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“Welcome to Diagon Alley

Disclaimer:  Nope, still don’t own anything.  Anyone else feeling the repetitiveness that is disclaimers?  Anyway, hope you enjoy!

 

Dark Warnings

 

“Welcome to Diagon Alley.”

 

Buffy, Willow, and Dawn froze at the words of their guide, only able to look in awe at the site before them.  Down a narrow stone street stretched lines of buildings that towered over the street below.  All types of witches and wizards hurried past the four of them, most wearing robes of some sort or another.  Different animal noises could be heard echoing up and down the street, though it did nothing to detract from the awe-inspiring site of the buildings.

 

“Omigod,” Dawn whispered, glancing around.  “How cool is this?”

 

Hermione smiled as she looked at the shocked looks on their faces, the memory of her first day in Diagon Alley coming back to her.  Oh, how she had been excited.  “Well, we can either stand here and look around in awe for the rest of the day, or we can browse around and maybe buy equipment that any of you might need at Hogwarts.”

 

Buffy was the first to recover.  “Sounds like a plan.  So what kinds of stores are here, anyway?”

 

Hermione laughed out loud and started walking, the three following her slowly, intent on seeing everything they could.  “All kinds of things.  Like I mentioned before, there are an array of books you can get, animals, cauldrons, brooms, robes, potions, etc.”

 

“But, no offense, what good are those going to be for me?  I’m not really a robe, potion, or books kind of girl.  I’m more of a kill, crush, destroy girl.  Any place I can buy weapons around here?” Buffy said, her eyes still searching the stores randomly.  Hermione hesitated for a moment, biting her lip nervously.  She sighed before answering.

 

“There is a place called Knockturn Alley that probably sells weapons.  But I wouldn’t advise going in there.  It’s too dangerous for a muggle.  There are a lot of wizards connected to the Dark Arts who go there.”

 

“Danger?” Buffy asked, raising her eyebrow at the girl.  “Danger is my life.  If I can’t deal with a few scary wizards in a little alley, what kind of Slayer am I?”

 

Hermione was silent for a moment, looking at Buffy carefully as if to size her up.  Her heart sunk as she realized that Buffy was intent on going in the alley whether Hermione advised her too or not.  Her eyes flew to Willow for a moment, her eyes almost pleading Willow to convince her friend not to go.

 

“Buffy, maybe you shouldn’t,” Willow said quietly, catching Hermione’s eyes.  “If Hermione is nervous about it and she knows that you’re the Slayer, maybe its best if you listen.”

 

“Will, I need weapons,” Buffy said firmly.  “Besides, I have to find out what I’m up against.  And what better way than to go into the heart of it?”

 

“I still don’t know, Buff.  We’re not really here to fight against the bad guys.  We’re here to teach the students how to fight against anything that puts them in danger.”

 

Buffy sighed, crossing her arms.  “And how can we teach them if we don’t even know what we’re up against?  Look.  Obviously there’s some big bad here or else they wouldn’t have gotten both of us to help out.  I have to find out just what these people are about if I want to be able to help anyone.  I’m not like you Will.  I can’t get all of my information out of books.  I have to fight first, then explain.” 

 

Buffy shrugged.  “That’s just the way I work.”

 

Dawn watched the argument before her, worry and fear growing up inside of her.  She looked around the alley again, noticing for the first time the many looks they were getting.  They probably looked strange, standing in the middle of the alley, arguing with each other, none of them dressed in any kind of robes.  Dawn realized for the first time how far from home they really were and that they were not going back anytime soon.

 

She turned back to look at argument, watching as Buffy smiled.  She sighed, knowing that her sister had once again won the argument.

 

“Buffy?” Dawn called, breaking into the conversation.  Buffy stopped talking in mid-sentence and turned to look at her sister.  “If you do go, be careful.  I don’t want anything to happen to you.”

 

Buffy smiled confidently.  “I’ll be careful Dawn.  I promise.”

 

“So we’ll meet you here in a couple hours then?”

 

“Yep,” Buffy said as she started to walk off.  But before she got too far away she froze and turned back around.  “Wait a sec.  How am I supposed to pay for all of this?  Because I don’t think that they’ll give it to me just because of my looks.”

 

Hermione reluctantly pulled a bag out of her jacket, opening it just enough so that the three girls could see the piles of coins that shone in the light.  Buffy’s jaw dropped as Hermione pulled out handfuls of gold, silver and bronze coins and stuffed them into a smaller bag.

 

“Here,” she said, offering the bag to Buffy.  “There should be enough in here.  The Gold ones are called Galleons, the Silver ones are Sickles, and the Bronze ones are Knots.  Gold ones are worth the most, Bronze, the least.  That should be enough to cover the weapons that you might have to buy.”

 

“Thanks!” Buffy said cheerily.  “Now, which way do I go?”

 

Hermione sighed again, begrudgingly giving her the information.  “Go straight down the alley until you reach a smaller alley that veers off to the left.  That’s Knockturn Alley.  I still don’t know…”

 

“Thanks Hermione!” Buffy said brightly as she hurried off in the direction she was told.  She looked back once, waving to them once before hurrying off once again.  With her Slayer-hearing, she could hear Hermione’s sigh.

 

I know she means the best, but this is what I have to do, Buffy thought to herself as she wandered down the alley.  I have to see what I’m up against because sooner or later, I probably will have to fight.  I seem to be good at attracting trouble like that.

 

Soon, Buffy saw a narrow pathway that seemed to creep off the rest of Diagon Alley.  As she took a step down, a chill went through her spine and she almost stepped back involuntarily.  She could feel the evil in the place.  She took a deep breathe, looking at the dingy, dusty shops.

 

Yep, this must be it, she thought.  I can just feel the ickiness factor here.

 

Buffy walked down the alley, ignoring the suspicious looks from passers-by.  With her red tank and blue jeans, she did not seem to fit into the shadowy darkness of the alley.  Buffy walked along, peering through cobweb covered windows to try to see what was inside.

 

“Well, might as well just pick one,” Buffy muttered to herself.  “Since trying to see inside just isn’t wor – “

 

Slayer.

 

Buffy whirled around, the hair on the back of her neck standing straight up.  Ok, I KNOW that I heard something.  Just like I did earlier. 

 

“Show yourself,” Buffy said aloud, as she slowly spun around in a circle.  “C’mon.  Are you scared of little ole me?”

 

Buffy felt the air near her shift suddenly and she whirled around, reaching her hand up just in time to catch a knife that was aimed at her throat.  Her hand clenched around the jeweled handle, the point only inches from her throat.  A slow smile crossed her face as she spotted a cloaked person.

 

With a running start, Buffy leapt into the air and landed right in front of the cloaked person.  The person stopped suddenly, freezing as Buffy appeared in front of them.

 

“Running won’t get you anywhere,” Buffy taunted, absently twirling the knife.  “Now, why don’t you tell me who you are and why you tried to kill me.”

 

“Why should I tell a muggle like you?”

 

The answer was given with such force and spite that a normal person might have backed away.  But Buffy was no ordinary person.  Instead, she cocked her eyebrow at him – for it was a him since she could tell from the voice.  “Maybe because if you don’t, I can break every bone in your body.”

 

“Now, that wouldn’t be nice now would it Slayer?”

 

Buffy stepped to the side, turning enough so that both the cloaked man and the one dressed all in black were in her line of view.  She didn’t want anyone stabbing her in the back or other such things like that.

 

“You were in the Cauldron type place thing,” Buffy said, recognizing the long whitish hair and the billowing cloak.  “You were watching me.”

 

“Very observant,” he said mockingly as he walked towards the cloaked man.  “Almost…too observant for my tastes.  After all, not all professors catch a knife with their bare hands like you can.”

 

Buffy shrugged, watching the two men carefully.  “What can I say?  I have good reflexes.”

 

The man chuckled, a dry chilling laugh that seemed to have a dark undercurrent.  “Cute.  If you weren’t a muggle, I’m sure that we could find each other’s company quite…enjoyable.”

 

“Yeah, I’ll chalk that up in my never column,” Buffy said, revulsion passing though her as he seemed to stare right through her.  “So are we going to stand here and chat all evening or can I continue on with my business?”

 

“I’m here to offer you a proposition of some sorts,” he said as he walked closer to her.  Buffy eyed him warily as he walked so he was less than half a foot from her.  She looked up at him, crossing her arms across her chest.

 

“And what kind of proposition would this be?” she asked.

 

He chuckled, watching the look of disinterest that crossed her face.  “Simply this.  Pack up your things and leave.  And take the others with you.  If you do, you can have my word that all of you will be safe.  If not…I’m afraid that promises just can’t be made.”

 

Buffy rolled her eyes at him.  “That’s it?  That’s your proposition?  Please.  Vampire fledglings can think of better ones than that.  How about this.  You take your proposition, turn around, and get the hell out of my face because I’m not going anywhere.”

 

“You’ve got guts, Slayer,” he whispered softly, his voice seeming to caress the name Slayer.  He took a step closer, but still Buffy did not flinch.  His hand reached up and gently ran down the softness of her cheek.  “And spirit.  I’m sure that Lord Voldemort will enjoy breaking you.”

 

She grabbed his hand, squeezing just hard enough to cause pain.  “I don’t deal well with threats.  And no matter what you say, none of us are leaving.  And nothing will make us leave until our job is done.”

 

With that she pushed him away, causing him to stumble across the alley and hit his back on the wall on the other side.  He narrowed his eyes at her, anger seething off of him.  “I warned you Slayer.  This isn’t the end.”

 

With that, he turned and stalked down the alley, his black cloak billowing behind him.  The other cloaked man scurried after him, his movements jerky and fearful, almost mouse-like in appearance.  Buffy watched them go, holding tightly onto the knife.  She turned around and entered a store, smiling as she saw the display of weapons inside.