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The Pogrebin

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Summary: Xander goes Slayer-hunting in Russia. He runs into a little trouble.

Categories Author Rating Chapters Words Recs Reviews Hits Published Updated Complete
Harry Potter > Xander-CenterednicowaFR712,204073,22324 Sep 0624 Sep 06Yes
The Pogrebin

The demon mentioned is detailed in “Fantastic Beasts and where to find them” which I was re-reading for a different fic.
Silly, hopefully slightly humorous fic to follow.

Disclaimer: Don't own HP os BtVS, however if JW is looking for the perfect Chrismas Pressie for me, thats it!

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Xander stared out at the driving snow as he fumed silently. Well, he’d tried fuming loudly but he’d gotten sick of his own moaning. The wind was doing enough of that as it was. So now he was listening to the eerie sound of the wind as it gusted down the narrow mountain valley Xander had been driving through when his car had suddenly, and inexplicably, died.

It hadn’t even sputtered as a warning. A tightening of the wheel as he lost power steering and the red lights on the dashboard had been his only clue as to what had happened. He just had time to pull into the verge before the car lost momentum and stopped.

And wouldn’t restart.

The engine stayed obstinately silent as Xander pumped the gas for all he was worth and thumped the wheel in anger.

The tank read half full, because he hadn’t even considered heading into the wilds of Siberia without a full tank of gas and a can in the boot - no matter how dangerous that was - so that couldn’t be the problem.

He considered checking under the hood but since the blizzard hadn’t let up since he’d begun his journey and he hadn’t any idea what the engine was meant to look like when it was working properly, he’d decided he’d rather stay in the warmth of the car than step outside to the cold and wet.

Of course that had been an hours ago and what hope Xander had had for another car to pass along the road and see his predicament had died. He was quickly realising that if he stayed much longer in the car the cold, which was already beginning to seep into his the car, would soon become a major problem, i.e. it would cause him to fall asleep and then die.

Not the most heroic way to leave this planet.

He’d have to make a break it. After consulting the map, bought back in the airport when even though travelling through the wilds of Russia had sounded like a exciting and mostly safe adventure he’d felt sure the Xander curse would strike again (the one that said anything that can go wrong, will, or was that Murray’s law or something?), he found that the nearest village was only up the road about five, maybe ten miles. He hadn’t a ruler to measure the distance so he’d used his pinkie to estimate. Probably not the most accurate but- times of need and whatnot.

He winced now as he looked out at the driving snow. In addition, his entire luggage was in the trunk. He dreaded going out with only a sweater on but…

Wait, he thought as he glanced into the back seat. Or rather at the back seat. Twisting round, he ran his fingers along the top of the seat hoping, almost praying to a God he’d never figured listened anymore, found what he was looking for and pressed.

“Ugh!” He crawled, manfully, into the back seat and pressed the button again, as hard as he could this time. The car was old though and had been well used by the time he’d bought it. He hadn’t been sure what damage would happen to a rental if he’d gone for that choice and figured it would be best to not have to pay for any accidental damages he wouldn’t necessarily be able to explain. After much struggling, he managed to fold the seat down on itself and the luggage in the trunk revealed itself.

“Eureka.” Xander muttered, happy something had worked itself out even if he’d gladly wring the neck of the used car dealer who’d professed the car would “drive to hell and back” for him and that the high mileage was just the sign of a reliable car. He pulled on as many heavy sweaters as he could manage then pulled on a huge overcoat he’d bought for a small fortune back in St Petersburg, quietly relieved for at his foresight.

Although it was probably didn’t count as foresight if the weatherman had distinctly mentioned the storm that was brewing and told all the listeners to either stay indoors or bundle up if, for any reason, they had to go out.

That was another reason he was keen to reach the village before nightfall, the reports had said that temperatures would fall to -15 tonight. He pulled on a pair of lined trousers over his jeans and swapped his shoes for a pair of thick hiking boots. Hat, scarf and gloves followed till Xander felt he must resemble a damned Yeti.

He sighed again looking out at the swirling snow, a beautiful sight he could honestly say he could have done without.

He pulled the hat down and the scarf up to cover as much of his face as he could before bracing himself and opening the door.

The snow immediately blew in, half blinding him as he hauled himself out of the car, cursing whoever had suggested him to fetch this newest found slayer in the middle of winter.

Oh ya, it was Buffy, he thought as he absently locked the car and took off down the road. Even though he’d protested that, you know, it was winter and surely she could wait till spring and maybe summer, but one glance of her puppy dog eyes and he surrendered.

She owed him for this, if he died he was so coming back to haunt her.
It was slow going. The wind was cold; lingering along any exposed skin like icy kisses leaving his skin raw, snow clung to his eyelashes till he looked at the world through a criss-cross web of blinding ice. He couldn’t remember ever being so cold, even including Christmas sleeping in the unforgettable freak snowstorm, and found himself muttering under his breath at the luck of, well, pretty much all the other Scoobies, as they enjoyed the sunshine and warmth that came with living in California. They were probably having the time of their lives now, averting another apocalypse, bickering back and forth, as they researched whatever big bad had come to town or simply stuffing their faces with jelly donuts.

Mmm, he thought as a little bit of drool froze on his chin, jelly donuts with a little bit of icing and oh! maybe a Twinkie or two just to round it off!

A niggling thought at the back of his mind made him glance over his shoulder, as if for a second thinking that someone was watching him. However, there was nothing in the vast expanse of snow and hills only the mound his car was fast becoming as snow piled up around it.

Xander gave himself a mental pat on the back for escaping the air locked coffin his car was fast becoming.

He walked on then, even slowing for a couple of seconds was enough to feel the chill of the snow begin to creep into his boots and slow his steps.
--
The brisk walk he’d begun at the car - how long ago? he glanced back but the car had been swallowed into the glimmering, shimmering white of the falling snow - had slowed gradually to a walking pace. His shoulders drooped with the effort of pressing against the blistering wind and his head was tucked into his chest to protect his face.

He glanced back again. He honestly could not say why he kept glancing back. As he walked the hairs on the back of his neck stood up as if he could feel somebody watching, following him. He shook his head. There wasn’t anything there.

There wasn’t even a sign of his passage to mark him, as he watched his footsteps were swiftly erased by the wind and snow. He gritted his teeth against the gloomy feeling that was beginning to stifle him.

He tried to block by picturing the hot bath that would be waiting for him at the end of his journey, that’s presuming these people have bath tubs, or even running water, of course, Xander thought sardonically, well at least I should be able to get a meal somewhere.

He moved on again, in a slow depressing trudge.

Once he glanced up to see patches of brown amid the swirling white. His heart lifted on glimpsing what he felt sure must be the village he was looking for. His pace increased slightly at this flare of hope.

He felt a swift stab of anger to find, an immeasurable length of time later, that it was only a copse of dead, twisted trees, their limbs reaching up to the muted Artic light.

He let out a yell and kicked and punched at the nearest tree. All the bad luck that had plagued him so far on this journey finally getting to him, first the snowstorm, then the car, and now he was well and truly lost. Until at last, his anger abated, he leaned back against the same battered tree and fought to get his breath back.

However with the waning of his anger came a new emotion. His hands shook, as great sobs wracked his body.

What does it matter anyway, I’m cold and I’m hungry and I’m never going to find this bloody village or that bloody slayer and I’ll just probably freeze to death here cos Buffy doesn’t care enough to wait until Spring when I at least have a half decent chance of finding the girl and it just …

“Doesn’t! Matter!” He yelled as he slid down the tree to land kneeling in the snow and he didn’t care that the cold and wet was seeping through his pants, he was positive was going to die anyway, what did it matter if he got wet, it just might make it all a bit quicker!

And it was when he’d gone through this incredibly depressing speech in his head and felt at his lowest that it attacked.

He didn’t know what exactly it was only that it had extremely sharp teeth and long fingers, or claws, whichever. It scrabbled at his face with it skinny fingers/talons and Xander punched it quickly, trying to keep his face away from its fluid dripping maw.

He punched it again and was surprised to find that it was soft bodied. He pulled back from it till he had enough room to swing the small dagger he’d pulled from his boot and he sliced across the torso.

It let out an inhuman screech and slapped at Xander’s face. He fell back with an ‘oomph’ and almost dropped the dagger. However years of Hellmouth living had trained him well and he managed to hold it.

The demon followed through on its advantage, pulling on Xander’s scarf till he was gasping for air. Xander hit it again, open-handed, and the demon hit a tree. Xander used the moment to roll to his feet and when it was then as he was standing that he realised the demon was only about a foot high.

He shook his head in disgust. There was no way he was letting Buffy or Willow hear about this one, he’d never hear the end of it. The demon ran at him. Xander, incensed, kicked it as hard as he could.

It flew through the air and landed some feet away. The demon got to its feet and chittered at him in its high-pitched voice and did it just shake its fist at me? Xander thought in disbelief.

However, it had obviously had enough, and ran off through the swirling white where it was quickly lost to Xander’s sight.
Xander laughed and ran a hand over his face, checking that it hadn’t drawn blood. When his hand came away clean he pulled up his scarf again and faced into the wind. The light was fading fast and Xander knew he had to reach the village before nightfall.

He muttered the one Russian phrase he could remember from the book Dawn had passed to him before he left. If he was pronouncing it right, it meant something like: Pass the mustard, please.

He didn’t know how useful that would be though.

END


Extract from Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them by Newt Scamander
.
The Pogrebin is a Russian demon, barely a foot tall, with a hairy body but a smooth, oversized grey head. When crouching, the Pogrebin resembles a hiny, round rock. pogrebins are attracted to humans and enjoy tailing them, staying in their shadow and crouching quickly should the shadows owner turn around. If a Pogrebin is allowed to tail a human a sense of great futility will eventually overcome its prey, who will eventually fall into a dtate of lethargy and despair. When the victim stops walking and sinks to their knees to weep at the pointlessness of it all, the Pogrebin will leap upon them and attempt to devour them. However, it is easy to repulse the Pogrebin with simple hexes or Stupefying Charms. Kicking has also been found effective.

The End

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