I do not own BtVS or Harry Potter.Spoilers:
BtVS through Season 3. HP through Book 3. Takes place at the end of HP Book 3 (Prisoner of Azkaban).+++
Harry leaned his forehead against the cool glass of the Hogwarts Express, morosely watching the scenery as it rushed by.
The trip back to London was always a bittersweet experience for him, reminding him both of the exhilaration he had felt when he had stepped onto the Hogwarts Express for the very first time and of the crushing disappointment he felt at the end of every school year when he was forced to return to Privet Drive.
Today, however, the bitter far outweighed the sweet; for with each chug of the train, he was moving further and further away from his newly found godfather, Sirius.
Knowing full well what Hermione was going to say, particularly since no one else was in the car with them, Harry wanted to ignore her. He also knew, however, that she wasn’t going to let it go.
“Yeah, Hermione?” he asked quietly.
As he spoke, he made sure to keep his eyes focused on the window. He didn’t need to see the worried look Hermione and Ron would inevitably be exchanging.
Sure enough, there was a long pause before Hermione spoke again.
“It will be alright. He’s safe now,” she said.
Despite his resolution just a moment ago, Harry’s eyes snapped over to her, his face flushing with anger. “Right, if by ‘safe’, you mean being a fugitive on the run with no friends or family to turn to – after
being driven practically insane by Dementors for the past twelve odd years,” he retorted.
He half expected Hermione to tell him where to shove it, but she simply paled and looked down at her hands.
It was Ron who took offense.
“Hey, mate. Lay off. She’s just trying to help,” he said, a touch of anger coming into his voice.
Harry knew he was right and sighed, running a hand through his hair before he looked his friends in the eye.
“You’re right. I’m sorry, Hermione,” he apologized. “It’s just… it’s not fair. To me or to him. We should be together. Instead, I’m heading back to the Dursleys, and he… he has nothing
, maybe even worse than that.”
“That’s not true, Harry,” Hermione argued. “He has you now, even if you can’t be together right away.”
Harry hesitated. “I suppose… but what if that’s not enough?”
Ron and Hermione stared at him, gobsmacked. Apparently, they were unsure how to respond to that.
Of course, Harry wasn’t sure himself. How could he explain that, from his time with the Dursleys, he knew how devastating it was to feel completely alone and unloved -- without the help of any Dementors? That he couldn’t imagine what Sirius must feel like, having had the added burden of being locked in Azkaban
, rotting away in his cell, literally getting the life sucked out of him, all the while knowing that his best mate was dead and that everyone believed him to be the murderer? That he felt physically ill when he tried to imagine the impact all this must have had on Sirius?
Feeling suddenly overwhelmed, Harry made an effort to put this thoughts into words.
“I know the knowledge of his innocence -- well, that and his Animagus skills -- allowed him to maintain his sanity in Azkaban, but think about what he said. Those things weren’t what finally spurred him to escape; nor was it thoughts of me
. It was the promise of revenge on Pettigrew,” he explained.
He watched Hermione’s eyes grow round with understanding. Ron’s face screwed up in confusion, however.
Harry tried again. “I just wish he had someone who believed in him and stood by him, right from the beginning, someone who would give him something to fight for
and not just against. Maybe things would be different now if he did. Maybe he
would be different.”
He immediately shut his mouth then, slightly embarrassed by his emotional outburst.
Thankfully, the car door was thrown open just then, preventing Hermione and Ron from responding. The food trolley had just arrived.
Harry leapt to his feet.
“Never mind,” he said quickly, wanting to be done with the conversation. “Let’s get some sweets, shall we? My treat.”+++
Halfrek was annoyed; ever the professional, however, she kept the smile plastered on her face as she asked Harry Potter and his friends if they wanted anything off the trolley.
But honestly, words could not express the depths of her irritation.
She had been tailing this kid for years, waiting for him to make some deliciously painful – and hopefully creative – wish on the Dursleys; maybe one where they forced to feast on their own abundant flesh or one where they got dropped into a certain dimension where humans were called ‘cows’ and were treated about as well. They certainly deserved it.
To her complete and utter annoyance, however, despite her best efforts to coax a wish out of him, the boy had kept to himself. Now, when he had finally uttered that important word, which she only just managed to hear through the glass, it was to wish his godfather had a friend
She would never live this one down.
“Three chocolate frogs, please.”
Halfrek plastered a smile on her face. “Certainly, my dear,” she cooed, all the while forcing herself not to ram the frogs down the redheaded brat’s throat.
With one last smile, she turned to leave the train car, needing to get away before she ended up slaughtering one – or all – of them. It didn’t help that they reminded her of another trio of humans she wasn’t particularly pleased with at the moment.
Halfrek nearly rammed the trolley into the side of the door as it came to her.
She knew how to kill two birds with one stone; fulfill this kid’s wish and get revenge for Anyanka. It also had the added bonus of possibly giving a certain Tom Riddle his comeuppance.
Oh, yes, Halfrek knew him
as well. She had watched over Tom, another neglected child, for many years; almost as many as Harry Potter. She hadn’t been able to get him
to make any wishes, either. Then, as if that hadn’t been humiliating enough, he had somehow figured out who she was. Instead of taking advantage of what she had to offer, he had actually laughed
in her face, spouting some garbage about him not needing help from anyone.
She had seethed over that one for quite awhile.
It made this wish that much better.
Of course, Halfrek knew that throwing her
into the mix might not change anything in this world. Some events had a way of playing out a certain way regardless of any outside… tampering. Besides, the boy hadn’t even actually wished for anything to change for his godfather or for himself, just the hope that it would, a detail that she would exploit to its fullest possibility in fulfilling the wish. But
if the blonde slayer’s reputation was accurate, there was a definite chance that Riddle – sorry, ‘Lord Voldemort’, the pompous ass – had a few surprises in store for him. And who knew? Maybe the Slayer would go down in the fight, too. One could only hope.
At the very least, it would send the Slayer spinning on her axis, her and those friends of hers who had dared to destroy Anyanka’s powers.
Suddenly in a much better mood, Halfrek began working out the details in her mind, figuring out where, when, and how this would all take place, identifying potential wrinkles in her plan, and anticipating where a little outside intervention might be necessary.
Before she got too carried away, however, she turned back toward the three children under the guise of shutting the train car door behind her. To her delight, they were too busy munching on their sweets to take any notice her.
Hiding her smile, she quickly closed the door. Just before the latch clicked, she glanced at Harry Potter and whispered the magical word, the one that would get the ball rolling.
Then Halfrek turned on her heel and began pushing the trolley down the corridor, a noticeable bounce to her step. She couldn’t wait to return to Arashmahaar and tell D’Hoffryn the good news.
Could someone say ‘promotion’?+++
A/N: Sorry, I couldn’t resist. If you don’t think this idea is completely ridiculous, I’ll try to add one more ficlet to it before the fic-a-day ends.