-Slytherin Common Room-
"Its a plot."
"Of COURSE its a plot, we all KNOW its a plot." Malfoy's voice cut like a scythe through silk, crystalizing the mutterings saturating the common room. "We're SLYTHERIN. We live for plots, we breathe them. We wrap them around us like our mother's arms, like our father's names, they are our lovers. Our souls." He gazed out at his disciples, his kin. He had them. They were swept away by rhetoric, by truth.
"The trick is figuring out the WHY of the plot." This was always the tricky part. How DO you ask for information without admitting you need it? Without showing any sign of weakness? "So what do we know?"
"We know he's arrogant." Zabini.
"He's confident." Parkinson glared. "He exudes it. And he's quite open about claiming to be Evil."
"Brags about it. Don't like him." Goyle.
"He said he's a VAMPIRE...." Some first year girl. "Its really sexy." Silence. "It is!" Her voice was defiant.
"Goin' on about bein' Evil but bein' Good and getting all the hot women. If he's so hot, what's he doing here?" Goyle again. Goyle REALLY didn't like the new professor. In fact, Malfoy didn't know if he had ever heard him so eloquent about anything. It was weird. This whole SITUATION was weird.
Dumbledore was changing the rules again. Draco Malfoy hated that. He should be MAKING the rules, not dancing to them.
"We need more information."
"We could go to the library." Zabini.
"GRANGER will have it all figured out by now. Bloody irritating bitch." Bulstrode. "She'll have it all documented in flowcharts and multiple colors by now."
Silence fell across the common room. Hermione Granger's book lust was well known. Draco's personal opinion was that it was one little way that the universe took out its vengence on Potter for being such an insufferable prat. "Shame for it go to waste on Gryffs."
A predatory smile spread across the lips of the assembled Slytherins.
-Gryfindor Common Room-
"He's bloody brilliant, I tell you. Brilliant." Ron Weasley's enthusiasm was threatening to run riot through the room. "Did you see the way he had those snakes running? Bloody brilliant. Dated a hot chick and EVERYTHING. Brilliant."
"Ron, we have no idea who he actually dated. We know he SAYS he dated a "hot chick" but really, he could be just saying that." Hermione gazed at Ron over her assembled research materials. "Now take a book and help me go through these."
"We don't have anything due YET." Ron gazed at her as if she was mad. "VAMPYRE? What are these?"
"We know he said he was a vampire. We know what he looks like. We know what he calls himself now. We know he was involved with at least one slayer. Perhaps more." Hermione looked down at the books. Her gaze was intent, focussed. "We need to know EVERYTHING." She gazed back at Ron. "Harry? Neville? You should help. We need to know who he is. What he wants. Whether or not what he's saying is true. And we WILL know."
"You're just upset because he changed the name of the class and it means that all of your study schedules are now WRONG." Ron glared at Hermione.
"He admits he's a vampire." Hermione looked at her friend. "He admits he's Evil."
"Its probably a plot." Harry's voice came out of the shadows. It was tired. "I'm so bloody sick of plots, I'd almost rather just have Snape. At least I know where I stand with him." There was a collective gasp from the room. Harry grinned. "Alright, so I don't really want Snape. But I still wonder what Dumbledore was thinking."
Ron took the book and started to read. "Hey, did you know that Slayers are all teenaged girls?"
-Wolfram and Hart, Los Angeles-
"He's just gone. I don't know where. He was there, then he was gone." Fred's voice was almost a wail. "He begged me for help and I couldn't help him." She gazed out the window at the Los Angeles skyline. There was no one else there. They had gone home. Or out. She leaned forward, resting her forehead against the window. "Its not fair."
"Fred?" She turned to find the somewhat-trusted face of her assistant Knox. "Did you need something?" He gestured to the emptiness around her.
"Sorry." Fred smiled sadly. "I got into the habit of speaking out loud in Pylea. Helped keep me sane. Mostly sane." She looked over Knox's shoulder at something only she could see. "I still do it sometimes when I'm trying to work through things. There's something going on, Knox. Something bigger. I just can't see it yet." She met his eyes. "But I will. I'm going to figure it out. I'm going to find out what happened to Spike and why he was here too."
"If anybody can, it'd be you Boss." Knox's voice was reverent.