Horatio was the last to sit down and he tossed down his copy of the legal code. "Does anyone have a justification for that being so messed up?"
"Fudge seems to have written a lot of the messed up stuff," Sam pointed out.
"Can we scrap it and rewrite it?" Danny suggested. "Because some of that is really f-ed up in the extreme."
Mac nodded. "I didn't like their policies on gender discrimination either."
"We have to leave the rule on page 35 alone," Xander noted calmly from his leaned back, feet up on the table position. "It's about the staffs being the last and only authority on who heads the family. It's caused problems in the past but if not you guys get Draco's father and mother here and Harry loses one of his spots."
"No, we're keeping that rule," Mac assured him. Tony smiled in relief. "How's Gibbs?"
"I explained everything to him. He's doing what he can to help while keeping my director out of things." He looked at Xander. "Comfy?"
"Twisted my back earlier beating the person who tried to kill me on my way in thanks to Narcissa." He gave him a look. "She didn't like the allowance I put her on." He sat up, putting his feet back on the floor. "Mr. Chairperson, can we scrap them and rewrite things that make sense?"
"As long as it doesn't drag on too long. We don't want to be without any."
"Then I suggest we let Mac and the other officers come to us with a good selection of laws to choose from," Sam offered. "They deal with those things. We can add onto them for situations as needed or advised."
The chair considered it then nodded. "Gentlemen?"
Horatio shrugged. "We can easily do that. We do deal with laws that make little sense every day."
Danny shrugged. "Why not. The first sub-committee."
Tony nodded. "I'll gladly help." Mac and Stella both nodded.
The chair looked around. "Are there any of the rest of us who wish to serve as a voice outside the law?" No one said anything. "Any disagreements?" No one said anything. "Then I so order that sub-committee be formed and within a week progress shall be shown on that project." That got a nod from all of them. "Are there any other new issues that should be taken up?"
"I want to look into our missing member's death," Horatio noted calmly. "No one else seems to be doing so even though the reason he died is no longer under a coverup. Especially with his parents mysterious deaths right after they filed a suit against the Ministry."
"That is supposed to be for the aurors but if you wanted to take an unofficial look you may and hand over any evidence you may find. That would be within the scope of our powers," the chair told him. Horatio nodded at that. "I'm sure someone has knowledge of what happened." He looked at Harry's empty seat. "Do we have any idea where Mr. Potter may be?"
"School," Xander said. "I had Tara put a tracking charm on him. He's in a little room in the school being talked to by supposedly reasonable people who want him to do things." He looked back at Tara, who nodded and yanked on the spell to bring him there, making him land next to her. Xander helped him up. "Morning. Need some soda or something?"
"Please. Some tea would be nice as long as it didn't have a compulsion potion in it." He sat down. "The headmaster's sorry I'm late. He needed to have a conference with myself and my head of house because apparently I'm too young to make logical decisions."
"I don't see why," Stella said. "You're how old?"
"You're old enough."
"Legal age for the adults around here is seventeen but Mr. Potter has no suitable relatives who could stand in for him."
"Narcissa Malfoy is trying," Harry admitted.
"My patience," Xander agreed. "Which is a very thin commodity most of the time." Harry smirked at him. He grinned back. "She didn't like that I instituted an allowance either. She tried to attack me this morning on the way in."
Draco stormed in, looking at his new head of household. "My parents wish a word with you in front of a judge, Mr. Harris."
"Your parents are in deep shit, Draco," he said honestly. He stood up. "I'll be back in a few minutes." He picked up the law code book and walked out with him. "Did you get your allowance?"
"I did. I was wondering why it was necessary," he said coldly.
"Your father withdrew a tenth of the family's assets in the last three months."
Draco stopped and Xander stopped to look at him. "Excuse me?"
Xander nodded. "We all went over our family's wealth yesterday with the goblins. I got back a bit late so I went to the bank and had it explained to me." He pulled the papers out of his back pocket, handing them over. "A condensed summary of what's been going on."
Draco looked at it then stared at him. "How in the hell did he spend that much?"
"You can't," Xander said honestly. "Unless you're supporting something like an army."
Draco groaned, kicking the nearest wall. A head's word was law and even his father said that. So he had to protect himself and his mother if he could since his father was now a goner. "You do believe he is?" Xander nodded. "Does that count household expenses?"
"No. Shelter, food, utility, staff payments, those things, aren't covered under the hundred galleons a month for each of you. They're taken directly out of the vaults and I've asked for audits to see if they're reasonable." He stepped closer. "I'm trying to protect the family, Draco. You can help me or not. Your mother and father will not win this time. I'm more stubborn than the vampires I fight and the slayer I fight beside. Am I clear?" Draco nodded quickly, starting to smirk some. "Now, let's go disappoint them. They seem to finally get color in their cheeks when I make them huff in irritation." They continued walking up to the court floor, letting Draco lead him to the judge's chambers. "You called?" he asked as he walked in, opening the law code book. He put the book down in front of the judge, pointing at the pertinent law. "I haven't found one yet that overrules that. Is there one?"
"His last few attempts to screw with us already got overturned," he said dryly, crossing his arms to stare down at him. "Unfortunately the staffs picked for stubborn and able to do the job."
"You're messing in things you have no clue about," Narcissa sneered.
Xander stared at her. "Really? Hmm. You'd be surprised what I know about magic, Narcissa Malfoy. I've seen and helped with plenty of it. I've helped kill things, I've helped stop bad spells, and I've helped stop bigger and badder than your husband's boss. I know a lot more than you think. As for the allowances...." He took the papers from Draco. "The goblins handed me that." He handed it to her. "If he kept going, you'd be poor. It doesn't matter to me, I have a good job. You don't. Nor do you seem like you'd be able to find and keep one. I'm not supporting you guys and I get half of what you do until I'm finished settling in. Then I'll quit taking an allowance once I have a good paying job over here."
Draco gave him an odd look. "You work?"
"I enjoy working. It gives me something to do all day while waiting to go slay vampires and other demons." He smirked at the boy. "Someone's got to do it. Might as well help the slayer before I get eaten too."
Narcissa looked at the forms once she found the seal the goblins put on official papers. "Who has been getting into the vaults?" Xander pointed at Lucius, who was turning red in anger. "Lucius, why have you been spending so much of the family's money?" Xander pulled a picture out of his back pocket and handed it to her, making her sneer at him. "I knew that."
"Armies still have to be paid and fed," he said dryly, tossing it at the judge. "From yesterday when Lucius took the family staff and it burned him."
He looked at the picture then at him. "Can you prove this is real?"
"Can you break the charm over it?" Xander countered. "The witch I had take those said there's some sort of illusion charm over it."
"I was under the Imperious during the last war," he sneered, standing up. "You have no business...." Xander punched him, knocking him out.
Xander waved his hand to get the feeling back in his fist. "Next time, make him brush his teeth. I didn't need to smell the cum on his breath," he told Narcissa. "Nor am I going to put up with any disrespect from him. This Imperious sounds bad, and I'm sure it's powerful, but can compulsion spells really work for over a year?" She gaped. He looked up. "Can I have that book please?" he called. It fell onto the desk in front of him, along with a note that floated down. He smiled and put it into his pocket. "Buffy's mother wanted to meet Harry, make sure he had enough cookies." He opened the book to look up the spell. "Ah. Here." He handed it to the judge. "No Imperious curse has ever lasted over six months straight. It must be reapplied to continue working and repeated applications mean that you get resistant to it, like you do any spell."
Draco gaped. "Who said that? I've never seen that!" He took the book to look at the title. "Was this written by one of ours?"
"One that crossed over into the Watchers Council," Xander said with a small grin. "There's been witches and wizards in there for centuries. That was written by one of them who used to be a curse breaker. Giles, the Watcher I work with, said that book is considered a definitive source."
The judge took it to look at it, then nodded. "I have seen it quoted and it is considered such." He went back to the entry on that curse, then handed it to Narcissa. "Do you believe he's still helping him?" Xander nodded. "Why?" The forms were handed to him. "That is an extreme amount of money."
"Taken out in chunks like it had been, he's paying someone's salary and housing costs. So either he's setting up a whorehouse and paying them until they make enough on their own, or he's helping support the Dark Lord's army."
The judge considered the amounts. "That's more than most mansions."
"So the goblins told me. They have no absolute proof of it, but I'm told that the sort of binding mark he has on his arm can only be done with consent. If the consent is revoked, it weakens the bond. So said the wiccan I work with and she's powerful enough to close the hellmouth repeatedly and stick souls in vampires."
The judge shuddered. "We do not like their sort."
"I don't care. I grew up with her. She's still trying to see why magic sometimes goes screwy around me."
The judge just nodded at that. "I can see how that would happen in your town." He put down the forms to look at Narcissa. "It does appear he has the best interests of the family at heart and the staffs cannot be overruled by law. That's why the minister who took them did so, to stop the fighting over their decisions. Looking back, the staffs were looking for people who were able to accept some change going on in the world around them while still holding the family strong. I think this one will help with that."
"He is against everything the family stands for," Draco said calmly.
"The staffs pick the new head based on the ideals of the originating members of the family," the judge told him. "Whatever the first head of the family wanted the family to stand for."
"The words that came up after the first greeting message say 'strength, power, and honor'," Xander said, letting him see them.
"You read Latin?" Draco asked.
Xander nodded with a small grin. "A lot of the Watchers materials are in Latin. I had to learn to help with the slaying and research around Sunnydale." He took it back, letting Narcissa see it. "Did you want to see it as well, make sure it didn't want to change its mind?"
"I'm only married into the family, I'm not eligible for this one."
"I asked Harry, he asked the goblins. Sirius made him his direct and only heir," Xander told her. Draco nodded. "He looked at the scroll himself." Draco nodded again. "Harry has enough shit on his plate right now without you. Sam and I have both offered Harry a place to stay for a while so he has a neutral place to calm down. Neither of us care about his family's holdings nor anything like that. We do care that the boy looked ready to snap yesterday. We would appreciate it if you supported him instead of trying to rip him up further. I doubt it's doing his grades any good."
"He's not of legal age," she said snottily. She stood up. "Only an adult can hold an office. That is the law."
Xander opened the law book to another page then handed it to her. "Right side, third of the way down. Taking a life in self-defense is one of the things that can be used to determine adult status. If he killed the Dark Lord the first time, that proved it then. Three of the other things listed also fit him I'm sure." The judge took it to look over. He nodded slowly. "I've heard there's a prophecy. I know that there's been battles he's fought in. I'm sure he's had at least one drink in his life. I do not know if the virgin clause is something that he's gotten past or not," he admitted.
Draco shook his head. "He's barely kissed a girl." He judge gave him an odd look. "I should watch him. He's a bloody Gryff and always in my way."
Xander looked at him. "After your Lucky Charms?" he asked dryly. Draco gave him a clueless look. "Look it up, Draco. You'll giggle." He looked at her again. "The book says only two of the longer list have to be met to apply to him since he's taken a life. He passes that line at the very least."
The judge sighed but nodded, shutting it. "If that is true, then he would qualify as an adult," he agreed. "Since it's been in the papers and even Dumbledore has admitted to the prophecy, then we know it's true. I'm sorry, Mrs. Malfoy, the staffs overrule everyone in the family."
Xander looked at him. "Dumbledore spread that prophecy around?"
"He had to. The Ministry started to and he had to correct it."
Xander blinked. "Huh." He took the book. "By the way, the officers and agent on the Founders Council are looking at the laws. There's some damn strange ones in there." That got a smirk from the judge. "Should you have any they definitely need to look at, you might write them a note with page numbers and references. There's four CSI, forensic cops, and one agent who used to be a homicide detective." That got a nod from the judge. "Thank you for helping in this matter, Your Honor. Have a better day." He looked at Draco. "Are you going back to the school or helping me some more today? Tara's at home doing something now that we've rescued the missing member."
"I'll follow you," he muttered. "At least I'm not doing boring things I've done before."
Xander grinned. "You're keeping me from making a lot of mistakes. He's been very helpful, Narcissa. Thank you for lending me your son." He walked out with him, going back to the council chamber. "Harry, page 167, third of the way down on the right," he ordered before sitting down. "The judge agreed, the staffs overrule everything else." Draco sat behind him. "Narcissa is in a bit of a snit but she'll figure it out. I did let her know about Lucius' withdrawals and she was not happy either. I also told the judge we had overruled Fudge's last few attempts to have us all killed," he announced. That got some nods. "I let the judge know we're looking at the stupid laws so he can find the ones that irk them the most for quicker fixing. Oh, and Harry, Dumbledore has been making statements to the press about you again." He looked at the young guy, who gave him a dirty look. "About a prophecy," he said more quietly. "After the Ministry released it."
Harry moaned, thumping his head on the book. "Why me?"
"I don't know but we'd like to have someone else to hate," Draco said snidely. Xander glared at him so he shrank down. "Sorry, out of line."
"Thank you," Xander said, patting Harry on the back. "The offer stands if you want to stay with me and Tara, or Sam's probably still stands if you want to stay with him," he said quietly.
Harry looked at him. "Dumbledore won't allow it. There's a blood protection on my aunt's house."
Xander snorted. "Blood's a great thing, Harry, but I find that muting works better. If they can't find you they can't kill you." Sam nodded at that. "Willow can do that. Tara can do that."
"We know ways of hiding magical signatures as well," Sam agreed. "We can work with Tara. Willow scares us," he told Xander.
He nodded. "Me too. She's in a cranky mood because Tara's over here. She's not getting snuggles."
Harry looked at them. "Are you two insane?"
"We fight demons, Harry. You have to be a bit insane to keep doing it after the first time," Xander said dryly. "Then again, I've helped save the world a few times." He grinned. "I've got a nice spare bed. Sam might have one and he has aunts."
Sam nodded. "Both of whom said you could come over to stay if you needed some stress relief."
"Thanks. I'll think about it," Harry agreed. "It's nearly the end of school for us."
Xander smirked a bit, leaning closer. "If that law holds true in one part of your life, it holds true in others, Harry. If you're an adult he cannot tell you where to live, who to live with, how to vote, how to spend your money, and who you can and cannot see. We want you to make your own decisions. It's occasionally a hard thing but it's the adult thing to do."
"I'd like that," he agreed. "He wanted to know if I could suggest a field trip to the school."
"After we get some of the most serious things out of the way I don't see why not," Mac offered. "Why does he want us to tour?"
"He wants to do some updating of things."
"I don't see a problem with us taking a tour once we've got the most critical issues out of the way," Horatio agreed. "We can talk to the students he hasn't carefully prepped for us to talk to, see what's actually going on, and make sure his plans are reasonable."
"Because not all people in command are full of logical thought," Xander agreed. "Some just want the power. It's annoying when they do that." Draco gave him an odd look. "It is. Our principal was like that at the high school. Fortunately the huge demon that came up for graduation to eat everyone started with him before we blew him up."
Tony groaned. "That was your graduation? The high school that exploded due to a gas leak?" he asked. Xander looked at him and nodded. "Not a gas leak?"
"Ninety foot demon who had been the mayor. He wanted to eat everyone and take over the world. Pity. It was the only way we had to stop him. We could've earlier but it would've meant sacrificing someone. That was our method of last resort."
Tony just nodded slowly at that. "There's agents still looking into that."
Xander shrugged. "Not our fault they let the bastard keep going after a hundred years. They didn't stop him when he was letting the townspeople be fed on like they were a buffet for the nightlife. They didn't stop it when the school was so far under standards it was in the toilet. They didn't stop our thirty percent homicide rate. They didn't stop the dirty cops. They come after us for that and we'll let them be turned. Then there'll be someone with a clue in the Feds." He grinned. "So said Buffy."
Tony just nodded. "I'll slip something into someone's ear later."
"Thank you," Xander said cheerfully. "Did you like learning about the Initiative too?"
"My boss looked into that one. It's sealed." Xander tossed over a CD case from his jacket pocket. "This is...?"
"The Initiative's files, personnel rosters, training tapes, testing tapes, and personal notes they left lying around the base after we finally ran them off. We had to clean it out to keep the carrion eaters out of it. We also dropped the soldiers' bodies at the gates to the Army reserve base up the road. That way they could have a proper burial."
"Thank you," Mac said seriously.
Xander nodded. "They were assholes but they didn't deserve to be left to rot. At least their families have some closure."
Mac nodded. "I'm sure they'll appreciate it. Can I look at that as well?"
"We don't care. The more people who know the less chance it'll happen again and we have to go stop it a third time."
Mac nodded. "Thank you, Xander."
"Welcome. Torturing assholes get to me." They shared a look. "Have a bowl handy," he warned them. "It's not pretty."
Tony nodded. "I've seen other unpretty things," he assured him, putting it into his knapsack. He looked at Mac. "Dinner?"
"Sure. You live close by." He looked around. "We were in the middle of discussing how broad we want to make the laws."
"Basics like 'don't kill except in self defense or in defense of others?" Xander suggested.
Sam nodded. "That works for us. Don't rape. Don't steal. The basics were covered. Some of the others were being looked at."
"Can we please remove the one saying we have to marry within our families to keep them strong? I like Draco so far but I don't want to have to turn him into a girl after marrying him."
Draco coughed. "That's been on the books nearly forever."
"Incest and inbreeding are still ewwish," Xander said simply. "And what happens if there's no other family members, like in Danny's or formerly Cedric's cases?"
"Or in mine," Sam added. "I've got two maiden great aunts, my father, and my brother."
Draco shrugged. "It was meant to keep at least some of the family's lines pure of taint and hopefully keep the staff inside the majority of the family's lines instead of some outlying line from a daughter marrying into some other family."
"Yet, ours looks like a knotted spider web," Xander reminded him. "There's not a whole lot of people in this country that you're not related to in some way, Draco. Inbreeding is bad and I'm sure one of the more chemistry oriented people can tell you why."
Sam nodded. "I've seen it in action before."
"So have we," the chair sighed. "I don't think that's a law that's being pushed or enforced, Xander."
"Still icky. Draco would probably make a horrible girl once Willow got done with him." He looked back at him. "By the way, Tara wanted you to come to dinner tonight. She wanted to get to know more about the family and figured you'd have an idea. You're less hostile and less evil than your father so she wanted to pump you for information on distant cousins and things."
Draco shrugged. "That's fine. What are we having and should I change?"
"I don't know. She's going shopping today. I can tell you it won't be meat. She's a vegetarian." Draco just nodded at that. "Be comfortable." He turned back around. "Can we remove it anyway? It's not practical. Half of us are related to half the world and the rest don't have relatives we can marry. Unless you guys want Sam to marry his brother or father?"
"Eww," Danny agreed.
Sam grinned. "I take it you've met my brother and father?"
Stella snickered. "I have met your father, Sam. It's not a happy thought anyway." He grinned at her. "I have a whole bunch of family I don't know so I don't care but I'm not really looking forward to marriage anytime soon. I do work and it's a demanding job."
"You don't know any of your family?" the chair asked.
"I was given up for adoption," Stella said honestly. He moaned. "I was raised in the foster care system. It's not too horrible in most places. I did okay for myself."
"You did," Sam agreed. "It's not many women who can say that they bring down scum who hurt others." She smiled at that. "I'd never be able to do your job."
"You do the same thing only in a different field," Horatio pointed out, giving him a look.
Sam grinned. "Background?" Horatio, Danny, Stella, Tony, and Mac all nodded. "Just on me?"
"We tried to do one on Xander but it's locked," Tony told him. "Probably by the same program."
"Or by Willow since she hacks," Xander admitted. They all moaned. "Just ask, guys. I babble. I can babble at you just as easily as I do at Tara." They all nodded at that. "So, what other wacky laws are we looking at? The ones that say you can't wear polka dots? The one that said there's to be no striped underwear or else you can spend a year in prison?"
"There is?" Tony asked. Xander opened his book and passed it over. "There's a whole section on clothing laws." He read it over then started to mark things out. Horatio gave him an odd look. "Might as well. That way we can name them by number. Can we get rid of the one saying that only proper skirts are allowed? The rest of the world has moved on and sometime soon we're going to have a clothing outbreak where girls start to wear shorter skirts."
"Dean wanted me to encourage girls to wear mini skirts if they had the body," Sam said with a small grin. "The Victorian age is long past and the current fashions are much shorter and less cumbersome." He tossed down a fashion magazine. "That's an ideal but all the girls read those sort of things for ideas."
He flipped through it, giving them horrified looks. "Women wear skirts that show their knees?"
"Women wear skirts that show their thighs," Xander corrected. "And tops that show cleavage. And arms. And sometimes backs and shoulders." The man gave him a horrified look. He grinned and nodded, tossing one over as well. "That's the one the girls I hang with swear by for looking up new fashion ideas." He switched to that one. Then he let out a swear at the swimsuit section. Sam leaned over and nodded. "I know, sorry. That's what you wear to swim these days."
"Or less," Horatio admitted. "In Miami it's often less."
"I think we can mark that one out then," Tony said, marking out that rule and going on. "Anyone want to keep the 'no black underwear' law? Though I have no idea what women do when they want to look sexy."
"Go ahead and strike that too," Stella told him. "They're not comfortable but some women will have to go there for their men."
Tony nodded, striking that out too.
The Chair coughed. "Women actually *wear* these sort of things?"
"The British women are still pretty modest but yeah," Xander agreed. "We can take a field trip to a park if you want. Say around lunch?" he suggested. "Get all the secretaries and those sort out on their lunches?"
Horatio nodded. "That might be painless." He looked at the Chair then smiled when he held up something. "In my city they wear less because of the sun."
"Your city's also snobby about it," Danny reminded him. "Only the pretty get any sort of niceness."
"In some areas," Horatio agreed. "Then again we had a slightly heavy woman stoned last year by her husband for gaining weight. Miami can hold shallow people."
Xander looked at him. "Can I come visit your bikinis for stress relief?"
"As long as you don't cause any trouble," Horatio said dryly, giving him a look. Xander grinned back. "No having to hunt in Miami, Xander."
"Yes, Horatio. It's not a vacation if I have to."
"Good point. Then that would be fine. Warn me first just in case." Xander nodded at that. "Mac, Danny, and Stella are from New York."
"I wanted to hit there on my road trip but I got stuck in Oxnard stripping when the car blew up." He shrugged a bit. "Fate sucks to us." He looked at the Chair then at the clock on the wall. "It's nearly noon now. Want to go on the field trip so he can finish swearing at the loose women?" That got a nod and they walked out together, heading for a nearby park, Xander dragging Draco with him. Dean and John joined Sam on the trek through Diagon. "Hey," he said, hugging Tara when he ran into her. "What's for dinner? Draco wanted to know."
"That's cool. I love how you make it." She smiled and he kissed her on the cheek. "Gotta go. We're dealing with the updated world issues." He jogged off to catch up. He grinned at Mac. "She'll be fine. She can protect herself even though she doesn't like to have to." John gave him a very strange look. "She's a *pure* witch," he said quietly.
"She helps you guys?"
"Research, bandaging, spell support. She will if she has to but most of the time she doesn't have to. We do it for her. Willow does the same thing anymore."
"Your friend Willow needs some help, kid," John told him.
Xander nodded. "We've started to notice that she's using it for *everything*." Draco gave him a 'so what' look. "She's starting down the road to addiction of it. She was changing music stations on the radio the other day." Draco shrugged. "We'll discuss that later." He looked at John. "Got any good MA groups?"
"Stripping them of it."
"We need Willow and her skills. Plus that's really mean."
"True but if you have to...."
"Then Giles knows other watchery sorts who might be able to," he sighed. John patted him on the back. "I know but it sucks." They found themselves by a fountain in the park, Tony lounging off in the grass with Danny and Stella. Dean and Sam were on a bench talking about something. The others were spread out so they didn't look like a mob. Xander and John were together to keep talking with Draco in convenient hearing range. "So, been to our town recently?"
"I try very hard to stay away from there. The vampires annoy me to no end."
"You should try having Spike as a roommie because Giles is getting frisky with his foreign honey," Xander said dryly. "Though, tying him to the recliner was fun. Even if he did get me back by adding blood to my cereal so he could have it."
John looked at him. "You need help, kid."
Xander shrugged. "It's a Sunnydale thing, John."
"Hey, Dad, tell Xander that he shouldn't go back to his last girlfriend either," Dean called.
"What's wrong with Anya now?" Xander complained, looking at the brothers.
"Your ex Anyanka is probably not healthy for you."
"She hasn't tried to kill me yet."
"Yet," Sam said, grinning at him. "Date nice girls, Xander. Not girls like that."
"But she's finally learned that me getting off means she gets more sex, which she wants all the time. It's gotten better."
"You dated the demon over scorned women?" John asked.
Xander grinned. "She lost her power center."
"You're still insane."
"She's the first who hasn't tried to kill me yet."
"Stella, this one needs help finding *real* women," John called. She laughed. He walked him over there, handing Xander to Tony. "He was dating a vengeance demon."
"She was back to human again," Xander complained, pouting some. "Just because she wanted sex all the time and money, lots of money, doesn't make her too bad. She's getting used to being human again after eleven hundred years."
Stella looked at him, then shook her head. "No. You need *good* women, Xander. We'll have to help you find one so you don't date horrible things."
"Tara?" Danny suggested.
"Likes her Willow snuggly," Xander told him. "Willow would pull me apart at the molecules if I flirted with her witch."
"Ah. Do any of you guys date normally?"
"Not me or Buffy. Those two are together though."
Stella patted Xander. "We'll start looking for a nice girl for you, Xander. You do like girls, right?"
"So far I've only liked girls." She smiled at that. "No, I'm not hitting on you."
"Mostly because you'd turn deadly and try to kill me. Like the others have. I still don't know if it was me that turned Faith bad or if I was just a sign." He walked off to talk to Draco.
Stella looked at John. "That bad? Since you might know and all."
John groaned. "From the rumors, yes. His last real girlfriend was a mean, nasty, bitchy cheerleader. The one before that was killing people to survive by sucking them dry. The one before that was some sort of demon that needed him to fertilize things and then it'd kill him. The current one not killing him is a good thing, I guess. She's still the one women scorned call out to for revenge."
"I've met her," she admitted. She shook her head. "That boy's dangerous."
"Only when he's dating," Tony said dryly.
"No, he hunts with the team too," John assured him. "He's dangerous when he needs to be. Or when he's getting some I guess. Maybe Dean can help him pick up someone nice. Dean doesn't have that problem."
"He picked up a succuba last week," Sam called. Dean punched him on the arm. "Aw, quit, jerk."
"Shut up, bitch. The others didn't need to know that."
Xander grinned at him. "They're cute and fun but they don't like me after the third round. The last one complained that Anya made me inhuman." He grinned at Draco, going back to their talk about powerful things in the world. He had wondered about some rumors.
A middle-aged white man walked up to Xander and stared at him for a moment. "I say," he interrupted. "You're one of Ripper's brats, aren't you?" Xander looked up and nodded. "What are you doing over here? You should be slowly going to hell on the hellmouth for interrupting in his slayer's sacred duty."
Xander smirked. "I came over to talk with some of the rest of the family." He nodded his head at Draco. "Just found them and we've been going over family stuff. Did you want me to pass back a message? Buffy's just fine by the way. Twenty-one but just fine." The man went pale so Xander stood up. "If I hadn't jumped in, the whole line would've died during the ascension. Aren't you glad we stopped it?"
"She could have...."
"No, she couldn't have," Xander said with a smirk. "A ninety foot demon? Not a chance. She tried. We ended up going with a modern solution. The same as we'll use one on you guys if you *ever* come back to Sunnydale and bother us again. You can tell the glory hole whore Travers I said that." The man backed off another step, still looking horrified. "Or, you know what? Let's take a meeting this weekend. Travers has shit he wants to say to me, he can say it in person. Guys, are we meeting Saturday?" They all shook their heads. "Then let's have Travers meet me here Saturday. Say around this time of day?"
The man nodded quickly. "I'll extend the invitation." He looked around, spotting the few glares in his direction then he fled.
Xander flopped down again. "Sorry. Watchers," he called. "They annoy us often." He found his cellphone and called home. "Hey, G-man, me. Ran into one of your former coworkers. I extended the hand of 'gonna kick your ass for annoying me' to Travers on Saturday," he said in greeting. He listened to him complain. "Taking a lunch in the park. Tara's doing dinner tonight and she wanted to talk to my new cousin Draco too. Well, there was a small one but we did manage that issue. Sure, I'm here. I might even be able to get a cell signal at home. Yup, one of them. Called me one of your brats. Did you want to tell me something about how bad my mother was in bed?" Giles spluttered and hung up. "Ah, happy again," he said fondly.
"You really do believe in chaos, don't you?" Draco said, giving him an odd look.
"He needed the happy news and the ranting does him good. We're on our usual summer slowdown." He patted him on the back. "As for chaos, I know someone who practices that path if you were interested in talking to him. I think Willow could find him easily enough."
Draco gave him a horrified look. "You know someone who does *chaos* magic?" he said a bit loudly.
"Yeah. He comes to torment Giles now and then. Turned us into our halloween costumes one year."
Draco blinked. "Why!" he shouted.
Xander shrugged. "He thought it'd be fun and entertaining for his God Janus."
Draco stood up, staring down at him. "Do you do that?"
"No but the spells seem to like me so they stick better," he said with a grin. "It comes in handy now and then."
Draco walked off shaking his head. "I'm going to go get drunk."
"Be sober by dinner," Xander ordered. "Tara and I can't stand drunks."
"Fine. Thank you." He waved a hand as he continued to stomp off.
"Janus?" Mac asked.
Xander grinned. "One of Giles' former playmates. He shows up now and then to bother us."
Mac shook his head. "Your town should be closed."
John nodded. "The demons would never allow it."
"Probably true. They'd overload LA and then Angel would get mean and sic Cordy on us. Again." He grinned. "We'd have to take up a collection to get her Gucci so she'd quit ranting and complaining about us or calling us names."
"I hear explosives could help," John said dryly.
"Don't. Tempt. Me," Xander said, staring him down. "Really."
John snickered. "I think we'd all love to see it happen, kid."
"Us too. Then Buffy could shop instead of hunt. She'd like that." John walked off snickering. Xander looked at Mac. "I'm trying really hard to be good."
"I know you are. Try harder, Xander."
Xander just grinned. "Does that mean Stella can't set me up with nice women?"
"No, she can set you up with all the nice women she wants to." Xander nodded, stretching out to enjoy the sun. He walked over to Horatio, sitting next to him. "Xander's a bit strange." Horatio gave him a look over the top of his sunglasses. "I'm not sure if it's job or if it's just him. Sam seems normal."
"Could be both," Horatio offered. He nudged the chair on the arm. "There we go. The start of the lunch rush." He watched as the man stared at the young women walking around the park to enjoy their lunches. "That is a modern woman's business suit. It's considered modest by modern standards."
The chair pointed at one. "What is that then?"
He looked at the woman in the longer skirt. "She's apparently gone for comfort. Some women do but not many."
He looked around, shaking his head at all the legs he could see. "These are normal clothes?" The pants on the girl he was staring at were obscene! He could see her rear and crotch! Women should not be seen that way!
"Those are mostly business clothes. For off duty many women wear those," he said, subtly pointing at the woman in jeans that had horrified him. "Those are jeans and a t-shirt."
The Chair stared at him. "We would never accept that look."
Horatio looked at him. "The world will intrude, even when you don't want it to," he pointed out gently. The other man shuddered. "You have to put plans in place to ease into that transition. It will be a bad culture shock to see girls in those things."
"I saw a few in the alley," Xander called, standing up to walk over to them. "They were being walked around like they were trash." He sat on the edge of the fountain with him. He pointed at one young woman. "That's pretty standard clothes where most of us come from for off-work, free time clothes." He looked at him. "Nearly everyone wears that look in one form or another. Jeans, shirt, sneakers."
The man shook his head. "That's just wrong. You can see her privates," he hissed.
Xander nodded. "Yeah. They've been wearing those now for over thirty years though."
"Perhaps we can find him a history of fashion book so he can see where they are relative to the present time," Horatio offered. That got a quick nod. "Where's a good library?"
"Muggle?" he asked. He considered it. "I have no idea." Xander pointed at a building. "Are you sure?"
"If not it's built like one." He grinned. "I've spent a lot of time working with my slayer in a library." He winked and got up, going to find out if it was and get him a book. They had one and the librarian was charming about him being in on a foreign student bid when he told her that's why he was local. He brought the book back to the council's chambers, handing it over. "There you go. Popular fashion from the Middle Ages on."
He flipped through it until he found an area that looked fashionable to him. Then he slowly went forward. He squeaked some at the flapper clothes but kept going. He nearly had a heart attack at the clothes from the sixties. Then it just got worse. He finally looked at the others. "We should make rules to ease this change." They all nodded. "Thank you for showing me that."
"I figured it'd been pushed a bit by the kids who weren't born into the same world," Xander told him.
"Muggle borns get treated a bit more roughly in Diagon but allowances seem to be made for shopping right before the start of school. Their next trip they usually realize that they stood out the last time so they make allowances for it I guess," Harry said. He got comfortable. "I've never seen how that worked."
"Social pressure can be very heavy," Stella said. "The pressure to conform is very high and can be deadly in some cases." Xander nodded at that.
"If every magical woman in Britain wears such old clothes why do the girls' uniforms look like modern clothes?" Harry asked.
"To entice boys to date them," Danny said. "They get shocked by the short skirts."
"It could also be some desensitization therapy for later on and those who end up back in the muggle world," Tony offered. "Those were pretty tame compared to some of the ones you see in the offices around DC."
Horatio nodded. "The ones in Miami as well."
Sam grinned. "It was nice to see that jeans are nearly universal."
The Chair coughed. "Those would never be acceptable."
"Some of your women wear pants," Xander pointed out.
"Not that tight!"
"They're still pants, and you can buy looser jeans," Xander said dryly, grinning at him. "Most women don't because the tighter ones make them look better and more attractive."
The Chair shuddered. "I'll look at ways to ease the transition."
"As long as that book makes it back to the library," Xander said patiently. That got a nod. He looked at the others. "What else are we taking up today?"
"Minister Fudge is trying again," Stella said.
Tony nodded. "One of the aurors warned us he's going to try something stupid again."
"That reminded me, I wanted to have information on this Dark Lord person," Sam said. "With our experience, Xander and I might be of some help to those fighting." Harry gave him an odd look. "We do fight, Harry. My father taught me self defense."
"You can teach that?" Harry asked.
Xander grinned and nodded. "Yup. I learned on the job but Sam got taught and all the officers here probably got taught during their training."
"Wow. That might come in handy."
"Probably," Sam agreed. "Dean and I agreed that we'd be more than happy to help you work on that, Harry. Plus any weapons work you needed."
"Weapons?" the Chair said, looking horrified.
"I use a stake, a crossbow, and a battle axe most usually," Xander agreed. "I can use guns of many classes and we've had to resort to artillery once."
"We use guns more than your group does," Sam told him. "It's safer to shoot than stake."
"I can't get good wooden bullets made," Xander told him.
"We have a supplier for that," Sam said with a grin. "Also for blessed iron and rock salt rounds. Dean does most of our rock salt shells."
"Sniping the demons might be easier but we never seem to have it when necessary. That's why we go on nightly patrols," Xander said. Mac gave him a horrified look. "It's the only way to keep the vamps down." He pouted. "I haven't had to patrol in days. It's odd that I haven't had to stake something. I'm not sure if I miss it or not."
"You probably miss the feel of the hunt," Sam said, patting him on the hand. "I know it's strange because I haven't been in the car in days. I'm always in the car going to another area. I haven't even heard heavy metal in days. I'm about to wonder why."
"It'd probably drive your aunts nuts," Danny said dryly. "You two gonna detox from that shit okay?"
"We'll be fine. This is a vacation," Sam said with a grin. "I had a long one when I went to college."
"I hated school," Xander admitted. "I so sucked in there. I like construction work. It's good for me and I like doing it."
Sam nodded. "I've done some day work doing that." He looked at Harry. "No, we're not normal."
"I was hoping you weren't."
"Normal military guys are like Mac," Tony told him. Mac smirked at him. "I could've said Gibbs but he hasn't met him yet." He looked at the Chair. "Are we going to get a report on how bad the Ministry's screwing up? It was all over the paper this morning."
"The paper's a piece of shite," Harry said bluntly. "Likes to make up stories and the like. Said I was insane a few years back." That got a round of laughs. "So you can't trust anything and they will twist anything you say."
That got a nod from the Chair. "They're partially right."
"Is the cause the same as the one we're going to have to beat again?" Sam asked.
"We heard the heavy boots too," Mac assured him. An auror opened the door and Fudge walked in. "Minister Fudge." He looked at the Chair again. "We should have a good list of what needs cut and what can be updated within a few days. Tony's already started marking things out that're simply stupid to code." That got a nod. "Where are we meeting, boys and Stella?"
"My place?" Tony suggested. "I live up the alley." That got a nod from that group. "Sam, what did you go to college for?"
"I was going to start law school before my girlfriend was killed," he said. Xander gave his wrist a squeeze. "Thanks, Xander."
"Welcome. It's a sucky thing to be stuck in the life we live, Sam." He nodded at that. He looked at Fudge. "What can we do for you today?"
"You can surrender Ministry property," he sneered.
"Um, no," Harry said. "It's family property the Ministry stole."
"You can't prove that."
Harry pulled something out of his school bag. "I asked Hermione to find the pertinent references." He handed them over. "It should be in the paper tomorrow." Fudge went purple.
"Um, if he has a stroke I don't know the CPR for that," Xander said.
"Call the paramedics and make them comfortable," Tony said.
"Oh, okay." He nodded. "Much nicer than mouth-to-mouth resuscitation."
Tony grinned. "Had to?"
"Brought back Buffy. That's why there's two slayers."
Fudge gave him an alarmed look, backing off. "You work with a slayer?" Xander beamed and nodded. "Where?"
"Sunnydale," he said with a sneer. He stood up. "Let me introduce myself, Minister Fudge. I'm Alexander Harris, White Knight of Sunnydale and Buffy's backup." He fled the room. Xander sat down, grinning at the aurors. "You guys have heard of us too?" They nodded and fled. "Huh. I didn't know we had such a heavy reputation this far away. Must've been listening to the Watchers Council." He shrugged and grinned at the others. "Sorry. I hate ass lickers like that." They all nodded they agreed and got back to work on the law book, crossing out sections for later on. "Is it allowed for me to make a preemptive motion and ask that we remove Minister Fudge from office?" he asked the Chair.
"The one after him is worse," he assured him. "Trolls might be better than he is at the job but all those in line came up with him and would do the same things. Many of them might even be Death Eaters or sympathizers."
Xander sighed. "That's fine. Can we hobble him so he quits acting up?"
He shrugged. "How would we?"
"Make it so he cannot touch us or the staffs?" Sam suggested. "I know there's got to be a way."
"With the brains in this room we'll find something," Stella assured him. That got a nod. "Until then, we'll keep beating at him whenever he tries something stupid." Two men in uniform walked in. "Morning, boys."
"Mr. Harris?" Xander gave them his best 'interested' look. "Sir, the Council is not pleased that you're over here."
"I just got named the head of my family and I'll gladly kill Travers to make him leave Giles alone. The only talk we'd ever possibly have is one where punches were thrown." That got a nod from one of them. "I believe in leaving him alone if they do us. After all, Travers only makes things worse. Are he and Fudge twins?"
"They share certain management styles," one of them said dryly. "He would like to talk to you."
"I'd like to kick his ass."
"That may not be possible."
Xander grinned. "Excuse me early today. Let me handle my associates." He walked out with them, letting them take him to the Council. Where his first act was to hit Wesley's father. "Next time, don't fuck with the slayers. We get evil." He turned and hit Travers too. "That's from Buffy because she's too ladylike to do it herself." Someone grabbed him and the fight was on. At least until he was tired of it then the staff took him home after blinding a good few of them with a flash of magic. Tara looked him over slowly. "Travers." She handed him an ice pack. "Thanks." He sat down to ice his bruised knuckles.
to part 3