Title: A Magical Kind of Comedy, Part 1
Fandom: Buffy/Harry Potter Crossover
Disclaimer: I do not own the characters or settings, only the words. And, hell, I barely own them.
Pairings: Xander/Remus, Andrew/Severus, mentions of other pairings
Summary: A slayer is activated at Hogwarts and Xander is sent to train her. Of course, Andrew comes along.
Setting: Post-"Chosen", Post-"OotP", Spoilers for Season 5 of Angel
The airport was never a place that Xander enjoyed. He had only been there a few times in his life and each time had proven to be a hassle, what with them sending his luggage to Rome with Buffy instead of to England with himself last time. This time, when they arrived in London they found their luggage intact, which Xander found to be slightly reassuring. Perhaps his first gig as an actual Watcher-of-sorts (he was still apprehensive about the title) would not go down the drain. The fact that Andrew was tagging along did not help to back up this fact. Yet, Xander knew it was either Andrew following him or pestering Giles into an early grave. Even Xander wasn't that cruel.
The London airport was bustling with various groups of people. Xander managed to find a vacant area to place their baggage and wait for their escorts to arrive. Andrew was bouncing around him, managing to comment on everything. Xander rolled his eye, adjusted his eye patch, and continued to scan the crowd.
He wasn't sure what he was looking for, or rather who. Giles told him that someone would meet him at the airport and take him to meet his new charge. A Slayer. Not just a Slayer, but apparently a witch as well. Figures he wouldn't get a normal one. Yet, it was because of her being a witch and student at some magic school that forced Giles to send someone to her, instead of bringing her to headquarters. There weren't enough Watchers left to send out to every Slayer. So, the current process was to train them, then send them home.
"Wow, look at him." Andrew giggled. Xander followed his line of sight to see a man in very mismatched clothing. The shock of red hair was much like Willow's, standing out in the crowd almost as much as the golfer pants and business coat.
The redheaded man turned to someone next to him, gesturing with his hands as he looked around the airport. The other man was dressed in better clothing, with gray slacks and a white button up shirt that looked both well-worn and comfortable. This one wasn't a redhead, instead he had gray hinted honey-blonde hair. And even at this distance, Xander could see the golden eyes. He'd never seen someone with actual gold eyes before, but he supposed there was a first time for everything.
"Hey, they're coming over." Xander sighed as Andrew continued his commentary on the events surrounding him. He was shocked the blonde hadn't pulled out his camera yet.
"Excuse me?" The golden eyed man asked. "Would you be Mr. Alexander Harris?"
"Yeah, that's me." Xander smiled, reaching out and shaking the man's hand, then in turn the redhead's. He gestured toward Andrew, who bounced over to shake their hands. "This is Andrew Wells. He's, uh, the assistant."
"Hiya!" Andrew greeted, preening at the title.
"It is nice to meet you." The redhead smiled. "I'm Arthur Weasley and this is Professor Remus Lupin."
"Weasley? Oh, you'd be our new Slayer's father, correct?" Xander asked, reaching down to pick up his bags.
"Yes, that would be me." Arthur chuckled. "It would figure my only daughter would end up stronger than all my boys."
"Perhaps it would be best to finish this conversation at headquarters." Remus suggested, reaching to help them with their bags.
The trip to their headquarters was rather boring, if Xander was honest with himself. When they reached a vacant looking street the taxi stopped and they all gathered between two houses. Xander noticed there was a house missing, apparently someone had forgotten to add a number twelve. Xander turned to Remus, mouth open to talk but was instead handed a slip of folded paper. He unfolded it, then turned questioning eyes toward the golden-eyed man.
"Memorize it." He told Xander. Xander returned his eye to the slip of paper.
'The Order of the Phoenix can be found at Number 12 Grimmauld Place, London.'
"Let me see." Andrew plucked the paper out of Xander's hand to read it as well. "But there isn't a number 12-"
As Andrew spoke a strange thing appeared in front of him. The two houses, numbers eleven and thirteen, shifted to the side to reveal number twelve, which had appeared out of nowhere. For once, Andrew was without comment. Xander, who was used to seeing strange things, reached down and picked up his baggage. "Well, that explains that."
"We must be very quiet in the front hall." Arthur told them as they opened the grimy front door. The moment they entered the house, the front door was closed and darkness enveloped them. There was a moment's pause to let their eyes adjust, after which Xander noticed that Remus had moved on ahead without any problems in the dark, Arthur began ushering them toward a door at the end of a short hallway. Inside, they found themselves in a room with a long dining table.
Sitting along the table was a group of redheads, one boy with dark hair, and a girl with long, brown hair. Xander raised an eyebrow at all of the redheads this place seemed to have. Then, all eyes turned on them and Xander adjusted his eye patch uncomfortably. An older woman in the back stood and quickly made her way over, greeting them with a wide, motherly smile.
"I hope your trip was okay? Not too far, I hope." The woman asked, and Xander was vaguely reminded of Buffy's mother.
"No, not at all. The Council is in Blackpool, so it wasn't that long of a plane trip. I think we could of drove to save in airfare, but the boss man wouldn't hear of it." Xander grinned. "Said we'd get lost."
"We probably would." Andrew muttered to himself.
"Well, I'm glad it was a safe trip." She replied. "My name is Molly Weasley. These are my children." She began, pointing to each one as she announced their name. "That's Bill, Fred, George, Ron, his friends Harry and Hermione, and Ginny. Terribly sorry you aren't able to meet Charlie, but he had to return to Romania. Everyone, this is Mr. Alexander Harris."
"Please, call me Xander." Xander insisted. Andrew cleared his throat next to him. "Oh, and this is Andrew Wells."
"It's a pleasure to meet you both." Molly replied. "Fred! George! Take their luggage to the spare room on the third floor."
"But-" Fred started.
"Now." Molly narrowed her eyes. Fred and George both rolled their eyes before dragging the suitcases up the stairs. Molly turned back to Xander and Andrew with a smile. "Why don't you both have a seat?"
A few minutes later, after the twins had returned, the questions began. Xander noticed that his new Slayer, Ginny, was the only one who didn't ask anything. She merely watched them all from her corner of the table. The bushy-haired girl, Hermione, reminded him of Willow.
"I thought there was only one Slayer." Was the first comment out of her mouth. Everyone turned toward Xander and for a moment he wished he could just hand this over to Andrew and his cue cards.
"Well, there was." Xander cleared his throat, knowing this was going to take a while. "See, what happened was one of my best friends, Buffy, was The Slayer. As in the only one. Then she drowned, but I used mouth-to-mouth to bring her back to life. She was only gone for about two minutes." From the side of the room that his eye had view of he could see the wizards mouthing the words 'mouth-to-mouth' in slight confusion. "So, because she basically died, another Slayer was called. Then that Slayer died and Faith was called."
"Faith is like the Xena of Slayers." Andrew announced. Hermione, being the only one able to understand this connection, fought a small giggle.
"Right, well, Faith went all Dark Slayer on us." Xander continued. "So, she got sent to jail. Things were fine for a while, then Glory showed up. She was this Hell Goddess that wanted to go home, but in order to do that she had to use the blood of The Key. The Key is Buffy's sister. And working with the Buffster you learn one thing: Don't mess with her family. Anyway, Glory still opened the portal up to go home, so Buffy jumped off the platform to close it and died. Again."
"She has terrible luck, that one does." Ron commented. Xander snorted in agreement.
"Yeah, she does." Xander replied. "So, Buffy died for a second time. Well, my best friend Willow is a witch. Though, according to Giles she's not the same type of witch as you guys, she's an Earth Witch or something. I don't know. That's not my thing."
"What's an Earth Witch?" Ron asked the most logical person to ask: Hermione.
"Someone who doesn't need a wand and works with the elements." Hermione answered automatically, before sending a glare at the younger Weasley. "Honestly, Ron, you should start reading more."
"Well, then, let me just go out and buy a copy of Hogwarts: A History." Ron retorted. Hermione's face turned near red with anger at this comment.
"Ron." Molly said in a warning voice. "Go ahead, Xander, dear."
"Umm, right... Where was I?" Xander asked Andrew.
"The part where Willow goes all Gandalf on us. Well, on you guys, I was evil at the time." Andrew said.
"She didn't go Gandalf." Xander told him. "She brought someone else back to life, she wasn't resurrected herself. And you weren't evil, just really annoying... Except the killing Jonathon thing."
"Hey, I apologized for that." Andrew whined. Xander was suddenly aware of the fact that everyone was staring at them strangely. Clearing his throat, he decided to continue with his story.
"Willow decided it was high time to get our Slayer back. So, we did this spell to bring Buffy back to life." Xander said. "It worked, but things were a little off. Turns out she was pulled out of Heaven. But that's another story. Then The First came to town. Well, underneath the town. The First is this huge collection of evil from all over the world, especially vampires. When we battled The First, all of the Potential Slayers came to help. Buffy decided that there shouldn't be just one Slayer. So, Willow did a spell to activate the Slayers. Hence, more than one Slayer."
"That took too long. We should find a way to shorten the story." Andrew complained.
"So, what exactly is a Slayer, anyway?" Molly asked.
"It's The Chosen One." Hermione answered for Xander. "Well, now I suppose it's 'A Chosen Group'. A girl with extra strength and senses, able to battle darkness. Watchers are the ones that train and educate them. Slayers mostly kill vampires, along with other dark creatures." Xander looked impressed, while a few others in the group were shooting glances towards Remus, who had been so quiet that Xander had forgotten his presence.
"So, it's my duty to kill dark creatures?" Ginny asked from her corner of the table.
"Pretty much. That and stop any prophecies concerning a great evil and all that jazz." Xander told her.
"Too bad you weren't a Slayer when we were fighting You-Know-Who." Ron commented.
"That's not funny, Ron." Harry said softly.
"Harry's right." Molly said. Ron looked ashamed. "Just because the Dark Lord has been defeated does not mean we should take it lightly."
"Sorry." Ron mumbled.
"Dark Lord?" Xander asked, raising an eyebrow.
"They must have their own Darth Vader." Andrew whispered to him.
"As long as he's dead, I don't really care." Xander replied.
"Don't worry, he's dead." Harry said bitterly. "He's been dead for about two months now."
"Thank Merlin." Fred said.
"Now maybe this year-" George started.
"Ronnikins will have a-" Fred continued.
"Peaceful year." George finished.
"It's not my fault we always got into trouble." Ron said. No one at the table look convinced by that statement.
"I think that's enough chatter." Molly announced, standing. "Ginny, why don't you show them to their room while I start dinner?"
"Oh, can I help?" Andrew asked in an excited voice.
"Please, let him." Xander begged. "He's been mourning the loss of his oven mitts for months."
"Every cook must own the bare essentials." Andrew insisted. Xander simply rolled his eye and stood to follow Ginny upstairs.
They passed the front hall quietly and made their way up narrow stairs until they reached the third floor. Xander and Andrew's room was bare, holding only two twin beds and their luggage. Ginny stood nervously at the doorway as he surveyed the room and then turned his eye on her. She was short, her deep red hair fell to her shoulders, and she watched him with a pair of hazel brown eyes.
"So, what do you think of all of this?" Xander asked, sitting on the nearest bed. "A bit overwhelming, I can imagine."
"A bit would be an understatement." She replied. After a moment's pause she walked over to the other bed and sat across from him. "How long have you been a Watcher?"
"About three months, unofficially." Xander answered.
"What about Andrew?"
"Andrew... Well, he's not really a Watcher. I guess neither one of us are. It's hard to be official when the Watcher's Council blew up, leaving only a hand full of trained field Watchers. But I've worked with a Slayer for a little over seven years and Andrew's been with us a year." Xander explained.
"You're going to teach me to fight, right?" Ginny asked.
"Pretty much. You'll learn to use a sword, an axe, a stake, and crossbow. Along with hand to hand combat, that's important." Xander told her.
"I imagine so." Ginny said softly. "You're going to Hogwarts with me, then?"
"Yup, so is Andrew."
"I don't see how that's going to work. Muggles can't see Hogwarts. It's just a dirty old building to them." Ginny said.
"People who don't use magic."
"Ah. Well, Andrew will probably be able to see it." Xander shrugged. "He uses magic, well he did use it. To summon demons. Not a very good gift, mind you, but it means he has some magic ability."
"What about you?" Ginny asked.
"I've used spells before. Remind me to tell you about my horrible experience in love spells." Xander grinned. "But, I'm not much of a magic user. Not much of anything, really. I was the humor of the group before we split up. I... Well, I watched. Guess I was cut out for this Watcher gig."
"Sometimes watching is better than participating." Ginny said.
"That's a very good point." Xander nodded. A silence fell upon them for a few minutes before Xander cleared his throat and adjusted his eye patch.
"What happened to your eye?" Ginny asked bluntly.
"Huh? Oh, the eye." Xander cringed at the memory.
"You don't have to-"
"No, it's okay. Most people just stare at it, without asking. You're forward, I like it." Xander smiled. "Well, The First I was talking about? It had this evil preacher serving it; really creepy guy. Well, we were fighting him one night and he got a hold of me and stuck his thumb into my eye."
"Ouch." Ginny bit her lip. "That must have hurt."
"Yeah, but thankfully my doctor was very generous with the medication." Xander replied. Ginny smiled in return. "So, tell me what's up with this Dark Lord that you guys fought. I got the feeling it was pretty big."
"Yeah, it was." Ginny said, staring at the floor. "Harry is what our world calls The Boy Who Lived. He survived a curse that should have killed him. No one has ever survived it, except for him. The Dark Lord, known as Lord Voldemort-" Ginny made a disgusted face as she said the name. "-was stripped of his power. A couple of years ago he returned to power and gained his old followers along with some new ones. Over the summer, at the end of Harry's sixth year and my fifth, the Order placed a siege on You-Know-Who's hideout. Harry, following the prophecy, killed him. Most of his followers, the Death Eaters, have been placed in Azkaban Prison, but there are a few that haven't been captured."
"Wow." Xander whistled under his breath. Ginny shifted in her seat, scratching at one arm.
"Does being a Slayer always itch?" Ginny suddenly asked.
"Well... Here lately it feels like my skin is crawling... Mostly around certain things... or people." Ginny confided. "This house use to belong to a rather dark family, so there are a lot of items of dark magic still in here that we haven't been able to get rid of. Every time I go near one of them, my skin starts itching and crawling."
"We've discovered that every Slayer has a different reaction toward the nasties. Buffy got cramps. Faith, well, she got... Uh... How old are you?"
"I'm almost sixteen."
"Right, can't tell you how Faith got." Xander said. "Kennedy got a surge of anger. One of the recent Slayers would get the hiccups. So, most likely that's how you're warned of a bad presence."
"But he's not bad!" Ginny exclaimed, standing.
"Whoa, who?" Xander asked, confused. Ginny bit her lip and shook her head. "Come on, tell me. I'm here to help you figure this stuff out, remember? I got to know if I'm going to be able to do my job."
"Professor Lupin." Ginny said.
"Remus? What about him?" Xander asked.
"He's a werewolf." Ginny told him. Xander was silent for a moment, leaving Ginny to fidget. "I shouldn't have told you."
"No!" Xander exclaimed. "No. Look, as long as he stays locked up during the full moon, he's not a bad person, right?"
"He stays in the attic." Ginny said. "But Professor Snape, the Potions teacher at school, makes Wolfsbane Potion for him. He's able to keep a human mind while transformed."
"Sounds familiar." Xander mused. "Willow dated a werewolf in high school. They set off the slayer sense, especially close to the full moon, but it should lessen during the other times of the month."
"Merlin, that sounds like when mum told me about menstruation." Ginny laughed, then looked away when she realized what she said.
Down in the kitchen, Andrew was busy setting the table. Molly kept glancing back at him from the stove, a look of complete shock on her face. This boy talked more than all her children together.
"I've got to go, mum." Bill announced, giving her a quick kiss on the cheek.
"Oh, okay dear. It is a pity you can't stay for dinner." Molly replied, playing slightly with his hair. He could tell from her face that she was still longing to cut it all off.
"Sorry mum." Bill grinned. "But Fleur has been trying to do the whole meal planning thing. She'd kill me if I didn't show up and praise her good work."
"Oh, and Severus should be coming by later with the file on one of the missing Death Eaters." Bill told her. "He should be here soon."
"Maybe I can get him to stay for dinner this time." Molly mused. "He really does need to eat better."
Bill merely grinned and left for home, leaving his mother with her mind set at mothering Severus Snape.
Andrew had decided he liked Molly Weasley. She reminded him of his mother, which probably explained why he gave off the vibe of Momma's Boy. At least that's what he figured, because Molly was already starting to fawn over him helping her out like such a sweet boy. Andrew wanted to point out that he wasn't a boy, he was actually twenty-one, but he was enjoying the attention so much he decided to let that drop.
It was a while later, when dinner was in it's last stage of preparation, that Professor Severus Snape showed up. Andrew was in the middle of mixing up the mashed potatoes, despite Molly's suggestion that they use magic. Andrew would hear nothing of it, for mashed potatoes were an art form. Severus entered the kitchen like a bat swooping down on it's prey. Andrew didn't know who he was trying to impress, but it worked on him.
"Here is the file, Molly." Severus announced, handing a suspicious looking folder to the Weasley matriarch. She gave a quick nod and left the room with it. Andrew stared at Severus, taking in his pale skin and black clothing. Feeling someone's eyes on him, Severus looked over.
"Hi!" Andrew greeted, breaking into a large grin. Severus simply blinked. Andrew cleared his throat and tried again. "You're Professor Snape, right? I'm Andrew. I came with Xander. He's Ginny's new Watcher."
Severus stared at him. Andrew didn't seem phased by the stare and his grin widened in response. Andrew decided the man must be the silent-type. Which meant that he needed to fill the void. "So, you work at that magic school, huh? Hogwarts, is it? What do you teach? Is it true you're a greasy old git? You don't look so old; not very greasy either."
"I-" Severus stopped himself from replying and narrowed his dark eyes at the young man.
"So, you guys use wands? That's so cool. It reminds me of this story I read once." Andrew continued.
"You're not torturing this poor man, are you Andrew?" Xander asked, walking into the kitchen.
"Why would I torture him?" Andrew asked, a little shocked. He quickly got over it, though. "Xander! Dinner is almost ready. And doesn't Professor Snape look like something out of a gothic movie? I bet he lives in a castle with torches and a dungeon."
"Actually, I think Hogwarts is a castle." Xander replied, sitting down at the table.
"Wow, this is so cool! I can't wait until we go there." Andrew bounced.
"You will be coming to live with Mr. Harris, then?" Severus asked, his voice cold. Xander flinched at the tone, but Andrew was once again not phased.
"Well, of course silly!" Andrew said, bouncing over to Severus. The Potions Master stared down at the shorter man, his face void of any emotion. "Xander would lose his underwear if I wasn't there to help. Poor guy."
"Hey!" Xander exclaimed. "That was once!"
"Anyway," Andrew fidgeted. "I suppose we will see you there? Or are you staying for dinner?"
"I'm afraid I must leave." Severus told him. He quickly took a step back, only to have Andrew take a step forward.
"Really? You should stay! For dinner?" Andrew asked, pouting slightly.
"No!" Severus said urgently. "I must get back to Hogwarts... Potions to brew."
With that said Severus Snape escaped the horrors of the kitchen. Andrew watched him leave, a small frown playing on his lips and a sigh escaping his chest. Xander snickered from his seat at the table. "I think you scared him off, Andrew."
"I didn't mean to." Andrew mumbled, sitting down next to Xander and crossing his legs. "But, Xander, did you look at him! He's so... Dashing."
"Dashing?" Xander asked, snickering.
"Who's dashing?" Ron asked as he entered the kitchen, Harry and Hermione behind him.
"Oh, Andrew was just noticing the dashing qualities of your neighborhood Batman." Xander replied. Andrew turned bright red.
"Who?" Ron asked, sharing a frown with Harry, who had been refused the privilege of DC comics as a child and therefore did not understand the reference.
"That Snape fellow." Xander explained.
"Oh, ew!" Ron grimaced, covering his face with a hand. "That's gross, mate. Snape? That greasy old git?"
"Ron!" Hermione exclaimed.
"He's not greasy. His hair looks silky." Andrew said softly, staring off into space.
"Oh Zues, there it goes." Xander groaned. He turned to Ron and Harry. "The last time he got that look was when they came out with the Star Wars on DVD, plus a DVD of behind the scenes entertainment... That was a scary day."
"I'm heavily offended by that, Xander." Andrew said, sniffing slightly. "Now if you'll excuse me I need to finish mashing my potatoes."
"What's Diagon Alley?" Andrew asked. Andrew, along with Xander, Molly, Remus, Ginny, and the Trio, stood in the back of the Leaky Cauldron staring at a red brick wall. "Why are we staring at a brick wall?"
"We must go through there to reach Diagon Alley." Hermione explained. Andrew raised an eyebrow and sent Xander a look.
"It's a wall." Andrew stated.
"Obviously it opens up somewhere." Xander told him.
"Indeed it does." Molly smiled at Andrew. Ginny, Ron, and even Harry recognized this as the 'Oh, aren't you just darling' smile. She pulled out a wand and tapped a few bricks. A soft rumble was heard, then the wall magically split apart. They walked through and found themselves in a busy street with shops and robed men and women.
"Doesn't look like an alley." Andrew noted.
"Ron, here's your money. Don't lose it!" Molly said sternly, handing a pouch over to Ron, then another to Ginny. "There you are, Ginny. You both are welcome to join us."
"Nah, that's alright." Ron said quickly, before grabbing Hermione and Harry's arms and dragging them away. Molly turned to Ginny, who began to fidget.
"I'm going to see if I can find... someone." Ginny said, running off before Molly could reply.
"Well, Andrew is there anyplace in particular you would like to go?" Molly asked the young man, seemingly unaffected by her children running from her.
"I want a dress." Andrew stated. Molly blinked.
"A dress... One of those dressy things... Like Professor Snape was wearing." Andrew sighed, while Xander rolled his eyes.
"Oh, a robe!" Molly chuckled. "Certainly, Andrew. Xander, would you like a robe as well?"
"Eh, no, I'm cool." Xander said, adjusting his eye patch nervously as a group of witches walked past and eyed him.
"If you don't mind, Molly, I'm going to go to the bookstore." Remus said. "Xander, you are welcome to join me."
"Yeah, sure." Xander agreed, following the werewolf away from the bouncing blonde and smiling mother. Both Xander and Remus remained on the quiet side as they side-stepped shopping witches and wizards. It wasn't until they had entered the shockingly near-empty store that Xander spoke up. "So..."
"Yes?" Remus asked, stopping in front of a section of books. A gold plaque on the bookshelf read: Defense Against the Dark Arts.
"Very well." Remus said calmly, pulling a thick volume off the shelf and opening it.
"So, you're a werewolf?" Xander blurted out. He could see the sudden tension in Remus' back and was quick to continue. "Not that it's a big deal, being a werewolf. I had a friend who was all wolfie, you know. Quiet man... You kind of remind me of him. Huh... Wonder if it's just a wolf trait?"
"I can assure you not all werewolves are like me." Remus told him softly.
"So, you've met others?" Xander asked, genuinely curious. Remus shot him a look before walking further down the aisle, in the process removing them from the more open area of the shop. Xander glanced around at the books on Dark Magic, not having to be a wizard to feel the negative energy.
"Yes, I have." Remus replied simply. "All registered werewolves must spend three months with a research colony, to determine their danger level. There were about five other lycanthropes there at the time."
"What were they like?" Xander questioned, watching as Remus' gold eyes stared into the distance, as though remembering. He really had beautiful eyes, though Xander tried to fight the thought.
"Different." Remus said. "Aggressive. Dominant. It became apparent very quickly that in the lycanthropy world I was a sub-wolf."
"I don't buy it." Xander countered. Remus simply raised an eyebrow in query. "I mean... Sure, compared to some steroid pumping wolf-man you might be a little out of your league, but you seem the type to hide behind your human side. Your intelligence. In a battle of wits and smarts I bet you could beat anyone."
"I..." Remus trailed off, staring at Xander. "I'm not sure how to respond to that."
"Most just ignore me." Xander said honestly.
"I don't know why." Remus told him. "You're obviously a very bright young man."
Xander blushed under the compliment and quickly turned to the bookshelf to hide the redness of his face.
"I want black." Andrew exclaimed. Molly chuckled from her spot next to him, watching as the measuring tape darted around his body and took his sizes. "Long and black. Like Severus Snape, the Potions Master. Coolest."
"Pardon?" Molly asked, blinking at the dream filled look on Andrew's face.
"Hmm?" Andrew asked offhandedly, ducking his head as the seamstress threw a large panel of black cloth over him. He watched intently as the robes were quickly formed and sewn using magic.
"I take it you enjoyed meeting Severus, then?" Molly asked lightly.
"Oh, yes!" Andrew nodded. "He's... something, alright. And he barely talked. Which is kind of weird. Is he always that quiet?"
"I'm afraid so." Molly smiled. "Severus isn't much of a people person. I can hardly get him to stay for dinner, let alone join in on a conversation. When he does start talking, though, he proves he's brilliant. I almost want to say the man reads too much."
"Intelligent, sexy, and a wonderful dresser." Andrew sighed, his eyes focusing on a distant point in the air. "Anyone would be lucky to have him, grouchiness and all... He's married, isn't he?"
"No! Not at all." Molly replied, trying not to laugh from the shock of Severus Snape being someone's crush. "He's single. Has been for quite some time."
"Why?" Andrew asked, quickly paying for his robes with the Council's money and following Molly out the door.
"I don't think he believes himself to be worthy of love." Molly said sadly. "No matter how much he has done for the world, how much danger he has survived, he still believes he needs to repent."
"Repenting is over-rated." Andrew said solemnly. "It's impossible to unmake the mistakes you made in the past. All you can do is admit it, learn from it, and live to feel regret."
"You sound like you've experienced it first hand." Molly said softly, slipping her arm across Andrew's shoulders.
"Maybe a bit." Andrew mumbled, before perking back up. "Let's go find Xander! I want to catch him flirting with Remus."
"Flirting?" Molly asked, raising an eyebrow.
"Oh, yeah." Andrew nodded and giggled. "He's been talking in his sleep about golden eyes and werewolves. How many people has he met in the past week with gold eyes? I can only think of one."
"Really?" Molly tapped her chin thoughtfully, a smile forming on her face.
"What are you planning?" Andrew asked. "That's a plotting look! What is it?"
"Oh, nothing." Molly said. "I was just thinking about how nice this could be for Remus, to have someone new interested in him. Ever since Sirius... Well, it's been a little over a year, but Remus still refuses to let go."
"If anyone can get him to move on, it would be Xander." Andrew said, smiling mostly to himself. "Xander is like a White Knight who rescues you from mortal peril. He's like the prince from The Little Mermaid."
"Who?" Molly tilted her head.
"Muggle children's movie." Andrew explained.
"Albus, I don't think this is a good idea." Remus' voice drifted from the library. Xander had honestly not meant to eavesdrop. He had been reading up on some of the beginner's books in the library, and on his way to returning his latest book he came across a tense conversation between Remus and a man that looked like the wizard from Disney's Sword in the Stone.
"Remus, my boy." The bearded man, Albus, replied. "The students need a proper education. True, Voldemort is gone, but what's going to stop the next wizard who thinks he can control the world? These children need to be taught the consequences of dark magic and how to protect themselves from it. You are the one person I trust above anyone else."
"What about Severus?" Remus countered. "He's been wanting that job for a very long time."
"Severus wants it for the wrong reasons, Remus." Albus said softly. "He thinks that would be the best path for his redemption. He doesn't realize he's already reached a level of redemption that most will never see. He is my Potions Master, not my Dark Arts Master."
"But..." Remus sighed. "The parents would not like their students being taught by a werewolf, Albus. Do you expect them to just bow down to your decision?"
"Not really." Albus said honestly, before pulling something out of his pocket. He held out his hand, revealing it to be filled with little yellow candies. Xander fought the temptation to run in and grab some. "Lemon drop?"
"No, thank you." Remus waved them away.
"Remus, we need you. I need you." Albus told him, peering over his half-moon spectacles. Remus stared at him for a moment, before sighing dramatically.
"Fine." Remus muttered. "But I'm letting you open all of my hate mail."
"I doubt that will happen. You helped lead the attack on the Death Eaters, my boy! The Wizarding World respects you."
"I often wonder, sir, if your little world is accessible to others." Remus commented. Albus chuckled.
"Welcome back to Hogwarts." Albus winked.
Xander turned away from the library and rested his back against the wall. A jolt of excitement crashed through him. Remus was going to Hogwarts with him! He'd get to see him everyday, including those wonderful golden eyes. Xander sighed happily, before his back stiffened.
Why was he so excited anyway? It was just Remus. A nice guy, with a sexy voice and beautiful eyes. But Xander wasn't gay. He didn't like guys... Except that crush he had in high school on Oz, but that wasn't much of anything. Xander didn't want to be crushing on someone who was at least ten years older than him, if not more. A man. A werewolf. A wizard for crying out loud!
Xander took a deep breath. "Okay, what would Willow say?"
Xander mentally cursed himself for even asking that question. Willow would probably slap him aside his head and ask why it took him so long to realize he was attracted to men in the first place. Not that he was... Oh, great. Xander straightened up and walked back to his room. After living on the Hellmouth for most of his life, experiencing men trying to grab at his essentials during that eventful stay in Oxford, and rooming with both Spike and Andrew? It was no wonder he was gay.
"Why do you do this to yourself, Xander?" He asked himself. "Couldn't just be normal, could you? Just had to take a moment to realize things. Isn't ignorance bliss? Or have you forgotten that key factor?"
"What key factor?"
"Argh!" Xander jumped in shock and focused his single eye on Ginny. "Don't do that! You'll soon learn that's a good way to get yourself staked."
"With a book?" Ginny asked looking at the thin hardback in his hands.
"You'd be amazed at the awesome power of the written word." Xander said in a very Giles-like voice. A small smile teased the corners of Ginny's mouth, but she said nothing. Coughing, Xander continued. "Anyway... Did you need something?"
"Not really." Ginny shrugged. "I just came to let you know that you should start packing."
"We are leaving for Hogwarts in the morning." Ginny reminded him.
"What?" Xander gasped. "Oh no! I've got to get stuff prepared! I haven't even set up a schedule for your training. I don't even know where half of my stuff is!"
"Calm down, Xander." Ginny patted his shoulder. "Go through the house, room by room, and you'll get it all."
"Oh. Right. Good idea." Xander beamed at her, before walking off. Ginny shook her head, then continued though the hall until she reached the room Xander and Andrew shared. Inside, she could hear Andrew humming to himself. Peeking through the open doorway, she was greeted by Andrew dancing around the room, folding his clothes. Unable to restrain herself, Ginny broke into a fit of giggles.
"Oh my gosh!" Andrew exclaimed, jumping at the sound. He shot Ginny a half-hearted glare.
"Nice moves." Ginny commented.
"Oh, well, they aren't much." Andrew said, blushing slightly. "I've never been much of a dancer."
"Hmm, it shows."
"Well, pardon me, I'm no Backstreet Boy!" Andrew placed his hands on his hips in protest.
"Who?" Ginny asked.
"Oh, boy band of the late nineties." Andrew sighed. "I do miss the era of young, sexy dancing men."
"I'm sure you would." Ginny smirked.
"And what is that suppose to mean, young lady?" Andrew asked, turning back to his suitcase.
"I heard from a little bird that you have a thing for Professor Snape." Ginny told him, walking into the room and sitting on Xander's bed. Andrew shuffled his feet for a second and didn't respond. "You really do? Wow! This is great!"
"Huh?" Andrew frowned. "You mean you're not going to tease me like your brother, Ron?"
"Please." Ginny waved her hand dismissively. "Snape needs a bloody boyfriend, and fast. That man is so grumpy. He'd probably treat us students better if he had someone after his arse."
"Language!" Andrew reprimanded, but his was smiling.
"Anyway, I've got to go. But I highly encourage you to pursue Severus Snape." Ginny informed him sternly. "Not only will it make both of you happy, and Merlin knows that man needs to smile more, but it will also make for an entertaining year."
Xander had managed to locate the majority of his things. Though, honestly, he didn't want to know how a pair of his boxers ended up in the master bedroom. Xander had almost given up on getting that lone pair of underwear, due to the very large animal that lived in the room. They were his favorite pair, though.
Now he was standing in an office-like room, scanning it with his eye. There appeared to be nothing of his inside, but when he turned to leave something caught his attention. On the wall was a large family tree. It was moth eaten and looked as though no one had bothered to tend to it in years. Walking over, Xander noticed that certain names had been burnt off. Kneeling down, Xander narrowed his eye in attempt to read one of the bunt names. "Si...ck? Sir...ack! Sirack? No... It's longer than that..."
"Sirius Black." A soft voice informed him. Xander's face flushed for reasons he could not identify at the sound of Remus' voice.
"Ah, Sirius Black." Xander repeated. He could hear Remus walk over, his footsteps almost silent. Standing, Xander turned to look at him. He was shocked by the sad look that graced Remus' face. "Friend of yours?"
"You could say that." The tone indicated much more than friendship. "We went to school together. He was... Very important to me. He died last year. One of the first casualties of the second war."
"I'm sorry." Xander told him. Remus smiled sadly.
"I..." Remus started, but he trailed off.
"Anya died when we fought The First." Xander said. "She was my ex. We got engaged and I... Well, I left her at the altar. I still feel guilty, wondering if there was anything I could have done to save her."
"I understand." Remus nodded. "I often think the same thing."
"Maybe we should both just... move on?" Xander asked.
"I've been told that's what I need to do." Remus replied. "I'm afraid... That I have difficulty with that, though. I do not want to forget him."
"I don't think you can." Xander said, honestly. "I can't forget Anya."
"No, I suppose I couldn't forget him. I highly doubt he would let me, anyway." Remus said. Remus shook his head and turned back toward the door. "It's getting late, perhaps we should turn in?"
"Sounds like a plan." Xander smiled. Remus stared at him a moment, his gold eyes thoughtful, before sending him a small smile. Xander felt a little foolish, knowing that his tiny smile was sending a wave of calm and happiness through him. Xander could only imagine what a full blown smile would do. And to think, he thought growing up would get him over these emotions that caused unexplainable crushes.
"What is it with this place and their brick walls?" Andrew asked, trying to be quiet. This of course caused half of the train station's patrons to glance over.
"It's a good cover up, dear." Molly replied. "Besides, muggles can't access the platform."
"Then how am I suppose to get over there?" Xander asked nervously, reaching up and adjusting his eye patch for the fiftieth time that morning.
"I don't think there will be a problem with that, Xander." Remus said. Xander fought down the instinct to jump at the sound of the soft voice behind him. Remus smiled slightly at the reaction. "You seem to have a certain level of magic."
"Me? Magic?" Xander snorted.
"It's a residue effect of being born of the Hellmouth." Andrew announced with a wise look. "Every resident had the ability to do a certain level of magic. It's just different with each person. I can't do any of Willow's magic, but I can summon a league of demons for my bidding."
"I'm not magical, Andrew." Xander insisted, feeling uncomfortable with the conversation.
"You're a rock." Andrew said.
"You can withstand a great load. You're the support others need." Andrew replied. "Not everyone can handle all the stuff you've had to deal with. That's your magic."
"That's not magic." Xander told him.
"Well, walk through the wall and see." Andrew said, his voice threatening to turn whiney. Xander sighed and stared down the small brick wall that separated one train platform from another. Supposedly, Platform Nine and Three-Quarters was on the other side.
"If I run into anything solid, you're to be blamed." Xander pointed at Andrew. Andrew's blue eyes widened slightly, before darting around and avoiding his gaze.
Taking a deep breath, Xander stepped up to the wall and walked right through it. He came out on the other side, facing a large space buzzing with young teens. A few parents could be seen here and there, but the majority were clusters of students chatting and laughing together. Stationed at the platform was a large, sleek train. Xander gazed up at it in awe.
"See! I was right." Andrew bounced up behind him, followed by their large troupe of redheads. Remus came up the rear, his eyes gazing calmly across the area.
"Yeah, yeah." Xander muttered, tearing his eyes away from Remus.
"All right, everyone." Molly clapped her hands. "You all have a wonderful year. Ron, Harry, and Hermione? Please behave yourselves."
"Mum!" Ron protested.
"Shush, Ron." Molly replied. "Ginny, be good. And remember, just because you're a Slayer now does not mean you should neglect your studies. Xander will be writing me about your progress, so I will know."
"Yeah, okay." Ginny said absently, her eyes not even looking in the direction of her mother. Xander followed her line of sight and spotted a pale blonde who resembled Spike more than Xander appreciated. The blonde was talking to a shorter boy, with sandy blonde hair. Talking was an understatement, for the shorter boy was cringing away from the other. Xander blinked. The pale boy even sneered like Spike.
"Hugs!" Molly demanded, not even bothered by Ginny's lack of interest in her lecture. Hugs were given all around, twice for Andrew due to his sneakiness, and finally the large group were set free to board the train.
Xander knew before Ginny even moved that the moment Molly and Arthur disappeared through the wall that she was heading in the direction of the two blondes. He didn't intercept, but did follow along side her to see what she would do. Andrew followed at a distance, too busy taking in the sights and sounds to really pay attention.
"Leave him alone, Malfoy." Ginny growled in an imitation that matched a wolf perfectly.
"Well, if it isn't the youngest Weasel." Malfoy turned, looking perfectly bored.
"Hey, Neville." Ginny greeted the other boy, who smiled weakly back. Xander fought back a cringe, having seen this scene many times in high school. It was horrible to have your friend, who was a girl, protect you from a bully. Especially when she was a Slayer.
"Hi, Ginny." Neville mumbled.
"Why don't you continue on your merry way, Weasley?" Malfoy suggested, raising an eyebrow. Xander shuddered. He was like a carbon copy of Spike. "Me and Longbottom were having a little chat."
Xander had a sudden flash back to high school. This scene reminded him of many encounters with Larry, who turned out to be, well, gay. And possibly having the hots for Xander himself. Huh. Xander looked pensively at the boy called Malfoy.
"Come on, Neville, let's share a booth." Ginny offered, ignoring Malfoy.
"Bloody female." Draco Malfoy muttered, turning and stalking away.
"Wow, talk about strange. He looks just like-"
"Spike." Xander finished for Andrew. "Yeah, I know. It's creepy. Let's get on the train. I want to sit down."
"And find Remus." Andrew added, smiling sweetly at Xander. Xander glared.
"Are we there yet?" Andrew asked, bouncing around in his seat. Remus held back a smile as Xander sent the blonde a glare.
"How would you know? You've never been there." Andrew pointed out, before darting over to the window.
"I'd suspect they would stop the train if we were there." Xander replied.
Silence descended the compartment.
"...Are we there yet?"
"No!" Xander snapped. Andrew rolled his eyes.
"I was just asking." Andrew pouted. Xander sighed. "So... When will we get there?"
Some things never ceased to amaze Andrew. He couldn't help it. Everything was, really, very shiny and attractive. Life was great, unless you were killing people. Then it's not so fun. ...What was he talking about again? Oh, yeah, things never ceased to amaze him. And this was no different. Hogwarts was a fantasy novel come to life. It had towers and ghosts. Elves and strange creatures. Most of all, it was filled with magic. Andrew could simply feel it.
Andrew was a summoner, after all. It was what he was good at: summoning demons and learning their languages. Though, he didn't get to do that much anymore. He had found that the Watcher's Council, despite their recent upgrades, were still very anti-demon, no matter how helpful one could be. Which left Andrew with the job of secretary er, assistant to one Xander Harris. Which wasn't so bad, really. Xander was nice and even nicer to look at.
Not that Andrew looked at Xander in that way. Oh, no. His eyes were for Severus Snape and Severus Snape alone. A spark of evil flashed in Andrew's eyes. Oh, yes. He was so going to become Severus' boyfriend.
"Andrew? Why are you cackling like that?" Xander asked, raising an eyebrow at Andrew.
"I wasn't... cackling." Andrew said, in a bad attempt at lying. Xander stared at him a moment, before sharing an amused look with Remus.
"We should get to the Great Hall. The welcoming feast should be starting soon." Remus said. Andrew wanted so badly to roll his eyes at the way Xander beamed at him. He knew he couldn't, knew that he wouldn't. He figured he was just as bad when talking about Severus Snape, the Potions Master. Boy, he loved that title.
After standing in the Great Hall for ten minutes, staring up at the ceiling in awe, the two newcomers finally managed to sit down at the teacher's table. Xander felt decidedly uncomfortable there. Andrew was too busy staring at Severus to realize students kept sending confused looks their way.
"Welcome to another year of Hogwarts!" Albus Dumbledore announced, standing. "I have a small announcement to make before we eat. I would like to welcome back Remus Lupin, who shall be returning to the position of teaching Defense Against the Dark Arts. Let me also introduce two people that I'm sure you will be in contact with at one time or another." Albus gestured for Xander and Andrew to stand. Andrew bounced up to his feet, sending Severus a grin who ignored him.
"Calm down." Xander hissed into his ear.
"But isn't this exiting? This place is amazing. It screams with energy and magic." Andrew whispered back. Xander frowned. He couldn't feel anything.
"I would like you all to welcome Alexander Harris and Andrew Wells." Albus introduced. "As many of you are aware, what with the reports in the Daily Prophet, there was a great battle in America not too long ago. These two young men fought alongside the warriors known as Slayers. Now, they come to Hogwarts with a mission, in hopes to aid in one student's destiny."
Silence reigned after this little tale. Students shared looks. Severus rolled his eyes. Xander blushed and turned to Andrew. "A bit dramatic, don't you think?" A chuckled echoed through the hall, too late for Xander to realize he'd spoken loudly. "Uh, oops."
"Say something." Andrew told him. "They are all staring at us."
"Including Snape." Xander whispered. Andrew blushed heavily and Xander felt a small sense of pride in making Andrew turn that red. Clearing his throat, he turned toward the large room of teens. "Uhh, hello tea drinkers of the world! You all can call me Xander. I'm a Watcher... Uh... I... Watch? This is Andrew!"
Andrew squeaked when Xander sat down, leaving the blonde to stand there by himself. He stood there a moment, before turning and digging into his backpack next to his chair. Standing, he produced his camera. Andrew flipped it open and attempted to turn it on. There was the sound of static, then nothing. Andrew's blue eyes opened wide with shock and terror.
"I'm terribly sorry, Mr. Wells, but muggle electronics don't work here." Dumbledore said softly.
"What?" Andrew asked, his lower lip quivering. "Doesn't... work?"
"No, the magic interferes with it." Dumbledore replied. Andrew suddenly fell to his knees, banging his head on the table in the process, and let out a pain filled howl.
"My precious!" He screamed. A thump was heard as Xander banged his head on the table, groaning with embarrassment.
"Was that really necessary?" Remus asked, his voice filled with concern. Xander blushed heavily, holding the packet of numbing ice to his bruised forehead. He watched as Remus settled down in the chair next to his hospital bed, his blush rising when Remus smiled at him.
"It was stupid, but I was hoping to get rid of the ringing that Andrew's screams created."
"I think you just created more ringing." Remus commented. "Here, let me see."
Xander brought the pack away from his head, watching with a wide eye as Remus leaned in close to inspect the whelp. When Remus pulled away, he was smiling. "What?"
"Nothing." Remus said, suddenly looking flustered.
"No, what is it? It's going to leave a mark isn't it? Oh god. Over seven years of fighting off vamps and I'm going to be killed by banging my head on a table." Xander babbled. "Stupid Andrew. Stupid Giles. Making me a Watcher. What the hell was he thinking? What does he put in that tea of his anyway? Why are you looking at me like that? Did you know you have really gold eyes? They are so pretty. Pretty-pretties... Cripes. I think I hit my head too hard."
"Calm down, Xander." Remus ordered, placing his hand on Xander's shoulder. Xander vaguely noticed it was warm.
"Calm. I can do calm." Xander nodded. "Your hand is warm."
"Umm, thank you." Remus gave him a slightly confused look, before standing and gesturing toward the nurse, Madame Pomfrey. "What exactly did you give him?"
"Just a little Hammer Toad Wart." Pomfrey whispered.
"He must have an allergic reaction." Remus said. "He's delirious."
"Nope, I'm fine!" Xander grinned, his eyes starting to glaze over. "Remmie, Remus, Remmie-Rem."
"Yes, Xander?" Remus asked, returning to his side.
"Like your name. Do you have a brother named Romulus? Is that what his name was? I can't really remember..." Xander trailed off, before blinking at him. "You're cute."
"Umm, well, thank you." Remus replied, a soft blush developing on his cheeks. A giggle could be heard behind him by Pomfrey.
"Pretty eyes." Xander mumbled, before falling to sleep with a snore.
"I think he likes you." Pomfrey teased, her eyes twinkling.
"Hmm." Was the werewolf's reaction.
"Come on, Remus." Pomfrey patted his shoulder. "It's rather obvious. Well, he likes your eyes at any rate."
"Yes." Remus muttered, still staring at Xander's sleeping form.
"Hmmm, I think he's not the only one with a crush." Pomfrey said happily. Remus didn't reply.
Andrew carefully straightened his newly acquired robes. Taking a deep breath, he peeked through the small door window. Past the door was a classroom, with a room filled with green and scarlet clothed students and bubbling cauldrons. Andrew felt a moment of giddiness, which he quickly hid. There, inside that classroom, was Severus Snape: Potions Master.
"Who is it?" A velvety voice asked. Andrew blinked in shock at the open door. All his daydreaming had left him unable to notice the events around him, even Severus swinging the door open to glare at him.
"H-hello." Andrew squeaked.
"Oh, it's you." Severus' black eyes looked skyward a moment, before sighing. "Is there a particular reason you are interrupting my class, Mr. Wells?"
"Please, call me Andrew." He replied, trying to look suave. The result was, of course, a constipated expression. When Severus moved to shut the door in his face, Andrew bounced to attention. "Wait! I just wanted to take a look into your class. I mean, I've done some magic and all, but never really dived into the amazing world of potions. I'm more of the ritual kind of guy."
"Indeed." Severus said, before holding the door open. Andrew slipped past him with a blushing smile. Severus watched the young man as he immediately begin darting around the room. A foul look crossed his face.
The day really had gone down hill.
Shaking his head slightly, Severus swept to the front of the room and proceeded to watch the idiots known as students attempt to brew a potion. Andrew bounced around him, peering into Potter's cauldron, tutting, and then proceeding to the next one. Andrew tutted again. At the next cauldron, he made a distressed noise.
"Is there a problem, Mr. Wells?" Severus asked. "If the smell bothers you, feel free-"
"No!" Andrew shook his head. "It's just... Well, they aren't measuring the Dragon's Horn properly. If they keep brewing at this rate, then when they add the final ingredient the potion will explode."
"Potter!" Severus snapped. "How much Dragon's Horn did you add to your cauldron?"
"Three teaspoons." Harry replied softly. Severus gritted his teeth.
"T-the s-s-same." Neville stuttered out.
"Tell me, class, which of you used the correct amount of seen teaspoons of Dragon's Horn?" Severus asked, crossing his arms. Only a few Slytherin's, and Hermione, raised their hands. Severus' eyes narrowed. "All students who used less than the required amount will clean their supplies, dump out the potion, and write me a two foot essay on why you should have used more Dragon's Horn." A groan swept through the room. "Those of you that have a brain will bottle your potions and continue your brewing on Friday. Class is dismissed."
Once the last student left the classroom, Severus tried hard to ignore Andrew's presence. The blonde boy no, really more of a man kept hovering over him as he graded his papers. Letting out a sigh of agitation, Severus looked up at Andrew.
"May I help you?" Severus asked through gritted teeth.
"Oh, nothing." Andrew said, sighing softly. Severus decided he needed to draw the man's attention away from staring at his nose.
"Do tell, how is it you knew that the amount of Dragon's Horn was wrong?" Severus asked, shuffling his papers in an attempt to not look curious.
"Oh, well, you see when you summon a fire demon of some sort it's best to add a large quantity of Dragon's Horn to your ritual. It helps keep the demon from catching everyone on fire or causing explosions. It only made sense that the same would apply to potions." Andrew explained.
"I see." Severus said. He tried his best to not look impressed. Because he wasn't. Impressed, that is.
"So.. I was wondering." Andrew said, sliding up closer to the desk. Severus' eyebrow raised. "I mean, I just thought that maybe we... That is, you and me. Well, we could-"
"Hey, Andrew!" Xander interrupted. Andrew's back tensed and he shot Xander an agitated look. "Sorry, was I interrupting something?"
"Not at all, Mr. Harris." Severus calmly replied, sending Andrew a strange look.
"Uh, right." Xander cleared his throat. "Andrew, it's time."
"Really?" Andrew's eyes widened. "I think I'm going to throw up."
"Right." Xander coughed out, holding his stomach. "I think that's enough for today."
"Are you okay?" Ginny asked, her eyes wide. "I didn't hurt you, did I?"
"Fine." Xander squeaked.
"Oh, Merlin. Let me help you up." Ginny reached out and took a hold of Xander's hand. She pulled, but miscalculated her strength, sending Xander flying against her. Both fell onto the floor, Xander on top of the new Slayer. "It's a good thing Andrew left, I might have thrown you into him. Sorry."
"No, no." Xander sat up. "It's fine. First practice sessions are always difficult."
"Does every Slayer beat up their Watcher?" Ginny asked mournfully.
"Actually... I think they do." Xander replied, helping Ginny stand. "Giles has the record for the most concussions."
"I don't mean to hurt you." Ginny said.
"That's the problem." Xander rested a hand on her shoulder, more to help him catch his breath than for comfort. "You're thinking too much. When you're out there battling a vampire, there isn't time to really think. You simply are."
"That was poetic." Ginny commented.
"Yeah." Xander nodded in agreement. Ginny chuckled. "Well, Mini-Red, let's get you to Defense Against the Dark Arts class. I heard you have a werewolf teaching this year. Could prove to be interesting."
"I think you just want a glimpse at Professor Lupin." Ginny said, grinning.
"You wound me. I am here to protect you from the darkness of the great beyond! To help direct you to the true path of the Slayer. Not to flirt and check out your teachers."
"Sure." Ginny nodded, her grin turning sly. "And I have the hots for Malfoy."
"What is it with that boy?" Xander asked, leading Ginny through the corridors of Hogwarts.
"He has a constant pole up his arse." Ginny replied calmly.
"Huh. I bet that hurts." Xander said. Ginny snorted in response. They stopped in front of the classroom door. "Well, here is where I leave you, my lady."
"You should come inside." Ginny told him.
"Nah." Xander waved a hand.
"Actually, I was hoping Xander would join us." Remus commented, interrupting their conversation. Xander felt himself develop a dopey smile on his face.
"Really?" Xander asked, sounding more hopeful than he intended.
"I think your experiences with various dark creatures would prove to be enlightening." Remus told him.
"Well, I don- Ow!" Xander shot a glare at Ginny, who had just pinched him. She gave him a pointed look, before entering the classroom. "Okay. I'd love to."
"Oh, great. What's he doing here?" A strangely familiar voice asked snidely. Xander raised an eyebrow at the pale blonde that was entering the classroom with a group of Slytherin students behind him. He had survived Ginny's class and was now planning on sitting through the seventh years. "He's not even a wizard. It's bad enough we have that animal teach-"
"Hey!" Xander interrupted, taking a step forward. Remus remained at his desk, watching them with his golden eyes. "Have you ever watched a werewolf change?"
"No." Draco Malfoy replied, snorting softly.
"Really? Have you ever encountered a werewolf in their wolf form?" Xander asked. Draco glared at him, and slowly shook his head no. "Well, then. I think you have a few things to learn about animals, Mr. Malfoy."
"Class, I'm sure you all remember Mr. Harris." Remus said loudly, signaling for the students to take their seats. "He's going to be joining us for this class, and many in the future if I can talk him into it."
"I'm sure you can." Xander told him, smiling. Remus looked at him a moment, the subtle hint of a blush forming on his cheeks, before returning to the class.
"As I was saying," Remus continued. "Mr. Harris has a lot of information he will be able to give you in your studies. From vampires to various forms of magic and demonology. Now, this year we will be working at discerning myth from reality. In the wizarding world, the Slayer is considered a myth. Mr. Harris, what can you tell us about this myth?"
"Well, for starters it's not a myth." Xander said. "Into every generation, blah, blah, blah. A bunch of wimpy men decided to use a girl to fight demons, instead of doing it themselves. They chained her to the earth and gave her the strength and power to defeat the darkness. Buffy was the last of this single line. And now, after some mojo by a friend, all the Slayers are activated. If you're born with the potential, you receive the power. No more one into every generation crap."
"Very good. Now, can anyone tell me the types of things Slayers battle?" Remus asked the class. Xander sat down at the desk, watching with a small smile as Remus lead the discussion.
"Vampires?" One girl in Gryffindor robes replied.
"Yes, exactly. Anything else?"
"I'd suspect they kill werewolves." Draco said snidely. Remus' back stiffened slightly at Draco's remark, sending a wave of anger through Xander. Unable to take the smug look on Draco's face, Xander stood up.
"Well, Mr. Malfoy, I think there is something that has you very confused." Xander said, trying to keep the hiss out of his voice.
"Do I?" Draco calmly asked.
"Mr. Malfoy, you will treat Mr. Harris with the same respect that you would bestow upon any professor at Hogwarts." Remus ordered.
"Yes, Professor." Draco said, saying the title with as much venom as he could muster.
"Mr. Malfoy, may I call you Draco?" Xander asked, then continued without waiting for a reply. "There are things that can't be defined as evil and good. Surely, Draco, you can understand that simple notion? You are, after all, at the age I was when I started figuring it out myself. Werewolves are not evil. They are humans who have been touched by something supernatural, that takes over every full moon. That does not make them evil. Now, it was once a custom with the Slayers to kill all things that were shaded gray or black. That's not the way things work now.
"A werewolf is not an animal. If you watch a wolf and then watch a transformed werewolf, you would understand this. They are powerful, and sometimes dangerous, beings. But that's only once a month. Every other day, they are no different than you or me. So, I think, Draco, what you should worry more about is if you can trust humans, because you are certainly around them a lot longer than you are werewolves."
"You can't trust either." Draco replied with a voice that held too much truth. Xander frowned, backing off his high horse as he saw the look on Draco's face.
"Can I ask you something?" Xander asked as he dug his toes further into the dirt. The moon was high in the sky, it's half-shaded face shining down across the lake. Xander tried to ignore the tentacle sticking from the silk surface, focusing instead on Remus' shoed feet.
"What is Draco Malfoy's story?" Xander questioned, leaning back on his palms. Remus rested his arms on his knees, staring out at the lake with eyes that nearly glowed in the darkness. "Don't brood on me, Remus."
"His father was Voldemort's right hand man." Remus replied, his voice hoarse. "Draco was always meant to follow in his father's footsteps and become a Death Eater. The night we ambushed Voldemort's hide out, Draco was there. His father had arranged for Draco to receive the Dark Mark, a symbol of Voldemort, despite Draco being underage. We later found out that Draco had no clue that was going to happen, and that, while Draco was not a supporter of Albus, he wasn't a follower of Voldemort." Remus chuckled softly.
"He called Voldemort a dirty half-blood during interrogation." Remus said. "Anyway, during the attack, Lucius was to protect Voldemort. After dealing with a certain Death Eater by the name of Bellatrix, I went one on one with Lucius in hope that Harry and Albus would be able to defeat Voldemort."
"Then what happened?" Xander asked, scooting closer to Remus. He fought the desire to grab a hold of Remus' hand, knowing Remus didn't really need his comforting.
"Draco had been shoved into a corner. He was scared." Remus eyes were large, as though he was reliving the battle again in his mind. "I could feel his eyes on us, as we threw curse after curse against one another. Lucius... He was a mad man. He wouldn't stop no matter what. I would like to say I had no other choice for what I did, but that would be a lie. There were a hundred other curses I could of used." Remus' eyes closed a moment, before reopening. "I cast the Cruciatus Curse on Draco's father."
"What's the croo-ci-whatis?" Xander finally gave in, slipping his hand into Remus'. Remus glanced over at him.
"It's an Unforgivable. It causes severe pain to the muscles and inner organs. The result is usually inner bleeding, or insanity, depending on how long the curse is held and its intensity." Remus sighed. "Anyway... Draco watched me torture his father. It's no wonder he hates me. His father had always taught him intolerance, to hate what wasn't the same as himself. Draco just hates me a bit more than most. He uses me being a werewolf as an excuse."
"Then there is hope for him yet." Xander told him.
"What do you mean?" Remus asked, turning questioning eyes on Xander.
"When you're young, your parents always try to force their views on you." Xander shrugged. "It doesn't always work, though. Didn't work on me. It won't work on Draco. He's too stubborn to follow someone else's example, I can tell."
"How is it you're so sure?" Remus questioned, turned to look at him fully. He didn't, however, let go of Xander's hand.
"I'm just brilliant like that." Xander grinned.
"Hmm." Was Remus' reply.
"Hey, Andrew." Xander greeted, before stuffing a roll into his mouth. Andrew slid into the seat next to him, staring forward. Xander frowned and tried again, his voice muffled by the bread. "Anfrew?"
"What?" Andrew snapped, turning his big blue eyes onto him. Xander raised an eyebrow and swallowed.
"Nothing, sheesh." There was a moment's pause.
"I know." Andrew hissed. Xander looked over, his spoon filled with scrambled eggs hovering in the air. Andrew nodded, his eyes narrowed. "Oh, yes, I know. You're so happy, aren't you? You have your man. Well, we can't all have what we want, can we?"
"Andrew... What. Are. You. Going. On. About?" Xander said slowly.
"I saw you!" Andrew exclaimed, leaping to his feet. His voice sounded high pitched and emotional. Students were looking up from their breakfast. Even Severus was taking a moment to look over. Silence had officially descended the Great Hall, so when Andrew spoke next his words bounced off the high ceiling. "I saw you last night with Remus."
"What? So?" Xander blinked, not comprehending.
"You think you can just do that! Go along with your little love affair, while I'm left with nothing!" Andrew cried. Xander frowned. This almost sounded as though Xander was cheating on Andrew, which just wasn't true. Xander was suddenly thankful Remus hadn't shown up for breakfast just yet.
"It's just not fair! I want my own professor!" Andrew whined loudly. "Stupid Potions Master!"
With that said, Andrew spun on his heel and stormed out of the Great Hall. Severus stared after him, an all too common look of confusion on the poor man's face. Sighing, Xander poked at his scrambled eggs. Andrew was becoming quite the handful. If only Severus would get a clue and let the poor geek seduce him already.
"Mr. Harris." Albus said softly.
"Call me Xander." Xander automatically replied.
"Xander, yes." Albus nodded. "I was just curious... Is it simply an American thing or is Andrew very high strung?"
"Oh, us Americans have great pep." Xander said. "But Andrew simply has difficulty channeling the proper amount of energy into his day to day activity."
"Ah, I see." Albus nodded, before looking thoughtfully down the table at his Potions Master. "Severus could use some pep."
"Nice to know you support Andrew's endeavors." Xander chuckled.
"I support Remus and you, as well." Albus said, looking over the rims of his glasses. Xander blushed heavily.
"Ladies- Oh, sorry, Slayers and gentlemen! I present to you the amazing toolbox." Xander announced, bouncing into Ginny's training room. Ginny, the lone occupant, looked up from one of her demonology books. Xander grinned, setting his large toolbox on the ground, next to a broken table.
"You know I could fix that with magic, right?" Ginny said, holding her book open to her chest as she walked over to watch Xander work. "I did break it after all."
"First of all, you broke it to kill one massive vampire, which Andrew could not control after summoning." Xander replied. "Good thinking, using the table leg, by the way. Secondly, how dare you even talk about destroying the beauty that is carpentry with magic."
"Terribly sorry, Watcher of mine." Ginny snorted. Xander smiled and continued screwing the table back together. After a moments work he stepped back with a satisfied look. Ginny nodded her approval. "Lovely."
"And those idiots at the construction site said I couldn't do my job anymore." Xander let out a fake bark of laughter, before adjusting his eye patch. He turned to Ginny, tilting his head in an attempt at reading the title of her book. "Enjoying your studies?"
"It's very fascinating, I must say." Ginny replied. "It was in Ancient Greek, but after a quick translation spell I could read it with no problem. Though, some of the pictures." Ginny looked down into the book's depths. "So strange. Look at that horn..." Xander grinned, waiting for her reaction. "Oh... I see. Not a horn."
"Well, I'll leave you to your... horns." Xander told her. Ginny shot him a dark look, before twisting the book to get a better look at the picture.
"Go play with Professor Lupin." Ginny ordered.
"Well, not when you make it sound so naughty." Xander frowned. Ginny merely grinned in reply. "Besides, I have things to do. Like torture my Slayer with questions about homework and boys."
"Oh, great. Another letter to mum, then?" Ginny groaned dramatically. "Please don't tell her about my detention. I didn't mean to turn Malfoy's hair pink. It just kind of... happened."
"I'm sure it did. Just like the deliberate words just kind of popped out of your mouth, hmm?" Xander smirked.
"If you tell her, then I'll tell her about you having Andrew summon a vampire twice my size." Ginny countered.
"Ooohhh, scary." Xander grinned, before grimacing. "Come to think of it... Molly Weasley, breathing down my back about hurting her baby girl? Maybe I'll focus on your excellent grades."
"Might be a good idea."
"By the way, I was thinking of talking to Albus about a little field trip." Xander commented. "You can't simply get training with Andrew summoning vampires and the soft demon or two. So, I was thinking, Halloween weekend? A nice trip to the nearest muggle city? Making a cemetery stop or two? Hmm?"
"Really?" Ginny asked, looking skeptical. Xander nodded and the redhead broke into an excited grin. "Oh, wow! This is great!"
"I know. I know." Xander sighed. "I am amazing."