A/N: 'allo. Chapter four.
Oz quietly gathered his school things, watching Lupin more than considering the supplies. The older man reminded him very strongly of himself.
"We still need your wand, Daniel."
"My friends call me Oz."
Lupin smiled. "Oz, then. Well, Ollivanders is the only place for it," the Professor stated, leading him to a shop near the end of the nicer part of the alley. Even without his werewolf's nose, he could sense the evil not much further down.
"Ah, Mr. Lupin. I imagine you're happy that bill wasn't passed."
Lupin tensed, obviously knowing exactly which bill Ollivander referred to. "Yes, actually."
"Going to teach again, I hear?"
"Professor Dumbledore believed me suitable for the position."
"Who's the boy? Relation?"
"Daniel Ozbourne. He'll be needing a wand."
Oz watched the exchange, perfectly content to remain silent. He noted the measuring tape circling him in all manners and looked at it out of the corner of his eye.
"Ah, I see it now. Be careful in the future, Mr. Ozbourne. You've encountered darkness before, and escaped, this time, perhaps, you will not be so fortunate."
The boy chouldn't shake the feeling that Ollivander actually WANTED him to be a werewolf again.
"Try this one, willow, nine and a half, unicorn mane hair."
Oz had barely touched the slender bit of wood before it was snatched back. "No, no, definitely nothing unicorn for you. Dragon heart-string, perhaps?" he wondered aloud, pulling out another wand. "Give it a wave."
A large explosion occurred, almost making Oz blink. Instantly another wand was in his grasp. "Chinese fireball, Yew, eleven."
This time, absolutely nothing happened, making Ollivanders create a bemused, if nonplussed, noise, and snatch it back, searching for something more adequate.
"Here! Hungarian horntail, willow, just over ten – and how did this get in here?" he frowned, then glanced at Oz. "But perhaps . . . well, maybe that would be fitting, after all. Try it."
The wand felt like it fit perfectly in Oz's hand, and once swished, it gave a gorgeous lightshow of gold and bronze, as well as a loud howl.
Ollivanders seemed satisfied, telling Remus the price and handing over the box for the wand. Oz was sorely tempted to ask what had given the other man a start, but Lupin beat him to the punch.
"Oh, just a little bit more beast in that wand than I expected. I don't remember putting that last hair in, but I was attempting some peculiar experiments that day . . ."
"Ollivander," growled the werewolf. "What was in it."
"A bit of you, Mr. Lupin, if you must know."
Next came an out-right snarl. "How dare you," the man snapped. "There are compliance contracts, even with dragons. Even with the TREES, agreements must be reached. When, exactly, did you snatch off one of my hairs, -Mr.- Ollivander," sneered the man. "When I came here for my first wand? During one of my changes? Did you find it somewhere in the Shrieking Shack? Or did you decide werewolves don't deserve privacy and come pluck it off my back after I took the potion?"
Ollivander looked at him haughtily. "I had Dumbledore's permission to be in the Forest that night, and I hadn't the foggiest idea it was you I found."
Lupin put a firm hand on Oz's shoulder, leading the young boy out of the shop with one final glare at the wand-maker.
"PROFESSOR LUPIN!" someone shouted happily.
"Hello, Ron," smiled the werewolf warmly. A sixteen year old boy gave the other male a firm, happy handshake, and a girl of the same age ran up.
"Hello, Professor!" she chirped.
"Hello, Hermione. Oz, these are two of my former students, Ronald Weasley and Hermione Granger. Ron, Hermione, this is Daniel Ozbourne. Mainly referred to as -"
"Oz," the boy himself interrupted, shaking hands politely with both witch and wizard.
"Are you going to be at Hogwarts, then?" smiled the girl. Oz nodded with his mysterious half-grin. "Hope you're in Gryffindor, that's our house."
Ron looked eagerly back at his ex-professor. "Are you to be teaching again? Or just on Phoenix business?"
Oz filed the word phoenix in the back of his mind, certain Ron meant something far more than the immortal bird.
"Both, actually. Oz was victim to a unique spell, along with some other Americans."
The former werewolf's ears pricked near-visibly at that.
He didn't have long to wonder, however.
Willow and Tara happily strolled Diagon Alley. They had just completed their uniform fittings, and were headed to the wand-shop to better occupy the time until their things would be done.
Mr. Ollivander swung into view on a rolling ladder, the manner they have in large libraries with high shelves.
"Hello, Misses Rosenburg, MacClay. You're in for wands? Not you, of course, Miss MacClay, you had one of that American cousin of mine's, didn't you?"
"A-actually, I need a n-new one . . . my d-dad kind of . . ."
Ollivander's eyes clouded. "It's alright, Miss MacClay. What was your old one, perhaps I have something similar."
"It w-was u-unicorn tail-hair, uh, eleven inches, a-and, willow-wood."
"Very good. This one's a bit shorter, mane instead of tail, but give it a go."
Tara gave the wand a sharp flick, and blue and bronze sparks filled the room.
"A Ravenclaw, most certainly. And, Miss Rosenburg? Hm, Norwegian Ridgeback, yew, not too long. A dark wand, that."
Willow shivered, and barely touched the wand before it was yanked back.
"No, no. Pine or ash for you, definitely. Paper-trees. And phoenix, yes, yes . . ."
He wandered off among the wand-stacks, returning a few seconds later. "Here, eight and three quarters, Augery feather, pine."
Willow gave it a flick like Tara had, and more blue and bronze sparks washed the scene.
They paid for their wands and left the store, hardly expecting to see who they did.
Oz started when someone called his name. Two girls, familiar ones at that, were rushing up. "Oz, did the spell get you too? Oh, Goddess, I'm so sorry, we didn't mean to do anything like this to you, of course, we didn't mean to do anything like this to ourselves, either, and are you still a – no, you're not, but is that because – of course, I'm being stupid, but is that – wait, is that man a werewolf?"
Oz smiled. "Willow." He turned to the blonde. "Tara," he nodded cordially.
"O-oz," she stammered, making him smile slightly and embrace her.
"It's okay. And yes, Wil'."
"Oh. I babbled, didn't I?"
Both her college love-interests smiled and nodded.
She whined and hit Oz lightly in the shoulder. "You're supposed to tell me when I do that!"
The two sixth year Gryffindors smiled at the endearing scene.
"And who are you three people!?" Willow demanded. "And what are you doing with my Oz!?"
Oz rolled his eyes mentally, throwing an arm around her, first looking to the silent Tara. She seemed subdued, but alright with his physical contact with both their former girlfriend.
"I'm Hermione Granger, this is my boyfriend Ron Weasley, and one of our teachers, Professor Lupin. I believe Professor Lupin was helping 'Your Oz' buy his school supplies, and we both had to come up and say hello."
Willow blushed. "Sorry, I get . . . enthusiastic. So, you two go to Hogwarts? Tell me all about it!"
Ron looked thrilled to tell the girl who could easily have been related to him all about his school.
Oz glanced at Tara. "Who else?"
"A-all the Scoobies. Wh-when we set the spell, we didn't mean t-to include you, but I guess we can't really consider you NOT a S-scooby. Anyway, it was supposed to only give the energy and hope, but we all ended up changing forms. W-which was fine by Spike, because he's human now, b-but do you mind?"
Oz shook his head, flashing five digits twice.
"Five by f-five and silent a-as ever," smiled Tara. "Listen, Oz, I'm sorry about Willow, b-but sh-she needed s-someone, a-and I-I d-didn't know. A-and you d-did l-leave her th-there."
The boy shrugged. "No prob'. You're plenty good for her."
Tara blushed. "S-still."
Ex-werewolf Scooby just shrugged again. "Friends?"
"Y-yeah!" she replied, happy. Tara hated having people not like her.
Willow turned back to her ex. "Oz, as glad as I am that you and Tara are getting along, I don't think there's a single bed left in the Leaky Cauldron – at least, not in any of the rooms we have rented. Since Professor Lupin's been your escort this far, do you mind terribly much if you DON'T share with Ripper, Specs – Spike – and Xander?"
Oz shrugged, making Willow grin wryly. "Still not much of a talker, eh? Mr. Lupin, do you mind at all?"
The werewolf shrugged too, making everyone laugh . . . but not in unison, because that's WAY too "low-budget-nineties-sitcom."
"I don't mind. I've been solitary for too long," he said, looking sad and distant.
Ron and Hermione made a joint sympathetic noise, knowing he was still mourning Sirius, after just a few months.
Oz touched the older man's elbow gently, reminding him of their earlier conversation.
Buffy and Specs chatted amiably about the school supplies, and Specs even managed to engage the ex-cheerleader in a talk about books.
Dawn was in shock. They were falling in love all over again. At least now, she mused, we KNOW the boy's not a vamp and has a soul. Oh God . . . what if Faith got hit too? What if there's an eleven year old girl in a women's penintentiary for no reason she can really remember? What if there's no Slayer now?
She voiced her thoughts in a quick jumble to Buffy, who looked contemplative and scared at once.
"We have to owl Dumbledore," Specs told them gravely, and they hurried back to the Leaky Cauldron.
I kinda just thought of that loophole up yonder. I'm considering Faith becoming a little bitty girl again, but then I'd probably have the women rape her, and I rape people too much already.
How about you guys vote on it?
But the key ingredient in the spell was who the casters thought of as Scoobies. Of course, the targets are now eleven and with uncontrolled magic and a spell gone wrong coursing their veins.
Needless to say, the Elevensies are not a finalized group yet.