Prologue: Secret Meeting
Title: Dark Heroes
Disclaimer: Characters, places, events, and ideas from Harry Potter, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and Angel the Series belong to their respective creators, producers, publishers, production companies, and all other entitled parties. No profit is being made from this and no harm is intended.
Spoiler Warning: Spoilers abound through Buffy season 7, Angel season 4, and Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix.
Summary: Once upon a time, five children of the wizarding world were sent away in hope of protecting them from the Dark Lord, but something went terribly wrong. Now that Sunnydale is gone, Faith, Buffy, Willow, Cordelia, Xander, and Dawn find that it was much more than coincidence that brought them to the Hellmouth. Linked by prophecy and blood, they return to a world they never knew existed.
Notes: This is what remains of Dark Children. The prologue through chapter 9 are largely unchanged (10 is a rewrite, 11 is new), but the overall plot has been reworked, with a few subplots pushed back to later stories in the series and a couple removed altogether to better fit into the series. I am still not sure this is the best version, but the plot flounder of doom demands that I not abandon this idea. That said, I give you the first story in the Dark Phoenix sequence.
Prologue: Secret Meeting
As he entered the office, he couldn't help worrying about the implications of this meeting. School was out for the summer. There was no reason to be here, unless the Order had somehow been compromised. Were their headquarters no longer a safe haven? Worse, were his own loyalties in question once more? He faced the older man behind the desk, his features an icy mask despite the thoughts raging in his head.
"Have a seat, Severus." Rarely did Albus Dumbledore take that grave tone, even in such dangerous times. More frighteningly, he didn't even offer any of those ridiculous muggle sweets he was so fond of. Yes, something was very wrong indeed. The headmaster of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry was studying his face. "It is indeed a grave matter I have called you here to discuss, Severus. I chose to meet at the school because this isn't any business of the Order, at least not yet. What I have called you here to discuss is of a much more personal nature." The potions master's eyes widened almost imperceptibly, evidence of his great shock. Dumbledore could only be referring to one thing.
"It is time to bring them home, Severus. For the safety of our world as well as that which they believe to be their own."
"Sir, I must disagree. The Hellmouth--"
"Is gone, Severus. Its energies can no longer protect them."
"How? Who could have possibly . . ." Snape's words trailed off. He knew exactly who could have done such a thing. That power was the very reason they were sent there to begin with.
"The instability of the Hellmouth's magics became a greater threat to their lives than was ever expected. Doubtless, it was feeding off of their power. Only days ago, they successfully sealed the Hellmouth forever, as well as reversing powerful spells and charms cast thousands of years ago. The amount of raw power the act took has gained the attention of every dark force in the world. It is only a matter of time, Severus, before he finds them. He already knows where they were sent." Dumbledore paused before adding, more gently, "Despite our hopes, we always knew this day would come." Snape didn't acknowledge it, but that was his way.
"I understand, sir. Do what you must." Severus Snape stood and stiffly left the room, refusing to acknowledge the memories and emotions this news had stirred. Fear, anger, despair, and, most frightening of all, hope. After years of denying her very existence for her own protection, his daughter was coming home to a world she had never known existed and a father she in all likelihood wouldn't want.
After Severus had gone, Albus Dumbledore removed half-moon spectacles and rubbed tired eyes. For the first time in his life, he had no earthly idea if anyone would survive what was coming.