Willow threw the last ingredient into the pot causing a puff of smoke to emerge, “I think that’s it. Won’t know ‘til we try though.”
Leo used a turkey baster to fill one of the vials he had bought, “We should test it before we try and use it against a demon.” He grabbed one of the chairs and placed it in the middle of the room. Paige, Willow, and Oz stood behind him and watched as Leo threw the vial at the chair causing it to explode. “It’ll work.”
They rejoined the group and everyone gathered around Leo while Willow and Paige distributed the vials, “I can’t take all of you at once. You need to split into two groups. I want the strongest fighters in the first group in case any demons are there waiting for us. The potions Willow and Paige are giving you will vanquish a demon so if you see one use it. Any questions?”
The entire group shook their heads and began dividing into their groups. The first group consisted of Booth, Bobby, Noah, Giles, Oz, Xander, and Nate. The second group contained Joyce, Willow, Paige, Sophie, Claire, Kaito and Dr. Goodman. Leo gathered the first group together and orbed out leaving the others to wait for his return.
The manor was eerily quiet when they orbed in. They searched the entire house, but found no demons. Reluctantly, Leo orbed out to get the rest of their group. Bobby decided to take the opportunity to explore the attic. He wasn’t too convinced that there were good witches out there and wanted to make sure that he wasn’t going to regret helping these people.
In a trunk, he found candles and an old spirit board along with some other miscellaneous items. In one of the cupboards he opened he found more vials like the one he had been given, some of them were filled and others were empty. Nothing he found convinced him one way or the other. He decided to talk to the annoying boy whose friend was a witch. “Hey kid, you got a minute?”
Xander bounded over to Bobby, “What’s up old man?”
Bobby rolled his eyes at Xander, “Old man my ass. That little redheaded witch is your friend right?”
Xander crossed his arms, “Yeah, why?”
Xander was starting to remind Bobby of Dean in a goofy, smart ass sort of way, “Cause I’m not buying any of this ‘good witch’ crap. What’s her story?”
“Willow is one of the sweetest people you will ever meet. She got into magic to help a friend. She isn’t evil and couldn’t hurt a fly.” Xander started to walk away, but thought twice about it and turned back to Bobby, “What’s your deal? I mean I fight demons and vampires too, but unlike you I know how to see when someone is truly evil. I don’t try and see bad where there is none.”
Bobby didn’t answer. He felt like hitting the obnoxious kid, but knew that Xander was right. He was trying to see evil in these witches because he didn’t want to create a gray area in his thinking. Before he had always known that bad was bad and good was good. Now he had to deal with the fact that there were good witches and, according to these people, vampires with souls.
Realizing that he wasn’t going to get an answer, Xander went and sat down next to Oz on the couch. He kept an eye on Bobby as he gave up his search and sat in a chair away from the rest of the group. Xander knew he wasn’t a bad guy, but there was something in Bobby Singer’s past that had really hurt the guy.
Two demons appeared in front of Xander and Oz with fireballs ready. The two boys were able to dodge out of the way just in time. The fireballs slammed into the couch where they had been sitting and blasted holes through it, breaking the framework. Xander fumbled for the vial that Willow had given him as two more demons appeared off to his side. There was another explosion, this time it was one of the demons. Oz had hit one of the demons that originally attacked with his vial. Its scream reverberated through the entire attic.
Xander finally got the vial out of his pocket and threw it at the demon now focusing on an unarmed Oz. It missed by an inch and hit the wall next to the demon’s head causing splintered board to fly into the demon’s face. Another fireball appeared in the demon’s hand. Orbs appeared between him and the demon as the rest of their group showed up.
The demon released the fireball. Xander watched as Joyce went up in flames after being hit with the deadly projectile. Her scream froze him in place. He couldn’t tear his eyes from her face. Even when she was reduced to a pile of dust, he couldn’t stop starring.
Willow screamed his name. He turned in time to see some kind of energy ball speeding toward his head. He closed his eyes, but the bolt never hit him. Something very large and hard tackled him to the ground. When he opened his eyes Bobby Singer was climbing off and offering his hand, “Come on kid, get up!”
Xander allowed himself to be pulled to his feet. He looked around and saw that Japanese guy Kaito get hit with one of those energy balls. He felt himself getting angry. Joyce was one person who was always nice to him. She had been like a mother to him and one of these demons had killed her. He rushed the demon that was facing off against Oz.
Xander knocked the demon to the ground and proceeded to bash its face in. He forgot the rest of the fight for the time being and just focused on the demon in front of him. After several minutes he was pulled off of the unconscious demon by Booth. Xander’s cheeks were streaked from his tears and his fists were busted open and bloody. Willow finished the demon off with her vial and they all watched as it combusted, leaving only a small amount of ash and a scorch mark.
When Xander was finally able to tear his eyes away from the spot where the demon had been, he noticed that there weren’t as many people here as there should have been. He had seen the deaths of Kaito and Joyce, but who else was missing? Giles noticed his questioning stare and answered the question on his mind, “Dr. Goodman was killed in the fray. Mr. Bennett and Ms. Devereaux were seriously injured, but Leo is attending to them as we speak.”
Giles placed his hand on Xander’s shoulder, “There was nothing you could do. There was nothing any of us could do.” Xander swore he saw a tear roll down Giles’s face, but the man walked away before he could say anything.
“You okay kid?” Xander turned to see Bobby behind him.
Xander put his hands in his pockets and hung his head, “Yeah…thanks for…you know…saving my life.”
Bobby nodded and put his hand on Xander’s shoulder just like Giles, “No problem kid.”