The Slayer (and her Slayerettes) of Sunnydale
Harry watched as Buffy happily slayed the giant preying mantis woman who had unsuccessfully tried to kill Dr Gregory, Harry's current favorite teacher. No one else knew why Mrs. French had attacked the teacher. As far as Buffy and Giles were concerned, the demon was just trying for a snack. Only Harry knew it was so she could take Dr. Gregory's place in school and find some virgin male to mate with (and eat).
Harry had kept a careful watch on the date as he considered the whole preying mantis issue. Eventually, he'd decided that setting up Buffy to encounter the demon before it infiltrated the school to begin with was the best way to proceed. The only problem had been making sure of the right time and date. He'd had to talk fast in order to get Buffy patrolling the high school itself for the past week.
During the last few years, Harry had found that he wasn't able to change some things, which seemed destined to happen no matter what he did. The situation with Amy Madison was a good example. No matter how broadly he'd hinted to Buffy that perhaps Amy wasn't exactly what she seemed, the situation had proceeded almost exactly the way he remembered from the books. He was just grateful that no one had died and Amy was now back in her body.
"All right, Buffy?" Willow asked from beside him as the Slayer finished the demon off. Buffy just sent her a grin as Harry tried to calm a panicking Dr. Gregory.
"What the hell was that?" the teacher asked in a wavering voice as he watched Buffy, wiping the demon bug blood off her sword.
"I think that one of the science experiments got out of hand in Dr. Carrey's lab," Jesse said as he came to stand beside Harry. "I know they were working on dissecting bugs earlier this week."
"I don't think he's as conscientious as you about safety, Dr Gregory," Harry said with a nod. "Maybe someone was playing around with the chemicals."
Beside him, Jesse muttered 'suck up' but Dr Gregory was nodding and obviously avoiding any glance back at the slashed up bug.
"I'll be speaking with Dr. Carrey and Principle Flutie about this," he said as he took a deep breath and then grimaced from the smell. "Thank you, Buffy, for your assistance. I think we can leave this for the janitors to take care of."
"Right, Dr Gregory," Buffy said with smile as they followed the man to his car. They had cornered the demon as it tried to kill Dr Gregory on his way across the parking lot. "Maybe you shouldn't stay so late at school. Try to leave before it gets dark around here."
The teacher just nodded absently before he got in his car and drove off, leaving four teenagers staring after him.
"He might have offered us a ride, at least," Buffy noted as they started walking back towards the school.
"I'm glad we were able to save him though," Jesse said as he glanced curiously at Buffy. "Why have you been patrolling the school anyway? Don't you usually hit the cemeteries first?"
"Oh, Harry thought it might be a good idea and Giles," the blond said as she waved at the silent teen. Harry just replied with a half-smile. "I thought it was a waste of time but Harry insisted that we try it for a few weeks."
"Maybe we should keep it up, then," Willow suggested as she and Jesse exchanged a thoughtful look and then glanced at Harry as Buffy obliviously continued on, talking about where they needed to patrol after they reported to Giles and the shoe sale her mother had mentioned at the mall this weekend.
The Sunnydale Zoo, Hyena Exhibit
"Why don't you pick on someone from your own species, Kyle," Harry told the bully as he stepped between Lance and Kyle, pushing Lance towards the exit. Harry knew the dangers here in the hyena exhibit but he absolutely couldn't stand a bully much less a gang of them. And Lance just let them walk all over him.
"What? Are you going to get in my face, Potter?" Kyle asked with a smirk as his friends spread out behind him.
"Obviously, he is," another voice stated, "and such an ugly mug it is, too." The group glanced up to see Jesse walking into the exhibit and moving to his side. Harry was at once grateful for the support of Jesse at his back but frustrated as well because now they were both in danger.
"We need to leave," Harry said in a flat tone as turned back to the gang that looked less confident now that the two boys were facing them. He and Jesse had a reputation of not taking any crap and being able to back up their words with martial arts if necessary. "This exhibit is quarantined for a reason."
"Oh, is goodie goodie Potter going to tattle on us?" one of the girls, Harry thought it was Rhonda, asked in a high, almost babyish tone that reminded Harry of Bellatrix LeStrange. The glare he sent her had the girl's smirk falling from her face and she stepped back.
"We need to leave," he said again but the growls from the hyena pit attracted the attention of the teenagers. Even knowing what was going to happen, Harry couldn't stop himself from looking and suddenly there was another presence in his mind, strong and fierce.
Glancing to the side, Harry met Jesse's green-lit gaze and grinned.
The Master's Lair beneath Sunnydale
"Ohmigod, Buffy!" Jesse yelled as he, Harry and the reluctant Angel approached her still body sprawled on the ground, face down in a puddle of water.
"Turn her over," Harry instructed flatly and then tilted her head back. He grimaced at the vampire bite on her neck. "We'll do CPR. I'll breathe, Jess, you begin chest compressions. Remember what to do?" he asked as he glanced at his friend.
Jesse looked pale but nodded. They both ignored the souled vampire angsting behind them as they started CPR on the Slayer. It only took a minute or two before Buffy was coughing up puddle water and only a few minutes more before she was recovered enough to follow after the Master.
"Let's go," she commanded as she and Angel ran off, followed by Jesse and Harry.
"Good thing we practiced CPR last week," Jesse commented as they rounded a corner, trying to keep up with Angel and Buffy.
"Yeah, isn't it?" Harry replied in a breathless tone.
A Beach House
"You knew what was going to happen, didn't you?"
Harry glanced across the table at his friend's soft question that just barely carried over the distant surf. He met Jesse's eyes first and then Willow's, who was sitting beside Jesse, before he turned his gaze back to study the can of soda on the table before him.
The trio was seated on the back porch of a beach house on the Northern California coast that his family had rented for two weeks. Harry had not had to beg very hard to get his parents to allow Jesse and Willow to come on their trip. His parents were always happy to have Harry's best friends along. Harry would have asked Buffy as well but Buffy's dad had insisted on his daughter's presence in LA as soon as school let out and truthfully, Harry was glad to just spend some quality time with his two best friends.
Shades of memories from a time when his best male friend had been a hot-tempered, redhead and his best female friend had been a bushy-haired brunette rose briefly and he leaned back into his chair with a faint smile. Willow, thank Merlin, didn't have Ron's temper but she was just as loyal and brave and Jesse, while not as brilliant as Hermione, was just as curious and insightful. Harry had been expecting this question for quite some time since Buffy had shown up in January.
But he still wasn't sure how to respond.
"What do you mean, Jesse?" he finally asked, delaying the inevitable.
Jesse and Willow exchanged a quick glance before they moved their chairs closer to Harry's, Jess on his left and Willow on his right. If the Potters happened to look out onto the back porch, all they would see would be the familiar picture of three high school juniors-to-be with their heads close together, plotting some mischief.
"You knew the Slayer was coming before Buffy ever showed up in Sunnydale, didn't you?" Willow asked in a low tone.
"You knew what was going to happen when me and Willow were attacked by those vampires before the Harvest," Jesse continued, his voice low but firm as he held his best friend's green eyes. "I know we never figured out what happened but...." the boy hesitated for a moment before he continued. "You were responsible for torching that vampire who had me, weren't you? That blond one who wanted to carry me down to the Master?"
Harry pressed his lips together angrily as he remembered Darla carrying off a kicking and screaming Jesse while Buffy saved Willow. Until that moment, he'd honestly thought he hadn't carried much of his magic with him to this world. But seeing his best friend being carried off by Darla, *knowing* that Jesse would be Turned, caused something to shift inside Harry and quietly hissed the words *incendio internus* slid from his lips in long forgotten parseltoungue and he glared death at the blond vampire.
Suddenly, the fleeing Darla stopped, her gleeful expression shifting to one of horrified surprise, as she dropped the struggling Jesse. As soon as he hit the ground, Jesse ran like the sprinter he was and the vampire behind became a pillar of white-hot fire that torched two other nearby vamps. Jesse, along with Buffy, Willow and Harry ran like mad, leaving several confused and burning vampires and a pile of ash which used to be Angel's Sire.
Harry sighed again, sneaking a glance up at his friends before he went back to studying the inner workings of his Coke can. That one spell had released his parseltoungue talent from wherever it had been bound since his defeat of Voldemort years before and Harry wasn't certain whether to be grateful or horrified. The presence of the ability indicated his magic had also survived the journey to this new reality but he had to wonder if some part of Voldemort had survived as well and he had no one to ask who would possibly understand.
"Harry," Jesse said in a firm tone that Harry knew from experience was almost as implacable as Willow's ‘Resolve Face’. He sighed again as he turned over the question in his mind. He'd known this question would come up and he still didn't know what to say.
"Harry, you know you can tell us anything," Willow said as she reached out to grab the hand not currently denting his soda can. The youth glanced up at his friend with a half-smile.
"I know, Willow," he said as he finally set the can down on the table. "You two are the best friends I could possibly have. It's just...." his voice trailed off as he looked at the friends he'd know all his life and yet truly only for the last two years. "I don't think I can explain it yet. I do...know some things and really, I wasn't supposed to torch Darla - I didn't even think I could - but I was so mad and afraid when I saw her taking off with Jesse." Harry's green eyes were intense as he caught Jesse's gaze. "She was going to Turn you and then I would have had to stake you and there was no bloody way that was going to happen."
Jesse blinked for a moment before he shared a glance with Willow. Harry's English accent only came out when he was truly emotional about something. Seeing as his parents were from England and Harry had been born there, that wasn't too unexpected but it didn't happen very often.
"That's...not just speculation is it?" he finally asked and Harry slowly shook his head.
"No, that's what would have happened," he answered, his gaze uncertain as he glanced from one friend to the other. "I...changed it."
"You know the future?" Willow asked her voice curious and growing excited.
"Some of it," Harry replied slowly, his tone hesitant. "Things regarding you and me and Jesse, Buffy and Giles and even Cordelia."
Jesse looked interested when Cordy's name was mentioned as anything to do with Cordelia always did. Willow, however, looked eager as she leaned forward to grip his hand as she bounced in her chair.
"Do you know how I'll do in school? Will I get a scholarship to a good university?" Her eyes widened as she thought of something much more important. "Oh! Oh, do you know if I'll get a date for prom?"
Both young men stared at the bouncing redhead for a long moment.
"Way to get your priorities in order, Wills," Jesse said with an amused chuckle. Willow sat back with a blush and then stuck her tongue out at the boy.
"Well, it's important!" she stated grandly and then her eyes glinted mischievously as she turned back to her younger friend. "So Harry, who does Jesse go to the prom with?" she asked with a grin.
The youngest member of the trio paled a little as Jesse mock sneered at Willow and then turned his gaze to him, curious in spite of himself.
"I don't know," Harry finally said in a rather flat tone as he looked away towards the surf. "In the future I know he was dead long before prom rolled around."
Two gasps and then silence for a long minute as they considered Harry's words.
"I really would have died?" Jesse finally asked his words hushed and wary.
Harry just nodded slowly. "I couldn't let that happen," he said as he turned back to his friends. "And it changed some things and now I don't know exactly what will happen. Some things seem to be the same and some aren't." He leaned back into his own chair with a worried expression. "I don't think I should share what I know with anyone but now, some of it won't even come to pass because of Jesse's presence in Sunnydale."
The three sat on the porch for a long while, considering Harry's words and wondering at how things had changed so much over the last part of their school year since Buffy Summers had arrived at Sunnydale High.
"Harry?" The young man looked over at Jesse and the older boy stared at him thoughtfully. "So...that whole Pack thing...did you know that would happen?"
Harry covered his eyes for a moment and slumped into his chair. "I thought I could stop the ritual since I knew what was going to happen," he said in a rather sheepish voice. "I didn't know you would follow me and then I got distracted by Kyle being such an arse and then we got...."
"Possessed," Jesse finished with something of a smirk.
Harry had found the possession of the hyena spirit to be somewhat akin to what happened with Voldemort at the Ministry but he'd had much more awareness of what was happening. The primal was filled with fierce emotion and determination to rule her territory and her pack with no mercy. Harry had felt powerful and confident that he could control his unruly packmates and while he kept their darker impulses controlled, he had allowed his pack, especially Jesse, to roam the school and happily terrorize their classmates. He tried to keep his mind away from thoughts of the school mascot. He still felt guilty about Herbert.
"Hey, at least you kept your pack from eating Principal Flutie," Willow said, trying to point out the good of the situation. "Can you imagine Snyder as principal?"
Jesse just shuddered theatrically and Harry said, "Unfortunately, yes I can."
Willow blinked and then grimaced. Jesse looked at his best male friend.
"How do you know these things, Harry?" he finally asked and Harry glanced away. "I understand you can't tell us anything about the future but how do you know?"
"I...don't know for sure," he started slowly, wondering how he could tell his friends about his other lifetime as Harry Potter; wondering how he could tell them that he really wasn't the person they had grown up with, just someone inserted into their life and memories because of a spell. He sighed and rubbed his forehead. When he looked up at them, Jesse and Willow were shocked to see his green eyes gleaming with unshed tears. "What if I tell you and you hate me?" he asked, pure sixteen-year-old nerves and misery overtaking his usually rational and analytical Auror-trained mind.
"Oh Harry!" Willow said as both teens leaned into their friend and hugged him tightly. "Nothing you can say would make me hate you, you know that! Unless you said you ate small babies or had dead bodies buried in your basement of Doom, then I might think you needed help but I could never hate you, we'd just have to, you know, make sure Buffy didn't know you had bodies in your basement. You don't, do you? Have bodies in your basement?"
"Breathe, Willow," Jesse and Harry said at the same time. Jesse snickering and Harry sniveling.
"Oh, right, well, dead bodies aside, you know we'd never hate you, Harry," the redhead finished, taking his hand firmly.
"Nothing you can say, man," Jesse affirmed, as he gripped his friend's shoulder firmly.
Harry just nodded as he squeezed Willow's hand. "Right," he said. "Well, I think...I think it started with a wish."