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The Third Man

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This story is No. 1 in the series "The Third Man". You may wish to read the series introduction first.

Summary: After the battle at Hogwarts Helen, former teacher, leaves England in hope to find some peace, possibly happiness elsewhere. She heads for Sunnydale & meets a handsome British librarian fighting against a different kind of dark forces. Giles/OC-pairing

Categories Author Rating Chapters Words Recs Reviews Hits Published Updated Complete
Harry Potter > Giles-Centered(Current Donor)AstarteFR1543215,76223120,74023 Feb 127 Feb 14No

Chapter 24: Forebodings

AN: Hey dears, a very short chapter this one, I just wanted to give a life-sign of myself and reassure those few of you who are tracking the story that I haven’t given it up ;) After three months I now finally have a bit of time to continue and think about where it, where all the different parts of it should lead to. I shall post a new update very soon. In case you’d like to read some “pure” romance, cuddly, sexy stuff, I had posted a short story about Giles and Helen couple of weeks ago, which might – hopefully – fulfil those attributes, and if it doesn’t let me know either way :D.

Well, enjoy this bit and thanks a lot for your patience and staying with this story so far ;)



Chapter 24

Forebodings


Giles arrived at school with a sinister apprehension, he was already late for the appointment with Snyder and was bracing himself for the nasty tirade he was sure he would get from the principal. He knocked on Snyder’s office and the short, familiar bark “Come in” only reinforced his bad feeling. He entered.

The place smelled quite oddly, as if someone had been trying very hard to cover with strong perfumes or aroma-candles the smell of something really disgusting, like dung – which by the way was still hanging in the air despite their every effort.

Snyder stood up from his desk and gave Giles a penetrating look, but didn’t speak. Giles walked hesitantly towards him. “I-uhm… I apologize for being late.”

Snyder nodded gloomily, but didn’t reply. He kept looking at the librarian and appeared to be in somewhat of an inner turmoil, as if he was about to say something he didn’t actually want to and some part of him was still fighting against it.

“What-uh… h-how may I-uh… be of help to you?” Giles asked after a moment of awkward silence.

“What?” Snyder replied rattily. “No, no you can’t.” He snapped, then pointed towards one of the armchairs and Giles took a seat, feeling more alarmed with every second.

Snyder cleared his throat. “I asked you to come, because… H-hh… because I’m…,” he furrowed his brows and kept staring at his desk, fighting whatever was about to urge from his mouth. “I’m raising your salary,” he finally said, addressing the papers on his desk rather than Giles, then shook his head incomprehensively. “25%.” He raised his eyes finally and stared at Giles, there was disbelief in them, wonderment, as if he was amazed himself by the words he had just uttered.

Giles frowned. He was sure he must have heard the principal wrong. “I’m sorry-uh… what did you-?”

“Retrospectively.”

Giles opened his mouth, but couldn’t think of anything to say.

“You’ll get the outstanding money for the past year and a half added to your next salary,” Snyder said.

“What-uh… are you talking about?” He finally asked cautiously. Had Snyder ever shown any sense of humour, Giles would think that this was all a tasteless joke, but as it was, he had to presume that the principal was serious. All in all it still didn’t make him comfortable.

Snyder closed his eyes for a moment and took a deep breath, he appeared very angry, agitated, bewildered.

“May I ask why-… not that I’m-uh… I’m not complaining, far from it, I just-uh… wonder-uh... what brought this up,” Giles spoke carefully.

“Don’t ask me!” Snyder’s yell made him jump in his seat. “I don’t know, I don’t get it myself, believe me I’ve tried to fight it, but I… I have to raise your salary…”, again he spoke in a tormented whisper, “I just have to do it, and I don’t know why, it’s like…” He hit his desk with both his fists, “damn, you can be sure I’m not doing it out of my free will!”

“No? Then-uh…”, in that moment Giles’ look fell on a pile of documents on Snyder’s table. They all had a brownish touch and looked as if they had got wet – by something, well, brown. And smelly.

“Look, I don’t know. Just...” He pressed his lips tightly together. “...take it and let us never mention it again.”

Giles raised his brows.

“What?! Take it, Mr. Giles, and leave, I have other things to do right now!”

Giles was still staring at him rather incredulously, but when Snyder barked one more time “Go!”, he jumped up and hurried to leave the principal’s office.

“I also feel like I should fire that awful history teacher,” Snyder murmured to himself, “except that... I don’t really want to...” There his voice changed and got a soft, unnaturally moony undertone that Giles had never heard him speaking in. Just before he shut the door behind him, he heard the principal saying dreamfully: “I think I’m in love with her...”

No, he must have heard it wrong. He shook his head and sped up to get as quickly as possible back to the safety of his library.




Helen was sitting on the sofa, reading one of Giles’ books when a knock on the door interrupted her lecture. It was George and Angelina.

Helen looked at them in surprise.

“...”

“Glad to see you’re not lazing around anymore,” George said before she could say anything, and entered the apartment, not waiting for her to invite them in.

“Here, we brought you this,” Angelina gave George a disapproving glare, then smiled at Helen and offered her a small package. There was some tea from a tea-place at Diagon Alley, along with some sour candies and ginger biscuits. “George said those were your favourites.”

“Are they super-sour?” She asked.

“Of course they’re super-sour,” George shook his head indignantly.

“From Hayden’s?”

“From Hayden’s.... Oh, and they have some new stuff too, I was really angry, ‘cause they’ve started making these chocolate wands, filled with all sorts of liquids, butter beer, ginger beer... even with vodka or gin, depending on what spell you manage to cast with them... I wanted to do that! I had the idea months ago!”

“Yeah, that puts our problems quite into a perspective, huh?” Angelina and Helen exchanged amused looks.

“It’s good you’re here though, you must do something for me,” Helen spoke.

George grinned at his wife. “See? I told you she’d be happy to see us.”

“I need you to bring a few things from my house. Clothes and stuff for tonight.”

“What’s tonight?” George asked.

Helen turned pink suddenly, saying innocently: “Nothing,” then turned to Angelina and began to explain to her what she’d need.

“Right, we’ll bring it to you, George wanted to have a look at your fireplace anyway, so – that’s why we came actually,” Angelina said.

“Oh,” Helen turned at George now. “You think it’s repairable?”

“Yes, I think it might be. I spoke to Cornish the day before yesterday and told him how it looked at your place, and he said I should be able to fix it with a few spells.”

“You think you can do that?” Helen asked with what sounded like she was having doubts that George should be entrusted with that kind of a task.

George looked at her, pretending to be aggrieved by her mistrust. “I won’t dignify that question with an answer.” He turned away and moved towards the door.

“Don’t worry, I’m coming with him to make sure he’ll merely do the repairs, without including any... you know... funny things.” Angelina reassured her.

“Cool, what’s this?” They both turned to George who just exclaimed enthusiastically, and they saw him holding a large crossbow in one hand and a remarkable axe with some peculiar engravings both on the blade and on the grasp in the other. “Is this for the slayer? Boy, she must be some sight wearing these,” he was murmuring more to himself, “pointing it at a man’s chest...” His voice got a little dreamy and Angelina raised her left brow a little. “... wearing some tight top, all sweaty,... that fiery and sexy glare in her eyes when she’s about to attack...,” he sighed, “Merlin, I wish I was a vampire,” he added in a tormented undertone, when Angelina finally cleared her throat.

George shrugged as if he just woke up and noticed them, then spotted his wife’s annoyed look, and threw the two weapons back into to open case next the door. A bright, shiny smile appeared on his face when he walked to Angelina, the same smile that Helen had encountered first on the face of his twin brother – it had to be about five years ago (God, is it only five years? It seems to me like it’s been centuries since... as if that had been in a different life, in a different universe for that matter...) – when she took over the history class of Professor Bins, a smile she knew too well and one that had the power to melt even the most resenting heart.

“Oh please, darling, you know you’d be the only Slayer for whom I would actually turn into a vampire,” he said flirty to Angelina.

Angelina shook her head, pretending to be appalled.

“No? I could be your sire then,” he continued drawling in a false raspy seducing tone, “we could be a great couple together,” he reminded Helen on a scene from a very bad movie.

“... an, immortal couple, we would make loud, noisy, bed-smashing, shattering looove in a wooden hut in the middle of a forest...”

The girls frowned now. “That’s rather gross, honey,” Angelina said.

George blushed. “Sorry, just a dream I had the other night, hh,” he cleared his throat embarrassed, “about-uh... a vampire and a-uh... meadow... hh-hh, I better write a book about it,“ he added, avoiding their amused looks.

Angelina said, fighting a laughter, “yes, dear, you better. Now let’s go and see what you can do about that fireplace.” She turned once more at Helen to wave her goodbye and then they moved to leave.

Right before they closed the door behind them, Helen heard Angelina saying: “By the way, why would you want to be a vampire? You’re already a wizard. Wizards are way cooler...” Helen smiled to herself, then she caught George’s reply.

“Yeah, but I could be an immortal wizard...” The door shut at last and suddenly the sound of it combined with those last words made Helen shiver.

An immortal wizard... It kept echoing in her head and she stood there in the middle of the living room, staring blankly into the space.




After the peculiar talk with Snyder Giles headed to the library, still wondering why the principal all of a sudden had raised his salary – and by that obscene amount of 25%... Yet he didn’t have much time to spend any more thoughts on it, as soon Buffy came, looking a little uneasy, and told him that one particular scene from her previous dream, from the very same dream, in which also Drusilla killed Angel, actually happened this morning when Buffy’s mom let a plate fall from her hands and it went to pieces.

“Yes, well, I admit, I’m somewhat-uh... intrigued... by this,” he said, then noticing Buffy’s raised brows, he hurried to add: “I-I mean puzzled, it’s quite uncanny... alright, maybe a bit alarming as well, but still, let’s not lose our heads,” he said firmly, as he knew how impulsive Buffy could get anytime Angel was involved. “Even if, I say if Drusilla was alive, we would-uh... find a way, to-to... deal with it, I’m sure. Now go to your classes, we’ll meet here tomorrow and do some research,” he said and caught Willow’s conspiratory twinkle. Unwillingly, Buffy got up from the table on which she had been sitting, grabbing her bag she said “see you later, guys,” and left.

“So we’re gonna go ahead with Buffy’s party?” Xander asked. “Despite this... whatever one might call it... prophecy... creepy slayer-visions?”

“Oh, yes,” Giles nodded, browsing in a book that he was holding in his hands, “except that I won’t be wearing the little hat.” He gave Willow an austere look from above the frame of his glasses, but the corners of his mouth were twitching.

“Great. And anyway, Angel's coming. So she'll be able to protect him and have a cake.” Willow said happily.

“Precisely.” Giles replied, then gave them both a look that was suggesting that they too had classes to attend.




George and Angelina returned about two hours later. They found Helen sitting on the sofa, still in the night shirt she was wearing before, bent over several volumes of books, browsing in one of them, frowning, shaking her head and muttering some indiscernible words.

“Ho-hoo, we’re back,” George spoke.

“Hm?” Only when they came to stand right in front of her, she raised her head. “How did it go?” She asked, albeit a bit unfocused.

“Here,” Angelina stretched out her hand, holding a small satin bag in it. “All there, clothes, shoes, and the other stuff.”

Helen looked at it for a few seconds, she still seemed a little distracted. “Oh, right. Thank you,” she got up and took it. “Could you-eh...,” she turned pink, “it’s just that I-eh can’t use magic right now, could you-eh... please...”

“Sure, sorry, forgot about that,” Angelina slapped her own forehead in apology, then pulled her wand from her pocket, tipped it at the tiny bag, saying “Engorgio”, and it immediately grew into its proper size. Helen shortly peered inside, but it was more an absentminded gesture, than a real check whether there’s everything she’d asked for.

George was watching her quizzically. “I wasn’t so lucky with the floo though,” he said.

“Hm?” She looked at him, wondering for a moment what he was talking about.

“I could repair the fireplace... let’s say from the architectural point of view, but... the connection isn’t working, there must be something I’m missing, some spell, but I’ll talk to Cornish once more, or bring him with me next time, he can have a look at it.”

“Yes,” she replied in a quiet, blank voice.

“What’s wrong with you?!” George asked annoyed.

Her eyes widened. “I’m sorry, George, I just...”

“I know I said I’ll fix it, and I’m sorry I didn’t. But I will! I’ll look into it.”

“Mhm, yes.” She said again, but obviously was thinking about something completely different, tipping her fingers on her lips.

“You could at least show a little appreciation, it’s not like Sunnydale’s round the corner, you know, it takes a portkey... a bloody portkey to come here every time you need-“

Suddenly she turned at him, pointing her index finger against his chest. “I need you to go to my apartment in London. You must find the book. It must be there somewhere, I’m not sure where exactly, but I know that I haven’t given it away.” George stared at her in disbelief, but she continued in a quick, firm, ordering tone: “Then you must talk to Rebecca. You must tell her to keep those books at any cost, I don’t care how you’ll do it, but I’ll want to have a look at every single one of them once I can get to the Ministry myself. She mustn’t-“

“Whoa-whoa! Stop right there!” George said, not sure whether to be amused, angry or really pissed off.

Helen looked at him surprised. “What?”

“What? Are? You? Talking? About?”

“Which part didn’t you understand?” She asked, getting a little impatient, as she caught the sight of the watch. It was already late afternoon, she had to make herself ready for the evening. She blushed slightly at the thought, but George pulled her out of it again.

“First – which book? Second – which books? Third,” he pointed at the coffee table, where at least twenty volumes lay spread open, “don’t you think you have enough? And why does Rebecca have any of your books? And most of all – even if there was some sense to this gibberish of yours of which I’m not sure... – perhaps you should rest for a few days,” he said, then turning to Angelina he added: “She took quite a blow from Rodolphus, it might have done some-eh... more... damage,” then facing Helen again, he asked gleefully at last: “Why-why-why should I do any of it?”

“It’s important,” she replied, ignoring his remarks, “first – I need the book. With the dark rituals, which I used to-eh... you know which.” She was talking now more calmly, but very persistently. “Second – Rebecca is handling a few books, no need to get into detail now, she’ll know. You just tell her that she mustn’t give them away. And,” now she put on the most innocent face she could manage, fluttered her eyelashes, and said in a sweet voice, “you ought to do it, because you’re a good man.” Another flutter. George seemed disgusted by this statement. “And because I’m so helpless right now.” Another flutter, but he remained unimpressed, or at least pretended to be. Helen sighed, giving up the act. “Wouldn’t just a simple – it might be really important – be enough?”

Might? Oh, you’ll have to do far better than that. ‘Cause it might be important also translates as – it could also be a huge waste of time, so let’s task George with it in any case,” he said sarcastically.

“George,” Angelina interfered now, seeing that George was playing hard-to-get. “It’s not like you have tons of work on your desk waiting for you... And I can help you, well, at least with the first part.”

“Right, right,” he agreed at last. “But you’ll be paying for this, Miss. Don’t know how yet, but... you will.”

Helen smiled at him, knowing he didn’t really mean it. Or so she hoped.

“I’ll have a look at it next week then,” George said wearily.

“Ehm- it can’t wait that long I’m afraid,” she squeaked in a small voice, and George threw her a nasty glare, but something about his expression was revealing that he had expected the exact reply. “Sorry, please, get into it as soon as you can,” she added appeasingly.

“Fine,” he replied, “but I can’t promise you anything... Charlie’s coming over from Romania for a few days and Mum has summoned us all to a big family reunion,” he added rolling his eyes.

“Sounds like fun,” Helen said and George with Angelina noticed that she was again elsewhere in her thoughts already.

“Yes, sure,” he grinned, “we best go know. I’ll be back soon.”

“Yes, thank you,” she moved with them towards the door.

“Take care,” Angelina gave her a short hug.

“You too, bye.”




Giles was meanwhile sitting alone in his office, browsing the old records in the watchers diaries to read some more upon Drusilla and Angel. But there was barely anything new in them, and the reports on Angelus and his ravaging before Drusilla’s time were making him rather sick and he wasn’t sure he wanted to read about the misdoings of the vampire, besides there seemed to be no point in it, as Angel had a soul now and had become “good”, or as good as vampires go. And above all he had no idea what he was looking for: though Buffy’s dream did cause him a slight discomfort, there wasn’t much for him to start on, her vision seemed too vague, too general albeit unsettling, yet without anything specific to pick up – Drusilla killed Angel, yes, surely it must have been an unpleasant thing to dream, but then – how often did he himself have dreams of the most vivid, disturbing sort about stuff just like that? It was too common, he thought, not at all unusual given what Buffy and Angel had been through especially in the past few weeks.

Still, he skimmed the diaries dutifully only to find out that – after having travelled through places such as Berlin and Sankt Petersburg – the last mention of Angelus in them was from the late 1897 in a small town called Făgăraş in Transylvania, where together with Darla he was responsible for the violent deaths of several people. Then his name suddenly disappeared from the records.



AN: Thanks for reading and please review, comment, anything, any parts, previous chapters. Although I’m writing this because I enjoy it, a review may be very helpful to motivate me to updating more regularly :D
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