Disclaimer: All of the Buffy characters belong to Crack-Head Joss Whedon, Mutant Enemy, etc., I'm just borrowing them for a while. Harry belongs to J. K. Rowlings and Jonas and his people belong to David Mamet and Shawn Ryan. There is no intent to profit from this. Only the story is mine, and even that is negotiable.
Category: My contribution to the ‘Tales from the Barman…’ series. I don’t recall seeing anyone cross these guys with either BtVS or Harry Potter before, but someone please correct me if I’m wrong. ;-)
Summary: Xander helps one of his friends with a problem that’s been bothering him.
Time frame: Sometime post ‘Chosen.’
Character Bashing: None.
Author's Notes: Thanks to Lori Bush, Tim Joy, Bill Haden and Drake the Archr for beta-ing this story.
Xander glanced up and looked towards the fireplace curiously as the flames within suddenly flared up and turned green for a moment as a dark-haired bespectacled kid stumbled through the fire and into the bar.
It was extremely slow for a Wednesday night and the place was virtually deserted except for a few of the younger Watchers-in-Training who had dropped by after one of Giles’ lectures on the possible effects of early Mesopotamian influence on early Egyptian hieroglyphics, a couple small groups of regulars and the usual group of demons who’d stopped in for the customary Wednesday night kitten poker game.
Despite the fact that he recognized the youth’s features, it was obvious from the surprised expression on the kid’s face that he had no idea where he’d ended up.
“Welcome to Nights,” Xander smiled reassuringly at the newcomer. “My name is Xander and I'm the owner and head bartender and dishwasher of this establishment, and I’m betting your name is Harry Potter, right?”
The guarded expression and the kid’s reflexive move to grab his wand was confirmation enough, but he nodded cautiously as he gave the room a second, more appraising look even as he nodded and said, “Yes, I am.”
“Before you start to get all paranoid, kid, let me tell you that this place is a sort of dimensional crossroads and we get all sorts of people dropping unexpectedly all the time,” Xander informed his newest guest. “Partly because of that, we’ve got all kinds of anti-violence wards on the place, so this probably the closest thing to a true neutral ground, where anyone can come in and kick back and relax, that you’re gonna find.
“We’ve even a couple other you’s drop in since I opened the place,” he added casually.
“Really?” The kid’s eyes pretty much lit upon hearing that comment, and he silently obeyed Xander’s gesture to take a seat at the counter.
“Yeah, pretty much,” Xander nodded. “So, what do you want to drink? And unless you know some really impressive forgery spells that you used on your I.D., you should keep it to something non-alcoholic.”
“Uh, okay. Do you have any butterbeer?”
“As a matter of fact, I do,” Xander smiled as he opened the cooler door and pulled out a bottle of the requested beverage.
“So, uh, do the other Harry Potters stop by very much?” the kid asked curiously after taking a quick gulp of his drink.
“Not so much,” Xander shook his head. “I guess you’d say that they pretty show up when they need to. You know, for advice, or the chance to kick back and not worry about someone trying to kill them for a little while.”
“Have, uh, have any of them defeated their Voldemort, do you know?” Harry inquired with a mixture of curiosity and concern.
“A couple have, and a couple more are still working on the problem,” Xander informed him as he idly wiped an already clean spot on the counter.
“Uh, would you mind telling me how they did it?” Harry asked, an apprehensive look on his face. “How did they kill him?
“Because all the research we’ve done, everything that Hermione has been able to find, it all says that he’s pretty much immune to any magic I might be able to use against him,” he explained, his frustration coloring his voice. “The only magics that might stand a chance of defeating him are so dark and unquestionably evil that trying to learn them would just make me as bad as he is.”
“So, your Voldy-guy’s immune to magic, huh?” Xander mused as he pulled out another butterbeer from the cooler and set it in front of the clearly distraught youth to replace the one he’d already drained.
What could best described as an exceedingly evil grin suddenly lit up Xander’s face after a moment’s thought as he glanced around the room.
“Okay then, if magic won’t do the job for you, then I guess you’ll have to go with the mundane way of dealing with things,” he declared to a plainly confused Harry.
“Hey, Jonas,” Xander called over to a small group of men who were sitting off to one side of the room as he came around the bar and grabbed hold of Harry’s arm to pull him along with him. “Mind if I interrupt you for a moment?”
“Not at all, Xand,” a large black man who seemed to radiate an almost palpable aura of power replied as he half-turned in his chair to look at the bartender. “What can I do for you?”
“First off, let me introduce everyone here,” Xander smiled as he looked at the five men staring at the two of them.
All five men were watching them with the same experienced expression in their eyes that Harry had seen far too often in Mad-Eye Moody’s remaining normal eye, the young wizard noted.
“Guys, this is Harry Potter, and he’s one of the – more esoterically talented – people that drop by from time to time,” he introduced the kid with one of the phrases they had come up with to describe the magically inclined portion of their clientele.
“Harry, these gentlemen are Jonas Blaine, Mack Gerhardt, Charles Grey, Hector Williams and Bob Brown,” Xander introduced the younger man to the group who all stared at him with a varying degree of interest evident in their expressions.
“Jonas, my friend Harry, here, is just visiting for a couple hours before he has to return home and he was just telling me about a – theoretical – kind of problem he has to deal with, and once I heard about it, I thought you guys might be exactly the kind of people he needs to talk to help him solve it.”
Turning to Harry, Xander gave him an encouraging wink as he said, “Okay, Har, why don’t you tell the guys here about that terrorist problem we were just discussing a minute ago. I think you’d be surprised at some of the ideas the guys here might be able to come up with, to help you solve it. Theoretically, at least,” he said as he headed back to the bar.
“All right then, my young friend,” Jonas spoke up, just as Harry was about to start arguing with Xander about involving muggles in a discussion about the best way to take down Voldemort.
“Why don’t you tell us about this problem our friend Xander mentioned,” the older man suggested with an air of authority that reminded him somewhat of Dumbledore.
“And don’t leave out anything, no matter how – unbelievable – it might seem,” the man Xander had identified as Bob advised. “We like to have all of the information that’s available when it comes to solving problems, no matter how – theoretical – they might seem,” he added with an engaging grin.
“All right,” Harry agreed as he saw Xander nodding approvingly as he watched from his spot behind the counter.
“You see, there’s this – terrorist – back home who’s…”
Jonas Blaine, Mack Gerhardt, Charles Grey, Hector Williams and Bob Brown are all members of ‘The Unit.’ More information on them and the series can be found at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Unit.