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Guidance

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Summary: *Secret Santa fic for Lauren* Two strangers meet at Caritas and find some help for their chosen paths.

Categories Author Rating Chapters Words Recs Reviews Hits Published Updated Complete
Harry Potter > Dawn-Centered > Pairing: Draco Malfoy(Past Donor)polgaraFR1313,4312121,69419 Dec 0319 Dec 03Yes
Guidance


By:
Polgara (melindoranightsilver@hotmail.com)


Disclaimer: I do not own Buffy the Vampire Slayer or Angel, they belong to Joss Whedon. Nor do I own Harry Potter, that would be J.K. Rowling. I don’t own the songs either, they belong to Michelle Branch and Metallica.


Rating: PG


Spoilers: Through season seven of Buffy, season four of Angel, and OOTP for Harry Potter


Summary: Two strangers meet at Caritas and find some help for their chosen paths.


Notes:


-This was written for Lauren for her Secret Santa fic. Honestly, I had intended to write a lighthearted tale and it somehow morphed into something a little dark. But I swear it’s not a total angst fic. My sister even giggled as she proofread it. So Lauren, I hope you enjoy.


-I made Dawn just a year older than she is suppose to be (at least I think I did, I’m dreadful at figuring out their ages) let’s just say she’s around 18.


-Takes place two months after series finale of Buffy and one month after graduation from Hogwarts.



Guidance



Dawn walked into the bar and looked around at the assorted demons. This was the first time she had been in Caritas since it had reopened two weeks earlier. It had been one of the first things that Angel’s group had done once they had taken over Wolfram and Hart.


She shook her head as she thought of all the changes that had occurred in their lives over the past two months. Spike and Anya were both dead, having sacrificed themselves for the world. Xander lost an eye, Giles and Wesley were the last of the watchers, Willow was super witch again, Buffy was no long the only active slayer, Sunnydale was no more, and Angel was the head of an evil law firm.


As for herself, she was still Dawn Summers, Buffy’s little sister. True, she was no longer seen as a hindrance, but as an asset. However, she sometimes still felt like an outcast. Hence her decision to be out on her own that night, instead of with the rest of the scoobies. When she had left the hotel, she had no clear destination in mind; she had just let her feet carry her where they wished. She soon found herself outside of Caritas and realized she had an urge to sing.


The brunette saw Lorne making his way over to her. The green skinned demon was wearing one of his usual bright colored suits, that night’s being fuchsia. She smiled as she thought that only Lorne could pull off the colors he chose to wear.


“Hey, beautiful,” he said as he gave her a kiss on her cheek. “Come to sing or just listen?”


“To sing, actually.”


“Is there something wrong?”


“No, I just want to sing - no reading though. I have something inside that needs to get out, and it wants to be done through a song. Does that even make sense?”


“Yes, I was like that from the day I was born. I could give you a reading anyway,” he suggested.


“That’s ok. I’m not really interested in knowing. Sometimes it’s better if you don’t know what’s coming.”


“Ok, dear. Just let me know when you’re ready,” Lorne told her before going to see to another customer.


She took a seat at the bar and began flipping through the pages that listed all of the songs available. She wasn’t quite sure what she was looking for, but she trusted that she would know it when she saw it. She paused from her search to give the bartender her order of diet coke.


When Dawn dropped her eyes back to the book, a title leapt off the page. She knew in the same way that she needed to sing that this was the one for her. She quickly scribbled it down and handed it in. She relaxed as she sat back to drink her coke and waited for her name to be called.


A chirago demon finished his rendition of Love Shack to sparse applause. Lorne stepped up and took the microphone. “Wasn’t that great? I’ve got a special treat for everyone tonight. We have a beautiful young woman to sing Leap of Faith. Let’s hear it for Dawn!”


The brunette made her way to the stage and smiled nervously to the audience. She had never sang in front of anyone before and she felt slightly apprehensive. But the music began to play before she could change her mind. She took a deep breath and began to sing.


One less call to answer,

Feeling full of despair,

Don’t think I can get through it,

Just one last prayer.



And it’s a leap of faith,

When you believe there’s someone out there,

It’s a leap of faith when you believe that someone cares, oh,

And when I call out to you,

Will you be right there,

Right there.



Searching for the answer,

Nobody seems to care,

Oh how I wish that you were here,

Beside me,

To wipe away my tears.



And it’s a leap of faith,

When you believe there’s someone out there,

It’s a leap of faith when you believe that someone cares, oh,

And when I call out to you,

Will you be right there,

Right there.



Waiting for the answer,

Remembering times we would share,

Somehow I feel you here beside me,

Even though your not there.



And it’s a leap of faith,

When you believe there’s someone out there,

It’s a leap of faith when you believe that someone cares, oh,

And when I call out to you,

Will you be right there-



Right there---

And I’ll be waiting by the window for your smile to come through,

And I’ll be waiting in the darkness when I call out to you,

And I’ll remember when you told me,

I could trust in you-



And it’s a leap of faith,

When you believe there’s someone out there,

It’s a leap of faith and I believe you truly care, oh,

And when I call out to you,

I know you’ll be right there,

Right there,

And it’s a leap of faith.



**********


Draco looked around the establishment in thinly veiled distaste. He still wasn’t entirely sure why he was there, other than the fact that his godfather, Severus Snape, told him that this was the place to find his answers. He had graduated from Hogwarts a month before and was slated to take the Dark Mark in two weeks, a goal he wasn’t wholly certain he wanted to fulfill.


The blond had seen the results of the war with the Dark Lord over the past several years and wasn’t happy with what he saw. His graduating class was only half the size it had been when they had started, due to either death or parents pulling their children from the school. Enrollment had dropped in the younger years too. Parents wanted to keep their children close so they could protect them.


He had watched as students received word of the death of a family member, witnessed his own classmates dying, and seen children grow up too quickly. While it was true he still didn’t care for mudbloods, he no longer believed that this was the way to take care of them. There had to be a better way than all the death and destruction.


Therefore, Draco had mellowed out over the past two years. It had actually started when Potter had his father sent to Azkaban. Spending the summer out from under the ruling thumb of his father had given him plenty of time to think. His mother had ignored him, as usual, and he didn’t have his father force feeding him the Malfoy doctrine. Draco was able to form his own thoughts and opinions with no one else to cloud his judgment.


The world around him became shades of grey instead of black and white. He no longer believed in absolutes but in compromises and respect for other opinions, even if they conflicted with his own. But he still vacillated on the decision he was to make in two weeks.


No matter how much he had changed, he was still a Malfoy. And while they may spy on their friends, they were fiercely loyal to their family. It was that sense of loyalty and pride that had been ingrained into him since the day of his birth that was telling him to follow in his father’s footsteps and become a death eater.


But there was something inside that told him that his future lay down a different path than his father’s. He wasn’t saying that he wanted to join Potter, but he wasn’t sure he wanted to fight against him either.


Draco didn’t know who to talk this problem over with. His ‘friends’ wouldn’t understand and would more than likely hex him on the spot. Potter would never believe him, and he didn’t trust Dumbledore. He hadn’t even thought to talk to Snape since the blond knew he was a death eater. So when Severus had approached him and informed him that he was aware of the young man’s inner conflict, he was surprised. Snape didn’t say any more than to direct him to this bar in Los Angeles.


A garishly dressed demon approached him. “Hello luscious....”


“I’m not interested,” Draco said warningly.


“Whoa, whoa, whoa. Slow down there, sweetheart. You’ve got the wrong idea.”


“Do I?”


“I am The Host,” he said, as if that explained everything.


“The host of what?” Draco asked, clearly confused.


“Let me guess. You got sent here to find answers but they didn’t explain how this works.” At Draco’s nod, the Host rolled his eyes. “Typical wizards, keeping to the secrecy. Look kid, I’m the Host, the owner of this place. You sing a song, and I read your future.”


“I sing?”


“Yes. Are you familiar with our music, or do you need a wizard songbook?”


A sheepish look appeared on Draco’s face. “I’m familiar with muggle music.”


The demon handed him a book. “Pick a song, then let me know.” Then he was gone, heading for the stage.


Draco took a seat at one of the tables and began perusing the book. A wry smile curved the ends of his mouth as he looked through the titles. If any of his former schoolmates knew about his secret love of muggle music they probably would have a heart attack.


He had come across it accidentally when he had confiscated a cd walkman from a first year. The kid had somehow made it work despite the wards at Hogwarts. It hadn’t taken him long to realize what he had been missing.


The blond barely registered the introduction of the next singer or the acoustic guitar that began to play. But when he heard the singer he felt his eyes inexplicably pulled to the beautiful creature on the stage.


She was the only human besides himself, so he concluded she was a witch, probably muggle born. She was tall and thin with long brown hair that had blond streaks in it. Confidence shown through her stance and only served to make her more beautiful.


Her voice wasn’t the best, but the emotion behind it was. She seemed to be so full of hope and love as she sang, it was nearly perfection. He tore his eyes away from her long enough to see that everyone was watching her with rapt attention. Draco returned his gaze to her and felt something inside stir. He found himself hoping she found what it was she was looking for.


He felt slightly empty when she finished and returned to the bar. He watched as the Host continued on and never went back to speak with her about her future. He thought it odd that she would sing at a demon bar just to sing.


Thinking no more of it, he went back to choosing a song for himself. Before long he found one, informed the demon, and found himself onstage. He let the audience fall away as he concentrated on the music.



New blood joins this earth

And quickly he’s subdued

Through constant pain disgrace

The young boy learns their rules



With time the child draws in

This whipping boy done wrong

Deprived of all his thoughts

The young man struggles on and on he’s known

A vow unto his own

That never from this day

His will they’ll take away



What I’ve felt

What I’ve known

Never shined through in what I’ve shown

Never be

Never see

Won’t see what might have been



What I’ve felt

What I’ve known

Never shined through in what I’ve shown

Never free

Never me

So I dub thee unforgiven



They dedicate their lives

To running all of his

He tries to please them all

This bitter man he is

Throughout his life the same

He’s battled constantly

This fight he cannot win

A tired man they see no longer cares

The old man then prepares

To die regretfully

That old man here is me



What I’ve felt

What I’ve known

Never shined through in what I’ve shown

Never be

Never see

Won’t see what might have been



What I’ve felt

What I’ve known

Never shined through in what I’ve shown

Never free

Never me

So I dub thee unforgiven



The Host came onstage and introduced the next singer, then led Draco back to his table in the corner. “Wow, luscious, is your problem a weighty one or what?”


“I know that,” Draco said irritably. “What should I do?”


“I think you should buy that young lady a drink,” the demon said, indicating the girl who sang earlier.


“You think I should what?”


“Buy her a diet coke, it’s the only thing she drinks. She personally thinks anyone who drinks alcohol is a loser. I think it’s because she’s never tried one of Martin’s seabreezes, they are to die for...”


“But how is buying her a drink an answer to my problem?” Draco asked, interrupting the Host’s ramble.


“You buy her a drink and ask her to tell you about Spike.”


“Who?”


“Spike, and tell her she doesn’t have to leave any of the details out. Now scoot.” The fuchsia dressed demon stood up and started to walk away.


“Wait! That’s not an answer!”


“No, it’s guidance,” and then the demon left.


Draco knew he couldn’t forcefully stop him because he could feel the strong anti-violence charm on the place and he knew he couldn’t break it. So that left his only other option, talking to that stranger.


It shouldn’t be too hard, he thought. He had easily charmed girls before, but they knew who he was. He had a strong suspicion that this girl not only didn’t know, but wouldn’t care even if she did.


Deciding to get it over with, he stepped up to the bar and ordered a diet coke and a butterbeer. As he approached her, his stomach began to twist into nervous knots, a phenomenon that had never happened to him before.


He placed an easy smile on his face as he set the drink in front of her. “A diet coke for you.”


She looked up warily at him. “Why?”


“Because the Host told me to.”

“Who?”


“The Host. That green demon.”


“Oh, you mean Lorne,” she said, relaxing slightly. “Thank you.”


“I’m also suppose to ask you about somebody named Spike.”


She tensed again and her eyes narrowed dangerously. “I told him I didn’t want a reading so I don’t need your help.”


“I don’t think it was for you, but for me.”


Her eyes widened. “Oh, I’m sorry.” Then confusion clouded her features. “Why do you want to know about Spike?”


“Not sure. It’s suppose to help me with my problem.”


Still slightly confused, she gestured to the seat next to her. “I’m Dawn.”


“Draco,” he said as he sat down.


“Where to start?” She muttered to herself.


“He said you didn’t have to leave anything out.”

Dawn looked around and giggled. “No, I suppose I don’t. Spike was a vampire who came to my hometown to cure his sire of this weird vampire wasting disease. He found out my sister lived there and became obsessed with killing her.”


“Why?”


“She’s the slayer.”

His jaw dropped slightly. “Really?” She nodded. “That’s wicked.”

She shrugged. “If you say so.” The brunette continued on with Spike’s evolution from the big bad to the demon who fought for his soul to be a better man for the woman he loved. She stopped after she told him about the descent into the hellmouth.


“What happened?” He asked softly, taking in her sad expression.


“The amulet channeled sunlight, and it wiped out all of the uber-vamps and closed the hellmouth.” She paused before saying, “He died in the process.”


Draco couldn’t help but think that he had been told a story from a book. But one look in her eyes and he knew that every word of it was true. He felt heartened by the fact that the demon could find love with the one who was meant to kill him. He felt something was off about her story, and it suddenly hit him. “You’re not a witch,” he said in wonder.


“Why would you think I was?”


“I just assumed you were because you’re in a bar full of demons. Muggles don’t usually know this world exists.”


“Muggles?”


“Non-magic people.”


“Oh, I’m not exactly muggle either then.”

“Huh?”


“Long story, and I don’t know you well enough.”


“Then let me buy you dinner.”

“What?”


“Let’s find someplace quiet to eat, and I’ll tell you about myself. It’s only fair.”


Dawn studied him for a moment. She couldn’t deny that he was handsome with his spikey, white blond hair and piercing grey eyes. He was lean and stood at an even six foot, just a couple of inches taller than herself.


What had really caught her attention though, was the way he had sang. There was so much pain and anger present in his voice that had disappeared when he had left the stage. His expression now was cool and calm. Her heart went out to him, so she smiled and said, “Sure.”


*********


They sat in a back booth of a small diner and talked over their meal. He told her about growing up as a wizard and his years of schooling at Hogwarts. He talked about how his mother ignored him and nothing he did was good enough for his father.


Dawn confessed how she always felt inferior to her sister and that despite all efforts she never felt like a member of the group. She smiled as she reminisced how they finally let her grow up and contribute to the good fight. Then the discussion became serious as she talked about the loss of so many people she had cared about. First the abandonment of her father, the death of her mother, Buffy’s death and then unhappy resurrection, and finally Spike and Anya’s deaths.


Draco continued on the dark theme and told her what happened to his father. He quietly told her that he was expected to follow in his father’s footsteps and that while that he once wanted to do that, he was no longer sure.


With eyes full of compassion she told him, “You should choose the one you won’t regret making farther down the road, no matter what that choice is.”


He stared at her in slight surprise. She was not judging him on his past indiscretions, but on his actions of the moment. Not only that, she was encouraging him to make his own decisions based on his feelings and desires, and not on what she or other people told him to.


She had suffered and lost so much, not only people but trust, and, yet, she was offering him hope. He felt an unfamiliar warmth flow through him.


“Oh my god! Would you look at the time? My sister is going to kill me!”


Draco looked at his watch and saw that it was three in the morning. He quickly paid their bill, despite her protests, and they walked out to the nearly deserted street.


“Thank you for dinner,” she said shyly.


“It was my pleasure. Thank you for listening and sharing.”


“It’s what I do best,” she said nonchalantly.


“Dawn...”


“Yes?” She asked after he failed to continue.


“I just...you’re....oh Merlin. What the hell.” Then suddenly he kissed her. They held onto each other as if their lives depended on it. The kiss was so full of fire and passion that they were breathless when they finally broke it.


As he still held her close, he softly asked, “Is there room at that lawyer place for a wizard?”


“I’m sure I could find an opening,” she told him with a smile.


Hand in hand they walked back to the offices. Neither noticed the red eyes that watched them enter the building. Lorne smiled to himself, knowing that the boy had made the right decision.



~finis~

The End

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