Xander smiled at Sam as he came down the stairs. "A reporter asked me something earlier and I thought you should hear it first."
"That bad?" Sam asked, flopping down but holding his head. Xander handed over something. "What's this?"
"Healing potion for your ribs. Draco begged Snape to make it for you." Sam sniffed it then drank it, moaning as it worked. He was glowing, he was feeling better, it was good stuff. Xander grinned. "I'll write him a letter of thanks."
"I'll write one myself and use the owl post in town." He leaned back, much happier with the world now. "What's up?"
"The reporter that pounced me at lunch wanted to know if there had been a bonding potion added onto the lust potion."
Sam sat up straighter. "Is there?"
"They don't think they can check for one. I don't know how to check for one and I'm not allowed to do magic again according to Willow. She's back thinking I'm evil and it's going to kill everyone. She even took my wand. I'm going to beat her later for that since I had Draco steal it back."
Sam moaned. "Can we check?" Xander handed over a book he had found. "The checking spell?"
"Yup. At the pink bookmark because that's what the salesgirl found for me."
He turned to it, nodding slowly. "Do we have any samples?" Xander handed one over. "Mac's?"
"Stella's. I asked Mac for it." He nodded, taking it into the kitchen to find his wand and do the not really complicated spell. Sam's bellow was not happy. "The ribs come back?" he called.
"No, that's an 'I'm going to kill' yell," Dean said as he came down the stairs. "Problems?"
"Bad ones." They walked into the kitchen, looking at the listed results. The spell made a list in midair in lights. Chaos potion. Lust potion, extended version. Conception potion. Bonding potion. Spell for extended shelf life. Spell for hiding the taste, incomplete. Spell for safe traveling. Xander looked up the bonding potion in the same book, finding it. He handed it to Sam, looking at him. "Up to you."
"No offense," Sam said.
Xander grinned. "None taken, Sam. It wasn't us. We're buddies." Sam nodded, giving him a hug. Dean took the book to look at, frowning at it. "Yeah, it probably included you since it said it can come out in the sweat if only applied to one person." He let Sam go. "Go rest. Let me tell Stella?"
"I want to be far away from that explosion."
He grinned. "That's Horatio. He's former bomb squad." He took the book and the sample, canceling out the spell. Then he had the staff take him to Mac's office, startling Floppy. "I need to see Mac, Danny, and Stella please, Floppy." He nodded, paging them. "Thank you. Also, did Mac pull out the other samples they took from the lust potion?" He pointed. "Thank you. You're very helpful." He looked behind him as someone leaned in. "I'm waiting on Mac. You are? I think I met you once."
"Don Flack. They're up the hall in a meeting."
"You're a friend of Stella's, right?" He nodded. "I'm on the same Council."
"I figured with the magic book. I'm trained." Xander went back to the bookmark and held it out to him. He looked then at him. "We think there was more than a lust potion?" Xander nodded. "I'll watch out for her throwing things. It'll be a few. Sit." Xander sat down, reading over the other section. "You're Xander, right?" Xander smiled and nodded. "Saving up your energy?"
"Oooh. Really bad?"
"Yeah, really, really bad." Don came in and took the book back, looking at what he had been reading. "Test it yourself." He went back to the spell, glancing around before pulling his wand to test the samples Mac had pulled out. Don dropped the book. "I'm saving up to duck."
"It won't save us."
"I figure it won't. I can hear Danny." Don went to waylay the guys for a minute. He smiled at Stella, canceling the spell. "A reporter came to me earlier."
"She asked if there had been any other spells on the lust potion. She mentioned a bonding potion actually and she said she was not going to put your name in the press, just mine." She nodded at that. "Didn't make me happy but someone found out why Fudge went to jail."
"So we have a leak?"
"The present Minister, has to be. He's leaked other stuff. I brought you a checking spell." He grabbed the book and handed it over. "So you can check for yourself. I used yours when I went to talk to Sam."
"Is there?" He nodded. She took the book and tested a sample. Then she moaned. "Who else knows?"
"Don was in here. I let him test the one I canceled. He asked. I remember he was supporting you so I didn't think you'd mind. If you do, go ahead and beat me."
She gave him a hug. "You were right to tell him. Next time let me." He nodded at that. "Mac's gonna hit the roof."
"We're all ducking your screaming and throwing things."
"Give me time to process this." He pointed at the book so she went to the other bookmark to read up on the bonding potion. "It could've hit him?" Xander nodded. "Sam?"
"And Dean," he reminded her. "I started with Sam, let him test it."
"Aw, shit," she muttered.
"Exactly. I've still got to tell Horatio. Then Tony."
"Gibbs is going to flip."
"You think I didn't?"
"Good point." She waved the guys in there. "I'm so sorry, Don."
"Hey, it wasn't your doing," he reminded her. "You're on something right?" She nodded quickly. "Good. Don't need the added pressure of kids at the moment."
"Huh?" Danny asked. Stella handed him the book open to the checking spell. He looked at them. "Necessary?"
"I'm giving you all the proof you need," Xander told him. "After the reporter asked me earlier about other potions in that one." He moved and went to check, nearly whimpering at the one she had left up. He checked the same sample Flack had. Mac looked over his shoulder. "The book has something on that."
"It's fucking illegal to make!" Danny shouted.
"Ethan's not exactly a happy member of law enforcement, Danny. He's a chaos sorcerer. He's proved his worth to Janus."
Mac looked in the book, finding the other bookmark and flipped to it. He read it, leaning against the front of his desk. "This is the one they found?"
"The checking spell lists each potion or spell on it by proper name," Danny said, sitting beside Stella to hug her. "That's why each potion or spell has to have a slightly different name."
Mac put the book down. "Who else knows?"
"Us, Sam, Dean," Xander said. "I was heading to Horatio next and then to Tony. Then I'd visit Patricia and let her know when I check on her." They all dug out cards to hand over. He put them in his back pocket. "Do you want to tell either one?"
"Hell. No," Danny said. "Horatio's scary!"
"Gibbs is worse," Mac assured him. "We'll mourn you."
"We need to figure out how to deal with this. Someone knew, the reporter asked me specifically about that potion. It got slipped that this is why Fudge is in jail. She came up to Draco and I at lunch. She's using my name and I warned her from telling any other details. She said the rest would be thoughts and she wasn't naming anyone else."
Stella nodded. "So we'll talk. You and Sam?"
"We're buddies. We already had that short talk. Dean's still kinda numb I guess. He didn't join in." He shrugged, taking the book as he stood up again. "Should I pop in on Lucia?"
"Please," Mac agreed. "We've got a lot to talk about."
"Does he have a sample?"
"Wolfe locked one up."
Xander nodded and disappeared, landing in Horatio's office. "Um, hi."
Speed looked up at him. "Hi. Who're you?"
"Oh, yeah, you're on that council thing. What's up?"
"Need to give Horatio some information and he'll want to look at that sample of the stuff he got dosed with again."
"It'll be a few."
"It's probably not happy news," he admitted.
"He's on a crime scene. Let me call him." He called. "H. Have Xander in your office with an old, heavy book and unhappy news about that thing you got dosed with. Yeah." He hung up. "He said twenty minutes. How unhappy?"
"Potentially, he's going to blow up the prison to get the guy who dosed us."
"You all got it?" Xander nodded. "The others?"
"The ones in New York are talking. They're very unhappy at the moment."
"I'll have Wolfe pull that sample," he said, going to do that. He saw Xander reach for a life saver but Lucia smacked him on the hand. "Those're hers."
"Sorry, didn't know, Lucia."
"That's all right, Xander sir." She smiled and went back to work. "Bad problems with that potion?"
"Did you test it for anything else?" She nodded. "Did you tell Horatio?" She gave him a horrified look. "Don't start hurting yourself or anything. None of us realized. That's why I'm here."
"Lucia will make sure Horatio has good, soothing food tonight for dinner." Ryan walked in and put the sample on a table. "Not there! That is desk! Not lab!"
"We need to test that one," Ryan said. He looked at Xander. "Can I know?"
"If Horatio tells you. It's not my secret to tell." That got a nod and Ryan left, going to think. Horatio stomped in a minute later so Xander opened the book and handed it over. "I'm not sure if you can get it through the bottle or not. Mac's only had his wrapped." Horatio looked at the spell, casting it quietly. Nothing came up so he undid the seal and top, doing it again. The list came up and he gasped. "Other bookmark, Horatio." He looked at the house elf. "Lucia, does he have a card for Patricia?" She nodded, handing one over. "Thanks. I'm heading there later." He put it in his back pocket too, standing up to come over. "A reporter asked me over lunch. She got news about who gave it to us and asked specifically about that potion," he said quietly, getting a long glare. "Not my fault, Horatio. She's not saying anything about anyone else. Just that I got dosed among others without my consent. I told her if she posted more than that she was gone. She asked specifically about that one."
"We have a leak."
"It's in the Minister's office and I'm assuming he knew before he leaked it."
Horatio nodded, handing back the book. "Are there pertinent laws about that?"
"I have no idea. I'm letting all you guys know because I got told. The aurors said they couldn't check for it." Horatio moaned, sitting down in his desk chair. "Someone asked if they could know and I said if you told them. I slipped and told Stella's, I'm not going to do that again."
Horatio nodded. "I'll talk to him about that. You three?"
"Sam and I agreed we're buddies." That got a smile. "He's very pissed at the moment. Yelling in anger pissed. Stella's processing so she'll be throwing things later I'm told. Mac's gone stony."
"I'm going to blow the prison up," Horatio muttered. Xander wrote down the address and relative size, getting a smile. "Thank you."
"Least I could do since I bring bad news." He checked the cards then looked up. "I've still got to tell Tony. I'll see you at the next meeting." He disappeared, landing in the elevator for some reason. He pushed the button for the next floor up and got off, finding a lab and a morgue. "Hi, I'm apparently lost," he told the nice looking older man. "I'm looking for Tony or Gibbs."
"How did you get in without an ID badge, young man?"
Xander grinned. "Magic." He gave him a look. Xander held up his staff, getting a nod of understanding. "It's bad news. Are they here?"
"They're in the lab actually. Let me call them here. You can use my office."
"Sure." He went that way. "Tell them to bring any sample they kept from Tony's dosing. They'll need it." The older man nodded and Xander sat on the visitor's couch, waiting. Gibbs stomped in. "Don't glare at me, I'm only the messenger after a reporter asked me."
"What?" Xander handed over the book open to the second bookmark. "You're sure?"
"I'm going to test it in front of him so he has proof. Our samples had it."
Gibbs nodded, paging Tony from the desk phone. Tony strolled in a minute later and closed the door, handing over a card. Gibbs handed him the book. "This is ...."
"What else was in the potion. Or at least the others' had it in theirs and so did mine, Tony. A reporter asked me."
"Cochrane is leaking info?" Xander nodded. "Figures. Who?"
"One of the Prophet's reporters cornered Draco and I at lunch. She asked specifically about that one. The aurors said they couldn't check."
"Can we?" Xander took the sample and the book, doing the charm. It was very strong because it came up in ten inch high letters instead of one inch high letters and his were neon orange. "You need to control that better."
Tony looked then sighed. "Banish it?" Xander canceled it and he went back to reading, sitting beside him on the couch. "This is not good news."
"No, it's not," Xander agreed. "I'm not sure of the legal ramifications of it since it was done this way. Oh, I sent off the intended's contract today for Draco."
"Congrats to him then. You have other cards for her?" Xander nodded, patting them to make sure they were there. "Good. Tell her I hope she feels better."
"I can do that." He looked over his arm and pointed at a line. "That one worried Stella."
He read it a few times then nodded. "That worries me too. How do we test for it in ourselves?"
"I don't know. Draco didn't know when I asked him since he heard. He said he'd ask and call when he found out." That got a simple nod. "He thinks the school library has at least one mention of it. If not, Snape should."
"Decent of him." He handed the book back and stood up. "I'm in the middle of a new case. I'll get drunk and rant and scream later." He walked out.
"What line?" Gibbs asked. Xander reopened the book and pointed at it, letting him see it. He slumped then nodded. "Find out how to test for it, kid."
"As soon as I can," he promised. That got a nod and Gibbs stomped off too. Xander stood up, checking the cards. One had slid down so he had to dig it out of the couch. "Not digging for change, one of the cards to a sick council member came out," he said lightly, then he stood up, looking at the redheaded woman standing there. "Sorry, had to talk to Tony about something important, ma'am."
"You'll tell me."
"No, I won't. Sorry. You don't own me, Director. I helped bring down a bad military unit." He smiled sweetly and walked past her, going to the elevator so he could disappear from in there. He found Gibbs and a strange girl. "Your director's really a bitch, Gibbs. I told her I'd tell Tony how I helped take down the Initiative if she kept bothering me and trying to make me give her information instead of Tony." He disappeared before the smack landed.
"That's pretty cool," Abby said.
Gibbs nodded. "He's not a bad kid. A bit hyper, mouthy, smartass. He reminds me of a younger DiNozzo clone only he dates some really horrible women. I'm told his last one was demonic." She laughed. "I don't think Harris was kidding." She gaped then squealed, hugging him. He smirked. "Heard of him?"
"Oh yes. A lot."
"He sits on Tony's council thing." They got off on their floor. "DiNozzo, the director tried to get in your business again. He told her no, said he'd tell you how he helped take out the Initiative if you wanted." He sat down.
Tony looked at him. "Boss, do you really need me right now."
"I need you working but your gun stays in that drawer until we go out to arrest, DiNozzo."
"Thanks, boss." He looked down then at him. "I take it you read?" Gibbs nodded. "I'm so sorry, boss."
"Not a problem. We'll figure it out, like always." That got a nod and Tony got back to work. Gibbs looked at Abby. "Why did you come up?"
"So she'd quit lurking in my lab. I'm ready to see if she melts in the rain." Gibbs snickered at that, so she walked off again, getting a snack before going back to her lab. She had work waiting on her in the lab and the director was back in there. "There's no cameras in Ducky's office," she announced as she walked in. "He made sure of it, Director. He talks in his sleep sometimes." She took her keyboard back. "That is a severe violation of our civil rights and I'm filing charges." She walked off in a huff. Abby did fill out the sheet and send it in. She didn't need a camera in her office or spyware on her computer. Thankfully she knew how to disable it.
Xander smiled at Tonks when he ran into her at the hospital. "Injured?"
"Wrist cramp nearly killed me. They gave me something for it. You?"
"Seeing Patricia but can I ask you something?" She nodded slowly. "Why can't you guys test for the other potions that were in there?"
"Because my boss leaks like a sieve," she said dryly. He nodded at that, opening the book to show her. She grimaced. "Snape can mix something to tell. Most healers can tell too." She handed it back. "We're sure? Been a while."
"They sealed the samples so they couldn't degrade all the way." She grimaced. "A reporter asked me if it was in there. Can you send me the pertinent codes?" She nodded with a smile. "Thanks. Draco didn't know."
"You're welcome, Harris. Go see her. She's pouty."
"Sure." He went up there, tapping before entering the room. "Up for some cheer?"
"I could use some cheer." He handed over the cards, earning a smile. "Thank them for me."
"Most of them wished you a speedy recovery and that it doesn't happen again," he said gently. She smiled and nodded. He closed the door then sat down next to her. "Did you know there were other potions in that lust potion?" he asked quietly.
"It's not an unheard of use. A bonding one?" Xander nodded. She beamed. "That means that they're all but married. It's usually used during some older ceremonies."
"I'll keep that in mind for Sam and Dean." She winced at that. "Yeah."
"Well, you can pick one."
"We'll talk about it later. I'm doing the informing thing since a reporter asked me specifically about that potion."
"Most healers can tell if it's there." Xander nodded his thanks and gave her a hug. "Did we break up?"
"Yup, and we'll go over your proposal during the meeting on the first. I let Tonks give my report for me and we broke up." She nodded. "Get better faster, Patricia. Too many people count on you for you to be in here for too long." She smiled. He drew a symbol on her forehead. "Willow gave me that one for you. It's a blessing for strength." He winked and left, going home.
She touched her forehead, then smiled. She couldn't object to that. Even if she hated wandless sorts that was a nice blessing. She settled in to read her cards. They were very sweet to send them to her.
Dean came out of the floo at Xander's later that night, being handed a beer. "Did you tell our dad?"
"No. He bribed one of the house elves to nark."
"That's how he knows." He sat down to sip it. "Can we tell?" Xander handed over the potion and he saw the instructions, going to a mirror to drink a drop. He pulled Xander over to look too. It was there. "The others?" he asked quietly.
"Got their own vials sent by Harry." He looked at him. "I got the info from Tonks on what it means, legal issues with it, and all that." He handed it over and went back to his beer and pretzels.
Dean sat down to read it, holding it up when Sam came out of the floo. He saw the potion and looked at it, doing it again with both of them in front of the mirror. Yup, it was there. "Why couldn't they test for it?"
"Tonks said her boss leaks."
"We knew the Minister did."
"Not uncommon if they can use it to their benefit," Sam said, sitting down to read the information she had sent. He finally looked up. "Is Stella blowing up the prison?"
"I gave Horatio the address and relative size. Stella's probably throwing things. Don said he'd duck."
"Good. Might be a good idea," Dean agreed. "Can't say as I don't want to too."
"There's an exception for twins who want to put someone between them," Sam told him.
"Then Mom carried you an extra long time, didn't she?" he shot back.
Xander snickered. "There's an out clause on the last page. If we all protest it might work."
Sam looked at it, Dean leaning over to look over his shoulder. They both groaned. "We can't," Dean said. "It said no sex."
"Except in case of a lust potion, which is rape, and therefore should be able to be done under that law," Sam said.
"I love your mega brain," Xander teased.
Sam grinned back. "Good to know."
"Guys, sickening," Dean complained. He took it to look over. "You sure?"
"We need to ask the others," Xander told him. "If we do it individually it could be a problem. One or two holds outs aren't an issue but them all doing it might be."
"We do have some extraordinary circumstances," Sam pointed out, pointing at Dean.
"I know. Think about how drunk Tony might be right now."
"Probably." He called him. "Hey, Tony, Sam. Did you try the potion? We sent it to you via Harry. Huh. Yeah, we've got one. Come get it." He hung up. "The director took the unknown biological substance and flushed it."
"Anyone mind if I flush her?" Tony asked as he appeared. Xander handed back the bottle. "Directions?"
"On it and we have the legal information too. We can protest it since we were done the way we were done. It'll look better if we all do it."
Tony nodded. "You guys have a special out clause with them being brothers."
"There's a twins clause," Sam told him.
Tony grimaced but left again. He landed at his desk, glaring at the Director's back. "Boss, need you for about ten seconds." He nodded, walking around her to join him in the hallway. "Bathroom. It's more private, no cameras." That got a nod and they went in there. He took the potion and looked in the mirror, moaning. "That makes it official." He looked at him. "We can protest it."
Gibbs nodded. "Do we have the legal code?"
"Sam had it." It landed next to him. He saved it from the wet sink. "Thanks, Sam." He handed it over. "They think we can protest it." His phone rang with a text message: 'dump the rest'. He poured it down the sink and rinsed it out. "Now what?"
"Let's look this over, talk to a few people. We have a slight advantage of the system over here versus the one you guys reset."
Tony relaxed. "I hadn't thought of that."
"We'll talk to them tonight, DiNozzo. For now, calm down."
"Xander wants to hurt her, boss," he said quietly. "He hasn't had to hunt in a while."
Gibbs nodded. "Taylor and I talked about that about an hour ago." That got a nod and they walked out, him sitting down to go over the pertinent codes. "Why did you get out early today?"
"Patricia started to miscarry in the middle of the meeting so we did one last thing and broke up. Xander brought my card to her earlier tonight, boss."
"That's good. Going to visit?"
"In a few days. I figure she wants some time to grieve first." That got a nod. "Should I call? Ask for a meeting?"
"We'll pounce them in their office later," he promised. He looked at the staring director. "Yes?"
"What are you talking about?"
"More problems associated with that drug they dosed DiNozzo and myself with, Director. Some odd side effects and we're looking at laws to add more charges so the guy dies in jail."
"Horatio's former bomb squad," Tony offered happily.
"I might help with that," he admitted, going back to reading. She tried to take it and he took it back. "Not US laws, Director. It also doesn't concern you."
"You are part of this agency."
"Oh, shut up!" Tony snapped. "You weren't dosed with it! You have no say in how we go after him for dosing us with it! Get over yourself, Director, you have no need to know about our private lives or that incidence's consequences. We do still have a right to a private life outside this office, one you can't interfere in by law. This isn't China where you have the right to say such things, so move if you don't like it." She sneered at him. "I've seen teenage boys do that look better," he sneered back. "Want me to introduce you to one?" She stomped off. Tony slumped. "I have no idea why I did that," he said once he was calm again.
"After effects?" McGee asked, coming out of hiding behind his computer.
"Could be," Tony admitted. "I don't know yet." He stood up and took the forms, walking off. "I'll see you there, boss." He left, going to the auror's office locally. He walked in and handed over the sample then the laws. "They put a bonding potion on it." The female auror in front of him gasped. "We have no fucking idea what we're doing. Do you?"
"Who threatened your mate?"
"Our Director. Is it a bad thing to sic Draco on her?"
"Could be considered it, yeah." She took him back to her seat and sat down to go over it with him after she tested it. "Did you do the potion?"
"We both glow pretty in the moonlight looking glow," he admitted, leaning back and tipping his head back. "I have a pounding headache."
"That's kinda normal after your first snap, DiNozzo. Don't worry about it yet. We'll go obliviate her or something later."
He sat up. "Thank you."
"Not an issue. Just keep Mr. Harris in England."
"He and Sam Winchester were dosed at the same time. They ended up with his brother Dean," he admitted. "This is in confidence, right?" She nodded. "Thanks."
"Not a problem. They may be able to wiggle out of it with that but no one can remove the potion. It's eternal. You can find it on corpses." He slumped further. "We'll see what we can do. The whole board dosed?" He nodded. "Just found this part out today?"
"A reporter asked Xander. He threatened to take the director down."
"I'm sure he could." She smiled, going over the British law, pulling up their own laws on it. "We definitely have an exclusion here for that painful triangle. It'll take about ten months to get anyone to hear it though."
"I'll let them know," he said, pulling over some paper to make notes.
Tony walked in the next morning and found Gibbs waiting on him. "She still in a snit?"
"No, she's calm, fluffy, nice, sweet, and singing to her picture frames." He smacked him on the head.
"Wasn't me, boss."
"They did it a bit too much, DiNozzo."
The auror following them walked up to them. "It's because she's taken too many, Gibbs. Let her nap and she'll be fine. We didn't get her until her morning run." She walked off, still happy. She had done good. Even if the director was singing to her picture frames and petting them like they were her fuzzy sheep. Or at least they were in her mind.
Tony pointed. "See, not my doing."
"Whatever. Desk, now." Tony handed over the notes before going that way. He looked them over on his way to his desk, nodding. "Drawback?"
"More crowded system."
"Did you fax these?"
"Copied and emailed into Horatio's and Mac's emails, boss. With notes to open immediately, news on the dosing we got. With a header for Floppy and Lucia to print and erase immediately."
That got a nod and he went back to reading. He would not comment on those two's house elves doing their paperwork for them. "How long?"
"Ten months expected."
Gibbs grimaced. That was a long time to wait for an annulment.
Mac walked in and took the papers from Floppy's hand, smiling at the email's contents. "We erased it?"
"As soon as made sure copies were right. Printed two." That got a nod and Mac sent one to Stella with Floppy. It might be a better day after all. Even if his boss was stomping up the hall. "Yes, sir?"
"The dark-haired boy who appeared without an ID badge was?" he demanded.
"Xander Harris. I work with him on that Saturday commitment I have, sir. He was bringing me information."
"How did he get in here?"
"I have no idea. Xander's a resourceful young man. He's from that town that just caved in. He trained with someone from the Watchers Council." That got a reaction and the man went paler than the time he'd had the flu and passed out in front of the press. "It was regarding that dosing the three of us took, sir."
"Why you three?"
"A former member of the same group did it," he said honestly. "He's in prison. He brought proof of more side effects of it and then another person did some more research, which I got this morning."
"Something they can use in court?"
"Sir, unless you know certain things, I can't tell you a whole lot about this situation." Someone with robes trotted up the halls. "Interesting. Aurors?"
"Yes, detective. You may tell him and we'll fix it."
Mac nodded, sitting down to outline it to his boss. It was going to be a long day but still maybe a good one.
Horatio looked up as his boss walked into his office. "Thank you for coming, sir. There's been a development about that dosing I took I think you need to hear." He frowned as Rick Stetler walked in, banishing him with his staff to the parking lot. He closed the door. "I don't think my private life needs to be used as gossip fodder and he's fond of that approach." He handed over the email Lucia had printed for him. "That dosing I took was...."
"A lust potion. I was informed of that by the local aurors when I got pissed that you took off that way again. So?"
"It wasn't just a lust potion. It was also a bonding potion, sir."
"Bonding.... Marriage?" he asked.
"In some societies it's considered such. In the US and Britain it's considered like handfasting, a first step before the official one. It's legal enough for inheritances and it's everlasting apparently." He nodded at the email, letting him read it. "I have the choice to fight it."
"Did you break?" Horatio nodded. "With?"
"Have you talked to him?"
"Not yet, sir."
"Why come to me first?"
"Because I was made to accidentally bond with my second-in-command." That got a small moan. "Who is also male. I think there's going to be more problems there than Speed and I talking. Even though I'm putting it off."
He sighed and looked at him. "Bring him up here so we can discuss it together."
"I don't want him moved."
"Good. He's too cranky to deal with any other lab boss. Get him up here." Horatio paged him and let him in, pushing Rick out again. Ryan walked past under his office and Rick was a small salamander, bright purple this time. "Does he pick those colors on purpose?"
"I think it's so someone can find him," he said, shutting the door. He looked at Speed. "New information came to light about that lust potion," he said calmly.
"Figured that when I saw Xander yesterday. And?" He leaned against the front of his desk, arms crossed. "H?"
"It had a bonding potion in it."
"Uh-huh," he said slowly, nodding some. "So we're married now?"
"By legal standards, we're considered about halfway but it's permanent. We can fight to have it legally annulled. It'll be a while if we do it over here. It's more shaky if we try over there and if we try one place we can't try the other."
Speed nodded at that. The email and information from earlier that night was handed over, letting him look it over. "Does this mean I'll never get to date again?"
"It means that even if it's annulled you'll still read as it and they'll be able to find me because of it," Horatio admitted. "It also meant that Tony went off on the director last night when she started on Gibbs again."
"I go off on those who yell at you anyway, H. They annoy the crap out of me." He went back to reading, looking over when someone knocked. "Busy," he shouted.
Ryan leaned in. "Eric had to go out for a family thing. His sister called up sobbing, not sure why. He needed you to know so he couldn't be called out. Calleigh tried to have him taken off today's list but they wouldn't let her. Also, she's down with Alexx. We just had a patrol officer suicide in the changing area, H. We're on that one." He withdrew and left to get back to the scene.
"Let me go see to that and I'll come back after you two have the awkward talk," the Chief said, going to do that.
Horatio closed and locked the door, looking at him. "I was waiting until I had all the facts. That way we wouldn't both be up and pacing all night."
Speed nodded. "I'll do it tonight instead and you can sleep." Horatio cracked a smile at that. "Anyone worse than ours?"
"Gibbs isn't magical. That can cause a problem with Tony's family since there seems to be a lot of pureblood snobs. Xander had both Dean and Sam, who're brothers."
"So we're not the worst case. Mac?"
"Danny. Stella jumped Don."
"Ah." He nodded, going back to reading. "The common consensus is?"
"Fighting it. We can have it annulled."
"But it'll always be in our systems, drawing us back together," Speed finished.
"That I don't know." He heard muttering and opened the door to look at the auror. "Ryan was trying to protect me. Rick was trying to butt in to cause harm."
"Then find a wiccan, Horatio. This is annoying and after too many times he'll be stuck."
"Maybe that's why he changed animals," Speed said dryly.
"That could be. At least he's easy to find." She changed him back and glared at him. "Quit pissing off the lab before you end up that way permanently." He walked off snarling. "I should compulse him."
"Please do, he's a pain in our hemorrhoids."
She smirked. "I like that one. I'll have to use that saying." She walked off. "Where is Wolfe so I can yell at him?"
"Dealing with a suicide in our changing area," Horatio said quietly.
"Then yell at him for me," she offered, going to make notes. Plus get an order for Ryan to do a mandatory transfiguration review. That way he could change him back himself!
Horatio closed the door, grinning some. "Some days Ryan is quite something else."
"Yeah, and then there's the days he and Eric act like toddlers stealing toys from each other. Can I give them this?"
"No. It's illegal."
"I know but Wolfe could probably use laid. Unless he likes house elves?"
"I caught him out on a date the other night. She seemed fairly nice."
"Good. Maybe he got some." He went back to reading. Then he looked at him. "What do you want to do?" Horatio shrugged, sitting down to look at him. "Why go to the chief first?"
"I accidentally married my second-in-command, who is male," he said quietly. "We could talk anytime. That can get us both killed or transferred."
"Good point I guess." He sat down, looking at him. "So."
"So," Horatio agreed. "Any option you like better?"
"How long in the British system?"
"Within a week probably. The full Wizengomet isn't that busy most of the time."
That got a nod. "Here?"
"Ten months by the note at the bottom."
"That's an awfully long time," Speed said. Eric walked in and slammed the door. "Hey! Having a talk here!"
"I need someone who can unpossess my cousin. He's been taken by a ghoul."
"Ghoul?" Horatio said. "Bring him here, Eric." He nodded, going to do that. He was only down in the car. He called Sam. "I have a coworker with a possessed cousin. A ghoul is taking him. That's what I was thinking, Sam. Please? Also, we have information on the chances of annulment here in the US." Sam appeared before he could hang up. "Not busy?"
"Having a headache," he admitted. "I don't want to be married to my brother. Or Xander. I like Xander but he'd drive me nuts in bed. He nearly killed us both," he complained. Speed snickered. "No, literally. The healer said he nearly killed us both!" Speed gaped. Sam nodded. "Beyond that, Dean might turn evil." Eric brought the guy in so he looked. "Oh, that is *so* our ghoul of the hour," he praised. "Good job." He looked at it, smirking and waving. "Hi, Voldie. How're you?"
It sneered at him. "You will not win."
"Bet me, asshole." He immobilized the guy. "Door." Eric got the door. "Aurors?"
"Calling," Horatio said, dialing the number he had for more of Wolfe's accidents. "This is Horatio Caine. We have the ghoul of Voldemort in my office possessing someone. We need containment now, please." He hung up on the assurances they'd be right there. A few seconds later people ran in and looked at the immobilized wizard. "This is Eric's cousin. Eric works with me. His cousin went to a wizarding school," he reported.
The head auror nodded. "Good catch, guys."
"We have all but two of the things that's keeping him here," Sam told him. "They're being retrieved this weekend." That got nod. "Then we can kill the sucker for real." He helped by adding holy water and doing the exorcism for them. Once the poor guy was freed Sam handed him off. "Baptize him. Bless him. Communion him. If you know a priest who knows tell him exactly what happened and that this ghoul is especially evil. He's killed hundreds of people for his deluded thoughts on purebloods ruling others. Even though he's not one." Eric nodded, heading out with the auror helping him. They knew a priest. He watched as it was entombed again. Then the box was sealed in something airtight that had six keys. He was given one and Horatio another. The rest were handed out to aurors. "Want ours in England?"
"No, sir. You can come to the US and do it in our office to make sure he's gone," the head auror assured him. "We'll gladly cooperate to help him die."
Sam smiled. "Thank you."
"Not an issue. Always happier to come for real emergencies instead of Wolfe turning the Internal Affairs guy into something."
"He changed. It's not a toad," the usual one said.
He snorted. "Nice of him. Why doesn't he use the hedgehog anymore?"
"It's too sweet of an animal for Stetler," Speed told him. That got a laugh and they carried the tomb out using the special poles so they didn't have to touch it. "Wow."
Sam nodded. "He was a very evil man. I can't stand hate crimes for any reason and that one started two wars for his. Let me go tell Harry. Thank you, Horatio."
"Tell the headmaster we'll be doing another inspection at the holidays and expect everything to be fixed."
"Sure." He smiled and disappeared, landing in the Great Hall since it was early dinner over there. He walked up to the head table. "Harry needs to be released this weekend. We found *him* on someone in Miami with Horatio's help." Dumbledore smiled at that news. "The aurors in Miami have him and are awaiting us to come destroy him *there*."
"It's probably safer than transporting him," he agreed. "I can release him for that and let him come back late as well."
"Thank you. Also, I was told by Horatio that we're taking another tour this holiday season to make sure all the repairs were done and nothing new has come up, plus to get your ideas for the school."
"I'm sure I can have them drawn up by then," he said smoothly.
"Good. Horatio's having a very bad week."
"I noticed the small article in the Prophet about that potion," McGonagall said quietly. Sam nodded. "That would be enough to do it for anyone."
"You should hear my brother," he admitted, disappearing again with a quick grin at Harry.
She looked at the headmaster. "Does that mean what I think it means?"
"That means that Xander jumped them both," Harry said quietly since he had snuck up to them. "What's happened?"
"They've found the ghoul. He's in custody in Miami. They'll want you to do it there, Harry."
"If I can." That got a nod and Harry went back to his table, thinking about that. He'd still need the last two of those things. Then he could finally get rid of the asshole. Then he realized he was picking up bad language from Sam again. He shook his head to clear it, smiling when an owl floated down beside Draco and let him pull off something thicker and heavier. Draco smiled and gave the owl a treat before sending her off. "Good news?" he mouthed. That got a nod. The scroll was put into his bag for now.
"How do you two get along?" Ron demanded.
"Xander's helped him change some. Besides, he's not worried about aping his father or anyone else." He looked at him. "He's been a lot of help to Xander and Sam. If he uses that language near the council, Xander or Horatio get him for it."
Ron shook his head. "He'll never really change."
"He's very polite when we have to work together on something." He got up and walked over there. "Good news? I heard you sent it off."
"Excellent news," he said happily.
"Congratulations then. Don't worry about inviting me for protocol's sake." Draco smirked and nodded at that. "I've got to talk to them later on. Want me to spread it?"
"No. I'll floo him tonight and hand over the contract to him."
"Then I'll leave it as I hope you have a happy marriage, Draco." He left, smirking some.
One of the younger Slytherins gaped at him. "They've set a date?"
"She's just signed a contract," Draco told him. "She's a wonderful young witch from lower India. Pure back thirty generations. A year older than I am. She's skilled with estate management and is graduating near the tops of her class." They all cheered at that. He walked it up to Snape, who looked it over and nodded. "May I use your floo later, sir?"
"Of course, Mr. Malfoy. Remember, you cannot send those via floo."
"I know. Can I floo with them on me?" He shook his head. "Can I pop off for a few?"
"If you can be subtle."
"Thank you, sir." He went back to his seat, putting the precious scroll into his bag again and making sure it was sealed so no one could take it out. A few of them looked envious and one looked very pissed after her six months in Azkaban. "Xander wanted me to marry someone who would bring much to the family and who couldn't be related in any way."
"I heard," she said grimly. She knew very well her contract with Draco being voided was her own fault for being caught at a Death Eater meeting. "I hope she makes you happy until she kills you."
"She'll have no reason to kill me." He gave her a smug look. "Her parents are slightly more wealthy than my own because they own a jewel mine." She sulked at that. "I have no worries with her and we got on well when we met."
"Can he find me one?" she pouted.
"I don't know. Mother contacted her first but Xander handled it after she was killed." He sipped his water. "You can have your mother ask him or Patricia. She's on the Council and he probably got advice from her."
"Thank you, Draco." She went back to sulking, stealing nearly all the desserts near her. Her mother was probably pouting too, or she would be when she heard.
Xander walked Draco into the bank the next morning, letting him hand over the scroll himself. "I'm told I have to present this to your offices?"
The goblin over the Malfoy fortune unrolled it then nodded. "A very nice choice."
Draco smiled. "We get along rather well when we met."
"Congratulations, Mr. Malfoy." He stamped it as filed with him then put it into the family's box of documents. He found one and looked at it. "As we discussed, certain things are his upon this moment," he said, handing it over to Draco. Who sat down to read.
"Does this mean I'm the head of the family?"
"No, this means you're the head of the *Malfoy* part of the family," Xander corrected with a smile. "Your inheritance vault is your old school vault."
Draco beamed. "So I get all the Malfoy money again?"
"Within reason and I can still stop you from spending it all," Xander warned. "I'm still keeping you on the allowance we talked about over lunch." Draco nodded at that. "The rest you and the goblins can talk about investment opportunities and the dividends from the various things you own."
"The rest of the family isn't that rich," he said.
Xander smirked, patting him on the head. "Remember, the head of the family had his own money, not just the Malfoy money. When the staff got taken, it got locked. It was only unlocked again recently when I proved the staff wasn't leaving me."
"Oh." He frowned a bit. "Then what's yours and whoever's and what's mine?"
The goblin laid out the various sheets. "These are the Malfoy assets. These are ones that belong to your other cousins. The exact amounts are blurred out for their privacy. This is the head of the family's assets, including his personal vault that he brought over from the US."
Xander looked, it was clear to him, they all were. "How's my interest doing?"
"Fairly well." He smiled. "Now, there is the matter of you living in a Malfoy-owned apartment?"
"I don't care. Cede it to him," Draco ordered.
"He owns the building if you do that," the goblin warned.
Draco looked at him. "He found me my marriage partner, he's revived the family from the ashes of Voldemort. He can have the bloody building." That got a nod and the goblin started on that transfer. "Pay any fees or taxes that'll be needed too, please." He checked. They owned a lot of stuff. He owned a lot of stuff. He looked at Xander's. "Are you keeping control of the Daily Prophet?"
"The way that contract read, the head of the family owns fifty-one percent and the rest goes to the Malfoy heir," the goblin instructed. "Your father wrongly assumed it was him."
"So now we can deal with them together," Xander told him. "What is this house?"
"The ancestral home in the middle of nowhere that's nearly falling down," Draco said.
"Ah." He nodded. "I can probably fix that." That got a smirk. "Buffy wants the house elves back. You mind?"
"They can buy their own. You'll need some." He frowned. "Was she right?"
"Not going into this here. Sam and I have to talk about that stuff first." Draco gaped so Xander stared him down. He swallowed and nodded at that. "Thank you."
"Certain contracts do magically update with these things," the goblin told him.
"When I was dosed, I jumped both brothers," he said quietly. That got a wince. "We're talking about how best to challenge it. We're friends."
"Friends make good alliance marriages," Draco offered.
"Sam's still grieving over his girlfriend. The same as I now am," he pointed out.
"Oh." He nodded. "Well, I guess you can change one of them into a girl." He went back to reading, not ducking the swat he had earned. It wasn't too hard so Xander wasn't too pissed with him. The sheets updated in his hand, showing the transfer to Xander's sheet. He looked then nodded. "Do have fun with that."
"I will. How do you find house elves?"
"They have a place they go when they're given clothes," Draco said. "Or they breed and usually stay within the family. Though it was funny watching those two hit on the female house elves and make them cackle at the silliness. They're both quite popular with the ladies. My mother caught them at it once and nearly laughed herself sick."
Xander grinned. "I knew Dean could help them."
"Uh-huh." He smirked and went back to his looking over things. "May I?" he asked Xander, who shrugged and nodded. The goblin let him see Xander's form and he gaped. "You brought how much over from the US?"
"Exchange rate from dollars to pounds then to galleons," Xander said. "I lost a bit in the second translation but I also went back to sell nearly everything I owned. Including a lot of the heavier weapons no one else could use. John claims he confiscated and moved the rest to LA before the hellmouth ate it. So I've got a good few weapons left and a bunch of other stuff I've collected here and there. Did the bank go over to seize magical artifacts the vamps and things had?" The goblin nodded, looking smug. "Good. I'm glad I gave you guys that tip. Thank you for the good interest." The goblin smirked back for that. He took his sheet back and Draco stared at him. "You sure I can have the apartment and the old house?"
"I'd rather live at Malfoy Manor. I grew up there. I've cleaned my mother and father's ghosts out and it's much more pleasant now." Xander gave him a hug around the head. "Thank you. Now, any more business?"
"Who's doing the planning?" Xander asked.
"She can. We'll hire someone to do the local one. She can do one for her people. She sent that suggestion in her acceptance."
"That works for me. Don't make me dress up as more than a spectator?"
"As head of the family you will have to give your blessing," Draco warned.
"I can do that but I hate being in the wedding party."
"That's fine then." He smiled. "I bragged and Millicent nearly sulked her way through last night. She wanted to know if you could help her."
"I looked in the same book your mom did. Have her do it."
"She's a confirmed, acknowledged death eater. No one is going to go for that unless they're desperate," the goblin told him.
Xander shrugged. "Life sucks when you make bad decisions. I've made plenty I regret." That got a nod. "So, we done?" The goblin nodded, taking forms back. "Thank you. Keys to the other house?" They were dug out and handed over. "Will the staff know where it is?" He nodded. "How much do house elves cost and are there maintenance fees or anything?"
"They eat scraps. The usual cost is minimal because they're happy to be of use to you," the goblin assured him.
"I can show him. We have to go after Dobby turned on my father and went to Potter." They left together, heading for the shelter/pound building. "How many do they need?"
"Probably six or seven. The old house?"
"Is *huge*," he warned. "Extremely large. Cleaning it will take a whole army of elves a month. Or so my mother said. I've only seen it from the outside."
"Wonderful." They walked in and he looked around. "Hello?" he called when he didn't see anyone. Someone came out of the back. "Draco said I need my own house elves and I'm hoping you have some that the new Watchers Council can have too."
She smiled. "They've set back up the local building?"
"No, they've set up the new campus in Cleveland. They've got close to thirty girls in residence, plus a lot of the older Watchers who made it out. They're living on something that looks like a college campus."
"There's a few very good shelters in the US. I can direct them there if you want."
"Sure, that'll work. I need at least one. I live in an apartment but I'm told the ancestral home is mine."
He grinned but Draco answered. "This is the new head of my family."
"Oh. So the Malfoy ancestral home. We don't have that many in residence."
"Let's start off with one or two," Xander offered. "I'll be fixing it up slowly." She nodded, going to get some for him. "Hi, I'm Xander," he told them. "I'm the head of the Malfoy family."
One looked at him. "Twerp was given clothes by Narcissa."
"My mother's dead," Draco said patiently. "Xander isn't a girl to need that same sort of help either. He has an apartment in town and he's fixing up the ancestral home. Which could honestly use a good scrubbing by now." They nodded. "He's on the Founders Council so you have to know how to press clothes neatly. Plus cook."
The elves picked out three and the keeper added another one with a smile. "I'm not marrying anytime soon," Xander told her.
"That's okay. This one's an outdoor elf. She can deal with the gardens that're overgrown. She's very good at it."
"That's cool. How much?" She pointed at the sign and he looked then paid it out of his pocket. "Okay, one with me for now. I'll show you around my apartment. Then we'll go look at the old home?" he asked Draco. "So I can see what I need?" That got a nod. Xander accepted the slips for them and the address of a good place in the US. "Thank you for your help." He led them out, taking them to his apartment first. They all looked around then Draco took them to the old home. He looked and sighed in pleasure. "It's a beautiful building, Draco." It felt like Hogwarts' wards were surrounding it to keep strangers out, but it was an ancient building. Not quite a castle but he'd probably call it a keep. It didn't have any towers. It was huge, as he had been warned, but it had large glass windows and it was probably about the same size as the Pentagon, but in a more square shape.
"Yes, the ancestors had taste. Obviously they didn't code that into the staff. Why are you wearing that shirt?"
"It's comfortable and clean."
Draco shook his head, leading the way inside. The staff got the doors open and released the magical barriers around it. They walked inside and the staff went nuts, flying around. "Hey!" Draco complained.
Xander held up a hand. "C'mere. We'll look around." It backed away from him. "You've been with me now for over five months, staff. If you want, we can move out here." It shifted away further. "No? Do you want to stay in town? We can do that." It floated closer. "What's bothering you? Is it a ghost? A demon?" Both got negative flashes. He looked around. "Did something bad happen here, Draco?"
"Many bad things happened here. The staff probably saw most of them." He caught it and handed it back. "Lead us to where the problem is so we can take care of it." The staff led them that way, letting them find the remains of the bodies. "The Holliwell massacre," he sighed. "That should've been cleaned up ages ago." The staff led him on, finding a few more places where there were bodies. They ended up in the basement and Xander was starting to scratch. "Allergies?"
"Very bad feeling. Like being eaten bad feeling." He looked then sighed. "Damn it."
"What?" he asked, looking where he was. What he saw did not make him happy. "Why is there a tentacle hanging out of the wall?"
"Someone tried to open a hellmouth here. It's not fully closed. Who do we call about the bodies?"
"I'll make the calls. They can go to the same people who did mother. There's a cemetery on the grounds. Should I call the brothers too?" Xander nodded. "Anyone else?"
"Willow. This has been open longer than Sunnydale." He nodded, going to do that while Xander patted the tentacle. "Don't worry, you can have it back soon." Willow came trooping down the stairs with Buffy. "Welcome to the ancestral house. Apparently bad things used to happen here."
"Really? What gave you that idea?" Buffy asked, staring at the tentacle.
"How old is this?" Willow asked. "It feels stronger than Sunnydale."
"There was a barrier up to keep things together," Xander admitted. "It came down when the staff touched the door then the staff went nuts."
"Yeah, with this sort of energy I'm going nuts," Willow admitted. She stepped back. "Buffy, make it withdraw?" She stabbed it until it pulled back then Willow closed the very open portal. She looked at him, shaking her head. "That's been open for centuries."
"We can rebless the house and stuff. We'll have to, we walked into the remains of a massacre in a few rooms." That got a nod. Dean came down the stairs. "You missed the tentacle."
"That one?" he asked with a point. They looked and Willow groaned. "What's keeping it open?"
She looked around then found something. "This. It's tied to this." She felt it. "Destroy it." She handed it to Dean, who went to hand it to his father. His father took a sledgehammer to it and then Draco blew it up with a spell. Willow did the closing spell again, sighing in relief because it felt really solid this time.
Draco came down the stairs. "Merlin, that's a bad stink."
"It probably canceled the rest of the preservation spell," Sam said as he joined them. "Now what?"
"Now, we get someone to take the bodies, we bury them in whatever cemetery we should, and then we rebless the house before I start working on it. That way the evil taint doesn't send the staff out of control again." It tried to wiggle in his hand so he looked down. "I know about the dark, staff. The same as I know the family was built on it. There's dark and then there's evil. We'll clear off the evil." It hummed that it liked that and let him continue to hold it. "Should we salt them before we bury them?"
Dean nodded. "Definitely. Cremated if possible too." Draco nodded. "You sure?"
"It'd be easier than trying to identify them."
"Spirits that aren't identified properly come back," Sam warned.
"We can put up small headstones with who we think they are," Xander suggested. "Bury the remains under them."
"The family history book should have most of it." He went to get it from the family home and came back to start identifying people based on the story of the massacre. One's ghost came up. "Let me know if I get them wrong." The ghost nodded, walking around with him. The funeral people finally showed up and gasped in horror. "We just unsealed the house," he said. "We found them like this." That got a nod. "I'm identifying most of them so they can go to their rest." He finished up the last few but the ghost pointed so he followed, finding a few more bodies. "Lucinda and Altera Malfoy," he said, writing out their names. Something felt off. "Xander?" he called. He came to the doorway. "Relatives."
He came in and the staff tried to go to one. "Huh. Are you repudiating me?" he asked. It struggled so he let it go. It went to snuggle up to the mother. "Any idea?"
"A former holder. She was assumed dead," Draco said, looking her up. "Here we go. Entombed in the glass palace of the ancestral home. The staff did choose her and the men were not pleased so they put her in a permanent sleep spell then put her here." He looked up. "Is that a problem?"
"I don't know," Xander admitted. He looked at the bodies, then shrugged and leaned down to poke her hard. "Good morning!" he yelled. The child woke up and stared at him. "Hi. I'm Xander. Can you wake the mommy?"
"Altera is the mother, Lucinda is the daughter," Draco said. The child was shaking her. "Try with her, Xander." He tried it again and the mother snorted but woke up. "Good morning, ancestress."
"Who are you?"
"Draco." He handed over the copy of the family tree. "Son of the areshole Lucius."
She looked then at the staff, petting it. "You woke me up."
"No, I woke you up," Xander said. She stared at him. "The staff chose me a few months back. Xander Harris." He held out a hand.
She shook it. "Altera Malfoy and this is my daughter Lucinda." She looked at his clothes. "Working in the field?"
"He dresses like that now and then," Draco admitted. "It's the year 2004," he said calmly. She laughed. Xander handed over his ID, which had a few years back listed on it. She gaped at him, then at Draco, who nodded. She went back to the family tree, finding herself and her daughter. Then she counted the generations. "Which creates a problem. The staff chose him but went insane when it found you here."
"When we opened the house but I thought it was all the dark magic," Xander said. "Staff, do you have any idea what we're doing?" It flashed brightly. "Okay, and?" It snuggled in. "I can understand that. You chose her first, long ago. You probably missed her."
"It's not that alive," Lucinda scolded.
"It's very smart," Xander corrected. "It's helped me quite a lot. It even answers limited questions."
Altera looked up. "You're not on here, Xander."
He looked then pointed. "That one started my family line." She groaned, rubbing her forehead. "There's myself, Draco, and about eighteen cousins in the family, Altera. Most of the rest were just arrested for going evil."
"We do like the dark in this family."
"And I hunt demons," Xander countered. "We're talking evil, not dark." She slumped. "But we still have a problem with the staff."
She sighed, looking at it. "It might have missed me."
"The ministry took them back during Pella's reign," Draco said, sitting on the end of the bed. "They confiscated all of them. When they finally broke free, after the last Black heir died, they went choosing and ours chose Xander at that time. That's been nearly five months now. He's been a good head of the family. He's even found me a decent wife."
"Which county is she from?"
"She's Indian. Unfortunately the purebloods have interbred for so long he's got a lot of cousins," Xander told her. "The inheritance stuff stops at second cousins. He's related to nearly all the purebloods left in the country. She's from a good family."
"Pure back thirty generations," Draco said with a smile. "She helps manage her family's estate. She's a year older than I am. She's very nice. We've met and we do get on fairly well. She's well read, well spoken, and graduating near the head of her class."
She smiled at that. "It sounds like a good match to me, even if she isn't from here."
"New blood would keep the magic stronger," he pointed out.
"True." She went back to looking at the family chart. "The Founders Council?"
"Was reformed when we got chosen," Xander told her, shrugging a bit. "They chose a lot of Americans."
"I remember some people emigrating over to the new world."
Xander nodded. "That's the Americas and Canada."
She nodded at that, closing the book. "Why were you chosen?"
"Because my father had taken over and had nearly let a very evil Dark Lord take over. One who would have destroyed the whole wizarding world," Draco told her. "He was a half-blood and killing anyone not pure. That would've left about ten people and a lot of house elves."
She grimaced. "That's not wise."
"My father wasn't that bright," he admitted. "My mother did more thinking. Thankfully she held on until Xander got here and he fixed a lot of things. Including kicking Lucius out for nearly destroying the world as we know it."
"She's listed as deceased."
"She was killed by a bringer," Xander told her honestly. "She was an uncalled slayer."
She gave him an odd look. "How did the First Evil get here?"
"The same dark lord had a botched resurrection done," he said dryly. "We're gathering the last few things we need to kill his ghoul."
"Oh, dear." She looked at her daughter then at him. "If the staff stays with me that does make me the head of the family, Xander."
He grinned. "Altera, things have changed a whole lot since you went to sleep. You do realize that?"
"I had hoped some things have."
He took her and handed Draco the child. "We'll be right back." He took the staff from her and sent it a mental command, taking her with him. He pointed at the building around them. "This is New York City, in the US, my country. This is one of the most populous countries in the world. In this one you can find people from every other country." He looked at her. She was staring around in horror. "This is the modern world. The wizarding world is still about a hundred years behind this one." She gave him a look, nearly crying. He nodded. He pointed at the billboards. "Those are electronic. They flash, they're made of lights." He pointed at a girl. "Everyone wears that nowadays. It's not only fashionable but comfortable and nearly expected." She sniffled. He gave her a squeeze. "The Council is helping the wizarding world make gentle steps in this direction. They're so far out of date that it's creating problems with the muggle born and half blood students coming into Hogwarts and other schools." She slumped, nodding some. "We don't expect or want this level of stuff, but for it to be at least closer to the twentieth century than they are now." He took her to another place, making them invisible and intangible. "These people live in a long ago time. They don't use technology. The wizarding world is about up to their standards at the moment." She moved to look at them. He watched, letting her educate herself. She came back. "I'm helping move the family closer to the point where they can flourish again."
"Take us home?" she asked. He did that and she sat down on the bed, taking her daughter to hold. "The world has truly changed." Xander and Draco both nodded. "Would I have a place?"
"Of course. Do you want a place here or in one of the other houses? I was going to restore this one so it's glorious again. After we remove all the bodies."
She blinked then at Draco, who handed over the book open to the correct page in the family's history. She read then looked at him. "They left them here?"
"Sealed the house to the staff," he said.
"Oh, dear." She frowned, rereading it. "I definitely don't want her to see that."
"The bathing chamber's clear, we already did that," Sam said. "Problems?"
"Altera Malfoy, meet Sam Winchester. He's one of the ones chosen at the same time I was. Sam, they had her put to sleep and then stored here for a good four centuries at least."
"Closer to ten," Sam said. "Judging by the clothes." She nodded at that. He walked in. "We're nearly done with the last few bodies, Draco." That got a smile and a nod. "Do you disagree with us overseeing the cremation so the ghosts can move on?"
"No, please do. They deserve a rest. If they want to come back they can." Sam nodded, leaving them alone. "He hunts demons like Xander did before he was chosen."
"Are you a Watcher then?" Lucinda asked.
"I worked with one of their girls but I wasn't a Watcher, Lucinda. I jumped in to help our slayer fight after a friend was taken by vampires." She nodded at that. The mother smiled a bit. "We just saved the Council. They're presently annoying the rest of them in Cleveland. They'll be back in a year."
She rolled her eyes. "They don't like us."
"They avoided finding and training witches," Draco told her. "We didn't know until Mum was killed by the bringers." She sighed at that. "They had them to watch but otherwise leave them alone."
"We were hoping they would. Too many good minds were torn apart by their training." Xander nodded he agreed. "Yours, was she council raised?" He smirked as he shook his head. "Ah. Then you helped her a lot."
"Quite. I even brought her back to life and made it so there were two at one point in time." She whimpered. "To fight the First Evil, a witch activated all of them. There's somewhere near thirty at the moment."
"That must mean there's a greater evil coming," she said quietly.
Xander shook his head. "Willow can uncast it or make it so they can die off naturally. She's already checked." She slumped, crying some. "If it stays with you, that's fine, Altera. I'll help you all I can. Draco's been a lot of help to me. I can help you get used to the world as it is now and what the world needs."
She looked at him. "Give us a few minutes?" They nodded and left her alone. She looked at her daughter. Then at the staff. "Are you going back to him?" It wobbled. "Not sure?" She sighed, looking down again. She was so innocent. "I'll never let her be taken by the evil that is coming," she told the staff. She considered it, looking out at the trees she had known as saplings that were bigger around than the dining table in the kitchen now. She sobbed once. Then she grabbed a knife.
Dean knocked a few minutes later, looking in on her. "Ma'am?" He winced, closing the door gently. "Xander, do you have the staff?" he called. It flashed in between Xander and Draco.
Draco looked at it. "I don't want you yet. I'm too young and not experienced enough. I'll learn from Xander." It floated closer to him and he let it touch him, then it went to Xander to snuggle back in. "It likes you."
He looked down then sighed. "Dean?"
"Don't," he warned. Draco went to get someone so they could hold a proper burial for her and her daughter. "What did you do?" he asked quietly.
"I showed her what it was like now. She was fine until the baby asked me if I was a Watcher. Then I told her about the ones in Cleveland, that they wouldn't be back here for a while." The staff made him wince as it put something into his head. "Ow. Thank you." He looked at them. "She decided that too big of an evil was coming for all the slayers and she would not risk her daughter that way. She told the staff: better to die innocent then damned."
Draco nodded. "It's a common saying in the family for those who go to the light without even trying the rest of us." He smiled at the two new ghosts. "Happier?"
"We can still live here?" she asked Xander.
"Good. We need to clean this place."
"I've got four house elves back at my apartment waiting on word of when to come clean. We were going to finish removing the bodies first."
Sam walked out with them. "These ones don't salt or burn," he ordered. A note was made and put on them then they were off. He walked back inside. "Who opened the hellmouth downstairs?"
"The same person who did the massacre for power," Draco told him. "My great-great- great grandfather."
"The stupid great-great-great grandson of mine," she told him. "Brains went downhill."
"Inbreeding as Xander's shown me," Draco told her. "That's why he had me go for a foreign witch."
She smiled. "Hopefully you'll be happier than I was in mine, Draco." She floated off. "Well make sure all the bodies are gone."
"Would it bother you if we rebless the house?" Sam called.
"Take the taint, boys. Do not take the library."
"No, sometimes you have to learn the dark to fight it," Xander told her. She smiled and nodded her head, then she and her daughter went to see the gardens. "Bless before the elves?"
"The elves would never come in here," Draco said. That got a nod and Sam went to get things to bless the house with Willow. He smiled at Buffy. "Whenever I misbehave, he threatens to make me marry you."
She laughed. "You're cute and all, Draco, but way too nice for my tastes," she said, pinching him on the cheek. A goblin appeared. "You're not deadly, right?" He shook his head.
"Their warriors are. There's a few huge books on the goblin wars in our library," Dean said, looking around.
"What happened with the staff?" the goblin asked.
"We woke up Altera Malfoy. It liked her until she and her daughter died. Then it checked everyone before coming back to me," Xander said, holding it up. The goblin sighed in relief. "I have to come do more paperwork, don't I?"
"No, it will remain. We had to make sure." Xander let him examine the staff then it came back to him willingly. "Very well then. Everything will remain the same as before but you'll have to change your number. You're now two higher."
"Like presidents who skip a turn then come back?" Buffy suggested. The goblin nodded. "Okay. Are you like the house elves?"
"He's a goblin, not quite," Xander said. "I have the address for a shelter in the US so you can rescue native house elves." She beamed at him. "You can even bring John to help you pick them out."
"I gave you both my sons, be nicer to me, kid," John complained. Dean choked and walked off coughing. "That'll have to be fixed."
"If they turn it down?"
"We have the right to petition in the US but it means we'll have to wait a good, long time to get a judge. Like probably a year."
"That kinda sucks," Buffy said. "Hold on, you did Dean *and* Sam? Thank you for turning gay," she said happily, giving him a hug.
"We got dosed with a lust potion, Buffy. Ethan made it and sold it to the former pain in our asses. Then the really great thing happened. Ethan put in a bonding potion." Willow choked from the dining room this time. "Exactly," he called.
"So you're...married to Dean *and* Sam?" she asked hesitantly. Xander nodded. "Well, I guess it'll be a fun bed." John scowled at her. "They'll both pounce Xander, not do the nasty incest stuff, John. I'm sure Dean doesn't want to jump his brother and make him beg for it like I used to when I had Riley." She sighed. "I need a new guy."
"Xander found me an excellent wife," Draco offered.
"He used to have a crush on me," Buffy told him. "Then I kinda went selfish and bratty." Xander nodded at that. "But I'm better now."
"So he not only attracts evil things, but future evil things?" Draco asked. "We'll have to keep an eye on his last girlfriend then." He walked off again to twit Sam about being married to his brother. He gave the better reactions.
"I helped him be a better guy, not a totally good guy."
She pinched him on the arm. "If you find one, send them my way?"
"Sure. I can do that. I'll ask Gibbs and Tony if they know any good Marines. Or Mac." She smiled and left to help Willow. He looked at the Goblin, then at John. "You know I didn't intend that to happen."
"I know, Xander. It'll work itself out. Though I will never admit that my boys are married to each other thanks to this." He walked off to help his boys and Willow while Buffy looked around.
Xander looked at the goblin. "See what I put up with?" He laughed before disappearing. Xander called the elves and told them they were blessing the house. They flooed over and came to start the cleanup. It was going to be a long cleaning session. One even remembered to bring the house elf shelter/pound's address for Buffy.
Giles looked up as John walked in two days later with seventeen house elves. "Did we need this many?"
"They're so damn pitiful," he sighed, sitting down. "They gave me this look like I was about to shoot them for being faithful dogs, Rupert."
He patted him on the arm. "The girls will enjoy having some help for chores."
"Three are garden and outside elves."
"That might help as well," he sighed, looking around. "Think they'd sink the old watchers?"
"I think two of them would if you asked nicely and patted them on the head."
Upstairs, Buffy squealed as she grabbed a house elf to hug. She loved these guys!
to part 12