Learning to Walk
Disclaimer – I do not own BtVS, the Adept series or HP and I am not making any money off of this story.
Crossover between BtVS and the Adept series by Katherine Kurtz and Deborah Harris. Minor references to Harry Potter.
This is a side story to "The Muggle Way." It is not necessary to read that story to understand what is happening here but it would probably help. The chapters from "The Muggle Way" that have direct impact on this story are:
Chapter Twenty-Two – What's in a Key?
Chapter Forty Four – Choices We Make
As I said you don't have to read them if you don't want to. I will fill in the background information as needed.
BtVS – Set five and a half years post "Chosen' – spoilers through season Seven
Adept –Post book five in the series "Death of an Adept"
Dawn hit the ground hard. She rolled to avoid the foot descending towards her stomach. She lashed out with right foot and connected with the ankle of her opponent and watched her go down.
Dawn tried to get to her feet. Before she was halfway up, her opponent recovered. She found herself staring at the floor again. Her arm was twisted up behind her and a knee planted firmly on her back. She was trapped.
Dawn snorted in frustration. "All right Kennedy," she said through clenched teeth. "I give."
Kennedy released her hold and helped Dawn up.
"Not bad today," Kennedy said. "You didn't say uncle for a good two minutes. Smart going for the ankle at the end."
"I do better sparring with the other Slayers," Dawn said.
"That's because they're all afraid of telling Buffy they gave her little sister a black eye," Kennedy replied.
"And you're not?"
Kennedy smiled. "Buffy would be more upset with me if I went easy on you and you got hurt as a result. Besides I've seen what Buffy does when she spars with you."
"Don't remind me," Dawn winced. "Thanks for the session Kennedy. I've got to get back to the office."
"No problem," Kennedy said. "Anything big happening?"
"Just the usual stuff," Dawn answered. She waved as she wandered back to the showers.
About a half hour later Dawn entered her office at the London Headquarters for the International Council of Slayers and Watchers. She turned on her computer and looked through the e-mails that had built up during her extended lunch break. Most were routine. She dealt with those first.
She then concentrated on catching up on all the little stuff that had been building up for the past few weeks while she dealt with big projects.
There was a strange sea demon of some kind that had been active for the past couple of months. It had been attacking people up and down the South American coastline from Central America to Brazil. The local office monitoring the Hellmouth outside Rio still hadn't been able to figure out what they were dealing with or a pattern to the attacks. So they were asking London for support. Unfortunately Dawn's group wasn't having any more luck than the local office in figuring out kind of demon it was.
The flare-ups around the Indonesian Hellmouth were still going on. A lot of demons had relocated to Indonesia to get away from the Slayers patrolling the other three Hellmouths. Dawn was having research try to catalog all the different types of demons that were living around the Hellmouth, several of which the Council had never encountered before and most of which were openly hostile to one another. Fights between the various demon clans were doing almost as much damage as the various attempts to open the Hellmouth.
Passau was still relatively quiet, at least compared to its three siblings. To Dawn, that meant something big was going to come down and bite them on the ass at any minute.
Cleveland remained the most active of the world's four Hellmouths. As such, it had the largest research department outside London. She and Andre Karismov, the head of research in Cleveland, spoke at least once a day and traded e-mails constantly.
She still had to deal with Guardian Research, the Council's public face, which Dawn had been made CEO of. The recent opening of a New York office was creating new avenues for them. Dawn had finally found someone to run the office full time and she had already given Dawn some new ideas to ponder. The strongest potential market in the US was insurance companies.
Dawn worked the afternoon away. Occasionally interrupted by someone from her staff needing help with a translation or stuck on a particular research project. Giles came by to discuss Guardian's budget for the next fiscal year. She winced after the meeting when she realized that she had just spent a half hour talking numbers with Giles. Willow put in an appearance for help tracking down information on a spell she was working on.
As she worked Dawn occasionally glimpsed at a small wooden box sitting on a shelf at the far side of her office. Dawn knew she should be working on translating the scroll inside. She had been given the box and the scroll a few days before by Sir John Graham. He had been helping her to research the Key.
Dawn shook her head. The Key. She was the Key. And after nearly eight years she still didn't know what that really meant. Now she had the chance to find out. She had been avoiding opening the box since she got it. She knew she had a role to play in an upcoming battle. Her 'power,' whatever it was, would be needed. But still, she found herself putting off opening the box.
It's not like she didn't have other things to do. She was Head of Research for the Council. Her desk was piled high every day.
The recent revelations Sir John had passed on about the Key had left her unsettled.
Sir John theorized that the Key was alive. That it chose to take the form of Dawn Summers. She was the Key and the Key was Dawn Summers. The two were one and the same. Inseparable. She still wasn't certain what to make of that truth. And she knew it was truth. It felt right to her.
But she had no memory of being the Key.
Buffy and others had given her some space to work through her feelings. It was her life after all. Only in a way it wasn't her life.
Dawn Summers was created through a spell. Until eight years ago she didn't exist. Then poof, Slayer gets one teenage sister. Came complete with memories of a life that never happened. Dawn liked most of that life. She loved her Mom. She loved growing up with Buffy. But none of it ever really happened.
And now she had to learn what really happened before she became Dawn Summers. A part of her was terrified that learning about the Key would mean learning that Dawn, the person she had become, was no longer needed. But the Key had chosen to become Dawn Summers. There had to be a reason beyond just hiding from Glory. She looked at the box.
She then pulled out a set of files. They were dossiers of the two men Sir John had told her could help her to learn about the Key. She scanned through them for perhaps the fiftieth or so time since she got them.
Dr. Adam Sinclair, psychiatrist. Lives in Edinburgh, Scotland. Recently married to Dr. Ximena Lockhart, an American working in Scotland at the Edinburgh Royal Infirmary. Considered a leader in his field. Published numerous papers on the use of hypnosis in therapy. Also works as an occasional consultant to the local police on crimes involving serial killers or having potential occult overtones. A known patron of the arts. Particularly a gifted portraiture artist named Peregrine Lovat. His name was on the other Dossier.
Peregrine Lovat. Artist. Specializes in portraiture work. Up until a few years ago he generally worked only with children. After coming to the attention of Dr Sinclair his work expanded and he remains in high demand. He also works with Sinclair as an occasional consultant to the local police as a forensic sketch artist.
Of course all that information was available in the public record. The important stuff was in second packet that the Council had put together. Most of the information had been provided by the Council's contact with MI5.
Adam Sinclair was a Master of the Hunt, a gifted Adept who led his hunting lodge, of which Lovat was a member, against people who sought to use occult powers for personnel gain. He largely dealt with humans, so he had never had any direct contact with the Council or any Slayers. They had done some very good work over the years according to MI5's analysis. Good enough that the head of MI5's Special Projects division had contacted Sir Adam and informed him that Her Majesty's government was both aware of and approved of his group.
Sir John was convinced that the two men could help her find the knowledge of her past. But she was still uncertain she wanted to know. She liked being Dawn Summers. She liked the life she had built for herself. Did she really want to know about the life before?
A determined look crossed her face.
Whatever she was before, she was a Summers woman now. And Summers women didn't back down from a challenge. She'd moped and thought through this long enough.
Dawn picked up the phone and hit the speed dial.
A man answered the phone. "Oakwood estates, who may I say is calling?"
"Afternoon Linton, it's Dawn," she answered. "May I speak with Sir John please?"
"Of course Ms Summers," Linton answered. "One moment."
A few moments later a new voice came over the phone, "Dawn a pleasure to hear from you. How are you?"
"I'm doing fine Gray," Dawn said. "How are you?"
"Quite well," Gray answered. "I assume you are calling regarding the matter you and sister came to see me about a few days ago."
"Yes I am," Dawn replied. "Your friends, Sinclair and Lovat, you're certain they can help?"
"Yes," Gray said. "They are good men. Their talents should be able to help you."
"All right then," Dawn said. "Go ahead and give them a call. Set up a meeting for me in the next few days at Oakwood. I'm ready to take the next step."
"As you wish Dawn," Gray answered. "I will contact Sir Adam tomorrow. I will arrange for him and Peregrine to fly down to Oakwood in the next few days."
"Thank you Gray," Dawn said. "I'll talk to you later. Have a good night."
"Good evening to you Dawn," Gray said.
Dawn hung up the phone and leaned back in her chair. She had been avoiding this for eight years. It was time to learn the truth.
It was time to learn about the Key.