Summary: Otrere comes to terms with her affection for Xander (Deleted scene from Episode 20).
Disclaimer: Harry Potter characters belong to Jo Rowling and her people. Alias characters belong to JJ Abrams and his people. BtVS and Angel characters belong to Joss Whedon and his people. The Alliance of Destiny characters belongs to Humaira and me.
He was an interesting creature. Their tribe did not willingly allow men into their social sphere, so being around men, in general, was new to Otrere. Well, her tribe did socialize with men, but only under a wartime setting or when they needed to procreate. Xander intrigued her quite simply enough. She had learned of his past from Dawn and Buffy, on their return trip to Scotland from Greece, where they had returned her to her corporeal body.
“He loved Anya,” said Buffy reminiscing.
“They were great together. Kinda gave you hope when you saw them together,” Dawn added.
“Save for the fact that he abandoned her at the altar,” Buffy reminded her.
Otrere was lost in her thoughts of Xander and found herself walking through the castle. This world was so different. She still had many things to learn about it. Not only did she have to learn the Muggle world, but she also had to learn about the wizarding world because both were a part of her now.
She loved the moving staircases. They provided hours of great fun. She and Dawn often played games to see who could predict which staircase would move next after they climbed on one.
“Otrere!” said the voice she loved to hear. Xander, with his pirate patch as he called it, rounded a corner, looking beat.
Otrere tried not to blush. “Hello, Xander. How are you?” she said politely, repeating the pleasantries Dawn had taught her.
“Pretty good. I just came back from another karate club lesson. And you?”
“Just walking around. Would you like to join me?”
They ambled upstairs, not talking for a few moments. But it was a comfortable silence. Otrere loved being around Xander, so any time she could find an excuse to, she would. When they had Alliance meetings, she found herself nestled beside him on the beat-up couch. Or when he stood up for tea during their meetings, she’d stand up and stretch her arms and stay standing if he did. She couldn’t tell Dawn about what she felt, the only other person she’d trust her secrets to, but she had heard the young girl use the word “flirt” with Willow and Kennedy once when she was still in Buffy’s body. Otrere thought that’s what she was doing, but Xander didn’t pick up on it. It hurt to see someone you adore not give you the time of day.
“This ‘ka-rah-tay’ you called it? Is it hard to learn?”
“Karate? No. Martial arts are fun. Sometimes I think I’m not qualified to teach it, considering I’m no slayer or Bruce Lee,” Xander joked. His face fell when Otrere looked at him with her blue eyes, a clear look of confusion on her pretty face. “Maybe Harry could conjure us up a TV and DVD player,” he said thoughtfully. “Anyways, Bruce Lee was the most famous martial artist you’d ever see. He made it look easy. I’m just helping the kids in the club learn a little of what Bruce taught me.” He pantomimed karate chops in the air in front of him.
“I would like to attend the next meeting of your club,” Otrere said boldly. “May I?”
Xander looked surprised. “Sure. I think you’d have fun. It’s pretty easy what I… ow! Peeves!”
Peeves the poltergeist zoomed overhead, cackling, as he chucked pieces of chalk at them. Xander got one square in the middle of his forehead.
“Bullseye!” Peeves screamed.
“That’s not very nice,” Otrere said in her quietly dignified voice, brushing a stray bit of chalk from her hair.
“Soooo?” Peeves cried zooming between them and breaking them apart.
“Peeves! I’m gonna get the Bloody Baron,” Xander warned. Ron had advised him after a post-DA meeting of using that to calm the poltergeist down.
Peeves floated in midair in front of them and gave them a huge, fake frown. “That won’t work Muggle because the Bloody Baron wouldn’t listen to you! GOT YOUR CONK!”
Xander jumped back as Peeves cackled merrily, zooming around them. “I got a Muggle conk! Never did that before!”
“Come on,” he said, grabbing Otrere’s hand. “Let’s get out of here, shall we?”
Otrere froze. His hand was warm in her cold one. All she could do was give a nod and follow his lead. She was afraid that if she spoke she’d say something foolish.
“Xander!” Dawn’s bellowed up below they could get any further. “Otrere!”
Xander ran to a banister and looked down. Dawn was waving madly at them from the first floor.
“What?” Xander called.
“Come down!” Dawn replied, gesturing to a bunch of third years who walked by.
“Alliance stuff,” Otrere said knowingly.
“Let’s go,” he said amiably, letting go of her hand to navigate the staircases.
Otrere paused and willed her strength to take over. ‘Say something,’ the little voice in her head urged her.
“Otrere, let’s go,” he repeated again, knitting his eyebrows at the look on her face. “What’s up?”
“Oh, I was thinking about something unimportant,” Otrere said offhandedly.
“Okay,” he said, shrugging and leading the way downstairs. Otrere could do nothing but follow his lead silently.
She would tell him. Maybe not today, but someday soon.