Harry Potter crossovers are a disease and authors who engage in them need help. Now.
Thanks to GlenPoint for catching a massive continuity error.
Twilight has been dragged into line with the HP timeline - not that it matters much, beyond any technology they own now being from the 90s.
A minor, but important, shift is the date of Isabella Swan's arrival in Forks. In canon it was the 17th of January. For this story it was the 29th of June.
Canon time restrictions are in play, making this story both shorter than expected and a little cramped. Ideally, what unfolds would do so over several months - not several weeks. This has in turn shaped the story itself, which actually turned out to be to my liking - I hope it is to yours as well. Fans of romance? You're not gonna see much here. In fact, I'd venture to say non-shippers could safely read it.
Dishes clacked gently against each other as Harry moved one plate into the rinsing tub with slow movements, heedless of the scalding hot water.
He was listening to the news playing in the background, one of many attempts to keep his mind off the absolute balls-up that was his Fifth Year.
The Dursleys never let the news play past half-seven, when their favourite soap started. Try as he might, Harry simply couldn't lose himself in that drivel.
"And now, an update on the Forks situation. Earlier this week we reported that there had been a shooting at an American school in the state of Washington. Believed at the time to be a student killer similar to the Columbine situation, we now have information that paints an even more terrifying conclusion. Chris Redford is at the scene. Chris?"The next few words were overridden by Vernon's loud opinion that the 'Yankee brats probably deserved it'.
"-some people now are saying that they heard screams during the day, but that the screams were short and singular affairs – nothing indicating mass terror, or indeed anything beyond teenagers being naturally noisy."
"Are you telling me that people heard screams and nobody called the police or thought it strange?" The anchorwoman repeated leadingly.
"That's right, Jane. There was no investigation. It wasn't until the end of the day when some local parents came to collect their children that the scene of.. of carnage.. was discovered."
"Now, we do have some images to display of the school, I believe.. Yes. Channel 4 wishes to advise its viewers that the images about to be displayed are disturbing and that all children or people likely to be offended should please leave the room now. ...Alright, they are going on screen now..."
...Alright, they are going on screen now..."Harry finished cleaning the dishes and dipped his hands into the hot rinsing water to lift the plates out onto the dish rack.
He tried not to wonder if Death Eaters were targeting Muggles outside Europe now.
"Truly some horrific images. You can see blood all over the floor and even on the walls... bodies everywhere, many with their throats slashed open.. their faces have been blurred due to the majority of them being minors, of course. Chris, what's the update on finding whoever committed this atrocity?" "Well, Jane, the current forensic information is that there were no signs of gunfire at "Were there any survivors?" "No, uh, only seven students and one member of staff were absent that day. All other staff and students perished." "Hmm.. truly a terrible thing. Thank you, Chris. Please keep us updated." "Thank you, Jane, I will." "Hmm. Our hearts here at Channel 4 go out to the grieving family members of all those young victims." "Coming up after the break, accusations of infidelity in the conservative party, we name names and-"
"Well, Jane, the current forensic information is that there were no signs of gunfire atall.. uh, it seems that most students died via knife wounds to the throat – the forensics are specifying that the blades were very fine and sharp and the similarity of the wounds is suspect – that is to say, it suggests this wasn't a crime of rage or impulse. Uh, based on the number of victims and lack of noise, it's speculated that a whole team of people were involved in this massacre, a brutally efficient task force of killers. There have been rumours that the killings were cult-related, but, uh, we don't know much more at this time."
"Were there any survivors?"
"No, uh, only seven students and one member of staff were absent that day. All other staff and students perished."
"Hmm.. truly a terrible thing. Thank you, Chris. Please keep us updated."
"Thank you, Jane, I will."
"Hmm. Our hearts here at Channel 4 go out to the grieving family members of all those young victims."
"Coming up after the break, accusations of infidelity in the conservative party, we name names and-"
The television clicked as Petunia switched over to EastEnders.
Harry stared at the dishes on the rack and left them for Petunia.
Death couldn't be escaped, even in the Muggle world.
'Once it is recognised that taste is dependent not on the item we place in our mouths, but how our taste buds perceive that item, we can-'
Loud trucks interrupted his train of thought. Glancing out the window, Harry watched as two large moving vans slowly navigated Privet Drive, steering cautiously around the parked cars. Behind the moving vans, two dark-tinted rental cars followed closely. The small caravan passed his window and he could hear them slowing down as they reached the end of the cul-de-sac. When the engines switched off he returned his attention to his potions essay.
'-we can adjust potions to appeal to our taste buds, regardless of the potion's original physical and chemical makeup.'
He hesitated over using the 'Muggle terms' that Snape mocked whenever Hermione dared to use them, but frankly it wasn't until he started thinking of potions as chemistry that it made any sense to him.
Potions just seemed to be so very, very old-fashioned, with arbitrary associations of compatible and non-compatible materials. All of his current potion books were full of the results of experimentation with the logic behind them often being childishly simple - like moonstones holding lunar properties and thus used in wolfsbane potion even though it essentially was just a rock that looked moon-like. It could easily be called pearl-stone or something and be utterly disregarded as an option.
There had been more than a few Muggleborns who had attempted to use Muggle science to understand and create new potions but who were scorned or worse for their beliefs. Only a handful of their greatest discoveries were acknowledged at all, and were often stolen by their colleagues – or so Hermione had ranted to him in a letter.
Harry had received that letter on the third day of the holidays, along with a few books bearing her name on the inside cover page, via Muggle post. The letter had opened with Hermione's plans for her summer assignments and closed with the warning that owl post had been forbidden for use for 'security reasons'. Hermione had sent Ron a letter explaining to him how to use the Muggle post, but wasn't really holding out hope for the redhead.
The letter also contained a stark warning against abuse of the books she was lending him, including the precise hexes she'd use on the train come September should there be any damage. Paradoxically, the warning made him feel good. It felt like a promise, a 'I might not be there, but I'm thinking of you.'
The books themselves were mostly on practical topics, the girl knowing that Harry had absolutely no interest in the theory of magic nor how arithmancy was built into the world. Thusly, she'd sent books titled: 'Brewing up Trouble: Potions for Pranks', '10 minutes or less! Potions for the busy wizard!'. (Handily, none of them needed any form of 'silly wand-waving'.) Harry set them on his dusty bookshelf, next to 'Sleight-of-hand and other wandless magiks' and 'A complete magical atlas'.
Right now he was sitting at his desk, trying to work out how his potions essay could contain the most heretic information possible. He didn't expect to have the grades to get into Potions next year, but even if he did... just the thought of it made him shake with anger.
He couldn't imagine a year sitting before the sneering, gloating, smug sonofabitch Severus Snape. He wouldn't even do the essay at all, except if he didn't, Snape would have a golden invitation to drop him in detention for even more one-on-one smugness. Snape couldn't, however, punish him for a properly-thought-out and researched essay
'This essay will draw from magical and Muggle research to demonstrate how inferior all current potion experimentation methods are and the inefficiency of so-called 'Potion Masters'
He glared at the door of his room but knew better than to yell back. Sighing, he threw his pen down and went to see what his Aunt wanted.
The next day, Privet Drive was abuzz with news of the new family that had moved in at number 11. Harry scrubbed the front steps and tried to ignore Mrs Next Door gossipping with a very giggly Aunt Petunia about the 'magnificent specimen of a man' Doctor Cullen and his 'pretty in a plain sort of way, don't you know' wife.
Obviously, this meant the lady in question was pretty enough to inspire a certain level of jealousy amongst the housewives of Privet Drive.
The conversation turned towards Mrs Cullen's extensive renovation of her new home, using her 'delightfully dutiful' children to do the work in both her home and garden. As number 11 was right at the end of the cul-de-sac and had a bit of a bigger garden than normal, the whole street was interested in watching it change.
Harry rather thought that if they had any sense at all, they'd be installing one-way windows and tall fences.
Unfortunately, the Cullen's exciting new changes meant a storm of me-too-ing from all the other residents. Mrs Next Door was planning to import a Japanese cherry tree to squeeze into her front yard and Mrs Across The Road was apparently hiring a gardener to build some sort of fancy fountain involving wind chimes and tiers.
This, his Aunt and Mrs Next Door agreed, was clearly missing the point and thus didn't count.
Aunt Petunia declined to say what she had planned but Harry knew whatever it was would be his responsibility. He was the one, after all, who had tended to her award-winning flowerbeds his whole life. He was the one who paved the front path, who mowed the lawn, who painted the fence and pruned and shaped the hedges. He had no doubt that he would be the one shouldering any actual labour this time as well.
He got up to hose off the steps – no water ban this summer. Like an omen of the dark days to come, the season was muggy, misty and frequently rainy.
He finished up and headed inside to his essay just as Petunia skillfully investigated the current 'welcome to the neighbourhood's' attempts of her social competitors. She liked to see which foods had seen success before she made her own attempt - she also believed the delay showed her to be a welcoming neighbour and not a desperate gossipmonger.
Just as he was working on a particularly snide paragraph comparing metric measurements to non-specific measurements such as 'a pinch', he was called down again to help bake chocolate and orange poppyseed cakes. Once they were out of the oven he was sent back upstairs whilst the Dursleys waddled out of the house to go make like nice normal neighbours.
In the mood for a change and a little restless, he settled on the stairs with his book on wandless not-really-magic. When the Dursleys returned less than half an hour later he didn't stick around to hear them break it down. Hoping for the best (that is, to not be bothered for the rest of the night), he went to bed.
He dreamt about falling and eyes that no longer twinkled with patience and secrets. He dreamt about evil under his skin and woke up with bright pink lines all down his arms and belly.
With pre-dawn touching the edges of the smoggy sky he opened his borrowed magical atlas and tried to lose himself in a daydream of a future beyond the war.
Of a life beyond the next year.
It was misting lightly as Emmett turned on to Privet Drive. He had been taking a walk to get away from the maddeningly close quarters at home. After years of living in a spacious house with the freedom to leap into the trees and go running or hunting or just get some privacy, moving to the stifling suburb of Surrey was testing all of their patience.
Even Rosalie was something to avoid at the moment. She alone of the five of them had resisted the lure of blood when Edward lost control. At the first whiff of human blood Jasper had rapidly lost the plot and when the two of them splashed blood everywhere Alice and Emmett had wavered from trying to stop them to competing with them for the long-desired food.
Rosalie had fought off her own desires with a combination of rage at their actions and sheer bloody-mindedness. She'd been vicious in her treatment of them since, smashing Emmett's game system to fragments, kicking Edward's piano into splinters and laying all possible consequences of their actions on them without pause.
Carlisle had had to work hard to calm her enough to get their most valuable items packed and all of them on the next plane out. There had been no witnesses left alive to their actions, but none of them wanted to risk the Volturi using it as an excuse to bring them in and so they'd fled.
None of their known houses had been an option and trackers could find them anywhere if they'd stayed on the same continent... so they'd picked a random part of a heavily-populated area known for gloomy weather and moved right in
Jasper wasn't allowed to leave the house. Edward was punishing himself in a way only the King of Emos could manage and didn't have to be confined at all.
Alice and he were allowed to go out but they were being 'home schooled' until at least the next year. The official story was something about culture shock, but really it was because none of them knew if they'd still be here by then. The Volturi might find them, Jasper might lose it so close to people - hell any of them might find a Singer here! He himself had a lousy record for Singers. It was one of the reasons he couldn't find it in himself to fault Edward for his actions.
Besides, Edward was faulting himself enough as it was.
Alice wasn't much better. She hadn't stopped beating herself up over the whole thing, fairly or not. She hadn't seen it, not even a glimpse, and that shook her to the core.
And Jasper? That poor guy sealed up his window on the first day and never budged from his room 'just in case'. They were buying cold blood from some butcher contact of Carlisle's and every day one of them shoved some through his door. (And he meant through. Rosalie couldn't be bothered to knock and leave it outside, thus the door now had a can-shaped hole punched through it at floor level.)
Rosalie was giving them all the silent, angry contemptuous treatment, going out alone for some serious shopping therapy. Frankly, he pitied the staff of whatever store she went in to. No matter how much she spent, nothing was worth Rosalie in a rage.
A scuffling noise to his right drew automatic attention. In miserable weather like this, most humans were inside with closed drapes and lights on to give the illusion of comfort. Those who had to be outside were wearing raincoats like his and hurrying with heads bent.
Some weirdo on his street was gardening.
Too bored to pass it up, he crossed the street and wandered over to have a look.
A skinny kid with pitch black hair was diligently going at the lawn with a shovel, punching through the tough clay-like soil and shifting it into a waiting wheelbarrow. A pile to the side was covered by a tarp but clearly indicated a stack of equipment.
Emmett leant against the fence and watched curiously.
The kid kept working, showing no sign of awareness save a tightening of muscles across his arms and shoulders. Amused, Emmett kept watching, waiting to see when he'd snap.
Impressively, the skinny brat continued to ignore him for almost twenty minutes before turning unexpectedly green eyes to him and glaring.
"Whatcha doin?" He enquired, playing up the drawl.
Hey, entertainment was hard to find in this place! Especially after Rosalie crushed his new PS2 underfoot with a steely look in her eye.
"Paying for your sins." The boy snapped back unexpectedly and Emmett felt himself freeze for a second, reminded sharply of all the children he'd killed recently. He almost stood up and left right then and there, struck by the sudden notion of killing this child too. With human blood fresh in his belly, the urge was harder to ignore.
He tried to remind himself that a little stick-thin kid like Blackie there wouldn't provide much of a snack - or fight. Unfortunately, all that conjured was the increased awareness of how easily that thin little body could be held close, drunk dry and dropped into a muddy grave pre-dug right here in front of him...
In the end, it wasn't the thought of his family's safety or even Rosalie's rage that stayed his hand. It was his own sense of self-disgust at loosing control again – and without even the prompt of fresh blood to scent.
...Maybe he needed to start drinking more (yuck) of that cold blood shit.
He cleared his throat and tried to ignore how there'd been a very awkward pause in the conversation - and how the kid was now staring at him with a mixture of nervousness and... aggression, oddly enough.
"How so?" He asked in an attempt at casual, shifting his gaze from the tempting 10-second snack in front of him to the varying damage done to the front yard.
Slowly, the kid got back to work.
"Your Mum is having her garden re-done, yes?" He asked around shovel strikes. "Therefore everyone else on the street must do the same or better or risk loosing their social status."
The kid gave a particularly vicious chop to a large root that had crept in from next door.
"But... why are you doing this shit in the rain?" Emmett asked, slowly grinning in shameless amusement.
The kid tossed long hair heavy with moisture out of his eyes and glared – again.
"Because obviously, I have nothing better to do with my life." He ground sarcastically. "Obviously I'm immune to silly things like colds and pneumonia. Obviously homework isn't as important as getting one up on the neighbours and obviously working through the rain is the best way of showing them up!"
At the end of his little rant, the teenager threw down the shovel in disgust, glanced reflexively at the front window of the house, then stepped squishily over to the tarp and rummaged underneath for a thin sandwich. He didn't seem to care that the light rain was soaking into it as he ate slowly.
Again, Emmett just watched with a smile. This was the most entertainment he'd probably get before they got cable installed.
"Well seeing as it's obviously our fault.." He mocked lightly. "Want a hand?"
"No!" The boy snapped, fingers tightening on the sandwich so much it almost tore in half.
"Thank you." He added a second later, calming down a little.
"We've only got one shovel anyway." He added as weak justification.
Emmett didn't push. Sometimes he forgot how nervous humans got around him, even when he wasn't actively trying to scare or hunt them.
Sometimes, survival instincts just wouldn't be ignored.
"Alright, well.. I'd better get back, I guess." He said reluctantly, visions of blonde hair already haunting him.
He started to turn away before turning back sharply and holding out his hand - in this weather, a little cold skin was totally normal.
"I'm Emmett, by the way."
Suspicious green eyes flickered up to study both his hand and his face and Emmett was struck again with the notion that the kid - for some reason – was more suspicious than nervous.
He was just starting to quietly freak out about whether the kid could possibly know they'd moved in from Forks when a slender, calloused hand was placed in his.
"Harry." The kid said quietly, shaking his hand once before letting go. He didn't say anything about cold, hard skin and Emmett tried not to think about the pulse fluttering under thin, soft skin.
"See ya later, then, Harry!" He managed, tossing a wave over his shoulder as he headed back home.
Maybe he oughtta just stay inside after all.
No, it is not slash.