Disclaimer: I own nothing. Harry Potter and all of the characters and places associated with it are a product of the creative genius that is J. K. Rowling. Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and the mythos that I'm borrowing belong to Joss Whedon and Mutant Enemy. The only thing I own is the plot and any original characters. India Cohen and Kit Bothwell are from Nancy Holder's Buffy tie-in The Book of Fours.
Distribution: If you want to post this anywhere else, ask first. I'll say yes, but I want to know. Also, give me credit for it.
Summary: India Cohen is dead, and a new Slayer has been called. Warning: HBP spoilers.
a/n: This is the latest in my Hermione-is-the-Slayer kick.I"M BACK! Hallelujah! My penname works (for now...). But I'll stillbe posting under rcaqua2, occasionally. Please let me know if I should continue. And, yes, I know in Once Upon A Time I said the Coven only uses phones in apocalypse-type situations, but that isn't true for this story.
Cecilia Harrington shifted in her seat slightly and fidgeted with the envelope in her pocket. The emergency meeting was scheduled to start any minute now, but Cecilia couldn't help but wonder which daft plonker had decided to schedule an emergency.
Most of her colleagues looked jittery; a mixture of apprehensive and excited all at once. When Celia had first arrived, the room had been filled with intense discussions; the rumors had been flying as fast as someone could come up with a theory as to why the meeting had been called. Now, over half an hour later, the talk had died down and everyone was sitting on the edge of their seats, waiting for news. Yet the man behind it all, the one person in the building who could possibly know what was going on, remained in his office, gathering information from his contacts.
Cecilia wondered idly if Quentin Travers had been born bald, or if being a Watcher for forty years had been the reason behind his hair loss. If he had been born with hair, what color would it have been? Surely it would be an unusual color; something that said "I am dignified," while at the same time showing a ridiculously pompous and annoying air. Perhaps green? No, that was far too pretty a color. Maybe a nice hazy brownish orange, the exact color of dried-up vomit. Yes, that was definitely the color.
Cecilia was so absorbed in deciphering Quentin Travers' original hair color that she failed to register the sudden tension in the air for several seconds. When she did, the Watcher noticed that the real-life version of Travers was now sitting at the head of the table, and surveying them all with what he obviously felt was a saddened and mournful expression; in reality, he looked like he was having the time of his life.
"I have just received news from Christopher Bothwell," he began with an expression of marked glee, "It seems his Slayer has died."
So that was why he was so happy. It was common knowledge among the Watchers that India Cohen was a very reckless Slayer, and her relationship with Kit Bothwell was unconventional, to say the least.
Travers continued to give details of the girl's death, but Cecilia didn't hear them. As soon as Travers had announced the girl's death, a strange roaring sound had begun to fill Cecilia's ears. It was accompanied by the same odd sensation she had felt when her father had told her about the Council for the first time.
"Markham, I want you to get in touch with the Coven in Devon," Travers ordered, "Get them to locate the next Slayer."
"Yes, sir," Markham, a new recruit fresh from the Academy, quickly ran off to get on the phone with the witches in Devon.
"Everyone, we need to be on high alert until the new Slayer is found," Travers warned, "God only knows what could be brewing while the world remains unprotected."
Once again, Cecilia fingered the envelope in her pocket, and then resolutely pulled her hand away. Something told her that this wasn't the time. The roaring sound still hadn't left her ears, and she felt like she was missing something. As if there was something she had to do. But what it was, Cecilia didn't know.
Cecilia threw her purse on the couch and sank down next to it. The strange feeling that she was missing something hadn't disappeared in the past three weeks. In fact, it had only grown stronger. The information the Council was getting from the Coven was only confusing her even more.
For about half an hour after Markham had phoned them, the witches' spells had reported the Slayer to be somewhere in Dartmouth. Then they said their spells were showing the new Slayer to be in California- Los Angeles, to be precise. Merrick had been sent to investigate the lead in Los Angeles, and had reported it to be true. Both the Council and the Coven chalked up the Dartmouth result to faulty readings so soon after India Cohen's death had disturbed the Slayer power. Normally, Cecilia would have agreed with that assessment; it had been true enough before.
However, as soon as she had heard the words "Slayer in Dartmouth," the feeling had increased ten-fold. She had figured what the feeling was; a part of her had recognized it from the very beginning. In the diaries of Watchers before her, she had read their words as they described having the same feeling she now had; a need to do something. The same feeling every Watcher felt when they were first recruited. Mortimer Giles had once said that every Watcher was Chosen, just as every Slayer was; sometimes, promising new recruits were sent to their Slayer fresh from the Academy, hoping to cultivate that feeling. And somehow, impossible though it seemed, Cecilia knew she'd been chosen to help a Slayer in Dartmouth- a Slayer who didn't exist.
So she had finally given Travers the letter that had been burning a hole in her pocket for so long. Cecilia Harrington, eighth generation Watcher, had handed in her resignation. He had been wearing the same falsely pleasant, hungry expression he always had around her. There had always been resentment in the Council at the high position her father had secured for her. But, Travers had always had a soft spot for money, which was something Gordon Harrington had had in abundance.
She could tell that when Travers had begun to read her letter he would have expected some small request- a bigger office, a vacation, etc.- that he would have quickly agreed to in the hopes that Cecilia would continue her father's tradition of giving ridiculously large amounts of money to the Council at the Christmas fundraiser. So it was obvious why she had fled the building the second the envelope was in his hand.
Since then, she had gotten a hotel room in Dartmouth and started casting spells to find the hidden Slayer, all the while trying to figure out how there could be two Slayers. At last, she had turned something up. There was the residue of powerful magical energy at a small house about two blocks away from her hotel. Her spells had judged it to be about three weeks old. The same time some Potential had gotten the power of the Slayer.
Every room in the house was immaculately clean, as if someone had wanted it to look as if nothing was wrong. Yet here and there were signs that all was not right with the residents of Number Eight Carey Road. Scorch marks on the floor and splinters of wood stuck so far in the wall Cecilia couldn't make them budge an inch
It wasn't abandoned, and when questioned, the neighbors said the family was on vacation. No, they didn't remember anything unusual happening. Yes, as a matter of fact, the Grangers did have a daughter; her name was Hermione. Where was she now? Probably with her parents or at that friend of hers- the one she stayed with every year. Did she go away to school? Why yes, she did.
So now Cecilia had a name, an address, and some very vital information. She also had an answer. All the past three weeks, Cecilia had wondered why she was the one for this Slayer. What set her apart from every other- better qualified-Watcher? Well, besides her growing unrest, lousy father, and rather large inheritance. Now she knew. Her mother had shared something with Hermione Granger. The same thing Cecilia now shared with the new Slayer. A school.