Chapter 1: Voices and Prophecies
Disclaimer: I do not claim to own Harry Potter, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, or Angel. In other words, I'm getting no money out of this.
Harry rolled off the bed and hit the floor with a thud. He caught his breath and listened.
The Dursley’s were still asleep, or at least pretending to be. They had gotten use to Harry’s nightmares. At first they had criticized, but they had finally resolved to ignore him, partly because they knew that something big was going on in the wizarding world. They were under the belief that if they ignored it, it would go away. Unfortunately for Harry, that was not the case.
He couldn’t ignore his own dreams, after all. He couldn’t ignore the memories. Mostly, he couldn’t ignore the voices, especially Sirius’s voice.
Had the Order been paying more attention, they would have noticed that Harry had been especially quiet as of late. He hadn’t mailed them asking for information. He hadn’t even mailed his friends. His replies to their letters were curt and typical. The young wizard's time was now split between doing chores for the Dursleys and listening--listening for those ghostly voices.
They had been faint at first, he hadn’t even noticed them when he left school, but now they were louder. Now, he could distinguish between them, recognize one anguished moan from another. He was surprised to find them somewhat familiar. They were the voices from beyond the veil.
But in recent weeks, Voldemort had also been making appearances in his dreams. The Dark Lord was not torturing people as the boy slept; he was talking to the voices. Though Voldemort knew the young wizard could see inside his mind, he did not sense Harry on these nights because Harry wasn’t listening from Voldemort’s point of view, but through the veil itself.
In his dreams, Harry had heard Voldemort asking the veil questions. He asked Sirius a few about some group called the watchers and a book that remained untitled. Harry knew he should have told the Order, but he couldn’t bring himself to admit he could hear the dead in the veil, that he knew that those souls had not been able to move on yet. They’d think him mad. Tonight, though, he would have to confess. Voldemort had put a new soul in the veil to question the unfortunate. He had trapped a soul.
As much as it pained Harry, he had to tell Dumbledore. He picked up a scrap of parchment and began to write.
The Headmaster of Hogwarts had been up for quite a few hours when he heard an owl tapping at his office window. He recognized the messenger and let it in at once. Giving Hedwig a delicate stroke, he fed her a biscuit and unfolded the letter tied to her leg.
Dumbledore had been afraid he would not hear from Harry until the first semester of school; nevertheless, the old headmaster was not foolish enough to think the letter in his hands was written in friendship. Something was wrong.
He read over the scratchy handwriting quickly before leaving the office for the Great Hall. Indeed something was most definitely wrong. His summer staff, composed of mainly Order members would have to be alerted at once.
As predicted, he found Minerva McGonagall and Sybil Trelawney in a spat over the significance of an odd shaped blueberry. The two were sitting at the faculty table. Flitwick was between them, trying to enjoy his breakfast. Like clockwork, Severus Snape walked through the side door, a look of distaste on his face. The professors noticed the Headmaster at the same time.
“Albus, is everything alright?” Minerva asked.
Dumbledore handed her the letter from Harry, and the other Professors tried to glance over her shoulder.
“Voices?” Flitwick asked. “From the veil?”
“It is as I predicted!” Professor Trelawney moaned dramatically.
“Do shut up,” Snape snapped at the 'seer'. He put a hand out to McGonagall. “May I?”
She handed him the letter, and he read over it with a frown. “He says there was a name mentioned when the soul was taken. Wesley Wyndam-Pryce. A Watcher.”
“Wesley,” McGonagall whispered. “Albus, is that not the little squib boy who assisted Madam Pince for a few years?”
“If I remember correctly, he would have been disowned by his family if he had not become a Watcher,” Snape added. “It seems life as a librarian would have been much kinder in the end.”
“You knew nothing of you-know-whose interest in the watchers?” McGonagall asked.
“Nothing,” Snape answered, curtly. “However, I was aware that he has been somewhat distracted lately. Potter says he hears Black’s voice as well. Are we sure the boy knows this information to be true?”
Before Dumbledore could answer, an owl flew into the Great Hall, dropping a special edition of the Daily Prophet onto the table. The headline read Prisoners Escaped, Azkaban in Ruins: Ministry Reports Break-ins Only Hours Earlier
“Oh, yes, Severus,” Dumbledore nodded. “I’m quite sure Harry is correct.”
“For Merlin’s sake, Albus! It says Azkaban was demolished less than an hour ago,” McGonagall yelled. “Why were we not informed at once?”
“Headmaster,” Severus said, dangerously low. “The Dark Lord did not inform me of this. Do you know what that means?”
“Yes, Severus.” Dumbledore sat the paper down. “You are no longer trusted by Voldemort. Our defenses are down, and Voldemort’s army is greater than ever. We need to consult Firenze. Sybil, if you would be so kind as to. . . .Sybil?”
The woman’s eyes were glazed and distant. A voice that was not her own issued from her open mouth:
“THE HIGH NECROMANCER SHALL RISE WITH THE SECRETS OF THE LORD OF THE DEAD. . . . AND TWO ARMIES SHALL BATTLE WITH LIKE GOALS. . . .THESE DAYS SHALL BE MARKED BY THE FALL OF THE WOLF, THE RAM, AND THE HART AND THE DEATH OF THE SORROWED LOVER. . . . WHEN HELL BATTLES THE FOUR WARRIORS IN THE CITY OF ANGELS—ONLY AFTER SHALL THE POWERS OF THE NECROMANCER GREET EARTH AGAIN. . . .”
Trelawney’s mouth closed and her head bobbled back and forth. She blinked a few times, bewildered by the stares from her colleagues.
“What?” she asked innocently.
“The High Necromancer,” Snape whispered, a frightened trill to his voice. “Albus, I do believe we are in trouble.”
He turned, but the Headmaster was already walking off toward the closest fireplace, a handful of floo powder in his hand.
Buffy plopped down onto the couch, enjoying her few minutes of 'me-time' with a bag of Doritos.
Most of the house was empty. The few slayers that were living with Xander here in Ohio were out on a shopping excursion. Giles was in the study (which was their version of Sunnyhell’s school library). Everyone else was doing their own thing: Faith and Wood were in New York at the moment (doing God knows what), Willow—with the help of Dawn and Andrew--was scraping together the last of the undiscovered Slayers and delivering them to their Rome based training camp, and Xander was at work.
Buffy had been traveling a lot
in the last year, and she rarely had time to be a couch potato. Her free time, however, was not to last.
At that very moment, a man’s head, surrounded by green flames, popped through the fireplace. Buffy stopped mid-chew, eyes widening.
“Hello, there! You must be Buffy Summers.” The man greeted her with a smile. “My name is Albus Dumbledore, Headmaster of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Now, before you begin asking questions, would you be so kind as to fetch Rupert Giles for me?”
Buffy, for the first time in years, was stunned into silence.
“Huh? Sure.” Buffy turned her head in the general direction of the study. “Giles! Could you come here a minute?” she shouted at the top of her voice.
“Buffy, I do hope this is important,” Giles muttered, coming out of the room with an open book in hand. “I was in the middle of translating this text of. . . . Professor?” Giles’ mouth dropped open. “Professor Dumbledore?”
Buffy frowned. “Giles, you got some ‘splaining to do.”
“Dear Lord, Professor. Come in.” Giles gestured for the old wizard to enter.
“Not now, Rupert,” Dumbledore said gravely. “We haven’t the time for tea, I’m afraid.”
“What’s happened?” Giles asked, taking a chair next to the fireplace.
“Giles, are you gonna explain the whole old-guy-in-our-fireplace thing?”
“Not right now, Buffy!” Giles snapped. More gently he added, “Later, I promise.” Buffy snorted, but remained quiet.
“Rupert, Professor Sybil Trelawney has had a prediction,” Dumbledore began.
“That old bat,” Giles interrupted. “She had a real prediction?”
“My boy, she has had many predictions in the past. Sadly, you have not been privy to the most important ones. That is to change from this moment on. We are in desperate need of your help.”
“What can I do, Professor?”
“Only an hour ago several events took place at once. At this moment, I only have time to discuss one of them. Sybil made an important prophecy pertaining to the rise of the High Necromancer. We are under the belief that Lord Voldemort wishes to take this title.”
Buffy noticed Giles’ shutter. “So this Moldiwort is a baddy?” she asked, putting on a mask of Cali-girl syndrome for their guest.
“The worst,” Giles said softly. “Then the rumors are true? He’s back?”
“He has been for over a year,” Dumbledore confirmed.
“And he wishes to become the High Necromancer?” Giles added.
Dumbledore nodded. “As far as we can tell.”
Giles bit his lip. “Tell me this prophecy, then.”
Dumbledore began, repeating the lines up to three times apiece. When it was finished, Giles took off his glasses and began to clean them. “The Lord of the Dead.That book was lost for ages. It was only recently found.”
Dumbledore’s eyes glistened. “Do you know where it is, Rupert?”
Giles nodded. “Yes. Actually, it’s in this very city. A retired watcher has it in her position; she’s one of the few people that could be trusted with such a text. Her name is Wilhelmina Granger.”
“Mina Granger, you say?” Dumbledore asked. He proceeded at Giles’ nod. “Oh, dear. I do believe one of my students is staying with a great aunt by that name. Can you get in contact with Mina at once, Rupert?”
“I’ll call her right now,” Giles answered.
“Just a minute, guys,” Buffy said. “Aren’t you ignoring the rest of this ‘oh so reliable’ prophecy? These animals have to fall, then someone has to die, and hell has to rise again. I think we’d notice if hell was rising with four warriors to battle it, after all, this is a hellmouth.”
“Buffy has a point,” Giles agreed. “However, I do see this happening in the near future. Buffy, don’t you recognize that name. Wolfram and Hart, Buffy.”
Buffy’s eyes widened. “Oh, crap. At least, we know they haven’t fell yet (sadly) and that other stuff still hasn’t happened.”
Dumbledore frowned. “I’m afraid you are incorrect, Miss Summers. I am told that a man died about an hour ago who may have fit the position of “sorrowed lover”. It was someone I know you’re familiar with, Rupert. His name was Wesley Wyndam-Pryce.”
Buffy felt her eyes begin to burn and her cheeks flushing. She hadn’t know Wesley terribly well, or even liked him much. . . but still.
“Dear lord,” Giles muttered. “The poor boy . . . . “
“No. No. The other part of the prophecy,” Buffy reasoned. “The other part hasn’t came to pass. The evil law firm hasn’t fell and hell hasn’t risen.”
“In the City of Angels,” Giles whispered. “Hell has not risen in the City of Angels.”
“Los Angeles,” Buffy hissed. “No! It hasn’t happened yet. Someone would have told us. After all, how could they fight off hell without the slayers?”
Buffy was about to add that she didn’t put much faith in prophecies when the phone rang.
Giles looked at the machine as if it was a dark omen, but he said nothing, gesturing for his slayer to take the call.
Buffy reached for cordless without hesitation.
There was silence on the other end. Then she heard a voice. “Buffy?”
Buffy could feel her heartbeat pulsing in her throat. She swallowed hard.