Chapter One and Two
The Muggle Who Lived
Author: Anime Ronin
Rating: M, for sure.
Summary: Harry Potter wasn’t the only person to ever survive the Killing Curse.
Disclaimer: I own nothing. Deal with it.
AN: Another idea that Cyclone_Knight has foisted off onto me, but it’s not that bad of one so I won’t send a pack of rabid bunnies his way to chew his ankles off. The HP timeline will be altered accordingly, as this story starts in Book 2 and, obviously, the HP Canon is about to get blown out of the water.
Hogwarts School of Wizardry
He stood in the sunlight, dressed in a pair of worn, faded muggle military-style pants, a pair of leather boots, a loose white shirt that had its long sleeves rolled to the elbows and its front buttoned to just under the neck, he had a wide leather belt that had several things hanging from it and a pair of leather bracers buckled around his wrists. He was tall and tanned, his dark hair was long and unruly and covered by a wide-brimmed hat, but the most prominent feature on his face was what was over his eyes, his left one in fact – a black eye-patch. He stood with a slight slouch, a posture that seemed to tell those who looked that he was relaxed and unprepared, but that wasn’t the case – his single eye swept back and forth over the room, taking in everything, while his hands rested on the hilt of a knife and the grip of a muggle pistol.
Albus looked at the man and smiled a bit, “Ah, Professor, so nice of you to join us.” He looked at his colleagues and nodded, “Ladies and gentlemen, I would like to present to you our new Defense Against Dark Arts professor, Alexander Harris, formerly of the Council of Watchers.”
“Try not to hold that against me,” the now-named Professor Harris said with a dry tone to his voice and a slight smirk to his lips.
Severus Snape, Potions Master, snorted, “An American? Albus, you could have done better than THAT for a Defense Professor.”
“You mean yourself, Severus? You’re welcomed to try if you want to, Severus, but you should know that such a feat will only happen once and, given Professor Harris’… unique credentials, I’m not entirely sure you would survive it.” Albus’ eyes twinkled a little as Severus shook his head, “No, I thought not. Professor Harris has been fighting the minions of the dark since he was merely 15 years old, Severus, and has been a Watcher and training Slayers for nearly three years while in Africa. I would say that makes him at least qualified for the position.”
Softly, Xander snorted, “’Minions of the dark’. Giving most of them too much credit.” He looked around and frowned at the windows, which were physically un-reinforced, the massive amounts of wasted space and the funky mojo on the ceiling that made it look like the sky outside, “This is weird.”
“You will get used to it, I’m sure, Professor,” a woman’s voice with a slight Scots accent said. He looked at the woman approaching and couldn’t help but mirror her smile, “I’m Minerva McGonagall, Deputy Headmistress and Professor of Transfigurations, and I would like to welcome you to Hogwarts.”
“Thanks, Professor,” Xander said with a nod, “but please, call me Xander. Everyone else does and I’ve gotten used to it.”
She nodded, “Xander… very well then. I must ask you, though, why you are armed.” She looked down at the pistol and the knife with much disdain, “I must say that it’s quite unbecoming.”
“You spend three years in Africa without much in the way of backup or support against the more violent locals and almost half of your life fighting demons, Professor, and you will learn one of the first rules – never be without a weapon.” He pulled his pistol, an old M1911A1 and, after removing the magazine, showed her the empty chamber, “I’m sorry, Professor, but this is as much of a concession as you’re going to get.” That done he reloaded the loose round into the magazine and then slid the magazine into the pistol’s receiver.
“It will be worked out later, Minerva,” Albus said, stepping into the uncomfortable situation between his friend and his newest professor. “Now, Alexander, should we be expecting any… visitors?”
Xander snorted, “No, Headmaster, I think not. The Council and I have parted ways, probably irrevocably.” He reached up and rolled his shoulder a bit, wincing in pain as the bruise that was there made itself known, “Take this as a nickel’s worth a free advice, though, all of you – don’t irritate a Slayer when she knows she’s in the wrong and doesn’t want to admit it. Or at least use a phone if you do.”
Before anything else could be said, there was a pop in the air and a small, gray creature in a dirty smock stood before Albus, “Headmaster, wards is tripped! Dark creatures be here!”
Albus shook his head and held up his hand, “That’s quite alright, Tory, I assure you. I know why the wards were tripped and it’s not because of a Dark… well, yes, it _IS_ because of a Dark creature, but not a dangerous one.”
Minerva frowned, “What is it, Albus?”
“Professor Harris, actually.”
Xander rolled his single eye as almost every wand in the room, save Albus’, was suddenly pointed at him, “Jesus, and the Council thinks _I_ have a problem with subtlety. Look, long story short I grew up on top of the Hellmouth and I’ve spent most of my life around the Dark magics. In my line of work, that happens, so put them away.”
“Yes, I apologize for how blunt that sounded,” Albus said, not sounding the least bit sorry. “Professor Harris is quite correct – he’s absorbed a great deal of Dark magics over the span of his life and is quite harmless, I assure you.”
“No, I’m not, and you know it, Albus,” Xander said, his voice taking a darker turn. “I’m a scary guy, a scary guy on YOUR side, otherwise you never would have asked me to take this job and I never would have made it past the Board of Governors.” He then looked at the little gray creature, squatted down to where they were mostly eye-level with one another, and cocked his head off to one side, “And you are…?”
Albus smiled as the House Elf bobbed itself into a bow, almost smacking its head against the floor, “Name is Tory, belong to Hogwarts I do.”
Xander’s face darkened greatly as he looked up at Albus, “’Belong’? I’m not sure I like what that entails.” If it were possible, icicles would have been dropping out of his mouth with the decided coldness in his voice.
“Yes, it is one of the… differences between our world and yours, Alexander,” Albus said, a small bit of sweat forming on his brow.
“Good thing I said I’d reserve judgment on this Wizarding World of yours when you offered me the job in Africa…”
(Flashback – Slayer Compound, Kenya)
Xander looked at the man before him, one who looked like a cross between one of the guys from ZZ Top, a hobo and, as Cordy would put it, the fashion disaster from hell, frowned and sat back in his chair a little more, “You what?”
“I am here to offer you a job, Alexander, one in which you will be teaching youngsters how to defend themselves against the Darkness of this world.” The guy’s eyes twinkled a bit and Xander felt some pressure on his mind, which caused him to loosen a very specific set of wards he had an old juju man put on him, letting out the more primal aspect of his inner self and causing Albus to jerk back, “My word…”
“That’s what you get when you go poking around in people’s heads uninvited,” Alexander advised him in a very grave voice as his hand went for something inside of a drawer, something Albus was sure he didn’t want to see.
“I’m sorry, Alexander, but it is a force of habit.”
“One you might want to consider breaking – it’s rude and can get you killed.” Xander stood up and brought his hand out of the desk drawer, withdrawing a piece of dried fruit to gnaw on for a minute as he’d missed breakfast and his Slayers had cleaned up, meaning not a scrap was to be found or had for the Slayers’ kind and caring teacher. He didn’t begrudge them of it at all, of course, as there were tribes in the area that could eat for a week on what a Slayer ate in a day, and he always had his good old standby: MREs… which, oddly enough, not even the Slayers would eat, “Now, what’s this job you want me to do and why would I ever consider leaving the Council?”
“Because of the fact that in three years here you have taken precisely two days of vacation and of all of the sections that get funding, you and your camps get the least?”
“That means nothing, especially when my Slayers are the best,” Xander countered. It was true, though, and he knew that he was riding the fine line of being burned out, but who in the hell was going to take over for him? Willow? No, as much as he was learning to tolerate her once again, she wouldn’t know how to survive out in the depths of Africa, let alone not get killed for treading on sacred ground. Buffy? Xander mentally snorted, he and Buffy hadn’t been on speaking terms for three years, ever since he’d told her it’d be a hot day in the cold level of hell before he’d allow her to ‘infect’ his Slayers with what she called ‘training’. In retrospect, it’d been harsh, but on paper it was even harsher – Buffy’s Slayers had the highest mortality rate.
Albus shrugged, “Be that as it may, you and I both know you will not be able to do this forever. I am here to offer you another option.”
“Alright, say if I were to say yes, what could I teach them? Me and magic have a standing relationship of the FUBAR type.”
Albus blinked, “The what type?”
“Indeed you did, Alexander,” Albus conceded, still pondering exactly what the term ‘FUBAR’ meant. He had asked, discreetly, some of the muggle students and had even gone to Arthur Weasley, but so far he had not gotten anything more than a smirk or a laugh in return. “However, I must remind you that things will be quite different for you for some time.”
“Don’t coddle him, Albus,” Severus said with some snap in his voice. “If he’s as good as you say he is, he can either adapt or go home.”
Xander looked at the greasy version of Alan Rickman and shook his head, “Who pissed in your cornflakes and shit on your Welcome mat?” Snape sneered at him and Xander, as he did with Harmony in long years past, ignored him and turned to Albus, “Look, I’ll deal, but we need to talk about who is going to be handling the magic side of things.”
Albus nodded and looked at his pocket watch, “All in due time, Alexander. Now, would you join us for breakfast?” He snapped his fingers and another plate was set, filled with a range of things, “It’s quite good.”
Xander opened his mouth to accept when he felt a slight presence behind him and spun, drawing his pistol, racked it, and putting the end of the muzzle between a pair of vibrant pink eyes. The strange part, though, was the fact that the eyes were not only as wide as dinner plates, but the head it was attached to had pink hair, pink eyebrows and nothing from the neck down. “And… what are you?”
“Ah, Nymphadora,” Albus said with some amusement in his voice even as the other teachers looked on nervously, “I’m glad you could make it.”
Even with a gun between her eyes, ‘Nymphadora’ glared at Albus, “Don’t call me that. My name is Tonks.” ‘Tonks’ looked up at him and grinned somewhat cheekily, “Wotcher.”
Xander could see past the grin and could easily see she was terrified and about to wet herself, “Not anymore. Headmaster, explain.”
“This is Nymphadora Tonks, your co-professor, and she is currently wearing an invisibility cloak, which explains why only her head is visible.”
Xander looked at her for a moment before he stepped back but didn’t move his gun’s aim, “Is that so? Didn’t anyone ever tell you that it isn’t nice to sneak up on people?”
Tonks scowled slightly as she heard Snape chuckle nastily, “Yes, they have, but given the fact that I’m not exactly stealthy it is rare that I ever sneak up on anyone.”
“Yes, that’s why she was kicked out of Auror training,” Snape said, a nasty grin on his face.
Tonks looked around the man with the gun and glared at Snape, “Watch it, arse munch. There’s nobody to save you this time.”
Xander arched an eyebrow and slid the gun back into the holster – anyone who disliked Snape THAT much couldn’t be all bad, “I’m sure this will all be explained later, but now, why don’t we eat?”
Albus gave Tonks a rather disapproving look, “Nymphadora, please act your age and stop threatening Professor Snape. Your eviction from the Auror Corps is already quite well-known.”
Tonks turned her glare to Albus, “It wouldn’t be if someone hadn’t leaked the bloody report!”
“I did no such thing,” Albus said, looking somewhat offended at being accused.
“I didn’t say it was you,” Tonks grumbled back as she took off her Invisibility Cloak, revealing a thin body, but one that was in shape, a pair of low-rise khaki pants, boots and a tight-fitting t-shirt with the monogram ‘Weird Sisters’ across it. Now, normally this wouldn’t have been so bad, but the shirt was bright pink and the lettering was sickly neon green and it clashed horribly. He would have to ask her where she got them, as England and Scotland both were woefully bereft of his beloved Hawaiian shirts…
The rest of the initial meeting had gone on without a hitch and Professor McGonagall had shown him to his room in the Professor’s Tower, which had been a trip in and of itself as he’d been commented about by the artwork on the way up there (particularly this one female painting with a particularly low-cut dress…), told the password to get into the Tower, and then lead to the room he and Tonks would be teaching in. Apparently they would be teaching two of the houses at a time per class, but given that the incoming classes were only about ten kids per house, even for a school as prestigious as Hogwarts, they wouldn’t be teaching more than twenty kids at a time. This suited Xander just fine, even though he was SURE that several of his teachers and one particular troll of a principal, may he roast in hell, were laughing their asses off at the fact that HE was going to be a Professor…
Currently he was at his desk, a large stack of books on one side and a list of subjects on a chalkboard just beside him, subjects deemed by Headmaster Dumbledore as ‘appropriate’ for the children to learn or be spoken to about, and Xander was frowning at the list. He had been told by Professor McGonagall about his and Tonks’ predecessor and, given what had happened (she’d been quite open about the entire affair), he stood, walked to the board and scrawled another subject that he would tackle – Possessions and Exorcisms. Granted, the kids probably wouldn’t be able to DO anything about it, but they would at least know the signs…
Xander paused and sniffed the air, “You still have the scent of pumpkin juice on your shirt, Tonks.”
From nowhere there was a growl and then Tonks’ head appeared, apparently once again cloaked in her invisibility cloak, “How did you do that? I got all of the pumpkin juice off!”
He smirked a little, “The nose knows, Tonks, and scent never lies.”
She cocked a pink eyebrow at him as she removed the rest of the cloak, “You mean you can SMELL me?”
He shrugged as he went back to his desk and pulled out a spiral notebook (something he’d brought on his own), “You’d be surprised what I’m capable of.”
She narrowed her eyes a little, “What do I smell like then?”
“Lavender, bubblegum and pumpkin juice right now,” he answered as he began to scrawl in the notebook.
Tonks smirked a little and started to walk forwards, but she got tangled up in her cloak and fell forwards with a shriek, hitting her head hard enough that she saw stars for a moment. She heard a few footsteps and a grunt as the stars began to clear a bit and then felt a warm, callused hand on her neck, “Tonks? Are you alright?”
“Ow,” was all of a reply that Xander would get as she began to squirm. He ran his hand up and down her neck, then her back, which got a slight groan out of the fallen woman before he gently turned her over to survey the, thankfully light, damage as her eyes flickered open, “Wotcher.”
“As I said earlier, not anymore,” he quipped as he helped Tonks sit up. “You alright?”
“No,” was the sullen response he got as she kicked her foot and the transparent cloak ruffled a little. “I’m a bloody klutz and Albus wants ME to teach the kids the magic side of Defense.”
Xander shrugged and helped her to her feet, “Yeah, well, at least you have a guideline for what the magical side of class is going to look like. I’m going into this blind.” He paused and then shook his head, “No, that’s not exactly true, I’m half-blind and I have a few ideas but I want to run them by you first.”
Tonks dusted herself off, “And those would be?”
“A split class – you teach the magical, I teach the physical, then we switch at mid-year.” Xander grinned a little, “This works out for both of us, I think.”
Tonks smiled, “I think the premise of the idea isn’t all that bad, Professor Harris.”
Xander winced, “Xander, please, Professor Tonks.”
“Call me Tonks and we’ll get along smashingly.”
“Deal.” He paused for a moment and walked back to the chalkboard and, in all caps, wrote ‘TACTICS’, which he underlined three times, “I knew I was forgetting something important…”
Tonks smirked a little but then noticed something – Xander’s shirt was open just a bit in the chest and, with what skin was exposed, she could see a particularly nasty-looking scar over his chest. From what she could see, it was jagged, almost like… her eyes bugged out a little, “Bugger, what happened there?”
Xander looked down and quickly closed his shirt, “War wound from a few years ago.”
Tonks narrowed her eyes, “I thought you weren’t military.”
“I’m not, it’s something I call any scar I get while saving the world,” Xander explained, his mind going back a few years to the Bluff and Darth Willow.
Xander sucked in a deep breath and sat up, stifling a scream as the nightmare broke and he snapped awake, his body trembling, dripping with sweat, his heart pounding and his breaths coming in short, shallow gasps. In times past this could have been attributed to Anya and how she liked to wake him up with an early morning orgasm, but she was long dead and he was alone with his nightmares.
He wiped his face with his hand and looked over at the window outside, seeing the inky blackness of night still there, and Xander sighed as his heart began to slow, “Damn it. I haven’t had one of those in weeks.” He flung aside the sheets and put his bare feet down on cold stone, tensing and gasping slightly before he shook it off – he still hadn’t gotten used to that, even after a week at Hogwarts, but then again there were things at this school that STILL surprised people according to Minerva. Again shaking this off, Xander walked into his bathroom and stripped off his shorts, stepped into the shower and let the water go from icy cold to sub-broiling hot before he modulated it, letting the tension in his muscles build and then bleed out as the memories of the nightmare continued to assault his mind.
It always started the same, with him and Willow on Kingsman’s Bluff, and the Dark Eyed Wicca woman hurling energy at him. It’d hurt, GODS it had hurt, but she was his Willow and he was her Xander – he had to try and reach her… and if that wasn’t possible, then it’d fall to him to kill her. Still, though, the green energy and magic Willow had absorbed continued to pour out into him, tearing open a wound on his chest as he stood there, a wound that left him with a long, jagged scar that he often kept covered for some reason or another. Tonks had seen it, though, and had brought up the question of where and how he’d got it, but thankfully she’d brought the simple answer he’d given her and not pressed things even more.
Briskly he washed his hair and the rest of the sweat off of him before he shut off the water and dried off, at which point he walked over to the small mirror and looked at his patch-covered eye. It still bothered him, even to this day, but even as he removed the patch and looked at the scarred flesh under it, it was a constant reminder that not only was his own person, he was also lucky to be alive and he was also Murphy’s personal whipping boy. He opened the eye and looked at the eye that was looking back at him, slightly dazzled by the sudden infusion of light, but soon the spots went away and he could see the yellow-green orb looking back at him, SOLID yellow-green. He wasn’t sure how this had happened, hell, he hadn’t been sure how to tell anyone, so he hadn’t, but at some point over the past few years it had shown up, as if by magic (which, in his line of work, was a distinct possibility) overnight while he was out hunting Slayers. At first, he’d been quite freaked out, and rightfully so, but one of the local medicine men had taken a look at it and had told him to not worry, that the Earth Mother was looking out for him, and Xander… well, while not completely at ease with the thought, didn’t give it much more thought as he began to see the world as he once had before… only clearer.
Xander quickly shaved and was just pulling his pants on when there was a knock at his door and an, “Oi! Wake up!” before said door was opened. Tonks, he’d found out, not only lived right next door to him, but seemed to take exception to closed doors, so much so that she often walked into a room without announcing herself. THAT particular trait had been cured quickly with him when he’d flung a knife at her head the first time she did it. “Tonks, how many times do I have to tell you that I don’t give free shows?”
Tonks leaned against the door frame and grinned slightly as she watched Xander quickly jerk on his shirt, “At least a dozen times, but why don’t you try it again, mate? Maybe we’ll hit that magic number…” She frowned, though, when he sighed and muttered something that she only half heard, about ‘Giles’ and somehow this being ‘payback’, but she quickly wrote it off – he did that a lot.
After a moment, Xander finished getting dressed and turned to her, a slightly familiar grin on his lips, “You know, Tonks one day I’m going to barge into your room to see if I can even up the score here.”
Tonks grinned back even as she felt heat rush to her cheeks and her body started to respond a bit, “Watch it, mate, or I’ll give you more than an eye-full.” Her good mood vanished as her words caught up to her, “Cor, Xand, I’m sorry-“
He shook it off, “No probs, Tonksie, I’m used to bad jokes.”
Tonks growled, “Don’t call me that, and my jokes aren’t bad!”
Xander snorted as he reached over and grabbed his bracers, slipping them on before he started on his vest, “I know bad jokes, Tonks – I made them all the time.”
“Not made, make,” Tonks jabbed back, a grin pulling at her lips. “You’ve thrown out some stinkers this week.”
Xander sniffed slightly as he grabbed his boot knife, slid it into place, and then grabbed his gun belt, “You just don’t have as refined of a sense of humor as I do, Miss Tonks.” Inwardly, though, Xander was pleased – it’d been a while since he’d had someone to verbally spar with on this level, not since Cordy. He missed it.
Tonks looked at the gun at Xander’s waist and arched an eyebrow, “Headmaster Dumbledore doesn’t like that, you know.”
“Headmaster Dumbledore knows that it is part and parcel with me,” Xander lobbed back as he grabbed his field jacket and slid into it. “It’s as much of a part of me now as your pink hair is part of you.”
Tonks snorted and shifted her hair from pink to electric blue, “My hair is what I want it to be and it’s not like someone’s going to attack you in school.”
“But we’re not going to be IN school today,” Xander reminded her as he checked his pockets.
This was true, Tonks remembered – they were going to Daigon Alley today to do some shopping, but also to get out of the castle, “Just don’t shoot any kids, alright?”
Even as they looked through the books, Xander didn’t even have the good grace to look as he reached over and grabbed Tonks’ wrist before she could get to her wand, “Remember, Tonks, just don’t shoot any kids.”
Tonks growled and yanked her hand away, “I wasn’t.”
“Leave the parents alone too,” Xander added in as he picked up another book and began to leaf through it.
Tonks pouted, “Spoil sport.”
“We’ll get to shoot the kids as much as we like when classes start, so hold off.”
Tonks grinned a little bit before she growled playfully, “Men, there’s just no pleasing you.”
Xander snorted as he closed the book and reshelved it, “I’m not even going there. Who in the hell WRITES this stuff?” He pulled another book, one that had the anatomical diagram of some of the more common demonic creatures of the world and pointed to one after a few seconds, “I mean look at this! If anyone goes after the spleen of a Grabdor demon using THIS book, they’ll be getting his bladder instead.” He sighed disgustedly and put the book back, “I’m willing to bet good Twinkies that half of this stuff is utter crap and the other half is only partially right.”
Tonks leaned over and teased, “Is that your frustrated Inner Watcher speaking? One who can’t get all of his books?”
Xander snorted and put the book back, “Please. If this place had a QUARTER of the books I need, I’d be happy. Guess I’ll have to do this the hard way,” he sighed. He walked up to the counter and got the shop owner’s attention, “Excuse me, but is there any other place around here to get books?”
The manager looked over and said, somewhat brusquely, “What, this place isn’t good enough for you?”
Xander narrowed his eye a bit, “I’d expect a place that sells school books to Hogwarts to have stuff that’s actually right nine times out of ten. I’m looking for a REAL Tobin’s Spirit Guide, not the waste of paper you have up on the shelf, and about a dozen other books.”
Before the manager could answer, Xander found a book shoved into his hand by a man in a rather tacky set of robes and with a large, photogenic smile on his face, “Then you, good sir, need my book. It has everything you could possibly need, from tales of daring doings against some nasty vampires in Romania to a how to deal with dragons, just like I did in Russia.”
Xander paused, looked at the man, looked at the group of on-lookers behind him, then he looked over at Tonks, “Who is this?”
Tonks frowned for a moment, “Gilderoy Lockhart, the guy who was in contention for you job.”
Xander frowned for a moment before he shrugged, “Never heard of him. Then again, I’ve been stuck in Africa for a few years, so that’s not surprising.”
The man, Lockhart, appeared to be outraged, “Never HEARD of me? Why, my tales of dealing with the vampires in Romania alone are worth note!”
Xander snorted as the crowd began to grumble, “Please. There’s only ONE vampire in ALL of Romania that is worth going there for, and A) he hasn’t been there for a century, and B) you wouldn’t be alive right now if you’d tried anything with him unless you amused him… which is entirely possible. Besides, if you want vampires, go to Prague.”
The crowd gasped as Lockhart pulled his wand, “Are you calling me a LIAR?”
Xander didn’t even flinch, “Prague, MAYBE, but half the 'vampires' in Romania are idiots playing dress up for the tourists. The other half ARE tourists.” Xander paused, “And, for the record, you’re not an idiot, you’re just misinformed.”
Tonks reached over and rested her hand on her wand, “Xander…”
Xander shook his hand in her direction, “Relax, Tonks, I’ve faced down scarier things than some fop in funny clothes with a stick.” He tossed the book aside, “I mean, sure, if Glorificus showed up, I’d piss my pants, but in the grand scheme of things… this guy doesn’t even rank.”
Lockhart fired a spell past the end of Xander’s nose and opened his mouth, only to see a blur and stumble back into the crowd, who caught him. When he got back up, his nose was bleeding profusely and his eyes were livid, “You HIT me!”
Xander shook out his hand as he pulled his .45, leveling it between Lockhart’s eyes for a moment before he went to the man’s chest, figuring the bigger target was the heart instead of the brain, “You shot a spell at me and missed – your mistake.”
“Who do you think you are?”
“Professor Alexander Harris, co-teacher of Defense Against Dark Arts, Hogwarts.”
Several of the crowd gasped and Lockhart stiffened, “Then I demand a duel! My honor will accept nothing less.”
Xander looked at him for a moment before he shrugged, “Alright.” He put his gun back into the holster and arched his eyebrow, “Shall we take this outside?”
The crowd pulled away from the two, a hush running through the store, a hush that was broken when Tonks whistled a tune that would have been recognizable to anyone who’d seen the movie, following it up with, “Wah-wah, wah…” Sadly, most of the people in the place were Wizards, and even the muggleborn were handicapped because they were British, so nobody recognized it.
Lockhart appeared to be ready for a moment before a whispered conversation of, “Do you think they’re going to kill each other?” “No way. The Professor’s toast.” “Give me ten on Lockhart.” “Five on the Professor.” “Place your bets…” snapped him out of it. No, not here…
Xander raised his hand to where it hovered over his pistol, “Come on… I’ll be your Huckleberry…”
Lockhart narrowed his eyes before he lowered his wand, “No, not today. I’ll spare you life today. You don’t even have a wand.”
Xander, never one to pass up the chance to quip, sneered, “Wand? I don’t need to steenking wand…” Ah, yes, how he longed for the good old days when Giles, by this point, would be polishing his glasses into a new prescription… Xander tapped the butt of his pistol with his finger, “I’ve got all the offensive firepower I need right here. Now, are we going to do this, or are you going to cool off?”
Lockhart put his wand away, “As I said, I will spare you today.” With that, he stalked away from the store, most of the crowd following him as he did.
Xander, his eye still narrowed, wasn’t sure how he felt about not shooting the guy, so he settled for, “Damn.” There was then a very hard smack on the back of his head and he stumbled forwards for a second before he looked back and saw Tonks, “What was that for?”
The pink-haired woman wasn’t pink-haired, no, now it was black and her eyes were red, “You idiot! Do you know who that was? What would have HAPPENED if you two would have fought in here? How much MONEY I could have made if you’d let me have time to bet on you?”
Xander rubbed the back of his head, “Well, at least you would have bet on me… and yes, I do know what would have happened, Tonks – exactly what DID happen. And what odds were they setting?”
Tonks calked down and shifted back to her normal features, “Seven to one against you, and what do you mean by what ‘DID happen’? He had you dead to rights.”
Xander shook his head as he adjusted his eye patch, “No, he didn’t, Tonks. I’ve seen… I’ve KNOWN enough killers in my lifetime to know a poser when I see it. It wasn’t in his eyes.” He then snorted, “I'll bet you thousand to one odds that _Andrew_ has more combat experience than that twit."
Tonks, frowned, “Who?”
“Uber-Geek, him and two others thought they were the big bads of the town before everything went to hell.” Xander’s mind went back to Warren and the events of the past, making him growl and remember what Willow had done…
“Excuse me, did you say you’re the new professor at Hogwarts?”
Xander snapped out of his anger and looked at the matronly redhead and several children around her, “Huh? Well, yes, I am, one of them.”
The woman looked at him for a moment and, in that moment, Xander felt like he had when Joyce had been giving him the once-over – if he didn’t pass muster, though, Joyce wouldn’t have minded, “You’re a bit young to be a Professor, aren’t you?”
Xander shrugged, “Physical age and experience aren’t always mutually inclusive. Some of us just get an earlier start than others.”
To her side, a red-haired boy with freckles on his cheeks and prominent ears grinned, “That was bloody brilliant! I’ve never heard of anyone doing that with Lockhart.”
Beside that young man another rolled his eyes, “Ron, stop it. We almost saw a blood bath and you’re HAPPY about it.”
‘Ron’ looked at the young man with messy black hair, green eyes, glasses and a bit of a scar visible from under the mop, “Come on, Harry, we could have seen if Lockhart was as good as people think he is.”
“Ignore him,” a young female voice said with a hint of exasperation in her voice, causing him to look over and then down. ‘Cute’ was the first word that came to mind at the red haired girl there, “Mum says he’s at that age all boys get to where anything is worth getting excited over.”
Xander smirked a little bit, “She says that like we ever grow out of it.” He held out his hand, “Professor Xander Harris.”
The girl blushed a bit as she took his hand, “Ginny Weasley, this will be my first year.”
Xander smiled a bit, “Good, I get the fresh ones. I’m sorry to say that I’ve read over everything the kids have been taught over the past few years and I’m not overly impressed, so we’re going to be working on something new.”
The mother immediately huffed in anger and as if she’d been insulted, “I’ll have you know that the professors at Hogwarts teach only the finest!”
Not far behind her was a bushy-haired young woman, “Mrs. Weasley is right. Just because you don’t agree with what’s taught-“
“I don’t agree with what’s taught because most of it is WRONG, Miss?”
The young woman flushed a bit, her ire stopped cold, “Granger, Hermione Granger.”
“Harris, Professor Harris,” Xander returned in his best Connery voice.
The woman narrowed her eyes a bit, “What makes you qualified to teach?”
Xander looked at the woman for a moment and narrowed his eye, “If I wasn’t qualified, do you think that Albus Dumbledore would have gone to Africa to drag my ass away from something I considered personally important in order to teach kids how to defend themselves properly?”
The woman jerked back and the two boys stopped arguing as she scolded at him, “Language!”
Xander rolled his eye as he heard Tonks giggle off to the side, “Trust me, I’ve used worse and the kids will hear worse. Defense and combat training isn’t any place for virgin ears.” He then turned and looked at Tonks with mock severity, “Watch it, missy.”
Tonks stopped giggling and gave him a prim look, “Or what?”
Xander just grinned in response as the door opened again and one of the boys groaned in disgust. Xander turned and saw Governor Malfoy and a small copy of him standing in the doorway, both of them looking as if they had something large and oddly shaped shoved somewhere unpleasant, “Mr. Malfoy.”
Lucius looked at him for a moment before he grinned, “Ah, Professor Harris, what a surprise to see you here. Everything is well, I trust?”
“With the exception of running into the poser, Lockhart, and having difficulty finding the right books, everything’s peachy,” Xander drawled slightly. He looked down at the younger blonde and frowned inwardly – both of them looked FAR too much like Spike for his liking.
It was at this point that the young copy spoke up, “Father, who is this… muggle.” With the distaste in his last word, Xander knew that not only was this year going to be interesting, but the plan he had in place for the students was going to raise nine different types of unholy hell.
“Professor Alexander Harris, Draco, and you will listen to him as you’ve listened to me.” The blonde man looked down at his son, a look on his face that told the pup ‘do not argue’, “He’s the best in his field.”
Xander made no move to prove or disprove what the man said, even though he knew it wasn’t true. There were tons of people out there who were better than him at what he did, only THEY weren’t as easy to find. Instead, he looked at Tonks, “Do I stick out that much?”
Tonks arched an eyebrow, taking in the ensemble: boots, loose white shirt, vest, rugged pants, bracers, a brimmed hat that had seen better days, the gun holster, everything he’d come to Hogwarts in, “You’re dressed like you’re out on safari, Xander.”
Xander snorted, “Blame Allen. He’s the one who is not only replacing me, but says that the outfit is not only high fashion in Africa, but also strictly utility.”
“You’re not IN Africa anymore,” Tonks pointed out.
“Yes, well, as I can’t get my Hawaiian shirts, I’ll stick with what I’m comfortable with for now.” Idly, he considered wearing one of those robes – all kinds of things could be done to it to make it actually practical to wear… Velcro, or if there was a magical equivalent, reinforcing… and pockets. Lots of pockets, but not too many because that would-
Xander stopped – damn it, he was turning into Cordy.
Out of the corner of his eye, Xander noticed Lucius Malfoy walking by Ginny Weasley’s bag of books and slip something inside, apparently without the notice of Ginny, her mother, or anyone else. He was used to people trying to slip things by him, be it his Slayers, Dawn, fellow Watchers, the locals… hell, the people who were the least obvious about it were the ones who were trying to kill him. Honestly, you lose ONE eye and suddenly everyone thinks you’re blind… but he made a mental note. He didn’t trust Malfoy, and it had nothing to do with the fact that he looked like Spike.
After their trip down Diagon Alley and through many shops, Tonks found herself and Xander walking down one of the seedier alleys of the group – Knockturn Alley. Apparently the books that he wanted, that were ‘necessary’ in his eyes, could be found or obtained there. Even with her Auror training, the place gave her the willies, and not the fun kind, “Xander?”
“The people and types you find here…”
Xander stopped and looked at her oddly, “What about them?”
“You CAN shoot them.”
A slow smile broke over Xander’s face, quickly followed by a chuckle, “Sweet. Thanks, Tonks.” With that, he walked to one of the doors and beat a rhythmic knock into it, ‘Shave and a hair cut,’ followed by a verbal, “Open up.”
A few seconds later a small window opened in the middle of the door, “Who are you and why are you here?”
“I’m Lady Bathory looking for virgins,” came Xander’s slightly sarcastic reply.
“Not much of a rack on you, then,” the man’s voice said with the same sarcasm in it.
Xander sighed and appeared to fight with himself before he said, “Ripper sent me.”
The door, Tonks was surprised, was almost jerked off of its hinges, exposing the shop keeper, who was smiling hugely, “Really now? How is the old dog?”
“Still overly British, but he sends his regards,” Xander said as he and Tonks walked in.
The man snorted, “No, he doesn’t. Bloody bastard wants to hang me up by my tongue and use my guts for garters.”
“Giles isn’t like that anymore,” a voice suddenly said.
Xander stopped dead in his tracks and looked over into the book stacks, “What are you doing here?”
“Apocalypse watch,” the woman said simply as way of reply. She walked out of the stacks and waved at him slightly, “Hi.”
Tonks frowned, “Xander, who is she?”
“She’s Willow, Wicked Witch of the Wicca.”
AN: Alright, these are parts one and two of this story – been doing this for a while and it’s about time they get posted. What do you think? Reviews, please.