By Susan Anthony (LdyGossamer@aol.com)
Spoilers: from Buffy seasons 1, 2, 3
Summary: Xander keeps up with his grandmother, one Minerva McGonagall
Notes: I couldn't find a birthday for Xander, only that he'd been born in 1981. So I gave him a birthday of August 31th, 1981. Also, any inconsistencies concerning when things happened in the series are all my own mistakes or purposeful changes. I won't say which is which.
HBP didn't happen, Dumbledore is alive and Harry killed off Voldemort at the end of his seventh year in June of 1998. Also, Sirius is alive and was proven innocent when Wormtail was caught by aurors shortly into Harry's sixth year.
This story is written for Challenge 1758: Unusual Parentage by Lachesis
Disclaimer: This story is for the pleasure of the readers only. I don't make a thing. The World of Harry Potter is owned by JK Rowling and the World of Buffy the Vampire Slayer is owned by Joss Whedon.
July 15th, 1987 (age 5)
Mommy said she would write this letter for me. I had a good time when you were here. Daddy said I couldn't have a cat. I wanted to paint squares around its eyes just like your cat. Mommy laughed when I said that. I miss you.
Love Xander (and Mommy)
December 26th, 1987 (age 6)
Mommy gave me your present after Daddy went out. I love the stuffed cat! It purrs at night and sounds just like your cat did. I didn't think Santa was going to come but Mommy told me he would. I hope he made it all the way to your house too. Are you coming back soon? I miss you.
Love Xander (and Mommy)
May 1, 1988 (age 6)
I am doing good in school. I'm learning to read and write and draw. I'm sending you one of my drawings of you at your castle. My teacher asked who it was and I told her it was my grandmom in her castle in Scotland. My Christmas cat still purrs when I cuddle it. I miss you!
Love Xander (and Mommy)
PS - Mum, Xander's still sparking every now and then with accidental magic. Any suggestions? I don't remember Albias having such a problem.
August 31st, 1988 (age 7)
I am 7 today. I'm almost old enough to write my own letters but Willow helped me with this one. She is so smart and she writes better too. She and Jesse came over to my house after daddy went out and we had a party with a cake! And ice cream! And twinkies!
Thank you for my present. It glowed when I put it on! Green is my favoritest color even if the necklace looks a little girly. Mommy made me put it on right after the house next door caught on fire. It was so neat! Not the fire but the fire trucks. See, I really wanted a fire truck but daddy said bad boys like me don't get presents. Mommy said I wasn't bad tho so I get to keep her present and your present and even Willow and Jesse's presents AND I got to see fire trucks even though I didn't get one. I think Willow sent them to put the fire out. It was so neat.
So I had a good birthday and I have a secret all my own now. Mommy hid my presents so only I can get them. She used her magic stick to make sure no one but me and her can get them. Willow promised not to read that part but I don't mind if she knows where my presents are. I'll show you where they are next time you come. Maybe you'll come next year for my birthday.
Willow and Jessie say hi. I miss you.
Love Xander (and Willow and Jesse)
December 10th, 1988 (age 7)
Thank you for the picture. It is so cool that it moves! You're smiling at me and waving and that castle is just so awesome. Who is that guy next to you? He looks like Santa though I didn't think Santa had such a long beard. Is that real? If it is Santa, could you tell him I've been very good this year?
Mom put the picture in a frame and its sitting on the table beside my bed right next to one of me and Jesse and Willow. Mom said she'd send you a copy of that one for your table beside your bed. You can't really see me from your picture can you?
October 18th, 1989 (age 8)
I miss you. I wish you were here. You give the best hugs. Sorry this is sloppy. My arm is broke and I am at the doctors. One doctor asked me how I broke my arm but Daddy says I can't say. Your owl came and opened the window of my room so I knew it would be okay to send a letter to tell you. Daddy got mad and said I was bad. He hit me and I fell down the stairs. It wasn't too bad at first cause I BOUNCED and my necklace glowed really bright but then I hit the bottom and it HURT and when she got home Mommy took me to the hospital.
It's cold here but I don't have to go to school. Mommy had to go home cuz Daddy won't come here and he wanted dinner. I'm glad he didn't come. Its nice and quiet but the beep beep beep of the thing next to me is kinda loud. I'll write again when my arm is fixed. I miss you.
Xander sighed as he looked around the dark room. It was cold and lonely and Mommy had gone home a while ago and hadn't come back. The machines were humming in the room but at least they had taken that machine that beeped all the time out.
The boy sighed again and turned his head to look out the window. Not that he could see much but he was so lonely and he hurt even though the pretty nurse had given him something that was supposed to make the pain go away. He was really hoping to see The Bruce, Minmin's owl, again. Had she gotten his letter yet? She always knew what to say in her letters to make him feel better. Maybe she'd send a new book he could read.
His thoughts were sidetracked when the echo of footsteps broke the nighttime silence of the hospital beyond his partially open door. Someone was walking really fast and seemed to be getting closer. There also seemed to be more than one set of feet.
Xander stared at his door, his eyes wide and hopeful that maybe Mommy was coming back. But then, what if Daddy was coming with her? Xander pushed himself down into the covers and hoped his father wasn't out there.
The boy shivered silently as he watched the door. The sound of footsteps stopped right outside, followed by a low murmur of voices. Moments later, Xander heard someone walking away as the door swung open and his grandmother swept into the room.
"Minmin!" Xander cried out, surprised and so very happy. He pushed back the covers and sat up, holding out his unbroken arm and was swept carefully into a hug by his grandmother.
"Oh, Alexander, my wee lad," she said quietly as she leaned back a little to look at the large but fading, purple bruise on his temple. She gently pushed the hair back from his brown eyes and suddenly he found himself crying into her soft and fragrant dress as she held him gently.
"Daddy hit me and I fell down the stairs," Xander sobbed. "He said I was bad and he hit me and then I was falling and Minmin, I was so scared! And Mommy was scared too when she got home and she yelled at Daddy...and...and...Daddy hit Mommy and...and...."
"Shush, shush, my wee laddie," came his grandmother's soothing voice as her fingers ran through his hair. "Your...*father* isn't going to be doing such a thing again, I can guarantee that, my little lad."
Xander just hugged her tightly as he cried, his face buried in her dress. The scent he always associated with his grandmother, security, love, and amazing things, eventually calmed him to the point where he was just sniffling and almost drowsing when another soft, deep voice just behind his grandmother spoke.
"How is he, Minerva?"
Xander stiffened and looked up to see another women standing beside his grandmother. She had a kind face and as she smiled down at him, Xander couldn't help but quickly wipe away the tears from his cheeks and smile tentatively back at her.
"He's sore and tired, Poppy," Minmin replied as she pushed some of Xander's hair behind his ear. "Did you take care of the records?"
"I did, indeed," Poppy replied as she pulled out a magic stick like Minmin had. Xander noticed she spoke the same way his grandmother spoke so she must be from the same castle. Maybe she was a secret witch too? "As far as the muggles are concerned, little Alexander here will be released in the morning, quite good as new. Now, let's see if I can make this handsome little boy better."
Xander blinked up at her and then looked at his grandmother. He was pretty sure the doctor had told his mother that he would be here at least a few weeks because of how badly his arm was broken and they were going to have to cut his arm open to work on the bone. He'd almost cried then too but his Daddy had glared at him and Xander had made himself keep quiet.
"This is Madame Pomphrey, Xander. She's going to fix your arm and make you feel better. Then, in the morning, we'll be taking you home."
"Are you a doctor, ma'am?" Xander asked tentatively.
"No, I am a mediwitch," she replied as she waved her stick over his head and chest. Minmin moved out of her way and Madame Pomphrey stepped closer. "And I take care of children every day so I know just what to do to make you feel better."
Xander looked nervously from the mediwitch who was busily waving her stick this way and that to his grandmother, who gave him a comforting smile.
"The doctor said they were going to have to cut open my arm to fix it right," the boy said, his tone wobbling as he tried not to start crying again. The mediwitch just sniffed.
"Humph. Barbarians!" she said under her breath as she finally stopped waving her stick around. "Never you mind that, Alexander," she said firmly. "We're going to fix you up right and proper and no one is going to have to cut you open." She glanced at Minmin. "Cutting open arms. What will they do next?"
"They don't have any other way, Poppy," Minerva replied. Poppy just humphed again and pulled out a small box from her pocket. She set it on Xander's bed and tapped it once with her stick. Xander's eyes widened as the small box grew in size until it was about as big as a shoebox.
"Wow! A magic box!" Madame Pomphrey just smiled at him.
"Now, Xander, I have some things for you to drink," she said, her tone turning into a non-nonsense tone that Xander's mother had when she demanded he clean up his room or else. "They don't taste very good but they will make you feel better."
Xander just turned to his grandmother, who nodded her head. "Go ahead, Xander," she said as she gave him another reassuring smile. "You can trust Madame Pomphrey to know exactly what will make you feel better."
He took the first glass bottle and smelled it. The scent of attic dust almost made him sneeze and he looked at his grandmother in horror. She just nodded.
"Go ahead, Xander," she said.
"What will it do?" he asked.
"It will relax you and make the medicines I'm giving you work a little faster," Madame Pomphrey explained.
Xander eyed the bottle skeptically but with a final wary look at Poppy, he held his breath and drank it down. He immediately wrinkled up his nose at the taste even as Madame Pomphrey handed him another bottle.
"And this, it will help the bruises to heal."
That one smelled like burnt plastic but Xander drank it down quickly. Already, the ache that had not gone away no matter what medicine the nurses gave him was slowly fading.
"And this one will allow me to heal your arm," the mediwitch said as she bustled around his bed. She handed him another bottle, which he didn't even stop to smell before he swallowed it down. He'd take anything to keep the doctors from cutting his arm open. Even if it tasted like Larry's shoes smelled when the other boy stuck his shoe in Xander's face at school.
He knew the expression on his face must be funny as both ladies chuckled a bit. He handed the bottle to his grandmother as he leaned back against the pillows. She set the bottle down and held his hand even as he felt his eyes close. He forced them back open with a whimper as the mediwitch picked up his left arm which was encased in a white cast and a wave of pain flowed through his body.
"Minmin?" he asked in a frightened tone.
"Don't worry, Alexander," his grandmother said. Her hand tightened on his as she ran her fingers through his hair. "That one will make you sleepy but I'll be here when you wake up and you'll be healed and ready to go home, I promise."
"Okay," Xander said as he relaxed drifted off. If Minmin promised, it happened. "Love you."
"I love you too, my wee laddie," Minmin replied. Xander felt a kiss on his forehead and then nothing as he fell deeply asleep.
Xander woke slowly, the sounds of harsh whispering bringing him awake. He carefully moved a bit, waiting for the pain to kick in and he sighed softly when he realized he didn't hurt anywhere.
The whispers cut off for a moment as Xander turned onto his side and curled into his pillow. His broken arm hadn’t allowed for much movement at all and now that Madame Poppy had healed it, Xander thought he'd sleep a little longer and enjoy snuggling with his pillow.
After a few minutes of drifting in a pleasant haze, the whispers that had brought him to wakefulness started up again and Xander found himself paying more and more attention rather than drifting back to sleep as he'd hoped.
"Jessica, my girl, I'm only going to tell you this one time," Minmin's said, her quiet voice harder than Xander had ever heard it. "If that mongrel lays a hand on Alexander again, he'll find himself transfigured into a toilet bowl in one of your disgraceful American public schools and I shall take the boy back to Scotland with me."
"Mum!" Jessica started but Minmin cut her off.
"I have already informed Anthony of what will happen if he touches Alexander *or* yourself," Minmin continued. "I understand that you felt the need to start again after what happened nine years ago and I understand you felt that you wanted to be half-a world away from Britain and the war. But if you are not able to take care of your son, then *I* will make sure he is taken care of. There is no reason for you not to have been here with this child even if that ogre you married needed to be fed. Xander should be your first priority!"
Xander couldn't help but wonder if...perhaps hope that...Minmin would take him with her when she left this time. But he would really miss his Mommy and Willow and Jesse. He stopped thinking when he heard his mother sniff a few times. When she spoke again, her voice sounded like it did when she had been crying.
"I'm sorry, Mum," his mother said in her tear-filled voice. "I'm so sorry! When I got home and saw him lying on the couch, so bruised and lifeless, all I could see was Albias and Allen and those damn Death Eaters. And Tony let him lay there all afternoon! I thought I was going to hex the bastard and then he...hit me...and I couldn't get out of the house fast enough to take Xander to the hospital."
Xander heard his mother's voice muffled and he thought Minmin was probably hugging his mother like she hugged him last night and Xander understood how much better Minmin's hugs would make his mother feel. Then he wondered what a Death Eater was. And who was Albias and Allen?
"My dearest child," Minmin murmured softly. "Won't you come back to Scotland with Xander? The war has been over for years...."
"No," his mother replied firmly. "No, I couldn't go back. And I do love Tony. I just...need time to figure out if this marriage is going to work or if I'm going to leave him and take Xander elsewhere. Either way, I won't be returning home anytime soon."
There was silence for a moment and Xander drifted again.
"You may not be ready to return, Jessica, but you still think of it as home, don't you?" Minmin said quietly.
"Always," his mother replied and he felt her fingers in his hair for a moment before he was asleep again, dreaming of what Scotland would be like in the Summer.
November 15th 1989 (age 8)
I was so glad to see you when you were here. Getting a broken arm was almost worth it to see you again. Daddy hasn’t hit me again so thanks for yelling at him. He doesn’t even look at me most days which is fine with me. Willow and Jesse were really happy to see me again as they’d heard I just about died. Jesse even gave me his dessert at school for a week to make me feel better.
I almost wish I had gone back to your castle with you and Miss Poppy but I would miss Mommy and Willow and Jesse so much. I want to come visit. Will I be able to visit?
I miss you.
August 15th 1992 (age 10)
I got my Hogwarts letter last week. It was very cool. I liked the green ink. But Dad threw a fit and burned it before I could hide it away. (Could you maybe send another letter for me to keep?) Mom and Dad fought but Dad won and so I can't go to Hogwarts. He said he's not going to pay for me to go to some fancy school in England. I tried to tell him it WASN'T fancy and you'd take care of me but he...just said no. I got some other letters too. One was from a school in New York, one from a school in New Orleans and one from Seattle. How cool would it be to go to wizard school in New York! Mom would have had a fit though, me being all by myself in New York. I didn't even show them to Dad cause I knew what he'd say. I keep the letters in my hidden box with your letters.
I wish I could go to your school. It'd be great seeing you every day even if it was at a school. I miss you lots, though I'd miss Jessie and Willow if I went all the way to England. Will you be coming to visit this year? I know Mom would love to see you and I'm always glad to see you. Write back soon.
August 20th 1994 (age 13)
I started eighth grade today and I'm gonna be 14 in just 10 days! Don't forget to send my present to Willow's house. Dad still doesn't like you. It’s even worse since you sent that howler after he wouldn't let me go to Hogwarts. I made sure to get out of the house really fast. He was SO mad. Haha.
I don't like school very much but I get to see Willow and Jessie almost every day so that's good. Mom says to say hello. She's been pretty busy lately with her new job. She and Dad argue a lot about her being so busy. I think Dad's just mad cause Mom gets paid more than he does. Go Mom!
Jesse and me built a small fort in the woods behind his house. His dad helped. I really like Jesse's dad. Once it was finished Jesse and me and Willow had cookies and brownies that his Mom had made and she brought twinkies especially for me. We named it the Fortress of Solitude. Willow wanted to call it the Fortress of Non-Cordelianess (cause you know how Cordelia picks on us ALL the time) but Jesse and I overruled her.
I hope everything is going good with you. I miss you.
June 31st 1996 (age 14)
Are you okay? Mom got a Daily Diviner from LA that was saying all sorts of things happened this year at Hogwarts. It must have been big to make it all the way over here! Are those kids that broke into the Ministry all right? Isn’t that a government building? And what is the Department of Mysteries anyway? It sounds really cool but I don’t think I’d want to be attacked by those Death Meeters.
You need to tell that Headmaster to take better care of you and your students. On the other hand, I learned a lot of new words while Mom read the article at the breakfast table. (heh) She was really upset and worried about it as well as pretty mad, though I’m sure you know that by now. She went to LA to use the floo at one of her friend’s house. I’ve sent along a copy of the article from the Diviner.
You take care of yourself! I miss you.
March 13th, 1997 (age 15)
My best friend, Jessie, died last night. I killed him. Did you know there's really such a thing as vampires? Did you know that Sunnydale is built over a Hellmouth? Why does no one tell me these things?
Some vampires got Jesse and Willow and tried to take them to some evil guy called the Master for midnight snacks. Fortunately, there's this girl, Buffy, who showed up in Sunnydale a few weeks ago. She's called the Vampire Slayer and she saved Willow from the vamps. But she lost Jesse. Me and Buffy followed his trail down into the tunnels beneath Sunnydale and found him but it was too late. He’d been turned into a vampire.
Shortly after that, this thing called the Harvest happened and Jesse showed up at the Bronze with a whole bunch of other vampires. During the fight, Jesse cornered me. I had a stake but I didn't want to use it on Jesse. He wanted to bite me, though, and I didn't want to be a vampire. It didn't matter in the end because some bitch of a vampire called Darla pushed Jesse right onto the stake I was holding and he went...POOF. Gone. I've known him since forever and then POOF he was gone.
Why couldn't Buffy save them both? I'm glad Willow was okay but Jesse...we went to pre-school together, we went to kindergarten together, we ambushed Willow's Barbies together. He was my best friend! Minmin, I wish you were here.
I don't mean to drop all this on you. Mom says there's a lot going on in the Wizard World right now. Something about some evil Dark Lord Voldimorris or something and those Death Meeter guys. Is he like the Dark Lord Vader in Star Wars? Vader is a MUCH cooler name than Voldimorris. Try sticking a stake in his heart. That seems to work on vampires.
Write back soon and let me know you're okay. Mom doesn't get to hear much of what's happening over there and I want to know you're all right.
“Miss Granger, may I speak with you?”
Hermione Granger looked up from the mound of books on the library table before her and blinked a few times. She found her favorite professor standing beside her. The young witch glanced at her two companions for a moment before she stood and nodded.
“Of course, Professor,” she said politely.
“This way, please,” the older woman said she led the way across the library to a small room that, even after six years at Hogwarts, Hermione had never noticed. Professor McGonagall absently waved her wand and the door opened to admit then, closing silently after they had passed. It was a rather small room with a table and several empty shelves against the far wall.
“What is this room, ma’am?” Hermione asked as she sat in one of the two chairs.
“This is a teacher’s study room, Miss Granger,” Professor McGonagall replied in a rather distracted tone. “They are only available for teachers and their aides.”
“Oh,” the girl replied as she eyed the empty shelves and wondered exactly what a teacher would have to study.
“Miss Granger,” the teacher began and then stopped for a moment. That was when Hermione noticed the older woman was clutching a crumpled letter in her fist. Her fingers were gripping it tightly even as Minerva McGonagall stared blindly across the room.
A few silent moments later and the teacher turned her eyes back to her, her eyes holding an almost wild expression. Hermione had never seen her teacher so discomposed in all her time at Hogwarts.
“Miss Granger, I know you are busy researching information for Mr. Potter – which I understand is very important - but I am asking you to take a day or so to do some private research for me,” she said in a firm tone.
Hermione looked at her professor in complete surprise. “Me?”
“You are the most competent researcher in the school, Miss Granger,” McGonagall continued, her tone steady but the hand clutching her letter shook ever so slightly, “and Mr. Potter is exceedingly fortunate to have you helping him. But I have an immediate need for information on a specific subject and I was hoping you would take on this task for me. Just for the weekend, if you can spare the time.”
“Of course, Professor,” Hermione replied firmly. “Whatever you need. We’ve made such good headway in our information search that I can spare as much time as is needed.”
Professor McGonagall’s hand relaxed just a bit around the letter she held and she nodded. “Thank you very much, my dear,” she said. “In thanks, I am giving you complete access to this room for the duration of your research for me and for Mr. Potter. I believe you will find it most helpful.”
“Thank you, ma’am, but I prefer to be nearer the books,” Hermione replied and for the first time since she approached her earlier, Professor McGonagall gave her a small smile.
“I believe you will prefer to conduct your research here when you understand the use of these shelves,” she said as she stood and walked over to the empty shelves against the far wall. The woman tapped the middle shelf once and said, “Hellmouth”.
Hermione jumped as the shelf quickly filled with several books, some looking quite ancient. Professor McGonagall tapped the next shelf down and said “Vampire Slayer” and many more books appeared, filling that shelf and the one below it.
Her professor turned back to her as she put her wand away. “These shelves will pull books into this room on whatever subject you request. If there are too many books for the shelves to hold, they will stack themselves to the side. This will pull books from *any*where in the school, including the restricted section and other, hidden libraries to which there is no other access.”
“Hidden libraries?” the young witch asked in horror. There were books she didn’t have access to?
“Yes, my dear, Professor McGonagall replied gently. “There are some libraries you do not have access to and even with this room, you will not have access to all the books. And you won’t be able to remove the books from this room either.”
“Hermione, there is some information that you are not ready for and most students will never be ready for. And while I know you will argue with me, I truly do not have time to indulge you right now. My need for information is urgent.”
The young witch sighed forlornly at the thought of books beyond her reach but perked up at the implication that she would have access to them someday.
“Yes, Professor, but I will be bringing this up with you again.”
“Of course,” Professor McGonagall said with a half-smile. She seated herself across from Hermione and sighed. “Now, what I need for you to research is anything, as much information as you can gather, on Hellmouths and the Vampire Slayer.”
“But Vampire Slayers are only myths.”
“No, they are not,” Minerva stated firmly, “and these books contain a large amount of information which I know you can condense into a wonderfully concise report.”
“But...what do you need it for?” Hermione asked worriedly. She eyed the huge number of books that had appeared on the shelves and considered the two days she could spare for this project. “I need to know something so I can focus my search on what you need.”
Minerva sighed again and nodded. “I must ask for your promise to keep this information quiet. I do not want you to speak of it to anyone, not even Mr. Potter or Mr. Weasley.”
Hermione nodded a bit reluctantly and her professor handed her the crumpled up letter she was holding in her hand. Hermione was surprised to find a piece of lined, notebook paper that muggle students used.
“This is from my grandson,” Professor McGonagall said wearily.
“I didn’t know you were married,” Hermione said softly and her teacher nodded.
“He was killed many years ago in the wars with Grindlewald,” she said sadly. “He was an Auror.
“I’m sorry,” Hermione said, feeling rather useless at comforting her favorite teacher. Minerva just nodded.
“My son was killed in the first war with You-Know-Who and my daughter was...hurt rather badly. She moved to the States in hope of staying safe but the place she chose to move to has turned out to be situated right over a Hellmouth. And now my grandson has written...well read the letter. It will give you an idea of what information I am looking for. Anything that might help them survive.”
“But why don’t they move?” the younger witch asked in horror. “Who would want to live in such a place?”
Professor McGonagall just pressed her lips together in an expression Hermione recognized from when she had to teach Crabbe and Goyle.
“My daughter can be somewhat...stubborn, a trait she obviously inherited from her father,” Minerva stated flatly and Hermione struggled not to grin at her teacher.
“I have spoken with Jessica about what Alexander wrote but she refused to move stating that she can more than take care of her son, despite the fact that she did not even realize they were living over a Hellmouth!”
Hermione didn’t respond to her teacher’s angry words as she skimmed over the messy handwriting on the letter. Her heart went out to the young man who was obviously grieving over the loss of his best friend. Hermione couldn’t even imagine losing Harry or Ron, much less having to kill them herself.
She looked up to meet Professor McGonagall’s worried gaze as she handed the letter back.
“I’ll begin now, if I may, Professor,” she said softly. “I have an idea of what you need.”
Minerva just nodded and tapped another shelf. A moment later, she picked up several rolls of parchment along with inks and quills that had appeared there. “I will provide anything you need, Miss Granger. I am very grateful for this. 50 points to Gryffindor for aiding a professor above and beyond the call of duty.”
“I don’t need the points, professor,” Hermione objected but the teacher waved her off as she stood.
“I know, Hermione. Thank you again. I will let your friends know where you are. They may join you here but please say nothing to them about the subject.”
“Of course, Professor. Thank you.”
April 8th, 1997 (age 15)
Thanks for all the great information on the Slayer and the Hellmouth. Buffy (and her Watcher) was amazed at some of the things Hermione found. Giles is wild to know where I got it (meaning he polished his glasses for an hour straight) but I told him I couldn’t reveal my sources as they could turn me into a toad and leave me in one of the biology labs.
I wanted to send Hermione a gift for the time she took to collect all that information. It must have taken weeks! I asked Mom what would be good and she suggested that every girl likes hair thingies. So I’m enclosing some barrettes and ribbons that Mom assures me Hermione will like. I hope she has long hair.
We went to Brighton Way in LA and Mom actually took me to Ollivander’s LA to get a wand. It’s awesome! It’s eleven and a half inches, holly with a unicorn hair core. I love it. Mr. Ollivander said he even knew the unicorn. And Mom has been teaching me some spells. Dad just about flipped out and Mom was able to show me the Petrificus Totalus spell. It works really well.
On a side note, did you know it was possible to be possessed by primal Hyenas?
I miss you,
June 12th, 1997 (age 15)
Guess what? I broke a prophecy. Buffy's Watcher can't decide whether to be pleased that Buffy’s still alive or pissed that a prophecy didn’t do what it was supposed to do.
I guess, in effect, the prophecy *did* happen. Buffy *did* die at the hands of a really, *really* ugly vampire called the Master. But I gave her CPR and was able to get her breathing again and she popped right up and went after the old vamp. She killed him to.
So now Buffy’s alive and the prophecy was proved true and false both. Totally weird.
Oh, and about my wand? You know that beautiful, wonderful wand? I had to use it to stake a vampire and it dusted. Mom had a cow and refuses to get me another one. So now, it’s back to staking vamps the old fashioned way. With a stake. And no more magic until I can prove to Mom that I’m more responsible. I’m 15! How much more responsible can I be?
I miss you. Are you coming to visit soon?
“He staked a vampire with his *wand*?” Hermione asked in horror as she read over the letter.
“Apparently that was when he went to save the Slayer from the prophecy,” Minerva said as she sipped her tea. She had laced it with a bit of Poppy’s calming draught before she even opened Alexander’s letter, something she’d started to do ever since he’d met that troublesome Slayer and her equally bothersome Watcher.
She had also made it a habit to share her letters from her grandson with Hermione, especially after the lovely hair barrettes and ribbons he’d sent her. Hermione was rarely seen without one of the lovely accessories in her thick brown hair.
“And...he broke the prophecy,” the younger witch said in tones of wonder. She looked up at her mentor with a hopeful expression. “Please, ma’am, can I explain this to Harry? He’s so worried about that horrible prophecy concerning him and Voldemort that he can hardly sleep through the night. This might help him understand more about how prophecies can work.”
Minerva studied the girl for a long moment. “Very well, Miss Granger,” she finally allowed. “He and Mr. Weasley both, I assume?” At Hermione’s nod, she sighed. “Please ask them to keep this quiet, though. I do think Alexander’s words will help Mr. Potter.”
The teacher used her wand to make a copy of her most recent letter from Xander and then put a few spells on it to make it unreadable to all but Hermione and whomever she allowed.
Hermione smiled and jumped up to gather her book bag before she left Professor McGonagall’s office to go find her friends.
Minerva gave a slow, proud smile. “My grandson broke a prophecy. Albus will have kittens.”
November 5th, 1997 (age 16)
Halloween this year was kinda crazy. Or rather, chaotic would be a better word. Have you ever heard of a chaos Mage? Apparently, this mage, Ethan Raine, thought it would be funny to have everyone who bought a costume from his shop turn into that costume for the night. I turned into a soldier and Willow turned into a ghost. Worst of all, Buffy turned into a brainless, spineless, medieval lady who ran around screaming all night. And then there were the vampires. (Don’t even get me started about Deadboy).
On the up side, I now seem to have some additional skills that will help me a lot in my after hours job. On the downside, now I’ve got some very odd, nightmare inducing memories of various wars. Fortunately, those seem to be fading though my skills seem to be remaining. Mom thinks it’s something to do with me being a wizard and keeping what I want.
In any case, when we figured out what was happening, Giles – Watcher and sometimes stuffed shirt Giles – went in and beat up Ethan Raine. The man can punch someone, I gotta say. I think there’s more to him than he’d like us to know. A mystery that Willow and I are savoring. Although I think Willow might be doing more than savoring, maybe like hacking but I don’t know anything about *that*!
That’s all from the Hellmouth.
Miss you much!
May 25th, 1998 (age 16)
Congratulations! We saw in the Daily Diviner that your Big Bad has been smacked down finally! Go Harry Potter and the Potterfriends! I know that's a load off your mind.
We had a bit of an apocalypse here too. Have you ever heard of some creepy demon called Acathla? Not only that but you remember when I asked for some information on the Judge? And then there was Angelus and he *tortured* Giles! But I won’t go into too much detail as I know you’ll just have to put more calming draught in your tea. Just know that everyone is safe except for Acathla and Deadboy.
Buffy had to...well let’s just say that she had to do something similar to what happened with me and Jesse and she was so upset that she’s run away. Her Mom is frantic, of course.
I’m giving her a week and then I’m having Mom do a locator spell. I know she was upset and I had a lot to do with that but she has to know how much her friends love her and want to help. Hopefully, she’ll come back on her own.
In any case, tell Hermione congratulations and a pat on the back. No doubt she was responsible for a lot of the research and success of the Light.
“That’s sweet of Xander to think of me,” Hermione said as she relaxed in her mentor’s office with a cup of calming-draught laced tea. Minerva had even figured out how to flavor it raspberry. Everyone was so relaxed now that Harry had defeated You-Know-Who permanently but Professor McGonagall still had to keep her special tea just for Alexander’s letters.
“I have mentioned you and Potter and Weasley in many letters,” Minerva said as she set her own cup down. “It’s good for him to know there are others fighting the darkness as well as he and his friends.”
“He obviously doesn’t know quite how much our papers report on his group’s activities,” the girl noted in a questioning tone.
Minerva sighed as she leaned back into her chair. “He doesn’t know. And I don’t want to tell him. It would just make him paranoid.”
“Many of the dewy-eyed young girls here think what he did...lying to the Slayer about Willow trying that soul spell...was wrong but can you imagine what would have happened if he’d told her the truth?”
Minerva shuddered and picked up her tea. “Mr. Potter wouldn’t have had to worry about You-Know-Who,” she said. “For I’m certain Miss Summers would not have been able to do her duty and kill Angelus.”
“Xander must be feeling awful about having to do that. Plus now the Slayer has disappeared, he probably feels doubly responsible.”
Minerva nodded. “I am going to see if I can visit this summer now that the threat of You-Know-Who has passed,” she said, a smile curving her lips. “It will be good to see my daughter and grandson again.”
Hermione smiled as well. “I know it will be. Will you pass along my greetings?”
“Of course, Hermione.”
June 2nd, 1999 (age 17)
You are now reading a letter from a High School graduate. Go me! Of course, during graduation, the Mayor Ascended to become a giant snake demon, ate the principal and attacked the students graduating. But the Scoobies found a way to deal with him. The whole graduating class of 1999 attacked the mayor and eventually, with some explosives placed by yours truly, we blew him up, along with Sunnydale High School. Now how many students do you know who get to blow up their High School for graduation? And Harry Potter doesn't count. He just blew up the front hall of Hogwarts. I got to blow up the entire school! Muhahahaha!
Willow says to say hi, by the way. She's still dating Oz, that werewolf I told you about. He is so cool. He plays in a band called Dingos Ate My Baby. And his hair is a different color practically every other week. He treats Willow good, too, which he'd better otherwise I'll have to beat him over the head with a shovel if he doesn't.
Buffy is going to spend some time with her Dad this summer before she gets ready for college in August. Even though we blew up the Mayor, she's still moping a bit because her Deadboyfriend, Angel (you know that souled up vampire who is sometimes a good guy vamp and sometimes an evil guy vamp?) decided he needed to leave town and go fight evil elsewhere. Not that I have a problem with that. The farther Deadboy is from Sunnydale, the happier I am.
Now for the good part! I told you in my last letter that I was going to try and do a road trip after graduation and see all 50 states, right? Well Giles, Buffy's Watcher, said he had to return to England for a few weeks to report on what happened with the High School and all that. (Personally I think he's going to verbally kick their collective tushes in person after they refused to help with the problem here in SunnyD.)
Anyway, I asked if I could go with him to England and then come visit you in Scotland. I figured if I went with Giles then Mom wouldn't have quite the hissy cow she'd have if I flew to England alone. He was surprised I had a relative over there (I swear I thought I'd told him about you) but he said that would be fine with him.
Minmin, I've saved up enough cash for a plane ticket over there and back and even enough to stay in some youth hostels and such if I need to. I want to see you since it has been years since you were last here. Letters every other week are wonderful but I was really disappointed when you didn’t get to come last summer. Can I visit you? I'd like to see Hogwarts and meet your wacked out Headmaster and give him the shovel speech. (I know you're sweet on him, don't even deny it.)
Giles is leaving on the 12th and says he could get me a ticket (first class!) to London through the Watcher's Council. Then I could take the Hogwarts Express to the school on the 13th and hang out with you until you're ready to leave for the summer. Giles says he can have the plane ticket created with an open return date so I could stay with you as long as you would have me. If you play your cards right, you won't even have to mail my birthday present this year. You could give it to me in person!
So I'm sending this off express and hope to hear back from you. If I don't hear back from you, I'm going to come over there anyway so please say yes! Send word back ASAP.
PS. I'm pacing here, Minmin! Send me a sign! Hope to see you soon!
PPS. Hey, you think I could learn how to fly a broom?