Disclaimer: I don't own Harry Potter or Buffy the Vampire Slayer.
This fic takes place after BTVS season 7 and the 5th HP book.
Vengeance - Part 1
Harry Potter had been home for an entire day and already he was wishing he could hex everything in sight. Well, maybe not everything. Now that he knew Miss. Figg was a squib and only pretended to be a miserable old hag, he figured he might be convinced to spare her. That did not, however apply to her cats.
'Though Fluffy might like them,' he mused.
The only thing that kept him from giving into temptation was the knowledge that this was his very last summer at Private Dr. All he had to do was survive the next month or so and he would never have to see the house or its inhabitants ever again. Unfortunately, that did not help to make said inhabitants less irritating.
Arriving by floo did nothing to help his relative's already hostile attitude towards him either. The Order had hooked their fireplace to the network this year, saying it was safer for him than travelling via the Hogwarts Express with all the other students.
The extra security precautions annoyed Harry. He had always hated being treated differently because of being the Boy-Who-Lived, but there was a difference between being treated like a celebrity and being treated like a priceless porcelain doll that was so fragile it might break if it so much as brushed another object. On the one hand, he spent hours training every week in order to prepare him for Voldemort and on the other hand he couldn't make a step out of Gryffindor Tower without a bodyguard, otherwise known as Tonks under an invisibility spell.
When Dumbledore had first told Harry of the decision to assign Tonks to him, Harry hadn't really thought much of it. He liked Tonks and thought it might be neat having her around. He hadn't realized just how unnerving it was to have someone watching his every step. Especially since he couldn't see them and didn't know exactly where they were. Although Tonks, being Tonks, tended to give away her location every so often when she tripped over something. At first Harry found it adorable and chuckled at the auror's clumsiness. Later it just became a constant reminder of his permanent babysitter.
His friends had tried to cheer him up, telling him to look on the bright side: it was better than being careless and ending up dead. Harry didn't really see how that was a bright side. After all, according to the prophesy he would have to face Voldemort at some point in time anyway and if someone kidnapped him, he'd just meet Voldemort a tad sooner than expected.
When Tonks and Moody flooed to 4 Private Dr. with Harry they had also set up some additional wards around the house. Aunt Petunia had been far from impressed with magic being used inside her house, but said nothing. Uncle Vernon hadn't been home at the time, but shot his nephew a murderous look as soon as he arrived.
Currently it was 4 pm and Harry was lazily washing the morning and afternoon dishes. The first few days back were always the worse. After having all the cooking and cleaning done for you by house elves, to suddenly have to do it yourself was a pain. His aunt humming off-tune as she dusted in the next room only made things worse.
Suddenly there was a knock at the door and the terrible humming stopped as Petunia went to open it.
"Hello?" she said.
"Hi, I just moved in next door and just thought I'd come 'round and introduce myself. . ." Harry heard a man say.
"Oh. Dear. Lord." Petunia gasped. Harry froze. His aunt never swore. Unless she was insulting his parents or the Wizarding World. Harry softly put down the glass he was polishing and crept towards the kitchen door, which looked out into the hall.
"Oh my. . ." the male voice finally continued, "Pet. . .Petunia?" He paused. "Petunia Evans?"
"It's Dursley now, Petunia Dursley. I'm. . . I married a bloke named Vernon Dursley 17 years ago."
"Pity. Well, I'm still single."
"That does not surprise me Ethan. No woman in her right mind would marry you; you're nothing but trouble."
Finally Harry caught sight of the man. He had short, dark hair, a slim figure and wasn't much taller than his aunt. He wore slim-fit blue jeans and a black, short-sleeve t-shirt. He was grinning from ear to ear.
Harry didn't trust him. There was something in his eyes and the way he casually leaned against the doorframe that reminded Harry of Draco Malfoy. Yes, there was definitely something very Slytherin about the man: malicious, calculating and evil.
'So, how does he know my aunt then?' Harry thought, but his analysis was interrupted by loud laughter.
"And then Ripper says. . ." the man named Ethan said, gesturing wildly, "bloody vampires, can't take them anywhere."
And, as if just to shock Harry speechless, Petunia burst out laughing, leaning against the wall for support. Harry's hand automatically went out to grab hold of the small table that stood next to the doorway to the kitchen.
He missed. Then silently cursed his way through several seconds of clumsy fumbling as he lost balance and almost fell onto said table, upsetting the large vase that sat on top of it. Harry thanked the gods for his seeker reflexes as his right hand automatically snapped out to grab it before it smashed into many, many pieces.
"Well hello there," Ethan said, cocking his head to the side before looking to Petunia who was sending Harry a death glare that would've made Snape proud. "Is he yours?"
"Absolutely not!" Petunia's head snapped back to Ethan, "He's my sister's."
"Ahhh yes. . . Tigerlily. . . so where is she now anyway?"
"Oh." He pause and shrugged. "I'd say I'm sorry, but you didn't really like her much anyway, so I won't bother."
Harry noticed his aunt roll her eyes.
"Sensitivity was never your strong point, was it?"
"No, but then again I never pretended it was."
"True, you always specialized in immaturity."
"Maturity is so overrated. When you mature, you get this." He spread his arms out and gestured at the entire house. Petunia grabbed his right wrist and pulled his arm towards himself to inspect it.
"Oh my God," she gasped, looking at his forearm, "what happened?"
"Sulphuric acid," he shrugged.
"Is this where. . .?"
"Oh my. . . but why did you?"
"He came back."
"What! Where is he now?"
"Ripper and his girl took care of it."
"His girl? Someone actually married that leather-clad wonder?"
"No, no, not even close. He joined the Council. Doesn't wear leather anymore either."
"A leather-less Ripper? I'll believe that when I see it."
Ethan burst out laughing.
"Well, in that case you might just go into shock when you see him. I'll have to arrange it. He's in London now you know, what with being the new Council Head and all."
"No, not at all."
Just then uncle Vernon's car turned into the driveway.
"That's my husband coming home from work," Petunia said and Harry thought she almost sounded disappointed. Ethan turned around and watched Vernon get out of the car.
"Petunia please tell me he has a wonderful personality," Petunia glared at him, but he wasn't fazed in the least. "No, I mean it. You could've had me, or Ripper, or both of us. . . at once; and you ended up with THAT!"
Harry mentally prepared himself for the fit his aunt was bound to throw.
"Ethan, shut up!" she giggled and lightly slapped Ethan's arm. Harry gaped.
Uncle Vernon cleared his throat and gave the stranger his best disapproving frown as he took in his attire and the casual attitude he seemed to have towards his wife.
"Oh hello dear," Petunia said and placed a kiss on her husband's cheek. Ethan raised an eyebrow.
"Hello Petunia," Vernon grunted, "who's this?"
"This is Ethan Rayne, he just moved in next door. He's an old friend of mine, from back before I met you."
"Yes well, it's certainly nice to meet you Vernon," Ethan said and stuck his hand out. Vernon carefully took it. They talked for about another ten minutes before Ethan left. But not before giving Petunia a huge hug. Which Vernon did not like one bit.
"Petunia," he began as soon as Ethan left, "I don't like that man. There's just something strange about him. In fact I wouldn't be surprised if he turns out to be another one of those freaks!"
As much as Harry hated agreeing with his uncle, he couldn't help it. He would ask the Order to look into his new neighbour, if they weren't already that is.
"Oh, Ethan's a lot of things, a bit of a rebel and jokester definitely, but he's most certainly not a wizard." Petunia dismissed her husband. "You just have to get used to him."
"I don't care. I don't want to 'get used' to him. I forbid you to ever see that man again!"
Harry was relieved to hear this. . . until he noticed the expression on his aunt's face.
"Vernon Alexander Dursley," she began in a low, dangerous voice, the kind Professor Snape had perfected into an artform, "you actually think you can forbid me to see an old friend of mine?"
"I'm sorry honey, but I'm afraid I have to put my foot down. That man is complete riff raff and I will not have my wife associating with people like that!"
Apparently that was the wrong answer.
Harry had been living with the Dursleys for over 16 years. He had been subjected to the hate, scorn, anger and downright cruelty of both his aunt and uncle. But he had never, ever seen his aunt this angry. Within ten minutes his ears were ringing and he wasn't even the one being yelled at.
He escaped by stumbling out the back door and into the garden. He turned around and stared at the door, going over what he'd just witnessed in his head.
"Wotcher Harry!" Tonks suddenly said from beside him, making him cry out and jump in surprise.
"Tonks! Don't do that!"
"So, what's wrong? You look like you'd just heard Dumbledore give up sweets for life."
Harry chuckled at the image and then told her what just happened.
"Well, I certainly hope she gives him a piece of her mind!" Tonks huffed at the end of Harry's story. "Imagine, having the gall to forbid his wife from seeing an old friend of hers! What an idiot!"
Harry just stared. And then decided that he knew even less about woman than he had thought he did.
"Well. . . could you maybe keep an eye on the bloke. he looked kinda suspicious. And he had had some sort of mark on his forearm that I think he said he had gotten rid of with sulphuric acid."
Harry shot the auror an annoyed look.
"All right, all right," she threw her hands up, "I'll look into it. But Harry, I don't even think the Dark Mark can be removed that way. Otherwise I think Severus would've done it a long time ago."
"Uhhh. . . I mean Professor Snape. . . which reminds me, I should probably go inform the Order about your new neighbour."
Then with a small pop she was gone, leaving Harry standing in the middle of his backyard wondering if this day could get any stranger.
He didn't notice Ethan watching everything from behind a curtain. After Tonks disapparated, he observed Harry for another five minutes. Then he closed the curtains and turned to the other individual in the room.
"Well Lucy," he said, "it looks like things might just be getting interesting."