Chapter two is up, sorry about the delay, real life interrupted (birthdays, gigs to attend and other stuff too).
Just a request, please leave feedback if you enjoy (or even if you don't!) this story. I was going to hold off on posting until the whole piece was complete, but I figured the challenge creator would like to see that someone was responding.Disclaimer:
I own neither Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Harry Potter nor any elements of those franchises. They remain the property of their respective copyright owners. This story is written purely for pleasure, with no profit being made.
After breakfast and the abrupt delivery by owl of a very strange newspaper, The Daily Prophet, Hagrid led Harry and Buffy back to the mainland. They chattered excitedly between themselves whilst the mountainous man read the newspaper – which Buffy excitedly pointed out to Harry had moving pictures on its front page – as the small boat guided itself back to the tiny jetty from which they had left the night before.
Climbing the narrow stone steps, Hagrid led his two charges towards the small town’s railway station, asking Harry to deal with ‘that daft muggle money’. Having squeezed into two seats, he smiled at the two eager faced youngsters sitting facing him.
“Thanks ‘Arry, I never understand that muggle money, too ruddy complicated I tell ya.” Absently, he hunted through the vast number of pockets – his coat, Harry noted, seemed to be made entirely of pockets – withdrawing a set of knitting needles like javelins. As he started counting stitches he spoke again. “Yeh both still got yer letters?”
Buffy rummaged in her pocket, pulling the slightly crumpled parchment envelope out as Harry found his.
“Good,” Hagrid muttered. “There’s a list of everything yeh need.”
Buffy unfolded a second piece of paper, which she hadn’t seen when she first opened the letter. It contained a list of books and other items that she would need at Hogwarts.
She looked to Harry, who seemed as bewildered by some of the items on the list as she was. Cauldrons had standard sizes? Sharing a questioning glance, Harry asked Hagrid “Can we buy all of this in London.
“If yeh know where to go.” Hagrid answered absently as he continued counting stitches.
Neither Harry nor Buffy had ever been to London and although Hagrid seemed to know where he was going, he had never done so using ordinary, muggle, means. He got stuck in the ticket barrier to the Underground and Buffy had to stifle a laugh as three security men struggled to pull him free. Once they got onto the train, he complained that the seats were far too small and that the trains themselves were too slow as well.
“Yeh know, I don’t know how the muggles manage without magic.” He muttered as they emerged onto a busy street lined with shops.
Fortunately, despite the packed shopping area, Hagrid’s immense size parted the crowds with ease, all Harry and Buffy had to do was stay close by him. They passed a number of shops as they walked – bookshops displaying the latest best-sellers, a cinema, several hamburger bars. None of them looked like they could sell them a cauldron, let alone a magic wand.
“Er, Hagrid?” Buffy finally asked as they continued walking. “Where are we going?”
“Almos’ there.” Hagrid answered her. “It’s just on the corner here, see.” He stopped the small group and they looked up. Harry started. A pub had appeared. Just appeared from nowhere, he knew it hadn’t been there before as he had seen the chemist and bakers side by side a moment earlier. But there, plain as day, was a slightly grubby looking pub, with a faded sign hanging over the door reading “The Leaky Cauldron”.
“C’mon then.” Hagrid said, opening the door and ushering his two charges through. As Harry’s eye’s adjusted to the slightly gloomy interior, he saw a rather shabby looking establishment. A few patrons sipped their drinks and a low murmur of conversation filled the air, which came to a stop as their arrival was noticed. Several people waved at Hagrid and called out greetings to him.
The barman smiled at Hagrid, reaching for a glass. “The usual, Hagrid?”
Hagrid puffed out his chest. “Can’t, Tom, I’m on Hogwarts business,” and clapped one hand each on Buffy and Harry’s shoulders, making their knees buckle.
The barman stared for a moment, his gaze locked on Harry’s forehead. “Good lord…” he muttered, “is this – can it be?”
Around them, the chatter that had resumed after Hagrids arrival came to a complete halt.
“Bless my soul,” Tom the barman whispered. “Harry Potter… what an honor.”
As the handful of patrons moved forward to meet the Boy Who Lived and introduce themselves, Hagrid leant down and whispered into Buffy’s ear. “See, he’s dead famous, not ‘is fault. Migh’ be a tad hard on yeh, though, seeing him get all the attention. Yeh stand by him and he’ll be okay. His ‘ead must be swimming with all this.”
Hagrid’s eyes spotted a pale looking young man hanging back, looking nervous. Smiling, he led Harry away from the crowd and together the three approached the young man.
“Professor Quirrel!” said Hagrid “Harry, Buffy – Professor Quirrel will be one of your teachers at Hogwarts.”
Harry and Buffy smiled at the young man, who grasped Harry’s hand. “P-P-Potter,” he stammered “c-can’t tell you how p-pleased I am to meet y-you.” Releasing Harry’s hand he turned to Buffy “A-And you t-too Buffy. That’s an u-unusual n-name.”
Buffy smiled warmly back, trying to put some reassurance in her expression. “Thank you Professor. What subject do you teach?”
“D-Defense Against the D-D-Dark Arts,” he muttered. “N-Not that you n-need it, eh P-P-Potter?” he laughed nervously. “You’re here to g-get all your equipment, I s-suppose? I’ve g-got to p-p-pick up a new b-book on vampires, myself.” He sounded far from enthusiastic about the idea.
Buffy offered him another smile to try and reassure him. “I’ve had some strange dreams about vampires, Professor. I always seem to be beating them in my dreams.”
“R-Really? A-Any tips?” Quirrel stuttered, looking vaguely intrigued by Buffy’s revelations. “I m-might ask you more a-about these d-d-dreams in the future.”
“Right, well.” Hagrid interrupted “Must be goin’ Professor. Lots ter buy. Come on Harry, Buffy.”
Hagrid led them through the bar and out into a small courtyard behind the pub.
“Hagrid? Is Professor Quirrel always that nervous?” Buffy asked.
“Yeah, poor bloke. Brilliant mind though. He was fine when he was studyin’ outta books, but then he took a year off ter get some first hand experience… Somethin’ about vampires in the Black Forest and some trouble with a hag – never been the same since. Scared of everthin’ now – students, his own subject. Now, where’s me umbrella?”
Hagrid started counting bricks above the dustbin, muttering as he did so. “Three up… two across… Right, stand back you two.” He tapped the wall three times with the tip of his umbrella.
Immediately, the brick he had touched moved – it wriggled. In the middle a small hole appeared, growing wider and wider. In a second they were facing an enormous archway, large enough even for Hagrid, an archway onto a cobbled street twisting away out of sight.
“Welcome,” said Hagrid, “to Diagon Alley.” He was grinning at their amazement. Together they stepped through the archway. As one, Harry and Buffy glanced back and saw the archway shrinking, leaving a blank wall once more.
Harry and Buffy’s eyes wandered this way and that as Hagrid led them down the cobbled street. Cauldrons glinted in the sunlight and Harry stared. “Yeh, you’ll be needing one,” said their guide, “but we gotta get yer both some money first.”
Hagrid led them down the street at a brisk pace, passing a number of shops. Hooting drifted to their ears as they passed Eeylops Owl Emporium. A large crowd of boys was gathered outside a shop selling broomsticks, staring in awe at the window display and talking excitedly.
Harry and Buffy wanted to stop and look at everything, but Hagrid didn’t stop until…
“Gringotts.” Hagrid said, stopping the group. “Wizarding bank, safest place in the world, ‘cept maybe Hogwarts.”
Before them a perfectly white building glistened in the bright sunshine, towering over all the other buildings on the street. Hagrid started towards the doors, the goblin guard bowing as they entered. A second set of doors met them and two more guards, again bowing them in.
Harry and Buffy craned their necks as they entered the banks enormous entrance hall. A hundred Goblins sat behind long counters that lined the marble hall, some weighing out gold coins, others were examining precious stones. All shared the same intelligent gleam in their eyes.
Hagrid led them over to free Goblin. “Mornin’. We’ve come to take some money outta Mr Harry Potter’s safe and some outta the Hogwarts Student Support safe for Miss Dursley.” He handed the Goblin a folded piece of parchment, who read it and nodded.
“You have Mr Potter’s key, sir?” The Goblin asked.
“Got it here somewhere…” Hagrid muttered, rummaging through his pockets. He made a triumphant sound and held up a small golden key. “Got it.”
The Goblin looked at the key very closely and handed it back. “That seems to be in order.”
“One more thing, I’ve got a letter here from Professor Dumbledore,” Hagrid said, “It’s about the You-Know-What in vault You-Know-Which.”
The Goblin read the second letter very carefully before handing it back to Hagrid.
“Very well, someone will take you down to the vaults. Griphook!”
Another Goblin appeared. “Follow me please.” He led them towards a door in the back wall.
“What’s that about for Dumbledore?” Harry asked as they crossed the hall.
“Can’t tell yer Harry, secret stuff. Very important.”
The door closed behind them and they were in what seemed like a mineshaft with little railway tracks on the ground. Griphook whistled and a cart came hurtling out of the darkness.
It was a squeeze, but they all managed to get into the cart. “Mr Potter’s safe first.” Hagrid told the Goblin. The cart set off at a break-neck speed, hurtling round corners and thundering over vast chasms. Deeper and deeper they went until finally the cart came to a halt and they all clambered out.
Griphook unlocked the door and Harry’s jaw hit the floor. Inside the vault were mountains of gold, silver and bronze coins, all neatly stacked.
Hagrid chuckled. “All yours. I said yer parents had sorted yer education.”
Harry stared. All this was his. He could never spend all of this. He helped Hagrid put some coins in a bag, his mind racing as Hagrid explained the wizarding money to him.
“The gold ones are Galleons, the silver are Sickles. Seventeen Sickles to a Galleon and twenty-nine Knuts to a Sickle.” He tied off the bag and handed it to Harry. “There, that should be enough fer a few terms.”
Harry paused, thinking. Making his choice, he looked at Hagrid. “Will you make another bag like this for me?”
“Blimey Harry, what do yeh want all that money for. That bag’ll be enough.” Hagrid sounded astonished.
“It’s not for me.” Harry said. Turning he handed the bag to Buffy. “Here Buffy, this is a thank you for looking out for me over the years.” He smiled.
Buffy stared at the bag Harry held out. “Harry, I can’t. This is yours. Your parents left it for you, not me.”
Harry thrust the bag into her hand. “You’re family. I’m sure my parents would do the same thing if they were here. I won’t leave you high and dry like your…” He trailed off, not wanting to insult her parents. “Besides, I’m never going to spend all of this.”
Behind them they heard a sound like a trumpet as Hagrid blew his nose in a handkerchief as big as a towel and they managed to make out the words. “…parents would be so proud…”
After the second bag had been filled they all piled back into the cart. “We’ll just go to vault seven hundred and thirteen then,” said Hagrid, “No need for the Hogwarts vault. And can we go a little bit slower this time?”
“One speed only.” Griphook answered, sending the cart hurtling off into the darkness.
After another hair-raising trip, the cart came to stop beside a vault with no keyhole. Clambering out, Harry and Buffy huddled near the lamp – Harry figured they must be very deep as it was very cold here, his breath fogged in the flickering light.
Griphook stepped forward and stroked a finger down the middle of the door, which promptly melted away. They craned their necks to see what incredible treasure the vault contained, but all they saw was a tiny package wrapped in grubby paper. Hagrid stepped forward and scooped up the package, shoving it into one of the myriad pockets that made up his coat.
One final trip in the manic cart later and they stood once more in Diagon Alley. “Tell yer what,” Hagrid said. “How about you two go and get yer wands, it can take quite a while to find the right one. Would ya mind if I went and got a pick me up in the Cauldron, those Gringotts carts really don’t agree with me.”
Harry looked at Hagrid, he really did look a bit green. Together he and Buffy nodded. Hagrid led them towards a shop with a very grimy window, the display contained only a single purple cushion with a wand lying on it. The sign over the door read Ollivanders: Makers of Fine Wands since 382 BC
in peeling gold letters.
Opening the door, Buffy and Harry entered as Hagrid left them. The inside of the shop was very small but also very long, thousands of boxes lined shelves disappearing into the gloom. Everything about this shop screamed magic at the pair, there was something in the air, the dust.
“Ah. Mr Potter.” A soft voice said, making them both jump. “I wondered when I’d be seeing you.” An old man stood before them, having stepped from the gloom of the shop. His large eyes seemed to gleam in the gloom of the shop.
“But first, who have we here?” He peered at Buffy. “Hmm, I sense something about you child. Something most unusual. Have a seat Mr Potter, the wand chooses the wizard so sometimes this can take a while. Now then, Miss…” He prompted Buffy, turning his focus on her.
“Dursley. Buffy Dursley.” She answered.
“Buffy, what a powerful name. Here, try this, Maple and Unicorn hair, eight inches. Just give it a wave.” Buffy took the wand and give it a wave, but the wand leapt from her hands and clattered to the floor.
“No. No, not that one. Hmm, try this one, Oak and Dragon heartstring, twelve inches, nice and supple.” Buffy waved the second wand and a pile of boxes toppled over. Mr Ollivander took the wand back and placed it in its box, pulling another one out as he did so.
“Birch and Unicorn hair, ten inches, quite rigid.” Once again the wand did nothing for Buffy and Ollivander chuckled. “Tough customer, eh. We’ll find it Miss Dursley, there’s a wand here for every witch or wizard.”
After what seemed like an age to Buffy, trying wand after wand and the ‘No no” pile growing ever larger, Buffy waved another wand and caused an entire stack to collapse, a single box sliding from the chaos and over the floor, hitting her foot.
“Hmm, I wonder.” Mr Ollivander muttered, leaning down to pick up the box. “Why not." He cradled the box and looked Buffy in the eyes. "At Ollivanders we use only the finest magical substances to make the core of our wands – Unicorn hairs, Phoenix tail feathers and Dragon heart strings. But every now and then we get something truly unique. Try this, Chestnut, eleven inches. Nice and swishy.”
Buffy took the wand and immediately felt a tingling. She flicked the wand and a fountain of stars erupted from the end.
“Fascinating. This wand is truly unique Miss Dursley – many wands share similar cores, lengths and woods, there are many ten-inch long Unicorn and beach wands after all, even if every one is subtly different. But this is truly a one off.” He replaced the wand into its box and started to wrap the package up as he spoke. “What do you know of vampires?” He asked.
“Nothing, just what I saw on TV – I was raised in the muggle world.” She explained quickly, not wanting Ollivander thinking she was a witch who knew nothing.
“Did you? Well, vampires are generally very evil creatures - they have no soul you see. Because they are pure evil they are unsuitable for use in wands. But one vampire in the world is as unique as this wand.” He handed Buffy the package and rang up her charge on the ancient till. “One vampire was cursed almost a hundred years ago with a soul. I had the great fortune to meet him, oh, seventy years ago now. In gratitude for something I did, he gave me a single hair from his head. That is the core of your wand, Miss Dursley, a hair from the vampire with a soul. Look after it and I have no doubt you will perform wonders with it.”
Buffy paid for her wand and stepped back, letting Harry take his turn. “Now then, Mr Potter.” Ollivander began, turning his attention to Harry.
Harry’s wand took even longer to find than Buffy’s had, when they finally emerged from Ollivanders’ they found Hagrid waiting for them, a large cage under one arm. Inside the cage a snowy owl slept, her head tucked under her wing.
“Happy birthday Harry!” Hagrid said, smiling as he held out the cage. “Now then, what else do you need? Tell you what, how about you two go get fitted for robes and I’ll pick up your potions supplies.”
Several hours later they were sat in the Leaky Cauldron enjoying a meal. Bags and packages surrounded them. Hagrid fumbled in his pockets and slid two envelopes over the table. “Those’re yer tickets for the train to school, Kings Cross, First o’ September. Don’t loose ‘em! Once yer done here I’ll take yer to the station and yeh can head home, I’ve got ter be getting back to Hogwarts, taken a lot longer than I expected, especially them wands.”