Give Me the Child
title: Give Me the Child
series: Playing with Matches
pairing for this part: Connor/Ginny
summary: A certain Goblin King has decided on another hobby outside of baby-napping. His first victims are a miracle child and a redheaded witch with MANY older brothers.
spoilers for this part: Angel season 5 thru "Shells". Potter thru OotP. Labyrinth... the movie.
"But down in the Underground, you'll find someone true..."
Things certainly had not been easy since someone very vengeful at Wolfram and Hart had dissolved the magical veil keeping Connor's previous life from him.
Thank God for Illyria and Spike.
Angel never thought he'd say that. But without Illyria's fast movements to keep Connor from staking Angel more than once, and Spike's continuous commentary about how he'd hated Angel first and longer, so Connor would have to get in 'soddin' line, Angel might be quite the pile of dust by now.
"It was an accident!" Gunn shouted as soon as Angel entered the building.
Everyone was standing there looking... disturbed and alarmed.
"What? What is it?"
Spike pointed. "Gunn wished Connor off to the Goblin City." Spike turned to him. "Haven't you done enough damage?"
Gunn looked like he might be sick.
"That was a joke, by the by. You need to get over the fact that humans... and non-humans fuck up. Deal and move on, Chuck."
"No, what?!" Angel snapped. "Where's my son?"
"Gunn wished the goblins would come and get him." Harmony said with a bored sigh. "And they did."
Angel paled a bit more. "JARETH!"
"So what's your name?"
He ignored her.
She crawled on her knees over to him in the cramped space. "I'm Ginny."
Connor looked at her out of the corner of his eyes. She was pretty, he supposed. Lots of red hair. She was a bit thin. The eyes on her were big and brown like... someone else's. She had this nice little sprinkle of freckles on her pale nose.
"My brothers were joking around and wished me here. How'd you get here?"
Connor didn't say a word.
"Oh I see. You're a mute. How unfortunate."
"I am not a mute."
"It speaks!" She shouted, making him jerk slightly in surprise.
How did a sound that big come from a girl that tiny?
"So... how'd you get here?"
"I was... I was arguing with Gunn, and he just... said it... about the goblins."
"I wasn't arguing with Fred or George. They were just joking. I've been kind of mopey and sulky lately. They were getting a bit annoyed with my brooding attitude. I wish I had a picture of their faces when the Goblin King showed up though."
"Me too. Gunn DID look sorta funny."
"I'm Ginny." She repeated.
"One of my Dad's friends."
"Why was he... was he like your baby-sitter or something?"
"Aren't you a little old for being sat?"
"It's complicated. I did some stuff. They don't trust me."
Ginny snorted. "It's always complicated."
Connor looked at her, well, as much as he could look at her. "What do you say we get out of this place?"
"Nobody gets out of the oubliette."
"You know where we are?"
"Sort of. I mean, there's a book... The Labyrinth."
"Then we're getting out. Come on."
"I'm not just anybody. I'm the miracle child."
"Remind me to introduce you to the boy who lived." Ginny muttered.
"Nobody. Nevermind. You have a way out? I'm there. So... why'd he put you down here?"
"I attacked him."
"Oh! Me too!"
"I think he thought I was sorta harmless after he took my wand."
"Yeah... uh... oops."
"I can't believe I just came out to a muggle." Ginny muttered.
Connor's brow furrowed. He searched his brain for what coming out and muggle meant. He got a big nothing on muggle, but he recalled what coming out meant.
"You're... you're gay?"
"But you just said..."
"I am NOT gay. Not that there's anything wrong with that. I have a brother who's gay. I still love him, but me... I'm all about the boys. In fact, you're pretty cute in this feminine pouty-lipped sort of way."
"I am NOT feminine."
"You are. Not that there's anything at all wrong with that. I think you're rather sexy, in fact, but you DO have a girlish quality."
"I show you who's girlish." Connor snarled.
Ginny squealed as the two of them tumbled to the cold floor of the oubliette, his mouth on hers.
Angel was fairly pissed off by the time he actually made it to the Goblin City. Spike was grumbling... a lot. Apparently Jareth had changed the labyrinth a bit since the last time Spike had to run it. Apparently Darla was a better labyrinth running partner than Angel was.... as Spike and Darla had done the labyrinth in far less time.
Angel looked around. He didn't remember the Goblin City being a burning pile of rubble that time Dru had wished him here. As he and Spike made there way up to Jareth's castle, Angel noticed far more destruction.
"I think your son's been here." Spike said, looking around in appreciation. He and the brat got along famously.... that's why Spike had actually volunteered to come along. Of course, he'd put it under the guise of his actually having run the labyrinth before.
They entered the castle and made their way to where the most life seemed to be. Angel threw open the doors to the main hall and was blasted by Connor's laugh. His son was actually laughing. He was sitting at a table piled with food and drink.... with a girl. Spike stopped his forward momentum and cocked his head to the side like a dog might. Especially because Connor had just taken a strawberry and put it in the girl's mouth.
Just then, two identical boys skidded in behind Angel and Spike. Both vampires tensed to pounce then stopped. Spike looked over his shoulder at the girl and her nice red hair.
"I think she belongs to them." Spike whispered to Angel.
"That's our sister." One of them said.
The other one bristled a bit, looking at Connor who was putting a grape in the girl's mouth now. "Who's THAT guy?"
"My son." Angel answered.
"Fred! George! You made it!"
Everyone turned. Ginny was rushing up, pulling Connor awkwardly behind her. One of her hands was in his, the other was holding a giant croissant which she was munching on heartily.
"Ooooo, this is Connor. He's fabulous. He's the son of two vampires, and he punched a hole in the wall and got us out of the oubliette. And... and he scaled the side of the castle wall with me on his back. He's my hero now."
"So..." Fred started delicately. "Not upset about that silly Seamus Finnigan breaking it off with you then?"
"Seamus who?" Ginny asked innocently.
Connor looked at her. "Who's Seamus?"
"He was my boyfriend. He broke up with me."
"He said I was too bossy."
"Bossy's ok." Connor grinned in a goofy manner at her. "I think I kinda like bossy."
"Oooooo." Ginny said, flirting, as she pulled off a bit of croissant and tossed into Connor's open mouth.
"Oh... VOMIT!" Spike had a look of horror on his face.
"I hate to interrupt." Angel said. "But, Connor, where's Jareth?"
Connor and Ginny just pointed. Everyone turned. Jareth, the Goblin King, was bound and gagged... and tied to his own throne. Spike started chuckling. Loudly. Angel elbowed him... because Jareth's eyes were glowing angrily.
"This is TOO precious. And now you understand why his kid's called the destroyer, huh, eyebrows?"
Jareth just glared.
"Spike, untie him." Angel sighed.
"Not until he promises not to turn us all into ruddy goblins."
Jareth nodded. Spike went over and untied him. Jareth took a few minutes to situate himself after his harrowing bout of being overpowered by a scrawny and androgenous-looking boy and an equally string bean-ish looking girl. Neither of them lacked in power apparently. They'd easily sacked the Goblin City and taken him over.
But they didn't know that had been part of the plan.
Everyone thought he just kidnapped babies. No. He was also a matchmaker. His favorite being the setting up of HIGHLY inappropriate teen couples. This was his most crowning victory... a bubbly little witch with the scowling boy who hated all things magic. Well, it would be until he set that Draco Malfoy twat up with a muggle. He had the perfect girl all picked out too. Malfoy wouldn't know what hit him. Literally.
"I need to speak with the children." Jareth said smoothly.
"Go ahead." Angel said in a clipped tone.
"Over my dead body!" Spike shouted.
"Dad, Spike, it's ok."
Angel blinked. So did Connor. He had just called his father Dad without even thinking about it.
"Ginny, I don't think we ought to leave you-"
She interrupted her brother. "Connor will take care of me."
Connor looked at her. Ginny smiled widely at him. Connor's lips started turning up into a smile.
"Oh bugger." Spike said making a face. "Will you look at the cow eyes in here."
Angel pointed. "You did this on purpose!"
"What?" Ginny and Connor said at the same time turning to look at Jareth.
"I had observed the both of you and knew despite your differences that you would suit... if only you could meet, which, I must say, was damn near impossible with one of you living in the wizarding world in Britain and the other in the evil law firm in Los Angeles California. I just planted the suggestion in the heads of the arguing parties... they said what was said... and I was allowed to take you."
Connor and Ginny looked at one another, both thinking the same thing. That it wasn't real. That magic had played them.
"I never choose anything that isn't kismet."
Connor scowled at him.
"You are not under a spell. Had you ever run into Miss Ginevra, you would have been smitten. The magic is entirely in how she looks at you, how you look at her, not anything I did. I just allowed you to meet... among other things."
"Among other things?" Spike asked suspiciously.
"I agree." George snapped, glaring at Connor. "What other things?"
"Nothing you two haven't done." Ginny snapped.
Angel leaned over to Connor and muttered. "You didn't have sex with her, did you? I don't think she's of age."
"She's sixteen." Connor hissed back. "And no we did not have sex in the oubliette. We just... kissed a bit."
Ginny snorted. "A lot. I insulted his manliness. He had to prove he was the male."
Spike held up his hands. "I do believe I have heard enough." He looked at Connor. "Sorry, junior, but I'm in no mood to hear how virile and manly you are. I'll take the chit's word for it, thanks."
"Might I be alone with my couple now?"
Spike, Angel, Fred, and George grumbled quite a lot, but they did step out of the throne room.
Jareth smiled at Ginny and Connor... who were holding hands. "Let's see what I have for you two..."
Connor scowled. Jareth held a mirror to each of them. Connor took his as Ginny took hers.
"For scrying. Each other... and myself."
Ginny looked at Connor. "It's a way of communicating. Think of it as a magical fellytone."
Jareth chuckled. "She meant telephone."
"And this..." He held up a crystal orb to each of them.
Connor tucked the handle of his mirror in his pants then took the crystal. "What's this for?"
"Consider it the key to my castle. Since we live so far from each other, we get to meet here for dates."
"Oh." Ginny said smiling.
Connor grinned as well. This would be perfect for getting away when he was annoyed with his father and the rest of the 'gang'.
"All I ask is that you scry first to inform me of your arrival, so that I may have so part of the castle ready.... so long as another couple is not occupying it."
"Another couple?" Ginny asked.
"I have grand plans." Jareth said. "This has ended rather well. Baby snatching is so passé. This is much more dramatic. Why, I could have kept Romeo and Juliet alive. Tybalt and Mercutio could never have had their silly death fight where Romeo interfered if the hotheads were busy in my labyrinth and the lovers were busy being romantic somewhere in the castle."
"I have so many little plans to alter the whole of the worlds... with love."
"Anyone I know?" Ginny asked.
"My dear, I already have grand plans for a certain 'golden' trio that includes a certain redhead girl's year older brother."
"She's her own woman. Can quite stand up to Ronald. Of course she's from another planet... literally."
Ginny was gaping. Connor was looking fascinated. Aliens?
"You two look quite rapt. Would you care to help me in my matchmaking endeavor?"
Connor wasn't sure why this word came out of his mouth. "Sure."
It might have been because he knew Ginny was going to say yes somehow, and it was something that would allow him more time in her presence and also keep him from dwelling too much on his past... both of them. The created one and the truth.
"So what's this alien chic's name?" Connor asked, as he, Jareth, and Ginny decided to sit on various pieces of furniture since this was turning into a longer conversation than intended.
"Isabel... and her husband just left her."
"You're giving Ron a girl who's been married?"
"Trust me." Jareth said. "Isabel's perfect for Ron. She's the ice to his fire. Of course, if she ever gets pissed off, we'd best all duck and hide, but all that will emerge soon enough. It's not quite their time here as of yet."
"You mentioned the trio?" Connor said. Ginny had told him a bit about her brother and his two friends.
"Ah yes. Hermione will do quite nicely with the now-teenage little brother of an old rival of mine. Toby's a nice young American wizard with a very wild sense of adventure. He'll balance her serious and studious side quite well. He'll also give a very large hand to her house elf campaign."
Connor scowled. "House elf campaign?"
"I'll explain later." Ginny said with a pat to his leg. "And Harry?"
"Harry's girl is PERFECT. Just perfect. She's very powerful, but sensitive at the same time." Jareth said, leaning in.
Connor and Ginny leaned in as well, rapt.
"Sweet little southern belle of mutant."
"You're setting Harry up with... a mutant?" Ginny asked.
"Because he's going to figure out a charm to put on himself so he can touch her. Little Marie is going to adore that. Of course he'll be one of the few to actually call her Marie. Everyone else calls her Rogue."
"Who else have you got big plans for?" Connor asked curiously.
"Your father and Spike. Luna Lovegood... Neville Longbottom..."
"Oooo!" Ginny squealed. "Who're you planning for Luna?"
"Annoying little chap who's training to be a slayer's watcher by the name of Andrew. His irritating yammering with quite fascinate her. As will all the creatures he's seen and can tell her about."
"A charming little lady by the name of Ava."
"Your brother's Isabel will know her. Ava is a clone or duplicate of another alien who was named Tess. I think Ava's a bit more... adorable though. Who wouldn't love a girl who was from another planet and had pink and blue hair and an eyebrow ring?"
Ginny's eyebrows went up. "Try Neville's Gran."
"Gran Longbottom will come around. Ava's sweet and loyal as a Hufflepuff."
"A huffa-what?" Connor asked.
"Later, sweetie." Ginny said, patting his thigh again.
Connor decided to ask more questions. He liked her patting his thigh... a lot.
"Who else?" Ginny asked.
"Malfoy?" Ginny gasped.
"Oh, I've got a delicious little muggle who'll drive him mad all ready. In fact, they are my next project. I just have to get Narcissa Malfoy and Buffy Summers angry enough to wish their son and sister away to the goblins."
"Summers?" Connor asked.
"Yes, she's the same one you've heard of. Your father's old flame. Yes, I am wanting to set up the little sister of the slayer and the most obnoxious wizard to grace the earth. We'll see who can whine the loudest."
Ginny snorted. "I hope this girl doesn't mind ferrets."
"Dawn quite adores them."
"You mentioned my father and Spike?"
Jareth chuckled. "They'll be less likely to cause trouble for you if they're dealing with a couple of serious little vampiresses of their own."
"Vampiresses?" Connor asked.
"No Dru, if that's what you're thinking, boy. I have my own plans for her. What I meant was, your father will scarcely be able to keep up with the lovely league mistress Mina Harker. Mina's still quite distrustful after what Dorian did to her... even after all these decades. Your father will have to earn her trust. That will take up a very large chunk of his time. And Sasha's heart is a bit bruised after Cash wounded her, so dear Uncle Spike has his wooing cut out for him."
"They're both vampire girls?"
"They're very capable vampire women. Queens, one might say. Mina thinks her only love was ever Jonathan Harker. She had a little bit of fling with a delightfully wicked chap named Dorian Gray that ended rather badly for her."
"And this Sasha?" Connor asked.
"Has fire running in her veins. She's moody, rash, and sarcastic. I think her passions run just as high as Spike's."
"You don't think they'll clash?"
"At first... but the sex between them will be fabulous."
"Oh gross! I so did not need to hear that. Ever."
"What about my other brothers?" Ginny asked. "My mum would love it if they all settled down."
"No more discussion from my accomplices tonight, dear. We can work something nice out for those brothers of yours at a later date. Now is the time for the two of you... alone." Jareth said. "Let me go get rid of your loved ones. Go have some romance. Possibly more snogging."
He waved them away. Ginny grabbed Connor's hand and dragged him away. They walked out into the castle's garden. The city could be seen beyond the walls. It was still burning.
"And I thought today would be boring." Ginny said as they walked holding hands.
"Just a nice, quiet, starry night by the roaring fire."
Connor could hear screams. Goblin screams. He looked down at Ginny. She had a dreamy look on her face. She certainly was unlike him.
But he was liking that.
And how ironic that he was now dealing in romance and magic and matchmaking with some weirdo who seemed like he liked leather bondage and eye makeup. Connor had never believed in any of that magic crap.
Now he was to help make it happen. Odd.
Should be interesting though.
Witches, slayers, aliens, mutants, vampires.... oh my.
Anything could happen here.
end match 1