Madam Director looked at the chemist she had given a sample to. "So what was it?'
"It's all herbal and it has some deadly combinations," he said, handing her the analysis. "I don't know why they combined those things or what the two unidentified ingredients could be. There's a chance it's something that dissolved completely in the solution. It be something that got changed during the mixing and cooking process. I know for sure heat was applied because of the way some of herbs tested for strength. If that made them jump each other, it's got to be the two unknown ingredients. You're very lucky it didn't kill them with some of the things in there."
She frowned at the paper. "We can't replicate to see?"
"I'd need those other two ingredients and probably a year to mess around with it until it came up the same way. Even if it was legal. Two of those are forbidden to apply to anything you might ingest in this state."
She nodded. "How do we think this person got the recipe?"
"Who knows? It could've been an old family recipe from the old country to help with reluctant wives on their wedding night. I've seen a few of those over the years."
She grimaced. "Thank you."
"Welcome. It's a nice puzzle but still pretty deadly."
"They didn't get sick, have a fever, any of it. They opened the dosed cans, took a drink, then basically went at it like bunnies."
He smirked. "Then they're stronger men with stronger stomachs than I have."
She shook his hand. "Thank you, Peter." She left, heading back to her office to consider it. She had no idea why it had reacted that way. Or why they decided to use that on the council Tony sits on. Well, if they were old fashioned, it was probably so they could catch them and make them marry someone or something she decided. Then again there weren't bad side effects and it had looked good for their working relationship. Gibbs seemed to be mellower at the moment. She made a few plans and let it go from there. Then she'd see if they should be thrown out for conduct unbecoming.
Tony looked up from his lunch. Someone was staring at him. He looked around and raised an eyebrow at the other NCIS agent. "Problems?" he mouthed. He got a nod. So Tony brought his lunch over there. "What's wrong, Tiggs?"
"The director was looking into your drugging again."
"The one that made you and Gibbs jump each other," he said quietly, glancing around. Tony paused in drinking to stare at him. "I have a friend in the FBI labs and they said she had talked to one of their drug specialist chem. techs. She was getting it tested."
"So she's either going to try to break up our team farther because of it or she's doing something else with it for her hidden war on this one arms dealer?" he asked quietly.
"Could be. She took out the whole second sample. They only needed a small piece to test." He leaned forward. "There is a third option and with the way she acts there's no telling which one's the real reason until she does something."
Tony nodded slowly. "That's possible. I'll have warn some people. Thank you."
"Welcome. Hide your wand better, DiNozzo."
"I have known. I went to the one in Virginia."
"Why can't I change things?"
"It's concentration. You're too scatterbrained most of the time. That's why all the rocks you've been working with come out looking like breasts." He got up and left. Tony was smiling and he had been warned.
Tony finished up and went to the auror's office since it was up the street. "Hey." He smiled at the aurors he had worked with recently. "Sheppard took the second sample of lust potion out and had it analyzed in the FBI's lab."
She frowned. "Why?"
"Three good choices from what Tiggs and I talked about. She's looking at the case to break up my team. Which she'd like to do to get Gibbs and to be in total control of everything since he doesn't really listen to her and he makes our team's rules. To use it against that arms dealer she's got the vendetta against. Which could be possible. She's tried to send me after him more than once. Or to try it around Gibbs to get him back."
She frowned. "They're not good ideas."
"Are you hoping for the first one? You can fight that."
"In some ways I'm hoping for the third. It could get her removed from the agency and things might return to a good place."
"If she manages it, she'll be bound to *both* of you," she pointed out. "Like Dean is."
"I'm headed there next. Thought I'd stop in and warn you first."
"Thanks for that. I'll set someone on her."
"Please." He grinned then left, driving out to Gibbs' place. Then he called the aurors back. "It was option three, she's here and I hear screaming." He hung up and pulled his gun, carefully heading to the door. "Boss?" he called.
"I noticed that." Tony came down the stairs and handed over his handcuffs, knocking her out so she could be cuffed and moved easier. Gibbs looked at him. "Something I should hear?"
"Tiggs told me about a half hour ago she had pulled your can's sample out and had it tested in the FBI lab. Then she came back to the office probably not looking happy."
"I stopped in to tell the aurors. We weren't sure if she was opening the situation to fire someone and break the team or if it was you or maybe the arms dealer issue again, boss." He looked at her then at him. "I called her on the way in."
Someone stomped down the stairs. "Agents DiNozzo and Gibbs, Master Kendrell, American Aurors."
"She took the potion we got exposed to," Gibbs told him. "Then came here."
"She only knew that it made us jump each other, boss, not about the bonding part. Did she get you?"
"She pounced, the closest she got was my throat." He looked at the large man on the stairs. "They don't usually wear robes like yours."
"I'm the self-defense instructor. It was felt I could subdue her easier if necessary." Tony pointed. "It's a good idea. How did you knock her out?"
"Gun butt to the back of the head. Had it done to me so I know it works." Gibbs smacked him. "Sorry, boss."
The auror smirked. "It's reasonable and saving you both. After all, if she had, you'd both be married to her."
"I'd rather kiss a toad I transfigured," Tony told him, getting a laugh. "Need help carrying her?"
"I'm good." He called in. "She's handcuffed and knocked down with a blow to the head." He hung up and more aurors came in. "We'll take custody of those samples for you."
"Talk to Abby. That's her lab and she's in charge of that," Gibbs said. That got a nod. They carried the director off and he looked at Tony. "I was the last to know?"
"We figured the first two options were more likely," he admitted. "I thought this one might be but it could be used to fire her ass so things went back to normal and workable."
Gibbs nodded. "It could help." He picked up his dropped hammer. "Come help me." Tony came over to help, getting into the complicated task.
Fornell was waiting at Gibbs desk when they got in the next morning. "Your director has been admitted to the hospital."
"How much did she take?" Tony asked.
"A sip, the same as you two did. Her cameras in her office show her reading something then opening it and taking a drink before leaving." He stood up and let Gibbs sit down. "That means you're in temporary control. She said so."
Gibbs looked at him. "Yay me. Any other cheerful news?"
"She won't be back for a week?" he suggested with a smirk.
Tony grinned. "A week with people who have a clue in charge. We could like that." Gibbs glared at him. "Sorry, boss. She badly hurt?" he asked Fornell.
"No. They tied her down and let her rant and scream until it wore off. What was it?"
"It's been described as a lust potion," Tony said quietly. "Used for wedding ceremonies."
"Oh." He just nodded. "So ancient herbal thing."
"The one who dosed you?"
"In a special prison in England."
"I looked, I couldn't find his name in the official files."
"He's in a prison called Azkaban. It's a special facility."
Fornell nodded. "I'll have to look it up. Gibbs, you all right?"
"She only got my throat. I was holding her off, Tobias. Thanks for caring." He gave him a look. "Anything else?" He handed over a letter. It was official, he was in charge until she came back from medical leave or the president appointed someone new. "Made my day," he said dryly. "DiNozzo, you're in charge. Don't disappoint me." He headed up the stairs, handing the letter to her assistant, letting her open the door to the director's office. The first thing he did was call an auror to get the damn potion on her desk. It was too dangerous to be sitting in the open. Anyone could've gotten into it. One appeared, capped it, then disappeared again. Gibbs looked at the schedule. "Cynthia, I'm not making her meetings this week. Let them know she's sick and hospitalized from the effects of it." She nodded, going to tell them that. He sat down to go over the case files and other paperwork she had left. He hated being this far up the chain of command. The paperwork was going to kill him. He got an idea and called Mac. "Is Floppy busy? I'm in charge." He smirked. "Thanks." He hung up and called DiNozzo. "Call Taylor, go where he tells you to, get someone like Floppy for NCIS. We can leave her hidden." He hung up.
Cynthia leaned in. "A house elf?" she mouthed. He nodded. "Why?" she asked.
"Paperwork. Two major cities have assistants who are in their labs." He smirked at her. "They type."
"I'm sure they do."
"It can do it for the director. So she has more time to do important things, like meetings."
She laughed. "Sure. If not, you take him home so I don't have to, Gibbs." She went back to her desk. Tony appeared a few minutes later with a very nice looking female house elf in a business looking suit. "Good morning, I'm Cynthia, the director's personal assistant. You'll be helping both of us."
"I is Geraldine," she said, shaking her hand. "I's speak three languages and can type fifty words per minute. Plus file and make coffee."
"Then we'll get on just fine, Geraldine. For now, go help Gibbs with the paperwork please?" She nodded, going to do that. She smiled at Tony. "Who has one?"
"Taylor has Floppy, who fills out forms in a lot of languages other than english, and Horatio has Lucia, who types a hundred-twenty words a minute and runs his office for him."
"Aww. They must be helpful."
"Very. Think I can convince her to write reports if I give her an outline?" he asked quietly.
"No, DiNozzo, but I'll let her proofread if I have to," Gibbs called. She giggled and came out to start coffee then went back to help him with the paperwork sitting around.
Tony walked off smirking. Theirs was the first federally sanctioned house elf. It was kinda cool and Abby would love her. He sat down to call her. "Abby, Gibbs just put a new helper in for the director. I think you'll like Geraldine." He hung up with a grin. McGee gave him an odd look. "She's very competent and she'll help Gibbs with the paperwork."
"I'm sure she will. Goth too?"
"No." He grinned at Ziva. "Anything new come in yet?"
"Cool." Tony looked at Gibbs' phone. "Forwarded?"
"To your desk once he went upstairs," McGee assured him. That got a nod and they got back to work until something came in. He watched as a ...something that looked like a walking, hairless cat with huge, floppy ears brought Tony some coffee.
"Thank you, Geraldine. How is the boss doing?"
"Boss is being doing the budget paperwork while Geraldine does the other paperwork, Tony sir."
"Good girl. Listen to Gibbs. He's filling in and hates paperwork." She nodded. "But he loves coffee. Strong, black coffee." She nodded, going back up there to check on his coffee cup's level and get him more then get back to work. He sipped his, nodding. "She makes really good coffee."
"Was that a house elf?" Ziva hissed at him.
Tony grinned and nodded. "Yeah. They're working well as personal assistants to two CSI I know. She used to work in a Fortune 50 company but her CEO boss quit right before he got fired. He moved and didn't take her."
She rubbed her forehead. "That's just wrong. She will not like it."
"She'll have a lot less paperwork to do," Tony said dryly. "It'll save her aggravation so she can go to all those meetings and conferences she keeps missing."
"We might want to help her with grammar issues then," McGee said.
"I'm sure the boss will," he said. "If not, Cynthia will." Someone upstairs squealed then something thumped. He looked up there then went up there. "Mouse?"
"Yes!" She hugged Geraldine. "She got it before Gibbs could shoot it. She's a great hire."
"She's done a lot of this sort of work for a CEO before."
"Good, maybe she can make sense of the budget for me."
"Geraldine is very good with budgets, Boss." She went to help him with it.
Cynthia smiled at him. "I love you for getting me a helper."
"Welcome." He winked and walked off happier. "It was a mouse. Geraldine got it for her." The agents staring up there all went back to work. "Gibbs is in charge, people. Really work, don't pretend." They all got back to real work. Gibbs was a slavedriver about work getting done on time.
Tony skipped back to his desk to drink his excellent coffee and make sure he was caught up before they took the next call out.
Ziva and McGee both shook their heads. That was so bad. She'd be screaming when she came back and Gibbs would have to shoot her for it. He looked at Tony then at her. "House elf?" he mouthed. She sent him an IM with a link. He went to read the site from one of the US shelters. He looked at Tony, who only gave him a smug look. "It doesn't say there's administrative assistants."
"There are. There's a speciality office for them. Mac loves his. Floppy might still fill out forms in other languages on him but he loves Floppy. His boss asked Floppy to come to the last budget meeting instead of Mac and everything. The Police Commissioner's wife in Miami took theirs shopping so she had a more professional image but Horatio got a pay raise because she did all his paperwork on time and in good handwriting; she's wonderful around the lab and office to keep it going as it should. The lab protocol team didn't like her until she spouted off chapter and verse from the manual at them and shot them down. They decided she's keeping them all on the straight and narrow."
Ziva shook her head. "The ones I've met before could barely follow orders."
"The ones I've been around follow orders wonderfully. The only that can't is Floppy's thing about other languages. He fills out budget things in Arabic, all other office forms in French, and any case files in English until Mac tells him to correct them." She shook her head quickly. "His chief was thinking about giving him a badge he's so good."
"I can't see them in a uniform like that," she said, rubbing her forehead.
Tony's phone rang. "Yeah, boss?" he answered. "Sure, I'll quit picking on Ziva, boss." He hung up. "You'll get used to her."
Abby came down the stairs and looked at him. "Is she like Mac's Floppy?"
"And Horatio's Lucia."
"I was wondering what they looked like." She walked off happier. A house elf in charge of a government agency had to be better than the usual politicians. At least Geraldine listened when she said something was impossible.
Director Sheppard knocked on Tony's door four days later. "You replaced half my duties with a midget with a birth defect in her ears?"
"She's very efficient, she helped Gibbs with the paperwork, she saved Cynthia from a mouse that was trying to devour her. She makes great coffee, she speaks three languages, and she's very efficient. She works for very little pay and only eats a little bit at home."
Sheppard shook her head. "The downside is?"
"She's a bit subservient. Not as much as some I've seen with her conditions but a bit. She likes to tease Gibbs about his boat and being a pirate. Take her home, she'd probably cook you dinner and clean the house too. Her last boss was a CEO who quit before he could be fired. She's very grateful for the job. Plus, she and Abby get along very well. She can translate Abby into a language you understand."
"Her grammar issues?"
"English isn't her first language."
"I'll work on that with her." She walked off rubbing her forehead. Sure enough, she brought Geraldine home and she got to work making dinner. "Noimi does that, Geraldine. We need to work on your English grammar a bit."
"But Geraldine should serve," she complained, pointing.
"No, it's fine. Let her. I pay her to do that. Let's work on your English grammar and how I want you to dress. All right?"
"Boss lady not like this?"
"First, call me Director Sheppard." Geraldine nodded so hard her ears flapped. "I do like that outfit but you need more than one to work at NCIS, Geraldine. We can shop so you have enough outfits to wear and look presentable." She sniffled. "What?"
"You is giving Geraldine clothes?"
"No, I'm making sure you fit the corporate image at NCIS. You can't be around senators in the same outfit every day. We're using your paycheck to do that so you uphold the image around the office."
She nodded, understanding that it was a change of uniform now so that was fine. Gibbs had warned her about that with Floppy's help. She would take the uniform allowance and go shopping if she had to. "Geraldine would love to live up to corporate image."
"Good. Noimi, we'll eat in the study tonight while I go over better grammar with her." She nodded, going to take care of the details for her. Sheppard led her into the study, settling in with her to go over how to speak better. She was a very quick learner and learned very well. By dinner time she had her using pronouns properly and instead of her name sometimes. It was a good step. She could appreciate assistants like this one. Cynthia did a lot for her but Geraldine did the rest. She had a lot more free time to worry about other things now.
Like how to apologize to Jethro for her conduct while drugged.
Horatio, Mac, and Tony met for lunch, Lucia and Floppy next to them at another table so they could talk about office things together. "No Geraldine?"
"I gave her to NCIS. She agreed it'd be fine. She's doing very well. The Director has been tutoring her in grammar and has given her better uniforms to wear so she can change. She even makes her wear small heels. They do very well together and Geraldine even managed to stop someone who wanted to kidnap her."
"Wonderful," Mac agreed. "Has anyone noticed?"
"No. Like Xander said people only notice what they want to and usually only the things that they're used to. Denial is a great thing."
"So everyone thinks she's a midget with big ears?" Horatio teased.
"Yup and there's a few people in congress who wanted one of their own." He grinned. "It's so cute. She brings Gibbs coffee every few hours even if she's working in the director's office. She likes him. Thinks he's nice." Gibbs joined them. "Hey, boss."
"Geraldine is a lifesaver. She fixed the budget so it balanced by finding the place that didn't balance in a category that led back to nothing according to Cynthia. A month's worth of stress headaches fixed in ten minutes."
Tony gave him a nudge. "I heard a certain senator had tried to bribe her to leave the director and Geraldine went off on him."
"She did, then she drug him to me and let me tell him off. She's a great asset to NCIS."
"Floppy's better liked than I am," Mac told him with a grin.
Horatio nodded. "My boss likes to tease me about her. He sends through a form now and then that has orders she can't fill it out for me. He sent her a huge box of peppermint candy for the holidays."
"I'll have to remember that for Geraldine's present." Gibbs got his coffee and the waiter came over to take orders. He looked at the house elves. Mac and Horatio ordered for them and the waiter nodded. "They're assistants."
"That's fine." He went to place the orders. He wouldn't remark on the little alien things.
John appeared looking mussed. "Sorry to pop in. I was looking for you, Horatio. What are the rules to having someone competent come up to help us?"
"Want Xander?" he asked. He pointed at a chair and John sat. "This is a wizarding place. New waiter though."
"Thankfully." He flopped down, looking at them. "I know our coordinator is a politician sort. I have known that. She just tried to make Rodney blow up a culture on purpose. Without reason. Because they had insulted the project and us humans."
Horatio patted him on the back. "It'll be fine."
"Rodney threw an absolute fit. He stomped off. He's locked himself in the lab. He's got the failsafe and codes in there, guys."
"No one can stop her?"
"I stopped her. I locked her in her office and told her to take a nap. They weren't a threat and I'm military commander of the project right now." He looked at the house elves. "You guys really have them as assistants?"
"They're more popular than we are," Mac told him.
"Think they know anything about Atlantis?" he hissed dryly.
Mac nodded. "I asked. Floppy does know something. Not a whole lot. It's all rumors. A sparkly city that floats and flies. Wondrous things happen without help. That's about all he knows."
John sat up, looking at him. "They knew?"
"I don't know. You'd have to do some research in an older library than any we have access to. Does Xander's library have anything?"
"I don't know," Horatio said, pulling out his cellphone call him, then Sam when he didn't get Xander. "Sam, are you near the Malfoy library?" He smiled. "Can you see if it has anything on the myths of Atlantis?" He went to do that. "Two books? Myths or...." He listened then handed the phone over.
"What did you get, Sam?" He listened, then smirked. "Really?" He beamed. "Can I borrow it? Thanks, man." He hung up. "They have some history books that say some interesting things. He'll copy those pages for me." A tied roll of papers appeared next to him. He sat back to read them over, nodding at some things. "Oh, yeah. We knew most of this. Where would be an older library?"
"Greece, Italy?" Mac suggested.
"We have members from both places," John admitted. "Thanks, guys." He disappeared, heading back to the base. He knew a few other wizards were around. He'd had the staff point them out. He drug them to the General's office.
"That staff is damn handy for blipping around the universe," Jack said dryly. The papers were put in front of him. "That's... interesting," he decided, looking at him. "So?"
"That's from a fairly old British library." He looked at the wizards. "Are there older libraries somewhere like Italy or Greece that would have information on Atlantis in it?"
"Probably," one said, thinking about it. "Definitely in the Oxford collection." Jack gaped. "That's where our History of Magic program is." He looked at him. "Why?"
"Because house elves know something. It was called a sparkly city that floats and flies and one where wondrous things happened without help."
"Why did you ask a house elf?" one of the wizards asked.
"What is a house elf?" Jack asked.
"House elves are servants," one of the wizards told him. "They were bred a long time ago. They're very nice servants. We could use a few in the kitchens to make things edible."
John smirked. "I know ones that do office paperwork for labs in two police departments."
Jack leaned back. "Can I have one that can do paperwork? I'd kill a few senators for that."
"Ask Horatio Caine where he got his."
"Lieutenant over the Miami-Dade crime lab." Jack smirked at that. "Or Taylor, the one who came to tell me? He's got one too. Floppy writes and speaks three languages."
"I'd love that." He looked at the wizards. "You couldn't tell me? You let me screw up the paperwork for months without telling me?"
"We thought Jackson would've run across a mention and told you," one said with a shrug.
"I can ask." He looked at John. "Permission granted for any of you to find the mentions we need, people. It could help them a lot."
"If you get a house elf can we have a few too?" John asked. "We could really use one. Maybe even for first contact. We'll seem non-threatening."
Jack snickered. "We'll see. Go home." He left. "I love that staff of his."
"Staff?" the one in the back asked.
"Head of family stuff staff. It's how he got down here. Go find the mentions and me a house elf, people." They left and he went to find Daniel. "Have you run into something called a house elf?"
"Bred an Asgardian and some sort of demon according to legend," he said absently while he read. "Why?"
"John Sheppard just blipped back. He said they know something about Atlantis."
Daniel Jackson frowned, looking up then at him. "Excuse me?"
"The one he talked to said he knew a bit about Atlantis. More than the myths."
"Uh-huh. And this is relevant why?"
"Why didn't you tell me they did paperwork?"
"I knew about cleaning and cooking," he offered dryly, smirking at him. "Why would they do paperwork?"
"Two labs have ones that do paperwork."
Daniel shook his head quickly. "Okay. I obviously need more coffee." He went to get some and then maybe a nap. He had been up all night again. It was bad for his brain. Jack came by to give him a note then walked off smirking a half hour later. "A government agency has one in the director's office? Did it help?" he called after him.
"Stopped her making stupid rules for no reason. It runs much nicer now."
"There's a house elf at NCIS?" he muttered. "Why?" He laid down. He definitely needed a nap now.
Professor Snape appeared in the backyard, handing over the sealed tube. "Each dosed person takes a half a dram. As long as you do not engage in a carnal relationship ever again, it will stay faded from your bodies."
"A kiss?" Don asked. "She's a buddy and needed one in the past."
"The instructions said carnal but they were made by a Puritan potion's master," he admitted. "I would say no, but I cannot be sure in that circumstance."
"Then we'll deal if it does," Dean said. Everyone came up to let him measure them out a dose. He was the master after all. They took it and felt something fade from them. A feeling of connection and touching left. They looked at their intendeds. "Can we try the other one to make sure?" Dean asked.
"There's a spell to tell and it won't react," he said, casting it for him. No glow. "You've dissipated." They all nodded and he got hugged and paid a bonus by Horatio and Sam. Then they went to talk to the others.
"We're having lunch, would you like to join us, Professor?" Xander asked.
"I should get back to the school. The students are ready to kill each other due to testing stress."
"Tell my relatives I said good luck," Xander said with a grin.
"I shall." He took the rest of the potion back with him, sealing it into his private cabinet. Just in case some stupid student decided to do the bonding potion with his 'one true love' that he'd be breaking up with after a few weeks.
Xander looked around. "So," he said. "Anyone else feel strange?" Everyone nodded. "Then it's not just me." He sat next to Sam, giving him a nudge with an elbow. "You okay? You've got the cranky face on."
Sam smiled. "I'm fine, just thinking." Xander nodded. "Thanks, Xander."
"Least I could do. I don't want you two to be upset and break up because of this stuff." He went to man the grill, shooing the house elf off.
"What man has wrought, man can tear asunder," Sam muttered. Dean gave him an odd look. "Heard it somewhere. We should talk."
"Hunt Christmas demons with me?"
Sam grinned. "I could like that. Do we know any?"
"Two. Both up that way so we can stop in for the holidays. If Xander ever gets a tree put up."
Sam nodded. "He was going to get the house elves to take him to a tree lot soon."
"Why? We cut them," Patricia told him, sitting next to Dean across from Sam. "I'm sure at least one of the family homes has a stand of the right sort of trees planted for such an occurrence. He should ask Draco if it's there or at his house."
"I did, we chopped the last one last year," Xander called. "His father never replanted any so we've got to do that this spring."
"He does have very good hearing," she said dryly.
"Yeah, he has to listen for subtle sounds during patrol." Dean sipped his soda. "You sure, Sammy?"
"I'm sure. I've been missing being in the car. We can go hunt those two and then come back for the holidays." Xander brought over a large platter, letting them steal the first hamburgers. "Thanks, Xander. Can we drop by your place for the holidays?"
"Your aunts aren't?"
"They're doing some but not that much and they don't want to cook Christmas dinner." He grinned at him. "Think you could host us since it'll be your first one in your own home?"
"I can do that." He grinned and went back to the grill but Horatio moved him and took over. "Fine, I'll go eat."
Horatio smiled. "It's a native way of cooking where I'm from, Xander."
"Sure. Since I'm hosting Dean and Sam, plus their aunts, for the Christmas dinner, am I having anyone else?" They all stared at him. "What? Sam said his aunts didn't want to cook. Not like I'm inviting over the gang. They're going to be handling a tree demon that tries for the local city trees every year. I asked, they said so."
"Sure," Aunt Snifella said happily. "We'll come have Christmas dinner with you, Xander."
"Cool. Just you four or should I plan on John too?"
"That'd be nice," Sam said, looking at Dean, who shrugged. "We'll call him and check," he decided, doing that. "Dad, Sam. Xander's hosting a Christmas dinner for those of us who don't have a home and the aunts since they don't want to cook. Are you coming? Sure I can come pick you up. We'll see you then, Dad." He hung up. "We need to pick him up on Solstice. They're doing the Pagan holiday this year." That got a nod. "He didn't want to get involved since it isn't his way."
"That's fine," Xander agreed. He looked at the others. "Should I have the house elves make extra, just in case?" They all shrugged. "Okay." He went back to the grill to help but Mac walked him off to talk about a rumor he had heard.
"You have weapons?"
"I do have weapons. I was the weapons master back in Sunnydale. Plus I have some stuff we stole off the vamps. John had it moved for me. Why?"
"I heard you have high powered, very strong weapons, the sort the government worries about, Xander."
"Oooh. Well." He considered it then shrugged. "Kinda. A few. I sold a few to a clan of hunting demons. They hunt rogue clans that're making trouble and drawing attention to the demonic population. John took some. I don't know what he saved."
Mac nodded. "How would a contact in the FBI have heard?"
"The owner of the storage building probably turned it into his insurance and since the FBI is looking for things that might've caused it, then they probably jumped on that. It was on the edge of town. It might still be standing partially."
"I'll let them know why."
"Tell them to ask the LA office. We saw them during the 'gas explosion'," he said, doing finger quotes. "They were not happy campers by any means. They got handed raw footage of graduation and one got sick. Tell them to assign the same agents. They know what's going on. One got eaten during it and had to retire suddenly."
"I'll do that. What do you have?"
"That depends on what John rescued. I left it there so they could use it." He called Willow. "Did John moving the weapons get the FBI nervous or was it an insurance claim?" He walked off, listening to her babble. "Because someone told a friend I had real weapons that terrorists would love to steal, Willow. Exactly. Please?" The phone was handed over. "Mac wants a listing and who's asking." He listened. "He knows. He came during the investigation for graduation. Why is he whining?" He nodded. "I'll go talk to him. No, I figured you guys might need something out of it, that's why I left it there. Sure, I don't mind if they have it, John. That's why I gathered them, for the team's use. Tell Giles not to put the purple sticks up anyone's butts since they shoot out chlorine gas and not to use the green grenades. You'll know when you see them. No, they're garlic bombs. Yeah, those. They work too. Sure. Mac Taylor. Yeah, him. He told me someone was wondering. Remind the guy of graduation and I'll be over there later." He hung up and looked back at Mac. "Convenient memory syndrome. I'll be right back. Save me a few burgers please." He disappeared, landing in the new building in Cleveland. "What?" he asked. "You think we didn't need them more than that one time?"
"You amassed an armory that would make dictators proud, Harris," he said dryly.
Xander grinned. "Thank you. We had to sometimes. Now they're for the use of the people here."
The agent walked him off. "You have three things listed as biological weapons," he said calmly. "And another that's sub-nuclear but can be changed over."
"That last one got sold to a clan of demons that hunts rogue clans that're getting the others notice. It got blown up last month in Iowa from what my contacts said."
"Prentiss?" Xander nodded. "So that compound...."
"Demons trying to take over the world via the usual militia style," he said dryly. "The clan of hunters took them down so we didn't have to. The three biologicals? Are we talking the chlorine gas sticks? The garlic bombs? What ones? I'm no good in chemistry."
He handed over the list. "The ones highlighted in pink."
He looked then led him to the containers, looking around. "Hey, John, didn't you get the stuff on Special?"
"No, didn't know it was there," he said.
Xander nodded, taking the agent with him, smirking when he squeaked. "Easier than airfare. Cheaper too, I'll need a nap later." He walked over to where the street should've been, then looked at his staff. "Can you feel my weapons?" It pointed and put a beam of light on an area. "Thanks, staff." He looked then did a digging charm, uncovering the top of the bunker he had 'borrowed' from a former inhabitant. The guy didn't need it anymore. No one had bought the house. He continued the digging, coming to the edges of the doorway. "Someone had an old nuclear war bunker," he explained. "They got eaten." He led him down into it, trying the overhead light. He started the generator and it was on. "There we go." He pointed. "Which ones?"
He went to look, finding what he wanted and needed. "These six cases are bad to own. You get agents on your doorstep for them." He looked at him. "Did they need this?"
"This stuff I mostly confiscated from the demons and vamps around here," Xander told him. "Sorry. I was keeping it safe. It's all here."
Dean appeared with John and Willow.
Willow looked then nodded. "Confiscated crap?"
"Yup. Think we should do a look through the tunnels to make sure there's no more hiding?"
"I think that'd be creepy," John told him. The agent held up something. "Is that a thermo-timer?"
"Yup. Heat sensitive trigger." He looked at Xander. "Who had this?"
"Some blue demons that went squish under some holy water." He looked at Dean, who had Sam's staff. "Changing off?"
"Cool, let's go see if we can spot more." They went back up and went to look around town. "Okay, Staffs. We are looking for any other weapons, bombs, anything like that, that may be left in town. In the tunnels, wherever. Can you mark spots for us with a little purple flag and maybe note depth?" A few flags appeared and he smiled. "Thank you. How far out did we go, the college?" More flags appeared in the distance. "That'll work. Thank you. Yo, guys?" They came up. "Little purple flags means weapons somewhere. They should have some sort of depth marking."
"Can we confiscate them?" the agent asked.
Xander shrugged. "You and John can debate what goes to Cleveland for all I care." He looked at him. "They didn't want me to help set things up so I'm doing what I'm supposed to be doing." He looked at Dean. "Wanna dig a few with them?"
"No, that's okay. Dad?"
"I'm good helping," he decided. "Better to have someone that has a clue. Any idea what they are?"
"I asked for any weapons, bombs, anything like that," Xander said.
"Even better," John said. He looked at the agent, who was calling someone. "Shoo." They left, going back to the picnic. "Dean and Xander aren't a bad match," he told the agent once he hung up. "I was worried but the boy knows his stuff with weapons."
"Clearly. He put the most dangerous things down here." Two National Guard troop carriers pulled up near them. "See the purple flags? There's some sort of weapon buried beneath each one. He went to the college with them." That got a nod from the commander. "Could be a single one, could be bomb components, not sure."
"We'll dig, sir," he agreed.
"They have a depth marking or should." That got a nod and they went to do that, leaving a truck there. He and John hauled the weapons they had already found. Though John had to go look at something when someone shouted.
"It's a part, soldier. Toss it aside. It's to be burned so nothing worse comes to eat it." That got a gross look. "It's the life cycle. Some things eat dead things to recycle them. Just like you eat chicken. By the way, greasy spot on your shirt, Private." He looked then wiped at it. He looked at what they found underneath. "We've got a good haul here," he called. The agent came over to look, helping him haul them to the trucks.
John landed back in Cleveland thanks to Willow, who had helped dig in a few spots. "We're back."
Buffy came out to check on them. "What did you find?"
"A lot of stuff no human or demon outside the military needs. We let the agent have those. He also said he'd like those chlorine gas sticks to test."
"But Xander made those," she pouted.
"Xander said he could have them," Willow told her. "We probably won't need more and he can always make more if we do. His place is big enough for a real weapon's workshop."
"Don't tempt him and Dean," John said dryly. "They confiscated a cargo plane's worth of stuff from the tunnels and Xander's other hiding spot of confiscated stuff."
Buffy grimaced. "I hate that little bunker place. Nothing's marked so I can't find the good stuff."
"Now it's in LA at the FBI's warehouse and they're going to fix it so no one can have it," Willow told her. She found the crate with the sticks in question and dug them out, stacking them neatly for him. She found something else and looked at it. "Hmm. New grenade type. I wonder what it is." She handed it to Buffy. "Don't set it off."
"Yes, Willow." She looked it over, finding a small tag. "What's ammonia gas and why would we need it?" she asked John. He snatched it and checked the pin, just in case. "Super bad then?"
"Very." He went to look through the rest of the things, keeping that grenade with him. They didn't need a biological attack to happen here. Tony and Gibbs appeared later on with another, blindfolded, agent. "He with the guy from LA?"
"The guy from LA called him and asked him to come look at what got stored out here. He knows but he doesn't *know*."
"That'll work. Hold that," he told Gibbs, handing him the grenade. He went back to searching. "Everything by the bay door is too dangerous to use on a hunt unless it's a strike force situation. The rest are guns, garlic bombs, those things. A few holy water grenades in a case marked 'holy hand grenade'."
"Xander likes Monty Python," Tony said with a grin. "Figures." He looked at the grenade. "What sort is that one? I can't see the tag."
Gibbs looked. "Ammonia gas." He looked at John. "Who?"
"Possibly Xander." He pointed. "I've been sorting for the last few hours. The confiscated stuff out of Sunnydale that he had stored was scary enough. Three different biological weapons he took off various demons."
"Hey, they didn't use them on us," Buffy said as she strolled back in. "Need water or anything, John?"
"Coffee," he said. "It's going to be a while."
"Sure." She went to get some and bring it out, nudging the still blindfolded agent. "We're not the scary ones. That's the ones we fight."
He nodded. "I've been briefed." He held out a hand. "Marcus Whitby. I'm your local FBI contact, Miss Summers."
"Welcome to the New Council. Giles is in his office, in the Admin. building. It's the one with lights." She walked over to look. "We like the holy hand grenades," she complained when Gibbs tried to move them.
"They use explosive force."
"Yeah but they clear nests of demons and vamps wonderfully. Better than a super soaker does."
John shook his head. "Leave those, Gibbs. I'm picking the weapons master who'll be following Xander's footsteps for them." That got a nod. "He'll have sense and skills."
"Even better." He left those alone. "What're the red sticks?"
"Chlorine gas," John called. "He warned Giles not to stick them up a few of the old Watchers's butts and set it off." Buffy walked off giggling. "She brought coffee, guys. Whitby, the building with the ivy and the lights on." He went to introduce himself. He looked back at Gibbs and Tony. "Bright idea?" he asked, nodding that way.
"He took Ranger training and got moved to Special Ops, but he failed training due to another one of them shooting him in the knee," Tony told him. "It's been replaced but that dropped him out and he resigned due to medical. Honorable discharge. He went FBI and they like him. He's not a total asskisser but he can pretend well enough when the director comes."
That got a nod. "Then he's got some sense and training. We need some of that around here. The older Watchers often don't."
"Most of the researchers were left," Buffy called. "They've only had field training." She leaned in. "We're having dinner soon. Should we save you some?" They shook their heads. "You sure?"
"We just came from a picnic," Tony told her. She nodded, going to dinner since they didn't need to. She'd make sure John got something later. His boys would complain at her again if she didn't. So would all the house elves. Tony looked at the piles of stuff. "Where's the rest?"
"Mostly guns, bullets, stakes, crossbows, staffs, swords, and those sort of weapons. They're in the armory already. I've been slowly unpacking and organizing in here. Just so the girls don't touch the weapons and set something off by accident."
Tony went to find it and snoop. It was well laid out to him. You could run in and grab things from marked sections. He went back to help with Whitby, who was actually pretty helpful once he got over his duty.
Gibbs looked at the stack of things they were taking. "Not too bad," he decided.
"My boss was hoping it wouldn't fill more than a trunk," Whitby admitted. He looked at Gibbs. "Know someone who wants a sample of a few things?"
"You sure?" he asked with a small smirk.
"Very. My boss will have a heart attack if we bring all this back. He was expecting a sedan trunk, not an overly full pickup truck's worth. Even if Harris does make most of them himself. Where is he?"
"England. He's dealing with paranormal things over there. You can assure whoever he only brought swords and crossbows. He doesn't hate the monarchy; he might not mind queens with as many drama queens as he's seen from the slayers." Gibbs snickered and so did John. "Hasn't he?"
"Probably," John agreed. "He's a good kid. A hunter like my boys. They said he tends to handle things and not tell anyone."
"If it's asked I'll let them know." Whitby watched as Gibbs took samples for the people he knew who did new weapons in the Pentagon. John kept a few samples back just in case, but he watched him lock them into a safe as well. Then the rest went into the car he called and they took them back to the local office to check in for destruction. He faxed the list to the LA office for the other agent. What he got back scared him. They had kept that sort of material in Sunnydale? The note at the bottom that it had been confiscated from the enemy's forces made him feel a bit better. He finished his report and it got the weapons sent to the ATF for destruction and/or testing.
Xander made himself available since he had heard rumors someone official was looking for him. He decided on lunch out in London today, sitting at a quiet little deli with outdoor tables. It was chilly so no one else was using them except for one guy with a laptop and a huge cup of coffee. He found a spot out of the wind and settled in with his own huge cup of tea and sandwich, nibbling and watching as people hurried past. Tonks appeared and flopped down with a sigh of relief. "Christmas shopping?"
"Last night. Today my boss went on a 'the Founders Council is full of maniacs' rant at me." She looked at him.
"I was the Sunnydale weapons master."
"And fixer and developer and confiscator and storage site manager," she said dryly.
"Well, yeah. Buffy likes weapons but she might have shot us." He sipped his tea. "I kept it all hidden."
"We realize that. Good work."
"Thank you." He grinned. "I'm still not a threat."
"Even better," a male voice said as he joined them. "MI-6, Mr. Harris."
"Does this mean I get to meet James Bond?" he teased with a grin.
"No, but if we had a Q of our own, I'm sure he might get some ideas from you." He gave him a look. "I know of the Watchers Council, sir."
"I helped the slayer in Sunnydale, on the hellmouth."
"I've heard that. Their records on you are a bit strange."
"They didn't like me, thought I was useless, and wanted to kill me for jumping in and creating a two-slayer situation."
The guy blinked. "That was you?"
"Oh. No wonder." He made note of that. "Are you still storing weapons?"
"I have some stuff to hunt demons over here. Mostly in the sharp and pointy class. I knew I'd have problems getting a weapons permit so I'm not going to admit that I brought more than a handgun over."
"We're putting you in as someone we can count on if something happens wherever you're living."
"You know, I don't know where the house is. Tonks, which county am I in up there?"
She considered it. "I don't know. Which city are you next to?" He pulled out his map and pointed. It enlarged. "There you are," she said with a point. "Malfoy."
He looked then wrote it down. "No guns but a handgun? No shotguns? No artillery?"
Xander grinned. "I'm learning other methods of defense."
"That's fine with us, sir, but we need to know if someone tries to invade we can count on you."
Xander nodded. "Like the cops up there can even though most of them are still probably trying to figure out why they had a guy tied to a light pole and the bomb on him was disarmed. I was Christmas shopping and he was being rude."
The man smiled. "I heard about that. They said if they found you they'd say thank you and hope you were retired military."
"Possessed by a soldier."
"Close enough for us, sir. Are you going to be gathering things?"
"Should I?" He drank a bit of tea then ate a bite of sandwich. "Want lunch, either of you?" Tonks took some money to get lunch and the agent shook his head. "Honestly," he said quietly. "Do you want me to? I have no problem collecting new babies."
He looked at him, then nodded. "As long as you can make sure no one else uses it. That it stays safely in your control, and we have access to it if we're invaded or it's another necessary situation."
"The aliens land and I'm there," he promised. "But I do work with other hunters. They're mostly of the shotgun sort."
"I've heard. We'll deal with that in-house and talk to them."
"Want me to call and put you in contact?"
"We have one of them after he went to banish a ghost last night," he admitted. "We were waiting on this meeting first. He needed a bit of first aid and we wanted to see how resourceful his brother really is."
"Do I need to find a healer for them?"
"No, sir. They're fine. Banged up a bit. Mostly big scratches. We waited until they got the thing first." Xander nodded at that, sipping some more tea. He studied him then handed over a card. "If you do get more...babies, I'd like to personally know so we can keep track of it." That got a nod. "Just in case we have to know."
"That's fine. Did you want me to worry about things like garlic grenades or chlorine gas sticks?"
He blinked. "You can?" Xander nodded, smiling when Tonks came back, helping her into her seat since her hands were full. "A few might be fine but I'd rather those especially don't get out."
"I found the recipes online."
He nodded, marking that down. "By any chance you wouldn't have the site bookmarked or anything?"
"I saved down what I wanted." He grinned. "But yeah, in case I need to go back and look for more neat stuff."
"That's fine, sir. As long as your... babies are in *your* control and you don't pose a threat."
"Only if certain oldline Watchers come bother me," he said, looking at the other guy.
"We hate you, Harris. Why would we bother you? You made yourself clear when you beat the ones Travers sent after you and then helped save us." He looked at him then smirked. "You're on as a backup source and a local source. Possibly a magical resource. Nothing else."
"That's good. Do you have Kendrick's site bookmarked?"
"I do. It's one of ours." He let the agent see it. "He saw a test of your ammonia grenade and he was impressed. He was also impressed that you packed the chlorine gas sticks into something the size of a flare." Sam walked over and sat down, making him smirk. "Winchester."
"Boring Watchery sort," he greeted back.
"He's one of the field guys in training," Xander told him, getting a nod. "Was I predictable?"
"I was going to pick you up here and follow you. I've already alerted the other team you decided to eat here. There's three others nearby."
"Are you going to try something?" Tonks asked.
"We'd like to look at his staff."
"Family heirloom. It's like a wand only stronger. No."
"Fine. The newer ones can take that word."
"It will and has burned people for touching it."
"That's fine. Can we take a magical resonance?"
"I'll think about letting Tara do it."
"That'll work for us. We like her. She's a good witch. The Devon coven likes her too." Xander smiled at that. "Good work getting back to Travers by the way. Saved a lot of lives and the day."
"I try." He looked at Sam. "You okay?"
"I'm fine. I caught a nap then disappeared once I was sure Dean was out of trouble." That got a nod. The agent looked at him. He grinned. "I'm a lot like Xander."
"That's fine. We were going to talk to you after we talked to him since it's been hinted you three are hunting together?"
"Now and then. We more work together on a special council."
"One of ours," Tonks said.
"Wonderful," the agent said happily. "Be more subtle or find a silencer for the shotguns, boys. We do have very strict gun laws. You're scaring the normals and cops."
"We'll try. I'll tell Dean." That got a nod and the agent handed him a card too. "For?"
"If you run into something that we should be worried about."
"We usually give Tonks hand cramps and let her notify people so they can swear at her," Xander said with a grin.
He laughed. She pouted at him. "I thought you liked me."
"I do. It'll give you a chance to say flippant lines and walk away like Buffy does." He pulled something out of his pocket. "I was going to drop your holiday present off later today. Since you're here anyway."
She looked then squeaked. "That's beautiful."
Xander kissed her on the cheek. "Because you helped us a lot this summer, Tonks. It wouldn't have been near as good if you hadn't been getting hand cramps from helping us."
She sniffed once then kissed him then Sam on the head. Sam handed over an envelope. She looked then laughed. "Thanks, Sam. You too, Xander. I'm glad I got hand cramps with you guys this summer. Just don't stick me with the head job. I'd kill people." She got up and left, taking her lunch with her. She'd lose the pretty necklace and gift certificate to the specialty weapons shop if she didn't put them safely away soon. She could eat at her desk.
The agent smiled. "She's a nice lady. We've worked with her department in the past." He looked at them. "You'll let us come to you if there's an issue?"
"If it's a good one," Xander agreed. "Not for petty problems, rioting, those things. Huge ass problems like an invasion, a huge demon, those things I'm good with. This is my cell number." He wrote it down. "If you need us for big things, you can come by or call."
"I'll remember that. Thank you, boys." He looked at Sam. "You?"
"If you find something we can help with, let us know. We'll do it if we can."
"Thanks, boys." He handed something to Xander. "For the saving of a lot of lives by doing stupid things."
"We made a nice medal for him that says 'stupidhero of the day'," Sam said with a grin and a pat on Xander's back.
Xander looked at him. "It was necessary."
Sam stared at him for a minute. "You could've asked for help."
"Fine," he muttered, opening the envelope. He blinked. "Is that official?" he demanded. The agent smirked before walking away. "Um, Sam?" He let him see it. "Doesn't that usually take seeing a royal person?"
"Dad said you've seen plenty of queens between the Watchers and the girls."
Xander snickered. "That's so true," the Watcher said dryly. "Travers was the worst queen of the lot." He stood up, looking at that notice. "Well, it makes your reputation official." He walked off, making a note as he left.
Xander let Sam read it. "Hold that for me? I'll lose it."
"Sure. You could put it in with the presents."
Xander looked at the bag at his feet then at him. "If I did that I'd photocopy it and send it to Buffy since that's hers and Dean's presents." Sam gave him an evil smirk. "I should send it to your dad, let him announce it." That got an evil snicker. "We can do that on the way home. When I find a frame. I've got about ten Pounds left." They left, Sam carrying the presents. Unfortunately wrapped so he couldn't peek but that was fine. It'd drive Dean nuts.
John accepted the couriered package, signing for it, looking a bit confused. He looked at the name at the top under 'sender' and smiled, taking it into the dining hall. It was dinner. Everyone was in there. He sat down at his usual spot and opened it, staring at the letter he pulled out. Then he read it a second time. "Um, Rupert?" he called, getting Giles and nearly everyone's attention. "Message from the boys that's in Brit english. Care to translate?" he asked with a grin.
"I think so. It goes very well with his reputation."
He came over to get the paper, reading the announcement of Xander's knighthood for saving lives, but it was going to be a 'quiet' one. Known only to the Monarchy and certain people in the government. "Bloody hell!" he said. Now he really had everyone's attention. "Sorry, didn't mean to say that out loud," he announced.
"What is it? Are they in trouble?" Willow demanded, taking the note to look at. "Um... Does that say that Xander's now a knight? Like jousting and queens and that stuff?"
"He's a covert knight," John corrected smugly. "That way they don't have to out who he saved to get it." The remaining watchers all moaned at that. So did Buffy. "So his rep as the White Knight will definitely keep going." Willow swatted him and went to sulk.
"We should hang this in the case," Giles decided. "Right next to the picture Spike took of him taking on a demon he had no business getting near."
"He said it was in his basement."
"So he did take on Replessor?" one of the younger slayers asked.
"Xander said it was in his basement," John sighed. "And he had the base codes from his possession. He still couldn't have done the rest of the things they whisper about."
"You'd be amused," Giles said dryly, going to hang that in the 'case of glory'. It was a notable achievement. "Certainly one that would make Travers roll in his grave if he knew," he said, closing and locking the case up. Buffy came out to look over his arm. "He's done very well."
"He has. He's still a goofball who dates horrible women."
"True." He smiled and they went back to dinner. Maybe they should have Xander teach the girls how to think like him so they could get out of most situations? No, that would be mean to the girls and make them all strange weapons fanatics. Perhaps Sam or Dean. They were more sane and logical than Xander ever had been. None of them had ever discovered that Klingon was actually a demon language. Or Romulan. He ate a bite of dinner. "I was thinking, we could use a course on how to get yourself out of things, John. Think we could ask your boys?"
"Probably. Dean and Sammy are both good at that," he said with a grin. "Can't ask Xander himself?"
"No, I think he might warp some of the girls." That got a few laughs. "Xander is the only known person to ever talk his hostage takers out of keeping and eating him because he spoke Klingon, which was their language." He ate a bite.
John stared, mouth slightly open. "He smarted off in Klingon and the demons used that language natively?"
"Yes, he did," Buffy said grimly. "We didn't believe it either until Andrew and his people were found talking to the demons and Xander joined in. Then they told us what had been said. We nearly beat Xander to death for spreading Star Trek to the demons. And then he goes out and finds Lord of the Rings poofy elf demons! I swear! Willow had the book and even they said it was a book that was too long."
Willow nodded. "We had to borrow Jonathan for that one. One of Andrew's buddies. He spoke elven. Which is a good idea since they wanted Xander to mate with their queen so she could be killed after the baby was born so they could have a queen who wasn't such a whiny bitch."
Buffy nodded, stuffing her mouth before she said anything. Then she swallowed. "Anyone who wants to become Xander, we're shipping you to England to live with him!" she announced. "One was enough! Especially if you start dating people like Anya!" She pouted all the way through dinner.
John smiled at Giles, who shrugged. Buffy was being a princess again, it happened now and then.
Xander popped into Mac's office, stunning the non witch there. "Hi, good news," he said, handing over a copy of the announcement. "The original's on the wall at home."
Mac read it then smiled. "It proves what we already knew, Xander. You make a very good knight." Stella stared at him in awe. "He was covertly knighted for saving so many of the Watchers Council," he announced. Danny and Stella clapped. "Tell anyone else yet?"
"Not yet. Well, Sam was there when I got it." He grinned and disappeared.
Mac looked at the frozen CSI. "Danny, can you please unfreeze Lindsay so we can get back to the meeting?"
He tried then shrugged. "Can't, Mac."
Stella pulled out her staff. "Can you please unfreeze Lindsay? I need her to do her own work so we can take a bubble bath tonight instead of doing her work." That worked, her staff liked lounging in a bubble bath holding her hair up. "Thank you." Lindsay gasped as she woke up. "You okay? You drifted off."
"I guess that's why I saw someone appear," she said, looking around. "Sorry, must be more tired than I thought."
"It happens to the best of us," Mac assured her patiently.
Horatio and Eric looked up as someone appeared. "Off the crime scene, Xander." He looked then backed up. "Thank you. Why are you here?"
"I'm guessing it's happy, good news?" Eric teased. "Here comes Speed, let him see the paper since we're gloved."
"Sure. Didn't mean to pop in on the crime scene. Do you need me to stun the cannibal worms?" He pointed. "There's some by your ankle, Eric."
He looked then gathered and bottled them. "Thanks for that. Could've eaten our person."
"They only eat living things." He looked at Speed. "They said to let you see that since they're gloved and working."
Speed read it then looked at him, smirking just a bit. "You're a knight?" Horatio choked. "H, you okay?" he asked with a grin.
"You are?" Eric asked.
"It's an announcement of formal, but covert, knighthood in thanks for saving so many lives in the incident that brought down the Watchers Council," Speed told him, letting him see it. "It's a copy."
"The original is at home on the wall." He beamed. "I'm so proud of myself."
"I'm proud of you too, Xander," Horatio said with a small smile. "If I wasn't working I'd give you a hug."
Xander beamed. "Thanks, Horatio. Test her for magic since she's kinda glowing in that bad Willowy way?" He took it back and disappeared.
Speed looked. "She is glowing. Wolfe, get your ass over here," he shouted. He came jogging over from taking witness statements. "She's glowing in a way Sir Xander described as Willowy."
"He's a knight?"
"Wow. That's an accomplishment." He knelt beside her to test her. "She was stabbed with a holy weapon." He looked at the wound. "It looks like a blade. So like the blade in the nunnery up the state by about an hour," he told Horatio. That got a nod. "The glow will fade. I'm guessing it was the pent up blessing or magic on it." He stood up and went back to witness statements.
Eric nodded. "That gives us a lead."
"It does," Speed said, coming over to remove more of the nibbling worms. "What are they?"
"Flobber worms," Ryan called.
"Oh, good to know." He put them in the container with the others and got in to help them.
Tony blinked as Xander appeared. "Shit, there's cameras here, Xander!"
"They're stunned." He grinned. "And no one else can see me so you're talking to thin air." Tony shrugged, they'd think he needed a nap thanks to the current case. He handed over the sheet.
Tony read it then looked at him. "Let me copy this. Gibbs will never believe me." He went to copy it then handed it back. "Congrats."
"Thanks. I'm so happy." He disappeared again.
Tony went to hand Gibbs the sheet, holding it up since he was washing his hands in the bathroom.
Gibbs looked at it. "Excuse me?"
"Xander showed up being a bit invisible to share the happy news. He was nearly glowing in pleasure."
Gibbs shook his head but he was smiling. "It goes with his reputation. He's called the White Knight." Tony snickered and nodded. "I'll send him a congratulations card." Tony left, going to shred that since it was a covert knighting. Gibbs shook his head. He didn't want to see Xander in a suit of armor. He really didn't.
The next morning Draco accepted his letter from the owl, smiling at the handwriting. He opened the envelope and looked at the copy of the notice. Then he stared. "Huh," he said. He walked it up to Snape, holding it up. "It's a copy but is that the proper form?"
He looked then nodded slowly. "It is. Quite an accomplishment. No wizard or witch has been knighted since the 1950's."
"Really?" He smiled. "In the books then?"
"Probably," the potions professor said. "I'm almost surprised we haven't seen one for all the help he gave us this last summer." He took a sip of his pumpkin juice. "It would be the first honestly won medal or commendation in your family in nearly two centuries I believe."
Draco smiled. "Well, he did say he was going to make us better at one point." He went back to his seat.
Harry had taken note and knew that he couldn't pass it around but Dumbledore had heard too and he had that crafty look on his face. "Harris did what?" he asked his teacher.
"He was accorded a covert knighthood," Snape told him.
"Interesting but good for his family." He ate a bite of his breakfast, thinking hard. He did need to pay the *dear* boy back for meddling in his school....
The Minister for Magic stepped up in front of the press. "I have an announcement so let me get this out," he shouted. The reporters quit chatting and looked at him. "The nomination committee and I have been in long talks most of the day. We have decided that some noteworthy people deserve recognition for their help with the Voldemort matter this summer," he said regally. "So at this time I am announcing a few new awards. First, the new Third Order of Merlin honorees go to Mac Taylor, Horatio Caine, Anthony DiNozzo, and his supervisor, who is a muggle but does know about us, Leroy Jethro Gibbs. They helped with multiple raids this summer and some of the planning. They were all present in the final raid and Mr. DiNozzo helped Harry Potter gather some very necessary items to destroy the former Dark Lord. Two new Second Order of Merlins have also been announced. Dean and Samuel Winchester for the more intense help they have given to us on this matter. They did a great majority of planning and went on nearly every raid. Along with them is the auror Nymphadora Tonks. As she put it, she got many hand cramps working with the boys to help solve that issue quickly when it was needed.
"There are also two First Order of Merlins being awarded. One to Mr. Potter for his bravery and his final curse that killed the Dark Lord. The other to Mr. Alexander Harris, because he not only helped the Winchesters and Mr. Potter in this matter, but he also went to save some of our allies with Mr. Potter when an associated apocalypse nearly killed them all. He has provided much help in this world and for that we award him also a second award, a Sword of Roses." That got a gasp. That award hadn't been given in *years*! "I know it's unusual but he has handled more issues than we were aware of before we were lucky enough to have him protecting us. Mr. Harris, as some of you know, was once part of the slayer's team on the hellmouth in Sunnydale. While there he not only brought his slayer back to life, he fought beside her while he was still in his training and had to learn a lot of new skills, often at personal risk. Not to mention how he learned from possessions, nearly got turned into a creature to stop the evil ones, and then went on to help them stop the American Military when they tried to come in and torture demons who weren't harmful. Without him being part of the team out there, we might not be here to celebrate this summer's victory. The slayer's expect to fight and die for us; he jumped in and did it even though the Watchers did not want him to. Please applaud our new awardees." He clapped and they followed. Then he left.
This should cancel the poker debt he owed Albus nicely. Not that the award committee didn't want to do it earlier, but the men involved weren't ones for medals. They could scream but oh well.
to part 16