The New Watchers
Summary: Some unexpected individuals get invited to join the Council of Watchers.
~*~ The New Watchers ~*~
Giles turned to study the wizard. He was much older than Willow; who was in her twenties. In fact he was closer to Giles’ own age of nearly fifty. Hints of a difficult dark past veiled behind his contained mask-like expression and obsidian black eyes. Not beautiful, or handsome, like Spike or Angel. But then Oz wasn’t the most attractive male either. Willow had this gift to love someone for their mind and spirit, not the material shell.
Giles made a whimsical decision.
“My name is Rupert Giles. I am the current Head of the Council of Watchers for the Slayers.” Giles explained in courteous even tones. “I’m not sure if you know about the current situation regarding the Slayers…?”
Severus shook his head. “I saw it. Miss Rosenberg activated all the potential Slayers. Many have been found and continue to be found every month as the magic activates the potentials as they come of age.”
Giles nodded. “Yes. Before the Council didn’t have much of a choice. As soon as a Slayer was Called she had to be sent out into the field. That was why the policy to remove Potentials from their families was adopted. The girls would be trained in identifying and combating evil before they were Called.
“Now things are different. There are many Slayers and more being Called. Willow and I have been trying to set up a Slayer Academy, a school to teach the girls the basics of combating supernatural problems. It is a combination of abstract theory and practical application before the girls are allowed to join more experienced Slayer teams for some field experience.
“The Council lost hundreds of Watchers when the First destroyed our base of operations. Those that survived were on field assignments or research. The way we are reorganizing would mean a Watcher would do actual field work as observer and fighter, and research for the team. Those that teach the incoming Slayers would have to instruct small classes of Slayers and Watchers-in-Training in every aspect of their job from researching prophecies, identifying demon species, gathering field information, analyzing it, planning strategy, applying it, fighting techniques mundane and magical, improvising when the shit hits the fan, retreating when necessary, holding the line otherwise, and knowing when to do each.” Black eyes widened as the owner realized where this was going.
“We don’t have many people with as much experience with magic, especially the Darker side of it. Watchers, especially older ones tend to shun it.” Giles smiled wryly. “One of the reason why I dabbled in the Dark Arts when I was a foolish teenager myself. But the Slayers cannot afford to be ignorant of anything, dark or otherwise. Power can come from the most darkest, primal core of our being and in our fights we need every advantage we can get. Having a bonified wand wizard, with access to wizarding society, as a Watcher would be a bonus.
“Would you consider accepting a position as a Watcher? It would involve a lot of work right now,” Giles cautioned wryly. “The Old Council left behind a terrible mess. We have to re-catalogue all our resources, mystical and mundane. I have Watchers tracking down Slayers and artifacts, doing new research and analysis of Prophecies that were considered void. The most senior Slayer, Faith, is in Cleveland right now looking after the new Hellmouth and she does not have a lot of patience with teenage girls who are more interested in fashion and current trends.” Giles heaved a heartfelt sigh. “I went through enough of that with Buffy; I dread trying to look after dozens of teen Slayers with just Willow.”
“Giles!” Willow smacked the grinning Watchers arm. “That is an exaggeration.”
“Really? Tell me, who got pummelled by Slayers who could not control their own strength? Who was forced into mediating a bunch of female teenagers who want to use the facilities at the same time? Who attempted to drill the basics of demon identification into heads more interested in Orlando Bloom and Elijah Wood? Who was nominated to answer the social workers questions about a dozen female teenagers living in a household with two unrelated male adults? Who had to track down Slayers who skipped patrols to watch a movie? Who had to maintain the Diaries and kills of teenagers who aren’t interested in keeping accurate track of their progress?” Giles asked in pointed questioning tones.
Severus couldn’t restrain a small snort of laughter at this litany of complaints. He had been through it all running herd on a bunch of ambitious sneaky hormonal Slytherins. There were few tricks the students could pull on him if they dared to. It was clear Willow’s friend Rupert Giles was being run ragged by the conflicting demands of his charges and his responsibilities. He had a Deputy in Willow but he needed a House Head for the girls/students themselves. Willow was too gentle, too soft, to discipline the girls. If there was anything Severus was good at it was controlling unruly teenagers.
He felt lighter. There was no reason for him to remain behind. Voldemort was defeated, the Aurors could take care of the remaining Death Eaters. For the first time in a long while Severus Snape felt hope, the potential for something better in his life. He glanced at Albus Dumbledore who nodded encouragingly.
“Mr Giles, I would be honoured to accept the responsibilities of a Watcher.”
Giles smiled. “Good. And it is just Giles. Rupert if you prefer.”
Severus nodded. “Yes. Please call me Severus.”
Dawn squealed with delight as she hugged the surprised Potion Master. Before he could respond to her affection she darted away and hugged Giles and Willow.
“This is so cool!” She gushed. Her face felt. “Or maybe not!” She wailed. “You’re going to be very strict about curfew aren’t you!” She accused Severus.
He made a shallow bow from the waist with a small smirk. “It is my speciality. Any student you speak to can vouch for my expertise in catching teenagers about when they should be in bed.”
Dawn pouted a bit before smiling. “It will be nice. To have someone ground me.” She smiled wistfully. “Mom used to do that. Buffy would forget all the time.”
“Hey! I ground you.” Willow protested with a slight smile.
“Yeah. But you aren’t very strict about it like Mom used to be. You know what happens when there is trouble.” Dawn pointed out without accusation. “The thing is I think he,” she pointed at Severus. “Will listen to my excuses, accept them, then punish me even if it is a good, valid excuse.”
Severus smirked. “You know me so well. Have you been talking to Mr. Potter about his past escapades? He would have spent half his time in Hogwarts in detention if it wasn’t for Albus excusing him.”
Dawn turned to Giles appealingly. “Giles?” She pleaded.
Giles shook his head. “No. No. And NO! Severus is going to be responsible for the students, and that includes you since you said you were interested in becoming a Watcher.” He stated adamantly.
Dawn pouted and sighed. “Yeah, I suppose.” Her expression brightened as she turned and caught sight of a particular student. She darted towards Luna Lovegood who stood hiding behind a lifesized statue of Rowena Ravenclaw. “Luna! Are you interested in becoming a Watcher? You get to see and do lots of neat and weird stuff!” Her nose wrinkled. “And chase and be chased by nasty icky slimy demons. But it is really cool. Giles has tons of old books on magic and demons and stuff. They don’t have pictures but Willow is planning on creating a computer database using magic to create holographic 3D pictures of demons. And a Danger Room like on X-men.” She added in gushing tones. “So you can fight icky demons without getting dead-killed.” Her nose wrinkled. “I’ve never seen a Snorgongarf but if there is one you’ll definitely find one in Giles old books.” Dawn giggled. “The is probably a prophecy about it that the old geezers ignored because ‘There is no such thing as a Snorgongarf’.” She concluded in pompous tones.
Luna stared at the uninhibited American teenager slightly amazed. Someone who believed in the possibility of Snorgongarfs. What other weird and wonderful things existed out there? Things denied by mainstream wizarding and Muggle society, things that only Watchers and Slayers would see? A warm smile curved her lips as she reached out and hugged Dawn.
“I would like to be a Watcher. I could send my Dad reports about what I learn and see.” A steely light crept into her eyes. “I would really like to become a Watcher when I graduate from Hogwarts.” She hesitantly glanced towards Willow and Giles who smiled and nodded reassuringly.
“We would definitely welcome someone who helped Dawn.” Willow murmured with a gentle smile. “And getting your GED is always a good idea. But we will need to talk to your parents first.”
“It’s just my dad; mom died when I was a baby.” Luna explained. Her expression became hesitant. “Are you sure you don’t mind? About me believing in Snorgongarfs?”
Giles barked a short abrupt laugh. “My dear girl as Horatio says, ‘there are more things in heaven and on earth than the mind can conceive.’ Just because you believe in something doesn’t mean you are wrong.”
Willow snorted as she remembered something. Everyone looked at her inquiringly. “Dru was the crazy one.” She explained. “She saw things that no one could understand, things about the future, she saw them skewed. No one understood the vision before the event but it always came true in some form.” She smiled. “Think of yourself as a far-seer, someone who sees the potential before it arrives.”
Luna frowned then smiled. It made sense. It made sense in a way she had never felt before. Luna Lovegood knew she was going to reach her fullest potential as a witch by becoming a Watcher for the Slayers.
Severus saw the glowing expression of hope and knew he felt the same.
A slim figure topped with a many of bushy hair twisted into an untidy knot stepped forward from the shadows with a determined expression.
“Miss Rosenberg, Mr Giles, my name is Hermione Granger. I’m a sixth year Gryffindor student. I am interested in becoming a Watcher when I graduate from Hogwarts.” She spoke in slightly hesitant tones. She wasn’t sure what made her speak up without preparing her case beforehand. “I am good at research and potions. I’ve spent a lot of time with my friends Harry Potter and Ron Weasley. I’m good at thinking on my feet and planning. Professor Snape cannot deny that I am a good student.” She added stubbornly.
Willow glanced at Severus who nodded. She turned to Giles who shrugged. Finally she looked at Hermione whose lower lip was beginning to quiver with tears. Willow felt for this teenager, a studious girl who became so much more in her attempts to help her friends. Someone very like the teenage Willow Rosenberg.
“This work is dangerous and sometimes depressing.” She cautioned the teenager. “People who go in it for the kicks get killed.” Green eyes darkened with sorrow as she remembered Riley and Samantha Finn who died in South America. “This kind of work is never acknowledged by anyone. You won’t get medals or accolade; if you are lucky your body will remain intact for burial; if not it is eaten, vaporized or host to a vampire demon.” She added brutally.
Hermione paled but remained resolute. “I understand. But I also know it is necessary. Like black ops for Muggle spy agencies. But at least as a Watcher I can act according to my conscience, I won’t be forced to follow department policy.” She added sourly.
Rupert Giles laughed. “My dear girl if you want to break the rules you are in the right place. We specialize in breaking inconvenient rules.” He glanced at the two American females who nodded smiling.
Dawn hugged the Gryffindor student. “Welcome to the Slayerettes Hermione, Luna.” Her nose wrinkled. “Do you have a shorter name? Mione? Mio? Mia? Ione? Io?”
Hermione’s eyes widened. “Ione is fine.” She said after some thought.
Dawn giggled. “Ione it is.” She turned to Willow. “Do you have any spares?”
Willow sighed and produced half a dozen sharpened pencils and two vials of liquid. Giles shook out a slim silver blade from a wrist sheath and a cross from a jacket pocket.
They handed the items to Hermione and Luna with advice, instructions and words of warning.
“First rule of Slaying: Stay Alive. Don’t throw away your life on a foolishly heroic gesture. You are worth far more alive than dead.”
“When I first started Xander and I spent a lot of time screaming for Buffy and running. It takes time and experience to face vampires and demons without flinching.”
“Second rule of Slaying: Never verbally invite anyone in. If they can come in let them. Someone you saw in the sun last week could be a vamp tonight. Watch for telltale signs, especially no reflections.”
“Whenever I go clubbing I wet my finger tips with holy water before I accept any invitation to dance. If he or she is a vamp they’ll flinch.”
“Third rule of Slaying: Just because something is ugly doesn’t mean it is evil. And vice versa. Sometimes humans are far more evil than any demon.”
“Case 1: Angelus, demon with the Face of an Angel. Dark Irish and gorgeous even when he isn’t trying. He’ll rip your throat out without remorse. Case 2: Lorne, an agnostic demon, he loves sea breezes and music. He wears gaudy polyester suits, has green skin, horns, and red eyes. He hates anything that causes him to sweat. He owns Caritas, a karaoke bar for demons that is spelled to prevent violent incidents.”
“Now, standard tools of slaying. Living material - bone, wood, horn, claws or nails shaped into a point to decapitate or pierce the heart. I read this Diary entry about a Slayer who killed a vampire by shattering the breastbone with a kick and driving a shard of its own bone into the heart.”
“Dawn! You aren't supposed to be borrowing the Watchers Chronicles like a library book! They are fragile, irreplaceable pieces of history!”
“But Giiiilessss, you never let me read the juicy ones!”
“Pencils can always be easily explained than a sharpened piece of wood or knife. I prefer levitating pencils to stake vampires from a distance. That way I don’t get vamp dust on my clothes.”
“Pencils tend to break easily so always carry several in a jacket pocket. Carry spare stakes in other places like a wrist, ankle or back sheath.”
“Buffy once staked vamps in a bar using a pool cue she broke into two.”
“Holy icons of any religion are anathema to demons. Xander held off a vampire with an ankh, a holy Egyptian symbol. I have used stars of David as shuriken.”
“Crosses tend to dissuade lesser demons including vampires.”
“They can be knocked out of your hand so don’t depend on them.”
“I met this guy in L.A., Charles Gunn, he likes to use brass knuckles coated with silver and blessed by a priest.”
“Some of the Slayers have steel-toed combat boots and spike heels that are blessed by an understanding priest. Translation - a priest who knows of the Dark side.”
“Holy water acts like acid on lower demons and vampires. Buffy tricked a vampire into drinking a glass of holy water. It destroyed him from the inside out. The best way to use holy water is to carry small, fragile, glass or porcelain vials and toss them on exposed skin.”
“We’ve used super soakers and squirt guns in a jiffy. They have greater range and capacity than a couple of vials.”
“Blessed silver is a deterrent to any demon. Any edged weapon, and fire tends to be a deterrent as well. Sunlight kills vampires instantly.”
“When pressed I have called sunlight to destroy vampires.”
“Tara used fireballs to dust vamps.”
“Decapitation also kills vampires and most demons. It doesn’t have to be an edged weapon, it could be an arranged accident or spell.”
“We had this demon with really thick scaly armour. All the weapons kept bouncing off it. Xander helped me set up a trap using diamond laser cutters. We cut the demon apart and asked a priest to bless the remains.”
“You have to increase your stamina, your strength, your endurance. You will be facing opponents much stronger, faster, and more agile than yourself.”
“Try jogging every day. Buffy made me jog five miles every morning to build up my wind before she allowed me to go patrolling. Spend two days a week in a gym lifting weights. Do aerobics, kick boxing is good.”
“Sign up for a self-defense class. If you are interested learn akido; it specializes in re-directing force, using the opponents strength against him.”
“Xander is developing a wooden bullet to work on vampires. We’ve used dragon breath phosperent shells when pressed but it is easier to explain and get a license for a hand gun than a hunting rifle or a shotgun.”
“A stiletto is a weapon of last resort. You will need some training in close combat and knife fighting, perhaps quarterstaffs or polearms.”
“I’m not very comfortable with blades. Dawn is better with them. Giles is excellent with all weapons though. Xander is good with axes.”
The staff and potential Watchers, Severus, Hermione and Luna, watched and listened to the practical, sensible advice mixed with reminiscences.
The staff and students wanted to deny what was happening, three of their own moving to another world. One hated, one loved, one ignored; each different but similar.
The Sunnydale Slayerettes changed everything in their world and this. Now with the new Hogwarts Watchers joining them they would shake up the underbelly of the magical world even more.
* * * * *
AN: About Luna Lovegood's Snor... Can't find my copy of the OotP to confirm. If the spelling is really off, please tell me the correct term and I'll upload a corrected chapter.
AN: I have no plans to write a sequel but I do have ideas. What do you guys think of Severus inviting his godson Draco to spend the holidays with him, in London, Cleveland, LA? How will Draco handle Wolfram & Hart, Lorne, Angel, Gunn, Fred, Faith, etc? What do the Slayers think of Draco? Do they treat him like a potential love interest or an annoying kid brother (Andrew)? How will he and Dawn get along? Like cats and dogs? How will Severus handle the Slayers and his new love life? Mmmm... Maybe. That is the magic of fan fiction, isn't it? Cheers!
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