Xander Harris

Another Sunnydale

Title: Another Sunnydale
Author: Susan Anthony (LdyGossamer@aol.com)
Pairing: none
Category: AU, Drama
Rating: FR13
Summary: In another Sunnydale, the White Knight is welcomed by the Hellmouth

Warnings: mention of child birthing stuff

Disclaimer: This story is for the pleasure of the readers only.  I don't make a thing.

The Children of the Hellmouth had protected their charge for generations uncounted.  Even before the first humans crossed the mythical land bridge following the great herds from the larger world, the Children were guarding their sacred responsibility.  No one knows when they first came to be for only myths and stories remain from that time. 

But it is clear in their ancient records that the Hellmouth has always had its protectors and it knew and accepted each of them intimately from the moment of their birth.


Roselyn Harris felt another contraction roll across her body but she didn't make a sound as her hands tightened convulsively around her husband's fingers.  The pain was a sharp spear in her body but her grandmother had once told her that the women of her Line were strong of body and mind and they could pass that strength onto their children if they persevered.  She'd told her granddaughter often about the mother who had died birthing Roselyn. 

Lilian LaVelle had looked up at her husband with sorrow and pain in her eyes and apologized for leaving him to raise their daughters alone.  But she had given her daughter her Life's Blood and no mother could give a greater gift.  Great things were expected of Roselyn LaVelle Harris.  Already she was a powerful witch, rising quickly in ability and rank in her ancestral coven despite her youth.

And now Roselyn was about to give her husband his first born, a male, here in the same place her mother had died to give her life.  She would be as strong as her mother had been.  She could do no less to honor her Line.

She opened her tired eyes and met the proud and possessive gaze of her mate who knelt on the floor just above her head.  Anthony Harris, whose family Line stretched back even farther than her own, smiled at her as he leaned down to kiss her forehead gently.

"You're doing so well, my Red Rose," he said softly.  "The Hellmouth is demanding much from you.  Our son will be a warrior, I know it."

She smiled briefly up at him before she grit her teeth against her screams as another contraction rolled over her.  Her husband's words helped her to stay strong though.  Anthony was never one to show his affection for her before others and there were many of the highest ranked Children present as witnesses of this birth.  They had to have seen his gesture. 

She would make him proud if it was the last thing she did.

"The babe comes."

At the healer's quiet words, all murmuring in the room ceased and two men stepped forward, garbed in the red robes of their office.

"She bleeds much," one of them said quietly and Anthony's gaze snapped up from watching his wife, his eyes narrowed on the healer.  The man didn't flinch, however.  His look conveyed reassurance as he glanced up briefly and met Tony's eyes.

"Women of her Line always do," the healer stated calmly.  "It is why the children they bear are so powerful.  She will do well after the child comes."

Anthony remained tense as his wife started panting heavily and her grip on his hands grew tighter.

"Once last push, Daughter of the Rose, and the child will be here," the healer continued as he moved forward.

A few moments more of silence broken only by the new mother's deep breathing and then a child's cry broke the stillness.  Anthony squeezed his exhausted mate's hands a moment more before he stood and stepped around her body, drawing the gleaming silver blade that his family had used for this purpose for generations.  A flash of light and the placenta was cut.  Rose only had a moment to smile, only a moment, before her body clenched again and expelled the afterbirth. 

Then several women stepped forward and carefully eased her body away from the Seal she had been laying on.  The blood of the birth was left behind, pooling around the shrilly screaming newborn laying on the silver metal.  Another woman came forward and held out a red robe for Anthony, who absently pulled it on as he watched his wife being settled. A hand lay on his shoulder and his gazed snapped around to his brother.

"She is fine, brother," he murmured.  "My Linda is seeing to her.  Zebulon waits."

Rory squeezed his shoulder once and stepped back as Tony nodded briefly.  Then he turned back to the Seal and took his place opposite the two other leaders of the Children of the Hellmouth, even as another figure robed in white stepped forward.  Zebulon, the Seer. 

As the Seer stepped into place, a low, intense hum began to saturate the room and all eyes moved to the baby.  The sound slowly increased even as the Seal below the crying infant began to glow bright silver. 

The man in white smiled and stepped forward.

"The Hellmouth accepts the child," he said in a ringing tone.  "What is his given name?"

Some of the people in the room relaxed at that statement but Anthony remained perfectly still. 

"His name will be Alexander LaVelle Harris," he said as he tried to keep watch over the baby.  It was difficult to do as the silver light continued to brighten and the humming that filled the room became more intense.

"He shall be a Warrior for the Children," Zebulon continued, his tone excited and Anthony finally smiled as he spared a glace for his wife, who despite her ordeal looked radiant.  His smile quickly faded, however, when he turned back to his child.  The expected end of the ritual hadn't occurred.

Normally, the light died away after proclaiming its purpose for a newborn.  This time, however, the light became even more intense and began to shift through a prism of colors before a fountain of multi-hued light burst forth from the Hellmouth's Seal and bathed the infant in its radiance. 

Then the light was gone and silence pervaded the room.

"He shall be a White Knight," Zebluon finally said, his tone filled with awe as he stared down at the newborn.

There were stunned gasps throughout the room.  A White Knight hadn't been chosen in generations!  They hadn't needed one as the Children were well trained to protect the Hellmouth.  But Zebulon wasn't finished.  His tone now rang with the sure knowledge of Prophecy.

"A Slayer shall come, seeking to protect that which already has a protector.  The White Knight shall harness the strength of the Slayer and the knowledge of her Watcher to further defend the Hellmouth.  He shall see that humanity and compassion guide the Slayer's Reign here.  He shall guide the Red Witch into her power.  The Children and their Charge will prosper."  Zebulon stopped for a moment and gasped before he continued in a whisper.  "He shall redeem the Cursed Aurelius and his House and they shall be Allies unto the Children of the Hellmouth from thenceforth."

When the last words of the Seer died away, all eyes turned to the strangely quiet and clear-eyed infant now laying on a completely clean and softly shining Seal.

Baby Alexander just yawned.

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