Stranger Than Fiction
Title: Stranger than Fiction
Author: Jinni (firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com)
Genre: BtVS/HP Crossover
Disclaimer: All things BtVS belong to Joss Whedon, et al. All things Harry Potter belong to JK Rowling, et al.
Distribution: NHA, WLF, WLS, BMP, Aislin, Serena. If I've given you a 'blanket permission' to archive my fics, you can have this one as well. Anyone else needs to ask.
Author's Notes: BtVS - This will contain very generalized stuff. It takes place sometime during Willow's college career and there was no Tara. Oz is long gone. For HP - spoilers for all books so far, with the rest being made up by me since we're *still* waiting for the last 3 books to be published. ~*~Part One~*~
Willow sighed; throwing her book bag into a corner with a ferocity few had ever had the privilege of seeing in her. Today had been a Very Bad Day.
It had started off like any other day; waking to a cool morning breeze coming through the window. She felt that peculiar excitement she always felt on this day, each year.
The first day of school.
True, it wasn't nearly so memorable now that she was in college. She had the freedom to come and go from her classes as she liked. There were no teachers in the hallways ushering her on, hurrying her from one place to another. College was more fun, in that regard.
Oh how things had degenerated from there, though.
She sighed, laying back on her bed, eyes closed, remembering all too accurately how things had gone from the moment she left her house.
First, it had started raining not even halfway through the walk there. She had arrived, shivering, at her first class; only to find that she had somehow missed an assignment that had been posted for the class to complete by the first day of school.
That was a first for her; and not one she was proud to have finally done. The idea of going up to the professor and begging to be aloud to make up the assignment, since she had quite honestly missed it in the first place, was squashed as she stood in line waiting to talk to him after class. The very first person in line, three people ahead of her, had been asking the same thing.
And they were shot down miserably.
By the time she wandered out of that room, her heart in her shoes, it was nearly lunchtime. Even taking the covered pathways that connected portions of the campus, she was forced to walk in the rain long enough to get soaked to the skin.
Here, in the cafeteria, did she find herself reminded all too clearly of the friends that were no longer with her. Xander, gone off to work with a relative in the Midwest. He was doing well for himself, at least; even if she did miss him like crazy. Buffy was still around, but she was too busy with Slaying and her new boyfriend to have time to go out sometimes. . . or even talk.
So it was just Willow.
That had never been the case for her.
Not even in high school. Even then she had Xander. . . and Jesse. And then when Jesse had died there had been Buffy.
Her second, and final, class of the day had been almost as bad as the first; with the teacher producing a pop quiz on the reading material she had assigned over the summer. That was all fine and good, Willow decided, before looking at the paper. She had been aware of this assignment, at least; and had done it accordingly.
But what were these little bitty facts and numbers that the history professor expected them to know? She had felt all hope leave her body at the sight of the test. Question after question on little nitpicking details, things she had read but not committed to memory since no other teacher in her life had ever been so anal.
"At least I'm home now." She murmured to the empty room, opening her eyes at last to stare up at the ceiling. A hot bath sounded perfect right now, but she needed something else, something to take her mind off of the misery that was her day. A bath would force her to lay there and do nothing but thing.
And she most definitely did not want to be thinking.
"Hmm.. fanfic or book. .. fanfic or book. . . " She looked back and forth between her bookbag and her laptop, finally reaching for the thin black case of her laptop. While it powered up she slipped into some dry clothes, a pair of jeans and a sweatshirt. She ran a brush through her hair, combing out the snarls that had occurred thanks to the gusty winds currently ripping through Sunnydale.
By the time she was dry and groomed, the laptop was ready for use.
The site she was going to was book marked in her internet browser, and she selected it with glee; her eyes eager, fingers itching, praying that there would be new parts of her most favorite fics. This was her secret passion, for over a year, reading fanfic of her favorite book series on the internet. If her friends still were around they would think she was a nut; and she was aware of this.
Willow Rosenberg, computer geek and hacker girl extraordinaire, was a Draco/Ginny 'shipper. True, she greatly enjoyed Severus/Hermione fanfics, but she was a Draco/Ginny lover at heart. So that was where she went eagerly now.
She shivered with delight, opening up one of the newest additions to the site and pouring over it with unrestrained excitement. It was only a matter of a few minutes before she was completely enthralled in the tale of the handsome Slytherin boy and the red haired Gryffindor girl; their tensions and passions, their worries and joys. This was her escape, this world where magic was more commonplace and Dark and Light were so clear cut. By the time she reached the end of the fanfic she was much more relaxed and definitely free from the pains of her day. It was avoidance, escapism at its best; but she didn't care.
But there had been one part in the fanfic that referenced something she was almost completely sure was from the books. . . something about a ferret and Draco Malfoy. . . Malfoy being turned into a ferret, for that matter. . . and she couldn't quite remember the scene as clearly as she would have liked. In fact, she could scarcely remember it at all. She gestured for her book bag, watching with amusement as it slid jerkily across the floor, bumping into shoes and other stray items in its path. Levitating it would have been quicker, of course, but that took more concentration than she was willing to put into things at that moment.
She lifted the bag to her lap, pulling out her worn copy of 'Goblet of Fire' and thumbing through it. Hadn't the whole ferret thing had something to do that weird DADA teacher that year and some fighting in the hallway? Or something like that?
"Ah!" She smirked, finding the place she had been searching for and beginning to read.
She lost herself in the book now, reading past the single place she had been seeking clarification on; falling deeper into the plot. And she wished silently, with all of her heart, that this was all real; that she could have had a chance to experience the wonderful world that was Hogwarts and Diagon Alley and . . .
And so it was a shock when the lights in her room began to flicker.
Her head jerked up, eyes widening with shock. A breeze had picked up through the room, ruffling papers, shaking small objects. She felt the cool taint of fear creep through her body and something caused her gaze to travel upwards, to the white ceiling of her room.
To what *should* have been her ceiling. There was nothing there now, except a whirling black maw of a portal that crackled with energy.
She screamed, unable to stop that most primal of reactions, and clutched, for lack of nothing better to squeeze, the book in her hand. She never stood a chance from that point; within a moment the portal had fallen.
And then *she* was falling. . .
Falling. . .
"Do you have any idea who you will get to teach the Muggle Studies course now that Professor Arkin has backed out?"
Dumbledore shook his head, giving his Deputy Headmistress a smile.
"I haven't the slightest clue, Minerva. But I have a feeling that something will be dropping into my lap very soon. . ."
As if his words were a cue to the perverse nature of the universe, a portal opened up in the ceiling of the Great Hall. Students screamed, the Welcoming Feast interrupted. It was havoc for a moment as the portal grew in size, becoming quite large.
And then there was screaming, far away, getting louder and louder by the moment. Closer and closer. The Professors stood, wands drawn, though the Headmaster seemed oddly complacent about the entire thing. Sirius Black and Remus Lupin, the current co-Professors for Defense Against the Dark Arts, moved in front of the table, directly under the portal.
The screaming stopped, the portal grew. And they all knew somehow that this wasn't something of their world. It was unnatural and grated against their very beings with its mere presence. It did not belong here or anywhere else in the world they knew.
Severus was the first to see her, the woman falling through the murky blackness of the portal and towards the stone floor of the Hall. He shouted a charm above the screams of the students, slowing her fall enough that Black and Lupin could maneuver between her and the floor, catching her without hesitation.
"Well . . . " Dumbledore murmured, finally rising from his chair to look down on the newest addition to the school. "Can't say that I really meant she would literally be dropping in on us. . ."
But for some reason, none of his staff believed him.
Not with that twinkle in his eyes.
The Headmaster reached out, gently prying her fingers from the book that was clutched in her hand, leaving her bag where it was, still in her lap, with her other hand wrapped around it in a deadlock of fear.
'Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire.' His lips mouthed the words; his mind stumbling over what he was seeing. His warm eyes looked at the girl, then at the ceiling that had returned to normal, and finally back at the book, passing it along to Minerva without a word. He heard her gasp and pass it along, the Professors mimicking the expression quite well.
Where exactly had this woman come from?
~*~End Part One~*~