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Hair Trigger
Title: Hair Trigger (working title)               
Author: Mishap AKA Mishap00
Rating: NC 17?     
Feedback: mishap00@worldnet.att.net
Website: http://members.tripod.com/mishap00/index.htm
Fandom: Harry Potter/Buffy
Disclaimer: Any rights I am entitled to I freely give back to the copyrighted owners of BTVS and Harry Potter. I own nothing and make no claims.
Pairing: HP/XH     
Status: WIP
Archive:  WWOMB, any list I send it to, and my site.
Summary: What happens when two battle scarred veterans from very different, but eerily similar worlds meet?

Chapter One

     Few eyes would have noticed the quiet figure that slipped into the bar and took a seat at a table near the stage and then proceeded to completely ignore the show.

     Xander Harris was not most people. The quiet figure that slumped dejectedly and contemplated the drink in front of him set off his internal radar. The instincts that been honed to razor sharpness by a lifetime lived on the Hellmouth and years spent as backup to the Slayer were insisting that the man sitting so quietly was not quite what he appeared to be.

     The warning that he'd learned the hard way not to ignore was neither insistent nor sharp enough to warrant action so he settled for keeping his eye on him.

Harry's POV

     He was startled out of his self-absorbed daze by the loud and raucous opening notes of a song he'd heard only once. Harry only noticed it for the memories it conjured up. Cherished memories that brought back images of a blindingly white grin on the face of his godfather and a rare afternoon they'd spent together going through and unearthed box of Sirius' school day mementoes. The day stood out for the fact that not only did it precede his grandfather's death by only a few months, but also hysterical laughter. Sirius had tried to convince Harry of the genius of the Sex Pistols and their version God Save the Queen.

     A sad wistful smile on his face he looked up just in time for someone called the `British Spike' be introduced before the volume doubled and a spotlight lit up a dark figure concealed in a black leather duster with his back to the crowd. The dancer stretched out a hand and flicked a lit cigarette off the stage into the wings and began to move to the music.

     The figure turned around and let the duster drop to the floor to reveal a body clothed in unrelieved black from the heavy boots on his feet to the leather pants and skin tight t-shirt and including a matching eye patch.

     Harry's attention was caught. He'd been peripherally aware of many strippers both male and female since he began his quest to find solace in the bottom of a bottle, but every sense riveted on him not only for the air of palpable menace he exuded, but also for the lingering aura of mingled magic both tainted and pure. As he studied the man before him he was astonished to feel a thread of arousal.

Xander's POV

     Not being one to ignore his instincts he kept his eye on the man who'd caught his attention earlier as he went through his regular routine. He watched as the music caught his attention and observed the expression on his face before taking his position as he was introduced. He kept his eye open as he ripped the t-shirt and tear-away pants from body doing his routine more by rote than paying real attention to it. Xander saw the sadness followed by arousal and confusion. Hearing the end of the son approach he set up for the climax that mad his act unique and kept the customers coming back to try and figure it out, the climax that intrigued them and fueled their fantasies.

     Hiding his face from the audience Xander stroked his fingers over the silver collar and spoke the phrase that Willow had taught him when she had made it for him. Swiftly turning back to face the audience he hissed baring the sharp fangs and glowing amber eye that Willow's spell temporarily `gifted' him with to loud applause that he expected and a reaction he'd never expected…here. The man he'd been eyeing went deathly and began to pull what appeared to be a slender stake from his jacket.

Harry's POV

     As he followed the movements of the well-built dark haired man Harry's arousal increased and he shifted uncomfortably before being distracted by the odd aura of magic that surrounded him. His body tried to pull his attention back to the gleaming skin and hard muscular body being revealed, but he focused on the silver collar that seemed to hold the key to the magic he felt and realized that the tainted magic he'd first felt was only the barest trace, nearly subsumed by the pure, almost innocent, power that pulsed around the dancer. If Harry hadn't been sensitized to dark and tainted magics by early exposure to it as an infant he doubted he'd have ever noticed it at all. Reflexively touching the greatly faded scar on his forehead that hadn't reacted at all he watched absently his thoughts in a whirl.

     The song drawing to a close brought his attention back to the dancer as he concealed his face and turned away only to return…Vampire! Automatically reaching for the wand concealed in his coat he pushed back from the table and memories of the last night he'd spent with both of his friends flashed across his consciousness. The sound of his best friend's neck snapping as the distorted face of a monster lifted bloody fangs from Ron's neck before lunging at him. The sounds of Hermione and the vampire screaming together as one burned from a hurriedly cast incendio and the other mourned a husband lost.

     Catching himself before he performed magic in front of a bar full of muggles Harry staggered away desperate to escape the memories.

Xander's POV

     Knowing the tips and clothes left scattered on the stage would be taken care of Xander headed for his dressing room to get dressed and try to catch the man before he left.

     After swiftly pulling on his normal attire of jeans and a loose shirt, Xander rushed down the hallway toward the bar, almost running into the very man he was looking for and was confronted by what he hand thought was an stake, but appeared to be some kind of…stick. Taking not of the way the other man held it like weapon, he put his hands up, palms out showing they were empty.

     “Whoa,” he said. “I'm not going to hurt you it was all a stage trick. You know special contacts and fake teeth.” He grinned trying to defuse the situation.

     In a tense, tight voice, with an accent that reminded of a certain blond menace the other man replied. “What kind of idiot do you take me for? I know magic when I felt it. What I want to know is what you think you are doing? Showing magic to a bunch of muggles, are you insane?”

     Unconsciously still using the accent that Willow and Giles had helped him to develop for his stage persona Xander smirked. “What's it to ya, wanker?”

     The stranger's glare increased from icy to deadly and he snapped. “The ministry really frowns on it for one. You are also damn likely to be tossed in to whatever version of Azkaban this bloody country has and I can guarantee you wouldn't like to meet the dementors that guard it…they definitely don't make for good company.”

     Harry listened in dismay as the familiar accent disappeared and a purely American one took its place. “Huh, Azkaban? What the hell are dementors? What ministry?”

     A creeping sense of dread overwhelming him, Harry shook his head in disgust and sighed. “You have no idea what I'm talking about, do you?”

     Xander shook his head in negation and looking around he came to a decision. “Look this is not the place to talk about it. My place isn't too far from here and we can talk in private without having to worry about someone interrupting us and maybe hearing more than they should.” Seeing the hesitation on the other man's face and guessing at its cause he pulled the cross he habitually carried out of his pocket. “If you know anything about vampires you know that there is no way one could hold one of these without severe burns.”

     Taking a mental leap of faith Harry returned his wand to its concealed pocket and stuck out his hand and said rather stiffly. “Harry Potter pleased to meet you.”

     Xander arched an eyebrow and took the offered hand and returned the courtesy. “Xander Harris.” And he wondered at the look of relief that washed over Harry's face. “I'm done for the night why don't you come with me. I need to grab my stuff and we can go out the back to my car…Um do we need to get yours?” he questioned.

     Relieved at the lack of recognition Harry answered. “I don't…drive.”

     Harry followed silently as Xander picked up his clothes and tips and ignored the catcalls and suggestive comments from the other dancers. Walking out the back door into the brightly lit parking lot they stopped at a full size pickup truck half full of lumber with a large tool chest. At Harry's questioning look Xander grinned and explained. “I'm a carpenter by trade I just work here on the weekends to make some extra money to help pay off some hospital bills.”

     “I can understand…not that there's anything wrong with…” he stopped seemingly at a loss for words.

     “Stripping?” Xander grinned at the other man's discomfiture. “Don't worry my reaction was a bit more extreme the first time I contemplated it.”

     “So why did you…um.” Harry blushed.

     “Take off my clothes for money in the first place.” He teased before taking pity on the other man he continued. “When I graduated from high school I had planned to spend the summer making a road trip and exploring the rest of the country. Unfortunately for me I got a couple of hundred miles from home and the engine literally fell out of my car and I spent the summer working first as a bus boy then as a dancer to pay for the repairs to the car so I could get home…”

Chapter Two

     “…and so ends the tale of Xander Harris and the Fabulous Ladies Night Club.” Xander finished. “He drove off into the sunset and was never seen in Oxnard again.” Hearing the muffled snickers his companion was trying to stifle, he grinned and joked. “I never thought I'd do that again much less make a career out of it but,” he sighed melodramatically, “One must not disappoint ones adoring fans.”

     Between gasps for air Harry replied still laughing. “That story is so ridiculous it has to be true.”

     Pulling into an empty spot in front of his apartment Xander shut off the engine of his truck and confirmed. “Every word of it is the gospel truth.”

     Getting out of the truck he guided Harry into the converted mansion that housed his apartment and unlocked the door. Xander motioned to Harry to precede him inside.  Instincts finely as a Sunnydale survivor finally relaxed as he passed the threshold unhindered with no invitation. As he closed the door behind him Harry spoke. “Those are some fairly strong ward on the door. I thought you said that you didn't do magic?”

     Touching the small silk bag that hung below the peephole on the door, Xander explained. “I don't practice any form of magic. My friend Willow made the bags and had them blessed. All I did was concentrate and focus on what I wanted the protection for. Willow said that it was an `an it harm none be welcome' spell. And that anyone with the desire and knowledge could make it work.

     Harry snorted, “Most `people' can't make them strong enough to incapacitate a wizard or fry a vampire. The most they could do is create an aversion in someone wanting to cause harm. It wouldn't even slow down someone who was really determined.”

     “What can I say,” Xander snorted dismissively. “I was really, really focused. If you'd grown up like I did you would be too.”

     “About that-“Harry began.

     Xander interrupted, “Tell you what, take a seat on the couch. I'll grab us a couple of beers and we'll talk. It's kind of a long story.”

     Harry sighed and sat down pinching the bridge of his nose hope to stave off his incipient headache that had started to pulse warningly behind his eyes. Every time he was reminded of that last horrible night with his best friends he ended up with a blinding headache.

     “Here,” a calloused hand was offering a couple of pills. “You look like you could use them.” At his mistrustful glance and amused grin slid across Xander's face. “They're just aspirin. If you look it says so right on them.”

     Harry took his advice and checked to make sure that they really did say aspirin on the tablets. He scowled at the other man when he chuckled as Harry checked the still sealed beer before swallowing them.

     Sarcastically echoing the one-eyed man's earlier words Harry said sourly. “If you'd grown up like I did you'd check too.

     Xander laughed softly hearing his words thrown back at him. “Harry, I'm gonna take a leap of faith here and take a chance that you won't have me locked up in a lunatic asylum. From your reactions and things you've said you already know about magic and vampires. What would you say if I told you that I grew up in Sunnydale also known as the hel-“

     Harry jumped to his feet and shouted. “The BLOODY HELLMOUTH, are you insane! Do you have any idea what those places do to people like us?”

     Running his hand through his and further disordering the will locks he addressed the shocked man sitting on the couch. “Why aren't you bloody well catatonic? How the hell are you even alive?” Pulling his wand from the jacket he had yet to discard he pointed it at the stunned man sitting on the couch. “You're possessed, that's the only explanation that makes sense. You're probably working with one of the renegade Death Eaters.”

     Shaking off his shock at the abrupt change in his guest Xander answered soothingly. “Not anymore, who the hell are the Death Eaters, and what do you mean people like us?”

     Collapsing in a chair on the opposite side of the room Harry lowered his wand. Contemplating the man sitting tensely on the couch he recalled the answers he'd given to the questions Harry had shouted at him. “What did you mean, `not anymore'?

     Xander groaned, “You would ask about that. When I was in high school I was possessed twice. Once by an alpha hyena and the second time by the memories of Jake Hammond USMC, a green beret in the special forces.” He covered his face with his hands to hide the bright red flush his memories caused. “After the second time Giles and Willow worked the mojo and put some protections on me to keep it from happening again. I can't say that I blame them. Once was bad enough, although the second time Ethan got all of us except Giles.”

     Harry gaped at him. “Twice, you've been possessed twice and you're still sane?”

     Trying to lighten the mood a bit Xander joked. “I never said that. In fact some of my best friends think I'm a bit off.”

     “I should say so,” Harry snapped, “with two extra personalities running around in your head.”

     Xander stiffened and snapped right back. “How do you know about that? Giles is the only one who knows and he wouldn't tell anyone.”

     Harry groaned and rubbed his tired eyes. “Where I went to school in Scotland they taught magic and I had some extra training in things that most of the students didn't because of a prophecy.”

     “Prophecies suck, they ruin your life and then they try to suck the world in to hell!” Xander interjected.

     Harry laughed mirthlessly. “I see you've experience with them then.”

     “You could say that, one of my best friends was the Slayer.”

     Giving up for the moment too tired to think coherently the young wizard said. “I am really not the best person to explain all of this to you. With your permission I'd like to contact my old headmaster and have him explain and maybe have him give you some advice on what your options are.”

     “Why do I need to do anything?” Xander asked suspiciously. I haven't needed it or used it for this long I planned on keeping it that way. No offense, but I just don't care for the mojo.”

     “Xander, you've probably been using it unconsciously ever since you left the Hellmouth. It can be extremely dangerous for any wizard to be untrained. When you add in the complications of the possessions thrown in on top of being born on a Hellmouth…there is just no way to predict what could happen if you lost your temper and your magic got out of control. But I can guarantee it wouldn't be a pretty sight.

     “Harry, you seem like an okay guy, but I don't know you. I've learned the hard way not take things at face value. I'll make a deal with you. I have a friend who has a lot of…contacts. I'll call him and if he gives the go ahead we'll contact your headmaster if not you drop it. Deal?”

     Reluctantly the young wizard agreed. “Deal.”

     Xander quickly dialed the number with the ease of long familiarity. While he waited for Giles to pick up the phone he observed the self proclaimed wizard who paced restlessly in front of his fireplace. He admired the smooth play of muscles under the snug fitting clothes and hoped he was for real before have his train of thought derailed by the Watcher picking up his phone.

     “Hello, I hope you have a damned good reason for waking me at this hour.” The Englishman growled overtones of his alter ego Ripper coloring his voice.

     “Hey G-man sorry to get you up but, I need to ask a couple of question and you're the only one I know that might have the answer.”

     “Xander, how many times have I asked you not to call me…oh never mind. What is the problem?” Giles asked testily.

     “Hang on a sec Giles.” Xander called out. “Hey Harry what's the name of guy you want me to talk to?”

     “Albus Dumbledore, Headmaster of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.” The green-eyed man replied.

     “Did you catch that G-man?”

     “Albus D-dumbledore and the young man's name is H-harry?” Giles stuttered.

     “Yeah, is that a problem?” he asked concerned at the oddly strangled tone from his long-time mentor and friend.

     “I don't believe so.” Giles replied in a more normal tone. “But to be cautious describe the young man,, if you please.”

     Xander shrugged mentally at the odd request, but complied. “He's about 5'10” or 5'11”, with black hair and green eyes. Oh yeah he's got a really cool looking scar on his forehead, it kind of looks like a lightening bolt. I hope that helps.”

     There was a moment of silence before Rupert said anything and the odd tone was back in his voice. Xander could almost see him polishing his glasses as he spoke. “I think that I would be quite justified in saying that you would be in very good hands with both Headmaster Dumbledore and the…Harry.”

     “Thanks Giles, I appreciate the help.”

     “Quite all right Xander if there is nothing else?”

     “Nope, not a thing. I'll let you back to bed and I'll give you a call later let you know how things. Bye G-man.”

     Giles just sighed on hearing the hated nickname. Good-bye Xander, please keep me informed.”

     Xander hung up the phone and turned to face Harry handing him the cordless receiver. “Well, Giles vouched for you, so I guess I'm all yours Harry.”

     Harry stifled that thought that jumped into his mind at Xander's words and concentrated on the situation at hand. Handing back the phone to Xander he grinned. “Unfortunately, Professor Dumbledore doesn't use…technology.”

     “So how are you going to contact him?” Xander asked a bit puzzled.

     “Magic, how else?” Harry returned smiling broadly when Xander groaned.

     “I hate magic.” He complained. “Its gonna make my apartment stink and I'll never get the smell out.”He whined, hamming it up as Harry smile turned to outright laughter.

     “My magic is a bit different than what you are probably used to and it definitely won't stink. What I am going to do now is just a form of magical communication so don't be alarmed.” He said before drawing his wand and casting the incendio charm to light a fire in the fireplace. Then he pulled a small handful of powder from a concealed pocket in his jacket and cast it on the flames turning them a bright green. He then stuck his head near the flames and called out “Albus Dumbledore.”

     As Xander stared in fascination a disembodied head appear in the flames. “Harry is that you? We've been worried; it's been too long since we have heard from you…”

     Harry interrupted. “Headmaster, I've got someone you `really' need to speak with can you come here? It is a transatlantic floo and I've just connected it so you need to call out Xander Harris' apartment.”