Title: No Amends for the Distant Wrong
Author: TombCrank the Crafty
Summary: Wesley has an interesting discussion with Albus Dumbledore as to the proper use of Slayers.
Rating: F18, M
Disclaimer: I own absolutely nothing. Whedon owns AtS; J.K. Rowling owns HP.
Distribution: TtH, FF.net
Notes: Set sometime when the Beast was all nasty and Angelus ran free, but before the mess with the Dementors in Book 5. (Yes, I realize the times aren’t contiguous, but deal.) This story features Ruthless!Wesley and Manipulative!Dumbledore, to a certain degree. If you don’t like either of these permutations, you don’t have to read it. The title is based off lyrics by the Danish punk rock band Mew.
“And so you see, Mr. Pryce, it is imperative that your Slayer come to Hogwarts to protect Harry Potter.” Headmaster Dumbledore nodded solemnly. “Lord Voldemort’s strength and numbers are growing. Harry is prophesied to be his only weakness, the key to his downfall. All the Slayer must do is keep him alive, up until their final confrontation. She will be compensated for her time, of course, with room and board included. The Slayer is welcome to bring any support or weaponry she feels necessary, no questions asked. As her Watcher, you will be subject to these conditions as well.
Wesley sipped at his Darjeeling tea, eying the brightly dressed wizard on the couch opposite of him. “No,” he stated flatly after a long pause.
Dumbledore leaned back in his seat. “You do not wish to join your Slayer? But I was under the impression that a Watcher never leaves his Slayer’s side, save for death.”
There was an odd sort of silence. “That is usually the case.” Wesley conceded the point, his eyes wandering to the battle-axe propped up against the far wall.
“Has she been replaced by another?” The Headmaster sounded weary and disheartened. “I was not aware that your Slayer had died.”
Dumbledore smiled. It didn’t reach his eyes, devoid of their customary twinkle. “Oh, good. I was worried for a moment there. When can we expect the Slayer in London? It would be best if you sent her along as soon as possible.”
“You misunderstand me. Faith will not work for you. Even though I am no longer employed by the Council, Faith still looks to me as her Watcher. If I tell her not to go to England, she would listen to me.” Wesley stared at him over his teacup. “I have no intention of letting the Slayer anywhere near your Harry Potter or Lord Voldemort.”
Dumbledore paused, eyes no longer twinkling. “I’m not sure you realize the severity of this situation, Mr. Pryce. Every day, more innocents die and the Wizarding World cowers in fear. This war is draining England of its magical resources. It has already claimed a generation of wizards and witches. If the Wizarding World is to survive, the war must end.”
There was a pregnant silence as Dumbledore carefully looked at the Watcher.
Wesley broke the silence first with a snort of mocking, cynical laughter, placing his teacup down on the coffee table. “And? Is that all? Please. At least tell me he plans on world domination or a minor apocalypse or two.”
“Voldemort wants to consolidate his power base in Britain before moving on to Europe,” Dumbledore allowed.
“Well, that’s something. Now, has he allied himself with vampires? Demons? Hell gods or robots? How about manifestations of higher beings? Lawyers?”
Dumbledore shook his head. “Not as such, no. There are hints that he is courting some of the more unsavory magical creatures to his side, but there are no solid reports.”
“How many followers has he got again?”
It looked as if Dumbledore was adding numbers. “About fifty direct followers. Only a quarter of that is seasoned fighters from the last War. The rest is mostly green recruits.” He shook his head regretfully. “Unfortunately, Voldemort’s ranks are growing every day. There is a large grass-roots campaign of Dark sympathizers as well.”
“Let me get this straight: the Wizarding World has been living in fear of one
megalomaniac and a measly fifty followers for thirty years
?” Wesley laughed. It was an unkind sound. “Pitiful. The Slayer faces worse on a weekly basis. Your situation does not require her presence.”
Dumbledore gave Wesley an undecipherable look. Then his face rearranged into a more saddened visage, a disappointed grandfather figure. “I understand why you feel you must protect your slayer from the Dark, but she is a force of Good. It is her destiny to fight back the darkness. She must
“Trying to guilt me, Dumbledore?” Wesley snorted. “It almost might have worked, except I’m not trying to protect my slayer. I’m making a tactical decision: Los Angeles needs a Slayer more than you do. Faith stays here. She will not fight in your petty turf war.”
“I am sad that it has come to this, but Faith must come to England.” Dumbledore looked at Wesley sadly. “Imperio.
” He cast at the younger man. The flash of bright light hit him dead on. “Well now, Mr. Pryce, I believe you were about to assign your Slayer to me for the duration of the War, to be used as I see fit.”
“Not bloody likely,” Wesley spat out viciously, his fingernails biting into the palms of his hands and his teeth clenched. He started for his throwing knife, palming it and ready for use. “I knew you were an untrustworthy old bastard, but an Unforgivable in my living room? For shame.” He narrowed his eyes. “Aren’t you desperate. The situation must be escalating over there for you to resort to this.”
“It is. We are at a precipice; it will take but a little to push our entire way of life into the abyss.” Dumbledore sighed, sounding near broken.
“How charming. It sounds as if you wizards really are in a spot of trouble.”
“So you’ll give us Faith?” The hope in Dumbledore’s voice was naked.
The look Wesley gave the Headmaster was poisonous. “Los Angeles is on the brink of a dimension
-wide apocalypse but you somehow think I’m going to send away our best hope for a continued existence? You must be joking.” Reaching out with his magic, he started to cast a knock-back spell. “Dumbledore, I firmly suggest that you leave now.” Wesley pointedly looked at the weaponry lining the walls, all shiny and sharp looking.
“Very well,” said Dumbledore, solemn in his bright green robes. “I must respect your decision as Faith’s Watcher.”
Wesley just watched Dumbledore in silence, waiting for an opening. The bastard had sent an Imperio at him; Wesley wasn’t sure if he should’ve just killed the old coot then and there. LA really was on the edge of an apocalypse with Angelus running rampant, his bloody, psychotic tendencies unbound and an impending apocalypse of massive proportions on the horizon. It was crucial that Faith stay here and Wesley wouldn’t put it past Dumbledore to make another foolish attempt for her.
“Good day, Mr. Pryce. Fire call me, if you ever change your mind.” With that, Dumbledore apparated out of Wesley’s living room with a crack of magic.
Wesley re-sheathed his throwing knife with a sigh. Fighting Dumbledore’s mind magic had been a bitch; most magic users in LA went for more physical manifestations of their power. It had been a long time since he had needed to protect himself that way. Wesley made a strange motion with one of his hands, his fingers tingled as his magic checked the room for anything that did not belong and his wards reconstructed themselves.
A few minutes later, Faith sauntered out of his bedroom, clad in an over sized shirt and gym shorts, her hair wet from the shower. “Hey, Wes.” She sprawled out on his couch. “Who was that dude I heard?”
“No one important.” Wesley murmured. “No one important at all.”
Author’s Note: Well, this was fun to write. It’s always annoyed me that writers would have the Watchers Council go protect Harry Potter or go off and try to kill Voldemort. The way I see it, what business does a Slayer have in a society where two little words can kill someone? Yeah, a hand-to-hand fighter against a duelist? Not very nice. Wesley knows this. He also knows that the Beast and Angelus are pretty much the nastiest things around, Lord Voldemort notwithstanding. Faith’s needed in LA. Sorry Dumbledore, but no slayer for you.
Feedback is appreciated.
TombCrank the Crafty