title: By Any Other Name
summary: A group of people show up for one of Anne's 'kids'.
challenge: 20 minute Anne
disclaimer: Not mine. Anne and the BtVS/AtS characters are Joss Whedon's. Ginny and the HP characters are JK Rowling's.
Anne watched the little redheaded girl take serious charge of the argument Lenny Left Shoe was having with Carlos Trejo. The tiny little redhead had it under control... which was funny considering how much bigger both Carlos and Lenny were than her. Anne giggled silently.
Well, Anne was not actually her real name. She'd had so many over the years. Anne she liked. It was a name that reminded her of strength. There was Anne Frank, Anne Boleyn, Anne Hutchinson, Anne of Green Gables, Buffy Anne Summers... vampire slayer. Anne figured she'd been called FAR worse things. Chantarelle came instantly to mind. She'd also gone by Lily in days past. Once she'd been a Roxy. She'd also been a Mary, a Madison, a Moonbeam, and a Magpie.
But as someone once said, we are all so much more than our names. She was proof of that. No name ever contained the essence that was her. It didn't for anyone as far as she was concerned. You could know a person's name, but that didn't mean you knew a darn thing about them.
Ginny was... just Ginny.
She had long red hair and big brown eyes. Pale skin only marred with a sprinkle of freckles across her nose. She could talk down any of the guys here. It was as if she had a whole gaggle of older brothers or something. She'd heard it all and knew how to deal with it. Anne was seriously considering trying to talk her into becoming the assistant director of the shelter. She was just as good at the running of things and the dealing as Anne was.
Then Kit had to get involved with the defusing of the anger. Kit and Carlos were special to Anne because they knew. They'd lived in Sunnydale. She'd got them after the place became a crater. Ginny she'd gotten a few weeks after that. Funny thing about Ginny was she knew what went bump too, but her accent was decidedly British in nature. Anne didn't ask too many questions though. She figured people would come to her when they were ready or if they needed to. All she knew about Ginny was there was someone back home she wanted to forget.
Kit and Ginny managed to steer the angry Carlos off and Lenny began talking to the left shoe he always carried with him. Anne supposed she really should call the state about Lenny. She suspected clinical insanity, but she'd seen one of those state wards. She wouldn't turn her worst enemy over to one of those places.
Anne was pulling her long blonde hair up into a ponytail. She had all of it and was starting to wrap a scrunchie around it when the doors to the activity hall banged open. Anne rose slowly, her blue eyes studying the guy that stalked in.
He had white-blonde hair.... like the one... that time... with her. That vampire. It wasn't him though. It's just the hair reminded her. It took her right back. Funny how she had just been thinking the name Chantarelle and then this happens. He was thinner, more wiry though. He was head to foot in black and his narrowed eyes were a pale gray color. He looked angry though. Very angry. That worried Anne.
And he wasn't alone either. Another guy stormed in after him. Anne blinked when a third guy skidded in after that. The second had crazy black hair. That was what she noticed first. As he got closer, the eyes behind those round wire glasses were very green. She could also see hints of a scar on his forehead when his hair moved in certain ways.
The third guy was tall and broad. The word hulking came to mind. He had blue eyes and red hair.... the exact shade of red Ginny's was.
The blonde guy's eyes locked with Ginny's. She gasped. Loudly. The three guys started towards her, and they did not look too happy. Anne had this funny feeling the blonde guy was who Ginny was running from.
So Anne stepped into their path. "Hi guys, can I help you?"
"No." The blonde snapped and shoved Anne out of his path.
She gasped in shock as she went sprawling onto her hands and knees.
Anne was on her feet in a flash and launched herself at the blonde's back. He shouted in alarm. As he was spinning around and trying to dislodge her, Anne noticed the guy in the glasses and the red-haired hulk were pulling thin sticks out of their pockets.
"Hey!" Carlos shouted and rushed at the redhead, leaving Kit to handle the raven-haired guy in the specs.
And handle she did, making Anne proud by kicking the stranger in his shin. He shouted and started hopping on one leg, holding his calf. Kit shoved him then, knocking him off balance. Then she pounced on him when he was down.
Anne had just stuck two fingers up the blonde's nose and yanked back on his nostrils. He shouted in pain. She'd lived on a Hellmouth and on the streets of LA. She fought as dirty as she could.
"Stop it! Stop it! Stop it!" Ginny shouted.
They all froze.
Anne took her fingers out of her victim's nose and slid off of his back. He turned on her instantly, and Anne's throat was grabbed in a vice-like grip.
"Malfoy!" The black-haired boy in the glasses shouted from under Kit.
"She's just a muggle. How dare she-"
"Why don't you talk about me like I'm not right here." Anne rasped as she dug her fingernails into the wrist of the hand that was still firmly around her neck.
The blonde hissed in pain, but he didn't let her loose.
"Draco." Ginny said as she got him to unclench his fist from Anne's throat. "Please don't. We're all a bit jumpy. Anne just thought you guys meant to harm me." Ginny looked to the redheaded giant. "Ron, please let Carlos out of that headlock, and Kit, get off of Harry please."
"Wait... Ron..." Anne said looking between Ron and Ginny. "Is Ron your brother?"
"One of them."
"One? How many do you have?"
It was Draco that answered her. "She has six... seven if you count old scarhead there. All of which have given me nothing but grief since I apparently caused their baby sister to run away."
"I didn't... run... away." Ginny said awkwardly as Kit finally managed to situate herself enough to help Harry back to his feet.
"I beg to differ. You literally DID. I asked you to marry me, and you RAN off. Literally. In the middle of the Ministry Ball. You spun on your heel and fled."
Kit had come to stand next to Anne. Both had the same look of shock on their faces.
"Draco, I'm only eighteen. I'm not ready for that yet. I had just graduated. I got... scared."
"Scared? You? I don't believe it."
"Well, believe it. Plus, you Malfoy... me Weasley. Talk about an uphill battle. I just wasn't ready to take that step... yet."
"I didn't say you had to marry me the next day, Weasley. Bloody hell! We could have as long of an engagement as you wanted. I just wanted YOU, is all. Merlin help me from crazy bints that I'm in love with!"
Carlos poked Ginny in the arm. "That means he really likes you."
Ginny glared. Then looked back at Draco. "As long as I wanted?"
"You're... you're in... love.... with me?"
"Merlin knows why though. You drive me 'round the bend, Gin."
"Yes, yes, yes!" He snapped. "I'm completely in love with you, great prat and horse's arse that I am!"
"Well, I won't disagree with those last two parts." Ron mumbled.
Ginny and Draco were ignoring that. They were ignoring everything else save the other. The two of them were staring at one another in a way that reminded Anne of the Leo and Claire version of Romeo and Juliet they'd all watched in the rec room the other night.
"Ok." Anne said clapping her hands "Why don't you two use my office to chat? Or possibly just to stare longingly. Me, Kit, and Carlos will entertain...."
"Ron. Ron Weasley." The hulk said.
"Er, Harry. I'm Harry Potter." The dark-haired guy said, thrusting a hand in Anne's direction.
"Anne." She responded.... and was smiling like an idiot, she realized.
Anne took his hand and shook it. It was a very warm hand. Slightly sweaty too, but Anne didn't mind that. There was a time not so very long ago when a little sweat on skin was a way of life.
Draco grabbed Ginny's arm roughly. "Where's your office, muggle?"
"First off, whitey, ease off on Ginny there, or I'll give those nostrils on that pointy snoz another stretching. Second, the name's Anne. Use it. Third, this is MY building. Act properly, or I'll boot you."
"Do you know who I-"
Anne waved a hand. "I don't give a flaming crap who you are. You're not where you have all the power. This is MY turf, buddy. You'll play by MY rules, or you don't play at all. Are we clear?"
Anne smiled when he put his arm around Ginny delicately and allowed her to lead him to Anne's office. Ron sighed in resignation.
"Don't worry about your sister, man." Carlos said. "Ginny's WAY tough."
"And if that Draco guy gets funky with her, we'll just set Kit to kicking his shins."
Kit and Carlos both smiled widely at Ron. He was looking at them as if they were insane.
She turned and looked at him. Harry Potter.
"Just Anne?" He asked.
"Yeah, like Cher or Madonna."
He chuckled. "Well, we're all so much more than our names."
She smiled widely. "I would agree."
AN: Someone has recently informed me that Anne's last name was Steele. I don't remember hearing that. I'm not saying they're wrong. Just that I don't remember it. It was probably a made-up last name anyhow, and this is, after all, just a bit of fic. For my purposes here, she has no last name.