Visiting Quid Pro Quo
Too much time had passed since Dawn had been at the Council house. The way Buffy described it, she would hardly recognize it due to the new faces and the revamped training rooms. She hadn’t wanted anything to do with the Council when they started to build it up; she wanted to study and learn, her love of research more important than sitting around in an old house watching girls with superpowers try to readjust to their new lives. When she was finished with her degree, she would join the Watcher ranks, but for now, she was just another college student.
Luckily, Buffy understood, was actually glad that Dawn was striving for normalcy, and the Council happily funded her college career, which was a good thing since each year put her about thirty thousand dollars in the hole, but it was Oxford
She had a few days where she could travel to see her family. Buffy was right; a break would do her brain good. With that in mind, she lugged her suitcase up the stairs into the foyer of the council house. Dawn smiled at Daisy.
“Hey, Daisy! Long time no see.” She wheeled her suitcase to a stop next to the desk. Buffy’s rooms weren’t on the ground level so she was going to grab a slayer to haul her stuff up the stairs. “Any idea if my sister is in or running around?” She made sure to come during the afternoon so Buffy wouldn’t be patrolling or asleep.
“Great,” Dawn said, looking around, “now just to find a victim willing to carry my stuff upstairs.”
“Oh my God! Dawn!”
Pevensie made a screeching sound and rushed at the currently-on-hiatus watcher. Meredith, Alice and Hiran watched with some shock as Pevensie actually hugged someone.
“What are you doing here? Not that you can’t be here,” Pevensie added. “Guys, guys, come here. Meet Buffy’s sister.”
“We got those bags, girl,” Rona said, nodding to herself and Caridad before each girl moved in to hug her as well.
Dawn was surprised when Pevensie rushed toward her and grabbed her in a tight hug. Last time she encountered the teen slayer, she was very anti-hug. When she got a hug from Rona and Caridad as well, she smiled at them gratefully. “Thanks, guys. Just put me in the rooms next to Buffy.”
They dragged her things away and she looked at the new slayers that walked up. “Hey, I’m Dawn.” She held out her hand.
“Meredith Spencer Burrows Kensington,” Meredith said, taking the offered hand.
“Mere, why do you say your whole big fat name when you meet people?” Alice asked. “I’m Alice. That’s my crup Bacon.”
“I am Hiran. It is nice to meet you.”
“It’s nice to meet you all, too,” Dawn said before leaning down and scratching the two-tailed dog behind the ears. “You are so cute, yes you are,” she babytalked.
“How many years at one of the most pretentious schools in the world and she still turns into a four year old at the sight of a dog,” Buffy said as she came down the stairs with a grin.
Dawn straightened with a glare. “Meanie.” She still gave her sister a hug. “I figured since you crashed on my couch for a bit I can do the same for you.”
“You know you are totally welcome anytime.”
“That and I want to vet your boyfriend,” Dawn said after a pause, ignoring the panicked look Buffy gave her as she turned to the three slayers. “Anyone have any info I should know about?”
Everyone looked as Draco Malfoy came rushing down the stairs.
“You should totally ask Draco about Buffy’s boyfriend,” Pevensie said, giggling.
“You are not
asking Draco about him,” Buffy hissed. “He is biased!”
Dawn pushed her aside and was completely surprised when Draco pulled her into a hug and spun her around. Since when did everyone get touchy-feely? Of course, after a few days with Faith, they were probably all happy they had their limbs.
Even when Draco put her down, he kept an arm around her. “Hi. Can I see the roaring pink pants Buffy pranked you with? She told me all about it but forgot to bring the pictures.”
“Have your teeth gotten whiter since the last time I saw you?” Draco asked then smirked at Buffy. “And no, those have since returned to their respectable black color.”
Buffy glared fiercely at him.
“Dawn wants to hear all about Theo,” Alice said.
Draco raised an eyebrow.
“Do not listen to a word he says about Theodore Nott,” Hannah said as she entered the entryway. “Hello, I’m Hannah Abbott. I’m a new watcher. Theo’s very nice.”
“Except for that whole ‘I raise the dead’ thing he has,” Draco added sarcastically.
“At least she’s not having sex with the dead things,” Dawn said.
Buffy stomped her foot in irritation. They were not having this argument again. “Vampires are not zombies! They are not the same things!”
Dawn rolled her eyes. “What are you, twelve? I meant it as a compliment, anyway. I mean, he’s got a beating heart and doesn’t go poof in the sunlight, right? And I promise I will reserve judgement for your new zombie-raising boyfriend for when I actually meet him.”
She ducked under Draco’s arm and held out her hand to Hannah. “Hi, Hannah. It’s nice to meet another female watcher.”
“Theo’s really rather nice,” Hannah said. “Draco and Blaise just have this whole thing where they don’t like him and haven’t since school.”
“Does Blaise know you’re defending Nott these days, Han?”
“He helped me when I lost my memory, you great baby, and Buffy likes him. That ought to be good enough for you, Draco Orion Malfoy.”
Pevensie leaned over to Dawn. “Hannah goes out with Draco’s best friend.”
“Khaelin, I don’t see anyone wounded,” Theo said as he walked into the lobby with his healer bag.
“Oh gods,” Draco muttered. “Kill it with fire.”
Hannah slapped him on the arm.
Dawn snorted but managed to school her features. “I take it this is Theo?” she asked Hannah, although she need to answer when Buffy sighed loudly. Dawn knew that sigh well. It was her I hate everything about my life right now
Buffy walked past Draco with a glare. “You will behave
,” she hissed before continuing to greet Theo. She gave him a kiss and stood by him, glaring at Draco the entire time.Buffy’s sister
, Pevensie mouthed.
Theo went to extend his hand to shake Dawn’s when Malfoy fired off a spell that knocked his hand away.
“Really?” Theo snapped, looking at Malfoy. “I’m sorry. You must be Dawn. Yes, I’m Theo. Theodore Nott, but Theo is more than fine. I am so pleased to meet you.”
Buffy was about to resort to taking off her shoe and throwing it at Draco’s head.
Dawn held out her hand and this time, Theo was able to take it. “Dawn Summers. You hurt my sister and I will send you to a dimension where tripping up over zombies will be the absolute least of your worries, but before I do that, I will beat your face in with a shovel. Just because I’m not a slayer doesn’t mean I can’t kick your ass.”
Buffy groaned and covered her face with her hands. “You said you weren’t going to threaten him.”
“I didn’t,” Dawn said, giving her sister her best innocent face. “That was a promise.”
“And that is why I like Dawn,” Draco said to Pevensie.
“Well, you’ll try anyhow,” Theo said, smirking wickedly at her. “Haven’t you heard? I can take a beating. And you shouldn’t speak to me like that. I’m not interested.”
“Dawn,” Draco said. “Sweet, you don’t threaten a Slytherin. We think you’re flirting with us.”
She looked at him strangely. “Is that why you commented on my teeth earlier? Was that a weird round-a-bout compliment or something?”
Buffy wondered about that herself before she recalled the conversation she and Draco had about Dawn and what the teeth really meant. “Oh God, no, you are not allowed to comment on her...teeth.”
She looked between Buffy and Draco. “Have you been hit on the head recently?”
Draco grinned at Buffy. “But they’re so... pert. You know how I like teeth.”
“Oh no,” Theo said. “This is how he normally is.”
“I wish the two of you wouldn’t start your psychotic Slytherin behavior when Dawn’s just meeting Theo. It’s undignified, you know,” Hannah said in a reproachful tone. “And quit speaking in code. It’s not polite.”
“Slytherins don’t know how not to be psychos around each other, Hannah,” Pevensie said. “My watcher is no exception as much as he likes to think he is. He’s a child carefully disguised as a grown-up.”
Draco scowled at her. “Hey.”
Dawn snorted. “This really isn’t all that strange. I mean, I spent a lot of my high school years learning to play poker from a vampire and a group of demons using kittens as poker chips. The things I heard there don’t even come close to someone commenting on my teeth.” She leaned over to Buffy. “Speaking of, don’t let Spike know this place has more drama than Passions. He will park himself in the lobby with popcorn just for the kicks.”
“Spike?” Meredith asked in an excited tone. “William the Bloody? That Spike? Him? He’d come here? Like to visit? There would be a vampire with a soul here, and we could study him?”
Draco started laughing loudly. “Meredith, I don’t feature him sitting still for that one. And how in the hell do you know about Spike?”
“That’s what I’d like to know,” Hannah said, looking at her slayer.
“I read,” Meredith replied.
Dawn didn’t want to mention that there was probably no way Spike would come around a necromancer, not after what happened the last time. She didn’t know if Buffy knew about that. “I can call him and you could probably ask him some questions. He loves talking about himself.”
Buffy huffed. “Don’t get him started. You know he’d be happy to come play show and tell for a bunch of slayers.” She turned to Meredith. “Are you still reading all those Watcher Diaries?”
“Ooh, I want to borrow some,” Dawn said excitedly. “I was in the middle of the diaries of the ‘60s and didn’t get to finish.”
Buffy looked at her strangely. “How are you my sister?”
“Buffy, I’ve read all the watchers’ diaries,” Pevensie said.
“Nerd,” Draco said.
Pevensie hit him in the arm.
“Oh my gosh! Dawnie!”
Willow was hurrying down the stairs with Oz slightly behind her. Both offered Dawn hugs, though Willow’s was longer.
Pevensie looked up and saw Snape walking down.
“Morticia Addams alert.”
Dawn pulled away from Willow’s tight hug and looked over to the stairs. There was quite the gathering. “Well, I didn’t know there would be a mini convention for my mini vacation.” She leaned over to Buffy. “Is that the scary bat dude you were telling me about that your boyfriend raised from the dead? Are you sure he’s still not dead?”
Buffy covered Dawn’s mouth with her hand. “You have got to stop talking because you are getting me in so much trouble.”
Draco started laughing but turned it into coughing when Snape glared at him.
“I assure you that I am not dead, Miss Summers Junior.”
Theo gave Buffy this look. “You told your sister I raised him from the dead?”
Snape gave Theo an assessing look. “Mr. Nott, one should never be ashamed of one’s abilities, wouldn’t you agree, Miss Summers Senior?”
Dawn’s eyebrow went up and she batted Buffy’s hand away. “The only people who get to call me Miss Summers are my university professors. Since I am definitely not at school, call me Dawn.”
Buffy made a face. “And thanks for the reminder that I’m old.”
“I didn’t!” Dawn said loudly.
“Snape used to be a professor,” Draco said. “And he doesn’t call people by their given names very often. The best you’ll likely get is Summers.”
“I did not call you old, Miss Summers. In wizarding terms of age, you are still quite the child.” Severus sighed loudly. “Miss Rosenberg, I shall be in your rooms should you decide to continue your lessons today.”
That being said, he spun on his heel and left. His cloak billowing behind him.
“I’m Dracula. Peace out. Thank you, Wiltshire. You’ve been a lovely crowd. Be sure to catch the four PM show.”
Draco elbowed Pevensie for her comments.
“Dracula had better fashion sense than that,” Buffy said with a snort.
Dawn looked at her strangely. “He dressed like a 17th century nobleman. And he had that funny accent.”
“And you had a crush on him.”
Dawn rolled her eyes. “I also had a crush on Xander and Spike. When it comes to guys, I’m almost worse than you.” She turned to Theo. “No offense. Yet.”
“Buffy had a crush on me once,” Draco said.
“You just proved her point, Malfoy,” Theo quipped.
“Stop it, you two,” Hannah said. “I’m sure Dawn might like to rest after her journey.”
“Oxford isn’t that far,” Dawn said. “And the countryside was really beautiful. And really, I don’t have anything to do until tonight.”
Buffy looked at her strangely. “What are you doing tonight? I thought you just wanted to come for a few days to relax.”
“I do. I want to get to chat with everyone. Giles, Anya, the gang. But tonight? We’re having dinner. You, me, and Theo.”
“I want to come along too,” Draco said.
“Absolutely not,” Theo said.
And Oz said, “You officially have plans with me now, Draco.”
“Spoil my fun, Osbourne.”
Hannah smiled. “I think I’ll join you blokes.”
Theo looked at Buffy and made a face.
“If I had known, I would have warned you. Promise.”
Dawn nudged Buffy. “It’s not going to be that bad. It’s not like I brought pictures of you and Mr. Gordo or anything.”
Buffy sighed loudly. “Do you want to go to your room to take a nap? A very long, three day nap?”
“Nope. I’m wide awake. I’d really like a tour of the place. It’s changed since I last was here.”
“Who’s Mr. Gordo?” Pevensie asked.
“I’m curious about that myself,” Theo said.
Willow kissed Dawn’s cheek. “I don’t want to keep Snape waiting. He gets kinda cranky. See you after while, Dawnie. Maybe funny shape pancakes for breakfast tomorrow?”
“Definitely. And then can you help me with my Latin homework? My professor is totally wrong about some translations, but if I can get a second opinion, I’d feel better about it. You’re the expert.”
“Ahem,” Draco said. “I know just as much Latin as Willow.”
Willow grinned. “He’s right. I know he doesn’t look it, but Draco’s pretty smart. We’ll both help you.”
Dawn gave Draco a droll look. “I don’t trust you not to give me a translation of the broccoli dances on a bridge at midnight in a tutu
or the word penis
. I already made that mistake when I asked someone for help on my ancient Greek homework.”
“Oh Blaise can help you with the Greek,” Hannah said.
“Or Khaelin,” Meredith said. “Since she actually is Greek.”
“I wouldn’t tell you something said penis,” Draco groused. “Unless it actually said penis.”
“I had to take Latin for my healer training since a lot of medical terms and spells have Latin roorts,” Theo said. “I would be happy to look over Draco’s work and make sure there’s no penis involved.”
Pevensie and Alice giggled.
“I notice you didn’t deny the broccoli though,” Dawn said lightly. “I’ll do the Latin tomorrow, so whoever wants to help can come find me.”
“But they will not be doing the work for you,” Buffy said sternly.
Dawn rolled her eyes. “Really? I earn my own grades, Buffy, but sometimes I do need a little help. But the only homework I normally need help on are the languages and the poetry selections in Sex and Gender.”
Buffy gave her a horrified look. “They’re teaching you sex there? Giles told me it was respectable!”
“Maybe Mac’s cousin Cullen could help with the sex and gender,” Alice said, giggling. “I’d like for him to tutor me there.”
“Rosenberg,” was shouted from an unseen point on the stairs.
Willow shook her head. “Gotta go. Later, Dawnie.”
Dawn waved goodbye and then glared at Buffy. “My degree is in Classical Archaelogy and Ancient History. Sex and gender were very large topics in ancient times, hence a class on sex and gender in Greece and Rome. It’s not like I’m attending a class on stripping. All we really do is read literature and view artwork about it, and it’s not like they’re manuals for bordellos or anything.”
Buffy put fingers in her ears. “I am not talking about sex with you like this. I’m not.”
Dawn rolled her eyes. “Oh, but I have to listen to you give me a play by play of your dates with Mr. Thriller over here?”
“Dawn!” Buffy snapped.
“What all have you told her?” Theo asked.
“Come along,” Hannah said. “We have to go do... that, um, thing we have.”
She managed to drag Draco off with Oz’s help.
“Training,” Meredith said. “We should go train.”
“Yes,” Pevensie, Hiran and Alice agreed.
The four slayers practically tripped over themselves to get away. Daisy was looking away, completely fascinated in the ceiling.
“Wow,” Dawn said after a moment. “That was about as subtle as troll hammer to the face.”
“You keep having this problem, Dawn. Your mouth opens up and words come out. It’s causing me no small amount of trouble,” Buffy said with a glare.
“You told me you talked to him and worked things out!” Dawn said defensively. “How was I supposed to know if that meant literally talked to him and worked things out or what I’m now guessing was lots and lots of sexy times complete with no-talking snuggling?”
“Words!” Buffy said loudly, grabbing Dawn’s arm and starting to pull her towards the stairs. She gestured for Theo to follow them. “You keep saying them and I am not okay with that! Can you at least be quiet until we get to somewhere private?”
Dawn stared at her strangely. “Okay, maybe you haven’t had sex yet. You’re awfully uptight.” When they passed by a slayer who was munching on a snack, she perked up. “Oh, are those elves still around? Whenever I tell them what to make, they never look at me weird, no matter how gross the food sounds.”
They arrived at Buffy’s rooms and Buffy pushed her in. “What happened to the three of us eating dinner?”
Dawn grinned at Theo, who was standing back and watching them. “Oh, we’re still having that.”
“I would just like to say that the degree of naked I have seen your sister in is not up for discussion,” Theo said. “Ever. I prefer to keep my private life as private as possible.”
Dawn looked between Theo and Buffy with a disbelieving expression. “You do realize that this is the girl who was told that she absolutely had to keep her secret identity a secret and wasn’t even able to do that for, like, a week? There is no such thing as private with this one.”
Buffy knew exactly what was happening. Dawn was trying to push buttons, something she was extremely good at, but she wanted to see if Theo had a breaking point. She had been extremely sympathetic when Buffy visited, but if she thought that Theo was going to break her heart again, Dawn was going to figure it out now.
“Well then I suppose I shall have to teach her that, won’t I?” Theo replied evenly. “I had a sister I loved with every bit of my being once, but I did not share everything with her. Some things are private.”
Dawn narrowed her eyes and squared her shoulders, but before she could retort, Buffy stood in front of her. “Not now,” she said softly.
“I know. And thank you.”
After sighing loudly, Dawn gave Buffy a hug. “I would ask that you try to date a normal guy for once, but you probably wouldn’t know what in the world to do with him.”
“Thanks,” Buffy said dryly.
“No offense,” Dawn said over Buffy’s shoulder. “Again.”
Theo gave her a very droll look. “Do I get to test you as well? Am I passing? And trust me when I say out of all of my peers, I probably am the most normal.”
“Honestly, your test comes on Buffy’s birthday. If you can survive whatever the universe throws at her then, I will consider you passed.”
Buffy rolled her eyes. “At least I don’t get kidnapped. Uh oh! Dawn’s gone! Must be a Tuesday!”
“I haven’t been kidnapped in years! And that time I got kidnapped to give my brain a rest by the people down the hall doesn’t count!”
“You must be very well-liked,” Theo said. “What? Slytherins kidnap those important to us. It’s considered a sign of affection. It also proves your worth to someone if you are kidnapped and used as leverage against them. It’s a very big deal.”
Dawn blinked in surprise. “Seriously?”
“Don’t ask,” Buffy said firmly. “Apparently Hannah was kidnapped and in retribution her boyfriend kidnapped the sister of the woman who kidnapped Hannah who zapped all of Hannah’s memories so she suddenly knew everything about her boyfriend and then Willow made her forget her boyfriend and it was this whole big thing. I prefer our version of kidnapping. I get to hurt people that way.”
Dawn shook her head. “No one is going to try to kidnap you, are they?”
Buffy snorted. “Yeah right. Who would be dumb enough to try to kidnap me? I’d kick their ass.”