“What makes you think we’ll trust you?” Buffy asked. “You wouldn’t trust us when we saved you. You forced us to choose between spill our secrets or going to jail.”
Xander’s lips quirked slightly at the surprised expressions cross most witches and wizards’ faces. “That hat says we are trustworthy but we don’t trust you, especially after you threaten us.” He said out loud, while he telepathically spoke to his friends. Does anyone else thing its weird they trust a hat?It would fit in just fine with the Hellmouth.
Buffy said. We had humans trapped in trophies, dummies animated by human souls, robots that seemed human, and so much more, an intelligent hat would be just fine.
She said.The hat at least possessed some resemblance of common sense and an ability to be forthright about things; unlike the witches and wizards.
Mad-eye, the only one not surprised, spoke gruffly. “Fine be gone then.”
“Oh no, it’s not so simple. You know some of our secrets, and we have no reason to trust you especially with what has happened.” Willow said. “If the hat fell into the wrong hands, with the knowledge it now possesses, could spell disaster for our group if not the world—both magical and muggle.”
“A muggle? Isn’t that one of the Care Bears? When Dawn was younger I remember her wanting one of them for Christmas” Buffy asked looking confused.
Mad Eye pointed his wand at them. “How do you know about muggles?” He demanded.
“There goes that lack of trust issue again.” Xander said in a mock disappointed voice.
“Since you couldn’t Obliviate us, you have been however unconsciously been projecting about the ‘disasters’ that could befall the ‘magical world’ if random muggles-or non magical people knew about magic.” Willow said. “It was merely a matter that I was sensitive enough to pick up on those thoughts that I know about muggles.”
“You’re telepathic?” Remus asked.
“Not really, it’s a magic side effect thing. I can only assume that your magics interacting with my own allowed me to pick up the thoughts and only because you’ve been thinking about them non stop.” Willow said with a slight frown, making a mental note to research that as she considered the problem. “Like how a sensitive radio might pick—”
A friendly nudge and a cough from Xander broke Willow’s concentration before she started a full stream babble.
“Can we leave the magical theory discussions to later? I want to get home soon, but we can’t go until this trust issue is resolved.” Buffy said as she played with the stake she carried.
Although Giles had been quiet for the most part he removed his glasses. “The easiest way to ensure our secrets are kept it to make sure the hat doesn’t talk.”
“The Hat will swim with the fishes” Xander said with a gravelly laugh.
Buffy hit Xander. “I told you to lay off the gangster movies. We are not the next Lucchese family.”
“I see how it is; pick on the Xan-man.” Xander said affecting an injured tone.
Willow noticed a slight magical disturbance in the air and turned to look at the wizardfolk. Before she could comment a few of them had apparated away. Within seconds they all had gone.
“I guess rule 6 of the evil overlord list can apply to this situation. I will not gloat over my enemies' predicament before stopping them.” Xander said. “So what do we do now that they got away without us being to ensure their trustworthiness?”
“That may not be true.” Giles said looking over at Willow. “That one man said Willow was praying—what ever she was saying was in Hebrew.”
Willow smiled secretively. “The hat apparently grew a soul sometime after its animation, and it understood why some of the information it learned was dangerous and volunteered to be placed under a geas. A geas is strongest when taken voluntarily. I placed two upon the hat, one a traditional one and the other was the newest form of magic I’ve been experimenting with—weaving it directly into another magic. If the hat breaks either of the geases it will become a regular old hat with no special properties.”
Giles nodded as her words confirmed his thoughts. “And if someone tries to force their way through the geas?” He asked curiously.
“The magic I weaved the second geas into was the one that animated the hat. If they are able to break through the first geas, any attempts to overcome the second one will cause the Hat to revert back to a normal hat." Willow explained
“So everything’s safe? Then why didn’t you say something earlier?” Buffy asked as she started toward the exit of the cemetery..
“I know how much you like making threats and watching people squirm.” Willow said as she followed
As the Scoobies walked off their conversation floated back over the now empty graveyard.
“That amount of paranoia usually means they are trying to protect something… perhaps we should do some research…” Giles said.
Buffy shook her head. “Things have been slow… but not the calm before a storm. If it was something that affected a larger portion of the population, I’d think we’d have some kind of warning since you know how the bad guys are about keeping quiet.”
“They’re xenophobic… You could tell by the way they wouldn’t even trust someone that helped them. You saw how they seemed surprised by us. It wouldn’t surprise me if the problem they have is that due to their isolation.” Willow sounded bitter. “Hopefully one of their group doesn’t develop into the next Hitler.”
AN: An explanation for those who will inevitably question the telepathic communication between the Scoobies… remember it happened in Season 7, Willow, Buffy and Xander all held a telepathic communication amongst themselves, and it wasn’t Willow who started it. I have two theories you can choose from. (1) It’s a side effect from the joining spell they did in Season 4 to defeat Adam. (2) If you assume that telepathic communications like that happened in the battle early S6 (the one Willow was on the crypt giving directions) and in S7 (same episode mentioned above) were common, perhaps a ‘pathway’ between them developed, that any of them could access easily. This is the last installment of this story, I know the ending is kind of ambiguous, but I really couldn’t think of a way to continue this story.