Part 25 Epilogue
Albus Dumbledore sat in his office the next morning looking at the faces of the people gathered there. They all deserved an explanation as to how this all happened. Problem was he wasn’t sure himself. He was embarrassed that he had let it happen at all. He should have seen Voldemort coming, he let Death Eaters sneak up on him. It shouldn’t have happened.
“I want to thank all of you,” he finally said, “Without you I would be dead. Harry would probably be dead.”
“How did he…” Harry began, asking the question everyone else was thinking, but didn’t want to say out loud.
“I wish I had an explanation for you Harry. For all of you,” Dumbledore sighed, “I was foolish. I didn’t believe he could catch me. I should have known better. Should have been prepared.”
“You shouldn’t have gone alone,” Professor Mcgonagall said quietly. She had been against him trying to find Voldemort on his own. She had wanted him to take someone else from the Order with him. He had refused, he didn’t want to endanger anyone else.
“I should have, but I didn’t,” he agreed, “That can’t be changed.”
“The important thing is that everyone’s okay,” Willow said, “Everyone makes mistakes right. I mean, my mistake is what allowed us to save you at all. It gave us a way in.”
“Why did you want us brought here?” Fred asked, “I mean, I guess I understand Willow and even Faith but why me?”
“Willow, is indeed obvious, she is one of the few witches or wizards that would have the power to fight Voldemort. I knew she wouldn’t be able to kill him. Just as I couldn’t. Faith is a slayer. Not everything can be fought with magic alone. Including the Death Eaters.” Dumbledore explained then turned his attention to Fred, “You haven’t figured out why you’re here? Your magic is limited I agree, but there is power other than magical and physical. You contributed a great deal. That spell that Hermione performed, was dangerous if not done correctly. Miss Rosenberg was too occupied with other matters necessary in finding me to manage research.”
“You knew how Willow…?” Buffy asked.
“No, I knew she would find a way. If she could find out where I was. I can’t even say I would have approved of her method. But I knew she would need help. While you or Faith,” He looked at each of the slayers, “would be an asset in the battle, I’m afraid neither of you has a reputation for planning.”
Angel let out a small laugh at the looks on both Slayer’s faces. It seems the wizard was very aware of the reputations of both girls. His facing straightening when both Slayers glared at him.
“Fred also provided even more contacts that Willow and Faith might not have thought of,” Dumbledore finished looking to Angel.
“What’s happened to the people that were in that camp?” Angel asked.
“The Ministry was notified last night. The one’s that survived were taken to Azkaban. With Voldemort gone, they will most likely remain there. The one’s that got away however the Aurors are looking for.”
“So we can return home now?” Buffy asked, “Big Bads gone right?”
“Yes, of course you are all free to return to your homes,” Dumbledore told the blonde Slayer, “However we do still need a Dark Arts and Muggle Studies professor, and I understand Faith’s class is also quite popular.”
“You want us to stay?” Fred asked.
“That is up to you of course,” Dumbledore replied, “Professor Snape, I understand, tore you away unexpectedly from your lives. I would understand if you chose to leave.”
Willow glanced at Severus who had remained quiet. Part of her missed her friends and wanted to return to them. The other part of her didn’t want to leave the new life she had created here. She glanced at Fred and Faith who were also looking around at the people in the room.
“I would like to stay,” Willow said quietly, “At least until summer. I mean it’s not like I can’t visit home right. The whole Apparating thing, and Floo network, or portkeys. I can always visit.”
“Yes, I have already contacted the Ministry about adding Miss Summers home and Angel’s hotel to the Floo network,” Dumbledore smiled.
“I’ll stay too,” Fred smiled at Charlie.
Faith looked at Remus and at Willow and Fred. Then glanced over at Buffy, if she stayed here the job of training all the new slayers would fall to Buffy.
“Can I talk to you two alone,” Faith pointed at Remus and Buffy.
Remus followed the two slayers to the hall outside Dumbledore’s office.
“Faith I understand you have responsibilities…” Remus began as soon as the door closed.
“Faith you’re happy here I can…” Buffy said at the same time.
“So anyone want to know what I want?” Faith asked when the other two stopped talking and looked at her, “Right, so B, I don’t want you to have to train those kids alone. It’s not fair. Remus I don’t want to leave you either. And believe me, that’s a big thing for me. I don’t usually get attached.”
“So what are you going to do?” Buffy asked, she really did want Faith to do what ever would make her happy. She could manage with out her back home.
“Remus, you said you don’t work. Can’t find any right? The werewolf thing?” Faith said.
“We’re very werewolf friendly,” Buffy grinned catching on to what the younger slayer was saying.
“I need… If I leave I won’t have access to Severus and the wolfs bane potion.”
“He gave it Giles.” Buffy smiled, “Giles is practically giddy about it. He’s even trying to find Oz again.”
“Come with me?” Faith asked.
“You’re sure about this?”
“Yes. And we can come back to visit Harry anytime right?”
The group returned to the office and told Dumbledore their decision. It was time to go to breakfast and tell the school of his return and Voldemort’s demise. Though Professor Snape believed most students already knew. Buffy and Angel agreed to stay for the day and return after dinner so Faith and Lupin could leave with them. Willow and Fred promised to visit often now that they could travel by Floo.