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They were being avoided. Much like plague. It suited the three of them just fine. They were in the library doing research. Giles certainly knew his way around the torture. Book torture was highly underrated and less likely to be used, so they had not suspected they were being tortured at first. Connor was bored out of his skull... and sleepy too. Draco had been into it at first, but now he was content to flick spit wads at Wednesday... who was some sort of speed-reader. She also had fabulous 'hand-eye coordination without the actual eye' skills. So far she had batted away every wad Draco had sent her way without even looking up from her text.
Sleep had been rather elusive last night due to the three of them catching each other up on what the what was. Now they knew everything about one another. Well, most everything. They knew the important stuff. the rest they'd figure out as time went on. Just the way close cousins should. Connor was a bit amazed by Draco's father. His actual one. Oooo, if he ever got alone with that bastard. The big hurt would be on like Donkey Kong.
"I'm bored." Draco whispered to Connor, his voice holding the barest hint of a whine.
"Shhhh." Wednesday said out of the side of her mouth.
Draco rolled his eyes dramatically before tipping his chair back on two legs to look at the ceiling. Connor amused himself by kicking one of the legs and causing Draco to crash noisily to the floor.
Wednesday glared at the two of them. She expected Giles to come storming over to their corner of the library and see what all the racket was about.
But he didn't.
Draco picked himself up off the floor and went to investigate. He returned quickly.
"We're alone." He shook his head. "They bloody well left the three of us here alone. Can you believe it? Don't they know what damage we can do with no adult supervision?"
Connor smiled. "Let's show them."
"In a minute." Wednesday said without looking up.
"What are you doing?" Connor asked.
She sorted several pages that had writing on them. Then made the stack neat. "Finished."
"The research. It's completed. Let's go."
Draco smirked. "That's my sister."
The exiting of the library had been more difficult than anticipated. Sure, they had been left alone, but they were locked in. Connor had been about to kick the door down when Draco had taken his wand and unlocked the door. It just wouldn't do for them to get into even more trouble for busting up a door when it was unnecessary.
The three of them hurried along the mostly deserted hallways of the building and made their way outside.... even though Draco and Wednesday were not fond of the sun. It was a bit overcast and cloudy this afternoon, so it wasn't too disturbing to their milky complexions.
The gardens out back of the council house were very nice. There was a small pond with some sort of fish swimming about in it. The motley little trio had commandeered some of the large rocks that had been placed near the pond for landscaping purposes. They would be passing the afternoon there.
Connor was trying to teach Draco how to skip rocks without the use of his wand. Wednesday had taken Draco's discarded outer robe and made herself some sort of a weird cover with fallen tree branches to block what little daylight there was. Connor wasn't sure how she had managed it. She currently had a bunch of wild daisies that she was pulling the petals from.
Draco had stripped down to his white dress shirt and rolled the sleeves up. He was getting pretty good at the rock skipping. He and Connor were now having contests to see who could skip the most and who could skip the farthest distance.
"There you guys are."
The three of them looked up. There was a tall brunette girl standing there.
"Giles was having a panic attack when he found the library all empty, but yay for getting the research done in half the time he thought it would take you."
"Who're you?" Connor asked suspiciously.
"Oh right. Sorry. I'm Dawn." She held out her hand.
No one moved to take it.
"Dawn Summers. Buffy's my sister."
"Ah." Draco said. "You're Niblet."
Wednesday looked at the other girl blankly. "Spike speaks of you often, but he doesn't call you Dawn."
Dawn nodded. "Cool." Then she looked at all of them. Her eyes landed on Connor. "Lemme guess... you're Angel's son."
"Overhanging forehead gave him away, hmmm?" Draco commented. "Or was it the aura of brooding?"
Connor touched his forehead self-consciously. "I don't have an overhanging forehead."
Dawn giggled. It sounded a little rusty, as if she hadn't had much to giggle about in a long while. Then she stiffened back up into watcher mode. "You guys need to come back inside. You're not supposed to be relaxing. You're supposed to be doing punish work like me."
"You?" Draco said with a snort. "What'd YOU do that was so terrible? Forget to use the right notation on your research, watcher girl?"
Dawn arched a brow. "For your information, I went out patrolling for vampires alone because I was pissed off and needed to blow of some steam because my sister borrowed my favorite shirt... without permission... and got demon goo and on it."
Connor was suddenly interested. "What sort of demon goo?"
"I dunno. It was purple, and it stained. That's all I know. I was sorta to mad to make with the research on something that was really dead and all exploded up. Kinda moot, you know?"
"So you like to hunt vampires." Wednesday stated. "But you're friends with our adopted father."
"I'll say." Connor commented.
Draco glared at him and seemed ready to pounce.
"Don't even think about it, Blondie-bear Junior."
"Look..." Dawn said sternly. "We've wasted enough time out here. You guys have to get back inside before Giles has a cow."
"Mister Giles can give birth to bovines?" Wednesday asked. "Disturbing and fascinating. Can we watch?"
Draco was into the game now. "No, we can't watch or no, he doesn't birth cows?"
Dawn was looking distinctly frustrated.
Connor got up and steered her over to their little rest area. "Look, it's no good trying to get us in until we actually want to go... which that's not now, so why don't you join us?"
"I have work-"
"Work smerk." Draco scoffed. "Come on, Summers. Connor'll teach you how to skip rocks on the water. For sounding so dull an activity, it's surprisingly fun."
"I can't I... I'm not supposed to..."
"And you've never done anything you weren't supposed to?" Connor asked with a wicked grin on his slightly girlish features.
Dawn sighed. "Where are the rocks?"
It was rather late in the day when Faith came stomping across the back gardens.
"What the fuck are the four of you doing?"
All four of them, even Wednesday now, had rocks in their hands. They were also all wearing a woven wild daisy ring crowns on their heads that Dawn had made earlier. Even Draco and Connor. They were frozen like kids with their hands right in the cookie jar. Scratch that, they were the equivalent of holding the cookie jar tipped up over their open mouths just now.
"D, you were supposed to round them up and bring them in... not hang out too. Giles is way pissed now."
"It's not her fault." Wednesday said blandly.
"Yes." Draco chimed in "We... er... we..."
"Brainwashed her." Connor finished, nodding proudly.
Dawn actually laughed. "They didn't do anything. I chose to slack, thank you, and I'm not sorry I did. Everybody else around here seems to get a day off but me."
"No." She did a shooing motion with her hand. "You just go tell Giles we'll be in when we're good and ready. I'm tired of playing indentured servant research and whatnot girl because I decided to vent a little on some vamps."
"You went out alone."
"So do you."
"Yeah, well, I'm a slayer."
"Yes. Let's ALWAYS rub the fact that Dawn'll never be as good as anyone else around here because she's made from slayer parts but she'll never be an actual slayer in Dawn's face... because that same song and dance could never get old to Dawn's ears."
Faith actually looked shocked. "I didn't say THAT."
Dawn turned her back.
"Just go'way." Her voice cracked.
Faith gave the rest of them a wide-eyed look before turning a leaving.
Connor put an arm around Dawn. "Hey, she didn't hurt your feelings or anything, did she? We don't care if you're a slayer or not, and you're right. Everyone needs a day off."
Dawn looked up with a smile. "Are you kidding? Pfft. I'm way tougher than that. I can't believe Faith hasn't caught on yet. Come on, let's get the heck out of here before they figure it out."
"Out of here?"
"Yeah, Draco's a wizard right?"
Draco looked at her. "I am."
"Let's go to the Leaky Cauldron and have some butterbeers."
Connor nodded. He didn't know what butterbeers were, but anywhere but here sounded good. "They serve food there? Cos I'm starved."
Draco perked up. "Shepherd's pie."
Dawn grinned. "Lady and gentlemen, we have a plan."
"Who are you calling a lady?" Wednesday deadpanned.
Dawn draped an arm about the other girl's shoulders. "My bad."
"I don't like to be touched."
"Well, you'll just have to make an exception for me, won't you?"
Draco and Connor exchanged a smirk.
"Let's blow this popsicle stand."
Draco made a face. "You're dirty."
"I didn't mean it like that. You've never heard that expression before?"
"Wizards aren't like other people." Wednesday offered in her unaffected tone.
The four of the headed for the south gate with Dawn leading the way.
Connor took to butterbeer like a fish took to water. The four of them were well into their 'cups' when Willow found them. She looked pinched. Very pinched. Even more pinched when she noticed the feast spread about their table. Draco had gotten great satisfaction by getting Tom to put everything on Lucius Malfoy's tab. Yes, the man was in Azkaban, but his assets hadn't been frozen. Draco got lots of perverse satisfaction from that fact.
"What do the four of you think you're doing?"
"Having some drinks and a bite to eat?" Draco offered.
"This isn't supposed to be vacation time for any of you. Giles is all upset and making this click-y noise with his tongue and Faith is swearing up a storm because Dawn duped her. Not very smart to trick Faith and duck out."
"I just wanted..."
"Plus, Dawnie, Buffy didn't know where you were. Again. You know how she gets."
"You know, Willow, I actually do know how she gets. She's my sister. The monks made me out of her. I know EXACTLY how she gets, but sometimes I need a break from being guarded key and made-up little sister of the slayer."
Willow made a face. "Dawn, do you really think you need to be talking about the key thing in front of strangers?"
"What strangers? All I see are friends here. People that helped me escape my pathetic life for a minute... and someone who already knew because my sister told her."
"Fine." Willow sighed in exasperation. "But you all are getting your deviant hineys back to the council house now to face the Giles-y music. Let's go. Now."
Draco and Connor exchanged a conspiratorial look.
"No use, guys. Don't even think about it." Dawn said. "See that face? That is the infamous Willow resolve face. Mere mortals are powerless against it."
"What about miracle children?"
Dawn gave the boys a look. "You're both mortal, right?"
"Powerless against the mighty force of the resolve face. Not even a seasoned brat like myself can resist its pull."
Connor sighed. He grabbed his bottle of butterbeer and drained it. Afterwards, he slammed the empty bottle on the table. Then he gave a hearty burp. Draco snickered. Wednesday's mouth twitched a little and she almost smiled. Willow rolled her eyes when Dawn started laughing.
"And that, ladies..." Dawn gestured to Willow. "Female things that prefer not to be called ladies..." She gestured to Wednesday. "And gentlemen is what is called calling it a night. Thank you, London, you're beautiful. G'night."
Tom the bartender was chuckling behind his bar towel as Willow ushered her group out. The redhead looking mighty irritated. Probably because the group following her was giggling rather boisterously. The giggling was punctuated by Connor's belching every so often.
"I think butterbeer makes me gassy." He announced right before burping again. Loudly.
"Well, at least it's coming out of THAT end." Draco remarked.
Then they all started snickering again.
end 2 of 7