When Everyone Finds Out
None of these characters from Buffy the Vampire Slayer or Harry Potter belong to me; I’m just using them to hopefully write an entertaining story.Author's Note:
Here’s the next instalment. Didn’t think that I was going to be posting it tonight, but I powered through and here it is (although now it’s quite late, oops!). I had someone ask me about how long it was going to be posting now that I’m up to where I had initially written, in answer to that I actually had edited the chapters a bit so even though I’d said I’d written the first 10 chapters, by the time I changed this around it was only about 7 or 8 chapters. So I have actually been writing new chapters for the last couple of chapters and it’s generally been taking me a week, depending on how busy I am. I hope to keep updating about that often.
*****Chapter Eleven – When Everyone Finds Out
That evening Harry had slept in his old bed at Hogwarts, although he didn’t have much success with sleep, he found it comforting to be back in the place he basically called home after spending months in the tent with Ron and Hermione. He had drawn the curtains around his four-poster bed not long after Lupin had left, knowing that his old dorm mates would be retreating to bed soon and he just didn’t think he could show any sense of composure when he felt like his world had crumbled around him in a matter of hours.
As he lay awake most of the night, all he could do was replay the events of the day over and over again, as well as thinking ahead to what was to come. It all still seemed surreal to him, how was he supposed to be a father to a child, when in some ways he still felt like he had so much growing up to do himself? He then wondered what would have happened if his parents were still alive and he was just a normal kid, would this prophecy still have found a way to him? The more he thought about it the more he didn’t think that there would have ever been a possible reality for him to be just another ordinary wizard; prophecies just seemed to go together like galleons and sickles.
He drifted off for a little while, before the next time his brain went into overdrive and woke him up again. He pulled back his curtains a tiny bit and looked out across the dorm, noticing all beds had sleeping occupants. He noticed that Ron had also retired to his old bed; even though they technically weren’t Hogwarts students at the moment, it was the most logical sleeping arrangement. Unfortunately, this made for a somewhat awkward morning when Harry, who’d managed to finally drift off again, had woken up to a four very-much-awake, young wizards, all talking quite loudly.
“You okay there, Harry?” Dean asked when Harry bravely thrust open his curtains.
Seamus looked up from his seated position on his trunk, where he was currently tying up his shoelaces. “Yeah, we were starting to think you weren’t alive in there.”
Harry could feel Ron’s eyes boring into him, before Ron spoke up. “Watch out, you'd better not ask him how he is, he’ll probably Avada Kedavra you or something.”
Neville, Dean and Seamus all looked uncomfortable, busying themselves in getting ready for breakfast. Meanwhile, Harry ran his hand through his hand awkwardly, sighing as he swung his feet around to push himself out of bed. Now that he had put some sleep between himself and the night before, the guilt for the way he’d taken his stress out on Ron had increased significantly.
“L-listen, Ron,” he began with a stammer, unsure of what to say. “I know that I was a complete prat last night, I... I’m just dealing with something quite serious right now and I shouldn’t have taken it out on you... I’m sorry.”
Ron’s face softened slightly in acceptance of the apology; however, he still looked like he had something on his mind. “It’s not just about last night, Harry. Something hasn’t been right for a while now, I gave you some space hoping you would come and talk when you were ready but you didn’t. I’m your best mate; I thought you could share anything with me.”
Harry took in a deep breath, looking at the other three who were failing miserably at looking like they weren't listening. "I... Dawn...” he trailed off and took in a deep breath. “I-I can't, Ron."
Harry snatched up a random collection of clean clothes and raced into to the bathroom to shower, avoiding the curious and concerned stares of his dorm mates. Meanwhile, the four remaining boys, minus Neville, gave each other confused looks.
“What’s going on with Harry?” Seamus asked.
Ron quickly shrugged. “That’s what I was just getting at; he hasn’t even been talking to Hermione or me. He wasn’t this bad when we were away from Hogwarts, he just seemed a little spaced out at times and maybe a little less talkative, I suppose. But since he got back yesterday, this behaviour’s probably tripled at least.”
“Did you hear him, he just said something about Dawn – what does she have to do with anything?” Dean added. “Ooh, maybe there’s something going on between them!”
Dean ducked a nearby pillow that was launched at his head by Ron. “Don’t be stupid, Thomas! Harry broke up with my sister not that long back, and not by choice, as far as I know.”
“Well you saw them yesterday,” Seamus said in the process of attempting to make his bed somewhat presentable. “We were all surprised to see they knew each other, especially because I’ve heard Dawn say that she’d never heard of the Wizarding World before her sister brought her here... and she’d never been to the UK before until a couple of months back.”
Ron frowned. “That is strange; I think we should run this by Hermione, she’d figure it out for us...”
A silence fell over the group, before something came to Dean’s attention.
“Oi, Neville... you’re being awfully quiet over there,” Dean piped up, as three sets of eyes swung their attention towards Neville.
Neville paused; he’d been buttoning and unbuttoning his cardigan over and over again for the past few minutes, trying to look nonchalant. “T-there’s nothing to say.”
Within seconds Ron had approached him, Dean and Seamus following behind with curiousity.
“Neville,” Ron said, drawing his name out with a tacky smile. “If you knew something, you would tell us, right?”
Neville sighed deeply. “Why, oh why did I not do that Transfiguration essay earlier? It keeps coming back to bite me!”
“Do you mean Harry said something to you in the Common Room last night? What did he say?” Ron interrogated.
Neville shook his head. “No... Not exactly. It wasn’t Harry, and that’s all I’m saying.”
Ron gave him a couple of firm pats on the shoulder. “Come on, Neville – was it Dawn?”
Neville picked up his wand from his bedside table and shoved it in his pocket with some urgency, feeling the sudden need to make himself scarce. He certainly knew that Ron wouldn’t give up easily, and was kicking himself for saying anything in the first place.
“No, it wasn’t Dawn,” Neville said hurriedly as he bolted past Ron, Dean and Seamus for the door. “I-I think we should head down to breakfast.”
Harry sat at the Gryffindor table, shortened due to some students still away from Christmas, staring into his cereal as he vaguely heard Hermione showing him the same concern Ron had shown him earlier up in the dorm. He looked halfway down the table to see an equally gloomy Ginny sitting next to Neville, obviously trying her best to put distance between the two of them. Her reaction in trying to ignore him when he’d walked down the table had basically confirmed what Dawn had suggested up in the Astronomy Tower - that Ginny had figured out that he was the father of Dawn’s baby.
“Did you and Ginny have a fight or something?” Hermione questioned, nodding in Ginny’s direction.
Ron, who had been absorbed in enjoying a long, overdue, full English breakfast, suddenly looked up from his food, only noticing Ginny’s avoidance of them for the first time. He too looked at Harry with interest; however Harry simply shrugged, deciding on playing ignorant to stop them both from asking him any further questions.
They weren’t the only two people he felt looking at him like an animal on show, he could feel the eyes of most of the Great Hall on him, no doubt talking about his unexpected return to Hogwarts and hypothesising where he, Ron and Hermione had been these past five or so months. He also noticed unfamiliar faces looking his way from the Staff Table, who he presumed to be the other people visiting with Dawn that Lupin had been telling them about.
He tried his best to appear extremely absorbed in eating his food when he noticed a short, blonde woman walking towards them, and then as she got closer he suddenly realised that he’d seen her face before – in those recurring dreams he’d been having.
"Hi there," she greeted to him, Ron and Hermione, although she looked most interested in scrutinising him. "I'm Buffy; Lupin was telling me about you guys and this whole Voldemort-thing. Said that he also told you about me, I'm the slayer… well, a slayer, I guess."
“Hello, I’m Hermione and this is Ron and Harry,” Hermione was first to answer with a smile, gesturing towards Ron and Harry before Hermione continued on. “I’ve always wanted to meet a slayer ever since I read about them...”
Hermione had continued babbling on, but Harry quickly tuned her out as he thought back to that dream and began wondering why it had had the slayer in it. As he thought about it, it suddenly all made sense to him. This is Dawn’s sister. She must have been talking about Dawn in the dream... and those baby’s cries...
He felt something nudge him out of his revelation, soon realising it was Ron’s elbow trying to get his attention.
“Sorry,” he said quickly, noticing three sets of eyes on him.
“I was just saying, Harry,” Buffy began. “After I found out that you three had rocked up last night, I was speaking to Lupin and he was saying that you’re up to speed on everything and I wouldn’t mind getting an opportunity to speak to you... privately.”
Harry softly nodded and shifted uneasily in his seat. Dawn didn’t say that her sister knew, did she?
The woman standing before them had a strong, menacing presence that was quickly evident to him and he assumed this was because she was a slayer. Furthermore, even just from the dream he’d been having he had a good idea of what Buffy was capable of doing and was really keen to avoid finding himself alone with blonde, whether she knew about him and Dawn or not.
“Anyway, I’ll let you guys finish your breakfast and I’m sure we’ll catch up properly later on,” Buffy finished with a big smile, spinning on her heel and wandering back up the Great Hall.
“Seriously, Harry,” Hermione said earnestly, not taking long to switch the focus back to him. “What was she just talking about then? We know Lupin knows something about what’s going on because we saw him on his way to talk to you last night, but now she was just hinting at something too.”
Ron nodded from beside Hermione. “Yeah, mate, Hermione’s right. I just don’t understand why Lupin and the slayer know what’s going on, when you can’t even share it with us.”
Harry dropped his fork with a sudden thud. “Alright, you’re both right. There is something I have been keeping from you and I promise I’ll tell you all about it,” he sighed, looking around noticing some of the other students were still glancing over. “Just not here or right now.”
After staring at him for a moment, his two friends seemed satisfied with this and said nothing further on the matter. In the meantime, Harry continued eating his scrambled eggs, whilst staring off into space for a few moments. His eye was then caught by Dawn apprehensively entering the Great Hall; she immediately looked over his way and noticed she’d caught his attention. They briefly shared an anxious look, both knowing they still had much more to discuss, before Dawn wandered up the Gryffindor table.
Harry watched as Dawn greeted a few of the other Gryffindors, pausing when she got to the part of the table that Ginny, Neville and a few others were sitting at. He gazed around and noticed that Buffy was looking over towards his way, and he quickly put his head down, thinking that she may pick up on something if his gaze lingered on Dawn for too long. However, his head soon snapped up and around, as did the rest of Hogwarts population, when a screaming female voice echoed through the hall.
“Do you think sorry is going to fix everything, Dawn?!” Ginny’s screaming voice carried, she had stood up, clutching her spoon tightly. “You knew... YOU KNEW how I still felt about Harry and had a chance to tell me that... THAT HE’S THE FATHER OF YOUR CHILD BUT-“
It would have been possible to hear a pin drop at that moment, as Ginny eyes widened and she promptly covered her mouth, looking around as if she only just realised they had an audience. Dawn, in the meantime, had looked as if she’d been slapped, her eyes already welling up with tears.
“Dawn, I’m so sorry!” Ginny pleaded her eyes also clouding up with unshed tears. “I’m know I’m angry, but I didn’t mean to tell-“
She didn’t get to finish what she was saying, as Buffy had stood up from the Staff table, taking several steps towards the Gryffindor table. “WHAT?! Dawn! You’re... YOU’RE PREGNANT?!”
Harry and the rest of the Great Hall watched as Dawn briefly looked over at her sister with a horrified look and then covered her tear-streaked face and ran from the Great Hall. Once she was gone, everyone then turned their attention towards a remorseful Ginny, who dropped the spoon she’d had a death-grip on and also fled the hall.
At this point, Harry put his head in his hands for a moment and groaned, knowing all too well that all the attention had now shifted towards him. When he looked up, he first saw Buffy’s death glare, Hermione’s shock and Ron’s confusion, followed by the intrigued looks from everyone else in the room. He just wished that the floor would open up and swallow him whole at this point.
“Is this true, Harry?” Hermione was first to speak much quieter than the previous dialogue, however he was sure half the Great Hall would have heard her in the severe silence.
Without saying anything, generally because he didn’t know what to say at this point, Harry pushed himself up from the seat and tried his best to stop himself from breaking into a run as he exited the hall. Hearing a roar of scandalised chatter ark up as he bolted through the double doors and out into the Entrance Hall.
Ginny had bolted out through the front doors and out through the snow-covered grounds, running until she felt like she’d put enough distance between herself and the horror and embarrassment of the Great Hall. When her legs began to get a bit tired, she simply stopped and dropped against a nearby tree, burying her face in her arms. Of course she was still angry at Dawn (and Harry, for that matter), but she never intended on screaming their secret for the whole of Hogwarts to hear. She knew deep down that she wasn’t a spiteful person, however she was sickened that somewhere in there was a part of her that felt content with what she’d done, and that scared her.
She knew that Harry had broken it off with her a while ago now, but she always thought that the war would end and that things would go back to the way they were and they would spend the rest of their lives together. But now, now everything had changed and she couldn’t see that happening. She wondered how the whole thing had come about between Dawn and Harry, Dawn was basically a muggle, so when would the two of them have met? Also she’d told her when they first met that it was basically a one-night stand. Even that part confused her, she thought she knew Harry well, that was the chivalrous type and usually wouldn’t be prone to such things. Having said that, Ginny knew that also meant that Harry wasn’t just going to turn his back on Dawn now, as much as Ginny still wanted him for herself.
Her stream of thoughts were broken by the sound of footsteps trudging through the thick covering of snow and she inwardly groaned, really wanting to tell them then and there to just go away. She looked up to see Neville’s face as he took the last few steps towards her.
“You didn’t have to come after me,” she pointed out quietly, wiping a tear away.
Neville shrugged, standing there with his hands casually in his pockets. “It was too noisy in there in the hall, besides, I wanted to see if you were alright.”
Ginny covered her face in horror. “I don’t deserve any sympathy right now; it was completely horrible of me to shout out Dawn’s personal business for everyone to hear.”
Neville stood there thoughtfully. “It may not have been the best approach,” he finally replied. “But... I, I can understand that you were angry and upset, with becoming friends with Dawn and all the history between you and Harry.”
Ginny gave a sniff and then sighed. “It doesn’t matter now though, does it? That’s all it’s going to be between me and Harry now... history.”
Neville, who had begun tracing shapes in the snow with his foot, didn’t say anything for a moment, then stopped to look back at Ginny. “It’s pretty cold out here... I can just hear my Gran’s voice right now - ‘come inside, you’ll catch a cold, you stupid boy’.”
Ginny got the hint and nodded. “You should go ahead, I’ll just need a moment and I’ll see you upstairs.”
Neville simply nodded, hesitantly spinning around to make his way back towards the castle. In the meantime, Ginny stared blankly at the patterns that Neville had created in the snow as she listened to the footsteps die away, however suddenly she heard the footsteps approaching again.
“Really, I’m fine, Neville,” she said sharply, not looking up.
“Pretty sure this Neville wouldn’t be caught dead wearing jeans this tight, but yeah I think I saw your friend heading inside,” a female, American accent reached her ears.
Ginny’s head shot up, she recognised the woman standing before her as one of Hogwarts’ visitors, which she hadn’t had a chance to talk to her but she remembered hearing Dawn say she was a slayer like Buffy.
“Hey. Name’s Faith,” the brunette introduced herself, holding her hand out for what Ginny thought was a handshake; however she quickly noticed a metallic object in Faith’s hand.
“Hi, I’m Ginny. You’re a slayer, right?” she replied as Faith casually nodded, her eyes still on the mysterious object. “Did I drop something in the snow?”
Faith kept a blank face, Ginny could tell she was the kind of person who played her cards close to her chest. “Well, I’ll make you a deal,” she began thoughtfully. “I’ll show ya what I have here if you stop moping in the cold, wet snow.”
Ginny almost laughed, she was beginning to notice how straight to the point these American visitors were. She begrudgingly agreed to the terms, and pushed herself up to stand across from Faith, looking at her expectantly. Within moments, the woman had placed the object in her waiting hands. She studied the item for a moment, she couldn’t quite make out what it was - it was metal with a long, zigzagged portion then underneath that was a round, flatter part, with several small lumps in one straight line in the centre of it.
When Ginny looked confused as to what the object was, as well as why she was given it, Faith stepped in. “It’s a spoon... your spoon from breakfast.”
Ginny’s frown turned into a look of mystification. How can this be the spoon I was using earlier?
“What happened to it?”
Faith coolly inspected her fingernails. “You squeezed the life out of it when you went all Jerry Springer back in there.”
Ginny had no idea who or what ‘Jerry Springer’ was, but she understood enough of what the slayer was saying to know that she’d been the one to mangle this spoon when she was screaming at Dawn in the Great Hall. She flushed red from mortification at the mention of her outburst, and then wondered how she was able to mutilate a spoon to this extent, especially without the use of magic. Then again when she thought about it, she seemed to unexplainably be causing a bit of a wave of destruction of things she physically came into contact with lately.
“I- I didn’t even notice I did that,” she paused, looking up to see Faith smirking. “Or how, for that matter... What’s wrong with me?”
with you,” Faith put a hand on her shoulder. "But it's kinda a long story, and to sum it all up – the reason why my whole gang is here is ‘coz we knew there was at least one slayer here at Hogwarts, judging by what you did with your grudge against that spoon, it looks like you're it, Red."
Ginny frowned. “But I’m a witch, how can I be a slayer as well?”
“Not sure how it works,” Faith replied with a shrug. “But if anything it’ll make you a cut above the rest of us slayers, it’ll be interesting to see what you can do.”
Ginny shook her head and took a few steps away from Faith in an attempt to bring an end to the conversation. “I don’t think... I don’t think I can do this, I already have too much happening in my life at the moment and-“
“Let me give you a piece of advice,” Faith interrupted, causing Ginny to halt in her tracks. “I heard you back in there," she lazily gestured back towards the castle. "I know you’re all heartbroken and whatever, but think about it – if this guy felt the same way about you, wouldn’t he be the one standing here with you right now?”
The redhead let out a loud sob, knowing that this complete stranger had hit the nail on the head. Unable to answer and wanting to very much escape the discussion, she went to take another step but the older woman spoke again.
“If you wanna be trained by me or Buffy, come let us know... maybe pretending this guy's face is a punching bag is what you need. Think about it.”
Karma certainly had a way of finding something to come back and bite you. Well, Dawn certainly thought so at the current point in time, as she sat up on the stone edge of the Astronomy Tower, legs dangling precariously over the edge. By this point in time, the tears from earlier had ceased, almost as if her body was rejecting anymore crying because she’d done way too much over the past week alone.
Deep in thought, she gazed down at the grounds below and watched a person, who looked more like a tiny ant from this elevation, walk across the snow towards the Entrance Hall below, followed by another dot moving not far behind. I really had all of this coming,
a negative voice told her.
She just wished that she could go back and do-over the past few months, sure if the prophecy meant that this baby was going to be regardless of what she did then so be it, but she wished she could desperately change her choices since finding out about her pregnancy. For starters, she would have told Buffy much sooner than this and she realised that she needed a sister to turn to now more than even. But was Buffy going to even talk to her again after months of lies?
The tingling sensation just below her belly button, that still caught her by surprise, started up again, and so she wasn’t surprised when she heard footsteps echoing up to the top of the tower where she sat. She waited until she could hear them practically behind her, but didn’t turn around.
“I’m sorry I ran out and left you to deal with the craziness and whatnot,” she apologised, finally turning to face the newcomer.
She saw Harry standing there with a deep frown. “How did you know-“
“Well, as the prophecy said, the baby is special... I think it can sense when you’re nearby. I mean, it somehow lead me down to the Entrance Hall when you arrived yesterday,” Dawn replied, turning her body so that her back leant against the cut-out in the stone, whilst her feet tucked up against the other side.
Harry looked slightly panicked as he watched her shuffle around. “I don’t think that’s such a good place to sit, especially with all the frost and ice this time of year.”
Dawn shrugged, peering over the edge slightly. "I thought it looked alright... Why? Are you afraid of heights, Harry?"
“Not after years of playing Quidditch,” he replied, she noticed he looked even more uncomfortable as she leant over slightly. “Uh...”
She almost smiled at his concern as she swung her legs around to stand on the floor. “Okay, okay. Just to keep you from having a heart attack there... Hey, how did you know I came up here?”
“As I said last night, it’s a great place to come and think, and I assumed you had a lot to think about,” he shuffled his feet. “... Are you alright, Dawn?”
She knew that her face would have shown the evidence of her crying before, that she probably had terrible, splotched cheeks and puffy eyes. All she could find herself doing in response was a shrug, before a thought struck her.
“Hey, you might as well get rid of that spell for good, it’s no use now.”
Harry looked slightly concerned but nodded, and within moments he had cast the counter-spell revealing Dawn’s five-and-a-half month pregnant belly. Moments after doing this something dawned on him.
“But who re-cast the spell after I removed it last night?” he asked suddenly.
She looked down and placed a hand on her stomach. “That’s what I was saying; the baby can do things... Last night I’d just gone down the tower, when I looked down and realised there was no spell. Suddenly there was this kind of light or something and then before I knew it – presto, all concealed again!”
Harry tilted his head in question of whether he’d heard her correctly. “Hold on, did you just say that the- the baby re-cast that spell from inside you?”
Dawn took in his reaction. “I’m assuming this doesn’t really happen for magical babies usually?”
Harry shook his head. “Not that I know of,” he paused and scratched the back of his head awkwardly. “Er, not that I know much about babies in general.”
“Neither do I,” Dawn admitted, placing a soft hand on Harry’s arm.
After a comfortable silence, Dawn’s attention was abruptly drawn down the arm her hand had lingered on; his hand was bleeding slightly and showing signs of turning a dark purple colour with reasonably severe bruising. At her initial glance, she could also tell that the injury was very recent.
“Harry, what happened to you hand?” she exclaimed to which he pulled away.
“It’s nothing,” he quickly brushed it off, but she stared at him expectedly. “Well... accidentally took my frustrations out on the wrong wall, well actually any wall in Hogwarts generally isn’t a good option... but it’ll be fine.”
Not taking that as an acceptable answer, she immediately snatched up the injured hand again to get a closer look at it, earning a wince from Harry. “No, that doesn’t look ‘fine’.”
Before he knew it, Dawn had ripped a jagged square of cloth from her shirt (mumbling about how she didn’t like that top anyway) and marched over to the ledge for a moment, returning seconds later with the piece of cloth wrapped around a decent gathering of cold snow. Harry went to say something but she suddenly took him by the arm and dragged him over to the bench they’d sat at the previous night. She placed the make-shift icepack on his injured hand, producing another cringe of discomfort from the boy sitting across from her. Although Harry could have gone to the Hospital Wing for treatment, there was something oddly comforting about letting Dawn tend to it the muggle way.
“That looks sore,” she said as she carefully studied the bruising. “I hope you didn’t go punching walls on my account...”
Harry was too busy observing the girl in front of him while she was too focused on nursing his hand, and he was quickly reminded of how beautiful she really was, especially the amazing blue colour of her eyes. Of course he thought she was pretty that afternoon they met, but he noticed something different about her now, her face had a sparkle about it, even if it was still slightly blotchy right now.Probably because she’s having your baby,
he thought all of a sudden, startling himself and causing him to jerk his hand away a little too vigorously, sending a pain shooting through his hand.
He felt the beginnings of another freak-out and almost felt like fleeing for a moment; however when she looked up at him with a small look of saddened rejection, he quickly pushed those feelings into the background again.
“Sorry,” he immediately apologised, replacing his hand to receive Dawn’s treatment once again.
He took a deep breath as Dawn was placing the icepack on his aching hand, the silence between them soon broken by the audible grumbling of her stomach, reminding them that she hadn’t had a chance to have breakfast before the incident in the Great Hall.
Dawn sighed. “I really don’t want to go down there right now... It’d be better to face Buffy once things have calmed down.”
Harry looked thoughtful for a moment, before a light bulb went off in his head. “That feels loads better. Thanks, Dawn,” he said with an appreciative smile, taking the icepack off his hand. “As far as breakfast goes, I have an idea.”
And off they went.