Nod and Dream
*~* Nod and Dream *~*
Someone was singing.
Tara liked it. It was nice. The voice filled her with warmth. It was like licking syrup from your fingers after eating a hearty helping of pancakes.
"Stay awake, don't rest your head. Don't lie down upon your bed. While the moon drifts in the skies, stay awake, don't close your eyes."
And a hand was soothing her belly. They were singing to the baby. That was nice.
"Though the world is fast asleep, though your pillow's soft and deep, you're not sleepy as you seem. Stay awake, don't nod and dream. Stay awake, don't nod and dream."
Tara's eyes fluttered open. She somehow expected to see Fred... even though the lullaby voice was definitely male in nature. What Tara saw was the top of a bleach blonde head. Spike was in her room. Spike was singing to her pregnant tummy... and rubbing it.
"No fear here, pet. Uncle Spike is here. He won't let anything hurt you."
"Tara?" Fred was standing there in the semi-darkness looking at the two Malfoys on the bed.
Spike turned and snarled at her.
"Spike!" Tara hissed.
"Sorry, Winifred. Sorry little bird. I don't... come here. Stay with us. Stay a while. I can sing."
"I heard." Fred replied. "It was very nice. Pretty-sounding. Should you... be... out though?"
"William is a good boy."
Edward was hovering nearby. He laughed at that. "Yeah... good at getting his head lit afire."
Tara's head turned abruptly. She stared at the place where Edward was. Suddenly... he appeared to her. He looked a lot... A LOT like Draco's father... only translucent. There were slight differences, but Lucius Malfoy definitely had the genetics of a Malfoy.
"Edward Malfoy?" She asked hesitantly.
"You see Eddie?"
"I do." Tara flashed a bright smile at Edward. "I'm Tara Maclay."
"Who are you guys talking to?" Fred asked nervously.
Edward smirked at Tara. "I know very well who you are, m'dear. You look so remarkably like Eliza."
"Doesn't she?" Spike said with a smile. "I don't know how I didn't see it at first."
"Weren't looking for it, Will. Weren't looking for a Malfoy so far from home." He smiled his ghostly smirk at Tara again. "It's so nice to have someone besides William to talk to."
"We call him Spike."
"And I always referred to him as William... and always shall."
"Ok." Fred said in an overly calm tone. "You two are talking to a third person that I can't see. It's a little freaky."
Spike and Tara both looked at her.
Then Edward started freaking out.
He was shouting and flying about the whole room. Lil Spike was squeaking and flapping his little bat wings violently. Tara had gasped in surprise, jumped off of the bed, grabbed Fred, and pulled her into a far corner.
"Bloody hell, Edward! Stop scaring the ladies!" Spike shouted in annoyance. "Tell me what's bothering you!"
"He's in danger! He's in trouble! They whispered it through the damned walls! That bloody little pit viper is trying to get him! Go! Now!"
Tara was already out of the room before he even finished. Fred and Spike followed.
"What is it?!" The Texan shouted. "What's wrong?!"
"Go find Dumbles! Tell 'im Drake is in trouble! Get Red! And her Cranky Pants! Tell him to bring the pants! And the mum! Get Drake's mum! If you can find his mother! Tell her they're after her boy! Go!"
Draco was asleep. Sort of.
In his arms was a very warm and cuddly redhead. His nose was smelling the slight scent lying on the back of her neck. Wholly Ginny, that scent. His face was buried in her red hair. Their socked feet were mingled in sleep. He loved that. He'd never known how much one little thing could be. He was wanting to spend every sleeping experience with her now just so he could rub his feet against hers. It was silly and stupid.
It was something his father would have made an incredulous face about.
But he was sleeping with Ginny here. They were snuggled together, and it was right in a way that nothing had ever been so right.
"Well... look at what we have here."
Draco's eyes flew open. He felt Ginny stiffen. His bed was surrounded by Slytherins. Including Pansy Parkinson. The entire group looked like they wanted to party... and not in the good way. Perhaps this was a bit of that her trying to kill him thing Hope had been speaking of earlier.
Connor was standing by the door, leaning against the wall. His arms were folded across his chest. He looked utterly relaxed, but that was so far from the truth. He was wound tight. He would spring if anything went wrong. His eyes watched Lily closely... and the rest of the room even closer.
His... girl? Yes. That's what he'd call her. His girl was sitting on the edge of Alex's bed. She was just chattering away to him. This was the part that bothered Connor. Not that his girl loved her buddy so much. Well, actually that kind of did bother him a little... in this jealous boyfriend sort of way. No, he liked that Lily was so loyal to her friends. Even souled vampire friends.
What bothered him was they way Drusilla seemed to watch all of them when Lily visited Alex. Like she was taking mental notes of weaknesses only she could see. He didn't like it. It made him uncomfortable. It likely did not help that just about every time he saw Drusilla all Connor could think was that his father had been the one to turn her. It consumed him. She was the crazy insane proof that his father had been evil. Had been being the key words there, but it still did not set well with Connor. Nothing that had happened to him since returning from Quortoth had been exactly settling.
Except his new friends.
Lily made his body go warm just with her smiles alone. She seemed to like kissing him. A lot. There wasn't a day that went by without her pulling him to some darkened place for some serious tongue mating. She always said one day there would be more, but for now, they had only mouths. He liked that. He knew she'd seen and done more than him in that area, but it pleased him that all her kisses seemed to belong to only him now.
Ginny had him in a few of her classes. Her friendship meant a great deal. She tended to prompt him in the relationship department with Lily when he needed it. He liked Draco and Dawn. They treated him like the brother they never had. It was nice. They didn't think he was weird or freakish. Then again, how could they? Lily didn't even belong in this dimension. Dawn hadn't always been a human, and Draco... well, Draco was Draco. He was a Malfoy. That spoke for itself.
"The unraven raven spoke her truth. It happens this night. Now. I see it."
Lily scowled at Drusilla. Connor did too. Until the words filtered into his mind and started making all sorts of sense. Could he speak her crazy language?
The unraven raven.
The death treat.
"Draco." Connor said as he stood straight, and his eyes widened. "Oh shit."
"Draco needs us."
That was all Lily needed. She and Connor were off and running.
Drusilla smiled. "Daddy's little angel is a champion as well. He will have his tea and cakes."
"She will have hardship and sorrow." Alex muttered.
"That comes with a family."
Willow was snoozing with a pile of scrolls that needed to be graded in her lap. She'd been sitting in the lounge chair that was in hers and Severus's rooms looking out the window at the moon when she'd nodded off.
Tara's distorted voice echoed and reverberated in Willow's sleeping mind.
She sat up with a gasp, tossing parchment pages everywhere.
"Willow?" Severus got up from his desk in the adjoining room.
"Something's wrong." She rose slowly, almost disoriented.
Willow grabbed for her robe and put it on inside out in her haste and confusion.
"Help me, Tara." She whispered. "Tell me where you need for me to be."
"Willow?" His redhead was shaking and her eyes were a little glassy. He didn't like this one bit. The... oh hell... dare he say it... the love of his life was very powerful and scary. He did not like when she had one of her episodes.
Someone was pounding on their door.
Severus stalked over to it and flung it open. Fred Burkle stood there shaking like a leaf in the wind.
"Draco's in trouble."
"I was with Tara..."
His eyebrow went up.
"Not WITH her with her. Just in the same room, and Spike was there, and he was singing. And then they started talking to somebody I couldn't see, and he said Draco was in trouble."
Willow brushed past Severus before Fred could even finish.
Severus looked at Fred. "We should make haste then."
Draco and Ginny were still holding on to one another as they sat up a bit more in the bed. Ginny was a little frightened. She was holding up remarkably well though.
"I think you should get out of here, Parkinson." Draco said in an even tone.
He saw blonde hair in the doorway.
The blonde girl had walked by with a look on her features that he'd seen his mother carry many a time. Someone was going to get hurt... and Draco didn't think it would be him. He didn't exactly know how he knew this, but from that look of Hope's, he'd gotten the feeling that it was going to get ugly... and not for him.
Pansy raised her wand.
"Will you think about what you're doing, you stupid bint."
And then Draco noticed how glassy and watery her eyes were... how her wand hand was shaking. She was trying to fight this. She couldn't really think about what she was doing... because someone was forcing her hand. Literally.
"Pansy." He whispered. "We were friends once. Mother made me share my chocolate with you the first time we met. Do you remember? You wore pink. We pulled all the roses from the east garden and left the thorns on them before presenting them to Mother. Do you remember? You always did look so girlish in pink. It makes you have color. You're not sallow. You should wear pink more. I should have told you that years ago. But Slytherins and especially Malfoys don't talk about their feelings... but you should always wear pink... or red."
Her hand was shaking more violently.
"Don't be like Montague, Pans. I am not afraid to die, but you don't have to be the one that kills me. Take control. Decide for yourself."
"What if what I want... is you dead?"
Draco cocked his head to the side. "Do you really?"
"Y-yes." She stammered, gripping her wand.
"Try it again without the stutter."
Pansy was gripping her wand so tightly that her knuckles had gone white.
"Draco..." Ginny whispered in warning.
"Do it, Parkinson." Someone barked.
Pansy's hand shook more violently.
"Pansy..." Draco whispered with a very puppy dog look on his face.
She let out a little sob. "I don't know what to do, Malfoy. I can't stop."
"How can you?!" She sobbed again then raised her wand.
"I'm Draco Malfoy. How can I not?"
"No! No!" Ginny tried to maneuver herself in front of her boyfriend.
"Get the little Gryff away. She's trying to interfere." Someone snapped.
Crabbe and Goyle grabbed an arm each to haul Ginny away from the bed. She fought them. Ginny fought them hard. They were very nearly no match for the struggling lioness. She kicked two people in the face before they actually managed to wrestle her to the floor. Draco shouted and rose to aid her, but wands being pointed at him from a few directions stopped him.
"You do what you like to me." Draco snapped. "But you let Ginny go."
"NO!" Ginny was screaming and flailing still.
"Get her to shut up." Snapped some seventh year girl whose name Draco could not recall just now. "Do it, Parkinson. Finish it. Kill him. Do it now!"
Pansy moved her wand again. Her hand kept pointing it away from Draco for some reason.
"Stop saying my name. You make this too hard."
"You'd think I'd make killing me easy? No Malfoy does that. Ever... unless we get seduced by a vampire, but Spike would know more about that."
"I can't believe you're joking... about your death."
Draco snorted. "You know... I don't think I'll let you kill me today, Pans."
"You can't stop me." She raised her wand again. "Avada-"
She was tackled to the floor by someone with blonde hair. Draco rolled off his bed to dodge two hexes that came his way. He could hear Pansy screeching. He could hear someone else shouting hexes. Draco made his way to his robes where his wand was. He also went through Ginny's robes until he located hers. Draco blasted Goyle away from her and hexed Crabbe before he could take over.
She looked up, and he tossed her wand to her. She caught it and came up hexing. Raven Hope tossed her blonde curls as she looked from the finally prone Pansy when it seemed as if the room was secure.
"I thought..." Draco started, looking at Raven.
"Like I was really going to allow her to harm you... either of you."
Tara burst in then. Spike was right behind her. He barreled through the room and engulfed Draco in a hug.
"Ahhh!" Draco struggled. "Spike! Uncle Spike, cut it out!"
"Where is she?!" Connor hollered after he was already halfway into the room. "I'll tear her limb from limb!"
Draco and Spike both turned to look at him... still hugging.
"Draco?!" Lily rushed in right in from of Willow, Snape, and Fred. She skidded to a halt causing the other three to bump her and each other. "Why are you and Spike hugging?"
Draco and Spike looked at one another, then shoved away in embarrassment.
"Are you guys all right?" Tara asked, panting.
Draco pinned her with a look. "Did you... run here? Pregnant, and you RAN here? For me?! Dammit, Professor Maclay!"
It was then that Narcissa rushed in.
"Sit down." Draco snapped at Tara. "Just sit."
He guided her to his bed and forced her on it. Ginny moved to his side. Draco unconsciously put an arm around her. Raven Hope stumbled a little due to her shaking body as she finally rose. Draco leaned out and grabbed her arm to steady her.
"You were right. Bitch needs help."
"She didn't want to. I wasn't sure until... poor Pans. She can't even hate anyone properly."
"Who can these days?"
Raven smirked at him.
"Draco?" His mother asked.
Draco rolled his eyes. "Yes?"
Raven slapped at his arm for his attitude. For a moment it seemed Draco might have retaliated with a return slap, but he reigned himself in.
"I am pleased you were not harmed." His mother said in a seemingly controlled voice, then she spun on her heel and stalked off.
Everyone exchanged uncomfortable looks.
"Ladies and gentlemen... my mother."
"You just don't understand her." Raven offered.
"Well if you've the set of instructions that comes with that woman, cough them up please. I'd love an understanding, even a slight one would do, of what motivates her."
"Then perhaps you'd agree to helping Pansy now."
"Because I so want to aid the bitch that was fighting a fine line between hexing me and losing."
"So I assume you have a plan... Hope?"
"It's likely dangerous."
"And none of the adults here will approve?"
"Let's hear it."
"Yes, Miss Hope." Albus Dumbledore said as he entered the dorm room. "Let's hear your plan."
Dawn scrambled in behind him. "Draco? Lily? What happened? Are you guys all right?"
"Right now..." Lily said. "I think I'm just confused."
No one except Connor seemed to have noticed that Lily was standing quite close to Professor Snape. She'd pulled Connor over there as well. Connor wondered if the good, yet evil-looking, professor realized how much trust Lily already put in him.
Dumbledore cleared his throat. "Am I to understand this group of students... who are now all unconscious or under binding spells attacked you, Mister Malfoy?"
"That was pretty much the way of it." Draco said, then he looked thoughtful before continuing. "Parkinson didn't want to though. She was having issues with it. I think someone's controlling her. It looked as if she was fighting off the Imperius."
"How would you..." Tara began.
"Ah... the benefits of education in the dark arts with Lucius Malfoy as your instructor, that's how. I know the lovely Imperius Curse and what fighting it off looks like all too well. My own body has enacted it many a time."
Ginny wrapped both arms around his middle and squeezed.
"So what do we do?" Dawn said.
Willow smiled at that. Dawn had taken the words right out of her mouth.
Raven raised her hand. "We obliviate her... and the others who partook in this little exercise in 'you don't fuck with a Malfoy who's also a Black' and we watch them. We see where they lead us."
"I don't like that plan." Tara said.
"I don't either." Willow added.
"What else have we got?" Raven asked, pacing a little. "Pansy is a pawn, a puppet. I, for one, would like to know who's pulling her strings."
"I would agree, Miss... Hope." Dumbledore said, eyes twinkling. "Though I would like to move yours, Miss Summer's, the younger Miss Rosenberg's, and definitely Mister Malfoy's sleeping quarters immediately. Slytherin does not seem such a safe place for the four of you any longer."
"Well, I'll agree to moving the three of them, but I can take care of myself, sir."
"I was not suggesting that you could not."
"Besides... Parkinson has to feel as if she has an ally."
"You play a dangerous game." Draco said.
"And you don't? I'm sorry... who was it that told Parkinson that he didn't think he'd let her kill him today? Who was that again?"
Draco snorted and started pacing. "What was I to do? Plead, I suppose?"
"I think she was saying that you probably should not have taunted her so much, Draco." Ginny said.
Raven pointed at her. "It's good your girl is so levelheaded, Drake."
"I'm willing to save a soul." Dawn said quietly.
Lily nodded. "Big on second chances here. Former vampire dominatrix ahoy. I mean, I don't really like Parky the dog-faced girl here, but I also don't like the idea of anyone not having free will. You CAN change your stars. Hell, if I can change my stars... if Spike can... Angelus... Faith even. I'll give that bitch a chance. Everybody screws up... but if she does it again, I'll gut the little bitch."
"Lily..." Willow said in a worried voice.
"Admonishment from the woman who tells people if they hurt her friends they can expect a beating to the death with a shovel?"
Willow made a face.
"What would you do if that had been me? What would you do if Parkinson was trying to hurt me?"
Severus pulled Willow close to his side. "Stop trying to aggravate your mother, Lily."
"I'm just saying. And what would YOU do?"
"You know very well that I'd make excellent use of all that chopping expertise that comes with being a Potions master if ANYONE were to hurt you. Is that a suitably 'scary father' answer for you, my evil little dove?"
"Most suitable. Thank you, daddums."
"Never refer to me as that again, or I shall poison you, spawn of my heart."
Draco was smirking. He leaned over to Dawn. "Aren't they sweet?"
"Strangely... yes. But then again... benefits of a Sunnydale past residence here."
"I'm a bit lost..." Fred said, reminding everyone that she was there. "What are we gonna do again?"
"We're going with Hope's plan." Draco answered.
"I don't like it." Tara protested.
"What's to like?" Spike said, pacing a bit. "Crazy bint wants to hex his parts off."
"Actually, she's trying to kill me.. not just my parts. Had the 'avada' out already."
"Oh... well this is just better and better, boy." Spike snapped sarcastically. "I think I agree with your Aunty Tara on this one. It's a bad idea. I don't like the idea of you being in danger."
"Me neither." Edward muttered.
Draco turned sharply to look right where the ghost was.... and saw his father in Edward. He actually screamed and drew his wand. He grabbed Ginny and backed away, shoving the redhead behind him.
"You keep the fuck away from us! I'll hex you! Or something! I swear to Salazar, I'll hex your balls right on off, you sick fuck! I'll find a way to hurt you! I swear it!"
Spike was making a face and looking between Draco and Edward. Tara was looking confused too.
"Oh." She said. "He thinks..."
"Ah, I see now. I think you're right, pet." Spike said nodding. "Draco... look, mate-"
"You keep away!" He was still looking at Edward. "I don't know when you died, but you stay the hell away!"
"Draco, honey, that's not your father." Tara said calmly.
"What are they talking about? More importantly... who are they talking to?" Lily asked. "I don't see anybody."
"I think it's a Malfoy thing, Lily." Willow said.
"What do you mean... that's not my father? Yes, it is! Look at him!"
"That's my brother Edward, Drake."
"The one that used to light your head on fire when you'd try to kill him?"
Edward cackled like a hyena. "Oh I do like you, boy. You are remarkably like William was at your age... only smarter."
It was strange.
Settling it all was strange. Memories were altered. Draco was to be moved. Dawn was to be moved. Lily was to be moved.
Raven Hope was staying in the snake pit.
The undercover viper. Blonde. Deadly. Draco couldn't even help his shudders with how fast she had moved earlier. He was grateful, no doubt about that, but it was bugging him that he couldn't figure who she was exactly. He wanted to say she was Aunt Andromeda, but something about it didn't ring true.
Dumbledore had altered the Slytherins' memories, and just for tonight, Draco was staying with Tara. Lily and Dawn had been restricted to the chambers of Willow and Snape for tonight. Draco got a watching by Tara and Spike. The little sofa in her quarters folded into a bed. Strangely, Spike didn't seem as if he were leaving. It was confirmed when he took the other side of the hide-a-bed.
"And just what are you doing?" Draco asked.
"Staying here tonight."
"Why? I'm not interested, you know. Not gay, plus I got Ginny and all."
Draco snickered. He heard Tara snickering too.
"Just go to sleep, you mama's boy."
"I am NOT my mother's boy." Draco protested. "Not ever."
"Whatever you say, little-me. Suit yourself. Sleep on then."
"Like I could sleep."
"Want Spike to sing you a song then?" Tara asked. "He's good at it."
"Why don't you shut up too, witchy witch. I do not bloody sing. Only pansies sing."
Draco snickered. "Or they try to use unforgivable curses on a fellow."
Tara and Spike looked at Draco sharply.
"What? I'm the one who was attacked. I'm not allowed to make jokes about it?"
Lily and Dawn were on a comfy pallet on the floor. They'd already made every naughty joke about Willow and Snape that they could think of. They had already been reprimanded many times for giggling. They had been told repeatedly to 'hush up and get to sleep'. They'd even been threatened rather harshly about it. Dawn had mentioned that it was just like a grade school slumber party. Lily agreed, amazed that she could recall that from her past. Grade school seemed like a lifetime ago.
In a way it was for her.
"Lily?" Dawn whispered.
"I'm glad we're friends."
"I know. It just had to be said, you know?"
"I know." Lily paused for a minute. "I'm glad we're friends too, Dawnie."
Lily reached around behind her. Dawn was shocked to feel a hand on the back skin of her back.
"Uh... Lily? Um, I don't like you THAT way. I have a boyfriend."
"Don't be so paranoid. You aren't THAT hot, Summers. Besides, I have a boyfriend too, you realize."
"Oooo. Connor's your boyfriend?"
"Shut up, brat. Of course he is... and soon I'm gonna be all in his destruco-boy pants. Connor gets me hot with a side of wet."
"Oh gross. T-M-I, Lily.... T-M-I."
Then Lily's fingers tapped the place on Dawn's spine where her tattoo was. "Forever?"
Dawn understood then. It was a physical reaffirmation of their friendship. Lily hadn't been trying to grope her. She was making a statement. Dawn reached behind Lily, sliding her fingers under the girl's black hair, and tapped the matching tat that lay on the skin there.
"Blood sisters forever, Rosenberg."
"I'm thinking of changing my name again."
"You don't like Harry's and my mom's names?"
"Not like that. No more Rosenberg."
"I was thinking of being Lily Joyce Snape."
Dawn nodded in agreement. "I actually kinda like that. It works."
"I know it works. That's why I'm gonna do it, spazerina."
"Maybe you could tack on something new to your name every year, freakerella. Take a little bit of all of us. You could Lily Joyce Willow Rosenberg Summers Malfoy Angel Snape... and we could call you supercalifragilisticexpialidocious for short."
"Shut up, bitch."
"Make me, bitch."
Lily pounced on her and started tickling. Dawn squealed rather loudly and tried to fight her off. The both of them were cackling rather loudly.
"If the two of you do not cease your prattling on and on and your annoyingly girlish giggling, I will be forced to hex you!"
"Sorry, Daddy." Lily said.
He made this growl-y noise before spinning on his heel and storming back to bed. Lily and Dawn could not contain their giggles.
"I did warn you. Repeatedly."
Dawn and Lily came flying out of their sleeping pallet, shrieking with giggles and dodging the innocuous hexes Snape was hurling at them... with far less aim than he was reputed to have.
end part 46
AN: The song "Stay Awake" is from the movie Mary Poppins, and Julie Andrews sang it best.