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Snake Charming

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This story is No. 2 in the series "A Drop in the Ocean Series". You may wish to read the series introduction and the preceeding stories first.

Summary: The sequel to "A Drop in the Ocean".

Categories Author Rating Chapters Words Recs Reviews Hits Published Updated Complete
Harry Potter > Multiple Pairings > RomanceechoFR1552170,344124870387,77423 Jan 036 Feb 06No

Mini Chaos Two

*~* Mini Chaos Two *~*

Lily groaned as she tried to open her eyes.

When she finally managed it, she was a little disturbed. First of all, the light hurt her eyes a little. Second, there were five faces peering down at her. Dawn, Ginny, Ron, Hermione, Neville, and Connor. Lily sucked in air and jerked a little due to the start they gave her from being leaned over her like that.

"What happened?" Her voice sounded thick. Like she'd eaten a whole jar of peanut butter with nothing to wash it down with.

"You tell us." Dawn said. "What was with the mojo?"

"Mojo?"

"How'd you know?"

"What?"

"You had an orb, Lily."

"I don't..." Lily considered as her mind went from the blank of her unconscious state to full sharpness of being awake and remembering. "The curse."

"Why did you do that? How did you even know to do that?"

"I don't know. I just knew, you know? It just washed over me... like truth or something. I'm not making sense."

Dawn chuckled hollowly. "No, you are actually. In a scary way. Why'd you have an Orb of Thesulah on hand?"

"Just in case. Willow keeps one too. It might be a 'Willow' thing. Like babbling and funky sweaters." Lily looked around for a moment. "Where's Xander. Er, Alex?"

"You souled him."

"I was afraid you'd say that." Lily collapsed back against the bed. "Oh goddess."

"He's ok... kind of. Angel's back to being Angel already, no shakes or nothing. Spike's still out-"

"I gave Spike a soul?!"

"Looks like."

Lily groaned miserably.

"And Dru."

"I gave Drusilla a soul?!"

"Yep. Looks like."

"Oh this is so bad."

"Look at it this way, you're following in the great Rosenberg tradition of mucking spells before you become a bad ass wicca."

"Gee. Thanks, Dawn. I feel so much better now" Lily deadpanned.

Connor sat on the edge of her bed. "It was dangerous. You shouldn't have-"

"Thanks, dad. What was I supposed to do? Just let it go down like that? It's like this little voice inside of me was telling me what to do. Like the elder mirror of me, I am NOT a girl to stand by while things just... happen."

"You're supposed have a plan, not just rush in headlong and swinging your fists."

Lily glared at Connor. "Because that's what you always do, huh? Have a plan?"

Dawn snickered. "She's got you there, Con."

"I find you irritating."

Dawn grinned widely at him. "Don't go thinking you're special, bro. Everyone finds me annoying.... except Harry."

"Wait... voices? Did you say you're hearing voices, Lily?" Ron said, then he leaned over to Hermione. "You don't think there's a great ruddy snake in pipes again, do you?"

"No, because Harry and Dawn could hear it. Lily's not a parselmouth."

"A what-sel mouth?" Connor asked.

"Parselmouth." Dawn said. "It means you can talk to snakes."

"You can talk to snakes?"

"Yeah."

"Creepy... and at the same time cool."

Dawn grinned. She looked around. Most everyone had cleared out of the infirmary. Well, Madam Pomfrey had chased most of them off. Cordelia and Fred were helping her. Lorne was cleaning things and restocking supplies. He was also seen changing bed linens. Madam Pomfrey was liking Lorne for this. Anne had stayed and was sitting near Gwen. Oz was sitting with Faith. Dawn marveled at that. He seemed to be talking to her.

"If all of you are planning to stay, I'll be needing help." Madam Pomfrey said to the students.

Hermione immediately moved over to Faith and started sponging down her feverish skin.

"Perhaps I could do that?" Ron offered.

Hermione glared at him.

Ginny and Ron started helping Lorne with the restocking and cleaning. Dawn went and sat next to Amy on the floor and started talking to her. Connor decided to check how secure Dru, Alex, and Spike were. Drusilla had gotten loose before. It would be best not to have three possibly maddened vampires running about. He'd heard from his father about the slight insanity that crept upon him at times when he'd first gotten his soul.

Neville had moved over to Cassie and sat. Her heart had stopped. The girl had a heart condition. Madam Pomfrey had already been very adamant that Cassie would be all right. She was even going to work on a potion for Cassie to take that would help her blood pressure. Neville thought that was amazing. Madam Pomfrey didn't even know Cassie. She didn't really know any of her patients today. Sure Faith had been there for a bit, so had Lily. But it wasn't as if she'd been their nurse going to school here. Neville had seen Madam Pomfrey more times than he cared to admit since coming to Hogwarts. Granted, he had not had an accident in a while but still.

Faith moaned and tried to sit up.

Oz had a hand on her shoulder. "Easy."

Hermione had the other shoulder as she dropped the sponge back into the basin near her with a little splash.

"Uh. What happened? Where's that Gwen chic? She ok? What happened to that Cassie girl? Is she ok? What happened? Where the fuck are my clothes? Who saw me naked? Where's Ollie?"

"Look who's all wakey wakey." Dawn said as she walked over.

"What-"

"You got electrocuted, superslay. But from what I understand, you did manage to save Gwen's life. If her head had hit that wall, she'd have a skull fracture, but you're too hardheaded for that."

"And that Cassie chic?"

"Breathing. She hasn't woken up, but she's breathing on her own."

Faith closed her eyes and let out a big breath. She'd helped save lives today. Damn, but that felt good. Well, spiritually it felt good. Literally, she felt like she'd been run over by a diesel and dragged for a hundred miles by her hair.

"You missed Buffy getting hit by the killing curse again."

Faith eyes snapped open. "She's not..."

"No. You know that time Buffy died, and Willow brought her back?"

"That time?" Connor asked. "She's died more than once?"

"Yeah." Faith and Dawn said at the same time.

Then Faith looked at Dawn. "Yeah?"

"Buffy came back a little different. The curse doesn't affect her the same way it would anyone else."

"So if you or I got hit?"

"Toast."

"And if a demon got hit?"

"Like Spike or Angel, they're already dead. It wouldn't affect them. It's the killing curse, so moot, you know? But like Lorne or Clem? Toast."

"But if B gets hit..."

"New hairstyle."

"What?"

"It just knocks her out for a little bit and makes her hair all frizzy."

"Oh, I bet B loves that. She always did win over Angel in the 'don't mess the hair' department. What else did I miss?"

"Angelus."

"What?" Faith said up fully now.

"It's ok. Lily was there in a pinch with an Orb of Thesulah... but um, she managed to get Spike, Dru, and other Xander-"

"Alex." Connor supplied.

"What?"

"They decided to call him Alex."

"Wait, wait... the other Xander?"

"He's a vampire from the same dimension Lily was from."

"Oh. And he's here... why?"

"Some law chic named Lilah brought him."

"Lilah. Wolfram and Hart Lilah?"

"Yeah."

"Can't be good news."

"Oh?"

"When I was in my whole kill Angel phase, she was one of the people who tried to recruit me."

"Ok, not making me like Lilah."

"Good." Faith said, adjusting her hospital blanket around her legs. "And while we're at it, let's work on a healthy dose of mistrust for that pit viper... for all of you."

"Got it. No trusting Lilah as far as I could throw her. So anyways, yeah, she brought Alex-"

Faith snorted. "I think we should call him Xander Two."

"We can't call him Xander too." Dawn said with an exasperated look. "Then our Xander would get confused. You know he would."

"A, Xander would definitely get confused. That's the fun. And second, not Xander also... Xander Two, like the number two. Like in Legends of the Fall. Tristan's mom was Isabel and the little chica he married later was Isabel Two."

Dawn was giving her a look.

"What?" Faith snapped. "It's not THAT dumb of a suggestion."

"Oh, it's not that."

"Then what?"

"You've seen Legends of the Fall?"

"Well... yeah.... it's hysterical. Funniest movie I've ever seen. When she wakes him up in the bed, and he comes at her with that knife, and she's making that face that's all 'ooops, I just crapped my pants', that's some funny shit.... no pun intended."

Dawn just blinked and didn't say anything for a minute. "You are DEEPLY disturbed."

Faith laughed. "Thanks, D."

Dawn rolled her eyes. "Only you would take that as a compliment."

"What else?"

"Glory's back."

"Glory, the hellbitch that tried to bleed you dry, Glory?"

"That's the one."

"She doesn't really think she'd gonna win, does she?" Faith's voice had gone all low and dangerous.

"What?"

"B already kicked that ass. One slayer. One. Miss Deity doesn't really think she can take both of us out, does she? B's the best there is, and I'm not afraid to bleed.... what else?"

"Glory's tied to someone else. This guy..."

"Tom Riddle." Ginny offered.

Everyone looked at her.

"He was Voldemort before Voldemort was. Tom Riddle."

Faith raised a brow. "I take it you know this Riddle dude?"

"Rather well." Ginny's face had gone stone-like. "He only tried to relieve me of my life force."

"Ouch." Faith looked back to Dawn. "This is so not looking nice. What else?"

"See him." Dawn pointed to a cage.

It was human-sized, but the bars, er, wires were small enough so that not even a rat could escape. Faith peered in a saw a short man with a round middle. He had a weak face and was the color of a fish's underbelly.

"Yeah."

"He's the piece of shit that framed Sirius, Harry's godfather, for murder."

"Dawn, don't say shit."

"You just said shit."

"I know, but I have a foul mouth."

"I think I should be able to say shit."

"And I think if you go around saying shit, B will think you're picking up MY bad habits."

"Buffy swears."

"Prim little B?"

"Oh please. Prim? Buffy?"

"More prim than I am."

"You missed her asking where her fucking troll hammer was earlier."

Faith chuckled, then asked. "Why?"

"Why what?"

"Troll hammer?"

"It's what she beat Glory down with last time."

"We'll have to look into getting me one of those."

Everyone was just sort of going about their business, but listening avidly to the key and the slayer talk. For a brief moment Faith wondered how it would have been if those monks had made Dawn from her instead, sent Dawn to her to protect.

"Anything else?"

"Rack came out. He'd managed to hitch because he'd seen Willow's insides and she gave part of herself to Tara. He was the one letting everyone inside."

"Where'd he go?"

"My blood opened up a hole, and that's how they escaped."

"Hole?"

"Portal."

"Your blood opened a portal... again, but this time it sealed itself up?"

"Yeah."

"So my question is why?"

Hermione interrupted. "The thing before with the tower... didn't you say Glory's window of getting home was only on that night? Perhaps the whole 'until the blood stops' was only on that night as well."

Faith grinned. "Check out She-Giles."

It was then that Fred approached. "Did someone say portals?"

"It was my blood that did it earlier." Dawn said.

Fred chewed her lip. "If I take some samples, I might be able to look."

"Look?"

"Find the whys. Figure out a way for you to control it... maybe follow them."

"Samples? Blood samples?"

"Well... yeah, but with like a syringe. No knives or razors or fingernails. Clean and hospital-like."

"I don't know if Buffy-"

Fred interrupted. "But it's not Buffy's blood, is it? It's yours. If you want to know more about it, I'll help you."

"Me as well." Hermione offered.

Dawn nodded. She was thinking being able to open portals whenever she wanted and go wherever she wanted could come in handy in the fight against evil.

Provided it COULD be controlled.

Just then Gwen groaned and opened her eyes. "What happened?"

"Oh bloody hell." Ron muttered. "Are we going to have to listen to that whole explanation again?"

Fred pulled something from her pocket and studied it. It looked like a dark pink bit of crystal that had been flattened like pie crust into a distorted oval. She smiled as she looked at the way the light reflected on it. Then Fred moved to stand at the foot of Gwen's bed.

"Where do you want it?"

Gwen blinked. "Where do I want what?"

"The thing that's going to control your body's urge to fry anything you touch."

Gwen gaped. "I..."

"It'll need to be somewhere safe, but reachable, so if you WANTED to remove it..."

Gwen kicked off the bed covers and raised her fried shirt to reveal her belly button. No one had changed her clothes for fear of getting shocked.

Fred nodded and moved her hand down. She dropped the flattened crystal on Gwen's tummy next to the girl's bellybutton. It made a small slapping sound as it hit the flesh there. Then Gwen gasped as the crystal seemed to melt into her skin. Everyone in the infirmary who could had gathered around Gwen's bed to watch. When the pink had all but melted in, a print rose up on her skin. It was dark pink, the color of the crystal, and looked like a tattoo. It was in the form of a pouncing stencil tiger.

"A tiger? How'd you know-"

"Your subconscious chose the form. When Willow returns, she'll explain the chant you use to take it off."

"How do we know it worked?"

Fred touched a finger to Gwen's still-exposed belly. Everyone shouted... but nothing happened. Gwen was frozen in shock. Then she laughed loudly. She jumped up out of the bed laughing. She yanked off her burned gloves and started touching everyone. She shook hands. No one chastised her or shrank back. Oz, though he knew her not at all, even hugged her. Anne, knowing her quite well now, hugged Gwen tightly.... for a long while.

Then Anne grabbed the sides of her face and kissed her.

Ron's mouth dropped open. "Oh... I say."

Neville blinked rapidly and tried to remember that drool dripping out of one's mouth was not attractive past toddler age. Lorne took and finger and tapped the boy's chin to get him to shut his gaping mouth.

Madam Pomfrey 'tsk'ed at them for it before rolling her eyes and moving off to check on Cassie. The two young women parted, looking flushed and blushed. Fred smiled in satisfaction and then moved off to do some work. Madam Pomfrey gave her a look out of the corner of her eye that said Fred had every right to be pleased with herself.

Connor looked confused.

"What?" Lily asked.

"Why are they kissing like man and woman? Aren't they both women? I don't understand."

"Let me tell you something about lesbians, Connor." Lily started.

Neville and Ron perked up like dogs hearing a whistle. Hermione rolled her eyes.

Dawn waved her hands in the air as if to ward the conversation that would be following off. "I so don't think I want to hear this."

Ginny hurried after Dawn. "It'll probably be a lot of dirty talk."

"Knowing Lily I have very little doubt."

"Our nightmares have merged into one thing."

Dawn froze. "I know."

"But you and I are stronger than when we first faced them."

Dawn nodded. She certainly hoped Ginny was right. She would like to believe she was stronger than when Glory had tried to bleed her to death and Buffy had died.

Because if she were stronger, this time she wouldn't let Buffy take her place if they found themselves on some platform with holes opening all around them. This time it would be her.

You know, if she was stronger.

*~*

end part
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