I hold no rights to the usage of the Buffy the Vampire Slayer characters, nor to the characters from Esther Freisner's "Gnome Man's Land" trilogy. For a brief description of Ms. Freisner's books, please visit here
. That isn't a requirement for enjoying this fic, but it certainly couldn't hurt. I am making no money off of this work.
Timothy Desmond, son of the Great Hern, step-son of Faustus, and Grant and Puissant Champion of the Fey, shrank away from the glare of a diminutive blonde woman in a manner most unbecoming for a hero of his renown and stature. He may have organized an influx of formerly exiled house spirits, vanquished Baba Yaga, and personally halted Loki's plans to bring about Ragnarok, but frankly, Buffy Summers looked like she was going to be his undoing.
The fact that Buffy Summers, the oldest living vampire slayer in the entirety of the history of the world, might have, in fact, had every right to be royally pissed off at the fey's chosen defender did nothing to stave off Tim's humiliation.
"This," The slayer's twisted, root-like stake cut a swath through the air to her right. "Is all your fault."
"Now, Buffy," Rupert Giles, defacto head of the Council of Watchers, and personal advisor to the twice-resurrected slayer, was cleaning his glasses. It seemed like a practiced move. It did little to reassure Tim of his continuing status as a living, breathing member of the world's population. "That accusation is almost entirely unfounded. We have no way of knowing whether or not this gentleman is, in fact, responsible for the current state of affairs."
"We were doing just fine, Giles, until Mr. Great Pissant of the Fey, here--"
"Grand and Puissant Champion of the Fey." Teleri corrected. Tim shot her a look, hoping she would get the hint to remain quiet, and that possibly the wind would shift so that the strong smell of herring would waft in a different direction.
"--And his valkyrie--"
"Banshee," Teleri began to glower. Tim perked up slightly. Maybe if Buffy and his banshee got into an argument, he could slink off into the background and be forgotten about.
"--Decided to come waltzing by and turn my friend into a creepy little--"
"We were just minding our own business!" Teleri drew herself up to her full height, which was slightly taller than Buffy's, and proceeded to loom over the slayer. Buffy, in turn, ignored her completely.
"And not to mention the fact that YOU told me," She punctuated her sentence with a sharp poke to the watcher's chest with Mr. Pointy. Giles winced. "That leprechauns don't EXIST!"
"Yes, Buffy, and I'm quite certain that we've managed to encounter absolutely everything that might go bump in the night on this planet."
"Excuse me," Master Runyun, cobbler-cum-agent-cum-tour-guide for all the various and sundry fair folk that snuck into the world from the Leeside on holiday, rapped Buffy in the knee with his hammer. "Have I got your attention now?"
Buffy glowered. Tim was beginning to wonder if she had any other expressions.
"First of all, your esteemed educator was correct. There ARE no such things as leprechauns. Secondly," Runyun peered up at Giles from his two foot height. "If we house-spirits go 'bump' in the night, it is not of our own doing, but instead a direct result of whatever lunacy compels you people to put small tables right in the middle of your rooms."
The short man never had quite gotten the hang of coffee tables.
Buffy crossed her arms and tilted her head down toward Runyun. "You're a leprechaun."
Tim closed his eyes. This could quite possibly lead to violence, and he really only wanted to enjoy his post-grad Ireland vacation without getting involved in business.
"I'll have you know that I am a lurchorpan. It is a noble group of house-sprites that has been much slighted by your Hollywood and your Disney. Leprechauns are entirely fictitious."
Buffy glanced off to her right.
"Or perhaps 'were' would be a better term."
"Excuse me?" Willow Rosenberg, founder of the International Coven for Wiccan Awareness and quite possibly the world's most powerful witch, spoke up for the first time since the so-called "Scooby Gang" had, rather literally, run into Tim and his friends. "I'm loving this discussion of semantics and all, really, right up my alley, but can we stay on topic? Because, hey, look, Xander's turned into a leprechaun."
She held out her right hand, from which dangled a fourteen-inch, one-eyed, surly-looking carpenter, dressed entirely in green, wearing a disproportionally large, buckled hat.
"It's a familial curse." Teleri shrugged. "He made the mistake of mocking his family's heritage, and now he's being punished."
Xander struggled briefly in Willow's grip. "I didna MEAN tae throw up on St. Patty's grave! 'Twas some bad fish!" He twisted slowly, hanging by his collar. "An' now I'm knee-high tae a grasshopper, resistin' tha urge tae do a jig, and speakin' wit' this bizarre, an' may I say, really bad, accent!"
"It's totally unfair." Willow, taking pity on her friend, lifted him up to allow him to sit on her shoulder, where he was unlikely to be accidentally stepped upon. "'Cause, St. Patrick? Not that stellar a guy. Driving all the snakes out of Ireland? Hello, euphamism for pagans? Besides," Willow's frown went from outraged to confused. "Xander's family is Scottish."
"Aye, some of Mr. Harris' family is Scottish." Teleri nodded, then tilted her head. "On his da's side. But I'm also seeing some German, French, Greek, Russian, and I think that's a hint of the dark continent, back five generations, give or take. But his mother's grandfather was straight off the boat from County Cork. He's as Irish as he needs to be."
The four heros stared at Tim's banshee, as Tim smiled. "Hey, just be glad most of the fey are sticking to the Leeside these days. He could be pestered by a bannik, or followed around by brownies."
Xander frowned. "Wee lasses in brown caps?"
"Whatever!" Buffy thrust her stake at Tim's chest. "How do we fix it?"
Tim shrugged. "If I had my old wand, I could probably do it, um, if I didn't accidentally banish him to Cleveland or something, but I think he's going to just have to fulfill the rules of the curse."
Xander leaned forward, nearly tumbling off Willow's shoulder, as he smacked himself none-to-lightly in the forehead. "Greeeeaaaat."
Willow gave him an awkward, gentle pat on the head with her index finger, which made him bounce against her collar bone yet somehow didn't disturb his hat in the least. "I'd turn you back, hon, but this is a completely different kind of magic."
"Nay, nay, I ken, 'tis okay." Xander shook his head sadly. He winced as he spoke, as though not able to believe he was being forced to utter the words, and in what was really and truly a ridiculously bad Irish accent. "I'm jus' goin' tae have tae. . . ." The leprechaun glared at the group around him. To be fair, they were all trying very hard to contain their snickers. "Collect all me lucky charms."