By Reason Of Insanity
…Or the months before the morning after.
Slash, but nothing explicit
Rated FR18, for non-explicit slash and sexual innuendoes.
Disclaimer: Not mine. The Buffyverse is the creation of Joss, the Potterverse is the creation of JK. None of the characters are mine. I'm just playing, and promise to clean them up and return them when I'm done.
A/N: Written for the summer fic-a-thon. I know, it’s a couple months late. Its also my first ever attempt at slash, so be kind. Takes place two years past 'Chosen' and the trio's seventh year.
Thank to Rod for the beta.
Chapter 1: Homecoming
After two years in Africa seeking out newly-called slayers to begin their training, Xander was home. Well, sort of. Home was Sunnydale, but since Sunnydale was now no more than a huge crater, he would never truly be home again. For now, home was England with the Watchers’ Council. Giles had somehow managed to gain control of the Council’s assets, through some long process that Xander didn’t even want to understand. The headquarters had been rebuilt, adding a dorm for the slayers and apartments for the watchers, which included most of the surviving Scoobies.
Now, as he made his way through the common area of the dorms towards the elevator leading to his apartment, his name was being called out over and over as he passed the girls he had met in Africa. No matter how many times he insisted they call him Xander, he was still Mr. Harris to them. So he sucked it up, and waved to the various shouts of “Hello, Mr. Harris,” and “Welcome back, Mr. Harris,” until he heard a familiar voice shriek, “XANDER!” a second before his ribs were being crushed in Dawn’s embrace.
“Hey, Dawnie. Not that I’m not happy to see you, but I kinda need to breathe.”
She released him, taking a small step back and smiling up at him. “Come on, Xan. You deal with slayers on a daily basis, and you can’t handle one little human teenager?”
“Hey! Teenage girls can be very dangerous without being slayers. And you’ll only be a teenager for a few more months anyway. Now, how about you help me unpack, and fill me in on what’s been going on around here?”
“Later. You need to get ready for the meeting.”
“Oh, I was supposed to tell you. Giles has some representatives from the Ministry of Magic coming by in an hour or so. Something about an evil wizard rising up. Now, there’s been some rumors that he may be planning to take control of some slayers to fight for him. So the Ministry contacted Giles to try to find a way to stop him once and for all.”
“Ministry of Magic?”
Dawn shrugged. “Something about some wizard type society. Giles explained, I didn't pay much attention.”
“Just what I need, not even back for a day and we’re dealing with bad mojo.”
“What can I say? You got a gift, Xander.”
An hour later, Xander was sitting in Giles’ office, waiting for the reps from the Ministry to show up. Giles had greeted him warmly, and they had spent the last twenty minutes catching up on the going-ons of the last two years. Well, sort of. It was more like mindless small talk. Every time Xander tried to get some information on their expected visitors, Giles would change the subject. Xander was starting to get a bit nervous. He couldn't think of any reason to withhold the information that didn't spell bad news. They would arrive any minute, and Xander was tired. Tired from his flight, tired of the endless fight against darkness , and mostly tired of Giles’ “Don’t tell Xander” game.
“C’mon, G-man. What’s up? Why all closed mouthed about these wizard guys that you want me to be here to meet?”
“Please don’t call me that.” Giles sounded like he was speaking more from reflex than genuine annoyance. He removed his glasses and started cleaning them with a cloth pulled from his pocket. Definitely not comforting. “I’m sure Dawn has told you the purpose of their visit?”
“Uh, yeah. Something about stopping a bad wizard guy from using slayers for some evil stuff. Right?”
Giles sighed as he replaced his glasses. “Well, that is part of it. The Ministry has heard rumors that Lord Voldemort plans to turn slayers to his cause, which is to destroy anyone who is not a purebred wizard and rule those few who are left. Part of their purpose here is to stop that from happening.”
“Yes. They believe the best way to stop Voldemort from using slayers is to have slayers on their side. They are following some poppycock prophecy that says a certain young man of theirs must be the one to destroy him, and they are hoping a few slayers will be able to help him get close enough for the kill.”
“Kill? This guy, Volde-whatever…is he a demon or something?”
“No. He is, or was, a human wizard. Now, well, I’m not sure what he is, but for the most part I believe he is still human to some extent, just very, very powerful.”
“Some extent. So he's what, half-demon? Resurrected?”
“Not to my knowledge. I know that he was a human wizard when he first rose to power. He was thought to have been killed until he suddenly returned.”
“So, if he was dead, then he's not human anymore, right?”
“I don't know. I don't even know if he was dead, or just weakened and in hiding.”
Xander leveled his gaze with Giles, his eye narrowed. “Slayers don’t kill humans. Isn’t that, like, rule numero uno?”
“Of course, Xander. That’s why we’re having this meeting. I intend to make it clear to the Ministry that our slayers are trained not to kill humans, and we will not allow them to turn our girls into assassins. If Voldemort is indeed still human, I won't tell any of our girls simply to kill him. ” Giles took a steadying breath, and continued speaking in a quieter, more subdued voice. “However, with Voldemort’s history, I do agree that death is the only way to stop him. Anything less has been proven to be only a delay. Our girls will not be assassins, but I am considering sending volunteers to subdue Voldemort’s followers, so that the young man involved will have a chance to survive the attempt. He must be stopped, Xander. Otherwise every single person we know will eventually be targeted.
“He believes that the only people fit to survive are those born to magic, from parents born to magic. Any one with even a drop of non-wizard blood is his enemy. We can not allow him to live. And if it becomes necessary for a slayer to be actively involved in that death, then so be it. ” Giles held up a hand to stop Xander's response. “Unfavorable as it is for a slayer to be forced to kill a human, it has happened in the past. Sometimes there is just no other way.”
Giles’ statement hung in the silence between them for a few moments before the Ministry representatives arrived. There was a crack outside the office door, right before three people about Dawn's age entered. There were two guys and a girl, all wearing the same…dress? Whoa, Xander had not been expecting that. He shot Giles a questioning look and a smirk. Giles just frowned at him as he rose to greet them. Before he could speak though, the girl stepped forward, pushing her brown bushy hair out of her face and extending a hand.
“Mr. Giles?” Giles nodded stiffly and accepted her hand in greeting. “I’m Hermione Granger, and these are Ronald Weasley and Harry Potter. Thank you so much for seeing us.”
“Yes, of course.” Giles gestured a hand towards Xander. “This is Xander Harris, the Assistant Director of the council. How might we be of help?” Xander’s face showed his shock at the unexpected title only for a second before he quickly gained control of his features.
Giles ignored him for the moment as he continued. “Your owl was most unexpected. The Ministry doesn’t usually like us, ahem, ‘butting into their affairs.’”
The three visitors shared a nervous look before Hermione spoke again. “Yes, that is true. And I really must apologize for a bit of a deception. You see the Ministry doesn’t know we’re here. They actually forbade us from contacting you.”
“Then why did you?”
“Because, sir, we really do need your help. The Ministry refuses to accept the fact of Voldemort’s return. Those of us who know the truth also know the prophecy that says Harry is the only one who can stop him. Harry is an exceptional wizard, but no one man can do this alone. He needs our help, and we need yours.”
“So, The Boy Who Lived is in trouble again. Don’t look so surprised, my boy. I may not be a wizard, but I do know a few.”
“Bloody Hell.” Ron spoke for the first time. “If he’s heard anything about you, or us, it’s probably those bloody lies Rita Skeeter keeps writing. He’s not gonna help us.”
A small smile found its way to Giles’ face. “Actually, I don’t give much credence to journalists. The only wizard I have ever known that I trusted completely was one who worked with my father years ago. I’m sure the Ministry was unaware of his involvement with the council as well.”
Ron looked a bit skeptical as he asked, “And who would that be?”
“Albus Dumbledore. He mentioned you in the last message I received from him, not long before his tragic death.”
“And what did he say?” When Harry finally spoke, the tone of his voice made Xander wonder at the games fate tended to play. Harry sounded so sad, so worn, that it was obvious that he'd already been through a lot. Prophecy or not, he didn't see how anyone expected this kid to defeat some uber-evil wizard on his own.
“He said that you would need help, and he wouldn’t be there to give it. He asked as his final request to me that if you ever found me and asked for help, I should give it. I will send a few slayers with you. However, there are a few rules I must demand are followed.”
The trio's relief was evident by shocked gasps. They had expected to have some work convincing the council to help. Both boys nodded to Hermione to continue.
“Of course. Tell us what we must do.”
“First, the only slayers that will go will be those who volunteer. . Second, it is a sacred rule for all slayers that they not kill humans if it is at all avoidable. Accidents have happened in the past, but I will not allow any of my girls to be sent with the intent of being hired assassins.” The three looked a bit grim, but all nodded their assent. He continued, “Last, I can not allow slayers to be sent off into a war without a watcher. It is our duty to help these girls, and we can’t help them without at least one watcher present.”
“Very well, Mr. Giles.” Hermione offered him a weak smile. “We are grateful for whatever help you are willing to offer.”
They all shared their farewells, and Giles called Isabelle, one of the older slayers, to show the wizards to the rooms that had been prepared for them. As soon as the wizards and their dark haired escort left the office, Xander settled a glare on Giles.
“Assistant Director, huh? Anxious to get rid of me again, G-Man?”
“Damn it, Xander, do try not to be a complete jackass. I won't be around forever, and someone has to be read y to take over when the inevitable happens. I do hope you won't need to replace me for quite some years, but I needed to be sure that eventuality was covered. I happen to think you are the best man to do this. And I intend to send you along on this mission, not because I don’t want you here, but because I know you will do everything in your power to keep our girls safe. Neither Buffy nor Faith will be available, and the rest of the girl have never been alone in the life of a slayer. I don't want them to die just because its the first time the world's fate truly rests in their hands.”
Xander was shocked by the emotion is his mentor’s words. He was so used to Giles doing the stuffy-tweed-guy thing, or the Ripper’s-out-someone-is-gonna-hurt-thing. This whole emotional show-how-worried-I-am-thing was a rarely seen side of Giles. Xander just nodded, not knowing how to respond. After a minute or two of silence he found his voice. “Guess we should break it to the girls.”