The Birthday Bug
summary: The sequel to "A Drop in the Ocean". ( http://www.tthfanfic.org/story.php?no=267 )
disclaimer: These people are not mine. The BtVS characters are Joss Whedon's. The HP characters belong to JK Rowling.
"How long is the path we've travelled together?
By now I feel as if I'm a part of you...
like a drop in your ocean,
like a leaf on your tree,
like a brick in the house that you built,
just for me..."
~translated from 'Un Canto' by Amy of the Spat
*~* The Birthday Bug *~*
Tap tap tap.
Was that the wind?
Tap tap tap.
"Oh Har-ry. Haaaaar-reeeeeeee."
"Oh sod this." A voice groused. "Scarhead, get your pale arse out of bed, you pillock!"
Someone was banging on his windowpane... or possibly the side of the house. Harry shot straight up in bed. They would wake the Dursleys.
"Dammit, Drake! You'll wake the entire neighborhood!"
"I'm not the one screeching, woman."
The window was open a bit, and Harry could clearly hear the voices coming in along with the summer breeze, and... a car engine? Well, it wouldn't be the first time. Harry grabbed his glasses off the tiny and scarred bedside table and put them on. He wandered sleepily to the window and drew back to drapes.
"Maybe he's a heavy sleeper. Window's open. Perhaps one of us should crawl in."
Harry gaped. There was an old model Volkswagen bug convertible hovering outside his widow. It was bright red with a black rag top. And three of the most shocking people ever were in it. The driver Dawn Summers, the passenger Draco Malfoy, and redhead in the back seat - the vampire formally known as Willow - Lily Joyce Rosenberg.
"Happy birthday, Harry." Dawn said brightly.
"Wake up, wanker. We're not figments of your imagination."
Lily slapped Draco up the back of his head. "Be nice."
"Hello, bloodlust, I'm a Malfoy. Not known for our nice demeanor."
Harry interrupted before the argument got good and going. "What are the three of you doing here?"
"Birthday abduction." Lily said brightly, then she wriggled her eyebrows suggestively. "Followed by birthday spankings."
"Lily." Dawn hissed.
"Let's go, Potter." Malfoy snapped.
"Take the wheel, Drake." Dawn said as she leaned out the window.
Harry was a bit put off by the familiarity between Dawn and Malfoy. "What... How... What... Who's car is this?"
Dawn was leaned out the side of the beetle and hanging onto his windowsill. "It's Giles's. We stole it."
"Dawn." Harry admonished in a tone that would have made Hermione quite proud.
"Well we had to come get you. It's your birthday, Harry."
"I don't give a shit about your soddin' birthday, Potter. I just came for the ride." Draco muttered.
Dawn shot him a harsh glare before looking back at Harry. "I couldn't leave you with the muggles now could I? Not on your birthday, Harry. Come on." She grabbed the waist of his pajama pants and very nearly pulled him out the window.
Harry caught himself on the windowpane. She was freakishly strong for a girl. Dawn noticed his arms weren't so scrawny anymore. They flexed quite nicely as he stopped himself.
"Dawn, what are you doing in England?"
Lily started coughing. "You didn't tell-"
"Visiting Giles." Dawn rushed out, cutting Lily off.
Harry gave her a look.
"Can we go?" Draco whined. "Please?"
"One thing first." Dawn said. "I have to give Harry his first present."
Harry blinked. FIRST present? There was more than one? "I thought I told you not to-"
Dawn cut him off by grabbing a handful of the t shirt he had on and kissing him a bit forcefully. Lily started snickering. Draco was making gag noises. Harry didn't care. He'd missed her. It had been seven months since he'd laid eyes on Dawn Summers, and she'd filled many of his waking thoughts and nearly all of his sleeping ones in the meantime. Harry grabbed her waist and hauled her through the window and into the room without breaking contact. Dawn wrapped her arms about his neck as their kiss became more persistent. His arms circled her waist as he pulled her against him.
"What in heaven's name is..."
Harry jumped back from the serious snog he'd been in the middle of and looked to the doorway in alarm. His Aunt Petunia was standing there in her robe and house slippers with curlers in her hair.
"What on... I... oh..." She sputtered looking from Harry to Dawn to the Volkswagen hovering out the window. "DURSLEY!"
Harry looked at Dawn in a bit of a panic. "Let's go, shall we?" He ushered her quickly to the window.
Lily had crawled in front with Draco. She took the wheel as Malfoy helped Dawn in the car. Harry perched himself on the windowsill. He looked over his shoulder and saw his Uncle Vernon burst into the room.
"Don't you DARE, boy!" Uncle Vernon growled.
Harry grabbed his latest 'Weasley sweater' off of the back of the chair at his desk before he jumped out of the window and into the car, thankful the top was down. He landed on the back seat next to Dawn with a bit of a bounce. "Go!" He yelled to Malfoy.
Draco gunned the little engine, and the bug sputtered off into the night. Harry raised up and looked back to see his aunt and uncle leaning out the window. Dawn tugged him back down in the seat. Harry grinned. It had been several years since he'd been in a flying car. As a matter of fact, it had been just after his twelfth birthday. It was cloudy that night too. Dawn snuggled into his side. Harry wrapped an arm around her. So what if Draco Malfoy was driving the getaway car, and Harry was only in his pajama pants, a t shirt, and a pair of socks with holes in them. This birthday was already the best to date. Harry began tugging his sweater on.
Lily turned around in the seat and smiled at him. "Have a good summer, Harry?"
He blinked. She was so 'Willow' it was almost creepy. But there were subtle differences. She seemed younger. Well, because she sort of was. She'd reverted back to the age she had been when she died. Just shy of sixteen. Her hair had grown past her shoulders and had suspiciously retained its two black streaks just about her temples from her magic stint last term.
"Terrible. Dudley's still sneaking food somehow."
"Yeah, Sirius mentioned that."
Harry envied her suddenly. Just for a moment because she got to see his godfather all the time while she stayed with Remus Lupin. From what Harry understood Lily was taking some magic lessons from Remus. The old professor had been quite helpful in ridding Lily of her nearly nightly dreams of terror. But none of them could figure out how Willow had actually managed to 'breathe' life back into the former vampire.
"How was yours?"
"Uh! I was so bored. I can't wait until-"
Dawn kicked the back of her seat.
"Could you lot cut that shit out. I'm driving here." Draco snapped. "Stupid girls."
"What was that ferret boy?" Dawn prodded.
Lily groaned. "Hey guys, how about we NOT do this while we're flying many many feet above the ground."
Harry looked at the three of them. Something was going on here. They were all far too chummy.
Draco landed the car on a hilltop in the middle of nowhere. Dawn was out in an instant and moving around to the front of the vehicle. Lily followed her.
"Drake, pop the trunk please."
As soon as it opened, Dawn and Lily started pulling things out. Harry gaped. There were presents and a picnic basket, some blankets, and a cake. A very lopsided cake, but cake nonetheless. His mouth started watering just looking at the thing. The Dursleys had practically starved him all summer. It could be a poo cake, and he'd likely eat to the crumbs.
For the first time Harry noticed Draco's appearance. It was likely the most unkempt Harry had ever seen the Slytherin boy. He was wearing a t shirt and muggle jeans. Both had several holes in them. The boots on his feet were badly scuffed. His blonde hair was hanging in his eyes and not slicked down to his head.
He also took in Lily's attire. She wore a wispy black dress with an oversized black sweater over it. The hem of the skirt came just to her knees. Her feet were encased in large clunky combat boots.
But what really got him was Dawn's very tight muggle hip huggers and red sweater. The hem wasn't so long on the sweater so when she bent or reached in certain ways bare midriff was shown. It was doing a bit of the havoc thing on his senses.
Soon Dawn and Lily had what looked like a clever little picnic all situated.
"Sit." Dawn said.
They all did Harry found a nice spot on the blanket. Dawn sat next to him. Draco lounged himself out on his back, propped up on his elbows, legs crossed at the ankles. Lily dropped next to Malfoy and crossed her legs. It took her a minute to situate her skirt to cover her bare legs.
"You and your modesty, Rosenberg. It cracks me up. As of about six months ago, weren't you wearing a leather corset type thing with a side of leather pants?"
"Bite me, ferret."
"Mmmm. Biting's your thing, I believe?"
"Stop." Dawn snapped. "No fighting on Harry's birthday."
"Because I care SO MUCH about Potter." Draco mumbled.
"You didn't have to come, you know."
Draco sighed. This was her thing, and he'd gotten rather close to her over the summer. "Look, Summers, I'm sorry. Don't be angry with me. I'll be moderately well behaved for the rest of this little party. Swear it."
Harry was once again looking at the three of them. Something VERY odd was going on between them. Malfoy had barely even spoken to Dawn this past Christmas when she and her sister had been at Hogwarts. Now he was acting like they were best friends or something. It was all very strange.
But then Harry became distracted by Dawn shoving a box in his lap. She was still glaring at Draco though. Rather meanly.
The owl that flew through the open window made Willow jump. It landed on the table with a loud squawk. She recognized Gandalf, Giles's gray owl, almost instantly.
"Gandalf." She smiled.
Her black cat Anakin gave a loud hiss at the bird.
"Anakin! That's not nice, mister." Willow snapped as she took the letter from Gandalf.
She padded over to the kitchen counter and broke a bit off of one of the blueberry muffins she'd baked earlier. She cupped her hand and held it to Gandalf. He hooed appreciatively and gobbled up the bit of muffin. Willow opened the note and her eyes gaped at the wild scrawl.
"What is it?" A smooth voice asked from the entranceway.
Willow spun about with a jump. There he stood... in all his cranky glory. Her boyfriend, the very imposing and intimidating Severus Snape. Boyfriend. Willow almost giggled every time she thought about it. Her boyfriend. Who was looking rather... nice in his black silk jammies and thick black robe.
"Severus, you need a bell worse that Anakin does. You nearly gave me a heart attack, mister."
"Sorry." Severus said flippantly. His tone and movements belied any remorse he might have felt. He crossed to her slowly, his lips desperately wanting to tug into a smile. Something she had annoyingly taken to calling his 'scary' face.
He nodded to the letter. "Anything amiss?"
"Spike's lost the kids again."
"Oh bloody hell."
Harry was lying on the blanket next to Dawn looking up at the fastly fading night sky. The sun would rise soon. He would have to go back to the Dursleys and accept whatever punishment there was going to be. Dawn's head was resting on his shoulder. Lily and Malfoy had taken off somewhere. This was officially the best birthday he'd ever had... despite Draco Malfoy. Harry never wanted it to end.
Lily had gotten him a book... Famous Seekers of the Last Century. Harry was shocked. She barely knew him. But he was pleased because page 119 was devoted to James Potter, and to his embarrassment there was a small blurb on Harry Potter on page 120. Simply because he had been the youngest seeker on a house team at Hogwarts in the last century. There had been many a dirty comment from Malfoy then. And a lot of glaring from Dawn because of said comments.
Dawn had come bearing gifts from the Sunnydale crew. Buffy had given him a knife. Well, more appropriately a dagger. It even had this sort of strap thing with it, so you could attach it to your lower calf. It was pretty cool, but he didn't know how he felt about it. Harry imagined getting a weapon as a present was always an odd thing. Xander had somehow managed to acquire him a gift voucher for Honeyduke's. Anya had quite embarrassingly gotten him a pair of roaring lion boxers much like Wood's. Harry had turned seven shades of scarlet upon opening her package.
He liked Dawn's gifts the best. She'd gotten him a pair of muggle jeans that actually fit. No more of Dudley's ten sizes too big jeans. Harry knew baggy was sort of in, and he had gained some mass over the last year, but the way Dudley's hand-me-down jeans still fell off Harry's skinny butt was ridiculous. He didn't know how she'd known his size, but Harry was beyond caring. There was also a cord of leather with a rock hanging from it. The stone was brown with gold streaks on it. Dawn had explained that it was tiger's eye. A protective stone. Then there was a picture frame with a wizard snapshot in it. Buffy and Dawn with their arms around each other laughing hysterically.
The cake, though very asymmetrical, had been quite delicious. As had the other snacks Dawn had packed in the basket. It was when Dawn started feeding Harry the cake that Malfoy decided he'd had quite enough and stalked off 'before he puked his ruddy guts up'.
Yep. Best birthday ever, and he hadn't even heard from Ron or Hermione or Sirius yet.
Harry pulled Dawn tighter into his side when she shivered. "Cold?"
Harry began rubbing her arm and sighed. "I don't want the night to be over."
"I'm not taking you back to that place."
"Your aunt and uncle's. I'm not taking you back there."
"They'll do something terrible to you."
"I'm used to it."
"I have to go back. All my school stuff is there. Don't worry. I'm supposed to spend the last two weeks of summer vacation at the Burrow. Ron will rescue me if I don't turn up."
She pushed up on her elbow and leaned over him. "I just worry about you."
"Funny. You don't LOOK like him. I rather think he's never been this attractive before."
"Oh ha ha, Harry Potter."
"Look, I like that you worry about me. It's a nice feeling. But you don't have to worry, Dawn. I'm fairly resilient."
"But you SHOULD have someone to worry about you. I volunteer." She smiled brightly.
Harry liked that smile. Dawn leaned over and kissed him. Harry was really getting into it when someone cleared their throat. Harry opened his eyes as Dawn moved away and got a great shock.
Professor Snape was standing over them with his hands on his hips looking more sour than ever.
"Potter. I should have known you were behind this caper."
Dawn scrambled to her feet. "No, professor. Harry had nothing to do with it. It was all me."
"No!" Lily called as she ran up. "It was my idea."
Harry looked around and began to realize exactly how much trouble they were in. There were a handful of people on the hillside that had not been there a few moments before. Willow had her hands on her hips and was looking harshly at Lily. Giles was also there, looking a bit put out. His disapproval was flickering from Dawn to Draco. Finally Remus Lupin was standing there with his arms folded across his chest and his face set grimly.
Draco snorted as he walked up. "Wasn't either of them. It was all my doing."
"It's not his fault." Dawn cried. "Don't be mad at Draco."
"Shut up." Draco said incredulously at Dawn.
Lily stepped in front of Draco. "Because it was MY idea. Hello."
"Sounds a bit like you all had a hand in it." Remus said quietly. "Tara was quite worried when she got the message from Spike, Draco. You know how she is about you these days."
Draco sighed and rolled his eyes for show. Tara had taken to mothering him since his own parents had disappeared. Secretly he adored it because she was so damn good at it, but he was sixteen now. He couldn't go getting all mushy. No matter how much his 'cousin's' doting pleased him.
"Have you three any idea how long we've been looking for you? Car missing. No note or anything." Giles said in an overly calm tone. It strangely reminded Harry of Mrs. Weasley... only more reserved.
"And you." Willow said shrilly to Lily. "How do you think I felt when I opened that note?"
"What? I interrupt some hot sex with you and Cranky Pants or something?"
Willow made a squeak noise and went bright red.
"Lily." Remus admonished.
Lily sighed. "Sorry, Willow. My mouth still gets away from me sometimes."
"Well, we should get all of you home." Giles said. "Spike was babbling about head rippings and drinking from brain stems. Best not leave him with Sirius for too long."
"No!" Dawn screeched throwing her arms about Harry's neck.
"You can't send Harry back to those muggles. They'll do something bad to him."
"I already told you that I'd be fine."
"No." She said again burying her face in his neck.
Harry almost grinned. He was sort of liking her over-protectiveness just now. Malfoy rolled his eyes and sighed very loudly.
"Well, perhaps Harry could stay with Sirius and I for a while?" Remus said.
Harry's heart lurched with glee. Dawn looked up at Remus with the most hopeful of hopeful looks on her face.
"Sounds fine to me." Willow said. "I know Tara will enjoy having someone else to dote on."
"And it would only be a week or two. Aren't you staying with the Weasleys the last two weeks before school term starts?" Remus asked.
"Thought Sirius had mentioned you were."
Dawn squealed and hugged Harry so tight he thought his eyes might pop out. She really was freakishly strong.
"But my school stuff..."
"I'll handle it." Willow said with a slightly evil smile playing across her lips.
And for one second Harry felt sorry for the Dursleys.
Just for one second though. If that.