Gwen Tennyson and the Witches of America

A Fanfiction by: A J

Disclaimer: I do not own Ben 10 or Harry Potter. The Original Characters contained within and the plot are all mine.

Chapter Four

D is for Delinquent

After sorting out the monetary issues, (it turned out that a galleon was equal to thirty dollars, American, so Gwen's bill was forty-five dollars,) Max offered to drive the four girls as far as the second store. He grinned at their groans.

"Now, Ben and I won't come in, but this way you can put your stuff right in the Rustbucket, and not have to cart it all over for the rest of the day, Gwen," he said as they all exited Guinevere's Dry Goods.

"Ooooh, it's a good idea, Gwen," Linda said. "All my supplies took up a medium trunk. And unless you have the galleons to spring for one with the new Granger Enlargement Charm, they start to weigh down P D Q."

"Granger Enlargement Charm?" Gwen asked.

"Yeah, doubles the space in a trunk, or anything else it's on, while quartering the weight. Named after the witch who commercialized them, Hermione Granger. Well, Hermione Granger-Weasley, now … heroine of the war against You-Know-Who in Britain a few years ago." Niella looked expectantly at the Tennysons, but Max, Ben, and Gwen as well as A J just returned her gaze blankly.

"Uh, they're not gonna know a thing until we get them over to Poe's Inkpot, Nia," Linda told her.

"Oh! Right …" the red-haired girl replied sheepishly.

'Everybody climb in," Max said as he led them to the Rustbucket II. Linda and Niella looked over the dilapidated camper with some trepidation, while A J followed Gwen up the steps without a moment's pause. She popped back out a second later with a grin for her two Salem friends.

"You guys, he's got everything in here! Even a real stove!"

"Yeah, don't remind us," Ben said, sharing a nauseated glance with his cousin. "Grandpa likes to invent new recipes …"

"Ah, c'mon …" Max said with a grin as he started the engine. "You two had nothing but rave reviews for my cricket cacciatore."

"Er, no offense, Grandpa," Gwen managed while Ben looked out the window, even greener. "But I was just being nice, and that was the same day Ben got that killer summer cold …"

Max turned from Gwen to Ben and back, his expression crestfallen … for all of seven seconds. Then he guffawed, spinning to lean over the steering wheel laughing for several minutes.

Their three new friends were starting to exchange worried looks when Gwen cleared her throat. "Hey Grandpa? We should get going to the other store. They may be run by wizards, but I'm sure they still keep normal hours."

"You'd win that bet," Niella snickered. "The Yates family is so straight-laced I bet they measure when they fold their laundry."

The other girls giggled, until Ben looked up from his newest Sumo Slammers game. "Who folds their laundry?" he asked. That got them all laughing as hard as Max already was.

"Alright," Max managed to wheeze out eventually. "On to Yates', then," he continued, and they were off.

Half an hour later …

"Ohmigod, that was amazing!" Niella gushed. She, A J, and Linda were still chattering excitedly about the sudden appearance of one of the many alien heroes that had been making news for the past year. "Which one was it?"

"The fast one," A J replied. She had her denim beltpouch's contents all over the dining table of the Rustbucket II, and was jotting down notes about the apartment fire they'd just seen put out with the help of a blue and black blur of an alien. She flipped back through her notepad, muttering "My dad kept track of the reports all last summer … He wrote reams of notes on each of the aliens before ..." She hung her head, and Niella wrapped a comforting arm around her shoulder.

"It's okay, Aje," she murmured quietly, leaning her forehead against the brunette's.

"Thanks, Nee," A J replied after a minute and a steadying breath, and Niella scooted back away. "I'll have to get back into Dad's boxful of notes, but I think his name was Accelizard ..."

"Wait, I heard it was Kencelerate," Niella interjected. Ben and Gwen exchanged knowing grins.

"It's X-L-R-8, actually," Gwen told the other girls. "I've met him. He saved my life once in Chicago."

"Chicago … Hey, weren't we there for that concert, and that freaky weather kept ruining it, Grandpa?" Ben asked with a grin.

"Yeah, we were there to see Shag Carpeting," Max said nostalgically. The other kids all snickered at the name of Max' favorite band.

"So … how fast is he?" A J asked Gwen.

"Well, he saved me from a lightning bolt," Gwen said proudly. Ben had to turn around in the passenger seat again to hide his grin.

"Wow, that's … fast," Niella said quietly, while A J and Linda whistled. Ben cleared his throat after a few seconds.

"Uh, we're here," he said unnecessarily as the Rustbucket lurched to a halt in the parking lot across from the downtown Salem store the Tennysons all remembered from the previous year. "Hey, Grandpa? Just promise me … no pilgrim hats this summer." Max grinned, nodding, while the three Salemites chuckled politely.

That is, until Gwen passed her phone around, with the saved pictures she'd kept from their last trip onscreen, of Ben in his Puritan coat and hat. Then they cracked up again, while Max shut the engine off. "Ah, mannnn," Ben moaned, when he caught a glimpse of the shot. "Thanks, Gwen ..." he slumped down in his seat, sulking.

Eventually, the four girls calmed down enough to head to Yates. "Hey, Mister Tennyson?" Niella started, as the others climbed out of the RV.

"Just call me Max," he told her affably.

"Poe's Inkpot, the bookstore that's our next stop? It's right over there … Max," she told him with a grin. He looked where she was pointing, and had to turn back uncertainly.

"There's nothing there but an empty lot ..." he said. She blinked at him, then looked back out the windshield of the Rustbucket II for a second. Ben sat up at the byplay next to him, checking out this mystery bookstore as well.

"That place?" Not much of a store, even if it does only sell books," he said, eyeing the small, shabby-looking building at the corner. It was even smaller than the Gamestop in the Bellwood Mall.

Linda poked her head back in. "What's the holdup, Nia?"

Niella looked from max, still staring out the window in confusion, to Ben, who gave her a shrug, then to Linda forlornly. "Max can't see Poe's," she told the dark-haired girl.

"Really?" Linda began, then clapped a hand to her mouth. "OH!" She looked almost pityingly at Max for a second, then shook her head. "Well, we'll just have to take him … them, with us when we go in."

"Can you do that?" Ben asked, excited by the idea of checking out someplace magical suddenly, with permission, even if it was just a boring ol' bookstore.

"Wellll ..." Niella started.

"We're not supposed to take muggles in," Linda said. "But family members are an exception. At least, the ones who know the truth already are.

"Uh, what's a muggle?" Ben asked.

"You and Max are," Linda said blithely. "Well, you're a squib, actually."

"Huh?"

"Now you're just torturing him," Niella giggled.

"What's taking you guys so long?" A J called back through the door.

"Educating Ben," Niella yelled back. Max chuckled.

"Oh, there's a full-time job," Gwen giggled, coming back in with the other two girls.

"Gwennnn," Ben whined, rolling his eyes. The girls all laughed.

"Alright, you four, go on," Max chuckled. "You can explain it all at the bookstore."

"Okay … Grandpa Max," Niella razzed. She shooed the others back out, and the girls went into Yates' Salem Emporium.

"Uh, Grandpa? Did you just … get adopted?" Ben chortled.

"It sure looks like it," Max replied, grinning after his granddaughter's double.

Once inside the store, Linda led the other three unrelentingly through to the magical goods department. "What's the rush, Linda?" A J begged.

"You're kidding right? The sooner we get through with the necessities, the sooner we get out on the town unchaperoned," Linda grinned back.

"What trouble are you getting into now, sis?" an older girl's voice asked from around the next corner.

"None of your bee's-wax, sis," Linda countered, rolling her eyes. She led the others into the aisle, where a taller, curvier version of her was perusing through a stack of folded kerchiefs. "Hey, 'Manda.

"Nia and I are playing tour-guide for a pair of new girls. 'Manda, meet A J and Gwen. Girls, this is my sister Amanda." She pointed in both directions after the fact, and Amanda gave the two out-of-towners a cursory glance before she grinned.

"So, you all have your letters, eh? Headed to S 3 P this fall, ready to learn the real thing?" The grin she gave them turned predatory. "I have to intro you girls to the seniors you'll be gophering for when you get there." Linda's sister called into the next aisle while Gwen and the others traded uneasy smiles.

"Ooh, new blood, huh 'Manda?" a blonde dredlocked girl said, her dark-rimmed eyes crinkling with humor. "And little Lindy to boot? Ha! Hey, Charlie, get a load of our next year's newbies."

"Oh, joy. More names to forget," a bored voice said from behind the quartet. A J, Gwen, Linda and Niella whirled around to see a nearly-albino girl, her white hair in a braid over her left shoulder. "As long as they learn to listen, we'll all … get … along ..." She drew to a halt as she and Gwen locked gazes. "YOU!"

"Charmcaster!" Gwen seethed, her hands starting to glow.