DISCLAIMER: I don't own BtVS, AtS, HP, or anything else you recognize.

Authors note: Just a few comments/explanations that will hopefully make my babble easier to understand. First, this story is decidedly AU. The main pairing will be Xander/Angel, meaning slash. Here's what you can expect from canon:

HP Canon: This story is set two years after Voldemort's defeat. For the sake of this story, HP canon ends with OotP. Harry Potter defeated Voldemort at the end of his seventh year in some unspecified way, but pretty much nothing else from HBP and DH happened, unless it is mentioned during the story. This means Dumbledore and Snape are still alive, the Trio attended Hogwarts seventh year, the Epilogue is not happening, etc.

BtVS/AtS Canon: Everything from BtVS happened, it's just been pushed four years into the past. So, rather than having their sophomore year in 1996-1997 (I don't know if that's really right, I'm just figuring the school year was 1996-1997 even though the series started in March), it's in 1992-1993. I haven't read the comic book, and I've only seen a couple episodes of Angel, so most of that won't be included. It's now a year after Chosen, and the Sunnydale group has set up shop in Cleveland. The AI crowd is working out of the Hyperion, Cordelia is Angel's seer since Doyle's death, and Fred, Gunn, Wes, and Spike are all rattling around. There's no Connor, Illiyria, or much interaction with Wolfram & Hart.

Timeline: A basic timeline for the story
1976-1977: Xander, classmates are born (BtVS)
1979-1980: Trio-age children are born (HP)
1981: Voldie's first defeat (HP)
1991: SS/PS (HP)
1992: Welcome.../Harvest (BtVS)
1998: Voldie's second defeat (HP)
1999: Chosen (BtVS)
2000: Setting of story

I really hope that I've explained everything okay, but, please, let me know if I've goofed something up or am just not making sense!


Prologue - Prophecies, Watchers, and Dreams

Prophecy by S. Trelawney to M. McGonagall, 20 May, 1999
The son rises from darkness… Hunted by the father, shielded by the brother, and buoyed by the shadowed angel, he Sees all but his true purpose… For only the forgotten son can stop the evil ere the gate is opened and all is lost.

The Dark Lord has fallen but all is not finished… For the father brings destruction… And the son rises from darkness…



Heart pounding in terror, Xander's on his knees performing CPR in an underground cavern. He pulls back to check for a response, and rather than Buffy's lovely features he finds himself looking into Angel's eyes, warm and soft in a way he never knew he longed to see. Angel reaches up and cups his cheek with a large, cool hand, and the terror melts away. Xander reaches up to cover the hand with his own, but before he can, the cavern and Angel disappear…

…and Xander's on Kingman's Bluff facing Willow, dark-haired and dark-veined, and he needs to love her enough to save the world. She raises her hand and changes, suddenly older than she should be. This is the Willow he saw last night, not the Willow who lost Tara years ago, but he doesn't notice until she whispers—

Are you ready?

And magic slams into him, crawling up and down and in, and his subconscious recognizes this feeling, matches it with the bubbling tension he feels when he's angry or frightened, the reason why he tries to stop getting angry or frightened altogether because one day, one day he knows this energy inside him will boil over and flood everyone.

Willow laughs, childlike, clapping her hands with glee because he doesn't understand, and then she's gone, the bluff is gone…

…and he's in an alley he doesn't recognize, fighting people—not demons, not vampires, but not normal, either—who all wear dresses, even the men. Xander would laugh except he's too busy running from the spells they're casting; they make Willow's mojo seem like party tricks and he runs and runs and runs, but it hurts and he's bleeding and he can't run anymore…

…and he runs into a wall and falls down and he sees it's a wall of Angel. He looks up, up, up, begging for help because he knows Angel can help, may be the only one who can. Angel pulls him to his feet and whispers—

Are you ready?

He isn't, but Angel once more rests a hand on his cheek and the denial falls away. Xander places his palm against the back of Angel's hand, opens his mouth to speak…

…and the world explodes into blackness.


As far as Xander could tell, the dreams started about the same time as he first noticed he was being watched. How long he'd been watched before that, he could only guess, because everybody knew he wasn't always quick on the uptake.

He saw his watchers at work and at home, in the mornings and on his lunch break; the only time he never noticed them was when he was out with his slayers. And that made him more nervous than anything, because the only reason his watchers would avoid those seemingly harmless teenage girls was because they knew what they were.

Still, he told himself not to worry, that he was being silly and nobody would want to watch him in the first place, and, hey, it wasn't like these watchers seemed threatening with their odd clothes and appearances (how scary can someone with blue hair really be, he wondered, then remembered LeeAnn, the punk slayer with a lethal throwing arm, and decided he didn't want to know). Maybe his dreams were connected with the watchers, but that didn't mean they (watchers or dreams) were dangerous.

And also, watchers? Watching him, the Watcher? He had to appreciate the irony, if nothing else.

Of course, Xander ended up being all wrong—he was wrong so often that he was starting to think being wrong was actually right for him. His watchers were dangerous…for other people, and they might have been watching him, but they were waiting for someone else.

Xander… Well, Xander was just the bait. Wasn't he always?