Disclaimer: Same as Chapter One
Author's Note: I told myself when I got 1,000 hits, I'd try and update, and maybe finish the story. Now, at 1,055 hits, I finally did so. Enjoy. Please read and review.
“Well, I’m really not sure.” Giles sat up straighter in his chair. “All I know was that Draco went out for a while, and came back. I had just asked where he had been, and that
Buffy stood up, and thoughtfully put her hands on her hips. “Does he remember anything?”
Giles muttered something under his breath about “not having a chance to ask yet” and turned to Draco. “Draco, do you remember where you went today?”
Snorting scornfully, Draco replied, “Course Unca Gi’es. I'm not stupid. I went to the park and watched the stupid Muggles. They do stupid stuff.”,
“Muggles?” Buffy looked confused. “What are Muggles?”
“You are,” Draco replied with all the condescension a child is capable of.
“Giles?!” Buffy spun to stare at Giles. She knew when she was being insulted, even if she didn’t know what the insult was. “Is this another British swear-word?”
“Draco, don’t call people stupid. And no, Buffy, it’s a wizarding word, it means non-magical.”
“Wizarding-what now? And non-magical? I thought the whole mystical-Slayery, Chosen thing meant I was magical?” Buffy was affronted. While she didn’t listen to Giles most of the time, she still knew the whole “Into Every Generation” speech by heart, with the proper intonations too, and she was pretty sure that it had something to do with magic. ‘Cause the strength of ten men? Has anyone seen how short and non-bulgy with the muscles she was? No way was that in the realm of possibleness.
Then she realized that Giles was staring at her.
“Oops, what now? Kinda got sidetracked with the non-bulgy muscles there.”
Giles blinked at her, and in a remarkable moment of childishness, rolled his eyes. “If it’s alright with you, we could maybe discuss that after we get my nephew back to his proper age?” Buffy, a little abashed, nodded then gestured grandly for him to continue. “Now then, Draco. . .” Giles turned back to the little boy, only to realize that he had disappeared. “Draco!”
Just as Giles started to panic, Draco popped out of the bathroom hallway. “Unca Gi’es, I can’t wash my hands. I can’t reach the sink, and I need help.”
“Ah, well, you just need a boost is all. Buffy, if you would?”
Buffy sighed. Being strong sucked sometimes, everyone always asked you to lift things. But at least Draco was a cute kid, and probably wouldn’t squirm like Dawn always used to. However, “Giles, he’s just a boy. And I don’t think the age shrinkage is contagious.” Buffy escorted the little boy back into the bathroom, and held him up while he meticulously washed his hands. Wow, I guess he is Giles’ nephew after all.
When she got back into the front room, Giles had books spread out on the table. “Geez, Giles, you sure work fast. He’s faster than the speed of light! He’s BookMan!”
Draco giggled and Buffy smirked.
“Yes, well, they were already out.”
“Right, Giles.” Buffy’s tone was anything but credulous.
Pointing ignoring Buffy, Giles turned back to Draco. “Draco, while you were out, did anything weird happen? Did anyone talk to you, do anything to you, act odd?”
Draco concentrated, his face screwing up in thought. “Yes” he said hesitantly, “There was a girl who asked me if I wanted to ‘bronze’ with her. I said no, cause she was a muggle, and Mum always says to not talk to them.”
“Was there anything else?”
“There was another witch there, and I think she had some children, but I don’t know where they were, ‘cause I didn’t see them.”
“How do you know she was a witch, Draco?”
“’Cause she knew about the other girl being a Muggle.”
“What about her kids? Where were they?”
“I don’t know, but she was talking about how important it was to raise kids properly, and how she was just sure that my own dad was certainly doing a fine job. I—I. . .” Draco trailed off and looked away from Giles, then mumbled something.
“What Draco?” Giles voice was remarkably gentle.
“IsaidIwishedthatyouraisedmeandshesaidgrantedandthenIwashereandcouldntkeepmyunderson.” Draco rushed the words out, and Giles blinked in confusion.
“What was that?”
Draco looked pleadingly up at Buffy, not wanting to say it again. Buffy smiled and looked at Giles. “He said that he wished you had raised him, the lady said granted, and he was back here and he couldn’t keep his ‘unders’ on.”
“Bloody hell. A vengeance demon.” Giles sat back in his chair, muttering under his breath. Draco looked miserable, and shrunk down in his own chair. Buffy watched him, and glared at Giles, which wasn’t effective since he wasn’t even looking at her. Buffy ruffled his hair, and kicked Giles’ shin. He swore and looked at her, she nodded toward Draco. Giles looked at his nephew, and his face softened. He got up, and crouched down next to Draco. He laid his hand gently on Draco’s shoulder, and kept it there, even when Draco flinched away.
“Draco, look at me.” Giles’ voice was calm and warm, and Draco finally looked up. “It’s not your fault, and I am honored that you would want me to raise you.” Draco looked a little happier, but then a thought hit him.
“Dad’s gonna be mad, Unca Gi’es. I don’t wan’ him to be mad at me. I don’t like the closet.” Draco’s voice was pitiful, and Buffy’s eyes flared at the implication. Giles didn’t react visibly except that there was a slight tensing in his jaw.
“Draco, you don’t have to worry about him. He’s in Azkaban, remember?” Draco relaxed.
“Oh. I forgot.” Buffy bit her lip to stop herself from asking what the heck Azkatraz
“We’ll see what we can do about getting you back to your proper age.”
When Anya and Xander came in, they were arguing, Xander insisting on helping because “That’s what Scoobies do,” and Anya insisting that she didn’t want to help because she was "in the midst of enjoying some very good pictures in one of his magazines." At that statement Xander turned bright red, Buffy snorted, and Giles immediately whipped off his glasses and started cleaning them.
“Sorry, Anya, but we need your help. It’s a vengeance demon issue.” Buffy apologized.
“You do know I’m not a vengeance demon anymore.” The glare she aimed at Giles made it clear that she still had issues about that.
“Indeed, Anya, but we hoped you could help us nonetheless.” Gesturing to where Draco sat, entranced by the old TV in the corner, Giles explained the problem.
“So Draco was abused?” At Giles’ nod, Anya continued, “It was probably Hallie, she has Daddy issues.”
“Can you get her to undo it?”
Anya looked askance at Giles, then at Xander. When Xander motioned encouragingly, she sighed. “You can ask, but I don’t think she will undo it. D’Hoffryn is really picky about things like that. He doesn’t like it.”
“Let’s at least ask.” Giles sighed. “How do we go about getting her attention? Is there a ritual?”
“Yeah, but the herbs are really expensive.”
“Well, let’s get it going.” Buffy jumped up, edgy from so much sitting. Anya waved her hand.
“Oh, that’s not necessary.” She opened her mouth, “HALLIE!!! Hallie!! Halfrek! Get your butt down here!!” Anya ignored the shocked stares from everyone in the room, including Draco. Anya was more entertaining than Sesame Street anytime.
There was a flash of purple smoke, and when it cleared, a lovely brunette stood there, well, lovely if you didn’t mind the veins covering her face.
“Who dares utter my name, I will cause your innards to boil—”
“Hallie!” Anya’s squeal interrupted the ominous words.
“Anyanka?” Halfrek squealed, and Anya squealed again. Suddenly they were in each other’s arms, jumping up and down, looking and sounding for all like girls from Junior High. “Anyanka, I haven’t seen you in ages! What wonderful vengeances have you been performing?”
Anya pulled away, and looked away, embarrassed. “I lost my pendant. I, um, I’m mortal now.”
“Oh dear.” Hallie recoiled a little. “Is that why D’Hoffryn sent out a memo about secreting our medallions somewhere in ourselves?” Anya shrugged.
Giles cleared his throat, and drew the attention of both the ex- and current vengeance demons. “Right” Anya seemed to recall the purpose. “Hallie, are you responsible for the child-ing of this boy, Draco?” Anya pointed Draco out to Hallie.
He waved shyly.
“Yep, isn’t he fabulous? Normally, I would have made it a lot more traumatic for him, but when I saw where he was coming from, I just couldn’t. Besides,” in a whisper, obviously meant for Anya (which Giles and Buffy both heard) “he would’ve helped Voldemort come to power in a big way. And that man is just annoying.” Anya nodded in agreement, not seeing Giles’ gaping mouth.
“But can you turn him back?” Buffy was quickly losing patience. She didn’t care who VolleyMall
was, the vibes that Halfrek was sending out made the Slayer itchy.
Halfrek turned to eye Buffy disdainfully. “Anya, you’re hanging out with the Slayer of all people? How low you’ve gone.” Buffy stiffened, and Halfrek turned back to her. “I could, but I won’t. And you won’t be able to break my magic either. D’Hoffryn’s powers are invulnerable.” Buffy looked askance at Giles. He nodded wearily.
“Then I’ll make you.” Buffy turned to grab a sword, and lunged at Halfrek. Hallie laughed and with a CRACK
“Can we leave now?” Anya begged Xander. He looked at Giles who waved them away. Buffy was standing, seething, staring at the spot Halfrek had been.
Giles sighed. “Well, that’s that.” Buffy spun toward him. “What?!” she cried. “You’re just giving up?”
Giles nodded and looked at Buffy. “There really is no way to break vengeance magic. At least not this kind, not the kind done by one of D’Hoffryn’s demons. Why do you think there are so many alternate dimensions? And besides, from what Halfrek said, I think this may actually be best for Draco anyway.” Giles turned to Draco, who was standing wide-eyed in the corner. There was a mix of fear and hope on his face that melted Buffy’s anger away.
“What do you say, Draco? Do you want to live with me?”
“Really? You mean it?” A smile broke out across Draco’s face when Giles nodded. He threw himself at his uncle. “YES!”
(This time for real)