Disclaimer: I do not own the characters or the story. The characters belong to Whedon and Rowling. The story belongs to Malli. I am just one of the three people continuing it. To see her previous chapters and the other continuations go to . This is for Malli.
Previously on Phoenix Child:
"Faith! What are you doing here?" Willow asked, surprised by the appearance of the rugged girl in the middle of their living room.
"I got the portkey B gave me," Faith said. "We've been attacked and we need more help. So grab a weapon and let's go."
When they opened their eyes again, the gang found themselves trapped inside a room with too many windows and doors, demons and vampires of all varieties pounding to get in.
Remus turned to Moody thoughtfully. "If Buffy's alive, you'd be the only one to know. None of this fits with your story."
"I can't be under a spell," Moody said. "Not for this many years."
"And you can't be taken hostage and stored in your own trunk for a year, either," Sirius said. "Oh, wait, that did happen."
With a growl at Sirius, Moody consented. "Maybe I am under a spell. If so, take it off immediately."
"You are under arrest," Fudge started. "For the impersonation of a Ministry official and for magically controlling the Minister of Magic."
"You," she spat, her eyes resting on the one person whose fault all of this was. None of this would have happened if Fudge had not ordered her dead. "This is all your fault."
Two hours earlier at the ministry, Frank Longbottom was looking for the Minister of Magic. Frank needed a job since he was now conscious but he had not been able to find anything. Frank thought maybe if he talked to Fudge that he could help him find a job so that was where Frank was headed; to the minister's office.
Frank was about to knock on the minister's office door when he heard voices coming from within the room. Eavesdropping in on other people's conversations isn't in any of the Longbottoms' characteristics, but when Frank heard what the voices were saying he couldn't stop himself.
"No! Just listen to me! Do you even know who she is? Where she came from before this? No one has heard of a Sarah Fox. She doesn't seem to exist and she certainly didn't work at the ministry before. In any department."
"She's controlling you somehow; she never registered her wand, the guard barely remembers her, and she went up against the Malfoys! You would never let her do that unless she's been controlling you, getting what she wants. She's ruining all our plans for Hogwarts, or haven't you noticed? We had Mr. Potter cornered and he was going to be expelled, and then she comes along. Every scrape he's gotten himself into, she's been there to brush it all away on some technicality or something. We're loosing our grip on the school and the situation! She must be stopped."
"Why didn't I see it before?!"
"She's been controlling you, sir."
"Controlling the Minister of Magic. Even Dumbledore can't get her out of this scrape! She's going to have a lifetime sentence in Azkaban for this and I'll have to make sure Dumbledore goes in with her; it seems as though he's been behind this attack on me the whole time. Then you can have control of the school and the Potter problem will be solved quickly, I'm sure."
"Excellent, Minister. What's our course of action?"
"We must catch her unawares and do it in front of quite a few people so she can't get away. Accusing her and Dumbledore with plenty of witnesses around."
"Tonight at dinner?"
"Perfect. I want dementors waiting outside, but don't let them in. Merlin knows I don't want them around me, and I'm sure Dumbledore will be able to do something if they're in his precious school. I'll have fifteen Aurors walk in with me. Hopefully she'll be blissfully unaware when we blast through the doors."
That's it, Frank thought to himself. I don't care who Sarah Fox really is. She saved mine and my wife's life and Neville looks up to her. I will not let the minister put her in Azkaban. I have to warn her. Hopefully I won't be too late.
Without hesitation Sirius said the necessary incantation to break any spells Moody might have been put under. As soon as he said it the lights flickered out and the wind started blowing around Moody. Just as soon as the spell started, the spell ended. Sirius relit the candles with help from his wand and the winds died down until all was silent. Sirius saw Moody kneeled over where he stood and went over to his friend's side.
"Oh no," Moody whispered. "What have I done?"
"Moody," Sirius asked, "are you alright? What happened?"
"Oh no," Moody said again. "Buffy…she isn't…she's not…"
"She's not what?"
"She's not dead… There was a spell to make sure everyone thought she was dead. The minister told me to… oh no, the minister ordered me to… oh no."
"Moody!" Sirius yelled to get Moody's attention. "What spell? What does the minister have to do with this? Aside from the fact that he's a slimy git…No, wait, that's Snape. But close enough."
"The minister told me to…Fudge ordered me to kill her but I couldn't do it. So I transfigured a branch to look like her body and brought it back to show that she was dead."
"Moody, what did you do to Buffy?"
"I sent her away from here and gave her new memories. The spell I did to change her memories should have stayed. There was no way to break that spell. It was too strong. How does she remember?"
"She's really back?" Sirius asked Moody with tears threatening to form. "Buffy's back?"
"Yes, Buffy's bac--oh no!" Moody exclaimed as he hurriedly tried to get to his feet. "Fudge is here! We have to stop him from harming Buffy!"
Meanwhile in the Great Hall all of the students were silent as their DADA teacher yelled at the Minister of Magics. "This is all your fault," she exclaimed. "None of this would have happened if it wasn't for you, you bastard."
Buffy started towards Fudge when the other ministry workers and Aurors swooped in on all sides with their wands pointed directly at her. "Stop right there," one of the aurous called out. "Don't move," yelled another. "We've got you surrounded."
What is this, Buffy thought, an episode of Cops? Next thing you know they'll be handcuffing me and reading me my Miranda rights.
"You, Sarah Fox, or whatever your real name is," Fudge addressed her, "you are under arrest for the impersonation of a ministry official and the use of magic to control the Minister of Magic, yours truly." To the Aurors, "Arrest her and use any means to do so."
"What," Buffy said. "No right to a lawyer? Ever heard of innocent until proven guilty?" All that met her question was silence. Guess not, she thought, but I can't let them take me. Not now that I'm so close.
"Hand over your wand or we'll take it from you," one of the Aurors informed her.
"I'd like to see you try," Buffy retorted as the doors to the Great Hall flew open and both Frank Longbottom and Alastor Moody raced in.
"No!" They both screamed out at the same time.
"She's not evil," Frank shouted to the Aurors.
"It's not what you think," Moody called out the same time as Frank.