Title: When Magic Collides (rewritten)
Author: Psychotic Chaos
Disclaimer: Don't own the characters, just enjoy making them suffer. (By the by – any OC's belong to me – duh!)
The Deal: Alright – basically I wanted to rewrite this entire story because the other way really wasn't working. For one I had too many characters – most of which I didn't need anyway – and it was getting too hard to maintain.
With the relationships I basically wrote myself into a corner because I made them too fluffy and too easily reached.
When looking back on what I did I could see several mistakes and ways I could improve.
Changes: Ok – as I said before, cutting a few characters. The TIME FRAME is also different – It's after the BtVS finale and after Angel and Co killed the Beast. This is also after book 5 of Harry Potter – Order of the Phoenix – with one slight change SIRIUS DOES NOT DIE!!!!
Just another note – I will be keeping a few scenes from my old story (not very many though so you might want to read the rewrite).
Same basic plot with a few tweaks. Read on.
Pairings: The pairings I'm ABSOLUTLEY SURE I will put in. More to come – maybe.
BtVS/AtS – Faith/Wesley
HP – Ron/Hermione, Harry/Dawn, Draco/Ginny
The Flights and Falls of Teaching
'Why am I doing this again? – Oh yeah, cuz I'm insane' Willow Rosenberg thought grimly as she swung a leg over Georges old Comet Two-Sixty racing broom.
It was nearing the middle of school holidays – for Willows' cousins anyway – almost a month after Sunnydale had sunk into hell.
You really had to feel sorry for Buffy - she really was 'Destruct-o Girl'. First there was the Gym of her first high school, then all of Sunnydale High, and now Sunnydale itself had joined the ranks of rubble. It was all rather amusing when you thought about it in some sick twisted way.
So, now a bit lost (since Sunnydale was no longer on the map) and not to mention homeless (since their homes had gone down with the town), the Scoobies had all sort of… split.
They'd basically all followed Giles back to England like little lost puppies in the rain – oh well, he'd suggested it, so there really was no shame in that, was there?
After that Xander had gone on a World Trip to see if there was any hope of being able to see out of both eyes again. Also – Willow knew that her bestest buddy was still very much grieving over the recently departed Anya. Willow missed her too, mostly because she never thought she'd miss Anya's bluntness and sex-comments-that-weren't-meant-to-be-funny-but-were. Truth was – Anya often lightened the mood.
Buffy had taken a well-deserved vacation, backpacking across Europe – and most likely also dealing with the loss of Spike. Willow could tell that Buffy missed Spike more than she'd like to admit. After all that time of pushing the bleached-blond vamp away, Buffy'd never admitted she loved him until the very end.
Well, maybe not loved – love was such a strong word – but there was definite feeling there, very close to love, Willow could tell.
Faith had moved back to LA, which had surprised Willow very much as Faith would have the entire LAPD out looking for her. But Fred Burkle had pulled a few strings… ok, so she kinda-sorta hacked into the main system and erased Faiths' criminal record as easily and efficiently as Willow could have done. And it had not been Angels' idea, but Wesleys', which had surprised Willow even more.
Another big surprise was the fact that Dawn requested that she stay in LA Willow wasn't sure why – maybe it was because Dawn wanted to start her own life somewhere away from her sister – not constantly being in her shadow – even though, she seemed to be a bit young for that. But of course, no one was going to argue much. Traumatic experience of seeing a city being sucked into hell and all – that might have accounted for everyone's willingness to cooperate. Not to mention Dawnie was safe as she could be with Angel.
The only one of the Scoobies not on a so-called 'break' was Giles. He'd rounded up all the potentials-now-slayers and was gathering potential slayers and bringing them to England. According to Giles' theory, the spell Willow had cast to activate all the Potential Slayers would kick in to each new Potential when they turned thirteen or so. Because of this Giles had started rebuilding the new and improved Watchers council with the help of The Order of the Phoenix – headed by Albus Dumbledore, whom Willow had known of for quite some time.
How had she known? Simple. Willow's mother was a Squib, her sister, Molly, was a Witch and she'd Married Arthur Weasley – a Wizard. And they had seven – no lie – seven kids, all with flaming red hair. Willows cousins.
So of course, after Sunnydale was gone, what better place to spend time than with ones family? Willow had been living at The Burrow for a while now. Which of course led her into her current predicament.
No matter how many spells Willow knew, no matter how much power she possessed, and no matter how much control she did or didn't have over it, there was one thing Willow loved and hated about the Wizarding World – flying.
She loved hearing about Quidditch (Ron and the Twins were very enthusiastic on the subject) and she loved watching her cousins' race around on their brooms, but flying herself was a completely different matter. Willow had absolutely no talent for it. She'd either go too fast or too slow, sometimes she'd shoot up like a rocket several hundred feet and freak out, and then sometimes she could only hover a few feet off the ground.
And she wasn't even going to touch the subject of when she tried to command her broom 'Up' into her hand.
"C'mon, Willow, you have to learn sometime" Ginny grinned, hovering in front of her on her own hand-me-down broom that once belonged to Fred.
Fred and George were there themselves, both snickering uncontrollably, trying hard to hide their amusement and failing miserably.
"I'm glad you two are enjoying this" Willow snapped jokingly at the Twins, making them burst out into boisterous laughter, "Don't you two have a shop to run?"
"It's our lunch break" Fred protested, still chortling.
"And we wouldn't miss this for the world" George added, "Willow and Broomstick – there are two words never to be used in the same sentence."
"Oh, shut up" Willow grumbled, though she had to agree. This was all Rons' idea – and Ginnys'.
"Gin's right, Wills" Ron grinned, choking back laughter himself "Even Hermione can ride a broom when the time calls for it. Though it takes a few more minutes for her to fall off…"
"I resent that!" Hermione Granger yelled from a log nearby.
The Brainy muggle-born-witch was also staying at The Burrow, she'd arrived a week before. According to Ginny, arguing between Ron and Hermione came as naturally as breathing. And it made Willow smile to think they were a miniature Xander and Cordelia – because they really were.
"Alright, it's not hard, remember," George said, as he and Fred had finished guffawing, now just resorting to identical, mischievous grins, "grip the handle firmly, so you won't fall off…"
"Don't point the broom handle way up or way down cuz you'll either plummet the ground or shoot straight up" Fred put in helpfully.
"Gee, thanks, Fred" Willow rolled her eyes.
"Remember just to balance" Ron said.
"And if you get hurt we can always blame Fred and George" Ginny piped up.
"Hey!" the twins protested causing everyone to grin.
"Alright, I think I've got iiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiit" Willow started before suddenly shooting off, Ron had to duck, luckily his new Cleansweep was faster than Georges old Comet which Willow was now on.
"Oh my god she's going to crash!" Ginny shrieked.
"Stupefy!" Hermione was up in a flash, wand in hand.
Of course a simple stunning spell was not going to freeze a moving racing broom, but it did manage to slow it down allowing Willow to crash into the bushes with less impact that she originally would have done.
"Oh my god…" Fred muttered, "That was brilliant!"
The twins laughed and moved to help their cousin. Ron landed next to Hermione who was scowling deeply at the twins.
"Honestly, Willow was lucky not to be killed, it's not funny."
"Are you kidding? It's one for the books," Ginny grinned, moving forward to yank the tattered broomstick from the bush.
This comment caused the Twins to almost glow with pride.
"Ah, she gets more like us every day" Fred grinned wiping an invisible tear from his eye.
"Our little Virginniny is growing up so fast" George sniffed, before the twins burst into laughter once more.
"Nice work with the spell, 'Mione, good thinking" Ron said.
"'Thinking' being the operative word here" Hermione grumbled, "I swear, if you knew Willow was like that on a broom, why'd you insist on teaching her?"
"Crucial skill for any Witch or Wizard" Ron said smugly, "Besides, shouldn't you be more worried about using magic outside of school."
"Oh, c'mon Ron, there were no muggle witnesses, it was for a good cause, and I'm a school Prefect – I'm not getting in trouble for that."
"Ow, ow, ow ,ow – many pain many pain – major ouchie" Willow chanted pressing the now bloodied handkerchief firmly into her palm.
She stumbled into The Burrow closely followed by Hermione, Ron, Ginny, and the Twins.
"What in gods name!?!?!?… FRED AND GEORGE WEASLEY WHAT DID YOU DO?" Molly fussed, quickly leading Willow to a nearby table and sitting her down.
"US!?!" Fred and George protested in unison.
"Quiet!" Molly commanded, flicking her wand at a nearby cupboard.
The cupboard flew open and a few towels, bowl and flask of green liquid floated out. The towels landed in a neat pile directly on the table along with the flask of 'Herberts' Herbal Healing Fluid' and the bowl went to fill itself under the tap.
"Now, while I'm cleaning this, what did you two do now?" Molly demanded, dipping one of the towels into the bowl of water and started cleaning the cut on Willows hand that looked suspiciously like bite marks.
The twins opened their mouths to deny the accusations but Willow cut in.
"It wasn't them, Aunt Molly" Willow said, wincing slightly as the cut stung "I tried flying again…"
"FLYING!" Molly fumed, "Whose brilliant idea was that?"
Ron and Ginny flinched. Hermione just shook her head at them.
"It's alright" Willow said quickly, "I just crashed into a bush and, well, sorta bumped into a Garden Gnome. Got bit."
"You four, de-gnomeing duty, now!" Molly ordered, pointing at her children and then the door, "Hermione, dear, maybe you could read or something while the others are doing chores."
"Aw but mum" George protested, he faltered at his mothers look "were going."
Fred would not be swayed "It's our lunch-break" he protested.
"Well you should have thought of that before you decided to…"
The fire suddenly crackled and turned emerald green. A very familiar someone emerged from the flames.
"So sorry to intrude, Molly" Albus Dumbledore said with that familiar glint in his eye and kind smile.
Willow smiled as soon as he entered the room, there was something about Dumbledore being in the room that just made you feel happy and safe all at the same time. The Weasley children and Hermione quietly made their way out of the room.
"Quite alright, Albus – can I get you a cup of tea?"
"I'm just fine, thank you, besides I can see you have your hands full" Dumbledore smiled, nodding to Willows bloodied hand, now being bandaged.
"The children thought it amusing to get Willow on a broom again" Molly grimaced, cutting the bandage short.
"Wonderful – so how did we do today, Miss Rosenberg?" Dumbledore asked, eyes twinkling merrily.
Willow grinned in response, "Better than most days" she admitted.
"Now, Albus, is everything alright with the Order? What about the new Watchers Council?"
"All just fine, Molly, it's actually Willow I've come to see. I'd like to offer her a job."
Willow blinked. "Me?"
Dumbledore nodded, "With the Order running smoothly and the Watchers Council being rebuilt I've decided that it might be well for our students to be better equipped, what with Voldemort gaining more power."
Molly flinched at the name. Willow simply raised an eyebrow.
"I'd better go make sure the children are de-gnomeing the garden like I asked" Molly said, making her way out of the room.
"Anyway – I've written up a whole new curriculum of added subjects for our students. One of the subjects will be Wiccan Magic" Dumbledore continued after Molly left.
"And you want me to teach?" Willow said faintly.
"You want me to teach wandless magic to children?"
"You're willing to let me near young impressionable minds" Willow blinked, still letting the news sink in.
"Only if you are willing" Dumbledore smiled patiently.
Something inside Willow snapped "No – no, no, no, nononononononononononono – not good, definitely not with the good! There's got to be some mistake! I've heard you were eccentric, Albus – but this idea is way out there, it's beyond all reason, it's insane! Has anyone forgotten? Tried to end the world here! Can't let me near the kids – I'll be corrupting them! And what if something goes wrong and I can't control the power? – no power control leads to raven haired and veiny, black eyed Willow. Not one I personally want to get in touch with again. And what if…"
"Willow, dear, you're babbling" Dumbledore interrupted kindly.
Willow snapped her mouth shut and shook her head. She opened her mouth to speak again but Dumbledore silenced her with a raised hand.
"Willow, my dear, this is not a mistake – I know what I'm doing even if I am a little… insane" Dumbledores' eyes twinkled with amusement "No one forgets that you almost destroyed the world – but rest assured that no one forgets that you saved it not too long ago. And as for control – Willow, I don't believe you know how much control you have. You were an untrained Witch, and yet you taught yourself and became very powerful, mastering difficult spells even with no formal schooling…
"And why was that?" Willow interrupted, trying not to sound ticked off, "You run Hogwarts, Albus, why was I never invited?"
"Willow, dear girl, I thought the answer to that might have been obvious. I of course would have loved you to come to Hogwarts, but unfortunately the school usually only reaches Witches or Wizards in the UK. It doesn't even reach as far as France, let alone America."
"But shouldn't there be schools in America then?" Willow demanded, calming down ever-so-slightly.
"There are, several in fact in North America. There's Spellbound Academy of Sorcery and Enchantment, but that's a Canadian School situated in the mountains – it does accept American students though. But nearer to where you were there are schools in New York, Florida, Washington, Roswell…"
"Roswell!!" Willow exclaimed, "Well, that would explain a lot. No aliens, but wizards. But if there are so many Schools how come I never received a letter."
"Yes, I've come up with a theory to that. You've lived all your life on a Hellmouth – my reasoning was that the power of the Hellmouth blocked any way of detecting the magic of a witch or wizard because there's so much mystical energy – evil mystical energy. There are several spots all over the world where witches and wizards cannot be discovered because of a Hellmouth. Pretty much every continent has one. North America's was in Sunnydale, but thanks to you and your friends, there no longer is one there."
"But Giles said that if that much mystical energy is put away it has to go somewhere – which is why big magic has serious repercussions – hence the no control – hence the bad idea for me teaching."
"But that's where you're wrong. Willow, you had to have some control or you would have never made it as far as you did with magic. And I don't think you realize how much control is needed for that spell you did to activate the Potential Slayers. You'll be down in history for that and because of you the whole world is now a safer place as there will be hundreds of slayers around the globe."
Willow said nothing for a long moment, "I don't know if I can." She whispered finally.
"I know you can" Dumbledore smiled kindly, "And I'm sure if Miss Dawn Summers decides to join us, she'd feel happier with you there."
This little revelation woke Willow up "What?"
"Funny thing – because of being the key Dawn of course has a power all on her own, myself and some other members of the Order agree that Dawn might be able to channel that energy to allow her to practice magic."
"You know as strange as that sounds, that would actually make a hell of a lot of sense" Willow nodded thoughtfully.
"And as I said before, I am increasing the staff, so you won't be at all alone if that's what you're worried about" Dumbledore added.
Willow opened and closed her mouth several times – then she cleared her throat "Alright, I'll do it."
The Hyperion was so quiet now that AI was pretty much based at Wolfram and Hart – not that Dawn had ever lived at the Hyperion when it was noisy. But here she was, living in the Hotel, everyone passed through once in a while, sometimes hanging around there when they were not in the Law firm or their own apartments.
So much had happened in only a few weeks since Sunnydale went bye-bye. For one, Spike came back as a ghost, which had pleased Dawn to no end, and now he was even corporeal. She was glad he was back, Dawn had missed Spike – he was like a big brother to her. Spike lived in the Hyperion permanently and occasionally helped the gang at W&H. Dawn also helped with the research, and sometimes patrolled with Spike and Faith who also lived in the hotel. Dawn felt she needed to do something useful until she started school again after the summer.
But at the moment, Dawn had plenty of free time on her hands. So she spent it writing to her sister and the rest of the Scoobies by e-mail. Briefly Dawn wondered why Spike made it clear to everyone not to tell Buffy that he was back. Why was he hiding from her?
"You OK, Bit?" Spike asked, coming into the Hotel to find her deep in thought, merely staring at the computer screen.
Spike slumped onto the nearest couch.
"Hmm… oh, I'm fine Spike, just thinkin'. And what about you, I thought you said you were gonna be at the 'firm all night."
"I was, until Peaches mumbled something about a meeting the Senior Partners – all he does when he meets up with them is piss them off, so I decided to high-tail it outta there."
Dawn grinned, she loved Spike's stupid, degrading nicknames for Angel.
"Good call. And what did everyone else do? How's Lorne?" Dawn asked, naming the demon she'd gotten attached to in just a few weeks. Lorne was a very likeable person, though she hadn't sung for him yet – not really wanting him to read her aura completely.
"Lorne's good, workin' on the architectural design for a new Karaoke Bar I think. Gunn and Fred got the day off, though I'll leave it up to you to imagine what they did with their spare time…"
"I think I'll keep my imagination out of that area, thanks" Dawn shuddered, making Spike grin.
"And I think Wesley's back in his apartment or something" Spike finished.
"You know, through all the time I've been here, Wesley seems to be the one I see the least of – man I think he broods more than Angel."
"Impossible, Bit, no one can brood more than Poof-boy, but the Watcher is damn near close" Spike grinned, shaking his head, Dawn laughed softly, "What about Little-Miss-Criminally-Insane, I though she was with you."
"Patrolling, I was gonna go too, but I'm e-mailing Buffy" Dawn said, but it was only a half truth.
Faith had gone to patrol, but Dawn had suspected she was going to a club after all the slayage was said and done, she also thought that Faith was gonna see Wes about something else as well – all in all, better to just stay put.
"Well, might as well go join her" Spike shrugged, standing up "You OK by yourself, Bit?"
"I'm good – not exactly ten years old anymore" Dawn rolled her eyes.
Spiked shrugged again, "Only asking."
Just as Spike opened the door two large owls swooped through the door.
"Bloody hell!" Spike cursed, ducking.
A brown barn owl glided over to Dawn, dropping a yellowish envelope, which seemed to be made of parchment onto the keyboard in front of her. The owl then perched itself on the top of the computer screen and hooted softly, apparently pleased with itself.
The second owl, which was black, twittered around Spikes head until the Vampire stretched out an arm so it could land. The black owl then 'handed' Spike a rolled-up, sparkly, midnight blue scroll before moving to the Vampires shoulder so he could unroll the parchment.
"Spike, what the hell is going on!?!" Dawn asked, hoping the Vampire would have an answer. Luckily he did.
"Owl Post, Bit" Spike explained, "A form of mail in the Wizarding World."
"The what now!?" Dawn asked with raised eyebrows examining the envelope that appeared to have emerald green writing on it, "Hey, Spike, this thing is addressed to Dawn Summers, the Hyperion Hotel Lobby, Los Angeles, USA."
"Not surprising, really" Spike shrugged, "Though it's been a while since I've received anything by Owl post."
"Yeah, well it surprises the hell outta me" Dawn snorted opening the envelope and extracting several sheets of parchment, all scribbled on with bright green ink.
--Dear Miss Summers,
We are pleased to inform you that you have been given a place at HogwartsSchool of Witchcraft and Wizardry. You will be joining the 6th year students as well as learning several spells from years 1 to 5 on the side.
Please find a list of school supplies enclosed in this letter as well as a permission slip in order to visit HogsmeadeVillage, which must be signed by a parent or guardian if you wish to visit the village on weekends.
We await your owl no later than July 31st.
Professor M. McGonagall (Deputy Headmistress)--
Dawn blinked several times, she read the passage at the top of the letter. It was about the Headmaster – what the hell kind of name was 'Dumbledore'? It also babbled on about some 'Order of Merlin' and what the f was 'Supreme Mugwump' supposed to mean?
Dawn shook her head several times. "Spike, d'you know what this is?" She asked the vampire who was currently immersed in his own letter on the sparkly midnight blue parchment. The writing appeared to be in silver.
Spike looked up from his letter when she asked, he took Dawns' letter in his hands and examined it. A wide grin spread across his features.
"Bloody hell, Bit, you've been accepted to Hogwarts and you're American, that's just bloody weird."
"Weird? Understatement. But definitely not because I'm American. So you're telling me you know what this place is?!"
"Hell yeah, I went there."
That she wasn't expecting "Really?"
"It's true, 'bout a hundred and forty years ago, back when I was alive."
"So this is real? I mean, I know magic is real, all we've been through. But look at this list – it says I need a wand!"
"Well of course, Lil' Bit" Spike chuckled, "You're learning Witchcraft not Wicca or Sorcery."
"So you had a wand?"
"Can you still do magic now?"
"Doesn't work like that, Bit, when you become a Vampire, any magical energy you had gets channeled into your Vampiric powers, which is why many Master Vampires were Witches or Wizards when they were alive."
"Including Angel?" Dawn inquired.
"The Poof included" Spike affirmed.
"So, can you still use a wand?"
"Nah, when I say our magical energy is channeled, I mean transformed. It enhances our Vampiric abilities, and we can't use that magic through wands anymore. Besides, you should know that Vampires tend to avoid pointy, woody objects."
"Shoulda guessed. So what was your letter about?"
"Dumbledore himself asked me to become a teacher" Spike said, Dawn could hear a certain amount of pride in his voice. This Dumbledore person must have been really important for Spike to sound so respectful at the mere mention of his name.
"Teach? You? Get outta here!" Dawn grinned widely.
Spike nodded, "Demonic History and Mythology. He's expecting my answer as soon as possible if I really want to teach. What about you, Bit – d'you want to go to school in another country?"
Dawn thought about it – magic school sounded heaps more interesting than high school. And if Spike was going she wouldn't be alone – but she didn't know if he was going.
"I'm not sure" Dawn admitted, with a feeling of uneasiness "What are your plans, Spike?"
Spike grinned, "Me? I'm going to Hogwarts."
'The Down-low', that's what the club was called. A popular spot and Wes had discovered very early that this place was a favorite of Faith's. He was on the upper levels leaning over the rail that looked over the dance-floor below.
There she was, his – no – the Slayer, eyes half closed, completely losing herself in the beat. She was dancing, not with one particular person, but with any guy who just happened to be near. They flocked around her like vultures, Wesley thought to himself bitterly. But what he wouldn't have given to be right down there with her.
Wes didn't know what it was, but ever since Faith had come back to LA he found himself thinking of her more and more often. His obsession had become so profound that he followed her on patrol and kept an eye on where she went after. Much like he was being her Watcher again.
'Yeah right, Wesley, a Watcher with a very unhealthy interest in his Slayer – slam dunk' Wes thought grimly.
He discovered that she also sometimes liked to mix her patrol with a bit of fun. Such as going to a club and leading some unsuspecting vamp into an alleyway (for what the vamp hoped would be some fantastic make-out session and an easy meal) before staking that vamp on the spot.
So basically she mixed pleasure with pleasure – yippee for her. Wes took another swig of the beer in his hand. Man this stuff tasted like shit – and they called this sorry excuse for cat piss alcohol? It was too bland - not strong enough – hell he wasn't even the slightest bit tipsy yet. What he wouldn't give for just one shot of Fire-Whisky. The thought of any of the people in this club taking a swig of the stuff made him grin almost evilly. Fire-Whisky was ten times as strong as the strongest drink made by muggle hands.
Wes watched the dark-haired Slayer at work. Faith had picked a target, a college-stud. He was a vampire, or at least Wes hoped he was.
As Faith led her victim out of the club Wes followed not too far behind. As usual Faith led the vamp into the nearest alley and seconds later Wes heard rather than saw, the faint 'puff' of a vampire being dusted.
Wes concealed himself in the shadows as Faith walked out of the alley, tucking her stake in the back of her pants and dusting off her hands.
The ex-Watcher followed his – no – the Slayer for a few blocks until he realized that she was headed to his apartment. As if the Powers That Be were feeling generous that night, a vampire lunged at Faith who was more than ready. Taking advantage of her momentary setback, Wes managed to hurry to his apartment and shrug off his jacket before he heard her knock on the door.
Half an hour later they were sitting in Wesleys' apartment. On the outside Wes looked properly calm, dark and some might say broody. Faith once teased that he was giving Angel a run for his money. But on the inside was a ferocious battle – Wesley's mind (which had once been completely clear and full of inexperienced knowledge) was jumbled.
How had all the things in his life taken such a twist? Especially with his – no – a Slayer (dammit he just couldn't break the habit) sitting across from him.
"… I need you to be my Watcher again, Wes" Faith said quietly, her voice was almost pleading and her dark eyes probably also held a pleading look, but she wouldn't meet his gaze.
Wes let her little speech sink in, when she'd come in and sat down she told him that she needed to be trained – that she didn't feel she used her power to her full ability, that she needed his help – so Watcher again? Wes wasn't sure.
After the Angelus hunt, Wes had confirmed his theory that he and Faith now made the 'kickass team' (as Faith had once put it) that they never had been - that they never could be - before. It was because of the changes in both of them. He was no longer a stuck up, stuffy prat who followed everything by the book, and she now did not rely solely on herself, and had started trusting people.
After Sunnydale had sunk into hell, Faith had come back to LA, which shocked Wesley to no end, especially when she'd apologized for what she'd done to him and informed him that she was turning herself back in. Wes decided that she could redeem herself much better out of prison than in and had asked Fred to do a bit of hacking and erase Faiths' criminal record.
So with a fresh slate, Faith had a room at the Hyperion as did Dawn and Spike. Faith started patrolling and training again, all by herself. But now she'd shown up at his doorstep asking him to be her Watcher again, telling him that she needed it – she needed the training.
For a brief moment Wes was torn. There was something inside him that rejoiced at the thought of being her Watcher again – being given a second chance to succeed where he had once failed. But a part of him also rebelled at the thought of being her Watcher – and for the love of god he didn't know why.
Well, a small evil little voice inside him knew why – Wes squelched it down. He know that something implanted in the back of his mind taunted him, telling him he cared to much for Faith to maintain the correct Watcher-Slayer distance.
'Oh god, Faith, you do know you're killing me right?' Wes thought desperately.
Then he noticed her expression – or rather, he sensed her feelings, which obviously meant that the Watcher-Slayer bond between them had not been broken. Or perhaps the bond was just beginning to form itself as they had never been close before.
"There's something else, isn't there?" Wes demanded, "There's another reason you want me to be your Watcher again. What is it?"
Faith shivered and looked up into his eyes for the first time since she'd stepped through the door. Strange because she'd never lacked confidence in her life.
Something in Faith relented and she found herself spilling her suspicions "The vamp count's been low lately, too low. Even if the Hellmouth just sank a large chunk of the demon population. It's been quiet, Wes, too quiet. And I can feel a sort of evilness crawling under my skin. I don't know what it is, but as Buffy would say 'My spider sense is tingling'. There's something coming – well, maybe not coming here – but something big is gonna happen. And when the time comes I have distinct feeling that I'll need you."
'Need me? Good lord, she really is trying to kill me' Wes's screamed in his head.
It just occurred to Wes how worried she must be about this 'Big Bad' for her to come to him and ask for help. It wasn't really in Faith's character to do so, and Wes would have thought that she'd go to Angel first. But seeking his help and guidance put them on new level of trust – it did in Wes' mind at least.
It was the right thing to do, and perhaps if he became her Watcher once more he could have more of a reason to push back these not-feelings that were forming somewhere deep inside him.
"Alright…"Wes agreed and as soon as the words left his lips two dark figures came swooping in his open window.
Faith leapt up with a startled cry and took a fighting stance. Wes jumped and faced the thing that had come in. When he realized what it was he breathed a sigh of relief.
"No need to panic, Faith" Wes smiled, "Just owl post."
Faith relaxed and slumped back in her chair. "See, I'm all paranoid and stuff – stupid owls."
The two owls – one black and one gray – both hooted indignantly. The black owl dropped a sparkly, midnight blue scroll in front of Faith and clicked his beak in an irate sort of a way.
"I think you pissed him off, Faith" Wes motioned as the gray owl dropped an identical scroll into his outstretched hand. Wes stroked the owls' feathers as a silent 'thank you' as the creature landed on his couch.
"Alright, alright" Faith surrendered, "Sorry, geeze, sensitive much?"
"Well they did deliver mail to you and you called them 'stupid'" Wes said pointedly.
"Which begs the question 'what the hell is going on'?" Faith demanded.
Wes sighed, this was going to take a while to explain.
"So this guy – Bumble-snore…" Faith began.
"Dumbledore" Wes corrected gently.
"Dumb-bell-floor" Faith said innocently.
"Faith" Wes sighed exasperatedly.
"Alright, alright, geeze, lighten up a little" Faith grumbled, "This Dumbledore guy is a powerful Wizard and runs a school for witches-and-wizards-in-training called 'Warthogs'."
"Basically correct, except for the 'Warthogs' bit."
"And you went to this – Hogwarts – school but when your father made you become a Watcher-in-training they snapped your wand (and I can't believe you guys actually have wands) because Watchers are forbidden to use that type of magic to help defend their slayers."
"Man those Watchers Council guys were bastards – I'm so glad Giles is taking over" Faith sighed.
Wes shrugged. But Faith could tell he was also pleased that Giles was now in charge.
"But what I can't get," She continued "is why this nutso guy wants me to teach. Doesn't he know who I am? What I've done?"
"Dumbledore knows much more than any of us give him credit for, Faith" Wes said, there was a high note of respect in his voice, Faith noticed.
Faith shook her head, trying to clear it. This Dumbledore guy sounded like an incredible, but completely and utterly crazy person.
'What kind of whack-job would let me near kids, let alone teach them? I mean, hello, erased criminal record or not, still a crazed psychopath here' Faith
"So any idea why crazy-wizard-man wants me to teach 'Physical Defense'? I mean, what about Buffy?"
There was a sharp CRACK suddenly.
"I assumed it might be better for a Slayer to be closer to her Watcher. And I heard Miss Summers is taking a long, well deserved vacation."
Faith jumped, startled at the arrival of a tall man with a log white beard and blue robes. Faith was instantly reminded of Merlin, or Gandalf. Hey, she'd read books in the rat-hole that was prison – pretty much the only thing she could do.
Wesley practically leapt to his feet.
"Professor" Wesley said, nodding respectfully, "I didn't think when you said you were coming soon, that you were coming soon."
"Not time like the present, eh, Wesley" Dumbledore chuckled with that ghost of a smile of his that made even Faith want to grin "And why so formal? You're not a student anymore."
"Indeed I'm not, Albus" Wes laughed bitterly, "Became a Watcher – did what my father wanted me to do after all. And what's all this about you wanting me to teach 'Demon Anthology'."
"What now?" Faith asked, confused.
"Basically teaching students to identify different demon species," Wesley explained.
"I came up with that Subject Title for lack of a better course name" Dumbledore shrugged, still smiling.
"We never had any courses like that back at Hogwarts" Wesley frowned, "The closest thing to come to would be Defense against the Dark Arts."
Faith raised an eyebrow. "Sure beats the hell outta math I guess," She shrugged with a grin.
"I'm adding a few new subjects this year" Dumbledore explained.
"May I ask what for?" Wesley asked.
For the first time since he'd arrived Dumbledore looked grave.
"Voldemort is gaining strength."
The impact from these words was shocking. Faith could feel the chill in the room and she shivered involuntarily. Though it was only for a moment, Faith caught the slight change in Wes' expression. His eyes flickered and his frowned deepened – and Faith could have sworn that a little color had drained from his face.
Old-Wesley would have squeaked or given an unmanly yelp and cowered in a corner to express any kind of fear. But Faith could tell Wes was at least a tiny bit afraid and more than a little worried.
"I heard that he'd come back," Wesley whispered dangerously, as the color began to seep into his cheeks again, "How far has he gotten?"
It was then Faith realized that Wesleys' reaction had been a mixture of both shock and fear. Again Faith was amazed at how much he'd changed.
"Two years ago, during the Triwizard Tournament, he used Harry Potters blood for the restoration ritual…"
"Another bad, now the Potter boy is almost defenseless."
"He has people looking out for him, Wesley" Dumbledore assured him, "And now Voldemort is regrouping his forces. We fear that the Dementors will leave Azkaban very soon. And we will have a war on our hands."
Harry Potter stared at his reflection in the mirror of his wardrobe, he brushed his hair back, trying to make it lie flat again – but of course, it remained in its messy state. Stupid hair – no matter what he did to it…
His thoughts were interrupted by the snowy owl that swooped into his room. Hedwig dropped a roll of parchment and a small box onto his bed.
"Thanks, Hedwig" Harry whispered.
The owl gave a little hoot and flew to her cage for some water. Harry unrolled the parchment – it was from Ron, well, from Ron and Hermione anyway. They were replying to one of the letters he sent them the day before.
I know asking 'how's your summer' would be a pretty stupid question considering you're living with the muggles. We asked Dumbledore, and he said it would be alright if you came early this summer. So we'll pick you up tomorrow morning, 'kay?
It'll be great to celebrate your birthday here – mum's setting the whole thing up so don't be surprised if you wont be able to see over the cake she's baking you.
Hey, guess what, you remember how I told you about my cousin Willo-
Of course he remembers, Ron (came Hermiones tiny writing) you've only been telling him about her all summer.
Write your own letter, 'Mione (Rons untidy scrawl took over again) sorry about that – don't mind Hermione she's just a little edgy about getting our OWLS back (although I don't know WHY she's so antsy since she'll probably get the best scores anyway-
It's not good to assume anything Ron.
And 'Mione insists on writing on this parchment instead of her own.
It's more logical this way.
STOP THAT!!! Anyway (Harry could practically hear Ron sigh) Dumbledore came over the other day and asked Willow to TEACH!!! At HOGWARTS!!! How cool is that? She'll be teaching Wiccan Magic. We'll explain more about that when you get here.
Wiccan Magic is magic used without a w-
As I SAID we'll tell you more about it when you get here. See you tomorrow.
P.S. – Fred and George insisted on sending you a little shop sample of a new product. It's good stuff actually – don't worry I've tried it and it wont give you a nose bleed or turn you into anything.--
Harry couldn't help but laugh out loud through most of the letter. This hadn't been the first letter he'd gotten like this from those two. Harry turned his attention to the small box on his bed that was shaking slightly. It was a shiny sort of reddish color that occasionally flashed gold. A whole bunch of gold animal shapes scampered across the cover. On the front – in a silvery greenish-blue color was stamped 'Animal Crackers' – on the top was a smaller logo 'Weasleys Wizarding Wheezes'.
Harry opened the box hesitantly. The small crackers inside would have looked normal except for the fact that they were moving but they seemed to be trapped in the box like they couldn't get over the top. Even the birds – who were fluttering at the top couldn't seem to make it past the rim. Harry stuck his hand in and pulled out a monkey cracker, he wasn't holding on too tightly though, so as soon as the monkey was free of the box it wiggled out of his grasp and jumped onto the floor. Scuttling under his bed. Harry put the box on the bed and knelt down just in time to see the cracker jump through a hole in the floor.
Harry shrugged – hopefully it would lose its energy when it went stale. Harry reached two fingers into the box again and this time held tightly onto the Elephant he'd picked up. Though Harry knew better than to eat anything Fred and George gave him, he let his curiosity get the better of him.
"I know I'm probably gonna regret this" Harry muttered to himself, popping the elephant into his mouth and chewing – he swallowed.
For a minute nothing happened – then he doubled over, opened his mouth and let out a Trumpeting sound – exactly like an elephant. The noise subsided and Harry felt normal again
Suddenly Harry heard his Uncles footsteps so he ducked under the covers and hid the box and letter with him pretending to sleep.
Uncle Vernon come in, turned on the light, looked around suspiciously before turning the light off again and closing he door.
Only when Uncle Vernon's snores could be heard did he allow himself to laugh.
"So what do these do exactly, Albus?" Angel asked, fiddling with the silver chain, on the end of it was a rare, deep blue, sapphire about the size of a large marble.
Dumbledore had apparated out of Wesleys' apartment (startling Faith again when he disappeared) to the Hyperion to meet up with Angel and Spike. Dawn was there as well and the others would be there soon. Upon his arrival, Dumbledore had given both vampires jewels that were almost identical except for color.
Spike turned the gem that Dumbledore had given him over in his hand. On the end of a gold chain hung a blood red ruby – identical in shape and size to Angels'.
"These are the Gems of Dominatus" Dumbledore explained.
Dawn watched the vampires' expressions with interest. Spike's eyes widened as he slipped the chain over his head and hid the gem underneath his shirt.
"You're joking? Why give them to us?" Angel demanded.
"They need your protection" Albus explained.
"We're here" Gunn announced as he, Fred and Lorne entered the Hotel. The group was soon followed by Faith and Wesley.
"Albus?" Lorne said, stunned to see the Wizard he hadn't seen in quite a while.
"Who's this?" Fred asked.
Introductions were passed around, and the story of the Wizarding World retold, along with Spike, Wes and Faith's job offers, and Dawns new enrolment in Hogwarts.
"So, what are you doing here, Professor Dumbledore?" Fred asked kindly.
"Voldemort has returned to power."
The whole room froze for a moment. Even Wesley who'd already heard the news tensed visibly. Even those who didn't know who or what Voldemort was could feel the tension and a feeling close to fear in the air.
"OK, I felt that chill go up my spine" Dawn said, breaking the silence.
That seemed to relax everyone and Dumbledore smiled appreciatively.
"The Dementors…" Angel began.
"Will be joining him very soon, I fear" Dumbledore answered.
Faith noticed that Wesley really did go pale this time. He shivered briefly before getting a hold of himself. The action went unnoticed to most in the room.
"You okay, Wes?" Faith asked quietly.
"I've got an issue with Dementors, Faith, it's nothing really" Wes said, composing himself.
"So, back to what we were talking about before – you said giving us the Dominatus gems are for protection?" Angel asked.
Dumbledore nodded, "There are four in all and they are very powerful – I believe they will even be able to shield the sun from you."
Everyone looked at the two vampires in surprise.
Spike grinned "You believe? Well, Peaches, you can test it first and if you go up in flames I'll know it's broke."
Dawn snorted and the others choked with repressed laughter.
"Funny" Angel rolled his eyes.
"Voldemort has gotten hold of one of these" Dumbledore informed them.
"Ouch" Gunn flinched, "I don't know much about this Wizarding World, but that's not a good thing is it?"
"'Fraid not, Hot Chocolate" Lorne winced, "In Laymen's terms - this ain't gonna make the world safe for kittens and puppies."
"When does it ever?" Faith muttered sarcastically.
"Anyway – I took it upon myself to collect the remaining three gems and distribute them accordingly, to ensure that Voldemort would have a hard time getting them. I originally wanted to ask both of you to teach Demonic History and Mythology" Dumbledore admitted, indicating Angel and Spike, "But I knew that you, Angel, could not be torn from your duties here. Thus, this gave me an opportunity – you will be able to use the gems powers to shield the sun along with protecting it at the same time. And Spike will find it useful too for that same purpose, and as he has already agreed to teach at Hogwarts I can also keep an extra eye on the Ruby."
"That's logical" Fred smiled, "It makes a lot of sense. I for one want to learn more about these… uh…."
"Dominatus Gems" Wes supplied.
"Dominatus Gems" Fred repeated.
"Actually, I wouldn't mind knowing a bit more about them myself" Angel admitted.
"Well, from what I remember, Hogwarts has an extensive library" Wes said thoughtfully, "And since I'm taking up the job offer I might as well do some research…"
"Looks like some things never change" Faith muttered, "Geeze Wes, still all about hittin' the books. Lost the glasses, lost the suit, started brooding – but still all about the books" Faith shook her head mockingly "For shame."
Wes rolled his eyes exasperatedly, which the rest of the room erupted into laughter, save Dumbledore who surveyed them all with an amused look.
"Well, if you could send some info back, Wes, that'd be great" Angel said, "Have you all decided to teach?"
Spike, Wes and Faith nodded. Faith somewhat hesitantly, but she was encouraged when Dumbledore smiled warmly at her – there was just something encouraging about him.
"I'll send a port-key in a few days then" Dumbledore smiled and with a wave goodbye (and a 'CRACK'ing noise) he disappeared.
Faith shook her head, "It's official – I hate it when he does that."
A/N – Alright – judging by the page count thing this chapter 19 pages long (go me!), I'm not sure if all my chapters will be this long, but here's hoping.
Some of you may have noticed the whole 'animal crackers' bit was like in the Third Harry Potter Movie when the boys were in the dorm eating – I dunno what they were – and then making animal sounds. Well – I just sorta used the idea and called them Animal Crackers.
For all those who want BUFFY/SPIKE don't worry, they WILL be together. But that comes a while later in the story.
Just a special thanks to those of you who supported me through all of this – I know that many readers HATE it when the author suddenly decides to rewrite a story because then you'll hafta go all the way back to the beginning.
The upside of this? I'm changing several things.