Magic in the ... bones ?!

Author: AlanP <alan.p[at]>

Summary: One of Xander's extended relations come for a visit. Unfortunately.

Crossover: D&D

Disclaimer: Hell yeah I don't own this!

Feedback: Please.

Pre-fic Comments:

Stupid friggin' bunny. This isn't based *exactly* on D&D. There is some swearing in this, sorry.

Thanks to Alex DarkFire for the title. I suck at naming things.

Chapter 1

Xander yawned as he walked in the front door at three in the morning, then winced as he found his mother still watching Coronation Street, an empty bottle in hand.

"Where HAVE you been?," she screeched -- quietly, so as not to wake up Tony Harris.

He closed his eyes and scrunched them shut, praying to God for patience. "I have just had a long night dealing with the Hellmouth, something with three mouths and more teeth than should fit in those three mouths, and we have just gotten rid of that damn Master. So, please excuse me if I'm a little late."

Jessica Harris flopped back against the sofa, giving up on the pose of Righteous Indignation. "Well, you get to bed. We need the lawn mowed, and you need to pull your weight around here, and..."

Xander tuned her out as he went to his room, shutting the door to get ready for bed.

"The boy finally turn up?," Tony asked as he emerged from the master bedroom, rubbing at his eyes. "God, I feel like shit."

"Apparently he was busy with something called a Hellmouth, some demon, and something called a Master," Jessica shrugged.

Tony's face paled, as he quickly sobered up in shock. "Hellmouth? We're on a Hellmouth?!"

The woman on the couch shrugged, deftly throwing the empty bottle at the kitchen tidy. "According to Alexander we are. Want to ring that freaky great-granddad of yours?"

Tony scratched his cheek, mulling it over. "I don't want to deal with him, but I don't want to be eaten by no demon neither. Where'd we put that damn phone?"


Xander blinked from behind the counter. He waved his hand in front of his head. "Nope, my eyes are okay."

He looked again. "Not another bad guy."

The figure walking into town was clad in long, flowing robes, with a strange head-dress that appeared like a brimless top hat, a length of fabric flowing from the side and back down the robes. That was not the disturbing part. Anyone dressed so could be written off as a medieval role player of some kind who had taken a wrong turn.

The figure was clearly dead in some fashion. Dry, grey skin was stretched so tight over the facial bones that the thing's visage appeared disturbingly similar to a death's head. Twin red lights glowed from the recesses of it's empty eye sockets, and skeletal hands emerged from the sleeves of the flowing robes. Underneath the first layer of fabric could be seen a satchel, bulging with some nameless materials.

Xander licked his dry lips. reaching under his shirt for the large cross that he habitually carried with him. He had never thought that he would need it during the day selling hot dogs, but he sure was glad that he had brought it with him.

"Where can I find Alexander LaVelle Harris?," the figure asked him in a dry rasp.

"B-back!," Xander got out, holding the cross in front of him as a shield.

The figure took the cross roughly from him, fingering it for a moment. "What do you think I am, boy? A common vampire, living off humanity like a mosquito?!"

"I'm Xander," Xander said in a voice that surprised himself as to how calm it was. "Who are you?"

The dry, dessicated skin moved slightly. Xander could swear that the figure was trying to grin. "What, no kiss for your old great-great-great... whatever, grandad?"

Xander blinked. Then he blinked again, since he hadn't thought of anything better to do.

"W-WHAT?," he shouted. He took a deep, shaky breath to calm himself. "Look, I don't know what you are or what you want, but you won't get away with it. I'll stop you myself, and if I can't, then I'll call in the Slayer."

The dead thing in front of him grinned a millimeter wider. "YES! I've finally met a descendant who can do magic! Boy, I'm going to train you in the Art whether you want me to or not."

This thing could be family, Xander allowed. It certainly had the 'pay no attention to Xander' thing down pat. He daringly vocalised this thought, reaching surrepticiously for the hot dog tongs. A crappy weapon was better than no weapon, he reasoned.

"Didn't your parents tell you anything?," the figure asked, the rasp gaining a tone of annoyance. "I'm a lich, you stupid ignoramus!"

"Hey!," Xander protested, pride stung. "You're a bad!"

Xander quickly found out that being dragged somewhere by the ear was even more painful when the dragger had skeletal hands and an unnatural strength.

"Come with me, Alexander. I'm going to have a word with your no good parents about not mentioning me," the lich said nastily.


Xander rubbed his ear as the lich who claimed to be his many times great granddad banged on the front door to the Harris household. "Stupid super-vamp. Man, do you ever wash?"

"I heard that," the lich snapped. "In my day, you'd get my boot upside your backside for cheek."

Tony Harris opened the door, stared blearily at the lich, then shut the door. The two could clearly hear him through the cheaply made door.

"Jessica, that was a good brand of whiskey, that was. I just saw you-know-who outside."

Xander sighed, pulling out his house keys and opening the door. He wasn't going to get rid of this lich thing, and it would go away when he didn't invite it in.

He did a classic double take as the thing walked over the threshold with no invitation.

"Close your mouth," the lich snapped. "I might be dead, but I'm no vampire."

"Dad?," Xander asked in a sharp voice. "Who the hell is this?"

"Congratulations, boy," Xander's dad said. "You've just met the walking reason for the alcoholism in this family."

"This family has been a disappointment to me! My useless son wanted to be a pansy-ass sword slinger, his son wanted in on that as well, and eventualyl all the magic got bred out of my stupid descendants!"

"Ouch," Xander says sympathetically.

"Still," the lich said, pointing at Xander with a skeletal hand. "You've got the Skill, and I'm not letting you get away with no training. No grandson of mine is gonna be yet another f*ckin' fighter!"

Chapter 2

Xander ran through the double doors. Giles looked up in annoyance.

"Xander, must you really," the Librarian began, before being interrupted.

"G-man! Giles! You gotta help me!," he panted.

"What seems to be the problem?," Giles asked. "Another supernatural amorous female?"

"What?," Xander asked blankly. "No, my great-great-great-to-infinity-grandpa came to visit! You've got to get Buffy to Slay him! He's evil!"

Giles smiled. This was going to be fun. "Xander, while I realise that as a young man we do not enjoy associating with older people, we must sometimes make sacrifices for peace and the greater good--"

"You don't understand," Xander interrupted again.

"Xander, your relatives are not my problem," Giles said simply, eyes narrowing.

"But he's a dead lick thingy!," Xander yelled at the Watcher. "He's a dead skeleton with funny clothes on! He wants me to learn magic from him!"

"Oh," Giles said, quite taken aback. "Well. That does put another light on the matter. How did you manage to attract his attention?"

"I have no idea," Xander grumbled, sitting down morosely at the long table. "He walked into town and dragged me away from my hot dog stand by my ear."

"As you know, Buffy is not around to attempt to dispatch this lich," Giles reflected. "So you shall have to solve this using intelligence, rather than brute force. With any luck, we shall not sprain your cranium."

"Why is it always me?," Xander continued to complain. "Preying Mantis ladies, hyenas, man, I never get a break."

"Well, what do we know about liches in general?," Giles asked.

"Zip, zero, nada," Xander answered.

"They are effectively immortal," Giles thought out loud. "We will have to find his phylactery to disable him."

Xander leant back in his chair, ignoring the scowling Englishman, staring at the ceiling. He noticed a small black thing clinging to a light fitting.

"Giles? Did you get a pet bat or something?," he asked.

"Er, no," Giles blinked. He looked up. "Oh, dear."

"They eat books? They pee in tea cups? What?"

"It is quite possibly this lich's familiar," Giles said. A sinking feeling began to develop in Xander's stomach. "Meaning that he may have been listening to our conversation."

"Oh, crap," Xander muttered.


Tony Harris wiped some imaginary sweat off his brow as Granddad LaVelle abruptly walked out the door mid-conversation.

"Thank God he's gone," the man said. "Jessica, hand me that bottle of Beam."

"I thought we were saving it for tonight?," Jessica Harris wondered.

"After that, we need a stiff drink," Tony declared, taking a mouthful of whiskey then handing the bottle to his wife.


"What if we set him on fire?," Xander asked hopefully.

"No dice," Giles sighed. It was times like this he wished that he was allowed to store strong alcohol on school grounds.

"Hi, guys," Willow waved as she wandered into the library. "Hey, Giles, I came to return that book I borrowed."

"Thank you, Willow," Giles said, taking the book and putting it on the desk to sort out later. "You seem to have come at a bad time."

"I didn't do anything bad to cause this bad time, did I?," Willow asked. "Because that would be... bad..."

"One of my relatives came to visit," Xander explained from the table.

"Ouch," Willow empathised.

"A lich to be specific," Giles said. As the lich walked through the library doors, Giles added, "and here he is now."

"Boy!," the lich roared. "You're not getting out of this! One way or another, I'm training you in magic! You're not going to waste that potential with silly swords and crossbows!"

"Training?," Willow asked. "Magic training? Uh, can I learn, too?"

"We'll see," the lich said absently. He looked around, and his eyes locked on Giles' form. "Ripper!"

Giles winced, obviously wishing he had never left Britain.

"Ah, Ripper! Now, you had potential but you pissed it away when you decided to join the Watchers..."

Giles straightened. "I have no regrets about giving it up!"

The lich managed to snort, somehow, despite having no nose. It turned back to Xander.

"Come on, boy, your first lesson is helping me summon my tower!"

"Hey, can I help?," Giles heard Willow asking as the three left, one unwillingly.

He locked his office and walked out the door as well. He needed a stiff drink after that.

Well, at least Buffy wasn't here. He could just see her getting electrocuted for rudeness.

Chapter 3

Xander stood, arms akimbo, in the middle of the plot-less clearing in the middle of the Happy Rest cemetery. It was about thirty meters in diameter. His ancestor had scorched a huge triangle into the grass that reached to the tips of the clearing.

"I'm not going to," Xander shouted. "You can't make me!"

The small points of light in the lich's eye sockets burned all the fiercer. "Care to make a bet on that!"

The lich looked around to make sure that Willow was still getting some candles from her house, and then levelled both arms at Xander. A beam of purple energy shot from the desiccated bones at Xanders head, then disappeared.

"What... what the hell?," Xander asked.

"A small attitude adjustment," the lich said firmly. "Now. Stand over there."

"Why?," Xander asked as he stood at a point of the triangle.

"We only have three casters, so we can only have three points," the lich explained absently. "Oh, good, here comes your friend with the candles."

"Here you go," Willow said, handing the box of candles and a box of matches to the lich. "What do we do with them?"

The lich put a candle at each point of the triangle, lighting each as he put it down. He let it drip upside down, then put the base of the candle on the solidifying wax. "Sit at your points, Xander, Willow."

"You know, the whole graveyard thing doesn't really do anything for me," Xander said nervously.

"There's a lot of energy here," the lich said absently. "No souls holding that energy back, either. Vampires have no energy of their own, you see, since when they rise, the demon leaves the necromantic energy behind, since it causes decay in animated tissue."

"Oh, cool," Willow said. "What do we do now?"

"Stare at the flame," the lich said in a monotonic voice. "Look at it. Feed your emotions into it. Empty your mind. Stare at the flame."

The two teenagers obediently did so, then the undead lich took control of their minds.


Giles spat his tea across the desk as he felt a huge discharge of energy. Luckily, he had not been working on anything and the only casualty was the finish. He put the cup down on the desk hurriedly, then ran out of the library, in search of his car.

Something big was going down. That wasn't a good thing, in Sunnydale.


The Mayor looked out the window of his limousine across the Happy Rest cemetery. A huge triangular tower had emerged, seemingly from the ground. It was made of black iron, rising high into the sky.

The chauffer opened the door for him, and he got out, walking through the entrance of the cemetery. Darn it, whoever had erected it had used all that lovely energy that he had had lying around for his Ascension. He walked to about ten meters away from the Gate to the wall surrounding the tower, then stopped.

"I'm sorry, but I'm going to have to ask you to destroy this," he said politely. "You're violating quite a few zoning regulations, I'm afraid. And living in a graveyard can't be hygienic at all."

"I can't do that," a sepulchral voice said. The Mayor swore internally for once as a lich in flowing robes walked out onto a balcony above the Gate. "You see, I have things I must do, and I need my Tower to accomplish them."

The Mayor continued to swear internally. He did not need a Lich around this close to his ascension. "Maybe we could come to some agreement?"

A hollow laugh emerged from the dead thing leaning on the balustrade above him. "You have nothing I want or need. Leave. Now."

The sound of another car pulling up outside the cemetery did not improve the Mayor's mental state any. Granted, the tower could be seen from all of Sunnydale, but he had hoped to sort this mess out before someone actually came to investigate. With any luck, it would be the police, and he could gag them.

"Ripper!," the lich said, voice managing to sound joyful. "Come in, Ripper."

"I am no longer... that man," Giles said, as he walked past the Mayor. "Where is Xander and Willow?"

The lich shrugged. "The girl wanted to look at my library, and Xander wanted to explore."

The doors opened, and Giles walked through. The Mayor was about to follow, when he noticed the gargoyles perched on the corners of the tower. He wasn't fool enough to try to take on a high-level mage like a lich and a troop of gargoyles at once.

The heavy Gate shut itself with a final *clang* as the two doors met in the middle. The lich disappeared from the balcony in an obvious dismissal.

The Mayor went back to his limousine, inwardly fuming but outwardly smiling.