Just a few notes before we start. One, in honor of the series that inspired the beginning of this idea, this story is set in 2005.
Two, this story includes an Au Potterverse that is attempted to fit more along the lines of the Buffyverse. So it starts with that so you can feel the difference, also Harry started in Hogwarts in 95.
Three, think of this as a possible prologue to a future series I might do but for now it's a one shot.
Four, this is un-betaed, I did my best but I'm not perfect.
And five, I own nothing besides the laptop this is being written on.
Edited further –January 2013-
A name given to a supremacist group of magic users hailing from the isles of England. Most of them come from long running families of witches and wizards who learned the "proper" European way to use magic. Making them an influential and a somewhat formidable force but to most mid to upper class demons they were nothing but a nuisance. They thought they were the world's chosen, magic's gift to the world. Looking down upon every last creature as if they didn't measure up in their eye.
It did not matter who you were, another brand of sorcerer, a vampire master or a respected demon. They were all spit on the Death Eaters shoes, barely any better than a mundane human. They marked themselves superior to all others with a tattoo upon their fore arm of a snake withering through a skull. They called it the Dark Mark, fitting since any Light sided practitioner feels disgusted just by standing near someone with it.
The only reason why there hadn't been a mass hunt of the organization was because of their leader. A self-styled wizard, warlock, sorcerer, hell many didn't even know how to categorize this man. He used a wand and took energy from himself like the others that followed him but when he fought he was like a force of nature upon the field. Even the upper level demons flinch when they hear his title.
The man frightened them and kept them in their place as he slowly started to stake his claim in Magical Britain. Vampire nest, demon packs, covens, all were under his banner and all were held down with an iron fist. He started his climb barely over fifty years ago and there was only ever one pause in his advances.
But despite that blemish on his record he was still feared. Many tried to stop him, even the great White Wizard Albus Dumbledore, but they all fell to him. He and his followers were so sure of their place in the world that they weren't expecting what was about to happen to them.
May 2nd, 2005
Malfoy Manor by no means seemed like a humble home as it towered over the country side. It was a gothic affair in design and seemed to keep a luster despite its obvious age. A lush green landscape surrounded the ground and the family cemetery was kept in the best of shape.
The home looked gorgeous but something seemed off about the estate. Maybe it was the bent in gates or the bodies lying on the front lawn varying between unconscious and dead, or maybe the fact it seemed someone was setting off fireworks on all levels of the house.
Inside the home was a battle field. Two very different groups of people fighting against each other fiercely, both sides seemed to be representing the opposing sides of Quality vs Quantity. On one side there were a large mass of men and woman dressed in tailored black robes and wore ashen white mask upon their face. They were a frightening image to see swarm towards you, like death was actually flying straight at you and was sending green fire of death and pain to claim you. But as frightening as they were, barely any of them knew how to really fight.
There was no organization to their movements, they rushed forward and backward as their courage waned and surged. Bumping into each other at random intervals and tripping on each other's robes. Many tried to treat the battle as a proper duel or spar and ended up quickly on the ground.
The few who did know how to fight however fought dirty. Using their fellows as shields, tossing around dark magic as if it were confetti, and just generally making things a lot harder for the other side to deal with.
The opposing side on the other hand were few in numbers but made up for it in skill and preparation.
The group of invaders had watched the Death Eater comings and goings for more than two months to get a handle on their schedule. Tracking down that one day when the home had the fewest number of Voldemort's followers were present. Unfortunately that still left them out numbered near two to one. But they would take their chances, they had a pretty stable plan and a reason to fight.
They were the friends and family of the victims, some the victims themselves, of the Death Eater. They wanted revenge and they were willing to wait for it. To prepare for it.
They all had trained for it, having a good number of them being Aurors and high class magical teachers helped greatly with that. They knew each other and supported each other, doing their best to make sure the others made it out in the best shape possibly.
The first part of their plan was very blunt and consisted of two parts. The first part was enacted by one Bill Weasley and a few others qualified, or were trained to be qualified enough. Their job was to pull down any and all magical protection around the manor. No subtly what so ever, they just yanked and tore down everything. It may have altered the every person within but since they tore down any form of instant magical communication with the wards and protections there would be no back up for the Death Eater for some time. Besides they would have their hand full with part two.
Part two consisted of thirty suits of armors they borrowed from various estates and buyer and heavily enchanted to do a relatively simple mission. Kill anyone with a Dark Mark.
The first part of their plan, again, was very… straight forward, to say the least. But it was working and part two had a little more finesse to the shock.
While the suits of armor tore through the gates they had most of their people sneak through them and passed the Death Eaters under invisibility cloaks to attack the home from behind. But that is where the plan started to go south. They were not expected the Death Eaters to allow a Werewolf into their ranks, let alone what was considered their main base.
They lost good people due to that lack of information. Luckily they managed to recover quickly enough, largely due to the air support than had planned beforehand. The whole spells being dropped by broomstick thing seemed to really disorientate the Death Eaters enough for the others to get some decent cover and infiltrate the building.
Once inside the rolled out glass spheres from under their cloaks and let them shatter on the walls, allowing for the gas within them to fill the rooms. Soon the Death Eaters were coughing and seeing things that weren't there. Many of them soon fell to the ground but the others that were still semi-conscious were hurling spells around. Most of the invading party remembered their practice and training and instantly took cover, others were not as lucky.
Lucky in the fact that most the spells were just pain related spells and not lethal ones. And unlucky that they were pain related spells.
Soon enough the first floor was cleared and the small legion of armor was wreaking its way through the house and up the stairs. And there they found some of Voldemort's Lieutenants, the Lestrange brothers and the eldest brother's wife Bellatrix. All three were powerful, skilled and insane. A horrible combination to face. They were all laughing and dancing into the fight and took glee in taking apart the armor.
Luckily they had heavy hitters of their own and they took up the task of dealing with the deranged trio.
The invaders were doing a hell of a job, some may even say that they were winning. But the real show was upstairs, in the main study.
Not even a minute after the animated knights tore through the gates a crow sized falcon landed on the ledge of the study's window. It pecked the window a few times, as if testing if it was open but after the first three times it stopped and disappeared. In a split second the bird was gone in its place was a thin young man with a messy crop of black hair.
The young man proceeded to produce a wand from his waist holster and flicked it towards the window, shattering the glass with barely a flash of color. Stepping in carefully, to avoid cutting himself, he surveyed the room. Like the outside of the home it screamed rich in décor, but the man thought all the green and silver was over doing it.
"Harry Potter." A silky voice called from across the room. "Why must you always be in my way?"
The aforementioned man turned his gaze till his green eyes met a pair of red. Voldemort was a frightening looking man, maybe once he was handsome but the backlash of a certain spell ended that. His face was now burnt beyond all recognition of a previous life. His nostrils seemed to have been torn away and his ears melted his skull, the fact that he had a distinct lack of hair just added to the image.
And unlike his followers he seemed to find a liking to more up to date clothing, even if it did seem to be somewhere to be modern and Victorian.
"Tom." Harry growled out as he started to stand even with the man. He would later realize this was stupid, that he should have taken cover behind the desk and kept up a line of fire, but he had been waiting more than a decade for this moment. Ever since he found out his parent were murdered some small part of him was waiting for the upcoming moment to happen.
Voldemort clucked his tongue, "Were ever has your respect gone, what would you're god-father say, or better yet, what would Dumbldore say?" His voice was conceding as he spoke while his hands clasped together and twirling a slim piece yew of wood.
Harry took the bait but not how Voldemort wanted. He used it as fuel, giving more into his anger as he prepared. He was going to savor this moment, if he survived it.
"Where is the usual bravado, Harry?" the older man asked as he strolled to a proper distance away from Harry. He and Harry had history and like always he would face the boy in a proper fashion, a proper duel. "That prattle about how you will defeat me. I can see the anger but where is the heart?"
The deformed man quickly flicked his wrist holding his wand to deflect the shimmering red orb of light from slamming into him "Ah! There it is!" He said almost cheerily "And starting off with a combustion spell? I can't help but to feel some pride in your progress."
Harry just growled and started to move his wand, one motion after the next. With each motion, and for some a word, he sent a spell hurtling towards the other man. None of them were particularly powerful, most flame and cutting spells in rapid succession but the onslaught did bring Voldemort on a defensive.
Unfortunately, as fast as his spells were being fired, they were weak and underpowered. So the older man waited for a slight hesitation, when Harry was about to start another salvo of spells he turned the tides. With a split second for Harry to change his grip for more intense spell Voldemort launched his own magic.
His pace of fire was slower than Harry's but each spell was powerful and oriented to at least maim or cause a very great deal of pain. One hit could cause exploding boils, a lost limb, dissolving eyes, cause your own teeth to eat your mouth from the inside out. Each spell was about as twisted as magic could become. But Harry wasn't like Voldemort, he couldn't deflect the hits with the tip of his wand. He was dependent on powerful shield spells, dodging and ducking for cover.
Needless to say it to took much longer for him to retaliate. In fact it took three shield spells and a halfway ruined desk before he could sling back his next few spells. He tried to get a sneak attack in by feinting a spell and charming the drapes behind Voldemort to try and wrap themselves around the older wizard. But a quick cutting spell ruined that.
The difference in styles was obvious. Harry was a constantly moving force, using rapid fire and relatively simple spells. He never finished Hogwarts, he had dropped out early to help his god father with his campaign against Voldemort so many of his spells were common spells modified to be more dangerous than they had a right to be.
Voldemort on the other hand was solitary and immovable, barely taking a step from where he initially stood. His own spells all powerful and came from a darker and older breed of magics. But somehow they stayed on the stay on equal ground. Or so it appeared.
Harry had a lot of endurance, due to his age, training and the sports he played when he was younger. Yet despite that he knew he was going to be run ragged if the fight went on for too long. He had been making short sprints along the room to make himself a more difficult target but he was running out of places to rest for a few scant seconds, most of the furniture now either kindling or dead animals.
Harry had progressively tried to make his way closer to Voldemort as the battle went on, to try and exploit one of almost every practitioners biggest weaknesses, close quarters fighting. He wasn't good at it himself but he was a decent forward in football so he was pretty sure he could give a good kick. But as soon as he was within hitting distance Voldemort waved his hand to perform a minor wandless 'push' spell, giving the two men ten feet of distance from each other.
The older wizard had been facing demons and vampires for decades, he was used to his opponents trying to get close.
Harry growled out an explosion spell in frustration, unknowingly falling into what Voldemort wanted.
At near the same exact time two curses were uttered, at different paces and tones "Reducto!" "Avada Kedavra!"
The two spells collided midair, slamming into each other with a resounding crack. Streams of pure and raw magic tracked its way back to their respective wands connecting the users in a struggle for dominance.
This is what Voldemort wanted, the true test against his equal. He knew he was more experienced than the boy, and certainly more skilled, but Potter more than made up for it in his sheer determination and improvising. But this… bond they shared through both their wands and magic, connected by fate, this was their true test against each other. Nothing but will and magic mattered here. And judging by the spells used whoever lost would not be leaving that room alive.
Pushing his magic forward he heard the younger man scream in both pain and frustration before shoving right back. To him it was glorious, this boy made man was his equal, something he always craved for. His near takeover of all things magic in the United Kingdoms was met with little challenge other than a few Demon-lords and of course Dumbledore. Master Vampires have not been seen on English soil since the early seventies, they did not like his fiendfyre spell at all. But this boy faced him on a level like no other did.
Most of the Demon-Lords he had faced over territory fell too far into their species common failing instincts. Making them little better than animals to the slaughter, even if said animals were lions and wolves. And Dumbledore, while his equal maybe even superior when it came to the knowledge of their brand of magic, didn't have the right… umph to properly face him. He didn't have it in his to face Voldemort with all that he had and try for the kill instead of incapacitating, and that was why the old man lost their fight two years prior.
But Harry was different. He matched Tom in magical strength despite just coming to his maturity and he fought with an intensity that was uncanny. He was willing to go for the throat and was willing to use his brains to get to it. Time and time again they faced and the boy was almost always out matched but every time he would get away and leave a few good hits before departing.
Though that was not what attracted him so much to facing the boy on even ground. It was that damn prophecy. It connected them on some level, even if at times it seemed self for filling. They were meant to be the ones to kill each other, both fueled by revenge for either the loss of love ones or the loss of a face. He was still sore on that point and was still wonder how a child reflected Killing Curse literally back in his face.
He could feel it, the rage and determination coercing through the other man as they pushed the ball of explosion and death magic back and forth. This is what he wanted, a rival to define him, but as the ball of magic slowly waned its way towards him he grew unsure.
Tom never wanted to die, he became Voldemort to gain ever lasting life and as he grew in the magical underworld it seemed within his grasp. But now, in his effort for a challenge is seemed he may lose what he tried so desperately to keep.
He scream of defiance was met by a primal one from Potter as the ball of magic touched the tip of his wand. He watched in morbid fascination as the overly charged destructive magic seeped into his wand and made its way up his arm, tearing everything apart by the seams as it traveled through his body.
As it made its way through his chest and destroyed his heart Voldemort's last thoughts were that this was not the way it was supposed to end.
Harry let out a gasping breath as Voldemort's body burned and tore itself apart, leaving only a bloody mess and ash. He honestly couldn't believe it, he knew that this duel was meant to be their last but he expected it to be more… epic. It felt like any of their other fights. Full of anger and doing their best to kill each other.
But all the same, it was over. It was finally over.
Bracing himself against the wall he spoke an incantation summoning a silver stag to deliver his message to his allies "Voldemort is dead"
May 3rd, 2005
12 Grimmauld Place
Despite how well last night went the large meeting area of the 'Order of the Phoenix" was quiet and somber as they held their moment of silence for their fallen. After Voldemort fell all the Death Eaters felt a near unbearable pain as their Dark Marks started to burn away, making them easy picking for the Order. But there were many loses before that happened.
Harry Potter himself had lost many friends that day. The three the stuck out most in his mind were Remus and Nymphadora 'Tonks' Lupin, and Fred Weasly. They were some of the closest things to family he had, hell Remus was pretty much his uncle and even made him the godfather of his son Teddy.
He kneaded his cup of fire whiskey as he thought about the toddler. In all honesty he wasn't ready to raise the kid. Sure at nearing 21 years he was old enough to and from the inheritance he had from being heir to both the Black and Potter fortunes he could more than afford taking care of the boy. But at the moment he wasn't emotionally ready for that type of responsibility. He knew Tonks' mother would take care of Teddy but Harry's conscious would not let her do it without help.
He just hoped she would take a few healthy donations into her vaults until he had sorted himself out.
After all this he needed a vacation. Preferably somewhere far away and spoke English. He'd talk to Hermione about it, to see if she knew of a good place where he could just find himself. But for right now he'd just sip on his whiskey and share stories about the fallen.
Anaheim, California, United States
It started as a small way to stick it his parents when he was fifteen. To be that abnormal child that ruined their perfect image of a family. But slowly his feigned interests in the gothic world turned genuine and lead into other circles.
Soon he stopped wearing the overdone make up and cut the jewelry down to a few rings and a necklace. He still wore black but that was just a preference. He traveled into just about every circle of interest in the gothic world and landed into the kin of the practitioners.
Genuine magical practitioners.
At first he was skeptical of what the group was prattling on about but soon he had his proof after one member chanted a line and managed to raise a glass from the table. That in itself wasn't that convincing but when the table and his chair followed, well he was hard pressed not to believe.
Now he was a practitioner himself for little under a year and he felt it was time to make his own grimorium or a "Book of Shadows". He would not pretend to know if there was a difference both were spell books to him and he felt he was ready for his own. But he wanted his to be special, different from all the rest and he knew how he wanted to do that.
You see before he even became a Goth he was a big fan of the Evil Dead series and to have a grimorium in the likeness of the Necronomicon would be beyond amazing to him.
It took him less than a month to gather all he wanted and needed to make the book, the wonders of the internet never ceased. First he ordered two hundred pages of old styled parchment bound in a plain and flexible binding, then a few quill point pens to make the writing look olden, he then went to a local butcher and got some animal blood for the ink and last very expensive and real human leather to put over the binding.
It was a bit obsessive and maybe a little creepy but hey, his parents got him his own credit card and he could pay it off in a few months. Besides it was expensive to be the best.
When it all arrived the first thing he did was to keep the blood preserved in the mini-fridge in his room, after that he started a very cosmetic but important part of his project.
He had intentionally ordered rolls of leather of different collared skin so that when he did there would be a good deal of contrast. While he was no master with the needle he was decent with it. Besides, he wanted it to look a little rag tag to add to the ambiance of the book. Plus it made the 'face' all the more interesting to look at.
That was the hard part through. To get all the skin tone and thread in a certain order to look like a frowning face with its eyes closed. It didn't look anything like the one in the movies but hey close enough.
The next part would be tedious and near mind numbingly boring. He took a few of his favorite magic text and booked marked them to his favorite passages or the ones that were the most useful. He then filled the quill tipped pens with the blood ink and prepared himself for the repetitive task ahead of him.
But as soon as the pen touched parchment something happened.
The young practitioner made a foolish mistake in his quest to make an impressive grimorium. He forgot how important symbolism is in magic and in making his Necronomicon he gained the attention of a very dark being. One that was long banished from having any corporal power on the Earth Dimension and saw a very enticing opportunity just open up for it.
While it couldn't channel its full power making the Necronomicon into its avatar of power onto the Earth Dimension would give a good deal of influence on the world. It would do for the next few decades or so before it got bored. Plus it was a good start into bringing its full power into existence.
As soon as the foolish mortal boy touched pen to paper it moved, blanketing the boy's mind as he possessed his hand. Page by page it wrote down its power in various languages, ranging from ancient human to demon writings, binding a small part of itself to the book.
When the pen ran out of ink it didn't hesitate to have the boy stab his own leg to get more ink to finish the job. It would fix the damage later, the boy could be useful.
June 5th 2005, afternoon
Anaheim, California, United States
That was awkward.
Topping all other event as the most awkward moment of his life.
Harry really couldn't put it into words just how strange it felt to walk around that park.
God, Merlin, whatever the hell he was supposed to say, he could see why the local magic community stayed the hell away from this city. That was just embarrassing; it was like someone took their world and turned it into some sick cartoon. Wicked Witches, talking mice, pumpkins into carriages, when did the world get so wrong?
Hermione said that it should have been fun. Relaxing, saying something about how everyone loved Disney.
Plus the fact he was probably the only person in that whole park that went there alone. He felt like a fool, and those mothers kept on staring at him like he was some type of leaper.
Why did he think America would be a good place to unwind, especially California?
He needed a cup of fire whisky.
Wait. Shit. This was a near magic devoid town. Guess he had to see what the local brew was like.
June 5th 2005, night
Anaheim, California, United States
Xander Harris grumbled indignantly as he shifted on top of his motel bed. The past few weeks of his life have been rough on him.
Well, maybe it could be said the last few months. It just seemed like event after event piled on one after another trying to break him. But in all honesty it came down to one thing. He was feeling alienated from his friends. Sure he knew their reasons; one being that whole mini affair he had with Willow, the event blew up worse than the whole Love Spell incident. At least with the spell Buffy gained a little respect for him by refusing every effort of seduction thrown at him but this time he lost probably all respect from her and his relationship with Cordelia.
The second reason was that they were trying to keep him safe, make him fray adjacent. Making him feel little more than toddler being told no, that he didn't have a choice in his life. And while he wasn't as special as them he wasn't ordinary anymore either.
Three events in Sunnydale prevented him from just being the ordinary one, even if they didn't bring him to their level. Maybe they didn't see the changes, maybe he just didn't show them enough, either way they treated him like glass.
He just needed to get away for a little while, do that whole "go find yourself on a road trip" deal. He and Jessie had originally planned on going on the trip together, maybe drag Willow along and celebrate being free from the hell that was known as High School. But the real world ruined that.
It wasn't even the real world that the adults said they were preparing you for. Hell, adults spent most their time telling you that it doesn't exist, that there were no monsters lurking in the dark besides the occasional mugger. That image was shattered.
So this road trip was supposed to be partly to find himself and another part to honor his dead friend. Too bad things weren't going as planned.
Originally when he planned his trip he was going to go to Los Angeles first but after hearing that Angel, not to mention Cordelia, had moved there he couldn't even bring himself to even dream of visiting that city. So he decided on hitting his second stop first, Anaheim, because come on, Disney Land.
But so far he didn't even have a chance to glimpse at the park.
Two miles outside the city boundaries his car decided to break down.
Even if it was the twenty-first century he was never one of those kids that had a cell-phone and besides a few odd jobs around town he never had employment. So for near over a mile he pushed his rust bucket of a car along the edge of the high way before, apparently, someone took pity on him and called a tow truck that appeared half a mile later.
He may have been in good shape from the workout routine he got in Junior year but he was still human and pushing a car for almost two miles in the California sun had him soaking. He really didn't think of the number of consequences there would be for taking the help.
First off, he didn't even think about the fact he would have to pay for the tow when he happily agreed to the help. It was only a hundred and fifty dollars but that was still took a chunk out of the thousand he had saved up.
The next problem came with the car. After spending another hundred dollar for a mechanic to look it over he found out it would have been easier, not to mention cheaper, to buy a new car. Problem was he didn't have enough money to buy one that wouldn't crap out on him again.
Maybe put a down payment on one but not outright buying. He didn't even know how he was going to meet up with follow up payments for the car.
So he started looking around for some odd jobs around the city to make some quick money to get a decent car. He found a semi steady one bussing tables and cleaning dishes at a male strip club. Not his first choice of jobs but hey, money was decent so he wasn't going to complain. But he had a small problem, most of the money he earned either went to food or to pay off the motel bill he was massing up.
He was seriously debating on just buying a bus ticket and heading back to Sunnydale. But he was stubborn and didn't want to give up on his road trip just yet. So he continued his obviously futile attempt to earn enough to continue.
Groaning he got out of bed feeling a familiar need, like needing to eat or the need to pee or sleeping. A left over from event number one that took him out of the normal category. Getting up he rummaged through what remained of his belongings until he had a wooden stake and a water bottle with a jerry-rigged spritzer on top.
It was time to hunt.
Anaheim, California, United States
It could feel it.
The Divine Powers of the Earth dimension were nudging events and actions, pushing something or someone to intersect it. To be a buffer to the chaos it would cause.
It had to hurry.
June 5th, 2005 night
Harry found himself walking the night grumbling about stupid American laws and that it wasn't even a two month difference in age. He was old enough in England he should have been old enough in the States.
His angered musing came to a stop as a bone seeping chill spread through him and every other person within eye's view, maybe further. He involuntarily brought his hand to his hip, feeling out the familiar shape of his wand.
Something just happened and he was pretty sure no one was going to like it.
June 5th, 2005 night
Anaheim was supposed to be quite.
In the weeks he spent patrolling the streets of the city he never ran into anything that went bump in the night. Nothing at the nightclubs, the bars, alleyways or even the graveyards. There was nothing, until that night.
He was just passing in front of the gated cemetery, giving it an examining sidelong glance. He wasn't even planning on going in, he wasn't expecting anything, but when you see a hand start to worm its way out of the dirt you had an obligation to pour Holy water all over the vampires face.
But as he hopped the cemetery's fence to fulfill said obligation he noticed that said grave crawler wasn't coming up alone. As he walked further into the cemetery he saw more and more hands starting to dig their way out. And the strange part was that they weren't the well preserved hands of a freshly revived vampire, they were decayed, rotting and bone was showing.
"Zombies? Again? Is there another Zombie spewing magic mask around here?" He asked out loud as he backed himself towards the gate. His own experience with zombies along with watching just about all the zombie apocalypse movies told him not to be in an enclosed space where the living dead can over run you.
After he landed on the other side of the fence he quickly made his way back to his motel room. He needed a better weapon and a phone call.
It was still weak. So at the moment it could only animate so many inside the grave yard. But with each one it grew a little more but it was like adding a single drop to a half full pool.
It needed live victims, live energy, blood and souls.
It didn't have to worry though, soon his small swarm of zombies would corrupt live victims with its energy. Stealing what made them themselves and making them it's willful.
Soon enough, it would be strong again.
It just needed to wait patiently in a place worth a being, a power, of its stature.
He packed his bag with what he thought would be useful. A few bottles of holy water because just about every demon hates that, a hand axe he nicked from the weapons case in the library, a hunting knife and a few stakes just in case.
After securing the backpack firmly onto his shoulders he made his way to the lobby, hoping to use their desk phone or a pay phone. But midway there he stopped and thought over what he was about to do.
He was about to call for help in what could be an easy job. The whole mask thing wasn't so bad and when he found what was making the zombies he could just blow it up. Blowing the problem up seemed to fix every impossible situation they've run into so far.
He could do it by himself, even if event number two was metaphorically screaming in the back of his head that he needed back up.
Shaking his head to push back the pseudo voice to the back of his mind he marched down the streets of Anaheim and back towards the cemetery. But when he got there things weren't as he hoped.
The gate to the cemetery was forced open and the zombies were swarming the streets attacking anyone who walked by.
"I leave for what, half an hour, and this place goes to hell…" Seeing a zombie about to bite into a woman who just stumbled onto the ground he reached in his bag for his axe and started to wonder if he should have called for some help.
With a shoulder shrug and an "Oh well" as he let out a clumsy battle yell and ran into action.
Harry was rubbish with the brand of magic he was using. It was called sensing, a branch of Divination, and in point was a similar to scrying as a compass was to a map.
In theory he could sense the general direction where the wave of magic came from, in practice it should have worked that way as well but again Harry was rubbish at sensing.
He tried to track down what he was now sure was dark magic, very dark magic, but he couldn't quite get his arrow to point north. It was like whatever it the magic was spreading and moving locations. It would be difficult for him to track but he would keep diligent to his task.
Walking slowly down the streets he moved in a seeming daze. Twisting down street ends and moving towards a pull only he felt.
Harry eventually stopped but not because he was close to the source of the dark magic but because he heard screams, a lot of them.
Voices filled with fear and pain, so familiar.
His hand instantly went to his wand, fingers at the ready to draw it when the time was right. He knew he could get in trouble for using his magic in public but for different reasons than in England.
In England it was illegal to practice magic in front of muggles outside "The Know" without due cause, and even with it there would most likely be some bureaucratic bull. But the United States was different than England and a majority of Europe and Asia when it came to magic. There were no laws and near as few traditions keeping practitioners in line. When America threw away its ties with England they through away more than just taxes, they lost the guidance England could have given to them in building their new country.
Now the United States was in almost in as bad of shape as Africa, a continent that had suffered so many "apocalypses" that the terrain was permanently scarred and demons roamed freely in large sections of the savannah. Demons moved through the cities with little fear, evil beings swindled their way into offices of power with frightening ease and the law firm of WolfRam & Hart had made their home base within the country.
While the first two could happen in any country there were safe guards and trained practitioners to deal with the situations. In America there were only rouge demon hunters.
The only consequence to using magic in front of muggles in America was the panic that ensued.
And it wasn't like they weren't in a panic already so it didn't matter.
Running smoothly towards the screams he started to ease his wand out of its holster. His emerald gaze swept over the streets, accessing the cause of panic.
"Inferius" he spat as he saw decrepit corpse move along the ground, hunting for victims. He knew this magic well, the dead animated by dark magic, it was a sick and disgusting practice. Voldemort used it regularly, sending the bodies of fallen friends to kill the Order. Again, a sick and disgusting practice of magic.
Whoever did this was going to pay. And soon.
Okay, so maybe screaming before hitting something in the head with a hand axe was a bad idea. It was an honest mistake, really it was. Besides it had always seemed bad ass in the movies.
Anyway, the point was that his scream gained the attention of said zombie, making it turn its attention to him and making Xander miss the creatures head. Good news was he still got the shoulder, bad news, it was a zombie. Flesh wounds weren't exactly an issue for them.
All it did as the axe dug a deep trench into its shoulder was move back from the force before trying to bite him. He didn't know whether it was his experience with vampires, instinct or all the zombie movies he watched but he felt getting bit was a bad move.
In quick succession he back handed the undead woman and then push kicked her a good meter away. Silently thanking event number three he reached down and grabbed the panicking woman. "Come on!" he said as he pulled her to her feet. "We need to get moving before the she-bitch's friends decide to swarm us."
The woman seemed in a weak daze as she mindlessly followed him.
Xander looked over his shoulder and watched as the zombie clumsily started to get to its feet before falling down again, "Oh thank god. They're Shawn of the Dead zombies."
He would have laughed at that, he was actually holding one back when the zombie's leg snapped from under it as it made to stand, but he did his best to keep his cool and guide the would be victim away from the site.
That's the best anyone could explain it as they saw zombies rapidly became decapitated, set on fire, pushed into buildings and set into a mess of flesh. Flashes of red, orange and blue stripped their way through the air and slammed into the maybe twenty zombies that were swarming the streets.
In the matter of two minutes the mass of zombies that were moving down the street were indisposed.
Those who hadn't run away cautiously looked out from their hiding places. What they saw was a dark haired young man moving quickly down the street sweeping what could be a wand as he passed.
As he made his way over to the fallen zombies, attackers, some gangbangers on something other worldly strong, yeah that last one, he slowed down and seemed to examine the bodies. When he prodded one of the bodies with his shoe it's hand lurched up and tried to grab him. The man responded with a curse, yelled "Not Inferius!" before blasting a stream of fire from the stick in his hand.
The only explanation anyone could give for what they just saw was that someone spiked their water supply, a few had other ideas but liked the fore mentioned option better.
Xander had dragged the woman two blocks away before he felt they were a safe enough distance away. Ducking into a nearby bus stop he finally let them rest.
He took in a quick breath before collecting himself enough to remember to check the woman for injuries. He hadn't given himself time to check earlier, due to not wanting to be eaten by a swarm of zombies.
"Hey, you okay?" The woman just looked up at him, quivering with wide eyes. "I'll take that as a no." he said, it wasn't quite sarcasm but the tone showed he was concerned. "Don't freak out. I'm just going to check you for wounds."
When the woman gave a nod, jerky for reasons Xander could only fathom, he started to check her over. She seemed to be a bit roughed up. Clothes torn, arms scrapped and bleeding, a bruising bite mark on her neck... That was all black… and spreading away from the wound in a spider web pattern. "Well, that can't be good."
He wanted to make his voice deadpan with that comment but he just couldn't bring himself to that level of calm.
Magic, almost by nature, seemed to be theatrical as whatever was invading the woman started to spread at a rapid pace after he noticed it was there. Every space of her skin untouched by the spreading web started to lose it's coloring until it was a pasty grey. She jerked once and then twice before lying still for a few seconds.
For split moment Xander actually got his hopes up that maybe, just maybe, the bite was some sort of poison. But then she just had to jump up at him to take a bite. That stupid bitch, getting his hopes up like that.
As she jumped towards him adrenalin pumped through his veins and then everything seemed to fall into place. His animal instincts screamed at him to kill his weaker attacker, his post-possession skills brought the axe through the air with a bare half thought and his shark-steroid enhanced muscles relieved her shoulders of a head.
It was strange how the three leftovers worked so well together but he was glad for small favors. Though he wasn't sure the nightmares of war and savannah were going to be worth it for the bit of talent he got from them.
He wanted to puke at the sight he caused. Her head hadn't even hit the ground as blood started to pump out from her slowing heartbeat.
Was she even really dead when he swung his axe? Was she just a puppet, an innocent?
No. He had to push those thoughts to the side. He had to focus, stay on track, stop whatever was going on in this city.
Duty and the hunt, duty and the hunt, don't look at the headless corpse pumping out blood like a volcano.
Duty and the hunt, duty and the hunt.
That's all that matters.
Whatever was going on it was beyond what he knew a dark wizard could do. He's seen some of the most depraved acts human magic could accomplish but this was a step above.
The way that these corpses were animated and seemed to spread the curse to the living, it was too quick, too powerful, and too impossible for humans. Some arch-demon or dark god was behind this.
Such beings couldn't naturally operate in the "Human Realm" without either opening a very sizable portal or some sort of conduit. While it was definitely the latter he had no clue what the conduit was. He knew there was a demonic species, the name escaping him, that were breed for that very purpose but why would a being already with a good fraction of their power be attacking Anaheim like so? Even at a fraction of their strength such beings could set at least five blocks of city a flame with little effort.
An item maybe? Something limiting the being influence but giving it enough to do… whatever it was trying to do?
Harry couldn't answer his own question. He wasn't an academic like Hermione and while he was okay at connecting the dots with information given to him, he was no Holmes.
The best he could do was hunt down whatever was the cause and pray that it was an item acting as a conduit. Otherwise he doubted he would live through the night.
Sometimes he wished Hermione was wrong about his "Saving people thing" because it would have been a whole lot smarter to just leave the city. Well, besides Hermione, no one ever accused a Gryffindor of being smart.
So once again Harry took on his task of finding the cause of the problem.
It was surprising how fast a little zombie invasion would clear out a few square blocks. Oh well, it made what he was about to do easier.
While his axe seemed to be all fine and dandy, he really needed something better than stakes and holy water for back up. So he decided to do what every zombie fighter he has ever watched on the scene do, grab a gun.
Walking up to the mega-store he couldn't stop himself from saying "Shop smart, shop Wal-Mart." It wasn't his fault, the line just came out. Besides the whole night just seemed to be one big Evil Dead reference, so he wasn't the one to blame.
As he came closer to the store's entrance he wondered if he should try hiding his face. The city may be in the middle of a zombie apocalypse, or as the official report will probably say a "riot", but they would eventually look into crimes committed during it, right?
Eh, he was on his road trip any way. He'd hopefully be out of state before they even started looking into a robbery in this whole mess. Besides getting a haircut and a little lip hair seemed to work for the bad guys on TV.
Moving his way thought the store he noticed that it seemed he wasn't the only one who had the idea to mug Wal-Mart. Most of the shelves were near cleared bare, standalone stands knocked over, refrigerator doors left open. All in all, the whole place was a mess.
Funny how greedy people get when there is a little chaos. He just hoped the still had some guns around.
Gripping his axe firmly in his right hand he made his way through the store. He moved cautiously but quickly through the aisles. Checking to make sure each way was clear before moving forward.
It was a familiar exercise and drew up memories from Soldier Boy that he tried to bury.
He hated using anything leftover from his possessions. While it was useful to have the instincts of a predator and the memories of a seasoned soldier they came with their consequences. Mostly on the front of nightmares involving whichever he used but there was something else that scarred him more than remembering the sweet taste of fresh blood and the smell of war.
Every time he used anything from the two a little bit more stayed. Sometimes a memory he didn't mean to call up or a habit that wasn't really his, either way they stayed and it made feel less tried to stay away from using them and rely on what was him not someone, something, else. And it worked, in Sunnydale.
Buffy was there to cover for him and the longer he didn't draw on it the more the two leftovers went away. But here he had to call them, more than he ever had to before, even more than when he stood up to Angelues or Jack the Zombie. He needed the courage then and the instincts to take his fight or flight to another level. He came out on top both times but was it him that stood up to them or someone else. Someone that he was somehow being forced to become.
Shaking his head of thoughts that were too complex to go through his head Xander made his way into the sports section and strait for the guns.
While the gun racks were raided as well it didn't seem to be a real priority for anyone. Most the hand guns were gone, along with most the ammo for them. But that was fine with him, hand guns were going to do near shit tonight. That didn't stop him from picking up a M9 Beretta and a couple of clips though. The already broken lock and glass made the snag easy.
It was a familiar model. Familiar meant that he could use it better… hopefully. Recoil was a bitch for newbies.
'Great another memory. Whatever. Just go with it Xander'
He walked past the rifles. They had power and distance but not the right umph for the job ahead. Fighting Zombies was all about the number of bullets and how wide spread a shot is. Besides, nothing said Zombie killer like a shotgun.
And once again he with the familiar model, a Remington 870 pump action shot gun. Like the M9, standard issue and a familiar weapon.
After chambering a few shots and placing more ammo in his back pack he felt he was ready to move forward. Now all he needed was a target.
In his own experience, the zombies, well the mindless ones anyway, went after what summoned them. But whatever was going on it was completely different than the mask. It was acting like a virus, spreading away from the center and catching as many as it could in its grasp.
Meaning the cause of everything was probably in the middle of the whole mess. So to stopping whatever meant he had to go into the heart of the zombie invasion.
He knew that damned amusement park was evil and now he had proof.
In his falcon form Harry perched himself on top of a street light and stared on across the distance at the largest gathering of… he wasn't even sure what to call them now. Some were zombies but others were… abominations. They moved and acted like infernai but they were stronger and if possible more vicious.
But what brought these creatures to a whole other revolting level was that these people were still alive, or they were before they were turned into whatever disgusting creatures they became. One bite from a zombie or another one the abominations turned a normal human into one of them.
He didn't know if they could be saved or if it was like being turned into a vampire but he would try. Hopefully it would all end for them one way or another when he stopped whatever was inside that stupid park!
And that meant he had to do some recon.
He had a hard time getting to the center of the zombie invasion. It wasn't that he had a problem finding where the zombies were coming from but the fact that he kept on trying to help everyone he saw.
He tried to keep it quick, shoot the zombies and infected or hack at them with his axe. Some of these occasions took longer than others, especially when the victims who were hysterical after the event. He did his best to calm them down and politely tell them to get the hell out of town. He was pretty sure it came out pretty rude instead but he really couldn't do any better than that.
Xander was trying to help but he was still human, despite his leftovers he was still human. He had the memories of a soldier but he wasn't a soldier, he had the instincts of an animal but no animal senses, he had steroid up muscles but no super strength. He would take what he got but he wasn't Buffy. He wasn't special, he wasn't extraordinary, and as much as he wished he could be he wasn't a hero.
But Buffy was. She would be able to fix whatever was going on with a quip on her lip and still look good when it was all over.
She would defiantly be having a better time with these spider web living zombies. He had almost been bitten a few times, he was clawed at a lot and his shotgun now had chew marks but he was fine so far.
And she would probably have found a way into Disneyland already. Speaking of which, what kind of evil monstrosity would invade Disneyland. That's his childhood damn it!
Anyway, she wasn't here, he was. And right now that's the best anyone had. So he would just have to do his best to step up and rise to the occasion.
Okay, first thing, where is the big bad most likely going to be? Considering the egos he's seen on most of them, or heard they've had, whatever it was most likely in the grandest looking of places.
So, the Castle.
That was easy, so now all he had to do was figure out how to get in. Now that's going to be hard.
The park itself didn't have any real walls or fences that he could see but the main entrance was out. Too many things that would want to take a bite out of Xander flesh there. So going around was the way to go but once he was in the park how was he going to get in the castle?
He's never been to Disneyland before so he knew shit about the castle and he didn't have any blueprints. So he knew next to nothing about the area he was about to enter.
So he saw two choices. One try to sneak around the crowd of zombies and go through the front door or two, scope out the building and hope the crowd of zombies doesn't notice him.
Oh the choices of life.
Whatever was behind all this was powerful.
He already knew that but watching as it used more of its power to turn the brightly colored castle into something more fitting for the dark ages was something else. The towers grew and the paint faded, stone twisted as the sides of the building broadened. There was no source to the magic, just the building shifting as one to become a castle to nearly rival Hogwarts in design.
That level of transfiguration was a frightening sight to behold. Nothing should have that much power. To just change such a complicated structure in less than a minute, it was disconcerting. Again he was not an academic magic user but he knew enough and seen enough to have a guess at what level humans have reached in magic.
And he was going to fly straight into that, by himself, same old same old.
Spreading his wings he tried to get the lay of the new and still changing land. The original cartoony castle had a few glaring weakness that he could have exploited but this new castle had very little he could use. It still resembled to original castle but the only clear cut way in was the front door. Hell the windows were too narrow even for his bird form.
Swooping with another lap he heard a very distinctive bang rip through the air. He has heard gunshots before, most of them that night from the local muggle police doing their duty, but this was much louder than what he was familiar with. It was like comparing pans banging together to a clap of thunder. And it was relatively close by.
If the States were famous for anything other than a demon's paradise it would be for its demon hunters. They had no classification or organization, they all varied in skill, equipment, attitude, and the list just went on, but they were a vengeful lot and almost always got the job done. Even if it meant their lives.
Cowboys till the end.
It was always a mess when they went overseas.
Since most of the local police ran away, or were trying to gain some semblance of order within the city, Harry could only guess it was a demon hunter trying to fix this mess. Or so he hoped.
An American Hunter on his side might be helpful if he ran into any trouble.
Spreading his wings Harry swooped down into the deposit of trees hoping to find an ally.
'"Go through the trees, it'll give you cover". Yeah fucking right. More like corner me like a, a, whatever. I'm boned'
His thoughts at the moment were nowhere near pleasant or calming but the stated the truth. He had a decent plan to use mini forest around the park to get closer to the castle to get a better vantage point. Unfortunately, it seemed that the Zombies liked to hang around the forest and caught him before he could get a full view of the castle.
He was trying to fend them off the best he could but he knew at the rate things were going he was going to fall. He weaved his way through the trees trying to stay ahead of the zombies that were chasing. Fast they may be but it seemed they weren't that agile and lacked the motor skills to turn properly.
When he got to a small clearing he moved forward so that he was just in the adjourning trees and he waited. It took all of two seconds for his pursuers to catch up and even less time for him to aim and pull the trigger.
With shot guns it wasn't about precision, it was about point and know that something just got hit. Shitty for anything at a distance but for crowd control they were perfect. Unfortunately he still wasn't used to the kick of the gun. That night was the first time he ever used one and it took a while to get used to the recoil.
Three were hit. One stayed down.
Pumping the gun he let out another shot, now counting how many shells he used. He did not want to get eaten because he was too stupid to reload when he was supposed to.
The next shot took out one of the ones he earlier but that still left the rest of the mess that were about to hit him in a wave. He had three more shots before a reload but he knew the reload would never come. After they were spent he was going to be using his shotgun as a Billy club.
'So this is how it ends? Always figured it would be something like choking on some fast food.'
When the last shell slid from his shotgun he adjusted his grip and reached his a hand behind his back to grab either his axe or new hand gun. Either way he was going down. He didn't have a preference. He just wanted to leave a dent before he went.
But apparently something had other plans for him.
He didn't know what happened. With his full concentration on batting away zombies he didn't hear the cry of a hawk as it swooped down from above him. Nor did he see it shift into a man but he did see the ring of fire the man created as he landed, pushing back and burning the ones that wanted a bite out of him.
The only thing he really did notice in his brief shock was the man taking a grip of his shoulder and suddenly feeling like he was being pushed through a rubber tube.
When the two of them cracked back into existence behind a gift shop the first thought to Harry's mind was 'young'.
The hunter was much younger than he had hoped. Harry was barely older himself, maybe two years, but he was a wizard. He was judged on his power, number of spells, and use of spells. A Hunter near entirely judged by two things. Experience and arsenal.
And judging from what he saw the kid had little of the second. The first was always hard to tell until you see it.
Like how he just pulled out a muggle hand gun and pressed it to his face.
"What. The. Hell?" He said slowly, shocked probably. Not that it did Harry any comfort as the steel pressed into his cheek. The fact that his wand was pressing into the boy's own cheek did.
"Just relax. No one needs to get hurt here." Harry said. He was obvious handling the standoff better than the boy but he honestly doubted he would win. Harry wasn't sure he could out think a built to cast a spell. "It was teleportation spell, apparartion. Uncomfortable but quick."
They stood stock still for a moment, a finger itching and a spell on the tongue. "Soooo, you're magic?" the gun did not move.
"A wizard actually." Neither did the wand.
"You behind this?"
Harry almost snorted "No. Just trying to fix it."
"Well, uh. Good."
The stood stock still for a moment before Xander started to lower his gun. "Soooo, any idea how to, you know stop it? I was going to try and make it go boom."
Harry stared blankly at him, "Blow it up? Are you serious?"
"Everything that seems or says its all-powerful that I've run into has not done so well when things explode."
Harry blinked a few times, trying to organize what he just heard. The hunter in front of him solved seemingly unbeatable problems by… blowing them up. Did he even want to know?
"Hey, wizard guy, stop big bad, ideas?"
Again Harry was forced to think about how young the hunter seemed. This time just by the way he was talking. For a second he thought about telling the boy to just walk away and go home but he saw something that took the idea of the hunter being a kid straight out of his mind.
Xander stood there staring the supposed good wizard straight in the eye. His hand gun firmly in his belt line and he was reloading his shotgun as he asked for ideas. If the male Glinda so much as twitched a way he didn't like the shot gun would be raised and fired straight in his face.
Oddly it seemed to make the guy relieved.
"I honestly have no bloody clue. I'm no academic but I still think we should find out what we are dealing with before we decide leaving a bomb is a good idea."
Xander nodded his head as he clasped the Remington shut, "Still a good back up plan though. Besides, nowadays, all you need is to find the gas line."
Harry started to shake his head in exasperation.
Xander's hopes of being teleported in were dashed when his wizarding companion told him he needed to see or have been where he was about to show up. Otherwise one of them could be missing some appendages. And to make matters worse, the castle had changed since he saw it from afar, more gothic and greatly lacking of any entrance but the front.
"So, what? We charge the front and hope for the best?"
Harry frowned as he considered the question. The two of them were sitting across from each other inside the gift ship, pilfering some snacks and drinks to fuel up. "That seems to be the sum of our options, unless you have something in your bag."
"Just some stakes, ammo and holy water. Use to dealing with vamps, you know?"
Harry nodded. He heard the bloodsucking bastards popped up like cockroaches in the States. He thanked Merlin for the Auror's shoot on site policy with vampires. Dracula hadn't been back since.
"What we need is a distraction. Something to get their attention off us long enough for us to get behind them… Can you magic up like an army of walking broomsticks or something?"
Harry gave him a confused but deadpanned look, "Walking broomsticks?"
"Yeah, you know, Fantasia…" Blank stare, "The Sorcerer's apprentice?" Another blank stare, "Mickey Mouse" Well, at least a look of disgust was better than nothing. "Moving on, can you do something like that? Maybe bring some of these toys to life?"
"Despite popular belief that is much harder than it looks… and I never really finished wizarding school."
"Great…" The two trailed off into silence as they thought of what to do next.
Then Xander smiled, "Well, if we're going to go through the front might as well be direct."
"Where in the hell did you learn how to do this?" Harry asked holding his wand like a flashlight, lumos charm blazing at the tip.
"Internet." Xander responded simply as he used the pliers he nicked from the custodial supplies to strip the wires. "You can learn just about anything on the internet… after you weed out the crap and porn."
"And you've done this before?"
"I'm an American teenager who got a how to manual on how to hotwire a car, what do you think?"
"You took a joy ride."
"I took a joy ride!" And with that line the car engine started. "Now get in."
American's were insane. He had heard it a dozen times over back home but to actually witness it was something else.
But insane worked and it was oddly fun.
The stolen car ran over and past the zombified crowd…. What the hell was he singing?
"This is the end of the world as we know it. Six o'clock - TV hour. Don't get caught in foreign tower. Slash and burn,"
"Do you have to sing that?" Harry asked as he grabbed onto the overhead handle.
"It's either that or I panic. I don't like the panicking so much, do you?"
"Well, no, but could you pick a better song? I really don't think it's appropriate at the moment" Harry winced as his companion purposely swerved the car to run over another zombie on their fast approach to the entrance.
"Dude, we are in the middle of a zombie apocalypse and you don't think R.E.M. is the perfect thing to sing?"
"I just don't…" He had to stop himself mid-sentence to brace for the incoming impact of the castle door. He didn't even think the car was going to make it all the way through the door but it did, it was now a scrunched up mess and the airbag deployed but they were in the building. "Ugh. Hey, mate, you okay?"
"Peachy." Was all the younger man said as pushed against the deflating bag and opened his car door. "You?"
"Well enough." Harry said as he followed Xander's example.
Xander raised his shotgun and swiped it towards the entrance, ready to train it towards the first fool to follow after them. "So you said you could lead us to the bad guy when we got in… so lead on."
Harry gave the hunter an unseen nod as he began to activate his sensing spell, and almost instantly got a headache. To compare sensing to a compass once again, it was like he was standing on top of a magnet and the needle wouldn't stop spinning.
"That is not going to work." Harry said as he clutched his head, only to turn a second later when he heard a gunshot. Turning his gaze slightly he saw his companion cocking his gun and aiming in the general area of a very gooey mess.
"So any plan B besides running around and hoping we find what we are looking for?"
Harry aimed his wand through Xander's new blast area and sent a few flame spells through. "Afraid not."
"Groovy." Apparently that was a joke of some kind because the hunter looked at Harry expectantly for a moment before sighing. "Alright, let's go before your barbeque runs dry."
It was funny. He had always expected that going through a dark creepy castle there would be more monsters and enemies, like in Castlevania. Instead they were walking down lonely halls constantly on edge and forcing themselves not to jump at shadows.
So when the first shadow that jumped was actually a bad guy Xander pulled the trigger without a second thought. But when he looked at his victim he could only stare in horror.
"I just shot Mickey Mouse." His voice was flat and unbelieving.
"It's just a zombie in a costume." Harry said trying to move them along.
"But I shot Mickey Mouse. My inner-child is never going to speak to me again." While he was complaining he was moving along, if not a little shell shocked.
The shadows moved again. Harry reacted.
"You killed Goofy! And is Donald on fire?! Oh the humanity!"
"Would you be quite!?" Harry shouted as a man dressed in some sort of Grecian armor started to run out of the shadows with a number of other strangely dressed zombies followed.
"Right, right… Sorry." He said trying to steel himself as he aimed his shotgun to hit the bulk of the crowd. It took out the Aladdin look alike and nicked a few of the princesses. Cocking the gun he fired again and was accompanied by a volley of bright lights.
Many Disney charters stayed down that night.
After checking the bodies to make sure they couldn't follow them the two moved on, searching the floor for any other opposition or a clue to what was causing the mess. When they found nothing they moved on up to the next floor.
It was a tense nerve wrecking silence as they explored the second floor. Harry and Xander sweep their respective weapons as they searched the transformed castle. To those who grew up on Disney it was disturbing to see so many of Walt Disney's work turn to something out of Lovecraft. Actually it was disturbing to anyone who looked upon the twisted artwork, as Harry was sufficiently disturbed as well.
When the second floor turned out to be an empty but disturbing so the two moved onto the third floor.
And that's where the fight seemed to really start.
They weren't expecting it. The attack came just as they entered the room, slamming Xander in the chest and grabbing Harry by the neck. It wasn't a swarm of opponents either, just one, very big and disturbing looking one.
While he was large, in muscle and height, it obviously wasn't a natural or slow process as his pale grey skin strained under the new size. His clothes, obviously made for its old size, had a gothic design to them and his eyes were cold and completely black, like they weren't even there. Black hair stood up stiffly as it, he, tilted his head to the side in an almost curious as he stared at Harry.
Before he tightened his grip on the young man's neck.
Harry meanwhile was slamming the butt of his wand against the hand holding him, hoping to dislodge it, before digging in with the tip and letting out a cutting curse. It barely left a paper cut.
Harry heard his companion stand and shout something but he couldn't understand, darkness was starting to fade into his eyes. His captor lurched a bit and something wet splashed on to Harry but the figure turned undaunted or uncaring.
Oh, if he was going to die he was going to make the blighter care.
Harry took his wand and what remained of his strength and wedged his wand into the creatures eye and let loose a reducto spell. Disappointingly the man's head still stayed intact but at least he let go.
As he fell to his knees gasping for breath Harry heard two gun shots rip through the air. Looking up he saw the hunter standing in front of him and their opponent clutching his head.
"Hey, you good?" he cocks his gun "You know what, forget that. Stupid question. Can you get up?"
"Yeah." He croaked out once before repeating it in a more steady voice. "Just give me a minute."
"How about twenty seconds. Big guy is recovering."
Sure enough when Harry looked up the large man was shaking his head and taking a sedated pace towards them, "Bugger"
Xander let out another shot. He had two more shots left before the chamber ran empty and he really doubted there would be a chance to reload anytime soon. So he quickly unloaded his last two shots and used his back pack as a make shift harness. He then reached behind himself to his belt line and withdrew his handgun and axe, stumbling slightly due to the backpack.
Back in Sunnydale Xander had started to develop a system to deal with vampires. Squirt twice with holy water and then put a stake to the chest. It didn't always work but it did wonders for his average. So he fell back onto the old strategy and shot the large man twice and swung his axe for the head.
The shots made him stumble a step but having an axe embedded in the head didn't. As Xander strained to get the weapon out he was met with a fist to the ribs for his effort.
Fuck. Things really weren't looking good.
Xander rolled to his side, adrenaline numbing the pain of his possibly damaged ribs, and let out another few shots. "Hey Merlin! Can you do any hocus pocus right now?"
A stream of orange light answered his question.
The stream of light slammed into their seemingly unstoppable foe and set him on a fire. A very intense and large fire.
At first it seemed to work and they let the tension in their muscles abate just a bit. But then they saw the figure advancing from the fire. Seemingly unbothered by the flames as it walked through and pulled Xander's axe from his head.
In a fear filled shock Xander unloaded his gun at the approaching man while Harry sent off a number of powerful cutting curses, particularly one he found in a potions book. They didn't seem to have any effect besides ripping up his clothing and adding a little bit of blood to his uniform.
"Oh, Come on! What are you? Fucking Jason!?" Xander screamed as Harry kept on sending in incantation after incantation as fast as he could. Xander reached into his boot and pulled out his hunting knife. In a quick motion he was off the floor, dropping his backpack as he stood.
He was about to do something stupid but he was an animal cornered by a larger predator. He couldn't run, he knew he couldn't, but he would attack.
With a rough scream he ran forward and jammed his knife between his opponent's ribs. He pulled it out and went again and again.
The figure didn't flinch as the knife entered and exited, all he did was slap Xander aside. Dismissing him as a threat and moving towards Harry. Xander learned why a second later.
Harry Potter was a powerful wizard. No one would ever deny that fact but few actually saw what he was like when he was desperate. Rage and fear surging through him as he began to summon as much of his own magic as he could, causing his eyes to strain and glow as he dived deeper and deeper into his own well.
He didn't even say or think his next spell. He just screamed with his wand pointed at the approaching figure and hoped for the best.
It was like someone set off a firework finale and aimed it all at one person. One colorful explosion after another drove him back until he hit the wall and was forced to take the full force of the blasts, each one stronger than the last.
The blast didn't stop until Harry's throat was sore and the walls started to crack.
"Well… just, damn." Xander said as he nursed his bruised cheek, he was pretty sure some of his teeth were just loosened. Bastard was tough as balls but not as strong as you'd think. Still hurt though.
Harry took in a few shuttering breaths before looking at his handy work. The man was still moving, surprisingly, or not, but was unable to get up due to a number of fist size holes riddled throughout his body. It was a very grotesque sight to watch as it tried to stand up only to slip in a puddle of its own blood and squish down like an accordion. Shaking his head and composing himself he spoke, "Let's keep going."
Xander nodded as he recovered his back pack, not even glancing to where his axe might be, and followed Harry through the floor. "Whatever you say man. Just keep the stick pointed away from me."
It felt them as they entered the room. A warrior and a mage, it always seemed to be that way.
Every time it tried to get a foothold a warrior and a mage would show up and stop it. Sometimes there was an archer that would follow but the first two were always there. "Good" doers always stuck their noses into business that wasn't theirs.
As they drew closer to where it laid on the pedestal it let out a scream from its "mouth" and let it's "eyes" glow with the fraction of its true power.
"SHIT!" A bang was heard and bloody ink started to seep through its broken bindings.
"That startled you? After all we've been through tonight a book screaming scared you? Books at my school did that!"
"Mine too but it doesn't mean I don't jump!" Xander defended himself before moving towards the bleeding book "So… is it dead? Because it would be pretty anti-climactic if it did." He poked the dead or dying book with his gun. "Wait… Did I just shoot the Necronomicon? Damn, this really was an Evil Dead night."
"I would be very happy if that's all it took." Harry said absently, ignoring whatever unknown reference the hunter made, as he started to use his sensing spell and noticed that yes the spell was dying. There wasn't even a backlash pain like before. The center of the massive spell was dead. Just like that because the hunter got startled.
With a great deal of disbelief he shared the news with Xander.
"Okay… Nothing's this easy. What's the catch? A bigger big bad is about to jump out or something."
"No… There's nothing… I don't like this."
"Neither do I." Xander shot the book two more times. "I say we burn down the building." He said as he dug into his back pack and poured all his holy water on what remained of the book.
Harry thought about it for a second and decided that it would help get rid of some of his discomfort. The fact that he got to destroy part of the abomination that was Disneyland was beside the point.
The altered Disney castle was oddly easy to set on fire. Some pilfered gas from the hotwired car and some enchanted fire and wham, instant bon fire.
The two heroes of the day stood in front of the burning building, watching as it fell apart with mild interest.
"So, want to grab a bite?"
Harry shrugged "Sure."
The two probably made for a strange sight walking into the road side Denny's, all scrapped up and bruised. But business was business after all, so the staff didn't really mind. Besides the workers didn't have to be around their strange customers more than they needed to.
The two of them were quickly seated and almost immediately asked for their orders; their drinks came less than a minute later.
The two sat in an uncomfortable silence for a bit as neither knew what to say. The atmosphere of the restaurant didn't really improve anything from a combination of the late hour and what few customers left had their eyes glued to the news reports of what happened in Anaheim.
"You know what I just realized?" Harry asked, unable to take the silence anymore. "That throughout this mess we never got each other's names."
Xander thought over that new bit of information and realized that his companion was right "Huh, guess there was too much adrenaline in our heads for us to be polite."
"Well, I'm Harry" he said while stretching out his hand to shake
Xander paused for only a second as he studied his new companion's hand. This road trip was about growing up so he might as well start with the small steps. So he took Harry's hand and said, "Alex." God it was… so normal, so grown up. Deal with it, deal with it.
Pushing passed his initial distaste he decided to move their conversation along. "So what brought you here from the land of tweed and tea?"
"Sorry… My school Librarian is from England and well… he only wears tweed and drinks tea like its water."
"Ah, well, honestly? I was on vacation, needed to get away from England for a bit. But as usual trouble seems to always follow me."
"I know the feeling but I seem to stumble into the middle of it."
Harry snorted. "What about you? Why were you in Anaheim?"
"I was on my road trip and well, my car broke down. Been stuck there for a few weeks."
"A road trip? By yourself?"
"Yeah. It was supposed to be one of those 'find yourself' trips, you know. Travel the country, see the sights and get to know yourself a little better along the way, start to think about what to do with your life." Xander waved his hand in the air as if it explained everything.
"Huh." That sounded kind of like what he was trying to do. It was on a bit of a larger scale, but still the same concept. That thought brought an idea to his mind on impulse. An idea that probably wouldn't have existed if he wasn't so exhausted or is he wasn't coming down from a number adrenaline rush.
But still it was there and he couldn't shake it. So he asked, "So, where did you plan to go next?"
The original purpose of this story was to build a background for a Supernatural like fic where Xander could grow up a little away from the girls. When I came up with the idea I knew I needed a Sam and Harry seemed to fit the bill (or Ron from Kim Possible either works really).
This is not going to be a yaoi, slash or anything like that. I want to build a bromance between Xander and Harry to the point if the musical episode does happen in this universe Harry would somehow know when to call Xander and the two would sing "Guy Love" from Scrubs.
I'm still iffy if I want to do this series (mostly time constraints) but If I do please suggest ideas for plot and episodes/chapters. Any crossing over if fine and even suggesting Supernatural episodes is fine, I just want some honest ideas and opinions.