he rather hoped they stayed. He'd been days without a good row, and now there wasn't a bar full of demons watching their backs.
"I'll do for yeh, ya cheatin' …" The stake slipped from inside the sleeve of Spike's duster as the blonde vampire lunged forward, ending the punk's sentence in a cloud of dust. His knife clattered to the ground.
The other knife wielder sliced at Spike with his own blade. Spike dropped under it, landing on one knee with his duster billowing out along the ground behind him, and snatched up the fallen knife. With no hesitation he rammed it into the vampire's crotch. He screamed in agony and dropped to the ground, where Spike promptly staked him.
Suddenly wary, the other two stepped back and appraised him.
"Now, what's this about cheatin'?" Spike asked. "I don't mind bein' called a cheat when I cheat, but I expect a bit o' credit when I'm playin' fair." He twirled the knife in his fingers, letting the blade glitter in the light from the street lamp.
The vampire with the spear watched Spike grin for a half-second before exercising the better part of valor; he tossed the spear to the ground and ran off into the London night. The leader shook his head in disgust. His bladed chain spun lazily from side to side in front of him.
"Still lookin' to have a go at it then, mate?" The vampire nodded, a creepy smile forming on his lips. He was at least four inches taller and fifty pounds heavier than Spike. "S'pose I could accommodate that, but I got to warn you, I don't have a whole lot o' time. Got a train to catch."
The vamp grunted and closed the distance between them until they were a few feet apart. With lightning speed he whipped the spinning blade at Spike's head.
Spike spun to his left, avoiding a cleaving blow, and gripped the knife blade in his fingers. With supernatural strength he flung it at the other vampire, hoping to gouge his ridged forehead. The vampire plucked it from the air inches away from him and laughed.
"You got a name, chuckles?"
Rather than answer, he dropped the knife and attacked. This time, Spike caught the chain in mid-air, allowing it to loop around his right arm and hold him tightly. The punk vampire smiled; Spike closed his hand on the chain and yanked as hard as he could, jerking his opponent off balance and slamming them into one another.
The punk's face was a study in astonishment as he turned to dust.
Spike slid the stake back into his sleeve, then tossed the chain into the river.
"Bloody amateur," he muttered. "Told him I had a train to catch."