Hell to Hellmouth—Chapter 3
“So, what’s up with the sword?” asked Buffy as they walked towards Revello Drive. It might not be the safest or smartest thing to do, but if Harry really ended up being an undead creature of the night or something equally icky, she’d be able to slay him with little to no problems; at least, judging from what she’d seen.
“I don’t quite know what its powers are,” Harry replied, unsheathing it to examine it closely for the first time. “I acquired it just before I was dropped oh-so-unceremoniously here. Stupid little devil man.”
“I don’t know if I want to understand that,” Buffy remarked. This guy was like no one she had met before, but she wasn’t quite sure if she liked it or not.
“When I died, I was sent to limbo instead of heaven or hell. Because I wasn’t quite done learning, apparently, they stuck me where I was needed,” Harry replied. “So, here I am.”
Buffy blinked a couple of times, trying to digest what he had said. Had he said he died?!
she thought, not quite sure she had heard right. This was one screwed up person, that’s for sure.
“Oh bollocks, I shouldn’t have said that,” Harry said before cussing softly under his breath. This wasn’t good. Not good at all. Seems I’m just batting a thousand,
Harry thought grimly. Just bloody wonderful.
“That’s it, I’m inventing a permanent silencing charm and placing it on myself.”
Buffy just arched an eyebrow, keeping silent for once. Harry sheathed the sword yet again and followed the girl up the walk to the house. She unlocked the door, and Harry was led into the house without being invited. Nodding in approval as Harry closed the door behind himself, Buffy walked into the living room where a pretty redheaded girl was seated in front of the television.
“Oh hey Buffy, you’re back,” she greeted with a smile, getting up. About three feet away from Harry she seized up and a sudden change came over her. Red hair turned to onyx and green eyes bled to black as veins popped up all over her pallid face. Oh shit,
Harry thought, throwing his sword off of his back and pushing Buffy out of the way. He, too, had gone through a change, and he now looked much like the girl in front of him.
“Stand down,” he said firmly, his voice deeper than usual and filled with authority.
“What are you gonna do about it?” asked Darth Willow, cocking an eyebrow before hitting Harry with a knockback spell. Harry flew back and collided with a wall, but soon bounced back and was standing as if nothing had happened.
“Is that all you’ve got, little girl?” Harry asked with a smirk as he raised a hand. Instantly she was bound by an unseen force and was now levitating a couple of inches from the floor. After a few moments of this, the girl passed out, her hair, eyes and skin changing back to their original colors. Harry gently lowered her to the couch before slumping down onto the floor, completely drained.
“Okay, what the hell just happened?” asked Buffy, picking Harry up easily and setting him down in an armchair.
“I couldn’t tell you, because I’m not quite sure myself,” Harry replied, gasping slightly. “I used to react like that because of my addiction, but she didn’t have any signs. Has she performed any really dark spells as of late? Because that could have been a residual effect.”
“I…I don’t know,” Buffy said, avoiding the subject of her resurrection.
“Well, does she have a wand?” Harry asked, panicking. Wandless witches were very temperamental, as he himself had demonstrated.
“A what?” asked Buffy, obviously puzzled.
“A wand,” Harry repeated, exasperated. “It’s a wooden stick with a magical core used to channel a witch’s or wizard’s magic. Usually, no two wands are alike, and each witch or wizard has one that suits her or his magical needs. I had one made of holly and phoenix tail feather; I think Ron’s had unicorn hair, and Hermione’s was dragon heartstring.”
A pang of sadness stabbed viciously at Harry’s heart as he said this, realizing too late that it wasn’t a good idea to mention those two. With a sigh and a shake of his head, he tried to clear his mind of those memories, both good and bad. Damn them for letting me keep my memories…things would have been so much easier.
“Are you okay?” asked Buffy, sounding concerned.
“No, but I will be,” Harry replied. “Eventually.”
He sat down and tilted his head back, knowing that a nosebleed was imminent. Might as well stop it before it gets bad,
he thought, pinching his nostrils shut to stem the flow of blood.
“So, you know how to do magick and stuff?” asked Buffy, curious.
“In a manner of speaking,” Harry replied, sounding slightly clogged up. “I can do two types, the kind I was born with, and the wandless kind that your friend can do. I’m assuming, of course, that she can do magic. Otherwise, that reaction is very strange and highly irregular.”
“Wills is all with the magicky stuff, but she wouldn’t do anything bad,” said Buffy, glancing at her still-unconscious friend.
“That’s what they said about me,” Harry replied softly. He stopped pinching his nose and checked to make sure he wasn’t bleeding anymore. “But I’m not quite comfortable talking about it right now; I’m straight bushed. How about we continue this discussion tomorrow, in the morning?”
“Sounds fair,” said Buffy, finding this reasonable. “I’ll carry Willow up to bed, so you can have the couch.”
“You’re…you’re going to let me stay here?” asked Harry, slightly surprised. He was, after all, a stranger, and had done nothing to earn a warm place to sleep. At least, not in this part of the world.
“Well, I’m not going to let you stay outside and be vampire bait,” Buffy replied, picking Willow up easily. “Hey, do you mind if I take your sword? I have a friend who would find it really interesting. Besides, I’m pretty sure you don’t want Willow to go all veiny again.”
“Take it?” asked Harry. “Sure. I don’t want anything to do with it. Destroy it when you’re done, if you like.”
“Okay, thanks,” said Buffy. The way he spoke unnerved her a bit, but knowing that she, too, could get like that, she shrugged it off.
With one last good night to Harry, Buffy picked Willow up and carried her up the stairs, returning only to get Harry’s sword. She was pleased to see him already settled in on the couch, the only sign he was alive being the soft snoring.
“BUFFY! WILLOW!! TARA!!!”
Harry was startled from his first sound sleep in a while by a shrill female voice. He sat up to see who was hollering like a banshee, and was faced with a willowy brunette who had a resemblance to Buffy. He couldn’t quite place it, but there was something different about her. He just wasn’t sure what.
“Well, you’re the prettiest banshee I’ve ever seen,” Harry greeted pleasantly. The girl blinked silently at him, as if unsure of how to take this. She wasn’t able to scream or blink any longer because at that moment Buffy came skidding into the room, Willow and yet another girl on tow. How many girls does this house have?
Harry wondered idly as all four of them crowded around the couch.
“Dawnie, what’s wrong?” asked Willow, concerned. To Harry’s relief, it seemed as if the girl hadn’t retained any ill effects from her reaction earlier.
“There’s a boy on the couch,” the younger girl replied. “And he called me a banshee!”
“Hey, in my defense she was screaming at me,” Harry replied, holding his hands up in mock surrender. “What was I supposed to compare her to?”
“You’ll have to excuse Dawn, Harry,” said Buffy, laying a hand on the brunette’s shoulder. “She has a tendency to over react.”
“Quite alright,” Harry said with a grin. “I think all teenagers have a tendency to over react, no matter where they came from.”
Dawn’s eyes widened slightly at Harry’s last comment. She shot a worried glance at her sister; Harry caught the blonde girl shaking her head and mouthing ‘later’, before the last nameless girl spoke up.
“D-Dawnie, Buffy, he’s one of the g-good guys, right?” she asked. Harry smiled slightly; her stutter was endearing. It almost made him feel overprotective, the meek little voice sort of telling him she needed a bodyguard. He could feel four sets of female eyes on him, and he sighed tiredly.
“I’ve done some bad stuff to keep the world safe,” Harry replied with a hint of sadness in his voice. “Does that answer your question?”
Harry had done some awful things in his quest to defeat Voldemort. He had become addicted to the Dark Arts, feeding off of them like a vampire fed off blood. He had thought that his addiction would be over once Voldemort kicked it, but that wasn’t the case, which landed Harry in Azkaban.
The nameless girl nodded and smiled shyly at Harry. Harry, in turn, shared a half smile with her. He could feel the magic coming off of her, much like he could feel the magic coming off of Willow. And then, of course, were the totally different signatures coming off of the Summers sisters.
“I-I’m Tara,” said the girl softly.
“And, as I’m sure you’ve figured out by now, I’m Harry,” Harry greeted with a grin.
“Yeah, everyone, this is Harry, Harry, this is everyone,” Buffy said. “There are a couple of others, but they don’t live here. You’ll meet them eventually, if you spend any amount of time here.”
Just then, the front door opened, admitting a dark-haired young man and yet another girl. There wasn’t anything terribly remarkable about the girl’s appearance, but something about her mad Harry sit up straighter and take notice.
“Demon,” he said, pointing at her with a shaky finger. The woman turned and looked at Harry, her eyes wide.
“Wizard,” she breathed, her voice barely a whisper.
“And could we explain a couple of things to the guy left out of the loop?” asked Xander in his typical style. “Like, what’s this guy doing here, and how does he know Ahn was a demon?”
“Was a demon?” asked Harry. “Didn’t know someone could be a demon, then not.”
“My amulet got smashed,” the new girl replied. “I was made into a demon about a thousand years ago, and stayed that way until a couple of years ago. I’m Anya, formerly Anyanka the vengeance demon. And who might you be?”
“Harry, just Harry,” Harry replied. He was glad that his celebrity hadn’t reached this corner of the world. And Harry hoped it stayed that way.
“That still doesn’t explain why he’s here,” Xander said in a slightly huffy voice. Even though all of his girls could take care of themselves, he still wanted to protect them. “Anytime would be great, really.”
“Xander, Anya, this is Harry Potter,” Buffy introduced them. Anya gasped, but kept quiet. “He helped me get rid of Spike last night. So, I gave him a place to stay.”
“Oh, so Spike’s gone then?” asked Xander. “Then I say yay to the kid staying…”
“No, Spike isn’t gone,” Buffy replied. “Harry just talked him down.”
“I’m not a kid, either,” Harry piped up. “Can’t quite remember my age, but I’m over twenty.”
“Well, that helps,” Buffy replied sarcastically. “So what do we do with him?”