Author's Note: This takes place after Buffy Season Five (with a few small changes that will be explained) and at the beginning of Harry Potter book one (with a moderate-sized nod to the excellent fanfic 'Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality'). Note that this is NOT set in the 'Methods' verse, but if you're familiar with that story then you may see occasional glimmers of that 'vibe' in this one.
Disclaimer: Characters and Settings courtesy of Joss Whedon and J.K. Rowling; both of them wonderful and creative people who are generous enough to allow fans to play in their worlds.
King's Cross Station was about what she'd expected: loud, vaguely silly-looking and generally annoying, in an oddly British kind of way.
Very much Giles-like, in other words.
"--And make sure you behave yourself around the other children," he was saying, while maneuvering the baggage trolley carefully through the entryway that led in from the street. "Don't use that dreadful California slang, and don't make fun of the food. Remember, you're the foreigner here. Be polite, try to fit in, or else you won't make any friends."
"Ask me if I care," she grumbled, making a point of not looking at him. "I don't need to fit in, and I don't need friends. I need
A brief, pained pause followed that, then Giles went on as if she hadn't spoken.
"Remember, this 'Wizarding World' of theirs doesn't have anything like telephones, or even a normal postal system, but the magical means they use, owls and such, are said to be remarkably quick and reliable. So I want you to send me a note, addressed to my flat here in London, as soon as you arrive at the school."
"No." She still wasn't looking at him, and he still wasn't acknowledging her comments.
"The address is in the notebook I gave you, along with the other contact information, in case you need it. Please remind Headmaster Dumbledore that I would like weekly reports on your progress, also."
"Not gonna do that, either."
With an exasperated sigh, Giles stopped pushing the little luggage cart and looked down at her.
"Dawn, I know you're angry with us all, and with myself in particular, but--"
"Aurora," she said, interrupting him. "I told you, my name is 'Aurora', now."
He tried, halfheartedly, to hold back a fresh sigh, but failed completely.
"No, Dawn, your name is 'Dawn'. Just because there have been some minor changes, physically, that doesn't mean you are a different person."
Looking up at him, she clenched her tiny hands into tiny fists and glared.
"If you really believe it's so 'minor' then how come the binding spells, huh? How come Willow and Tara wrapped me up so tight in their magic that I can barely breathe
? How come you're shipping me off to some dorky, magical boarding school in another country
Her shouts got louder and louder in volume, and higher and higher in pitch with every sentence, so that by the time she got to the end everyone in the station was staring.
Giles looked around uncomfortably, an uneasy smile pasted on his face, and put his hand on her back, propelling her along towards the boarding platforms.
She stumbled slightly, resentfully noting that it was far easier for people to manhandle her like that since the... change.
"Stop doing that," she said, sullenly.
They reached the archway leading to platforms ten to fifteen, and he pulled her aside slightly.
"Dawn, we're not--"
"My name is Aur--"
," he repeated emphatically, overriding her. "We're not shipping you off to get rid of you! We're sending you to a place where you can learn some discipline; learn to control yourself, and
your new powers, safely. The teachers at this school, this 'Hogwarts', have experience in teaching children to use magic that Willow and I simply don't have."
Meeting his eyes was too difficult, so she directed her pout at the floor instead.
"They all use wands," she pointed out, her voice even more sullen than before. "They use wands and say spells out loud, in Latin, or Demi-Latin, or whatever; that's not what I do." Her pout intensified, and she felt tears gathering at the corners of her eyes. "What I did
do, before Willow binded up my powers." She was vaguely aware that she'd said that wrong, but it was hard to remember all of that grammar stuff now. Her mind had changed, along with her body, in the wake of what had happened. That awareness was there, at the edges of things, but it was blurry, and didn't feel at all important.
Giles' expression had softened at her words, and his voice was soft as well when he spoke.
"I know that seems like another attack; that it seems we are being cruel, but it was for your own protection. Those powers... Glory's powers...." His mouth twisted as he said the name, a look of disgust flickering in his eyes. Disgust and... guilt? She blinked, but when she looked again it was gone.
"Those powers are too wild, too inhuman for you to truly control," he continued. "It was hurting you to use those powers, Dawn. Every time you made something happen it drained you, it damaged
She bit her lip, and looked away, and shrugged carelessly.
"I'm not human either, remember? Key, remember? Little make-believe girl, made out of energy and fake memories and a drop of blood they stole from a Slayer." She took a breath, and folded her arms across her chest, and remembered the real
reason Willow and Tara had wrapped her up like a mummy in damping spells.
"And no matter how far away you send me, or what they do to try and make me forget, I'm not giving up on her." She turned her head just far enough to see him from the corner of her eyes. "You might have talked Willow out of trying it, and everybody else too, but I'm never going to stop."
His look of concern deepened at that, and something almost like fear flickered across his face as well.
"Dawn, you must not--"
"Aurora. My name
is Aurora, Giles." She faced him fully, unfolding her arms. To emphasize her words, she reached up and unpinned her hair. It had always been long, of course, ever since that day, less than a year earlier, when her physical self had been created whole from a peculiar gathering of ancient, mystical forces. Now, however, it was different. Blonder, for one thing; shades of silver and pale gold instead of light and dark brown. It was also longer--way, way
longer. Before, it had been waist-length. Now, when unbound, it reached to the ground... with several feet more trailing pooling at her feet. Given how dirty the floor of the train station looked, she took care to catch those endless, silken tresses as they spilled free, looping them over the crook of one arm to keep them off the ground.
She stared up at Giles defiantly--up and up at him, thanks to yet another change from her previous form. Dawn; the girl who had been dragged to the top of that tottering tower of repurposed scrap metal several weeks previous, that Dawn had looked to be about fifteen years old, and tall for her age. Aurora, on the other hand, was to all appearances a young girl of perhaps eleven or twelve, and absolutely tiny
. Shorter than most girls that age, and so delicately formed as to appear ethereal. The changes to her face, with features that were much closer to her sister's than they had been previously, were minor in comparison to all the other things that had shifted.
Giles, looking down at her, just shook his head.
"Willow changed her mind because she saw what I saw. The ritual she had planned, the magicks she would have invoked... those forces are too dangerous for any mortal to control. The cost would have been too great." A great sadness seemed to come over him, and his shoulders sagged. "Even for her, even to bring her... back... the cost would be too great."
The girl narrowed her eyes. Her tiny, delicate fingers clenched tight on the silken hair she held, and for a moment a faint aura of shimmering gold seemed to surround her.
"Wrong." Her teeth bared in something that wasn't at all a smile, and she shook her head slowly. "You are so, so wrong. About everything." The aura, already so ghostly as to be hardly more than imagination, faded and was gone. She trembled a bit, suddenly weary, but her voice didn't falter. "I'm not going to forget her. I'm not going to give up on her. No matter what the stupid teachers at this stupid school do to brainwash me, I am not
going to let my sister stay dead!"
The passersby were beginning to stare again, and Giles reached out to put a comforting hand on her shoulder.
" she shrieked, at the top of her lungs, shoving his hand away and stamping her foot over and over in frustration and fury. "I'm Aurora
, and I'm a Goddess
and I want my Sister
and these Stupid
spells won’t Stop
me for much Longer
"Ah, excuse me?"
She faltered to a stop; not because she was out of rant (because she was not even close
to being out of rant), but because she was startled, and surprised, and had no idea as to the identity of the strange boy who had spoken. He had walked up behind Giles, but had basically stepped past the man without a glance, as if he were utterly beneath notice. This, despite him being no older than her own apparent age; maybe eleven years old. He looked quite composed and self-assured, though, with his dark, stylish clothes and pale, pale hair.
"Forgive the interruption, please," he continued, looking directly at her. "I was sent to meet someone, and couldn't help hearing you. Miss Summers?" He almost
looked at Giles, then, with an equally almost
look of contempt that vanished before it was really even there. The look he gave her, however, held nothing but politeness, and apparently genuine interest. "Miss Aurora
She was still breathing heavily, even though the rage was fading almost as quickly as the tantrum itself. She nodded, feeling herself flush with embarrassment.
"Um. Yes, I'm Miss Summers--Aurora Summers," she shot Giles a smug look, and if the boy hadn‘t been watching she would have stuck her tongue out at him for good measure. The librarian scowled, obviously displeased by the interruption. His displeasure jumped up several levels in intensity a moment later when, without warning, the blond boy gave a formal bow, reached out to gently take her hand, and raised it to just barely brush her fingers with his lips. He smiled up at her with a brief flash of very white teeth.
"It is my great pleasure to make your acquaintance, Miss Summers." He said, sounding completely sincere and natural, even while saying such an antique phrase. "I am Draco, of the most Honorable and Ancient House of Malfoy. Welcome to England."
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