disclaimer: I do not own anything here. The BtVS characters belong to Joss Whedon. The HP characters belong to JK Rowling. The Craft characters belong to Peter Filardi and Andrew Fleming. The Covenant characters belong to JS Cardone. The versions here of the Practical Magic characters belong to Alice Hoffman, Robin Swicord, Akiva Goldsman, and Adam Brooks. The Witches of Eastwick characters belong to John Updike and Michael Cristofer. The Addams Family belongs to Chas Addams. That one certain Anita Blake character belongs to Laurel K Hamilton.Spoilers for The Covenant.
Note: I know I have other things I absolutely need to be working on, but this had to be written. It would not go away. Had to be written.
Professor Bailey stretched a bit. She removed her glasses and rubbed her green eyes. She twisted up her brown hair and stuck a pencil in it to hold it in the makeshift bun she'd made. She was tired of pouring over her lesson plans for the upcoming year. A knock sounded at the door. Sarah Bailey smiled as she looked up at her best friend and fellow professor.
"Something I can help you with, Professor Madison?"
Amy Madison smirked and glared at her friend and coworker. "It's after nine, Sarah."
"I'm aware, Amy." She had not been, but Amy was always telling her she worked too hard.
"The students will be arriving tomorrow."
"Sons of Ipswitch... are you excited?"
"Should I be?" Sarah said, looking at Amy again.
"Your lack of knowledge in the lore and legends of our craft is worrisome, Sarah Bailey."
"Then I suppose it's lucky that I teach Dark Arts Defense and not History of the Craft like you, huh?"
Amy glared at her.
"All right, Amy, I give. What's so great about the Sons of Ipswitch?"
"Their descendants escaped the witch trials."
Amy sighed in exasperation. "Like here in Salem? THE witch trials. It wasn't just in Salem, you know. There were several little towns that had witch trials. Hung people, burned folks, crushed them. Salem wasn't the only town... just the most famous. These boys, their descendants escaped. Hid out. Kept themselves secret from the non-witchy folks."
"Mmmm. There's four of them, I hear."
Sarah glared at her. "You are not to get your Mrs. Robinson on with any of the students."
Amy glared back. "Pfft! I'm on older men these days."
"Like Remus?" Sarah asked with a smile as she looked back down to her lesson plans.
"I do like Remus Lupin a lot, but he's got that girlfriend, and dammit, I like Tonks. She's cool. No, no, I like Remus's friend. That Sirius guy."
"That guy you accidentally pulled out of that curtain thing in the British Ministry of Magic?"
"That's the one."
"It's because he has tattoos, isn't it?"
"No." Amy denied, but Sarah knew better. "But that doesn't hurt. That doesn't hurt at all."
Sarah glared at her again. She couldn't glare long though. The both of them were glad to finally be back in America and teaching. The War with Voldemort had taken its toll. Both women had scars. Both internally and externally. Sarah knew Amy liked that nick in her eyebrow where she'd taken a hex to the face though. It made the bottle blonde look dangerous. Amy said it made her look like a girl version of someone named Spike. All Sarah knew about Spike was that he was one of two vampires in existence who had a soul. She left it at that. Many of the things Amy had known and done in her former hometown Sunnydale were painful memories, so Sarah did not press. She had a few past pains herself.
Which reminded her, she needed to call the mental asylum and check on how Nancy was doing.
"Come on, Sarah. Let's go. You can do that tomorrow."
Sarah sighed. She knew Amy would not be put off again, and besides that, she wanted to floo in and check on Draco. Their headmistress was trying desperately to get the man to leave England and come teach at Salem. She was hinting very blatantly to Sarah that she would like her to use her friendship with Draco to persuade him. As if Draco Malfoy could be persuaded of anything he truly did not want to do.
Sarah gathered her things. "All right."
The two witches walked off to where their dormitories were.
Dawn Summers could not contain her excitement. Buffy had finally loosened the leash a bit. She was getting to go to a real honest-to-goddess witchcraft school. Like in the Harry Potter books... and how freaky was it that Harry Potter was real? He was nice too. Granted, she had definitely liked that Malfoy guy better... because he reminded her of Spike. A lot. But Harry Potter was nice. He was also dating her sister now. That was sort of cool... if you could get over how gross and cuddly the two of them could be.
Dawn shifted in her seat again. There were two stops left on this bus ride before they got to the school. The Salem Witches' Institute. Her good friend from high school Kit Holburn was sitting next to her reading a spell book. Dawn smiled whenever she though of Kit and about Kit finding them in London. New Watchers' Council... and Kit showing up on the doorstep. Just in time to help them help Harry Potter and company make soup out of that dark wizard guy who Dawn's sister Buffy hilariously called Voltron.
Kit had been humming and muttering the lyrics The Who's "Magic Bus" since they got on this thing. She was also keeping a drumbeat with her fingers on the edge of the book she was reading. This might have annoyed Dawn on any other day, but today she was too excited. Witch school. No slayers, no watchers, and likely... hopefully, no vampires. It was something different. She'd had her fill of the slayer and watcher end of things. She really wanted something different. She really wanted a way to be different from the rest of the Scoobies.
Dawn looked at Kit out of the corner of her eye. She had not changed much in outward appearance. She still wore a lot of dark colors, had black hair just past her shoulders, had bluish-gray eyes, and wore combats boots. Dawn wasn't much different herself. Her hair was still long and brown. She was still a bit lanky, and she still had blue eyes. The only difference now was she knew how to use a sword better and was more adept with a stake.
The bus lurched a bit as they came to a sudden stop. Dawn craned her head around to see who was getting on. It was just one person. She seemed to struggle a bit with her luggage. Her dark hair was quite long and had several chunks that were dark blue. Her jeans were threadbare and her converse were a bit worse for the wear. Then she turned. Dawn blinked. She looked a bit like...
"Omigod! Dawn! Hi!"
It was... "Janice!"
Janice Penshaw. Dawn had not see her since that certain Halloween a few years back when they'd both unknowingly went out with vampires and been attacked. Wow. Janice certainly looked different. She hurried over and sat in the seat across the aisle from Dawn. Janice was wearing a Rob Zombie tee shirt with a forest green corduroy jacket and a purple and pink striped knit scarf. Yes, things had certainly changed here.
"Wow, so like, you're a witch too, Summers, or something?"
And some things had not changed. "Or something."
"Oh hey, Janice, this is Kit Holburn. Kit, Janice Penshaw."
Kit recognized the name. "Vampires? Halloween?"
Dawn cringed. She didn't want to bring that bit of the past up first off, but damage done. "Um... yeah."
"Oh yeah." Janice said. "How dumb were we, right?"
"It's ok." Kit said. "The first time I met Dawn and her sister we were being attack by ghost zombies or something, and in the brand new high school, no less, but that's what they get for building that shit on a hellmouth, ay?"
Janice giggled. The ice was definitely broken. "Nice to meet someone who's been in the trenches."
"Likewise." Kit said as she cracked a rare smile.
Janice reached out and hugged Dawn to her as the bus lurched back into motion. "It's so good to see you, Dawn. I was completely freaking about not knowing anyone... and here you are. It's like totally fate, you know?"
"What's with your hair?" Dawn blurted out for lack of being able to think of anything better to say.
Janice patted a blue chunk self-consciously. "I know, right? What a freak."
"I think it looks cool." Kit muttered.
"It happened when I came into my powers, and it will not be dyed away. The Mominator just about pulled a permi-wig about it. I was supposed to be her chestnut-haired, chocolate-eyed angel. Too bad she has to settle for slightly blue-haired and brown-eyed witchy we-otch."
"Pulled a what?" Kit asked.
"A permi-wig... a permanent wig-out."
Kit grinned. "Nice. You make up words like Dawnie and her sister's crew."
"I do." Janice looked back to Dawn. "So, Dawn, word through the witchy grapevine is that your big sis helped kick some major bad wizard booty. That true? She still slaying and stuff?"
"Dawn, when you become a supernatural creature, like for example a witch, it comes with certain privileges. You get to be in the 'know' about stuff. Like vampire slayers."
"I just can't believe you were a witch all that time."
"I wasn't until I turned eighteen. Talk about some scary shit. The first time I used my powers, my eyes turned all blue and my hair became this." She gestured to her blue-chunked head. "It was way trippy. My mom was so mad about my hair. I was too at first, but I kind like it now. I've decided to just be all punk about it, you know? Just go with it."
The bus lurched to a stop again. Last one. Last one before they got to the school. She could hardly wait. There seemed to be more people getting on this time.
"Well this just got good." Janice said, looking towards the front of the bus where four guys had just boarded. "This just got really damn good."
Dawn craned her head to look. Her belly did a flip-flop. Her butterflies were officially moshing. There were four. Four of the prettiest guys she'd ever seen in her entire life. The first one of the little group was mahogany-haired with really bright blue eyes. His hair was not exactly brown and not exactly red either. He just grinned and shuffled past the girls as the all stared unabashedly. The next one caused Dawn to swallow hard. He reminded her of Draco Malfoy. Big time. Right down to the light blonde hair and gray eyes. Only he was closer to her age bracket. That just made him hotter. The third guy in this procession of hotness had sandy hair that came to his chin and what appeared to be hazel eyes.
But it was the last guy that really got her going. He was the hottest thing she'd ever seen in her entire existence. Dark brown hair that stuck up a bit, dark eyes, and sinfully kissable-looking lips. He nodded at her slightly in greeting and smiled as he passed to take a seat with his buddies. Dawn felt that smile all the way in her toes.
"There wasn't a one of them that was ugly." Janice commented quietly.
Kit nodded in agreement. Dawn giggled. She leaned around to see where they had sat. Back of the bus, naturally, and mister dark eyes and kissy lips was leaned out in the aisle looking at her. Dawn gasped and turned away. It should be against the law to be that pretty and be a dude.
Caleb grinned when the girl gasped and turned away. The way she had looked at him. Hell, the way the three of those girls had looked at all four of them. Reid was already talking about "the one with the blue in her hair". Caleb's grin widened. It would be good for Reid. Perhaps if he had himself a girlfriend, his powers would be less of temptation. He'd always been the one who used too much. Caleb's thoughts went back to the brunette though. Such big blue eyes. Usually he felt a sting when he looked at another girl. He knew Pogue did as well. It had been many months, but it seemed like yesterday that his Sarah and Pogue's Kate had decided they cared for one another in a more-than-roommates way, that they liked each other better than their boyfriends.
It was tougher on Pogue. He'd been with Kate since they were about fifteen. He'd faced off with a warlock who was way more powerful than himself for her. He'd very nearly died. Caleb could relate. He had not known or been with Sarah Wenham nearly as long, but her defection still stung. She'd been the one that Chase Collins had wielded against him expertly when Chase had been after Caleb's powers. Yes, Chase has also threatened his Covenant brothers and Caleb's mother, but it was Sarah that had worked most effectively. And worst yet, he couldn't even be moved to hate her for it. He was glad she was happy, and as his friend also, he was glad Kate was happy. Pogue on the other hand... Pogue cursed his ex in his sleep. Quite bitter, that guy. He tried not to be, struggled with it even, but he still loved Kate, and it hurt that Kate did not feel the same towards him anymore.
The brunette turned in her seat again to look Caleb's way. As if she could not help herself. Caleb winked at her. She stiffened and whipped back around. His grin widened all the more. There was something not quite right, but in a good way, about this girl.
So it really was like the Harry Potter books in a way. There was a welcome feast. However, there was not a sorting though. Dawn was sorta disappointed about that. Then again, they were supposed to be blended together, not separated. All walks of magic, here, and finding common ground. That was the new order of the day in the world of witchcraft.
She, Janice, and Kit sat together at a table. Two girls sat across from them. One had dark curly hair and dark eyes. The other had bright red hair that was straight as a pin and bright blue eyes. Strange that they looked nothing alike, but Dawn got a sisterly vibe off of them. It was so her and Buffy that it was scary. It was all in the way the two of them moved and reacted to one another.
Dawn held her hand across the table. "Dawn Summers."
The redhead grabbed her hand with a bright smile and gave it a hearty shake. "Kylie Owens."
"Antonia Owens." The brunette offered. "Toni."
"Sisters." Dawn said. "I thought so."
Toni cocked her head to the side.
"I have and older sister. We don't look so much alike, but we gesture in a similar manner. You guys have that."
Kylie laughed, nudging her sister. "Just like Mom and Aunt Gilly."
"Janice Penshaw." Janice offered, never wanting to be left out.
Kylie scowled, not at Kit though. She was looking just over Dawn's shoulder.
She nodded her red head. "Those guys are staring at us."
Dawn, Kit, and Janice all turned. Three of the four guys had the decency to look a bit embarrassed and seem like they were looking anywhere but where they had been. Not dark eyes of the kissy lips. His eyes locked with Dawn's, and they stared. For quite a bit. The two of them stared until the guy next to him nudged him. Dawn turned back with a flushed face.
"Whoa." Janice offered.
"Oh!" Toni said. "Do you know who they are? Do you?"
"One of them's Harry Potter?" Kylie mocked. "Omigoddess! Do you think he'll let me rub his scar?"
Toni glared. "You are such bitch. No, they're too young to be Harry Potter. Get with it."
"Just because you've memorized the whole witch's lore library, and you read Which Witch once a week doesn't mean the rest of us are witch nerds."
Toni folded her arms across her chest and pouted. "It's no fair you get to go here, and I have to wait another two years. I'm the one who cares about this stuff."
"If you're not going to school here, then..." Dawn started.
"What am I doing here?"
"Our Aunt is a professor." Kylie interrupted. "And we don't live far. Our mom and step-dad are up there talking to Headmistress Spofford. Ever since Aunt Gilly's been teaching here, we've come to the feast. Professor Spofford wants us both to attend. She always had. The only difference is this year, I get to go here."
"Back to about who those four dudes are..." Kit said in her quiet tone.
"They're the Sons of Ipswitch." Toni whispered.
Kit quirked a brow. "And?"
"The who of who?" Dawn said.
While Janice eeped then said... "You're fucking shitting me!" In a rather loud tone.
Kylie snickered behind her hand because Janice's outburst caused several looks. Janice then turned to get a look at the guys again. She was not even trying to hide that she was looking either.
"Janice." Dawn hissed. "Don't stare."
"You're one to talk. I can't believe it. The only way this year could be any better is if the MacManus brothers were teaching foreign language classes and asked me to be the corned beef in their sandwich."
Dawn laughed loudly. "Both of them?"
"Hell yes, and at the same time."
Dawn laughed again.
"Which brothers?" Kylie asked.
"Connor and Murphy MacManus. They're characters from the movie Boondock Saints." Dawn explained. "Hot, Irish, tattooed, handy in a fire fight."
"Never seen it." Kylie said.
"Awww." Janice said. "I have it on DVD. We so need a hot guy movie night. And I can't believe you've seen it."
"Why?" Dawn asked.
"Well, your sister-"
"I watched it with Xander. What big sister doesn't know won't hurt her."
Toni giggled. "I like the sound of that."
Kylie elbowed her. "You would."
The girl were all quite pleased to not only discover they were on the same floor of the dormitories, but that Kit and Dawn were rooming together, and that Kylie and Janice were rooming together. And better yet, their rooms were next to one anothers'. Janice said something about fate again. Kylie said good-bye to her mother, stepfather, and sister after introducing them to her new friends. Dawn had liked Sally Owens instantly. For some odd reason, Kylie and Toni's mom reminded her of her own mother.
There was a fair amount of talking, giggling, and settling in before the day wore on them, and they found themselves in their new beds. Dawn drifted off to sleep thinking that Headmistress Jane Spofford reminded her a bit of Susan Sarandon.
She awoke several hours later needing to use the bathroom.
Dawn slipped out of her room and headed down the hall for the facilities. She was wishing she'd thought to find her slippers because the floor was quite chilly. She hurried in. The tiled floor in the rest room was even chillier than the wooden floor in the halls. Dawn quickly did her business, washed her hands, then hurried out into the hall. She was intent on getting back to her room and under the covers.
Her body collided with something, and Dawn was about to let out a shrill scream when a hand clamped over her mouth.
"Wouldn't want to wake everyone else."
Her heart started beating very fast. He was holding her and his warm hand was on her mouth. Dawn's hands had settled on his shoulders to steady her because she'd lost her balance a bit in the collision. Somehow his other hand was resting on the base of her spine. He grinned and removed his hand from her mouth, but not from her back.
"I was hoping I'd run into you."
Dawn blinked. He was? Wow. "Oh."
"I'm Caleb. Caleb Danvers."
His grin widened. "And you are?"
"Oh." Dawn blushed hotly. She abruptly removed her hands from his shoulders. She was glad the hallway was dark. What a dork she was. All nonverbal because the hottest guy she'd ever seen was touching her. "I'm, um, Dawn. Dawn Summers."
He removed his other hand and stepped back a bit. "Well, it was nice to meet you, Dawn Summers. Finally."
He grinned. He had really nice teeth too. Along with very lovely arms. It was not fair. Definitely not fair.
"See you in classes, Dawn."
He snickered then headed off to the other end of the hall where the stairs were.
Dawn was almost back to her room when she realized he'd been lurking on the girls' floor. His room was on one of the floors below. It had to be. All the guys were on the second and third floors. The girls were on the fourth and fifth.
Had he been lurking in wait for her? Had he just been wandering about? On the girls' floor? Had he somehow known she would be up? Janice had said the Sons of Ipswitch were fairly powerful. Buffy would tell her to concentrate of the learning. She was here to be a better watcher, to have a wider range of supernatural knowledge... not to get her flirty-flirt on with the Hottie McHot man-witch.
Then again, if her sister got a look at Caleb Danvers, Buffy might just understand why Dawn's mouth felt all dry and her belly was in knots and that place on her spine where his hand had been still held on to the slight pressure of his touch.
And why her mind definitely was not on the learning just now.
end part 1