Another older fanfic -- though not as older as some. Set early season 5. Joss created all but the storyline.
X X X X X
“Um, your most eminent of eminences . . .” Dreg began. “Forgive this unworthy one for approaching you, but there is a situation I believe you should be aware of. That is, if you’re not aware of it already . . . “
Glory, reclining on her sumptuous bed, clad in yet another tight-fitting leather dress, looked at Dreg irritably. But then, she did everything irritably. Irritation was part of her essence. No one dared to point out to her that she might be a shade less irritable if she traded in the leather dress for sweats and the four-inch spiked heels for tennies, least of all Dreg. “Yes?” She demanded.
“Um, I almost hesitate to bring this up, so unworthy is it of your attention, but has the beauteous and esteemed Glory been keeping track of the calendar?”
“What do I care what day it is?”
“You? Oh, not a care in the universe, oh mighty one, but there are those that do. And among them is has been noted that tonight is a night that occurs but once every four hundred years – give or take. A night when certain magicks of the necromantic variety can be cast, only on a hellmouth . . .” He trailed off as he noticed Glory’s glare.
“And what,” she said slowly, “Does any of this have to do with me?”
“Oh, nothing directly, oh puissant beauty of all puissant beauties, but tonight the dead can rise and walk if even one person invokes the dead. And this applies to all the dead, human, vampire, demon, and otherwise; if it has consciousness, glory of Glory, it will return to life for the night. But it only seems to apply around regions of strong magic – such as the Hellmouth.”
Glory sat up on the bed. “You know, Dreg, you’re not nearly as stupid as you look. I see where you’re going with this . . .”
Dreg straightened just a bit. “Why, thank you, magnificent Glory. Um, where was I going?”
Once again, Glory glared at him, then straightened. “For some reason, the Slayer has chosen to get in my way. I have no idea why; I’m not a common vampire. But if hundreds of vampires and demons MORE are going to be added to the populace for the night, the Slayer would be too busy running for her life to stop me from searching for the key.” She clapped her hands and stood up. “In fact, let’s make it harder. Dreg, bring me the exclusion book.”
“The . . . exclusion book, oh awesome Glory?”
Sighing, she said, “It’s the big red one at the top of the hall closet.” Dreg nodded and began to back his way out of the room. Then she rubbed her hands together theatrically. “Let’s see how she does protecting the key when she’s running for her life.”
X X X X X
“Noctus Animortus,” Giles said, “Happens once every four hundred and one years, give or take the odd thirty days.” He was sitting at the center table of the Magic Box after hours, flanked by Buffy, Xander, Anya and Riley. Willow and Tara were in LA for a witches’ convention, staying in Angel’s new hotel.
“Terrific,” Xander grumbled. “For once why can’t one of these ‘comes-around- every-millennium’ things miss us by a few hundred years?”
“Remind me to tell you at some point about the plague of flying jellyfish due to hit next in 2247,” Giles commented. “In any event, one of the effects of Noctus Animortus is that it renders the dead far more sensitive to necromancy. Any spell cast to communicate with or raise any dead intelligent being within a certain radius of a source of magical power --"
“The Hellmouth, ladies and gentlemen!” Xander said with a flourish.
“Exactly,” Giles said. “Any spell cast will raise every one of them killed within the past five years. This includes humans, vampires, demons, and so on. They will remain alive for the whole night – unless someone else kills them in the interim, of course. This being the Hellmouth, that’s hundreds, possibly thousands –“
“I get the idea,” Buffy said. “So we get everyone together and what? Roam around town breaking into homes, gravesites, making sure no one’s trying to get the location of the family jewels from old aunt Maureen?”
“Sounds a touch impractical to me,” Riley said. Buffy stuck out her tongue.
“Was I killed?” Anya asked.
“I’m sorry, what?”
“Anyanka. Was my demon 'killed' when I became Anya?”
Giles started to answer, bit off his response, and thought a bit. “I’d have to say no,” he said eventually, “Any more than, say, Angel’s demon was killed when he became Angel, though obviously the circumstances are different.”
Buffy said, “Besides, technically wasn’t the demon quote-unquote killed in another universe? It wouldn’t show here anyway.”
A bit reluctantly, Anya said, “I guess you’re right. I just wouldn’t want her to come back now. I was evil, you know. Not that I regret what I did or anything. Um, except for that part when I brought the Willow vampire to town.”
There being nothing that could be said to that, Giles said, “Right then. In any event, I had not been about to suggest we prevent thousands of people, demons, vampires, and assorted supernatural beings from practicing necromancy by way of a slap on the wrist and a firm scolding. As it turns out, there’s a ritual I’ve been researching that may be of use – it prevents the casting of necromantic spells within a ten-mile radius. The main problem is it can only be cast after dark, and it must be renewed once an hour.”
“So, crisis averted,” Xander said, clapping his hands. “Anyone for shuffleboard?”
“Crisis not averted,” Giles said. “Part of the problem is that the spell can be cast only once by any given person. Darkness falls this evening officially at 5:31 PM and the sun rises tomorrow morning at 6:33. That’s fourteen different times the spell needs to be cast, and there are five of us here. That takes us until 10:31 this evening, so we need to find nine other people to cast the spell.”
“Eight,” Riley said. “Even if someone does something necromantic between 6:31 and 6:33, the dead won’t have time to do much of anything in less than two minutes.”
“Eight, then,” Giles said. “Anyone have any suggestions?”
“Well, and I can’t believe I’m saying this, I say we call Angel,” Xander said. “He brings down Wesley, Cordy, Willow and Tara, that’s five more.” Giles nodded
“I’m wondering if we could rely on Spike for this one . . . .” Buffy mused. Then, seeing the look of horror on everyone’s face, she blurted out. “It was just a suggestion!”
“And a poor one,” Giles said. “And given your mother’s condition –“
“She and Dawn are out of this,” Buffy said firmly.
“I wouldn’t have dreamed of suggesting otherwise,” Giles said gently. “ I shall go call Angel forthwith. But that still leaves us three people short.” He went to the counter and picked up the phone. When he hung it up he didn’t look particularly happy. “Angel is in the middle of a case at the moment; however, Cordelia and Wesley are on their way, as well as Willow and Tara.”
“Okay, we need four people . . .” Buffy said. “Anyone have any ideas?”
“Why don’t we just go drag people in off the street?” Anya said. “Tell them if they don’t read the spell Buffy will slay them.” Everyone eyed her suspiciously. “Oh, relax. I wasn’t saying she should actually slay them, just threaten to.”
“Possibly the best idea you’ve come up with yet, sweetie,” Xander said.
X X X X X
“Hold your back still!” Glory commanded, steadying a red tome that must have weighed twenty-five pounds.
“I’m trying, magnificent Glory,” Dreg said, laboring to balance the book on his back. “But it’s very heavy.”
“Was that a complaint?”
“No! No, your gloriousness.”
“I thought not. Now hold still.” And she barked out five words, snapped a stick, then closed the book with a flourish. “That ought to hold them ‘til morning . . . Dreg! Put the book back!”
“Yes, Glory,” the long-suffering Dreg said.
X X X X X
Giles finished reading the spell, at 5:33 PM. They hadn’t been able to find anyone else yet to intone the spell, but at least now they had eight hours to do so instead of four. “That,” Giles gasped out, “Should do it for – and he broke off.
After a second, Buffy looked up from the history book she’d been (reluctantly) studying, and said, “Giles?”
But he didn’t answer, because he wasn’t there anymore.
Neither was Anya, Xander, or Riley.
“What the hell?” Buffy asked. “Guys! Guys!” She looked at the spellbook, and no, Giles had done the right spell. She then hurried to the front door and looked around.
There was no one in sight. Everyone had vanished.
Buffy looked around in horror, seeing no way this could possibly get any worse.
Then the phone rang. “Hello?”
“Buffy?” It was Dawn, sounding almost tearful. “I was just in here with Mom, making dinner, and she –“
“Disappeared,” Buffy interrupted numbly.
It had just gotten worse.