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The Darkest Road

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The Darkest Road

Author: Razial
Beta: Hawklan

Summary: Part 3 in the Gypsy Chronicles: Xander and his friends continue their journey before finally heading to the Romany clans to issue a challenge for the control of the Lavelle Clan.

Disclaimer: I do not own Buffy the Vampire Slayer or any other of the characters in this story they belong to Joss Whedon and whoever else created the characters used in this story. Any characters I created I own.

Pairing: Janna Kalderash/Xander Harris (There will be other relationships in this story, but this is the main one.)

Chapter 1

(Sunnydale)

Xander pushed himself as hard as he could as he ran through the park trying to keep the pace he was setting. It had been one and a half month since Lilith, Tara and he had been retrieved from their journey through alternate dimensions and while things had settled down they were still some problems which had come from that journey.

His and Janna's relationship had gone through some very rough patches after the revelations about his bonding to Tara. Janna hadn't been happy about how important Tara had become in his life and the powerful connection she now shared with him. There was also the fact that a small romantic attachment had surfaced between him and Tara which had come to light when Tara had almost been killed during a patrol with Kendra and Adrian.

This had really caused trouble within the group and after a lot of arguments and stress things had settled down and Janna had accepted that his relationship with Tara could not be altered and that she would have to accept it if she wanted to keep their own relationship going, as well as rising their child when he was born. She wasn't happy with this, but for now had no other choice except loosing Xander altogether, which wasn't willing to.

Then there was also the small fact that Alucard had stated that the bonding ritual itself was the purest form of marriage there was. It had been used centuries ago when magic users were everywhere and had the power to use it in a group. This had ended the argument between him and Janna and after a few days she had come to accept it as she did not want to be cruel to Tara for things outside her control or choice.

They had stayed in Sunnydale to rest and continue their training and he had been surprised by the fact that Alucard and his master Sir Integra had decided to stay to help.

He had to smile as he recalled how annoyed Janna had become when she was
told she would have to start taking it easier due to her being pregnant. Her training was restricted to learning magic and weapons usage. Tara had begun learning to use not only the sword she had been given in Middle Earth, but also the weapons the Hellsing organization used in the fight. Lilith had continued along with her father to teach them the ancient magic of the Romany people. He stopped running as he almost ran straight into Buffy and Willow. He had stayed away from them for the time being, not wanting to aggravate the situation between them.

His journey through dimensions had reminded him of some of the better times he had when he had been friends with them and it had also shown him that maybe it was possible to re-forge their friendships, even if it took a long time. He hadn't been expecting to run into them today and he was unsure how to react.

"What are you doing back here Xander?" Buffy demanded to know, instantly angry at seeing the person who had killed Angelus and in so doing made sure there was no way to save Angel.

Xander was about to shout back when he stopped and pulled in his own anger, something which had become easier thanks to his bond to Tara and Lilith's meditation methods. He knew reacting angry would only worsen things and so he decided to try and stay as calm as possible.

"We've been back for a month and a half Buffy," he started. "We tracked a cult here who was trying to do a ritual which would have resulted in a lot of deaths," he continued, deciding not to give them the full truth yet about what the cult had done. "We managed to stop them and we decided to stay and rest for a bit. We've been quite busy since we left," he also decided not to tell them the cult had been killed as he knew Buffy would never accept it for any reason.

"You have some nerve thinking you can hang around here after what you did," Buffy spat, not really caring what had brought him and his group back to Sunnydale.

"You don't own this town Buffy, which means anyone, including me, can come here and stay," he replied a little annoyed at her statement. "You need to remember Buffy I didn't kill Angelus to spite you or the others, I did it to save countless lives and I destroyed the soul spell to save anyone from sacrificing their soul to bring Angel back, something which I don't believe Angel would have wanted you to do," he added.

"How dare you?" Buffy started to say, before Willow cut her off.

"Buffy stop," the red head almost shouted, sick of the argument already, even if Xander had responded in a calm manner. "Continuing to be angry is going to do no good. He may have a point," she continued. "I've read up on the soul spell since Angelus died and so has Giles and we've both found out if I or Miss Calendar had done the spell we would have corrupted our souls with black magic and become as evil as Angelus in seconds," she finished. "We didn't tell you because we knew you wouldn't listen, but considering Xander and his group are back now, you might as well know and I can't believe Angel would want you to sacrifice your friends to save him," she finished.

Buffy stared at her friend for a few seconds before turning and storming away. She couldn't believe what Willow had told her. Willow watched with a sigh as her friend stormed off. This was one of the reasons she and Giles hadn't tried to tell the slayer what they had found out as they knew she would just get even angrier. She turned and faced her former best friend and noticed he was watching her closely to see what she would do next.

"You may have been right Xander, but still you could have waited until we could have found the same answer and made sure Buffy knew it as well," she finally told him.

"We had no more time Willow and you know that," Xander replied. "Too many people had died as it was and Janna almost died at his hands and with her our unborn child," he continued. "Buffy refused time and time again to kill him, so I did whatever I had to make sure Jana and the rest of Sunnydale, including you guys, were safe from him and his childes," he added with a little heat in his voice. "I didn't make that decision easily Willow, because I knew it would destroy any hopes of savaging our friendship, but I knew I had to do it," he went on hoping to get through to her. "You know saving the lives of people means more to me than almost anything else," he finished.

Willow stared at Xander as he finished speaking and thought deeply over everything that had happened since the love spell which had started everything. She knew he was not a vindictive person and wouldn't have tried to kill Angelus and destroy the soul spell just to hurt Buffy. She also knew that since Jessie had died when they first became friends with the blond slayer he had done everything he could to save as many lives as he could and that he had felt devastated when they did fail to save the lives of those who didn't even know that vampires and demons were real.

But could she ignore the damage that had been done during the Angelus crisis? Their friendship had been damaged deeply as she had sided with Buffy, refusing to listen to any of the arguments he and Miss Calendar had pushed forward and she had to admit she had been wrong to do so. She had no right to ignore the danger Angelus represented just because his destruction might hurt Buffy. She didn't know what to do really and so she decided to have a long talk with Giles before she did anything else and maybe Oz and Cordelia as well.

"I need to talk to the others Xander. I'm confused as to what to do," she finally admitted. "I know you had your reasons for doing what you did and a part of me agrees with what you did, but another part of me thinks you should have done things differently, especially in regards to Buffy," she went on. "I'll come and see you and let you know what we've decide. I take it you're back at the Hellsing mansion, right?" she asked.

"We are," Xander replied. "But don't take too long Willow. We will be heading out soon to continue our journey. I would like to go, knowing we've repaired at least some of the problems between us and maybe I can share some of what's happened since I've been gone. I think you would find it interesting," he informed her with a small smile before turning and running back towards the mansion.

Willow watched him leave and thought over what had been said and she couldn't help but acknowledge a part of her did want to rebuild her friendship with Xander. She sighed and then turned and headed for the school knowing Giles would be there and she hoped that he could help her sort through her muddled thoughts.

+T+

(Other Realm)

Cassandra watched the rather tense meeting between Alexander and his former friends. She wasn't surprised with the blond slayer's reaction as she was still consumed with herself at this point. However she was pleased to see the red head was beginning to see the error of her ways and if she had heard correctly maybe there was hope for Rupert Giles as well.

She looked up, as her lord, Tanith and Jonas the new joint leaders of the powers that be walked into the room. The reconstruction of the powers that be was still on going after the events surrounding Malek's betrayal and Alexander and Lilith's trip through dimensions, even if the trip itself had helped them more than it had hindered them.

"It would seem my lord that not all of the blond slayer's group is completely lost," Cassandra reported. "Willow and Rupert Giles both seem to have seen the errors they have made and realized that Alexander and Janna were correct about the soul spell," she added.

"Good, they may be of some help in the future," their lord replied as he came to a stop near the viewing pool. "I believe Alexander's last stage of his journey will be his and his friends most difficult," he added with a frown.

"How so my lord?" Jonas inquired.

"They still have much to do before they head to the Romany tribes to finish their journey and I believe it is during this period they will face there most difficult challenges," their lord answered.

"I take it my lord their period of rest is almost over?" Cassandra asked.

"It is Cassandra," their lord agreed. "They have at least a few more days before fate once more catches up to them," he continued with a small smile.

"I hope Willow and Rupert Giles come to a decision before Alexander leaves. I believe it will help him greatly to know he has patched up some of his destroyed friendships," Cassandra stated.

The others nodded their heads in agreement with her statement before turning to the viewing pool to watch Alexander enter the Hellsing mansion.
2. Chapter 2
Chapter 2

(Sunnydale)

Xander entered the mansion and was still thinking heavily over his meeting with Willow and Buffy. He really hoped that Willow would come around and maybe bring Giles with her. He looked around and noticed Janna in the living-room with his mother and Amy. He quickly joined them and kissed Janna deeply before taking a seat next to her.

"Is anything wrong?" he asked as he settled next to Janna.

"We were just discussing what's going to happen when we're ready to start our journey," Amy replied with a smile, guessing her friend had been a little concerned at first.

"We have quite a few things to do before we go after Radrik," Xander stated as he recalled all he, Lilith and Tara had learned on their journey through dimensions.

"You've told us quite a bit about what you experienced Alex, but you didn't tell us what you had planned," Janna told him as she leant her head on his shoulder.

"One of the first things we need to do is find the charmed ones and try and make sure their eldest sister Prue survives an attack which will happen in a few months as well as find their lost half sister Paige," Xander explained to them. "I gave my word to the sisters we met in the alternate dimension we would do everything in our power to make this happen and I will not just forget it," he added.

The three women shared a small smile between themselves as Alexander once again showed why they cared and loved him so much. He was willing to risk his life and those of his group to save the life of a woman he had never met to honor the word he had given to her sister's in another reality. They had all seen how much his trip through different dimensions had affected him and Lilith as well. They were both different than they had been before they had been ambushed. From what they had been told Tara too had been changed as well since she had joined them in the first dimension they had visited.

"And once that's done, Alexander?" Jessica inquired interested in what else her son had planned.

"We have to check in on Harry and his friends. They're in a war for their very lives and if they lose Voldemort and his followers will pour into our world and wreck havoc," Xander answered as he recalled everything Harry and Dumbledore had told him when they had visited Hogwarts. Stopping Voldemort from attacking the normal world was one of his primary goals. "Harry is a good kid who's just recently been accepted as one of the leaders of his side and he needs all the help he can get and there is no telling what's happened since Lilith and I left them," he continued. "Lilith and I both pushed him to take his destiny into his own hands and we owe it to him to help him take down Voldemort, so that he can live his life as he wants to," he finished.

"We understand Alex," Janna assured him again, pleased with his response as he again refused to ignore his responsibilities and his loyalties to his friends. "We'll be with you all the way," she added as she kissed him.

She was quite happy now that their relationship was back on track since she found out the truth about his bond with Tara and then the revelation that he also had a romantic interest in her and her in him as well since she was almost killed.

She had been very angry at first, but after Alucard had basically stated that the bonding ritual was also the purest form of marriage there was it had left her with little to say.

She couldn't ask Alexander to stop seeing Tara, because that would have been cruel to the young witch, especially in light of the fact she had been given the task of trying to keep Alexander's dark side from consuming him. This as well as the fact they had become so close during their journey through dimensions made it clear she would have to accept it if she wanted to maintain her own relationship with Xander.

So she finally gave them both her blessing to try and build their own relationship, since then her own relationship with him had strengthened and grown and that was all she wanted and she was willing to share to keep her relationship going even if it wouldn’t have been her first choice.

"Hopefully after we've done that we can then head to the Romany tribes and deal with Radrik and end our quest," Xander said with a smile. "Of course other things might get in our way between now and then, which wouldn’t surprise me in the least giving what's happened before," he added with a laugh.

"What about your idea of forging an alliance?" Jessica asked, pleased to see her son in good spirits.

"I haven't forgotten about that believe me," Xander answered. "Once we've helped the charmed ones and Harry then I'll try and forge the alliance," he went on. "Somehow I think that will be one of the hardest things to do," he finished with a sigh.

"I believe you would be correct," Alucard stated as he walked into the room. "Many have tried before you to forge an alliance and failed, hopefully due to the fact you serve no one organization you may succeed where they failed," he added.

"We can only hope that they listen, because if they don't they'll just keep helping the demons and vampires we fight by not presenting a unified front against them," Xander shot back, frustrated as he thought over what Sam Zabuto had told him when he first learned of the other organizations beside the Watchers Council who fought the darkness.

"Something else bothers you Alexander," Alucard stated as he noticed most of the others entering the room.

Lilith and Adrian sat across from them while Tara headed straight for the empty seat next to Xander and Janna and leaned against him. Sir Integra and Seras stood behind him. He knew exactly what was on Xander's mind thanks to the link they shared and he believed it would help to tell the others especially Janna and his mother.

"I bumped into Buffy and Willow while I was out running," Xander finally began to speak after a slight mental poke from Alucard over the link.

"So they finally know we're back in Sunnydale," Janna growled as she thought of their former friends.

"Yes they do," Xander agreed knowing Janna was not going to welcome what he was about to say. "While Buffy was as nasty as when we left Willow and maybe Giles have come around and realized the mistakes they made before we left," he continued. "Willow stated she and Giles had researched the soul spell and realized we were telling the truth when we told them of the dangers of using it. I tried to remind her that the only reason I did what I did was to save lives and not as some kind of slight against Buffy or them," he went on. "She left quite confused, but told me she would speak to Giles and would get back to me. I hope she'll come around before we leave," he finished.

"You can't be serious Alexander," Janna almost shouted, incensed he could be so forgiving after everything Buffy and her group had done to them and almost cost them and everyone else in Sunnydale. "They betrayed us and helped Buffy to almost get us killed," she added.

"I know that Janna, believe me I haven't forgotten," Xander responded. "However during our trip through dimensions we visited two dimensions where we met different versions of the gang at different time periods," he tried to explain. "I began to remember all the good times we had when we were friends and what we were capable off. I also saw in one of those dimensions the fact that I went dark and helped kill Buffy and corrupt Willow and bring the people of Sunnydale and LA to their knees," he continued. "The fact that the Giles in that universe didn't order me dead as soon as I entered their base is a testament to his intelligence and I know our Giles is just as good. He had just made some bad calls lately, but that doesn't make him evil Janna," he stated. "I'm hoping by rebuilding our friendships, if that's possible, that we'll strengthen our forces and make it harder for us to be killed," he finished, hoping she and the others would understand.

Janna still looked very unsure, but instead of arguing the point further she just put her head back on his shoulder and sighed. The others shared a few glances between themselves before nodding their heads hoping he was correct that it was possible to rebuild some of the friendships he had with Willow and the others.

+T+

(Other Realm)

Cassandra watched with mixed emotions as Xander first laid out his plans and then told what he wished to accomplish with trying to rebuild his friendships with Willow and maybe Giles. She too shared some of Janna's doubts after everything that had happened during the Angelus crisis, but she couldn't fault Alexander's optimism or hope for the future. She also couldn't deny that if he managed to rebuild those friendships, it may help somewhere in the future and that was the most important thing right now, planning for the future.

"His plans are good and he is not ignoring the fact that anything could happen," Tanith stated with a smile. "He has indeed learned much since leaving Sunnydale," he added.

"Agreed," their lord nodded. "As with everyone else the events of one’s life shape who you become," he continued.

"Do you really think he can rebuild his friendships with the watcher and the red head?" Jonas inquired.

"I think it is possible. They just have to be willing to draw the slayers wrath to do it," their lord answered.

"I think my lord that no matter what happens, right at this moment Alexander will try again if he has to, because he believes it's the right thing to do," Cassandra finally joined the conversation.

The others looked at one another for a few seconds before nodding in agreement that was indeed what Alexander would do. They again turned to watch events in the viewing pool.

+T+

(Sunnydale)

Willow entered the school still trying to think through everything that had happened over the last couple of months, she was confused, angry and depressed that things had degenerated so badly. She knew Xander was not a spiteful or hateful person and none of what he had done had been intended to hurt them or Buffy, even if that was what had happened, but she was still sure they could have been another way of dealing with the situation. She looked around the library as she entered and noticed Giles talking heatedly with Buffy and sighed knowing this conversation was going to get worse.

She quickly walked over and noticed Buffy's eyes spat to where she now stood and could tell she'd been arguing with the watcher over what she had told her in the park. She felt a little sorry for Giles, but she just couldn't hold it in anymore and she had hoped Buffy had calmed down enough about the Angelus situation to hear it obviously she had been dead wrong.

"So what else did he have to say?" Buffy demanded to know after a few seconds.

"Quite a bit," she replied. "It left me confused because I could tell he wasn't lying about anything he was saying and I know what he is like inside and what he said connected with what I know of his personality," she added. "He said he didn't kill Angelus to spite you or us, but to safeguard the lives of Miss Calendar, their unborn child and the lives of everyone else in Sunnydale, including us," she went on.

"And you believed him?" Buffy almost spat in anger, unable to believe what Willow was saying.

"It fits with the Xander I've known all my life," Willow shot back, feeling a little angry herself and wondered if she and the others were responsible for allowing Buffy to fall so far to believe everything she said and did was right and that no one was allowed to disagree with her. "And we know for a fact he was correct about using the soul spell. If Miss Calendar or I had used it we would have been corrupted by the dark magic it contained and for Miss Calendar that meant it might have killed her unborn child," she pressed on, hoping to get through to her friend. "Even you Buffy wouldn’t be willing to sacrifice an unborn baby just to get Angel back, would you?" she asked.

Buffy stared at Willow for a few seconds as the question reverberated inside her. She shook her head because she knew that her friend was correct, she wouldn't risk an unborn baby even for Angel. She sat down, suddenly feeling drained as she allowed the anger and hate she had harbored since Angelus' destruction to dissipate. ‘What was she doing?’ she wondered.

She had been so consumed since she lost Angel that nothing else had mattered except to get him back. After the love spell incident she had cut herself off from Xander as had Willow and the others and then when she learned he and Miss Calendar had the soul curse she had not even listened to them about the dangers of the spell. All she had thought about was she could have Angel back quickly and had even been willing to put Willow at risk to accomplish that goal. ‘How could she become so blind so quickly?’ she asked herself.

Then there was the fact she had kept trying to force Miss Calendar or Xander to hand over the spell, ignoring their warnings and she had become even more angered when Xander called Kendra and her watcher to Sunnydale and had done all she could to disrupt their plans. She wondered what would have happened if Xander, Miss Calendar, Kendra and her watcher had died instead.

Would she have finally woken up then and done her duty or would she have even cared? She didn't like to think about the answer. She then had to remember she and Giles were only alive now because Xander, Mr. Zabuto and the rest of their group had ganged up on the head of the Watcher's Council to force him to allow her to make up for her mistakes and she had to concede that these weren't the actions of a self centered individual. She looked back to where her two friends now sat and she could see their concern and worry in their eyes and she sighed again.

"You're right Willow. I wouldn't sacrifice an unborn baby, even for Angel," she finally spoke. "I feel like I'm just waking up from a horrible nightmare," she added. "I've allowed myself to be so consumed with hate and anger and I never saw the danger I was putting all of us in. I risked all of us just because I had become obsessed in getting Angel back," she went on. "As for Xander I know somewhere inside me he didn't do any of what he did to hurt me. He was still trying to protect me and everyone else and I refused to see it," she continued. "I need some time alone to think everything through before we go see him and try and sort things out, okay?" she told them.

"Take your time, but not too much. Xander said he had to leave again soon," Willow said, relived to see her friend begin to see the truth and let go of her anger and hate.

"I'll see you later," Buffy said before leaving deep in thought.

"Do you think she'll be okay, Giles?" she asked the silent watcher.

"I think so, given time," Giles spoke, having watched the argument between the two friends in complete silence and was pleased to see that finally someone had gotten through to the slayer. "Maybe once she has thought things through without her anger and hate clouding her judgment she'll come to the same conclusion we did and that is that we made a huge mistake in how we dealt with Xander and Jenny and the whole Angelus situation," he added with a small smile.

"Let's hope so," Willow sighed before deciding to stay and help Giles catalog some new books.
3. Chapter 3
Note: Thank you to winddancer116 for joining Hawklan and me in making this fic better to read for all.

Chapter 3

Xander pushed himself up and then back down as he continued his exercises alongside Adrian and Seras. His training was going well in all areas, but he was really excelling in the physical department and he was a lot fitter than he had ever been. Tara sometimes joined him when she was not with Lilith and Adrian learning to control the ancient Romany magic, which she now had access to thanks to their bond.

Finally he reached one hundred and stopped his push-ups, he smiled as he leaned up against the wall and recovered, catching the bottle of water Amy passed him as she entered the room.

"How's it going Xan?" she asked as she sat down next to Seras, who was now talking with Adrian.

"I can now do a hundred push-ups without too much effort, which is good," Xander replied. "How's your own training going?" he asked in return as he drank deeply from the bottle of water.

"We've just finished," Amy replied. "I think we've learned a hell of a lot since you got back. Jessica is much more powerful now and has a larger list of spells she can do, while Janna has grown in strength and I've noticed she can also cast for a longer period than before," she informed him.

"Good to hear, I think we're going to need all the edge we can get for this final leg of our journey," Xander said with a frown. "I just feel it," he added.

"As does Tara," Alucard stated as he entered, followed by Tara and Lilith. "She too feels that what we will be faced with far more of a challenge than what went before," he added.

"It seems Alexander that your bond with Tara is growing and the ability to sense danger is growing with it," Lilith commented.

Xander thought over what both of them had said as Tara settled in next to him. He felt her calming voice over the bond and he smiled as he could see no down side to this, in fact he found it more helpful to what they faced.

"How is she doing in learning how to control the ancient Romany magic?" he asked, as he pulled Tara closer to him and she nestled her head against his shoulder.

"She is catching up to you very quickly, most likely due to the bond as well," Lilith replied with a smile. "Soon you'll be training together," she added.

"She has done well to understand how dangerous this magic is to the magic she is used to do," Alucard told them. "I believe due to the bond she will also be able to wield my sword if needed," he added with a grin.

"Really?" Xander asked. "I thought only Romany could wield it?" he asked again.

"True, but considering how the bond has allowed you both to tap into each other's powers and abilities it is possible she will be able to wield it because you can," Alucard explained.

"How's your sword training going Tara?" Xander asked her.

"Not so bad I guess," Tara replied as she listened to what everyone was saying. "I can do better than last time that's for sure," she added.

"She has a point Alex," Adrian finally spoke up. "She has indeed advanced in learning to use our weapons to a point where she will be of great help if her magic is unavailable," he added.

Xander nodded and was pleased to hear that. Tara and Janna's greatest weakness had been their dependency on their magic and so he had insisted that they spend more time learning to use as many of the weapons they had as possible and it finally seemed to be paying off.

"I think we should call it a day for now. Kendra and Mr. Zabuto will be over soon to begin patrol," Sir Integra stated as she walked briskly into the room.

"Then I better have a shower first," Xander said in reply standing up as Tara leaned away from him and headed to his bedroom.

+T+

(Other Realm)

Cassandra was pleased to see that Alexander and the rest of his group's training was advancing and that they were all learning things they would need to survive. She was also pleased to see that there were no more arguments between Janna, Alexander and Tara and everything seemed to be settled.

She was somewhat surprised to see that the blond slayer seemed to have finally seen how stupid she had been during the Angelus crisis and just how much she had damaged her friendships with the others, as well as endangering them at the same time. She had not expected Willow and Giles to get through to her for a very long time, but by using Alexander and Janna's unborn baby they had managed to get through the anger and hate and make her realize the truth.

"What do you think will happen between the blond haired slayer's group and Alexander's, my lord?" Tanith asked with curiosity in his tone.

"There will be another argument I'm sure when they first come together, especially if Kendra and her watcher are there," their lord answered with a thoughtful look. "However seeing as Alexander is determined to leave Sunnydale with their forces intact and with a clear line of communication I believe that will quickly end and they will finally deal with what happened during Angelus reign of terror," he added with a smile.

"I agree my lord. He is quite determined to repair some of the problems between the two groups so that it will be easier for them all to work together," Jonas put in. "If he manages to help Buffy and Kendra put aside their problems or deal with them, then they will become a powerful team," he continued looking, pleased at the idea.

"Alexander has begun thinking about long term plans since he returned," Cassandra finally spoke up. "Everything he saw during their trip has convinced him that they need solid plans in place as they go. His hope for an alliance between the champions and the different organizations burns inside him and he is continually thinking of ways to bring them together," she went on. "He has listened to the advice Vlad and Sir Integra have offered, knowing they have years of experience at hand, especially in dealing with the other organizations like the Watcher's Council," she added. "He has also taken on board the advice of Lilith, Adrian and Seras in matters such as leadership, battle, investigation and intelligence," she told them with a smile. "He knows he needs all the help he and the others can get and will not refuse advice when it is offered, unlike some of the other champions," he finally finished.

The others looked between themselves before nodding in agreement with Cassandra's point of view. They all knew the events that had happened so far to Alexander and his group had changed them all and would continue to mold them as their journey progressed. They again returned their attention to the viewing pool to watch events unfold.

+T+

(Sunnydale)

Xander walked slowly through the graveyard next to Kendra and Tara. Adrian and Lilith were behind them along with Seras and Amy. The others had stayed behind to begin packing supplies for when they began the next stage of their journey. He had informed both Kendra and Mr. Zabuto about his meeting with Buffy and Willow and what he hoped would come of it and while both were somewhat skeptical about the results they were willing to hear them out if they decided to come and talk and it would be helpful in having a unified team.

The night was cool and there was a gentle breeze in the air and Xander found it quite refreshing. They had run across three vampires and a demon so far, but had encountered nothing serious. With the presence of Team Shadow and the Hellsing team things on the Hellmouth were a lot quieter now. However he knew better than to get complacent considering this was the Hellmouth and dangerous things came here all the time. Things always tended to get worse here when you started to relax and so he kept his attention focused on his surroundings.

"Wait, something is coming," Kendra suddenly whispered as she drew her short sword.

"I sense it too," Adrian said as he pulled his hand cannon from its holster. "It sounds big," he added.

"Do you have any idea where it's coming from?" Xander asked as he pulled Vlad's sword from its scabbard and relaxed a bit as he felt the familiar magic run through his fingers.

"No," Kendra and Adrian replied at the same time.

"Stand in a circle then and keep a close eye out," Xander ordered as Lilith and Tara both moved to his sides and started to look around for whatever Kendra and Adrian had sensed.

The others quickly followed suit and prepared for a fight. Suddenly a huge demon stepped out of the shadow of a nearby tomb. Xander was a little surprised by the sheer size of the thing and he guessed it was also pretty damn strong too.

"I have come for you human. I have been ordered to kill you," the demon growled.

"By who?" Xander asked somewhat not surprised to learn he was the target, considering what had happened before.

"By the First's order," the demon responded, a hint of respect in its voice when it mentioned the first one of the three leaders of hell.

"Oh crap," Xander sighed as he recalled what Lilith had told him about the first and the other leaders of the low powers.

+T+

(Other Realm)

Cassandra frowned as the demon informed Alexander and his friends who had sent him. It was quite disturbing to learn that Alexander had attracted the attention of the First Evil. She had known it was always a possibility, but she had thought it would happen further down the line when he was closer to finishing his journey. Alexander and his friends would have to be careful as she guessed this demon would be difficult to kill.

"This may present them a real challenge," Jonas stated with a frown at what was unfolding.

"True," their lord replied. "We knew somewhere along the way they would attract the lower powers attention. I just assumed it would happen later on in their quest," he added.

"As did I my lord," Cassandra responded. "However it has happened and now they will have to deal with it as they go," she added, trying to keep her fear for Alexander interfering with her duties.

"I'm sure they will succeed even if it takes them longer than normal," Tanith finally spoke having considered all the options this situation brought up.

They all turned back to the viewing pool to watch the opening of the fight.

+T+

(Sunnydale)

Alexander edged a little closer to the demon trying to keep out of Tara's line of sight so that she could bring her magic into the fray, while Kendra and Lilith slowly followed him. Adrian tried to get a line of sight for his hand cannon and Seras and Amy tried to move behind the demon, which remained where he was.

'Be very careful Alexander, this demon reeks of magic,' Alucard's voice suddenly said over their link. "It is also powerful as befitting an assassin of the First. Keep it busy until I arrive and stay together and do not get separated,' he added before the voice vanished.

"Stay together and be careful this thing can use magic," Xander warned the others, but kept quiet about Alucard coming to aid them, so as not to tip off the demon.

The demon growled low in its throat before leaping at Xander, who just barely managed to roll out of its way. Tara tried to hit it with a flame spell, but the demon shrugged it off easily and knocked her out with a solid punch, angering Xander. He flinched as he lost his contact with Tara over the bond, but kept his distance as he remembered what happened the last time he lost his temper during a patrol which had almost cost him his life. He feigned a move to the left and then swung his sword at the demon's right side, but the demon jumped out of range laughing as it did.

Adrian finally let off a shot with his hand cannon, but the demon just jumped out of the way straight at Lilith. She backhanded it and knocked it to the floor, but the demon quickly recovered. Lilith jumped at the demon with her sword, catching it in the side before being thrown into a nearby tree at a tremendous speed, taking her out of the fight for a short while.

Adrian snarled as he saw his sister being taken down. He quickly dropped his hand cannon and charged the demon, nailing it with a hard right hand and quickly followed it up with a left as Seras joined him taking its legs out from under it, but before either could follow up they were blasted of their feet by a wave of magic the demon released as it jumped back to its feet and launched itself at Xander again. Xander brought his sword down on it, catching the demon in its upper chest before being knocked off his feet by the demon's momentum.

Adrian and Seras quickly jumped back up to their feet as Amy unleashed one of her own spells, which was again blocked. Kendra charged straight at the demon who just side stepped her and rammed her into a tombstone knocking her out with ease.

Xander shook his head as he rolled to his feet and backed up closer to the others, as he had suspected and as Alucard had warned him, this demon was very tough and an expert magic user as well. Just as the demon was about to attack again Alucard appeared alongside Sir Integra. Alucard snarled as he noticed his daughter was lying against a tree with blood running down the side of her head. He charged the demon with murder on his mind.

The demon was flung backwards into the nearby tomb, but quickly got back up and charged back only to be flung into the tomb again as Alucard caught him with a wicked right hand. The demon growled as he was cut deeply by some jagged pieces of stone. He quickly raised his hand and launched a huge waved of fire which Alucard avoided by turning into a bat and flying out of range before transforming back into himself. The others dived for cover as the wave approached them and splashed against another tomb behind them.

"This thing is tough," Amy stated as she watched Alucard and the demon fight on.

"Alucard warned me it would be tough," Xander replied as he ran over to check on Lilith and Tara. "Are you okay Lilith?" Alexander asked angered by the wound his friend had suffered.

"I will be fine Alexander," Lilith replied. "I'm already beginning to heal," she added. "Tara has a steady pulse as well so she should recover, but she'll wake up with a blinding headache," she continued. "How is Kendra?" she asked.

"Her pulse is strong as well, but she won't be up and around for a while," Sir Integra replied as she checked the slayer out."She took a real hit when she was smashed against that tombstone," she explained.

"Do we try and help the master?" Seras asked as she watched Alucard pick up the demon and fling it into a tree before running and ramming his knee into its chest and then bringing his elbow down into its neck, knocking it down to the ground.

"Not at the moment. We would just get in the way," Adrian replied with a grim smile as he knelt next to his sister. "Father is in a very bad mood at the moment," he added as he felt his father's anger over their physic bond.

"Considering what the demon did to Lilith, I'm not surprised," Xander said as Tara suddenly moaned and began to wake up. "Easy Tara, you took a heavy knock," he added as he picked her up slowly and leaned her head against his chest. "Just rest," he added.

Alucard stumbled backwards as the demon caught him with a surprise uppercut, but quickly recovered as he caught the demon's follow up punch and again brought his knee into its chest before head butting the demon cutting it over the eye. He raised his arm and unleashed a torrent of magic which sent the demon back into the tomb.

"Alexander my sword," Alucard commanded and Xander quickly threw the sword to the undead king, who caught it and slowly approached the demon who was having trouble rising. "Time to die demon and let you be a message to the First not to bother next time," he spat as he suddenly lunged forward and impaled the demon who tried to release another burst of magic.

The demon screamed in agony as Alucard twisted the sword upwards before pulling it out and allowing it to drop to its knees.

"There will be others," the demon gasped as it coughed up blood.

"And they will die just as you do now," Alucard growled in response and he brought the sword up and quickly beheaded the demon. Then he used the magic of the sword to incinerate the remains.

"Thank you Alexander," Alucard said as he handed the sword back to Xander before picking Lilith up. "Adrian, pick Kendra up; Alexander, help Tara and let us quickly return to the mansion," he ordered.

Adrian quickly recovered his hand cannon and Kendra's sword before he picked the unconscious slayer up and followed his father. Xander put his sword back into its scabbard before scooping Tara carefully into his arms and slowly followed next to Amy and Sir Integra, while Seras watched their backs. Lilith tried to protest to being carried by her father, but he ignored her and she slowly settled down knowing her father was just making sure she was okay.
4. Chapter 4
Note: Thank you to winddancer116 for joining Hawklan and me in making this fic better to read for all.

Chapter 4

(Other Realm)

Cassandra let out a long breathe she had been holding as her husband finally dispatched the demon. She was still concerned about the demon stating that others would come to try and kill Alexander and his friends, but for now she was just glad he and the others were okay. The fact that Lilith, Adrian and Seras had trouble dealing with the demon was unsettling considering how powerful Nosferatu vampires were in comparison to normal vampires and still they had a lot of trouble with this demon.

She was in no way surprised at seeing her husband destroy the demon, especially after seeing that it had hurt her step daughter. She knew that once someone hurt his children then no matter how long it took that individual could count themselves dead. She looked at the faces of her Lord, Tanith and Jonas and noticed they all seemed relieved that the demon had been disposed off.

"This may become a problem my lord," Cassandra stated. "That demon almost over powered them all, and he managed to survive both Tara and Amy's magical attacks," she added with a frown.

"True," their lord nodded in agreement. "However I’m sure they will learn how to take demons of this power down as they go. Tara must learn not to hesitate to tap into the ancient magic of the Romany as she did this time and Alexander must also try and learn to combine his magic with his physical attacks," he explained.

"Agreed my lord, if they manage to learn from this attack then it can only help them in the future," Tanith responded to their lord's views.

"Still it is troubling that Alexander and his group has come to the attention of the First so fast. We will have to keep a close eye on how this evolves," their lord went on with a frown as he watched Alucard lead the group back into the mansion in the viewing pool.

+T+

(Sunnydale)

Janna, Jessica and Mr. Zabuto stood up as the door of the mansion opened and a few seconds later Alucard walked inside carrying Lilith, which he set down on one of the nearby chairs. Xander followed him in, carrying Tara who looked like she had taken a beating and Adrian who was carrying an unconscious Kendra, followed by Seras, Amy and Sir Integra behind him. Mr. Zabuto quickly went to check his charges condition after Adrian placed her on the couch. He sighed as he realized she was just unconscious and he decided to sit next to her to keep an eye on her.

Xander took the main chair and placed Tara on his lap. Tara herself was fighting to keep herself awake as she had been bid to by Sir Integra. Janna and Jessica made their way over to check on them both relieved to see that for the most part they seemed okay and not to badly hurt. Alucard placed Lilith down and checked her wound which was quickly healing now, before he leaned against the wall and looked at the others.

"What happened?" Janna asked.

"Why did you and Sir Integra rush out of here so fast without an explanation and what happened to Tara, Kendra and Lilith?" Jessica asked.

"Alexander and the others were attacked by a high ranking demon sent by the First Evil," Alucard answered. "It was sent to assassinate Alexander and most likely to kill his companions," he added with a frown. "The demon stated before I killed it that there would be others," he finished with a growl.

"It went through us like we were nothing and it shrugged off the magical attacks Tara and Amy tried on it," Xander informed the others. "It took Tara out of the fight and injured Lilith enough so that she was incapacitated and then took advantage of Kendra's charge to take her out as well," he went on. "Adrian, Seras and I could barely wound it before Alucard turned up and began to take it apart. If he hadn't have shown up we would have lost. It was just too strong," he sighed as he finished.

"Even the strongest enemy has a weakness Alexander," Sir Integra reminded him. "You just have to find it. If you can't, you retreat until you have found it," she added.

"You also have to use tactics against them instead of trying to just go one on one or even two on one. Sometimes it’s not numbers which matter, but what strategy you use instead," Seras picked up.

"They are correct Alexander, tactics and strategy are of great help when dealing with a superior adversary," Alucard advised him. "Remember you have learned much, but not how to deal with everything," he said with an amused smile.

Xander thought over what the three had said and couldn't find any fault with anything they had told him and nodded in agreement. He looked down and noticed Tara had a more awake look around her and began to calm down now that the situation was dealt with and while Kendra was still unconscious everyone was alive.

Janna watched as he checked Tara and noted how he relaxed when he found no lasting harm to her. She was still getting used to the fact that she had to share Alex with Tara and couldn't fault him for his concern for the young witch. She was also concerned about what Alucard had told them about other demons as powerful as the one that had attacked them would be coming for them, especially Alex. However as the others had said, with the right strategy and tactics they could deal with them. It was just a question of finding the right balance of what to use.

"We should alert both Team Shadow and our own team about what happened tonight so they are not caught unprepared," Sir Integra suggested.

"Good idea, we don't know when any more of these kind of demons will show up," Xander agreed before another thought came to him. "We better also warn Buffy and the gang tomorrow," he told them. "I know I said I would give them time to think, but this changes things and we need to react appropriately," he added.

The others all nodded in agreement, including Janna as even she couldn't leave Buffy and her group to fend for themselves against something so powerful. Considering Alex's plans to reforge their friendships or at least their working relationship it was the right thing to do.

+T+

(Lower Realm)

The first evil shook its head as it watched its servant destroyed by the Nosferatu. It was no shock considering how powerful Dracula was. It was a shame the undead king was no longer one of his own servants, it remembered the brutality Dracula had shown when he had first taken on the mantle of king of the undead when his first wife was murdered. Then after many years of faithful service he was captured by the Hellsing family and somehow turned back into a warrior for the light, one which it had lost countless warriors to.

It tried to follow the boy and his group back to their headquarters, but found a powerful series of spells which stopped it. Obviously the higher powers were determined to keep these champions as safe as possible. It was of no matter to him. It would send another soon enough once it had managed to gain more Intelligence on the boy and his group's capabilities.

+T+

(Sunnydale)

Xander walked straight into the school library the next night followed by the not just his group, but Kendra and Mr. Zabuto and both Team Shadow and the Hellsing team. Buffy and her own group looked up in shock at seeing their former friend re-enter the library.

"Xander, what's going on? Why are you here?" Willow asked, surprised he had come here when he had told her he would wait for her response to what they had talked about and then there was the fact he had brought his own group along as well.

"We had some trouble last night which you need to know about," Xander replied as he took the seat across from them, smiling a little as he remembered better times.

"What happened?" Buffy inquired, trying to keep herself from saying anything which may start an argument, which surprised Cordelia and Oz who had not yet been told of Xander's return and the talk he had with Buffy and Willow and then the one Willow and Giles had with Buffy.

"We were on a normal patrol when we encountered a demon like we haven't encountered before. It waded through us like paper," Xander explained. "It shrugged off the magic Amy and Tara hit it with like it did nothing more than irritate it and then it knocked out or incapacitated most of the rest of us and if not for Alucard turning up when he did we would be dead," he continued.

"Did you just say Alucard?" Giles asked, paling as he recognized the name.

"What's wrong Giles?" Cordelia inquired with a frown. "Who is Alucard?" she asked a second later.

"Alucard is another name from the vampire Dracula and he is not just any normal vampire, he is a Nosferatu vampire," Giles explained.

"You mean the real Dracula?" Buffy asked, her own face paling a little.

"Indeed Buffy, Alucard is the name he goes by in this century," Giles replied.

"You're working with a vampire after everything you went through to get rid of Angel?" Oz asked a little surprised by this.

Buffy did everything she could to not react with any anger until Xander had explained himself. It took a lot for her to put aside the urge to just start shouting, but she managed to keep her voice level. "Why?" she asked.

"Alucard works for the Hellsing organization Buffy, as does his son, daughter and fledging," Xander explained. "The Hellsing organization is one of many organizations which fight the same fight we do, just by different means. Alucard, his children and his fledging have souls as they never lost them. You see Nosferatu vampires are true vampires in every sense of the word Buffy and they are as different as the demonic vampires we are used to fighting as night is from day," he informed the group.

"Quite correct," Giles stammered a little shocked at Xander for explaining himself so well. "The records of the Watchers Council clearly state that all four of the vampires are currently working for the Hellsing organization and should be left alone," he added.

Buffy shared a few glances with Willow and the others as they assimilated this information. It was quite a lot to take it and she sat down to think things through. Xander and his group seemed content to let them think about it.

"Giles, why have you never mentioned these other organizations?" Willow asked, her mind working overtime as it processed everything she had been told.

"They are not allowed to tell you Willow by order of the Council," Xander answered before Giles could.

"How do you know that?" Giles asked surprised.

"To answer that Giles I would have to inform you of what has happened since I left Sunnydale," Xander replied. "Which would also explain why this demon showed up and why more will come," he added. "But keep in mind it's a long story and I would ask that you don't ask any questions until I finished," he continued.

"Please Xander I think it would help a lot if you tell us what's been going on since we last saw each other," Buffy finally spoke after she shared a long look with Willow, again keeping her voice level and calm.

"Very well, but keep a very open mind," Xander replied as the others all took seats, where they could and Xander launched into their story.

+T+

(Other Realm)

Cassandra and the others watched closely as Xander began to explain everything that had happened since he had left Sunnydale after the Angelus crisis, with some help from the others who brought their own experiences and views in, especially those who were not sent through the portal.

She was surprised, but pleased the blond slayer and her group were reasonable and listening to everything that was told, even after learning they were in the presence of four Nosferatu vampires, including the legendary Dracula. The blond slayer was showing remarkable restraint, which almost convinced her that maybe Alexander was correct in his hopes of rebuilding his friendship with the girl.

"Both, the blond slayer and the watcher, are finally beginning to show their true worth," Tanith stated with a smile, pleased to see both of them acting responsible.

"Indeed, finally they are beginning to remember who they truly are and maybe after learning of their alternate selves and what they have gone through it will awaken them further," their lord responded with his own smile.

"How do you think they will take Alexander's tale?" Jonas inquired.

"They will take some time to think about it and of course discuss it between themselves before saying anything and once the watcher informs the group that dimensional portals can be created, it should stop any quick objections to it," their lord replied.

"Let us hope the watcher keeps his mind wide open then, because it is on him the validity of their tale rest," Cassandra said.

"I believe he will," Tanith responded. "I think he has realized what a fool he has been in the past and will think this thing through fully.”

As one they turned back to the pool and watched as Buffy's group moved into the watcher's office to discuss what they had been told, while Xander and the others remained in the library talking quietly between themselves.
5. Chapter 5
Note: Thank you to Indra and Hawklan for fixing this chapter up.

Chapter 5

Buffy sat next to Willow and listened as the others talked between themselves about what Xander and his friends had told them. Some of it seemed so far-fetched, but Giles had stated quite clearly that dimensional portals were possible and that people could go through them and that had made the story more acceptable as had the fact that he had used a spell to check the aura of Tara and noted that it was different than everyone else's, just as Xander and his group had stated.

Cordelia and Oz had been a little upset that they hadn't told them that Xander and his group had returned or about the fact that Willow and Giles had discovered that Xander and Janna had been right about the soul spell and it's dangers as well as the doubts they'd begun to have about what had happened during the Angelus crisis.

Once they had gotten past that small problem, they had began to talk about everything they had learned about Xander and his group and what they had done since leaving Sunnydale. Buffy was listening to everything that was said, while she continued to go through it in her head. It was clear to her now that the Xander who had returned to Sunnydale wasn't the same as the one who had left. He was harder and more serious than before and yet she could still see glimpses of his humor every now and again, which relieved her quite a bit.

She could also see he had gained the respect of most, if not all of the people, he now seemed to be involved with and this fact really brought home how far their friendship had fallen as she had not been there to see this transformation due to her own short sightedness and obsession concerning Angel. She had been thinking long and hard since her talk with Willow and Giles and she could now see how stupid she had been. She had lost a very good friend because she had been unwilling to see the truth and she had paid the price for that mistake, but she now had the hope that she could rebuild some type of relationship with Xander after what he told her.

"Buffy, what do you think?" Cordelia asked, having noted the blond slayer's long silence.

"I believe them," she replied after a few seconds. "I could hear the sincerity in their voices as they talked and I could detect no sign of them lying," she added. "It's been pushed home quite clearly that we made a huge mistake in breaking ties with Xander and Miss Calendar for Angelus and I know I'm more responsible for this than anyone, but it's clear now it was a mistake," she went on, knowing Cordelia and Oz would be quite shocked by what she was saying. "We should have listened to them and dealt with Angelus. I convinced you not to because I was obsessed and it's taken a long time for me to see what I almost brought down on our heads. I see it now and I can admit I was wrong," she finished.

Willow and Giles both smiled as Buffy made her confession, while Oz and Cordelia stared at the blond slayer in shock. Neither ever believed she would say anything like that, especially concerning Angel. They could tell that Willow and Giles both agreed with Buffy's new stance and after a few minutes of thinking about it they could admit they agreed with it as well. They had messed up in not dealing with Angelus sooner because of Buffy's feelings.

"So what happens now?" Oz inquired with a raised eyebrow.

"I am going to apologize and hope we can try and begin rebuilding our friendships with them, as well as developing ties with Xander and Kendra's new allies," Buffy answered. "It would also be nice to rebuild my partnership with Kendra," she added with a small smile.

"Do you think that's even possible considering everything that happened with Angelus?" Cordelia asked.

"Before the ambush that sent him and his friend Lilith through dimensions I would have said no chance, but his encounters with our counterparts there seemed to have really shaken him up and blunted some of the anger he felt for us," Willow cut in before Buffy could answer. "Those encounters seemed to have reminded him what good friends we used to be before we made our mistakes," she added.

"I tend to agree with Willow," Giles put in while removing his glasses and cleaning them. "Xander has grown up quite quickly due the events he has gone through recently and I also believe this bonding ritual also had an effect which has made him into a more respectable person than before he left," he explained.

"I have to agree, the way he acts and speaks is completely different than before," Buffy cut in. "You can tell he's different in his very stance," she said a second later.

"If you think it's the best thing to do Buffy, then let's do it," Cordelia finally said after a few minutes of silence. "It can't really hurt can it? Especially in dealing with the demons and vampires," she added thoughtful.

"I tend to agree with Cordy," Oz stated. "We need all the help we can get and if we can rebuild our friendships or failing that some kind of partnership, then we should do it," he went on.

"Then let's go do it," Buffy told them, pleased that they had not argued about this.

They re-entered the library and sat down, noting the silence that quickly descended on the room. Buffy could see that Xander was curious as to what they would say while Miss Calendar seemed to think they had already condemned them, which wasn't too surprising she guessed.

"So Buffy, what did you guys decide?" Xander inquired.

"We believe you Xan," Buffy responded. "I could tell you weren't lying by the tone of your voice and the look in your eyes," she added. "It's hard, especially for me, to admit that you were right and I made a mistake in my dealings with Angel and Angelus," she went on, taking a few moments of silence to compose herself. "You did what you had to do to safeguard yourself, Miss Calendar and your unborn child and everyone else in Sunnydale, including your mother and us, even after what we put you through and for that Xander I'm sorry," she continued. "I never saw it. I was too busy in being obsessed about bringing Angel back and so I couldn't see the harm I was doing, or the betrayal I was committing to my calling. All I can do is to hope to make up for those errors," she pushed on. "The others followed my call and it's because of that they too had to pay the price of those mistakes," she finished.

Most of the people in the library sat in surprise or outright shock at Buffy's speech, Janna especially could hardly believe the blond slayer had finally seen what she had brought down on herself and her friends.

Xander himself felt relieved that Buffy had chosen to acknowledge her own mistakes as Tara's Buffy had done in her dimension. It also meant that his hopes for rebuilding their friendship or at least some kind of partnership could be achieved. He listened to Tara's voice over the bond telling him she was proud of his belief in reforming their lines and not giving in to anger or disbelief. He knew Janna was shocked by the look on her face as was Amy and he almost laughed at their expressions.

"I'm happy to hear you can finally accept that what I did was out of a desire to protect as many people as I could and not an effort to spite you or the others," Xander finally replied. "I know it will take time to rebuild our relationships, but I hope it can be done," he added. "Maybe this time things will be better and stronger than before," he continued.

"We can hope," Buffy responded. "If what you stated happened in the two dimensions concerning Angel coming back and this Faith then I can see where my short sightedness can lead us and I refuse to allow it to happen here." she told them. "If Angel comes back I will rebuild my working relationship with him, but I will not allow my feelings for him to get in the way again. They destroyed my friendship with you and cost us Miss Calendar's aid and also my partnership with Kendra. All that because I allowed my feelings to come first," she informed them.

"Just one thing Buffy, in my dimension, as well as the second dimension where we met your doubles, things happened along the same pattern during the Angelus crisis and ended with his soul being returned and been sent to hell," Tara told her. "According to Alex things happened differently here and Angelus was sent to hell without his soul and this may make it impossible for the powers to bring him back and use him," she added.

"Unless they choose to give him back his soul themselves if they are determined to have him as one their champions," Lilith stated following Tara's train of thought.

"We'll keep on our guard," Giles promised. "And as for this Faith, hopefully we'll never have to deal with her for a very long time as we have no plans to see either Buffy or Kendra die anytime soon," he went on with a small smile. "And it's clear how quickly things can go downhill considering the history of the two dimensions you visited concerning our doubles, we'll just have to be more careful," he finished.

"Hopefully Kendra and I can repair our partnership as well," Buffy broke back in. "And we can start patrolling with Team Shadow and the Hellsing team as well and begin to build some bridges there," she added with a hopeful smile.

"I would like to try Buffy, it will take time but I think we can make it work," Kendra replied after thinking things through for a few minutes.

"And I'm sure Mr. Giles and myself can share our resources and information as well," Sam Zabuto said, pleased to see some reason from the blond slayer and her group and he was sure the council would be pleased by it too.

"We'll help you keep the Hellmouth shut and the demonic population down, but as for trust that will take a lot of time with us considering what Jack reported you did during the fight with the Scourge of Europe," Vincent Wilson put in with a frown, not really trusting the blond slayer's apology just yet, but the kid was correct in stating they had to pull their forces together and he was willing to try and so he added."Once you've proved to me that you can be trusted to watch my men's back then we can build some bridges," he finished and Buffy nodded, as she was properly grateful to get that.

"My orders are to help either group to contain any situation on the Hellmouth and I intent to carry them out. So if you want to start combining our patrols then I'm okay with it," William Blake, the leader of the Hellsing team, added.

"I will add one stipulation to your orders Blake and that is to keep an eye on Miss Summers, especially if Angelus returns and make sure she doesn't make the same mistakes," Sir Integra decided to make the blond slayer aware she would be watched for a time, until she could be fully trusted. "No offense Miss Summers, but I have to make sure my people have the best chances for survival and when it comes to allies I always want them to be truly trustworthy and while Alexander seems to believe your apology I'm not inclined to just forget what actions you've taken in the past," she finished.

"It's okay, I can understand why you are unsure about me after what I have done," Buffy replied, seeing she would have a long way to go to gain the trust of the Vatican and Hellsing teams. "Especially considering that you're the leader of the Hellsing Organization, according to Giles, I can understand that you are worried about your people," she added. "Hopefully in time I can earn that trust," she finished.

"We shall see," was all Sir Integra replied, still not sure what to make of the blond slayer yet.

"Now that we seem to have dealt with a lot of the problems we had between us and that you've brought us up to date on what has happened since you left maybe we can get back to dealing with the arrival of this demon, which was sent by the First Evil," Giles finally broke the silence that descended after the tough woman's response.

"A good idea," Alucard finally spoke, having stayed quite through most of the night's discussion except to add a few observations he had made during the journey to retrieve Alexander and Lilith. "This demon was an assassin of the First whose primary goal was to kill Alexander and most likely then to kill his allies," he continued. "Just before I removed its head from its body it stated others would come and I would assume that anyone who is allied with Alexander could be a target," he pressed on. "These demons are some of the most powerful in the underworld and should not be underestimated," he warned them all.

"Any easy way to take them down, considering that it went through a slayer, three Nosferatu, two witches and Alexander who was armed with your sword?" Vincent inquired a little disturbed by the power this demon had.

"As we advised Alexander after we got back from that patrol the best way to deal with these kind of demons is a good use of strategy and tactics," Alucard replied. "And a good combination of weapons might help," he added. "Magic might help if it's powerful enough, as Vincent reminded us this demon shrugged off the attacks from Tara and Amy," he informed them. "Now Tara's normal magic did not even faze this thing. However due to her bond with Alexander she can tap into a more powerful source of magic which I would bet could kill these things," he finished.

"However we have no one trained in such magic's in any of the groups guarding the Hellmouth," Willow pointed out.

"Correct," Alucard agreed. "However I have another childe stationed in Europe who can be sent here to assist you if you are willing to work with a Nosferatu?" Alucard informed them.

"In the interest of keeping us alive and the Hellmouth shut we agree," Giles replied after having quick word with the others.

"That's fine with us especially if you're right and this magic he can do will hurt these things," Vincent added happy to hear they would have another asset to assist in keeping the Hellmouth shut and them alive.

"Another Hellsing operative will be helpful," William Blake spoke up. "Especially a magic user," he added.

"Excellent then, I will have him come here immediately so we can brief him on the situation before we leave," Alucard stated. "His name is Varsik and apart from Seras he is the only childe of mine I still have any contact with," he told them. "He can be trusted to assist you, but be warned he has a temper so do not try and order him around too much," he added with a wicked smile.

Buffy and the group shared a look, which stated they would heed the warning especially in light of how powerful the Nosferatu were to normal demonic vampires.

"When are you leaving Xander?" Willow asked when she remembered what Alucard had said.

"A week, maybe two," Xander replied. "We have a lot to do and we need to get moving, but I would like to at least have started to repair our friendships before we go," he added with a smile.

"Then tomorrow we can start on that and also start patrolling together, agreed?" Buffy asked.

"Agreed Buffy, I think that would be a good idea to start things off," Xander answered. "Now I think we should all get some rest, we've been talking for two hours now," he added. "Good night," he told them before he got up and led his group out of the library, followed by the Vatican and Hellsing teams.

"What about patrol, Giles?" Oz asked.

"I think in light of the situation we should leave it for tonight and tomorrow we can plan our patrols better, especially if we are going to encounter any of these demonical assassins," Giles replied.

"Then we'll see you tomorrow Giles, goodnight," Buffy replied before leading the small group out of the library, followed a few minutes later by the watcher who locked up the school before going home.

+T+

(Other Realm)

Cassandra was very surprised by the blond slayer's apology and acceptance of her own mistakes, even going so far as to try and take the blame off her friends for agreeing to her wishes. She was also not offended by the way Sir Hellsing and the Vatican replied to her hopes of building some bridges straight away and it was now very clear that the blond slayer and her group was finally waking up to their own follies.

The plans they had put in place should their lord and the powers decide to bring Angelus back from hell and re-imbue his soul so he would again become Angel were quite impressive, especially if Buffy Summers could keep her promise and keep any romantic feelings at bay and keep their relationship purely professional.

She looked up to find Tanith and Jonas already discussing what they had witnessed, obviously pleased to see the blond slayer's group being finally back on the right track. She turned to see what her lord thought of things and noted he too seemed impressed by the proceedings and happy that things were looking up for the Sunnydale team now that they had admitted their failures.

"This is good, our forces in Sunnydale will finally be working as one and will have another new ally in Alucard's childe and the anger and hatred shown especially by Summer's has finally been dealt with," their lord said with a smile on his face. "Her apology was unexpected, but it was helpful in putting the old problems to rest and helped to stop Janna and Jessica's disbelief and unease as they did not believe that Summer's would ever see her mistakes," he added.

"I must admit my lord I too shared their views until then. She has obviously learned a lesson after she was forced by her friends to really think about her actions," Cassandra admitted. "It clear now that she intends to not make the same mistakes again and she is hopeful of rebuilding her relationships with Kendra and Xander in time," she went on, still surprised this had happened. "She didn't even get angry when Sir Hellsing and the Vatican team were almost hostile in their replies to her," she finished.

"Indeed my lord, it would seem she has been forced to try and reel in her emotions and keep them under better control," Jonas put in his view. "I think this stance can only help her in the long run," he added a second later with a small grin.

"It can only help them all in the long run Jonas, especially when it becomes time for Alexander to try and start building his alliance as everyone involved will need clear heads," Tanith stated.

The others all nodded their agreement as that would be one of Alexander's biggest trials and they all believed the hardest to complete.

+T+

(Sunnydale two weeks later)

Xander looked around the airport runway which was quite empty except for the small group who had come to see him and his group off. It consisted out of Buffy and her group, Kendra, Sam Zabuto, Vincent and William Blake.

In the last two weeks Xander had done all he could to start the rebuilding of his relationship with Buffy and the rest of his former friends and while at first it had been rocky, things now looked more promising. They had not encountered another of the demon assassins while on patrol, but they knew that eventually they would come. Alucard's childe Varsik had arrived a day after his master's summons and had settled down quickly. Xander had found he had a wicked sense of humor, but as he had been warned a horrible temper was shown when Buffy pushed him a bit too hard.

The working relationship between Buffy, Kendra, the Vatican and the Hellsing teams also started rocky, but quickly picked up as they went and Buffy proved she could be as dedicated to her calling as Kendra could be. Xander was pleased to see that she had put the past behind her and was intent on the future now. He knew this would help her build the trust between the three groups.

"Are you sure you have to go now?" Willow asked, breaking into his thoughts.

"I'm sorry Willow, but we have too," he replied as he took hold of Janna and Tara's hands in his. "We still have so much to do and time may not be on our side," he added. "But we'll be back," he promised.

"We'll hold you to that," Buffy put in, pleased by how far things had progressed in rebuilding their friendships.

"You guys keep an eye out. There is no telling when things will go south," Xander warned them.

"Or when one of those assassins might turn up," Janna added a second later.

"We'll be on our guard, I assure you," Giles said. "Well I guess for now this is it, have as safe a journey as you can Alexander and please call if you need our help," he added while shaking the young man's hand.

"We will G-man," Xander replied unable to stop himself for a small taunt which caused the watch to just shake his head.

After all the goodbyes were exchanged the group slowly boarded the Hellsing jet and left Sunnydale again, leaving Buffy and the others to continue to guard the Hellmouth.
6. Chapter 6
Chapter 6

(Dream Realm)

Cassandra walked calmly back into Alexander's dreams having been granted permission by her lord for a talk concerning his plans and the appearance of the demon assassins sent by the first.

She noted that Alexander was sitting once again in Sunnydale Park in his dream alongside Tara. Both were talking even as they unconsciously clasped hands and basked in the presence of the other. She smiled at the innocence of the act.

His relationship with both Tara and Janna were now very strong. She had worried he would lose Janna once his feelings for Tara came through and she learned of what the bonding ritual really meant, but it would seem she had underestimated Janna's feelings for Alexander. She had decided she loved him enough to share him with another woman. She wondered if their child had also factored into Janna's decision and muted her anger and fear.

She finally stopped and sat before them, alerting them to her presence in the dreamscape. "Hello Alexander, Tara," she greeted them.

"Hello Cassandra," they both responded before Xander took over. "Is anything wrong?" he inquired.

"First Alexander I want you to know we are aware of the attack by the demon assassin, which was sent by the First," Cassandra informed him. "You will have to be a lot more careful from here on out. Vlad was not been overly dramatic when he stated how dangerous and powerful they are," she added. "They are some of the lower power's best followers. Each has vastly different powers, but at levels most of our champions cannot match, but we have enough to keep our forces balanced," she went on. "They are only sent after either our best champions or normal human targets who they want eliminated for some reason," she explained.

"That doesn't really fill me with confidence," Xander replied with a shake of his head. "But if we can use the right combination of strategy and tactics, then we should be able to deal with them if Alucard and Sir Integra's advice is spot on," he added. "And how come you use Alucard's old name? Everyone else uses Alucard and it also sounds like you know him?" he asked as he caught something in her voice when she had mentioned the undead king.

Cassandra was startled that Alexander had picked up the way her voice had changed when she spoke of her husband, not that he knew her connection with Vlad and this was not the time to go into that just yet. She would have to be bit more careful of how she talked because she had underestimated Alexander as well.

"That is a conversation for another time Alexander, much later on," she finally replied, hoping he would drop it.

"Okay another time then, but there is something I would like to know why is it me and Tara can't tell anyone about you, bar Janna?" he relented in asking her anymore about Alucard due to the tone of her voice which for once was uncertain.

"I placed magical blocks in your minds to shield the knowledge of your contact with me from anyone. I made an exception for Janna considering how close you are with her," Cassandra explained. "I had to do the same to Tara when the bond allowed her to pick up my contact with you, as well as share your dreams where I usually come to talk to you," she explained. "It was a necessary step Alexander and I am sorry I didn't inform you, but considering everything else that was going on especially once you were ambushed I forgot to tell you," she finished.

"It's okay, I understand, sometimes it's necessary to do things that you can't explain to others straight away," Xander assured her.

"I agree with Alex," Tara said with a friendly smile. "It's is clear that you have your reasons to hide your contact with Alexander," she added and Cassandra was pleased both were not angry at having magical blocks placed in their heads without permission.

"Now what was the other thing you wanted to discuss?" he asked after a few seconds.

"I wanted to ask what you intend to do after helping the charmed ones and Harry Potter?" she inquired.

"I was thinking, if nothing else comes up, of trying to start building our alliance. I know it's going to be long and difficult so the sooner we start the better," he answered.

"We aren't ignoring that something else might come up, but Alex has a point. Everything Sir Integra and Alucard have told us of past attempts to form an alliance leads us to believe we will have an uphill struggle to even bring the heads of the different organizations together in one room," Tara put in as she recalled everything they had been told.

"We agree," Cassandra nodded in agreement. "However we don't want you to get too distracted by your efforts to form an alliance to finish your journey," she informed them.

Xander and Tara shared a look as they took in basically what Cassandra was asking of them. It would seem the powers Cassandra represented believed finishing their journey was more important than forming the alliance.

"We aren't saying it's not an important step Alexander," Cassandra told them as she read the expressions on their faces. "But it is quite clear you'll have plenty of time to do this after completing your journey," she went on.

"You have a point," Xander admitted and had a quick talk with Tara over the bond before coming to a decision. "If we fail the first time to get somewhere in forming an alliance then we'll put it off until after we complete our journey," he added.

"A good idea Alexander," Cassandra said with a smile. "It pleases me to see how far you've come," she stated. "A good leader always knows how far to go with an idea and when to let it go until a later time," she said. "We will speak again Alexander, but for now I must go, just remember my warning concerning the demon assassins and never try and engage them one on one," she reminded them. "Also by contacting the charmed ones you may draw the attention of the Source as well as of the First, so be careful how you proceed," she finished before standing and walking away, leaving Alexander and Tara to discuss what had been said.

+T+

(Hellsing Jet)

Xander awoke to find the jet in a darkened mode as most of the others were asleep as well. He felt Tara stir next to him and slowly wake up. On his other side was Janna, asleep as well. He smiled at how peaceful she looked before he slowly stood up and headed to where Alucard sat still very much awake.

"You have something on your mind, Alexander?" Alucard asked just before he sat down.

"Just wanted to run a few things past you, especially concerning the idea to form an alliance," Xander answered as Tara joined them.

"Go ahead, we have another hour at least before we reach San Francisco," he stated. "I was becoming a little bored in such a small space and everyone else wanted to try and rest seen we are all of the opinion our meeting with the charmed ones will end in a fight with the source's minions, especially this Shack's you mentioned who killed the alternate Prue Halliwell," he added.

"I think you're right about that," Xander agreed "We have a feeling it's going to come down to that and by doing what we're doing we are going to attract the attention of the Source which will add to the dangers we face from the First, but it's worth it," he explained. "I will keep my promise to the sisters we met in the other dimension," he swore.

"I would expect nothing else from you Alexander, considering everything I know about you and what Lilith has told me," Alucard replied with a smile. "She has grown very close to you in such a short amount of time, which has surprised me considering her past. I hope I do not have to warn you to be careful with her?" he stated with a small growl at the end.

Xander almost jumped out of his chair at the growl because he knew what happened when you annoyed him or if you hurt one of his children, but he managed to keep himself seated. He didn't know exactly what Alucard was alluring too or if he was reading more into their friendship than was there.

He stopped as Tara's voice floated over the bond and began to show him certain events that had happened since meeting the lovely vampiress that had deepened their friendship over time, things he hadn't looked too closely at during the course of their journey. Tara also showed him what he had been thinking without realizing it at the time and it shocked him to learn he had developed a deep interest in Lilith he had not noticed before due to the constant threats. He sat back and thought over everything Tara had shown him and he knew things were going to get messy again if he was not careful. He thanked Tara over the bond for revealing this before looking at Alucard who was waiting patiently for his reply.

"It would seem I've been a bit blind to some things," he finally spoke.

"I take it Tara has woken you up to what was quite clear to me and Adrian?" Alucard asked. "I have access to your mind Alexander and so I have caught what you think of my daughter even if the thoughts are only in your subconscious and you are dimly aware of them," he informed him. "Lilith likes you a lot more than she will admit at this point, especially considering your relationship with Janna and now your bonding with Tara, but the feelings are there and I want your word you will be careful in how you respond to her," he explained. "I do not mind if you get together because you return her feelings and Tara and Janna agree to it, but if you mess around with her heart I will gut you and make it very painful in your last hour. Do you understand me?" Alucard asked.

"I really wasn't aware of my interest in Lilith, but yes Tara has shown me what I missed and I need some time to think," Xander replied slowly. "Janna has slowly accepted my relationship with Tara and I have no idea if she would accept another and I'm not willing to risk it until I know how I truly feel about her and so until then you have my word I'll be very careful around Lilith," he went on, hoping this would calm the great vampire.

"I'm pleased we understand one another Alexander," Alucard finally replied with a vicious smile before relaxing. "Now back to what we were discussing before we had to deviate. What is it you wanted to say?" he added with a much easier going smile.

Xander shook his head a few times to clear the more surreal talk they just had, before remembering why he had wanted to talk to Alucard in the first place. "I think we shouldn't get too carried away after we help the charmed ones and Harry in trying to form an alliance," he finally informed him. "If we fail the first time to get the leaders together then I think we should leave it until after we complete the main objective of our journey," he explained.

"We believe it would be stupid to waste so much time and effort until after our main goal is complete," Tara added, hoping to make it clear what they were thinking. "Especially if we are not going to get anywhere and be bogged down in nothing but petty arguments between the different organizations we hope to bring together," she put in a second later.

"An excellent suggestion," Alucard stated after thinking about their new position. "It is good you have taken on all the advice myself and the master gave you concerning the past attempts to form such an alliance," he went on. "I agree, until our main goals are carried out we shouldn't put too much effort into this," he agreed. "We will tell the others once we land. I suggest you both prepare and in your case Alexander to think," he finished before closing his eyes and pulling his hat down to cover them and taking a small rest himself.

Xander and Tara went back to their seats and talked over the bond about what had just happened and what he should do about it.

+T+

(Other Realm)

Cassandra was surprised by the discussion her husband had just had with Alexander concerning Lilith, it verified her own conclusion that Lilith had feelings deeper than friendship for Alexander. However what had surprised her was that Alexander may return them after Tara had shown him what had been buried in his subconscious concerning his own feelings towards her step daughter.

Her husband's threat was real of that she had no doubt and she prayed Alexander wouldn't do anything that might make Vlad believe he had broken his promise. She doubted he would, but Alexander would have to dig deep before trying anything and even then he would need Janna and Tara's permission to try and she doubted either would say no after what had happened concerning his bonding, but then again maybe nothing would have to be done if it turned out Alexander only had a physical interest in Lilith.

On other matters she was pleased he had listened to her advice about the task of trying to form an alliance. She had been worried he would see it as an attempt by the powers to keep their champions separate. Her lord had not believed there would be any problems in this and she was happy he had been right. She didn't want any bad feelings to form between herself and Alexander.

She looked up as her lord returned, followed by Tanith and Jonas. She wondered how the reconstruction of the powers that be was going before focusing on her lord.

"How did your talk with Alexander go?" their lord inquired.

"It went well my lord," she responded. "They both received our advice well and decided to only try once to form their alliance till after they complete their journey," she continued. "I slipped up a bit when I mentioned my husband by his real name and Alexander caught the emotion in my voice as I spoke it. However I managed to redirect him and told him we would discuss this at a later date," she confessed.

"You will have to be a little more careful Cassandra until Alexander is ready to hear the truth about his blood connection to you and from you to his distant relationship to Vlad Tepes," their lord replied with no real reproach in his voice. He knew where love was concerned nothing could really conceal it.

"There is something else my lord," Cassandra said, pleased their lord had not been angered by her slip. "Vlad confirmed my suspicion that Lilith has feelings for Alexander," she continued. "Tara however showed not just Alexander and Vlad, but myself that he may indeed return these feelings," she added. "He is confused because these feelings were buried deep and he was not aware he had taken a liking to her deeper than friendship. There is a danger that the group could unravel if he is not careful how he proceeds," she finished.

"Interesting," their lord mused. "I don't believe Alexander would rush into anything, especially considering Lilith is Vlad Tepes daughter," he added. "He will wait to do anything until he is absolutely certain his feelings are deep enough," he went on.

"I agree my lord, but still considering how protective Vlad can be in regards to his children Alexander must be very careful from this point on in his actions towards Lilith," Cassandra said.

The others nodded in agreement with this statement. Tanith and Jonas had remained quiet during this topic as they didn't believe they had anything they could add which would help.
7. Chapter 7
Chapter 7

(San Francisco airport)

Xander looked around the airfield as he waited for the others to disembark. He was still deep in thought about what Tara had revealed inside his subconscious. How had he missed his growing attraction to Lilith, even given the fact he had been concentrating on what had been happening to them at the time? Then again another point was he had also missed his attraction to Tara till she had almost been killed, so he guessed it was no surprise he had missed this.

He was worried how things would play out. Tara had assured him over the bond she would have no problem sharing him with Lilith as well as Janna if he found his feelings were strong enough and that helped calm him. No what worried him was Janna's response to this newest twist. Yes, she had decided to share him with Tara, but he guessed she felt she had no choice due the bond between him and Tara. This was a completely different situation and he doubted she would be reacting the same. He still had time to think of how to approach this with her if he found his feelings for Lilith were more than just a simple physical attraction.

"We will head for the house I ordered to be bought. It is close to the Halliwell's neighborhood and we can get settled in before we’re going to contact the sisters," Sir Integra informed them as she joined them on the tarmac.

"How are we getting there?" Amy inquired.

"There will be some limos arriving shortly and they will take us straight there," Sir Integra replied. "After that we can use the car I have brought up from a nearby safe house we have in the area," she continued.

"Let's hope our initial meeting with the sisters goes off without a hitch," Janna stated as she tried to ignore the upsurge of nauseous she was feeling until they would reach the house.

"I think once they see the evidence of the tape and the letter the alternate sisters gave us things should go smoothly," Lilith spoke up, as Xander continued to stare off into space and was barely paying attention to what was being said.

"The books they gave me had their names on them so that might help as well," Tara added with a smile as she was really looking forward to seeing the sisters again, even if they would not remember her and Paige would not be there at the start.

"Alexander, is everything alright?" Adrian inquired as he noted the far off look in the young man's eyes.

Xander didn't answer straight away as he continued to seek out the answers to the questions Tara's revelation had posed him. Finally after a mental poke from Alucard he shook his head and focused on everyone else. "I'm fine," he assured them. "I was just thinking about things," he added.

"Are you completely sure, Alex?" Jessica asked her son not really believing his answer as she caught the guarded look in his eyes.

"I'm okay, really mom," he answered with a smile. "I was just thinking things out and I got carried away," he added as the limos arrived.

"Very well, but if you want to talk you know I will be willing to listen," Jessica finally relented before heading to one of the limos followed shortly by the others.

Janna remained where she was for a few minutes as she too had not really believed Alexander's answer, but she would not push him to tell her what was bothering him and would wait until he was ready to tell her, as she knew he would when it was time. Finally she followed behind Tara and got into the last limo and hoped she could hold onto her upset stomach until they reach the house.

+T+

(Other Realm)

Cassandra watched as the elders entered the chamber on their lord's command. She knew her lord was about to order them not to try and interfere with Alexander's contact with the charmed ones. He was hoping to head off the same sort of trouble they had with the ‘Powers that be’ which had led Malek to not only break his oath's to their lord, but to take arms against his own, for which he was banished as well as his followers.

She knew the elders were a little more flexible than the powers had been before Malek's downfall, but they could also be to set in their ways and they also hated outsiders having contact with their champions. She watched the conversation alongside Tanith and Jonas and noted the frowns that came to some of the elders’ faces at their lord's command, but it seemed after what had happened to the powers no one was willing to test their lord's temper which pleased her as it meant they wouldn't have any more internal problems for a while.

"They took it better than we did," Jonas noted with a focused look.

"No surprise considering what happened to us and Malek and his followers when they disobeyed our lord's commands," Tanith reminded him, his thoughts mirroring Cassandra's.

"Let us hope they keep that in mind as Alexander's contact with the sisters progresses and finally reaches the stage when he tries to forge him an alliance as he will want the sisters involved not just because they would be powerful allies, but because he deeply respects everything they have gone through," Cassandra commentated.

"A good point," Jonas responded, seeing no error in Cassandra's views. "I believe once they get over their initial worries things should go very well. I also think he will get on very well with Prue as they have the same dedication to their duties," he added with a thoughtful look.

"I have to agree with that, they are very similar," Cassandra couldn't help but agree. "They will be good friends I think," she stated.

They watched as their lord turned and walked back to the viewing pool while the elders left. All of them looked a little worried, but there was no sign of dissent from any of them.

"That should head off any problems from them due to Alexander's promise to help the sisters," their lord commented. "It should also stop us from having to deal with anymore traitors for a while," he added in a dangerous tone as he thought of Malek's betrayal.

"We can only pray they heed your command my lord," Cassandra spoke up. "They know what will happen should they fail to do so after Malek's own fall and so I don’t believe they will be so stupid as to defy you," she went on.

Tanith and Jonas nodded their heads in agreement with Cassandra's point of view. They both knew there would be an even more terrible retribution from their lord if the elders defied him after what had happened to the powers.

+T+

(San Francisco)

Xander walked up to the Halliwell Mansion hoping things would run smoothly. He knew the moment they made contact the Source would know they were there and would be moving to counter them. Prue would be a big target and they would have to make sure she was protected otherwise this trip was for nothing and he would have failed in his promise to the alternate sisters.

He knocked on the door and waited alongside the others. He had decided to bring the whole group so they could get the introductions out of the way as well as insurance in case the Source attacked faster than he expected it too. The door swung open and Piper Halliwell stood before them, she was a little younger than her alternate self and also did not have the air of sadness around her as well as the pressure of being the eldest sister who was responsible for her siblings.

"Something I can help you people with?" Piper asked a little surprised to see so many people at their door.

"We need to have a very big talk with you, your sisters and your Whitelighter, Piper," Xander replied. "It's very important and concerns the life of Prue," he added, deciding to be blunt and to the point.

Piper stared at the young man in front of her with a frown as he answered. His words sent a chill up her spine when he mentioned Prue's life. She was concerned he knew about Leo, but was more concerned about Prue.

"As a sign of good faith Piper we'll hand over our weapons, I promise," Xander added, hoping Piper would not turn them away so she could talk with her sisters and think about it.

"Let them in Piper," Leo said from behind his wife, having just been told to aid the newcomers in their introductions with the sisters.

Piper looked at her husband for a second before stepping aside and allowing them entrance. She led them into the main living room and watched as they all placed their weapons in the corner as he had promised.

"I didn't actually expect you to do that," she stated.

"I always keep my promises," Xander answered, as Prue and Phoebe entered the room.

Phoebe also looked younger than her alternate self and a lot more cheerful. She also seemed very curious about them instead of weary. Prue herself was in Xander's honest opinion hot, before shaking his head in annoyance as he had enough trouble in that regard. He felt Tara's gentle laugh over the bond and he guessed she had heard him. The eldest sister seemed very confident and also ready for anything should something happen.

"Piper, who are they?" Prue inquired, indicating the newcomers.

"I don't know yet, but Leo had me let them in," Piper responded. "They handed over their weapons as a sign of good faith," she added, showing her sisters the small pile near the couch.

"Who are you and what do you want?" Prue demanded to know, not liking the idea that they had brought weapons into their house.

"My name is Alexander," Xander replied. "The others are Janna, Tara, Lilith, Jessica, Seras, Alucard, Adrian, Amy and Sir Integra," he added, pointing out the others so the sisters would know who was who.

"Sir Integra?" Phoebe inquired not sure he actually meant what that sounded like.

"There is no mistake, that is my title," Sir Integra assured them. "I’m Sir Integra Hellsing of the Hellsing organization Miss Halliwell," she continued. "We have are here to help you concerning matters that from your point of view haven't happened yet," she finished.

"What does that mean?" Piper asked a little lost.

"Before we go further Piper you and your sisters need to read this," Xander said as he pulled the letter Piper's alternate self had written and handed it over.

The sisters gave him a hard stare before stepping back and opening the letter and began to read. They all recognized the style of the handwriting as Piper's, but none of them could remember her writing such a letter. Once they were done they looked up slightly disbelieving.

"Is this some kind of joke?" Prue asked in a hard tone.

"I assure you I've never been more serious," Xander shot back a little annoyed at their skepticism. "Everything in that letter is the truth," he added. "Two and half months ago Lilith and I were ambushed by a cult and sent through a dimensional portal which sent us to different dimensions. In one of those dimensions we encountered you or at least your future selves," he explained. "The one major difference between you is that in that dimension you Prue had died during an attack by the Source's bounty hunter Shacks. This devastated your sisters, but shortly afterwards Piper and Phoebe would discover the existence of a half-sister, the product of the union between your mother and her Whitelighter Sam," he continued. "Before we left that dimension we made a promise to those sisters to do everything we should to keep you alive and bring your half-sister home. I intend to do just that and before you dismiss us you should watch this," he finished as he pulled the video the alternate sisters had recorded to help convince their doubles.

Prue had watched Xander as he talked and was looking for any sign of deceit, but she hadn’t been able to see one, he looked very serious. She looked at her sisters before taking the tape and putting it on. She sat on the sofa and was joined by her sisters and Leo. They all watched in shock and fascination as Piper, Phoebe and another young woman appeared on the TV and began to talk to them, explaining events as that had happened to them. It shocked all three when the other Piper talked about Prue's death and the events surrounding it and then finding Paige, their lost half-sister, and the battle with the Source. The other Phoebe also warned about the loss of Cole if they allowed him to go undercover in the Brotherhood when they showed up, which would lead to the events of Prue's death and made sure she and Leo weren’t there in time to save her.

This bit of news hurt Phoebe a lot to hear, because it sounded like she had go off to rescue Cole during a dangerous situation and it had cost Prue her life. The events describing the battle with the Source were shocking and they also warned them of the seer and her plans to use Cole to be the new Source. At the end the sisters on the video asked them to trust Xander, Lilith and Tara and allow them to set things right.

"Leo, can you make sure they on our sides?" Prue asked, as she tried to digest everything she had been told.

"I don't have to Prue. The elders sent me down to help convince you to listen to them," Leo replied with a gentle smile, knowing his sisters in law and wife were distressed by everything they had learned.

The sisters looked between themselves at his answer before leaning against each other for a few minutes to gather their thoughts. Then they went back over to where their guests still stood.

"How long do we have until this is supposed to happen?" Prue asked, trying to keep her voice steady.

"In the original time line a few months, but I suspect the attack will come sooner due to our presence," Xander answered. "We've attracted the attention of the First already and by showing up here I am sure the Source now knows about us as well and will act to stop us from helping you," he went on.

"How do you plan to stop what happened to my alternate self from happening here?" she inquired.

"By killing Shacks as quickly as possible, he's the real threat," he replied. "We all have our skills Prue, from magic to hand to hand and weapons. We can help keep you and your sisters to be safe," he assured them.

"What about our half-sister?" Phoebe inquired.

"It wouldn't be wise to bring her here until after the attack Phoebe," Tara spoke up. “She will need a lot of training in her powers before she will be ready for something like this," she added.

"I agree," Leo added into the conversation. "She's safe at the moment because she is hidden. We should leave her like that until after we've dealt with this situation," he cautioned.

"In that case what do we do now?" Piper asked.

"We prepare. First I’m going to tell you as much as I can about what we've been through, including Lilith’s, Tara's and my trip through dimensions, so you can understand why we want to help you and so you know you're not alone in this fight," Xander answered.

They all sat where they could and the sisters and their Whitelighter listened to Xander as he began to explain his own introduction into this fight and those he had befriended along the way.
8. Chapter 8
Chapter 8

(Lower Realm)

The Source snarled as it sensed the danger from the newcomers and some kind of holy magic was stopping it to listening to what was been discussed between them and the charmed ones. It was certain they were trying to from some kind of alliance. It would have to move quickly to stop this and began to plan an attack led by one of his best demons, Shacks.

+T+

(Other Realm)

Cassandra watched the discussion between Alexander's group and the sisters. At first she had been annoyed at the skepticism the sisters had shown, even if she could understand it. She was pleased they then had chosen to believe the evidence the alternate sisters had given them and that Fate had allowed them to use magic to stop their enemies from listening in on their discussions as it would help them plan for the coming attack and she had no doubt that the Source will attack as soon as it could believe Alexander and his friends wanted to form an alliance with the sisters. Making them more of a threat, which was something it could not allow to happen.

She knew Shacks was not to be underestimated and she didn't think Alexander would do so, but he would have to be careful how he went about this. The sisters would need the power of three spell to vanquish him, but they would also need time and that was where Alexander and his group came in as she did not believe Shacks would be sent in alone.

"The next day or so will be dangerous for them," their lord spoke up. "The Source will go for numbers in this attack," he added with certainty. "How they plan to defend themselves will go a long way to seeing if they will succeed in their goals," he continued.

"I agree my lord, strategy as well as tactics will be important here," Tanith stated with a nod.

"It will also show if Alexander has learned anything from his encounter with the First's demon assassin about trying to combine his physical attacks with his magic," Jonas put in his own views.

"I don’t believe Alexander will forget that or what the others advised," Cassandra responded to the discussion finally. "He knows Shacks will be as tough and dangerous as the demon assassin the First had sent after him," she continued.

"I have to agree, still this will be a true challenge to everything he has learned so far," their lord replied with a small smile before turning his attention to the viewing pool, joined a second later by the others.

+T+

(San Francisco)

The sisters sat back and were quite shocked to learn they were not the only defenders out there. That there were others was the most shocking thing. Alexander had stated the powers usually liked to keep their champions separate and ignorant of each other, although he didn't see why they couldn't see the harm it was doing to their forces.

They now had a list of a few of those other champions as well as three different organizations which they could call on should they need the help. The fact that they had the leader of one of those organizations here was surprising as well and they wondered why she was so interested in the actions of Alexander and his group.

They were amazed about some of the situations they had been in, especially the latest one which had sent two of their number into a number of different dimensions. In one Alexander was bonded to Tara, so she became a member of their group and then the dimension where they had met the alternate charmed ones. They realized that they were not the only people with the force of destiny on their shoulders and it calmed them to know they were not alone in this fight. It was just bigger than they had ever realized.

They were now planning on how to deal with the attack they were sure would be coming now that they had made contact. Their reasoning for the Source to send Shacks now made sense and they had already gotten the spell needed to vanquish him. They had called Cole in and explained things to him. To say he had been shocked would have been an understatement however he had also been horrified to learn he would fall back into darkness and finally becoming the new Source to save Phoebe and so he had quickly promised to be a lot more careful from this point forward.

"So are we agreed on the plan?" Alucard inquired after a few minutes of silence.

"We are," Prue replied with a nod of her head. "We've written down the spell so each of us has a copy just in case we lose ours during the fight," she added with a determined look.

"Our main job is to keep whatever demons show up with Shacks of the girls long enough for them to vanquish him," Xander reminded the others. "Cole, I want you to stick with the girls and try and distract Shacks himself while they do their spell," he said.

"No problem," Cole nodded in agreement. "He'll ignore almost everyone else to get to the sisters, but me I'm near the top of the Source's hit list as well and I doubt he'd miss the chance to remove me and gain more of the Source's accolades," he explained.

"Just be careful Cole. I don't want to lose you now or in the future," Phoebe told him before kissing him briefly.

"I will Phoebe, I promise," he assured her with a smile. "But I will do what I have to do to give you the time to do your spell," he added with a hard look.

Phoebe nodded after a few seconds, knowing Cole would never agree to leave her to fight alone, and he was determined to help them in this fight. She just hoped he would remember his promise and not take any stupid risks.

+T+

(Lower Realm)

The Source looked at the assault force he had assembled to aid Shacks and smiled. He had summoned five vampires and seven demons which he was sure would keep the sisters allies busy while Shacks dealt with the sisters. He just hoped Balthazar was there to see his precious witch being killed and maybe Shacks would be able to remove him as well, which would help him move forward with a lot of his plans.

"You will strike tonight. Do not fail me Shacks," the Source hissed, making it clear he would punish the demon severely if he failed.

Shacks nodded his head in obedience before moving to prepare for the strike, hoping he would get the chance to kill Balthazar for his betrayal of their master.

+T+

(San Francisco, night time)

Xander quickly stood and made his way to where they had stored their weapons and retrieved his sword and his hand cannon and moved towards the door, followed a second later by Tara who sensed the coming attack at the same time with their joined senses.

"Alexander?" Janna questioned him at his sudden movement.

"The attack is coming, we better prepare," Lilith informed them, having seen this behavior before. "Their joined sense over the bond allows them to sense incoming attacks," she explained to the sisters, while reminding the others of this fact.

Alucard grinned at the fact that there would be a fight, especially one where he could engage one of the Sources best warriors. He retrieved his weapons as did the others and they each began to move into position awaiting the attack. The sisters and Cole remained near the sofas making it look like they were not expecting the attack and hoping they would be quick enough to get out of the way of the first salvo.

A few moments later the doors were blasted open by a wave of magic and Shacks entered, followed by his assault force. The demons and Shacks unleashed a barrage of magic which the sisters and Cole just barely avoided. They dived behind the sofa which was almost blown to bits by the combined attack. As Shacks moved forward to get a better view of his targets, which now included the traitor, Xander and his group jumped from cover and engaged the assault force.

Shacks paid little attention to the fight which had broken out. He was experienced enough to focus only on his target. He raised his hand, ready to release another energy bolt when Cole jumped at him and caused him to move out of the way. They quickly began exchanging hits trying to land a fatal blow. He growled because he knew Balthazar was almost his equal in terms of experience and strength having once held a place in the Sources inner circle, but he was determined to kill him and avenge his betrayal of their master.

Xander ducked the vampires attack before bringing the hilt of his sword up into the vampire’s stomach stunning it and giving him the chance to use his hand cannon to shoot it in the heart, dusting it. He turned as one of the demons charged him. He side stepped before trying to get a shot on it which it avoided before knocking his gun out of his hand. He gripped the sword tighter and got ready for its next attack, beside him Tara was busy trying to kill the vampire she was fighting, but it kept dodging her attacks so he tapped a small piece of the ancient magic of the Romany and used it to stick the vampire's feet to the floor, giving her the chance to take its head off with the sword she had been given by the Valar.

Alucard grinned as he removed the head of the demon he had been fighting before taking a quick look around and noting that they seemed to be holding their own before charging Shacks. This caught the demon by surprise and sent him flying into the nearby bookcase. Cole stopped his attack so he wouldn't hit his ally by accident and went to help the others, taking one of the demons out as it tried to kill Amy, who had been knocked to the floor. Shacks stood and growled as it faced the undead king, he had once feared this vampire when he had been a servant of his master, but now like Balthazar he was a traitor and not worthy of his fear or respect and so he charged him, intent on killing him only to be flung backwards by the burst of magic Alucard had sent at him.

The sisters had watched the battle in shock, having not seen anything like it before. Usually it was just them fighting the demons, but this was so much bigger than their past fights. Prue shook herself and realized they had gotten distracted and elbowed his sisters and got them to focus on the spell to vanquish Shacks. Lilith snarled as she caught sight of Alexander being double teamed by a vampire and a demon, wounding him in his leg and his back. She noticed Tara cry out as she felt his pain over the bond, but she remained standing and concentrated on helping Janna kill the last of the vampires. She jumped over the heads of the two demons she had been fighting alongside Adrian, leaving Seras to come up to help her brother and landed in between the demons and her fallen friend as they attempted to kill him.

She allowed her darker nature come to the fore and launched herself at the taller vampire and plunged her fist straight through its chest, dusting it instantly. She flinched as the other demon attacked her unprotected side, causing a wound to open in her side. She managed to push it away as she turned to face the other when the demon suddenly erupted into fire before exploding. She turned around to see that Jessica had come up behind it and took it by surprise. She gave the woman a nod of thanks before checking on Alexander who was still conscious and trying to sit up. She held him in place as the last two members of the assault force were killed by her brother and Seras, leaving only Shacks in the game.

Alucard smiled as the fight progressed. Shacks was a good fighter and was skilled in the arts of pain, but he lacked the necessary speed and presence of mind to know what was going on around him. He knew the sisters were almost complete with their spell and he also knew the assault force, which had arrived with Shacks, had been eliminated, but Shacks was too focused on him to realize it. Shacks charged him again catching him in the side which he easily shrugged off before catching him by the throat and flinging him into the wall just as the sisters finished the spell. They all watched as Shacks screamed in agony before exploding as he was finally vanquished.

"It's over," Sir Integra stated with a small smile as she replaced her hand cannon, while looking around and noting that apart from Alexander's wounds they hadn't suffered any major injuries.

"We need some bandages and some water," Lilith responded as she checked her friend's wounds, which seemed deep. Janna and Tara quickly joined her at his side.

"No we don't," Prue replied with a smile. "Leo," she called and a second later their white lighter appeared and quickly took stock of the situation and moved to heal Alexander.

"Thanks a lot man," Xander said with a sigh once the Whitelighter had finished and so he stood up with Lilith's help.

"No problem," Leo assured him with his own smile as helping people was why he became a Whitelighter in the first place. "The Elders are very pleased with the destruction of Shacks and his attack force," he informed them. "They now understand why they were told not to interfere with your visit to the sisters," he finished.

Xander and Tara shared a quick look between themselves at this news, knowing Cassandra must have had something to do with this and they were grateful for it.

"Why would they want to interfere?" Piper inquired with a confused look on her face, which was shared by her sisters. "And who could order them not to?" she added a second later as she thought through what her husband had told her.

"Politics Piper," Jessica replied, remembering what her son had told her about the powers. "They like to keep their champions separate so they don't have to worry about losing them to the other powers," she explained.

"But that's stupid. It leaves us to handle really dangerous situations on our own which could get us killed," Prue almost spat. "If our mom had been able to call on some help she might have lived," she added, angry about the arrogance of the elders for not thinking about the lives of their champions.

"I know Prue and that's exactly what I thought when I found out their reasoning for keeping us separate," Xander stated in an understanding tone. "Which is why I intend to try and form an alliance not just between the different organizations out there, but the champions as well and I would be honored if you would consider helping us," he added.

The sisters looked between themselves for a few seconds, each echoed with the same answer in their eyes before they turned back to Xander. "We're in," they promised.

Xander smiled at their answer and felt they had just taken their first steps in forming some real lines against the darkness.

"I think we'd better fix these doors," Leo said a few seconds later as he moved over to survey the damage.

"I'll give you a hand," Xander said as they all broke up into groups.

+T+

(Lower Realm)

The Source shook its head in anger and hate as it watched one of its best hit demons die at the hands of the sisters and their new allies, which included the undead king Dracula. This had been a surprise it had not expected and it had cost it dearly. These new allies of the sisters were protected by holy magic which is how it missed the presence of Dracula and his children and Childe. It cursed the higher powers before trying to focus on some of his other targets which were not so well protected. It would have its revenge against the sisters and their allies, but for now he'd leave them be until he had a plan which they could not survive unless a miracle happened.

+T+

(Other Realm)

Cassandra smiled as Alexander and his friends helped the sisters destroy Shacks and his assault force. When she had seen Alexander go down after been attacked by a vampire and a demon she had wanted to lash out and blast them into pieces, but she knew she couldn't and so had reigned in her more destructive instincts.

Lilith had of course moved to aid him using her enhanced skills to get between Alexander and his attackers. She had destroyed the vampire using all the demonic power she possessed and most likely would had taken the demon apart, but Jessica had beaten her to it and set it on fire, killing it. Leo had taken care of his wounds and the sisters had agreed to his offer of forming the alliance. This had pleased her immensely and she could see her lord was pleased as well.

"They all did well," Jonas stated with a smile, pleased to see the destruction of Shacks after losing many of their own champions to them.

"Indeed they did," their lord replied. "They can take a few days rest before moving on to talk things through but Alexander knows time is against them now that he has gained the attention of the First and the Source," he added.

"My lord he also has to help bring Paige into the family and will not leave until he has done that as he had promised," Cassandra gently reminded her lord.

"Of course," their lord nodded in agreement.

+T+

(San Francisco)

Xander listened as the sisters talked to the others about the situation and what they would like to do if they managed to form the alliance, his mind however was elsewhere as he tried to find some answers to the questions he had concerning Lilith and how to succeed in dealing with the Source and the First who now wanted him and his friends dead.

He felt Tara's touch over the bond and tried to stem the storm inside his mind as he knew he had time to find the answers as they went and as long as they were in a group they should be fine. He tried to focus back onto the conversation, noting that his mother had noted his distracted manner once again as she had when they arrived in San Francisco and he knew he would be having words with her later on. He wondered for a second if they had made the right call coming to the sisters straight away and making them a bigger target. He shook his head knowing they were now more alert than ever and with Prue alive more capable with dealing with the forces that might come against them.

"So how can we find our half-sister?" Phoebe finally asked with a smile as she leaned against Cole, who had his arm around her.

"I think for the moment we should wait for a week or so and let things quite down," Prue interrupted before anyone could answer. "We just took down one of the Source's best demons and so I'm guessing he's really mad and I would expect him to try something to even the score," she explained at her sister's look.

"I have to agree Phoebe," Cole put in, knowing Phoebe wouldn't like this but knowing it was for the best they took extra care for a while. "The Source will not just take this lying down. It will want revenge and the moment we expose your sister she will be vulnerable and most likely be the target of an attack," he added.

"So we just leave her with no knowledge of who she really is?" Phoebe asked disappointed. "I mean what if the Source manages to track her down anyway? She'll be even more vulnerable then," she tried to point out.

"I'll keep an eye on her, don't worry Phoebe," Leo assured his sister in law with a comforting smile. "Now we know who she is I can track her and make sure she doesn't end up being killed," he continued with what he hoped was a reassuring smile. "And I am sure the Elders will place some defensive spells around her house until we're ready to bring her home," he finished, hoping to reassure all three of the sisters.

"It's just for a week or so Phoebe and then we'll go and get her," Piper said, agreeing with Prue's point of view. "We have to be careful how we bring her in. Once we do, she will become known to the Source and his followers and until she is trained she will be a prime target for them and we'll not always be there for her," she reminded her sisters.

"Paige does have one major defensive advantage should she come under attack," Xander finally interrupted the conversation.

"Which is?" Prue inquired of her new friend.

"She's half Whitelighter Prue, which means she can orb," Xander answered with a smile. "Once she taps into that she'll be able to do it at will," he added.

"If she is half Whitelighter her ability to orb is already active as it's not part of her witch heritage and it will most likely be triggered by fear if she is attacked so she might survive an attack should it happen and we are occupied elsewhere," Leo informed them. "When we bring her home I'll work with her so she can orb whenever she wants. The quicker she learns that the better off she'll be," he added.

"I can't believe our mom gave her up," Piper said almost angry at this fact.

"As you heard on the tape Piper, your mom and Sam did this to protect Paige not just from the demons, but from the Elders who at that time had forbidden relationships between witches and Whitelighters. A child born of both those lines was even more forbidden," Tara gently reminded them. "Your mother had to do what was best for her child and not just for herself or Sam. From what you're alternate selves told us it almost broke Sam to do it and when he lost your mother he lost it," she added.

"Yeah we met him," Prue said as she remembered meeting her mother's Whitelighter and learning of their relationship. "He was in a real bad place and he died helping us destroy the demon that killed our mother," she added with a pained look as those events came back to her.

"I take it that's why we never knew of her existence as well so that she would remain protected from everyone right?" Phoebe inquired with a sad smile, wishing things could have been different and they could have grown up with their half-sister.

"Yes from everything we were told," Lilith agreed as she remembered what they had been told.

Finally the conversation faded out and everyone just sat there thinking about recent events. Everyone was suddenly startled when there was a burst of flame in front of them, leaving a red colored bird standing on the table. Xander recognized him instantly.

"Fawkes," he said in greeting before moving forward and removing the letter the bird held and suddenly he was feeling a little worried.

"What kind of bird is that?" Prue inquired as she looked at the bird, knowing she had never seen anything like it.

"Fawkes is a phoenix Prue. They live in the magical world which lays beside ours," Xander answered absently as he began to read the letter.

"There is another magical world?" Piper asked Leo.

"No Piper, our magical world is basically integrated into the normal world, just hidden," Leo explained. "The magical world Alexander means is completely hidden from it, most of the true magical creatures likes Phoenixes live there as do the majority of witches and wizards who unlike us use wands to perform magic," he continued as he recalled what he knew of that world. “They also relay a lot of potions to combat so many problems and they are governed by their own parliament called the Wizengamot," he added.

"Cool," Phoebe said, liking the idea of another world hidden beside their own and cut off from the problems of this one.

"Not at the moment I'm afraid," Lilith stated to Phoebes comment. "Our first stop after being thrown through the portal was to the magical world and we learned they are at war with a dark wizard of great power called Voldemort," she explained, remembering what she had been told about the situation in the magical world. "Sadly not every witch or wizard believed Voldemort was still alive. You see fourteen years ago Voldemort almost conquered the magical world, but he was stopped and thought dead by the majority of the people. Sadly he wasn’t killed just rendered into a wraith," she added. "He came back into a body last year thanks to some of his followers and has restarted the war, but most people including their leaders have chosen to ignore this out of fear and so only a small few are actively fighting back," she finished.

"What does this Voldemort want?" Prue asked, not liking the sound of this at all and she had a sense there was something else behind this maniac's motives.

"He first wants control of the magical world and then he wants to exterminate every human who does not possess magic," Lilith answered with a frown. "He believes those who have magic and are of pure blood are superior to normal humans who they call muggles," she added.

The sisters shared a horrified look between themselves as they thought of the damage this mad man could do if he succeeded in his goals. They noted Leo also looked upset at this and wondered if he had known how bad things were in this magical world.

"Alex, what is it?" Tara suddenly asked as she felt the anger suddenly flare inside Xander.

"Harry is in deep trouble," Xander answered with a dark frown as he was deeply angered by what he had read. "The government has turned against those trying to rally support to fight Voldemort. He's in prison sent there by that idiot they told us about, Fudge," he spat as he stood. "Susan sent the letter hoping we had returned and could help as Dumbledore and the rest are busy trying to reorganize their forces which, while having grown, has been thrown of balance by been labeled terrorists," he explained.

"What are you going to do?" Prue asked as she stood up. Noting as well how angry Xander looked at receiving this news.

"I'm going to help my friend and then I’m going to make sure this Fudge is exposed as the idiot he is and then I’m going to help Harry destroy Voldemort," Xander growled in answer.

Tara quickly stood and walked over and pulled Xander into a fierce hug as she battered his anger back down and tried to force him to reassert his control, finally she felt him begin to relax.

"Tara?" Janna inquired.

"He's calming down," Tara answered, pleased that Xander was getting better at regaining his control over his emotions as they went.

At the sister’s and Whitelighter’s confused looks Sir Integra filled them in on one of Alexander's weaknesses and what Tara's comment actually meant. They watched as Tara and Xander exchanged a small kiss before Xander grabbed some paper and pen and wrote a reply and gave it to Fawkes who vanished in a flash of fire.

"Do you want any help?" Prue asked, surprising her sisters.

"Are you sure you want to get involved in this Prue?" Xander inquired, although on the inside he was impressed she had offered. "This will be dangerous. This is a war we'll be stepping into," he reminded her.

"I'm sure," Prue said after a quick look at her sisters. "You basically stated if this Voldemort wins he'll come here to kill nearly everyone else which means this is our war just as much as theirs, right?" she countered.

"That's how I feel," Xander replied with a grim smile.

"Plus, this will help bring our groups closer together for when we want to form our alliance as well," Piper put in as she stood next to her sister, joined a second later by Phoebe, Leo and Cole.

"Then we all go," Xander finally said. "Fawkes will be returning in a few seconds with a couple of portkeys which will take us to their headquarters. We'll get a full brief once we're there," he told the others as they prepared to leave.

"What are portkeys?" Phoebe inquired with a curious look.

"It's one of the ways they travel," Alucard answered with a smile as they prepared to deal with another threat, granted this had been unexpected and the situation sounded bad, but they had planned to help Harry Potter and his friends anyway, this just hastened their timetable.

+T+

(Other Realm)

Cassandra watched as Alexander tried to sort out how he truly felt for her step daughter and she worried what would happen once he had the answer. She didn't want either Alexander or Lilith to be hurt by this new twist. She was also still concerned about the threat posed by the First and the Source as well as what would happen once Alexander headed for the Lavelle Tribe and faced Radrik.

She was a little surprised when Fawkes appeared in the Halliwell mansion and she smiled as she watched the sisters learn of the magical world before frowning when she saw how angry Alexander quickly became as he read the letter. She calmed down as Alexander showed how much he had progressed when it came to controlling his emotions. She was angered to learn what had happened to Harry and she knew he would not be in prison for long if Alexander had anything to do with it. She couldn't believe how blind the English magical government was. She was sure some of the problems came from members being a part of Voldemort's army and others who were just greedy for money they were paid by the Death Eaters and they didn't see the damage they were doing.

"This is going to be difficult my lord," Tanith commented. "Retrieving Harry Potter from the prison will be difficult, especially if Voldemort has sent some Dementors back to the prison to torture and weaken Harry," he added.

"I agree Tanith, that is most likely what has happened," their lord replied with a frown. "However Alexander will not let this deter him. Harry is his friend and he feels responsible for pushing him to accept his destiny and fight Voldemort head on," he continued.

"He will at least have the help of the sisters, Leo and Balthazar to aid in their next task," Cassandra reminded them. "I’m not surprised Prue offered their help. She has already formed a small friendship with Alexander," she added, commenting on what she had seen. "She likes him and has quickly formed a deep respect for what he has done so far," she went on.

"I have to agree. I think Prue and Alexander will form a very deep friendship based on their mutual dedication to their duties," Jonas stated with a thoughtful look.

"I agree with you both. Their friendship will grow," their lord responded. "They have similar personalities that match. I think they will work together quite well," he added with a smile.

They all watched as Fawkes returned and dropped off the portkeys before vanishing again. After everyone had what they needed and Leo had taken the Book of Shadows to the Elders for safe keeping while they were gone they all grabbed the portkeys and left the mansion to heed back to the magical world.
9. Chapter 9
Chapter 9

(12 Grimmauld Place, London)

Susan Bones paced the living room awaiting the arrival of Xander and his friends. She had been so relieved to know he and Lilith had returned to this dimension and would be able to aid them. She had asked Fawkes to take the letter without letting Dumbledore know, but she had become fed up with his refusal to act in regards to Harry and so she had decided to act and she had been lucky Fawkes had agreed to aid her.

She stopped her pacing as suddenly Xander arrived along with a lot of other people she guessed were a part of his group, including Lilith. She looked the people over and noted two of them looked quite dangerous but she knew they had to be on their side otherwise they wouldn't be with Xander's group.

"Welcome back Xander," she finally spoke with a very relieved look on her face. "And thanks for coming," she added and a smile appeared on her face as she was pleased they had answered her call for help.

"I couldn't not come Susan. Harry is my friend, remember?" Xander replied with his own smile. "I want you to grab hold of Dumbledore so we can have a meeting with everyone, that way we won't have to go through all this more than once, okay?" he replied.

"He's not here at the moment, but I'll send Fawkes to alert him to your arrival," she replied. She then moved over the desk and began to write a small letter, while Xander and his friends sat down or stood near the far walls.

+T+

(Order safe house)

Albus Dumbledore looked up from the papers he had been reading about Voldemort's current activities when he noted Fawkes arrival. He quickly took the letter and read it before sighing when he noted Susan Bones had sent it informing him Alexander had returned, along with his whole group.

He should have guessed that Susan would only hold off on doing something for so long when it came to Harry's imprisonment. After Alexander and Lilith had left Harry and Susan had become a couple and had come to trust and depend on each other and once Harry had been sent to Azkaban she had become very vocal that they should rescue him immediately. He and Susan's aunt had cautioned that until they had regrouped after Fudge had turned the majority of the people against them they could do nothing, but it had been clear Susan and the rest of Harry's friends, as well as Sirius and Remus hadn’t liked that answer and now Susan had reached for someone she hoped could help.

The fact Alexander and Lilith had returned meant they had dealt with their own problems concerning the dimensional portal and the cult who had ambushed them. Then there was the fact they had brought the rest of his group and while this meant more allies it also meant he had to deal once again with someone who would not follow his command and do what he felt was right. He hoped Alexander would be a bit more accepting of their situation as they could ill afford to worsen their public standing. He quickly wrote a summons for the major members of the Order which he copied and then gave to Fawkes before heading for Grimmauld Place.
+T+

(Riddle Manor)

Lord Voldemort sat on his throne and was smiling as he felt Harry Potter's agony over his link to the boy.

He had recovered from the damage he had received during the assault on the Bones mansion and had quickly decided to use Malfoy's suggestion of turning the people against their hero even more, making it seem more and more that it was Potter and Dumbledore who were causing all the trouble and of course that fool Fudge was more than willing to do that after Bones had almost succeeded in booting him out of office with the discovery of the truth concerning Sirius Black and Peter Pettigrew.

He hadn’t expected the people to respond so well, but it would seem the fear of the first war had made most people terrified to even believe it was possible he was still alive or better yet once again moving to assume control of Wizarding Britain. This had been a great help as he reestablished his control over his followers and allies. As long as they kept a low profile until he was ready to strike and the more the government ignored what was right in front of them and continued to hound Potter and Dumbledore for speaking of his return, he would win for sure.

The plan to have Potter thrown into Azkaban had come from Parkinson, one of his supporters on the Wizengamot. To remove Potter from his friends was brilliant and now they could do what they wanted to him. Most wanted to kill him out right, but he had decided to torture him for a while in revenge for what the boy had managed to do to him during the assault on the Bones mansion. He had sent a few Dementors back to the prison under the guise they were still loyal to the Ministry, so that they could weaken the boy and cause him as much pain as they could. For now he was content to wait to kill Potter and to leave him to the tender mercies of the Dementors.

+T+

(12 Grimmauld Place, London)

Dumbledore arrived in the kitchen noting Molly Weasley was already there along with the rest of her family, bar Percy who continued to support the Ministry. He sat down and waited as seconds later the rest of the major Order members arrived, including Sirius, Remus, Amelia, Tonks, Alistor, Sturgis, Emmeline, Hertis, Snape and McGonagall.

"Thank you all for coming," he said with a nod of his head before he steepled his fingers together and leaned forward somewhat.

"What's wrong Albus, you're message sounded urgent?" McGonagall asked as she sat down as did most of the others.

"Susan Bones sent me a message today informing me she had contacted Alexander and Lilith, who seemed to have returned from their trip and she has gotten their agreement to aid us," he informed them. "Severus I must insist you keep your feelings towards Harry to yourself, otherwise you may find yourself badly hurt. Alexander isn’t one to suffer slights to his friends," he cautioned his Potions Master and spy. "Is that understood?" he asked with a frown to make sure he understood he was serious.

"Very well," Snape responded with a sneer at the idea he could be bested by some stranger, but he was unwilling to draw Dumbledore's wrath.

"I take it Susan has had enough of waiting for us to do something about Harry?" Amelia inquired with a small smile, knowing her niece could be very stubborn.

"It would seem so," Albus agreed nodding his head as he did so. "I believe Alexander will want to act as soon as we have informed him of how things stand," he added.

"About bloody time," Sirius growled. He was angered that he hadn’t been allowed to try and rescue his godson already. "If Alexander and his friends can help us rescue Harry I'm all for it," he added with a fierce look.

"I have to agree Albus," Remus stated a little more in control than his friend. "We all know Harry is the key to stopping Voldemort and yet we have left him to rot in Azkaban where Voldemort could kill him at a moment’s notice," he went on.

"And we know for a fact some of the Dementors have returned to Azkaban under orders from Voldemort and they are bound to go for Harry," Tonks cut in, hating the idea of Harry been tortured by these foul creatures. "Fudge has played it off that he has managed to regain control of them from Sirius who he continues to paint as a Death Eater, trying to bury everything Amelia exposed three months ago concerning the truth," she continued.

"I know that Nymphadora," Albus replied with a tired look appearing on his face. "The people are so terrified of the idea of Voldemort being back that they are buying everything Fudge and his supporters are stating in the papers," he added with a shake of his head in annoyance.

"Then maybe it's time you people started pushing back," a new voice cut in from behind them and they all turned to find Alexander Harris standing at the doorway with an angry look on his face.

"How long have you been there?" Arthur inquired in surprise.

"Long enough," Xander answered with a slight glare at the group. "I think we have quite a bit to discuss, but first we have to go and get Harry," he continued.

"It is not that simple Alexander," Albus tried to say before being cut off.

"It is that simple. I don't care what the cowards out there believe is happening or what your corrupt government will try and play it off as, but I will not leave Harry to be tortured by those damn creatures you mentioned," Xander spat as Susan, Tara and the rest his group as well as Hermione Granger arrived behind him. "Now we're going to go and get Harry. If anyone of you want to help then please join us, the rest of you stay out of the way," he added before returning to the living room followed by his group, Hermione, Susan, Remus, Sirius, Ginny, Fred, George and Tonks.

"I guess he really doesn't want to wait," Bill muttered.

"I don't blame him. I've been saying for ages we need to be more aggressive," Alistor replied before standing up and heading for the living room.

"Now what Albus?" McGonagall inquired unsure how to feel about this. On one hand she wanted to see Harry rescued from Azkaban and on the other she didn’t want their situation to get worse, which is what would happen when Fudge responded to their rescue attempt.

"We will wait and see if Alexander can indeed retrieve Harry and if he can what Voldemort, Fudge and the people will do next," Albus replied, knowing there was little he could do to convince Alexander not to act. "We will just have to try and plan the best we can," he added.

+T+

(Other Realm)

Cassandra was a little worried by the events that seemed to have transpired within the magical world, she could tell things were heading for a major conflict however without enough support Harry and those who believed in Voldemort's return could not hope to win and that would be deadly for them and for Alexander, who she knew would not leave until he had helped Harry remove Voldemort.

She knew Alexander was planning ahead again even as he talked to those who wished to help him free Harry from Azkaban. He was thinking about what kind of allies the Order had or what they had done so far to try and make alliances. The lessons Vlad and Sir Integra had given him on leadership were coming back to him as he planned on how to breach the Wizarding prison.

She wondered what he would say when he learned Dumbledore and his main Order had done little in trying to win the support of any allies bar other witches and wizards so far. She doubted he would be impressed and considering how disappointed he had been when he learned of some of what had been going on and the fact they had left Harry in prison she guessed this would not be a good thing.

"My lord I believe there is a danger this conflict could become bigger than it already is," Tanith stated with a worried frown on his face as he thought things over.

"How so Tanith?" their lord inquired interested in his views.

"Should the Source or the First manage to locate Alexander and his group and then learn of what is going on there is a possibility they will send forces to aid Voldemort, hoping they can kill Alexander and his group during the conflict," Tanith explained still frowning. "Considering the losses they both suffered because of Alexander and Alucard I feel they would see this as a great opportunity to strike back, especially as most wizards and witches of the magical world have not dealt with demons for some time," he finished.

The others took all of this in and began to think it through and they all had to agree it was plausible, both the Source and the First would be looking for ways to strike back at Alexander and his growing group before they became anymore of a threat. The First would send more of its assassins to kill them, hoping it would be easier during a conflict like this. That's if the First was aware of where they had gone. As for the Source, if it too managed to track them, then they assumed it would send a large force of demons and vampires to aid Voldemort, hoping to destroy them and also the Order leaving Voldemort in control.

"We will have to be watchful and if they do indeed send any forces to aid Voldemort I will send Cassandra to warn Alexander so he and his friends are not caught unaware," their lord finally spoke. "This war is going to become a major event in Alexander's quest as I do not believe he will leave until it is finished and Harry and his friends can live in peace," he added with a grim smile.

"I have to agree my lord," Cassandra responded. "Learning how things have been handled by Dumbledore and his order as well as what the corrupt government has done to them I believe Alexander will stay to help change things in the magical world forever, believing it's the best thing for both worlds," she continued.

"I believe she has a point," Jonas put in after thinking of what he had learned of Alexander's character so far. "He knows how deadly it would be if Voldemort was to win this war and what kind of destruction they would bring into the normal world," he added. "He will do everything he has to prevent it from happening," he finished.

"It's even possible he may call in Buffy, Kendra and the rest of the Hellmouth defenders if things get really bad," Tanith spoke up again as he continued to think things through.

"I doubt he would do that unless things became really bad," Cassandra replied confidently. "However if things do come to a pitched battle then it is likely he will call them in especially if the Source and the First send any forces to aid Voldemort," she continued.

"I will have a force of warriors prepared to be sent to the Hellmouth to guard it should that happen. I will have Whistler begin preparations for such an event," their lord informed them after a few seconds. "We have plenty of fighters all over the world, some of them can be spared to guard the Hellmouth for a small while," he added before turning and leaving to find the balance demon.

"Do you really believe it will come to a pitched battle?" Jonas inquired after watching their lord leave.

"I do," Cassandra replied. "Voldemort has continued to build his army and once Harry has been rescued you can be assured Alexander will push them to build their own, especially if they have trouble removing Fudge and his supporters from office," she explained her view.

"I hope Alexander is ready for this kind of war," Tanith stated with a shake of his head.

"Maybe he isn't just yet, but I think he will summon every lesson he has learned so far to make it through alive, plus he has Vlad, Adrian and Lilith who have all fought in conflicts such as this before to advise and guide him," Cassandra answered.

They nodded their heads in agreement as their lord returned after giving Whistler his orders. They all turned back to the viewing pool to watch events unfold.

+T+

(12 Grimmauld place London)

Xander listened as the two Aurors Alistor Moody and Nymphadora Tonks outlined the prison of Azkaban, but what he needed was a look for himself so he could plan a proper break in without a warning being sent out for some time, none of the people in the room noticed Severus Snape watching them under a disillusionment charm as they were too busy with their discussion.

Snape hated the very idea of Harry Potter been released from Azkaban not only because of his own hatred of the entire Potter family dead or alive, but because he knew his master Lord Voldemort would be very angry should they succeed in freeing him and he knew he would bear the brunt of that anger and so he hoped to find some way to stop them.

"Alright as good as your memories are I'm going to have to go there and see for myself," Xander finally spoke up.

"I don't think that's such a good idea," Janna responded, slightly annoyed at Alexander's inability not to want to do dangerous things himself. However she knew that he wouldn't send his friends into such a situation if he wasn't willing to do it himself, it was one of the reasons she loved him.

"Janna, I'm only going to have a look around believe me there will be no fighting," Xander said, hoping to reassure her and mentally he added ‘I hope' as he stood up.

"Still I don't see why you won't take someone with you," Janna persisted in her argument, being worried for his safety.

"The more of us there are the more chance we'll be noticed," Xander replied, trying to keep his frustration and anger over the whole situation from boiling over and snapping at his lover.

Tara watched quite concerned as Janna kept pushing and the effect it was having on Alexander's control of his emotions, which had been on a tilt ever since he had learned of what had happened to Harry and the lack of action by Dumbledore and his Order. She stepped forward and touched Janna's shoulder gaining her attention and shook her head at her making her realize she was just worsening the situation. She was worried about Alexander's plan as much as Janna was, but she had faith in his skills that he would return.

Janna looked up at Tara and noticed the look in her eyes as well as the shake of her head which told her Tara wanted her to drop her argument, she knew why as well. It was clear that if Tara was interfering that Alexander was close to losing his temper, she was not helping things by arguing. She closed her eyes and sighed as she felt Jessica reach over and squeeze her hand to let her know she to shared her concern, but it was best just to let things be for now.

"Very well Alex," she finally spoke, knowing it was pointless to keep arguing. "But you better be careful," she added before going silent.

Xander sighed at the tone in Janna's voice, but he knew it was better only one of them went to scout out the prison. He walked over and kissed Janna, putting all of the passion he felt for Janna into it, before kissing Tara just as deeply shocking Susan and the others who did not know about their shared relationship before walking back to the others.

"Where is the best place to arrive without being seen?" he asked the two Aurors.

"Near the water's edge on the north side," Alistor Moody responded, liking the courage of this newcomer. He reminded him of Frank Longbottom when he first joined the Aurors. "I'll prepare a portkey," he added as he walked over and grabbed a pen and cast the Portus spell, turning it into a portkey as Xander handed over his sword and sidearm as he believed it would be better to leave them here just in case something went wrong.

Snape quickly left the house and apparated away.

+T+

(Azkaban)

He arrived at the appartion point and quickly headed for the prison which was close to the arrival point, seeing the nearby guards he quickly told them that a spy working for the Death Eaters would soon arrive on the north side near the water's edge and they should quickly move to apprehend them and lock them inside the prison as well. The guards quickly summoned two others and headed to the location he had given them. Snape smiled as he thought of the torment Potter was likely going through at the hands of the Dementors before leaving and heading back for Hogwarts.

+T+

(12 Grimmauld Place, London)

Dumbledore walked into the living room to find Alexander about to leave by portkey and he wondered where he was heading. Considering what he was planning to do the answer came to him quite quickly.

"Alexander I urge you to reconsider what you are planning," Dumbledore said, attempting one last time to convince him not to act. "We need first to regain the support of the people before we can act," he added, hoping the young man would be reasonable and he ignored the annoyed looks on the faces of Susan, Hermione, Moody and Tonks who had grown tired of hearing this speech.

"No we don't Professor," Xander shot back with a heated look. "The cowards will soon learn the truth one way or the other and then they will line up to help in a hope of earning forgiveness for their own inaction and desire to ignore the threat of Voldemort," he added. "By doing nothing you are helping Voldemort and his followers. You have to act and deal with the views of people later when it's over," he finished before the portkey activated and he vanished, leaving Dumbledore to think over what he had said.

+T+

(Azkaban)

Xander arrived to find himself suddenly surrounded by four wizards all of which were pointing their wands at him. He frowned as he wondered how they knew he would be arriving here as this precise place and the only answer he could come up with was that there was a spy in the Order and yet he couldn't see any of the ones who had joined them in the living room being a spy as they all seemed to care about Harry and what had happened to him.

"Hands up," one of the wizards shouted at him.

He glared at the wizard before snapping his arm upwards and knocking the wand out of his hand before following up with a palm strike straight to his face which broke his nose. He had caught the guards by surprise and he quickly followed up by nailing the second guard in the gut with a spin kick and then an elbow to the back of his head rendering the guard unconscious.

However the element of surprise was now gone and as he turned to attack the next guard he was hit his left leg by a spell which knocked him to the ground. He cried out in pain as the spell seemed to have broken his leg. Before he could do anything else expect to send the word 'trap' and 'spy' to Tara over the bond the other guard stunned him and he slumped to the ground.

"I'll take this one back to the prison and lock him up. You’ll help these two idiots," the first guard said. "I can't believe they got taken down by someone without a wand," he added before pointing his wand at Xander and using the ‘Wingardium Leviosa’ spell to made him float upwards before heading back to the prison, followed by the floating unconscious form of Xander as the second guard looked over his two companions shaking his head at what he had seen.
10. Chapter 10
Chapter 10

(12 Grimmauld Place London)

Tara watched as Dumbledore talked to Moody and Tonks about what they had helped start, still convinced that by breaking Harry out of the prison they would make their situation with the government and the people much worse and help Voldemort gain ground. He seemed to have ignored the advice Alex had told him before leaving to scout the prison. She noticed Amy, Jessica, Susan and Hermione walking over to her. "Is something wrong?" she asked with a small smile.

"No," Jessica replied with a shake of her head. She had come to like the young witch and value her advice and she didn't want to make her worry, but she and the others were all worried how Xander was doing.

"We just wanted to know how Alex was doing," Amy put in before Jessica could continue.

Tara looked between the four and noted the worried looks they were trying to hide. It didn't help her calm her own worry for Alexander's safety even as she tried to keep a hopeful outlook. She was about to check on Alexander when she suddenly felt a large surge of pain over the bond which almost caused her to fall out of her chair. She was about to say something when she heard Alexander's pained voice over the bond almost shouting the words 'Trap' and 'Spy' before she lost him completely meaning he had been knocked unconscious.

Susan noted the suddenly alarmed look which overtook Tara's calm look and then the wince of pain that followed and she knew something had gone wrong.

"What is it?" Hermione asked having seen the same thing before any of the others could ask.

"Xander is in trouble, he was injured," she replied trying to steady herself and keep herself in control. "He sent the words trap and spy to me before I lost him," she added as she finally managed to calm her suddenly raging emotions.

The others seemed to have noticed something was wrong and moved closer to them to listen. Alucard growled as he heard Tara's answer and checked his own link, but found he too couldn’t get through. He glanced to his daughter and Janna and noted both had a combined look of worry and rage on their faces.

"If there is a spy here who is it?" Prue asked, focusing on that fact for now instead of the worry she felt for her new friend.

"I do not believe anyone here is a spy," Dumbledore calmly informed them as the rest of the order members entered the room, bar Snape who had left.

"What's wrong Albus?" Amelia asked noting the different looks of worry, rage and anger which showed on most of the others in the room.

"Alexander was ambushed during his scouting mission of the prison. He got a warning off to Tara over the bond they share, and he stated it was a trap and that there was a spy here with us," Lilith all but growled in response.

"As I have said I do not believe any one of us is a spy, something else most have gone wrong," Dumbledore stated again, with complete belief in what he was saying.

"Are you saying Alexander is lying?" Janna asked in a dangerous tone as Jessica pulled her back away from the old wizard, noting her anger was beginning to get the better of her.

"No, but I am suggesting he made his suggestions based on incomplete facts," Dumbledore answered with a calm smile.

"They knew exactly where he was going to show up Professor," Tara stated with a frown. "They were ready for him, which states quite clearly that someone tipped them off," she added.

"Where is Snape?" Sirius growled noting the missing potions master.

"He returned to Hogwarts earlier," McGonagall answered with a growing sense that trouble was on the horizon.

"Wasn't Snape the man Harry did not want involved in the ambush at the Bones Mansion last time me and Alexander were here?" Lilith inquired with narrowed eyes as she recalled the man’s name.

"Yes he was," Remus answered with a thoughtful look. "Harry protested his inclusion in the order, stating he was a Death Eater, but Albus over ruled him as usual telling us he trusts him," he added.

"I wish to talk to this Snape," Alucard informed them, almost stalking forward with a hard look in his eyes as he came to a conclusion this man must have given away Alexander's location and plan.

"Severus didn’t do this, I can assure you," Dumbledore argued really not liking where all this was heading. "Harry is misguided in his belief that he is a Death Eater," he added.

"I don't care," Alucard replied. "I will talk to him to ascertain his innocence or guilt," he growled, beginning to dislike the elderly headmaster who he saw as short sighted and narrow minded and completely unable to see anything, but his own limited view of things. These were bad traits to have in a leader.

"If you are so sure of Mr. Snape's innocence then there can be no harm is us questioning him, can there?" Sir Integra finally spoke up, having listened quietly to everything that had been said and what she saw was that the headmaster was too trusting and not willing to consider every option there was.

"They have a point Albus," Amelia put in. "A lot of us have doubts about Snape's true loyalty and this is just another situation which questions who he truly follows," she went on.

"You know my view on this Albus, plus Snape's left about the same time we were discussing where Alexander should arrive at Azkaban if you were correct that he left earlier," Moody all but growled out.

Dumbledore looked around and noted there was not one person, not even Professor McGonagall, who was willing to take his word that Severus was loyal to the order and sighed. He knew he would have no choice, but to call Severus back so he could be questioned if he wanted to keep his control of the order intact.

+T+

(Other Realm)

Cassandra almost growled as she watched Alexander fall to an ambush gaining a broken leg in the process. She knew Tara must have felt that pain as much as she did. She also listened as Tara explained what Alexander had managed to sent over the bond about a spy and that it had been a trap. She frowned as she heard this, she had a very good guess who was responsible for this and a few minutes later it was voiced by Sirius Black and her step daughter Lilith.

That headmaster Dumbledore insisted that Snape was a loyal member of the order as well as that no one within the order could be a spy was stupid and narrow minded. Could he not even entertain the notion that there was a spy in the order? This was not a sign that he was a very effective leader if he couldn’t keep an open mind. The fact that most of the order had voiced doubts about the man's loyalty and had only gotten simple reassurances in return again showed the headmasters lack of imagination.

"This could get messy if the old man continues to defend Snape," Jonas mused with a shake of his head at the events that were unfolding within the order.

"It could also cause a breech between the members if Dumbledore doesn’t allow him to be questioned," Tanith pointed out.

"I think he is already blind to the discontent that has surfaced in regards to this man’s actions, especially in young Harry if what I am hearing is correct," their lord finally spoke. "It's a shame, in the last two wars he was a leader you could count on to always make the difficult choices," he added.

"People change my lord, especially in light of war," Cassandra added her own point of view. "It is possible Dumbledore doesn’t even see the harm he is doing with his current actions or the anger it is generating within Harry and the majority of the order," she continued.

"Then he better wake up soon or he may find himself losing his position as leader of the order, even worse he may find himself cut out of the war effort completely," Jonas stated a little annoyed at the old man.

"I think that will depend first on what he does in regards to Snape and second what Harry will say once he is rescued from Azkaban and he learns the old man did nothing to rescue him," Tanith rejoined the conversation.

"I have to agree, it seems after coming into contact with Alexander the first time Harry has grown more and more into his role of leader and is no longer afraid to voice his own opinion and he has gathered a following not only with his fellow students, but some of the order as well," Cassandra agreed with their views.

"We can only hope they sort these things out before things get more troublesome during this conflict," their lord finally spoke again. "I think things will heat up again once Harry and Alexander are retrieved from Azkaban," he added before turning his attention once again to the viewing pool, joined seconds later by the others.

+T+

(Azkaban)

Xander groaned as he slowly pushed himself upwards before wincing as he felt the sharp pain in his broken leg. He used his meditation exercises to ignore it for now and looked around the cell he found himself in. It was a mess, there was a broken bed to the right near the far wall with a ripped blanket on it and there was rubbish piled in the corner near the cell door.

Before he could do much else he suddenly felt colder than ever before in his life and suddenly he knew what was approaching as he remembered Harry's story of his third year. He began to bolster his mind with a combination of meditation and focusing on his link to Tara. He almost smiled as he felt Tara lock onto his presence and the relieved feelings she sent him. She then quickly picked up in the uneasy fear that had begun to build within him as the Dementors approached his cell.

Finally he saw two of the creatures show up outside his cell and he felt the full effects of them hit him. He managed not to cry out as his worst memories began to assault him and battered at his mental shields as he tried to focus on Tara and her comforting presence before finally five minutes later he slipped into blissful oblivion.

The Dementors floated away to find more prey to feed on, followed a few minutes later by the guard who had placed Xander in the cell. He chuckled at the unconscious body of the unknown man before walking towards the cell where Potter was kept.

+T+

(12 Grimmauld place London)

Tara smiled as soon as she felt Alexander awaken and she felt better as he assured her he was okay, apart from the broken leg he had sustained in the ambush. Suddenly she frowned as she felt a growing fear within Alexander before suddenly she felt pain and terror as her darkest nightmares began to invade her mind. She felt the word 'Dementor' over the link before she lost contact with Alexander again and she collapsed to the floor almost unconscious herself.

"Tara, are you okay?" Amy asked as she knelt next to her and placed a comforting hand on her shoulder, followed a second later by Leo and Piper who had concerned looks on their faces.

"I had Alex again for a few minutes before we were both overwhelmed by Dementors," Tara finally managed to answer, fighting to stay awake through the onslaught she felt through the bond even now as Alexander was out cold.

"They affected you over the bond?" Adrian inquired with a surprised expression.

"Yes they did," she answered as Leo and Amy helped her into a nearby chair. "They truly are horrible creatures," she told the others. "They make you relieve your worst nightmares and you feel the pain and terror that goes with them," she added with a shake of her head.

"How is Alexander?" Lilith asked as she listened to Tara's description of the Dementors.

"Apart from the broken leg he got in the ambush he's okay, but if we leave him in the hands of the Dementors that will change," Tara answered with a sigh as Janna came to stand next to her. "They had a big impact on him. He won't be able to sustain his defense for long," she added.

"Then we must recover them both before we question this Snape about the ambush," Alucard stated with an insane smile. "I suggest a small assault force of myself, Seras, Lilith, Sirius, Remus, Moody and Tonks," he went on. "Adrian you will remain here to guard Sir Integra and the others. I don’t want anyone to leave to warn this Snape of what we suspect. Is that clear my son?" he asked.

"Yes father," Adrian replied even as he felt frustrated at not being able to go and rescue Alexander and his friend, but knowing guarding Sir Integra took priority.

"Do you think seven will be enough?" Amelia asked a little doubtful.

"I believe so," Alucard replied with a nod of his head. "These Dementors will not affect me, Seras or Lilith due to our vampiric nature and according to Moody the others I mentioned are all capable of performing a Patronus charm," he added.

"Did you just say you are vampires?" Hermione asked with wide eyes.

"I did," Alucard nodded in answer with a smile at the young girl that had her back up a few paces as did Susan before she halted and stepped forward again.

"You wouldn't be with Alexander if you were dangerous," Susan stated as calmly as possible. "He would kill you if you ever threatened his friends or family and considering how close he and Lilith seemed to be I doubt she is dangerous either. The same goes for your son and friend," she added.

"Lilith is my daughter and Seras is my childe," Alucard informed her, liking the fact she was not afraid of him and smart enough to use her head.

"As long as Alexander trusts you I will trust you," Susan replied, filing the information about the family ties away for later.

"I like you young one, you show much promise," Alucard replied with a smile, impressed she mastered her fear of him so quickly. "I will return with Alexander and your mate," he added as he walked over to where the others members of the assault squad stood and while Remus and Tonks gave him, Seras and Lilith a few stray looks Moody and Sirius basically just accepted the fact and continued to focus on the mission.

The rest of the people in the house watched as they all vanished as the portkey Moody had created activated and took them to Azkaban. Janna, Tara and Susan all shared the same worry that they would arrive too late to be any help to Alexander and Harry.

"Now what do we do?" Emmeline asked as she sat down next to Bill Weasley who had shown up during the conversation.

"Guess we wait," Bill replied with a concerned look. "And pray they succeed," he added as the rest began to sit down, including Dumbledore who noted Adrian was watching him very closely, making sure he did not try and leave to warn Snape of the suspicion he was now under from the rest of the order and Alexander's group.
11. Chapter 11
(Azkaban)

Alucard quickly looked around the forbidding island the prison was located on and had to approve of its location. There was little chance of any prisoners escaping. He looked up the prison which he could see from his position and slowly began to heed for it. He hefted his sword, which he had removed from its scabbard in Alexander's trench coat and laid it on his shoulder as he went.

"We're not just going to go in the front door are we?" Tonks asked in confusion.

"We are actually," Alucard responded with a wicked smile, making his red eyes almost look like they were glowing. "Me, Lilith and Seras will take care of the guards and cover you so you can drive away the Dementors and launch your own spells," he added.

"How much damage can your type of vampire take?" Moody inquired, having already figured out that these vampires were different than the kind he was used to dealing with.

"A lot," Seras replied with a happy smile that made Remus and Tonks nervous. "We also have the power to resurrect each other should we fall," she explained, not noticing that Remus paled at this as he considered what kind of enemies they would make. "Master of course has the most power, considering who he is," she added.

"And who is he?" Remus asked with a curious look.

"He's Dracula," Moody answered before anyone else could. "Alucard is an anagram of Dracula," he added with a snort of dark humor. "Which means we're working with the king of all vampires," he finished with a dark smile.

"Holy mother," Sirius gasped in shock, while Tonks almost tripped in surprise at this revelation.

"So you really do exist?" Remus inquired in surprise. “I always wondered if you did or if the whole thing was just based on a story written a long time ago," he added with a thoughtful look. "How did Alexander come to work with you?" he asked.

"Of course I exist, as to how Alexander and I are connected, I'm afraid you'll have to wait to hear that story, we have other business to attend to," Alucard answered with an insane smile as he neared the doors of Azkaban.

Remus didn't reply as they approached the chilling looking doors of the Wizarding prison. He was still unsure of the idea of working with three vampires, but considering his own status he decided he had no right to judge and concentrated on what they were about to do. Sirius and Tonks took up positions just to the side of the doors while Remus and Moody dropped into crouches and prepared to cast stunners at the guards as soon as they appeared.

They watched as Alucard slammed his fists against the doors making them shake. After a few seconds the doors opened and two guards stepped out with their wands out.

"What are you doing here?" the first guard asked a little confused at the sword wielding man. "Are you Death Eaters?" he asked a second later.

"Who cares? Just take them down and put them behind bars," the second guard hissed with a frown.

Before either guard could do anything they were dropped by stunners from Remus and Moody. Seras and Lilith rushed forward and took down another two guards who had been approaching the doors, Tonks and Sirius quickly brought up the rear.

"Where do you think they will be holding Alexander and Harry?" Lilith asked, wanting nothing more than to rip through these guards and find Alexander.

"According to our information Harry has been kept in the lower levels. It's a safe bet Alexander will be there as well," Tonks answered, noting the angry look on the female vampire and guessing it board ill for the guards of Azkaban if they put up too much of a fight.

"Then we better move quickly before one of these idiots calls for backup," Moody growled as he pointed to the right and stunned another guard as he tried to get the jump on them.

"Which way?" Seras asked as she looked around the gloomy prison.

"Straight ahead then left, then we go right and we'll find the stairs to the lower levels," Moody answered. "We'll start to encounter Dementors as soon as we go right," he added as a warning.

"Then everyone better keep an eye on your surroundings," Alucard warned them. "Let’s move," he added as he led the way into the prison.

+T+

(Other Realm)

Cassandra watched as her husband led the small group into Azkaban. So far there had been no violence, but she knew her husband and if they encountered too much he would begin to use more deadly force and from the look on Lilith's face she too would as well, especially if she found Alexander too badly hurt. She watched as the viewing pool changed to show Alexander awake once again, but being beaten by the two guards he had taken down during the ambush.

She growled as she watched the two guards continue to beat him and she knew her husband and his group better hurry.

+T+

(12 Grimmauld Place London)

Tara fell to the floor as Alexander's pain quickly flooded over the bond and it was clear to her he was being beaten, she felt someone trying to help her and managed to see it was Janna and Jessica.

"What's wrong Tara?" Jessica asked very worried for her son and Tara herself.

"He's is being beaten," Tara replied even as she felt another large blow over the link, which almost caused her to lose consciousness.

"By who?" Janna hissed incensed by the very notion and feeling her anger grow over the entire situation.

"Two of the guards he took down during the ambush. They want revenge," Tara managed to say before she collapsed against Jessica unable to take any more.

"Alucard and the others better hurry," Amy whispered, angered by the idea of her friend being hurt and angered over having to watch Tara experience it as well when there was nothing they could do to aid here.

"Is she going to be okay?" Leo asked as he knelt next to them and ran his hand over the blond witch to check her status.

"If Alexander is found soon, she will be," Adrian replied as he joined them. "But if they’re too late and Alexander is seriously wounded then Tara will be as well," he explained. "It's one of downsides of the bond they share," he finished with a sigh.

"Is there nothing we can do to help her or to block the pain?" Phoebe asked, as she leaned against Cole.

"I'm afraid none of us have the power to affect the bond to do even that," Adrian answered, wishing it wasn't so. "And it's not wise to mess with it anyway, we could end up causing even more damage," he added.

"I would like to know more about this bond the two are sharing," Dumbledore spoke up, having watched the entire thing with a curious expression wondering what was going on.

"Go ahead. There is nothing else for us to do until they get back," Sir Integra told Adrian.

"Very well," Adrian replied and then began to explain to the order and Harry's friends about the bond, while Jessica and Janna tried to keep Tara comfortable and still so she wouldn't hurt herself.

+T+

(Azkaban)

Remus fell to the floor holding his side from where the cutting curse had managed to hit him, but he pushed himself back up as Tonks quickly used a small healing spell every Auror was taught during training. He ignored the pain as much as he could and continued to follow the three vampires.

Moody cast his patronus again to drive another Dementor away as Alucard picked up a guard who had charged them and threw him against a wall, knocking him out cold. So far he hadn't used the sword to do anything, but Moody could see the great vampire was about to lose his patience. Sirius and Seras moved forward and took down another guard, while Remus managed to send his patronus against a Dementor who had been coming up on them from behind and chased it away from them.

"We should split up here father, I will look for Alexander," Lilith stated as something told her that her friend was near. "You find Harry as it's my guess he will be heavily guarded and I will get Alex," she added.

Alucard looked at his daughter and noted the anger and fury she was trying to hold back and he knew that from here she was going to unleash that fury and she was trying to keep the others from seeing it. He also couldn't fault her view of the situation Harry was a political prisoner and so would be guarded heavily.

"Seras go with Lilith, we'll get Harry," he ordered his childe, who nodded her headed in understanding, having also seen her friend begin to lose her control.

"Are you sure that's wise?" Tonks asked a little unsure of this tactic.

"I am, Lilith is correct about Harry being the one they will try and keep here," Alucard replied as he watched his daughter and childe vanish around a corner. "Alexander is unknown to them so he should be easy to get too," he added hopefully. "Now let's go we haven't much time," he finished as he pushed forward.

Tonks exchanged a worried look with the others at this before following him down the left side, noting ahead of them are five guards and three Dementors and she knew Harry must be close.

They watched as Alucard raised his sword and slam it down in a wide arc and saw in amazement that a burst of magic erupt from the sword and hit three of the guards and one of the Dementors. The guards screamed as they were flung backwards into the wall behind them at tremendous speed, causing head wounds on all three and removing them from the fight. The Dementor fled as it felt a surge of power which made it afraid for the first time in a long while. The other Dementor also fled as the wizards who were approaching sent their Patronuses at it, leaving the two guards who quickly began sending curses at them. Tonks and the others took cover as they could, but Alucard had finally reached his limit and charged forward, imbedding his sword into the stomach of one of the guards while swinging his fist into the other's face with enough force to break his nose and send him crashing into the cell they had been guarding and he was out cold.

He removed the sword and placed it inside his own duster where it was held by his magic. Tonks and Remus grimaced in distaste at the sight of the dead guard, while Moody ignored it knowing before this war was over more people would die and Sirius believed they deserved it for what they had done to him and his godson.

"Is this him?" Alucard asked as he pointed at the boy who was within the cell.

"Yes that's Harry," Sirius said with a growl as he noted how bad he looked.

The others looked in the cell and noted that Harry seemed to have been beaten quite badly, most likely on Fudge’s orders. Alucard grabbed the cell bars and ripped them off their hinges, allowing Sirius and Tonks to enter and check him over.

"He's alive," Sirius told them with relief as Tonks pulled him up and forced him to swallow a pepper up potion, to give him some strength.

"We have to move," Moody growled as he looked around.

"We need a few seconds to allow the potion to work," Tonks replied as she checked to make sure this was Harry with a reveal spell and was relieved to know they had found him.

On the other side of the prison Lilith stalked towards where she believed Alexander was being held. Seras followed as quickly as she could. They stopped as suddenly heard what could only be someone being beaten. Lilith growled low in her throat before rushing forwards and entering a nearby cell, which was open, to find two guards savagely beating Alexander.

As one of the guards asked who she was she lunged forwards and thrust her hand straight through his chest shocking the other guard into silence. She pulled her hand back out and allowed the body to drop to the floor before turning to the other guard who tried to flee only to run into Seras, who pushed him back into the cell and close to Lilith. She picked him up and threw him into the cell wall with enough force to break his back.

She ignored him then, content to allow him to die slowly, before kneeling to check on Alexander. She was relieved to find his pulse was still strong, but it was clear they had to get him seen too. She sent a metal probe to her father confirming she had Alexander and asking that they send for Leo to come get them all, saving them the trouble of fighting their way back out. She smiled as her father agreed considering the state Harry was in.

"Leo," she called as Seras joined her.

They looked up as there was an orb of light and Leo entered the cell and looked around, noting the injured guard he went to heal him before backing off when Lilith growled at him.

"He does not deserve to live for what he has done to Alexander," Lilith spat. "He's the enemy and most likely his fellow guards will find him in time to save him, it's up to fate," she added.

"Let's go," Seras said, hoping to stop this slight argument from escalating. Lilith was far more protective of Alexander than Seras had expected. She wondered if her friend had actually fallen in love with the mortal.

Leo sighed before complying as he had to agree this was a war they had stepped into and in war there were always casualties. This man had beaten Alexander pretty bad and it had obviously enraged Lilith. He didn't agree with it, but it was her call. She was also correct that he could be found in time to be saved and so he walked over and orbed Lilith, Seras and Alexander to one of the bedrooms of Grimmauld Place before leaving and returning with the second group, including the injured Harry Potter.
12. Chapter 12
(Other Realm)

Cassandra shook her head as first her husband and then her step daughter lost their tempers and killed some of the guards and yet a part of her couldn't feel any pity considering what they had done to Alexander and Harry.

"At least they are safe," Tanith said with a relieved look in his eyes.

"Still they could have rescued them without resorting to killing,” Jonas countered frowning slightly.

"No, Lilith emotions were to enraged for her to keep in control and seeing what the guards were doing to Alexander I’m not surprised she did what she did," their lord interrupted. "Alucard simply wanted to complete the mission as quickly as possible so they could get Harry and Alexander to safety," he added calmly. "Remember they are now in a war and they will have to kill in the future, especially in a fight against the Death Eaters," he reminded them.

Tanith and Jonas shared a look before nodding their heads in agreement, while Cassandra watched as Leo and Madam Pomfrey worked on Alexander and Harry as the majority of the Order watched. Tara was also in one of the beds still recovering from the effects of the beating Alexander had taken, which she had felt over the bond.

+T+

(12 Grimmauld Place, London)

Harry Potter jerked awake and quickly looked around and noted he wasn’t in his cell in Azkaban anymore. He soon realized he was back at Grimmauld Place and he sighed in relief when he realized he wouldn't have to suffer the effects of the Dementors again.

"Hello Harry," a soft voice said from beside him and he looked to find a stunning girl lying in the bed next to him with dark blond hair and sharp brown eyes.

"Who are you?" he asked, finding it strange there was an unknown girl at headquarters. "And how do you know who I am?" he asked a second later, considering she couldn't have seen his scar from the position she had been in when he had woken up.

"My name is Tara," the girl replied with a small smile. "And I’m a friend of Alexander and Lilith. Which is how I know who you are," she added.

Harry sat up a bit more as she answered and informed him that she was friends with Alexander and Lilith who he hadn't seen in four months since they left through the portal. He noticed the girl motion him to turn to his other side as he did so he was shocked to find Alexander in the bed next to him looking to be unconscious.

"What happened to him and you?" he inquired, wondering how his friend had ended up back here.

"Susan sent word to Alexander about your situation with Fawkes after Dumbledore refused to aid you one to many times," Tara began to answer, noting Harry's eyes grew angry at her response. "Alexander and the rest of our group, plus some new friends, came straight here to help. He went to Azkaban to scout it out and was captured in an ambush by the guards and was injured in the process," she continued to inform him. "We believe there is a spy among the order which is how the guards knew he was coming and where he would arrive," she added.

"Snape," Harry interrupted her and she could hear the venom in his voice as he spoke. "He must have done it," he added.

"That is what the majority of our group and some of the Order believe," Tara told him and was concerned how angry Harry seemed to be. "Anyway he managed to warn me of that as I’m bonded to Alexander," she told him.

"What does that mean?" Harry asked with a confused look on his face.

"During Alexander and Lilith's trip through dimensions he met me and versions of some of his friends from home. I instantly trusted and liked Alex and we became friends," she answered with a smile that made Harry relax a little. "During their time there the higher powers became concerned Alex might lose himself to his anger and hate and so used an ancient bonding ritual to join us together so I could help him stay in control," she informed him. "The bond allows us to communicate with each other in our minds, share our powers, our dreams and has expanded our magical senses so we can sense oncoming attacks," she added. "It also means we share things such as pain, nightmares and now we know mental attacks as well," she went on. "The bonding ritual also is the purest form of marriage there is according to one of our friends and was performed in ancient times when there were a lot of strong magic users," she finally finished explaining the bond and allowed Harry a few minutes to absorb it all.

"Wow, it does a lot doesn't it," Harry stated after thinking it through. "So you're Alexander's wife?" he asked as he remembered the last bit she had told him.

"I guess because of the ritual yes that is true and we are in love, but that only became apparent a month or so ago, so our relationship is new," Tara answered with a smile. "He is also in a relationship with Janna who is pregnant with his child," she added.

"So you're sharing him and that works"? Harry asked, shocked at this piece of information and not seeing how such a thing could work considering the girls he knew, even Susan seemed a bit possessive of her boyfriend.

"It didn't at first, but Janna began to accept it after a while especially in light of the bond and what it means," Tara answered, still relieved that Janna had come to accept her place in Xander’s life.

"So because of this bond you knew he had been ambushed and that it was a trap?" he asked for clarification and to move the subject back to business.

"Yes, Alexander knew there was no way for the guards to know he was coming without someone tipping them off," she answered, actually glad he had changed the topic as she knew she hadn't done a very good job of explaining the relationship between herself, Alexander and Janna. "Alucard led a rescue mission consisting of Lilith, Seras, Remus, Tonks, Sirius and Moody to get you and Alexander out of the prison and they succeeded, but you both had been beaten and been affected by the Dementors and I was also affected because of the bond which is why we are here," she continued.

Harry thought over this answer and was pleased to know his godfather had been a part of the rescue which meant he was okay as was Remus. He went back over everything Tara had told him and then focused on one major point.

"Dumbledore refused to get me out of Azkaban is that correct?" he asked with an angry look.

"That's correct Harry. He's been focusing mainly on trying to counter what the government has been doing to the Order and reversing it," Tara responded.

"How long have I been in Azkaban?" he demanded to know as his anger grew at the old man.

"According to what Susan told us a full month," Tara answered sadly, knowing he wouldn't like the answer.

Harry's eyes grew colder as he received the answer and had to do everything in his power to hold onto his temper, there would be time enough to demand answers from Dumbledore, but not yet. He once again thanked whatever power was out there for sending Alexander and Lilith his way.

"Thanks for bringing me up to date," he finally told her with a quick glance, but she could still see the rage her answers had ignited in him and she continued to worry how it would affect him later.

"You're welcome Harry," Tara replied. "Alexander was very angered by your situation and we are here now to help you finish this war," she added to which Harry smiled in response, pleased to know his friends were once again here to help.

They both looked up as the door to the room opened and Madam Pomfrey entered alongside Lilith and Susan. Harry smiled at seeing his girlfriend who quickly rushed over to give him a small hug while Lilith went to sit next to Alexander's bed.

"I'm pleased to see you're awake Mr. Potter," Madam Pomfrey said with a smile at seeing her favorite patient up and about. "How do you feel?" she asked.

"I'm okay," Harry replied as Susan pulled away and sat down near his bed. "How is Alexander?" he asked in reply.

"He should be fine," the nurse replied as she began to check his stats. "I think the reason he's still unconscious is from his exposure to the Dementors," she added. "They had a much more profound effect on him than on most others," she went on as she finished running her diagnostic on Harry.

"How come Tara is awake then?" Harry asked curiously. "Seen as she was affected as well and because of her bond to him she felt the same thing he did right?" he asked confused.

"Almost but we believe the full damage Alexander took was not sent through the bond because he was trying to stop it and hurt himself even more," Lilith replied with a shake of her head. "Alexander didn’t want Tara to suffer at their hands," she added.

"And so he took a lot more damage than he needed too?" Susan inquired with a curious look.

"That is mine and Leo's theory from what Tara told us she felt over the bond before she fell unconscious," Pomfrey responded with a nod of her head. "Well Mr. Potter you seemed to have healed well, then again that's no surprise considering what Leo is," she added with a chuckle.

"Who is Leo?" Harry asked, not recognizing the name. "And what's so special about him?" he asked a second later.

"Leo is one of our new friends Harry and he's a Whitelighter," Lilith explained. "He has the ability to heal people to a point and he's the guardian for the charmed ones who you'll meet later. They're the strongest witches there are outside your world," she added.

Before anyone could say anything else Alexander shot up in bed and rolled off into Lilith, knocking them both to the floor. Lilith noticed the fear that was still in his eyes as he looked around and finally realized he was safe.

"Are you okay Alex?" Tara asked as she got out of bed and rushed over to where he and Lilith lay.

"I will be," Xander finally replied as he forced himself to relax. "How long have I been out?" he asked as Lilith and Tara helped him back onto the bed where Madam Pomfrey began to check him out.

"Tara woke up yesterday while you and Harry both woke up today," Susan answered. "You've been out for two days. Dumbledore and the others have come and gone after promising not to say anything to Snape about our suspicions of him," she added.

"How is Harry?" Xander asked as he leaned against the headboard.

"I'm fine thanks to you and your friends," Harry answered with a smile at seeing him awake.

"Don't forget to thank Susan and those of the Order who went with Alucard, myself and Seras," Lilith reminded him gently pleased to see Alexander awake.

"I won't," Harry promised. "So how is he?" he asked the nurse.

"He's the same as you, but I think without Leo you'd both be still in bad shape," Pomfrey replied. "It's a shame we do not get Whitelighters in our world," she mused at seeing how useful they could be.

"Where are Janna and the others?" Xander asked as he looked around at who was there.

"She's asleep as are you're mother and Amy," Lilith replied with a smile. "Father and Sir Integra are talking with Moody and Sirius about Voldemort, while Seras and Adrian are overseeing Hermione, Ginny, Fred and George in some training," she continued. "And Prue, her sisters, Leo and Cole are getting some history about the Wizarding world," she finished.

"Good," he replied. "So how long do I have to stay in bed?" he asked.
"I would suggest you and Mr. Potter get some real sleep and then I will allow you out tomorrow," Pomfrey responded.

"I can get behind that," Harry replied as he yawned and settled back down on the bed smiling as Susan gave him a small kiss before moving to the door.

"Can't complain, I think I'll need the rest," Xander stated with a shake of his head as Lilith and Pomfrey all left while Tara quickly joined him in his bed and snuggled up as close as she could with him as he settled down and placed his arm around her and slowly all three of them fell asleep.

+T+

(Other Realm)

Cassandra smiled as finally first Harry and then Alexander both woke up after their stay in Azkaban. Thanks to the combined skills of Madam Pomfrey and Leo they both showed little damage from their ordeal. She was concerned about Harry's reaction to the news that Dumbledore had left him in Azkaban for a whole month and also that he had more evidence Snape was working against them.

The whole situation was hinged on a knife edge and could go either way as long as they were suspicion and fractures within the group as a whole. Dumbledore's refusal to admit Snape maybe a spy was also causing more trouble and was only helping Voldemort in the end. She knew once Alexander and Harry were back on their feet the next day things would come to a head concerning that issue and Dumbledore could find himself ousted as leader if he was unwilling to allow Snape to fall.

Alexander would do everything he had to ensure Harry and his friends succeeded in their war and would push Harry to take as much control as he could. Together they would have the support of most of the order as well as his own group. If Dumbledore tried to stop this again he could find himself in trouble with the rest of his order. His obsession with wanting control of the situation was the real issue and it was clear Harry no longer wanted to be controlled.

"If Harry allows his anger to cloud his judgment things could get very bad very quickly," Tanith stated with a shake of his head.

"I don’t believe his friends will allow him to sink that deep," their lord responded.

"Nor would Alexander," Cassandra put in. "He knows the dangers of allowing his anger to get the better of him," she reminded them. "As long as Dumbledore is willing to be reasonable things should go smoothly," she continued.

"Agreed," Jonas said. "Let us hope things do go smoothly though," he added with a smile.

They all nodded their heads in agreement before turning back to the viewing pool and watching events as they unfolded.
13. Chapter 13
(12 Grimmauld Place, London)

Alexander and Harry walked into the magical enlarged living room the next day which was now full with the majority of the Order members, including Snape who had been called back for what he believed to be a special meeting to decide how to combat Voldemort and Alexander's group who sat near the back watching.

Dumbledore was still feeling apprehensive about how this meeting would go. He still believed Harry was petty to believe Severus was a Death Eater and the man responsible for the ambush on Alexander on Azkaban. He didn’t know why the others within the Order were not willing to take his word on this matter anymore. He had to admit he was a little annoyed by their doubt, but he could do little for now.

Harry glared at Snape as he sat down next to Susan and her aunt, while Alexander sat between Janna and Tara. A silence settled over everyone before Amelia Bones stood and started to speak.

"First I would like to start by introducing some new allies as in Alexander, Lilith, Tara, Janna, Seras, Adrian, Sir Integra, Alucard, Amy, Prue, Piper, Phoebe, Leo and Cole," she informed everyone. "They have a wide range of skills including magic and before anyone asks what good someone without magic is I will remind you that Alex and Lilith were part of the ambush force which saved my life and helped capture Pettigrew four months ago," she added at seeing some of the Order members’ faces frown. "They are here at the behest of Harry who is here with us once again and not still in Azkaban thanks to their aid," she went on.

"How long are they staying?" Mundungus Fletcher asked a little unsure of these newcomers.

"This time we're staying until Voldemort is dead alongside his Death Eaters," Xander answered with a harsh look at some of the Order members who flinched at the mention of the dark lord's name. "We're also going to help you remove Fudge from his office so you can build a bigger offensive when it's time," he added.

"How can you do that?" Ron Weasley asked with a snort as he doubted they could do that and this was coupled with his dislike for Harry and his small group.

He had been left out in the cold for four months since Harry's new attitude showed itself and he found Harry and Hermione sleeping against each other in the common room and lost his temper due to his jealously. However unlike what happened during the Tri-Wizard tournament Harry didn’t forgive him for his actions and neither did any of his group including the twins and Ginny. He had spent the last four months arguing with Harry, Hermione and the rest of his group trying to find out what they were doing and why they had changed so drastically. Dumbledore had told him a little and kept him informed of certain events like when Harry was sent to Azkaban, but he was still on the outside and resented that.

"That's a topic for later," Harry cut in with a glare at his former friend. "For now we have another problem to deal with," he added as Ron returned his glare.

"And what pray tell is that Potter," Snape sneered with dislike, glaring at Harry as he stood and so he missed the suspicious looks on some of the Order members faces as they looked at him, as well as the small movements of Adrian and Alucard who positioned themselves behind the potions professor.

"We have a spy in the order," Amelia answered with a hard look in her eyes.

"And how do you know that?" Molly Weasley asked, shocked at the very idea. "Surely Dumbledore would know if there was a spy," she added with a dismissive shake of her head with complete faith in Dumbledore's abilities.

"He doesn’t believe there is one, but we are sure there is," Moody stated as he stood and joined Amelia in the middle of the group. "There has been a lot of speculation about this person as well as some background information some of you don't know about, however the last piece came from Alexander's ambush when no one knew he would be going to Azkaban and where he would arrive," he added as his magical eye kept a close eye on Snape who had begun to look nervous. "Only a few of us knew that and only one of us left the house after that decision was made," he added and Snape suddenly knew who was going to be named as the traitor.

He quickly stood and tried to walk out of the room only to be forcibly pushed back into his chair by two of the newcomers who glared at him. He attempted to make it look like Voldemort was summoning him, but the old man shook his head.

"I’m afraid Severus, I can’t help you here even if Voldemort is calling for you," Dumbledore sighed as he spoke. "The majority of the Order and our new allies don’t believe you are on our side," he added with a sigh. "And that you set up the ambush on Alexander," he finished, wishing Harry and the others would trust his judgment.

"This is ridiculous Albus, I have risked my life time and again for you people and they dare question my loyalty?" Snape hissed, trying to make the other feel guilty for not trusting him.

"I doubt it's a real risk if you really are a loyal Death Eater," Harry stated with a cold glare at his hated professor.

"Shut up Potter," Snape snapped in response. "You know nothing about what is going on," he added with his usual sneer. "But as usually the others are willing to pander to your ego because they think you're special, well let me tell you there is nothing special about you Potter and you should have done the world a favor and joined your parents already," he snarled with hatred in his voice.

This shocked some of the order members who had never seen Snape's attitude towards Harry and even Dumbledore was surprised by what he had said.

Harry's eyes became colder as Snape spat his last response, but before he could respond or act Alexander moved forward and slammed his fist into Snape's face knocking him to the ground and splitting his lip.

"I'll warn you only once, never insult my friends again you piece of slime," Xander stated with an angry look in his eyes. "Harry has risked far more than you will ever know as did his parents before him," he added. "I think your actions speak louder than anything else, as does your attitude. Both makes it very clear you're a spy," he finished as he backed off.

"To satisfy everyone else he will be questioned with Veritaserum to make sure," Amelia told everyone else.

"And if you're wrong?" Shacklebolt inquired.

"Then we will apologize, but somehow I doubt we will be," Moody replied with a fierce smile.

+T+

(Other Realm)

Cassandra was surprised that Dumbledore had decided to allow Snape to be questioned. It was clear he was not happy by this, but couldn’t see a way to prevent it without starting anymore arguments with the other Order members.

This would decide how things would run from this point on and she doubted Dumbledore would keep all the support he had due to his short sightedness, although she was sure those like Molly Weasley would continue to believe the old man was infallible.

"Now we'll see where everyone stands," Jonas stated. "It is possible this whole group could fracture into two separate groups," he added with a concerned look. "Some of these people will never believe the old man could make such mistakes as these and that he is still the best man to lead this fight," he continued with a shake of his head.

"That is a possibility, but somehow I don’t believe Dumbledore will allow it to come to that," Tanith put in. "He knows the only way to beat Voldemort is with a united front," he added. "He will do everything necessary to keep the Order intact," he stated with certainty.

"I agree Tanith," their lord said. "Dumbledore is no fool, no matter how it may appear at the moment," he continued. "He will not allow the Order to fall apart and maybe the revelation of Snape's betrayal will shock him back into action and wake him up to his mistakes," he added with a thoughtful look. "But he must be willing to listen from this point onwards. If not then he will cause more problems than solutions," he finished with a sigh.

Cassandra remained silent as the others talked, because she believed that no matter what happened now, Dumbledore wouldn’t keep his overall command if Alexander and Harry had anything to do with it and considering the support Harry had from some of the senior members of the Order that looked more than likely. There was also the fact she would agree with it if that was what happened, as it was clear Dumbledore was not the same leader he had been during the last war with Voldemort.

+T+

(12 Grimmauld Place, London)

Moody forced Snape to swallow the Veritaserum Kinsley Shacklebolt had brought from the Ministry. He was one of five Aurors the Ministry hadn’t found out were working with Dumbledore and the Order, unlike Tonks who had been discovered alongside Remus on a mission.

He was looking forward to finally reveal Snape as the traitor he was. For fourteen years he had been telling Dumbledore not to trust the vile man with no luck and now he had a chance to prove he had been right. They all noticed Snape's eyes go glassy as the potion took effect and Amelia who would be doing the questioning stood forward. Dumbledore sighed as he settled back to watch, still under the belief this was a waste of time.

"Are you Severus Snape?" she asked as Tonks prepared to write down anything interesting Snape might say during the interrogation.

"Yes," Snape replied even as he tried to fight the effects of the potion with no luck, this particular potion must have been brewed by a potion master.

"Are you a loyal Death Eater?" she asked a second later.

"Yes and no," he replied, failing once again to fight the potion he had been forced to take, causing a murmur to go through the order while Dumbledore looked shocked.

"Explain?" Amelia demanded with a frown.

"I follow the Dark Lord as I always have since the first war, but if it looked like he may lose I will help Dumbledore and the Order to make sure I’ll survive the war," Snape informed them, screaming on the inside as he spilled his secrets and Dumbledore's look became pensive.

This response caused a huge outcry from the Order members who were shocked to learn they had indeed been betrayed. Alexander and his friends remained silent while Harry stood and joined Amelia, causing an immediate silence to settle in the room.

"Have you betrayed any order member in either war to the dark lord?" Harry asked with a dead voice as he tried to keep his anger under control.

"Yes," Snape replied again, struggling to fight the potion before finally realizing it was useless for now and he would have to wait for the potion to start to wear off, which would take a while considering the strength of this potion.

"Who did you betray in the first war?" Harry inquired knowing who he suspected to be on the list.

"The Potters, Longbottom’s, Bones, Prewitts and I helped convert Pettigrew," Snape answered in a strained voice, while many of the others glared at him as he gave the names of those he had helped kill.

"How did you betray my parents?" Harry asked again, fighting to contain himself.

"I overheard the first half of the prophecy and informed my lord of its existence even after Dumbledore took my word that I would keep it to myself," Snape answered, knowing his role as a spy for Voldemort was over. If he managed to get to his portkey he had to hope he wouldn't be killed for this. He noticed the angered look on Dumbledore's face as he learned how far his betrayal went.

"What Prophecy are you talking about?" Alexander inquired with a curious expression.

"The one which tells of a baby being born who might be able to kill my lord," Snape responded, having giving up on fighting answering these questions.

Harry's expression became even darker as he turned his glare to where Dumbledore sat, who flinched as he noticed Harry's gaze. He now had the answer to the question that had burned within him since he came back to the Wizarding world and learned what had happened to his parents. 'Why was Voldemort trying to kill him'? The others in the order as well Alexander's group shared looks of shock or surprise at this revelation.

"We'll talk later old man," Harry growled out as Susan quickly walked over to his side and took his hand, hoping to get him to quiet down. "So you set the entire thing in motion that led to my parents’ deaths and helped Voldemort corrupt Pettigrew into being a spy?" he asked with a voice that told everyone how he felt right now.

"I did," Snape answered, internally happy to know he was hurting Potter with his answers.

Harry nodded and then walked back to his seat with Susan joining him very concerned by the effect this was having on him. Alexander and Tara too were both worried about the anger Harry was showing and hoped to talk to him later when this was over.

"Who have you betrayed in this war?" Moody growled with a heated look as most knew he had been fast friends with the Longbottoms and the Prewitt brothers and that he would want revenge for Snape's part in their fates.

"I gave a list of some of the major members of the Order as well as Potter's friends," Snape replied, laughing inside at the looks on some of the Order members’ faces, especially Dumbledore's as he felt the effects of the potion begin to dim.

"The potion is wearing off," Amelia realized.

"What is the dark lord planning?" Sirius asked looking at Snape with hatred as he fought to stop himself from killing Snape with his bare hands for causing the deaths of his best friend and his wife, as well as the corruption of one of the others as did Remus who was held back by Tonks and Arthur Weasley.

"He is gathering his allies and waiting to launch a large enough offensive which will overwhelm Wizarding Britain," Snape was forced to answer as the potion had not weakened enough yet.

"What allies has he garnered so far?" Remus asked.

"The Giants, Werewolves, Vampires and the Dementors," Snape answered even as he almost fought off the potion.

"Damn that's a lot of enemies," Fletcher stuttered in shock.

"We'll talk about that later," Moody growled as Dumbledore put his head in his hands and shock his head as he realized how blind he had been and wondered how he had missed the signs. "The question is what do we do with him now?" he asked.

Before anyone could answer Snape shoved his hand into his robes and vanished as he grabbed his emergency portkey. Harry just glared at the spot he had been.

"Damn," Moody growled as Amelia frowned.

"We'll have another chance to get even with Snape, but for now I would suggest the rest of you relocate your families," Sir Integra stated as she stood. "If he's given a list of names then your families are exposed and so I would suggest moving them or use some kind of magic to hide them," she added.

"She's right," Harry put in. "Go, take care of your families and then get back here so we can plan our next move," he added, trying to keep control of his anger. "Remus, Sirius I think you should move Hermione's parents as well," he suggested.

"Agreed, we'll be back shortly," Remus said with a smile at Hermione who now looked stricken at the idea of her parents being killed by the Death Eaters.

The rest of the Order left to either move or hide their families, while those who had none sat down to think over what they had learned. Dumbledore remained quiet as he tried to come to terms with the betrayal of a man he had trusted so much. Harry went to one of the bedrooms to try and calm down, followed by Alexander, Tara and Susan who hoped to talk to him.
14. Chapter 14
(Ministry Building)

Cornelius Fudge sat at his desk with a fierce frown on his face as he received the report from Azkaban that Harry Potter had escaped thanks to some of Dumbledore's friends as well as some new people who they couldn't identify, even after capturing one of them.

He sat back as Delores Umbridge joined him from her new position as headmistress of Hogwarts. He was still enjoying the feeling of taking the school away from Dumbledore as well as shoving the troublesome Potter into Azkaban, but now the boy had escaped.

"Potter has escaped Azkaban," he said through gritted teeth. "I want you to keep an eye out for him at Hogwarts," he added. "Something tells me he may try and get back in sometime," he continued.

"I'll catch him if I see him, I promise," Umbridge snarled at the mention of the boy who had caused so much trouble for the ministry. "What will you do?" she asked.

"I'll put a report in the Daily Prophet about his escape and how dangerous he and his allies are, also the fact that two of the guards were killed during his escape," Fudge replied with a devious smile. "That should keep the people against him," he added with a smile.

Umbridge nodded and hoped the minister was right before getting up and flooing back to Hogwarts, leaving the minister to his plans.

+COF+

(Riddle Manor)

Snape cried out in agony as Voldemort continued to torture him for his failure in keeping his position of a spy intact. He knew this was bound to happen, but he hoped it would be over soon. His hate for Potter and his friends increased and he vowed revenge on them for his humiliation in front of the other Death Eaters.

"Bella take Severus into the back and keep his punishment going, but do not kill him," Voldemort ordered.

Bella grinned in manic glee before dragging the almost unconscious Snape away. Voldemort smirked knowing Bella's dislike for Snape would make it a brutal punishment for Severus.

"Now Potter has escaped Azkaban," he informed his Death Eaters. "He has new allies, including two people who helped in their ambush of my attack on the Bones family," he added with a dark look in his eyes that chilled all who saw it. "I want them all killed whenever you have a chance take it, but Potter and Dumbledore are mine is that clear?" he asked in a dangerous tone.

Every Death Eater nodded with certain nervousness at his tone, they all knew what would happen if they did not obey his order, especially in regard to Potter. A howl of pain echoed through the house from where Bella was torturing Snape, which caused Voldemort to smile and sent a shiver down some of the newer Death Eaters.

+COF+

(12 Grimmauld Place London)

Harry sat down and was trying to force down his anger as Alexander, Tara and Susan entered the room he was in. He tried to ignore them as they sat in front of him, but he knew they wouldn’t leave until they had said whatever it was they came here for.

"What do you want?" he asked with as much calm as he could muster.

"We wanted to talk to you about how you're dealing with the anger you're obviously feeling," Xander answered after a short pause. "I know it isn't easy Harry, especially after what you've just heard but you can’t let it control you," he added almost in a plea. "I've seen what can happen to those who do during our trip through dimensions," he went on. "I saw a dimension where I myself fell most likely due to allowing my anger and frustration at my friends to overwhelm me and so I was susceptible to the promises of power and revenge," he finished, hoping to cut through the rage he sensed in his friend.

"My parents are dead due to one man's petty grudge, one man's weakness and one man's lust for power," Harry said through gritted teeth. "I can accept that, but what I can't accept is what that old man has forced me to do when in Snape's presence," he added darkly. "He always made me show respect I didn’t feel, made me always apologize to him if something went wrong and let's not forget those lessons in occlumency he started making me take near Christmas," Harry almost spat. "Snape never tried to teach me what he was supposed to. He used it as an opportunity to cause me pain and I knew trying to complain was pointless because the old man always believed what Snape says to him so I kept silent," he continued. "I've had to look into the eyes of one of the men responsible for my parent’s deaths for five years at the behest of Dumbledore who had to know about it. I feel angry, betrayed and vengeful," he finished taking a deep breath.

"You have every right to feel that way Harry, but you must learn to control those emotions," Tara told him gently. "Alexander fights the same battle and I was bonded to him to ensure he stays in the light," she added, hoping to calm the storm she could sense within her new friend which reminded her so much of the same struggle that resided in Alexander. "You don’t have that advantage and so you must use everything within you to bring yourself under control before you end up doing something you might regret in the future," she pressed. "Your friends and most of the magical world are counting on you to stop Voldemort, even if most of them would rather ignore that fact and you can’t afford to make mistakes, especially due to lapses in control," she stressed the word hoping to get through to him.

"I know that Tara," Harry told her. "I’m trying, but considering everything I've been through in the last couple of months it isn’t easy," he added.

"We know that Harry," Susan finally spoke up. "We all know you've been through a lot, especially after being sent to Azkaban, but you need to stay focused," she continued.

"Remain here for an hour or so and meditate for a while, it should help," Xander told his friend. "Then meet me in the kitchen where we can discuss some things, okay?" he continued.

"I'll see you there," Harry acknowledged before closing his eyes and trying to center his raging emotions.

Xander and Tara left to rejoin the others, while Susan remained to see if Harry needed any help.

+COF+

(Other Realm)

Cassandra was very worried about Harry's state of mind after learning what Severus Snape had cost him and the startling fact that Dumbledore must have known some of it, she was as worried as Alexander and Tara were for the young wizard and she could tell her lord was worried as well.

Harry Potter had lived a very hard life which had only increased since he rejoined the Wizarding World and been forced to face Voldemort and his servants year after year no matter what supposed protections Dumbledore had cast. He had preserved well through his challenges, but he had been pushed to the breaking point since the beginning of this year and she knew his stint in Azkaban couldn't have helped, as well as Dumbledore's refusal to help him.

She watched as Harry tried to pull in his anger and hate while his girlfriend watched. This was going to be a crucial test and would shape how things would progress in the war.

"Is there nothing we can do to aid Harry in controlling his emotions?" Tanith inquired.

"Not at the moment," their lord answered. "Fate doesn’t see any possibility to do so yet, but she is sure one will present itself," he added with a thoughtful look. "She seems certain that there is something hidden concerning Harry that will help in the end," he continued.

"What can be hidden from us my lord?" Jonas asked looking confused that such a thing was possible.

"Magic can do anything Jonas, you should know that by now," their lord replied. "Magic in all its forms is ancient and ever changing," he added. "We watch many events in many areas and it is possible we missed something concerning Harry which Fate suspects happened. We shall just have to wait and see," he stated with a smile.

The others shared a look between themselves before nodding and hoping to spot whatever it was Fate suspected was there concerning Harry Potter.

+COF+

(12 Grimmauld Place London)

Xander moved through his training alongside Lilith and Adrian as they waited for the Order members to return from hiding or moving their families. He was hoping to talk to Harry about gaining some allies for this war, but so far his friend was still upstairs trying to regain his control.

"You are worried Alexander?" Lilith interrupted having sensed his mood.

"I guess I’m," he replied coming to a stop. "Things here are not exactly running smoothly, there are cracks within the Order and they are splintered from their government who controls most of their soldiers," he continued with a sigh. "They have no allies and are outnumbered," he added shaking his head.

"This is true Alexander, but we can rectify most of these problems given time," Lilith advised him. "I have seen forces fighting from worse positions," she added gently laying her hand on his arm.

"As have I," Adrian cut into the conversation. "Sometimes things have to get worse before they can get better," he added. "This may very well be the calm before the storm before we take this war to our enemies," he pushed, hoping to make his friend understand what he was saying.

"He's right," a voice said from behind them and they turned to find Harry had come down alongside Susan. "We need to start turning things around and making our enemies fears us instead of the other way around," he added. "But first we need to have a talk with Dumbledore about this prophecy Snape mentioned is at the heart of all this," he added, feeling a lot better that he had in the last few hours.

"Might as well do it now while there are so few of us," Susan stated. "Less chance of anymore traitors hearing us and running to tell Voldemort," she continued, having learned to call the dark lord by his name the month after becoming Harry's girlfriend.

"I'll go and get everyone," Adrian said and left to find the others, leaving the other four in silence.

"By the way something weird happened when I was meditating to help me calm down," Harry spoke up as he remembered what else he wanted to talk about.

"What happened?" Lilith asked.

"I was checking my core when I found two separate magical bonds connected to it, now one of these I’m sure is Voldemort's curse from when he tried to kill me when I was a baby and he gave me my scar," he informed them. "I can feel the darkness of it as I checked it. I didn't dare try anything with it, but the other is a mystery to me," he continued. "I have no idea where it came from, but it's the exact opposite of Voldemort's," he finished as the room began to fill up.

"Very interesting," Xander said thoughtfully. "We'll talk about that later," he added as he noticed Dumbledore enter the room with a pensive look on his face. "One problem at a time Harry," he told his friend indicating the old wizard.

"I agree," Harry replied as he noticed where Alexander was looking and knew he didn't want the old man to know about this discovery just yet. "As for this problem I just hope Dumbledore is in a talkative mood," he added.

"I take it he usually likes to keep things to himself?" Janna asked as she came up behind them followed by Jessica and Tara.

"Very much so," Harry responded frowning as he remembered all the times the old man had kept things from him as everyone began to sit down.

"This time we won't give him a chance," Xander told him with a wicked smile which Harry quickly returned. "We can't afford to have things hidden from us, we'll also have to make sure we have no more traitors in the Order," he continued with a thoughtful look as Janna sat next to him and placed her head against his shoulder, while Tara did the same on the other side.

"I think Hermione can help us with that," Harry said with a smile of his own. "She did this great contract for the D.A which let us know if someone did betray us," he explained at the curious looks on Janna and Tara's faces.

"We'll have a word with her later about it," Susan said as Alucard arrived meaning everyone who was still in the house was in the kitchen so they could start.

"Now Professor Dumbledore I would like to know about this prophecy Snape mentioned which started Voldemort's obsession with me," Harry stated, looking hard at the man he had once admired and looked up to.

"Very well Harry," Dumbledore sighed knowing he could put if off no longer. "The prophecy was given in 1980 just before you were born and I was there when it happened. Severus however was listening at the door and heard the first half of it which he promised me he would keep secret, when he was discovered by Tom the barkeeper," he began to explain. "Now it is clear he lied to me and as he did not give a magical promise he didn’t have to fear any consequences when he did so and for that I’m sorry Harry. My failure to ensure he keeps his word cost you and your family dearly," he continued.

"Not just mine Professor," Harry shot back with a hard glare. "You took him at his word on everything he did, including those occlumency lessons you made me take without telling me why," he added bitterly, causing Dumbledore to wince at his tone. "He taught me nothing and did more damage than good," he almost growled before closing his eyes and managing to force his anger back down.

"I’m sorry Harry. It would seem I have failed you a lot more than I know," Dumbledore sighed as he began to understand he had never known the real Severus Snape. "We can hopefully check what Severus did during those lessons later?" he said, hoping he hadn't damaged his friendship with the young man completely.

"Maybe," Harry replied. "Now what is the prophecy?" he asked.

"Before I tell you that I must insist everyone give a binding promise not to repeat it," Dumbledore told him. "Voldemort only knows the first half and it is vital he never learns the full thing. We have been guarding the prophecy in the ministry since he returned and it would be foolish to fail now," he explained.

The few witches and wizards all quickly gave their magical oaths never to reveal the information, while Xander and his group did the same knowing it didn't really affect them, but decided it was best the others believed it did.

"Thank you," Dumbledore said, relieved to see no one had hesitated to comply with his wish. "The prophecy goes like this 'The one with the power to vanquish the Dark Lord approaches… Born to those who have thrice defied him, born as the seventh month dies! The Dark Lord will mark him as his equal, but he will have a power the Dark Lord knows not… Either must die at the hands of the other, for neither can live while the other survives… The one with the power to vanquish the Dark Lord will be born as the seventh month dies'," he recited. "Now the prophecy related to two babies born during the time frame stated, as well as them having parents who defied Voldemort three times. One of them was you Harry and the other was Mr. Longbottom," he explained, shocking everyone bar Xander and his group.

"Me?" Neville gasped.

"Yes you Mr. Longbottom," Dumbledore nodded in agreement. "However we know for sure it isn't you due to the fact he attacked the Potters and marked Harry with his scar," he added indicating said mark on Harry’s forehead. "The strange thing at the time was he chose to attack the baby who was a half-blood instead of the pure blood which considering his goals is quite contradictory and it puzzled me for some time," he informed them.

Neville could hardly believe how close he had come too been the supposed destroyer of Voldemort. He looked over to where Harry sat silently with his eyes closed, obviously trying to calm himself. He felt somewhat relieved he had not been chosen, yet saddened for his friend whose whole life had been made a living hell because of this prophecy and Voldemort's lust for power.

Hermione moved to where Harry sat and pulled him into a hug, aching for her friend whose life never seemed to go easy and now they knew the reason why. She felt Harry return the hug and smiled, hoping she could help him make sure it was Voldemort who died and not Harry. She felt others join the hug and noticed Ginny, Molly and Susan had joined her. She finally pulled back as did the others and retook their seats while Harry stood and moved to stand near the far wall to gather his thoughts.

Xander and his group shared a few looks between themselves as they worked out what the prophecy meant. Xander sighed as he realized until Voldemort was truly dead and the prophecy was fulfilled Harry could never have a more normal life.

"So in the end I have to kill Voldemort or he kills me right?" Harry asked with a strained voice.

"I’m afraid that is correct Harry," Dumbledore replied, sorry to have to cause more pain to the young man in front of him. "It is for this reason I have hidden this from you since your return to the Wizarding World. I didn’t want your childhood weighed down by this knowledge," he told him.

"You were wrong," Harry stated as he again fought to control himself. "My childhood was a nightmare because of the Dursley's and since I came back to this world I have been fighting for my life every year with no idea why," he shouted before turning and leaving to try and think of what he now knew leaving the others in silence.

"I think we should wait for everyone else to get back before we talk again," Sir Integra told the others. "Harry needs time to think and I think some of us could do with a rest," she added.

Everyone nodded and began to break up except Dumbledore who sat back and sighed as he realized he had truly failed the young man. All of his plans had blown up in his face and he didn’t know how to fix things.

Xander guided Tara and Janna into one of the rooms and sat them down, he was dreading this topic, but he had come to a decision concerning Lilith and his feelings for her and he had to get it out of the way before things here got worse. He could feel Tara over the bond reassuring him that everything was going to be okay as she picked up on what he was thinking and feeling.

"What's wrong Alex?" Janna asked a little curious at the nervousness she could see on his face.

"You may have noticed since we got off the jet in San Francisco I have been a little preoccupied?" he began and when Janna nodded in agreement he sighed before pushing ahead. "I have a conversation with Alucard who stated Lilith had deeper feelings for me and I had to be careful how I reacted to her. I was about to tell him he was misreading the situation when Tara showed me things over the bond I was not aware of," he explained.

"What kind of things Alex?" Janna inquired not exactly surprised to learn Lilith liked Alexander more than a friend as she had seen the looks she sometimes gave Alex when he wasn't looking.

"It appeared that I have begun to develop deeper feelings for her which I was ignorant of because I was not paying attention to what was going on inside me," Xander answered, hoping Janna would not explode in anger at this answer. "This shocked me and I have been trying to work out if it was just a physical attraction or something more," he added.

"And what have you decided?" Janna asked trying to keep herself under control as a part of her wanted to rage at her lover for again developing feelings for someone else.

"There is something deeper there, and I can’t ignore it," Xander answered a little relieved she hadn't lost it yet. "I love you Janna, and yet I love Tara and I love Lilith as well," he added. "But I will not do anything without yours and Tara's permission, as I agreed with Alucard when we talked," he continued.

Janna looked to Tara and noticed there was no sign of any anger on her face and she guessed Tara was fine with sharing Alexander with Lilith as well as her. She wished she could have some time to think, but she knew they didn't have time for Alexander to be worrying about what she would tell him. She decided that as long as Alexander loved her she was willing to share him. She doubted he would ever leave her or their baby and so she decided not to cause any more trouble or heartache.

"If you feel that strongly Alexander then I am willing to let you see if you can form a relationship with Lilith. Tara seems to find no problem with it and so far we've managed to handle sharing you between just us two, so I don't see how adding Lilith to the triangle is going to hurt us," she told him, noting the relived look that appeared on his face at her answer. "I believe you when you say you love us and that's enough for me," she added, standing up joined a second later by Xander and Tara.

"I do love each of you as deeply as the other," Xander said very relived she hadn't lost her temper at his revelation. "I will not leave any of you," he added.

Janna smiled before kissing him as deeply as she could before going to lie down for an hour or so. Tara watched her go also feeling relived that this had gone well. She kissed Xander as well before going to her own bed for a rest leaving Xander to watch them both with a smile on his face, not really understanding what he had done to deserve them being in his life.

'You have my permission to approach Lilith Alexander,' Alucard suddenly said over his link to him, 'but be careful with her,' he added.

'Thank you Vlad and don't worry I have no intention of hurting Lilith,' he replied, having gotten used to the link Vlad had forged through the sword.

'I know Alexander, but just watch what you do,' Alucard responded before breaking contact.

Xander took a deep breath after that conversation. He knew he would have to tread carefully in how he approached Lilith and told her this.

Alucard sat in the living room looking out into the night as he replayed the conversation Alexander had just had with Janna and Tara. He was pleased he had made up his mind concerning how he felt about his daughter, but he was still worried about how this would play out. Lilith had come a long way since she had returned to him and joined him at the Hellsing Manor, but he worried about losing her and when emotions came into play he knew things could get rocky.

He stood and walked over to the window hoping Lilith and Alexander would sort this out quickly. The situation here was worse than he had expected, but it was salvageable as long as Harry pulled himself together and became the leader he was obviously meant to be in this war and if he kept Dumbledore from making any more mistakes like the ones that had cost them so dearly so far.

He went to find his master and see what she was planning. He knew his master well and she would be going over everything she had learned about the war in the Wizarding World.

Xander found Lilith talking with Seras and Prue in the dining room. He took a deep breath before joining them at the table and waiting for them to acknowledge him. He hoped he was doing the right thing in trying to sort this out now, but he just couldn't hold it back now that he had found the answer he had been looking for, finally all three turned to face him.

"Is something wrong Xander?" Prue inquired noting he looked kind of nervous.

"I need to talk to Lilith alone for a few minutes, if you wouldn't mind?" Xander replied trying to keep himself calm.

Seras and Prue looked between themselves before looking to Lilith who nodded her head signaling it was okay. They quickly left the two deciding to find some of the others. Lilith turned back to her friend noting he was getting more nervous and she wondered what it was that was troubling him.

"So what do you want to discuss Alexander?" she finally asked, quite curious as to what was the cause of his nerves.

"I had a conversation with Alucard just before we went to meet the sisters and he told me you had feelings that ran deeper than friendship and he then warned me I had to be careful how I respond to you," he started, watching Lilith carefully who almost blushed as she realized her father had decided to intervene in her personal life. "I was going to refute what he was suggesting when Tara showed me over the bond things I had missed within myself," he added. "Since then I have been searching myself for an answer to how I really feel about you," he continued.

"And what did you find Alex?" Lilith asked, feeling her heart beating faster as she realized where this would go and she prayed the answer was something positive.

"I'm in love with you," Xander managed to say after almost running in fear of answering. "Your father made me promise that I wouldn't say anything unless I had Tara and Janna's permission, which I do," he explained. "Where we go from here is up to you Lilith, but if you're willing I’m hoping we can build our own relationship," he finished.

Lilith listened very carefully as Alexander answered and she breathed a sigh of relief as he finally said what she needed to hear. She still found it hard to believe she had fallen in love with her friend, but once she accepted that fact she had decided to keep it quite after seeing the troubles that were caused when Alexander discovered he had developed feelings for Tara. Now her father had intervened as had Tara who had woken Alexander up to his own buried feelings and instead of feeling angry at either of them she felt relived this was out in the open.

She was also pleased to know Tara and Janna both had stated that they were fine with them trying to form a relationship. She hadn't been in a serious relationship for close to a hundred years and she was a little nervous and she hoped it would work out for them.

"I'm willing to try Alexander," she finally responded. "I’m sorry I didn't tell you, but I didn’t want to cause any more trouble like what happened when Janna found about your feelings for Tara," she told him with a small smile.

"I can understand that Lilith," Xander assured her. "We'll take this slowly like I agreed to do with Tara, because I don't want to rush into anything," he told her. "I don't want to hurt anyone by rushing things," he added.

"Agreed Alexander," Lilith responded, leaning in and kissed him for the first time. 'Thank you father,' she sent over her physic link to Alucard, getting a small laugh from him before she cut the contact.

Xander was a little surprised, but he responded and kissed back as hard as Lilith was kissing him. They both pulled back and began to talk about how they had come to this point.
15. Chapter 15
(Other Realm)

Cassandra watched a little surprised to see Xander come to a decision about his feelings for Lilith. She was also surprised to see Janna giving her consent for him to try and start a relationship with her step daughter. But she was pleased to see things had worked out and they had taken the first rocky steps to being a couple, she was still worried it might fall apart down the road, but for now things seemed to be going okay.

"My lord I think I know what fate sensed," Jonas stated with a wide smile.

"Don't keep us in suspense Jonas, speak," their lord commanded, shaking his head in amusement at his underling.

"Harry stated he had two magical bonds connected to his core, my lord. Whatever the source of this second bond may be exactly what we need to help Harry deal with his emotions, especially his anger and hate," Jonas explained.

"Well seen," their lord responded after thinking it over. He was pleased to see how far Tanith and Jonas had come since the expulsion of Malek. "I will trace the source of this bond and see where it will lead," he added before vanishing from the room.

"I hope this second bond is something helpful," Tanith said with a hopeful expression. "The bond to Voldemort has done enough damage as it is and he doesn’t need a second causing that kind of damage," he stated.

"I agree," Cassandra finally spoke up. "Harry has enough to contend with as it is, this second bond has been well hidden even from Harry himself," she added.

They all turned as their lord returned, accompanied by Fate herself, which was a real shock to Cassandra as she knew she preferred to stay in her own realm of power. She noted their lord looked quite pleased by whatever he had discovered.

"We have located where the second bond originated from," he informed them. "Observe," he commanded as he waved his hand over the viewing pool and they all turned to watch it begin to play events from Harry's forth year concerning the Tri-Wizard tournament.

They watched Harry all the way through the second task, rescuing not just his own target, but Fleur Delacour's target as well. They all saw that as Harry pulled them both out there was a brief surge of magic from then seventeen year old Fleur as she watched Harry try and play off what he had done.

"The bond came from Fleur Delacour?" Tanith asked for conformation.

"Yes it did, she decided to mate with Harry," their lord replied with a smile. "As a quarter Veela she has the option of choosing to mate with her chosen lover like all full Veela, but she was never allowed to approach him to try and formalize the bond and Fleur was forbidden by her parents to say anything to Harry," he explained. "They did not approve of her choice not that they can change it or break the bond. Fleur is two years older than Harry and she is very strong willed," he added.

"A Veela bond will not give her access to his emotions just make sure neither of them can stray once they are mated is that not correct my lord?" Jonas inquired. "Plus Harry has a girlfriend so how can it be working?" he asked a second later.

"That is so Jonas," their lord confirmed with a nod of his head. "The bond has been blocked by her parents so it does not affect Harry or Fleur,” he added. "However the fact she has a bond with Harry means we can perform the bonding ritual on them and make sure Harry has the support he will need in the future," he told them. "Cassandra I want you to visit Alexander and Tara and tell them about Fleur and the bond. Also tell them we can perform the ritual if all parties agree to it, is that clear?" he commanded.

"Yes my lord I will go at once," Cassandra replied before turning to leave then but then stopped and faced them once more. "My lord I think we should also help shut off the bond between Harry and Voldemort, this will help them a lot as well as safeguard Fleur if they go through with the bond," she stated.

Everyone turned to look at Fate who looked thoughtful before nodding her head in agreement. Cassandra smiled before turning and leaving the room, sending a signal that would put Alexander to sleep.

+T+

(Dream Realm)

Xander looked around surprised to find himself outside Sunnydale high school, when Tara suddenly appeared at his side he knew he was asleep. He shook his head a little annoyed as he knew he had not been trying to fall asleep when he sat down in the living room to think over his talk with Lilith and the few kisses they had shared. He looked around and finally noticed Cassandra walking towards them.

"Alex?" Tara asked a little confused to see him there as she knew he hadn’t been tired.

"I got called here by Cassandra," Xander said as he watched the woman walk towards them. "I wonder what's up," he mused.

"I’m sorry to do this to you again Alexander," Cassandra told him as she came to a stop in front of them. "But we needed to talk immediately," she added. "First we have discovered where the second magical bond connected to Harry is from," she informed them.

"Where is it from?" Tara asked after sharing a quick look with Xander who seemed a bit surprised by her news.

"It was forged during his fourth year at Hogwarts. Fleur Delacour decided to mate with him after Harry saved her sister during the second task of the Tri-Wizard tournament and then down played his part and asked for nothing in return," Cassandra answered. "She and her sister were forbidden from telling Harry about this by their parents who didn’t approve of her choice of mate," she explained.

"When you say mate do you mean what I think you do?" Xander asked a little relived this second bond didn’t come from someone who was a threat to Harry.

"Yes I do Alexander," Cassandra confirmed. "Fleur is a quarter Veela and like full Veela they have the choice of mating with their chosen lovers. Once mated it ensures neither will stray ever however her parents have placed a block on the bond between them which is why Harry is able to have a relationship with Susan," she informed them. "Now Alexander it has been decided that should Harry, Fleur and Susan agree to it then we will perform the bonding ritual between Harry and Fleur, she will perform the same role as Tara does for you," she continued. "If they choose to accept the bonding ritual will replace the mating Fleur did so that Harry can continue his relationship with Susan as well as have one with Fleur," she finished.

"That might cause some problems especially for Susan, but I can't ignore how much it might help Harry gain more control over himself," Xander stated after thinking it through.

"There is one last thing Alexander," Cassandra spoke up one more time. "We have also decided to shut down the bond between Harry and Voldemort. He will no longer have to worry about getting any visions from the dark lord or from Voldemort trying to pry information out of his mind," she added with a smile, pleased Fate had agreed to this.

"That is great," Tara said very happy for the young man she had just started to think of as a friend. "I think that will take a lot of pressure of him," she continued.

"I have to agree," Xander said after thinking it over. "We thank you for your help Cassandra, and whoever it is you serve," he added a little curious who this we were Cassandra spoke of.

Cassandra smiled at them, but refused to comment on her lord or any others she was allied with. It wasn’t the time for Alexander to know any of that just yet. "Make sure Alexander that you go and retrieve the whole Delacour family once you wake and bring them to headquarters. The eldest Weasley child Bill has a friendship with Fleur and he can take you to where they live. Then explain to them, Harry and Susan everything I've told you and then let them decide what to do about it," she added before turning to walk away before stopping and facing them once more. "Be very careful from this point on Alexander, this is a war you are about to fight," she said gently and both Xander and Tara could tell she was very worried how this would play out before watching her walk away and then vanishing, causing both of them to wake up straight away.

+T+

(12 Grimmauld Place, London)

Xander quickly stood up and went looking for Bill Weasley, finding Tara already in the kitchen where most of the Weasley clan sat. He noted Remus and Sirius had returned from moving Hermione's parents and hiding them.

"Remus, Sirius I want you to go with Bill and bring the Delacour family here," Xander told them, surprising everyone in the room as they had no idea they knew about the Delacours.

"What, why?" Sirius asked.

"Not now, just go," Xander shot back. "Make sure they are who they seem to be before bringing them back," he added before going to find Harry, followed by Tara.

"Why does he want the Delacours here?" Bill wondered.

"There must be a reason, but for now let's go and get them," Remus answered. "Lead the way Bill," he told the red head.

Bill looked at him for a few minutes before nodding and going to the living room and the fireplace followed by Remus and Sirius. Remus picked up one of the notes with the address to the house Dumbledore had done for emergencies so they could pass through the Fidelius charm which protected the house.

The rest of the Weasleys looked between themselves. They were confused about why Xander wanted the Delacour family here and they also wondered how their new allies knew about them.

Xander and Tara found Harry and Susan in one of the bedrooms talking quietly about the situation. They both looked up as they entered and noted the serious looks on their faces which stopped their discussion and so they waited for them to say something.

"We need you downstairs Harry, Susan you too," Xander finally spoke up. "We know where the second bond connected to your core is from and there is a very important choice you both are going to have to make," he added.

Harry and Susan exchanged worried looks before following Xander and Tara down to the living room, wondering what this choice was and where the second bond had come from.

Five minutes later Bill Weasley led Remus, Sirius and the four Delacours into the living room. Harry was very surprised to see Fleur and her sister enter the room, while Susan became very nervous at their arrival. Everyone noted the two adults looked very annoyed to be here.

"Guys this is Jean and Laura Delacour," Bill stated. "You already know Fleur and Gabrielle,” he added with a grin.

"Thank you for coming," Tara spoke up with a small smile.

"We were not given much of a choice," Jean responded with a frown, wondering what this was all about. "Now why are we here?" he demanded to know.

"Please have a seat, we have a lot to discuss," Xander responded, not exactly liking the man from his first impression of him. "Sirius you can stay as I think Harry might need you advice, but Bill you and Remus need to leave please," he added.

Sirius looked to his friend a little curious as to what was going on, but Remus just shrugged and left, followed a second later by Bill who just looked confused at Fleur before leaving.

"Can you make sure no one can overhear us Sirius?" Tara asked.

Sirius nodded his head and cast a few charms on the room to make sure no one could listen in on what was now clear to him was something very important and would affect Harry the most.

"Now what is going on?" Jean demanded to know.

"First things first Mr. Delacour," Xander asked knowing this conversation was probably not going to be easy. "Fleur, do you know why you are here?" Xander asked wondering what kind of young woman this girl was who may be given the role of helping Harry.

"You know about the bond," she answered with a small smile. "You brought us here to talk about it," she added.

"Correct," Xander agreed, liking the fact she answered truthfully.

"Xander are you telling me the second bond came from Fleur?" Harry asked shocked, while Susan became even more nervous where this was heading. "How?" he asked a second later.

"I'll tell him," Fleur said before Xander could answer, feeling like she was finally going to get her wish of having a chance with Harry Potter.

"No I forbid it," Jean said, now quite angry as he realized what this was all about.

"You have no right to forbid it Mr. Delacour," Tara said, now a little angry herself at his narrow mindedness. "This was always Fleur’s choice and she has the right to do what she wants," she added, trying not to think of her own father.

"We are her parents," Laura finally spoke up. "What she did was a mistake," she added frowning at the young woman in front of her.

"Stop it," Fleur shouted standing up. "It was no mistake I chose Harry as my mate, and then you stopped me from trying to form any kind of relationship with him," she continued. "You blocked our bond because you wanted me to marry someone you chose," she almost spat, still angry at how her parents had acted. "It all ends here," she finished, noting Gabrielle was smiling at her actions.

Harry was listening to everything that had been said and was slowly beginning to understand what had happened thanks to the research he had done on Veela during his fourth year. Susan too had also worked out what was going on. She was very nervous how this would end, yet strangely she felt no fear or anger at the other girl for her choice.

"Harry it is true Fleur is mated to you, but because her parents placed a block on the bond you were able to form a relationship with Susan, now because that bond still exists the higher powers have a choice for all three of you to make," Xander explained. "One which would help you a lot especially with what's to come," he added.

"What choice?" Harry asked after looking at Susan and then Fleur before facing his friend once again.

"They are willing to perform the bonding ritual between you and Fleur Harry," Xander answered. "She will become to you what Tara is to me, she will help you control your emotions especially your anger and hate," he continued to explain. "You will share dreams and thoughts, but also nightmares and pain," he pressed on. "She will be the light to keep the dark at bay," he finished, keeping his eyes locked on his friend.

"This is not all Harry they are also going to shut down the bond you have with Voldemort so you will not have to worry about him getting into your mind or Fleur’s," Tara added, putting all the information to them.

Harry sat back as he absorbed all this and was unsure how he felt about this. He knew exactly what this bond would mean from his talk with Tara when he woke up after been rescued from Azkaban. He looked to where Fleur sat and noted she was talking with Gabrielle about what had been said then to her parents who looked shocked but still angry and then to Susan who seemed to be in deep thought.

He closed his eyes and focused on his core once more and found the two bonds once more. He concentrated on the second one and tried to see where it went, but all he saw was darkness and he guessed that was due to the block Fleur parents had placed on it. He opened his eyes to find Susan watching him.

"I think you should do it Harry," Susan told him with a small smile. "I do not want to lose you to the darkness. I don't want to see you become another Voldemort and this seems like a great way to prevent that," she added. "I know from Tara and Janna an expanded relationship can work and I am willing to share if Fleur is," she continued.

"I am," Fleur cut in having listened carefully to what Susan had been saying.

"Three things before you make your final choice. One this bond will mean you will be man and wife in the eyes of whatever great power is really out there as well as in the eyes of the higher powers who serve it," Xander stated as clearly as he could. "Two if Harry does fall into darkness he could pull Fleur with him just like I could with Tara if I fell," he added in a somber voice, still hating the very idea that could happen in the future. "Three the bond bonds your mind body and soul. If one of you dies so does the other, but even after death your souls will still be joined," he finished.

"Trying to interfere in this bond would either kill them or send them both into madness," Tara warned them.

Harry almost winced at this piece of information before forcing down his instant refusal to take such a risk; he had to think about this as objectively as he could. He knew Susan was with him if he chose to do this and when he looked at Fleur she nodded her head letting him know she chose this as well. He didn’t want to become another Voldemort giving into his own anger, hate and fear and so there was only one option to ensure as much as possible that didn’t happen as long as he was willing to listen.

"Very well we do it," Harry finally told them.

"No we forbid it," Jean shouted standing up incensed by all of this.

"Dad enough, Fleur wants this," Gabrielle shouted back. "I know Harry will die before he would ever let anything happen to my sister. If she can help him destroy Voldemort once and for all then we should do everything we can to help her help him," she stated forcibly, hoping to get through to her parents and make them see what they were doing was wrong.

"But," Jean tried to protest before his wife stopped him and shook her head.

"If we do not let her do this we will lose her," Laura told her husband. "I’m not willing to do that no matter what. Yes it is a risk, but it is her risk to take," she added. "If they fail here it will not be long before Voldemort tries to take the rest of the world. He hates everything that is not of pureblood and I and your daughters are Veela. He will kill us just for that, better it ends here than before it reaches our home," she continued.

Jean sighed as he listened to his wife, knowing yet hating that she was right. Voldemort was well known for this hatred of other species, especially those who would not serve him and the Veela would never bow to him. He looked to his daughters and noted the looks on their faces and knew the only way his family would stay together would be to agree.

"Very well," he finally said with a frown as he saw he had no other choice here, his daughter had made her position clear. "I will let this happen but I want your word Mr. Potter that you will do whatever it takes to keep my daughter alive," he added facing the young man.

"You have my word Mr. Delacour," Harry responded knowing he meant it.

"This will hurt at first you two," Xander cautioned them both, remembering the pain when he and Tara were bonded.

Fleur walked over to where Harry stood and waited for whatever was supposed to happen. A few minutes later she and Harry both collapsed in agony as the ritual began. Xander and Tara made sure no one tried to interfere. Sirius remained where he was still thinking over everything that had been said and feeling a little relived that there were higher beings looking over them and feeling proud that Harry had made this choice on his own.

Finally they both went still as they fell unconscious from the pain. Xander checked their pulses and smiled as they were very strong. He picked Harry up and placed him on one of the sofas and then did the same with Fleur.

"They will wake up in about an hour," Xander told them. "They'll feel the difference straight away," he added.

"Will there be any change in their personalities?" Laura inquired.

"No, it doesn't do anything to change the person you are," Tara responded.

"What happens now?" Jean inquired looking at his unconscious daughter.

"You'll have to stay here with us. It's too risky to leave you without protection just in case Voldemort ever does learn about any of this," Xander replied. "Maybe we can discuss some kind of alliance with the Veela," he suggested.

"That may be possible considering what has just happened, most alliances between the Veela and anyone else comes from an alliance of marriage," Laura replied. "But that can wait, I think we need somewhere to talk about what has happened if that's okay," she added.

"I'll show you to one of the bedrooms, please follow me," Sirius replied with a smile as he cancelled the charms on the door and led them out, leaving Xander and Tara to watch over Harry and Fleur while Gabrielle followed.

+T+

(Other Realm)

"It is done," Cassandra stated. "Hopefully Fleur will be up to the task she has been given," she added.

"I think she is quite capable," their lord stated after sharing a brief look with Fate before she vanished.

"How long before Voldemort knows the link between himself and Harry has been cut?" Tanith inquired.

"He'll wake up with a splitting headache and once he is awake he'll check every option as to what happened and then he'll discover he can no longer access Harry's mind," their lord answered with a smile.

The others all shared a smile at this bit of news before turning back to the viewing pool to watch as events continued to unfold.

+T+

Chapter Text

(12 Grimmauld Place, London)

Harry woke up feeling calm and peaceful for the first time since he could remember. Looking around he noted Alexander and Tara were curled up against each other on one of the other couches while Fleur was waking up on the other. She smiled at him as soon as her eyes met his and he found himself returning it even as he heard her voice inside his head telling him she was happy this had happened and she would be with him until the end.

He focused on his core and found to his amazement the bond between himself and Voldemort was indeed blocked and he felt a huge relief to know this. He would never again have to worry about the dark lord getting inside his head. He heard movement to his left and looked up to find Alexander and Tara were now awake and watching them.

"How are you feeling Harry?" Tara inquired with a gentle smile, hoping the bond had indeed done for Harry what it had done for Alexander.

"I feel peaceful," Harry replied in amazement. "It's the first time I can remember ever feeling such a thing apart from a vague dream involving my parents I had during my first year at Hogwarts," he explained as Fleur moved over to join him.

"I'm glad to hear that Harry, but remember your anger is not gone nor is your hate and fear. They are still there and will reappear just as normal as before," Xander reminded him. "It will be up to Fleur to help you control it from this point on," he added.

"We know Xander," Fleur finally spoke up. "I don't know why, but we know exactly why we were bonded and what we have to watch out for," she added after sharing a quick look with Harry.

"Just like what happened with us Alex. We knew instantly why it happened and what it meant for us," Tara reminded her lover.

"I remember," Xander replied as he pulled Tara against him and kissed her for a few seconds. "It was so strange and yet I remember feeling no fear," he added with a far off look as he recalled that event.

"What happens now?" Fleur asked.

"We'll see how your parents and sister are doing and see if we can begin gaining some allies for the war," Xander answered. "Because I can assure you we will not win this alone," he stated as clearly as he could.

"That I already knew Xander. I just could never get Dumbledore to agree to start trying to negotiate with the other magical races out there," Harry responded. "He believed gathering the witches and wizards first was more important," he added with a scowl having never believed that was true.

"Well Dumbledore is no longer in overall command. I suggest we form a council of war to oversee our efforts," Xander shot back, having heard enough to know the old man was no longer cut out for that kind of leadership. "If we manage to gain some allies from the other magical races they too will have a voice on this council, agreed?" he asked.

"I agree, it's a start to what I hope we can accomplish after this war is over," Harry replied.

"And what is that?" Tara asked quite curious as to what Harry's goals were for after they had defeated Voldemort.

"A government which is not trying to control and keep down the other races and for them to have the same rights as everyone else," Harry answered. "It's time the magical world came out of the middle ages," he added with an almost wicked smile on his face which Fleur quickly took up as she loved the idea having grown tired of the rules which kept the Veela down trodden.

"Then we start here," Xander stated, before standing up and then leading the others out of the room to find the Delacour's.

+T+

(Riddle Manor)

Voldemort groaned as he finally came to. He looked around and noted there was no one in his room for which he was glad as he knew it was dangerous for him to be unconscious as it would give some of his follower's ideas at taking his place as leader. He kept his position with fear and death and he was not unaware that some of his followers wished to supplant him. He would deal with them when he was ruler of the magical world but for now they were useful.

He quickly began searching his body for any sighs as to what had knocked him unconscious and found to his shock the bond linking him to Potter was either blocked or gone. While this was not too much of a problem it did deprive him of the chance to hurt the boy over the link as well as gather information from him when he believed he might know something.

He wondered how the boy had managed it, but he doubted it had been Potter and so settled on the idea it must be some kind of plan of Dumbledore's to keep him out of the boy's head. He moved over to his nearby chair and sat as he checked for any other problems and was relieved to find none. He would try and see if there was a way back into Potter's head later, but first he had to deal with Lucius and his latest scheme to ensure his victory. He stood and exited the room to find his followers all waiting for him and he almost smiled as they dropped to their knees in obedience as he sat down on his throne.

+T+

(Other Realm)

Cassandra was quite pleased to see the difference in Harry as soon as he was awake. It was clear that the danger of losing him to his own darker emotions had been averted for the time being and now, like Alexander, would have to control them even more. Fleur was proving her lord's assertion that she was strong enough to take on this task.

She was also pleased to hear what his goals were for the future once they had dealt with Voldemort. It was no real surprise considering his background and the exposure he had to the other races within the magical world and then there was his current problem with the Ministry who was making things worse for them all.

Harry was finally beginning to shed the last remnants of his past where he believed he would die during the war and embrace the possibility he would survive and live to have a future and even more shocking to him was the fact he would have a family as well. He had two beautiful girls in Fleur and Susan who had chosen him to be their mate. He had a girl who was as close to a sister as possible in Hermione and he still had his godfather Sirius and an uncle in Remus Lupin.

"A good set of goals," Tanith stated with a warm smile. "Harry indeed wishes to change his world for the better," he added. "And I believe should he manage to defeat Voldemort he will succeed in his goals," he continued.

"That is not necessarily true Tanith. He must first win to his side the other magical races," Jonas interjected. "And that will not be an easy task," he stated with certainty.

"I agree Jonas," their lord put in. "But I believe if Harry manages to say the right things he will be successful in this," he continued. "Even then he must deal with his corrupt government and make the people realize the truth and that I believe will be where the turning point in this war will be," he added. "They must be woken to their errors or I think the death toll will be far greater than it needs to be," he finished with a frown not liking that fact one bit.

"I think my lord once he has his allies Harry and Alexander will both turn their attention to Fudge and his supporters, as I do not believe they will want to leave Hogwarts in their hands," Cassandra finally spoke up having listened to everything that had been said and not seeing any fault in it at all.

"A good point Cassandra," their lord agreed. "A very good point," he added with a smile as he focused on what was going on in the viewing pool, joined a few seconds later by the others.
16. Chapter 16
(Veela Council chambers, France)

Harry stood in a beautifully crafted hall next to Xander, the Delacour's, Sirius, Hermione, Lilith, Tara and Bill Weasley. They had come here after a short conversation with Jean and Laura about forming an alliance and they had decided to bring Harry to meet the council who presided in France where the laws were less restrictive to Veela. According to Laura the council was made up of several of the eldest Veela from five different countries.

This was all news to him and Hermione who had come across nothing about in their research into Veela. Hermione had asked to come along wanting to learn more about the Veela race and he had agreed knowing Hermione's thirst for knowledge couldn’t be ignored and he wouldn't deny her this chance anyway.

He was a little nervous about this whole thing, but he knew he had to try and start building alliances as he was sure they would be the key to whether they would live or die. He looked up as the far doors opened and seven women walked into the room and sat down at the table in front of them. He felt Fleur take one of his hands in his and he forced himself to relax.

"Laura why do you bring these people to us?" one of the women asked starting the proceedings.

"Aria first I would like to introduce Harry Potter and his friends," Laura began without a trace of nerves in her voice which Harry envied her for and hoped when it came time for him to speak he would be able to do the same. "They have come because they wish to form an alliance with us," she added.

"An alliance?" Aria responded with a raised eyebrow a little surprised by this as it had been almost a hundred years since someone tried to form an alliance with the Veela. "And what do they ask of us in this and what do they offer in return?" she asked after sharing a few looks with her fellow council members.

Harry stepped forward knowing it was his turn now. He listened to Fleur’s calming voice over the bond and focused on the woman who had asked the question. "I offer my magical promise to reverse the restrictive laws against the Veela in Britain and to what I can to help to do the same in the other countries where your people reside," he informed them.

"And how can you do that Mr. Potter?" one of the other women asked a little skeptical.

"We are at war in Britain my lady, but once that war is over the government will be replaced with one which is more open to change and I’m even hoping that they will allow representatives of the other species into it," Harry replied. "I know for some of you this sounds quite far-fetched, but it is what I plan to do when the war is over," he continued. "I am sick to death of the racist views of the purebloods and certain other witches and wizards out there and I hope to begin changing it," he finished.

"You speak clearly and with wisdom," Aria responded. "Your goals are good ones and I can tell you mean what you say here before us," she continued. "What do you ask of us in return Harry Potter?" she asked.

"We need help in defeating the dark lord who calls himself Voldemort," Harry answered, knowing this was the most crucial part of the whole meeting. "Voldemort has called most of the purebloods who believe they are superior to everyone else to help crush the rest of us and yet he himself is not a pureblood. He is like me a half blood and yet the purebloods who follow him don’t know this," he informed them. "They wouldn't believe it even if they were told about it, they are stuck in their views and once he has conquered Britain he will turn his attention to the other countries and the magical races who live with us," he continued. "He will have dominion over all creation or he will lay waste to it all," he stated, hoping to push this view across to them. "I know this for a fact as I have been inside his mind. He will not stop until everyone obeys and worships him and those who do not will be killed and the muggle world will be wiped off the map," he went on. "Do you wish to allow that to happen, knowing you could have helped stop it here and now? And then help change the world for the better. This is what I’m offering you," he finally finished, taking a deep breath as he did and hoped he had done enough.

"You ask much, but you offer us just as much should you succeed in destroying the dark lord," Aria finally spoke. "Still we need time to discuss this. Laura please join us," she added. "We shall return in an hour, refreshments will be brought to you," she informed them.

"Thank you my lady," Harry replied as he watched the council members leave, followed by Laura.

"You did well Harry," Xander said with a smile as they walked over to a nearby table where food has been placed by more Veela. "You stated everything as clearly as you could and didn't hesitate when you replied to their questions," he added as he sat down.

"I agree Harry," Sirius told his godson feeling very proud of him for what he had just done. "Your parents would be very proud to have seen that Harry," he added, wishing again that his friends hadn’t been killed.

Harry smiled at this as he settled into a seat next to Fleur. He really hoped he had done enough to gain the support of the Veela. Everyone began to eat and talk about what had been happening and each was wondering what the council would decide.

+T+

(Other Realm)

"A well spoken speech," Cassandra stated as she watched the small group discuss their plans. "He was scared, but he held it in nicely," she added.

"Agreed, with a little help from Fleur he controlled his emotions very well while he spoke," their lord nodded in agreement. "He stated what he wanted, what he offered and even gave them as much information as he could without revealing anything to important until they agree to the alliance," he added.

"I think one of the best things he could have said was that he would give a magical promise to aid them when the war was over," Cassandra again spoke up. "This more than anything may help gain the Veela as an ally," she added with a smile and was quite pleased with how the meeting had gone so far.

"I have to agree Cassandra," Tanith responded. "That will go a long way in convincing the council that he meant everything he has told them," he continued.

"Still it's not done yet, the council will have questions to ask first before they agree to anything," Jonas put in his own view.

"I think that is why they asked Laura Delacour to join them Jonas, so that they can ask her about her view of this situation," Cassandra replied. "And about Harry's character," she added.

"I believe that is exactly what they want from Laura," their lord responded. "A cautious move, but a wise one," he continued. "They will risk much in this if they agree to the alliance," he added.

"I believe my lord they will risk much more if they refuse it," Cassandra stated. "They know as well as anyone what Voldemort will do to those who will not serve him, and the Veela will not bow to him I am sure," she continued.

The others all nodded their head in agreement with the view as the Veela were a prideful race and they had bowed to no one in their long history. They had no choice but to live under the rules of the magical governments of the world, but some Veela chose to ignore them and live in isolated settlements across the globe.

+T+

(12 Grimmauld Place, London)

Albus Dumbledore sat in the kitchen again and was thinking over everything he had done since the Potter's had been killed. He had truly believed he had done the right thing and yet now it would seem everything he had done had either been a mistake or had blown up in his face. He had placed multiple wards on his school since Harry had returned to the magical world and yet each time the boy had been faced with either Voldemort or his followers. His belief and trust in Severus Snape had now clearly been his biggest error and had cost him more than he had ever known, including the trust of not only Harry but some of his friends and Order members as well and that saddened him greatly. He felt every one of his one hundred and fifty years right now, but he was adamant that he would make up for his mistakes and continue to fight until this war was over one way or the other.

He looked up as Moody and Amelia entered the room and sat down at the table. He noted both looked a little nervous and he suddenly felt a foreboding feeling run down his back.

"Is something wrong?" he inquired with a raised eyebrow.

"Just before Harry left to speak to the Veela council he told us he wishes to form a council to run our efforts in the war Albus," Amelia began worried how her old friend would take this news. "I believe he thinks it's best no one has sole command," she added.

Albus sighed at this, even as he realized he shouldn't be too surprised by this move by Harry. The boy had fully moved outside his control and now wanted to make sure he couldn't keep making mistakes which cost them so much.

He couldn't blame the boy and he realized the stress of fighting this war once more had begun to get to him. Maybe he should step aside and allow others to have a chance at leading them. He had fought two wars already and had been a leader in both of them. He had fatally come to the belief only he could lead them this time and it had cost them, well no more he decided.

"I will step aside," he finally told his friends.

"No Albus, Harry doesn’t want you to step aside, he wants you be a part of the new council," Amelia told him. "He is angered with you and rightly so, but he still believes you can offer much advice for what is to come," she explained.

Albus was quite surprised by this and was very relieved to know Harry had not counted him out fully just yet and he would have the chance to make up for his errors.

"This is the only chance you'll have Albus to re-earn Harry's trust," Moody told his old friend. "I suggest you take it," he added with a hard look, hoping his friend would show everyone he had learned from his mistakes and could be more opened minded in the future.

"I agree Alistor,” Dumbledore replied. “And I accept Harry's offer," he continued. "I believe fresh views on our course may be just what we need," he added. "I have been forced to view my actions very closely and I find them lacking very much and I hope I can redeem myself in the eyes of the others in the future," he stated as he sat up a bit straighter.

Amelia and Moody both smiled at this response seeing their friend looking and sounding a little like he had during the first war with Voldemort. They hoped that he kept that thought in his mind as they knew Harry and Alexander would not forgive another blind error from him.

+T+

(Ministry Building)

Cornelius Fudge looked up as Lucius Malfoy, one of his longest supporters and the man who paid his largest contributions, entered his office and he smiled in greeting.

"Lucius my friend, what can I do for you?" he asked.

"I heard a rumor that Potter escaped Azkaban," Lucius replied, hating having to deal with this simple idiot but knowing until his lord had conquered the country he had no choice.

"Very true I'm afraid. I've already put out a press release alerting the people detailing also that two of the guards were killed during the break out," Cornelius answered, still angered to know the boy was once again running amok.

"I have a suggestion that may draw the boy out," Lucius told the greedy politician.

"Oh please continue," Cornelius said very interested in any idea that could help him recapture the annoying brat.

"First arresting his friends and their families may bring him out of hiding, also I would suggest you seize his family wealth," Lucius informed him, thinking the idea was exactly what was needed to make Potter reveal his location to his master.

"Not bad," Cornelius muttered in reply. "However I doubt the goblins will hand over the Potter money," he added, knowing how stubborn the goblins could be in dealing with the government.

"Threaten them then," Lucius almost growled in response. "You are the minister of magic and they are nothing but slaves," he added with venom.

Cornelius nodded his head, having thought the same thing time and time again. He quickly began planning a trip to Gringotts to demand they turn over the boy's money and properties.

Lucius smiled as he sat back and watched as his latest plan began, both men didn't notice the expendable ear that was quickly pulled back out of the room.

On the other side of the door Kingsley Shacklebolt put the ear back into his pocket, once again marveling at the inventive skills of the Weasley twins before making his way out of the building to warn the others of what was going on.

+T+

(Veela Council chambers, France)

Harry looked up as the council and Laura returned from their discussion. He stood and walked back to the center of the hall, joined a few seconds later by the others in his party. He was feeling very nervous at the moment wondering what the council had decided. He could tell nothing from the look on Laura's face and this added to his nerves.

"Step forward Mr. Potter," Aria commanded and he quickly did so. "After questioning Laura we have learned that everything you have told us is the truth and that there is more to this than even she knows," she continued. "We have also learned you are now married to her oldest daughter by right of an ancient ritual as well as being in a relationship with another girl," she continued. "As I am sure you know our alliances are made through marriages, we have consented to agree to this alliance. However we have agreed another is to be chosen to be your wife as part of the alliance," she finished deciding to test the young man in front of her as agreed with her colleagues.

"I refuse, Fleur is my wife and that is enough for me," Harry growled annoyed at this. "I don’t want some kind of harem and I’m not looking to marry anyone else. I have two women who have chosen me to be their lover and I’m satisfied with that," he added. "I’m sorry but I will not do as you ask," he finished and was about to turn and walk out of the room feeling Fleur’s own anger mixed with his.

"That will not be necessary Harry Potter, you have passed our test," Aria told him quite pleased to see that Laura's eldest daughter's analysis was correct.

"Test?" Harry asked, not liking this at all but knowing if that was all it was he would have to allow it if it meant they could be allies.

"Laura has told us much about your character based not only on her own analysis but on Fleur's as well. We were curious to see if they were correct," Aria informed him. "You see we were curious to see if you truly meant what you said or that you were just saying it to get us to agree to your proposal of an alliance. The fact that you turned down the opportunity to have another Veela as your wife spoke volumes to us," she explained. "Must others would jump at the chance of having two Veela as wives," she added quite impressed he had turned them down.

Harry listened as Aria explained their reason for doing what they had done. He couldn't fault them for been so cautious. He could also feel Fleur relax over the bond and allowed his anger to drain away. He couldn't allow that to get in the way of this chance.

"I can understand your caution," he finally said. "But I would ask you to don't test me again. I have had years of being tested by people whose only interest in me was to use me for their own purposes," he added. "I stand on my own feet now, what is your answer?" he asked.

Aria looked at the young man and was quite impressed with his response and the way he held himself in front of the council even as she could tell he was still nervous about being here. She looked at each of her councilors who each nodded their agreement.

"We agree to your proposal Harry Potter," Aria stated with a smile. "We will join you," she told him.

Harry smiled as he heard her answer and looked behind him to see the others were smiling as well, obviously pleased by the Veela's agreement to their proposal.

+T+

(Other Realm)

Cassandra smiled as the Veela agreed to join Harry and his friends in their fight; she watched alongside the others as Harry made his magical promise to aid them in any way he could after the war was over and then as he brought the Veela up to speed on everything that had happened in the last couple of months.

"He did it," their lord stated quite pleased with how Harry had handled himself. "He responded exactly as I suspected he might should they choose to test him. Fleur wasn't too pleased with what the council tried to do, but she like Harry could understand their reasoning," he continued.

"They have taken their first steps in truly being ready to combat Voldemort and his army," Cassandra responded, agreeing with everything her lord had said.

"Now let us see what they do next," their lord suggested as Harry and his group returned to their hideout to find a meeting underway.

+T+

(12 Grimmauld Place, London)

Xander looked a little confused to see a full meeting already in motion when they returned from meeting with the Veela council. However from the looks on some of the people’s faces he could tell something had happened while they had been away.

"What's going on?" Lilith inquired as she sat down next to her father.

"Kingsley has just returned from the ministry. He spied on a meeting between Fudge and Lucius Malfoy," Sir Integra answered. "It would seem Fudge is planning on drawing you out by arresting your friends and their families as well as seizing your family’s wealth and properties," she continued.

"The whole thing is part of Malfoy's scheme to make you expose yourself Harry," Kingsley put in with a frown.

Harry frowned at this before a small smile began to form on his face which surprised some of the others.

"Harry, why are you smiling?" Hermione asked a little worried by this new situation.

"Because Hermione this could help us gain the goblins as allies," Harry responded. "For years the ministry has been trying to control how the bank is run and the goblins have begun to grow more and more angered by the ministry's attitude towards them," he added. "This will just push them more and more away from them and then we can offer them full control of the bank without any more interference from the ministry in return for their aid in destroying Voldemort," he explained to everyone else.

"A very good idea Harry," Dumbledore said very impressed with the young man's logic. "I didn’t know you had been studying the relationship between the ministry and the goblins," he added.

"There is a lot you don't know about me professor, ever since I arrived in the magical world I have been reading everything I can as well as watching how the ministry treats the other races," Harry shot back. "It's only served to show me how badly the relations between the different races and the ministry have become and that soon there would be a rebellion somewhere down the line," he added.

Some of the others nodded their heads in agreement with this analysis, having come to the same conclusions at different times. It was one of the reasons why Voldemort could recruit so easily from some of the different races like the vampires and werewolves.

"As for my friends, those of us here are protected as are our families," Harry stood as he spoke. "Those still in the school are protected by the fact that no one know they support us. I was imprisoned before the D.A was ever exposed and the list of its members is here with us," he added. "One of Cho's friends was going to expose us, but Cho and Hermione managed to change her mind," he continued. "Bill I want you to go to Gringotts and wait until after the ministry's visit and then alert us so we can meet with the goblins ourselves," he ordered.

Bill nodded his head in agreement and went to change into something that would help hide him within the bank. He was beginning to see that there was indeed hope that they could win this fight and he smiled knowing he was a part of it.

"Alucard I have a mission for you as well," Xander said as he turned to the great vampire.

"What do you want me to do?" Alucard asked a little intrigued about what Alexander thought he could do.

"I want you to go with Seras and Adrian and see if you can convince any of the vampire clans to join us. They'll get their freedom and be allowed to live without fear of being hunted down and killed," Xander explained. "I doubt most of them will listen, but considering your status as king of the undead I figure we might be able to get some of them to follow you," he added.

"A very good idea Alexander," Alucard responded seeing the sense in what Xander was thinking. "My legend does encompass the magical world and I did spend a lot of time here a long time ago, it is possible some of the clans will follow me," he added.

"Take this, I think you might need it and watch your backs you'll be in enemy territory," Xander warned them as he handed Alucard his sword.

Alucard looked to his master who nodded her head in agreement that he could go. Adrian and Seras joined them and all three left to find the vampire clans.

Lilith watched her family leave knowing it would take a great deal of damage to wound any of them so she wasn't too worried with their task and she could see the tactical sense in Xander's idea.

"Do you really think the vampires would leave Voldemort's army?" Amelia asked.

"Some of them will, Alucard is their king," Xander answered confidently having seen Alucard in action. He was certain he could convince some of the vampires to follow him. "Legends can be a very powerful tool," he added.

"I agree, father can be a very imposing figure when he wants to be and should he be challenged he will cut down those who are foolish enough to try, which should help convince some of the vampires of who he is," Lilith informed the others.

"What next?" Susan asked as she watched events unfold.

"First we'll see how the meeting with the goblins will go and then we'll plot our next course of action from there," Harry responded before breaking the meeting up.

Xander remained next to Tara, Janna and Lilith and hoped he had made the right move in trying to get some of the vampires on their side. He knew each species of vampire was different and he was hoping those in the magical world would be as reasonable as the Nosferatu. He sighed before closing his eyes and drifting off to sleep, followed by the others soon after.

+T+

(Other Realm)

Cassandra was a little surprised that Alexander had chosen to try and win some of the vampire clans over to their side. She guessed he was learning that there were different types of vampires and while some of them were not murderers and just wanted to be left alone there were those who were true monsters like the demonic vampires he was used to dealing with.

Again he was learning that not everything was black and white as he had once believed. She was pleased by this as it showed he was still willing to learn new things and that the events he had been through had not jaded his outlook on life. She was unsure if Vlad would be able to sway some of the vampire clans, but she agreed with her step daughter that when he wished to be he could be very persuasive.

She was also very pleased with how Harry had decided to deal with the latest plot hatched by the ministry and Lucius Malfoy. He was really beginning to come into his own. She had almost laughed at the expression on Dumbledore's face as he responded to his polite surprise at the idea that Harry had been studying how the ministry dealt with the goblins and the other magical races.

"Their plans are well thought out," Jonas stated with a smile as he watched events unfold.

"I agree, both Alexander and Harry are thinking ahead just as they should," their lord responded very impressed so far. "Without the pressure of his link to Voldemort to worry about and with his darker emotions under control for now Harry is able to concentrate more on the challenges he faces than ever before," he added with a thoughtful look.

"Indeed my lord, however unlike Alexander, Harry will have to deal with his darker emotions more often due to his history. Fleur will have a lot of work ahead of her before he can begin to really get over it," Cassandra put in. "Harry's life has always been one of hardship and it only increased since he returned to the Wizarding world. His darker emotions will always be close to the surface while this war continues," she added. "When and if he survives he may finally begin to heal and really let go of some of it," she finished

"He deserves the rest," Tanith spoke up, having always been impressed with how the young man had handled himself and survived the constant threats to his life and those of his friends. "But he has a long way to go yet," he added knowing that even if they got rid of Voldemort there would be other challenges down the road.

"He does, but he has what it takes to finish this and come out alive," their lord said with a smile. "He has everything he needs now to make sure he wins. It's a question of whether he knows it or not," he added.

The others all nodded their head in agreement at this and then they turned to watch as events once again began to unfold.

+T+

(Gringotts)

Bill Weasley watched as the minister's party basically stormed into the bank, he almost smiled at the look on the man's face because he knew if he lost his temper with the goblins, especially the head of the bank Ragnok who had long hated the way the ministry treated his people he would never get what he wanted.

Bill had started to work for the bank a year after he left Hogwarts and he had learned much about their ways. He knew that what the minister was about to try would so not help relations between them and the goblins. He remained in his seat for the next hour watching and waiting until suddenly Ragnok's door opened quite hard and the minister and his party left with furious looks on their faces.

Bill waited for another few minutes before leaving to contact Harry and alert him the time to meet the goblins was now. He was sure Ragnok would be willing to listen to Harry.
17. Chapter 17
(12 Grimmauld Place, London)

Harry looked up as Bill returned to tell him the minister had been to the bank and had left with a very angry look on his face. He could imagine just how red the man's face would have been at being turned down. He had grown to really hate the minister since he had first met him during his third year where he had acted like he truly cared for Harry's well being. However he knew now that had been a lie designed to get on his good side when he had been revered as the savior of the Wizarding World.

However since the end of his forth year Fudge had shown his true colors and shown where his loyalty truly stood and that was with Malfoy and his money. Harry would take great enjoyment out of causing Fudge to lose his position as minister. As far as he was concerned Fudge should never have been allowed to take the top office as he had done nothing but cause most of the problems they were now having as well as allowing the return of Voldemort to go unopposed out of fear.

"Wait here, I'll get my party together," Harry told him before going to find Xander, Lilith, Tara, Fleur, and Amelia Bones.

Bill watched as the small group returned before joining them and leaving through the floo back to Diagon Alley and Gringotts.

+T+

(Riddle Manor)

Lucius Malfoy strode back to his master's throne room confident his new plan would cause Potter to come out of hiding. With the ministry arresting his friends and their family and seizing his wealth and properties he'd wouldn't be able to resist coming to fight just like the Gryffindor he was.

He entered his master's chamber and bowed before his master who was reading through one of his many books. He was forced to wait until told he could rise and he was noting the amused smile on Bellatrix's face at this. He suppressed his own anger knowing it would do no good in front of his master.

"Rise Lucius," Voldemort finally spoke without looking at him. "Report," he commanded and finally looked up and pinned Lucius to the spot with his eyes.

"I managed to convince Fudge that the best way to get Potter to come out of hiding was to seize his wealth and arrest his friends and their families," Lucius answered immediately not willing to test his master's patience.

"And you really believe the boy will show himself because of this?" Voldemort asked with a frown not really believing Potter would be that stupid.

"I am sure master. He is a Gryffindor through and through," Lucius responded confidently.

"If he doesn’t Lucius you will be Bella's new play thing for a day," Voldemort shot back with a cold smile as Lucius tried not to shiver at the very idea as he knew Bellatrix Lestrange was a psychotic who loved to torture people. Severus Snape could attest to that as the latest person to be handed over to the woman as punishment.

+T+

(Area around Hadrian's Wall)

Alucard walked slowly into the camp of the vampires he had detected with his sword at the ready. He was grateful that Alexander had decided to part with it for now as he knew this wouldn’t be easy.

Seras and Adrian came up behind him with their own weapons at the ready as they were finally noticed by the occupants of the camp. A very tall vampire with long black hair and brown eyes walked up to them flanked by at least seventeen other vampires.

"Who are you?" the tall vampire demanded to know. "And what do you want?" he added looking the intruders over and noting they did not seem like normal humans.

"My name is Vlad Tepes also known as Dracula and Alucard," Alucard responded with an insane smile as he noted the disbelieving looks he got at his reply.

"Are you trying to be funny?" one of the vampires asked with frown. "I say we eat them," he added as he looked at Seras with a hungry look causing Seras to step forward and ram her fist into his chest knocking the vampire to the ground coughing up blood and shocking some of the other vampires at the scene.

"You'll have to forgive my fledgling, she doesn’t like been looked at like a piece of meat," Alucard stated with an amused look.

"What do you want here?" the tall vampire asked, once again knowing something was very off here and he was strangely feeling a little nervous in front of this very tall heavily built stranger.

"I have come to ask that you stop your service to the dark lord who calls himself Voldemort," Alucard replied smoothly. "And to support our allies. In return you will be granted a lease of land to live on and be left in peace," he added. "If you refuse our offer you will not survive the war that follows no matter how it ends," he continued.

"How do you figure that?" the tall vampire asked, confused at the man's answer.

"Voldemort will kill you all once he has gained control of Britain. He will not allow you to live seeing you as a danger to him and his goals in the future," Adrian was the one who answered. "You must realize this somewhere inside you," he added.

The vampires all exchanged looks some filled with confusion and some filled with disbelief, the tall vampire however remained staring at the leader of the strangers

"The ministry will never leave us alone," he finally spoke, quieting the talking of his fellow vampires. "They want us all dead," he added with a frustrated look.

"That government will no longer be in power when this war is over. A new one will take its place and they give you their word by magic that you will be left alone," Alucard responded liking that the obvious leader of this clan had a brain and was using it. "If you wish to keep your people alive this is the best chance for it," he added.

"Why should we believe you?" another of the vampires asked his tone clearly showed his skepticism.

"Because like you we are vampires, we are Nosferatu," Seras answered glaring at the vampire who had asked the question. "And as you can see we work with those who oppose Voldemort and we are not treated like slaves or monsters but as equals," she added.

The tall vampire took all of this in and was quite surprised by it, but it did explain why he felt so nervous in front of these strangers. They were Nosferatu the strongest type of vampire there was and if they were to be believed one of them was the king of all vampires Dracula himself.

He personally didn’t want to serve the dark lord having seen what the dark lord did to even those who served him faithfully, but he had believed it was the only way to guarantee the survival of his clan but now he had another option.

"Who leads this opposition?" he asked.

"Harry Potter for the wizards and Alexander Lavelle who represents the Muggle world and is under my protection as well as been the chosen paramour of my daughter," Alucard answered.

The tall vampire took all of this in and was very surprised to learn that one of the normal folk had taken a Nosferatu as a lover, this showed what Alucard had told him was true. He looked to his people and noted all of them were waiting for his response and so he dropped to his knees and bowed in submission, followed by everyone of his clan who were not willing to anger a Nosferatu.

"You have chosen well, follow us to a new location where you will be hidden until the fight so Voldemort can’t kill you," Alucard commanded and then turned followed by his son and Seras and the clan.

+T+

(Other realm)

"Your husband was lucky Cassandra, obviously some of the clans don’t want to serve Voldemort, but see no other option due to the ministry's laws," Tanith stated as he watched Alucard convince the clan to follow him.

"Luck has nothing to do with it Tanith," Cassandra replied heatedly at the slight towards her husband. "If they had started anything most of them would have died, you forget just who Vlad is," she added.

"She is correct Tanith," their lord interjected. "You have forgotten just what Vlad is capable of," he added. "Just because he serves the Hellsing family doesn’t make him any less of a leader nor does it diminish his abilities," he continued.

"I'm sorry my lord," Tanith said after a few seconds realizing how he must have sounded.

He knew that no matter the fact that she had been dead since just before Vlad Tepes had become a true Nosferatu she still considered herself to be his wife and he her husband. She had also basically adopted Vlad's daughter Lilith from his second marriage to a Romany princess even though neither her son Adrian, Lilith, or Vlad knew she still watched over them or had any interaction with Alexander.

He sighed as he realized he may have again hurt his relationship with the woman who had helped spare his life when Malek had betrayed their lord. He would have to watch what he said a lot more closely from now on. He didn’t want Cassandra to believe he still was as arrogant as he had been before.

"I’m sorry Cassandra I didn’t mean that like it sounded," he finally said facing the woman who stared at him for a few minutes before nodding in acceptance of his apology.

"One thing is certain however, not all of the clans will be as forthcoming as this one was," Jonas spoke up. "Some of them will truly believe Voldemort is their best option of a better life," he added.

"Sadly that is true but I believe Vlad and his group can handle any trouble that comes from encountering any of those groups," Cassandra responded with complete faith in her husband, her son and her husband's fledgling.

"Agreed, he will kill those that attack and do as much damage as he can before leaving," their lord rejoined the conversation. "Now let’s see how Harry's meeting with the goblins goes," he suggested, waving his hand over the viewing pool so it showed Harry and his group entering the bank.

+T+

(Gringotts)

Harry walked into the bank followed by his small group once again feeling nervous, he was not about to get overconfident after his success with winning the Veela to his side.

He knew the goblins would be much harder to win over considering the long trouble they had with humans in general, but he was determined to do everything he could to succeed in making them allies. He noticed a goblin walking towards them and recognized him as the one who had taken him down to his trust vault when he had first come to the bank. He made his way over, followed by the others. "Hello Griphook," he said, startling he goblin who had never seen a human manage to tell a goblin apart as well as the fact he had been polite while addressing him.

"Can I help you?" he asked before noticing the lightning bolt scar on his forehead which helped to identify the human. "Mr. Potter," he added.

"Yes I would like a meeting with your manager Ragnok please," Harry replied, doing his best to ignore the glance at his scar. He was well used to it by now and he had to keep his temper in check if they had any chance of gaining the Goblins as allies. "It's very important Griphook and could be very helpful to your people," he added.

Griphook looked the human over for a few minutes considering what the human had said before nodding his head and heading for his manager's office.

"So how do we go about this Harry?" Xander asked a little curious about the goblin culture.

"We have to be as respectful as possible Alex," Harry replied. "Any insult or loss of temper will lose us any chance of winning them over," he added. "The goblins are very close to going to war with the witches and wizards again so we have to go very careful," he continued.

"Harry I am very uncertain how the people will respond to the goblins being given equal status," Amelia cautioned the young man.

"I know, but they're going to have to get used to it," Harry shot back a little annoyed to be reminded of the racist views of most of the witches and wizards in the world. "This is going to be the beginning of a new age for our people Amelia, one we will need if we have any hope of surviving," he added with certainty.

Amelia was a little skeptical of this view, but could not fault the young man's logic, eventually the other races of the magical world would have joined together and revolted against the laws of the human governments causing huge amounts of damage as well as leaving millions dead.

"You may be skeptical Amelia, but oppression eventually breads dissent and from dissent comes the will to fight back," Lilith told the woman having seen it many times through the years.

Their conversation was interrupted by Griphook's return. They watched the goblin come to a stop before them with a blank look on his face which worried Harry.

"Please follow me," Griphook commanded before heading back the way he had come, leaving Harry and his small group to share a few looks before following.

+T+

(Other Realm)

"Harry is playing this very smartly," their lord stated with a confident smile. "He knows he's walking a tight rope with the goblins and any screw up would lead to them losing the chance to become allies with them," he continued. "Alexander is willing to follow Harry's lead in this because he knows more about them," he added.

"Alexander would feel better not having to lead my lord, but feels he has too until his journey is complete just like Harry," Cassandra interrupted. "Neither is truly comfortable with their current roles because of the stress that goes with it," she explained. "I would not be surprised if at the end of his journey he joins one of the other organizations so he doesn’t have to have that responsibility on his shoulders," she added.

"I agree, he knows when one is a leader the lives of those under him are in his hands," their lord nodded. "Every choice he makes could cost him the life of someone he cares about and he knows that," he added. "He hates that very thought and yet he knows until his journey is done the responsibility is his and his alone," he finished.

"Harry is in the same position sadly," Tanith put in, having listened quietly to their lord and Cassandra. "After seeing the mess Dumbledore and the ministry have made he believes it is down to him to lead their forces against Voldemort," he added. "Once it is over though and if he survives I do not believe he will miss being in a position of power," he stated.

"I agree," Jonas said with a smile believing that would be exactly what Harry would feel like after the war.

"As do I," Cassandra smiled in agreement. "Now let us see if they succeed in their meeting," she said, turning her attention back to the viewing pool joined by the others as Harry and his group sat down in Ragnok's office.
18. Chapter 18
(Gringotts)

Harry looked the head goblin over as he sat and noticed he looked a little curious and also distrustful and dismissive and he knew he'd have an uphill struggle to convince them to align themselves with his group and join the war.

"So Mr. Potter what is it you wish to discuss which may be helpful to my people?" Ragnok asked as he sat back against his chair watching the humans carefully.

"As you may know Ragnok the dark lord who calls himself Voldemort has returned and while our supposed leaders are trying to ignore this threat, we are not," Harry began. "The minister is a close friend of one of Voldemort's top Death Eaters and is causing a lot of harm by putting forth laws against the other races which are causing them a lot of problems including yourselves," he continued. "So we have begun to put plans into motion to pull down the current ministry and place a new one in its place which will be more open to change," he finished trying not to lose his composure in the face of the goblin's probing look.

"And what kind of change is this new ministry going to put forward Mr. Potter?" Ragnok asked, having seen no hint of a lie so far from any of the group in front of him.

"The laws governing the other magical races will be destroyed, allowing for all of them to be accorded the same rights as those of the humans," Harry replied. "As for you specifically we will give you full control of your bank and remove all oversight the ministry currently has in place," he added as he recalled what he had planned to say during this meeting.

Ragnok raised his eyebrow very surprised by this offer. He learned forward and looked the humans over and noticed only one of them didn’t seem totally convinced this was the right path. This showed that there were a lot of witches and wizards who wanted change in the world, more than he had suspected.

"And what do you wish in return Mr. Potter?" he finally asked. "What price do you place on your supposed gift?" he asked a second later.

"Your aid in our war with Voldemort," Harry answered knowing this would be where the fight to convince the goblins would begin.

"You want our help in fighting this dark lord?" Ragnok mused. "Tell me Mr. Potter how do you think your people will feel if the goblins take up our weapons once more?" he asked.

"It depends on the reason for you taking up arms once more. Yes I know most of my kind treats you like slaves and don't even bother to be polite to you," Harry responded. "But I’m not one of those, I seek to make this world more equal, especially in terms of the different magical races," he added. "This will not be some random treaty on a piece of paper which can be easily lost or misplaced. I will give you a full magical binding promise to do what I've told you," he stated.

"Such as you gave the Veela?" Ragnok inquired, wondering what the Potter heir would say to this, testing how far he would go to keep his promise.

"Yes I gave the same magical promise to the Veela in exchange for their aid," Harry answered without hesitating.

"Interesting," Ragnok mused again. "You gave an honest answer and every dealing you've had with us has been conducted without any dismissive behavior," he added. "The Veela are not usually known for trusting government promises, but none of them have ever promised to give a binding contract for something," he explained. "Still I’m worried about what should happen should you lose this war," he added wondering what he would be told in reply.

"No offense Ragnok, but you can't be ignorant of the fact that once Voldemort has dealt with us he will turn on those races who will not bow to him and even of those that bow to him he will kill many of them just for sport," Harry pressed a little.

Ragnok sat back against his chair and folded his hands together a little impressed by the steel in the Potter’s heir voice and the willingness to push him instead of trying to sugar coat his words. He turned his eyes to the blond half Veela who he knew from his sources was the mate of the Potter heir and noted that she was watching him very closely, while the other members of the group, bar the eldest was watching for any signs of a threat.

"I shall go and convene the goblin parliament and put forward you offer and promise. I shall return as soon as I can," Ragnok finally told them before standing and leaving the room.

"You did well Harry," Tara told her friend noting how worried he looked.

"I agree Harry," Fleur put in with a smile. "You answered again without hesitating and you also answered his questions truthfully," she continued.

"I have to admit he seemed impressed that you did answer his question truthfully," Amelia admitted. "We can only hope we've done enough," she added.

"I have a feeling we'll have to go in front of the goblin parliament," Harry stated. "Before we get anywhere near gaining the goblins as allies," he added thoughtfully.

"All you have to do Harry is continue what you have been doing," Fleur advised her chosen lover. "If you can impress the goblin parliament like you did Ragnok we should be fine," she continued as she gave him a quick kiss.

"I'm a little concerned that the goblins know of our alliance with the Veela," Xander said as he stood and began to pace a little, trying to force down the bad case of nerves he was feeling before being pulled back down by Lilith who kissed him helping him to refocus his thoughts on more positive things.

"I wouldn't be Alexander," Amelia responded. "The goblins are known to keep a very close eye on events and certain individuals," she added. "It isn’t too much of a surprise they have learned of the alliance," she added

"Will they keep that information to themselves?" Lilith inquired, turning to face the former head of the department of magical law enforcement.

"It is not in their best interest to give that information out," Bill pointed out before Amelia could answer. "So I think it's safe to say that information is safe for now," he continued.

Before anyone could say anything else Ragnok returned with a serious look in his eyes. "Mr. Potter your presence has been requested before the parliament," he informed them.

Harry stood and having taking a very deep breath followed the head goblin out of the room, followed closely by his small group, all of whom were surprised by Harry's accurate guess.

+T+

(Area south of the Highlands)

Alucard ducked the wild swing of the vampire who was currently attacking him just as Seras moved to his side and impaled another vampire with her sword.

A fight had broken out with this clan as soon as they had told them they wanted them to stop working for the dark lord. So far they had been forced to kill ten of the clan trying to get away from the area and try again. Alucard shoved his fist forward catching the vampire in the gut winding it and quickly followed up with a fast upper hook which sent the vampire to the ground. He removed his hand cannon and blew its head off dusting it instantly.

Adrian rushed forward and decapitated another vampire who had been trying to sneak up on him and impale him with its sword, together all three began to back out of the camp using their hand cannons to shoot those remaining vampires who tried to get close to them. Finally they managed to reach a safe distance and quickly turned into their bats forms and flew off. The remaining vampires watched in surprise before deciding to report the incident to Voldemort and also to move their encampment.

+T+

(Unknown location)

Harry entered the large hall a little impressed with the sculptures he had seen on their way in guided by Ragnok, all of them had been well made with very fine detail on them. He looked around and noticed he was now facing at least twenty-four goblins all seated in front of him in a semi-circle, bar one empty seat.

He felt Fleur's calming presence over the bond and closed his eyes for a few seconds to bask in her presence to find some encouragement in what he was about to have to do. He opened them again to find his group had been stopped near the doors by the well-armed goblin guards.

He took a deep breath before walking onto a raised platform which Ragnok had indicated he should do before he saw the goblin take the empty seat and he was surprised to see that Ragnok was a part of the goblin parliament.

"Welcome Harry Potter, my name is Vinewood," the goblin in the middle of the semi-circle spoke in a deep voice as he stood. "We are the goblin parliament, we have heard your offer of an alliance from Ragnok and what you offer in return," he added. "But we wish to know if you truly mean what you say or if it's a ploy to gain our assistance in your war with the dark lord," he explained.

"I can understand your caution considering what I am asking of you in return," Harry responded. "What will it take for you to be convinced of my honesty?" he asked.

"Goblins have many ways of ensuring honesty when it comes to business deals, but most of them are forbidden by your laws," Vinewood informed him. "One of them is the Branak contract which binds your life to the fulfillment of your end of the deal. We seek your agreement to sign a contract of this type," he explained.

"I'll do it," Harry replied feeling no fear in accepting their stipulation considering everything that was on the line and the goals he wished to accomplish after the war.

"It would seem Mr. Potter Ragnok's vote of confidence in you was not a mistake on his part," Vinewood stated very impressed by the human's willingness to accept their demand.

"I hope in the future there will never be a need for the goblins to rebel once again," Harry stated. "I can assure you that in Britain the laws will be changed if we succeed, but all I can promise with the other ministries is to speak on your behalf and push for them to change their laws as well," he continued wanting them all to be clear on things.

"We cannot expect you to be able to change the minds of every human Harry Potter," Vinewood responded. "But we accept your aid and we will join your war against the dark lord. The signing of the contract will take place within the hour," he added. "You will be taken to a place to rest and prepare while we prepare things," he informed them.

Harry bowed to the parliament before moving back to his group who had watched his actions silently. He could feel Fleur’s worry about signing the contract, but he sent back a wave of reassurance to her. He also noted Amelia didn’t look like she approved of his choice and he guessed some of it was from a desire not to see Susan devastated should he be forced to go against the contract and end up dead. However he knew nothing would make him go against this contract and he would ensure the new ministry kept to their new goals.

They followed one of the guards to the assigned rooms and each sat down waiting until the doors had shut behind the guard to say anything. Harry knew a small argument was not to be unexpected after what had just happened.

"Harry, you should not have agreed to their demand," Amelia told him, clearly not impressed with his choice.

"I don't see why not, it makes little difference in the grand scheme of things," Harry responded. "And nothing will make me go back on the contract so I won't have to fear losing my life to it," he added. "And neither the new ministry nor the people will force us to go back on our word because the changes we want will ensure peace for centuries," he pressed.

"And that should stop them from trying to change things back," Fleur put in with a smile trying to imagine a world without the racist laws in place.

"You have to let go of the old ways Amelia and keep your eyes focused on the future," Lilith cautioned the older woman who still looked unconvinced.

"If you don't all you will end up doing if you survive this war is deal with a rebellion from the other races and eventually a new dark lord will rise because of it," Xander spoke up with complete confidence in his view of how things would go.

"I guess I, like most of my generation, have a long way to go in seeing things in a new light," Amelia sighed as she watched a goblin enter and put some food on the nearby table before leaving.

"We should have something to eat and then rest before we have to go back out," Fleur said as she walked over to the table of food pleased to see there was a wide selection of human foods to choose from.

+T+

(Lake District)

Alucard head butted the vampire who had attacked him before ramming his fist into its face and then grabbing its head and pulling hard, taking the vampires head off dusting it instantly. He looked to see Seras attacked by four other vampires and quickly moved to help, her killing one from behind with his hand cannon and then picking another up and throwing it against the rocks with enough force to break its back.

Seras managed to impale one of the vampires attacking her with her sword before the other managed to land a shot to her temple knocking her off balance, before the vampire could attack again Adrian appeared and removed it's head from its body, leaving her able to finish off the other.

"We should leave father while they are in disarray," Adrian said as he watched the other vampires trying to decide whether to attack them or run away.

"I agree there are other clans out there," Alucard replied before turning into his bat form and leaving, followed by Seras and Adrian.

+T+

(Other Realm)

"That was unlucky," Tanith said "He almost had them until one of those vampires tried to grope Seras believing like Voldemort had promised they would be able to do what they want with any female," he added.

"A fatal error in front of Vlad," Cassandra responded. "This clan obviously desired more the idea of being able to take what they want than to survive and live peacefully," she added.

"And they paid for that error," their lord put in with a frown. "Still there are more clans out there for them to find," he reminded them. "They may have better luck next time," he said.

"Let us hope so my lord, the less number of clans who support Voldemort the better the chance they can win this war without losing too many lives," Jonas spoke up hoping Alucard did indeed have better luck next time.

"At least Harry has succeeded in gaining the goblins assistance," Cassandra stated very pleased by this.

"Indeed but it came with a price of its own," Jonas reminded her. "One that could cost Harry his life should something happen to break the contract," he added.

"He knows this Jonas, which is why he will make sure nothing can break it," Cassandra responded. "He will insist in putting safeguards in place so that nobody can break the contract in the future. Harry isn’t going into this blind," she told the others.

"I agree Cassandra," their lord said with a nod. "Harry knew there would be a price to gain the goblins trust and he was willing to pay that price," he explained. "The new generation will be the ones who truly make his vision come true and most of them, especially in Britain, will follow Harry's lead," he continued confidently.

The others nodded their head in agreement with this statement before turning when the pool flashed a violent red, alerting them that something dangerous was happening.

+T+

(Riddle Manor)

Lord Voldemort looked up in surprise as a figure seemed to appear in front of them, somehow bypassing all of the protective wards he had put in place. His Death Eaters all pulled their wands and tried to bring the thing down, but all of their spells went straight through it.

"Who are you?" Voldemort asked in a cold voice, wondering how this being had avoided being hit by so many curses.

"I am the First Evil, one of the rulers of hell," the First replied. "I have come to offer you my aid in your coming war," it added with a smile.

"And why would you wish to help me?" Voldemort commanded to know, skeptical of the beings identity.

"Because your enemy has allied themselves with those I am trying to kill and so I believe we can aid one another in this. I will help you conquer Britain and in return you shall make sure you kill those who aid Harry Potter," the First answered.

"And how will you do this?" Voldemort inquired standing up, noting the nervous looks in some of his follower's eyes.

"I shall grant you the use of one hundred and fifty of my best demons to use in this war. That should help you overcome your enemy," the First replied, knowing the dark lord wouldn’t pass over such an opportunity.

"Very well I agree to your terms," Voldemort agreed with a smile at the idea of so many demons being under his control. "I will make sure your enemies are killed during the fight," he added.

"Make sure they are killed for if you fail me I will make you suffer for the rest of eternity," the First threatened the dark lord before vanishing and leaving the dark lord to his thoughts.

"My lord do you think agreeing to that things proposal was wise?" Mulciber asked.

"Of course it was wise, think of the power I will wield with the demons at my command," the dark lord answered with a maniacal smile which chilled some of his followers. "And when I have conquered Britain I will teach this supposed leader of hell not to threaten Lord Voldemort," he added with a laugh.

+++

Note: As always I tried to do my best to fix up Razial's chapter, but I am not perfect and if I missed something, point it out nicely and we will fix it asap with a thank you on our lips. (Hawklan)
19. Chapter 19
(Other Realm)

Cassandra frowned a she watched the dark lord meet with the First and what they discussed. It would seem Tanith's fears had been well founded. The First was clearly not going to sit idle after having its plans ruined the first time by Alexander and Vlad. This would add a whole new danger to the war once it erupted. Alexander would have to be warned about this quickly and so she turned to glance at her lord and noted he looked very angry by this new turn of events.

"Cassandra you will alert Alexander of this event tonight once he returns from the meeting with the goblins," her lord commanded.

"Yes my lord," she answered with a bow, pleased that she wouldn’t have to wait to warn Alexander and the others.

"I will place Whistler and his group on standby in case Alexander indeed recruits the Hellmouth defenders for this war," their lord continued before leaving the room.

+T+

(Lower Realm)

The First shook its head at the dark lord's delusions of grandeur. The very idea that he could hurt him was quite amusing. He turned as the Source entered his domain with a frown on his face.

"Something bothers you?" he asked his fellow leader.

"You have lent this dark lord a large portion of our best troops, do you think it's wise?" the Source asked with a troubled frown, not liking the way the First had acted without at least discussing the size of the force he was sending.

"If it removes the boy and his allies then yes and if the dark lord manages to conquer Britain we will have scored a great victory over the higher powers," the First replied confidently. "Of course we'll have to bring this dark lord under our sway afterwards as at the moment he is to independent for his own good," he added.

"I agree," the Source nodded almost amused at the way this dark lord believed he could best them when he couldn’t even best his teenage foe. “We should keep a close eye on this dark lord. He isn’t to be trusted and he is not one of our champions," he reminded the First.

"Not yet, but he will be, I will make sure of it," the First said with a chuckle.

+T+

(Unknown Location)

Harry breathed a little easier now that the contract had been signed. The goblins, as a show of good faith, had granted him emancipation and given him his full rights as Lord Potter. They had also made his marriage to Fleur legal and so she was now Fleur Delacour Potter, this had pleased her very much and he was still feeling her pleasure over the link. They had also agreed to find as much evidence against Fudge and his allies in the ministry so they could remove him from office, Harry was sure there was plenty of evidence Fudge had left behind in his dealings, as he was not bright enough to cover his steps.

"Well done Harry," Xander told his friend with a grin full of pride in what his friend had accomplished. "You've really put things back on an even footing," he added.

"But it's not over yet, in fact things are just getting started," Harry cautioned him.

"I'm not denying that Harry," Xander shot back in understanding. "But you have fixed some of the major mistakes Dumbledore had made before we arrived to help," he continued, hoping to boost Harry’s confidence in his actions.

"I agree," Amelia spoke up, also feeling very proud of what her nieces chosen lover had managed to do. She was very impressed with how he had grown since his friends had arrived and she felt a lot more hope in their ability to win this war.

"We are all proud of what you've done Harry, now let’s go and let the others know," Fleur said, taking his hand in hers. "It's been a long day and we could all do with some rest," she added.

The others nodded and followed the guard to a secured floo they could use to get home.

+T+

(12 Grimmauld Place, London)

When they arrived they found the living room full of the major members of the order as well as some of Alexander's group, they all instantly went quiet and waited for one of them to say something.

"So how did it go?" Emmeline asked very curious to know if they had been successful in gaining the goblins support.

"We did it," Harry answered to which everyone gave a small cheer, gaining more confidence in their ability to win the war now they had some allies.

"We'll discuss the details after we've had a long rest," Fleur told the others. "We are all tired," she added before she led Harry to one of the bedrooms and Susan quickly went after Harry and Fleur.

"I can't believe Harry managed to get the goblins to agree to be allies," Sturgis Podmore mused with a thoughtful look.

"I wonder how he did it," Remus said as he shared a look with Sirius.

"I guess we will have to wait until tomorrow to find out," Dumbledore cut in, very impressed Harry had succeeded where he had failed for so many years. "I suggest the rest of you goes and get some rest as well," he added before heading to his own room followed by most of the others.

+T+

(Dream Realm)

Xander looked around as he noted he was back in Sunnydale as he usually ended up when he was dreaming. He found it strange that he was still so tied to his birth place after everything that had happened in the last year. He noted Tara coming towards him from the school and Cassandra from the nearby car park. He wondered what she had to tell them now and why Cassandra seemed so interested in him and his group. What was it he had done that had drawn the gaze of her and the mysterious lord she followed?

He sat down against the tree and waited for them to reach him. Tara arrived first and quickly snuggled up against him, kissing him deeply before leaning her head against his shoulder. Cassandra reached them a few minutes later and sat down against another tree, both he and Tara noted she seemed quite worried about something and each wondered what else had happened.

"I’m afraid Alexander the war is about to get a bit more complicated," Cassandra finally spoke, breaking the small silence that had descended.

"What's happened Cassandra?" he asked, wondering what had gotten her so concerned and how it would affect the war. Whatever it was, he could tell he wasn’t going to like it one bit.

"Lord Voldemort has gotten reinforcements in the form of one hundred and fifty of the top demons in hell. They were gifted to him by the First and the Source in return for killing you and your allies," Cassandra answered.

"Damn," Xander cursed at this information and wondered how in the hell they had managed to convince Voldemort to work with them. "I guess it was too much to expect to stay out of their cross hairs for long," he sighed and then went with an agitated hand through his hair even as he felt Tara hug him tighter. "We're going to need help because Harry and his group have no experience in dealing with demons," he added.

"My lord has granted you the right to bring Buffy and the rest of Hellmouth defenders in to help," Cassandra informed him.

"But that would leave the Hellmouth undefended," Tara interrupted, lifting her head off Xander's shoulder and watching Cassandra closely.

"My lord has put together a large group of warriors to take over if you decide to bring Buffy and the others into this," Cassandra responded with a smile.

Xander leaned back and though over all of this and realized that Cassandra had been right, the large amount of demons would change everything considering no witch or wizard had dealt with them in hundreds of years.

He would defiantly need the help of Buffy, Kendra and everyone else he could get, but he did wonder if he had the right to pull them into this war before pushing that thought away considering what was on the line should they fail.

"I want to also bring Jack Crow and his team into this as well. He has years of experience in dealing with demons and he would make a great team leader in this," Xander told Cassandra. "I would also like to ask for the use of a couple of extra whitelighters to help care for the wounded," he added, knowing he was asking a lot with this request.

"I will ask my lord about the whitelighters Alexander, but you can indeed contact Jack Crow," Cassandra replied.

"There is no need Cassandra," a deep voice said from behind them and they all stood to find someone behind them.

"My lord," Cassandra greeted him, bowing slightly and was a little surprised to see he had come.

"It's a pleasure to meet you," was all Xander could say which was echoed by Tara who could felt the waves of magic rolling of the man.

"It is nice to finally meet you Alexander and you Tara as well," the man said with a smile. "I have decided to meet you now considering how thing are heating up in the Wizarding war. You must tread carefully now with the involvement of the First and the Source," he continued. "I will allow Leo to pick nine other whitelighters to assist you, but that is all we can spare I’m afraid," he pushed on.

"I thank you," Xander responded a little surprised he had been granted the assistance of some more whitelighters. "I'll do everything I can to make sure they do not get caught in the crossfire, they won't be required to fight just to help in healing our wounded," he added.

"I would expect nothing less from you Alexander," the man said with a friendly smile, having already guessed he wouldn’t put them in harms way. "I will contact Leo once I have returned and he will pick those he thinks will be the most help," he informed them. "As soon as you pick up Buffy and the rest of the Hellmouth defenders I will send their replacements to stand in until they return," he added. "Just remember this war is now bigger than ever before because of the involvement of the First and the Source," he reminded them before he and Cassandra turned and walked away, vanishing as they went, leaving Xander and Tara to talk over what they would do next.

+T+

(Yorkshire Moor)

Alucard walked into the vampire camp and was surprised by the size of it. He knew it was protected from being seen by normal people, but it was clear that a lot of vampires lived here. He came to a stop in front of three vampires who were sitting in front of a fire. They all looked very old and were guarded by five vampires who stood behind them.

"So you are the ones who had attacked six of the camps and somehow made another four disappear," the middle vampire mused as he looked over the strangers.

"We didn’t start any of the fights," Alucard responded with a calm tone of voice. "They attacked as soon as we stated our reason for visiting their camps," he continued.

"And the camps which have vanished?" the vampire on the right inquired leaning forward a bit.

"They agreed to join us and so we moved them somewhere safer where they couldn’t be found," Alucard answered, pleased that so far not another fight had broken out.

"What do you offer in return for our joining your forces?" the vampire on the left asked unsure which choice was best.

"You will be granted a lease of land and be left alone. A new government will rise in the aftermath of this war and one of its first edicts will be to remove all the laws which keep the other races down trodden, as well as remove the laws which condemn races such as vampires and werewolves," Alucard informed them. "You have the binding magical promise of Harry Potter," he added and then waited while the three vampires talked amongst themselves.

"Why should we believe what you say?" the middle vampire asked as he stood and moved towards him.

"Because I speak the truth," Alucard responded, not insulted in the least by the lack of trust, a wise leader never rushed things. "My name is Dracula also known as Vlad Tepes and I have come to aid those who war against the dark lord. Should you refuse our offer there will be no escape for you when the day of battle comes," he explained, this time his tone was dark. “This time the war will be settled one way or the other," he continued with a look that showed he meant everything he said. "One of the leaders of our forces is the chosen lover of my own daughter and this should tell you that not everyone shares the same narrow views as everyone else, especially those currently in power," he added

The middle vampire raised his eyebrow at all of this before returning to his seat and once again began discussing things with the other two elders. Alucard watched them closely and could see no sign of aggression from any of them, but he did not relax his guard. Seras and Adrian watched them as well, however they also kept a close eye on their rear as this was a big camp and if a fight started they would be quickly overrun. Granted they would still manage to get out thanks to their superior abilities, but it would be bloody.

"Very well Vlad Tepes our clan stands with you," the middle vampire informed them as he stood. "My name is Tarrik, this is Kraal and Zandov. We represent the last of the elder vampires," he added as he indicated his fellow vampires. "The other elders are either dead or have fled to other countries since the last war," he continued.

"Will you come with us to stay with the other four camps until we need you? The place is very heavily warded not only with the magic of the wizards and witches, but also by the ancient magic of the Romany," Alucard asked.

"We will follow," Tarrik responded as the other two elders went to gather their clan. "We also happen to be the last clan you will need to locate as there was only eleven left after the first war Voldemort started. We lost some of our best not only to his cause but also to his insanity but most vampires feel the only way we could survive in Britain is with him in charge. They don’t see how dangerous he is, but we elders remember," he informed them, his gaze turning dark for a moment as he remembered those times.

"I swear Tarrik after this war is over you will have the peace you so desired and will be left alone," Alucard assured the old vampire. He wasn’t joking and he would ensure the promises made here were kept.

Tarrik nodded his head in acceptance of the great vampire's words as the clan gathered behind him. They followed as they vampires led them away from the camp.

+T+

(Riddle Manor)

"My lord one of our vampire allies wishes a meeting," Dolohov stated as he bowed before the dark lord. "He says it is very important," he added nervously.

"Send him in," Voldemort ordered and wondered why the vampire has come. Usually they were content to wait until he had work for them to do. He watched as a vampire of middle height and large bulk entered his chambers, bowing in front of him revealing one of his eyes was missing.

"Speak," Voldemort commanded with a dark frown, wondering what had happened as the wound looked fresh.

"My lord our clan was attacked tonight by three very powerful warriors. They wished us to leave your service and we refused," the vampire answered, noting how the dark lord's gaze began to burn intensely at his words. "It has now been confirmed my lord that five other clans were approached by the same warriors and the same thing happened however four other clans have vanished and there was no sign of any fight within the camps," the vampire explained, beginning to get nervous at the rage he saw on the dark lord’s face at his news. "It has been suggested that these clans joined the strangers and abandoned your cause my lord," he added, doing his best not to show how much he feared saying this. "There has also not been any contact with the last clan in the last two hours and we can only assume they have joined the strangers as well," he finished and now hoped he didn’t get killed for bringing such troubling news, which he had known was a possibility before he had come.

Voldemort listened intently as the vampire reported what had happened. Growing angrier as he realized he has lost half of the vampire clans who had supported him. He pulled his wand from his pocket and quickly cast a Crucio at the nearby Dolohov who dropped to his knees in agony and quickly began screaming for mercy.

He finally stopped the curse after a few minutes feeling a little better. He turned his gaze back to the vampire who was busy groveling on the floor in front of him.

"Return to your clan and let it be known that all of those who have betrayed me will find no mercy at the end. They will suffer for a long time for this act," he commanded his tone one of anger and hate.

The vampire had to do everything he could not to shake as he heard the tone of his master. He bowed lower and stated he would do as he had been ordered before standing and quickly leaving the room passing the Death Eater who had been hit with the pain curse and moved even faster to leave.

Voldemort sat back in his throne as he thought over this news and surmised that these strangers had to be some of the ones the First wanted him to kill. He wondered how they had managed to convince some of the clans to betray him before vowing they would pay dearly for this act.

+T+

(12 Grimmauld place London)

Xander quickly called a full meeting as soon as everyone was up and had something to eat. He noted quite a few people looked a bit curious as to why he had called the meeting and not Harry and he was pleased to see Alucard, Seras and Adrian had returned as he knew he would need their help to meet this new threat. Lilith quickly moved to their sides, she had no doubt they would be back as there was little the vampires of this world could do to match her father, brother and Seras.

"I have called this meeting not to explain what went on with the goblins but because sadly something more important has come up," Xander explained.

"What has happened Alexander?" Sir Integra inquired not liking the look on the young man’s face, a look that was mirrored on Tara’s.

"Tara and I had a vision last night warning us that Voldemort has gotten some new allies in the form of one hundred and fifty demons sent to them by my group's greatest enemies, the First and the Source who are two of the three joint leaders of the underworld," Xander answered, ignoring the shocked looks of some of the people in the room. "Yes the underworld does exist before any of you ask and demons also exist. My group and I are part of a wide range of defenders against them," he explained. "The charmed ones are another group of those defenders and have dealt with the Source and its minions many times," he added.

"Why have they decided to help Voldemort now?" Dumbledore asked, even if he had a suspicion as to why. "As far as I can remember they have been no mention of them in our history before and especially not in our last war with Voldemort," he stated.

"Because we are here," Alucard was the one who answered. "The First and the Source both want us dead and so they have decided to aid Voldemort in exchange for our deaths, correct Alexander?" he asked.

"That is correct," Xander said with a nod of his head. "Our war has just got bigger than ever before," he warned them. "Now before some of you start to panic, don't. I will be calling in a lot of our own allies who have a lot of experience in dealing with demons. So during any fights you can concentrate on the Death Eaters and Voldemort's other allies," he continued, hoping to reassure them. "Expect a certain degree of unease from some of my friends as they do not all like working with other races, but I can promise they will cause no harm to any of you," he stated.

"What about the Hellmouth?" Adrian asked with some concern. "Aren't we going to leave it undefended if we pull Buffy and the others here?" he asked again.

"Don't worry about it Adrian. The powers will put replacements there while they are helping us," Xander answered with a smile. "We will also be gaining nine more whitelighters who will help Madam Pomfrey in healing our wounded," he informed the others. "Sir Integra, I’m going to have to ask that you allow us to collect as many weapons and ammunition as you can spare for this war?" he said while turning to the head of the Hellsing organization.

"Considering the circumstances Alexander I will agree to this," Sir Integra replied after considering the matter. Considering the stakes now it may help bring this war to a close without too much blood being shed.

"Alex, are you and Tara sure about the number of demons we will be facing?" Prue asked as she stood up to face her friend.

"We are," Tara answered before Xander could. "And we are quite certain should he get anymore we'll be warned by our visions," she added.

"This changes things a lot," Harry mused, a little concerned by this new twist. "How dangerous are these demons?" he asked as he felt Fleur take a hold of one of his hands and Susan the other.

"It varies on the demon Harry, but considering who sent these demons then you can consider all of them very dangerous," Xander answered. "Alucard will you and Adrian see to getting the weapons and ammo?" he asked, turning to where the vampire stood.

"I will Alexander," Alucard nodded in agreement. "I will bring as much as we can spare, as well as tactical armor for all of us," he added.

"Leo, I’m going to need your help in gathering my friends, Tara, Lilith you're with me," Xander continued. "Janna I want you to start explaining our world to the others along with Sir Integra and the charmed ones, okay?" he added while moving to her side. "The less you travel the better for the baby," he gently reminded her as she went to protest. "We can't risk anything happen to it now," he added as she leant her head against his.

"I know Alex," Janna responded, hating that her pregnancy hampered her ability to help. "Just be careful," she added kissing him for a few seconds before letting him go.

"We'll be back soon," Xander told the others. "Listen to what you’re being told because if you come up against a demon it may save your life," he advised the gathered members. "You also better let our allies know of these new developments," he added. "We need to find Jack Crow and his team first Leo," Xander told the Whitelighter who nodded his head.

"We will Xander, don't worry," Harry assured him. "We'll see you soon," he added as Leo orbed the four out of the room before turning and began to write some letters for their allies.

+T+

(New Mexico)

Xander looked around the area they had just orbed into and noted there was a motel in front of them. He also noted the vans Jack and his team traveled in were parked in front of the place.

"Do you know which room he's in Leo?" Lilith asked as she looked around for any signs of a threat.

"It's the far one on the right," Leo answered, having gotten the information during his meeting with his bosses.

"Let’s go," Xander said, hoping Jack was in a good mood.

They all walked to the far end and Xander knocked as loud as he could on the door. He heard a few stray curses before it was yanked open and Jack Crow stood in front of him pointing a gun at his forehead.

"Hey Jack, how's it going?" Xander asked, ignoring the gun and smiled at the far more experienced hunter.

"What in the hell are you doing here kid?" Jack asked a little surprised to see the young man again. He also noted he had brought one of the Nosferatu with him as well as two new people he didn’t recognize from his last meeting with the kid.

"We need to talk Jack. We have a very big situation about to go down and we need you and your teams help," Xander answered.

Jack listened to the kids answer before looking the kid in the eyes and noting how serious he was. He nodded his head and put his gun in his belt before letting them in. Father Adam was watching from behind him and smiled in greeting.

"It's nice to see you father," Xander said as he shook the man’s hand. "You remember Lilith, right?" when both men nodded he turned to his other friends. "This is Tara and Leo, Tara is my wife and Leo is a Whitelighter," he added.

Father Adam Guiteau was very shocked to hear that the man in front of him was a Whitelighter, one of the cores of angels rumored to help in the war against the darkness. Although no one from the Vatican had seen any, at least none that had been written down.

"It's an honor to meet you," he said, shaking the man's hand before doing the same with Tara "Did you say you were married Alexander? But what happened to Janna?" he asked confused.

"She's fine father and her pregnancy is coming along nicely," Xander answered with a smile. "I will explain how Tara became my wife and everything else at another time because we have much more important things to discuss," he added.

"So let's hear it kid," Jack said, becoming more serious as he sat down as did everyone else.

Xander quickly laid down the whole situation concerning the war as well as what had led up to them and coming to the First and the Source's attention. He quickly gave them a rundown of how things stood resources wise as well as man power. When he finished he sat back against his seat and let the two men go over it in their heads.

"Damn kid you never do anything small do you?" Jack asked with a smirk. "So you want our help to take down these demons that have shown up to help this dark lord you mentioned, right?" he inquired.

"That's right Jack. You'll actually be in charge of the group who's assigned to taking on the demons," Xander responded, knowing his experience would help greatly in dealing with the demons. "If you are attacked by any of the Death Eaters or any of the other of the dark lord's allies you can shoot to kill. If they win they will rampage through our world torturing and murdering everyone they can. Most likely while your forces are distracted dealing with them, the demons and the vampires will attack too and may open the Hellmouth," he continued.

Jack and the father exchanged looks as they realized how important this fight was. If they lost the forces they were fighting would destroy everything they had been fighting to preserve and safeguard.

"We're in kid," Jack said after a few minutes. "And don't worry I'll make sure none of my team goes after any of your allies," he promised. "So who else are you gathering for this?" he asked as he sent the padre to wake up the men and inform them of what was going on.

"Both team Shadow and the Hellsing team stationed at the Hellmouth, as well as Kendra, Mr. Zabuto and Buffy and her group," he responded.

"Summers? You're kidding right?" Jack asked shocked to hear he was thinking of bringing the blond slayer into this after everything she had done.

"She's realized she made a huge mistake Jack and she's working very hard to make sure it never happens again," Xander informed him, having expected some surprise at bringing Buffy into this. "I'm not asking you to like or even trust her, but I am asking you to work with her," he added.

"Alright kid, but if she gets any of my team killed I'll put her down," Jack warned him with a frown.

"It'll never come to that Jack, I promise," Xander replied with far more confidence than he had before he had begun to fix things with Buffy. "Have a word with Wilson, he'll tell you what's happened since you were last in Sunnydale," he advised.

"I'll do that kid," Jack said as he moved to grab his gear. He knew he could count on Wilson to be honest with him. "If I’m going to lead this group in battle Summers better listen to me," he added as he put on his leather jacket.

"She will. Leo will you take team Crow back to headquarters and get them settled in? Oh and make sure they read this so they can get in. Jack you're coming with me to Sunnydale to get the others," Xander asked, turning to the Whitelighter and handing him a piece of paper with the address so that they could bypass the charms that hid the place.

"I will, hopefully the priest can keep the crew under control," he responded, knowing full well the reputation of the Vatican's top team before leaving.

They waited for ten minutes before Leo returned with shaking his head at something. He refused to say what had happened before orbing them out of the room.

+T+

(Sunnydale)

Xander looked around and noted Leo had orbed them into the Hellsing manor and noted William Blake and two of his team mates had their weapons locked on them.

"Surprise," Xander said, unable to resist making a joke.

"Very funny Alex," Blake sighed as he put his weapon down. "We almost blew your heads off," he added as he took in who else had arrived. "Jack Crow, it's a pleasure to meet you," as he recognized the man who stood to the left of Xander.

"I thought it was funny," Xander said as Tara tried to stifle her own laughter. Lilith just shook her head at him while Leo just smiled.

"What can we do for you?" Blake asked.

"First we have to get everyone else here, Jack will you collect Vincent and his team, I'll go and get Buffy, Kendra and the others," Xander replied.

"Sure thing Kid, I know where they are staying," Jack said and quickly headed out, putting his shades on as the sun glared down on him.

"Assemble you men for a briefing Blake," Xander said before leaving followed by Lilith and Tara while Leo opted to stay behind.

Xander walked calmly into Sunnydale High, ignoring the looks he received from the students who recognized him and headed for the library. When Principal Snyder tried to order them to leave he just told the man he had despised when he had attended the school to take a hike. He entered the library to find Buffy and the others, including Kendra and Mr. Zabuto, already seated around the table, causing him to sigh in relief that he wouldn't have to run around looking for them.

"Xander, when did you get back?" Willow asked, as she stood and walked over to give her friend a hug.

"We're not back, Wills. We have a very big problem and I need all of your help in dealing with it," Xander replied as he returned the hug. "It's more important than school, but I won't force you to come with me," he added, not wanting to force this choice on them. "Your choice," he said wanting to give them a chance to back out.

"How big is this thing Xan?" Buffy inquired.

"The biggest thing we have ever faced. If we fail then millions will lose their lives in the aftermath of our failure," Xander answered, his face showing how serious he was.

Buffy didn't hesitate and nodded her head that she was in. Kendra, Giles and Sam Zabuto followed a second later and then finally Willow, Oz and Cordelia also joined them.

"Then follow us," Xander said before turning and exiting the library, followed by the others. He again ignored Snyder who tried to threaten him, but the idiot quickly fled when Lilith got into his face and told she would gut him if he didn't shut up.

+T+

(Other Realm)

Cassandra watched as Alexander recruited Buffy and the others as quickly as possible and she was pleased he was indeed not taking anything lightly. She was amused at his attempt at a joke when they had arrived as she knew that at heart Alexander was a joker. Granted he had grown up a lot since this had all began and put behind some of his more humorous attitude, but every now again they would show up.

She watched as Alexander led the group back to the mansion meeting up with Jack Crow, Vincent Wilson and team Shadow as they came to the entrance of the mansion. Now once everyone had been briefed on the situation they could return to the magical world and start planning their next moves.

"Whistler take your group and begin your defense of the Hellmouth and make sure you keep a close eye on things," she heard her lord tell the balance demon who stood near the door.

"Yes my lord," Whistler said, bowing before leaving to lead his group which numbered twenty five, all of different skills and backgrounds to the Hellmouth.

"Do you think Whistler will encounter any serious threat while he is there my lord?" Tanith inquired.

"It is possible, but considering the group Whistler has brought together I think they can handle themselves," their lord answered with confidence. "Let us hope however that things go smoothly for Alexander and the others during this. As you all know in war anything can happen and it’s possible we will lose some of them," he said with a sigh, hating loosing good people but knowing it was necessary.

"Maybe my lord we will not lose as many as you think with the assistance of the whitelighters Alexander requested, as well as the potions of the magical world," Cassandra stated, hoping this was true because she knew if some of Alexander's group did die he would take the blame onto himself even after he had given them the choice.

The others nodded at this before they turned back to the viewing pool and watched as Alexander briefed the large group on what was going on and what had caused it.

+T+

(Sunnydale)

Xander sat back down once he had finished explaining everything he could about the situation. He had told them everything he could, including what led up to the First and the Source getting involved in the conflict. He had again made sure that they understood what would happen if they failed to stop Voldemort and his army. Now he waited for them all to think it over and make their choice.

He felt Tara and Lilith lean against him as they waited quietly for the others to say something. None of them were bothered to wait as it was a lot to take in.

"So this whole thing rests on the shoulders of a fifth-teen year old teenager?" Buffy asked in surprise. "And I thought my life was bad," she added with a sad shake of her head.

"You see Buffy you're not the only one who has a destiny out there," Xander told her gently. "Harry has fought this maniac time and again and he has managed to survive. This time will hopefully be the last time he has to do that," he added. "With our help I hope he'll have the shot he needs to destroy Voldemort once and for all and remove the threat he poses to both of our worlds forever," he continued.

"And he is now more of a threat than ever with help from the First and the Source," Tara spoke up. "That is why we need your help, because you are all experienced in dealing with demons and none of the witches and wizards have even seen a demon, let alone fought one," she informed them.

"I'm in kid you know that," Jack said as he lit a cigar, knowing there was no other choice. This threat had to be taken out and he was certain his superiors in the Vatican would agree if they knew.

"My team is with you as well," Vincent said, wanting to make sure this monster never got close to assaulting their world. The idea of the damage he would bring sent a shiver down his spine.

"Us as well kid," Blake said as Varsik just nodded his head looking forward to working with his master again.

"Buffy, you and the others have a harder choice to make. While you are here primary to deal with the demons there is a chance you will be attacked by the Death Eaters during the fight and if you are I’m telling you here and now the only way to deal with them is with everything you have and if that means killing them, do it," Xander told Buffy and the others. "They will not ignore you, they will torture you and then only after hours of pain kill you," he added, making himself very clear.

"That goes against everything the slayers are trained to believe Xander," Giles objected, not wanting to see Buffy or Kendra or even any of the others take a life.

"I'm sorry Giles, but there is no other option," Xander responded, understanding his protest but knowing there was no other choice if they wanted to survive the battle. "This is a war and as I have said before if we fail millions will die. Voldemort will make sure of that," he stressed.

Buffy and Kendra looked at each other as they both realized they may have to kill during this if they wanted to help make sure this horror was removed.

"Buffy, Kendra I know the idea is not something you like the sound of, but sometimes it is necessary to kill, especially when you are trying to protect others," Lilith advised them, seeing the conflict rage within them and tried to help. "Alexander had also had to face this choice and he now understands this," she added.

"It was not an easy thing for me to come to grips with, believe me, but if I had not done it people would have died, who didn’t deserve to die," Xander told them, hating even having to think of those times he had killed.

Buffy listened to Xander and Lilith talk, but she was still deeply conflicted but she was not going to be left behind. She would go and help stop this monster and that was final.

"I'll help Xander," she finally spoke, having made her decision. She saw no other option. It was her job to keep the world safe and she would not be left behind. Not when she had so much to make up for and she wanted to ensure her friends lived through the fight to come.

"In that case I’m also in," Giles stated, hoping Buffy had not made a mistake in joining this, but even then he understood the gravity of the situation at hand and what that meant to Buffy who was still trying to redeem herself in her own eyes after her failure during the Angelus crisis.

"I will also help Xander. This is a situation where everything we have fought to defend could be destroyed and I will not stand back and watch," Kendra said, having finally made up her own mind.

"You can count me in as well Alexander," Sam Zabuto said, having waited to see what his slayer would decide and he hadn’t been surprised by what she had said.

Willow, Cordelia and Oz all nodded their heads, unwilling to say anything but it was clear they too were in. Xander handed out the piece of paper with the address to their headquarters so they could get past the charms and once everyone had read it he had Leo begin to orb them in groups back to the magical world, praying they would come through this without suffering to many casualties.
20. Chapter 20
(12 Grimmauld Place, London)

Harry looked up as Leo orbed in more people. He was actually very pleased to know they would have more help for the coming fight. Ragnok and Aria had turned up for the meeting and they would have to go over the latest information. They too were watching the new arrivals noting some of them were teenagers like Harry and some were grown men. Harry noted there was also another Nosferatu amongst the group having seen his red eyes and the fangs when he smiled in greeting of Adrian, Seras and Alucard.

Finally Xander, Lilith and Tara were orbed in which signaled that everyone was now in attendance. Dumbledore had cast a couple of spells to increase the size of the living room so everyone could fit. Harry sat next to Susan and Fleur and waited for someone to start talking.

"Now that we are all here, I think we should catch up on what has happened in the last two days. Harry, please tell us how your meeting with the goblins went," Dumbledore said deciding to start things off.

"I think it's clear by Ragnok's presence how things went Professor," Harry replied with a slight glare at the old man who winced in response. "The goblins have joined us, and when this is over they will get everything we promised in return," he added, relenting somewhat on his tone. "They are currently searching for any evidence of Fudge's corrupt deals," he informed the others.

"And we have found quite a bit after searching through not only our records, but also the minister's secret second vault," Ragnok informed them all, interrupting Dumbledore who had been about to speak again. "We believe that it should be enough to remove not only Fudge, but some of his most strident allies including Umbridge and Malfoy," he added.

"That's great, because I think I know where we should fight Voldemort," Harry said with a smile. He had been thinking of where to fight Voldemort for a while, when he realized there is only one place the battle had to take place on, home ground as it were.

"And where is that Harry?" McGonagall asked, wondering what one of two of her favorite students was planning now.

"The one place Voldemort is obsessed over," Harry responded as if it should be obvious to everyone. "Hogwarts," he added as he noticed some of the confused looks on some of Order's faces. "It's the perfect place to fight him and his allies, using the castle as a base will be very useful especially to house our wounded," he added. “It basically gives us a home field advantage,” he stated confidently to which Xander nodded in agreement, seeing where Harry was going with this.

"Agreed Harry, Hogwarts has been used as a base of operations in the past, however you are forgetting that at the moment it is run by Umbridge and other ministry personnel," Dumbledore reminded the young man.

"With the goblins help we should be able to remove her without any real effort, but in case it doesn't we'll just have to retake the school by force. I'm sure the D.A. will help once they realize it is us," Harry shot back, not willing to have his idea shot down. "Once we have the school we should taunt Voldemort into attacking and once he is in position we make sure only one side walks away," he continued.

"Say for the minute we could do all that Harry,” Sirius spoke up as he absently rubbed his beard. “How would we stop Voldemort and his army leaving once they realize they've walked into a trap?" Sirius asked liking the idea of wiping Voldemort and his army out in one fight.

"I have a very good plan for that and I know exactly who can carry it out without being seen," Harry replied with a wide smile.

"Well please don't leave us in suspense," Remus said with a smile of his own, knowing Harry must have come up with something good.

"We will place anti traveling wards all around the school and the surrounding areas," Harry explained. "As for who will do this job that should be obvious," he added again with a grin.

"Harry… no you can't," Hermione objected as she pieced together what Harry was planning. She was shocked he would purpose such a thing.

"I'm sorry Hermione, but I have to. Dobby and the other house elves are the only ones who can get in and out without anyone paying them any attention," Harry shot back with a strained smile, not really wanting to put Dobby and the others in this position but he knew no one else could do it.

"Who is Dobby?" Xander inquired with a confused expression which was shared by many in the room who were not part of the magical world.

"Dobby is a house elf I met during my second year. He helped save mine and Ginny's lives during the heir of Slytherin scare we had," Harry answered fondly as he remembered those events. Ignoring the fact Dobby had almost killed him by accident with a rogue bludger. "He is of the same race as Kreacher who you've seen walking about this house," he explained. "House elves are sadly basically treated like slaves by most humans. However I've learned there is much more to them than meets the eye," he stated.

"Ok so now we can make sure once Voldemort and his army have arrived that they can't leave," Alucard said with a cold smile. "The question becomes how do we lure him in?" he asked quite impressed by the plan Harry had put forward.

"The best way will be to taunt him and challenge his power," Harry answered.

"We could also make him believe there is something at Hogwarts that he could use to achieve his goal of immortality," Dumbledore put in, also impressed with the plan so far, he put away any problems he saw with the plan and the urge to object. He was no longer in any position to lead here and he decided to trust in Harry.

“Wouldn’t he already know if Hogwarts had something like that within its walls headmaster?” Fleur inquired thoughtfully.

“I doubt it my dear. He knows I would never tell Severus all of my plans and secrets,” Dumbledore answered. “He knows I would keep something like that to myself,” he added.

"We can discuss that sort of thing later. What I think we should do first is bring our new allies up to date and then discuss battle tactics and how we should meet the enemy should we succeed in luring them in," Harry said.

Everyone else agreed and they began explaining the events to the newcomers from the start so that they could grasp the full scope of the war they had stepped into.

+T+

(Other Realm)

Cassandra, Tanith, Jonas and their lord watched as the meeting progressed, they were pleased to see the newcomers settle in quickly to their new environment.

"And so they finally turn their minds to the fight," their lord said. "They will have to plan carefully from this point on," he added.

"True my lord however Harry's plan to use Dobby and his fellow house elves to trap Voldemort and his army in place is a good start," Cassandra responded.

"I agree," Jonas spoke up with a nod of his head. "The real problem is now combining their forces to be effective in the coming fight," he added with a frown.

"I think if they keep themselves calm and do not let the stress of what they are trying to do get to them they will be able to do that and more," Tanith stated with some confidence. "I think there will be some slight tension between Jack Crow and Buffy Summers, but they should be able to put it behind them in face of what they are trying to do," he added.

The others nodded their heads at this. They were all hoping Alexander, Harry and the rest of their allies could stop Voldemort, but sadly they all knew they might fail and all they could do was hope it didn’t come to that.

+T+

(12 Grimmauld Place, London)

Silence continued to settle over the enlarged living room as the newcomers absorbed everything that had been said. They could all see just how big this was and what failure would mean for both worlds. Buffy and Kendra both still looked unsure about the idea that they may have to kill in this fight, but they were both determined to be a part of this fight.

Jack Crow was staring out of one of the windows going through plans and strategy that may give them a jump during the upcoming fight. He was still a little worried about working with Buffy Summers, but he knew he had to put that aside for now and concentrate on the problem at hand. Beside him Vincent Wilson and William Blake were also going through ideas to help and to give them an edge while their men thought how pleased they were to be chosen to be a part of something so big.

"Okay I think now that everyone knows what we are up against, we should see what we've managed to achieve in the last two days," Xander said as he stood up. "Harry has worked very hard to gain some allies and we are joined in this by the Veela and the Goblins," he added. "Their representatives will have full access to our plans and help us plan for the fight ahead," he told the large group, having agreed on this with Harry beforehand.

"We also have news to report," Alucard interrupted as he stood, gaining everyone’s attention.

"Did you manage to get any of the vampires to join us?" Harry inquired not really believing any of them would actually join them against Voldemort.

"We managed to convince five of the clans to join us in return for a bit of land and being left in peace after the war," Alucard replied and smirked as Harry and most of the other witches and wizards gaped in shock at the news. "This gives us more options for Harry's plans of a battle staged at Hogwarts," he informed them.

"It does indeed," Dumbledore nodded in agreement, even as he felt shocked that any of the vampires would agree to leave the dark lords service. "I will point out one of the main problems we will face during any fight is the Giants and Dementors Voldemort has in his service," he reminded many.

"The Giants may not be much of a problem professor as we have brought some weapons that will take them down quickly," Adrian put in. "We'll just need a good line of sight to use them," he added.

"What about the Dementors?" Jessica asked unable to stop herself from shivering at the idea of facing these fearsome creatures. "Considering the effect they had on Harry, Alexander and Tara I do not believe they will be so easy to remove," she continued.

"There are plenty of us who can cast the patronus charm," Moody answered. "Still that will make us vulnerable when we are casting it," he added frowning not liking the down side.

"Is there any other weakness of these creatures?" Piper inquired, trying not to shiver at the mere thought of them.

"Not that we know of," Kingsley said with a shake of his head.

"Alright Hermione I want you and a couple of others researching the Dementors," Harry said turning to his friend who quickly nodded. "If we can retake Hogwarts the library there will be a lot of help considering some of the tomes there are very old," he added.” Leo do you think your bosses might be able to help in this?" he asked, turning towards the whitelighter.

"I'm afraid not Harry," Leo replied with a sad shake of his head. "They have gone as far as they are allowed by allowing us to use nine of my fellow whitelighters for this war," he added, truly wishing this wasn’t the case.

"There is a chance the Book of Shadows might have something that could aid us," Prue spoke up thinking quickly.

"What is the Book of Shadows?" Hermione asked with an interested look at the witch.

"It's the family tome of our line and has been used for years in the fight against the demons," Prue answered with a smile having taken note of the interested look in the younger girl’s eyes. "It is very possible one of our ancestors visited the magical world and encountered these things and left some information on them," she continued. "We'll check it once we are finished here," she said glancing at her sisters.

"There also may be an answer in the underworld, I could take a quick look," Cole put in, knowing Phoebe wouldn’t like this idea.

"No Cole," Phoebe immediately countered. "The First and the Source are now involved in this and I doubt you'd be able to slip in and out without being detected," she continued.

"She's right Cole," Xander cut in before a small argument could erupt. "It's too dangerous even if there was something down there," he added thoughtfully. "The underworld is most likely on full alert until this is over, one way or the other," he sighed.

Cole looked at Phoebe and then Xander before reluctantly nodding his head in agreement. He couldn't fault either's point of view, but he considered his plan worth the risk if he could indeed find something to use against these creatures, but he wouldn’t go against what Phoebe had said. He knew the consequences of such an act, thanks to the tape Xander had shown them from the alternate sisters he had met during his journey through dimensions.

"What about the Werewolves?" Mundungus asked a little jumpy at the idea of fighting the savage creatures ignoring a pointed look from Remus.

"The Werewolves are easy to counter if we can conjure enough silver weapons. However I’m hoping it is possible we might be able to convince some of them to help us," Harry answered standing and joining Xander.

"How do you figure you can do that Harry?" Sirius asked, quite pleased with the plans so far.

"At the moment they are allies to Voldemort because of their leader Fenrir Greyback who is a member of his inner circle," Harry explained carefully. "I’m thinking if we kill him some of them may be willing to leave Voldemort’s service and join us," he went on.

"And how do we accomplish this Harry?" Amelia inquired, very interested in this as she knew firsthand the damage Greyback had caused in his life.

"We first locate where they are camped and then we send someone to assassinate him. We could use a sniper rifle loaded with a silver bullet," Harry answered. "Or someone with a bow and a silver arrow," Xander said a second later quickly following Harry’s view point.

Murmuring broke out as Harry and Xander answered Amelia's question. He could tell some of the Order were not happy with his idea of dealing with Greyback, obviously agreeing with Dumbledore's belief of just stunning them and putting them in prison.

He shook his head unable to understand how anyone could protest taking the monster down permanently after the chaos he had caused, not just during the first war but also in the intervening years and now once again he had joined Voldemort to wage war. He looked to where Dumbledore sat and while he could tell the old man didn’t quite agree with this idea he was willing to keep his protests to himself, which pleased him and settled some of the left over anger he still harbored against the man.

"I'll do it," Remus said, standing up with a cold look in his eyes.

Silence quickly descended after Remus had spoken and everyone could tell the man meant what he had said. Every member of the Order knew who had bitten Remus as a child, turning him into a Werewolf, and they all knew the hatred he felt towards that individual.

"I'll go with him. I don't like the idea of killing anyone, but if this guy is making the Werewolves want to fight I’m all for stopping him," Oz spoke up even as he tried to control the surge of sickness his choice made him feel.

Oz’s sudden choice to go with Remus stunned Willow and Buffy gasped in surprise as did Cordelia, who never expected the calm, often silent musician to make such a choice. Giles let out a sigh at this, but knew Remus would have more chance of succeeding in his goal if he had help, as both were Werewolves he was confident they could get close to this Greyback without too much trouble. Kendra and Zabuto exchanged a look between themselves. They understood there was no turning back now.

"This will be dangerous Oz, but considering you are both Werewolves that may give you an advantage," Xander said, not liking this in the least but knowing it had to be done. "Alucard do we have any weapons for this kind of job?" he asked, turning to face the vampire.

"We do, we also have silver bullets for dealing with Werewolves," Alucard answered. "I will train them both to handle the weapon while we locate where they are hiding," he added.

"So your friend is also a Werewolf?" Ron asked, frowning slightly having thought the newcomers were all normal humans.

"Yes he is," Willow answered, shaken out of her shock by the boy’s tone as he said the word Werewolf. "Do you have a problem with that?" she asked with a frown at the red headed boy.

Ron just shook his head and focused on the floor. He didn’t like the cold blooded plan Harry had put forward. Yes he knew exactly what kind of man Greyback was and what he had done to many people, but he believed in Dumbledore's way of dealing with the enemy and that was by putting them in prison where they belonged. He wondered why the professor was not arguing with Harry over this.

"Okay now we need to plan how to retake Hogwarts, but before we do that Ragnok would you please tell us what you found on Fudge and also if you have any ideas how we can present this evidence to the people without being arrested?" Harry said turning to the Goblin.

+T+

(Riddle Manor)

Voldemort looked over his followers who were busy watching the arrival of their new demon allies. He could see one or two of his followers shiver as they observed the demons. He smiled in anticipation of unleashing his new followers against his enemies, he sat back in his throne as he thought on how to use them best.

He knew he had to be careful until he had found a way to deal with the first evil, he wanted full control over these demons and he knew he wouldn’t have that until he had removed the spirit who had appeared before him. For now he was content to fulfill his part of the agreement and kill these new allies of Potter considering what they had done to his vampire followers and he knew at least two of them had been a part of the ambush at the Bones manor four months before.

Finally all the demons had arrived and his followers all turned back to face him. He smiled darkly as he indicated for Lucius to come forward and his smile widened at the man's hesitant walk.

"Lucius has there been any sightings of Potter since you put your plan into action?" he asked with a veiled threat in his voice that everyone could pick on.

"No my lord," Lucius replied, trying not to sweat as he answered because he knew his plan to draw the Potter brat out of hiding had failed.

"Crucio," Voldemort snapped, pointing his wand at the blond Death Eater who crumpled to the ground and began screaming in pain. "Your plan seems to have failed," he said standing and then stopping the curse.

"It might yet succeed my lord," Lucius managed to reply, but remained on the floor hoping to stop any further punishment.

Voldemort shook his head and sent another Crucio at the man who again screamed in pain until he lifted the curse. "I think not Lucius. Potter is not as stupid as you seem to believe he is. Bella… as promised he is yours to use just don't kill him, I have a mission for him later," he said turning to his most faithful follower who bowed before grabbing the fallen Malfoy and dragging him away from the gathering.

"Severus, prepare to launch raids on the families of those who are allies with Dumbledore and Potter," he ordered, turning to the former spy.

"At once my lord," Snape bowed in response and quickly began to set up small attack forces hoping to cause as much damage as he could to Potter and the Order's morale.

Voldemort sat back down and wondered where Potter was hiding. He could no longer get inside the boys head and while this wasn’t a large problem it did mean he could no longer cause the boy pain over the link they had once shared.

+T+

(12 Grimmauld Place, London)

"That's quite a lot of information you've been able to locate," Aria said with a smile at the Goblin as he sat back down. "However we still have the problem of getting this information to the public and hoping it does some good in removing Fudge and his allies," she said.

"Indeed, if we tried to take it to the Wizengamot we would immediately be arrested by Fudge and of course let us not forget the Death Eaters who are still members of the Wizengamot," Dumbledore said with a sigh, knowing that was mostly thanks to his own failings.

"What about sending it to the Daily Prophet?" Ginny asked, as she thought over the problem.

"They would not be able to publish it due to the ministry's grip on the paper," Bill countered shaking his head.

"We could send it to the Quibbler, they would publish it. The Ministry doesn't bother to keep an eye on it," Ginny said with a smile as she thought of her friend Luna who she missed a lot. "I’m sure Mr. Lovegood would help us," she added.

"No offense to Luna or her father Ginny, but most people do not read the Quibbler and even those who do read it do not believe half of what it says," Harry said in response, smiling as he thought of his friend Luna who was still at Hogwarts, as was Neville.

Ginny reluctantly nodded her head at this as she could not really argue against it. She sat back against her chair and continued to try and think of ways to get this information out.

"I do have one suggestion to make which may help, but it might also alert Voldemort to our alliance with you," Ragnok spoke up, having listened quietly to what has been said.

"What is your idea?" Sir Integra inquired, taking note of all the plans so far so she could go over them and see if there was any way to improve them.

"Gringotts could send out this information for you to as many of our customers as we can. Of course by doing this we run the risk of a direct confrontation with not just Voldemort but also the Ministry as well if they find out about this," Ragnok answered.

"That's a very big risk," Harry said with a slight frown, but was impressed they had offered to do this.

"I doubt Voldemort would make a move considering he's still trying to keep a low profile until he is ready to unleash his army," he continued. "But I wouldn't put it past the Ministry to try and either take over Gringotts or worse shut you down," he added.

"Would Fudge really risk a course of action which could lead to a war with the Goblins? Considering he doesn't know we are now allies things are still the same to him as they were a month or so ago?" Emmeline asked.

"He may," Dumbledore replied knowing Fudge’s paranoia knew no bounds. "If he really believes it is the only way to continue holding onto his power," he added. "That is and always has been his major concern," he reminded the others. "He will do whatever he believes is necessary to remain minister," he continued, using his knowledge of the politician to make the others understand what Fudge would do.

"We can't ask you to do this Ragnok without your peoples consent, so I will ask that you discuss this with the rest of the parliament and whatever they decide we will abide by it," Harry told the Goblin.

Ragnok nodded his head in agreement, very pleased with Harry's response as he continued to show him he had meant what he had said when he had come to Gringotts to gain their aid. "I will return when I have their response," he told the room before heading to the fireplace to use the floo to leave.

"Is there anything else that needs to be discussed right now?" Xander asked, looking around the room.

No one said anything so the meeting was broken up until Ragnok returned with the Goblin parliaments answer. Xander turned and walked over to where Remus and Oz were now talking with Alucard, joined a few seconds later by Harry.

Prue asked Leo to go and get the Book of Shadows so they could check it for any mention of Dementors. The whitelighter nodded and left, quickly returning with the book. The sisters sat down at a nearby table and began to look through the book joined quickly by Hermione, Susan and Fleur who were all interested in learning about the charmed ones branch of magic.

Jack, Vincent, William and their teams all gathered together and began going through tactics and the best way to deal with so many demons.

The rest of the enlarged group broke up into separate groups discussing events to come and putting forward ideas to help them survive.

+T+

(Other Realm)

Cassandra was quite impressed with the plans that were put forward. Harry's idea in dealing with the Werewolf Greyback, while cold blooded, did have the advantage of surprise and considering the alternatives she could come up with this would be the best way of taking Greyback out of the fight.

Alexander was pushing away his natural aversion to placing his friends in dangerous situations as was Harry and this would serve them well when the war finally erupted into open battle. She looked over to see Tanith and Jonas already discussing what had been said during the meeting, turning she noticed her lord was deep in thought, obviously wishing he could aid them more but knowing they could not disobey their orders.

"Things are quickly rushing to a head," their lord finally spoke. "Both sides are almost ready to move. I just hope Harry and Alexander can launch their own plans before Voldemort decides he has enough forces to strike," he added.

"I don’t believe he will strike until he believes he has enough forces to overwhelm any force," Cassandra responded. "That is why I believe Harry will have to goad him into a fight. The Death Eaters are used to having an advantage when they attack and while the forces they have are large the loss of five of the vampire clans will cause them to be cautious I believe," she continued.

"And if they are successful in taking Greyback out and gaining the support of some of the Werewolves then I think it will cause them to hold back even more," Tanith joined in the conversation.

Their lord looked thoughtful at their views before nodding his head and focusing on the viewing pool again. The others looked between each other hoping they were right before doing the same.

+T+

(Riddle Manor)

Voldemort looked up as his followers returned far too quickly from their raids and from what he could tell none of them looked like they had been in any kind of altercation.

"My lord," Avery said nervously next to Snape and Rudolphus Lestrange, both knew this meeting was not going to go well.

"Speak Avery," Voldemort commanded, wondering what was wrong, although he could tell by their nervous twitching they were afraid of his response to whatever they had to tell him.

"None of the raiders were successful my lord. All of the targets were gone from their homes," Avery said becoming fearful of his master's response. "It looks like they were all moved, most likely as soon as Severus was discovered as a spy I would say," he added, awaiting the backlash.

Voldemort's eyes locked on the three Death Eaters in front of him as he stood up enraged that he had missed out on an opportunity to deal a blow to the Order. He snarled as he sent a ‘Crucio’ to all three, making sure to keep the curse on them for three minutes each.

"Find where their families have been hidden or one of you is going to die," he ordered, his tone broking no argument. "Go," he shouted, causing all three Death Eaters to run from him.

He sat back down and began to listen to the screams of Lucius Malfoy as Bellatrix continued to torture him. He cursed the old man and Potter for their luck in uncovering Severus as his spy. He needed to find out what they were planning, but he had no clear way of doing that at the moment. He decided to see if there was any way to reopen his link with the boy and so stood up to head to his library to research the possibility.

+T+

(Lower Realm)

The First and the Source watched as Voldemort continued to make his plans, both wishing the dark lord would just attack and get it over with. If it was one thing both entities hated it was waiting. They hoped that the dark lord would remember their agreement and deal with Harris and his allies. If he did not then they would have to make sure they were dealt with in another fashion and plans were already put into motion for that event.
21. Chapter 21
(12 Grimmauld Place, London)

Xander sat in the corner of his room with his eyes closed as he thought things over. He knew he was taking a risk by pulling so many of the best defenders against the darkness into this, but he couldn’t see any other way to combat this threat. With the First and the Source getting involved he knew Harry and his allies couldn’t win without their help, but it was still a risk.

He felt Tara's calming touch over the bond as she sensed his thoughts. He smiled as he allowed her to change his thoughts to something more pleasant and soon he began to fall asleep.

Tara smiled as she felt Alexander fall asleep. She had become worried by his constant worry about the risks of this fight. She shared some of his concerns considering what could happen once they engaged their enemies, but it was still the right thing to do and he and Harry had done everything they could to ensure they would not suffer to many casualties. Alexander was just allowing his fears to get the better of him for the moment, she knew it wouldn’t last and Alexander would push those fears to the side and once again concentrate on the situation at hand.

Harry looked over to where Remus and Oz were still talking to Alucard about taking Greyback out. He was concerned about the mission he had put forward, but he knew it was the best idea removing a threat such as Greyback and maybe to give some of the other Werewolves a chance at changing sides.

Another thought had begun to form in his mind concerning what the Whitelighters could do and how far their healing ability could go, finally he got up and went looking for Leo. He found the whitelighter talking with the sisters, Hermione, Fleur and Susan as they looked through the book they had mentioned.

"Leo, can I have a quick word?" he asked as they all turned to look at him.

"Sure Harry," Leo replied wondering what the young man wanted. "Is there something wrong?" he asked as they walked into the next room.

"I was just wondering how extensive your gift in healing is?" Harry inquired, wondering if he should even be asking this right now in the middle of a war, but the idea would not leave him and so he pushed on.

"I can heal almost anything bar fatal wounds," Leo replied, wondering where he was going with this.

"One of the worst curses in our world is the Cruciatus curse, the pain curse," Harry informed him. "If it's used long enough it can drive a person insane or cause enough damage that the person becomes locked inside their own minds," he continued to explain to the whitelighter. "I was wondering if your gift could heal such a person or more?" he asked.

Leo took all of this on board and quickly thought it through, he knew the powers of the Whitelighters could heal a lot of things, but he was not too sure about this however he didn’t see the harm in trying.

"I'm not too sure Harry, but we can try, exactly who it is you want healed?" he finally replied.

"The parents of one of my friends, the Longbottoms, they were attacked just after Voldemort vanished after the first war by some of his most rabid followers wanting to know where he was," Harry answered as he recalled seeing Alice Longbottom at St.Mungo’s. "Neville, their son, is a very good wizard, at least once he got some confidence behind him and like me has never met his parents and I was thinking maybe we could change that, at least for him," he added sadly, feeling a deep pain because he knew he would never be able to meet his parents until he died and he had no wish to do that for a very long time.

Leo nodded his head as he heard the answer and hearing the pain Harry was trying to hide as he explained what it was he wanted he wasn’t surprised to see Fleur come out of the kitchen and pull Harry into a hug. He watched as Harry leaned into the hug of the girl he was bonded with and began to relax, it was a sight that warmed him and made him think of his own wife Piper.

"As I said I don't know if it will work, but we can try Harry," Leo said finally as the two teens broke apart.

"We'll take a small group to St.Mungo's tonight to see if it will work, I hope it does," he said with a small smile as he turned and walked off, followed by Fleur.

Leo just smiled at the way Harry wanted to help his friend, seeing why his leaders wanted to help them so much that they would allow ten Whitelighters to aid them. He decided to make sure to bring another whitelighter with them for the trip as he began to think of what they would be trying to do. He then turned and went back to where Piper and the others were still going over the Book of Shadows, he leaned down and kissed her before taking a seat and just listening to what was been discussed.

+T+

(Other Realm)

Cassandra was very touched by what Harry wished to do for his friend and it showed just how much of a caring person he was even after all of the darkness he had faced. She was as unsure as Leo if the Longbottoms could be healed, but she also did not see a reason not to try.

Shifting back to what Alexander had been thinking she was concerned to see him plagued by doubts once again, but she knew he would not allow them to get in the way of what needed to be done. Tara was helping him through them and hopefully by the time the fight came he would be finally over them. She was also pleased to see how much the different groups seemed to be blending in and beginning to work as a whole. They had accepted the leadership of Harry and Alexander who themselves were relying on their most experienced allies for help in their planning.

The plans Harry had started for trying to gain the support of some of the Werewolves was dangerous, but then again so was the target, Fenrir Greyback. He had caused huge amounts of damage since he became a Werewolf and had shown no remorse for any of it. She couldn’t fault any of them for wanting to remove him from the fight. She didn't know if the plan would work the way Harry hoped it would, but they had to try. The ministry had caused much harm to the different races in the magical world by their cruel laws to keep them under control and it would take years for Harry and his allies to change that if they managed to defeat Voldemort and his army.

"My lord should we allow Harry to execute another living being?" Jonas asked obviously concerned about where this path could lead.

"You once again forget that they are at war," their lord replied with a slight frown. "In war sometimes you have to do something no matter how cold it seems to ensure you win," he reminded them all. "Harry now knows this as so does Alexander and we should have faith that once this war is over the bloodshed will end," he stated.

"Yes my lord," Jonas nodded still looking concerned, but willing to trust their lord's words. Granted they all knew while there would be a brief time of peace, war would always return as evil never rested.

"I wonder if the Longbottoms can be healed," Tanith wondered out loud. "I know Whitelighters can heal a lot of injuries and illnesses but this is something that's never been tried before," he added with a frown.

"True, but we will find out when they attempt to heal them tonight," Cassandra responded. "Harry hopes to give his friend back his parents even as he tries to forget that he will never have such a chance given to him," she added feeling her own sadness for the young wizard.

"Sadly not," their lord agreed with a small sad smile. "But his parents watch over him even now, he just doesn’t realize it," he continued. "Maybe if they are successful fate will allow Harry to have a brief meeting with them as a reward considering everything he has been put through in his life," he mused.

The others all nodded their heads. Each agreeing that Harry deserved such a gift, they turned back to the viewing pool to see Alexander had woken from his brief rest and was now seated with Harry and Leo and they were discussing their new mission as Ragnok returned from his meeting with the Goblin parliament.

+T+

(12 Grimmauld Place, London)

Xander looked up as the fireplace floo system activated and Ragnok returned. He wondered what the Goblins had decided to do concerning distributing the evidence of the corruption of Fudge and his allies to the people.

The Goblin quickly took a place at the table as a few more people, including Dumbledore, Amelia and Sir Integra, joined them. Xander sent a quick summons to Tara over the bond for her to collect Lilith and Janna and join them which they quickly did a few minutes later.

"So Ragnok what did the parliament decide?" Xander inquired, just before Harry could speak up.

"The parliament has decided to send the information out using a sub company only my people know we own. It will be sent to as many people as we can," Ragnok replied. "We can be sure that some will ignore it, but others especially those who are truly against Voldemort but are too scared to act will not accept such corruption in their leaders," he added with a smirk.

"When will this begin Ragnok?" Harry asked, quite pleased by this news and hoping that it would remove Fudge from power and aid them when the time came to fight Voldemort and his army.

"It will begin tomorrow Lord Potter and continue until two days later," Ragnok answered again. "The first to receive this information will be all of the local newspapers and information stations on the Wizarding Wireless," he continued.

"This are very good news and should evoke an immediate response from the people," Amelia responded to this with a smile as Fleur and Susan entered the room. "Harry, I think we should plan for you to make an appearance on the last day of this move, maybe they will be willing to listen to you by then," she added.

"Maybe," Harry responded, not entirely convinced that would be a good move but seeing the logic behind it. "I'll do it if our spies in the Ministry can tell us this is having a big enough effect, okay?" he finally decided after running the idea through his head a few times.

"I think that is a very sensible idea, Harry," Dumbledore agreed, pleased he was thinking the matter over carefully. This more than anything made him realize how wrong he had been in ignoring Harry’s growing skills and abilities. "We can ill afford to have you sent back to Azkaban, because as we know Cornelius will arrange an accident to happen to take you out of the picture entirely after this kind of attack," he added frowning at the idea.

"I agree. This is likely to evoke a strong reaction from Fudge as well as the people," Amelia concluded, knowing Albus wasn’t understating matters here. Fudge was capable of anything.

"Maybe so Aunt Amelia, but the more Fudge tries to hold on to his power and the more aggressive he is in doing this, the more the people will object to it," Susan said.

"I agree with Susan," Janna said with a nod of her head. "If Fudge tries to crack down on the people with aggression they will rebel eventually it is the lesson of history," she added to which many nodded in agreement.

“Janna is correct,” Alucard spoke up. “I have seen it many times in my long life, brutality by ones leaders will always end in revolution,” he stated.

The others all nodded in agreement at this, history had indeed shown that repressed people would revolt and try and overthrow a corrupt and repressive government.

"Then all we can do for now is wait for this to take effect with the people and continue to plan for our eventual fight with Voldemort and his army," Sir Integra spoke up again writing down what was going on. "Harry, do you really think our best bet of fighting him is at Hogwarts?" she asked, facing the teen wizard.

"Yes I do," Harry replied. "Voldemort is obsessed with it and with anything to do with the founders," he explained as Prue and her sisters joined them.

"I have to agree. Tom once came to me to ask to become the new defense against the dark arts teacher just before the first war," Dumbledore informed the group, surprising many of his fellow magicians. This wasn’t something they had ever heard before. "I didn’t trust his motives or anything else he had to say considering what I had been able to find out about his activities at the time and so I refused his request. He went on to curse the position which has held all these years," he explained. "If we can retake the school and provoke him enough he will come," he finished.

"One question Harry," Fleur inquired with a worried look at her lover. "Voldemort has been beaten before, but he didn’t die, how come and what will happen this time?" she asked.

"I do believe Voldemort has found a very powerful spell which prevents his soul from been claimed after his body is destroyed, leaving him able to possess people as he did with Professor Quirrell during Harry's first year at Hogwarts," Dumbledore answered before Harry could as he had given this problem a great deal of thought since the end of the first war.

"Then we need to come up with a way to counter it so his soul can be claimed," Harry shot back.

“Wouldn’t we first need to know what kind of spell or ritual he used in the first place?” Fleur pointed out.

“Yes we would and I’m certain the answer will be in the Hogwarts library, if he found something like this it had to be there,” Dumbledore said confidently.

"We may be able to help here Harry. Sadly our Book of Shadows has no mention of the Dementors, but we can summon the Angel of Death himself to help us deal with Voldemort if you kill his body," Prue spoke up. "You see if Death can’t claim a soul when someone dies it messes up the great cosmic balance. If Voldemort managed to escape this fate last time death will be after any chance to claim his soul," she added even as she tried to repress her memories of actually meeting the Angel of Death as they were not pleasant ones. They had for a time haunted her and it was only with her sisters’ help that she had put them behind her.

Silence settled quickly after Prue finished talking, the idea of summoning Death himself to aid them was quite chilling to some of the group. Harry however pushed that aside as he saw it as a sure way of finally ridding not only himself and his friends of this menace, but the world as well.

"Well we'll summon him when we are closer to the time, thanks for the great idea," Harry said with a smile at the three sisters who smiled back at him. "Professor, I think you should try and research the spell Voldemort used to do this and how to reverse it," he added. “The answer may not lie sorely in Hogwarts,” he pointed out.

"Agreed Harry, the Black family library has many books that may hold the answer,” Dumbledore conceded. “However if it is not here then I’m certain the answer will be at Hogwarts,” he stated.

"Okay now tonight Harry wants to take a small group to St.Mungo's to try and cure the Longbottom family with help from Leo and another of his fellow Whitelighters," Xander said, filling the others in on Harry's new idea.

"Is that even possible?" Amelia, who had known both Frank and Alice Longbottom when they were Aurors in the first war, asked shocked to the core by the very idea.

"As I told Harry I don’t know, but Mandy and I are willing to try and see if we can bring them back," Leo answered, still unsure whether this was possible or not.

"I think it's worth the effort," Harry stated with a determined expression on his face.

"I have to agree," Xander said with a smile which was shared by many at the table. "These people gave everything to the defeat of Voldemort in the first war according to Moody and if we can somehow bring them back I think we owe it to them to try," he added. "They deserve to have a chance to see their son, to get to know him and see how far he has come," he finished, noting the sad smile Harry had on his face and the fact that both Fleur and Susan were leaning against him trying to cheer him up.

The others all nodded their head in agreement with this, Dumbledore was very impressed with the idea that Harry had put forward. He really hoped it was possible to bring the Longbottoms back from the damage that had been inflicted on them during the attack by the Lestrange's and Crouch Junior as they had been very good people.

"Is there anything else to put forward at this moment?" Amelia asked, and then nodded when no one spoke. "I will inform Aria of this and see if any of our people have located the camp where Greyback is hiding at," she told them before getting up and leaving the room.

"Harry, who will you take with you tonight?" Xander asked his friend as he felt Janna rest her head against his shoulder.

"Just me, Leo, Mandy, Moody and Dumbledore," Harry responded as calmly as he could. "I'm taking Moody and Dumbledore because one, Frank and Alice both knew them and trusted them and two just in case we get into trouble," he added as Sirius and Remus entered the room.

"Harry, Amelia has just told us what you intend to do tonight," Sirius began somewhat nervously. "There is something I want to add to this that concerns you," Sirius told his godson.

"What is it Sirius?" Harry inquired, wondering what his godfather and friend were talking about.

"Alice Longbottom is your godmother Harry," Sirius replied, hoping this news didn’t impact Harry to hard. "She was Lily's best friend at Hogwarts since second year," he added.

"They remained very firm friends even after they left Hogwarts and they both gave birth in the same ward only days apart and named each other the godmother of their sons," Remus continued, a little worried how Harry would take this news.

Harry was shocked into silence as Sirius informed him of his connection to Alice Longbottom. He shook his head as he tried to focus on this fact but found it difficult. He had only wondered once if he had a godmother and that was just before the end of his third year at Hogwarts just after saving Sirius's life, but no one had ever said anything about it and so he had forgotten to ever ask.

He wondered if Neville or his grandmother had even known about this fact and if they had, why hadn't they told him? He felt Fleur's calm presence over the bond soothing his rush of nerves and confusion. He also felt Susan holding onto his left hand and squeezing it every now and then to convey her concern.

"Why did no one ever say anything?" he finally asked, not in anger as some would have expected but genuine confusion.

"I'm sorry Harry, but considering the condition of them at the time it never occurred to me to inform you of it. I saw no reason to confront you with yet another lost family member even though there was no blood connection," Dumbledore sighed as he answered, feeling yet another of his decisions come back to haunt him. "You would have seen Alice as family Harry and I didn’t want you to become depressed about her condition as young Neville is," he added, gently hoping Harry would understand this.

"I'm sad to say Harry it completely slipped my mind, but considering I've been on the run since I escaped Azkaban and I usually try not to think of all the friends I've lost," Sirius told him with a sad smile. "The only ones I like to remember are James and Lily because of how close we were," he added.

"I have to say it was the same for me Harry, also some of the others would not have known this because Lily and Alice wanted to keep it as quite as possible, considering we all believed there was a traitor in the order at the time," Remus informed him.

Harry nodded his head at these answers and he could not really argue with any of them, not even Dumbledore's. He closed his eyes and tried to not think of what his life could have been like if the Longbottoms had raised him alongside Neville, again he felt both Fleur and Susan try and comfort him. He opened his eyes and gave everyone a small smile and a nod as this mission now took on a more personal aspect.

"I understand and I don’t blame any of you. We'll head to Saint Mungo's in three hours," Harry finally said. "We'll meet here then," he added before standing and heading to one of the bedrooms, followed by Fleur and Susan.

"Do you think he will be alright?" Lilith asked a little worried about how this news would affect Harry.

"I believe he will be," Sirius answered as he took a seat at the table. "Especially if his plan succeeds and they manage to heal Frank and Alice," he added.

"Still it must have been a blow to learn there was another out there that may have been able to care for him had this not happened," Xander mused as he thought over what he knew of Harry's history.

"Sadly yes," Dumbledore agreed with a sad look in his eyes. "Again I’m confronted with my own mistakes," he added with a tired look on his face. "But I will somehow make it up to him one day," he promised.

"You did the best you could Albus, yes you made a lot of mistakes where it came to Harry, but you also helped him survive to be able to do this," Remus responded. "I don’t believe Harry is as angry with you as he was when we rescued him from Azkaban," he said.

"I have to agree," Lilith put in. "I have noticed he has come to you for advice a lot more lately than he did after you told him of the prophecy," she pointed out.

"You are not the only person who seeks redemption in this professor," Xander said softly. "There are others who also seek to prove they have learned from their mistakes," he added as he thought of Buffy and her group.

'We all seek Redemption Alexander, for one thing or another during our life, whether we earn it or not depends on how much we want it and how hard we are willing to work for it,' Alucard's voice said over their link the great vampire had created through the runes on his sword.

Xander silently agreed with this before standing and also heading for one of the bedrooms. He was followed by Janna, Tara and Lilith leaving the others to talk quietly about what would happen next, while Dumbledore thought over what Alexander had said before promising himself he would redeem himself not only in the eyes of Harry and his friends but the rest of his friends and in his own eyes as well

+T+

(Riddle Manor)

Voldemort looked up from the book his was studying in his search for a way to reopen his link to Potter as the group he had sent out to locate the families of the Order of the Phoenix, he noted they all looked very nervous and he could guess why.

"My lord," Avery said, barely able to stop himself from stuttering at the news he would have to give.

"Speak," Voldemort commanded. "Have you found where they are hiding?" he asked, placing his wand where all of them could see it.

"We could find no trace of them my lord and there is also nothing to indicate where they could be from any of our usual sources," Avery answered beginning to sweat.

Voldemort growled before standing quicker than most of his Death Eaters could flinch and shot of two killing curses striking two of his newer followers before shouting Crucio sending Avery to the ground screaming in pain for five minutes before stopping the curse.

"Do not fail me again," Voldemort warned the rest who were all very aware of how close they could be to the same treatment. "Wormtail, see if you can find out anything at the ministry and do not get caught I will not break you out of Azkaban again," he commanded before ending with a warning that told exactly what would happen should he fail again.

"Yes master," Peter Pettigrew stuttered in reply, knowing he was lucky to have been retrieved from the prison after he had been captured during the ambush at the Bones mansion.

He quickly turned into his animagus rat form and headed out of the manor trying to ignore once again the annoying thought of his life debt to Harry Potter, also he was wondering what he would do when the fighting broke out once again. He was not a very good fighter, but he knew his master would want all of his followers as part of his attack force. He shook his head and concentrated on his task.

+T+

(St.Mungo's)

Harry looked around as Leo orbed him and Moody into the ward where Frank and Alice lay. They were joined a few seconds later by Mandy and Dumbledore who orbed in a few meters away.

"Do you know which beds are theirs?" Harry whispered, keeping his wand out in case anyone came to check on the patients.

"Yeah I do," Moody responded with a sad look in his eye. "I've visited quite a few times," he added as quietly as he could. "Follow me," he said quietly, leading them towards the far end of the ward.

Harry looked down on the face of the woman who lay in the bed. She seemed quite young still, properly in her mid-forties. She had black hair that was now beginning to show some grey in it, but otherwise he would say she still looked quite good. He also could see the similarities between her and her son Neville.

"According to their charts they have been kept as healthy as possible with potions," Dumbledore told them as he read over the two charts. "So if this works we should be able to get them moving," he added with a small smile.

"It's up to you two now," Harry said, hoping and praying this would work.

Leo and Mandy both gave each other a look before they both placed their hands over Alice and began to channel their gifts into her body. A bright light surrounded the corner they were in, but Moody quickly cast a notice me not charm around them so they would not attract anyone's attention.

Seven minutes went by before suddenly Alice Longbottoms eyes snapped open as her breathing picked up and she tried to sit up and so Leo and Mandy finally stopped and helped her sit up.

"Alice?" Moody inquired barely daring to hope this had worked.

Alice turned at the sound of the voice and focused as hard as she could on the source. "Alistor?" she replied before coughing a bit. Her body felt stiff as if she had not used it in a very long time. She blinked a few times as her vision began to clear.

Harry quickly summoned a glass of water and handed it to her, trying to keep his excitement under control. "Thank you James," she said glancing at him only briefly before stopping and turning back to him and staring at him hard. "You are not James, your eyes are just like Lily's but that's not possible. Harry is only a year and half old," she said beginning to feel uneasy.

"Alice you've been in St.Mungo's for over fifthteen years," Moody said as gently as he could, indicating where Frank lay to her as Leo and Jessica began the same process on him.

Alice winced as she absorbed this piece of information and tried desperately to force down her shock. She turned back to Harry and looked him over before noticing how he was also studying her in return. "How did you wake us if we've been here so long?" she asked.

"It's a long story Alice and we do not have the time to go through it just now," Dumbledore told her with a friendly smile, alerting her to his presence. "But once we are safe and after some rest then we will catch up on what has happened," he added to which she nodded.

"We're done," Leo said as Frank jerked awake and looked around noting his wife watching him from the bed beside him. "We should leave," Leo added, truly astonished Mandy and he had managed to heal them.

The others nodded and after Dumbledore made duplicates of the Longbottoms charts he allowed himself to be orbed out with Mandy and Frank. Moody dropped the charm and took a look around before nodding to Leo and he was orbed out with Harry and Alice.

+T+

(Other Realm)

Cassandra was surprised, yet pleased, by the fact that the combined effort of Leo and Mandy had managed to reverse the damage that had been done to Frank and Alice Longbottom. This would need to be looked into further to see if others could be healed or if some kind of potion could be made that duplicated the effect.

"A very impressive feat," their lord stated with a smile. "The Longbottoms will be an added bonus to their forces even if they are not strong enough to fight when the times comes," he added.

"Not just that my lord, but I do believe they will be able to help Harry grow to be the adult he will need to be if they succeed in defeating Voldemort," Cassandra responded. "Alice will not desert her responsibility to him as his godmother, just like Sirius would not desert him," she continued. "This should help Harry shed his past," she stated.

"I have to agree my lord," Jonas added. "Harry didn’t do this to gain two new soldiers, but to help his friend regain his parents and now he knows he has a personal link to Alice as well," he said.

"He will need all the help he can get if he truly intends to change the Wizarding world and bring it more in line with the non-magical world," Tanith put it his own impression. "Alice and Frank Longbottom are very well respected even now and their support will go a long way in helping to convince the people to allow change," he continued.

"I agree with all of you," their lord nodded thoughtfully. "The more support Harry has the more chance he has that he will succeed in his goals," he added. "It is also pleasing to see Albus Dumbledore finally beginning to see the mistakes he has made in the past and trying to make up for them," he added with a smile.

"Yes it would seem that just like Buffy Summers he is finally willing to listen to those who have tried so hard to point out the damage he was doing no matter how hard he believed it was for the best," Tanith nodded in agreement. "Let us hope it will continue," he added.

"I think it will. He doesn’t strike me as someone who would allow such a thing to happen again considering now that he has seen the damage such mistakes can make," Jonas stated.

The others nodded at this before turning to watch events again begin to move. Cassandra just hoped things would continue to work out for Harry and especially for Alexander.

+T+

(12 Grimmauld Place, London)

Frank and Alice lay in the beds they had been placed in as Madam Pomfrey continued to check them over as Leo and Mandy stood to one side along with Harry, Moody, Dumbledore and Amelia.

"Well Poppy?" Dumbledore inquired hoping both of his old friends were alright after everything they had been through before Leo and Mandy had managed to heal them.

"They are completely healed Albus. There is no sign of the damage that had been done to them during the attack," Pomfrey replied, shocked that such a thing was possible.

"Thank you, both of you," Dumbledore said turning to Leo and Mandy who both smiled pleased they had been able to help.

"I recommend that they should rest for a day or two and not try and perform any magic until their bodies can readjust to be active again," Pomfrey informed the others.

"How do you feel?" Harry asked, stepping up to Alice's bed feeling slightly nervous.

"All things considered not too bad," Alice replied, again staring at Harry. "Is our son alright? Is he here?" she asked, her mind turning to the most important thing right now.

"Sadly no, he is not here," Harry answered with a shake of his head. "He is still at Hogwarts, but he is doing very well. We should be able to get his grandmother to come and visit tomorrow," he added. “You would be proud of the person he has become,” he stated, making both Alice and Frank smile.

"My mother," Frank said feeling very overwhelmed at what had happened to him and his wife. "Albus, what exactly is going on?" he asked facing the former headmaster.

"It is a long story and I think it's best to leave it until you had a long rest," Dumbledore replied, not wishing to get into that right now as he knew neither Alice or Frank would be happy with what had happened during their absence. Alice especially would be angry with regards to what Harry had been through. "It is not a pleasant tale," he added before he and the others left the room after wishing them a good night.

Harry remained behind with Madam Pomfrey and quickly fell asleep, not even feeling Madam Pomfrey float him onto one of the beds and tuck him in before sitting in one of the chairs and having a quite talk with Frank, while Alice continued to think.

It was clear a lot had happened while she and her husband had been attacked. She felt a surge of anger at the Lestranges, but she repressed it. She glanced at the sleeping form of her godson and felt a prang of sorrow that Lily and James were not still here. Hopefully things were not as bad as they seemed from the way their friends had been acting. She lay back down on her bed and slowly fell asleep.

Frank quickly took note of this and smiled as he had a sneaking suspicion they would need a good rest before tomorrow came. Pomfrey also noted it and decided to let Frank also get some sleep. Excusing herself she headed for her room while Frank settled down as the lights went out and slowly he drifted off himself.
22. Chapter 22
(Riddle Manor)

Voldemort was looking through his many books again for a way to reopen his link to Potter, but because he didn’t know what caused the link to be shut down he was having very little luck. A day had passed since he had sent Pettigrew out to see if the Ministry knew anything about the hidden order members or their families and he had yet to return and he was beginning to suspect the stupid rat had got himself caught.

"My lord?" Lucius said, bowing as he entered his personal chambers.

"What is it Lucius? I am busy," he commanded not even bothering to look at the man who was still recovering from being used as Bellatrix's play thing as punishment for his plan's failure.

"Pettigrew has returned my lord and he reports nothing is known by the Ministry about the Order or the families of those we know to be members," Lucius answered, knowing this answer wouldn’t please his master. "Also Fudge's government is under threat," he added very nervously knowing this information could cause him to be punished yet again.

"In what way Lucius?" Voldemort asked looking at his servant.

"Documents and ledgers have been circulated to the people from an unknown source detailing the corruption of Fudge and his leading supporters which has helped keep so many of your followers out of jail including myself," Lucius replied, taking a step back at the look of fury on his master's face.

"Find the source of this leak Lucius and stop it before Fudge is overthrown," Voldemort commanded. "As long as that incompetent fool is in power we can operate without worry of being discovered, but if someone who actually believes Potter and Dumbledore about my resurrection comes to power it could cause my plans to be disturbed," he added. "Tell the others my orders and don’t fail me," he ordered him, making sure his warning was clear as well.

"At once my lord," Lucius said bowing before he turned and left quickly before his master decided to crucio him just to enhance his warning as he was known to do.

Voldemort leaned back against his chair and thought over what Lucius had told him. Who would be able to get a hold of such information and how would they be getting it out without alerting the Ministry to it? This could cause him to change his plans if they were not stopped. He cursed before going back to his reading, hoping to find something which would let him back into the boy's head.

+T+

(Ministry Building)

Cornelius Fudge was furious as his Aurors failed to find where the leak was coming from that was informing the people of his many corrupt dealings with Death Eaters and other rich criminals. His leading supporters were also under attack and it had to be stopped immediately.

He smirked as an idea quickly came to him and he began to pen a new decree which would make it illegal for anyone to read the information which was sent out and that anyone found with the documents would be arrested and sent to Azkaban for a month. He didn’t realize he was just adding to the contempt the people were beginning to feel towards his government and himself especially.

He summoned his underling Percy Wesley and handed him the new decree and told him to get it in motion by the end of the day. Percy nodded his head with a smile and left his office. Fudge leaned back in his seat and hoped it would be enough to stop this attack against him. He again wondered who had leaked the information in the first place and again dismissed the idea that Potter was behind it as he would not be able to get access to it. Dumbledore was another matter through, but sadly neither had surfaced since Potter had escaped from Azkaban and he had no idea where they would be hiding.

He had arrest warrants on Dumbledore, Potter and many of their known friends and family, but so far there had been no sightings of any of them which annoyed him. Dolores had not been able to find any more supporters of Potters within Hogwarts due to the fact that none of the kids were stupid enough to drink anything she put in front of them and all of them were checking their drinks during the main meals for any signs of tampering. He could not allow her to force them to drink it. If it got out what he had allowed to happen the people would immediately call for his dismissal from office for allowing such things to be done to their children.

+T+

(12 Grimmauld Place, London)

Frank and Alice Longbottom listened as Dumbledore, Harry, Moody and Amelia explained everything that had happened since they had been attacked and tortured into their own minds. Alice wasn’t very happy to learn that Dumbledore had sent her godson to Lily's sister considering how much they had hated each other and she had not missed the very dark look that had crossed Harry's face whenever the Dursleys were mentioned and she promised to talk to him about it later. However she got the feeling she wouldn’t enjoy the conversation, nor would Harry enjoy telling it.

They had been kept in bed for a day and allowed to move around, but still were not allowed to do any magic for the second day of their recovery. Frank's mother Augusta had turned up with their wands after Fawkes had been sent with a letter to alert her of their status. To say she had been shocked would have been an understatement and it had taken some time to get her to calm down and listen to what had brought them back. Alice frowned because she knew things were left out and a lot of it had to do with Harry and his time at Hogwarts and she made a note to get the full story from him later. When she learned he had been sent to Azkaban she finally lost her temper and began to shout at Dumbledore bringing Sirius running into the room. It took time for him and Frank to get her to sit back down and listen as Amelia took over the explanations while Dumbledore tried to ignore the hurt he felt about been called an old fool even as he knew he deserved it for not acting sooner.

She was surprised to learn that her godson was married to the young blond she had seen him with when he had stopped to see her during their first full day away from saint Mungo's as well as being in a relationship with Amelia's niece. By the end of the tale Alice, as well as Frank, felt as if everything they had fought for during the first war had been thrown away by the mistakes and the greed of those who were in power. While she could forgive Dumbledore for some of his mistakes others she would not be so forgiving about and she would deal with the situation of where Harry would live once everything had been dealt with. She also wanted to hear news about her son Neville as well, and apart from the year just gone it seemed her son had not had as bad a time at Hogwarts as her godson had. She was a little annoyed with her mother in law when she learned how timid Neville had begun school, and that it was only in the last year or so he had begun to grow up and take his own fate in his hands.

Frank Longbottom had noticed his wife had grown more and more angry during the tale and he knew she was not happy to learn where James and Lily's son had been placed after Sirius was falsely imprisoned. She had intended to take her role of Harry's godmother very seriously and was about to make a motion to become his adoptive mother when they were attacked. She planned to raise Harry side by side with their son Neville as brothers, but the attack by the Lestrange’s had changed everything. He would have to talk with her later to make sure she didn’t blame herself. It wasn’t her fault it was just a case of bad timing. When they learned Harry had been in Azkaban for a month his wife finally lost her temper and it took him some time to get her to calm down and listen with a little help from Sirius. But he knew this was only the tip of the iceberg, he had been an Auror for seven years and he knew when things were been left out or simply avoided. At least the news of Neville had been somewhat brighter, even if he suspected his mother had stunted his son’s confidence in himself. It was more than likely that having found herself with a grandson to raise so suddenly had caught her off guard and she had not adapted well.

He couldn’t believe how much had changed since they were attacked and yet like his wife he could tell there was a lot that had been left out during the explanations and he wondered why that was. He noted his wife's stubborn look and guessed she would find out later what had been kept from them. He just wished Neville was here, Harry had made it clear they would be proud of his actions during the crisis and he hoped they would be able to see him soon. That at least had made him realize whatever problems Neville had faced during his first few years at Hogwarts, he had finally come into his own and was ready to face the world.

"So what happens now?" Alice asked after a small silence had settled once Amelia had finished speaking.

"That is up to you," Harry replied before anyone else could. He was determined to ensure they were not forced back into the fight. "I didn’t come after you to throw you back into the fire. I did this to help Neville," he continued. "If you want to help us fight then I won't stop you, but if you want to stay out of it and just help us plan things then that's okay as well," he told them before standing and leaving the room.

"Sirius, is Harry okay?" Alice asked, turning to face the man who had been James Potter's best friend. Something told her that her godson carried a heavy burden and that the events of his life had forged in him multiple problems he had to face to keep himself going.

"He's had a rough couple of months Alice, especially after his stay in Azkaban," Sirius replied with a sigh. "That on top of everything he had to go through since returning to the magical world has really begun to get to him," he explained as carefully as possible. "He's been forced to fight for his life time and time again. He had to deal with the people constantly changing their minds as to whether he is a hero or a rising dark lord which has really annoyed him and then there's the fact he had to deal with the damn Dursleys every summer," he stated with a shake of his head.

At the mention of the Dursleys Alice narrowed her eyes and turned to face the former headmaster. "How could you send him to them when Lily and her sister hated each other, not to mention the fact that Petunia hated anything to do with magic?" she demanded to know. “And don’t you dare try and say you didn’t know that. I was there when Lily explained her relationship to her sister to you, remember?” she added with a darker glare.

Dumbledore sighed at this question, not that he was surprised she had asked it. He was a little annoyed at her for thinking he might try and lie though. “Lily’s sacrifice made it possible for me to create special wards that would protect Harry from any of Voldemort's supporters while he could call the Dursleys home his home as well," he tried to explain.

“And to hell with his happiness or his health right?” Alice asked bitterly.

“I did what I felt was best for him to live through a very dark and unknown time in our world Alice,” Dumbledore assured her with a sigh. “The two years after the wars end were bitter, filled with uncertainty and a lot of trouble,” he explained as he recalled those times. “Harry would have been in great danger had he remained in the open with any of Lily’s known friends or allies,” he stated confidently.

"And if me and Frank had not been attacked would you have stopped me from adopting him like I planned to do, just so you could send him there?" Alice asked and everyone could hear the underlining threat in her voice as she spoke.

Dumbledore didn’t know really how to answer that without starting an argument, but he knew he had to say something and it may as well be the truth. "At the time yes I would have tried Alice, because I believed it to be the best way to protect him," he said.

"And you didn't care what Lily herself wanted for her son?" Alice almost growled out, making the older man wince. "Sirius do you know what kind of life the Dursleys have given him?" she asked.

"Harry won't say much, but I do not think it's been a good life so far Alice and there hasn't been much I could do about it being a wanted criminal and all," Sirius answered in a tone full of bitterness and anger. "Snape ruined any chance I had of being able to get Harry out of their hands," he added, hoping he got another chance to deal with the traitorous potions master.

"I can tell you," a soft voice said from behind them caused them all to turn to find Fleur standing by the door, having clearly been listening to them. "But only you and Sirius Alice," she added, giving Dumbledore a glare before motioning for the two to follow her to one of the bedrooms.

"Somehow Albus I do not believe you've heard the last of this," Frank mused as he watched his wife follow the young girl. He wouldn’t stop her either if she wanted to have another argument with Dumbledore later. He knew his wife far too well to suspect this was the end of it.

"No I don’t believe I have," Dumbledore replied sighing at the glare Fleur had given him. He knew it didn’t bode well for him even though it seemed Harry himself had forgiven or at least come to terms with his reason for his placement with the Dursleys. But that didn’t mean Fleur or anyone else had done so.

+T+

(Hogwarts)

Neville Longbottom sat in the Gryffindor common room wondering when Harry and the rest of his friends would return to the school, he was beginning to get very sick of Umbridge being in charge. Only a few teachers like Flitwick were still here the rest had been replaced by Ministry lackeys who were loyal to that idiot Fudge.

He and Luna had chosen to return to the school to keep an eye on things, but they hadn’t expected how much Umbridge had clamped down on any sign of descent. Draco and his band of morons were helping her by trying to spy on him and the rest of the D.A which he was now in charge of until Harry returned and he had no doubt his friend would return. However he was beginning to regret returning, things might have been better had he remained at headquarters with the others.

The appearance of the documents and ledgers detailing the corruption of Fudge and his supporters, including Umbridge, had caused a well of hope within himself and the other D.A members that Harry would be returning very soon, but they had no contact from Harry or any of the others so far and he just hoped that he wouldn’t have to put up with Umbridge for much longer.

Her attempts to locate any supporters by trying to trick them into drinking Veritaserum so she could question them were becoming tiresome. Neither he nor Luna had been stupid enough to drink it when they had been called to her office and they had passed on a warning to the rest of the D.A. to make sure no one slipped up. He looked up as Seamus and Dean returned and told him that Umbridge seemed to be on the warpath as the news that the people were beginning to doubt Fudge and his orders were going around. He cursed knowing another round of interrogations would be ordered and this time he didn’t know if Umbridge wouldn't try and force them to drink the Veritaserum this time.

+T+

(Cornwall)

Remus and Oz moved slowly towards the camp their spies had located where the Werewolves including their target Greyback were situated. They knew they had to be very careful or they would give of their presence and secrecy was the key to success here.

Remus carried the sniper rifle Alucard had trained them both to use to kill Greyback as Harry had planned. He didn’t know if the death of Greyback would change the minds of the other Werewolves, but he didn’t see the harm in trying, especially if it kept Greyback from turning anymore innocent children into monsters who would be shunned by the rest of the world. Oz was beside him, carrying a crossbow with five arrows with silver tips just in case the gun jammed.

They finally came to the edge of the forest they were moving through and they could see the camp from here. They knew they would have to be very careful now in case they were seen. Remus hefted the rifle and looked through the scope and began looking for Greyback. Oz drew his crossbow and placed one of his arrows ready to fire hoping they could get through this quickly.

"Any luck?" Oz whispered, keeping an eye for any guards who may be patrolling the edges of the camp.

"Not yet," Remus answered as he moved the rifle across, trying to locate the monster that had ruined his life. Suddenly he stopped as Greyback stepped out of one of the tents and he quickly set his sight on the man's head as he talked to two other Werewolves. "Get ready to call Leo," he told Oz who nodded and was beginning to get very tense.

Remus tried to calm himself as he prepared to fire, he closed his eyes for a few seconds before opening them and hardening his heart and finally pulled the trigger. The gun jerked in his hand as the bullet spat towards its target, through the scope he saw Greyback suddenly stumbled backwards as blood sprayed out of the side of his head as the bullet found its mark and he fell dead to the ground.

"Leo," Oz called as twenty Werewolves suddenly started to charge towards their position.

They looked up as Leo orbed in and grabbed them both before orbing out just as the first three Werewolves reached their location. The Werewolves howled in anger and frustration as their prey escaped them. Some of the Werewolves however looked around in confusion and also a little hope. Not all of them had liked Greyback or had been supportive of his loyalty to the Dark Lord. Maybe now they could find another way and escape from this nightmare.

+T+

(12 Grimmauld Place, London)

Xander looked up as Leo orbed back in with both Remus and Oz. He sighed and was pleased to see both of them had made it back. He noticed both looked tense yet satisfied. He had come to the conclusion been a leader sucked, especially when you had to order your friends on dangerous missions.

"What's the word?" he asked as Buffy and Willow entered the room.

"Greyback is dead," Oz replied as Remus sat down and tried to ignore what he had just done. He did not regret killing Greyback, but he did regret having to kill again. "I think we should give it a day or so before we try and see if we can convince any of them to join us," he added.

"I'm sure some of them don't want to work for a psycho," Buffy stated. "Especially one that tortures his followers and allies just as much as his enemies," she added, recalling everything she had learned about Voldemort.

"I'm sure some will join us Buffy, but somehow I doubt we'll get as many to join us as we did with the vampires," Xander responded as Alucard and Sir Integra joined them. "From what Harry and Amelia has told us Fudge's worst laws affect the Werewolves the most and many of them are just sick of it. They want this fight," he reminded her.

"This is true Alexander," Alucard agreed with a nod of his head. "But maybe they will believe they can get the future they want without the bloodshed and without having to worry about being exterminated afterwards as they will have to if Voldemort should win," he continued.

"We can but hope," Xander responded with a slight sigh. "Remus are you alright?" he asked as he noticed how bothered he seemed.

"I will be Alexander," Remus replied with a dark look in his eyes. "I think I will ask Pomfrey for a dreamless sleep potion and go to bed," he said and left the room before anyone else could say anything.

"He won't be the first to get a case of nerves after having to kill someone," Jack Crow stated as he stood near the door.

"I know Jack, most of us will be going through the same thing until this whole thing is dealt with," Xander replied. "But there will be no time to think about what we are doing when we engage Voldemort's army. We will all have to ignore our revulsion at having to kill until either they surrender or we're dead," he added.

"Let us hope Harry can kill Voldemort as quickly as possible then. I believe once he is dead most of his Death Eaters might surrender," Sir Integra said.

"A lot rests on him which is why when it comes to the battle four of us will stick with him as much as possible to make sure he reaches Voldemort and no Death Eaters try and interfere while they fight," Xander told them, having been worried about this for some time since Harry had told them about his plan to draw Voldemort and his army to Hogwarts for the big fight.

"Who do you have in mind?" Sir Integra asked, seeing the sense in Alexander's plan.

"Me, Lilith, Moody and Sirius," Xander answered. "Two magical users and two who can use swords and guns, that should give Harry the protection he will need until he can engage Voldemort," he explained.

"A good strategy Alexander," Alucard said impressed with the plan. "I think that will indeed increase the odds of Harry reaching Voldemort without been too badly injured beforehand," he added.

Xander nodded, hoping he was right before he turned back to Crow. "Jack how is your team shaping up?" he inquired.

"Weapons training is going okay for those of them who haven't used any sort of firearms before. Coming up with a workable strategy to deal with so many demons at once is the problem," Jack answered as he leaned against the door frame.

"Do we have any mines or booby traps we can use before they reach our lines?" Oz inquired as he listened to what was said. "It would cut down their numbers before they will charge at us on mass, correct?" he asked.

"Not a bad idea kid, except we don't have any mines," Jack responded with a frown.

"No, but we can get some and I bet Moody and the others can come up with some magical booby traps that they can set down before the actual battle," Xander put in with a smile as he had flashbacks of stealing the rocket launcher from the army base. "Okay Alucard talk to Moody and the other Aurors who are here about some deadly booby traps we can use, the more dangerous the better. Leo, we are going to take a trip to get our hands on some mines," he ordered.

"And where are you going to get them from?" Willow inquired.

"Sunnydale army base of course. They should have plenty and their security stinks as they have no cameras and the guard shifts are very relaxed," Xander answered with a smile.

"How do you know that?" Buffy asked.

"Buffy how else did you think I got my hands on that rocket launcher we used to destroy the judge?" Xander asked in reply.

"Oh," Buffy said as she remembered that event as he it was just after she lost Angel and the return of Angelus.

"I'll come to," Oz said. "The more we can grab the better the chances of taking out as many demons as possible," he added when he noticed the slight frown Buffy and Willow wore at the idea of stealing the mines.

"Okay let's get going" Xander ordered as Leo grabbed him an Oz and orbed them out leaving the others to talk more.

Elsewhere Fleur finished telling Alice and Sirius the full story of Harry's home life at the Dursley's. She had been given permission to do this by Harry because he knew that both of his godparents would want to know about his childhood and while Sirius had allowed him to avoid talking about it he knew Alice wouldn’t be so easy to avoid answering by the look in her eyes when the Dursleys had come up.

Alice closed her eyes and tried to stamp down on her anger at Dumbledore for forcing Harry to endure so much hate and abuse, no matter how safe he believed him to be. He had ignored all of Harry's complaints about them, unable to believe they would harm their own family. She looked to where Sirius sat and knew they would not be escaping some kind of payback when this war was finished.

"How the hell has he turned out so caring after being subjected to that kind of abuse?" Sirius growled, again cursing his own rash nature which had led him to chase after Pettigrew before going to Dumbledore to explain what had actually happened and which led him to be locked up in Azkaban for thirteen years.

"Because Harry has never given up on the dream that there was something else out there to make up for the things he has been forced to suffer," Fleur answered, understanding why Sirius had asked that particular question. "He has never believed the Dursleys when they had told him his parents never loved him or any of the other stories they've told him," she added.

"They will pay for what they have done to him," Alice promised, causing Sirius to nod his head in agreement. If Lily had been here to see this, she would want to get revenge for her son, but as she was not then it was up to her to get it.

"They will, and Susan, Hermione and myself will help you make them pay," Fleur responded, hating the very thought of the Dursley's not being punished for what they have done to her husband as did Susan and Hermione, who now knew the full story, again with Harry's permission.

+T+

(Other Realm)

Cassandra was pleased with the planning Alexander, Harry and the rest of their allies had put forward. In the three days since they had begun to try and wake up the people by sending out the documents and ledgers which proved the corruption of Fudge and his allies the people had finally begun to call for his head.

Fudge's attempts to stay in power and keep the people from reading the information had backfired on him. Harry and Alexander were preparing to launch an assault to retake Hogwarts if they could not remove Fudge and his allies when they called him out. They had managed to gain the alliance of half of the Werewolves who had not really wanted to support Voldemort, but had seen no other way to gain the changes they wanted put forth. This left the other half who still wanted to gain revenge on those who had kept them down trodden and poor.

Things were quickly heading for the big fight. Harry's training alongside his fellow friends had continued since his rescue from Azkaban and they were all well prepared. Alexander's own training had also progressed under Alucard as had the others of his group, bar Janna who was now five months pregnant and was no longer able to train as she had and was no longer willing to risk using magic while carrying a child. Alexander had decided she would work with Madam Pomfrey and the other healers. She was still worried about how this would end, but she had hope with everything that had been put in place they would come out of it alive.

"Things are almost all in place for their battle," their lord stated. "They are as prepared as they can be," he added.

"Indeed my lord," she agreed. "Janna, while no longer able to help them fight, can still aid them in helping them cure the wounded during the battle and at least with her out of the action Alexander will not be so distracted by his fear for her safety," she continued. "Alexander and Harry are now fully in control of their forces and are ready to strike should they fail in removing Fudge and his allies from power," she said.

"Yes that will be the first major move in this war. Should Fudge remain in office he will be a major problem and stop them from gaining the support of the full Auror corps for the battle of Hogwarts," Tanith put in. "But I doubt the people will allow him to stay, especially with the restrictions he's tried to put in place so he can stay in power," he added.

"True but still there are those who are loyal to him and a civil war is not out of the question after Voldemort's defeat should he remain in power and Harry is victorious," their lord suggested. "At least they have as many allies as possible to match up to Voldemort's army," he added.

"It's the demons who represent the most trouble my lord," Jonas finally spoke up. "If they decided to attack the witches and wizards instead of Crow's demon hunters they could cause massive casualties," he went on.

"However I do not believe they will do that as you forget they are there to make sure Alexander and his friends are killed on the orders of the First," Cassandra reminded them. "No, they will indeed go for Crow and the rest of the demon hunters as apart from Alexander and Lilith they will all be in one group," she continued.

"I think you're right Cassandra," their lord nodded in agreement. "Let us see how things are progressing," he said waving his hand over the viewing pool.

+T+

(Riddle Manor)

Lord Voldemort smiled as he continued to punish McNair for his failure to locate the source of the documents and ledgers that was undermining Fudge and his government. He finally stopped as he grew bored and looked around at the other Death Eaters who were all watching nervously as they too had failed to find who was behind this attempt to remove Fudge.

"Get out of my sight," he ordered.

He watched as his Death Eaters all ran from the room bar McNair who was carried out by Lucius and Pettigrew. He was more and more annoyed at the failures of his followers, but he was also annoyed with his own failures, first in reopening his link to Potter and then in finding out how Potter had hurt him so during the ambush at tdr the Bones mansion.

He was close now to having the power and the forces to conquer first the Wizarding world and then the Muggle world. He leaned back into his throne and hoped he would soon be able to find Potter and kill him.
23. Chapter 23
(12 Grimmauld Place, London)

Harry paced the living-room while Amelia, Dumbledore, Moody, Remus, Fleur, Susan, Hermione and a disguised Alice prepared to portkey to Diagon Alley to try and rally the people against Fudge and his most important supporters.

Their campaign against the corrupt minister had worked quite well and the people were beginning to really call for his dismissal. Fudge's attempts to stamp down on them with his repressive orders were just making the people hate him all the more. Harry was still unsure how well this plan would work, but he was willing to try. Alice had insisted on going with them and so they had placed a glamour on her so she would not be recognized and cause shock while they were trying to get the people to listen to them about Fudge.

Harry looked up as Alexander walked into the room alongside Prue and Cole, he was a bit surprised to see them as they have been working alongside Crow and the rest of the demon hunters to prepare for the battle they were hoping to have at Hogwarts.

"Harry, I want you to take Prue and Cole with you," Xander told his friend as seriously as he could. "If trouble starts they can get you out as fast as possible, and in a way Fudge and his cronies can't stop," he added and was relieved when Harry nodded his agreement. Harry had a stubborn streak like he did when it came to being protected for his own good. "Once they return here and we know there is trouble we'll send Leo and two other whitelighters to get the rest out, okay?" he explained.

"I think that's a good idea," Harry replied after giving it some thought and while he hated being protected, he could see the sense in what Xander was saying. "We don't know how this is going to go," he added as their final preparations were done "I'll see you later," he said as he walked over to where the others stood with some portkeys, joined by Cole and Prue who would not use their own magic until it was necessary.

Xander watched them vanish and he hoped things would go as well as Amelia and Dumbledore seemed to think it would. He was unsure considering what the people had allowed to happen to Harry. That's why he had insisted they take Cole and Prue with them. Cole could use his shimmering ability to transport Harry and Prue out of the area and back here to warn them that things had gone wrong while Leo, Mandy and Jake were on standby to go and retrieve the others.

He turned and walked back to the enlarged backroom where Buffy, Kendra, and the rest of their group were continuing their weapons training. Each of them had come a long way since they had joined them here and he was pleased they hadn’t complained too much about using modern weapons. Oz was the one who had learned the fastest with Cordelia a surprising second.

He kissed Janna who was watching the training. She smiled at him before he crossed to where Tara and Lilith were standing and kissed them both as well before settling down to watch as Jack Crow, Vincent Wilson and William Blake continued to put the others through their paces of learning how to incorporate modern weapons into the fight. He noticed Varsik was sparring with Buffy while Adrian was taking on Kendra. He smiled as the enlargement charms had allowed them to set up this training room as they couldn’t go anywhere else just yet and it just showed how useful magic could be when used in the right way.

+T+

(Diagon Alley)

Harry continued to speak and the people listened. While some still seemed to look at him as if he was insane most were listening with wide eyes. He was keeping an eye out for the arrival of Fudge and the Aurors he was sure to bring. Finally he spotted them barging through the crowd, his face was red with rage and Harry noticed there was some slight fear in his eyes as well. He had started off nervously, but he soon found his stride with a little help from Fleur. She was using the bond to send him positive emotions and feedback which helped him control his fear.

"Potter you, Dumbledore and the rest of your band are under arrest," Fudge shouted as he barged through the crowd with some Aurors behind him. His face was red with rage and as usual he had his hat in his hands.

"I don't think so Fudge," Harry responded with a cold glare, instantly getting angry at the sight of the man who had imprisoned him. "Your time in power is over, no longer will you lead these people into the jaws of death, no longer will you steal from them and lie," he continued his voice full of rage as he continued to look at the man who had sentenced him to Azkaban. The rage was just held back by Fleur over the bond as well as Susan and Alice's close presence next to him. "You have allowed Death Eaters to go free just so you can be rich and now you have ignored the return of the dark lord and lied to these people so that they can’t even prepare for the fight to come and so that they can’t protect their families," he shouted back, his voice was carried over the crowd with the sonorous charm.

"The dark lord is not back you insane child," Fudge screamed with uncontrollable rage at the boy’s refusal to speak the truth. “You and Dumbledore are doing this to invoke panic so he can seize power,” he spat.

"Oh but he is… watch," Harry returned with a sly grin as Fudge gave him his chance to prove what he was saying." I swear on my magic that the dark lord named Voldemort is back and is once more raising his army to attack us," he stated with clarity and a blast of light shot out of him and impacted everyone else who was shocked to see him make a magical vow. This was a plan Remus had come up with Tonks and Sirius. "Now if I was lying I couldn’t cast a spell as my magic would be gone, correct?" he asked with a cold smile at Fudge whose eyes had gone wide in alarm. "Lumos," he shouted and the tip of his wand lit up as he performed the light charm.

The people immediately began to scream as they realized what this meant. If he could still cast spells it meant he had been telling the truth and Voldemort was indeed back. They all suddenly stopped and turned on Fudge who was still gaping at him in shock as he slowly began to realize he had been wrong, deadly wrong. He suddenly noticed the dark and angry looks the people were giving him and quickly apparated out of the square, while the Aurors stood there in shocked silence.

"Listen to me people," Harry shouted, getting back their attention. "Voldemort isn’t a pure blooded wizard as he claims. He is a half-blood whose real name is Tom Riddle. He is an insane monster, who if he is not stopped will slaughter us and you and your families before he launches a suicidal attack on the muggle world, killing millions and forever destroying the magical world we call home," he told them, trying to rally them as well as inspire them to finally take action. "Are you going to let that happen? Are you going to ignore the sacrifices of those who fought in the first war the war, which took the lives of so many?" he asked. "Are you going to spit on the sacrifices of your own grandparents and parents who fought in that war?" he asked.

A calm settled down on the crowd as he asked these questions before suddenly breaking out in screams of rage and anger and in between Harry could hear they would fight with them. He smiled and was surprised that he had managed to get the better of Fudge. The plan had worked and now the people knew the truth. Fudge was done for, but still they had to make sure he could no longer be a problem for them.

"And what about you Aurors, whose duty it is to protect us, where do you stand? With Fudge who is allowing himself to be controlled by the Death Eaters for money or are you with us?" he asked, turning to the small group of Aurors.

All bar two of the Aurors shouted they were with them. The two who hadn't quickly apparated back to the ministry. Harry nodded and then he began to lead his group and the crowd towards the ministry building intending to rid it of Fudge, his supporters and the Death Eaters who were inside.

"Cole, return to headquarters and tell Xander to start the attack on Hogwarts. Make sure they capture Umbridge and run out all of the mini Death Eaters like Malfoy and Parkinson," he said turning to the half demon. "Tell him to take the rest of the Order and as many of his own people as he needs to, but not to use any of our muggle weapons. Okay?" he said.

"You got it Harry, I'll be back in minute," Cole said with a smile pleased to see things were going as planned.

"I will go and help them in the attack if that is okay Harry?" Dumbledore asked, wanting nothing more than to see the school once again. He had missed it since he had been forced out; it was his one true home.

"Good idea professor, go we'll catch up once we've finished here and just keep an eye out in case Voldemort decides to attack now," Harry responded.

"I would advise the same my boy," Dumbledore replied with a small smile before grabbing a hold of Cole and vanishing. His last thought before he vanished was, that he was pleased he had managed to rebuild the trust he had once had with Harry.

"How much of a defense do you expect Harry?" Hermione asked with a smile, pleased the people had finally woken up to their folly.

"Quite a bit," Harry replied. "Even though he's been proven wrong and the people are now with us he will not give up power. He likes it too much," he said in reply.

"Stupid," Hermione muttered, hating the politician who had made her best friend's life a living hell since he had returned from the third task of the tri-wizard tournament.

"Yes he is," Fleur said, hearing her comment and hoped she got a chance to get close to Fudge and get some payback for what he had done to Harry.

+T+

(12 Grimmauld Place, London)

Xander looked up as Cole and Dumbledore returned, but because he noticed that neither of them looked to have been in a fight he guessed they hadn’t returned to warn them that Harry and the others were in trouble.

"Xander? Harry says to begin the attack on Hogwarts," Cole informed him. "He says to take the full Order as well as many of the rest as you need to capture Umbridge and chase out the mini Death Eaters," he added as Piper and Phoebe walked over to him and listened, pleased to see it didn’t seem their eldest sister was in any trouble.

"Alucard, Sirius, get everyone ready for the attack," Xander shouted, noticing the two nod and start shouting out orders, while the rest ran around preparing for the assault. "How did it go?" he asked turning back to Cole, while Dumbledore went to help prepare for the attack.

"It went quite well actually. Fudge turned up with some Aurors so Harry performed a magical vow and convinced the people he was telling the truth with it, because he didn’t lose his magic doing it," Cole answered with a smirk. "Fudge and two of the Aurors chose to escape and go back to the ministry, while the others signed on with us. Harry is leading his group and the crowd to the ministry to finish Fudge and those who are against him," he added.

"Alright you get back to Harry and keep an eye out. If things get too bad get him out of there. Leo, Mandy and Jake will stay just in case you need them, okay?" Xander ordered, pleased to hear that so far things were going well for them.

"No problem," Cole said with a nod before leaning down to kiss Phoebe before leaving.

"Phoebe, I think you should stay here with those who aren't going with us," Xander said. "Piper, your freezing power however could be very useful," he added before continuing as he noticed the heated look Phoebe gave him. "Phoebe you have no active power and I don’t want to face Prue if you get hit with something like one of those unforgivable curses Harry told us about, okay?" he said, hoping she would understand.

"Okay Xander," Phoebe relented, knowing he had meant no offence and was just concerned for her safety. "I so wish I had an active power," she mumbled before going to talk to Leo as Piper watched her go, somewhat relieved Phoebe wouldn’t be in the thick of things. "Sirius, have you sent Fawkes with the letter for Neville to alert him of what's about to happen?" he asked as he noticed Harry's godfather reenter the room.

"Yeah, he's gone," Sirius replied, pleased to finally be getting down to the actual fighting.

"Good," Xander said with a smile as he grabbed his trench coat and put it on, feeling the comforting presence of Vlad's sword hit his back and he got ready to heed to Hogwarts himself.

+T+

(Hogwarts)

Neville was sitting next to Luna, Hannah, Dean and Cho in the room of requirement which they used to train in with the rest of the D.A, which was still undiscovered by Umbridge and her supporters. He looked up in surprise as Fawkes appeared beside him with a letter tied to his leg. He quickly took the letter and as he read it he began to smile as he realized its meaning.

"Neville what is it?" Luna asked, looking at her friend as she took note of the wide grin that now adjourned his face.

"It's a letter from Harry. He's making his move and an assault force is about to hit Hogwarts," Neville replied while standing up, followed by the others. "He is ordering us to help take down Umbridge and her supporters, as well as chase out Malfoy and his cronies," he added.

"It's about time," Dean said with a smile, eager for some payback. "I was really beginning to get fed up with Umbridge's decrees," he added.

"We all were. Now go and spread the word quietly to the others and make sure you're not overheard," Neville ordered while moving towards the exit, checking the marauders map to make sure no one was near to see them. "The attack will be here in ten minutes, we need to be ready by then go," he told them before leading them out of the secret room.

+T+

(12 Grimmauld Place, London)

Xander looked around as their attack force arrived in the enlarged kitchen. Dumbledore and McGonagall were going to lead the Order bar seven who would remain behind and act as a reserve for either force should they run into trouble. Alucard and himself were going to lead the rest of their attack force which consisted of Lilith, Adrian, Varsik, Crow, Vincent, Blake and half their respective teams, Buffy, Kendra, and Oz. This they believed to be enough to overwhelm Umbridge and her followers within the school.

They were all armed with swords and clubs, and some assortment of grenades such as flash bangs and smoke grenades, which he, Oz and Leo had liberated when they raided the Sunnydale military base. The objective here wasn’t to kill anyone, but to capture or run off the enemy which is why most of the Order was a part of this strike as they could use the wands to the best effect.

"Time?" he asked as the last of his force arrived, he knew the fight would not be easy, but he was certain they would win it.

"Two minutes," Lilith replied glancing at her watch.

"Professor your team will go first and secure our entry point. We'll follow a minute later. Good luck," Xander ordered turning to the former headmaster who nodded his head.

"I'm coming too," Frank Longbottom said as he joined them. "I've put a glamour on until we can talk to Neville on his own without all of this chaos," he said when he noticed the odd looks he was getting from Sirius and Dumbledore.

"Alexander it is time," Lilith informed him.

"Activate your portkeys team one," Xander ordered, watching as Dumbledore and the Order vanished. "Everyone else, prepare to go," he continued as he grabbed a hold of the portkey he was using along with Lilith, Tara and Alucard. "Let's go," he ordered as a minute had passed and they too vanished from the room watched by Phoebe and Leo who wished them luck.

+T+

(Ministry Building)

Fudge was in a panic as he tried to organize a force to repel Potter and the crowd he had swayed to his side. He still couldn’t believe the boy had been telling the truth about the dark lord's return. He still believed the boy had played some kind of trick to make him look bad. ‘How this could have happened?’ he asked himself. ‘Why couldn't the brat have stayed in prison?’ he wondered.

He noticed Marcus Tennant, the man who had replaced Amelia Bones as head of the magical law enforcement thanks to him, approach him with a worried look on his face.

"Minister nearly all of my Aurors have abandoned us and joined the mob outside," he reported.

"Damn them and damn Potter," he spat, unsure what he could do to turn things around. "Well put those who have stayed loyal in front of the main hall and hold them off while I try and rally some support," he ordered as he made his way to his office to alert Umbridge as to what had happened.

"Yes sir," Tennant replied before leaving to carry out the orders, knowing they had no chance of holding off the mob that had swamped the building.

+T+

(Hogwarts)

Xander quickly looked around as he and his force appeared within the castle, thanks to Dumbledore making the portkeys they were able to bypass the wards that usually stopped anyone from using that method of getting inside the castle. The castle, like most of the others, considered Umbridge as a usurper to the position and so she couldn’t control any of the defenses such as the wards.

He quickly noted Neville Longbottom leading a large group of students against another bunch. He guessed these were the ones who either supported Fudge and Umbridge or Voldemort himself. He looked to the other side and noted Dumbledore fighting a woman who from Harry's description had to be Umbridge. He almost laughed as Harry had been quite right she did resemble a toad.

"We're in a damn bottle neck. Crow, take half the team and help push Umbridge and her supporters back down that corridor, the rest of you are with me," he ordered after taking stock of the situation.

"You got it kid," Jack Crow replied and waved his hand to his team and ran towards where the Order was fighting.

"What are we going to do?" Buffy asked as she followed Xander.

"We're going to help Neville push these twits back," Xander replied as he grabbed one of his flash grenades and threw it into the middle of the enemy position and watched as they stupidly did nothing and were all quickly stunned when it exploded, blinding them for a few seconds allowing a couple of them to be stunned or taken down by more effective spells by Neville and his team.

Buffy and the others quickly followed suit throwing either their smoke grenades or their flash bombs, helping to push the enemy force back. Xander was just pushing forward when he noted a kid with really blond hair point his wand at Lilith and shout the pain curse. He quickly jumped in front of it taking the full brunt of the curse. Tara screamed out as she too felt the pain over their bond.

Neville quickly noticed what had happened and launched a succession of spells at Malfoy, which hit knocked him of his feet and the landing broke his left arm. He smirked at the outraged and pain-filled look Malfoy shot at him, before he ran off followed by his remaining followers.

"Alexander, are you alright?" Lilith asked as she knelt next to her lover, as Tara pushed herself up against Xander and leaned on him as the pain began to subside.

"I will be," Xander replied with a wince. "Ouch," he said as he laid his head against Tara for a few seconds.

"You didn’t have to take that curse for me Alexander. It wouldn’t have had that much effect due to my status of a Nosferatu," she told him.

"I know Lilith, but I still didn’t want you to have to suffer from that. It's my nature to protect my friends and lovers," Xander shot back as he climbed back to his feet. “Sorry for that Tara,” Xander said apologizing for making her feel the pain of the curse as well. Sometimes the bond he shared with Tara was a liability.

“I know you wouldn’t think twice of taking any attack meant for one of us Alex,” Tara responded with a smile. “It is one of the reasons we love you,” she added.

Lilith just smiled in reply and gave him a quick kiss as did Tara who wasn’t surprised he had taken the curse for one of them. Xander quickly went back to seeing how the fighting was progressing.

Dumbledore fired spell after spell at Umbridge as she retreated towards the headmaster's office, alongside five of the ministry teachers she had brought in since he had been usurped by her as headmaster.

Beside him McGonagall and Flitwick, who had quickly joined them once they had arrived, continued to keep the ministry teachers off balance while Crow and his team distracted them as much as they could, which helped to fell two of them. Umbridge was beginning to tire from the constant fighting and quickly decided to flee. She cast a large explosive hex before running up into the headmaster office and using the floo to escape to the ministry, unaware that it was now under siege as well. Once the three other ministry teachers saw their leader run away they quickly surrendered and were stunned and tied up.

"Damn it, Umbridge has escaped," Tonks cursed as she came back from checking the headmaster's office.

"I don’t believe so Nymphadora," Dumbledore smiled at her, even as she glared at him for using her first name which she hated. Something he knew very well, but he found it amusing to tease her.

"How come?" Tonks asked as Sirius and the others looked at him.

"Because the only place she can go is to the ministry building which itself is now under attack by Harry, his team as well as the people who now know the truth," Dumbledore answered, his eyes seeming to twinkle behind his spectacles.

Sirius began to laugh and was soon joined by the others as they realized once Harry got a hold of the woman who had helped make his fifth year at Hogwarts a nightmare she would wish she had never been born.

"We better go and see how Xander and the others are doing," Frank said while turning and heading back the way they had come.

"Filius, how many ministry teachers were there?" McGonagall asked her friend who she hadn’t seen since the takeover by the ministry of Hogwarts.

"Just the five and of course the ministry healer who replaced Poppy," the small professor replied, happy to see his colleagues return and drive off the most annoying woman he had ever met.

"I'll find the healer and stun her," Kingsley said and ran off towards the hospital wing.

Xander cursed as he ducked another curse as he tried to enter the classroom the remaining enemies had taken cover in and the small size of the classroom was helping them stay in cover. They had used all of the allotted smoke and flash bombs for this mission and had no more to use at the moment.

"Any suggestions?" he asked.

"Not at the moment. I can’t use my own magic as it is not suited to take people down without causing them to much harm and these are just kids, no matter what they are attempting to do," Alucard replied.

"Allow me," Dumbledore said as he arrived with the others and calmly fired a spell into the classroom causing a huge explosion of light which was blinding everyone who looked at it before entering the room and began to stun Malfoy and his friends, he was followed a second later by Tonks and Sirius.

"I think that's everyone," Adrian said with a glance at the others.

"Let’s make sure, split up into groups of three and search this place top from bottom," Xander ordered.

"The map should make this easier and save us the trouble of having to search the castle," Neville said with a smile pleased to see the castle back in the hands of Dumbledore as he handed over the marauders map, which Xander handed to Dumbledore who quickly began to go over all of the dots and labels matching them up to who was on their side and who was their known enemy.

+T+

(Ministry Building)

Harry ran to the nearby cover firing a slashing hex at an Auror, who was trying to land a bone crushing spell at him, hitting him in the chest which knocked him to the ground. He looked over as Moody and Amelia tag teamed two other Aurors who were defending the main hall of the ministry and then almost laughed as Remus and Alice jumped out of cover and stunned them both as they got distracted by fighting Moody and Amelia.

He quickly moved forward and hid behind the doorway of the main hall as Fleur, Hermione and Susan moved up behind him. He looked back as twenty people from the crowd along with the Aurors, who now supported them, came up in support.

He looked across at Alice who was giving him the hold signal, which he relayed to the others as she stepped out to check the area. He growled as a sickly sweet voice, which he instantly recognized as Umbridge's, screamed out Crucio and his godmother dropped to the floor in agony. He quickly saw red and dived across the floor and fired a powerful cutting curse before rolling backwards and firing a second, smiling as he heard Umbridge cry out in pain before falling down the stairs while he noticed Fudge and three more people ran down and head for the back entrance which he knew was covered by the rest of the people who had joined them.

"Alice, are you alright?" he asked in concern as he knelt down next to his godmother.

"I hate that curse," Alice groaned as she sat up. "I really do," she added as she noticed the figure of Umbridge at the bottom of the stairs. "Is she dead?" she asked.

"Yes," Amelia answered, although she didn’t sound to upset about it. "Looks like she broke her neck when she fell down the stairs," she added, looking at Harry who refused to feel sorry for what he had done

"She deserved it. She is a racist just as much as Voldemort and the Death Eaters," Harry spat as he noticed Fudge and one more of his men run back into the main hall, clearly trying to escape the mob. "Hello Fudge," he said with a smile. "Not having a good day?" he asked.

"Damn you Potter," Fudge screamed in rage. "Avada Kedav," he began to shout before being hit by six different spells and Harry knew Fleur, Susan and Hermione had been some of the people who had fired them.

"What about you?" Harry asked the last of Fudge's remaining Aurors.

"I surrender," Tennant replied, dropping his wand and putting his hands over his head.

Harry nodded and was pleased to see their first major action had gone so well. He wondered how the assault on Hogwarts had gone. He turned and told Amelia, Moody and Remus to close down the building and get as many people to agree to help them fight Voldemort before joining them at Hogwarts. They nodded before watching Harry leading Fleur, Susan and Hermione out before Cole shimmered them to Hogwarts.
24. Chapter 24
(Hogwarts)

Harry smiled as he arrived at the castle he had last seen three and a half months ago just before he had been sent to Azkaban. He looked to where Cole and Prue stood looking at the nearby walls where the magical paintings were all shouting out their hellos in amazement. He had missed this place. The castle felt more like home than anywhere else he had ever been.

"Welcome to Hogwarts," he said to them. "Welcome to my home," he added as Fleur, Susan and Hermione just smiled and began looking around noticing Alexander, Lilith, Sirius and Dumbledore coming towards them, all of them were smiling. Fleur could feel through the bond the connection Harry felt to the ancient castle and how he really meant that he saw this place as his home.

"We did it, the castle is ours," Sirius yelled feeling better than he had since he had escaped Azkaban and more confident they could actually defeat Voldemort and his army.

"Status?" Harry inquired, wondering if the fight for the castle had gone smoothly.

"All of the mini Death Eaters we know of have been captured and transported out of the castle to Saint Mungo's as we planned," Dumbledore answered with a twinkle in his eye at being back at his beloved Hogwarts once more. "However it is possible there are others amongst the student population," he warned.

"Don't worry about that Professor, once Alice and the others return from locking the ministry building down we are going to convene the whole school and make them do a magical oath,” Harry informed them all in a tone which told them he meant it. “If they don't want to give it, they will be forced to leave the castle," Harry added. "And before you say anything, we can't afford for there to be a spy in here with us," he stated at the look on the old man’s face which clearly told him he did not agree with this. Harry had expected some arguments from Dumbledore on this, but he was ready for anything he might say.

"Sadly I’m forced at agree with you Harry. I just wish it wasn’t necessary," Dumbledore said as he remembered what his belief in people had already cost them and Harry in particular. While it hurt to not try and step in and give someone a chance he knew at this stage they dared not risk everything.

"I know, me either," Harry sighed before getting back to business. "What about those ministry teachers?" he asked.

"We sent them to the hospital as well," Xander replied. "We don't really have the people to take care of prisoners," he added with a shrug. "Did you see Umbridge at the ministry?" he asked, hoping the fowl woman had not escaped somehow. "She escaped and we all assumed she went there," he added, noticing Harry's darkening look and the concerned look the three girls shared between themselves.

"She cast a crucio on Alice and I sent two cutting curses at her and one of them made her fall down the stairs she was on," Harry replied in a toneless voice still refusing to feel guilty about Umbridge’s death. "She broke her neck in the fall," he added, but again refused to feel sorry for it when he considered everything she had done to other people.

"What about Fudge?" Xander inquired not even bothering to ask how he felt about it having gone through the same thing when he had taken a life. When Harry was ready to talk he knew the young man would seek someone out to talk about it. He wouldn’t force him to do so and he noted the others knew better than to try that either.

"He's under arrest until this is over. Then he will be tried by the people for his crimes and with the ministry locked down no one can get him out," Hermione answered as Harry began to walk away obviously wanting some space. "A house elf will feed him so he doesn't starve and the elf will have orders not to let him out," she added, not liking using an elf but knowing no one else could be spared right now there wasn’t much choice.

"Is he going to be alright?" Prue asked as she watched her new friend walk off. She was concerned by the level of stress Harry had already been under when they arrived. Being sent to a hellish prison and now having taken a life could be pushing him to the breaking point.

"He will be. He is not upset about what happened to Umbridge, but the closer we get to the final battle the more nervous he is going to get," Fleur answered as she monitored Harry’s emotions through the bond. "Taking Fudge down has lifted a huge weight off of him, but the main one still remains and he knows it is going to take everything he has to win," she stated with a sad smile.

They looked up as Amelia, Moody, Alice and Remus arrived by portkey, all looking quite pleased with themselves. Alice quickly looked around and noticed Harry was missing.

"Where is Harry?" she asked quite concerned about his wellbeing after killing Umbridge in his attempt to protect her.

"He needs some space and I would guess he's gone to the room of requirement so he's not disturbed for a bit," Hermione answered. "He'll want to talk to someone in a bit, I know he will, so let him come to you," she advised to which Alice nodded.

She knew better than to try and force someone to talk through things like that, she and Frank both had taken lives in the first war and neither had wanted to talk about it later. When they had tried to force the issue it had caused one of the few serious arguments between them, and right now the last thing Harry needed was an argument or more stress.

"Well then I suspect we better lock down the school until we are ready to invite Voldemort here," Dumbledore said gaining the attention of the others who nodded and began to break into groups.

+T+

(Riddle Manor)

Voldemort looked up as Lucius all but ran into the gathering looking very worried. Every Death Eater in attendance watched as he came to a stop and began to try and speak before dropping to his knees in pain as the dark lord hit him with a powerful ‘Crucio’ for his disrespect that dropped him to the floor screaming him. After several minutes Voldemort finally released the spell, Lucius stopped screaming and slowly began to push himself back to his knees.

"Do not forget your place Lucius. Now what is it you want to say?" Voldemort warned him with a dangerous glare before asking what was wrong.

"Yes my lord," Lucius gasped in agony. "My lord Potter has toppled the government and retaken Hogwarts," he reported, knowing this news was not going to down well. "My son and nearly every other junior member of our organization was sent to Saint Mungo's," he added, knowing this wasn’t going to go down well.

"How did this happen?" Voldemort asked in a dangerous tone which chilled every one of his followers.

"He somehow got the people on his side, so far I haven’t been able to find out how," Lucius replied, knowing he was close to be killed for his latest failure "It is possible with all the information that was leaked about Fudge's corrupt dealings and his crackdowns on the people they were just ripe for Potter to convince them to help him," he speculated.

Voldemort closed his eyes and tried desperately to open to the link to the boy so he could find out how he had managed to do this, but as before there was no response. He felt a terrible rage begin to burn inside him as he realized his plans were beginning to fall apart mostly because of the stupidity of his followers and the luck of Harry Potter.

"I want you to find out how he managed this," he finally ordered. "I then want you to find out how many of our junior members are still at Hogwarts and once that is done I want it made clear that they are to capture Potter and bring him here, no matter what it takes. Is that understood?" he added with narrowed eyes. “Even if it means sacrificing themselves, I want Potter before more within an hour or when I next see them they will all die by my hand, is that clear?” he warned.

"Yes my lord at once," Lucius responded nodding in understanding as did most of the other Death Eaters who quickly scattered to get out of the room before Voldemort lost his temper including Lucius.

Voldemort watched them go and growled in hate as he thought over what he had just learned. Damn Potter and damn that old man Dumbledore who of course must have helped. He had to start planning an attack soon before Potter could turn his attention to trying to get any help from the other magical races.

He knew all of his junior Death Eaters at Hogwarts who had been in Slytherin house would have been found, but he doubted they knew about his followers in the other houses. As usual most people always suspected those in the snake house and that was just the way he liked it because that allowed his other followers to operate without being watched to closely and were more useful for spying.

+T+

(Other Realm)

Cassandra was quite pleased to see the successful operations and was even more pleased to see Hogwarts back in the right hands. These had both been huge steps in finally being ready to fight Voldemort and his army. Alexander and Harry had been very good in their roles as leaders and it would do them both well for the future to know they had what it takes to be a leader because they had to know their roads wouldn’t end with Voldemort or Radrik.

No, neither was stupid enough to believe their journeys would truly end there. Another would just start as with all people. Still the more confidence they had in their abilities the better the chances for any future adventures would be.

"They both did well," Tanith said, breaking her train of thought. "Granted I think Harry could have reacted without killing Umbridge, but still he led a very successful operation," he mused.

"Harry did not intend to kill Umbridge Tanith," Cassandra shot back a little annoyed with how that had sounded. "I wasn’t surprised by his fast reaction to Alice having been cursed," she added. "Umbridge didn’t cast a stunning spell or some other useless spell, but the same curse that put Alice and her husband in the hospital for fifthteen years," she reminded him. "She got what she deserved and had she survived the war she would be standing alongside Fudge in been judged by the people and considering what she has done to children as well as other people I wouldn’t be surprised if she was given the death sentence," she finished.

"I have to agree. She had numerous crimes to her name Tanith," Jonas said to his fellow power. "Once the people learned what kind of woman she really was they would have wanted her dead, this way she has gotten off easy," he continued. "And I agree with Cassandra that it wasn’t Harry's intent to kill Umbridge when he fired his spells at her, but to stop the assault on Alice, a woman he is beginning to trust and grow close to as it should be considering she is his godmother," he went on.

Tanith couldn’t help but acknowledge these points and he had to remind himself once again this was a war they were in and deaths were to be expected.

"You are correct, I once again forgot just what it is they are involved in," he said with a shake of his head. "And I agree Harry didn’t intend to kill her just to wound," he added.

"In war Tanith, nothing is certain," their lord finally spoke up. "No plan goes without a hitch, no one comes out of it without being changed in some way," he reminded them all. "Harry isn’t in this for revenge. If he had another option he wouldn’t even kill those who are against him, but he knows they will not rest until he and every one of his friends are dead and so he does what he has to ensure their safety," he continued. "Umbridge chose her path long ago and she never felt remorse for her actions and her last act was to try and cause pain on another human being. Harry acted to protect his godmother and sadly for him his actions caused her death, but Harry knows that had she lived and escaped she would hurt someone else just because she likes hurting others, so he doesn’t feel the pain of having caused her death," he explained. "Before this is over all of them will have most likely been forced to take a life, but they do this to protect as have others all the way through time and will do in the future as long as our war continues to wage," he stated.

The others could only nod, knowing their lord was correct in everything he had said. Many of the wars fought on Earth were due to the war between the higher powers and the lower powers and wouldn’t end until there was finally a winner. In the silence that followed they turned back to the viewing pool and watched as Neville was called to the headmaster’s office.

+T+

(Hogwarts)

Harry, Alice, Frank and Augusta looked up as Neville entered the headmaster's office looking slightly nervous. He gave his grandmother a quick hug, but he didn’t recognize his parents as they were still wearing the glamours they had put on.

"Neville it's good to see you again," Harry said with a smile at his friend, wishing just for a moment their roles for this were reversed before he shook it off. "I hear you've led the D.A very well in my absence," he added.

"No one else wanted the job and as I was part of the group you chose to take to headquarters to train it was decided by Luna and Hannah I should lead," Neville said in reply feeling proud Harry though he had done a good job.

"Neville I've asked you here because just before I launched these attacks I led another mission to Saint Mungo's to try and heal your parents," Harry finally said after a few moments of silence, shocking Neville. He didn’t really know how to get into this subject and thus just blurted out the first thing that came to mind, obviously not the best approach he thought, but he pressed on. "Leo and his friends are whitelighters and they have the ability to heal and so I asked them to try. Neville they were successful," he added with a smile, even as he fought his own emotions and ignoring the wishful thinking someone could do this for him.

"What?" Neville asked completely shocked before turning to his grandmother and the two strangers who smiled at him as they put their wands to their faces and canceled their glamours.

Neville's face took on a very shocked expression almost unable to believe his parents were standing in front of him before he began crying as he was swept into a hug by his mother and joined a second later by his father. He would recognize them anywhere, he couldn’t fathom how Harry had pulled this off and nor did he understand exactly how they had been healed. All he cared about right then was his parents were with him once more.

"I'll leave you to get to know each other," Harry said in a pained voice that wasn’t missed by Alice and she also didn’t miss the longing look on her godson's face before he left the office, but for now she had to focus on her son and see what kind of person he had become in their absence.

Harry found Sirius and Remus waiting for him near the entrance to the headmaster's office. "How did it go Harry?" Remus inquired, both he and Sirius noticed the look on Harry's face before he schooled his features to show a more focused look.

"Better than expected, I guess we won't see them for a bit," Harry replied, battling his longing to see his own parents and knowing it wasn’t possible. "Come on we better go and see if there are any other Death Eaters in this school," he said as he led them towards the Great Hall.

"Are you alright Harry?" Sirius asked his godson, knowing that must have been hard on him and reminded him of what he had lost.

"I will be Sirius, I will be," Harry responded, surprising them both that he had given an honest answer instead of his standard 'I'm fine'.

They entered the Great Hall to find it full. Harry paused as he began to feel uneasy and he stopped walking followed a second later by his two companions.

"What's wrong Harry?" Remus whispered, noting the slight tightening of Harry’s eyes as he looked around the hall.

"I don't know, but I feel uneasy," Harry replied, looking around at the faces of his fellow students before noticing Ron's face near Terry Boot, Michael Corner, Zacharias Smith and Cormac McLaggen and felt a hard shiver run down his spine, something was very wrong here as he looked from McLaggen to Smith and noted their faces were looking at him in anger which they quickly tried to cover up. "Watch those four," he ordered as he began to walk to the front of the hall once again.

As he passed the Ravenclaw and Hufflepuff tables Smith, McLaggen and Corner pulled out their wands and began firing spells at him, Remus and Sirius. Harry fell as he was hit in the leg with what must have been a bone crushing hex as it felt as if his left leg had been broken. Sirius was hit with a stunner, but Remus managed to get a shield up and fire back, hitting McLaggen in the face with his own stunner.

Harry managed to ignore the pain from his leg as he noticed Corner crawling towards him with something in his other hand as he shot off spells with his wand. He knew it had to be a portkey and he had a very good idea where it would take him. Focusing on the situation he launched spell after spell at Corner as the rest of the hall finally seemed to wake up from their shock at the attack and began to help even as seven more students began to attack them. Corner was finally taken down from behind by a very angry Ginny Weasley and Harry knew why, she had dated him before he had been forced out of Hogwarts by Umbridge's takeover.

She knelt next to him as Fleur and Susan joined her at his side as the fight began to die down. He looked around and noticed Sirius was once again awake and firing spells at Ron and Terry who were both glassy eyed and obviously under the imperious curse. Finally they fell to the floor as the twins, Fred and George, managed to sneak up behind them and take them down with stunners. Silence settled over the hall as everyone watched as those who had attacked them were bound in ropes and port keyed out of the school as the others had been.

"Harry, are you okay?" Ginny asked as Hermione joined them looking very annoyed as she looked down at Ron, who was slowly coming around, looking very confused at what had happened.

“What just happened?” Ron asked as he shook his head which felt like someone had stomped on it. “And how did I end up on the floor?” he asked a second later.

“Yeah I second that?” Terry joined in as he too came to.

“I think you both got put under the imperious curse by McLaggen, Corner and Smith. They were Death Eaters,” Ginny answered as she knelt next to her brother to make sure he was ok.

“What, how can that be?” Ron asked in shock.

“He can have followers in any house Ron, you know that,” Ginny shot back. “Remember Peter Pettigrew was in Gryffindor as well and look what he did,” she reminded him, missing the way Harry’s eyes darkened at the mention of the traitor who had cost him his parents. Sirius growled at the mention of his former friend, while Remus just gripped his wand tighter and wished he had the traitor in front of him right now.

“Sorry Harry,” Terry apologized as he was helped up by Dean Thomas. “I guess I let my guard down.

“Yeah me too,” Ron added as he stood as well with a little help from Ginny.

“Don’t worry about it either of you,” Harry responded. “It wasn’t your fault,” he added. "Better get me to the hospital wing, my leg is broken," he replied as he leaned back against the floor as the pain grew worse. "Headmaster, please make sure no one leaves this hall before they give their magical binding oath that they aren’t working against us," he ordered as Sirius used his wand to make him float.

"Of course," Dumbledore answered seeing again how right Harry had been to demand such a thing as he watched Sirius float his godson to the hospital wing, followed by the four girls and Madam Pomfrey.

He turned back to the hall and began to explain a little about what was going on before telling them that if they didn’t make the oath they would be forced to leave the school until the war was over. As one the remaining students and teachers gave their magical oaths that they were not working against them. After his monitoring spell indicated that really everyone in the hall had made the oath Dumbledore was satisfied. He clapped his hand and a feast arrived and he sat down and watched as everyone took seats and began to eat. He noticed Ron and Terry were both looking very angry at what they had been forced to do.

+T+

(Other Realm)

"That was close," Jonas said with a shake of his head. "Had Harry been captured the whole thing would have been for nothing," he added.

"True, but Harry wasn’t captured. He knew something was wrong he felt it and was helped by Hogwarts herself," their lord said. "Not that he realized she was helping him, so few of them know the castle has sentience anymore and that she is alive through the magic of the founders," he added with a smile. "But Harry will learn this fact very soon because for this fight I’m sure Hogwarts will gift him the use of the sword he pulled from the sorting hat in his second year," he told the others.

"The sword of Godric Gryffindor, my lord?" Tanith inquired with a surprised expression.

"Yes, nearly every wizard is taught how to use a sword and Harry has been trained to fight with a sword by Alexander and his friends," their lord replied. "Voldemort himself also knows how to use a sword and I believe it is possible they will rely on such things as they both know when it comes to their wands neither can truly win without evoking priori incantatem and seeing as Voldemort has lost to Harry twice in such circumstances I wouldn’t be surprised to see him resort to a sword thinking he would be better trained than Harry is," he added thoughtfully.

"I agree my lord," Cassandra spoke up. "Voldemort wouldn’t suspect Harry to have been trained in such a way," she added. "Still I am sure Harry will be shocked when the castle makes her presence known to him," she said with a smile which was shared by the others before they focused once more on the viewing pool.

+T+

(Hogwarts)

Xander walked out of the castle followed by Crow, Wilson, Blake, Moody, Frank, Tonks, Shacklebolt and Alucard. They were going to set up the traps for the coming fight. The large field was good enough for a pitched battle Alucard told them as they got to work, knowing it would take some time. Xander looked back to the castle knowing at this moment the Goblins, Veela, Vampires, Werewolves and the witches and wizards who had volunteered to help them and given their magical oath were now arriving and setting up their camps.

They were so close now to the fight and Xander was beginning to feel the same as Harry as they both knew they would be two of the main leaders of this fight. Intense training was now taking place within the castle and would continue until tomorrow when Harry, with the help of the charmed ones, would send a message through astral projection to Voldemort, baiting him to come and fight them. He closed his eyes and gave a silent prayer they would come through this without losing too many of their forces before getting back to work.

Inside the castle Harry was speaking with Ragnok and Aria about strategy for the coming fight. He was interested in their idea of hiding a flanking force in the Forbidden Forest which would attack once the battle had begun. He was also thinking of visiting the Centaurs in an hour or two and see if he could convince them to aid them as well, before dismissing the idea because he knew from his past meetings with them they held very little regard for any witch or wizard bar Firenze.

As soon as the traps were set and the next day dawned he would send a message to Voldemort through astral projection thanks to the Halliwell sisters’ powers and goad him into bringing his army to Hogwarts and attacking. Then Dobby and his fellow house elves would lock them in with the anti-traveling wards they had secured in a raid led by Moody and Shacklebolt.

+T+

(Riddle Manor next day)

Voldemort looked up, his Death Eaters gathered in his chamber to report on what they had found out. He frowned as Lucius, McNair, Rudolphus, and Snape came forward very nervously.

"Well, what have you found out?" he growled out, quickly getting annoyed with their nervous shifting. "Report," he finally ordered a few moments later when they didn’t answer.

"My lord it seems Potter performed a magical oath to convince the people of your return," Snape said with a sneer. "They know now the truth and he has gotten the better of Fudge who hasn’t been seen since the ministry fell. It is in lockdown at the moment and no one can get in," he continued. "Hogwarts is also in a lockdown. There is no way inside that in know off that is not covered by the castle's defenses," he reported.

Before anyone else could speak or Voldemort could reply a person seemed to appear in front of the dark lord, a person Voldemort recognized without question. He pulled his wand and cast the killing curse, but it went straight through the figure and hit one of his minions instead.

"That wasn't very nice Tom," Harry said with a smile which he knew would annoy Voldemort, which was of course part of the plan. "I come to visit you and you try and kill me. Where are your manners?" he asked his smile widening.

"What do you want Potter?" Voldemort asked with a glare. "Why have you come before me?" he asked a second later.

"I’m here to challenge you and your so called army to come to Hogwarts and fight us," Harry answered. "Unless of course you're afraid of an under aged wizard and a prophecy which was given by a fraud?" he asked as he turned to look at the assembled Death Eaters. "Snape you will pay for my parents death I promise you that," he growled upon seeing the former potions professor.

"Arrogant child," Snape sneered in response. "You are delusional if you believe you can best the dark lord," he added. “Were it not for my Master’s orders I would gladly send you straight to hell to join your bitch of a mother and blood traitor father,” he spat.

"I don't really care anymore I just want this over with one way or the other," Harry said, facing Voldemort again but wishing he could curse Snape right there and then. "You say you are the heir or Slytherin, correct?" he asked.

"That is so Potter. What of it?" he asked, wondering where the boy was going with his question.

"Then know this, I’m the heir of Gryffindor. I found out after returning to Hogwarts," Harry told him with a cocky smirk. "This puts a new edge to our fight Tom, so now it comes down to which vision of Hogwarts will survive, Salazar's or Godric's," he continued knowing by the look of the dark lord's face he was very successful in angering him, even though he was lying though his teeth about been the heir of Gryffindor.

"And what proof do you have of this Potter?" Voldemort asked a little skeptical of this claim even as he worried he might be true.

"This," Harry said as he lifted a sword into view and Voldemort's eyes narrowed as he saw it was the legendary sword of Godric Gryffindor itself an artifact that he had long searched for. "Now are you and your so boys up to a fight or are you all really the cowards we believe you are?" he asked.

"Lucius assemble my army we march on Hogwarts at noon," Voldemort ordered incensed by the boy's attitude as well as making sure he didn’t look like he was unsure what to do next.

"But my lord," Lucius tried to object before being sent to the floor with a powerful cutting curse to his leg.

"Do not question me. Get my army prepared to march," he hissed. "As for you boy I accept your challenge and I will take great pleasure in finally killing you and all those who follow you, no matter how small that number is," he added, not believing for an instant that anyone would have joined the Order and the ones that the First wanted killed.

Snape and the other Death Eaters quickly ran off to rally the dark lord's allies for the coming battle, leaving Voldemort to stare at the image of Potter.

"This fight will end only one way Tom with my death or your own, I don't care which I just want this to end," Harry said in an honest voice.

"And so it will Harry, so it will," Voldemort promised before leaving the chamber to prepare for the battle to come, again not believing for an instant that the boy or any of his friends had found a way to counter the spell which kept him from truly being killed.

+T+

(Hogwarts)

Harry breathed deeply as he felt the spell which had sent his astral projection to Voldemort end and he looked around with a smile at those who were standing in the hall with him.

"Well, did it work?" Xander inquired.

"It did, he and his army will be here at noon or as close to it as possible," Harry replied.

"He may turn up early so we better make sure we don't get caught by surprise," Moody growled.

"Good point, set up watches for the next four hours Amelia," Harry said after realizing Moody was correct, Voldemort might try and get the jump on them.

"Get everyone prepared for the fight. We need as many potions as we can use before Voldemort turns up," Xander ordered to the assembled group.

They all nodded and quickly broke up to begin the preparations for the coming fight. Xander joined Harry at the great doors to the school and watched as the sun continued to climb as the day truly began. Harry placed his sword tip first into the ground and knelt next to it and began to pray. Xander joined him a few seconds later and soon after that nearly everyone else, no matter who they were, joined them praying to whatever power they believed in for the right to claim victory.

+T+

(Other Realm)

Cassandra smiled as she felt the prayers of Alexander and Tara run through her as did her lord who felt them as well. The battle was soon to begin and then they would find out how this war would end.

"Stay safe Alexander and hold the line," she whispered.

+T+

(Hogwarts)

Xander smiled as he heard Cassandra's voice in his head and noticed Tara was smiling as well. He stood up, joined by the others who were all looking at him and Harry.

"Hold the line," he cried, raising his sword into the air.

His cry was taken up first by Harry and then by the entire force they had assembled as they allowed their belief in their cause to fill them and make them believe they could win.
25. Chapter 25
(Riddle Manor)

Voldemort looked around as his army prepared itself for the attack on Hogwarts where Potter and the rest of his followers had decided to stage their last stand. He was looking forward to finally destroying the boy who had stopped his first rise to power and the old fool who had constantly stood in his way.

He looked up as his allies the vampires, the werewolves, the giants, the Dementors and the demons, which had finally arrived. He frowned as he remembered that he had lost half of his vampire and werewolf allies due to an unknown third party who may have been working with Potter. He decided if they had gone over to his side they would suffer for it before he allowed them to be killed for their betrayal. He was still very annoyed at the fact that he had lost the skills of Greyback, whose death had precipitated the loss of half of the werewolves.

The demons of course would be his best asset in this fight as he knew Potter and even the old man had no experience in dealing with creatures such as this and they would help him destroy those who stood against him, especially these supposed enemies of the First. He doubted any of these supposed allies of Potter were of any real skill, but he would make sure they died anyway for getting in his way and help to defeat him during his attack on the Bones mansion.

"My lord, we are almost ready," Bellatrix said as she bowed in front of him holding up his sword. He could tell by the look in his faithful follower’s eyes that Bellatrix was eager for battle, smirking he took the sword from her.

The sword had once belonged to the dark lord Grindelwald before his defeat at the hands of Dumbledore. He had retrieved it from its hiding place during his travels before his first rise and had used it to kill fifteen of his most dangerous enemies. He had decided it would be a nice surprise to use this in his final fight with Potter who seemed to think the sword of Gryffindor would give him an advantage. The boy was obviously stupid enough to think he only knew how to use his wand as a weapon. Well he would take great pleasure in correcting his mistake.

"Good Bella," he finally said as he strapped the sword to his waist, the gold on its scabbard catching a patch of sunlight. "I want it clear that we are to take no prisoners until Potter and Dumbledore are dead," he ordered, facing his most devout follower.

"Yes master," Bellatrix said with a nod before moving to spread the word.

"Master my son and his fellow students have requested to be allowed to join the assault," Lucius said as he moved to the front and bowed before him. "They all want revenge and it is clear Potter's fellow student friends will be in the force we will face," he added.

"They will join us and make it clear if any of them fail me as they did yesterday they will all suffer for a long time afterwards," Voldemort replied. "And also make it clear their orders are to kill any who oppose us until Potter and Dumbledore are dead, understood?" he asked the threat in his voice clear to the Death Eater.

"Yes my lord I will make sure Draco and the others understand what is expected of them," Lucius stated before moving off. He just hoped his son was wise enough to listen to him, any mistake would be costly this time.

Voldemort almost smiled in anticipation of the fight to come knowing that soon he would be the undisputed ruler of magical Britain and when he was he could turn his attention to the Muggle population.

+T+

(Hogwarts)

Harry and Xander stood watching as the charmed ones prepared to summon Death to request his aid, they had another hour to go before Voldemort and his army was to arrive and they had decided this was the best time to get death's help. The sisters seemed confident he would help because Voldemort being alive after having been killed was against the balance of the universe.

Dumbledore had thankfully found the spell Voldemort must have used to keep his soul safe from being claimed by Death in the rather large Black family library just before the attack on Hogwarts and the ministry began. It was clear to the headmaster that Sirius's brother Regulus had found the book and hidden it at headquarters before his death and both he and Sirius seemed to think this was the cause of Regulus's death at the hands of Voldemort himself.

"We're ready Xander," Prue said even though she really didn’t want to do this, however for the sake of the mission she had to control her fear and to focus on the fact this had to be done so that they had a better possibility of winning.

"Then go ahead and do your thing," Xander said, still feeling somewhat uneasy about this, but he was willing to trust Prue and her sisters about this.

The sisters began to read from the spell they had taken from the Book of Shadows which Leo had once again taken to the Elders for safekeeping. None of them wanted Voldemort to get his hands on such a book. Even with its protection against evil Harry and Xander had both been certain Voldemort might find a way around it.

Xander and Harry watched as Leo, Cole and Tara arrived to watch while the rest of their people continued to prepare for the attack. Finally a black shadow began to appear shifting into the shadow of a large man. Finally the sisters stopped and everyone but the sisters, Leo and Cole were surprised to find Death was a tall man with blond hair and fierce brown eyes who seemed a little put out to be summoned.

"Why have you summoned me Prue? I thought after our last meeting you'd be a little more careful," Death asked, facing the sisters with a nasty scowl on his face.

"We need your help," Prue replied and did her best not to stammer. "When we met last time you told me about the balance and how if someone who is supposed to die doesn't it interrupts it, right?" she said knowing their whole plan rested on getting Death's help.

"That's right Prue," Death agreed, wondering where she was going with this and why she had summoned him in the first place. When one took in what took place during their last meeting he was surprised she would summon him here. "However I don't see why you'd summon me again considering what happened and what I made you realize," he added in an attempt to get her to give him the answers he sought.

"Just listen, we are in the magical world and there is a dark lord who was killed fifth-teen years ago, but thanks to a spell he still lives. Which means, according to you, that the balance is off," Prue said, getting a little angry as she remembered having to watch the Death of Reece Morrison, the inspector who had been investigating Cole's disappearance. "We have summoned you to help you correct that balance. We've found the counter to the spell Tom Riddle used to keep his soul from being claimed by you," she told him.

"What is it you want Prue?" Death asked, looking a lot more interested now. He remembered Tom Riddle alright. He was one of the few people to ever escape his grasp, a blemish he one day hoped to rectify.

"We want you to claim his soul as quickly as possible once he is dead during this fight. We'll take him down and cast a spell to keep his soul from fleeing, we just want your agreement that you will take him," Prue answered.

"Considering the circumstances… very well," Death finally relented, very interested if they had indeed found a way for him to finally claim that particular soul. "Riddle did indeed escape my grasp, but I was somehow able to work around the disruption although I’m not sure why I was able to," he explained to them. "I will be watching this fight and when it is time I will come and claim him as I should have done fifteen years ago," he told them before fading away with a cold smile.

"That guy is seriously creepy," Xander said with a shiver that was shared by many.

"I agree," Harry said. "I don't think he likes been summoned by anyone," he mused. "What did he mean Prue about you're last meeting?" he asked facing the eldest Halliwell.

"I needed to learn a lesson and he taught it to me, but it was one I had a hard time accepting," Prue answered in a dull tone as her eyes took on a haunted look. "Death is not evil or good he is neutral and I almost refused to believe it which could have led to my death, he told me so at the end of our last meeting," she continued. "I know it now and now so do you," she finished as her sisters pulled her into a small hug.

"He may be neither good nor evil, but he is one creepy person who could intimidate anyone," Xander said as he pulled Tara into a hug and kissed her for a few seconds. "Anyway now our only problem is the Dementors," he said focusing on what was about to happen.

"Not so much anymore," Aria said as she entered alongside Ragnok.

"Why, what's happened?" Harry inquired really hoping they had some weapon against the foul creatures.

"We have been negotiating with the last clan of Chimera in Britain and they have agreed to aid us in return for our promise to keep anyone from invading their home and that we do everything we can to hide them," Aria replied with a smile. "The Chimera's fire breathe is hot enough to burn the dementors to ash, but they will need to be covered while they fight, so I suggest we get some people on brooms to accompany them in their attack," she added.

Harry was amazed to hear this but quickly agreed. The Chimera would get what they asked for in return for their aid, especially if their fire breath could indeed kill the dementors and finally remove them from the world. He looked up as Hagrid entered the room with his large crossbow in his hand, he was followed by Firenze the Centaur.

"Harry me and Firenze asked the Magorian, the head of the centaurs in the forbidden forest, to help us in the fight and while there were some like Bane who refused out of spite Magorian and the others have agreed in return for the forest being placed under their guardianship," Hagrid informed them.

"I'll agree to that if they allow Firenze to return to his tribe without any more trouble," Harry immediately shot back, still not liking the other Centaurs too much for their attitudes towards them when they themselves have done nothing to them and have placed all humans in the same mold as Fudge and Malfoy.

"I told Magorian you'd ask for that and he has agreed to allow it even though it angered Bane," Hagrid said with a smile.

"I thank you Harry Potter," Firenze said with a short bow of respect. "I too will take part in this fight and I wish you good luck," he added before leaving to join his herd very much relieved to be going home again.

"Harry, I've moved Grwap into a cave close by so he won't get caught up in the fight," Hagrid told them. "Aragog and his family may show up to aid us just so they can claim the dead bodies for food," he added.

"As long as they don't take our dead I don't mind, but make it clear to him Hagrid if any of those spiders attack our forces we'll wipe him and his colony out," Harry said, not liking the idea of the gigantic arachnids being a part of this, but knowing he couldn't stop them from turning up.

"Oh I made it clear to him already Harry. He's knows you're not a wizard he wants as an enemy and he does owe you for killing the basilisk during second year which I reminded him off so I think he will make sure his family leaves our forces alone," Hagrid assured him.

"Okay then," Harry said, hoping Hagrid was right. "Dobby," he called and smiled as the small house elf appeared.

"Harry Potter called for Dobby?" Dobby shouted, bouncing up and down on his feet.

"Are you and the other house elves ready you for your part in this fight?" Harry asked kneeling in front of him.

"We are Harry Potter, sir," Dobby replied with a smile pleased to be able to help.

"Just remember Dobby. You get in, place the anti-travel wards and you get out, do not take any risks, understood?" he reminded the hyperactive house elf.

"Dobby understands," Dobby said, although the look on his face convinced Harry if he got into trouble he would try and aid him, but before he could say anything Dobby vanished.

"Well we better finishing our preparations," Xander said, kissing Tara again before leading them out of the room to their stations.

+T+

(Other Realm)

Cassandra could barely contain her nerves as the time for the battle to begin grew nearer and nearer. Alexander was as confident as he could be and he was at least keeping his doubts at bay with a little help from Tara. Harry was focusing completely on his task of killing Voldemort as quickly as possible.

She was quite happy to hear that they had finally found some way of dealing with the Dementors. The Chimera were very dangerous creatures and while there were very few clans around today they were still enough to cause a lot of damage should they ever go on a rampage. The aid of the Centaurs and maybe of the Acromantula's would hopefully swing the fight in their favor. She somehow doubted Dobby would stay out of the fight considering his loyalty to Harry and it may be possible he would convince the other elves to help as well.

"So the time is at hand," their lord said. "Let us hope their plans hold," he added.

"I think they will my lord," Cassandra said with as much confidence as she could. "Voldemort as usual is overconfident, first about the number of people he will be fighting, then in the fact he suspects Harry will not be able to use his sword very well and finally in the fact that they could counter his spell which keeps him safe from the angel of death," she explained.

"I have to agree my lord plus the Death Eaters themselves have always only attacked small groups of people and those who are too afraid to fight back. This time they will be facing an army of enemies and none of them will be allowing their fear to get in the way of what they have to do," Tanith agreed. "I think the shock of this will give Alexander, Harry and their allies a great advantage," he added.

"There is also the fact that they will not be expecting to come up against so many magical creatures like the Veela, Goblins and Chimera and also they will be fighting against muggle weapons as well as magical enhanced muggles like the slayers," Jonas spoke up. "Voldemort has allowed himself to be baited into a trap because of his own anger and he is ignoring the advice of his underlings to send scouts to check the area first," he continued.

"You all make good points, but do not forget Voldemort and his allies all have better experience in this kind of fight where there are no rules and they are also more used to killing their enemies," their lord responded. "I believe this will even out things for a while," he added as he waved his hand over the viewing pool and watched as Alexander and Harry led the small group out who would greet Voldemort's arrival. "It's time," he said as they all settled down to watch.

+T+

(Lower Realm)

The First and the Source both watched as Voldemort and his army prepared to launch their attack and both of them eagerly anticipated the death and destruction this fight would bring. They were sure that with the aid of their best demons Voldemort should be able to win this fight and especially kill the boy and his allies which is why they had granted Voldemort the use of the demons in the first place.
26. Chapter 26
(Hogwarts)

Harry led Dumbledore who would take Sirius's place in making sure he got to Voldemort in one place due to his experience and power and the rest of the order onto the field of battle. Beside him Xander led his own group to the side of them, hoping to gain the attention of the demons as soon as they arrived. Xander nodded at him as he passed and then stood next to Jack Crow and Alucard who once again wielded his own sword as it was decided he could use it to its best potential in this fight.

Xander, Tara and Lilith were all using the gifts they had been given in Middle Earth by the Valar. The magical rings of protection would be of great help here and Xander wondered if the Valar had somehow known they would end up in such a situation. The swords made out of Mithril would also come in handy during this fight, considering they were made of a material not found in this dimension. Suddenly they all looked across the field as Voldemort and his army appeared. The numbers at the moment seemed to be well against them and Xander could see the look of manic glee in the dark lord's eyes as he looked at his enemy’s small number.

Without being noticed Dobby and his fellow Hogwarts house elves popped in and placed the wards that would keep Voldemort and his army from escaping and then quickly popped out. It was no surprise to Harry and the Order that the house elves had not been noticed considering how most pure bloods viewed them, but Xander and his group was a bit more surprised by their lack of attention.

Xander raised his hand and the D.A, the Veela, Goblins, Vampires and the Werewolves took up their positions in the line, surprising Voldemort who had only believed Potter may have gotten some of the Vampires and the Werewolves to join him. He hadn’t known about the Goblins and the Veela.

Harry smiled at the look of anger he could see on Voldemort's face, even as he knew a small force of Goblins and Vampires had joined the Centaurs in the Forbidden Forest waiting to attack Voldemort's army's in the rear. This was it, this was the moment he had been working for since he had gotten out of Azkaban and now he had to keep his revulsion of killing out of his head and do his duty. He quickly saw the demons break off from the dark lord's forces and move until they were facing Xander and the rest of the demon hunters, as Xander and Sir Integra had suspected they might once they arrived.

Voldemort raised his own hand and then the demons, vampires, werewolves and giants charged down the field, followed by the Dementors which were in the air.

Aria whistled loudly and the Chimera appeared in the air ready to deal with the foul Dementors.

Their appearance really surprised Voldemort and his followers, as the demons closed in on the demon hunters hundreds of explosions erupted, catching the demons and the werewolves completely by surprise, while Blake and Wilson began to fire their rocket launchers and mortars at the giants, taking them down with complete accuracy.

Sixty demons came charging out of the clouds of dust and about forty werewolves followed them. Jack Crow gave a shout and his group formed into a line and began to fire their weapons at the approaching enemies. Xander and Lilith quickly separated from the group and joined Harry, Dumbledore and Moody as Harry led the charge of the rest of their forces towards their enemies. The goblins formed a huge line filled with silver axes and swords and smashed into the vampires and Death Eaters who had finally charged at Voldemort's order. The battle was joined on the left while Jack and his force managed to keep the demons and werewolves at bay with their volleys of gunfire. Armed with the demon killing ammo of the Hellsing organization they were having a good effect on the demons and the silver ammo was causing large damage to the werewolves.

Voldemort sneered as he stood behind the fighting and was watching as his army met a force equal in number and strength. He realized he had been led into a trap and he knew better than to suspect Potter and Dumbledore wouldn’t have found a way to keep them from escaping so he didn’t bother to order a retreat. As Potter had stated this would end now, one way or the other and he was determined to make it end with him as ruler of magical Britain. He began to lead his bodyguard consisting of Snape, Bellatrix, Alecto and Amycus Carrow as well as Yaxley towards the mass of fighting intent on reaching Potter and finishing this fast.

Snape and the rest of his bodyguards quickly moved to combat the approaching figures of Dumbledore, Moody, Lilith, Xander, Sirius, and Amelia who had joined them in the defense of Harry as he moved as quickly as possible towards the dark lord.

"Time to die mutt and join James and Lilly in hell," Snape spat as he came face to face with Sirius who narrowed his eyes in response and began firing spells as quickly as possible, including several cutting and slashing curses which Snape easily dodged.

Dumbledore engaged the most dangerous of the bodyguards, Bellatrix, while Amelia and Moody engaged the Carrow siblings. Xander and Lilith took on Yaxley and McNair who had rushed to them to help his lord. Xander and Lilith both charged their opponents and knocked their wands out of their hands so they were on a more even footing, Yaxley and McNair both grabbed their secondary weapons and began to fight sword to sword while Bellatrix was just barely keeping up with Dumbledore's power with her vast amount of knowledge of the dark arts. Moody and Amelia were teaming up against the Carrow siblings with ease due to their advantage of being former partners in the Auror Corps.

Above them the Dementors and the Chimera's engaged in a deadly flying battle, the dementors were too busy trying to kill the Chimera's to use their abilities to weaken the Order as well as avoiding the few patronus charms cast against them by the flyers of Harry's army. Harry himself had quickly engaged Voldemort in a duel, only this time he was more confident of his abilities and he knew Fleur, Susan and Hermione were okay fighting alongside Alice and Frank against a group of Death Eaters he knew contained Draco, his father and Pettigrew thanks to his bond with Fleur who was keeping him up to date on their status. Snape and Sirius began to score hits against each other, but were so filled with hate and distaste for the other they were not concentrating enough to land a decent blow.

Finally Jack gave the order to abandon their firearms and engage the demons full on, they had taken out a huge amount of the demons and there was only about fifteen left as well as some Werewolves, but considering that even one of these things had gone through a slayer, three Nosferatu, two witches and Xander they knew this would still not be an easy fight to win. Alucard just smiled insanely as he charged into the lead demon followed by Varsik and Seras. Adrian and Sir Integra headed for the few remaining Werewolves who were close to them followed by Giles, Jessica, Amy, Oz, Sam Zabuto and Tara while the rest, including the majority of the three demons hunting teams, engaged the demons, hoping their numbers would aid them in taking these powerful demons down.

The charmed ones also engaged the demons using their combined abilities to their fullest, turning two of them into fireballs before they exploded. Jack, Wilson and Blake all attacked another using a variety of their hand guns and short swords to score as much damage as they could to take it down. The Werewolves were no match for the combined efforts of Adrian and his team and they were quickly either killed or subdued and taken prisoner before Adrian led them against the demons. Amy however was quickly wounded by one of the demon claws and was dragged away by Jessica who just barely avoided having her head taken off. Leo quickly orbed in and took Amy to the hospital leaving Jessica to quickly head off to aid Tara whose magic was beginning to show more power as she tapped into the ancient magic of the Romany to fry another of the demons as she was charged by two more.

Xander grew frustrated with his fight and lashed out with his foot catching McNair in the side, knocking him off balance and he quickly took advantage of this and brought his sword down in an arc cutting the Death Eater’s left arm cleanly off and then following it up by bringing his sword down into the man's back, killing him instantly.

He quickly charged Yaxley from behind causing him to stumble and leaving him vulnerable to Lilith's thrust which embedded itself into his chest before she pulled it out and cut the man's head off just in case he still had any fight left in him. They then went to aid Frank, Alice and the rest of their group as more Death Eaters converged on them. Remus too headed in that direction as he caught the scent of the traitor Pettigrew.

Harry almost cried out as Voldemort managed to land a cutting curse on his shoulder, but he quickly focused on something other than the pain and shot of another slashing spell as well as a reducto before moving sideways and pulling the sword of Gryffindor out of its scabbard and challenging the dark lord to meet him in kind.

"Very well Harry, if you are so eager to meet your death I will humor you," Voldemort said with a smile before pulling his own sword and quickly launching a wild swing which Harry was just able to duck.

Dumbledore finally overcame Bellatrix's defenses and sent her flying into a nearby tree as the rear attack force made its appearance and slammed into the unprotected rear of Voldemort's forces, killing seven Death Eaters before they could organize some kind of counter, Dumbledore knew Bellatrix wasn’t dead and he knew he couldn’t leave her alive, no matter how distasteful he found killing she was too dangerous to leave here and so he used a spell to cause a tree to collapse onto the insane woman crushing her completely before going off to help the others.

Snape was distracted by Bellatrix's defeat as well as the defeat of the Carrow siblings at the hands of Moody and Amelia which allowed Sirius to catch him in the throat with a lethal cutting curse which opened it up and left him to bleed to death on the ground while Sirius called for Leo who quickly took him to the hospital where he was rushed to a bed by Pomfrey and Janna due to the many curses he had been hit by.

Frank and Alice combined their magic as they fought Malfoy and Rookwood, while Hermione, Fleur, Susan and Neville fought Draco, Crab, Goyle and Parkinson.

Remus and Pettigrew were also engaged in a huge fight, Remus was bleeding from where Pettigrew had managed to catch him with his silver hand, but Remus was the better dueler and was quickly overcoming the traitor's efforts. Finally he saw an opening and launched a killing curse which caught Pettigrew straight in the face and killed him outright. Remus gave a silent prayer to James and Lilly before moving to help Tonks fight Crab and Goyle senior as did Fletcher who was quickly overcome and killed by Goyle with some help from another Death Eater.

Neville growled as Draco landed a curse on Hermione which opened up a wound on her left shoulder and fired off two blasting curses and a cutting curse which hit the blond boy, sending him to the ground with a broken rib and a nasty cut on his left leg. Fleur however saw a perfect opportunity to deal with the boy who had at every opportunity tried to harm Harry and sent three fireballs at him, all of which struck and quickly set him ablaze which distracted Lucius who was hit in the face and chest by Frank and Alice’s killing curses and then they took down Rookwood who was hit from behind by Dumbledore as he, Moody and Amelia arrived to help them.

Above them the Dementors finally fell afoul of the Chimera's fire breath and were burnt to cinders. Their cries caused many to shiver as they died. A cry went out as Shacklebolt was caught by two curses flung by Rodolphus and Rabastan Lestrange. Moody and Amelia quickly engaged them while Hermione and Susan worked to bring Parkinson and Crab Jr. down.

The senior Crab and Goyle were killed by the combined fire of Tonks, Remus and Dumbledore who had noted their tricky placement. Hagrid waded into a bunch of Death Eaters swinging a large tree branch into as many of them as he could, while their few spells against him did little due to his giant heritage. Hermione and Susan were caught from behind by more Death Eaters, but were saved by Frank and Alice who acted on instincts and killed those responsible. Leo and Mandy were quickly called and orbed the two wounded girls to the hospital.

Buffy and Kendra walked together to take down another of the demons, while their watchers and their friends covered their backs and continued to fire at the vampires who attempted to charge them from behind, obviously believing them to be the weak links.

Jack Crow ignored the multiple wounds he had sustained as Xander charged back into the fray to help him fight off the demon he had been fighting and had almost killed him and Wilson who had been taken to the hospital by one of the whitelighters with massive injuries. Lilith soon joined him and together they managed to bring the creature down, especially after Xander and Lilith used the Romany magic to open up a huge wound across its gut.

"Thanks kid," Jack said as he watched Alucard behead another of the demons, leaving only three to be dealt with. "I think we're almost done here," he added as he looked over to where the Goblins and their Vampire allies dealt with the remaining Werewolves and Vampires on Voldemort's side.

"Don't jinx it now Jack," Xander said as he suddenly noticed Tara being sent flying against the castle wall and his mother being caught in the arm and side.

He growled in anger and attacked the demon that had injured his wife and mother, followed quickly by Jack and Lilith. Xander managed to open a wound down its side before he was picked up and thrown into the castle wall as well, breaking his arm as he hit it. As he stood up the demon rammed its claws into his side just as Lilith took its head clean off with her sword. He coughed up some blood as he dropped down next to Tara who was just coming round.

"Leo," Lilith shouted and watched as the whitelighter quickly arrived and took the bleeding Xander and Tara to the hospital, she noticed that Jessica also had been taken by another of the whitelighters.

"That was too close," Jack said before rushing off to help Sir Integra and Blake kill the demon they were fighting, joined a second later by an enraged Alucard as he noted his master was bleeding.

Harry had to admit that Voldemort was pretty good with a sword, but he had managed to exploit many openings in the dark lord's stances as he moved. He had managed to open up wounds in the dark lord’s leg and chest, while receiving wounds on his arm, side and chest. He continued to push forward even though he felt exhausted. Voldemort sent another wild swing at his side that Harry dodged and he noticed the dark lord had over balanced himself and so he quickly swung his sword upwards cutting deep into Voldemort's exposed chest before pulling it out and sending his sword down into the his leg cutting deeply before Voldemort recovered enough to catch him with a back hand which knocked him off his feet.

"Time to die Potter," Voldemort spat, not noticing Dumbledore and the charmed ones coming up behind him and casting their spells to remove Voldemort's protection which stopped him from being killed and his soul claimed by Death.

He raised his sword to bring it down in a cutting arc, but Harry rolled straight under the swing and brought his own sword upwards, embedding into Voldemort's chest before grabbing his wand and casting a killing curse while bringing the memory of his parents to the fore of his mind and finally destroying the dark lord who had taken so much from him and everyone else in his quest for power.

Fleur quickly knelt next to him as the charmed ones cast a spell to keep Voldemort’s soul in place and then a few seconds later they all watched as the Angel of Death appeared with a rather cold look on his face and forcibly claimed the dark lord's spirit.

"Thank you," Death said before vanishing, leaving the echoes of Voldemort's anguished screams to alert his remaining Death Eaters that he had perished which quickly caused a lot of them to surrender.

Those of Voldemort's army which refused to surrender were quickly overrun by the number of enemies they faced and killed as had been agreed. Harry was taken to the hospital by Leo, while Dumbledore took charge of finishing up the battle.

The last of the demons were finally killed by Alucard and Varsik, while the Goblins, Vampires and Veela finally defeated the remaining Werewolves and Vampires who remained loyal to the dark lord even in death. By now Aragog could be seen leading his family in the search for the dead bodies of the Death Eaters. Dumbledore ordered everyone to make sure they didn’t take any of their own dead and once the last of the enemy was subdued they began searching for their dead and a list was begun by Amelia so they knew who had been lost.

Frank, Alice, Fleur and Neville headed for the hospital to see Harry and the others, joined a few seconds later by Alucard and Lilith who wanted to see how Xander and Tara were doing.

+T+

(Lower Realm)

The First and the Source were shocked to see their demons killed by human mines which had given the boy and his demon hunters a huge advantage. The defeat of Voldemort was also a surprise, considering his strength and experience. They both cursed fate and swore they would succeed in eventually killing the boy and his friends who had at least been injured in the fight.

+T+

(Other Realm)

Cassandra breathed deeply as the fight finally ended and Alexander had survived with ‘only’ a deep injury to his side which would be no trouble for Leo to heal.

"They did it, Voldemort is dead and the magical world is saved," Tanith said with a smile.

"The Muggle world is also safe from the attack Voldemort would have launched should he have won," Jonas added. "Still they took a lot of casualties," he reminded them.

"They did Jonas, but in the end it was worth the sacrifice to end the threat of Voldemort," their lord finally spoke. "And at least some of their casualties can be saved thanks to the whitelighters who are aiding them and their potions," he reminded them. "Now the bigger task of reconstructing their world can begin," he said, alerting the others to the task that still awaited Harry and his friends.

Chapter Text

27. Chapter 27
(Hogwarts)

In the enlarged hospital wing of the school witches and whitelighters moved as fast as they could to deal with the many serious injuries. Xander looked around from his own bed having already been seen by Leo, who had healed his wound in the gut while a potion had been given to him to fix his broken arm and that was causing him a hell of a lot of pain at the moment as the bones were fixed.

It had been decided the whitelighters would only see to the life threatening injuries and not things magical potions could deal with. He looked over at where Tara lay and next to her was Sirius, Jessica and Vincent Wilson who was slowly recovering from the wounds he had sustained in the battle. Harry lay next to him and on either side were Hermione and Susan who were also recovering thanks to the magical potions they had been given. Harry had also been seen by Leo for a deep sword wound to his side.

He turned as the doors opened and Frank, Alice, Fleur and Neville entered with smiles on their faces as they came to see how they were all doing and Xander was pleased to see Alucard and Lilith enter just behind them. He had already seen Janna who was helping see to the wounded. She had been concerned about the injuries he had sustained, but had to move on to the next patient before they could say much else.

"How are things going?" he asked after Lilith had leaned down and kissed him as deeply as she could. He eagerly returned the kiss. It distracted him from the pain he still felt from the battle.

"Dumbledore is making sure our dead are recovered and that none are taken by Aragog and his children who have finally turned up," Lilith answered. "A list is been made so we know who has been lost," she added.

"How are we doing here?" Frank inquired as he looked around the ward.

"We've lost fifteen people here whose wounds were just too much for us to counter or were just mortal wounds and not even Leo and his friends could heal them," Sirius answered. "Vincent and Shacklebolt were lucky they were brought here so fast, any longer and they both would have died as well," he added. "They'll be in here for a couple of days at least, same with the rest even me. I took some bad curses before I finally dealt with Snape," he continued with a feral smile.

"I’m sure James and Lily are happy that all of their betrayers are dead Sirius," Remus stated as he entered the hospital ward with a smile pleased to see his friends were all okay. "I managed to bring down Peter, he will no longer be able to harm anyone ever again," he added.

"Good it's about time," Harry finally spoke up feeling relieved both men were dead and would never threaten him or his friends again. "Pettigrew and Snape have caused too much harm over the years and they deserve to be sent to hell kicking and screaming," he stated with a dark undertone in his voice. "Same with most of the Death Eaters who have killed hundreds of people just for fun," he added.

“Let it go Harry,” Fleur told him softly. “They are dead and you do not need to hate them any longer or even think of them. They will pay for their crimes in the afterlife and that should be enough for us all,” she added.

“I agree Harry,” Alice put in, thankful she wasn’t the only one who was working on getting Harry to let go of whatever leftover hatred and anger he still had within him.

"Did we take many prisoners?" Susan asked, hoping to change the topic of conversation and get Harry’s mind away from Snape and Pettigrew as her aunt finally appeared to check on her alongside Dumbledore.

"We took seventy prisoners, including twenty Werewolves, the rest were all Death Eaters," Amelia answered having heard the question of her niece. "They are all been taken to the Ministry holding cells and will be kept there until after we have rebuilt the government and put new rules in place as we planned to do. Azkaban will be heavily fortified before anymore prisoners are sent there," she informed them.

"A good idea," Harry said as Alice checked to make sure he was really alright while Neville went to Hermione to see how she was. "That will be are first big step alongside keeping our promises to the Vampires and Chimera to hide and protect them from any reprisals from the population. Wards will be placed on their homes to keep us out and they will be left in peace," he ordered.

"I will place my own spells on their homes Harry using the ancient Romany magic of my people which should prove more effective than your magic as no one of your kind knows how to counter it," Alucard said with a smile.

"I want it made clear that those Werewolves and Vampires who helped us are to be left alone Amelia. I don't care how the people feel about them, but we wouldn’t have been able to fight and destroy Voldemort's army without them and they will get what we promised them," Harry said.

"I will take care of it Harry and while I’m sure some people will object they will not go looking for the clans if they are smart," Amelia said with a smile, beginning to feel the threat of Voldemort finally lift and this time for good. "One thing we have to do first is find a new minister for magic," she mused.

"I was thinking you'd take that job," Harry responded with a slight smirk that was quickly picked up by the others. "You know exactly what needs to be done in rebuilding the government and what laws need to be put in place and which needs to be removed, plus I want a magical oath put in place for any who serve in either the government or the Wizengamot that they will never act against the people or deal with criminals like Fudge did and most of those who could take the role of minister would refuse to do this because it would limit their actions," he explained.

"I have to agree with Harry's reasoning Amelia, we need someone in office who can enact the changes we planned or promised to make and I can’t think of anyone better for the job than you," Dumbledore finally spoke up with a small smile. "I will help as much as I can while I rebuild the Wizengamot and make sure the same actions are taken there to modernize it along the same lines as the government," he added.

"Who will take the role of head of the law department then?" Susan inquired, pleased to see her aunt given the post she so deserved.

"I think I can take that role even though I've not been awake for long I know exactly how to get the Aurors back to their best and I know exactly how to make sure they do their jobs," Frank said with a smile, relishing the idea of a challenge as well as hoping this would help him adjust to the world as it now was.

"Are you sure Frank?" Alice asked, not that concerned about her husband's choice considering all the real threats had been dealt with.

"I am, I want to make sure we aren’t facing a situation like this again twenty years down the line," Frank said to which his wife nodded her head with a smile.

Fleur joined Harry on his bed and curled into him thankful he had survived the battle and she could feel all of the nerves, fear and anger which had so troubled Harry in the last week begin to fade away over the bond.

"Very well Harry, I will take the job as minister until everything we've planned or promised has been put in place," Amelia said, knowing it would be a huge challenge but she couldn’t fault Harry's thinking in wanting someone who would carry out their plans as they wanted and needed in power.

"Professor until the government and Wizengamot are sorted out I think it'd be wise to put professor McGonagall in charge of Hogwarts so you will not be overworked or distracted until the task is complete," Harry suggested hoping the headmaster would not take too much offense at his words.

"I think that would be a good course of action Harry as rebuilding both will take a lot of my time," Dumbledore agreed seeing that Harry’s suggestion was not an act of spite, but genuine consideration of the facts. "Once everything is sorted out however I think I will retire from the Wizengamot and devout my remaining time to the school," he added with a smile. "I’m also thinking of bringing in some new teachers for new subjects to bring the school more into modern times," he informed them.

The others all smiled at this and Xander was pleased to see the darkness begin to lift off the faces of his friends now that Voldemort and his army were gone and the threat they represented had been dealt with as had the corruption of the former government. He knew it would take months to get to a point where a new government would begin to regain control, but at least once it had Harry could finally begin to build a new life without the constant threat of Voldemort in it.

He sighed as Janna joined him on the bed finally, clearly tired from her efforts helping Leo, Madam Pomfrey and the other healers as she closed her eyes and tried to fall asleep.

"How is it going Janna?" Tara asked, causing the Romany to open her eyes allowing the others to see how tired she was.

"We lost another five due to the seriousness of their injuries, but the others are more manageable from what I saw so hopefully we won't lose anyone else," Janna answered. "We lost about twenty Goblins, seventeen Vampires are missing and presumed dead, twenty five of the Werewolves were lost and twenty Veela," she informed them. "We lost 15 of our group and Cole was badly wounded, but he seems to be on the mend as is Vincent and the rest seemed to have lost about thirty or more, but thanks to the whitelighters the number has been kept quite low to what it could have been," she explained.

"Yes I would like to thank whoever allowed Leo to gather so many of his colleagues to help us," Madam Pomfrey said as she came to check on them. "The last of the injured have been seen to thankfully and we have had no more deaths," she told them as she ran her wand over Sirius.

"He already knows Madam Pomfrey I am sure he and the other higher powers were watching," Xander said with a smile which was shared by Tara who like him had met Cassandra's lord. "And I’m sure they are pleased we managed to defeat not only Voldemort and his army, but stop the plans of the First and the Source combined," he added. "Together we have scored a huge victory against the darkness and all it does for me is prove we need to force a permanent alliance of our forces to continue our fight," he stated.

"We agree Xander," Prue said as she and her sisters entered the ward, although Phoebe quickly broke off and went to see how Cole was doing. "Since we've met you we have beaten the Source and now the First badly and we want to keep them where they belong and away from the innocent," she added as Piper snuggled up against Leo as he finally joined them, looking very tired most likely due to having to heal so many people.

"Once we have finished our business with the Romany clans and dealt with Radrik then we can turn our attention to that Prue," Xander responded as he felt Janna finally succumb to sleep. "I want to catch Radrik before he becomes more of a threat than he already is and as we know getting the Watchers and Vatican together along with the other champions will take a lot of time," he explained his reasoning. "The Vatican has trouble with the idea of witches and the Watchers don't like the idea of anyone working with their Slayers and there are properly hundreds of problems we're going to encounter when we try this," he said with a sigh.

"True Alexander, but if we can indeed bring the alliance together we will be a much stronger force in the fight against the darkness we each face separately," Sir Integra told him as she walked into the ward looking somewhat tired and she had a small wound on her shoulder and a large scrape on her face.

Everyone agreed with this as Amy joined them from her bed down the ward looking better than she had when she was brought in during the fight. She sat down next to Jessica who gave her a quick smile as it was she who had saved Amy when she was injured and almost got beheaded in the process.

"How long will we remain here Alex?" Jessica inquired, looking forward to finally reaching the Romany clans and learning the fate of her first husband and Alexander's father.

"We take a couple of weeks or maybe a month to recover. Buffy and those we brought in can go home when they want. The threat is gone now and they all have their own lives to live and duties to perform," Xander answered. "That goes for you too Prue. The war is over thanks to your help and not just in helping to fight," he said facing the eldest Halliwell. "You also have a sister to find and bring home, just be careful and if you need help send Leo to get us and we will come," he said with a smile which was mirrored on Prue's.

"We will Alex," Prue promised. "Hopefully with the loss of so many demons we'll have the time to bring Paige home and teach her as much as we can so she can defend herself," she added with a look at Piper and Leo. "But we won't be letting our guard down anytime soon that's for sure," she said with conviction.

"I'll say we now know the Source and the First are working closely together to combat us so we have to keep out selves on alert" Piper agreed. "Once we recover Paige we'll be even more of a target, because once she is up to scratch we'll be even more of a threat than we already are," she added.

"Alucard I think you should place some of your wards down on the Halliwell’s mansion so that they'll be more protected there as will be Paige during her training," Tara suggested.

"Good idea that will give you more time to train Paige," Xander said with a smile. "The better she is the more effective you will become. Just remember to also train her to work as part of a team or you'll end up in trouble when facing more than one enemy," he added.

"Good points," Phoebe said as she rejoined them along with Cole who looked a lot better than he had. "I can't wait to meet our sister," she said with a smile which was quickly shared by her sisters, Leo and Cole.

"The Paige we met in the alternate dimension was very nice, she had a wild streak to her like Phoebe does at the moment and she is quite able with her gifts," Tara told them with a smile. "She taught me quite a bit in the short time we were there," she added.

"I think you better break this up for now, a lot of you need rest, and you can talk again tomorrow," Madam Pomfrey said after she finished checking Harry.

The others nodded knowing they still had a lot to do, even with the battle finished and so left to do it. Fleur refused to leave and began to fall asleep against Harry mirroring Janna who was fast asleep against Xander who shifted the blanket so it covered her as well. When Xander noticed Harry doing the same he laughed before settling down and soon fell asleep as did many others in the ward.
28. Chapter 28
Note: My thanks again to Hawklan for helping out. By the way… you really should visit his author page. He has quite a few fics of his own you should check out.

Chapter 28

(Other Realm)

"Alexander and his friends deserve the rest after what they have just done," Cassandra said as she watched her descendant fall asleep. "I just hope he receives it," she added.

"I agree, but like all things if something is supposed to happen it will," their lord countered. "Harry is hoping to start rebuilding as fast as possible which is good and he has chosen good people to lead the new government, who will not try and block the changes he wishes to make," he added. "Their ideas to help shield the charmed ones while they train Paige are also well thought out. While I agree with Prue that the First and Source will both be off balance by losing so many of their best demons I doubt it will stop them trying to strike at them," he stated, rubbing his chin while he thoughts things out.

"I agree my lord. I’m also pleased to see Alexander has decided to hold off on forming his alliance until he has dealt with Radrik," Cassandra responded. "Clearly his experiences with Voldemort have convinced him to deal with his main threat as soon as possible, rather than wait," she continued, which meant that Alexander would finally complete his quest and stop the destruction of their people.

"I agree there, he obviously doesn’t want Radrik to become a threat the likes of Voldemort," Tanith agreed with her. "Still I sense something is about to happen which will postpone that plan for a while," he told them with a frown. "I can't say what it is or where it is coming from, but I feel it approaching," he stated. "I also sense that is will pull Prue into it. Somehow she will be needed for whatever it is that is coming," he said, frustrated he couldn’t get a clear reading on what he was feeling.

The others shared a concerned look at this as they looked to Jonas who nodded, he too felt this disturbance. Cassandra quickly began checking the lines of fate around Alexander and his friends and soon noted a branching point leading somewhere else, but wherever it was it was well hidden.

She noted her lord had also sensed it by the look of his face and he quickly vanished obviously on his way to talk to fate who she hoped may have an idea about what it was they were sensing. She looked back at the viewing pool as Alexander slept and hoped whatever it was that was coming it wouldn’t prove more dangerous to what he had already gone through.

+T+

(Hogwarts, the next day)

Xander walked into the Great Hall feeling a hell of a lot better than he had last night. He was joined by Tara, Janna, Jessica, Susan and Harry all of whom had been cleared by Leo and Madam Pomfrey.

Sirius was quite annoyed that he would have to wait another day until he could leave the hospital ward which had amused Harry and Remus who took turns in winding him up about it before being kicked out by Madam Pomfrey, who did not appreciate the humor when people were still recovering.

They all came to stop as they noted a very large list which detailed all the people, no matter which race they belonged to, they had lost the day before. They all closed their eyes in prayer for their fallen comrades before sitting at one of the new tables in the enlarged hall for breakfast. They were joined quickly by Frank, Alice, Amy, Neville and Fleur, while Dumbledore and Amelia nodded their heads in greeting from the head table alongside Sir Integra and Jack Crow, who would be leaving with his team in the afternoon as would William Blake and his own team.

Jack had lost seven of his men while Blake had lost nine of his. Both would be recruiting new members from their organizations once they had returned to their base of operations. Vincent Wilson who was still in the hospital ward had lost five of his men and would be returning to the Hellmouth tomorrow alongside Buffy, Kendra and her group and would also be gaining some new members. Xander felt a little responsible for the deaths of these men, but he knew that they had chosen to be a part of this fight as had all the others who had fought and died in this war. He knew Harry had been feeling a similar feeling, but was also dealing with it better than he would have a couple of months ago.

"How is everything going?" Xander inquired as he placed some of the food on offer onto his plate.

"The final list of the dead has been posted in the entry way as you may have seen," Frank answered with a grim look. "We lost a total of just over a hundred people from our forces. All the bodies have been found and none were taken by Aragog and his family and was that creepy watching them take the dead Death Eaters away," he added with a shake of his head.

"Alucard left toward the charmed ones house as well as the land where the Vampires and Werewolves will live. Adrian went with him," Alice added. "He said he'd be back once he settled the Vampires down on their new land as one big clan," she went on. "The Goblins and Veela have already left, but Ragnok and Aria will be back tomorrow to start work in helping to rebuild the government as each will be one of the representatives chosen for the new Wizengamot, while two others will join the new government as well," she explained.

"Things will be rocky for a bit, but I am sure with Amelia, Dumbledore and Harry working on these things they will quickly get sorted out," Amy said as she ate her food.

"I have to agree, still there will be some people who will be resistant to these changes for some time I suspect," Xander said with a sigh. "I just hope they don't cause any more trouble for you," he added.

"I’m sure some will, but I think most just want peace," Harry agreed with him. "And I think most will just accept the changes just to get that peace," he added.

The others all nodded at this before continuing to eat their breakfast thinking over the whole thing. They were soon joined by the Halliwell's, Leo and Cole as well as Lilith and Seras.

The noise in the hall was quite loud considering all they had been through in the last month and they were all pleased to hear that there seemed to be no lasting effects to the younger children who had helped them fight yesterday. They all seemed to be just relieved that Voldemort and his army were no longer a threat to them or their families.

Xander once he had finished his breakfast leaned back into his chair and thought over his next move hoping dealing with Radrik would prove easier than what they had gone through in taking down Voldemort and his followers. He felt Tara's calming presence over the bond, even as Janna grabbed his hand and gave it a squeeze as she leaned her head on his shoulder. He closed his eyes and began to plan how he would get to Radrik as he suspected those who followed him would not allow to just walk up to him and challenge him.

"Prue, Alucard has left to ward your house already, so you guys can leave when you want to, although I was hoping you'd stick around for a few days," Xander finally said turning to face Prue.

"That's cool, we could use the rest as well," Prue said with a smile, hoping to continue to build up her friendship with Xander while trying to keep her attraction to him down. "Plus we have to work up a working schedule for training Paige in everything she will need to know as does Leo who will teach her to use her whitelighter powers," she continued.

"Excellent," Xander said with a smile, pleased he would have Prue and her sisters around for a bit longer as he had grown to really like her personality and trust her judgment.

He almost frowned when he felt a poke from Tara over the bond which alerted him to the fact that he was beginning to find the eldest Halliwell attractive. He sighed and was wondering why he seemed unable to stop himself falling for some of the women he had come into contact with lately. He knew he was pushing things as it was, but he quickly calmed down with a little push from Tara.

He looked up as Dumbledore stood and clapped his hands gaining everyone's attention.

"First I would like to announce that from this point on until the government and Wizengamot have been rebuilt I will be stepping down as headmaster of Hogwarts," Dumbledore informed the large crowd, smiling as most of the children shouted in disapproval at this news. "Professor McGonagall will assume the role of headmistress with professor Flitwick as her deputy. I’m sure you will aid them in helping to bring the school back to its former glory after Umbridge's decrees," he stated. "Your former professors will be returning tomorrow aside from Severus Snape, who it turns out was a Death Eater and a loyal follower of Voldemort," he continued. "Second new classes will be opened by the start of the new year with special teachers installed in them. A new teacher will take on the role of history of magic as well as muggle studies and potions so you will actually learn proper information," he went on with a smile at the cheer from most of the student body. "Lastly I would like to say how proud I’m of all of you from your steadfast belief in our cause and in the defense of Hogwarts and our way of life. You have helped us end the threat of Voldemort forever and you have helped Harry Potter put his past to rest and begin a new life," he paused for a few seconds as people began clapping. "Also it has been decided that a monument will be built on the main field in memory of those who lost their lives during the battle and I would like to take this time to ask for two minutes silence in memory of those people," he finished.

Everyone quieted down and began to remember all the people they had lost, not matter the race they had been allies and friends and they would be missed.

Xander was happy to see Dumbledore wasn’t hanging around and was already moving to bring in the new changes the magical world needed and he could see those here were looking forward to those changes.

Finally after the two minutes had ended people began to leave the hall to do their own things. Classes were suspended for two weeks and students had been given leave to visit their families while the school was sorted out and the old teachers who had been fired by Umbridge were brought back and the new teachers arrived to take up their roles.

"What will you do Harry?" Xander asked his friend who was smiling at Fleur and Susan who were sitting opposite him.

"I don't know. I really have no clue now that I don't have to deal with Voldemort and classes have been suspended for two weeks," Harry replied.

"Oh we have something to do Harry. We're going to be paying the Dursley's a visit somewhere this week to discuss their guardianship and their treatment of you," Alice told her godson. "Sirius and I have agreed the sooner we deal with them the better and they will not be escaping what they've done to you without punishment," she promised, still feeling sick at what she had learned from Fleur about Harry's childhood years.

Harry went to protest, but quickly quieted down when he saw the looks on his godmother's face as well as Fleur, Susan and Hermione's. He just nodded his head, personally he would feel better never seeing them again, but he could understand why Alice, Sirius and the others wanted to do this.

"Well kid we're going to get off now. I have to file a report on all this and don't worry I will make it clear to my bosses these people are not a threat," Jack said as he and Father Adam walked over to their table. "I think considering what we helped advert they will leave you alone as well as take into account the asset you'd be if we form an alliance with you," he added.

"You take care Jack and watch your back," Xander said as he stood and shook both men's hands. "This war is just about to change and we're going to need you when it does," he added.

"Don't worry about me kid, I'd be more worried about your own back with the First and Source after your blood," Jack responded with a grin.

"True enough, thanks for all your help Jack, we couldn't have done it without you," Xander said as Harry got up and shook their hands as well.

"Anytime kid anytime," Jack said with a nod at the others before moving to his men and getting them ready to move out.

Xander stopped Father Adam as he moved to pass and moved him away from the table to have a quick word, watched by Janna, Tara and Lilith all who quickly became puzzled when the priest began to laugh and smile before nodding his head before joining Jack and the rest of team Crow as well as Dumbledore who would be supplying them with portkeys to get back to their hotel in Mexico where their trucks were.

"What was that about Alex?" Janna asked as he sat back down, noting Tara was now smiling as well.

"Plans for the future Janna and something I should have done back in Sunnydale before everything got heavy," Xander answered.

"Tara what is it? Come on you know exactly what's going on in his head," Lilith asked also very curious to know what these plans were.

"Ask yourself this why else would I need to talk to a priest where it concerns you three," he said with a smile before quickly getting up and leaving the table, joined by Harry and some of the others.

"He doesn't mean what I think he does, does he?" Janna asked shocked when she came to the answer of Xander's question. The shock was mirrored on Lilith's face as well while Tara just smiled more warmly.

"He does mean what you think. He intends to marry all three of us even though by right of the bond me and Alexander are already man and wife," Tara finally answered. "And I would not be surprised if a fourth wife turns up eventually," she said with a smirk.

"Let me guess… Prue, right?" Janna suggested, not surprised by this news considering the looks the two had given each other since they had met up, yet this time she felt no fear or anger at all as she found peace with the fact that her boyfriend and future husband loved three other women as well as her.

"Yes Prue," Tara agreed. "It's a small attraction right now, but it will grow the more time they spend together. They get on so well so it's no surprise an attraction is forming," she added.

"Prue likes him which is why she agreed to stay for a few days," Lilith said, not minding this turn of events as she liked Prue and the idea of Xander actually wanting to marry her had burned away any fear she may lose her friend if things didn’t work out.

The three women talked for a bit longer before leaving to go in search of Xander and the others, each wondering when Xander planned to ask them to marry him. Even Tara found she couldn’t get a clear answer and laughed when Xander told her it was going to be a surprise.

+T+

(Other Realm)

Cassandra was, to say the least, surprised by this turn of events. She had expected Alexander to marry Janna at some point, but she hadn’t expected him to also plan to wed Tara and Lilith as well, not that she minded. She was also surprised to see the three girls discussing Alexander's growing attraction to Prue without any anger or fear and almost laughed when Tara had suggested that the eldest Halliwell would become Alexander's fourth wife in the near future with complete certainty of her statement.

It was clear to her that Prue had developed an attraction to Alexander, but she was unsure how far that attraction went, but she would be stupid to ignore Tara's insight due to her far sight ability. She looked to where her lord usually stood, but so far he hadn’t come back from visiting Fate about the new danger they had sensed and she worried what news he would bring back once he did return.

"Alexander's love life seems to love being complicated," Jonas laughed at the scene that had just played out.

"It does, doesn't it and yet the women he has fallen for helps him to be a stronger person and I’m sure if Tara's insight is correct and Prue does end up as another lover and then wife she too will aid him in being a better person and one we should not fear losing to the darkness as long as they are with him," Tanith agreed.

"However the more reliant he becomes on them the more danger we face of losing him should any of them be killed, bar Tara because as we know should she die he dies as well," Cassandra reminded them, sobering their thoughts. "No we should not get complacent just yet. Until we know what this new problem is we should keep our eyes open," she added as she watched William Blake and his team leave with Leo. First to the Hellsing manor to recruit some new members and then back to the Hellmouth where they would be joined by Buffy, Kendra and her group the next day as well as Vincent Wilson and his team once he was allowed out of the hospital ward.

+T+

(Hogwarts)

Xander sat in one of the empty classrooms thinking over his plans once again. The castle was beginning to empty as their allies left to return to their homes and the students left to visit their families. Dumbledore, Amelia and Frank had left as well to begin the process of rebuilding the government alongside some of the order like Moody, while Shacklebolt would join them in two days, once he had fully recovered from his wounds during the battle.

He smiled as he recalled that Father Adam had agreed to perform his weddings to Janna, Tara and Lilith when it was time. He looked forward to that, but he would hold off until Radrik had been dealt with as he knew it would not be fair to marry them only to make them widows should he fall to Radrik. As for Prue he had picked up Tara's conversation with Janna and Lilith on this subject and had been surprised by the lack of any fear or anger, especially from Janna, but he wouldn’t be making any moves towards her until he felt something stronger for her.

He looked up as he was joined by Harry, Fleur , Susan, Tara, Jessica, Janna, Lilith and the sisters, Leo and Cole who were all talking between themselves about something, but before anyone could say anything a bright light began to form around Xander, Tara and Prue before they vanished, shocking the others into silence.

"What the hell was that?" Harry asked in surprise. "Where did they go?" he asked again.

"I don't know, but we better summon father back he may be able to contact Alexander over their link. Leo, can you sense them?" Lilith responded in confusion at what had just happened.

"Yes, but I can't seem to orb to them," Leo replied. "It's like something is blocking me," he added with a frown.

"No one panic at least they are still in our dimension and our world. Now I have already summoned father, Leo maybe you should see if your bosses know anything," Lilith suggested to which the whitelighter nodded and orbed out.
29. Chapter 29
Note: My thanks again to Hawklan for helping out. By the way… you really should visit his author page. He has quite a few fics of his own you should check out.

Chapter 29

(Other Realm)

Cassandra frowned as Alexander, Tara and Prue vanished from Hogwarts and she quickly began a trace wondering what it was that had taken them. She looked up as Leo orbed into the room looking worried, but so far she had no news for them.

"We are trying to track them Leo, but all we know at the moment is that they are still on Earth and in this dimension which is something," Cassandra told him when suddenly her lord and Fate finally returned. "What news my lord?" she asked.

"Thankfully what has happened is not as much as a threat but a starting point," their lord replied. "It would seem Alexander and Prue both have genes in them from the ancients which is why they have been taken. It is up to them to save Atlantis which lies at the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean and its power is about to fail completely," he explained. "It will be up to them to recharge the city and bring it back into the fight," he stated.

"Tara was taken as well my lord," Tanith informed him.

"Because she is bonded to Alexander, the ancients know this," their lord responded. "Most likely the rest of their group will be transported to the city once Alexander and Prue accept their roles. The city will become their new base in this war, as it was in ages past," he said confidently. "The problem is recharging the city and the only way they can do that is by contacting the Stargate program, which is a very big risk as they believe they have found Atlantis in the Pegasus galaxy which is actually the second city the ancients named Atlantis after they hid the first one," he continued. "It will not be an easy task, but I’m sure they will be successful," he said with a smile.

"May I inform the others of this?" Leo inquired.

"Yes Leo you may as I said the others will most likely be summoned once everything has been explained to Alexander, Tara and Prue," their lord answered to which the whitelighter nodded and orbed out. The others watched as Leo explained what had happened to the rest of the group who were in the headmaster’s office.

+T+

(Hogwarts)

"You are joking right Leo?" Piper asked her husband with a disbelieving look on her face.

"No Piper, I’m been quite serious, you have to understand our history goes further back than the people believe," Leo responded. "Atlantis really did exist and now Alexander and Prue have the genes of the ancients in them it would seem and that made them the heirs of the city," he added.

“If Prue has this ancient gene then why didn’t we get taken as well?” Piper asked with a frown. “I mean we are sisters, so wouldn’t we have it as well?” she added.

Leo shrugged a little at that with an unsure look on his face. “I’m not sure if you do have the gene Piper, even as a sibling that does not mean you have the complete same DNA chain,” he explained as best as he could. “Plus Prue is the eldest sister, hence she would be the one chosen out of the three of you if you did all have the ancient gene,” he told them.
“Prue always get the cool things in life,” Phoebe complained half-heartedly. She did not actually begrudge Prue the things that happened to her, because they were not always good things. But complaining made her feel better, as well as ignore her concern about what her sister faced.

“She’ll be fine Phoebe,” Cole assured her. “Prue is the strongest witch of the age, even the Source fears her on some level,” he told her. “You’ve seen a possible future which showed you just how powerful her magic will become,” he reminded her. “And whatever it is she faces, she has Alexander and Tara backing her up, she is not alone,” he stated calmly.

His statement helped calm not only Phoebe, but Piper as well, both remembered the future they had been sent to, even if the reason they had seen it wasn’t a pleasant memory. Prue’s power had grown as had all of their powers, but as the eldest Prue’s had truly been a sight to behold. And they knew Tara and Alexander would not turn their back on her, she would be fine.

"And you say if they manage to save Atlantis it will become a base for us to use in our fight?" Alucard inquired very curious about this new twist in their journey as well as moving the conversation back on topic.

"Yes it will. It once was the main base of the ancients in their own wars against the demons and vampires and other threats," Leo answered. "My lord suspects the rest of us will be taken there once Alexander and Prue accept their new positions," he told them.

"All of us?" Harry asked, relieved it would seem that Alexander and Prue were not facing more trouble.

"I don't know about you and your group Harry, but the rest of us I do think will go," Leo said carefully. "You have a lot of work still to do Harry remember," he pointed out to which Harry nodded a little let down he would not see the supposed mythical city.

"I wouldn't be to disappointed Harry, if Alexander is successful in building his alliance I think you will see the city," Sir Integra said with a smile. "At least they are not in any real danger as far we know," she told the others. "For now I would suggest we continue doing whatever it was we were before this happened and if anyone asks we should say Alexander, Tara and Prue have gone to visit some potential allies," she went on. "Until the city is back to full power it will be vulnerable to attack should the enemy discover this new threat to their plans," she finished to which everyone nodded and soon broke up into groups.

+T+

(Atlantis)

Xander, Tara and Prue looked around as they suddenly found themselves in what looked like a city, but unlike any they had ever seen before, the room they found themselves in was huge and looked very futuristic and strange.

"Where are we Xander?" Prue asked as she looked around. She was tense and ready for a fight if necessary.

"I have no idea, but I think the better question is how did we get here when we were just at Hogwarts where they have wards to prevent such things as this?" he responded thoughtfully.

"Do not fear, you are in no danger," a female voice said from behind them.

They all turned to find a woman behind them bathed in a glowing white light, she almost seemed to be transparent, but she was unlike any ghost they had encountered so far.

"Who are you?" Xander asked. "And why did you bring us here?" he added a second later.

"It is a long tale Alexander and one you will find hard to fully grasp, but it is the truth. Please sit and we will begin," the woman replied with a smile. "You can call me Erin and now I will tell you why I have brought you here, but please keep an open mind," she added and then began to explain the true history of the world.

+T+

(Other Realm)

Cassandra smiled as the viewing pool finally relocated Alexander, Tara and Prue and noted they were filled in on what was going on and what was needed of them. She was actually very surprised by this turn of events, but at least it would give them a huge advantage as well as a base of operations which the darkness could not invade or spy on due to the power of the ancients.

Finding out that Alexander and Prue were both descended from the Ancients was a surprise because they were both now being introduced to a much bigger view of the world and just how far reaching the war against the darkness is. Somehow she doubted Alexander would just ignore what he was learning and if he found a way to help, he would do so. She just hoped he would be careful should he be forced to make contact with the SGC.

Having to deal with the SGC and the government would be dangerous, especially if they found out about the city. They had seen how much the main governments had argued over whom should control the ancient outpost in Antarctica as well as the Stargate even as they were facing the forces of the Goa'uld and Replicators. It was the major problem with human nature, their urge to argue over who has control over the most deadly weapons, even when facing a combined threat. Alexander and his friends didn’t need their interference in their quest and she knew without a doubt that should they learn about another Atlantis on Earth all of them would lay claim to it and try and take it by force so they could plunder its technology.

+T+

(Atlantis)

Xander sat back in his chair completely stunned by what he had just learned and he could tell from the look on Prue and Tara's faces they were no better, to know that there really were such things as aliens and considering the dangerous nature of some of them according to Erin brought his view of the war into a bigger focus. He was even more surprised to learn that the Americans had control of one of the Stargate’s the Ancients had created to travel to other worlds as well take control of a second Atlantis which resided in another galaxy and an outpost on Earth.

He was worried about having anything to do with any government, because they were all power hungry and if they ever knew about this city they would want control of it and he was already thinking there had to be a way to bring this city back to full power without alerting those in the know about the Stargate as Erin said was the purpose for her bringing them here.

"Erin, you said the ancients were once part of a great alliance, right?" he asked and when she nodded he continued. "Then can we contact one of them to aid us?" he wondered.

"It is possible although activating our Stargate even to send a message will drain power," Erin replied as she led them to a rather large room where in the middle stood what had to be the Stargate and its control room.

"How did you ever come up with something like that?" Prue asked as she looked at the giant ring.

"With time and the combined effort of some of our best scientist," Erin responded with a smile. "In both, the Milky Way and the Pegasus galaxy, we seeded Stargate's on as many worlds as we could as well as our home galaxy which is lost to us," she informed them. "Our empire in Pegasus fell when we went to war with the Wraith as I told you, so we returned here and while most of our people ascended some stayed and built up the alliance I told you about and began to integrate into your culture leading to most of your race having the genes to operate our technology," she finished.

"How much power do we have left in this city?" Xander asked as he walked over to the controls of the gate and looked them over.

"There is enough power to continue to power the shield and clock for another three weeks at best," Erin answered. "If we use the gate to contact one of our former allies it will take the power down to two and a half even if the gate is only used for a short time," she added.

"It can't be helped we can't risk getting involved with the government, as soon as they knew about this place they and their allies who are in the known would fight over who has control of this place and they would plunder it for advance tech," Xander replied with a shake of his head. "Plus they would lock us up as security threats for knowing about all of this and that is not something I’m willing to risk," he added. "Erin, who would be the the best to contact?" he asked.

"The Asgard," Erin replied understanding why Alexander did not want to contact the SGC. She had seen much of the arguing and power plays of the governments of Earth who knew the truth about the Stargate. They argued over everything from Atlantis to a single piece of alien technology, apart from SG-1 and General Hammond they could not be trusted. "They are the most advanced race now and their ships are fast and capable of traveling to Pegasus in half the time it would take one of the Earth ships," she told them with a smile. "I would suggest first you come with me to Janus's lab where there is something you can trade with the Asgard for their help," she added and began to lead them out of the room.

"What could the Asgard want if they are the most advanced race these days?" Prue wondered.

"The Asgard are a race of clones Prue, having long ago believed it was the best way to keep their race alive however we long ago saw the downside of their choice," Erin answered. "The more they clone themselves the more their new bodies begin to degrade as the new bodies are weaker and do not survive as long," she added. "Janus managed to find a way to prevent their destruction as well as stop the degradation of the clones, but things came to a head before we could offer the Asgard the information," she went on as they entered a rather large laboratory.

She began to instruct Xander, Tara and Prue in the workings of their technology as they downloaded the research they were after from Janus's computer.

"This should be enough to guarantee the Asgard's help as well as their silence when they have dealings with the SGC," Erin told them. "Now you will need the list of addresses where you can find power modules that will bring this city back to full power please follow me," she said and led them back to the gate room where she instructed them how to download the needed addresses. "This list contains addresses for planets in both galaxies. However I would suggest you concentrate on those here in the Milky Way first," she suggested.

"Before we go anywhere we better contact our friends and let them know what's going on and that we're okay," Tara suggested, finally speaking up having stayed quite for the most part and just listened as things were explained to them.

"Good point, is that possible Erin?" Xander asked turning back to the ancient.

"It is, I could also beam those you wish here to this base," Erin replied. "However until power has been raised I would hold off on the second option as the more people are in the city the more power will be expanded to power certain systems," she explained.

"How do we send them a message?" he asked.

"I will beam you back to them for half an hour so you can talk to your friends and prepare for your journey and then beam you back if that’s alright?" she answered.

"That's great, but I would suggest you bring Alucard with us as he may be of great help especially if we run into trouble," Xander responded.

"I will remember to do so when I bring you back," Erin said before they vanished in a flash of light, leaving Erin to think over the meeting she had just had.

+T+

(Hogwarts)

Janna looked up as there was a bright flash and she found Xander, Tara and Prue standing before her. She smiled as she quickly walked over and kissed Xander, pleased to see him back. He pulled her closer for a few minutes before asking her to help bring the rest of their group together.

Ten minutes later the group met up in one of the classrooms along with Harry, Fleur and Susan who seemed relieved to see them back and that what Leo had told them had been true and they were not in any real trouble.

"So Alexander what is the situation?" Alucard inquired. "Leo informed us of why you were taken, but you might have learned more," he added.

"We have been charged by the ancients to save Atlantis from being destroyed when it runs out of power in three and a half weeks," Xander answered. "We intend to contact the Asgard, an alien race, who were once allied with the ancients and get their help in this, so that we don’t have to contact the government who has control of another working Stargate," he explained.

"You mean real aliens?" Harry asked with wide eyes.

"I know what you mean Harry, it put me through a loop as well," Prue said with a smile as she noticed her sisters were looking just as shocked as Harry was. "It seems that the ancients ruled a vast empire well before written history and they managed to create a technology called the Stargate which allowed them to travel to other worlds and meet other races," she added. "Eventually they evolved into a higher being of pure energy and left our plane, although some stayed and basically integrated into our race which is how some of us now have the ancient gene which allows us to use their technology," she informed them.

"So how long is this going to take us?" Jessica asked her son, still trying to get her mind over the fact that aliens existed.

"Not long, once the city is back up to the power we will begin using it as a base. However once we have completed this task we are heading straight for the tribes," Xander answered. "It's time we deal with Radrik," he added.

"I suggest we travel to the Kalderash tribe and gather some allies first," Janna stated, amazed at some of the things they had learned during this journey.

"Good idea, considering what we hope to do at the end it might be wise to send a summons to all the tribes to meet at the Lavelle grounds," Jessica responded.

"What do you plan to do?" Susan asked wondering what their plan was.

"We're going to ask Alucard to take up the mantle of king again and stop the infighting," Xander said to which Alucard nodded his head having already seen this in the young man's head as well as his conversations with Lilith and Adrian.

"Do you think that would actually work? I mean from what you've said the tribes have been fighting each other for years," Piper wondered as she recalled what Janna and Jessica had discussed with her and her sisters.

"It should. Alucard is the only one who can stop the infighting," Xander said, hoping he was indeed right. "There are legends and myths to this effect in all the tribes and once Radrik is dealt with the others should listen to him," he went on.

"And if some of them refuse?" Cole wondered as he and Phoebe leaned against each other.

"I will remind them why I’m their king and what happens when they go against my wishes," Alucard said with an insane grin. "Only the most corrupt will refuse my orders, the rest should obey as they were raised to," he added.

"As long as you do not go overboard Alucard," Sir Integra said, knowing some kind of fight would come from this, but she knew it was necessary.

"Of course master," Alucard said smiling at her, hoping the most dangerous of the tribal leaders would challenge him so he could dispose of them and stop them from becoming a danger when he started to pull his people back together.

It had been a long time since he had set foot in his native land, but he had always known he would return one day and do this as he knew one day one of his people would find him and ask this of him, just as Alexander had done.

The time for his people to become one once again was upon them and he would not allow anyone to get in the way of that. The infighting had killed millions, including children, and it was time it stopped. He knew his former wives would have been horrified by what had become of their people and in their name as well as Alexander's request he would put a stop to it.

"Anyway back to what we were discussing. Alucard you will be coming with us in case we run into any trouble while we are recovering the power modules," Xander said, bringing the conversation back on track. "Once the city is back to full power I will bring the rest of you there," he added. "And then once we've dealt with Radrik we can take a break and then turn our attention to building our alliance," he finished with a smile.

"Will it be dangerous collecting these modules?" Lilith asked, not liking having to stay behind but knowing her father was more than capable of protecting Alexander, Tara and Prue as well as the fact they all had their own skills and weren’t defenseless.

"If we run into the Goa'uld yes, but if the Asgard agree to help then we can just beam into the abandoned ancient outposts and bases without alerting them to our presence," Tara answered, shivering as she recalled what Erin had told them of the Goa'uld and hoped they didn’t run into them.

"Is there anything else Alexander?" Sir Integra inquired.

"Not right now," Xander replied. "We only had half an hour to talk so we should be teleported back to the city in five minutes," he added. "We'll be back as soon as we can," he said as he stood and went to say goodbye to Janna and Lilith before he, Tara, Prue and Alucard vanished from the room.

"That is so cool," Harry said to which the others could not help but agree.

+T+

(Atlantis)

Alucard looked around the city he now found himself in and could not help but be impressed by the beauty of it, it was clear the ancients had been a very advanced race.

"Welcome back," Erin said. "Are you ready to proceed?" she asked.

"We are Erin. I'll dial up the Asgard home world now," Xander responded making sure he picked up the two pads they would need for this mission.

They all watched as Xander dialed up the address Erin had given him which would take them to the Asgard and were impressed as they watched the gate activate leaving a glowing shimmering pool of blue light.

"Let's go," Prue said wondering what kind of aliens these Asgard were, but she trusted Erin when she said they were not a threat to them.

They all walked into the gate and vanished from the city. Erin watched them leave and prayed they would be successful in their mission to save the city before she slowly faded away to report to the others.

 

Author’s notes: Just in case someone has a problem with having a second Atlantis on earth it is necessary for the plot and as with most fan fiction a little change in certain series is needed. So for this story the Atlantis seen in the Stargate series in the second city to bear the name and the one I have created is the original ok.
30. Chapter 30
(Asgard Homeworld)

The Asgard looked up as their gate activated which was unusual as no one, not even their allies had the address to their new Homeworld just yet. They watched as four humans stepped through and then raised their hands in a gesture that was understood by the Asgard to mean they meant no harm. Two of the Asgard approached the unknown humans wondering how they had gotten here and what it was they wanted.

"Hey, my name is Alexander and this is Prue, Tara and Alucard we have come on a mission from the Ancients and we need your help," the human in the lead stated, surprising the two Asgard with the mention of being there on the Ancients behalf.

"You will forgive our skepticism, but the Ancients no longer have any contact with our plane of existence," one of the Asgard replied his disbelief clear in his tone.

"That is not exactly true, the Ancients had certain plans they put in place before they ascended that they need to have contact with our plane to see them through," Xander replied, still a little awed to be seeing real aliens especially as they looked so much like what humans believed a race called the greys looked like.

He remembered watching many programs on the crash at Roswell and how the aliens who had been in the ship that crashed there were called the greys and he couldn't help but wonder if a ship had indeed crashed due to the similarities between the Asgard and the supposed greys.

"Where are you from?" the second Asgard asked not seeing any sign of falsehood so far and if it was true, if the Ancients still had some interest and contact with the universe then it made him hope for the future.

"Earth and we did not come through the Stargate the SGC has control of," Prue answered. "In fact we would appreciate it if you did not inform them there is another gate on Earth," she added.

"Earth is our ally and they have helped us much in the last few years, including finally destroying the Replicators," the first Asgard replied. "What you are asking is not easy in face of that," he stated.

"I know, but we do have something to trade for your help, something the Ancients would have given you years ago had things not gone so bad so quickly that they never got the chance. Now they have given us the information so you will help us," Xander shot back, understanding the Asgard felt indebted to the SGC for their help in saving their race from what Erin had explained of their battles with the robotic creatures called the Replicators.

"What information?" the second Asgard inquired with some interest.

"The information to save your race from fading away due to the problems with your cloning technology," Xander answered as confidently as he could.

"For an earth human with no ties to the SGC you know a lot about us and the galaxy at large," another Asgard said as it approached them. "I am Thor the supreme commander of the Asgard fleet," he introduced himself and Xander and his friends could tell this was one of the leaders of the Asgard race. "How is it you know what you do?" he asked.

"As I stated before we are here on a mission for the Ancients to help save the first city of Atlantis which they hid in the oceans of my world, so that one day it could be used as a base by their descendants in their war with the demons," Xander answered. "We are demon hunters and we were summoned to Atlantis where we were met by an Ancient who explained everything we now know about you, them and recent history," he explained their presence as best they could. "I swear what I am saying is the truth," he told the alien who was obviously one of the leaders of the Asgard race.

"Very interesting," Thor said with an expression none of them could interpret. "I had wondered why O'Neil and the rest of the SGC didn’t seem to know about the demons of their world," he mused aloud. "I remember helping the Ancients battle those demons many years ago during the height of our alliance with them," he explained. "I also remember the first city of Atlantis, I believed it had been destroyed," he stated.

"No, just hidden. However its power supply is about to run out and so they summoned us and gave us the task of saving the city," Prue told them. "We chose to come here using our gate so we did not alert the governments of our world to the city's existence. Because it wasn’t meant for them as stated by the Ancient we met and second they would go to war over who would control the city as it rest inside no country boundaries," she added frowning at this.

"Yes I believe I can understand that. They have argued over control of the gate, the Ancient outpost and the second city of Atlantis which resides in the Pegasus galaxy," Thor responded in agreement. "And while they finally decided to cooperate in regards to Atlantis I have been told by my friend O'Neil of attempts to seize control of the gate by other governments," he informed them with a slight frown. "How can we help you?" he asked.

"We need to get to these planets and find Ancient power modules. What the SGC calls ZPM's," Tara finally spoke up, having stayed quiet so far as she handed the data pad which contained the planet addresses to Thor who glanced at it with interest. "We cannot use our gate to often as to do so would drain the last of the power which keeps Atlantis hidden and protected," she continued pointedly. "The Ancient we met told us you were the most capable to help us in this," she added.

"And as we said in return for your help and keeping it from the SGC and the rest of our world, we will give you the pad which contains the information which will save your race," Xander said with a smile.

"May we examine the data so we know you speak the truth?" the first Asgard asked. His tone relayed his skepticism to the group, not that they could blame them.

"Of course," Xander said and handed the data pad over to the Asgard and watched as the two Asgard who had met them walked away to a nearby control console joined a few minutes later by two more Asgard. Thor also joined them and began speaking in their native dialect which none of the group could understand. They waited calmly for them to turn their attention back to them.

"Once our scientists have confirmed the pad contains what you say I will indeed help you gather the power modules," Thor said impressed by the humans’ actions, as so far they showed neither fear nor arrogance. "We will also indeed keep this meeting from the SGC, our alliance with the Ancients predates our alliance with the humans and knowing they still have some contact with our plane gives us hope they may one day return," he continued.

"Thank you," they said in reply before they were rejoined by one of the other Asgard.

"The pad does indeed contain a solution to our cloning problem. It will take time to implement, but our scientists have confirmed it can be done," the Asgard reported to Thor.

"They are to begin at once. I will take our new friends to the planets they need to go to. Make it known that this meeting and what was discussed in it is to be kept a secret from our other allies," Thor ordered.

"Yes Thor," the Asgard nodded in understanding before watching Thor and the four humans vanish in the transportation beam of Thor's ship.

+T+

(Hogwarts)

Harry looked up as Alice walked into the classroom he was currently in with Neville, Luna and Hannah playing a game of exploding snap, he noted she was smiling almost in a feral way.

"Is something wrong Alice?" Harry asked, wondering what was with the smile noting the curious looks on his friend's faces as well.

"It's time to deal with the Dursley's Harry," Alice said, her smiling growing more and more feral and Harry noted as Fleur, Susan, Hermione, Sirius and Remus joined them. They were sporting feral smiles as well and he began to suspect the Dursley's were going to regret ever hearing the name Harry Potter.

"I think I'm going to actually enjoy this," he mused, causing the others to laugh while Neville wondered what his mother had planned for Harry's disgusting relatives, not that he knew the whole story just enough to wish them ill.

"Come on let’s go," Alice said and Harry soon joined the small group and grabbed the portkey they were holding and vanished, heading for the Dursley's home one more time.

+T+

(Other Realm)

"I’m surprised Alexander risked losing more power to the city rather than contact the SGC," Jonas said, looking at his lord who smiled in return before speaking.

"If he had contacted the SGC he would have alerted them to more Ancient technology on the planet, as well as expose himself and his group to people who may get in their way or try and place themselves in some form of power over them," he explained to his underlings. "No, they do not need that kind of problem. It will be hard enough when he forms the alliance and he will have to get used to the fact there will be a chain of command to follow, but at least then it will be led by people with experience in dealing with demons," he continued.

"I agree my lord, also with the Asgard helping them they should be able to be back quick enough with the power modules before the city's power supply fails," Cassandra spoke up. "It wasn’t as much of a risk as you think when you remember how advanced the Asgard are," she added with a smile of her own.

"I just hope they don’t run into much trouble from the remains of the Goa'uld," Tanith said, slightly worried that their inexperience dealing with aliens and their technology would be more of a problem than anything else they had dealt with so far, even helping to defeat Voldemort.

"If they are lucky and none of the Ancients bases have been found by the Goa'uld then they should not have much contact with them," their lord responded. "On another note it would seem the time has come for Harry to finally put his past behind him as Alice and the others are taking him to deal with the Dursley's," he said with a growing smile. "I think this will be highly entertaining for everyone, but them," he added as Fate appeared once more in the room wearing her own smile making the others wonder what Fate had in store.

+T+

(Dursley's home)

The Dursley's were enjoying the holidays so far as their freak of a nephew hadn’t come back from the accursed school of his and so they didn’t have to deal with him. They were currently watching the afternoon news when suddenly they heard their front door open and a bunch of people enter, shocking them until the door to the living room opened and they saw their nephew step in, followed by three girls his own age two men and finally a woman, all who they guessed had to be freaks to be hanging around with their nephew.

"Get out of my house freaks," Vernon spat as he stood, his face beginning to turn purple as he began to get angry as he so often did when dealing with his nephew and his world.

"Quiet Dursley," the taller of the two men almost growled. "Shut up, sit down and listen," he added causing Vernon to get angrier.

"Hello again Petunia," the woman said with a very cold smile directed at Harry's aunt who frowned at been addressed as if the unknown woman knew her. "It's been a long time and somehow I didn’t think I would ever have to deal with you again and yet here I’m" she added.

"Who are you?" Petunia asked, not recognizing the woman who stood in front of her even though the woman seemed to know her.

"My name is Alice Longbottom," the woman replied with a glare. "I was Lily's best friend in school and after. We met twice when I came to visit her," she continued. "I’m also Harry's godmother," she said as her smile became colder. "I have been in a coma I guess you could say for the last couple of years, but I am better now and I immediately wanted to find out how my godson was. You can imagine my surprise when I learnt he had been sent to you due to how much you hated Lily and the world of magic," she explained. "Not just that, but Lily was fearful of how you would treat her son and it would seem her fears were justified as you have beaten, starved, abused and humiliated him as much as you can," she spat as her anger suddenly surged within her. "Now it's payback time Petunia," she told the woman who began to shake in terror.

"Whatever that blasted boy has told you is a lie," Vernon growled in anger. "We have wasted good money on him for his food and his clothes," he added.

"What a load of crap Dursley," Sirius shot back relieved to finally be able to deal with these disgusting people who had so abused his best friends son. "I’m Sirius Black, Harry's godfather and this is Remus Lupin and we were best friends with James Potter," he said, smiling widely as the Dursley's eyes widened as they recognized his name. "Beside us is Hermione Granger someone who is like a sister to Harry and next to her is Susan Bones, Harry's girlfriend, and next to her is Fleur Delacour Potter, his wife," he introduced the three young women who were all glaring at the Dursley's with hatred in their eyes.

"He can't be married to her," Dudley spat, not believing for an instant that his freak of a cousin could marry such a beautiful woman. "He can't, can he dad?" he asked his father who looked the color of prune right now as his anger went into overdrive.

"No he can’t as for one neither of them is old enough to be married and we did not give our permission for him to be married," he spat, disgusted by the idea of anyone wanting to actually marry his freak of a nephew. "And we never will," he added, not realizing how much trouble he and his family were in.

"I’m Harry's wife Dursley," Fleur growled as she lit a fireball in her palm and began to play with it, making the Dursley's more and more nervous. "Our union was done by higher powers and we will make it official soon enough, you however must be delusional if you believe Harry needs your permission for anything anymore," she growled. "You were entrusted with his care and you instead chose to be abusive and evil towards a child. You disgust me and if the people ever learn what you have done to their champion none of you would live more than for a few hours," she continued in a dangerous tone of voice. "I know every evil you have committed on Harry. I know how lonely he was growing up in a cupboard under the stairs, barely given enough food to live on. I know every beating you and your bloated whale of a son has given him over the years and you dare try and say you bought him clothes when all you have ever done is make him wear the cast offs from your son?” she spat, half tempted to throw the fireball in her hands at them, but she resisted and put it out. “You are very poor excuses of human beings and I’m sure all you will be visiting hell when you die for your crimes," she finally finished.

The three Dursley's looked at the young girl with a mixture of anger, hate and shock at her words while keeping an eye at her hands where they had seen her conjure a ball of fire before putting it out. They were terrified she would use that fire against them, so in a rare display of insight they kept silent so as not to provoke her.

"I’m bonded to Harry so I know every hurt he has ever felt at your hands and if his parents were here you would rue the day you ever heard the name Potter," she snarled, finally making the Dursley's take a step back from these people while Harry watched from next to Alice who now stepped forward.

"We are going to make sure the people out there know your crimes Dursley. We are going to destroy your reputations that you all hold so dear," Alice told them with a cold feral smile. "By the end of this day every one of your neighbors will know what you have done to your nephew and we will leave them to deal with you as I’m sure once this comes out the sons and daughters who have suffered from your son and his gang bullying them will come forward as well," she added and smirked as the Dursley’s paled at what they had said.

"How dare you accuse my Dudley of bullying?" Petunia tried to cry before being cut off by Sirius.

"Shut up woman, we know what your son is like, you and your idiot of a husband are just to blind and ignorant to see it," before going silent as suddenly two shadows began to form in the room between them and the Dursley's.

They all pulled their wands just in case these were some kind of threat while the Dursley's backed off into the corner of the room as far as they could away from the shadows which continued to become more solid before they solidified into two very recognizable people.

"Mom, Dad but how?" Harry asked shocked as he realized who it was standing in front of him.

"Fate decided you deserved a gift in return for everything you've had to endure in your life Harry and so she has allowed us to visit for a short while," Lily said in reply with gentle smile as she faced her son.

Alice and the others could only stare in shock as Lily and James Potter moved over and pulled their son into a long hug while the Dursley's began to tremble in fear.

"James, Lily is that really you?" Sirius asked hardly daring to believe it was truly them.

"It is Sirius, it's just for a short while but it should be enough to deal with them and say goodbye until we meet again," James said as he finally released his son glared at the cowering Dursley's before engulfing Sirius and Remus into a big hug which they finally began to return barely able to keep themselves from crying at the reunion.

Lily finally pulled away from Harry who had broken down during the hug with his parents; he finally pulled himself together and began to introduce her to the others.

"Hello Hermione I have so wanted to meet you," Lily said with a gentle smile. "I can’t thank you enough for your loyalty to Harry over the years as well as your wise council. It has helped him survive more than you will ever know," she added. "Me and James could not agree more with Harry when he said you were his sister, we are so happy he has someone like you in his life," before giving the young woman a quick hug before turning to face Susan who still looked a little shocked at this turn of events.

"Susan you have helped to keep his heart light in the face of so much darkness and that in itself is an amazing achievement. You helped him grow into the leader he needed to be and for that we thank you and we are quite happy with his choice of lover," Lily said, hugging the woman before finally turning to Fleur who looked nervous in front of her husband’s mother.

"Hello Fleur there is no need to be nervous you have helped break the darkness in my son's heart, you have put your soul on the line to help him due to your love for him and I can’t be more pleased of the outcome," Lily told her. "You are the light in the darkness Fleur and I know you will always be there when Harry needs you as will the others and for that I thank you," she continued. “We are also pleased by Harry’s acceptance of you as his wife, we welcome you into the family,” she added before hugging her as well before finally turning to her best friend who was standing behind her. "Hello Alice, it is great to see you and Frank up and around," she said before pulling her into a big hug.

Harry walked in between Susan and Fleur and pulled them both into a hug which was quickly returned while Hermione just smiled, still shocked at finally being able to meet Harry's parents. They were joined by James, Remus and Sirius who had finally finished their quick talk.

"What, what is going on?" Petunia asked staring in horror at what appeared to be her dead sister in shock and terror.

"Hello Petunia," Lily said, releasing Alice at the sound of her hated sister's voice and moving to face her with a cold hateful look in her eyes. "It's been a very long time," she added. "You and your family are guilty of child abuse. Our parents would be ashamed of you for your actions," she spat her disgust clear. "How could you do that to my son?" she demanded to know. "Do you think if our roles had been reversed I would have done the same?" she pushed her anger growing.

Petunia didn’t answer, she just stared at her sister almost willing to believe she was just imagining this, but somehow she felt this was very real.

"You had a choice and you chose to be abusive to a child who needed your love, you will pay dearly for that choice when it's time," Lily hissed. "You have all been judged and I’m sure when it's time you will quickly regret the choices you made in regards to Harry," she added.

"That's enough," Vernon finally erupted having had enough of been shouted at. "Do you actually think I believe you are really the freak's parents? They are dead and good riddance," he shouted in rage. "This is all a trick designed to scare us," he added before being shut up by James who quickly moved forward and slugged in him in the face.

"Does that seem like a trick to you Dursley?" James asked, wishing he could do more. "I wish I could have a day all to myself so I could repay every beating you have ever given my son, but I’m not like you. Your judgment will come soon enough and that is enough for me," he added as he glared down at the cowering Vernon and his family.

"We shall return to Hogwarts now for the left over time we have. Alice, Sirius you carry out your plan before you join us," Lily said before she, James and the others vanished, leaving Sirius and Alice alone.

"We better get a move on," Sirius said, feeling suddenly very young as he stunned the Dursley's before leaving the house followed by Alice.

+T+

(Other Realm)

"I think the Dursley's will be remembering this day for a very long time to come," Cassandra said with a wide smile. "I’m a little surprised at their restraint, but Alice had the right of it. The loss of their reputation will be the worst blow they could receive," she added. “And from there the local authorities will get wind of the truth and I’m sure the Dursley’s will finally face their punishment before being judged when they pass on,” she added.

"Indeed, James and Lily have said what they needed to and they know when the Dursley's die they will be going straight to hell for their crimes," their lord said as Fate vanished from his side. "They do not want to waste the time they have in anger and just want to spend it with their son and their friends before it is time for them to return," he added.

"I think my lord this is the greatest gift we could give Harry as well as helping to ensure the darkness in his soul is lifted," Tanith stated with a thoughtful look.

The others all nodded their heads in agreement before turning to watch the viewing pool as Alexander and his group continued their mission for the Ancients.
31. Chapter 31
Note: My thanks again to Hawklan for helping out. By the way… you really should visit his author page. He has quite a few fics of his own you should check out.

Chapter 31

(Thor's ship)

Xander sat next to Prue as they waited to arrive at the next planet on their list, they had recovered two power modules so far with only minor difficulties, but neither of them was stupid enough to believe their luck would hold out for the entire trip. Tara was talking with Thor about the history of the Asgard's alliance with the Ancients, while Alucard was meditating, leaving the two of them to themselves.

Both were talking about the future while trying to ignore the growing attraction between them. Prue was unsure if she wanted to get involved with someone who was already in a relationship with three other women and yet she couldn't stop growing more attached to him. Xander was beginning to realize his feelings for Prue were growing and soon he would have to make a decision on how to proceed. They settled down before finally falling asleep against the other, not even realizing they were holding hands.

+T+

(Former Planet of the Ancients)

Xander quickly looked around as he was beamed down along with the others to the last destination where a power module should be, he grabbed his hand cannon and began to move forward. He had given Alucard his sword back during this mission as he knew the Nosferatu could best utilize its abilities, and if they ran into trouble that would be helpful. He stopped as they came to a section of the corridor that had a hole in its ceiling which looked recent. The others stopped as well as they all looked over the damage.

"Someone has been here very recently," Alucard said after checking the blast area "They could still be here, we better be very careful," he added.

"Thor, do you copy?" Xander asked as he spoke into the communicator the Asgard had given him.

"I’m here Alexander, is something wrong?" the Asgard's voice came back a few moments later.

"It looks like there may be someone else here. Can you do a scan of the facility?" Xander asked.

"I’m afraid not Alexander there is too much interference, although I’m not sure of its source," the Asgard replied. "I will continue to try, I would suggest you stay on guard," he added.

"Copy that," Xander replied not liking the sound of that. "Okay everyone keep your eyes open," he said to the others and then began to move forward once again.

"Any idea who may have found this place Thor?" Tara inquired into her own communicator.

"Certain Goa'uld do have knowledge of the Ancients, although of those only one is left and that is Baal," Thor answered. "If he or his Jaffa are here I would suggest extreme caution," he added and they could hear he was deadly serious.

"If this Baal or his Jaffa are here, than they are most likely after the same thing we are," Prue put in as she quickly looked down a new section of corridor, looking a little relieved when she saw no sign of anyone.

"We have nine power modules so far do we really need one more?" Alucard inquired with a raised eyebrow as he kept his senses alert for any danger. "Maybe it would be best if we just leave and destroy this place and whoever it is who has breached it," he suggested.

"I have to agree Alex this is not worth our lives," Tara advised calmly. "We have the necessary modules to save Atlantis and keep it powered for years afterwards," she went on.

Just as he was about to respond a dozen bolts of energy whizzed past them as a group of what had to be Jaffa came towards them from one of the side corridors. He noticed one of the bolts heading straight for Prue and quickly tackled her to the ground, taking the hit in his shoulder.

Alucard growled as Tara dropped to the floor as Alexander's pain transmitted to her over the bond. He quickly raised his hand and unleashed a powerful blast of magic down the corridor, frying four of the Jaffa where they stood.

"Thor, we need transport now," he growled through his communicator before unleashing another blast of magic which took down another Jaffa who dropped a bag he was carrying and revealed the power module inside. Clearly Prue had been spot on when she suggested they were after the same thing they were. Now they had no choice but to fight until Thor could beam them back.

Tara did her best to stem the blood coming from the wound on Xander’s shoulder with some help from Prue. The blasts from the Jaffa’s weapons however caused them both to turn and unleash their own powers which took down another of the Jaffa leaving only three. Xander tried to stand, forcing Prue and Tara to turn their attention back to him. Alucard took note of this before making a choice. He charged forward and engaged the remaining three Jaffa dispatching two of them with ease while the third tried to grab the bag before being shot by Xander who was now leaning between Prue and Tara. The Jaffa fell dead as Alucard retrieved the module and joined them as Thor's finally beamed them back.

+T+

(Thor's ship)

"Place him down gently," Prue said as the beam placed them back on the ship.

Thor watched as Alexander was placed on the deck with an obvious staff blast wound to his shoulder, he seemed to be still conscious but was clearly having difficulty focusing.

"We were ambushed by a small group of Jaffa who had the power module, but we managed to kill them all and retrieve the module," Alucard reported as he placed the bag with the module down. "However Alexander was injured, do you have any medical facilities here to treat his wound?" he asked.

"I’m afraid not, our medical bays are only suitable to treat Asgard," Thor replied with regret. "The wound does not seem to be too bad and we should be able to reach Earth in time to get help," he added as he headed for his control panel and set the ships course.

Tara and Prue did what they could to keep Alexander comfortable as well as stem the bleeding. Xander they noted had finally fallen unconscious which was probably the best thing for him, at least now he would not feel the pain he had to be in.

"Why did he do that, he almost got killed?" Prue asked, a little surprised Xander had risked his life for her. Thor and Alucard left them alone to talk, neither believed their presence was needed.

"Alexander likes you a lot Prue, more than he even realizes right now," Tara answered her with a small smile. "Just like you like him," she added, her smile turning more impish as Prue did her best not to blush. "You can both try and deny it, but I know in the end you will be together. I have seen it," she continued.

"But he's already with you, Janna and Lilith," Prue argued, still unsure about her feelings for the young man she had grown so fond of so quickly.

"Since I returned with Alexander and Lilith from our trip through dimensions I have always known Alexander would have four great loves. I knew one would be Janna due to Alexander's prior relationship with her, then Lilith became his third love and since meeting you I have felt you would be the fourth Prue. I have stayed quiet about it because it is something that needs to happen by itself and not be forced," Tara explained knowing the time was now right to tell the older girl this information. "As you have seen such a complex relationship between five people can work. Don't let your fear of that get in the way of something that could lead to your greatest wish," she added with a calming smile at the older witch.

Prue stared at her friend and thought over what she had said. It was true that she had developed feelings for Alexander, but the idea of sharing him had put her off somewhat. Tara seemed assured should she join them the relationship would work. She sat down and continued to think, knowing she was at a crucial junction and the decision she made about this would change her future for all time.

Tara smiled as Prue went silent and began to think deeply about what course of action she would take in regards to Alexander. She doubted very much that Prue would reject her feelings for Alexander or vice versa as she had seen the future, and Prue was Alexander's fourth wife. So far her far sight had not led her astray and she doubted it would do so now, so she was content to allow Prue to work this out on her own.

+T+

(Other Realm)

Cassandra relaxed somewhat as the ship carrying Alexander and his group headed home. She had been worried how things would turn should they encounter any serious threats. She was thankful Alexander had decided to take Vlad along with them as well as give him back his sword for the journey. It was clear he was still thinking ahead and trying not to allow himself to be caught by surprise.

The wound he had received could be healed easily once he was back at Atlantis by either Erin or Leo. She hadn’t been surprised by Alexander risking his life for Prue considering what she had seen so far or what Tara had told the others through her far sight. Now she had confirmed to Prue herself, that she had seen that she would join Alexander as his fourth love. Prue herself seemed confused as to what she should do in regards to Alexander and her feelings for him, but she doubted she would turn away from them.

"The wound is not to bad and Alexander should be fine," she heard her lord say, pulling her from her thoughts. "Luckily there were not to many Jaffa there and they had a quick escape route out, there could have been more there as well as the Goa'uld who leads them and if it was Baal that would have been a very dangerous meeting," he continued.

"Indeed, Baal is the last of the old guard of system lords to survive the latest changes in the galaxy as well as one of the smartest," Tanith agreed with a frown. "With Anubis now out of the picture Baal is free to do what he wishes and Anubis did share many secrets about the Ancients with him, so it is likely the Jaffa they encountered were his," he speculated.

"Only a few minor Goa'uld are left and I’m sure the Tok'ra as well as the free Jaffa and the SGC will deal with them in time," Jonas spoke up. "That doesn’t say that somewhere in the future new Goa'uld won’t show up," he pointed out. "It will just be harder for them to gather followers as well as their armies," he stated.

"Yes, but they could always find followers on those planets which have no access to the Stargates or any contact with the outside universe," their lord reminded them. "They can be quite clever when they wish to be and that is one of the things that makes them such deadly enemies, but for now except for Baal they are a spent force," he told them. "And not something Alexander and his friends need to worry about in the long run, that is the mission of the SGC and their allies," he told them.

Cassandra listened to everything that was said before nodding in agreement with her lord, the Goa'uld right now were no longer a big issue and Baal wasn’t Alexander's problem to deal with but those in the SGC. So it would be very rare that he or any of his friends would get involved with them. They could concentrate on their own problems like Radrik and the twin trouble of the First and the Source, which to her was dangerous enough without them having to deal with alien threats.

+T+

(Hogwarts)

Harry smiled as he listened to his parents discuss things with Sirius, Remus and Alice while they waited for some of the others to show up. According to his mother they only had one day together and then they would return to their resting place. He hoped Alexander and the others would return before then so they could meet one of the major factors that had helped him survive Voldemort. He felt Fleur and Susan lean against him while Hermione was now and again asking questions about how his parents had returned even for a limited time her lust for knowledge driving her.

Finally the door opened and Moody entered, followed soon by most of the others, including Lilith and those of Alexander's group who had stayed behind at Hogwarts until they had saved Atlantis and returned for them. He smiled as Dumbledore finally entered, looking very nervous as his eyes came to rest on his parents who glared at him in return. Over the bond he could feel Fleur’s hope that Dumbledore would get the punishment he deserved for what he had done to Harry. While he had forgiven the headmaster for most of the things he had done to him, Fleur and Susan had not. They felt he deserved a lot more done to him in return for the ruined childhood he had forced on Harry. As far as he was concerned that part of his life was over as the Dursley's were at this moment under arrest for child abuse while Dudley himself had also been arrested as had his gang for the numerous beatings they had inflicted on the neighborhood kids, that was revenge enough for him.

Of course for the girls as well as his godparents that only dealt with part of the problem. Dumbledore was the other part as it had been his choice which had left Harry in the care of two people who hated and feared everything to do with him and had taken that hatred and fear out on him at any chance they got.

"Everyone I've called you here because I would like you to meet my parents who have been allowed to visit me for a day by the higher powers Alexander mentioned," Harry said once everyone he had sent messages to had sat down. "I know some of you do know them from before they died, but not everyone was alive back then," he added.

"Who are these higher powers that they could somehow send the dead back here?" Tonks inquired.

"There are many higher powers Miss Tonks," Leo said with a smile. "Some of them are in charge of the many witches in the world like the Charmed Ones and they also assign whitelighters to their charges," he explained. "Others concentrate more on the actions of the slayers like Miss Summers and Haththorne. Then there are others who are assigned to watch and advise the other champions across the world including here as well," he continued smoothly. "Their powers differ from group to group as do those who are under their council. There are also those who are even higher than them such as Fate, but all of them are of course under the control of the creator," he said, smiling at the looks on some of the faces of those who were part of the Wizarding world and had no idea about the greater war.

"It is also the higher powers that send visions to those of their champions with the gift to warn them of danger or if they want them to do something that is important in the greater scheme of things," Lilith put in. "It is very rare that anyone on our plane has any contact with the powers," she added, missing the almost amused smile that passed on Janna's face as she knew that Alexander and Tara both had regular contact with a higher power, but she like them couldn’t discuss it with anyone else.

"How powerful are they?" Dumbledore asked, knowing that once this topic was finished he would have to defend himself and his actions to James and Lily. Actions he knew now had been wrong.

"Again it differs from group to group, but they are more powerful than anything on this planet. They manage the fight against the darkness that is controlled by what we call the lower powers, which consists of three entities," Leo answered. "The First, the Source and the being everyone would recognize as the Devil," he added.

"How come there are only three in control of the darkness and yet there are so many in charge of our forces?" Harry asked, leaning forward a bit fascinated by this discussion.

"Power is not something the darkness likes to share Harry, which is why there are only three leaders in hell," Lilith answered, remembering the lessons her father had taught her and Adrian. "Many demons have tried to gain the power necessary to become equal to the three, only for them to be killed by them. They don’t like those who either try and usurp them or gain equal status as them," she continued. "This is why my father never bothered to try, no matter how powerful he was in his more blood thirsty days after Adrian's mother's murder," she stated.

"And what would happen should any of these three be killed?" Moody asked, wondering if it was actually possible to get rid of these threats.

"If there is no clear line of succession civil war within the underworld," Leo answered with a shrug. "The Source usually passes its power from host to host, but should it be somehow stopped from doing that then maybe it would take him out of the picture for a while," he continued, although he sounded somewhat unsure. "The First is more of a problem as nothing but the most powerful of magic's can even touch it and as for Lucifer I don't know what it would take to defeat him, let alone kill him," he finished with a shake of his head.

The others all remained quite as they tried to imagine the power Leo and Lilith had allured to in their explanations. It was clear now to those of the magical world that the war was far greater than they had ever believed possible. After a few minutes of silence Lilly turned on Dumbledore and began to demand to know what he had been thinking when he had sent her son to live with her sister and her husband.

+T+

(Atlantis)

Xander groaned as he awoke and found himself on a very comfy bed in what had to be Atlantis, which meant they were back on Earth. Looking around he noted Tara was on a bed next to him clearly asleep and he smiled at the peaceful look on her face. He looked up as Prue, Alucard, Erin and Thor entered the room, he greeted them with a nod and motioned them to be quiet so as not to wake Tara.

"How long have I been out and how did you heal me? I feel like I wasn't even wounded," he asked as he sat up and stretched.

"It’s long been an ability of my people to be able to heal, the skill increased when we ascended," Erin replied with a smile. "I’m quite happy to see you didn’t encounter too much trouble in your mission and you have now the power to run this city for a long time," she added.

"That's true," Xander replied. "I was thinking of giving one of those modules to Thor to give to the SGC if you didn't mind. They could use one to keep the defense platform powered," he went on.

"I think that is a wise choice Alexander as it will help to keep this city hidden until revealing its existence is the only way to save this world," Erin responded with a smile. "I and my brethren have not been too impressed with some of the choices of those in the know about the Stargate and the defense platform and we are worried about what they would do with this city in their hands," she told them.

"Well hopefully we can keep that from happening for a very long time," Alucard said. "This city is protected with a cloaking field as well as a shield so we should be okay. Thor has suggested we allow him to hook up a shift module which will allow the city to shift into a different plane should a submarine happen move through our location," he continued.

"Good idea, can it be done Thor?" he asked as he noticed Tara begin to awaken from her sleep.

"Yes Alexander, we have a lot of practice in dealing with ancient technology and with Erin's help I do not expect any complications," the Asgard replied.

"Then I welcome your help," he responded as he smiled at Tara as she finally sat up and looked his way. "Have we hooked up three of the power modules yet?" he inquired.

"Yes I did while you recovered," Alucard replied. "Full power has been returned to the city and all systems we need active are operational," he explained. "We have shut down the systems that are not necessary for the moment, so we do not waste power that can be put to better uses at the right time," he added.

"Thor you and your people are welcome to come and go here as you please. I know for a fact that the Ancients trusts you, so if you want to hang around or pay a visit when we are not here feel free," Xander said as he finally got off the bed, joined a second later by Tara. "As long as Erin is okay with that," he said a few seconds later to which the Ancient nodded her head in agreement.

"I thank you on behalf of my people and look forward to strengthening our new friendship," Thor said very impressed by the offer from Alexander considering they had only known each other for a couple of days.

"I think it’s time we return to Hogwarts and see how our friends are doing before we'll return here in two days to plan our trip to the tribes," Xander said after having a brief talk with Tara over the bond.

"Very well Alexander I will bring you and your full team back here in two days where we can talk more about the future and yours and Prue's guardianship of this city," Erin said in reply before she activated the transporter and sent them back to Hogwarts and their friends.

"I’m most impressed by their actions, especially Alexander's offer of allowing me to come here at any time," Thor commentated.

"It is because of their very natures Alexander and Prue were chosen for guardianship, they are both strong and both have good hearts, even though they feel the pressure of trying to keep their friends and family safe at all times," Erin responded. "They have difficult paths to walk, but together I think they will change the face of their war forever," she added.

"Do you foresee them having much effect in the universe?" Thor inquired with some interest in the answer.

"I do not know Thor, they have many choices before them and any of them could lead them to actions which could take them back into the galaxy," Erin replied with a smile.

Thor nodded his head in agreement before beaming back to his ship and setting things in order to beam back down with an small engineer crew to install the shift device to Atlantis.
32. Chapter 32
Authors Note: I want to wish everyone on TTH a happy Christmas and an even better New Year, I also want to thank, on mine and Hawklan’s behalf, everyone who has read and reviewed our work. We hope to be back next year to continue our stories, and I hope you will be back to continue to read and review as always. Take care and have a great holiday.

Chapter 32

(Hogwarts)

Harry looked behind him as there was a flash of light and he smiled as he noted Xander, Prue, Tara and Alucard had returned and they all seemed to be okay. Janna and Lilith quickly jumped up and ran over to greet them. Both of them were kissing Alexander for a few seconds before they all walked back over to the group who were still listening to Dumbledore get berated by Lilly and James.

"Good to see you back," Sir Integra said with a slight nod of her head. "I take it your mission was a success?" she inquired.

"It was master," Alucard confirmed while nodding his head. "The city is safe and will be for a very long time," he added. "We also met two species of aliens one who is an ally and one should we encounter again will be an enemy as they seem to be an enemy of all people," he explained.

"Cool," Harry said when the Nosferatu mentioned meeting actual aliens. "I can barely believe all of this is real, but considering what's happened in my life so far I find almost anything is believable," he added with a smile which was shared by some of the others.

"Anything is possible Harry," Lily said gently to her son. "The world is more amazing than most people know and if you have an open mind you will find you can see things others don't," she continued.

"Mrs. Potter, it is a pleasure to meet you," Tara said as she saw the connection between the red haired woman and Harry as well as the fact the man next to her looked like an older Harry. "Mr. Potter you too," she added.

"Just call us James and Lily," James said with a smile as he stood and walked over to them and began to shake their hands joined a second later by Lilly.

"Not to sound paranoid, but are we sure they are who they say they are?" Xander inquired. "No offense," he said looking at the two who just smiled and nodded in understanding of why he was asking.

"They are who they appear to be Alexander," Tara said with a smile. "It would appear the powers wanted to give something back to Harry for all he has had to endure," she explained.

"Then it's a very great pleasure to meet you both, you should be very proud of your son," Xander said.

"We are. We've watched him since we died hoping he would survive, hoping something would come along and aid him," Lily said. "And then you and Lilith arrived and even though you didn’t know him very well you decided to help him, you began to train him and encourage him before you were forced to leave," she continued with a smile. "Then when you learnt of his imprisonment you immediately came to help and get him out. You pushed him to become the leader he needed to be and helped him put his past as well as his anger behind him,” she added. “You and your allies played a large part in keeping our world safe and it will not be forgotten I assure you," she finished and Harry nodded in agreement with his mother’s words.

"Harry's a good person and a good friend, any other choice didn't enter my head," Xander replied. "The mistakes that were made at the end of the First war will not be made again. Harry and his friends can find the peace they fought so hard for," he added.

"You know better than that Alexander that there will always be another darkness. And Harry and his allies are now known to the First and the Source as allies of you so they will be targets in the future," James reminded him with a small frown.

"But they will never fight alone, if they need us all he has to do is call," Xander promised to which the others all agreed. "Once the alliance is up and running hopefully we can minimize the damage they can do as well stem the flow of casualties they can cause," he stated.

"We can but hope," Lily said.

From there they began to talk about both the past and the future. Harry had listened to what his mother had said and he knew she was not kidding. There would be other dark lords down the line as well as demons sent by the First or the Source, so they would have to be ready and he was determined to help his friends as they had helped them.

+T+

(Other Realm)

Cassandra watched Alexander and his friends talk throughout the day knowing that soon they would begin their last leg of their quest and the one on which all her hopes rested. She also knew that soon the biggest truth she had held back from not only Alexander, but from her husband Vlad and her son Adrian would have to be told.

She worried how the news would be received, especially by Vlad and Adrian, Lilith she doubted would react much at all as they had never met and it had no real bearing on her or her relationship with Alexander as she had no blood ties to him. But Adrian did, he and Alexander were distant cousins and because Alexander was her descendant he had a small link to Vlad as well. Telling this truth scared her as it had when she had discovered she was pregnant before her marriage to Vlad after been taken forcibly by one of her husband's rivals. She had kept this secret since then, always afraid of what Vlad may do in his anger and now there was no other choice but to tell him the painful truth.

She closed her eyes and prayed things would turn out better than she had always feared they would. Alexander, she knew, would be shocked to learn of his connection to her even as he would learn why she had taken such an interest in him and worried for his safety since his journey had started. Once that secret was out Alexander would know everything there was to know about this life and what direction to take it in once Radrik was dead, if he succeeded in killing him.

"Are you okay Cassandra?" her lord's voice broke through her troubled thoughts and brought her back to the present.

"Yes my lord, I was just thinking about what is about to happen and how to tell them the truth of Alexander's ancestry," she answered, meeting the eyes of her lord and noting the concerned look in them

"You are still worried about Vlad's reaction to the truth? That you were taken without your consent by his greatest rival of the time and that you gave birth to a son from it?" her lord inquired with a calming smile.

"Yes my lord, my husband has come a long way in controlling his temper, but this is something that could send him back to the madness of his past," Cassandra admitted.

"True, but somehow I doubt it," her lord responded as he placed a calming hand on her shoulder. "You are forgetting he has come to care for Alexander as well as the fact Alexander will be Lilith's husband in the future," he added, his smile widening. "Then there is the fact that Sir Integra will not allow him to loose himself in his anger as well as the fact this was not your fault, you were forced into an act you did not want as an act of revenge against Vlad and out of it came the salvation of the Romany tribes," he reminded her.

"I know my lord and I have never regretted my decision to have the child or to place him in a foster family, they have all been honorable and lived well," Cassandra said with a smile of her own. "But still I wonder what would have happened had I told Vlad the truth," she could not help but add.

"It does no good to think such things Cassandra as you know there is a dimension where that very thing came to be and that is how things should be, keep your mind on the here and now," her lord advised.

"You are right my lord and I should have more faith in my husband to control himself," she said as she waved her hand over the viewing pool to show Vlad as he listened to the discussion between Alexander, Harry and the others.

"Yes you should," her lord said removing his hand, glad to see his words seemed to have helped calm her fears as Tanith and Jonas returned and joined them at the viewing pool.

+T+

(Lower Realm)

The First entered the Source's domain to find the First talking to one of the newly arrived fallen powers, both he and the Source had laughed long and hard when nearly half the powers that were banished to hell for trying to kill the boy and his friends and at least it brought their numbers up slightly after the deaths of Shacks and the demons they had loaned to Voldemort for his war.

Thanks to Malek the former leader of the powers and his followers they now knew where the boy and his group were headed and what their mission was. So they had started to make plans to ambush the boy when he arrived in the Romany tribes. Even now twenty of the remaining assassins were been arrayed to attack as soon as they arrived in the Romany lands, most likely close to the Kalderash tribe which they knew again thanks to Malek, his lover was a member of.

He was surprised to hear Malek ask to be a member of the attack force, but then considering what he blamed the boy and his ancestor for it was no surprise that he wanted to kill the boy and devastate Cassandra, one of his former lord's advisors. Malek soon nodded as the last of their plans were put down and he left to oversee the coming attack.

"Do you think they will be able to succeed?" he asked while turning to the Source.

"Perhaps," the Source replied. "The boy and his group have become powerful and skilled and I sense should they survive they will change the way this war is fought," he added darkly. "They must be killed," he snarled.

"You realize that allowing Malek to attack the boy will bring his former lord or one of the others powers into the fight?" the First pointed out.

"Then I will deal with them, this war is changing and we must change with it," the Source shot back.

The First turned and left, not convinced that the Source was actually thinking things through and allowing his anger to get the better of him. A direct confrontation between them and the powers had not happened for a hundred years and the last time they had fought he had been banished from the earthly realm and the Source's old host had been killed.

It had been a very hard fight but they had failed to kill any of their enemy and only wounded three of the powers in return. The Source had obviously forgotten this and was beginning to allow his arrogance to get the better of him. He would watch and see how this development went because he doubted it would go as the Source believed.

+T+

(Hogwarts)

Harry tried not to cry as he hugged his parents for the last time. Their time with him was up and he held onto his mother as hard as he could, wishing they could stay but knowing they couldn't. But he knew they would always be watching over him and he would see them again when it was his time to die, but he had no plans to do that for a very long time. He had a lot to live for now and he was determined to make it a very long fulfilled life.

"We are so very proud of you Harry, remember that," Lily said with a smile as she kissed him on the forehead as she released the hug.

"I will mom," Harry replied with a smile as Fleur and Susan quickly pulled him into them as they watched the others say goodbye.

"It was very nice meeting you Lily and James Potter and don't worry, we'll always be here should Harry need us," Xander told them with a smile.

"Thank you Alexander that makes us feel a whole lot better," James responded. "It was great seeing you all but sadly it's time," he added as he and his wife began to fade.

The others watched as the Potter's finally vanished from the room, leaving the others to wonder where they had gone exactly. What was the afterlife like? They asked themselves before shaking their heads knowing it was pointless to think about such things.

"That was amazing," Hermione said with a wide smile. "How do you feel Harry?" she asked, turning to face the boy who she thought of as her brother.

"Free Hermione, I feel free," Harry admitted with a smile of his own as he truly did feel free for the first time in his life. Free of the burdens he had carried all his life. "A whole new chapter of my life is about to start and I can't wait," he added, kissing both Fleur and Susan before moving over to Hermione and hug the girl who he had adopted as his sister.

Xander smiled at this and was very pleased to see that the earlier anger and frustration had truly lifted from his friend. He turned and looked out of the nearby window where he could see the sun start to set and he wondered yet again how this would end.

They all split up and began to head to their own places. Xander himself headed straight for his room followed by Tara and Janna who quickly joined him in the enlarged bed. Lilith had decided to talk with her father and brother about what would happen when they traveled to the tribes and declined to join them for now.

Prue grabbed her sisters and led them into another of the classrooms so they could talk in private and quickly began to tell them about what had happened during their mission to save Atlantis, especially what Tara had told her about what she had seen in the future and her own feelings for Alexander.

"So what are you going to do Prue?" Piper asked her elder sister with a raised eyebrow, unsure how to help her make her choice or if she could should help at all. Maybe this was best left up to Prue to decide on her own. She could tell by the look on Phoebe’s face she was having the same problem, this was outside of any of their experiences.

"I still don't know, but a big part of me wants to let go and give it a try. If Tara is right Alexander and me are meant to be," Prue responded as she leaned back in her chair. "I really do like him and I can tell he likes me, especially from what Tara said," she continued.

"I say you go for it," Phoebe told her sister with a smile having finally made up her mind as to what to say. She was pleased her sister had finally found someone she might be able to have a future with. "Tara's farsight is even more accurate than my visions, from what she told me when we discussed our abilities during the war with Voldemort," she informed them. "And according to her so far she has never seen something which has not come to be," she continued.

“To be honest I think Phoebe is right. All your life Prue you’ve tried to be the responsible sister and someone we could look up to,” Piper said with a smile. “But it has always come at the expense of your happiness. When Andy was killed I thought you would never find that kind of love again, but I can see I was wrong and if you do love Alexander then I think for once you should take a chance and just go for it,” she advised.

Prue took that all in and nodded her head as it at least sounded like Tara was sure she could indeed join Alexander and have a very happy relationship with him, even despite the fact he loved three other women. She decided for once to take a gamble. If Tara was correct everything she wanted in a relationship was close at hand if she chose to be with Alexander.

"Thanks for the advice," she said with a smile before getting up and leaving the room for her own promising herself to talk with Alexander tomorrow.

"This should be interesting," Piper said before heading to join her husband in their own room. “But I think it is just what Prue needs,” she added before she left through the door.

"I think so as well," Phoebe said with a wide smile, hoping things would work out for Prue and Alexander before going to find Cole.

+T+

(Dream Realm)

Xander sat against the tree with Tara curled into his arms as he watched Cassandra walk up and join them with a small smile on her face, yet he could see she was worried about something.

"Hello Alexander, Tara," she said as she sat down in front of them.

"What's wrong Cassandra?" he asked, noting the worried look in her eyes. Something Tara also picked up.

"We are picking up readings that indicate you will be attacked when you journey to the tribes," Cassandra informed them. "We can't get very much, but we suspect it will be a large attack with some very powerful demons," she added with a sigh.

"Damn," Xander said in reply as he had hoped they could get to the tribes and deal with Radrik as quickly as possible without any more interference, but as usually nothing was going to plan. "Is there anything else?" he asked.

"There has been a tremor in the warning and I suspect that means the appearance of a fallen," Cassandra responded and this time both could hear the worry in her tone as she spoke, as well as the way she said the word fallen. "The last time one of them came to the earth plane there was the same tremor and our only warning," she explained to them

"What is a fallen, Cassandra?" Tara inquired.

"A fallen is what we call one of the higher powers who have been cast down," Cassandra answered. "If one of them is a part of the attack force none of you will be able to kill it," she warned them.

"Then what are we supposed to do?" Xander asked not liking this one bit.

"I do not think you truly understand what exactly this means Alexander, the last time a fallen came to the earth plane was during the last battle between the higher and lower powers themselves," Cassandra shot back, her worry was spiking for an instant before she regained control of herself. "Which means there is a very good chance either the Source or the First might show up to finish you themselves," she continued with a very worried look now.

"Then we're dead, only Alucard would be able to face the Source and live," Tara said in a horrified voice.

"No, Cole could do it as well if he allowed his demon side to come out fully," Cassandra assured them. "And my lord is already preparing our own forces to intervene should the fallen appear. This fight I believe will determine how this war changes," she informed them. "I want you to warn the others to be on their highest alert," she told them. "There is one other thing Alexander when you reach the Kalderash tribe I will need to talk to you, Vlad, Adrian and Lilith about a very important matter, my time of hiding is almost up," she said before standing and walking way.

"This changes things," Tara said looking up at Xander who was contemplating what Cassandra had to say which involved not just him, but Vlad and his family. "We're going to need help to survive this," she added, but her voice quickly brought his mind back to the problem at hand.

"I know which is why I’m going to ask Prue and the gang to join us in this," Xander replied with a sigh. "But I don’t believe we will need Buffy, Crow or the others if what Cassandra said is true and her lord is planning a counter attack," he said with a small encouraging smile. "We just have to stay alive until they arrive," he said, very worried how this would turn out and praying they would all live through it.

+T+

(Other Realm)

"I have warned them my lord," Cassandra said as she reappeared next to her lord. "I can’t believe a fallen would be sent, considering what happened last time," she added with a shake of her head.

"Either the Source or the First is getting desperate to remove Alexander and his friends from the fight, or they have become so enraged by their failures to kill them so far that they are willing to risk a fight with us," her lord responded with a frown. "I believe it is the Source, as the First is much smarter than to believe it can win such a fight considering the last time we fought we stripped his corporeal form from him," he continued as his frown deepened. "It will be very dangerous and we will have to act quickly to ensure none of Alexander's team is killed," he went on.

"My lord, it is possible, considering recent events, that we know the fallen that will attack," Tanith spoke up.

"Explain Tanith," their lord commanded as he turned to look at him.

"My lord, me and Jonas are both in agreement that Malek may be the fallen who will attack, considering his feelings towards Cassandra and Alexander it makes sense for it to be him,” Tanith explained. “He will also want his revenge on all those he blames for his downfall," Tanith responded. "Also as he is new in hell the Source and the First will consider him expendable in the greater scheme of things," he added.

"You make valid points," their lord said with a tight voice, his anger at Malek’s betrayal coming back. "Malek would indeed wish revenge on Alexander and if he managed to kill him he would get revenge on Cassandra as well," he added as Cassandra nodded in agreement, her eyes cold at the thought. "I will lead the counter attack, no arguments," he declared shocking the others. "If Malek wants another fight I will give him one and finish him once and for all," he growled before going to assemble his force.

The others looked between themselves, still shocked to hear their lord would lead the counter attack, considering the fact he had not set foot on the Earth plane for a hundred years. It would seem things truly were changing in this war and none of them could see where it was heading.

+T+

(Hogwarts)

As soon as breakfast was over Xander quickly led his group to an empty classroom including the sisters, Leo and Cole. Everyone noted the serious looks on his and Tara's face and they all wondered what had happened.

Once everyone had sat down Sir Integra inquired what was wrong.

"We had a vision last night and believe me it was not a good one," Xander replied in a tight voice. "Our trip to the tribes is not going to go easily," he stated.

"What do you mean Alex?" Janna asked, beginning to feel worried by the look in her lover's eyes.

"As soon as we arrive we will be attacked by a large force of demons, but that isn’t all. A fallen is going to strike as well and should that come to be and the higher powers respond to it, the Source may show up as well," Xander informed them, shocking everyone bar Alucard who had long suspected the Source would attempt a hit itself on Alexander in time.

"This is not good at all," Leo said running an agitated hand through his hair. "The last time a fallen came to Earth was a hundred years ago and led to a full engagement between the lower powers and the higher powers," he explained at the looks from Piper and the others. "The Source's host was killed and the First was stripped of his corporal form and was banished, but some of the higher powers were wounded as well," he added in as serious a tone as he could to make them understand the danger of the situation they now faced.

"How are we supposed to survive this?" Jessica inquired, not liking this at all and very worried for her son and the others.

"All we have to do is survive long enough for the higher powers to respond should the fallen appear, as that will be the greatest threat," Tara responded as confidently as she could.

"What of the Source?" Amy asked trying to keep her own fear at bay.

"Only Alucard and Cole can survive against it," Xander answered glancing at both. "And Cole would have to allow Balthazar to come out fully to do it," he added, causing Phoebe to frown while Cole himself just nodded in understanding.

"I think we could come up with a power of three spell to banish it Alexander," Prue spoke up, wanting to be a part of this and now willing to allow them to face such danger without her and her sisters. "We'll check the Book of Shadows," she added.

"Thanks Prue, I was going to ask you and the others to accompany us on our last leg of the journey anyway once I knew what we faced," Xander responded with a relieved smile that she had offered that. "Something tells me it's important you are there," he continued.

"You can count on us," Prue said without hesitation, not willing to allow Alexander to face this attack without her at his side. "We may just be able to deal a huge blow if we can vanquish the Source or just kill its host for a time," she said, noting the worried but determined look on her sisters faces. "And if we can do that, then that will give us a lot of time to train Paige," she explained her reasoning.

"You got a point Prue. Leo can you get us the book please?" Piper said while turning to her husband, who nodded and quickly orbed out returning a few moments later with the book.

"The elders have advised you to be very careful on how you do this Prue," Leo said as he handed the book to her. "The entire upper levels are on high alert and most are worried how this will turn out, but they support your call to aide Alexander and the others," he added.

"We'll do the best we can Leo, but we have a job to do and if we can get it done we'll be able to train Paige and begin forming our alliance by the time the lower powers are able to regroup," Prue responded to which most of the others nodded in agreement.

"All I’m saying Prue, is this time you have to be at the top of your game and do not hold back," Leo advised seriously. "That goes for everyone," he added looking around the room.

"We still have the armor we used for the war with Voldemort so we'll all suit up before we stop of at Atlantis to plan how we do this before we go to the tribes," Xander told them. "Alucard you'll have your sword so you can utilize its full potential, we keep an eye on each other and stay together," he added.

The others all nodded before they began to discuss how to repel this attack and stay alive until the higher powers arrived to help them.

When noon came they took a break and headed for the dining room, bar Prue who asked if she could talk to Xander on his own to which he nodded and sat back down.

"What's up Prue?" he inquired.

"I've been thinking quite a lot about my future since we met and once I began to realize I had begun to fall for you, at first I was a little put off as you were in a relationship with Tara, Janna and then Lilith as well, but I've come to realize none of them are bothered by the fact you love other women and your relationship with them all works," Prue began as calmly as she could. "I have very strong feelings for you Alex and I want to see if we can make a relationship work between us as well if you feel the same way?" she added with a small hopeful smile.

Xander was a little surprised at first, but quickly pushed it aside as he listened to Prue talk, he knew Tara had said something to Prue although she wouldn’t say what, but it had obviously made Prue come to a decision.

"I have strong feelings for you as well Prue and I would be very happy to see if we could make a relationship work between us," he finally spoke up, noting how Prue's smile widened as he replied before she stood up and pulled him to his feet, kissing him as hard as she could. “Then let us get everyone together and say our goodbyes to Harry and the gang and then we leave for Atlantis,” she added.

+T+

(Other Realm)

Cassandra smiled and shook her head as Alexander and Prue came together as Tara had foreseen. She knew that while right now they were basking in their new relationship they would not allow it to distract them from the very dangerous fight they would be engaged in the next day. She looked at Tanith and Jonas and noted they were smiling, but they were obviously nervous about what was coming and she could not help but to feel the same.

+T+

(Lower Realm)

The Source smiled as he watched his assault force begin to assemble and he could hardly wait for the next day to come. He knew once Malek showed up the higher powers would counter by sending their own forces and then he would strike and kill whoever it was they sent, not caring about the outcome of the last fight he had with the higher powers.
33. Chapter 33
Chapter 33

(Atlantis)

Xander watched as the others looked up in awe at the beauty of the city they were in. Tara, Prue and Alucard also watched in amusement. He nodded as Erin appeared next to him and Thor entered from one of the adjoining rooms.

"Everyone I would like you to meet Erin and Thor," he said, indicating the newcomers and almost laughed at the look on some of his friends faces at meeting aliens for the first time in their lives.

"It is a pleasure to meet you all," Erin said in way of a greeting. "I have watched alongside my people as you have continued your journey and we have been very impressed by your actions so far," she added.

"I too have been impressed by what I have been told by Erin as well as seeing the actions of Alexander, Prue, Tara and Alucard," Thor added. "It gives me great hope for the future," he went on.

"We have a big fight coming Erin. Tara and Alex had a vision that we will be attacked as soon as we arrive in the Romany lands," Prue stated, deciding to get things moving. "It's going to be bad," she added.

"We know, we have detected the same thing the higher powers have Prue," Erin responded. "An attack by that which you call the fallen will be hard, but you will have the help of the higher powers themselves. I will monitor the situation and should any of you be hurt or badly wounded I will transport you out," she continued.

"I too will monitor this event from orbit just to make sure none of you will be killed," Thor put in. "I remember the old wars many centuries ago when the Ancients still walked this plane. The great demons were many and should not be taken lightly," he added and each of them could hear the underlying horror the Asgard had seen and that was still fresh in his memory.

"Thanks, we appreciate your help," Xander said moving forward pleased to have more support.

The entire group was fully armed and wearing the armor of the Hellsing organization. Still he was very nervous about how this fight would go considering just who and what they would end up facing. He could feel Tara was just as concerned by what was about to happen once they touched down in the Romany lands, but also that she felt a little better knowing Erin and Thor would be watching over them.

He felt the comforting feel of the magical ring of protection he had been given in Middle Earth and he knew Tara and Lilith had theirs on as well, he also had the Mithril sword he had also been given. It was not as strong as Vlad's sword, but it would do. He knew the best chance they had of surviving this was to allow Vlad to have his own sword as he knew how to use it best.

"How soon after you appear do you expect we will be attacked?" Amy inquired, very nervous about the upcoming fight which was even bigger that the one against Voldemort and his army due to the presence of the Source and the Fallen and she prayed they all would come out of this alive.

"Very quickly Amy, we will have to be very fast in how we react. So Janna I want you and Tara to work on a shield spell, their first attacks will be sudden and we will have maybe a split second to move," Alucard spoke up. "Use the ancient magic, you have both learned, to power it," he added with a stern look so they understood how serious he was and they both nodded in agreement. "As soon as their first attacks are dealt with we strike back," he continued. "Using our most powerful spells, that includes you Alexander, don’t hold back," he warned the young man who nodded.

"I don't intend to," Xander responded. "I intend to live and make sure the rest of you do so as well," he added. "This is going to be rough," he said with a shake of his head

"It will be, but we have three ways to deal with the Source, the Charmed Ones have their power of three spell and I and Cole both know we can harm him," Alucard responded with a grim smile. "We should ignore the Fallen as much as we can as he isn’t something we can kill and the powers themselves have stated they will intervene when he shows himself," he advised them.

"Maybe we should keep the shield up until the powers show up so we won't be overwhelmed," Jessica suggested just wanting to get this over with so they could head to the Lavelle tribe and find out what had happened to her first husband.

"How long do you think you can keep the shield up?" Sir Integra inquired, concerned how this battle would turn out.

"Long enough," Janna shot back. "I'm much stronger now than I was when we started this journey," she added. "With Tara's help it should be simple to keep the shield up until our backup arrives," she explained.

"Do not underestimate the power of the attacks the shield will be under Janna," Lilith warned her friend. "The demons who will likely accompany the Source for this attack will be of the same type who attacked us in Sunnydale," she warned them all. "And you remember how one of them went through us," she pointed out.

"This time will be different," Xander said in way of reply. "We are better prepared, and the best tactic, as was seen during the fight with Voldemort's army, is to team up against them so we stick close to one another and don't get separated," he advised them.

The others all nodded their heads in agreement seeing the sense in what Xander had said.

Thor was impressed by the way they were planning to face such a powerful threat and he hoped they would come through this intact. He beamed up to his ship and prepared to monitor the area where Alexander and his friends were planning on appearing. He made sure the transporter was working correctly before settling back and thinking of the days of when he fought side by side with the Ancients.

+T+

(Lower Realm)

The Source smirked as he watched his assault force assemble. They were some of the best demons he had left at his control right now. Malek and one other fallen power were in the room hoping to avenge themselves against the boy and their former comrades in the higher powers.

He noticed the First was watching from one of the upper platforms and he could tell the First didn’t agree with his plan, but he didn’t care he just wanted to kill the boy and his friends and finally strike a blow against the higher powers. He laughed just imagining soaking his hands in the blood of his enemies. He was looking forward to finally getting his hands dirty once again.

+T+

(Other Realm)

Cassandra watched as her lord prepared for battle alongside a corp of their best guardians. Tanith was also preparing for battle having insisted to be allowed to accompany them to make up for his past errors in trusting Malek. She hadn’t been allowed to accompany them and she felt a little annoyed at this, but knew she could trust her lord to make sure nothing happened to Alexander and his friends.

She was just very unsure how this would turn out and how it would change the war in the long term. This kind of event had not happened for a hundred years and to know it was about to happen again sent shivers down her spine as she imagined it happening more and more often. She hoped that wouldn’t be the case but if her lord was correct and the Source had indeed allowed his anger to rule him she would not be surprised if it did happen again.

"My lord the tremor is getting worse," Jonas informed them as he entered the chamber.

"That is not a surprise, the last time this happened the closer the time to the fight the worse the tremor got," their lord responded as he finished putting his armor on and faced them. "This will not be easy, no matter what happened the last time our forces faced off in a direct confrontation," he stated.

"We know my lord, I wish you luck," Cassandra responded with a small smile.

"Thank you and don’t be too concerned about Alexander and his friends. They have planned well for the initial contact as we have seen," her lord reminded her. "They are strong and they also have Erin and Thor looking out for them should they injured and Leo is on hand at Atlantis ready to heal them should it be necessary to pull them out," he continued.

"My lord what will happen once this fight is done?" Jonas asked. "It will change how this war is fought will it not?" he asked again.

"It will, but we cannot change that," their lord answered. "We deal with that once this attack has been beaten back," he added as he waved his hand over the viewing pool to show Alexander and his friends making their final preparations. "It is almost time," he stated as he grabbed his sword which crackled with power.

+T+

(Atlantis)

Xander sat cross legged as he prepared for the battle, knowing he had to have his concentration at his best. He had to be focused only on what was about to happen and couldn’t allow his nerves and fear to get in the way as that would only get him or someone else injured. He looked up as Tara sat across from him and stared at him. He opened himself up to the bond fully and he felt her confidence and love flow through him, causing him to smile.

"Alexander, Tara are you ready?" Alucard inquired, looking over at them.

"We are now," they replied at the same time as they pushed the bond between them to its fullest and the stood up and joined the others.

Alucard nodded and then pulled his own sword from its resting place, ready to face the coming threat. He had fought many battles in his long life and defeated many powerful enemies however he had never fought either the Source or a Fallen and he felt a certain thrill at having the chance to do both. He could already feel his power pulsing within himself waiting for the battle to begin. He looked around at his family and friends and knew they would prevail.

"Are you ready?" Erin inquired having watched them prepare to the best of their abilities.

"We are Erin, we'll see you soon," Xander said as he tightened his grip on his sword.

She nodded before activating the transporter and watched the group vanish from the city once more, knowing when they returned they would be once again be changed by the events of their lives, but it would be value experience they would need for the future.

+T+

(Romany Tribes)

As soon as Janna and Tara felt the ground beneath their feet they chanted the spell to raise the shield and smiled as it quickly snapped into place. A few seconds later twenty demons appeared alongside three very imposing figures and they all quickly began hurling energy bolts at the shield and Xander could see the strain appear on Janna and Tara's faces.

"Amy, Jessica, help with the shield as best as you can," he ordered as he stepped forward and hoped the powers would turn up quickly.

"We have to separate the fallen from the demons," Adrian said as he stepped closer to him.

Before he could ask how there was a bright flash of light and suddenly he saw Cassandra's lord standing before the three figures who seemed to be the leaders of the assault force. He was surrounded by a large group of warriors who quickly jumped on the demons while he and the figure next to him engaged the two figures Xander believed to be the fallen.

Xander shouted for Janna and Tara to drop the shield as Cole transformed into Balthazar and prepared to engage the Source. The shield dropped and he followed Alucard and Balthazar straight at the Source who seemed to smile at them as they approached.

Lilith led the others at the demons making sure to stay clear of the very fast paced and deadly fight between the fallen and what had to be the higher powers. Xander jumped out of the way of the bolt the Source sent at him as he approached, but before he could approach again one of the demons attacked him. He backed off as the demon tried to rake him with his claws and then lashed out with his sword just missing the creature's side.

Prue and Phoebe worked together to take down one of the demons alongside Lilith, while Adrian and Seras worked with Sir Integra to take down another, using everything they could weapons wise to stay out of the demon's reach. The guardians were easily able to match the demons strength and speed and made sure to keep them away from their lord and his aide. Alucard almost smiled as he unleashed a bolt of magic at the Source who easily deflected it. The Source sent one back which Alucard jumped over. This was the kind of fight he had not had in a very long time and he loved the challenge even as he knew he had to make sure it ended with the Source defeated.

Tanith snarled as he fought the energy his former comrade sent at him as they both tried to kill each other. He could hardly believe he was even here taking part in this fight. He had never thought he would see the day he would end up fighting one of his own people. Now he had seen half of the powers banished to hell for treason and he was now fighting against two of them alongside his lord who seemed to be doing everything in his power to kill Malek.

He pushed back again swinging his sword as wide as he could and managed to cut deep into the side of his enemy, he followed up and shot out with a back kick which almost made the man who he had known as Ben stumble, but he quickly launched an energy strike which caught him in the chest and knocked him to his knees. Ben raised his scythe above his head ready to bring it down and end his life when he was suddenly flung backwards by a very powerful blast of magic and he knew his lord had saved him. He got back to his feet and ignoring the pain attacked Ben again who had just regained his feet.

Xander groaned as he pushed himself back to his feet and just managed to block the claws of the demon that he had been fighting. He knew he needed help and so he tried to push the demon back to where he could just make out Piper and Tara and Janna. He concentrated on the bond and warned Tara what he was doing while channeling his power and unleashing a bold of magic which knocked the demon backwards and into reach of Piper and Tara, who both unleashed their magic and were joined a second later by Janna who even pregnant still seemed to be able to call on her full potential of magic. He raised his sword and took the head of the demon before it could recover. He took a deep breath before running over to help Prue and Phoebe.

Balthazar growled as he exchanged blows with the Source wanting nothing more than to rip the demon apart so he could never threaten Phoebe again, beside him Alucard launched his own bolts, managing to wound the Source just slightly. They both knew this fight was not going to be easy, but they were both prepared for a long battle and so they both began to launch more power into their spells as the fighting began to spread out.
34. Chapter 34
Chapter 34

(Romany Tribes)

Xander groaned as he pushed himself back to his feet from where he had fallen. The long gash in his side hurt, but he ignored it as much as he could and struck back at the demon that had gotten the jump on him. Their swords clashed and he pushed the demon back to where he could make out Lilith close by, fighting one of the other demons who was close to the Source.

All around them the fight continued. It was even more intense than the fight against Voldemort and his army at Hogwarts. The Fallen was closing in on him as fast as it could and he kept losing sight of it as he fought. Cassandra's lord and his second in command engaged it as much as they could, but they still ended up getting attacked by the demon assassins, which distracted them, leaving the fallen free to move closer to him while he was distracted.

He shook his head and dodged the attack of the demon he was fighting cursing himself for getting distracted again. He darted forwards and brought his sword up. Catching the demon he was fighting in the chest as it tried to avoid his attack. He smiled grimly as he backed up ready to strike again when Adrian suddenly appeared behind the demon and took its head clear off with a single sweep of his sword. He nodded his thanks and ran over to help Lilith. Tara soon joined them against the two demons that now assailed them after they killed the one Lilith had been fighting.

Tanith snarled in hate as he hacked another demon down while his lord did the same with his magic, but once again the demons attack wasn’t without purpose as it distracted him and his lord from Malek who was trying to reach Alexander as fast as he could.

He moved to follow his former leader and engage him in battle, but he was once again blocked by two more demons. His lord quickly joined him in taking them down, but it was too late Malek had got behind Alexander who was busy covering Lilith and Tara who were fighting two more of the demons the Source had brought to the fight. In seconds Malek unleashed a torrent of magic into Alexander's back, causing him to scream in agony. They tried to rush forward to help as did some of the others but they were all forced backwards by the demons and the Source himself helped by throwing a batch of fresh demons who had shown up into the fight and engaged them as well as the remaining guardians.

Before everyone's eyes a woman appeared, looking enraged. Besides her were ten more guardians and another powerful figure who gave off the same aura as the lord's second in command. The guardians and the new figure quickly attacked the demons, holding the others back while the woman went straight for Malek who wasn’t concentrating on anything other than slowly killing Alexander who continued to scream in pain from the attack. Tara had finally collapsed from the pain she was receiving over the bond. It was unlike anything else she had felt since she and Alexander had been bonded. Lilith and Adrian stood over her, making sure none of the demons tried to get at her while she was unable to fight. The Charmed Ones tried to use their magic to block the attack on Alexander, but kept getting distracted by the attacking demons.

Alucard growled in hate, knowing Alexander was in danger, but he was unable to do anything about it as he and Balthazar fought the Source to a standstill. When the woman appeared he almost stopped his attack in shock as he recognized her. He quickly shook off his shock and focused again on the Source who was trying to bait them with taunts.

Malek was caught completely off guard as a surge of magic dug into his back and blasted him across the field while Alexander dropped to the ground almost unconscious from the attack he had just undergone. He groaned, but he forced himself to stay awake with everything he had left. He looked up at Cassandra, shocked to see she had come to his rescue and it again made him wonder why he was so important to her. But he was grateful she had come along or sooner or later he would have been dead and so would have been Tara thanks to the bond they shared and he had no desire to be the cause of her death.

Cassandra stalked across the field ignoring everything else going on around her, she had stayed away from the fight as her lord had ordered until more demons had showed up to help the Source and Malek who had indeed been the fallen involved in the attack. She had gathered more guardians as well as Jonas who had asked to join her and then they had joined the attack just in time as Malek finally reached Alexander and attacked him from behind catching him off guard and now she was going to make him pay.

Malek pushed himself to his feet growling as he spun to face who had attacked him and almost did a double take as Cassandra stormed towards him, her hate for him clearly written in her eyes. He suddenly smirked thinking he could now have his revenge on her and then he could finish off the boy and he quickly gathered his magic and unleashed it at the approaching woman who somehow managed to dodge it and then retaliated and caught him in the leg, knocking him back to the ground but he quickly recovered and they began trading shots.

Xander used every bit of will he had to force himself back to his feet. He couldn’t afford to pass out just yet. He smiled as best as he could as Lilith and Tara as well as the Charmed ones surrounded him, making sure he was protected as he began to use his magic to fight. The magical ring he had been gifted had helped save his life and he was thankful to the Valar who had given it to him as well as one to Lilith and Tara.

"Prue, I think it's time you tried your banishment spell for the Source, we'll cover you," he shouted as he sent a surge of magic at a demon who was trying to attack his mother who was fighting side by side with Amy and Janna across from them. He was drained from the attack he had undergone and he was only still standing by will alone.

"We'll have to move closer," Prue said in response and quickly they began to move as a group towards where the Source was battling Alucard and Balthazar.

Tanith and his lord were not surprised to see Cassandra and Jonas arrive with reinforcements and so they continued to battle their way towards where she now fought Malek one on one. Jonas was covering her rear with another guardian as the battle continued to rage on.

Alucard growled as he caught a hit to his shoulder, but he shrugged it off and struck back, scoring a hit to the Source's side while Balthazar ended up catching him in the back as he turned. He noted Alexander and his small group coming closer to them and he realized they intended to use the Charmed ones banishment spell and he quickly stepped up his attack to ensure the Source didn’t see them coming.

Cassandra hissed as Malek scored another direct hit almost knocking her to the ground, but she refused to go down while Malek continued to run riot, before she could strike back her lord stepped in between her and Malek glaring at his former subordinate with hate.

"Go help the others, this one is mine Cassandra," her lord ordered and she knew better than to argue and so she quickly headed to where her son was fighting alongside Seras almost smiling at his shocked look at seeing her before they concentrated on the three demons they were fighting.

Xander almost stumbled as they came to a stop and the sisters began their spell, he was weakening fast but he refused to fall until this fight was done. He turned and noticed Cassandra's lord was now engaging the fallen in a furious battle, their blades causing sparks to fly as they clashed and magic to wrap around them and he was glad he was not a part of it.

He looked back and noticed the sisters were picking up speed in their chant and was close to finishing it and just as well as the fight between the Source and Alucard and Balthazar was picking up, luckily the fight between the demons and the guardians was finally been brought under control and they were gaining the upper hand for which he was glad as he could barely keep himself upright.

Malek cursed as he fell to the ground once more, only this time it took him longer to get back up as his former lord's attack had opened up a deep wound in his chest and he was now bleeding heavily. As they faced off once again he tried to summon all of his magic to himself but before he could lash out his former lord dived forward and imbedded his sword in the wound and jerked it upward, straight into Malek’s head, killing him instantly and caused his magic to evaporate into the ground as he fell backwards. Cassandra's lord looked down with grim satisfaction as he finally destroyed the traitor for his actions, as banishment hadn’t been enough. Turning he noted the battle was dying down with the last few demons being cut down by the guardians led by Cassandra, Tanith and Jonas. He quickly moved to support them as Janna and the remaining members of Alexander's group dropped to the ground clearly exhausted and wounded.

The Source almost screamed in frustration as Balthazar managed to avoid one of his strongest attacks and he caught another shot in the side from Alucard, the battle had gone downhill since he had been separated from his bodyguards and he knew Malek was dead, having seen him killed by one of the higher power's main leader's. Just as he was about to attack again he heard the end of a chant and he spun around to find the Charmed ones just to the side of him surrounded by the boy and some of his friends and he began to feel a burning heat within his body and realized it had been a banishment spell they had cast. He screamed in rage and his host was destroyed in burning fire watched by his enemies.

Alucard smiled as he watched the Source vanquished and he quickly looked around pleased to see everyone seemed to be okay, just wounded and tired. He stopped as Adrian approached him side by side with the woman he had recognized as Cassandra, his first wife and he noted Alexander was watching the woman closely although he still seemed about to fall on his face.

"Cassandra?" he inquired, wondering if it was truly her.

"Hello my husband," Cassandra responded, unable to repress a smile at Alucard knowing it was pointless to retreat now that they had seen her.

"Husband?" she heard Alexander ask in shock and as she turned to face him he stumbled and then fell unconscious as his strength and will finally failed, but he was caught by Prue and Lilith and lowered to the ground as Leo appeared and began to heal him.

"How is it you are here, mother?" Adrian asked as Lilith walked closer to them after making sure Alexander was okay.

"It is a long story my son and one not to be told until Alexander is awake and everyone else is healed. I will return in three hours to talk," Cassandra responded with a small smile before she, Tanith, Jonas, their lord and the guardians all vanished.

"Was that really Adrian's mother, father?" Lilith asked, shocked by this turn of events.

"So it would appear Lilith," Alucard replied, his own emotions reeling as seeing his first wife again after such a long time. He forced them away and concentrated on what needed to be done. "Let's get everyone healed and moved to the Kalderash tribe now," he ordered, moving the others into motion.

+T+

(Lower Realm)

The First shook it's head as he watched the Source's defeat and banishment although he knew he would return in time to find a new host as usually. Still it would set them back a lot as they had lost a hell of a lot of demons in the last couple of weeks and it would take time to rebuild their assault forces. For now it decided it would leave the boy and his friends alone until he had indeed rebuilt the assault forces and the Source had found a new host.

The First had known the Source was stupid to believe they could actually kill one of the higher powers so easily, no it would concentrate on the other champions that were not watched so closely by the higher powers. It would also leave the Charmed ones alone for now as it was clear they were been watched just as closely as they were now part of the boy's group. He decided to concentrate on the Hellmouth for a while as even though they were connected to the boy they were not watched by the higher powers as closely as the Charmed ones were. The first laughed as it imagined the chaos it could cause as well as hoping it could kill either of the two slayers.

+T+

(Other Realm)

Cassandra waited unsure if her lord would be angry she had disobeyed his orders and entered the battle revealing herself to her husband and the rest of their family before the right time. She hoped he would understand she could no longer stay on the side lines as Malek attacked Alexander and came close to killing him. She looked up as her lord entered alongside Tanith and Jonas who all looked better after they had removed their amour and tended to their wounds.

"You disobeyed me Cassandra," their lord said although his tone showed no anger in it.

"I’m sorry my lord, but once the Source got more reinforcements and attacked Alexander I had to act. I summoned as many guardians as I could to help," Cassandra responded. "Jonas asked to come with me and I agreed knowing we needed all the help we could get until Malek and the Source were defeated," she continued. "I’m sorry I went against your orders, but I couldn’t leave Alexander to Malek's mercy. I will accept any punishment you decree," she finished, bowing her head in submission.

"I’m not going to punish you Cassandra. You acted as I would expect you to act as Alexander would act in fact," their lord stated with a chuckle. "I can’t fault your heart or your motive to aid us as we did indeed needed it. I doubt either myself or Tanith could have reached Alexander before he was killed by the attack, so I thank you for acting so quickly and the same goes for you Jonas," he added.

"Thank you my lord," Cassandra and Jonas said in reply, pleased they were not going to be punished and that their lord understood their motives. "Is it okay for me to return as I said I would, to explain the truth to Vlad and the others?" she inquired as they turned to the viewing pool and watched as Alexander woke up to find himself now in the Kalderash tribe, alongside the rest of his group.

"It is Cassandra and I wish you luck," their lord answered with a smile and a pat on her back as she readied herself for her biggest trial in years.

+T+

(Kalderash Tribe, Romany lands)

Xander groaned as he woke up feeling completely drained from the fight even though it was obvious Leo had healed him. He looked around and noted the sisters, Tara, Cole, Amy, his mother and Sir Integra were all in the room with him and recovering as well.

"Where are the others?" he asked as he forced himself into a sitting position.

"Outside with Janna talking to her father and the chief of the tribe, explaining our presence here," Tara replied, pleased to see Alexander awake after such a powerful attack. "How do you feel?" she inquired as Prue walked over and sat next to her so she could join the conversation.

"Like I just got run over by a herd of Rhino's," Xander stated with a smile, wincing as he moved to face them better. "How about the rest of you?" he shot back.

"The feedback from the attack on you was the worst I've ever felt and it put me down for the rest of the battle. I’m surprised you were able to stay standing," Tara replied with a shake of her head as she remembered the feeling of the attack over the bond.

"It took every ounce of strength and force of will I had left to stay standing and I think I’m paying for it now," Xander responded with a dry chuckle. "Where did Cassandra go?" he inquired.

"She left with her lord but promised to return to explain some things," Tara answered with a smile. "Alucard, Adrian and Lilith were shocked to see her as it seemed they knew her," she added.

"Yeah I remember, Cassandra referred to Alucard as her husband," Xander said thoughtfully. "I wonder what the hell is going on," he sighed.

"You are not the only one Alexander," Alucard stated as he entered alongside the rest of their group. "It would seem there is more going on here than we knew considering you seem to know Cassandra," he added with a frown. "Can you tell us why?" he asked as the rest of the group joined them.

"I think it would be best Vlad if I explain everything," a new voice said and everyone turned to find Cassandra entering the room, looking very nervous as she went and sat next to Alexander. "Before I begin I will say he could not say anything about knowing me before, because I placed blocks on him to hide the fact as I did with Tara and Janna as well who came to know of this information. It was necessary at the time that my contact with them was hidden until it was time for me to explain the truth to you all," she added.

"I see," Alucard said in reply, noting how nervous his first wife looked. "We are ready to listen," he finally said.

Cassandra took a deep breath before she began to tell her tale, knowing everything would change once it was all out in the open and she just prayed Vlad would still see her in the same light once he knew the truth about what had happened in the past and how Alexander's line came to be in existence.

+T+

(Other Realm)

"Do you think Vlad will react badly to the truth, my lord?" Jonas inquired somewhat concerned for Cassandra as he knew how much she still loved her husband and the rest of her family and how much it would hurt her if he rejected her.

"No, I do not," their lord answered with a small smile. "Vlad loved Cassandra greatly when he was alive and he has never let go of that love, even when he married Lilith's mother," he explained. "From there he loved both of them even after they died and moved on. He has feelings for Sir Integra, but he knows better than to pursue her while she is without an heir to take on the leadership of the Hellsing Organization," he continued. "No I find it very hard to believe he could reject her for something that was so out of her control and I don’t believe it will affect his relationship with Alexander either," he stated.

"Still it is bound to cause some tension between them my lord," Tanith said, looking at the viewing pool which showed Cassandra telling her tale to the group.

"Perhaps," was all their lord said in response. "Now I want you both to order some of your fellow powers to warn the other champions to be on their guard. The First will try and strike at any he can catch of guard in retaliation for this latest defeat," he ordered, moving on to more important matters. "I want watches set up to monitor events around them, especially around the Hellmouth. Any sign of activity by the First is to be reported and the same goes for the Source should it return," he added.

Tanith and Jonas both nodded in understanding of their orders, knowing their lord was correct and turned and began to leave.

"The war has changed and we must be more alert than ever before. I doubt the First will try and attack Alexander and his group for a while as it knows we are watching them closely, so I suspect it will believe our other champions are left to fend for themselves and we must prove it wrong," their lord said, stopping them from leaving. "We have to be stronger than we have been to counter what I expect from the lower powers in response to what has just happened," he added before allowing the two to leave.

+T+

(Kalderash Tribe, Romany lands)

Xander was more than shocked at what he had just learnt. It almost made him think it was all a joke, but he could tell from the look on Cassandra's face she was deadly serious. He looked to Adrian and noted he seemed to accept what his mother had just told him. Lilith seemed relieved to learn she shared no blood link to him so their relationship was okay. Seras seemed to find the whole thing fascinating and finally Vlad seemed introspective and slightly angry, but he doubted it was at Cassandra and had more to do with the man called Lord Baxter who had forced himself on Cassandra all those years ago.

To learn he was a descendant of Cassandra answered so many questions he'd had since this whole thing had begun. He now knew why she had been so concerned about him since his journey had begun. He could now see all of her actions in a new light and he came to appreciate them all the more. He looked to the others and noted some of them were still looking surprised by this news while others were quietly discussing it between themselves.

"Alexander, are you okay?" Cassandra asked becoming more nervous by the silence.

"I’m Cassandra, it was just a big surprise to learn the truth," Xander responded giving her a smile which she returned. "I’m not angry you kept me in the dark, there was a time and a place for me to learn this and I can accept that," he added. "At least I now know why you have taken such an interest in me," he added.

"I’m okay too mother," Adrian said with a smile. "Learning I’m distant cousins with Alexander isn’t too much of a shock seen as I will soon be his bother in law when he marries Lilith," he added with a laugh which was shared by some of the others while Lilith's smile widened as she remembered the fact that Alexander intended to marry her and the others as soon as they had finished their journey.

"And you Vlad?" Cassandra finally asking the one person she had feared telling the truth to the most.

"I’m angry you didn’t tell me what Baxter did to you. I would have gutted the slime for what he did," Alucard stated with a growl. "But I can understand why you feared telling me the truth and the actions you took to keep it secret. I don’t hold any anger towards either you or Alexander in learning this," he added to Cassandra’s relief. "But I will say this you should have told me. I would have accepted the child as my own because I loved you and I still love you," he told her, earning a smile at this from Cassandra.

"I love you as well. Being able to watch you from afar has always been painful, but it was worth it to see you all safe and I have watched you since this all began with great pride in your actions. You've all come a long way," Cassandra said, feeling great relief that the truth had finally been spoken.

"What happens now?" Sir Integra inquired and was pleased to see Alucard had not allowed his anger to get the best of him at learning his first wife had been taken against her will before he married her.

"I would suggest you stay here and recover for a few days before heading for the Lavelle tribe and finish this," Cassandra answered. "You will have to be careful how you approach them," she added.

"Is my husband, Alexander's father, still alive Cassandra?" Jessica asked, unable to stop herself from asking the woman who had been helping her son in secret.

"I can't tell you that Jessica, it is one of those things you must find out on your own, I'm sorry," Cassandra replied, truly sorry she couldn’t give Alexander's mother piece of mind as she watched her slump at her response. "I must go now, but I will return to talk to you again soon," she then said before kissing Vlad for the first time since she died. The she vanished, leaving the group to talk about what had just happened.
35. Chapter 35
(Other Realm)

Cassandra smiled as she reappeared after talking to her family and friends about the truth she had hidden for so long and she was still feeling grateful they had accepted it and not rejected her, especially Vlad and her son who she had feared telling the most.

Now they were approaching the end road of their journey and Alexander faced his greatest challenge in facing Radrik. She still feared he would lose, but something told him he wouldn't. Not after all the battles he had been in and those who relied on him to survive, especially Tara, Prue, Lilith and Janna. No, she very much doubted he would fall to Radrik now when he had so much to lose. He had come a long way since his journey had begun and learned so much in the last year, he simply had to win.

"I'm glad things went well for you Cassandra," her lord stated as he looked up from the viewing pool as she entered the room.

"Thank you my lord so am I," Cassandra responded with a bright smile also pleased things hadn’t turned nasty as she reviled her long buried secret. "It has taken a great weight off me to finally tell them the truth," she added. "Now I can interact with them all when it is necessary," she went on with a pleased smile. "So much has happened since this all began and so much has changed," she stated with a slight sigh.

"Yes it has," her lord agreed with a nod of his head. "The war has changed due to the actions of Alexander more than I could have guessed, but I think it's for the better, especially once he begins the task of forming his alliance and bringing the various champions and organizations together to face the counter attack from the darkness that will come," he informed her with a serious look. "You should be proud of him Cassandra, he has done well," he added with a smile.

"I’m very proud and not just of him, but of all of them, even those who aren’t really a part of his group," Cassandra responded with another smile. "When this began I feared so much we would lose him, but he has overcome so much and shown how strong he can be, even showing no fear in needing others to do the job where he can’t," she explained. "The last leg of this journey is now upon them and I believe they will survive to change things even more," she told him.

"We shall see Cassandra. Although I must say I agree with you, after facing everything they had encountered I can’t see Radrik winning, but still… anything can happen so we must stay alert," her lord said in response and Cassandra nodded, knowing he was correct. Radrik wasn’t to be underestimated before she waved her hand over the viewing pool so it showed Alexander and his group and settled in to watch as things progressed.

+T+

(Kalderash Tribe, Romany lands)

Xander sat with Janna curled up next to him on one side and Tara on the other, he was nervous because soon he would have to meet Janna's father and the chief of this tribe and convince them to help him and even though he would have the help of his group he was more on edge in facing Janna's father. He doubted that he would be pleased by the fact that he had gotten his daughter pregnant out of wedlock, especially as he was the heir of a tribe they were at war with.

He knew he was close to the end of this journey, but that just made him more aware of what would happen should he fail. He believed the last fight would be the greatest challenge he would face. He knew he couldn’t use Vlad's sword to fight Radrik as everyone would believe he had an unfair advantage so he had been practicing with the sword the Valar had gifted him with, but it wasn’t the same and he missed the comforting magic Vlad's sword possessed. Lilith and Prue were discussing something with Adrian and Sir Integra while Vlad meditated. He guessed he needed to center himself after everything he had just learned. Amy was playing a game with Piper and Leo, while Phoebe and Cole were asleep as was his mother who had been depressed since Cassandra had refused to tell her the status of his father.

"How are we going to deal with Radrik, Alex? I somehow doubt he will accept one on one combat if he can help it?" Janna inquired after she leaned up and kissed him.

"I think you are right," Xander replied sighing as he turned his mind to the problem at hand. "Which is why, after I have won over your chief and your father, I’m going to ask him to summon his allies and then we are going to march on the Lavelle tribe, that way we can force a one on one combat," he explained.

"But we may have to kill members of your own tribe to do that," Janna protested. "I know Alex you haven't known who you really are for long, but you can’t simply kill them like that. They are your people, your family," she continued trying to explain as well as instill the sense of what it meant to be a part of a clan.

"Janna, most of them are as evil as Radrik. They helped him kill my grandfather and then they launched attack after attack on the other tribes. Those who refuse to obey him are prisoners and are most likely in some kind of jail alongside my father, if he is still alive," Xander responded. A part of him knowing she was right, but right now he didn’t care to much to view the Lavelle tribe as having any connection to himself.

"Alex, Janna is correct to a point," Tara joined the conversation having been listening carefully. "If you want any hope of ruling the tribe once Radrik is dead you must find another way to take the tribe which does not involve killing them," she added seriously. "If you don’t they will plan a counter which could end up with some of us dead when we least expect it," she warned him.

Xander closed his eyes and sighed, knowing Tara was even more correct. ‘Why couldn't things ever be simple?’ he thought to himself before opening his eyes again and nodding his head in acceptance of what they had said. He had to remind himself he was here to stop the in-fighting within the tribes not to take part in it.

"Maybe if we manage to take the tribe by surprise I can challenge Radrik to one on one combat for control of the tribe. Something I doubt he would refuse in front of his people," he said thoughtfully. “It would make him look weak if he did,” he added at their looks. “I think it would also be wise to send maybe Seras and Adrian in ahead of us to locate the prisoners and free them so there is no risk of them being killed or used as hostages once we make our move," he continued.

"I think that's a better plan Alex and one that has more chance of succeeding," Janna said with a pleased smile that they had convinced him to not go for an all-out attack. "What will you do once Radrik is dead and you are I charge of the tribe?" she asked, leaning back against him.

"If my father is still alive, I will give control of the tribe to him, while I continue to fight the darkness and build our alliance," Xander replied instantly. "I’m not ready to control a whole tribe Janna, I wouldn't even know where to start," he added with a shake of his head.

"And if your father is dead?" Tara asked, hating having to bring it up, but knowing she had to make sure he was prepared for that possibility.

"I don't know Tara, but I really do not think I could take control of the tribe without help and as I said we have other things to do. Remember I am also a guardian of Atlantis now as well," he reminded them.

They stopped talking as the door opened and a man entered and headed straight for them, he was tall with dark hair and brown eyes and he frowned as he noticed Janna curled up next to Xander and another woman.

"Janna, our father wishes to see you and your group," the man said, frowning even more as Janna just stared at him.

"Alexander, Tara allow me to introduce my brother Jonah," Janna said finally sighing before standing up followed by Alexander and Tara.

"Nice to meet you," Xander said before going over to wake the others, while Tara looked over Janna's brother and noted he didn’t seem too happy by what he had just seen his sister doing.

"You disgrace our family Janna with your shameful display," Jonah said heatedly. "You should know better than to act so below your station," he added.

"Talk to her like that again Jonah and brother or not we will be having a fight," Xander warned him, not liking his tone. "She can act however she likes," he added as he walked back to her side and took her hand in his.

"You have no say in this outsider," Jonah growled. "She is a member of the Kalderash tribe and her actions reflect on us. She has already shamed our family by allowing Angelus to be freed when she was ordered to make sure the curse held and she failed," he argued.

"That was not her fault, got me?" Xander growled, growing more annoyed with the man. "And if you say one more disrespectful thing about her I will hit you," he snapped, while Janna and most of their group glared at the man.

"That will not be necessary," a new voice said and they all turned to see an older man enter alongside another man the same age. Both had grey hair and green eyes, but they still seemed strong. "Jonah, you speak out of turn. Janna's actions concerning Angelus have already been reviewed and I have agreed there was nothing she could have done to prevent his release. She also went on to help destroy not only Angelus, but the other two remaining members of the Scourge of Europe, need I remind you?" he added as they came to a stop. "You should be proud of your sister’s accomplishments in helping to end their reign of terror forever," he stated.

Jonah just frowned even more before turning and storming out of them room, clearly not happy by what the man had said. Xander wondered if he would have to watch his back around him in the future before concentrating on the two men in front of them.

"I am Hallam, chief of the Kalderash, and this is Janna's father Tarrik," the taller of the two men said. "Janna has filled us in on some of your past, but I gathered she left some out," he added.

"I did," Janna spoke up, hoping this meeting didn’t go downhill when it was learned who Alexander actually was. "It was best the rest was discussed once everyone was healed and awake," she added when the chief and her father looked at her.

"Indeed, please sit and we can discuss why you have come here and what it is you want," Hallam said as Tarrik went and retrieved two seats for them and began to listen as Xander began their tale.

+T+

(Other Realm)

Cassandra looked up shortly as Tanith and Jonas returned from completing the task their lord had given them and then turned back to the viewing pool as Alexander continued to explain everything to Hallam and Tarrik. She prayed they would agree to help them instead of reacting in fear and anger due to his tribal ties.

"My lord, we have warned all our champions to be on high alert for the foreseeable future," Tanith reported as he took a quick look at the viewing pool before turning to face their lord.

"Good, I assume the First will strike once it has regrouped its forces," their lord stated. "We must be ready to act just in case they send anymore Fallen. I will have a force of guardians prepared to act should such a thing happen again. Tanith, you will lead them if it becomes necessary," he stated.

"Yes my lord," Tanith said with a nod, relieved his lord wouldn’t be risking himself once again, even as he knew what had just happened had been an unusual event due to it having been Malek who had attacked, a recent traitor who had dared to go so far as to try and kill their lord. "I will be ready," he added.

"My lord is there a chance the First may try and interfere with Alexander's fight with Radrik?" Jonas inquired.

"I don’t believe so, although we will keep an eye open just in case it does. I think though we are safe to assume it will not, due to how much they have lost since learning of Alexander and his group," their lord answered after thinking it over.

"So close now," Cassandra murmured, a part of her wishing it was just all over.

"Yes very close to the end now Cassandra," her lord agreed guessing at what she was thinking. "Keep faith," he told her as they watched Alexander come to the end of his tale and they waited for the reactions of Hallam and Tarrik.

+T+

(Kalderash Tribe, Romany lands)

"You are a Lavelle?" Tarrik asked frowning. He doubted his daughter would have brought the man here if he was a threat, but still they were at war with the Lavelle tribe and had been for the last few years.

"I am," Xander responded, knowing he had to be careful here or he could end up in jail or worse. "But I’m not one of Radrik's men. In fact until last year I didn’t even know I was of Romany descent, let alone the true heir of the Lavelle tribe," he explained. "He killed my grandfather and may have my father prisoner and I’m here to kill him and stop the wars he has started," he stated.

"I knew your grandfather Alexander," Hallam said looking away for a few moments. "I was a young man at the time and my father was still chief. They were good friends and allies, his loss was tragic and Radrik has caused much damage in the years since," he informed them, willing to trust this young man on that fact alone. "Killing him will not be easy, many have tried," he warned them.

"We know this which is why we came here," Xander said in way of a reply. "We need to gather as many of your allies as we can so we can catch them by surprise, so that I can challenge him to a one on one and no needless bloodshed," he added. "Once I have dealt with him I will ask Vlad to retake the throne of our people and end the wars permanently," he finished.

"A tall order," Tarrik said in response. "And how are we to know this truly is Vlad Tepes?" he inquired turning to the tall Nosferatu, who smiled insanely back at him before he pulled his sword out of his long coat and placed it on the ground with his left hand on the pummel and there on one of his fingers they all saw a signet ring which had not been there before.

"That is indeed the coat of arms of our lord Tepes," Hallam said in awe. "I never thought I would live to see the day our lord returned to us," he stated, still not quite believing it was true. "We will help you Alexander and I will begin preparations," he added before getting up and leaving the room.

"Now onto personal matters," Tarrik said, deciding to deal with the fact their lord had returned later and facing Alexander and Janna. "Janna is pregnant, am I to assume you are the father?" he all but demanded to know.

"I’m and before you ask I plan to marry Janna once Radrik is dealt with," Xander replied, no longer afraid of facing this man as his tone of voice instantly wiped away his fear.

"Do you indeed and what makes you think I would agree with that? As I believe you have stated you are involved with three other girls, and being married to one of them by right of an ancient bond?" he asked, his face giving them a clue that he was angry by this.

"Father it is my choice to marry Alexander and I have already accepted the fact he is involved with Tara, Prue and Lilith," Janna interrupted him, not willing to let her father interfere with her life. "I will marry him. He is the father of my child and that is final, I will not allow you to stop our relationship," she added.

"I’m your father Janna and you better start to remember your place. You have obviously been away far too long," Tarrik shot back with an angry glare at her defiance. "Here I have final say if you are to marry," he reminded her.

"She will marry Alexander, Tarrik," Alucard finally spoke up, annoyed with the man for trying to get in the way. "Once Radrik is dead and I have resumed lordship over the Romany I will make sure of it and there is nothing you can do about it," he told the man with a glare which told Tarrik all he needed to know if he continued to push this. "As for his relationships with my daughter, Prue and Tara that is none of your business, but theirs and theirs alone," he went on. "Leave them be," he commanded.

Tarrik glared at him then at the others before nodding his head, knowing there was nothing he could do if Vlad was going to take their side and so he got up and left. Clearly things in the clans would be changing far more than anyone could have expected when their lord returned. Granted he was one of those who had believed he would never come back and the whole thing was just a myth.

"I’m sorry you had to deal with that," Janna apologized with a shake of her head, annoyed at her family.

"That's okay Janna," Lilith said with a smile. "I have dealt with worse men in my life," she added, while Xander just pulled her into a long hard kiss which she eagerly returned and Prue and Tara just smiled at her, not the least bit offended by what had just happened.

“Do not concern yourself with Tarrik. If he continues to try to interfere I will deal with him in such a way he will have no choice but to accept your choice,” Alucard promised with another insane smile.

"What do we do now?" Jessica asked, amused to see her son and Janna still locked in a deep kiss.

"We wait for a few days, while we prepare and then we will head for the Lavelle tribe and finish this journey as well as find out if my father is still alive, mom," Xander answered after finally breaking the kiss. "I'll do some sword training with Vlad to make sure I’m ready for Radrik. The rest of you should concentrate on your own skills and maybe come up with a plan B in case things go wrong," he added to which everyone nodded and broke apart to begin to prepare for the end game.
36. Chapter 36
(Lavelle tribal grounds, 3 days later)

Xander looked around as they continued to head for the Lavelle tribe, it had taken two days before he was well enough to travel as well as for the Kalderash tribes allies to arrive giving them a huge advantage, which should allow them to take Radrik and his men by surprise. They had at least four hundred, maybe more men in this march, they had crossed the tribal boundaries a few hours ago and were now much closer to their final target than ever before and Xander was having trouble keeping himself from feeling nervous, but the comforting presence of Lilith, Tara, Prue and Janna kept him calm.

He was still unsure of Janna being with them, but she had refused to stay behind and he knew she could still fight after watching her during the fight with the Source, the Fallen and their ambush force. No she could handle herself, but he had still asked Lilith to stay close to her just in case. Seras, Adrian and Vlad had gone on ahead to locate and free the prisoners Radrik kept. They had learned he had built a large jail for them. They had also learned he was allied with some of the more dangerous tribes and this attack could cause a much larger war. However Vlad had stated it was better they knew which tribes to watch or if need to be, deal with before he began to pull their people back together.

The army was fully armed and was split up in four sections. Each intended to come into the Lavelle tribe's central area from all directions which should help them achieve the surprise they wanted and avoid the bloodshed Janna had warned could be the worst thing if they wanted to stop any reprisals after Radrik was dead. He and Prue had met with Erin and Thor and got them to agree to monitor the situation and if any of them got into any real trouble or received a life threatening wound they would transport them out and allow Leo to heal them. He was on standby in Atlantis along with Mandy and another of their fellow whitelighters who had been given permission to help in this last part of their journey.

"We're getting close now," Jonah who was a few feet ahead of him said.

Xander just nodded, still not liking Janna's brother too much. His attitude still stunk as far as he was concerned. He was arrogant and always spoke down to Janna which really got on his nerves. The only reason he had not nailed the man was due to Tara's calm statement it wasn't worth it and Janna's complete lack of caring where her brother was concerned.

Tarrik, Janna's father had come around after a day and a half and a rather long talk with Hallam who he had grown to like and respect in such a short space of time and Vlad who had grown to dislike the man's constant attempts to control Janna. Janna had been pleased to get back on good grounds with her father who had taken them to pay their respects to Janna's mother who had died two years before. He still felt rather sad he would never meet the woman who had given birth to Janna before he shook his head and put his focus on the task at hand.

"Alexander," a man shouted as quietly as he could as he came running towards them and he noted it was one of the scouts they had sent ahead of them. "I've just come back from scouting close to their main encampment and they are meeting with their allies in large groups," the man informed them. "They must number at least two hundred and fifty maybe more," he continued a little out of breath.

"Damn," he cursed before bringing up a phone and dialing a number to one of the other groups and informing them of the new Intelligence and telling them to pass it on before hanging up.

He was even more pleased to have listened to Piper and Phoebe's idea of making sure they could keep in contact while they approached Radrik and his people when they split up. He looked at the scout who still seemed a little out of breath.

"Good work, rejoin the group and send someone to take your place as scout, okay?" he added.

"Thanks," the man said before running off to join his friends who were also part of their force.

Xander moved closer to Janna and Lilith who were talking quietly about what would happen once he had dealt with Radrik and while he was confident he could kill Radrik after everything he had been through in the last year or so, he still felt some unease that he could fail. He smiled as he felt Tara sooth his unease and wipe it away before almost stumbling as she sent a very appealing image into his mind and reminding him what he had to live for.

He shook his head but couldn’t get rid of the image she had sent him or the smile it provoked and when Prue asked why he was smiling he had a hell of a time trying to come up with something that wouldn’t get him smacked by the other three girls he loved, while Tara just laughed at his predicament.

+T+

(Other Realm)

Cassandra laughed as she watched the interplay between Alexander and his chosen lovers, pleased they could still joke around so close to a major event in their lives which she was certain would lead to a huge fight due to the unexpected fact that Radrik was meeting large groups of his own allies, obviously planning his next moves in his war against the tribes who resisted him.

However she also agreed with Vlad's assessment that this could help them weed out the most dangerous Romany who could prove the most troublesome in bringing their people back into one nation under his rule for a very long time. It would be best if they dealt with them here and now before the rebuilding began. She waved her hand over the viewing pool changing it to show Radrik talking to the chiefs of five tribes and she prayed Alexander would succeed in destroying him before she changed the pool to show Vlad, Adrian and Seras sneaking into the jail the Lavelle had built to house them. Everything was quickly rushing to its conclusion she thought as her lord, Tanith and Jonas arrived from their meeting with the elders.

"How do things go?" their lord inquired as he came to stand next to her while Tanith and Jonas stood on the other side.

"They are fast approaching Radrik my lord. He however is currently meeting a large group of his allies right at this moment," Cassandra reported. "I fear a large conflict will erupt before Alexander can challenge Radrik to a one on one combat. I fear he will be forced to kill members of his own tribe no matter what they have done,” she admitted with a sigh. “I fear Jana and Tara's fear of what that will do in the future may come true and even after this, should they succeed, they will have to constantly watch their backs," she explained with a sigh annoyed this wasn’t going to be easy for her descendant.

"Do not lose hope yet Cassandra," their lord said with a thoughtful look at the viewing pool which now showed the whole of the Lavelle camp and the entire force it contained. "If they can launch an attack taking them completely off guard I believe they may just be able to take their enemies before they can start a much bigger fight," he informed her when she looked at him somewhat confused by what he meant. "They will just have to time it right," he added.

"I hope so my lord," Cassandra said. "So much rests on this," she added.

"That is true, but I think Alexander is up to the task," Jonas said with a smile. "After everything he has been through do you really think he will fall now?" he asked his friend.

"No I do not. I’m just allowing my fear free reign in the calm before the storm," Cassandra answered, making the viewing pool show Alexander and his friends once more. "He is ready for this, he has learned everything he needs to destroy Radrik and finally finish the beginning of his journey," she continued. "He thinks this will be his last task in this quest when in truth it will be just the tip of the iceberg of what awaits him and his friends once Radrik is dead," she said with a small smile.

"Indeed," their lord nodded in agreement. "However I think you underestimate Alexander. I think he knows that this will not be the end of his trials for him or his friends," he gently rebutted her. "He is committed to the war and will be for a long time to come. When he finally reaches a point where he believes he has finished with his trials he will retire and on that day only will his journey be at an end," he told them.

"How long will he fight this war my lord?" Cassandra inquired, knowing her lord knew thanks to Fate Alexander's fate and that of his friends and allies, while they didn’t as was proper, even for them.

"Long enough to make a true difference Cassandra," their lord replied not giving anything away.

"They are approaching the boundaries of the encampment," Tanith interrupted them, drawing their attention to the viewing pool and they saw that the four groups were indeed almost upon the unaware Romany. "Now the final gambit begins," he stated a little tense as he realized how much he had changed since this had all begun and how much he wanted Alexander and his friends to succeed. He felt foolish for ever listening to Malek before, shaking those thoughts off he settled down to watch with the others as the final trial began.

+T+

(Lavelle Tribe)

Radrik sat on his throne as he waited for his allies to agree to his proposal for an all-out attack on their joint enemies. He remembered when he first claimed leadership of the tribe when he disposed of Alaric and he had taken his first steps in his master plan to rule the Romany, but his war hadn’t gone as he had hoped and he had been stuck in a stalemate for the last thirteen years.

It had taken him four years to find like minded chiefs and even another year to bring them under his control although they still made their own choices when it came to the war which was one of the reasons things had dragged so badly or at least that was what he believed. Well if things went as he had planned that would end and soon he would be the ruler of the Romany, heir to the immortal Vlad Tepes their former king who had been missing for years. He smiled at the thought before focusing back on his allies.

"Well, what say you?" he demanded to know feeling annoyed by their constant discussion.

"That your plan is very risky and could end in the destruction of all of our tribes," Marco, chief of the Halden tribe, said frowning. "However it also could give us total control over the other tribes," he added. "I think the risk is worth it and I will join you," he said.

His statement was quickly agreed upon by the other chiefs causing him to smile once again. As he stood to give the order for them to call their full armies to rally here there was a huge disturbance around the camp causing them to look around in confusion.

Suddenly they could hear the sound of fighting breaking out all around the encampment and a few minutes later they saw a huge group of people pushing their own back to the center, turning they saw the same thing was happening all around them.

"What is going on?" Radrik shouted, incensed that someone was attacking his tribe and had managed to catch them off guard so badly.

"We're been attacked my lord by our enemies," one of his guard said in response. "They took down the sentries and managed to catch the rest of the troops by surprise and most of them were not armed as they were eating," he added.

"Damn them," Radrik growled as he pulled his sword out of its sheath as did the other chiefs who were beginning to look nervous at been cornered. "Tell them to fight back as much as they can, we will not surrender," he ordered.

"My lord there is nothing we can do. They have us completely in their grasp, any fight now would just cost us needless lives," the man argued before he screamed in pain as Radrik rammed his sword into his chest and jerking it upwards killing him.

"Never refuse one of my orders," Radrik growled before moving to organize some kind of counter attack. He noted that the guard had been right most of their men had been subdued either by magic or by force, others had surrendered and only about a hundred were actually fighting back, but they were be quickly taken down.

He couldn’t believe this was happening. All of his plans were coming to dust before his eyes. ‘How could this have happened?’ he asked himself. "How did they get so close without us knowing?" he asked aloud.

"That was simple," a new voice said from behind him and they turned to find a large man standing there, wearing a large blood red trench coat and red tinted glasses and holding the ancient sword of Vlad Tepes which he recognized as he had seen it when he was a kid. "I took care of your advance scouts," he added with an insane smile.

"Who are you?" one of the chiefs asked, intimidated by the man. "How did you get the sword of Vlad Tepes?" he asked again while backing away.

"I made it, I imbued it with magic I used it for a hundred years as king of the Romany and now I’m back to reclaim my titles," the man responded as he showed them the signet ring he bore.

"Impossible," Radrik hissed. "You can't be Tepes," he added, backing away as far as he could, doing his best not to show fear at this information.

"Oh but it is," Alucard replied as he removed his glasses showing his red irises. "I’m Nosferatu as are my son, daughter and childe and we have come to put an end to the wars. Stand down or die," he commanded, pointing the sword at them as Adrian came up from the side of them with his own sword at the ready.

"It really is them," Marco said in awe and fear before dropping his sword and dropping to his knees as did one of the other chiefs.

"Cowards," Radrik roared before attacking, only to have his sword caught by Alucard and snapped in half.

"I’m not going to fight you. Someone else wants that pleasure," Alucard said with a wider smirk as the rest of the chiefs finally surrendered after seeing Vlad's show of strength.

Radrik backed away and looked around noting the rest of his people have finally been brought down, and he was now surrounded by an army of his worst enemies. He pulled a phone from his pocket and dialed the guards at the prison and tried to order them to kill the prisoners.

"That was pointless. We already freed your prisoners. All of them," Adrian told him and Radrik noted that behind him was the very people he had locked up, including the son of Alaric causing him to growl.

"Now turn around and face the man who will be your death," Alucard ordered and Radrik slowly turned to find a teenager standing there. He was shocked by how much he reminded him of Alaric.

"I’m Alexander Lavelle, son of Eric, grandson of Alaric and I have come to challenge you for control of the tribe," the young man growled while pointing a very fine looking sword at him.

"So Eric did have a son. He lied to me," Radrik growled, almost consumed with rage as he realized his people had failed to get the truth out of Alaric's son who they had captured two years ago.

"Of course I lied," Eric snarled as he was helped forward by Seras before he was engulfed in a hug by Jessica who was crying her eyes out at seeing her first husband alive. "Do you really think I would ever tell you where my son and wife were, no matter what you did to me?" he added as he returned Jessica's hug, almost unable to believe she and their son were here.

"Do you accept my challenge or are you going to show what a coward you are?" Xander asked in the tone and style Alucard had drilled into him. "Like you were on the day you betrayed my grandfather by stabbing him in the back and taking what wasn’t yours?" he pressed as a circle began to form around them.

"Fine, if you want to die so badly I will be pleased to do it as a fitting revenge on your family," Radrik smiled confidently as he took a sword he was handed by Adrian and moved to meet Alexander.

+T+

(Other Realm)

Cassandra was pleased to see Jessica reunited with Eric and that they managed to capture the whole lot without too much bloodshed. She had noted a few guards had refused to surrender and the only way to stop them was to kill them.

Now she watched as Alexander and Radrik circled each other about to start a fight that would determine the future of the war at least as far as Alexander was concerned.

"And so the final battle begins," their lord said as he watched the beginning moves as did the others.
37. Chapter 37
(Lavelle Tribe)

Xander waited for Radrik to attack, knowing it was better not to make the first move, he knew Radrik was a dangerous enemy and was most likely very good with a sword and magic as well so he would have to be very careful.

Finally Radrik shot forward and brought his sword upwards in a sweeping arc he just managed to dodge before he brought his sword down missing Radrik by a mere inch.

"You are not very good boy," Radrik taunted him with a sneer that reminded him of Harry's hated enemy Snape. "I will look forward to placing your head on a pike and then slowly killing each of your friends," he added as he attacked again.

Xander countered after blocking the attack and pushed Radrik backwards before bringing his sword upward and then quickly down nicking Radrik on the back, causing him to hiss in pain. "That will never happen traitor. Even if you kill me someone else will kill you before you can harm my friends and they are capable of dealing with you on their own, believe me," he said as they clashed again.

They strained against the other trying to overpower the other and get a decent hit in, but they just ended up pushing the other away and they circled the other again trying to see a weak spot in the other's defense as they went.

"Then maybe I won't kill them and instead make them my willing slaves, after I have broken them of course," Radrik said with a sick smile which made Xander's blood boil.

He tried to hold back the rage, but he couldn't as the images that taunt brought up shot right through to his worst fears taking Tara off guard as well as he had been in control and he lashed out in a wild swing that Radrik easily dodged and bringing his sword upward and sideways he opened up a wound in Xander’s side, but Xander refused to cry out in pain and just grunted cursing his temper.

"Fool," Radrik spat with a shake of his head before he launched into a series of swings and kicks pushing Xander backwards.

+T+

(Other Realm)

Cassandra frowned as Alexander lost his control momentarily and ended up with a cut in his side, she shook her head knowing he would be okay unless he suffered a more serious wound. Radrik was a dangerous fighter as many had found out over the years so she wasn’t surprised Alexander was having some trouble with him.

"Alexander must concentrate more and not allow his fear to stroke his temper," Jonas said with a frown of his own.

"Indeed so Jonas," their lord nodded in agreement. "He has to stay calm, if he allows his fear and his anger to get the better of him I doubt he will survive this fight," he added.

"He will find his control my lord," Cassandra said with complete confidence. "He knows what he has to do to win this. Radrik just managed to find a small hole in his control and I am sure he will not find another," she added.

"How can you be so sure?" Tanith inquired looking up from the viewing pool which showed Alexander and Radrik now fighting hand to hand after losing their weapons.

"First he knows better than to allow his control to slip. He has learned that he must always be in control during a fight especially one as dangerous as this and second Tara will help him. She was caught off guard that first time, she won't be caught again," Cassandra said in reply as Alexander managed to land a nice combination which knocked Radrik to the ground only for him to roll back to his feet.

"I agree Cassandra," their lord said as the two fighters picked up their weapons and shot towards the other. "This fight is quickly picking up," he added.

 

+T+

(Lavelle Tribe)

Xander jumped over the sword as Radrik brought it towards him in a heavy swing and quickly rolled back to his feet and brought his own sword down, only for Radrik to just barely manage to block it. He pushed him away and began to summon his magic for an attack. He noticed Radrik frown at him before he suddenly launched another series of swings which broke his concentration and forced him into a defensive stance.

Janna watched alongside Tara, Prue and Lilith as the fight progressed. It seemed Alexander and Radrik were evenly matched with a sword and fighting prowess so it would come down to who could bring their magic to the fore. Whoever would take the upper hand in this fight would most likely win it and she could see the others knew this as well.

"How is he doing?" she asked Tara.

"Better now, he is back in full control," Tara replied with a small smile. "He knows not to let Radrik taunt him into making mistakes again," she added.

"I wonder what he said to make him loose it in the first place," Prue wondered aloud.

"Radrik said he was going to make us his slaves after breaking our will to his control," Tara informed them, feeling a shiver go down her spine even at the very thought, although she wouldn’t be there as she would be dead as well if Alex lost the fight. She feared it happening to the others as much as he did and she could tell the others didn’t like that idea anymore than they did.

"I'd skin him first and if not us then father would," Lilith growled out. "No matter how this ends Radrik will die, as will those who are just like him," she continued. "Father intends to bring our people back into line, no matter what he has to do," she stated to which the others nodded.

They watched as Radrik and Alexander both managed to cause wounds to open in the back as the fight continued. They dropped their swords and again clashed in a flurry of fists and kicks. Radrik managed to land a heavy punch to Alexander's gut and then followed it up with a knee to his head sending him to the ground, but Alexander quickly forced himself into a roll and back to his feet and they went at it again.

Xander did everything he could to ignore the pain he was feeling from that punch to the gut and quickly ducked the latest swing from Radrik before finding an opening and launching his own gut punch, catching Radrik completely off guard and then followed it up with two kicks each to the kidney areas before lashing out with a powerful side kick which sent Radrik to the floor and a bloody nose.

"I will kill you for that," Radrik spat as he quickly launched a magical attack which sent Xander to the ground in pain, but he quickly shrugged it off with a little help from Tara and unleashed his own magic, backed up a little by the ancient Romany magic Vlad, Adrian and Lilith had all taught him during their journey.

Radrik screamed out in agony as the attack hit more powerful than anything he had taken before. When it stopped he felt weak and unsteady, but he quickly got back to his feet and grabbed his sword noting the boy already had his in hand. Before he could attack again three of his best men charged at the boy, one of them managed to catch him in the side opening a deep wound while the second knocked his sword out of his hand before Vlad entered the fight and quickly gutted each of his men in turn before they could cause a more serious wound on the boy.

"Anymore of your men tries that and they will all end up dead," Vlad promised, his look quelling them all as it promised real pain and they could all feel the magic rolling of him as he stepped back as Xander got back to his feet and grabbed his sword.

"Can't even fight your own battles traitor," Xander taunted him with a smile. "You are no leader,” he spat. “You are a coward which is proven by the fact you killed my grandfather from behind," he stated as loud as he could, ignoring the wounds he had taken with help from Tara, even though he knew he needed them seen to soon. "You didn't dare take him on face to face during your rebellion, you are a weak minded bully and that is all you will ever be," he pushed.

Radrik growled as each insult dug deeper and deeper into his mind before he screamed in rage at the last dig and rushed forward only to receive a stiff kick in the back as Xander dodged to the side and let him pass. As he turned he was nailed by the pommel of Xander's sword which made him slightly dizzy.

He shook his head to clear it and lashed out with his sword and his magic, but both were countered and he was pushed backwards again. He dropped to the floor and swept his legs out taking his opponent down by surprise. He jumped back up and tried to bring his sword down into Xander's chest only to be sent flying back by a strong magical attack which knocked the wind out of him.

As he got back to his feet he noticed the boy was favoring his side where he had been injured and he decided to concentrate his attacks on that side and see if he could worsen the wound before he launched a series of new attacks.

Alucard stood next to Sir Integra, Adrian and Seras as the fight progressed. He was keeping a close watch on Radrik's men now after three of them tried to interfere in the combat. It sickened him to see how far his people had fallen if they could ignore all of the old codes even of one on one honor combat, but he vowed he would bring them back into line on the names of his wives.

"He must end this and soon," Sir Integra said to him. "That wound in his side is weakening him slowly," she pointed out. "He is losing blood," she added.

"I know master and he knows this too," Alucard nodded in agreement. “Radrik is good with a sword and with magic. That should be no surprise considering how long he has stayed in control of this tribe," he continued. "Alexander will finish this very soon, he is slowly building up a magical attack that Radrik will not be able to counter, but it is taking him time," he explained.

"How long will it take for him to have the necessary power for the attack master?" Seras inquired from his other side.

"I would say another minute or two," Alucard responded. "He just has to stay alive long enough for him to have the power stored and then to launch the attack. Tara is helping to keep him steady as well as feeding him her own power," she informed them.

"Father doesn't that technically violate the code?" Adrian asked from behind him with a confused look on his face as Xander and Radrik began trading fist and kicks again.

"No it doesn't as the bond is a part of him and can be legally used as a weapons if needs be. Only a fool doesn’t use all of his abilities and powers in a fight as Alexander well knows," Alucard replied with a smile.

The others shared a quick look before nodding in agreement with that, and then settled down and continued to watch the fight while making sure no one else tried to interfere.

+T+

(Other Realm)

Cassandra couldn’t help but to agree with her husband’s statements. It was a fool who didn’t use all of his natural powers and abilities to his greatest advantage and the bond between Alexander and Tara was now as natural to him as breathing. She winced as Alexander took another bad blow to his side and then to his knee before he countered with two strong blows to Radrik's chest and then was knocked down with a back kick to the back of his exposed legs.

"He is doing well," Tanith said pleased by this. "I just hope his strategy works," he added.

"As long as he doesn’t take a mortal wound I think it will," their lord said as the two men continued to fight both now bloody and bruised. "He is so close now," he added.

"Yes he is," Cassandra said with a small smile as she thought of everything Alexander had been through and couldn't wait for this to be over. Granted he had still a lot to do, but this part of his journey would be finally over and their people would finally be saved from their self-destructive war. "After this he can rest and begin to work on building his alliance. Then he will start the next stage of his quest," she added.

"Indeed," their lord said as Fate appeared beside him to watch. Surprising the others, but none of them said anything as they knew Fate and their lord were friends if you could actually call it that.

As they watched Whistler entered the room and handed a message to Jonas before bowing and departing. Jonas frowned as he read the message before shaking his head and speaking.

"My lord the First has begun to attack the Hellmouth defenders," he reported. "He managed to wound both Buffy and Kendra however his forces were destroyed by the timely arrival of team Shadow and the Hellsing team," he added.

"Was anyone else wounded?" their lord inquired.

"Rupert Giles and Cordelia Chase also took wounds, but they too are alive. The injuries between the other two groups were minimal as it seems the First was using regular demons," Jonas replied.

"It would seem the Hellmouth is the First's new target, but luckily his main enforces have been decimated so he has been forced to use normal demons until he can rebuild them," the lord said thoughtfully. "I think they can handle this on their own for now unless he sends something more powerful. I want you to keep an eye on this situation, as I suspected he is attacking our other champions," he added.

"Yes my lord," Jonas bowed in response before they turned back to the fight being shown in the viewing pool.

+T+

(Lavelle Tribe)

Xander rolled away again, picking up his sword as he did and was just managing to catch the swing Radrik sent his way and pushing him back. He felt tired, but he refused to fall until Radrik was dead all he needed was a bit longer.

"Time to die boy," Radrik spat as he readied himself for a final attack, wanting nothing more than to kill this boy for what he has done today in destroying is plans.

Xander shut his eyes and allowed his and Tara's magic to surround him before he pulled in a bolt of power and then launching it as Radrik charged him again, thinking him distracted. The bolt struck Radrik right in the heart stopping the man in his tracks before he began to scream in agony. Before he was overcome he launched his sword forward and the last thing he saw before his heart exploded from the power of the attack was the boy falling to the ground with his sword in his chest.

Janna and the others rushed forward horrified as they watched Alexander fall. Lilith quickly pulled the sword out and Leo quickly began doing everything he could to heal the multiple wounds Alexander had sustained, knowing Prue would be destroyed if he died now as would the others. Jessica and Eric joined them as Alucard, Adrian and Seras were forced to kill more of Radrik's followers as they tried to finish off the wounded young man who had killed their leader.

+T+

(Other Realm)

Cassandra was tense as she watched Leo work on Alexander all the while looking at Fate, but she was giving nothing away, she closed her eyes and prayed that he would pull through.
38. Chapter 38
(Lavelle Tribe)

Xander woke with a painful groan and winced as he tried to move. Opening his eyes he looked around and noted he was in a bed surrounded by Tara, Prue, Lilith and Janna who were all asleep.

Confused for a few seconds as to how he had ended up in such a situation he suddenly remembered what had happened. He had won his fight with Radrik, killing him with a powerful magical attack, but Radrik had managed to throw his sword at him and it had hit him straight in his chest. He had blacked out thinking he had failed and wishing he could see his girls one more time. He shook his head knowing he was alive, but obviously hurt badly and still recovering.

"Rest easy Alex," he heard his mother say and he turned to find her sitting by his bedside alongside his father who he had never met and only seen briefly before his fight with Radrik. "Leo said you will need to stay in bed for at least two more days before he thinks you can start moving around again," Jessica added, relieved to see her son awake.

"How long have I been here mom?" he asked settling down.

"Two days, that sword caused huge damage to your body and Leo almost lost you until Mandy arrived to help," Jessica answered with a smile. "The girls refused to leave your side and have slept her since. They have all been worried about you," she added with a small laugh. “You gave me and them a scare, we thought you had been killed,” she admitted.

“Sorry Mom, that wasn’t my intention,” Xander responded, taking her hand in his for a few seconds and giving a supportive squeeze. “He caught me off guard with that last move, I thought I had killed him,” he told her with a slight wince. “Guess it goes to show to never let your guard down until you know for a fact your enemy is dead,” he mused.

“That would be a good idea,” Jessica said, just relieved that her son was alive and well. She had almost felt her heart stop when she had witnessed that sword go through his chest, without Leo and Mandy she knew he would have died.

"Is it over?" he asked

"Almost Alexander," Eric finally spoke up. "Lord Tepes is currently dealing with those who supported Radrik and removing them from power and killing those that refuse his command to stand down. I think he intends to make sure there will be peace in the tribes no matter what," he explained.

Xander blinked as he looked at his father for the first time in his life, at least when his life wasn’t on the line. He noted how close he was now sitting next to his mom. Clearly the years apart hadn’t dampened their love for one another. That made him hopeful the two could get back together once they had caught up with each other. Granted he did not think his father would be happy to learn about Tony Harris. He would have time to get to know his father in the next few months, but right now there were still things to do. From the look on his father’s face he seemed to have already realized that.

"He will summon a meeting of the chiefs tomorrow once he is finished to explain what will happen next. You don’t have to attend due to your injuries," Eric said.

"I’m not chief dad," Xander replied with a shake of his head, but careful not to move too much. "I know I won the fight, but I agreed with the others that if you lived I would pass on that title to you as it should have been,” he told him. “I have a lot to learn and do before I am ready to take on such a role. I’m not ready for such a role father," he continued as Prue snuggled deeper into him from one side. "You should attend the meeting and let them know what I said. Alucard will accept it," he added.

Eric looked at Jessica a little shocked by his son's statement as he had believed his son would keep the title and stay to help settle things down. He nodded as he realized his son had a point he had never been trained to lead the tribe as he had been before his father had been betrayed. Plus from what little his wife had told him so far he knew Alexander still had things he needed to do. Plans he intended to put in place once things had settled down a little here. He wouldn’t be staying. He glanced at Jessica and noted she didn’t look surprised, so she knew he wasn’t planning to stay.

"I will do the best I can Alexander," he said. "I’m proud to see the man you have become and I’m sorry I couldn’t be there to watch you grow, but it wasn’t safe," he started to say.

"I know dad, mom explained it to me and I don’t hold any grudge against you," Xander cut him off with a small smile. "You wanted to protect us and you did. They captured you and most likely tortured you and still you didn’t give us up that shows that you truly cared," he continued. "Now we are all free of the past and we have a whole future to look forward to," he stated with a smile which was shared by his parents.

Outside the building they were in Alucard and his son continued to deal with Radrik's most zealous followers alongside Seras, while the others talked about what had happened in the last two days.

Piper and Phoebe were worried for Prue should Alexander not wake, but Leo assured them he would he just needed time to heal enough. Amy also worried for her friend and for Janna who had been the most effected by Alexander's close brush with death due to her pregnancy. The others were concentrating in helping bring the wars of the Romany tribes to an end.

+T+

(Other Realm)

Cassandra breathed a sigh of relief as Alexander finally woke up and began to talk with his parents. She had been horrified to see Alexander go down with Radrik's sword in his chest and Leo working on him and almost losing him until Mandy showed up to help, obviously having been watching events as they happened. Her lord had commended Mandy for her quick actions and decided to assign to her to work more closely with Leo and Alexander in the future. Considering her friendship with Leo it was clear Mandy was happy with her new task.

She was currently watching Vlad finish removing the most dangerous of their people who still believed in Radrik's vision for their people. He was brutal and quick as was her son and Seras, but she knew it was necessary if they were to ensure that there would be no future uprising against them. He was sending a message which would spread throughout the whole of the Romany lands and it would be heeded by all but the most stupid of their people.

"My lord," she turned to see Jonas re-enter the room and come to stand in front of their lord who had been watching things next to her. "There has been another attack on the Hellmouth by the First, this time only Buffy was hurt seriously," he reported.

"The First is trying to weaken our defenses there," their lord said with a frown. "I take it he used normal demons once more?" he asked.

"Yes my lord. They caught Buffy on one of her regular patrols alongside Willow and Giles," Jonas informed them. "Luckily Kendra, Sam Sabuto, Cordelia and Oz were also on patrol and rushed to help, things are heating up my lord," he continued. "There were also two other attacks on some of our other champions around the world. We believe the First is looking for a weak spot while he rebuilds his elite forces," he added.

"I agree," their lord said with a shake of his head. "Prepare a rapid response unit to be led by Whistler. They are to deploy to aid any of our forces in repelling these attacks no matter where they are. We will not show signs of weakness now," he ordered and watched as Jonas bowed and left to carry out his task.

"There is a risk my lord that the First may try and attack Alexander while he is healing," Cassandra spoke up, causing her lord to face her once again.

"I have already placed wards around the area so no demon, not even the First, can breach it. They will hold until Alexander is back to full health and once again on his feet," he informed her, causing her to smile in relieve to know Alexander and his friends were safe for a while.

"He has done better than I ever hoped he would," Cassandra said as she watched Alexander fall back asleep in the comforting presence of Tara, Janna, Prue and Lilith while his parents talked quietly as they watched over them. "He has survived every challenge and come out stronger than ever. He has changed how we fight this war and even helped defeat the Source and has survived an encounter with a Fallen," she added.

"Indeed, he has come far," her lord responded. "And yet he still has far to go, but I am sure he will continue to change things," he added.

+T+

(Lavelle tribe, next day)

Eric walked into the council hall nervous as the other tribal chiefs turned to stare at him. He knew there was a chief for every tribe within the Romany nation and now he had just walked in last.
Alucard had sent the summons out as soon as Radrik was dead and for those tribes who had lost their chiefs new ones had been quickly appointed by Alucard.

"Why are you here?" Vincent, chief of the Valmesh tribe, asked in confusion.

"I’m here to assume the right of chief of the Lavelle tribe as my son has asked. He killed Radrik to remove him from power, but he always planned that should I be alive to give control of the tribe to me as it should have been had my father not been murdered," Eric answered, making sure his voice could be heard by everyone, including Alucard who stood next to his son and daughter at the end of the room. "He has a lot of other things to do which prevent him from taking the role of chief at this time and he has asked our king to accept this change," he added.

"I was aware of his plan to do this Eric and I recognize you as the rightful chief of the Lavelle tribe. Please take your seat," Alucard spoke in a loud and clear voice.

Eric bowed and went and sat in the last empty chair listening to the whispers going around the tables as the other chiefs discussed this new twist. When Alucard called for silence everyone quickly shut up and faced the ancient Nosferatu.

"It has been nearly two hundred years since I last stood among you, but as was foretold I have returned to reunite my people into one nation. The wars you have fought in my long absence are at an end," Alucard began in a cool but to the point tone which made it clear he expected to be obeyed. "I have been forced to kill many of my own people because like Radrik they believed in nothing but war and death. I have replaced certain chiefs with new ones to ensure their tribes will obey my new rules," he explained. "Our people have nearly destroyed themselves and well it stops now. No more will we kill each other, is that understood?" he asked with a slight growl and a dangerous look in his eyes although he almost smirked as every chief there quickly nodded their agreement. "I will not always be here in person as I have other duties to attend to, so I’m forming a council made up of all of you and you will ensure the peace is held and if there is a problem you can’t work out you will send for me and if I can’t come I will send either my son, my daughter or my future son in law to deal with it," he told them, then paused as one of the chiefs stood up obviously wanting to ask a question.

"My lord who is this future son in law?" the man asked

"His name is Alexander Lavelle the man who killed Radrik. He will marry not only my daughter within the coming months, but also Janna Kalderash, Tara Maclay and Prudence Halliwell," Alucard answered as he glanced around to see how the news was taken. "Once he has married my daughter he will earn the right to speak in my name as a prince of my house, just like my son Adrian. But this doesn’t make the Lavelle tribe any better than the rest of you and nor does it give them a higher status within our nation," he added, making it clear it would not upset the balance he was trying to create and he noted a lot of the chiefs looked relived by this news.

"My lord, where will this council hold its meetings?" Hallam inquired as he stood.

"I’m going to order a manor to be built in the middle of our land where a meeting hall will be erected. It will stand on my tribes boundaries and once it is built you will meet there every month to discuss how to rule our people and I will try and make sure I’m there as well,” Alucard told them. “But if I’m not able to be I will send my son, daughter or future son in law and if none of us can attend you will have to do the best you can to deal with the business of ruling by yourselves, but remember no one of you has overall say over anything and a decision must be agreed on by the majority of you to go through," he added. "Am I clear?" he asked.

The chiefs all nodded their heads in agreement as none of them were willing to test their newly returned king after learning what had happened to those who had resisted his return to power. A lot of them were pleased by the return of their lord and his children and the peace he promised to bring about and while learning the heir to the Lavelle tribe would marry his daughter and become his son in law they were relieved to know it wouldn’t make that tribe more powerful than the others.

"I think that will do for now," Alucard said, pleased no one had tried to argue with his commands. "You may leave. I will talk to you again tomorrow," he added and watched as they all left to talk to their delegations so a runner could be sent with news to their tribes.

"That went better than I thought it would father," Adrian said as he and Lilith sat down and finally Alucard himself.

"Considering what happened to the ones who refused his commands before some of them arrived I am not to surprised they accepted everything he said," Lilith put in with a smile, while Alucard just chuckled in response. "By the way father Alexander wishes to speak to you and Sir Integra when you have time. It sounded important," she added while turning to her father.

"I will speak to my master and go visit him within the hour," Alucard said in response. "How he is doing?" he asked.

"He still feels a great deal of pain, but he is beginning to regain his strength and is moving about a bit more although he is still confined to his bed by Leo," Lilith answered. "I believe Jessica will remain behind when we leave here to rebuild her relationship with Eric. That will be hard for Alexander, but he knows it is necessary," she added. “I think he knew she would stay should they find his father alive,” she said.

"That is not to surprising though, is it? Jessica came on this journey for two reasons. One to help her son and second to find out if her husband was still alive," Adrian said as he leaned back in his chair. "Now she knows he is and I doubt very much she would leave him. They have much catching up to do and Alexander is old enough to go on without her, especially considering she knows he has so many friends and allies to help him," he stated.

The others nodded their heads at this in agreement before they broke up to go their separate ways. Lilith headed straight back to Alexander while Adrian went to see how the others were doing and Alucard headed straight to the tent where Sir Integra was.

+T+

(Other Realm)

Cassandra smiled as she watched the beginning of her people’s reunification. She was pleased beyond words that it was finally over and she would no longer have to worry they would destroy themselves. Alexander had completed his first major quest and she couldn’t be any prouder than she was, he had succeeded. She knew there was still a lot to do, but she was sure without a doubt that Alexander and his friends and allies were up to the task ahead of them.
39. Chapter 39
(Lavelle Tribe)

Xander looked up from talking with Janna and Tara as Alucard and Sir Integra entered, he smiled in greeting as Prue and Lilith joined them from where they had been talking on the other bed.

"You wished to speak to us Alexander?" Sir Integra stated as she sat down as did Alucard.

"I did but hold on. Cassandra… if you can hear me I wish to talk to you as well," he said, looking up hoping she would hear him. They waited for a few minutes and finally Cassandra appeared before them with a smile on her face.

"Hello Alexander I’m pleased to see you awake and on your way back to full health," she said in way of greeting before greeting the others, including a small kiss with Alucard, before sitting down. “I was worried you wouldn’t survive, but thankfully Leo and Mandy pulled you back from the brink,” she admitted. "What do you wish to discuss?" she asked deciding to move things onto less emotional issues.

"Once I’m healed fully I will begin to try and build our alliance however I’m concerned of doing this while Travers and his cronies are still running the Watchers Council," Xander answered, knowing this was going to be tricky. "I remember everything Sam Zabuto told us about him and what Giles added to it, he is a danger waiting to happen," he added seriously. "He does not care for the safety of any of his underlings and he especially doesn’t care about Buffy and Kendra. He treats them like weapons instead of people and wouldn’t even blink were he to be told they had been killed," he went on with a growing frown. "He and his followers have to be removed before he gets them killed," he continued. “He would try and gain control of any alliance we made, more than likely causing us to fail in our efforts and cause us major problems with the other organizations out there,” he finally finished.

Silence met his words and he waited as the others digested what he had just told them. He knew he was walking a tight line here, but he truly believed that if the alliance was to work people like Travers could have no part in it. Travers was to him just like Radrik and Voldemort wanting nothing but power and wealth, not caring who they destroyed as they went about acquiring it.

"I agree with what you are saying Alexander, but it will not be easy" Sir Integra finally spoke up. "Travers is the duly recognized leader of the council, he like myself serves the Crown and Parliament or at least those in the know about the real world. I doubt they would sanction such a move without proof he was no longer fit for the post," she added with a shake of her head.

"I somewhat figured that, and I know what I’m about to suggest sounds evil, but I truly don’t think the alliance will work with him and people like him involved as he will either do everything he can to control it or everything he can to block its creation," Xander replied, repeating his last statement.

"And what are you suggesting?" Janna inquired in interest.

"We assassinate them in a manner that can’t be traced back to us," Xander answered, shocking some of them bar Alucard who was impressed he could make such a request. Clearly he had learned far more on his journey than some had believed. Tara had known his thoughts before this meeting, while she agreed with him that Travers and his ilk needed to be removed, she had hoped there might be another option available to them. She didn’t want too much blood on their hands. "I know how you feel and I don't really want to do it, but I can see no other way to remove him from power," he quickly added.

"I take it you asked me here to gain permission for this?" Cassandra asked finally speaking up.

She wasn’t to surprised by this move by Alexander, yet she was surprised he had made the request so soon, she knew he was right about Travers and his followers and she even agreed about the problems they would bring about when he tried to form the alliance, but still it wasn’t something she believed her lord would go for.

"I'm afraid so Cassandra, I wanted your input into this and that of your lord," Xander said with a sigh. "This has to be a joint agreement," he added to which Cassandra nodded and vanished to talk with her lord.

"I do not believe you are wrong Alexander," Alucard said, knowing even though he had made the request that didn’t mean it sat well with him. "Travers is a madman in love with power. He has tried to gain control of the Hellsing organization before only to be stopped by the crown," he explained. "I don't doubt he would try and gain overall control of the alliance once it was formed and that can’t be allowed to happen," he continued as Sir Integra agreed with his statement. "He is also one of the main problems we have had in the past when we tried to form an alliance ourselves," he said.

"If it is agreed by Cassandra and her lord then this must be kept from the crown and parliament as they would never agree to this," Sir Integra said as the waited for Cassandra to return.

"That shouldn’t be too hard, master. I have many human servants I can use which are not known by them," Alucard said in response, knowing the slippery slope this could turn out to be. "They can remove the men we know are like Travers and make it seem they were taken down either by demons or maybe a crime syndicate," he added with a small smirk to which the others nodded which stopped as Cassandra finally returned.

"While my lord has reservations about this he has agreed Travers needs to be removed if the alliance is to succeed and he has given the go ahead for you to proceed," Cassandra said, surprised by her lord’s choice. "But please be careful and don’t kill anyone who doesn’t deserve it," she added, directing the last bit at her husband who just smiled at her.

"I promise Cassandra I will only remove those who pose a threat," Alucard stated while taking her hand and then he kissed it. "You have my word," he added to which she smiled and nodded. "I will get to work on this immediately. Adrian you are with me, Lilith you will continue to bring the new council together in our absence," he ordered before he and Adrian left.

"Alexander I have to report the Hellmouth has become the new target of the First. He has already attacked it three times and wounded some of your friends, including Buffy and Kendra," Cassandra said moving on to a different topic. "He is looking for a weak spot to hit," she added.

"Prue I think it's time you and your sisters went and brought Paige in. I don't like that she is alone right now," Xander said. “I would go with you to help, but I still need to recover,” he added. "We'll catch up with you once I’m back on my feet, the manor has been warded so you should be safe there," he added, hating to see her leave on her own but knowing they had to do this if they hoped to keep Paige safe.

Prue looked at him for a few minutes before finally nodding, knowing he was right, she leaned forward and kissed him as hard and as deep as she could before getting up and heading out to find her sisters.

"Leo, Cole?" Xander called out and watched as the Whitelighter and the half demon appeared in front of him. "You guys are heading back to San Francisco with the girls to bring Paige into the fold,” he explained. “I want you to keep an eye out as it seems the First is looking to hit at any weak spot in our forces right now and once he learns about Paige he will try and remove her as quickly as possible," he explained to them both. "We will join you once I’m fully healed until then do not let them take any risks, okay?" he asked.

"You have our word Alexander," Leo said with a smile, knowing why he was asking this. "I will work with Paige as much as possible so she can orb at will," he added.

"Don't worry, we'll make sure they keep their heads down until you can join us," Cole said with a smile. "With the Source out of the picture I think we'll be okay, but the First can be just as much of a problem so I make sure they understand they can't risk Paige until she is fully ready," he added.

Xander nodded and watched as the two men left in search of the sisters, feeling better knowing they would be protecting them until they could join them. He felt Tara assure him over the bond that the sisters wouldn’t do anything reckless while they were separated and he silently agreed with her.

"I think you need some sleep Alexander, you look tired," Cassandra said as she watched him put plans into motion. "I will visit again when I can," she added, before she vanished and Sir Integra left to find Seras and Amy to fill them in on what was happening.

Xander got comfortable and began to try and fall asleep as Janna, Tara and Lilith all lay next to him and joined him, as they had since he had been injured and it was something he was beginning to get used to and it made him feel more secure.

+TDR+

(San Francisco, a day later)

Paige Matthews walked into her flat after a rather stressful day at work only to come to a dead stop as she noted four people waiting for her. The real shock was she knew these people. They were her suspected half-sisters, ever since learning she had been adopted she had searched for her birth family and the few pieces of evidence she had found pointed to the Halliwell’s. But she had never had the nerve to approach them, when she found out their Grandmother had died she had stayed at the back of the church during her funeral and for reasons beyond her cried as hard as Prue, Piper and Phoebe. Now they were here in her apartment, although how they got in confused her.

“Hello Paige,” Prue said stepping forward with a smile, already seeing the similarities between her and her sisters. “We need to have a very long overdue conversation,” she added.

Paige took a deep breath before asking the most important question in her life. “Are you my birth family?” she asked.

“Yes Paige, we are, you are our sister,” Piper answered with a smile, still wondering what could have been had they known about Paige.

Paige couldn’t stop the tears as they fell as she finally got the answer she had long sought, as one the sisters moved and embraced their lost and now found sibling. Prue knew this was only the first step in bringing Paige into the family, but right then she felt a serene feeling engulf her.

After ten minutes had passed Paige began to calm down as Leo stepped forward and orbed them to the manor, without Paige been aware until they reformed. She looked around wildly wondering how they were no longer in her apartment. She glanced at her sisters who smiled reassuringly at her.

“We have a lot to discuss Paige and some of it might sound like a joke at first, but it is the truth,” Prue told her as they led her to a sofa. “First I want you to know we did not know you existed until a few months ago, and it was a shock to say the least,” she explained. “We knew Mom had an affair with someone, but we never knew a child had been born out of that affair,” she added. “The only reason we didn’t come and get you then was because we were involved in something important which you will learn about once you’ve learned some other stuff,” she told her to which Paige just nodded.

The fact her sisters had clearly wanted to come and get her once they knew about her made her feel giddy, this was turning out better than anything she could have imagined whenever she had thought about trying to reach out to them.

“Now the first of the major shocks,” Prue said after taking a deep breath. “Paige… we are not normal people and neither are you,” she told her much to Paige’s confusion. “We are witches and before you laugh I’m not talking about fake Halloween witches or TV characters, I’m talking honest to god witches,” she stated as calmly as she could as this was where things could go wrong.

Paige glanced between Prue, Piper and Phoebe but not one of them cracked a smile or gave any hint that this was a joke. She wondered what to say in response, but nothing came to mind.

“Our entire family line right back to Melinda Warren has been witches,” Piper spoke up. “And that is not all, every myth and legend you have heard of exists as well or at least most of them,” she added. “The supernatural exists, and we are a part of that world, a world I’m sad to say is at war between good and evil,” she admitted much to Paige’s shock. “We are called the Charmed Ones, the combination of a prophecy concerning our family line,” she said carefully. “We are destined to be the most powerful white witches alive,” she went on.

“Our job is to protect the innocent,” Phoebe picked up the story. “We’ve be through some crazy adventures, but a few months ago we were visited by someone who not only revealed your existence to us, but also that we are not alone in the fight,” she explained.

“How did he know about me?” Paige asked as her mind whirled trying to get a grasp on everything she was been told. Yet she believed what she was been told, maybe it was instinct but she believed them.

“Well that is where things get a bit crazier,” Phoebe answered sharing a smile with her sisters. “It seems our new friend was ambushed by a cult and was sent on a trip through various dimensions. In one he met our alternate selves, but in that reality Prue had been killed by a demon and we had already learnt about you and brought you back into the family to rebuild the power of three,” she continued. “He brought back a letter signed by us and this,” she added before she moved to a remote control and pressed play.

Paige was stunned as a video began playing showing herself, Piper and Phoebe although a year or two older if she wasn’t mistaken. She listened carefully to what these people on the video said. She felt her world tilt and yet something inside her responded to her other self’s words, she did not doubt anything she was been told. There was no way this tape could be fake and the world was bigger than she had ever suspected.

“Oh wow,” she whispered as the tape finished.

“Alexander and his friends helped me survive the attack that would have killed me in this reality as he had promised to do,” Prue told her after she allowed her younger sister to absorb what she had learned. “We then went to help him fight a war in magical Britain, the who’s and what’s of that we can leave until later, but that is why we couldn’t come after you then,” she told her. “We stayed with Alexander even after that, as he dealt with some other problems which affect us all. During that time we actually defeated the Source which gives us time to welcome to the family and to train you,” she added.

“Train me?” Paige said suddenly very alert.

“You are a witch as well Paige, but not just a witch,” Prue admitted. “Mom did not just have an affair with any old guy, she fell in love with her Whitelighter,” she told her.

“What’s a Whitelighter?” Paige inquired.

“I’m,” Leo said, stepping into the conversation for the first time as he orbed back and forth. “A Whitelighter can heal and is assigned to witches to help advise and guide them,” he explained, smiling at Paige’s awed look. “You are half witch half Whitelighter which means you have the ability to heal and orb, which is not something your sisters can do,” he explained with a calming smile that made Paige feel safe. “You are unique, there is no other like you, although I do hope that will not always be the case,” he added with a hopeful look at Piper who blushed, but met his gaze and nodded her head in agreement.

“Piper took after mom and bedded our Whitelighter,” Phoebe said just for kicks and wasn’t let down as Leo went red in the face. Prue burst out laughing and Piper looked shell shocked, but at least it removed any tenseness. “Well she did more than that, she married him,” she added as Piper finally slapped her on the back. “Of course Prue couldn’t take that and went one more, she bedded her white knight. She and Alexander are now a couple as well,” she went on as Prue stopped laughing and started to glare at her.

Paige was now laughing as she watched the back and forth between her sisters, she was still getting over been able to actually call them that now. Laughing also helped calm her as she took in all that she was been told, it was huge. Never had she imagined anything like this when she finally found her blood family, and yet she felt a sense of peace and contentment within her from just being around them.

“Well at least we are not dating a half demon,” Piper finally shot back with a glare. “Granted Cole is on our side, but still,” she added with a smirk as Phoebe glared back at her.

“Ok enough,” Prue called. “We’ll get back to that later, Paige needs time to take this in, but before she does we have someone who wants to say hello,” she told her and at this each of her sisters and Leo began to smile.

Paige was startled as a flash of light appeared in front of her, she blinked rapidly a few times and when she could see clearly she was instantly on her feet as she saw a woman standing
before her. But this wasn’t any old woman, it was Patricia Halliwell. She began to feel faint as the woman quickly moved to embrace her with tears in her eyes. Paige almost felt this was a dream, but as Patricia pulled her into a hug she quickly realized it wasn’t. She broke down in her mother’s arms, still trying to grasp how it was possible she was here.

“Welcome home my baby,” Patricia whispered into her ear. This was the moment she had been waiting for so very long, her little baby was home. Her daughters were reunited and whole, she thanked whatever had brought Alexander into their lives because not only had he saved Prudence, but he had brought her missing daughter back to her as well.

+TDR+

(Britain, Travers Manor, a day and a half later)

Quentin Travers sat smiling in pleasure as he drank his wine alongside his fellow council men, each had supported him since he had become head of the watchers council and like him had used their titles to gain more power and wealth. Most of them didn't even care about the fight against the demons and vampires anymore, to them it wasn’t important and he slightly agreed with them but he did believe they had to be kept at bay so he made sure to keep an eye on what was happening in the world.

Around him was the full complement of supporters on the council, he usually held dinners like this every month so they could discuss their personal business and then council business. They all made plans to keep their control over the council and complained about those who were causing trouble for them, such as the current slayers and their watchers and friends. As he leaned back in his chair he was shocked as the doors to the dining room was thrown open and a bunch of men dressed in Special Forces type gear and black balaclavas to hide their faces stormed in.

"What is the meaning of this?" he shouted as he stood as did some of his friends, while others stayed seated looking nervous about what was happening.

The men did not reply and suddenly open fired on them, Travers had only time to look surprised as he was hit in the chest by three bullets and thrown backwards into his chair as the rest of his supporters were cut down within a few minutes before the guns stopped. Travers stared at the strangers as blood coated his chest. ‘How could this have happened? He was the head of the watchers council, he had power. He could not die,’ before he could think anything else one of the men raised a silenced pistol and put a bullet into his head, snapping his head backwards. The man stared at the corpse before spitting on it, having read up on his target he felt nothing but disgust as he looked at the dead body.

"Remember to plant the drug and money evidence before you leave," he ordered before he and two men left, while the others quickly set about planting the false evidence to cover who had eliminated Travers and his men, similar evidence had already been planted in the other men's homes to support what would be found here before they too left.

+TDR+

(Sunnydale, a day later)

Buffy sat down next to Kendra as she and the others arrived for this quickly ordered meeting, all Giles would say was he had some very important news to discuss with the whole group and that it had changed things.

"Thank you for coming on such short notice, but I’m afraid this couldn’t wait. I got a phone call this morning from the council as did Mr. Zabuto and the news we received shocked us," Giles began as he removed his glassed and polished them before putting them back on.

"What news, Mr. Giles?" Kendra inquired with interest.

"Travers, the head of the council, and everyone of his supporters were killed yesterday. It seems they were consorting with drug syndicates and money launderers and something went wrong as they were all killed while having a dinner party at Travers's manor," Giles reported watching the shock appear on all of their faces.

"Giles, is it possible that is not what happened?" Buffy asked, not really believing it was possible.

Before Giles could answer they were shocked by the appearance of Xander and his friends, bar his mother in a bright flash of light. They looked grim and Xander seemed slightly unsteady on his feet as they watched as he quickly took a seat at the table.

"Xander, are you okay?" Willow asked quickly, concerned by how her friend looked. "Where is Jessica?" she asked a second later.

"I’m okay Willow. I’m just recovering from my fight with Radrik who I would like to report is finally dead and dealt with," Xander replied. "Mom is fine as well Willow, she stayed behind in the tribe to rebuild her relationship with my real father who was alive and a captive of Radrik," he added and smiled as the Scooby gang congratulated him on his success, especially Willow who almost hugged the life out of him.

"So what is going to happen now with your group Xander?" Kendra asked, pleased to know her friend had finally succeeded in his mission and found his real father alive and well.

"We still have things to do, one of them being to begin to form our alliance," Xander replied. "Which is why I’m here, we will be holding our first meeting in three days, and you are all invited," he added.

"Xander I somehow doubt the council will be willing to discuss such a thing at this time, considering what has just happened," Giles interrupted before Willow could say something.

"They have already agreed to the meeting Giles, their new leader seems to think it is a great idea," Xander shot back. "I know Travers and his supporters are dead," he added.

"Xander, you didn't have anything to do with this do you?" Sam Zabuto asked, very suspicious of the way the young man and his group were acting.

"Somewhat, sadly it was necessary to remove Travers and his supporters before we brought the alliance to life and you both know that," Sir Integra spoke up before Xander could say anything. "We had the support of the powers in this before you try and argue how wrong it is and before either Miss Summers or Miss Hawthorne can point out how wrong it was we most likely have helped protect their lives as the new council head and the new council has agreed to remove the Cruciamentum from this point on," she added.

"What is that Giles and why does it sound so bad?" Buffy inquired, pushing away what she was going to say.

"The Cruciamentum is a test all slayers are forced to partake in once they reach their eighteenth birthday, their watchers are forced to strip them of their powers and then they are forced to fight a master vampire," Giles sighed as he replied, while Sam Zabuto looked ill. "If the watcher fails to do as he is told, his is either killed or removed from the council. If the slayer wins the fight the council believes them to be proper slayers," he explained.

"And if they lose the fight?" Kendra asked, angered by what she was learning, she may have soon been facing had Travers and his supporters not been removed, although she wished there had been another option to remove them instead of killing them and Buffy seemed to share her thoughts.

"The council usually just claims them to be failures. It is a barbaric test many watchers have tried to have removed for years, but the old guard would never allow it," Giles answered. "I’m pleased to know neither of you will have to go through this and that Travers and his cronies will never be around to threaten either of you," he added.

"I agree, while I regret the loss of life involved I have to agree they were all dangerous to our future, all they loved is money and power," Sam Zabuto put in

"You can't tell anyone else about this," Xander told them, pleased they were not to angered by this news. "It has to be kept secret," he added and smiled as they all nodded in agreement.

"So where are we meeting?" Cordelia inquired, not really liking what she was hearing, but she understood the need for it.

"Don't worry about that Cordy. It's a surprise and you will all arrive at the right time," Xander said with a smile. "I think you'll love it," he added, watching as she and the others exchanged confused looks before shrugging and just accepting his words that they would find out.

"Can you please fill team Shadow and the Hellsing team in on the meeting plans, but tell them only Blake and Vincent are coming to the meeting as someone has to keep an eye on the Hellmouth, especially with the First moving his attention here," Janna told them to which Giles nodded in agreement.

"Are you staying?" Oz asked.

"We can't, we have to alert our other allies about what is happening before the meeting," Amy responded before anyone else could. "We will see you in three days," she added before she and the rest of the group vanished.

"That was interesting," Oz said with a raised eyebrow. "I wonder if that is how we will arrive for this meeting," he wondered while the others just looked confused.

+TDR+

(Hogwarts, England)

Harry was sitting in the great hall with Fleur and Susan when he noted the flash of light that indicated Xander was paying a visit. Smiling, he quickly got up to greet them. While most of the school was still on holiday while new plans and other things got sorted out, some had remained in the school, including him. As he had told Alice and Sirius, if anywhere was home it was Hogwarts. He had however stayed at the Longbottom manor of and on over the last few months. He had become great friends with Neville in that time. Having his parents back had clearly given Neville a huge boost in confidence, he spent quite a bit of time with his father in his new job as head of the Aurors. Alice visited him often at the school. He found having her in his life the missing piece of the puzzle that made his life feel complete. Of course with Voldemort dead, his life felt so much freer now.

“Hey Harry,” Xander greeted him as they finished forming. “Fleur, Susan,” he added. The others all followed him in greeting them.

“Nice to see you, is everything okay?” Harry asked as he shook his friend’s hand.

“Yes actually everything is great, we finished our mission and Radrik is dead,” Xander told him with a grin. “Even better especially for mom is the fact we found my father alive. He was been held captive,” he informed them.

“That is great news,” Harry said. “I bet your mom was over the moon,” he added with a smirk.

“She does seem much happier now,” Tara pointed out before Xander could reply.

“Wouldn’t you?” Xander teased back.

“So what is going to happen now?” Fleur inquired, sensing they were here for a reason.

“We wanted to update you on things and to tell you in three days there will be a big meeting on Atlantis to discuss an alliance and you are all welcome,” Xander replied.

“Oh we are so there,” Harry shouted with glee. “I can’t wait to see Atlantis” he added.

“I take it you want us to inform Dumbledore and Aunty Amelia?” Susan inquired, watching her boyfriend jump around in high spirits. It was times like this that the differences in Harry really showed, the weight of the world was no longer on his shoulders and he was taking full advantage of that.

“It is probably best they be present as well to represent the magical world,” Sir Integra suggested to which Xander nodded.

“Can Alice come?” Harry asked finally turning a bit more serious.

“Of course and Sirius too,” Xander agreed with a nod of his head. “Now how about we trade updates?” he inquired.

They all sat down at the Gryffindor tables and began to discuss how things had gone since they had last seen one another. Xander relaxed feeling rather peaceful in the ancient castle. He was pleased to see his friend seemed to be well on the way to putting his past behind him, even more he seemed to have put having Voldemort and his forces out for his blood as well now that they were all dead. Janna leaned her head on his shoulder as she felt slightly tired, but foremost on her mind was her baby. Soon she and Alexander would be parents, and everything would change. The one major worry was that if they both went out to fight the darkness and neither returned who would look after their child? Xander seeming to sense her worries pulled her a little closer and dropped a kiss on her head, this made her smile and she pushed her worries away for another day.

+TDR+

(San Francisco, a while later)

Xander quickly moved to pull Prue into a deep and passionate kiss which she eagerly returned once they had reformed. The others just watched and shook their heads. Xander only pulled away when the need to breathe became an issue, he ran a finger down her cheek before stepping away.

“I missed you,” Prue said with a smile.

“Same here, how is Paige?” Xander responded as he looked for the fourth sister before finding her beside Phoebe. “Hey Paige, good to see you again,” he said with a smile.

Paige could see the teasing look he was giving her and knew he was hoping she would be confused by his question, but she remembered everything that had been said about him. “Nice try, but I know you’ve met an older version of me,” she shot back before sticking her tongue out at him which made him chuckle.

“I take it things went ok in explaining everything?” Xander inquired glancing at Prue.

“Most of it she took in quite quickly, but seeing Mom come to welcome her home pushed things, it took a while to explain about summoning spirits and of them being able to visit us,” Piper answered. “Watching them was heart breaking, I cried,” she admitted.

“I think we all did,” Phoebe said in response. “It is not every day you watch your lost half-sister come home and be greeted by your dead mother,” she said only half kidding.

“It is good to see you all happy,” Tara said, already feeling the effects of Xander’s joy at seeing the family reunited and his promise fully fulfilled.

“So how are things going?” Leo inquired as they all sat down.

Xander let out a brief sigh before he launched into updating them on everything. He really hoped Prue and her sisters would understand the need to remove Travers and his cronies. After he finished he sat and waited.

“Leo already told us about Travers and his followers,” Prue admitted, taking Xander’s hand in hers and giving a quick squeeze. “He sounded like that twit Fudge who threw Harry in Azkaban,” she spat. “Plus we were there when you originally brought up the plan remember,” she reminded him.

“It is a good comparison,” Amy said with a smile. “At the end of the day he was dangerous and while we all wished there was another way of doing things, this had to be done,” she told them.

“We have all agreed on that, even Cassandra and her Lord saw the need to remove them,” Sir Integra reminded them all.

“So this big meeting is the first step in forming the alliance we’ve all be hoping for?” Prue inquired.

“Yeah,” Xander said with a sigh still nervous about pulling the whole thing off. “Hopefully things will run smoothly now that Travers and his ilk are out of the way. The other organizations don’t have anyone like that that we know of,” he added.

“Still it will take quite a bit of back and forth I’m sure,” Leo mused as he felt Piper cuddle up next to him. “While some tried to pull an alliance together before, the different views and beliefs have always been a problem and usually they fall out because of that,” he told them.

“Yes that is true,” Alucard agreed with a nod. “But what you forget is this is the first time the call has come from someone who has allies in all of the major organizations as well as friendships with the major champions,” he pointed out, indicating Xander who shifted a little under the suddenly scrutiny. “Alexander has not only the will to pull this off, but the support to do it as well,” he stated.

Xander shifted again causing Tara to start running a hand up and down his back to quiet his nerves. She understood he was nervous and that he still felt a little overwhelmed by being in the driving seat in trying to pull an alliance off. But he had to know they all had faith in him to do this, more than that, they all believed in the idea of an alliance.

“Have you visited Harry?” Phoebe inquired, deciding to change subjects sensing the topic of conversation was getting a little tense.

“Yes we’ve already seen Harry and his friends before we came here. He is doing great now that the war is over and Voldemort is toast,” Xander answered. “He is looking forward to the big meeting, but I think he is having more fun having a family of his own. He has Susan and Fleur as his lover and wife respectively and Alice and Sirius as his godparents,” he explained. “Plus he and Neville have been getting on like brothers, and let’s not forget Hermione is as close to a sister to him as you can get,” he finished.

“He deserves it,” Prue said as she leaned against Xander, enjoying having him back. From there the group fell into silence as they each drifted off into their own thoughts.
40. Chapter 40
(Atlantis, three days later)

Xander paced up and down as the day for the big meeting arrived, he was tense but focused on the task he had set out to attempt. Soon his friends would arrive and then so would the heads of the various organizations they had contacted. At least he knew one of those heads was Sir Integra and that she supported his plans. He looked up as the doors to the meeting chamber opened to admit Tara, Janna, and Amy. They were the only members of his group who had remained in Atlantis with him while they got ready for this meeting. Alucard, Sir Integra, Lilith and Adrian had returned to the Hellsing Organization to prepare for such an important meeting. Prue had remained with her sisters who had begun to train Paige in the use of her powers. They would arrive together alongside Cole and Leo.

“Relax Alex, or you are going to wear a hole in the floor,” Tara said with a smile as she sensed the nervousness coming from him.

“I’m trying Tara,” Xander responded as he turned to stare out the window and into the deep blue sea, it still amazed him to see the view from the underwater city. To think of the pressure of how much water rested against the shield that kept it at bay, the ancient legend of the sunken city did not do the reality justice he thought.

“You have the support to pull this off Alex,” Janna reminded him as she quickly sat down, feeling more tired as she had of late. She knew in a few weeks she would give birth to either a son or a daughter, she could hardly wait as walking around for any length of time was growing difficult. She had been lucky that she had not caused herself any problems in pushing herself to still be of help during the last fight, but she vowed not to let Xander and the others stand alone. “All you need to do is make them realize this is the best way forward. The war has changed and when the Source returns and it and the First rebuilds their forces they will come at us like a tidal wave,” she told him. “If we do not stand together, we’ll be swept away by it,” she stated.

“You have to ignore any of your concerns about being the one doing the speaking at least at the beginning,” Amy added in. “You just have to get their attention, you know the champions who are coming Alex and you also know Sir Integra,” she reminded him calmly. “It is just the new Watchers Council heads and the Vatican leaders who are the unknown factors here,” she pointed out.

“I expect the Vatican leaders to be troublesome to convince to join the alliance, their beliefs and rules are unbending,” Xander mused aloud as he turned back to them. “They are going to come face to face with people their beliefs believe to be evil and I have to convince them they are not,” he told them.

“But you will have help there,” Leo said after he orbed in alongside Prue, Piper, Phoebe and Paige. A few seconds later Mandy orbed in behind them, greeting them with a smile. “The Elders as well as Cassandra and her Lord have ordered me and Mandy to help explain the truth about Witches,” he told them as Prue stepped up and kissed Xander in greeting.

“See we are not alone in this Alex,” Janna said with a smile, pleased they were going to get some help from the upper realms. “Now will you please try and relax, it will not do us any good for our visitors to see you so worked up,” she advised him gently.

Xander nodded in agreement and moved to sit down, his friends were right that he should try and calm down. He had to be focused if this meeting was going to go alright, and it had to go alright if they will have any hope of holding the darkness back once the lower powers reorganized themselves. They had time to form this alliance, but not too much. As soon as the Source regained a host, he would once more unite with the First and rally a host of demons to their cause. More than likely having suffered a defeat to them already, they would bring hundreds of demons against them next time. Before he could say anything else there was another flash of light, once it faded it revealed the arrival of Harry, Susan, Fleur, Hermione, Alice, Sirius, Dumbledore and Amelia. Xander smirked as he watched them look around in complete awe at their surroundings, each had seen wonderus things in the magical world,but he guessed Atlantis was beyond even those things.

“Where are we?” Hermione inquired before her eyes noted the nearby window and the sight it revealed. “Oh my god,” she muttered gaining the attention of the others. “We are under water,” she stated the obvious as Prue and her sisters giggled at her reaction.

“Actually we are under a lot of water, to be precise we are at the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean,” Tara responded while doing her best to hold in her own amusement at Hermione’s reaction as well as the others.

“You were telling the truth, this is Atlantis,” Harry said in amazement as he moved closer to the window and stared out into the darkness of the Ocean. “This actually beats seeing Hogwarts for the first time,” he muttered mostly to himself although most of the others heard him. Dumbledore frowned, but even he had to admit this was a wonderful sight, but he refused to admit it was more wonderful than Hogwarts.

“Of course I was telling the truth Harry,” Xander responded with a grin still showing on his face. “Welcome to Atlantis,” he said in greeting.

“My god, how is the water kept at bay?” Hermione asked as she kept her eyes pinned to the window which showed the ocean outside.

“As it was explained to us a very powerful shield holds the water at bay,” Tara explained as she moved closer to the window. “You can’t see it but it is there, and thanks to us finding those power modules it will be there for many years to come,” she added.

“This is incredible,” Hermione whispered in response as her mind tried to grasp how it was possible for any kind of shield to hold back the full pressure of the Atlantic Ocean.

“I agree, I’ve never seen anything like it,” Amelia stated with no little awe mixed in with a little fear as well.

This was even more proof that the Magical World had fallen far behind the Muggle world, granted now the war was over and a new government was put into place that would ignore the long held practice of keeping their world frozen in time that would change. But change took time. She just hoped they would be given that time. Dumbledore remained silent as he considered what he was seeing and hearing, it was astounding and yet he could not help but think how this would impact the magical world as it recovered from the war.

“Are you sure we are safe from the ocean?” Fleur couldn’t help but ask. As she stared out the window she couldn’t help but think about the lake at Hogwarts she’d had to swim through during the tri-wizard tournament. That still ranked as one of her least favourite times of her life. Granted without it she would never have bonded herself to Harry in gratitude for saving her sister’s life. Still it was not a moment she liked to think about often, the dark waters had been terrifying as had the mere folk who had forced her to leave her sister in the water thus failing the task making it necessary for Harry to rescue her and thus leading to her bonding to him as he refused any reward for his actions. She felt Harry slip his hands into her own and give it a comforting squeeze as he sensed her disquiet over the bond they shared. A bond she had come to treasure since it had been offered to her and Harry. It had replaced the rather rudimentary bonding she had created after the second task. It was a much more powerful bonding just like the one Xander shared with Tara.

“We are safe Fleur believe me,” Xander assured her just before another flash of light signaled the arrival of some of their other guests.

When the light faded they noted Buffy, Giles, Willow, Kendra, Mr Zabuto, Oz and Cordelia had arrived. Like with Harry and his group they were quickly awed by the beauty of Atlantis, Xander smirked as he looked at their faces.

“Good Lord, is this what I think it is?” Giles inquired as he took in the city.

“Yes Giles it is,” Xander responded with a chuckle. “I bid you welcome to the city of Atlantis,” he stated, unable to resists a little grand standing with his usual sarcastic humor.

“How in the world?” Willow began to ask before being cut off by another flash of light which deposited Jack Crow and Father Adam along with Vincent Wilson and two other men dressed in the garb of the church.

“Kid,” Jack said with a nod of his head. “I’d like you to meet Cardinal Giovanni Bichi and Cardinal Marco Bedini,” he continued before introducing the two newcomers. “They both control the Vatican teams and can speak for the Church in this matter,” he told them.

“It is a pleasure to meet you,” Cardinal Bichi stated in English although they could all hear the accent showing he was born in Italy. “We have read much about you and your friends from the reports made by Jack and Vincent and their teams,” he said as he shook Xander’s hands. “You have done much for one so young and new to the fight. You have earned the respect of both our top Slayers and that is no mean feat,” he continued as he stepped back and allowed his fellow Cardinal to greet Xander.

“That you also convinced one of the watchers to give us the location of the Hellmouth after keeping it a secret for so long was of great interest to us,” Cardinal Bedini agreed speaking for the first time. His Italian roots showing through his accent which was heavier than his fellow Cardinal, both men seemed to be at least well into their sixties, but put out a picture of being much younger. “Now at the end of your quest you are trying to once more put forward the hope of building an alliance between the many champions and Organizations you’ve encountered along the way,” he went on with a small smile. “This, I’m sure has been told to you, has been tried before and it has failed each time,” he stated to which Xander nodded in agreement. “Then may I ask what hope you have it will work this time?” he inquired.

“Because this time it has to work Cardinal Bichi,” Xander stated with total conviction in his tone. “This past year things have changed, the war has changed and if we do not ally ourselves and prepare we will be wiped out one by one when the Source returns and along with the First rebuilds their armies and strikes back at us,” he stated as calmly as he could. “No one can be blind to this fact, not after everything that has happened,” he added.

Cardinal Bichi noted everyone, including Jack and Vincent, nodded their heads in agreement with the young man’s words, which told him far more than some would expect. The young man clearly had the trust of those within this rather strange, but impressive room they were in, some of them were far more experienced slayers and yet they trusted and followed this young man. He spoke as if he was far older, but then when he considered the things Jack Crow had reported along with Vincent Wilson that was not too much of a surprise. He glanced at his fellow Cardinal and noted him nod just slightly, clearly neither of their top slayers had been wrong about this young man’s potential or that of his friends.

“It would seem we have a lot to discuss then,” he finally said.

“Indeed, we are just waiting now on the arrival of the delegation from the Watcher’s council,” Tara spoke up into the brief silence that followed. “Then we can begin,” she told them all.

“Xander,” Buffy spoke up gaining everyone’s attention. “How in the world did you find this place?” she inquired.

“Long story,” Xander shot back with a grin which increased as he heard both Buffy and Willow growl at his answer which was lacking in information. “And not why we are here. I’ll tell you later,” he assured them much to their annoyance.

“What is this place?” Vincent asked as he looked around before taking note of the window and outside view of the Ocean. “Holy Shit,” he gasped before wincing as he realized what he had said in front of his bosses. But when he glanced back he noted they too were looking out of the window in surprise, clearly they had not heard him in their surprise.

“Don’t worry we are completely safe,” Amy said smiling as all their guests seemed to be stunned by the view the window provided of the ocean.

“Safe, Amy we are on the bottom of the ocean,” Willow squeaked still trying to wrap her mind around how they were not dead. “How can you call that safe?” she asked to which some of the others nodded in agreement.

“There is a very powerful shield around the city Willow,” Prue explained calmly. “It keeps the ocean at bay, we are safe,” she repeated Amy’s statement.

Another flash of light deposited Sir Integra, Lilith, Adrian and Seras, Lilith immediately moved to greet Xander kissing him slowly before moving aside.

“Welcome back,” Xander said in greeting as the others waved or nodded in greeting themselves.

“Thank you Alexander,” Sir Integra responded with a nod of her own head. Having already seen Atlantis before, she and her allies were the only ones not to take note of the view from the window, much to the surprise of some of the others.

“Is everyone here?” Seras inquired as she looked around.

“No, just waiting for one more group,” Tara responded.

Before anyone else could speak there was another flash of light which once it faded revealed four people, two were male and two were female. All were dressed in the sort of things Xander would expect watchers to wear. The women wore what he called business attire while the men were like Giles dressed in a tweed suit.

“Welcome,” Xander said as he stepped forward. “Now we are all here we can begin,” he stated.

“You would be Alexander?” one of the women inquired to which Xander nodded. “I am Alexia Bennings the new head of the Watchers Council, with me is my aide Sophie Nixton and my two best researchers and trainers Max Jenkins and Carl Winslow,” she introduced her companions. “To be honest we were quite shocked by your invitation coming so soon after the demise of Quinton Travers and his followers, to be honest some were suspicious of the timing,” she admitted. She missed the looks Buffy and Willow exchanged, Xander and the others however managed to remain straight faced.

“Building an alliance was always part of my plan even at the start of my journey,” Xander replied, knowing he had to be careful how he answered this slight accusation. “I just happen to finish my journey and begin to put out the calls for a meeting when news reached me of the deaths of your fellow watchers, from what we heard he was dealing with a drug cartel on the side to gain more money,” he stated, finding it easier to keep his features clear of any signs of lying thanks to Tara’s soft words over the bond helping him to focus. “I don’t know if any of it is true or not, but no matter what happened to Travers and his followers I still wanted representatives from the Watchers here for this meeting,” he told her calmly.

Alexia watched him closely as she was sure her fellow watchers were keeping an eye on his companions for any signs of deceit, but she could see nothing that hinted he knew any more than he was saying. She didn’t actually believe him to be responsible for the deaths of Travers and his followers, he was a boy in the grand scheme of things, but she promised to investigate the deaths because it mattered to those older watchers who believed it had been more than a simple drug deal gone wrong, especially as the offer of being at this meeting came so soon after their deaths. She had never liked Travers or his followers, but that didn’t mean she didn’t care if they were murdered. Still for now they had other things to discuss which is why they were here in the first place, glancing at her companions she noted they shook their heads slightly in the negative so clearly they hadn’t seen anything either.

“Of course, shall we begin?” she finally said giving nothing away of what she had been thinking.

“Please follow us,” Prue said and walked towards the large meeting room off to the side of the main gate room. “You will find plenty of room to sit and there is food and drink already prepared if you are thirsty or hungry,” she told them.

+TDR+

(Other Realm)

Cassandra watched through the viewing pool as the meeting room was filled, the various heads and champions still a little awed by the beauty of Atlantis. This was it. The beginning of what she hoped would be a strong and powerful alliance to stand against the dark. Alexander wasn’t wrong that that when the Source returned and had rebuilt its army of demons that it then would return with vengeance and it wouldn’t be alone. Even now the First continued to probe their defenses for a weak spot to strike, once the Source was back it was clear they would ally against them once more, especially if the alliance happened.

“Do you think they will agree to the alliance?” Jonas asked with a frown as he was unsure if the other heads, bar Sir Integra who they knew supported Alexander’s goal of building an alliance would go for it.

“They have the support of the champions now seated for this meeting,” Tanith pointed out. “That should go a long way in helping get past of the arguments they could put forward against an alliance,” he pointed out. “It is whether the Vatican heads will accept the explanations about the truth of witches and their roles in the war,” he mused aloud.

“Indeed,” their lord agreed with a nod of his head. “That is indeed one of the most important points they will have to iron out as they say,” he told them. “Also explaining the Charmed Ones and the magical world will also take time, this meeting will only be the first of many meetings,” he continued. “There will be no easy agreements, no this will take time, but it is time they have,” he paused as he considered his own words.

“Are you sure of that my Lord?” Tanith inquired.

“I believe so. While the First probes our defenses it will not commit to a full scale attack as its forces have taken a beating of late,” their lord answered slowly. “Even when the Source finally finds a new host it will not attack straight away as it will need to rebuild its own forces which were lost during the war in the magical world, that will be no easy task,” he explained. “The only real concern we have is that Lucifer might strike at them while they are distracted building their alliance, he has thus far played no part in what has happened, but he can’t be blind to what has happened has changed things, even for him,” he added with a slight frown.

“Lucifer has no reason to attack them as he only commands a small portion of the forces of hell. He takes very little action on the grand scheme of things,” Cassandra argued. “He is content where he is knowing all mankind baring those who know the truth believe him the actual ruler of hell. Alexander and his friends are no threat to him,” she added.

“Do not blind yourself Cassandra,” their Lord cautioned her with a slight frown in her direction. “Lucifer knows if we actually win the war between light and dark then he loses as well, he has already been cast from Heaven for trying to supplant the creator and he will not want to fall any further,” he told her, even though both Jonas and Tanith listened closely as he spoke. “As you know there are worse things in this universe than to be in hell,” he stated and Cassandra had to suppress a shiver as she knew he was right. “No, he will be watching them closely now, in time should the alliance prove more of a threat than even we expect he may ally himself with the First and the Source and do all he can to eliminate them, before they become anymore of a threat than they already have become,” he went on. “We must be realistic and think of all possible threats. Even those who we once believed might have remained on the side lines,” he told them all in a dangerously calm but urgent tone, making it clear he believed this was very important.

“Then they will have to be warned,” Cassandra said after a brief silence. She knew her lord was right, even though she did not truly want to admit it.

“And you will warn them tonight,” their lord agreed with a nod of his head. “They must know even with all they’ve done, it is not over and they must be on their guards always as must we,” he told them before he turned and exited the room, leaving his three companions silently reflecting on all he had said.

“Not a pleasant thought is it?” Jonas asked turning to Cassandra.
“No Jonas, it is not but it is the reality of the world we live in, no matter how much we wish it wasn’t so,” Cassandra answered, letting out a sigh as she did so. “Alexander and his friends have much to do, but I believe they will live to do it but only as long as they stand together,” she told him as she stared at the picture reflected in the pool. “That is why this meeting is so important, it must work,” she all but whispered.

“It will succeed or fail, depending on how well Alexander controls the meeting,” Tanith finally spoke up again. “He called the meeting, and it is he who has the trust of the others to pull this off,” he continued. “He belongs to no Organization, he stands by himself and his small group,” he reminded them.

“Yes, but some of the others might be wary of his rather close relationship with Alucard and through him Sir Integra,” Jonas pointed out. “Remember he has been traveling with them for the last few months. That is bound to be a sticking point for the other heads,” he explained at their looks. “Alexander will have to watch how he explains that, make it clear that while he was traveling and working with the head of the Hellsing Organization and some of her most infamous followers he has never been a member of Hellsing himself,” he concluded to which Cassandra nodded in agreement.
41. Chapter 41
Chapter 41

(Atlantis)

Everyone took a seat at the huge table they had been led to with Xander at the head, he knew now the hard part was about to begin. Thankfully, thanks to Tara and the bond, his nerves were kept under control. He was taking a gulp of water before attempting to start the meeting, but was interrupted by Cardinal Bichi.

“Before we begin this meeting I would like some clarification on your status Alexander and that of your group as a whole and I do believe the others would like to know just as much as I what your relationship is with the Hellsing Organization,” Bichi inquired in a calm tone and Xander wasn’t blind to see a few nods of heads from those in the Watcher’s council delegation as well as from his fellow Cardinal.

Xander glanced slightly at Sir Integra and Alucard who had both warned him that he could expect to be challenged on this point sometime during the meeting, that his close ties to Hellsing as well as the fact he had undergone his entire journey in the company of first Lilith and Adrian and then Alucard, Seras and Sir Integra herself. That, he supposed, had made them a little suspicious of him and his group, he would have to be careful how he responded to this.

“My group and I have no actual standing within the Hellsing Organization and that is the truth,” Xander answered. “I answer to no one in regards to my actions in this war,” he stated.

“Yet you’ve spent nearly the entire year you’ve been traveling with first Agents Lilith and Adrian Tepes then Agent Victoria, Vlad Tepes and Sir Integra herself,” Alexia spoke up, gaining their attention. “How can we not conclude you and your friends have joined their Organization?” she asked with an arched eyebrow. “That your call for this meeting as an independent party is nothing more than a power play to help Hellsing gain control over our own Organizations?” she concluded.

This caused immediate calls of anger from Harry, Prue and some of the others in their groups. Jack’s face tightened somewhat clearly showing he disagreed with the statement, but knew enough about his bosses to keep his mouth shut. Vincent shook his head, but refrained from saying or doing anything to give himself away, aware he was watched by not only the two Cardinals, but also by two of the Watchers in their delegation. Xander wanted to sigh at the blatant signs of distrust and slight paranoia, now he knew why other efforts to pull the three Organizations together had failed.

Granted he had been told about why they had failed, but he had not expected the levels of distrust he was seeing, they were going to ignore everything else until he satisfied their doubts.

“You could say before any of this started I was loosely allied with the Watchers Council itself,” Xander pointed out with a glance at the Watchers themselves. “I began my part in this war helping Buffy in her duty as the Slayer as did quite a few people at this table,” he continued, knowing he had to be careful how he worded his next statement. “So should we all believe that in fact I am a sleeper agent for the Watchers?” he inquired.

“That is not the same thing,” Max argued in clearly irritated tone.

“I believe it is,” Xander shot back calmly. “Yes, I have traveled with members of Hellsing including its head, but not because I have joined them and neither has anyone in my group joined them,” he stated. “Lilith and Adrian were sent to keep an eye on me and to help train me and my team, to help us survive. Before that we had little in the way of actual training in modern day tactics,” he told them as he glanced between the Cardinals and the Watchers before glancing at Alucard who gave him a barely suitable nod as they had already discussed whether or not to mention his training with the sword and the ancient Romany magic. “More importantly they were to train me in the use of the ancient Romany magic, due to the fact I had located Alucard’s former sword which is imbued with its power,” he explained hoping this wouldn’t come back to bite them. Powerful weapons had a habit of gaining people’s attention, more to the point it made them want that weapon for their own arsenal. “Without that training I wouldn’t have been a very great danger to anyone I came across,” he finished.

“And your contact with Agent Victoria, Vlad Tepes and Sir Integra?” Cardinal Giovanni inquired, listening to everything that had been said with great interest.

“That was caused by mine and Lilith’s ambush by a cult who sent me and her through a dimensional portal, none of my team could utilize the magic needed to find and bring us home, thus Alucard had to come to help us, but he couldn’t leave Sir Integra behind without his protection,” Xander answered. “Hence she had to come as well,” he added.

“You were retrieved from that portal according to the reports months ago and yet they didn’t return to England,” Alexia continued to ask questions. “Why not?”

“Because I chose to stay and continue to monitor Alexander and his group’s actions as well as aide them as the forces they began to run up against became more and more dangerous,” Sir Integra cut in, growing annoyed with the Watchers paranoia. “We helped bring down one of the Source’s strongest assassins and saved the eldest Halliwell sister’s life, we then helped fight a war alongside your own teams and champions and stopped a crazed wizard from launching a genocidal campaign against the entire world,” she told them, glaring slightly at Alexia Benning as if to point out how she took no part at all in these actions. “We then aided in another mission which gained us this new base of operations, and finally we helped Alexander finish his personal journey and helped him remove a threat aimed at him and his unborn child and anyone else connected to him,” she continued.

“Without us I believe he wouldn’t have survived to do what he has done, but I will state it bluntly for you Miss Benning he and his team are not a part of my Organization, although I would accept any petition to join should this attempt at allying our forces fail,” she said, before pausing and beginning again. “And on a final point I have absolutely no interest in gaining control of your Organizations and never have done, so leave you paranoia aside and think about everything being said here more clearly,” she growled out the last part.

Alexia blinked somewhat at the tone the older woman had used on her, she glanced at the Cardinals and noted they too looked taken aback by her slight show of anger or frustration she didn’t know which.

“We are here to try and find a way to combine our forces together to meet what will be a hard and almost deadly counter attack, which will come once the lower powers have rebuilt their forces and the Source has returned,” Alucard stated coldly as he glared at the Watchers before turning his gaze on the Cardinals. “They have suffered multiple defeats at our hands, most of those given to them due to the combined efforts of those seated at this very table, all of them from different backgrounds and Organizations,” he stated. “They know we can be even more deadly than we’ve ever been before. They will not ignore the lesson and will combine their forces to counter us and if we are not prepared to face them when they return we will all die one by one,” he predicted. “On our own we are easy prey for what will undoubtedly be a full scale attack aimed at killing as many of us as they can and they will not do so one by one as they have done before,” he promised, his tone growing colder. “They will hit each of us hard together with everything they have, your paranoia and power plays will do nothing but aide them in wiping us all out,” he swore, giving them all another hard glare.

“Keep your dog on a leach Hellsing,” Carl spat, giving Alucard a dark look for daring to take such a tone with them.

Alucard almost smiled at the disgust he heard in the Watchers voice as he spoke. He glanced at Sir Integra who shook her head in the negative. He let out a sigh and decided he would pay this uppity Watcher back some other time.

“Name calling is hardly helping us here,” Sir Integra stated. “You may not like that the Hellsing Organization employs four Nosferatu vampires, but you can’t dismiss their effectiveness,” she argued.

“I agree,” Xander spoke up once more. “We are not here to rehash old grudges or dislikes we may have for certain people, we are here to put those aside,” he reminded them.

“We are willing to discuss this more after a short break so that we can discuss what you have already told us and to confer with our superiors,” Cardinal Bichi stated as he stood up along with Cardinal Giovanni.

“We too are willing to hear more whenever you wish to reconvene,” Dumbledore stated, having been chosen as the speaker for his group.

“I think you can take that as a given for everyone here but the Watchers,” Prue said not liking some of what she had seen from the Watchers so far. At least the two Cardinals though showing some mistrust was willing to discuss the matter further.

“I apologies for Carl’s insult and we will return when the meeting is reconvened,” Alexia finally said. No matter how much some of the councils higher up’s didn’t like the idea of an alliance, they could not dismiss it, especially after Travers and his followers were killed as it had weakened them considerable. “We would also like time to go over the reports of your joint actions with those here, and discuss how those actions have changed things for us all as you have stated it has,” she added.

“Then for now this meeting is over until we can reconvene,” Xander said with a sigh, having hoped to make more progress, but he had been warned time and again it would not be so easy. “Please help yourself to any food or drink, if not we will send you back straight off,” he added. “We each now have contact numbers so we can keep in contact and set up the next meeting,” he pointed out with a smile, hoping the next meeting would take place soon.

The meeting broke up quickly with the Watchers and the Vatican delegations immediately being transported back to their respective headquarters, the rest decided to stay in Atlantis and talk or tour the city.

“Well that went well,” Janna said with a strained smile.

“It could have gone a lot worse, believe me,” Giles pointed out, not surprised by the paranoia his fellow Watchers were showing, especially in light of Travers and his followers murders. “Hopefully they will take Sir Integra’s words to heart before we meet again,” he added, but it was clear to the others he doubted they would do so.

“I did say this will not take just one meeting,” Sir Integra spoke up. “The fact they agreed to a second meeting is far more than we have ever gotten in the past, even with the growing tension at the end this meeting has gone far better than the last one,” she told them.

“Do you think they will believe us that Xander and his team are not part of your Organization?” Amy inquired turning to Sir Integra.

“Possibly, but they might still hold some sort of doubt even if they tell us they have decided otherwise,” Sir Integra answered with a shrug.

“I think for now we all need a break, for those of you who are interested come on I’ll show you the rest of the city and introduce you to some new friends,” Xander said after a few moments of silence. “This will blow your minds,” he added with a wide grin which was shared by Prue, Tara and most of those who had already met Thor and Erin.

“Why do I get the feeling we are being set up?” Buffy asked in a weary tone.

“Because you know me so well?” Xander shot back as he led them out of the meeting hall, although some of those who already had seen the city and met the two aliens stayed to have something to eat.

+TDR+

(Other Realm)

Cassandra smiled in relief that the first meeting had not dissolved into petty fighting as it had in other meetings in the past, still the doubt of the other heads bothered her. ‘Could they never think of anything else but their own power base?’ she wondered inwardly. Even after reading the reports from their own people and being told point blank that the war was changing did little to make them focus on that point. Until this doubt about Alexander’s true loyalty was settled she worried that any alliance could be built.

“Easy Cassandra,” her Lord said from beside her in a gentle tone, having clearly guessed what she was thinking from the look on her face. “We knew it would take more than one meeting for them to even think about talking about building an alliance,” he reminded her.

“I know my Lord, but it is frustrating,” Cassandra responded with a heavy sigh. “Time is not on any of our sides, this war has mutated into something new and instead of focusing on that concern they focus on trivial things that affect their own power,” she added with a shake of her head.

“Humans sadly have many flaws and a lust for power is just one of them, even the best of them or those who fight the darkness are not spared this weakness,” her Lord pointed out with a small smile. “As long as they don’t let this particular issue consume them, it is a small problem,” he mused. “I think what Integra Hellsing said should shake that concern from their minds. She isn’t one to mince words or outright lie,” he went on as he watched events play out once more in the viewing pool.

“True, but will the other heads actually believe her?” Cassandra wondered aloud as Jonas and Tanith re-joined them.

“They might find it best if they do,” Jonas put in, having heard the last part of their conversation as they entered. “The lower powers will strike back and soon. The First already searches for a weak spot and they might find themselves bearing the brunt of any attack when he finds one,” he warned.

“Agreed, what Alexander needs to do is hammer that fact into their brains figuratively speaking of course,” Tanith stated with a smile.

“We are in the eye of the storm,” their Lord told them as he folded his hands across his chest and looked them each in the eye. “When it breaks, a new war will erupt and it will be fought in a completely new way and if any of us aren’t ready to fight it we will be eliminated wholesale,” he continued, his tone grim. “We have won a huge in what Alexander and his friends have done, but we all knew it would forever cause change in this war,” he reminded them. “What Alexander must do is ensure all those at the meeting realize this very important fact. They must change and adapt if they hope to survive the new war to come,” he finished.

The others nodded in agreement, Alexander had an uphill struggle before him, but he had to make them all realize the war was changing and that when the lower powers returned to full strength they were all in deep trouble.

+TDR+

(Lower realm)

The First contemplated events once more, trying to find a way to combat what he knew would be a great danger to demons everywhere, but without the Source and with the losses sustained he could do little to cause much damage right now. It would take months before the Source reconstituted himself and found a new host. He had searched for a weak spot to strike, but found the groups who made up this growing alliance to be well protected by the higher powers, which meant they were expecting the war to become more dangerous than ever before. He smirked because they were right, once the Source returned and they had rebuilt their forces they would unleash all manners of hellish onslaught on their enemies. They would pay for the defeats they had suffered and the traitor Balthazar would suffer even more for his betrayal.

One of his first targets when they were back to full strength was Vlad Tepes and his entire family, he saw them as the lynch pin in this new alliance they were facing. Before all that however he had to meet with Lucifer, it was time the weakest member of the lower powers began to live up to his responsibilities. Time the Lower Powers were as unified as their enemies, that way they would cause far more death and destruction. Fading from view he just hoped the fallen angel was in a cooperative mood.

+TDR+

(Atlantis)

Xander stood off to the far side of the gate room and watched as Thor and Erin discussed things quietly between themselves, he had noted they had been doing this a lot of late. It was confusing as he had no idea what they were discussing, but whatever it was it had to be important. A smile grew across his face as he recalled the reactions of Harry and the others at meeting the two aliens not ten minutes ago. Hermione had fainted much to Harry’s amusement; the others in the Wizarding group did not seem to fully grasp the idea of life on other planets. So Harry and a now awake Hermione were now explaining the whole thing as best as they could. He chuckled as he bet that was shaping up to be an amusing explanation explaining the muggle view of aliens to witches and wizards who had never heard of the idea, unless they were halfbloods or muggleborn.

The reactions from Buffy and co had been just as amusing until Willow began to get a little too excited about talking about the cultures of the Asgard and Ancients and their roles in Earth history. She was now currently sat at one of the consoles reading historical texts made available to her, it was keeping her quiet at least, he mused. Running a hand through his hair he turned and headed off to find Janna who was fast approaching her due date. This was a fact that was quickly making him even more nervous beyond what he felt about the meetings. Tara joined him unaware he was being watched by Thor and Erin who both wore looks of contemplation that told of changes to come for the future for them all.