(This chapter was betaed by KatieRebecca of Perfect Imagination.)
Summary: Buffy is sent back in time, to search for the lost ‘Nephilim dagger’ the only known weapon capable to kill her powerful new enemy. She has only 1 year to accomplish her task. Will she join the newly formed Order or the Phoenix or...
Disclaimer: The Buffyverse belongs Joss Whedon, the rest is the property of JK Rowling.
Time-line: Post Chosen & Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. (June 2003)
Enjoy and please review, it feeds my muse.
They watched in silence the collapse of the Hellmouth. Sunnydale was gone for good, and so it was Buffy’s career as slayer. For the first time in a long time, she dared to hope, hope for the possibility of having a normal life. With all the potentials activated as slayers, she finally could take a well deserved break. But balance tends to follow its own natural course; having the First roaming free, it allowed Willow’s spell to succeed. Once the First was contained, balance was restored once again, leaving this earth with its own true chosen one, Faith.
All new slayers were immediately deactivated. They found out a bit later when none of them were able to feel that Angel was a vampire. They did several tests, with the same results. Only Buffy and Faith were still slayers.
“Willow, make the spell again!” One of the potentials demanded.
“I would if I could.”
“Why can’t you?” Kennedy asked her girlfriend.
“I knew this could happen. Cosmic Balance rules over law and chaos. Balance says ‘Into every generation a slayer is born, one girl in all the world, a chosen one. She alone will stand against the Vampires, the Demons, and forces of darkness; with the strength and skill to stop the spread of evil throughout the world.’ I disrupted the natural order when I brought Buffy back from the dead, chaos ensued, and the First took the opportunity to break free. Law allowed me to activate all potentials. Once the First was defeated, balance took over.” Willow explained them.
“We know Faith is the one carrying the slayer line. But what about Buffy? Why is she still a slayer?” Andrew asked, puzzled.
“A loophole. Xander used CPR when Buffy drowned, not magic.” Giles stepped in.
“It’s more than that, Mr. Giles. The Powers That Be claimed Buffy as their own champion,” Lorne informed them ruefully. “Her aura screams it. Would you sing for me?”
“Huh?” Buffy was starting to feel dizzy. Her dreams of early retirement vanished with a quick awakening.
“Sing to me...I’m an anagogic demon.”
“Really...you look well-fed.”
“Anagogic, not anorexic,” Dawn said, rolling her eyes. “Anagogic demons can read souls.”
“I can’t read you unless you sing.”
“I don’t sing!”
“She’s right, you know. We heard her,” Xander, said smiling.
“We can go to Angelcakes’s former office. I’m sure he won’t mind.”
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“Don’t look so disappointed, SweetiePie. You’re their chosen champion; you’re always going to be!” Lorne told Buffy. “TPTB aren’t as cruel as you seem to think, and they like you. I can see a rocky road heading your way, but great things are going to happen too.”
Her heart sank a little at the thought of the rocky road. It seemed her life was always plagued with rocky roads, no matter how hard she tried. “I’m more of a ‘tool’ for them than a champion, I’m tired of it...I want to be in control of my life for once, I’m always fighting.”
“Sweetie, I know this is harsh, but as soon as you accept that you don’t belong to yourself, the better it is going to get.”
Big, fat tears rolled out of her green eyes. “It’s not fair. Angel once said we didn’t belong to ourselves. That we belong to the world... fighting. I hate when he’s right.” Her sobs racked her body; she felt her legs give way, but was caught by a pair of strong arms.
“You remember that day? Why didn’t you said so?” Angel whispered in her ear.
“Because it was your choice to make.” She took a step back and gave him a sad smile. “It doesn’t matter anymore, Angel, what’s done is done,” she finished grimly, wiping her tears away with the back of her hand. She saw Lorne discreetly leave the room.
“I did it out of love.” Angel protested. “You know I’m still in love with you.”
“I know.” She sighed. “I love you more than anything in this world, and I’m scared that I’m always going to be.”
He bent forward to lean his forehead against hers. “I can relate.” Silence descended between them. “What are you planning to do?”
“Giles wants to go to London and see what’s left of the Watchers Council.”
“Is he going to take over?”
“As capable as Giles is, he isn’t a wizard; something called the Wizengamot has to select a wizard to take over.”
“I’m fairly certain I said it right.”
“You probably did, it’s just that I’ve never heard the word before. I’ve always avoided wizards,” Angel said embarrassedly.
“According to Giles, it is the high court of wizarding law in Britain. Dumbledore is the Chief Warlock. Willow and Giles vouch for him.”
“You don’t know him?”
“Only by rep. I just hope he’ll choose someone better qualified than Travers.”
“Speaking of Travers, our London branch is sending Travers’s Will. You’re included in it!”
Buffy’s slightly arched eyebrows rose. “Our London branch?”
Angel looked discomfited. “I meant Wolfram and Hart’s London branch.”
“Why did Travers make his Will in an evil law firm?”
“Because it is the biggest and most powerful law firm in the world? Also is the only one known to the wizarding community.”
“I wonder what he left me. I’m surprised he mentions me at all.”
“We’ll find out tomorrow.”
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Buffy and the Scoobies were gathered in Angel’s new office at Wolfram and Hart, for the reading of Quentin Travers’s Last Will.
“In case my brother shall die without legal heirs, I give and bequeath all my possessions aforesaid, unto Buffy Anne Summers. She’s a remarkable young woman. I have the feeling she’s the only slayer capable enough to outlive us.” The lawyer finished the reading. “It seems you’re the sole heir, Miss Summers.”
Buffy stared at him in open-mouthed astonishment. “Me? What about his brother?”
“Marcus Travers was a known Death Eater. He died in Azkaban two years ago.” The lawyer handed her the documents. “Please, Miss Summers, sign them. I’ll collect them later and start with the legal procedures.”
“Travers’s brother was a Death Eater?” Giles asked in astonishment. “I never knew...”
“I guess the whole concept of a ‘known Death Eater’ wasn’t accurate. Still, I don’t understand why he left everything to me. I was under the impression that I annoyed him.”
“You did!” Wesley replied. “What? Giles knows it true; Quentin did say so...frequently.”
“Then why did he leave all his belongings to me? If I was just an annoying Muggle.”
“A slayer is not a Muggle, for most wizards, Travers included...Muggles are beneath them, a slayer is regarded as an equal,” Giles informed her.
“Equal enough to order us around. Morons...I hate wizards and non Wicca witches,” Buffy said, smiling at Willow.
“Isn’t our cousin Remus a wizard?” Dawn asked.
“Yes. But...we haven’t met him.”
“True, but he sends the wackiest birthday cards ever!” Dawn smiled knowingly.
“Okay,” Buffy relented. “I hate all wizards except Remus.”
“And Dumbledore, he’s so cool. He helped me with my magic addiction,” Willow defended him.
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“Do you really have to go?” Angel pleaded with her. “I don’t want you to go.”
“All the potentials have returned home. It’s time we go. Besides, I’m dying to see my new home. Quentin’s will described Travers Manor as a magnificent moated Tudor Manor in the outskirts of London. How cool is that, my own moat! I’m thinking crocodiles or piranhas. What do you think is better?”
“Piranhas don’t attack people. It’s just a legend. In fact, the Indians of South America have been known to swim in rivers full of piranhas without getting bitten even once.”
“You sounded like my fourth grade teacher. Perhaps you missed your true calling.”
“You can have grindylows; those water demons can be pretty nasty.”
She smiled and hugged Angel tightly. “I’m so gonna miss ya!”
“Ditto,” he answered, smiling. “I have a farewell gift for you.” He handed her a square black felt box.
“Oh presents! I love presents!” she said brightly, as she opened the case. “I didn’t get you anything, it’s a pendant of a...bat?” She let the pendant spin slowly at the end of the chain. It was a lovely thing, for a bat.
“Allow me to place it around your neck.” Angel moved behind Buffy, resisting the urge to kiss her neck. “Please wear it at all times. It’s a powerful amulet against curses.”
“Really? It looks old.”
“Over three thousand years old. If the rumors are true, it belonged to Persephone, queen of the underground. Now it’s yours.”
“Where did you get it?” She could not suppress the hint of admiration in her voice.
“Ebay,” was the simple answer.
She laughed and kissed him lightly on the lips. “Thank you, Angel. I promise to always wear it.”
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Travers Manor surpassed Buffy’s expectation; it was full of wonderful things: enchanted armors, talking portraits...they were very helpful and informed her of the grindylows in the moat, ghouls in the attic, gnomes in the gardens, etc.
She was also the owner of six domestic elves. She offered to free them, but they threatened to kill themselves if she offered again.
“I just received a Ministry owl, from the Minister himself,” Giles happily informed them. “He apologized for not being here to properly welcome us. The Quidditch Cup will be hosted in England, and the preparations are a full-time task. The good news is that the most valuable books weren’t in the Watcher’s Council Headquarters. They’re in Gringotts. He enclosed a key.”
“Gringo’s? Isn’t that a bar in Tijuana?” Xander asked perplexed. “But I haven’t seen Buckingham Palace yet. I want to make silly faces to the guards.”
“You too? We are so in synch.”
“Seriously, Andrew, I’m starting to believe you’re gay!” Xander replied, exasperated.
“Gringotts. It’s a bank in Diagon Alley.”
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“What’s with all the weird looks thrown at you? I know it’s not your best hair day...but come on!” Dawn quipped.
“Maybe they know I’m the slayer.”
“Faith’s a slayer too, and nobody is staring at her.”
“Shut up, Dawn. Go with the others, and leave me alone.”
She turned and a middle aged man was staring at her. His pale complexion went a few shades paler; she could see a deep longing in his grey eyes. “You are dead,” she heard him whisper.
“Not anymore,” she answered.
The look on his face indicated that he either wanted to kiss her or hug her. His nose flared as he took a deep breath; he stepped back as if afraid of his own reactions.
“Vixen,” Xander murmured to her behind his hand.
“Shh.” Buffy puckered her lips to hush him, but the stranger chose to believe that she was blowing the annoying boy a kiss.
His face hardening, he said acidly, “I’ll get to the bottom of this!”
The grey eyes settled on her for a moment, but his expression was completely unreadable.
“What a weird man! Come on, Buff. Let’s go, the others are waiting.” Xander put his arm round her waist, and they ran out into the main street towards the bank.
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