It's Time to Merge
Merging With Traffic
Disclaimer: All things Ats, BtVS, and Harry Potter belong to their respective owners, Joss Whedon and JK Rowling. However, the plot is mine as far as I can tell, so please ask if you want to use it.
Summary: Ats/HP cossover. Post You're Welcome and OotP. Instead of just hanging around in heaven after she dies, Cordelia is given a chance to live again. . . as the guardian of Harry Potter. And so a wacky adventure filled with terrified Dursleys, a perplexed Dumbledore, an annoyed Snape, an enamored Lupin, and crazy Cordeliaisms begins. Will Cordelia be able to stand not being with her friends? Will Harry finally have a family all his own? And, most importantly, will they both make it through the war with Voldemort alive?
"I'm just on a different road is all. And this is my off ramp."
So far Cordelia Chase was not enjoying being dead. She had no idea how she had gotten where she was, wherever that might be, and she did not like it one bit. One minute she was at Wolfram and Hart telling Angel, "You're welcome," and the next thing she knew she was stuck in a room with white furniture, wearing white clothes, and staring at a white wall. She hadn't found the slightest sign of another person in all the time she had been here, and she was fairly certain it had been a couple of months now.
Suddenly she placed her hands on her hips, turned her head to the ceiling and began to yell at an invisible someone. "I've said it before, and I'll say it one more time. If you killed me so I could sit on my butt and watch clouds float by windows 'til the end of time I'm gonna be really pissed! I thought I was going to get to talk fashion with Jackie O, play baseball with Ty Cobb. Not that I play baseball, or care in the slightest about Ty Cobb, but even that would be better than THIS. You'd think I'd at least get to see Doyle." When nothing happened she stamped her foot impatiently and screamed, "I'm BORED!"
Flashes of light filled the room and Cordelia muttered, "Finally. A visitor." But when the light receded there was nothing new in the room except an old television that looked like it would break if she breathed on it. She stared at it for a few seconds in shock and then said grumpily, "Fine. You want to play games with me? I will. It's got to be better than just sitting here anyway."
She sat on a soft white chair and turned the television on. Immediately a young woman appeared on screen. She had red hair that reminded her briefly of Willow before she forced herself to push away all thoughts of her now-ended life and the people she had left behind. The woman was holding a baby with black hair and green eyes so beautiful that they sucked Cordelia in and were all she was able to focus on until she realized the woman was screaming.
"No! Not Harry. Please not Harry. Take me. Kill me instead!"
"Silly girl. Very well," answered a creepy voice that sent chills down Cordelia's spine. "Avada Kedavra!"
A flash of green light filled the screen and Cordelia screamed when it hit the woman, killing her instantly. And then gasped when the owner of the voice turned towards the baby, Harry the woman had called him, and uttered the same horrible words. She screamed again and covered her eyes, unwilling to watch the little boy die. But then another voice filled the screen.
"And so began the life of Harry Potter, the Boy Who Lived."
Upon hearing that Cordelia figured it was safe to watch again and removed her hands. She watched in silence as a man twice the height of a normal person and at least three times as wide arrived and flew (yes, flew) away with Harry on a motorcycle. She watched as the sweet-looking child was left at the door of a ridiculously immaculate house by the giant (Hagrid, she learned his name was ), a man with a long white beard called Dumbledore, and a tight-lipped woman named Minerva. And she watched as the next morning a woman with the longest neck she had ever seen opened the door and screamed at the sight of the baby on her doorstep.
She watched in horror, sitting on the edge of her seat with her hands clenched as Harry was raised by his horrible aunt and uncle, frequently leaping up and yelling at the screen despite her best efforts to control herself. She was thrilled when Hagrid reappeared and told Harry about his wizard heritage; rejoiced when he learned the truth about his parents death ("Car crash. Hmph. Woman died a hero and the jealous bitch queen made her out to be some freak,"). She dug her nails into her hands so hard they bled when he was trying to save Ginny Weasley's life in the chamber of secrets and screamed in frustration when Sirius Black had to go back on the run after Peter escaped and Harry once again lost a chance at a normal home. She paced the floor in worry when Harry was facing Voldemort in the graveyard and cheered loudly when he escaped back to Hogwarts. She cried with Harry when Sirius died in the ministry, and last but not least alternated between silent fuming and well-timed glares when Dumbledore explained his actions regarding Harry to the young boy.
She assumed she was finished learning about Harry Potter when, after several days, the television disappeared after Harry marched off with the Dursleys to begin his sixteenth summer. And now that she was finished, she couldn't help but wonder why she had been shown Harry's life. After all, she was dead and he was very much alive, at least if the tv was to be believed and she felt certain it was. She was thinking about that when a door she had never noticed opened and a woman stepped into the room.
Cordelia lept to her feet and stared at the woman open-mouthed. She had only seen her on the old tv, but she knew without a doubt who she was. "Lily Potter."
The woman smiled, apparently relieved that she was in the right place. "Yes, I am Lily. We're here to talk to you about my son, Harry."
"We? Oh, we." At that moment two other people had stepped into the room. Cedric Diggory, and James Potter. James spoke first.
"War is coming. The entire wizarding community knows of Voldemort's return, now that he has ventured into the ministry. The tense peace that covers the land now will not last. Voldemort grows restless. He will strike soon. Your visions will be a great aid in the upcoming battles."
Cordelia opened her mouth to remind James that she was dead so her visions would be of no use to anyone, thank you very much, but found she could not speak.
"More innocents will die," Cedric said, continuing what Cordelia was beginning to realize was a rehearsed spiel. "Harry will blame himself, just as he does for my death, for Sirius' death. You must comfort him."
James spoke again. "The next period in Harry's life will be the most difficult he has faced so far. People expect much from him. You have heard the prophecy. You must help him fulfill it."
"I died to keep my child alive. Now he is stuck in a world where, if he is not careful, he will become nothing more than a tool which the wizarding world will seek to weild. You must speak for him," Lily finished. Now all three of them stood staring silently at Cordelia.
Suddenly Cordelia found she could speak. "Excuse me? I have to 'protect him!' I don't even know him. Besides what can I do? I'm dead. And even when I'm alive, I get visions and that's it. It's not like I have superpowers."
"You are half-demon, are you not?" James asked.
"Well, yeah, but I don't know what that means except my head's not gonna blow up if I have a particularly stressful vision and I occasionaly float! Why me?"
"We must go. We are needed elsewhere," Lily said. "Your questions will be answered by another." With that the three visitors disappeared, leaving Cordelia alone in her white room once more. She stood open-mouthed for a few seconds, staring at where they had been and then began to yell at the ceiling again. "Months of silence and then all this crap in one weak? This is RIDILCULOUS. How in the hell am I supposed to protect the kid? I'm DEAD remember?" She jumped in shock when a very familiar voice answered her question unexpectedly.
"Now Princess, did being dead ever stop Angel from helping people?"
Cordelia spun around, a huge smile lighting up her face and launched herself into the arms of the man leaning against the wall where the old tv had been. "Doyle! Oh, Doyle it's wonderful to see you. I've missed you. What are you doing here? What am I doing here? This cannot possibly be heaven!'
"I'm here to explain about Harry Potter. The kid needs help, Cordy. More than Angel ever did. He needs you."
"Oh, good grief, not this again. Why me? Why not his parents? Or his godfather, wherever he is? You know, the logical choices." she asked.
"It's a war Cordy, and these people are fighting dark magic. The only other experience these people have with someone coming back from the dead is Voldemort. If we send people back they know are dead, then they won't trust them. They'll throw them in jail, or worse, kill them again, and we'll be right back where we started. It has to be someone they don't know. Someone they can learn to trust. For Harry Potter it has to be you. You'll find out why."
"Why do the PTBs think I'll agree to this? I've done enough for them. I deserve to rest. Unless. . .do I not have choice?"
"Of course you have a choice. They can't make you go, they can only ask," Doyle said, chuckling. "And they are asking. As for the rest thing, yeah, right. You'd only been here a few hours before you were yelling that you were bored."
"Okay, well not to sound selfish Doyle, but what's in it for me? I'm twenty-three and I've been doing the fight-the-good-fight thing since I was sixteen. I'm tired."
"I know Princess. It's not selfish. It's not even that great of an offer really. All that's in it for you is that you get to be alive again. This isn't one of those, you go, you're invincible, you have lots of cool superpower things. You'll be exactly like you were before the whole Jasmine thing. A totally hot half-demon with a wicked vision thing. We don't know exactly what being half-demon entails in your case, so there may be some surprises, but nothing too shocking. You can still die. You won't be some Voldemort killing machine. That's Harry's job. He just needs someone to help take care of him, guide him, maybe tell him what to do sometimes."
"So I'll be like the Giles to his Buffy? The Wesley to his Faith? The-"
"Cordy to his Angel? Yeah, exactly."
Cordelia was silent for a long time. She thought about Sunnydale, Los Angeles. Angel. Connor. She thought about how tired she was. She thought about Harry Potter and everything he'd had to endure in his short life. She thought briefly about wearing high heels and perfume again and then she opened her mouth and told Doyle that she'd do it.
"Guess it's time for me to merge with traffic."
Several days later Cordelia was sitting in her white room talking to Cedric, Lily, and James. Now that she had accepted the PTBs offer they were letting her have company and she had spent the last couple of days talking to the people who had known Harry about the stuff she wouldn't have seen on the tapes, like his first word, and his crush on Cho Chang. They were just beginning to talk about his obsession with Quidditch when Doyle entered the room and told them to clear out, he had some things to discuss with Cordelia.
"It's all set. You go down tomorrow. You can get in touch with me whenever you need to by yelling. Which, by the way you do very well. My ears were ringing for days after that three hour lecture you gave the ceiling when you first got here. Now we've got to talk about some of the rules," he said with a bit of an impish grin.
"Ugh. I was afraid of this. Well, what are they? No revealing true mission? No mention of deadness? No supernatural-ness in front of the muddles?"
"Muggles, and yes that is one of them. Although if you were to threaten the Dursleys with it I imagine the GAs would look away for a few moments. You can tell Harry whatever you like, but only Harry. It is probably advisable not to mention his parents though. It will only lead to questions about why they couldn't come back instead of you."
Cordelia nodded grimly and then said, "GAs?"
"Guardian Angels. In Harry's case, James, Lily, and Cedric. They'll be watching to make sure you don't screw up too bad or break any major rules. Which leads rather nicely to the most important thing I have to tell you. Under absolutely no circumstances whatsoever are you to make any type of contact with Angel or anyone else at all connected to you're old life. You'll only interfere with what's going on there, not to mention make it even harder for you to stay away from them than it already will be. Do it, attempt it even, and you'll be pulled out immediately and Harry will have a new In the Flesh-er assigned to him."
"Of course I wo, wait a minute. I'm going to be in the same diminsion as Angel and the others? At the same time?" Cordelia asked. "Why couldn't I go to them?"
"No sending people they know are dead, remember? Now, any questions?" He held up a hand before she could speak and added, "Any questions not related to Angel and other things I can't answer?"
"Yes actually. Several. Why am I getting offered this chance and not James, Lily, or Cedric? I don't mean the Harry Potter case specifically, I mean the chance to be an alive again gaurdian, to someone? What was it you called me, an In the Flesh-er? Which, by the way, you seriously need to think up a new name. Heck, why not you for that matter?"
Doyle grinned. "Well, the second question is very easy to answer. I don't go because I'm in charge of the whole operation. It was my idea in fact."
"Excuse me? I think that's going a bit far on the ego trip, don't you? Inventing guardian angels. Pfft," Cordelia said, with an impatient wave of her hand.
"I didn't invent guardian angels. I came up with the idea for the system we've got now, which is that, for extraordinary people, when they need it most, they get an In the Flesh support system with guardian angel backup. As matter of fact, I almost did go down myself, when Angel went through his Darla crisis, but the program was in its infancy then and the PTBs made me stay here. Turned out to be a good thing too. It was after that when we discovered that sending people someone they know is a bad idea. We tried to send Joyce Summers to her youngest daughter a couple of times, and she thought the First Evil was just manifesting as her mother. Damn near broke the poor woman's heart too. She misses her girls."
"Well why are James, Lily, and Cedric Guardian Angels instead of In-the-Fleshers?"
"We offer everyone we recruit a choice between the two, but Sirius Black is the only one of Harry's deceased family and friends that agreed to do ItF work. I think the poor guy just wanted to know what it was like to be alive and free again. The others all chose to be GA's instead so they could watch over Harry. You could have been one too, and watched over Angel and the others."
Cordelia leapt to her feet and yelled at him, "What? Why are you telling me this now, when I've already agreed to help Harry?"
"You can still change your mind. I wish you wouldn't though. Angel doesn't need you to guard him now, he's got the others. Harry still needs you and he will for a long time."
"I'm not going to change my mind. I'll always miss Angel and the others, but if I can't be with them in person, then I want to go somewhere I can at least be alive. I think it would hurt too much to watch and not be with them. Besides, I've never even met the kid and I already love him. Kind like I loved Connor."
"Please tell me you mean you love him like you loved Connor before you got pelvic-y, 'cause that's against the rules too, you know."
Doyle only barely managed to duck the clean white pillow Cordelia sent flying at his head.
Author's Note: To those of you read this chapter the first time it was posted and complained about the formatting: I am soooo sorry. I was using a new writing program and it can't convert to html format. Of course I didn't know that until it had been posted for a few hours and several people had read (and been appalled by) it.
Thanks for reading, please review.
Next Chapter: The real fun (and action) begins when Cordelia and Harry meet and she puts the fear of Queen C into the Dursleys.