Notes: Josette pointed out something. If the time switch happened, then it would have happened back before they all got together in Crossover Saloon. Which means that some things are now a paradox. She seemed to think I was good enough to figure this one out.
I Think I Forgot To Calculate For Other Strangeness.
Lotus Goemon woke from a sound sleep with a wordless scream, looking around. She saw her uncle's bird and pulled him over to hug him. They had never decided on a name for the bird, but she called him Comforting. "I screwed up so badly," she whispered. He squeaked at her so she let him go a bit. She looked into his eyes. "I didn't remember to calculate for you, Comforting." The bird gave her a disgusted look. "Yes, how you got here. I forgot it in my calculations and I forgot to tell the kitsune," she sighed, shaking her head. She got out of her bed and headed out to the living room of the house they were staying in. It was a hideout but her father had wanted to take them away from the others for a weekend. She looked up at the ceiling. "Auntie Dawn, I fucked up majorly," she hissed. A portal opened and she trotted through, not caring if she woke anyone else or not. She ran into her Uncle's body and grimaced. "I so majorly forgot a variable in the biggest and hardest math problem of all times and it'll hurt everyone if I don't fix it. Where's Auntie Dawn?"
"Her workroom. What did you forget, Lotus?" he asked tiredly.
"Ah, um, remember going to an alternate plane and getting a shiny bird?" she asked, inching away from him. He scowled. "I forgot that," she admitted with a touch of hysteria. She ran for her aunt's workroom, slamming the door behind her before her uncle could get pissed. "I so totally forgot to calculate for the cross-realmal traveling that we did to get my bird and those artifacts," she announced. Dawn finished waking up and frowned at her. "Seriously. That happened after the choker, right?" Dawn thought back and nodded. "Well, I didn't take it into account but our bird is still sitting at home. Wouldn't that be a paradox?"
Dawn considered it while she yawned, then she nodded. "Definitely. Marcus, Ethan, Ripper?" she called out. "Yo, little furry Lord guy, you too!"
The Kitsune lord appeared with a nightcap on his head and in a nightgown. "I have a name, Key," he said dryly. He smiled at Lotus. "Is there some problem? I wasn't aware I had activated that spell tonight."
"I totally forgot to take into account the cross-realmal traveling daddy did," she told him. He frowned. "Shiny bird called a phoenix? Sounding familiar?"
"Crap," he swore. "Let me get dressed. I'm assuming the others are coming."
"Hopefully," Dawn agreed. "That's more mathematical than I like my magic." She yawned again. "I'll go put on some coffee and water for Ethan and Ripper, whichever shows up."
"That's fine, I'll be right back and I'll tell your father what's happened, Lotus." She smiled at him, giving him a hug. "At least you figured it out before everything went unstable, dear." He disappeared, trudging back to his bedroom to get dressed again. He had barely gotten to sleep, his youngest kit was teething. He was welcomed with a wail. "Quit," he growled. It stopped. "Thank you." He headed into his bathroom, slamming the door to wake the mother of the child. She woke up and frowned, but got up to cuddle the baby fox some more.
Ethan appeared in the kitchen, handing over his tea mug. "What's happened now?"
"Fuck," he said succinctly. "No wonder I had to shield that thing again." He looked back as Dawn opened a portal for both Rippers and Marcus. "Come along. Lotus just realized we have a paradox in motion."
The vampire Ripper looked at him and sneered. "About?"
"Those artifacts that are going to explode because we never went there to gather them," Ethan told him.
"Fuck," the vampire Ripper said tiredly. "Why now?"
"I had a bad dream and it showed me," she said from the doorway. "I called the main house to get Uncle Arsene up. He's not very happy either. He hates it when he loses Uncle Xander for even a day." She walked in. "I think we need to talk to the others involved."
Dawn looked at her. "That might help," she admitted. "None of us are masters of paradox."
"No, but that Iggy kid said he was," Lotus pointed out. Dawn smirked at her. "Sorry, but I want some help on this! I'm only ten, I don't usually go around screwing up the order of the universe for fun!"
"No, that's more Ethan's thing, love," the human Ripper, Rupert Giles, noted calmly, giving her a pat on the head. He glared at his vampire self and then at Dawn. "Well?"
"We can do that," Ethan offered. "There's bound to be a time difference."
"So?" Lotus asked. "It's probably a better time for them than us."
"True," Marcus agreed, giving her a hug as he picked her up. "It's very good that you owned up to screwing up some, dear. It means you're ready to take on harder tasks and hopefully get them right."
She pinched him on the nose. "Uncle Marcus, I just sent ten people back in time in a fit of desperation. Let's have me do the normal stuff before I have to do something *bigger* than that." She looked at Ethan. "Would the trips Uncle Xander took back to Imperial Japan be a similar problem since we brought the second sword forward?"
He blinked a few times. "You brought it from there, I'm not sure," he admitted. "No kitsune?"
"He went to put on clothes," Dawn said tiredly. "Who are we calling, does anyone know? I remember there was a Xander in each one. I remember there were Xander kids in two of the three worlds that met there. Or do we call a conference for the bar instead of a video imaging thing?"
"I'm not sure Iggy's realm has electricity," Lotus offered. Her kitsune teacher appeared with the Lord. "Sorry to wake everyone, but this is a big problem that I forgot, plus I just thought of a second problem." The kitsune lord waved a hand. "Ancient time traveling that my dad did with Uncle Xander and Uncle Xander did alone."
"What was brought back?" the kitsune's magic teacher asked.
"Daddy's family's other sword, some kimonos, I think maybe some jewels or something," she admitted. "You'd have to ask Uncle Xander, but I do know our association with you guys stems from that."
The magic teacher looked at his former student. "I had wondered how you ran into someone like the Envoy Xander," he said dryly.
"He was working to free someone from where I was stealing something pretty."
"Ah." He nodded and patted his lord on the back. "I understand. Any other interesting trips, Lotus? Say to meet aliens or something?"
"Not that I was told, you'd have to ask Uncle Xander," she quipped.
Xander, their Xander, walked into the kitchen and frowned at everyone present. "Usually only I get a group like this together after doing something dumb, yet necessary. What's happened now?"
"Lotus forgot about your trip across to the bar," Dawn told him, "and your ones back to Imperial Japan."
Xander raised an eyebrow. "Okay. I can sense a heavy coffee drinking day ahead. Got any food or should I try to cook, Dawn?"
"Lavelle, how did you get in here!" Inspector Zenigata yelled, storming into the kitchen. "I was watching, there wasn't a portal so I know you weren't invited."
Xander smirked at him. "Has it not occurred to you that I can teleport like Ethan and Marcus?"
Zenigata let his jaw opened as he blinked, then he whimpered and shuddered. "That's it, I want to move to a world without him, Dawn. Please?" he pleaded.
She kissed him gently. "I swear, Xander can't teleport in here usually," she soothed, giving him a gentle stroke the back as she calmed him down. "It's an emergency and the worlds could snap again. It's necessary this time."
Zenigata steeled himself, then glared at Xander. "Prove it. I say you snuck in. That would make you a trespasser and I could arrest you then."
Xander grimaced, then shrugged and disappeared, coming back smelling like gunpowder, water, and holding a very pretty crown. "As you wished, Inspector. They're all fine. They tried to shoot me, nothing more." He looked at Marcus. "Okay, you're in charge of the bakery run. Take Rupert with you for now, he'll be frustrated soon. Ethan, let's set out the lines of things that might be like this?" Ethan nodded and grabbed the tea kettle to bring with him. "Dawn, you might as well import the coffeemaker so we don't have to get funny looks from your kids. We'll figure this out, people."
"I think we should talk to Iggy. He said he's a master of the paradox," Lotus offered. "We can use the bird as a cue-in accessory."
"That would help us fine-tune things," Dawn agreed. She unplugged the coffeemaker once it was done, bringing it with her. "Ripper, Rupert, bring cups. Second cabinet from the right of the sink." Everyone followed into the workroom but her husband.
He was still staring at the crown and whimpering in fear. If he could do this, then Lupin was unstoppable. There was no way Interpol could protect against this sort of power. He picked up the phone and dialed a number off his wife's cell, something he had memorized in case something happened to one of the kids while they were running away. "If he can teleport anywhere, then why haven't you taken over the world?" he asked miserably.
The answer of 'where's the fun in that', soothed him some. That was just like Lupin.
"They're all here figuring out a paradox. He'll be home sometime soon. Send the bird." He hung up and went to get dressed so he could give the thing to his boss. He wasn't due in so he only put on jeans and a t-shirt, something Dawn had given him, then went jogging out to his car. He drove to headquarters and walked inside carrying it lightly. A few people stared at him and he growled, so they turned around quickly. He knocked on his boss' office and walked in at the quiet grunt. He put it on her desk. "Lavelle was showing off, he said so," he said grimly, then he went back home. He walked upstairs and climbed back into his bed after stripping, turning off the light. He wasn't moving until the magic stuff downstairs was done unless the kids needed him. Let his boss explain this one or how he had gotten the crown off Queen Elizabeth's head.
Xander looked at the two time switches noted, then at his list of things that had come back with them. "I think the main one's going to be the sword from the temporal aspect," he decided. "The others were small things that I think I still have. Except one of the hair sticks, I think I may have sold that but I always carry a lot of backups for quick sales." He looked at Ethan. "Then again, I got those from back then in the marketplace." He shrugged. "I'm not usually this logical in my magic use."
"Obviously," the vampire Ripper said bitterly. "Why did you bring all this crap back?"
"Mostly because I was wearing it at the time," Xander said snidely. "Did you want me to come back naked and land in the middle of a street?" Ripper smirked at him and licked his lips. "You are still stakeable. I do still work with the slayers."
"Fine," he said, rolling his eyes.
"Which one?" the human Ripper asked.
"Demara. The Chronicle you wanted is nearly finished." He looked at Ethan again. "Should I try to find them? They're probably still buried in the trunks."
Ethan rolled his eyes. "I swear, they make drugs for people who collect too much stuff, Xander. Would you mind terribly going on them?"
"Hey, I only collect a few things," Xander defended. "My anime and comics. My kimonos. My prettier heists. And a few weapons now and then."
Ethan shook his head with a groan. "You collect some of your heists?"
"Nothing identifiable," he said defensively. "I'm not dumb, Ethan, no matter what the judgement on my intelligence back in Sunnydale was."
"Stop, now," the human Rupert said calmly. "Before I have to join in. I'm sure Xander knows better than we do what can and can't be identified by the police."
"Most gems aren't individually identifiable," Xander told them. "The ones that are I don't tend to deal with. I leave those to Lupin. I like the smaller, less unique, but very pretty things."
"So then our Majesty's crown, which she was wearing to that ball, wasn't your usual thing?" the vampire Ripper asked.
"No," Xander said with a smirk. "That was pure fun."
"And aren't we all glad I never got that good?" Dawn asked the room in general.
"Hell yes," Rupert said grimly. "Our Majesty would never be safe."
"Hey, I like the old hat-wearing lady," Xander defended. "I think she's pretty neat. She's done some pretty decent diplomat things in her time. I'm sure her grandsons will do every bit as good, but I have a doubt that her son will ever do more than lounge about and fuck women."
"Uncle," Lotus warned.
"Thank you. I do not need to know about his sex life. Besides, I thought he still had a mistress."
"He used to have more than that," Ripper said dryly, sipping his mug of blood. "Are we nearly ready to try a call out for them?"
"I still can't see a call working," Ethan offered. "They're from more highly charged worlds."
"Iggy's from a chaos-heavy world, Uncle Ethan," Lotus said calmly. "He should get it if no one else does."
"That might help the most," Ethan agreed. "But he's still a young man, Lotus. I'm sure he's quite busy and not the expert he claims."
Dawn looked at him. "Iggy is a master of using a device that switches time back and forth for a up to a few days. He's had to fix a number of small paradoxes." She went back to her reading. "Okay, I've got the spell down. If I'm reading this right, it should hook into whatever form of communication device they use over there magically, whether it's a portal or not I'm not sure." She looked up. "How are we doing, Xan?" He shoved his list over. "Just those two temporal things?" He nodded. "Okay, and the other things are pretty cool. Anything that's his family's alone?" He shook his head. "Not even the sword?"
"They made it for me and I was holding it for his last kid," Xander told her.
"Okay. We can deal with that in a bit," she decided. "For right now, let's stabilize the first event. These were later if I remember right." He nodded. "Which was caused by which?"
"The first was Fujiko and a wish demon. The second was a jealous teacher who hated humans having any gifts and a first magic ceremony," Xander said, looking at the kitsune lord. "Your little darling actually."
"Wonderfully," he said dryly. "I'll have to remember that. First or second?"
"Ah, the son," he said, nodding. "I made the castle shine that way, I'm sure it was just as wonderful as my own messup." He looked at the teacher, then at Xander. "Didn't I have him teach him?"
"Nope, sorry. I don't know why, but I don't remember him being there. It was that guy who always reminded me of the fiddler in the fairytale."
The Kitsune lord nodded, then shook his head quickly. "I'm not going to let him teach my son at all. Even him having no training and destroying us all is better than that. That man is a quack," he told Lotus.
"Was he the one my tree ate?"
The Lord smiled and nodded. "Exactly. You do remember quite well, dear." He gave her a pat on the head. "If we do have to merge the realms for a moment, we might have some problems with your friends, can you control them?" Everyone stared at him, mouths open. "What?"
"Control Lupin the Fourth?" Ethan asked.
"Or my daughter Melissa?" Xander added.
"Oh, damn, I forgot we weren't dealing with normal children like Ishi." He shuddered. "Well, we'll just have to get on with it, I suppose," he offered. "Dawn, let's work on the calling. I think I have the most experience with trans-realmal magic, yes?" His teacher coughed. "No, you're here to monitor and help. I'll do the actual spell so you can't be sucked into their world." The phoenix flew through the opening door then it slammed behind him.
"That's not ours," Lotus said, pointing. "She's the wrong color and sex." The bird nuzzled her and then hopped down to Xander, giving him a message.
"Oh, cool, the barrier's thin. The Xander with the artifacts and books said that they had a breach into his world. Come on, Glinda, let's go talk to him. Dawn, the event horizon is at the spot of the most magic I've done."
"The main hideout?" Ethan asked.
"No, the backyard of Ethan's house," Xander said grimly. Marcus snickered. "What?"
"I had wondered why Lupin didn't want you practicing magic in the house but I suppose Ethan told him some things."
"Not if Ethan ever wants to be laid again," Xander said smartly, smirking at him. Then he turned it on Ethan, who blanched. "Yes?"
"Very true," he agreed. "I'd never tell Lupin about any of that, Xander. I like my dick in the shape it's in. I remember quite well the alligator incident."
"Alligator?" Dawn asked, looking up at him. "Huh?"
"Just don't ask," he mumbled, heading out to the kitchen. "I believe we should go back to my house, people. Let's move and deal with this now, before the worlds fully merge. Or before I'm transformed into something horrible this time."
"You turned him into an alligator, Uncle Xander?" Lotus asked.
"Only parts of him," Xander said dryly, heading after him. He popped back to the house for a moment. "Guys, you absolutely have to keep the kids here," he told Jigen since he was staring outside. "I mean it. No kids anywhere else. Lotus forgot to calculate for a few of the traveling incidents and there's going to be some major crap heading our way if we can't fix it."
"Too late," Jigen sighed, looking at him. He held up his hands. "Lupin's tied up so hard he can't get free. Can you please remove these ancient handcuffs, which I believe you brought into the house?"
"Only to handcuff werewolves and things," he said, picking the lock. "Where are they?"
"Headed out. Sierra rented them a car and they snuck out without us. I called Goemon and he's trying to chase after them." He shrugged, working his wrists. "Where are you heading?"
"Ethan's. Marcus and Lotus are with me. Ask the other thieves, it might save us all." He waved and disappeared, landing already shaking his head. "The girls knocked them out and tied them up," he announced. "They took off from the house in the last hour."
Ethan shuddered. "The world will never survive your children, Xander. Couldn't you give the world an odd child?"
"I did! I gave them Alex and Savannah!"
"Enough," Dawn yelled. "Xander, a cop and a baby Xander isn't enough. Have another one, okay? Three good guys should even out what Melissa is going to do to the world." She looked at the portal. "It's not fully formed. We can't get across it."
"We can call across it," Lotus decided. "Iggy?"
On the other side of the portal, the two worlds were meshed, somewhat, and one boy raised his head. "What the hell?" he muttered. Denver walked over to the fireplace, looking at the little girl. "Hello, who are you?"
"I'm Lotus Goemon, a niece of our Xander's, and I know what's going on. I need to talk to Iggy."
"Ah." Denver nodded, smirking at her. "Well, you'll have to talk to a few others as well I think. Simone!" Her head peeked in from the hallway. "Would you please get the three grouches in here? There's someone named Lotus Goemon who claims she knows what's going on and she's not from here. The floo fire is purple for some reason."
His father stormed in and moved him. "You are?"
"Lotus Goemon. I'm the Uncle Xander here's niece. I had to pull a time switch to save our world and it managed to send us sideways sorta. I'm pretty sure that's causing this imbalance. It was a blind panic moment, sir. We were all going to die. Our timeline did." He gaped at her. "So we need to talk to Iggy really bad. He said he's really good at paradoxes and we've got about three coming at us now."
"Yeah, Uncle Xander had a few times back in Imperial Japan with my ancestors. They really liked him though."
"I'm sure," he said bitterly, glaring at the two Xanders sitting in the corner sulking and chatting about things. They hadn't been allowed to help at all. "Fine. Stand back. Can we get through?"
"I have no idea. On this side the barrier's a bit thick. Hold on, let me put on Dawn. She's great at portals."
Dawn's head appeared in the fire. "Hey, I know you," she said, looking him over. "Or at least a younger version of you."
"Yes, that would have been the one from here," he said with a an eyeroll. "Can we come across?"
"It'll leave it open."
"We'll have to do it anyway," he pointed out. "You have at least one of our phoenixes."
"Yeah, one came over during the original event and the other just came here. Glinda?" She cheeped. "Her. She's presently chewing on Ethan's hair. Stand back." She raised a bleeding hand and the portal opened in the fire. "There, that's about as good as I can do."
"We can change the floo spell to take us there," the younger Xander present offered. He got up to grab a book and flipped to the section, handing it over. "Hey," he said with a grin. "I remember you."
"Cool. How's things?"
"Not too bad. Business is good. Ron's throwing fits at the you here because he thinks you're a flirt. He's got that possessive streak going again for some reason." He shrugged. "Who knows." He took the book back and cast it carefully, then grabbed the jar of floo powder. "Snapes, Methos, Iggy, now." They all came running. "We've found the cause. We're heading over for a conference."
"Sure," Iggy agreed, grabbing his book case off the table and heading across. "Address?"
"To Dawn's," he ordered. He closed his eyes as he was sucked in and sideways, landing on a lawn. "I haven't done that in years," he said with a grin. He grabbed Lotus and hugged her, taking her out of the way. "Watch out for my master, he's a bit grumpy," he whispered.
"It was this or we died," she told him. "He can be a grouch. My daddy can outdo him with two teething infants around." She wiggled down, looking at the others. "I'm really sorry. I acted to save myself and a few others so the worlds would go on at all." Snape glared at her and she glared back, stomping her foot. "Keep it up, mister, I'm not the nicest of people at the moment. This is *way* past my bedtime." He broke, shaking his head with a glare at Iggy.
"Hey, I only told you that twice," Iggy defended. "All right, what's going on?"
"I have a library inside," Ethan offered. "Chairs, coffee, tea, and noise if we need it."
"That's fine," the older Snape said, following him inside. "No Spike?"
"No, I finally got rid of him and kept the two Ruperts," he said, nodding at them. "Only one's a vampire." He rolled his eyes, putting on more water for tea. "We don't have servants."
"Uncle Draco, get a house elf," Iggy called out the door. "We'll be too busy to make tea." He led Lotus into the library, sitting across from her. "Now, tell me everything."
"Shouldn't we wait?"
"We should, but I can tell it in shorter time using the theory."
"Oh. Okay." She coughed and shifted some. "Our timeline was going to end. They were killing us and had just gotten one of the placeholders." He nodded for her to go on. "That's Uncle Xander's baby Alex. I felt it starting to snap and called out to the kitsune for help. They moved us up there but I managed to send most of us back here while we were trying to stabilize everything. I got us all back here but the babies and my brother Ishi, they came later. Since it was an emergency, or else everyone was going to die, we only counted on the normal fluxes of magic, forgetting totally about the temporal travel Uncle Xander had done and his time with you guys at that bar."
"Ah." He nodded, looking at Draco and the two Snapes as they walked in. "A desperation move to save everyone she could before their world ended."
"How? She's not more than ten," the younger Snape said bitterly.
"I'm barely ten, I was nine when I did it, and I'm a nature witch. I made a really powerful plea at the time and the kitsune helped."
"The Kitsune?" the older Snape asked. "They exist?"
"There's two somewhere around here," she said, waving a hand. "Their Lord and their top magic teacher. I'm taking lessons from him."
"Man, we'd kill to have you in Hogwarts," Iggy said with a grin for his teachers.
"The last thing I did was get really mad and make a carnivorous tree to eat a few of them who thought humans were puny," she informed him. "I usually deal with nature spirits but sometimes things happen around me." She shrugged. "I did the best I could, but we were kinda desperate. Janus agreed."
"You're a nature witch who prays to Janus?" the older Snape asked. "Why am I having flashbacks?" he groaned.
"No, he protects Uncle Xander," she said smartly. "Since he had died, he wanted it fixed. He likes him a lot. That's why he gave him a choker that changes sex and he got to have kids."
Iggy blinked a few times. "Okay, that's a magical artifact I want to see in our world," he decided. "If only so I can do it to Simone some day."
His Snape choked and whimpered, shaking his head.
"We shall not turn my daughter into a son, Iggy. Imagine how horrible that would be," Draco said as he walked in. "Well?"
"Desperation move to save themselves and their world, they came back in time to change their timeline. She made a plea to Janus to help them since he adores the Daddy Xander here with the help of the kitsune."
"Oh, dear," he said, eyes wide. "Janus likes Xander?" Lotus nodded. He hit himself on the head. "That explains ever so fucking much," he announced, giving his Snape a dirty look. "Didn't feel that around him when you were searching Rosenburg for magic taint?"
"No," he admitted. "He's a powerful chaos person from his heritage. Why would it matter?"
"Janus gave him a choker that allowed him to become female and have children," Iggy told them with a bright grin.
"Himself?" Draco asked her. She nodded, grinning as she pulled out her pictures to show them. "Damn, and I thought he was fertile at home," he said dryly, showing off the picture.
"Ishi and I and the two mini-Lupins aren't his, but the rest he gave birth to."
"We have a spell for that," Iggy told her. "Uncle Draco did it twice."
"Cool!" she breathed. "Did it change his sex too?" He shook his head. "Wicked cool!" She hopped up and went to find her Uncle Ethan. "They have a spell to do what Uncle Xander did with the kids without changing your outer sex."
He blinked a few times. "Interesting. I know some people I'd like to curse with that." He glared at Xander's back. Then at Rupert's since he was chastising him again. "Leave him alone, Ripper!" he snapped. "He's not at fault! We need him to figure this out and you browbeating him will not help!"
"Fine," he agreed, backing off. "Sorry, Xander, Ethan. Shall I go pull books?"
"Please," Ethan growled. Rupert had the sense to scurry out of the way. He looked up. "Some patience, Janus? I'll need it if you really want him trained instead of as a sacrifice some day," he muttered.
Xander gave him a hug. "He'd be a sucky one," he whispered in his ear. "He's not pure enough for Janus to get off on him." Ethan gave him a hug. "You okay?"
"Well enough, Xander. I'll live through this one and take a long vacation for a bit. I'll let Marcus play here and housesit." They shared a look and grinned. "Come, let's go fix this before something else happens. Knowing our luck, something's going to happen because of this." He walked the house elf into the library. "We'll be in here or the workroom. Do not touch anything in there without permission," he instructed, sitting next to Lotus. "Have we figured out anything?"
"Your version of Janus here is more interfering than ours," Iggy said with a smirk for him.
"Shit!" someone outside yelled. "Vampires!"
"Leave him alone," a few voices called.
Xander sighed and got up, going outside to fix this situation. "What the hell are you doing here! Do you not know that Ethan is the most powerful sorcerer on this fucking plane and he can turn you into spell components without killing you!" he snapped. "Or do you really want me to do it?" He stepped into a patch of light and the vampires gave him a scared look, then ran off. "Thank you. Stupid bastards. Should have gone to school before you got turned!"
"I did, I got my Master's," one called back. "I'm an English person. I came to see if Ripper needed help!"
"Ripper, you have future minions wanting you as an employer," he called, heading back inside. He came back out, looking at the him with the cane. "I like that outfit," he sighed sadly. "I can't get there here, can I?"
"If you could find someone to make you a pattern, I guess," he offered. "It's a cotton-silk blend. Very comfy." He let him feel it. "We were in the middle of a school day."
"I was in the middle of a nap before I went outside and worked out again," Xander said with a grin. "How are you doing, Xander?"
"Fine, Lavelle, you?"
"Peachy. It was my niece and goddaugther that did this. See, their timeline was about to break apart at the seams so she sent an emergency prayer to the kitsune and Janus, so he sent some of us back to do some things over so the world doesn't end."
"Ah." He nodded. "Then I'm sure Iggy has a clue already. Him and the Snapes. Oh, this is Greg. He's a CSI, whatever that is." He waved a hand at him.
"He's a scene tech for the cops," Xander said with a nod. "Lavelle, second gunman to Lupin the Third. Watch out for a mini-Lupin, she and my daughter are loose and probably headed here to get into trouble. If they've got one of my other ones, she wants to be just like you. Keeps talking to someone in Miami named Cali?"
"I know her in our world," he agreed, shaking his hand. "Is there a me here?"
"Where do you work?"
"Oh, yeah," he agreed, nodding with a grin. "Yuppers. Ran into him for a DNA sample. He was not a happy camper since I took some heavy radiation." He lifted a strand of silver hair. "Demonic. Against my will."
"Wow." He felt it. "It's soft. You do very well with it. Can I take a sample? I know you're not in our world."
"Sure. Hair or mouth?"
"Either's fine. I've been meaning to do a research project."
"Boys!" the younger Snape snapped. "Quit, now." He glared at the two Xanders. "At least the you in my world is a bit better dressed."
"I got out of bed. Feel lucky I put on clothes since I was having sex with my two men before this," he said smartly. "And that they're too tired from trying to wear my big ass out."
Snape gave him a horrified look. "Two? It takes two of them to wear you out?"
"No, usually they're worn out long before I am," he said honestly, then he grinned. "Wanna try me?"
"No!" He backed into the house and ran away.
"I love doing that to stuffy people," he said happily. "That's my mischief for the day. Now I'm going to go plot a takeover of the world." He headed back inside, going to find a camera. "Hey, Xander, can I take a picture of your outfit?"
"Sure." He stepped into some light, letting him take a few from each angle. "Good luck finding a good tailor."
"I've got a few," he admitted. "It looks much more comfortable than a suit and a tie though. I'm kinda hoping Lupin won't mind." He headed up to Ethan's bedroom to put on some clothes from Ethan's closet. He passed over the tweed, the jeans, and the suits, finding his pair of jogging shorts and a t-shirt.
"What are you doing?" Rupert asked from the doorway.
"You don't borrow clothes from your lovers?"
Rupert blushed, then went pale. "Never mind. Please, borrow some boxers too, just have them cleaned however." He ran away.
Xander grinned and did that, finding a pair of bikinis he had left there a few years back. "Good enough." He pulled on everything and headed back down the stairs, going to find out if he could help yet. "My part coming soon?"
"No," Ethan called. "Go get some food if you wouldn't mind. Legally of course."
"Sure. Wallet?" One sailed out to hit him. "Thanks, Ripper. Oh, hey, Zenigata's. I'm sure he won't mind much." He ran out to Dawn's "Xander!" shriek, taking Ripper's motorcycle on his snack run. "Just like old times," he said dryly.
Back in the realm where Xander is still young, pretty, powerful, and sleeping with Draco, Draco was looking up references for the people working across the fireplace. "Potter, move your fat ass," he snapped when Harry got in his way again. "Some of us are trying to help. Either do the same or go fly."
"I'm helping," he defended. "I was told by that older, silver-haired Xander to find out what things a thief was likely to go for because he knew one was going to cross over soon." He shifted his chair out of the way. "You could ask politely."
"I could also turn you into a fucking toad," he sneered.
"Feeling's mutual," Harry snorted, going back to his scanning the index of the Ministry's vaults. "There's not much here. Not many jewels, not many paintings, nothing that thieves usually like from what I understand." Another person walked through and handed over another book so he shrugged and switched out. "Oh, theirs. Yes, they've got many things, including some artifacts. I didn't know Merlin had a second staff."
"What?" Draco asked, turning to look at him. "Since when?" He snatched the book to look it over. "Well, bloody hell. That goes in the face of history." He turned the page, scowling at the book now. "That really doesn't go with the historical accounts at all! How could they have been that careless!"
"I'm sure they authenticated," Harry said, taking the book back. "Go back to your research and I'll do mine."
"Fine," he said, glaring at him again. "Prick."
"Yes, and a good one, thank you," he said smugly.
"I'm telling your current girlfriend you said that," Draco sneered.
"Go right ahead, she's the one who said it first." He smirked at his coworker. "Just ask her." He went back to making his list, separating out by worlds. That other one had a ton of things and apparently the Bill Weasley there wasn't working as hard as theirs was.
Draco muttered under his breath as he looked through another book's index. "I should curse you to be a prick forever," he muttered, glaring at him again.
"Doing harmful magic against Harry would probably make Alex quite upset, Draco," Aunt Cordy's voice floated down the stairs. "Remember that before you turn him into a giant penis."
"Yes, ma'am," he called back. "I'll just have to find something better." Harry gave him an odd look and moved out of his way. "Finally."
Little Arsene Lupin the Fourth looked at her partners in crime, then at the one they had just stolen from his father's grasp. "Are we up for this? We know that there's stuff there but we can't be sure what."
"How are we going to get it back?" Melissa asked. "I don't think they've got those bags of holding like in the D&D novels, Arsene. We can't hope to carry back even a tenth of what's there."
"Yes, but think of the reputation we'll get," she said with a bright smirk, just like her father. "If we can do this, then no one else ever will be able to again. We'll have done the impossible!"
"Sounds interesting," Ishi agreed. "Though I do agree with Melissa to some degree. That's a lot of work for not a lot of profit and a reputation that won't be carried back here."
Arsene sighed. "I doubt they're going to fix it right off. Right?" Everyone nodded. "Then we'll go scout our three targets. Going to the farthest one would make more sense because even Daddy won't think to look for us to go that far from home."
"We could get trapped."
"Nope. I've been reading over Lotus' shoulder with her earring camera and I asked the young Kitsune who came down to check on baby Alex. If we get caught across there and they close it, we'll go back to that bar place and can be sent back home from there. That makes it risk free. And hey, even if we're stuck over there for a few months, they've got dragons, gryphons, and Hogwarts." She shrugged. "A win-win situation."
"True," Melissa agreed, considering it. "I still don't want to leave all that there. We should be able to steal more of it if we're going to do that."
"Well, if we could find something like a bottomless trunk it might help," Ishi offered. "I don't think there's any here."
"No, me either," Melissa offered.
Arsene smirked at them. "I am not Lupin the Fourth for nothing. Ethan has a small bag of holding. It'll only hold about fifteen pounds of crap, but it'll do, right?"
"Fifteen pounds of gems or gold would certainly be wonderful," Melissa agreed. "Especially if we could get gold or diamonds. They're worth the most."
Ishi considered it while the girls stared at him. "It is worth the risk. They can't really throw us in Azkaban, even if the books were right and it exists," he decided. "I still think we need backup."
"Ehh, Lotus is there, she'll cover for us," Melissa said, waving a hand. "Everyone there will be busy with the magic stuff. It'll be fine, Ishi."
"Yeah, and even if the mother catches us, she'll just follow again," Arsene offered. "That way she can praise us and see what else we need to work on."
Melissa lifted her copy of book one of Harry Potter again. "I'm sure we'll figure it out by the time we get there. Does your father know this is actually your car and driver, Lupin?"
"Well, no, Jigen," she admitted. "Does Mommy or daddy know that you've got that diamond scepter again?" She smirked and shook her head. "Didn't think so. Anyway, I've paid for him for the year." She put down the dividing window. "How long before we get to the train station?"
"Another ten minutes, ma'am," the driver said calmly. "Then an hour on the train, ma'am." He turned off the tape recorder and went on, knowing what the girls were planning. They'd catch them this time. No matter what they were talking about, they'd catch them. He wasn't Zenigata's apprentice for nothing!
Lupin the Third, version two from Iggy's world, paced up and down the hotel room, fuming. "It's not right. They had no right to judge us that way. I didn't really want the demon in the jar, just the jar! They insulted our acumen."
"I know you're fuming now, you'll pulling out the thesaurus," Jigen joked. "Even though their mind ray whatever didn't work, we can't go back for that jar. Is there another target around here?"
Lupin smirked at him. "Oh, you bet," he said meanly. "There's two actually. There's a bank that holds more gold than all the world's have left in their vaults and there's a ministry that has a wonderful storage house of antiques they consider special. I think the only fair way of getting back at them for trying to take our memories is to show them that they're not worth playing with, that they're only targets!"
Jigen nodded, smoking thoughtfully. "Could be fun. What if they try to whammy us again? You know Goemon was stuck for nearly a day."
"I know." He started to pace again. "I'm working on it. I'll have it by tomorrow, when they're having a huge ball."
"Sure, boss, whatever you want. As long as we don't end up toads or anything," Jigen agreed. "That blond guy was almost in our class of cruel and mean."
"Ehh. He's a child playing dressup compared to some of the Dons we've taken down," Lupin said smugly. "He has no idea what we can do. He, his made-up names, and his superiority complex will soon learn not to mess with Lupin the Third."
Jigen decided that wisdom was the better part of intelligence and that it wasn't a gunman's job to worry about such things until he started to moo, croak, or like odd things in a sexual way. Then he would worry; until then Lupin probably had it. "Bank or storehouse first?"
"I'd like to case them both," Lupin admitted. "That means we'll have to find a back way into their alley place. There's got to be more than one gateway."
"Who do we ask?"
"A kid," Lupin said, turning to look at him. "There's got to be access for them since the one that was chatting while we were suspended from the wall said something about school supplies."
"Okay. Got any idea how to find one?"
"Yeah, I do," Lupin said with a smirk. He turned to look at Jigen. "We've seen one of those redheaded brats with an adult, right?"
"Or four. Why?"
"Because we follow them. They weren't heading into that tavern and wherever they came out of had some stores since they were carrying bags." Jigen tipped his hat up to look at him. "They won't be looking for us to follow them. They're too arrogant about their powers."
"Okay. Whatever you want, Lupin. Call Goemon yet?"
"No, not yet. I'll do that later, when I have a plan. He's only in the country." He went to his room to lie down for a few minutes. Maybe thinking smutty thoughts would work best this time. His mental Fujiko was always helpful for plans. "Mechanicals are probably out," he muttered. "Even though we heard a game show, we didn't see electric lights. If you use candles and torches to light your house, you probably are afraid of machines and guard against them. I wonder if they have a way to become invisible. It'd sure help to get Pops off our backs now and then." He stroked himself gently, smirking at his mental girlfriend and her enticing ways. "Yeah, Fujicakes, give it to me this time," he groaned, going faster. "That's it. Oh, yeah, light misdirectors might work, yeah. Mmm."
The first version of Arsene Lupin the Third looked up from chatting on the thieves' bulletin board, then grunted in displeasure. "No one's seen the kids but they're all on alert for them. I gave them the toss-away's phone number in case they see them getting into trouble." He leaned back, frowning at Jigen. "Where did our heathens go?"
"I don't know," Jigen admitted, putting something down on the desk. "But you need to have a talk with your little girl."
Lupin looked at the two-headed statue, then snorted. "Wonderful. Well, he once said he liked me, I'm sure he adores her since he adores Xander and he raised her." Both heads on the statue nodded. "Which way were they headed this time?"
"The portal?" Jigen asked, flinching when they nodded again. "Damn it, that's dangerous!"
"Xander's there," the smiling face cooed. "My precious one will watch out for them."
"Been watching Golum again?" Lupin asked dryly. The smiling face glared and he grinned, wiling his fingers. "Hey, you sounded like him, not my fault. Where are they headed? And which kids?"
"Just yours and Melissa. They're quite amusing you know. They have such life and no one ever stops to think what a child would do if they wanted to steal something, like say a bank." He smirked and went mute, and the other side did too after rolling his eyes.
Jigen and Lupin both reached for the phone at the same time, Lupin winning when he smacked Jigen's hands. "My phone." He called Ethan's house.
Marcus looked as a house elf tugged on his arm. "Yes?" he asked patiently. It handed over the shrill noise-making device. "Thank you." He answered it. "Ethan's house of muck. Head stable boy." He smiled. "Because he keeps messing up things. There are days when we should all have pitchforks around here, Lupin. Did something happen to the children?" He groaned and held his head. "We'll be on the lookout for them. Thank you. They're what?" He glared at Ethan. "Let me when I get back, Lupin. Of course. I'll drag Ethan back if I have to. I'll try to stop them." He hung up and threw the phone at Ethan's head. "You gave the girls the ability to talk to Janus?"
Ethan smirked at him. "No." He went back to reading the books the silver-haired boy had brought. He needed to be scanning these into his computer. Their version of chaos was much more powerful and widely used it seemed. "He went to them of his own free will, as they devoted themselves to him."
Marcus got up and went to find Xander, not finding him in the library. He checked upstairs but there wasn't anyone there either except the vampire Ripper hiding from the sun to take his daily nap. He headed back down to the kitchen. "Xander!" Two of them looked at him and he waved them off. "Lavelle!" No answer. "The kids are coming!"
"I figured as much," drifted in from outside. He stuck his head inside. "And?"
"Melissa and Arsene are worshiping Janus as well. Jigen found the statue in Melissa's room."
"Well, gee, he loves me a whole bunch, it kinda figures," Xander said dryly. He headed into Ethan's prayer room, tapping his statue on the head. "Don't give the girls ideas, they've got enough already. They're still only eight." He headed back outside, going back to his exercises. It would wear off some nervous energy and let him watch for the kids.
Marcus rolled his eyes and went to pounce him, putting him onto his back. "You smug git! I doubt Janus will listen to you, Xander."
"Ha! Janus wants me to have more kids. He'll listen 'cause I'm not putting on the choker again." He threw Marcus off and attacked him this time, smirking evilly the whole time.
"If you two want to have sexual relations on the lawn, take it to the other side of the house!" Iggy shouted.
"We're not," Marcus said, glaring at him. "That is a rather disgusting thought, young man. This Xander is a coworker and it's my sworn duty to attack him often so he doesn't forget his training."
Xander nodded, putting Marcus onto his back and standing on his shoulder. "True. His teacher would be very proud of him for not burying his nose in a book since there's so many good researchers available."
Marcus got himself free and pounced Xander again. "You're a prat, Xander. I'm an excellent researcher."
"Then why are you pouncing me?"
He sighed and got up, heading inside to go back to work. "See what I put up with?" he muttered as he walked past the boy.
"I think Severus feels the same way about Daddy," he soothed, patting him on the back. He grabbed his snacks and went back to his reading spot, moving Simone's head from it so she could nap against his leg again. "Why don't you go outside and pounce the Xander from here. He's very good at self-defense. Maybe he could help you learn something new," he suggested when she woke up.
"Maybe," she said through a yawn, heading outside. "Xander?" He grinned at her. "Can you work on my hand-to-hand?" He nodded, waving her on. "Uncle Xander was teaching me some, but I still rely too much on my speed."
"Ah, but speed is a good thing, if you're using it as subterfuge," he offered, rushing her, but then changing directions at the last second to put her onto her back. "See?" He grinned down at her. "Think you can do that?"
"I can bloody well try," she agreed as he hauled her up. "Show me more."
"Sure, kiddo. Not an issue. I'm working on training my own hellions." He beamed and rushed her again and this time she was more ready to counter but he still got her. "Don't worry, I'm working with a master."
"Pooh. I work with Uncle Xander while he's training a future slayer."
"I've got one of those. She's probably taking the day off to do her nails." He grinned and did a perfect heel sweep, putting her back down. "Always be on your guard. Guys like to put girls onto their backs and smirk at them."
"Yes, but usually I allow it," she said smartly, putting him onto the ground.
Ishi watched as Arsene snuck through the house and came out a few minutes later. Then they all snuck across the barrier, coming out in a library. He followed Arsene's little stone that tracked magic, something Lotus had made her to help them find her when she was lost again, and ran for the portal. He paused to look at the unicorn, then grinned and waved before heading on. He couldn't touch it so he wouldn't try. It would be a futile chase.
In the house above them, a house elf went to find a reasonable adult, finding the younger Draco reading again. "Master Draco, sir," it said fearfully. "Three children just snuck through and out through the portal."
"Probably some of that limping Xander's children."
"One was like Master Nichi, the old teacher who teaches House Elves."
Draco looked up. "There's a teacher for house elves?" He nodded, his ears flapping. "Interesting. Describe them?"
"Two girls. One boy, older. Girls were dark haired, white, but not pale. Tanned and fit. Boy had a sword."
"Very interesting. Thank you, Bower. I'll check on them myself." He got up and headed out to the portal, noticing the protections had been tripped. "Dawn!" he bellowed. She came out of the workhouse, joining him. "We just had intruders running from the other realm through ours to here."
"Could they be that other Xander's kids?"
"I doubt it. One was apparently not our race."
"Oh." She looked at it then shrugged. "Let me get one of the twins. They're hiding with the baby twins." She went back into the workhouse, waking whichever twin it was. "Hey. We just had kids sneak across."
The twin looked at her, yawning. "Kids?"
"Kids. Draco said one was a different race."
"Elf, dwarf, or goblin?"
Draco walked in. "Japanese."
Fred frowned at him. "Huh?" Draco nodded. "I don't know anyone who's really that ethnicity," he admitted. "Tip Top? Are you up, love?" he called. She came down the stairs. "Draco said they saw kids sneaking across and one was Japanese."
"Japanese? Here? There's only three kids at Hogwarts that have any Asian heritage. Are you sure?"
"The house elf who saw him said so. He said he was like their teacher, Master Nichi. I have no idea who he was, but he said he was Japanese."
"Well." She grimaced. "We should probably send a warning through. Any of those handy golden chickens around?"
"The phoenixes you mean?" Dawn asked dryly.
"They are? I always expected them to be bigger and more fluffy." She shrugged. "I guess. Send one with a message."
"Sure, if they'll do that," Draco said shortly, rolling his eyes. He looked out the door and up at the roof of the house. "One of you plonkers want to take a message back? Someone just snuck through." One of them squawked at him and laid a dropping. "Never mind. Dawn?"
"Birds hate me. Look at my owl, Draco."
"Good point," he admitted. "Weasley? Or lady Weasley?"
She rolled her eyes and walked out onto the front step. "One of you go tell them some kids snuck through, before we treat you like the golden chicken you look like." That got another angry squawk and one of them trying to divebomb her. "Help!" She ran back inside and up to a room, shutting herself in.
Fred stood up with a sigh, looking outside. "Please? We don't know who they are, but they could get very hurt you know. Especially if they're like that Lotus girl. Totally untrained and very powerful." That got a coo and one of the younger ones went through to see if they were worthy of further scrutiny. "I guess they'll do that." He went back to his nap. "Hopefully George doesn't need me today. I'm damn tired of teething."
"Don't worry, you can have more," Dawn reminded him. He tried to get up and pounce her but she shoved Draco in his way and ran off.
"Get off!" Draco said, pushing him away. "I may like boys, but not your sort. Nasty, dirty, heathen!" He stomped off, going to talk to the real head of the household, Aunt Cordy. "There were children who snuck through," he said in greeting.
"I saw. They're not ours and they didn't really look like that other Alex's so I'm supposing they're not. Not a red hair in sight. I sent a message plane through just in case."
"Hopefully someone's watching over on that side. Hogwarts is out for the summer." She sighed and nodded. "If not, I'm sure Hagrid will find it eventually." He went back to his research. It was very interesting what that other realm had found. If he was less ethical he might be tempted to steal some of it. Fortunately his lover had broken his tendencies to maim, crush, and destroy things and people. Most of the time anyway. Sex didn't cure all of it by any means, just blunted it.
Ishi had to pull his sisters away from the paddocks before they petted every single animal in there, heading them toward the woods. He knew a lot about woods and he had read the books so he knew that there were special paths through these if they could find them. They found one that had to come from the groundskeeper, it was too big for anything but him or an elephant, and took it to the town, lurking on the edges of it. "Now what?" he hissed.
"Now, we look like every other grubby kid down there," Melissa said, picking up some dirt to make it look like they had been playing in the fields. She pointed at the town. "That's supposed to be in Diagon by the books," she hissed.
Arsene's eyes lit up. "Do you think we can go in there to look?"
"Sure," Ishi sighed. It was no use trying to stop her, Arsene was a diehard fan of pranks and games. "Come on." He dirtied himself too, then headed after them, hiding his sword as best he could. The charm Lotus had made them a few days ago so he could sneak out and use it at night was very handy. He kept Arsene from shoplifting by a hard pinch to her back when she reached for something. "No."
"Fine," she said, frowning at him. "Meany."
"Mommy said you could only look," Melissa told him. "Then we had to head home and give her a list of what we wanted." She smiled at the man behind the counter, who was *exactly* how she pictured him. "Mr. Wood, sir, can we use your floo? Mum's kinda sick and she wants us home as soon as we've figured out what we want. We were playing and she'll be *really* mad if we dally."
"Sure," he agreed with a grin, winking at Arsene. "Take one of the blue things to try. We've changed the formula."
"Thank you, Mr. Wood, sir," she said happily, taking it to try. She and Melissa took Ishi to the fireplace, he was a bit wary of this part, and they flooed together. "Diagon Alley," she called after tossing the powder in and stepping into the fire. She squeaked as they zipped off, clutching her new treat in her hand. They came out in a small inn, grinning at the innkeeper. "Our mommy is waiting on us to go get clothes," she told him, skipping out back behind him. He opened the portal for them, smiling as they went through. Sometimes looking innocent was all it took to fool adults. They cleaned up at a small fountain and Arsene tucked her candy into her pocket, then they went to browse around and see what could be seen.
Ishi managed to pickpocket a few people so they wouldn't look odd and they could have some ice cream while they planned, then they went to find some more local clothes. They weren't that expensive and there was a pre-school sale going on from the signs. Arsene had to get a school robe, and one in Slytherin, but she could only get one in the standard Hogwarts pattern until she was sorted according to the fitter. So she settled for it, but they went out to scout some more locales. They found the back way into the Ministry by following some guy with red hair that reminded them a lot of Percy, and down to the storehouse from there.
"Wow," Melissa whispered, looking around. It looked like a big museum. They were used to working in museums. They could do this. She looked at Arsene, who had fixated on something really pretty. "What's that?" she asked, skipping over to read the card with her. "What's a fixiter gem?"
"What are you children doing down here?" a loud female voice called.
Ishi looked at her and looked heartbroken. "Mum said this was the museum where all those really neat cursebreakers found stuff," he said. "She said to come look while she's at home with the new baby."
"Oh." She grimaced. "That's two floors up, children, this is a restricted area of the Ministry. Come, I'll show you."
"What does that one do?" Melissa asked, pointing at the gem they had been looking at.
"It's very dangerous, but from what we understand, it holds open a small portal to a location so you can move things between two houses. Many, many witches and wizards have lost everything they've owned because they couldn't keep their focus well enough." She opened a door. "In there, children, and don't be long. Visiting hours are nearly up and I'm sure your mother wants you home for dinner."
Ishi looked at her and shook his head. "Not if she can help it. She only had him last night and Dad's somewhere fighting."
"Mom never quite says," Arsene sighed. "We think she's trying to protect us and he's off hunting poltergeists or something." She had remembered that this world wasn't at war any longer, her mommy had said so. "Do you think it'd be okay if we stayed at the Leaky Cauldron tonight? I know Tom's a nice old guy from what Mom said, even though it's been *ages* since she's been there," she said at the renewed frown.
"Well, Tom's not doing much with it anymore. His assistant has taken over the bar." She considered it. "Let me call him, it might be all right. Are you going to be starting Hogwarts?"
"In another two years," Melissa said happily. "Ishi gets to go this year. We're scouting the sales too so Mom really doesn't have to."
"I can understand that. My own kids were much the same." She went to call the Leaky for them, coming back to find them staring at a naughty painting. "None of that now," she snapped at the painting. "No showing your bum at them, they're kids!" She led them off, taking them back to the Leaky. "Here they are, Tom. Just as promised. Good as gold. Found them in the special collection's room."
"I suppose it's fine then. They seem to have some sense and all. Got money on you?" Ishi handed over a few coins. "That's more than enough for tonight and tomorrow if you need it. Boy or girl?"
"One of each," Arsene said, shuddering. "The little boy won't quit crying and the little girl had to get taken to a healer. Auntie's with her. Mom said best not to think of her until we know for sure. She came out really blue."
"I'm sorry to hear that. I've seen such though. Twins are always hard. The Weasley twins nearly killed their ma from what I heard not to mention what their father and uncle did to their own mother. Come along, kids. We'll show you to a room." He smiled at the woman. "Thanks, Arabelle. Nice of you." He nodded and they followed him up the stairs. "I'll bring dinner up and we'll make sure you can get into the alley for the fireworks tonight. How about that?" he asked with a grin.
"We'd *love* that," Arsene assured him. "I haven't seen fireworks in *forever*."
"It's only been a year, we were in the US during the Fourth," Melissa reminded her.
"That's forever," she defended.
"Forgive them, they're younger," Ishi told him, making him laugh. "I'll watch out for them, they'll behave."
"That's good'a you to watch out for your half-sisters that way." He patted him on the back and headed back down the stairs. They were pretty nice kids. Very polite. He made sure to send up extra dessert with their dinners since they hadn't even had a pillow fight yet.
Arsene snuck into the building first, waving her sister on. They had already figured out how to do this tonight and how to do the bank tomorrow. It was nice, the house elves were about their size and they had special tunnels all around for them. Plus, the bank had goblin sized ones and they were only a bit smaller than them. Arsene nudged Melissa and she went to the other hall. Their fifteen minutes alone had been more than enough to figure out what they wanted and she was going for that fixiter gem. She managed to get it off the pedestal and hurried back to meet her sister and big brother, heading back out the tunnels with them. Ishi had to bend sometimes, but it should be fine. They snuck back into the Leaky with the rest of the crowd coming in from the fireworks, waving at Tom as they headed up the stairs. The bag was put onto the bed and Ishi concentrated with the gem in his hands on their hiding spot. As soon as it opened, Arsene stuck her head through, but it was theirs. They emptied the bag into it and he let it go, wiping off the sweat. "Think it'll be good enough?" Arsene asked.
Melissa sat down with her calculations. "It should be," she agreed. "We go for the biggest one, then shop." If anyone was listening, it'd sound like they were doing as their mother ordered, looking over the sales. "If there's time, we'll do the others tomorrow and then the rest the night after that."
Arsene beamed at her. "We are the best evil overlords the world could ever want."
"Huh," Ishi snorted. "Not yet you're not. Remember, we still have to get past the Auntie and you know how much she hates it when Mom lets us run loose. She wanted to send me to a military academy the last time Mom let us do this."
"True," Arsene agreed, "but we can get past the Auntie."
"Let's hope so," Melissa agreed. "Let's hope brother's all right too."
"Yeah, I'm sure the kids are fine," Arsene said with a wink. "After all, they must have gotten her unhitched from the bed by now."
"Hopefully," Ishi agreed. He stretched out on one of the twin beds in the room. "We should get some sleep. Morning's going to come early."
"Yeah, we should," Melissa agreed, stripping down and putting her figures into the fireplace so they'd burn up. She made sure they had turned to ashes, then laid down beside Arsene. "'Night."
"'Night," they called to each other, settling in for a nap.
Lavelle came out the other side, and groaned. He was at the school. He looked around, then sighed and headed off for the town, remembering the map in the books. He ran into a ghost and bowed politely. "Hi, tracking the kids. They came up here to play and see the animals." He grinned and walked past her.
"Who are you?" the ghost asked. "You seem very familiar somehow."
"Really?" He stopped to look at the older woman. "I don't know why. I went to one of the American schools. A small private thing in the Midwest, Iowa."
"Oh, I'd heard they had a few of those. Was it a quality education?"
Xander shook his head. "Not really. I ended up taking an equivalency. They spent a lot of time on chaos theory. I've go to go, the kids are only eight and ten."
"Go," Rowena said with a smile. "Have a nice day, young man."
"You too, ma'am. May your steps be guided by the light of knowledge and purity." He scampered off before she could stop him again, or before anyone could. At the moment, he wished he could cast something but he knew his magic would stand out like a sore thumb around here. He cast a small location charm, a Wiccan thing he had learned, and found the kids had already left the town. They were well ahead of him. He groaned and headed into the deeper part of the woods, teleporting to where they were. Fortunately there was enough demonic energy still in this plane to help him. He figured out where he was when he saw everyone staring at him. "What? It's a valid form of magic." They all backed off and went back to the shadows. He sighed and headed up the stairs to Diagon proper, leaving Knockturn behind. "Figures the kids would come here," he muttered, heading for the place he knew they would have been, the clothing shop. He smiled at the salesgirl. "Hi, my kids are here working on something for their mom. Two girls and a boy? Have you seen them?"
She smiled and nodded. "Most pleasant young things. One of them tried to give me a tip and wouldn't *think* of taking it back. Even though I can't take them." She handed it to him as she looked over his outfit. "Aren't you chilly?"
"I got called out of a training session," he admitted, looking down at his shorts and t-shirt. He looked at the money in his hand. "Wow, the kids were really generous this time."
"She was trying to bribe me into a Slytherin tie," she shared with a wink. "You could use it to get more presentable."
"Yeah, I think I will." He flipped some of his hair back with his right hand. "Just a standard, casual outfit. I'm hoping I won't need to fight anyone." He pulled out his glasses, not often used, but always carried in a special hidden pocket around his neck in case he had to do something really little and fine, and pulled out two rubies. "Do you think Gringotts could change these?"
"Of course," she agreed. "Those are very pretty. Do you mine them?"
"No, they were my payment for my last job," he said with an eyeroll. "I'm a demon hunter."
"Ah." She nodded, putting him up onto the stool. "Your children thought you might be something like that. Said their mother keeps that from them but they figured ghosts and poltergeists."
"No, I hunt demons. One infected me when I was a little kid and I learned some of their magic as well as my own. That's why I went to a special school in the states. We never had good uniforms. Itchy wool was nasty." She clucked and went to get him something nice. "Thank you." He went in to change, coming out. "Pants are a bit tighter than I like. I like looser things, in case I have to fight. You wouldn't believe it, but I found a siren in a wizard bar a few months back. All I wanted was a drink and I ended up calling in someone else to handle it because my wrist was broken." She looked stunned but went to get him the next bigger size. "Thanks." He smiled and went to try them on. "Perfect." He came out to show her. "Exactly right." She smiled. "Am I going to owe you anything?"
"No, you're a delightful man," she said, kissing him on the cheek. "We can give you that for the tip." She took it back. "You have a nice day."
"Thanks, you too." He grinned and waved, heading out into the alley again. He went to Diagon, changing one of his special rubies to galleons and sickles, then went to get a room at the Leaky and try another butterbeer. He had liked them at the crossroads bar place. He sat down to wait, knowing the kids would have to pass through here. He saw them head upstairs later that night and shook his head, finishing up his late dinner and getting his own room. The next morning he followed them around the alleyway, noticing some others had made it inside and were following them too since they did such a good job of looking like they belonged there. He kept an eye on both parties, gathering some of the herbs and things that he had such a problem getting at home and another few outfits. He stuffed them all into his special pocket, going in to eat lunch at the Leaky, then heading back out to do some more browsing and to watch the local Lupin and Jigen. Goemon wasn't there yet or he wasn't showing himself. He finally made his move, letting them see him. Lupin walked up to him and he grinned. "Morning," he said happily. "Great day, much better than the countryside of France, huh?" he asked with a bright smile. Lupin looked confused for a moment. "Go to Beaubaxton's? I hear the women there are quite stunning."
Lupin broke into French, clearing his expression with a smile. "Why yes," he answered. "How did you know?"
"You look like you're French." He grinned and walked around him, nodding politely to Jigen. "I've done some work there. It's really an interesting place. Lots of pretty women and all sorts of muggle crossovers from what I hear, including those dreadful guns." He strolled off, going back to tracking the kids. Give them enough interest and they'd keep out of the kids' way. That way they wouldn't be freaked by them. He didn't think this Lupin and Jigen were ready for the hellions that were their possible future children. He went back down into Knockturn, knowing exactly where the kids were heading. It was the day before letters came out according to some shopkeepers he had overheard while they were stocking. The bank was bare today in anticipation for tomorrow's rush. The kids would be trying that and he could back them up after one last stop. He walked into an odd and ends shop, smirking at the proprietor. "I'm looking for something that can jump realms directly with my student."
"That would be powerful chaos magic."
"Chaos and demonic in tandem actually," he said as he walked in, pulling out every bit of snob he had in him. A Malfoy-type would get more respect here. "I'm told that you might know where I could find something of that nature?"
"I don't have one but I know there's one available," he admitted. "It's in the hands of a ...person of questionable virtue."
"Eh, what do I care? Some may say that about me, yet I do live by a certain code of honor. I simply need it to help my student learn what I did. Can you put me in touch with them?" He nodded, heading into the back of the shop while he waited. The man came out with a jug. "That's bigger than I thought."
"Oh, it's stuffed in here," he assured him. He opened it and pulled out a fist-sized ruby, showing it to him. "That's it."
Xander held it up to the light, testing the spells. "This is a temporal one, but I could use one of those as well. I have an antique set of blessed armor that needs to be repaired by a line of the maker." He put it on the counter. "Do you have the other as well? I'm more than willing to pay a *fair* price."
"You an auror?"
"Do I look like an auror?"
"Well, no." He grimaced. "Put your hand on the silver."
Xander put his hand on the silver. "I am not an auror."
"Well, it says you're not," he admitted, pulling out two others. "I can't remember which is which."
Xander looked at them, then smirked. He knew what the last one was and the guy didn't. "How much for all three?"
"Seventy thousand galleons."
"I said *fair*, as in reasonable," Xander sighed, shaking his head. "It's not like I want to take them from you." He smirked. "I'm Lavelle, Demon Lord." He shook the man's hand. "You?"
"Arnold. I'll give them to you for seven hundred."
Xander looked in his pocket, coming up with four diamonds Ethan had been pleading to put spells into. "That good?"
"Oh." He blinked, looking at them in the light. "I..." He looked at him. "More than, mister. Thank you, sir. Should I box them up?"
"Please. I've got a pocket to hide them in, but I'd rather they not set themselves off as soon as I walk out the door."
"Sure thing, sir. How did you become a demon lord?"
"A former friend gave me to them and I was smart enough to get around them." He smirked. "It's helpful sometimes. Especially since I worship Janus." He took the bags with a grin. "Thanks. You never saw me in Diagon at all."
"Never ever, sir," he agreed, smiling as he walked out. "Sucker. This is closer to my price than not."
"I knew that," Xander called, opening the door again. "I knew that when I came in." He closed the door again and headed back to get his kids out of trouble. He looked around but Lupin, Jigen, and Goemon were all gone and no one was creating a disturbance. There was even a woman in a short skirt that was walking around and he wasn't panting. It must have been a really serious job. He moseyed over to the bank, having a feeling he'd be needed.
Ethan looked up, frowning at the room. "Where is Lavelle?" Marcus grunted so he kicked him under the table. "Where is our Xander?"
"Probably searching out his children before they try something. Lupin said they were heading this way." He glanced up as he turned the page. "You know he's not dumb."
"I do. I was simply wondering." He left it there. If Janus wanted him to find the boy, he would soon enough.
Iggy yawned and suddenly stood up. "Found it!" he shouted. Everyone rushed for his book, letting him point out the section he had been looking for all morning. He yawned again. "There."
"Go nap, kid, you did good," Alex assured him, heading to the table to look down at Ethan. "Can we do this?"
Ethan read it, then nodded. "I have most everything in storage but a piece of the philosopher's stone. I can't get any of that, but if you can then we can do it."
"It only takes a flake."
"There are no true alchemists on this plane," he offered.
Iggy put a vial down between them. "Fortunately I brought my own," he said dryly, heading to the stairs. "All right if I take a nap?"
"Sure, go ahead," he said, staring at the little vial in awe. "They're pure myth here."
"In our world too," Alex breathed. "Draco?" The older one looked up then went back to what he was doing. "Consort!" His came running, stopping when he saw it. "A piece of a philosolpher's stone. Iggy had it."
"He's a potion's master," Draco pointed out. "I'm sure he needs it for something."
"He makes them," the older Snape said bitterly. "That's partially flawed."
"Doesn't matter," Alex announced. "We can work on the spell, it'll take at least four hours and it's potions intensive."
"I'll help," Draco told his Snape.
Both Snapes nodded, taking the vial and the book to the workroom to figure out what they needed from their persona stores, or from Iggy's box.
"Any asphodel?" one called.
"Refrigerator. I had to thaw some." Ethan got up to help them. "It had to be shipped frozen since that part of the world is at war and I can't get any to grow." He pulled out the tray, testing it with a finger. "It's still a bit spongy but I do have an herb dryer." He put it into the machine and turned it on. "Two hours tops."
"Thank you," the older one said stiffly.
"I'd like to have one of those some days."
"We have one in the storeroom, it needs fixed. Have your Alex tinker with it to fix the everlasting fire bit."
"Oh. I hadn't known. I haven't had a chance to go back there in years."
The older Snape looked at him. "Neither did I until the war was finally over," he admitted. "Also, check your second store room, the one you started as a student. I know I left things in there."
The younger Snape nodded. "I know I did too. I ran out of room in my trunk." He smirked at his older self. "I'm sure we can do this together. Your apprentice and mine are both sleeping so they can finish it if we get too tired."
"Indeed," the older Snape agreed. "Go rest, Rayne. Your part is coming."
"Of course. Not that I'm not healthy now."
"Rest, or else I'm feeding you an elixir of bombast." The older Snape shuddered at the younger one's pronouncement.
"That sounds like the thing they fed me at the hospital to have my organs all cleaned out in case I died. I'll be napping in my prayer room." He went to lie down in there on the small pile of pillows, silently praying for some of their knowledge to get sucked back here.
Lupin the Third reached for a very pretty stone but a small hand grabbed it from between his, making him look down at the person standing on the ledge. "Who are you?" he asked warmly.
"Arsene Lupin the Fourth, daddy." She grinned. "Don't worry, there's no boobytraps on the ledges, but we could use some help getting the big doors open once we break the locks. They're heavier than I had expected."
He hung there, stunned for a moment, swinging gently in his hanging harness, then nodded and flipped down, coming to help her.
Two floors up, Jigen stopped to look around. "Goemon, be more quiet," he hissed. The grunting stopped and he went back to looking at the vault in front of him and the key he had lifted earlier. He stuck it in and turned it, then the door opened, showing him a pitiful amount of gold. "They've got insurance," he muttered, pulling it out and into a bag.
Ishi strolled up behind him. "I dare say the bank does actually," he said, sounding every bit like his father. Jigen turned to stare at him, mouth open. He waved his sword. "Wrong generation, sorry, sir. Need help? I seem to have lost your future daughter and Lupin the Fourth."
"Sure," he agreed, pulling him closer. He looked at the sword. It was Goemon's Almighty. He was a Goemon. He blinked a few times. "Name, kid?"
"Goemon Ishikawa the Fourteenth."
"Oh. Okay then." He handed over the bag. "Hold this." He shoved more coins into it, then they headed out their exit path, meeting the older Goemon outside. "Let's go. Meeting spot now."
Goemon gave the young man a curious look, but followed him out of the alley. He saw the young boy detour and nudged Jigen with his scabbard. "Perhaps he knows a way?"
Jigen looked at him, then nodded and followed him out of the alley using an emergency hatch that had been opened earlier. They walked out into normal London, into an alley, and headed away casually. He looked from the younger Goemon to the older one, then back. "Kid, who's your mother?"
"Fujiko Mine. Bitch Queen of Asshole Lickers."
"Ah." Jigen smirked at him then ruffed his hair. "Good one. I like that description really well."
Xander walked into the bank, knowing something was wrong. "Have you seen my girls?" he asked frantically. "They're eight, they left my side, saying something about coming to stare at your ears. I can't find them anywhere and I'm hoping you guys caught them lurking with their Uncles."
The goblin looked at him then waved a guard over. "His children are missing. They find us attractive?"
"They have a thing about ears," he said with a helpless shrug. "They're muggle born. Their uncle is helping them with this first shopping trip down here since they manifested. Please?" he pleaded. "They're with at least one uncle. He's got dark hair, he's about my height. He's skinny as a post. He's wearing muggle clothes because we had to take them shopping earlier. They're *really* good at sneaking places and I know they've been talking about trying to sneak in here to look at you guys and your ears. Have you seen them?"
"No," the guard admitted. "Come to my desk and wait." He led him off to the side and went to search for them. He found them coming up a small goblin tunnel with an adult behind them. "What are you doing?"
Melissa looked at him and grinned. "Exploring," she said, sounding years younger than normal. "Isn't that okay?"
"The Uncle said it wasn't," Arsene said petulantly, nudging her. "I didn't like it, it was dark," she whined. She looked around. "Daddy!" She ran for Xander and hugged him as hard as she could, hearing his whispered comment. "Yes, daddy, I'll be good and I won't sneak away to look at ears anymore," she promised. "Sissy!" She came jogging over with Lupin. "Come on, we're going home now. No more watching ears."
"Thank you," Xander called, smiling and waving. "I know they're troublesome. I'm so sorry." He led his girls out, letting the other climb onto his back. "Damn, how much did you eat today, girls. You weigh a ton. Come on, let's go."
"Go that way, daddy, there was something I wanted to see," Arsene said, pointing at another escape hatch. She nudged the not-her-father and he followed along casually.
"So, Lavelle I presume?" Lupin asked dryly.
"Yuppers." He grinned. "Morning, Lupin."
"Daddy, how did you get past the dragon?" Arsene interrupted.
"I fed it a sedative-laced steak. You?"
"I petted and cooed, but it still got mean so I let Ishi growl at it. He's still not very happy this morning." She looked at her stepsister, then back at him. "Isn't that a bit...mundane, daddy?"
"Sometimes the most mundane things are the most important and the best solution," he said, tweaking her hair.
Xander grinned at him. "It's a good lesson but she's not one for subtlety yet." He patted his baby on the leg. "I was wondering about you earlier. Let's go. We've got a room for the night."
"We've got to get back before these two are missed by their other fathers, who have got to be throwing fits, girls." They made it out of the alley and back into normal London, heading up that alley until they could catch a cab. He spotted someone following them and put his daughters down. "Where?" Lupin whispered. "Good enough. Take this, do not let the kids have it," he said, handing over his pocket. Lupin nodded, getting in with them. "Hi," he said when the redhead walked up to him. "You must be a Weasley, and from the glasses I'd say Percy?" He nodded, smirking at him. "Lavelle."
"Xander Harris," he said, shaking his hand. "I know the you here, very well."
"I was retrieving naughty kids, dude. They ran into the world-renown thief in there."
"And are you a good man like the one here?"
"I guess that depends on what measuring stick you use," Xander admitted casually. He grinned. "I'm taking my girls home, that's all I want. Really. If we're going to have problems, then I'm going to have to get mean." Percy snickered. "Dude, I was made a consort against my will. Chaos magic has nothing on demonic." A woman walking past them gave them a funny look. "Discussing the various options in D&D, do you mind?" She huffed and walked on. He looked at him again, grinning at the woman behind him. "Ah, the other Xander had a picture of you. We're working on shutting the portal now, but my daughters decided to come see where the pretty golden bird came from." She looked horrified. "Really."
"Oh, no. That's where that one went?" He nodded, still grinning. "Is she okay?"
"He and he's fine. We apparently got a young male. The kids each have a name for him." He pulled out his picture. "See? That's Ishi, Arsene, Melissa, Sierra, Savannah, Alex, Fred, Sarah, Lotus, and Kenji."
Percy looked at the picture, then at him. "You're more prolific than we are," he said in amazement.
Xander laughed. "Janus let me have most of them, all but four." Percy's eyes widened so he looked behind him. "Eww, slime shooter." He opened his collar as he whistled, showing him the mark up there. "I can get more nasty." The demon roared and disappeared. "Good." He did back up his shirt and looked at them again. "Sorry, a hallmark of being given against my will. Little reminders you know."
Percy nodded. "Fine. When are you leaving?"
"Within a few hours. We're missing Ishi."
"He left with that other thief, Jigen, and the one who looked like him, Goemon," Arabelle told him. Xander giggled, shaking his head. "You know them?"
"Yeah, you can say that. I'm the Dark Knight of my world. I take out worse while following and helping them. Of course my kids searched them out." He shrugged. "They're very sorry they caused you any problems, guys. Little Arsene has a bad habit of shoplifting."
"No, she paid for most everything that we've been able to trace," Arabelle told him. "Demon Lord?"
"Translates," he agreed. "I am, I can control, call, and kill them."
"I guess that would be the same," Percy agreed. "What are we in your world?"
"A really popular set of books."
"Oh, good. Then we don't have to worry about you coming back?"
"Hell no." He shook his head. "The levels of chaos around here are making me itch to use it. I want my kids away from here."
"That's fine. Gather them and go, send the thieves away as well. We're sure our spells are wearing thin so warn them what we can do," Percy said firmly, staring him in the eyes. "I'm not the mousy thing I was in school."
Xander nodded. "So I've heard. Then again, neither am I." He grinned and waved down a cab with a touch of power. "Thanks, man. Yours should be home within a few hours we think. Iggy's hard at work with our Ethan, a few Snapes, and other bookish people." He got into the cab and told him where he was going once they had started off, handing over twenty Pounds. "Thanks, man."
"Welcome, Mr. Harris." He looked back. "You don't look the same."
"That's because I'm not the one from here. There's been a small portal problem and my kids snuck through here. Fortunately I had some friends gather them for me from Diagon." He smiled as they pulled up in front of the hotel. "Thanks, man, keep the change." He headed inside smoothly, then up to the room Lupin had whispered, knocking instead of opening the door himself. "Okay, let's move. They're coming for you guys." Lupin and Jigen handed over the kids and the special pocket. "Stuff they helped retrieve?"
"We split it forty-sixty in their favor," Jigen admitted. "Do you exist here?"
"As one of the good guys protecting their people."
"Damn." He shrugged. "Sorry, Lupin."
"Not an issue." He looked at Arsene. "Who's your mother?"
"Was I the librarian or the pediatrician?" she asked her mother.
Xander shrugged. "I always get that confused." He looked at Lupin. "Look at your grandfather's will. Ours said there had to be a Fourth." They headed down to the garage, accepting the ride from them. Ishi and Goemon were staring at each other. "You were held captive with her for four months, Goemon. By your timeline, Ishi should be about my twenty-two."
"Oh." He nodded. "Thank you for explaining that to me."
"Not an issue. Lupin, take the next left, okay?" He nodded and Xander got out with the kids, heading into the shadows to use the stone he had bought. They landed in the second realm's backyard, then he looked at them. "Home, now," he said firmly. "Your fathers are going to have fucking cows. A whole litter of them."
"Daddy, cows come in herds," Melissa reminded him patiently as they walked across the boundary. "They also have single births, like humans do. If you read my homework you'd know that."
"I do know that and they come in litters if I say they come in litters. Also, your homework had typos out the ass, daughter. Have you not figured out how to use a spell checker?" He walked the kids into the house, finding Percy already there. "Morning. Told you I was coming back."
"So I can tell," he agreed, looking at Ishi. "There was a break-in at the Ministry last night."
"Really?" Arsene asked. Percy glared at her so she sighed and handed over the stone. "We took it when we left. I thought it was pretty and would come in handy to move our wardrobes."
He rolled his eyes. "We can use this to track the other things."
"If you do, would you tell us?" Xander pleaded. "We have no idea what she's been shoplifting again." Only a partial lie. Their other fathers had no idea but he knew about most everything.
Percy gave him a long look. "Maybe you should be married."
"My husbands swear we are," Xander said dryly. "But there's ten of them and four of us including the nanny, five if Marcus is around."
"I met him," Percy noted, sounding happier. "He said that the girls were your responsibility."
"They're *all* my responsibility, man, which is why we never keep up with them. If you find their hiding spot, I definitely want to know. My wedding ring is missing."
Percy nodded. "If we can, we will." He headed out, rolling his eyes. That one seemed very honest, if a tad bit on the shady side. He supposed anyone who had been given to demons and who could use demonic magic would be like that. Marcus trotted after him, giving him a book. "Thank you, what's this?"
"A copy of Xander's Chronicle for the Watchers, up to a few years ago."
"Oh, thank you," he said happily. "It'd be an interesting look." He headed back home with the stone, letting his people see if they could break the kids' hiding spot. If not, it was probably useless for a bit longer.
Xander looked at his kids. "Did we use that spot again?" They looked stunned. "Really kinda obvious kids and Jigen found it." He patted them on the back, heading inside. "Hi, all, we're back. Lotus, go help them if you're not busy doing magic stuff." She nodded, heading out to help the kids move the majority of their stash. They had a backup spot or three and it wasn't safe to keep everything together anymore. He looked around. "Ethan?" Everyone pointed at the prayer room. "Cool. I may have a solution to the temporal ones. Are we discussing those yet?" Everyone nodded so he pulled out the stone that switched times. "Would that help?" They all looked from it to him, then again, and a third time. "The kids decided to do some shopping in Diagon so I went to Knockturn," he said honestly.
Ethan came out of his room, then smacked Xander across the back of the head. "Do you know how unbalancing that is?"
"Ethan, hit me again and never get laid in your life," Xander warned. "I can and will make you the world's biggest dildo." Ethan looked hurt. "You know I hate it when you did that."
"Sorry," he muttered. "Still, it's very unbalancing."
"Ethan, it's chaos and demonic magic. It can't unbalance anything. They're universal."
Ethan sighed. "Fine. Can I keep it when you're done?" Xander gave him an odd look. "Please?" he asked hopefully.
"No." He tweaked him on the nose. "Can you imagine how pissed Janus would be if you went back and time and kept the first Ripper?" Ethan whimpered and looked horrified. "Exactly." He kissed him, making him moan. "Now, you be a good boy and I'll let you share the herbs I bought." He walked away. "Like it, I found it there."
"I do," Ethan admitted. "Hides your rear though." The robe came off and Ethan smirked. "I do like those on you, Xander."
"Thanks, babe. Going to stop the kids from taking all the stuff from their primary spot."
"Of course you are. We'll call you back when we need you," Ethan agreed, shaking his head. "Xander is one of a kind."
"In each and every realm he's on," Xander Harris-Weasley's husband agreed. "Those kids looked familiar. Ollie?"
"There were in the shop earlier. I gave one of them an improved version of the icy fingers."
"Oh, them. Grubby little ones then." He grinned at Ethan. "How much longer?"
"Ask the potions people, I've been kicked out of my own workroom."
"Iggy, how much longer?" George called.
"Two hours at the most," came floating out. "Talk to your younger self about the stock."
"We got a good bit of that from them," the younger version of Fred admitted. George handed over a scroll. "What's this?"
"An everlast," he said proudly. Fred unrolled it and squealed, hugging him before hurrying back to his family's side to show them. "It's their list!" His wife hugged him so hard she picked him up, and they toppled into their bed. "Well, I do say it calls for a celebration," he agreed smugly, leaning down to kiss her. "Quite a good one hopefully."
"Always with you, babe."
The parties shook hands and separated, making sure no kids or pets strayed across each of the boundaries as they were closed. Iggy did theirs last and slumped down at the counter, looking at his father. "I'm exhausted. That younger Snape has more energy than I do."
"Who has a demanding personal schedule?" his father retorted.
"Good point," he agreed happily. "I'm going to ignore it for the afternoon to take a nap. I don't care what it is, I'm napping." He went to lie down, flopping face-first onto his wife. "Saved the universe, can I have a kiss?" She gave him one and he grinned. "Thanks." He wrapped her in his arms, snuggling in behind her. "I'll molest you later, after a nap."
"Sure, Iggy, whenever you're ready," she agreed with a grin. "The universe?"
"Three Xanders, together, plus families, lovers, pets, etc." She shuddered. "Exactly, the universe. Remind me to talk to Percy."
"Sure, love. You rest. You deserve it for all the hard work you did." That was a truly horrid thought. She'd have to get rid of it somehow later, hopefully with Iggy's help. She patted him down for his bookcase, then sighed and told the phoenix nesting next to the bed. "He forgot his books somewhere, can you tell someone?" It cheeped and went to do that for her.
Lavelle walked his kids back into the house a week later. "Honey, we're home." Lupin came out of his office, looking at them. "Yes, they came to help."
"I heard." He handed over a note. "Jigen said Pops found it in the bottom of his closet last night."
Xander looked at it, then laughed. "This is where the kids were hiding stuff. If you see these six things, please put them there within a week and we'll retrieve them. Percy Weasley, Minster of Unmentionables." He looked at the girls. "Those look familiar?"
Arsene sighed. "Fine, since we got caught doing it, we'll give it back," she complained. "Lotus, we'll need help."
"Sure," she agreed. "Give me a minute to get this stupid thing off." She worked off her power restrictors, then followed the girls up to their room to move just those items back.
"Why were they hiding stuff in Pop's closet?"
"Because no one would ever look there," Xander said wisely, grinning at him. "I have a real robe and we helped the you there rob Gringotts using the goblin's own traveling tunnels."
Lupin looked impressed. "I saw all the gold that appeared in our room. I took our twenty percent already and had it melted down. Yours too, except about five galleons and a few of the other coins." He smirked at him. "I didn't think you'd mind having something that rare mounted?"
"No, not in the least," Xander agreed happily, giving him a long kiss. "Thanks, babe. Can I have sex now?"
"Sure, as soon as the girls put that stuff back and take a nap."
"IT'S NAP TIME!" he bellowed. "Now please."
"Sure, daddy, you can have sex," Arsene called back. "We won't listen, watch, or take notes or anything."
"Thank you." Xander jumped Lupin, leading him into the safe room, one which the kids hadn't found yet and where you couldn't put any out-going electronics. Only surveillance monitors of the house so you could watch the cops prowl around. Xander pushed him back onto the padded bench, kissing him hard and long, making him hum in pleasure. "That only leaves a few temporal jumps and we're clear."
"Wonderful. Can you wear the choker for those?"
"I'll have to, Lupin, but I'm still not having sex with it on," he said firmly.
"I got myself fixed. So did Jigen."
"Janus ordered me to have at least one more," he said fondly, grinning at him. "You want a girl, put Jigen in it." He kissed him again, ending that argument.
"Not a bad idea. We can turn Jigen into a really pretty woman," Lupin agreed, kissing him harder and rolling Xander underneath him. "Good you. For that you deserve a reward. Want to order dinner?"
"Pizza," Xander moaned as his zipper was lowered. "Lots of cheese."
"Done." Lupin gave in easily this time. Later he would be harder to talk into extra cheese.
Inspector Zenigata opened his closet and noticed a board was out of place. He pried it up and frowned at the note inside, picking it up to read it. "To whom it may concern. The thieves using this space are young girls and really should be spanked and sent to reform school before they can find a taste for the life." He broke out in laughs. "Too late, buddy. If our world has to suffer through a Lupin the Fourth working with a genius Jigen, so does yours." He put it back and put the board back, then went to get some nails so the kids couldn't get in again. "Dawn, can you do something for me?" he asked sweetly. She nodded, grinning at him. "Keep the little thieves out of my closet. All of them."
"Sure, honey, I'll ward it later so a really loud alarm goes off whenever anyone under the age of twenty opens it." She gave him a long kiss. "Feel better?"
"They've been using that spot in my closet as a stash hole."
"Hmm. Smart of them. No one would ever dream of looking down there." He gave her a look. "I'll talk to them. Did your boss have fun explaining Lavelle and the crown?"
"No, but now we have a new Commissioner who knows his shit for once," he said happily. "I'll have to write him a thank you note for making the old bag retire finally." He went down to the kitchen to get a drink on his way to the nails. He knew they had some somewhere. He would do his best to stop Lupin the Fourth before her reign of terror started. His protégé was standing at the back door so he let him in. "What?"
"Sir, I have horrible news to report. My plan to apprehend Arsene Lupin the Fourth redhanded has failed. She did something and went somewhere and came back with tons of stuff and I can't prove a thing!" He handed over the tape with a pout. "I don't know how she does this, but I can't chase her, sir, and I can't keep going undercover as her driver."
Zenigata sighed. "I thought it might come to this. Good work, what you did was good enough for now. She's only eight after all." His protégé broke down in tears, sobbing against his chest. He patted him awkwardly. "Go home. Get some rest. Forget she existed and ask to be transferred to a calmer station, man. Pull yourself together."
"Yes, sir," he said with a salute, walking out in tears.
"Another Lupin nightmare for the world," he sighed, putting the tape down on the washer. He finally found the nails and went to fix that hole before it could be used again. He found a necklace in there with a pretty bow and snorted, tossing it onto the bed.
Dawn walked in to see what he was doing and squealed. "Oh, that is the best present ever, Zenny!" she cried, leaping onto his back and hugging him as hard as she could. "You're wonderful! How did you do it!"
"Magic," he said, kissing her. "It's the only way it could have gotten there." He'd let her be happy. As long as it wasn't stolen, what did he care? If Fujiko didn't miss it, then he wouldn't say anything.
THE END. Paradox fixed, Josette.
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