Title: All Along the Watchtower (Prologue)

Author: Hafthand

Summary: This is the "All Along the Watchtower" series. Things tend to spin out of control. What if something happened in the past that changed the future, and not for good. In the future Spike and Willow, with the help of the new Slayers, battle it out against the deadliest enemy yet as Hell slowly makes it's home on Earth. Meanwhile in the past, Buffy and Spike and the rest of the Scoobies are only beginning to fall down the path that changed the world.

Rating: R

Disclaimer: Not mine. Property of Joss and his wonderful company of Mutant Enemy

Archiving: I would love it archived, but please ask me first so I know where it goes!

NOTES: PLEASE READ VERY IMPORTANT! Okay folks, this is going to be a long story with many chapters, and be somewhat confusing at first, but I promise it will make sense later. Okay this is how it is set up. Each chapter begins with a song, this song should be read because it helped influence the chapter and may give clues to what will occur. After that, the story. Now the story goes like this: The future world of Sunnydale is where the action of this story takes place. The flashbacks to Buffy's time shed light on how the Earth came to be overrun by demons. The flashbacks are also the lighter parts of this fic seeing as the future parts are pretty dark.

This is a drama fic with dark parts and humorous parts.

Any questions, please e-mail me at Hafthand

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Prologue: A Watcher's First Lesson

"There must be some kind of way out of here

said the joker to the thief

There's too much confusion...

I can't get no relief

Business men, they drink my wine

Plowman dig my earth

None of them along the line

know what any of it is worth

No reason to get excited

the thief, he kindly spoke

There are many here among us

Who feel that life is but a joke

But you and I, we've been through that

and this is not our fate

So let us not talk falsely now

the hour is getting late

All along the watchtower

princes kept the view

While al the women came and went

barefoot servants too

Outside in the distance

a wildcat did growl

Two riders were approaching

the wind began to howl."

-"All Along the Watchtower" by Bob Dylan

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History Archive Building

London, England

Beneath the Thames River

A lone woman sits behind a charred and worn desk. Her hair is pinned to the top of her head with care. Her once blond hair has turned white with age. Gold, wire-framed glasses sit perched on her crooked nose. Age is apparent on her face, but how old is a mystery. She is dressed in a simple gray pant's suit. Not expensive, not cheap. The outfit is reminiscent of times long gone. She smiles as she creases a wrinkle out of her jacket. She smiles because of the trivialness of her move. No one will see the wrinkle, no one would even care if they did see the wrinkle. No one cared about appearance very much anymore. Or so she'd been told.

But she, being from a scholarly and mannerly line, took pride in what others could not. She sat behind the desk sorting through some recent additions to the expansive library. Demons: A Study of the Night Habits of South American Demons, read one title. "South America," she thought to herself. She'd read somewhere that it had been beautiful once. Covered in rainforests and animals like no one had ever seen. Such beauty! What she wouldn't give to see it for herself.

Putting the book in a pile to her right she picked up the next, reading the title out loud to the vast emptiness around her, "Witchcraft and Wizardry: Spells for the Novice." She laughed a little at the title and placed that book in the pile to her left. Witchcraft, for novices no less, that book was definitely going in the secured area. If it were to be found- her thoughts were cut off as she heard a noise. It sounded as though someone had dropped a pencil in the stacks. "Impossible," she said to herself. No one had visited the library in many months.

She stood and looked around the stacks nearest her. The library itself was built in a huge underground cavern, roughly the size of five football fields. She heard a grunt and then footsteps. She sat behind her desk and opened a drawer. Grasping her long sword by the hilt she sat patiently and waited for her unexpected visitor.

The light footsteps grew closer and closer until finally she could make out a tiny silhouette against the light by the nearest stacks. "Ms. McKelly?" called out a soft male voice. "Ms. McKelly, is that you?" asked the intruder while walking closer.

"Yes, I be she. You lad, step into the light, let me get a look at you," she ordered not letting go of the sword hilt. The boy stepped into the light and approached the desk. He was young she noticed, couldn't be more then 8. He had dark brown hair which stuck up every which way and curled a little around his ears. His eyes were a dark brown to match his hair, and his accent, American. He was somewhat tall for his age and also very hesitant. She motioned him forward, still not letting the sword-hilt go. One could never be too careful these days. "Okay lad, state your business here." She ordered firmly.

The boy bowed slightly and began his speech, "By order of the Watcher's Council I come seeking knowledge and power. I walk in the light, serve the light, and die by the light. May what I hold inside never fade into darkness. May my time spent here be time spent well. I seek knowledge for what I may do, and power for what I can. May I learn?" This earned a gasp from the usually stoic Ms. McKelly. She loosed her grip on the weapon and stood up to peer down at the boy.

"You come here to learn lad?" she asked skeptically and her eyes grew a bit bigger when he nodded yes. "Bloody hell but you are young. Are the watchers crazy lad? They want me to teach you? Are things that bad up there that they send a child?" She said aloud but directed her questions more towards the ceiling then the boy before her.

She thought back on all her years here in the library. She hadn't left for a good long while, and in all her time here she had never encountered a watcher trainee so young. They usually sent them to her at around 16 years of age. Perhaps she would speak to Ceilia later and find out just how bad things were. Her thoughts were interrupted as the boy began to answer her questions.

"I come here to learn, age matters not where knowledge is concerned," he said proudly though she could see his lip tremble slightly, tremble not in fear, but fatigue. His eyes were sunken and bloodshot. The journey the boy must have had to make from America to come before her to learn.

"Ah spoken like a true watcher!" she chuckled. "So they prepared you for my astonishment did they? Well if I am to teach one I must first know his name!" she said regally.

The boy's eyes met her for the first time and all thoughts of him being afraid fled her mind. His eyes spoke of years beyond what one so young should have. He opened his mouth and told her his name, "Alexander Lavelle Harris the 13th." The young boy watched as her mouth dropped open and she sat back slowly into her seat. She took off her gold, wire-frame glasses and looked at him intensely.

A small smile spread across her face as she told the boy, " I see now why they sent you so young, I do see indeed. I have waited a long time for you, a long time indeed. I had begun to fear you would never come; I had begun to fear your father was-. Well Alexander Lavelle Harris the 13th, welcome to your new home. I am Miss Lily McKelly, and I shall be your teacher, friend and confidant for the next several years of your life." She smiled down warmly at the boy and noticed how he met the news of having to stay in the library for so long with little surprise. Whoever prepared him for this journey did a wonderful job.

"Nice to meet you Ms. McKelly, and I am well aware of the training I will receive here," he said proudly.

"Yes I suspect you do. I also suspect you already know a lot of what I am going to teach you, but I must ask that you bear with me. It is imperative we start at the beginning and work our way forward. Every watcher must know certain things. And you my young man will learn some things here that may never leave this room. There are things that will be revealed that not many know about and it must stay that way. This library and its location is secret and protected by great magicks. Once you leave here you may only ever return when in grave need, and you must tell no one about it. You understand of course what would happen if they found this place." He nodded and she walked around her desk and placed a gentle, old hand on his shoulder. "You have nothing to fear here boy. These walls have been waiting for you since your father arrived, as they will wait in silence for your son's arrival." She paused giving him a chance to say something if he wished.

He ran his hands through is unruly hair, turned and looked one last time behind him and then met the woman's eyes again. "I'm ready." And with those words the library illuminated in a great burst of light and the boy's future lay awaiting him. Ms. McKelly had taught every watcher that had passed through her halls, of course she had not always been forced to teach them underground and in such secrecy, but never had she taught such great pupils as those whose blood flowed from Xander Harris. His blood was strong and it was her job to teach each descendent of his to survive and keep that blood flowing.

She led the boy into the abyss of knowledge hoping that maybe this time, he would be the last she would teach in secret. Maybe, in the world above, the warriors were winning their seemingly endless battle. Maybe, if she could teach this boy a little more about what the world was like before, he would have a brighter future. Ms. McKelly sighed in frustration knowing very well what future awaited this charming boy. But she had a job, a duty, a destiny, as too did this young lad.

She stopped in front of a stack of particularly old books and grabbed one. She led them to a table and motioned that the boy should sit down. She took the seat across from him and settled herself comfortably. She placed the book in front of her and opened the delicate cover. She flipped carefully and began how she always began, "It had been foretold... 'Into each generation a Slayer is born. One girl in all the world, a Chosen One. One born with the strength and skill to fight the vampires, to stop the spread of their evil and the swell of their numbers."

End: Prologue: A Watcher's First Lesson

Next: Chapter 1: They Stood Up For Love

"It's a grave new world. Prepare yourself for resurrection and retribution." ( )

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By Ally (Hafthand )