Levitation and Languages
Faith leaned forward in her chair, tapping Buffy on the
shoulder. “Is it just me, or are you really bad at magic?”
Buffy glared. “This spell is just really hard. You know I
suck at levitation.”
“B, this isn’t levitation. It’s a protection spell.”
Wilkins clapped his hands together, encouraging the seventh
years to try harder. They were still doing the same spell that they had learned
a week ago, an advanced Protego Spell. It wasn’t particularly hard, Darla
having been the first to master it – out of the Slytherins, anyway. It worked
by throwing up a basic force field around the spell caster, and then giving it
plastic properties, so that the caster had a choice whether they wanted any
incoming spells to be dissipated or bounced off upon contact. Buffy was having
issues with the repelling of spells.
Really, she thought, if I don’t want to get hit with a
spell, wouldn’t I just duck?
Darla was her partner, and had performed it perfectly a week
ago. Now she just sat around playing with her nails, not doing anything while
Buffy tried fruitlessly to conquer to spell.
Professor Wilkins came over. “Miss Summers, I know you’re
trying your hardest, but it’s just not working. How come?”
Buffy tutted impatiently. This magic was starting to lose
its charm (no pun intended). At the end of the day, Hogwarts was a lot like
Sunnydale High. Homework, teachers, boyfriend issues… “It’s nothing, I just
can’t concentrate, is all.”
Wilkins pursed his lips. “Any reason in particular?” he
Buffy shrugged. “No,” she said mechanically, thinking about
Angel. Angelus and Spike had left three weeks ago, at the same time leaving a
big gaping hole in her heart. She had a lot of problems letting them go – the
most obvious being that she loved Angel; the most important being that Angelus
and Spike were going back into the real world where magic didn’t stop them from
feasting on people.
As the Slayer, even a very disgruntled one, Buffy wasn’t
evil. Her conscience wouldn’t let her allow them to go. She spoke to Faith
about the problem, asking what she thought. Faith had been adamant that they
kill the two Master vampires.
“Why? It’s our calling. Dumbledore knows that,” Buffy
“B, Gandalf doesn’t know that Angel and Spike are vampires.
He thinks that they’re humans. Get me? If we stake ’em, he’ll figure that we
really are murderers and we just struck again. Plus, probation. Council will
throw us behind bars.”
Buffy stared. “YOU read Lord of the Rings?” she said, her
eyes wide and mouth gaping. “I mean, you READ?”
Faith glared. “Shut up. I kick ass at magic school. And I’m
“And so am I! They’re killers, and they’ll kill more if we
don’t do something- ”
“-and make the Master want
to kill us even more? Not
smart! They’re his family! If we stake them, then either we get thrown in
Azkaban by the Council or slaughtered while we sleep by the Master. Let’s not
forget Darla and Drusilla, either,” Faith had added in an undertone. “We sleep
in the same dorm. How hard do you think it would be for them to try something?”
She straightened. “We can’t stake either of them.”
Buffy shook her head, scandalised. “We can’t just let them
“There is something you can do,” came a male voice from
behind Buffy. She whipped around, and saw Malfoy standing there with his
“Make it look like suicide?” Buffy said hopefully.
Malfoy wrinkled his nose. “That’s not only a Muggle idea,
it’s also stupid,” he sneered. When Buffy looked ready to rip him a new one, he
dropped the superiority act. “Fine. I just meant that you could get a hold of
that non-vampire potion or spell or whatever it is they’ve been using to escape
detection - and overdose them. Then, if they can’t turn into their demon faces,
they can’t drink anyone. Nor would they get sick without the blood.”
Buffy stared. “That’s a fantastic idea!” she shrieked.
“Malfoy, I could kiss you!”
“Rules are- ”
“Yeah, yeah, Faith. I remember,” Buffy said rolling her
eyes. “Overreact much?”
“Good, just as long as you remember,” she said. “Anyway, they leave tonight.
It’s a potion and
a spell, by the way.”
Buffy smiled. “I think I know just how to give it to them…”
Two hours later and several goblets of pumpkin juice for the
unsuspecting vampires, it was done. They had gone back to Sunnydale, without
knowing about their overdose. Buffy hadn’t heard from them since, but she was
willing to bet that they were not happy chappies.
Presently, Wilkins was still regarding Buffy with a raised
eyebrow. Buffy repeated herself, trying to sound more confident.
“No, there’s no reason why I can’t concentrate. None that I
can think of, anyway.”
Wilkins stared at her dubiously. “Right. Well,” he said,
glancing round. “Everyone! Everyone, quiet please. You’re all at different
stages, but I want you to see how’s it’s done again. Miss Aurelius? I’m going
to attack you, so please cast a Protego Spell against me. I want everyone to
watch carefully – take special note of her wrist movement.”
Darla smiled carelessly, standing and taking out her wand.
Wilkins stepped into the cleared area and raised his wand. Darla flicked her
wrist, and a blue force field sprang up around her. Wilkins stepped forward.
“Reducto,” he said casually, but before the spell could even
leave his wand tip, he was stopped.
Abruptly, Darla’s force field surged in a discharge of blue
energy and blasted Wilkins off his feet, through the air and into the wall,
with an almighty crash. Then, the field went dead. The Sunnydale Mayor’s head bounced off the wall with a thunk, and
when he slid to the floor a huge hole appeared. Darla blanched and looked at
her wand in surprise.
Faith rushed to the side of the room and picked Wilkins up
off the floor, setting him on his feet. The Professor rubbed his head, looking
murderous. “What the dickens was that?” he demanded, his eyes oddly focussed
for a person who had just been slammed against a wall.
Darla looked deeply irked. “My spell,” she stated. Wilkins
was about to say something, but stopped, as if remembering the other students
in the classroom who were watching the interaction with various degrees of
shock etched upon their faces.
Wilkins registered the looks on the other students’ faces as
they tried to inconspicuously edge away from Darla, and then he shook his head
seeming to clear his thoughts. “Out. Everyone out. Except Miss Aurelius,” he
instructed. The students didn’t need to be told twice, and left poste haste.
Faith gave Darla a lingering glance.
Darla sighed moodily and sat down in a chair, sneering at
Wilkins. “What?” she snapped.
Wilkins frowned deeply, sitting down across from her. “Why
don’t you tell me?” he threw back. “Did you intend to blast me across the room,
young lady? Because I have to tell you, this is not the type of behaviour one
condones in a school system.” By the time he had finished speaking, Darla’s
expression had changed from a sneer, to despair, to self-righteous anger.
Darla snorted in the most ladylike way possible. “Of course
Wilkins was more than a bit put off by this. There were so
many emotions flitting over the vampiress’s face, it was like she was having a
very fast, very silent battle inside herself, to see which mood she would take
on. The Mayor was perplexed. If he didn’t know any better, he would have said
that she was having some severe hormone imbalances. This was impossible,
though; she was obviously dead. Er, undead.
“So I’m at a loss. What happened?”
Darla huffed. “I don’t know, alright?” she bit off. “All my
magic has been going strange for the last couple of days. I can’t control it.”
“If you can’t control your wand then you shouldn’t be taking
classes. I’ll inform Professor Dumbledore and we can see about letting Mr
Ollivander have a look at it.”
Darla rolled her eyes, tapping her fingernails on the desk
impatiently. “Yeah, okay. Here’s my wand. Good luck.”
With that, she stood and swept out of the room, bumping into
Faith as she stepped out of the door. She threw the dark-haired slayer a filthy
look and walked off, muttering curses.
Faith’s brow knitted. Over the last week, she had been
increasingly temperamental, and her magic had
been a little weird.
Nothing like this had happened before, though.
Darla was acting very strangely.
Normally, she was the epitome of serenity. Nothing ever
seemed to frazzle her; she was always cool, calm and collected. Now, she was
continually having mood swings and even looked different. Her usually bouncy,
shiny strawberry blonde curls were lank down her back, and she was snapping at
everyone. Something was very, very wrong.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Drusilla hummed as she watched the stars twinkle merrily
above her. The stars knew everything that was, is and ever will be; even a
crazy person knew that. Sometimes the crazy people knew it to be more true than
the normal people.
Professor Dumbledore’s eyes held the same quality. The
wisdom, the twinkle. The blue that the sky became when the stars were no longer
Dru sighed happily, pulling herself back inside the train.
She was the only person present on the Hogwarts Express, and she was going back
to Sunnydale - to William and Angelus.
She had started feeling uncomfortable, staying in that
castle. She had stayed there for a few weeks, and her boys had only stayed
there for a week. After they left, she began missing them terribly. Where was
all the fun, the spoiling that always came Drusilla’s way when she was with her
boys? It was as if life at Hogwarts was mocking her, and she did not appreciate
Firenze was right – this was not meant for her. There were
many powers Drusilla possessed that she shouldn’t, for the sole reason that she
didn’t deserve them. Or so it seemed to most people.
Drusilla mused that after she spent all that time with her
Daddy watching her human family tortured, she felt like she deserved all the
power in the world. And so she had it.
Her most valued power was her ability to See what is, and
what would be. Drusilla knew things before others not because she needed to
know, but because she was told.
The stars had been telling her for weeks now about the sun.
The sun was going to rise, and when that time came, there would be a battle. A
battle for trust, for good, or for love?
Either way, it was a battle. And from battles came lots of
bodies, and blood, and fun.
Drusilla knew that when the Time had come, he would love it
After all, it was in the blood.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Hermione and Ron laughed as Harry told a joke about a hag, a
leprechaun and a toothpick. It was very amusing, and very welcome. Everyone in
Gryffindor had noticed Harry’s spontaneous personality swap. It was as if he
had schizophrenia or something just as frightening – all those weeks ago, with
no explanation, Harry had just changed.
Everyone knew he had changed, but it was the little things
that got to Hermione the most. The most obvious example was the stunt he pulled
That had made everyone (who was not a vampire in disguise, a
mayor or a slayer) really confused. The little things were the way he dressed,
how he pulled wings off his butterflies in Potions with glee replacing the
usual distaste. The hanging out with Malfoy was ridiculously out of character,
and he was callous to all of his childhood friends.
It was as if he had
no compassion; like his heart had been turned to stone. He didn’t care what his
best friends thought, or felt.
This was so unlike Harry, that Hermione felt truly afraid of
him. His eyes were what scared her and Ron the most – their usual emerald green
had a malevolent glint all the time, and he never looked happy. True, he would
, but that wasn’t the same thing.
But then, he and Buffy had broken up and a bit after that,
SNAP! He was Harry again. Laughing, joking, brave, loyal Harry that everyone
knew and loved. He had begged everyone’s forgiveness, stating that he had a
Polar Personality Potion and that
was why he had acted so weirdly.
Everyone had sucked the story up without uncertainty, and voila!
back in Gryffindor’s good graces.
Hermione was immensely glad, but she wanted answers. She was
ecstatic that she had her best friend back, but she knew that his excuse was a
lie. She looked around the common room where Harry was the centre of attention.
He had become his usual self, oh, three weeks ago; no one was asking questions.
Hermione made up her mind. As much as she hated to look a
gift horse in the mouth, she needed to know what happened to Harry.
She took Ron’s hand inconspicuously as Harry talked
animatedly to Ginny.
“Ron…” she whispered into his ear.
Ron leaned over to his girlfriend. “Yeah, Hermione? What is
it?” he asked quietly.
“Do you want to find out about Harry?” She didn’t bother to
wait for a response, and had already thought out the next part. “Let’s pretend
we’re going to the Boys’ Dormitory to snog, okay?”
Ron didn’t quite know what she was on about, but was willing
to comply. With a deep breath and a grin, he stood up, pulling her with him.
They walked up the stairs of the Dormitory hand in hand,
ignoring the whistles and comments made about them as they went. Hermione
disappeared behind the door, and a beaming Ron addressed the rest of the
half-full common room from the top of the stairs.
“Oi, can we get a bit of privacy for a while? No coming in
the Seventh Years’ Boys’ Dorm, or else!” he threatened with the ease of one who
had said the same thing many a time. The common room’s occupants shrugged and
nodded, losing interest. Satisfied that he had ensured at least half an hour
alone with Hermione, Ron quickly slipped in the room and shut the door, locking
it with a charm just in case. Hermione was already over at Harry’s bed.
“I feel guilty doing this,” she said uneasily, “but I have
this feeling that Harry’s- ”
“Not telling the truth about his mood swings?” Ron finished
grimly. Hermione looked at him, their eyes meeting in understanding.
“Well, yeah. I was thinking we search his trunk, for a
Ron nodded mutely, and opened Harry’s trunk at the end of
Hermione pulled his Invisibility Cloak off the top, and
began to sift through things. Sneakoscopes, books, a shattered mirror, the
Marauders’ Map, some spare quills. More or less normal things.
Hermione tutted, frowning. “Nothing! Damnit, I need to know!
There’s something I’m missing…”
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
“There’s something I’m missing!”
Rupert Giles sat in his chair heavily at the Watchers’
Council HQ, pouring a few drops of Firewhisky into his tea. Normally he would
have had some scotch, but Dumbledore had given him a nice big bottle a month or
so ago and it was much more gratifying than Muggle alcohol.
Giles ran his hand through his hair agitatedly, and pushed
play on his small, battered tape recorder for the umpteenth time today.
He strained to listen carefully, his right hand poised with
a quill right above some parchment. The tape squealed a bit, and he bent closer
when Buffy’s voice began to play from the recorder.
It was a copy of her interrogation."What is your name, Slayer?""Elizabeth Anne Summers." "Who is your Watcher?""Rupert Giles.""Have you killed a lot of vampires?""Yes.""Are you good at killing things?""Yes." "Have you killed creatures other than vampires? Or demons?""Yes.""I don't like to lose a good Slayer…Have you killed another Slayer of your own free will?"
There was a pause."Damnit, you bitch! Did you kill Kendra or not?""Yes."
Giles groaned and pushed stop on the tape, rewinding once more. The problem
with Veristaserum was that it was so selective! The truth is never set in
stone, there are emotions, causes, extenuating circumstances. For example,
Buffy had said that she killed creatures other than vampires and demons.
The council had assumed
that she was referring to killing Kendra, and
therefore this was considered more evidence against her. But really, it might
not have been that!
What about all the times she had killed an entity or ghost or a bird by
accident while practicing her archery? A robot, for Heaven’s sake? Or when he
had forced her to sacrifice a mouse for a Wiccan spell one time?
And that’s not even considering the-
Wait. Giles stopped. He rewound the tape just a bit this time."I don't like to lose a good Slayer…Have you killed another Slayer of your own free will?"
Pause."Damnit, you bitch! Did you kill Kendra or not?""Yes."
There it was, that pause! Giles looked down at his page. He had written the
word ‘pause’ over and over, circling it in red and crossing it out all over
He had assumed that her pausing was because of the Veritaserum attacking her
brain, but his mind was racing at what he had just remembered. She killed the
bird and by ACCIDENT.
He had FORCED her to sacrifice the mouse.
And she hadn’t responded when asked about her free will…
Giled jumped up from his seat, his heart jumping wildly into his throat,
filling him with delirious warmth. He broke out into a huge grin.
“I’ve got it!”
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
“I’ve got it!”
Hermione gasped. Ron looked at her quizzically. “What have you got?”
Hermione smiled, holding up a bunch of papers. “Harry always dates his
homework, so I’ve had a rough idea when these things have been happening. Do
you remember the first day Harry really started acting weirdly?”
Ron shrugged. “As in, date?”
Hermione pulled a face, shaking the papers. “We were learning about Hornicus
Root in Herbology. That exact class, he started being mean. And look, here –
these are his notes for the day, and he’s written a note to himself. ‘Translate
Italian.’ Then he wrote something about a Master? I’m not sure…”
Ron shook his head. “So? I don’t understand…”
“And here, this date is a few weeks afterwards, he wrote a note to himself
Ron was stunned. “Where the hell did he learn..?”
“And on the next day, there’s a bit in French, Gaelic, German, and what’s
this…Romany? I’m not sure…”
Ron was starting to get freaked out. “He doesn’t know any of those
languages. I know that he doesn’t.”
Hermione licked her suddenly dry lips, her heart beating nervously. “And
here, after a solid week of foreign languages, he stopped.” Hermione swallowed.
She was on the verge of a discovery, and she knew it. Things were just too much
of a coincidence.
“Ron, the whole week that he was writing these languages, he was at his
worst. Personality-wise, I mean. And here is the day when he pulled that cruel
prank with Crookshanks in DADA. Look, his whole paper has no English on it
whatsoever. This was the day after Professor Wilkins left for that trip of his,
did you notice?”
Ron pulled a face. “Now you’re going a bit far,” he said gently. “Wilkins is
a champ! He’s our DADA Professor. How can you think that- ”
“Quirrel? Moody? Ring a bell?” Hermione asked testily. “I tell you, there’s
something off about this. I swear that he’s involved, and I have lots of
reasons to think so as well. And here, in that week that Harry got so
unbearable that not even BUFFY would talk to him? That week when he went
absolutely off the wall?”
“No English. Plus, that was the exact week that those boyfriends of the
exchange girls visited. Liam and William?”
Ron shook his head. “Look, Hermione. Normally I would agree, but you’re just
grasping at straws now,” he said firmly, closing the lid of Harry’s trunk and
easing Hermione up on the bed. “Those guys aren’t evil. Heck, they aren’t even
“Then how do you explain the ‘imaginary’ Boggart, then? What was that
really? And how did two Muggles get into Hogwarts, past the wards? How come you
hardly ever saw them eat, and…”
Ron sighed, helping her up. “Okay, okay. I don’t know anything for sure. How
about you just sleep on this new information, and try to make some sense of it
Hermione nodded mutely, agreeing to whatever Ron was saying even though she
wasn’t really hearing him.
She was bothered by another question – Why can’t I remember them coming
into the Great Hall? I just looked up, and there they were…
She went up to her room absentmindedly and was taking off her robes when a
piece of paper fell out of the folds of her robe.
She bent over and picked it up. The writing on it was Harry’s. It was
written in English, and was entitled, “Translation of VAMPYR
. Written in
relation to the Memoria di Quattro.
Hermione stared at it, entranced, and a smile started to grace her face. She
settled into her bed and started to read.
# # # # # #
Massive reworking of plot has been completed. Apart from that, no comment.