Title: A Place For My Head

Disclaimer: I own neither Harry Potter nor Buffy the Vampire Slayer. To those out there that had the creative juice to do so for our pleasure, thank you sincerely from those who have derived much pleasure from these characters and stories. I am not getting any kind of financial profit from this endeavor.

Timeframe and Spoilers: Through Season 7 for BtVS, OotP for HP. Takes place post-Hogwarts and post-Chosen. Harry will be pretty much the only significant HP character. Everything else will pretty much be the Scoobies.

Pairings: Harry/Buffy, others undecided (Note: Giles will get some lovin', I just like the ole chap too much to leave him single)

Rating: PG-13 for some potential language and sexual situations. Nothing too much, though.

Prologue "Sick of you acting like I owe you this"

July 30, 2001

Pants, shirts, shoes, undergarments, and toiletries flew from their various locations around the apartment and started packing themselves in the trunk sitting on the bed. Harry Potter watched the progress for a minute, then turned and plopped down at his desk. Scribbling at the parchment there, he thought back to the events that had led him to this decision.

It had been just over a year since Voldemort died, for good this time, perishing at the hand of Harry Potter and Albus Dumbledore at the sight of his first defeat: Godric's Hollow. Severus Snape, Potions Master at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry and spy for the Order of the Phoenix, had been able to covertly place a portkey on Voldemort's throne, knowing no one else would have the audacity to sit on the Dark Lord's throne. The portkey had transported the Dark Lord to Godric's Hollow, where the Order had set a trap. Dumbledore engaged Voldemort in a duel while Harry prepared the spell that would end the war for good. It had worked, but at a very high price.

Albus Dumbledore, regarded as the greatest wizard alive, had paid the ultimate sacrifice in defense of the world.

'The meddling fool always did anticipate everything, though,' Harry thought fondly. Finishing his letter, he folded it silently and placed it on the bedside table. Taking up the small pile of documents, he flipped through them quickly to ensure everything for his entrance into Oxford that fall was there. Satisfied, he looked around his flat one last time, picked up his bag and trunk, and disapparted.

Pulling his cloak tighter around him, Harry stepped out of Gringotts. He patted the pocket that contained the muggle check for the entirety of his wizarding account. Where he was going, wizard gold didn't do any good. So, he had stopped by to empty his vault and have it all changed to muggle money.

Dumbledore actually had known him way too well. Shortly after the war had ended, a letter had arrived for Harry from the late Headmaster, saying he had anticipated Harry wanting to leave the wizarding world, at least for awhile, and had arranged him a place at Oxford to attend university. Harry had almost chosen not to go just to spite his old mentor's meddling, but in the end decided it was what he needed at this time in his life.

Walking through Diagon Alley towards the Leaky Cauldron, Harry spied a small wizarding newsstand. Almost every magazine and publication had his picture somewhere on the front cover, and Harry was sick of it, all of it. The fan girls, the incessant chattering from whoever he might meet while he was out, and the awed stares and whispers as he strode through a crowd where setting his nerves on end. He just wanted a normal life.

But Harry was smart enough to realize he would never have a normal life. Anytime anything bad, anything threatened the wizarding world, they'd look to him like the always had looked to Dumbledore. He didn't want that responsibility. He didn't want to be the savior anymore.

Stopping at the entrance to muggle London, he glanced over his shoulder one last time, taking the world he had embraced so earnestly at 11. Now, at 21 and years of war, he turned and walked out, intending to never set foot in it again if he had anything to say about it.

July 31, 2001

Ron and Hermione Weasley opened the door to the flat in Hogsmeade, wanting to surprise their best friend on his birthday. The flat was eerily silent, and the couple didn't know where Harry could be. He almost never went anywhere on July 31, having to be dragged out to celebrate after all the years of neglect at the Dursley's. Ron frowned and moved toward the back of the flat. "I wonder where he could be."

Hermione chewed on her lip nervously. "Harry?" The flat seemed empty, dead of life. Since the war had ended, Harry had decided to take some time for himself, time to recover and figure out where he wanted to go from there.

And cry of anguish came from the bedroom, and Hermione rushed into the bedroom. Ron stood rigidly, paled face, and clutching a letter in his hand. Turning slowly, he looked his wife in the eye and softly uttered what Hermione already knew. "He's gone."

A/N: So, worth a shot?