TITLE: New Teacher on the Block
AUTHOR: Kayla Shay
DISCLAIMER: BtVS is owned by Joss Whedon and respective parties while all things Harry Potter are JK Rowling's.
NOTES: This chapter is dedicated to Lin and ashez because they asked for some Trelawney play time in this messed up world. My take on Professor Trelawney's character and appearance is most certainly not be perfect. I played on the fact that Harry's first thought of her was to compare her to a glittering insect.
Chapter 5: Que Sera, Sera
"Severus, tell me what you have learned of this new Defense Professor. Could he be a threat to our plans?" Voldemort's hissing low voice carried through the almost empty chamber.
Professor Snape shivered internally as he did anytime the Dark Lord's attention was focused solely on him. He clamped down on his errant thoughts and kept his eyes cast downward in a show of fidelity and responded. "He seems to be a non-entity my Lord," he paused to consider his next words. "It appears that this Council he works for sent the dregs of their organization which reflects the view of their alliance with the wizarding world."
"Ah…" Voldemort steepled his spindly fingers in front of his chin. "I have heard rumors of his group. It is said that if they see a threat, they work to extremes to remove that threat. If you are correct in your assessment…" he trailed off as a smile crept across his face.
From his kneeling position, Snape spoke up, "It is most certainly correct my Lord. The Slayer all but said he was sent as a last resort. I have taken the liberty of starting the process of discrediting him with the wizarding world. That reporter, Rita Skeeter, has proven most useful."
"Yes," Voldemort hissed, "the media can be most useful when removing a person's credibility. Most useful."
Snape seized on the Dark Lord's apparent good mood by adding, "The Potter boy and his friends are also leery of Harris and his organization. This may well prevent them from seeking aid from the Slayer and her ilk."
"Yes Severus, very good indeed. Now my loyal followers," he motioned for the core group of Death Eaters to move closer. "Let us conclude our plans and then take our pleasures with the new toy Wormtail has brought us."
Snape risked a glance at the chamber's side door where Peter Pettigrew was pulling a subdued muggle girl inside. He unconsciously formed a shield around his mind and heart to protect against what the rest of the night would entail.
Xander had decided that having free time in the castle meant for a very bored Xander. So it was with that in the front of his mind that he reached his destination, one of the highest towers in the castle. He was lugging a box full of herbal teas and incense that the divination professor, Sibyll Trelawney, had ordered through the Council's new catalog and, for the non-wizarding world, online store, The Magic Box, Inc..
Granted, he could have had one of those house elves deliver it, but they disturbed him, especially the one named Dobby. Dobby was constantly popping in on him, and always asking, in his screechy voice, "Mr. Harris, sir, need you anything sir?" He half expected the little elf was spying on him, but he didn't have the proof to back that theory up.
He now stood in a dead end corridor and there was no door in site. So he decided to call out, "Uh, hello? Anyone home around here?"
He waited a few moments and just when he figured he had the wrong part of the castle and was turning to leave, a ladder spiraled down from an opening in the ceiling. With a skeptical glance, Xander began the precarious climb up the ladder, balancing the box in front of him.
The stifling warmth of the room he emerged into struck him as he tried to stop from gagging at the heavily scents floating around. From his time spent helping Anya with the Magic Box inventory, he started mumbling the names of the various smells he could identify. "Sage, rosemary, sandalwood, pine birch," he paused, taking a deep breath, "cinnamon? What good is cinnamon for trying to tell the future?" He didn't notice his voice rise as he spoke.
"It's for my tea dear boy," a disembodied voice floated from the direction of a back closet. The sudden intrusion on his soliloquy startled Xander.
"Uh, sorry. I didn't mean to… The ladder," he gestured back to the hole he crawled out from, "it came down and I came up. Here's your delivery from The Magic Box, Inc." Xander was sure that his face was on fire as he frantically searched for a spot to ditch the boxes and make a run for it.
Then he saw it, causing some half-forgotten memory to surface from the back of his mind about the praying mantis lady from Sunnydale. The "thing" in front of him looked more bug-like than human, especially with the large, thick glasses perched on her nose, which caused the eyes behind them to magnify. Unsure how to react, Xander just stood with mouth hanging open and his one eye blinking rapidly.
Professor Trelawney approached the young man and suddenly let out a gasp and dropped her teacup. The shattering of the china echoed in the small room.
"My boy, my boy," the professor cried as she stumbled forward, causing Xander to take a step backwards. "Your aura is breathtaking! It calls to everything around you," her voice fell silent as she studied him more closely. "The things you must See child. Tell me what wonders you See."
Xander took several more steps backward to get away from the scary bug-eyed teacher. The last time someone talked about him seeing things, he lost his eye. Xander was in no way ready to repeat that process. But, as his luck would have it, he backed right into one of the armchairs scattered throughout the room. He fell into its spacious seat and the crazy lady continued to advance on him. She didn't seem aware of his fearful response.
"Do you not even know of your power? How could you not? It's wrapped around your very soul," she paused and her eyes started to cloud over. "So beautiful, so precious."
Xander was downright petrified, the lady was going Gollum on him, and that was definitely not good. He was the normal one. He didn't have any power or abilities. That was Buffy and Willow's gig, not his. He was just the support guy, a should to cry on, a nothing…
"Um, I think maybe you need a stronger prescription on your glasses," he suggested.
"No, no. You're so much more, so much…" her voice trailed off. Then she reached out a spindly arm to pat his shoulder. Xander tried to shrug away, but it didn't work. As soon as the tip of her finger brushed his should, an electric spark sizzled in the air and sent a jolt through Xander's entire body. Every nerve ending was screaming, but with one look into Trelawney's eyes, they fell into silence.
Her body was rigid and she stood erect, adding a good two inches to her height. Her eyes looked like a spring thunderstorm as gray clouds started to swirl within them and her pupils gave off a purple glow. A smile formed on her lips as the purple hue bore steadily into his soul.
An unearthly voice came from her lips as she spoke in rhyming verse,
"The protector of man shall bridge the gap,
And with help from the Marauder's map,
He shall serve a blow to the Dark Lord's plot,
And save us all from a precarious spot.
Beware the serpent from inside,
And the trio who believed a bug's lie,
Gain their trust in order to succeed,
Or the One Who Sees will be lost indeed."
As the last word escaped her mouth, Professor Trelawney collapsed to the floor and the gathered energy slingshotted back into Xander's stunned body.
What seemed like days later, but in reality was only a minute, Xander knelt to the floor to check on the motionless teacher. "Thank god!" he breathed when he found a steady pulse.
"Now what to do?" he asked himself out loud. Then it dawned on him as he cried out, "DOBBY!" The annoying house-elf could finally be of some use.
"Mr. Harris, sir? How can Dobby help you sir?" The little elf had just appeared with a loud pop.
"Dobby, I need you to go get Madame Pomfrey and Professor Dumbledore," he said rapidly as he watched the elf's eyes grow wide at the scene of Xander kneeling beside the collapsed divination professor. "Now Dobby!" he shouted and the elf disappeared with a crack.
Xander stood near the infirmary bed, shifting from one foot to the other as Madame Pomfrey concluded her diagnosis. His tension was momentarily released when she told him and Dumbledore that Trelawney just needed rest and a pepper-up potion once she woke to recover from the overextension of her abilities. Then she shooed the two men out the door.
In the corridor, Xander's sense of dread and impending doom returned while he was alone in Dumbledore's presence. "So…" he started.
"It would seem that Sibyll has made another prophecy. Most interesting, most interesting indeed," Dumbledore said as he turned to Xander. "Would you mind joining me in my office Mist… er, Xander," Dumbledore caught himself before calling Xander by his last name as it seemed that greatly displeased the boy. "I find that lemon drops are good to ingest at times such as this. I would also like to speak with you regarding what Sibyll had to say."
"Uh, yeah," mumbled Xander. "Lead the way."
With that, Xander followed in step behind Dumbledore, feeling very much like he was back in high school and on his way to Principle Snyder's office.
Harry, Hermione and Ron sat in the Room of Requirement waiting for Dobby to show up with his daily report of Professor Harris' activities. While they waited, Hermione filled them in on what she discovered from the Slayer's Handbook.
"It said that the slayer is identified by the Watcher's Council at a young age. At that time, she is only a potential. The Council then removes the potential from their family and takes her to a private training facility. There, the potential is taught the skills she will need if she is one day Called as the active slayer. According to the book, the slayer is required to fight alone and the Watcher directs her on the method needed to eradicate the demon threat she is facing. It appears that, even though they are spread worldwide, the Council is a British established group." Hermione stopped and looked up for Ron and Harry's take on the subject.
"Well," Harry said slowly, "that doesn't match up much with Professor Harris or the slayers he claims to have worked with. He's not even British." Before he could add more on that subject, Dobby popped into the room with a crack.
"Mr. Harry Potter! Dobby is sorry he is late sir, but Mr. Harris called Dobby sir."
"He called for you?!" Ron asked incredulously. Harry motioned for him to quiet down.
"Why did Professor Harris call for you Dobby?" Harry carefully questioned the house-elf.
"He was with the Trelawney Professor, sir. She had collapsed in her rooms and he wanted to send for Headmaster Dumbledore for help."
The trio rocked back in their seats. "What would he have been doing with Professor Trelawney in the tower?" Hermione asked.
"And why would she have collapsed?" Harry added, as he tried to figure out the puzzle.
"Dobby knows not, Harry Potter," Dobby added, wringing his hands in front of himself.
"Guess we had better find out ourselves then," Harry said with a thump of his fist onto the desk he had been sitting at.
Casting a look at Ron, who nodded, Hermione stood up beside Harry and rested her hand on his shoulder. "We will help you Harry. Just like we always do."