When They Plan a Heist
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:
Hello! Enjoy this next chapter. Whilst it’s been a bit slow moving the last few chapters, it’s starting to pick up pace again.
*****Chapter Twenty-Four – When They Plan a Heist
“Where are you going, Harry? It’s the middle of the night!” Dawn exclaimed in a harsh whisper.
Harry was out of bed before she knew it, reaching for a jacket to put over his pyjamas. She didn’t exactly understand his urgency at four o’clock in the morning, when they’d already gone so long without any new leads on the horcrux front.
He quickly turned to face her as he slung his arms into the sleeves of his jacket. “The images are still so fresh in my mind – if I go to sleep, I’m sure I’ll forget many of the important details. I-I need to go tell Ron and Hermione, they can help figure this all out,” he explained hurriedly, he then caught her dubious expression. “Don’t worry, they’re used to this sort of thing – it happened loads of times back at Hogwarts.”
She found herself sighing, her dream-filled nights left her feeling lethargic and therefore she was more than reluctant to go traipsing around in the middle of the night. On the other hand, the sooner they found this next horcrux, the sooner the baby would stop giving her these cryptic dreams. With another deep sigh, she moved to push herself out of bed.
“Uh, you don’t have to come, Dawn,” he said. “Perhaps you should just get some more rest…”
“Not freakin’ likely,” she replied resolutely, snatching her dressing gown up from the back of the bedroom door.
“Well, maybe it can wait…” Harry back-tracked carefully, scratching the back of his head.
Dawn knew that he was just looking out for her and the baby, and deep down she was touched by the gesture, but right then and there it was annoying the hell out of her. She quickly thought about what Madam Pomfrey had warned her about, that she was going to experience ups and downs over the course of the pregnancy and feel especially tired or short of her tether at times.
She shook her head to herself as she slipped some warm boots on over her pyjama pants. She then reached up and pulled Harry by the front of his jacket. “Well, come on, Potter. Let’s get this over with,” she said impatiently, looking up to see his unprepared expression. “I’m fine,” she said in a clipped tone as they went out into the hallway.
They carefully crept down the stairs, mindful of Shell Cottage’s slumbering inhabitants, until they reached the front door. As Harry opened the door, they were hit with a wave of icy, winter air, and Dawn let out an involuntary shiver, her pyjamas certainly weren’t made for outdoor purposes. Harry must have noticed this instantly, because it only took a matter of seconds before she felt a scarf and extra jacket being slung over her neck and shoulders. She immediately felt stupid for her grumpiness only moments earlier.
She turned to face Harry and was about to open her mouth to apologise for being so short with him, however he beat her to the chase. “Don’t worry,” was all he said, there was no unpleasantness in his tone.
“Thanks,” she replied, leaning over to place a soft kiss on his cheek.
Harry lit his wand and the pair then promptly made their way out and across the yard and around towards the tent, which was pitched up beside the house. The faster they could get out of the winter air, the better. Dawn felt herself breathing a sigh of relief as she entered the warm interior of the tent first, while Harry held the flap open for her. She was extremely thankful of magic in that moment, the insulating and heating spells Hermione had cast were very effective, she knew that in any other circumstance camping out in the middle of winter was just asking to be frozen to death. Meanwhile, Harry was right behind her, quietly sealing up the tent entrance with a spell to prevent the heat from escaping.
Dawn shed the extra layers, she tried to get her bearings in the nearly pitch-black tent – it was difficult since Harry had put out the light on his wand, obviously wanting to be slightly less intrusive. As she shuffled carefully forward, she could hear the sound of Ron’s snoring coming from the right of them and tried to follow her ears, only to bump her shin into a large square object in front of her. She refrained from crying out, she didn’t want to scare the others but she couldn’t prevent a soft ‘ouch’ from escaping her lips.
“Careful,” Harry’s concerned voice came from so close behind her that she felt his breath on the back of her neck, sending involuntary shivers down her spine.
A moment later, Dawn could suddenly make out the outlines of furniture in the tent. Harry had used lumos once more; however he had the wand tucked under his shirt to dim the light enough to not startle the inhabitants of the tent awake.
“Thanks,” she whispered, throwing him a warm smile, in which he quickly returned.
A sudden rustle of sheets caused their heads to snap back around.
“Harry… Dawn?” Hermione must have been a light sleeper because Dawn could make out her silhouette sitting upright in the bottom bunk of one of the two bunk beds that stood in the tent. “Is that you?” Her voice was thick with drowsiness.
“Yeah,” Harry called back in a loud whisper. “Sorry if we frightened you, Hermione.”
“No, you didn’t scare me,” she replied, Dawn could make out her slipping on her dressing gown, before she stood up and approached them. “Is something wrong? What are you both doing here in the middle of the night?” She looked between the two of them, her face only partially lit up by the dim light of Harry’s wand.
Harry shook his head calm Hermione’s fears. “No, everything’s fine… but there’s been a development with the horcrux search,” he explained quietly.
“Getting straight to it – I’ve been having dreams about it, and long story short, we know what it looks like now,” Dawn cut in, amused at how often Harry beat around the bush.
“Really?” Hermione stared at her with wide eyes, to which she nodded in the affirmative. “Although it couldn’t have waited until the morning?” she questioned, stifling a yawn.
“His idea,” Dawn chimed in, pointing at Harry, who threw her a small glare for being so quick to dob him in. “Hey, well it was! I was all for going back to sleep,” she defended herself a little too loudly because Willow shifted in the bunk opposite Hermione’s, the three of them looked over nervously for a moment until they were sure they hadn’t woken her.
“Anyway,” Hermione began in a soft whisper, turning back to them. “With Willow here, it’s not exactly an ideal place to be discussing this… but I have an idea.”
“You’d better wake Ron up then,” Harry suggested to his friend.
After Hermione carefully woke up a very confused and sleepy Ron from the bunk above hers, she silently directed them towards the small kitchenette area they had in the tent, which had a small table with four chairs. It was in a sectioned off part of the tent, so all Hermione had to do was close off the flap to seal it off from the rest of the tent. Dawn then sat herself down at the table, so did a half-asleep Ron, while Harry and Hermione used spells to seal the section off so that there was no chance of Willow, or anyone else, overhearing them.
“What’s going on, mate?” Ron directed tiredly at Harry. “It’s not even bloody close to sunrise,” he mumbled, his elbows propped up against the table were the only thing from stopping his heavy head from hitting the table.
“I wanted to tell you both while the information is still fresh – it’s important,” Harry explained as he and Hermione joined Dawn and Ron at the table. “I think that the next horcrux is Helga Hufflepuff’s cup, I saw it in a dream… it makes sense.”
Hermione’s eyes widened in excitement. “Of course! I’m not surprised, the other horcruxes have been connected to the other founders, it was bound to be something connected to Hufflepuff…” she paused and then turned to look at Dawn. “Hold on, I thought you said that you had the dream.”
Dawn nodded. “Harry dream-dropped on me,” she explained, to which Ron and Hermione both threw her looks of confusion. “I was the one sleeping, so you should fill them in, Harry,” she said, briefly reaching over the table to give his hand a quick squeeze. Right then, she realised how natural those kinds of subtle gestures had become between them.
She then listened as Harry launched into the whole story about how he’d touched Dawn to see if she was okay while she was sleeping, and had then quite bizarrely seen into her dreams. He described each scene exactly as Dawn had remembered, which was a little unnerving for her – people weren’t normally supposed to share or see into someone else’s dreams. She glanced down at her stomach. Seriously, are you gonna give us this much trouble once you come out?
she silently projected to the baby.
Meanwhile, Harry finished retelling the events of the past hour. Hermione was first to respond. “Hmm, so we know what it is, we just don’t know where,” she thought out loud. “Although, the place you described sounds so familiar.” From the corner of her eye Dawn saw Harry nod in agreement.
Ron had been pretty silent so far, even to the point that Dawn was wondering whether he’d fallen back to sleep again with his eyes open. “You know, it sounds like Gringotts to me,” he finally spoke up.
“Yes, of course!” Harry and Hermione exclaimed simultaneously, causing Dawn to jump a little in her seat from the loudness of it.
The trio proceeded to hypothesise about this place ‘Gringotts’, which Dawn may have recalled being mentioned at some stage, however she couldn’t remember just exactly when or what it was and she felt very much out of the loop. This seemed to happen often when she was hanging out with the other three. She was just some stupid American, who didn’t have that much knowledge of the Wizarding World. In fact, sometimes she wondered what she had to offer, besides what the baby growing inside her was capable of.
“I’m just not sure who would have Hufflepuff’s cup in their vault, and why, for that matter,” Dawn tuned in to hear Harry say. “We know that Voldemort’s father was a muggle, but what about his mother’s side? Do you think they had a vault?”
“Huh, vault?” she questioned dumbly.
She watched the realisation dawn on Harry’s face that she would have absolutely no idea what they were talking about, followed by an expression of guilt. “Oh-“
“Gringotts is our equivalent of a muggle bank,” Hermione cut in to explain. “They also have vaults, where families can store their money and keepsakes. Some of the older wizarding families are said to have had vaults at Gringotts for centuries.”
“I’ve never been down there because our vault is not too far down, but I’ve heard Bill say that the largest, oldest vaults are the deepest down,” Ron added, suddenly triggering Dawn’s memory that the reason she’d heard of Gringotts was because Bill worked there. “Although, I’ve also heard that the security of those vaults is quite extreme.”
“That’s it!” Hermione cried out. “Ron – you’re a genius!” She leant over to place a fast kiss on his cheek.
Ron turned a bright shade of red that matched his hair. “Uh… thanks?” he replied uncertainly, clearly unsure of where Hermione’s enthusiasm had come from.
“Well, don’t you see? It all makes sense now!” the witch began. “If Voldemort had gotten his hands on Hufflepuff’s cup and used it to hide of piece of his soul, like the other horcruxes he has tried to hide it somewhere safe – there’s no safer place than Gringotts.”
“Yes, we’ve established that, Hermione,” Harry said bluntly, looking like he wanted her to get straight to the point.
“Well, I’m not sure if the Gaunt family had or have a Gringott’s vault, but I’m assuming that because he was an orphan as a child and not many people knew that he was connected to the Gaunt family, that it wouldn’t have been easy to hide there, even if there was a vault.” While Hermione ranted on, Dawn found herself tiredly pinching the bridge of her nose, knowing that she was in way over her head in new information. “Anyway, I can think of a few old, wizarding families that he would entrust in the keepsake of a horcrux – the Dolohovs, the Carrows, the Lestranges or the Malfoys… “ she trailed off.
“It has to be the Malfoys,” Harry chimed in, Dawn noticed a certainty in his voice.
Ginny had told her the story of the Malfoys, how Lucius Malfoy had planted that diary in amongst the Weasley’s things back when Ginny was younger. She’d also discovered from Harry that Dumbledore had told him that the diary was one of the horcruxes. Something was telling her that he hadn’t entrusted another horcrux with the Malfoys when he’d gone to so much effort to spread them out, even if Harry sounded so sure. Besides that, there was someone else mentioned that had drawn her attention.
“Nope, I don’t think so,” Dawn said with the shake of her head, all three looked at her with surprise and curiosity. “What was that second last one, Hermione?”
She closed her eyes and tried to picture the image in her dream. Both her and Harry had tried to figure out what was beside Hufflepuff’s cup and all she could remember at the time was the letter ‘L’. However, suddenly the memory came through clearer.
“That’s it!” Dawn called out. “I couldn’t remember that word before, but now I’m totally sure that it said ‘Lestrange’.”
“What word?” Hermione and Ron both appeared confused, it was only then that she realised that her and Harry had left out that particular detail.
“Dawn and I both noticed something sitting next to the cup, only we couldn’t figure out what the inscription on it said… well, until now,” Harry jumped in the explain, throwing Dawn a proud smile.
Dawn smiled back, feeling a warmth spread through her chest. “So where do we go from here?”
Harry leant forward with a serious expression, his hands clasped together and resting on the table. “We have to break into Gringotts.”
Even though Dawn didn’t know much about it, from what she’d just heard and the overwhelmed expressions on the faces of the other two teenagers, she knew that this was a difficult task. Especially with the current situation, since they were all in hiding and wanted people, leaving Shell Cottage for any of them could be potentially fatal.
“Bloody hell,” was all Ron could muster.
Over the next few days, Harry and the other three spent a lot of time plotting just how exactly they were going to pull off such a feat. This hadn’t gone unnoticed by the other occupants of the cottage, especially since the teenagers had spent hours shut away in secrecy. However, they were yet to say anything. Meanwhile, there had been many ideas thrown up about how they were going to retrieve the horcrux, although most weren’t particularly good ones, likely to result in their deaths or incarceration. Harry noticed that Dawn was usually quieter than her usual self during these brainstorming sessions; however he was yet to say anything on the matter. In fact, he wanted Dawn there to know all about what they were planning, perhaps throw in any good ideas, but in his mind there was absolutely no way she would be participating in their scheme – she was seven months pregnant, for Merlin’s sake!
“You know what? I don’t see any other way; I believe we’re going to have to use this…” Hermione trailed on one particular day that the four of them had hauled themselves up in the sitting room by the fireplace. She’d brought her small beaded bag with her from the tent, which she opened and placed on the floor. “Accio polyjuice,
” she called out with a flick of her wand, a large vial appearing in her hand.
“Polyjuice?” Harry exclaimed. “Why didn’t you mention you had some before?”
Hermione shrugged. “I’d almost forgotten I had it – it has been a while since I packed this bag.”
“What’s that?” Dawn questioned, screwing up her face. “It looks gross!”
Harry shifted slightly on his seated position on the floor to face Dawn, who he’d insisted take Bill’s armchair. “It’s called Polyjuice Potion, it can temporarily transform you to look like someone else, all you need is a piece of them, like a hair.”
Dawn looked amazed. “Wow, that sounds awesome!” she said excitedly.
“But how are we going to use it?” Ron asked. “It’s not as if we have Bellatrix Lestrange’s hair lying around! I’ve also heard from Bill that they’ve really stepped up security at Gringotts in recent times.”
Hermione let out a deep breath. “Well, we obviously can’t go as ourselves either. However, there is someone else’s DNA that we have access to that would allow us to get into Gringotts relatively inconspicuously…” Harry was still unsure of where she was going with her idea, while Ron also had his eyebrows knitted together in deep thought...“And, we’d have increased access to parts of Gringotts that the general wizarding public wouldn’t.”
“A-are you saying we going into Gringotts as Bill? That we steal some of his DNA?” Harry stammered, surprised that Hermione would suggest such a thing.
Hermione was about to open her mouth before an angry Ron beat her to the chase. “Hermione! He’s my brother! We can’t do that – h-he could lose his job… or worse!”
“I don’t like it any better than you do, Ron!” Hermione fought back angrily. “But what other choice do we have? We’ve spent days discussing it – we know there’s no other way we are getting into Gringotts, and if we don’t get that horcrux…” Harry could see the stress of forming a plan was taking its toll on the witch, as she ran her hands over her face and sighed. “I’m sure we can figure out a way to make sure that Bill doesn’t get in any trouble, make sure that they know it was an intruder. In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if there were security measures able to detect that sort of thing.”
“Then that just defeats the whole purpose of disguising someone as Bill,” he pointed out impatiently.
Hermione was fast to shake her head. “No… I don’t think it does. We just need something to get out foot in the door without anyone knowing it’s us. And if we manage to get by undetected, that’s even better.”
Harry looked over at Ron sitting on the floor next to him; he could tell that his support for Hermione’s plan was less than concrete, with good reason. “I don’t know…” he trailed off quietly.
“Well there’s just enough Polyjuice for two of us, so I would be able to disguise myself as Fleur,” Hermione continued on, ignoring Ron’s hesitance.
Harry was reminded that Fleur also worked at Gringotts, he knew that the Frenchwoman had been working part-time prior to their arrival at Shell Cottage, although in light of all the guests, Fleur had severely cut back her hours and he had only seen her go to work only a handful of times during their stay.
“And I have the invisibility cloak,” Harry added, whilst he was still somewhat unsure, he couldn’t help but admit that Hermione’s idea was pretty much all they had at that particular point in time.
Dawn’s head snapped around to look down at him in surprise. “So, you’re on board with it?” she asked him, to which he shrugged non-committedly. She threw glances around between him and the other two. “’Kay then, what’s my role in all of this?”Her role?
he asked himself. She didn’t think that she would be helping them, did she? His brows knitted together in confusion. “Dawn, what do you mean?”
She sat forward on her chair eagerly. “I’m helping you guys – where do I fit in Hermione’s plan?”
“You don’t,” Harry quickly replied, disbelievingly. “You’re not going!”
The next moment, Dawn had pushed herself out of the chair and stared down at him angrily. “E-excuse me!” she stuttered. “Why the hell not?!”
“Uh, Dawn-“ Hermione calmly tried to intervene, however Harry quickly cut her off as he also leapt to his feet.
“You must be joking, Dawn!” he shot back. “In case you haven’t noticed – you’re seventh months pregnant! There’s no way-
Dawn’s eyes narrowed dangerously at him. “Hey! You sound like fucking Buffy! Geez, you don’t own me, Harry! I can do whatever the hell I want!”
Considering how close they been getting, her words cut into Harry like hundreds of tiny knives. Also, that was his baby that she wanted to put in harm’s way, he thought he deserved a say in what happened, even if he did sort of understand her reaction. That being said, his anger at her blatant disregard of his opinion overshadowed any deeper understanding he had at that moment.
“You’re being ridiculous, Dawn!” He exhaled loudly in frustration. “Don’t I deserve a say in what happens to the baby? It’d be too dangerous to-“
“RIDICULOUS?” Her voice had reached a whole new level of anger. “I wouldn’t be so freakin’ ‘ridiculous’
if you weren’t being such a controlling asshole right now!” she spat back before turning on her heel and stomping out of the room. She paused in the open door, throwing Harry one last fuming glance. Seriously
…” she grumbled, slamming the door on her way out.
Harry groaned, scrunching his face up and running his hands over his eyes. Whilst they had their little disagreements, he and Dawn had certainly never fought like this before, and not to mention, in front of other people. He felt frustrated, embarrassed and furious at both Dawn and himself all at the same time. He carefully managed a look at his shocked two best friends – Ron was wide-eyed and silent, whilst Hermione looked both disapproving and thoughtful.
How had he let the situation escalate out of control so fast? There was no doubt that Dawn’s request was completely out of the question, but the more he thought about it the more he realised that perhaps he went about it the wrong way. It had come from so far out of left field that his reaction was definitely harsher than it could have been. He didn’t want to see Dawn in any more danger. Meanwhile, another question that kept playing through his head was – why had Dawn been so insistent on such a dangerous and insane idea in the first place?
Just as Hermione stepped towards him, Harry quickly brought a hand up to stop her. “Don’t even start, Hermione, I know…” he said a little too severe than he intended, before also departing the room.
“Something’s going on, Will,” Buffy pointed out suspiciously, as the pair sat together in the kitchen.
The slayer leant back in her chair so that she could get a good view out into the entry hall and across towards the closed door of the sitting room. Willow momentarily stood up and craned her neck over to do the same, before she sat back down and resumed nursing her cup of coffee.
The redhead simply shrugged. “It could be nothing. I mean, Dawnie was gonna stop with all the secrets and whatnot.”
Buffy shook her head. “She keeps saying that, but something about Harry and his friends seems to encourage that sorta thing.” She sighed. “They’ve been sneaking off and plotting something for days.”
“Maybe the best thing is to straight out ask her what’s going on,” Willow suggested.
The faint sound of a crack from outside the front of the cottage got both women’s attention. Out of the corner of her eye, Buffy noticed Willow grip her coffee mug tighter, whilst she herself felt her whole body automatically tense up. Even though there were many comings and goings with Remus and Madam Pomfrey’s visits, as well as Bill and Fleur’s journeys to and from work, Buffy couldn’t help but feel herself on guard when she heard a new arrival. She knew that her fear was generally unfounded, Shell Cottage was an extremely well-protected place, however Buffy found that as the prophesised baby in Dawn’s stomach grew, so did an unsettled feeling deep in the pit of her own stomach.
Holding her breath, whilst also ready to get her slayer on at a moment’s notice, the blonde let out a strong sigh of relief when Lupin appeared through the front door. “Geez, you could’ve called ahead,” she muttered quietly.
Lupin frowned. “Could have called what?” he questioned. She often found herself making references to things that the wizards and witches had no idea about. Lupin shrugged indifferently and shed his cloak before entering the kitchen. “Good afternoon, ladies,” he greeted.
Stepping into the kitchen, Lupin threw an inquisitive glance at the unusual occurrence of the closed door across the hall. Meanwhile, Willow made more of an effort to greet the werewolf, while Buffy mumbled a lazy reply, her thoughts back on her secretive sister. Lupin must have observed her preoccupancy because he stopped in his tracks.
“Oh, I’m sorry,” he apologised quickly. “Am I interrupting something?” he questioned, looking between the two women.
Willow shook her head. “No, Buffy’s just worried about Dawn again.”
Lupin looked alarmed, turning to face Buffy. “Is she alright?”
“Dawn and ‘the troublesome trio’ in there have been plotting who-the-hell-knows-what for days.” Buffy decided to cut straight to the point, considering she’d already seen him notice the closed door across the entry hall. “Do you know what’s the deal with that?”
“No, I’m afraid I-“ he began, only to be quickly cut off.
�Seriously, ” Dawn’s angry voice carried into the kitchen, followed by the sound of a slamming door.
The ferocity in her sister’s voice immediately caught her attention, so Buffy sprang to her feet and stepped towards the entry hall, soon trailed by Lupin and Willow. She had decided then and there that she was going to get to the bottom of this; Dawn wasn’t going to skirt around the issue with her again.
“Dawn,” she said perhaps a little firmer than she needed to.
The brunette looked over at her and covered her face while she let out a large groan. “What?” the younger girl replied impatiently.
“Are you alright?” Lupin intervened softly, somewhat diffusing the situation, for which Buffy was thankful.
Dawn sighed, eventually shaking her head. “Don’t worry about it.”
“What’s going on, Dawn?” Buffy persisted. “What have you guys been planning?”
“Besides Harry being an a-hole?” Dawn asked rhetorically, catching them all by surprise, especially Buffy, who had seen the pair becoming closer as time went on and so she was surprised to hear such a comment. She wondered what could cause such a rift between them. “Anyway, beside the point… it’s not my thing to tell,” she pointed her thumb back at the door behind her. “Ask Mr High and All-mighty.” Without another word, she turned and stamped her way up the stairs.
Buffy had barely had time to recover before the door to the lounge opened up again to reveal a dejected Harry, she watched as his face hardened when he spotted the three of them standing there. Whilst she was trying to be thoughtful and calculated around Dawn, she certainly didn’t see any need to be so around the boy who’d knocked up her sister.
“What did you do to Dawn?” she asked with narrowed eyes and crossed arms.
He ran his hand through his hair in obvious frustration. “I was only looking out for her!” he defended, making a move towards the stairs.
Buffy swiftly put an arm out to stop him. “Hey, what do you think you’re doing?”
The blonde was beginning to lose her patience. Here she was a slayer, protecting people was in her nature, and yet the two (well, technically three) people she had specifically gone out of her way to protect certainly weren’t making it easy. Furthermore, even though she felt obligated to protect Harry, she knew that her sister would always come first and also that at times it might even involve protecting her from Harry himself. Dawn had been pretty worked up.
Harry stopped and looked Buffy straight in the eye. “I need to talk to Dawn.”
“No way,” she quickly retorted. “I want some answers, mister.” Despite the seriousness of the situation, she couldn’t help but briefly ponder the fact that she was starting to sound like her mother. It was amusing and depressing at the same time.
“Harry,” Lupin spoke up. “Buffy and Willow inform me that the four of you have been rather secretive, they’re concerned that you are planning something dangerous… surely something that the Order should be made aware of.”
The younger wizard shook his head stubbornly. “No, I-I can’t say. I… er, I made a promise to Dumbledore.”
“The old Hogwarts Headmaster?” Willow questioned, to which Harry nodded.
“Dumbledore?” Lupin said with surprise. “This is something that he kept from the Order?”
“Yes,” Harry replied. “He couldn’t risk it accidentally or intentionally getting back to Voldemort…” He looked uncomfortable talking about the subject. “I-I really can’t say anything more.”
Buffy narrowed her eyes. “But Dawn knows? You didn’t have an issue with putting her in danger.”
“Who are we kidding? She’s already in danger,” Harry pointed out, much to Buffy’s distaste. He looked around the group. “We all are… She’s a part of this; I thought she deserved to know. I need to talk to…”
He made another move towards the staircase, this time Buffy decided to let him pass with a sigh. She felt like she was getting nowhere with both teenagers, so she thought it was best to let them sort out whatever was wrong first. Although, she certainly wasn’t going to keep them far out of her sight, if she could help it.
Dawn stared up at the ceiling, tears of frustration flowing from the corners of her eyes. She’d felt useless and helpless when she was living back in Sunnydale, but that didn’t even compare to the way she’d been feeling since the prophecy had appeared and she’d gotten pregnant. Of course, she knew that it would be dangerous to leave Shell Cottage in her condition, with half the Wizarding World looking for her, but she wanted some control over her fate. If she’d learnt one thing from Buffy, it was that she couldn’t just sit there and watch when there was a big evil out there who wanted to kill her. To see all the people she cared about risk their lives for her…
And then there was Harry, his hard-hitting attitude before was just enough to send her over the edge. She’d spent enough time having Buffy decide everything for her, and because of that she hated having someone tell her what to do, he surely should have known that by now. How dare think that he could just order her around because she was having his child!
A sudden tingling in her stomach, followed by a warm sensation washing over her, brought her angry thoughts to a sudden halt. Harry was just outside the door. She awkwardly shuffled herself up to a seated position and glanced down at her stomach.Hey, don’t do that right now, I’m angry at him! she silently cursed the baby.
“Dawn,” she heard his muffled voice softly call out.
She wiped her eyes. “Go away, Harry,” she ordered stubbornly.
He gave a loud sigh. “Dawn, please.”
No matter how annoyed she was with him, the remorse in his voice caused her to think twice. He probably deserved at least a chance to apologise… if they were still fighting by bedtime, she would be in for a pretty sleepless night.Thanks to the baby’s stupid tricks, she grumbled internally.
“Fine then,” she finally responded, crossing her arms.
The door gradually opened, Harry cautiously peeking a head in before slowly entering the room. Dawn immediately saw the guilt etched upon his features, and whilst this did tug at her heartstrings slightly, she wasn’t going to let him off the hook so easily. She remained silent with her arms still angrily crossed, resting on her protruding belly.
He sighed loudly, not moving much past the doorway. “Listen, Dawn. I’m really sorry about before.” He looked thoughtful, carefully piecing together his words. “Uh, the meaning behind what I was saying was right… but maybe the method was wrong.”
“You betcha, it was wrong – I’m not someone you can just order around, Harry!” she snapped back. “I already have Buffy on my case for that.”
He inched his way over to sit on the bed opposite her. Although, she could see that he was still trying to give her space, seating himself near the foot of the bed. Meanwhile, his eyes never left hers and despite how upset she was with him, his stare still caused those involuntary tingles down her spine.
“I know,” he replied quietly. “I think I overacted because… well, I-…” Dawn’s breath caught in her throat for a moment in anticipation of his next words. “I-I can’t lose you, Dawn.”
Those words instantly melted away any cold feelings Dawn had. She was annoyed at herself for giving in so easy, but she knew how he felt – she didn’t exactly like the idea that he would be off breaking into highly secure, and highly dangerous magical banks. She slowly uncrossed her arms. Harry obviously saw this as a sign that she was letting her guard down because he scooted closer to her until they were sitting side by side. She saw this as an opportunity to rest her head on his shoulder, and just like that, the momentary rift was mended. She wished all fights could be fixed so easily, but maybe it was just because it was with Harry; she knew that it would never be that easy when it came to Buffy.
She took a deep breath as he swung his arm around her and pulled her closer. “I’m sorry, too… I- I know how you feel. But seriously, don’t you dare pull a Buffy on me again!” She felt his head move into a quick nod. “Besides, we’ve got more important things to worry about – like pulling off the world’s greatest heist.” He angled his head to gaze down at her. “I can at least help you guys plan it. I could totally teach you guys a thing or two – I’ve seen Ocean’s Eleven at least three times!”
“That’s a movie, right?” Harry questioned slowly, confusion etched on his face.
She rolled her eyes. “Oh my god, this place needs a TV already!”
The four t
eenagers continued to plot their daunting raid on Gringotts, although Dawn noticed that even though the other three had actually visited the bank, that there was still so much that they didn’t know and that worried her. It was like planning to break into Buckingham Palace, but then throwing magic into the mix. Absolutely crazy… Meanwhile, Buffy had seemed to accept that they couldn’t tell her what was happening because she hadn’t asked them again, but she did seem to keep an extra close eye on them. They had managed to all eventually agree on the Polyjuice idea, although Buffy’s watchful eye made it difficult to even obtain the hair they needed for the potion, not to mention, perhaps some of Bill and Fleur’s clothes for Ron and Hermione to wear.
One afternoon, Dawn by some miracle had managed a nap without the close proximity of Harry, who was outside in the tent with Ron, Buffy and Willow, trying to learn more new defences from the two women. She silently thanked the baby; it was exactly what she needed and she certainly didn’t want to burden Harry every time she was low on energy from the pregnancy. She awoke feeling like she could take on the world – even if she did slightly struggle lifting her extra weight up out of bed!
She peacefully wandered her way out of the bedroom, wondering if everyone else was still outside, with the exception of Bill and Fleur, who were visiting Bill’s parents. Fleur had extended the invitation in joining them to everyone else, however a look of guilt soon passed over her features when she realised that she couldn’t really offer the same to Dawn. Although she completely understood, it didn’t stop the pang of sadness that passed through her. Shaking her thoughts of the past events before she got depressed again, Dawn tuned back in to the present to notice that the house was completely silent. Her stomach let out a loud grumble, reminding her to keep her nutrition up, so she decided to venture down to the kitchen for a snack.
As she turned to descend the staircase, she craned her head to the right to see a door slightly ajar.Bill and Fleur’s bedroom, she thought loudly, suddenly struck with a sneaky idea. She may have felt pretty useless the past few months, but she knew what she could do to make herself feel even slightly useful. She saw the opportunity and so she took it, quickly wandering across and entering the room before she could think better of it. There was no doubt that she felt guilty about riffling through the Weasley couple’s things when they’d been so generous of the past couple of months, so Dawn had to keep telling herself that this was all for the greater good and that they would understand in time.
The first thing that Dawn noticed about the bedroom was that it certainly had taken inspiration from the nature surrounding the cottage, decorated in soft creams and blues – it was a very calming room. After a moment of admiring the décor, she shook her head and focused on the task at hand. The most important thing was that she obtained some hair from both Bill and Fleur. She scanned the room, her eyes falling to the dressing table beside the door. Much to Dawn’s delight, there lay what was clearly Fleur’s hairbrush, strands of shiny gold hair entangled in amongst its bristles.
As she moved to pick the brush up, she was struck with her first dilemma. I can’t just steal this, someone will probably notice, she thought rationally. Furthermore, she didn’t want to have to raid their room more than once, even if she had done her share of stealing things in the past. With her growing belly she didn’t exactly feel like the stealthiest person, and besides, she’d put that particular part of her past behind her.
There was a loud clink of glass on the dressing table in front of her, right after she’d picked up the hairbrush. She momentarily held her breath at her clumsiness, just praying that everyone was still outside, otherwise there was a possibility that they may have heard her. She looked down at the source of the noise to see that she’d knocked over a couple of empty, small potion bottles.
“Perfect,” she said quietly to herself, snapping one of the bottles up in a hurry.
She swiftly plucked several hairs from the brush and deposited them into the potion bottle, firmly securing the lid.
Now Bill, she told herself, as she picked up the second vial. Lucky he’s a redhead, his hair almost has its own beacon.
After subtly rummaging for several moments, Dawn couldn’t see any obvious sign of a hairbrush Bill had used, so she decided to get more creative in her hunt. She walked over towards their wardrobe, hoping for some stray hairs that had fallen onto clothing he had worn. She studied a coat that was hanging on what Dawn could only presume was his side of the wardrobe, to no prevail. Letting out a frustrated sigh, her hands fell on her hips as her eyes began to scan the shelves. A knitted hat with a pom-pom on top caught her attention. She almost let out a cheer of triumph when she looked inside the hat and found two red hairs, they were the same length as Bill’s hair so she almost certain that they didn’t belong to any of the other Weasley’s.
Breathing a sigh of relief, she knew that the other three would be happy with her efforts and she herself was happy to feel like she was making a contribution, however minute it was. Not wanting to be caught with the stolen goods, she quickly tucked the small vials into her top, her growing figure made them easier to conceal.At least the weight gain came in handy for something, she thought to herself as she made her way to the door. She cracked the door open and peered out to see if she was in the clear. Satisfied, she hastily exited out onto the first floor landing. Voices from downstairs caught her attention, so she spun around and faced the door so that she could shut it as quietly as possible.
“Dawn?” Sudden footsteps from behind startled her and she jumped around to face the culprit.
Lupin was coming towards her from the other side of the staircase; she guessed that he was coming from her bedroom and must have been trying to find her. However, she wondered why she couldn’t recall hearing him come up the staircase.Was is he, a freakin’ ninja? she asked herself.
“I was just coming to find you,” he explained, she noticed that he looked quite serious – probably because he’d just caught her red-handed. “What were you doing in Bill and Fleur’s bedroom?”Shit, think quick!
“Oh, um, I-I borrowed some perfume off Fleur,” she stuttered stupidly. “Uh, I was just returning it.”
Although she thought the excuse was quite legitimate, she mentally scolded herself for the delivery of it. However, Lupin didn’t press the issue any further, so she was starting to believe that he bought it. Studying his reaction, she suddenly began to pick up on urgency in the werewolf’s manner.
“W-what’s wrong?” she asked cautiously.
He took in a deep breath. “I’ve just got word from Kingsley – there’s been an attack,” he stumbled on his words for a moment, clearly rattled. “It’s Madam Pomfrey.”