On Sleepless Roads the Sleepless Go
*~* On Sleepless Roads the Sleepless Go *~*
Harry was shifting nervously as Willow stood next to him on the porch of Number 4 Privet Drive. She had rapped lightly on the door. Said door swung open revealing a very sour and pinched looking Uncle Vernon.
"Hiya. You must be Harry's Uncle Vernon. I'm Willow Rosenberg." Willow said cheerfully. "We're just here to pick up Harry's school things. We won't be a moment."
Uncle Vernon growled and tried to close the door in their faces. Willow's combat boot encased foot shot out keeping the door from closing all the way. Harry had pondered earlier why she had worn the things when he usually saw her in sneakers or flip-flops or girlie-looking lady boots with several inches of heel on them. Now he knew the answer to that particular question. She must have anticipated a less than warm welcome.
"I'd advise you NOT to go there, Mr. Dursley. It'd make me cranky, and you wouldn't like me if I were cranky."
Uncle Vernon didn't move.
"You have five seconds to let us in before the crankiness ensues, bub."
"Your foot is trespassing, madam! Remove it at once!"
"I'm about to put it up your butt!"
"Look, Oscar the Grouch, all he wants to do it get his school stuff. Then we'll be gone."
"Vernon?" Aunt Petunia called.
Willow used his uncle's distraction to slam her shoulder into the door knocking it open. She breezed in and pulled Harry with her.
"Hiya." Willow said to the other woman. "You must be Harry's Aunt Petunia. I'm Willow Rosenberg. Harry, go get your stuff and be quick about it. The taxi's waiting."
Uncle Vernon grabbed his arm. "You will not be going back to that foul, weird place." He looked at Willow menacingly. "And you, miss, with leave this property."
"Not without Harry." Willow said whipping out her wand.
Aunt Petunia gasped.
"Petunia, call the police."
"Go ahead. I can hex you into next week and be gone with Harry before they even get out of the parking lot."
"You aren't allowed to use magic out side of that school." Vernon hissed.
"Correction, sir. STUDENTS aren't allowed to use magic outside of Hogwarts. Allow me to introduce myself again... PROFESSOR Willow Rosenberg."
Uncle Vernon paled.
"Go on, Harry." Willow said sweetly.
Harry raced up the stairs to his room desperately wanting to laugh, but that would have been poor form.
So he waited until he was in his room with the door closed to snicker.
Draco's eyes snapped open.
Those ruddy little adorable bitches were blaring their infuriating muggle music again. Dawn Summers and Lily Rosenberg. He'd never met two people who he hated and yet adored more. They were fascinatingly loyal to him - no matter how nasty he was with them. He'd never had true friends before. Hell, the three of them even had a blood pact. He'd been much thrown in with them this summer, as they were studying with various professors getting ready for the upcoming year at Hogwarts.
And he was reading some very dull watcher's journals and other texts, but as dull as a lot of it was, some it truly fascinated him. To train someone like that. When you knew each day could be their last. He was beginning to realize he wanted that. He'd be some girl's lifeline. She wouldn't die. She'd live on like Giles's Buffy because Draco Malfoy hated to lose. He'd die before he'd let his slayer perish. Assuming he actually got one some day.
Because he HATED to lose.
Which made this thing with Ginny so difficult. She'd practically ignored him all summer. Draco tried not to be stung, but he was. Dammit all to hell, he honestly liked the annoying little sister of weasel. School was starting in a week, and he hadn't heard from her in two.
And if he had to hear "Sweetness" by Jimmy Eat World one more time, he was going to throttle Dawn and Lily. The 'whoa's in it grated right on his nerves. It was much better when Dawn sung along with "Hear You Me". The two girls had been about that CD all summer. That and some group called Good Charlotte, which Draco liked for some odd reason. A liking that made Spike beam with pride. Draco was discovering he also had a liking for the Ramones. Spike had acted like he'd just made Head Boy when he discovered Draco's muggle music tastes. It was weird.
And amusing. Draco had also gotten to know the mysterious Sirius Black over the summer. He wasn't so bad, despite being Potter's godfather. He and Spike were hysterical. They snipped and baited almost as much as Draco and Potter did. Their only common ground seemed to be music. Sirius liked muggle punk too. The Ramones being one of his favorites. He and Spike chatted endlessly about it until they would remember they disliked one another. They also drank A LOT, much to Remus Lupin's irritation.
Draco sighed and got out of bed as the CD player, set to random obviously, started blaring "Bleed American" from the room next his in the house Giles had rented for the summer. He didn't bother with his shirt, his robe, his slippers, or even his hairbrush. Draco was willing to bet the hairbrush was feeling damn near neglected these days, but Lily and Dawn kept telling him how much better his hair looked when he DIDN'T brush it.
He trudged next door in his bare chest and pajama pants and threw open the door. 'Jimmy' blasted him in the face, and he was met with a very familiar sight. Dawn and Lily in their sleep-wear dancing about and singing along with clothing spewed all over. He folded his arms across his chest and leaned against the door frame.
The two of them really were lovely. Dawn with her long brown hair and its blonde streaks. The Summers girl was tall and wispy. Most of her was leg. Lily was much shorter and far more pale. She was tiny in stature and delicate-looking - a very deceiving combo. Lily had retained some of her vampiric speed and fighting abilities. And her straight hair shone brightly around her white face. It was unique with its bright fire and two streaks of black that not even magic could color away. Yes, they were both lovely.
Too bad he liked Ginny.
"Morning, Draco." Lily said loudly. "Did we wake you?"
He glared. "You that you did."
Dawn just grinned at him. He scowled a bit deeper.
"Well, you needed to get out of bed anyway. Willow will be here in exactly forty-five minutes to take us to Diagon Alley."
He rolled his eyes. "It only takes me fifteen minutes to get dressed."
Lily eyed him up and down. "Well, if you always start out that naked, I can see why."
He actually flushed.
"You really shouldn't be walking around in just pants, Drake. I might be forced to attack you."
Dawn snorted. "Don't start. Like you don't know how good-looking you are."
"But... my clothes and-" He'd outgrown most of the stuff he'd had during school last term and didn't really have the extra money to spend on a fabulous new wardrobe like he had done in the past. He'd been having to settle for thrift store stuff. It was degrading.
"Clothes DO NOT make the man." Dawn said.
Lily sighed and pulled him into the room. She marched him up to the full length mirror. "Look at you. All tall and blonde... with musskulls..."
Dawn snickered at her mispronunciation of muscles.
"Draco, you're very prettyboy." Lily sighed. "How tall are you now? Six foot? You've sprouted, man. And this..." She jabbed a finger in his six pack. "is drool worthy."
He snickered a bit when she poked him.
"I may have to give that Ginny Weasley some competition."
At the mention of Ginny, Draco closed down. Dawn shot Lily a glare.
"Haven't heard from her?" Dawn whispered.
"No." He responded in a clipped tone.
Dawn hugged his arm a bit. "Draco, I'm so sor-"
He pulled away violently. "Don't you DARE feel sorry for me!"
Dawn just stared. God, he really WAS of Spike's bloodline, and his little mood swings were getting worse as the start of the new school term approached. He kept everything all bottled up, then would finally explode over the tiniest things.
"All right there, fuckhole." Lily started. "There's no need to go all Mr. Hyde on us, Dr. Jekyll. We get that your hurting... A LOT. You've been through a ton this summer. So have we. We're sorry Ginny doesn't have the good taste to owl you, but that is no reason to act like a horse's patoot to your best friends."
Draco blinked. Two things startling him. First that her rant contained the words fuckhole and horse's patoot in reference to his person. She had the oddest mix of swears and non-swears sometimes. She would say fuck one moment and fudge the next. And second, that she had called him her best friend in a fashion. None of them had actually SAID it aloud before. Sure they had the pact, but that was actions not words. Draco had liked hearing the words just then. He had this incredible urge to hug her. The way he'd seen Granger do with Potter from time to time.
And funny, right as that thought occurred to him, "Hear You Me" started to play. He didn't think how he was supposed to be so strong and proud and impassive. He could let THEM see him be weak. Because they would never taunt him for it or exploit it later on. He just knew they wouldn't.
Lily squealed as Draco lifted her off her feet and up into his arms. Her sleep shirt lifted up revealing bright red undies. He chuckled a bit. It really was too bad he wasn't attracted to anyone but Ginny these days. Lily was sort of sexy. Dawn's arms came around from behind engulfing both of them. Draco felt her cheek press into his back between his shoulder blades. Potter was lucky. Dawn's heart was so huge. Draco liked to think she made up for his not really having one.
"Am I interrupting?"
The three of them jumped. Willow was standing in the doorway in very lovely green robes with a pleased smile on her lips. Her long red hair was piled atop her head in a weaving of braids.
"You're early." Dawn said lamely as she moved away from Draco, looking a bit embarrassed at having been caught with her face pressed to his bare back.
"Just a bit. I wanted to speak with Giles about classes this year. Get dressed, you three. I'll be in the living room waiting."
Lily and Dawn were walking arm in arm to Ollivander's. Dawn was a nervous wreck. The two of them had been practicing with borrowed wands all summer. Now they were going to get real ones. Draco and Willow had popped into Gringott's sending the two girls on. Draco had been nervous about it. The ministry had seized a lot of the Malfoy money. Willow had told him it was not to worry. She'd dealt with Harry's relatives. She could deal with anything. Plus Spike had come along with them. He could be very intimidating at times. He'd told Willow and Draco he'd be in the Leaky Cauldron having a drink if they needed him as Lily and Dawn had headed for Ollivander's.
The bell clanged as the girls entered the shop.
"Hello?" Dawn called.
Mr. Ollivander came rolling out atop his ladder. "Ahh, Misses Rosenberg and Summers. I have been anxiously awaiting your arrival all day."
"You have?" Dawn said with no small amount of shock.
Mr. Ollivander climbed down the ladder gracefully and grabbed a box. He walked straight to Dawn and opened it. There was a wand lying inside on a patch of green velvet.
"Well, go on. Let's see how right he was about you."
Dawn took it. Almost instantly the room was bathed in a golden glow. The air smelled sweet like honeysuckle. Her hair shot up off her head like in a sudden updraft. Dawn gasped.
"Most excellent. He has quite an eye."
"William the Bloody." Mr. Ollivander said as he pointed out a small marking on the base of her wand.
The letters WtB were burned into the wood.
Dawn gasped. "Spike designed my wand?"
"Indeed. He was very specific about it, in fact. Aspen. Thirteen inches. Two drops of blood in the core. A vampire's and a slayer's."
"And the blood..."
"Is his and your sister's, yes."
Dawn clutched the wand tightly to her chest. She couldn't even put into words how important this gesture was to her. Spike had given her something that would make her think of him every time she did magic. And for once, she truly wished her sister would allow Spike to love her. Because he did it really well.
"I see you approve."
"How could I not?"
"Indeed." Mr. Ollivander said smiling. "Step up, Miss Rosenberg."
He produced another box and opened it to Lily. She took the wand.
"Give it a wave."
She did. All the papers on Mr. Ollivander's desk flew up in his face.
"I think not."
He seemed to look around for the longest time before rushing off to the back and coming back with three boxes. The first resulted in his ladder making a lunge for him. The second caused his lamp to aim for his head, putting quite a singe in his wild gray hair before exploding against the wall. The third caused him to get pelted with boxes from one of the shelves.
Things like this went on for the better part of a hour. Mr. Ollivander was now sporting a nasty cut on his forehead where his quill had gotten him after a particularly shocking swish from a wand made of poplar.
"Maybe I'm not meant for a wand." Lily said with a bit of despair.
"Nonsense, girl. It's here. We just have to find it."
"I admire your determination, Mr. Ollivander, but there's a bleeding cut on your forehead."
"Just one more, dear."
Lily plucked the wand out of its box. It was rather short and black. A soft shower of blue sparks shot out the end. Then Lily felt her skin prickle. This was her wand. She knew it.
"Ebony. Six inches. Hair plucked from the nape of a werewolf at the core."
When they had tried to pay, Mr. Ollivander had informed them that Dawn's wand had already been paid for by one William Malfoy, and Lily's had been instructed to be added to the tab of one Severus Snape.
Lily was quite in shock that Snape would buy her wand. It was such an odd thing for him to do. Especially when you considered how hard he had been on the two of them while trying to cram about four or five years worth of potions into their heads before September first.
They were finally headed towards the Leaky Cauldron to meet Spike, Willow, and Draco after popping into the second hand robe shop when Dawn suddenly squeaked and pulled Lily down a bend in the street.
"What IS your problem?" Lily hissed as Dawn forced them to hide behind a pile of rather nasty-looking crates.
Then Lily saw him. Or rather them. Harry, Hermione, and Ron. A third person ran up and was talking animatedly to them. At which point Harry turned and looked right where they were hiding. Dawn grabbed Lily and took off running down the side street.
"You haven't told him!"
"No." Dawn offered sheepishly.
"You big chicken! You'll never get into Gryffindor with his attitude. I can't believe Harry STILL doesn't know we're going to go to Hogwarts this term."
Lily suddenly looked around. She was facing a shop that sold shrunken heads. Next to it was a place boasting of gigantic spiders. There also seemed to be far less light down this way than on the main street. Why did this not strike her as of the good?
Dawn was starting to notice their surroundings as well.
"Well what have we here? You ladies lost?"
Dawn flinched, and Lily spun about. He wouldn't be half bad... but for the TEETH. Lily almost gasped in shock. What? The wizarding world had never heard of braces? This guy was an orthodontist's worst nightmare.
"We're not lost." Lily said smoothly.
The guy nodded at someone over their heads. Dawn's scream was cut off as they were grabbed and drug into a dark alleyway in between two of the shops. Both of them were struggling.
"What a pair of hellcats."
Blood started pounding in Dawn's ears. She'd show them a friggin hellcat. Dawn sent her skull slamming back into the face of the guy holding her. He howled in pain. It turned into a grunt when she elbowed him in the gut. She took his beefy arm and used his weight to flip him over her and onto his back. Buffy would be so proud.
Lily was still struggling. Her attacker had her in a headlock. Lily was gasping for air and kicking wildly. Dawn moved to help her but was grabbed from behind by teeth guy. She let out a frustrated screech. Lily had managed to get out of her hold, but the guy swung at her with a piece of wood. Lily took the hit and slammed into the opposite wall of the building. Then she slumped to the ground in a faint.
"One down. One to go. Didn't figure they'd put up such a fight."
Dawn's back was slammed into the side of the building and the large guy loomed over her. It stole her breath for a minute. His grip on her upper arms was bruising, his breath very foul. But that wasn't what scared her. It was her scar. The one Voldemort's failed attempt at the death curse had left her with. It was throbbing painfully.
"They never said the key was so pretty." Mr. Teeth hissed in her ear.
Dawn shivered in revulsion. She was almost completely petrified with fear. Her scar was absolutely burning now. Then her eyes went wide as she felt a hand graze her breast.
Oh HELL no.
Her fear evaporated like a drop of water on Texas asphalt in July. Dawn lunged, head butting the jerk. He howled and grabbed his mouth. She'd busted his bottom lip with the blow. He staggered back. Dawn used his temporary confusion to land two sharp jabs to his face. One to the eye and one to the nose. He staggered back even more, giving Dawn enough room to send a solid kick to the center of his chest.
"You little bitch!" He dove at her. His hands closed around her throat.
Dawn felt fear course through her again.
He jumped back, and Dawn started choking for air.
"Don't you fockin' move, Flint. An' don't think I dinna see ya reaching for your wand Higgs. Hands were I can see 'em, ya rat bastards!"
Dawn had never been so glad to see Oliver Wood in her entire life. And she had never seen him looking quite as he did just then. His eyes were flashing angrily. His lip was curled back in a bit of a snarl, and his hand was gripping his wand so tightly the knuckles were almost beyond white. And his accent was thicker than ever.
"Oliver." She whispered.
He moved to her side slowly, his eyes never leaving the guy he'd called Flint. The one with the teeth. Dawn clung to Oliver's side shaking.
"All right there, Dawn?" He asked rubbing her arm affectionately.
"What are you gonna do, Wood?"
Lily gave a groan, and Oliver's eyes shot to her for a second. It was enough. Flint, Higgs, and the third member of their party who had been laying on the ground stunned took off down the other end of the alley. Oliver shot something after them with his wand, but Dawn didn't hear what hex he used. She was rushing to Lily's side. Oliver joined her a moment later.
"Damn. They got away." He looked down at Lily.
There was a trickle of blood coming out from under her hairline.
"All right, Lily?"
"Uh. Anybody get the license plate of that truck?"
Oliver looked at Dawn in alarm.
"She'll be fine. Lily has a very hard head."
"Eat me, Summers."
Oliver blushed at her vulgarity and swung Lily up into his arms.
"What ARE you doing?"
"Not in my legs, I'm not! Put me down, Oliver!"
Oliver ignored her. He ignored all the stares of the shoppers in Diagon Alley as he carried the redheaded girl in her overalls and black t shirt. Dawn was hurrying alongside him with a hand on his shoulder.
She barely noticed when they hurried right past Harry, Ron, Hermione, and Ginny who were absolutely gaping. Dawn further didn't notice when the group followed them.
Willow jumped when the door to the Leaky Cauldron was kicked open.
"Hey!" Tom the barkeep called out indignantly with a stern look on his face that lasted until he noticed exactly who and what had burst into the little pub.
Oliver Wood strode in with a girl lying a bit limply in his arms with a very nervous Dawn Summers behind him, holding onto him.
"Bloody hell!" Spike yelled, further disrupting the patrons of the pub. "What happened?"
"Ruddy Marcus Flint and his goons!" Oliver snapped as he passed Lily to Spike.
"Oh fuck all, Wood! You might have told me the chit was bleeding!" Spike snapped as his face changed.
Several of the patrons gasped.
"Oh like you lot have never seen a vampire before."
"Here." Draco was standing behind Spike with his arms outstretched.
Spike passed Lily to him and Draco carried her over to the table where Willow was taking bandages and other first aid supplies from Tom.
Dawn was staring off into space with a glassy look on her face. She was rubbing her collar absently over the scar from where Voldemort's curse hit her. Ugly purple bruises had already started to pop up around her throat where Flint had gripped her. Oliver gingerly touched her neck. He'd never had a sister before, and definitely thought of Dawn Summers in that capacity. He cared about her just as fiercely as he cared for Tara or Willow.
"I'll kill him if I ever see him again. I swear it."
Dawn started shaking.
Spike moved closer to her. "There now, bit. You're all right. Nothing will hurt you here. Come sit."
She turned. Harry was standing there. She moved slowly to stand before him. Suddenly she burst into tears and threw herself at him. Harry's eyes went wide. He guided her to the back near where Willow and the others were. All eyes were on them. Harry sat in a chair and pulled the girl into his lap. He was speaking as softly as he could to her and rubbing her back.
"There now. You're safe here. What happened?"
"We were.. and you... because I hadn't said... so hiding.. and then he... and my scar... and Lily... and then Oliver..." She hiccupped.
"Could I get that one more time?"
"Oh Harry, I'm gonna be a sixth year at Hogwarts and that creepy Flint guy touched my boob a little."
"I'm sorry. What was that?"
"He touched my boobie."
"Not that. The other thing."
"I'm going to Hogwarts?" She said sheepishly.
"And you've known this how long?" Harry said in a clipped tone.
"So before my birthday then."
Dawn didn't say anything. She started absently picking at a piece of lint on his sweater.
"And you were planning on telling me this when? At the sorting ceremony? First day of class maybe?"
"Hey, Potter, watch how you talk to her." Malfoy snapped.
Harry got up and deposited Dawn in another chair. He leaned over her looking a bit angry. It was more hurt than anything though. Hurt that she hadn't trusted something so important to him. "That's why you two seemed so close. You've been palling around with my nemesis all summer break."
"Not right now." He said before he turned and stalked out of the Leaky Cauldron.
Ron and Hermione turned and followed. Ginny looked at Draco for a long time. When he made a move towards her, she spun on her heel and stalked after the others.
Draco squeezed his eyes shut. Blood was pounding in his ears. What in the devil was wrong with Ginny Weasley? Couldn't she see how he wanted her? How he had since the moment he realized she'd roped Tara into giving him detention just so she could be with him. He missed how she used to look at him. Like he was worth something. It hurt. It hurt really damn bad. He could take all this shit with his parents if he had her. He could stand being broke as hell if she was there. She was this bright spot in his universe.
And he really wanted to know who'd doused the fucking light.