Summary: Somewhere there is a place where all AU and reality realms mix. Most likely, it's a bar or a club of some sort so you can escape.
The Crossover Saloon.
Xander 'Lavelle' Harris touched the artifact, then withdrew his hand. The voice in his ear told him it would be fine but he was grimacing. "Something's off," he hissed. "It's charged." He kicked open the containment case, hoping he could get it in there before it did him or someone some damage. He stepped closer, touching it again. "If this is like the hyena thing, I'm going to punish you, Lupin," he warned, earning a warm chuckle. "I mean it. I don't need possessed again." He let both hands rest on it and then took a deep breath before increasing the contact and picking it up. He winced as he felt himself be pulled away. "Fuck me," he said bitterly.
Xander looked around, then up at Hogwarts. This summer sucked too much. There wasn't anything for him to do. The kids were too excited about starting school again. Not even his usual playmates were around. The gryphons were all in nesting mode and he wasn't really needed for that. Draco was at his house pouting at his own kids. This summer definitely sucked. He turned and found a portal opening behind him. "Uh-huh," he said dryly, tapping his fingers on his hips. He pulled his wand, casting a telltale on it to see if he could figure out what it was.
"What are you doing!" an angry voice called from closer to the school. "Get away from that before you get sucked in!" Severus Snape tried to pull the boy away but he couldn't quite reach him. "Alexander!" he snapped. "Now, Harris-Weasley. Before I have to tell your son."
Xander frowned back at him. "Let my son continue his dancing around," he said, turning back around. "It's not dark magic. I'd know about that." He stepped closer, across the threshold of the portal. "I'll be back in two days, tell George I'm okay," he called, waving as he was taken off.
Severus growled and went to find Xander's son. The boy was as much a trouble magnet as his father. Besides, he and his cousins could cure nearly any problem if they worked together, especially with him and Draco helping them.
Alex 'Xander' 'Carnage' Dumass looked at the new artifact. It was a pretty thing. It was written on in a language he didn't really understand. It was like it was ancient Norse, but not quite. He tipped his head to the side, sighing in frustration. "Draco!" he called. "This thing needs a Philip touch I think." He grabbed his wand as he stood up, intending to cast a translation spell. His consort veela walked in, giving him a dirty look before taking it away. Draco was fading as he walked so Xander grabbed at him. No one was taking his consort anywhere! So they both had disappeared by the time his other apprentices came up to check on them.
Dawn Summers looked around, then grimaced. "Where did he go this time? He won't get out of helping with the laundry that easy!" she said, stomping off. The male apprentices wisely got out of her way, especially her boyfriend Ron.
Harry looked at Ron and mouthed the three little letters that made most men shudder in fear. "PMS?"
Ron nodded quickly then went to check the work room. "The artifact's gone too," he announced, backing out of there. Something was definitely off in that room. He grimaced and touched his arm, bringing Methos apparating and running. "They're missing, the artifact is gone, and the magic feels wrong."
Methos checked the magical currents, grimacing. "How did they get hold of that thing!" he demanded.
"Someone sent it to them," Harry said helpfully. "Tipsy said it wasn't a problem." He shrugged when his Defense Against The Dark Arts teacher looked at him. "We don't know," he admitted. "They sent it with an owl in a containment case for him to identify. He's been locked in there all morning."
"HARRY!" Dawn bellowed. "I CAN HEAR YOU!"
"Sorry, Dawn, but they're missing," Ron called, rolling his eyes as he went to calm her down again. He even broke into his sacred chocolate frog stash to make her feel better.
Methos grimaced. "Fine. It's a teleporting artifact. Any magic near it would set it off, even if you only had latent gifts. It goes to a bar, I wouldn't worry. It'll bring them back in two days." He walked out, going to report to the rest of the group. They needed to know the hazardous ones were missing...again.
Harry glanced in the room, then followed him. It would be more interesting and informative than watching an empty room.
Lavelle found himself outside a set of doors. Big, thick, heavy oak doors. "Valhalla?" he said, looking around. "And not a valkyrie in sight." He pushed open the door, walking inside. The bartender smiled at him. "Valhalla?" he asked.
"We've been called that before. Welcome to the Crossroad's Bar." He waved behind him at the extensive liquor collection. Lavelle put his wallet on the table and the man gave him a look. "Don't worry about it. It's been provided as a safe spot for weary travelers to rest."
"Demonic?" Lavelle asked.
The man snorted. "Not hardly." He leaned closer. "Does this look like a well, son?" Xander grinned and pointed at a bottle. "You sure?"
"Sure am. I haven't had any rootbeer in a while. And a shot of Crown Royal too." He pulled the bug out of his ear and stuck it into his pocket. Since it wasn't working, why wear it and give himself more of an earache? The shot and drink were put in front of him. "Thanks. So, what happened? I was removing this artifact and suddenly I'm here without it."
"Little urn looking thing, felt magical?" a familiar voice said from behind him.
Lavelle looked back. "Huh. Great, an alternate universe me. Vampire?"
"Wizard actually. You?"
"Assassin and gunman for one of the world's greatest thieves." He held out a hand. "I go by Lavelle in my world."
"Alex Dumass was my original name but I deaged and turned into Xander." He shook it and sat down. "Can I have a coke?" His consort stomped in and tapped him on the back. "Sit, Draco. Now. We've got a damn big riddle." Draco sighed and sat on his other side. "Dear, does he look familiar to you?"
Draco looked around his consort at the other Xander. Then he groaned and shook his head, hitting his consort as hard as he could on the arm. "Asshole! See what you do when left alone!"
Alex grinned at his boy. "Behave or I'm masturbating tonight." Draco quit, giving him a cold look. "Thank you." He looked at Lavelle. "Little urn?"
"About a foot high," he agreed. "Pure gold, had funny things carved on it. Lupin said it was an important artifact."
Alex frowned. "Lupin?"
"The Third?" Lavelle suggested.
"He may not exist in his world," the bartender pointed out. "Not everything is perfectly similar. Oh, the vampire you is upstairs. Someone thoughtfully chained him up when he appeared last month."
"Cool." Lavelle slammed his shot then sipped his rootbeer. "Should we prepare for another one? I thought magic worked in orders of threes. Or at least it does in my life."
"Ours too," Alex admitted dryly. "Okay, where did our lines converge? Besides the obvious," he admitted with a grin. "Come on, I wanna know."
Lavelle looked at him. "Did you get a magic addicted Willow killing?" He gaped and shook his head. "Glory?" Alex nodded. "Probably somewhere between there. In my world, Willow went bad, went good, the town was destroyed, they moved to Cleveland, I stayed in LA to help Wes and Gunn with Angel's issues. Wesley came up with a problem where the only course he saw was giving me to a demon and convinced Willow to help. She's dead now," he said, sipping his soda. "You?"
"In ours, Rosenburg's still dark," Draco informed him. "Xander is a wizard, a powerful force for the side of light." He looked this new Xander over, forcing himself not to drool. "The silver hair?"
"Oh, wow," Alex said, touching it. "Cool. Or not, I guess, but still pretty neat. So you're not the white knight?"
"Nope, turned my back on it. Now I hunt bigger bad guys with Lupin and Jigen." He groaned and put his head down. "Jigen's gonna kill me. He was against us going on this job." He sat up and looked up. "You might wanna give me a break, okay? I don't need this crap." Someone behind them coughed and a light tapping was heard. Both Xander's looked back, seeing an older Xander standing there. "Okay, so the requisite third. Great. What are you?"
"Xander Harris-Weasley," he said, smiling at them. "You?"
"A less magical version of you," Lavelle said, sipping his soda. "Sit. If I ache most days, you gotta be worse." He looked at Dumass. "I know why I have magic that works. I know why you have it. You were deaged?" Alex nodded, grinning at him. "How?"
"We're not really sure about that," Alex told him.
"Yeah. I'm Alex Dumass," he said, smiling at him. "You married a Weasley? Which one?"
"George. You married Malfoy? We're together there?"
"Yeah. Draco is my consort."
"Cool. I'm gryphon-born."
Alex pouted. "That's no fair! That's a myth in our world!"
"I can't believe you had bad enough taste to marry the pranking idiot," Draco muttered, looking at Lavelle. "What is a gunman?"
"I'm an assassin, kid. I kill people, shoot things, kill demons."
"And so on and so forth," Xander said. "I can't believe one of me and Draco made it. I like my Draco, but then again I helped straighten him up." He accepted his drink, taking a sip. "Thanks. I haven't had a butterbeer today." He looked at Draco. "How old are you?"
"Ah, see, in *my* world in your seventh year, Voldie attacked the school and I helped Harry take him out." Alex gave him a gaping, shocked look. "Yeah. A powerful decreation spell."
"Those are myths," Lavelle told him. "None of the hosts of hell said anything about them."
"You swear allegiance to the dark powers?" Xander asked.
"No, Wes gave me to one. It wasn't my choice. I just got intimately acquainted with them." Both other Xander's shuddered. "Who's George? He sounds familiar."
"We might be a book in your realm, I've heard we are in others," Xander admitted. "Heard of Potter?"
"Shit," Lavelle said, grinning at him. "You're from that 'verse? Okay then. Cool." He held out a hand. "Good to have one of us still being a pure knight. What're you doin' there?"
Xander shook his hand. "I teach demonology."
Alex choked. "Excuse me, you *teach*?" he asked. Xander nodded, grinning. "Why?"
"Because otherwise I'd have lost George. Besides, I like the little kids. I get to pick on Sev and Tara. I even get to pick on my kids and Draco's kids while they're in my classes. Plus Harry's and Ron's in the tower. You?"
Alex shook his head. "I'm, like, twenty-two, Xan."
"Wow, I remember that age," Xander sighed fondly. "George babied me most of that year." He grinned at Lavelle. "You?"
"Um, closer to thirty-five," he admitted.
"Hmm. Then you're closer to my age. Let's see, we had Iggy when I was twenty, and he's just finished his fifth year. So I'm thirty-three? That doesn't sound right," he complained. He shook his head. "I let George deal with that stuff. I only remember the kids' birthdays and his." He shrugged. "So, white-haired Xander, what do you do again?"
"I go by Lavelle. It'll make it easier," he said dryly. "I'm a gunman, assassin, and part- time thief. I run with Lupin."
"Hmm. Heard of him. The Ministry had to go obliviate him last year because of something he found." He shrugged. "I guess it works for you." He touched the white hair. "Have something to do with this?" Lavelle nodded, raising a finger for another shot. "Sorry. I've got enough nightmares of my own, didn't mean to bring up yours."
"I still can't believe one of you married a Weasley and procreated," Draco said with a shudder.
"Hey! I'll have you know *you* got pregnant in my world," Xander sneered. Draco went pale and shook his head. "Yeah. Twice," he said smugly. "You were so cute! So round and happy while you waddled around and pouted for attention!" He pulled out his wallet, flipping through the pictures. "Here, you." He handed that one over. Draco whimpered and pushed it away, turning green as he looked away.
Alex looked at it. "Wow. I know an artifact that can do that, but that's really cool!" He looked at the other Xander. "We should switch spells."
"Okay," Xander agreed happily. "Lavelle, do you use any magic?"
"The demon left me open to use his powers," he admitted. "Janus and I are about to go round-and-round again." He took a long drink. "The bartender said the vampire us is upstairs. We should do something about him."
"Can I sic him on Voldie?" Alex asked. Draco gave him a look like he was insane. "It's a vampire me, Draco. It'd be cute!" he said happily.
"No!" he said, shaking his head and standing up. "No way in hell! No way in bloody hell for that matter!" He looked at Lavelle. "You deal with him."
"Sure," Lavelle agreed, grinning at him. "I like problems." He slammed that shot and sipped his new rootbeer. "Yo, any more of us scheduled to show up?"
"Well, a few months back we did have a really tantalizing you," he admitted. "He's been here a few times with his Oz and his Methos and Ray." He shrugged.
"Methos?" Alex asked, perking up more. "Cool! The Prof is everywhere!" He looked at Lavelle. "Do you guys have immortals?"
"Nope. You, Xan?"
"Not that I know of. Huh." He shrugged. "I guess it's okay enough. Damn, I need Iggy here, he'd *love* this. It'd make his summer. My son's a potion's master in training," he bragged. "In the Royal Academy's prodigy program." Draco and Alex both gaped at him. "Yeah, Sev is usually somewhere near him these days. George keeps giving him looks like he's not sure how he came to be, but we figure it was our brains firing on high. Does your George run a joke shop too?"
"Yeah, in Diagon," Alex told him. "Yours?"
"Hogsmeade. We run specials for the kids all the time. We've even talked about putting in a new tunnel to our basement but we figured the kids would sneak out. Draco's oldest two are kickers that way. Oooh, do you fly too?"
Lavelle got out of the way. "You two chat," he told them. "I only wanna fly in a plane," he told them as he headed for a corner table. He put the earbud back into his ear. "Yo, Arsene, you still there?" he hissed. "I'm in the land of strange. Two of me are here and they're in the Harry Potter 'verse. Don't make me go to a con like that," he pleaded. "Even if it would be amusing." He sat down, lounging in the seat. Then he got up and headed up the stairs to find the vampire him. He heard him roaring and walked in. "Shut up!" he shouted over the yelling. The vampire gave him a smug look. "Keep it up, there's two other uses downstairs. If you're willing to behave, I'd rather have a less-nice version of me to chat with. You up for that or should I stake you now?"
"You, stake me?" he sneered, moving closer in his cell. Lavelle moved closer and undid his dress shirt, making him wince. "What the hell!"
"Demon. Wesley. High-Prince of a section. Got it? I can kill you by stripping." He undid the lock, letting him out. "Behave or I'm staking you with their wands." He led the way back downstairs, going back to his seat, finding a pint of blood in a beer stein and another drink in his. "So," he said once they were comfortable. "How did you get here?"
"Willow," he said bitterly. "Not even my little fiend."
"Hmm. Jigen killed her in my world. She helped do this to me." He pushed some of his hair back, noticing Alex's Draco was staring at him. He nodded him over, used to the groupies by now. Draco sat near them. "So, are you still an ass like in the books?"
"Not all the time," he said smugly. "Xander initiated a right of reparation and took me in." He sipped his drink, looking at the vampire Xander. "You're not that scary. Then again, I don't find Angel or Spike that scary either."
"Hang with them do you?" Xander sneered.
"Sometimes. My mate likes to taunt Angel sometimes. Sent him a house elf strip-o-gram." He heard choking and looked back as his Xander and the other one came over.
"Little boy, in my world, Angel is our puppy and willing slave," Vampire Xander told him. "I turned Willow and we're training him the right way this time." Draco shivered and his Xander put an arm around his shoulders to protect him. "I see the possessive traits were passed on."
"Yes, and we're all still hunters," Xander told him, sitting down next to Lavelle. "Scoot," he ordered. "Us old guys gotta stick together." He shifted back some. "I wear a tie?"
"Only to work. Sometimes we put on a choker and turn into a girl and have to wear a dress too," he said dryly, grinning at him.
"Okay, now that tops mine," Vampire Xander admitted. The others nodded. He looked at Xander Harris-Weasley. "You're not totally human either."
"As in way back in the gene pool there was a big, fluffy, troublemaker," Xander said dryly. "About twenty-six generations back actually."
"Eww," Draco said. "And I thought being part veela was nasty."
"It is," Xander told him smugly. "Get that urge a lot?"
Alex chuckled. "And he makes very pretty music when he does," he agreed smugly. "George?"
"Most of the time," Xander admitted. "Though he's paying a lot of attention to the shop these days."
"We'll have to warn Tipsy about that," Alex told Draco, who nodded, too shocked to do anything else.
"Tipsy 'Tip Top' Ramvette. Irish witch the twins married. She's having twins or so," he said smugly. "Their mother is not pleased. She graduated with her."
Xander snickered. "I've got to tell Forge and Gred that. They'll shit bricks." He shook his head, looking at Xander. "You?"
"Oh, I've got one for each part," he said smugly. "Lupin and Jigen are very sweet to me." He pulled out his wallet and showed off the picture he had hidden in there. Lupin had told him not to put a picture of them in there in case he got captured but he couldn't resist this one.
"Holy shit, he's rich," Vampire Xander said, snatching the wallet to look at. "How?"
"I'm a thief, assassin, and gunman for Lupin the Third," he said smugly. "Naturally trained thanks to patrolling. They've helped me heal so much."
"Wow." He handed it back after looking at the men. "They're cute. They ever crossover?"
"Jigen really only likes women and Lupin's ...horny," he said finally with a grin. "I'll take them however I can get them. They make me pass out all the time. As a woman apparently I've got a rare condition that allows for mini orgasms that build up to a big, huge, satisfying one."
The other Xanders whimpered. The two wizards looked at each other. "Can we?" they asked.
Xander considered it. "I haven't seen one of those spells yet, but then again.... I could have Iggy go look in the gryphon library. It's extensive."
"I'm a curse breaker. I've only run into a curse that did that and it was used on sacrifices. How?" Alex asked Lavelle.
"Deermere choker." He grinned at their groans. "A stupid little chaos person had me hostage and put it on me to make me quit fighting him. We got to keep it while Ethan killed him." He sipped his rootbeer. "Ethan's made a duplicate for his own personal pleasure."
"Ethan," the wizards said happily.
"Only if you're going to be wearing it," Draco said firmly. "And if I can use it to put on Severus once or twice," he admitted with a wicked grin. The wizards laughed.
The vampire looked at the other killer. "Think they've got a dark side?"
"We do," Alex assured him. "Or at least I do."
"I have one but it's more brooding and angsty these days," Xander told him. "I have kids, I can't lose my temper and run off to fight anymore. My legs and the burns proved that."
"Burns?" Alex asked.
"Burns from calling earth lightening to wipe out a lot of Watchers to protect Ron's triplets. He had them with Buffy."
Alex choked. "Oh, Goddess, that's a bad mental image," he gasped. "Ron and *Buffy*? I think Ron and Dawn are bad enough!"
"Dawn?" Xander asked. The vampire was giving him a quizzical look.
"Um, from the whole Glory thing?"
"Okay, and again, huh?" Xander asked.
"Glory?" Vamp Xander asked.
"Hell Goddess who tried to take over the town," Lavelle told him. "We got a newbie into the group. Dawn. She's a ball of mystical energy. In mine she's a former thief who's dating and teasing a cop twice her age." He took another drink. "Yours?"
"Ron, she's a student," Alex told him. "She's a thief in yours?"
"Yeah, remember the shoplifting?" Alex nodded. "Well, she got worse. She loved to hit the Met in New York when she was working."
"Odd," Xander said, shaking his head. "There are more differences than I thought." He sipped his butterbeer. "I thought Spike with a baby phoenix was odd."
"It is," the others agreed.
"You have a phoenix?" Alex moaned.
Xander beamed at him. "My daddy bird mated with Dumbledore's mommy. We've since broken the whole 'there's only one' myth. We've got tons of babies. One of the first clutch adopted Draco's oldest daughter by Ginny at birth. Chewed off her umbilical cord and everything." He pulled out his wallet again at Draco's return to being green. "Ah-ha!" He pointed at his favorite picture. "That's Simone. She's Draco's oldest with Ginny. The blond with her is Denver, her half-brother. He's a few months younger. The dark-haired one is Iggy, George's and my son. Simone plays beater, Denver and Iggy play chaser. Plus, Draco's oldest little girl, the youngest of the older group, plays wicked seeker and so does Harry's son. He's playing on the Gryff team now. Ron and I co-head Gryff." Alex gave him a 'huh' look. "You're not a Gryffindor?"
"I started out in Slytherin but they kicked me out for being a slut," he admitted. "I was changed to a Gryff as a sixth year." Xander's mouth fell open. "Did you attend?"
"No, we came over to help with an emergency. Tara, Willow, and I went back to teach. Tara and I stayed while Willow stomped off after having her son. She's a Watcher and with our Wes. Tara's with Sev now."
Lavelle snorted. "He a backstabber there too?"
Xander nodded. "Sometimes. Ron's daughter is a potential Slayer."
"All ours were activated," Lavelle told him. "Buffy's hogging them."
Xander grinned, this was so cool. "In ours, Buffy retired, got pregnant with triplets by Ron, then Giles killed her."
"Ours got pregnant too, but she's not dead yet," he sighed, sipping the shot that appeared in front of him. "I guess I'm happy with my life but you guys are really ecstatic."
Alex patted him on the hand. "Do you like what you do?" Lavelle nodded. "Are you happy with your life?" Lavelle nodded again. "Then the only thing between us is the magic. We've got wands and you get to suck power out of Hell directly. Xander's really powerful, I'm really powerful in some ways, and you're powerful in a lot more reliable ways. I doubt you have to have meetings with official-shaped people."
Xander grinned. "No, not often. I've had a few over what I do for a living but usually they're cut rather short." He heard a burst of static and pressed on his earbud. "Guys? Can you hear me?" He listened but there wasn't anything on the other end. "I guess it's just atmospheric static or something," he sighed. "Jigen's gonna be pissed. It's his night with me tonight. Plus, Lupin's got to be pacing and smoking up a storm." He suddenly snickered. "I wonder if Goemon's been called yet."
"That name I know," Vamp Xander admitted. "He's a mystical trainer in the East."
Lavelle gave him a look. "In ours he's a samurai who helps us now and then. His kids are nuts. One is the champion hider, not even Lupin can find him sometimes. His daughter, Lotus, is pretty neat. She's a good version of Willow, only she scowls like her father. She's very careful with everything she does. I can't wait to see their third one," he sighed. "I'll have to give my vampire speech soon," he said fondly, smiling at the vampire him. "Lotus will love that, she managed to call a plant demon the other day but her brother drove it off."
Xander laughed. "Iggy did the same thing," he admitted. "So did Simone. Those three working together are enough to rule the world some days." He rolled his eyes. "The kids would *so* love this situation."
Alex shook his head. "I can't believe I like kids."
Vampire Xander looked at him. "Me either," he admitted. "Kids are good snacks, but really."
Lavelle swatted him. "Touch their kids, watch me work." Vampire Xander stared into his eyes, then nodded, looking away. "Good. Remember that." He got comfortable again. "I wonder what the guys are doing."
"Probably worrying," Xander told him. "I'm sure George is by now."
Severus stormed into the shop, startling the twin behind the counter. "Your husband was sucked through a portal," he announced.
Fred blinked. "George! Xander's doing it again!" he yelled. "Nephews, niece!" Everyone came out of the back and the workroom. "Tell them," he said, getting comfortable for this story of Xander-stupidity. They were always amusing.
Severus looked at George. "Your mate was sucked through a portal. We've checked it, it's barely open. Apparently it's the fault of a portal artifact. He's at some sort of crossroads." George leaned on Simone's shoulder, weathering her pats. "He let it find him. He was staring at it when I caught him."
Iggy coughed. "Is this a situation we can solve?" he asked his mentor.
"Hopefully," Severus said dryly. "Unless you want to teach his class instead of mine."
Iggy grimaced. "No thanks. Guys? Let's go."
"Pack," Fred reminded him. "You have no idea what's on the other side. It could be dangerous."
"Wands, swords," Simone ordered. "One schoolbag of stuff." They nodded, heading to do that, Iggy gathering his necessary things and doing a quick run to the herb store in case. They gathered a half-hour later, looking at the adults. "Okay, let's go." Snape gave her a look. "Now," she suggested. "Before Daddy hears and comes too." Snape shuddered and led them back to the portal.
Lupin tossed down his headphones. "Something just went wrong!" he announced, heading inside. Jigen followed him with Goemon trailing behind them. They found the spot where Xander should be, but nothing was there except the containment case. "Fuck me!" he said bitterly. "What happened!"
"I believe we should have done more research," Goemon said firmly. "The boy said it felt wrong." He went back to the van, checking the audio feed. He smiled and laughed, bringing the others back at a run. "It is still active. He's in some sort of bar where realities meet."
"Only Xander," Jigen said dryly. He took out the headphones and inserted the plug for a set of speakers. They listened as Xander met himself. "Shit, two of them? That's got to be fun!"
"This one's a wizard," Lupin told him, grabbing his arm as he listened to the obvious white lighter. "We've got to go get him. It's too dangerous there for him. They're all good guys still. They could hurt him a lot."
"Dawn!" Jigen yelled.
"Fucking busy, thank you," floated through the air.
"Xander's been snatched, brat. Come help!"
She appeared, wiping her hands off. "You had to bother me while I'm pulling bits of stuffed animal out of the garbage disposal?" she asked. Goemon gave her a pained look. "Not Ishi's, G-man, don't worry. It was one of Jerry's old ones. He thought it was like cremation and since it was so badly injured it was obviously dead." She grinned at him. "Just wait, you too can get odd ....." She stopped, listening to the staticky feed. "He's where?"
"It's a bar," Lupin told her, sounding upset. "There's more than one of him there. They're still good. They're wizards." She swallowed. "Can you get there/"
"I can't, but I know where you're talking about. I know who can though. Anya!" she snapped. Anya, now a wish demon of a higher class, appeared, grinning at her. "Xander's been taken to the Crossroad's. Can you help these guys retrieve him?"
"Sure, for a price," Anya told them. "To be named later."
"Name it now," Jigen encouraged coolly. He didn't like Anya. They had spent some time together before.
"Fine," she said, pouting at him. "I miss my Xander lovin'."
"You can ask him yourself," Lupin snorted.
"No, I don't believe I want her near him," Jigen retorted. He looked at his friend. "I'm not sharing with you *and* her."
Goemon looked at Anya. "Take me," he said quietly. "That is something you will have to approach him about." She nodded and they snuck off. The other two were still arguing.
Methos slapped his hand on the table. "I've been there. It's not that bad, but it is a problem. We will need them back sometime soon."
"How long were you there last time?" Ron asked. Methos looked at him. "You said you had been there. How long?"
"It varies on the will of the urn," he said dryly. "If it comes back in two days, you get back in two days. If it comes back in fifty years, you come back in fifty years." Ron shuddered. "So we do need to find a way to reopen the portal and go find them. We can leave the stupid thing there, it's not necessary and I'll personally write a letter to the finder to tell them so." He paused as a portal opened, giving the children coming through a long look.
"Who're you?" Harry asked.
The young dark-haired male looked up from his reading. "Okay, we went to where a version of dad is," he noted.
"Is your dad a Xander?" Fred asked, looking at Simone. "Because you're obviously family."
She beamed. "I'm Simone Malfoy-Weasley, this is my half-brother Denver Malfoy, and our cousin Ignatius Harris-Weasley." They looked stunned. "Okay, so we know we're not at home, they didn't bow at you, Iggy." Iggy snorted, rereading the section on traveling. "Sorry. Iggy's one of those people that if there's a book, he either has a copy or knows where it is and has probably read it already." She took a seat, looking at the obvious leader since he was standing. "How did your Xander get taken?"
"A small gold urn," he said, looking at her. "You're still a child."
She snorted and got up, grabbing him and flipping him over her hip. "Of course I am. It's not like Uncle Xander ever trained me," she noted dryly. "It's not like I don't play beater and nearly kill pro-players in the new fun league either." Harry and Ron both moaned. She smiled at them. "You two are cute."
"Mine, bitch," Dawn said, glaring at her. "Find one of the others."
She laughed. "I don't need that sort of thing. I'm only a fifth year." She went to take the book from Iggy. "Reset it again," she suggested.
"If I could find the resonating magical signature I'd have an easier time," he told her.
"They disappeared from the workroom and the magic still feels odd," Harry offered. Iggy beamed at him and he swallowed. "Of course, we'll want to go with you. He's our trainer."
"Sure," Simone agreed. "The more the merrier. Workroom?" The whole group followed them, shivering when Iggy laughed and smiled, pulling his wand. "Iggy, foreign magic?" she hesitated.
"Chaos is eternal and everywhere," he reminded her. "I am gryphon-born more than you, dear." He had found where the other portal was and it was still active. He could reopen it. He did so, finding two muggles and another woman complaining. "Hmm. Not quite." He closed it and reopened it, but it reopened without his help. Then the woman drug through the two men, staring him down. "Get out of the way. You're interfering with the magical signature." She drug them off to the side. "You play with muggles?"
"Yeah. In our world, most people are that way." She took Iggy's hand, creating it with him. "There!"
Goemon looked up at the doors, then back at his guide. "Thank you."
She snorted. "The vamp Xander is in there, I wanted to talk to him," she said smugly, opening the doors and running inside. She stopped and the bartender pointed to the side. She squealed and went to pounce him, then backed off and bowed to the other. "Consort, I'm sorry to act as such in front of you," she said, not looking to see which one it was.
"Take him, have fun," Lavelle said dryly. The vampire him gave him a look so Xander showed him that mark. The vampire him bent to bite him, then spit it out, rinsing out his mouth with the butterbeer, which got another odd look. "Told you so. Drink your own blood and take my little wish demon there somewhere fun." The vamp's eyes lit up and he grabbed Anya off the floor, taking her back up to his cage for some fun. "Goemon," he said, saluting him with his drink. "Sit, chat, it'll be odd but you're used to it. Lotus would love this."
He cleared his throat. "I have no doubt of that, but I'm not encouraging such thoughts in her head." He sat down, looking at the other two before looking at Xander. "The feed is still active."
"Lupin throwing a fit?" Goemon gave him a look so he grinned. "It's not my fault this time. He can't yell at me about this. He told me to go get the magically charged artifact and I did."
"I doubt he'll be yelling," Goemon said dryly. "I won't expect you to be walking correctly either." He found a cup of sake in front of him and looked around.
"It's provided for our comfort," Xander told him, grinning at him. "You're really a samurai?" Goemon nodded. "Wow. That is cool." He looked at Lavelle. "Do you study under him?"
"And work beside him. Guys, this is Goemon. Goemon, this is Alex and his Draco snuggly, and Xander from a similar universe." Goemon nodded, picking up his drink to sip. "How are we getting back?"
"I had hopes Anya would."
Xander winced. "Possibly not. Not since she's getting so grandly laid." He shrugged it off. "Oh, well, I guess we'll have to deal with the vampire me for a while at home." Goemon gave him a look. "I didn't mean *home*. I meant our version of reality. Anya was always a slutty and greedy woman and he'll do what she wants that I wouldn't." He sipped his beer. He had switched on the last round. "Who else is going to try a rescue attempt?"
"Iggy's a book lover," Xander told him. "If there's a book he can probably find it and go through it by tonight." He looked at Alex. "Your friends?"
"Most likely my apprentices," he admitted. "They're only on break this week because I'm there and have something new and neat to work on. They could be sent back to school if I'm gone too long." He sipped his own beer, stroking Draco's back to keep him calm. "If so, then we've got some impressive brains and muscle in our group. If only because my Aunts will come help. Aunt Cordy can make the universe beg when she's having a bad day."
"This is something Des would have laughed at," Draco agreed quietly. Alex laughed and nodded, giving him a hug. "Thanks." He snuggled into his side. "Alex, maybe we should find a room soon? It's rather late. It's dark outside."
"So it is," Lavelle agreed, smirking at it. "I'll stay up in case it happens. You guys go see if rooms are available and crash." They nodded, heading to do that. He looked at Goemon, who was still stunned stupid, so he gave him a little nudge. "Hey." Goemon looked at him. "Get me out of here?" he pleaded. "They're nice and happy mes. The one with the cane has kids. The other is apparently more of a top. I'll even let myself be chained to Lupin's side for a week if you get me out of here."
Goemon gave him a gentle pat on the back. "I'm sure we'll be rescued soon. I left while they were arguing over who was going to come. Dawn was there."
"I'm not sure Dawn can get up here," he admitted. "The magic's really odd. Sort of like it neutralizes it."
"Hmm. Still, I'm sure she can hold open a portal."
"Hopefully. Otherwise, we may be stuck here for a damn long time. I'm not sure if the urn brings you back or not."
"Hopefully we will be found. If not, one of them will bring us home with them and we can work on getting home from there," he said patiently. "They are good, they would do such for themselves." The younger man nodded, looking into his beer. "You will see them soon enough, Xander. Do not worry about it," he said gently. "They will not be hurt by this accident and I'm sure you will get to be noisy again. Try to keep my children out of the room." Xander snickered, shaking his head. "We all know Lotus will cling to you harder than your men ever could. She has a stronger grip." Xander laughed, louder, giving him a look. "Good. Finish your beer. You should probably retire as well."
He shook his head. "I want to stay up for a while, see if their friends are faster since they're mostly magical. It sucks, but Ethan couldn't do this."
"I'm sure he's already been checked as an option," Goemon soothed. "Can you imagine Lupin like that?" Xander burst out in giggles, shaking his head. "I do not believe he would like the robes either."
"If we do, try to go back with the me with the cane. They've got phoenixes."
"If possible," he agreed. "They are supposed to be very pretty birds."
"And they've got a lot of them."
"Interesting. It would be a beautiful pet and would also be quite smart."
"Maybe we could train one to nip at Ishi when he disappears."
"Or as a familiar for the daughter," he noted. Xander beamed at him. "You are transparent. The children are already spoiled by your gifts."
"Hey, the others don't let me spoil them," he defended.
"Yet, you manage it," he reminded him. "Pirate treasure for birthdays. Special jewel collections that my wife decided not to share in. Things that you split that you don't have to." He smiled at the young man. "You are very transparent sometimes, Xander."
"Hey, I *like* spoiling people. Anya taught me how." He smirked and finished that beer, getting a refill automatically. "Thanks, dude."
"Welcome, Lavelle. He's right, their friends are working on it. You could go nap."
"Nah. I wanna see these friends first," he noted. "I'm paranoid that way." He looked over as someone from a tv show he knew walked in. "Wow." The bartender smirked at him. "They're real?"
"Somewhere you are all real." He poured the new guy a coffee and added some M&M's for him, smiling at him. "You okay?"
"Just freaked," he admitted. "Where is this?"
"The Crossroad's Bar. You'll get home soon." He went to pour some blood for the vampire bouncing back down the stairs, handing it off. "Go sit. The others went to nap."
"Cool." He sat down in the empty side of the table. "So, *consort*," he said dryly. "Anya was just very informative." He sipped his blood.
"Want Wheatabix?" Lavelle asked dryly. Xander shuddered. "Sorry, the last time I saw someone drinking blood it was Spike." Xander shuddered again. "So, their friends are trying. Can you get home?"
"I apparently got pulled right before I died," he admitted. "To them I am dead."
"That's okay, kid. There's another spot for you," the bartender called. "You'll be relocated over there in a few days. You'll like that world, you'll have horses to run with." Vamp Xander gave him a look like he was insane. "A more normal you as well."
"Okay," he agreed, nodding. "If you say so. You know this how?"
"I saw the story."
Lavelle looked at Goemon. "I'm about to have mental problems like Draco did."
"Draco? From the books?" he asked. Lavelle nodded. "Interesting." He took another drink of his sake.
Dawn stopped herself from walking through. "No, we'll be staying," she told her. "Our powers will go allergic on us if we go there. We'll anchor the portal here so they can get back." Younger Dawn nodded, pulling over stools for them to sit on. "So, you do this sort of magic?" Older Dawn asked.
"Yeah. Xander brought me over after Buffy died." She shrugged. "I like it at Hogwarts. Xander and Draco are both excellent big brothers. Plus, I get to fly and pick on Professor Snape and all good things," she agreed. "And Ron's so cute," she sighed gently. "He's such a goofball but he's so cute."
Dawn grinned, pulling out a picture. "That's my man. He's a cop. He keeps me on the straight and narrow most days. Hates the magic stuff though. His only fault. Okay, and the fact that he's obsessed with Lupin, but I can accept that because it frustrates him and he comes to me for comfort."
Younger Dawn grinned at the picture, then at her. "You don't look that old."
"I'm not," she said, giving her a nudge. "I'm only mid-twenties. He appreciates my youth and vitality and he's a steadying influence without being obnoxious about it the way Lavelle can be."
"Xan in our world. He's a gunmen, one of the best. The guy in the hat, Jigen, taught him."
"Wow. I knew our Xander was dangerous, but really."
Both Dawns looked at the portal, sighing in frustration. It sucked being the backup.
Lupin led the way to the doors, then opened one, striding in. He looked at the single bartender. Then he smirked. "Lavelle?"
"Just passed out," he said, nodding at the vampire. "The portal's still unstable for the next few hours. Sit, have a drink."
"She's holdin' it open," Tipsy said firmly.
"Yeah, I know, but the paths it's going across fluctuate. You won't have a twisted and winding path back until about dawn. Strangely enough," he admitted, pouring beers. "Here, you'll want them."
Jigen had walked over to the table, swatting at Goemon. "Protect our boy better," he ordered, noticing he was drunk too. He pulled Lavelle's head up, giving him a look. "Shocked at the other yous?" he asked dryly. Xander nodded, then passed out again. "He's truly gone, boss." Lupin walked over to look at their white-haired loon. "Goemon's halfway there too."
"We were just chatting with book characters," he noted drunkenly.
"Yeah, we met a few too," he admitted. The kids walked over and forced the vampire to shift over. "Do we have to wait?"
"Yeah," Iggy admitted. "I checked the portal. The two end points haven't shifted but the middle has. We could get stuck in some other realm and have to do this again." He looked at the vampire him. "My daddy?"
"Upstairs resting," he said. "Let me guess, you're Iggy?" Simone growled at him. "Damn, you'd make a fine vampire." He licked his lips and she pulled out a stake. "Oh, you're a potential Slayer."
"No, Uncle Xander just trained me like one," she said dryly. She heard a quiet chuckle and looked up into the eyes of her own father. "Daddy, how did you get here?"
"I didn't misset the portal," he told her, pulling her up to hold. "Your uncle? Troublesome beast that he is."
"Napping," the vampire said, smirking at him. "You're more adorable than the younger version."
"Of course I am," he agreed. "Like many fine things, we only get better as we age." He looked back at his Severus, who was talking to his counterpart. "Oh, dear. It's a book nerd moment." Iggy got up onto the back of the seat and ran over to help. He smirked. "I knew that'd get him." He moved his daughter, sitting next to her. "Thank you." He looked at Lupin. "Sit. We should discuss this. I recognize you from our realm."
"I doubt it," he said. "I don't think I've been there." He and Jigen sat down, Jigen climbing over to sit next to Lavelle. "Don't bite him, Lavelle is very protective of him," he warned.
"All Xanders are protective creatures," Draco informed him. "Mine goes on protective streaks and fights outstanding odds, then gets badly hurt and expects no one to get mad at him." He smiled a dry little smirk. "Fortunately he found a nurturer to love." He looked at Lavelle, then back at Lupin. "How did you get to one of our realms, Mr. Lupin?"
"The Key, she's a girl in our realm," Jigen told him.
"Ah! I know of that artifact," Draco admitted. "That's fine. I'm sure we can work on a way to get you back home. Going to our own would probably be safer."
"The portal lead to their realm," Lupin said, nodding at the mass of people.
"I'm sure it does, but we probably have things that you want more."
"Yeah, but Dawn said we couldn't take things between the realms."
"Unless there is and never was a counterpart," Draco corrected gently. "We have some...problematic things that should probably not be in our realm as well. Severus has a few of them stored and I have more of them. I studied the you in our realm when you were captured for trying to steal one such thing before you were obliviated. You were quite the specimen of a muggle. Fortunately not American," he said dryly.
"Daddy has something against American muggles," Simone shared. "We're not sure why." She patted her father gently. "Was that the guy you said we had as a visitor?" He nodded, giving her a smile. "That's wicked, daddy."
"I know," he said smugly. He looked at Lupin again. "If we were to bring you home with us and send them back with you, what would you do with them?"
"Destroy them if they're that dangerous. If not, Ethan might try to take them. Or at least whine them out of us. Xander can usually control him."
Jigen snickered. "We might have to keep Pops from demanding them for Dawn too."
"She would be an appropriate holder," Draco admitted. "The Key is a pure artifact."
"She's a former thief," Lupin told him. "Dating a cop."
"Again, a pure artifact, if perfectly balanced. She found that which balanced her out," he said with a hand wave. "She would be appropriate to such a task."
"Xander mentioned you had phoenixes," Goemon said suddenly. "He suggested that he might want to see such a sight."
Draco laughed. "We've got them flying around the house right now. They're annoying little beasts sometimes. Simone, yours stole my favorite cufflinks again."
"Were they under my bed?"
"No, she lined her nest with it. She's about to lay again."
"We might consider that," Lupin said dryly. Draco looked at him. "In payment?"
"Magical artifacts aren't enough? Your Xander surely has magic. I can feel it from him."
"He was taken against his will and had it forced onto him," Jigen said coolly.
"Ah. That explains the dark taint I can feel." He smirked. "Fine. If one of the hatched ones takes to you, it is no fault of mine and my Xander can't possibly refuse to let one go to their new home." His daughter gaped at him. "They wouldn't exist in their realm. In theirs, phoenixes are a myth."
"Glinda will be pissed, dad."
"It will be fine. A mother can only protest a potential mate, not make their offspring leave them." He gave her a pat on the head. "Go find your cousin before we lose him to those others for the rest of the summer."
"Nope, not happening. We still need to practice with Little Ron so he'll be up against Ravena." She got up, heading over the back of the booth to pull her cousin away from the dual Snapes. "Sorry. We need the little book nerd," she announced. Iggy gave her a hurt look. "You can't live with them for the summer. If you do, we'll never get any practice in."
"Simone, we don't need practice. Has it escaped your attention that we scare professional players already?"
"It may not be possible to get you back to your home realm immediately," one of the Snapes told her. "In which case you can play with the other children."
She snorted. "I'm not a child, thank you."
Iggy nudged her. "Quit or Daddy will have to come down again."
"Fine." She gave him a look. "Remember, your woman's back there."
"Yes, but she wouldn't care if I did this," he promised. "She'll be drooling when I get back," he said smugly.
"Uh-huh. With your luck, Raena will be having a woman moment when you get back." She looked at the others, frowning at her uncles from that place. "Do you two still prank?" They grinned and nodded. "Good, get him," she said, nodding at Iggy. "He's been brewing for his father for years but he's managed to not get the family sense of humor."
"Simone!" Iggy complained.
"Yay." She gave him a hurt look. "Keep it up, I'll hit the bludgers at you again."
"You play beater?" Fred asked, walking her off. "Not many women do you know."
George hurried after her. "How good are you?"
She beamed. "We scare professional players. The head of the official League drools when he sees me, Denver, and Little Ron. Ravena gets a worshipful look and he keeps giving Iggy these hurt looks because he's a potion master."
They laughed, sitting down with Harry and Ron to talk quidditch and brooms in their world. They were ahead temporally. Maybe it'd give them a heads-up for good things.
Fred finally looked at his twin. "Maybe we should talk Draco into having his future offspring with our sister."
George shook his head. "Mother would throw too big a fit and it's already past that time to get her. Though, the last one. A real Weasley seeker?"
"Hmm. That would be smashing," he agreed, smirking at the young girl again. Harry was giving her a look like she was the Goddess. Ron was beaming because Harry was in love, it was a pretty sight to him.
Xander Harris-Weasley woke up when someone sat on his bed. "Yeah?" he groaned.
"You are in such trouble," his Draco said gently, making him wake up. "Then again, so is my daughter for falling for a young Potter." Xander groaned and flipped onto his side. "Come along. It's time to go back. Get up, don't make me drag you home in just your boxers."
"Bloody hell," Xander whined but he did get up. "Kids?"
"The top three, already downstairs. Apparently they couldn't find Melvin this time."
"I don't think Percy would have allowed him to come help," he noted.
"Hmm. Good point," he admitted. He got out of the way, picking lint off Xander's robe for him. "Come along. We'll be hosting the white-haired you for a few days. That way Severus and I can dump some artifacts off on them and send them through to the others." Xander gave him a look. "It's safer than having them in our world and someone there will be watching them. I know the person who will be. You'd like Dawn." He walked him down the stairs. Methos and the two boys were getting up the other Xander by the noises of complaint. "He brought his me with him," he said smugly. "Apparently I'm his consort veela and he never does without me."
Xander snorted. "We would have destroyed each other a long time ago, Draco."
"True," he agreed. He got out of the way so his children and the man's son could pounce him. "Here we are, safe and sound." He looked outside. "We're leaving at dawn," he reminded everyone. "Lets get moving that way now." He got them shooed that way, including the muggle and consort ones. Dark muggles in his home, his father's pieces were flipping over somewhere. What a charming thought, he decided, smiling for Xander's benefit. "Severus said we'll be taking them back to the shop immediately."
"Fine," he agreed, heading after them. The other Xander came down and his friends took control of him and walked him out with him in the center. "Hoping he won't escape?"
"Draco!" that Xander whined pitifully.
"Ron and Harry cuffed him between them with the muggle's handcuffs," one of them, a blond man with funny hair, Greg, told him. "Is he a cop?"
"No, he's a thief," Xander told him. "The me there is named Lavelle. The other guys are Lupin the Third and his crew."
"Wow. We've got them too. Goemon's really funny when he's a diversion," Greg told him with a grin. "We've still got a tape of that. Wait until I tell Catherine." They all laughed, shaking their heads. "Time yet?" he asked. "I'm supposed to be at work and you know how the Sheriff gets uppity."
"Not yet," Methos admitted, looking at Ignatius, who was working with his own Draco on the two portals. "They'll be coming back with us?" he asked. Draco smiled and nodded. "That's fine. We'll send them back when we get the muggles to pass them through."
"Sure," Iggy agreed absently. "I'm sure I can learn a lot in a short internship. I'm that way after all." He did want to study with that other Severus. He was young and still fighting daily. He hadn't lost the edge that his own master had, at least not yet. Things would have to move faster and he'd probably be doing a lot more with him. Besides, he'd get away from Raena for a while she had her period this time. Always a wise decision and he wouldn't have to sleep in a library this month. They got the dual portals opened, then everyone waved and headed to their various worlds. Twin Dawn squeals heralded their return. Iggy looked at the young Dawn. "Damn, you're loud," he said. She pouted and hit him, making him smile. "Thanks." He got out of the way, letting everyone else walk through. This version of his father snagged him and dragged him off to talk with him. Maybe he'd be getting lessons in the Dark Arts too.
Lupin looked around the quaint town, then at their guide. "Are you sure this is wise?"
"Yes," Draco said patiently. He looked back at Xander, then at Goemon. "Try not to be so distinctive. It's the early morning but these are shopkeepers." He let them into the shop and into the back rooms. "We're home!" he yelled. "The children are there!"
"Excuse me?" George said as he came out. "My son is where?"
"With another Xander, studying under their Severus," Draco said dryly. "He'll be back in a few weeks with the other two. Denver's trying his best to hit on an older woman," he said, rolling his eyes. He showed them to a double room. "Fix it however for the next few hours. We'll be heading to my house as soon as Severus can get his own stash of artifacts."
"You're dumping them through them? They're muggles!"
"We're thieves as well," Lupin told him, giving him a smirk.
"Shit, you were in the paper," Fred said as he came out of his room, pulling on a shirt. "We had to obliviate the you here."
"Yes, and there, they have a stable neutral entity that can hold those artifacts safely. Even if the Ethan there does find them." He walked off. "The top three are there in the hands of twenty overprotective people plus a Xander and a me. Don't worry too much about them."
"Sure we won't," George said, looking at his husband, who was napping against a wall. "Come on," he sighed. "You can tell me later. Fred, I'll be back here today. Should I do laundry for you too?" His twin nodded heading out to open the shop for the day. It was early but that was fine. The kids would be in as soon as they were up. George looked at these strangers. "Whatever you do, do not touch anything with a red wrapper. They can be a bit dangerous if you're not expecting it. Otherwise, ask first. I'm not sure how some of the pranks will work against you."
"In our world, you're a book," Jigen told him. "And just left the school in the last one I read. You left because of some bitchy woman."
George snorted. "Then it's not exactly the same. Though we are still pranksters," he said smugly. "Especially this one." He walked Xander back into their room, letting him have the nest for now. "You finish your nap, dear. I'll make you breakfast later." He went to the kitchen. The other kids would be up later. He walked back out, looking at them. "We do have children. Try not to do too many bad things in front of them. They're rather impressionable at that age."
"I have two as well," Goemon admitted.
"Good, then you'll understand. Don't try to relieve the blond lump from my daughter's side. She'll hit you for it," he advised, going back to his cooking.
Maeve peeked around the corner, then boldly walked in and looked at the strangers. "Who're you?" she asked, scowling at them. "I not know you." Lucien snuck up behind her and glued himself to her back, going back to his sleeping.
Lupin laughed. "Good morning. I'm Lupin. This is Jigen, Goemon, and Lavelle." He leaned over and pinched her nose. "And you are adorable, like a miniature Fujiko."
Goemon snorted. "She was not that cute as a child. I've seen her baby pictures." He looked down at her. "Does he do that often?" She nodded. "Do you not fight him?"
"Why? My Lucien," she said, reaching back to stroke his arm. A loud bird flew in and she snorted. "Fine, grumpy prat," she said, stomping off.
Jigen nudged Lavelle awake. "You wanted to see one of those?" he suggested, nodding up at it.
Xander stood up, mouth open in awe. "You're adorable," he told it. "Very pretty and shiny. Ooh, and smart too," he teased when she preened and fluffed her feathers at his words. "May I pet you, beautiful?" He reached out a finger but she batted it away with her wing. "I understand. I'm tainted and I realize it." He looked her over some more. "You are precious though. More so than any treasure we've ever stolen." Lupin snorted so he gave him a harsh look. "She is. She doesn't exist in our world."
"She'd be a pet," Lupin told him.
"Fine." He sat down again, continuing to stare at the pretty red/gold/purple bird. "You are very special and absolutely rare too."
"And if one follows you back, you can visit it at Dawn's," Lupin reminded him. "Like the cat and the ferret."
Xander spit at him. "I'd never try to keep this one chained up. She'd have to fly free. Like Goemon, she'd come whenever she wanted to."
Draco came back. "Glinda, behave," he said in disgust. "No more sucking up to the muggles. Only Dumbledore has the lemon drops you're probably craving." She cheeped at him. "Yes, the grandfather," he said patiently. "Go find him." She flew out a window, heading up to the school. "Sorry about that, she's ready to clutch again and craves sweets when she does. She's recently latched onto the Headmaster's stash of lemon drops and her own mother is giving her tolerant and fond looks." He sat down, looking at them. "Severus said it should take him two or three days to find them all. That fine with you lot?"
"Fine," Xander agreed happily. "How many more are there?"
"About thirty I believe," he admitted. "Including the new clutch downstairs." He shrugged. "We've got one being laid by a paranoid bird that belongs to a vampire." He stood up again. "I'll check on you later. Nap or whatever for now." He left them alone.
Jigen looked at Lupin. Who shook his head. "Finally met someone with an attitude similar to yours?" he asked smugly.
"Keep it up. I'm sure Janus can come here too," Lupin smirked back. "We didn't bring the choker."
"Maybe they've got a spell for such things," Goemon offered dryly. "You two are horrible, please do not keep me up." He watched as Lavelle got up to hunt more birds. "Are we going to be bringing one back with us?"
"It's entirely possible," Lupin admitted, rolling his eyes. He couldn't deny their boy that. It was precious and rare and they were in the habit of collecting things of that nature. Jigen gave him a look. "We'll see if it wants to nest in the garden or not," he said. "If not, maybe it'll stay with Dawn anyway."
"I'm sure Pops would like that," Jigen said dryly. "A gold songbird?"
Goemon snorted. "Phoenixes are much more than songbirds, their legends are many and varied. They are protective, possessive, and occasionally thieves themselves." He looked at Lupin. "Thankfully I didn't run into any other versions of myself while we were there."
"Since the magical memory wipe Dawn did on us back in Cleveland didn't work, I'm not so sure we won't while we're here," Lupin suggested smugly. The others gave him a look. "Think about it. He might know other things to go for. We can share targets, see if anything new comes up." The other two got up, heading to their room to rest while he thought his insane thoughts. "Come on, guys," he said. "It'll be fun."
"The last time you said that phrase we spent a week in prison," Goemon told him.
"I doubt we'll be doing that here. They're begging us to take stuff."
"No," Jigen said as he walked away. "You'll jinx the ones here." He laid down on one of the twin beds, getting comfortable. "Ah, better."
Goemon nodded, laying down around his sword. "Much, though I will miss my children coming in to pounce me for a while."
"I'm sure they'll do it just as soon as we get home," he assured him. "Remember, Fujiko doesn't expect us back at the house for another three weeks."
"Hmm. Good point." He closed his eyes, one hand lightly on his sword. Just in case.
Dawn, the older one, looked up as her trouble buddies came through the portal. A few of the things they had with them disappeared as soon as they crossed but she smiled at them. "Did you bring presents for worrying Fuji?" she taunted. "I've told her already."
"Sure we did," Lupin said smugly. "If she can find them." He looked at the kids coming back to go through. "You guys look tired."
"Time turner," Iggy moaned, heading back through to take a real nap for the first time in three weeks. The others trudged after him.
Dawn shook her head. "Time turners are fun. You can go back and do an hour again." She opened up a portal to her house. "Through. I've got a containment area set up already." She led the way.
Lavelle gave the other world another look and a long sigh. Then he walked through. He didn't get to see the bird that snuck through on Goemon's back. It quickly flew outside to see this new world and he was none the wiser that he had been adopted by a magical being again.
Goemon gave Lupin a look, noticing his smug look. "I will expect it to like Lotus as well," he warned.
"And probably Ishi too," he assured him. They headed down to Dawn's workroom, carrying the new artifacts to let her look them over. "Pops?" Lupin asked her.
"At that conference this week," she said lightly.
"Really?" he asked, opening up her door. "Did time run differently wherever?" he asked, glaring at the others.
"Probably," she agreed. "Why?" She grinned and kissed him on the cheek. "They sent artifacts for me to protect. If you try to arrest them, they've vowed to take them and give them to Ethan."
"Fine," Zenigata said bitterly, letting them inside. "I should arrest all of you for breaking and entering."
Lupin smirked. "We didn't. We didn't come through a door or a window." He put his box down, looking around for Lavelle. "Where did he go?"
"Bathroom," Dawn told him. "Portalling always makes him wanna pee." She gave him a small look then pulled out the first one to catalog and figure out what it was. Dumass had given her a few books that were very handy for that. It even had Xander's choker in there. "Zenny, shut the door," she ordered. "I don't want the kids exposed if there's something too big."
"Too late," he said dryly, looking down at the two baby Goemons rushed in to pounce their father, knocking him down. He laughed, heading out to check on the rest of the house.
Dawn peered down at him. "You okay?"
"Fine," he agreed. "They enjoy doing this to me." He patted them both. "Behave," he ordered. "Let me stand and I'll hold you both."
Lotus scowled at him. "Bird!" she demanded. Her father gave her a look so she smiled sweetly, like her mother. "Please?"
"That's it, no more lessons from Fujiko," Jigen said, picking her up. "The bird's not here, Lotus."
She gave him a kiss on the cheek and nodded. "Uh-huh. Saw it." She gave him a cuddle, sucking up to him. "Love you."
"Thanks, kid." He patted her on the back, looking at the father. "Keep her mother from turning her into a miniature vamp."
"I try," Goemon reminded him, standing up to hold his wiggling son. "Have you been good?" His son babbled about all the things he had found, including a certain choker. He shook his head. "Do not touch that, son. It is your uncle's only." Ishi gave him a hug then wiggled so he put him down, watching as he ran outside. "I thought Lotus was supposed to be another Xander."
Lupin laughed. "He'll slow down soon, Goemon. He does very well with his lessons."
Goemon sighed. "True, he does." He took his precious daughter back, giving her a hug. "How have you been?" She kissed him on the nose. "I believe I should spend some more time with you. That was one of your mother's moves."
"The next thing you know she'll do Fujiko's next move," Jigen said smugly.
Lupin gave him a look. "I doubt Lotus will try to take his kimono off him."
"Eww," Dawn pointed out. "Disgusting things, guys, really." She put that one down, moving to the next once she had found the pertinent page in the right book. These were really handy books to have. She'd have to make sure Lupin only got a copy.
Lavelle looked up as his bedroom window opened, gaping at the bird. "You did come!" he said happily, getting up to pet him. "You precious thing. Yes, you are, you are more rare than even the most rare treasure." The bird sang at him, liking this human. He flattered him greatly. He sent a picture of the children trying to pluck him. "I'll tell them they can't have feathers until you shed," he promised, continuing to stroke his new friend. "Hey, can you steal stuff too?" The bird snorted, but did drop a pearl into his hand. "Cool! You're so cute!" He gave him a gentle hug. "Now, where should we set you up a nest? Would you like upstairs? There's no one up there and I can disable the alarms for one room." The bird cheeped. He checked the hall before carefully carrying his new buddy up the stairs. He even let him pick his room, disabling the window alarm for him. Then he gathered up some old newspapers and made the start of a nest. "Don't worry, I'll get you a better one tomorrow," he promised.
The bird gave him a look and settled into the bed, comfortable enough for now. This human was worthy of him, he would be spoiled and pampered like he deserved. He wasn't a Malfoy bird for nothing.
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