A Kind of Magick
Title: A Kind of Magick
Genre: X-over w/ Harry Potter
Rating: PG-13, just to be safe
Summary: Xander accompanied Giles and Willow to England to make sure she settled in well with the Devon coven after her Darth Willow episode, and has a chance to check in with some of his lesser discussed relations.
Timeframe: Between seasons 6 & 7.
Disclaimer: I don't own these characters. Don't sue me, I'm poor.
It had all started simply enough for Alexander Lavelle Harris. Willow had suffered a major meltdown after Tara's death, and had tried to destroy the world to end everyone's pain. Xander, brotherly loving dope that he was, stepped into her stream of power to stop her, and then talked her down. From there, Giles wanted to take her back to England to a coven he knew to help Willow recover. Of course, Xander went along. After all, witches in Britain could equal the Ministry, and he had some serious strings he was going to pull before he was letting some stuffy tweed mongers condemn his Willow and try to toss her into some magical dimension for who knew how long. Xander already had a relative that lived through that hell, and he wasn't letting it happen to Willow.
God alone knew he didn't blame her for the one death she really caused, and therefore the only major crime she might have been tried to successfully. If he had reached Warren Meers first, despite what he might have told Buffy to placate her, skinning would have been the most merciful route the man could have taken to his demise, and Xander wouldn't have immolated his body out of it's pain nearly so soon doing it. Oh no, Meers would have suffered for touching one of Xander's girls. Still, the point was he had to check things out for Willow sake.
Much to his relief, the coven members were pure Wicca, connected to the Earth mother and everything, and not Ministry sanctioned Witches. His Willow could be safe there as she learned to temper her powers as she couldn't learning under the weight of the Hellmouth and nearly bi-annual apocalypses, or was that apocali? Only a Scooby could wonder that in his head and have it mean so much.
Regardless of how it all should have shaken down, the important thing was Willow was safe, and Xander was taking a few days of R&R sans G-man in London to clear his head. The mess with everything from Ahn, to Buffy, to discovering both screwing Spike (who was disturbing for reasons Xander would never want to share with them), to his Willow's meltdown had left the Cordelia-proclaimed Zeppo close to his own burnout and needing a few days to unwind.
He really should have known better than to risk thinking about enjoying himself specifically. Six years of fighting on the mouth of Hell should have taught him something by now. *Xander you idiot, it's bad enough to let your guard down...but to do it where you have family to get into the mix? You really are special needs sometimes*, he berated himself mentally at the sight of the freaking owl in the windowsill of his hotel room.
He took the message from the Owl's foot with a scowl on his face as he grumbled at the bird to get inside of it wanted a drink while he read the message...
Heard you were in the area and wanted to meet you for a pint or two. We have matters we /need/ to talk about. Oh, and Aunt 'Cissa wants to talk too. You know if she acknowledged she knows me it's important.
"Shit," Xander summed up with an air of defeat as he read the message for the third time. If cousin Nymphadora Tonks the Auror, and Aunt Narcissa Black - Malfoy the damned Death Eater (although she wasn't into it as much as his uncle Lucius, commonly called 'the arsemunch' by he and Tonks when they were younger) both wanted to speak with him, then things were going to get UGLY. Even Hellmouthy. "Well at least Aunt Bell didn't call. That might give me a heart attack," Xander added with a sigh as he sat down to write out his reply.
I'll meet you at the park down the street from my hotel tonight at seven. I'm not dumb enough to think you don't know where I'm staying. You come here on your own a minute early; I swear I'll be naked and dancing in ways that could horrify even you.
Xander sent the bird off with the message as soon as it was done; thankful Tonks had remembered to send a capsule that did not need to be shrunk magickally in any way. "Well, I've got a few hours to kill," he mused aloud as he looked at the clock on the wall that read 3:00. "I wonder just how much I can find to worry about in that amount of time?"
At seven precisely, Xander was sitting at a bench in the park, still fretting over just what his nutjob Witch-cop of a cousin could want. If she thought he was taking her to collect Willow, then she better be in for a practical demonstration of just how much Black Xander had truly inherited from his disowned squib of a mother, and he didn't mean with the mojo potential.
"Care to buy a posey for whateva lovely your waitin' on Govena'?" a young woman with a basket of individually wrapped flowers asked after Xander had been waiting for fifteen minutes.
Instead of replying to the question, or even looking at the vendor, Xander just sighed and tiredly said, "You're late, and I can still see through your disguises, Sprite. I didn't grow out of it, no matter how much training you went through. And you can buy your own damned flowers for your own damned self without trying to trick me."
Nymphadora Tonks was taken back by the cold tone of the only son of her youngest aunt, Jessica Black-Harris. Alex had always tried to be jovial and fun loving around her on the rare times circumstances allowed them to visit. Even if things were downright awful, she never thought she see him looking so...beaten. Still, she tried to lift his spirits as she smirked saucily and retorted, "That's, Nymph, short for Nymphadora, not Sprite, Lavelle, and you should still call me Tonks."
Xander raised his right brow lightly as he chuckled half-heartedly and replied, "I'll call you Tonks the day I stop calling Puff, Puff."
Tonks rolled her eyes as she sat down beside her cousin and chuckled. "You know he hates that," she informed him in confidential tones.
Xander shrugged as he responded, "His name is Draco, which means dragon, and he’s a Wizard who does magick, so he's Puff the Magic Dragon until the day I die."
"Nice to see your sour mop disposition hasn't dulled your humor," the Auror shot back with a nudge to his shoulder and a grin.
Xander did not meet her humor as he looked her dead in the eyes and stated, "You, a cop for a law enforcement agency I /barely/ respect, and Aunt Cissa, who's /anything/ but on the happy side of the laws you're upholding, no matter how much she covers her ass in the face of the Arsemunch's stupidity for Moldybutt's cause, have actually talked to /each other/ about speaking to me. I live on a portal to a Hell dimension, Sprite. I know glaring signs that say 'REALLY BAD THINGS AHEAD' when I read them. Nothing that has both of your attentions that needs /my/ uneducated input is of the good. So tell me what's up so I can either help, ignore you and try to play happy family, or leave before I say something we'll both regret depending on your topics."
Tonks wanted to take offense to his attitude. She really did. He was acting every bit the haughty bastard her aunt Bellatrix would have applauded, had she been willing to admit she had a youngest sister who was a squib, much less a nephew through him. But she couldn't do it. Not with that haunted, sunken look in his eyes. Her cousin was running on fumes and anyone who knew him could see it. God, it made her want to hug the life out of him and promise everything would be alright as she looked into the dead pools that were so often shining with inner fire. "Well, first off, I know you're worried about your Wicca friend that went off. I imagine that has your knickers twisted a bit from worryin' I'll ask you to help me take her in. Truth is, we have nothin' to do with her as of right now. It happened on the Hellmouth, and that's no man's land for the Ministry. Even if it wasn't, it would be the American Ministry's call, not ours, so you don't have to look at me like I'm the boogey-man here," she began earnestly.
"Cousin, after what that bastard did and was trying to do, all I can say is he's lucky Willow found him first. I'd have made Grandma and Grandpa proud with what I wanted to do to him," Xander responded with an icy tone.
Tonks did her best to suppress the shiver his tone elicited. What the hell had she let happen to him in that dreadful town to forge steel like that in his demeanor. Xander just wasn't supposed to be that openly ruthless, no matter how bad things got. Secretly that ruthless, perhaps, as someone of long standing Slytherin stock could be; but not openly in front of her. "Alex..." she fretted, as she reached out to touch his face tentatively.
"Just leave it, T'. It's been a bad three or four years. I really need some down time before I pop," she hollowly replied. "I've reached a point in my life where I need to figure out a plural to 'apocalypse'. Trust when I say I have stress issues," he continued as he closed his eyes, as if trying to banish the remembered strains by will alone.
"Well, then consider it shelved. At least to the point you're willing to talk to me. Maybe it will relieve a bit of the pressure?" she offered after a moment to brush a stray lock of hair out of Xander's eyes.
Xander looked cautious as he hedged, "Tell me what else is going down, then we'll see."
"Well, I know your watcher friend gets enough updates from the Council that you keep up on things here without much trouble. Plus I do still try to owl you when I can, so things there are pretty filled in..." Tonks began, her light English brogue tinges with thinly veiled worry.
Xander nodded along as he said, "I can already hear the 'but' here, and it's not the kind that leaves itself open to fart jokes, T'."
"Well...it involves the Order. Certain things are coming to a head, things politics won't let me address properly, but that you might be able to sneak about with," she explained.
Xander closed his eyes and tried to center himself before he opened them and looked his cousin in the eye again as he prompted, "Just come out and say what you need to, Nymphadora."
Tonks flinched at the use of her proper first name, surprisingly even more for the weary tone Xander took than the actual vocalization of the hated moniker, as she nodded and responded, "Draco's seventeen. We both know what will happen this year."
Xander growled under his breath at the thought as he nodded in return and spat, "He-Who-Should-Not-Name-Big-Bad-Minions-Because-He-Sucks-At-It wants to make Puff a pawn the same as everyone else in our family but you and I."
Tonks held in her giggle for a moment at Xander's reply. It was clear his trials had put the common fear Voldemort garnered in the Wizarding World in a new light for her muggle-raised cousin. Her demeanor was still serious, though, as she replied, "It's almost time for him to take the mark. I'm terrified for him, Xander. I know I was never allowed to get close to him, but still..."
"He's family," Xander finished for her as he nodded in agreement to her sentiment. The only contact either had with anyone else in the Black clan was through the erratic meetings Aunt Cissa would set up on occasion when the Arsemunch was out of town. Still, they both felt an obligation to try to reach out to Draco.
"He's not Dark, Xander. Not really. I can see it in his eyes when I check in on Harry. He wants out," Tonks firmly announced.
Xander pondered her words deeply as he sat on the park bench in the balmy summer night in London. "What does Aunt Cissa want?" he asked after a time.
"I don't know," Tonks admitted. "You know full well that divining her mind is impossible at times. It could be anything from wanting to discuss the Ferret, to congratulating your friend on her foray into darkness, to plotting to have me hurt, to wanting to have you gorge on her newest recipes for sweets and give your expert opinion," she added tiredly. "She just happened to mention you were on your way here yesterday during out random 'let's meet for tea out of the blue' invite from nowhere I had to conform to."
"Great," Xander summed up. "A true wild card as always. That's our Aunt Cissa," he said with a mirthless laugh.
Tonks just nodded her head in agreement with his statement.
"So, what do you say I treat you to those pints you wanted? I'll fill you in on what the Ministry PR guys probably filtered or censored horribly about ol' Boca del Infierno, and you can tell me about how your life has really been, instead of trying to condense things into your letters," Xander offered as he stood and held out his right arm.
"I think that sounds like the best thing either of us have said since I got here," Tonks responded with a wan smile of her own as she took his arm and they headed off into the night.
END PART 1