Disclaimer: I don't own BtVS or Oz, or the Shadow.
Author's Note: Still looking for a Beta
Cordelia and Xander came back with copies of various official zoning maps, blueprints, official permits, and other paperwork and gave them to Giles. Afterward Cordelia sat down next to Willow, “Anything on the internet search?”
Willow nodded and frowned, “Yeah, I think you are going to want to hear this. Actually everyone should so we can decide how best to help.”
Cordelia sighed, “That bad huh? I’ll go get the usual suspects.”
Once Giles and the Scooby gang were gathered Willow said, “I hacked into the Sunnydale Phone Company records and found a record of this call made from Harmony’s house to the anonymous tips line for the IRS. Here I’ll play it for you but try not to say anything until it’s finished so you know all the bad news.”
She pressed a few keys and there were hearing a familiar voice, “Hello? Is this where I call to get Cordelia in trouble?”
The man on the other end of the line sounded amused, “This is the IRS tip line. Do you know of someone who isn’t paying their proper taxes or otherwise breaking the law?”“Uh, I dunno”
Harmony said. She sounded exactly like a blond stereotype. “Aura told me this was the best way to get back at Cordy for being named Cheer Captain instead of me. She even wrote out a little speech for me but I can’t find it.”“Is this person guilty of tax evasion?”
the man asked.“Duh, no stupid,”
Harmony replied. “She doesn’t even work. She’s just guilty of being prettier than me and becoming Cheer Captain instead of me.”
The man sounded amused, “Then I don’t think I can help you. Once you’re legal aged though give me a call back and I’ll buy you a steak dinner.”
Harmony made a gagging sound, “Why do all the old men perv on me? Oh wait I found the note. I’m supposed to say that Charles Chase is not paying his taxes and is embezzling from his company.”“Is that true?”
the man asked. He sounded professional now.“How should I know?”
Harmony asked and hung up.
“That airheaded bitch!” shouted Cordelia.
“I’m going to have to agree on that,” Buffy said and the others nodded.
Giles cleared his throat, “If your father is innocent Cordelia then this shall come to nothing.”
She frowned, “The problem is that tax evasion is just the sort of thing he’d do. He’s always looking for loopholes and tax shelters. He never pays my tuition until the day before it’s due just to get the maximum interest from the money. I’m technically employed by his company as a fashion consultant but I don’t get the checks just my same allowance as before I was “hired” that’s why I run up the debt on his credit cards whenever I can.”
Giles winced, “So it is likely that an investigation will turn up irregularities?”
“Yeah, and there goes my nice life,” she said. She suddenly straightened up, “Oh my god! That’ll teach me to watch my mouth in Sunnydale.”
The others looked confused then Xander winced, “You said it.” When he saw the others looking confused he amplified, “She said ‘the day I can’t handle a plan Harmony came up with is the day I stop living in mansions and driving sports cars’.”
Buffy winced, “Well hopefully we can handle this somehow and anyway it sounded like she didn’t come up with the plan, Aura did.”
“Yeah,” Cordelia growled. “I’ll have to make sure she knows how pleased I am about that.”
Giles winced again, “I know you have abilities now Cordelia but using magic for revenge never ends well.”
Cordelia was wincing too, “Yeah, well I don’t even think I can until I get my guest under control but that doesn’t mean I can’t kick seven shades of blue out of her and Harm for this.” She turned to Willow, “You help me to save as much as possible of the Chase fortune and I’ll teach you how to use magic safely on a hellmouth. Deal?”
Willow smiled, “You can really show me how to do magic?”
“Yeah, no guarantees of how much but everyone can learn some,” Cordelia replied. “We have to wait until I finish learning how to separate the witch’s memories from her personality but that shouldn’t take more than a few more weeks. Is that still a deal? I’ll even take a magical oath to prove I mean it if you want.”
Willow considered for a long moment then sighed, “No, no oath necessary. You’ve turned over a new leaf and if you’re going to be dating my best friend I guess I should give you a chance. I’ll do what I can to set up a trust fund that will survive an audit and keep your dad from draining it himself, but in return I want you to teach both me and Buffy as much magic as we can learn ok? It shouldn’t be much harder to teach two at once and I know she’s the Slayer and all but she needs every edge she can get against the numbers of vamps and demons in this town.”
Cordelia nodded, “Fair enough. I’ll do it.” Then she shook Willow’s hand.
Giles nodded, “If used properly, a little magic can be a very good thing. Now excuse me while I peruse the files you’ve brought me. If I find out anything about any rituals cast on the town I shall let you know.” He took the papers into his office and closed the door.
“Well since school is over how about we go eat then let Willow do her computer wizardry?” Xander asked. “My treat.”
Cordelia smiled, “Thanks, I guess I can always supplement my assets with whatever we recover from the vamp hideouts we trash.”
Xander smirked, “Your assets don’t need any enhancement from where I’m standing!”
She slapped his arm but she was smiling, “Doofus! You know that’s not what I meant.”
“Can we go now or do you two want a moment alone first?” Buffy said.
Then Buffy’s stomach growled and Willow giggled, “I think Xander had the right idea. Eat first, hack second, and maybe a movie after?”
“Sounds like a plan Will,” Xander said and they all left the library.