It Eats You, Starting with Your Bottom -- Chapter One
Summary: Alternate Universe, Alternate Timeline BtVS/HP crossover, wherein too many former residents of Sunnydale visit Hogwarts and hijinx ensue, while together, They Fight Evil (dun dun duh).
Disclaimer: Are you kidding me?
Author's Note: From the warped mind that brought you Walk of Shadows and Whelp II -- The Wrath of Snape comes this . . . oddment where slash happens and timelines are skewed and a Vampire with a soul is not either lame. Go forth and read, if you dare. . . .
In a small cottage in the compound of the Gaia Coven in southern England, Rupert Giles sat in a lounger with a glass of brandy near to hand, and poured over one of the last books sent to him from Los Angeles before it went tits up in a Final Battle. One of many Final Battles, as it turns out, over his last decade of being a Watcher. The book, called Hogwarts: A History by Bathilda Bagshot, seemed to cover an entire millennium or so, from the founding through the end of the last century, of a school of magic located somewhere in Scotland. A School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, to be precise.
The premise was, in a word, fascinating. The very concept pre-supposed the existence of a hidden world of magic wielders, living in and among the rest of the humans race -- called the Muggle world -- with varying degrees of equanimity. The school taught these young wizards and witches spells and Potions and Herbology and a sport called Quidditch, in a castle that was completely invisible to the Muggles. It was obviously a fairytale of some kind . . . except that Bathilda had once been a member of the Gaia Coven, and was never given to flights of fancy nor the writing of children's tales.
Giles could not ignore the implications. Especially not now, with rumors of Dark Magic -- powerful enough to rival the former Dark Willow -- rising in Britain and across the continent, under the aegis of a creature called the Dark Lord or, even more worrisome and melodramatic, He Who Must Not Be Named. In his experience, those who should not be named were most often in need of being strategically put down for the betterment of the rest of civilization. Or leashing, at the very least.
"Whatcha got there?"
Giles removed his glasses and pinched his nose briefly before he peered at the redhead who had entered his cottage without knocking. Of course, she was a special case, and not entirely because she could hex him into next month without blinking. He replaced his glasses and sighed. "An answer, I believe."
Willow frowned a little, curious as usual. It was one of her best things; one of her most dangerous, too. "To what?"
"To where the next Hellmouth opened up. And to where we might find reinforcements, to help repel this new evil."
"Dun dun duh," Willow sang softly, amused. She leaned over his chair and flipped up one side of the red covered book, taking in the large crest on the front marked with a stylized H. Standing straight again, she tucked a long strand of hair behind her ear. "Hogwarts?"
"Yes. Have you ever been to Scotland?"
"Nope. Non-travelly me, well, except for visiting here, of course. Are we going? Should I call Buffy?"
Giles shook his head. "You and I might be the only ones who could go in. Apparently, only those who can use magic can even see the castle."
"Serious magic right there."
Willow gave him a shy smile. "I could work up a spell to counter it, though. For a select group."
Considering the idea, Giles thought about what they might face. A school full of angsty, magic wielding teenagers . . . like Sunnydale High with hundreds of Willows . . . half of them with more testosterone than brains. "I think it would be better to keep it to just the two of us," he said finally, shuddering at the very idea of Buffy or Angel or, god forbid, Spike, even with a soul, let loose among all that teen spirit.
"Sure. No problem."
Two evenings later, just after moonrise, at the gates of Hogwarts, Giles glowered at Willow, wondering what part of his decision had been so hard to grasp. When Willow smiled sweetly back at him with a helpless shrug, he turned his glare on the rest of the group.
Spike had his leather coat cinched, hands jammed in the pockets, as he slouched against the wall, his bleached hair lying damply on his skull in the ubiquitous Scottish mist. As far away from the blond as he could get without leaving the county, Angel had a brood on, arms crossed over his chest and scowling at everything, while Buffy, complete with ponytail, crackling gum, and sardonic smile, rested her hands on the gate as she peered up at the castle.
She glanced at Giles. "So, what are we doing here again?"
"Looking for evidence of evil," Giles explained, again, with a huff of annoyance. Really, was it so hard for them to listen?
"Dun dun duh," Spike intoned with a smirk. He really had become a great deal more irritating ever since he got a soul, and a corporeal body, and no chip. "Where's this evil, then? So I can kick its ass." And even more arrogant, too, if it were possible.
"Shut up, Spike," Angel growled.
"Make me, tall and broody."
Angel stepped forward to do just that, Giles was sure, but stopped when Buffy put a hand on his arm. A smile twitched at the corner of the dark Vampire's lips, matched by one on Spike's, before he rolled his eyes. "So how do we get in, then?"
"Just knock," Willow said. "Umm. . . ." She looked around blankly for a moment, then grabbed the wrought iron gate with the large H in the center, and shook it, rattling the frame.
"Excellent, Red," Spike snarked. "I'm glad we have an expert along."
"Shut up, Spike," said Giles.
"I am getting the distinct impression that I'm not welcome."
"You're not," Angel and Giles said in tandem, and then glared at each other in tandem, too.
"Right! You have your fun with your evil--"
"Dun dun duh," Buffy sang.
"--And I'll just nip off."
"Don't be all run away-ey guy." Buffy gave him a warm look. "We need you, okay?"
"Yeah, sure," Spike said, but leant against the wall again, saying nothing more.
"Hey," Willow said, pointing up at the castle. "Someone's coming!"
"Not recently." Spike sighed dramatically.
"Shut up, Spike," Buffy snapped.
The Vampire smirked, but glanced over his shoulder, through the gate, all the same.
A light -- lantern, probably -- bobbed its way down the rather steep hill. The five of them watched avidly as a figure approached and came into view, indeed holding a lantern aloft.
"Is anyone else coming over all Dickens?" Buffy murmured.
"Nah. Dickens was a ponce." Spike grimaced. "Owed me five quid."
"Yeah, you say that about everyone old." Buffy gave him one of her most disarming smiles, making the Vampire blush . . . or turn less pale, at any rate. "One might get the impression you were less than discerning in who you gave money to."
While Giles pondered when Buffy had learnt a word like "discerning" and how to use it in a sentence, Spike scoffed, "One would be wrong."
"Shush, children," Giles hissed as a sallow faced, lank haired man reached the gate.
The man was dressed all in black robes, and his dark eyes were faintly accusing. His thin lips settled in a sneer as he looked them over. "We were not expecting any visitors," the man said softly, in a tone Giles recalled from his days as a school boy, one used by some of his most feared teachers. Even this man's voice held a sneer.
Giles gave him his best Educated Man Seeks Knowledge look, with a jaunty smile. "We would like to see your Headmaster, if you would be so kind."
"Take us to your leader," Buffy said. Under her breath, thank god.
"Indeed?" The man raised one eyebrow. "I'm afraid he's quite occupied at the moment. Unless you bothered to make an appointment?"
"Well, no--" Giles started, about to explain the lack of post address that had thwarted him in doing so, when Spike interrupted. Of course.
"Look, we don't need a sodding appointment."
"Shut up, Spike," Willow said. "Please."
"Unless you lot have to make an appointment to fight Evil!"
"Dun dun duh," Angel murmured.
"Good night." The man turned and started back toward the castle.
"Hey! Sourpuss!" Spike called over all their protests. "Would it help if I asked to speak to my cousin? He goes to school here. Or he was a student a few years back, anyway. Name's Malfoy. Lucius Malfoy. He's got a nipper, now, doesn't he? Poncey little whelp, with some nancy name like Gander or Drake or Uno or something."
The dark haired man turned back, eyes narrowed. "You cannot possibly mean Draco."
"That's the one!"
The man's mouth twisted as if around something bitter, and Giles could quite understand. He'd had to put up with this particular thorn for years. For the next few minutes, the man looked them over even more closely, meeting each of their gazes in turn. Giles felt a little . . . push of something on his mind, and recoiled from it immediately, frowning at the intrusion.
"Very well," the man intoned at last, and removed an actual wand from his pocket which he waved at the gate. It clicked open. "I suppose you may enter," he said, as if he were doing them a huge favor.
Giles, very suddenly, wasn't at all so sure that he was.
TBC . . .
A/N continued:This plot bunny occurred to me (and my friend and sometime beta, Miri) on a recent drive of about 20 minutes length, and the endless possibilities it presented kept us in stitches for hours longer. In spite of that, this won't be a terribly drawn out story, less than 10 chapters, I suspect, but I hope it'll be a humorous break from my more angsty pieces. The wonky timeline warning is because the fic takes place after all events of the last seasons of both Angel and Buffy are done, but before the end of Harry Potter's Hogwarts years. Erm, and there's been no HBP or DH. I think that's all my caveats. Yeah.
Let me know if you like it, or even if you don't. I can take it. ;-D