The Boy Who Wished He Was Elsewhere

The Boy Who Wished He Was Elsewhere
Prompt: 037 Birthday
Summary: Xander gets his permission slip signed

Xander stared at his Hogwarts letter and the accompanying permission slip thoughtfully.  Today was his birthday and it had arrived the evening before along with birthday gifts from Ron, Hermione and Hagrid.  He glanced over at his friends' gifts: a sneakascope, a broomstick servicing kit and Hagrid's contribution, The Monster Book of Monsters.  

The last gift was still glaring at him and quivering angrily on his desk because of the belt Xander had securely tied around it.  The freaky thing had just about taken his fingertips off when he'd tried to open it and he had no hesitation in keeping the book tied shut until he got to school.  Even stoking the spine of the thing hadn't calmed it down.  He studied it for a moment, wondering if he could release it in Dudley's room the day before he left and pick up another one at Diagon Alley.

With a regretful sigh, he thought he'd better not as he did have to come here again next summer.  He turned his attention back to the permission slip and considered how he could get it signed without having to suck up to Aunt Marge.  His 'Harry memories' of Aunt Marge were not pleasant and he definitely wanted to steer clear of her as much as possible.

It had taken a few weeks to get used to his 'Harry memories' as he called them as opposed to his 'Xander memories'.  Xander had actually been rereading the Harry Potter books in anticipation of the final one coming out but he hadn't been paying close attention to the details of each one.  Now it seemed he'd been plunked down in the beginning of the third one and he wished he'd read it a lot more carefully.  

Xander snorted and shook his head.  Even if he had, there's no way he could remember everything about the story.  And he certainly didn't have any intention of following it step by step.  Young Harry Potter may have been a glutton for punishment, drama and angst, something your average thirteen-year-old reveled in, but Xander Harris most certainly was not.  He was a twenty-five-year old demon-hunting, slayer-training carpenter and with the exception of Buffy and the brooding vampire Angel, aka Deadboy, it took a lot to get him riled up.

So his game plan for the summer was Dursley avoidance and definitely Aunt Marge avoidance.  And if he *had* to be around them, well he wasn't going to let them rattle his cage.  He had *much* more important things to worry about.  Like when the hell Willow was going to come save him from being the Savior of the Wizarding World and, if she didn't show up soon, figuring out how to kill a Dark Lord.  

It shouldn't be all *that* difficult.  He'd faced tons of assorted demons, demon lords and hell beasties.  Not to mention Cordelia and Buffy on a bad hair day.  He could take out old Voldishorts.  Hell, if that whiny brat Luke Skywalker could kill a Dark Lord, Xander certainly could.

At least here he only had one Big Bad to worry about.  And he knew just about every move the Snake Guy was going to make up to the end of the sixth book.  Now all he had to do was plan ahead and he'd off Voldishorts when he least expected it.

Xander grinned as he thought about it.  Snake Guy wasn't going to know what hit him.

Now, though, he had to deal with the Dursleys and Aunt Marge.  And he had to think of another way to get this permission slip signed because he definitely wanted to see Hogsmeade.  Might as well take advantage of things while he was here.  Willow was going to be soooooo jealous.  Heh.

So, what to do?  What would get Vernon to sign the slip?  Xander considered several angles and after several minutes of consideration, he slowly began to smile.  Then he stood, set his expression into a mournful look and then headed down the stairs.

He joined the Dursleys for breakfast, already used to their habit of completely ignoring him.  All three were absently stuffing their breakfast into their mouths as they watched the small television set perched on the counter.  A reporter was happily informing the country at large about the escape of a dangerous criminal.  

Xander froze as he heard the name Sirius Black.  It took him a moment to focus on what the reporter was saying so he only caught the tail end of the report but he did get a good look at the picture shown on the screen.  " line has been set up, and any sighting of Black should be reported immediately."   

*Wow, I wonder if he's already in the neighborhood,* he thought as his uncle went off about something or another.  Xander had quickly learned to tune out his relatives when they were ranting just as he had before with his parents in Sunnydale.  *Maybe I could speak with him before I go to Hogwarts and tell him about Ron's rat.*

"I'd better be off in a minute, Petunia.  Marge's train gets in at ten."

Uncle Vernon's words brought Xander out of his thoughts but he didn't express any surprise or angst about the Coming of Marge.  He kept quiet until Vernon asked Dudley to see if he wanted to go.  Of course, Dudley said "No," as that would require he move away from the kitchen table and the TV.  Vernon just chuckled and left the kitchen.  Xander quietly got up and followed him.

"Uncle Vernon," Xander called as he approached the man who gave him a glare.  "Would you please sign this?" he asked with a depressed look as he held up the permission slip.  

"What is it?" Vernon snarled.

Xander sighed and allowed his shoulders to slump.  "It's permission for the school to allow third-year students to go down to the local village."

"And why should I sign that?" Vernon sneered with a malicious glint in his eyes.  

"Well the professors sometimes send students down there for detentions," he said with a gloomy shrug.  "So if I don't get it signed, one of the professors might show up here to find out if I actually asked you to sign it."  He glanced up at the now-frowning Vernon and then over at Dudley, who had turned away from the TV and his breakfast and was watching with a sneer, hoping his Dad would deny whatever it was that his cousin wanted.  Xander tried not to smirk as he raised his voice a bit. "You remember Hagrid, don't you, Dudley?"

Dudley's eyes widened and his hands immediately went to his backside to check for a tail.

"Daaaaaaaad!" he wailed as Vernon turned a nice puce color.

"I'LL NOT HAVE THAT FREAK NEAR MY HOUSE, DO YOU HEAR ME!" he shouted and waved the permission slip around like a baton.  "I'll knock the stuffing right out of you if any of those FREAKS show up here!"  

Xander kept himself from rolling his eyes with a supreme effort.  Instead, he gave a token flinch and looked appropriately chastened.

"I just wanted you to know what would happen if the slip wasn't signed," he said, lowering his eyes to the floor.  "The professors like to know they can send us to do detention anywhere."

Vernon pulled out a pen and signed the form with short, sharp movements before he thrust the form back at Xander who took it with another depressed sigh.

"You probably get detentions every week, you little good-for-nothing," he sneered again and Xander just nodded.

"Yeah, you wouldn't believe the number of times I've had a detention," he said with a sincere look.  "I'm constantly in trouble.  They don't put up with *anything* there."

"We won't put up with anything here, either," his uncle stated as he pulled on his car coat.  "While Marge is here, you will not pull any of your freakish stunts.  You will behave yourself and I don't want to see anything *abnormal* around the house.  So get rid of that owl of yours or I really will knock the stuffing out of you!"

"No need to get rough, Uncle Vernon," Xander replied as he shoved his hands - and the permission slip - into the pockets of his very baggy pants. "No need for Stuffing Knocking.  I'll send Hedwig off to the Weasleys.  I'll be real good this week.  Totally normal.  I'll be Mr. Normal Guy."

Xander offered his uncle a sincere look but Vernon just stared suspiciously at him.  "See that you do, boy!" he snarled and then stamped out the door and slammed it shut behind him.  Xander snickered softly as he turned back to Dudley who was watching him as suspiciously as his father had been.  

"What are you looking at, Freak?" Dudley sneered.  Xander just grinned at his cousin.

"Hagrid sends his best, Dudders," he said cheerfully and then trotted up the stairs to send Hedwig off to the Weasleys.  The house practically echoed with his cousin's wailing. "Mooooooom!"

"Happy Birthday to me," Xander said happily.
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