The Glitch: Chapter 1 Revision
Disclaimer: I do not own Harry Potter nor do I own Buffy the Vampire Slayer. These belong to their respective owners, creators, and various companies with respective rights.
Harry sighed while looking at the mirror in his hands. It’s my fault he’s dead.
He thought as he laughed bitterly. Hermione’s right. Who else had a ‘destiny’ they couldn’t escape?
He looked out the window. "It could’ve been Neville…but it wasn’t." He said sadly. He caught sight of the photo album sitting next to his bed; he wondered how many people in the album were dead. He wondered how many of the people would be dead at the end of the second war
"I need fresh air." Harry uttered quietly. Since Hogwarts had let out for the summer, Harry felt like a caged animal. No one will notice if I'm gone for just few minutes.
He thought. Not that he cared if they noticed to begin with.
Harry quietly moved downstairs looking at the clock on the wall before he exited, 1:43 a.m. He had plenty of time to be outside. He headed toward the park. When he arrived, he noticed the park was darker than normal but ignored it.
He went toward the playground. He'd been at the playground with damaged equipment before. After the third time Dudley had destroyed it the city wasn’t bothering to repair it for the time being. He moved toward the swings and he sat down on an undamaged one. He absently started to hum the Hogwarts’ school song as he swung into the air letting himself be lost in the lull.
Harry came to an abrupt stop when he heard rustling to his left. He kept quiet as he got off the swing with his hand on his wand.
To his left emerged three men and a woman. Each of them was dressed well out of date; it looked like they were wizards that had consulted various dated fashion magazines before going out into the muggle world.
The auburn haired, pale skinned woman looked a lot like the pictures of his maternal grandmother that he’d seen from the 1950’s. Despite the unnaturally pale skin and highly immobile hair, the woman was pretty and Harry wondered why he felt the most apprehensive from her before he looked at the others.
The three men were dressed differently, none of them matching their female companion at all. The man on the woman’s right was an oddly pale black man who could double for the disco’s era poster boy. The man next to him would have fit in wizard society if not for the fact that he did not have a trace of wizard on him.
Harry wasn’t stupid, he knew that the Victorian era had left a fashionable impression on the higher-class wizard fashion but knew that they still were on par with some of the muggle fashions.
Lastly, the man to the woman’s right was a man with orange-red hair, close to the Weasleys, with a crooked nose. He stood out the most because Harry’s attention was centered on the yellow, predatory, eyes. Harry resisted the urge to squirm and wished his inner voice would leave him alone for the moment.
In unison, the four began walking toward Harry. Harry began pack peddling while facing them. Harry quickly shot glances over his shoulder as he pack-peddled.
Even though they all stopped as one, the black man first spoke to him. “Do you wanna join us for dinner, kid?” He asked smiling, but it wasn’t a kind smile.
"N-no, I have to go home." He stuttered out as he started stepping back faster not looking behind him anymore. When a cold hand landed on his shoulder, he froze. He pulled out of the unknown assailant’s grasp and moving right so he could see both groups. The newest man was shadowed and Harry couldn’t help but shudder.
"Well you see," Drawled the woman, once again calling attention to the previous four. "You really don't have a choice." Turning in her direction, he gaped.
Yellow eyes. It hit him as she lunged toward him.
Yellow eyes, ridged forehead and fangs. Not one, but four sets, he would bet that the man to his left held them too. He'd only seen that image in two places: the history of magic and defense against the darks arts textbooks.
"Vam-Vam-Vampire!" He screeched as he backed up and ran to his left only to be stopped by the redhead.
How did he…?
"Nice to know you won't die not knowing what we are." He said smiling, fangs gleaming ominously.
The woman laughed, "I don't know, he's kind of cute, I say we turn him." She spoke with an accent, French. I’m going to die. I’m going to get eaten! Why are there vampires here in the first place?
He vaguely thought the last thought. This was not the way he pictured dying, by Death Eaters or Voldemort yes, but not by vampires. He felt his heartbeat in his ears and couldn’t make out what they said next but he didn’t care. A surge of adrenaline hit his body; he had to get away, somewhere where they weren’t so close. He couldn’t die here, not as a late night snack!
All four lunged at him; instinct urged him to slam his fist into the nearest one. He felt his breath hitch, his eyes blur, and everything around him was too sharp and unfocused at the same time. He felt them behind him, in front, and to the side; he didn’t care how he jumped over them even though it caused them to crash into each other. He made a mad dash for the nearest exit he knew of. He was running, instinct told him to run, he didn’t care that his muscles burned with satisfaction, he just wanted to get out of there.
He was running too fast. He knew he shouldn’t be able to run this fast. He didn’t care. He just needed to get away from them. He didn’t stop but instead slammed into someone. Harry didn't wait for their reaction, he jumped back thinking they could be vampires. Stumbling back, he straightened and looked up at whom he had crashed into.
He had crashed into a red haired woman. Even though she had a pale complexion, he knew she wasn't a vampire. Next to her was an older man, his hair was graying, and he had a scholarly look to him yet there was a slightly dangerous air around him.
"Oomph!" The redhead had drawn before she stood up. “Sorry about that, should have seen you coming.” She apologized softly looking unsure.
Harry was disoriented. There had been vampires, and he had run, then these people. Oh Merlin! Vampires! He couldn't leave these muggles to the vampires; they wouldn’t stand a chance. He had to get his wand out; he could probably destroy or bind the vampires from this length but not with muggles around.
"You have to leave! I know this may sound crazy but there are vampires behind me!" He screeched emphasizing vampires. On cue four vampires came into view, their game faces on. Harry cursed in his mind; once he started to use his magic, he was sure the aurors would obliviate the muggles, which was something he was trying to avoid.
The red head and older man pulled him behind them. They weren’t surprised,
Harry noted, they weren’t surprised!
He watched, feeling surreal, as the two pulled out stakes. Since when did muggles know about vampires? He vaguely thought.
The vampires lunged at them. The fact that they fought them quite well was a surprise to him. They knew about vampires, making him wonder if they were hunting them. He could only watch them fight in slight awe. What felt like minutes were actually seconds, before he sprang to help them.
Somewhere in it, he had ended up pulling off one of the vampires off the redhead. He didn’t recall moving, but he had to help her. All too quickly, the vampires turned to dust. He watched in mixed horror and awe as the layers of flesh and bone turned to ash. The last thing he noted was the skeleton, just like the DADA books had described.
"Thanks for the help." the redhead proclaimed while turning to the man. Harry realized she was American, he hadn’t noticed before. "Giles, if there are vamps here then that means she might to be close. Now do you know which way to go?" Giles turned to the redhead slightly annoyed.
Shaking the dust off his clothing, this Giles stood curtly looking at the American before he began to clean his spectacles of dust. "I couldn’t possibly know, Willow. Check the map. And vampires don’t necessarily mean she’s here." he spoke at her with a cultured English accent.
Harry felt like laughing. They weren’t at all surprised and were the calm ones. Here he thought he would have to pull it together and explain it to them. He watched as Willow pulled out a map.
It was when there was a small illumination coming from the map did he start to suspect they weren’t muggles. Were these two wizards? Harry thought overcoming some of his mild shock. No, wizards would have used their wands. Unless they were trained differently?
Just because they two could be muggles did not mean they weren’t dangerous. He grew wary. Who are they looking for?
Harry avoided shuffling from one foot to the next, he didn’t want to draw attention to themselves. Calm down, Harry.
Taking a deep breath, Harry tried to sort out what was going on.
He still wasn’t sure how his body manage to pull off a full grown man’s body off of this Willow or how he had jumped over several of them, but he did know that he had to keep cautious. He’d attribute it to magic if he couldn’t explain it any other way. He was sure he had heard of people doing extraordinary things under danger, he had done enough of those, but those usually involved magic in his case and not amazing feats of physical prowess.
He kept his eyes on the two wondering if he could get away and regretting leaving his room. When Willow began to look puzzled, Harry wondered if something was wrong. Okay, vampires could mean that some girl is around. Right, because that makes perfect sense. Kidnapped girl maybe?
“This can’t be right! It says she should be right next to us.” Harry didn’t bother to look around. He knew they wasn’t anyone around them unless someone had and invisibility cloak, which he doubted. He tensed, ready to draw his wand. He discreetly moved to where Willow was pointing. No one with an invisibility cloak. At least I didn’t do that too obviously.
He thought feeling slightly foolish and unhappy.
She turned to Harry puzzled, “Excuse me, have you seen any teenage girls around here by chance?” Willow’s tone of voice clearly pointed out that she didn’t think he did. Wait, any girl? Not just a girl.
Feeling suspicious, Harry shook his head not completely understanding what was going one. He felt disoriented and everything from mild confusion to anger. He still didn’t have the slightest clue what was going on other than these two maybe-non-muggles were acting as if this happened all the time and he hadn’t experienced a near death experience again.
Come on Harry! He snapped. Vampires, girl, spell, two people roaming in the neighborhood in the middle of the night. Make it work!
Willow looked at the map then moved around him and the older gentleman. She looked frustrated as she cried out suddenly, “It doesn’t make any sense! It says she should be right here!” She said pointing to Harry. Harry tensed, definitely not normal. Even good Samaritans don’t go wandering in the middle of the night with locator spell meant to find teenage girls. They’re either perverts or kidnappers.
He thought. Or loons,
he thought the last bit good naturedly before realizing that that would be the bright side.
Suddenly, the man looked at him with surprise. "It's him!" There was surprise in his voice. Whatever they were looking for made him incredulous. Harry’s suspicions solidified. Middle aged man wandering around with a young woman but she certainly wasn’t a teenager looking for a teenage girl but instead had found a teenage boy. That was the problem.That’s not troublesome behavior at all.
He thought while trying to keep calm. "Boy, what's your name?"Okay, At least they’re not wizards that recognize me off the bat.
"Neville Longbottom." He snapped irritated at being called boy. I need to stop using Neville’s name.
He thought. Surely, they would refute it and identify him as Harry Potter in no time at all. He thought positive that his scar wouldn’t remain hidden for long if someone insisted he was indeed Harry Potter and demanded that he prove he wasn't.
"I've heard that name before but I can’t remember. Giles?" Giles frowned evidently neither could him. Probably the Daily Prophet.
“Mr. Longbottom, I hope you will not mind but it would seem that we have a possible misunderstanding. If this doesn’t bother would you mind coming along with us? It’s not the best method but I’m afraid it seems there’s some confusion with our...” he paused while staring at Harry. “You knew about vampires.” Harry nodded slowly. They finally noticed that tidbit?
“Do you know about magic as well?” Harry nodded, tensing slightly. “Would you come along with us? It’s imperative that this be fixed.” He said motioning to Willow’s map. A quick incantation and the map lit up. Harry stared, the sight adding to his confusion. Who are these people!
He thought angrily.
He held onto his wand even though his heart felt like it was going a hundred miles per hour. Willow seemed to notice his anxiety keeping the map down. “You don’t have to come with us, Melvin?” her voice ended with her questioning her choice of name as she tried to pacify him.Melvin? How on earth did she get Melvin from Neville?
Harry made a face; at least that even wasn’t his fake name. “Neville.” Harry corrected.
She failed to hide her chagrin. “Sorry, Neville.” She corrected. “It’s just that,” She sighed. “It’s important that we see what went wrong with this spell. People’s lives are at stake.” She admitted. As if I haven’t heard that one before. It’s probably their lives or hers depending on which of the two is in charge.
“You find people with it.” Harry announced clearly thinking it wasn’t a good thing.
“I can. It isn’t easy but it’s possible.” Willow stated. “It’s complicated, and difficult to reproduce.” Willow said without revealing any real information. “It’s meant to locate people we have affected and help them because they may be in danger without the information we provide.” She said diplomatically. Or you could put them in danger with this ‘information’.
Harry was not convinced but tried another approach. “I’ve lived in this neighborhood all my life, if you tell me who you’re looking for maybe I can help?” Which was true, the neighbors would yell at him but he could certainly ‘point’ them in the right direction. Preferably as far a way as possible from here.
As much as he hated his family and his childhood some of the neighbors had been kind or were still civil to Harry.
The gazed at each other, Harry knew that look. Willow shuffled. “Um, you see, we’re not really sure exactly who we’re looking for.” Merlin hates me, that's the only explanation for this mess or I’m cursed. I really hope I’m not cursed.
“Do you know what they look like?” He asked still keeping his voice good-natured even though he felt anything but that. “Sometimes that helps because as mean as it sounds, if you’re looking for a girl who looks like a bull dog, then you’re probably looking for the Hermits.” Harry shook his head sadly. “It’s sad especially since they’re lovely people otherwise.”
Giles cleared his throat looking uncomfortable. “You see, the spell is meant to locate young women, they should be the only ones affected. If you’re affected by our spell then something is wrong.” He clarified. “We’re not exactly sure who we are looking for but once we spot them we are quite certain we have the gi—target.” He was going to say girl wasn’t he?
“So you want me to come with you to see what went wrong.” Harry repeated trying to decide what to do and feeling unsure. They weren’t telling him something very important and Harry had no idea what the danger could be. For all he knew they were the danger.
Willow nodded. “Yeah, if we can figure out what went wrong then we wouldn’t waste anytime looking at dead ends.” Her eyes met Harry.
Harry felt confused and slightly angered. He came out to relax and was now involved in this mess. “And if I don’t want to come?” He asked wand hidden in his sleeves.
Giles looked unhappy at the question. “We will not force you to come.” He replied although Harry could probably bet that he’d see more of them if they planned to fix the spell if they only had him as the only glitch; that was going to be hard to explain. He wants me to come. Her spell, her surprise, his want? Please don't’ be perverts.
Harry grimaced, anger visible. “Fine, just get me back before dawn.” He snapped, tired and having run out of patience. I hate it when Hermione’s right.
Willow nodded. “I can do that.”
Harry didn’t know why, but he had a feeling this was going to be another life changing experience. Sometimes, he really hated his life.