“Will the accused please rise?”
Growling under her breath, Buffy got to her feet and forced herself to look up into the eyes of the ludicrously-dressed man who seemed to think he was a judge of some kind. Said judge was a portly man with a black mustache that would make Groucho Marx proud, and he wore the most brilliant purple robes that somehow failed to hide his girth.
“Buffy Anne Summers, this court finds you guilty of negligent and reckless destruction of Wizarding property and of assault against an innocent witch,” the judge said in a monotone, sounding utterly bored.
The whole thing seemed like an idiotic spectacle to Buffy, though thankfully there was only Giles and the aforementioned innocent witch’s father present with her in the courtroom to witness the charade. “I told you,” Buffy said for what she swore was the hundredth time, “None of that was my fault. I was flung into the house, and I’m really sorry that any debris hit that girl. But do you honestly expect me to believe that your laws – which I didn’t even know existed, by the way – hold me responsible for an actual dragon
hurling me into a wall?”
“The charges of handling a dragon without a license have been dropped due to witness testimony that you were acting solely in self-defense.”
“Wait, what? You were going to charge me with defending
“You were charged, Ms. Summers. But as I said, those charges have been dropped,” the judge said as though talking to a small child. “Normally, in a case like yours, your memory would be altered to forget this course of events, but since you are class four magical creature and not a Muggle-“
did you just call me?!”
The judge ignored her. “Because of this, you and your immediate associates are immune from the standard obliviating procedure that would alter your memories.”
“Dear Lord!” Giles exclaimed. “You were going to wipe our memories? Have you any conscience at all?”
“I’m still a bit miffed over being called a ‘creature.’”
“You are, Miss Summers, and a dangerous one if not handled properly. Quite frankly, Mr. Giles, I’m amazed you’ve managed to control this Slayer for as long as you have. But that is beside the point,” the increasingly-annoying judge said before either Buffy or Giles could protest. “Since the damage was minimal and the injury non-critical, the Ministry has chosen to waive prosecution and offer the offended party a chance to propose a suitable recompense. The wounded witch – Miss Luna Lovegood – has agreed to allow her father, Xenophilius, to act in her stead.”
The man with the strange name got to his feet, and Buffy was relieved to see him give her a small smile and a wink. “Miss Summers,” he said kindly, “I recognize that you meant neither my daughter, myself, nor our home any harm, and I want to thank you for defending us from that dragon. I understand it was a rather young beast, but the bravery and skill to face one is rare. Before I seek compensation, I would inquire of the nature of a Slayer.”
Before Buffy could deflect the question, His Annoyingness was speaking again. “A Slayer is a Muggle girl infused with the essence of a now-extinct level five beast of unknown origin. She seeks out and kills creatures which threaten the innocent.”
Xeno-what’s-his-name smirked. “So, the Ministry is relying on young Muggle girls to defend people, then? Are you admitting that there are some things that you simply can’t handle on your own?”
The judge merely wrinkled his nose and said nothing.
“Fascinating. Yes, quite fascinating. Well, Miss Summers, there are a number of creatures that I have been trying to document for years. Have documented, in fact, but so few people take my findings seriously. As compensation, I would ask of your help in documenting a number of these wonderful beings.”
Giles huffed and wiped his glasses on his shirt. “A Slayer is not a tool to be passed around to whoever finds it convenient, Mr. Lovegood. And I don’t see how that in any way compensates you for any injury to your daughter or your property.”
The judge plowed on ahead anyway. “The motion is accepted. Buffy Anne Summers, you will perform twelve labors within your capacity as a Slayer at the discretion of the Mr. Lovegood as recompense for damages done. This hearing is now dismissed.”
Buffy’s mouth hung open in unbelieving disgust. She had to play errand-Slayer for this weirdo for who-knew how long because of an [i]accident?![/i] “Mr. Lovegood,” she said as calmly as she could, “Can I kill that judge as part of my punishment?”
The thin man laughed jovially. “Oh, don’t think of it as punishment. Think of it as an opportunity to learn and to expand your horizons! The house is already up and good again, so never you fear, and Luna is due to be back from the Hospital today. You can stay with us for the duration, if you like. No rent, of course. Our home is a small one, but not uncomfortable.”
“Tell me that when you’re being thrown into it.”
“Ah, yes. Well, that can’t be helped now, can it? Come along now! There’s plenty of work to do! Oh, when we get to the end of all this, the world will be such a different place?”
“Are we at the end yet?” Buffy whined.
“Oh, of course not,” Mr. Lovegood said jovially. “You still have your tasks ahead of you.”
Buffy smirked to herself. “What about now? Are we there yet?”
“Why, no, Miss Summers…”
“Are we there yet? Are we there yet? Are we there yet?”
“Buffy,” Giles said kindly, “I don’t think Mr. Lovegood deserves this particular brand of torture.“
“Oh, no, it’s quite all right, sir,” Xenophilius said. “And I am sorry it came to this. For being only a Muggle, you presented your case rather well.”
Giles cleared his throat, his face suddenly blank. “I’m so sorry for interrupting you, Buffy. You were saying?”
“Right. Are we there yet?”
Buffy the Vampire Slayer is Joss Whedon's baby; Harry Potter is JK. Rowling's. I'm just taking the kids out for ice cream together.
If anyone feels like beta-reading, I'd love some help with this.
Not entirely sure what the Twelve Labors will be yet, but knowing the Lovegoods, it should be something suitably hilarious. No plans for a romance yet, but possibly a Buffy/Luna pairing later on. I'm placing the two timelines in their natural states, so that this story takes place about one year after Chosen and about six years after Deathly Hallows. Buffy and Luna are about the same age, give or take a few months.
With that said, I hope you all like this prologue. Stay tuned for more. ^_^