Chapter III: A Minor Setback

I don't own Buffy the Vampire Slayer or Harry Potter. They belong to Joss Whedon and Joanne K. Rowling respectively.

Defence Against the Dark Arts Classroom

Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry

September 6th 1994

"You wanted to see me, Professor?"

Xander glanced up at his student as he sat back down behind his desk. "Yes I did, Mr. Potter. Tell me, were you briefed on the magical world prior to receiving your first letter?"

Harry shook his head. "No, it was about a week after that, Professor."

The professor nodded as if that was expected. "Okay then, you should have been officially classed as a muggle-raised child and given the standard muggleborn package, including the Hogwarts student handbook I have mentioned. Who was the professor who introduced you to our world?"

"Hagrid, sir."

Xander's one eye narrowed in irritation. "I asked you which 'professor' gave you your introduction, Mr. Potter. Who was it?"

Harry shrugged helplessly. "It was Hagrid, sir."

A snarl echoed through the room. "Rubeus Hagrid was a groundskeeper, Mr. Potter. He was not a professor."

"Hey, Hagrid is great. He…"

Xander cut Harry off with a glare. "I am not here to evaluate the man's worth or lack of worth, Mr. Potter. The simple fact is that all Hogwarts professors are trained to handle first contact with the muggleborn or raised and Mr. Hagrid, wonderful being though he may be, has not had any of that training. Now, what professor gave you your introduction?"

Harry was starting to feel rather sheepish. "If Hagrid doesn't qualify, then I suppose no one did. Professor McGonagall wrote my letter but she certainly never met with me."

Xander waved the boy off on that track. "My wife pens all of the letters, regardless of who meets with you students. It's one of the responsibilities she has as Deputy Headmistress."

Harry tried desperately not to gape. "Your wife, sir?"

The professor grinned slightly. "What, did you think she just sat in the castle twiddling her thumbs in her free time? I'll have you know that we've been married for a fair few decades now."

"But, but her name…"

"Remains the same, yes. It's a simple fact that many married women in the wizarding world use their maiden names in their professions. My wife is not alone in that. Amelia Bones is married, but she uses her maiden name for her position. Your own mother used Evans when she was alive during her tenure as a substitute charms professor during that week where Professor Flitwick was fighting off the dragon pox."

Harry was practically salivating. This was information on his mother. Most other professors tended to focus on his father, both for positive and negative comments. It was fascinating to discover that his mother had used her maiden name professionally speaking and had, in fact, taught briefly at Hogwarts.

While Harry was digesting the information he'd just picked up on his mother, Xander remained oblivious and was trying to get back on track. "This is rather disquieting. So you never got the muggleborn package and you never got a proper introduction to our world. On the other hand, we know it wasn't a mistake because someone was sent to you, just not the person you should have been sent…"

Harry managed to pull himself back to the present and then restrain himself from defending Hagrid. The professor had made it clear that he wasn't taking the mickey out of Hagrid. He was just pointing out that Hagrid wasn't trained to do what he'd been assigned and had therefore missed out on key points. "So what should be done then, sir?"

Xander smirked playfully at the student. "I think we need to have a chat with my wife, and then probably the dear headmaster. We need to find out where the breakdown occurred and why."

Harry offered a nervous smile in response.

Deputy Headmistress' Office

Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry

September 6th 1994

"Honey, I'm home."

Minerva sighed melodramatically. Sometimes she wondered why she'd married Alexander. Then she would remember and have to restrain herself from some most unseemly giggling. "Must you say that, Alexander?"

The man in the patch led Harry into his wife's office. "I must, Minerva. It's very important for the stability of the universe that I keep saying things like that at least once a week."

The deputy headmistress pinched her nose in irritation. "I presume that you have a reason for bringing Mr. Potter here, other then to harass me in front of him?"

Xander flashed her that heart-melting smile of his and then gestured for the boy to sit down in a chair. "I'd like to know who was in charge of providing Mr. Potter with his standard muggleborn package."

"And you need this information, why?"

"Because I need to know who to disembowel for passing that duty on to Rubeus Hagrid."

Minerva's head shot up. "Excuse me?"

"Oh you heard me, love. Somehow or other Harry's introduction to our world was completely fudged. He never got his muggleborn package, and all he seems to have rated was a nickel-tour from the Hogwarts groundskeeper."

Minerva began to page through the book and finally found what she was looking for. "Pomona was assigned originally, but I cancelled her participation once Albus said he would deal with it personally."

Xander's face began to get stormy and Mr. Potter was shifting uncomfortably in his seat. Finally Xander locked his frowning eye onto her own and spoke again. "I think I need to have a chat with dear Albus, love. Would you be so kind as to fill in the blanks for young Mr. Potter whilst I'm gone." And with that Xander was gone from her office, leaving her alone with her charge.

Minerva stood there silently for a long moment, wondering if she should warn her boss that her angry husband was heading his way. The sly voice of her husband seemed to whisper softly in her ear that Albus had made his bed and should have the dignity to lie in it. She nodded to herself and turned to lock eyes with Harry. "Now, Mr. Potter. Why don't you try to sum up what Hagrid already told you and I'll try to… fill in the blanks… as Alexander put it. Then I'll give you the standard muggleborn package and things will be proper again."

Harry, still rather shocked by his encounter with Hurricane Xander just nodded agreeably at McGonagall's suggestion.

Headmaster's Office

Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry

September 6th 1994

"Hello, Albus."

Albus Dumbledore, Order of Merlin 1st Class, etc… glanced up and sighed as he noted Professor Alexander Harris was sitting across from him. "I do wish you wouldn't sneak up on me Alexander. It is not good for an old man such as myself."

Xander snorted eloquently at the assertion that Albus was anything but in perfect health. "They say the good die young, Albus." He looked Dumbledore up and down as if evaluating him. "Ah well, too late."

Dumbledore arched a brow in faint irritation. "You are not exactly a spring chicken yourself, Professor Harris. Perhaps that should be your current concern."

Xander scoffed at the notion. "I've never pretended to be a good guy, Albus. That's your bag. I'm just the exterminator someone called to step on the cockroach problem."

"I really do wish you would stop those senseless killings, Alexander. Even the Ministry recognises that vampires are sentient…"

"Corpses, Albus. And considering that the Ministry also allows dementors to survive and even employs them, it might perhaps be doing your cause a disservice to use those idiots as an example of what to do…"

Albus sighed. "I trust you are here for a reason outside of irritating me, Alexander."

Xander's face took on an unpleasant expression. "Do I want to know why you are trying to keep the Potter boy ignorant, Albus?"

Dumbledore immediately locked eyes on Xander's one, trying desperately to figure out what Harris knew. This was an uncomfortable subject. Albus quickly found himself frustrated by the numerous enchantments on the other man's eye-patch. Alexander was very well warded against psionic attacks of any kind. Dumbledore tried to play dumb, not that it had ever worked before with this man. "I'm afraid I don't understand, Professor Harris. I have had little interaction with the boy…"

"Hagrid was his first contact person, at your behest."

"I assure you that I…"

"I've been to see my wife first, Albus. She said you wanted to handle it personally. Somehow it was foisted off on Hagrid. That smells and you know it."

"I'm a busy man, Alexander. There was an unexpected Wizengamot meeting that came up…"

"Bullshit, Albus. You had Potter's original guide cancelled. That was deliberate. Which tells me you needed to do that yourself, for whatever reason, or you set that all up to keep Potter ignorant. Considering that you didn't bother to bring the kid around, I'm inclined to believe the second."

"Believe what you wish, Alexander. This is all just a simple misunderstanding. I trust the boy has been given everything you feel was withheld from him?"

Xander gazed steadily at Dumbledore for a long moment. "Yes, Albus. I've got Minerva providing him with all that he missed out on."

Dumbledore spread his arms magnanimously. "All's well that ends well, then?"

Xander sneered at Albus, unimpressed with the posturing. Albus was a canny bugger, but he had nothing on Richard Wilkins in the false geniality department. "Indeed, Headmaster. Do be advised that I'll be watching over Potter personally. I'd hate for another unfortunate accident to occur." And with that the man exited the office, slamming the door behind him.

Albus sighed dramatically. That was why he disliked Harris. The man was entirely too perceptive by half. He was not even slightly impressed by Albus' mighty reputation and made up for his lack of pure power by being one of the most cunning individuals that Albus had ever known. Still, as of this moment Harris had very little. All Albus had to do was be careful and his well laid plans for the greater good would come to fruition. No trigger-happy American would wreck the plots that Albus had been working on for over a decade and a half. This was just a minor setback…

And so the first clash of the titans is a very minor victory to Xander. ;)