Allison

Chapter 1

Homework for Witchcraft

 

 

Willow was hard at work.

She sat on the steps leading up to her parent’s Victorian-style home with a large, old leather bound book open in her lap.  Another smaller volume lay open beside her as the sun was approaching the coastline.  A slight breeze blew in from the south, an early warning of the incoming Santa Ana Winds.  Willow’s forehead creased as she deciphered one of the many books given to her by different visitors they’ve met since Steve had come to town. 

The volume she was working on today was given to them by Pac, the visitor from Spine.  Most of the spells in this book were beyond anything she’d ever seen.  They appeared to be so simple in their writing yet when they were evoked, they could do more damage than the largest fireball she’d ever conjured.  A bolt of sunlight for example only needed a mirror and a few spoken words but the effects could cut down a sapling.

She wondered what that spell could do to a vampire.  Probably, it would be overkill for a single member of the fang gang.  Of course, she’d have to be concerned about possible collateral damage once the beam of sunlight passed through the creature.  The one time she’d tried the spell, Willow had struck the brick wall behind the hospital and blasted a hole in the wall about three feet in diameter.  Then the beam cut down a sapling and traveled a few hundred yards behind it to knock out a chunk of an old oak tree.

She shuddered at that memory and refocused her attention on the book in her hand.  There were fifty spells in this book, each of them were easy to learn once they’d been translated.  The writer of the book had used no less than nine dialects of different nationalities and species.  Whoever had written it had done it in such a way that it read fluently.  Additionally, any Magic User could use the book after it’d been translated as each spell was clearly defined and laid out. 

On this day, Willow had the time to continue to work with the book.  Things had been slow around town and Oz was invited to a battle of the bands in LA.  Knowing he would be preoccupied while there, Willow decided to use her time wisely.  Since it was such a nice day she decided to do her work on the porch instead of in an office or library.   The streets were empty as a lot of those who lived on her block were on vacation, so her little experiments would likely go unnoticed. 

After translating a spell that she remembered Pac had talked about, she smiled and decided to try it.    It was a shrink spell, designed to reduce or enlarge up to one thousand times the mass of the item.  Although it was reversible, it had one very strong warning that indicated the spell could result in the death of an object when cast upon a living entity.   Pulling out a candy bar she wondered it if would live up to its advertisement. 

“Okay, if this works,” Willow muttered to herself, “this should cure Buffy of her cravings for chocolate!”  She placed the candy bar in the middle of the yard then returned to the porch.  She cast the spell and after a minute or so, the 1”x1” square became an 80’x80’ foot square piece of candy covering her entire front yard and taking up half of the two lane street.  She blinked her witch green eyes in disbelief for several moments then shrugged to herself.  Willow approached the giant candy, broke off a small piece and took a bite.  She rolled her eyes in ecstacy as the chocolate melted in her mouth.  Then she reversed the spell and the giant piece of chocolate became small once again.      

After she jotted down a few ideas on how to use the different spells she’d studied, Willow packed up her books and started down the street toward St. Wolf’s house.  She had to return the books back to the vault in his house before sunset; they were simply too powerful to take the chance of having them fall into the wrong hands.    

She slipped a hand into her pocket and felt the comfortable texture of a wooden stake while she took another worried glance at the sun.  She’d lost track of time and the sun was dangerously close to the mountain tops of the coastal range.  She had to pass through both parks and two cemeteries before she’d reach St. Wolf’s house.  I really need to get a car, she mused.  First, though, she’d need to get her license before she could acquire a vehicle. 

Now twilight had fallen.  As she scanned the park, a shiver shot up her spine when she realized it was the same park she’d first met St. Wolf almost two years ago.  So much had changed in that time; it was hard to believe this was the same town.  It had been almost six months since the last big bad had raised its ugly head and it was just a pimple compared to things that had threatened them before Steve had come to town.  Now mostly, all they faced were just the odd transient vampire.

“Well, hello, my cute little blood bag,” a voice came from some bushes that ran alongside the trail just before a tall skinny man stepped out of them.  “I’d heard dinner was served up regularly here in this park.”

“Natul sarash” Willow snapped without even thinking, her mastery of the Elvish tongue amply demonstrated by the power of the two words as the vampire reduced to just under 6” in height and then exploded into dust as the demon’s system shut down due to the radical change in mass.  Looking down at the space where the vampire had been standing, she shook her head and thought, that was weird—it didn’t even affect me like some of the other spells do.

“What the hell did you do now, Netgirl?” Cordelia demanded as she and her teammates stepped out of the bushes.

“Hey, Will, you go, girlfriend,” Amy cheered.  “Was that Elvish I heard?”

“That’s something you don’t see every day,” Larry noted as he kicked the small pile of ashes.

“That’s our Willow,” Xander added as he grinned at the little red witch.

“Oh, hey guys!” Willow gushed while her cheeks turned a light shade of pink.  “I’ve been studying the books Pac had left us, you know, learning and translating the spells.  I was on my way back to Steve’s to return them when I ran into the fang boy.”

“Come on, Will—we’ll escort you to Steve’s house,” Cordelia decided for the team.  “If those spells can do things like that we definitely need to protect those books.”

“That’s so nice of you, Cordy!” Willow smiled winningly at her friend.  “I had planned to leave my house while it was still light but you know how I get when I’m into the books.”

“How do you feel after that spell?” Amy asked while Cordelia and Xander took the lead as Larry brought up the rear. 

“You know how you’re sort of worn out after throwing a fireball?”  When Amy nodded, she continued.  “This spell doesn’t take anything out of you at all.  It reads like a will spell so you’d think it would sap your energy; instead it seems to function like a command spell.”

“Next time you take those books out of the house I wanna be with you,” Amy said sternly.  “You can’t get that far ahead of me.”

“This is a very low level volume, the first book,” Willow noted, trying to ease the other girl’s fears.  “In fact the first paragraph in the book reads like this:  In this book you will find only beginner spells designed for the first year of Elandi Neshan (Arrow Stop – Arrin Parkin) school of magic.”

“Is the whole thing written in Elvish?”

“Not only Elvish, there are like nine different dialect’s in the thing, everything from Dragon to Centaur.”  Willow said in awe.  “Whoever wrote it did so in such a way not only to teach spell craft but also to learn different languages.  Arrow Stop must have been a school or something.”

“Was there any others in there that was as good as the one you just used?”

“There’s this one, called ‘ray of sunshine,’” Willow whispered.  “The spell is pretty powerful; I don’t know for the life of me how they could consider it a low level spell.”

“What does it do?”   

Willow informed the other witch about her experiment then said, “I don’t think it’s something we could use on regular patrols.”

“That is powerful, how would someone use it?”

“Doesn’t say, but it’s the last spell in the book, so I can only imagine that it was used to test graduates,” Willow said thoughtfully.  “It’s a basic spell, but needs to be spoken in the dragon tongue.”

“I knew he was intelligent, but he was an odd man …well … elf,” Amy said.  “Shaw said he was dangerous.  She also said his school was pretty famous but like Yale or Harvard, you had to have potential to get in.”

“Well, if the other books are his school’s outline, I am going back to school,” Willow said with a laugh.

“I wouldn’t mind studying with you,” Amy said.  “Guess I’ll have to ask the goddess to power the new spells.”

“I have a great birthday present for Buffy,” Willow said then laughed before she could tell her sister witch about the chocolate candy bar.   Then after she was able to gather herself and talk about her experiment with the chocolate, the others began to laugh as well.

“Hey looks like Steve and Buffy are back,” Xander said as the group turned onto Bryant Terrace.

“Wonder why they’re back so early?” Willow asked as Larry knocked on the door. 

“Hey, guys,” Buffy greeted the group as she answered the door, “We were just about to call you.”

“What’s up?” Cordelia asked. 

“Casca called today,” Steve replied as he looked directly at the witchy duo.  “He asked if you were up to casting that spell Glam talked about after the L.A. job.”

“I’d have to study the spell before I’d be able to answer that question,” Willow said after she glanced at Amy who also nodded. 

“Do you feel you could cast it if you had time to study it?” Steve asked.

“Steve, I’m not going to say we can’t do it,” Amy answered this time, “But I won’t say we can until we have had a chance to study the spell.  There’s a lot more to these spells than just saying a few words.”

Willow watched as a smile crossed Steve’s lips at Amy’s explanation.  “You know, Amy . . . that’s exactly what Miss. Hargrove said when I asked her about the spell.”

“Are you running to others behind our back about our craft?” Willow asked her voice a bit sharper than she’d intended it to be.

“No, Willow,” Steve replied soothingly.  “I just wanted to make sure that you both realized your limitations.  I assure you my faith in both of you is well founded.”

“So how long will we have to study the spell before we have to cast it?” Amy asked.

“There is no time limit on this,” Steve said as Willow stood up and started for the library carrying some books.  “The spell will arrive here tomorrow and the Halliwell sisters will be here next week.”

“I remember Glam saying something about a half dozen witches for that spell,” Willow said as she came out of the library.  “Who is going to be the sixth if we do it?”

“I assumed either Giles or Jenny would do it,” Buffy said.

 “Randi and Kendra will pick up Glam and Allison at LAX tomorrow around noon,” Steve stated.  “You two should come here after school tomorrow to take a look at the spell.  Until further notice, Buffy, Kendra and I will be first team; second team will be Randi, Cordelia, Xander and Larry.  I know this means you guys will be pulling double duty; however, with Robin at Oberon’s court, Oz doing the battle of the bands and Shaw visiting her home, we don’t have much choice.   Both Jenny and Giles will be hitting the books with Willow and Amy for the duration.”

“Don’t worry, boss,” Xander said as Cordelia sat on his knee.  “We got it covered.  But will Glam be on the roster?”

“If he stays in the area, I’m sure he will,” Steve said.  “Later Stalker will join us as well.”

“Will the spell be available to us at the school?” Willow asked, “Or are we going to do all the research here at your house?”

“For the first week, you four will have access to the spell all day, but once the Halliwell sisters arrive in Sunnydale, the spell will be kept here.”

“What kind of living arrangements do you have for them?” Willow asked.

“Remember when you all asked me why I purchased that house across the street?” Steve asked.  “Well now you know.”

“I just though you purchased it so we could put a fence around it so no one would use it to attack your house again,” Willow drawled. 

“Well that is a pleasant side effect,” Steve noted with a grin. “But with six rooms and six bathrooms, I thought it would be the perfect guest house.”

“Especially when over the past three months, our visitations have tripled,” Willow noted.

“Are there any other questions?” Steve asked the group.

“Nope,” Cordelia answered for them all.  “We’ll make one more pass of the parks on our way to the Bronze.”

“Are you going out dancing tonight?” Willow asked with a wishful tone in her smoky voice.

“Naw,” Xander said.  “Cordelia wants a comic book that Pete has.  We’re going there to pick it up for her.”

Willow laughed as Xander rushed out the door while Cordelia’s cheeks turned pink. 

“I guess I’m going back home to get some sleep,” Willow said.  “It sounds like we’re going to be busy for the next couple of days.”

“We’ll give you a ride,” Giles said as he and Jenny stood to leave.  “I will inform the proper teachers that Kendra will not be in school tomorrow.”

###

Chapter 2

 (Where there is a spell there is a way)

 

 

 

Casca ranch

Montana

 

“So this is it?” Allison asked as she looked at the leather bound book that sat in the middle of the table which she, Stalker, Glam, Lydia and Casca sat around.   She reached out and touched the ancient cover.  “It really doesn’t look like anything special.”

“It’s the spells that are in it that makes it so unique.” Glam told the youthful-looking Immortal.  “The women who wrote this book were the best in their coven; I just hope that the Sunnydale Witches can pull this off.”

“Steve has informed me that if they couldn’t he would find some who could,” Casca replied as he leaned back. 

“So what’s next?” Allison asked.

“Not to sound rude or anything,” Glam smiled as he ruffled Allison’s hair.  “It’s time we started to fatten you up.”

“How do we do that?” Lydia asked, “Immortal metabolism is not really conducive to that.”

“Didn’t say it was easy,” Glam replied.  “When we did it before, the boy had to be immoblized.  No exercise of any kind.”

“Good thing we have video games,” Allison said, “otherwise it will be a very boring couple of months.”

“We didn’t have game systems back then,” Glam replied dully.  “He spent that time writing, reading, and philosophizing.”

“Not to be all teenagery on you, but you’re kidding, right?” Allison half-joked.  “Read?  Write?   What the hell would I read that I haven’t already read?”

“You could enroll in online college,” Lydia said.  “With your knowledge you should be able to pick up a few degrees in the couple of months that you’ll be laid up.  It will help you in the long run.”

“History should be a shoe-in for you,” Casca dead panned.  “Hell, you’ve lived through the birth of America.”

“I guess,” Allison demurred.  “Who knew that being an adult would have consequences?”

“We all did,” the others announced.

“I’ll call St. Wolf and make sure he’ll have the witches available,” Casca said as he left the table. 

“Are you sure you want to risk doing this?” Lydia asked Allison.  “I mean I know Glam said the ceremony worked, but at what cost?”

“I can only say that it did work and the boy would have survived if he’d had more sword training,” Glam stated calmly.  “I will also say the witches who preformed the ceremony were very good at what they did.”

“So, there is a chance something might go wrong?” Stalker asked.

“I highly doubt he would allow his charges to try this if he was not confident in their abilities,” Lydia stated as Casca re-entered the room.

“What did he say?” Allison asked.

“He said he’d make certain things were ready when you are.  In fact he told me that when you were ready to let him know and he’d have a place for you as long as you needed it.”

“It might be wisest to move you there to fatten you up,” Glam said after a few moments.  “That way we wouldn’t have to worry about moving you later.”

“Just how fat do I have to be?”

“Well we didn’t measure Marcus but I’d say he gained at least one hundred pounds.  And as I said before, he looked liked a scarecrow when it was over.”

“How much weight do you think I should put on?”

“I don’t know, little one,” Glam replied sadly.

“Let’s go to Sunnydale,” Allison said as she looked at the book which was written in a foreign language.  “They’ll need to learn the spell before they have to preform it on me.”

“All right,” Glam said as he looked to Lydia and Casca who both nodded.  “Go get some things together and I will accompany you and the books to Sunnydale.”

“Thank you,” Allison said before she turned to Stalker.  “Will you be coming with us?”

“Not immediately, Ali,” Stalker replied with a soft smile.  “I have to go check up on a couple of the other Immortal children and see how they are doing.  Then I will meet you in Sunnydale.”

“How many more childern are there?” Lydia wanted to know.

“Three that I know of,” Stalker replied.  “I’m going to go check up on them and make sure they are okay.  It will take me a month or so.”

“A whole month?” Ali shrieked.

“Yes, two of them are so isolated that you have to go in on horse back.  Their only contact with the outside world is when someone like me or one of the other suppliers they use get up that way which is not often.”

“The full moon is about ten days away,” Glam said as he looked at the calendar.  “So if we are locked into that time frame we have at least 42 days before they can preform the ceremony.”

 “If this works will you offer the others the same opportunity?” Allison asked.

“If they want it and are old enough to make their own decision, I will.”

“I hope that most of them take that opportunity,” Lydia said. “Can you imagine one of those childern ending up on Nightline or a news program like that?”

“I can,” Stalker replied as he stood up.  “That’s why I put them in places that it would be highly unlikely for something like that to happen.”

“But you will be there right?” Allison asked hopefully.

“I will.” Stalker agreed as he left the table.  “I will leave tonight to make sure.”

“Go and pack for at least two months, Allison.” Lydia smiled at the younger Immortal.  “I will make arrangements for you to fly out tomorrow morning.”

#

Even though she lay in a comfortable bed, Allison couldn’t sleep.  She wondered what she’d look like when she appeared to be physically ten years older than her present form.   She knew she wouldn’t miss the teen years as she’d been able to live them almost her entire life.  Yet, being able to walk into a bar and buy a drink or, even better, to be allowed to vote and have her ideas taken seriously was going to be something she looked forward to.

“It’s got to work,” she pleaded to the night as she put her hands behind her head.  “It’s just got to.”

###

The next day seemed to take forever to arrive but finally it had come. 

Allison reached up and took Glam’s hand as they walked toward the line to board the plane which would take them to Sunnydale.  As she did so, a smile crossed her face when she realized she wouldn’t have to pretend to be anyone’s daughter very much longer.

The flight to LA International passed quickly for Allison who slept through most of it since she hardly had gotten any sleep the night before.  Her eyes were still heavy when Glam nudged her as they rolled to a stop at the gate of LAX.  She blinked twice, got up to retrieve her carryons and followed Glam out of the plane and into the large airport terminal.

“Will someone be here to pick us up?” Allison asked as the buzz of an Immortal hit them both.

“I don’t know, Allison,” Glam replied before he said, “stay behind me until we find out if he be friend or foe.”

“Kendra!” Allison called out as she rushed out from behind Glam and into the Jamaican’s arms.  “How are you?”

“I am fine,” Kendra replied as she disengaged from the younger girl.  “You remember Randi?”

Alison nodded as she recognized the other Immortal.  “I remember the face but forgot the name, sorry.”

“That’s okay,” Randi smiled.  “It was a pretty hectic time.”

“Hello, young lady,” Glam said as he stepped up to the group while he gave Allison a disapproving glare.  “I see you’re still around.”

“Steve and Buffy took us on.” Randi said as she looked at Glam.  “Let’s get the rest of your bags and head back home.  Not to be pushy or anything, but I have a class in three hours.”

“Don’t remind me,” Allison groaned, “I have an on-line class that starts at 4:30 this afternoon.”

“On-line class?” Randi asked as they walked down to the carousels.

“Yeah.  Aunt Lydia said that it would be smart if I got a degree while they fattened me up,” Allison replied.  “So I started working on a history degree and am taking a business course.”

“Steve has me taking a few courses in business and history, too,” Randi admitted.  “He says that even though we can easily live forever that don’t mean we have to be stupid.”

“A lot of us will agree with that,” Glam said as they left the airport.  “More have started thinking that way since the truth came out.”

“Don’t get him started on education, please,” Allison whined as she had heard more than enough of his back ground.  “To hear him tell it, he was one of the first students at Oxford and Yale.”

“I was,” Glam smiled.

“Hey, Kendra,” Allison asked as her excitement got the best of her.  “Do you know the witches who will be performing the ceremony?”

“Of course,” Kendra replied.  “You know them too, or at least you were introduced to them at the party.”

“Are they good?” Glam asked as he held the book a bit tighter.  “I mean are they powerful?”

“Well, I have no one to compare them to,” Kendra replied.  “But from what Giles has said, both Amy and Willow have power to spare even though Willow has not completely harnessed her full potential yet.”

“If she hasn’t harnessed her full potential yet,” Randi added, “then I’m afraid to see what she might become.  That girl is freaking powerful!”

“We shall see,” Glam said as he leaned back in the seat.

As Randi drove through the streets and onto the freeway that would eventually take them to Sunnydale, Allison sat quietly in the back seat.  Her mind raced with over a million questions about the ceremony, questions no one could really answer as of now.  Even Glam didn’t know the particulars of the spell; he only knew it had worked once before.

An hour or so later, Randi announced, “Here we are!” as she pulled into the driveway of Steve’s house.

Allison groaned as she shook her head and stated, “Jet lag always hits me hard.”

“You should try to stay awake on the short flights,” Glam said.  “It won’t hit you as hard that way.”

“The others won’t be home for about two hours,” Randi said as they entered the house.  “Until then, Steve told me to feed you.”

“What have you around here to eat?” Allison asked as she went to the table.

“Well, Steve said you had to be fattened up, so I made meatloaf with a cheese center,” Randi said as she walked into the kitchen.

###

Sunnydale High School

Library

“Hey, G-man, what’s going on?” Xander asked as he entered the library followed by Cordelia and Larry to find the witchy duo was already there.  “Have they picked up Allison already?”

“No,” Giles replied as he rubbed the bridge of his nose with his thumb and forefinger.  “Their plane won’t land until noon or so.”

“So what is the research party about?” Cordelia asked as she pointed at Amy and Willow.

“We are trying to figure out just how much weight Allison will have to gain to be safe,” Giles answered.

“So is there anything we need to do tonight before we go on patrol?” Xander asked. “With all of this going on, I don’t think we should go by Steve’s for the nightly training session.”

“Overall, things have been slow for the last two months,” Giles started.  “So…”

“Don’t say it!” Xander hissed out as he rushed over to Giles and shoved his hand over the Brit’s mouth.  “Don’t even think it. That’s just asking for trouble!”

“Quite right,” Giles said when Xander lowered his hand.  “So we’ll count on the four of you, but if we can get Glam to help, we shall.”

“All right, just send him along with Randi when she comes to our house,” Cordelia said as she turned and headed out of the library. 

“Think he will help us?” Larry asked as the three made their way to the lunch room.

“I didn’t get to know him all that well,” Cordelia replied.  “But what I did gather he sounded like the kind of guy who’d help.”

“Hey have you guys thought any more about getting the Sprint™ push-to-talk setup?” Larry asked.  “It would be better than those walkie-talkies and they have a greater range.”

Xander shook his head and said, “The problem with them is they make that loud ping when you get called and unlike a walkie-talkie, you can’t turn them down low enough to stop others from hearing the ping.  I’ve been doing some research on head sets that racecar drivers use.  They cost a bit more, but it’s a one-time cost.”

“Big problem with those, though, are when we have to move a lot of times we do so violently and they could become displaced,” Cordelia said.

“I guess,” Larry mumbled as they all sat around a table. 

#

“Hey, Percy,” O’Toole said, drawing out Percy’s name as he shouldered the football player into a table where several students were eating.  “Where did you learn how to walk?”

Percy caught his balance just before he hit the table and shoved O’Toole away from him.   Unable to catch his balance, O’Toole fell over the table that the Slayerettes shared, sending the unsuspecting teens and their food to the floor. 

“Damn it!” Cordelia shrieked as she continued her roll to land back on her feet, her stylish dark pants suit now covered in what passed for spaghetti and meatballs. 

 Larry came to his feet quickly and started toward O’Toole but was stopped by Xander who just shook his head in a silent warning.  With a low growl, Larry turned and started to pick up what he could of their lunches.

“Hold it right there!” Principal Snyder snapped, his voice grating on Xander’s nerves as they all turned to see the troll who stood in the doorway.  “What is going on in here?”

“O’Toole just tripped,” Larry said as Xander and Cordelia tried not to draw attention to themselves. 

“People don’t just trip and cause this much damage,” Snyder snarled. “This could only happen when someone is pushed or tripped on purpose.”

“Who would push O’Toole?” Larry asked as he pointed to the dangerous looking senior. 

“Who shoved you?” Snyder demanded.

“I tripped,” O’Toole replied.

“All right, clean this mess up!  No reason for the janitor to clean up after you,” Snyder snapped as he left the room.

“You’d better watch your step, O’Toole,” Percy warned. 

“This coming from a boy that got beat by Xander Harris,” O’Toole said with a smirk then laughed.  He continued in a teasing voice, “I hear that even Cordelia left your little group because of that.”

“Back off, O’Toole,” Xander snapped. 

“For now, Harris,” O’Toole agreed with a snicker. “Soon, though, it’ll be my turn.”

“Why not right now?”  Xander snarled as he turned to face O’Toole.

“Xander, stand down!” Cordelia ordered.  “Let’s go.”

“Meet you later,” Larry called as he left the pair. 

“It’s gotta be hard for him,” Cordelia whispered to Xander as they strolled to the library.  “I mean Larry being a member of our group and still a member of the football team.”

“He’s a better man than me for putting up with their shit,” Xander muttered as they made their way down the hallway.  “O’Toole is going to be trouble, I just know it.”

“Just don’t go out of your way to find that trouble,” Cordelia said as she slipped her hand around his back sending a spark up his spine.  “I’ll see you in class.”

“K” Xander said as he took a quick hug from his girlfriend and headed toward his next class.

###

St.Wolf residence

“Hello, Mr. St. Wolf,” Allison said to the man as he entered the house with his team.  “Thank you for assisting me with this.”

“If she would have just walked off the street with that statement I would be thinking what a nerd,” Cordelia drawled.

“It’s good to see you again, Cordelia,” Allison said. 

“Hey, Steve, we weren’t going to come over,” Xander explained, “but since Randi is going to come with us, we thought it would be better for us to come by and pick her up.”

“Not a problem, Xander,” St. Wolf said as he watched Amy and Willow pass by everyone as they headed to his den.  “Are you two going to need anything?”

“Do you have the book?” Amy asked Glam

“Here,” Glam offered the tome but kept his hand on it for a bit longer than necessary.

“Glam, you can trust us.” Willow said as she stepped beside Amy.  “We would never attempt anything we weren’t ready for.”

“Guess I just had these books for so long, it’s hard to let them go.”

“Glam,” Allison said as she placed her hand on his.  “Let them have it; I know we can trust them.”

“Thank you,” Amy said as she turned to enter the den with Willow following close behind.

“Well, they’re happy campers for the night!” Xander laughed then asked, “Hey, Allison, wanna go down and get some ice cream before it gets dark?”

“I guess it’s time to get fat.” Allison joined the laughter.  “Does anyone have any idea how much weight I have to gain?”

“Amy said something like five pounds per year,” Cordelia informed the girl.

What?!  I've gotta gain sixty pounds or more?!  “Umm . . . can we just go up five years?”  Allison asked her eyes as big as saucers.

“Come on,” Cordelia said with a laugh as she took Allison in hand and guided her out the front door. 

###

St. Wolf’s Den

“The spell looks simple enough,” Amy said as she read the detailed notes provided in the spell book.  “Our estimates on how much she should put on were wrong though; says here she only needs to gain forty to fifty pounds for a ten year gain.”

“Yeah and there’s nothing here that says we have to wait for a certain time,” Willow noted in her husky, bedroom voice.  “So the full moon was merely a coincidence.”

“Yes,” Amy replied with a hint of uneasiness in her voice. 

“What’s the problem?” Willow asked as shot a glimpse at Amy.

“This is blood magic,” Amy whispered. 

“So?” Willow asked. 

“Blood magic is based in the darkest of magicks,” Amy said, her eyes still glued to the book.  “When casting this type of magic, anything could go wrong.”

“What are we going to do?” Willow asked.

“Study the spell, learn its traits then when the Charmed Ones arrive, we ask them.  Until then let’s look and see if there’s anything that counters what I have read in other books.”

“Oh Goddess,” Willow whispered as she took out another book.  “I hope you’re wrong.  But maybe this book can help.”

“In what way?” Amy asked.

“It’s a book written by a druid from Spine about dark magic,” Willow said as she placed the book down on the table and opened it.  “It’s written in Common so we should be able to translate it easily enough.”

“Why would Steve have a book like that in his collection?”

“I don’t know but since it might help us, I'm thankful that he does!”

As the two girls delved deeper into the book, neither of them noticed the door to the den opening to allow Giles and Jenny to enter.  Both girls continued to read and take notes while the elder pair sat down and started to read what the girls had already studied without uttering a single word between them.

###

“I am not a chocoholic!” Allison snapped when a large chocolate sundae was placed in front of her.  

“Well, then, you don’t want this,” Cordelia purred as she took the sundae and replaced it with a banana split.  “This has brownies with Rocky Road ice cream topped with hot fudge.  It’s called a 'mountain of chocolate.'”

“Now this, I like!” Allison cooed as she dug into the dessert.  “So are you going to patrol after this?”

“First, we'll drop you off at Steve’s,” Randi said.  “We don’t normally patrol in cars, you tend to miss too much that way.”

“Do you often patrol without adults?”

“We always have Steve and Buffy on call,” Randi explained.  “But it’s been a while since we ran into anything we couldn’t handle.”

“We've only had to deal with nine vampires this month,” Xander added.  “That’s down from maybe six to ten a night.”

“Wow,” Allison said.

“Hello,” an elderly man greeted as he approched the table.  “Randi, may I have a moment of your time please?”

“Sure, Ben,” Randi responded pleasantly to the man as she rose and walked away from the table.

“What’s that all about?” Allison asked.

“That’s Ben Raines,” Cordelia explained.  “He’s one of the bussiness owners who knows what's going on here and helps us where he can, mostly with information.”

“By the way he's nodding his head at you, I’m guessing he wants to know who you are,” Xander speculated.

“Why?  It’s really none of his business who I am.”

“Allison, in this town, knowledge can keep you alive.  That's why he cares.  But don’t worry about it; it’s not going to be an issue next month,” Cordelia said with a smile.  “Ben is a good man; he’s probably concerned about your apparent age.”

“Oh . . . will he be trouble?”

“Don’t worry,” Xander cut in with a smile as Randi started back to their table.  “See, here she comes now.”

“What did he have to say?” Cordelia asked.

“He just wanted to know who Allison is,” Randi said.  “I told him she was  Xander's cousin staying for the season.”

“Good cover,” Cordelia noted.

###

St. Wolf's Home

“Thank you for coming so promptly,” St. Wolf said to the Halliwell sisters as they entered his home.  “The others are in the den going over the spell.”

“They have it here?” Phoebe asked her voice showing the excitement she felt.  “Have they made any progress with it?”

“We'll find out when we ask them, Phoebe,” Prue said as the quartet walked toward the den where the others sat around a large table with books spread out.  The eldest sister grabbed a seat at the table and asked, “Hi girls, Giles.  What have you found out so far?”

 “We've determined that it’s a blood spell,” Jenny said as the other Halliwells took a seat.  “It can be performed anytime the subject is prepared.”

“Prepared?”

“The aging process is combined with a growth process,” Amy explained as she read a book. “If she doesn’t have the skin to grow into she will look awfully sickly for the rest of her life.”

“Any idea how much she's going to have to gain?”

“So far I figure about forty to fifty pounds will make her about the same size and weight as you,” Willow said as she shoved the book over to Phoebe.  “Anything less and she would be in serious danger.”

“The spell itself doesn’t look too difficult,” Phoebe said after she read it over.  “Looks to me like the hardest part will be fattening her up.  Do you have a plan for that?”

“Wouldn’t worry about that,” Willow said with a giggle.  “Steve fixes a good meal when he isn’t having pizza and pizza is a good, fattening food.”

“Is that it then?” Phoebe asked.  “We all have jobs, we can’t wait around for that.”

“You're right,” Piper said.  “But, we can cheat.  We can curse the girl then when the spell is done, we can remove the curse.”

“Curse?” Willow and Amy both asked simultaneously.

“Sure!  We curse her, make her gain weight then once she has gained what she needs we cancel the curse,” Piper said.  “If we do it this way, we can cast the spell anytime.”

“Yes,” Phoebe continued. “With the curse working we can get her to gain fifty pounds in five days.”

“That would work,” Giles agreed.

“Let’s do it!” Willow chirped.

 “Where's the subject of our spell?” Phoebe asked.

“Cordelia and Randi took her out to get some ice cream.  They should be back soon.”

###

“Looks like company,” Allison said as Cordelia pulled up behind a dark blue SUV.  “Who do you think it is?”

“The Halliwell Sisters,” Xander said with a smile.  “They must be here to look the spell over.”

“Who are they?” Allison asked as they walked toward the house.

“Three very powerful witches,” Randi replied.  “They helped us with a problem we had a few months ago.”

As they entered the room, Randi took Allison and guided her to where Steve stood talking to Prue Halliwell.  Realizing the two had stopped talking, she took the opportunity to introduce Allison.  “Prue,” Randi said as Allison looked Prue over.  “This is Allison, the girl who needs your help.”

“Hello,” Prue greeted as she looked down at Allison.  “You’re a cute one.”

“Prue,” Steve coughed.

“That's all right, Steven,” Allison said as she glanced up at Prue.  “My two hundred plus years doesn’t really show in this twelve year old body.”

“Oh,” Prue said as the color drained from her cheeks.  “Please forgive me.  I forgot.”

“Thank you for your help, Prue,” Allison shrugged off the apology with a bright smile.  “They have told me that you and your sisters are an important ingredient to this ceremony.”

“I don’t know yet,” Prue replied just as the library doors opened and the other witches entered the great room.  “My sisters will tell us more.”

“It’s a blood spell,” Piper said as she and the others joined the group.  “It’s simple enough to do.  All we need to do really is to help her gain the weight necessary for her body to adjust to the change.”

“That might take a couple of months,” Steve said.

“We have a way to shorten that,” Piper said after a moment.  “I figure six maybe seven days.”

“How?” Buffy asked.  “More importantly is it safe?”

“It is,” Piper said with a nod.  “All we have to do is curse her then when she puts on the weight we can undo the curse.”

“What kind of curse?” Allison asked.

“It will slow your Immortal metabolism,” Phoebe said.  “Everything you eat will go straight to your waist as fat.  Then when the spell is cast that extra weight will mould your old body into a new one.”

“I believe the original spell had to have the same thing,” Glam said after a minute.  “Immortal metabolism does not lend itself to weight gain like mortals.”

“Sounds reasonable,” Allison agreed.   “When can we start?”

“Now,” Piper said.  “We can’t stay here too long, so the sooner we help you gain the weight, the better.”

“We can cast the spell in the den,” Phoebe said after a moment of silence.  “It’s a pretty simple curse and she can start gaining the weight right away.”

“Let’s do it,” Allison said after she looked to Glam for guidance then followed the sisters into the den. 

###

As she entered the other room, Allison noticed that the sisters had taken positions around her with Amy, Willow and Jenny filling in the gaps to create a circle. 

“Don’t be afraid,” Prue said as she pulled out a couple of vials and handed one to each of her sisters.  “This is a relatively simple spell.”

She nodded and spoke the only words she could think of.  “I trust you.”

“Now,” Prue ordered and threw her vile at Allison’s feet along with the ones her sisters held as the Charmed Ones chanted, “We curse you Allison Freeman with the metabolism of a hibernating bear.”

“That’s it?”

“That’s it,” Prue confirmed.  “Now it’s up to you.”

“What about the second spell, will it be harder?” Allison asked.

“It’s going to hurt physically,” Prue said solemnly.  “Your body is going to stretch, that which normally would take years will happen in minutes.  I can’t say how much it’s going to hurt but I imagine it will hurt quite a bit.  Which brings me to my question, are you sure you want to do this?”

“Yes,” Allison said after a moment of thought.  “I’ve been a child for hundreds of years.  It’s time for me to grow up.”     

###

The six days passed quickly for Allison who remained in the house and gorged herself on rich meaty food.  As planned, her body stored the food and she had gained almost sixty pounds her weight now was close to one hundred fifty pounds in a 4’3” inch body.  It almost made her physically sick to look at her obese body in the mirror. She was glad that Stalker would not see her like this. 

“Soon,” she told her reflection in the mirror just as a knock sounded from the door.   “Come in.”

“Hello, Allison,” Willow smiled at the rotund girl.  “Just got off the phone with Prue, they're on their way.”

“Thank God,” she sighed.  “I don’t know how much more of this I could take.”

“Are you having doubts?”

“No,” Allison said as she gazed at herself in the mirror.  “It’s just that this cannot be healthy for anyone.”

“It'll be over soon,” Willow said.  “We prepared the basement for the spell.  It’s sound proof so it won't draw the attention of the neighbors.”

“When are they going to be here?”

“In about three hours.  I've tried to reach Stalker but his cell phone must be off or he's out of pocket.”

“That's okay,” Allison said. “I will remain here until he comes; Glam said it took his friend about a month to recoup his strength and balance after the spell.  Do you think Steve will mind?”

 “Not at all,” Willow said with a smile.  “You can stay in the house across the street until you're ready to leave.  One of us will always be available for you.”

“Thanks, Willow.” 

###

The next three hours were the longest in Allison’s life.  The Halliwell sisters had arrived and the final preparations were complete.  A portion of Glam’s blood was gathered and spread in a design across Allison’s stomach. The large table that was normally used for weapons checks was now clear for Allison to lie upon as they cast the spell upon her.

“Last chance, Allison.” Allison saw the worry in Prue’s eyes as she asked the question. “Are you sure you want to go through with this?”

“I'm sure.” Allison smiled as a tear ran down her cheek as she felt the love for her in the room.

“Remove the curse,” Prue told the others who gathered around.

“We who have cursed you now release you of the burden,” the women chanted in tune again as another three bottles were thrown on the ground.  “We release you for now and always.”

As she lay on the table while the witches removed the curse, Allison thought she felt something but decided it was just her imagination.  She watched as Giles joined the circle before the second and more powerful spell was cast.

“Tempest and Nature we call upon your powers to free the growth of this body which you have locked in time.  Let her body grow a measure of time healthy and wise.” The women chanted twice before the rest of the blood was spilled on her over the design which was so carefully placed there before.  “Nature we ask you to keep the body safe as Tempest releases his hold for the measure of time.”

Almost immediately screams of pain were ripped from Allison as her body began to transform, stretching in length almost fifteen inches while her hair grew an additional four inches.  Her face aged almost ten years as the fat of her body was absorbed into her new body.  Her screams grew stronger as her hips, breasts, and face changed while the witches continued to chant the spell over and over.  

Allison felt as if her body was being torn apart as her very bones stretched and grew.  She saw her stomach move down as her hips grew wider and her breasts grew larger and firmer.  Even her face felt like it was being torn apart.  Finally after what had seemed like hours, the pain left her, while her throat was sore from screaming at the top of her lungs. 

“It is done,” Prue said as the other occupants of the room slumped down into chairs or onto the floor. 

“Are you alright?” Allison asked as she started to rise but was forced back as a feeling of nausea hit her. 

“Lay down,” Prue commanded, the smile on her lips taking some of the sting out of it. “You won't be able to do anything for a few hours.  We'll be fine once we get a little rest.”

Allison reached up to touch her face and felt her cheek bones.  The fleshy parts of her face were now just a thin layer over bone.  She knew that her appearance must be close to that of a skeleton.  Fear of what she must look like caused her to yell, “What the hell have you done to me?”

“V’DRI” she heard Willow say just before she dropped into a deep sleep.

###

“Will she always look this way?” Willow asked as she stood and stumbled over to the table.

“Of course not,” Prue said gently as she placed her arm around Willow. “Once we gather some strength we'll curse her again but only for a few hours.  That should put enough weight on her to fill her out.”

“You curse her and I will go get her some food.” Giles said as he started up the stairs. 

“How long will she sleep for?” Piper asked as she looked at Willow.

“A few hours unless we wake her,” Willow informed them.  “I didn’t know what else to do.”

“You did good, sis,” Amy said as she smiled.  “Next time you study a spell like that, remember to get me.”

“No problem, Amy,” Willow gushed at the complement.

“That is a nifty spell,” Phoebe said.  “What language did you use?”

“Elfish,” Willow replied.  “For some reason the spells I've learned in Elfish can only be cast in Elfish.  I'm trying to translate them into English.”

“All right, let’s curse her again,” Prue said as they created the circle once more.  “Here comes Giles with the food.  Go ahead and wake her.”

“Orta!” Willow whispered into Allison’s ear which brought the girl out of her sleep.

“Be still,” Willow continued as the girl started to scream again.  “It will be okay.  We're bringing food for you and everything will be just fine.”

“I look hideous,” Allison cried.

“You won’t for long,” Willow said soothingly.  “We'll cast the curse spell on you again, this time we'll only leave it for a few hours so you can pack on a little weight.”

“Will that work?”

“Yes, we just have to monitor what you eat so you won’t stay fat.”

###

“Do you think it worked?” Glam asked for the fifth time since the doors to the basement were locked.

“I think they would let us know if it hadn’t,” St. Wolf said as he worked in the kitchen cutting up vegetables.  “Giles said she just needed to put on weight, mostly to fill out the empty spaces.”

“They’ve been down there for seven hours,” Glam said just as the door opened to reveal a beautiful, twenty-something, red haired woman whose body and face belonged on a copy of Vogue magazine.  A sheet was wrapped around her body and her appearance stunned both men so they couldn't utter a single word.

“What shut you up so . . .” Buffy said as she entered the room and stumbled when she noticed the woman.  “Wow, Allison!  We need to get Stalker here soon or there are going to be a lot of very jealous women trying to keep you away from their men!”

“You think?” Allison asked with a smile.

“I know!" Buffy drawled.  "Come on lets go get you something to wear.”  Buffy then laughed as she grabbed Allison’s hand.  “I might have something that might fit.”

“They did a fabulous job!” Glam gushed as he and St. Wolf watched the lovely Allison glide up the stairs like a goddess.  “It took the boy from my past almost nine months to look as healthy as she does right now.   They must have used the curse to fatten her up a bit.”

“That was the only way we could be sure she'd make it,” Piper explained as the others came out of the basement.  “That spell is very powerful but without the curse, I don’t know how anyone could use it.”

“What are you going to do with the spell?” Prue asked.

“The book has been in a locked safe deposit box for over three hundred years,” Glam said as he accepted the book.  “Maybe it’s time I release it to someone who can use it.”

“So you'll leave it here with St. Wolf?” 

“I was considering it, and now that I have seen firsthand that the Steve’s charges are the real deal, I'll feel a lot safer with it being here.”

“I'll keep it safe,” St. Wolf said as they all walked back down into the basement.

When they reached the bottom floor, St. Wolf flipped a switch which opened a false wall to reveal a large book shelf which held over a hundred books with lots of room free for more volumes. 

“This is where we keep our magical library,” St. Wolf said as he allowed the sisters to browse the books.  “Most of them are from friends who wish to remain anonymous.  The others are from a visitor from Fern.”

“Those would be the books written in the foreign language,” Phoebe asked as her hand traced the lettering on one of the books which caused her to flash before she jerked her hand away.

“I didn’t realize you had this many books,” Glam said.  “Are they all spell books?”

“Yep,” Steve replied simply as they put the new book in place and he closed the wall again.  “It will be safe here.”

“I wish I could be here when Stalker picks up Allison,” Glam said as they walked up the stairs.  “But I have to go; I need to take care of a couple of things.”

“I will be sure to film the meeting,” St. Wolf offered and laughed.  Then he shook hands with Glam as the other man turned to leave the house.  “Be safe and if you need anything please call.”

“Thank you, for everything,” Glam said as he left.

###

“I’ll see you tomorrow,” Allison said as she hung up the phone.  For the past few weeks she had spent time to learn her new body’s capabilities and limitations.  Tonight would be the first real run of her abilities.  Buffy had found a new nest near the college and wanted to stop it from spreading.

“Are you ready?” Randi asked the older Immortal as she entered the room.  “We have about two hours of light left; if we leave any later we can’t be sure to contain all the vampires.”

“I still don’t understand why Buffy didn’t just take care of it herself.”

“She said there were twenty or more vampires, she did the smart thing.” Randi replied.  “When fighting vampires we have two solid rules.  First you don’t hunt by yourself, ever.  Second, when you come across a situation that you and your partner or partners can’t handle you call in back up.”

“How do we know they’re still there?”

“We leave some kind of watch dog behind,” Randi informed her.  “Either a person will stay to watch over the situation, or we leave a couple of portable cameras depending on what time of day it is.  Today the sun was still up, so Oz and Willow stayed behind.”

“Well then, we better get going,” Allison said with a smile. “I don’t want them to have all the fun.”

“Allison,” Randi said her voice dropping a bit and becoming serious.  “What we do is not for the fun of it; we don’t view it like that.  We are the defense against the darkness; every vampire we dust is one human life we save.  Steve has shown me that this work is not supposed to be fun.  It is serious work and should be done with a sense of compassion; remember you are dispatching the body of a human who’d died.”

“Thank you,” Allison said as she choked up.  “I’m sorry for my callous remark.”

“Don’t be.”  Randi smiled.  “I was the same way for a long time.”

As the pair left the room, Allison took a look around and saw that the others were getting ready for the assault.  Already Buffy had changed into her battle clothes, the black armor which was given to them during the assault on LA. 

“I’ve noticed that you all wear those black suits.  Is there a reason behind it?” Allison asked as she followed Randi into her room as she changed into her own battle clothes.

“First off, they’re bulletproof,” Randi smiled as she held out a spare shirt.  “Mostly it’s not needed, but the second purpose for it is so we know who is who and since the clothes are blessed, there’s no chance of any of us being turned.”

“Takes away a lot of worries during the heat of battle, I bet.”

“Steve says it best,” Randi noted as they left her room.  “Better to stack the deck in your favor than go out on a wing and a prayer.”

“What else have you done to stack the odds in your favor?” Allison asked as they joined the others in the Tahoe outside. 

“Shaw once made it rain holy water,” Xander said.

“We’ll use anything we can think of to make the fight shorter and easier on us,” St. Wolf said with a finality that rocked Allison.  “This battle has more gray than black and white.  We have to be ahead of the enemy every step of the way.”

“How are we going to handle this one?”

“Still light out,” Buffy took over explanations.  “We charge all openings letting as much sun in as possible, search for captives while destroying the vampires we come across.”

“Be sure you check them with your cross or holy water before you dispatch them and work in teams.  Allison, you will be with Randi for tonight’s raid,” St. Wolf said.

#

The raid was swift.

Allison stuck next to Randi as she watched as the group split apart to assault the building.  She heard the small radio click twice followed by two separate clicks before Randi clicked her own radio signaling that all was ready.  Then as one, four doors were kicked open and she followed Randi who rushed inside the door.

The attack was both quick and brutal.  She saw Randi slice anything that smoked while the three crosses on her sword glowed with each cut.    When it was over, they searched the place looking for captives but didn’t find any.  Willow walked around the building casting a protection spell that would hopefully stop any evil from entering the home again.

“Was that a typical raid?” Allison asked as she looked around the house. 

“No, we had more than a few things working in our favor, especially the fact that it was daylight when we attacked,” Buffy said.  “We caught them sleeping literally.”

“It’s been a while since we attacked a nest this size,” St. Wolf said almost absentmindedly.  “Activity has stepped up a bit lately.  We’re going to have to sweep the area over the next few days, shake a few trees and see what falls out.”

“Stalker will be here tomorrow,” Allison informed the group.  “He’s on his way back East, but he’s stopping by to pick me up.  Should I ask him to stay a few days?”

“No,” St. Wolf answered with a smile.  “We have enough forces to take care of anything that comes along.  Besides I know where he’s headed and the sooner he gets there the better.”

As they turned onto Brant Lane, they noticed a newer model Ford Taurus parked in the driveway which caused more than a few groans from the various teenagers who were in the vehicle. 

“That’s going to be trouble.” Randi said, as she pulled out her phone.  “No message from Bryan so I guess it’s someone he knew.”

“Door’s in good shape,” Buffy went on.  “Duke must know them.”

Mission,” Randi and Buffy said at the same time with enough of a sigh in their voices Allison almost laughed.

As they pulled in to the driveway the door was opened and Bryan rushed out the door and up to the driver side.  His voice was low as he reported to St. Wolf.  “It’s Stalker, he’s in the bathroom taking a shower.  I have the living room cameras taping.”

“Good boy,” Steve smiled before he turned to Allison, “Wanna shock him as he comes out of the shower?”

“You bet!” Allison smiled wickedly. “First, I wanna go change.”

“We’ll keep him in the living room.”

“Thanks,” she called as she rushed across the street. 

###

Twenty minutes later, dressed in a tight black mini-skirt and low cut top, Allison walked into Steve’s living room without knocking.  Stalker was just about to say something when she entered the room.  His mouth locked open as he watched this virtual goddess enter the room.

“My God!” Stalker almost whispered, “Allison, is that you?”

“Hi, Stalker!” she chirped shyly, her own voice tight in her throat. 

Her eyes blurred as Stalker rushed toward her.  He took her into his arms and kissed her passionately.  Wow, she mused inwardly, if that’s our first kiss, it can only get better after this!  She felt the kiss all the way down to the tips of her toes and lost herself in the desire they shared as her mind was overcome by the swell of his love crashing into her.

###

St. Wolf moved his hand over his neck as he stood up to lead the others out of the room as the couple continued to kiss deeply.  Even Xander wisely kept his comments to himself as everyone evacuated the room leaving Allison and Stalker to begin their new life together.

 

 

THE END

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