Disclaimer: I do not own Harry Potter or Buffy the Vampire Slayer. I have no claim to these copyrighted works. All stories are purely for entertainment, and no profit is involved.
StoryVerse: This story takes place in Harry’s 7th year at Hogwarts, sometime in the middle of Buffy Season 6. Assume Book 6 never happened, and the only excitement in Harry’s 6th year was a few minor battles and attacks occurring with the escalation of the war. Tara broke up with Willow because she didn’t approve of her magic use. They never got back together, Tara was never killed, and Willow never went off the deep end. Buffy died, and came back, but Giles never left. Neither The First nor the Potentials have been introduced yet.
Authors Note: This story is a response to FireDragon’s “The Decoy” challenge as a part of my Thank You To Donors. This chapter is pretty short, but I just wanted to get the idea out there. I’ll be posting daily updates.
It was a cool night in London, with the heavy fog bleeding into the lowest of the clouds. There was a crisp breeze, and the unnerving silence was broken only by the sound of a shrill shriek.
Buffy could hear the muted pounding of shoes as they slapped across the pavement. In fact, she could almost taste fear in the air. The only thing she couldn’t do was find the person who was clearly terrified. Or the cause of their distress. She would swear that she saw a cloaked figure running through the fog, but she couldn’t get close enough to be sure. She wasn’t sure why someone would be running around with a twig anyways. Another shriek of horror, and Buffy woke with a start, the sound of her alarm and eerie reminder of the dream that had just passed.
She rolled out of bed, ignoring the sweat that soaked her bedding and clothes, and made her way to the phone downstairs. If anyone could explain the dream she felt reeked of slayer badness, it would be Giles. It seemed to take him forever to answer the phone, and when he did, she didn’t get quite the reaction she was hoping for.
“Ah, Buffy, yes, quite good to hear from you.” Giles said in a falsely cheery manner. “Afraid I can’t talk right now, you’ll have to ring me later,” He finished, the click of the line going dead almost deafening. Buffy scowled in irritation, and decided to go with her next best option.
“Willow, oh good, you’re up,” she said, barging into her friends room.
“Buffy! What are you doing up so early? It’s before nine in the morning! On a Saturday! The world isn’t ending is it? Oh God! The world is ending isn’t is?”
“Relax Wills, the world isn’t ending. At least I don’t think it is,” she sighed, running her hands through her hair. “I’m not sure what exactly is wrong, I just know it’s something. I had a slayery dream. Full of badness, and fog. Seriously hope it’s not another Jack the Ripper dillio. Or worse Dracula!” She waited, but didn’t hear anything. “Wills?”
“You should call Xander, and tell him to bring donuts. He’ll be happier if there’s sugar involved. Tell him to meet us at the Magic Box.” She noticed Buffy scowl. “What?”
Buffy shook her head in irritation. She didn’t know what was the matter with Giles. She hoped it was something personal, like a girlfriend, and even that made her want to cringe. Somehow though, she just knew this day reeked of disaster.
“He hung up on me already.”
“Xander?” Willow asked, scrunching up her nose in confusion.
“No! Giles! He said he couldn’t talk and hung up the phone.”
“I’m sure he’ll explain later. But unless his tome of voice was laced with ‘oh please help, I’m being tortured and held hostage’ we have more important things to deal with. Like my lack of sugary goodness.”
“Upstairs kids, the meeting is about to start.” Mrs. Weasley said, pushing Harry, Ron, Hermione and Ginny out of the kitchen. She managed to get them about 3 feet, before Harry planted his feet.
“I’m 17 Mrs. Weasley. I appreciate your concern, but I think I’ll remain down here.” Her eyes narrowed, and Harry knew he was going to get it.
“I don’t care how old you are! You’re still in school, and this is a dangerous war!”
Harry remained silent, the thunder in his ears drowning out the protests of his three friends. He was sick and tired of being treated like a child when it suited them, and an adult when it was more convenient. Did they think he didn’t understand that this was war? That he thought all the loss and suffering was just another day? No he understood that this was war, better than most of them ever would.
“Is that so Molly? Is war really dangerous? I never would have guessed. I thought it was bunnies and kites. What did you think, that you could lock us all away, and let us out when it was over? I’ve seen the war, I’ve been victim to the war, and I’m the one that will have to finish this war, so hide me from THAT!”
“Harry! That is enough!” Dumbledore said, sweeping in behind them. “You’ve said more than enough already. Do not forget what I told you”
Forget? Harry thought sourly. How could he forget. It was his job to kill Voldemort, and he wasn’t supposed to tell anyone. But why? Clearly Voldemort already knew, why shouldn’t he be able to tell his allies. The ones who were supposedly on his side. He wasn’t a tool to be used, he was a human being with feelings. If they thought they were just going to hide him in the closet until it was time to kill like a worthless of sword, they were sorely mistaken.
“Why don’t we all go back into the kitchen and discuss this like mature rational adults. They are after all, over 17, Molly.” Dumbledore said, irritation glaring in his eyes.
“I won’t tell you what you can and cannot permit with children that are not my own Albus, but anyone standing in this room with Weasley blood in their veins better be upstairs by the time I count to three.”
Ron and Ginny took off up the stairs, grumbling loudly the entire way. Hermione, on the other hand, stayed standing next to Harry, A look of determination in her eyes. She was well over 17, almost 18 with her use of the time turner. Harry knew nothing anyone could say would make her change her mind. Not that he had any intention of trying.
He would do whatever he could to make sure his friends were safe, always. But just as he would not allow Mrs. Weasley to push him aside, he had to allow his friends in. It was their decision, and their right. It had been a painful lesson, but he learned it.
“This meeting is relevant to the students in the house anyway. Unfortunately, it appears as though Lavender Brown has gone missing. We’re not sure what’s happened, but we know that she ran out of her house after an argument at about one o’clock this morning. Death Eaters were sighted in the area.”
Hermione felt as though the wind had been knocked out of her. Lavender Brown. That was a bit closer to home than she had been expecting the war to reach any time soon. It just further proved her earlier supposition that now was when they needed to act, before any more horrible things could happen. She set her jaw, and squared her shoulders. The war was here, and for better of for worse, she would fight. Because she didn’t think she could live with herself if she didn’t. And because she loved her friends. One glance to the right told her Harry was having the same thoughts. She smiled despite herself.
“What do you mean more important? More important than evilness?” Buffy asked.
“Yes Buffy, more important than Slayer happenings. At least to my heart. It appears as though very early this morning, the daughter of an old friend of mine was kidnapped. I fear as though this may be the start of something I’ve been dreading for a very long time. In fact, it very well may be the evil you are sensing.”