Don't Warn the Tadpoles
*~* Don't Warn the Tadpoles *~*
"You're not going to believe this. Actually several of the 'this' going on this morning, you aren't going to believe."
Everyone in the morning gathering turned to Professor McGonagall. Everyone being Albus and Aberforth Dumbledore, Angel, Buffy, Harry, and Draco.
Aberforth grinned. "Well, good morning to you too, Min."
Draco raised an eyebrow at Professor Dumbledore's brother addressing McGonagall so informally. Didn't he know she was liable to hex him into an early grave? McGonagall was dangerous. You didn't mess with her. Draco had even learned early on in his years at Hogwarts when he'd done as his father suggested and researched the background of his professors that Minerva McGonagall had won a dueling championship when she was all of sixteen. The picture of her back then had been amazing. She'd been sort of striking as a girl.
Now she was just fierce.
"What goings on, Professor McGonagall?" Dumbledore asked.
"Well, we've more visitors for one... and you really aren't going to believe it if the woman is to be believed on who she is. Second, Willow and Anya have it in their heads that they're going to remove every spiritual entity in Tara's body then re-soul her. They've even somehow managed to wrangle Severus, Wesley, and Fred into helping."
"What?!" Angel and Buffy snapped at the same time.
"It's the only way to save the baby!" Harry cried.
They all looked at him.
Draco rolled his eyes. "Good one, Potter."
"Tara's baby's in trouble?" Buffy asked in a quiet voice at the same time Angel said. "The baby's in danger?"
They the both of them looked at one another and said "You knew?" at the same time.
Dumbledore got a thoughtful look in his eyes. "Of course."
"And the next thing on this list of unbelievables?" Aberforth asked.
"Hagrid's brought Drusilla to the infirmary because... 'something's wrong with her'."
"I'll say." Buffy muttered with a serious eye roll.
Angel stepped forward. "What do you mean... wrong? As in... more wrong?"
"Hagrid said she's speaking in riddles. I don't-"
"He spent the better part of a century in her company. He speaks Dru."
"Cassie might also be able to help." Buffy said, and when everyone looked at her she added. "She speaks in code sometimes too. I think it's a seer thing."
Angel perked up at that. "Get Cordy too then."
McGonagall looked at Dumbledore. "Should I fetch Sibyll as well?"
McGonagall just raised a brow at him.
"I suppose we should see to our new guests first."
"Most definitely.... and I think those two." She nodded at Buffy and Angel. "Should join us."
Buffy and Angel exchanged a look.
Angel's jaw dropped when they rounded the corned into the main corridor of the school near the great hall. Buffy just stared warily.
Harry and Draco just stared in confusion. Dumbledore had asked them to return to the quarters they had slept in... for a short time... the night before. Both boys had refused. They insisted on knowing what was going on. They insisted they were mature enough to handle it. Dumbledore was betting that was the first time Harry and Draco had actually agreed on anything.
"Lilah." Angel hissed.
"You didn't think I'd let you party without me, did you?"
"Shouldn't you be helping the bad guy? I mean, this is good guy central this round. You're in the wrong castle. What are you doing here, Lilah?"
"Do you know what'll happen to the world if this Voldemort character gets a hold of it? I mean, I'm one of those muggles he dislikes so much. Just because I lack the morals some people hold so high, what makes you think he'd spare me? I'm sure I could talk him into something, but I'm not risking this a being a time I can't."
"So this is about saving your own ass."
Lilah snorted. "Of course."
"Of course. She can room with Dru." Angel snapped.
"Dru? As in Drusilla? Drusilla's here?"
"Lots of people are here, Lilah." A voice drawled from the other end of the hall.
Lindsey walked out, well more like strolled in that way he often did. One thumb was hooked into a belt loop on his jeans.
"What are you doing here, McDonald?"
"He's with me." Buffy snapped.
Lilah raised a brow at that.
Angel was more forceful. He pointed at Buffy and said. "Aha!"
Buffy just stared at her former boyfriend. "There is no 'aha', you doofus. Lindsey came here with me, not WITH me. Good lord, you really are a first grader, aren't you?"
Angel traced the toe of his boot along the stone on the floor. "He's just not good enough for you."
"Well, then I suppose it's a really good thing he's just a friend, huh?"
Students were filing past the entire scene to get to the great hall. Slowly too. Most of them were watching with avid interest.
"Morgan. Lilah Morgan."
"Perhaps you could enlighten us as to what you have there." Dumbledore said.
He was referring to the square object on wheels she had with her that was covered by a giant cloth. The box was taller than she was.
"Certainly." She whipped the cloth off.
It was a cage. A snarling vampire banged against the bars near her in an attempt to grab the woman. Spittle actually flew from his mouth as he hissed at her.
"Oh my God."
Everyone in the corridor stopped.
Lily was starting to walk away from the group she was with. It was slow and shaky. Like she was in shock.
The vampire's demon face melted away to reveal big brown eyes. "Willow?"
Lily froze. Then she seemed to explode. "GET HIM OUT OF THERE!"
No one moved.
Lily rushed to the cage and started tugging on the bars forcefully. "OUT! LET HIM OUT!"
Then she just was screaming at the top of her lungs and rattling the cage. Connor moved forward swiftly, and before anyone could stop him, he grabbed the door of the cage and yanked it completely off its hinges. An arm around Lily's waist pulled her back with him as he stepped away.
The vampire jumped out and took a wary stance, as a few people in that hall were armed and pointed weapons at him.
"No!" Lily held her hands up.
"Wills." He growled.
The next thing Lily knew, she'd been hauled off her feet and was getting seriously tongued. That didn't last long though. Connor yanked her away from her Xander so fast, Lily was sure he'd dislocated something on her.
"Don't do that." Connor said with menace.
"Who... and what in the hell are you?"
"I can do that, you know, the kissing. She's mine."
"Well, she's not yours."
"Let's all talk about me like I'm not right here. Look, Xand, there's a lot, A LOT, I need to explain.... and how are you here anyhow?"
"I don't know. Cage lady nabbed me." He nodded at Lilah. "And..." He sniffed the air in her direction. "You're human."
"How'd you do that?"
"I didn't. It was done to me."
His face morphed. "Let me fix that for you."
Connor blocked him with a hand solidly in the center of the vampire's chest. "Back off."
"Who's your new toy? He's nice."
"This is just Connor. He's Angel's son."
The vampire made a face.
"It's a different world here, and don't call me Willow. I'm not Willow here. I'm Lily."
"I think I need an explanation."
"Let's go then." Lily held out a hand for him.
Several people protested at once.
"I can take care of myself. He's from my world. I'll handle this."
As she was walking off, everyone noticed Connor right in step behind her. Lily stopped.
"What are you doing?"
"You are not going off alone with HIM."
"I don't trust him."
"Who decided YOU were my protector, Connor Angel?"
The vampire Xander smirked. So this kid thought he was his Willow's protector, huh? Well, Xander was willing to push the limits on this one.
Willow's eyes started rolling in her head. Severus grabbed her and swung her up into his arms before she could fall. Anya was blinking furiously. Fred had already fallen asleep in her text. Wesley was teetering between asleep and awake.
"We all need sleep, or we'll be no good to anyone."
Wesley jerked. "Hmm?"
"Willow just fell asleep on her feet... literally. I am taking her to our chambers to get some rest. I suggest the rest of you do the same."
Anya got to her feet and let out a jaw-popping yawn as she stretched her arms over her head. "When do we meet back here?"
"Let's say four hours' time?"
Wesley nodded. Anya followed Snape out of the room as Wesley tried to rouse Fred. She murmured something about tacos and snuggled back against the pages of the text she had her arms pillowed on. Wesley sighed and lifted her into his arms. Fred made a happy little sleep noise and burrowed her cheek against his chest.
Wesley ground his teeth. She was still the most alluring creature he'd ever encountered.
And he had a horrid thought. He would have to take her to his rooms because he didn't know the password to her quarters. It simply didn't occur to him that it was, in fact, morning, and he could have asked one of the others staying in those quarters to help Fred to bed. He was too tired to think properly.
Or perhaps some deeper part of him didn't want to think properly.
Narcissa was waiting for them when Draco went to Ginny and tried to enter the great hall. What made that worse was on the other side Molly and Arthur were waiting as well. Draco stiffened when he saw his mother. Ginny threaded her fingers through his.
"Draco darling, I would like a word."
"Just one? Well, you better make it a good one then."
"You aren't humorous."
"Wasn't trying to be."
"Draco Malfoy, I demand that you accompany me to a less populated area, so that we may talk."
He actually threw back his head and laughed at her. Narcissa didn't know what to do with that one.
"He doesn't have to speak with you if he doesn't want to." Ginny said.
"Stay out of this, you little freckled thing."
Molly and Arthur both shouted something different but at the same time, but Draco's threat was far more effective. He grabbed his mother by her pale throat and backed her into a wall.
"Careful, Mother. You'll make me angry. And you wouldn't like me if I was angry." Draco didn't know why he'd said that. He was glad Dawn or Spike weren't about. They would have laughed their arses off at his obscure to wizards Hulk threat.
Narcissa reached for her wand. Draco grabbed that wrist in his other hand. He banged it against the wall until she released the wood, and her wand clattered to the floor. Several people had stopped to watch.
"Good heavens, Mister Malfoy! What on earth?" McGonagall grabbed him.
Draco allowed her to drag him away from his mother. He was still glaring menacingly at the woman who'd birthed him.
"You don't talk about Ginny like that again. Ever."
Ginny was staring with wide eyes and a slightly gaping mouth. He was sort of crazy. She sort of liked it.
"Virginia? Might we speak with you?" Arthur Weasley asked.
Ginny looked at her father, then she looked at Draco. He nodded furiously at her as if to say 'well, go on'. She placed the palm of her hand over his heart and stared at him for a very long time before she turned to her parents. Draco smiled in a very goofy way.
McGonagall rolled her eyes. Merlin help her from crazy teenage boys in love.
Draco cast another glare at his mother. "I really don't feel like talking just now."
Then he stormed into the great hall... right as Dumbledore was starting his little speech on the 'visitors' the students might be seeing around the school.
Andromeda and Tonks walked up shortly after.
"He's very much like your husband, sister. Only without a black heart. That one looks to have a heart of pure gold."
Narcissa glared at Andromeda as she rubbed her neck where Draco had gripped her.
"Not as easy as you thought it would be, hmm?"
"Shut up, Andy."
"Cissa, you DID try to kill the boy not too long ago.... and you do know how long we Blacks like to hold our grudges, dearest. I'll wager he'll forgive you around the time the Weasley girl is having your fourth grandbaby."
Narcissa snorted. "A Weasley?"
"What's so off with the Weasleys?" Tonks asked. "I thought Bill and Charlie seemed a bit... interesting."
Narcissa and Andromeda both looked at her.
"Bill or Charlie Weasley?"
"As if YOU'D stand a chance." Andromeda snorted.
"Is that a challenge, mum?"
"Consider it a dare, daughter."
Tonks narrowed her eyes, spun on the heel of her combat boot, and stomped off in the direction of the great hall.
Andromeda snickered. "She really does make this entirely too easy for me."
"How on earth can I become a grandmother if the chit isn't shagging anyone? She's in her twenties, graduated from a wizarding college, and working as an Auror. It's high time she gave me something of a grandchild to spoil."
Narcissa made a face. "And they say I'm evil."
"What's up, Pops?" Spike said as he entered the infirmary.
Madam Pomfrey glared at him. He knew she hated when he called her Pops.
"Amy-luv, there you are." Spike strolled up to her.
Amy gave him her back.
"Oh ho. What's got your knickers all twisted?"
Amy turned and glared at him. Her eyes caught the dried blood on his fist. She sucked in air sharply.
"Amy?" Poppy asked.
Amy started gesturing wildly to Spike's hand.
"I'm all right. Really. It's nothin'. A scratch. Flesh wound type stuff."
Poppy gasped when she saw it. "Good grief, William, what HAVE you done to yourself?"
Spike looked at her oddly. "Now there's a question."
"Spike? Is that my Spike?"
The voice had come for somewhere behind a lot of curtains.
"Drusilla's having an episode."
"Naughty nurse-y! I can still hear you. The stars are singing to me, Spike."
"Well they always did like you better than me, Dru." He leaned towards Madam Pomfrey. "She in a cage?"
Poppy shook her head 'no'. "She's strapped down to a bed. Magically strapped."
Spike considered this. "You said she was having an episode?"
"Hagrid brought her in. She was muttering nonsense."
Spike went stiff. "What sort of nonsense?"
Poppy blinked at him.
"Bring her over 'ere."
"She's strapped down, ain't she? Roll her over, let's see what's been going on."
Poppy blinked. She had not even told him that's what Dumbledore had suggested to her. She carefully made sure the sun could not get at Drusilla then rolled the vampiress over and placed her bed next to Tara's.
Spike nearly chuckled when he saw her. His ripe wicked plum was wearing someone's Gryffindor jammies. She looked like a child. The red did make her look gorgeous though. Dru had always looked stunning in red. It was the little gold lions that took away from her a bit. Her wrists and ankles were strapped to the bed like she was in some mental hospital. She was even wearing little gold bootie socks with red trim and little red pom poms.
"So, pet, tell us what you've been hearing?"
"There'll be no tea and cakes."
"How's about coffee and doughnuts then?"
"She stuck a finger in your chest."
Spike stiffened. "Glory."
"The other one tried to take a little girl's soul."
Spike's brow furrowed. "Who?"
"Don't know. Little red riding hood and the big bad wolf... who wasn't a wolf at all. He followed her from school one day. It was against the rules. It made the children petrified, and everyone was fooled."
"I don't want it. It's going to go wrong. Sparks all 'round. Sparks all 'round."
"Sparks. Something's catching on fire then?"
"That's one way of skinning the fish." She took a deep breath and turned her head away. "There are still ashes in your mouth, Spike. Why ashes when you could have honey?"
"You don't see." She laughed maniacally. "But you will."
"You going to tell me what else, Dru, or are we gonna have this old Spike tastes like ashes conversation again?"
"The one who defeated him before will defeat him again."
Spike sighed. "All right."
"The leech escapes by the rat, but the rat is caught in a trap... and Miss Edith ran away from me. She shall be punished when I find her. And others shall be punished for their crimes as well. Miss Edith shall be punished first."
"Want me to spank her then?"
"Naughty Spike. No, Miss Edith only feels my hand. There will be other spankings for you."
"Oh all right then." Spike said with a chuckle. He got some of what she was saying. Other parts of it were confusing the hell out of him.
Suddenly her eyes looked sharp. "Forget the slayer."
"There are others who are better suited to your heart."
Drusilla cackled insanely. "Ring around the batty, the slayer's far too catty, ashes, flashes, we all fall down."
"You'll see soon, my William. She'll glow. She hangs brightly... and her voice will be like the dulcet tones of blood splattering on a white wall."
"Welcome to Crazytown. Population Dru."
"You'll see soon, dearie. You all will."
Spike rolled his eyes. She'd reached that point where she was making very little sense to him. He looked over and noticed Amy curled up on her side watching them with fearful eyes. In fact, her eyes were the only thing of her he could see because she was bundled in her blanket.
Drusilla looked right at Amy. "Patience is a virtue."
Spike held up a hand. "Right."
He tried to sit down on Amy's bed, but she shot off of it like a rocket in a blur of olive green blanket.
He reached for her, grabbing the end of her blanket and giving it a tug. Amy yanked it out of his grasp.
"Amy-pet, what in the devil is wrong with you?"
"She saw you kiss the sla-yer." Dru sang. "She's jealous."
"Rubbish, Dru. Jealous? Amy? Right. She has more sense. I think your love radar is a bit on the fritz, ducks."
But he didn't notice the way Amy was glaring at Dru.
Severus laid Willow on their bed and began taking off her shoes.
"Don't warn the tadpoles." She muttered.
He smirked. Another frog dream. She was so... wonderfully complex. Frogs. She could stand up to the darkest wizard since Grindelwald slinked about, but hold up a little hopper before her, and she lost her damn mind. She didn't even like chocolate frogs
"Ha. Those flies were poisoned, and those lily pads are rigged with explosives."
Severus snickered a little. It just amused him so much that with all she had seen, his red fought amphibians in her sleep. He striped her down to her camisole and slacks. Severus made sure the drapes were closed and the fire was stoked. Then he stripped himself to his own slacks and crawled into the bed with her.
Willow immediately cleaved to him and snuggled against his chest. He was thinking perhaps he should have left his shirt on at the pang of arousal that went through him when she did that.
"Mmmm. Cranky Pants. My Cranky Pants." She tossed a leg over both of his.
Severus rolled his eyes at once and cursed the gods that he was so attracted to someone so annoying before he was compelled to close said eyes and join her in sleep. He was really going to have to try and break her of that ridiculous nickname she seemed to have for him.
But she was correct. He was most assuredly hers.