Chapter Three: Tripping the light fantastic
I own nothing.
Author’s note: Okay, this was actually supposed to be half of a larger chapter, but while I was writing it, it simply grew too large and I had to half it. The second part will be posted in a few days so In the meantime, enjoy. And once again, thank you to everyone who reviewed. It keeps my muse happy.
Chapter Three: Tripping the light fantastic
Buffy tumbled to her knees on the asphalt with a loud ‘Oomph‘.
Dimly, she could hear Lindsey and Ms. Steele behind her. They’d staggered coming out of the portkey portal but had remained standing.
“ You okay?” It was Lindsey. He held out a hand to help her up.
Gratefully, she grasped it and let him pull her to her feet. Buffy swayed slightly before regaining her equilibrium. She turned and glared at the two grown-ups, “ A little heads up that we were entering the swirling vortex of doom would have been nice. You guys are lucky I didn’t barf all over the place.”
The lawyer smirked but Ms. Steele looked apologetic, “ I’m sorry, Miss Summers. You’re right, I should have warned you that it’s a little jarring if you aren‘t used to it.”
Buffy sighed and shrugged it off, “ That’s okay. Just make sure to warn me next---”
She stopped when she caught sight of what was in from of them.
It was her Nirvana. It was huge and beautiful. The way the light hit the glass actually made her knees a little weak.
Lindsey hooked an arm around her shoulders and playfully scolded her, “ Hey now, watch the language.”
She elbowed him, “ Whatever. Don’t you realize what that is?”
He raised his brows and drawled, “ Sure. It’s a mall.”
Appalled, she rounded on him, “ A mall? It’s not just a mall! It’s the best
It’s the freakin’ Mall of America!”
He rolled his eyes.
Her tone amused, Ms. Steele spoke up, “ I have a client here that I need to meet with. He works inside so I figured you guys could keep yourselves occupied while I speak with him.”
Clearly alarmed at the light in teen’s eyes, Lindsey asked somewhat nervously, “ Uh, exactly how long are you going to be?”
The social worker smiled, “ Probably about an hour and a half.”
Buffy began walking towards the entrance. As far as she was concerned, they were wasting time.
They reached the main doors and Ms. Steele took the lead. She led them through a few department stores and out into the open, towards the main escalators.
Buffy’s head swiveled in every direction, trying to soak up all the sights. Lindsey walked next to her, occasionally pointing things out. They passed the Carousel, the Theme Park, even the Underwater Aquarium. She was definitely coming back to check those out.
It was once they’d stepped onto the escalators that she noticed something was wrong. Half way up to the second floor, Ms. Steele reached out to a guard rail and tapped a strange pattern into the side. They were nearing the step off point and Buffy begin to shift a bit. Only she couldn’t. Her feet were firmly attached to the step and no matter how hard she pulled, she simply couldn’t move.
Panicking, she turned to look at Lindsey. He was frowning as well, and clearly trying to move his feet. Ms. Steele turned their head and gave them a reassuring smile, “ Sorry, I should have warned you before hand. We’re entering the magical section of the mall through its main entrance, the escalators. The charm that’s keeping your feet in place is just for safety. They’ll come unstuck as soon as we need to step off.”
Surprised, Buffy asked,“ The magical section?” She turned to Lindsey,“ Did you know about this?”
He grinned,“ I’d heard stories about this place but I’ve actually never been before.”
The social worker’s eyes gave a little sparkle when she turned to them and said,“ Just watch.”
As the escalator brought them to the top, Buffy braced herself for another ride like the portkey. But that wasn’t what happened at all. Ms. Steele was standing in front of her one minute then simply disappeared the moment her step hit the top. Before she could freak out however, her own step hit the top. She squeezed her eyes shut out of reflex and waited for the overwhelming vertigo to hit. But it didn’t.
Feeling no change, Buffy eased one eye open and then the other. The escalator was still going straight towards the dome ceiling of the mall. She glanced back behind her. A faint wall of light separated the continuing stairs from the general public. She could see the other people stepping off at the original landing and heading into stores, seemingly unaware that the stairs kept moving. Lindsey caught her eye and grinned. Buffy turned back around, and could now see Ms. Steele who was also looking back at her.
“ Everything okay?” the woman asked.
The Social worker moved, stepping closer. Buffy nodded and shuffled her feet, only now noticing that she could move again.
“ Pay attention, we’re stepping off in just a second.” Ms. Steele instructed, pointing a little ahead of them.
Now that it was pointed out, Buffy could see the landing coming into view. Set directly under the dome, was a whole other floor, invisible from the ground. Although, logically she understood that it had to be a particular size to fit inside the mall, it seemed exponentially larger than anything else. Once they reached it, all three companions stepped off. She gaped at their surroundings.
It was clearly a shopping center but unlike any Buffy had ever seen. It was crowded, people in bizarre types of outfits flooded the area. Some wore normal clothes like she was, but most were dressed in strange looking long dresses, men and women alike. There were people wearing outlandish hats, a few even had swirling capes. It was the stores, however, that caught and held her attention. Everywhere Buffy looked were display windows filled with things she had never even imagined. Automatically moving to get a closer look, she was stopped as Lindsey snagged the back of her sweater.
“ Not so fast, short stuff.” He laughed.
She huffed and glared. He knew how she felt about the short comments, “ Who you calling short stuff, Tiny
Ms. Steele stepped in before things got ugly, “ Okay, I’ve got to meet my client. I’ll meet you both at the food court a little after one o‘clock. Mr. McDonald, you’ll stay with Miss Summers won’t you?”
Buffy thought that maybe they both looked a little insulted at that because the social worker beat a hasty retreat without waiting for an answer.
They watched her round a corner behind a display table of brightly colored, swirling doohickeys.
“ So,” Lindsey asked,“ where to first?”
Buffy slowly grinned. The poor innocent Bastard.
Buffy considered herself a connoisseur of shopping but she had never seen anything like this. Although some of the department stores actually looked similar to their non-magical counterparts, there were a few key differences. The magical ones actually had mannequins that moved around, showing off their wares in varying poses. The clothes themselves were different too. They still had the normal choices but at least half of the selection were strange garments called Robes
When asked, Lindsey had explained about the different apparel wizards wore. Buffy had simply wrinkled her nose. While some of the ‘robes’ were cute, they still seemed fairly medieval.
They walked by and gawked at even stranger stores. The most notable were Herb’s Discount - a small place filled with plants that looked abnormal and put out some truly funky smells, The Kitchen Witch - a kitchen supply store filled with cauldrons and what looked like torture devices. Lindsey assured her that they weren’t, just old fashioned cooking tools. There was a toy store that proclaimed to everyone that it was ‘Mr. Magorium’s Wonder Emporium’. Visible through the store front window, was utter chaos. Toys seemingly came to life and began playing with the children that tore through the aisles.
And there were so many more, that there was no possible way for them to see everything in the time that they had. Buffy was horribly disappointed. For all she knew, she’d never have another chance to be here. Lindsey tried to cheer her up, promising to buy her something nice to remember this place by. When she pointed out that he already owed her a present from the Buffy/Lilah incident, Lindsey grinned and promised to surprise her with something really good.
When he tried to hurry her by a pink and red bedecked window display, Buffy’s parental alarm went off and she dug her heels in. She glanced up at the colorful lettering above the doors and raised her eyebrows. Siren’s Secret
Lindsey was turning a rather alarming shade of red around his ears, eyes darting for any possible escape route.
Examining the lurid display in the window, Buffy surmised it was the wizarding version of Victoria’s Secret. The little devil on her shoulder gave her a poke and she grinned, “ Come on, lets check this place out.” She began walking towards the door.
Lindsey grabbed her purse strap and began tugging her in the opposite direction, “ Uh, actually, if you went to see more of this place before we leave we need to keep walking.”
She rolled her eyes and shrugged him off, “ Oh please, we have plenty of time. Now, come on
This time she snagged his arm and began tugging him towards her goal.
A look of panic was growing on his face and Buffy had to bit the inside of her cheek to keep from laughing. This was the most fun she’d had since…
“ Look uh,” Lindsey ground to a halt and began digging in his pocket, “ I just remembered that I need to pick something up before we leave. Here,” he pulled out a wad of cash and handed it to her, “ use this if you want to, uh, buy anything. Most of the stores will take Mundane money, but if they don’t… I saw a Gringott’s counter back that way where you can exchange it.” He gave a weak wave to the left.
Buffy took the money but was confused, “ Okay wait, what? What the heck is Mundane money and what’s a Gringotts?”
Lindsey seemed to calm down a bit to give her a sheepish explanation, “ Sorry. I guess I forgot to mention it. Mundane is what the Wizarding American Public call non-magical people. So that,” he pointed to the money in her hand, “ is called Mundane money. Gringotts is a wizarding bank. They’ll exchange money for you. I explained to you about wizarding currency, right?”
Buffy nodded. He had briefly mentioned them having different currency the first night he’d explained the whole magical deal.
“ Okay. When you’re done… looking around,” he was deliberately not looking towards the store behind her, “ meet me in the food court, okay?”
Buffy’s eyes gleamed, “ Okay.” Oh, she was so gonna shop.
Lindsey gave her an unsure glance, “ You will stay out of trouble right?”
She rolled her eyes and gave him a light push, “ Just go you worrywart! Jeez, I’ll be on my best behavior!”
He left and Buffy waited until he was out of sight before ducking into the store.
It was pretty cool. Although it pretty much sold the same sort of items and in the same style as Victoria’s Secret, It was just more
. Bras, panties, and pajamas were all in colors that Buffy had rarely seen in nature let alone lingerie. They were made out of strange foreign materials too, things like Acromantula silk or Fwooper feathers. Not that she knew what the hell either one of those were.
Buffy moved out of the way of a moving mannequin, who was clearly on the way to showing off a cobalt blue lace nightie to a few giggling witches in the back. She headed towards their beauty products lined against their far wall. There was perfume and makeup, but also tiny little pink, red, and purple potion bottles.
Picking a pink one up she read the label, Allura
. It was guaranteed to make the wearer alluring no matter what they looked like. Impressed, Buffy moved closer to examine the rest of their products.
By the time She left, swinging a pretty pink shopping bag with a black double S printed on the front, Buffy was eager to see what else they had to offer .
The mall was somewhat crowded and she had to squeeze by a group of large teenage boys hanging around a display window, apparently ogling a broomstick
She brushed up against one in the back of the group and he turned to glance at her. He was built like a football player and had blonde hair, brown eyes, and dimples. He gave her an impressed once-over and grinned when he saw her bright pink bag.
She caught his gaze and gave him an unamused look but all he did was give her a wink. Buffy gave a slight huff but ignored him in favor of the store a little further down that had caught her eye.
It was a bookstore. Delicate gold lettering on the door and window proclaimed it as The Written Word.
She entered and stared. It was unlike any bookstore she’d ever seen. Books of all shapes, sizes, and made of every possible material seemed to line every wall and cover every surface.
It was crowded in here too. People milled around in the aisles, examining this and that. They sat in chairs or even on the floor, reading or drinking coffee.
Examining the titles, Buffy was blown away. They had books about magic on Everything
And Boy, did she want to buy them. She was carrying around an armful before she realized it, and it took a few stern minutes of talking to herself before Buffy managed to put them back down. She didn’t even know magic yet or have a wand so there was no reason to have those books. Besides, she still had Lorne’s gift, the book on wandless spells. If she was going to be reading anything it should probably be that.
A firm handle on herself and more importantly her money, Buffy turned to walk back out of the store only to stop at the display set beside the exit.
It was a table under a sign that advertised ‘50% ’ off, and was piled high with Diaries and Journals. Buffy had kept a diary since she’d first learned to write. Back home, she’d kept a box filled with them in her closet. Currently, they were packed up, shrunken with the rest of her belongings.
She picked one up. The cover was made of rich dark brown leather and inlaid with delicate golden swirls. The cream colored paper pages were of heavy stock. She ran a finger down the spine. Her mother would have loved it.
“ Ah, I see you’ve found something that strikes your fancy.”
Buffy turned. It was a tall thin young woman, with brown hair and eyes. She wore glasses and was very pretty in a birdlike way. Her name tag had swirly golden lettering that said ‘Fred’. She was restocking books in the children’s section next to the table. In her arm was a book with the title ‘The Little Broomstick Girl’.
“ Yeah, its beautiful.” she gave the woman a smile.
Fred gestured to the other side of the table, “ We have some really nice quills and pens too.”
Buffy gave a dubious look to the feathered writing tools, “ Oh, that’s okay. I’m set with this.” she gave the diary a little wave.
Fred led her to the checkout counter.
“ First time to the mall?” she asked.
“ That obvious?” Buffy asked back.
The older girl laughed, “ Nah, just never seen you in here before. I’m the owner and I have a really good eye for faces. Most of my customers come back especially if they’re in school but I don’t remember ever having noticed you before.”
Buffy tucked some hair behind her ear as Fred rang her up, “ Oh, well… I’m kinda new. To all this.”
The girl shot her a puzzled look and Buffy elaborated as she handed her some money, “ To the magic thing.”
“ Oh! Wow!” she seemed surprised, “ Well, here take this.” She dug under the counter and came out with a taco bell wrapper. She flushed a little and dug back in, this time producing a novel sized book. Placing it in the bag she said, “ Its called ’The Wizarding World at large’ by Nate Noall. It was on our best sellers list ten weeks in a row! It goes over a little bit of everything and will help answer any of your questions.”
“ Really?” Buffy asked, interested “ How much is it?”
“ Don’t worry about it. Its my own personal copy and you need it more than I do. Just enjoy.” Fred chirped cheerfully, “ And remember, The Written Word carries every book known. If you ever need anything but can’t make it in to the store, just owl us your order.”
Feeling a little dazed, Buffy said, “ Okay… thanks for the book and everything. That was really nice of you.”
“ Your welcome. Have a great day!” was her cheerful reply.
Buffy watched the incredibly perky girl head over to another customer. Was it her or was that girl a little too happy?
She started to head for the food court, sure that Lindsey was waiting on her by now.
She rounded a corner and yet another store front caught her attention. The sign said ‘Centurian Instruments’ and the display was filled with moving silver gadgets.
Buffy bit her lip. She supposed she had time for one more store.
The inside was huge and cavernous and it contained gleaming metal gizmos that whirled, banged, tinkled, chimed, and clashed. From what Buffy could tell, it looked like the wizarding answer to their lack of technology. An aisle near the front held nothing but pocket sized mirrors. She was confused at first until she read a display sign.
‘ Muna Mirrors - used for magical parties communicating over long distances.’ Ah, magical cell phones.
And it was. The place was filled with all manner of things, most that even after Buffy read their display signs she still
didn’t understand. But the best, Buffy decided, was the Ampha Player.
It looked like the inside parts of a clock, only in bright shiny silver. Effervescent blue lights swirled around and inside it and right in the front of its main parts was a peculiar little holder. In it was placed an Orb. According to the display, an Orb when placed inside the holder would play music just like a CD. The Orb itself was the size of a golf ball and radiated the same blue light as the Ampha Player.
She gave it a wistful look. She wouldn’t even be able to play her own CDs where she was going. Forget about her ipod.
Buffy turned. It was the guy who had been ogling the broom. And he was even cuter up close. “ Hey.”
“ I’ve never seen you before. What school do you attend?” He gave her another once over, shot her a rakish grin, “ You’re too pretty to go to Salem. I would have noticed.”
Deciding a little flirting was harmless, Buffy smiled, “ So you’re saying you would have noticed me?”
“ Absolutely.” He turned to peer at the display, “ Thinking about getting one of these? No denying its awesome but that’s too many galleons for me. Would be cool though.”
Buffy shrugged, “ Yeah, but like you said, way expensive. I’m just looking.”
“ Well, there’s no harm in looking.” He grinned at her, his meaning clear. Extending his hand, “ My name’s Nick. Nick Gatsby.”
She slanted him a look, “ As in Great, The?”
His chest puffed out, “ Ah, you’ve heard of me.”
Buffy rolled her eyes. Boys.
“ So what’s your name?” Nick asked.
“ Who the hell is this?!?” was screeched behind them.
They both turned, Nick already cringing. A girl a few years older than Buffy was marching towards them, unmistakably pissed-off.
She was very pretty, despite the snarl on her face. Her long dark red hair was french braided down her back and unlike Nick, she was wearing one of the weird dresses that everyone called ‘Robes‘. Her particular one looked old-fashioned and was made from what looked like stiff bronze colored brocade.
The girl marched right up to Nick, poking him in the chest and screeching (at an agonizingly loud decibel) in his face about how she’d found him cheating on her with another little tart.
Buffy had just raised her brows at such an old-timey insult but Nick was desperately trying to defuse his loud angry girlfriend.
“ Felicity, sweetie, I was just--” he didn’t get far before she cut him off.
“ Just?!? Just what, Nicholas Gatsby!?! Just cheating on me with this blonde slut!?! Felicity bellowed and cast a sneering look at Buffy with amber colored eyes. Apparently, her vocabulary was starting to catch up with the times.
And She so didn’t have time for this. Lindsey was waiting after all, “ Excuse me, but I’m late to meet someone.” Buffy pushed past them and started walking towards the door.
Buffy guessed she should have been prepared for what happened next but she blamed it on the fact that she really hadn’t been around any high-strung overly dramatic teenage girls lately.
Felicity grabbed her arm and swung her around. Buffy was surprised and so didn’t even see the slap coming. The strike itself was a sissy one but the force behind it was enough to make her ears ring. She could feel her own eyes blaze and before Buffy could think, she reacted
Next thing Buffy knew they were rolling around on the floor, screeching like howler-monkeys. Tearing at each other’s hair, biting, hitting, and kicking at each other.
The next few minutes were kind of a blur. Felicity was quite a bit taller than her and was built like a freakin’ brick house. But none of the really mattered. The other girl might have been stronger but Buffy was way crazier than this chick had ever thought about being.
She had hold of Felicity’s braid and was using it to smack the girl’s face into the floor when security showed up and separated them.
They all were booted from the store, where Felicity immediately started screaming at Nick again. Buffy clutched her purse and shopping bag to her before calmly walking away, effectively ignoring the couple.
She didn’t know who to feel more sorry for, Nick or Felicity. Hell, seemed like they deserved each other.
Buffy ducked into a restroom to freshen up. It was amazing how dirty rolling around on a floor made you feel.
Sure enough, her hair was tangled, her clothes askew, and her right cheek was bright red. She sighed and reached for her purse to get her brush.
A few moments later, she emerged. Running a brush through her hair, splashing water on her face, and straightening her clothes had made her feel a whole lot better. Now she just had to find Lindsey.
Finding the food court was easy, you just had to follow the delicious smells. Lindsey was sitting at a large table piled high with food. Currently, he was working on what looked like a corn dog.
“ Hungry were you?” Buffy plopped down in a chair across from him and set her shopping bags beside her. She leaned over and snagged the extra soda next to him.
Diet. Lindsey was the best.
He grinned and began selecting plates from his pile to set in front of Buffy, “ It’s not often you get to sample cuisine like this. I got you a few things. Here.”
The dishes he sat in front of her looked great but only two were familiar. A slice of thin crust pizza (her favorite), and a small salad(dressing on the side). The other two were a little…different. One was a fruit kabob, but she didn’t recognize what kind. The other plate held something that looked like a giant frosted flake.
Buffy glanced at the strange food than back up at Lindsey. She knew the question was on her face.
He rolled his eyes, “ Just try it. They’re really good.”
She tried the kabob first. The fruit itself was orange and had the texture of an apple. The taste, however, was completely unexpected. It was both spicy and sweet. When she bit into it, the juice flowed out thick like honey. It was absolutely delicious.
“ Its called ‘Fireflower Fruit’. Mostly, its grown in desert climates and has to be magically assisted to survive outside of that environment. Used to be really rare but its showing up more often now.” Lindsey told her in his ’listen to me, I know more than you voice’.
Buffy finished it off in record time and immediately started in on the flake. It was amazing how long ago breakfast seemed now.
The first bite actually made her moan out loud. It was buttery and sweet, with just the right amount of softness and the perfect amount of crunch.
Lindsey laughed this time, “ Glad you like that. They’re pretty popular. They’re called ‘ Dragon Scales’. Absolutely delicious but hell on your cholesterol.”
Buffy put it half eaten back on the plate. She was tempted to lick her fingers but settled for wiping them on a paper napkin. She shot him a semi-glare, “ Thanks a lot. You couldn’t have told me that first?”
He looked amused, “ What? You’re too young to worry about cholesterol.”
She struck a pose, “ But not my girlish figure.”
He snorted but let it go.
Buffy took a bit of her pizza then moved over to her salad. She spied a figure making their way to them from across the food court.
She nudged Lindsey’s shin with her foot, “ Heads up. Ms. Steele at two o’clock.”
They both looked up as the social worker arrived at the table. She pulled out a chair and collapsed into it.
Buffy watched her rest her head in her hands, “ Rough time?”
The woman nodded, “ Yeah, this particular charge is rather… difficult. He’s a great kid, don’t get me wrong. He just likes to do everything the hard way. Then there was this fight over at Centurian Instruments. The manager asked me to come and speak to the two kids. They were boyfriend and girlfriend and boy, were they going at it. I didn‘t help much, they ended up just taking off.”
Buffy tried her best to look completely innocent and unassuming. Lindsey must have noticed because he gave her a suspicious look before turning back to Ms. Steele. He gave her a commiserating look, “ Feel like having a bite before we leave? I’m pretty sure we have time.”
The Social worker smiled, “ Sounds great.” she accepted a plate with Chinese food from Lindsey’s diminishing mountain of plates. She took a bite, “ So did you guys have a good time looking around?”
Buffy nodded toward her shopping bags,“ Yup. In fact, I think we should stay for a little while longer…I didn’t even get to see the regular part yet.”
Understanding was on Ms. Steele’s face, “ I wish we could. This is one of wizarding America’s most popular places. I’ve been here several times and I haven’t even seen all the stores.” She smiled and aimed a conspiratory look at Buffy, “ When I was a teenager, you couldn’t get me out of the mall.”
Buffy gave her a small smile but looked back down at her salad. It wasn’t that she didn’t like Ms. Steele… but she hated it when grownups tried the whole ‘I know what you’re going through ‘cause I used to be just like you’ crap. She seriously doubted that the Social worker had ever found her own Mother’s dead body and the body of her murderer step-father in her childhood home.
Lindsey shot her a look, Be nice,
then cleared his throat to redirect the social workers attention, “ So tell us a little about yourself, Ms. Steele. I mean, we will be working together… couldn’t hurt knowing each other a little better.” He was using his charismatic voice and come hither eyes.
Buffy waited until the woman turned to look at him before making a gagging motion.
The social worker blushed, “Please… call me Ann. Both of you,” she said hastily, shooting a quick glance at the girl next to her, “ A little about myself… well, I’ve been a social worker for almost four years. Um…” she began to flounder but then regained her footing, “ I’m single but I have a cat that might as well be my child. Before the FBM hired me, I was working at a Runaway Shelter in L.A.”
Lindsey gave her a considering look, “ What got you into that? If you don’t mind me asking…”
‘Ann’ pushed a strand of hair behind her ear and gave them both an earnest look, “ I actually grew up in foster care. When I turned sixteen, I took off on my own and lived on the streets. I got into a lot of bad situations before I found my way.”
Buffy was thoughtful. It felt kind of shallow but knowing that Ann had actually had a hard time growing up made her like her more. If she could get through her problems then couldn’t Buffy? God, she hoped so.
Then a question did occur to her, “ So then when did you start doing magic? I thought everyone started out when they’re kids by going to some school.”
“ Well, my birth parents were Mundanes. I got a letter when I turned eleven of course, so I started attending one of the smaller schools in the southwest. When I left my last foster home, I pretty much put my education on the back burner. It wasn’t until I was an adult that I went back and finished school.” Ann explained.
Lindsey looked impressed,“ Well, it does look like you did pretty well for yourself.”
Ann gave a shy smile,“ Well, thanks.”
Buffy cast a suspicious look between the two adults. Was it her imagination or was there some flirting going on between them?
“ So,” she sipped her diet coke, “ what’s the deal with Roanoke?”
Ann turned back towards Buffy, her professional manner coming back “ How much do you know about wizarding America?”
“ Absolutely nothing.” She supplied dryly, slanting a look at Lindsey. He shrugged, like it wasn’t his fault.
The social worker smiled,” Good, a blank slate. Okay, so America is a large and powerful nation in the Mundane world. But its also a large and powerful nation in the Magical world. Back when all those countries where colonizing and people were immigrating here, well, a lot of those people were witches and wizards. From all over the world. Nowadays, America has one of the largest magical population in the world. In fact, instead of just one school like most countries have, we have several
. There’s at least one in every region: the North, the east, the Southeast, South, Southwest, west, and the Northwest. And we don’t just have witches and wizards. Many different species of magical creatures have migrated to our shores. In most states, we have wizarding communities and facilities. But Roanoke… Its our capital.”
“ Like D.C.?” Buffy asked. Jeez, who would have thought?
“ Not exactly. While we do have several wizarding government buildings located in the U.S. capital, Roanoke is our oldest and most history rich city so it was made the magical capital of the U.S. The Federal Bureau of Magic, which is pretty much the government in our world, keeps its headquarters there.” Ann explained.
“ So it’s like a secret city?” confused was a good description of how she was feeling.
“ Yes and No. Have you ever heard of The Lost Colony of Roanoke?” the social worker leaned forward, excitement in her face.
Buffy simply shook her head.
Ann looked mildly disappointed, “ Oh, well, it’s a secret to the Mundane world but is pretty well known in the Wizarding populace. You’ll love it, everyone does. Once we’re there, I can tell you all about it’s history.”
Buffy heard Lindsey snicker and gave Ann a fake smile, “ Yeah, can’t wait.” Because she so loved history.
Lindsey stood up, “ Well, I think its about time we get going. The portkey is set to go off soon isn’t it Ann?”
Ann straightened and, “ Actually, we have,” she checked her watch, “ five minutes till activation. We might want to go ahead and shrink your shopping bags Miss Summ--”
“ Call me Buffy.” she interrupted.
The happy smile on the social worker’s face was worth it, “ Okay, Buffy. Let’s go ahead and shrink those bags, shall we?”
They stood and as Lindsey started gathering their trash to throw away, Ann whipped out her own wand from the inside of her coat. It was a slender length of grey-green wood.
Buffy presented her shopping bags and watched, fascinated, as Ann preformed the spell. Moments later they were gathered together as Ann produced the key. Buffy clutched her purse closer, mindful of the small items she’d placed inside. The count down began exactly the same as before, with Ann and Lindsey touching it first and then waiting for her. She couldn’t help it, portkey travel was just not going to be one of her favorite things.
Lindsey questioned, “ Everybody set?”
At the girls nods, he began doing a countdown, “ Ten… Nine … Eight … Seven … Six … Five … Four … Three… Two… One--”
Then the pulling began and the world spun.
Author’s note: Mr. Magorium’s Wonder Emporium is not mine. Thanks for reading everyone!