November 1, 2017
Disclaimer: I do not own Buffy the Vampire Slayer or Harry Potter. All rights remain. Written for fun, not profit.
Summary: Professor Longbottom would have known the Harris twins were a force to be reckoned with, even if the new ghost hadn't told him as much.
Author's notes: This one goes into the Potter verse more than the previous two. But don't worry, you'll be able to catch up with the Scoobs soon enough. Also, this story marks a slight crossover with Angel as well.The Children are our Future
November 1, 2017
On days like this, Professor Neville Longbottom, newly promoted Deputy Headmaster of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, truly believed the Powers That Be were completely out to get him. It was barely a month into the new semester and already he'd had to break up several fights, reverse many a charm gone wrong, and change all of the post owls back into post owls after an unfortunate incident left the faculty with a tower filled with angry guinea pigs. And, at the rate he'd been taking points…Merlin, Hufflepuff might have a chance at the cup this year.
He marched down the corridor, not able to get away from the Headmaster's office fast enough—Blaise Zabini's voice was a thunderous boom, even from this far away. The man was as much a git as Neville remembered, but usually not quite so loud these days; however, it was becoming apparent that he had no tolerance for being called to the school on account of his son, Maximus, a rather spoiled third year student who, unfortunately, took after both his parents.
If one were to hear Zabini's argument in passing, one might think he was calling for another student's blood. Neville snorted. Actually, that was probably exactly what was happening inside the office. Neville didn't envy Headmaster Flitwick one bit—the poor old man had only had the position for two years now, when Headmistress McGonagall retired early (at the young age of 90), and Neville had a feeling he'd be holding many a more parent meetings in the months to come.
Neville heard the sound of a door opening and looked up just in time to see Kingsley Shacklebolt's looming figure step out of his classroom. The older man sighed, shaking his head, "You know, I believe I made a somewhat naïve mistake when I took this job. Here I was thinking that, after retiring as Minister, I'd take up a nice leisurely teaching position at Hogwarts."
Neville chuckled. "Liar," he laughed. "You took this job because you were getting bored
at the Ministry. Not having that problem anymore, are we?"
"I'm too old for this—" A clunk
sounded from the classroom behind him, and Kingsley winced. "These children…Brilliant, the lot of them, but the next seven years are going to be adventurous
, to say the least."
Neville smirked. "Getting tired of it, old fellow?"
Kingsley raised a brow. "This lot'll put gray in your hair, Neville. Mark my words."
"Oh, I believe you. You'll remember, I grew up with the usual suspects…Potters and Weasleys, and am I to understand Mr. Malfoy's even involved in tonight's 'accident'? Merlin's beard, it's like travelling back in time..."
Kingsley grinned. "I wouldn't be too fast at drawing conclusions—those Harris twins seem to be mixing things up well enough on their own."
Neville leaned over, as if he could see the pair through the door. The classroom had become very quite. He was suddenly rather worried. "I was warned about those two. Know anything about their family?"
"Less than I'd like. I heard the ghost speaking to you—he's decidedly livelier
than the one who came before him, that bore, Professor Binns. Though, I still question exchanging one dead professor for another…"
Neville shrugged. "I don't know the full story behind that choice, I'm afraid. Was one of Headmistress McGonagall's 'ask not' moments…But, yes, Professor Wyndam-Pryce knows his stuff, that's for sure. Which is why I was somewhat bothered when, after I told him who Jesse and Joy were related to, the names on file, a Mr. Xander and Mrs. Dawn Harris, he abruptly announced 'Hogwarts is doomed' and flew through the wall."
Kingsley barked out a laugh. "Sounds like him. Well, Professor Longbottom, think you can handle this bunch on your own?"
Neville nodded, patting the man on the shoulder as he walked past, "Goodnight, Minister."
When he stepped into the dimly lit Defense Against the Dark Arts classroom, where the offending parties had been gathered, it was deceptively quiet. The children were at their individual seats, sitting still, hands folded in their laps. He wasn't fooled for a moment.
"Would anyone like to tell me why Maximus Zabini is currently a shade of bright yellow and smelling of ripe bananas?"
"Banana pudding," someone corrected.
He zeroed in on the owner of the American accent, the girl sitting across from him, her dark hair pushed behind her ears, the frown pressed at her mouth doing nothing to hide the dancing glimmer behind her eyes. Joy Harris. Yes, he'd indeed have to watch her.
"Banana pudding, Miss Harris?" Neville asked.
She bit her lip as if to stop herself from speaking, but her twin, sitting one desk over, nodded. "Just like Mom makes—it's one of the only things she can cook without burning. I think she's extra careful because it's one of Dad's new favorites."
James Potter, at his other side, looked in awe. "Smells delicious, mate. Think she'll send us one?"
Jesse Harris shrugged. "Maybe, if I suck up to her."
"Well, if I smelled like that, I wouldn't complain—I don't know what Zabini's on about." James leaned forward, sharing a glance with Joy. A moment passed, and Neville recognized the slight nod the two shared—the white flag had been waved and acknowledged. For now. He knew better than to believe it would last.
"Pardon?" Neville interrupted. "If you're quite done exchanging recipes, gentlemen, can we get back to how Mr. Zabini came to smell so 'delicious'?" He raised a hand, to stop whatever reply Jesse and Joy were about to send his way, and took a quick step to the side, so that he could see the trio of students sitting on the next row back. "If someone from the back would answer please, as, otherwise, I have no clue why the three of you would be here…"
Scorpius Malfoy and Albus Potter both turned at breakneck speed toward the young girl sitting between them. Rose Weasley gave a loud sigh of discontent, but, as was her nature, she straightened her back and fell into the role.
"Professor, I do believe this is all a simple misunderstanding, as the guilty party has already been called to the Headmaster's office," she stated, with a confidence no eleven-year-old should have. Neville had to bite his cheek from laughing—even if he hadn't known her name, hadn't seen her nearly every year since she was born, he would have been able to recognize Hermione Granger's daughter from those words alone. "You see, Professor," she continued, "Minister Shacklebolt assigned us a special group project this week. We were to work in pairs, and, as it happened, Albus and Joy decided to use the room at the same time as Jesse and I. There was a slight disagreement between Joy and Jesse—as you can understand, I'm sure, seeing as they're siblings. And the sound of their…discussion, drew the attention of other students in the hallway."
She paused, giving the back of James' head a hard, chiding glance. To which the boy remained oblivious. Neville motioned for her to continue, mentally leaving himself a reminder to tell Kingsley to lock up his room in the evening.
"Well…James came in to side with Jesse, and as you might know, he and Joy don't get along." Yes, Neville knew as much. Both the Slytherin and Gryffindor houses knew how very well the two didn't 'get along,' as they'd both lost nearly fifty points, so far, because of Joy Harris and James Potter's previous 'discussions'. "Anyhow…" Rose waved her hand, as if to say the next part barely warranted a mention, "that Zabini boy decided to get in on the fight, as Joy is one of his housemates, so he called Jesse some fairly indecent names. Then he drew his wand on him—"
"No one talks about my brother but me," Joy interrupted, already looking red in the face, from the memory alone. "And no one threatens my brother. Ever."
Neville had to remind himself that the children were in trouble, and that now was not the time to smile in agreement with the young woman. Still, the sentiment was one he could understand…How the girl had ended up in Slytherin, he wasn't sure. Of course, the likely answer, and the more bizarre house mix-match, was in the back row. Albus Potter. A Slytherin. Neville had spent most of the feast after the sorting in hysterics at that—rumor had it that he and the Harris girl had both 'asked' the hat for the choice in houses after being teased by Al's big brother one too many times. That was only rumor, of course, but Neville was beginning to believe it…
Oh, to be a fly on the wall when Draco Malfoy found out that one of Harry Potter's children had been sorted into Slytherin and his own son had been put into Ravenclaw instead. Neville threw a hand over his mouth to stop the chuckle from bursting loose. He quickly gathered himself, putting on a stern expression.
"And how, may I ask, did Mr. Malfoy become involved?"
Scorpius shrunk a bit into his chair. It was an odd sight, a quiet, somewhat shy Malfoy. Eerie really. Neville shook his head, waiting for a reply, when Joy and Jesse both cleared their throats.
"He was reading a book outside," Jesse said, sheepishly.
"And we interrupted him," Joy continued.
"Zabini accidentally tripped over him when he was—"
"—running away from us." Joy bit her lip to hide her smile at that last part. "I think he, Zabini, I mean, is prone to panic. Mom says some people choose flight instead of stake."
Jesse shook his head, muttering, "I don't think that's how that phrase goes…"
"Point is, Zabini ran away. Like a coward," James huffed. "Figures."
Neville raised a brow. "You mean like a yellow-belly?"
The group went silent. The joke was lost on the children. Neville shook his head. Even after all these years, he realized his socializing skills had yet to blossom. "So, in summary, a third year student pulled his wand on a first year student without being provoked?" He sighed. "Very well. You're dismissed. Back to your common rooms with you."
Joy's eyes widened. "We're not in trouble?"
Neville shrugged. "Not unless you count a week of detentions with Professor Trelawney as punishment," he answered smoothly, ignoring the collective groan. He almost pitied them. "That's directed toward Mr. and Miss Harris, of course, for starting the mess. The rest of you are off free this time. Though, of course, Mr. Potter—err, James, I mean—your parents will be notified of the incident."
Joy and Jesse shared a look of horror. "Professor…"Jesse said, his voice shaking, "you didn't tell our parents, did you?"
Neville smiled back. Some days, it paid to be the adult. Perhaps the Powers That Be didn't hate him quite so much after all.