The Mean Familly
Xander looked up from his reading on the back porch as his father appeared. "What's up this time?"
"I need you to keep an eye on something. One of my Slytherins foresaw your brother being harmed." He handed over a small charm. "That will tell you when."
Xander looked at it then at him. "Sure. I can do that. I should introduce Dawn to the others anyway." He went back to his book. "Standard 'red is hurt, black is dying'?" His father made an assenting noise. "Cool."
"What are you reading?"
Xander looked at the cover then at him. "You can't read Latin?"
"I can read Latin but I did not believe that was within your skill range."
"You'd be shocked."
"I probably would."
"But that would require you giving a damn."
"Also a point," he admitted. "You could inform me by screaming at me again," he noted calmly.
"Wastes too much energy and I don't have time for a nap today."
"As you wish." He stared at his son. "I got some unusual potions the other day."
"Really?" he asked, holding his place with a finger while he shut the book. "What sort of interesting?"
"Some elixir of life."
"Huh. Very interesting then. Last time I heard Olaran was still in France. Maybe he favors you as a student?"
"I sent him a note of thanks and he didn't know what I was talking about."
"Then you've got a mystery and I'm only a Scoobie in name now. You might ask the old fart, see if he did it."
"That would let him know I have it."
Xander nodded. "True." He looked around then at his father. "Are you supposing *I* know?"
"I wasn't sure if you had someone make it for me," he admitted.
"No, I didn't pay anyone to make potions for you, father."
"Thank you for being honest." He gave him a small smile. "Are there other things I should know?"
"Dawn's doing very well in her classes."
"Which does mean I should introduce her to Uncle and Brother." Snape's eyes went wide. "I should. She's family. I did adopt her." Dawn peeked out. "Someone sent Dad elixir of life."
"Alchemical potions," Snape told her. "Far beyond where you'll probably ever be."
"Sounds boring. Can you look over my acne potion? It's really strong and I don't know why. Xander just laughed," she said with a small pout.
"If you wish," he sighed, following her back to her room. He sniffed it then looked at her. "You substituted the ivy with what?"
"Sage. I itched when I used ivy. Xander said I could use sage. I used wild-grown sage."
"You used much too much." He looked at her. "What did it do?" She turned and lowered the back of her shirt, making him stare at the skinless spot. "I see." He walked her toward the lab but it was locked. "Xander, I do need into your lab."
"She's got some healing cream in her room, Father."
She squealed and got it for him, letting him see. He nodded. "That would cure that." He administered some. "Two more days of that. Next time use a fifth of the sage you used this time."
"I only substituted half by weight."
"Then use a tenth of the original weight," he ordered, handing her both of them. "That should fix that problem and only remove two layers of skin."
"Yes, Grandfather. Thank you."
"You're welcome, Dawn. Are you coming up for a few hours soon? The Headmaster was wanting to meet you."
"No. He's a fucking bastard who doesn't teach Harry a damn thing he needs to know to survive and win the war for you guys. Also, I'm precious and I'm not going to risk my safety on him figuring out why."
He looked at her then nodded. "I know why."
"Good. That's very good." She beamed. "Thank you, Granddaddy." He shuddered and walked out, popping home. "He didn't like Granddaddy. He didn't shudder at Grandfather though. Why can't he get into your lab?"
"Because I don't want him to know what I'm working on," Xander said as he came back inside. "I'm glad I've got that marker on his portkey here." He walked into the lab, getting to work distilling some new potions. He'd probably need them if his brother was in trouble. He was nearly as bad at getting into trouble as he was.
Xander saw the charm start to turn red, then suddenly head for black. "Heading!" he bellowed, grabbing the bag he had prepared and demon teleporting where he needed to go. It was faster. It was safer with the potions. Besides, his brother probably wasn't at home. He rushed into the jewelry store and took in the scene. "Fuck!" he snapped. "You! Red! Try putting pressure on it!" he demanded. He came over and dug into the bag, handing him a vial of potion. "Pour that down his throat."
Xander glared at him. "Because you might not give a damn but I want my big brother to live, thank you! Now do it! All that you can get down his throat the better!" He got to work with the wound. The first potion was poured into it, fizzing up as it cleaned it. "Good. That's good. Tweezers or anything?"
"Paramedics are on the way," he admitted as he poured the potion down his friend's throat. "Who are you?"
"Don't worry about it." He looked around again and snapped at the demon. "Bring me tweezers or something or else even the ghosts of Sunnydale won't save you," he said in the most common demon language. The demon paled. "Now!"
"Who are you to invoke that power!" the demon hissed in English. He glared and Xander glared back, making him wet himself. "Her Knight," he said in awe. Xander nodded. "Tweezers, sir?"
"Something to pull the bullet." He got handed a long pair of tweezers. "Those'll do. Sit!" The demon sat. "Help Red there pour that down his throat." He looked into the wound and gently wiggled it out, tossing the bullet and tweezers aside. "Give me the elixir," he ordered, holding out a hand. It got handed back and he dug out another vial of gold fluid. He shook that one and poured them togther into the wound, holding a hand over it and chanting. He sighed when he was done, looking at it. "It'll heal." He looked at the redheaded guy. "Next time, try to put direct pressure on it. I've only got basic first aid for emergency training but even I know that." He gathered the bottles. "There will still be some muscle damage. The hole itself and the bleeding areas were healed. They may need to go in to repair the muscle and the remaining hole. I'll be around."
"You'll be more than that."
Xander looked at him. "I can wipe you off the face of this earth, Red. Don't tempt me. You nearly let my big brother die." He heard a groan and looked down. "Hi. You're damn lucky Father gave me the charm for you."
"Xander?" he asked weakly.
He grinned. "Yup, in the flesh. And hey, I'm headed to talk to Uncle since I'm over this way. I've got a kid you need to meet."
"You spawned?" he demanded weakly, trying to sit up. His friend helped him. He glared at the jeweler, who whimpered. "You know him?" he asked his little brother.
"He's half demon. Screw him. He helped enough so I won't tell Willow he hurt you." The demon burst out crying, clutching at his legs. "Get off!" he shouted, kicking at him. "Nasty shit! Bad enough I have to deal with Death Eaters." He looked at his brother. "I adopted."
"Someone let you adopt?"
"A teenager." He smirked. Then he handed over a thin woven bracelet. "Come see me when you're out of the ER tonight. I'm damn good," he said smugly, then disappeared.
Horatio looked at his friend. "What is going on?"
"Not now, H. Let me have some pain killers?"
"The ambulance should be here in a few minutes. You would have died, Speed."
Speed looked at him. "Then we need to have a talk."
"We need to look at your gun," Horatio ordered coldly.
"I cleaned it!"
"When!" he snapped back, glaring at him. The demon started to move. "Freeze!" The demon whimpered and knelt there. "Speed?"
"Not like I got raised with them, H. You don't get taught to play with guns while they teach you to play with wands." He levered himself up and walked out to meet the ambulance. "Someone with some field experience ran in and helped, then left again. My shoulder's still killing me. He said it left some interior damage but the bleeding should've stopped. I have no idea what he did. I was unconscious." He looked back inside. "What was the stuff he used?"
"Some red stuff he had me pour down your throat, a few things into the wound, the last of the red stuff with some gold stuff."
Speed nodded and looked at the paramedic. "I'm going to be unhappy in about six hours when my blood pressure tanks. Can we please take my pitiful ass now?" They nodded, loading him and taking him back to the hospital before Horatio could interfere. They weren't sure what he was on, but it was apparently good.
Horatio glared at the back of the ambulance. "That will not get you out of this discussion, Timothy." His hands were still on his hips and he was still glaring when the other CSI pulled up. "Get the store owner, Eric. Calleigh, figure out what's wrong with his gun this time. He claims he cleaned it recently. He's at the ER now." They nodded, hurrying to do that. He was not a happy camper!
Xander appeared in some bushes and walked into the reception area of the hospital. "Hi, is Gregory Snape in? I know he's a doctor, a specialist that tells you what's wrong with you. Oh, hold on, he's going by his mother's maiden name. Um, House?"
"He is, let me page him for you," she said, trying not to grimace. "Are you a relative of one of his patients?"
"No, I'm his nephew. I have family news, including that I adopted a teenager."
She smiled at that. "Okay, that might make him less grumpy."
"I doubt it. It kinda runs in the family. You should see his brother. He scares his students. Literally."
She giggled as she dialed. "Doctor Chase, is Doctor House in? His nephew is here wanting to see him. Yes he does. He said he was and he had family news. Young, brunette, brown eyes. I can see a family resemblance in the face."
Xander took the phone. "Look at my beloved Uncle and yell Snape. See how high he jumps." The guy on the other end did that and he heard the screaming start. "I'm down here in reception but I'll be outside. Tell him it's family news." He hung up with a smile. "The pitiful thing is I know women who're meaner than him. I used to have a crush on one. I dated two of them and nearly married one." He headed back outside, hearing a stomping/clicking noise coming up the hall. His uncle stormed out and he grinned and waved. "I had to save Brother's life."
"Someone shot his stupid ass. They don't teach gun care in the classes we all took. Oooh, and I adopted."
"Someone let *you* adopt? At your age!" he demanded. He moved closer. "What did you adopt since I know what you were doing?"
"I adopted Buffy's little sister Dawn. She's fourteen. I'm teaching her both sides to get her away from Willow, Miss Bad Wicca 2002." His uncle groaned. "So, I had to dose Brother highly with some potions. Oooh." He dug into the bag and held something up. "Think you can get a use out of that?"
"What is that?" he asked impatiently.
"Healing elixir off the elixir of life," he said quietly. "Father still has no clue I can mix a damn thing. Though he did hint that I had someone make some for him." He grinned sweetly. "Used it on Timmy's shoulder injury. The guy with him didn't even put pressure on it. I mean, you taught me better than that!"
"Give me that! Before you start healing the sick," he muttered, looking at the vial. Then at him. "Full strength?"
"Half. Muggle strength." That got a small, evil smirk. "Good enough to hold them for six hours and heal about seventy percent of a single wound. Though I do tend to mix it with straight elixir." He pulled out that vial. "But it'll cost you a visit since Father's annoying me. Did you know Dumbledore let him teach students?" His uncle shuddered at that very thought. "Exactly! And hey, I'm over there. You can meet Dawnie and rag on my two mentoring cases."
"Why are you over there?"
"Buffy died. I couldn't take it anymore."
"Reasonable." He nodded. "Fine, I'll come visit your new daughter, even if she is vapid and dumb."
"Shallow but not really shallow. Most of that's for show. Cute. Likes to be cute. Likes the belly shirts and tight jeans. Pretty smart when she doesn't plan on hiding it from everyone." That got a snort. "Really. I think she'd do well in your field. She's got a good hand at potions, so Chem wouldn't be a big problem. She's doing school through Giles and Willow at the moment. Plus learning from me."
"I'll see you in a few days, Alexander."
"I still go by Xander. Only Father calls me my full name." His uncle gave him a look that made most people wet themselves but he just grinned. "At least Timmy's mom was closer to normal, just more of a bitch." He handed over a woven bracelet with a grin. "Pop in. I've got a nice garden. We can have tea. I can ignore the Headmaster wanting Dawn at the school again." That got a snort. He leaned closer to whisper in his ear, getting a horrified look. "And he's not teaching Harry a damn thing," he finished with a smirk. "So I'm teaching him Sunnydale Style."
"Oh, that poor boy," he moaned. "I'll be there and I'll check on Timothy for you, Xander. Please, spare the US your special brand of sanity."
"Is Wilson still around?"
"Somewhere. Probably with a dying person."
"Everyone dies, Uncle Greg. Some just die sooner than they should."
"You're more cynical than I am."
"Do you know how many times I expected to die?"
"Knew I should've taken you from the cunt." He walked inside, potions in his pocket. "See you in a few days, nephew."
"Sure, Unc." He waved and jogged off, disappearing from the shadows. He landed at the house and found aurors. "Sorry, my brother nearly died. Had to go help."
"Your daughter...." one started.
"Is not going to Hogwarts. She's a wandless witch."
"We noticed. Your lab?"
"If you got into my lab I'd be shocked and if you did I'd have to memory wipe you because it's in the interest of world security. After all, I am the Slayer's Knight, people. Now, anything else?" he asked cheerfully. "If not, I've got to plan to blow up some slimy ass death eaters for giving Dawn looks like she's tasty. Speaking of, where is she?"
"Harry Potter has her," one said, glaring at him. Xander glared back and he stepped back. "You really are?"
"Yes, I really are. And?" He touched something he had drawn on the wall, which made Harry shudder and have the intense need to see him, and pee but that was because it was so strong. "Anything else? Tea perhaps?" They stomped out and he cast the memory wiping charm on all but the one he knew and liked. "You know better!" he called, slamming the door. Harry and Dawn walked in the back door with two bags. "Have fun?"
"Necessary! Not like I had tampons," she complained. Harry blushed and shuddered again. "Thank you, Harry. You're a very good escort." She kissed him on the cheek and went to her room. "They gone?"
"And you're safe again," he agreed, looking at Harry. "Anything I should know?"
"No. She tried to get me to buy new clothes."
"If you ever plan on getting laid, I'd buy at least a few new things, Harry. Getting laid would be a good thing since blood magic usually works better on virgins." Harry blushed bright red and disappeared again. He grinned and got back to work. "Dawnie, my brother and uncle are going to be showing up soon. You can't torture them but you can ask them what they do. They both work in scientific fields you might enjoy. Plus I got to horrify them with the thought that I had kids."
She walked into the lab, giving him a look. "It's not fair that you get to torture people with me and I don't get to help." He grinned at that. "Not even a little bit?"
"If you can keep up with the snarky ones, go right ahead. My Uncle Greg makes Father look like a Care Bear."
She giggled at that image. "He'd have to be Gloomy Bear. Or Goth Bear maybe." She went back to her room to put up her new shirts, the tampons, and the makeup she'd need some day if she ever got out of the house to date. "What do they do?"
"One's a CSI, Uncle Greg's a doctor."
"Any cute guys around him I can hit on?"
"Probably. He calls them ducklings."
"Cool! I'll have to stalk him back to wherever."
"He's in New Jersey."
"Never mind. Too far to commute to make someone blush and coo over me."
"You can go out tomorrow as long as you have a chaperone," he said in a sing-song voice.
"Bless you!" She went to send an owl to Draco. He was pretty cool about watching her and he could probably use the sneaking off time as well. He might even know of a few good clubs she could hang out and get boys in.
Xander shook his head. She was so transparent sometimes. Had he ever really that young? Then he remembered a certain mummy and a praying mantis woman. Yeah, he had been that young once. He got to work on her birth control potion. She'd need it. She really, really would. She hadn't gotten her pills renewed when they had run out. A few hours later he put it down next to her plate. "Take it after dinner."
"What is it?"
"The pill, liquid form. Works for three months. That way you can't make Giles have a heart attack by announcing he's going to be a grandfather." He went back to work in the lab.
She beamed because Xander *so* understood what a teenager needed!
Xander looked up from his reading as his brother appeared on the back lawn next to him. "Hi."
"H is so pissed at you," he said, looking at him. "Did you hit him?"
"Wanted to really bad. He didn't even put direct pressure on it."
"He was scared, Xander. He's one of my friends and my boss."
"Uh-huh. Does this mean I get to teach you how to clean your weapon?"
"Well.... Might help, yeah."
"I can do that. I'm very good with them after Sunnydale." He nodded. "Dawn?" he called. "My brother Timmy's here!" She squealed and came out to hug him, then went back into the kitchen to do hostess stuff. "She's having a good day, I let her go out to a teen club with someone."
"Getting rid of the problem of blood magic?" Xander created a chair, getting a smirk. "Thanks, brat."
Xander beamed. "Always happy to help when you're in pain. Been there, done that after all."
"Have anything? I can't take muggle drugs."
"Dawn, can you bring out the purple vial of stuff that's not for the puss?" She brought it out, letting him see it. "Yup. That. Please feed it to my darling big brother Timmy?"
"Should get a spoon?" she teased. "Or a bib?"
"That's more than enough for me." He took it and swallowed the contents, grimacing. "Eww. Are you sure that wasn't for puss?"
"Yup. It'll help with the pain and any infection."
"Thanks." He settled in more deeply. Dawn went back to make the tea kettle quit screaming. "Nice house."
"Thank you. Couldn't stand to stay in inns anymore." He looked at him. "I told Uncle Greg."
"He came down to check on me that night. Scared the crap out of Eric, but his mother's Cuban and his father's Russian so they knew something about it. He got wizards as bedtime stories."
"We are cute that way," he said with a grin. "Especially the Victorian wizards around here. Dawn wanted to go help a fashion-challenged woman the last time we went shopping."
Speed snickered. "Could help," he admitted. "So, Sunnydale?"
"Her sister died and I couldn't take it anymore. The stupid fealty curse was finally gone and I've seen way too much death. You did get to miss the almost marriage to Anya."
"Anya? The one you wrote me about?" Xander looked at him and nodded. "The former demon?" He grinned and nodded again. "That's it, I'm having Uncle Greg check you for a new possession." Dawn snickered inside, he could hear it. "It's got to be!"
"You didn't hear about the mummy girl or him dating Cordy, or any of that?" she teased. "Okay, I've got tea brewing but I can make yours with ice if you want."
"Nah, real tea's fine, Dawn. Thank you."
"Welcome. I've also got a roast beef and ham sandwich I can cut into nibbling size pieces or cookies?"
"Cookies please. We all have a sweet tooth."
"I know, I hide the cookies from Xander." She went to bring out the tea tray, smiling at the older guy with a cane who appeared. "Hi. I'm Dawn." She hugged him then went to get another cup. "Did you want it iced?"
"No, real tea's fine," he assured her, blinking at her back. He pointed.
"Dawn," Xander filled in. "Buffy's little sister. I adopted her."
Greg looked at him then inside the house then back at him. "Anything else you wanted to share?"
"Not while I'm under auror watch," he said, pointing his wand at the frog that had just hopped in the grass. It yelped when the curse hit it and changed back, rubbing his ass. "Better, but you still came out of concealment. This is my brother and uncle. You can go nark now." The auror stomped off and apparated away. "They're worried I'm going to handle the idiots in charge situation they've got going on in multiple keys at the moment."
"You know, I thought Uncle Greg was going to be the evil overlord of the family," Timmy said, pouring some tea. "Sugar, Uncle Greg?"
"Please." He created his own chair and sat down with a sigh. He had created a recliner for himself so he was comfortable. "What else is going on?"
"Apparently we missed little brother nearly marrying a former vengeance demon," Timmy said with a grin. Greg looked at his younger nephew, eyebrow raised.
"What? You'd have liked Anya! All she ever wanted was sex and presents."
"Loudly, many times a day," Dawn agreed as she brought out the sandwiches and a cup for herself. "Xander, make me a chair?" she asked with a sweet grin.
"I thought Tara went over transfiguration with you."
"Yeah, but that was changing my clothes or hair. She said I can't use it on furniture, I'd burn it up." He sighed and changed a bench to a chair for her, getting a happy teenage girl. "Thank you." She sat down, looking at the two new guys. "So, Xander said I could bug the shit out of you to see what you do. Since I'm going to stay a normal with Wicca on the side."
"I'm a doctor," Greg told her. "A diagnostician."
"Okay, so you tell people why they're sick and let others handle it?"
"Basically," he agreed. "How are your grades?"
"I'm doing good. I'm home schooling. Xander's kinda lenient now and then. I'm doing a lot of potions on the side because he does a lot of potions." She shrugged. "I'm even helping his tutoring cases."
"Interesting," Timmy agreed. "You have students?"
"Dad teaches full classes," he countered. His uncle and brother both shuddered.
"Granddad's a snarky and mean bastard but I don't see why people fear him. I mean, I can take him out with a nail file," she complained. "Or a pencil. Spike said he could use staked. Though I don't think he meant it that way."
"No, Spike thinks he should call Wesley back to shag Dad into a better mood," Xander assured her.
"So, Wes was nearly your stepfather?" Xander nodded. "Can I call him Grandad to see how he reacts?"
"He'll be up in a few weeks," he said with an evil smirk. She cackled and sipped her tea.
"She is one of us. God help the wizarding world," Greg complained.
"They think I'm a squib."
Greg looked at her. "No you're not. I can tell exactly what you are, Miss Summers." She went pale. "I'm also the one who keeps unpossessing my nephew. I think I should try that again really." He looked at Xander. "Jumping in again?"
"It'll get it safer. One of my students did ask about the best offense he could use. I told him assassination."
"Would be fastest," Dawn agreed. "But not very good guyish. We have this tendency to stand and fight instead of take preemptive strikes and shoot the bad guys who don't know about guns."
"Point but I'm all for expedient cures," Xander reminded her. "Had to be back in Sunnydale." He shrugged and grimaced, but sipped more of his tea. He looked at it then at her. "Mint?" The other two snickered.
"Ginny sent it over." She beamed. "There's a set of twins who just opened up a joke shop but Xander won't let me go." She pouted a bit. "I should be able to go, right?"
"No unescorted at your age," Speed said dryly. "You're how old?"
"We still have to get her introduced to some nice boys too," Xander sighed.
"Do you guys have any hotties near you?" she asked.
"Yeah, but if they touched you, they'd be arrested," Speed said patiently. She looked clueless. "That mandatory waiting age stuff, Dawn? Statutory rape charges? Sounding familiar?"
"Sunnydale ignored that law," Xander said. "When the life expectancy is twenty-five or so, you have to do it earlier. Though it was nice that they sent all the pregnant women out of town when they found them." He took another sip. "We'll see if you can go to Miami with Timmy to bounce around some of their teen clubs, Dawnie."
"Okay. The one Draco found was lame." He sighed and nodded. "It was playing old guy music and they were waltzing!"
Greg snorted. "Sounds like why I left."
"Couldn't get laid either?" Speed asked dryly.
"No, I got plenty of that, but it was boring. No motorcycles, no fun, no roller coasters, only quidditch for sports." He grimaced. "The US is so much better."
"Why didn't you bring Uncle Wilson?" Xander asked.
"Because I don't keep him on a leash, contrary to popular opinion at the hospital. By the way, you scared a few people. They think I should never spawn and you're proof someone in the family had the bad taste to procreate and carry on the family genes."
Xander beamed. "I'm flattered, can I meet her?"
"No, then I'd be out of a job and miss being irritated beyond all sense by my ducklings." He looked down at his ringing phone. "Speaking of pets. Yes, Wilson?" he answered. "With my nephews. Yes, both of them. Because Speed was shot and Xander's moved to England and adopted a teenager." He heard the horrified silence and smirked. "He's in shock too, Xander."
"I would've told him myself but you said he was busy when I popped around," he pointed out. He finished his tea and stole a cookie from Speed's plate, earning a swat for it but he grinned. "Thanks, big brother. I know you got the sharing lessons."
"My mother's going to be horrified you're over here, Xander. She still wants to adopt you and make you normal."
"Why be normal? It's so boring."
"Yeah, I know," Speed sighed. "If she were just a bit older I'd introduce her to Eric. He'd make sure her first time was fun and cute and make her giggle. He's a playboy," he said at her curious look. "Dates and sleeps with multiple women a month."
"Did you finally do the anti-disease charm on him?" Greg asked.
"Yup, within a month of me getting it off you," he agreed, nodding to back it up. "Eric is a boy slut."
"Sounds like he'd be fun," Dawn offered.
"I'd have to arrest him and Horatio would not be pleased."
Greg hung up and looked at his older nephew. "I'm not too pleased with him. He couldn't apply a bandage, hold pressure on the wound? Nothing to save your life?"
"He was in shock, he's a friend."
"I nearly had to smack him to get him to do anything," Xander admitted. "Then he kept asking me why."
"What do you do?" Dawn asked him.
"I'm a CSI. A crime scene cop."
"Oh." She blinked at that then nodded. "That sounds interesting. Is it dangerous?"
"Only if you don't clean your gun," Greg said, glaring at his nephew. Who shrugged.
"I'm going over that with him," Xander said firmly.
"Good! At least you can use that hellhole for something," Greg said mock cheerfully. "Besides comparing scars and getting really drunk."
"Hey, it helps," he said with a shrug. Dawn looked at him. "No, you can't. But if you're good and want to go with Timmy for a day to see what he does, I'll let him find you someone to go into the teen clubs down there with."
"Thank you. Would that be okay, Timmy?"
"First, it's Speed. Only Xander calls me Timmy and I'm still going to kick his ass for it. Secondly, I'd have to get it cleared and H is not on my happy people list at the moment."
"Tell him she's your niece. She is," Xander said. "Tell him I demanded in return for saving your cute ass."
"Still not into incest, Xander."
"I know, and more's the pity but you still can't keep up with my former demon snuggly. No one else has ever been able to keep up with the six or seven times a day she wanted. After telling you how she tortured someone."
Greg got up, his cane in one hand, the tea cup put down with the other. Then he grabbed Xander and drug him into the house. "We'll be back after I make sure he's not possessed again."
Speed grinned. "They do this every time they get together."
"I'd worry too! The boy draws spirits like you wouldn't believe. He had one a few months back that was anti-twinkie. He nearly bashed himself in the head. Then again, he's still recovering from the whole 'split in two' thing too. That was kinda creepy; he thought about having sex with himself and Anya liked the idea."
Speed looked at her. "You are so family. Maybe I'll see if Horatio's nephew can take you out." His phone rang. "Huh. Hi, Alexx," he answered. "Talking with my newly adopted teenage niece and little brother. Yeah, my shoulder's good. I got out yesterday, why would you be there to pick me up?" He frowned. "Did Horatio get the day wrong? No, when he left he was spluttering and pissed. It's a possibility he got the day wrong. Well, yeah, I did sign myself out, but I called! I had Eric drive me home last night. No, I'm good. We're all good. No, they're doing an exorcism on my little brother. Because he was dating a ho worse than Eric is." He grinned. "Sure. Oh, tell H my new niece would like to see what I do and is going to wrote a very nice note asking permission to come see what I do. Sure. Thanks, Alexx. Yeah, tell him I did call. I called Calleigh, Eric knew, I called his voicemail. If he can't check it that's his thing. Sorry to make you worry. I'll be home tomorrow. Sure! We can do that." He laughed. "Love you too. Bye." He hung up and looked at her. "Fussy mothering sort. She adopted me when I started to work in Miami."
"It's cool when people do that. I'd be living with Willow and Giles if it weren't for Xander."
He looked at her, then got up to give her a hug. "It'll get better and easier, Dawn. Give it some time." She nodded, sniffling a bit. "Good girl." He grinned. "Write that letter so I can give it to him. You'll have to wear something reasonable. Nice pants and a cute top that doesn't bare your back or anything." She smiled and nodded. "The lab's a bit chilly but Miami's like a sauna outside. We'll see what we can do and see if we can take that stigma from you too." She beamed and hugged him, then helped him into his seat. "Thanks, dear."
"Welcome. Ooh, you should meet Tara. She's Willow's girlfriend but she's so sweet and delicate."
"Sounds like she's a nice girl." Xander yelped from inside. "I only give it a two, try harder," he called. "He can yelp better than that!"
She snickered, shaking her head. "You're so bad."
He beamed. "Thank you." They shared an evil smirk. "Someday I'll have to take you out when you go for my title of evil bastard of the universe."
"Sweetie, I'd be the evil bitch of the universe, so no competition unless I cut your dick off for you. Or someone like Anya does and makes you a girl. You'd make a pretty girl. Then you could date Tara and she'd make you into a good girl like she did for Willow and her bad magic problems."
He cackled. "I think you'll fit in with the Snape family just fine, Dawn."
Gregory walked into the school, looking around. "Do they never dust the paintings?" he complained as he limped down the hall. He saw a familiar teacher and nodded. "Yes, I'm back. I'm here to talk to my idiot brother. He in his office?"
"Or lurking somewhere. What happened to your leg, Gregory Snape!"
He looked at her. "Accident. Some of the muscles died. Doesn't fully hinder me at the hospital so it's all good." He grinned sweetly. "I'm off to punch the dummy." She blushed at that. "Not in that meaning of the phrase, Dear Professor McGonagall. I've got Wilson for that. Though I should probably put back on the charm..." he mused as he walked off again. His nephew had drawn him a map, fortunately. It had been a while since he'd been in this castle. He blatantly walked into his brother's room, hefted his cane, and smacked his brother on the head with it. "Bastard!" Snape ducked and got away from him with a potent glare. "I can't leave you alone for ten years without you managing to screw up your younger son again! Not to mention working *here* and screwing up students!"
"It's safer!" he sneered back. "You wouldn't understand."
"You could have come with me, dumbass." Snape scowled. "You could have. Then your younger son would be normal, your older son would be more content and not afraid to date for fear of turning into you, and your granddaughter might be what she was before." Snape swallowed. "I see you've found out?"
"She's demonic," he said quietly.
Greg snickered. "No she's not! I know you're pathetic in that field, but really!" His brother went from scowl to glare. He rolled his eyes. "I don't know why I even bother to come to you. Though I should inform you I depossessed your younger one. Again. That makes three times now, I should start charging, even though he is family." He watched his brother sit down. "Nothing too harmful. Something that didn't like his sugar addiction. Something Miss Rosenburg sicced onto him to make sure he was supposedly fine - I think she was trying to control him again. Plus the nice warrior spirit he sucked up from *somewhere*." His brother swallowed and nodded. "Now then, you're falling down on the job. Why weren't you the one who answered when your older son was shot?"
"I have no idea about such things," he admitted coolly. "Guns aren't part of our world."
"Yeah, the kid made that point. Maybe you should get Xander to show you how to use one so you can use it at the next meeting?" He stared him down. "Your boys are fine, though Timmy's arm is still bothering him and probably will for at least a month. Dawn's being good but she and Timmy were conspiring to get her ineligible for most blood magic rituals. You might try *talking* to your son again since apparently he's an alchemist as well as damn good in potions." Snape's jaw dropped. "He had to use it to save his brother's life," he said simply. "Left me some as well. It's clear that you didn't know what was going on. Now that I've harassed you, I've got ducklings to make cower in fear and run to piss themselves. Need more of a pep talk or another swat?"
"No, I'll talk with him later tonight."
"You can. Timmy's over tonight as well." That got a nod and Severus walked him back out, letting him head for home. He landed in his office, sighing as he sank into his chair, rubbing his aching thigh. A bottle was put down in front of him. "Thank you, Wilson."
"Welcome. How's the nephew?" he asked with a smile. "I always did like Xander and Timmy."
"Timmy just recently got shot. Xander had to go work some magic to save his ass." He took two of his painkillers and looked at him. "He'll be fine. I had to yank stuff out of him again."
"Wow. Where is he?"
"England. He went to set up shop and help their war, but he's adopted a former friend's little sister because her mother and sister both died."
"It's good he's there for her. Can I have a letter or a phone call?"
"He said he'd pop in to see you when he came to bother Cuddy for me." He grinned. "She's so family."
Wilson smiled. "It's good you like your new great-niece, House. Anything good happen?"
"I hit my brother with my cane. Felt really good."
He walked out laughing, shaking his head at the curious looks House's students gave him. "Don't ask, long story."
The three students all looked inside, getting a look from House, who had pulled out his gameboy and was starting a new game of tetris. He was smiling, it must have been a very bad thing. They decided maybe more rounds were in order and hurried off as a group. Groups meant protection when House was in that mood.
"Won't save you," House called after them.
Severus appeared at his son's house, looking at him. "Alchemy?"
"That was fairly impolite for a greeting," Speed said blandly. "I know you have better manners, Father." He looked at Xander, who was giving him a look. "Does Dawn drive?"
"She's got the moped in the garage." Speed shuddered. "It's appropriate for her age, Tim. If she wants a Harley for her eighteenth, I'm sure Giles will spoil her." He grinned at him. "Or you could help."
"We'll see." He grinned at his father. "So, I hear you're teaching?"
"I have for many years," he agreed quietly.
"You never told Mom that. Just that you're a potions master."
"I can be both, son." He looked at him. "Are you well?"
"Thanks to Xan I am. He got me mostly healed before the paramedics got there." That got a smile. "Scared the crap out of them when I came out covered in blood and demanded to go right then."
"I'm sure it would." He smoothed down his hair. "Where is the annoying girl?"
"Doing girl things in her room. Or emailing Willow again, I'm not real sure," he admitted. "Dawn, Dad's here," he called.
"Hi, Granddad. Willow says hi too and that she'll see you in a few weeks."
Severus shuddered at that threat. "I'll try to hide so she only has to see Spike." He looked at his younger son, who was cooking something. "Potions?"
"Soup, dad. I don't cook potions in the kitchen. It gets them mixed up with the food. Then you have nightmares because your girlfriend becomes a life-sized bunny and tries to rut with you anyway."
"I'll try to set you up with Calleigh," Speed offered. "She likes guns. She's nice, sweet, and a good girl." Xander gave him a look then a smirk. "She's evil enough now and then to be attracted to you," he assured him. "She usually saves it for the bad guys but she is." He got up to take over the cooking duties. "Drag dad outside to have the fight he wants to have."
"I don't wish an argument, I wish to know the truth." He looked at him. "You said you didn't send them."
"You asked if I had someone make them for you. I didn't." He shrugged. "I made them instead of having someone else make them. Yay me, I'm brilliant." Snape nodded at that. "Thanks, dad, means a little bit. You still can't tell the old coot."
"I won't. I didn't tell him when I received them, I will not tell them who I received them from." He patted his son on the cheek. "They were very well done. Thank you."
"Welcome. Harry has a few he could use as well."
"He's hidden them from me, which is probably wise. I'll ask to see what he has. Then we'll see if the boy can learn to brew the ones that he'll be needing beyond those."
"That's more than reasonable. I've got him up to fourth year standards. You do realize you probably ruined a few who could've rivaled you by your lurking habits?"
"If they can't learn not to fear me, they'll be petrified in the real world."
"Not the point. School is supposed to be a safe place, dad. Especially a boarding school. Especially when the world is going to hell around you. They don't have other safety to cling to." He nodded at that wisdom. "Lurk less, teach more. Most kids still learn by example. Besides," he finished with an evil grin, "if something happens to the job, I've got to go take it from you."
His father's eyes went wide and he started to shudder uncontrollably. "I think that's a no!wrong reaction," Speed offered dryly, pulling down bowls. "Dawn, are you eating with us? If so clean up and get out here!"
"Yes, Speed." She came out after a quick trip to the bathroom. "If you need it, you can have my room tonight." She gave him a hug around the waist. "Why did Uncle Greg have to go?"
"He had patients to terrorize," Speed said with a grin. "He's as bad as Dad is." Spike stormed in. "Huh, an open invite?"
"Giles said we needed a vampire in the basement," Dawn said, shrugging a bit. "He said it was fashionable. He had one in the bathtub. Xander had one tied to his chair." Spike gave her a look. "What? He did!"
"Bondage games with vampires, Xander? No wonder we worry about you getting possessed or turned!" Speed said, scowling at him.
"I didn't sleep with him! I tied him to the chair so I wouldn't have to sleep with him, or have blood breath sneaking up on me while I slept." He scowled at Spike, who was smirking now. "Then again, Mom thought he was cute and tried to sleep with him. Even tried a force charm once."
"I have more taste than that. How your father shagged her I'm not sure," Spike said dryly.
"She rotted once she got to Sunnydale," Xander admitted. "She's on the slow slide into the hellmouth. Like the rest of the town is really." Dawn gave him a look. "It is. It shifts a few inches a year into the hellmouth." She shook her head. "What's up, Spike?"
"Could use some help teaching a few things."
"Willow's offered to come over to see what sort of support she can give during the war," Xander offered. Dawn snickered. "Hey, she'll scare the kids for whole other reasons, blow some misconceptions, and even bring Tara." Spike grinned at that. "Dawnie was just chatting with her." He headed back to the computer. "Should we save you some soup?"
"No thanks. Had my Lucky Charms and blood already."
Snape shuddered at that. "Unfortunately the creature sits next to me." He looked at Xander. "We should talk."
"I'm not teaching you how I did it, Dad."
"Is that how you're affording things?"
"No, I did a bad Tomb Raider impersonation around Sunnydale on Giles' orders. I'm still living on that stuff." Speed snickered. "I did! He wanted stuff that was stored." He shrugged. "Plus he gave me a trust fund check when we moved. I'm doing fine financially as long as he pays for Dawn's clothes."
That got a single nod. "Very well then. Thank you for sending me those."
"I figure you'll need them some day. After all, not like they're going to be taking care of you if you get hurt."
"Point. You are quite cynical for being so young."
"Yeah, well, six year combat veteran. Nightly combat, a lot of more major actions. It gets you that way. I'm still shocked I haven't staked a vampire in months."
"Me too," Dawn agreed. "You haven't even gone hunting, I'm very proud." She kissed him on the cheek. Then she got her bowl of soup and brought it to the table, coming back for the crackers. "Oyster or regular crackers, Speed?"
"Put both out, we can decide," he decided. She smiled and did that, then got them something to drink. "Staying for dinner, Dad?"
"Please." He accepted his bowl and let Xander sit down first. He and Dawn ended up across from each other, with his sons facing each other. "This is good."
"Thanks, opened a can," Xander said with a small shrug. "I don't usually cook. Dawn cooks so I can pass her in Home Ec." Speed snickered. "She does. Plus her self-defense classes are PE. It works out well." He looked at her. "Book report?"
"I sent it to Giles since you send most of my suff back there."
"Sure." He nodded and dug in. "Potion homework?" She got up to get her tiny cauldron and bring it back, handing it over. "That looks...overcooked and too much salt." She sighed. "We'll go over it again, Dawn." She nodded and went to pour it into the drain he had rigged for potions stuff. "She's getting there. I've only been teaching her since we got over here."
"Then that's a hard potion for one so new to the field," Snape agreed graciously. Even if he would have flunked it. Dawn beamed at that; he saw why his son was easier on her. Sometimes the girl was so fragile. He looked at his older son. "Are you going back?"
"Probably should. H wants to kick my ass. I cleaned my gun last month but apparently that wasn't good enough." Xander shook his head. "Twice?"
"Is good," Xander agreed. "But hey, better than it was."
"True, even though he said I missed some steps."
"We'll go over it in detail," he promised. That got a smile. "Do you have yours?"
"H still has it."
"Then we'll use mine." He ate a bite of soup and added some crackers. "So, I'm guessing this is cozy," he said after a few minutes of silent eating.
Dawn patted him on the hand. "Normal families have dinners like this," she assured him.
"Oh, no wonder I didn't recognize it." He shook his head and ate another bite. Spike came out and whispered in his ear, getting a giggle. "Sure. As long as she stays on your couch and Dawn doesn't step foot on school grounds."
"Agreed." He patted Dawn on the head. "We'll see you in a few days, niblet." He headed out, going back to the school. He ran into the headmaster. "Talked to Rosenburg. She's offering help in the war. She'll be up in a few days to talk to you and check on Snape's son." He walked past him. "Told her she could stay on my couch."
"What does she do?" he asked, catching up to him.
Spike looked at him. "The Slayer's Witch? What do you think she does? Beyond slipping up now and then bad enough to destroy others." Dumbledore stopped so he looked at him. "She's a wandless one but she's strong. Closed the hellmouth a few times. Fought with the slayer. I'm gonna let her go over hellmouths with my seventh years. She's got the technical and power ratio stuff they'd want to hear."
"I see." He blinked at him. "That's...interesting. I didn't know wandless magic worked that strongly."
"Oy! Bint! Red!" he called. Willow appeared, giving him a look. "You ready to come over now or in a few days?"
"I can come over now but Xander said he's full with his brother there. So can I really crash on your couch?"
"Sure, Red." He grinned. "It'll be a fun sleepover."
"Just no turning me, Mister. I know what a vamp me would be like. Much gayer and more skanky ho." Spike growled in pleasure. "EWW!" She swatted him with a scowl. "Not even you would've liked her. The alternate universe me was not fun."
"If you say so." He grinned at the headmaster. "Headmaster Dumbledore, may I present Willow Rosenburg, the Slayer's Witch."
"I so hate that title," she complained, but she grinned and held out a hand. "Hi. Willow's fine."
"Willow. Spike said you were looking to help us," he said, walking off with her. "Minerva? Could you join us?" he called into her classroom. He led the young woman up to his office to chat with her. Maybe she could be of help. More than Snape's son. He wasn't even sure the boy wasn't a squib, just experienced in battles. He would have to ask his father about that. Minerva came up the stairs. "Minerva, this is Willow Rosenburg. She was helping Slayer Summers in Sunnydale."
"Her witch?" she asked, shaking her hand.
"I am." She looked at her. "Wow. I can't get a semi-permanent transformation spell to work. That's really cool." The woman looked taken aback. Willow grinned. "I tried. Our kitty was lonely." She sat down. "So, I'm really powerful. I'm very experienced in battles, hellmouth issues, and apocalypses. How can I help your team in this war so it doesn't come near Xander and Dawnie?"
"Buffy's little sister. Xander adopted her," Willow said, smiling at her as she pulled out a group picture. "That's Dawn."
"She's a beautiful young woman."
"She's going through muggle education but Xander's forcing her to do potions too. He said she's a squib." Because she was not letting Dawn anywhere near this school. She had read the headmaster during their handshake. "So, how can I help?"
"Can you show us some of what you can do?" the headmaster suggested. "To our people your kind are mostly myths." Willow floated down a pensieve and used it properly, then let him have it. "Thank you, dear."
"Welcome but I want those back. Tara would blush if she found out you saw us working together."
"Ah." He bent to read it with his second-in-command. At the end they shared a look. She was incredibly powerful but lacked a bit of common sense. "Well. I do believe we can help each other, dear. You did say you were coming over to study?"
"With a local coven. Giles wanted me to learn some better impulse control." She frowned and looked at the nearest magic mirror, calling back to the store. "Anya, did I leave the brownies in the oven when I popped over?" She nodded. "Sorry."
"I rescued them. Thank you for feeding my chocolate addiction."
"Welcome. We've got to protect our little niece or nephew in there." Anya smiled and rubbed her pregnant stomach. "I should tell Xander."
"I don't think it's his."
"So? He'll want to snoopy dance."
"Which is very silly looking," she chided. Giles walked into view. "Tell her that she can't let Xander snoopy dance."
"It shows great joy, Anya." He smiled at Willow. "Do remember you have a test tomorrow, dear."
"Of course. Thanks for reminding me. Sorry about nearly burning the brownies. Oooh, Headmaster, have you met Rupert Giles?"
"He went here at one point." He smiled at him. "We should chat, Rupert."
"What's the boy done this time?" he sighed.
"Nothing much. I heard he's went to see his brother and uncle. Gregory was here earlier." Giles shuddered and cut the connection.
"I didn't know Xander had an uncle or brother," she said, frowning some. "I thought he was the last Snape."
"No, he's got an older brother and an uncle, his father's brother," the headmaster assured her. "They're both in America."
"Huh. I'll have to look them up."
"They go by their mother's last names," McGonagall told her.
"That's fine, I'll get Xander or Dawnie to tell me so I can pop in on them and welcome them to the wacky made up family we have on the hellmouth." She beamed. "You should always be welcomed properly to the Hellmouth family."
They just nodded and got down to what she could do for them. Including tracking the stupid person. He did call Harry up since he seemed to have learned a bit about this stuff. Harry came up with information for her, getting a smile and a hug. So apparently he was being taught many things he shouldn't be.
Willow looked at him. "Xander did ask that I see if he had a proficiency in my area as well." She smiled at Harry. "Tara will be up in a few days."
"I do love that woman of yours. She's very sweet and nice." He grinned. "We'll have to sneak off to see her."
"Sure! I can go check on Dawnie, you and Tara can pal around. We'll go shopping or something." He snickered and nodded. "Good boy! We miss our Xander shopping friend. Unfortunately the bra shopping got to him one too many times and he started having panic attacks about going shopping with us girls."
"I can't see why," he said dryly, getting pinched but she was still smirking. "That's fine, dear. We can do that if you girls want." He gave her another hug then went back to his studying. Not like he'd pass if he didn't.
She smiled at the two 'adults', a sweet, gentle, innocent smile. "So, who put the tracking and death hex on him?" They both gaped and she nodded. "It's on his back. I'll try to get it off him by this weekend. It looks a bit complex." She stood up. "I should see what information Spike wanted me to give to the kiddies so I can come back with the proper reference materials. Then I've gotta go study for my history test. See you in a few days, Headmaster, Professor." She skipped merrily down the stairs and headed to find Spike. "Are they as bad as I think?" He nodded once and handed over a sheet. "I can do that." She winked and disappeared.
Upstairs, the two older people were staring at each other. "This will definitely shake up the old order, Albus. The girl could do a lot of good for our side."
"She's still not like us."
"So! She's offering her help. The same as Snape's son has." She stood up. "I'll gladly work with her. She seems to be well experienced if her reputation is anything to go by." She walked off, going slack-jawed halfway down the stairs when the spell hit her.
"I don't believe that would be for the best in this war," he sighed sadly.
Little did he know that Hermione had slipped something into McGonagall's desk to help her break all his memory charms on her. With Snape's full permission and Spike's help. Professor McGonagall saw the mug labeled 'drink me' and sniffed then drank it obediently, still under the effects of the spell. Everything came rushing back, giving her a thundering headache. But she knew why now. It was time for her to make some plans because some people were too stuck in their ways.
Xander looked at his father once his brother and daughter were down. "So," he said finally.
"Why did you take up alchemy?"
"It went well with what I was doing. Ethan gave me a book behind Giles' back."
"The healing potion was kinda necessary now and then as well."
"An admirable reason," he assured him, smiling a bit. His son was staring at him. "What?"
"You finally broke all the memory charms?"
"I did." That got a nod and they continued to stare at each other. "Son, I'm not some circus oddity."
"Yes you are."
"Fine. If you say so." He stood up. "I would like to work with you some day soon."
"You know where I am."
"True. What of Mr. Potter's studies?"
"He's doing very well. Haven't you been grading them?"
"I have. Though that color-changing bottle is going to drive me insane." That got a small smirk. "Very well. We'll work out what we should work together on. Perhaps something useful?"
Xander shrugged. "Do something nice for the kids, Dad. They could use it."
"Perhaps. It's not in my nature to be nice."
"No, but it is in your nature to protect others. The same as it is in mine. Not like I got it from Mom after all. Or Timmy from his mom."
"Point. We'll work on something to protect the children and the school." That got a nod and he went back to his rooms to think about what he had seen. When he was looking, his son was quite strong. Very brash and very stubborn, but quite strong. He could be proud of a man like his son. It was a good feeling. He settled in to rest for a while. He'd figure out what to work on with him in the morning. There were many possibilities since his son was his equal.