****I DON’T OWN BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER OR ANYTHING INVOLVING DC COMICS. BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER IS OWNED BY JOSS WHEDON AND MUTANT ENEMY AND DC COMICS I THINK OWNS ITSELF************************
Author’s Notes: Spoilers for “Dead Man’s Party”. I would like to thank JediKnight, Deamondeathstone, and Schrei for their help so far. Without them to bounce ideas off of, I might not have gotten this chapter out as soon as I did.
Zarina sat down on the couch in her living room going over what had happened after she met Willow in the graveyard last night. Oz, Cordelia, Amy, and Andrew had been hunting vampires that night with her. For a while, Zarina had been worried about whether or not Oz would have been able to tell but fortunately he wasn’t or at least he didn’t say anything to her. It wasn’t like she wouldn’t have freaked out. Zarina knew that she’d done it before.
November 1, 1997
Groggily, he opened his eyes expecting to see a normal ceiling but not a bright light. He started to sit up but he felt someone grab his shoulder. Xander looked over to see a blonde nurse who looked like she was in her early forties trying to hold him down.
“Mam, I’m fine.” Xander said to her. “Besides, I’ve got to get to school or my best friend is going to kill me.”
“I think you have bigger problems.” The nurse said gesturing for him to take a closer look at himself.
It was then he noticed his chest and promptly fainted.
She shook her head clearing away the mental cobwebs as a knocking began to be heard on her front door. Walking over to the front door, she opened it to see Willow holding her school bag. Zarina remembered it was the same one she had last year. The redhead seemed rather eager about today.
“So first day at Sunnydale High?” Willow asked as if it was a rhetorical question. “I thought I might show you around if you don’t mind.” Kinda weird for Willow to be this assertive.
Zarina thought. Then again, it might have something to do with the small fact about those two vampires I toasted last night.
“Okay, I just need to grab a couple of things.” Zarina said. “Come on in.”
Willow took a step into the doorway when a field repelled her and hurled her into the yard. Shocked, Zarina ran out into the yard to help her.
“I’m so, so, so sorry!” Zarina exclaimed. “Doctor Fate warned me that he warded my house but I didn’t think it would stop people from coming in.” She reached into her pocket pulling out her cell phone. Zarina hit her speed dial and it picked up. “Doctor Fate, Zarina here. I just tried to let someone in my house and they got bounced into the yard.”
Willow watched as Zarina listened to the voice on the other end. She didn’t even know who this Doctor Fate
was but evidently Zarina respected him. Zarina turned the phone off and put it back in her pocket.
“What did he say?” Willow asked as Zarina helped pick her up.
“You haven’t done black magic, have you?” Zarina asked.
“Well, my first spell was to put a soul back into...” Willow began to say before she noticed the look on Zarina’s face. “What? Did I do something wrong? The spell didn’t even work.”
“First Willow, that spell was a curse. Any magic that involves drawing a soul from the here-after is serious black magic. It isn’t something to play around with.” Zarina stated to her before Willow interrupted her.
“But I’m not playing–!” Willow exclaimed before she was interrupted.
“I’m not done.” Zarina said. “Second, for the ward to have repelled you like it did means that the curse did work.”
A look of shock washed over Willow’s face as the information sunk in. “Oh my god, that mean’s that Buffy was forced to kill Angel despite the fact that he got his soul back.” She said to her.
“Buffy?” Zarina asked with obvious confusion in her voice. She had to put the hint of confusion there because while Xander knew who Buffy was, Zarina hadn’t met her yet. “Kind of an odd name.”
“Like Zarina?” Willow asked with a giggle.
“Point but there is reasoning behind the reason for the alliteration. My mother’s name is Zatanna Zatara. Her egotistical cousin is Zachary Zatara. So, I’m Zarina Zatara.” Zarina explained. “But who’s Buffy?”
“Well...it’s not my place to tell you but Angel was her boyfriend and he was also a vampire and he lost his soul because the curse lifted because Buffy allowed him to experience a moment of pure happiness.” Willow began to explain with a nervous tone in her voice.
“Okay, Wills.” Zarina said before she realized she’d slipped into a name Xander would have used. “I know you don’t want to betray Buffy’s trust and I respect that.”
“Oh, speaking about Buffy.” Willow said switching tracks. “We’re having a welcome home party at her house if you want to come.”
“This isn’t a cheap way of wanting me to provide entertainment, is it?” Zarina asked with a smile.
Willow began to shake her head so hard that Zarina thought her head was going to fall off her shoulders. “NonononononononononononoIjustthoughtthatBuffymightliketomeetyouandIthoughtthatyoumightliketomeether.” She babbled.
“Okay, I’ll come.” Zarina replied with a smile. It was good to hear Willow-babble again. The closest she’d came to it was when Impulse drank one too many Jolt colas. “Sounds like it’d be fun.”
By now, Zarina realized that they had somehow walked all the way to school without knowing it. Everything seemed the same. She saw Cordelia and the Cordettes chatting to themselves but she also noticed Harmony’s face light up with recognition as the cheerleader started to point over towards Willow and Zarina. The Cordettes seemed mesmerized as Willow led Zarina into the school.
Cordelia could only stare with bewilderment wondering what her flock of Cordettes were staring at. The girls seemed almost star struck but that was impossible. No one famous went to Sunnydale High.
“Excuse me, someone want to clue me in?” Cordelia asked.
“I can’t believe it.” Aura said.
“She’s prettier in daylight than on stage.” Janet stated.
“I can’t believe she’s here.” Aphrodesia said with awe in her voice.
“I hope I’m in a class with her.” Gwen said.
“How does Rosenberg know her?” Harmony asked.
Cordelia spun around to see Willow lead Zarina into the school. She’d met the black haired girl last night when they were on patrol. No one had really thought much about it except for Willow who seemed gaga over some magic she’d seen the girl do.
“We should so start a chapter of her fan club here in Sunnydale.” Harmony said to the other Cordettes.
“Why are you guys so hung up on her anyway?” Cordelia asked.
“Duh, Cordelia.” Aura replied. “Zarina Zatara, the Mini-Mistress Of Magic, Daughter of the Princess Of Prestidigitation. Her mother is Zatanna Zatara. When the Justice League need magical assistance, they call Zatanna.”
“We went to the show she did in LA last month and I was blown away.” Janet informed Cordelia.
“Yah, when she shot those cards into the air and they became doves and then she got the doves to land in front of her where they turned back into cards.” Harmony elaborated. “I couldn’t believe my eyes.”
“We’ve so got to find out how Willow became her friend.” Aphrodesia said to the Cordettes. “Even if we have to become Willow’s friends also.”
The Cordettes walked away from their leader who was now confused. Her friends had just ditched her to go hang out with Willow Rosenberg. Welcome to the Twilight Zone, Cordelia thought as she headed for the library.
Zarina saw Willow shudder a bit. “What’s wrong?” She asked.
“I just felt a disturbance in the Force.” Willow informed her. “It’s nothing.”
Noticing Snyder, Zarina turned to Willow. “I have to talk to my new principal.” She said to Willow.
“Good luck.” Willow informed her. “I usually can be found in the library if you know want to talk.”
“Thanks.” Zarina replied before focusing her attention to other matters.
Zarina walked over to Snyder with a smile on her face. He motioned for her to enter his office which she did and sat down in the chair in front of her desk. Snyder sat down at his desk and opened up a folder.
“So, Miss Zatara, I see your prior education has been rather unstructured.” Snyder said. “Private schooling from your mother and a Doctor Kent Nelson. Four months of physical education conducted by a woman named Artemis, no last name given. Then, you were on tour with your mother’s ‘magic’ act. I also see you have a letter in her from the Department of Metahuman Affairs which allows for you to leave school when necessary and be excused for any absences that you might incur. I want to know Miss Zatara why should I even bother having you in my school.”
“Whatever do you mean, sir?” Zarina asked. She had an idea that this was going to be difficult.
“Your kind are reckless and disorderly.” Snyder informed her.
Zarina shot up and slammed her fists onto the desk. She glared at the troll-like man and was tempted to use magic to make him regret what he said.
“Was that a racial slur, Principal Snyder?” She asked with rage almost dripping in her voice.
“Of course not, Miss Zatara.” Snyder snapped back. “I’m talking about you so-called super heroes. Your kind lords over our world using your special powers to ‘protect us’ as you so call it. How many people have died because of your acts of ‘protection’?”
“So, you would have rather lived under the oppressive rule of one of many super villains who are out there or you’d rather have the human race annihilated by countless others.” Zarina informed him. “Like it or not, Earth needs those same super-heroes whom you disapprove of and whether I like it or not, I have to save everyone I can even if that includes you. Are we done here?”
“Yes, we are.” He informed her. “Go to the library where I’m sure Mr. Giles will get you your text books.”
“Thank you, sir.” Zarina said getting up and walking out the office door.
Zarina walked down the hallway going towards the library. She felt like she’d done this thousands of times but she squashed that feeling. Xander had walked these halls thousands of times, Zarina hadn’t. Realizing it was a moot point as she had already reached the library doors, Zarina pushed them open to see Willow and Cordelia arguing over something and Oz contemplating a smelly caged cat on the table in the center of the library.
“What’s with the cat?” Zarina asked.
Giles walked into view seeing a girl dressed in a grey blouse, blue jeans, and white sneakers. He was leery about revealing any information to the girl and decided discretion was the better fault of valor.
“I, uh, found it this morning when I was entering the library this morning.” He said to her hoping that the effect that his students that were in the know, as it were, called ‘Sunnydale Syndrome’ to set in. “I must have left a window open.”
Zarina gave him one of her thousand watt smiles. “Try again and make sure you aren’t trying to lie to someone who made the Martian Manhunter fess up to eating the last of her Oreos.” She informed him.
Cordelia glared at Zarina. “Who in the hell do you think you are for thinking you deserve a fan club?” Cordelia asked.
Oz cocked an eyebrow but he didn’t really take his attention away from the cat. “Fan club?” He asked. “I didn’t think anyone was more egoistical than you.”
“First, I don’t know any of you except for Willow.” Zarina said. It was actually more of a lie because Xander did indeed know them but Zarina hadn’t met them yet. “Second, am I wearing a tacky gold jumpsuit? I’m Zarina Zatara, not Booster Freaking Gold. I don’t start my own fan club. I don’t even know who started mine.”
The last name seemed to catch Giles’ attention. “Zarina Zatara?” He asked watching Zarina nod. “Are you by chance related to Giovanni Zatara?”
“He’s my grandpa.” Zarina said before a frown formed on her face. “I never got the chance to meet him.”
“So, your family is like really magical?” Willow asked a little hesitantly.
“Comes with the territory.” Zarina said. “So freshly zombified cat, huh?”
“Yah, Buffy and her mom hit it last night and buried it but apparently it didn’t like that idea.” Willow informed her.
“So, I guess we’re looking at a cursed artifact or an inexperienced necromancer.” Zarina said looking over to Giles.
Giles seemed a little bewildered. “What makes you think either of those?” He asked.
“Well, an inexperienced necromancer might have experimented on an animal. It’s simple and a stray animal is something hardly anyone would notice if it went missing.” Zarina explained. “A cursed object however would radiate its magic over a given area causing whatever dead things that the magic encountered to reanimate.”
Giles smiled. “I’ll have to keep that in mind while I do research tonight to uncover this mystery.” He said to her. “So, I’m guessing you’re a new student.”
“Yep, Principal Luthor said that I had to come here to pick up my books.” Zarina said. “I swear that if the Justice League had to come here that man would have a conniption fit.”
Giles found the text books that Zarina needed for her classes. She thanked them and said her goodbyes before leaving the library. Willow walked over to Giles a little hesitantly.
“Giles, I kinda went over to Zarina’s house. It’s that white Victorian on Maple Street but anyway, the wards that this Doctor Fate guy put on her house kicked me into the yard.” Willow told him.
“Good Lord.” Giles exclaimed. “Doctor Fate warded her home.”
“What’s the big deal?” Cordelia asked. “So some hippie mage cast a few spells on her place; it’s not like we haven’t had weird experiences with magic before.”
“Ms. Chase, Doctor Fate isn’t some hippie mage but an agent of the Balance who is advised by the Babylonian God, Nabu. Fate is one of the most powerful sorcerers in the world and for him to do something as mundane as ward a home means a great deal about Zarina.” Giles informed her.
“Just how magical is Zarina’s family anyway?” Willow asked.
“The Watcher’s Council tends to shy away from the Zataras after an incident in the 1890s where a Zatara prevented the removal of a Potential Slayer from the family by transforming the Watchers that were sent into rabbits.” Giles informed her. “Not only is the Zatara name associated with stage magic, but they are descendants of Leonardo da Vinci himself. Leonardo da Vinci is said to have been homo magi
, an evolution of humans who naturally are capable of magic without having to invoke other forces.”
“Cool.” Oz replied.
This had to have been one of the more interesting days of school that Zarina could remember. She had spent some time locating through a few of the old school papers to try to ascertain a casualty count and while some of the people she wouldn’t have missed; there was one that she would have loved to see again. Miss Calender, according to the official school obituary, had been murdered in the school library and the only suspect at the time was Buffy Anne Summers. Zarina had remembered Batman saying that during one of the times he’d passed through Sunnydale, he’d saved the teacher from Angelus. She thought that Miss Calender must have been shocked by that but another thought crossed her mind. What was the look on Deadboy’s face when the Dark Knight saved her from him?
Classes were rather routine and she now knew what it was like to be the new student. Though, most knew students weren’t seen fighting the forces of evil on live television. Most students weren’t also famous stage magicians that seemed to have a flock of Cordettes as fans. The lunch bell rang and as explained by the Cordettes who tried to invite her to go to lunch with them that as seniors they could leave school for their choice of meal. A thought crossed her mind and she was glad she ran into Willow.
“Hey, Willow.” Zarina greeted her. “Listen, I thought about a way we might be able to bypass the wards.”
Willow’s face lit up. “Really, how?” She asked.
“Hold my hand.” She replied. When Willow took hold of her hand, she continued. “.emoh ym ot su ekaT”
They teleported into Zarina’s living room to see Doctor Fate standing there. Zarina could tell that the sorcerer was smirking behind the helmet. Willow seemed to be taken back by Doctor Fate’s appearance.
“Doctor Fate, what brings you by?” Zarina asked.
“Actually, I came to congratulate you on figuring out how to bypass the wards.” Doctor Fate informed her. “The wards won’t allow anyone access that you don’t bring in the same way that you brought in your friend.”
“By the way, Willow, this is Doctor Fate. Doctor Fate, meet Willow.” Zarina said introducing the two. “Doctor Fate, will you be staying for lunch?”
“I’m afraid not, duty calls.” Doctor Fate said before chanting in an obscure language and teleporting away.
“Wow. He’s cool.” Willow said with a slight grin.
Zarina motioned for Willow to follow her into the kitchen. The daughter of the Mistress of Magic knew that different members of the League had a hand in the house in one place or another. She knew that the kitchen was suppose to be Batman’s addition as it was state of the art and came equipped with just about everything needed to cook whatever someone might desire but she knew that a certain butler had his own hand in the kitchen. Willow saw a pot with steam coming out of it. Ordinarily, this wouldn’t have phased her but the steam was frozen in place as if it was under a spell.
“.ezeerfnU” Zarina said. The steam resumed movement and Zarina smiled. “So mostaccioli with Italian herb & cheese sauce sound okay?”
School ended and Willow walked back into the library intent on telling Giles what she saw. He was going through another book when she walked in.
“Giles, you won’t believe who I met today.” She said to him.
“Who did you meet, Willow?” Giles asked not taking his eyes away from the book.
“Doctor Fate.” Willow said smiling.
Giles dropped the book right where he was standing and grabbed his glasses to clean them. “Good Lord.” He said. “What the devil is he doing in Sunnydale?”
“He was congratulating Zarina on bypassing the wards that kept me out.” Willow informed him. “He then teleported away and Zarina and I ate mostaccioli with Italian herb & cheese sauce. She had some spell on it that kept it like frozen in time or in some kind of stasis but it was really good.”
“That’s fairly advanced magic, Willow.” Giles informed her. “I know that homo magi
are powerfully magical humans but I never would have imagined that they were that powerful.”
“So, are you going to be at Buffy’s party?” She asked changing the subject.
“I will once I figure out what we are dealing with.” Giles said bending down to pick up the book he’d dropped. “Have fun.”
The party was rowdy by most people’s standards but most people don’t have an open invitation to the Event Horizon. Because of a funny feeling she had been having, she had dressed for the party in her costume which was identical to what her mother wore when out on stage or on missions for the JLA. Zarina had a plastic cup full of punch that she was sipping on after having cast a spell to make certain it was punch and not something else entirely. She wasn’t going to fall prey to some of the weird shit that happened on the Hellmouth. Willow walked over to her.
“Zarina, I think I saw Buffy go upstairs.” Willow said to her. “Would you like to meet her?” So, I finally get the chance to re-meet Buffy.
Zarina thought. Hopefully, it won’t be as bad as the first time.
“Sure.” Zarina said.
Willow and Zarina went upstairs to Buffy’s room to see the blonde Slayer was putting her clothes into a bag. Astonishment shot through Willow’s face as it was clear what Buffy was going to do.
“You’re not leaving again, are you?” Willow asked her friend.
“Why should I stay?” She asked. “It seems like you all got along fine without me.”
“That’s not true.” Willow pleaded with her friend.
Before Zarina could add anything to the conversation, Joyce saw what her daughter was doing and began to berate her severely. Buffy stormed out of the room and headed downstairs with everyone in hot pursuit. Zarina watched while playing with her top hat.
“You with the dumb top hat, got something to add?” Buffy shouted at Zarina.
Willow’s eyes widened as she knew Buffy didn’t know Zarina. She stepped between the two. Looking at Buffy, she said while shaking her head empathetically. “Zarina doesn’t have anything to add.” She continued and turned her gaze towards Zarina. Zarina flinched when she recognized Willow’s resolve face. “Zarina doesn’t have anything she wants to say to Buffy, right.”
“Okay.” Zarina said. Shit, I can stand up to Batman when he has his full intimidation face on but I still can’t withstand Willow’s resolve face.
That was when loud crashes could be heard and zombies stormed into Buffy’s home. Everyone got spooked and most ran while Zarina handed her top hat to Cordelia.
“What am I suppose to do with this?” Cordelia asked in disbelief.
“Be my lovely assistant, of course.” Zarina said as she reached into the hat. “And now for my first trick...” She pulled out two polished short swords.
“How in the hell did you do that?” Cordelia asked once again in disbelief.
“Buffy, catch!” Zarina shouted throwing one of swords to the Slayer who deftly caught it and chopped off one of the zombie’s heads in one fluid motion.
Zarina put her top hat back on her head and decapitated a zombie who had gotten to close to Cordelia. She let out an ice spell which froze a pair of zombies before they got too close again.
“Where is the butt ugly primitive artifact that spawned these things?” Zarina asked with a bit of sarcasm in her voice.
Buffy’s eyes widened and she turned towards the stairs. “Everyone! Upstairs!” She shouted.
Buffy ran up the stairs with the Scoobies, her mother, and Zarina behind her and opened the door to her mother’s room to see the Nigerian mask on the wall. She hurled the short sword at it, destroying the mask when it struck. Joyce looked like she was about to scold her daughter when the zombies vanished in a flash of light. Buffy walked over to the wall and retrieved the short sword.
“So, who are you?” Buffy asked Zarina. “Mini-Watcher lady?”
“Hardly.” Zarina replied. “Zarina Zatara, Mini-Mistress of Magic.”
Joyce’s face showed that the mother recognized at least the last name. “Zatara, as in Zatanna Zatara?” She asked.
“That’s my mother.” Zarina said with a smile.
“What are you doing here in Sunnydale?” Joyce asked.
“Well, Doctor Fate asked the League if there was a mystic who might be able to be placed here to help safeguard the area. Raven couldn’t do it because of personal reasons. My mom’s cousin, Zachary, couldn’t do it because he needed to get his head out of his butt.” Zarina explained to Joyce. “I volunteered. So, Buffy, is it like this every night?”
“No, this was just a Tuesday.” Buffy joked.
“Just as long as none of those zombies were saying anything about being born on a Monday.” Zarina said with a smile.
Giles came running up the stairs and from the way he was breathing, he seemed to have been running quite the distance. He turned to look around the room and noticed there weren’t any zombies.
“Where did the zombies go?” Giles asked.
“I broke the mask that was spawning them, Giles.” Buffy said. “I think that we don’t have to worry anymore.”
“How in the world did you know destroying the mask would get rid of the zombies?” Giles asked wondering at the ingenuity his Slayer used in solving the problem.
“Classic cliche, Mr. Giles.” Zarina said answering the question for Buffy. “It’s how you stop anything in a horror movie.”
“Good Lord, it figures that she’d act like a typical teenager.” Giles said prompting everyone to laugh.
Faith was almost out of breath but she pushed herself even harder knowing she had to try to put enough distance between those that had murdered her Watcher. That British ghost wasn’t what was concerning her but it was the freak with his head in a jar that had her scared. That guy had hit Diana with some kind of freeze gun and that British ghost had berated the metal suit guy that he had to watch his aim. The Slayer hopped a fence and found herself on an airport runway. She grabbed one of the baggage handlers and held him up by an ankle.
“Are any of these planes headed for Los Angeles?” She asked him.
He nodded and pointed to a 747 that was being loaded by handlers. Faith knocked the man out and headed for the plane. Waiting till she had an opening, she got into the baggage compartment undetected. She had read on a fan site that Zarina was in Sunnydale. Faith looked up at the ceiling as if she was praying.
“Please, help me.” She said softly with tears running from her eyes.
Author’s End Notes: I hope everyone enjoyed this chapter.