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Colliding Worlds: Buffy in the Potterverse

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Summary: The PTB are merging the Potterverse with several other timelines. Buffy, Willow and Xander get to be the pre-merger clean-up crew. AU. Set mostly in the Potter World, but Scooby-centric.

Categories Author Rating Chapters Words Recs Reviews Hits Published Updated Complete
Harry Potter > Buffy-CenteredPJxxxxxFR151372,96677834,6946 Dec 122 Feb 13Yes

Lord Voldesloth

Disclaimer: BTVS owned by Joss Whedon, et. al.; HP by J.K. Rowling. This work is for fun, not profit. I own none of the characters. Any failure on the humor front is, of course, mine. Direct quote from BTVS "The Harvest" written credit is also to Joss Whedon. Mention of Portal videogame below - Portal was developed by Valve.

A/N: Maybe 5 years post-Chosen for BTVS. Ignores Season 8-9 comics. Starts with HP Book 1 and is mostly AU, non-canon after that. All significant action takes place in the Potterverse.

Chapter 7: Lord Voldesloth

The Scooby trio were delighted to find a Giles-substitute in the Castle. Buffy had halted them at the door of the HoM classroom. They'd been about 10 minutes early, as she wanted to have a word with Hagrid about the Forbidden Forest. When she'd heard other voices in the room, she tuned in. Slayer-hearing and a quick peek at the man behind the desk, as well as the items on it, and they'd known instantly what the what was.

Giggling, Willow whispered to Buffy and Xander, "Well-played by the PTB. Who woulda thunk a mini-Giles would pop up here in Hogwarts?"

"Tweed-land meets robe-ville," moaned Buffy softly, "and the fashion apocalypse marches on."

"Are we sure he's a Watcher," said Xander. "He may look like Giles, he may talk like Giles, he may parade around with old books, stakes and shiny weapons likes Giles...and O-kay, you know what, that pretty much does say Watcher alright."

Dumbledore and Hagrid exited the room, nodding at the innocuous trio of first-years as they strolled away. This was the first time Buffy had been really close to the Headmaster, so she reached out with her senses to give him the once-over with her Slaydar. The aged professor apparently felt something at this; he turned and met her eyes. The predatory gleam therein startled him a bit. Unusual for a young girl to have that much steel in her glance. Idly, he used his mental faculties to probe her mind to discover what had put the strength into the tiny blonde's gaze.

Buffy knew that feeling. Incursions by The Master, Dracula, et. al. had made her severely impatient with any non-Willow-based mental communications. She knew just the thing to deal with that while throwing the Headmaster off-stride. 'Get out of my mind, you dirty old man,' she projected forcefully, timing it just as he reached the top of the stairs. The Headmaster stumbled in embarrassment, blushing beet red. Hagrid had to grab his arm to stop him from tumbling off the landing.

"Careful, Perfessor," said Hagrid solicitously, "don't want ta risk a fall down them steps there. Might not stop 'till you reach the dungeons on that flight."

Dumbledore had not really noticed this tiny girl before, but she was obviously well-armored against Legilemency. He knew some families made it a point to develop their children's shielding skills prior to Hogwarts, as he and Snape were both rather famous for their mental powers. But it had been a long time since someone had accused him of such; he hurried away down the staircase planning to forget all about it, and her, he thought. Last thing he needed was another incident like that one back in the late '60s.

"That's settled his hash," said Buffy, satisfaction in her tone.

"Buffy!" warned Willow. "Low profile and the keeping of same. Remember?"

"He won't come anywhere near us now," said Buffy, "last thing he needs is a child abuse accusation, not with the record of odd things happening here at Hogwarts he has to live down."

"You are an evil person, Buff," Xander smirked, "and I respect you for that!"

"Coolio. Now let's go tease, Giles," commanded Buffy. "I'll sneak in and scare guys come in behind me and hit him with banter. Hands. Putty in. 3 minutes flat is my bet."

His first meeting with his Slayer was by turns confusing, terrifying, thrilling, and irritating. Giles had yet to decide which emotion was dominant within him.

Confusing, because quite frankly, he hadn't expected the first Slayer in 2000 years to have intimate knowledge of the mission or existence of Watchers, or about him specifically. Terrifying, because she had basically threatened his life and his connection to the Slayer line. Thrilling, because she'd shown him glimpses of her power, and that of her friends. And irritating, because apparently one of the trio's most formidable gifts was the ability to annoy anyone, anytime, in any circumstance with the combination of their near-unintelligible speech patterns and their unending series of insults and banter.

The confusion had begun immediately. "Buffy Summers. Willow Rosenberg. Xander Harris. You're Giles," she'd said succinctly. "Now that we've met, let's get a few things straight about the Watcher-Slayer relationship.

An involuntary gasp had slipped from his lips. "You told these two about the Slayer! The first rule in the Handbook is about keeping your identity secret..."

He'd trailed off at the look of utter amusement on the three children's faces. "Yeah, well, we sorta re-wrote the rules since you guys last had a Slayer," Buffy drawled, "the first rule now is: don't die."

"Buffy's violated that one a few times!" quipped Xander with a laugh.

"The second rule is, trust your friends and supporters," said Willow.

"And the third rule is," said Buffy, her laughing mien replaced with a ferocious scowl, "we don't kill humans."

At this, the girl Willow had waved her hand -- her hand, not her wand -- and he'd actually seen a shield of some sort form and block the door, before turning invisible. The boy Xander had muttered "muffliato" while waving his wand and all noises from outside the classroom were reduced to a gentle buzzing. Who were these children?

The Slayer then leaped effortlessly upon his desk and somehow called a highly menacing axe into her hand, apparently from out of the aether itself.

"We can make an exception, however, in special cases," she said. She began spinning the axe and working it through a wide variety of practice moves.

Giles saw that Buffy handled the axe with what appeared to be long familiarity, her movements demonstrating an expertise and precision that he couldn't help but admire. Control that he was relying on as she finished her exercise by laying the edge of the axe against his throat.

"This little beauty is called the Scythe of Destiny," she said, eye to eye with him, "It is a direct connection to the Slayer line, mini-G. I know you can feel it, because I can feel your connection to it." Giles actually could feel it, like a delicate, vulnerable thread reaching out to what Buffy had called the Scythe. Very much unlike Buffy's connection, which was more of a giant steel hawser bonding her to the magical weapon.

"Here's how it's gonna go. Me and my friends are gonna train you up good as a Watcher, seeing as how I KNOW you don't REALLY have any experience at it." Buffy went on, "then you'll be ready for the next Slayer you get. But if you get sticky about etiquette and protocol, or you try and boss us around, or you somehow betray us and our mission, then I may just reach out and sever that connection to the line. Do you know what happens then?" She emphasized this with a grabbing, twisting motion like she was wringing a chicken's neck.

Giles was now sweating. He did know what that meant, unfortunately. And he was sure he personally would not like the consequences. He nodded to show he understood.

"Good," said Buffy, "so we have an agreement. A partnership. The beginning of a beautiful relationship as it were." She moved and the Scythe flickered away as if it had never been there. "And to make you feel better, we really DO need your help on a lot of things. You and whatever's left of the Watcher's Council."

"For what?" asked Giles unthinkingly. If she already had helpers, had this Scythe thing, and was planning on training him, not the other way around, then what precisely...?

Her green eyes looked at him piteously, as the Slayer within snorted in contempt, "Where've you been Watcher? Taking a nap? Preparing for the End of Days, of course!"

With that cheery little thought ringing in his ears, Giles began his first Hogwarts class five minutes later, with a speech that had his three tormentors grinning at the first words, "This world is older than any of you know. Contrary to popular mythology, it did not begin as a paradise..."

The first few weeks since meeting Giles had been busy. They were exchanging information and getting to know each other. Giles had even come along with them on another quick excursion into the Forbidden Forest to eradicate a few more vamp nests that had sprung up near the edge of the wards. He had left that experience certain of two things: number one, vampires were more terrifying than he'd expected from reading the diaries; and number two, Buffy herself was far scarier than any mere demon.

As teammates in Slaying, Willow and Xander were deadly in their own right; Willow's Wicca powers and Xander's honed combat skills were highly impressive. He'd felt utterly like a fourth wheel in the fights. If he was going to survive as a Watcher, Buffy had said, he had to plan on backing up his Slayer. She hadn't been joking when she said they were going to train him. They were pushing him to fight for real, not just the fooling around he'd done when Wesley sent various martial artists to him. Buffy said this with such a hard glint in her eye that he wasn't inclined to challenge her on it. They were also going to train him how to do his real job as a Watcher too: planning and research. At least he had a bent for the latter.

While they were getting to know each other -- hard enough as he was teaching and they were taking a full class load -- Xander, just to be contrarian, had decided to try Quidditch. Hufflepuff had needed a Beater and, being tall and muscular for his pseudo-age of 11, he had been persuaded by Cedric Diggory to go to a tryout. To his surprise, he'd made it. Diggory, as a 4th year seeker, had decided to adopt him a bit, making him his Quidditch 'disciple,' or so Diggory said.

The Scooby girls just laughed at this, knowing that Xander had always secretly wanted to succeed in sports. Typical American male. The swimming incident in Sunnydale had, of course, turned them all off it, but here at Hogwarts it seemed harmless. Willow herself had basically refused to do any but the required amount of flying, deeming it a ridiculous stereotype for witches, as well as a chancy mode of transportation given the weather in Scotland.

Buffy, on the other hand, had found her powers and brooms to be non-mixy things, at best. The first time she'd mounted an old, underpowered school broom, the thing had taken off like a hypersonic jet fighter. She had disappeared from sight so fast that she'd had to pretend she accidentally apparated within the Hogwarts grounds from fear of flying. Truth was, by the time she got the broom under control, she'd been miles from Hogwarts. She'd made a wide loop and then landed unseen in a deserted courtyard. She'd gone back to the group, complaining about being too scared of heights to fly brooms. She'd done it well enough that Madame Hooch had excused her from the course. Reality was, she couldn't keep the broom down to a speed low enough to not frighten everyone else she was around. The irony of first her driving and now her 'extreme' flying skills being unappreciated was not lost on Xander and Willow, who teased her unmercifully about it.

The upside of the Xan-man playing Quidditch, as Buffy said, was that he now had a reason to get to know many of the other first-year boys better. Hermione's pals Harry and Ron were obsessed with it, as were many of the other male inhabitants of the four Hogwarts houses. Xander blending in with the testosterone-powered crowd would give them some additional insights into what was happening in the Castle. They'd been trying to keep the lid on any rumors that might start about the trio and their activities; having Xander in the Quidditch mafia that seemed to rule the student body meant they'd be in better touch with those rumors. With Giles ensconced in the faculty, they should know all the ‘new’ in the Castle practically as soon as it happened.

Buffy was dissatisfied, however. They were getting to know mini-Giles and were testing his trustworthiness. Xander was doing fine at Quidditch. Hermione was happy and was joining Willow in many extracurricular sessions on marrying Wicca and wand magic for fun and power. Her cover of 'going to the library' served her well with her Gryffindor friends, who wouldn't be caught dead there for the most part. But Buffy's enhanced senses were still pinging regularly on one source of evil, and she wanted to do something about it. She broached the issue late one evening in Giles' office.

"We've to do something about Quirrell," she groused. "His class sucks anyway. Totally useless boob at DADA. But it's my evil-dar that's really bothering me. It's all I can do not to jump up and Slay him the second he walks in the room."

Giles was surprised. He looked up from grading the set of essays he'd assigned his first-years. The topic of Quirrell had not been broached before. "Why?" he asked in astonishment, "what on earth is the matter with Professor Quirrell?"

"Other than the usual things, I mean," he said hastily as Willow, Buffy, and Xander opened their mouths and started talking over each other regarding the man's general character, cleanliness, teaching ability, and fashion sense.

"Well," said Buffy, shooting a look at her Scooby teammates, "besides those, it's that slight little problem with being possessed by Voldemort."

"I don't think it's real possession," said Willow, "more like co-hosting two souls in one physical shell. Unusual, to say the least."

"And I'm not saying it's not tough to share like that," snarked Xander, "but it's obvious they have some disagreement about personal hygiene choices. I mean it must be hard to shower if someone's always taking the hot water straight in their face."

Giles was beginning to believe he'd lost the power to be shocked. But this was too much, even for him. "Voldemort, you say?" he asked in a whisper. "Voldemort is dead, has been for some 10 years now!"

"Not so much with the dead and gone sorta dead," said Buffy. "More like, 'Invasion of the Body-Snatchers' kind of dead."

"Yep. We figured it out a while back but it was Halloween before anything hinky happened," said Willow.

Buffy snorted. "Hinky dinky and quite a bit stinky. Trolls attacking from the dungeon. Lucky we brought Olaf's trusty hammer with us. I wouldn't want to dull the Scythe trying to slice those guys down to size."

"Trolls?" inquired Giles, who was still trying to get his mind around Quirrell and Voldemort.

He had taken his glasses off to polish them, but stopped as the trio started laughing at him. "What?" he said in an offended tone. “What trolls?”

"Quirrell let them in," said Xander, "they're trying to get to whatever it is that Cerberus up on 3 is guarding. Any ideas about that, G-man?"

"I've been told nothing of that sort," replied Giles, "not that they don't trust me yet, but obviously they don't trust me yet."

"Um," said Buffy a bit shame-facedly. "I kinda sorta found out what's the what with that yesterday."

"You did?" said Willow excitedly, "you didn't tell us! What happened?"

"Okay, I was hanging around the staff room, waiting to see if Hagrid was in there -- I still haven't had a chance to ask him any questions about the Forbidden Forest -- when old Dumbledore and Snape rolled in," she recounted. "I could overhear them talking about the Cerberus and maybe some other guardy kind of things, but they clammed up when they saw me and went into the staff room."

"So how'd you find out then, Buff?" asked Xander.

"Well, he was standing right there!" said Buffy defensively.

"Who? Buffy. What. Did .You. Do?" asked Willow, using her resolve face.

"It was Draco," she admitted. "He walked up to wait for Snape just after they went in. I, er...did my thing and he went in and found out what they were up to."

"It's a Philosopher's Stone," she added brightly.

"Buffy," said Giles slowly, "what, if I may ask, is this 'thing' you did with Draco?"

"Forced him into his rodent form," she said sadly. "Then I used the Slayer thrall to make him go in and spy on them. I've been doing it every once in awhile to try and get information from teachers when I can't get close enough to eavesdrop. Big plus, though, it seems to make Draco a much nicer, happier person!"

"Oh, dear Lord," said Giles, "you could go to prison for either of those things, Buffy! What were you thinking?"

"I'm underage," whined Buffy, "plus our whole existence in this dimension is a temporal paradox anyway. They could lock us up for that too, ya know!"

"Buffy, either way, it's very dangerous to do that to someone. At some point, they may refuse to shift back to human from their animal form,” argued Willow. "And Lucius Malfoy doesn't seem to be the type who'd do well with a real mouse as an heir."

"Fine," huffed Buffy, "shoot the messenger-girl then."

"Well, Buffy," said Giles with a sigh, "the less this is mentioned the better. Please don't do it again, though. Even having the power to force someone into one of their animal forms is considered the mark of a Dark Wizard. Actually doing it is an automatic Azkaban sentence."

"Azkaban is lower down on the mission list," smiled Buffy, "let's stick to Voldemort and the Philosopher's Stone. Specifically, what the heck is a Philosopher's Stone in the first place?"

"An old dream of Alchemy," stated Giles agreeably. "With the Philosopher's Stone, one can transform any matter into anything else, including real gold. And, of course, it enables you to make the Elixir of Life."

"Which would be?" asked Willow.

"A potion that if drunk at intervals, holds off aging indefinitely, effectively giving the possessor immortality," lectured Giles. "And if you are right about Voldemort, it could probably restore his body as well. Which come to think of it would be a very BAD idea!"

"We're here to take down the Big Bads," retorted Xander. "Kind of our purpose in life."

"Exactly," said Willow, "Now, what do we know about Voldemort and how are we going to get him out of Quirrell's head, and where are we going to do the spell of that kind without getting caught this time...?

After researching Voldemort's death, they had concluded that the only reason he could exist without a body was that he must be anchored in this reality by something more than his sharing with Quirrell. As far as anyone knew, Quirrell had been a normal, innocuous young academic when Voldemort tried to kill Harry Potter, so there was no apparent nexus prior to Voldemort's death that would have led to the odd hosting situation. Giles had proposed the idea that Voldemort had created a Horcrux.

"It's very dark stuff, a Horcrux," said Giles. "Illegal, and it requires committing a murder. Basically, you rip off a piece of your soul -- something which can be done only as you deliberately murder someone else -- and attach it to a separate object or being. If your body is killed, your soul won't leave the earth because it can't reach the astral plane unintact."

Buffy thought she knew where the soul bit was, in that case. "It's that scar on Potter's forehead, then. I get the heebie-jeebies from it whenever he's near me."

"That's a real possibility," said Giles. "If he was intending to make a Horcrux and had the spell ready as he went to kill Harry, then that curse that backfired and killed him could've have led the Horcrux to latch onto Harry."

"Huh," said Wills, "so Harry has a little bit of Voldemort in him. Not of the good."

"We can't slay Harry, though," said Xander, "you know why. So how do we suck up these soul pieces?"

"The re-ensoulment spell should grab them all, even if they're tied to an object," said Willow. "If it's strong enough to grab a intact soul out of wherever they go when someone gets vamped, then I'm sure it'll be strong enough to pull these soul bits out of wherever Voldie's keeping them. But it would be better to find them first."

"I may have a way to do that," said Giles, "I have access to a locator system that has rather special features. But are you telling me that you've done a re-ensoulment on a vampire?" He looked utterly stunned at that idea.

"Yep," said Willow, "A few times now, so I know the spell like the back of my hand. Now tell me more about this locator system."

A week later they were assembled at the Historical Society building, 6th floor. Giles had asked Wesley to ship him a special item of furniture for his office. It was a large book armoire, but it had a secret latch that opened into a hidden compartment behind the books. The compartment, in fact, was a Vanishing Cabinet. It connected directly to a similar cabinet within one of the unused offices on the 5th floor of the Historical Society.

Willow loved the way the Vanishing Cabinets solved the problem of the Hogwarts wards. Essentially, they were one-way dimensional portals that opened in the same dimension on either end, just at different locations in the same temporal reality. The wards had no validity in a no-interval n-space transit zone outside of the Hogwarts physical location. Xander joked that the Portal video game must've been modeled after these things. It was really too bad, he’s said, they didn't have one of Chell's portal guns, too. Now that would've come in handy.

From the explanation Giles had given, they had clarified that the 6th floor map's core locator spell would do the trick if they had the appropriate connection to Voldemort. They hemmed and hawed about how to get it. Obviously, they needed blood. That meant Quirrell's or Harry's, as Voldemort didn't have any of his own currently. But they couldn't walk up to either of them and ask for a sample, nor could they ask Hermione to get some from Harry. Even he and Ron would know something was pear-shaped about that. Quirrell was out of the question unless they spelled him severely. They didn't want to do that unless they had to, because they didn't want to alert Voldemort to any danger prior to doing the re-ensoulment spell.

Fortunately, Hufflepuff had planned a scrimmage with Gryffindor, and during the scrimmage, Harry 'just happened' to get a nosebleed. Just happened by the expedient of Xander being in the right place at the right time with a rather heavy fist. Willow, spectating, charged in to help fix Harry's nose, suctioning up several ounces of Harry's blood before doing an "Episkey" to fix the break. She felt bad about it, but not too bad as it was sure to be a big relief to Harry to get that pulsing, dangerous-looking scar on his forehead cleaned up.

After doing the locator with Harry's blood, they were convinced that they were on the right track. The map had shown locations in Harry's dorm, Quirrell's quarters, several scattered locations around the country, and one directly under Diagon Alley. They were convinced these must be Horcruxes, because none seemed to have anything to do with Harry except at Hogwarts. The map had let them zoom in on the object. Obviously, Voldemort must be a murderous chap, but they were a little mystified as the things he'd turned into his soul storage spots. A diary? A ring and a tiara? A cup? They'd assumed he would go for a magical weapon of some sort, or a powerful wand, or some other item of magical significance. The locations seemed even more random, but they must've had some relevance to their maker. They couldn't see it, however, so they hoped that aspect of the thing wouldn't matter.

"'Ray, Xander," crowed Buffy, "see, punching Harry in the nose was a good thing. Little Gryffindor git probably deserved it anyway." Buffy was still pretty angry about how Ron and Harry were monopolizing Hermione's time lately.

"I still feel bad about it, Buff," sighed Xander, "he had no idea I was there. I'm lucky nobody else saw it."

"Draco would've loved it," Willow laughed, "he seems to have a permanent anti-Potter thing going on."

"Yes, yes, dealing out concussions, all in good fun, I'm sure," said Giles. "But we need to figure out what we're going to do about these Horcruxes.”

"Or is it Horcruxi?" asked Xander helpfully.

"Never mind that," Giles went on, “Willow, a point that escaped me before, in my shock over the idea of doing a re-ensoulment, is what body are we going to put Voldemort into in the first place? I shudder to think of the havoc that a revived Voldemort could have on the Wizarding world at this point. We really can't afford to mess this up."

Willow smirked, "Don't worry, mini-G. That I have covered. The hard part is finding a spell to release Voldemort without killing Quirrell. Then we'll be ready to go."

As Quirrell entered the guarded 3rd floor corridor, he paused as he regarded its formerly ferocious watch beast. All three heads of the Cerberus were lolling unconscious; the dog seemed to have come off the worst in a vicious fight as there were definite bumps on each of the gruesome domes. Before he could consider this further, he was shocked to be grabbed forcefully by either arm and rapidly frog-marched to a pentagram marked out in the middle of the floor. Two seconds later, his body was being physically hauled into the astral plane by his two captors. He felt himself, as he was pulled body and soul, moving away from Voldemort's fractured remnant, which was bound by its ties to the earthly dimension through Voldemort's own magical hubris.

"Soul removal kinda stings, huh?" said one of his captors. He had to agree that it did. When the journey ceased, he was apparently in an endless, dark hall. His captors had released his arms. He had the impression they were looking at him somewhat sternly, but the brilliance of their figures in this light-devoid spot was blinding.

" want from me?" He stuttered in a nervous rush.

"I am the Champion of Light, the Warrior of the People," said the figure on the left.

"And I am the Judge of Redemption, the One Who Sees," said the other one.

"You have been brought to this plane for two reasons," said the Champion, "one is to remove the pitiful entity you allowed to reside in your body without killing you on the spot."

"The other is to determine whether you are worthy of remaining on the earthly plane after allowing such a demonic intrusion into your nature."

They laughed together, mockingly, "We'll be your judges today, Quirinus Quirrell. Sit down and take your turban off! Not gonna be needing that anymore!"

Voldemort could do no more than work himself into an impotent fury as Quirrell was dragged bodily away from him into the upper aetheral plane. He was raging to himself, trying to get his bearings, to find a new host to occupy, when suddenly he felt his main spirit being rejoined by all those split off from him as he made his Horcruxes in the past. Or was it Horcruxi? Curses! How was this possible? He was busy trying to reintegrate the bits of his shattered soul when he felt himself being pulled toward a passive figure lying within the pentagram in which he found himself entrapped.

He resisted with all the notable mental strength which had made him famous, but without a body, without a magical core to wield, his powers were outstripped by the inexorable force of this spell. Or set of spells. He could not quite grasp the nature of the ancient magic which had forced his soul to reform completely. But as his essence moved towards the small body near him in the warded circle, he suddenly recognized the second spell. Not that! No, he thought wildly, not that. He struggled futilely until he was directly above the figure he was about to be forced into. Oh, my God!

'No,' he screamed, 'Noooooooo..." But there was no one, no one, who could or would hear him. And no one anywhere who would have mercy on him if they did.

Outside the central pentagram, Giles and Willow were pleased to see the glowing soul of Voldemort enter its small host with an audible "pop." If all had gone well -- and there was no indication that it hadn't -- Voldemort was now forever bound within the creature they had selected to be his new, permanent, non-magical host.

Completing her portion of the spell, Willow stood up and stretched. Buffy and Xander would not bring Quirrell down for some time, most likely. She turned to Giles who was likewise stretching from the enforced sitting and the lengthy spellwork it had taken to fully bind Voldemort's remnants to his new host. Giles was the first to speak.

"Remind me, dear Willow," said Giles, in a disbelieving and somewhat fearful tone, "to never anger or get in the way of you, Buffy, or Xander."

"Ya know, Giles, it may just be me," replied Willow, "but I think Voldie's gonna do well in his new body. I just have that feeling. At least he’s gonna be among friends."

Interlude: The Slytherin Common Room

The Slytherins had been puzzled to receive a gift from the Hufflepuffs. The Puffs had been fair game for their tormenting for many, many years. Yet they offered and delivered something to them which they'd never imagined would be so compelling, an entire ecological habitat from South America.

The habitat was fully enclosed and self-sustaining. It had every type of animal -- other than a jaguar, perhaps -- that one could identify as being from that region. The magic of the habitat was such that, though it occupied only one small corner within their common room, entering it or inspecting it at close range made one feel as if they were in a rather large jungle clearing. They all agreed that the cutest animal was the somnolent one who seemed to be forever hanging in the one tree closest to open view within the common area.

In fact, this creature was so cute, and so popular, and so adorably harmless that even they couldn't bring themselves to change the name the Hufflepuffs had given him. The Slytherins loved a good joke, of course, even if this one was cutting a little close to the bone. The caption on his favorite tree read:

Species: Bradypus Pygmaeus
Higher classification: Three-toed Pygmy Sloth
Range: Isla Escudo de Veraguas, off the coast of Panama, S.A.
Conservation Status: Critically Endangered

Pet Name: 'Lord Voldesloth'

Even the Slytherins had to admit that was clever.
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