Author's Note: This story is replacing my other Dawn-at-Hogwarts story. Because I re-read it and it was full to the brim of sue-age and silly amounts of angst. The pairing is undecided, so review with any suggestions. In fact, any feedback would be lovely.
Disclaimer: Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Harry Potter were created by Joss Whedon and JK Rowling, this fic is not for profit and, despite a hell of a lot of merchandise I own nothing.
As the train started to move, Dawn closed her eyes and leant back against her seat, instinctively rolling her shoulders to get rid of some of the residual tension. The past year had been full of physical, mental and even spiritual tests and she was feeling the effects of each of them. Her decision to join the council had been made quickly after she had noticed her powers, and her decision to go to Hogwarts had been made for her, in the name of making her more of a threat. She was the first slayer in centuries to be a wand-witch, if she could call herself a slayer, that is. Her watcher wasn't sure what to call her. She hadn't been called, as such, but her sister's powers were now her own. The council had jumped at the chance to train her, in a very composed British way, of course. With Faith in prison, there wasn't much of a chance of a new slayer being called for years, so, as Patience, her watcher, had said "the world was without a mystical guardian". Along with her tests, she had been educated as a witch, in a very intense year long course, getting her up to the standard of a normal fifth-year at Hogwarts. She had another mission that year, of course. The council wanted her to vet a potential watcher, a powerful witch in her year. She had been told that the girl was highly intelligent, one of her teachers had visited the council over the summer to talk about her future career, but her reaction times and personality needed to be vetted. The doors to her compartment opened and Dawn opened her eyes, her hands clenching into fists automatically. She let them go when she saw who was there, it was only a couple of students looking for someone to sit. She smiled and nodded at the free seats around her and they sat down.
"Are you new?" The boy asked. She smiled and nodded.
"I've just transferred into the fifth year," the girl sitting next to him looked confused.
"We don't get many transfer students, especially not from America, given the distance."
"I moved to London last year, and my guardians thought that I should go to school here, rather than stick with tutors." The teacher, Professor Mc-something had told her that, as a rule Hogwarts didn't accept transfer students, so she wasn't surprised at the red-head's reaction.
"You've never gone to a magical school?" The boy asked, surprised.
"Nope, just tutors." The girl elbowed the boy and he smiled.
"Well, you'll be in my year. I'm Harry and this is Ginny, she's in the year below."
"I'm Dawn; it's nice to meet you."
For the next half hour they told her about Hogwarts, and she told them the abridged version of her life in Sunnydale and then London, leaving out anything Hellmouth-y. They seemed nice, and she got the feeling that they had both been through a lot, though they were young. It was good to see that maybe she wouldn't stick out so much with her lack of family; Ginny told her that it was fairly common for kids their age to have only one or no parents, especially in their house, Griffin-something. The council had told her about the war in the wizarding world, but they hadn't seen it as something very serious, from the point of world-protection. But the way Harry and Ginny had told her about it, she could see how much it still hurt, even though they weren't old enough to remember it. There was something Scoobie-esque in both of them, in the way that they made jokes about serious things. It made her smile, she didn't like to admit it, even to herself, but she missed home. As Ginny told her a story about a giant snake they were interrupted by two other students entering the compartment, each looking more than a little frazzled.
"Guess who's Slytherin's prefect?" One of them, a red-haired boy, asked Harry.
"I'm going to go out on a limb and say Malfoy." Harry replied, looking glum.
"Who else?" The other student said, a girl with thick brown hair. "And that cow Pansy Parkinson." She continued with venom. They went to sit down and noticed Dawn.
"Are you the new girl?" The girl asked. "I'm Hermione Granger and this is Ron Weasley." Dawn raised her eyebrows. So, this was the possible watcher. She didn't look like much, she was a little shorter than Dawn, but her eyes reminded her of Buffy's, there was a steely resolve inside of them.
"Um yeah, I'm Dawn Summers."
"And you're in fifth year, yes?"
"Yup," The girl scanned her face before smiling, her eyes widening a little at the healing bruise on Dawn's forehead.
"Welcome, it's nice to have some new blood. Anyway, we have to change into our robes," Hermione said, looking out of the window at the countryside roaring past them. Ginny stood up and pulled down her bag, Dawn followed suit and followed her and Hermione into the bathrooms at the end of the train. Quickly Dawn changed into her new school uniform. When she left the cubicle, Dawn looked at Hermione and frowned at her striped tie.
"Don't worry; you'll get one of those after the sorting."
Dawn smiled and looked into the mirror, wincing when she saw the dark circles around her eyes. Even with her slayer stamina, the council's tests had left her exhausted. She frowned at her reflection before turning to Ginny.
"Ready to go?" She asked as the train stopped.
When they reached Hogwarts Dawn split up with the others to follow the first years into the Great Hall. As she walked up the aisle, a few feet behind the last of the first years, she noticed that all eyes were fixed on her rather than the other new students. She breathed in and straightened her hair before sitting on the stool and having the moth-eaten Sorting Hat placed on her head.
"A Slayer!" The Hat crowed inside her head.
"Sorta," she replied silently.
"You've embraced it, you fight, I can see that. But you don't know the root of your power… Slytherin would teach you how to use your gifts. You would be a great asset to them, and to their side."
Dawn frowned, from what Harry and Ginny had said, the Slytherins were generally on the wrong side. She told the hat as much.
"No? It would be easier." The Hat tried to coax. "Well then, better be GRYFFINDOOR!"
The hat was taken off her head and she walked towards the table where Harry, Ginny, Hermione and Ron were sitting. The table was clapping for her and she smiled, sliding into a seat next to Harry. Perhaps this year would be less work, and more actual fun. That'd be nice.