What a Witch Does
Granny Weatherwax was hunched as low as she could be over her broom. As low as she could be with another person cradled in front of her anyway. She could barely get low enough for her hat to affect her wind resistance profile. It looked like the trip home would take a little longer than the trip out. Not to long though. Esme knew that if it took to long, something with tentacles for a face might notice them and that would be not good. Therefore she knew, with the ice bright determination of one who knows, it wouldn't take that long
"Esme!" cried Nany Ogg, "How long?" Granny Weatherwax could barely hear her over the not-wind rushing past her ears. All around them, not-ground didn't rush past underneath, not-stars didn't blur into lines of dark above them and ahead, a wall of not nothing wasn't getting closer very VERY quickly. As long as Esme was assured of this fact, it was true. Possibly. Travelling between meant travelling in places without rules, or at least rules that didn't make sense to minds accustomed to the usual 5 or 6 dimensions.
"Stay close Gytha, We"re almost there." Strangely, Nanny Ogg didn't have any problems hearing her friend on the broom ahead. Nanny chanced a look behind. The shape of something writhing, a transparent negative overlayed on her vision was close behind. Something that might have been a tentacle was reaching for the bristles at the end of her broom. With a startled yelp, Nanny kicked her broom, hoping to make it move a little faster.
Witches have a very high tolerance for abstract thought and at the same time, none at all. This sort of paradox is why suddenly Granny Weatherwax and Nanny Ogg were now flying over the Ramtop mountains, and not in a place that is very difficult to describe, being chased by something that cannot be seen. Nanny adjusted her seat, the end result she looked less like a bag of tomatoes and more like a bag of potatoes. Esme loosened her grip on her broom ever so slightly, and checked to make sure her passenger was still asleep.
"Well, I"ll see you home Esme and help the girl in, but after that I must get back. Our Sean is bringing a girl around and I should be there to see if she's worthy." By worthy she meant "able to be crushed under my huge black buckled boots", and they both knew that, but appearances should be maintained.
"I"ll thank you for your help Gytha, and don't scare this one to much. Your Sean has been trying. I heard that after this one, he's down to Doreen Shacklerug from down the way."
Nanny visibly shuddered. "Yes, well, we"ll see. I"m feeling clucky again, I could do with a new grandkid." During the conversation they had flown further, skimming across the top of the trees, closer to a small hut deep in the woods. Spiralling in, they came down for a landing on the path at the front of the house. Esme waited until Gytha had stopped and come over before untagling herself and her charge. The red-headed girl was wrapped in a warm blanket, and had a beanie pulled down over her ears. With Gytha's carrying the girl, and herself carrying their broomsticks, Granny unlocked the front door of her cottage and led them inside.
"Upstairs, in the spare room. You know the one. I"ll get the kettle on." Granny said. Gytha gave a little grunt as she shifted the girl's weight, but continued on to the stairwell. Granny busied herself with lighting the fire that had already been set in the fireplace, and dangling a large kettle over the hearth.
Xander was feeling a little nervous.
Ok, that was an understatement. He was terrified. The cause of his fear was small, blonde, Slayer shaped and holding a very large hammer. Buffy was currently casually tossing the haft of the massive weapon from hand to hand, all the while smiling in that way she smiled at Willy the Snitch. Xander used to to love that smile. Now, not so much. Now, he was all for the hating of the smile.
"So, let me get this straight. You"re WATCHING Willow, and while watching her you decide to just GIVE HER AWAY to UNKNOWN POSSIBLY WITCHES because they SAY they"ll help her after she went all Darth Willow and tried to KILL us all!" And you do this WITHOUT calling us, by which I mean ME, and letting us, still ME know, and WITHOUT finding out where they were taking her?"
Yep. Hating the smile. "Look, they were Witches you know. With a capital W. Dressed in black. You should have seen them."
"YES Xander, that's EXACTLY the point, I SHOULD have seen them!" Buffy's smile was definitely not reflected in her eyes. "And since when do we TRUST people dressed in BLACK on the HELLMOUTH"!"
Ah. Logic. Maybe she wasn't completely hysterical then. Maybe he could save this. "See Buffster, I can still call you Buff?"
Suddenly the door was slammed open. Dawn was standing there, fire in her eyes. "Did I hear that?"
"Don't you hey Dawnie me Alexander Harris! Did I just overhear you correctly?!" There was no way he was getting out of this safely now. He noticed Buffy's smile had shifted to a smirk that did reach her eyes. Well, at least she had calmed down a bit.
"I was just thinking that Wills looked a little off and then I noticed something at the end of the bed and then there were two women there and they had BIG POINTY HATS and they were Witches with a capital and the way she looked at me?"
"Breath Xander!" Buffy said. Dawn looked slightly a taken back by his awesome torrent of babble. "What can you remember. Did they say where they were taking them.?" Dawn opened her mouth, about to say something, but stopped at a look from Buffy.
"Umm, Esme Earwax? She was the tall one. Nanny Hog? She reminded me of my Nan anyway, Mountains... maybe Colorado?" They said the mail wasn't to regular, and then they flew away, on BROOMS! Willow always said that was a phallo-centric view of witching, and that it wasn't true. Guess that shows her huh?" Xander was starting to feel a little" off.
"Is that all Xand? Buffy's calling me Xand. Maybe I"ll make it out of this alive!
"Umm, they mentioned the cackle. Apparently, another Witch should have noticed it, and would have snapped her out of it"
"The cackle" Like rice bubbles?" Dawn seemed a little calmer too.
"No Dawn, they meant the laugh, didn't they Xander." Back to Xander? Oh Well.
"I think so Buff. And they said they wouldn't help her, they'd make her help herself. I think I kinda had the idea it was a twelve step program for Witches."
Just then, the bedroom door opened and Giles walked in. "Ah I was looking for you all. I've organised the plane tickets. I need you to find Willows passport. Do you know where it is." He looked up from the papers he was reading, catching sight of the empty bed. "Where's Willow?"
End Chapter 2
I need to reread all the Granny Weatherwax books. And rewatch end of season 6 to see peoples physical condition. Can't for the life of me remember if people were banged up, bleeding, broken armed or what.
Next Chapter - Willow Wakes Up!