AN: This is set in England. I will be using English terminology so don’t come complaining that it’s not ‘right’, k? I picked out of a hat to decide what house she should be in, and when I read the result I realised how apt it was. Hope you like it. Also since JK Rowling hasn’t posted the names of the missing Gryffindor girls names yet I’m going to make them up and I'm making up names for the others house girls.
Also, this is going to be the second to last part of the series.
Dawn went quietly down to the Great Hall, every so often Harry would tell her to change course, take this stairs, watch that step, go behind this tapestry. If Dawn had been paying attention she would have been fascinated by the paintings and suits of armour, which all saluted her as she passed, though she paid them no heed. All she noticed was Harry’s silence and she couldn’t fault him for that.
How do you react when the person you trusted with all your secrets to defeat the most evil wizard of all time, when said person has been sorted into the same house as previously mentioned evil wizard.
She sighed and scratched under the cloth on her neck. The black robe Dumbledore had given her was a good fit, but it itched along the neck and under the arms, but at least she wouldn’t look too out of place, hopefully.
She entered the Great Hall then, which postponed further introspection, and glanced around. Hermione and Ginny must have been waiting for her to come back since they noticed her entrance almost straight away, though they weren’t the only ones.
Many glanced up curiously at this new addition to their number, especially one wearing no school colours. She ignored the curious looks and waved back at Hermione and Ginny before looking away. She didn’t want to watch their faces fall as she went and joined the enemy.
She walked slowly up to the last table on the left, whose occupants wore green and silver and kept the curious glances to a minimum, or at least didn’t stare so openly.
Apparently that was a theme with this crowd from what Dumbledore had told her.
Ambitious and cunning, he had said. Will use any means to achieve their end, he added with a directness that surprised her. She wasn’t like that! He didn’t counter-argue her point but he told her what he thought of that argument in a single glance.
As she thought about it she realised what he meant. She had broken numerous laws and run away from the only family she had to come to England to accomplish an impossible task. That was her end it seemed.
She shook herself out of these musings, again, and took a seat. Not too far from the others if they decided to grace her with their conversation, but not in the thick of them either. As she sat she watched Harry out of the corner of her eye. She could see the indecision in his eyes, his longing glances at Hermione, Ron and Ginny, the Gryffindor table at large, before finally he sighed and took the seat beside her.
She relaxed. For a moment there she had been worried that he would up and leave her. She gave a small smile and out of the corner of her eye she saw him return it with a wry grin of his own. She wondered what he was thinking, longed to ask him but she couldn’t so much as utter a peep with so many witnesses. She refrained herself and at a gesture from him began to help herself to the food laid out before her.
It was the first time she had eaten so well in months, Buffy not being as good a cook as she was great at ordering take-out, and she enjoyed herself, ignoring the pointed looks she was getting from her housemates and the grin on Harry’s face. When the dinner vanished leaving desert in its wake, Harry laughed out loud (or so it was for Dawn) at the childish delight on her face at the many options before her. So many options, in fact, that she seemed hard pressed to choose.
“Oy, you!” the uppercut English accent cut through Dawns desert dilemma. She frowned at the intrusion and glanced up. The brunette who had called so rudely was staring imperiously at her down a nose which was, Dawn was happy to note, so turned up you could have used it as a coat hook. When Dawn didn’t appear to be forthcoming with a reply, but seemed content to continue to stare, the other girl frowned. A delicate manoeuvre which pulled even more at her shrunken nose. “Did you hear me?”
Dawn started as the girls scathing voice once again cut through her musings.
“I’m sorry?” Dawn asked, not having heard the last bit. The other girl nodded, as if accepting the apology.
“Pass the pumpkin juice,” she said.
“The pumpkin juice! Pass it here,” she said irritably. Harry pointed out the jug, full to the brim of a strange orange liquid. But that didn’t seem to be what Dawn meant.
“What’s the magic word?” Dawn asked pointedly. The other girl rolled her eyes.
“We’re not allowed do magic in the halls, idiot.” The other girls laughed at this. Now Dawn rolled her eyes.
“I meant ‘please’?” She knew she shouldn’t alienate anybody in her house so quickly but, wow, this girl really ticked her off. The other girl scoffed. Then frowned when Dawn still didn’t make any move to hand over the jug. Obviously physical effort of any type was beyond this girl since she could have just got up and gotten it herself and Dawn wasn’t about to do her any favours.
“Please,” she ground out and Dawn smiled at her. She passed the jug, which spilt when the other girl snatched it off her, and went back to choosing deserts. She finally settled on apple crumple - still warm from the oven - with ice cream and jelly when the other girl stood, followed quickly by her sycophants, and left the table. But not before digging an sharp elbow into Dawns back that made her gasp. She glared at the retreating back of her fellow Slytherin before turning back. Another voice made her look up.
“You don’t really want her for an enemy.” The voice belonged to a boy around her age, with a pale face and blonde hair that almost reminded her of Spike. His eyes, almost silver, set them apart. She smiled at him, flirting almost as a habit. He looked her straight in the eye, she noticed, which was a rarity in boys.
“I can handle her,” she said with a cheeky grin. He shrugged.
“Your funeral.” But he smiled as he said it, and his smile was a sight in itself. Almost blushing now, Dawn turned back to her food, when he spoke again.
“What’s your name?” he asked.
“Dawn, Summers,” she said, trying to ignore Harry’s muttering, it made it hard to concentrate, and with the eyes this guy was giving her, concentrating was hard enough.
“Malfoy, Draco Malfoy,” he offered in reply. Dawn nodded, dumbstruck, and went back to staring at her food again, watching the ice cream melt into a creamy mess on the apple crumble. She was trying to keep a straight face, caught between laughing at his, more than likely accidental, Bondism, or frown at the fact that she had just been flirting with Malfoy, prince of darkness. Or at least that’s the way she had thought of him since Harry’s description of him. Only she hadn’t pictured him as cute, or with such dazzling eyes. Harry hadn’t described him well at all, only saying he looked inbred. As if, she thought.
“Anyway,” he continued, “I meant what I said. You don’t want her as an enemy. When
Pansy fights, she doesn’t fight by the rules, ever!”
Dawn just smiled and shrugged, still avoiding his eyes. Draco shrugged and stood, leaving without another word.
“Huh,” Dawn huffed, annoyed at herself for flirting with the evil guy, as she settled her head on her hand, stirring the mess in her bowl. “They never do,” she groused, then took a spoon of the mixed crumble, ice cream and jelly, tasting the mix with a soft ‘mmm’ of satisfaction.
When it came to finding the Slytherin common room, Dawn supposed she could have followed Harry’s directions but even he admitted that they were sketchy at best, and she didn‘t fancy wandering round the damp corridors under the castle for the rest of the night. It had been a few years since the Polyjuice incident, Harry explained, and it hadn’t been like he’d wanted to repeat the incident.
On his advice she approached a Prefect, who, introducing herself as Marian Lithly, brought her down to the dungeons and the entrance of the Slytherin common room and told her the password, dragon livers. She was also kind enough to point her in the direction of the fifth year dorms, where she should find her bed ready and trunks already brought up for her.
After saying her thanks, Dawn beat a hasty retreat, already seeing the wondering questions on everybody’s lips and not really in the mood to answer. As she escaped up the stairs she just had time to hope that the girl, Pansy, wasn’t in her year, and therefore in her dorm, before she pushed open the door to the room.
Phew! Empty. She glanced around the beds. They were all made up but only four, that she could see, had personal belongings on the bedside lockers. She spotted her bag at the end of the furthest bed and made straight for it, checking the locks. None appeared to have been fiddled with, but then with magic how could she be sure.
She turned to ask Harry and was surprised to find that he wasn’t with her. She stood and peered around the beds. Harry stood sheepishly at the door of the dorms. He glanced apprehensively at the beds and discarded clothing as if expecting half naked girls to pop out of them at any moment. Dawn laughed at his red face. While he had never been exactly comfortable in her room back in Sunnydale, he had at least been able to come in without going such colours.
She was about to call him in and tell him not to be so silly when she heard voices nearing. Girls voices. Harry stared back down the stairs, almost panicking at this point, seeming to forget he was a ghost and therefore could not be seen. He turned and ran, further up the stairs. Dawn bit back a grin as her fellow dorm mates came in. Their conversation faltered and stopped suddenly when they noticed the interloper.
“Hi,” Dawn smiled uncertainly. Wondering if she should offer to shake hands. Do wizards shake hands? She wished she could ask Harry, the coward, but her fears abated momentarily when one of the girls stepped forwards, hand outstretched.
“Tracey Davies, allow me to welcome you to Slytherin.” Dawn took her hand. She actually had to look up slightly when she greeted the girl. She gotten used to being the tallest female in the group, none of Buffy’s friends ever topped five five.
“Dawn Summers, and thanks,” she responded. The other girls stepped forwards then, ice successfully broken. She met a Laura O’Connor, a girl whose accent was definitely not English though she wasn’t able to place it exactly, Kira Hadley, who was tiny with a huge mop of tightly wound curls, and Allison Dearheart, who, pinching her lips, looked like she expected the worst of everyone and especially of Dawn.
Dawn was immediately surrounded and reflected that perhaps Harry had had the right idea when he’d beaten a hasty retreat. The girls settled on the nearest bed, though Allison rolled her eyes at such girly behaviour she wasn’t above joining in, and Dawn settled back against one of the posts as they fired question after question at her.
What school she’d gone to… how long she’d been in England… was she enjoying herself… sorry about the weather… And-
“Where, oh, where did you get that awful thing?” Tracey asked derisively, flicking at one of the sleeves of the robes she was wearing. Dawn flushed. One of the other girls, Kira, she thought, shot Tracey a glare for being so rude.
“I didn’t have time to do any proper shopping,” she said quickly. “I just borrowed this.” She glanced around at them, then asked hesitantly, “its not that bad is it?”
It was god-awful and she knew that. She watched the hesitation flicker over the other girls faces before Tracey hastened to correct her mistake.
“Oh, its…um, fine-”
“Don’t worry,” Laura interrupted, smiling. “We’re about the same size, I can lend you a robe till you get your own.”
Dawn smiled back, thanking her. Maybe Slytherin wasn’t the den of snakes it was made out to be. She joined in the laughter as Laura told a tale of how Tracey messed up a cosmetic charm, with Tracey protesting vehemently at the turn in the conversation, turning her hair orange for a full week with no help to be gain from Madam Pomfrey, which didn’t even compare to a slightly old fashioned robe, “so don’t you worry!”
Hermione and Ginny were quiet at the Gryffindor table as Dawn returned their wave tentatively, before she turned away and sat at the Slytherin table. The looked at each other shocked, for a moment, before looking away again. They turned back to their previous conversations and tried to ignore the flash of unease that drifted through them both.
Ron noticed their sudden quietness but felt he had enough on his plate trying to pull Neville out of his shell without trying to figure them two out as well.
Neither of the girls said anything much, joining in on the conversation when they had to, as they drifted back to the common room for the night. When they got there they immediately said goodnight, pleading tiredness, and heading up the stairs to the girls dorms.
Neville waved them good night before heading up the opposite stairs, Ron hard on his heel. Dean and Seamus followed behind them, eager to talk, away from the ever curious mass in the Great Hall.
Ron could tell the company wasn’t quite what Neville wanted at the time but he couldn’t find it in him to tell the lads to quit it. He’d missed the school more than he liked to admit and found himself entering into the friendly banter easily. Neville slipped into bed, but Ron was heartened by the fact that he didn’t immediately pull the curtains, but pulled the blankets up to his chin, turning out to the lads and listening to their easy laughter with a faint smile on his face.
The dorm was cold though, with October almost over the weather had taken an almost severe turn for the worse, and they were all soon in bed, still grumbling all the time though. The lights were extinguished and they settled down somewhat. There was still the odd muffled joke, with sudden explosions of laughter at the dirtier ones, until one by one they drifted off to sleep.
Hermione and Ginny didn’t stop till they were out of sight and sound of the boys who could still be heard below in the common room. Ginny was the first to speak.
“I though she seemed nice,” She opened with. Hermione nodded. “A bit quiet maybe. I didn’t think she‘d be put in Slytherin. She didn’t seem… I thought Ravenclaw, if she wasn’t Gryffindor. I was hoping… ” The red-head shrugged. “I mean it’s obvious that Dumbledore knows something about her, more than he‘s telling, it’s just- What do you think?”
“I think, that there’s more to her than we think,” Hermione said slowly. Then smiled at this weak ascertain. “We’d better get some sleep. Night Gin.”
They parted, Hermione heading up to the next floor to her dorms. She made a face at seeing the light under the door. More than likely Lavender and Parvati were waiting up for the latest scoop on Harry‘s case. Well, Hermione thought, they won’t get anything from me. She pushed open the door and saw three excited faces turning to the now open door, Jasmine was already asleep.
She frowned at them, but nobody seemed set to comment or question her and when the conversation restarted, Hermione realised they were talking about the new girl, Dawn. Though they didn’t know her name.
For a moment she wondered how much Parvati would be willing to pay her for any information Hermione had on Dawn. Though, she frowned, thanks to Dumbledore I don’t know much more than the others. Just her name, Dawn Summers, and the fact that she’s obviously American. She was just slipping into bed when something Lavender said made her look up.
“She what?” The other three looked at her in surprise. The others laughed.
“Ya and Pansy didn’t seem too impressed by her attitude,” Mariane said laughing. Parvati snorted.
“I’ll say, you should have seen the look Pansy gave her before she left the Great Hall,” she shook her head, ruefully. “I wouldn’t like to be in her shoes when Pansy gets even. You know what they say about Pansy when she gets mad….”
Hermione drowned out the rest of the conversation, wondering on this latest development. A Slytherin who insisted on good manners?
That would certainly be a pleasant change.
Ron didn’t fall asleep as quickly as the others. Despite being exhausted from the journey up on the train, he couldn’t drop off. He found himself thinking of Harry. The Quidditch training was beginning in the coming week and Gryffindor found themselves without a seeker. Or a captain for that matter. Although that could have changed in the two weeks that he had been out.
He wondered who it would be, then decided he didn’t care, he wouldn’t be playing anymore. Life was suddenly too complicated for such frivolities. He rolled over, trying to clear his mind and find some rest before the morning. A quiet sound made him lift his head and glance around the dorm, looking for its source. Movement from the bed beside him caught his attention. Neville, fast asleep, face drawn in the light of Ron’s wand as he struggled in the confines of a nightmare. Ron crept from his bed ignoring the stabbing cold of the stone floors and crossed to Neville’s bed.
Gently, then firmer, he shook the boy by the shoulders until Neville woke, still gasping in fright. His eyes sought the shadows beyond his bed for something that couldn’t be there.
“Harry?” he croaked, voice weak from sleep. “I’m sorry, Harry! I’m so sorry! I didn’t mean to!”
“Neville, Neville.” Ron shook his babbling friend to get his attention, but Neville’s eyes didn’t stray. Ron glanced up to see what Neville could possibly think was their friend, back from the dead. Some old jersey, he thought, draped over a chair offering enough of an illusion to a half asleep mourner. His heart almost stopped when he saw the ghostly shadow standing in the gloom.
The ghostly shadow started, then turned and ran out the open door. Ron followed as fast as he could. Neville, forgotten, wept into his pillow at half-imagined spectres. Running down the winding stairs he tried desperately to catch up with the fleeing figure but he didn’t catch another glimpse. He erupted into the common room, an avenging angel, to find it empty, dimly-lit and still warm from the embers in the fire place.
“Lumos,” he muttered, his wand still clutched in hand. He cast the wand over the room, lighting up the shadows, but not illuminating anything other than armchairs and couches and a few scattered papers. He swallowed against the lump in his throat and turned to go back up the stairs when a new thought occurred to him.
He crossed to the portrait hole and pulled back the frame, waking the Fat Lady sharply. She glared at him in the half-light. He spoke before she could berate him for the lateness of the hour.
“Did anybody come through here?” he asked abruptly. She narrowed her eyes at him crossly.
“Is that a trick question?” she asked irritably. Ron grit his teeth.
“Just now,” he barked. “Did someone come in in the last few minutes and then leave just now?”
“Don’t be silly boy, everybody’s asleep, or should be,” she said pointedly.
“Just answer the question!”
Seeing she wasn’t going to be left alone till she satisfied the rumpled teen before her.
“No,” she said. “Nobody has come though here since the last people came back from dinner hours ago, which, if I recall correctly, was you, you and your friends!”
Ron nodded, closing his eyes against the sudden disappointment. He’d been so sure! He tried to calm himself down, bring himself to apologise to the Fat Lady who must think he was an awful brute.
“Go to bed,” her soothing voice cut through to him. “You’ll feel better in the morning, I’m sure of it.” Ron smiled at her weakly.
“I doubt it,” he said, but he closed the portrait, more gently than he’d opened it. He went back to bed and, beyond all expectations, slept. A deep dreamless sleep.
Harry cursed himself as he fled through the dungeons, trying frantically to find the Slytherin common rooms. He’d known what he’d done was stupid, reckless, but he hadn’t been able to restrain himself.
After checking that Dawn was fast asleep, and still feeling uncomfortable in the midst of all those sleeping girls, he left quickly. Unthinking as he wandered the halls of Hogwarts, unseen by both passing ghost and patrolling man. He deliberately didn’t think on what he was doing as he drew closer to the Gryffindor common room, passing straight through the portrait guarding the tower quite easily.
He checked on Hermione first, glancing quickly, not stopping in these dorms either. He hadn’t meant to stay long in the boys dorms. But he saw the restless form of Ron tossing and turning as he tried to sleep. Then watched helpless as Neville’s sleep-encased movements became more frenzied. He saw horrified as Neville’s half-closed eyes tried to focus on him, before finally he’d cut and run when Ron’s eyes had caught his own.
He paused, almost-leaning against the nearest wall as he thought that one through. Dumbledore had told him, well Dawn, about the legendary powers of the seventh son. But Ron was the sixth son and Ginny the seventh child, so he must have imagined Ron seeing him.
Ya, like he’d imagined Ron chasing after him, calling his name and even questioning the Fat Lady to see if anybody had left mere minutes after he’d passed straight through the wall.
He shook his head and walked on. Half an hour later he finally conceded defeat. If he’d gotten anywhere near the Slytherin entrance, he hadn’t seen it, and was now hopelessly lost in the depths of the dungeons, further than he, or anybody for that matter, he thought, noting the thick dust carpeting the ground, had been in a while
He frowned, thinking how Dawn would react in the morning when she woke and he was nowhere to be found. He frowned again when he felt an unfamiliar sensation as he thought of Dawn, almost like a knowing. An odd idea came into his head, which deserved testing. He concentrated a moment on thoughts of Dawn, laughing at some joke Ron had told on the train, exhausted and drained that morning in the Leaky Cauldron, her excitement and wonderment as she first caught a glimpse of Hogwarts when crossing the lake. Even as he concentrated, a part of his mind was shocked at the number of visuals he had of her.
He walked back the way he’d come a few feet, took a corridor he hadn’t noticed before, walked on straight for a few more minutes before finding himself in front of the blank wall that was the entrance to the Slytherin common room.
He wondered at this latest development in their connection, making a note to tell Dawn in the morning.