Authors note: EDIT:
I've edited the letter to avoid having to muck around with the timelines of the Potterverse. Hopefully, this way it all fits. I didn't want to, but this is the best way of resolving the date issues I was having. I was been stubborn in not changing the letter. Chapter two is on it's way.
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.EDIT:
I think I'm finally done mucking with this, there was some confusion over dates as after my last edit I left in a line about Buffy been only two hours old. I've removed that and added a time leap definer so the audience is fully aware of what is happening. The basic chronology is now thus:
22 May 1980, Buffy Anne Dursley born.
31 July 1980, Harry James Potter born.
31 October 1981, the Potter family is murdered.
08 November 1981, the Dursleys receive Dumbledore's letter.
This places both Harry and Buffy in the same year, lets me keep that 22nd May date I'm so fond of and highlights why one shouldn't edit at 7am when you've been awake all night! 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.Sunnydale, 22nd May 2001
Urgently Buffy grabbed Dawn by her upper arms, looking the young teenager in the eyes. “Dawn, listen to me. Listen.”
Beyond them the dimensional portal opened wider, energy flashing out as realities began to bleed together. Buffy’s voice became more urgent. “I love you. I will *always* love you. But this is the work that I have to do. Tell Giles… tell Giles I figured it out. And, and that I’m okay.”
Tears began to stream down Dawn’s face as she realised what Buffy was saying, what she was going to do. “And give my love to my friends. You have to take care of them now. You have to take care of each other. You have to be strong.” A sob racked through Dawn as Buffy continued.
“Dawn. The hardest thing in this world… is to live in it. Be brave. Live. For me.”
In one motion Buffy released her grip on her sister and turned, running the length of the short platform suspended high above the ground, the precarious tower swaying unsteadily as she did so. Gracefully she leapt from the end, falling towards the portal in a graceful swan dive. Below her, through the swirling energies of the portal, she could see her friends look up in horror as she plunged downwards.
All she felt was a calm serenity.
And then searing pain as her body met the portal. Energy lashed around her, over her, through her. Everything seemed to slow. She felt her body dying. It wasn’t so bad, she thought. A few moments of pain, but everyone will be safe.
The pain was gone. Just like that. She felt free, as free as the wind. And then it hit her. She was dead. The whiteness that surrounded was blinding.
‘But why is it blinding?’ she thought. I have no eyes. And just like that the blinding light was gone, replaced instead by a more subdued light. ‘If this is heaven it sucks’ she thought and then stopped. All around her figures were appearing. And each one looked similar to herself, not identical, but very similar.
“Who are you?” she asked.
“You.” One of the forms answered. “We are all representations of this souls previous mortal incarnations. Your mortal form has passed away and now it’s time for us to live again.” All of the other forms vanished one by one, stepping towards the one who had spoken and vanishing. “Take my hand, it doesn’t hurt.”
Buffy stared cautiously at the offered hand. “So soon? But I only just got here.”
“Time has no meaning here. Our soul has been free for five seconds and five millennia.” The form answered. "We could return five centuries after Buffy died or twenty years before."
“Oh.” And, feeling an enormous sense of self, Buffy reached out, taking the offered hand. In a flash she knew it all, every life she had lived flashed through her. The Colosseum towered before her. A man with a beard preaching to a crowd of hundreds, all enraptured by the love radiating from him as she watched. A night of piercing coldness, as a massive iceberg emerged from the darkness and the massive vessel shivered slightly as it scraped along the hull. A city in flames around her as she ran through the night, sirens blazing as far above hundreds of planes swarmed, dropping destruction from their bellies. Dozens more flashed through her.
And then the light, the oh so painful, blinding light. She screamed in agony.Surrey, England. 22nd May 1980
“Oh Vernon! She’s beautiful! Our little Dudders will be so pleased to have a sister to play with! His very own Buffy!” Petunia Dursley exclaimed in joy as the midwife handed the screaming baby girl to her.
Beside the bed, her husband Vernon grumbled. “Another bloody mouth to feed. First that sister of yours gets herself killed and now this. I’m telling you Petunia. No. More. Children!”
Puffing out his substantial chest, Vernon Dursley lowered himself into the moulded plastic chair, which made squeaking protests under his weight. “Bloody waste of space. And so damn noisy. I’ll never get a good nights sleep now.” He griped to no one in particular.
Petunia almost sighed, but she knew it would only set him off again and she was just too tired for that now. So took a new approach, hoping to distract his attention. “A beautiful and exotic name though, isn’t it Vernon? Nothing common like Harry.”
He made what could charitably be called a noise of agreement, although it could just have been his bowel problems again. November 1981, one week after the murder of the Potter's
Over a year had passed since Buffy's birth, it was a cold November morning and had it had been barely a week since they had had Petunia's nephew dumped on their doorstep.
At that moment a large screech owl took it upon itself to fly in through the back door as Vernon opened it to take a dirty nappy out to the bin. It circled the room once causing Petunia to shriek in horror as it passed over her head as she fed Buffy. Turning, it headed back for the door and open air, but not before dropping a small envelope onto the tabletop.
Nervously she reached out, turning the envelope over in her hands. She recognised that crest. It was doubtless to do with The Boy. Knowing they would just keep on coming, she tentatively opened the envelope and unfolded the crisp parchment contained within.Dearest Vernon and Petunia Dursley.
First I thank you again for taking in young Harry in such trying times. It is unusal to inform non-magic parents when their child is so young, but since you are aware of Harry's status I think it prudent to inform you now. It is in relation to your daughter, Buffy Anne Dursley, and not Harry, as I’m sure you suspected initially, that this letter reaches you.
It is my great pleasure to inform you that a place has been reserved for Buffy, alongside her cousin Harry, at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, with their education to begin when they reach the age of eleven. Although you are non-magic people yourselves, I am sure you can appreciate the importance of their receiving a proper education in the control of their powers.
I will see you again in ten years,
Albus Dumbledore, Headmaster, Hogwarts school of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Order of Merlin, First Class. Chief Warlock of the Wizengamot.
As she read the short note, the colour drained from her face with every word. Her own daughter. A freak. How had they known? Silently, the note slipped from her hands.
“What is it Petunia? What did that freak want us to do with the boy this time?” Receiving no response, Vernon sighed and snatched the letter from where it had landed in his wife’s lap.
His face gradually became redder and redder as he read, his hands shaking in anger. Had anyone been passing the room and looked in, they may well have assumed that he had his head replaced by a rather large beetroot.
“No!” he bellowed, calming himself as Buffy stirred and started to cry. “No daughter of mine will be joining those freaks! We will never speak of this Petunia. A sharp hand and steel grip will drive this insanity from them! You mark my words. This ruddy letter will be the end of this!” With that, he ripped the letter into shreds and tossed them into a nearby bin.
So it was that for the next ten years neither child heard even a whisper of Hogwarts or the wizarding world. Fearing the two would somehow be drawn to one another, the Dursleys’ did everything in their power to ensure that they never became friends. But try as they might, the Dursleys could not separate the two, who somehow always managed to spend time together, even when locked in their own rooms and cupboards under the stairs. One would somehow get to the other. Dudley could never stand his little sister, as she was so un-Dursley like it was unnerving.
Polite and kind, with a loving heart and a passion to defend others that her parents could not understand, she had stood between Dudley and Harry on more than one occasion, daring him to hit her and not Harry. He never had, because as much as Vernon hated how close Buffy and Harry were, he had raised his son to never hit a woman.
“Men do not hit women, Dudley, remember that.” He had said. “Hit their men, but not them. They’re so soft they’ll ignore you to look after him.”
Whenever the two were together, strange things happened. One day Dudley and his gang were chasing Harry around the school playground when Buffy and reached out from a doorway and grabbed his hand, the next moment both were sat on the roof of the school canteen.
Another time, Harry found Buffy in tears after Dudley had ripped the heads off of all her Barbie dolls and torn her stuffed pig Mr Gordo limb from limb. Holding his cousin as she had wept, Harry had muttered that everything would be okay, they’d be able to fix the Barbie’s and maybe Mrs Figg would be able to stitch Mr Gordo back together. When they looked around, the stuffed pig and all the dolls were intact. The stuffing that had littered the room was gone, leaving the room looking as if nothing unusual had happened there.
So it was that, one summer morning, a hurried rapping on the door of his cupboard woke him. “Harry! Harry! Come on! You won’t believe this, we have mail!”
Still mostly asleep, he reached out for his glasses, settling them on his face and then swinging out of his bed. Opening the door he saw an excited, bouncing blond racing away from him towards the living room. “Come on!” She shouted.
Curious as to why she was so excited, he hurried after her. The living room was empty but he could hear his aunt bustling in the kitchen, no doubt preparing Dudleys’ eight-course breakfast. Buffy was dancing around the room, quietly chanting “We have mail! We have mail!” and waving two envelopes.
At that moment Dudley entered the room and saw Buffy dancing and singing. “Hey!” He yelled. “Since when do you two freaks get letters?”
“What?!” A voice boomed from the hallway. Barrelling in behind Dudley, Vernon Dursley shoved his son aside and snatched the two letters from his daughter.
“Hey!” She screached. “Those are ours! Harry’s and mine! Give them back!”
“Yours.” Vernon scoffed whilst holding the letters above their reach. “Yours! Who would send letters to you two? No, this is simply a mistake and I’ll return them to the post office on my way to work.”
With that, he turned and stormed from the room. Harry distinctly heard the sound of paper ripping as his uncle left.
The following morning, Harry awoke to Buffy yelling just outside his cupboard.
“See! It’s not a mistake! There’s two today for each of us!”
“Nonsense!” His uncle bellowed. “No one in their right mind would want to write to you two!”
The living room door slammed and a moment later there was a soft rap on his door. Opening it, he saw a frighteningly angry Buffy. He offered her what he hoped was a reassuring smile. “It’s okay Buffy, if they sent two today for each of us, I don’t think whoever is writing us will give up just yet.”
“Do you think?” The blond asked, her anger quickly fading. “He’s such a git! I can’t believe he’s my father!”
Harry patted the bed beside and waited whilst his cousin sat down. “He might be unpleasant Buffy, but he’s still your dad. Just be glad you’ve got him.”
Buffy’s face dropped immediately. “Oh Harry! I’m sorry! I didn’t mean to…”
She stopped as Harry gave her a reassuring smile. “You didn’t, he does. Everyday.” He hugged her for good measure and when he pulled back smiled. “Besides, there is one huge bonus of living here, I get to spend time with the bestest cousin ever.”
That night, he and Buffy made plans to wake up very early and wait by the letterbox for the postman to arrive. It came as quite a shock when first one, then the other, stepped on something large and soft which cried out in pain. Dragged by there collars, first Harry was thrown into his cupboard and the door locked and then Buffy was locked in her room by an enraged Vernon Dursley.
That afternoon, once the post had been delivered – Harry smiled at the memory, as the postman had actually used the doorbell and handed Vernon a bag full of letters whilst grumbling profusely about it – and then disappeared, Harry and Buffy had been released from their rooms. They were chatting in Buffy’s room about maybe staying in the garden that night when they heard a loud banging from the hallway. Peaking downstairs they saw Vernon hammering a piece of wood over the letterbox.
Harry stifled a laugh and shared a look with Buffy, whose eyes gleamed as she clearly realised what he had. If the postman had had to ring the doorbell this morning, surely sealing the letterbox was futile.
That night, they prepared to steal outside and await the postman but were foiled by Vernon Dursley, who seemed to know they were planning something and had locked both doors, shoving the keys into his pocket and having confiscated those of everyone else.
Dejected, Harry and Buffy slipped back into their respective cupboard and room and lay down to sleep, both lost in thought as they tried to think of ways in which to read the letters someone was persistently sending to them. Buffy in particular was almost ready to burst, that anxious was she to know what was in the letters.
The following day the postman did not knock. Watching from Buffy’s window they saw him walk straight past number four, Privet Drive. They looked dejectedly at each other. Whoever had been trying to reach them had clearly given up.
As Buffy picked up her glass of milk a piercing shriek made both of them jump, the white liquid splashing onto Buffy’s hand and dressing gown. Placing the glass aside, they raced downstairs to find Petunia in the kitchen, pressed against the wall and staring in horror at a tray of two dozen eggs. All of them had seemingly exploded, exposing the neatly folded letters within. Fragments of shell littered the counter and, Buffy noted with silent amusement, some were stuck in her mother’s immaculate hair.
Stunned Harry and Buffy shared a look before stepping forward. They stopped dead as great meaty hands gripped each of them by the collar and hauled them back into the living room.
“You two.” Vernon growled menacingly. “Stay in here.” Flinging them at the couch, he stormed through the kitchen door and slammed it shut behind him. Moments later, they heard the back door open and close.
Turning to her cousin, Buffy looked puzzled. “Who do you think it is, Harry?”
“I have no idea. But if they keep this up they’re going to drive Uncle Vernon to do something crazy.”
Buffy laughed. “What, you think neatly folded letters inside eggs isn’t enough?”
“I think he’ll blame…”
“Punk kids!” Buffy finished with a laugh. Forgetting about the letters, there was nothing they could do about for the time being, tomorrow was Sunday after all, they spent the day in the park and walking around Little Whinging, keeping themselves occupied.
Sunday morning came and Buffy trotted down the stairs, dragging Harry from his cupboard under the stairs. They entered the living room as Petunia placed a large plate of bacon on the table, Vernon was sat in his favourite armchair whistling cheerfully.
“Morning Buffy! Morning Harry! Wonderful day Sunday, isn’t it?” He sipped his tea and laughed. “Oh yes! Wonderful day indeed! No blasted mail today!”
Buffy was furious, how could he be so gleeful about this? She was about to say something but stopped as the picture above the mantelpiece rattled. It stopped and she shrugged, maybe a bus had driven by too quickly. She sat down at the dinner table and paused as the house rattled again, her cup shaking on the table. Vernon paused as he drank from his cup, staring at the fireplace where the picture was jumping on the wall.
Setting his drink aside, he pushed to his feet and looked around. “What the ruddy hell is going on?” he bellowed. “Harry! Look outside, if there’s some idiot doing roadwork’s I’ll…” he stopped as a letter whizzed from the fireplace and slapped him in the face.
Sputtering, he grasped the letter, pulling it away from his face and stared incredulously at it. The rumbling grew louder and louder and then the fireplace seemed to explode, thousands of letters pouring from it in a fountain of envelopes.
Laughing together, Buffy and Harry pushed away from their places at the breakfast table, reaching for letters. Howling with rage, Vernon charged forward and grabbed them, one under each arm and stormed from the living room, kicking the backdoor open and unceremoniously tossing them from the house.
“Stay here!” He bellowed, his face an alarming shade of purple. Minutes later, Petunia and Dudley were ushered out of the door, each dragging a small case each. The door slammed shut behind them. Moments later it opened again and two more bags came hurtling out, hitting Harry square in the chest and knocking him over.
As she helped Harry back up, Buffy looked around. Vernon barged through the door and she risked a glimpse inside. The living room was barely identifiable, every surface covered in mounds of unopened letters. Slamming the door violently shut and locking it, Vernon grabbed his daughter by the arm and hauled her towards the people carrier he had been forced to buy to accommodate the large family.
“Get in! All of you! We’re going away, far away, where they can’t find us!”
They drove all day and into the night, the trip made even longer by Vernon pausing at junctions and suddenly changing directions, each time muttering under his breath “Won’t ruddy well find US!”
Finally they reached the coast. The weather was growing worse by the hour as a storm was brewing. The wind was howling their ears and Buffy had to press her hat to her head. “Come on boy! You too girl!” Vernon shoved them towards a set of stone stairs, leading down to the choppy ocean below. At the base of the stairs a small boat bobbed in the surf. “Get in! Get in!” He yelled behind them. “And catch these!” He tossed down the small bags they had. Reluctantly Petunia and Dudley descended the staircase and got into the small boat. Finally Vernon clambered aboard and untied them, pushing out into the choppy waves.
Taking the oars, he directed them towards a tiny spur of rock several hundred metres offshore, a small hut perched atop it. After some struggle, they reached the island and hurried up the slime-encrusted rock. Slamming the door open, Vernon gestured them inside.
The door shut behind and Vernon laughed. “Ha! No bloody mail out here! Especially with this storm! No, everyone get some sleep!” With that, Vernon, Petunia and Dudley left Harry and Buffy alone in the single downstairs room, ascending the creaking staircase to the room above.
Pulling a pair of blankets from a bag, Buffy passed one to Harry. She smiled forcibly. “It’ll be okay Harry. I’ve got this feeling whoever is trying to write to us won’t give up just yet. And look.” She pointed to her watch. “You’ll be eleven in three hours!”
Settling down on a moth-eaten and decrepit looking sofa, she pulled her blanket tight around her a settled down to sleep. Within minutes she had drifted off, her soft breathing soothing to Harry.
Lying on a tatty rug, he stared at the ceiling and tried to rest, but sleep wouldn’t come. Thoughts kept running through his mind. Who was trying to contact Buffy and himself? Why were they trying? How had they done all those things with the letters? He sighed and rolled on his side, looking at Buffy’s watch. Eleven fifty five. Five more minutes and he would be eleven.
He knew Buffy would congratulate him, but the rest of the Dursley’s liked to pretend his birthday didn’t exist, probably in the hope that if they tried hard enough, his birthday and he himself would simply vanish.
Outside the storm seemed to be getting heavier, thunder boomed overhead. The dirty windows flashed for a moment as lightning flickered. He looked at the watch again. Ten seconds. More lightning flickered and then the boom of thunder moments later.
Only this time the whole hut shook. Another echoing boom and Buffy shot upright on the sofa.
“Wozzat?” She asked, looking around. Lifting a trembling hand, Harry pointed to the door.
“I think someone’s knocking.” He managed as another boom shook the tiny building and ancient dust rained from the old hinges of the door, which creaked.
Vernon came skidding into the room, a rifle in his hands. He reached out and flicked the light-switch. With a boom and a crash, the door was knocked from its hinges and fell into the room. Outlined by lightning, a giant figure stood in the doorway. Stooping, the figure stepped inside and in the flicker of yet more lightning they could see that it was a man, a truly gigantic man. Lifting the door back into place, he turned and smiled through his unruly beard.
“Mornin’” He boomed. “Awful weather innit ‘Arry?” He moved to the sofa and sat down as Buffy scooted over, staring at the mountain of a man.
Puffing out his considerable chest, Vernon marched forward brandishing his rifle. “I demand you leave sir! You are breaking and entering.”
With a growl, the man reached out and snatched the rifle from Vernon’s hands. As effortlessly as if it were made from liquorice he tied the barrel into a knot and tossed it aside. “Ah, shut up Dursley, yeh great prune! I’m ‘ere to see young ‘Arry an Buffy.”
“No you’re not!” Vernon bellowed. “Those two troublesome little oiks are none of your business!” A stronger man than Vernon Dursley would have run screaming from the look the mountainous man gave him, but miraculously he stood his ground.
“DURSLEY!” The man bellowed. “Stop inner’rupin, it’s rude! I’ll sort you out soon enough!” Vernon immediately went very pale and backed into a corner, staring at the knotted gun.
“Now, where was I?” The man mused. “Oh yea, ‘Appy Birthday ‘Arry! I’ve got somethin’ ‘ere for you. Might have sat on it, but it’ll taste okay I imagine.” He rummaged in an inside pocket of the enormous overcoat he wore, withdrawing a slightly squashed chocolate cake.
“Er, thanks.” Harry said cautiously.
‘E-Excuse me.” Buffy finally spoke. “But who are you?”
The huge man laughed. “O’ course, I ‘aven’t introduced myself. Rubeus Hagrid, Keeper of Keys and Grounds at Hogwarts.”
“Where?” The two children asked in unison.
“Whaddya mean, where? You know about Hogwarts dontchya?” The two simply shook their heads.
He looked immensely puzzled. “But didn’t you ever wonder ‘Arry?”
“Wonder what?” Harry asked in return.
“Why, where your parents learned it all of course.” He took in the blank faces. “Yeh don’t know, do yeh?”
“I’m sorry, know what?”
The huge man shot to his feet and glared at the cowering Dursley family in the corner of the room. “DURSLEY!” The giant bellowed. “What have you done ‘ere?”
Vernon stepped forward, puffing his chest out. “That’s enough! I forbid you to tell them! They’re better off not knowing anything about that nonsense!”
“NONSENSE?” Hagrid bellowed again, forcing Harry and Buffy to cover their ears he was so loud. “NONSENSE! I’ll show you nonsense Dursley!”
Calming down, he turned to face Buffy and Harry. “I can’t believe you two don’t know. Blimey. I knew you hadn’t been getting yer letters, but… Blimey.” He paused, not quite sure what to say. He sighed and shrugged his massive shoulders, knocking the only light bulb in the room and causing it to swing wildly. “No easy way to say this, but yer a wizard ‘Arry. You too Buffy. An’ I’d wager you’ll both be thumpin’ good ‘uns too, once yeh get trained up a little. Ye’ve got the blood in yeh, y’see.” He looked sad for a moment. “‘specially you ‘arry, what with yer parents.”
Harry looked puzzled. “My parents?”
“Well yeh. Wizards, wasn’t they? Ruddy good uns too. At least until they were murdered.”
Harry stared shell-shocked at the gigantic man. “M-Murdered? But they told me my parents died in a car crash…”
“Now look here…” Vernon began once more.
“DURSLEY!!!” Hagrid shouted once more, causing the windows to rattle and one pane to fall out, letting in a small amount of rain. “Are you telling me you never tol’ this boy about his parents?”
“We swore we’d stamp that rubbish out of him – and never let her hear of it!” Vernon jerked his head at Buffy.
“Here, ye’d better read these.” Hagrid said, fumbling in another pocket and withdrawing two envelopes, which he passed in turn to Harry and Buffy. Buffy tore hers open and unfolded the parchment within, her eyes absorbing the contents of the letter she had waited so long to read.Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.
Headmaster, Albus Dumbledore (Order of Merlin, First Class, Grand Sorc., Chf. Warlock, Supreme Mugwump, International Confed. Of Wizards)
Dear Miss Dursley,
We are pleased to inform you that you have a place at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardy. Please find enclosed a list of all necessary books and equipment.
Term begins on 1st September. We await your owl by no later than 31st July.
She looked up and straight into Harry’s eyes, smiling. Then she looked back to her letter. “What does this mean?” She asked Hagrid. “‘We await your owl’”
“Blimey!” Hagrid answered. “I almost forgot!” He reached into his coat pockets again, feeling around for something. With a grunt of satisfaction he withdrew a slightly ruffled owl, which looked around the room with a keen intelligence. Settling the owl on the arm of the sofa, he withdrew a piece of parchment and a quill and began to write. Beside him, Buffy could read the note, although the hand-writing was terrible.Dear Mr Dumbledore.
Gave Harry and Buffy their letters. Taking them to buy their things tomorrow. Weather’s horrible. Hope you’re well.
Shoving the quill back into his pocket, he folded the parchment and held it out to the owl, which took it in its beak. Gently he lifted the owl and carried it to the fallen window, passing it outside and letting it fly off into the stormy night.
“There, all sorted.” He said, turning back to Harry and Buffy. “Now, come on you two. We’ve got a lot ter do and we’ve gotta get ter London and buy yer stuff.”
“No just hold on!” Vernon shouted. “I’m not paying for a child of mine, never mind a no good nephew, to go to some crackpot school to learn silly little magic tricks!”
“Oh get a grip Dursley, it won’t cost yer a knut! ‘Arry’s parents sorted his schoolin’ out long before they died and there’s ways at Hogwarts to provide fer kids whose parents are fools like you!” He turned from Vernon and smiled at the pair. “Righ’, I’ve spent all yesterday trackin’ you pair down, so I’m gonna catch some sleep then we can go get ye yer stuff.”
With that, he shrugged his enormous coat off and settled down on the sofa, which finally collapsed in an explosion of dust under his vast bulk.