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Formerly, Mr. Black…and Blue

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Summary: Xander dressed as a very powerful character for Halloween, and now he’s stuck with the consequences.

Categories Author Rating Chapters Words Recs Reviews Hits Published Updated Complete
Harry Potter > Xander-CenteredGreywizardFR1313,51453015,42516 Sep 0616 Sep 06Yes
Disclaimer: They all belong to Crack-Head Joss and ME. Harry belongs to J. K. Rowling. Deal with it. I have.

Category: This is a follow-up short to rorscharchblot’s “Back in Black: Black’s Halloween” and is done with his permission.

Summery: Xander dressed as a very powerful character for Halloween, and now he’s stuck with the consequences.

Time Frame: AU after Season Two’s “Halloween.”

Spoilers: None

Character Bashing: None.

Feedback: Of course!

Archiving: If you want to archive this, just let me know where, please.

Author’s Notes 1: Thanks to rorscharchblot for giving me permission to write this story.

Author’s Note 2: Many thanks to Lori Bush, Tim Joy, Bill Haden and Drake the Archr for beta-ing this story.

~~~

Title: Formerly, Mr. Black and Blue

Sunnydale Library
November 1, 1998


"Uh, hey, Giles, would you have a minute or so to, uh, talk about – stuff?"

Looking up from his perusal of an ancient Greek treatise on a Egyptian translation of a Mesopotamian text at the unexpected question, Giles looked up to find himself staring at the tall, dark-haired youth who had somehow managed to make himself and Willow Rosenberg integral parts of his Slayer's support system since shortly after her transfer here to the Mouth of Hell the previous year.

"Why, uh, certainly, Xander," he replied, feeling the least bit of concern upon hearing the lad's request. For the boy to be up this early on a Saturday morning implied that difficulties had appeared that loomed far above those the children normally encountered. "What seems to be the problem?"

"Well, uhm, you, ah, remember how I dressed as Mr. Black last night, right?" Xander reminded the librarian of the younger man's at-the-time rather – intriguing, to say the least – costume selection of the previous night, when he had dressed as the being rumored by some to be either an immortal dark wizard who had eventually come to regret his earlier alliances in the ensuing eons of his existence or, as a great many others insisted when they recounted tales of his more widely known exploits, a being who was the very personification of Death itself made flesh.

"Ah, yes, I do," the Watcher nodded, as he also remembered stumbling across Ethan Rayne's cooling corpse when he had gone to the costume shop to confront his old running mate about his involvement in the possessions who had taken over the bodies of his charges and other of the town's residents. He only realized later in the night that the Mark of Eyghon on his arm had apparently not outlived its artist.

{ I warned you time and again, one day you'd go too far and piss off the wrong people or things, you stupid prat, } he thought briefly to the now deceased shop owner before he refocused his attention on the younger man's words.

"Well, uhm, I think I kinda need to tell you that, uh, that maybe not all of the, uh, spell’s effects are, ah, gone,” he heard.

“Like, uh, maybe I’m still kinda part Mr. Black.”

“WHAT?!!?”

There was only one possible response that Giles, Watcher and former Dark mage, could make to that bit of news.

He fainted.

***

“Well, it’s not like I’m still possessed and he’s still large and in charge and running things or anything like that, Giles,” Xander explained to a worried-looking Englishman a few minutes, as he handed him a steaming cup of breakfast tea – laced with a healthy splash of single malt – in an effort to help calm the older man down a bit.

“Xander, I understood you to have just said that you believed that there was a very strong possibility that Mr. Black had not been entirely removed from your psyche upon expiration of the possession spell last night,” Giles protested after a large gulp of the spiked tea, focusing on the youth with an intensity that seemed as though the librarian were trying to see into his very soul and determine the possibility of the legendary figure’s existence by sheer concentration.

“Uh-uh, Giles,” Xander shook his head negatively. “What I meant was I still kinda feel like I did last night when I was being him. All kinda charged up and powerful-like – like I’m way stronger and faster now than I was before all of this happened.

“Sorta like I felt last year when I got possessed by that Hyena Spirit, but without the urge for eating really fresh pork or committing aggravated sexual assault on my friends,” he added with a thoughtful frown.

“Have you noticed any other differences in how you feel now, as opposed how you felt prior to the spell taking effect?” Giles questioned him further. “Aside from the increased strength and speed you’ve already mentioned?”

“Well, my most of senses seem a lot sharper than they used to be,” Xander noted as he gave further consideration to the changes he’d noticed in himself. “But I think there might be something wrong with my eyes or something, because I’ve been noticing that some of the things I see look like they’re a little bit different than they used to, or like they can’t really be.”

“What exactly do you mean by that, Xander?” Giles asked, his forehead furrowing with concern at that admission.

“Well, like that bracelet over there,” he pointed to a wristlet lying on the corner of the librarian’s desk. “Yesterday, it was just a plain gold band with some jewels in it; now, it’s got some funky-looking greenish-blue glow dancing around a few of those jewels.”

”Are you saying that several of the gems in the wristlet appear to possess some sort of an aura about them?” Giles asked, a look of keen interest on his face as he tuned to look at the object in question.

“If that’s what you call the glow those jewel things are doing, then yeah, pretty much,” Xander agreed.

“Fascinating,” the Englishman murmured in a low voice. “If I am correct in understanding what you are describing to me, Xander, then it would appear that you now possess a rarely seen ability most frequently called ‘magesight,’” he went on, turning back to now stare at the younger man with even greater interest than previously.

“I think I need to call both Buffy and Willow and Ms. Calendar, also, to request that they come and join us in order to help determine the extent and parameters of your newly acquired abilities,” he said, as he rose and headed towards his office and the phone within.

“Oh man, Giles,” Xander moaned as he rolled his eyes towards the heavens, “Buffy’s gonna be mega-pissed if we wake her before ten o’clock on a Saturday morning. Especially considering how snarky she was last night after getting possessed by Lady Useless.”

~~~

"Are you really sure you want to do this, Xand?" Buffy asked doubtfully as she dropped into a fighting stance opposite Xander as Giles, Willow and Jenny watched with a mixture of concern, anticipation and curiosity.

"Yeah, definitely, Buff," he nodded with complete certainty. "I know I'm a lot stronger and faster now than I was yesterday, so if we're going to figure out exactly how much, you can't hold back, okay?"

"Okay," she nodded back, doubt clear on her face. "But just remember, when you're waking up in the ER, you insisted on this."

"Okay," he smirked as he looked at the petite blonde, "as long as you remember the same thing."

"Yeah, as if," she sniffed dismissively, as she moved in to attack.

Xander had noticed from watching Buffy in innumerable sparring sessions with both Giles and Angel, that she had a tendency to lead with a back fist followed by a punch, and as she rushed towards him, he saw that she was doing so, once again, so he simply took a half-step back, grabbed hold of her arm as she lunged forward and then twisted around and used her momentum to toss her over his shoulder.

{ Thank you, } he thought to himself, { badly dubbed kung fu movies! }

Unfortunately, he was still not in complete control of his strength, so as he tossed her over his shoulder, he inadvertently pulled harder than he had intended and the petite blonde ended up on a ballistic trajectory along the length of the library and slamming into the wall of Giles' office.

"Uh, sorry about that, Buff," Xander immediately apologized as he realized his mistake and went to help her to her feet. "Uh, Buff?"

"Buffy?"

"I am so dead. Giles, are there any smelling salts in the first aid kit?"

~~~

Once Buffy regained consciousness – and was assured that she hadn't been sucker-punched by some unseen or invisible demon – the testing resumed, but in a much more focused manner and with Xander focusing substantially more attention on controlling his now obviously superhuman strength and speed.

The following seemingly unending hours of torture/testing devised by Giles, Jenny and Willow (The reining queen of flowcharts!)eventually produced an apparent cornucopia of results that were both puzzling (to the three 'super-brains,' as Xander had dubbed them) and gratifying (to the youth in question), while simultaneously producing significant questions concerning the true nature of the mysterious being who had possessed their friend the previous night.

"This is simply fascinating, Xander," Jenny stated as she stretched a little in her chair, which did some fascinating things (at least as far as Xander was concerned) to her chest, as she again reviewed the compilation of test results produced over the course of the day.

"Based on everything we've been able to determine today, you seem to have been modified from your soul outward," she informed him. "Your aura is significantly different from that of a normal human or any practitioner I've ever seen."

"What's that mean, exactly, Ms. Calendar?" Willow immediately asked, a slight frown marring her forehead as she considered the implications of what she was hearing. "What's different about him?"

"Well, to begin with, his aura is now tinged with what I would normally identify as a mixture of other supernatural aspects," the techno-pagan replied.

"Rupert and I have noted minimal traces of what we would normally identify as both vampire and werewolf essences, as well as what Rupert identified as remnants of a Primal Spirit that he said possessed our young friend here at the beginning of first semester last year, traces of a powerful wizard's aura, and very faint indications of what the identification spell insists are the mystical residue of a basilisk and an ice maiden, although where anyone might find either of the last two nowadays, I have absolutely no idea," she explained with a shrug of incredulity.

"The, uh, the vampire, werewolf and Primal Spirit influences would, ah, go far in explaining your, ah, enhanced senses and physical characteristics, Xander," Giles relatively seamlessly picked up the explanation, "while your newly acquired 'magesight' and, uh, what we believe to be an equally new penchant towards spellcraft would appear to be the result of the impression Mr. Black's persona left on your aura, since it is generally acknowledged that he is, without any doubt, a wizard of unmatched ability and strength.

"Exactly what effect the, uh, basilisk and ice maiden aspects might produce is, ah, is unknown at this point in time, although it is conceivable that the basilisk aspect might provide you with some degree of immunity to a variety of poisons," he hypothesized.

"Oh, cool," Xander agreed, less than enthusiastically. "Now it’s official! I'm a freak made up of all kinds of different supernatural monsters and things! Wonderful!"

"Oh come on now, Xand," Willow tried to cheer him up. "Look on the bright side – you may not be quite as strong or fast as Buffy is, but you're a lot stronger and tougher than you were yesterday.

"And Ms. Calendar and Giles say you've got a lot of potential to learn magic, too!" she pointed out with her usual good-natured cheer. "Who knows, maybe you can end up being a wizard and doing all the magic-y stuff that Giles can't handle!"

"Indeed, Xander," Giles agreed, looking to help the younger man from sliding down into what looked like a potentially major bout of depression. "Although you do not appear to have inherited any type of weapons or other martial skills from Mr. Black, I have absolutely no doubt that with Buffy's cooperation in providing you proper training, you will soon prove to be a significant aid to her while she patrols."

Buffy, herself, had remained silent during the prior interchange, listening attentively and carefully considering everything she’d heard. She’d been a little leery when she'd first arrived at the library, having sensed someone or something most definitely not human and way powerful as she’d approached, and had felt a sudden qualm rush through her the moment she’d realized that the being she’d sensed was her best male friend.

After a quiet prayer that he was still truly himself and several minutes of careful observation, she'd finally come to the conclusion that Xander was still Xander, and not really some spirit who's possessed him and was trying to pass as still human – an observation that had relieved her more than she could possibly express.

"Yeah, Xand," she chimed in as she tried to help reassure her friend. "There's nothing to worry about, okay?! Look, I know all about walking up one morning and finding out that suddenly you're all different than you were the day before. Slayer here, remember?" she reminded him.

"If I can get through something like that okay, you can, too," she told him firmly.

"Ya think so, Buff?" Xander asked, a hopeful expression on his face, something she noticed had been lacking for a good part of the afternoon.

"Fifft!" she snorted dismissively as she reached out and looped her arm around his. "Of course, you will!"

Nodding to Willow, who had been watching their interplay with a mix of concern and interest and waiting for an opportunity to chime in, to grab his other arm, she headed towards the library doors, pulling him along as she continued her lecture.

"Giles, we're taking a break for a while," she called back over her shoulder.

"Okay now, Xand, listen up. The most important thing we need to do right now is get some ice cream," Giles could hear her declaring as the three of them headed down the hallway. "There is absolutely nothing that cannot be dealt with if you have large enough helpings of chocolate ice cream around. Especially if there's extra chocolate syrup and lots of crushed cherries and pineapple to go with it! Right, Will?"

The redhead's answer wasn't completely intelligible, but Giles assumed that her response had been a fervent affirmative, to judge by the high-pitched squeal he did hear echoing back towards them.

~~~

Later that night


“So, how’s everything going with the newly-upgraded-but-not-improved-because-he-was-already-a-great-guy Xander Harris?” Buffy asked as she settled herself comfortably on one of the nearby crypts while she and Xander waited for a recently-deceased-under-very-suspicious-circumstances resident to rise.

“Not too bad, Buff,” Xander replied as he practiced throwing stakes at a target he’d hung on a nearby elm. Getting used to his newly enhanced strength and reflexes was taking a bit more effort than he’d expected, but he figured that, hopefully, he’d have everything under control with regard to those aspects within the next day or so.

Whereas, before last night, he’d been able to hit the target about seven out of every ten tries, but only make the stake stick in about half of the attempts. Now he was hitting it only about half the time, but nearly all of the hits were embedded pretty deeply.

{ Must be because of the greater strength, } he reflected to himself as he once again collected the tools of his trade from the target.

“Will’s all excited for you about this,” Buffy noted, glancing over with a sly grin as Xander once again began practicing his throws.

“Yeah,” he acknowledged with a shrug. “And it gives her yet another reason to research through Giles’ dusty old books and ask him and Ms. Calendar more questions about magic, too,” he noted.

Buffy still wasn’t completely sure whether her best male friend was completely clueless about the redhead’s crush on him, or just too uncertain about what to do about it, to do anything, so she just let his answer slide without trying to pin him down further. Knowing him as well as she did, either possibility was equally valid.

As the two friends exchanged opinions on the various doings of several of their classmates, neither one noticed the two vampires stealthily stalking them with the greatest of care from the rear of the cemetery.

Xander continued practicing his stake throwing as he and Buffy discussed the clearly growing attraction between her Watcher and the school’s computer studies teacher while the more reckless one of the pair moved ahead of his companion, intent on gaining the prestige of being the first to attack and then feed on the unsuspecting Slayer.

“Did you hear something?” Buffy suddenly interrupted their conversation to ask, focusing her attention on the area in front of them and to their far left.

“Huh?” Xander asked, turning his head slightly to look in the indicated direction just as he released his stake.

Unseen by either of them, the stake spun through the air and punched directly through their stalker’s heart as he rounded the corner of the crypt he’d been using to conceal his approach, immediately returning him to the dust he should have been.

Eyes wide with shock at seeing his friend’s fate, the second vampire stopped dead in his tracks (so to speak) and then quietly eased back into the trees behind him and made his escape as quickly and silently as possible.

~~~

Willy's Alibi Room
Later that same evening


“Look, I’m just telling you what I saw, that’s all!” the same vampire who’d managed to elude the two Scoobies earlier that night insisted to the others sitting at the bar.

“The kid’s so good, he didn’t even so much as glance Kenny’s way before he threw that stake at him!” he declared as he slammed down another shot of Jack Daniels mixed with AB positive.

“He was talking to the Slayer the whole time, not even looking in our direction at all, and then just as Kenny turns the corner to jump at the Slayer – Poof! – the stake caught him right through the heart! He killed Kenny, that bastard!

“There’s only one person I’ve heard about since Van Helsing passed on who’s anywhere near that good with a stake,” he went on, “and that’s somebody who’s just started moving around Europe again, called Mr. Black.

“But there’s no way I’m hanging around to find out if that’s who this kid really is. Mr. Black is way out of my league! I’m gonna be outta this town before dawn breaks!”

~~~

A week later


"Well?" Xander asked hopefully as he met the laughing black-clad figure a couple blocks away from Willy's Alibi Room.

"They fell for it," Harry replied.

"I can't believe it worked," Xander said in shock.

"They think you're my brother," Harry explained. "One who likes to pretend to be a powerless mortal. Have fun with it and watch out for fledglings."

"Thanks," Xander replied. "So I'll be seeing you this vacation?"

"Yeah," Harry agreed. "You've got the potential to do magic now and there isn't a better place then my Island to learn how to use it. A little bit of temporal manipulation and some quick modifications and Mr. Black's brother will be ready to come home and raise hell."

"And you're sure it's okay to bring my friends with me when I visit?" Xander asked.

"Not a problem," Harry reassured him. "If your friend Willow really is interested in learning about magic, then I'd prefer she learn from people who know what they're doing and not just get bits and pieces of knowledge from any book she happens to stumble across.

"And since a Slayer is one of the few mystical beings I haven't run across in the past year, I'm really interested in meeting your friend, Buffy, too.

" As long as you promise she won't try to kill me. I've got plenty of people already trying to do that," he added with a smile.

"No problem with that, Harry. She'll behave herself," Xander promised. "She knows all about that kind of thing, too."

"Okay then, I guess I'll be going," Harry said as he held out his hand

"Later, Harry," Xander shook his new – brother's hand.

"Goodbye, Xander," Harry replied as he pulled a shrunken motorcycle out of his pocket and returned it to full size with a gesture. As he went to get on, he paused for a moment and turned back to call after the departing boy.

"Hey, Xander."

"Yeah, Harry?"

"I forgot to ask. What name do you want me to use if anyone asks for the name of Mr. Black's brother?"

"Hmm," the taller youth grinned. "Once I started helping Buffy with the Slaying, I was usually Mr. Black and Blue. Then Mr. Black left last week, once Halloween was over.

"So I guess you can just call me Mr. Blue."


FIN

The End

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