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Wings of Destiny

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This story is No. 2 in the series "Wings of Paradise". You may wish to read the series introduction and the preceeding stories first.

Summary: The third enstallment of my Wings Of series, this is the first one that involves Buffy. Destiny is a funny thing. No one ever said it can't take a sharp U turn.

Categories Author Rating Chapters Words Recs Reviews Hits Published Updated Complete
Multiple Crossings > GeneralTheKnightofFaerieFR18541,326033,69026 Nov 1222 Jan 14No

Chapter One

“speech (English mainly but varies for location of action)”

telepathic speech”

thoughts

/”different language or panda sign”/





Disclaimer: I do not own Ranma ½, Ah! My Goddess, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, or Harry Potter. I make no money from this, nor do I plan on trying to. This is purely for fun.

Warning: There will be OOC for some characters. It is an AU though, so that can almost be expected.





Wings of Destiny

By

Faerie Knight





There was a question which had bothered him for a very long time. It had first arisen when he'd heard the story of how his mother first met two long time friends. That question was simple in nature. How had his mother lost so badly to the Masons if she'd literally out lived the universe multiple times? He himself was over a thousand years old. And in that time his combat skills had done nothing but improve. So how did his mother lose so badly?

There was a clue somewhere. Perhaps it lay in his initial impressions when he'd taken his mother's training in hand all those centuries ago. She'd been highly polished with what she knew. Each movement had been graceful. And it had been as rigid as the kata she'd practiced for eons. Against an average martial artist she'd have probably been unstoppable. But for all the years of practice his mother had merely been a the equivalent of a second dan. A highly polished second dan, but still not even a Master.

At least, when it came to the family style that had been the case. But then the family style was one of the most dangerous styles around. Practitioners were fully capable of feats normal people considered impossible. They could defy gravity and move at inhuman speeds. The 'anything goes' style didn't actually use dan rankings though. There were just three ranks in the style: student, master, and grandmaster. The parent style had one grandmaster, and the Nightbane school's sister schools had no grandmasters. Then again only one person practiced the Saotome school, and only two practiced the Tendo school.

That lack of mastery had been fixed recently. It is ironic that my own mother was the last one to achieve mastery, the man thought as he came in for a landing. The temple he was visiting was home to three goddesses. It was also where he was suppose to meet a client. Ever since the recursive cycles had ended the man had been taking jobs for whichever side of an ancient conflict would pay. Heaven or hell, he didn't care. But there were some jobs he refused to accept.

The man in question had hair as dark as a raven's feathers. Matching leathery wings came from his back. His face was youthful still despite his great age. An outside observer might have guessed his age to be around sixteen or seventeen. He wore a comfortable black undershirt with a maroon sleeveless vest over top. His lower half was sheathed in dark blue, almost black silk pants. On his feet he wore a pair of leather boots dyed a deep burgundy. Many of those who thought they knew the man would never have expected him to wear such cloths.

His birth name was Saotome Ranma. He'd not actually gone by that name in a very long time though. Instead he went by another, Nightbane Ranma. The name was to honor a past life which held particular importance to the man. At one point he had been human. That changed when his father took him to China. It changed when he first was cursed. Although the curse it's self wasn't the full reason he stopped going by his birth name. Those same events were why Ranma even knew goddesses and demons.

As he entered the temple grounds the man couldn't help but wince. The holy aura was more then a little uncomfortable to demons of his type after all. It was something he could live with, but still not pleasant. Incubi and Succubi had long been considered enemies of Heaven. And it was with good cause. Many of his species were extremely evil. Unless careful they could easily kill while feeding, and many didn't care. More then one desiccated corpse had been left behind by them.

“Hello Urd,” he called out. “I am made to understand that you have work for me.”

XxXxX

A rather tall woman stood before the ancient castle. Her eight feet of height made the woman stand out in any place she traveled to. The well worn brown duster and matching cowboy hat had clearly seen better days. The black duffel bag slung over one shoulder was new though. Out of the back of the coat poked a wire covered sword hilt. I hope Eric's all right, she thought before striding up to the large structure. The thought wasn't exactly random either. This was the longest she'd been away from her husband in centuries.

But they both had lives. And they had been growing apart for a while. Although still in love with each other, both had realized they needed to separate for a time. It was for this reason that the woman had decided to train another in her trade. That the person being taught happened to be a succubus was something she found amusing. The vast majority of succubi the woman had encountered over the years were inhuman monsters who killed for the fun of it. So meeting a couple who were honest to mother champions of the light was amusing.

Her apprentice wasn't here. There were wards around the estate apparently that prevented entry. So the woman had given her apprentice the task of researching this castle. Three weeks ago they had been investigating reports of vampires in the congo. Vampires were one thing Susan Mason took very seriously. So if there was a group in a rain forest, she had to find out how they were surviving. That was one plague that if the warrior could help it would never gain a foothold.

Instead of vampires, the two had found some sort of semi-demonic entity and dead unicorns. Needless to say, anything that would kill a unicorn had to be put down in Susan's book. The creature had actually seemed surprised at her attack. It had equally been shocked when a succubus used Shinto magic to fight it. Shame the creature had gotten away. It's host hadn't, which lead to her being before this castle. She approached and knocked loudly. The force of each blow caused the great doors to shake.

Several minutes passed, and still no response came. Thus she knocked again. Once more the great doors shook with each impact. While not the strongest of her kind, Susan was no weakling. A lifetime of doing battle with the darkness had ensured that. Eventually someone did answer. And that someone was an old looking man with flowing snow white beard. Susan took the man in quickly, assessing if he was a possible threat. She casually flicked her coat back to reveal a pistol and sawed off shotgun, yet didn't move to draw a weapon.

“Hello, are you the master of this castle?” She asked calmly. “I have it on good authority this will be the sight of a major confrontation between Dark and Light. I'm here to ensure no innocents get hurt.”

“I see,” the man said with a twinkle in his eye, “And what makes you believe this?”

“Because a reverent escaped three weeks ago after having possessed a man and killing a unicorn. And a precog I know has stated this castle is where the next five major confrontations with it will be. I don't know when. So I have to be on hand to stop this monster from killing again. Name's Susan Mason, by the way. You could say I'm a supernatural evil exterminator. And you'll likely not find anyone with more experience at it outside of Japan.”

With an amused chuckle the elderly man invited her in. A fact which alarmed Susan to no end. After all, in her experience it was never a good thing to just randomly invite strange supernatural beings into your home. Too often that could bite you in the rear in quite literal ways. Still Susan followed him. The moving portraits were interesting. And the occasional ghost had her on edge. Past experiences indicated ghosts were rarely a good thing.

He lead Susan through the impressive building and stopped before a gargoyle. The more she saw, the less she liked. And when the statue opened a door into an office Susan grew decidedly annoyed with this man. He dares to keep a phoenix captive? To anyone else the flame hued bird would have appeared happy. But not to one with centuries of experience fighting the darkness. Susan had met a few phoenix in her time and none kept their head lowered like that if happy.

“Mother preserve me,” Susan muttered as she turned towards the man.

She grabbed the elderly man by the robe and lifted him off the ground with one hand. With a dark glare she snarled at him. The man blinked a couple times in surprise. But there was no fear. Instead he gazed directly into the woman's eyes as if searching her soul. She shook her head and growled angrily at him. Moments later the elderly man found himself thrown into his richly upholstered chair. Susan continued to glare at him.

“Release the phoenix, now. And stay out of my head.” She snarled. “I wont stand for the enslavement of one of Ra's favored. I'm sure mom will be rather pissed about it too when she learns.”

The old man sat and pondered what he had seen. It had been a surprise to be almost literally thrown out of her mind. He'd not gotten many details. But one thing was most concerning. My plans it seems must be adjusted. He adopted a 'kindly old man' demeanor once more in an attempt to relax the unknown woman. It didn't appear to work. Instead the woman was drawing a pistol and aiming it at him casually. That amused him.

“Muggle devices don't work at Hogwarts I'm afraid,” he told her.

Susan didn't even blink. “This pistol can hold two types of ammunition. The first fires an energy bolt specifically designed to damage spirits and other incorporeal threats. It's the second I think you'll find of interest though. It also can fire telekinetic 'bullets' capable of harming most corporal demons and monsters. Needless to say they're also effective on humans. Hurts like hell too.

“Now, the way I see it you have two choices. First you can release the phoenix willingly and maybe work with me in my investigation. Or I can shoot you between the eyes, releasing the phoenix. After which I investigate on my own why the reverent will attack this place five times and how to stop it.”

Needless to say, the ultimatum did not please the elderly man. There were a few reasons for this. Among them was the fact the spell to bind a familiar had no counter. None was ever expected to be needed after all. Another reason was that he rather liked his forehead unperforated. And while he was fairly confidant the muggle firearm wouldn't work, he could clearly see a sword too. This did not bode well for his continued safety.

He decided to try a hopefully effective tact. “What do you know of magic, miss?”

Susan continued to glare at him while thinking over the question. “I know your stalling, but magic can be useful. Can't use it myself. And I prefer a gun far more then trusting a chant anyway.”

Since the pistol was still aimed at him the man chuckled a little nervously. He wasn't scared. No, not at all. But that was a rather large bore pistol being pointed at him. And he had seen images of this rather tall woman shooting his defense against dark arts professor, and then causing a possessing spirit to flee in panic. While the nature of the spirit was an unknown, the man suspected who it had been. And so the elderly man began trying to bargain for not only his life but maybe a new teacher too.

XxXxX

Ranma Nightbane was annoyed. Unlike others working for the Powers, Ranma wasn't able to instantly travel to any location. No, she had to be limited to just heading to her apartment and back. That said apartment was located in what mortals called 'hell' was immaterial. Oh sure, any bed she knew of in hell would work just fine for transport. But the only earth destination she was capable of was currently the Tendo dojo. Specifically the bed of one Nabiki Tendo. And according to everyone she'd talked to the destination would change to whatever bed Nabiki Tendo was sleeping in.

Since the current job was in England, that meant Ranma had to travel. And with no passport that meant flying personally the entire way. It had rained a few hours ago. A nasty, miserable event if ever Ranma had experienced one. It was a cold and biting rain that chilled to the bone. This was the main reason she was still a female at the moment. Up ahead was the shoreline. A welcome sight if ever Ranma had encountered one. After the long trip she was tired and hungry.

It was another three hours before Ranma finally reached her destination. Most of it had been spent sating the gnawing hunger. Seconds after landing her wings vanished. This left the busty succubus wearing a backless ruby evening gown and her aged leather bracers. A small burst of demonic magic temporarily changed the color of the bracers to match her dress. It also formed black three inch heels on her feet. Ranma strode into the building with purpose. With a pause she checked over the files for this job once more.

“This task seams like it shall be easy enough. And yet I regret the length it shall take.”

The very fact there had been resistance at the door was interesting. It had felt like an anti-demon ward. A rather strong one too. Much stronger then those that had been at a certain family owned shrine in Japan Ranma frequented. It is entirely too likely my chylde would be barred entrance. And yet this knowledge sits ill with me. Corruption does not lie with mine own kind alone. Do these people not understand such a simple concept?

Ranma Nightbane knew she was a contradiction. She was a succubus and an incubus at the same time. A creature of infernal origin, yet a divine champion. In the war between Good and Evil she chose to side with mankind rather then either of the factions. As a neutral party she did jobs for both sides. At least, now that the time stream was no longer damaged she did. Which was why Ranma was in the ministry of magic.

Surprisingly both sides had a stake in this one. Even more surprising was her job. All Ranma had to do was become the personal secretary for the current minister of magic. Or at least, on the surface that was the only task. There was far more at stake, that much was clear. After reading the files she knew this 'fudge' person was an easily bought idiot. So the real job was to ensure the safety of some destined champion by preventing problems from the fool.

As she applied for the job only one thought was going through Ranma's mind. I truly do dislike baby sitting.

XxXxX

I don't believe this, Rei thought to herself. An entire secret society of supposed demon hunters, and all they do is kidnap girls to brainwash? She found it amusing the so-called watchers had blindly assumed Rei to be a newly called 'slayer', whatever that was suppose to mean. How a group of demon hunters could mistake a succubus for this 'slayer' Rei didn't know. Sure she was only a lesser succubus, but still a demon. And if her 'mother' hadn't been who she was, Rei knew she'd have been little more then a slave these past centuries.

A message had already been left at the prearranged contact point explaining the situation. And now Rei found herself on an airplane en rout to something called a hellmouth. And wasn't that a name to inspire terror in a champion of Good. Not to mention it had been almost a week since the last time Rei had been able to feed. Oh sure she could eat human foods still. But they didn't exactly provide nourishment anymore. A surprise came when the plane landed though.

For no logical reason the edge of her hunger started to abate. The area also had a rather homey feeling to it. While it was true being the senshi of Mars meant Rei didn't actually have to feed, if she didn't the hunger would still be there to a degree. And without feeding her own innate abilities would be useless. It was like eating light snacks instead of full meals, you wouldn't starve but still were always hungry.

But now that hunger was actually fading without needing to feed. And that was a great relief to the succubus. It also was worrisome. But upon exiting the terminal there was a man wearing entirely too much tweed. Young, maybe mid twenties to early thirties. Although all humans were young to Rei and her close friends anymore. The man was accompanied by a teenage blond girl who carried herself like a partly trained warrior. It was the teenage boy with them who drew the most attention.

“Hi,” she said in English. “You must be Giles, I'm Rei. Who's the Champion and warrior?”

The fact the boy was called a champion had surprised them. They could practically hear the capitalization too. The girl was eying Rei warily. Something about this Asian girl was giving seriously wiggy vibes. The boy on the other hand was merely stunned into silence by the proclamation he was a champion. It was true that he tried to fight evil. But a champion? That he didn't see. As far as the boy was concerned, he merely did what anyone would.

XxXxX

Susan Mason pinched the bridge of her nose and sighed. “Do you honestly mean to tell me your bringing a possible method for this 'dark lord' to come back from near death into this school? And that you want everyone to create a series of traps first year students can bypass to protect it? That has got to be the stupidest idea I've ever heard. And my brother had the brilliant idea to contact Hel for a favor.”

Perhaps it was the first time the other teachers had considered just what they were being asked to guard. Maybe they just hadn't considered that aspect consciously. Either way several eyes turned to Dumbledore. It was clear they wanted confirmation. Yet the old wizard wasn't giving it. Instead he tried looking wise and important. Having an almost eight foot tall woman slap him in the back of the head destroyed this appearance.

“Yes, he really wants to do something that stupid. The philosopher's stone, sometimes refereed to as the sorcerer's stone, has long been sought by alchemists in a several realities. Yes, realities, as in more then one. I myself was born in one dimension and have traveled through or been forced to experience hundreds more. It's main property is the transmutation of lead into gold. Another frequent trait is said to be the creation of an 'elixir of life' that can instantly heal any injury and indefinitely extend one's life. That is what he's wanting the traps to guard.”

There was one teacher not present at the meeting. Susan couldn't remember the woman's name, just that she taught divination. Or at least was suppose to. How one teaches a psi talent was a good question. One which had been already asked a few times. These stick waving robe wearers though didn't seem to understand the question. Then again they didn't quite understand that her own abilities were more psychic in nature then magical.

“And what would you suggest,” sneered the potions teacher.

“Since I know no one in this room is possessed by the undead creature I encountered, I'd suggest destroying the stone now and setting a trap. Go ahead with the traps you all were planning. But the real goal is to take out this 'voldimort' creature when it makes it's appearance. And Snape, if you betray the cause of Light I'll put a bullet between your eyes. If you want I can contact someone who knows about removing mystic enslavement brands. He might even be able to show you a thing or twelve about combining magic and tech.”

Already the current defense against dark arts teacher had ideas for her own trap. Ideas which would require contacting her brother anyway. And that required a little aid from a new friend. It was obvious the headmaster wasn't happy with the suggestion. In fact there was a brief flash of greed and anger. What that was about, no clue. So, yeah, that was worrying to say the least. And of course there was discovering her apprentice was shipped off to America by a bunch of idiotic researchers.

That had been discovered while submitting the proposed lesson plans. Speaking of which, Susan thought, I should finish preparing the 'lab' tonight. “Hey prof cat-lady, could you help me with something? I need a very specialized enchantment placed on a mirror.”

It was always amusing to watch the house Griffendor head twitch like that.

XxXxX

The building was in chaos. And the cause? Dozens of six inch tall men and women with innate magical powers and archaic tendencies. What made the situation worse was that they all seemed resistant to the very idea of being stopped.. It was snowing in the lobby, there was some sort of dance going on in the cafeteria (a somehow contagious dance to boot), and half the aurors were wearing bright pink tutus and preforming Shakespeare in the court room. Male aurors at that. The plays were well done though.

Over the PA system a vengaboys song titled 'we like to party' was playing. Minister Fudge didn't even know the building had a PA system until now. Then there was his secretary. Miss Nightbane was quite good at her job. Yet today she had decided to turn all her cloths inside out. That, and wear her underwear on the outside. Oddly enough, she was also the only one not being harassed by the 'fair folk' as she called them.

“Miss Bones is here to see you, Sir.” His secretary said calmly.

The next morning

All across the wizarding world owls delivered the morning paper. And in many households the early edition of the Daily Prophet brought snorts of amusement. At Hogwarts school of witchcraft and wizardry the general tone of breakfast was one of great humor. Although more then a few students were still sneaking glances at the eight foot tall blond woman sitting with the other teachers. A woman who was reading a large, thick leather bound tome as she ate.

Shortly before the meal ended she stood up and left the great hall. One of the new students turned to his recently made friend and asked “Who is she Ron?”

“Don't know Harry,” the friend replied, “but she's bloody tall.”

The first boy's name was Harry Potter, although many knew him as 'the boy who lived'. He was only recently turned eleven. But most of all he was a neophyte wizard. Not a very good one yet though. This was only his first week of school. So while Harry and the other first years in his house went to the day's initial class he was entirely unaware of what the day would bring. Sentient pictures were still a fairly new and novel thing to him.

When the first year students arrived at their first class of the day Harry paused. One wall was covered with weapons of various kinds. They ranged from ancient weapons such as swords and axes to more modern weapons such as a 9mm pistol. The most unusual one was recognized by anyone not raised in the wizarding world, a super soaker water gun. The mysterious new teacher was sitting behind a desk at the front.

“Take a seat and put wands away please,” she told the class. “As Dumbledore said at start of term, my name is Susan Mason. And you're here to learn how to defend yourself and others against the forces of darkness. But before we begin, I have something to tell you. I am not a witch. I don't use magic, although I have a few psychic talents. That means what I teach wont depend on waving a stick around. I've been fighting demons, vampires, and other dark creatures for a little over a thousand years. And I'm here to pass my hard earned knowledge on to you.”

One of the kids snorted in derision so the professor asked “Is there something you find amusing, Mafoy?”

“Yeah,” the blond boy said snidely. “Muggle trash like you thinking they can teach a pure blood anything.”

Susan approached the wall of weapons and pointed out a blood red axe. “This axe is now called 'blightbane'. I used it to land the killing blow on Pestilence, one of the four horsemen of the apocalypse. Many good people died in that battle.” No one seemed to understand the implications of that statement. She pointed out a six shot colt revolver. “This pistol when combined with the six bullets originally made for it was capable of slaying any supernatural entity with one shot. We'll be covering it's history later.”

“I have faced dark gods, demons, vampires, vengeful spirits, and practically any other dark creature you can think of. Then I faced hundreds more you have never imagined exist. Who can tell me the best way to ward against vampires? Miss Granger, go ahead.”

The named girl spoke up. “Garlic or wild roses.”

“Only partly true,” Susan told the class. “Garlic does indeed ward off some vampires. But trusting wild roses to do the same will only get you killed or worse. Bram Stroker's novel has gotten more people killed due to misinformation then you might realize. Now, everyone open your copy of 'Mystical Ireland' and turn to page twenty-nine. Since there's a mound near London now today you'll be learning how to deal with faerie.”

Draco Malfoy felt this was a prime chance to show how useless the teacher really was. “There's no such thing as fairies.”

“Now that is patently false,” Professor Mason said with a smile. “Most just avoided this dimension for a while. Or do you think the pixies and nixies who caused trouble in London yesterday aren't real? Faerie is both the name of certain species, and the overall name of their type of magical creature. And unlike the doxy and 'fairy' you're familiar with they are intelligent. Well, usually. According to a frost pixie I know the 'fairy' population native to this dimension are the direct result of an ancient curse cast during the time of Camelot by, and I quote, 'the time mad one'. It's this curse that caused the fair folk to mostly abandon this dimension until recently.”

What followed was two hours of lectures and practical demonstrations. The demonstrations were done with the aid of a light blue miniature female calling herself Arrena. That Arrena got paid in bubble gum had been rather amusing to half the class. The class's homework though was something that made everyone groan. Three feet of parchment by the next Friday on faerie culture and the seelie court.

Late September

“So, he's a vampire?” Rei asked with a little incredulously.

“Yeah,” the bleached blond slayer replied.

“With a soul?”

“and?” Buffy Summers asked again with growing annoyance.

“That was forced on him by a curse?” Rei continued.

“So?”

Rei reached over and slapped the slayer hard enough to send her to the floor. “Baka! Your worse then Usagi! At least she can use her head on occasion.”

It was almost enough to make a person scream. One of the first things her mentor had taught Rei was that curses always have a way to be broken. They were intended to punish. As such it was all too easy to figure out what would break this curse. He was suppose to suffer guilt for all eternity? Likely true happiness would break the curse and return the inhuman monster. And then there was the whole necrophilia aspect.

“I really don't see why your interested in a walking corpse, Buffy.” Rei told her finally with a shake of her head. “But if you get anyone hurt, I'll 'dust' the corpse myself.”

“Hate to say it, but DG has a point,” Xander Haris chipped in.

It was one of the boy's more annoying traits. He tended to give nicknames to everyone. In Rei's case it was 'dg' or 'demon girl'. Just as the watcher disliked being called 'G-man', yet Xander continued to do so. The interjection did however cause everyone to turn to the teen who spoke. Since Xander had distrusted the succubus from the very start, actually supporting her came as a shock to all. So one could forgive Willow for knocking over several stacks of books.

XxXxX

Her axe was missing. That was worrying. It meant there was a good chance her foe had an agent in the school already. Of more concern was the entirely too clear evidence of who took it. After being with Eric Von Mason for this long, Susan had developed a distrust of blatantly obvious evidence. Especially with the timing. The first match of that broom sport of the year was tonight. Everyone would be at it. Which meant it would be a prime chance to murder an eleven year old boy, if he's isolated.

“This gives me an idea,” she said with a smile.

Ten minutes later the first year student was sitting in Susan's office and looking nervous. The summons had pulled him out of potions class after all. The two sat across from each other for a couple minutes. Finally Susan poured him a mug of earl gray tea from the cask her brother had made. As the Potter boy sipped his tea she studied him. Finally Susan decided she liked what was seen. Thus she started the plan.

“Someone stole Blightbane.”

The Potter boy's eyes shot wide in alarm. “You don't think I stole it, do you?”

“No, not really.” Susan told him. “But you're the only suspect.. Which means you'll be serving detention tonight during the game.” Sorry kid, but if I'm right this will save your life.

Later

It's not fair! Harry railed as he sat in the class room. Professor Mason had tasked him with writing a ten foot essay on cursed forms of immortality for detention. A detention for something he hadn't done. So here he was, struggling to understand a tome written a thousand years before his birth. The professor had ducked into her office to do something. He was missing the first game of the season. A game that should have been his big day.

A soft creaking sound caused Harry to turn around. It was just in time to witness the missing axe being embedded in his chest. Surprisingly there was no blood. And while there was a moment of crippling pain, in it's wake Harry found himself thinking clearer then he'd ever done before. The force of the impact did cause the Potter boy to fall backwards though. His head struck the side of a desk, sending him spiraling into unconsciousness

Out from the office stepped Professor Mason, a sawed off shotgun in hand. The assailant was a mystery to her. He was in the third year class, but beyond that Susan didn't know much about this kid. Just that he was from that snake house. With the gun still trained on her captive Susan approached Harry. She knelt down and casually pulled the axe out of his chest. In it's wake the only visible damage was to Harry's robe and shirt.

“Funny thing about Blightbane; my mom had it made for me when I went to fight the four horsemen. It's incapable of harming one of noble spirit. But the demonic? It does wonders against that. Especially since it absorbed a fraction of Pestilence's essence. The name's no accident. This axe is the bane of all blights on humanity. Just the thing to destroy a twisted soul fragment left behind in a baby, wouldn't you say?”

She sighed and punched the kid. “But I suppose you don't even know what you were doing. I've seen that glazed expression before. Who was controlling you, I wonder?”

With a sigh she holstered the shotgun. The axe was placed back in it's holder on the wall at first. Changing her mind, Susan instead retrieved the axe's back scabbard and carried it with..The two students were then picked up. The mind controlled boy got slung over one shoulder. Harry however she carried far more gently. Soon enough they were at the school's infirmary. Unknown to Susan Mason or her two students being placed in medical care someone was cursing elsewhere in the castle.

October 31st

Rei still didn't know why she had to attend the school too. Sure, she still looked to be sixteen and probably would for a few more centuries at least. It was one problem with living over a thousand years due to looping in time. Even more, she didn't really understand what 'Halloween' was. In Paragon City that time of year had been marked by yearly demonic attacks on the city. Otherwise the day held no special meaning.

So when the school's troglodyte of a principle used his rather unique interpretation of volunteering Rei had no idea what to do. Which was why they were all standing in this costume shop. Unfortunately, she had the feeling something bad was going to happen soon. The 'scooby gang' had already been warned something may happen despite Giles claiming it would be a quiet night. Entering the costume shop felt to the demonic warrior like being punched in the gut.

If she hadn't been feeling full nearly constantly in this town Rei may not have noticed. But as it was she felt something trying to compel her actions. Which was why she dragged the three demon hunters out of the store almost right away. With two small bursts of power Rei sent a warning first to her demonic parent, then her mentor. If anything seriously bad happened that night she wanted someone aware of what was happening.

“Play dress up if you want,” Rei told them, “But that place stinks of dark magic. It's probably some sort of energy draining trap. I hate those. There's always some weird monster with stupid but dangerous attacks, like throwing streams of frosting at you or launching boxing gloves.”

Buffy scowled cutely at Rei's words. Ever since the Japanese woman had arrived several months ago the vampire slayer had distrusted her. The woman rarely ate. She also gave Buffy a serious case of the creeping willies. Being looked at like a potential snack now and then didn't help matters either. But to claim such intimate knowledge of how dark powers worked really raised red flags to Buffy. Oh sure Rei had claimed to be on the side of angels. But that didn't mean Buffy would trust a succubus as far as she could throw one.

“Like you'd know anything about it.” Buffy snorted. “Let alone tell the truth.”

The off hand comment however caused the teenage boy with them to think. He remembered a cartoon from six years previous. One said to be based on real events in Japan. The cartoon had centered around a group of girls averaging thirteen years of age who fought a demonic invasion. But that made no sense. None of the girls from the cartoon had been demons. And none of the demons had survived. Unless one were to count the child from the 'dark moon' storyline.

“You don't look like a blond,” Xander commented. “Are you sure your name is 'chibi moon'?”

Rei rolled her eyes at the comment. “No, but I can tell you all about everyone while making disguises for you all. Just not here.”

XxXxX

That is the biggest, ugliest troll I've ever seen. Susan Wellington stared at the unconscious creature in the girl's bathroom. Then she looked at the three students who were responsible. She recognized the three all right. They were sometimes called the 'golden trio' by other students. But that was said mockingly. Already those three had gotten in more trouble then any other student besides the Weasley twins. That included them blundering into a forbidden area of the castle several weeks ago.

The giant of a woman raised an eyebrow in amusement. Miss Granger's skin had turned a light shade of green and her hair a darker shade. Then there was the fact her hair had leaves sprouting out of it. The Weasley boy's skin had turned blue and his hair white. And he was floating. The fact that snow kept randomly falling on the boy was even more humorous. Then there was Potter. His shirt and robe had been shredded by whatever blast had occurred. This let the dragonfly like wings show to the whole world. His skin too hard turned a light green.

“Okay, I get that you two wanted to make sure Miss Granger was safe. I get that you used the troll's club to knock it out. But could you please explain at what part of all this turning yourselves into a human sized frost pixie, dryad, and woodland pixie sounded like a good idea?”

“It was an accident?” Harry muttered sheepishly. “The club was suppose to turn into cardboard.”

It was her hope this was reversible. The magic these people used was completely alien to Susan. It wasn't like techno-wizardry or any other form of magic heard of or encountered. In truth, Susan had come to believe these 'witches' and 'wizards' were more magical creatures then human. Even being able to attempt to make a solid oak club of that size into cardboard was impressive. The fact it apparently backfired and turned three eleven year olds into fae was alarming.

XxXxX

Even if she lived to be a billion Ranma doubted she'd ever understand politicians. It use to be so simple. Or at least her own role in politics had been. Work in a brothel and occasionally assassinate someone who crossed her father. This was the extent of Amnara's political involvement in her life. In this life she'd dealt even less with politics. Or at least she had before this current job. This month alone there had been sixteen attempts to slip a vile toad of a woman into the decision making process.

If Ranma could judge things correctly, she thought the Umbridge woman enjoyed torture. Personal power also appeared to be a large motivator for the woman. And then there were the various bills and department reports that came through on a daily basis. A third of those proved to be geared towards oppressing a significant portion of the wizarding world. They were subtle though. The ministry's law enforcement department was still massively understaffed too. And that was a shame.

So when a message appeared on Ranma's desk she immediately grew concerned. The assassination attempt on her way to speak with the Minister didn't help her mood. It did give an idea though. This wasn't the first time she'd been glad that one loop had her become a senshi. The young seeming woman was also glad she'd figured out how to retain some of the transformed benefits when 'out of uniform'. The enhanced healing and mind control protection came in handy now and then. Sure the mystical moon rock didn't work for her, but that was just fine by her.

“Excuse me Sir, but I'm going to need a two way portkey. A family emergency has come up in the states. Unless of course you like the idea of Dark forces bent on taking over the world. In that case I'll stay here instead of heading to Sunnydale California.”

XxXxX

The spell had gone off exactly as planned. This had lead to the brit sitting in a lawn chair on his store's roof. There were wards around the shop to prevent the chaos from affecting him personalty. So when a group actually approached the shop he was a bit shocked. I could be wrong, but those don't look like anything I have sold. I'd have remembered those outfits. One of the two mystery people had crimson hued skin, a classical devil tail, and bat like wings. The small horns on the forehead were also an odd touch. The two almost looked like they came from an anime.

But that couldn't be right. Ethan hadn't had any costumes from that anime. Nor had he seen any devil girls in the anime as part of the team. And wasn't Sailor Moon suppose to be a blond? Bloody hell, he thought when the two winged ones took to the air. Only then did it occur to him that Ethan couldn't actually see the faces of the two demons. And still he didn't know what type they were. They did look rather annoyed though.

“Hello ladies, what can I do to you?” Ethan asked.

He got the impression of lips being licked. There was still the disturbing feeling of menace coming from these two though. Not to mention the question of why they were here. It was a question which was answered momentarily when the front door to his shop was kicked in. Minutes later Ethan found himself being dragged into the back room. The one dressed like an evil Sailor Moon took one look at the statue and pulled out a phone from someplace unknown.

“Hello Janus, yes it is me. Look I am on the 'hellmouth' gate right now and I have a situation. Did you happen to authorize a major trans-dimensional possession slash transformation spell in your name today? Is that so? Good, but what will happen when it goes? No, it should not be a problem I think. Sure, poker night at my place next Friday. See you then.” Sailor Eclipsed Moon looked at the others as she hung up the phone.

“If any of you happen to be wearing cloths conjured by any magic I would suggest exiting this building. According to Janus any mystically charged cloths worn at the time of this spell probably physically changed the wearer. Anyone caught within the blast radius, about the diameter of this building, will likely have said changes become permanent. And please remove this waste of a human as you go.” Eclipsed Moon told them.

November 20th

With the last class of the day finished Susan Mason decided to continue her investigation into why this castle was so important. The Potter boy she guessed was part of the reason. Too many dangerous things happened around him, and few of them were his fault. The boy had all the hallmarks of a Hero and that made her smile a little. In Susan's opinion he was far too young for such heroics. And yet the fates would not be denied their champion.

Some took up the mantle of Champion because they felt the need. Susan was one such person. Others for fame or glory. A few like her brother reluctantly did so for monetary gain. But some were quite literally born to be champions. From what Susan had learned Potter was a child of prophesy. As a baby he'd done something thought to be impossible. Namely he survived a one hundred percent instantly fatal curse. And in doing so he'd somehow broken both the power and body of a would-be 'dark lord'.

If there was one thing the woman knew intimately it was that 'dark lord' types hated to lose. They would spend every second of their existence plotting a way to destroy whoever defeated them and regain power. The only way to stop this was to remove them from the picture permanently. That was something that obviously was going to be difficult this time. The more Susan learned of this 'Voldemort' the less she liked it. Some seriously black magic was involved.

The Potter boy's companions seemed to also be heroes, but not because of destiny. For them it seemed to be a choice. And that warmed Susan's heart to see. Enforced destiny was something that annoyed the woman. Fellow demon hunters from Japan suffered from predestiny As had a few others met over the years. One thing that was common was that heroes who were predestined for the role rarely had proper training. This tended to lead to them dying young too.

Those who chose the job for one reason or another on their own there? They usually got proper training. They typically didn't even start fighting Evil until they finished training. It wasn't always true. Some entered the fray unskilled and barely armed. Those who survived though quickly developed the things needed. Such thoughts passed through her mind as Susan continued her research into how the castle was important, and why the spirit was able to ignore fatal injury from weapons specifically designed to be able to disperse ghosts.

Whatever the cause, it also had to be capable of saving someone from being completely dead after their body gets destroyed. Hang on, this is interesting, Susan thought as she read yet another tome of knowledge. This one was on the nature of wands and how they interacted with magic. The author had gone by the improbable name of Flance Ferngally, not that it mattered wither or not it was a psudonym. What did matter was if the information was correct.

Her brother was no help. He could give lectures on the magical properties of gems. Of wood and other substances he had no clue. Then again, perhaps his expertise would be useful. While his knowledge of mystic properties on animal and vegetable matter was non-existant, he was an expert on the nature of magic and how to imbue it into objects. An example of this expertise was the portable showers he'd become famous for, as well as the gun swords he made for sale. Then there were other more utilitarian things like a flashlight that could also project a portal to a location previously set up.

Still, that was a line of questioning for another day. What she found most interesting was that the three kids from Griffendor house didn't suffer much from destabilized magic after their accidental transmogrification. In fact Potter's magic seemed even more stable now. This lent credence to the burgeoning theory about the true nature of this world's 'witches' and 'wizards'. According to her apprentice, Rei had encountered both a mage specializing in chaos magic and a 'techno-pagan' witch who reminded Susan of her brother.

It was troubling that the three still hadn't been returned to their birth forms. The frost pixie that tended to bother Andrew said they were either 'touched' or 'claimed', it was hard to tell exactly what Arrena meant by it. Another indication of how right her theory was actually proved to be something rather simple. It was impossible to do blood tests on 'wizards'. The genetic material broke down rather quickly once it was removed from the person. This little fact was also true of Susan and other supernatural entities.

After a half hour of searching she found Andrew Wellington exactly where she suspected he might be. That namely was the 'room of requirement' working on a project. With him was the gnome like Professor Flitwick. The two looked up as the door opened. I know that look, Andrew thought. And I really don't like it either. All that look brings is trouble. Andrew put down the engraving tools he was using and sighed. Guess I wont finish this stun blade today.

“So Susan, what do you need? And let me tell you, it still creeps me out a little how much you look like my nutcase sister. Taller, but otherwise exactly like her. You even dress like her.”

Susan eyed her half brother and groaned. ”Must you keep comparing me to her? We're nothing alike. For one thing I studied languages and use to run an antique store. Not to mention the fact I don't scrub holes in the floor because of imaginary dirt.”

“You are her,” Andrew deadpanned. “Well, sort of. Honestly? It hurts my head just thinking about it. I mean, what are the odds for both our fathers looking identical, and having identical names?”

Professor Flitwick's head moved back and forth between the two siblings. Between the two of them everything he'd known about both magic and the nature of the world had been thrown into question. The woman because she demonstrated time and again highly effective methods of dealing with Dark creatures without magic. That was something no wizard had ever managed to his knowledge. The man on the other hand used magic without a wand.

Not well it had to be noted. But then again Andrew Wellington never claimed to be a powerful wizard. He freely admitted his actual spells were rather weak compared to anyone else. He more then made up for it with talent in combining magic and technology. He crafted things ranging from portal generating flashlights to mystic weapons of surprising power. What was more surprising about this was that he claimed anyone with even the slightest magic talent could use them. A claim backed up by his sister, who admitted to knowing nothing about magic, being able to use everything her brother made.

“As fascinating as this is, how may we help you Professor Mason?” Flitwick asked.

“Oh, it's not much. I think I found a way to stop that reverent though. Andrew, what happens when you use the wrong gem type when making one of your technowizard items?” Susan asked.

Her half-brother answered “Nothing, it just doesn't work. Each type of gem is only capable of channeling certain types of magic. Even then you need a gems of varying degrees of perfection for different spells and items. An anti-vampire water weapon for example needs a gem of higher quality then a shower. Why?”

“And what happens if you try channeling magic into one that's a complete opposite to what the material can normally handle?”

This made Flitwick intrigued so he asked, “Why would that matter?”

Susan's smile was a little unnerving as she answered. ”What would be the effects of channeling killing magic through a phoenix feather over and over? Especially with the intent to do wrong, vs channeling magic through a phoenix feather with intent to help or heal others? I think Riddle's wand is working against him. In fact, I think it might even help to destroy him if given a chance. Oh, and Professor? Would you mind telling the headmaster he's got one week left to free the phoenix he's enslaved? Otherwise I'll take matters into my own hands.”

Sunnydale

“So, no weapon forged by man right?” Rei asked.

“Er, yes that is correct.” Rupert Giles said as he polished his glasses yet again.

“Then what about a weapon made by me? Would that work? Or even something that never touched a forge?”

Rei's question brought everyone in the library to a halt. That Buffy wasn't one of them was something new. And yet no one could really dispute her reasoning. According to Rei it was likely the Slayer would actually hinder their chances of surviving the fast approaching fight. It had been an assessment made from long experience. Too many times had she seen it happen. Too many of them had been because of a love sick friend. Not all of the occasions had been Usagi's fault. But enough had been to become annoying.

“Now that I think about it, most swords these days aren't forged. They're smelted and cast by machines. Then there's the Tolken interpretation to the clause. As I remember, the general which couldn't be defeated by mortal man was defeated by a woman. Would that work here?”

If he was honest with himself, Giles would have acknowledged that it was possible. The last the Judge had plagued humanity women were expected to just cook, clean, and make babies. They weren't allowed to be soldiers or blacksmiths. The fact this girl was a succubus also hinted a possible answer. That too was something Giles couldn't quite grasp. He still didn't understand how or why the Council had concluded an obvious demon was the Slayer. It was pure dumb luck that Rei Hino was a champion of the Light despite her nature.

It's a sad day, the Watcher thought, when a demon cares more about stopping a vampire then the Slayer. He regretted cutting Buffy out of the loop on this. And yet Rei had raised a good point. Her scouting trip had revealed conclusivly that the Judge was working with Angellus. And three times already Buffy had either allowed Angellus to leave or stopped someone else from taking the vampire out. While the Slayer might have been trust worthy enough to handle the Judge, her actions regarding Angellus would probably get someone hurt or killed.

the fact Angellus was working with the Judge indicated a change in his M.O. Too. Where in the past the Watcher diaries indicated he was sadistic and enjoyed mental torture, now he seemed intent on wiping out humanity. A fact which raised the vampire from threat to Apocalyptic Threat level. And with how smart Angellus was, it had raised a serious question. How long would it be before the vampire came up with a plan too subtle to find out about in time?

The answer to that question was something Rei had no desire to discover. A message had also been prepared to warn her mentor of the danger. In it Rei had stated that if she didn't contact again in a day's time that things had gone badly. If that was the case it was likely the town of Sunnydale would be gone already. At which point things would fall into the 'damage control' category. That such an event would be a desperate attempt to stop an apocalypse currently in-progress was an indicator of how bad it could be.

Her musings were halted when Xander commented “What about a rocket launcher?”

The succubus thought about it for a moment. “Might work, but where do we get one? And who knows how to use it?”

When Willow raised a hand tentatively a few eyebrows got raised in a very Spock-like manner. When the girl then proceeded to pull improbably a rocket launcher out of her waistband those same eyes went up another quarter inch. The large weapon was then put back where ever it had initially came from. The action reminded Rei of several crime fighters she'd met during the twenty year period she'd spent in 'Paragon City'. It was during that period of time she'd truly mastered the Nightbane style of unarmed combat. Not that her mastery certificate had been awarded then.

No, that hadn't been done till later. While mastery in the main 'anything goes' branches was dependent upon a Master granting it (not that the current two masters had done that), the Nightbane school required one to actually prove they could effectively teach others to be granted mastery. Sure the methods of teaching were unorthodox, but they worked. Nothing taught a student to focus past distraction better then trying to practice while being sexually stimulated. It was embarrassing, true. But it was also highly effective. Then again, such teaching methods were only natural considering the style's founder was a succubus slash incubus.

Needless to say all current practitioners of the Nightbane style were borderline nymphomaniacs. Even the newest one who was still considered a student. That thought brought with it memories of Rei's Mastery quest. Namely memories of the retraining of one Nabiki Tendo who'd been partly self taught using a technique scroll that couldn't have been written yet. The Tendo girl had worn a near permanent blush for six years, each time the retraining had to be redone. Rei shook her head to try focusing on the issue at hand.

“Willow Rosenburg, why do you have a rocket launcher in your underwear?”

The answer caused almost everyone in the room to collapse to the ground once it was translated from 'willow-babble'. “B-be-be-becauseIdidn'thavespaceinmybrabetweenthestinger andtheassaultrifleandpistolsandenergyswordandandandIhaveafewgrenades,mostlyflashbang butafewconcussiveaswell,inthemtoo?”

Xander asked “Why does she sound like the main characters from 'Dirty Pair Flash'?”

“Oh dear,” came a British voice as Giles tried to polish his glasses into a new prescription.

Hogwarts

He stood there in a place no man was ever meant to be. His golden armor would have fit in perfectly in ancient Egypt. The runes inscribed on it went nicely with the ancient hieroglyphs. Across his back was slung an unusual looking sword. At it's base the blade was a longsword. Yet the hilt was shaped more like a modified pistol grip, complete with trigger and finger guard. It also had a seven chamber revolver style barrel. Also slung across his back was a rifle of some sort.

At the man's hips hung a pair of gauntlets which appeared to be metallic demon claws. I can't believe I'm doing this, he thought to himself as he prepared to depress the button on a detonator. I thought I put risking my life, and being blown up again, behind me two decades ago? So why am I here setting up a shaped charge in a haunted girl's bathroom? Oh yes, that's why. Susan found evidence of a gorgon or something similar may be hidden in the school, and more evidence this bathroom leads to it's hiding place.

“Okay, if everyone's ready I'll blow the wall. Susan's the expert on these things, not me. She says we have to avoid looking at the head of whatever is in this 'chamber of secrets'. If that's not possible, the protective eyewear should prevent in some cases death and in others cause the stone gaze to rebound back on the creature. She also said that while gorgons rely on weapons and their gaze in combat, other things may be highly poisonous. Not to mention resistant to your kinds of magic.

“That's where the grenades and rifles I handed out come in. They use a different sort of magic then you people. While any directly offensive magics like curses and hexes would be ineffective, lightning, fire, and so forth probably is. As is telekinetic bullets, those hurt many things resistant to magic since they aren't magic. The grenades do a variety of things ranging from creating an area of super sticky ground to creating a dazzling light array or area of mystic darkness. The goggles should filter any light effects and allow vision in a darkness field.”

The silencing charms placed on the room muffled the sound of the explosion. When the group of teachers and aurors entered the lavatory they found that the wall that once held a series of sinks was now a smoking crater. There was also a deep pit across from the haunted toilet stall. That pit confirmed the suspected entrance being in this room. Andrew lit a flair and dropped it down the shaft. For almost a minute it continued to fall, yet not as quickly as they had expected. Andrew sighed and put on his gauntlets.

“Okay, I'll go first and secure the bottom. Since there looks like a 'slow fall' spell you all should be safe to jump. Me, I don't trust that.” Andrew told them before starting to use his clawed gauntlets to climb down the shaft.

Once he was at the bottom the two dozen men and women started their decent two at a time. In another time and place the assault would have been made over a year later by two ill prepared second year students and a con-man. This time the group was far larger and much better equipped. While they knew less about what was within the room, they had taken every conceivable precaution based on foreknowledge from events half a century previous.

The raid had been in the works for two months. In fact it'd been sparked by his sister discovering some discrepancies in the 'chamber of secrets' attacks in the forties. Most notably among them being that the person who supposedly caught the one responsible happened to have gone on to become a magical terrorist. Another problem in the official reports was the nature of the attacks vs what purportedly had been behind them. Especially since the spider-monster believed to have been behind the attacks was incapable of turning anyone to stone. Nor would it have killed without leaving a single mark on the body.

“That is the biggest basilisk I've ever heard of,” someone commented once they were gathered together again.

“What can we expect then? Besides it being really strong?” Andrew asked.

“Acidic blood, poison that causes internal organs to melt, and looking in it's eyes causes instant death,” Amelia Bones informed the demi-god. “Or turns you to stone if you see the eyes indirectly. Only the tears of a phoenix can stop the poison.”

“Right,” Andrew deadpanned. “Then shoot for the eyes first before it wakes. I'll go in close, you all take it on from a distance. And I can't believe I'm willingly going to fight it hand to scale.”

It was one and a baker's dozen telekinetic blasts which struck the monstrous snake in the face. While any given blast might not have done much appreciable damage, the sheer number that impacted the general area of the eyes caused them to rupture. That was one reason for the raid's delay. Susan and Andrew had agreed that everyone who would take part needed training with the weapons that would be used. After that first volley Andrew slung the rifle across his back and drew his odd sword.

It crackled with electricity as the self professed coward charged forward. Professor Snape couldn't help but admire how much nerve that took. It was obvious the tall demigod was terrified, yet he was also willing to risk life and limb. What impressed the potions teacher most of all was not the reckless charge. No, if the man had leaped into the fray without any fear that would have been met with disdain. It was the fact the man was willing to do so despite being terrified. That in Snape's mind was the true sign of courage.

Of course the fact the technowizard was wearing armor which rather effectively protected him from harm didn't hurt in the least. It was something the aurors there witnessed and admired too. More then a few could be heard wondering where to get their own suit after witnessing the golden armor's effectiveness. It was near the end of a long and exhausting battle that something truly unusual happened. Someone had created a cone of intense cold to try freezing the monster when there was a large explosion. What made that odd was that no one was using any spells or items which could have done that.

When the dust cleared they saw the basilisk was now headless. It was also observed that Andrew Wellington was missing ninety percent of his armor. His sword, gun, and clawed gauntlets appeared to have only suffered minor damage from the explosion though. He himself was standing, but just barely. Raw bone could be seen in a few places on his ribs. Smoke wafted from his much charred body too. His hair was also still burning in a few spots, which he absently put out. Despite the grevious injuries he still stood. And they were visible starting to knit too.

“I swear, I must be cursed!” The charred man yelled. “Every damn time I get into a fight since first walking through a rift, I get blown up. Every time. Even when there's no explosives anywhere near me. Walk into hell and leave without a scratch in my armor's paint. Fight tanks and entire armies without getting hit once. Leave Earth for another planet for a few months, and I nearly die from being blown up every single time I fight.”

Sunnydale

Angellus snarled as he dodged yet another spiral of fire. His planned attack on humanity had not gone as well as hoped. The one he'd wanted to demoralize wasn't anywhere in sight. The blue skinned unkillable demon had been blown to tiny pieces by a tube pulled out of Willow's pants. And that Japanese slut was doing her damnedest to char broil him. Not only that, but he'd already seen Spike flee the scene. If it was Buffy facing him, he'd probably have been able to convince her to let him go. Not this demon girl though.

He already had lost his childe to the demon's wraith. While the woman had been quite insane, her visions were still useful. Yet Rei Hino had casually incinerated the vampire woman. What both frightened and angered Angellus about the demon woman though was that Rei wasn't angry. In fact she was behaving as if this was just her professional duty. Spotting Willow pulling out a large caliber pistol from her shirt also alarmed Angellus.

That too was something he'd been entirely unaware of being possible. He looked for the discarded rocket launcher, but it wasn't visible. Then he also started trying to avoid not only the flames but also bullets being sent his way. Considering he didn't see Willow reloading, he had to wonder how she could fire enough times to spell out 'You Will Die' in the wall with missed shots. The sound of a twang alerted the vampire to a third vector of danger. This time he wasn't quite able to dodge in time. As a result he had a crossbow bolt sticking out of his right lung.

Seconds after that the left elbow became useless as a .45 hollow armor piercing round blew through it. Between the spirals of flame launched by the demon, high caliber pistol rounds being sent his way by WIllow, and bolts fired by Xander from a hand crossbow it was too dangerous to stick around. Yet that very escape was proving difficult to pull off. After avoiding another hail of bullets Angellus glanced at the wall and scowled again. The bullet holes formed the words 'Grr he wont stand still'. The vampire got the feeling each phrase left in Willow's wake was purely by accident.

XxXxX

Across town Buffy was staking a fledgling vampire in one of the many graveyards. As her fifth vampire collapsed in a pile of ash the teenage girl glared at her watcher. She was The Slayer, yet had been cut out of the loop by her friends. And it was all on the word of a demon. How can they trust a demon more then me? Buffy wondered with disbelief and disgust. If she recognized the double standard inherent in her disgust, Buffy wasn't aware of it.

“Do you know how Miss Hino became a servant class succubus? She use to be human after all.”

The question was out of the blue. It also made Buffy blink in surprise. She hadn't known it was possible for a human to become a demon. A vampire, yes. But not a demon. But if a human could be turned into a demon then that just meant that Rei definitely didn't have a soul anymore so couldn't be trusted. This belief came about due to the fact Buffy fully believed demons couldn't have souls. And yet again she ignored the double standard of believing Rei couldn't have a soul, but a vampire could.

“Back in Japan she was part of a team of demon hunters. A team she's worked with for a few centuries at least according to her. You've met another of her team I believe. You do remember the red haired girl with wings I assume?”

Buffy nodded as she staked another vampire mechanically. “why would demons fight other demons like that? It makes no sense.”

Giles nodded. “Quite. From what I am told, Eclipsed Moon also use to be human. Her demonic nature comes from an ancient curse she literally fell into due to her father's actions. But I digress. What do you know about succubi?”

“They're demons and evil?” Buffy asked hesitantly.

Her watcher shook his head sadly. “No child, they are not always evil. A succubus is by her nature a sexual predator. However they are not forced to be such. The only requirement is their food source, not how they gain it. There are also two types of succubi. These are natural ones, such as Eclipsed Moon, and the 'servant' type who once were human. Rei became what she is now after being fed upon too deeply by accident.”

That made Buffy snarl. “Then she's a monster and needs to be Slain.”

Since there were no more vampires to stake the teen started stalking back towards the library. As she walked she only half listened to her watcher as he spoke. “No Buffy Anne Summers, she is a dedicated champion of the Light. And she's fought the darkness for almost all of her existence. Miss Hino is also apprenticed to a divine being That girl is more a champion then you are for she doesn't complain about her duty.”

London

The auror department could be excused for their slack jaws. After all, it wasn't often the wizarding world's law enforcement department was treated to a spectacle of high end martial arts. It was even less often they were witness to how dangerous unarmed combat could be. The first thing that Bones thought upon watching the display was This is beautiful. The Nightbane woman was dueling an ugly man of Norwegian decent. It was clear they knew each other too.

The man was possibly more skilled. Miss Nightbane on the other hand was faster and had more stamina. It was hard to say who was more experienced. Where Nightbane bounced all over the place, Von Mason was the calm center of a tornado. The dichotomy was even more evident when Von Mason suddenly changed stance and tactics. When that happened all of Nightbane's speed advantage vanished. It thus became evident the style initially being used by Von Mason it's self unable to take advantage of the man's natural abilities. Everything that had been done was pure training.

The two combatants separated and bowed towards each other. “Mason-San, why do you use a weaker style first?”

The Nordic man pondered the question before replying. “Because Taido isn't a 'weak' style Nightbane-San. While it isn't as aggressive as Karate or Anything Goes it has it's benefits. Against multiple foes it is an ideal choice. And against a chi master it offers good defense. Besides, I am a grandmaster so I may as well use my style.”

With the sparring match no concluded Amelia Bones couldn't help but wonder just who the Minister's secretary really was. It was virtually unknown for a muggle to have any position in the Ministry. To have one who was practically a witch when it came to unarmed combat working with the Minister was inconceivable. So just who was this woman? And who was the man? No muggle should have been able to find the building, let alone enter it. And yet this Eric Von Mason had casually strolled through the front entrance and asked after Ranma Nightbane.

“Sorry about the wrist. I didn't mean to break it Ranma,” he commented before taking hold of the injured extremity.

“This is nothing Mason-San. I have suffered worse injuries from the obese panda then what you have inflicted. But I thank you for mending the damage. It still amazes me what you are capable of with just your ki. But perhaps you can explain something to me. Since I heard the tale I have wondered this. How exactly is it you could defeat Mother in hand to hand when she had the experience she did at the time?”

Bones paid close attention to the answer as Mason responded. “Simple, I had backup. Don't get me wrong, what she knows, she knows very well. But in all the time she practiced, she just perfected the absolute basics. Then she never actually used them. The most flawless kata is useless if you don't have practical experience. And even the best in one on one can be beaten by team work. A lesson your old foes never learned.”

Listening to their byplay caused the head Auror to make a decision. A couple of quick stunners disabled the two before they could realize what was going on. After casting body bind spells on the two of them she levitated both Nightbane and her guest. Suspicions which had been growing for months had finally received enough evidence to warrant action. The first thing Bones did after activating the strongest wards her office had was to cast a detection spell. Surprisingly both registered as highly magical beings, not humans.

The woman also appeared to be under some sort of disguise charm. Negating that caused a pair of large leathery bat wings to erupt from Nightbane's back. The man wasn't under any disguise charms, but her detection spell told her something odd was about him. What it was the head auror couldn't tell. That could be dealt with later though. The first order of business was to begin interrogating the infiltrators. Naturally enough that would have to wait for the stunners to wear off.





To

Be

Continued





Author Notes:

Well, here we are. Book three of the Wings Of series is now officially in the works. And what a doozy of a first chapter it is. I just kept writing, and writing, and writing. And before I knew it I had a twenty page monstrosity for a first chapter. I almost decided to just keep writing until the tale is finished. But then I realized that at this rate it'll be a full blown novel if I did that. Well, hope people enjoy this outing.

For fans of the series, this is set about 10 years after the time loops chronicled in Wings of Recursion ended. As usual if you spot any spelling errors or such please let me know. If something makes no sense, please tell me. I do read reviews, and they can impact the way a story continues. I go back and fix any spelling errors people find. If it's a grammar issue I'll review it to see if it's intentional or accidental. If accidental I try to fix them. And I've had more then one chapter get spawned by someone raising a valid question regarding an event.

In fact, this story it's self got it's initial spark from someone questioning how Makoto could lose to Emerald Avenger and his wife when she's been practicing martial arts from the beginning of time to it's ending (multiple times). A valid question which I felt should be answered. The story just ran away from me from my initial idea :)

Please, no flames for the portrayal of Buffy TVS and Harry Potter. I make no claims to be intimately familiar with Buffy anymore. It's been more then a few years since I watched it after all. And I'm not as comfortable writing HP fanfic as I am with Ranma ½ fanfic.
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