It was all that bushy-haired little twits fault. She just had to be better than everyone else and rub their noses in it. And now Ron was the one being blamed for her not knowing a troll was in the building and Harry was dragging him to help find her.
According to Harry they were just going to try and find Hermione to warn her. Ron thought that being friends with Harry Potter would be pretty safe, he killed a dark lord, so no one would try and mess with him and they could all just relax and enjoy life. Not to mention the fame and perks that being famous brought.
But no! Harry Potter seemed to have a desperate need to help people and save them. First Neville and now Hermione. Harry Potter must have a death wish.
The two boys skidded to a halt and could hear the commotion inside. Harry pushed the door carefully open to reveal the huge mountain troll looming over a cowering Hermione Granger.
Ron decided he should ask to be resorted. He wasn't brave enough for this, but Ravenclaw should love him, as he definitely was smart enough not to stick around and get pummelled.
"Ron, any-" Harry had turned to ask his friend for help only to see him sharply turn the corner at the end of the corridor. Harry noticed a trail of liquid marking the red heads path and decided there and then not to think too hard about it.
Harry turned and had a good look at the troll.
It was bloody huge!
Hermione was in huge trouble as she cowered under what used to be the bathroom sinks. Harry spared a fleeting moment to wonder what it looked like prior to being redecorated by the lummox inside.
Harry roared a huge roar… for an eleven year old at least… as he somehow leapt onto the huge beasts back and began pounding away.
Hermione saw her saviour and that he really didn't look like he was having much luck. Her Gryffindor courage kicked in and she started hurling nearby pieces of porcelain debris at the creature.
"LEAVE HIM ALONE!" She screeched.
Harry had lost his wand by this point as he had jammed it up the buggers nose. Harry was simply holding on for dear life and hoping that Hermione could avoid hitting him with parts of a porcelain throne.
There was a bright flash of light and loud whine that came from the last standing cubicle. Everything stopped as the troll stopped bucking and all three turned curiously to look at what had caused the light and noise.
"Since when do African caves come with indoor plumbing?" A male American voice queried to itself from inside the cubicle.
"Wills? You playing pranks again?" The voice called out as the door opened.
"Aw, crap." The voice apparently belonged to a tall scraggly white man with an eye patch. "What the hell is going on here?" He demanded as he took in the sight of a stunned trio of boy, girl and troll.
Hermione's brain suddenly caught up with her. "Help!" She squeaked.
This also caused the troll to break from its stupor and roared angrily at the newcomer whilst Harry fell off its back.
The man just stood there with his nose wrinkled.
"Jeeze, you stink." He said as he reached up and ripped the wand from the troll's nose. The troll suddenly whimpered in pain and surprise at the move as the man threw the stick away and fortunately towards the two kids.
"Any chance you're gonna walk away peacefully?" The man asked as Hermione and Harry tried to become one with the corner. They weren't sure who the man was, but they had a pretty bad feeling they were about to see a new side of him. The inside.
The troll meanwhile roared in anger again at the newcomer.
"Yeah thought so." He said as he reached over his shoulder and a sword appeared from nowhere.
The man suddenly seemed to spring into motion as he shot between the beast's legs and sliced at the back of its knees causing it to topple to ground roaring with pain. Only it's arms held it up but the man sliced away at the elbows causing more roars and the troll to fall to the floor.
The man then placed the sword back over his shoulder and it vanished. He reached over his other shoulder to make an axe appear.
Both Hermione and Harry were given their first lesson in the anatomy of trolls as the man chopped the defeated beasts head off.
The man placed his axe back over his shoulder making it vanish just as several of the professors burst into the room. There was no pause as the man made two guns appear from his side and they were pointed at the newcomers.
"What is the meaning of this?" Professor McGonagall demanded.
The man looked down at the corpse, then at the kids and then at his guns before looking back at the woman.
"It means the next person who attacks me is gonna wind up worse than this guy." He said seriously as he kicked the troll.
"Please Professor, he saved us from the troll." Hermione said as Harry helped her up.
"Who 'he' is would be one of many questions needed answered for that to have any bearing on this situation, Miss Granger." Professor McGonagall said primly.
"Same goes for you lady." The said still pointing his weapons.
"I am Professor Dumbledore, the Headmaster of this school." The elderly man said placatingly. "The lady you spoke to is my Deputy, Professor McGonagall. The other two men are Professors Snape and Quirrell."
"I'm Harry, and this is Hermione." Harry offered.
"This is a school?" The man asked dubiously as he looked around the demolished bathroom.
"One of the finest in the world." The Professor McGonagall said proudly.
"Right… so the finest school in the world has a policy in place that traps two kids in a public bathroom with a lumbering dangerous beast?" He asked with no small amount of sarcasm. He had a look of sudden suspicion. "You're not affiliated with the old council are you?"
Professor Dumbledore look embarrassed whilst the other three bristled at the accusation.
"We were attempting to ensure the safety of the students and moving them to their common rooms. We had no idea Mister Potter and Miss Granger were separated from the group. It is their own stupid foolishness that put them in danger." McGonagall declared angrily. "And we have no idea what this council you speak of is." She added as an after thought.
"Sure… and what foolish actions were those? Taking a leak?" He asked derisively.
"Mind your tongue." The black clad Snape snarled.
The man cocked one of his weapons. "Or what?" He asked with a raised eyebrow.
"Or I'll take great pleasure in disarming and incapacitating you before seeing you thrown in Azkaban." Snape growled.
There was a loud bang and a crack and plaster from the wall exploded just behind Snape. All four professors turned slowly to see the small hole that now allowed them a clear view into the adjoining boys toilets.
"Is that before or after I put a whole that size in each of your heads?" The man asked calmly.
Harry and Hermione were now back in their safe little corner, they knew about guns and had no intention of getting in front of them.
"I believe we have started off badly Mister…" Dumbledore asked leadingly.
"Xander. Just Xander."
"Mister Xander… We were only just informed that these two children were missing and were on our way to find them."
"What were you two doing here?" Xander asked over his shoulder to the two children, never moving his weapons.
"Hermione was upset, she was here during the meal and didn't hear about the troll, so I came with Ron to warn her and get her back to the dorms." Harry said quickly.
"So… no elicit smoochies?" Xander asked with a smirk.
There was a simultaneous "eww" from the two pre-teens.
Xander turned back to the four adults. "So, what was that about foolish actions?"
"I wouldn't believe anything the boy says. He's as bad as his father." Snape declared.
"Severus, enough." Dumbledore said quietly as Harry frowned.
Harry wasn't really angry at the slur; he just wanted to know what that meant. He wished someone would tell him about his parents other than the fact that he looked like his father except his eyes where his mothers. He wanted to know what they were like, what did they do with him, had they ever taken him to the zoo, or swimming, did he have any baby playmates… the simple things.
"I'm curious, who is looking after the students now?" Xander asked.
"The other teachers of course." McGonagall said as though he was a moron.
"So, you pretty much stuck near the kids without heading the… troll… off and making sure it never reached them?"
"We had to find it first!" McGonagall said in exasperation.
"Find it?" Xander asked in disbelief. "This beast managed to find two kids in a closed room. Look at this place! Why the hell didn't you just follow the sounds of mayhem? You should have headed straight for it and killed it, not wasted time moving the kids around a building when you had no idea where the troll was… how did you know you weren't taking the kids straight to the troll?"
"Do you know how hard it is to kill a mountain t-t-t-troll?" Quirrell asked in horror.
"Well, yeah." He shrugged. "Not that hard." He said kicking the corpse. "Took, what? Less than ten seconds?" He asked the two kids behind him.
"Actually… less than five." Hermione corrected timidly.
"See? Less than five seconds."
"They lie!" Snape scoffed. "Just administer some veritaserum and we will know all we need to."
"Severus, perhaps you and Professor Quirrell would be so kind as to let the others know the danger has passed?" Dumbledore said firmly as he realised his Potions Master was not about to be helpful at the moment.
The two professors walked out. Well, one stormed and the other slunk out never turning his back on them.
"Obviously you have some experience in dealing with dark magical creatures." Dumbledore said. "Perhaps you could tell us how you came to be in our school?"
"I walked into a cave." He said bluntly. "In Africa." He added.
"That is… most disturbing." Dumbledore said stroking his beard with a frown. "A portal that leads from Africa to this room."
"I doubt its permanent, other people used the cave before me, and probably will after me. It's probably just my crappy luck."
"Still, best to be sure. Minerva, would you escort Mister Potter and Miss Granger to their dorms?"
"Of course Albus. Follow me." She ordered crisply.
"If you will follow me, I will seal this room and we can adjourn to my office to discuss this further." Albus offered.
Xander holstered his guns causing Dumbledore's face to have a look of shock as the weapons vanished.
As Xander was led down the corridors and up various stairs, he noticed there were no light bulbs, sockets or any other indications of electricity around. He would need to get to at least a phone before he could contact the Scoobies. He had a sinking feeling that he was in the wrong time to find a phone… or the Scoobies.
The place looked like a stone castle, at best guess he was at least several hundred years in the past… probably more. He wasn't even sure he was in the right reality or dimension, the paintings were moving and actually following him from one frame to the next… and that didn't even take into account the floating translucent beings and moving stairs.
Eventually they arrived at a stone gargoyle that moved out of the way at Dumbledore's password. Albus offered Xander a seat and a drink. He accepted the seat.
Xander was a little disturbed by the living portraits that he could hear muttering. He was glad that none of the paintings from outside had made it into this room; there were plenty of portraits in this room to give him a complex.
That didn't even take into account the weird red bird with the large feathers.
"Xander, can you tell me where in Africa this cave was? I need to send someone to investigate."
"First of all, can you tell me what year it is?" Xander countered politely.
"October 31st 1991." Albus informed him curiously.
"Aw shit." Xander muttered. "Still, not too bad."
"You believe you have traversed time?" Albus postulated.
"Yeah, by about eight to ten years, although from the looks of this place I thought it was more like eight to ten centuries. I'll just have to wait out until I sync with my own time before I can contact my friends." Xander sighed. "At least you have cable… shame I can't remember any lotto numbers."
"Actually, you're in the wrong reality." A familiar voice said.
"Mrs. Summers?" Xander said in shock.
Joyce Summers suddenly appeared in the chair next to him startling Albus slightly, but the strange red bird started chittering happily.
"After all this time, and all you did for my family, you had damn well better call me Joyce!" She said wagging her finger at him with a mock frown.
"Yes'm." He said sheepishly. "So… how do I get back?"
"You don't. I requested you for this mission." She said sitting back and adjusting her skirt as she crossed her legs.
"Mission? What about the mission I was on?" He asked warily. He was supposed to be finding new slayers in Africa and slaying the occasional demon.
"Someone else will handle it. I informed Giles what was happening to you."
"So I got drafted?" He asked in outrage.
"I'm afraid so. But I am the one responsible, I really need help and you are the only one I knew who could handle it." She said pleadingly.
"Aw, Joyce! You know you only had to ask." Xander whined somewhat annoyed at being manhandled across realities.
"Yes, but my daughter and Willow would have tried to stop you."
"Point." Xander conceded.
"I'm sorry, I must ask who you are and how you appeared in my school?" Albus interrupted. This was not a good day, he was not used to being unaware of so many things happening.
"I am formerly Joyce Summers, I used to be the mother of one of Xander's friends, I considered him one of my own children." She said fondly as she reached over and took Xander's hand.
"And you arrived in my office… how?"
"Technically, I am your office. I am Hogwarts."
Albus looked stunned at that revelation.
"That sounds like a bad disease or something that crawled out of the Hellmouth." Xander said with a disgusted look.
Albus frowned. "Hogwarts is the name of this castle and the school which it houses." He said somewhat absently as he studied the lady claiming to be his school.
"Yeah… I stand by my original assessment." Xander declared with a raised eyebrow.
Turning to Joyce he asked. "Ok, what's the mission?"
"He's just coming up the stairs." Joyce smiled.
A few seconds later and an irate Minerva McGonagall burst through the doors with Harry and Hermione behind her. She was just about to start ranting when she noticed the strange woman.
"Harry is my mission?" Xander asked with a sigh. He had made the leap from teenage girls to teenage boys… at least he wouldn't have to worry about female problems this time.
"Yes, Harry Potter. He has a very interesting history that will make you very angry. He also has a prophecy hanging over him."
"I must ask you not to divulge anymore Mrs Summers. I will also need to know how you came across this knowledge." Albus said sternly, this woman clearly had access to important information. Albus was quickly trying to figure out if he had a leak and prevent this woman from disrupting his carefully laid plans.
"Bite me Dumbles." Joyce said with venom.
"Me-ow!" Xander declared with a grin.
"That idiot was going to keep Harry in the dark. Harry has as bad a habit of saving people as you do!" Joyce said angrily.
"But they're my friends!" Harry said defiantly.
"Harry dear, I'm not saying you did anything wrong, just that other people were wrong in how they treated you. Or didn't treat you." Joyce said pulling the boy into a hug.
Xander noticed the way Harry stiffened like a plank of wood in Joyce's arms.
"See what I mean Xander?" She said knowing what the one-eyed-man had noticed.
Joyce released Harry as two more chairs materialised in the office and Joyce led the two children to sit down.
"Harry, I called Xander here to train you. The man who killed your parent is still out there. Xander will keep you safe whilst he makes sure you can keep yourself and others safe."
"MRS SUMMERS!" Albus roared shocking the two children and Minerva. "Please stop this or I will be forced to take action."
"Go ahead. Make my day." Joyce said standing straight in front of Harry and Hermione and doing a damned good imitation of a certain cop who shared the same name as Xander's new charge.
Xander had a look of pure adoration in his eyes as he stared at Joyce whilst Hermione broke down in a fit of giggles.
Harry and Minerva had no clue what was going on, but Albus was enraged and started firing stunners at Joyce.
They had no affect and simply vanished before impact.
"Now, I think it's time for you to take a small vacation, Minerva can handle things whilst you're gone." Joyce declared as Albus suddenly vanished.
Now, Minerva was nobody's fool. This strange woman had appeared in one of the most secure rooms in the country and then made the greatest wizard of their time vanish. She had no delusions about being able to take this woman on. Of course, she had no idea what to do.
"Don't worry Minerva. I just sent Albus outside the school gates." Joyce explained.
"And you would be…?"
"I, technically, am Hogwarts."
Minerva looked to Xander hoping for an explanation… or even a pinch to wake her up from this surreal dream.
"Damned if I have the answers, I just got here." He shrugged as he looked expectantly at Joyce.
Joyce sighed. "When I died, I was given the choice to have eternal rest or do some good. With Buffy and Dawn still out there, I felt I couldn't rest; I wanted to try and help people.
"Short version. I was offered the opportunity to help a breed of magical humans. I accepted.
"One thing led to another and I am now the controlling and protecting spirit of this school.
"Generally I stay asleep or dormant unless needed. The last time I awoke was about two decades ago when the first wizarding war broke out.
"I've been awake for the past twenty odd years keeping an eye on the war that was occurring."
"Can I assume you are the reason why we were herded here by the castle?" Minerva asked.
"You can. I needed Harry here to meet Xander."
"And Miss Granger?"
"Harry and Hermione have been trying to be friends for a few weeks, but one Ronald Weasley is a bit of a prick."
"He's my friend!" Harry said defending the red head.
"Doesn't change the fact that he's a prick… and a bit of a coward. Why did you place him in Gryffindor?" She said as she looked to the Sorting Hat.
"He's a Weasley. I think I may have been slightly biased." The hat admitted somewhat sheepishly.
"Should he be resorted?" Minerva asked.
"Wouldn't hurt." Joyce shrugged.
"So why am I here for Harry?" Xander asked Joyce.
"Part of my duties, is to ensure the safety of my occupants. Harry comes from a home that is far more abusive than even yours. It was what I learnt from Albus Dumbledore that made me ask for you.
"Harry's parents died trying to protect him when he was a baby, only one year old. Ten years ago today. The man who killed them used the same curse on Harry. It is usually instantly fatal, but it backfired and destroyed his body leaving him as a spirit.
"Unfortunately, this made Harry part of a prophecy that says Harry has to kill this wizard."
"I have to kill Voldemort?" Harry asked in horror as Minerva and Hermione gasped.
"That's what the prophecy says. But Xander here has a habit of breaking prophecies." Joyce told the young boy.
This caused both children and professor to stare at the one eyed man in awe.
"It's not my fault!" Xander protested weakly as he shifted, uncomfortable with the attention.
"It's getting late. Perhaps we could continue this tomorrow?" Minerva suggested as Hermione failed to stifle a yawn.
"Of course. I have arranged for rooms near to the Gryffindor dorms for Xander. Harry and Hermione will be staying with him."
Minerva had a headache and really wanted to argue, but she had no idea how to begin. How exactly did you argue with someone who appeared to be the embodiment of the place you lived in… an extremely powerful one at that!
"Don't worry Minerva, just go with the flow. It'll all be explained in the morning." Joyce grinned as she ushered the two children and Xander out.
Minerva slumped in her temporary new chair until she noticed some of the portraits snickering. She decided to beat a hasty retreat to her own quarters.
"Crap! I don't have any clothes or supplies! Or money!" Xander realised as Joyce led them to the dorms.
"Don't worry Xander, I've been putting money away for over a thousand years. Even my daughters couldn't dent it with a shoe spree in Milan." Joyce assured him.
"You're really the spirit of Hogwarts?" Hermione asked sceptically.
"I am. It doesn't matter if you believe me; just believe that Xander and I are here to keep you safe. And by extension the rest of the school." She assured them.
"Why did you send the Headmaster away?" Hermione asked indignantly.
"Because he is a meddling old fool who thinks he knows best but doesn't even know to ask for other people's advice. He was going to get Harry killed… that doesn't even take into account the hell he put Harry through at the Dursely's." Joyce said angrily.
"H-How do you know about that?" Harry asked nervously.
"Because Albus received daily reports from a neighbour of yours and not only did he refuse to help you, despite Mrs Figg's pleading, he actively prevented any and all attempts to help you."
"Where is that rat bastard!" Xander growled as he spun around and started heading down the stairs. Only for the stairs to start moving away from the floor they started on. "Joyce!"
"You have more important work to do by staying with Harry." Joyce admonished. "You keep your priorities in order young man!"
"Fine." Xander sulked has he plodded back to the group and they continued on.
There was an oppressive silence until Hermione spoke up hesitantly.
"If Harry needs a place to stay… I could ask my parents."
"That sounds wonderful, but he'll need Xander with him so make sure they know he would have to come too." Joyce said happily as they reached the portrait.
"Thanks Hermione." Harry said shuffling his feet with embarrassment.
"Now, this is the Gryffindor Dormitory." Joyce said indicating the sleeping portrait of the Fat Lady. "We'll show you around there tomorrow. For now you two will be sleeping in Xander's spare rooms." She declared as she took Xander by the arm and dragged him to the left and down the corridor.
"I have spare rooms?" Xander asked absently as Joyce greeted a stationary set of knight's armour.
"Hi Jerry, there's been a room change." Joyce said happily.
"Joyce! I take it things must really bad if your appearing to the humans." The armour replied clearly pleased to 'see' Joyce.
"Very." Joyce frowned. "That fool Albus is bringing danger right into the castle."
Jerry sighed and his shoulders slumped. "And he was such a promising young teacher."
"Yes, well. He's taking a holiday, Minerva is in charge for now and this is Xander. He is going to keep Harry and Hermione safe." Joyce said as she introduced them.
"Not The Xander Harris?" Jerry asked in awe.
Xander looked a little worried as Joyce nodded her head happily practically bouncing like a little girl with her favourite toy.
"By Merlin! He'll likely put the rest of us out of a job if he's anything like you described." Jerry chuckled.
"Joyce, how does… Jerry know about me?"
"Every few years during the castles clean up we all hold a party whilst the humans are away. Joyce is always telling stories about her daughter and her best friends." Jerry explained. "We will need to schedule one for this summer!" He stated fervently.
Joyce just laughed. "I'll set it up, you spread the word."
Jerry let them in only for Xander, Harry and Hermione to freeze in shock.
"Erm, Joyce… are we still in Hogwarts? I'm pretty sure this place is as flat as a pancake back home." Xander was shocked to find himself standing in the Summers' living room back in Sunnydale.
"I thought you might like a sense of familiarity, I know I do." Joyce grinned as she headed for the kitchen.
"This must take a lot of magic." Hermione said in awe.
"Not really, just a judicious use of magic." Joyce shrugged as she began preparing a night time drink of hot chocolate.
"I'm guessing that magic is the reason why the windows are showing mountains and a lake?" Xander asked as he glanced through the windows.
"Good call." Joyce teased. "Now, Xander, this is your home now. You will sleep in my old room, Hermione can take Dawn's and Harry can take Buffy's room."
"Won't they mind us sleeping in their beds?" Harry asked nervously.
"Of course not. They aren't even alive in this world." Joyce said with a reassuring smile. "I redecorated so the rooms are more suitable for each of you. I doubt Harry would appreciate some of Buffy's more girlie things." She said as she passed the drinks around.
"I have also moved all your things into the rooms, Hedwig is waiting for you." She told Harry.
"Why didn't we need a password?" Harry asked.
"The passwords are only meant for students so they learn some form of responsibility. Jerry and Patricia are more than capable of knowing when not to open the doors."
"Patricia?" Xander asked.
"The lady in the portrait for the Gryffindor rooms. The students call her the Fat Lady."
"And they still breathe because…?" Xander asked incredulously.
"I have no idea. She doesn't seem to mind though." Joyce shrugged.
"Most of this stuff isn't in Hogwarts a History." Hermione said frowning.
"No, we keep a lot of stuff very secret for security." Joyce explained.
"Ok, Hermione, you go wash up first and then bring me your brush and I'll do your hair whilst Harry washes up." Xander said with a yawn.
"Do what with my hair?" Hermione asked worriedly.
"Brush it of course. You don't usually brush your hair and tie it up before bed?" He asked worriedly.
"No!" She said as if he was crazy.
"Well, that explains why your hair is so frizzy." Xander sighed. "Joyce, you've had two girls, you want to explain it to her?"
"How do you know about girls hair?" Harry asked Xander whilst Joyce explained the benefits of nightly hair brushing to an increasingly exited Hermione.
"I spent the past year travelling with a bunch of teenage and pre-teenage girls. Each night I had major hand cramps after having to brush their hair. I learnt a lot of female secrets, which I promise to share with you in confidence later. They will definitely save your life."
Harry just nodded. He had no idea about girls. He had very little idea about other people in general; Hogwarts was his first real experience amongst others without Dudley making his life hell, although he did occasionally walk out of classrooms checking his shoulder for anyone joining Dudley for his Harry Hunt.
Whilst Hermione was having her hair brushed by Joyce, Harry was finishing up getting ready for bed. He made his way downstairs and headed straight for the small cupboard under the stairs.
"Er… Harry, whatcha doin'?" Xander asked with a raised eyebrow.
"Oh… I thought I… this… usually…"
"Harry, as far as Xander and I are concerned, you will never sleep in a cupboard again. Xander will be having some harsh words with your aunt and her family."
"Excuse me!" Xander said sitting up angrily. "Sleep in a cupboard?"
"Easy Xander, Harry doesn't need you angry in front of him." Joyce said soothingly.
"I beg to differ Joyce! I want Harry to see just how pissed I get when people hurt him." Xander raged as he marched over to Harry and half carried him to sit next to Joyce as she brushed a mesmerized and practically purring Hermione's hair.
"You won't really hurt them? Will you?" Hermione asked. She knew the law, and knew that Xander could go to jail for that sort of thing.
"Oh, one way or another they will experience my wrath! They will be lucky to escape with their lives by the time I am finished!" Xander said as he paced angrily.
His pacing was interrupted by sirens and lights going off around the house. The lights were blue.
"I didn't do it… honest!" Xander said worriedly.
"Don't be silly Xander." Joyce sighed as she stood up. "Harry, Hermione, wait here, we'll be back in a few minutes."
Joyce led Xander back to the kitchen and the door that in Sunnydale would have led outside. "This door leads straight into the common room just as if you went through the portrait. It will automatically open to the appropriate room or you can request a room by asking. The blue lights and sirens mean a couple of students are getting over amorous." Joyce smirked.
"Hormonal kids? What the hell has that got to do with me?" Xander asked indignantly.
"Call it a small price to pay for staying in the Head of Security's rooms." Joyce grinned as she led Xander through.
The common room contained multiple kids of both sexes. He hoped he didn't need to carry out an interrogation.
"Follow the blue light Xander." Joyce said indicating the flashing portrait frames that led up a set of stairs.
Jogging up the stairs with an air of resignation, Xander found two older students looking very sheepish and stuck under a spot light.
"These are the droids we're looking for… can we lose the lights and sirens?" Xander asked.
The lights and sirens vanished leaving Joyce and the two kids standing there.
Xander had no idea what to say. Which led to the kids getting more nervous as the strange one-eyed man and the blonde haired woman just stood there glaring at them.
"We didn't do anything!" The boy suddenly blurted out.
"Right, so the lights just go off at the same time everyday?" Xander asked sarcastically.
"Damn it Joyce, isn't there at least a rule book?" Xander wailed.
"Yes, Hermione has a copy." Joyce confirmed, then decided to let Xander off the hook. "You know the rules. Above the waist and over the clothes!" She recited. "And you young lady, should not be in a boys dorm room."
"Yes ma'a- who are you?" The girl asked as she suddenly realised they had no idea what position they held.
Xander, seeing Joyce was about to stutter something that would make them lose face with the kids suddenly got in their faces and menaced quietly.
"I am the Head of Security. If I find myself disturbed again because of something like this I'll start cutting bits off and breaking out the chastity belts! AM I CLEAR?" He roared.
"Yes sir!" They both cried.
"Good. Spread the word." Xander said as he started pushing the boy out the door of the dormitory as Joyce dragged the girl out.
Xander stomped out of the portrait leaving a frightened group of kids in the common room.
"So, just to clarify, you dragged me away from my life of dealing with super powered girls… to dealing with super powered girls and boys?"
"Erm… I suppose you could put it that way." Joyce said with a sheepish smile.
"You're lucky I love ya Joyce." He said pulling her into a hug. "We really missed you." He said as he felt all his emotions over seeing her again come out.
"Sorry I'm late, I was caught up with Mr. Filch the Caretaker." Minerva huffed breathlessly.
"Not to worry Minerva, we broke the pair up and reprimanded them." Joyce assured her. "This is now part of Xander's duties he has direct access from his rooms to the dormitories."
"Does this sort of thing happen often?" Xander asked. He really didn't want to have to be the guy who broke up couples like that.
"Not really. An average of four times every few years. Once for each house. But as you can tell the results of their actions can lead to much embarrassment. The others tend to remember and don't push it unless they are miscreants. But once the current students have graduated, the new ones have to learn the lesson." Minerva explained.
"It also happens after a major incident. You know how the adrenaline of facing death tends to draw people together?" Joyce added.
"Great, and according to what you said about Harry, it's likely to happen more often." Xander sighed.
Minerva got the names of the amorous couple from Joyce and headed to give them a verbal thrashing whilst Joyce and Xander headed back to Harry and Hermione.
Joyce put Hermione to bed whilst Xander led Harry to his new rooms.
"Will I be staying here instead of the dorms?" Harry asked softly.
"If I'm to be your bodyguard, then yes. I need you close just in case something happens. It sounds like Hermione will be staying too, so you'll have a friend nearby." Xander said reassuringly.
"Will you be in my classes?"
"Harry, I will probably be wherever you go. If I need to go somewhere, you'll probably go with me. At least until I am happy with security wherever you happen to be staying. Then I'll back off so I'm not crowding you."
"Oh, ok." Harry said as he sunk under the covers. He really wasn't looking forward to Professor Snape's reaction. "Night Xander."
"Night Harry." Xander said as he patted the bed and left closing the door behind him.
Xander waited in the hall for Joyce to finish with Hermione.
"You sure you don't want your room?" He asked as she closed the door quietly behind her.
"I don't need my body Xander. I don't sleep I'm just absorbed back into the castle." Joyce smiled. "Get some sleep Xander, you have a lot to learn tomorrow and I have to help Minerva figure out how that troll got in the building."
"Ok, night Joyce." He said giving her one last hug before heading for his new bed.