A/N: I own nothing, absolutely nothing. Not Buffy, Not Harry Potter, Not John Clark or anything Tom Clancy related. Anything I might have owned became property of my spouse the second we married. This is a response to a challenge issued in the forums.
This is primarily set Season 3 Buffy and during HP Book 7, and after Executive Orders for the Tom Clancy parts
As Jake walked down the corridor towards the Hall of Time, as it was called by the employees of the Department of Magical Affairs, he wondered if his shift watching the temporal stability of the West Coast would be as boring as the East Coast. He only agreed to take Hank’s shift today in order to get an extra day for his vacation in February. A week-long cruise with his fiancé to the Caribbean would be a great vacation for both of them. Jake was almost sure Kelly didn’t know about it, but in the 3 years they had been together, he had been able to surprise Kelly only 4 times. After today, he only had to trade one more shift, and then everything will be set. Just one more quiet shift.
Two floors below Jake, a compass needle started spinning wildly out of control. Sally, head of the Department of Fate, looked up from her desk in alarm and sadness. She noted that the compass corresponded to one Jake Hamilton, who was scheduled to have a furlough today. Sally got out a pen and called for her secretary.
“Yes, Mrs. Devereaux?” responded Gina Hodge, her assistant.
“I need you to send an agent to Jake Hamilton’s residence. Murphy’s Law will strike him today, and we will need someone there to clean up the mess when it does. Also, I need a copy of the 1092-T7 form from last week, and remember to call the Money Exchange and Secret Service to set up a meeting for later this week.”
“No, that will be all. Thank you Gina.”
At that moment, Jake started Hank’s shift. It was quite easy, all Jake had to do is monitor the four time pieces and make sure they were all operating. In his five years of working for the magical branch of the United States government, only three times had Jake had an issue. Today, however, would be number four.
“Morning Alex, how are the clocks today?” asked Jake to the man he was replacing. Alex had worked in this department for 62 years, and he refuses to quit, saying his work was too important to retire. Most of the gossip said he wouldn’t know what he would do with himself if he took his pension and left.
“Oh, same as always. I thought Hank was after me. You two switch?” replied Alex. After receiving an affirmative from Jake, Alex continued, “You will want to keep an eye out for number three, it is feeling a bit off to me.” The younger wizards never understood the feelings he got. They spoke to him almost like the future spoke to a seer, but more like when someone is watching a horror movie and knows that something is going to jump out of the closet. Whatever the case may be, Alex was glad his shift was going to be over.
“Have a great day, Alex,” said Jake as the older co-worker departed. He settled into his chair and stared around the room he was in and the six other individuals in the room along with him. At his desk were four timekeeping pieces: an hourglass, a large pocket watch, a sundial, and a miniature grandfather clock. If someone did any sort of magic involving time along the west coast of the United States, like using a time turner or casting a time-stop spell, these particular clocks would indicate it. The other six occupants were watching their own regions of the U.S. After all, this was also the only room in 1700 miles that was completely isolated from those same temporal anomalies.
Sitting down and recording the current settings of each timepiece, Jake settled in for the rest of his seven-hour shift. 3 hours, 34 minutes, and 12.35 seconds later, the sand of the hourglass stopped flowing, and Jake started to sweat. Magical writing appeared at its base, scrolling around like the Time Square Marquee. Swallowing loudly, Jake followed protocol for a disaster like this, and recorded the event and words in the log book, and then reached over to press the button on his desk that would let those outside the room know that time was being altered in a very major way. His finger hovered over the button, Jake frozen in fear, when the sand of the hourglass started to rise and flow from the bottom to the top. He had no idea what could cause that, but it would be bad, worse than he could imagine. Jake wondered if he would get the chance to take that vacation for Valentine’s Day.
Elsewhere, 33 seconds earlier:
“I wish Buffy Summers had never come to Sunnydale.”
“ We have a major problem, sir … The hourglass is running backwards, and it is saying it is coming from Sunnydale… Yes sir, that Sunnydale… I understand sir… Thank you sir, I will.”
Jake hung up the phone. Recently, the research and development team had found a way to use magic and cell phones work together, and the entire department had received them for testing. Once all the bugs were out, they would patent and market them worldwide. None of that mattered with Jake, who had just finished talking to John Clark, the current Secretary of Magic, and Mr. Clark was not a happy person right now. This was the seventh time in four years that something major had happened in Sunnydale, and they had very little idea what was going on.
It seemed that Sunnydale, like Cleveland, had a natural dampener for magic, especially wand magic. Of the twelve two-person teams that they had sent into Sunnydale and Cleveland, only three people came out again, and those three were now housed in the James Markstrom Hospital, reportedly for severe mental instabilities. Rumor had it that Secretary Clark was looking at extreme measures for Sunnydale, but there were dozens of ideas of what those measures were. Fearful, Jake continued to watch the hourglass, unsure if he hoped for the sand to not moving up or for it to start moving down again.
John Clark, Secretary of Magic for the past 6 months, had the beginnings of a massive headache. If it were possible, he would banish the entire area of Sunnydale into the Pacific Ocean and let it sink. He could ill afford to lose any more agents to that zone, but something had to be done. This temporal issue was only the latest in a string of problems that pre-dated his appointment as Secretary. John thought for a second before making a decision, and called the President for a meeting.
Four hours later, John arrived at the White House and was ushered into the Oval Office to meet with the most powerful man in the world, according to some. Luckily, John knew the man behind the position, and knew he could talk freely about the realities they were both in.
“Hi Jack, how’s the promotion treating you?” opened John to his long-time friend.
“Like hell, but at least things are better now that elections are over. We have a chance to rebuild. What do you want to talk about? Let me guess, I’m not going to be happy about it, right?” responded Jack Ryan, President of the United States of America for the last year. He got the job the way no one should, by a vengeful man driving an airplane into the capitol building during a special session of congress to confirm Jack as Vice-President. They took the vote minutes before the crash, and only through luck and fate did he survive. This last year Jack had been working on rebuilding the entire government amidst war and horror, and things were finally calming down.
“You got it. We got another problem in Sunnydale, and we need help. We still haven’t recovered enough from this last year to send in grunts, and we don’t have any specialist available to spare. In a couple of years we will have enough Aurors to make anyone jealous, but until the new crop gets out of training, we are running on empty,” Clark laid it out for the president.
“OK, what is your solution?” Jack knew John long enough to know he always had a solution, even if it was a half-baked idea that could only work in a miracle situation.
“We call in our magical friends overseas. Israel, Denmark, England, even Russia could be helpful. We may have to give them concessions in return, but this place has the potential to turn ugly real quick,” provided John.
“Done. Make the calls you need, but run any concessions you need to get by Artie. We can’t promise anything we can’t deliver. Just like old times, huh,” smirked the Commander in Chief.
“Less physical danger, but yeah,” reminisced John Clark. “Good luck with the new congress.”
Ryan Snorted in laughter, “Yeah, I’m going to need it.” Smiling, Jack dismissed John with, “Say hi to Sandy and the girls, and remember dinner next Thursday. My treat.”
Eight Months Later
Pius Thicknesse slammed the folder down on the desk. Of all the duties of being the Head of the Department of Magical Law Enforcement, he hated paperwork the most. On his desk was a three foot pile of forms, recommendations, personnel files, referrals, requisitions, and other papers that had needed his signature and approval. Twelve hours of work finished, and now he could go home and relax. Closing his eyes, Pius relaxed his mind and embraced the bliss that was waiting for him. Ever since the beginning of summer, he could relax like this and his best ideas came to him, ways to improve the wizarding world and make it better, purer. Yesterday, Harry Potter and a number of accomplices, possibly his own aurors, made more paperwork for him when the group vacated the Potter boy’s home, and then Death Eaters attacked midair. Worst of all, he lost Moody in the encounter, an incredibly useful auror. In his meditative state he imagined several ways to remove the meddling boy from the equation.
Three seconds. That was how long it took to undo twelve hours of work, three tiny seconds. The best dueler could get four, possibly five spells in during that time. It took an hour for Pius Thicknesse to calm down enough to get the whole story.
In those three seconds, right outside his door, a petty criminal was being escorted, and he tried to make a break for it. Nymphadora Tonks tried to stop him with a Jelly-Legs Jinx, who then knocked over an aide carrying a can of cursed coffee confiscated from a wizard coming from Columbia. Said aide fell into the office of Pius and lost his grip on the can. Said can flew right into the three foot tall pile of paperwork, covering the stack with powdered beans, which turned into a black sludge. Within seconds, the black sludge ate the parchment and was halfway down the desk towards the floor. There was only one appropriate response for Pius.
The sound that emanated from the office of the Head of Magical Law Enforcement that day started a rumor in the Atrium that there was a loose banshee in the Ministry. A rumor that lasted for over a year.
The next morning, Nymphadora Tonks, Auror, recently married in secret to Remus Lupin, werewolf, found a transfer notice on her desk. She had 24 hours to report to the International Portkey Department for transport across the Atlantic Ocean, where she will be on loan to the American Ministry of Magic for three months time. No warning, no chance to talk to her mentor, Moody, about it. She wouldn’t even be able to make it to Bill and Fleur’s wedding next week. The feeling of dread made Tonks so nauseous she had to run to the bathroom to avoid vomiting on the floor. Close to tears, the metamorphmagus cleaned out her desk of essentials and headed to her home to break the news to Remus. Sure, she could quit, but she might be able to make a few allies for the Order while in America.
A floo trip home, an argument with her husband, an agreement for him to join her in two weeks time, and finally the goodbyes to all of her friends and family. All too soon, it was over and Tonks was on her way. On her way to a new land with new enemies and new troubles, but also with new friends and new hope for the future. Regardless of the task given her by her government, her only goal will be to secure help for the war against You-Know-Who and to come back in three months time