Summary: Aftermath of the Warehouse fight.
AN: Post Season 7 in canon Jossverse. They survive Sunnydale collapse (except Anya and Spike)
AN: Post OotP. Golden Trio has graduated.
…ooO The Aftermath Ooo...
Several hours later an elated group of adults returned to Slayer HQ.
The first was Remus levitating the unconscious rescuees. The children were unhurt but stupefied to keep them under control.
“It is easier to just let them wake up at their own pace.” Dawn decided as she directed the guys to carry the kids into the secure guests rooms. Once she was satisfied their ‘guests’ were safe she turned to the werewolf. “And what happened to you?”
The British werewolf winced. “Silver. I didn’t expect silver knives.”
Dawn snorted as she pushed the werewolf onto a cot in the Slayers triage room and snapped on a pair of disposable latex gloves.
“Silver is more durable than gold. Lots of artifacts and weapons have silverwork or are made of silver alloys.” Competently and carefully she cleaned the wound and applied an antiseptic salve and gauze pad held in place by strips of medical tape cut by Ginny Weasley. “You should have stayed back.” Remus stiffened at the blunt words from a much younger person. “All of us have weaknesses. The key is to allow your friends to compensate for them.” Dawn continued briskly as she checked the werewolf for other abrasions. “It is not like I’m prejudiced against werewolves. Willow used to date a really nice guy named Oz. He left after graduation to learn how to control his ‘wolf’.”
Remus was fascinated. “And did he?”
“Oh yes. He met these monks in Tibet. They taught him how to control the change and his instincts. Now he can shift whenever he wants to and still keep his human mind.”
“Without any potion?” Hermione was fascinated. “Wizards use the Wolfbane potion to keep their senses during full moons.”
Dawn shrugged. “I don’t know anything about that. When Buffy was in high school we used a book cage and tranq guns during full moons.” She smiled slightly. “If you want we can send a message to Oz. It may take a while though. I think he’s in Australia right now.”
Remus merely shook his head. “It would be a pleasure to meet him.”
Dawn nodded briskly. “Good. How far ahead were you?”
“Not very. The others stayed behind to track down any escapees and to clean up.”
Dawn bit her lip. “Okay. They should be in any minute now. Lets wait for them in the Library.”
And she was right. Less than ten minutes later the crew of Slayers, witches, wizards, and Muggles arrived bubbling on an endorphine high.
The recent grads were terrified by the sight of a happy Mad-Eye Moody. He was literally bubbling with glee.
“Those ponces at the Department should have seen these girls! Such style! Such panache! Such ruthlessness! I wonder if it rubs off? Perhaps asking a few Slayers teaching at the Auror Academy will improve the quality of new Aurors…”
Molly Weasley was worrying and Minerva McGonagall was complacently pleased.
“I must admit it was a bit of a shock. I never thought anyone could move that fast!”
“Slayers aren’t normal Muggles Molly.” Minerva was feeling a little edgy by the Weasley matriarchs refusal to comprehend.
“I know but it is so easy to forget it. Just looking at them, so young and attractive. This is no life for any girl.” Molly fretted.
“But it is what we Chose.” One of the unknown Slayers stressed the word. “When Willow used the Scythe she showed us what was and what could be. She asked each and everyone of us if we were ready to be strong, to fight.” She waved indicating her Slayer sisters. “We were and we am.”
“But what about the young ones?” Molly refused to be placated.
Trish, the first Slayer they met, shrugged. “What kid doesn’t dream of being a hero? Of knights and magic? It was a shock when we found out it wasn’t just a dream but most of us adjusted pretty quickly when we found out we were going to be taught, not tossed out like the Slayers under the Dinosaur Council.”
Minerva nodded firmly. “That’s it lass. Don’t be cowed by the unknown.” A secondary concern came to her forethoughts. “What about the children we rescued?”
“They’re sleeping.” Dawn spoke up. “Once they’re awake we’ll question them to see how much they remember. If the trauma is intense we’ll use a memory blurring spell, to help them cope with the nightmares.”
Everyone nodded it was for the best. Then Hermione frowned.
“What will happen to them?”
Dawn bit her lip. “We’ll call in with an anonymous tip and drop them off at a shopping mall or something. A few Slayers will watch and make sure they are safe and picked up by the police or mall security.”
“But won’t they remember and tell other Muggles?” Blaise protested.
Dawn shrugged. “Forgetfulness Potion. Erases recent memories up to 24 hours. The police will assume they blocked the memories to cope with the trauma.” She smiled wryly. “Even if they do remember who would believe them? They’ll grow up believing it was a bad experience best forgotten.”
Remus frowned. The Ministry of Magics used Obliviates, not potions that could wear off and risk Muggles remembering.
“What if they remember and try to find out?”
“We have a policy for that.” Giles murmured in his cultured voice. He smiled at Xander, Robin, Willow, and Severus who entered the room. Severus and Willow went to their adopted daughter who was curled-up on a sofa sound asleep. “We tell them the truth and give them the choice to back out and pretend it was a dream, or to help.”
Hermione frowned. “But you must have helped so many people!”
“But not all of them ahem, prefer to remember.” Giles pointed out wryly
“Sunnydale Syndrome.” Xander commented wryly.
“Sunnydale Syndrome?” Minerva inquired curiously.
“Oh yeah. The infamous Sunnydale Syndrome.” Buffy answered with her own wry smile. “No one wants to know the yucky reality of the world.”
The witches and wizards considered it. It was true in their experience. Oh the whole most Muggles did not believe in magic and often it required Minerva McGonagall visiting in person to get parents to send their Muggleborn offspring to Hogwarts.
Blaise frowned. “But what if they do remember. And do want to get involved?”
“That has happened.” Giles acknowledged. “Watchers were often recruited from those who know. We have often found major cities have people aware of vampires and lesser demons. Coroners, night shift detectives, ER doctors. An old colleague mentioned a street gang that fought vampires in Los Angeles long before he joined them.”
“Does everyone have fight?” Molly asked with some disapproval and fear. “That is silly.”
“I don’t have magic or super strength but I fight.” Xander pointed out. “I cannot stand by knowing my friends may die.”
“And everyone doesn’t have to go up-close-and-personal against a demon.” Giles added. “Buffy used to take the brunt of our battles but she was always supported by her family and friends, with their encouragement and understanding. Xander and Willow were a great deal of help in researching and tracking down information.”
Molly was troubled. “But why fight at all?”
Buffy snorted. “If we don’t fight we die.”
Giles was more diplomatic. “Our Existence is an affront to higher demons. They were driven from this plane by those they consider as mere animals, mortal human beings.”
“Besides not everyone chooses an active role.” Severus smirked. “The more wealthy individuals choose to offer financial support, their professional services and contacts.”
Willow smiled wryly “It is easy working in a town where a police detective knows when to look away. Knowing there are doctors and nurses that can treat the more serious injuries.”
Remus was troubled. “You make them targets.”
Buffy snorted. “They are already random targets by living.”
“And we don’t leave them without protection.” Severus pointed out. “Their homes are warded against lower level intrusion and we offer self-defense training in tactics ordinary, non-magical beings can use.”
“And they often form a support network for Slayers in their cities.” Willow murmured. “This is the core training base for North America but there are vampires and demons everywhere so it is better to have bases in most major cities.”
“Like your Order of the Phoenix.” Dawn murmured. She smiled at her new friends before looking at her elders. “Giles, what do you feel about getting a few students trained in wand magic? The girls and Blaise are interested in interning with us.”
Giles glanced over the guests, young and old. “Are you serious? Are you truly interested in an apprenticeship with the Neo-Council?”
“Most definitely Mr. Giles.” To the elders surprise it was Luna Lovegood who spoke, her gaze and expression clear and resolute. “There is so much more we can do here than in a dead-end Ministry job. Besides,” She smiled impishly. “Dawn told me all of you used to have day jobs in Sunnydale. It will be interesting living in a Muggle city that has such a different magical community.”
Giles glanced at Minerva McGonagall, the nominal adult.
She sighed and nodded as well. “It would be a good start. And it is easier for young ones to learn new things and to change their ways.”
Severus raised a brow. “Are you calling Me a young one?”
Laughter broke the solemn consideration.
“I taught you Severus. You are definitely a young one to me!” She bit back with a smile. “I’ll help anyone interested in talking with your parents and making arrangements.”
“And that can be done tomorrow.” Willow said firmly. “It’s been a late night and we still have to make sure the rescuees are alright before getting them home.”
Minerva nodded. “Yes. It is very late.”
Willow bit her lip and glanced at the bright-eyed youths. “You may wish to reconsider.”
That stopped everyone dead.
“And why should we?” Hermione demanded to know aggressively.
The redhead glanced at her lover who lowered heavy-lidded eyes to his adopted daughter resting up in his arms. Black enigmatic eyes glanced at his once-students before looking at his beloved.
Willow nodded and glanced at the glaring witches and wizards. Had she been that demanding, that intent on getting her way? Yes. It had to be Karma. She sighed before speaking.
“We are having a few other interns from England; specifically three Slytherin students. Draco Malfoy. Millicent Bulstrode. Lawrence Higgs.” She spoke quickly. “I know their parents were Death Eaters and they were raised in that philosophy but Sev wants to show them the other side of magic, the good and bad.” She smiled sadly. “Even if they don’t change their prejudices perhaps the experience will make them think twice about stepping on the Dark Path to Evil.” She glanced at the teens. “Are you still interested in staying in Cleveland?”
The three Slytherins graduates had not taken the Dark Mark and thus escaped official Ministry arrests and censure. But they had been subject to the subsequent shunning, humiliation and gossip of the Death Eater trials and war aftermath.
Hermione glanced at her fellow witches and Blaise. She did not factor Ron or Harry. They would have to make their own decision. But the others agreed with her; there were a few hesitant gazes but they all wanted to learn. She turned to the core Neo-Council members.
“Yes.” She spoke the affirmative strongly. “We want to stay and study.”
Willow glanced at Giles and Severus who nodded.
“That’s good to hear.” She spoke slowly before smiling brighter. “But you don’t have to make your decision right now. There is time for that later.” Green eyes caught black eyes in a heated embrace. “There is plenty of time for that later.”
She moved to her lover, her beloved, her other half, and placed a hand on his bicep. She forgot about her friends, the guests, the potential students. All she cared about was settling their daughter in her bed and retiring to her own with Severus.
The witches and wizards watched the couple retreat without a word of farewell. All felt degrees of shock and distaste/disgust.
Giles noticed that and his hazel eyes hardened.
“Severus and Willow are a couple. Anyone planning on staying here will have to accept that. Anyone making rude observations, comments or remarks about their relationship will not be welcome. This is Our ground, not yours.” He bit in Ripper undertones.
Several heads nodded frantically.
Moody eyed the mild-mannered Watcher with new respect. No wonder he managed to guide such a strong-minded Slayer. Could he teach others how to speak like that?
Hermione was more intent on making plans of study. There was so much information! So many people, so many resources!
Ginny noticed her best friends eager expression.
“Easy does it Hermione! We don’t have to start right away.”
Hermione bit her lip.
“But there is so much to learn!” She wailed.
To her surprise the one-eyed Muggle carpenter ruffled her head affectionately.
“Goodness, you remind me so much of Wills.” He sighed nostalgically. “She’d finish assignments the day they were handed out. She had to learn how to do everything Right Now!” He grinned wickedly. “It took Buffy one week to break her of that.”
Buffy laughed. “The first lesson you are going to learn is how to enjoy yourself. Scooby style!”
“And go clubbing.” Dawn chimed in enthusiastically. “Clem mentioned a new Neutral Zone bar is opening in Boston. Do you think we can visit for the opening night?”
Giles shuddered. “NO!” He replied firmly. “It may be more of a Willys than Caritas.” He said sternly. “One of the Boston Slayers will do a recon report before any planned trips.”
Dawn pouted but subsided with an evil grin. No planned trips huh… Well what about an unplanned one? All she had to do was make sure the adults were busy and find out if the other girls were interested.
Ginny noted the manic glee in the American girl. Dawn was definitely reminding Ginny of her twin brothers Fred and George. She had the same look as they while working on any major prank or gag. For a moment she resisted. Oh why not! She Was going to learn how to enjoy herself Scooby style.
AN: Sorry Spike lovers. I’m keeping the Slayers away from Angel except for the occasional information exchange on demons.
AN: Sorry Draco lovers. He didn’t call for a role in this story. But I have an idea for a one-shot sequel. Three Slytherins in Cleveland. Don’t know when it’ll be finished.
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