Calling in Backup
Disclaimer: Buffy et. al. belongs to Almighty Joss. Harry et. al. belongs to J. K. Rowling. Alls that belongs to me is a pair of kicky boots and a broken Sneakoscope. Don't sue.
This takes place after Book 6 and before Season 8 (comics), but I'm operating under some of the retconning in S8:I1. No spoilers for S8, though, I promise. I'm playing fast and loose with timelines... BECAUSE I CAN!
The fight was boring all parties, but Hermione pressed it anyway, wearily, as the meeting wound down. "Voldemort's not just trying to conquer one country, Harry."
that, Hermione," he snapped back, hands curling around a teacup. Dark smudges under his eyes were magnified by his glasses. "But I seem to remember someone telling me that the more people who know a plan, the greater the likelihood for spies and leaks."
Hermione winced, and Harry smirked in satisfaction. They had been playing this game of one-upsmanship all night. "It's too late," I said, tossing back the last of my own tea and putting the cup down harder than I meant to. The loud bang!
made them both jump.
"For Pete's sake, Ron, are you trying to give me a heart attack?" Hermione groused.
"Sorry," I said. "But it's true. McGonagall already sent out the requests. So we can either sit here and argue all night, or try to get some sleep before Mum decides we have too much pent-up energy and we need to scrub the ballroom floors the Muggle way." I pushed away from the table and stood up.
Hermione stood up, too, with that 'I need to get the last word in' look in her eyes. I shook my head, and for once, she paid attention, merely sighing and going upstairs. "You coming?" I asked Harry.
"I think I'll stay up for a bit," he said, staring at his empty teacup.
I was contemplating dragging his stupid, scrawny arse upstairs and conking his head with something heavy until he fell asleep, when the doorbell rang. We both winced and clapped our hands to our ears as Mrs. Black started up her screeching, then ran for the front hallway. Harry pulled out his wand and started cursing the painting as I yanked the door open.
A woman stood there, looking startled. The dim streetlights picked up glints of red in her hair, so for a second I thought she was Cousin Medelphia. But first of all, she didn't have freckles, and second of all, she was a good deal shorter than Cousin Medelphia. She opened her mouth, closed it, then said, "Hi, um, are you Harry Potter?"
I was taken aback. "What? No! I'm Ron Weasley."
She looked at her hands, and I noticed the little box she was holding. It was glowing faintly. She looked back up at me and smiled. "Oh! Your name is on the eemayle, too!" At least, that's what I think she said.
Mrs. Black finally fell silent, and Harry came to the door. He glanced once at the woman and immediately pointed his wand so it was several inches from her forehead, right between her eyes. She stared at it, slightly cross-eyed. "Who are you?" he growled, and all the hairs on the back of my neck stood straight up.
"Willow Rosenberg. Who might you be?"
"Who sent you?" His arm was shaking.
"Harry," I said, in my best calming tone.
"Minerva McGonagall sent me an eemayle," she said, calm as anything. "May we come in?"
"We?" I said, blankly.
She turned her head slightly, and suddenly, from out of nowhere, there were a half-dozen women, all younger than me, standing on the stoup, on the sidewalk, across the street. A few had swords or axes, but two or three held crossbows, and the business ends of the bolts were pointed at Harry and I.
I swallowed heavily. This could go really wrong, really fast.
"Yes," Willow said. "We're from the Watcher's Council."