Disclaimer: As always I own nothing 'cept the plot
Summary: The Dursley appear to be like a nice normal family with a unnormal nephew, but someone decides to look closer, someone who doesn't like what he sees…
AN: I came up with this idea a few months ago and it would leave me alone, no matter how hard I tried to ignore it… blasted plot bunnies
AN2: if anyone can think up a better title let me know it come from the Scoobies – Scrappy Doo (as in next gen of the Scoob's) - Sparky (The scar)
AN3: This is an AU and I've totally messed up with the time lines to make this happen
"Speech" and thoughts
As always please remember 'read and review', and 'to infinity and beyond'
She tried to stop herself from breathing too hard as she sat huddling her knees to her chest, hiding behind the dresser in her room, knowing that it was only a matter of time before they found her. She could not stop the stream of tears pouring down her face as she listened to the sounds coming from downstairs, the sounds of duelling and frantic curses
Only a few minutes had past before the sounds of duelling from downstairs had quietened and now all she could listen to were the sounds of screams and cruel laughter.
Abruptly the screaming stopped leaving the house in silence, They had obviously gotten tired of their 'plaything', she tried to control her sobs in hope that they wouldn't find her, oh how she wanted to go out there with her wand blasting spells, and go down fighting avenging her family. But she couldn't, she couldn't even move from her hiding spot waiting for the unavoidable end.
The door to her room splintered inwards as the spell hit it, showering the room in shards of wood. She dimly felt a few shards hit her but she paid it no heed, all of her attention was on the figure in the doorway.
He stood over six foot tall and had an arrogant sneer on his face, his head was bald but that only made his eyes stand out more, blood red with slited pupils, like the eyes of Demons that she had heard about in stories. He wore an emerald green robe with a silver trim, Slytherin colours her mind supplied, cut from the finest cloth that did little to hide his impressive physique.
He stood in the doorway for only a second before treading purposely towards her hiding place as if he knew exactly were she was. He strode over to her frozen form and brought her face up to meet his as he slowly licked up the blood trailing down her face from a scalp wound with his forked tongue, she couldn't help the shudder of disgust that ran through her which caused the bastards smirk to widen
"Tasssty" he hissed as he let go of her face and stepped away and brought his wand up to point at her causing her tears to begin anew as the tipped glowed with the feared green light.
He waved the wand back and forth amused as her eyes followed the glowing tip "You think I ssshall kill you" he asked with a small laugh "And why do you think I should waste my magic on one such as you" he practically spat, his words hitting her harder and cutting deeper than any spell could.
He spared one was look of disgust before he span round and out the door, his robes billowing behind him. Leaving her sat whimpering on the floor waiting for the Auror's to come wishing that she could of done something…
Arabella was startled out of her memories as the special clock gave a shrill buzz. She looked up at her muggle clock to see how much time had past and was surprised to see only twenty minutes had past since she sat down for a cup of tea That was fast was her only thought before she glanced towards her special clock on the other side of the room, hidden by a plastic plant.
It had only had one hand upon it's face, that had the name Harry Potter scribed on it, which spun between six separate points around it's face. She had added the points herself, well gotten Dumbledore to add, she hated the fact she was a squib sometimes. It started with 'Number 4 Privet Drive' and went clockwise through 'Within the Wards', 'Safe', 'Lost', 'In Danger' and lastly 'Unknown'.
As she watched the hand moved from 'Within the Wards' to 'Lost', she wasn't worried too much about it she was a Figg and Figg's knew their wards, why she remembered a cousin of hers make a boast at a party that a house warded by the Figg's would be impossible for Voldermort to break into.
A drunken boast made in Arrogance, No one could break into the Figg's family home, with it layer upon layer of wards. They stopped unauthorised Appration, the Floo was closely lead to a sealed room that was closely monitored, the house itself would eject anybody with harmful intentions and it wouldn't even allow anyone in who was under the imperio.
But Voldermort saw that drunken boast as a personal challenge, he studied the wards for weeks until with the cunning of Salzaar Slytherin himself he figured out a way around them. He crafted a spell that would summon one who held his mark upon their arm, when someone would break a taboo on a specific word.
And what Key Word would one of the most arrogant 'pure' blooded wizard use… Voldermort.
That drunken boast had left her, Ababella Figg the Squib, the sole heir to the Figg family, and the whole Wizarding world reeling after the Figg tragedy.
The public quickly learnt of this and so started to refer to him as 'You know Who' and quieten anybody who started to speak the dreaded name by reminding them of the Figg tragedy.
She shook her head to get rid of her dark thoughts and focus on the job at hand, protecting Harry. She knew that outside of Little Whinging the wards surrounding the Dursleys only extended about forty nine feet, and as she knew that the Dursley's where going to London for the day it was probable that Harry had just left the area of protection around his Aunt.
But just incase she'll give it ten minutes before she contacted her friend in the Auror's to find Harry and return him to his relatives.
Xander Harris sighed as he ran his hand through his hair as he walked along a busy London street, glad to be out of there. He had come to London to watch his surrogate father receive an award from the Queen herself, a Knighthood for a trumped up reason, something about saving one of the big eared bloke sons… or some such reason he didn't know he wasn't really listening at the time. It didn't matter anyway the real reason G-man was becoming Sir Giles was because of everything that happened in Sunnyhell and Xander though it was well deserved, the only reason he had left as soon as he could was because it was so boring.
One speech, then another, then another, they could of least got a supermodel or something to do the Knighting of Giles… But no the British was seeped in tradition dating back centuries and blah blah blah.
He would have gone back already but, well, he was kind of lost. Okay replace kind of with totally and you would be on the right track, the only thing he knew was that he was standing outside a clothes shop on a street in London.
It almost reminded him of his brief stay in New York a few months ago, people rushing past him not paying any attention to anyone else apart from they had to be somewhere they wasn't. He was broken from his musing as he spotted a small child across the street, he couldn't have been mush older than six or seven trying his hardest not to cry and dressed in some of the most ill fitting clothes he had seen anyone wear.
He looked around and seeing no one who seemed to be frantically looking for a child, or anyone going to help the child. So Xander started to walk across the street to the kid somewhat disgusted with the people walking by without notice to the kid where he once felt bemused.
"Hey, are you okay?" Xander asked in a soothing tone.
Not too far away in a house that looked like any other on the street, a woman was standing in front of the fire with a pinch of sparkly green powder between her fingers about to throw it into the fire cast one last look at the clock and was please to see the hand had moved to 'Safe'. She put the powder back into the jar thankfully, that stuff wasn't cheap, as she thought over the clock hand position Some of those muggle Auroa's, Policemen, must have found him if it's gone to safe
But as a precaution she shuffled over and pressed a button on the side of the clock that would let her know if the hand moved at all and quickly left to the shops Mr Tiddles need his Kit e Kat
Harry Potter stood in shock staring up at the man in front of him. A few minutes ago he had lost sight of his family when he got knocked down as someone walked into him, when he got up they were gone. He was scared of how long he would be locked in the cupboard Uncle Vernon had warned him not to cause any trouble and now he was lost, trying not to cry because Uncle Vernon told him real men don't cry (even though Dudley still fake cried to get whatever he wanted) when this strange man walked up to him.
The man had a patch over one eye, but that only seemed to make his other eye shine brighter with warmth, "Are you okay?" he asked with a soft voice and for some reason Harry got the feeling he could trust this man as he shook his head.
"Are you lost?" the man asked to which Harry nodded not looking in his eyes, something he had learnt at the Dursleys.
"Me too" the man replied "We can be lost together if you want" the man said with a lopsided smile that Harry found himself returning
"Xander Harris" the man said as he held out his hand as if to shake
Harry stared at the hand for a moment before tentatively taking it in his own hand "H H Harry…Harry P p potter" Harry whispered with a stutter
Xander was slightly worried at Harry nervousness but put it aside, he was a stranger and most kids were taught from an early age not to talk to strangers. But he still had a small slither of doubt in his mind at this suggestion.
"So Harry" Xander said realising that he would be the one to do most of the talking, a role that he well qualified for "Are you looking for you parents"
"N no, they d died when I w was younger" Harry stuttered
"Oh" Xander blinked surprised "I'm sorry for bringing it up" he apologised to which he only got a shrug in reply "Who are you with" he amended his question
"M my Aunt P petuina a and U uncle V v Vernon D Dursley" Harry answered
"Well we best find them for you shouldn't we" he stated and made to set off when he stopped "Err… What do they look like?"
After Harry had described them Xander came to a realisation Tara Xander thought midway through the stuttered descriptions That who he reminds me of he thought as they set off again.
It was almost two hours later when Harry spotted them "Over there" Xander followed Harry outstretched arm to some figures standing next to a white car who seemed to be looking for something at the other end of the street. Good eyesight Xander thought to himself as they both jogged down the street to meet the people who were getting into the car.
They were getting into the Car.
Xander swept Harry up in his arms and started to run down the street watching the people Harry said were his family load all there purchases into the car There something not quite right here he thought as he dodged a pedestrian. Harry looks like some sort of Vagabond but the family who were getting into the car looked… normal was the only way to describe them…
Xander was still about 75 feet away from them when a crowd of people appeared in front of him from a side street, he tried running around them but couldn't, he looked over them and saw that all the Dursley's were in the car. He managed to squeeze through the crowd and started to make his way forwards again when someone grabbed his arm that wasn't holding Harry.
"Excuse me could you point me in the direction of Oxford Road" A small man with a wild patterned shirt and strange hat asked in a Brooklyn accent
"Don't know, sorry" Xander said, wrenching his arm out of the mans grasp and continuing forwards as the white Volvo set off. He made it to the pavement that the car was against just seconds before and set Harry down on the ground. They both shouted to get the occupants of the car attention but the only thing they succeeded in doing is to make the kid in the back turn around. When he spotted them both he smiled gleefully and stuck his tongue out before settling back down.
They left him Xander thought in shock unable to conceive a care giver intentionally leaving a child behind, the thought crossed his mind that Harry was lying that the Dursley's were his family but he remembered the way the kid in the back seemed to recognised one of them. He looked down at Harry who was staring at his shoes by his side Maybe he's more like Tara then I first realised Xander thought sadly
"You sure those were the Dursley's" He asked to be certain even though the family matched Harry's earlier description perfectly
"Yeah" Harry said in a voice barely above a whisper
"Oh" was all Xander could get out "You hungry" He asked changing the subject and seeing Harry's confused look he added "I always think better on a full stomach"
Harry just nodded and together they both walked to a nearby restaurant not noticing a figure with a hat obscuring his features smile at them.
They both sat opposite each other in a small booth in a cosy little restaurant somewhere in London in silence thinking about what had just happened.
"Harry, you wait here for a moment I have to use the bathroom" Xander asked as he had a sudden brainwave
Harry just nodded
Xander forced a grimace off his face at how quiet Harry had become, oh sure he wasn't Mr. Talkative before but he did speak sometimes. Once he got to the toilets he grabbed he cell phone and dialled a number. It rang a few times before an anxious voice answered
"Xander, Where are you? You missed the party, your okay aren't you?"
"Hey Wills, yeah I'm fine, sorry about missing Giles do but I went outside for a breather and then… well something came up" reassured
This seemed to only increase Willow's anxiety "What happened? Are you okay? Did you get kidnapped again? Do you need help?"
"Whoa slow down Wills, Again I'm fine and yes I do need your help, but it's not because I've been kidnapped, this time…'I'm the kidnapper this time' I've just got a favour to ask, do you think you can use those old Hacker skills to find out as much as you can about the owner of a car from a licence plate"
"It might take me awhile, I'm slightly rusty" Willow admitted "Maybe an hour or two if Dawn helps"
"That fine there no real rush, it's just to confirm something for me"
"Oh OK, so what's the licence plate then"
"Damn sorry, its SR04 GHT" he recited from memory "I wont be back at the hotel until after you get me the results, remember as much as you can find okay"
"Yes Sir, Mr Harris Sir" she said with a giggle
"Okay Wills see you later"
And with that he headed back to the table "So what do you want" Xander asked as he sat down trying to pretend everything was normal.
Harry just shrugged.
"Okay I'll order for the both of us then" Xander decided and looked for a large meal he could from the menu, he had a feeling that good sized meals were few and far between for Harry.
"So Harry, how old are you exactly?" he asked after he had ordered
"e e eight,… a almost n nine" he whispered making Xander blink in shock again he was sure Harry was six maybe seven but almost nine?, either Xander had sorely misjudged or Harry was abnormally small for his age. He decide on the latter as he watched Harry practically inhale his food, it looked like he was right on his earlier about Harry eating habits.
"How old were you when your parents died" he asked carefully
"One" was his answer
"And you've lived with the Dursleys ever since"
A nod was his only reply
"Do you like school" shrug
"Do you have any nicknames" Xander asked and when he got a shrug again he took a shot in the dark "My dad used to call me loser"
Harry actually looked up at him "U uncle V Vernon sometimes c calls me F freak"
Harry never saw Xander's grip on his knife tighten until his knuckles turned white an eight year old! Goddamn it, calling an eight year old a freak he also noticed his stutter came back in full force when he mentioned his Uncle he was interrupted from his thoughts by his cell phone ringing. He held up one finger for Harry to be quiet as he reached into his pocket for his cell.
"Xander, hi, I got the info you wanted"
"Yeah, I put a rush on it, cause you sounded like you needed it"
"Thanks Will I knew I could count on you" he said into the phone watching Harry slowly eat his ice cream with a look of wonder on his face, "So whats the snitch"
"Okay, the car is owned my a V. Dursley, he's a chairman at a Drill company called Grunnings" Willow said not knowing that she had confirmed Xanders fears "He lives in a village called Little Whining, with his wife Petunia. Am I glad that my mum liked Willow better. And his Son Dudley, which is almost as bad as Lavelle"
Xander ignored the Lavelle crack to ask "Any others"
Now Willow was worried, for Xander to ignore the mentioning of the dreaded middle name it must be serious "Just a nephew called Harry Potter, same age as Dudley, 8"
"D.O.B's?" Xander asked trying not to let Harry know what he was asking
"Huh, oh birthdays, wait a sec… okay Vernon is the 21st Sept, Petunia is 7th May, Dudley is March 5th and lastly Harry's is 31st July, What do you need this info for anyway"
"Confirmation, any more information can wait till later, we'll be coming back now"
"Okay see you soon"
Xander lifted his phone off his ear and was just about to hang up when he heard Willow scream "Waitaminute, what do you mean WE"
Xander just chuckled but sobered up quickly when he saw Harry frightened face "Sorry just playing a prank on a friend" he explained
"I is s she a a angry" he asked frightened
"Maybe a bit but not too much, she'll have calmed down by the time we get back"
"B back where"
"The hotel, it's getting pretty late now, I'll take you back to your relatives tomorrow morning"
"Oh" not many would of noticed the way Harry hung his head when Xander mentioned going back to his relatives. Xander did which caused the knot in his stomach to tighten.
"Come on, I'll get us a cab"
All to soon they came before the doors to the hotel Xander and the gang where staying in while Giles ceremony was taking place. "Don't worry" Xander said as he squeezed Harry's shoulder as he reached past and opened the doors "they wont bite"
His words did little to comfort Harry who looked like he wanted to bolt, it was only fear of the unknown that kept him at Xanders side. The door had just fully opened when a red blur impacted with Xander's chest, luckily he had been half expecting it and managed to spin round to absorb the impact.
"Wills, hi, I'm guessing you missed me" he said with a smile as he put her down.
"Don't you hi me mister" Willow said with a irritated expression "Where have you been, first you go missing for goddess knows how long"
"Then the phone call which got me worried"
"And then the 'we' comment, you had me worried sick, well Mister, are you going to tell me or do I have to force it out of you"
"I've been trying to tell you, but you wouldn't let me get a word in edgewise"
Willow had the decently to look sheepish "Sorry"
"Its okay" he said as he reached across and gave her arm a squeeze "As for where I was, I was helping Harry here" he made a gesture to his side
"Huh?" he looked down, he wasn't standing there anymore he quickly spun around and found Harry huddled behind him "Hey Harry its ok, Willow was just worried weren't you Wills"
"Yeah" Willow said from her position beside him "I was just worried that this poop head had gotten into trouble again"
"Hey if I'm a poop head then you're a nerd"
Willow ignored him as she turned to Harry who was staring at his feet "Hi I'm Willow, I'm guessing that your Harry Potter right"
Harry just nodded his eyes still looking down.
"Do you want to come in, I sure there still some food left if you want any"
Harry raise his head to look at her "T Than…" he started to say but cut himself off when he saw them standing next to each other, Xander with his black hair and warm brown eye, and Willow with her bright red hair, the sight of seeing them next to each other gave him a almost physical feeling of safety.
"What is it" Willow asked when he didn't say anything.
And like that, the feeling was broken "S sorry, y you just r remind me of s someone"
"Oh who?" Willow asked generously curious
Harry hung his head again, as if in shame as he muttered "I can't remember"
Willow shot a questioning glance at Xander who returned her stare with a helpless look. "Well" Xander said "Lets get in, it getting too cold out here"
As a group they made their way into the hotel, Harry staying as close to Xander as possible and over to the room the Giles function was held in. As soon as they set foot inside the room they felt all eyes on them, and as they made their way to the buffet table everybody gaze shifted away until only half an eye was keeping seemingly young Harry in view.
"Look Harry, is it okay if we leave you for a bit, I think my friends want to talk to me" Xander said to Harry as he knelt down so they were eye to eye.
"O Okay" Harry stutted
"Just stay here, hopefully this wont take too long" Willow added but it seemingly did little to reassure Harry.
"Hey Kylea" Xander called across the room suddenly, and before he had to call again a Dark skinned late teenage girl was stood in front of them "Yes Mr. Xander" she said respectably with a slight accent
"Kylea, can you do me a favour, look after Harry here for a bit while I talk to the rest of the gang, make sure no-one hassle him okay"
"Yes Sir" she answered like an army cadet, all she was missing was the salute.
"Coolness" Xander replied "Harry we wont be too long and Kylea be able to look after you"
"Thank you" Harry whispered without the stutter.
Xander winked his remaining eye at harry before he took Willow's arm in his "Looks like once more into the beast methinks"
Willow just shoved him playfully as they walked towards the main group "Geek"
"Me? A Geek?" Xander cried in mock indignation as he walked towards a large group leaving Harry and Kylea be themselves.
"So" Kylea said once they were out of earshot " 'ow didja meet Mister Xander" she asked Harry.
While Kylea was trying her best to get Harry to talk, Xander found himself in the middle of a barrage of questions from the core Scoobies.
"Who's the Kid?"
"Where you been?"
"Is he a demon?"
"Whoa, whoa, calm down a minute and I'll explain" Xander cried as he held his hand up in a calming gesture "Look, I left Giles's do cause I was bored and wandered around for a bit" he said "It wasn't long before I was a bit lost, that when I found Harry" He sighed "He was lost as well so I decided I'll help him look for his relatives"
"The Dursleys?" Willow asked
"Yeah" Xander said "His Aunt and Uncle who he's been living with since he was one"
"Why didn't you go to the police" Wesley asked
"The police have better things to worry about than helping a kid find his relatives"
"So you couldn't find them" Giles asked
"No we found them alright, it's just we saw them at the opposite end of the street and by the time it took me to run to them they had already left" Xander explained
"They left him" Willow asked timidly, causing all eyes to turn back to the boy in question who was being introduced to the junior slayers by Kylea.
"Yeah, they left him"
"Oh" Xander didn't know who said it but it seemed to fit with the whole wrongness of the situation.
"Maybe they had spent all their time looking and had to get home after calling the police" said Buffy the ever hopeful one
"Maybe" Xander admitted "But Harry reminds me too much of Tara" he said noticing how Willows face screwed up in a strange mixture of forgotten pain, remembered ire, and treasured happiness "And you all remember what her family was like"
This time it wasn't only Willow face that changed expression to angry "You mean he…"
"I honestly don't know, I have my suspicions but that's all they are…suspicions"
It was Giles that broke the silence "Well, it seems that we are at a bit of a quandary, Xander what do you plan on doing with him now"
"Not really thought about it that much, I just planned on taking him home once Will's found the address, now its too late and I thought he best stay the night here instead of on the streets"
"Are you still going to drop him off with his relatives" Willow asked in shock
"I have to" Xander explained "If something happens I'll call the cops or social services to deal with it"
"I guess that all we can do for the moment" Giles said ending the discussion "Try to find out anything and we'll take the proper steps" he directed at Xander as everybody went back to their own groups.
The rest of the evening past quickly, Xander and Harry staying in the corner out of everyone's way, well except for Kylea who had decided that she was going to be Harry bodyguard for the night. But throughout the night each member of the core Scoobies, Giles, Dawn Willow, Buffy and Wesley who was Angel's English liaison for Wolfram and Hart came over to say hello to the duo.
All too soon Harry started yawning, and Xander taking his cue took him up to his hotel room, luckily his was the only room that had two beds that only one person was going to sleep in, there had been some mix up at the reception desk. "You can stay here tonight, just make yourself comfortable" He said to Harry "If you want to wash up there fresh towels in the bathroom"
"T thanks" Harry said as he took in the room, it was larger than the Dursley's living room
"Hey no problem" Xander said as he reached an arm down and gave Harry's shoulder a squeeze "If you need an-"
He was cut off when he felt Harry jump at him and gave him a hug around the middle "Thank you" he said again "For everything today"
"It's okay" Xander whispered as he stroked the back of Harry's head in a reassuring way. "Now get some rest okay"
"Okay" Harry said as he pulled away "n night Xander"
"Night Harry" Xander called as he walked out the door and back to the main function room. As soon as he entered he was again bombarded with questions, and again they were mainly about the new arrival
"How is he?"
"He's a bit quiet isn't he?"
"When you taking him back then?"
Xander chuckled used to his friends "He's fine, just tried, yes he is a bit quiet but he's in a room full of strangers and I thought sometime around eleven if that's okay with everyone, now that I'm back how about we move on with the party, we're supposed to be celebrating Giles's knighthood"
Smiles we're exchanged between them as the conversation moved on to lighter topics such as the easiest way to kill a Morlach Demon or the price of Pickled toads. It was Dawn who found herself next to Xander and noticed his gaze travel to the doorway once or twice in the past half hour.
"Check on him" she whispered so only he could hear.
"Huh?" he asked confused as he turned to face her
She gave him a Duh expression "Harry" she stated matter of factly "If you're so worried why don't you go check on him, the others will understand"
"You sure" Dawn just nodded "I'll make excuses for you, just don't be too long"
"Don't mention it" she said with a mega watt smile "Now get"
"I'm getting, I'm getting"
Xander slowly made his way into the room and gave a quick glance at the bed and was shocked to find it empty. Damn he thought as he crept into the room planning to grab his coat from the closet he's done a runner it was when he was halfway to the closet when he noticed it, a pile of old clothes on the floor, which on closer inspection turned out to be Harry.
What's he doing down there he thought as he leant down to pick him up there a perfectly good bed that he could use, so why did he decide to sleep on the floor Harry shifted in Xander's arms and opened his bleary eyes to see Xander "Huh?"
"Come on Harry time for bed" Xander whispered hoping not to rouse Harry any more as he placed him on the bed that Harry sank gratefully into. It was only as Xander pulled the covers over Harry half asleep form that he made a sound "Night Dad" he muttered sleepily causing Xander who had heard him to stop in shock.
"Night Harry" He mumbled as he made his way back to the celebration in a daze.
A floorboard creaking awoke Xander, who after living on the Hellmouth for most of his life was a very light sleeper, making him jump up and turn to face what had made the noise. He found Harry on the other side of the room trying to creep about.
"Your up early Harry" Xander said between yawn when he realised there wasn't any danger "what time is it"
"S Seven" Harry said "S sorry to w wake you"
Xander just waved him off "Don't worry about it" he said with a smile "I really should be waking up now if I want to abuse my Room-service privilege"
Harry gave him an uncertain smile as Xander reached for the Phone next to the bed "Hi Room-Service" he spoke down the line "I'll like to order two full English breakfasts to room 373… thank you charge it to the Giles's account" he finished with a smile.
Harry and Xander stood in an uncomfortable silence for a while before Xander broke it "Why did you go to sleep on the floor?" he asked concerned
Shrug "I didn't want to be a bother" he whispered
"Why did you think you'd be a bother" silence was Xander's answer "Did your Uncle say that" he paused again "Harry I want to help you but if you don't tell me anything I'm going to have to take you back to the Dursleys". He waited for a few tense seconds until Harry opened his mouth to answer "-"
Knock Knock "Room service" a voice called from the door which Xander went to answer aggravated that it had interrupted when Harry was about to open up. For the rest of the day Harry was silent, he would only answer with nod or shakes of his head. He didn't seem to trust Xander anymore.
All to soon Xander and Harry sat in the rental car looking at the street of Privet Drive from where Xander had just parked. "So which is it?" Xander asked
Harry raise his arm and pointed to a house that looked almost identical to every other damn house on the street and shakily whispered "T the D dursley live T there"
Xander noticed how he didn't mention how he lived there as well and it caused he gut to tighten in anxiety, but he pushed it down as he focused on the job in hand, getting Harry to open up. "Are you ready to go back yet?" he questioned
Harry shook his head "N no"
"Okay" Xander said as he switched the ignition off "take as long as you need Harry" he said giving some time to think
"M Mr. Xander" Harry whispered as he turned to face Xander
"C could I s stay w with y you at the h hotel?" he asked with hope filled eyes
What ever Xander had been expecting it wasn't that "Gwah" was the most intelligent he said for a few seconds until he regained his composure "I'm sorry you cant" he finally said and watched Harry's face fall he decided to explain "I live in Africa most of the time, I'm only visiting Britain for a few days and wont be back here for long time"
"C couldn't I c come with y you"
"Africa very far away, you would have to leave all your family and friends behind" Xander said trying to deter Harry from his idea but it only seemed to make Harry more happy
"That's o okay, I h havent g got any f friends"
Xanders heart broke in two as Harry said this, but unfortunately he knew he couldn't take Harry with him, for one Giles would be mad at him and two… the front lines of a war against demon… even on the lowest powered Hellmouth was no place for a child.
"I'm sorry Harry" he said not meeting the emerald eyes that seemed to be filled with pain "It's just too complicated"
"Oh… fine" Harry said angrily as he pushed the door open and started to walk back to the Dursleys. Xander looked up as Harry slammed the door Shit he thought as he hurried out the door to catch up with him That could of gone better
Xander caught up with him as he stood uncertainly outside the door, he seemed to not know whether to knock or go straight in. Xander quickly decided for him as he rapped three times on the door. A burly man answered the door and barked through his thick moustache "Yes what do you want"
"Mr. Vernon Dursley is it" Xander asked keeping a smile fixed on his face
"Yes" he said peering at Xander as if he was a dog who had learnt a new trick "And you are"
"Xander Harris Sir, I believe-"
"Xander eh, huh ruddy Americans and they're weird names" Dursley muttered
Xander coughed and chose to ignore the comment "Are you the guardian of young Harry here" he said as he stepped aside to show Harry was hiding behind him again.
"Boy, where have you been?" Vernon shouted "Petunia, the Boy's back"
Xander stiffened each time Mr. Dursley called Harry Boy, but didn't say anything as a blonde haired woman with a long neck came down the hall and took one look at the two of them on the doorstep. Xander felt as if he was back in first grade and someone had spilled paint over the Harmony's hair and the teacher was looking for something wrong so she could blame him.
"Harry!" she simpered "There you are, we looked everywhere for you" she cried as she bent down and pulled Harry into a very boney hug. She straightened up to face Xander, but made sure to keep a tight grip on Harry shoulder. "Thank you for finding him Mr…."
"Harris" Xander said watching Harry try not to squirm in her tight grip "Xander Harris"
"Why thank you Mr. Harris-"
"Please call me Xander" He said with his lopsided grin "Mr. Harris makes me look for my father"
She nodded with a fixed smile "Why thank you Xander" she said her voice dripping with disdain on his name "I have no idea what we would have done if you hadn't found him"
"No biggee, I was happy to help" They seemed a perfectly normal family happily reunited with their wayward nephew but something was setting his teeth on edge
"Well we wouldn't want to keep you Mr. Harris, I'm sure you have other business to attend to, as have we"
Xander got their not so subtle hint "Yeah I have to be back soon" he said to the Dursleys, then kneeling down so he was eye level with Harry he said too him "I wish things could be different, but they cant" He sighed "If you ever need anything, anything at all, don't hesitate to call" he said as he handed him a Watcher Council card.
Harry hesitantly took it, painfully aware thanks to his aunts grip, to his guardians watchful glare "W what do y you c care" he muttered before he wrenched out of his aunts grip and fled into the safety of the house.
Xander straightened up with a wince at Harry's betrayed attitude to confront Petunia expression. She wore a smile like a panther's ready to pounce "I'm sorry about my nephews behaviour" she said with a oh-so sickly sweet smile "He's been acting up recently, running off, telling lies that sort of thing" She gave a sigh "We hope he grows out of it soon, we have no idea what to do"
"Yeah… I suppose" Xander said distractedly
"Well we really must be going" Vernon said from the side where he had kept back as his wife talked to the one-eyed stranger
"Thanks you again for finding him" Petunia simpered before the door slammed in his face.
It was with a heavy heart that he made his way back up the garden path and his rental car, he turned round and gave one last look at number four Privet Drive "Goodbye Harry, I hope I'm wrong" he whispered before he got in and drove away.
Mrs Figg looked up from her crossword as her special clock shook violently and smiled. So… she thought to herself He back in the wards, Albus will be pleased
She tapped her pen against the edge of her paper as she sat in thought, I doubt the Dursley's will let him out of they're sight for a while now, they're so protective of him. So he should be safe for a while now a smile slid across her features perhaps I can spare the time to go on that weekend away with the delightful Mr. Diggle…
Willow and Buffy looked at each other over the counter when they heard the door slam shut to the room next to theirs.
"Xander's back" Buffy commented
"He sounds mad" Willow added as they continued to stare at each other, It lasted for a few seconds before Willow continued "I best go see what happened shall I" she said when it became obvious that Buffy wasn't going to offer.
"Good idea" Buffy whispered as she looked away and silently cursed the fact that she had lost the closeness that she shared with one of her best friends because she couldn't stand to see his disfigured face. A disfigurement that she had inadvertently caused.
"If I'm not back soon send a search party" she joked
Buffy kind of half smiled.
With a sigh Willow got up and made her way to Xanders room pausing at the door to look back at Buffy who had as she returned to looking out the window. Willow shook her head, she knew that Buffy had problems looking at Xander she just wis-… Hoped that she could get over it soon so everything was back to normal.
She knocked softly on Xander's door "Xan, you okay"
She knocked again, louder. Still no answer.
She took a deep breath to gather her courage and opened the door to find Xander sitting on the edge of his bed with his head in his hands. Immediately she hurried over and sat down next to him, putting her arm around him in an gentle embrace. "What happened" she questioned
"He asked me if he could live with me"
"Oh…" she uttered "What did you say?"
He chuckled, and she was sad to realise it wasn't his usually chuckle of mirth "I told him it'll be too complicated, that I lived too far away and he'll have to leave all his friends behind"
"How did he take it?"
He leaned back and ran his hand through his hair frustrated "He said he didn't care" he said in disbelief "That he doesn't actually have any friends to leave behind"
"Yeah, and the Dursleys couldn't get rid of me fast enough, plus when I first talk to Mr. Dursley he called Harry Boy"
"And then as soon as Harry runs inside after telling me that I don't care, his aunt starts on about how Harry's started telling Lies and running away"
"Maybe she was telling the truth" she said hopefully "Maybe…" she cut off at the look Xander was giving her.
"Yeah, maybe my dad just drank too much sometimes, maybe your parents just had to go to another conference, maybe Tara's really was a Demon like her 'family' said"
Willow hung her head at the painful memory of her life partner "Yeah… maybe" she whispered.
Xander seeing how Willow reacted to mention of Tara drew her into a one armed hug. "So what you going to do now" Willow asked him.
Xander sighed "I have no idea… I have no solid evidence, just a gut feeling about all this"
"I think I'm going to go see Harry tomorrow, a surprise inspection, if something happened I'll call the cops to deal with it… that really the best I can do"
"Yeah… I suppose that's all we can do"
They both sat like that, in a darkened room, thinking about painful childhoods.
Arabella took one last look at her clock on the mantelpiece and seeing the hand was pointing at 'The Dursleys' she released a giggle of someone a third of her age as she threw some Floo powder into the fire and called "Diggle's Den"
With a flash of green flame she was gone from Privet Drive.
Xander stepped out of his car, which was parked in the same place as it was yesterday, surveying the quiet neighbourhood with his single eye better than most men and found it wanting. He strode towards his destination, Number Four Privet drive with a calm confidence. He loudly rapped on the door as soon as he reached it and waited for someone to answer.
He didn't wait long, all too soon a large… … it could've been a glust Demon that fed off the fat of other being, not really threatening… but it looked sort of human in it's Nike top. "Hi, I was wondering if I could speak to Harry, is he in?" Xander asked politely
The kids eyes darted to the side and Xander followed his gaze to the stairs huh, must be upstairs he thought as the kid called for his parents "Mum, Dad" this is Dudley, what are they feeding him, and why isn't Harry getting any
The click clack of high heels and the soft clump of shoes on carpet interrupted him from his dark thoughts. "Yes Dudders" a voice called which Xander recognised as Vernon's "What is it… oh it you" he said hardly keeping the distaste out of his voice.
"Mr. Harris, how nice to see you" Petunia said in a noticeably fake voice.
Before he could say anything, 'Dudders' interrupted him "How didja lose ya eye mister?" he asked rudely
"Dudley" Petunia said scandalised but with a curiosity look in her eyes.
Xander sighed, he hated being asked that question, especially by kids who couldn't keep quiet. One of the reasons he liked Harry, he never asked even though he was clearly curious. "When your parents tell you not to run with scissors" he said giving his favourite answer to the kid "Don't"
He turned back to the Dursleys "I was wondering if I could talk to Harry for a moment" he said "I'm leaving town soon and want to say goodbye"
The Dursleys looked at each other, well the elder ones did the whale just looked at him "He out" Petunia said at the same time as Vernon said, "He's Grounded"
Xander felt his hackles rise "Which is he" he asked "Is he out, or is he in"
The Dursleys looked at each other, before Vernon bite the proverbial bullet and said "He's supposed to be grounded but he's snuck out… Tck kids theses days" and gave an eye roll of exasperation that Xander missed. He was too busy following the younger Dursley's gave to the stairs again and a small door underneath with a large lock on it.
Huh, strange wonder what's in there that's important he thought as Petunia noticing what he was looking at moved into his line of vision, but not before Xander noticed the open vent in the door. Not before Xander noticed a shadow flitter across the vent.
He felt the ice cold grip of terror seize his spine as eyes widened in shock "You didn't…" he muttered.
He was answered by Vernon trying to slam the door in his face again, but Xander was quicker, pushing them aside and himself into the small hallway, Ignoring the Dursleys shrieks of fear and Vernon shout of "Trespassing" He reached the door half hoping that he was wrong but knowing he was right in his heart as he slid the deadbolt back.
As the door opened the Dursley's fell silent, knowing that the gig was up, as the light fell on small huddle form of what could only be Harry in the corner of the small roo-, it wasn't even a room, it was a cupboard. "Hey Harry" he said, "Are you allright"
Harry nodded, his eyes a strange mixture of acceptance and hope.
"Now see here" Vernon started after getting over his shock of an American barging into his home, "How we discipline the boy is none of your concern" he said as he laid a hand on Xander shoulder to pull him away from Harry.
Xander didn't think he just reacted, over seven year of fighting Vampires and whatever else the Hellmouth throws at you teaches you quickly, one second he felt an arm on his shoulder, the next he was pushing Vernon into the wall with his arm behind his back. Petunia shrieked in alarm "Let him go or I'll call the police" she said as she reached for the phone.
"Please" Xander said with a predatory grin "Please do, I wonder what they would say once they find out how you've been treating Harry"
Petunia arms dropped.
"That's better" Xander said as he released Vernon, who nursed his arm, and moved next to Harry who was still sitting in his cupboard. "Harry?" he asked "How long was you going to be in there for"
"Don't answer that-" Vernon started but was cut off by the steel glare of Xander.
"Till school started" He whispered
School doesn't start till September Xander thought and its early July now… "Dursley! You were going to leave him in there for over two months"
"I, well, that is to say…"
"It's people like you that make me ashamed to call my self human" Xander growled effectively shutting him up, he turned back to Harry "Harry, did you still want to come with me"
"Yeah, it'll mean leaving the Dursleys, your friends, and everything you've ever known"
Harry didn't pause for more then a second "W when do w we leave"
"Now, pack your stuff" he said making Harry disappear back into the cupboard.
"You cant just take him, where ever your going to go…" Petunia cried
"Mrs. Dursley, you gave up the right to have any say in your nephews life when you started treating him like a dog" he said simply making her head hang in shame.
He was going to go into a tirade but Harry came out of his cupboard holding a ratty old blanket and a backpack with school things in it "You done" Xander asked half surprised, half accepting.
He just nodded, "Then let's go" Xander said as he wrapped an arm around Harry's shoulder and led him out of the door.
They were passing through the threshold when Vernon spoke up "Go on leave, we never wanted you" he said and because he couldn't resist twisting the knife shouted at their retreating back "Just like your parents when they abandoned you on our doorstep, cause they didn't want you… wonder how long it'll take this poor sap to grow tired of you"
Xander felt Harry tense under his arm, but he kept guiding him forwards away from his 'relatives', His heart rose when he thought Harry's aunt defended him but it was quickly squashed "Vernon" She cried "What will the neighbours say"
He led Harry to the car and quietly drove away from number four Privet Drive.
Xander walked up the steps to his hotel room, Harry in to behind him. He nodded to Giles as he passed "How did it go…" he started to ask before he caught sight of Harry, he swiftly turned to Xander and glimpsed the hard look in his eyes and changed it to "There's a meeting in the main hall in fifteen minutes"
Xander nodded to show he understood as he led Harry to his room "You can stay here for now" he told Harry.
"I… c can still s stay w with y you" Harry asked
"Course you can kiddo" he said as he ruffled Harry hair, "I just got to talk to G-man first, you stay here okay"
"I'll be back soon" Xander said as he made his way out of the room and to the main hall.
When Xander walked into the Hall he was surprised to find everyone there, he had thought for sure that it would take at least half an hour to get everyone together, but here they all were.
"So Giles" Said Buffy the ever impatient one "What are we all here for"
"I think Xander could answer that best" he countered "Xander…?"
Xander suddenly found himself centre of attention and he rubbed the back of his head in an embarrassed way. "Well it's like this, you all know I went to see Harry this morning" they all nodded "When I got there his family wasn't exactly pleased to see me. They got all confused when I asked about Harry that I started to get worried"
"So you decide to just kidnap him?" Giles questioned, one eyebrow raised.
Xander felt all eyes on him again but he didn't care, he kept his gaze settled on Giles "They had him locked in a cupboard Giles"
Giles face paled "A.a cupboard…. How big was it" he asked in trepidation
Xander sighed "It was the cupboard under the stair so it was fairly large, but I doubt he could of lied down in it" he said.
With Xander revelation a silence settled on the group until it was broken by Buffy "So what do we do now" she asked
"Well we can't inform the authorities as Xander has stolen Harry from them" Giles explained
"I couldn't leave him there after I saw how they had treated him" Xander defended himself "Beside I doubt they would of done anything"
"This is not Sunnydale Xander" Wesley said, "The Police are not totally incompetent"
"I know but…" he trailed off
"Ah well" Giles said trying to change the subject "The main problem now is what should we do with him"
The silence in the hall was deafening until it was broken by a small voice "I want to stay with Xander"
Everyone spun to face Harry who was stood in the doorway and glaring defiantly at everyone. Willow chuckled causing a few people to turn to her "What" she said "He remained me of Xander at that age" causing a few people to laugh including Giles.
"Be that as it may" he said, "Xander cannot look after Harry"
"Why not" Xander asked, "I already look after several Slayers, what's one more kid"
Giles looked between Harry and Xander, and noticing their similar determined gazes, took off his glasses to clean. "Are you sure you're up to it Xander"
"I'll do my best to provide Harry with the home he deserves" he stated
"Very well" Giles sighed "I'll arranged the transport for you to leave tomorrow, but you have to make sure he keep up with his education"
"Yes Sir Mr. G-man" Xander said saluting, which Harry hastily copied causing Giles to groan and the rest of the Scoobs to smile.
The Next day Xander and Harry waved goodbye to the Sccobies at the airport, where the Watcher Council private jet would take them both back to Africa.
Their new home.
Arabella Figg stormed into her living room two days after leaving in a foul mood. "That egotistical, self promoting, Wizard" she ranted to herself "Just cause he can do magic" she continued "He thinks he has to do everything for me, me a Figg"
She sank gratefully into her favourite armchair as her mind went back to her 'romantic' weekend, were Diggle thought just because she was a squib she was useless and he had to do everything for her. Of course it stared out small, Apprating with her to the cabin, but summoning something just because it was out her reach, that went too far.
She cast an angry glance at the Clock on the Mantelpiece and seeing it was on 'Safe' went back to fuming at Diggle.
It would be a few days before she realised that it stayed on 'Safe' never once venturing back onto 'At the Dursleys', a few day days before she contacted Petunia asking about Harry, a few days before she realised he was missing.
But by then it was already too late.
"And how long has he been missing" The most powerful wizard asked, his long flowing white beard and twinkling blue eyes doing nothing to hide his displeasure.
"Petunia said that he's been missing for over a week now" Arabella explained
The great wizard let of a large breath he had been holding in, it was worse than he though "You know what this means don't you?" the question was asked to Arabella, but Severus decided to speak up "Yes" he drawled "It means that the boy wonder is missing thanks to the squib"
"Severus" Dumbledore warned
"The Clock says that Harry is Safe, that why I never realised that he was missing" Arabella defended herself but Severus just smirked as if his work was done.
"So" he sneered "Someone found a way around the Figg wards, I'm shocked"
"Severus enough" Dumbledore shouted but too late as Arabella went into barely suppressed shivers as memories assaulted her mind of the last person to get past the Figg wards.
"What I was meaning to say" Dumbledore continued "Is if Harry is outside his blood protection for over a week then the secondary wards come into effect"
"Secondary Wards?" Semonal Sprout asked
"I think our resident charms expert could explain better than I can" Dumbledore said with a gesture to the diminutive Professor.
"Ah yes" Professor Flitwick began "Basically if Mr. Potter is outside his family wards for over seven days then his magically signature is completely blocked from tracking magic"
"Is there any way to find him" Minevra asked, Harry was the son of one of her favourite students after all. "To get past the wards"
"I'm afraid not" Professor Flitwick explained "The only way we can find him is if we know where he is"
"Is there anything you can tell us about the person who took Harry" Albus asked Arabella.
"All I got from her was a general description, dark hair, one brown eye the other was covered by a eye patch, around 6ft1 and American"
"Thank you Arabella" he said as he rested his chin on his arms that were rested on the desk "I will contact our friends in the American Ministry to see of they can find anyone matching that description" he paused "Can anyone think of anything to add"
Silence was his only answer "Very well then, I bid you good day, I need not remind you not to mention this to the press, we do not want to start a panic understood" the assembled witches, wizard and squib nodded.
"Good, please inform me if you hear anything, be it rumour of fact, good day ladies Gentleman" he said dismissed them.
The last one to leave was Arabella Figg "I can't say hold sorry I am for every-"
Dumbledore raised hand cut her off "We all make mistakes my dear, hopefully this one can be rectified in due time". She nodded once pleased at his attitude before she left.
When they were all gone, he withdrew a small bronze plate from his bottom draw of his desk. It had intricate runes carved into the edge and anyone from the Wizarding world would recognise it as a Deluck disc. A Deluck disc was good for mothers of young children, it would glow a specific colour for each mood of the child it was assigned to. This one used to belong to James and Lily Potter.
Before when it had smouldered with a grey light showing unhappiness which Dumbledore had always assumed to be due to the need of the Wards for all the positive emotions projected from the houses occupants. It now was beginning to glow with a soft red light to show happiness and due to the lightness of the glow, love.
"I hope where ever you are Harry you are getting the Happiness you deserve" Albus whispered to himself as he held the Duluck disc in his hand as he turned to watch the tree of the forbidden forest sway in the breeze.
That's it the end of the first part… god I bet your thought that would never end… well same here… ugh that was hard going, I've been working on this for a while so please be gentle when you review and excuse any grammatical or spelling errors.
I've always like the idea of Buffy/Harry Potter cross but more often then not they're pretty similar, someone (from BtVS) goes to Hogwarts and make friends with the trio and I'm hoping this would be different. Yes before you start saying anything, I know I've messed with the timelines… call it creative benefits.
Okay the next question I see people asking is why Xander, why not Buffy or Willow who get little Harry, the reason is that Xander is good at making people feel good, something that Harry needs sometimes and honestly I don't really see any of the other Scoobies going out of there way to help a random kid cause he has a messed up homelife, well maybe Faith (but shes too uncaring/cool), or Willow (too mystic). With Xander Harry get a good grounding (hopefully) and get access to the other Scoobies and their skills.
Q2 why is Harry old… I wrote Harry as almost eight because I cant imagine any of the Scoobies picking up a baby and deciding to keep it for no good reason, but if a little kid asked for help and he really needed it… This is also the reason why Xander went back and forth with Harry and the Dursleys, I didn't want it to be 'Hi I'm Xander I'm going to make your life better, who cares about your old life'
I wrote that Harry has a stutter as it's something I can imagine after having had to live with the Dursleys for most of his life, he will grow out of it, it's just a nervous habits like Tara was, and it causes Xander and the rest of the gang to instantly take in Harry because of his similarities to Tara, a fallen comrade.
PS – Time to vote, I'm planing to write this closely follow canon up to book three then start to wander off a bit, speeding through books 1,2 and 3 do you like this or would you prefer a total rewrite, if so which house and what friends (same or new)
Next part interlude – Dumbledore looks for Harry, Harry settles into Slayer central Africa, Harry meets the rest of Xanders 'family', and Dumbledore meets up with Harry and Xander to explain Hogwarts and maybe Diagon Alley.
Well that's it, hope you like please review and tell me what you really think both good and bad (hopefully more good) but please no flames.