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
Part IX: http://aldersprig.dreamwidth.org/1146552.html
Part X: http://aldersprig.dreamwidth.org/1155478.html
Part XI: http://aldersprig.dreamwidth.org/1164418.html
Part XII: http://aldersprig.dreamwidth.org/1173922.html
Part XIII: http://aldersprig.dreamwidth.org/1178885.html
Part XIV: http://aldersprig.dreamwidth.org/1182860.html
Part XV: http://aldersprig.dreamwidth.org/1186127.html
Part XVI: http://aldersprig.dreamwidth.org/1189171.html
Part XVII: http://aldersprig.dreamwidth.org/1210168.html
“Professor Valerian, aren’t you going to stop this?” The blonde girl pouted at the professor, entirely ignoring Xander.
Ms. Valerian smirked. “I really should, but I notice that Luke isn’t here yet, and I imagine by this point he’s quite aware of it. And he hasn’t decided to stop it yet.”
“Well, she doesn’t have a stake at the moment… Will, why’s she going for all those throat shots?”
Willow had been trying to work the same thing out. “Well, she’s not trying to… ow.” Buffy had just run up the side of the wall, pushed off, and slammed her elbow into the giant’s throat. “That had to hurt. She’s not trying to stake them, probably because she doesn’t have any sort of stake… Oh.” Buffy had ricocheted off the wall again and broken the paneling, pulling a long piece loose. “Well, now she has wood.”
“Wood, but not hawthorn or rowan,” sneered the little blonde. “What does she think she’s doing, anyway?”
“It has to be rowan? I can do that, that’s an easy transmutation – oh, wait.” Willow deflated. “We’re not supposed to be killing this vampire. So, if she’s going for the throat, she’s trying to keep them from talking – some sort of spell, probably. If her eyes are closed, someone has some sort of eye power, like, oh! I read about that last week!”
“Okay, so, how do we stop her?” Magnolia shifted uncomfortably.
“I’ve never tried stopping Buffy,” Willow admitted. “It never really seems like the right idea.”
“Well, it might be right now. I mean, if he’s a person…” Xander didn’t look all that sure about it. Willow couldn’t blame him for that.
“Of course he’s a person!” the blonde girl interjected angrily. “Why would you say something like that?”
“Well,” Xander answered reasonably, “he looks like a vampire, he smells like a vampire, and most – all – of the vampires we’ve met have been decidedly non-persons. So, ah, Professor Valerian?”
“She’s fighting blind, against two stronger opponents, and she’s still winning,” the professor mused.
“I wouldn’t bet on stronger, even with the giant there. Most things aren’t, except master vampires, and uh, I don’t see a master vampire going to school.” Xander shifted uncomfortably. “But she’s going to win, because that’s what she does, that’s her job, and then… well, now she has a stake.
“And she’ll… you’re serious, aren’t you? And how many… later, later.” Her voice rose and seemed to fill the area. “Excuse me, Buffy, Dysmas, Anatoliy. Stop.”
Buffy kicked back off the giant’s chest and stopped ten feet back in a combat stance. The giant was looking a little worse for the wear. The Dracula-wannabe was looking a lot worse off. “What?” Buffy’s voice was nearly a snarl. “I nearly had him.” Her eyes, Willow noted, were still closed.
“Unfortunately, that’s the problem. I’m Laurel Valerian, one of the professors here. And I can’t allow you to kill another student.”
“He’s a vampire. Pointy teeth, pale skin, demon inside?”
“Do you hear her?” screeched Agatha. “She’s insane.”
Professor Valerian ignored her. “You’re correct on several points, Buffy, however, Dysmas is not a, well, he’s not a demonic vampire. He does not fear the sun anymore than an albino would; he does drink blood, but he still has his original soul and his original self, tainted as those may be.”
“Your endorsement is so pleasant,” the wanna-be vampire complained. His voice was hoarse and raw.
“I’m keeping you alive, Dysmas. I wouldn’t argue about the tactics.”
“We were doing fine.”
“Her friends hadn’t joined in yet, and, from the looks of things… no. You were barely holding your own. Buffy, it’s a pleasure to meet you. But I’m afraid I really can’t let you kill this one.”
Buffy’s posture, if anything, had gotten more combative. “I’ve heard about vampires with souls before.”
“I’ve… heard of a single situation of that sort,” Professor Valerian admitted. “But the problem is, Dysmas is technically a sangovore humanoid fae, not a vampire. And… while you’re certainly more than capable, physically, of killing him, he would not, ah, react the same, from the books on vampirism I’ve encountered.”
“You’re seriously indulging this nonsense?” Agatha complained. “She attacked Dysmas! And then Tolly!”
“Well,” the giant rumbled, “to be fair, I got in the way of her attacking Dysmas.” His voice, too, was rough and strained.
“Why would be you be fair?” Agatha sneered the word fair like a curse. “She. Attacked. You. And she hurt you.”
“Excuse me? I wasn’t the one throwing around the flash-eyes be-my-will sort of thing, or the magic words that burned, I might add. I wasn’t the one doing any mind-control oogey boogy or making the floor swim.”
“…You used Workings.” Professor Valerian’s voice was dripping disdain. Willow wondered if she’d ever be able to sound half as cool as that. “On a visiting student.”
“She was attacking me,” Dysmas pointed out. “With, it seems, intent to kill.”
“And yet you were able to survive.”
“Hey! I would’ve killed him if you hadn’t interrupted. I was about half an inch from getting the pointy bit through his chest!”
“She makes my point for me.” Even if he hadn’t been a vampire, Willow thought she would probably hate this Dysmas guy. He was slick like oil, greasy, and way too self-confident. He was handsome, too, and he knew it.
The giant, on the other hand – he was easily over eight feet tall, with shoulders proportionate to the height – he was kind of sweet, all hunched over and trying to be small. “We didn’t know she was trying to kill us, Dysmas.”
“Would you shut Up?” Agatha glared daggers at Anatoliy. “Seriously. She tried to kill Dysmas, she was attacking you, she should be in trouble. Expelled.”
“Nobody gets expelled for starting fights, Agatha.” Magnolia stepped forward, and Agatha did a double-take before recovering her aplomb.
“And what are you doing here? Shouldn’t you be naked or something?”
“I’m all for that,” Xander offered. Both girls ignored him.
“I’m showing our new students around the school, or, well, I guess they’re might-be-comin’-here-this-year students, don’ ask me.” Magnolia held up both her hands. “I don’t pretend to understand why they’re gettin’ a tour when no-one else does, but I have a feeling it has something to do with, you know, Buffy here kickin’ your friends asses.”
“Your name is Buffy?” Agatha sneered.
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