Disclaimer: None of these characters from Buffy the Vampire Slayer or Harry Potter belong to me; I'm just using them to hopefully write an entertaining story.
Author's Note: Well, here we go. A little background information on this story... firstly, this story has actually been in works for almost 2 years, which is quite scary! This is mainly because I've gone through periods of inspiration and writing and then some of very little. I was initially hoping to finish the story and then post it so I know that it won't go unfinished... unfortunately only having written 10 chapters in 2 years, I thought posting it and getting reviews might help push me along with it.
Having said that, 2 years of working on something really does make you form quite an attachment to it, I've really tried so hard to get it perfect so be gentle on it, but by all means I'm happy to hear what you think if it'll help me get better each time I write.
Lastly, this is set just after Season 7 Buffy and towards the start of Deathly Hallows, however that happens in the HP universe from Bill and Fleur's wedding onwards will start to become different and veer off into my own storyline (eg. Voldemort does not take down the ministry; therefore Hogwarts is as normal, although things are still very dangerous with increasing various Death Eater attacks).
Here's the Prologue and Chapter 1 - enjoy!
EDIT:Thanks to the reviewer who pointed out that I had accidentally called the prologue an epilogue, I always get them mixed up - whoops! Hehe
Dawn had already faced so much emotional heartache over the years; the separation of her parents, being uprooted from Los Angeles and moving away from friends, the death of her mother, finding out she was actually a mystical energy created by the Monks, her sister Buffy sacrificing herself to close the portal, the loss of so many friends and watching Sunnydale crumble down to nothing, the list went on... Granted some of them were only fake memories, she still felt a pang deep in her heart when she thought of as she stood up on the Astronomy Tower, gazing down at life below, nothing could compare to the type of pain she felt right at that very moment. With her legs tucked up to her chest, she rested her head on her knees and let the tears flow. Just when she thought that she couldn't face another person, she heard the door creak open behind her. She didn't bother to turn around as the heard the soft, but urgent footsteps behind her because she already knew who would know exactly where to find her.
"Dawn..." she felt a gentle hand placed on the middle of her back.
Giving her eyes a quick wipe with the back of her sleeves, she turned around to face her company, who was crouched down beside her.
"Sorry, Harry," Dawn said weakly, faking a smile. "I just wanted to be alone for a while. Did I miss dinner?"
"Yeah, you did..." he replied awkwardly, trying to figure out what to say. "But we can always go down to the kitchens later and have the house elves whip us up something to eat."
She felt Harry's hand slide over to her far shoulder, inviting her to lean against him so she tipped herself over to his side keeping her arms tightly wrapped around her legs. At present, all she yearned for was to be alone; however for Harry she made an exception. Moments passed in silence, in which she was grateful for, however just his comforting presence had caused Dawn's grief to subside a little.
Dawn finally broke the silence. "I still can't believe she's gone."
Harry nodded in agreement, staring up at the stars as he rubbed small, soothing circles on her back. "I still can't believe we finally defeated Voldemort," Harry added, to which Dawn angled her head up to give him a small smile.
"Ding-dong the wizard's dead," Dawn sung to no one in particular.
"I'm sorry; I'm not that great at knowing what to say when it comes to something like this..." Harry said solemnly. "And I can't even to begin to imagine what you're feeling right now."
Dawn took his hand and gave it a squeeze as if to say that he'd said exactly the right thing, however uncertain he was of himself. "I can't even imagine what you're feeling. That snake-face has taken so much more from you over the years."
"That's true, but at least I still have you."
Chapter One – When Dawn Met Harry
At about ten o'clock on a bright, mild morning, after following her sister and Willow across the globe for several months, Dawn arrived with them in London. Since the collapse of the Hellmouth, they had been travelling to many unusual and exotic locations around the world in search of slayers. Dawn knew they were very much playing it by ear, however not being of age just yet, she generally followed the older women without much complaint, although she did have her occasional moments of frustration.
She often felt like the most useless of the group, it seemed like everyone else had a function for the greater cause. Willow had been able to use her tracing spells to help track down the slayers, while Buffy would step in to help them realise their responsibilities as a slayer and to make sure they all reached their full potential. At the same time, Faith and Xander were on similar adventures in South America – Xander was still mourning the loss of Anya and decided it was best for him to go with Faith instead, who never was the type of person to pry into other people's thoughts and feelings. They had all understood that was what he needed to do sort things out with himself; all he needed was some time.
The potentials, who were now all slayers, went back to their homes and families. While protecting their own home towns, they were also trying to do their part in helping other slayers find their feet. They still kept in touch with the Scoobies as best they could.
Meanwhile, following the collapse of the Hellmouth, things had changed between Willow and Kennedy, Dawn thought perhaps this was due to the whole ordeal with the First and what they'd lost. The pair had mutually decided to take some time to themselves and go their separate ways for a while, all whilst not dismissing the possibility of finding each again somewhere down the track. Whether or not they'd get back together again, Dawn wasn't sure because she noticed that the redhead didn't seem to be as cut up about it as she could have been. Willow had said to her that Kennedy had helped her heal after losing Tara, but she could never match what she'd had with Tara.
Now, as Dawn followed behind the other two, dragging her suitcase up the stairs of the hotel they were staying in while they were in London, she found herself getting excited for the first time in a while. She'd always wanted to visit England, especially since Giles had moved back. Their hotel was extremely basic, if not a little bit grungy, in the heart of Soho. One of the first things she noticed was that it didn't appear to have been updated for at least a decade. As they made their way up to their rooms, she scrunched her nose up in disgust at the horrible salmon pink walls in the lobby.
"Gross, why would you even paint walls that colour?" she asked nobody in particular, Willow chuckled beside her.
Then much to her horror, they quickly discovered there was no elevator and therefore would have to all drag their luggage up several flights of stairs. This was quite a challenge for two both her and Willow - their luggage was so heavy because it was basically what was left of their lives packed into those suitcases, everything else being lost along with Sunnydale itself.
"Someone kill me now!" Dawn complained, her arms were already screaming in protest by the top of the first flight of stairs.
"It's not that bad, Dawn," Buffy quickly responded as she carried her bags up the stairs with ease.
Dawn grunted and Willow chuckled again. "It's okay for you, Buff. Slayer strength and all, you could give me a hand... better yet, I think you should carry all of the bags."
A few minutes later, thanks to Buffy's assistance, they finally arrived at their rooms. They were able to secure two rooms side by side, one with two single beds and another with one double bed. Dawn was quick to claim the room for one, enjoying the opportunity to get some space from her sister; at most other places they'd visited over the last few months Dawn had been forced to share a room with Buffy, and some of the less enjoyable times it would be all three of them confined to the same room, leaving very little space to find some space of your own.
"Okay, go on," Buffy approved as Dawn cheerfully took one of the keys off Buffy, Buffy keeping another key that also had access into Dawn's room. "I'm so getting the room to myself next time, though; I don't know what's worse Willow's snoring or your sleep talking!"
Dawn stuck her tongue out playfully as she wheeled her luggage out of the corridor and closing the door to her room behind her, meanwhile Willow had entered the room next door and hoisted her bag up onto her bed and began rummaging through it.
"So now that we're finally here I'm gonna get the notebook set up and we'll try to email Giles," She explained as she took out her small toiletries bag. "It'll be good to catch up with him again, see how everything is going. But first I totally need a shower, I feel like I haven't showered in a week."
"Good idea," Buffy replied. "To both ideas, you really are starting to smell!"
Buffy quickly ducked a pillow that was thrown her way.
Dawn was resting in her room listening to her music; jet-lag had hit her hard in the last half-hour and she was feeling quite lethargic, when Buffy and Willow entered with a new bout of energy, feeling rejuvenated after they'd both been able to shower.
"We've just got word from Giles, he's not in London at the moment but we'll probably be able to meet up with him tomorrow," Willow explained. "But in the meantime, he told us about another slayer that he wants us to meet with."
"Are you okay, Dawnie? You look really exhausted," Buffy asked as she looked at her sister.
Dawn nodded. "Jet-lag's being a bitch... again. You'd think I'd be used to it by now!"
"Well we've really should move fast on this next slayer before she disappears of our radar again, so we probably won't be back until late... maybe you should sit this one out, chill here."
Dawn thought for a moment. "I guess. I wouldn't mind catching up on lost sleep."
"Are you okay to get your own dinner?" Buffy asked.
"I'm seventeen, Buffy. I'm pretty sure I can survive an evening by myself. Promise I won't burn the hotel down," Dawn said shortly, annoyed by her sister's constant, suffocating need to over-protect her.
Buffy sighed. "Okay then, if we don't see you before you go to bed tonight, we're gonna try and meet up with Giles tomorrow sometime."
Dawn smiled excitedly; they'd been emailing Giles over the last few months, but they hadn't seen him since before the whole Hellmouth collapse. Once he'd heard that all the potential slayers were now fully-fledged slayers, he had dedicated his time trying to set up a new-and-improved Watcher's Council, mainly to find and create a support network for the slayers, although it was still very much in its infancy. However, with the help of Willow's magic, they'd been able to report back to Giles with the information on the slayers they'd been able to track down.
"Anyway, we'll see you later," Buffy said.
"Bye, Dawnie," Willow added.
Dawn gave each of them a hug and they soon left, leaving her in complete silence, which she found a very refreshing change and lapped it up. She lay flat back down on her bed just as a slow ballad came on her music player, she then found her eyes were becoming extremely heavy, as she drifted off into some much needed sleep.
By the time Dawn had woken up it was well and truly into the mid-afternoon. Although the jet lag hadn't completely gone away, she woke up feeling quite refreshed and felt like she needed to catch some daylight. Being July, it was quite a warm, summer's day outside and she wanted to enjoy some of it, particularly to stretch her legs after being cramped up on a plane for so long, so she decided a walk would be a great idea.
After she had changed into fresh clothes, she was happy to say goodbye to the terrible decor of the hotel as she stepped out onto the pavement. As soon as she was outside and walking amongst the old, heritage English buildings, the reality that she was in London hit her, it was one place she'd always wanted to visit. She pondered the history and beauty of all the buildings as she passed by; it blew her away when she thought about how long ago some of them were built, obviously much earlier than anything she was used to back in California.
She then passed through a cafe district, bursting with small, but appetising cafes, and she was almost tempted by the shelves and shelves of cakes on display in the shop windows, especially one of her biggest weaknesses: sticky date pudding. But she pushed on knowing that dinner was only a couple of hours off and she wanted to splurge for dinner back at the hotel, and besides she wasn't really keen to eat out by herself.
As she continued, the cafes slowly turned into a variety of other shops including book and antique shops. After spending a good half hour rummaging through a old, vintage clothing store, she decided to head back to the hotel and melt herself into a nice, hot bubble bath. Although she'd decided to go without a map, she was extremely pleased with herself when she actually managed her way back to the hotel with relative ease, only stopping for directions once. She made her way up the dreaded stairs from earlier, and was about to continue down the corridor, when she lost her footing on the top step and toppled over onto the corridor floor, limbs flailing in all directions. She cried out as pain shot up from her foot and travelled up her leg, meanwhile her brown leather handbag was sent flying and its contents spilled out across the corridor.
"Great!" she thought to herself, as she noticed the lack of people in the corridor to come to her aid.
Sitting awkwardly on the top step, she sighed to herself, but a short moment later as if out of thin air a voice appeared. "Are you alright?" A young male voice asked with concern.
For a moment she was lost in admiring the smooth, English accent and had quickly conjured up a picture in her head of someone like Colin Firth speaking those words. She thought back to whenever she was feeling down or had the flu how she would always watch a Colin Firth movie, Love Actually, Bridget Jones' Diary or Pride and Prejudice being amongst her favourites. When she returned from the momentary daydream and turned to see who was talking to her, by comparison she was not at all disappointed.
He could definitely give Mr. Darcy a run for his money! A giggling, schoolgirl voice said in her head. The guy looking down at her with concern was roughly about the same age as her, with dark, unruly hair and she didn't even mind the glasses he was wearing – if anything, he was more attractive because of them.
She felt a soft hand on her shoulder and Dawn realised he was still waiting for an answer, as he crouched down to help her up.
"Oh, um," she began stupidly, mentally kicking herself. "I'm fine... I'm a bit of a klutz sometimes, wasn't looking where I was walking."
"I'm usually not the most graceful myself," he paused; a look appeared on his face that Dawn couldn't quite pinpoint. "Do you think you can stand?"
She smiled at him. "I should be alright."
He gave a quick nod and proceeded to help her up. She gave her ankle a tentative test as she stood; there wasn't much pain so she knew that it was only a minor sprain at worst.
"It's not too bad," she explained as she slowly rotated her ankle in different circles to loosen it up, feeling the pain slowly drift away.
The guy then bent back down to collect up her belongings scattered across the corridor.
"Oh, you don't have to do that," she crouched down to get her bag.
He shook his head and was insistent. "S'okay, I've got it."
One by one, he picked up her things and put them back in her bag. Purse, diary, phone, lip gloss... her stake. Shit! Let's just hope he thinks it's some weird, new hair accessory... ugh, who am I kidding? She panicked.
He raised his eyebrows as he placed the stake in her bag, Dawn could tell he definitely wasn't thinking along the lines of her stupid hair accessory idea, but he said nothing anyway. An instant later he stood up again and handed her handbag back, she smiled and threw it over her shoulder.
"Thanks a lot for helping me," she said as they stood face-to-face and she got a chance to notice the amazing eyes hidden behind the glasses, which had her entranced for a moment before she was once again brought back to reality. "I'm Dawn, by the way."
He smiled. "Hi Dawn... I'm Harry."
"It's nice to meet you, Harry."