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The Key to Glory

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Summary: Ethan Rayne is up to his old tricks again, and Buffy and the others find themselves in a dimension even they didn’t believe in.

Categories Author Rating Chapters Words Recs Reviews Hits Published Updated Complete
Harry Potter > GeneralwinterdFR15310,7020144,58516 Apr 0521 Apr 05No

Lives Less Ordinary

Disclaimer and summary in first chapter.

ETA - I forgot to post with this chapter, that the Harry Potter series takes place in the ninties (91-98 I believe). So, this takes place during the summer sixth year, which would make this the summer of '96. The Buffy people came the summer of '02 I believe (I know that the OotP wasn't published until '03, but lets just say it was '02 instead). And I know that it will still make this part of the story confusing, but I'm going to try and make everything clear in the next couple of chapters. :)

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Chapter Two:
Lives Less Ordinary

The blonde teenager sighed as she sat back in her chair, twisting the long string of gum between her fingers before putting it back into her mouth. She was bored.

The club wasn’t that busy this time of night, mostly filled with teenagers who would be kicked out when it turned eleven and the ‘adult’ crowed had use of the place. And this club didn’t even get interesting until around twelve when the live band would come on, but she knew she wouldn’t be allowed to stay.

God it sucked to be fifteen.

Cassandra was sitting across from her, talking vividly with Tiffany about the J.T. McMoore, the new running back at school, and how cute his butt looked in the football uniform. Jennifer, as always, agreed with Cassie.

Of course, when Jen made the comment that he had asked her out the year prior, she conveniently left out the fact she told him no because he was short with braces and had ‘satellite dishes attached to the side of his head.’ But, since his growth sprit over the summer and his induction into football, all the cheerleaders fawned over him. To the amusement of her friends, J.T. pretended that Jen wasn’t even alive.

“He is just sooo fine,” Jennifer sighed, stirring her drink with a dreamy look on her face. “Like, at a Brad Pitt level of fineness. Right, Buffy?”

‘As if,’ Buffy thought. “I’d say more around Christian Slater level. You know, still drool worthy, but not god level like Brad.”

“Whatever,” Jennifer said. “You just think that because he doesn’t fall at your feet.”

“So not true,” Buffy bit back.

“So true,” Jen said.

“All right, guys, like, loosen the claws,” Cassie said. “No reason to like go all Linda Blare on each other.”

“Totally, Jen,” Tiffany said. “Cause, the only salty-goodness in Buffy’s life now is Mark.”

Together, as if in on cue, the three girls ‘ooo’ and caused the blonde cheerleader to blush.

Okay, so it was true she had been major league crushin’ on the star baseball player since school started back last week, but it was still in baby stages involving short skirts and low cut shirt with some innocent flirting; not pretending to ignore the finer of the male species at her school stage.

“So,” Cassie said, smiling at her friend. “When’s he asking you out?”

Buffy shrugged, but returned the same coy smile. “Well, he’s got practice tomorrow afternoon, so I might drop by after cheerleading and, you know, watch. He should be asking me out by the end.”

The girl’s nodded their heads in approval. Yeah, all Buffy would have to do was show up in her cheerleading uniform, and half the guys on the field would be ready to take her out on Saturday. Really, guys were so easy. Just show enough skin to make them think about sex, and they’ll be ready to do anything you command.

'And then he said, ‘I’m seventeen. Looking at linoleum makes me think about sex.’'

Buffy frowned as the thought passed through her head, said in a familiar female’s voice. It was weird, like she could remember someone saying that once, but she couldn’t remember who.

'Must have been one of the girls,' she thought with a shrug.

The song being pumped threw the large speakers on the side of the stage changed over to a fast pace beat. Jennifer’s jaw dropped open from joy, and she slapped her hands onto the table.

“Oh my God. I love this song.” Jumping up from the table, she grabbed the girl closest to her – which happened to be Tiffany – and dragged her towards the dance floor.

The taller blonde girl looked over to the two cheerleaders still seated at the table, silently pleading for them to come with them. Cassie smiled and stood up to follow, but Buffy remained in her seat.

“Come with?” she asked.

“Nah, I think I’ll hit the ladies room,” Buffy said, reaching under the table for her purse.

With a shrug, Cassie turned towards the dance floor and said, “K.”

Buffy headed towards the back of the club, clutching her Gucci bag closely to her as she weaved through the crowd of underage teenagers.

A group of girls came out from the restroom as Buffy approached and she recognized several of them from her third period science class. They were laughing as they left, but still sneered once they realized that it really was Buffy Summers that they just passed.

The bathroom was empty except for her, so she had her choice spot of mirror space. Dropping her purse onto the counter, Buffy opened it up and pulled out a small tube of lipstick; Red Wine, known to drive the guys absolutely crazy.

Popping off the top, Buffy leaned in close to the mirror to apply the lipstick when her stomach twisted painfully. She let out a sharp yelp, but it did little help. In fact, it was getting worse by the second.

Another sharp pain hit even harder, causing her to grab hold of the counter to keep from falling. Her nails scratched the white top, but left no marks.

It felt as if someone was stabbing her again and again; first in the stomach, then in the back, and was now slowly covering every inch of her body.

With her eyes watering, she looked at herself in the mirror and was shocked as her body seemed to be changing rapidly on its own. She was growing a couple of inches, and her rather flat chest was filling out. Her hips were becoming more and more define as what was left of her baby fat magically disappeared. Buffy looked up into her eyes, not paying attention as her trendy Jennifer Anastin hair cut grew into longer, softer and dark locks.

There was something in her eyes that made her stare. Something that looked old and tired, like it had seen more than enough of this world. But there was also the flicker of hope and fire to keep going on no matter what. After all, people were depending on her.

The confusing realization had no more than crossed her thoughts when the worst of the pain hit her right behind the eyes. Then, fifteen-year-old Buffy heard herself scream and felt her body fall as she slipped into darkness.

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Xander sat back in the movie theater seat, his feet propped up on the chair in front of him as slurped on his large soda.

There weren’t many people there, but that could have something to do with the fact that it was Tuesday and this movie had been playing there for almost a month now. And most of the kids in his class would be at the Bronze since some new band was playing.

Only the geekiest of the geeks went to the movies during the week, but, hey, it was better than being the same room with Cordelia Chase her little band of no-brains. He already had to suffer with them through school hours; he’d rather not be within a hundred miles of them during off hours. One could only take so much talk about the newest fashion line and how ‘they should let Sophomores run for Homecoming Queen because no one compared to Cordy’ in one day before it felt like the life was being sucked right out of you. He was also pretty sure that if any of the Cordettes had an original thought, they would have to be hospitalized for a week from exhaustion.

Will Smith had just shot down the alien space ship and was leading another on a chase through a narrow canyon, when Xander heard Jesse groan next to him.

“Out of popcorn,” the sixteen-year-old said, swishing the few cornels around the bottom of the giant tub. “I’m going to get some more.”

“Oh, come on,” Xander whined as his best friend stood up. “You’re going to miss his alien taunting.”

Jesse just waved him off and started up the isle to the concession stand.

He was torn. On the one hand, the more popcorn, the better. On the other hand, this was only the fifth time they had seen Independence Day. If they kept getting up in the middle of the movie for stupid things like food or drinks or bathroom breaks, then they could never proudly call themselves true fans of sci-fi.

That settles it. Next time, they were buying two jumbo popcorns, so there would be no way they would get up.

With a groan, Xander slouched back against the chair, and continued to drink through the straw when he felt as if someone had just kicked him the stomach. He yelped as he dropped his drink and slapped his feet against the ground, causing the few other people in the theater to ‘shhh’ him.

There was another stab of pain in his chest. The teenager tried to call out for help, but his throat was closed up and wouldn’t allow it.

There were twin stabs in his arms then in his legs, and he was sure he was going to die right there in the theater.

Xander whimpered softly to himself, praying for the pain to go away when the final and worse one came. It felt like someone had driven a dull butter knife right through his temple, and then he remembered nothing.

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Fat tears rolled down the girl’s cheeks as she ran down the hallway, trying to find a door that would lead out.

This wasn’t supposed be happening. She shouldn’t be running for her life, praying to God that that horrid creature wouldn’t find her. It was only supposed to be a little fun with Louie. But the fun had quickly ended when her boyfriend had been killed by that monstrous dark-haired woman and the blond man had gone after her.

She didn’t know that this was what he loved; what he lived for. The thrill of the hunt. The smell of fear. The taste of death as her life drained away between his lips. No, she didn’t know and never would because her life would be over before then.

Spike swaggered out into the middle of the hallway, not bothering to try and sneak up on the girl. There was no where for her to run. He had made sure that all the doors were locked up to tight so Dru couldn’t accidentally wonder into a room full of sunlight, and upstairs hall held no escape even if she did manage to get into one of the rooms. This girl, who was frantically pulling on the last door handle at the end of the hall, was his.

“That’s right, precious,” he said, stalking towards his pray. “Make that lovely blood of yours pump even faster. Makes the taste even richer, it does.”

Francesca knew some English, but foreign language really wasn’t the French girl’s strong point. She knew enough to know that he wanted her frighten because of something to do with her blood.

Spike smirked as the girl stepped away from the door and looked around for a weapon. She grabbed a candle stick off an end-table and clutched it like a cricket bat.

“Tut, tut, kitten,” he said. “If you’re not careful, you’ll break something.”

Grinding her teeth together, Francesca closed her eyes and swung with all her might at his head. Spike easily dodged it, then grabbed her and pulled her back against his body. He held her arms so they were locked at her sides, and a chuckling growl rumbled from his chest as she struggled and cried against his grip.

She smelled like peppermint, cigarettes, and fear.

When the girl squeaked in panic, Spike’s demonic features slipped over his face and bit into the girl’s neck. Her blood quickly filled his mouth and he drank greedily from like a man dying of thirst having just discovered a water fountain. She tasted good; young, innocent, and sweet.

Too sweet. Making his stomach hurt. Making his whole body hurt.

Yelping, he pushed the girl away from him. She crumbled to the ground, unconscious, but very much a live.

Spike pushed his palms against his forehead as the pain traveled through him.

Then he began to hear them. The cries from the past. The cries from all the people he killed. Instead of relishing in them as he demon wanted, he felt as if he was going to be sick. They grew louder and louder until they were almost deafening.

He slid down the wall because the pain in his legs wouldn’t allow him to stand any longer.

He opened his eyes and looked at the girl lying at his feet. His heart that had been dead for a hundred and fifteen years broke at the sight, and he was horrified at what he had done.

But why?

Then, it felt as if a railroad spike had been driven through his skull before he blacked out.

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Willow titled her head, looking at the new fountain that had been placed in the lobby to greet visitors. It was large – much larger than the one she had seen when her class had gone to Senate’s headquarters in New York when she was in third year.

She could remember her classmate Amy, a girl who had also come from Sunnydale, saying that it looked like the artesian had been ‘over compensating for something’ because of the male wizard’s wand size. The kids with at least one Muggle parent in her class had laughed, but, like all the others from wizard families, Willow hadn’t gotten the joke.

Well, if Amy had laughed at that wand, she would be rolling on the ground if she saw this one.

Like everyone else in the wizarding world, Willow had heard what had happened to the last fountain that stood there a little more than a month ago. In fact, that was why she found herself standing the middle of the Ministry of Magic. Both her parents worked for the United States Senate for Witches and Wizards, which’s function very much like the Ministry.

Her parents had been chosen as representatives for the Senate to come to Great Britain for talks about what to do about You-Know-Who. Magical government from all over the world had sent representatives, and this was turning out to be the largest meeting of their kind to be held in over five-hundred years. But, considering what it was about and what was at stake, it wasn’t all that surprising.

Willow didn’t remember a thing about when He-Who-Shall-Not-Be-Named had been in power. She had only been six months old when he was defeated by Harry Potter, so all the stories she had heard had been second hand or from history books.

When she had been a child, she could remember her and her friends used to dare each other to say his name. It had been a contest between them, to see who was the bravest because legend had that if you said his name three times he would appear and kill you. She had learned that here in Europe, no one would even say his name once in fear of summoning him, but back home they weren’t quite so scared. Of course, it was easy to be brave when you had an ocean and a country between you and him.

Most of the time, the girls would flat out refuse to say his name even once, claiming that they would just be inviting trouble. Some of the boys would make it to saying it twice, but then find some excuse to not do so a third time.

Willow had said it three times once, astounding all her friends. She didn’t know where that spurt of bravery had come from; like the other girls she usually refused to say it once. Then Marcus Tellney had made fun of her, calling her a nerdy, bookworm coward, and Willow had just felt the need to prove him wrong. So, she said the name three times, and not so much as a sneeze happened to her. It had gotten them off her back, but they also stopped playing that because ‘if Rosenberg can do it, so can anybody else’, though no one did.

Glancing at her wristwatch, Willow sighed and looked to the elevator. The early morning meetings would be adjourning soon, and her parents had promised they’d have brunch together, even though she doubted that. Most likely what would happen would be that the meeting would run over, Ira and/or Shelia would show up for just a moment, say sorry, pile her down with some gold, and tell her they would see her for dinner and to have a good time in Diagon Alley until then.

Really, she didn’t even know why they had bothered to bring her with them to Britain. Yes, she knew her parents were very busy people, and what they did was important for their kind, but it would have been nice to at least see them for more than ten minute intervals between meetings.

With a sigh, Willow reached into her pocket, pulled out a couple of Gaellons, and dropped them into the water. The sick would make batter use of them than she would.

Knowing that her parents would be late anyway, the fifteen-year-old decided to do a bit of exploring and try and find the gift shop. Even though she had plenty of souvenirs that she had already bought from Diagon Alley, she wanted one from the Ministry because one never knew what one could find in a gift shop.

After submitting to a security check, she climbed on board the elevator, and patiently waited as they rode it through all the floors, stopping on every one, but never heard anything about what she wanted.

They then went back towards the level she had gotten in on, people and memo getting on and off constantly, and nobody noticing the underage witch in the back. That didn’t bother Willow; she had a knack for disappearing in plane sight and not by any magical means.

She had lost track of what floor they had stopped on when a younger man with red-hair much like her own stepped onto the elevator. He seemed rather aggravated with something and kept muttering under his breath about ‘tedious, thankless work’ and ‘why can’t someone else do it?’ It wasn’t until he mentioned that ‘he was the Minister’s assistant and should be in the meeting’ that Willow made her presents known to him.

“Excuse me,” she said, stepping away from the wall.

He turned around and it struck Willow just how young he really was. He only looked to be a few years older than herself, which made the fact that if he really was the Minister’s assistant pretty impressive.

Willow placed a smile on her face and said, “I couldn’t help overhear you say that you’re the Minister’s assistant. Is that true?”

Puffing out his chest, the man said, “Yes, that’s correct.”

Her smile grew and she asked, “Do you know if the meeting is almost over?”

His rather pompous attitude dropped and he became much more cautious as he asked, “And what business would it be of yours?”

“Oh, my parents…I mean, um, that they’re at the meeting and I was just like, you know, hoping that it’d be out soon because we were suppose to, um, have brunch but I haven’t seen them or anything and I just thought, since you’re the minister’s assistant, that you would, you know, know more then me,” she babbled.

This guy, for his part, was staring at her like she had grown another head. Guess he hadn’t meet many babblers before.

“I’m Willow, by-the-way,” she said, extending her hand out to him. “My parents are Ira and Shelia Rosenberg.”

That seemed to jog something in the young man’s mind, because the defensive, confused persona melted into a much friendlier one.

“Oh, you’re the Rosenberg’s daughter,” he said, taking her hand and shaking it. “I’m surprised I didn’t see it before. You look an awful lot like your father.”

“Um…thanks,” Willow said not sure if she should or shouldn’t be insulted by that. Her father, after all, had a bushy beard and matching mustache, not to mention weighed a little over two hundred pounds even though he was only around five nine. She had his red hair, but she had always thought that was where the similarities ended.

“I’m Percy,” the young man said, not noticing or not caring that he probably just insulted her. “Percy Weasley.”

“Pleasure,” she said in that ‘always be polite’ tone that her mother had taught her. “So, do you know?”

The edges of Percy’s lips twitch and he had to fight to keep the smile on his face. Deciding it was too much of an effort, he turned away from Willow and looked at the doors so she couldn’t see his face.

“I’m afraid I don’t know,” he said. “The Minister has seen fit for myself to pursue other matters for the Ministry while the meeting is being held.”

“Oh,” Willow said. “Well, thanks anyway.”

The elevator announced they were on the bottom floor and Percy hurried out.

“Oh, one more question,” the witch said. The young man paused and waited. “Where’s the gift shop?”

“I believe it is closed until further notice,” Percy answered, then turned and headed off down the hall.

Willow stepped back into the empty elevator and sighed as the doors closed. That was just great. So she had been riding up and down on this thing for-.

The young witch doubled over, clutching her stomach, as something very painful hit her from the inside. She gasped from breath, reaching for anything to help support her on her fast weakening knees.

Her hand brushed against the elevator’s buttons, and accidentally pressed the emergency stop. The lift shuttered to a stop, throwing her to knees before she feel onto her side and curled up into a fetal position.

“Please indicate which floor you would like,” the female voice that announced the floors said politely over head. “Please indicate which floor…”

Willow whimpered from the pain that was traveling through her body, but that wasn’t what was scaring her. Deep inside her, she could feel her power growing, changing, but she knew that it wasn’t good. There was darkness there, darkness she never dreamed would be in her. Just the thought of it, made her already hurt stomach lurch.

The pain and power traveled up her body, and it felt as if she were on fire. She screamed when it reached her mind. Her chest lifted off the ground, her eyes turned black, and then she lost consciousness.

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Percy frowned as he followed behind the old Unspeakable as he led him through the Department of Mysteries.

The Minister had ordered his assistant to go down to the department and make sure it was cleansed of the dark magic curses that the Death Eaters had left behind. The Aurors had insured the Minister that they had gotten all of them, but he said that they couldn’t be too careful with all the delegates here; so, he had sent Percy as a glorified janitor to make sure that everything was in ordered.

He should be upstairs with the others, helping make the important decisions; not locked away in a dark, dank department, looking for things that are already gone. Besides, it wasn’t as if any of the delegates would be coming near the Department of Mysteries, unless Fudge had something planned that even Percy didn’t know anything about. He really didn’t think that the Minister would keep something important from him; or he hoped he wouldn’t.

“Suppose’n you’ll want to check ‘n here first,” the Unspeakable – what did he say his name was? Connell? Connors? – said, opening one of the doors, seemingly, at random.

Inside was a set of stairs that lead down to arch with a thick veil hanging inside of it. This had been where the main battle had taken place with the Death Eaters, according to Dumbledore and several others. It was also were most of the arrest took place, so the story of the battle fitted.

Percy nodded to the Unspeakable – Conery? – who left the assistant to his work. Breathing in deeply, the redheaded man began his decent into the room.

Truth be told, Percy didn’t know what the arch was. No one did, not for sure anyway.

Most people claimed that it was a gateway between life and death that some crazy witch had cooked up thousands of years ago using the ancient magicks. They say she passed threw it, and never came out again. No one who had ever went through the veil ever returned – which did leaned credence to the whole life and death theory – and those who had seen death say that they can hear voice on the other side. Still, there was no solid proof for anything regarding the arch and veil, except to pass through it was to pass out of this world.

“Well, best be to it,” Percy said to himself.

He raised his wand and thought over the spells he had learned that allowed him to check for the dark magic the Death Eaters left behind. What he wanted was one that would cover the most ground and be the most accurate so he could get out of there as quickly as he could. He still did have several other places in the Department of Mysteries to go.

Not to mention that the arch was giving him the creeps.

Deciding on a spell, Percy swung his wand through the air and began to speak when heard it; a rip. He turned towards the sound but did not have the chance to inspect where it came from before another one followed, only, this time it was of stone cracking like it had been hit with a sledgehammer.

Percy watched in horror as the arch began to crumble in on itself, large bits falling away and taking long rips of the veil with it to the ground.

He turned to the door he had come through. Surely someone would come to see what the racket was about. But no one came, and there was nothing he could do to stop the destruction.

A large chunk of the arch crashed to the ground and shatter like a china plate against a stone floor, slinging bits and pieces of itself at the young man. He ducked to the side, covering his head and hoping that it would be over soon. There were more crashes, more dust, and much more destruction before the last of the rocks tumbled onto the floor.

When Percy didn’t hear anything, he lifted his head and looked to where the arch had once been. There was nothing left, except for the two base rocks that had held it up. All across the floor lay bits of debris and rumble, with a large pile of what was left of the veil in the middle of it.

The Minister was going to have his arse for this. Even if he hadn’t done anything, Percy knew someone was going to have to pay for this destruction, and he was the only one present when it happened.

He had been so caught up in imagining the different way he would be punished, that he screamed like a school girl when something moaned painfully underneath the pile of the veil.

What the…?

Clutching his wand, Percy carefully moved across the room and towards the pile. He tried to not make a sound and was very glad that he had worn his new pair of boots that day instead of the old ones that creaked every other step.

The pile moved and the young assistant readied to defend himself.

Oh, how he wished that he had paid more attention in the few Dueling Club meetings he had gone to during sixth year.

Gritting his teeth, he closed his eyes and thought threw all the curses and hexes that he knew.

“Um…hey,” a small, female voice said.

Percy opened his eyes and felt his jaw drop. Standing before him, was a young, teenage girl. She was tall and lanky, with straight, long brown hair that fell down her body. Her round blue doe eyes were full of confusion, and a nervous half-smile was on her face.

But what was making Percy stare was the fact that the mysterious girl was completely starker.

The young girl titled her head to the side as she regarded him, then looked down at herself. The confusion and nervousness was quickly replaced by horror as she screamed and grabbed for the veil around her feet to cover herself.

Percy himself blinked at her, then passed out.

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Harry spilled a bottle of ink onto his parchment, ruining his essay for Potions that would due when he returned to school in less than a month. His scar was burning, but it hadn’t been caused by Voldemort. It was burning because of a girl…a woman, who had just arrived. Her and her friends.

Something told the just turned sixteen-year-old that, who ever they were, they were important, and the Order needed to know of them right away.

Leaping off his bed, he grabbed a spear piece of parchment and a new bottle of ink and began to write.

'There is a girl in that place where we did that thing in June. Find her.

Harry'

He knew it wasn’t very cryptic, but there was no time and it would have to do. He also knew that, unless Dumbledore was at Grimmauld Place, that it would take even more time that they didn’t have. All he could do was hope that someone from the Order would let the headmaster know quicker than Harry could.

Hedwig squawked as Harry woke her from her nap and placed the note into her pouch.

“Sorry bout this,” Harry said, making sure that his note was secure. “But I need you take this to Number Twelve, Grimmauld Place and give it to one of the Order members right away. It’s very important.”

Hedwig, the noble bird that she is, nodded once, and took off out of the room.

Harry knew that if Uncle Vernon or Aunt Petunia caught sight of Hedwig leaving, there would trouble. He wasn’t supposed to communicate with her, unless it was night and no one could ask why an owl was leaving their house in the middle of the day. But this was far more important than keeping up appearances for peace at Privet Drive’s sake.

Oh, yea. Much more important.

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The End?

You have reached the end of "The Key to Glory" – so far. This story is incomplete and the last chapter was posted on 21 Apr 05.

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