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Objects Are Closer Than They Appear

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This story is No. 2 in the series "Skewed Reflections". You may wish to read the series introduction and the preceeding stories first.

Summary: Halloween in Sunnydale has had some significant effects on Harry Potter, and he's now determined to make the most of everything he's just learned.

Categories Author Rating Chapters Words Recs Reviews Hits Published Updated Complete
Harry Potter > GeneralGreywizardFR1811,9085306,87931 Aug 1231 Aug 12No
Disclaimer: They all belong to JKR or Joss and ME. Deal with it. I have.

Time Frame: For BtVS, following Season Two, episode six, 'Halloween'; for Harry Potter, this follows my AU Fourth Year story, 'Reflections In My Mind.'

Spoilers: None intended, but if you don’t know what's happened up to this point, why are you reading this story?

Character Bashing: Just the usual bastards. I do take requests, though, if asked politely.

Feedback: Of course!

Archiving: Talk to me first, please.

Author’s Note 1: Many thanks to Bill Haden and Theo (Starway_Man) for beta-ing this story.

Author's Note 2: I have adjusted the time frames for when the Harry Potter book series was published in the Scooby-verse timeline to make it more compatible with this idea.

Author's Note 3: As usual, "word" indicates speech, :: word :: indicates mental communication and { word } indicates a character's thoughts.

Author's Note 4: This is story #31 for the 2012 August Fic-A-Day Challenge.

~/~/~

The Astronomy Tower

A few moments following the conclusion
of 'Reflections In My Mind.'


"WHAT DO YOU MEAN – WE'RE ALL FICTIONAL CHARACTERS?!!"

"Hmm. I guess it's a good thing I insisted on that silencing charm, before answering any questions, eh, Hermione?"

The red-faced and embarrassed expression on his brunette companion's face made the smile on Harry Potter's visage grow even wider, though the supplementary Xander Harris memories which he'd gained earlier that day made him decide to forgo any further comments he might have been tempted to make at his classmate’s expense.

After all, getting his class's most brilliant witch – who most likely had an equivalent, if not greater, knowledge of hexes and curses than most of the seventh-year students they went to school with – annoyed with him? THAT most definitely wasn't the smartest thing in the world he could do at the moment.

Acting as though Hermione hadn't just blurted out the secret he'd confided solely to her out of all of the people he could have spoken to, while sitting together in a secluded corner of the Astronomy Tower, Harry simply waited for his companion to calm down and get a hold of herself. A few moments later, the so-called 'smartest witch of her generation' took a deep breath (which Harry privately thought did marvelous things to the sleeping dragon-themed tee shirt she was wearing under the school robes she'd shucked off earlier) and she repeated her question in a much quieter manner.

"Exactly what I just said, Hermione," the so-called Boy-Who-Lived answered her question, trying to get the ringing in his ear to stop.

"You, me, Ron, the Headmaster, even Snape and everyone else, we’re all just – fictional constructs. So, how's it feel to be the adolescent female archetype that pretty much every pre-teen and pubescent female considered to be the combined epitome of brilliance and beauty for the eleven to fifteen age groups surveyed?" Harry asked, with that same annoying grin he’d seemed to constantly be sporting since he woke up earlier this afternoon, in the healers' tent after the First Task.

"I'm what?" Hermione squeaked in response to his question, her eyes wide with surprise and disbelief at the statement Harry had just made.

"I said, you're the archetype who pretty much every pre-teen and pubescent female – well, those who participated in the various surveys the publishers carried out, anyway – considered to be the epitome of brilliance and beauty," Harry clarified his previous statement.

"And considering that the books sold well over four hundred and fifty million copies, I'd say that that would mean that quite a few teenage girls hold you in fairly high regard," Potter grinned at his currently speechless classmate, who appeared to be sitting opposite him in an open-mouthed state of shock.

"Probably almost as high as I do," he added, his amused grin shifting to a much more appreciative smile.

Seeing no change whatsoever in the shocked expression on the brunette's face in response to either of his follow-up comments, Harry decided that a more proactive approach was required, and so leaned forward to press a soft kiss against Hermione's lips.

Only a few seconds passed before the brunette's previously stiff body relaxed and she leaned forward, lightly pressing her own lips against his, and Harry smiled to himself while reflecting to himself for a moment on the admittedly significant changes which had occurred, upon gaining both someone else's memories and merging with a Primal Spirit had instilled in him.

After all, receiving what was essentially a second set of memories of a teenager who had spent nearly a year fighting alongside a mystical warrior Chosen by unknown Powers to battle demons, evil witches and bloodsucking fiends in defense of humanity would have been significantly life-altering on its own.

Having it happen at virtually the same time you encountered and merged with an ancient Primal Spirit, thereby gaining physical enhancements which would allow you to perform feats that would beggar the imagination, would be mind-boggling enough to make one doubt their own sanity.

Having both events occurring simultaneously, and the combination then enabling one to not only defeat the soul fragment of a Dark Lord which had been lodged in one's head for most of one's life, but to also rip away and then incorporate said Dark Lord's knowledge, skills and power into one's own power, was something which sounded like the fevered ramblings of some semi-demented author of children's storybooks.

But it had really happened, and Harry James Potter was living proof of it.

Although, if nobody wanted to believe that such a thing had actually occurred, Harry was completely fine with them doing that, since it would probably make those same people think he was crazy and not consider him much of a threat, if they even gave him a second thought, at all.

And that happening would offer him significant advantages which he could then exploit to his, and his loved ones', benefit – and to the detriment of any soon-to-be-deceased person or persons who tried to stand in his way. After all, he already had a few names inked in on that particular list, and he was perfectly willing to add as many more as might prove necessary, if it came to keeping his loved ones safe.

Quickly shifting his thoughts back to the kiss he was currently sharing with the young woman who had, up to now, been his primary source of potential survival strategies throughout this imbecilic travesty of a competition he'd been forced to compete in, Harry took another moment to thoroughly enjoy the moment, before *very* reluctantly pulling away from Hermione.

"Hermione, it isn’t that I'm not enjoying this," Harry immediately declared as a low moan of protest issued from the dazzling brunette's lips, "quite the contrary, in fact.

"It's just there's a whole lot more I need to tell you, about what happened to us, and a great many other people, in those books, both this coming year and over the next three years, that you need to hear about. And before you ask, it’s so that you can help me start thinking about ways we can prevent a lot of very bad things from happening," he said by way of explanation.

Grinning to himself as he saw Hermione's forehead reflexively furrow with curiosity at his words, Harry began elaborating, even before his (hopefully) new girlfriend could frame a question.

"First of all, Voldemort – his real name is Tom Riddle, by the way, and he's actually a halfblood, not a pureblood, like his minions actually believe," Harry added parenthetically, "intends to kidnap me at the conclusion of the Third Task, so that he can use my blood in some dark ritual to create a new body for himself. Apparently, it has to happen at that specific time because of some arcane stellar configuration..."

~/~/~

Gryffindor Tower

A short while later


After fulfilling a couple of important tasks, i.e., asking Hermione to the yet to be announced ball and helping an apparently even more distracted than normal Luna get back to her common room (with a casual, and quite specific, threat to the Ravenclaw girls responsible for locking her out) Harry led the smartest witch of her decade back to the Lions' common room.

"Could you excuse me for a few minutes, please, beautiful lady?" Harry said as the two of them entered the common room, to find the majority of their housemates still filling the area, and he noticed Ron standing near the front of the crowd, a little off to one side. "I promise, I'll be right back. I've just got to talk to Ron for a minute or so."

Hermione gave him another brilliant smile as she nodded her agreement, and murmured in a voice low enough that only he'd be able to hear with his new abilities, "All right. I'll be waiting in the corner of the common room for my good night kiss."

The smile on Harry's face as he, quite reluctantly, left his new paramour and headed off to his next meeting most likely could have rivaled a Patronus as far as warding off dementors was concerned.

"Excuse me, but this involves official Tournament business," Harry said to the other students Ron has been speaking to, by way of explanation for his interruption.

"Ron and I have several things we need to discuss," he elaborated a bit as he grabbed hold of the redhead's sleeve and began pulling him along behind him as he reversed direction and headed back through the portrait's doorframe.

Ignoring his roommate's confused questions as he dragged him along through the hallways, Harry checked the first classroom they happened upon and as soon as he saw that it was empty, he pulled Ron inside behind him.

"Blimey, Harry, what's going on with you?" Ron asked, a puzzled and worried expression on his face as he spun around to face the fabled Boy-Who-Lived.

"Are you okay? And where have you been all this time? Did Hermione finally manage to find you? We've all been worried about you, what with that hit you took from that Horntail, and the way you smashed into the tower," the redhead half-babbled, and Harry smiled with a bit of relief upon hearing the concern evident in the torrent of words pouring from his friend's mouth.

Like the third member of the so-called 'Golden Trio' described in that book series he could recall from his Xander Harris memories, this Ronald Bilious Weasley was just as prone to speaking before really considering the impact that the words issuing from his mouth might have on whoever he was talking to, Harry recalled.

And a similar dialogue regarding Harry's name issuing from the Goblet of Fire had occurred in much the same manner as had been depicted in the book Xander Harris could remember reading several weeks earlier in this reality, too.

Unlike the fictional character he so closely resembled, however, *this* Ron Weasley had quickly realized how badly he'd screwed up without needing to hear anyone else's counsel, and he had taken pains the next morning to apologize in the Great Hall, in front of the same group of people who had witnessed him insulting Harry the previous evening, and ask for his friend's forgiveness – a request which had been quickly granted.

Since then, Ron had kept himself busy trying to discover every possible clue, hint, insinuation or suggestion available concerning any and all of the Three Tasks Harry was to be subjected to in the course of the illustrious Tri-Wizard Tournament – also known, to the Golden Trio and a few other, select associates, as 'That Colossal Fuck-Up That Dumbledore Set Up.'

"Look, mate," Harry began his explanation, "there's been some significant developments that happened this afternoon during the Tournament, and I wanted to give you a quick summary of them tonight. We can discuss them in more detail tomorrow, after I give everyone an update.

"First off, though, right after I woke up in the healer's tent after crashing into the tower..."

TBC

The End?

You have reached the end of "Objects Are Closer Than They Appear" – so far. This story is incomplete and the last chapter was posted on 31 Aug 12.

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