“So, you have a dad,” Buffy stated conversationally, watching her sister pace the room. It had been a week since she had arrived and they hadn’t been able to talk about it yet.
“Yep seems so Buffy,” she sarcastically retorted, slumping onto the couch. She had felt like a caged animal for the past week; just itching for the fight against Voldemort. She wasn’t sure whether it was the fact that she was destined to die again, or the fact that Harry might die – but fear was slowly eating away at her heart. Hermione was right, what is life without a few chances; a few risks. She didn’t really want a safe life, but after jumping through the portal – she felt she needed one. A life where danger wasn’t always around the corner. “Look, I’m sorry Buffy – it’s just, I just got here and now there’s this war going on. I haven’t even had that much time to get to know Sir…dad,” she sighed, running a tired hand through her long locks.
“Are you glad you came?”
“Most of the time, but others…I miss you guys B; things are different in this world. After being where I was during that half year, I’m not used to it. I’m not used to controlling powers, I’m not used to seeing such a happy atmosphere – I’m just not used to being, well, awake again,” she whispered, tears forming in her eyes. She didn’t want to break down infront of her sister, but, she felt that Buffy was the only one she could really talk too.
“Oh Dawnie,” Buffy sighed, quickly sitting beside her sister and encasing her in her arms. “I know that no-one could understand what you’ve been or are going through. But, you are loved and you are missed from where I stand. I can also see that that Harry kid might have a thing for you,” Buffy smirked, watching as her sister blushed.
“I just…I’m going to die again Buffy; it’s prophesized,” Dawn whispered, looking into her sisters’ eyes.
“What?! No you aren’t, I’ll be there to protect you, aswell as Spike, Angel and Faith,” Buffy said resolutely, her eyes tinted with regret.
“It can’t be stopped, I have to die for the war to be won,” she muttered, pouting slightly.
“You were supposed to die with Glory, but you didn’t – you were just unconscious for a…awhile,” Buffy chirped happily, trying to cheer up her sister.
“Buffy, just, just be there,” Dawn cried, leaning into her sister’s embrace. She knew that right now, she was not the warrior that she was supposed to be – she was The Key. She was just a girl who knew that she was about to die, an experience that she all too familiar with.
“So, how’s Dawn?” Hermione asked, throwing a punch towards Rons’ head.
“Wouldn’t know, she’s been hiding ever since we started training,” Harry shrugged, doing sit-ups on the floor.
“Don’t let it get you down mate, she’s just pre-occupied,” Ron stated, dodging the many punches Hermione threw at him.
“I know but, I haven’t seen her for two weeks and all I get from Spike is that she’ll be by soon. I can’t stand it!”
“Have you seen the amount of students that have left? They must really be scared,” Hermione sighed, trying to change the subject. She could see the effect that ‘Dawn withdrawal’ was causing for her friend, and she just wanted to stop it.
“It’s the wizard war of the century Hermione, of course people are gong to be scared,” Ron retorted, earning a hard kick to the shins.
“We’re going to win though, right?”
“Yeah Hermione, we are,” Harry stated, glancing at his flexing his hands. He knew that it would come down to him in the end, that’s why he was working so hard. It would be on his hands that Voldemort died.
“How are things going?”
“There good, everyone has learnt the basics of physical defence,” Spike answered, grabbing a cup of blood.
“Everything’s sweet in defence Dawnie, they seem really alert,” Xander stated, grabbing a cookie off of the table.
“How’s Harry doing in class?”
“Very good, you know Dawn, he has a very nice body,” Anya shrugged, not really interested in the way the conversation was turning.
“Anya’s right D, your boys got some muscle,” Faith smirked, winking towards the blushing girl.
“He’s not my boy,” she mumbled, sliding down on the chair she was sitting on.
“Any idea on when he’s going to attack us?”
“Got no clue, my luck it’ll be on a Tuesday,” Dawn muttered angrily, crossing her arms over her chest.
“You realise that I haven’t seen you for over a month,” he stated dryly, looking back towards the girl as she joined him outside.
“I missed you,” she shrugged, her hands in her jean pockets.
“Missed you too,” he smiled, wrapping a protective arm around her shoulders. “Didn’t think you had the ability to be a general in you,” he whispered, kissing the top of her head lightly.
“It comes and goes,” she whispered, leaning into his shoulder. She knew that the battle would begin very soon; she could just feel it in her bones.
“Are you nervous?”
“You’re the one who has to deal the last blow,” she stated matter-of-factly, shrugging her shoulders slightly.
“You heard the prophecy,” he sighed, rubbing his hand up and down her arm.
“How could I not Harry? I’m the defence teacher?”
“I’m only 16 Dawn! Do you really think I want that responsibility?”
“I never wanted it but look where I am now? Facing another one! Evil will always be there Harry, it just depends whether or not you have the courage to face it,” she said, looking up at the boy.
“I don’t know if I do,” he whispered, watching as tears started to cover her eyes.
“Hey, I know you do,” she stated, sliding her hand along his cheek. “Plus, I’ll be right by your side,” she smiled, leaving her hand on his cheek.
“I…I don’t know Dawn, you could ge-”
“Don’t even say it Potter, I’ve been in danger before and I can handle another battle,” she glared, playfully smacking him on the cheek.
“You’ll be by my side?”
“You know it,” she smiled, glancing once more into his eyes – then turning to leave. She had a battle to get ready for.
“I just hope I’ll live long enough to see it,” he sighed, watching as his love walked away. He somehow knew that he had to say it soon, he could feel the battle become nearer and nearer – slowly creeping it’s way under his skin.
“I’m glad you stayed,” she whispered, watching the sunset.
“Didn’t have anywhere else to go,” he shrugged, looking over at the girl.
“You could have gone home,” she said, watching for his reaction.
“I’ve chosen to follow the bloody path of good. Not much good if I go back to a deatheaters house, is it?”
“Hey now, no need to take that tone with me Drake,” she snapped, pouting slightly. “I’ve seen your glances towards her, she’s beginning to return them,” she whispered slyly, glancing at him through the corner of her eye.
“There are no glances to look for, it’s not gonna happen,” he stated, blushing slightly. “So, what’s this prophecy I’ve heard so much about?”
“It says that Harry must kill Voldemort or Voldemort must kill Harry, and that I must die for good to prevail,” she said, tears in her eyes.
“You’re not dying Dawn,” he growled, grabbing her arms tightly.
“It’s written,” she sobbed, falling into his embrace.
“No, you are not,” he said stubbornly, pushing her away slightly. Placing each hand on either side of her face, he looked directly in her eyes. “I want to get to know you better Black and if you’re dead, I don’t get to do that. I always get what I want Black, always. I need you to survive it – you’re my light,” he whispered, tears falling form his own eyes.
“Oh Drake,” she sighed, just letting her tears fall. “She can become your light.”
“What if I don’t want her to?”
“She already has,” Dawn smiled, wiping away some of the boys tears, before getting up to walk away.
“She shouldn’t have to die again,” she sighed, watching as her sister gloomily walked the corridors. She had seen students stare as the slayers practiced their moves, continued their fight.
“No, she shouldn’t; but she will,” he stated, running a hand through his hair.
“How do you know?”
“Can you not see it in her eyes? She loves him,” he said, slipping an arm around her waist.
“She’s my baby sister Angel, how can I watch that again?”
“I don’t know Buffy, but, we’ll find a way to stop it,” he sighed, kissing the top of her head.
“I hope so Angel, I don’t know what I’ll do if it happens,” she whispered, tears silently running down her face. She watched as Faith took down 3 slayers, smiling as she offered a hand up. Faith had come a long way from her ‘want, take, have’ attitude, and she was slowly becoming one of them.
Run... that was all that was going through her mind. If she ran, maybe they would forget her. Maybe, they would just all go away and she could live happily ever-after. Maybe, they would just turn back – go after who was truly important. Oh no, she was not delusional – she knew that she wasn’t going to live from the war. That Potter kid maybe, but her, she was just a lowly muggle-born. She wasn’t born to fight like this, she was a Ravenclaw – brains were her purpose.
“Hello pretty,” a voice snarled, wrapping a tight hand around her throat. “Why are you running?”
“Ca…can’t br…breathe,” she rushed, kicking her legs out helplessly. She knew what her fate was as soon as she felt the ground leave her feet.
“Oh, I’m sorry sweetie,” she sighed, quickly dropping the girl to the ground. “You know, all I really want is my way home! I didn’t ask to be here! I didn’t ask to be with him! I just wanna go home,” she whined, watching as the girl shivered. Stalking closer, she drew a knife from within her belt.
“L…Let me go,” she whimpered, crawling along the dry leaves.
“Oh no sweetie, I can’t do that. I can’t have that pesky little slayer know I’m back now, can I? But, I’ll tell you what little one; I’ll make it quick,” she smirked, quickly slicing the knife across her throat. She laughed giddily as she watched the blood run, wiping off the blood on the knife.
“My god, it…it’s a child,” Professor McGonagall gasped, tears coming to her eyes.
“I know,” Dawn whispered, closing the eyes of the poor girl. Quickly taking her hand away, she looked up at the group.
“It’s started, hasn’t it?”
“This is the first of many,” Buffy intoned, placing a hand on her kneeling sisters’ shoulder.
“Should we…should we bury her?”
“No, the students need to know that this war will come at costs,” Dawn stated, looking up at Giles for confirmation. She knew that what she was thinking was terrible and unforgivable; but, they needed to know. Their friends could die in this battle, and they needed to know that.
“I’m with you,” he nodded, a grim expression adorning his face.
“What are you planning to do with her Ms. Black?”
“Make an example of her,” she whispered, picking the girl up. She could already feel the stiffness of death that the girl had – the coldness seeping into her skin.
“Ms. Black, I must protest this!” Professor McGonagall shouted, quickly walking after the girl. A very strong hand on her shoulder halted her pursuit.
“They need to know Professor,” Buffy whispered, watching her sister walk up the stairs of the entrance way to Hogwarts. She knew what her sister was about to do, and she could just imagine the reactions it would cause from all Professors at the school.
“I cannot allow it,” she said sternly, continuing after the girl. “Ms. Black! Ms. Black!”
Dawn ignored the stern Professor, shifting the girl in her arms gingerly. She could already see the disapproving stares of the other Professors, the raucous she would cause – but, they needed to know. She didn’t need to wait long for their reactions; banging open the doors of The Great Hall, she briskly walked to the front of the room.
“Professor Black, what is the meaning of this?” Snape snarled, looking cautiously to the Ravenclaw girl who looked deathly pale.
“I need to speak to the school,” she growled, her eyes snapping quickly to green. “Who is this?” she asked, holding the girl up by her collar. She knew that she was being dis-respectful, dis-honourable; but, they needed to know. “Who is this?”
“C…Cho Chang,” Neville Longbottom whimpered, looking frightfully at the young Professor. His eyes flicked to Harry Potters’ form, watching the boy carefully. Everyone knew of his crush on the Ravenclaw seeker, and he didn’t know how this would affect the boy.
“This is her memorial service, would anyone like to share a few words?” she asked, looking at everyone in the room. She locked gazes with Harry and she was shocked to see guilt and sadness in the boys’ eyes. “No-one...?” she asked, shrugging when she was met by silence. “I’ll say a few then. She was weak. She died, because she was weak. I’m sorry, this may be harsh and not the time, but the truth was exactly that. She couldn’t handle the battle…so, she ran. I may not have know her, but just by this act, I kno-”
“Dawn, maybe you should give it a rest,” Harry whispered, quickly coming to stand beside the girl. He could see the faces of Cho’s friends begin to turn lethal – he wasn’t really sure what the point of this little slander was, but, he was going to stop it.
“No,” she said, looking defiantly at the boy. “You all don’t seem to realise, but, we have a war in the making. Ms. Chang was just one of the many casualties that will occur if you continue to take this lightly!”
“Dawn, please, I know you’re tired, but-”
“I’m beyond tired Drake. I’m beyond scared. I’m standing at the mouth of war, and it’s going to swallow me whole. And it’ll choke on me,” she whispered, knowing that with the dead silence, they would all hear her. “We’re not ready? They’re not ready. They think we’re gonna wait for the end to come, like we always do. I’m done waiting. They want an apocalypse? Oh, we’ll give ‘em one,” she growled, conviction coming into her voice. She stole a quick glance at Buffy and Giles and watched as they nodded their agreement. “Anyone else who wants to run…do it now. Because we just became an army. We just declared war. From now on we won’t just face our worst fears, we will seek them out. We will find them and cut out their hearts one by one until Voldemort shows himself for who he truly is. And I’ll kill him myself. There’s only one thing on this earth more powerful than evil. And that’s us. Any questions?” she asked, finishing her rather ‘inspirational’ speech. Glancing quickly at all the students stunned faces, she nodded towards Professor Dumbledore. “We leave in two days, with or without your support,” she stated, quickly storming out of the Hall – Cho Chang still tightly in her grasps.
“Nice girl you got there Potter,” Draco smirked, watching as the boys gaze had yet to get off of the way Dawn had stormed out.
“Shut up Malfoy,” Harry stated, throwing a glare towards the smirking boy. The hall was pretty silent – mourning the death of Cho and thinking over Dawns’ statements.
“Where’s the body?”
“Buried,” she stated, her eyes concentrating on the sun setting. “You loved her,” she whispered, glancing quickly at the sullen boy.
“I…yea, maybe,” he said, shrugging his shoulders slightly. He wasn’t sure of his feelings for Cho, but he knew for sure, that his feelings for Dawn were stronger – a lot stronger.
“How do you feel?”
“I don’t know. Nervous, guilty, hurt…why’d you say those things?”
“They needed to know that this war was a war Harry. You all needed to know that losses were inevitable,” she stated, her gaze returning to the sunset.
“Well I think we all learned our lesson,” he muttered darkly, playing with the blades of grass.
“Look I’m sorry, I know you loved her and all,” she said sarcastically, hurt slightly by it. She knew that she was just being silly, she could see that the love was only on a friendship level; but it was still Harry, a boy she felt deeply for.
“Why are you being like this? It’s as if you don’t even feel anymore!”
“Well, maybe I’m not exactly how you thought me to be! Maybe I’m not all perfect and good! Maybe I need to be harsh! Maybe I need to be un-feeling!!”
“You don’t need to any way! I don’t understand where this is coming from! I thought I knew you!”
“You knew nothing about me Potter! All you knew was that I was Sirius’s daughter!!”
“Obviously,” he whispered, turning his back and walking away. His shoulders sagged slightly; he knew he had lost his temper, it wasn’t really her fault.
“Harry,” she sighed, tears forming in her eyes. She knew of the prophecy, and what was to come. He was going to be a murderer. Oh, she knew it could go the other way; but, she just had this feeling that he would win. He would slay Voldemort and the world would live happily ever-after – until the next evil came along. “And so it begins,” she murmured, kicking an invisible stone on the ground.