Just A GirlTitle
: Just a GirlRating
: Anything you recognize is owned by someone other than me. Joss Whedon owns Buffy, the Vampire Slayer and all characters therein. J.K. Rowling owns Harry Potter and all characters therein. I only own a piece of the plot.Summary
: A Slayer slipped through the cracks at Hogwarts. It's about time she knew who she really was.Notes
: This fic is a potential sequel for “Letting Go”. It also answers the new challenge about what if Rose Weasley and/or Lily Potter was suddenly called as a Slayer. It could potentially go on to an actual story, but I want to test the plot, first. Happy reading!Spoilers
: Through Buffy, Season 7 and containing hints of Season 8. Through Book 7 and Epilogue of Harry Potter. Also contains pieces of the plot and minor characters from ‘Letting Go’. It does contain book spoilers!- - - - -
Just a Girl
My twelve o’clock was going to be there any second. But instead of catching up on the files the assistant handed me that morning, I was trying to erase the coffee rings on my desk with the edge of my blazer. At least it could be used for something. The whole coffee line was starting to bug me. How much espresso did I need to wear, anyway?
There was a knock at the door. I straightened up, smoothed my hair and sat behind the desk. It was more of a power play, but the desk was huge and tended to swallow me. “Come in!” I shouted.
The door opened and a blonde Frenchwoman walked in. Had I been younger, I would have envied her. Perfect blonde hair, actual breasts, calves that went on for miles… good stock, is what my Mom would have called it.
“Your twelve o’clock is here, Buffy.”
“Great. Send him in.”
The woman grimaced. “Just a warning, Ginny’s a bit upset.”
“Ginny. Ginny Potter? Your aunt Ginny?”
“How many Ginnys do you know?” the woman asked.
“Why didn’t you just send her back?” Buffy asked, getting to her feet. “You know she’s a guest here… she’s not a client.”
“She requested this meeting,” the woman replied evenly. She had her father’s mellow temperament. “In fact, she called a few hours ago. That’s why you don’t have any files.”
“You didn’t open a file on her, did you?” I asked, my eyes narrowing.
The woman hesitated and I could feel her anxiety from ten feet away. Great. Ten years off the job of Slayer and I was still making people paranoid. “Just send her in,” I replied in a tired voice.
Victoire Weasley gave a nod and a slight smile that was all her mother. “Yes, ma’am.” And she was gone.
Ginny Potter, calling for a meeting? What happened to the casual times that she usually showed up, just for friend stuff? I hired her niece as my personal assistant for crying out loud, and her brother was on my payroll. There was only one thing to it. Something was wrong.
Victoire appealed, a shorter, redheaded woman at her side. “Ginny Potter for you, Miss Summers.”
Ginny took a few steps into the room and looked around. It was different than the room she’d been told about, back in Andromeda’s day. The Watcher’s Council had been blown up when Andromeda was doing field work, killing most of the Watchers and the entire Council. It had since been rebuilt a good distance away from the castle that served as Slayer Headquarters.
“Good afternoon,” I said, walking around my desk and offering her my hand to shake. It’s what I did with every other client, demon or not. Ginny took my hand and shook it lightly, trying not to grimace. I took that as a bad sign. “What is it?”
Ginny looked over her shoulder to make sure the door was closed before walking over to one of the two squashy leather chairs and sat down. I followed her and sat at my desk, feeling swallowed by its size. Ginny looked extremely uncomfortable, fidgeting. Had I been in what my daughter Grace called “mommy-mode”, I would have told her to stop. Instead, I left my elbows on the chair and waited for her to talk.
“It’s my niece,” she finally said. “You’ve met Rose, right?”
Rose was Ginny’s brother Ron’s daughter with his wife Hermione. She was one smart cookie, at least from what Ginny had told me. I wasn’t as close with Hermione’s kids as I was with Ginny’s, but I knew them from family get-togethers and whatnot.
“What about her?” I asked curiously. I wasn’t sure where she was going with this.
“She’s been suspended,” Ginny said quietly. I had a feeling she was keeping her temper in check. Ginny was only quiet until the mountain exploded. And then, all bets were off. “She was found after dark in the Forbidden Forest.”
The Forbidden Forest. From what I was told, it was bad. The sort of bad that would have attracted my attention, had I gone to Hogwarts. It was, however, the sort of thing that would interest Ginny’s oldest son, James. He sort of had his father’s adventurous spirit as well as his penchant for getting into trouble.
“What was she doing?”
Ginny frowned. “She didn’t say. And this isn’t about what she was doing, but how she was found.”
“How…” Now with the bad.
“Unconscious, with puncture wounds. And she was carrying a weapon.”
“A weapon? Like, her wand?” So much for my knowledge of Hogwarts students. I assumed every student carried a wand, though. I knew Ginny had.
I couldn’t help it. My jaw dropped. Normally, I had first-hand knowledge of new Slayers. When one died, one stepped forward. That was the rule, even with hundreds of Slayers at our disposal. Never before had we heard of one in what I termed the ‘other’ world.
“Did you know about this?”
“Did I… huh?”
“Did you know about this?” This was the anger speaking. Her entire face was turning red in true Ginny style.
“No, I didn’t know. I’ve never heard anything about a Slayer in your world.”
Ginny leveled a glare at me. I was feeling indignant. Probably out of surprise. Possibly because one of my best friends was accusing me of something. Or a combination thereof.
“I’m leveling with you a hundred percent here,” I implored to her. “I didn’t know anything.”
“It hasn’t been for long,” Ginny told me, her eyes calculating. “Only in the past few weeks, according to Al.” Al was Albus Severus, Ginny’s middle child and second son. “He said that Rose has been acting strangely.”
The meeting concluded not too long after that. I was left in my office even as Victoire reappeared, heels clicking lightly on the marble.
“Send for Willow,” I told her in a numb voice.
“I was also to inform you that Mister Weasley is here for your scheduled lunch.”
This cheered me up somewhat. I always enjoyed spending time with Mr. Weasley.
“If you wish to meet with Willow—“
“Tell her it’s urgent, perhaps even a matter of life and death.”
Victoire nodded and left, closing the door behind her. A moment later, a playful knock sounded. The door opened and a familiar redhead poked his head inside. “Hello.”
“Hi.” It was my cheeriest tone. It wasn’t my fault I sounded depressed. I noticed his dark eyes narrowed slightly as he closed the door after he walked in.
“What is it?”
“I’m having issues,” I replied grumpily, taking off my stilettos and setting them aside. “Have you heard from Ron lately?”
“Not really. Why?” He was moving behind me now, hands at my neck. Those hands worked amazing wonders. I could feel myself slipping into a more blissful state as he worked his magic. Pardon the pun.
“Nothing,” I finally sighed. “It’s nothing.”- - - - -
It was late afternoon when Willow materialized. When she suddenly appeared in a flash of light, I was currently checking out the new Slayer files as well as clearing out the departed Slayer files. It was a depressing job I often delegated as Head of the Watcher’s Council, but one I took upon myself since it seemed Rose Weasley had slipped through the cracks.
“I need your help,” I told her the instant she stepped out of her little pool of light. “It seems we missed one.”
“We couldn’t have,” Willow replied emphatically as she adjusted her dress. “I mean, we personally sense and scout every potential living within—“
I slammed the files in my hand on my desk, rattling the picture of Grace. Willow blinked for a moment. “We missed one.”
“That’s not possible.”
If I could believe her, for only a moment, and think for a second that Rose knew about Slayers and was playing around with a stake alone in the middle of the night in the Forbidden Forest, I could blow it off as a teen's prank. But instinct told me that this was no prank.
“There’s a girl in a hospital right now who was found hunting vampires in a forest with a stake. She’s not on any of our lists and she’s not in the damned files.”
“What do you want me to do about it?” Willow asked. When I got into bitch mode, I really get into it. There’s not much anyone can do except to be patient. I might be pushing forty, but I’ve still got it.
“I want you to hop your astral self up there and find her. She’s in England.” I think. “I just want to make sure she’s alright before I send someone in.” And there was nobody I trusted more with the life of Hermione’s daughter than myself. Andromeda had retired years ago, or I would have already asked for her help.
Willow nodded. “I’ll be back.”
I could only watch her vanish into her brilliant light.- - - - -
I was watching Grace sleep. She was in her bed, long brown hair streaming out behind her, lashes softly brushing her cheekbones, perfectly innocent and at rest. The more I thought about it, the more I realized just how innocent I was when Merrick first found me. I was just a girl. I don’t remember much about her, but I can see it vicariously through the eyes of my twelve-year-old daughter.
I hear the whoosh and saw the shimmer of light under the door. I got to my feet and backed slowly out of the room, tucking the innocence away in bed.
Willow was waiting for me downstairs, helping herself to tea. She looked up at me as I walked in, leaning against the counter.
“You were right,” she said after a moment. “We missed one.”
I felt my knuckles crack under pressure. “What do you know?”
“She was out in the forest, according to the medical ward. She was attacked and they nearly killed her. She’s not doing too well.” Willow looked down at her tea and gently blew on the steam. “Do you want me to keep an eye on her?”
“No,” I finally said after a long moment. “I’ll take care of this.”
Willow looked up at me again. “Which Watcher do you think you should assign?”
I looked down at my feet before answering. “I’m not. I want to talk to her in person.”
Willow’s eyes widened a fraction of an inch. “You know who she is.”
“She’s Victoire’s cousin,” I explained. “And she’s Charlie’s niece.”
“Damn,” Willow murmured. “Talk about irony, huh?”
“Yeah. I’m finding everything right now damned ironic.”
Willow stirred at her tea for a moment before chancing a sip. “Be careful with her. I think she’s a bit unhinged and she’s not exactly coherent.”
“I wasn’t exactly all that together when I was first called, either,” I muttered. “She’s just a girl.”
“They all were,” Willow replied.
Not really, I thought. Rose was a miniature version of Hermione with some of Ron’s finer features, like the red hair. She was a mediating bookworm type who knew too much and flaunted it. She actually reminded me a bit of the Willow from yesteryear. You know, before the gayness and the astral plane hopping.
And, if I knew myself at that age, I knew how she felt. She was alone. Isolated. Feeling like a freak because she was different. Not knowing how she was different. There were a lot of emotions associated with being a Slayer. As the oldest living one, I could identify with all of them.
Tomorrow, I was going to Hogwarts. It was about time this girl knew exactly what she had gotten herself into.- - - - -
“Are you sure about this?”
I looked sideways and saw the taller, darker frame standing next to me. Harry Potter, Auror extraordinaire. After talking to Ginny a bit more, we decided that it would be easiest if the Hogwarts golden boy got me in. Rose had been moved back to Hogwarts the night before and was in the medical ward there until her parents picked her up that evening. Then she would have to be home for a week. Poor kid, I thought to myself.
“No, but let’s get it over with,” I replied sardonically. Harry gave me a sly look and took my arm, the same way Teddy would have. It was really too bad that Teddy was in California, visiting my sister Dawn and her kids. He would have been the perfect Hogwarts travel companion.
I side-Apparated to a small village outside of Hogwarts. As soon as we appeared, Harry smoothed out his Wizarding robes, set his sights on a hill in the distance and started walking. I followed him up a long, winding path until we reached a pair of gates. There was a tall, dark-haired figure in long, black robes waiting for us.
“Hi, Harry,” the man said, giving Harry a hearty handshake. He then turned to me and did a double-take. I knew this man. It was Neville Longbottom. “Hi.”
“Hi, there,” I replied, slipping through the bars as Neville held them open. From what I was told, outsiders weren’t exactly welcome at the school. I was only able to sense it because of my Slayer skill. Had I been a Muggle, I would have been booking in the other direction.
Harry accompanied me up the front steps and through the front entrance. I barely had time to look around and take in the sights of my first ever magical school. He was then tugging my sleeve towards the stairs. I had just put my foot on a second staircase when Harry took me by the arm and pulled me back. I opened my mouth indignantly but closed it uncertainly as the staircase started moving away from me.
“You get used to it.”
When the staircase locked into place, he led me the rest of the way. - - - - -
The medical ward was my worst idea for a hospital. Hospitals freak me out. Even doctors send my slayer senses tingling. It really was a pity that I couldn’t peg doctors as demons. It would make my life so much easier.
Rose was lying in a cot behind a curtain. When the nurse charged out, Harry quickly pulled her aside and explained to her who I was. At least the short story. I was a family friend checking on their daughter.
Her eyes were closed as I pulled the curtain behind me. Her eyes opened and she whispered, “I heard that.”
“You hear a lot?”
She turned her head to look at me. Her face was pale. Her eyes were red-rimmed, with tears gathering at the corners. Her lips were tight. There was pain in those eyes. She had seen something that no girl ever should. For that, I felt the air go out of my lungs.
“I can hear so much.” Her voice was small, quivering. “I can hear people talking on the other side of the door. I can hear the birds out there.” She lifted a weak arm and gestured to the windows that existed somewhere beyond the curtains.
“It’s not a bad thing to hear things,” I said, taking a seat on the edge of the bed. There was recognition in her eyes. This was of the good, since the last time I saw her was two summers ago for Harry’s fortieth. “You can hear people creeping up on you. You can hear danger, like a fire raging out of control or even someone breathing when they’re about to attack you.”
The tears spilled over. “Attack me,” she laughed feebly. “Do I look like anyone who should be attacked?”
“It depends,” I replied, pulling out a stake. I still had my ways of hiding weapons on my body. “Ever seen one of these?”
I watched her eyes widen and she quickly turned away.
“Heard you used one.”
“I don’t know what happened,” she said, her voice so soft that my Slayer-enhanced hearing had to pick it up. “I just knew I had to be out there because something bad was there. And I…” She looked at my stake as though it was a stick of dynamite. “It’s all I had.”
“When you say something bad, was it vampires?”
She blinked and turned back to me. “You know about vampires?”
I smiled. “All Slayers do.”
“Slayers?” She was curious now. Not computing. This wasn’t something she could find in any book. This wasn’t something that buried deep in memory that she could bring out, saying that she read it in so-and-so. No, this was not foreseen. This was a surprise.
“Girls who fight vampires. Girls just like you.” I noticed that the curiosity had turned calculating. She was judging me. Deciding whether I was crazy or not. Finally, she seemed to unstuck her throat and spoke.
“You’re saying that I’m one of these Slayers?”
“Yeah. I think you are.”
Finally having an explanation to her crazy behavior for the past few weeks, Rose looked almost relieved. It was like pulling a diagnosis out of a book. She had just been diagnosed with Slayer. “Wow,” she breathed.
“It’s a big thing, you know? You’re going through all these huge changes because you’re a teenager now, but there’s also this scary world out there that almost nobody knows about. It’s a world we’re drawn to. Like it or not, you’re one of us now.”
“There are hundreds of us,” I explained. “There are some in England, some in Italy, some in the USA, some in Australia, some in Africa, some in Japan…”
“Wow,” she repeated. She looked at the ceiling for a moment. The tears were gone, replaced with a mixture of wonder and fear. “Do my parents know?”
“They know what I am,” I shrugged. “It’s up to you if you want to come clean with them. I’ve known your mother for years now, since I was just a few years older than you. But, I’m going to warn you that telling the parents is not a good idea. I told my mother and she freaked out on me. In fact, telling my mother led me here to meet yours.”
Rose sighed and closed her eyes. There was nothing in any book about telling your parents that you were a vampire slayer, either.
“I know you’re afraid,” I said softly. “But you don’t have to be.”
Rose was weakening. I could see the defenses crumbling. The tears were pooling again. “I don’t know what I was doing. I was just acting on anger and fear. I got this before I took him out, but there were others.” She touched her neck and turned it to show me the two faint puncture marks. “Hagrid found me at dawn.”
“God,” I muttered under my breath. Though, if the vampire was dead that had taken his first bite, that meant she was alive and she hadn't been forced to do the unthinkable and drink his.
“They—they told me I lost a lot of blood,” Rose continued in her small voice. “They told me I was lucky to be alive.”
I looked over my shoulder to see Harry’s frame on the other side of the curtain, listening in. I found that acceptable. After all, he was Rose’s godfather.
“I won’t lie to you,” I told her. “It’s not easy to be a Slayer. You see things that no girl should ever see. You kill and you hunt and you hurt, every day, knowing that you’re different. But what makes you different is that you’re extraordinary. You have a gift that so few others have, a gift to make a difference and change the world for the better. You are the only Slayer that I know of at Hogwarts. That makes you unique. It gives you power. And, coming from your parents, that’s got to be a really good thing.”
Rose smiled. It was a tired smile, filled with pain and exhaustion. “I do feel good.”
“Hearings not the only thing that improves. You get fit… fast. You heal fast. And your senses are out of this world. With the help of a proper Watcher, you’ll be one of the best. Most of the girls are trained in groups of fifty with a single Watcher.”
“Watcher?” Again, not in her vocabulary.
Once show and tell time was over, I left her to her thoughts and joined Harry out in the hall.
“That was subtle,” he commented. “Might as well teach her how to whittle stakes while you’re at it.”
“I left out all the good stuff,” I told him with a teasing grin. “But, while I’m here, I’ve got some unfinished business.”
Harry looked wary. “No.”
“What do you think those vampires are gonna do when Rose is out of commission for the next week?” I snapped back. “I don’t even want to think about Hagrid the vampire.”
Harry grimaced. I assume he had a good mental image.
“Ron and Hermione will be here shortly to pick her up. After I’m done in the woods, I’ll come back out and have a little chat with the Headmaster…” My voice trailed off as he pulled his robe off and set it aside, rolling up the sleeves of his shirt. “What are you doing?”
“Do you really think I’m letting you go into the Forbidden Forest alone?” he asked incredulously.
The last time Harry and I patrolled together, we were both teenagers and it was hilarious. “I work alone.”
He put his hands on his hips and gave me his best I-don’t-think-so look. I just sighed and gestured for him to follow me.- - - - -
It was late evening when Rose returned home. Home was a country-style bungalow with Hermione’s taste and Ron’s touch.
Her mother followed her to her bedroom. “The Headmaster will meet with the Head of Ravenclaw house to discuss overturning your suspension,” she told her daughter as Rose undressed, feeling foolish. “I expect you’ll be back to school in no time.” She looked down at the folded bit of parchment in her hands. “Buffy left this for you. I haven’t touched it.”
Rose took the letter from her mother, staring at it for a moment. Then, summoning up her courage, she looked up. “Mum?”
Hermione looked back at her from the doorway. “Yes?”
“I…” She looked at the letter. “I’m sorry. I didn’t… I didn’t mean to…”
“Oh, honey.” In a moment, she was in her mother’s arms, Hermione rocking her gently, smoothing her hair, kissing her forehead. It felt like both heaven and hell to be in her mother’s arms, so comforting and homey and yet… she felt guilty. Guilty that she was holding onto her secret. Guilty because she’d been with her parents for hours now and she hadn’t said anything.
Pulling back, Rose looked up at her mother, the letter crushed in her hand. “Mum, I have something to tell you.” She wasn’t going to chicken out now.
Hermione smoothed a lock of red hair behind Rose’s ear. “What is it, dear?”
“Er... you know Buffy?” Hermione nodded. “I’m… well I’m… like her. I’m…” Why couldn’t she form words? She had been compared to being an insufferable know-it-all, just like her mother, on different occasions at school. She was a walking encyclopedia, the only girl in the school who referenced Hogwarts, A History
on a regular basis. She was not
The words sparked a bit of hope in Rose’s heart. She looked up at her mother, met her gaze squarely, and nodded.
Hermione sighed and nodded down at the letter in Rose’s hand. “Read that.” She turned and walked back to the door to close it. Rose quickly folded out the letter. The problem in the forest has been contained. Be brave. You are not alone
. Sucking in a bit more oxygen would be good for her brain now.
This was happening. This was really happening.
Hermione pushed herself off from the wall. “Yes, dear?”
“Are you mad?”
Hermione could only smile warily at her daughter. She knew the original Slayer. Knew all of the risks involved. Knew that there was a good chance her daughter would never step inside her room again. Knew that this was very well the last time she would see her.
“Of course not. It’s not your fault you were chosen.”- - - - -
A small package containing a diary was sent from Aunt Ginny from Buffy. With it was another letter, saying that a Watcher was coming soon. In the meantime, she was to hone in her senses and work on her form. This meant not going out into the Forbidden Forest with the audacity to get eaten by a vampire. There was also one rule, a single rule, spoken like a mantra, something believed so fiercely that even when a Slayer died it was passed on: don't die. This also meant doing nothing rash.
Fine by her, Rose decided. As if being fourteen wasn’t bad enough, she had to throw being a Slayer into the mix. James would probably laugh his head off. Al would just stare at her the creepy way her father would do sometimes. And Hugo… well… her baby brother would probably idolize her.
Opening the journal, she dipped her quill into a small tin of ink and paused as she stared at the first page. My name is Rose Weasley
she wrote. Smiling, she dipped her quill again, nibbled on the end, grimaced when she realized she was sucking on an eagle’s tail feather and scribbled: I am a Vampire Slayer, just like those that came before me.- END -