Chapter Two: The Fire From Within
Disclaimer: See Chapter One
Summary: 10 years later after Elizabeth Potter was believed to have died with her brother, Buffy Anne Summers is living the life every witch could ever possibly dream. But there’s still many questions about her past that demand answers.
A/N: Someone expressed regret that the other Buffy Characters wouldn't be in this story. It had always been my intention to have the Scoobies in this story. Because after all this is very much an AU.Chapter Two: The Fire From Within
One would be hard-pressed to find a finer witch than Joyce Summers. Why she married Hank Summers was a mystery to most who knew them both. Mr. Summers had the build of an ex-athlete with short, true brown hair and dark blue eyes that gleamed like two sapphires against his pale skin. He was one of the few Slytherins to serve with the Order of the Phoenix during the Dark Rebellion; using his family's influence to gain access to information about the Dark Lord's dealings that few could. And now the former Chaser of the Falmouth Falcons worked as the Senior Quidditch Correspondent for the Daily Prophet when he wasn't getting too friendly with his secretary. Mrs. Summers, a muggle-born and former Gryffindor, had joined the Order at the height of the Dark Lord's power. She was a beautiful, blond woman with a heart-shaped face and dark gray eyes that held a quiet strength most didn't notice because of her kind and nurturing disposition. She was a gallery director in a Muggle art gallery in London by day and at home she acted as if she had no idea how friendly her husband was.
Nearly ten years had passed since Joyce and Hank took young Elizabeth Lily Potter (known to the wizarding world as Miss Buffy Anne Summers) into their home on Revello Drive in Ottery St. Catchpole. The world around them had hardly noticed the addition to their family. But to Joyce and Hank, Buffy was a breath of fresh air. Their mantle was adorn with enchanted pictures of a bubbly little brunette with brilliant green eyes - taking her first steps - learning to ride her first broomstick - playing Quiddtich with her adopted father - being showered with affection by her adopted mother - holding her baby sister Dawn, for the first time. In fact, although Dawn was five years younger than her sister, her pictures (most of which were taken by an overjoyed Buffy who was thrilled to be a big sister) out-numbered Buffy's. However, the eldest Summers girl had soon come to realize that being a big sister meant one had to deal with a little sister. And to be perfectly frank; sometimes little sisters could be big pain in the arse.
Even asleep, Buffy was incapable of escaping her duties as big sis; made apparent by Dawn, celebrating her sixth birthday earlier than Buffy wanted to. Little Dawnie bounced on Buffy's bed, singing her version of the Happy Birthday song, adding a verse about the kinds of presents she wanted. Dawn Marie Summers was a small and clearly precocious child with long, bone straight hair that came down and around her shoulders. It was a color somewhere between her mother's dark blond and her father's true brown. Though, her eyes she had gotten from her father; little sapphires that glinted with a joke only Dawn seemed to know.
"Come on, Buffy. It's my birthday mornin’. Time to cook me hotcakes like you promised," Dawnie squealed.
"Five more minutes, Dawnie," Buffy groaned, wanting desperately to sleep just a few more hours. Odd, considering how early she normally got up. But she hadn't slept well the night before due to a recurring nightmare about a scary man in a black robe that shot green light from his wand. She didn't need to be told that the man was Lord Voldemort. Nor did she need to be told that the green light from his wand was him casting the Killing Curse on her. But what she couldn't understand was why she was having a dream she was Harry Potter in the first place and why her forehead burned so badly afterward that it should have left a mark. Yet there was no scar on her forehead - no blemish of any kind that gave her any inclination that she was connected to the Boy Who Lived.
Upon noticing how worn out her sister was, Dawn settled herself down on Buffy's bed with a concern grimace. It was a look that reminded Buffy of their mother. And with practice, it was an expression that would be able to entice guilt from anyone even if they haven't done a thing wrong. Joyce had mastered that look and little Dawnie was well on her way.
"You dreamt about You-Know-Who again, didn’t you?" she asked, softly.
Buffy sat up slowly, trying not to concern herself with matted mess that was her hair, and shook her head. "No, I just went to sleep late is all."
The younger Summers girl looked at Buffy for a moment and then pouted. "Lair."
Somehow Dawn could always tell when Buffy was being less-than-truthful. But Dawnie knew better than to press her sister any further. Just simply making Buffy aware that she knew that she was lying was enough for Dawn. For now.
"So, one order of birthday hotcakes then?" Buffy asked. Dawn eagerly nodded, spring off the bed. "Rounds or funny shapes?"
"Funny shapes!" the younger Summers girl squealed before shooting off downstairs to the kitchen. Buffy waited until her sister was out of sight before she plopped back down on her bed with an exasperated sigh. She just needed a minute or two to collect herself - push out the memory of a nightmare she had had been having off and on for as long as she could remember. It was strange. Especially when you took into account she was only a year and half when He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named blew himself up and wasn't young enough to remember anything about him, let alone what happened the night he vanished. But Buffy had and did. Her mother said it was only a dream and that she shouldn't worry about such things. However, to Buffy it felt so real.
After she collected her thoughts, Buffy trotted down the stairs and walked into the kitchen to find Joyce already making breakfast. It could only mean that Dawn told their mother about her nightmare. Buffy frowned, glaring at her little sister who was trying to look as innocent as possible but failing horribly. The last thing Buffy wanted was people making a big deal about her; feeling sorry for her. It was just a silly dream and nothing more.
"You really should’ve let me cook breakfast, mom," Buffy said, sliding into her seat at the table.
Joyce smiled. "Honey, I couldn't let you do that with the kind of night you had."
"I'm fine. Really, I’m alright. No lighting scar, no burning pain. I'm fine, honestly," Buffy insisted. One thing she despised was being coddled in any way. She demanded that people understand that she was capable of any burden and she had a fierce need to persevere without little acknowledgment. It was a trait reminded Joyce so much of Lily Potter. Although, one didn't need that to be reminded of Lily, all Joyce had to do was take one look at Buffy to see her. She was a miniature version of Lily, except for her hair. It's color was a perfect mix of her Lily's red hair and James' jet black, making it the a shade somewhere between a very dark auburn and a chocolate brown, depending on how much sun she had gotten in the last couple of months. Every time Joyce looked into Buffy's bright green eyes she saw Lily staring back at her. Joyce nodded, pretending to agree with her eldest daughter. But when Buffy had come to her and her husband telling them about a nightmare she had had about He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named, essentially giving her account of the events in Godric's Hollow, nearly 10 years ago; Joyce knew one day that she would have to tell her daughter about her birth parents and famous twin.
"I know, honey," Joyce said placing a plate of pancakes on the table. She fixed Dawn her plate before returning to the stove to clean up. "Your father had to go to the office today. So it's just going to be us three. I was thinking we could go to Hogsmeade and I could spoil my two favorite daughters today."
Dawn giggled, stuffing her face with a mouthful of hotcake before replying, "Mom we'refff yourfff onfee daughfers..."
Buffy just smiled weakly, poking at her breakfast. She would have argued further but it was Dawnie's day and she didn't want to spoil it. However, she knew this wasn't going to be the last time she would have such a dream, nor would it be the last time Joyce pretended like nothing was wrong.
Two hours later Joyce, Buffy, and Dawn found themselves in Honeydukes'. Dawn, with her eyes growing big as she fidgeted was standing next her mother. Buffy, who was on the other side of Dawn leaned over to her little sister and whispered, "Dawnie, it's your birthday, go crazy." That was all it took for the six year-old to booked it to the chocolate frog section of Honeydukes'.
"Buffy I'm going to make a stopover at the Three Broomstricks. I have to meet someone who has that Sneakoscopce that Dawnie's been hounding me about. You think you can keep an eye on your sister until I get back?" Joyce asked.
"Sure, mom. I'll keep both eyes on her just in case," Buffy said.
Mrs. Summers trusting her eldest daughter gave her a couple of Galloens and with a wave was gone; leaving Dawn in Buffy’s care.
“Oi! Watch it!” Buffy heard her sister’s voice coming from around the corner of one of the rows.
“Dawn’s in trouble; must be Tuesday,” the eldest Summers girl sighed as she went to intercept her baby sister. Once she rounded the corner Buffy was face to face with a slender boy with silvery-blond hair, cool gray eyes and sharp, pointed features. She didn’t need to be told that this boy was none other than Draco Lucius Malfoy. Draco’s father had been school mates with Hank until Hank started dating a Muggle-Born. Then Lucius had treated Buffy’s father like a leper. And little Draco didn’t mind letting the Summers girls know just where they ranked with him.
“I’m sorry, I didn’t see you there. Must have confused you with some trash I saw on the floor,” Draco ripped into Dawnie. Buffy’s blood boiled at Draco’s words. No one talked to her sister that way; not if they wanted to keep their limbs attached to their body. Of course, she knew that if she touched Draco her mother would ground her until Guy Fawkes Night. Still, beating Malfoy to a bloody pulp would be worth her prison term.
“Malfoy, your mouth is moving. Words are coming out. This is never good,” Buffy fired back.
“Summers…” The way he said her name made Buffy want to shiver. He always took delight in tormenting Buffy. She didn’t know why. But he did. And she could never understand it. “It’s good to see, your Mudblood mother knows her way around our world.”
“Our mom is not a mudblood!” Dawn shouted.
“Take it back, Malfoy…” Buffy’s words held a subtle warning. A hidden ‘or else’ went unspoken. But they both knew what Buffy was getting at.
“Or what, Summers? What will you do?” Malfoy was practically begging her to hit him. So was Dawn. But Buffy was doing a good job at controlling herself. Then Malfoy pushed her. Buffy didn’t remember hitting the ground; all she could recall was standing and then suddenly being on the floor with Malfoy laughing at her. His face brightened with delight as Buffy’s gaze burned through him. She felt her temperature rise as her face reddened. And then it happened; the tiniest of sparks. And soon Draco’s right sleeve was on fire.
Malfoy let out a blood-curdling scream as he waved his arm about, trying to put out the fire. And Dawn held back laughter. For a moment the other children in the store along with their parents watched in muted horror as Draco flayed around, waving his arm frantically.“Aguamenti,”
a flash of blue light herald a spout of water coming from behind Buffy. It sprayed Malfoy, extinguishing the flames but leaving the boy, soaking wet. Draco looked like a cat caught in a rainstorm by the time the spell had done its work.
Another shriek signaled to Buffy that Malfoy’s mother had seen the whole thing or at the very least the end result. And she was not pleased. In Buffy’s opinion it served Draco right for being such a snot-head but that didn’t squelch the sinking feeling in the pit of her stomach that told her somehow she was responsible for all of this.
“You wicked vile…” Draco’s mother began as she collected her son.
“Narcissa, I would think twice before I finished that sentence if I were you,” a man’s voice, caused Buffy to turn to get a look at the person who saved Malfoy. He was rather a tall man, much taller than Buffy’s father, with horn-rimmed glasses that reminded her of… not the man in her dream, but another person. Although he was frowning – clearly upset – there was a subtle gentleness in his gray-green eyes that let Buffy know he was at least a kind person.
“Mr. Giles, this girl is a menace. She was clearly-“Again Rupert cut her off.
“-defending her little sister from your son’s lack of manners.” Buffy watched as Draco’s mother swallowed that insult. It amazed the eldest Summers girl because she had never seen anyone do that to Mrs. Malfoy, expect her own mother.
“Come on, Draco. We should go; we’ll do the rest of your shopping later.” Narcissa ushered.
“And good riddance Blondie Bear!” Dawn called after him as Buffy rose to her feet. She looked at Mr. Giles and then Dawn, nudging her sister. Dawnie frowned but went silent.
“Buffy Anne Summers!” She cringed at the sound of her mother’s voice. She knew she was in trouble.
“Joyce…” The way Mr. Giles said her mother’s name, let Buffy know that he knew her mother somehow.
“Hello, Rupert.” Joyce said, coolly.
“It was the Malfoys’ Boy, Draco. Your daughters were just defending your honor,” Rupert explained. Joyce waved it away with her hand as if it meant nothing.
“That’s no excuse. My girls should know better…” Joyce said, never taking her eyes off of Buffy, which meant that SHE should have known better.
“It’s true, Mom. Malfoy called you a Mud-“ Buffy put her hand over Dawn’s mouth. Their mother’s was right. That didn’t excuse them.
“Sorry, Mom…” Buffy said, hanging her head.
“We’ll talk about it when we get home… Come on, girls… Good-bye, Rupert.” Joyce led her daughters outside. It was only Buffy that looked back to see Mr. Giles waving at them. She smiled at the older man.
“Goodbye Giles…” she said before following her mother outside.
When Buffy got home she would fine that she was indeed grounded, despite Dawn maintaining that she never touched Malfoy. However Buffy, Joyce and even Hank knew better. Buffy had set Malfoy on fire. So she was sent to her room without dessert. And Buffy would have stayed in her room until the next morning if it weren’t for a certain reoccurring nightmare. As Buffy navigated her darkened house, she could hear a hushed arrangement coming from downstairs.
"Is she dangerous?" Buffy heard her father ask.
"No, of course not," Joyce replied.
"But pyrokinesis isn’t a common wizarding trait," Hank said.
"It's not, but Buffy isn’t a common witch. We knew that when we took her into our home..." Joyce's words were like a dagger to the chest. Buffy had always known that she didn't fit in with her family. She didn't look like her mother, or her father, or her sister. Her hair was too dark, her eyes too green to be a Summers. And now, Joyce basically confirmed her worst fears.
"Yes, but I will not put my daughter in danger just because the Order thinks Buffy will be safe with us." Hank insisted.
"I assume you're speaking about Dawn, Hank... So let me say this, Buffy is MY daughter, just as Dawnie is. And I see no reason to uproot Buffy because of one event. The Malfoys' son deserved it. And although Buffy was out of line, she’s still young and will learn to control her gifts. Which if today was any indication, are going to be considerable. I made a promise to her mother that I would keep her should anything happen. And I intend to continue to make good on that promise. Now, if you don't like that Hank, you can always leave... Perhaps that secretary you're so fond of will take you in..." Buffy couldn't believe her mother; well adopted-mother spoke to her adopted father that way. She was happy that Joyce did because it made her love the woman even more. Still, adopted. How was she going to deal with that?