Disclaimer: I own neither the Buffyverse, nor the Harry Potterverse.
A/N: It'll get worse before it gets better, not that I'm guaranteeing a 'better'... You will recognize the majority of this chapter, I only added about 400 words. The stuff I added just fit better as the end of this chapter rather than the start of another. In alternate terms: SCROLL DOWN.▬§▬"I know there's been... a lot of loss..." The guidance counselor had a very open, sympathetic look on her face.
Tell me what's wrong, her eyes seemed to say.
"Yeah," Dawn agreed, almost surprised at the ease of the answer. "People keep... going away and my sis - some people have jobs to do or things they have to - to focus on. Everybody deals with pain in their own way, I guess. Sometimes I just wish..."
"Yes?" The counselor leaned forward a little, her sympathetic eyes giving Dawn the little push she needed to articulate her secret wish. "What do you wish, Dawn?"
"I just wish I had someone to share my pain with..." She sighed, it felt like a great weight had lifted from her shoulders. She knew that Buffy and Willow and Xander and everyone still missed her mom, but they were so caught up in the slayage and Buffy's resuurection and all that.... sometimes it seemed like she was the only one who missed her.
The counselor leaned back and smiled benevolently. Between one heartbeat and the next Dawn watched in shock as her teeth became yellow and faintly pointed, her smooth skin becoming ridged and splotched with ropey veins. Her eyes went from warm brown to bright blue, yet they retained their sympathy as she murmured two frightening little words:
There hadn't been a bright flash of light, no swirling vortex of blue and purple energies to suck her in. No, the transition between realities had been almost seamless. One moment she'd been Dawn Summers, daughter of Hank and Joyce, sister of Buffy the Chosen One - and the next she'd been someone incredibly irrevocably different.
Her name was Dawn Ignatia Weasley, daughter of Molly and Arthur, twin to Percy and sibling of six more. She was in the middle of a battle, bright lights whizzing by her ears and ruffling her long red hair. For an instant she stood, frozen, uncovered, vulnerable
before a warm body knocked her to the ground.
"All right there, Dawn?" Fred grinned down at her, "Bit of an odd spot to do some woolgathering. Might want to save it for later, sister-mine." That was all he said before he was off again, firing curses and fighting like a madman.
She lay there, stunned, trying to assimilate two entirely different sets of memories. One set said she was fourteen, almost fifteen, and something of a brat. The other told her she was twenty-one in the middle of her apprenticing for her Potions Mastery and that she should get up right now and join the battle
So she leapt up and fought and survived
the Battle of Hogwarts. She waged war beside students and Aurors alike, sustaining a few minor injuries and one major one. Poppy had had tears in her eyes when she'd informed her that she'd walk with a limp for the rest of her life.
Cane or no, she'd survived where so many had fallen. Survived though not unscathed, and not all wounds were as obvious as the scar that twined about her left leg from outer hip to inner ankle. Percy, the great loveable lump, was dead.
She felt as if half of her had been ripped away and the wound, left open and jagged, would never heal. Her memories told her that they'd been together from womb to tomb, but he had gone alone to their next adventure and left her behind.
Some small part of her compared him to Buffy, but it was quickly hushed and stifled. Whenever her two voices, her two selves collided, it was always the Weasley who won. The Dawn who had lived in the world of Buffy faded a little bit more every day, leaving behind only a slightly larger sense of entitlement.
It wasn't fair. Dawn had followed him, always. When he had decided that their family needed a voice of sanity, there she was to echo and reinforce his serious words. When he had set his sights on following in Bill's footsteps as Head Boy, she had been the first to break out the books for extra study sessions. When he'd decided to go into the Ministry, she'd objected but stood by him - even as his ambitions drove an ever-widening gap between the two of them and the rest of the family.
Now though, now he was gone into death. What could she do but follow?
For weeks after the final battle she lay in her hospital bed. First under the guise of recuperating, later for lack of any desire to get up. Her eyes were blank and vague, her body began to waste away, and the Weasley patriarch began to think that he would have to prepare his wife for the loss of another of their children.
It all changed on a Tuesday.
She woke up from one of her many naps and he was just there. Sitting in the chair beside her bed and looking as ragged as she. He didn't appear to notice her wakefulness and she took that time to study him, besides his general scruffiness there were more lines on his face now. They weren't the laugh lines she would expect, these were deep and heavy and furrowed over his brows: worry lines.
Then he looked at her and she didn't see worry, she saw rage. Deep, burning anger that glowed from his blue eyes like the light of a lumos
. He leaned over her until all she could see was burning blue, like the center of a fire, and then his arms were around her, holding so tightly that it hurt. Wetness trickled down her neck and she realized that he was crying, no - sobbing
- and from somewhere came the memory, the recollection that Fred, wonderful pranking Fred, had died too.
They held each other and they cried for what seemed like hours, two broken halves of shattered wholes. Their other parts gone where they were not yet meant to follow. George and Dawn sobbed until exhaustion took them into her embrace and left them in a deep sleep. It did not heal them, but it started the long process by which their bodies might grow fit again.▬§▬
He was gone in the morning, as per usual. She cried a little, into her tea. Also usual.
She showered, dressed, and hobbled back downstairs to what had once been the garage. When she had moved in she'd redone the place to her needs, adding a few light sconces here, rerouting the plumbing there, until it was the perfect laboratory. It even had a little enclosed sun-room where she could house some of the plants required for the freshest ingredients.
Various projects under containment charms bubbled and simmered merrily, the quiet hum soothing to her lingering hangover. Dawn could not wallow for long, she had to be busy. She had to work until the thoughts and feelings that sometimes felt like a tidal wave were safely barricaded behind the dam of progress.
Dawn Weasley had patented two healing potions since the end of the second war. The papers and books were calling them the 'Blood Wars' now, but most people still just said first or second. The rebuilding process was still coming in fits and starts, but it helped that Voldemort's destruction could be proved this time. A wrecked house and scarred baby might have been enough for the Britains but the rest of the world had been waiting for the other shoe to drop. Fourteen years later, they were vindicated, but now with his death so tangible the wizarding community of Britain was experiencing its first true growth in over two decades.
It was a time of change, businessmen and women were thriving, the government was looking a lot less corrupt lately, and people were beginning to believe that everything really would be alright.
Sometimes Dawn wondered if she couldn't move on because this wasn't really her life. Sometimes she dreamed of vampires and bogeymen and the girl who slew them. Sometimes she dreamed of death and an endless nothing. Sometimes she dreamed of a glowing green light, haloing a vague silhouette. Sometimes she dreamed of stern blue eyes and flyaway red hair.
Dawn tried to ignore her dreams.▬§▬
End Part 2/(?)
A/N2: Like it, love it, loathe it, suggestions for further plot? Lemme know!