Part I: http://aldersprig.dreamwidth.org/1096503.html
Part II: http://aldersprig.dreamwidth.org/1100922.html
Part III: http://aldersprig.dreamwidth.org/1104619.html#cutid1
Part IV: http://aldersprig.dreamwidth.org/1108537.html
Part V: http://aldersprig.dreamwidth.org/1112216.html
Part VI: http://aldersprig.dreamwidth.org/1124762.html
Part VII: http://aldersprig.dreamwidth.org/1134781.html
Part VIII: http://aldersprig.dreamwidth.org/1139412.html
Help! I’d like clever individual titles for these chapters as well – now taking suggestions for all 8!
“Are you sure we’re going the right way, Giles? I mean, yeah, massive wards of wardiness seem to say something about ‘here be strange things’ but the scenery…” Willow looked out the window at wheat that seemed to go on forever. “There’s nothing here.”
“No shoe stores,” Buffy sulked.
“Buffy, you bought three new pairs of shoes in the last city. In between making a scene of yourself.” Giles ‘ tut-tutting had very little heat; perhaps, like the other two, he was trying desperately to draw attention away from Xander’s confusion. “And yes, Willow. The Addergoole School is quite isolated. I’m told it helps focus attention on one’s studies, which shouldn’t be a problem for you, but may prove difficult for some others.”
“Hey, I went to almost every class last week!” Buffy glared with mock indignation.
“Indeed. Well, and here we are.” Giles turned a corner in the road that seemed to exist for no reason at all, and in front of them was a barn. “Ah, this is what the instructions said, at least….” He drove up to the barn and honked twice.
“This isn’t creepy at all.” Xander looked from one window to the other. “Next, there were lill these creepy children coming out of the corn, talking all at the same time and their eyes glowing blue…”
“I think you might be mixing movies, Xander.” Willow tutted, but her heart wasn’t in it. “I think the glowing blue eyes — Ah!”
“Relax, Willow,” Buffy teased, “it’s a guy. A… rather… handsome… guy. Scowly, too.”
Giles cleared his throat. “And likely with hearing as good as yours, Buffy, if not better. Hello, sir. Might you be Luca Hunting-Hawk?”
“I am.” He was short, although taller than Buffy, with short-cropped black hair and an impressive scowl; his t-shirt was practically bulging around his biceps, and his jeans looked old, worn in, and as if they covered just as much muscle. “You’re the ones coming to visit?”
“Yes, ah, that is. I am Rupert Giles, called Ripper, and these are my students, Buffy Summers, Willow Rosenberg, and Alexander Harris.”
“Your Students? Interesting.”
“I believe you will find that interesting does not begin to cover the situation where these three are concerned.” Giles coughed. “Which is in large part why we are here now. It’s not just to tour the school, although I’m certain they are all interested. It is because these three come with certain… special circumstances which I am not certain your administration is aware of.”
“Let’s talk, then.” Luke frowned. “Their mothers did not come along?”
“Just ‘mothers’, did you notice?” Xander whispered loudly. Willow and Buffy shushed him.
“Their mothers… ahem. Well, let us just say that I am standing in loco parentis for the moment, as far as the law is concerned, and the rest we can save for our meeting.”
“Loco what?” Buffy whispered. Willow and Xander shushed her.
“Hrrm.” Luke rolled his shoulders. “You weren’t joking about ‘interesting’, were you?”
“No. Not at all. Now, I haven’t been able to find out much about this school…”
“You wouldn’t have. It’s only in its fourth year, and we prefer to fly below the radar. It’s an unusual school…”
“These three are unusual students.” Giles’ voice was dangerously mild. “I wonder if it’s the same sort of ‘unusual.’”
“Hey, now, Buffy’s Buffy and Willow’s, well, Willow, but I’m pretty usual,” Xander complained. “I think I got my invitation by mistake.”
“Ha.” Luke snorted at him. “Regine doesn’t make that sort of mistake.”
“Well, I mean, all sorts of people make mistakes about me. That’s just, you know, I’m mistake boy.”
“Come on in, son. Ladies. Ripper.” Luke turned back towards the barn.
“Ah, if you don’t mine, Rupert or Giles in front of the children…”
“We’re not exactly babies, ‘Ripper’,” Buffy complained.
“Be that as it may, I’d rather that I remain Giles to you three. Now let’s not keep the gentleman waiting any longer, shall we?”
Luke snorted once again and swung open the barn door. “Down this way. We’ll come back and get your stuff later.”
“Creepy much?” Buffy muttered.
“Ah, Buffy. It may be that things are going to seem especially ‘creepy’ here at Addergoole. Please… react with more thought than is normally needed.”
“What? It’s not like I… okay. Move slowly and don’t… punch people too often. Got it.” Buffy nodded sharply. “This is going to be fun,” she added in a quiet mutter.
Although Luke had his back to the three teens, Giles had a perfect view of the short man’s sudden smile. “Know someone who’s gonna like her,” he muttered softly. “She’s sharp.”
“You have no idea,” Giles sighed. “You have absolutely no idea.”
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