Encountering Oz: A Magical Detour

Author's Note: In the process of establishing the rules by which the Twilight and Harry Potter universes interact throughout my crossover stories, I've had occasion to create a number of smaller what-if storyettes… through which I've more thoroughly explored various aspects and possibilities of this united reality. I call them alternate universe tangents (AUTs) of my primary crossover story (Essentially Magical), being as none of them are actually a part of or particularly compatible with its storyline… and yet they each provide an interesting perspective on what perhaps could-have-been. This was the first. I hope you enjoy it!

To set the stage: Unlike EM, this storyette takes place at an imaginary point in time immediately following the Spring Break of OOTP, when Umbridge is in attendance yet Dumbledore is still the acting Headmaster of Hogwarts. As well: owing to the final recollections of various portrait characters (who have been able to give first-hand accounts of their battles-to-the-death), wizards in this storyette do know enough about the characteristics of undead vampires to be able to recognize them on sight (if they are vigilant)… and to know that no spell that makes contact with their skin- or any other of the typically assumed defenses- will be effective. Magical society doesn't know much more about them than this, however (since no living wizard has met one in person, and there are none in portrait form), and thus remains much more familiar with (and inclined to remember) characteristics of the biologically viable (and much less dangerous) vampire species indigenous to their community. In any case, since the use of protective shields during combat is only as effective, against an undead vampire, as the same would be when used against the killing curse (which means: they aren't effective), the maintenance of illusory wards- preventing the admission of human-drinking creatures into their domain- remains a wizard's only known defense.

* * * Arriving at Hogwarts * * *

On the way home from Volterra via London, while Alice is off doing some quick shopping for Edward (who has yet to shed the Volturi cloak, and instead has found the hood begrudgingly useful for protection from the morning sunlight), he and Bella find themselves walking down a sidewalk on their way back to the airport- when a commotion catches their attention.

Apparently, a desperately confused newborn vampire (currently standing in the shadows of the concealed dead-end alley he calls home) is threatening a trio of redheaded teenagers with sticks- who've recently happened in upon him. Strangely, though they've somehow recognized him for what he is because of his bright red eyes, and have confidently backed themselves into the lone sunlit corner in order to escape their predator- they also are desperately confused as to the atypical aspects of his appearance and demeanor. (Apparently, they are already familiar with the idea that classical vampires do in fact exist within their magical community- and have supposed him to be one of them.) Laser-like lights and other magical defenses exploding from their wands are frantically being shot off towards their attacker- albeit with little to no physical effect. The only thing truly holding the newborn back from giving in to his thirst completely, is his own naïve fear of being burned by the sunlight.

All this is recognized as they're passing by the shadowed alley entrance, and so- as the newborn catches wind of Bella's scent, suddenly Edward has to intervene. The two vampires lock eyes as Edward turns down the narrow street and walks carefully toward him… shrouded in the darkness of his cloak and growling inaudibly in warning. The newborn is terrified of his imposing visage, having previously heard tell of the fierce Italian cloaked guard. All the while, Edward warily maintains a hold on Bella's hand behind him until he is close enough to shunt her to the side- right next to where the young witch and her taller twin brothers are standing. He can tell they will attempt to protect her from the hostile vampire's attack as well.

What he doesn't anticipate, however, is how they will do it. As soon as his attention is necessarily returned to the newborn in front of him, the two teenage wizards each imagine a place called Hogsmeade- and promptly disappear from the alley… taking their underage sister, and Bella, along with them. The magical humans had been glad of the distraction Edward provided- although terrified that it had come in the form of what they assumed must be another vampire (as suggested by the ominous dark cloak he wore, and the intimidating impression he'd made on the demeanor of his peer; though they couldn't actually tell anything else about him)- and were quick to take the opportunity to flee back towards their school, where they would feel protected. They couldn't in good conscience leave Bella behind.

Unsurprisingly, the situation in the alley quickly diffuses after that, and Edward is able to properly introduce himself to the nervous new vampire… and allay his fears. Alice joins them both shortly thereafter, bringing new clothes with her, and thoughtfully comforts Edward with the assurance that he will be able to locate the magical boarding school they are taking Bella to. Obviously, reuniting with Bella is now his primary concern.

As he's buttoning up his new shirt, though, her brother's secondary relief at the welcome change of attire is so amusedly pronounced that Alice sees fit to tease him about how quickly he shed the cloak. "Was it itchy or something?" she asks him innocently… knowing all the while that itchiness is in fact a human ailment that vampires don't suffer from.

Edward smiles wryly at her teasing: "Only the invisible writing that says 'Volturi' all over it."

Her tinkling laugh rings through the alley, and the newborn's wariness is much relieved by their evident friendliness. After a few more words between them, of a coordinating nature, Edward politely takes his leave and follows after Bella, alone.

Being that the end of Forks High School's spring break is also the end of Hogwarts' spring break, and there is evidently a train station located within Hogsmeade (as had been clear in the young wizards' recollections), it is reasonable to assume that a number of students will be returning to the school via train. Thus, Edward's first stop is the local station. Once there, he finds it easy enough to figure out how to get onto the magical platform by paying attention to their thoughts… and discreetly chooses a solitary compartment to make the journey in. No one sees him enter.

Over time as he listens in, it becomes evident that while this society is thoroughly convinced that vampires exist, they seem to have a decidedly classical and less-than-fatal mental picture of them. Characteristics such as fangs, red bloodshot eyes (as different than red irises), and a gaunt no-more-than-human beauty don't particularly suggest an image that they might confuse him with. However, the simple fact that these people are part of a more supernaturally aware society suggests that he won't want to bring undue attention to himself. It's a good thing that he's only going to be here long enough to retrieve Bella. In the meantime, their thoughts do provide a fascinating look into a community he's never encountered before.

A few hours later, the train stops in Hogsmeade station and the students' thoughts give him a clear idea of the way up to Hogwarts castle. Faster than the wind, he runs up to it sight unseen- stopping only just before entering the massive front doors, in order to seamlessly mingle with the small crowd trickling into the Great Hall. That's where Bella is, after all, and she has been waiting for him for long enough. In fact, she's only still here because they haven't been sure what to do with her. She is believed to be an unremarkable muggle, and yet they haven't been able to erase her memories. (! Edward necessarily suppresses a growl at this fact, just knowing that they've tried.) Evidently wizardkind has a secrecy code to uphold- as well as he does- and she's seen too much. At the same time, being that she is also just a random person off the streets (as far as they know), neither can they trust her to be motivated or informed enough to keep their secret. They don't know what to do about it. Hopefully, by posing as an out-of-town wizard friend of hers, he'll be able to address this issue briefly with the headmaster and promptly take her away without incident.

Edward makes it almost halfway up to the head table (which Bella is sitting at one end of, resting with her head laid down upon her arms in exhaustion), before alarm suddenly begins to spread among the residents. Apparently, upon their return- the three students from the alley had promptly shared the confusing details of their experience with a few of their more academically adept peers… and ultimately formulated a new theory: that they might have in fact been dealing with a member of the Undead Vampire species, rather than the wizarding world's indigenous (and comparatively harmless) variety. Consequently, they've all just finished giving themselves a refresher course on U-Vampire identification and response tactics, and had been primed and inclined to watch out for the set of species characteristics matching his own.

As soon as the first one of them whispers the word 'vampire' upon seeing his unfamiliarly black-eyed, pale, and inhumanly beautiful face- and others begin to take up the call in growing dismay and panic once they realize he is one of the lethal undead- their thoughts show Edward only now that his presence within the bounds of this castle's protected grounds was previously believed to be impossible. Having inexplicably lost the heretofore unfailing protection of wards they've religiously maintained against the threat of his kind, they now know of no effective defense against him. It would seem they are going to have a mass panic on their hands in very short order- very possibly extending throughout the entire wizarding world- if he doesn't stick around long enough to give them an explanation. They are feeling extremely vulnerable.

Edward sighs, as he continues walking with inconspicuous vigilance. He didn't mean to do this to them! The situation is suddenly so much more precarious than it had been- and with everyone so dangerously aware, his body is tense with both worry and wariness. But then, in response to their rumors he sees Bella lift her weary head and look at him- a happy grin immediately gracing her face- and all the rest doesn't matter for the moment. He smiles back at her, pleased to be nearly back with her again.

Author's Note: This storyette is just for fun. Although I had difficulty initially figuring out how Edward could ever be able to justify walking into such a precarious situation in quite this fashion, thus innocently becoming the cause of such a widespread panic, the what-if scenario that came of it was just too good to pass up!

FYI: This story is mostly but not quite finished being written. I anticipate about 11 chapters total (possibly more), and 8 of them are complete.

Thanks be to Stephenie Meyer and J. K. Rowling for writing the wonderful series this story is founded upon!

And finally: thanks for reading, I hope you've enjoyed it, and please review!