Disclaimers: I do not own Buffy the Vampire Slayer or Harry Potter. Rights remain with Whedon and J.K. Rowling.
Summary: Neville has a problem. A pretty blonde vampire named Harmony has mistaken him for the new Dark Lord. And he didn't correct her.
Warnings: Some spoilers(?) and a little sexy in spots. A bit Au-ish on the Harmony timeline, but the setting is around "Real Me" in Buffy, season 5. Let's pretend Harmony picked up a different gang at first, before getting her other minions. That means, it's a few years after Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.
"…And while highly dangerous to both muggles and wizards, the muggle-born vampire is often of lower intelligence than the wizard-born vampire. These creatures have been known to hunt wizards, knowing full well that their victims are capable of destroying them. Either their pride, their animalistic hunger, or their stupidity leads them to believe themselves truly immortal. However, it has been reported that some specimens have gone to great lengths for self-preservation."-from "Bloody Animals: An Essay on the Behavioral Patterns of Muggle-Born Vampires" by Newt Scamander
There was a little skip in his step as he walked along the sidewalk.
Neville couldn't help it, really. He'd spent so much of his life being bullied, had grown so used to being nervous and timid, that, for most of his childhood, he'd thought he would always be the awkward outcast. Picked last. Worst in class. Never a ladies' man. But, over the past few years, the old Neville had been fading away, leaving room for a confident young man.
A grin spread across his face when he paused beneath the glow of a street lamp to consider whether or not his time would be better spent in a club or a pub. Sure, he was still rot at potion brewing, and he had yet to actually land more than one date with a girl, but things were looking up in life.
He'd stood up for what he believed in, taken part in a battle that avenged his parents and saved most of wizard-kind. And he'd graduated school, which seemed a miracle in itself, leaving his current focus on pursing a career in Herbology
And now he was in the States, taking full advantage of his US apparating permit and visiting a small California town, though the name of it escaped him at the moment. He'd decided on a muggle town, of all places, after reading a book on American muggle behavior during one of the convention's discussions on a particularly boring swamp flower. It was so refreshing to be the dashing foreigner, having pretty girls giggle at his accent and comment on the new, muggle suit he'd bought.
However, it seemed that the universe didn't prefer confidence in their Longbottoms.
The moment he'd lifted his guard, let himself relax, was the very moment he was tackled by a young woman sprinting out of the alley. He was hit with such force that the wand in his pocket flew out, rolling into the street. For a moment, he simply laid there, stunned and staring up at the cascading blond hair falling over her sparkling blue eyes. She looked as surprised as he, and he assumed she might be hurt. Though, how she'd been strong enough to knock him down was confusing… Her charming smile distracted him from that thought. Then those blue eyes disappeared, replaced by an animal's fierce glare. Her brow knotted, fangs sprouting out of a tangle of sharp teeth.
"Oh, lookie, boys," she said, her voice surprisingly peppy. It was the first time Neville realized that she wasn't alone. Three males, all large and fanged, stepped out of the alleyway. "I found us an appetizer."
And then Neville really wished he'd paid more attention in school, when they'd briefly discussed muggle-born vampires.
Thanks for the well-wishes, and I'm glad you found my notes on Wolfsbane disposal useful. Tell Ginny I loved the biscuits, though I do believe there were a few missing from the tin - perhaps the owls at International Postage got a bit peckish?
To answer your question, yes, I've found my tour of the States interesting. However, it had very little to do with the convention in the Everglades. Unfortunately, I ran into a bit of a problem, which is actually why I'm writing you back, because I figured you might have more experience in this than me. Or perhaps not. It's a bit of an odd situation.
I met a girl over the holiday. She's a bit strange. Oh, and she thinks I'm a Dark Lord…
Harmony was unhappy. And an unhappy Harmony led to… well, bad things. She couldn't think of what those bad things might be, but darn it they probably included bloodshed and breaking things. She huffed. First Spike and now these guys. Men, just, just sucked.
"But, you guys.You're supposed to serve me, remember? We talked about this. How I was going to be your leader and stuff and come up with a plan for killing the Slayer."
And yet, they weren't quite listening to her. What was their problem? So, she sent them on errands. So, her plan-making was taking a little longer than she'd anticipated. So, she didn't let them eat everyone they wanted to. So, what?
"I even got you someone to eat." Even she could hear the whine in her voice. She pouted. "Fine, you know what, you're not going to find another master who's as nice as me. Or as pretty. Or who gives such good fashion advice."
Harmony wasn't sure when she'd lost control of the situation. She'd been harping on Doug, her newbie (he'd chipped one of her unicorns) when her guys had gotten a funny look in their eyes. Harmony had started walking a little faster after that, and ran straight into a man standing outside the alley. She'd even offered the poor sap up to Doug, but the guys still had that look. Like they were going to rip out her throat.
This was so not of the good. Her unlife was so unfair.
Harmony had a hard time thinking when she was nervous. She'd tried standing up to them, taking control of the situation, but that hadn't helped. Darn it, those self-help books had totally glossed over the "taking control" part. Just when she was about to make a run for it, she realized her food was easing out of her grasp.
She was about to tease the man for having such a skinny stake when three giant fireballs spouted out of the stick in his hand.
Harmony screamed, falling to the ground beside him, her arms wrapped around her head. But the fire danced out at the three male vampire, as if it had been aimed directly at them. They barely had the chance to cry out before they crumbled to ashes. Harmony knew she didn't have to breath, but she was gasping where she lay, trembling in fear.
Slowly, she looked up, the vampiric deformities of her face smoothing away. The man was staring down at her, a frown on his face, as if he hadn't quite decided what to do with her. The little stick, though, was pointed in her direction.
"Are you going to kill me?" she said, close to tears. "I mean, like, for real?"
The young man's expression softened slightly, but the frown remained.
"How did you do that anyway?" Harmony asked.
He chuckled. "Magic."
An accent. He had an accent. Harmony really liked accents. Even though it reminded her of Spike and she really didn't like Spike at the moment. Then the word caught up with her and she was confused. Harmony had seen magic, of course - hello, Hellmouth here. But she hadn't see anyone shoot fire from a stick. That was just … wow. And suddenly Harmony's eyes widened. Because she realized she'd heard about sorcerers who used wands. Well, ok, maybe she'd only heard a rumor, right after she was turned. And it had something to do with a…
"Are you the Dark Lord?" she breathed, in awe.
He blinked several times.
"Oh my gosh!" she gushed. "You are!"
Then Harmony got an idea. If she couldn't be in charge, the best she could do was serve the most powerful guy in town, right?
Harmony stayed on her knees, clutching at the man's suit jacket. She put on her best seductive pout, batting her eyelashes. "Can I be one of your minions?"
"One of the most fascinating discoveries came from 18th century vampologist, Ruby Scuffletush, who spent her short life observing the hierarchy common in 'families' of vampires. She noted, 'This species occasionally serves one of their own kind who has risen to power, such was the case in the rumored Master vampire of the Western families.' Though Scuffletush died before she could publish further examinations, her notes led later scholars to theorize that the servitude of these 'minion' vampires to a Master was a means for climbing the social ladder of the undead…" -from "Bloody Animals: An Essay on the Behavioral Patterns of Muggle-Born Vampires" by Newt Scamander
Neville found that his new minion had a very nice crypt. Neville winced at the thought, berating himself for referring to Harmony that way. Sure, it was true, but that didn't make it right. The wizard sighed, frustrated with himself.
In all fairness, he hadn't really had a choice at the time.
When he'd seen the way she was looking at him, like she'd do anything for him, "Alright then," had just slipped from his lips, bypassing his brain entirely. And, though he regretted the dishonesty, he hadn't seen a way to back out of the arrangement. If he killed her, he'd feel horrible, and if he didn't, she'd probably run off and murder some poor bloke. But as her Dark Lord, well, he simply told her not to.
And she listened, hanging off his words.
Someone bloody well listened to him, Neville Longbottom. When he told her magic animal blood would make her more powerful, she believed him. When he said she should bide her time before trying to go after this slayer person, whoever that might be, she nodded along, as if it were the wisest of commands. And, of course, there were other perks to being a Dark Lord, too…
Her hand snaked over his bare chest as she pressed a kiss into his shoulder. "How's my magic man?" she purred, playfully biting at his skin.
Neville blushed. Just like he'd done the last three times he'd woken up in the bed beside her.
"Good, my -umm- little vampiric kitten," he tested.
Harmony giggled, her movements telling him that she really liked that nickname. "Master," she said, looking attentive, "can you show me how your wand works again?"
And apparently, she liked playing…games, too.
It was sometime after the last one that Neville, worn out from the past few evenings of playtime, found himself worried. How on earth was he going to get himself out of this situation? And did he even want to? He thought it best to seek advice in the matter, and wrote his old friend Harry.
"… So, any advice you have would be great, mate."
Neville finished up the letter and tucked it away. He'd find an owl in the morning. When he turned around, Harmony was trying on a new set of lingerie, a huge smile on her face when his brow rose. It was a witch costume… Part of one, at the very least. Mainly, though it consisted of a pointy hat and little Victoriana, heeled boots.
Perhaps the letter could wait, just a few more nights. Then Neville had a better idea. He pulled a new sheet of parchment free.
Send Blood Pops.
"If a wizard finds he is unable to defend himself against a vampire using the usual methods, trickery can be his best weapon." -from "Bloody Animals: An Essay on the Behavioral Patterns of Muggle-Born Vampires" by Newt Scamander, expanded by Neville Longbottom