Disclaimer: I do not own either Harry Potter or Buffy the Vampire Slayer.
Author's Notes: For this story to work, I've played with the BTVS timeline a little bit, while the Harry Potter timeline is unchanged. So, Buffy jumps through Glory's portal in 1995 in this story and is called at the age of fifteen in 1989. 'Hank Summers' 'divorces' Joyce early in 1990 and Cornelius Fudge is elected Minister for Magic in November of 1990. All the Scoobies' birth dates are naturally changed to reflect this alteration in the timeline. Also, fairly obviously, in this story, Cornelius Fudge is unmarried. Prologue
It was a disaster.
They had plastered the story right across the front page of the Daily Prophet in giant, bold, flashing letters. Minister Fudge Abandons Secret Squib Daughter in Time of Need!
The headline was not even the worst of it. Apparently, the prophet had not only discovered his past with Joyce and his illegitimate daughters, but Joyce and his eldest had somehow managed to die without him noticing. Moreover, the Prophet's American correspondent had discovered that little Dawn was being raised by some kind of muggle mechanical contraption in the absence of her legitimate guardians. It was no exaggeration to say that the media was having a field day with this news.
There was a reason why he had always kept his daughters and wife away from his world. To put it simply, they were muggles, and he had political ambitions. The Wizengamot had been dominated by purebloods as long as it had existed, and being appointed Minister for Magic with two squib daughters and and a muggle wife by that body would have been impossible.
Marrying Joyce, even in the muggle world, was never seriously considered. When she had become insistent, a few simple memory charms and conjurations had solved his problems. Even if he had wanted to marry her, of course, it was not as if 'Hank Summers' actually existed. 'Hank' had just been a convenient alias he had used while vacationing in California. Back then, he had still been rather young, and spending his summers with a gorgeous and foreign blonde muggle girl seemed like just the excitement he needed to interrupt the tedium of his responsibilities as a junior functionary in The Department of Magical Accidents and Catastrophes.
The children had been unexpected, but he had been away on business during the beginning of both pregnancies. Once he had returned to California, he could hardly erase a nine month pregnancy from the minds of everyone who had been in contact with Joyce. For a time, he had even thought that his daughters might prove beneficial.
Children humanized a politician, and, in recent times, more than half the wizarding world was made up of half-bloods, so most would not hold their blood status against him. Of course, when neither of his children were invited to the Salem Witches' Institute, and Buffy even managed to end up in some kind of muggle mad house, it had become clear that it was time to give up on that particular dream.
As they never had a real marriage and Fudge wanted nothing to do with Joyce's meager monies or children, a 'divorce settlement' was easy enough to arrange with a few memory modifications. After that business was settled, he seldom thought of his former 'family' again. After all, it had only been a few months later when he had been appointed Great Britain's Minister for Magic. From then on, he was an important man with the important business of running the country to occupy his time. The past was best left in the past. It was too bad the Daily Prophet did not agree with that sentiment.
Drumming his fingers on his polished oak desk, the portly minister stared at the headline in front of him and carefully considered his options.
In all honestly, this exposé could not have been timed worse. Scarcely a week had passed since Dumbledore had gone off his rocker during the third task of the Triwizard Tournament. Did he honestly expect anyone to believe that You-Know-Who had returned? Even if they did believe that nonsense, it would do nothing more than start a panic over nothing. You-Know-Who had been dead for years, and would stay that way, just as every other dark wizard had. Unfortunately, the Supreme Mugwump and Chief of the Wizengamot had a bit more influence than was wise for a man his age, so Cornelius knew that a forceful publicity campaign and media blitz would be needed to discredit the doddering old fellow.
It was quite frustrating that this business about Dawn was distracting everyone from the real news about Dumbledore, which had been pushed back to the later sections of the paper in order to accommodate the Prophet's latest scandal. One way or another, he needed to get Dawn and her deceased family out of the news. Just how to do it was the question.
One option was adoption. He could bring Dawn to Britain, parade her around in front of the media in the latest designer robes, and the Prophet would hopefully forget all about his supposed abandonment of his daughter. Of course, then he would be saddled with a squib until she turned seventeen, but he could always arrange for caretakers. On the whole, it was at least somewhat better than letting the Prophet drag this scandal out for months on end.
He could also likely arrange for a well-publicized adoption into a wealthy muggle family, arguing that his daughter had been raised in the muggle world, but that ploy could backfire in a number of different ways. After all, a minister who liked to tout his pureblood credentials should hardly have a muggle-raised child, and many of his most prominent supporters would see even the best of muggle guardians as the crudest savages. Moreover, family was important in the Wizarding World, so sending his daughter to anyone but a relative would likely be looked upon poorly. Considering how much evidence the Prophet had already accumulated, denial was, of course, pointless.
Really, there was little choice but to arrange for the adoption of his daughter. The process shouldn't be difficult. He'd simply send a few aurors to retrieve the girl via international portkey, and have Dolores prepare the paperwork.
Releasing a tired sigh, Cornelius stood up from his desk, and began the brief walk from his desk to his Undersecretary's office. It was already past ten in the morning, so she should certainly be in by now, and might even have anticipated his needs. With any luck, there would still be time to nip this scandal in the bud before it eroded much of his credibility. Maybe they would even have the latest ministry press releases on Dumbledore's bumbling back on the front page by the end of the week.
Waving his wand to conjure a quick notice to the Department of Magical Transportation that he would shortly need an international portkey to Sunnydale, the Minister directed his parchment to fold itself into a paper airplane and take off toward its intended destination without interrupting his walk. A few more swishes and flicks prepared a related note for the Department of Magical Law Enforcement, and then he was at the office of Dolores Umbridge. Just as he had hoped, he saw the paper in front of her as he walked into her room, so she would not need more than a cursory briefing on his planned response.
Tipping his bowler hat forward in a gesture of greeting, Cornelius began, “Good morning, Dolores. I suppose that you've seen the news.”
The prissy, pink-robed woman responded with her usual obsequiousness.
“Of course, Cornelius. The Prophet is spreading the most vicious lies about you. We'll need to have a team sue them for slander imm-”
“Unfortunately, that is not an option, Delores,” Cornelius interrupted his undersecretary.
“The Prophet already has acquired abundant evidence confirming their story, so, even my influence within the Wizengamot could not bring such a suit to a successful conclusion.”
Delores' eyes widened at this news, gesturing towards the paper.
“You mean it's true? You actually have some sort of secret muggle love child?”
The Minister simply smiled ruefully.
“It was a youthful mistake, Delores, nothing more. The key will be to take care of this matter quickly and publicly, so that the Prophet's attention returns to Dumbledore's many foibles as swiftly as possible.”
“Yes. Yes, of course. What do you need, Cornelius?”
“I've already sent the notices to the Departments of Magical Transportation and Law Enforcement necessary in order to ensure that the girl is brought here as swiftly as possible. You, Delores, should focus on preparing the paperwork to legalize their seizure of the girl. I'll be adopting her, of course. No justice in the magical world would refuse me in favor of some sort of muggle contraption. You'll also need to make sure the Prophet responds appropriately. I'll have Dawn prepare to address the media as quickly as possible once she arrives. However, it might be best that she have at least a few days to acclimatize herself to our world, so that she makes the best possible impression on the reporters.”
Delores nodded her consent.
“I'll get on that right away, Cornelius. Hopefully, this will all soon be behind us.”
The minister nodded firmly.
“I agree. The sooner this distraction is out of the way the better. I'll leave you to it then, Delores.”
Then, tipping his hat in a farewell to his undersecretary, the Minister for Magic strode out of Delores Umbridge's office confidently. Now that everything was being organized, there was little more for him to do just now. Of course, in a few hours, Dawn would be arriving in Great Britain, escorted by some of his finest aurors. Then the real work would begin.