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. Also, based off of gidgetgirl's Little Scoobies Challenge, as follows:
Three to five Buffy characters (your choice) are turned into four year old children and find themselves sucked into the world of Harry Potter.
One Scooby child must be the youngest Weasley
One must be Snape's child
The Buffy characters must maintain their personalities, and ONE and only one of them (initially) must remember their former lives and the fact that they aren't really four years old. That child must convince Harry and company, as well as the other little Buffyverse kids, that something is going on back in Sunnydale and that some sort of evil wants the Buffykids out of the way for good.
Someone must throw the world’s biggest magical temper tantrum
It's not an answer to the challenge, because I'm not good with reuqirements *sweatdrop*CHAPTER ONE
Eat a Live Toad the First Thing in the Morning and Nothing Worse Will Happen to You the Rest of the Day
William Smith pulled on his shirt in dismay. It was, he decided, rather like being hugged by an over-decorated bear. No reason why, or even an explanation as to HOW that made sense in the world, but that’s what it was like. So why was he wearing it? Because It Was Uniform, as his mother had intoned when they had gotten the outfit. Pah. Uniform. If only he could go to a normal school... But no, the Powers That Be had decided he shouldn’t be a Squib, hadn’t they? He’d never asked them! They just decided! How rude!
But it was family tradition. Family bloody tradition. Stupid Hogwarts.
“William, love, it’s time for us to leave for King’s Cross!” his dear mother called up to him. He rolled his eyes. “It’s Spike,” he muttered as he shoved a final item into his trunk and sat on it in order to close it.
“Let’s move, midget. Accio trunk.” Ah, yes, that would be brother dear. Dear, dear Zacharias. One of these days he was going to wake up one arm less, Spike thought sourly. But for now, it was time to go to that annoying prep school. Damn prep school.
He continued grumbling as he stalked down the stairs, hands raking his dirty blonde curls into a semblance of order. Zacharias was already downstairs, showing off the fact he could use magic outside of school, being all big and seventeen and all. Bastard. Spike’s scowl deepened.
The moody eleven year old would have been shocked to learn that he was not the only child in England feeling the same about Hogwarts (as it was the one thing that all magical little schoolchildren looked forward to all their lives, oh yes of course). Another young boy, Jonathan, was also hating – and fearing – it. He had no older siblings, or younger ones for that matter, but he had heard plenty of the place from his father.
So he was understandably terrified, especially since his father insisted he ride the train, even though they lived in Hogsmeade. Jonathan didn’t bother to argue, just shuffled off to the station with his eyes glued to his shoes. Really, they were very interesting things! Scuff marks here and there, a tear where he had accidentally dropped a knife and just missed his foot, some ink stains – he paused. Ink stains? What? Where’d they come from?
“Jonathan!” his father snapped, and the boy started forward again with a jump. A minute or two later, having finally reached the platform wall, his father stopped him. “Remember, if anyone insults you, curse them,” his father said with a sneer. “Or, if they’re too much for you, get a Slytherin Prefect. Now go, and conduct yourself well, I don’t want to hear you were being a wimp.”
Jonathan nodded, still looking at his shoes studiously. His father sighed. “Well, go on, then.”
So he went through, dragging his trunk laboriously, hearing a slight popping noise as his father Apparated back to Hogsmeade. “’S a good thing I’m allergic to most animals,” he muttered to himself. “There’s no way I’d be able to haul a cage too.”
He blamed the trunk for the reason he ran into someone the moment he made it through the barrier. He, of course, went sprawling, while the person he ran into (he caught a vague blurred look of red hair before his glasses fell sideways) barely rocked back. “Hey, kid, you okay?” a disembodied voice asked above him, and Jonathan slid his glasses back over before standing, a bit dizzily. The owner of the voice placed a steadying hand on his shoulder and Jonathan glanced up. Red hair, as he had thought, freckled skin, Prefect badge – Oh, dear. Dear dear dear. Father would not be pleased. So not. Very bad. Not good, too.
“Uh, yeah, I’m good, uh, thanks,” Jonathan said quickly, stuttering a bit and cursing himself mentally. He gathered up his stuff and dragged it towards the train hurriedly. Minimize contact before someone sees you, idiot! He told himself.
Meanwhile, Ron was very confused. He turned towards sister and cousin. “What was that all about, do you wonder?” he asked in confusion.
Willow shrugged, glancing over the short boy struggling with his trunk to the train. “Dunno. Hey, Ron, can I go on ahead and find a compartment?” she asked her older cousin.
“Huh? Yeah, okay Willow,” he said distractedly. Ginny glanced over. Ah, Hermione had arrived. With a small girl following behind her. What the... “Hermione? You’ve got a sister?”
The brown haired Prefect rolled her eyes at her friend. “Yes, Ron, I do. This is Tara.” The girl waved shyly, peering out from behind a wave of hair in such a sweet little way that Ginny felt her heart go ‘aw’.
“How come you never said you had a sister?” Ron demanded – not that he had ever mentioned Ginny before she’d come to Hogwarts, but that was beside the point!
Hermione was saved from having to answer by a loud screeching noise and then the unmistakable sounds of a squabble starting. The group whirled around to the sight of two first years clawing at each other, a lanky brown haired girl and a beautiful dark haired one, while a boy watched on in growing nervousness. Ginny cleared her throat after a few moments. “Hey, Prefects, you want to break this up?” Ron and Hermione started, and went forward to... give them a stern talking to, Ginny supposed.
“So... What house do you want to be in?” Ginny asked Tara after a moment, as they watched Ron and Hermione drag the two girls out of their extensive catfight to the obvious relief of the boy.
Tara glanced up in surprise. “I-I-I dunno,” she whispered. “Any of t-them, I guess.” She blushed and hid her face behind her hair again. Oookay, thought Ginny, nothing there. She scanned the platform in boredom. ”Oh, hey, Harry, over here!” she called, seeing her pseudo-brother come through the wall. He lifted his head in recognition and made his way through the crowds at the same time Hermione and Ron made their way back. There were the usual greetings and hugs that came after a summer away, and they continued on to the train, where they found a compartment without much trouble. Tara dropped her stuff off in the compartment and quietly left. She knew that the four friends would want to talk alone for a while, so she decided to find some place else to sit, at least until Ron and Hermione had to go to the Prefect car.
After a while of peeking in on compartments and immediately ducking out when she noticed they were either mostly full or had older kids in them, she finally found one that was nearly empty. The only person in it at that point was a boy who looked to be about her age, sitting cross legged and who kept glancing from his book to out the window nervously.
“H-hello,” she said to the boy, who jumped and turned to face her. “I-is it okay if I sit in here?” she asked shyly, wishing there had been an empty compartment to find.
“Oh, um, yeah, sure,” the boy said quickly, scooting over a bit. “Come on in.” She sat on the bench across from him, and they both began to read quietly. They were joined, not too much later, by some others wishing to avoid the shouting and yelling going on in the rest of the train, a boy with shoulder-length golden brown hair who cracked open the heavy book assigned for history class upon entrance and the redheaded cousin of Ron and Ginny Weasley.
The group of four spent the majority of the train ride either staring out of the window, napping, or reading from their respective books, pausing to do a round of introductions when the snack cart came around and to trade books. It was rather surprising for them to find that they had reached Hogwarts, hours later, with nothing but a scant few words having passed between them in that time.
They left the train, Tara clutching her book to her chest and surveying the place through a veil of hair while Jonathan took the less subtle approach of staring at everyone nervously. Willow smiled sunnily at everyone, and the other boy didn’t bother with nervousness, just stared at everyone calmly and blankly, and just a tad creepily.
“Firs’ years over here!” came the call from a ragged giant of a man. Tara stared at him in shock, along with Willow and almost every one of the other first years. The boy from their compartment just gave him a level look, and you could only tell how unsettled he was if you looked at his eyes closely. Jonathan didn’t even blink. He was a child of Hogsmeade; he was used to things like this.
A first year next to Tara, a girl with blonde hair up in pigtails, bounced excitedly. “Ooh, that’s Hagrid, my brothers told me all about him! They say he’s really cool, and that his class is the best! Magic Creatures, I think. That’s so cool!” she whispered to Tara. “Although I’m looking forward to Defense Against the Dark Arts, I mean curses! Those are cool!” Tara stared at her blankly, and tried to ignore her mean thought of ‘I hope we’re not in the same house’.
They boarded the boats, the group from the compartment sticking together out of a sense of ‘I have no idea who you are, but I know who you are better than I know who they are’. There was some trouble when the two fighting girls from the platform sat in the same boat together, but their boat mates separated them before they caused any real damage.
Tara gasped as Hogwarts came into view, and heard her sentiments echoed across the lake (also a loud “’S bloody big!” from a blonde boy who had commandeered a boat all to himself). Even the ever-calm boy had let out a startled sound upon sight of the castle. Sure, she had seen pictures of it, and had read about it, but the real thing was much grander than any picture could possibly show, moving or not. The self-rowing boats had been a shocker, too, but her sister had told her about them over four years ago, when she had come back from her first year, so Tara hadn’t reacted much to that.
Still shocked from the beauty of her surroundings, Tara followed her classmates up to the Entrance Hall, where they all fell out into loose groups and the blonde boy began to harass the pigtailed girl, who promptly hit him. They were stopped from further fighting by a disapproving Professor McGonagall clearing her throat behind them.
She walked to the front of the group and began her speech, which Tara tuned out – Hermione had written a word-for-word account of it her first letter home – in favour of inspecting her classmates.
It was a fairly short speech, and before too long she led them into the Great Hall. Tara immediately looked up to see the ceiling, as did others who had older relatives or parents already at, or who had gone through, Hogwarts.
Professor McGonagall brought out a hat, which promptly began to sing. Tara stared at it, but didn’t catch much of what it was saying, due to the pure shock of A, a hat singing, and B, over a hundred people staring at her.
Then came the individual names. “Adams, Winston,” was first, and was made a Ravenclaw after a twenty second pondering. The boy shrugged and went over to the cheering house in blue and bronze. The blonde haired girl with pigtails wasn’t too much later, as “Creevey, Buffy!” was called out. Tara caught some soft groans from the Gryffindor table next to her, which only increased when the girl was made a lion before the hat touched her head.
Five kids later, and up came “Granger, Tara”. Tara shrunk in on herself as everyone’s attention focused on her and scuttled up to the hat, feeling thankful as it shielded her from everyone’s eyes. In the process, she managed to miss Jonathan’s horrified stare.
‘Ah, the sister to the infamous Miss Hermione Granger,’ the hat said. ’She was a hard one to sort. You’ll be easier, I think. You’d do well in Ravenclaw, or maybe Gryffindor, but the best place for you would be...’ “Hufflepuff!” the hat cried, and Tara gratefully took it off and went over to the cheering table of yellow. They greeted her with cheerful pats on the back and welcomed her to Hufflepuff – “The coolest of the houses,” a proud seventh year said. “And the funnest, of course.”
She kept her eyes away from the Gryffindor table, and looked instead at the rest of the first years to be sorted. She didn’t want to see her sister’s reaction.
In all truth, Hermione hadn’t been too happy by her little sister being made a Hufflepuff, but she was still happy for her. And, she admitted to herself grudgingly, Hufflepuff would be a lot better for shy Tara than Gryffindor’s rather boisterous nature.
Hermione’s head whipped around, followed by Ginny, Ron, and Harry’s. Lovegood? Had she heard right?
Evidently, they had. The brunette girl who had been yanking another girl’s hair out at the platform strode forward and put the hat on carefully, giving her sparring partner a smug look – why, no one knew. It declared Hufflepuff after not to long of a pause, and she stepped off primly to sit next to Tara. The four Gryffindors began to exchange looks but were distracted by the cry of “Lovegood, Wesley.”
“Another one?” Hermione muttered in despair, which changed to shock when it announced “Slytherin!” to the world. Wesley, the boy who had been watching the fight, joined his house with what was obvious as a usual nervousness.
“I didn’t know Luna had siblings,” Harry said in surprise. Ginny shook her head. “Neither did I.” Ron opened his mouth to say something and snapped it shut when Malfoy, Lindsey was called up to the hat.
Tara, from her seat in Hufflepuff, and Willow, from the midst of the unsorted, stared as the calm boy who had shared their compartment was announced a Malfoy (and a Slytherin, moments later, but that’s a bit of a forgone conclusion). The boy – who Willow had found rather cute – was a Malfoy? But... no, that just wasn’t right! It couldn’t be! He had been nice, what sentences he had actually said! He couldn’t be a Malfoy!
Thankfully, for the heart condition of those watching, it was a good six or so students later before anything else happened. “Smith, William,” was called out, and the blonde haired boy who had had the unorthodox reaction to Hogwarts came forward with an annoyed shout of “It’s SPIKE!” The seventh year Tara was seated next to snickered at the boy, who sulked his way up to the stool and sat down with a pout. The hat yelled Slytherin in a somewhat bored tone and “Spike” sulked his way to a seat next to Lindsey.
Of course, now they had to get another shock. Most of the school (except some Slytherins who were ‘too cool’ to be shocked and some Hufflepuffs who couldn’t care less or were too busy putting out sleeves that had caught on fire) stared as one of the last boys was called up.
Oh, Tara thought dazedly. Not only a Malfoy, but a Snape too. Oh, dear.
It was, of course, no surprise that the boy went to Slytherin. Tara would have been shocked if he had gone there, before she knew his name. But he was a Snape, he had to be a Slytherin, it was as foregone a conclusion as Lindsey Malfoy’s sorting. And, for that matter, Willow Weasley, the second to last person to be sorted.
The final first year was Cordelia Wood, who went off to Slytherin with barely a thought on the Sorting Hat’s part. Which should have been shocking, but the appearance of a Malfoy and a Snape overshadowed the sister of Oliver Wood (although he, upon hearing of it, was quite livid) in the same way it had overshadowed Pansy Parkinson’s sister Lilah some odd children earlier.
Dumbledore made a speech, and then came the food, but Tara merely frowned at her plate as Dawn’s loud and friendly voice filled the air around her. It was too bad, Jonathan and Lindsey being who they were. She had liked hanging out with them on the train, even if they hadn’t really done anything or talked at all.
She sighed and ate a few bites before setting her fork down and following Ernie Macmillan down to the common room, where he showed them their dorms. Tara found the bed her trunk was next to and laid down for an unrestful night of sleep.***
“Hey, you, wake up, it’s time for breakfast.”
Spike awoke to someone’s incessant poking, to his extreme annoyance. “Gerroff,” he snapped at the unfortunate second year that had been sent to wake the first years. The boy left him alone in order to rouse the others, and Spike sat up regretfully, wishing he could sleep just a couple hours more. They had been up later than most of the other new Hogwarts students, trading stories and making sarcastic comments about others at the school in the common room. He smirked. That Lilah girl had quite the mouth on her; between her, Spike, and Cordelia it had been a total snipe-fest. If only the other guys were that fun. Lindsey had made a few choice comments and had had a short bicker with Lilah, but mostly sat back watching. Jonathan was a bit high-strung, and given to flights of fancy, Spike thought, and Wesley was just too high-strung period.
It was going to be rather sad if the only people he could hang out with were two girls, thought Spike as he pulled himself out of bed. Maybe he could corrupt Jonathan, or even Wesley. They were gullible enough to work with. Lindsey was out; he seemed much too in control of everything.
But he’d save those plans for later. For now, breakfast was his goal, his Holy Grail.
He yanked his robes on without looking and stumbled down the stairs to the common room area, ignoring the fact that his robes were all tangled up and his shirt was on backwards. “Spike” Smith was not a morning person in the vaguest sense of the word. Not that he was much of an afternoon or evening person either, but he was at least coherent by then.
As he was, the other first year denizens of Slytherin would be able to count themselves lucky if he didn’t ‘accidentally’ hex them blind on his way to breakfast.
Lindsey, following behind the stumbling, muttering dirty blonde, smirked (a traditionally Slytherin expression, sure enough) and resisted his immature urge to poke him in the back and duck. He was a Malfoy, Malfoys were only supposed to act that immature to other houses.
As the hallway they were in curved around a corner, Lindsey slipped past the grumbling boy. Right into someone else. He stumbled backwards and immediately glared up at the person he had run into. A cry of “Watch where you’re going, oaf!” left his mouth before he noticed the person before him was a sixth year. A sixth year widely known as the savior of the wizarding world and personally known as his brother’s single most hated rival.
“Watch where I’m going? You ran into me, you little brat!” Harry said, instantly annoyed with the Draco Malfoy facsimile before him. It might not be very fair to say, and the kid was only eleven, but he was a Slytherin, so he probably deserved it anyway. Or would soon enough.
“Hey, I’ve got an idea, why don’t you BOTH watch where you’re going, and get the hell out of my way?” snapped a voice from behind Malfoy Junior, and Harry peered over to see a boy who was currently looking like an angered cherub. Harry blinked, and the boy growled again. “Yes, very nice owl imitation, move or I’ll bite you.”
Harry stepped aside, mostly out of surprise at being address that way by a boy half his size, but also knowing it would be a very bad idea to get into a fight with two first years on the first day of the term – or anytime, really.
From the next alcove over, Buffy Creevey rolled her eyes. Oh come on, how much of a pushover could you be before it became a medical condition?***
Breakfast. Dawn gave the delicious looking platters a confused look. How odd. Good food at school. That wasn’t something she was used to. She shrugged and piled her plate full of food. Oh well, she’d take advantage of it while it lasted.
Her mouth of porridge keeping her from talking, Dawn surveyed the timetable she had received and blinked. Now, she thought that you were only supposed to share lessons with one other house, but all of hers said ‘all houses’. That certainly wasn’t of the norm. She paused mid-chew and brought a picture of the previous night in her mind. Oh, right, there had only been about twenty-five kids there. That would explain it, kind of stupid to have eleven kids in a lesson, wasn’t it? Resuming chewing, she turned her attention back to the timetable. Defense Against the Dark Arts first, that ought to be fun! Then Potions, and Charms to round the day off. A nice, complete day. But all the older kids had said that the Potions professor, Professor Snape, was mean. Well, all right, so the exact terms used had been explicit and unprintable, but that was the gist of it.
She shrugged. They would learn soon enough for themselves, wouldn’t they? Looking across the room, she noticed someone staring at her, and she stuck out her tongue.
Wesley sighed. Why was he a Slytherin? His parents had been a Hufflepuff and a Ravenclaw, and so were his sisters, but no, he had to be a Slytherin. The boy groaned and slammed his head down on the table.
“Come on now, it’s all in your head!” a way too cheery voice said from behind him. He didn’t bother picking his head up. He’d known the boy for, what, twelve hours? But he already could peg Jonathan as one of those annoying morning people.
“Everything is in our minds, but when it starts sticking its tongue out at us, I think we should pay attention to it,” Wesley muttered morosely.
Lilah Parkinson snorted at him from her seat next to Lindsey on the other side of the table but didn’t comment, being busy with a conversation – of sorts – with Malfoy Junior at the moment.
Wesley looked at her blankly before turning to Jonathan. “So... Defense is first is it? I hope it’s only bookwork today, I read all of the books, but I’m not too good with the actual casting. What about you?”
Jonathan coughed into his orange juice and waited to set the glass down before answering. “Uh... I dunno. I’m pretty good at cursing people, and bookwork’s kind of boring, isn’t it?” Wesley turned red, and Jonathan rushed to cover what had probably sounded like an insult. “Or, y’know, it could just be rules and getting to know you stuff, they do that first class sometimes.”
He nodded reluctantly, and Jonathan breathed an inward sigh of relief. It wouldn’t do to lose any friends before he even made them, would it?
There was a loud thudding noise, and the group of first years clustered around the end of Slytherin table turned to the side. “Uh, hey, Spike.”
Said blonde boy muttered something into the table. They couldn’t quite hear it, but they were sure it included enough swear words to make a sailor blush. Especially the wimpy ones of today.
Lindsey raised an eyebrow. “Interesting. Now, feel like heading to class, or do you want to hang out with the table some more?” His only answer was a lifting of two fingers on his right hand. “Right. Class now.” The Malfoy Junior grabbed his year mate’s arm and hauled him up.***
“Now, I want you to use the Levitating Charm and anything else you know of to get past this wall,” Professor Tylers said with a smile, gesturing at a hissing “wall” of spikes that was spitting out acid.
“So, we can melt it?” Lindsey asked curiously.
“No, you can’t. No attacking it, you’re just to get past it.” This had the effect of annoying the heck out of Lindsey, to the bewilderment of all (yes, including himself).
“How do you expect us to succeed when you handcuff us with these idiotic rules?” he snapped. Lilah casually edged away from him, putting an unfortunate Ravenclaw in the way.
“I'm sorry. Did you say something?” Professor Tyler’s voice was deadly calm.
“The wall is an obstacle, right? Give me one good reason why we can't just destroy it!”
“Because I said so.”
Lindsey glowered at the teacher and slowly pulled out his wand. “Incendi-“ He was cut off by the opening of a gaping portal. Which then deposited a rather squirrelly looking man onto the ground. The first years jumped back, Lindsey yelping a quick “I didn’t do it!” as Professor Tylers sighted his wand upon the guy. He stood and brushed his clothes – his really tacky clothes, actually – off before glancing up and noticing the wand pointed directly at his forehead.