Disclaimer: I don't own anything from Buffy the Vampire Slayer, or Harry Potter. They belong to Joss Whedon and J.K. Rowling respectively.
Harry and Buffy left the Ministry after the meeting. When they finally reached fresh air, Buffy turned to Harry.
“Are you okay?” she asked for the second time that day. Harry avoided looking at her, but Buffy wouldn’t have any of it. “Come on, Harry, talk to me.”
“I…I’m fine,” Harry mumbled. He took her hand in his and they set off down the street. He quickly found a pub and entered it, with Buffy trailing after him. Harry ordered something to drink and without another word they sat down at a table in the corner. Despite it being quite early there were a lot of people in the pub, and the air was filled with a pleasant buzz of conversation.
“It was harder than I thought it would be, you know,” he said after a few moments. “Just seeing it all again; I thought I had left it all behind me in the past.”
“But actually being there today brought it all back?” she asked, knowing how hard it can be returning home after being gone. She had experienced something similar, on a smaller scale, after running away to L.A. and playing Anne for a few months.
Their drinks arrived and they ordered some food after realizing that they were quite hungry. After the waitress left they continued.
“When I left I didn’t plan on staying away for so long, it just sort of happened.” He took a large gulp of his beer. “And then I met you and the thought of returning didn’t even cross my mind. Every letter I tried to write to them came out sounding all wrong, and I know I deserved what I got the other day. But it still hurt.
“And today, meeting Kingsley. He accepted me so easily, and I’m grateful, I really am, but a small part of me is wondering why he doesn’t hate me.”
“Oh, honey.” Buffy reached out and placed her hand over his on the table. “From what you have told me about him, I think he understands why you had to leave. Kingsley fought in the War, and lost people, just like all of you did. But he also has more experience. You, Ron and Hermione were just kids when it all happened. I think they have harder time with it all, because they don’t quite understand.”
“Oh, they understand! They were with me every step of the way,” Harry exclaimed. Even after all these years he was ready to defend them without hesitation.
“They were with you, but they didn’t experience everything you did. I’m not going to pretend that I know them. But from my own experiences, other people can’t comprehend what you’re going through; they don’t have the whole world on their shoulders. Willow and Xander never fully understood what happened to me during all those years in Sunnydale, because they didn’t have my destiny
, or the pressure
that I had on me all the time.”
“And Kingsley has been doing this longer than any of you. He understands, trust me. He understands the need to just leave, or actually being able
What Buffy said left him confused; confused about his feelings and Ron’s and Hermione’s feelings. But he knew that with Buffy on his side everything would work out just fine. As long as they survive this new war that was coming.
After eating, Harry and Buffy had a few hours to spend before they were needed back at HQ. Buffy had always wanted to see Diagon Alley, but it was very unlikely that Harry could return there without being recognized.
“What about a disguise?” Harry asked.
“Like glasses and a fake nose?” she said, laughing at the thought.
“Ha ha,” he said sarcastically. “No, something like this.” He turned into an alley further down the street. Harry took out his wand, and mumbled something under his breath. Buffy couldn’t see what was happening, but when he turned around again she gasped.
Harry no longer looked anything like himself. His hair was longer, and he now sported a handsome beard. His eyes were a different colour and his nose considerably larger. He had also put a glamour spell on his scar, so people couldn’t see it anymore.
“Oh my god! That’s brilliant!” Buffy whispered, and Harry just grinned in response. No one would recognize him anymore, especially since no one knew he was back.
“Come on! We have a lot to see,” Harry said and hailed down a cab.
Ginny had woken up later than usual. She had stayed over at Sam’s, but he had left for work hours ago. It didn’t take long before Ginny was utterly bored. She hated being alone, maybe it had something to do with the fact that every time she was alone, she had time to think. And thinking often led to Harry, which led to her being angry and not a little bit depressed.
She glanced at her watch and concluded that it was almost lunchtime. She decided to surprise Sam at work with some lunch, so she whipped up some sandwiches and something to drink and apparated to the Diagon Alley.
The streets of Diagon Alley were filled with witches and wizards doing their shopping. Ginny had to push her way through the throngs of people to get to the bank. At the entrance stood two guards, and she smiled at them.
“Hello Mintin, how’s the family?” she asked one of them pleasantly.
“They’re all good Ms Weasley. Bill’s not in at the moment,” the guard answered.
“I’m actually here to meet Sam,” Ginny said, blushing slightly. She placed her wand on the tray that Mintin presented to her. She stepped through the detectors that would detect any sort of disguises. The Ministry had gotten the idea from the muggles, and their metal detectors.
“You can go through,” Mintin smiled at Ginny and handed back her wand. “And tell Sam, if he hurts you – I’ll hurt him.”
Ginny laughed and said that she would. She knew most of the people working at Gringotts since Bill and Fleur worked there. She had visited them on many occasions, and lately she had visited Sam.
She walked up to one of the counters and smiled at the goblin working there.
“I’m here to see Sam Wilkey, he around?” she asked. The goblin in question only glared at her and pointed to his right. She followed his finger and saw Sam sitting over at the transaction section.
The goblins had been offered quite a large sum of money after the war, a retirement, but only a few took it. Gringotts was still run by goblins, but nowadays witches and wizards had an equal part in it.
“Surprise!” Ginny whispered as she placed her hands over Sam’s eyes. “Guess who.”
“Bill? Is that you?” Sam said, and turned around. “Oh, I was half right.” He smiled cheekily at her before giving her a kiss.
“Ha ha,” she said trying not to smile, but failed miserably. “I made you lunch.” She held up the paperback and Sam’s stomach started to growl.
“Good thing I forgot to eat then.”
He said a few words to his colleague and led Ginny over to a table in the corner. She took out the sandwiches and the drinks, and they had their little picnic in silence.
Harry walked through the Leaky Cauldron, trying not to look too suspicious. He felt Buffy’s presence behind him and he calmed a bit. He led her to the back, and stood in front of the brick wall, remembering all those years ago when Hagrid had first taken him there.
“Ready?” he asked and took out his wand. Harry gently tapped a few bricks and they parted to reveal a hidden world.
“Wow,” Buffy said, stunned. Despite just having seen the Ministry in all its glory, nothing could beat the genuine feel of Diagon Alley. It was just so real
Harry grinned, knowing he must have had the same stunned look on his own face the first time he saw it all.
“Where do you want to go first?” Harry asked.
“I have no idea!” she laughed. “Where did you go your first time?”
“Gringotts, the wizarding bank. I still have a vault there,” he said, looking longingly at the great white building.
“Well, come on then!” She pulled him towards Gringotts, but stopped a few yards a way.
“Are those metal detectors?” she asked, slightly confused. “Why would they need them? I mean, how many wizards use guns?”
“I don’t know. They weren’t there the last time I was here. I guess their security has been upgraded.” As a wizard passed, Harry tapped him on the shoulder.
“’Scuse me, sir. What are those detector-things?”
He looked at Harry strangely. “They detect disguises and any other sort of concealment. Everyone knows that.”
“Oh, sorry. I’ve been out of the country for a while. Thanks,” Harry said and the wizard walked away, shaking his head.
“We can’t go in there then, they’ll know who you are,” Buffy sighed.
“No, I can’t go in there,” He paused. “But you can!”
“Yes, I’ll just give you my key and password, and you can go and get some stuff from my vault,” Harry explained. “I’ve already transferred all my money, but I have some things in there I would like to have.”
“All right, if you think it’ll work,” Buffy said, looking unsure. Harry fished up a small key from his pocket and handed it to her.
“The password is: The Marauders. Okay? Just walk up to someone working there, and say you want to take something out of vault 687. Give me your bag,” He performed a small spell on it, to make it larger on the inside and weightless. “Just grab everything and put it in your bag. If you can, don’t mention my name.”
“Okay, wish me luck,” she said bracingly.
“Hey, you’ll do great. Just remember: The Marauders.”
Buffy walked up the steps of Gringotts, glancing back at Harry who smiled encouragingly. One of the guards stepped in front of her.
“Your wand, miss.” He held out a tray for her.
“Uhm, I don’t have it with me,” Buffy said.
“Not with you?” the guard asked while frowning at her. “All right. Step through here, please.”
Buffy went through the detectors and nothing happened. The guard let her go, but followed her with his eyes as she entered the bank. He turned to his fellow guard, “No wand, ever heard of a witch who left her wand at home?”
Harry breathed a sigh of relief as he saw Buffy pass through the doors. Now it was all up to her. He was once again reminded by a memory from the past. It wasn’t the first time he had planned a mission trying to get into Gringotts. But this time, they weren’t trying to steal anything, which was a plus.
Once inside Buffy looked around, amazed. The ceiling seemed to be made out of gold, and the floor was made out of marble that looked a lot like silver. She walked up to one of the human bank tellers. His name tag read “Jackson Frew”.
“Hey, I want to get something out of a vault, ehm vault 687,” Buffy told the teller, Frew. She noticed that a redheaded girl, sitting at a table in the corner, looked her way.
“I’ll need your key, and the password,” Frew demanded. She handed him the key, and in a low voice she said “The password is The Marauders.” This time, she was certain the girl was listening to what she was saying. She even stood up and took a step in Buffy’s direction. Her male companion said something, and the girl looked away from Buffy. Fortunately, Frew was ready to show her the vault.
“This way please.” Buffy followed him into a small room. They got into a cart and sped down a track. With wind in her hair Buffy let out a small laugh. The ride was short and they suddenly stopped in front of an old door. Frew used the key to open and then stepped back to give her some privacy.
The vault didn’t contain any money, just some knickknacks. She went inside and picked up a broom. She wiped off some dust from the handle and it said “Firebolt” in golden letters. She looked at her bag and then back to the broom. She knew Harry had done something to it, but was this really gonna work?
She slowly started to push the broom into her bag, and surprisingly it fit. There were some books that caught her eye. “Hogwarts, a History”, “A History of Magic”, “One Thousand Magical Herbs and Fungi”, “Curses and Counter-curses”
. The placed them in her bag, and continued picking up items: A blank parchment, carefully folded, a shiny sword that made Buffy drool a bit. The last thing in the vault was a small chest. She was curious what could be inside. Making sure Frew didn’t see anything she opened it. Well, she tried anyway. It was locked. With a small sense of disappointment she placed it in her bag.
“I’m done now,” she said as she walked out. Frew glanced into the vault, and found it to be completely empty. He turned to Buffy.
“So, you know Harry Potter?”
“This is his vault, isn’t it?” Frew asked.
“Well, that’s none of your business. Take me back, now.” Buffy demanded.
“Is he back, then?” Frew insisted. “I know some of his friends who work here. I’m sure they’d want to know.”
“I’m not going to discuss this with you, just take me back up,” Buffy growled.
Frew looked a little scared and climbed into the cart again. They took off in the same neck-breaking speed and within minutes reached the surface.
“Don’t tell anyone about this, or I’ll talk to your supervisors. Leave it alone!” She stormed out of the bank.
Ginny hadn’t noticed her until she stood by the counter, asking for vault 687. She knew for a fact that it was Harry’s vault, but who was this blonde girl? Maybe she had heard wrong. But when the girl said that the password was The Marauders, Ginny knew that the girl was trying to access Harry’s vault. She stood up, intending to talk to the girl.
“What are you doing?” Sam asked her.
She looked at him. “The girl over there…”
Ginny looked towards the counter again, but the girl was gone.
“It was…nothing. It was nothing.”
Sam and Ginny had just finished their lunch when the same girl came storming out of the cart-room.
“Be right back!” Ginny said as she followed the girl. Ginny quickly lost her in the masses of people outside. Just as she was turning around to return inside, she caught sight of the same blonde hair. The girl joined a man who had been waiting for her. It was something about the man who reminded Ginny of Harry. He looked very different from Harry, but there were some similarities. Of course he would use a disguise,
A spark of jealousy ran through her when she saw that Harry greeted the woman with a kiss and a smile. A smile, which in the past was reserved for Ginny.
“Mother,” Percy said as he entered the kitchen. Molly only smiled in return, thinking once again how different all her children are. Percy had always been very businesslike while the other children were all about pranks and adventures. But she loved them all the same.
In recent years Percy had become more down to earth, and after the war they all knew that family is the most important thing. But it was easy to forget sometimes.
“Are you hungry?” Molly asked her son. “I was just making some supper. Your dad is still working, and Ginny is out. Ron and Hermione just went home. So it’s just you and me.”
“Yeah, thanks, I’m starving.” Percy sat down at the table and picked up The Daily Prophet, while Molly finished the last of the supper.
“You know,” Percy said after he had debated with himself silently for a few moments. “Harry visited the Ministry today; he had a meeting with Kingsley.”
“He did?” Molly stopped what she was doing. “Did he seem okay? I mean, he did leave in a hurry the other night.”
“He seemed alright, I suppose. A lot on his mind though.” Percy had always hated to gossip, but he struggled to make up his mind about mentioning Ms Summers. To be fair, it wasn’t his place to say anything. Percy decided that he had done enough gossiping for one day.
“Oh Percy, I worry about him. Is he really okay?” Molly asked desperately. For many years she had been like a mother to Harry, and it was hard to just ignore that. She worried. A lot.
“Mother, he’s fine. I’m sure he can take care of himself,” Percy said, trying to pacify his mother. He then added, “You can always send him an owl.”
“You’re right,” she said a bit absentmindedly. “Supper’s almost done.”
AN: Thank you all for reading this, despite the lateness of each chapter. I really don't have any discipline! Sorry :D