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Transformations

I've read the Transformations quartet three times now, which is a bit embarrassing. This is a long story series by Kris W, focusing on Giles. It's unfinished, alas. (This is always a danger with fanfiction published serially: the author loses interest, or energy, or faith, and you're left hanging.) Obviously this wasn't a problem for me with this story, hence three visits into its world.

It starts exactly where season 3 Buffy leaves off, with the high school burning and emergency personnel mopping up. A woman from Giles' past turns up, and this Giles has a very interesting past indeed. Kris W has filled in his backstory, family, magic, university, Ethan, the Council, employment. You can get most of this history in the short story All of that, and more. The Council of these stories is led by actively evil men, who react to Buffy's decisions in some horrific ways. The story shows us how Giles and Buffy become a couple and deal with the Council. It takes us through vampires in Sunnydale, demons in Whitechapel, leylines in Salisbury, Morgan le Faye, a hedgehoggy little demon who tricks Buffy into a horrible bargain.

This Giles is not snarky, sarcastic Giles. This Giles wouldn't ever stew in his juices season 4 style. This is the sweet, stammering Giles we meet in the first two seasons, scorched a little by his experiences on the Hellmouth. His past with dark magic still bothers him deeply. His past in general was fairly brutal. He's insecure about his worth as a human being. But somehow he emerges as a strong and decent man. And a loving one. One of the characters calls Giles the Chevalier Mal Fete, a perfect reference.

I have some criticism. I have a hard time believing that Giles can survive the brutality he's put through in these stories. He is forced to endure physical and mental injuries that should probably crumple him into little bits. I'm also not sure about the characterization of Xander. These are quibbles, though. These stories give me what I come to fanfiction to find.
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