The End of the Beginning (crossover story)

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Fanfiction
Title: The End of the Beginning
Author(s): Mariner (Marina Frants)
Date(s): 2003
Length: 79,000 words
Genre: action adventure, crossover
Fandom: Buffy the Vampire Slayer/Harry Potter
External Links: FictionAlley; ff.net; sff.net

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The End of the Beginning is a novel by Mariner which is one of the most popular works to cross the Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Harry Potter universes. Victoria P writes If you only ever read one HP/BtVS cross, it should be this one.[1]

Set in the HP universe during the Marauders Era, the point-of-view characters are BtVS's Rupert Giles and Ethan Rayne. The main HP characters are James & Lily Potter, Peter Pettigrew, Albus Dumbledore and Voldemort, with smaller roles for Remus Lupin, Sirius Black, Severus Snape and Lucius Malfoy. It's accessible to HP fans without Buffyverse knowledge. The novel is predominantly gen, featuring canonical James/Lily and hints at past Giles/Ethan. The author rating is PG-13.

The End of the Beginning was written in 2003 and is posted to the FictionAlley and FanFiction.Net archives, as well as Mariner's personal website. Mariner comments Most of this story was written before Order of the Phoenix was released, so some of the backstory details don't fit, but for the most part it's as canonical to both universes as I could possibly make it.[2]

The author's summary is:

London, 1981. Rupert Giles and Ethan Rayne may not be wizards, but they thought they understood magic -- until the night they saw a glowing green skull in the sky above a quiet London street. Now they're caught up in a civil war in a world they never imagined existed. But can their "Muggle" magic really win the war? And for which side?

Reception

The novel was popular among both sets of fans and widely recommended. Reviewers particularly praised the way Mariner successfully integrated the two universes, the sense of inevitability as the canonical HP story unfolds, and the characterisations, especially of Ethan.

Reviews

This very long story works very well in more than one aspect. It works well as a crossover, weaving the two universes almost seamlessly and doing both sets of characters justice. Of course Buffy fans may not be that interested unless they like Giles (back in his youth) and/or Ethan Rayne. No Buffy, and no Scoobies. But to make up for it, we have a good look at Giles and Ethan, especially Ethan, at his weaselly selfish best.

The other aspect this works well from is simply a telling of the days leading up to the legend of The Boy Who Lived. We get to see them all, James and Lily, Sirius, Peter and Remus, Dumbledore and a few new faces. Even if you didn't know a thing about Buffy, it would be worth it from that point of view. Lots of little details, and then how it all comes together, like the footsteps of doom...

There are some things that don't fit, due to certain things that were revealed in Order of the Phoenix which contradict things here. Also I found it rather jarring that this has the pre-zapped Voldemort looking like a non-human -- I'd always assumed that he was perfectly human (on the outside) before his curse rebounded on him, and that it was his restoration at the end of "Goblet of Fire" which gave him that non-human appearance. On the other hand, it has been pointed out to me that nobody has explicitly said that, and therefore another interpretation is possible. I suppose so...

Anyway, that's not a big niggle. I really liked this. (Kathryn Andersen)[3]
Giles and Ethan run into some magical folk in the summer of 1981, and get caught up in their struggle against a deadly enemy. Yes, a BtVS/HP crossover that actually works, taking into account the differences in metaphysics and tackling the question of how MWPP could have become so fractured, plus Ethan and Snape snark, Giles being Research Guy and a lovely version of James and Lily that made my heart ache all over again for their deaths. (Bright Shiny Objects)[4]
This is the first, I repeat, the first, Buffy the Vampire Slayer/Harry Potter fic that I actually made it past the first chapter of, enjoyed and kept on reading. The main Buffy players are Giles and Ethan who interact with the Wizarding World in the days before Harry became The Boy Who Lived, back when wizards still said the name "Voldemort," and didn't shush one another and whisper, "You Know Who." Most importantly, it works. It works in both universes, in both timelines, and it never turns into an alternate reality because it doesn't have to. It has nothing to do with Giles having once been a Hogwart's student whom lost his wand or gave up wizarding in favor of Watching, there are no surprise familiar relationships or connections. There is no All Knowing Wizarding Omnipotence, No Magic Is Universal Assumption, and No Giles Wandering About with A Wand. (fikgirl)[5]
A page-turner of a crossover novel, featuring an interesting external view of the Marauders in adulthood plus a surprisingly persuasive mixture of the Joss- & Potterverse magics (Espresso Addict)[6]
I've encountered this story twice at different points of my fannish obsession, and twice it managed to unbalance and depress me to an amount I still find astonishing. Despite the fact that it's a crossover with Buffy, the interactions between the original Marauders and their friends scream "canon" to me and detail a life - and fate - that feels as clear and painful as cut glass. Inexorable, the beginning tumbles along into oblivion, and the flashes we are offered of another, a happier time, make it all the more tragic. Painful. Utterly beautiful. (allaire mikháil)[7]
Because you will spend half the story yelling at your computer, telling the characters what to do. It's all astoundingly plausible. Basically, Giles and Ethan Rayne happen to meet some wizards during the first war with Voldemort, and a sort of cross-cultural exchange occurs. There aren't any Buffy spoilers beyond Ethan Rayne existing and calling Giles 'Ripper' so I would guess it would make sense to people who haven't seen Buffy. (orwhoeveriam in Crack Broom)[8]

References

  1. Unfit for Society recs: HP/BtVS crossovers (accessed 23 January 2014)
  2. Fanfiction by Marina Frants & Keith R.A. DeCandido (accessed 23 January 2014)
  3. KatSpace: Mariner (accessed 23 January 2014)
  4. Bright Shiny Objects: Crossovers (accessed 23 January 2014)
  5. crossoverfic: FIC REC: "The End of the Beginning" by Mariner (accessed 23 January 2014)
  6. Espresso Recommendations: Harry Potter (accessed 23 January 2014)
  7. harry potter fan fiction: recommendations by allaire mikháil (accessed 23 January 2014)
  8. Crack Broom: Crossover: The End of the Beginning by Marina Frants (accessed 23 January 2014)