Go Rescue Team!
Disclaimer: I do not own anything to do with Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel the Series or Harry Potter.
Notes: This is a completed fic that was originally posted at Twisting the Hellmouth. There will be differences in this fic compared to what's up at Twisting the Hellmouth as I originally wrote this in under three weeks, and will be editing it as I post it here.
If you have something you'd like to see in a sequel after reading this story, drop me a line. Anyone who does will get special mentions in the sequel.
Magic comes in two varieties, Earth magic and Wand magic.
Earth magic: Generally able to affect multiple targets per spell (or potion). Requires chants or extensive preparation.
Wand magic: Generally only able to affect one target per spell. Fast, pinpoint accuracy.
Wand-wizards can use earth magic and vice-versa. One can be a wand-wizard and an earth-witch, but no such person exists currently, as Wizards don't learn earth magic as such, and no earth witch has received wand-wizard training.
Vampires and Werewolves are the BTVS varieties. Spike and Xander are friends, and Spike uses a myriad of nicknames. If you can't deal with Spike calling Xander 'pet' and not shagging him, run away now.
Underlined sections in this chapter are directly quoted from Goblet of Fire.
June 24, 1995 Little Hangleton
Not that anything had exactly been going right since his name came out of the bloody Goblet, but things really, really, really started going bad the second Harry and Cedric touched the cup.
They landed more or less in a heap in a godawful, overgrown graveyard. Every instinct Harry had was screaming at him, to the point where he almost cut loose with a highly sarcastic remark when Cedric recommended they take out their wands. It hadn't helped that his had already been mostly drawn. And then Harry spotted a short, cloaked figure carrying what looked like a bundle of rags. Half a second later, his world erupted into agonizing pain, emanating from his scar. He curled up in a ball, clawing and pressing at his forehead in a vain attempt to mitigate or stop the pain, completely unaware he dropped his wand in the process.
There was only ever one reason his thrice-damned scar hurt, but Harry was in no condition at the moment to think clearly. His scar hadn't hurt this bad even when he'd been nose-to-nose with Voldemort in first year.
And then, while Harry was crippled with pain, he heard an uncomfortably familiar-sounding voice snarl "Kill the spare." ... and seconds later, Cedric died in a frighteningly familiar flash of green. Moments after that, the mystery person was all over Harry, dragging him ... well, somewhere. Harry tried to fight, despite the fact it felt like his head was about to fall off. In the scuffle, the person's hood fell back, and for half a second, Harry was frozen by a combination of disbelief and blinding hate and rage. Peter!
Unfortunately, his hesitation was long enough for Peter to slam him against a headstone bearing a very familiar name and start tying him up. Soon enough, Harry was hogtied nice and tight, and Peter was cramming a gag in his mouth. As soon as he was secured, a ginormous snake slithered into view and circled the headstone lazily. Peter took off out of Harry's line of sight.
Then Peter came back within Harry's range of vision, and Harry saw him pushing a stone cauldron to the fooot of the grave. It was full of what seemed to be water - Harry could hear it slopping around - and it was larger than any cauldron Harry had ever used; a great stone belly large enough for a full-grown man to sit in.
Harry was very, very much not liking where all of this seemed to be going. Voldemort was somewhere close by, and Peter was definitely up to no good. This ... was not going to end well. Harry watched as Peter fussed with his wand at the base of the cauldron for a minute before managing to light it. Shortly after that, much to Harry's relief, the huge snake slithered back into the darkness that had seemingly spawned it.
The liquid in the cauldron seemed to heat very fast. The surface began to not only bubble, but to send out fiery sparks, as though it were on fire. Steam was thickening, blurring the outline of Peter tending the fire.
Ok, definitely not water then. Water did not do that. Harry's horrified fascination with the potion was interrupted when the bundle near the cauldron moved ... and spoke, telling Peter to hurry. Harry stared at the bundle in horror. Oh hell no. THAT was Voldemort? Somewhere in that pile of cloth? Crap, crap, and triple crap. This was not going to end well.
The whole surface of the 'water' was alight with sparks now. It might have been encrusted with diamonds.
Peter turned to the bundle and picked it up, pulling something out of the cloth, a horrifying, malformed, scabrous mockery of an infant that turned Harry's stomach. Peter didn't look any more thrilled to be having to touch it than Harry felt having to see the thing. Peter dropped it into the 'water' and Harry sent up a silent prayer that the thing would do the world a favor and drown.
Peter pulled his wand out and closed his eyes. He sounded scared out of his mind as he spoke. "Bone of the father unknowingly given, you will renew your son."
The earth beneath Harry's feet heaved and tore before a bone broke through the earth and floated over to the cauldron before being dropped in. The diamond surface of the 'water' broke and hissed; it sent sparks in all directions and turned a vivid, poisonous-looking blue.
Peter's voice went from scared out of his mind to whimpering, almost crying as he pulled a long, thin silver dagger out of his robes and held his right arm out over the potion. Harry realized what he was going to do a half-second later and squeezed his eyes shut in horror.
"Flesh of the servant willingly sacrificed, you will revive your master."
Harry was none too sure that Pettigrew sounded willing. Peter let out a god-awful noise of pain and there was a plopping thud as something landed in the potion. Harry couldn't stand to look, but the potion had turned a burning red; the light of it shone through his eyelids.
Peter, gasping, moaning and crying, headed for Harry. Harry, his eyes still clamped shut, didn't realize he was there until Peter was on top of him. Harry opened his eyes in time to watch Peter slash Harry's robe and shirtsleeve open with the bloodstained dagger. Harry gave a convulsive, horrified shudder when he realized that Peter's right hand was missing. Peter sliced into Harry's arm just below the elbow, and fumbled a bit, putting the dagger away and pulling a vial out of a pocket one-handed. He let some of Harry's blood dribble into the vial and then headed back to the potion and dumped the blood in.
"Blood of the enemy, forcibly taken, you will resurrect your foe."
The liquid within the cauldron turned, instantly, a blinding white. Peter collapsed to his knees and then keeled over on his side, clutching his bleeding stump to his chest and whimpering in earnest.
The cauldron was simmering, sending its diamond sparks in all directions, so blindingly bright that it turned all else into velvety blackness. And then suddenly, the sparks emanating from the cauldron were extinguished. A surge of white steam billowed thicklyfrom the cauldron instead, obliterating everything in front of Harry, so he couldn't see Peter or Cedric or anything but vapor hanging in the air.
But then, through the mist in front of him, he saw, with an icy surge of terror, the dark outline of a man, tall and skeletally thin, rising slowly from inside the cauldron.
Voldemort was back ... and Harry knew his life was never going to be the same again.
New Watcher's Council Headquarters, England
The Magic Detection Net was Willow Rosenberg's pride and joy, and had been a project nearly two full years in the making. It monitored for the use of dark earth magic. Anything beyond a certain level would trip the net, hopefully forewarning the NWC of any magic-based troublemakers before they could really get their groove on. In the year it'd been online, it had already alerted them to some half-dozen cases.
And it was squawking again. Willow frowned when the coordinates came up on her computer. All the other cases had been close to one or another of the Hellmouths, indicating baddies trying to open the damned things or taking advantage of the atmosphere endemic to Hellmouths. This one ... was right here in England. Who was doing what, and why? Willow grabbed the phone.
"Dawn, we've got a live one." Willow rattled off the coordinates.
"Got it. A team'll be en route in five." Dawn told her, and then hung up.
June 25 - July 10, 1995 New Watcher's Council
The investigating team only just avoided being spotted by several very oddly-dressed individuals who all seemed intent on investigating the area themselves. That started a whole lot of digging. And the more they dug, the more they discovered. The more they discovered, the more irritated Giles got. And then they hit the mother lode, and Giles very nearly cleaned his glasses into nonexistence trying to keep his temper in check.
How had they missed this? An entire society hidden from sight ... it was the sort of thing that the Council really should have ... and then Giles sighed. They probably had known, but the old Council being the way they were, they'd likely kept the information quiet. Times like this, Giles dearly wished Travers had survived the purge, just so he could use the man as a punching bag. Well, they needed to do something.
This Voldemort character was unlikely to stop at his stated goal of ruling the magical world, and from what the research teams had dug up, the bastard had not kept his vendetta to the magical world the first time around, killing and torturing non-magicals pretty much at will. Worse, there were indications these people were aware to some degree of things demonic. If Voldemort decided to try to make allies out of any of the more dangerous demons, well then, he would definitely be in their purview. And if there was one thing no one in the New Watcher's Council would stand for, it was a kid being manipulated, brainwashed, and generally treated like a disposable commodity.
While the situation wasn't, exactly, within their normal purview yet, there was a prophecy involved, and a dark magic practitioner that would need dealing with, one way or another. That there did not seem to be anyone in the wizarding community who could stop the bastard, short of a nearly-fifteen-year-old-boy helped matters. It was stretching the Council remit until it squeaked, but they'd be able to make it fit. Especially if they could get the right people in there.
And when there was a prophecy that needed to be broken into itty bitty pieces ... there was really only one person to call. Giles grabbed the phone and punched one of the speed dial numbers. When the phone was answered on the other end, he said. "Come back to England with the next Slayer you collect."
"Retiring us from field work finally, Giles?" the voice on the other end of the line asked, sounding both exasperated and amused.
"No. I need you two for a mission here in England." Giles told them. "It's something that needs your particular brand of problem solving."
There was laughter from the other end of the line. "Explosions and bloody deaths? Well, if you insist. We're almost to the next village, should be in England in the next day or two." And the line went dead.
July 12, 1995 New Watcher's Council
Xander sat at the table across from Giles, while Spike slouched in the seat next to him. A slim folder was in front of them, holding what information the research teams had been able to put together about both the wizarding world and one Harry Potter. Xander picked the folder up and looked down at the pages within for a few moments before throwing the file back down onto the table and looking over at Giles.
"Let me get this straight. Some idiot does some mojo that Willow gets a whiff of while I'm off in Africa collecting Slayers. You poke around and find a bunch of idiots in dresses running and hiding from some moron who doesn't know when to die, and they're putting a kid younger than I was when I found out about vamps on the front line ... and you want us to help them?"
Giles cleared his throat. "No, Xander. I want you to help the boy. This Harry Potter. He's getting little to no help from those around him from what we've been able to discover." Then, with a pained look. "And if there is anyone who can break the prophesy, it would be you."
Spike smirked. "Yeah, pet. Not like you don't make a habit of doing that."
Xander resisted the temptation to smack Spike and sighed. "You would say that, Giles. All right, damn it. We're in. I've always wanted a chance to give an entire society a headache." He grinned. "But I doubt they're going to much like it, or thank you for sending us." He could just imagine their reaction to having a vampire running around. Ought to be all sorts of fun.
July 14, 1995 Privet Drive
Xander glared at the house he had been watching all day. He and Spike were packed into an attic across the street, a few houses down. Giles so owed them for this. He'd been hard-put to not bash heads together since about an hour into watching #4. The Dursleys, the people that Potter was staying with, treated the kid worse than Tony had ever treated him. That in and of itself had Xander pissed off for Harry's sake. It really didn't help that something about the place was setting off Xander's hellmouth radar. But what had Xander seething were the other people.
He and Spike had strolled down the street a little before dawn this morning to check things out. They'd detected at least three people hiding under some sort of cloth or cloak or something of that nature. He and Spike both had been able to smell one of them, who'd smelled like he was fresh from a three-day bender, and Spike had been able to smell and hear the other two, so even if neither of them could see anything, they'd been able to pinpoint where the three were.
Spike was, if anything, even less happy about what they'd found out than he was. Big Bad reputation aside, Spike had as dim a view of people hurting kids (especially ones under his protection) as Xander did. Xander'd been rather grateful both for the sunlight and the fact he hadn't yet given Spike a certain new toy Willow had created for the vampire. It kept Spike from going over there and doing something drastic, like draining the Dursleys and the hidden watchers dry. Though the two of them had had a lot of fun coming up with increasingly painful ways to teach the bastards the error of their ways.
From everything Giles had put together, these people were evidently supposedly here for the kid's protection ... and yet, they did not intervene. Xander clearly saw bruises on the kid when he came out this morning to do the gardening. Fresh bruises that were far, far too dark to have possibly come from anything that happened during the school year, given that two weeks had passed since then. And the kid held himself rather stiffly, which probably meant bruises in places other than face and arms, if not worse than that. He couldn't wait until sundown. That was when Operation Rescue Harry Potter would begin.
Finally, the sun went down. Xander grinned over at Spike, who'd been in the darkest corner of the attic while they waited for the sun to go down. "Let's roll. One of the twits went home, so there's only two down there. I got dibs on Stinky." Stinky being the only one Xander'd be able to find and fight without Spike's assistance, given their preference for staying invisible. Spike grinned evilly and gave Xander a mock salute as they clambered out onto the roof. He leapt down to the ground and seemed to melt into the darkness.
Xander grumbled as he had to shimmy down a drainpipe to reach the ground. "Showoff." There was no real acrimony in his tone, since the good alone knew that Spike's ability to disappear into the night had saved their bacon more than once over the last three years. Besides, Xander had finally come to terms with the fact that he wasn't a super-powered fighter, knowing he made contributions to the cause in other ways.
Locating Stinky was easy enough ... the bastard still smelled like a three-day-bender. Xander didn't even need to get downwind of him to pinpoint his location. And clearly the bastard was paying zero attention to anything, as Xander was able to sneak up on him without him even noticing. The toughest part was figuring out where the guy's head was at, exactly, but then he was kind enough to belch, giving Xander the information he needed. One full-strength punch (and some bruised knuckles) later, and the guy was out like a light.
He heard a faint bit of scuffling from the other side of the house, indicating that Spike hadn't quite been as lucky with his target, but there was no outcry, and Spike soon came around the corner, looking pleased with himself. "Got 'er. Better get in there, pet. Kid's heart's rabbiting something fierce."
"Right. Rescue ahoy." Xander said, then headed for the front door. It was the work of but a few moments to jimmy the lock with his lockpicking kit, and then he slipped in, grimacing in distaste both at the decor and the increased sense of something being 'wrong' here.
He got part of his answer as to the source of the wrongness when he got up the stairs and spotted the kid's room door. He turned on a penlight, just to be sure he'd seen what he thought he'd seen. There were about a half dozen locks on the door, and a cat flap at the bottom. Pissed as hell didn't even begin to cover Xander's reaction.
"What. The. Fuck."
Xander had a hard time restraining the urge to go into the adults' bedroom and do something exceedingly rash. Only the faint sounds of movement in the room stopped him. Xander paused a moment to consider. Harry had been through hell the last few years, but he was a survivor. Xander's entrance into the house hadn't exactly been totally silent and unseen, so the odds were good the kid had seen or heard something. Now, if Xander put himself in the kid's place ... ten to one said the kid was going to at least attempt to defend himself. Best at least try to let the kid know he wasn't a bad guy before he started on the locks and headed in there.
"Harry, I promise you I mean you no harm. Can I open the door without you walloping me?"
There was a long hesitation, like the kid was thinking it over, before he got a somewhat hesitant sounding "Yeah."