Title: A New Life
Disclaimer: I own neither Harry Potter nor Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Layout first few chapters belong to McCord…who I couldn’t reach.
Timeframe and Spoilers: Through Season 7 for BtVS, HBP for HP. Takes
place post-Hogwarts and post-Chosen. By mixing two unrelated series you have to ignore certain things from canon and you have to assume and make up other details. HP-books DON’T exist in Buffy-verse (JK is not Rita Skeeter in disguise) and the wizard community isn’t completely retarded, so they know that there is something called Wiccan Magic and what they can do.
Chapter 1 "Opportunity"
March 1, 2004
As the class was dismissed, Harry Philips gathered his book and papers together and shoved them in his bag. Throwing it over his shoulder, he slowly walked behind the rest of the class as he made his way to exit the classroom. Already trying to decide what drink he was going to order at the local Starbucks.
“Mr. Philips? Could you spare a moment?”
Harry turned to see Professor Giles leaning on his desk, cleaning his glasses and waiting for a response. Harry had spent a good bit of time speaking with this professor about the material of the course, Mythology and Folklore of Ancient Cultures. He had heard that Professor Giles was an expert on demon and monster mythology, a former curator at the British museum, and one of the foremost experts on obscure and ancient relics in the world. Harry had originally signed up for the course since his experience in DADA and History of Magic might give him some previous knowledge in the subject, but he realized just how much he didn’t know. Even with Voldemort’s memory engrams he barely scratched beneath the surface of the subject, it seemed that Tommy Riddle thought that demons and monsters were too unpredictable and ‘tainted’ to use in his plans. So besides a few global studies in his youth he only researched the common ways to kill the most frequently sighted demons.
It also made him wonder just how much about the world that this Rupert Giles did know. “Yes, Professor?”
Giles moved over to the door and closed it softly. “Please, sit. I have something I want to discuss with you. And please, just call me Giles.”
“Yes, several of my former students seemed to have an... issue with authority. They refused to call me Mr. Giles, so they just started calling me Giles. I’ve gotten somewhat used to, and to be frank, fond of it. It's better than Xander’s G-man, at the very least.”
Moving to his desk, Giles started shuffling some papers to the side, and pulled a large volume from his desk drawer. “How familiar are you with vampire lore, Harry?”
Harry just shrugged. “Not too familiar. Of course I heard the popular myths, Dracula, and so forth. Silver, sunlight, stakes, crosses, you know…” And the fact that vampires are real and they were one of the monsters they learned about in Defense against the Dark Arts, but Harry wasn’t ready to share that much information to a muggle teacher.
“Did you ever hear of the myth of the Vampire Slayer?” This made Harry sit up in his chair a little, she was one of the few non-monster variety that was covered in DADA. “By your reaction, I can tell you’ve heard of it.”
“Yes, I’ve come across it before. In every generation there is a Chosen One. She alone will stand against the vampires, the demons and the forces of darkness.”
Giles sat down at the desk, resting his elbows on the desk and folding his hands together. Leveling his stare at the man across the desk from him, he seemed to be trying to read into his soul. “Harry, the reason I asked you to stay after class is that you are the best student in this class. I can also tell you’ve seen a lot, and you already have a lot of inner strength already built up.”
Leaning back in his chair, he gazed into the distance for a second, and then turned his eyes back to Harry. “How much do you believe in the supernatural, in the existence of demons, ghosts, and magic?”
Harry thought for a second, wondering if this was too much of a coincidence. But on the other hand he did see any harm in answering the question. “You’d be surprised how much I believe about that, sir.”
“Harry, what I am about to tell you must be kept in absolute secrecy. I trust you from the time I’ve gotten to know you, and believe that you are trustworthy. Do you understand?” At his nod, Giles smiled briefly. “Thank you. My job here at Oxford is really only a front. My purpose is to discover potential recruits for the organization I head up, known as the Watcher’s Council. A Watcher’s job is simple: to train, teach, and assist the Slayer in performing her divine duty.”
Harry sagged in his seat, rubbing at his temples, relieved that it was just a coincidence. He did fit the profile for a Watcher. Knowing that the Professor was waiting for some kind of reaction, he asked “So, you’re saying the Slayer is real?”
Giles raised an eyebrow. “Usually, most people ask about the vampire and demon thing first.”
“Well, if the Slayer is real, than it would be logical to conclude that vampires and demons also exist. But that isn’t the case the other way around. So I guess I’m not most people with that kind of thinking.”
Giles chuckled. “No, Mr. Philips, you’re not. This is one of the reasons that I think you have potential to be a very good Watcher, and we are in desperate need these days. You see, this time last year, in Sunnydale, California, the current slayer, along with a small army we had assembled, confronted the First Evil. During the fight, a Wicca we had with us did a spell that activated all the potential slayers in the world. Unfortunately, most of the Watchers around the globe had been killed, and we are trying to rebuild. We have about 50 active slayers found, and only a handful of people qualified to be Watchers, most of whom were either former Watchers or participants in the battle against the First.”
Harry frowned, so that was what the magical surge he felt then was all about. A Wicca spell to activate potential slayers, which would require an impressive amount of power, an amount unheard of for a Wicca Witch. Interesting to say the least. “What makes you think I’m the man for the job?”
“Call it a hunch, Harry. I think very highly of you, though I have only known you for a short time. You’re bright, you think well on your feet, and you are a natural leader. You’re exactly what we need for the new Council.”
He got the message loud and clear, they had been checking up on him. Now that he was thinking about it, he could recall several situations that might have been setup to test him. He couldn’t blame them; they have to know who they are dealing with before they ask such an important question. But turnabout is fair play and he would check them out before giving an answer. As a fairly adept student in Occlumency his face didn’t betray one of his thoughts. “May I take some time to consider it?”
Giles nodded, and handed him the large volume he had taken out of his desk. “Some of the information is outdated now that there’s no longer only one Slayer, we are already working on a new version, but this will give you an overview. This is a book on the basics of the Slayer line, the role of a Watcher, and our responsibilities to the world. Take your time in deciding.”
Thanking his professor, Harry scooped up the book and moved towards the door. Pausing, he turned around. “Why do you do it? What motivates you to fight?”
Pushing his glasses up his nose, Giles considered the question. “It used to be because it was my duty. At one time the Council relieved me of those duties, but I kept fighting. Why did I keep fighting? Because those I loved would be in even greater danger if I didn’t. So, I guess I fight because I love.”
Harry got a far-away look in his eyes for a second, and then nodded. “Thank you, I’ll let you know.”
Giles watched the young man leave, wondering what his answer would be. He opened a file with the name Harry Philips on it, and looking over the information once again. Single, 23, no family whatsoever, perfect grades in multiple (ancient) languages, high grades in his other subjects. Their tests concluded that he is in excellent physical condition and that he has far above average reflexes. All the things that qualify him as a great Watcher, there are only a few flaws: he was absolutely terrible with computers and he was a loner. Specifically the last observation worried him, being able to relate and communicate with your colleagues and your charge was an important part of the job. But Giles was sure that with some training Harry could work that out, after all if he could why couldn’t Harry?
Giles folded it back up, and slipped it back into the file. Gathering his things, he slipped into his tweed jacket and turned the classroom’s lights out. Striding through campus, he didn’t notice the emerald green eyes scrutinizing him from an upstairs window.
A few hours later, Harry (Philips) Potter found himself in a pub nursing a beer and keeping a watch on the mansion where Professor Giles disappeared into. Like he expected he couldn’t get into the mansion due to the magical securities, there was no way he would get in without using magic himself. And that was something he couldn’t risk, the Ministry would be standing next to him within seconds if he released the seal on his magical core. Tom Riddle may have been an ugly, crazy, fucked up sociopath…but nobody could deny that the freak was brilliant. He had researched and developed several methods to increase ones magical power, but he also had several methods to hide it. He used one of his more complex blocking seals to hide from the Ministry and Dumbledore, the only downside was besides the complex incantation that you could only use a (relative) small amount of magic without destroying the seal. He had no other choice really; the most fine-tuned magical detectors were honed in on him. This was the main reason why Voldemort hardly ever went on a mission of his own. As soon as he apparated or portkeyed (which uses a part of a witch or wizards magical energy and generates the hook-in-the-navel feeling) all the magical alarms in the Ministry would go off.
While Harry was waiting for a sign of activity he pondered about his life. He was happy at Oxford; it had been a wonderful break from the hectic life he had lived at Hogwarts. But he acknowledged his restlessness, and the fact that he truly could never be normal. All the years of war had instilled him a need to fight, for action, for justice, that couldn’t truly be satisfied with a normal job.
There was a time he thought about being an Auror, and knew that except for all the paperwork and rules he would have been very good at it. On the other hand, he still felt cut adrift from the wizarding world, and knew that he never could truly be effective as an Auror: kind of hard to be secretive and undercover with the a sign on etched into his forehead saying “I am Harry Potter, Conqueror of He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named.” The only thing he would be good for was a poster-boy or being on standby for cases that needed power over everything. Not even close what he had in mind as future job.
This was his chance. It was a chance to fight, not just for wizards and witches, but for everyone. He wouldn’t be expected to be the savior, the one to end it all, not even a leader, just one part of a group of people fighting for good. Somebody who had to prove himself all over again and this time without his name opening all kinds of doors (or closing in some cases) because he was ‘The-Boy-Who-Lived’.
And it would prove another thing to him. For a long time, he had been wondering if the only reason he would have been able to defeat Voldemort was because the snake had transferred some of his powers to him on that distant Halloween night. This would be a chance to prove that the reason he could fight evil, to be able to win was because of his own abilities, not Riddle’s. Hell, on some primitive level he felt the need to prove himself as a man. That he was able to do the job physically, with his own two bare hands. Sometimes winning felt like cheating because he was more magically powerful than the rest. But not now, now he would do it on his own strength. He knew it was a little caveman of him, but you just can’t deny the testosterone in you.
“All right then, Harry. Let’s see if the Boy-Who-Lived can truly handle a life of vampires, demons, and the forces of evil.”