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Volume IV: Our Sighs and Our Tears

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This story is No. 4 in the series "Scriptificus Totalus". You may wish to read the series introduction and the preceeding stories first.

Summary: The continuing series posted on livejournal written by 4 authors crossing Buffy and Harry Potter and chronicling the rebuilding of the Watcher's Council in that universe.

Categories Author Rating Chapters Words Recs Reviews Hits Published Updated Complete
Harry Potter > GeneralscriptificusFR1872169,1211210143,64315 Jul 1223 Oct 12No

The New Liaison

Pevensie was sitting on Daisy’s desk talking to the other girl. Meredith was off training with Hannah, Alice was working on her knife throwing skills with Draco, and Hiran was doing research for Dobson. Pevensie was bored, but talking to Daisy cleared that up.

Lydia walked by. “Hey, Pevensie.”

“Hey, Lydia,” she replied.

Then she made a face at Daisy. Lydia had been oddly nice to her since Chelle had left for Cleveland. Brittney, Cozette, Terese and Dietta were still frosty, but not aggressive.

“Ahem. Please tell Rupert Giles that Terry Boot, the new liaison from the Ministry is here.”

Pevensie’s brow furrowed. “What did you say?”

“I’m the new liaison. Do I need to speak more slowly?”

She looked him over. He was nice enough looking, she supposed. Blue eyes, brown hair, cleft in his chin that kind of made it look like a butt.

“What did you say your name was again?” Pevensie asked, but Daisy was already looking at him with wide eyes.

“Terry Boot. Terrence, officially, if you must know.”

“I have to go,” Pevensie announced loudly as she hopped off of Daisy’s desk.

“To call Mr. Giles, I presume?”

“Um... no.”

Pevensie was going to find Kasie and Mac. Now. This was the guy. This was the ‘bet with Blaise and Mac knocked his teeth out’ guy.

“That was odd,” he said.

Daisy laughed weakly. Blaise was walking in. Daisy leaned around Boot and gave the Slytherin a very panicked look.

Blaise’s eyebrow went up at Daisy’s look when he walked in the front door. He didn’t recognize who was standing in front of her desk, so he discreetly pulled out his wand. When the person turned around to see who Daisy was looking at, Blaise’s eyes widened.

Then he burst into laughter. “Oh Salazar, this will be wonderful. Are you here to make me rue the day? You did promise last we spoke. I wish I had known you would show up. I would have sold tickets.”

He wasn’t so stupid that he put away his wand, because Boot had gotten a lucky hex off before screeching and running away when they last encountered each other, but he was no longer worried about someone going on a craze.

“What is he doing here?” Boot asked Daisy.

The receptionist opened her mouth to answer.

“There you are,” Hannah said, walking up to Blaise. “Right on time. I do like that. Meredith and I just finished up.”

Hannah leaned up and kissed his cheek.

“That’s why he’s here,” Daisy said.

Hannah turned. “What? Oh, hello. I’m Hannah, you are?” The she recognized him. “Oh. Oh. You’re Terry Boot. This is not good.”

Blaise started laughing. Hannah swatted at him.

“It’s not funny. We have to get him out of here before...” She looked at Boot. “You have to go.”

“You know, White told me you’d gone mental, Abbott, but until now I didn’t believe him,” Boot said. “You got fired. I have the liaison position now. Deal with it. I’m not going anywhere.”

“Oh no,” Hannah said, just shaking her head.

He was no longer holding his wand discreetly. He had it out and pointed at Boot. “The only thing that is stopping me from hexing you is the fact that I don’t want to soften you up for the spectacular arse-beating you’re about to receive, but if you insult her again, you will find yourself in a great deal of pain.”

Hannah smiled at Blaise in a way that clearly said I now want to see you naked.

“Did you just insult my watcher?” Meredith asked.

“All right, everyone,” Hannah said. “Do calm down. It’s fine. I’m not insulted. Did Townley tell you what I said to him when he fired me, Boot? Because mine was a lot better than she’s mental.”

Then her eyes went wide. Mac had just walked in. Daisy actually threw herself under her desk.

Blaise cheerfully tucked his wand up his sleeve. “Oh don’t worry. He won’t be here long. There’s a conflict of interest, you see. He’s already attacked one slayer in the past. I doubt he’ll last long.”

Boot hadn’t noticed Mac yet, so Blaise waved at her. “Remember that arse-beating I mentioned? You’re about to receive it.” Then, he loudly addressed Mac. “Magpie! Look who’s come to visit!”

Boot turned around and completely drained of color upon seeing Morag MacDougal. Mac had no expression on her face whatsoever.

Hannah grabbed Meredith. “Find Kasie or Oz. They can calm her down.”

Mac leveled her gaze at Terry Boot and took a step towards him. He shouted and drew his wand. She dodged the wild hex he threw.

“Here now! Stop it this instant!” Hannah shouted, drawing her own wand and jumping in between Mac and Boot.

Blaise put his arm around Hannah’s waist and pulled her back. “Oh no, no, no. You are not getting in the middle of this. I’ve done it before and it isn’t that fun. You’ll be hurt. Let her beat on the berk. He deserves it. Trust me; I should know.”

“Blaise, he’s the liaison. The Ministry could come down on his. Umbridge already wants to classify the slayers as dangerous creatures,” Hannah said.

“Creatures?” Mac snapped.

“That’s right, MacDougal. Creatures. Prove us right. Show me how dangerous you are,” Boot taunted.

Mac snarled and lunged for him, but she was grabbed around the waist from behind.

Kasie grunted as she kept a hold on Mac’s waist but made sure her head was cocked to the side so she wouldn’t be cracked in the skull by one of Mac’s headbutts. Years of clinging to rooftops and straining her legs for purchase on museum walls helped to keep her from sliding across the floor. Mac was motivated.

“Who the hell am I protecting?” she asked with a grunt.

“Terry Boot.”

Kasie blinked as she tried to recall why that name sounded so familiar. Boot, Boot, Boot. He was the one who did that magic thing to Mac that made her walk wonky. He was also the one who made the bet against her in school. Terry Boot was persona non grata.

“Oh,” she said, dropped her arms and stepping away from Mac. “Go for it.”

“Kasie!” Hannah snapped.

Oz stepped in Mac’s path right before she reached Boot. The watcher just shook his head ‘no’ at her, and Mac actually stopped.

“Oh my goodness, that was a near thing,” Hannah said, as she actually let out the breath she’d been holding.

“Damn it,” Blaise muttered. Hannah slapped his arm again.

“Ditto,” Kasie said, walking back up to Mac’s side. “That dude’s a dick. He hurt Mac. Why shouldn’t she be able to do the same?”

Oz leaned around Mac and gave Kasie his ever-stoic face for almost a full minute. When Mac tried to continue her advance, he calmly placed one hand on her shoulder. She stopped again.

Hannah almost sagged in relief. She was glad Oz was Mac’s watcher. He or Kasie could usually calm her. Neville was good at that as well, but then you ran the risk of her getting amorous.

“She needs to be put in a cage,” Boot said, his voice a bit shrill.

Before anyone could jump in to rage about that one, Oz turned his head slightly, let his upper lip curl and growled loudly at Boot. Boot actually pointed his wand at Oz. Before anyone else could get angry about that, Hannah placed a hand on Terry Boot’s arm.

“How am I just now noticing you are remarkably not clever for a Ravenclaw?” she asked.

Blaise snatched her hand back. “Don’t touch it. The stupidity might be catching.”

Kasie snorted and tried, and failed, to cover it as a laugh.

Before Boot could turn his wand on Blaise, he stepped in front of Hannah, yet again. His Gryffindor tendencies were starting to irritate him. “Point that stick at me, Boot, and I will flay you alive. If you had one brain cell in that empty skull of yours, you’d put your wand away and walk out of here. Next time I’m not threatening, I’m acting.”

“His brain cells got knocked out with his teeth,” Pevensie announced from beside Kasie.

Then she did the rock devil horns at the entire room and made a battle cry sound that seriously belonged in a movie about the old west that had Native Americans in it.

“What in the hell is going on here?” Andromeda Tonks asked as she walked into the Council.

She’d come to see Rupert, but it looked like the Muggle circus might be in town.

Daisy popped up from behind her desk so that just her head was visible. “That’s the new liaison. Everyone wants to hurt him because he’s being a bit of a berk, and he did some nasty things to Mac that involved Blaise back in the day... and that really sounded more sexual than I meant it to. Apologies.”

“Ewww,” one of the innocent bystanders said.

“I second that,” Blaise said, looking horrified. “Like I would ever have sex with that thing. I’d probably be diseased.”

It took everything in Andromeda not to laugh. “Perhaps I could escort you to Mr. Giles, young sir.”

“And why on earth would I be safe with you?”

“Andromeda Tonks,” she said, extending a hand. “Sister to Narcissa Malfoy and Bellatrix Lestrange, special lady-friend of the the head bitch in charge around here, though don’t tell Mr. Giles I called him a bitch. I meant it affectionately. My point is... I’ll glare anyone away, and if that doesn’t work, I’m quite handy with my wand.”

“Giles has a special lady-friend,” Hannah whispered. “And it’s Draco’s aunt?”

Blaise shook his head. “I’m not saying a single word about it. That woman terrifies me. And really, the names Malfoy and Lestrange aren’t normally related to safe. They usually inspire fear.” He looked over at Andromeda. “No offense meant, Madame.”

She just raised one brow at him. Then looked at the liaison fellow. “Come along then.”

“Dance, monkey, dance,” Pevensie said because Andy’s tone reminded her of Draco when he’d told Buffy to slay Daphne Greengrass.

Boot regarded all of them warily as he followed Andromeda.

Oz looked at Mac. “Go see Neville. Get out of the house for a bit. We’ll talk later, okay? I’m proud of you for not maiming him.”

Kasie snickered. “That has to be the oddest compliment ever.” She didn’t tell him that she was already planning on ways to help Mac get her revenge. She greatly disliked men who thought they could use women, especially Mac, since she was the closest thing she had to family in the council. “And hey, I helped her not-maim him. For two seconds. But that was two seconds where I helped.”

“Yes,” Oz replied blandly with a bit of a glare in his expression. “Thank you.”

“Let’s get out of here too,“ Hannah said to Blaise.

Mac was looking at Blaise now. Her mouth twitched in a slight grin. She hoped he was plotting.

Never before had Blaise been so glad that Hannah was staying on at the Council. He was going to have to invent reasons to pop in every once in awhile just to see if Boot had his teeth knocked in again. He gave Mac a smirk and then put his arm around Hannah’s shoulders. “Yes, let’s. My day is looking brighter every moment.”

“I do not understand why you and Draco like discord so much,” Hannah said. “You should not take so much pleasure in this.”

Blaise gave her a look. “This is absolutely hilarious. If I could stand it, I would stay here just to watch the impending explosion. You really think a pillock with that kind of attitude is going to last long in here?” He shrugged. “He always irritated me anyway. Why can’t I wish unending pain and misery to those I don’t like?”

“Well, the upside seems to be that everyone seemed to have set aside their differences to present a united front... against him,” Hannah said.

Meanwhile Andromeda had arrived at Rupert’s office with the man she had learned was named Terry Boot. She stopped at Anya’s desk.

“Hello, Anya, is Rupert in? I’d like to see him, and this is Terry Boot. He’s the newly appointed liaison from the Ministry. He is also here to see Giles, and I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but neither of us have an appointment.”

Anya had instructions to give Andromeda Tonks access to Giles whenever she came by and he wasn’t busy, but this sounded official. She eyed the man standing next to her. He looked very put out about something. If he was Hannah’s replacement, he had big shoes to fill. “Do you bake?” she asked him.

“I beg your pardon? What does that have to do with anything?”

Again, Andromeda was having to hold in her laughter.

“” Anya asked slower. “I swear, the people the Ministry sends over are half-troll. Do I have to do finger pantomime?”

“No, I do not bake,” he snapped.

Anya immediately began re-shuffling the papers in her hands. “Go on in, Andromeda,” she said lightly. When the man tried to follow, she rolled her chair back and put her arm out. “Sorry, Mr. Snippy Pants. You have to make an appointment. And when you show up for said appointment, bring cookies and drop the attitude.”

“You’re the demon, aren’t you? I think someone in your position should be a bit less high and mighty.”

She gave him the smile she used to reserve for the truly incompetent people who came into the Magic Box, wandered around for hours asking questions and then decided not to buy anything after all. “For a thousand years, I relished in causing pain to irritating ass monkeys like yourself, but somewhere along the line, causing pain wasn’t as...satisfying.” She dropped the smile and glared at him. “It would be my pleasure to see if that is still the case.”

“It lives!” Draco shouted as he rounded the corner.

Boot looked at him in horror.

Draco walked up happily and sat on Anya’s desk. “I honestly thought MacDougal would have ripped your arms out of their sockets before you got past the entry hall, but look at you, all right at the inner sanctum of Giles... and with all your limbs all attached and stuff. I’m glad I didn’t wager on your life expectancy. I’d have lost. You heard what happened to Browning, right?”

Draco made fangs with his fingers at the sides of his mouth and made a hissing sound.

“Ooh!” Anya said perkily. “You can kill a vampire by setting it on fire. Let’s be proactive for once.” She pondered the possibilities. “Or I guess we could chop off his head. But then it’ll be messy. Fire would be better.”

Draco leaned back and loud-whispered to her. “He’s not a vampire... yet.”

After very quickly explaining to Rupert what was going to the the best of her knowledge -- and greeting him with a kiss -- Andromeda opened the office door. Best Boot got in here as soon as possible. He might live a bit longer. Andromeda didn’t think she would ever meet anyone who sowed discord more quickly than Astoria’s older sister, but this chap looked like the one to prove her wrong.

She actually gasped when she saw Draco.

“Whatever you are doing, stop it,” Andromeda said to her nephew, pointing a finger at him for good measure. Then she looked at Anya. “Both of you.”

“Ten bucks he lasts a week before you get to light him up like a human match,” she said, just loud enough that both he and Draco could hear.

Andromeda folded her arms across her chest and glared at Draco and Anya. “I think the three of us need to go get drinks in Hogsmeade. Now.”

Draco rolled his eyes and slid off the desk in one fluid movement.

Andromeda looked at Rupert. “Good luck. I’ll see you later then.”

Anya really wanted to stay and eavesdrop on the conversation and see if fireworks erupted when Mr. Snippy Pants snipped at Giles, but it had been a while since she had socialized. She was going to turn in early anyway before this had happened. “Only if I get to dance with the bare-assed Scots.”

Giles called after them, “Please bring me back a bottle of that fortified mead that Brody makes, if you would.”

Draco started cackling like a hyena as he threw an arm around Anya’s shoulders. Andromeda gave Rupert a sympathetic look as she ushered her two companions away.

Once Giles was certain that Draco, Anya, and Andromeda were gone, he turned to his newest headache.

“Please have a seat, Mr. Boot.”

Boot sat.

Giles walked over to the bar, and pulled out the bottle of Ogden’s Old, and poured two fingers in two glasses -- neat -- and served Boot one of them.

Boot looked at the glass suspiciously.

Giles leaned up against the edge of his desk, and took a sip of the firewhiskey.

“I have just spoken with Miss Penshaw, my receptionist at the front desk,” he told Terry. “I have heard the most interesting things. For instance, before you were nearly maimed, you walked in here as if you owned the place, and demanded to see me.” He raised an eyebrow, and took another sip. “I assure you, that our allowing the Ministry of Magic to provide a liaison is a courtesy that may be revoked at any time, and the fastest way for that to happen is for you to act as you have been.” He drank again.

“Now,” he continued, “I am not certain if you are aware of this, but it seems that the ministry has been sending us people they want to be rid of on a more permanent basis.”

Boot choked on his firewhiskey.


“Mr. Browning was an all right sort of bloke, once you got past the bluster. He was wholly incompetent, and was unable to fight off one measly vampire. It was tragic, but it was what it was. He insisted on going out on patrol, and from what I understand, all students at Hogwarts are taught how to incapacitate a vampire magically.”

“Indeed,” Boot responded, sounding uncertain.

“So, why is it that the Ministry sends you here, where you already appear to have so many people who actively want your head on a pike?”

“I’m to evaluate the situation here in Wiltshire and report my findings to Mr. White. I am not to engage, only to observe. I would request a small work space on the premises, but my offices will be kept within the Ministry. I am not to participate in any Council activities, this includes slaying. Though if I feel my life is being threatened, I have the authority to neutralize the threat. I am here because Harry Potter intervened upon behalf of your group and Dolores Umbridge was not given the position. Be thankful I’m the one that’s been sent.”

Rupert Giles was just looking at him with a mildly surprised scowl on his face, so Boot continued.

“The Ministry is very concerned about the goings on in this organization. Werewolves, demons, former Death Eaters, a dark witch, a necromancer... and that’s just the staff. You have an army of supernaturally strong beings at your disposal. It is a concern.”

More scowling.

“Also, I am to inform you that a representative from the Misuse of Magic Department will be in to evaluate Theodore Nott due to his unregistered necromancy. If he is found to be a danger, he will be removed from here to Azkaban Prison.”

Giles continued to lean against his desk and drink his whiskey. Finally, he spoke. “I dare say that is makes me very happy that we are not under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Magic. To address your concerns in order: There is no situation here to evaluate, however we do thank you for the concern. We are, of course, thankful that Ms. Umbridge was not appointed, but there are others working on our behalf aside from Mr. Potter and I have it on excellent authority that after the criminal acts she perpetrated at Hogwarts in ‘95 and ‘96, she will never be put in contact with children on a professional basis again. As for the werewolves, we have been working with them for quite some time now, and we are quite capable of handling them for the three nights out of the month where they are troublesome. As for the rest of the staff, we are monitoring the former Death Eater closely, and it appears that he has been fully rehabilitated. The Dark Witch is not a wand-witch, nor is she generally that dark, so you do not need to concern yourself there. As for the Necromancer... I’m certain that I’ve no idea what you’re talking about. Why would you think that Theodore Nott was a necromancer?”

“We received intel that he was. If that is not the case, then there is no cause for concern. A simple test will ascertain if he carries the ability. That’s really not my department, but I shall make a note of it. I believe we perhaps got off on the wrong foot, Mr. Giles. I’m here to do a job,” Boot said, obviously trying to backpedal a bit. “The Ministry has concerns, but I am not the Ministry - I am just the messenger. I do hope there won’t be a problem with that unless you lot are in the habit of hexing the messenger. Our world has had problems in the past with groups of like-minded people gathering and trying to overthrow the current government. I’m sure you can appreciate that the plethora of people with shades of gray to them you have gathered here is cause for a little concern.”

“I think you’ll find, Mr. Boot, that the world is composed entirely of shades of gray,” Giles stated carefully. “You may not be the Ministry, but for all intents and purposes you are an ambassador plenipotentiary for that body, which means that in this context, YOU ARE the ministry. Your conduct and attitude here today does not reflect well on your employers, and I am certain that the Minister himself will want some feedback on your performance today. Please allow me to clarify something... We have been in operation from time immemorial. We obtained a royal charter long before the Wizarding population petitioned the Crown for protection. If we were going to overthrow the government, it would not be yours, and it would have happened long, long ago.”

He took another drink. “And if you think I will allow for one of my people to be carted off to prison without a trial simply for possessing the ability to perform any sort of necromancy, you are very much mistaken. In fact, I would be down quite a few people, myself included.”

Boot just blinked. “Why on earth would anyone want to raise a dead body?”

“I’m sure you’re not that uninformed -- there are several branches to necromancy, not just raising inferi. Restoring souls to vampires, using the dead for divination purposes...”

Terry Boot had an almost comical exaggerated look of horror on his face.

“Well, I’ll just leave all of that up to the representative from the Misuse of Magic. There is also the possibility of a visit from the Control of Magical Creatures Department, but I am told that will be done by Amos Diggory.”

“I believe that there will need to be a visit from the Aurors, as well,” Giles stated.

“You’re getting Harry Potter and the Minister Kingsley Shacklebolt,” Boot said. “I do believe Harry Potter volunteered and glared away anyone else who wanted to come along. Or that’s the rumor.”

“No, actually. As far as I know, there is no impending visit from the minister or Harry Potter... But you did attack Morag MacDougal on June Tenth of this year while she was on Council business in Knockturn Alley, and because of this, you are an unsuitable liaison. Add to that fact that you came into my home armed and did not surrender your weapon to my receptionist, I’m afraid that you will have to be collected by your people.”

He finished off his glass, and put it down on his desk. “At this time, I will need you to surrender your wand until the aurors come to collect you.” He held out his hand.

“I am not giving you my wand. Not while she’s near,” Boot practically screeched sounding not unlike a teenage girl.

Giles raised and eyebrow and his hand. Some sort of acid green energy was coalescing in it.

Just slightly before this undignified outburst Harry Potter was being escorted to the office of Rupert Giles by Daisy, and word was spreading like wildfire that the Harry Potter was in Council. Daisy had immediately dispatched an owl to the Ministry requesting an auror after speaking with Giles. She’d not expected them to send out Harry Potter. If she had known that, she’d have at least put some lip gloss on. As it was, she was staring at him with hearts in her eyes.

But due to timing, Daisy had opened the door just in time for Harry to witness the lovely outburst from Mr. Boot which had been followed by the drawing of Boot’s wand - but not to surrender it.

“Expelliarmus!” Harry caught the wand easily. “I’ll take that, thanks.”

Giles smiled at Harry, and the green plasma ball dissipated immediately. “Excellent timing, Auror Potter! Thank you for disarming Mr. Boot. He would not have liked my method much.”

“Boot, what are you doing?” Harry asked. “You were not just supposed to pop in unannounced. Kingsley was having his secretary get in touch with Mr. Giles’ secretary to make an appointment. We were going to discuss things, you know, rationally. Civilized. Preferably without wand work or beatings involved.”

“Townley White said-”

Harry cut him off. “Three words I never like to hear. Miss Penshaw?”

Daisy was completely unaware Harry was speaking to her. She was staring at him with a love-struck look.

“Daisy,” Giles prompted.

“Yes?” she replied, not looking away from Harry.

“Auror Potter wanted to ask you something.”

“What? Oh!” Daisy turned beet red. “I’m sorry. Do go on.”

“Your owl mentioned that Boot has had past troubles with someone staying in the house.”

“Oh yes,” Daisy said. “He hexed a slayer.”

“What?” Harry looked at Boot. “I thought Ravenclaws were supposed to be smart. Who did he hex?”

“Morag MacDougal.”

Harry’s brow furrowed. The name sounded familiar.

“Scottish. Brother owns Three Broomsticks now...” Daisy said.

Harry’s look of surprise bordered on comical. “You hexed Brody MacDougal’s sister and lived?”

Now he recalled her. She’d been in his year in Ravenclaw. Everyone called her Mac, and there had been some sort of issue with her knocking a bloke’s teeth down his throat back in school. Harry looked up sharply.

“You had to have your teeth regrown, didn’t you?”

Boot looked pinched.

“That’s the one,” Daisy said.

“We did file a complaint back in June about his hexing her in the back, however it either didn’t get worked, or it was determined to not be worth pursuing by your people,” Giles said. “I’m certain that you can see why he is not suitable for the position he’s been placed in. I can’t trust him not to damage my people, and I can’t trust my people not to damage him. I’d prefer not to send home another person -- no matter how distasteful I find him -- home in a bag.” There was a pointed look in Boot’s direction.

The watcher went over and poured himself another glass. “Can I get you something, Mr. Potter?”

“Er... No thank you, Sir. I’m on duty.”

“Of course. We also have tea and coffee.”

“Thank you, but no.”

Giles nodded and took a sip. He continued, “I have enough shenanigans going on around here with all of the girls being teenaged girls that I don’t need my staff actively trying to find new and exciting ways to maim someone.”

“You’re the only other person I’ve ever heard besides Headmistress McGonagall use the word shenanigans in an explanation.” Harry said then shook his head. “Sorry. Didn’t mean to say that aloud. Boot, I’m going to return your wand. If Miss Penshaw would be so kind as to escort you out of the building, I’ll be there shortly. Wait for me. I think there’s a meeting waiting for you with White and Minister Shacklebolt.”

Daisy smiled brightly at Harry and stumbled a bit for staring at him as she headed out the door with Boot following her.

Harry looked at the other man. “I don’t suppose an ‘I’m really sorry that happened’ covers it? I am, though. It seems like we keep stepping on your toes here. We’ll get it sorted. Hopefully before someone gets seriously injured.”

“Indeed. In this case, we narrowly averted it. Had Andromeda not arrived when she did, Mr. Boot would most likely resemble a Mexican salsa by this point. Could you perhaps let Mr. Shacklebolt know that I’d like an appointment -- whenever is fine for him Tuesday or Wednesday of next week is fine for me -- to discuss the ‘situation’ that is developing?”

“There’s a situation? Already? I hate that, and I always seem to end up right in the middle of it. Yes, I’ll speak to Kingsley.” Harry sighed loudly. “I suppose I should get Boot off of your property before someone decides he’s too stupid to live. Though if you could make me an appointment with the head vampire slayer around here, I’d appreciate it. I’ll admit to being curious, and I’ve heard stories.”

Giles smiled. “I’m certain that the girl who died thrice would be delighted to meet the boy who lived,” he commented. “Though, I’m not certain that the young man she’s been seeing will appreciate it much. Happily, she’s very independent, and makes her own decisions.”

Harry smiled at that.

“As for the situation,” Giles continued, “The ministry, or at least a portion of it, sees us as a threat, and as I told Mr. Boot, if we were interested in being a threat, they wouldn’t believe us to be one, they’d know we were one. That having been said, Vampire Slayers and ornery old watchers do have a limit on how far they can be pushed, and we are all swiftly arriving at that limit. I’d like to think that we would remain uninterested in causing trouble for you, but I cannot make that promise if this sort of harassment continues. I’ve also got the idea that Mr. White is either using us to dispose of those people that he doesn’t like, or he’s sending us people who are unsuitable for liaison work to prove the point that we are dangerous and need to be ‘controlled’.”

“It’s like any society that says they’re civilized,” Harry said. “They fear what they don’t understand. Though I do know the current Dark Arts professor at Hogwarts is teaching a whole section on vampire slayers as being allies and guardians to the light this term. I’m sure he’d like to visit. We’re not all like that. Some of us have buried house elves with honor, been friends with giants, fought beside centaurs, rescued goblins from dungeons. Some of us are even godfather to half werewolves. You lot are the great unknown to many of us. I thought the slayer was just a story until a few years ago. I can’t promise everyone will be accepting, but I can say I’ll do my part to make certain you’re working with better people on our end.”

Giles smiled. “I’m glad to hear that the Dark Arts professor is on top of things. Also, I didn’t mean to give you the impression that I think the lot of you are paranoid bigots; I’m well aware of the fact that not all of you are berks. If I truly believed that, I would not have several wizards on staff and allow the stone circle to work with Willow.”

Harry smiled at the mention of Willow. Her file was scary, but she had seemed very nice to him. Sweet, even.

“Come to think of it, did you know that I have a retired auror on staff?”

“I had heard Moody was here,” Harry said with a smile. “Andromeda told me. Speaking of... I understand I’m supposed to threaten you with a trowel or something? I don’t see that as very threatening, so I’ll just stick to my wand and remind you that I’m the one that killed Voldemort, so I wouldn’t go hurting Andromeda if I were you.”

Giles stifled a snicker. It was sort of like being threatened by a sixteen year old Willow. “I believe it’s a garden spade with which you’re supposed to threaten to beat me to death with. At least, that’s what the children seem to prefer. High marks on the name drop, though.”

He moved around his desk to his chair and had a seat.

“Never fear about Andromeda. I dare say the only thing that I would do that would cause you to need to carry out your threat is my death, and you will need to employ a necromancer in order to punish me for hurting her. Although, as Mr. Boot was saying, apparently all of the necromancers are in Azkaban, so getting ahold of one to resurrect me may prove difficult.”

“That’s not what I’ve heard,” Harry said. “But perhaps Severus Snape could recommend a good one.”

Harry did a slight bow and excused himself. There would be plenty of time to discuss Snape later. For now he needed to attend to Boot.
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