An English Thing
Title: Judge, Jury,.....
Disclaimer: I don't own any of characters. I'm just borrowing them for a while.
Authors Note: This story takes place after Season 7 of Buffy The Vampire Slayer, after Season 5 of Angel The Series and sometime around book 5 of Harry Potter.
To answer a few questions, this story does reference my Angel series finale stories all posted on Fanfication.net:
"The Slayer and the Smurf"
"Sans Shoes In LA"
"The Lawyer, The Slayers, The Smurf, The Key, The Witch, and Neon Green Canvas Sneakers."
(Referencing the above stories was not my original intention, but that is where my muse took me. My apologies to anybody who has not seen the final season of Angel and wishes to avoid even vague spoilers.)
I would like to thank everyone who has taken the time read and review; it is what keeps me interested in continuing.
I would also like to mention the Harry Potter Lexicon (hp-lexicon.org) it has been a great reference to help keep names and basic descriptions correct.
Thanks again to everybody.
"An English Thing"
Buffy stopped and contemplated what she thought she just saw. She turned her head and looked across the street to confirm but it wasn’t there. She knew she saw it, the Slayer in her told her she wasn’t imagining it. Continuing to study the buildings on the other side of the street she just couldn’t see. Keeping the many shopping bags and packages she carried under control, Buffy did an about-face and started retracing her last few steps. On the third step, the façade of the buildings across the street changed. It was like one of those motion cards found in cereal boxes where the picture would change based on what direction you were looking at it from. With the fourth step, the store front disappeared again. Buffy smiled and took a step backward, the place re-appeared; she loved discovering secrets.
It wasn’t the fact that the place had appeared and disappeared that had caught her attention. If it had been just another stupid English pup she wouldn’t have noticed. But this was different; the old and faded sign was the silhouette of a witch, pointed hat and all, stirring a large cauldron with the name “The Leaky Cauldron”.
After crossing the street, Buffy stood outside The Leaky Cauldron watching the occasional patron come and go. She wondered why nobody noticed these oddly dressed people going in and out of the nearly invisible pub. Then it came to her, they seemed to walk in the shadows and between the blinks of the eye. Unless she really concentrated, she didn’t see them until just before they entered or just after they left the pub. Knowing full well Willow and Dawn and everybody would demand more details about The Leaky Cauldron, she adjusted her grip on her bags and stepped in.
The interior of The Leaky Cauldron was dark, lit only by torches, candles, lanterns and the narrow grime covered windows. Being the middle of the afternoon, the place was mostly empty except for the normal bar flies who seemed to haunt all bars or pubs depending on the country. The room looked like it was straight out of 1800s London, or maybe even 1700s London. Buffy wasn’t really sure since she was pretty sure they didn’t have electricity during either time.
The patrons all wore the same odd clothes or robes as those she’d seen coming and going earlier. Every conversation stopped as people turned and looked at the American with her large load of shopping bags, bright prink top and knee length jean skirt.
“Can I help you Miss?” The bartender asked.
Buffy turned on her best California Blond smile. “What’s good to drink? I am sooo thirsty.” She drew out the word “so” doing her best imitation of herself at fifteen.
“How about a butter beer?” the man offered, returning her bright smile.
“Do you have anything non-alcoholic? Me and beer have a bad history.”
“Never heard of butter beer?” he asked dismayed.
“It must be an English thing.” Buffy chirped. “Maybe we call it something different in the states.”
“Well don’t worry; it’s non-alcoholic.” The man poured a large frosted tankard and pushed it across the bar to Buffy. “That’ll be 7 sickles.”
Buffy smiled. “Ah, I’ve been shopping all afternoon.” She pointed to the multitude of bags she had just stacked on a table. “And everything was pounds and pence. Where’d sickles all of a sudden come from?”
“I’ve never been to the Colonies before, but I’m sure the Wizarding community has its own currency apart from muggle currency just like we do.”
“Well duh.” Buffy declared in her best ‘I’m so stupid.’ Valley Girl tone; then gave her well rehearsed and often used ‘can you do me a favor’ frown. “Can you take,” she paused not sure if she should make the connection she was about to. “muggle money?”
The bartender hesitated for a second the said. “We try not to, but since we are a gateway establishment we do occasionally. Of course I can’t give you the rate of exchange as Gringots would.”
“Thank you.” Buffy said with another bright smile as she handed the man some currency. He took two pounds and handed Buffy back some odd looking coins. She pocketed the coins with only a cursory glance figuring she could examine them in detail after she left.
Buffy gathered up her packages and took everything to an empty table in the far corner of the old dining room.
Tom the bartender looked at the strange American sitting in the back of the room. The way he figured it, she was either a muggle or a very ditzy American witch. If she was a muggle, then she was very adaptive and not nearly as ditzy as she was acting which had him concerned.
“Matilda.” He called to the middle aged witched who waited tables for him in the afternoons. “Can you watch the bar? I’ve got to take care of some things.”
It only took a few minutes to make the flu call to the Ministry. They said somebody would be right over. If this girl was a muggle, they would have to get her out of the Cauldron and put a memory spell on her. An Auror would come and question the young woman and make the determination.
The place was fascinating, and the butter beer was delicious. Buffy sat in the back of the pub watching these strange robe wearing people come and go. The best she could figure was that there was a whole community of witches and wizards living in England, with their own money and shops and everything. The bartender had mentioned something about an American Wizarding community. Buffy wondered if there were places like this in America. Definitely not Sunnydale, she definitely would have noticed. Of course, she didn’t have a clue about the dark magic users Willow fell in with until it was too late. So perhaps….
Buffy’s mental babbling stopped when she saw a new person come in the back door, where most of the traffic actually came from. This was a young woman, about Buffy’s age with wild neon red hair and expensive looking robes. The woman glanced at the bartended who responded almost imperceptibly by nodding toward Buffy.
“Great a copper.” Buffy thought to herself with a smile. “I’ve been ratted out by the bartender.”
to be continued......