A Red Sun Rises
Chapter One: Darkness Before Dawn
Disclaimer: I don’t own Buffy or Lord of the Rings
Dawn breathed deeply inhaling the overpowering mixture of sage and rosemary that marked Willow’s unique portal spell. She’d been sitting cross legged on the cold marble floor of the old library for the better part of a half hour of complex magical preparations in a strange outfit and her feet were falling asleep in her new boots. She kept a close eye on the bag with what was about to become all her worldly possessions.
“Are you ready for this?” asked Althenea looking up at her from beneath a thick curtain of too long black bangs.
The middle-aged Coven Seer’s milky eyes found her unerringly even through gloom and smoke and blindness she’d had since childhood. Althenea’s sight was much stronger than her already considerable Earth magic and she located everything by watching the Astral Plane day and night. She could see deep into the core of people and things, and it gave her an uncanny view of the future. Most of the time it was only a few seconds or days before the event happened but sometimes, like now, her perceptions saw events that would stretch across time and space and affect multiple worlds.
Dawn took another calming breath her fingers clenching and unclenching on the old style carry all she held in her lap.
“Just do it,” she said shakily.
“You don’t have to do this Dawn, someone else can go,” Althenea said shrewdly.
“No, it has to be me, I’m the only one who can get there for sure,” she said stubbornly strapping some mental steel to her spine.
“If you’re sure,”
“I’m sure. Tell everybody that I’m sorry to leave without telling them but that it is something I have to do,”
“I will tell them, I will let your sister know that you’re safe,”
“Good. Let’s get started before I lose my nerve again,” Dawn ordered blinking back tears at the thought of Buffy who had disappeared from their house in Rome only hours before Althenea had arrived on some top secret Slayer mission.
Dawn hadn’t even had the chance to say goodbye.“Spirits of the Ether, Souls of the Damned and the Dead, I implore thee, open the door for one who would give aid,”
Dawn said formally in ancient Babylonian.“The way is shut, who are you to demand entrance!”
“I am the one whose creation made way for the blank spaces between, I am the Key, if you do not open the way you will be destroyed as I unlock it,”
Dawn growled trying to make her glowing green aura flare and spark like it sometimes did lately when she got mad.“Apologies Mistress, of course we will allow the way to be opened, but only for you,”
grumbled the spirit unhappily vanishing from the Key’s other-sight with a flash of light and smoke.
“Now Althenea,” Dawn ordered.
Althenea nodded and throwing back her hair and the sleeves of her robes she began to chant and wave her hands. White energy crackled from her fingertips and Althenea’s blind eyes began to glow.
“Now, cut your hand!” she hissed out through clenched teeth as she fought to hold open the girl-sized portal she’d opened.
Dawn slashed her hand shallowly and flicked a few droplets into the waiting portal. The portal sizzled and turned green as the Key’s portal oriented energy steadied it. Stealing herself for the unpleasantness that was portal travel she said a few whispered syllables, took a firm grip on her bag with her bloody hand, gathered her skirts and threw herself into the portal which immediately closed behind her.
“Good luck child,” whispered the exhausted witch as the energy in the air dissipated leaving only a smelly room and a mess of complicated painted sigils on the floor.
“Althenea!” boomed Willow teleporting into the old Roman library with a whistle of wind and a crack of lightning.
Her hair was black as night, her skin was laced with cobalt veins and her coal black eyes glittered with malice. Althenea barely had enough power to raise a shield and keep the lightning bolt off her when Willow attacked.
“Where is it! Where did you send it!”
“Dawn Summers is beyond your reach, I let her believe the best in you, I told her that another world was in danger and that she was the only one who could help. She cannot get back to this realm, the way is shut, forever,” Althenea said calmly.
Willow snarled and reached out. Althenea choked as she was dragged telekinetically to an upright position.
“No way is shut to a goddess!” she said.
Althenea cried out as she was slammed into a bookshelf and collapsed on the floor crying and laughing softly.
“You are no goddess, and I rue the day I defended you to the Coven. We should have stripped you of your magic when we had the chance,”
“You should have,” agreed Willow sauntering over to her, “The taint of Eris cannot be erased, it cannot be subdued or controlled, and love does not conquer all! You have doomed the world, Althenea, I have an army of Slayers subservient to my will, demons cower at my very name, and I have access to magics the Powers that Be cannot even conceive,”
“You will be vanquished eventually, without the Key you cannot escape to Tartarus and your Mistress of Discord, some champion from this world or another will come and knock you off your throne of blood and bones, so do what you will with me, but you have lost,” Althenea said calmly.
“I will make you scream her location for days on end!”
Althenea choked again coughing up blood and laughing all the while.
“Do you really think I can’t stop a little thing like poison from spreading through your system?”
“Wrong guess,” Althenea taunted as Willow raised her hand and a little frown came over her face.
Althenea died in a pool of her own blood a grimly satisfied smile on her face. Willow screamed her frustration and sent the library up in flames with a half-muttered word.
“Glass, you bitch, you ate crushed glass! I WILL NOT BE DENIED!” she shrieked.
Althenea’s bones turned to ash in the sudden heat from the fire. Willow walked out of the burning building unscathed and leveled it with another thought.
“Kennedy my pet,” she crooned.
Glassy eyed and eager the bratty brunette came straight up to Willow and had her cheek stroked lovingly.
“What is your will Mistress?”
“Find me that bitch, Buffy, I need her blood for a little tracking spell, kill anything and anyone that stands in your way,” Willow ordered.
“As you command,”
“Good girl,” purred Willow kissing her tenderly, “No go, and Kennedy...”
The brunette turned to face her again, mindless adoration flickering across her features.
“If you fail me, you will not like what I do to you,”
The Slayer bounded off a darting blur as fast as a cheetah.
Author’s Note: A little bit of a twist on the typical Dawn goes to Middle-Earth plotline that I love so much. I hope you all enjoyed it! Please review!