Welcome to Cleveland
This is a derivative work using characters and intellectual property belonging to Joss Whedon, Mutant Enemy, Fox Television, JK Rowling, her publishers, Panzer/Davis (and anyone else who owns a piece of Highlander) and probably others. When/Spoilers:
Post BtVS Season 7/ HP -OotP /Highlander - none Pairings:
Subtext/Adult Situations/A little implied violence/MagicAN:
A short interlude - This story occurs between parts 2 and 3 of my fic The Other Girl
and mentions characters (OC's) from the fic Girl in a BarAN:
Feedback appreciated as always. --- --- ---
The day had started out rather badly, even for her. She'd been an Auror for almost 10 years but today she'd felt like she was back at Hogwarts. She'd accidentally tripped over a House Elf while arriving for work at the Ministry, knocking over a large tropical plant right in front of Percy Weasley, who in turn had knocked over a visiting American dignitary, almost causing an international incident.
This had earned her a reprimand from the Minister's Office and a denial of her recent vacation request. And the rest of the day had been downhill from there. She'd spent the rest of the day writing a report explaining, in triplicate, what had happened and why it would never happen again. For someone used to being out in the field on a daily basis it was sheer torture.
Tonks walked to the Leaky Cauldron after work in an attempt to burn off some of her frustration with the way her day had gone. Headed for what she felt was a well deserved evening out with friends, Tonks was several blocks from the Cauldron when she heard the sounds of a fight down a dark alley. Unable to just pass by she turned into the alley. Following the sounds, she came upon an astonishing sight. A diminutive young girl was engaged in a fight with a large blue creature, armed only with a long knife. From the cuts visible on the creature as it threw hissing balls of fire at the girl's battered form it was obvious to Tonks that they had been fighting for a while and whatever the cause of the fight they were deadly serious.
Trying to not be noticed as she crept forward, Tonks drew out her wand and prepared to put a stop to the fight. Just as she was about to do something, the girl dove out of the way of two fireballs, colliding with her and bringing them both down in a tangled mess. Struggling to get up and out of the way, Tonks looked over at the creature and saw more fireballs headed their way. With no time to think, Tonks reacted instinctively and grabbing the girl blindly apparated them out of the alley.--- --- ---
Groaning and feeling like her head was about to burst, Tonks grabbed her wand and disentangled herself from her now unconscious traveling companion. Aching all over she slowly pulled herself up into a standing position. Looking around, her head still pounding, she noticed that she was standing in the middle of what looked like a lobby with the girl in a heap at her feet.
They seemed to be surrounded by a large number of angry young women. They were armed to the teeth with an assortment of pointed weapons, some of which she hadn't seen since Auror training. She wasn't quite sure what had happened but it didn't look good.
Surreptitiously slipping her wand into its holster, Tonks carefully raised her hands, palms outward, and squeaked out "Um... hello" in her most innocent sounding voice.
The young women gathered around her just glared at her. From their attitude it looked like they knew the unconscious girl. Before anything else could happen they all stepped back a few feet and the circle parted to allow a short blonde woman to approach her. Tonks wasn't sure if she imagined a growl or not when the woman caught sight of the girl lying on the floor.
Before Tonks could say anything else the blonde woman had pushed her up against the nearest wall, holding her immobile. "What did you do to her!" she growled.
Tonks stared into her face, shivering slightly under the woman's intense gaze. "I didn't do anything to her." she managed to get out. "She was fighting this large blue thing, and she ran into me, it threw something at us and suddenly we were here. Wherever here is."
The blonde turned and without releasing Tonks addressed a tall brunette woman now bending over the unconscious girl. "Yes?"
"Fred must have hit her head on something when she landed." the brunette told her, pulling out some device Tonks vaguely recognized as a muggle phone. "We'll take her up to the infirmary while you deal with our guest."
Tonks could feel the woman, Buffy, relax her grip slightly but not enough for her to reach her wand. If, as she suspected, these were muggles she was going to need it to use an obliviate spell on them. But she needed to be able to reach it first. Fortunately she'd changed into muggle style clothes before leaving her office for the day so they wouldn't be too suspicious.
By some unseen signal the room seemed to clear quickly after the unconscious girl was carried away. Tonks was barely able to keep on her feet as Buffy dragged her over to a large desk with several young women sitting behind it.
"You look relatively harmless." Buffy told her grimly, eyeing her up and down. "If your story checks out when Fred wakes up we'll let you go. Until then you can stay in one of our guest rooms."
Tonks nodded, trying not to show her delight at this turn of events. All she needed was a minute alone and she could escape. She could come back later and deal with making them forget she was ever there.
"Buffy?" One of the other women spoke up.
"She's armed!" she pointed at something Tonks couldn't see. "She has one of those wand things."
Before Tonks could react to the surprising comment, Buffy had grabbed her wrists, preventing her from reaching for her wand. "I guess you're not as harmless as you look." she commented looking her over again. "We don't allow guests to carry weapons around here. If you want to be treated like one you'll hand it over."
"And if I don't?" Tonks asked cautiously.
"We'll still take it from you." Buffy grinned menacingly at her. "But prisoners don't get guest privileges."
"Okay..." Tonks said. Being given a choice was only slightly encouraging. But it would be easier to escape when she had to if they didn't lock her up. Not that she believed they could actually take her wand away. "I think I would rather be a guest." She might also be able to figure out how people who were obviously muggles knew she had a wand before she left. "If you could let me go?"
Buffy released her wrists but didn't move away. Tonks rubbed her numb wrists before flexing the left one, releasing her wand from its holster. She gingerly handed it to Buffy who looked at it curiously for a few seconds before handing it to the woman who'd noticed it. "You can have it back when you leave." she told Tonks. "As soon as you get your guest badge we can go up to my office and have a chat."
"Guest badge?" Tonks questioned.
"Yes. None of the doors you are allowed through will open without it." Buffy looked at her. "We'll need to know your name..."
"Oh..." Tonks briefly considered lying but decided it was better not to just in case she was recognized, as unlikely as that was. "Tonks, just Tonks." she told them. She felt like a bug under glass while they waited for something.
"Here you go." The woman who'd been silent until now handed her a small card with a muggle picture of her on it and gestured to just below shoulder level. "Pin it about here."--- --- ---
Tonks followed Buffy to her office, trying to memorize everything she saw along the way even though she had no idea what she was seeing in the rooms they passed. The office she was shown to was large, with a love-seat near a large wooden desk. She recognized some of the other things but it was very different from the offices she was used to in the Ministry. Buffy pointed towards a wooden chair in front of the desk and waited for Tonks to sit before sitting in a chair behind the desk.
"I need to make a call but then we can talk." Buffy told her, picking up the phone on her desk. Tonks wasn't able to see what she did to the phone but she watched her facial expressions and listened curiously to the half of the conversation she could hear.
"Randall? Is Giles in today" Buffy asked the person on the other end. "Great! Could you get him for me? Thanks."
"Hey Giles! You'll never guess who showed up in our lobby a few minutes ago."
"Ummm... No, not Riley. Why would he come here?" Tonks thought Buffy didn't appear too happy about whatever she was hearing. "No, he knows better than that. If he wants to meet her he can call us first. The girls are getting a bit nervous with all of the surprise visitors lately."
"No, not her. Never mind. I don't really have time for guessing games." She rubbed her eyes. "Why don't you just tell Jayne and Izzy that Fred is here."
"No, we don't know how it happened. She's in the infirmary right now. No, she doesn't seem to be hurt, just unconscious. She was fighting something large and..." she looked at Tonks.
"Blue, and it was throwing fireballs at her." Tonks told her, wondering why she didn't look too surprised.
"According to our only witness it was blue and it was throwing fireballs at her." Buffy grimaced. "Yes, we do have a witness but she doesn't know what happened or how they got here either. Okay. Once Fred wakes up we'll have her write it up for you."
"I would like to keep them both here until we figure out what happened." Buffy was staring at Tonks again when she said this and Tonks got the distinct impression that leaving before they knew how it had happened wasn't going to be an option. "Do you need someone to cover for her until she gets back?" Buffy grimaced again. "Faith? Only if it is an emergency. She's too valuable to tie down to a specific place. Besides, she would get bored quickly and you know how dangerous a bored Faith can be."
Tonks wasn't sure what was going on but she was getting increasingly nervous about the things she'd heard and what she'd seen. Something was going on that was outside her experience. She watched Buffy put down the phone and sigh in relief.
"So, Tonks. Why don't you tell me how you managed to get to Cleveland from London in less time than it takes by plane?" Buffy asked her from across the desk. "I spoke to Fred earlier this morning so I know she was in London less than five hours ago."
"Cleveland?" Tonks stared at her in shock. "I'm in Cleveland? In America?"
"Yes." Tonks could feel Buffy watching her intently. "Cleveland." Buffy repeated.
"I really need to tell someone where I am." Tonks told her, avoiding her earlier question. "So they don't come looking for me."
Buffy seemed about to answer her when there was a quick knock on the door and someone walked in. "Buffy? Dawn said you needed to see me about something?"
Tonks turned around at the sound of a familiar voice. "Wotcher, Ginny!" she blurted out in surprise.
"Nymphadora Tonks! What are you doing here?" a very surprised Ginny Weasley squeaked.--- --- ---