Well, we seeing as how we had a light-aligned Harry Potter
crossover in a previous chapter, I figured that doing something a bit darker in another might be kinda fun. Mostly because I've seen some gorgeous pics of Charisma Carpenter with dark and/or curly hair and can totally see the fusion in my head…
Waving her hand imperiously, Cordelia Chase smirked as her magic flowed through the wand strapped to her forearm and her wordless spell tugged at the door in front of her, pulling it open before her. Breezing through, her curly black hair trailing after her like a comet's tail, Cordelia grinned as she swept past nobody's favorite trio of losers, watching out of the corner of her eye as they gaped at her. Lame. Her other classmates, while equally surprised, were much better at hiding it. They looked, or even stared, but they were at least subtle about it. Or tried to be. Shaking her head, she rounded the corner and made her way over to where her friends were waiting for her at her locker. "Good morning, girls. Everyone else have fun last night?"
Her assembled minions exchanged looks halfway between nervous and confused for a few seconds, and then Harmony finally had the courage to step forward and ask what they were probably all thinking. "Cordelia? What… what the heck did you do to your hair? And what are you wearing? Since when is the cheap goth slut look in?"
"First of all, it's not cheap or… well, too slutty. Goth, I'll give you. And secondly, you know how things work around here. I tell you what's in and you wear it. Well, I've decided I'm in the mood for something new. Deal with it." Cordelia turned and glared at Harmony with eyes that - like her hair - were now substantially darker than they'd been a day ago. The blonde let out a little squeak and shrank back, making Cordelia smirk as she turned her attention to her attire. Granted it was utterly unlike anything she had ever worn before - or ever expressed any interest in owning, much less wearing - which made the girls' confusion somewhat understandable: a pair of black leather pants and a plain black tank top, with a black fishnet shirt thrown on over it. Bellatrix had generally worn things that were sexy but covering, while Cordelia preferred a bit more flash and skin… and this had been the best compromise her jumbled mind could settle on that morning. It'd taken a bit of transfiguration and the sacrifice of three pairs of pants and five tops to produce something adequate, but at least she'd ended up feeling comfortable in her own skin when she finally left her room that morning. "I like it. Let's just say I've had… a change of opinion. About a bunch of things."
Aura was the next one of her minions to try growing a spine, looking Cordelia up and down before shaking her head emphatically. "Sorry, but black does nothing good for my complexion. So you have fun looking like a freak, but I want no part of-"
." At point blank range, the spell didn't even have time to fully manifest as a burst of light before striking the school's token African-American. Aura's mouth continued to move but nothing emerged, the other girls' expressions shifting from 'nervous and confused' to something more accurately described as 'still confused but also fairly terrified'. "Everyone follow me." Nodding mutely - not that Aura really had a choice - the girls followed Cordelia to a classroom she knew was empty during first period. "In." Her minions looked at each other but filed into the room sedately: Aura leading the way with Harmony close behind, and then Aphrodesia, Gwen, and Katie, with Alexis bringing up the rear. All present and accounted for, then. Good. Meant she could take care of all of them at once. "So, does anyone have an inner goth crying to be set free, or are we gonna have to do this the hard way?"
After looking around to see what the others would do, Katie slowly raised her hand and Cordelia raised an eyebrow. She'd decided to uplift the thrice-over oddity to their tier of the social pyramid for reasons she'd never shared with the Cordettes. Was there a fourth unusual but interesting facet lurking beneath the shy and quiet exterior of the… hoping to find an answer to a question that had long bothered her, Cordelia dug into Bellatrix's memories but again came up empty-handed. What was the proper term for a non-white person from Scotland? Chinese-Scottish? Meh, whatever. Maybe one of these days it'd pop into her head at an appropriate moment and she'd finally just ask Katie and be done with it. "If I lie and say yes, do I get a pass on… whatever you're going to do to everyone else?" Cordelia thought about that for a moment before shaking her head. "Oh. Then no. Sorry."
Cordelia shrugged. "Well, you know what they say: the only stupid question is the question you don't ask. Unless you're Harmony. A lot of her questions are stupid." Drawing her wand, she turned and pointed it back at the door. "Colloportus
." The doorframe glowed a bright blue for a second, followed by the odd squelching sound that assured Cordelia the spell had taken hold. Before the girls could realize what she'd just done, Cordelia whirled around and jabbed her wand at Harmony. "Petrificus totalus
!" Her second-in-command's arms and legs snapped together, the bottle blonde tipping backwards against the blackboard with a squeal. In a matter of seconds, Cordelia had the other five Cordettes immobilized and arranged in a neat little line next to Harmony. Which was perfect for the next phase of her plan. "Imperio
While Bellatrix had quite earned her title as Britain's most feared witch, mastering a frightening large array of dark arts spells up to and including the three Unforgivable Curses, the Imperius Curse had actually been one of her few weak spots. As someone who generally relied on fear and intimidation to control others, Bellatrix had generally found herself unable to manage the more subtle coercion needed to impress her will upon someone under a properly cast Imperius Curse. Cordelia, on the other hand? Manipulation was her middle name.
Actually, it was Dominique.
Another difference between the two of them? Cordelia still had an active subscription to Sanity Fair
. People as a rule tended to not enjoy being tortured into submission. It left them bitter, rebellious, and constantly looking for a chance to stab you in the back. Cases in point: Severus and her sister Narcissa. Bellatrix's sister Narcissa. Whatever. Mind-controlled minions floating along in a blissfully happy state, on the other hand? Much less likely to try and fuck her over.
"From now on, you'll obey all the commands I give you. You can ask questions if you don't understand, but you will obey me. You've also decided that you no longer like your current wardrobe, and want to come to the mall with me after school to replace most or all of it with clothes I pick for you. Oh, and when I finally let you go home today, you're going to get online and look up local martial arts schools so you can sign up for lessons somewhere. Just because you're a muggle doesn't mean you have to be totally worthless." Making her way down the line, Cordelia proceeded to put the other five Cordettes under the Imperius as well and then, after a moment of thought, circled back through the girls again so she could transfigure their clothes into black-dominated outfits similar to hers. "Much better." The bell range to announce the start of first period and Cordelia winced. And now they were late. Or rather… "Time to go be fashionably late, girls." The Cordettes nodded mechanically and Cordelia groaned as she realized she'd overlooked a very necessary command. "Except for the wearing black part, try to act naturally. Actually, scratch that. Act mostly naturally, but smarter than you usually are. I'm tired of having to rock a straight C average to avoid making you all look like slightly retarded squirrels in comparison."
Cordelia perked up a bit. "You know, I really like the sound of that." Then reality set in and she wilted. "…but it's going to cause all kinds of problems if you call me that in public. I don't need everyone thinking I get together with you guys after school to break out whips and chains. Stick to calling me Cordelia in public. Mistress in private."
Clucking her tongue, Cordelia shook her head. "No, Cordelia is for in public. Your fellow minions don't count as public. When it's just us, I'm your mistress. Merlin, even mind-controlled, I think I have more working brain cells than all of you put together."
Buffy scowled as Cordelia entered the cafeteria, trailed by her ever-present flock of sheep. Her existing dislike for the girl had grown into outright hatred in the days following Halloween as the newly raven-haired girl had begun forcing her revised ideals upon the school's various cliques, effectively banding ninety-five percent or more of the school together into one mostly agreeable group… that excluded her, Willow, and Xander. And while being firmly and permanently placed on the outside looking in rankled, it wasn't nearly as bad as the way her fashion sense protested at… "Since when was punk and goth slut the 'in' thing?"
"About the time it became cool to be a geek. Well, a geek that's not me." Willow shot a look of pure loathing at the sole glasses-wearing member of Cordelia's inner circle. Evidently, when faced with the choice of hanging out with Willow or hanging out with Alexis the Brainy Cordette, the intellectually inclined members of the school were prone to choosing the latter. Probably because Alexis was both smart and pretty, while Willow was smart and… well, she could clean up nicely when she wanted to but usually didn't. And so while they didn't really count as friends to lose, per say, it had caused the pool of people the redhead could talk to when she wanted to down to a whopping two: Buffy and Xander.
Perhaps because he'd been least affected by their new outcast status, Xander found it easiest to focus on the positive and tilted his head to one side as he enjoyed the evil gothy scenery. "I wonder if it has anything to do with the girls moving into Cordy's house." Buffy and Willow turned to look at Xander in surprise. "What? Girls aren't the only ones who gossip. Guys talk about stuff too. We just don't call it gossiping because it's… girly. But yeah, word is that something happened to Cordelia's parents. They emancipated her and left her everything before running off to some little island. First thing she did was move the Cordettes in with her. Makes you wonder what they get up to in there…" He went silent and Buffy shook her head. He probably wouldn't be back from that fantasy trip until lunch was over.
Just as Buffy was about to dismiss Xander and his hormone-fueled rambling, Willow decided to toss in her two cents. "Actually, Xander might be onto something. I mean, not with the whole implying they do naughty stuff part, but that something strange might be going on. I saw Cordelia talking to Amy Madison today." That definitely had Buffy's attention; up until now, Amy had been a fellow member of the five percent of outsiders that the Scoobies also occupied. If Cordelia was going out of her way to change that, it had to mean something… right? "Which isn't all that incriminating, I know, but if you think about it… Catherine Madison was a dark witch who cursed Cordelia. Amy is a witch and probably still has all her mother's books. If Cordelia could get Amy on her side, that could be the start of something seriously bad."
Buffy nodded. Cordelia would have plenty of time to be up to something 'seriously bad', too, now that she'd dissolved the cheerleading squad. That had… actually been better received by their classmates than Buffy would have thought. Maybe because Cordelia had presented it to them in a way that made a lot of sense: they didn't go to competitions like most other high schools did these days, and so the cheerleaders were putting in a lot of time and effort for not a lot of return. Time they could be spending out and about with the rest of the school, instead of holed up in the smaller gym practicing.
If it had been any other girl, Buffy might have taken her at face value. But Cordelia? Cordelia not wanting to cheerlead anymore ranked up there with cats and dogs living together as a sign of the end of the world. No, the girl was definitely up to something. What… now that was the question. Buffy was going to find out.
Wasn't like she had anything better to do with herself these days…
Cordelia watched as the woman in charge of the law enforcement booth drew her gun and pointed it at Buffy. Seriously? It wasn't as if she hadn't thought about offing Buffy a few times herself, especially since the start of the bottle blonde's recent Nancy Drew kick, but shooting up a school was just so passé. Unfortunately, there were people between Cordelia and the cop… but one of her girls had a clear shot. Tara Maclay, the new eighth member of her inner circle, drew her wand. "Accio
Okay… not quite what she'd been thinking, but Cordelia could work with that. As the Slayer was yanked backwards by an invisible force, Cordelia drew her own walnut wand and jabbed it in the cop's direction. "Expulso
!" The burst of purple-white light crossed the distance between them in a second, picking the woman up and slamming her into the wall hard. After debating it momentarily, Cordelia decided that she really didn't want to be stuck with a prisoner to interrogate - read: torture - and that it probably wouldn't be safe to turn over someone deliberately trying to tangle with Buffy to Sunnydale's finest. Accordingly… "Avada kedavra
And then in a burst of green light, it was over. Ignoring as the still panicking students continued to flee the scene, Cordelia slowly made her way over to the fallen woman, her friends falling in around her as she stared down at her first human kill. Even though Cordelia genuinely wanted to feel bad about what she'd done… thought she should… she just couldn't manage it. Maybe it was the bit of Bellatrix still inside her, soothing her conscience before it could become guilty? Or the whole 'crazy lady is trying to kill people' thing made it easier for her to justify? Cordelia shrugged. She'd ponder it later. Maybe never. For now, she had a situation to take care of. "Amy?"
"Can do, Cordelia." Stepping forward, Amy reached up and pulled the wand Cordelia had given her out of her bun, her brown hair cascading down her back as gravity took hold. Ten and three-quarter inches long with an intricate pattern of vines decorating its length, it had been one of the many… trophies… Bellatrix had taken during her time in Cordelia's body on Halloween and accordingly, Cordelia hadn't been the least bit upset to see it leave her possession in the hands of a new owner. Especially given what a godsend Amy had been since Halloween and the chaotic days that followed. Far smarter than Harmony and magically knowledgeable to boot, Amy had quickly supplanted the bottle blonde as Cordelia's second-in-command. Recently, Cordelia had even bestowed upon her a privilege she'd never trusted Harmony with: the right to issue her own orders to part or all of the group when needed, rather than simply supervising the others to make sure they carried out Cordelia's wishes. "Anyone driving something bigger than my mom's van today? No? Okay, Tara, you levitate the corpse and follow me. I'll keep anyone from noticing what we're up to. Katie, Gwen, you're on door patrol. The rest of you, go make yourselves seen so nobody realizes that we're missing. Now. I want to get the body dumped and be back in time for fourth period."
The Cordettes quickly dispersed, carrying out the tasks Amy had given them, leaving Cordelia alone to face Buffy and her friends. Which now included Oz, evidently. Huh. She'd have to have a word with him later about spending time around the wrong sort. When they made no move to try anything more complicated than staring at her in disbelief, she sighed. "Well, as exciting as being stared at by you is… it's really not. I just saved the school from getting shot up because you've pissed someone off. I think that earns me enough good karma to offset a Sirloin Swiss & Grilled Onion Burger. Ta." Turning on her heel, Cordelia disappeared with a pop, apparating to a nice secluded spot on the other side of the brick wall that ran along the north side of the parking lot at the Jack in the Box on West Pico Boulevard. From there, it'd be a mile and a half jump to Rodeo Drive… and maybe a nice black leather Louis Vuitton handbag to go with her new wardrobe?
Because while she could do a lot with her new powers, she had yet to figure out how to pull thirty-six hundred dollar Selene MM handbag out of thin air. She could, however, transfigure printer paper into cash by the ream… and why purchase something legitimately when she could get her handbag and mess with the muggles at the same time?