Title: The Finer Things
Disclaimer: I do not own anything here, not even the story idea
Genre: AU Romance (Buffy/Will, Hermione/Jack)
Fandoms: Buffy/Harry Potter/Pirates of the Caribbean
Timeline: After Buffy Season 7; After all the PotC films; during year five (Order of the Phoenix) for HP
Summary: Buffy meets Hermione and there's chaos in the Caribbean
Author's Note: Again, I've had to set HP series ahead a bit, so it starts ten years later than in the books...not normally one to play with HP AUs like this, but the challenge/manip called for it. So, it's 2005, and Hermione's 16 (she's one of the earlier ones in the year) Yes, this has underage drinking, and I'm sorry for that (I don't condone it) but the prompt called for it...as always, reviews and recs always appreciated. Oh and I forgot to put in a link to the graphics story I got the idea from: /llQ2
She was fed up with no one taking her concerns seriously. Apparently, the so-called Golden Trio was just supposed to stay on the sidelines while the adults handled things. Hermione gritted her teeth as she stormed through the castle, hell bent on just getting elsewhere. The boys were both of the mindset that if the Headmaster wanted them to stay at the castle for their own safety, who were they to argue? And then, there was the Daily Prophet, who kept painting Harry as an insane lunatic who didn't know what he was talking about regarding You-Know-Who being back.
Voldemort's really back and I'm not going to just sit idly by any longer! I'm sixteen, for Gaia's sake. I'll be an adult in the eyes of the wizarding community in a year. Bloody hell, Harry's parents weren't much older than us when they fought Voldemort the first time. All this duty rests on Harry's shoulders, and the Headmaster wants him and Sirius to do is hide!she fumed as she stormed out onto the castle grounds. She was out of sorts and had no clue where she was going to go next when she heard someone clear their throat from behind her. She whipped around, prepared to bite the head off of whomever was interrupting her snit, when she recognized the older man in front of her. Mr. Giles had been part of the Watcher's Council envoy that had come to help discuss ways to stop Voldemort with Professor Dumbledore and the rest of the Order over the summer, and had apparently been the one most interested in what the Order was currently doing.
"Can I help you, sir?" she asked politely, trying to rein in her temper.
"I certainly hope so, Miss Granger. Professor Dumbledore said you were rather adept when it comes to Runes and Arithmancy, even with your duties this year as a Prefect. I came to see if I could borrow your expertise for a weekend's research trip. We found some old diaries in the part of the Council's archives that remained untouched, but they seemed to have been written in a Runic-based code. And with Dawn busy at Oxford right now, I really can't afford to pull her away for something that's merely a translation matrix. Unless, of course, you have work of your own that needs to be done," Giles explained.
Thank Goddess- this is just what I need!she thought, though out loud, she said she'd be delighted to help.
Hermione felt like throwing the notebook across the room, she was so frustrated. Of course, she'd never endanger the old journals like that - she held too much stock in preserving them - but the notes on trying to find the key to cracking it? Yeah, she'd throw them, all right. She rubbed the bridge of her nose, feeling a headache brewing just behind her eyes. She'd been at it for most of the weekend already, and she could overhear some of the Council people in the living room of the Order Headquarters, celebrating another successful patrol. She looked up from her notes to see the blonde vampire – Spike, she thought he'd been called - come into the study, bottles in hand.
"You're still at it, luv? Rome wasn't built in a day, nor codes cracked. I've seen the Niblet at it for a week before she got it once, so don't worry your pretty lil head if you haven't gotten this one in two days. My advice? Take a breather and look at it fresh in the morning. In the meantime, you can come join us for a pint," he suggested, holding out one of the bottles to her.
"B-but I'm only sixteen!" she exclaimed.
Spike snorted as he placed the bottle in her limp hand and closed her notebook. "I won't tell if you won't, pet. One beer won't hurt ya."
Hermione mentally shrugged. "All right, just one."
And that's how Hermione found herself working on the translation every weekend since and joining the Council people, mainly Spike, for a little while to unwind afterwards. She was still trying to stay sane with the boys' antics during the week, especially when it came to trying to convince Harry to teach some of the other students defensive spells. The tipping point for her frustration, however, came the weekend that Umbridge had put herself up as Headmaster after Dumbledore vanished and she started pushing hard on controlling the students she didn't like. Hermione came storming into the living room of Grimmauld Place that weekend, took down the decanter of rum and poured herself a quick drink. She had downed it quickly and gone to pour herself another one when she heard a snort from the couch behind her. She spun around, a horrified look on her face, only to see Buffy's sprawled form on the couch behind her, her own drink in hand.
"Musta been a bad week at the witchy school, if you're raiding the rum Spike got you hooked on," she commented with the kind of smile that indicated this wasn't her first drink of the night.
"Um, well, uh it's only a little bit- I know I'm not supposed to until next year, but-" Hermione stammered out.
Buffy held up a hand to forestall her. "Hey, if your high school stories are anywhere near as bad as mine, I sooo understand! But slow down on the drinking thingy, babe. Though, if you reallywanna tie one on, I'd say come back with me to my place. I only came over here to talk about the Ordery stuff and raid Sirius's kick ass booze after. I mean, it's Friday night, my baby sister's celebrating her engagement and I just feel like getting drunk and hey, the more the merrier! No need to be such a goody two-shoes about it...I won't tell," the Slayer commented with a finger to her lips.
Slightly confused as to why an engagement would make Buffy melancholy, but bolstered by the alcohol running through her veins from her slammed drink and the seemingly clandestine nature of the evening, she agreed to the plan and sat down with the blonde to decide what to do first.
Somehow, they'd managed to make it back to Buffy's flat and began the "life sucks" drinking party with the rest of the beer Spike had left in the icebox. Hermione had begun her diatribe by explaining about how horrible the Ministry was currently making things for her and her friends, and then Buffy had rejoined with her explanation of both the chaos of the previous Watcher's Council and an unlamented principal she simply called "the Nazi".
"I wish that I could use my new Time Turner to go back and show people that Voldemort was really back, since this one's a lot stronger than my last one," Hermione bemoaned, the logic making sense to her in her drunken state.
"Nah, wouldn't work. I lived in a town that totally majored in avoiding the issue about anything supernatural. If they didn't wanna see it, they wouldn't. But I betcha I have a better idea for that timey thingy of yours. See, I was lookin' into this boat the Council found- the Sea Witch, see? And, well, maybe I read some books on how there may be ways to go back and see how it was back when the boat was built, ya know?"
"So, you do the wic...witchta...wicka..." the drunken Hermione tried to say the word, but her tongue wouldn't work right. "You do muggle magic, on a ship where...burpuse..."
"The swiggly lines..." Buffy nodded, intoxicated with the idea, as well as the rum they'd switched to by this point in time. Normally, she wouldn't still be drinking, but Spike had left the beer and Hermione had brought the rum, so she'd just mentally shrugged and pulled out the shot glasses as they'd traded stories back and forth.
"Runes," Hermione corrected with a giggle. "Use the runes...to tie my Time Turner to the ship and whamwe're back in time."
"But... we can only go to the times," Buffy crossed her eyes to focus on remembering what had been in that book Giles had told her she shouldn't read had said. "When the ship was first...built cuz...the ship is what...ties past to us...what? Did I say that right?"
"No!" Hermione laughed hysterically.
"Well, any where..." Buffy waved her hand in a circle, looking at something Hermione could not see to demonstrate her point. "From when the ship was originally built to now, we can go...Before that, is no go...of course, no altering big points in time! But hey, there were a lot of pirate ships, so what's one more?"
They both giggled loudly before slowly falling silent. "Why were we talking about being pirates again?" Hermione asked sleepily.
"Dunno..." Buffy started. "Oh! That's right! I saw a movie!"
"A movie?" Hermione asked skeptically.
"Yep! A pirated movie," Buffy said triumphantly, finger in the air.
"So a movie about pirates?"
"No, it's a copy Andrew downloaded illegally...he said that it made him a pirate. I was like 'no way' and then I read a romance novel about pirates. The sexy pirate men, sweeping the lusty lasses of their feet..."
The two sighed, imagining finding someone like that, before pouring each other another shot and getting down to the, as Buffy put it, plannage.
If anyone had actually been by the docks early Saturday morning, they would have seen two giggling drunken women clad in 18th century pirate costumes, stumbling their way towards the Sea Witch. And, since it was Council docks, no one would have batted an eye to see said ship disappear a couple hours later in a flash of green light.
Sunlight streamed through the window, hitting Hermione straight in the eyes, making her groan and roll over, only to pop her head back up at another moan. Her head didn't like that and she muttered a quick anti-nausea spell to keep her food down as she turned to look at Buffy next to her.
"Beer bad, Buffster. When will you remember that?" she heard the Slayer mutter as she sat up.
Looking at the blonde and then glancing around the room, Hermione was shocked. "Um, Buffy, not to sound the alarm too loudly, but I think we spent the night on the Sea Witch, pretending to be pirates," she informed the older woman, motioning to their attire.
"Oh fuck! Giles is so gonna freak if I'm not there for the meeting this morning!" Buffy shouted, jumping out of bed and throwing on the leather slacks and boots by her bunk and running out of the main cabin, only to run back in moments later, slamming the doors shut behind her, wincing at the loud noise that her actions engendered.
"Um, I think we did more than just pretend," she said in a subdued tone, with another accompanying wince.
Hermione threw on her outfit, which was much like Buffy's and slid her wand down by her hip, her vest covering over it nicely. "What do you mean?" she demanded.
In response, Buffy merely threw open the doors and gestured at the crew that was obviously busy on deck and trying to avoid the women's notice at the same time. Buffy looked at her friend in worry. "What was that about the sexy, sweep us off our feet kinda pirate we wanted again?"