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Prophecies? We Don't Need No Stinking Prophecies!

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This story is No. 1 in the series "Prophecies Are A Pain In The Ass". You may wish to read the series introduction first.

Summary: How would things have changed if Harry Potter was raised by the Scooby Gang?

Categories Author Rating Chapters Words Recs Reviews Hits Published Updated Complete
Multiple Crossings > Xander-Centered
Multiple Crossings > General
GreywizardFR1838161,6642671602851,20425 Feb 0620 Feb 14No
CoA Winner

"You Know, You're Really Beginning To Piss me Off-

Disclaimer: Is this really necessary? If anyone really thinks these characters belong to me, then I've got some *great* real estate investments I'd like to discuss with you. All of the Buffy characters belong to Joss Whedon, Mutant Enemy, etc., and the Harry Potter characters belong to J. K. Rowling. I'm just borrowing them for a while. There is no intent to profit from this. Only the story is mine, and if anyone waves enough money in front of me, even that is negotiable.

Author’s Note 1: Many thanks to Bill Haden and Theo (Starway_Man) for beta-ing this story.

Author’s Note 2: As usual, “word” indicates speech, :: word :: indicates mental communication and { word } indicates a character's thoughts.

Author’s Note 3: Fic #5 in my Christmas Challenge Fic-A-Thon.

~~~

Chapter 34 – "You Know, You're Really Beginning To Piss me Off –"

Gringotts Bank
Diagon Alley

One of Gringotts' conference rooms
A moment following Amelia Bones' statement that Dumbledore was under arrest


"Surely, you must be joking, Amelia," Albus Dumbledore asserted calmly, his eyes twinkling even more furiously than before. "Are you really intending to follow the orders of a mere muggle and try to arrest *me*?"

In the brief moment of silence which followed the Headmaster's declaration, Jon O'Neill's voice could be heard saying, "If her name's Amelia, why's he calling her Shirley?" which was immediately followed by the sound of a 'SMACK!' and an "Ouch! What was that for?"

Ignoring the byplay occuring off to the side, Amelia announced, with a raised eyebrow at his very blood-supremacist comment, "No, Albus. I'm not *trying* to arrest you – I *am* arresting you.

"You are as obligated to obey the King's orders as anyone else in our world is," she continued, her wand in her hand but pointed towards the floor, "so please, let's keep things on a civil level.

"Don't try and make a scene, and just simply surrender your wand to me, please," Madame Bones commanded, hoping for a quiet and easy resolution of the situation before her, but not truly expecting one to happen.

After all, judging by what she had learned and had then personally seen and experienced of the past century-and-a-half's history of the British Wizarding World, it seemed as though the sheep making up the vast majority of the population had made it a guiding principle to idolize the man who defeated Gellert Grindelwald in wand-to-wand combat decades earlier, lifting him up and ensconcing him on a pedestal, thereby enabling him to pull off the most impressive feat possible in their world – attaining the three most prestigious and influential positions available: becoming Headmaster of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry (the school which most of British Wizarding society used as their standard of excellence – no matter how mistaken they might be), Chief Warlock of the Wizengamot (a position somewhat akin to the Prime Minster's position in the mundane world), as well as the Supreme Mugwump of the International Confederation of Wizards (a rank corresponding to that of the Secretary-General of the mundane world's United Nations).

An accomplishment like that was bound to have an inflammatory effect on anyone's ego, since usually, if the ability is there, the narcissistic self-esteem will inevitably follow. That is, if you didn't have someone around to poke pins in your rapidly expanding ego, the way the Scoobies would do for each other, should such an event ever occur.

So, to expect Dumbledore to meekly surrender himself to her custody was very much akin to expecting a wolf to roll over and expose their throat to the sheepdog trying to guard the herd. Theoretically possible, but in reality...not so much.

"Shack, put the manacles on the Headmaster, please," Madam Bones ordered after enough time had passed and Dumbledore had still not surrendered his wand, her eyes not leaving the older, seemingly quiescent wizard for even a moment.

"And don't cross my line of sight," she reminded the tall, dark-skinned auror as he began very carefully approaching the focus of their mission.

"Auror Shacklebolt, I would advise you to think very carefully about what you are about to do," Dumbledore said, a warning tone to his voice and a reproachful expression on his face as he turned to focus his attention on the younger man cautiously heading towards him. "I am the Chief Warlock of the Wizengamot, and I am directing you to ignore Madame Bones' instructions, since they are obviously being made to achieve some tawdry political purpose."

"Sorry, Headmaster," Shacklebolt shook his head in denial of Dumbledore's order, "but you're not part of the Department of Magical Law Enforcement, and you're not in my chain of command.

"And the boss definitely is, so I do what she tells me to do," he added with a nonchalant shrug.

"Now please, leave your wand in its holster, and put your hands out in front of you, sir," the Auror ordered politely.

"I'm sorry you're forcing me to do this, Auror Shacklebolt," Dumbledore stated as he, in turn, shook his head in denial of Shacklebolt's directions, "but I refuse to submit to such an indignity.

"Expelliarmus!" Albus then declared as he quickly snapped his arm up from its position at his side to point at Amelia Bones, causing the witch's wand to fly out of her hand as she was thrown in the opposite direction, and then taking advantage of the momentary surprise his actions had created and attempting to repeat the spell as he started to point his wand at Shacklebolt and the other aurors.

Unfortunately for Dumbledore, however, he had ignored the petite blonde 'muggle' who had been standing in front of him and furiously berating him for his schemes at the moment Amelia and her team had entered the conference room.

Buffy had been waiting, with only the slightest semblance of patience, to see exactly how this scheming son of a bitch responsible for this entire mess reacted to the newest arrivals' declaration that they were here to arrest him for all of the crimes he'd committed to bring Harry back to this dimension filled with mouth-breathing (and dear God in Heaven! Hadn't any of these people ever heard of dental hygiene?!), inbred, clearly congenital idiots, for whatever still undetermined purposes of his own he'd planned out.

So, when the devious and conniving bastard made the mistake of not only refusing to cooperate, but actually attacking someone he'd acknowledged as an authorized law enforcement officer, Buffy threw patience aside completely and immediately took advantage of the opportunity offered and acted, delighted to actually have a perfectly reasonable and completely legally acceptable excuse to lay her hands on the old fart.

The fact that it wasn't sufficient justification for her to break every bone in Dumbledore's body was more than a little annoying, true – but Buffy figured that she could probably break at least one or two without getting too much flack from the local LEOs about it. And if the Merlin-looking wannabe was stupid enough to do anything more after that which she could argue could be interpreted as threatening, hopefully she’d be able to get away with breaking a few more bones while she was at it.

Accordingly, a bare fraction of an instant after he'd disarmed Amelia Bones and was clearly intending to do the same to the other members of the DMLE team, Dumbledore suddenly found himself leaving the ground and flying through the air, to impact rather painfully against the far wall of the conference room, courtesy of Air Buffy and a carefully-restrained Slayer-strength fist to his face.

Shaking his head in fleeting confusion, the seemingly venerable, so-called 'Leader of the Light' saw the tiny woman who'd been identified as Harry Potter's adoptive mother smiling at him with a pleased expression on her face, and he abruptly realized that the arrogant little mud-born trollop was somehow responsible for him being tossed down the entire length of the room.

An uncontrollable rage flared up inside Dumbledore – something he hadn’t experienced in nearly two decades – as he realized that this woman, this detestable insignificant muggle, had actually had the audacity to lay hands on his person!

"Accio wand!" Dumbledore grunted as he stretched out his hand and his wand instantly flew across the space separating it from him – and then the Headmaster/Chief Warlock/Supreme Mugwump immediately pointed the weapon at his assailant as he half-shouted, "Reducto!" in an unthinking, and to Dumbledore’s mind, completely reasonable response to what he considered an unprovoked attack.

Seeing her son's kidnapper slam against the far wall of the room and drop limply to the floor, and satisfied that he was incapacitated for the moment, Buffy had begun turning her head to speak to the magical cops about how they intended to handle the situation – so she was taken completely by surprise by the Headmaster's unexpected reprisal. After all, Harry had told them all during his debriefing how everyone in this idiotic society apparently needed to use a wand to focus their magic, unlike the people who used magic back home, like Willow and the Council's other witches and wizards.

Snapping her head around upon hearing Dumbledore speaking and seeing him gesture in her direction, Buffy reflexively threw herself to the side as a bright bluish-white light shot forth from his wand, a movement which allowed her to partially dodge the attack, thereby shifting the impact site from the center of her torso, which had been Dumbledore's target, to the lower right side of her abdomen, but the impact still blasted her backwards and flung her now unconscious form into the crowd of people behind her.

"MOM! NO!!" Harry screamed, his eyes flaring wide with horror as he saw his mother fly backward through the air as a result of his chief kidnapper's cowardly attack.

"You bastard!" Harry shouted as he spun to confront his mother's assailant, his right hand thrusting out towards the elderly wizard as the eleven-year-old boy's rage and fear amplified the power he was unconsciously focusing.

A visible, rippling wave of energy shot erupted from Harry's opened palm to slam – to *impact*, rather – against Dumbledore's upper chest, just a few inches below his Adam's apple, slamming the elderly wizard backwards and smashing his neck and upper spine against the wall behind him. The nature of the energy was such that there was no defense against it; and in the instant before it struck, Albus’ eyes could be seen to widen in alarm as he found no spell at his command able to block Harry’s incoming offensive attack.

This time, unlike what had happened before when Buffy had struck Albus, the wall collapsed into a pile of rubble, leaving Dumbledore's unconscious and now-broken body lying atop of it, his legs twitching in a twisted parody of controlled movement.

Ignoring the clearly defeated – and hopefully, soon to be terminal – Headmaster, a terrified Harry darted over to where Buffy was now lying, the blood pooling around her unmoving body causing his mind to flash back to an equally emotionally devastating scene – one where his father's motionless, torn and bleeding body, lying on the bloody grass in Cuyahoga Valley National Park, replaced the blood and gore-smeared petite female form now in front of him.

Frantically shoving his way through the gathering crowd to his mother's side, Harry dropped to his knees next to his father, who was working in tandem with Momma Lena and Willow in evaluating the damage Buffy had suffered and trying to staunch the blood currently pouring from the gaping wound gouged across her lower abdomen.

As he watched his Aunt Willow cast a series of coagulation spells in an effort to halt the bleeding, Harry decided he needed to help and he laid his hands on atop his mother's blood-soaked robes and fervently began murmuring the healing spell Ms. Boulet had taught him the previous year, just as he had done in that similar situation with his father, while he desperately prayed with equal intensity to any deity who might be listening for his mother's compete recovery.

None of the preoccupied people around them paid any attention to the intense glow issuing from the young wizard's hands as he forced his magic to do his will.

***

As he, Dawn and Faith, flanked by Sirius and Remus, stood guard over the other members of their extended family as they tried to stabilize Buffy sufficiently to move her back to their current base camp, Jon also took careful note of the mixture of amazed, shocked and clearly incredulous looks which were being thrown in Harry's direction by the innumerable wizards and witches passing in and out of the conference room. Everyone present from the Wizarding World – both the people who had been called in by Madame Bones and her Auror team in response to the admittedly unusual (even by Scooby standards) series of events which had just occurred, as well as those others who had been present to witness Dumbledore's attack on Buffy – were all giving the entire party a wide berth.

Judging by the random fragments of the handful of conversations he'd been able to overhear, the former SGC team leader gathered that Harry's demonstration of power just a few minutes ago was something quite out of the ordinary, even considering that, based on his impressions of most the people they'd had to deal with, so far, Wizarding society seemed to be composed primarily of inbred, socially inept and completely hopeless buffoons.

After all, these people were mostly a self-segregated group of seemingly congenital morons who, from the information Harry had provided them during his debriefing two days earlier, evidently didn't even think that a school being invaded by a group of ophidian humanoids, whose most widely recognizable characteristic was their well-documented hatred of virtually every other known intelligent species, was sufficient grounds for them to call an impromptu holiday for the student body while competent people (assuming, that is, for the sake of argument that there were *any* such individuals existent in this backward society!) searched the school, to either determine whether there might be more of these creatures – or, possibly, other potential enemies – still present inside the school premises, or try to ascertain exactly how those creatures gained access to the school.

Had he or any other recruit showed anything approaching such poor judgment while going through basic training in the service, Jon knew he would have been kicked out on a 'For the good of the service' discharge before he even knew what was happening.

Assuming, of course, he hadn't managed to kill himself or any of his other fellow recruits through sheer general stupidity before that could happen.

Regardless, after this cluster-fuck was cleaned up, no one who'd been born in this particular dimension – and most especially, no wizard or witch – was getting close to any member of their family without being checked out *very* thoroughly by him or one of the other Scoobies.

And woe be to anyone he caught trying to actually hurt a member of their family – not that anyone would ever find any trace of their body, afterwards, to be able to figure out exactly what had happened to them.

Mind you, that was solely so that Xander or the others wouldn't have to be bothered.

After all, he, himself, wasn't a vindictive sort.

{ Nope, not at all, } Jon thought to himself virtuously. He was just being practical, that was all.

Shrugging his shoulders slightly to ease the tension which had been building up, Jon swept an appraising eye over the crowd of wizards and witches who were currently surrounding the asshole who'd been stupid enough to actually hurt Buffy, and pondered exactly how he was going to cripple whichever of these brain-dead morons was the first to make some sort of derogatory comment against his future sister-in-law.

After all, just as sure as death and taxes, at least *one* of these bigoted snobs would eventually do so.

~~~

In the midst of all of the bewildered chaos occurring around him, Manager Vergaskempt was making sure that the most important aspects of this situation were being properly addressed: first, that Lady Zar'khandash's injuries were being treated as expeditiously as possible by the most qualified people available – a situation he could see was being handled by the Lady Slayer's family and other members of their entourage – and second, that it was made clear to all parties involved, as well as the general public, that neither Gringotts nor the Goblin Nation would be held responsible for either Dumbledore's actions or the Lady Zar'khandash's ensuing injuries.

The fact that Gringotts was universally accepted around the world, both among all of the various supernatural species' societies as well as that sector of the mundane world aware of the existence of the supernatural, as an impartial third party had led to the banks' premises being considered as the closest thing to true neutral ground which currently existed – an area where disagreeing parties could meet and discuss whichever matters they considered as significant and which might have led to whatever degree of strife might exist between or among them.

As such, no one had ever seriously considered the possibility that any rational person might consider violating that neutrality – ignoring for the moment, the existence of the various anti-violence wards which surrounded the bank – since it would unquestionably result in said being committing that violation instantly being considered as 'persona non gratis' by the Goblin Nation.

Not to mention that Gringotts would thereafter refuse to even acknowledge that being's existence, let alone agree to conduct any business which might include that being among its participants. And since the goblins handled such a large percentage of the financial business of the supernatural world, it accordingly allowed them a significant degree of influence in the world they inhabited.

Unfortunately, it was exactly that implicit assumption – that no one would consider disregarding that generally accepted degree of influence – which had apparently led to the current imbroglio facing the Bank's Manager.

After all, who would ever have thought that a wizard as cunning and devious as Albus Dumbledore was universally acknowledged to be by those who dealt with him on a recurring basis would be so foolish – though, in point of fact, Vergaskempt personally thought that the phrase 'terminally stupid' would be a much more accurate description – as to personally and physically attack a woman who was recognized as a very highly respected and widely loved leader of a group of people who had taken down a virtual 'Who's Who' of demonic megalomaniacs, prospective arcane world rulers or would-be pan-dimensional conquerors?

The fact that the aforementioned wizard was now being treated by various emergency medical wizarding personnel – after being handled by his opponent's not-yet-even-an-adolescent child with a startling degree of ease and a corresponding level of ruthlessness which would be considered heartwarming by any goblin witnessing it – had made Vergaskempt realize that the wards surrounding the bank would need to be checked for any degradation immediately following the resolution of the current situation. After all, either the wards had degraded to precariously low levels of power, or the two wizards involved in the short, but nonetheless deadly, battle which had occurred only a few moments earlier were each even more individually powerful than any whom the Goblins had dealt with in the course of their history.

Regardless of whichever of the two noted possibilities might eventually prove to be the correct explanation for how this catastrophe had managed to occur, Vergaskempt had to deal with the results of the crisis right now, and given the identities of the people involved, he had to do so *very* carefully.

"Chairman Giles," the Goblin manager very carefully and respectfully addressed the grey-haired human who was standing quietly off to one side as he watched the other members of the Zar'khandash royal party treat the blood-splattered body of the woman who had introduced him to Vergaskempt as her father, and it took all of the goblin's self-control not to step back in fear as the human's head snapped to the side to focus his gaze upon him at his interruption.

Yes, this one had been standing quietly as he watched his fellows attend to their injured queen, but after seeing the expression in human's eyes as he looked at him, Vergaskempt realized that that stillness was more akin to that of a vengeful gra'shalk standing guard over an injured member of its herd while it contemplated its vengeance upon the creature responsible for the injury than that of some mere human looking down at his injured child.

Indeed, the eyes currently focused on him blazed with a carefully constrained and focused fury which promised unrelenting pain and agony for whichever unfortunates ended up as their target, the Manager immediately understood, and his respect for this particular group of humans ratcheted up several additional notches at his recognition of just how goblin-like they truly were.

"Your pardon, My Lord," Vergaskempt continued speaking after only the briefest of pauses, "but I wished to offer your party the services of the most competent healers Gringotts has available on retainer as consultants in the treatment of the Lady Zar'khandash's injuries.

"Given that, while the Lady Zar'khandash's injuries were clearly a result of Headmaster Dumbledore's actions, she did receive them while she was a client on our premises," the Goblin reluctantly admitted, "and thus Gringotts and I must acknowledge partial responsibility for the harm which befell her."

"The Council most sincerely appreciates Gringott's quite honorable offer, Manager Vergaskempt," Giles nodded his head in acknowledgement of the goblin's words, as he reflexively dropped into the diplomatic mode he'd developed years earlier when the Scoobies had found themselves the majority group of survivors of the First's efforts to eradicate both the Slayers and the Watchers Council and their group had finally realized that not all problems confronting them in their efforts to rebuild the Watchers Council could be dealt with by varying levels of violence. (More's the pity.)

"However, the Council also recognizes that the actions which occurred were beyond any reasonable measure of the bank's control," Giles then declared, "and are solely the responsibility of the obviously rogue wizard who attacked the Lady Zar'khandash after she provided assistance to the Ministry of Magic's aurors, when they attempted to arrest him for the crimes he was accused of committing against the Zar'khandash royal family and their retainers.

"The Council offers its thanks and appreciation for your offer of aid and support, Manager Vergaskempt, and will gratefully accept any assistance Gringotts can provide us in the treatment of the Lady Zar'khandash," the Council's Chairman stated formally, wanting to ensure that Gringotts and the Goblins realized that they had nothing to be concerned about with regard to either Dumbledore's actions or their ultimate consequences.

"You also have my personal thanks, and that of our family, for any assistance you might be able offer us with regard to Buffy's treatment, Manager Vergaskempt," Giles added as he extended his hand towards the smaller being with a smile of gratitude.

Recognizing the gesture as the expression of appreciation and thanks for his efforts that it was, Vergaskempt smiled back and carefully grasped the Englishman's hand, taking care to not crush the more fragile being's fingers as they shook hands.

{ These Council humans are, indeed, very different from these fools we have been dealing with for the past several centuries, } Vergaskempt reflected as he turned and began issuing orders to his underlings.

{ Mayhap it will be possible to form some sort of honorable alliance with these humans, if they are willing to act as intermediaries with these honorless idiots in our stead. }

{ At the very least, we can arrange vacation packages for Goblins to the Hellmouth for some combat time. }

~~~

St. Mungo's Hospital
Fourth Floor – Spell Damage Ward

Several hours following the above scene


"That's ridiculous! I can't conceive of why you would create such a preposterous story as this, Amelia, but I am *not* going to fall for such a load of hippogriff dung!

"The Chief Warlock must have been assaulted by at least a dozen attackers, judging by all the damage he's suffered! Healer Smethwyck said that almost all of Dumbledore's ribcage and upper chest has been shattered and that his spine has been broken in multiple places, and that practically all of the organs in his body look as though they've been smashed to a pulp!"

Dolores Umbridge, Senior Undersecretary to the Minister for Magic, was practically screaming as she reacted to Amelia Bones' explanation of how it was that the Chief Warlock of the Wizengamot was currently lying on a bed in the Spell Damage Ward, the focus of attention of a virtual herd of Healers, who were attended by an even larger group of apprentice Mediwizards-In-Training.

"The very idea that a First Year student could be responsible for the extraordinary amount of damage the Headmaster received is something that not even someone under the Imperio curse could be forced to believe," the dumpy, squat witch declared vehemently as she sneered at the Head of the DMLE. "Why, I –"

"Cornelius was present when Dumbledore attacked the Lady Zar'khandash, and the Minister can confirm everything I've just told you, Dolores," Amelia quietly interrupted the witch who could have been presented to Darwin as overwhelming proof that the human race did indeed have batrachian ancestors.

"Unless, of course, you believe that *he's* a liar, too," Madame Bones added, the look in her eyes as she looked down at the smaller woman promising dire repercussions in the future.

"What?" Dolores screeched, stunned at the news that her immediate boss would be able to corroborate the other woman's account of events. "Cornelius saw–?"

Again, the witch was interrupted, as a loud murmur of anguished protests and cries of loss suddenly broke out in the chamber and a slowly-moving column of healers and interns began issuing from the room, the expressions on their faces ranging from intense loss to sadness to melancholy to professional indifference.

"Amelia? I'm sorry to have to tell you that Albus has left to embark on his next great adventure, as he would have phrased it," a medium-tall wizard in a tan and brown patterned robe said as he approached the tall, stern-looking witch, his wand moving in an intricate pattern as he used a cleaning spell to remove the blood and other stains on his robe and hands. "The damage the Headmaster suffered was far too extensive for him to have had any real chance of surviving."

"Medically speaking, exactly how badly was he hurt, Helbert?" Amelia asked with a frown, not liking the fact that despite everything, her prey had effectively escaped her yet *again*.

"Virtually all of the bones in the Headmaster's chest and ribcage were shattered, his spine was broken in over a dozen places, and practically all of the organs in his upper torso were reduced to a pulp," Healer Helbert Spleen noted, offering a semi-official report on the deceased's injuries. "Albus looked as though he had been attacked by a horde of rogue bludgers which had been charmed to simultaneously attack their target.

"The muggles have a very descriptive phrase, 'he looked like he'd been run over by a truck,' and that fits Albus' situation almost to a tee," he added.

"Personally, I hope you have the person responsible in custody, Amelia," the Healer said, visibly suppressing a shiver, "because I wouldn't want whoever it was on the loose out there. If he could take down Dumbledore of all people like this, I don't think any normal witch or wizard would stand a chance against him."

"Yes, well, that situation is a...work in progress. And as long as you don't bother his parents or any other family members, I don't think you have anything to worry about, Helbert," Amelia replied enigmatically.

"Thank you for the report, my friend. I have things I need to take care of," the head of the auror corps said before turning and heading off, leaving a bewildered and wondering witch and wizard in her wake.

A moment after Amelia's departure, Dolores nodded to herself and looked over at the Senior Mediwizard.

"Please send a report documenting all of the Headmaster's injuries and all other relevant information regarding his case to the Minister's office, Healer Spleen," she said perfunctorily.

"It is of the greatest importance that this case be dealt with properly, and as expeditiously as possible, and the Ministry is determined to make certain that the people liable for this horrendous assault upon such an honored member of the Wizengamot are held responsible for their actions," the toad-like woman declared pompously before turning and waddling away.

Healer Spleen, for his part, merely stared after the odious little woman for a moment before shaking his head and heading down the corridor to his office, where things actually made sense.

Hell, maybe they’d get lucky and whoever took down Dumbledore would rid them of the toad woman also.

~~~

Ministry of Magic
Level Nine, Department of Mysteries
Hall of Mysteries


Far below the labyrinthine streets that formed the core of central London, in a carefully hidden level which was known to exist by only a comparative handful of the world's Wizarding population, and which had actually been inspected or dealt with by an even smaller percentage, there exists a chamber filled with what appeared to be innumerable rows of shelves, which in turn are filled with an apparently infinite number of softly glowing glass spheres.

Directly below each sphere was fastened a small brass tag bearing a series of letters and words which ventured to explain both the spheres' purposes, the initials of the subjects mentioned in the prophecy, as well as the initials of both the Seer who uttered the prophecy and the person or persons who had witnessed it.

An instant after the straining and failing heart of Albus Percival Wulfric Brian Dumbledore – the man hailed throughout the British Wizarding World as their Leader of the Light, the man who had portrayed himself as selfless enough to use his boundless wisdom to magnanimously guide the sheep who composed the vast majority of their society for the past fifty-plus years, and the man who had been stupid enough to make the ultimately fatal blunder of attacking and injuring the woman who had raised Harry Harris as her own child – underwent its final beat, an event occurred which would have repercussions that would irrevocably alter British Wizarding society's non-too-stable foundations, despite the lack of any witnesses to document its occurrence.

As one of the spheres on the top row of Aisle 97, a tag marked “S.P.T. to A.P.W.B.D. – Dark Lord and (?) Harry Potter” fastened to the shelf below it, abruptly flared onto an eye-searing brilliance, a woman's voice simultaneously filled the area around the sphere.

The words, "The one with the power to vanquish the Dark Lord approaches ... Born to those who have thrice defied him, born as the seventh month dies ... And the Dark Lord will mark him as his equal, but he will have power the Dark Lord knows not ... And either must die at the hand of the other for neither can live while the other survives ... The one with the power to vanquish the Dark Lord will be born as the seventh month dies...", would have been heard resonating through the chamber, had anyone been present to hear the prophecy.

As Sybil Trelawney's words faded and merged with the silence which had previously filled the room, the near-blinding radiance of the sphere also rapidly faded away, until all that remained was a dull and lusterless glass globe nestled among what appeared to be near-limitless field of softly glowing orbs, as a reminder that its prophecy had finally been fulfilled.

~~~

Potter Manor (under the Fidelius charm)
Buffy and Xander's chambers


{ I have to keep Harry safe. That's bastard's not getting anywhere close to him! }

That was her first coherent thought as Buffy Harris made her way back to full consciousness.

The impact of the pain in her abdomen struck her a fraction of an instant later, but compared to what she'd endured in the past from some of the foes she'd had to face, it was barely noticeable, so the Slayer ignored it and tuned her attention to her surroundings

"How're you feeling, babe?" she heard Xander's voice asking her from what seemed like a distance, immediately followed by Harry's voice worriedly asking, "Are you okay, Mom?" and she focused all of her effort on opening her eyes.

Turning her head in the direction her son's and her husband's voices had come from, Buffy saw two pairs of eyes, one emerald green and one chocolate brown, staring at her with an focus that was almost frightening in its intensity.

"I'm fine, baby," Buffy mange to croak out of her dry throat as she managed to contort her facial muscles into a smile to reassure her child.

"I'm just a little bit tired, that's all," she added in response to Harry’s disbelieving look.

"Would you like some water, darling?" she heard her husband asking, and she nodded appreciatively as she realized just how dry her throat and mouth were.

"Thanks, honey; I kinda needed that." Buffy smiled again, much more realistically this time, once she had carefully finished two small cups of the wonderful nectar he'd offered.

By that time, the three of them had been joined by the other members of their rather eclectic family, and Lena allowed them all to fuss over her for several minutes before she finally shooed them all out of the room, expect for Xander and Harry, both of whom then took up positions in chairs on either side of her bed, each of them securely holding one of Buffy's hands in what was almost a death grip.

After a last check on her patient's/stepdaughter's vitals, Lena finally bid all three of them good night and left, quietly closely the door behind her. Buffy noticed, however, that both Dawn and Jon were seated on straight-backed chairs, which had apparently been either brought over from another section of the house or conjured for their use, as they sat guard outside the bedroom.

{ Can't say that I probably wouldn't be doing exactly the same thing if Dawn or Jon had been hurt like this, } Buffy reflected to herself contemplatively for a moment, before she turned her head to check on Harry and smile at the sight before her.

Her son was slumped against the side of the overstuffed chair he'd chosen earlier, finally having succumbed to the fatigue he'd been fighting off earlier, his hair disheveled and the right side of his face smooshed out of shape as he leaned against the side of the chair, with his right hand still tightly locked around her left one, while his wand was just as securely clutched in his left hand, his intent to guard his mother clearly written on his face.

"He's most definitely his mother's son, y'know," Buffy heard Xander whisper as he leaned in closer above her.

"He hasn't left your side even once, except for bathroom breaks, since the moment you got hurt, sweetheart," he said, the pride in his voice evident to anyone who might be listening.

"And our boy insisted on joining in and helping Will with the spellwork back at the bank, too, when she and Lena were working on you," he noted, making sure Buffy knew of all of Harry's efforts to help her.

"Move him over here beside me, Xand," Buffy directed as she stared at her son with an almost beatific smile. "He's gonna get a stiff neck, sleeping like that."

"You sure you're okay for that, honey?" Xander asked, although more as a reflexive question than an actual one, since he immediately got up out of his chair and began moving around the bed to the chair where Harry was currently slumbering.

"I'll be fine, Xand." Buffy nodded her head reassuringly, her smile widening as Xander carefully lifted their child from the chair and just as carefully laid him down alongside her on their bed.

"After all, I've got both you guys here to take care of me, don't I?" the tiny blonde said, clearly rhetorically, as her husband returned to his own chair and reclaimed her right hand.

"Yeah, you do," Xander affirmed as he leaned in and gently kissed his wife.

"And you always will."

~~~
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