Thanks for all the reviews, ideas, and recs! I guess the muse was singing in the Sg key instead of Hp this last month, but I'll try to persuade her back to HP. Write more stories! I don't own these characters, Rowling and Whedon do. Consider yourself disclaimed.
Harry’s New Mum Chapter 8 Hostile Takeover
“Harry wake up.”
“Hmm, not yet.”
Buffy chuckled. “Well, ok, but you’re going to miss the hostile takeover of the wizard prison by your incredibly gorgeous superhero slayer witch mom, buuuuhhhht if you’d rather sleep, I understand.”
“What?!” His eyes flew open and he sat up.
“I thought that would get your attention. Come on, let’s go, Giles called me back in. Apparently he thinks if we wait, they will double or triple the guards, and he wants to take it before they do that. It will be easier to hold it once we’ve already got it.”
“Alright, I’m awake.”
“Good, let’s go.”
When they arrived at the Council building, Harry expected it to be alive with slayers in military garb, loading weapons, maybe sirens going off, but it was almost calm. A few slayers were returning from patrol and it was like any other night. The girls were awake, but that was normal, and seeing Harry’s confusion Buffy said, “I told you, this doesn’t even rank on the slayer scale of nastiness. We are more worried about the political stuff than the actual takeover.”
“I still expected it to be…I don’t know.”
“You expected the place to be like NORAD on DEFCON fifty?”
“Or uh, some other British military thing where soldiers are running around preparing for war.”
“It happens when there is a big apocalypse and I’m sure you’ll see it, sort of, but it depends on what hemisphere it’s in, and how big it is. I think Xander and Dawn are supposed to be back tomorrow morning. Do you want to stay with them while I’m gone? I think Giles and Willow will be too busy, but for now I think you’ll be ok in our flat. Just don’t let anyone in, except Dawn or Xander or Faith until I get back.”
“But I thought I could watch the meeting.”
“Nope, but I’ll tell you what, if you want to watch the whole hostile takeover thing, I’ll let you be in the security room with Andrew as long as you have a slayer with you.”
“Why can’t I watch it with Willow and Giles?”
“Because if something does go wrong, they both might need to leave, and they can’t be there to watch you.”
“I don’t need to be watched!”
“Harry, I can’t be worried about you while I’m on a mission. I’ll get sloppy, and with Sirius here, and the potential for an attempted backlash from the Ministry, even if they can’t get in, I’d still rather go on the mission knowing you are looked after.”
“Good, let’s get to Andrew in the control room, and I’ll find a slayer on the way. It’ll be more comfortable in there anyway. Andrew has those soft leather recliners in front of the security monitors.”
“Will you be wearing a camera?”
“Probably not, but we’ll have at least two, and if I’m not one of them, you’ll be more likely to see me in action. I know some of the girls like to see the videos from their point of view, but I’m not into that.”
“And Willow really isn’t going?”
“Nah, but she’ll be available if we need her. I think she wants to give Rajni more field time. She’s good with a coven, and works well alone, but she hasn’t had too much time working outside of controlled environments, and since this mission is easy, Willow wanted to give her a chance to work without the net.”
“But Angelica will be there won’t she?”
“Yes Harry, and lots of slayers and even a few watchers. Amanda!” Buffy yelled as the slayer walked out of the security office.
“Buffy? I thought you were going on the mission, what are you still doing here?”
“I’m just getting Harry set up to watch in the security office. How are you doing? Tired? Injured? Any thoughts about turning evil and kidnapping Harry?”
“Good. I want you to keep an eye on him until I get back. If for some reason this goes to hell, I want you to get him to Scotland, ok? You’re in charge of him until I relieve you.”
Giving Amanda a withering look, Buffy shook her head. “Ok, so I’m off, wish me luck!”
“Good luck.” Harry gave her a hug and she took off down the corridor back toward the deployment area.
“Come on Harry, Andrew has popcorn ready. I was just going to get some ice cream, and then we can watch them kick butt.” Amanda said as she led Harry down to the cafeteria.
The video started before the away team even left the Council. Harry watched as the girls gathered round Buffy and Rajni as they handed out their anti soul sucking pendants and Buffy and Remus quickly demonstrated what they’d likely encounter from wizards.
“Why don’t they wait until the slayers have time to practice their defences against spells?” Harry asked.
“Don’t worry Harry. You know how slayers are with weapons? The same is true for magical weapons. A few quick tutorials, and they’re ready to storm the Ministry if need be, and you saw how Buffy reacted to Remus’ best stupefy. She can take three of them in the head before she even slows down. Most of the other slayers aren’t quite as quick to rebound, but we’ve got natural defences against magic, and if we wait, we lose the element of surprise. Mr Giles already ruined any chance of that by telling the Minister we are coming, but he told them they had a day, so they won’t think we’ll attack yet.”
“Don’t worry Little One, son of the beloved slayer queen with a destiny as sure and true as the chosen one. She, who is our glorious leader will take the Jedi into the death star and return victorious.”
Harry glared at Andrew. He started calling Harry Little One almost as soon as he was adopted, and alternated between that and Colonel Potter, which Harry didn’t understand, but he thought he preferred it to Little One. Colonel Potter had a ring to it that a ten year old boy could appreciate, and where did he get off with the Little One crap? Andrew was almost as short as Buffy!
"Hush, Andrew, you’re distracting us from the show.” Amanda said and took the popcorn away from him.
“Quiet, they’re leaving!” Harry said, and watched as Buffy walked ahead of Georgiana, the slayer wearing the camera into the portal.
The camera fuzzed out while they walked through the portal but as soon as Georgiana came through Harry could see Rajni setting up temporary wards around the prison so the dementors couldn’t escape, and several slayers guarding her and Angelica as Buffy led the assault against the five wizards at the door. It was dark beyond the platform, but with the volume turned up, Harry could hear waves in the background of the yelling and blasting. Buffy dropped low and somersaulted until she was amid the guards taking them out in seconds. All the prison guards neutralized in under a minute. Blinking, he almost missed her movements. She was right, this was no big deal. The other slayers didn’t even need to be there.
“Whoa.” Harry said.
“I know, isn’t she Amazing?” Andrew asked.
“It’s just not the same when they spar.” Andrew replied with worshipful eyes. “Seeing them in action, destroying evil, it’s something that can’t be duplicated in the gym.”
Buffy began barking orders and Harry and Andrew quit talking. “Alright girls, remember there could be more guards, and we haven’t encountered dementors yet. Let’s assume there are at least fifty. You know how to kill them and I want a kill count. Move out, and keep in contact. Rachel, Ariana, and Ben, I want you with Rajni and Angie. Lisa, Caridad, Sam, Jess, and Faith you get the bottom three floors. Don’t separate! I’ll lead the rest through the top three and remember what I said about the prisoners. With the wards up, they shouldn’t be able to use magic, but if one gets out of their cell, make sure to incapacitate, not kill. We don’t know what they’re capable of, or why they’re here, but assume they are trained killers. If anyone gets overwhelmed, I want to know about it. Nobody plays the hero, and in case you didn’t understand who I was talking about, Lisa, I mean you. You need help, say something, and you’ll get it. Alright, the stairs are that way, let’s go.”
Harry watched as Georgiana rushed after Buffy and they encountered their first dementor. Buffy waited for it to get almost on top of her before she leaped up and twisting around and cut its head off. It dissolved into an almost bubbly gas, and Buffy coughed in annoyance as the other slayers rushed to meet the onslaught of dementors coming to defend their territory.
”If it isn’t dust, goo, or acidic saliva, its gaseous grossness.” Buffy was heard saying as she coughed again. “And I always seem to get a mouthful. At least we know these demons don’t ruin clothes.”
It was chaos for several minutes after that. Prisoners were yelling from behind their cell doors thinking they were being rescued. Dementors were fizzling out, and slayers were yelling out taunts as they ran into battle and worked their way up through top floors. Watching it from the head camera was like playing a video game. Harry jumped and winced as the demons flew at the Georgiana, but like Buffy told him, they didn’t even really pose a threat. Not used to resistance of any kind, dementors had no reason for physical strength and were easier to take down than vampires.
As Georgiana jumped to take out her first dementor, Harry got his first close up of the demon. It was like a decaying corpse clothed in rags with a large mouth. It was terrifying. He watched the sword quickly cut the demon’s head off in front of him, and he was starting to understand why Buffy was keeping him away from so much. These beings were real demons. Not like the bad guys in his comic books, or his favourite films, but real live, or he assumed they were alive, demons. It made him respect his mum and the slayers a little bit more knowing they ran to these creatures with little more than a sword or a stake to defend themselves. It wasn’t the first video he watched, but it was the first in real time.
“That’s right Emperor! Buffy and the slayers will take you out!” Andrew was on his feet now making whooshing noises to simulate his light sabre slashing around the room when Amanda interrupted him.
“You know, they do kind of look like Emperor Palpatine.” Amanda said thoughtfully.
Harry shook his head, but continued to watch Buffy and her other team members jump around the prison slaying as they went. When they reached the roof, there were at least twenty trying to get out, but coming against Rajni’s wards, they were stuck, and after Faith joined Buffy, they took out the last of them. Buffy and Faith stationed two slayers on each floor, and made sure all the dementors were killed before they returned to the entryway where Rachel, Ariana, and Ben were guarding the witches, and had the wizards tied up.
After a quick discussion, and a portal later, the prison guards were sent to the outside entrance of the Ministry of Magic and Buffy turned to Georgiana and looked right into the camera. “See Harry, thirty minutes and we killed almost one hundred demons, and secured the prison with like fifteen slayers and a badass witch. Giles, I think you should expect company in about twenty minutes from the Ministry. I’m going to stay here for a while and make sure things stay good while Raj makes the wards more permanent.”
Harry would have watched them continue to recheck the prison, and talk to the prisoners, but Georgiana’s camera was turned off and the other camera with Faith’s team was going to be used to record evidence to show certain members of parliament and the royal family just what kind of living conditions were present. Even without the dementors, the place was horrible, and Harry was certain someone would be in big trouble by the end of the week.
Unable to sleep, and buzzing with energy, Harry suggested they go to the training rooms and spar or train, and Amanda agreed. After almost badness, where Harry was nearly hurt, most slayers weren’t allowed to actually spar with him, but they could run through basic routines, practice shooting, or throw knives, but the actual physical training was left up to the watchers and masters they employed to teach the slayers. Even Buffy was hesitant to spar with him. He didn’t quite understand her reluctance until one day she was opening a door, and the knob simply broke off. There was no strain or crack, it just came off. It was shortly after his arrival at the Council and from then on, he noticed her break or destroy little, big, strong or weak things all the time when she wasn’t paying attention. In fact, most of the slayers broke things, although he did notice Buffy had to be more careful than most. The reparo spell was getting used a lot now that she mastered it, and Buffy was exceedingly pleased that she could simply repair something that used to cost an arm and a leg to replace.
He asked her if she was stronger than the others, and she admitted that she was, but she insisted that they could, with little effort snap his arm as easily as he could break an egg. “Slayers get stronger Harry, but even a baby slayer is strong enough to crush a skull with her bare hands without much effort, like you could a tomato or an egg.” It put things in perspective, and he wasn’t at all annoyed with her for banning slayers from sparring with him. The watchers and martial arts specialists were trained adults, and even they would sport a sling every so often just from slayers not paying enough attention.
Amanda wouldn’t spar with him either, but she knew what he meant when he said spar or train. He just needed to burn off some excess energy, so they ran a few laps, and she helped him practice with his throwing knives until the fact that it was the middle of the night caught up with him, and Amanda walked them back to Buffy’s flat, and made sure he was asleep before she crashed on the couch.
Daily Prophet articles following the takeover of Azkaban
Sirius Black Escaped!
The Daily Prophet has just received exclusive information on the escape of Sirius Black from Azkaban. He is reported to be very dangerous. Do not approach! The Ministry expects he will pick up where he left off on his work for He Who Must Not Be Named. Rufus Scrimgeour, head of the Auror office, has set up a highly trained group of Aurors to recapture Black. If you have any information on Black’s whereabouts contact the Auror Office immediately. For tips on dealing with the escaped Death Eater see page three. Sirius Black is best known for infamous curse that killed thirteen people. He is expected to go after Harry Potter, though as of this moment nobody seems to know where young Mr Potter is being kept. Sirius Black is also known for…
Was the Ministry aware of the possibility of escape?
The news of Blacks escape comes after the Ministry was repeatedly warned by the re-established mysterious Watchers Council that the prison was in need of repairs. After an exclusive interview with the head of the Watchers Council, we’ve confirmed that Mr Rupert Giles is willing to help, even after his warnings were ignored. He believes Minister Fudge will be willing to work with him to make Azkaban more secure. Albus Dumbledore, Supreme Mugwump, Chief Warlock of the Wizengamot, and Headmaster of Hogwarts School has already made contact with Mr Giles to establish a better relationship between the International Confederation of Wizards and the Watchers Council…
Fudge Criticised for his Handling of Blacks Escape!
Apparently the Minister of Magic was aware of Blacks escape three days before the public was informed! In a move that now stinks of desperation, the Minister warned the muggle media and police force, (like our magical law enforcement) of Blacks escape. Wizard and witches alike are in an outrage, and are calling for an inquiry of Fudge’s handling of the whole business. Though the Watcher’s Council has been quick to offer help and a voice of reason, they have made it clear that informing the muggle media was the right thing to do, and offer their support dealing with muggles. They stand behind the Ministers decision, and Rupert Giles, head of the Watchers Council…..
The Watcher’s Council Takes Over Azkaban!
Breaking News! Rupert Giles, new head of the Watcher’s Council, as mentioned in our exclusive interview in yesterday’s edition, has already taken control of Azkaban. In a move to thwart any further escape, his current slayer, as yet unnamed with an army of very powerful witches has taken over Azkaban! Details are sketchy, but he assures me that the prison is now secured, and with the Ministry’s help, he expects to maintain a safer prison without dementors. How he plans to do that has yet to be revealed, but he insists us that when Minister Fudge is ready to discuss their plans, the Minister will address us himself. Cornelius Fudge could not be reached for comment, but his office assures us he will be able to explain the whole business when the safety of the wizarding world is secured. Details of the takeover are slim but one witness, a Mr Clelland Clayworth a former guard of Azkaban, claims that there only a handful of young girls and a witch when he was knocked out, but the girls were fast, and extremely violent. It is long believed that the Council keeps a group of trained assassins on hand, though few have lived to tell the tale of what they look like…
Cornelius Fudge sat behind his desk at the Ministry glaring at the front page of the Daily Prophet as if his stuffy old British disapproval was enough to retract all the articles of the last five days. Sighing, and rubbing his eyes, he picked up his tea, and as his door banged open, spilled it on his crisp clean new suit.
“Sorry sir, but the red muggle telephoner just rang, it’s the queen.”
“What?” Fudge paled, and after a hasty cleaning spell, rushed into the room with silencing spells that kept his conversations with Her Majesty safe from spying ears. “Your Majesty, what a pleasant-” He held the telephone away from his ear as she began what was sure to be a short, but lethal attack on his ears. It wasn’t the first time.
“No, no, I was not aware of the United Nations Convention Against Torture.”
“No, I was not aware Azkaban was in violation of British and International law.”
“No, I do not want to go to be arrested.” He blanched.
“Yes ma’am I am aware of-“
“No, Your Majesty I was simply-”
“Yes, I’ll contact Mr Giles immediately and arrange to conclude negotiations.”
“Yes, Ma’am, I’ll brush up on international muggle law.”
“Yes, Ma’am, of course I understand I am subject to-“
“Thank you for-” The obvious slam of the other phone reverberated around Cornelius’ head like a prison cell closing. “your help, Your Majesty.” He gently set the red phone down on its cradle, and walked back to his office.
“Yes sir?” His assistant appeared in the doorway.
“Get Delores in here now, and get me an interview with Mr Giles.”
“I know what I said, but the queen doesn’t agree with me. Contact him at once.”
Pouring another cup of tea, he considered the best way to move forward. Delores would be important. She could stand her ground better than most, but he cringed when he remembered her last rant about sub-humans. Perhaps he should warn her before the meeting that Mr Giles and the whole of the international community both magical and non-magical were in agreement with one another on the issue of whether a slayer was the chosen saviour of the world, a magical being, or a sub-human, barely capable of rational thought. Delores wasn’t a bad person, he thought, just a tad zealous with her classifications. No, it was better to have her at his side, risking offence than to go it alone. Nobody else would have his back like she did.
One week after the takeover of Azkaban
“Ah, welcome Albus, it’s good to see you again. Tea?”
“Thank you Rupert. When do you expect the Minister?”
“I believe he will be along shortly.” Giles replied.
“I was hoping to see Miss Rosenberg again. Will she be joining us today?” Albus asked.
“I’m afraid not, but she informed me of the meeting set for next week I believe, during the holiday break.”
Rona, Buffy, and Rajni entered the boardroom with Remus and just as they were taking their seats the Minister and his associates Delores Umbridge, and Rufus Scrimgeour were announced. Fudge appeared resigned, but confident.
“Welcome Minister, Ms Umbridge, and Mr Scrimgeour. Let us begin first with introductions for those of you that are new to the negotiations. I am Rupert Giles, director of the Watcher’s Council, to my right is Buffy Summers, co-director of the slayer Council. Rona Nichols, co-director of the slayer’s Council, and Rajni Lal, second in command of our coven. Some of you know Mr Remus Lupin, our liaison to the Ministry of Magic, and of course Albus Dumbledore.”
“Thank you Mr Giles.” Fudge said, “Rufus Scrimgeour is the head of our Auror department, and Dolores Umbridge is my Senior Undersecretary and my second in command. Now, if we might get started I’m sure we can reach some form of agreement before the end of the day.”
Giles smiled. He knew a call to the queen would move things along faster than any media campaign, but he was still astounded at how quickly the Minister responded. He only called Her Majesty two hours before and already they were at the table talking. “First I’d like to start from where we are now. I know you have an issue with the way we handled things, and in the future we might make some agreements about the way we will handle our dealings with your world, but for now, I’d like to stick to the future of your prison. Is that agreeable to you?”
“Yes, let’s just get this over with.” Fudge grumbled.
Buffy watched the wizards with interest. Fudge was, as expected, a sore loser, but the other two did not look at all intimidated. Scriblemeastro was at least sizing her and Rona up, like the head of a police department should, and Umbridge had a smile on her face that Buffy didn’t like at all, but at least she wasn’t as wimpy as Fudge. Before the meeting she was beginning to wonder how these people survived the centuries intact with people like Fudge in charge, but at least he was backed by at least two people with a back bone.
“As things stand now,” Giles continued and Buffy attempted to listen to him. “We have anti-magic wards in place, several guards patrolling the prison, and also a physical shield, if you will, around the exterior of the walls. No one gets in or out using magical or non-magical means. The wards can be taken down or modified at any point, but as we transition control to your people we are willing to keep them up and maintained should you require the use of such technology.”
“What of the dementors?” Scrimgeour asked curiously.
“They are gone, and should you attempt to re-establish a population of demons for any reason, we will wipe them out as well.” Giles said attempting to remain neutral, but failing.
“Gone?” Scrimgeour asked.
“Yes, Buffy and Rona put together a team and took care of them.” Giles replied foregoing his anger for pride.
“Is she the slayer?” Scrimgeour asked.
“How is it possible that one slayer, a witch, and a few girls, if I am to believe what our guards have said, took on five wizards, and one hundred dementors?” Scrimgeour asked.
“If I may, Giles?” Rajni asked.
“By all means.”
“After careful research we created an amulet that effectually nullifies the dementors powers for whoever wears it. Then, I created a barrier to keep everything in, while Buffy and her team slayed the dementors. Without their ability to weaken an opponent, anyone could destroy them. They have no other defence to rely on. As to the wards, I’m sure you’ve noticed nothing gets in or out without my permission at this point, but we can change that as needed.”
Seeing the shell shocked faces Buffy decided to intervene. “Yes, she can do that. No, it has nothing to do with the violin charm you all seem so stuck on, and no, you don’t get to know how.”
“You killed over a hundred dementors after subduing our guards?” Scrimgeour asked Buffy.
Said slayer shrugged. “The dementors were running scared when they realized they couldn’t suck out my happy, and my team took out most of them. They aren’t very strong, and all it takes to kill them is cutting off their heads. As for your guards, humans aren’t fast enough to defend against a slayer, even wizards.”
The Council decided that it was futile to hide the fact that Buffy was a witch. It would likely be big news when it got out, but they weren’t going to advertise it either, and Buffy never actually used her wand as they took over the prison. Mentioning that Remus taught them how to defend against wizard attacks seemed like a way to get him in trouble, so they went with the tried and true Buffy is uber fast, and it was the truth. It would be difficult to explain why there were more than one or two slayers, and nobody wanted that.
“Excuse me Mr Giles, but it seems like you’ve failed to teach your slayer her place. For a magical beast like a slayer to attack a wizard, no matter the reason is a punishable offence. Normally a trip to Azkaban would be in order, but as you’ve clearly usurped our authority there, other arrangements will have to be made. We will have no choice but to put you on trial.”
“Did she just call me a magical beast?” Buffy asked in astonishment.
“Yes, dear.” Umbridge replied in a tone that made it clear she thought she was talking to the equivalent of a two year old. “According to international wizarding law, a slayer is on the same level of a house elf, or perhaps a werewolf.” She glared at Remus. “And as such must be under the control of her master at all times. That is the duty of the Watcher’s Council. You have failed at your duty Mr Giles, and may also be charged with reckless endangerment, assault of a wizard, neglect, and possibly more charges as we investigate the violence you used to illegally take over Azkaban.”
As silence filled the air, Albus frowned, Fudge had the decency to at least look nervous, and Scrimgeour shook his head and glared at Umbridge. Their negotiations with the Council started out better than he expected, but seeing how the slayer was reacting to the inappropriate conduct from Unbridge, he knew this wouldn’t end well. He knew he had to do something before it completely fell apart. “Excuse us, for just a moment. I need to talk to Ms Umbridge and the Minister alone.” Scrimgeour said standing up and pulling Dolores forcefully up by the arm. “Now.”
“Master?” Buffy asked with some confusion looking at Giles. “Did she just imply you are my master?” Letting out a snort, Rona nodded.
As soon as they were gone Rona turned to Albus. “Is it true what she said, that the wizarding community believes we are beasts that need a master?”
“Unfortunately there is an element to our society that believes just the sorts of things that Dolores does. It’s an extension of the pureblood sentiments that I believe you are already aware of. However, most of our people do not realize, or did not know that you are not simply a story told by witches to their children before bed. I am sorry you’ve had to listen to such talk, but it is perhaps fortunate that you’ve been given a demonstration of what is likely to be said should these talks fail. The Daily Prophet might be on your side now, but do not forget who they represent. Their loyalty will become clear as the Council becomes old news, and I’m afraid it will sound something like Dolores.”
“Even if they know I’m a witch?” Buffy asked. “That has to count for something doesn’t it? I know we haven’t exactly advertised it, but Fudge knows, doesn’t he?”
“I’m afraid in that sense, unless you can prove you are related to a wizarding family, you are still muggle born and American at that.”
“Wow, so this racism stuff is really ingrained into your society?”
“I’m afraid so, although in the last hundred years, just as your world has changed for the better on that front, so has ours, but our people are somewhat behind yours.”
“And you want me to send Harry to your school?” Buffy asked incredulously.
“I am happy to say that Hogwarts is part of the way we combat those ideas. It may seem like a very old fashioned school to you, but children like Harry are important for our growth. They are the ones that help to change our culture for the better. He is both from the oldest wizard family in Britain, and also from one of the most talented muggle born witches of our age. Harry is one of the reasons so many of our people are slowly turning their minds toward a more equal and understanding view of muggle borns. I believe his new family will only add to that sentiment as our world form an alliance. If a half blood such like Harry could defeat Voldemort as a baby, then perhaps there is something to all this muggle born equality they’ve been ignoring for centuries. I’m not saying it’s right, just what many have been saying since Voldemort disappeared.”
“Students like his mother Lily, and his father are changing beliefs that I hope Harry might also change if you allow him to attend. Wasn’t it within the last fifty years that some of your states finally allowed for interracial marriage? The aptly named Loving vs. Virginia? Our own people are learning to cope with such things, and at a slower rate than muggles I’m afraid, but Lily and James were an important step. Others went before them, but the Potter’s are as I said, one of the oldest wizard families in Britain, and his choice meant a lot.”
As Buffy began to reply Scrimgeour and Fudge re-joined the table. “I do apologize for the interruption.” Scrimgeour said. “Dolores was called away, and I apologize for her offensive language. We at the Ministry do not support her position, and as I’m sure Albus can attest, the International Confederation of Wizards has denied Dolores’ request to rewrite the language of our treaty. She does not represent the Ministry’s opinion.”
“Then why did you bring her?” Rona asked curiously.
“It was a mistake.” Scrimgeour responded glaring at Fudge. “Please, accept our apologies.”
Buffy nodded at the man. “Keep her out of the next meeting, and we have a deal.”
Fudge looked as if he was about to argue, but a glare from Scrimgeour left him resigned and he nodded to Buffy. “Let’s just finish this.”
Taking up the lead, Giles said, “Well, we’ve done all we can, now what I need from you is what you want to do in the future.”
The discussion continued to be rocky at times, but with Scrimgeour taking the lead an agreement was made. For the next three months the Council would provide guards, help train new wizard guards, and help remake the prison into something that was in accord with the laws of England. As long as there was no funny business, the Council would hand over control at the end of the three months, or re-access the situation.
“Will Miss Summers be guarding the prison?” Scrimgeour asked, curious about how they thought they were going to deal with handling almost one hundred and fifty magical and evil prisoners.
“Buffy will be on hand, yes, but she is hardly necessary. We have several highly trained witches and warriors at our disposal that will be there to handle any attempts at escape. As you know, most wizards rely on their magic, and with our wards they will have no way of escaping. As I’ve said, your own guards will be as ineffectual as your prisoners as long as we have the anti-magic wards in use. Muggle prisons have simple weapons and basic training that help to support their duties as guards and we will possibly be taking you on a walk through a few of Britain’s more accessible prisons, so you understand exactly what we mean when we say it is possible to imprison and guard criminals without the use of magic, although we will be using wards, and possibly magic to maintain your prison, but I want you to see what is possible.”
Seeing his opportunity Scrimgeour decided to ask another question while he still had their attention. “I was under the impression that the slayer generally resided on or near an active hellmouth. It does seem odd then, that she is in London wasting her talents on a prison.”
“All hellmouths, active or inactive are being monitored at this time. Rest assured, Buffy is always ready to defend against anything should she be required, but as I’m sure you’ll come to find out, there is now more than one slayer in the world. I am not at liberty to discuss the how and why, but our other slayer is in the field as we speak dealing with a particularly nasty infestation in Burma. As head slayer, Buffy will remain at the Council for the foreseeable future, and if she is required at Azkaban, she will be ready to assist.”
“I would like to add one final reminder as we move forward. Buffy may have the assistance of another slayer, and she may become involved in the protection of your prison, but her identity should be kept from your newspapers. The United Nations, England, and most of the world recognizes that Buffy and all slayers are an asset to the world, and should be guarded and kept safe. I am aware that her identity will undoubtedly be exposed,” he shot Buffy a knowing look, “but I request that her name be kept out of the papers for as long as possible.”
“You don’t honestly expect us to agree to that?” Fudge asked.
“Absolutely I do, and the queen agrees with me. If it is known that the current slayer is residing in England, we might very well be overrun with demons attempting to kill her, and anyone that gets in the way of that. No doubt innocents and muggles will be killed, as well as witches and wizards. Secrecy is far more important than our personal feelings on the matter. As you may know, she was stationed at the most active hellmouth in the world before we closed it, and her presence there attracted thousands of demons that might otherwise have avoided the call of the hellmouth if she was not there.” Giles knew that most of the demon community already knew exactly where Buffy was, but the Ministry of Magic, and the wizarding world did not need to know everything about the Council or the newly called slayers.
Scrimgeour nodded. “I see your point, and although you have already interested our people, I believe Buffy’s name, as well as the rest of your people can be kept from the papers for now. With the exception of yours Mr Giles, but if her name does get out, we will do anything we can to help keep her safe. I thank you all for your time, and I would appreciate another meeting in a weeks time. Mr Lupin? Will you be our liaison?”
“Yes, Remus will be your contact, but I am afraid we cannot arrange any other communication unless you’re willing to use owls or a telephone to set up an appointment. The council cannot allow portkeys, floo travel, or apparating into this building or our grounds.”
“I look forward to meeting with you Mr Lupin.” Scrimgeour said. “I will send an owl or we can set up a time now?”
“Thank you sir.” Remus replied. “How does next Monday sound? We can discuss a training schedule for your new guards.”
“Excellent, and thank you for your time.”
“Yes, thank you.” Fudge said with no enthusiasm. “I’d still like to know how you set up anti-magic wards, and so quickly. You may not want to share your secrets, but it would be a valuable asset for the Ministry.”
Rona decided it was her turn to speak again. “And, if you cooperate with us to bring your prison into the twenty first century, we will consider it, but from where I’m sitting, you’ve done nothing but whine, and drag your heels. When you decide to talk seriously about forming an alliance, we might have something to offer, until then we will not be giving up potentially volatile, dangerous secrets to grown men and women who act as children.”
Giles sighed, but with Buffy and Rajni nodding their heads he let it go. Fudge slammed his mouth shut and nodded curtly. It was something he would expect from Buffy, at least criticism but hearing it from Rona, who turned into something of the diplomat as the Council was reforming, meant something more. If she felt the need to censure the Minister, Giles decided it needed to be said, and it was impressive the way a twenty year old girl could chastise the dignified minister as if he was a two year old throwing a tantrum. No matter how pretentiously the man presented himself. With a name like Fudge, and a green bowler hat, carrying a wand no less, there was hardly reason to take him seriously, but he still carried himself like someone important, and still expected to be treated with respect after the way he conducted himself.
Rona even had the ability to put Buffy in her place when it was necessary, and Buffy actually listened to her. She was going to be a great leader for the Council, and frankly it was a relief. Buffy was very good with the slayers. After years of practice she was even getting better at speech making, but she was not the person Giles wanted running the Slayer Council. Not alone anyway. Buffy was not a diplomat, politician, or a peacemaker, and even if Rona was criticising the Minister after they just finished working out a plan to work together, Giles agreed with her. It had to be said. Not to punish them, but if they were going to work together in the future it had to be with adults who they could trust. As it was now, Giles didn’t trust them with the wands they carried. They were all potential threats as far as he was concerned, but at least they still tried to hide from ‘muggles’.
“Minister, always a pleasure. Mr Scrimgeour, it was a pleasure to meet you, and I look forward to forming a lasting alliance.” Giles said, as they stood and walked to the door. Fudge noticed Dumbledore remaining with Buffy and asked, “Are you staying Albus?” Fudge asked.
“Yes Cornelius, I was invited to dine with Buffy and her son.” Albus said in a way that Buffy thought was sweeter than it needed to be. The two men obviously didn’t get along, but Fudge didn’t say anything. He slammed his mouth closed again, but didn’t make any further observations.
Buffy walked back to her Council flat to fetch Harry and considered trying to get Dumbledore in the wards. It wouldn’t go over well, and maybe she should wait until Willow brought it up, but she couldn’t bring Sirius out, or Albus in, and Buffy was thinking it might do Sirius good to have another person from his world on his side, or even to talk to. But she didn’t know how happy he would be to see the old man anyway. Sirius’ emotions were flying around like a leaf in a tornado. One minute he was angry and bitter at Remus, and then grabbing onto him like he was his lifeline. Still, she thought he might have an easier time with people that were supposedly his friends, and people he respected before he was shoved in prison and forgotten.
Harry was leery of the man, and rightly so. He almost looked like a demon he was so pale, and his long hair, skeletal face, and violent outbursts were not endearing him to the boy, but the presence of, and happiness of Harry seemed to be doing wonders for Sirius’ mood. He might be having an absolute panic attack, and just the sight of Harry began to calm him down. Buffy thought this was at least partly due to the strong resemblance between James and his son, but there was more to it. Sirius seemed to love children.
The youngest slayers were still a couple years older than Harry, but being thirteen didn’t make them adults either, and Sirius visibly relaxed in the presence of the younger girls and he even smiled at Bridget when she ran into the room brandishing Scrabble and insisting he play with her. Their arguments over what words counted were hilarious as Sirius tried to use muggle or squib, and Bridget denied him. Buffy thought she understood it. After years of constant warfare, battling evil and seeing death on a nightly basis, the laughter of a child could brighten her day like nothing else. She sometimes thought it was why she latched onto Harry so quickly. She needed him, perhaps more than he needed her. Sirius, she acknowledged, needed Harry too.
Her ban on Harry seeing him lasted no more than a day, and then Sirius spotted him in the cafeteria, and demanded Remus introduce the two. As might be expected, a hush fell over the dining hall, and every slayer, watcher, and witch was on alert as Remus carefully made his way over to Harry and Buffy. They were all very protective of the first child of a slayer since Robin, and especially Harry, because he was Buffy’s. Nobody talked about it, but Buffy was their leader, their queen even, and that meant Harry was theirs to guard and protect.
The tension was so thick Buffy was ready to spring on the man, but seeing Harry’s confused, and then scared expression as he saw Sirius walking near them, brought everything in focus. She didn’t want to keep them apart. This was supposed to be his godfather, the man his parents chose above all others to raise their only son and he was innocent of the crimes he was accused of, so technically neither Buffy or Harry should be afraid of him. She regretted her paranoid reaction, though it wasn’t all for no reason, but now they knew he wasn’t going to kill anyone, there was no point in keeping them apart. If he tried anything, there were twenty slayers, and even more watchers in the room. Plus, Buffy could kill him with little effort, so she let it happen. Sirius was intense, but he kept it together until they left the cafeteria.
Now, several days later, she wondered if she trusted Dumbledore as well. She was actually more afraid of the old wizard than Sirius. He was a lot more powerful, and his interest in getting Harry to his school was making her nervous. The thought of him going to a boarding school was intolerable, and there was no way she’d let him go if she couldn’t be there in some way, but there was something about the whole situation that worried her. Remus believed she was just being mama bear again and he wasn’t the only one, although nobody wanted to see Harry go. Whatever the case, she wanted to talk to Sirius about it. She wondered if he would agree with Remus’ assessment, or if he was too jaded to talk about such things.
As she approached her flat her senses went haywire. Vampire! She almost kicked in the door but then she heard Faith laughing, and a very familiar vampire. “Oi! Point that bloody stick somewhere else. Use your lug holes. I told ya I aint gona hurt your mum, didn’t I? It’s like I was saying before, I loved the slayer even before I got me a soul. Well, a demon is a sort of soul from ‘ell, and my demon loved the slayer, same as my other soul does. You might say I have twice the love for her. More than Captain Forehead.”
“Stay away from her, and get out! You shouldn’t be allowed in here.” Harry said.
“Now wait just a minute!”
Groaning, Buffy opened the door. Harry was pointing his wand at Spike, who was sitting on a chair with his hands up and Faith was rifling through the fridge. “Slayer! Tell the whelp I can be here.”
“Don’t call him that.” She snapped.
“Why not? He’s channelling the one eyed wonder pretty well.”
“Because I said so that’s why. What are you doing here anyway?” She asked pulling Harry’s arm down gently.
“Heard about the new bit,” he pointed to Harry, “thought I’d come an have a look.”
“Now’s really not a good time. I’ve got dinner plans. Harry, Dumbledore is waiting in the conference room. I was thinking we could stay in and bring Sirius. What do you think?”
Harry visibly brightened. “Can I show him the spells Remus and Sirius taught me?”
“Bring the wand, but no promises. Go on and get dressed for dinner I’ve got to talk to Spike.”
Harry frowned again and tried to send Spike his most threatening glare before he ran off to his room. “Where’d you find him?” Spike asked.
“Could have been worse then, but what’s this about you being a witch?”
Buffy shrugged and pulled her wand out of her hair sending a quick stupefy to Faith. “I told you to leave my cheese alone.”
“Damn B, that almost tickled.” Faith responded as she pulled out a chunk of cheddar.
“So it’s true, the slayer’s a witch. Never thought I’d see you use a stick for anything other than staking.” Spike said.
“That’s a story for another day, what’s the what? Are you just here to catch up, or is there an apocalypse I should know about?” Buffy asked.
“It’s like I said, just here to meet jr. Chip off the old block eh slayer?”
Despite her fears about turning Harry into a child soldier, she smiled.
“And did I hear you mention Dumbledore? Is that old wizard still alive?” Spike asked.
“You know him?” Buffy questioned.
“Yeah, met him a few times, decent bloke. Hell of a fighter. Almost got me’n Dru dusted once upon a time. Was working with this crazy old wizard during the war when Dumbledore defeated him. Almost took us out too, but Dru knew which way the wind was blowing and got us out at the last minute.”
“Yeah, he’s still alive, barely. The man looks like a stiff wind could take him out.”
“Don’t underestimate him.”
“I won’t, and why didn’t you tell me about wands and wizards?”
“Never came up, and I did show you my wand on sev-”
“Gross Spike! Do not finish that sentence! Harry is in the other room, and I’m starting to believe he has super human hearing. I swear he knows things before I do. He’s like a little Sherlock, or something.”
Harry ran back into the room then, still brandishing his wand, but a futile attempt was made to brush his hair and his clothes were clean. Buffy put her arm on his shoulder. “Spike, this is Harry Potter. Harry, this is Spike, the one I told you closed the hellmouth, and helped end the apocalypse in LA.”
“Already did the introductions luv.”
“I know who he is.” Harry said. “Aunt Dawn and Xander told me all about him.”
“How you’d ever get a clear picture of Spike from those two I have no idea. Come on Dumbledore’s waiting, and I think we should get Sirius. Spike, we’ll talk later. Faith, stop eating my cheese!”
“Or you’ll do what? Tickle me with your wand?” Faith asked with a salacious grin. “Besides, I figure you owe me, seeing as how I watched the squirt last night. Cheese for kid sitting seems fair.”
“And you told me to bite my tongue?” Spike asked, with a grim. “Exposing him to Faith is going to ruin the boy.”
Rubbing her temples, Buffy followed Harry out of the flat and into the hallway. “Why is he here?” Harry asked.
“He wanted to meet you.” Buffy said. “I’m surprised he didn’t come sooner actually.”
“But he’s dangerous.” Harry said.
“Harry, besides the fact that he couldn’t enter the front doors without a soul, and he’s saved the world and helped me a lot, he’s also my friend. Despite the probably completely opposite views you got from Dawn and Xander, Spike has helped me, and saved my life more times than I can count. He’s even saved Dawn and Xander, and I don’t just mean in the world saving way. Those two get into plenty of trouble on their own, and Spike has helped rescue and protect them. Pretty much everyone in this building is extremely dangerous. I know you know what Willow and Faith did and I trust you with them don’t I? I let you train with humans, but even Master Lin could kill you before you saw his arm move. You spend most of your evenings with slayers, incredibly powerful witches, and werewolves. Trust me, Spike is not the most dangerous threat to you.”
Harry looked like he was going to argue, so Buffy went on. “I know, and even Faith isn’t dumb enough to leave you alone with him, but if he sticks around you’ll see him, and I expect you to treat him with, well, you don’t have to respect him, but no sending fireballs his way. Are we clear?”
“Clear about what?” Sirius asked coming out of the rooms he shares with Remus.
“Oh good you’re up and dressed. We were just going to invite you to eat with us. Dumbledore is waiting with Chinese in the conference rooms.”
“Ok, and clear about what? And how did the meeting with Fudge go?”
“Clear about the fact that Spike is my friend, and no sending fireballs his way, and the meeting went good. His highness Herr Fudgesicle brought some crazy woman who called me a beast and said Giles wasn’t controlling me properly, but after they booted her out, it went well.”
“Do you mean William the Bloody is here?” Sirius asked alarmed.
“So you’ve heard of him? That’s, probably not good. Long story short, he’s got a soul, he’s reformed, and he helps us. He’s not a threat to you or Harry, not unless you attack him.”
As they entered the conference rooms, Sirius gave Buffy the look that she interpreted as, later we are going to talk about this, and I’m going to harass and question your logic until you force me to remind you who’s in charge. Then he’ll sulk. It was beginning to be a pattern and Buffy didn’t like it. She knew he didn’t feel like he had any control over his life, or what he perceived as his rights with Harry, but brow beating her into listening to him was not the way to convince her.
“Sirius, what a pleasant surprise. I was hoping I would see you.” No wonder she always thought the old man was a liar. Honestly, he didn’t seem surprised to see Sirius at all, and he had that uncomfortable way of knowing things that Buffy didn’t like. Stuff was going to change before she ever sent Harry anywhere near that school, and out of her reach.
“Albus.” Sirius said, and surprising Buffy they were smiling at each other like they meant it.
“You’re looking well. Miss Summers is taking good care of you then?”
“I don’t need a mother Albus, but yes the Council has been good to me.”
“And Mr Potter, Remus tells me you are already proficient at some of our basic spells. What have you learned?” Harry looked to Buffy and she nodded. “No blasting the conference room.”
“I can show you.” He pulled out his wand and said, “Lumos.”
“Very well done Harry, and what else can you do?”
“Nox.” Harry started and then pointed his wand at a chop stick and said, “Wingardium Leviosa!” It lifted easily, and he twirled it around before slowly lowering it back to the table.”
“Well done, anything else yet? Potions, or transfiguration?”
“Willow is teaching me to use herbs, but we don’t use a wand. She says it’s silly to rely on one, but I like it, so as long as I can do everything without a wand too, she says it’s ok.”
“You’re already learning wandless magic?” The headmaster asked curiously.
“Sure, but it’s not as easy.” Harry focused on the chop stick again, and whispered “Wingardium Leviosa, wingardium leviosa,” until it shakily rose from the table.
“I didn’t know you could do that.” Sirius said. “Lily was getting developing a real talent for it, but James could lift a feather without his wand.”
“My mother could do wandless magic too?” Harry asked.
“Oh yes, Lily was good at everything. An excellent woman. I often told James he was lucky she never tried out for seeker, or she’d probably take his spot on the team!”
“I want to play Quidditch, but mum says I’m too young, and Willow didn’t believe in riding around on broomsticks, but then Remus showed her and she loves it! She says it doesn’t take nearly the energy she has to expend to fly, so she has more fun. ” Harry babbled. “When can we see the school?”
Buffy froze and looked at Harry. He pretended not to notice, but she did, and Sirius did too. Sirius scowled at her, but she only had eyes for Harry. She never told him to call her mom, or mum, or anything other than Buffy, but deep down she hoped someday he might think of her that way. Harry on the other hand, was resolved to call her Buffy. That is until Sirius came, and began to tell him about his ‘real’ mother.
Harry made it abundantly clear, from the first time Sirius said it, that Buffy was his mother now in all the ways that mattered. Six months wasn’t enough to erase his birth mother from his heart. No amount of time could do that and the more he learned about her from the wizards that knew her, the more he loved her, but Lily was gone. Dead, and the sad fact was, she was never coming back, and Buffy rescued him from the Dursley’s. Buffy was a super hero, but Buffy also came home at night to him. She taught him to be strong, and helped him stand up to Vernon. She didn’t lie to him, and gave him options. She respected his opinion, and his needs. She set him free, and held him tight when he needed it. For the first time in his life, he felt loved, taken care of, and looked after. He might have flashes of his mother and father, might feel their love in a weird way, but Buffy was here and now and constant. He might only be ten years old, but even Harry knew better than to compare the two in a way that would hurt Buffy. Buffy even talked about Lily and James like they were part of the family! She encouraged him to find out about them! No, Sirius was going to be made to understand that Buffy was his mum, even if it meant he had to voice feelings he wasn’t sure he was ready for yet.
Before Sirius could ruin the moment, Dumbledore jumped in with an invitation. “Why don’t you come with Willow next week? You and your mum could tour the castle, Hogsmeade, and perhaps meet some of our students that stay over the holiday. The Weasley’s are renovating their house and I’ve invited the whole family to join us for Christmas dinner. It might be helpful to meet another wizarding family, and I believe their youngest boy Ronald is Harry’s age.” Albus had no desire to upset Sirius, but in the grand scheme of things, keeping Buffy the vampire slayer and Harry Potter happy were more important than the feelings of Sirius Black.
“Actually, Harry and I are staying at the Council for Christmas.” Buffy said. “With Sirius stuck on the grounds, and several of our friends in town at the same time, it’s important that we celebrate together, but I will talk to Willow about tagging along to see the school when she goes.” Her eyes were shining brightly, and she was so happy that she didn’t even register Sirius’ grumbling. He however, was somewhat amazed that she would change her Christmas plans to include him. Last he heard, she was planning a trip to somewhere warm with several of her core group. Staying at the Council so he could spend Christmas with Harry was more than he could hope for.
Seeing Harry’s smile falter, Buffy added, “And I would love to meet the Weasley’s. It’s difficult for Harry to have friends in this environment. He can’t show them magic, or bring them to the house or the Council because of the ward and vamp attacks at the house, and Maggie makes it difficult, but maybe a wizard would be good.”
“Excellent. I shall invite Mrs Weasley and Ron to help us with the tour while I meet with Miss Rosenberg. Might I add a bit of caution? The other students are not allowed to practice magic before they start at Hogwarts. Neither are they allowed to use magic outside of school. While I agree it is an antiquated law, it might be best to avoid using too much magic in their presence. Ron’s mother, Molly, particularly is careful about the rules. Her husband Arthur works for the Ministry, and she takes her job keeping their seven children in order very seriously.”
“Seven?” Buffy asked. “Seven magical children? How does she do it?”
“One might ask the same question of you and your girls. It is a wonder the building is still standing. I’m sure it’s not an easy task, but she manages.”
“What do you think Harry? Do you want to meet Ron and his mother? Ooh, and we could buy Christmas gifts at Hogsmeade.”
“Ok.” He shrugged attempting to hide his enthusiasm. Buffy wasn’t sure if she liked Faith’s influence or not. Sometimes he channelled her almost too well, but she was glad he had so many good people to look up to, most of the time. He seemed to flip back and forth from excited ten year old, to nonchalant too cool for school Harry at funny times.
“Yes, and don’t forget to stop at Zonko’s Joke Shop. Your father used to do all his Christmas shopping there.” Sirius said smiling.
“Oh, yes, he was quite the rapscallion.” Sirius looked at Harry with a mischievous grin. “They have dungbombs and sugar quills, and Frog Spawn Soap, and Nose Biting Teacups!”
“We have to get one for Giles!”
Thanks for reading. Let me know what you think. Next up, Buffy and Harry visit Hogwarts and meet some new friends.