Thank You reviewers!
Lightdemon dark angel: Thanks for R&R. I've started work on a new story, but it won't be posted for a while.
Buffy- Crazy about Angel: See A/N at the end for info about a sort-of-sequal. Thanks for R&R.
Charmed angel4: Thanks for reading and reviewing throughout the story. I hope you go on to read and enjoy the sequel-type thing I've done.
Moony's Mate: Glad you liked. Thanks for R&R.
The Lady Morgaine: The info on the shanshu was appreciated, really! More about the past will be revealed in the sequel-tyoe thing I've done. Thanks for R&R.
Keren Ziv: Thanks for all the reviews! I'm glad you liked all the bits you quoted- I'd forgotten about a lot of them and it was cool to 'relive' them! Hope you like the epilogue.
Mary Ann: Happy endings are good! Thanks for R&R.
Nixinox: There's a note on the end that details the sequel-type thing at the end of the chapter. Thanks for R&R
A/N: This is it! The final chapter! Thanks to all the readers and reviewers who've stuck with me through this fic and a MASSIVE thanks to my beta Matt, I couldn't have done it without you!
EPILOGUE: HAPPILY EVER AFTER?
EIGHT MONTHS LATER
Thwack! Another demon was cut down. They were all out fighting, every last slayer from Giles' centre and that could only mean one thing; it was time for the annual demons convention aka the yearly apocalypse. They'd been fighting for hours, but had had even fewer casualties than last year's giant, fluffy mouse incident.
Dawn hacked through another slime demon. Dumbledore had decided that as there was no exam in her subject, it would be best to suspend it's teaching until the new term to allow students to focus on their studies. And she and Harry had decided that it would be best for both of them if she commuted to Hogwarts each day that she was actually teaching via floo; that way she could still help out around the slaying centre and Harry wouldn't feel too crowded by his mother constantly being at his school.
Giles fought his way across the fray to Dawn; it wasn't that difficult since they were mainly getting rid of pretty useless minions now. "Shouldn't you be going now?"
Dawn groaned. "Oh God, I totally forgot, what's the time?"
"A quarter to, doesn't the train arrive at three?" Giles asked referring to the Hogwarts Express that was bringing all the Hogwarts students home on their summer holidays.
"Yes, shit." Dawn swore. "I've got to get to a floo port, will you be okay here?"
"Of course." Giles said surveying the situation.
And she was gone. She ran all the way back to the centre and into the kitchen. She hurriedly flooed to the Leaky Cauldron (where she received some odd looks regarding her 'Scooby war clothes' and the sword strapped to her back) and hopped in the first taxi she saw.
She arrived at the station with two minutes to spare and dashed over to where the Weasley's were standing.
"Hi." She panted.
"Hello dear, not on the train then?"
"No, my class stopped for the exams and I had a little situation to deal with at home." Dawn tried to straighten her shirt, thanking the heavens that the colour mostly camouflaged the blood staining through.
"They're here!" A voice called out.
The children stated milling out of the pillar, Dawn was amazed no-one saw them, and went to their parents. Ten minutes later, Mr. and Mrs. Weasley were just missing one child; Ron.
"Are you sure he got on the train?" Mrs. Weasley fretted anxiously.
"Positive, mum." Her sons replied.
Dawn's attention was drawn by a scuffle. Two boys fell through the barrier, another following them soon after.
"Oh no." Dawn groaned, spotting flashes of platinum blond and dark brown hair. She went over and pulled the boys apart and was immediately joined by a man who had to be Draco's father.
"Draco…" he sort-of-greeted "and this must be Harry Potter. I've heard so much about you, and, of course, your mother." He said disdainfully.
"Good afternoon." Dawn said in her best business like tone.
Lucius Malfoy raised one eyebrow and ran his eyes over her attire- the blood stained red shirt with a slash across the midriff and skin tight leather trousers covering black heeled boots were a stark contrast to his neat as a pin black robe-like coat and trousers that screamed designer. "I assume that your…son will be appropriately punished for his actions."
"Of course he will." Dawn assured cheerfully before turning to her son. "Harry, that was utterly disgraceful…your right hook was totally off!"
"Come on Harry." Dawn interrupted, praying to every one of Willow's Goddesses that Malfoy senior wouldn't use his wand in public.
Luckily for them he didn't and when they got a safe distance away, they were joined by the Weasley's.
Mrs. Weasley immediately smacked Ron around the head. "What in Merlin's name was that all about?"
"What did he do this time?" Dawn asked with a grin.
"He said some stuff." Harry admitted. "I don't want to talk about it."
"Fine…but there's gonna be a big talk at home." She hissed.
Harry sighed, dimly registering Mrs. Weasley screeching in the background and realising he'd got off lightly. "Yes ma'am."
"Good. Now, do you want to say good bye to your friends?"
Harry nodded and went over to Ron, thankful that Mrs. Wesley had stopped screaming.
"Bloody hell," Ron muttered. "I wasn't even fighting and look at what she did."
"Yeah, sorry about that."
"Never apologise for that…" George said as he approached his little brother and his friend.
"Not ever." Fred confirmed.
"He deserved it." George said.
"And your mother…"
"…was absolutely fabulous!" George finished.
"Err thanks." Harry said uncertainly.
"They're right; your mum isn't like other peoples." He said, casting a look to where his mismatched parents, dressed in as many muggle clothes as they could find talked to Dawn.
"Honestly those boys…" The mother of seven muttered.
Dawn grinned. "Boys will be boys. I'm just glad they're not raising demons or plotting to take-over the world."
The Weasley's gave her a strange look, but pushed the topic no further. "It would be nice if the boys could see each other in the holidays, we'd be more than happy to put Harry up for a few days." Mrs. Weasley suggested.
"And I'm sure we could squeeze Ron in if that's what they want." Dawn agreed.
Mrs. Weasley nodded. "Just send a note with Hedwig."
Mr. Weasley suddenly looked delighted. "You could ring us on the fellytone!"
"Arthur…" his wife growled warningly.
But Dawn just laughed. "Sure, hang on a sec and I'll give you our number…"
"HELLO?" A voice hollered down the phone.
"Yes?" Harry answered back.
"Hello? Harry is that you? I can't seem to get the hang of this fellytone!"
"Yes, this is Harry." He said curious. He hadn't given out the number to anyone.
"It's Arthur Weasley here, Ron's dad."
"Oh, hello." Harry replied surprised.
"Is your mother there?"
"No she's patrolling, would you like me to get her to ring you back?" Harry offered as there was an enormous clatter from downstairs signalling the slayers arrival.
"Ring me back?" Mr. Weasley said, very confused.
"Never mind, she's here now. I'll just get her." Harry took the phone away from his ear. "Dawn! Phone!"
She approached him and took the phone. He nearly always called her Dawn; it felt weird if he called her 'mum' in general conversation. But he called her mum when they were alone and Dawn could deal with that.
"It's Mr. Weasley." Harry said, not moving from the hall. He wanted to hear this.
But Dawn had other ideas. "Shoo…now! Hello?"
"Hello? Dawn?" A puzzled voice called.
"I'm here, Mr. Weasley. I assume you're calling about the boys' summer plans?"
"It's Arthur and yes. We wondered if Harry would like to spend the last week of the holidays at the burrow."
"I'm sure he'd love to."
Harry had sidled back up to Dawn and slid a note in front of her.
'Can he stay here next week? Please!'
Dawn rolled her eyes. "Mr- Arthur, would Ron like to stay here next week? Hermione's coming to visit on Wednesday so…"
"Yes, that sounds…" The phone started beeping. "What's it doing?" He panicked. "What's it doing? Make it stop!"
Dawn bit her lip to stop from laughing. "Maybe it would be easier if we owled you..."
The door knocker of the slaying centre rapped loudly.
Harry hurried to the door dressed in some of his new clothes that actually fit! As much as he liked his extensive new wardrobe, he wasn't sure that it was worth the two day shopping trip he'd been dragged on with Dawn. He still flinched when he thought about that day.
But someone got there first. Actually three someones, all of whom were slayers.
But it was too late and they opened the door. And that's when Ron Weasley and his oldest brother came face-to-face with the sharp end of a sword.
"Let them go!" Harry shouted annoyed.
The slayers ignored him. "Who are you?"
But there came a voice they couldn't ignore. "Becky! Linda! Johanna! What are you doing! How many times do I have to tell you; do not attack everyone who comes to the door!"
Harry had never been so glad to see his mother. The three slayers had the decency to blush and lower their swords.
"Sorry about that." Dawn said, shooting a harsh glare at the slayers. "Come in. Heya Ron, hi Bill."
She'd seen Bill several times since Christmas. Whenever she took Harry to visit Ron for example, or last parent teacher night at Hogwarts when Bill had accompanied his parents, it seemed that Bill was very interested in his brother's academic achievement, although he didn't bother with any of the other subjects nearly as much and spent the whole evening in the Practical Defence classroom.
"Come on, Ron. See ya later, Bill." Harry said running up the stairs to his 'sanctuary'. Living with almost all girls who were a good few years older than him meant that he spent a lot of time in his room.
Dawn smiled at Bill. "Your rooms on the top floor like the rest of us mere mortals. The slayers tend to be out late and there's less chance of them disturbing us."
Bill returned the smile. "Are you sure it's okay for me to stay, I can always floo back."
"It's fine. I'll show you your room."
The telephone rang.
Ron jumped out of his seat in alarm. "What's that?"
"Relax Ron, it's just the phone." Harry laughed.
"Sirius! It's for yoooooou!" Dawn's voice called from the hallway.
"Who is it?" He called back.
"Umm Sasha or something."
Sirius frowned. "Tell her I'm not here."
They heard Dawn relaying the message down the phone. "He said he's not here…I know…hey, don't shoot the messenger…okay I'll tell him, bye." Dawn looked in through the door of the sitting room. "She's says you're a bastard man-whore."
"Thank you, Lils." Sirius grinned, pleased with himself. He'd soon gotten back into 'the game' after being officially declared a free man- all it had taken was a new wardrobe, a haircut and a wash for him to start feeling enough like himself again to start chasing girls.
"So what have you guys got planned for this weekend?" Sirius asked lolling back in one of the armchairs.
They looked at each other. "Nothing really."
Hermione, who had arrived that day after Ron, suddenly looked excited. "There's a museum near here."
"No!" Ron protested. "This is the holidays."
Hermione glared at him. "I know that Ron. Museums are fun!"
"Hey, hey, hey." Sirius interrupted. He'd seen them argue before and didn't want to see it again. "There's not that much to do during the day."
"I thought I might show Ron a muggle film."
Sirius nodded. "Why not. You should go to that fun park down the road. It's only here for the week then it moves on."
"But it doesn't open till after dark. Dawn would never let us go."
Sirius grinned. "What she doesn't know can't hurt us. Nah, she's probably right actually. Safety rules and what not. Have fun at the museum."
The three friends grinned and looked to each other as Sirius got up and sauntered into the kitchen. They were going to that fair.
When Dawn heard the slayers come home she went to greet them. "Hey guys, kill any…" She trailed off at what she saw.
The group of slayers were fine. No visible injuries and they seemed fairly fresh. What caught her attention were the three children being pushed forward.
"What are…when did…why aren't you upstairs?"
"We went for a walk?" Ron tried.
"After dark and on your own? Ohmigod, are you okay?" She said checking them over for obvious injuries.
"We found them being chased through Cashen Cemetery, three vamps were almost on them. What were they doing out on their own anyway?" Jen, one of the older slayers, said.
"I have no idea." Dawn said, her worry quickly replaced by anger. "But I'm going to find out."
The three pre-teens were seated on the chair in the entrance hall. "We didn't mean to run into vampires." Harry said quickly when he saw Dawn approach.
"Oh that's alright then, as long as you didn't mean to nearly get yourselves killed! What were you thinking; you should know better than this! How many times have I told you, Harry, don't go out after dark alone, especially not in cemeteries!"
"I know, I'm sorry. But Sirius said…" Harry started, but trailed off.
Dawn put her hands on her hips in her best 'in charge' pose. "Oh? What did Sirius say?"
The three friends looked to each other. How were they gonna talk their way out of this one?
"PADFOOT!" Dawn's voice echoed through the halls.
Sirius winced. She was definitely on the warpath. "Heya Tigerlily!" He said brightly when she entered the lounge.
Dawn growled. "Don't call me that."
Sirius turned on his puppy dog eyes. "It's a sign of affection."
Dawn smiled sweetly, but her voice had a dangerous edge. "It's patronising and it makes me want to rip your throat out."
But Sirius was not put off. "Aww, love you too… Tigerlily!"
"Don't think you can change the subject. I know it was you!"
Sirius smirked. "Prove it."
"I don't need to." Dawn went over and slapped him across the right cheek.
"Hell Dawn! What was that for?" He noticed her eyes blazing and knew he was in for it.
"Don't you ever put him in danger again. If he got hurt I'd never forgive you."
"What?" He flashed over all the conversations he'd ever had with Harry, wondering what he'd done wrong. "What happened?"
"They snuck out to go to the fair." She said through gritted teeth.
"Oh God, Dawnie, I'm so sorry. I never meant…he wasn't supposed to take that seriously. What did he do? Is he okay?"
"He snuck out with Ron and Hermione." She collapsed onto the sofa. "Jen and a few other slayers caught them when they were running away from a couple of vamps and brought them back."
"I'm so sorry." Sirius said sincerely.
Dawn didn't say anything for a while. "It's not completely your fault. He doesn't understand how dangerous it is, it was only a matter of time before he snuck out. I don't know what I'd do if anything had happened to him, Padfoot. When is he going to learn that he's a target in this town?"
"I know I am." Harry spoke up from the doorway where he'd been listening in.
"Then why did you sneak out if you know how dangerous it is?"
Harry shrugged uncomfortably. "I guess being chased through a graveyard by three vampires kinda struck it home."
"Yeah it would. But you're still grounded. For two weeks. And no going out after dark until your fifty." She added for good measure.
Harry frowned. "So I guess it would be pointless to ask if I could take Ron and Hermione to the cinema tonight?"
Dawn tried to look stern, but ended up rolling her eyes. "A chaperoned trip won't hurt. I'll see if Bill wants to come."
Harry raised one eyebrow, but decided not to push his luck. "Thank you."
He scampered off leaving the former classmates together.
"So you and Bill, eh?" Sirius said smirking wildly.
"We're escorting the kids to the pictures!"
Sirius patted her on the knee comfortingly. "Sure you are…"
"Well that was crap." Dawn said as they left the cinema.
"I thought it was okay." Harry said.
"Are you kidding me? A haunted house with a little kid peeking out from the banisters- scary? No way."
"You didn't think it was scary? Then why were you clinging onto Bill for dear life?" Harry smirked.
"I, well, there were a couple of points that made me jump."
Harry snorted. "Yeah, yeah."
She glared him into silence. "Who's for ice cream?"
"As much as I hate to admit it, you were right." Sirius said to Dawn when they arrived home.
"Never doubted it for a minute…about what?"
"That marshmallows will explode if you put them in the microwave for too long."
"Oh that, told you so! Wait a sec, how did you find that out?" Dawn felt the cold dread well up inside of her. Surely he wouldn't have…
"Err…" Sirius pointed to the kitchen. "I'm going out- see you all later."
He dashed out the door before anyone could stop him. Bill, Ron, Harry and Hermione watched Dawn run into the kitchen and winced at her shriek.
"I'm gonna kill him!"
Harry looked worried. "Let's get out of here."
"Don't you think we should help?" Hermione asked.
"No way- she's already handing out death threats; we defiantly don't want to be here." The three friends ran up the stairs to safety.
Bill took a deep breath and headed into the kitchen.
"Merlin!" He swore. How much marshmallow had Sirius blown up? It covered the walls and a good portion of the ceiling was coated in the slimy goop as well.
Dawn looked round at him. "You can say that again. I better clean this up before Giles gets back with the slayers or he'll slaughter me."
"Do you want a hand?"
"Do you know any cleaning spells?" She asked hopefully.
"Well, no. Or not for this. But I don't mind helping the muggle way." He offered.
"Are you sure you don't mind- you are a guest and it's not your fault that Sirius is an incompetent ass."
"I'm sure. Where do we start?"
Half-an-hour later there still seemed to be no end to the sticky mess.
"Maybe we should ask Hermione to help us." Dawn suggested reluctantly.
"You want to ask your son's friend for help, besides we've nearly finished that wall over there."
"True, true." Not that she minded spending more time with Bill.
"I think we're almost finished." Dawn said three hours later.
They probably would have got it done a lot quicker had they not been talking so much, but it was done and that was all that mattered.
"It's just that gloop on the high bit of the ceiling; I couldn't reach it on the chair." She continued.
"Here, let me help." Bill walked over to her and wrapped his arms around her body lifting her to the part of the ceiling that was, for some reason, higher than the rest.
'Breath, Dawn, Breath.' She instructed herself as she mopped up the last of the marshmallow.
Bill lowered her down so that they were facing on another. She chewed on her lip (one of Lily's old habits) as he tilted her head upwards so that their lips were almost touching and-
They broke apart abruptly. "Hey guys."
"What's going on in here?" One of the slayers asked with a big smirk on her face.
"Err, Sirius blew up the microwave." Dawn covered, pointing to the blackened plastic.
"Marvellous." She said sarcastically.
Harry and Ron drew back from the banister where they had been watching the scene unfold after Hermione had gone to bed.
"Your mum and my brother- that's so weird."
"I know- do you mind?"
Harry thought about it for a minute, remembering the fuss he'd made about the kissing Sirius thing. "No, I don't mind. You wanna go back to the room?"
They left the chatting slayers and their family to their conversations in favour of the mountain of chocolate frogs Ron had brought with him.
Dawn listened indulgently as one of the newer slayer spoke excitedly of how her and three friends had taken out a nest of vamps without getting a scratch on them.
"…And then one tried to run away so I threw my stake after him and hit him as he ran away! It was sooo cool!"
She smiled. "Nice job, Annie."
She felt his gaze on her and turned to meet it with a smile.
Sure nothing had happened just then, but Bill was staying for the rest of the week and tomorrow was another day.
I know it was late, so as a peace offering the first mini from the SEQUAL is already up. It's telling the story of the 'key moments' in the verse that didn't fit into this story. Title: 'Uncertain Future'. Rating: PG13. Go read & then review!
Thanks for reading!