Talks, Tonks, and Reporters
Thanks again GreyWizard!
It was late afternoon, nearly evening, when Buffy and Tonks got ready to leave the room. The door creaked open to reveal a rather displeased Ms. Summers standing in the hallway, tapping her foot on the floor. For one horrified moment, Buffy thought she was looking at her mother, rather than her sister.
"Dawnie?" Buffy asked.
"Buffy, I expect this behavior from Faith, but I thought better of you," the younger Summers woman said somewhat acerbically. Buffy and her lover both blushed deeply as Buffy pulled the covers up higher to her neck. Her partner's hair also blushed. Dawn raised an eyebrow at that action.
"I-uh-I want you to meet Tonks," Buffy said clumsily, motioning to the pink haired young lady beside her. "Uh, Tonks, this is my little sister."
"Yes, I am her sister," Dawn said. "I'm also the owner of the house."
"Sorry," Buffy said, looking at her feet and squirming like a little kid that just got caught with her hand in the cookie jar. Dawn huffed at her sister and turned to smile at the young woman.
"Tonks, it's wonderful to meet you," Dawn said. "Right now, you're going to join us for dinner, so we can discuss some things."
"I am?" asked Tonks, surprised. Dawn squinted in just the same way Joyce Summers did when she transformed into She-Who-Must-Be-Obeyed.
With that, Dawn Summers spun on her heels and marched down to the dining room, sitting down in the chair at the head of the table. Tonks followed, clearly unsure of why she was getting this reaction. She suspected it might be part of that whole homophobia thing, but it seemed like there was something more going on.
Tonks slid into one of the two empty seats, this one next to Harry Potter. Buffy sat opposite her, next to Hermione.
"Everyone, this is Tonks," Dawn said in an executioner's voice.
"Hullo again, Tonks. You're much less masculine this time," Harry commented jovially. Even he was feeling the negative undercurrent of the room. Tonks seemed to catch on and slipped a step behind Buffy, just a little confused and a little scared.
"We've asked you to have dinner with us as a family so we can lay some ground rules for the two of you," Dawn said.
"Ground rules? Dawnie, you're acting like I'm Hermione's age!" Buffy protested.
"No I'm not," Dawn snapped. "My daughter is countless times more responsible than my sister."
"No, Buffy, this is for your own good," Dawn said. Pretty much every other adult nodded their heads in agreement. She turned to her sister's lover with a kind smile. "Tonks, the reason we're doing this is because my dear sister has something of a history when it comes to bad relationships."
"Bad relationships?" Tonks repeated confused.
"Relationships that nearly cause the end of the world," Xander put in, fixing his old friend in her seat with a look. "We're really hoping yours isn't one of those."
"That's not true!" Buffy protested.
"Judge," said Giles. "Angel."
"Acathla," said Willow. "Angel."
"Adam," said Tara. "Riley."
"The First," said Xander. "Spike."
"Those weren't my fault!" Buffy protested.
"You certainly took your time dealing with most of them because of your distraction," Dawn said.
"No," Dawn growled. "You have a longstanding habit of getting groiny with someone and then getting to know them, and only then finding out that there's some massive character flaw."
Tonks raised a hand, suddenly rather nervous. "Uh, Buffy found out my big secret this morning. I don't really have that many."
"True, but you don't know much else about her," Xander said. "This is for the both of you. Do you like Buffy?"
Tonks blushed like she was Hermione's age and nodded.
"Good," Dawn said. "So you can't complain when we demand you two get to know each other."
"-Not what you were doing, " Giles stated. "Buffy, I agree with your sister. You should be taking this slow, not jumping into bed at the first opportunity."
"But we already agreed…" Buffy's protest trailed off as she realized they were right. "Oh."
"'Oh' is right," Dawn said. "So for this to work, you two will be doing the following: dating like a new couple. You'll be following the same rules as Harry and Hermione, except you won't be sharing a bed."
"That's a good thing," Hermione said. "Harry's a sheet hog."
"And Hermione's a violent sleeper with cold feet," Harry agreed.
"I wouldn't have cold feet if you wouldn't hog the blanket," Hermione told him.
"That's extra padding, so I don't bruise when you kick me in your sleep," Harry countered.
Buffy's glare silenced them both.
"No nookie," Dawn said. "I'm serious about this. You need to be friends, if you want this to work."
Tonks let loose a sigh of relief.
"Oh, I was just so worried because I thought this was because I was a bird," Tonks said at their questioning looks. Buffy was even more confused.
"I thought you were a witch, not a bird?" she asked.
"A bird is British slang for a pretty woman," Giles said.
"Oh," Buffy said. "Wait, so this whole thing is because you want me to be happy in the long run?"
Dawn gave her the eye roll of the long suffering.
Tonks raised her hand again. It felt a lot like getting in trouble back at Hogwarts.
"Yes, Tonks?" Dawn asked.
"Can we at least kiss?"
Dawn quickly conferred with the rest of the family before turning back to the young metamorphmagus. "That would be acceptable. But no hands!"
Tonks nodded frantically. Harry noted that her spiky hair had turned gray, but quickly returned to its original pink. Willow reached over and gave the girl's hand a squeeze.
"Come visit tomorrow and we'll have the 'Gay Now' talk and the 'shovel' talk," Willow said with a friendly smile. "I give it to all human boys and girls that Buffy dates."
"Good," Xander said. "Now that we've taken care of that problem: eats. Thanks again, Harry."
"No problem," Harry said. He leaned over to Tonks and whispered. "Don't tell him, but I just used the microwave for this."
The day after Tonks' introduction to the family, the Summers/Harris/Granger household had another visit with the Quibbler's greatest reporter. This encounter took place with the girl standing on the step, silent as could be, waiting to be let in. Buffy opened the door, looked at the slightly creepy girl and turned back to the house.
"Dawnie, the creepy but cute reporter girl is here," she yelled to her sister. Dawn ran out to the entryway, drying her hands on a kitchen towel.
"You better not be the one who took pictures' of my daughter's room," Dawn stated in a tone that resembled declarations of war.
"Nope, and besides, Daddy tells me those were just stock photos of the magical love hotel in magical Japan, He claims there's one that looks like Bellatrix LeStrange's room at Azkaban, too," Luna Lovegood replied. "He says that one's the most popular."
"Has anyone ever told you that you're really creepy?" Dawn asked.
"No, they're usually very passive aggressive about it," Luna replied politely. "They like to steal my stuff and pretend they weren't the ones who did it. But it's okay, they've just got wrackspurts."
"Okay, sit down at the table," Dawn said. The girl walked in, specifically avoiding walking under any light fixture.
"Uh, why are you doing that?" Buffy asked a puzzled frown on her face as she watched.
"They're infested with Nargles, it's a safety precaution," Luna Lovegood replied.
'Nargles?' Dawn mouthed to her sister. Buffy just shrugged in confusion.
Luna pulled out her massive yellow pad and quill, straightened her "press pass" (made of Butterbeer caps like her necklace), and sat down on a stool. A moment later, she was the epitome of professionalism at the Quibbler. Well, as professional as the Quibbler ever got.
"So, what's your first question?" Dawn asked the young reporter.
"Is it true that Harry and Hermione are having wild monkey sex every night?"
That kind of comment coming out of the mouth of such a cute little girl almost made Dawn burst into laughter. Then her thoughts turned to certain other publications and anger rose, squelching out the laughter, before finally they found a happy medium and she returned to her original emotional state.
"No," Dawn replied after a moment. "We don't allow that kind of behavior in the house by people their age."
"Even with all the rituals and dark spells that require virgin sacrifice? Most magical parents ensure that their children get it on to prevent them being used in that way," Luna stated professionally. "They are getting pretty much into the prime sacrifice category, you know. Maybe you should consider-"
Buffy spit out her drink at the idea, effectively cutting off that train of thought.
"At thirteen? That's psycho creepy. That's psycho Nabakov's Lolita kinda creepy. That is definitely being added to the long list of things I find creepy about stick people," Buffy said. Luna clearly didn't understand what was wrong. Dawn shot her sister a look that clearly stated that she agreed with the statement, but was going to take a more diplomatic approach.
"We feel that there are other preventative measures that are more important," Dawn said. "We recommend the constant threat of decapitation/disposal of any dark wizard/demon/sorcerer daring to touch my daughter. It's worked fairly well the last few years. She doesn't get kidnapped nearly as much as her father or I did when we were about her age."
"Oh, did that happen often?" Luna asked. Buffy snerked, almost shooting milk out her nose, again.
"You have no idea," Buffy said as Dawn shot her older sister a dark look. "Oh, come on. One or the other of you used to get kidnapped and used in some kind of ritual at least once a month back then. Although the only virginity thing that was an issue seemed to be Xander and the-"
"There will be no talk of that," Xander said, walking into the room wearing a suit and tie. "Long day at the office today. I probably won't be getting back until late."
He and Dawn shared a quick kiss before he headed out the door.
"Wow, now I know where Harry and Hermione get it," Luna said, frantically scribbling something onto her pad.
"Wait, what?" Dawn asked. Something told her that she couldn't possibly expect what this girl actually published.
The interview Luna conducted was all over the place. Questions made little sense to the Summers Ladies, but they tried their best. The end result was that they weren't really sure of what they had answered. Hopefully, it wasn't anything too bad. Luckily for them, no one believed the Quibbler, anyway.