Title: Life in Oncoming Traffic
Author: Leevee of Team Socket
Pairings: Some light Spike/Tara insinuations, but none really.
Disclaimer: Buffy goes to Joss and his home-dogs (eheheheh...) as does Angel. JKR owns the HP, yo.
Spoilers: Up to “Real Me”, some for OotP, and general ones for Angel season 1 and 2
Distribution: Twisting the Hellmouth, Fanfiction.Net, Schnoogle, any place that wants it (just tell me where it’s going, I like to look and preen occasionally).
Summary: When Voldemort hires a famous chaos mage to keep the defenders of the Hellmouth at bay, no one really expected them to end up as eleven year olds with no memory of Sunnydale. So when the chaos mage decides that maybe letting the Dark Lord take over all existence could be bad for business, he winds up leading a legion of schoolchildren in a crusade against the Powers of Darkness (tm). A task that’s hard enough without the legion consisting of unorthodox Slytherins and the Gryffindors who love to hate them.
Notes: Crossover with HP, in a slightly AU sixth year.CHAPTER TWO
There are No Facts, Only Interpretations
There was a long moment of silence as the twenty-odd children and one rather short professor faced the man who had appeared from a portal. The man who was growing ever more uncomfortable about the wand pointed at him and about being continuously referred to as “the man”.
“Now, now, let’s lower that, shall we?” he asked in a thick voice. Sounded rather like he was speaking through a mouth of oatmeal, Spike thought.
“Let’s not. Mister Malfoy, go and fetch someone, will you?” Professor Tylers said. Lindsey winced, but nodded and hurried out of the room – with his wand, of course, no reason to be stupid about things. Spike smirked after his housemate. Somebody’s in trouble.
“You, go over there,” Tylers directed the stranger. “And, just to be on the safe side, petrificus totalus.” The man fell over in what seemed to Spike a singularly resigned way.
The class waited impatiently for Lindsey to return. The teacher was obviously not going to interrogate the guy in front of them, to the acute disappointment of everyone except, perhaps, Tara Granger. Who had her head bent over a book, what Spike recognized as their course book for Defense, searching for any references to portals.
He walked over to her, ignoring the whole “Slytherin for one, Slytherin for all, all other houses are beneath us!” bull that the older students had begun indoctrinating them with at the feast the previous night. “What’re you doing?” he asked politely. Well, politely for him, it was rather rude and abrupt to anyone else.
The girl’s head whipped up and she got the general expression that a deer has right before you run over it. Not really a cheery picture, that. “Uh, n- nothing.”
Spike rolled his eyes. “You’re obviously doing something. You just don’t want to tell me.” He watched her surreptitiously. He had been shy once, but the whole “I can do magic, y’all suck” thing had cured him of it. Obviously that wasn’t the case for this girl. Well, Spike thought to himself, I’ll have to get her out of it then! And it was right there that Tara Granger, Hufflepuff, became the project of one Spike Smith, Slytherin.
“I-I’m l-looking for information on p-portals,” she said with a stutter. One thing Spike hadn’t done, back when he was shy. He’d never stuttered. He had been rather pompous, though, so it was a fair trade. But anyway, back to what she was saying. Spike’s eyebrows shot up.
“Find anything yet?” he asked interestedly.
“Well, keep looking. I’ll go and grab some more books,” he said with a gesture towards the small bookshelf in the far corner of the room. Tara glanced at him in surprise. He wasn’t going to insult her, or anything, but was going to help her research? Maybe her sister had been wrong about Slytherins, unlikely as it may sound. Or maybe it was just this one, she thought with a wince as Cordelia Wood began hexing Dawn with a screech to the amusement of Lilah. There was a soft sarcastic mutter of “oh, the humanity” from the Snape boy she had ridden on the train with, but he didn’t glance up from his book.
The blonde Slytherin was walking back with some good candidates for researching and an eager look on his face when Lindsey came back, breathless, the Headmaster following behind him placidly and what looked like – yes, yes, it was Tara’s sister and her friends – behind them with worried looks.
Spike dropped his load onto the table she was sitting at and slid into the chair next to her. “Ooh, this could get interesting,” he said, bouncing just a bit in excitement. Tara surprised herself with a giggle at Spike’s behavior and he took the opportunity to look pleased with himself.
“Hey, Hermione, why is your sister sitting with a Slytherin?” Ron hissed at his friend as Professor Dumbledore and Tylers conversed in low voices.
Hermione glared at him. “I wouldn’t know, Ron,” she snapped in annoyance. Harry just rolled his eyes towards the ceiling and sighed.
Lindsey threw himself on the floor in front of Lilah and Wesley dramatically. “Wake me up when I’m dead, okay?” he groaned, flinging an arm across his face.***
It was a couple of weeks later, and still no word about what the odd man from the portal was doing at Hogwarts. Or, for that matter, why he had arrived in a portal. Or how. There wasn’t much information at all, actually. Certainly none that the “upper class” had deemed suitable for the students to know, anyway.
They did learn who the man was. Ethan Rayne, he had been introduced in all his tacky wonder at dinner the day he had arrived. He would be helping out the professors with a “problem” they were dealing with. Lindsey shook his head in dismay at that stupid excuse – or he shook his head as much as he was able to, being exhausted from his earlier detention with Filch for what Tylers had named “mouthing off and general disobedience”.
“Dumbledore’s this great wizard, right? Wouldn’t you think that maybe he’d also be, I dunno, intelligent with his lies?” Lindsey muttered around some corn.
“’E’s a Gryffindor,” was Jonathan’s simple response.
Wesley frowned at his – was it too early to call them friends? Probably, but that’s what they felt like – with distaste. “It’s just that type of comment that increases the animosity between houses!” he said sharply. To be rewarded with a general “pity the fool” facial response.
“Wes, Wes, Wes, we know that having to share your table in Potions with that redheaded Gryffindor brat’s gotta be trying, but come on now, show some Slytherin spirit!” Lindsey said, regaining some vigor in this intervention. Jonathan nodded agreement, adding in a general “sorry about that” look, as if it were his fault his father made Wesley work with the Weasley girl.
Spike made a non-committal sound of agreement, not looking up from the book he was investigating. Investigating, not reading, the intent way he was searching its pages could not be construed as mere reading in the vaguest sense of the word. Lilah and Cordelia were absent, having gone down to the other end of the table to harass the seventh years or something, or they would have added quite vocal agreements to the din.
Wesley sighed. “I suppose.”
They were on their way to class, Transfiguration (first class of the year, Lilah had had an allergic reaction to Professor McGonagall and had to go to the Hospital Wing, so she never looked forward to the class) when a third year, Dennis something, the one with the blonde sister with pigtails, pulled them all aside and told them in rushed, excited tones that the Headmaster wanted to see them, yes all of them, in his office right away. Lindsey sighed, and led them to the office, brushing aside Dennis’ offers of guidance. He knew where it was thanks to his earlier escapades (he had run into what the Slytherins liked to call the Golden Trio on his way to the dungeons, the only place in the school he had known how to get to, and they had taken him to the Headmaster’s office, a stroke of luck there).
They stood there for a while, tossing out names of different candies, until Spike yelled out “Pez!” Turned out that it was the password.
Spike turned around and shrugged at his friends wordlessly. They shrugged back, and the group of them started in. Only to immediately stop at the sight of an already almost full room. There were two Gryffindors, the pigtailed girl and the Weasley, and two Hufflepuffs, Tara and Wes’ twin who Cordelia hated, but there were also a lot of adults. Spike skipped over the four girls and focused on the grown-ups, the girls looking about as confused as Spike felt. There was Dumbledore, of course, and there was also the Ethan guy, and then some other Spike felt like he should know, but that he couldn’t remember.
Chief among them was a man, about as old as Ethan, with glasses, who had been giving the squirrelly guy a death glare to end all death glares – although Lindsey would have said that it was nothing compared to the glares their head of house could give off when you received detention. Next to him, a nervous guy who looked to be early twenties at the most who kept glancing at the assorted girl with an expression of disbelief. There was also a girl about his age staring at them with curiosity, and a muscled guy who kept twitching his eyesight over to the Buffy girl.
Wait, he had missed one. Lurking in the shadows was a guy, pretty big from what Spike could see of him. He took a step towards the light and the first year became aware that the guy had his eyes locked on him. Well, that wasn’t very polite. Spike stuck his tongue out at the shadow guy. Ha, take that!
Dumbledore cleared his throat, and Spike was brought back to wondering how so many people could fit into an office that didn’t seem that big. Magic, of course, his sarcastic side answered his unspoken question.
“I have some news for you. But perhaps it would be simpler to let Mister Rayne explain. Ethan?”
He-Who-Came-From-the-Portal stood warily, twitching from the stares of ten children and the glares of five adults – any of whom could easily beat him to a pulp. “Yes, well. About, say, a month ago, I was approached by... someone, with an easy, profitable job, namely, to get the Slayer and her friends out of the way for a while. Three months, to be exact.
“I didn’t think to ask after who wanted it done until after I’d completed the spell, and turned the Slayer and the more dangerous elements of her group –“here he paused to smirk at the strange adults in the room “- into, well, children. You, rather.”
Spike blinked. Okay, wait. What? “Be kind, rewind?” came a weak voice out of one of the Gryffindors.
“You’re not actually whoever you think you are, you’re the Slayer and groupies. And two lawyers that my contractor wanted out of the way too,” Ethan said.
“And now for the bonus question: Who’s your contractor?” the pigtailed girl asked suspiciously.
“Well, he was – note the past tense, all right? – Voldemort. I swear, I didn’t know at the time,” he finished in a rush after everyone who had heard of the Dark Lord all of their lives – or, if he was to be believed, all of three weeks – gasped in shock. Spike rolled his eyes at them. Get over yourselves already.
“And I’ve tried to change you all back, but... it isn’t really working,” Ethan said, casting a nervous glance at the guy with the glasses.
“So... who’re they?” Spike asked after a moment of quiet descended with a gesture to the adults.
“The non-dangerous groupies, I’m guessing,” Wesley said grimly.
“In a nutshell, yes. This is Xander Harris, Anya, Rupert Giles, Riley Finn, and Angel.”
“Okay, who’s who here? Because it’s really annoying trying to guess if who you all are!” the twenty-something brown haired guy, Xander, said finally, causing Willow to think something up.
“Ooh, how about we tell you who we are now, and you tell us who we were then!” she said excitedly. There were general nods all about and she smiled. “Okay, I’ll go first! I’m Willow Weasley, who was I before his spell?”
“Willow Rosenberg,” Xander said with a sad smile. “You were a really smart Wiccan college student.” The girl looked pleased with herself.
No one else wanted to go next, so Spike took it upon himself. “I’m Spike Smith, formerly known as...?”
“Spike. Just, Spike,” the shadow guy, also known as Angel, said in a voice that practically screamed “doom, death, woe is me!” He took another step into the light. “You were a vampire, one hundred and twenty years old.”
“You also had a chip implanted into your head to keep you from hurting humans,” chimed in Xander.
“A vampire? That would suck,” Spike decided. His housemates stared at him. “What?”
“You always seemed like the kind of guy that would like to be part of the evil undead,” Jonathan said with a smirk.
“Well, yeah, but come on. For all the super strength and all, there’s the whole ‘knowing how to kill you and having no qualms about it’ deal.”
“Oh. Right.” Jonathan looked thoughtful. “Okay then. I’m Jonathan Snape.”
Xander blinked. “Jonathan Levinson. I don’t know why you’d be included in the spell, unless... You did a spell, not too long ago, made yourself the most popular guy on Earth. Created an alternate reality, you were super strong and all that.”
Ethan nodded. “And the spell he used shouldn’t have done that much by a long shot. One of the reasons the spell picked him up as well, he’s pretty powerful.”
Jonathan preened at this and Lindsey groaned. “Now look what you’ve done, it’ll take a Deflating Draught to fit his head through the door now. My turn. Malfoy comma Lindsey.”
They all looked confused except for Angel. “Lindsey McDonald. You were an evil lawyer with one hand.”
“Uh, what now?”
“I cut off the other in a fight.” And shadow guy was unrepentant. Lindsey edged away from him until he bumped into Jonathan.
“Lilah Morgan. You would be the other evil lawyer.”
Here, Wesley’s twin decided to mutter something about it being redundant to say “evil lawyer” and found all eyes focused on her. “Um, Dawn Lovegood. And hey, two for the price of one, don’t forget Wesley!” she said quickly, pulling her startled brother over to her.
“Dawn Summers, sister to the Slayer, and Wesley Wyndham-Pryce, a Watcher,” said Rupert Giles, who then took off his glasses and began to clean them.
“Former Watcher, actually,” Angel added. “You – he – works – worked – for me, as a private investigator for the paranormal type of a job.”
As Wesley made a face and mouthed “Wyndham-Pryce” to himself in distaste, Cordelia decided that if little miss rising sun could go, she could too. “Cordelia Wood.”
“Cordelia Chase. A Seer for the Powers That Be, and also part of the private investigation thing.”
The last two shared looks. One of them, then, must be the Slayer. The pigtailed girl went first. “Buffy Creevey?”
“Buffy Summers. You were the Slayer.” Giles’ eyes grew misty, somewhat, before he turned another heated glare on Ethan.
“Awesome. But also sucky. Don’t they have short life spans?”
Giles nodded. “You died once.”
Now the Slytherins stared at her too. “Wicked!” exclaimed Jonathan in surprise.
“T-tara Granger?” came the soft voice. Xander turned to the last one, the small girl with light brown hair.
“Tara Maclay. Another of the smart Wiccan college student set,” he said with a smile. She returned it, shyly.
“So... what?” Spike said in irritation, interrupting their connection. He was the one that was supposed to bring her out of her shell, dang it! “Do we tell our family-not family, or what?”
“Ah, yes. Perhaps we’d all like to go down to the Great Hall to be more comfortable, and I’ll send for your siblings? And your father, Jonathan?” Professor Dumbledore asked kindly, his eyes twinkling at them.
There were nods and the odd “yeah, sure” from around the office, so they trooped down. It was class time, so they didn’t have to worry about running into any students. Dumbledore disappeared for a bit, presumably to fetch the others, and left them all in the Great Hall, shifting about uncomfortably.
Spike twitched in irritation. That stupid Angel guy – what kind of girly name was Angel, anyway? – kept looking at him. It was all he could do to keep from – all right, that was it. “What!” he snapped at Mister Tall, Dark, and Broody. “What’s your malfunction?”
The guy frowned and opened his mouth to speak, but was cut off by someone else. “Oh, great, Will, what’d you get yourself into this time?”
Spike flushed. “It’s Spike, Zacharias, and you know it!” he told his older brother angrily. “And I didn’t do anything, either,” he added as the rest of the Hogwarts students entered the Great Hall with puzzled looks on their faces. The first years scattered to their siblings, with the exception of Cordelia, whose only sibling, her brother Oliver, graduated a couple of years before, and Jonathan, whose father wasn’t exactly the type you’d run over to and hug if you wanted to keep you arms.
“Professor Dumbledore, sir, why are we here?” Hermione asked in confusion.
“Yeah, what she asked,” Draco Malfoy drawled, hiding his own confusion behind a sneer.
Spike rolled his eyes. “Let’s be blunt folks. We’re,” he gestured to his fellow eleven-year-olds, “not actually related to you. Simple as that.” Okay, it was quite a bit more complex than that, but Spike was nothing if not simple, or so his family liked to say.
“What?” was the shocked reply of the assorted sixth years. Colin and Dennis just blinked in confusion, Luna shrugged, and Ginny was too busy staring open-mouthed to bother with talking.
“Spike, what do you mean?” Zacharias asked his brother sharply, grabbing him by the shoulder and glaring.
“Perhaps,” Ethan spoke up, “I ought to explain...”***
“So, you’re actually one of the vampires we’re learning about in History of Magic?” Spike asked, leaning in and staring intently at Angel, formerly known as Angelus, of the most famous evil vampires of all time – up until he got that soul and all, that is.
“Yes, and so were you.” Angel sighed to himself, and wondered how it was that Spike could be even more annoying as a child than as a vampire. I wonder if anyone notice me clawing my eyes out.
Zacharias shook his head. He couldn’t believe it. He believed it had happened, yeah, okay, but he couldn’t believe it. He shook his head again, and looked at everyone else. The eleven-year-olds looked uncomfortable, probably due to the stares coming from their “siblings”, who looked about as freaked out and disbelieving as Zacharias felt. Except for Draco Malfoy. He was smirking, and all he had said when it had been revealed was “You were an evil lawyer? Really? And I’m what, surprised?” to his brother.
“Yes, bonding and all, but we’ve got a bit of a... problem, still,” Ethan spoke up from the corner he was sitting in. “Namely, Voldemort.”
“Quit saying that!” Ron snapped.
“Saying what? Voldemort?”
“Why?” Ethan Rayne gave Ron a very confused look. Spike shook his head. The guy was a wizard, a pretty powerful one to boot, but didn’t fear the name of Voldemort? Was that even possible? “I mean, I know of him, and I know all that, but why fear the name?”
“It’s a Chrestomanci thing.”
Ethan, and everyone else who had heard, turned around and looked at Jonathan. He looked up and blinked at them. “What? It’s a thing, from this book series, you say Chrestomanci three times, and he appears. It’s a good series,” he added defensively.
“What, you mean like ‘Chrestomanci, Chrestomanci, Chrestomanci’?” Spike asked sarcastically.
And was wholly surprised when a calm voice from behind him asked, “Yes?”