Disclaimer: I have borrowed these characters and places from their owners in an effort to stave off boredom in the wee hours of the morning. This means that not only do I not own them, I can't afford the legal fees for claiming that I do.
Professing to be professors
Chapter 1 – Job hunting
Angel was sitting in his office multitasking. That is, he was reading about ways to kill psychic, flesh eating demons that Cordelia's latest vision had set them on, should any more ever come back after they killed the first nest of them, and brooding at the same time. Constituting all the multitasking Angel was capable of outside of life and death battles. His mind was wandering nearly 200 years into the past, to the site of a particularly vicious massacre of his and Darla's making at an evening garden party. Angel's mind was getting steadily filled with immense waves of guilt. He would have remained in the state of self flagellation all day had Cordelia not suddenly started yelling. He snapped back to reality to ascertain whether it was a yell insinuating a life threatening situation.
He rose from his desk, flattening his ancient text upside down on the desk in one quick motion and headed to the door of his office.
It was a life threatening situation.
But not to him or Cordelia.
Wesely had just come through the door, apparently having just had a demonic encounter of some type, if the immensely odorous gray goop all over his linen suit was any indication. Cordelia's yell had come when he had come in the door and proceeded to drip on the floor runner Cordelia had purchased only the day before. As she was with almost anything Wesley did, Cordelia was incensed. Angel could tell she had been bottling up a good rant for days.
"WESLEY! Do I have to install a shower at the door to keep this place demon innard free?" She irately scolded the rather messy watcher.
Wesley's mouth opened and closed a few times.
Angel folded his arms and leaned in the doorway. This could be entertaining for quite some time if Cordelia really worked on the rant. Though she did have a point. Lately the office had been subject to a rather extreme crop of demon messes. There was the vampire who had burst in looking to make a reputation. It turns out that vampire dust is extremely difficult to get out of carpet. Then there was the slime demon that had crashed through the window and then hit a chair and exploded all over the front office and Cordelia. It had taken a shopping spree out of his pocket to subdue Cordelia after that one. Also the unidentified demon with the pus dripping spines and the Minkata that had shed everywhere… Now that he thought about it, Angel could see that Cordelia's rant really did have a point. Angel did not join in however, Wesley was looking flummoxed enough without being lectured by a vampire at the same time.
As it was, Angel felt it would be best if he let Cordelia get all of her rage out on Wesley before he reminded her of his presence. After all, no need to unnecessarily put oneself in the gauntlet.
"Well, pardon me Cordelia!" Wesley huffed in a disturbingly Giles-like manner. "It's not as if the forces of evil are careful about cleanliness, especially for rogue demon hunters such as me."
Cordelia rolled her eyes.
"Go shower immediately. And use the cleaning rags as towels!"
Wesley looked insulted but headed for the stairs anyway.
"Avoid the carpets!" Cordelia yelled down the stairs after him.
A frustrated noise without any actual words in it floated up the stairs, followed by a door slam.
Slightly disappointed that the show was over, Angel made to go back to his reading and brooding activities, when an emphatic throat clearing from Cordelia stopped him in his undead tracks.
"We need to talk."
Angel cautiously turned around and felt his heart sink at the determined expression on Cordelia's face. Months of experience had taught him that unless the Powers that Be intervened, he would be doing whatever she wanted in a very short amount of time.
"We need to take the business up a notch." Cordelia said, watching his eyes closely.
Angel had expected this. Angel investigations hadn't had a paying client for nearly six weeks. Bills were piling up and the numerous repair and cleaning bills from demon encounters in the office were expensive.
"What am I supposed to do, Cordelia?" He asked. "This isn't about money, not for me anyway. I'm supposed to be helping people, not charging them for their demonic misfortune."
"Well you still need to pay me, and I need. . . things." Cordelia retorted, having the grace to look slightly abashed before speaking.
Angel merely stared. Cordelia gave up on convincing him of any course of action. For the time being. Eventually Angel would see it her way, when the electricity got cut off and his pig's blood spoiled.
At her silence Angel decided it was safe to go back to his book. The Powers That Be had other plans. Cordelia's annoyed expression blossomed into one of pain. Angel rushed forward to catch her before she fell to the floor and held her till the vision and its resultant convulsions ended.
"Cordelia? Cordelia!" Angel asked. "Are you alright?" As Cordelia's breathing suddenly became harsh. Cordelia nodded, and held her head. Slowly her breathing went back to normal, but the look of pain on her face faded only a little.
"Painkillers would be nice." Cordelia suggested. Angel took the hint and after guiding her to the couch found the bottle in her desk. After Cordelia had been sufficiently supplied with Tylenol and water Angel grabbed a pen and a pad of paper and looked at her expectantly. He sensed they might have a little time to spare with this vision, otherwise she would have told him where to go immediately.
"It was an old man, a really old man, he had white hair and a long white beard. He was wearing a cape and. . . robes I think, in dark blue. He's looking for something." Cordelia said. "That's all I got."
"No locations?" Angel asked. Cordelia shook her head. "Maybe this one will come to us."
"Maybe this one will pay us." Cordelia muttered.
Caritas was having a slow night. Only a few tables were occupied by a group of intoxicated slime demons, a surly looking Mordak beast, and an elderly man dressed strangely in robes with a defeated look about him. Knowing that conversation with either of the former parties would prove useless and possibly violent Lorne refreshed his sea breeze and sauntered over to the old man.
"Hey there buckaroo."
The old man looked up. He took in the sight and sound of Lorne with only the smallest amount of surprise, and then smiled.
"Hello, Mr. . . ?" He asked in a British accent.
"Just Lorne. What's troubling you, Mr. . . ?" Lorne asked, doing a polite imitation of his patron. The patron smiled.
"Just Albus. The trouble is I came quite a long way to find someone for a job and it turns out that he turned dark at some point and was killed in his chosen profession. Now I'm a bit at a loss." Albus said tiredly.
"That does put you in a bit of a bad spot." Lorne mused. "What kind of job were you looking to fill?"
"A teaching position at my school. The school opens in three weeks and I'm feeling slightly desperate." Said Albus.
"I might be able to recommend someone to you." Said Lorne, taking a sip of his sea breeze as Albus brightened considerably. "The only catch is that you need to sing a bit for me."
"Sing?" Questioned Albus.
"One of my many talents is being able to sense destinies, but most don't walk around with their destiny hanging out for anyone with empathic power to see. Hence the singing. When you sing, you bare your soul and give yours truly a look at your destiny." Lorne explained.
"How positively marvelous!" said Albus, looking truly delighted. He then launched into a beautiful rendition of 'Bippity Boppity Boo' from the animated Disney 'Cinderella'. Lorne listened to the first verse and the chorus just to hear the song come out of a real magic users mouth, then stopped Albus, who looked as though he was having a great time.
"That'll do, cupcake." said Lorne. Albus stopped and looked at Lorne expectantly.
"First off, congratulations on winning that ten pin bowling tournament. I know you're feeling a lot of stress over this Voldie- wart character, but that Potter kid will pull through in the end, try to go easy on him though. As for the immediate problem. . . I know a great private eye that'll be able to help you."
Lorne reached into his jacket pocket and pull out a stack of business cards. After shuffling through the stack he extracted one very plain business card with an unidentifiable picture above the name. Albus looked at the card. "Angel Investigations, we help the helpless" followed by a phone number and address. Albus looked up at Lorne for confirmation that this card was all he needed, but found that Lorne had already moved off to welcome a group of people dressed in quality suits. Deciding it wasn't worth the effort to ask anything else of Lorne, Albus exited the club. Once outside, Albus buttoned his traveling cloak and apparated to the address on the business card.
Albus appeared in the lobby of a slightly run down building that was largely paneled in wood. A door with a frosted glass window to his left read "Angel Investigations", without further ado Albus opened the door and walked in. The business had a somewhat desperate feeling to it, as though it need a few well paying cases, if the stains on the carpet and gashes in the wall to his right were any indication. A young woman with long brunette hair was asleep on the couch in front of him, looking rather ill. The headmaster was saved from the guilt of waking her by the arrival of a young man.
Albus started when he heard a throat clearing. A young man with the most intense dark eyes Albus had ever seen had crept into the room without Albus noticing. Quickly composing himself, Albus smiled at the man.
"Good evening. I was referred here by a most enigmatic person named Lorne who believed I could benefit from your services." greeted Albus. The man's face which had previously been completely passive lightened slightly with interest. He opened his mouth to speak but was interrupted by a snort from the couch as the young woman awakened.
"Did I hear that right?" She asked tiredly. "Someone actually wants to hire us?"
"You heard correctly my dear." Albus said kindly. The woman's entire demeanor changed and she all but leapt off the couch.
"Can I get you some coffee? Tea? Angel, why don't you take him into your office and get the basics of the case while I rustle up some hospitality." After giving the man, Angel, a very significant look and jerking her head towards Albus, she began rummaging frantically in a cabinet near the front desk. Albus asked for tea, and then turned back to the man who had the faintest smile on his face.
"Shall we step into my office?" The man asked. Albus nodded and followed the man into a dark office lit only by a few lamps. Albus noted with interest that all of the windows were covered by thick layers of newspapers. After seating himself, Albus threw caution to the wind and explained his problem in detail.
"My name is Albus Dumbledore. I am the headmaster of Hogwarts School for Witchcraft and Wizardry and I am in desperate need of a Defense against the Dark Arts teacher. One with knowledge on demons would be wonderful, but at this point I'm willing to settle for any teacher." explained Albus.
"Why would you prefer knowledge of demons?" Angel asked, curious not about the existence of wizards, only the need for demon information.
"That requires a little back story. The wizarding world is plagued by a dark wizard. . ."
"Voldemort." Finished Angel, taking Albus by great surprise.
"You know of our world?" asked Albus.
"I've run into wizards before." said Angel, neglecting to mention that half of the wizards he'd encountered had died by his fangs. Albus nodded, slightly perturbed by Angel eerie habit of not blinking when maintaining eye contact.
"Since Voldemort's setback thirteen years ago he has been regaining power with the help of his Death Eaters. While he has not appeared in person I have no doubt he will soon. He has begun to ally himself with the demon population of Britain as well. Demon attacks have risen exponentially in number in the last month. The students need to learn how to defend themselves and others from demonic attacks." said Albus. Angel's intense eye contact finally broke as he stared at his desk in deep thought. The brief silence was broken as Cordelia entered with Albus' tea, handing it over in a bright yellow mug and smiling the largest smile Albus had ever seen. Cordelia settled herself near the desk in an extra chair and watched Angel expectantly. He was so deep in thought and so still he didn't even appear to be breathing. After a moment it became obvious he wasn't breathing. Albus narrowed his eyes. Dark office, covered windows, not blinking or breathing. . . Calmly setting his tea on the desk, Albus pulled out his wand.
Angel shot out of his chair as his features twisted and fangs grew. Cordelia shrieked at the sudden movement. Albus expected her to flee in terror from the thing that Angel, what an ironic name, had become. Exactly the opposite occurred.
"Angel! Are you all right?" When Angel didn't answer, only leveled a gaze at Albus, Cordelia rounded on Albus in a surprisingly volatile manner.
"What did you do to him!" She yelled.
"He is a vampire." Albus said.
"Yeah, I know. How did you make him vamp out and when are you going to stop it?" Cordelia asked icily. Taken completely aback, Albus lifted the revealing spell and Angel shifted back to his human face with a sigh of relief, as though he didn't enjoy his true face.
"You do not fear him? Albus asked.
"No." Cordelia replied in a snotty voice. "He's got a soul, and he doesn't eat people anymore, he saves them."
"A soul? Anymore? How is that possible?" Albus queried.
"Gypsies." Answered Angel in a sotto voice. "I fed off the wrong clan favorite, and they were. . . displeased. As punishment they restored my soul, so I could live forever with the guilt of 150 years of murdering. The Romani had their revenge against Angelus."
For the first time in his life, Albus was speechless. The vampire Angelus. . . good. It took him nearly a minute to find the right words to say.
A silvery glow formed around Angel, confirming the existence of a soul. Angel merely stared at Albus, waiting for him to come to his own conclusions.
"My apologies Angel. Cordelia, I have never seen an instance such as this, though that does not excuse my behavior." Albus said sincerely.
"It's forgotten." Said Angel.
After a few seconds of silence, Albus opened his mouth to resume the task at hand when he was interrupted by a crisp British voice from outside the office.
"Where is that 'Goo Gone' material? I can't seem to get the innards off of my fingernails." Asked Wesley as he strode into the office without looking up. Noting the lack of response he finally looked up only to turn a bright red color as he saw they had a client.
"Wesley, this is Albus Dumbledore, our new client." said Angel, trying to get Wesley past his embarrassment. Albus nodded politely at Wesley, who was looking oddly surprised.
"Albus Dumbledore? The headmaster of Hogwarts?" At Albus' confused nod Wesley continued.
"What a pleasure to meet you! I'm Wesley Wyndam-Price. The Watcher headquarters were rife with stories of the wizarding world; I've always wanted to meet you. I'd shake your hand, but as to the state of the fingernails I think I'll decline." Wesley gushed. Albus looked delighted.
"A watcher then? Remarkable. How did you end up working with a vampire and this enigmatic young woman?" Albus asked.
"It's a bit of a long story, the short version is that we were giving aid to a vampire slayer living north of Los Angeles in a little town situated directly on top of a hellmouth. After averting a bit of an apocalypse we drifted away from the hellmouth and met up some time later in the city, where we decided to pool our efforts and talents into fighting evil." said Wesley.
Albus took a moment to absorb this. A vampire helping a vampire slayer? Even for a vampire with a human soul, that is unbelievable. And what of the young woman? She seems out of place.
"You all fight evil together?" Albus asked, trying to get some clarification.
"Cordelia is a seer. The Powers that Be send her visions of people in need. We interpret the visions using Angel's experience and my Watcher knowledge, and then Angel and sometimes I go out to vanquish whatever evil has surfaced, often in a decidedly violent manner. A seer, a scholar, and a warrior. We make a fairly effective team." Wesley stated proudly.
Albus thought privately that Wesley had quite a lot to be proud of. A watcher, vampire and young seer, all working together peacefully. Albus would have thought it impossible prior to meeting the employees of Angel investigations.
A sudden thought struck Albus. A watcher. A watcher was an expert on demons. A vampire with what must be centuries of combat skills. A seer, with. . . well, Professor Jameson was always commenting how hard it was to stay updated on muggle studies, perhaps this young lady wouldn't mind assisting. He made up his mind. Opening his mouth to speak, Albus was amused to discover that in the time he'd been thinking, Wesley and Cordelia had broken out into an argument and had resorted to calling each other childish names such as 'Gel Brain' and 'Tea Breath'. Albus cleared his throat. At the noise both Wesley and Cordelia ceased all noise and whipped their heads towards him.
"I think I've found my professors." He said with a smile. Wesley's jaw dropped, Cordelia's eyebrows disappeared into her hair, Angel's frown deepened slightly.
"You want. . . us to teach your Defense Against the Dark Arts class? We can't do magic. How can we teach at a school for magic?" asked Angel.
"Demons are very resistant of magic in general. This is why a Slayer was needed, magic couldn't keep the demonic forces in check, physical means had to be utilized. There exist few spells that can work well against demons, and those that do can only reveal demonic presence, not eradicate it." Albus explained.
Angel stared at Albus for a minute more, not bothering to blink, then turned his gaze to Cordelia and Wesley.
"Let's go for it!" Cordelia exclaimed.
"It would be a once in a lifetime opportunity, Angel. We should take it." Said Wesley.
Angel considered them for a moment more.
"We'll do it."
"Excellent! Thank you so much!" Albus said happily. "The school will provide lodging in the castle. . . "
"There's a castle?" Cordelia interrupted.
"Yes, Hogwarts is a large castle with extensive grounds in northern Scotland. The school is over a thousand years old and is near an all wizarding village called Hogsmeade. I could provide a few books that would give you background on the wizarding world and Hogwarts if you wish." Albus said.
"We would appreciate that." Angel said as Wesley's eyes lit up with a scholars excitement.
"As I was saying, the school will provide you with a salary as well as lodging and meals in the castle, along with any school supplies that you may need for your classes. Do you need anything personally?"
"Does the castle have electricity?" Cordelia asked.
"The castle is infused with magic, any muggle devices will not function inside the Hogwarts grounds even if there was an electrical feed. However, any objects you require probably have a magical counterpart or can be charmed to work inside Hogwarts." Albus said.
"I would need a room with covered windows and. . . a steady supply of pigs blood." Angel said uncomfortably.
"We have a few unused underground dungeons that could be transfigured into quite comfortable living quarters. The pig's blood will not be a problem. A sufficient amount can be ordered as a potions ingredient at the beginning of the year and charmed to stay fresh. Will that be satisfactory for you?" Asked Albus with a concerned air.
"That is much more than I expected, thank you." Angel said, looking slightly ashamed.
Albus took another few seconds to marvel at Angel. A vampire with a soul. . . it defied imagination.
"What types of supplies do you think would be appropriate? Some items will be added to the supply lists sent out at the beginning of the year and some the school will provide." asked Albus. After thinking for a moment Angel spoke up.
"It depends on what exactly you want us to teach." said Angel.
"You're quite right. I thought Wesley could teach general demon lore and history, how to recognize demons, and any spells that might work against demons, what precious few there are. Angel could teach physical defense and combat, with and without weapons. Cordelia could assist our Muggle Studies professor as he is in drastic need of up to date resources. Does that sound acceptable?" said Albus.
"Very Acceptable." Said Wesley happily.
"In that case the school should provide practice weapons. A sword, dagger, throwing knives, and axe, along with protective gear for every student should be sufficient for in class work only. The students should be responsible for a set of workout clothes that are easy to move around in and they should all be able to make their own wooden stake before they come to school." said Angel.
"A wooden stake for vampires, is that correct?" Albus asked with a slight smile. Angel nodded.
"All bases should be covered."
Albus was impressed by the vampire's lack of fear or discomfort at the topic.
"Callan's Demon Compendium would be a perfect textbook for my topics. It is used at the Watcher's Academy and covers demon history and all known species. There are also a few Wiccan spell ingredients that should be added. The resident Sunnydale Wicca has found a few spells most effective against demons in general." said Wesley.
"I had heard a rumor that Wicca magic was effective in areas where Inherent magic failed. Fascinating. Can this Wicca magic be used by muggles?" asked Albus.
"Yes, and to great effect. I've used many spells with a positive outcome." Said Wesley proudly.
"I'll add them to the curriculum then. Cordelia? Do you have any requests?" Albus politely queried.
"I think some magazines would be good. Oh! Newspapers, from all over the world would be great too. Cosmo, vanity fair, GQ, Entertainment Weekly, Newsweek, National Geographic. . . maybe a few outdoor magazines, Reader's Digest. . . "seeing Albus' slightly overwhelmed look, she broke off. "I'll write them down for you, but they'll keep us totally up to date and give awesome insight to the kids."
"I'm sure that you have some loose ends to tie up in the way of lodging and packing, so why don't I arrange transportation for Thursday next week at three o'clock. Will that be enough time?" Albus asked.
The three newest Hogwarts professors glanced at each other.
"That'll be just right." Angel answered.
"Then I bid you farewell and look forward to seeing you in a week." said Albus, and then apparated away with a pop.
A/N: As this is my first fan fiction I would appreciate constructive criticism. I won't say no to glowing praise either. grins