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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-CenteredPJxxxxxFR151372,96677834,3976 Dec 122 Feb 13Yes

Get Piggy!

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.

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.

Buffy thrashed in her sleep, throwing the covers around on her large bed. Finally, when the light began creeping into the room around the edges of the lowered blinds, she admitted that sleep was no longer an option.

What a weird dream she thought, as she lay under her comforter gathering herself to meet the new day. Willow, Xander and I shrunk down to age 11 and living in a world where people did wand magic, went to school in a medieval castle, and wore robes, for God's sake! Alternative timelines, End of Days, giant spiders, packs of werewolves, Dark Lords turned into sloths, and Buffy herself on the verge of...

There was a knock on the door, and Willow's voice outside. "Buffy, are you up yet? We need to get moving!"

"Wait one, Wills," called Buffy. But Willow, hearing that Buffy was fully awake, shoved the door open anyway.

"Come on, Buffy," urged Willow, "open up them baby blues!"

"They're green, Will, as you well know" retorted Buffy, "and I didn't sleep much last night, so leave me in peace."

"No, Buffy, time to go, remember? On a mission, right?" she emphasized this with a poke in the general direction of the Slayer, who intercepted the offending hand without looking.

"All I remember is this stupid bad dream about some Castle full of idiotic magicians," said Buffy.

She opened her eyes to see Willow laughing at her. A pint-sized, mini-Willow. Cute, no doubt, but definitely NOT a full-scale, standard Willow-shaped friend.

Crap and double-crap. So it wasn't just a bad dream. Urgh. Back to the salt mines...

The Scoobs rode the Knight Bus back to Hogwarts along with Hermione. Willow had planned to teleport them to Hogsmeade, since they didn't really want to use the Vanishing Cabinet. Arriving unseen by anyone before appearing in the Castle was bound to give somebody a wiggins. But Hermione's description of the Knight Bus had intrigued them all, so they flagged it down on the street outside Hermione's home and all got on, Buffy with her new trunk of shoes shrunken to fit comfortably in a pocket of her robes.

Stan Shunpike, the conductor, interested Buffy strangely. She whispered quietly in Willow's ear. "So not a teenager, IMHO. Whaddya think, Will?"

"Same thing you were," replied Willow in a low tone. "An immortal trying to pass, maybe?"

"Trying too hard," snorted Xander, "lame act."

Hermione was listening in as they moved to the back of the bus. 'An immortal?' she thought, 'is there nothing in this magical world that is actually what it seems to be.'

Buffy caught her eye. "Don't worry Hermy," she said, "we've met a few of these guys before. They're really hard to recognize. But we'll teach you. No problem."

"Met as in dated, in your case," snarked Xander.

"Well, in my defense, he had mad skills," returned Buffy, "and given your record of being a demon magnet, maybe you should just leave my love life to your imagination. Though that sounded better in my head than it did out loud. Ick!"

Hermione's head was still whirling. She was running through everything she'd read,using her encyclopedic recall, straining to remember anything at all about immortals. She was drawing a blank, and the banter between the Scoobs was distracting her. One more for the research list, she thought. Or I can just ask Willow when no one else is around, she amended.

They began to discuss the dinner the Grangers had hosted for their new neighbors the last night of break. Vernon Dursley, despite the silliness of his walrus mustache, had been a jovial guest with a variety of wicked stories about the other directors of Grunnings, his former company. He had kept the kids laughing most of the dinner. Petunia had been genteel and kind, plainly awed by the accomplishments of Mrs. Granger in helping build a wealthy dental practice in the land of nationalized health. She'd been quiet but praised the food and the wine in an obviously sincere fashion.

Dudley had been interesting too. From the stories Harry had told, they had expected nothing less than a domineering bully. Instead, he seemed pleasant enough, if a trifle nervous around the children; he'd obviously been told that they were all at Hogwarts. It was enough to give pause to any normally-powered human, but Dudley eventually lost his self-consciousness. He was fascinated with the idea of magic and going to school to learn it. He'd wanted to ask Harry about it, but since his cousin had stayed at school, he plied the trio and Hermione with questions.

After regaling him with stories about Snape, Draco as a mouse, and Xander and Harry's Quidditch adventures, Dudley finally mentioned what Hagrid had done to him. As in, the pigtail he'd been left with the last time he'd met someone from the Wizarding world face-to-face. Willow had been outraged. However irrational the Dursleys might have been with the anti-magic compulsion on them, trying to force Dudley into a porcine form was a real abuse of power by Hagrid. She'd instantly examined Dudley's aura, then cast a Wiccan restoration spell to dismiss the remains of Hagrid's unsuccessful transformation. She was pretty sure that even the scar of the operation Dudley had undergone would vanish now.

Now, discussing it on the Knight Bus, Willow suddenly said: "I think it's time Hagrid got some payback for what he did to Dudley."

Hermione didn't like the sound of that. "But Willow, he didn't really harm him, did he? Hagrid is a good person, truly."

"Right. But pranking helpless non-magical persons is a no-no in my book," said Willow. "Dudley can't really get him back, but if he's going to be a friend of ours, we can do it for him!"

"Go, Wills!" laughed Buffy. "I'm in. But it can't be anything permanent, I still need to quiz Hagrid on what else is in the Forest before we can be sure it's clean."

"Nothing permanent. Got it, Buff," replied Willow with her resolve face on. "But we WILL let Hagrid know there are consequences. There are always consequences to misusing magic. Right, Xan?"

"As D'Hoffryn once said," sighed Xander, "you've got the makings of a fine vengeance demon in you. Just tell me what I need to do."

The bus had been lurching all over England and Scotland, filling up with returnees to the Castle, while they were having this conversation. Buffy, with her Slayer balance, had barely noticed the stops, starts and bangs the bus was making. The others were starting to look a little green around the gills, however, before Stan suddenly announced,

"Next stop, 'Ogsmeade. All out for 'Ogsmeade and 'Ogwarts. Thanks and we 'preciate your patronage of the Knight Bus!"

The returning students began to file out. Buffy, at the back of the queue, sidled up to Stan and asked quietly, "What's an immortal doing playing conductor on this crazy thing?"

Stan turned quickly, and she saw the flash in his eyes. Aha! Got you. "I don't know what you mean, Miss."

"Yeah, you do," said Buffy knowingly. "'s okay. But I've got my eye on you."

"And just who might you be?" muttered the immortal calling himself Stan in a completely different tone.

"Wouldn't you like to know?" said Buffy smiling. She let the innocent mask slip a bit, giving him a hint of the fierce power within. He looked at her in shock, sudden realization written all over his face. He started to speak.

"Uh-uh," said Buffy, wagging her finger. "We'll have a chat about it sometime later. Or, rather, you'll chat and I'll take notes.”
“Bye, Stan!" she called brightly, exiting the bus.

He was left staring after her. Bloody hell. 2,000 years of running his own show and now there was a new boss in town.

Xander had gotten a new broom for Christmas. With the inexhaustible resources of the Watcher's Council behind them, obtaining an outstanding broom for him was no problem for Buffy and Willow. They'd gotten him a Nimbus 2000, the same broom Potter had. Even though a Beater generally didn't need that much speed, why not, they figured? It had amused them to watch him play the first match against Ravenclaw back in November. Xander had actually been rather good; his Beater skills were obviously benefiting from all the practice he'd had with axes, staves, and various other heavy weapons and thrown objects. The Puffies had lost, but with a rebuilding team and a 1st year Beater, the result was not unexpected. But the match had been quite competitive.

The slow school broom he'd ridden had really been his only problem, other than Buffy's cheerleading, of course. Much to the amusement/amazement of the whole school, Willow had transfigured Buffy's robes into a tiny and very tight American-style cheerleader uniform in Hufflepuff canary yellow with black trim. Buffy spent the whole game doing outrageous backflips, splits, and other jumps to try and distract the Ravenclaws. This turned out to be somewhat mesmerizing to both squads when she started bounding around the highest boxes, balancing on the tiniest of the railings as she urged the Puffies on with a gymnastic flourish. She'd gotten a lot of credit for her exuberance in the Hufflepuff Common Room after the match, which perhaps made up a bit for their generally standoffish behavior.

Xander had a chat with Harry prior to the handshakes on the field. "I met your Cousin Dud over the break, Harry," said Xander with a dangerous-looking grin. "How come you didn't tell anyone about the little problem Hagrid left him with?"

"Eh, what?" asked Harry, in a confused tone. 'Dudley? Why would anyone in the Wizarding world be meeting Dudley?' he thought.

"They came to dinner at the Grangers," said Xander, reading his mind apparently. "He seemed like a decent kid. What'd he do to deserve Hagrid trying to spell him?"

"You're mad, aren't you?" asked Harry. "You and that friend of yours Bunny or whatever doing all those crazy tricks last match to distract Ravenclaw. That's what this is, isn't it?"

"No, and her name is Buffy. Word of advice," said Xander, "don't call her Bunny to her face. Not if you like yours the way it is currently."

"She's starkers, whatever her name is, and apparently so are you," griped Harry. "I have no idea what Hermione sees in any of you."

"Really?" asked Xander. "Ever try asking her? Anyway, about Dudley. That spell was Hagrid's, wasn't it?"

"I'm not telling you anything. Hagrid is not allowed to use magic, so shove off," replied Harry. "This is a Quidditch match, not a debating society."

The whistle blew. Xander was brilliant during the game, marking the Gryffindor chasers tightly while sending a real bombardment of Bludgers at Potter every time he appeared to be tracking the Snitch. The desperately close match, which had gone on for almost three hours, finally ended when the little winged ball literally flew into Potter's hand. Buffy and Willow were wroth with outrage. Even though the Snitch could not be spelled, they suspected someone had created a highly localized windstream that pushed it directly to Harry.

They berated Hermione all the way to the Castle.

"Alright, I admit it!" said Hermione. "I did the spell. But I was aiming to shoot the thing right between Harry and Cedric, but that prat Diggory veered away for no reason right when the Snitch showed. I think someone else may have Confunded him."

"But why, Hermy?" cried a scandalized Willow. "You can get into huge trouble messing with these matches. They take bets on these all over the Wizarding world!"

"Oh, I just couldn't take it out there anymore." Hermione snapped. "Xander was too good with those Bludgers. Everyone takes this insanity too seriously. It's not like it's top flight football or anything really important. Plus it was freezing!"

"Well, at least you came clean," said Buffy, defeated by Hermione's outburst. "But all that cheerleading I'm doing has to come good sometime, doesn't it?"

"Buffy," said Willow. "Maybe you should back off on it a bit. The crowd was spending way too much time watching you and not the match. This is Xander's show, after all."

"And he has more than a little of an unfair advantage himself, first-year or not," said Hermione in a defensive tone. "As you well know."

"Alright, then," said Buffy. "Still friends?"

"Still friends," replied Hermione and Willow.

"This never gets back to either Harry or Xander, agreed?" inquired Hermione.

"Agreed," they all said together. Buffy continued "Xander would be Ok with it..."

"But Harry would freak," said Hermione, and they all nodded.

Harry was freaking anyway. He was complaining to Fred and George in the changing rooms.

"What was that bloke Harris up to?" he asked bitterly. "I spent about two seconds the whole match not dodging a Bludger. We'd still be out there if it hadn't flown right to me."

"It's a strategy, mate," said Fred. "Doesn't usually work, 'cause the Beater finds it hard to mark the Chasers if he spends too much time going after the Seeker. But Harris was bloody brilliant at it."

"He was spooky good," added George. "That new broom didn't hurt either. A Beater on a Chaser broom has a bit of leeway that you don't usually get in a match. It could've won it for them."

"First, he's going on about my cousin Dudley and Hagrid before the match," moaned Harry, "then he tries to go with the death by Bludger routine. It was bad enough with his psycho girlfriend doing her balance beam routine 100 feet up; I didn't know whether to watch her in case she fell or watch the Bludgers so I didn't get my head taken off."

"Word to the wise, Harry old man," said Fred seriously. "Do not mess with that Buffy chickie."

"Absolutely not," agreed George. "She's dynamite. If she wants to fall she will. I suspect the ground will move politely out of her way if she does."

"Why are you so frightened of her?" asked Harry. "I'd never think you'd give such an obvious target as those three such a wide berth."

"Well," admitted Fred, "there was this incident where we tried to do a purely Muggle prank.."

"Old school," said George, "a simple sign on her back..."

"Suggesting that she was willing to let the world avail themselves of her rear-end," continued Fred.

"For purposes of kicking, nothing more," George hastened to add.

"You taped a 'Kick Me' sign to her back?" asked Harry in wonder. "Isn't that a little below pranskters of your magnitude?"

"Taped is a bit of an overstatement," said Fred.

"Never actually got anywhere near her back," agreed George.

"Whilst George here attempted to distract her with the witty banter for which we are so well-known," began Fred.

"Fred ambled up and attempted to place the sign strategically in the middle of her, ah, buttocks region," continued George.

"So what happened?" asked a puzzle Harry. "Did she catch you?"

"The next few minutes are a little unclear," sighed Fred.

"Yes, a bit of a blur, as it were," nodded George sadly.

"The upshot being," said Fred, "is that in about two swipes of a dragon's tail, we were both down for the count, a boot on George's neck and an insanely strong grip wrapped around my throat."

"And?" asked Harry in bemusement.

"In a nutshell, she pounded us," replied Fred. Nary an inch on my body below the neck didn't have a bruise of some sort."

"And for some reason, for a month after that," added George in concern, "not a single prank we tried came off. We were routinely caught, our goods failed, fireworks blew early, potions soured, etc."

"She hexed you!" cried Harry. "That little girl hexed you?"

"That appears to be the gist of the situation," said Fred. "Right after she quite viciously beat us."

"And we won't risk it again," said George.

"More than our reputations – not to mention our lives -- are worth, to be honest," they said in unison.

They left a confused-looking Harry to head to the victory celebration. Harry himself realized something. His best friend Hermione was very good friends with people who could outfox Fred and George. That was more than startling; it was unnatural. And what were they going to do to Hagrid if that's how they'd treated the twins?

Buffy was sprinting through the Forbidden Forest when four vamps stepped out from behind a rock and waylaid her.

"Hey, you vamps!" she called excitedly. "Did you see a giant were-pig run through here?"

"We did," agreed the oldest vamp, who appeared to be on the verge of being a Master in age. "He went that way," he said, pointing north through a broken, tangled thicket.

"Thanks," cried Buffy, who started to take off. The vamps blocked her progress, the proto-Master looking at her in a pretty skeevy fashion.

"Now, why would we let a tasty treat like you go, just because you're in a hurry?" he asked with obvious hunger in his voice. He put on his game face to look more menacing to the girl, or so he thought. Her reaction surprised him, though.

"OMG! I s-o-o don't have time for this," screeched an outraged Buffy.

"When we're done, you'll have all the time in the world," leered the vamp.

Buffy whipped out Mr. Pointy the IXth. "This is my friend, Mr. Pointy. He's happy to meet you." She hurled the stake into the proto-Master's chest, dusting him instantly. "Not," she added needlessly.

She charged at the smallest of the other three, leaping over his head and twisting his spine on the way by until it cracked. Retrieving her stake, she quickly dusted vamp #3 from behind before finishing off the broken-necked and writhing Vamp #2.

"I think your bell is ringing," she said brightly to Vamp #4.

"Huh?" said the vamp, who was backing away from his dusted friends and looking for a way, any possible way, out of this wholly unexpected disaster.

"Yeah, it's playing a dirge. As in, it's your funeral," snarked Buffy. "Now tell me where the pig went."

"Like he said, it went that way. With a whole herd of centaurs chasing it," replied the scared vamp. "Are you going to let me go now?" He was backing away from her, failing to notice, in his eagerness to get away, the low rock behind him. He tripped, impaling himself on the branches of a bush; one went straight through his chest. The vampire went 'poof' with a faint look of surprise on his face.

"Simple motto: see vamp, slay vamp," said Buffy to the fading dust cloud. "Or in this case, apparently, just scare them to death. Works for me." She hurried off after the pig.

Willow and Xander were faring better. After getting word of the were-pig debacle from Hermione, they had zipped out of the Castle with Xander's broom under his long duster. They took off together and had the creature spotted fairly quickly. It was being chivvied towards a large clearing in the Forest by a number of centaurs, who fired arrows at it whenever it tried to turn. It was unclear whether the arrows were hurting the pig or not, but they were driving it as if they were hunting it. Willow was mentally communicating with Buffy.

'Buffy,' she thought, 'we can see the pig and it's being chased by centaurs alright. I hope they aren't getting ready for a big cookout.'

'Xander wants to join in, doesn't he?' thought Buffy with an evil tinge to the words.

'Enough with the pig hunger humor,' thought Xander back. 'Besides even that hyena pack at Wolfmeet couldn't have eaten all of this thing in one sitting.'

'Where are you, Buffy? I'm almost afraid to land until you're up with us,' thought Willow. 'The centaurs seem pretty worked up.'

'They tend to be touchy about land and hunting rights,' said Buffy. 'And you don't even wanta know why I know that. I'm about 5 minutes behind but I'm catching up quick.'

'Well, there is a big clearing ahead. They already have it surrounded. Looks like they're driving him in for the kill,' thought Xander.

'Not part of the plan,' responded Buffy. 'You guys will just have to hold the fort until I get there.'

'Ok,' thought Willow. 'Xander and I can defend the pig and ourselves with our magic. If the pig holds still for it, anyway.'

Seeing the monstrously large pig entering what looked like the kill-zone, Xander swooped the broom downward to land next to it. Willow quickly put up a dome-like shield. The centaurs, surprised, were shooting arrows which bounced off Willow’s spell buffer. Xander, meanwhile, petrified the elephantine pig, though it took him three tries to get it completely under control.

The centaurs were raging outside the shield when Buffy came sprinting up, waving their bows and screaming threats at Willow, Xander, and the pig, which could only roll its eyes in fear. Only one of the centaurs had noticed Buffy; he turned and tried to ride her down. She neatly sidestepped his charge, leaping up to punch him in the jaw as he went by. One down, she thought, but the rest of these idiots are awfully worked up. Well, we had to meet them at some point. This isn't ideal, but two birds, one stone.

She put two fingers to her mouth and whistled, long and loud the way Spike had once taught her. The centaurs stopped shouting and turned towards her, facing away from Willow and Xander.

“Alright,” she yelled in a really huge voice, startling the centaurs in that it came from such a tiny body. “All you Gold Cup rejects need to stop waving the bows around and listen up.”

“Who so boldly enters the Forest and speak words of contempt to the centaurs?” cried an enraged male, who’d been leading the herd after the were-pig.

“I dare,” said Buffy, if anything strengthening the sound of her voice, until most of the centaurs were actually wincing at the volume she was producing. “My friends there under the shield dare, and even that fat damn pig probably dares when he’s not wearing his piggy body.”

“And who might you be? A little girl! A tiny witch no doubt! Centaurs do not fear witches and wizards, we have ways to deal with them. We have our own earth magics to defend ourselves if need be from your wand-based trickery,” countered the centaur in a voice strangled with rage.

“Earth-based magics, huh? You think we can’t deal with that?” she said loudly. She communicated mentally to Willow, ‘Wanta jump in here, Wills? You could use some play.’

Willow lowered her shield and spoke to the centaurs as a group, mind-to-mind. “Your magic will avail you nothing here, centaurs. Do you not know whom you face?”

They turned back towards Willow, uneasy to have witches on either side of them. What they saw was not helpful in calming them down. Willow, eyes jet black, was levitating about 8 feet in the air. She was channeling so much power that her projected figure had grown to giant-size proportion, dwarfing even the behemoth of a pig. Her hair and robes were waving in a breeze felt by no one but her.

“I am the Supreme Sorceress,” she said aloud, and the words seemed to take on a power that gripped the heart of every centaur in the herd. “I am the keeper of the magical balance, daughter of the light, mother of the dark. You cannot invoke your magic without invoking me; shall we contest our powers, earth-bound creatures?” Willow waved her hand and all the weapons held by the centaurs were ripped from their hands to land at her feet.

The centaurs were frozen in fear. The leader broke from Willow’s searching gaze and called loudly, “We shall take the witchlet and the pig. She has violated our hunting grounds afoot and the pig is our prey. We seek no battle with the Dark Goddess!”

Willow smiled, a truly terrifying sight in her current form. “Look upon the one you call witchlet, if you so dare.”

The centaurs turned as one, forced by the power in Willow’s gaze. What they saw then was no relief. Buffy, taking her cue from Willow, had let down her internal power masking and was now revealing the inner Slayer. Her projected figure was now as large as that of Willow, the light pouring off her seeming to entwine with the darkness radiating from the redheaded witch.

Buffy waited until all eyes were upon her. “I am the Slayer. The Chosen One. Champion of the Light. Warrior of the People. Would you deny my right to hunt any ground I so choose?” she asked rhetorically. “Name yourself, centaur!” she commanded.

The lead centaur looked from Willow to Buffy and back again. “I am Bane, leader of the wild hunt for the Forbidden Forest. I did not mean to presume, mistress of the Dark. Or to offend, mistress of the Light” he added, looking over at Buffy.

“Yet you manage both!” laughed Willow. “Have centaurs stopped reading the stars? Haven’t you seen the portents? Or is it that you no longer read them accurately?”

“We have seen the portents,” replied Bane. “They tell us the import of your presence here.”

“Are you prepared for the End of Days, centaur?” asked Buffy more gently.

“We have seen our fate; we accept it as we see and accept all fates shown to us by the stars,” replied Bane proudly. “But this pig was in no portents other than that for good hunting,” said Bane. “Why are the mistresses of such power concerned with something as lowly as the fate of a pig, no matter how large it may be?”

“Ah, well,” said Willow, getting red in the face now. “The pig is not actually a pig. It is your friend Hagrid,” she admitted.

The centaurs looked at her in disbelief. “Hagrid?” asked Bane in a wondering voice.

“Yeah,” said Willow in embarrassment. “We kinda had a bit of trouble with a potion. Long story. Anyway, can’t kill and eat the were-pig ‘cause Dumbledore won’t like it.

Buffy added helpfully, “And it WOULD be sorta gross if you think about it.”

Xander just shook his head. The giant pig shook within the binding spell. Several hours of explanation seemed in order. He wondered if Hagrid would remember any of this.

Interlude 9: Fudge v. Goblins

Minister Fudge was perturbed to find out he had a meeting with the Chief Goblin on his morning calendar. He wondered if he dared to get Dumbledore down from Hogwarts to support him. He decided not to. Just get some Aurors in the room and maybe a few Department heads. Safety in numbers, after all, he thought.

Cornelius “Goblin-Crusher” Fudge had long had his eyes on the Goblin world. He was still outraged that ‘The Quibbler’ had found out about that private nickname and made up all those ludicrous stories about him. Nevertheless, they had been direct and accurate about his desire to take over Gringotts and to eliminate the goblins as a source of power within the Wizarding world. He had communicated this desire to very few individuals, most as highly placed as he was, and the leak had thrown flobberworm dung all over his initial plans. Seizing goblin wealth and their race’s position as the safeguard of Wizarding fortunes would have advanced his power significantly and made clear how important the Ministry was in the lives of the average witch and wizard. Now he would have to face the Chief Goblin for the first time since these revelations had been made. He sincerely hoped that the head goblin put as little faith in ‘The Quibbler’ as did most wizards.

The Chief Goblins first words dispelled that notion. “Minister Goblin-Crusher,’” said the head, “It is a title to fear. I wish you well of it. And I am here to confirm that the alliance between humans, elves, and goblins is ended, so you may take up your crusade if you so desire.”

Fudge was flabbergasted. “What alliance?” he asked suspiciously. “We have no three-way alliance. What do elves have to do with it anyway?”

“Long before the treaties between wizards and goblins, an alliance was made between all humans, elves, and the goblins of this world,” said the Chief Goblin patiently. “This alliance was meant to last until the End of Days. We have met with the Slayer, who tells us the End of Days approaches, and the alliance needs must be ended.”

“The Slayer?” said a bewildered Fudge, “Who or what is the Slayer?”

The Chief Goblin looked at him sadly. “You wizards are forgetful, it seems. The Slayer long since guaranteed the alliance, and passed out of this world some 2,000 years ago. She has returned and given us our choice. Has she not presented you with yours?”

“Dumbledore!” Fudge burst out. “Dumbledore was babbling something about the End of Days recently.”

“Dumbledore is a wise wizard.” The Chief Goblin nodded his head in emphasis. “He is powerless to prevent the change that is coming.”

“Well, what does it mean, then?” asked Fudge. “What does the End of Days imply?”

“The end of this world as you and I know it,” replied the Chief Goblin. “The alliance is over. Here is a list of our demands. These must be fulfilled within the next 12 months or Goblins will once more war on Wizards and humans. And Gringotts will close its doors if that occurs.” All but one door, he admitted privately to himself. That one would remain open no matter what happened.

“Good day, Minister,” he said politely to Fudge, who responded absently. He was reading the rather lengthy list with a growing look of horror on his face. This was insane. There was no way they could accede to these demands. ‘Return of all goblin-created objects.’ ‘Recall of all goblin-owned Wizarding debts, including government bonds.’ ‘Evacuation of Wizard and humans from traditional goblin-owned territories.’ Out of the question!

And then there was the last item, of course. ‘Delivery of the Goblin-Crusher’s body, or proof of death via presentation of the head, to the Goblin Conference.’ That one was a non-starter. It gave him chills down his spine, to be honest. He shook it off and, steepling his fingers, began turning the real problem over in his mind. Now, how to get Dumbledore working on this without showing him the full list of demands?
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