Hello, the only thing that is really different so far is that the timeline is off, and I'm setting this five or six years post Sunnydale, so ignore the official dates of Sunnydale. The zoo incident with Harry and the snake happens a year earlier too. Thanks to Cutiepie for pointing out the issue with the years. I own nothing. These characters are were created by Joss Whedon and JK Rowling. Some violence in the begining, but no more than we see in Buffy, or Harry Potter.
“This is the final straw boy! I want you out!” Vernon Dursley pushed the nine year old Harry Potter back toward the car and he fell onto the ground. Vernon’s wife Petunia, worthless as she is, rushed Dudley inside to avoid any unpleasantness. “Not even St. Brutus’s would take a vile creature like you, and I’ll not have you besmirching my name, spoiling my home, corrupting my son, and using those low tricks to shame and intimidate my family. Not one more night!”
“But I didn’t do anything.” Harry pleaded from the ground. “It was Dudley that got himself in the snake cage.”
Vernon, growling with rage, pulled Harry up by the collar and held him at eye level as he glared at the boy. His other arm pulled back as if to strike the boy and he said, “You listen to me boy. I’ll not have you blaming your demon tricks on my Dudley. He’s a good boy-“
Vernon was interrupted a small blur of a woman breaking his arm, and catching Harry as he tumbled to the ground. Reacting instantly with rage he shrieked, “What the hell do you think you’re doing?”
After gently setting Harry down, the woman turned to glare at Vernon, and said, “Saving a child from a criminal!”
Vernon, whose anger and pain were now colouring his face with red and purple blotches, clasped his broken arm to his chest and looked at the woman standing in front of him. “How dare you assault me! I’ll call the constable! Petunia!”
“That’s actually a good idea. Let’s call them so I can explain that you had this boy in your arms and were beating him up after you tossed him at the car. I’m sure they’d be very interested to hear about the child abuse thing. Yeah, let’s do that.” She pulled out a fancy looking mobile, and dialled Dawns number. “Hi, I’d like to report a crime.”
“Wait, let’s not be hasty. The boys fine, aren’t you Harry.” Vernon tried to get around the girl, but she held out her other arm and held him still while he squirmed comically trying to get out of the grasp of a ninety pound girl.
Holding the phone away from her head she said, “Don’t touch him, or I’ll break your other arm,” with so much menace in her tone that he stopped struggling.
“Buffy? What’s going on are you ok?” Dawn asked.
“Yes sir, I’m fine, but there’s a man beating up a young boy here, and then he threatened me, so I need some assistance.”
“Oh, so you’re using me to scare some creep. I’m all for it. Do you want me to get a real cop out there?” Dawn asked.
“No, I’ve got him under control sir, but you should probably send someone to check over the kid. We’re on Privet Drive, yes sir.” She paused and then thanking him, hung up. Turning around she knelt down to check over the boy.
“Yeah, I’m fine.” She gently eased him to his feet, and checked him over as best she could in his ridiculously large clothes.
“See, the boy’s fine, no harm done.”
“Yeah actually hitting, kicking, or otherwise abusing a child with your fists, feet, or even your vocal cords is actually considered harm, and they have a term for it, abuse.”
Getting angry again Vernon puffed up his chest and said, “Yes, well some boys are rotten to the core, and the only way to get them to listen is to compel them using extreme measures.”
“Huh, I wonder if that will work on you?” She took a step forward. “I can be very compelling.”
Vernon took a step back, something triggering fear in his system and he knew he shouldn’t push this woman too far.
“It’s not worth it.” Harry spoke up from behind Buffy.
“You are worth it kid, and this criminal” she said it slowly and pointed to Vernon, “shouldn’t get away with abusing you.”
Looking down, Harry responded, “but it won’t change anything.”
“He’s been doing this for years hasn’t he?”
Harry just looked away, and in one swift punch, Buffy laid out Vernon Dursley in his front lawn, and amid a screaming Petunia, she led Harry away from the house. “Before we go any farther, I have to ask, cuz you know, I don’t want to kidnap you, or anything. Do you want to come with me? I can either take you to whatever the Brits have for social services, or you can come with me to the Council, and we can figure something else out. I work, just outside of London, for a very powerful organization, and we can find people that will love you, and take care of you, but I won’t take you without your wanting to go. If you stay, I can promise you that I will involve the cops, and Vernon will be watched by more than just me. Either way this violence will stop. I promise.” She added darkly.
Looking at the pretty young woman, nameless still to him, he felt he could trust her more than he could ever trust the Dursleys, and said, “Where are you parked?”
“I’m taking the boy to be checked out by a doctor, and then I’m going to make sure he gets to a safe place where people like you can’t hurt him.” She growled the words at a cowering Vernon, and walked Harry to her car a block down, near the cemetery where she had parked it to scope out the upswing of vampire activity in the area.
“This is not good, this is not good. Dumbledore’s not gonna like this.” Arabella Figg quickly wrote a note to the headmaster, and sent it along with her owl. “He’s not going to like this at all. Quickly Sherman, get this to Dumbledore.” The owl hooted nervously and flew off in the late July sun for Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.
“Well now that I’ve taken you away from your family without permission, I suppose it’s time for introductions. What’s your name?”
“It’s nice to meet you Harry, I’m Buffy Summers. That guy wasn’t your dad was he?”
“No, my parents are dead, and Petunia is my mum’s sister, so after they died I was brought to their house.”
“Does that big ogre do that a lot?”
“I know we don’t know each other, but you can tell me the truth, I only want to help.”
The boy was staring down at his lap, and Buffy decided not to push him.
“It’s ok, we can talk about this later, but I am going to get you checked out, and maybe we can find a way to make sure that doesn’t happen anymore.”
“Good, so we have several options. I can take you to the hospital and get you checked out there, which would be good because any injuries you might have would be on record, and can be documented for future issues. The other option is where I work. I run a kind of organizations, a school, and research facility, and we have a physician on call that can make sure that nose of yours isn’t broken, and those bruises on your arms didn’t fracture bones. Which would you prefer?”
Being asked what he wanted to do was so shocking to Harry that he almost didn’t know how to respond, but fearing the scrutiny of a public medical organization, he opted for her doctor.
“Did you really call the constable?”
“No, but I will. I just wanted to scare him. Bullies like that don’t understand anything except intimidation, and probably what he’ll do is call the city himself and try to keep them from coming, which will make them suspicious and they’ll show up anyway.” She winked at him and he smiled.
“How old are you?”
“Nine, but I turn ten in a few weeks.”
“Any brothers and sisters I should be worried about?”
“No, only my cousin Dudley, but Vernon wouldn’t-“
“I get it, he’s their son, the favourite right?”
“Yeah.” That didn’t really cover it, but Harry didn’t know how to explain his life to this stranger. In the twenty minutes he’d spent with her, she had been nicer than anyone else in his life. Even his teachers at school were brainwashed by Vernon, and thought he exaggerated when he explained that his birthday was never celebrated, or that he did the housework and cooked sometimes all the meals.
“So what was he so mad about, or is always angry?”
Deciding to leave out the part about the snake talking to him, Harry explained what happened at the Zoo. “But I swear I didn’t do anything. It just happened!”
“I believe you Harry.”
“I’ve seen some crazy things in my life, and there’s no denying magic is real, and karma.”
“It’s sort of like you reap what you sow. If you do bad things, bad things are going to happen to you, and this cousin of yours sounds like he was being a spoiled brat, riling up the animals. Snakes, and other animals should be treated with respect, and he wasn’t doing that, so he got what he deserved in a way.” She left out the part about Harry having a lot of power in him that she assumed he didn’t know about yet. He felt an awful lot like Willow did when she first arrived in Sunnydale. Untapped magical power was always recognizable to slayers with well honed skills, though not always known by the people with the power. It didn’t change the fact that this Dudley kid deserved what he got.
One terrifying car ride later and Harry wasn’t so sure he’d made the right decision. After weaving in and out of traffic, going the wrong way down a thankfully quiet street, and almost hitting several cars while declaring she had excellent reflexes, they finally stopped in an enclosed car park behind a guard station with a scary looking woman with a sword. She insisted he be checked out, and walked into a large multi storied building that seemed to be part of a much larger complex toward the hospital wing. There were a lot of young women moving about, some sparring, though Buffy, as he found out in the car ride, warned him to expect such a sight, and that it was normal. He couldn’t quite understand how a woman flying across the room, denting the plaster, and getting up as if nothing had happened was normal, but he’d witnessed Buffy breaking his uncles arm, and intimidating him with little more than a look, so he didn’t know what they were, superheroes maybe?
Buffy hadn’t offered an explanation when she warned him about the sparring girls, just said that, “They are always getting into fights and breaking things. We’ve already had to rebuild one of the dorms, but they are mostly newbies, so they’ve got lot of extra energy, and its best they work it out on each other and not their watchers.”
Harry was brought out of his thoughts by a tall woman approaching Buffy. “Who’s the kid?”
“Dawn, this is Harry. Harry, this is my sister Dawn.”
“It’s a pleasure to meet you Dawn.” Harry struck out his hand to shake hers.
“Oh, he’s cute. The slayerettes are gona love him.” Dawn said.
“Is Sarah in the office today? I want to get him checked out before we figure out what to do with him.”
“Yeah, she’s here. Vi’s still unconscious, so Sarah’s been staying on the couch in her office.”
Buffy shook her head. “I hope she’s ok. I mean she did take a nasty two by four to the head, but she should be awake by now.”
Dawn shrugged. “Head wounds are funny like that.”
Buffy continued walking through the maze of rooms until they finally reached the infirmary. “Ok Harry, as soon as she gives you the ok, we’ll talk more about your situation.” She led him into an exam room, and walked out to find the doctor.
Harry looked around at the equipment. It was normal, though there were a lot of bandages lying about, but otherwise it was just like the room he’d been in when Dudley broke his finger several years before. Buffy came back a few minutes later and sat on the doctor’s chair spinning around to look at him.
“It’s always so quiet in these places, it drives me nuts.” She fidgeted again, and started opening jars, and spilling cotton balls on the floor. “Uh, shoot, you won’t tell on me will you Harry?” She started trying to pick up the cotton balls, and tossing them into the garbage and Harry bent down to help her.
Just then Sarah came into the office, and looking at the mess Buffy created in the span of five minutes, huffed in annoyance, but greeted Harry with a smile and Buffy left to give them privacy. An hour later, Sarah called Buffy down to the infirmary and except a few bruises Harry didn’t seem to be injured. In fact Sarah didn’t find some of the tell-tale signs of past abuse that is common with children living in abusive homes. That didn’t mean that he wasn’t abused, but that Vernon never hit hard enough to break bones.
She did however comment on his general appearance. His clothes were not only too big for him because they were obviously not bought for him, but because he was underfed. She ran some blood tests that might confirm it, but he appeared to be malnourished and with a little prodding admitted that he did most of the housework, though he clammed up after that.
“Technically there aren’t signs of the horrible abuse you see in the papers, but he definitely doesn’t have an easy life, and often abuse escalates. Maybe this man never hit him before, but he will most likely do it again. Harry seems like a bright kid, but he kept his eyes to the floor almost the entire time I examined him, and there was a fear of being touched there, though he didn’t really show it.”
“So you think he’s ok, but probably shouldn’t go back to that place?”
“Buffy, these matters are for the courts to decide. I know you want to help him, but with the proper intervention he might go back home, and not receive the same kinds of abuse. I’m not saying that is what should happen, but it’s not our job, responsibility, or even right to decide what’s best for the lad. I can file the papers if you like to have the man arrested for abuse, or we can send the information anonymously, but there isn’t much else we can do.”
“We take slayers away from abusive homes all the time, why is Harry any different?”
“He’s not a slayer Buffy, and abusive fathers are not your jurisdiction.”
“That doesn’t mean we shouldn’t help. The whole point of our organization is to protect people. That doesn’t end with demons.”
“Where does it end? Today you try to help this kid, and tomorrow you go after thief’s? Murderers?”
“Why not? There are hundreds of slayers now, and the governments of the world don’t do it. Why not us? At least when we see it, you can’t expect me to unsee it, to send this kid back into the house where he was abused.”
“Unfortunately that is probably what will happen to him, but maybe with more scrutiny his father won’t be as likely to abuse him.”
“Maybe? What are you talking about maybe? We send him back and maybe he’ll be ok? That’s good enough for you?”
“No, but what choice do we have?”
“We can find him a better home, and make sure he’s safe.”
Shaking her head at Buffy she handed her the file. “I’ll leave this with you, but I urge you to report the abuse, and use the system. As his doctor I have an ethical and legal responsibility to report the abuse, but you should report it as well. It will be important for him to have an advocate, and you can be that person.”
Attempting to calm herself down before Buffy went back into the exam room a radical idea began forming in her head. They changed birth records for slayers, why not for this boy? She might raise him, or at least find a place for him that wasn’t with those jerks. A normal life, she thought, with a child, and presents on Christmas, and teaching him all the things she knew. It was tempting, and she always intended to retire from the council, or make it a day job. She knew that wasn’t realistic, but a part of her was willing to try, and Harry wasn’t normal anyway. His magic would need nurturing and who better to teach him than Willow, or Giles?
She opened the door, and found Harry putting on his hoodie. “Come on, let’s go to my office, order some food, and talk about this some more.” She reached out her hand and he took it.
Several hours later and angry Giles burst into her office and demanded to speak with her in the hall. Harry couldn’t hear everything that was said, but the man was obviously upset about Harry being there. He crept to the door and tried to listen in.
He crept to the door to listen.
“You can’t just go around stealing children! Good Lord the police will be banging down our doors!”
“That big walrus was abusing him! I couldn’t leave him there, and besides, he was kicking a ten year old out of the house! Not even dropping him off with social services, just pushing him out the door.”
“That doesn’t mean you should bring him here. I know you’ve never been good with secrecy, but you’re putting hundreds of lives in danger. Buffy, you’re not the only one you have to watch out for now.”
“My job is to protect the innocent, and you can’t expect me to ignore and innocent boy getting beat up by a much bigger man.”
More gently Giles went on, “I don’t, but you should have called me. We could have arranged for him to be brought to a home, away from the Council.”
“He’s just a kid. It’s not like he’s going to go flashing the story all over the BBS. I wanted to ask him what he wants to do before I just dumped him off somewhere that could be worse than the place he was living before. He deserves to have a choice.”
Exasperated he ignored her BBC misstep and went on. “He’s nine, and if what you’re saying is true, anything is going to look better than his home. Now I want you to bring him to the officials and send make sure you file a report.”
“So what if he’s nine. He deserves a chance to talk about what he wants.”
“These matters are beyond his control, as they are beyond yours. Some things cannot be left to the decision of a child. Given free reign they’d eat nothing but sweets, or watch the tele and never do their work. Buffy, I know you’re upset, but you can’t bring a kid away from a poor family life, offer him a trip to Disney world and expect him to make a rational choice.”
“Are you lecturing me on not having a choice? Me? God, Giles have you completely lost perspective here? I’ll give him a choice and stop lecturing me as if I’m the same fifteen year old slayer you met ten years ago. Harry deserves a say in what happens to him, and why is everyone freaking out about this? It’s only been a few hours, we’re not planning the rest of his life, just where he will go, tonight, or tomorrow.”
At that moment Harry opened the door and latching onto Buffy said, “I want to stay with you. Please don’t make me go back.” He’d only had a few people in his life show him kindness. A few teachers, and the neighbour Ms Figg, but otherwise, he’d felt alone and defenceless most of this life. Though they knew his life away from school was bad, none of his teachers had ever helped him or even offered when he’d confessed problems to them. He’d given up asking for help. Buffy had done more than any other person in the space of three hours. She’d stood up to Vernon, took him away when others ignored his pleas, recognized abuse for what it was and was now defending him.
Surprised at the interruption she patted his head, though he wasn’t much shorter than she was, and hugged him back. “Don’t worry, we’re not sending you back to that jerk.” She looked up at Giles and stealing her resolve said, “He’s staying. As co-director I don’t answer to you anyway. You are not my boss, and though I value your opinion, next time you have one, maybe try talking to me first instead making demands.”
“Buffy, be reasonable. You can’t just keep him. He’s a civilian, and he’s in danger just being here, more than he’d ever be with his family.”
“Maybe, but you can’t know that, and I’ve protected all of you for ten years, and there’s no safer place than this building. You said it yourself. Not even a nuclear warhead could get past Willow’s wards.” Gently extracting herself from Harry’s desperate hug, she told him to go back into her office.
Lowering her voice and pulling him down the hall she said, “Giles, he’s magical, almost as powerful as Willow. He’s not just a human, and he was already making things happen by accident. That’s why he was in trouble. He has to be taught to use it properly. That jerk that was kicking him out of the house called him a demon child. They won’t understand, or be able to guide him. We have to help him.”
Pulling his glasses off to clean them Giles deflated. “As powerful as Willow you say?”
“Not quite, well not really, but he feels like she did when I first got to Sunnydale.”
“I wasn’t aware you could sense her latent ability.”
“I didn’t know what it was at first, but it didn’t feel bad, and it wasn’t until she started doing spells that I understood it.”
“You still can’t take a child away from his home. The police will be looking for him.”
“Not if we change his records the way we do with slayers that come from abusive families.”
“Who will watch out for him? You’re working most days, and patrol at least a few nights a week, to say nothing of the apocalypses.”
“I’ve said I wanted a life away from the council, maybe it’s time Faith took over some of my duties, or Rona.”
“You mean to take him yourself?”
“Why not?” She narrowed her eyes at him dangerously.
“Buffy, a child like this needs stability, especially after growing up in a violent home. He may act out, think of what Faith did. You will need to be there one hundred percent of the time.”
“And I will be.” The discussion was terrifying, but as sometimes happens, the more she argued the more she understood what she wanted. “As long as he wants me to be. I won’t force him to stay here, but if he agrees to a trial period for both of us, I won’t coddle him, but he needs love as well as stability.”
“It’s been four hours!” Giles responded in exasperation. “You can’t possibly be planning the rest of his life because of one incident. At least agree to speak with this man, and investigate further. We can deal with his magical abilities after that. Furthermore, if you give him these options the first sign of trouble and he’ll want to move back with his family, or into another home, he needs a firm parent.”
“Well I can’t just force him to stay if we don’t work out. I told him we’d find the best place for him. If that ends up being here, with me, then so be it, but if not I’ll deal.”
Buffy agreed to speak with the man and his wife at least once, though she refused to have Harry present while she did it. They might intimidate him into staying, and she wouldn’t let that happen. The meeting was more upsetting than she could have imagined. They didn’t want him, not at all, and had only kept him out of some deep rooted guilt Petunia felt about giving him up for adoption. More shocking than that was that when Buffy demanded his possessions it was reluctantly admitted that he had none to speak of. No favourite toys or teddy bears. He didn’t even have his own clothes, except what was too small for his obviously over fed cousin. Even Giles was appalled enough to threaten them in a startlingly Ripperish fashion, and agreed that although he still had misgivings about Harry being at the Council, the boy was clearly better off away from his so called family.
The next day when Buffy entered Willows office, she was surrounded by books closely reading The Study of Owls, A Binocular Look Into the Behaviour and Biology, by Barbara Barns. “A new hobby Wills?”
“Oh, Buffy hey, and this must be Harry. Hi.”
“Yeah, so owls, well we’ve had some trying to get past the wards today, and one or two I’d understand, but so far we’ve counted twenty, so I’m trying to figure out if this is some kind of migration pattern, and maybe why they’re out during the day, but I’m at a loss. We have nothing on demon owls in the library so, er, I mean evil, or uh, bad owls, not nice ones, not demons cuz they’re not real.”
“It’s ok, he knows what we do here.”
“Thank the Goddess, cuz I had nothing. What can I do for you? Just introductions, or do you want something?”
“Well we want to find out if his uncle, the evil walrus, has filed any missing persons reports, or maybe kidnaping reports, and what his guardianship status is.”
“I can do that. Hmm, lets see. Full name?”
“Harry James Potter.”
“Date of birth?”
“The 31st of July, 2001.”
“Ooh, you have a birthday coming up. Hmm.” She typed away and clicking a few buttons, she shook her head. This is strange. It says here that his parents wanted him to be raised by a Sirius Black, but there isn’t any information on him at all. No birth records, nothing, and apparently after a short search, they decided to leave him with his aunt Petunia Dursley. There is an odd note in here about how they don’t know how she even knew about the deaths before the police found the bodies, but she had him, oops. I’m sorry Harry, this must be disturbing. We can do this later if you want.” She looked at Buffy for confirmation, but Harry said, “No, I want to know. The Dursley’s refused to speak about my parents.”
“Ok, well there isn’t much more here, but we can do research if you want.”
“First,” Buffy interrupted, “We need to make sure he’s not a snatched kid. Then we can look into his parents.”
“He’s not. Whatever you said to them, must have done the trick because there are no flags, or missing children reports.”
“Well that’s a relief. Should we change it?” Buffy asked.
“You’ll have to if he stays long term. You can’t register him at a school unless you’re a legal guardian.” Willow said.
“You would think about school. Let’s wait a little while and see what you want to do, sound good Harry?” Buffy asked.
“It’s ok, you can change it now. I never want to go back there if I don’t have to.” Harry said.
“Alright, but if you ever want me to change it back let me know, it’s as easy as clicking a few buttons.”
“Scary isn’t she?” Buffy smiled affectionately at Willow.
“Hang on, can you change it from here? We don’t have to file any papers or anything?”
“Yup, already done. We have to do this all the time with slayers.” She pressed the enter key, and smiled at them. “You are now under the legal guardianship of Buffy Anne Summers.”
What do you think? More? I’ve got a few more chapters written, as well as the other stories I’m working on, but this one just kept harassing me to be written.