Ethan did what he did because he could. What was Halloween without a little mayhem anyway? He was certain Rupert and his army of little girls wouldn’t know what to do if they had a boring Halloween.
Draco was actually laughing at something Theo had said. It was nice. They’d gotten the house elves to whip up a Hogwarts Halloween-worthy meal, and most of the adults were sitting in the kitchen and enjoying the meal. Giles and Moody were notably absent, but Giles had said he’d be back later. Even the older slayers were joining in.
All of the younger ones were in the biggest common room with a very wide assortment of junk food. They were have a scary movie marathon. Those that didn’t wish to participate in that were having a study session in the library or just hanging out in their rooms, but most of the younger slayer were in the movie group. Pevensie and her little group were. Draco had laughed at her disappointment of Verity going with her grandfather. His slayer was making every attempt to include new girls. They even talked Khaelin into going.
Hannah had somehow convinced Blaise to join them, and Draco did not want to know what sort of sexual favors she’d promised him because he’d ended up sitting next to MacDougal.
He noticed Buffy about to place a bit of something in Theo’s mouth. Draco took his wand and flicked the food out of her hand. When they both glared at him, he grinned widely. Hannah rolled her eyes at him and shook her head.
Oz and Anya were trying to throw pieces of food into one another’s mouths across the table and laughing a lot about it. Everyone seemed to be having a good time, and that pleased Draco because he’d invited a lot of people that didn’t precisely get along.
Blaise amused himself by playing the knife that had been a part of the table setting. It wasn’t sharp at all, but he was still twirling it in his fingers. He would have preferred a sharp steak knife, especially since he was seated next to Magpie, of all people. Just because they weren’t actively hating each other didn’t mean he wasn’t cautious.
Although, when Pansy walked in, he was glad both seats surrounding him were taken. She didn’t look particularly pleased to be there, but the bribe Blaise had offered was too good to pass up. “Pans! You made it!”
Pansy glared at Blaise, not glancing at anyone else at the table. “Well, as an annoying Italian birdy explained to me, my presence here will be beautifully compensated.”
There was a seat open next to Nott and she promptly took it, not realizing that it was almost directly across from the werewolf who lived to annoy her. She couldn’t stand up and change seats because there were only a few left. She would just ignore him.
“Hello, Pansy,” Oz said loudly, causing several people at the table to look at him oddly.
He couldn’t help it. It was like having a piece of Cordy back.
“Hello, Pansy,” Hannah said. “I’m very glad you could join-OUCH!”
Draco had kicked her under the table.
“What in the bloody hell was that for, Draco?” Hannah snapped.
“Thank you, Hannah,” Pansy replied, completely ignoring the irritation sitting across from her. “And honestly, Draco, no need to bruise her shins. Don’t go ruining your own dinner.”
Blaise was glaring at Draco. “Yes, let’s not go kicking my girlfriend under the table.”
“So we’re admitting she’s our girlfriend now,” Theo muttered under his breath, causing Buffy to elbow him and Theo to grunt because it was not exactly gentle.
“I can tell Pansy hello if I want,” Hannah said before kicking Draco in return.
“I’m so glad we’re all grown-ups,” Mac said.
“What the hell is that supposed to mean?” Blaise asked Nott, his grip on his knife tightening.
Pansy rolled her eyes. “Really, MacDougal? Don’t act like you haven’t wanted to kick Blaise under the table yourself.”
Blaise pointed at Pansy with the knife. “Shut up.”
“We got over tha’,” Mac snapped. “Look we’re sittin’ next to one another righ’ now, an’ everyone still has their arms. I’m a bit proud of us.”
“I’m proud of you too,” Oz said. “Night’s still young and ripe for leg breaking threats, though.”
“I promise I willna break anythin’ on ya tonight, Blaise.”
“And I appreciate that,” Hannah said. “I might need all of him later.”
“Ewww,” was all Theo said.
“Oh, like watching you be fed doesn’t make my stomach turn?” Blaise snapped.
Pansy gave Blaise a lazy grin. “I notice MacDougal said she wouldn’t break anything tonight
. Looks like you’re not completely in the clear.”
Draco snickered at that. In fact, several people were laughing until they heard a loud crash. Instantly the entire kitchen was alert, especially the slayers.
“That didn’t sound good,” Oz said. “What movie did you say the girls were watching again?”
The sounds of screaming and fighting could be heard.
Hannah had drawn her wand and was looking around. “Either they’re watching it very loudly or-”
A loud crash rattled everything in the kitchen.
“Gonna go with or,” Oz said. Then he sniffed the air deeply. “A troll?”
“There’s a troll loose in the council?” Theo asked. “Excellent.”
Blaise gave Nott a strange look. “Really? It’s Halloween and there’s a troll loose interrupting our dinner. All we need now is Quirrell running in and fainting.” He sat back and sighed. “I feel like I’m eleven all over again.”
Pansy started to pick at the food on the plate in front of her. “Well, you boys have fun getting rid of it. I’m certainly not going to risk life and limb when there’s more than plenty able-bodied wizards and slayers around.”
And that’s when Pevensie came crashing through the kitchen doors with the troll not far behind her. It was trying to hit her with the giant club in its hand, but the slayer was easily avoiding him. Several other slayer rushed in behind with various weapons in their hands.
“Of course my slayer is the bait,” Draco replied blandly.
He blinked when a flash of blonde shot past him. He’d thought it was Buffy until he heard Blaise shouting. Hannah had rushed in and was shooting stunners at the troll’s eyes. Then a chair sailed over their heads, and Draco could not be sure if Mac or Kasie had thrown it.
Buffy stared in shock at the...thing crashing through the kitchens. That didn’t look like any troll she had ever seen. But she was sure he would die just the same. The chair that was thrown hit the troll in the head and it looked around in a daze. She jumped up on the table, narrowly avoiding all the plates and cups, and took off running toward the troll. When she reached the end of the table, she jutted out both her feet, slamming into the troll’s face.
She felt the bones of the skull fracture under her feet, the nose being the first thing she kicked, releasing slime and mucus all over her shoes and the bottom of her pant legs. When her feet hit the ground, she ignored the troll that had slammed back into a wall of cabinets for looking down in dismay. “My shoes!”
Blaise rolled his eyes and pulled Hannah back against him and wrapped his arms around her. He was unable to pull his wand because she was fighting him so hard. “Will you stop and let the super strong ones do their job?”
“Meredith is behind it!” Hannah shouted.
Sure enough, Meredith was behind the thing with a giant ax.
“There’s more than one,” Hiran shouted. “It hit Alice!”
Theo took off running after Hiran. The one Buffy had kicked in the face swayed and then started falling towards the table. Oz very gingerly titled Pansy’s chair back on two legs and dragged it away so that none of the food splashed her.
Pansy screeched when her chair was quickly tipped back and dragged away from the table, but the troll quickly fell on the spot where she had been sitting. She was about to turn around and thank whoever had pulled her away when she saw it was Oz. With a huff, she turned around in her chair and crossed her arms. She wasn’t going to say a word
“You all right,” Draco asked Pevensie.
“Those things ruined movie night,” Pevensie said. “Right as Freddy Krueger was about to cut this couple up cos they’d had the sex.”
“What in the hell were you lot watching?”
Draco pulled out his wand and started stalking out of the kitchen to where the other crashing sounds were coming from.
The moment she heard that there was more than one troll, Buffy promptly kicked off her shoes. “Anya, head to the training room. That’s where I want everyone to meet after this and we’ll be sending slayers to you so keep them safe.”
The demon nodded, stretching her shoulders and taking off at a jog.
“Magic people, do what you can to help but stay out of our way. Slayers, with me. Grab a weapon.” She took off at a run, following the sounds of the crashes. When she came to an intersection in the hallway, she heard noises from both ends. “Rona and Vi, You go that way and get all the baby slayers out of the way. Send them to the training room. Then get that troll out of my Council.” The older two slayers took off. Buffy turned to Mac and Kasie. “You two take the left and do the same.”
Hiran, Meredith, and Pevensie were still behind her. “I want you three to find Theo and tell him to get to the infirmary. Find any slayers injured and get them to him. Keep the hallway by the infirmary clear. Got it?”
Buffy knew exactly where she was heading. She was going to her rooms to get her scythe.
Buffy hadn’t ordered her to do anything, so Hannah hurried to catch up with Draco and Oz. Blaise didn’t look especially pleased about it.
“What are we doing?” she asked Draco.
“We’re getting to Alice and we’re keeping it busy until Buffy cuts it in half,” Draco said.
He was just glad Luna hadn’t felt up to dinner tonight. He’d have been worried about her the entire time. Draco entered the main hall just in time to see the troll actually bat Theo away from an unconscious Alice. Daisy was lying on the ground not too far from Alice. There was blood in the corner of the receptionist’s mouth. Draco didn’t think, he just moved. He was pretty sure Hannah had screamed his name, but he ran and slid on the hardwood floor in between the troll’s legs to get to Alice. Once he’d cleared it, he fired a blasting hex at the thing’s face.
Blaise was not all right with almost having duplicate heart attacks, one for Hannah going after the troll and one for Draco going after the troll. Hannah he could understand, but since when did Draco run straight at danger?
Most of the curses he knew were on the morally gray side and he didn’t have any knives on him, something he was cursing himself for not bringing. He fired off a blinding charm on the troll, hoping that if the thing couldn’t see, it would be easier to take down.
When Hannah started to rush forward, he grabbed her wrist. “You can hex from afar. Will you please not get within batting distance?”
“I just need to be a little closer,” she said. “You gave me an idea, and if there’s one thing I do extremely well, it’s a binding charm.”
Hannah moved a bit closer and started throwing out some serious binding at the troll’s legs. The thing teetered and started to fall towards Draco and Alice, but Kasie and Mac both did a spectacular move where they ran and used the wall as a springboard to kick the troll and knock it back and away from where Draco had wrapped his arms protectively around Alice.
Oz was crouched next to Theo making sure their healer was all right when he saw both his slayers run and bounce off the wall to kick the troll one right after the other. It was very fluid and graceful. He was pleased with how in sync they were at that moment.
Buffy had run into Vi and Rona as they were ushering a group of younger slayers to the training room. All the slayers had overwhelmed the troll and put it down. So she rushed on and headed to the front where the sounds of action were still coming strong.
She arrived just in time to see the troll wobble and begin to fall after Kasie and Mac kicked it over. The knees and lower legs seemed to be locked together so it couldn’t move. Buffy quickly judged where the thing would fall and gripped her scythe tightly. As the troll began to fall, Buffy swung the scythe around once and then swung upward hard, just as the troll’s head landed in front of her. She wrenched the blade out of the troll’s skull and made a face at the goo on it. The scythe would need to be doubly scrubbed.
“Scour the halls and make sure we got all of them,” she called out to Kasie and Mac. “Let me know if you find more.”
Just then, she noticed Oz leaning over Theo. Her eyes widened and she rushed over. “What happened?” she asked Oz.
“He was trying to help Alice and Daisy and the thing batted him away with his troll hand. I think he’s just knocked out,” Oz said.
Alice was groaning as she came to. “Bacon? Where’s Bacon? That thing was trying to eat my puppy!”
There was loud barking and Bacon ran out from where he had been hiding under Daisy’s desk. He then proceeded to lick Alice’s face followed by Draco’s face.
“Ack! No! Stop that, Bacon! Slobbery no!” Draco was trying to avoid the crup’s attention, but failing.
“I would absolutely love a camera right now,” Hannah said.
“I will cherish this moment forever,” Blaise said, grinning. “Not the trolls, of course, but the dog and Draco, definitely. And perhaps Nott getting batted around like a fly. I liked that, too.”
“That’s not humorous, the Theo part. What if he’s truly hurt?”
But Theo wasn’t. He was sitting up to see Buffy and Oz peering down at him.
“Help me up,” Theo said. “I need to see about Daisy and Alice.”
“Be sure not to touch the troll and bring it back to life,” Draco said.
Buffy glared at him. “One more word out of your mouth and I’m cleaning off my scythe using your entire wardrobe. Trust me. It’ll take a lot of fabric to get my baby shining again.”
“He only said that because he was worried about you being hurt, Theo,” Hannah said.
Draco made a face at her. “No, actually, I said it because I was worried about the troll coming back to life.”
Pevensie was running in.
“Why aren’t you down in the training room?”
“I was worried about you,” she said.
Hannah was smiling about that until she noticed Meredith standing next to her. “Why aren’t you in the training room as well?”
“Well, you seem very willing to charge things that are much bigger than you. I was concerned.”
“That makes two of us,” Blaise said dryly. “This is not what I was expecting when I was invited to dinner.” He groaned. “And Pansy is either going to kill me or bankrupt me.”
He glared at Draco. “You are never allowed to throw a party ever again. Ever.”
“Didn’t you notice she pulled her plate with her when I pulled the chair away,” Oz said. “I don’t see what she has to complain about. She got dinner, entertainment and she didn’t get dirty.”
Draco pointed at Oz. “He has a point.”
“I need to get Daisy to the infirmary,” Theo said. “I suspect she has a concussion. Send anyone else with injuries to me. Buffy, I know you don’t like her, but can I call Emily Hartness and ask her to send that Amy woman over? She knows healing and with Willow gone and Daisy unconscious, I could use the help.”
Buffy’s jaw clenched. Her slayers needed help and they were short but she didn’t want Amy anywhere near them. “Is there no one else who can help you?”
Hannah raised a hand. “I know a little.”
Theo sighed. “Buffy, I understand you don’t like her, and after speaking to Oz, I even understand why and agree, but I’m not bringing her here to be friendly. I’m bringing her here to help heal people.”
“I could shadow her the entire time she’s here,” Draco offered.
“I’m for whatever Buffy decides,” Oz said. “I know Amy hurt Willow, and I don’t like that.”
Theo grunted and swung Daisy up into his arms.
“Well, you lot talk it all out while I start doing my damned job. By myself,” Theo snapped.
He stormed off carrying Daisy.
Blaise’s jaw dropped in surprise.
“Did he just... throw a tantrum?” Draco asked, looking around in shock.
“It’s not funny, Draco,“ Hannah snapped.
“No, you don’t understand,” Draco said. “Nott never throw a tantrums. Ever. I often wondered why he was sorted into Slytherin because the rest of us have that tantrum gene firmly in place. He’s always completely in control. This is unprecedented. Perhaps the troll knocked something loose.”
“That has to be it,” Blaise said, still staring where Nott had walked out. “Even in school when he kicked us out of the room, he never raised his voice or anything. He never stomps out of a room, either. That’s Draco’s job.”
“Well, if you all are done wasting your time trying to figure him out, maybe you can help get rid of this thing?” Buffy asked, gesturing to the troll. She turned to Draco. “I do want you to shadow Amy. I don’t trust her. If she even looks at something weird, take her down.”
Blaise’s eyebrow. “That sounds like fun. Can I do that instead of troll removal?”
“How ‘bout us slayers do the lifting an’ you do the lightening charm to make it less work?” Mac offered. “I know ya won’t want to get dirty.”
“Oh I want to help carry out the trolls,” Pevensie said.
“Now that’s something you don’t hear everyday,” Oz said.
Buffy stepped around the troll, avoiding getting her bare feet in the mucous, blood, and goop surrounding it. “Thank God,” she replied. “I’m going to go to the training room and check on all the other slayers. Oz, can you and your slayers help with the sweeps?”
Mac raised her hand. “We’re right here.”
“Well that was easy,” Oz said. “Come on, you two.”
“I’ll owl Hartness,” Draco said getting up.
Alice was wobbly on her feet, so he grabbed her.
“After I take Alice to the infirmary.”
Hannah scooped up Bacon. “I’m right behind you.”
Blaise sighed when Hannah glared at him when he didn’t follow. “Do I have to? I’d much rather go find Pans and find out how hard my Gringotts vaults are about to be hit.”
“Extremely hard,” Pansy snapped, coming around the corner. She wrinkled her nose in disgust at the troll on the ground. “You just left me in there with that troll. The house elves were all screeching about the room being destroyed.”
“It’s Draco’s party! Blame him!”
“But you didn’t get dirty or hit by the troll. Theo can’t say the same,” Oz offered.
She glared at him so he nodded to Mac and Kasie to move on.
“Pansy, it’s not Blaise’s fault,” Draco said tiredly. “It’s no one’s fault, and at least none of us were seriously hurt.”
“Theo was hurt?” Pansy asked. When she saw him enter the infirmary, he looked fine. She noticed the glare from the blonde and rolled her eyes. “Oh please. I don’t care for him like that. He’s far too irritating.
Buffy jumped, not realizing she was glaring daggers at the witch.”I’m going to the training room. I’ll be by the infirmary later.”
Hannah glared at Blaise again, and he sighed. “Fine. But let me lighten this damn troll first.”
“Buffy, should we cut the troll up or carry it out in one piece?” Pevensie asked, earning her several odd looks.
She was almost out of the room but spun on her heel to stare at Pevensie. “What?” Buffy looked at the troll. “It got in here in one piece and it should be able to leave in one piece. Get creative. I don’t want more blood and guts on the floor than necessary.”
Pevensie saluted her.
Everyone was dispersing to do their assigned duties. Pevensie, Meredith and few of the other slayers who’d come to check on everyone had just managed to get the troll in the entryway lifted up when Mr. Giles walked in with Moody and Verity.
The men were talking animatedly, and Verity had a look of contentment on her face, until they noticed the troll on the floor and stopped short.
“Does the Ministry have a troll disposal department we can call?” Pevensie asked.
“When I said you could have a small party, I did not mean for you to invite mountain trolls,” Giles commented to the room at large.
“No,” Moody stated gruffly, reaching for his wand.
Verity pulled her wand out of her hair as well.
“No one invited them, they crashed. Literally. We were all too happy to be in here watching Freddy Krueger cut people up when homeboy and his compadre showed.” Pevensie smiled brightly. “I got to be the bait.”
“You don’t have to sound so happy about that,” Meredith said with a grunt. “Draco didn’t look overly pleased.”
“Let us hurry to get this thing outdoors so that we may check upon Alice,” Hiran said, straining.
“Alice, Daisy and Healer Nott were knocked unconscious, Mr. Giles,” Shannon said. “Daisy has a concussion, Alice and Theo are just bruised like everyone else. Buffy ruined a pair of shoes. She’s not pleased. Mac, Kasie and Oz are tracking the troll prints to see where the things might have come from.”
Shannon absently rubbed the burn scar left on her by Caleb, a nervous habit.
“Buffy is up checking on the younger slayers in the training room. Healer Nott called upon Miss Hartness and Amy Madison to assist in the healing since Daisy is injured and Willow is... not here. Anya is also in the training room with the uninjured.”
As soon as she was finished with her report, Shannon took up helping lift the troll.
Giles watched as the Moodys began assisting in the spellcasting while the other slayers hauled the carcass out of the lobby. He was not happy about Amy Madison being here, but if Nott felt that they required the assistance, then it was his decision.
He made his way to the infirmary.