A/N#1: Hey, everyone! I'm so excited to be back with my second story on this site. I know I've been gone for a while. Life was really crazy, but I have big plans for some new stories, so stay tuned over the next few months! I really appreciate all of you guys and hope you enjoy my story. If you like it, leave a review! If you don't like it, tell me why in a review! If you aren't sure if you like it or not, review and ask for stuff that fits your preferences better! Basically, just review!
A/N#2: While you can read this story all by itself and still understand everything that's going on, it is actually in the same universe as my previous story, Easter Fool's Day, and contains some spoilers for it, so I recommend you go read that one first. It's really short, so don't worry about making a huge time commitment. : D
A/N#3: I'm excited to announce that I now have social media accounts for my fanfiction writing where you can monitor the status of my stories and find out what upcoming projects I'm working on! You can find the links to them in my profile. Check it out!
A/N#4: I don't own either the Harry Potter characters or Buffy the Vampire Slayer's people, and I don't understand how the rumor that I do got started.
A/N#5: Now without further ado, enjoy the story! : )
Buffy strode confidently down the halls of her school, determination showing clearly on her face. She was a woman with a mission, and she was going to complete it or die trying. By "her school" she meant the one she co-founded, of course, not the one she was attending.
After the defeat of the First and the destruction of Sunnydale, the Scoobies and the newly-awakened slayers needed a new home-base. Luckily, Giles was able to convince the few watchers who had not been killed by the First to work with them, and they had converted one of the council's training buildings for watchers into a school for watchers, slayers, and witches and wizards. As most of the new slayers were between the ages of ten and twenty, they had made it a boarding school for grades sixth through twelfth, though they had an after-school program for any slayers or mages that couldn't wait that long. Plus, they would also work with anyone who wanted to keep training after they graduated from high school and anyone who wanted to keep fighting the good fight for the council would get paid a salary they could live on. The days of the Watcher's Council taking advantage of the slayers were over, that was for sure.
"Um, Miss Summers?" A quiet voice interrupted Buffy's thoughts of determination, dying, and the like.
She stopped and turned, already aware of who had spoken. A quick glance confirmed it.
Standing shyly below a festive Thanksgiving decoration was Zoe Abnen, one of the students at the school.
"Hey, Zoe! What's up?" Buffy asked brightly. A few moment's delay would not adversely affect her plans.
"Um, some of the other slayers and I were going to spar in the gym together, and we were wondering if you, um, wanted to watch."
Buffy smiled fondly. She had a soft spot for the thirteen-year-old. As soon as they'd set up in the school, they'd gone out looking for the rest of the girls who'd become slayers, along with anyone they thought might have magical potential, or who could make a good watcher. One of the ways they did this was through the spells the council had used to track down potential slayers and new slayers, but this proved to be unreliable. In fact, they discovered the spell could only locate about 10% of potential slayers and did no better once the slayers were called. So, they started investigating reports of unusually strong middle school to high school girls, and were able to track down a lot more girls this way. One of those girls was Zoe. She'd been suspended from the middle school she attended for damaging school property. The only thing was, no one knew how she'd been able to do the amount of damage she had without some seriously heavy-duty tools, and one teacher swore she saw her rip a door off its hinges with her bare hands. To compound matters, Zoe had never been violent or moody before and said she hadn't meant to break anything. Fortunately, her principle happened to be very good friends with Robin, so the Scoobies found her pretty quickly. Unfortunately, when Buffy and Wesley approached her uncle who she lived with about having her enroll, they discovered he was somewhat neglectful and didn't really see the value in giving her things like clothes and shoes that fit and weren't full of holes, enough food to eat, or a pillow and blankets, even though he made more than enough to do so. Thus, the council had seen to it that she was taken out of his custody, so now she lived at the school full time. (It was a little scary how easy it was to get custody of Zoe, but they were not going to take advantage of that power, unlike the people who were in charge before).
Zoe was doing much better now, and while she was one of the quietest slayers Buffy had ever met, she was also one of the best trackers ever. Once she locked onto a quarry, she didn't stop until she'd found it. Buffy almost felt bad for all the demons she'd stalked until they couldn't run anymore. Almost.
"I would totally love to, but I'm going to be super busy preparing our Thanksgiving feast for tonight. Wish I could. Maybe I can watch after dinner?" Buffy replied earnestly.
"Okay. I'll, um, let you get to it."
She scurried off, and Buffy started back down the hallway.
Buffy laughed quietly and shook her head ruefully. All the students had been given the day off for the holiday, and how did they spend it? By doing the same sort of stuff they had to do for school each day. Most of the slayers Buffy had talked to were doing some physical activity, such as sparring, running, or the like, and most of the witches were spending the day meditating or practicing their magic. At least the majority of the watchers-in-training were taking advantage of their free time. Buffy had heard that a big group of them were heading into the nearest town to live it up while they had the chance.
Buffy couldn't really blame them, though. Most of the students who were still at the school were from other countries and didn't have any Thanksgiving traditions to fill their time, as almost all of the American students were spending the day with their families. There were a few exceptions, like Zoe, who weren't able to do that, whether because they didn't have a family, were no longer welcome with them, or some other reason.
Buffy reached the kitchen and pushed open the big double doors. She could do this. She was determined to prepare the best Thanksgiving feast ever made, so that the Americans who had nowhere to go could still have a good holiday and so that the foreigners would get to experience a real Thanksgiving celebration! They hadn't been able to celebrate at all last year, because some maniac had decided to summon some really nasty demons from a hell dimension and it took their crew a very long time to stop all of them and send them back. (The slayers hadn't been able to kill most of them; the demons were that bad).
This year, though, Buffy wanted everyone to be able to relax and have fun, so she was going to cook the whole feast by herself. She pulled out her list of supplies and started setting all of the shelf-stable ones out onto the kitchen's islands. She had bought all of the ingredients on Monday and Tuesday, so she was totally prepared.
There wasn't too much to prepare. She just had to cook the turkeys, heat up the stuffing, gravy, rolls, creamed corn, pies, and macaroni and cheese casseroles, slice the pies and cranberries, and make the sweet potatoes, green bean casseroles, mashed potatoes, and coffee. That was all.
Having given herself the whole day to prepare, she was sure she could get everything done without a hitch. She figured she should start with the turkeys, since they needed to cook the longest. She had begun thawing the thirty-pound-birds several days ago, so they would be ready in time.
Buffy took the turkeys out of their plastic and stuck them in baking dishes. She picked up a dish in each hand and walked over to the ovens, then stopped.
She had completely forgotten to preheat the ovens. She put the turkeys down and set all of the ovens to 500 degrees Fahrenheit.
"I'll just put you birdies back into the fridge and get started on the green bean casseroles while I wait," she said to herself.
"Right, all I need to do for the casseroles is mix the cream of mushroom soup, milk, and pepper together, and put them in the baking dishes. Add the green beans and fried onions, and voila! Just need to put you babies in the… ovens" Buffy trailed off and frowned. "The ovens that are preheating for the turkeys right now. Hmmm…"
Buffy bit her lip and thought over her options. She gave the casseroles a speculative look. "You guys only cook for 30 minutes," she said slowly. "So, I can just turn the ovens down to 350 degrees long enough to cook the casseroles, then I'll turn it back up for the turkeys! It shouldn't take too long to get the ovens to temp again, since they'll already be warm, so it'll only be a 40-ish minute delay before the turkeys get cooked. I'll still have plenty of time," she reasoned to herself as she turned the stoves down.
She set the casseroles down on the stove while the oven got to temperature.
"I'll make up the yams while I wait!" Buffy said brightly. "Okay, I need… wait a minute…"
Buffy quickly skimmed through the recipe.
"Oh, you need to be baked too! Is there anything that doesn't need the oven!" she yelled in frustration.
She crossed her arms and scowled before shaking her head.
"Okay, fine! I'm just going to put the salad mixes in serving bowls while I wait. No cooking required there!" she snapped.
Buffy managed to fill half of a serving bowl before the stove beeped, letting her know the oven had gotten to the right temperature. Buffy quickly popped the casseroles in and took a deep breath as she turned back to the salads.
"Everything's going to be fine," she whispered to herself. "I've got this."
She forced a smile on her face and had just picked up the bag of salad again, when she was interrupted by a voice behind her.
"Hey, Buffy. I was wonder-"
Buffy turned to see her younger sister, Dawn, standing in the doorway looking at the bag in Buffy's had with a strange expression on her face.
"Oh, hey, Dawn!" Buffy chirped brightly, choosing to ignore the look on her sister's face for now. She couldn't quite put her finger on what the face meant, but was sure Dawn would bring it up if it was important.
Dawn had moved to England so that she could live closer to her boyfriend, Draco Malfoy, but was back in town for Thanksgiving. Buffy was really happy she was back. They got along a lot better now that they weren't living together, but all the phone conversations in the world couldn't make up for the fact that they were now living a world apart (literally).
"Um, Buffy?" Dawn asked slowly, still eyeing the bag. "Is that a salad mix?"
"Yep!" Buffy replied cheerily, still ignoring her strange behavior. "It'll be just like when we were kids!"
Dawn smirked, and Buffy had no idea why. They had always had salad on Thanksgiving growing up, and there was no reason for things to be different now. Buffy fought the feeling of annoyance that threatened to well up inside her. She didn't want to be mad at her sister, not when they spent so little time together, but it had been a long day and Dawn was acting really weird.
Buffy mentally took a deep breath.
"Keep smiling. Act like there's nothing wrong," she thought to herself. Maybe England had ruined her taste in food.
"Is there romaine in there?" Dawn continued with a drawl. That Malfoy kid was really rubbing off on her. It was kind of annoying.
"Ye-e-es…?" In a fit of pettiness, Buffy drew out her reply as well, not sure where Dawn was going with this.
"So, are you, like, trying to kill us, or is it just a happy coincidence?" Dawn asked snarkily.
"Huh?" Buffy inquired eloquently.
"The CDC issued a recall on all the romaine lettuce in the country," Dawn answered very slowly as if Buffy was a slow-witted child.
Buffy blinked, then narrowed her eyes. In an instant, she lost her fight with her frustration and felt her temper snap. Just like that, it was as if she was 15 again and Dawn had just stolen her make-up.
"No they didn't!" Buffy snarled. "That's the stupidest thing I've ever heard! Honestly, if you're going to lie, at least make it plausible!"
Dawn's nostrils flared, a sure sign of anger, but Buffy didn't care.
"I did not make it up!" she practically hissed.
Whipping out her smartphone, Dawn typed furiously.
The phone was designed by a few of the council's techno-mages to work in magic-infused areas like the school, and actually pulled magic from the surrounding environment to power its battery, though you could also charge it regularly if you were in a low-magic environment. Muggle-born witches and wizards had leapt at the chance to own a smartphone that didn't blow up whenever the smallest spell was used near it, and the revenue from the bits of tech helped fund the school. The council had started a whole company called Enchantech, and apart from phones they also made laptops, digital cameras and clocks, tablets, and other types of electronics as well.
"There!" Dawn said triumphantly after several seconds as she thrust her phone in Buffy's face. "I told you!"
"Throw out your romaine lettuce: CDC issues recall warns about e-coli outbreak," Buffy read out loud off of the screen.. It was a news article from a reliable source. There was no way this was a prank. Dawn had been telling the truth. Aaaaaannnnnnnnndddddddd Buffy had blown up at her and accused her of lying. She felt her face flush.
"Okay, fine. You didn't make it up. Sorry I yelled at you and jumped to conclusions," Buffy apologize sheepishly. "It's been a reeeeally rough morning."
Dawn rolled her eyes and took a deep breath as she stowed away her phone again.
"Yeah, whatever. I'm just can't believe you hadn't heard about it before now. I mean, it's been all over social media for days."
Buffy shrugged nonchalantly, not willing to admit she'd been too busy to get on any social media platform for at least two weeks.
"So, did you have a reason for coming in here or was it just to let me know how behind on the times I am?" Buffy asked with a sigh and an arched eyebrow.
"Oh, right. I just wanted to let you know that Draco is going to be here in a bit," the younger girl said with a dismissive wave of her hand.
Buffy nodded, but internally rolled her eyes. Ever since they'd gotten together, the two kids had been practically inseparable. He was alright, but a little weird in Buffy's opinion. After all, he had asked her and Giles if he could court Dawn. Buffy hadn't been sure if she should laugh in his face or break it. Luckily, Giles was aware of pureblood customs and knew the kid was being totally sincere, so he was able to intervene before Buffy could overreact.
Buffy had to admit however that Dawn and Draco both seemed much happier together than they had been before, though Dawn was snarkier than she'd ever been. Of course they'd had their fights, but were always able to work things out.
"You mean your bleached-blonde, British bad boy?" Buffy asked rhetorically.
Dawn smirked slightly.
"Yeah, well, I guess us Summers girls have a type. I mean, Draco couldn't be more like Riley if he tried," Dawn said with false innocence.
Buffy scoffed. Draco had a definite resemblance to one of Buffy's former boyfriends all right, and Riley most certainly was not it.
"Yeah, yeah, you're a riot. Now get out of here and let me cook!"
She shooed the giggling girl away.
Once she was alone again, Buffy's smiled slipped away. She sighed heavily and looked down at bag of greens in her hand.
"I did not need this right now," she said glumly.
Buffy sighed again.
"Oh, well. I guess, there's nothing more I can do for you," she said reluctantly, tossing the bag in the bin.
"Now what?" she asked aloud. "It wouldn't be Thanksgiving without salads. Hmmm…"
Buffy glanced at the timer for the green bean casseroles.
"I can make it to the store and back before the casseroles finish, no problem. I'll be gone and back before you can say 'Thanksgiving'!"
Having determined her course of action, Buffy moved with the speed of a slayer chasing a quarry. Soon she was roaring down the highway towards the nearest town.
"Okay, I'll just run into Gordons' real fast and…" She trailed off as the empty parking lot of the store in question came into view. "That's odd," she mused. "Gordons' is never packed, but- Oh! They're closed for Thanksgiving! Duh, I'm so stupid!"
She glanced nervously at her watch. "I've still got time. Walmart is open."
She raced down the road again to the only store still open and selling food.
Running in, Buffy quickly located an employee.
"Where are your salad mixes?" she blurted.
"Oh, they're right over here, if you'll just follow me," he answered politely.
Buffy followed impatiently as he made his way to the produce aisle.
"Here you go."
"Thanks!" Buffy replied, snatching a bag of salad mix. "Okay these serve four, so I'll need… 200. That's not going to happen. I'll just have to take all the bags they have."
She grabbed all the bags off of the display and rushed to the checkouts.
Buffy bounced up and down on her heels as the cashier stared at the all of the salad mixes Buffy was buying. Slowly, so painfully slowly it literally hurt, the cashier, who looked all of sixteen, began ringing them all up.
"Can we hurry this up?" Buffy snapped.
The girl shot her a dirty look and continued her impression of a sloth. In fact, Buffy could swear she was moving even slower than she had been before. Buffy gritted her teeth, but there was nothing she could do to make the obnoxious teen speed up.
The instant the girl finished, Buffy threw some cash at her and was back on the road again as soon as was humanly possible. She was speeding along when the whoop of a siren reached her ears.
"Oh, no," Buffy moaned as she glanced in her rearview mirror and confirmed that a cop was following her. "No, no, no, no, no…"
Buffy pulled over to the side of the road and felt like screaming in frustration.
A police officer made her way over to Buffy's window.
"Do you know how fast you were going?" she drawled, arms crossed over her chest.
Buffy shot her a pleading look.
"It's Thanksgiving!" she practically begged. "Can't you give me a break? I need to get home before the food burns!"
The officer gave her a stern look.
"You should have thought of that before you decided to speed. It only saves you seconds you know."
An agonizingly long time later, Buffy was back on her way with a ticket and a feeling of despair. She made sure to drive exactly the speed limit this time, but it didn't make a difference. She had lost too much time.
Minutes that felt like hours later, Buffy hurried down the hall towards the kitchen. As she drew near, she knew it was too late. The scent of smoke filled her nostrils, but she pressed on.
Throwing open the kitchen's double doors, Buffy coughed as smoke filled her lungs and stung her eyes. She shoved on some oven mitts and, shutting off an oven, pulled the blackened remains of a green bean casserole out of it. She tried to wave the smoke away as she coughed some more, but it was no use. Tears that had nothing to do with the irritants flooding her system welled up in her eyes. She slammed the casserole onto one of the kitchen's islands and started taking the rest out, turning off ovens as she went.
When at last all of the casseroles were out of the ovens and the ovens were all turned off, Buffy flung off the oven mitts and slumped to the floor. She sobbed, head in hands.
She wasn't sure how long she'd been sitting like that, when she heard someone clear their throat from the doorway to the kitchen.
"Ah, Miss Summers?"
Buffy scrambled to her feet and saw Percy Weasley peering at her awkwardly from the doorway. He seemed embarrassed to have witnessed her moment of weakness and cleared his throat again as he adjusted his glasses.
Buffy flushed scarlet.
"Hey, Percy." She tried to lean casually on the island, but knew she was failing at the nonchalant aspect. Her eyes were red and watering from the smoke and crying, her hair was definitely a mess, her make-up was surely ruined. Yeah, there was nothing "casual" about her look at that moment. "How've you been?"
He took a breath to speak but coughed instead. Pulling out his wand, he muttered something under his breath. Instantly, the smoke cleared.
Buffy took a deep breath of sweet, clean air.
"Thanks," she said gratefully.
He cleared his throat again.
"It was not a problem," he said seriously. He pursed his lips and clasped his hands behind his back as he peered at the disaster area that was the kitchen.
"What did you need me for?" Buffy asked quickly, hoping to distract him from the mess.
"Hmm? Ah, I finished that report on the migration patterns of the Kutembea Miti. They seem to be headed in the direction of a Ugandan village, but that can wait," he said dismissively.
"Wait, what?" Buffy gasped. "Demons are heading for an African village? That, like, totes can't wait! How long until they get there? How dangerous are these demons? Do we have anyone in the area who can step in?" Buffy started to panic a little.
Percy looked at her with a strange look on his face.
"They are the Kutembea Miti…" he said slowly. "They eat small animals like dogs and cats, but are incredibly afraid of humans. And I estimate they will reach a human settlement in about twenty-five years. They move very slowly. I do not think it is much of a concern."
Buffy blinked a bit. "Oh, well, never mind then."
"Do you need any help?" Percy asked with concern as he glanced at the charred remains of casserole.
"What? No, no, no. I'm fine. I've got everything under control. Plus, you're like, super busy with your work, I'm sure," she said in what she hoped was a dismissively reassuring tone.
"Are you sure? My mother would not mind lending a helping hand."
Buffy waved him away.
"No, I wouldn't want to bother her. I'm sure she's busy with her own Thanksgiving preparations."
He looked at her like she was stupid.
"... we are British," he said slowly after a long, awkward moment.
Buffy blinked at him and then flushed as she realized what he was saying.
"Oh, yeah. Sort of forgot that Thanksgiving was an American holiday," she muttered under her breath. "As if I didn't look stupid enough already."
She chewed on her lower lip for a moment before sighing.
"Well… okay," she consented. "You can ask her if she wants to help, but if she looks even a teensy-bit busy, forget it! I don't want to impose."
"I will go floo her. I shall return momentarily."
He moved off down the hallway.
One of the first things that the Scoobies had done when they set up the school was hook it up with international flooing, so that they could get anywhere in the world (or at least the countries that have flooing treaties) in the blink of an eye, but Buffy kept forgetting they could do that.
Buffy sighed and looked down at what was left of the green beans.
"I guess I'll just clean up while I wait."
She picked up one of them and started scraping it out into the trash can. It was slow going, as it had burned to the dish, and Buffy was only a quarter of the way done when a short, round, redheaded woman came bustling into the room with Percy right behind.
"Buffy!" Molly Weasley, Percy's mother, exclaimed as she enveloped the slayer in a hug. She pulled back and gazed in Buffy's eyes as she beamed at her. "It's been far too long."
Buffy couldn't help but smile back, and she felt some of her troubles melting away.
"Way too long," she agreed.
Percy cleared his throat.
"If you two will excuse me, I must be getting back to my work," he said formally.
"See you later, then," Buffy replied. "You will be coming to the dinner tonight, right?"
"Okay, then. Bye!"
As soon as he'd gone, Molly turned back to Buffy.
"Now then," she asked briskly. "What needs to be done?"
"You don't have to help," Buffy began, but Molly cut her off.
"Nonsense! With all of my children out of the house and Arthur off on a business trip, I was just sitting on my hands looking for something to do! So, what still needs to be done, Buffy?" she asked again.
Buffy sighed. "Everything? I haven't started the turkeys, I destroyed the green bean casseroles, I don't have enough salad for everyone, I need to open and slice the cranberries, heat up the gravy and stuffing, make and cook the yams, make the instant mashed potatoes, slice and heat the pies, heat the creamed corn and dinner rolls, heat the mac and cheese, and make coffee. I think that's all," Buffy said, listing them all off, her heart growing heavier with each item she mentioned.
Molly raised an eyebrow. "So, you need ingredients for salads and casseroles? Why don't you go get those, while I see what I can do about the rest," Molly suggested.
"But all the stores are closed!" Buffy protested.
"Not in London, they're not," Molly responded with a conspiratorial wink. "You can use the floo to go shop and be back in no time!"
"Huh, I hadn't thought about that. Are you sure you can handle things while I'm gone?" Buffy felt like an idiot as soon as the words left her mouth. Molly was a master cook, and Buffy was… not.
"Don't worry about me, dear. I'll manage."
"Well… okay," Buffy said somewhat reluctantly. She left and headed to the floo. Buffy was easily able to find everything in the stores and quickly headed back to the school.
When she returned to the kitchen, her mouth dropped open in shock. All the canned cranberries were sliced and arranged prettily on plates. The turkeys were in the oven cooking, the mac n cheese, stuffing, and gravy were heating on the stovetop. The dinner rolls were steaming on the counter along with the yams. Coffee was being made, and the pies were being sliced by knives that were controlling themselves. Molly was humming to herself as she poured the cans of creamed corn in a pot to be warmed, while the instant potatoes mixed themselves.
"Good, Buffy, you're back!" the cheery woman exclaimed when she noticed the slayer standing in the doorway gaping at the room. "Why don't you put the salad in bowls, while I take care of the casserole?" she suggested merrily.
"Wah? How?" Buffy sputtered.
"Hm? Oh, magic can do many things," Molly said dismissively. The creamed corn started dumping itself into a pot. Molly turned a stovetop on before taking the groceries from Buffy's hands. Buffy was too amazed to resist her.
Buffy stared for a few more seconds before shaking herself out of her stupor.
"Do you want a job?" she blurted out.
Molly turned and looked at her in surprise.
"Do you want a job?" Buffy repeated. "Because I will pay you to do this, like, every day. We can discuss your schedule and make sure you're still able to take care of your family, but you're the one who said you've been looking for stuff to do," Buffy pointed out, hoping to convince her.
Molly furrowed her brow.
"But don't you have cooks already?" she asked, perplexed.
"No," Buffy answered. "We've been looking for descent cooks for awhile but haven't been able to find anyone. Do you know how hard it is to find lunch ladies who know about what goes bump in the night, are capable of defending themselves in case of an attack, who are willing to make three meals a day, and who aren't evil? It's really hard. We've been having the staff and girls cook in teams each day, but we could really use your help," she pleaded with her.
Molly looked like she was really considering it.
"Well… I'll have to talk to Arthur before I make any promises," she warned, before breaking into a smile. "But if he doesn't have any objections, I would be honored to take the job."
Buffy squealed and clapped her hands.
"Oh, I hope you do! It would be so great to see you everyday, and your cooking is amazing!"
They grinned at each other and then got back to work.
Buffy surveyed the school's bustling cafeteria and smiled. They had done it. All the food was made and served, and on time too. Students and faculty were already beginning to trickle in for dinner, so the large room was starting to fill up.
Buffy spotted Giles entering the room and strolled over to greet him.
"Hey, Giles!" she greeted him, giving him a hug.
"Ah, Buffy. Good work on making dinner," he replied.
"Thanks, but it was mostly Molly. Which brings up what I wanted to talk to you about," she answered.
He raised an eyebrow.
"I just wanted to let you know that I offered her a job on our currently non-existent kitchen staff," Buffy explained.
Giles nodded in approval.
"Excellent choice. Do you think she'll accept?"
Buffy nodded back.
"She's going to check with Arthur first, but she's thinking it's a 'yes'."
"I do hope she agrees. We could use her, and she's an excellent cook."
"Yeah, she fits all the criteria. Good cook, knows about magic, can defend herself, not evil," Buffy listed off. "4 for 4."
Just then, Dawn pulled Draco over to where they were standing.
Draco may have been dressed in black jeans, a dark green t-shirt, and sneakers, but he was all formality.
"Miss Summers," he said solemnly, bowing low. "Mr. Giles."
Buffy stifled a grin, and Dawn rolled her eyes.
Draco straightened up, and Buffy looked at him with an amused look on her face.
"1, I told you to call me Buffy. B, no one bows to anyone here."
Draco raised an eyebrow.
"Just because everyone else lacks class, doesn't mean I have to as well," he said primly, before turning to Dawn. "I have something to discuss with Miss Rosenberg. I will be but a moment." With that, he turned on his heel and strode off.
"I'm afraid I have to say goodbye as well," Giles said with a small sigh. "Based off the frantic signaling from Rona, Andrew or one of the baby slayers has irrevocably damaged something extremely expensive." He walked off as well.
The two girls watched him leave. Buffy turned to Dawn with a wide eyed look.
"Man, Dawn. It's like you plucked your boyfriend right out of the medieval times!"
Dawn shook her head with an exasperated, but fond look on her face.
"I know. He can be a bit over the top, but that's one of the things I like about him," she said softly. Then she shrugged. "Plus, he's like, super nervous about being here tonight, so he's on his best behavior. And his best behavior was designed for pureblood society."
Buffy raised an eyebrow.
"Telling his hosts that they have no class is best behavior?"
"Well, he's still Draco," she said with a shrug
The two sisters giggled together before strong arms gripped Buffy by the shoulders from behind her.
"Buffster! Dawn-Patrol! How are my favorite Summers girls?" Xander, one of Buffy's best friends and a head of the council, said jollily from behind her. Buffy turned to smile at him.
"Great!" Buffy responded happily.
"Good! Buffy, I am so impressed that you managed to make this dinner!" he said, before going slightly pale. "Not that I didn't think you could get all of the food ready! I'm just surprised it's not burnt! No, wait, that's not what I meant either!"
Buffy raised an eyebrow as he babbled himself deeper and deeper into a hole.
"-wasn't so bad! It was just-"
"Xander, maybe you should just stop talking," Dawn interrupted, taking sympathy on him. "It's not getting better."
He took a deep breath.
"Yeah, I think I'm going to go get some of that apple cider before I create a permanent enemy out of you," Xander joked with a sheepish grin.
He strolled off with his hands in his pockets.
Buffy turned back to her sister.
"I'm going to get some food. Wanna join me?"
Dawn shook her head.
"In a minute. I need to go find out where my boyfriend wandered off to."
They parted ways and Buffy filled her plate and sat down next to Faith at the table for the school's heads.
"This is really good," Faith mumbled through a mouthful of food, gesturing at the yams on her plate.
"Molly made it. She's like, the slayer of the kitchen. Unstoppable."
"She's a pretty cool lady." Faith agreed.
"I offered her a job. She's going to discuss it with her husband, but I'm thinking she'll say yes."
"I hope she does. I could get used to eating like this all the time."
They lapsed into silence as they both ate their food. Willow sat down next to Buffy as Dawn and Draco sat across from them.
"Hi, Buffy!" Willow exclaimed. "I'm so impressed with dinner!"
"Please, I barely did anything. Other than making a mess, that is. Molly did, like, all of the work."
"Hey, it takes a lot of guts to admit you need help with something," Xander interjected, joining the conversation as he slid into the seat next to Willow.
Willow stared at his plate.
"Are you planning on eating anything other than turkey?" she asked incredulously.
"Nope!" he said cheerily. "No one can make me eat my vegetables anymore!"
"Is something wrong?" Giles asked with concern, as he seated himself beside Dawn.
Willow shook her head.
"No, Xander was just demonstrating that he still has the maturity of a six-year-old," she explained with a fake haughty look.
Xander stuck his tongue out at Willow, who responded in kind.
"Hey, what did Rona want? Is everything okay?" Buffy asked Giles with some concern.
He sighed and started cleaning his glasses. That wasn't a good sign.
"It seems a group of watchers-in-training went into town to celebrate their day off. Not only did they manage to blow all four of the car's tires, but they also found themselves without any cell phones through a bizarre series of unfortunate events, including dropping one phone out the window of their car as they went down the highway and another one into the gutter," he explained in a somewhat incredulous voice. "Eventually, they managed to find a store that was open and they used their phone to call the school. They're just lucky Rona hadn't gone to dinner yet and was still watching the phones."
"I bet I can guess the name of at least one of the students who went with them," Buffy groused unhappily.
"I'm sure you can," Giles confirmed.
"Jennifer," everyone at the table except for Draco complained in unison.
"Man, that girl has got to be one of the unluckiest people I've ever met!" Xander exclaimed, shaking his head in disbelief.
"It could be worse," Willow sighed. "At least nothing was lit on fire this time."
Dawn turned to Draco to explain.
"Jennifer is one of our watchers-in-training, and for some strange reason weird, unlucky stuff is always happening to her and those near her. And it's not, like, supernatural type weird. It's just a bunch of random stuff that could happen to anyone, except it all happens to Jennifer all the time."
Draco raised an eyebrow.
"What sort of things?" he asked.
"During the four-and-a-half-hour flight from her home town to the school, she dropped her phone down the toilet, had all of the luggage in the overhead bin above her fall on her on ten separate occasions, slipped on an empty candybar wrapper that hadn't been there a second ago, and loads of other stuff. And that's not even counting all the junk that happened getting on and off the plane!" Xander complained. "She somehow ended up with a whole bunch of banned items in her purse before going through customs that she swears weren't there when she started and that the customs guy recognized as stuff he'd already confiscated! How does that make sense? Plus, her plane ticket disappeared. Do you know where she found it?" He didn't wait for an answer. "In her shoe!"
Draco considered that.
"Is she cursed?" he asked finally.
Willow shook her head.
"Not as far as we can tell. And trust me, we've checked. Multiple times even," she answered in frustration.
"There must be some reason," Draco argued.
"You know as much as we do," Faith spoke up. "Apparently, this junk has been happening to her for almost seven years now. That's actually why Xander and I were sent to recruit her for the school. We figured she must have magical powers that she couldn't control and that was why the strange stuff was happening."
"And does she?" Draco asked.
"By all appearances, she has about as much magic as Xander," Giles sighed again.
They lapsed into silence then as they all ate and thought about poor unlucky Jennifer.
Just then, Andrew plopped down next to Draco who cringed slightly, but said nothing. Buffy didn't blame him for his reaction. When Draco and the other Death Eaters had first been captured at Malfoy Manor, Andrew had been assigned as their jail keeper. Within less than a day, many of the prisoners had begged to be sent to Azkaban or pretty much anywhere on Earth that Andrew wasn't. The Malfoys were a bit more dignified in their willingness to work for the Council, but Buffy was pretty sure that the experience had still left them with some nightmares.
"Hey, Buffy!" the nerd in question said excitedly. "This food is amazing!" His excited look faded somewhat and he glanced around nervously. "Is it true that Molly Weasley is here?"
"Yeah, she made, like, all of the food."
He went a little pale and gulped. Andrew and Molly's first meeting had not gone well. He had been babbling about Star Wars and other stuff, like normal, until Molly had shot him a fierce glare that instantly cut off the flow of words. He didn't say another word for the rest of the meeting, either. Andrew was pretty terrified of the redheaded woman after that.
Draco had looked at Andrew and then Buffy in surprise when Molly's name was mentioned, but he didn't say anything. Apparently, he hadn't heard about Molly being there yet.
Buffy knew that the Weasleys and Malfoys didn't really get along. That had been pretty clear the first time that Lucius Malfoy ended up in a room with Arthur Weasley, but Buffy was pretty sure they were getting along better. At the very least, they were now cordial. That thought was confirmed when Percy sat down next to Xander. The two wizards exchanged polite nods, but otherwise ignored each other. Buffy caught Dawn smiling at Draco in approval.
Everyone chatted and ate for several minutes, before Buffy spotted Molly replacing the empty tin of mashed potatoes for a full one.
"Molly!" Buffy waved the woman over. "Come sit with us!"
"Oh, I don't know…" she trailed off.
"You don't have to stay forever. Just for a few minutes," Percy added.
She wavered, and then smiled slightly. "Well, alright."
"Yeah!" Buffy cheered.
Molly sat down next to Andrew. Neither of them looked too pleased, but it was the only seat left.
"Oh! I almost forgot!" Willow exclaimed suddenly. "Giles, I've been thinking. The name "International Council of Watchers and Slayers" is all well and good, but maybe it's not the best. I was thinking that maybe we could rename ourselves. Maybe to something like, "The United Council of Watchers and Slayers" to show we're all on the same side and that we're working with the slayers instead of just brainwashing them and throwing them in the deep end! Cause, "international" is alright, but what does that really say about us? That we're a big organization? Who cares, am I right?" she said without stopping for a breath. She gulped in air as she finished.
Giles looked thoughtful.
"Hmm… you might be onto something there, Willow. It would be good to show our…" He trailed off suddenly and frowned at her. "No, we are not changing our name from I-CoWS to U-CoWS," he snapped.
"I COWS, YOU COWS, WE ALL COWS FOR I COWS!" Willow and Xander suddenly cheered in unison.
Giles sighed and started cleaning his glasses.
"That doesn't even make sense," Draco muttered into his plate.
Buffy was pretty sure that no one else had heard him, with the possible exception of Faith, because Willow, Xander, Dawn, Andrew, Faith, and Buffy had all burst out into laughter when Willow and Xander had finished. Buffy hadn't known Xander and Willow were planning that, but she was sure that they had come up with the idea together before hand.
The acronym "I-CoWS" had actually been come up with by Buffy, Willow, and Xander when they were first rebuilding the council. The three then presented the idea to Faith, Dawn, and Andrew who had approved it. They hadn't told Giles, though, until he had already accepted the name and put it on all of the paperwork and stuff. He might never have figured it out if Andrew hadn't said something. Buffy giggled as she remembered the look on his face when he finally realized what they had done.
Xander suddenly stopped laughing and stared at Dawn's plate.
"Woah, Dawn, are you eating turkey?" he asked incredulously.
She looked down at her food in confusion. "Um, yeah? Why wouldn't I?"
"I just thought you'd be a bit more sensitive," Xander said with a shrug. "Seeing as how those are basically your cousins."
Dawn's head snapped up to glare at him fiercely. Draco smirked, but quickly schooled his features into a look of passive indifference as she glared around the table.
"The next person," she said clearly and coldly, "to make a bird or feather joke, will be volunteered as the adult chaperone for the next all slayer sleepover."
That stopped their outright laughter, but the two slayers and Xander couldn't stop their chuckles entirely.
Last April Fool's day, Draco had pranked Dawn by causing her to be covered in neon blue feathers for a week. She wasn't happy then, and she certainly wasn't happy now.
"On a somewhat more serious note," Giles said dryly. "Since it is Thanksgiving, I was thinking it might be appropriate for us all to go around the table and say something we are thankful for."
They all sobered up and thought about it.
"That seems like a good idea," Willow said.
"Yeah," Xander agreed.
"I'll go first!" Willow exclaimed, before getting a look of concentration on her face. "Hmm… I think I'm most thankful for… the people here! That we all have each other and we're there for each other…" She trailed off and her eyes started tearing up. Buffy and Xander both leaned into her and gave her a big hug. Willow had been dumped by her girlfriend a couple of months ago, and she was still very sensitive about it.
After comforting Will for a bit, Xander spoke up.
"Well, I don't know about you guys, but I'm really thankful for all of this amazing food!" he exclaimed, raising his glass of sparkling cider in Molly's and then Buffy's directions. "I propose a toast!" he announced dramatically. "To Buffy Summers and Molly Weasley for conspiring together to make the perfect Thanksgiving dinner!" he said goofily.
Everyone laughed and raised their glasses.
"To Buffy and Molly!" they chorused.
They laughed again.
Percy cleared his throat, and everyone looked at him expectantly.
"I am thankful for my family," he said softly, as he looked across at his mother. "That we are all still alive and on good terms."
Molly smiled and started tearing up herself. After he graduated from Hogwarts and got a job at the ministry, Percy and his family became somewhat estranged. It was only when Percy joined the fight against Voldemort and his Death Eaters that they were reconciled.
"I agree with Percy," Molly said. "I'm so thankful for all of my family, and for the council. For helping us stop that madman, and for offering me a job."
"We would be honored if you accepted the position," Giles said warmly.
She smiled at him in return.
After a beat, Xander looked across at Andrew.
"Your turn, Andrew. What are you thankful for?"
Andrew perked up.
"The new Star Wars movie coming out! I can't wait!" he exclaimed.
Buffy rolled her eyes, and Molly pursed her lips.
Dawn elbowed Draco.
"What about you?"
Draco considered it.
"Hmm, I am most thankful..." He turned to her with a grin. "...for my beautiful girlfriend, who puts up with me, even when she's blue."
Dawn's eyes narrowed. "Blue?" she asked suspiciously.
He looked at her innocently.
Buffy hid her smile. She was pretty sure that Dawn thought he was referencing to the blue feather prank again. Buffy was pretty sure she was right.
"You know, not happy. Why, what did you think I meant?"
She glared at him for another second, before sighing.
"Well, I'm thankful for being able to go to such a nice college near my boyfriend. No matter how obnoxious he can be at times."
Draco smirked slightly again. Then everyone turned to look at Giles.
"I am most thankful for all of you. That you are alive and thriving. I'm so thankful for the strong, independent adults you all have become." He made eye contact with all of them. "I'm thankful that you have taken up the mantle of being the next defenders of our world, and you're doing far better than the previous generations."
"Ah, Giles, you're making me blush," Faith said somewhat sarcastically.
They all laughed.
Giles looked at the dark slayer over his glasses.
"Well, what are you thankful for, Faith?" he asked mildly.
She scrunched up her face and thought.
"Food," she said simply, sticking a big bite of yams in her mouth.
Everyone chuckled and rolled their eyes.
Willow turned to Buffy.
"What are you most thankful for?"
Buffy smiled as she thought about her answer.
"Friends," she said finally. "Friends who are willing to stop on a dime and drop everything to help you. Friends who care about you enough to check up on you and who are willing to eat your terrible cooking. Friends who are willing to point out your errors before they turn into disasters. Just… friends in general."
Everyone smiled and laughed. The conversation moved on and Buffy watched her friends and family interact with each other. Warmth filled the slayer. Despite all of the setbacks, despite the e-coli infected lettuce, lack of stoves, and burnt green beans, everything had turned out alright in the end. It had been a wonderful Thanksgiving after all.
A/N: I own Zoe, Jennifer, the Kutembea Miti (Hint: Google Translate their name to find out why they're so slow), as well as all of the people Buffy runs into in town. Well, that's all I have for now! I hope you all enjoyed-
*sound of door opening*
Sweet: Am I interrupting something?
Sweet: In the flesh, so to speak. *winks at audience*
Izzy: But- but- but you're that demon from Buffy the Vampire Slayer that makes everyone sing and dance! I wrote a fanfiction about you! What are you doing in my author's note?!
Sweet: I'm so glad you brought up that fanfiction, because that's exactly what I'm here for.
Izzy: One More Season's Greetings? What about it?
Sweet: Well, I don't think it's really fair for you to say that you "wrote" it, since it's been several years and you've yet to post it on this site!
Izzy: Hey! I've been really busy! In case you don't know, I've been working on writing an original story for a little over a year now!
Sweet: Oh, I see. You've been SO busy with this new book that you didn't have time to put One More Season's Greetings up on Fanfiction dot net, even though you've already posted three chapters on Twisting the Hellmouth?
Izzy *defensively*: Yes, I was.
Sweet: But you were able to write this fanfiction?
Izzy: I- well, I was- um, I- Hey, wait a minute! Who changed my name to Izzy?! It's supposed to say A/N.
Sweet: A/N is so boring. I prefer Izzy, don't you?
Izzy *glares*: No.
Sweet: How 'bout this instead? *snaps fingers*
Cutie-pie: What's that supposed to- Hey!
Sweet: Well, then what about… *snaps again*
Buttercup *glares*: Put it back to Izzy.
Sweet *grins*: If you insist. *snaps*
Izzy: Thank you.
Sweet: By the way, what's up with this Thanksgiving story? Do you really expect us to believe that all lettuce in the country was contaminated by e-coli?
Izzy: Not all lettuce, romaine lettuce. And this is actually the second year in a row this happened in the US. Also, it's not that it's all contaminated; it's that we don't know how much was contaminated, and you can't tell if the veggies are safe or not by looking at them, so it's safer to just get rid of it all then to take the chance.
Izzy: Yep. It may sound crazy, but right now, it's probably safer to eat pie than salad.
Sweet *grins*: Well, I know which one I prefer.
Izzy: Anyway, I'm really sorry I haven't posted One More Season's Greetings, but I've really been very busy with other things!
Sweet: Well, alright, but I want it up by Christmas, if not sooner! Or we'll find out how much YOU like singing and dancing into fiery oblivion!
Izzy: Okay, okay! Geez! I'll finish the story! No need to get personal!
Sweet: See that you do.
Izzy: Hey, I just thought of something.
Sweet: Did it hurt?
Izzy *glares*: Watch it, Buddy. I was just thinking that while I have you here, maybe there's something you can do for me.
Sweet *raises an eyebrow*: Oh?
Izzy *whispers something in his ear*
Sweet *grins*: I like how you think. Were you sorted into Slytherin by any chance?
Izzy *smirks*: Maybe. So, is it a deal?
Sweet *looks thoughtful*: If I do this for you, I'm going to need something in return.
Izzy: What do you want?
Sweet *thinks for a moment, and then whispers something in Izzy's ear*
Izzy *grins*: Deal!
*they shake hands*
Sweet: Well, that's really all I had to say. Be seeing you, Sweetheart…
Izzy *mutters under breath*: I hope not.
Sweet: Adios! *snaps fingers and disappears*
A/N: Well, that was certainly unexpected! Sorry about that, guys. I had no idea he was going to show up! I hope you all enjoyed reading this fanfiction. I have at least three more one-shots planned for this series, so why don't you start following my stories so you don't miss them? : D And who knows, maybe that crazy demon will show up again...