I have officially joined the world of business.

Yes, indeed, I am now an entrepreneur. I don't know why I hadn't thought about it before. I suppose likely because the categories I have extensive knowledge over aren't exactly the sort of things one goes into business. The magic shop downtown has lost its most recent owner. Together with Buffy, Willow, Tara and Dawn, we discovered his body in the shop. Allow me to backtrack.

Since Buffy committed herself to a new form of training in an effort to understand her power, I've been instructing her in the ways of Kundalini . . . with a twist for a Slayer. Though the process involves deep meditation and centering, I've asked Buffy to strain her body as well, as it is clear that the power rests not just in her spirit, but in her body as well. In order to achieve the enlightenment she desires, I truly think that she most center both spirit and body. Upside down handstands, for example, are my current method of achieving this level of enlightenment.

To aid her journey, I've procured some smoky quartz. As anyone with decent knowledge of grounding stones knows, it is a wonderful aid in meditation and centering. It provides a grounded link between the physical and higher selves, precisely what Buffy needs. Not to mention, since it's a root chakra stone, it also enhances survival instincts, and what is a Slayer but one massive survival instinct? The reason I chose smoky quartz as well—the clear, transparent version—is that it also removes negative energy and provides protection—both psychically and physically. Considering that we have no real idea of what might happen if Buffy manages to tap into this raw power inside of her, I thought it best that we ward off any negative attack she may receive.

Naturally, with her training nearly every day, I ran out of fresh grounding stones, and Buffy and I planned on taking a quick trip down to the magic shop to procure some more. Dawn was also to join us, as Joyce had enlisted Buffy—and by extension, myself—in going shopping for school supplies. I feel I should make an aside here. I've never written about Dawn before . . . which is strange, considering I've known her as long as I have known Buffy.

Dawn is Buffy's younger sister. In true fashion among siblings—or as I observed, as I am an only child—the rivalry is intense. Whether this is made worse because they are sisters, as opposed to brother and sister, I am unsure. All the same, their relationship has always been . . . stormy . . . at best. Dawn is your standard teenager. A touch of angst, a tendency to make trouble and a deep desire to feel a part of something. As for my own relationship with her, I've attempted to take on a more paternal role towards her as I did with Buffy, but Dawn seems . . . less inclined to accept this role as Buffy had. Which is all well and good, I shant press where I'm not wanted. She has her own father, and I'm sure she feels strongly for him and wishes he was more present in her life. I see in Dawn a great potential. She enjoys her studies and is quite observant—clear indications of a bright mind. Though she walks both halves of the world—the dark and the light—I remain hopeful that she'll be able to succeed in the light half of the world, free from the death and darkness that Buffy is sworn to.

But she is young . . . and being young and a very American teenager, I find it difficult to make heads or tails of her. I rely on Buffy to explain some of things Dawn says or does. It makes me realize how out of my element I'd be if I had ever had a daughter. Still, being a Summers and the baby of the group, I do feel a fondness for her as well as an urge to protect. Buffy feels this strain more than anyone else, and obviously so. She likely thinks that it is her fault that Dawn is put in constant danger.

So, upon driving to the magic shop, oh! I forgot! My new car! Yes, I finally decided to sell my old 1963 Citroën DS—though it was mostly scrap, since Spike destroyed it—and bought a red BMW E30 325ic. It's a convertible and wonderfully sporty. The problem with it, however, is that it has an automatic transmission. Which means when I feel the need to downshift, I forget that I don't need to change gears and accidentally put the car into neutral instead. I even once put it into park, and that was a horrid experience. Having learned on stick and had nothing but stick cars for my entire life, I find this sitting in a car and allowing it to do as it needs to be terribly boring and even unsettling. The color is fantastic, and I quite enjoy how it makes me feel, but I may trade it in yet.

Now, finally, onto the events. We encountered Willow and Tara walking on the sidewalk towards the magic shop, and I stopped over, so we could speak with them. Willow complimented my car quite enthusiastically, I must add. Together, we walked over to the magic shop and found it dark. Upon entering, the entire shop was trashed. A few items had been obviously stolen. More importantly, the owner was dead on the floor, having been fed on by at least four vampires. In looking through the receipts and inventories, we discovered that a book on the Slayer had been stolen as well as a statue of an unicorn. Quite odd. However, I was more interested by the profit margins I found.

It would seem that the magic shop was doing quite well. Extraordinarily well, in fact. And since I have quite the extensive knowledge of most things magical—at least in terms of ingredients—I decided what I could finally do with all the free time I had. I took over the magic shop. I am now the owner of the Magic Box, and I have to say, I'm actually quite excited about it. There's something rather satisfying about being one's own employer and earning money for oneself through one's own hard work.

Hard work, indeed. Since I signed the rental agreement, I've been hard pressed to restock and clean up the place for the grand reopening. I've found a nice stock room in the back that's large enough for me to clear out a space to train Buffy as well. Considering that I was renting out a room to do this before, I'm quite happy with the discovery. I've just shown it to Buffy who agrees that she can train in it. I'll bring down the mats and dummies later on. First, I really need to stock these shelves and put in an order for some of the supplies that we're low on.

Some of the ingredients are a tad trickier to come by, but I've a few connections in the markets who should be happy to form a business deal with me. Yes, I have a fantastic feeling about this new chapter in my life. Already, I feel a great deal more focused, energetic and excited. There's a sense of comfort as well, in knowing that should Buffy feel that she has moved on from her Watcher, I still have something I can focus my energies on.

I suppose I should report on the incident that occurred whilst I was busy becoming a business owner. Apparently, Dawn accidentally invited Harmony—yes, she's still around—into her home. As one can imagine, Buffy was quite angry. Dawn was even kidnapped by the foolish gang that Harmony had created for herself and nearly killed. Buffy managed to find her and rescued her, but judging by Buffy's close eye on Dawn at the shop today, I'm sure things are quite tense at home at the moment.

That's all I have time to write for now. There's still so much to do for the shop. I'm thinking of rearranging some of the shelving to allow for more room in the center, but the shelves are so heavy . . .

. . . I think I'll ask Buffy to move them for me.

-Rupert Giles

2000