I Can't be a Witch, I'm Just Dawn
Title: Dawn Potter
Author: Joyful (JoyfulTyrannous@gmail.com)
Disclaimer: J.K.R. & Joss Whedon own everyone, I just own the crazy ideas.
Summary: Dawn was made the little sister of the “Chosen One,” but he wasn't a Vampire Slayer, he was just Harry.
Notes: This is my first fic in a long time. I have to futz around with the timeline a little, because Harry was born in 1980, and of course Buffy was born in 1981. This would make Buffy and Dawn the same age. This is AU with all the tweaking I did.. Dawn's birthday is June 21, 1981. If you're picturing them in your head, picture Dawn looking like Michelle Trachtenberg, but with red hair. I have no clue when this fic will be updated. I actually started it over a year ago, but never posted any of it.
Just a little note that eventually, in much later chapters there will be both slash and het pairings.
It was late at night when the monks came together for the secret meeting. Their order had been the guardians of the Key for centuries, but in recent time they started to fear for Her safety.
“Now that the Beast has been bound to a human child, and has physical form on this plane, we need to find a safer place for the Key,” one monk began. “Less than two decades from now the universe will align again, and the Key could be used to destroy everything. I do not put it past the Beast to discover a way to manipulate It's human host and take control. With the host living in America, we must put the Key far from it. I have located a powerful witch who is with child, and she and her husband would be good guardians for the Key, and She would have an older brother to protect her as well. We have the ability to create the proper glamours and charms to make sure people desire to protect Her. I suggest we infuse the energy of the Key into this infant. In time She would also be protected by Albus Dumbledore, a very powerful and good wizard.” The monks discussed their plans and options for a while, and then agreed to move on with Brother Tomasi's plan. Lilly Potter's unborn child would be host for the Key. Would be the Key, down to her very soul.
He moved into the nursery. He'd already taken care of James Potter, and now he'd get rid of that toddler. He'd spare the mudblood and the infant if it wasn't too much effort. Voldemort surveyed the two cribs, and moved towards the blue one. The woman was holding a pink-blanketed bundle as she stood in front of the blue crib. She placed the bundle in the crib with the other brat and threw herself over it, protecting her babies.
“Move aside, you stupid girl,” Voldemort hissed.
“No! Not my babies!”
“Avada Kedavra.” The green light hit the woman and she fell to the floor. Now, he only had to take care of the boy. The girl was nothing, she wasn't the object of his prophecy, he'd kill her later. But he must get rid of the boy. He leaned over the crib and pointed his wand at the toddler's face.
“Avada Kedavra.” The green light bounced off the boy and rebounded into Voldemort.
Hagrid landed the motorbike on Privet drive. He'd fashioned a baby-carrier out of his rucksack, and turned one of the Potter's sheets into a sling, carrying Dawn against his chest and Harry on his back.
“Are you sure about this Albus?” Minerva McGonnagall asked the professor.
“I've been watching them all day, these muggles are horrible! Are you certain they'll care for two new babies?”
“Of course, Minerva. I've written them a letter. They are the last family Harry and Dawn have left. They will be famous enough in our world. Lets give them ten years of anonymity.”
“I suppose so,” Minerva agreed. Hagrid left to return Sirius's motorbike, and Minerva reluctantly disapparated.
Albus took Harry and Dawn and laid them gently on the Dursley's front step, left the letter on Harry's chest, rang the doorbell, and disapparated.
Dawn Potter was laying awake in her trundle bed between her brother's bed and their tiny dresser. She had gotten dressed while he was sleeping, and then laid back down. Her blue eyes stared at the spider making a web under the staircase as she listened to her brother wheeze a little as dust fell in his face. Dudley was walking down the stairs.
“You two! Up! The both of you! Now!” Petunia's fist rapped against the cupboard door and Dawn watched Harry jolt awake.
“Morning,” she said softly, then she got out of the cupboard so Harry could dress by himself. As Dawn was an earlier riser than Harry they'd worked out a system between themselves. Still, they both knew that boys and girls weren't supposed to be sharing a room. Dawn went into the kitchen and started setting the table. The old dress she was wearing looked atrocious, but Dawn knew she couldn't be picky. Harry got Dudley's hand-me-downs, and Dawn got whatever girls' clothes were in the donation box at the local church.
Aunt Petunia yelled at Harry to start the bacon and not to burn it. She wanted everything to be perfect for Dudley's birthday. Dawn rolled her eyes at the giant pile of presents stacked up for Dudley. When her tenth birthday came in June, she'd be lucky to get a candy bar. That's what she got last year. Harry got a pair of socks that used to be Vernon's, and a wire coat hanger. After looking in a book at the library, Dawn straightened out the coat hanger, and used it to pick locks . Dawn figured out early on that she was treated a tiny bet better than her brother because she looked just like Lilly had as a child and Lilly was Aunt Petunia's sister. But Harry looked like James and apparently Aunt Petunia hated James Potter. Dawn knew these things because she listened at doors when her aunt and uncle were talking. And sometimes, when she really wanted to hear something, but couldn't make it out through the wall, the words would get louder right in her ear, almost like magic.
Harry quickly joined his little sister in the kitchen getting breakfast ready, ignoring Dudley's temper tantrum over presents. Harry and Dawn weren't paying any attention to their aunt and uncle until the phone ran and they heard that Mrs. Figg broke her leg. It was finally decided to take Harry and Dawn along, as long as they promised to obey.
Dawn giggled when Dudley got trapped in the snake case. She hadn't been paying much attention to Dudley or Harry, she was fascinated by a giant iguana, but she turned around quickly when Aunt Petunia screamed. Afterwards Harry was punished until Dawn's birthday. Dawn would sneak him bits of food, but when only one of them was punished, the other would get locked in the attic to keep the two of them apart..
Around that time, Aunt Petunia took Dudley into town to get his new school uniforms. Dudley would be going to an exclusive private school called Smeltings, while Harry would be going to the local public school—Stonewall High. Dawn had one more year of primary school left. She had mixed emotions about being left behind. One the one hand, she'd miss Harry terribly during the school days, and on the other, the idea of a whole year without Dudley sounded like heaven. Petunia was dyeing Harry a public school uniform when the first letter arrived.
The letters caused pure chaos in the Dursley-Potter household. During the chaos, Harry was moved into the smallest bedroom and Dawn was given the cupboard as her very own room.
“After all,” Petunia had said, “At the age of ten, it is no longer appropriate for boys and girls to share a bedroom.” About that time, while Vernon was obsessed with keeping the letters from Harry, Dawn & even Dudley, Petunia went on her own mission. She suddenly decided that Dawn must learn to behave like a proper young lady. And Dawn was no longer permitted to wear trousers or be alone with Harry or Dudley. She also had to cross her ankles while drinking tea, and walk about the parlor for hours with a book on her head. Truthfully, Dawn would rather be reading her books. Normally, Dawn spent her summers hiding from Dudley at the library. Dudley never went in there. But so far this summer none of them had been allowed out the house.
When the “letter business” got really bad, Vernon took the whole family away. He even hit Dudley on the head for taking too long, something he never did. Of course he'd slap Harry or spank Dawn from time to time, but he never hit Dudley. So, first they went to hotel, but when a hundred letters showed up at the front desk, they left there in a hurry.
Eventually, they made it to a run-down little shack on an island. Vernon had bought four bags of crisps and four bananas, so Dawn and Harry had to split their share. Petunia found some mildewed blankets and made up a bed for Dudley on the couch and a makeshift bed for Dawn in the bathtub. Harry got the thinnest blanket and had to curl up on the floor. So Dawn never saw when the giant came into the house, but she certainly heard and felt it.
“Couldn't make us a cup of tea, could ye? It hasn't been an easy journey,” the deep, booming voice asked after the loud crashing noises had abated. “And here's Harry. Last time I saw you, you was only a baby. You look a lot like your dad, but you've got your mother's eyes.”
Uncle Vernon told the man to go away, and then then there was the horrible sound of metal being abused.
“Anyway, Harry, a very happy birthday to you. Got summat for you. I might have sat on it at some point, but it should taste all right.”
“Who are you?”
“True, I haven't introduced meself. Rubeus Hadrid, Keeper of Keys and Grounds at Hogwarts. And where's your sister at?”
“Sleeping in the bathtub,” Harry said.
“The BATHTUB? In a house this cold and damp? Dawn, come out here, I want ter meet you.”
Dawn got up and came out into the main room, her ratty blanket wrapped around her shoulders. In front of her, Dawn saw a man about twice the height of the largest man she'd ever seen, with shaggy black hair, a long unruly beard, and very kind eyes.
“Blimey. If you weren't just the spitting image of Lilly Potter, with James Potter's eyes. I swear, if the two of you swapped eyes ye'd be your parents at ten. But of course, your're eleven now, Harry. Dawn, come have some cake.” Hagrid bent down over the fire pit and a second later there was aroaring fire. The giant sat down on the sofa, which sagged under his weight, and started taking things out of his pockets. He quickly made some tea and sausages, which is quickly passed to Harry and Dawn, who were so hungry they'd never tasted anything quite so good.
“I'm sorry,” Harry said apologetically, “Who are you? And what's Hogwarts?” Hagrid looked shocked.
“Didn't you ever wonder where your parents learned it all?”
“Learned what all?” Dawn asked, speaking for the first time. This was about the time that Hagrid started yelling at Vernon. Vernon tried to shut Hagrid up, but Hagrid was too angry, and scary. Hagrid was furious that the Dursley's had kept Dumbledore's letter a secret from the children for all these years.
“Harry, you're a wizard. And Dawn you're a witch of course. Harry, I think it's time you read your letter.” Hagrid handed Harry the letter and Dawn moved next to her older brother to read over his shoulder. Dawn was shocked. Harry had been accepted into a magic school.
“Harry will be going to Hogwarts, starting this term,” Hagrid said, “And Dawn will be joining him next fall.”
“They're not going,” Vernon insisted.
“I'd like to see a great muggle like yourself stop him,” Hagrid replied.
“A what?” Harry asked.
“Muggle. It what we call non-magic folk.”
“We swore when we took them in we'd put a stop to it!” Vernon shouted. “Swore we'd stamp it out of them. Wizards, indeed.” Vernon scoffed. “Rubbish.”
Harry and Dawn were furious that they'd been kept in the dark. It was Petunia who told them about Lily then. How Lily had been accepted into Hogwarts, and Petunia considered her little sister to be a freak. And how dare she get herself blown up and leave Petunia and Vernon with two new mouths to feed.
“Blown up?” Dawn asked, acid dripping from her voice. “You told us they died in a car crash.”
“A car crash? Not bloody likely,” Hagrid said. “I wasn't ready for this. Harry and Dawn Potter not knowing their own story, when ever child in our world's grown up hearing the tale of Harry Potter. Blimey, I don't know if I'm the right one to tell you all this.”
“Please,” Harry and Dawn asked in unison. So Hagrid sat back down on the sofa and started the tale. He toldthem about their parents getting married, and then Voldemort came after them, killed Lilly and James, and then tried for Harry he Dawn. He tried to kill Harry first, but something stumped him, Harry and Dawn were left alive, Harry with his scar, and Voldemort disappeared.
“I pulled the two of you from the rubble myself,: Hagrid said. “You were lying in your crib, the whole house in ruins around you. You see, that's why you're special, Harry. Nobody ever survived when He was of a mind to kill them. You, Harry Potter, are the Boy Who Lived.”
“But this can't be right. I can't be a wizard, I'm just Harry.” Dawn nodded her agreement.
“Haven't you two ever made something happen, when you were scared or angry, something that couldn't be explained?” The two were flooded with memories. The snake at the zoo, Dawn listening at doors. Harry on the roof of his school, Dawn's hideous clothes changing style or colour overnight. Harry's hair regrowing in his sleep. Maybe this man was right.
“Anyway, that's enough chatter. The two of you tuck in under this,” Hagrid said, throwing his enormous coat over both Potter children. “I'll just send off your owl, and then tomorrow we'll go into London for your things.” They watched, amazed as Hagrid took a live owl from his coat, scribbled a note, and threw the bird out into the night.
When Dawn woke the next morning, she figured it must have been a dream. Harry was near her, so they must still be in their cupboard. When she opened her eyes, she realized she was in fact awake, and it was all real. A paper-delivery owl came and Hagrid woke up. Hagrid told Harry to get ready to go to London.
“Mr. Hagrid,” Dawn said timidly. “Can I come with you please? I won't be any trouble.”
“Of course you can come with us, Dawn. Quickly now, lot to do.” They went back to the mainland in Uncle Vernon's little boat.
“Hagrid? How did you get here?” Harry asked.
“Flew. But now that I've got you I'm not supposed to use magic. Harry, do you still have your letter?” Harry nodded and found the list of things he needed for school. He and Dawn read the list together. Now that Dawn knew she was a witch, she wanted to go with Harry. Why did she have to wait until next year. Dawn and Harry watched everything in amazement. Even traveling through muggle London was a new and exciting adventure. Hagrid made a loud of loud and embarrassing comments, but they finally made it to their destination: a dingy old pub.
The scene created in the Leaky Cauldron intimidated both of them. People kept shaking their hands. They paid more attention to harry, which suited Dawn fine, but she felt a bit of concern for her big brother. The only attention they'd ever had before was bad, and they didn't know how to handle it.
When the brick wall turned into a great archway, Dawn thought it was the most amazing thing she had ever seen. Until the archway opened, and they all stepped into Diagon Alley. There were shops everywhere and Dawn couldn't stop looking at everything, she was very quiet for most of the walk, and the trip down into the bank vault. She and Harry gripped each other's hands tightly, as to not get separated in all the hustle and bustle. The biggest shock of the day was when they stood in front of the Potter family vault.
“Is this really all ours?” Dawn asked, her voice shaky.
“Of course,” Hagrid replied. They both took a tiny portion from the enormous stack of money in the vault.
“What's the difference between stalagmite and stalactite?” Harry asked when they were back in the boat.
“Stalagmite's got an 'm' in it,” Hagrid replied.
“No,” Dawn said softly. “Stalactite has a 'c' in it. C for ceiling. Stalactites hang from the ceiling and stalagmite's come up from the ground.”
“How do yeh know that?” Hagrid asked, his voice a bit quavery.
“I read a lot,” Dawn replied. And she felt her little bag of gold and thought of how many beautiful new books she could buy. When they surface, Hagrid left Dawn and Harry at Madam Malkin's shop while he went into the pub for a drink. Harry looked down the way a bit.
“Dawnie, look there's a book shop there. Why don't you go and check it out while I have my fitting.” Harry suggested. Dawn nodded vigorously and disappeared out the door. Dawn found Flourish and Blotts easily and threw herself into looking at every possible book. She found books on magical history, wizarding literature books, magical languages, and even books of ordinary languages, such as French and German. Dawn figured that English wizards needed to speak to foreign wizards. She thought the concept of Ancient Runes was fascinating and picked up a book on that as well. Along with a book on magical zoology, Dawn had more than enough reading to keep her satisfied until she got to go to Hogwarts next year. When Hagrid and Harry found her, Dawn stated that she had no clue how she'd carry it all.
“Well,” Hagrid replied. “Even though you're not going off to Hogwarts until next year, we can get you your trunk this year. That way you can store things while staying with the muggles. That reminds me, I haven't gotten either of you a birthday gift yet. Harry, I'll get you your animal. I'll get you an owl. Dawn, you should wait until next year to get your animal, but I have an idea for you.” Dawn and Harry ate the ice creams Hagrid had bought them and listened to Hagrid explain about the school houses and quidditch. Dawn tagged along while Harry got all his school supplies, cauldron, scales, telescope, potion ingredients. Hagrid dropped Harry and Dawn off at Ollivander's while he nipped off to get them their presents.
Mr. Ollivander regaled the Potter children with descriptions of their parents' wands. He was a little creepy with his silver stare, and the way he seemed to hover over Harry's scar. As first, Dawn wondered if Harry would ever find the right wand. Maybe this was a big mistake, and they'd have to go back to Surrey without anything. Hagrid clapped when Harry finally got the right one, and Dawn just then noticed he'd returned with a big cage containing a sleeping snowy owl.
“Dawn, happy birthday,” Hagrid said, and handed dawn a small wrapped box. Dawn tore off the paper and inside lay a small, heart-shaped silver locket. “I found the locket at the store, but it's what's inside that's the real present.” Dawn opened the locket, and on one side was a smiling picture of a man, and on the other a smiling picture of a woman.
“Is that, my parents?” Dawn asked, gulping a little, Hagrid nodded. Harry dashed to her side to see the pictures himself.
“Dawn, look, they're moving!” Sure enough the pictures moved and smiled and waved.”
“I had forgotten I had that picture in one of my pockets, until I saw the little locket in the case.”
Dawn threw her arms around Hagrid and hugged him tightly. Of course, she couldn't even get her arms halfway around him, but it was the thought that counts. They left Diagon Alley soon aftre that. Hagrid took them to a train station, bought them tickets back to Surrey, and got them hamburgers while they waited.
The month of August was unusual in the Dursley house. Harry was completely ignored, and Dawn was only spoken to occasionally. Dawn and Harry spent the next month reading all their books and getting to know Harry's owl, whom he called Hedwig. One evening they sat up in Harry's new room, talking.
“So, most of my books are in the cupboard,” Dawn said, “But I hid a few in the attic, for the next time Uncle Vernon locks me up there.” Harry nodded.
“I'm going to miss you so much, Dawnie. I wish you could come with me.”
“Me too,” Dawn agreed. “But as least you're getting our of here, You'll write me, right?”
“Absolutely,” Harry promised. “Hedwig,” harry said looking at the bird. “I'm going to have quite a lot of work for you this year, taking letters to Dawn, are you up for that?” Hedwig hooted happily.
“Good. I'm going to ask you to do us a favour. When you bring a letter to Dawn, please wait to deliver it at a time Uncle Vernon isn't home. Some time between when Dawn gets home from school at three, and when Uncle Vernon gets home from work at six. Can you do that?” Hedwig hooted again, and seemed to nod.
“Dawnie, you just, stay out of Uncle Vernon's way and don't get into trouble. Send me a letter every time Hedwig shows up, so I know you're okay.” Their whole lives harry had striven to keep Dawn safe, as if it were his only job in the world.
On September 1st, Dawn and Harry had a tearful goodbye before Vernon locked Dawn in the cupboard and loaded the rest of the family into his car. Dudley had to get a pig's tail removed from his bottom. Two days later, Dawn got her first letter from Harry. He told her everything, and how the school was a castle, and how he'd been sorted into Gryiffindor. He talked about his new mate Ron, and the whole Weasley family. Ron had a little sister Dawn's age, and next year they'd start at Hogwarts together. He told her about all the teachers he'd met so far, and everything else he could think of. Dawn quickly wrote him back, telling him how quiet the house was, not that he and Dudley had left for school. Aunt Petunia kept crying about how she missed her ickle Duddykins, and Uncle Vernon continued to ignore her. She started back at school next week, and Aunt Petunia had brought home new clothes from the donations bin.
This continued on. They soon fell into a pattern, every week Dawn and Harry would exchange letters detailing every single thing that had happened that week. Dawn thought Professor Snape was horrible, but quidditch sounded amazing. She didn't think she'd be any good at it, knowing how clumsy she was, but she hoped to try anyway. Dawn had always been extremely awkward and clumsy, tripping over her own feet, or falling on the stairs. In early November, she trippen and fell very hard down the stairs. She didn't break any bones, but she sprained her ankle and knee and gave herself a black eye and a great big goose egg on her head. Uncle Vernon refused to take Dawn to the emergency room, because the last time they took her, the doctor said that if Dawn showed up bruised and battered again, he'd call social services. So Uncle Vernon made her stay home from school until the bruises faded, so that the teachers wouldn't think she'd been beaten, and got very angry at her for being clumsy.
The only bright spot to being alone in the house with Aunt Petunia is that her Aunt was a little nicer to her than her Uncle was, or than she was to Harry, and even let Dawn watch television from time to time. Dawn wrote to Harry about the time Uncle Vernon had gone away on a business trip and Aunt Petunia drank too much sherry and started calling her Lilly.
“Why did you leave me Lilly?' a drunken Petunia asked Dawn. “Why did you go off to that awful place with that dreadful boy and leave me all alone?”
Dawn could think of nothing more to say that “I'm sorry,” before running off to hide in her cupboard. The rest of the season passed uneventfully. Christmas without Harry was dark for Dawn, she sent him a book she had bought in Flourish and Blotts that she thought my make History of Magic more interesting, Harry told her he was doing abysmally in that class. He sent her some wizarding candies, and a package for her from Ron's mum. In the package was a hand-knitted jumper, in pink, with a purple D on the front, a package of homemade fudge, and a note
I wasn't sure of your size, but my daughter Ginny is your age, so I made one the same size as hers. Harry and Ron seem to have become fast friends, so I hope to see plenty of you in the future.
This was the first Christmas present ever made specifically for her and Dawn loved it. She was so touched that a woman she'd never even met would spend so much time on her. Spring semester passed uneventfully for Dawn. She'd been teaching herself French, and was able to sign up for a class at school, and all non-school time was spent reading her books, or Harry's letters. He wrote her about his fear of Snape, about Draco Malfoy—the skinny Dudley, and the Philosopher's Stone.
Right near the end of term, Hedwig brought a letter to Dawn, and it wasn't in Harry's handwriting.
Dear Miss Potter,
I wanted to let you know that your brother has been injured, but is okay. Madam Pomfrey, the mediwitch, has fixed him up and we will be returning him to you in good condition soon. He showed great bravery, and I know you are very proud of him. I look forward to seeing both of you next term.
Dawn was in shock. Harry was hurt, but Harry was okay. The Headmaster of Hogwarts had written to her himself, and not a form letter! She knew many things about Professor Dumbledore from her books, and one of the chocolate frog cards she got from Harry over Christmas.
When her family went to pick up Harry, Dawn was allowed to come with them. As they waited, Dawn saw a pleasantly plump woman with brilliant red hair waiting with a redheaded girl about Dawn's age. Dawn waited until her aunt and uncle were looking away to walk over to them.
“Excuse me, are you Mrs. Weasley?”
“Yes, I am. You must be Dawn Potter,” Molly Weasley said, looking down at the girl, and siled at Dawn's nod.
“Thank you so much for the presents, they were wonderful.”
“No problem at all, dear. You and your brother deserve it.” She nodded down to her daughter.
“This is my daughter Ginny.”
Ginny reached out her hand and Dawn shook it.
“Are you going to Hogwarts next year?” Ginny asked.
“Yes,” Dawn said.
“Good. We can be friends.”
“Good. I've never had a friend before. Except Harry, but he doesn't count because he's my brother,” Dawn said. Ginny giggled.
“Absolutely. Brothers never count. I'm not certain some of mine CAN count,” Ginny teased and Mrs. Weasley admonished Ginny for teasing her brothers, but in all honestly, she was glad the girls were getting on. When Harry and Ron came off the platform, Ginny got excited about seeing Harry, thinking him awfully cute. Harry introduced Ron to Dawn, and Mrs. Weasley tried to talk to the Dursleys, who quickly swept off Harry and Dawn and left.
*End Chapter 1*