Scoobies 'Till Death
Chapter Three: Scoobies ‘Till Death
“What in the hell…” Buffy muttered, staring at the strange owl. Buffy walked slowly to the owl and stroked it warmly. The owl hooted in appreciation and dropped the letter in her waiting hand.
“How did you do that?” Xander asked.
“Well for starters I didn’t try to beat the thing to death.” Buffy quipped, looking pointedly at Willow’s mop and Xander’s bat. They looked a bit sheepish and set their weapons down on the ground.
“So what does the letter say?” Willow asked, while making peace with the owl by offering it one of Xander’s corn chips. The owl took it gratefully and looked expectantly at Xander who went to go get some water for it.
Buffy flipped the letter over to see a red wax seal with a lion, badger, eagle, and snake around a letter ‘H’. Buffy carefully opened the letter. It read:
“Dear Miss Summers,
This letter may seem a bit odd, and I’m sure quite perplexing as well, but please hear me out. My name is Albus Dumbledore. I am the Headmaster of Hogwarts: School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, which surely you have heard of from our mutual acquaintance, Rupert Giles.
Dark times have fallen upon Hogwarts and indeed the entire wizarding community. I fear that mass destruction is at hand if help is not recruited. The skill of you and your team was recently brought to my attention. I sincerely beg you Miss Summers, there is a boy attending Hogwarts who is in grave peril. He is a major target for dark attacks and I fear, without your help may perish.
My offer is for you and your team to become part of my staff at Hogwarts until this child is out of school. He needs as much protection as he can get, while here, possibly even after. Please send word as soon as you possibly can if you accept my offer.
Buffy was a bit shocked. She handed the letter to Willow. How did this guy know Giles? Well, it seemed the best thing to do would be to ask Giles.
“We should really ask Giles if this guy is legit.” Willow said, handing the letter to Xander who had just returned with water for the owl. Buffy smiled.
“You read my mind, Wills.” Buffy frowned. “Of course not literally ‘cuz we all know how badly that goes.” Willow nodded and grinned nervously. Xander set the letter down on the coffee table and sighed loudly.
“Let’s go see what G-man had to say about this.” Xander said. Buffy looked at the clock on the V.C.R.; damn, 11:44 p.m.
“It’s quarter to midnight guys. Would now really be appropriate?” Buffy asked. Xander shrugged.
“We’ll call first.” Buffy was about to turn around to tend to the owl when she realized what Xander had said and whipped around to throw him a look.
“What?” He said, picking up the phone and dialing. “It’s only polite.” Willow turned at this and joined Buffy in the look. “It’s ringing now, in any case. It’d be rude to just hang up.” Buffy and Willow snorted derisively in perfect unison. They all heard Giles sleepy ‘hello’ on the other line.
“Hey G-man, Buffy, Willow and I just got attacked by an owl and-” Buffy had snatched the phone away from Xander and glared at him by this point.
“Hi Giles, it’s Buffy talking now.”
“Oh…good, relative sanity. Now, what’s this I hear about you getting attacked? And why in did you feel the need to tell me about it in the middle of the night?”
“First of all, we were not attacked. An owl delivered a very interesting letter to us from a man named…Albus… something or other.”
“Albus Dumbledore sent you a letter?”
“Yes, how’d you know?”
“Well, Buffy, to be perfectly honest I haven’t had the great honor of meeting many an ‘Albus’ in my many years.”
“Ha-ha, how very tragic for you. He mentioned you knew him so we called to see if he was legit. Well, Xander wanted to go over there so he figured he should call first.”
“Yes, how very thoughtful of him…” Giles remarked sarcastically.
“Well, we’re still coming over, seeing as I need to kick your ass.”
“What? What in the bloody hell did I do?”
“You told him I was the slayer.”
“I most certainly did not!”
“Giles, he knew of me and my “team”! How do you explain that?”
“Well, I might have let something slip.”
“Ah, my secret identity just slipped out now did it?”
“Well, it’s very difficult to tell you see, I was terribly… uh…well…”
“You were terribly… uh… well what, Giles?”
“Oh for god’s sake Buffy, you nearly blew out my ear drum out!”
“You knock back couple of shots and suddenly my life is public information?”
“Will you let me explain?”
“Oh go ahead, this should be interesting!”
“Well you see, after you defeated the mayor, the Watchers Council invited me to a celebration; a sort of, ‘Well done old chap, sorry we stabbed you in the back’ kind of thing. It was held in England and there were tremendous amounts of alcohol involved. And you see, the watchers, they’re a bit well, shall we say… starved for action. So, they asked me to recount the tale. Originally I resisted but after three glasses of fire whiskey, one finds it hard to keep anything unsaid. So, right as I was about to start, Albus walked in. He was invited you see, he’s highly respected.”
“Yes, highly respected by the Watchers Council; count my nerves as soothed.”
“As I was saying, he walked in right as I told the story of you and your battle with the mayor. Needless to say, he was impressed. We talked, he weaseled a few more stories out of me…”
“Yes, I’m sure much weaseling was required.”
“Buffy, he’s a decent man! I assure you, he’s hardly going to go sell your secrets on the black market.”
“Well, I wasn’t thinking that before but thanks! Now I’m just chock full of good thought-y-ness for the night!”
“I’m sorry Buffy. Why don’t you just come over with Willow and Xander and we’ll look over that letter.” Buffy sighed.
“Fine. We’ll be over in about twenty minutes. Be decent when we get there. I.e.; no bathrobe, it’s creepy.”
“Yes, this conversation is doing wonders for my self esteem! Thanks ever so for asking!”
“You’re welcome, G-man. See you soon.”
“Don’t call me that, ever. And I’ll see you in twenty minutes, yes.”
“Goodnight Buffy.” Buffy replaced Willow’s phone in its proper spot.
“Okay guys, it’s off to Giles we go.” Willow and Xander nodded. They went to get their jackets. “Uh, Wills? Not that I don’t love the kitty pajamas, but… Giles might be a little…”
“Wigged?” Willow suggested. Buffy nodded her head. “I’ll go change. One sec.” Willow dashed up the stairs and came back down two minutes later adorned in black velour sweat pants and a baggy hunter green sweat shirt. She removed a hair scrunchy from around her wrist and put her hair in a pony tail. “Okay, I’m ready to go.”
Xander opened the door and bowed ridiculously low to Buffy and Willow. Willow smiled slightly while Buffy snorted and rolled her eyes. Buffy made sure the letter was firmly in her pocket and took he stake that Willow handed to her. The girls walked out the door and Xander shut it behind him.
The walk to Giles apartment was relatively uneventful. Only two vamps were dusted. They reached Giles’ apartment in a matter of minutes. Buffy knocked on his door and the trio heard the lock click into place. The door swung open and a sleepy looking Giles beckoned them inside. First Buffy, then Xander entered. Willow was the last to walk through the door. Giles saw her and stopped in his tracks.
He saw her red rimmed eyes, her red irritated nose, and what caught his attention most were her eyes. The once shinning orbs of entrancing hunter green were now lifeless; cold and marble like. It hurt something inside Giles to see Willow like this. Giles had never been able to decide just which of the Scoobies he liked best. Buffy was his Slayer, which was hard to compete with. Then again, Xander was the only other man. But Willow, Willow had the love of research, she had the strength that one young lady her age ought not to have, but most of all she had the eyes.
There was something that he could always tell about Willow. She craved knowledge, and life, and truth, and beauty and love; and you could always see it, shining through her eyes. Now, to see those very eyes so lifeless and dead, felt like a knife in the stomach to Giles. “Willow, are you alright?” he asked tentatively.
He saw the tears form up behind her eyes and walked over to her before she could even start. She looked down at her feet, letting her hair fall in her face. Giles tilted her chin up and looked her straight in the eyes. That’s when he saw the tear tracks, and the fresh set of salty liquid streaming down them.
He pulled her to him in a fatherly hug. She mumbled something before throwing her arms around his waist. Giles didn’t quite catch it. Neither did Xander. But Buffy, with her Slayer hearing caught it loud and clear; ‘Daddy.’ She had called Giles ‘Daddy’ before breaking down in his arms.
Buffy’s heart swelled for her friend just then. Giles was a father to all of them in ways that none of their biological fathers could ever live up to. Giles was their rock. He’d seen them at their best, and worst. And he always stood by them. Giles was the missing ingredient. Willow had her two best friends and now she had her father; a complete set. Now, the healing could really begin.
Giles released his death grip on Willow. “Now, would anyone like to tell me exactly why Willow is in a great amount of pain?” Willow sniffed loudly.
“It’s was Oz.” Willow said softly, against his shoulder. “He called me two nights ago and he said… he said… he said that he’d met someone else. That he didn’t think it was gonna work with me anymore.” She burst into tears again. Giles eye connected with Buffy’s over Willow’s shoulder, and Buffy was absolutely shocked by the look on his face.
She suddenly knew what it meant to know Ripper. He looked positively murderous. Buffy suddenly got the feeling that if even she had ever faced off with Ripper, she would have lost. She pitied Oz in that moment. He had officially been added to Ripper’s list. It was a short list of few, and most certainly not a privilege. Giles comforted Willow and led her over to sit on the couch before excusing himself to make her some hot chocolate. When he returned Willow gratefully took the ‘Kiss the Librarian’ mug and nearly gulped it down.
“Don’t choke yourself, Wills.” Xander gently teased. Willow blushed and put the cup on the nearby table while muttering something about keeping her strength up with chocolaty goodness.
“Alright, now that we’re back on track,” Buffy paused, giving a comforting smile to Willow, who blushed in return “what in the hell is this letter all about?” Buffy handed the folded letter to Giles. His eyes went over the paper for several minutes until he looked back up, a bit surprised.
“It would seem, Buffy, that Professor Dumbledore is offering you a position at Hogwarts.” Buffy could only be shocked. Her mouth opened wordlessly for several seconds.
“Me? He wants me to teach?”
“It would appear that way.” Buffy pondered this for a second. She could only come up with one conclusion.
“Giles, is this man insane?”
“Not that I’m aware of, no.”
“He wants me to mold the minds of people who are quite possibly my age. I know nothing of magic, what service could I provide these… children… people… magical…folk…”
“Well, it’s my understanding that there is position there for a… defense… sort of… well I know it’s a defense course. I remember that much from my brief tryst with Watcher supplied whiskey.”
Xander mock snorted. “There you go again, Giles; blaming everything on those merry old Watchers. Now what did they ever do to you?” Willow seemed to miss the sarcasm in his voice and raised an eyebrow at him.
“Uh, does the name Faith ring a bell…or seven?” Giles face grew to one of extreme dislike.
“Faith?” Giles scoffed. “Forget Faith!” Xander mumbled something about that not happening any time soon and Giles ignored him. “The Council stuck me with Wesley! Wesley Whyndam bloody Price… The biggest wanker I think I will ever meet.”
“I hardly think he had to ‘wank’ with him and Cordy being all snuggly wuggly in the stacks.” Willow added, her voice dripping with disgust. Xander’s jaw hit the floor in horror. Willow blushed. “Oopsy. My bad Xander, you didn’t know about that did you?”
“I think I’ll just go vomit now.” Xander said, clutching his stomach. Buffy just wrinkled her nose in dislike.
“That’s kind of…” she started “eew.” Xander looked at her in utter disbelief.
“Kind of eew?! Kind of eew?! Buffy, that’s the crème de la crème of eew. That is eew personified! Ungh…Bleh…Ungh!”
“Brilliant Xander, ‘ungh, ‘bleh’, and ‘ungh’! I’m so glad we’ve started the adjective festival! Let me take this opportunity to add yucky, icky and squishy to your wide range of vocabulary.” Giles muttered under his breath.
Willow, who was right next to him, doubled up in silent laughter. Buffy, only heard the words icky and squishy, but hearing them come out of Giles mouth was so bizarre she followed Willow’s example and nearly fell off the couch laughing. Xander was unaware of everything and was clutching to the back of the couch, involuntarily shuddering every so often. Buffy sobered up after a minute and was breathing deeply, when a thought came to her.
“So, do we go?” She asked. Everybody looked at her. “I mean, what would I do? I’ve never… taught… before.”
“I have.” Willow said softly from across the room. “I’d help you.”
“Well, yes,” Giles started, smiling “Willow and I could help you form your lesson plans, and I’m sure Willow wouldn’t mind being a co-professor.” Willow nodded her head enthusiastically.
“Buffy it would be so much fun…you and me, all with the teaching. It’d be great. You’d have the power to assign detentions and yell at the students who misbehave. Haven’t you always wanted to have that kind of power after being ruled by it for so long?” Willow said with a slightly glazed look in her eyes. “And this isn’t just regular school. This is a magical academy. You wouldn’t have to hide who you are from everybody. I’m not saying that you should tell everybody, but still, they deal with demons every day. You wouldn’t have to make excused and hide from everybody. And with that many witches and wizards its gotta be a safe environment, right?” Now it was Buffy who had the glazed look in her eyes. Willow made Hogwarts sound like paradise. And who was Buffy to deny Willow a little paradise right now? But… Xander!
“But what’ll Xander do?” Buffy said, snapping out of her reverie. Willow opened her mouth to say something but it appeared she couldn’t think of anything. Interestingly enough it was Xander that spoke out.
“I’ll be another co-professor Buff. But instead of working the defense and magic like you and Will, I’ll handle the dirty work. You know; creating and grading the tests, cooking up your lesson plans, averaging grades, that kinda stuff.” Buffy smiled at her best friend. “Scoobies ‘till the death Buff, and I hardly think teaching will be the death of us.”
“So it’s decided?” Buffy said hopefully. “We’re going?”
“Yup!” said Willow and Xander in unison.
“It would appear so.” Giles said. Buffy smiled at everyone, truly touched.
“Right,” Willow said “so what the next step?”
“Alibis, I suppose…” Xander said.
“Right, “Buffy said “First focus on home, the journey and then the destination.”
“Well, Buffy will be able to tell her mother the truth.” Giles suggested. “But what would be plausible for Willow and Xander?” The group thought for a while. Willow suddenly looked as though a train had hit her at fifty miles per hour. Buffy had the impression that if Willow were a cartoon a little light bulb would have just gone off above her head.
“I’ll tell my parents that I’m studying abroad for a year. They’ll believe it with my grades.” Buffy nodded, it was a good idea. Across the room, Xander looked as though an idea had come to him.
“I’ll tell my parents that I’m taking a semester off or something.”
“Oh, or a back packing trip through Europe! Tell them you need to find yourself.” Giles added.
“Do you want my dad to beat the shit out of me for being a sissy man? I thought we already discussed the importance of me being manly.” Xander looked pointedly at Buffy. She grinned sheepishly.
“Tell your mom you need to find yourself. “Willow said. “Tell your father that… you… wanna pick up European girls because you heard they were easy.” Giles looked at Willow in utter shock.
“Willow!” he started to reprimand.
“Giles, I never said that’s what Xander or myself believe. I’m just saying, Xander’s father, who is a pig with a capital P, will believe it.”
“Wills, you’re a genius!” Willow blushed and thanked Xander.
“So guys, now that we all have alibis, what’s next?”
“Write Albus and tell him that you accept his offer. Then when we get his reply, we’ll go from there.” Buffy nodded and went over to Giles desk. She pulled out a sheet of paper and a pen. She scribbled the date in the top right hand corner and wrote out:
“Mr. Dumbledore,” Buffy stopped there, realizing she had absolutely no idea how to word the letter. “Wills,” Buffy called “a little help?” Willow moved off the couch and over to the desk. She looked over Buffy’s shoulder.
“Well, how do you want to sound?” Willow asked.
“I mean, what kind of person do you want to sound like; dignified, proud, experienced?”
“Just help me sound like me without making him want to retract his offer.”
“Okay…” she paused, thinking “start with: I did get your letter and would like to thank you for your generous offer.” Buffy wrote it out and nodded for Willow to continue. “Alright now: After talking it over with my team, we have decided that we would very much like to accept your offer.” Buffy wrote it out slowly and nodded once more for Willow to go on. “In your next letter please tell us how we should go about getting to England and when we need to get there. Sincerely, Buffy Summers.” Buffy wrote down the last bit and signed her name.
“Right so, when we get back to Willow’s house we’ll give the letter back to the owl and wait for Dumbledore’s reply.”
“Yes, I think you all should be going it’s…” Giles paused to look at his watch and his eyes widened. “Oh, it appears to be 2:00 a.m. Yes, it appears sleep is in order.”
Xander nodded along with Buffy and Willow. They said their goodbyes and left. Just before Giles closed the door though, Willow rushed back. “Please don’t try to do anything to Oz. Yes, he hurt me but he’s my problem. And if anyone, I’m gonna be the one to teach him a lesson.” Giles smiled widely and gave her a quick hug. “Thanks for taking care of me Giles.”
“Anytime, Willow. Though if next time it could not be midnight that’s very welcome.” Willow laughed and for a second Giles saw a spark of the old Willow in her eyes. That only served to make him happier.
As the gang walked beck to Willow’s she suggested that they just stay at her house and finish the movie fest. They all agreed. The group approached the house and Willow opened the front door. They all walked inside and Willow flipped on the lights. The owl was still there on the coffee table, although it looked a bit more than aggravated.
Buffy walked over to it while Willow shut the door. “Sorry we took so long. Here, bring this back to Mr. Dumbledore.” She opened a window in the kitchen for the owl and flew out with a hoot of appreciation.
When Buffy came back into the living room, Willow and Xander were already on the couch. The previews of what they told her was Edward Scissor Hands were already rolling. Buffy snuggled happily in next to Willow and the gang watched the movie together. All was comfy and warm. Buffy started up Practical Magic and felt drowsy half way through it.
By the ¾ mark she had fallen happily asleep. Her dreams were happy and light and filled with the new world that awaited her. Paradise…
A/N: God, I’ve been working on that for a long time. Well, five days but all the same, when you have writers block for four of them, it’s seems a bit longer. (That also might explain why this chapter sucks) Yeah, #1: Sorry for all who feel like toast ice-cream is being shoved down their throat (see my reviews on ff.net if you want that to make sense) but this WILL be a Buffy/Harry fic. #2: Considering I have yet to figure out any other ships, I’m open to suggestions. Which ever seems the most popular is the one you reviewers will get! And I’ll do my best to keep it well written. You know, none of that three sentence after you’ve spent all that time reviewing crap. I hate it when authors do that. 3#: I also hate it when authors waste perfectly good ideas on one page per chapter, two chapter stories. AHH! That annoys me! I just want to go back to my computer and re-write it and then release it again properly. I can’t though ‘cuz you know, plagiarism. I am a firm believer in epic novels! It’s what I prefer to read so I although it is a PAIN in my ass, it’s what I write. My minimum is eight pages to a chapter. (On Microsoft Word) That’s why it’s takes so long. Sorry! Anyway review please!