Prologue: Xander Goes AWOL

I don't own Buffy the Vampire Slayer or Harry Potter. They belong to Joss Whedon and Joanne K. Rowling respectively.
AN: The Potter-verse is going to start appearing in a significant fraction in the next chapter. This is only the prologue.

Democratic Republic of the Congo

July 13th 2004

Xander Harris had fought the darkness for close to a decade. His journey had taken him from a wipe-out on a skateboard in Sunnyhell High all the way to this moment in the wilds of Africa. The rift was expanding and if Xander didn't close it then the rift in time and space would disrupt the fabric of reality to the point where all life on Earth would be wiped from existence.

It was times like this when Xander questioned the sanity of demons. Tempus, the Chaos Demon responsible, would be wiped from existence too if the rift continued to expand as it was. Still, he supposed, that was chaos demons. The little buggers were unpredictable.

Xander carefully cut his left palm open, working up a good blood flow. These darn portals were all the same. Blood and life. Xander breathed deep. This time it was his turn. There was no hated vampire or suicidal slayer to take the plunge this time. Xander walked through the rift, unsure of what would happen to him.

It is a quirk of rifts in space/time that the person closing them could be sent anywhere or anywhen, but not both. In the case of Xander Harris, this meant he was sent back around half a century in time. After all, fate was not done with Xander Harris.

International Council of Watchers, Main Headquarters

London, England July 30th 2004

"Where's Xander?"

Rupert Giles sighed dramatically, getting quite tired of the question. It wasn't that he was happy Xander was gone. On the contrary, Giles was devastated at the loss of the person who was the closest thing he had to a son. It had been over two weeks and there was still no sign of Xander. He had been last seen at the African Headquarters before an urgent call had come in concerning a chaos demon. Nothing more could be found except for a burnt up area that was probably where the battle had taken place.
"For the umpteenth time, Dawn, I haven't the foggiest idea where Xander is. You have seen all the same reports as I have. If you haven't discerned Xander's fate from them, then there is no point in asking me."

The brunette sat down hard at the rather emphatic pronouncement. In all fairness Giles had every right to be irritated, but the idea that Xander might never be coming back really hit her hard. Finally she nodded sullenly. "Okay Giles, I'll drop it. What's next on the agenda for today?"

The man smiled slightly. "A new ally is sending an ambassador to meet with us. They may even be willing to allow us to train potentials and slayers from among their population."

Dawn's eyes widened. "I wasn't aware that there was a nation that the watchers weren't able to take potentials from. We seem to have treaties with every country known to man…"

The aging man shrugged uncaringly. "These people are not exactly a nation in the normal sense, my dear. They are more of a nation within a nation. They have enclaves within every country in the world. We have been approached by the enclave that represents Great Britain and Ireland as a sort of test case. Assuming that things go well, we can expect to be approached by others of these… wizarding enclaves."

"Wizarding?" Dawn's face betrayed her utter confusion. "At first blush I'd expect that to be a mystical society of some sort, but wouldn't we have heard of it?"
Giles shook his head. "You are correct that they are a mystical society, but their magic is rather different than ours in many ways. They are what one would call sorcerers. This essentially means that their magic comes from within them, usually amplified by a focus of some sort. The type of focus varies significantly between the various enclaves, or so I'm told. Anyway, our type of witches are what they would call channelers. They have no inherent magic of their own. Instead, they channel the power of a god, a demon or even the earth itself. Channelers have to be particularly mindful of the cost since this magic is not theirs. A sorcerer's magical power depends upon the size of his or her magical core. A channeler's, on the other hand, depends upon how much power they can channel through their body at once."

"And we've never heard of them because…?"

"Because wizarding society is completely separate, for the most part. They live behind incredibly powerful concealment spells and have done so since the separation. The separation came about due to events like the Salem Witch Trials and the proliferation of cheap firearms."

Dawn nodded sagely. She could imagine how such events might drive a society underground. "So they are sending an envoy. When will he get here?" A loud snap caused Dawn to screech and leap towards Giles, searching for a weapon.

"I'm right here." The smooth voice was eerily familiar.

Dawn stood up and turned around, her jaw dropping at the far older, but certainly familiar face. "How in the…" Words failed her.

Giles was not quite as inarticulate, though his shock was equally palpable. "Good lord, Xander. What happened to you?"

Alexander Harris, special envoy for the Ministry of Magic, grinned manically. "It's a long, long story, G-man… Longer then you can possibly imagine."

And here we go...