Disclaimer: Joss Whedon owns all. The idea to call a school that Buffy runs 'Potential' came from a fanfic I read very very long ago and can't remember who it was by!
A/N: I'm not a massive fan of the way things are turning out in the season eight comics – so this is my take on the continued adventures of Buffy et al. Also, I know it's not realistic to bring back so many old characters, but I just cannot resist it. Plus, none of this is realistic, let's face it. This is the first long haul fic I've ever tried to write so please bear with me and please review as it makes me quite ridiculously happy.
Additional A/N: This fic has recently been nominated for the best Post Series Fic award at Sunnydale Memorial Fanfiction Awards! Voting is now open at the Sunnydale Memorial Fanfiction Awards - if you like my writing, drop in and vote for me and my three nominated stories, Potential, La Cara Verdadera, and Sineya.
Update: Potential was awared First Runner Up in the Best Post Series Fic category at Sunnydale Memorial Awards! Thank you so much to everyone who voted for me, and if you'd like to see the banner, it's on my website, link on my profile.
Potential; School for the Mystically Abled.
Buffy gathered the new students in the entrance of the school. Ushering them inside, she grinned at the looks of awe on the children's faces as they looked up at the huge chandelier above them and the vast acres of white marble stretching above and beyond as far as they could see.
'This is the entrance hall. This would be where we enter.' Buffy walked over to the round reception desk, where a blonde woman sat, awaiting introduction. 'This is Harmony Kendall, our secretary and receptionist. If you ever need any help here at Potential, she's your man.'
'Hi everyone! Could you hand me the forms with your details please? I'll enter them into the computer and it'll randomly select who you'll be rooming with!' Harmony beamed as she took the bunches of paper from the children.
As she did her admin, Buffy viewed the new pupils in front of her.
Five years ago, after the Sunnydale hellmouth collapsed, she and her surviving friends had made their way to the Hyperion in L.A. as the new head of the Watcher's Council with hundreds of new slayers at his beck and call, Giles decided the best thing to do would be to start a school for slayers. As soon as this idea formed, others followed – why stop at slayers? Watchers, Wiccans and Half Demons were all to be educated at the school too. Angel Investigations were invited to join the ranks of the staff, and so
'Potential, School for The Mystically Abled,' was born. Several months later, the school was set up and ready to go, and Giles sent Robin Wood, Kennedy and a bunch of other skilled slayers to the Hellmouths around the world. Potential was in a huge Victorian mansion house in the Californian countryside, with seven grades and just under 400 students. As principle, it was Buffy's job to show around each year's new batch of slayers, watchers, wiccans and half demons.
Which is what she was doing now.
'Okay kids. You've all read the information pack about Potential. You're being trained to hunt demons – to save the world. Any of you seen a demon before?'
Not a single child put their hand up.
'Well, you're about to. Yeah?' Buffy asked a girl with her hand up. 'What's up?'
'It's just – we've all only just turned 11 years old. Are we really old enough?'
'I was 15 when I was called. If I'd had 4 years of training beforehand, I woulda been so much more prepared for the trials of slayage. So, anyway – Demons. We have several working for us. Each of them is perfectly safe and some of the best people I've ever met. Harmony.'
Harmony beamed. 'Yes Captain.' She shook her head. Her demon appeared and the children jumped back.
'That's a vampire.' Buffy turned and walked toward a huge door on the left. 'C'mere. This,' she pushed open the door, 'is basic Wicca.' The door swung open to show about twenty or so teenagers, half of whom were tying little bundles together and the other half who were making pencils chase each other around the room. A tall man with greying hair and glasses was handing bunches of lavender to the students making the bundles.
'Buffy!' the man rushed over to the door and handed Buffy a sprig. "Willow's a genius. Lavender scapulas. Brilliant. These the new students?'
Buffy accepted the lavender and slid it into the clip in her hair.
'Scapulas. Fun every time.' She smiled at the man who was the closest thing to a real father she'd ever had. 'Guys, this is Rupert Giles. Call him Giles, it's weird if you don't. He's your vice principle, and he teaches basic Wicca.'
'Nice to meet you all. You'll all have this to look forward to!'
He beamed at the twenty or so scared kids. Turning toward his pupils, his face fell. 'Making scapulas and making pencils chase each other … oh…'
Buffy rolled her eyes. 'Come on. Next class to meet.'
Buffy stepped back out of the room and turned left, heading past Harmony's desk and turning left again. Pausing outside another huge door, she stopped to address the pupils again.
'This school's basically a big circle – there's stairs everywhere, and if you get lost, just keep going round until you find yourself again. All the classes are on this floor. You'll get the hang of it eventually.'
She pushed open the door to reveal a room filled with girls holding crossbows, aiming at large dartboards.
A woman with long dark hair stood at the far end of the room, also holding a crossbow.
'And…FIRE!' Forty arrows went speeding into the boards, each landing precisely in the centre. 'Oh, Buffy!' She leapt from her podium and ran to the door. 'Hey, B, these the new kids? Gotta say, they get smaller every year.'
'Guys, this is Faith Lehane – Faith. She's a slayer.' Buffy smiled at her old enemy. They had been very close ever since taking down the first.
'That I am, B. Okay, squirts. I run a tough class and I expect you to keep up. I don't tolerate lateness, and I expect every slayer to be able to at least try to take me in a fight.' She winked. 'Not many have.' She turned serious again. 'I learned from the best. I wanna teach you like that.'
A little boy put his hand up. 'Yeah, kid, what's up?'
'Who taught you, Miss Lehane?'
'It's Faith. You can just call the teachers here by their first names. And, well, Buffy here taught me. She's wearing the slayer pants in this relationship. Load – and – FIRE!'
Her students released their arrows again.
'Let's get on, kids.' Buffy smiled at her young charges, which were looking at her in awe. 'Next class, advanced Wicca.'
They continued left along the corridor, Buffy pointing out the elevators which were off limits to students and for teacher and guest use only. Turning left again, let them into a class with about twenty people in their late teens and their red haired teacher inside.
'Everyone, this is Willow Rosenberg, the most powerful witch in the western hemisphere. She's the witch that made the slayers of you active,' Buffy said, pointing to the slayers of the group.
'What's the up today, Will? With the…circle of students holding hands and the big spooky vortex in the middle?'
Buffy indicated the portal Willow's class had created.
'I thought we'd take a field trip to the old Sunnydale crater. We'll be back before the end of the period, promise!'
'Awesome. Well, we'll leave you to your vortexy goodness and go see Andrew.' Buffy ambled out of the room and into the one just next door. 'Come on in. This is computer science. You can find a helluva lotta information on a PC and it's always handy to know your way around one. This is Andrew Wells, our resident computer geek, and all round…Andrew, what the hell are you doing?' Buffy exclaimed, gesturing at the whiteboard where he'd drawn a scale picture of the Red Dwarf Mining Ship.
'I was teaching! About Red Dwarf! It sorta has to do with computers…Holly was a computer and had an IQ of 6000…'
'5094 more than you then. Stick to computers, Andy, that's what I pay you for.'
Buffy marched the new students out of the class and across the corridor to the lab, whilst trying to hide the smile on her face. 'This is our mad science lab, and this is our mad scientist, Winifred Burkle. Known as Fred.'
'Hi guys! I teach all three science so I hope you're not all just about the demons!' Fred beamed at them.
'Come on kids, this way.' Buffy led them back across the corridor into another classroom. 'This is Prophecy and Planning, known as P&P. Prophecy's are a major thing that will impact all of you at some point and it's important that you recognise them and can interpret them. This is also where you will learn how to make and execute plans. This is you humble teacher, Angel.'
'Hey, kids.' Angel spared them all a quick smile before continuing handing out ancient looking books to his students.
'Angel was a vampire for many hundreds of years, but three years ago; he was involved in a prophecy called the Shanshu, when he was gifted with humanity in return for his atonement. He saved the school, ya see.'
'Wow…' a little girl sighed, staring up at Angel's handsome face.
'Thanks for the intro, Buffy.' Angel grinned.
'Any time. On with the tour!' Buffy headed out of the classroom and into the one next door. 'This is Xander Harris. He teaches about our past battles, and the class is aptly named 'Scooby History.' Giles kept diaries all those years and so did I, so we have an enormous archive of information on every demon we face and every battle we survived. Even some that we didn't.' She smiled at Xander. 'Plus, Xander was there. Knows it all first hand.'
'Hey new guys! This class is pretty easy, no actual dates or languages to remember –just names, places, and thrilling plotlines.' He grinned at the kids. 'We got some good stories in the Scooby circle. But it'll be seven years of hard labour 'til you find out how I got my eye patch!'
The kids smiled weakly.
'Whatcha working on today Xand?' Buffy asked him.
'Azura? Tell Buff what we're doin'?' Xander motioned for a girl to stand up.
'We're discussing the time you and…' She checked her notes, 'Riley Fine -'
'Finn!' corrected Xander, trying to keep a poker face.
'Yeah, Finn…had so much sex that you released oppressed spirits into a frat house, causing girls to go bald, walls to become orgasmic and Xander to nearly drown.' She giggled weakly. 'Xander called this topic 'Poltergasms.''
Buffy smiled faintly. 'Been trying to repress that for like 8 years, Xand, but thanks for bringing that up again.' She turned and shuffled out of the classroom and into the next. 'This is Vi, she's a slayer and she teaches French.' Buffy gestured toward a gangly woman in her early twenties with a shock of bright red hair. 'Hey Vi.'
Vi waved at the group by the door before continuing her lesson.
'C'mon. English next. You'll love this class.' Buffy led them to the next class where a beautiful dark haired woman was joking with her class. 'This is Cordelia Chase. Every member of our staff has an appallingly complex past and Cory's no exception. She's part demon. The story of every teacher will be covered in your classes with Xander…but I'm sure you heard the rumours. Am I right?
'Is it true Willow flayed a man? And tried to end the world?' one girl piped up.
'I 'eard zat Andrew was a supervillain,' a small girl with a French accent whispered.
'All true. Seriously, you'll get the full stories from Xander – everyone is safe at Potential.'
'I'm Cordy,' the teacher broke through their conversation. 'I clearly teach English. But I'm destined for superstardom. Don't forget it.'
'Yeah yeah Cor. Seeya at lunch.' Buffy swept out and into the corridor. 'This isn't a classroom, it's the Coven HQ.' Buffy paused outside the door. 'These women are very powerful witches and their power is totally pure. They're seers, that's how they track down suitable pupils, like you guys. They find slayers, people suitable to be watchers and wiccans, and half demons. People proficient at Seeing will be offered the chance to join the coven.' Buffy opened the door.
'Buffy!' A willowy blonde woman rose from her cross legged position on the floor. 'New students?'
'Yep. Whaddya think, Althenea?'
'Strong,' she nodded. 'It's a good catch.'
'Kids this is Althenea Deiter, Paige Gerard, Helena Porter and Cassandra Winters. Our Coven.' Buffy smiled at the seers and backed out of the room and into the hall, opposite yet another enormous door.
'This is the library. Brace yourself. This is always breathtaking.'
She pushed open the door and every mouth fell open.
It was a cavernous rectangular room with hundreds of thousands of bookshelves reaching way up to the unimaginably high ceiling. There were floor to ceiling windows along the two longest walls, and there were chairs and couches, huge tables and little desks, and PCs and coffee machines everywhere.
'Our librarian, Kit Emerson, will be lurking somewhere. KIT!'
'Yeah, hang on!' Kit's head appeared from around the side of a bookshelf. She flicked her wrist at a pile of books on a table. 'Return.' The books flew to their shelves.
'Kit lived in Sunnydale; she was a good friend of my sisters'. She came across us in L.A. where we started out and she joined us.' Buffy smiled at the first years who were still gazing around like they were dreaming.
'The library's a perfect place to study, do research or even just hang out,' Kit said, directing more books to shelves with magic. 'As long as you cast a muffling charm on yourself, you can be as loud as you want.'
'Sadly, you wont learn those for another term or two, so, 'sshhhhhh' in the library,' Buffy whispered. 'C'mon.'
She led them through the long room and out the other side to another corridor, where she pointed out the boys and girls restrooms, and the next class they were due to visit.
'Math, with Rhona the slayer.' Buffy stepped inside. 'Rhona, like Vi, was working with us in Sunnydale when the Hellmouth collapsed.' Rhona waved. 'Just so you kids know, the level that you get to in your core subjects – Math, English, French, Computer Sciences and Regular Sciences – that level is high enough to get you into college if that's where you want to go. We aren't forcing you to work with the council. We just want you to be prepared.'
She turned and stepped into the next class. 'Research Skills, with my little sister, Dawn Summers.'
Dawn smiled. 'Hi! Research skills is extremely important for any slayer or watcher – although if you're anything like my sister, you'll make your friends and relatives do it for you.'
Buffy chuckled and led her group to the next door. Pausing there, she informed the group that it was History of The Council, with Watcher Wesley Wyndham Price.
'This is easily the most boring subject here – not including math. But it's important. So stick at it.' She stepped inside, where Wesley was lecturing on the Shadow Men.
'Hello Buffy. We're discussing the shadow men.'
'Score.' Smiling at her friend and ex-watcher, she walked through to the next classroom. 'History – yes, more history, except this one's fun! History of the Slayer.'
She pushed open the door. 'Your teacher? Spike.'
''ello Buffy.' Spike grinned.
'Spike, like Angel,' the grin fell from his face, 'was a vampire for hundreds of years. Then about eight years ago, a behaviour modification chip was placed in his brain, causing him to feel immense pain every time he hurt a human. Then, six years ago, he endured the demon trials in order to win his soul. A year later, he died while wearing a mystical amulet. Weeks after that, the amulet brought him back as a ghost. And soon after that, he was corporealized. Except…he came back human.'
'Yes I did. I was human before Angel, so tell him to suck on that, kids.' He smiled again.
'What are we lecturing on today?' Buffy asked him, smiling.
'You, actually.' He gestured at his class, who were all in their late teens. 'They've finally reached the topic where they get to learn about you.'
'What are you telling them, Spike?' Buffy frowned.
'Nothing bad, pet,' he chuckled. 'Just covering your weapon collection.'
'Oh, good. Seeya!' She practically ran to the next class, where a green, horned demon was standing in front of a large map gesturing wildly.
'Hey Lorne. Lorne teaches about demon dimensions, obviously having come from one himself.' She smiled and he smiled back before she headed to the next class, the new pupils following tiredly.
'This is demonology 101.' Buffy stepped inside where a blonde woman sat on a desk chatting to her pupils about something with excess mucous.
'Hey Buffy, new guys. I'm Anya.'
'Anya was a vengeance demon for a thousand years before she lost her powers and joined the scoobies. Then, she got her powers back. then, she lost 'em again. Then she died. Then, a demon called D'hoffryn accidentally raised her when he granted someone's wish, which curiously enough, was 'I wish I could talk to that nice blonde woman again. Boy was he surprised.'
Anya smiled. 'I'm living totally vengeance free these days. Go away now, I'm teaching them all about Fyarl demons.' She chuckled. 'I can't even say the name without remembering Giles. Ahh. Good times.'
Buffy chuckled and walked across the corridor to the opposite door, which had a sign on the door reading 'SAFE.'
'Okay kids, this is very important. If this door says anything but 'safe' on it, do not under any circumstances go inside. This room contains our half demons – werewolves and half breeds. When it says unsafe, they are practicing getting the demon under control. When it says safe, they're probably just meditating.'
She walked inside, the kids following her at some distance.
The room was filled with people, some of whom looked normal, some of whom didn't. The man teaching them was short, with bright red hair and an oversize shirt on.
'Oz. Hey.' Buffy smiled at him, a favour which he returned. 'Oz is a werewolf. He knows how to control his inner demon and he's teaching this to his students. All werewolves not yet able to control their lycanthropy will be provided with a very strong cage to stop them hurting others.' She waved at the class of demons before walking out a door opposite to the one they had entered.
The kids smiled as they recognised the reception area.
'Told you it was a circle. Got a coupla places left to show ya before we're done.'
She turned right and right again, arriving at a door that was open, showing forty pupils sparring and their teacher, a muscly guy with no hair.
'Kids, this is your defence skills class and this is your teacher, Charles Gunn.'
He swaggered over them. 'Just call me Gunn. This is a tough class, sorta goes hand in hand with Faith's along there. But I deal in hand to hand combat – Kung Fu, Street Fighting, Kickboxing and Tai Chi. No weapons to hide behind. Just raw power. See you in class.' He grinned at the terrified looks on their faces. 'Relax. It's great.'
Buffy shook her head, smiling at Gunn's intimidation of the children.
'Okay. Last one. Lunch Hall!' Buffy walked to a door directly behind Harmony's desk, only several metres back. she walked in and went over to the buffet section where people got their food. Behind the tables was a demon with very loose skin, who was placing large bowls of food on the surface in front of him.
'Kids, this is Clem. He's a demon.'
The kids rolled their eyes. 'Well duh,' one whispered.
'He's our chef.' She indicated the many tables in the hall. 'This is where you eat, hang out, and listen to announcements from that podium over there. So you can sit, now, and grab some food, 'cause it's nearly lunchtime. So meet your fellow students and later on Harm will tell ya who you're rooming with. Welcome to Potential.'
And with that, Buffy walked out of the door.
Breathing heavily, she leaned against the wall outside the lunch hall. Hearing Harmony's voice, she waved away Harmony's concerns about her health, and headed to the elevators. Stepping inside, and pressing level one, she frowned. As well as things were going at Potential lately, she couldn't help but feel it was the calm before the storm. As she walked along the marble corridor to her enormous office, she had no idea a pocket sized Urala demon was watching her.
Flying back to its master in a cave a mile away from the school, the Urala knelt before an enormous throne. Sitting on it was a human sized demon, red, with blood all over it.
'Mighty Newarr. She suspects.'
'Well that's no fun.'
A/N; Okayyy….so what do you think? Please review and tell me if I should keep going.