The Pleasure Of Our Company
disclaimer: not mine. BtVS characters are whedon's. HP characters belong are rowling's.
summary: dawn decides to take the gang on a "literary vacation"...without their consent. evil is dealt with, matches are made, certain professors are irritated.
pairings: to be specified as they crop up.
rating: FR15 (for swearing)~~~*~~~
Dawn grabbed her things and headed into the kitchen. So far, everything was working out perfectly. It had taken months to get everyone together like this. She almost didn't pull it off. The L.A. gang hadn't made it, but she hadn't really expected them to, either. They were pretty busy, after all. And they'd been out of touch. They'd been kinda short with the Scoobies ever since that problem with the impending Apocalypse, and poor Fred...
Well, there was nothing to be done about it now. Anyways, Willow had actually returned at the last minute. Some sort of fall-out with Kennedy. Gleh. Dawn's face scrunched up at the memory. They SO hadn't belonged together. And for such a smart cookie, Willow could be incredibly dense about those things sometimes. But, if everything worked out...Dawn would have all of that cleared up in no time.
Setting her books on the island in the middle of the kitchen, Dawn took a moment to think through everything. Willow was working on the potion at present, stirring something foul-smelling in a big pot on the stove. Buffy and Faith were upstairs cleaning up. Giles was wrapping presents in the living room, though he'd insisted he was only polishing up some of the vast array of weapons they had stored out there. He'd been using the same line for years. It had never worked. That just left...
"Happy birthday, Dawnster!"
Huge hands grabbed her from behind, and she shrieked in delight.
"Xander Harris! Unhand me this instant! I just got my hair in order," she muttered with feigned irritation. She spun around and hugged him fiercely. It had been months since she'd last seen him. He almost hadn't come, something about 'responsibilities' and other boring stuff. But that was the thing about being the birthday girl. You got what you wanted.
"Look at you," he fawned. "All grown up. Brushing your own hair, even. And just barely eighteen. Impressive." He ducked backwards and laughed as Dawn attempted to swat at him.
"It IS impressive," she retorted. "Birthday hair is rarely achieved with less than three stylists at hand. You're lucky to know someone as skilled as myself." She smiled and hugged him again. "How was the ride?"
Xander rolled his eyes and walked towards Willow, who was attempting to greet him as best she could without leaving the potion. He hugged her from behind and kissed the back of her head. He leaned down and whispered something into her ear, causing her to giggle and almost disturb her rhythmic stirring. He attacked the refrigerator before finally answering.
"Considering all the trouble I went to to get here, you'd think I might have gotten a more enthusiastic welcome." He started layering large quantities of sliced turkey, lettuce, sliced tomatoes, and cold bacon strips on pieces of white bread. "Instead, I get Andrew. Thanks for that." He glared at Dawn half-heartedly, then munched into his super-sandwich.
"Aw, come on. He couldn't have been that bad," Willow argued. "He's gotten a lot better, you know. We've been trying to instill in him the virtue of thinking before speaking."
Xander rolled his eyes and swallowed a great lump of sandwich-y goodness. "Maybe he'll seem more virtuous after my stomach's stopped grumbling."
"Besides," Willow continued, "We figured the fastest way to get you caught up on everything was to just let him have at you."
"Well, I don't suppose I can argue with you there. He didn't even give me the chance to ask any questions. As soon as he saw me, he lost it. Verbally accosted me."
"Aww, was poor, defenseless Xander overwhelmed by the scary boy with the big, intimidating words?"
Everyone spun at the interruption. Buffy and Faith sauntered into the kitchen, grinning. Faith stopped inside the doorway and relaxed back against the wall, sticking out her tongue at the look on Xander's face. Buffy grabbed Xander into a giant hug, causing him to huff his displeasure at the sudden lack of air. Buffy grinned and let him loose.
Faith grinned, her head shaking in silent amusement. She leaned through the doorway and called out, "Hey, Giles! Let's get with the gettin'!" She heard him swear softly, followed by the rustling sound of paper, then footsteps.
"Good lord," he muttered. "No need to yell. Is everybody here?"
"Yep, yep," Dawn said, her eyes gleaming when she saw the wrapped presents he carried in with him. "We're just waiting on the potion now."
"Should be done in just a minute, guys," Willow stated, followed by a quiet mutter, "Assuming I timed it right. Oh, please, let me have timed it right."
"So, how's all this going down?" Xander asked. "Is this, like, a teleporting thing, or a potion-drinking thing? Is it gonna hurt?"
"No, no, no. Of course not," Giles replied. "It's fairly simple, actually. There's a circle set around the house, specifying the area from which the subjects will be drawn."
"That's us," Dawn whispered. Xander smiled and winked at her.
"The potion, when it's finished, will be tied first to the origination point --"
"We'll spill some on the floor," she whispered again.
"-- And then it will be tied to the area the subjects wish to be transported to," Giles finished.
"We'll spill some on the pamphlet, too," Dawn concluded quietly. Xander muffled a laugh and mouthed a quick 'thanks' in her direction, straightening quickly when Giles glared in his direction. Xander gave him the patented 'Who, me?' look, and Giles rolled his eyes in resignation.
The pamphlet in question was lying open on the island in the center of the kitchen, mere inches from the pile of books and sundries Dawn had placed there earlier. It was one of those fancy folders with all of the excess information that expensive hotels send to prospective guests. It was located somewhere in the Caribbean, if Dawn remembered correctly, not that it mattered. She had no real intention of ending up there anyway. She had something else in mind for her big birthday celebration.
A loud POP!
jolted her from her reverie, and she looked up to see that Willow was smiling widely, and turning off the stove burner. "Is it ready?" Dawn asked, somewhat apprehensively.
Willow nodded and dipped a large serving spoon into the pot of boiling, blue liquid. Dawn stepped forward quickly. "Can I?" Willow glanced up at her. "Well, it is my birthday, you know. And it's not like there are any magick-y words to memorize or secret handshakes to perform. All I have to do is spill stuff, and I can spill stuff with the best of 'em." She could see Willow considering it.
"Aw, come on, witchy woman. Let the birthday girl spill some shit, so's we can have some fun." Dawn glanced over at Faith and smiled. Faith winked at her in support.
"I guess so," Willow conceded. She handed the brimming spoon to Dawn carefully, and moved out of the way. Dawn carefully poured some of the rank-smelling liquid onto the floor, away from everybody, thus binding the initial point of the spell. Now all she had to do was fake a good, believable stumble. She moved slowly toward the island, careful not to spill any loose drops. Just as she reached the counter, the front door slammed loudly, startling everyone in the kitchen. Dawn realized quickly that, as long as they contents onto the stack of books she's placed there earlier. She made sure she got it on all five of them before crying out in feigned dismay.
"Oh, no! I'm so sorry, guys, I don't know how it happened! I heard the door slam, and I jumped a little, and I --"
Loud footsteps could be heard heading in from the hallway.
All eyes flashed towards the mess on the counter, then back up at the unexpected sound in shock. Then back at the mess on the counter. Then they all bent over in pain, as their guts apparently attempted to stage an anatomical coup. As they were all transported in various stages of startled confusion, the footsteps stopped, and a familiar voice captured their feelings concisely.
"Bloody hell!"~~~*~~~ end chapter one ~~~*~~~