Buffy the Vampire Slayer belongs to Joss Whedon, and Harry Potter to J.K. Rowling. No money is being made from this story which is purely written for mine, and others, entertainment.
Part 1 in Roads Travelled.
Post BTVS season 2, and during the marauders last year at Hogwarts.
BTVS/HP crossover. Life had never been kind to Buffy Summers, and she thought she had earned a break. Boy, was she wrong. Stuck in another dimension, with no way back, Buffy must learn to leave her past behind her, and look to the future: new friends, new enemies and new relationships are just the beginning of what will prove to be the longest journey and perhaps the biggest trial of her life.
James/Lily, Sirius/OC, Peter/OCInnocence.
We all have it, at some point in our lives. I lost mine a long time ago, but I still like to pretend it’s there. Childhood-living is easy to do, after all. But even though I treasured the time and the new chance I got, it still wasn’t enough. Nothing is ever really enough. The good times - they will always come to an end, sooner or later, and you’re never ready when that happens. In our case, the innocence disappeared far too quickly, and the suffering lasted far too long. Will it ever really go away? I doubt it.
- Buffy Summers.
Buffy stumbled weakly through the alley, one hand grabbing at the stonewall building to her left for support, the other tightly pressed against a ghastly stomach wound.‘It wasn’t supposed to go this way,’
she thought, staring unblinkingly at the blood splattering from her mouth onto the ground as she coughed – a deep, rattling cough that originated from deep inside her lungs.
Her eyes teared up as she painstakingly continued her walk. She had to get to a hospital. She was trying to remember where the hospitals in LA were but dizziness made her sight fuzzy and her head throb.
The world was spinning and Buffy swayed slightly on the spot, and she stopped, to try and catch what little breath she had left; save her strength. Biting her lip, she forced her legs into taking another step. And another. ‘Just a little bit further,’ Buffy thought, stubbornly ignoring the speckles of colors obscuring her vision. ‘Just one more step…’
Around the corner awaited salvation – the main street, were surely people would be taking evening walks, visiting the clubs nearby – someone would notice her and get help for sure.
The Slayer refused to acknowledge the fact she was dying – that the piece of metal that had been sticking through her lower body before she pulled it out, had hit something vital, and that it was only due to her willpower that she was still standing.
She wouldn’t face death in a dark alley…alone. Inwardly, Buffy was cursing her decisions; the one to patrol tonight, and the one to run away and come to LA in the first place. All her choices seemed to do was bring her grief.
She knew that running away had never solved anything, and yet, that was what she’d done. When life became too much, she turned tail and took off, leaving her friends and mom behind.
But what she wanted to escape the most refused to go away, no matter how far she ran – the memories.
The expression as she buried the sword in Angel’s chest would forever haunt her. Often, she’d cry herself to sleep, wishing for a miracle, that when she woke up, he would be there and all of this would just turn out to be a really bad dream…but that was never the case.
She took another step – and then her legs failed her, and she sank down onto the dirty asphalt in a heap. She tried crawling, but it hurt too much, and only managed to upset her wound more. She leaned her head to the left against the cool stonewall, bitter tears dripping down her face.
A silent sob forced its way up her throat, and she tried calling for help – one last, desperate act - but her voice failed her and all that came out was a small, scratchy whine, too quiet for human ears to notice, especially considering the bustling city traffic just a few meters ahead… So close, yet so far away.
Buffy inwardly cursed the demon that had gotten the better of her. She had been sloppy, she admitted. She had said goodbye to Lily – no, Anne, now – and left the small LA apartment she had been living in, feeling ready to begin anew, ready to shoulder the burden of being the Slayer once again. She couldn’t turn her back on her calling, as much as she wanted to. It was part of who she was, and thanks to Anne and the experience down in the Hell dimension, she had finally accepted it. Was it only a few hours ago? It felt like forever.“I’m Buffy, the Vampire Slayer, and you are?”
Buffy chuckled silently. How ironic – that just as she came to terms with her destiny again, destiny proceeded to screw her over.‘No Slayer lives forever,’
she reminded herself, but it didn’t make her fate any easier. Especially knowing how she had left her mom and her friends, without even saying goodbye. And now, they would never know what had happened. They would never know she had been about to return.
Tonight was supposed to be an easy patrol. One last round around the City of Angels, before jumping on a bus that would take her home, back to Sunnydale. Maybe a few vampires, nothing she couldn’t handle. And then, the demon had taken her by surprise.
Buffy had managed to get in a few good hits, and she was starting to enjoy the battle, feeling immortal, high on life and adrenaline, when she had taken a straight uppercut to the jaw. Before she managed to recover, the demon had taken her and thrown her for a long spin through the air before she finally landed on a trash container.
And just as she got up, just as she got to her feet, the demon had grabbed a long metal pole from the ground and impaled her before knocking her out. When she came to, she was alone, blood pooling around her, the demon nowhere to be seen. Getting to her feet, she pulled the metal out and started to make her way from the scene. Which lead her to this moment.‘When did it get so dark?’
Buffy thought. The pain in her stomach seemed to have faded into numbness. She couldn’t feel anything, and the only sound she could hear was her own shallow breathing and her heart beating with irregular motions against her ribcage.
She was so tired…
Surely it would be alright to rest her eyes for a second?
Just a second…
One young man – a novice of the Fates stared into a large stone well that seemed to shimmer with power. The water inside was smooth, the surface completely blank.
The well was the Fates’ way of knowing what was going on with the universe and their chosen champions. In the depths, the young Power could view all actions going on within the worlds.
Currently, it was showing him a clear view of a Slayer – one Buffy Anne Summers. The young woman was badly wounded – dying, even.
The rule was simple – watch, but do not interfere. It was not up to them to decide which road to take. The creatures existing in the dimensions had to make those decisions themselves, even though sometimes, they made the wrong one.
Only one exception could be made to this – if the continual existence of the universe and the balance between the many dimensions within was threatened because of the choices made by the humans, then, and only then, were the Fates allowed to meddle.
This young Fate, though, had lately started to have trouble with this rule. Surely, passiveness was not the right thing? And Buffy, the young Slayer, still had so much to live for, and she was just beginning to realise that. It would be wrong, evil, even, to rob her of her life now. When she still could play a part on the large chessboard that was life.
This young Fate had not yet learnt how precarious the balance between light and dark truly was. He had not yet realised what could happen – the risks he took – if he touched the liquid within the well and influenced the lives of those in the universe.
And so, temptation became too much.
One finger was dipped into the well, disturbing the surface with the ripple effect from this small action.
The well glowed, and all planes of existence began to shake. The universe trembled as the balance between the worlds was disturbed.
The thin layer separating the many dimensions and protecting them from each other became fractured as it was breached by the small action made by the naïve Fate. A gap to the worlds had been opened somewhere in the many dimensions.
The older Fates howled with fear and rage as they rushed to the well, pushing the young Power out of the way. His punishment would be determined later – now, however, they had to focus all their power on repairing the damage made.
The ground shook around Buffy, who gasped in surprise, her eyes snapping open.
The asphalt in front of her cracked and broke apart - some kind of blue vortex was slowly coming to life between the large chinks and Buffy pressed herself closer to the wall – but it didn’t matter. The portal grew bigger and wider as the asphalt broke further apart and had already gotten a hold of her, and was pulling her down…even if she hadn’t been wounded, even if she somehow gathered up enough strength to resist, it wouldn’t be enough. The vortex was too strong.
The world was spinning.
She was falling.Darkness.
1 September, 1977
James Potter sighed, staring longingly at the red-headed girl further down the table, his hazel eyes glassy. Remus actually thought he saw him drool.
Sirius poked James’ shoulder with his fork. The messy haired boy didn’t even flinch, something which didn’t surprise his friends in the slightest, knowing his obsession with the red-head ran deep. Remus and Sirius exchanged exasperated looks, shaking their heads at their friend.
”Haven’t you given up yet, mate?” Sirius asked. ”Lily Evans does not want anything to do with you. You could have any girl you wanted in this school, and you’re still pining for the unattainable.”
James, finally turning his attention away from the girl who occupied his dreams, glared at him. ”She is not unattainable!” He protested. ”This will be the year, I’m sure of it!”
Sirius rolled his eyes. ”You know, it would be more convincing had you not said the exact same thing last year.”
”And the year before that,” Remus cut in, smirking slightly.
”And the year before that,” a third boy, Peter Pettigrew piped up.
”And – ” Sirius began anew, only to be cut of by James who gave them an irritated look.
”Alright, alright, I get your point,” he muttered. ”But I’m telling you! She will be mine! I’m Head Boy this year, aren’t I? We’ll have to share patrols and duties…it will be the perfect chance to get to know each other!”
Sirius eyebrows rose. ”You mean you’re actually planning on doing those things?”
”I’ll believe it when I see it,” Sirius said, shaking his head. ”James Potter and duties…something is wrong with that sentence. I say, leave the work to Evans and abuse your position as much as you can.”
Remus frowned at Sirius. ”Don’t listen to him, James. I think it’s good you’re taking your new position seriously. Have you ever thought that the reason Lily may despise you is because you’re a bit of a slacker? And maybe a tiny bit of a bully as well?” He added carefully, waiting for the loud protest that was sure to come. To his surprise, it didn’t.
”The thought did cross my mind over the summer,” James admitted, lifting up a hand to ruffle up his hair, only to stop himself at the last second, his hand changing direction so he was scratching at his neck instead.
Sirius gawked. ”You can’t be serious!”
”No, you are,” the other three Marauders chorused.
Sirius glared. ”I’m the only one allowed to play on that joke,” he muttered. ”Anyway, you can’t be considering laying off on Snivellus, are you, Prongs?”
James shrugged. ”Maybe I am. If we don’t bother him, maybe he won’t bother us.”
”That’s just optimistic thinking,” Sirius protested. ”Besides, we live to torture the greasy git.”
James sighed. ”Sirius, I have been giving this a lot of thought. I really like Lily – a lot. And if not bullying Snape is the way to catch her attention then I’ll give it a try.”
”Fine,” Sirius sulked, crossing his arms with a slight huff. ”I can’t believe you’d abandon our camaraderie for a girl, though.”
It was James and Remus’ turn to roll their eyes at each other. Sirius’ was the king of exaggeration. ”But you will continue the pranking, at least, won’t you?” Sirius added, giving the messy-haired boy a pout and a flash of the puppy-dog eyes.
James lips twitched. ”Of course! It is our last year, after all. And we’ll have to go out with a bang, right?”
”Hear, hear,” Sirius, Remus and Peter chorused, lifting their empty glasses and clunked them together theatrically.
”Shh!” Lily Evans hissed at them. ”The sorting is about to start!”
”The sorting is about to start,” Sirius mimicked in a girly voice. ”What you see in her, Prongs, I’ll never know. Well, other than the obvious - she’s a looker, that’s for sure! Ow!”
James promptly kicked him under the table, and turned his attention to the Sorting Hat, which was opening its brim to sing.
Sirius blinked. ”You’re actually going to listen to the hat?”
James ignored him.
”Hell must be freezing over,” Sirius muttered, shaking his head at Remus, who grinned, before, he too, turned his attention to the Sorting Hat. Other than presenting the Houses, as usual, the hat also seemed to sing warnings about a conflict that could only end in carnage if nothing was done in time.
Ever since he’d come to Hogwarts as a first year, Remus had heard whispered rumours about a wizard who called himself Lord Voldemort. Not many had taken them seriously, then, and Remus, who had only been a young boy, had been far too busy to worry about everyday stuff to pay any attention to it. He’d thought it would blow over, like every other ’big’ threat, and even if it didn’t – well, he’d be safe at Hogwarts, wouldn’t he?
Everyone knew Hogwarts was one of the safest places in Britain - maybe in the entire world - and not only because of the strong wards surrounding the old castle, but also because Dumbledore - the one everyone looked up to, the one everyone considered being the greatest wizard alive, the one who had defeated the terror Grindelwald - was the Headmaster.
But now, Remus was in his last year, and the threat hadn’t blown over – in fact, it had only grown steadily worse – maybe it could even be called a war: Attacks were becoming a regular occurrence and people were becoming genuinely afraid. Most were even refusing to speak Voldemort’s name, only calling him You-Know-Who or He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named, and even those silly titles brought shudders upon some people.
And soon, they’d be out there, outside of the castle walls, standing on their own two feet, in the middle of what was slowly but surely becoming bloodshed. He glanced furtively at Sirius and James, knowing they were both planning on becoming Aurors, and as such, would be in the thick of things.
As for Peter…well, even if Peter didn't get very good grades and seemingly struggled in all of his classes; barely managing to scrape an 'Acceptable', he knew that he would still have more options than Remus, who, with his lycanthropy had a very limited amount of positions to choose from. The Ministry didn’t hire werewolves, and most other employers were loath to go against Ministry policies, so Remus had no idea what to do after graduation. Maybe he’d end up as a clerk in his father’s bookstore. Joy.
But Remus also knew that whatever happened, he could deal with it as long as the Marauders stuck together. James, Sirius and Peter were his first and only true friends and he would hate to lose them.
The hat finally finished its song to scattered applause with many students whispering and some looking frightened, and the first years who stood in the entrance to the hall were all looking positively terrified. Sirius groaned.
”Finally! I thought the hat would never shut up.”
Remus grinned. Sirius would never change. James, however, was frowning. ”I thought the song was quite interesting this year. You should have listened.”
Sirius let his head fall onto the table with a loud ’thunk.’ ”James,” he said. ”If you’re going to turn into a copy of Moony, only worse – ”
” – Hey!” Remus protested.
” – I think I might just kill you.”
James rolled his eyes, and turned to Peter whose stomach had let out a loud growl.
Peter nodded. ”Yes.”
”You stuffed yourself full of sweets on the train,” Remus said, incredulously, ”How can you possibly be hungry already?”
”He’s always hungry,” Sirius quipped. ”After six odd years of friendship, I thought you would have learned that by now, Moony.”
”Psst, James!” Michaela Duncan, one of the Chasers for the Gryffindor Quidditch team and also a seventh year, called out at the same time as McGonagall yelled out ”Gray, Joseph.” ”Have you scheduled any practices yet?”
James shook his head. ”I’ll have to check our schedule first, and then make sure it doesn’t collide with the duties I’ll have as Head Boy, and the Prefect patrols.
”Sounds awfully ambitious and organized of you, James,” Michaela said, impressed, before turning her attention back to the sorting. McGonagall was now onto ”Hanning, Margaret.” A few seats away from her, Lily was actually looking pleasantly surprised, and James’ heart swelled with pride. Maybe this whole becoming-responsible-thing would work out. He put his elbows on the table and let his head rest on his hands, staring dreamily at the green-eyed beauty, who knew she was being watched but was doing her best to ignore it.
”Jones, Alyssa,” the hat called out, sounding rather bored, and Remus watched as a blonde slowly made her way to the hat, staring excitedly at everything in the hall, and pausing every now and then to let out a gasp of appreciation. McGonagall was tapping her foot impatiently at the floor.
”I’ll bet you a Galleon that she’ll end up in Hufflepuff,” Sirius said, nudging Remus.
Remus eyes narrowed, and he stared in focused concentration at the girl who finally had taken her seat on the stool and was now getting the hat put on by McGonagall.
”Ravenclaw,” he said, determined, turning to Sirius. ”I’ll take that bet.”
Sirius smirked. ”You just lost yourself a Galleon, Moony.”
Several seconds later, the girl still hadn’t been sorted. Sirius yawned, giving Remus an eye-roll. ”And I who hoped she would be a quick one,” Sirius mumbled under his breath, bored. Remus grinned, turning around back to the hat which was finally opening its brim…
”…RAVENCLAW!” The hat yelled out, and Sirius’ jaw dropped, and he handed Remus a Galleon. ”How did you do that?” He wondered.
Remus shrugged. ”Lucky guess.” His shrug turned into a grin. ”Or maybe I am just that good.”
”Egoism does not become you, Moony,” Sirius stated. ”That’s my tune, and you know it.”
James finally tore his eyes from Lily and he gave them a curious look. ”What are you talking about?”
Sirius and Remus gave each other a look that said ’hopeless.’
”Pranks, of course, dear Prongs,” Sirius said, bringing out the trump card and the only thing that could take James’ mind from Evans when he was in one of his ’worshipping-moods.’ ”What else?”
James lit up.
By the time the first years had all been sorted, the marauders were whispering excitedly, waving their hands around in gestures and occasional snickers coming from the close-huddled group.
"Welcome! Welcome to another year at Hogwarts!" Dumbledore said, and the Marauders looked up, giving each other meaningful glances that said, ’we’ll finish this later.’
"For some of you, it is the first, and for others, it is the last. As usual, the Forbidden Forest is what it sounds - forbidden. Some students should know this by now," Dumbledore's eyes settled on the marauders - especially James and Sirius, who put on their best innocent smiles.
’The only thing missing is the gloria’, Remus thought and snorted.
Dumbledore spoke up again. "I also have another bit of news for you - or maybe it is starting to become more of a tradition - I have managed to find another Defence Against the Dark Arts Professor even this year - Professor Malcovitz, who unfortunately couldn't make it to the feast, but will be here in good time before classes begin."
There were snickers at this, during all of Remus’ years at Hogwarts, and apparently, several years before them as well no one had managed to hold the DADA post for longer than a year. Rumour had it that the position was cursed, or jinxed, and that Dumbledore found it harder and harder to convince someone to take the post - almost no one asked for it freely anymore.
Remus crossed his fingers, hoping the teacher was good this year – or well, at least fairly competent. DADA was his overall favourite and best subject, and he thought it was one of the most important as well. And if a war was coming, it was even more important than ever. Remus did not plan on sitting on the sidelines, even if he couldn’t work as an Auror.
"I have also been asked by Mr. Filch, our caretaker, to remind you all that no magic should be used between classes in the corridors,” Dumbledore continued, regarding the students over his half-moon formed glasses. ”Quidditch trials will be held in the second week of the term. Anyone interested in playing for their House teams should contact the flying instructor, Madam Smith, and the Quidditch Captain for the house you wish to join."
James leaned over towards the two gossipers of Gryffindor, a couple of fourth years, keeping his voice low so he wouldn’t interrupt Dumbledore’s speech.
”That’s me. We need a new Keeper and a new Chaser this year, and there are two positions on the reserve team open – Chaser and Beater - so everyone interested, please sign up as soon as possible. Could you pass the message on to the rest of the table, please?” He threw them a charming grin. The two girls blushed and giggled, but nodded, and soon, James’ message was spreading in rapid succession to everyone else.
"…Finally, Mr. Filch also says that any maps, or enchanted parchments found will be confiscated immediately," Dumbledore finished. ”Now, I have just two more words for you: Tuck in!” Squeals of excitement were heard from the first years as food and drink of all sorts appeared on the table. All the students quickly started to shuffle as much food as they could manage onto their plates.
The Marauders gave each other panic-stricken looks as they passed around the food and started to heap it up. Last year, Remus had got the idea of creating a map of the school, where you could see all the secret passages and rooms, plus everyone inside the school grounds. The other Marauders had been very excited about the idea and decided to go through with it.
It had been a big help for their mayhem creating, mischief planning, and prank playing during their free time. The map had also been a great help after they managed to become Animagi and started to sneak out to Remus in the Whomping Willow during his transformations.
”Ho-chan’t-no-wout-th-wharavors-wap, chan’e?” Peter muttered worriedly, chewing wildly.
”What?” James said, confused. ”Speak up, Pete!”
Peter swallowed. ”He can’t know about the Marauder’s Map, can he?” He repeated.
”He knows everything,” Sirius said, shrugging. ”I’d say he does. We’ll just have to be more careful with it this year.”
Suddenly, several students started to talk excitedly, and were pointing at the ceiling. The Marauders looked up, watching in a mixture of surprise, excitement and slight apprehension as the magical ceiling seemed to splinter apart. In the gap, a blue swirl started to take shape, growing bigger and bigger, and slowly lowering itself downward.
Now the teachers had noticed it too.
"Please, move away from your tables and back towards the walls,” Dumbledore commanded and slight chaos broke out, when everyone tried to leave at the same time.
”I think it’s a portal,” they heard Lily Evans say in realisation, as they reached the wall and Remus thought she was probably correct. There wasn’t much else it could be, really. All the professors, and some students, among them Sirius and James, had their wands pointed at it, in case, something would fall out of the blue swirl…
And something did.
Most of the girls let out shrieks of fright, and a lot of the boys yelled loudly in shock as a shape fell out and crashed down onto the middle of the floor. The students walked hesitantly closer.
”Stay where you are!” Dumbledore said, and everyone froze. The white-bearded Headmaster slowly made his way towards the shape, his wand still out and pointing at it.
”It’s a girl!” Someone from the Hufflepuff table called out, and there were excited murmurs. Remus leaned forwards slightly; to try and get a better look…it was a girl. And she was unconscious, bleeding heavily from her stomach, looking rather beat-up and bruised.
Dumbledore kneeled down by her, checking for a pulse. ”Poppy!” He said, and the matron quickly made her way over.
”Who is she, Albus?” Remus heard her ask.
”As of now,” Dumbledore said. ”One of your patients, it seems.”
He stood up, waving his wand, and a stretcher appeared, onto which he carefully levitated the girl.
The Marauders watched in fascination as the Headmaster and Poppy quickly walked out of the Great Hall, the doors closing behind them. A second later, the students broke into excited chattering.
Remus, though, was frowning. The girl had looked so small and frail…and yet, there had been something about her…something that spoke of strength, courage and yet vulnerability.
Something deeper, lurking under the surface of an innocent facade…something that made his heart beat a little bit faster…and Remus knew, without a doubt, that his last year had just become a lot more interesting…
A bright flash travelled quicker than the eye could see through all dimensions, restoring and changing the order wherever it touched, no reality unaffected.
The portal Buffy Summers had fallen through was closed as the Fates worked to restore the balance and repair the damage made. A new Slayer was called in her place – one potential road ended, and another began.
Within the world of Witchcraft and Wizardry - the world of a future prophecy regarding an as of yet unborn Harry James Potter and a rising Dark Lord - destinies were rewritten.
Previously unfeasible paths suddenly became achievable for all champions of light, dark and grey. New possibilities opened, while others were blocked.
The numerous roads were dipped in shadow. Only time would tell which paths would be chosen and only time would reveal the consequences of those choices.
The first step had been taken. But many remained before the road would become clear and one outcome more apparent than all others.
The fate of the world was as of yet uncertain.