The Sugar Quill
Author: Maidenjedi (Professors' Bookshelf)  Story: Call to Arms  Chapter: Default
The distribution of this story is for personal use only. Any other form of distribution is prohibited without the consent of the author.

TITLE: Call to Arms (1/?)

AUTHOR: Maidenjedi

RATING: PG-13

ARCHIVE: List archives, otherwise please ask.

SPOILERS: Harry Potter: GoF; BtVS: general season 6

KEYWORDS: Story, Giles, Dumbledore, McGonagall, Lupin, Black, Hogwarts

CATEGORY: HP/BtVS crossover

DISCLAIMER: Harry Potter and all affiliated characters belong to J.K. Rowling. Buffy the Vampire Slayer and all affiliated characters belong to Joss Whedon and Mutant Enemy.

SUMMARY: Upon Voldemort's return, Albus Dumbledore issues a call to arms for those of "the old gang". A "Buffy the Vampire Slayer"/"Harry Potter" crossover.

***

Written for HPImprov #2. Better late than never. Just so you know, I'm playing with the timeline of Goblet of Fire a little, having it happen simultaneously with the events in Sunnydale this season. Harry's just about to turn 15 and Buffy is not quite 21, though neither makes a significant appearance in this story.

Author's Notes at the end.

*X*X*X*X*X*X*X*X*X*X*X*X*X*X*X*X*X*X*X*X*X*X*X*X*

He was on a plane the night Voldemort was reborn. He jumped in his sleep, knocking his knees into the chair of a rather noisy sleeper in front of him. It had to have been a nightmare, something brief and hardly suspect, that awakened him. When the man in front of him turned to narrow his eyes, Rupert Giles felt a little like William Shatner in that old Twilight Zone episode.

It was nothing, just a glitch in his otherwise dreamless sleep.

As he sailed through the sky over the black Atlantic Ocean, people who would not have needed the aircraft woke up to crying children. Creatures of legend shook from the tremors of fear stretching from the shores of Great Britain.

In Sunnydale, where the group of young Muggles and Muggle-born witches and their Slayer leader sat mourning Giles' departure, something greater than any past apocalypse called to the creatures of the night lurking in dark underground places.

No one would remember this foreboding night in any detail, not until the name of the Dark Lord was whispered in fright, not until the great wizard Albus Dumbledore stood up in the Great Hall of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry and told the story of Cedric Diggory's death and Harry Potter's duel. Word would be passed by owl; in places like Sunnydale, former demons and some old enemies would warn the Muggle forces of good.

But for right now, Giles simply shifted in his seat, worrying about his decision to leave Sunnydale, as his plane zipped along towards London in the night.

*X*X*X*X*X*X*X*X*X*X*X*X*X*X*X*X*X*X*X*X*X*X*X*X*

Nothing had ever changed in this corner of London when Giles was a boy growing up there. The seasons passed and sometimes the Smythes planted red roses instead of pink, but the basic scenery never changed.

Number 42 on Worthington Court was in slight disrepair; Giles hadn't been back often to take care of it. Ordinarily he would stay in a London flat, but this house belonged to him, and he needed to become anonymous again. It had been a long time since he'd truly been under the authority of the Watchers' Council, and there was little call in the job market for someone with his peculiar...experiences.

The bushes needed trimming, and paint was peeling from the shutters. Leaves from as long ago as two falls past littered the walk. And a cat sat in front of the door, patiently watching Giles as he walked up.

Giles stared at the cat, at first annoyed by the creature, and then fascinated. He'd have recognized it anywhere, with those distinctive markings around its eyes that resembled a pair of eyeglasses.

"Minerva McGonagall. I never thought I'd be seeing you again."

The cat seemed to size Giles up, staring up him with wide, unblinking eyes. In an instant, the cat morphed into a human being, a woman dressed in dark robes. She wore rounded eyeglasses, and her jet black hair was pulled into a severe bun at the base of her neck.

"Rupert, I assure you, I never thought I'd be standing on your doorstep."

--------------------

"So Voldemort is back, is he?" McGonagall cringed instinctively at the casual use of that evil name. "Yes. Dumbledore is asking that we gather together, as many of us as are still alive." "Alive, and sane, you mean." McGonagall grimaced at Giles' reminder. Their eyes met, flashes of souls like Longbottom, Trelawney, O'Shaughnessy, Griffin, and others passing through their minds, souls who didn't mercifully die at Voldemort's hand and were now only shells, ranting and raving or staring silently into nothing.

"Yes."

Giles sighed, taking off his glasses and wiping them on his shirt. "Can I get you something to drink, Minerva?"

She shook her head slightly, not trusting her voice a second time so quickly.

"Who else is being contacted? Who is left that would still be willing?"

"Dumbledore sent messengers to just a few people. Sirius Black..."

Giles stared at Minerva, his mouth open. She nodded.

"It took us all by surprise, Rupert. Black escaped from Azkaban last year, and the Ministry was never able to catch him."

"I heard about that. Even our papers carried the story."

"I was aware of that. A decision of Fudge's, I believe. Black apparently is innocent, however, and somehow survived the torments of the Dementors in Azkaban. Dumbledore believes him; the evidence in his favor is that Peter Pettigrew is alive and well and serving You Kn...Voldemort."

Giles rubbed his chin. "Interesting. So what about Black, what does Dumbledore want him to do?"

"Black was sent to recruit Remus Lupin, Arabella Figg, and Mundungus Fletcher. Beyond that, we'll know more when we meet."

"Lupin? Wouldn't have thought he'd want any part of this." "Dumbledore had him teaching Defense Against the Dark Arts last year at Hogwarts. He's trustworthy enough." McGonagall's trademark scowl pursed her lips tightly, as if she didn't necessarily agree with Dumbledore. "I won't doubt Dumbledore's choices. I've had plenty of help from vampires and werewolves myself." A wry smirk crossed Giles' face, though McGonagall wasn't amused. She continued.

"After we're finished, Dumbledore wants to send ambassadors to make an alliance with the giants."

This took Giles by surprise, even more so than the revelation about Sirius Black. Giants were feared in the magic community, though they had become more like obscure storybook creatures in the past decade. Back in Sunnydale, even Buffy had never had to deal with actual giants.

"Is he sure about that, Minerva?"

She sighed. "Yes. He wants to make alliances that You Know Who won't expect. He wants to beat the Death Eaters to the giants, make peace so that we aren't alone."

"Are there any giants actually left in these parts?"

"Only Hagrid, and Madame Maxime of France's Beauxbatons Academy. They're the only ones we know of."

"Hagrid's still around?"

"Yes. Gamekeeper and, lately, Care of Magical Creatures teacher. I don't think he would leave Hogwarts as long as Potter's there. He's considered himself one of Potter's guardians, ever since the night...the night that..."

"I know. The night Lily and James died."

"Yes."

A silence fell between them once again. This would be no easy task, and so many from their ranks had fallen. Voldemort had taken his toll then, fourteen years ago, and there would be more victims now. McGonagall had told Giles about Harry Potter and Cedric Diggory. It seemed unfair that the same little boy who had suffered such a huge loss should have to come to blows with his greatest enemy, and Giles sighed heavily as he thought of Buffy back in Sunnydale. Both of them, so young, and having to face such evil.

It simply wasn't fair.

"Is the Council being notified?"

McGonagall squirmed slightly, a sign that the strain was already taking its toll on her.

"Dumbledore seems to think it best not to tell the Council yet. They've always been sympathetic to Fudge's beliefs, not wanting Muggles to become aware of or involved in our world, and Dumbledore knows better than anyone what Muggles will have to face this time around. He's not willing that our students from Muggle families suffer unduly because of their heritage."

Giles nodded. He'd dealt directly with the Council's prejudice toward civilians. They always seemed to forget that they were no more than glorified Muggles themselves, with no real power of any kind. Even Wiccans like Willow and Tara were a more formidable power than the men and women who served on the Council of Watchers.

"You can tell Dumbledore I'll be there. Is there anyone I should see about contacting?"

"Not that I can think of. The Department of Magic in the States has been notified by owl, and they are sending a representative, as are Russia and a few of the other official departments or ministries that Dumbledore trusts." Her eyes were sad, because she knew there weren't many who were trustworthy enough. Harry had named so many who had been cleared, and the number of those loyal to Voldemort seemed to be growing daily.

The two stood there, each lost in their own thoughts. Rupert Giles was a Muggle, and though his knowledge of magic and his experience in battling evil were extensive, McGonagall had her doubts as to his usefulness. But she trusted Dumbledore, and Giles had been one of the few young Muggle Watchers to survive the first reign of Voldemort's terror.

Giles, for his part, wondered when and if he would have to tell Buffy and her friends back in Sunnydale. Would Voldemort's terror stretch as far as California this time? Before, the groups of Death Eaters stateside had been few and easy to stamp out. He wasn't so sure that it would be as easy this time.

"Well, Giles, I've got to be going. Dumbledore is expecting you and the others to gather at Hogwarts a week from Friday, to be sure all the students have gone home."

"Is it still Platform nine and three-quarters at King's Cross?" The look of nostalgic amusement was real this time, and McGonagall couldn't help returning it with a small smile of her own.

"Of course, Rupert. Will you need assistance? I didn't think..." "No, I know a way."

"Alright then. Until then, Rupert."

"Until then." With a pop, she Disapparated, leaving Giles alone with his thoughts and the growing sense of terror in the back of his mind.

*X*X*X*X*X*X*X*X*X*X*X*X*X*X*X*X*X*X*X*X*X*X*X*X*

The Great Hall was a cavernous place even when full of Hogwarts students. With just a handful of people gathered at one table, though, it was a frighteningly huge place to be.

Giles had forgotten that. He'd come to Hogwarts a few times in his youth, on various missions for the Council and later as a member of the resistance against Voldemort. But he hadn't been here since the night James and Lily Potter had fallen to Voldemort.

There were familiar, if more careworn, faces sitting around the table now, though a few of them had not been present that night fourteen years ago. Remus Lupin, Sirius Black, and Severus Snape had been elsewhere; Black had been present at the Potters' home, there to gather their son Harry, but so shaken that he'd given in to Hagrid's insistence that Dumbledore had safer plans. Arabella Figg had been appointed as a kind of guardian for Harry Potter, and she was still sporting some of the Muggle attire she wore as crotchety old Mrs. Figg of Privet Drive. Arthur Weasley was something of a surprise; he had not been a part of the resistance's upper echelon, having a very young and very large family to take care of. The red-haired man beside him, sporting a fang earring and a ponytail, must have been Arthur's son. The resemblance was uncanny.

Giles wasn't surprised to see McGonagall there, though it was something of a shock to recognize Rubeus Hagrid, who looked grim and serious. Madame Maxime from France sat at one end of the long table. A nervous-looking chap wearing a gray suit had to be the American (Giles could tell by his short haircut and recently tanned skin), and his Russian counterpart sat next to him. The easily recognizable Mad-Eye Moody (Giles wondered if the man had a name at all, or if everyone called him Mad-Eye) sat next to McGonagall, a nervous twitch affecting his good eye.

Giles turned his head to face Dumbledore's end as the wizened man stood to speak.

"How many of us are here, Minerva?"

"Thirteen, Professor. Mundungus Fletcher sent word that he wouldn't be able to come for at least another week; his wife is expecting their first child."

"Very well," Dumbledore looked slowly around the table, taking in the changes in each face and the questioning glances from those who had missed the events of the past couple of weeks.

"It is with a sad heart that I welcome you all here. I see no need to waste time; you know each other, and if you don't, you will. Right now I want to explain to you what is happening in our world.

"Voldemort has returned."

A tremor rippled through the group. Each had heard this, some had even been at Hogwarts the night it happened. But to hear the words from Dumbledore himself made it all seem more real, and far more intimidating.

"The night of the final task in the Triwizard Tournament, it was revealed that Bartemius Crouch, Jr. had been working as a spy for Voldemort while posing as Alastor Moody, our Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher this past year. The final task was set up as a trap for Harry Potter, who Voldemort used as the necessary link in bringing himself back to full strength. A student was killed in the process, young Cedric Diggory."

"Amos Diggory's son?" said Arabella Figg.

"Yes." A harsh sigh was emitted, and Lupin took Arabella's hand. Dumbledore continued. "Harry, miraculously, survived, and was able to tell me everything that had transpired."

Dumbledore paused and looked around the table once more.

"I have no reason to doubt Harry's story. I have been paying close attention to events in our world, and Voldemort's return was not without its warning signs. The Dark Mark appeared during a Death Eater riot at this year's Quidditch World Cup. A young Ministry worker, Miss Bertha Jorkins, went missing late last summer, and has been confirmed dead. Even before last summer, it seemed Voldemort was making a more concerted effort to return to power. He possessed a teacher three years ago in an effort to steal the Sorcerer's Stone. His memory inhabited a diary owned by a Hogwarts student," at this, Arthur Weasley stared intently at a point on the table, "and successfully used her to commit atrocities here.

"And then, last year, one among you revealed the identity of the man now presumed to sit at Voldemort's right hand."

Recognizing his cue, Sirius Black stood up, and the only person other than Dumbledore not visibly wary of him was Remus Lupin.

"Sirius is going to recount those events for you." Dumbledore sat down, conceding the floor to the younger man.

Black told his tale, from his last days in Azkaban when he became aware of Peter Pettigrew's location, up until the final struggle under the Whomping Willow.

"So, Peter escaped, and I had to go into hiding. Had I been able to follow him, I would have." His voice was low, many of the experiences he recounted obviously still haunting him. "Remus and I hypothesized that Peter would try and find Voldemort, but we never expected this result." Black sat down.

Dumbledore spoke again. "And that brings us to the present. I have called you all here because you are the people I trust implicitly. I know none of you will respond the way Fudge and his Ministry have thus far, as though Voldemort were a hoax and no real threat. This is a sad reunion for us, for our enemy has returned and we must try to prevent his power from growing and his influence from spreading."

Giles sighed heavily, the first sound to come from any of them after Dumbledore's opening speech. "Are we all that is left, Dumbledore? Is this the only army we have to fight with?"

Black's eyes sparkled and he nodded. "Giles has a good question. Is there anyone else?"

Dumbledore spoke slowly, as if it were painful. "You here tonight are all we have to begin with. There are a few missing, who couldn't make it. Severus Snape is one, Mundungus Fletcher another. Charlie Weasley, Cassandra and Sybil Trelawney, and a few others are doing other things I've asked them to handle. You here tonight are the core of this resistance."

McGonagall spoke next. "Are we enlisting any help from Muggles, other than Rupert?"

"Yes, Minerva. And that is part of why we are here tonight."

Dumbledore looked at Giles alone this time. "Rupert, is there anyone you know who would be an asset to us in this fight? Someone who could cause damage to Voldemort's cause?" He didn't even have to think about it. Buffy and the gang back in California would be more than willing. But this wasn't something they were all equipped for, so when he spoke, he omitted some names.

"I know a pair of American Muggle-born witches, and a werewolf, as well as a few vampires who might be willing to join us." Giles pushed his glasses back up on his nose. "The witches are both very powerful, and one has had experience in battling Dark magic. I'm sure, if asked, they would help." He kept silent about Tara and Willow's lack of training.

"Alright then. Anyone else?"

 

Discussion lasted for awhile as names were thrown around the table and each person was given a specific assignment. Giles was given the task of contacting his friends stateside. Hagrid and Madame Maxime had already been approached about contacting the giant community. Arthur Weasley was to be their man in the Ministry, and the American was going to serve as Weasley's counterpart overseas. Bill Weasley was acting as a liaison for Gringott's in Egypt, and his assignment was to keep his eyes and ears open there. Dark wizards had a special liking for Egypt. Lupin and Arabella were assigned to a grassroots campaign, their job being to scout out the underground for allies. McGonagall and Moody were working on finding a new Defense Against the Dark Arts professor for Hogwarts, and finally only Sirius Black was left.

"And what about me, Professor?" His eyes glinted at this chance to make a real difference.

"You will aid Rupert in any way you can, Sirius. I expect you to work together, gathering information and training our new allies whenever you can."

Sirius nodded and looked at Giles. Giles was grateful for the help; dealing with the Scoobies so soon after leaving Sunnydale would not be easy, and he would need help showing Tara and Willow the ropes.

"You are all invited to stay here for something to eat before we get started. Just because we are once again at war is no excuse not to eat."

Many hours later, the men and women Dumbledore called the core of the resistance went their separate ways, the consequences of what was to come seeming very far away.

While elsewhere in Britain, the Dark Mark lit up the sky, and the screams of tortured souls signaled the beginning of a new reign of terror.

-------------------------------

To be continued.......

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