Author : Nemainofthewater
Title : Choices
Disclaimer : I don’t own anything you recognise, it all belongs to Joss Whedon and J.K Rowling.
“Lord Rupert Giles,” purred the voice behind him, “Last scion of the Noble and most ancient House of Giles. Your Slayer is dead; killed by Muggles. Will you not seek vengeance for this misdeed? Will you not join me?”
When Rupert was very young, he learnt that he and Mummy and Daddy were special. They could do things that nobody else could, they could do magic. And they were a family, an incredibly old family, of wizards. But Mummy told him that he was also special because he had a destiny; that one day he was going to look after a girl, and save the world.
“I don’t want to save the world with a girl,” Rupert sniffed, “Girls are icky. Can’t I do it with you and Daddy instead?”
His mother just laughed, and brushed his hair back from his face.
When Rupert went to Hogwarts, he was Sorted into Ravenclaw, and became one of the most competent spell users in his class. He got a thrill from using magic, and he wanted to earn everything.
Voldemort circled around Giles once more, before stopping in front of him. “We could be great you and I,” he said. “You were once the foremost Dark Magic practitioner in Britain. Would you become it again if I could give you what you wanted?”
With Hogwarts in term time, and the Watcher Academy in his holidays, Rupert never got to go out and do normal things with normal friends. He was always expected to be practicing his fencing, or reciting the ingredients of a Dreamless Sleep potion.
He didn’t care. What use did he have for friends when there were so many new and exciting things he could be learning?
“Help me cleanse the filth from the Earth, the Creatures, the Halfbreeds, the Muggles. Help me build a new golden age for Britain. We would become an Empire again, we would rule the seas with an iron fist. All would cower before us. And we would be never-changing, never-aging, with our loved ones by our sides. We would be worshipped as Gods."
Eventually he came to the end of what he could learn.
”You aren’t ready for more serious magic,” said his Mother.
“Don’t push it,” said his Father.
But Rupert didn’t listen. He delved deeper, into older, darker magics that gave him a buzz that didn’t abate for days.
This is what Rupert wanted to be doing. This is what he was made for.
“I could bring her back.” Said Voldemort. “With our power and knowledge together, we could bring them all back. I know a Ritual that would allow you to save her from Hell. We could do it. Together.”
Rupert met Ethan when he was seventeen. They were hanging outside a bar, as cool as only nineteen year olds could be. Giles was a master in the Darker magics now, and he had rejected his destiny. What did he care for the fate of the world? Why should he sacrifice his life for a few miserable muggles?
He had struck out on his own, and he was intent on making his own destiny, one which had him enjoying his life; not stuck in a library in the tweed uniform of a Watcher.
When he met Ethan, they both felt invincible, as if they could take on the world and win. And when Ethan offered to teach him how to summon demons, his only answer was an eager “Yes!”
Giles looked at the man in front of him. Was he willing to return to the life he had left behind, to slaughter indiscriminately, to think of nothing but his next high? Was he prepared to sacrifice all that he had made for himself to save Buffy?
It was with a heavy heart that he came back to his parents. His mum had died while he was away summoning demons. On receiving the invitation to her funeral, he had just laughed disdainfully and thrown it in the bin. Now he regretted that fiercely, and wanted nothing more than to be engulfed in her warm embrace. He would do this for her. His magic was dark, tainted; he would abandon it and the danger that it represented. He would become the perfect Watcher.
Yes, he realized. He would do anything for that annoying, energetic young (god, she was so young) girl who had wormed her way into his heart and affections; he would stop at nothing to get her back.
The man stood at her grave silently.
His Slayer was gone, and with it his reason for being, his hope, his dreams, his passion. Without her he was not Rupert Giles, he was a nameless, faceless corpse. He was the walking dead; no, he was not even that. At least vampires had some spark animating their bodies. He had died when the Watcher’s Council whose rules he had sworn to uphold, whose service he had bound himself to, had killed Buffy after she had defied them. The death of an innocent young girl, all s they could get their grubby hands on the next Slayer, and take her and mold her into the perfect slave.
He walked away.
But would his Buffy want him to do this? She had died saving the world, no matter that she had come back that time, and she had fiercely protected everything in it.
“Have you made your decision?” asked Voldemort.
“Yes.” Said Giles, plunging the stake deeply into Voldemort’s heart, whispering the Dark incantation that would reunite his soul.
And as the Dark Lord breathed his last breath, Giles wept.
Then he straightened, and walked away. He would live; for her.