A little something I wrote this week.
Response to Challenge 7048: Privet Drive's Angel.
I own nothing of all the mess of characters mentioned here. So saying I do not own any of the characters from BTVS, JKR, Xena Warrior Princess, Roswell, Marvel Comics, Jim Butcher, Universal Pictures, Pirates of the Caribbean, Highlander, Sabrina the Teenage Witch, Underworld, and La Femme Nikita.
Albus Percival Wulfric Brian Dumbledore, was confused and more than a bit bewildered as he stared at the neighborhood that he had hidden away the Potter boy some 10 years ago. When he had last been to this wretched place it seemed like the perfect place to stash the boy where he would be safe, but also where the environment would push against the eccentric life that wizards all craved no matter how much they denied such things. Even Minerva, who was one of the straightest laced witches that he knew suffered from this minor wizard deficiency.
Why else would the woman learn the dangerous art of shifting between human and cat?
He had known that he was sentencing someone destined for greatness to one of the worst childhoods possible. In its own way, mimicking the childhood of one of the wizarding world’s worst beings. He had made his choice though, and had figured everything that was likely to happen and so had planned everything accordingly.
Harry would grow in an unloving and neglectful childhood, then he would save the boy and offer him the world of magic. The boy would be in Gryffindor, as his parents and their friends before him, and several generation of Potters before them had as well.
Once sorted amongst the Lions, he would most likely make friends with Ronald Weasley, Neville Longbottom and hopefully one of the upcoming muggleborns. Someone that would remind him that he was fighting for both worlds. Terry Boot a half-blood and Justin Finch-Fletchley were both good potential choices. Who knows, it could be that the Marauders would even be revived after all this time.
He would have to sound Severus out for that to see how that would go. It was a shame the man had trouble letting go of his grudge. With Harry he might finally be able to get the closure that he needed. He trusted Severus to do right by both himself and for the students.
Draco Malfoy would be a foil for him to train Harry against. The blonde boy had all of the bad qualities of his father from what he had heard. It would insure that the boy’s became rivals and in turn he could manipulate the both of them as he saw fit to do as he needed them to.
He had already laid the groundwork for the test that he would have young Harry perform this year. It had taken some time to convince Quirrel to stop teaching Arithmancy and leave for a year in Albania with the promise of the Defense against the Dark Arts position upon his return. The man had finally conceded to it though. His sources told him that his plan had worked and Tom had returned with his DADA teacher.
Harry would have a confrontation with Tom once again, a chance to prove that he worth all of the praise that people were giving him. He was all set to give the boy all the tools he needed to pass the tests that he would have to face.
After that, he had plans for second year where Harry would spend time with the family of his wizarding friends. He also had several possible romantic interests lined up for Harry to ensure that the boy bound himself to the wizarding world. Young girls like Lavender Brown, Susan Bones, Ginny Weasley, he even had his eyes on the potential of some like Penny Clearwater should Harry show an interest in older girls.
Harry’s third year would be used to continue to bind the boy to the wizarding world. He wasn’t completely sure how that would happen, but he had plans to get Remus Lupin to come out of his self-exile, and connect with Harry in some way or other. It would also reestablish the ties he needed to ensure that the man would help them when the time came, and they needed someone to speak to the werewolves. Having a werewolf at the ready was just as important as having a half-giant, a half-goblin, and a former Death Eater working with him.
Fourth year would be the tri-wizard tournament. He had many other plans as well and some of them were interchangeable. He knew better than to think all of the plans were absolute, as things happened some would be discarded while others would be enhanced.
That reminded him, he would need to be sure that he was at the station to apply the confoundus charm to Molly on the 1st. First he needed to find out just what had happened to his game keeper though. If something or someone was interfering with his plans over ten years in the making then he would have to stop them before others found out.
When he had Minerva send out the letters for this year’s crop of First year students he had known that there was going to be difficulties, but he had never imagined that things would be like this. He had been shocked on them getting a rather prompt and curious response to the letter. Knowing the Dursely’s as he did, he had anticipated them needing to be shown who was truly in charge of the situation.
He had dispatched Hagrid immediately, somewhat disappointed that the Dursley’s were nowhere near as hard as he had expected them to be. It had appeased Minerva who had always been somewhat hard to get along with at times. So he supposed that there were good things to the Dursley’s being so understanding that Harry needed his magical education.
Hagrid had returned a few hours later with several teeth knocked out, a broken arm, stab wounds, and some odd round holes in his body. The stab wounds actually had reminded Albus of some of the sword injuries that he had seen from people that got on the wrong side of the goblins. The round holes though were ones that he hadn’t been able to figure out. The odd pieces of metal were even odder. It was as if someone had banished hunks of metal at Hagrid.
That someone could manage to do so much damage to the half-giant who was nearly invulnerable to most magic was freighting. What was even more frightening though was that Harry Potter was trapped with whoever it was that had done this to his man. He needed the boy to be alive in order to fulfill his prophesized destiny.
He had gathered Minerva, Serverus, and Poppy and headed to the Privet Drive neighborhood. When they had appeared it had been dusk, and there appeared to be some sort of meeting as the roads had been blocked off and Albus found himself the target of several stares. The only ones that didn’t seem to be staring at him was a group of children that were cheerfully squealing as they played a game with brightly colored devices that fired yellow items at each other. Even if he wanted to, he wasn’t sure that he could obliviate that many people without some support.
“I hope you folks are from the school that was saying Harry had been accepted.” A short blonde woman said as she strode toward the group. “Otherwise I’m going to have to ask you to leave at once, as you may not have the clearance to be here.”
“And who are you my dear, and what business is Harry’s schooling to you?” Dumbledore questioned politely, even as his eyes scanned the crowd. The neighborhood seemed to be teeming with life not the sort of thing that one would expect to find in the boringly normal neighborhood. He glanced at Severus and noticed that the young potion master seemed as confused as he was over what he was seeing. Obviously the half-blood didn’t recognize any of the people in his old neighborhood any more than he did.
The blonde girl smiled at him as she offered her hand. “No problem, I’m Buffy Summer’s, I run my point team through here.”
“Yes that is all fine, but what business is it of yours where Potter gets his education?” Snape snapped waspishly as hevery pointedly ignored the offered hand that the others had shaken.
Rather than being offended or angered by the Potion Master’s interruption the girl smirked at the man. “Easy there Batman, there’s no reason to get your dress in a knot.” She mocked as she took in his robes.
Snape scowled, but the more he glared the more amused the girl seemed to become. Snape’s hand darted into is robe for his wand when suddenly there was several clicking sounds and Snape froze as he looked around at several people now holding odd metal devices that Dumbedore, Minerva, and Poppy couldn’t identify though the potion master seemed to know what they were.
“Severus my boy are you alright?” Dumbldore questioned worriedly as he noticed the man seemed somewhat green.
“Headmaster, there are enough guns being pointed at me to make me look like I’m swiss cheese. I am most assuredly not alright.” Snape growled, as his eyes darted around looking for an opening.
“Gums what kind?” Dumbeldore asked as he looked around with interest.
“Guns not gums.” Snape seethed. “They’re a type of muggle weapon that can banish bits of metal at their target.” He explained to the old wizard in annoyance. “Much more powerful and updated versions of a crossbow.”
“Oh?” Dumbledore said before turning a disappointed look at the group that had their weapons pointed at them. “I assure you that Severus meant you no harm.” He tried to inform them. “You may lower your fire legs. And may I say I can hardly believe that you would be so eager to draw a weapon around children.” He admonished them.
“Your guy is the one that was going for a wand.” Buffy said with a shrug ignoring the weapons that were pointed at her back.
“A wand is not a weapon, but a tool and an extension of a wizard or witch.” Dumbledore defended sounding highly offended at having a wand compared to one of the bulky muggle weapons that were now pointed at them.
“You say to-mae-toe I say tah-mah-toe.” Buffy returned with a grin. “Now, why the education of Harry matters to us. Well you didn’t really think that the Dursley’s were going to raise him right did you? We had a major hand in it. Not to mention Avalon is one of the more selective gated communities in the area. We don’t let people take our friends without knowing more about them.”
“You?” Dumbledore said looking somewhat worried as his roamed the crowd. He noticed that many of the people did not look like people he wanted raising children. In fact many of them looked like the muggle versions of Severus.
“Yeah, we saw what the Dursley’s were doing to the kid and we dealt with them.” A man said in annoyance. “I still say you should have let me deal with those scum.” The man spat out.
“Adam, let’s not get into that argument again.” Buffy returned tiredly. “Let’s try this again. I’m Buffy Anne Summers the Immortal Vampire Slayer.”
Snape coughed at this. “The Slayer that defended the California Hellmouth?” He questioned in disbelief as he looked at the small figure before him. He had heard of this person and knew that she was a dangerous enemy to have.
Buffy ignored the man as she continued the introduction. “The guy whining about not getting to deal with Vernon Dursley is Adam Pierson. You may have heard of him under his other name though.”
“And what might that be?” Minerva asked curiously.
The dark haired man sighed in annoyance. “I am Methos, the Horseman of Death.” The figure said as he drew an Ivanhoe sword. “If you have a problem with me then I suggest you explain it to me.” He challenged the group as if daring them to say anything.
“And if you have a problem with him, you have a problem with me.” A long haired man said with katana said. “I am Duncan MacLeod, of Clan MacLeod.”
Minerva gasped at that. “The Highlander!” She declared having heard the legend of the man that would from time to time ride down from his hidden home and battle with the enemies of the Scots.
“Aye, I am one of the Highlander’s.” Duncan admitted. “The other is my kinsman Conner.”
“Michael, Selene how’s the security look?” Buffy called as two new figures joined them.
“Fine,” a dark haired man with a French accent said emotionlessly.
“And these two are?” Poppy asked wondering who else could be here. Dumbledore still seemed to be shocked about seeing Methos.
“We run security.” The dark haired woman in leather cat suit said.
“A Death Dealer.” Snape gaped as he recognized the uniform of the elite vampire warrior caste.
“Yes, and this is Michael Samuelle.” The vampire returned towards the Frenchman. “You may have heard of him if you were a part of the muggle intelligence community.”
“What is this place?” Dumbeldore demanded as he tried to get a hold of what he was seeing.
“This, this is a safe haven for people that need to rest.” A blonde woman said.” Here we are safe there is no war here it’s a neutral zone. All who come here are assured peace but those who break the peace or try and force our hand are dealt with harshly. It is our very own Avonlea. For many years we have operated as such and so we finally decided to go ahead and become a gated community. It was weird at first, but it’s been useful as well.”
“And what of Hagrid, I doubt that he did anything to warrant his harsh treatment.” Dumbledore said in defense of the half-giant that was lying in his hospital wing.
“He tried to force someone to leave, thought that he didn’t have to answer any of our questions and got angry when we wanted to know thing before we would release him.” A tall dark haired woman who was holding an odd disc shaped device in her hands. “We don’t take kindly to people forcing others to do things. We really don’t like it though when they think that they can just do whatever it is that they want.”
You four have names? The dark haired woman questioned.
“Yes we do, forgive us this is just a bit more than what we were expecting. I am Deputy headmistress McGonagall, this is the school nurse madam Pomphrey, the young man here is Potion Master Severus Snape, and headmaster Dumbledore.”
“Come headmaster, I think you might find the world that Harry Potter lives in to be an interesting one.” Buffy said ushering him forward. “Come see just what world it is that you dropped Harry in.”
Buffy led the headmaster from house to house where he met many different people. Michael Corvis the local medical professional was giving some of the children a checkup.
Then he was led off to see the tall blonde woman Gabrielle helping Max Evans with his Ancient Greek.
Jack Sparrow was playing cards with Harry Dresden and Hilda Spellman.
Liz Allen-Evan’s and Zelda Spellman were working in a homemade science lab.
Dumbledore couldn’t believe that two of the elder witches were casually sitting in the regular world. The vampire hunters Van Helsing and Blade were having a sparring match in the park. Then there were the children. They ranged from teens to infants. Muggle children and a handful of wizards with some of the most interesting accidental magic he had ever seen.
“I hope you do not mind my asking Miss Summers,” he said, “but I cannot help but notice that the only people that do not appear to be joining into the neighborhood festivities is the Dursley family.”
“That’s because they were dealt with a long time ago.” A man with a beard dressed in black leather growled out. “I saw to it that those miserable people were punished accordingly.”
“And who are you to dictate who gets punished?” Dumbledore demanded, as he tried to face off with the man that had interfered with his plans.
Several people started to snicker at that and Dumbledore felt like he was missing some sort of joke.
The man pushed Dumbledore knocking him back a few steps. “Who am I to decide judgment on them?” He sneered back at the wizard. “I am Ares, I have more right than even you yourself have on such things wizard. I was around when your culture was nothing more than a handful of fools in robes waving sticks and chanting, and I will be here when you have destroyed yourselves. Do not think that you can lecture me on duty.”
Dumbledore swallowed nervously as he realized how dangerous the situation had become. “Just what is this place? I believe you called it a Gated Community?” He said curiously as he tried to side step his blunder. He would have to find someone more reasonable to find the fates of Lily’s family and how he might save them.
“This is a Gated Community, here we live and raise our families without fear of our enemies.” Gabrielle explained. “Here is where we can be at peace.”
“And how did this happen?” Minerva asked curiously.
“Amusingly enough, its thanks to Vernon Dursley.” Buffy said with a grin. “He pushed for the construction of the walls that surround our neighborhood. He believed that he was going to be the big man here. Once he arranged for all of the freaks to be kicked out he would use his marrying into a family that had been in this area for four generations to become mayor or something.”
“He didn’t know that some of us have been here quite a bit longer than that though.” A figure said in amusement. “His five generations worth of being here didn’t make much difference when you have immortals and gods living in the neighborhood.”
“The walls went up about a year after you left Harry here.” Another man said.
“Dr. Granger.” Minerva said in surprise.
“Professor.” Dr. Granger said with a nod. “She at least was part of the group that explained things to my family when we were at our practice.” The man said getting nods of thanks from various people.
“You know this man Minerva?” Poppy asked curiously.
“Yes, he’s the father to one of our new first year students.” Minerva admitted. “Where is your daughter anyways Dr.?”
“Should be having meditation practice with Kyle Valenti about right now.” The Dr. said with a shrug.
Dumbledore quickly took control of the conversation. “You were telling us about Mr. Dursely?”
“Once the walls are up we’re expected to police ourselves to an extent. Michael here is the head of security and runs the day shift with Xena and a few others, while Miss Summers and Selene split the night shift head duty. We were a bit more observant than the police and noticed what was happening. Dursley was also a lot sloppier so it didn’t take long for us to realize that he was abusing the boy. So we took action.”
“Why not simply exile the family if you didn’t approve of his child rearing skills?” Dumbledore questioned.
“We don’t pawn our problems off, and Harry is special so we wanted him to stay. Besides the Evans family has been protected here for many years. The family while never magical until Lily always provided sanctuary in this neighborhood.” Duncan said. “It’s a duty that has been passed down for four generations. Petunia ignored these things though, and thus revoked her and her family’s protection.”
“Lily when she was alive helped her parents in the upkeep of the safe houses.” Captain Sparrow said with a grin. “It always was fun watching that girl wonder the neighborhood.”
“What do you mean?” Poppy asked curiously.
“Some of us rarely ever remain in the same place for too long so we merely have houses that we bought and rent out to others while we’re not here. When Vernon Dursley started kicking people out of our houses we returned to see what was going on.” Duncan explained.
“Aye, the boyo thought that he had bought the houses.” Jack Sparrow noted in amusement. “All he did was cut off some of me drinking money.”
“Like you really need more of that.” A blonde man said wryly.
“You’re almost as bad as your ancestor John Turner.” Jack grumbled back at the man. “At least you haven’t tried to burn any of me rum yet.”
“That’s my mother’s thing.” The blonde said with a smirk.
“So you realized Harry was special.” Minerva said with a smile. “I’m glad that you were able to see that.”
“Yeah we saw it. Although the crappy blood wards that were around the house are probably why so many people ignored it for so long.” Harry Dresden noted. “It was a real pain untangling all that then, there was that dark soul magic curse on him as well.:
"Those blood wards were protecting him though.” Dumbledore said worriedly as he suddenly tapped his half-moon spectacles and looked toward number four and saw that the wards were gone.
“Those things were sloppily done.” Harry Dresden returned to the headmaster. “I should know I taught Lilly blood magic and told her it was dangerous. Considering that she did it to save a life I didn’t think too much of it.”
“You know the spells she used to protect Harry?” Dumbledore said eagerly.
“Its none of your business.” Harry Dresden returned. “Besides, it wasn’t wand magic. I never should have taught her that spell to begin with she wasn’t ready for it/ Back to Dursley though.”
“Yeah, we told him to clean up his act and he tried to bluster his way out. He tried to threaten and intimidate people. Seemed to think that he was the one in charge. It must have been a shock for him when people started revealing who and what they really were. The Dursley’s tried to kill Harry and make a run for it. We stopped them and Ares sent Petunia and Vernon to Tarturas while Dudley was sent to live with his aunt. The house was technically Lily’s so it has passed onto Harry.”
“You let him live there on his own?” Dumbledore demanded.
“No he rents it out, while he lives with Xena and Gabrielle. They’re immortal and can’t have kids so it works out pretty good for all of them.”
“I see,” Dumbledore said, “but without the protections how has Harry stayed safe?”
“We’ve all had training in various magics Headmaster the wards each person brings are layered onto each other. We left the bad blood protection ones there until it became apparent they were doing more harm than good.”
Not to mention someone meddled with the Blood Wards Lily made and made them ustable and good for one or two confrontations before they would burn out. Harry Dresden grumbled. “As far as working on keeping people away though they had been to damaged to perform that sort of task anymore. Whoever messed with those blood wards only understood the theory and not the practice.”
“Yes well this is rather surprising news.” Dumbledore said unsure what to say about all of this. He was also trying not to let the casual way his incorporating the magic into other methods get to him. He did want to see Harry though, if what the man had said was true they believed that they had removed the soul piece from Harry. He sincerely doubted that though and would have to tell them of their folly soon enough.
“Yes now we have a few questions for you.” One of the people said.
“And what might those be?” Dumbledore said trying to sound as interested as possible.
“Why should we send Harry to this school of yours?”
“Why to learn magic of course.” Dumbledore returned in a matter of fact manner. “Who else would you trust to do so?”
“Well there is me Albus.” An older wizard said as he walked out of the crowd.
“Nicholas.” Dumbledore said in surprise.
“Yes Albus its me.” The old wizard said. “I think I can handle teaching some kids if you don’t answer correctly.”
“Some?” Dumbeldore asked nervously, already not liking where this might end.
“Sure if Harry doesn’t go there’s no way I’m sending my daughter there on her own.” Dr. Granger said.
“The goblins have already sent the money for his schooling though they will not appreciate someone not his magical guardian meddling in these things.” Dumbledore returned knowingly.
“They will do as they are told of they know what is good for them.” A man with pale hair said.
“And you are?” Sape demanded looking unimpressed with the newest person before them.
“I am Jareth, the Goblin King.” The man said coolly. “We have many questions for you Albus Dumbledore.” As he said this a goblin appeared with a ledger book with the Potter Coat of arms.
Albus was nervous as he realized that the Goblins must have been tracking his use of the Potter funds.
“Why are you fools kowtowing to Potter?” Snape grumbled at the group. :While I know Petunia was an annoying harpy its no reason to get up in arms over a few insignificant things.”
“He’s treated just as any other child here. None should be treated like the boy was.” Michael said coolly his voice carrying over even farther than the dark sneering tone of the head of Slytherian. “Had anyone tried to treat my son that way I would have killed them.” he said in a matter of fact like manner.
Snape glared at the man but the return glare seemed to freeze him from saying anything.
Dumbledore sighed in defeat as he created a seat wishing that he had brought Fillius with him instead. He then began an answering question like he had never been forced to endure before. Not even the Hogwarts board of directors was as hard on him as these people were. Every time he thought that he answered them in the way that would appease them they came up with something more to question him. Many of them were questions that he had avoided for some time so as not to have to worry about these things.
“I have answered your questions and while its obviously that you all care for the boy I would like to speak with Harry.” Dumbledore finally said after over two hours of the interrogation. “I would know what his feeling on all of this are.”
The group nodded and parted and Dumbledore saw that several children had been listening behind the protection of the adults. Everything that he had said and been questioned on had been heard by young Harry. There were things that the boy was not supposed to know.
“Harry.” Dumbledore said as he tried to salvage the situation.
“Headmaster.” Harry returned to him warily. “Are you really the person that left me with the Dursley’s?” The boy turned his big green eyes on him and for a moment Dumbledore froze as he felt a twinge of guilt for what he had done. His heart hardened faster than a speeding Snitch did though. “I did what I had to for the greater good.” He declared. “I knew that I was sentencing you to ten long years of hardship, but I was trying to protect you as well.”
The boy nodded as he considered what he had heard. “Then I don’t trust you, and I won’t go to your school. Old man Nick, Mr. Dresden, and Lady Willow can teach me what to do.” He declared.
‘Harry you must come to Hogwarts you are needed there.” Dumbledore pleaded.
“Why does your school depend so much on one boy Dumbledore?” Xena demanded from where she was standing.
“I cannot say.” The wizard said defiantly. “If I must, I will fight to have him come with me though.”
“Think about that wizard, if you challenge us you declare war against the Goblin Nation, the Watcher’s Council, the Alchemists, and many others we will destroy you before you and those that follow you if you try this.” Jareth warned the Hogwarts group. “The boy is lost to you Scion of Dumbledore, leave now and return no more. If you do, your reception will not be so polite.”
“You want a reception, I’ll show you a reception.” Snape snarled as he went for his wand ignoring the weapons that had been pointed at him. He got the wand halfway up when four holes suddenly appeared on his arm and Liz Evans held her hand up and performed some sort of wandless banishing spell that sent the potion master flying.
“Contain him Albus.” Nicholas Flamel told his former protégé. “His outburst will not be tolerated here.”
Poppy soon had the arm repaired though she didn’t look happy. “The bone was shattered in multiple places Albus. We need to leave so that we can get him to the hospital wing.”
Albus nodded as he created a stretcher for his former student. “I will be back to talk to you Harry.” He promised.
“Then you’ll have to do so by making an appointment. After you leave the protections will be put back up that will stop you from entering.” Harry Dresden said. “We allowed you and your fellow Hogwarts teachers through today because you had a right to be heard.”
“This is not over.” Dumbledore promised.
Yes it is. Buffy said grimly as she watched the man. You may not know it yet but its over for you.” Dumbledore merely stared at the blonde for a moment before the Hogwarts group disappeared.
Dumbledore didn’t realize it would be some years later before he would see the boy again. By the time they would meet once again all of his plans would have been destroyed. The boy would be a demon hunting sorcerer, and trained to be merciless against his opponents. At his back was an army of fighters. All of his plans for a quick and painless victory for the people were destroyed and he found himself shunted to the side as his opinion mattered next to nothing by the people running the war.