You Haven't Even Begun
Disclaimer: I do not claim any rights to or ownership of Buffy the Vampire Slayer or Harry Potter and subsequent stories or characters. No copyright infringement is intended on either works of creative genius. Buffy the Vampire Slayer is the property of creator Joss Whedon and Harry Potter belongs to JK Rowling. “You think you know. What’s to come, what you are. You haven’t even begun.” Tara MacClay, Restless; Dracula, Buffy vs. DraculaAberdeen, Scotland
Willow missed the old days. She rarely admitted it to anyone but herself anymore, but she often found herself reminiscing about the early days in Sunnydale when it was just Buffy, herself, Xander, and Giles. Now, though, as she was walking up the streets of Aberdeen, Scotland with Bryanna Hainsworth, one of the Slayers she had activated, Willow tried to turn her thoughts to the task at hand; convincing two girls the coven had recently located to come back to the Council and begin their training as Slayers.
Their first meeting, with thirteen year-old Emery Taggart, had gone relatively well, all things considered. Emery was very sweet and personable; she had obviously been spoiled and sheltered throughout much of her young life and her parents were incredibly protective of their little girl. Willow was glad that Bryanna had been there, as the seventeen year old had been about the same age when she was Called, and could help calm the poor girl’s parents. They were reluctant at first, actually very disbelieving that there could be such things as vampires and demons, but Emery had agreed to going to a local graveyard after sunset with both Willow and Bryanna.
Meeting with sixteen year-old Fionna Drummond had gone quite differently. She was certainly pleasant enough and very agreeable, but they had had a difficult time convincing her mother that she would be in very capable hands if Fionna decided to join them in London. Once again, Willow was incredibly thankful for Bryanna’s presence when she took Fionna aside and calmed some of the girl’s fears about being one of the oldest to be Called. This allowed some time for Willow to sit down and speak with Mrs. Drummond, alleviating some of the woman’s fears about her child’s safety.
“I can’t promise that she won’t be in danger some of the time,” Willow had said, “but Buffy has been doing this for a very long time and she takes the girls’ training very seriously. And speaking from many years experience of working with many Slayers, Fionna will be more than capable of taking care of herself once she learns how to control her powers. Honestly, you’re putting her in more danger by not allowing her to go.” It had been this last statement that had almost convinced Mrs. Drummond to let Fionna go with them right then and there. Willow told her to think about it and they would be back in a few hours to take Fionna with them to the graveyard. The sooner Fionna and Emery met and started bonding, the better.
“You ready to take some newbies' out?” Willow grinned at Bryanna, who smiled back and shook her head.
“Not anymore ready than I was when you took me my first time,” she replied in her Irish brogue. When Bryanna had been Called five years ago, Willow had been the one who had told her of her destiny. Bryanna had returned to London with Willow and immediately began her training. Rather than returning to Ireland when her training was complete, she had opted to stay at Council headquarters and help transition the new girls into the program.
Willow nodded, remembering the incident well. Bryanna had, in a word or two, wigged out when she came in contact with her first vampire. She had come a long way since then, accompanying Willow on these missions.
“Where are we picking them up?” Bryanna asked, brushing a strand of long red hair out of her face. No matter how hard she tried to keep it back in a ponytail, there was always that one piece that simply refused to stay in place.
“There’s a marketplace just down the road from where they both live,” Willow said. “I figured it was a pretty central place since it’s on the way to the cemetery.”
Bryanna nodded, focusing on a distant location down the lane that looked like it could be their destination. “Is that it up there?” She asked, pointing.
Willow turned to look in the direction Bryanna was pointing and also looked in the distance. “I think so, yeah. I didn’t think it would be this far of a walk.”
“Couldn’t you have just teleported us or something?” Bryanna asked her eyes twinkling as she looked down at her companion.
Willow just shook her head. “You totally don’t get the witch thing do you? I can’t use my powers like that. Not anymore.” And she hadn’t. Not since…well…not since Tara. She couldn’t afford to go down that path again.
“Sorry,” Bryanna said quietly. “I didn’t mean that. Walking is good.” The Slayer didn’t know the full story of what had happened so many years ago with Willow, but she knew the magic could be a touchy subject for the Wicca.
“It’s okay,” Willow replied gently, looking up at the Irish Slayer walking next to her. If Willow hadn’t known that Bryanna was seeing some mystery guy in London, well…no, Willow, you can’t go there. No office relationships. Look what happened to Buffy and Angel. Buffy and Riley. Buffy and Spike. You and Kennedy.
That was another sore subject for Willow; the subject of Kennedy. Once the Sunnydale crew had made their way cross country and set up shop in Cleveland, things with Kennedy had gone south. It basically came down to the fact that Kennedy felt that Willow was holding her back and Willow was tired of Kennedy’s feelings that the world owed her something because she was a Slayer. “So are thousands of other girls all over the world, Kennedy!”
Willow had argued with her before they had left for London. Kennedy had opted to stay behind and Willow had never really found anyone to give her heart to. Not after being so unlucky in love so many times.
“Penny for your thoughts,” Bryanna said, breaking into Willow’s reverie.
“I have a lot more thoughts than just a penny would pay for,” Willow said. “Besides, we’re here.”
Bryanna turned and sure enough, a large, outdoor marketplace stood in front of them. “Do you have any idea where they are?”
Willow shook her head. “No, hold on. I can do a quick scan of the area. Their essences should be pretty easy to locate.”
Bryanna watched in slight awe as Willow closed her eyes, holding her hands out before her, the magic crackling at her fingertips like tiny fireworks. “Find them yet?” No answer. Willow’s hair was slowly darkening and Bryanna placed a hand on the Wicca’s shoulder. “Willow? You okay?”
Willow’s eyes snapped open and Bryanna was shocked to see that they had become completely black. “I’m fine,” she bit off. “Why don’t you mind your own business?”
Bryanna stepped back, looking as though Willow had just slapped her across the face. “S-sorry,” she stammered, not used to seeing Willow react to her power like this.
Willow shook her head, seeming to come back to herself, her hair and eyes returning to their normal shades. “Oh, Bree, I’m so sorry! I didn’t mean to—the magic hasn’t done that to me in ages,” she tried to explain. “I don’t know what happened.”
Bryanna smiled kindly and shrugged. “Water under the bridge,” she replied. “Let’s go get Fionna and Emery. We can worry about why your magic went all crazy when we get back to headquarters.”
Willow nodded, feeling that this was the best course of action as well. She gestured at a nearby fruit stand, indicating for Bryanna to follow. It took quite a bit longer to get there than she had originally thought, due to the large crowd that was so intent on getting in their way, but they made it at last.
Bryanna spotted the two new Slayers first and raised a hand in greeting. “Ready?” She asked the girls kindly. They both nodded uncertainly, both looking as though they might be sick. “It’s okay, really,” Bryanna tried to reassure them. “Remember, Willow and I will take care of the actual slaying if you guys get into any trouble. You haven’t committed to anything yet.” Fionna nodded again, not really feeling any better. As for Emery, she simply smiled weakly and tried to put on a brave face.
“Shall we, then?” Willow asked brightly, hoping to alleviate the girls’ fears as they drew nearer to the graveyard.
The four females set off in the direction of the cemetery, Willow trying to keep the mood light and somewhat cheery for the time being. She was almost certain that Emery had giggled nervously at one of her really bad jokes, but immediately sobered at the sight of the cemetery gates.
They had perfect timing, or so it seemed, for just as Willow opened the gates with a loud screeching that echoed into the night, the sun disappeared over the horizon. “Just in time,” she said, ushering the girls in to the graveyard.
“Now what?” Fionna asked in a trembling voice.
Willow smiled grimly as she perched on top of a large headstone. “Now we wait.”Capetown, South Africa
Xander Harris positioned himself in a similar fashion on top of a large grave marker thousands of miles away. He too was trying to convince a young green Slayer to answer her Calling and return to London with him to begin training. Apparently great minds think alike, even miles away from each other, because at the same moment that Willow, Bryanna, Fionna, and Emery had entered a Scottish graveyard, Xander and his new charge, Amare Sende had done the same in Capetown, South Africa.
Amare’s chocolate brown eyes darted around nervously, trying to take in as much as the night sky would allow her. Millions of stars twinkled overhead and the moon shone full and bright directly overhead. The sound of waves from the Atlantic Ocean could be heard in the distance, crashing noisily on the shore. “Mr. Harris,” Amare began timidly.
Xander grinned at her from his position on top of the grave marker, his good eye twinkling in the moonlight. “Mr. Harris was my father,” he said. “Actually, I don’t know if anyone really called him that, but just call me Xander, okay?”
Amare nodded tentatively, unsure of what he had just said. Her English was good enough; her father had made sure of that, but she was not accustomed to this man’s very Americanized way of speaking. “Xander,” she said slowly, “what do I do if one comes? A vampire, I mean.”
“Your first instinct is going to be to run like hell,” Xander told her bluntly, “and that’s okay. This is your first time out, no one expects you to bag a vampire right away. Do what your instincts tell you to do. And always make sure you know where your stake is.”
Amare placed her hand on her left hip where she had stored the stake in a leather holster, both of which had been given to her by Xander before they had gotten to the graveyard. “So we wait?”
“We wait.” Xander crossed his arms comfortably over his chest and watched as Amare paced around the graveyard. She was young, that was true, but Xander had already seen a small demonstration of her strength. Amare had what it took to survive in this very scary world in which he lived. There had been some that he had just known would not survive once left to their own devices. The girls who never connected with anyone, they were easy targets. The proud ones usually met a terrifying end. And the girls who were more interested in the power than the mission ended up like Kennedy, or Faith. Only one other girl had gone rogue in the past nineteen years, which was pretty good, considering the close calls they had had with a few of them, Xander mused. He was so deep in his thoughts that he hadn’t noticed someone calling his name. Xander.
It came so subtly, like a whisper on the wind, that he didn’t hear it the first time. XANDER!!Aberdeen, Scotland
Bryanna leaned up against a nearby mausoleum, casually tossing a deadly looking stake into the air. Emery and Fionna stood side by side with their arms linked, looking increasingly more and more nauseous at every passing moment. Their eyes flitted frantically through the graveyard for any signs of un-life. Bryanna looked casually at Willow, raising an eyebrow in the younger girls’ direction. “I don’t think we’ll have to worry about them being alone,” she murmured under her breath.
Willow nodded. This was a good sign. Not the fact that both girls looked as though they might be sick at any moment; in Willow’s book, vomiting was a bad thing. No, Willow was very pleased to see that even within a half an hour, the two girls had already begun to form a close relationship.
Somewhere to the north of the graveyard, Willow heard the sound of leaves rustling. She sat up a bit straighter, straining her senses to determine if danger was nearby. Emery and Fionna noticed the slight shift in the older woman’s posture and Emery gripped Fionna’s arm even tighter. “It’s okay, girls,” Bryanna tried to soothe them, holding her stake down at her side.
“Is it a vampire?” Fionna asked, her voice trembling.
Willow shook her head. “Don’t know,” she replied. “Stay calm and stay quiet.” The leaves rustled again, this time louder and with more urgency. Willow jumped off the headstone, landing gracefully on the soft ground beneath her. She turned to face the direction of the sound, barely aware of Bryanna stepping up beside her.
Within seconds, two vampires leaped out from the trees, their sharp yellow teeth glinting in the moonlight. Emery and Fionna screamed and ran to hide behind a nearby grave. Bryanna held her stake up just enough for the two creatures to see and recognize, all the while shouting at the two younger girls across the graveyard. “You do not hide!” She cried. “Run like mad, but don’t hide! Use your instincts!”
Of course Bryanna’s shouting turned the vampires’ attention towards the two young Slayers and Bryanna could have smacked herself when she saw this. “Crap! You don’t want them,” she shouted, trying to regain their interest. “They’re way too skinny! Don’t you want a tasty morsel like me?”
“Tasty morsel?” Willow mouthed. Bryanna shrugged, keeping her eyes on the two vampires. One was male and had obviously been around for a while; based on the outdated clothes he was wearing. The other was female; she used to be a blonde bombshell from the looks of her, but she seemed a bit newer than her partner.
Bryanna’s taunting had split their interest and now the vampires were looking back and forth between her and Fionna and Emery’s hiding place. With a deafening roar, they wordlessly decided to split the difference, going in opposite directions. Emery and Fionna scrambled out from behind the headstone, frantically looking for a way out as the female rushed them. Bryanna held her ground, smiling grimly as the male charged at her.
Willow was working on putting up a protective shield around the two new Slayers when she heard someone saying her name. Willow?
She shook her head, turning her attention back to the spell. Willow?
That voice sounded oddly familiar. Buffy? Is that you?Oh, thank God!
Buffy’s relieved voice echoed in her mind. I thought I was doing something wrong!
Willow ducked as a vampire went sailing over her head, Bryanna running after it. This is kind of a bad time, Buff. We’re fighting evil here.Sorry. It’s an emergency. I wouldn’t have interrupted otherwise.It’s okay,
Willow answered. What’s going on?It’s Dawn.
Buffy’s voice had grown quiet with fear for her sister. She’s missing.I thought we were done with this whole ’rescuing Dawnie’ thing.Apparently not,
Buffy replied. Listen, I don’t think I’m going to be able to find her without your help. Xander too.I can’t teleport all four of us back there, Buffy. Not without completely losing myself in the magic.
Willow could almost hear Buffy shaking her head emphatically. I don’t expect you to. I’m contacting Xander and then I’ll explain to both of you.
“Willow, look out!” Bryanna yelled, just as the blonde hurtled towards her, teeth bared. Willow threw her hands up, erecting a small but effective barrier. The vampire bounced off of it and hit the earth with a loud grunt. Bryanna ran by Willow, leaped on the fallen vampire and straddled it around the waist, her stake poised directly above the heart. “From dust to dust,” she quipped just before she plunged the stake downward. The vampire opened its mouth in silent protest and with a whoosh of sound, turned to dust and ash and disappeared. Bryanna dropped to the ground with a soft thud.South AfricaXANDER!
“Great Caesar’s Ghost!” Xander exclaimed, so startled he fell backwards off the headstone he was perched on, landing painfully on his head. Amare jumped as well, turning in Xander’s direction. “Sorry,” he muttered, trying to sit up. “Go back to watching for demons.”Xander? Buffy?Xander?Buffy?Is that you?It better be or you're about to tell some strange man something that's probably pretty private.
Buffy made a very loud noise of annoyance which echoed through Xander’s brain. If I could smack you right now, I would.Good for me we’re so far apart right now. What’s up? You scared the crap out of me.Sorry about that. Listen, I’m getting Willow in on this too. Dawn is missing. I need you guys to come home and help me find her.Uh, Buff?Yeah?I'm kind of on this other continent right now; you know, rhymes with Spafrica? And isn't Willow in Scotland or something? How exactly are we supposed to get home in time to be any help at all?I know, Xand. Just hold on a minute.
Xander wasn’t exactly positive what he was holding for, but he took the opportunity to survey the graveyard and make sure Amare was still okay. So far she looked all right; in fact she looked downright bored. Nothing had happened. Which Xander considered to be a good thing at this point.Xander? It’s me. Willow too.Heya, Willster!How many times have I told you not to call me that anymore?
Willow thought at him, only slightly annoyed.Not as many times as Giles has told me not to call him ‘G-man’,
Xander replied. And I still call him that, so you’re probably not going to get any better results.
Willow mentally stuck her tongue out at him. Okay, Buffy, how are we all getting home at a moment’s notice? Like I said, I can’t teleport myself and three other people, and Xander can’t teleport himself at all.My thoughts exactly,
Xander agreed. I don’t have a lot of time to explain, but there’s someone here at the Council that can help with that. His name is Harry Potter and he’s a wizard.A wizard? Like me?No, Will. His magic is completely different from yours. But he can do something like teleporting and then he has a way for you guys to get back in an instant. I think he called it a Porky or something like that.
Buffy paused for a moment. It’s probably not a Porky.
Used to Buffy’s penchant for mispronouncing unfamiliar names, both Xander and Willow let it slide. So this Harry Potter guy is going to come get us? Xander asked. How are we supposed to know who he is?Well, when he appears out of thin air, that should be a pretty good clue,
Willow thought sarcastically. I’ll let the girls know they’re going to need to make a more immediate decision.Thanks Will. See you soon. Xander? Yeah. I’ll do the same.Thanks, Xand. Safe travels, okay?Seeing as I don’t know how I’m traveling, I’ll do my best. See you soon.See you soon.
“Amare!” He shouted to the young African girl. “Slight change in plans. Apparently Buffy needs our help, so some guy is going to pop down here and help us get back to London really quickly. Or something. I’m a little fuzzy on the details.
mare half-walked, half-jogged over to Xander. “Pop down? Fuzzy? I have no idea what you are talking about.”
Xander shook his head. “Neither do I. Anyway, I kind of need you to make a decision about coming back with me now. I know I’m not giving you a lot of time here, but I think this guy is going to be here any moment.”
“What about my things? Not that I have a lot of possessions, but the ones I have are very important to me.”
“I’m sure we can find a way to get them to London. What do you say? Did my speech a little earlier convince you at all?”
“It is my duty, yes?” Amare nodded slowly as she tried to think through what would be the most important decision of her life. “I must do this because it is important to learn how to use my powers and to protect my family and village. I will go with you.”Aberdeen, Scotland
"Okay, that was weird,” Willow muttered, offering a hand to her fallen comrade.
“What’s weird?” Bryanna stood up and started to brush the dirt and leaves off of her jeans.
Willow opened her mouth to answer then decided against it for the moment. Trying to explain that the original Scoobies communicated via telepathy during important meetings would be giving away a vital trade secret. “Where are Fionna and Emery?”
Bryanna frowned and looked towards the headstone where the two younger girls had taken refuge. “Hiding somewhere over there, I think.”
Willow raised an eyebrow at the younger girl. “Not quite what they expected, huh?”
“They’re young. And very green.”
“Kind of like how you were when you first started out?” Willow grinned.
“Exactly,” Bryanna nodded, “which is why we need to go get them and see if they are coming with us.”
Willow nodded her agreement and the two women strode over to Fionna and Emery’s hiding place. Willow smiled to herself as she caught sight of them. Emery was sitting with her back up to the headstone, knees to her chest, breathing heavily. Fionna, on the other hand, was kneeling in the dirt, peering cautiously around the headstone. “They’re gone girls,” Willow told them gently, chuckling as they both jumped.
“We w-weren’t s-scared,” Fionna managed to stutter, helping Emery to her feet.
“Uh-huh,” Bryanna said disbelievingly. “So you hid because?”
“You looked like you were handling it,” Emery smirked.
“I was,” Bryanna replied, “but that wasn’t the point of the exercise.”
Able to spot trouble from a mile away, Willow quickly stepped in, hands raised in surrender. “Okay, ladies, that’s enough. The point of the exercise is to help you two,” she gestured to Emery and Fionna, “decide if you are going to join us in London. Which you need to decide pretty much now because some wizarding guy is going to teleport himself here somehow and take us back so I can help Buffy track Dawn down.”
Used to Willow’s occasional rambles, Bryanna just raised an eyebrow, while Fionna and Emery tried to make sense of what the older woman had just told them.
“We need to decide now?” Emery squeaked.
“Did you say teleport?” Fionna asked, looking to Willow then back to Emery. “Did she say teleport? Is that even possible?”
Willow took a deep breath and began answering their questions. “Yes, now. We will send someone to get your belongings. I did say teleport, and it is possible, but I think this guy does it differently than I do. Dawn is Buffy’s younger sister who is also a Watcher and our head of linguistics at the Council. And yes, I can teleport.”
Fionna and Emery just gaped at her.South Africa
*POP* Xander jumped again as a loud cracking sound like a car backfiring echoed through the night sky. Amare simply stood calmly as though she were used to tall, dark strangers popping out of mid-air.
The tall, dark stranger strode toward them, holding out his hand. “Xander Harris?”
Xander nodded warily; you never knew who might be a demon in disguise. “I’m hoping you’re Harry Potter.”
“If I’m not, you’re should have started running about two and half minutes ago.”
“That’s comforting,” Xander replied, stepping protectively in front of Amare. “So if you’re not a vampire, then it won’t bother you if I do this-,” and he pulled a cross out of his back pocket and flourished it in front of the man’s face.
He flinched, but did not react the way a vampire would. “What exactly was that supposed to do?” He asked.
“Nothing, if you’re not a vampire,” Xander replied, re-pocketing the cross, “which apparently, you’re not. I really have no way of telling if you’re some other kind of demon and that puts me and Amare in the ‘screwed’ column.”
“Normally, I would applaud your efforts to protect yourself and your charge here, but unfortunately I’m going to have to ask you to trust me. Now, hang on a second. Buffy told me there was a phrase you would recognize…”
Xander crossed his arms and turned around to glance at Amare. “You okay?” He whispered.
Amare nodded, evidently amused by the entire exchange.
“Ah, yes,” the dark-haired man spoke up again, “I remember. ‘Cavalry’s here. Cavalry’s a frightened guy with a rock-,’”
“‘But it’s here’,” Xander finished. “Okay, I’m convinced. How are we getting to London?”
“Portkey,” the young man who was apparently Harry Potter answered. “I’m going to enchant an object which will transport you back to the Council’s headquarters. Do you have anything ordinary? Something people would pass off as rubbish?”
Xander rifled through the pockets of his dark blue jeans and finally pulled out a crumpled up gum wrapper. “Will this work?”
Harry nodded and took the wrapper from Xander’s outstretched hand. Pulling his wand out of his robes, he pointed it at the wrapper, muttered “Portus,”
and placed his wand back in the sleeve of his robes. “Okay, the Portkey is set to activate in one minute from now. It is very important that you are both touching it; even just a finger will do, but you must both be touching it otherwise one of you will be left behind.”
“Um, thanks, I guess,” Xander said, still staring disbelievingly at the place where Harry had put his wand.
“You’re welcome. I’ll be seeing you back at the Council after I get Willow and the others,” Harry handed Xander the gum wrapper and motioned for Amare to take her place and hold the wrapper as well. “Five—four—three—two—one!”
Xander barely heard the one as he suddenly felt as though something had grabbed him by the naval and sucked him into some kind of vortex of doom. He spun faster and faster, convinced his brains had to have dribbled out of his ears by this point when the spinning motion stopped unexpectedly and he landed in a heap on some very plush carpeting next to Amare.
A well-manicured, but strong hand reached down to help him, which Xander grasped gratefully. “Welcome home, Xand.”