Author’s Note: Thanks very much to my Beta’s, Cordyfan and Letomo. The following ways of notation may be found in this story. This is excluding whatever I need to represent chatting, texting and stuff like that. Speech:
“Who’s on first.” Thought:
*What’s on second.
#I-don’t-know’s on third.# This story is set in different times and places (though not too different) before and after Thunder in the afternoon, each detailing the meeting of one Buffy character with the family of their significant other, and one chapter that deals with a different matter. The story might continue into an adventure, or the adventure might be written separately, I don’t know yet. After this there will be Judgement Day, the trial and the aftermath. (Partly written.) And then there will be an as yet unnamed story set some time later. I do not own Buffy the Vampire Slayer or Harry Potter. Now onto the story. Everyday Meetings Chapter 1 One, two the red-headed boys
Dawn was really quite nervous about the first, official, meeting with Percy’s family.
Her first meeting with most of them had been rather unusual, after all. First with George, Harry and Ron outside the Burrow to get the hair she thought they needed to find Molly, Fleur and little Vicky. Then with those three themselves. And now it was finally time to meet the rest of the family. All the Weasleys together, even the elusive Ginevra, who spent most of her time on assignment in Canada, had apparently crossed the Atlantic to see her bookish brother’s girlfriend.
She looked down at her simple, calf-long blue dress and knee high boots. She had a white padded jacket with piping that matched the dress, but it was thin and she worried about what would happen if the night got chilly, but Percy had assured her that he could cast something called warming charms and that his parents would have set a few throughout the garden and the nearby fields. *I helped save Mrs. Weasley, Fleur and Vicky. They’re not going to eat me alive,*
Dawn took another deep breath and then stepped outside, into the Quadrangle, smiling as she spotted the mop of red hair on the lanky beanpole form waiting in the shadow of the outer gate.
She had quite firmly put her foot down on the large amount of hair gel he used every day. She loved his curls and it made him look much more approachable, more human, and it had felt awful, too, now it was soft and he sort of wriggled when she ran her hands through it.
Percy cleared his throat as she approached. “Dawn…” he gulped and extended his arm. “You look beautiful.”
“Thank you,” Dawn smiled whimsically, rather pleased at the affect she was having on Percy who, if his brothers were to be believed, was more than a bit controlled.
“There’s an apparition point in that alley. Shall we go?”
Dawn nodded and took his arm. “So trying to get me alone in a dark alley, Percy? My you work fast,” she quipped.
Percy coughed, then smiled. “Only if I’m sure the lady is receptive.”
Dawn grinned. “We’ve barely had three dates and one of them was organised by your mother.”
Then she bit her lip. “You’re really sure?”
“There’s no need to be nervous, my love. Mum approves of you,” Percy smilingly interrupted her. “She thinks you need a little feeding up and a little love, but she likes you. And not just for saving her and Fleur and her oldest grandchild.”
“Are there any others, by the way? Grandchildren I mean?” Dawn asked curiously.
“Teddy might be seen as one. He’s Harry’s godson. Ron is a bit wary of love, rather too many girls are after him for his fame and his relationship to Harry. I think he realised how Harry felt about fame and why a bit too late,” Percy explained. “Charlie is only interested in dragons, we think, George is, well still recovering from Fred and Ginny is married, but the closest she and Harry have come to a kid besides Teddy are Arnold and James.”
“Who?” Dawn asked confused.
“Arnold is a pygmy puff. Quite affectionate. James is… well, a gift from Ginny’s friend Luna for their wedding,” he coughed delicately. “Ginny is very fond of him. Though I think Harry disapproves of the name.”
“And what manner of creature is James?” Dawn asked, rather formally.
She found that formality put Percy at ease when he was nervous.
“A very young Thestral she found in the Forbidden Forest,” Percy replied with a shrug. “It was one of the more interesting gifts that day.”
“A thestral? Those exist?” Dawn whispered. “Wow...”
“Yes. I personally find them rather unpleasant to look at, but they are basically quite gentle creatures, for scavengers,” Percy explained. “This is the spot. Still ready?”
Dawn sighed. “Let's get it over with,” she muttered.
Percy nodded, pulling Dawn into an embrace. Dawn concentrated very hard upon the Burrow, not wishing to repeat her earlier performance and sending both of them god only knew where. That sort of experimentation was for later.
They appeared on a gently sloping hill overlooking the strange haphazard building she’d barely seen on her earlier visit. It glowed in the late morning sun.
“It really shouldn't be able to stay up,” Dawn noted.
Percy smiled. “Magic. Don't worry, it's quite safe.”
“And what if the magic is disrupted? A powerful enough Finite Incantatum could kill your entire family by pulling the house down around your ears,” Dawn pointed out.
Percy opened his mouth to refute this, then closed it and ran a hand through his hair. “I need to take that up with Mum and Dad.”
Dawn gave him an apologetic look. “I'm sorry, love. I didn't mean to insult your family home.”
Percy shook his head. “No, you're right. A properly constructed building with magical strengthening would make more sense.”
“But this is home. And it does look very nice,” Dawn sighed. “I'm sorry, I'm just so nervous.”
Percy smiled. “It will be fine. Come on.”
He led her to the hedge surrounding the building and then up the garden path. “The fields around here are ours, too. We used to play a lot in the orchard...”
He gestured at them and suddenly the door flew open and a very naked and rather wet toddler ran out, screaming in laughter, only to stop, windmilling her arms as she saw the two of them, then accelerated once more, straight at Percy.
“Uncwe Pewcy!” The little strawberry blonde threw herself into Percy’s waiting arms. She grinned up at him, then burrowed into his shoulder. “Help!”
Percy grinned at her. “Hello Vicky,” He grinned as his oldest brother, Bill, in shirtsleeves and looking quite exasperated, and rather wet as well, appeared in the doorway.
He winked at his mother, who stood behind the kitchen window, smiling as she took in the scene as well. “Is the evil bad nasty William Monster after you?”
“Nuh-Uh! Daddy is! Don’t wanna baf!” Vicky clamped her arms around her uncle’s neck.
Percy smirked at Bill. “Really? Must be something you inherited then. Hello Bill.”
Bill shook his head. “Perce? Could you…?”
Percy looked at Dawn. “Care to extend a hand and help bathe my niece? Certainly.”
“UNCLE PERCY!” The little girl wailed, suddenly losing her ridiculously cute lisp. “No fair!”
Dawn grinned. “I’d be delighted. Hello Victoire, remember me?”
Victoire glared at her. “You’re gonna bathe me. I don’t like you anymore!”
Dawn followed Percy into the house, smiling rather uncertainly at Bill. Percy nodded at her, then at Bill. “Dawn, this is Bill, my eldest brother. He's a cursebreaker at Gringotts, though I believe he also does some freelance work and wants to start his own company in a few years. Bill, this is Dawn, my ah... girlfriend.”
Bill smirked. “Had to think about that?”
Percy looked at Dawn and smiled. “I find it hard to understand what she sees in me, so yes, it amazes me every time I think about it.”
Bill winced at the sentiment, then smiled as broadly. “Well, at any rate, I'm pleased to meet you officially. And very, very grateful to you, Dawn, for helping Perce find...” his voice faltered. “You know. You understand?”
Dawn nodded. “I understand. It was my very great pleasure.”
One of the doors into the hall opened and a man stood in the doorway, shorter than both his sons, with a strong, kind face, slightly faded blue eyes and a receding hairline of red curls.
“Hello Percy. I see that Victoire is once again exhibiting her father's heritage?”
Percy smirked at Bill. “It seems that way, dad,” the smirk faded slightly. “Errr...Dad, this is Dawn, Dawn, this is my father, Arthur Weasley.”
Dawn was about to utter a polite greeting when Arthur smiled broadly at her and then engulfed her in a hug. He smelled of fresh mown grass, apples and cinnamon, with a slight undertone of motor oil.
“Thank you. And welcome to our home,” he kissed her forehead and Dawn smiled at him. There was a sound of laughter from the kitchen and Molly waved a large wooden spoon at her, a smile on her face.
“Hello Dawn. Good to see you again. I see you've been drafted into bathing our little darling?”
“Apparently. And she doesn't like me any more...” Dawn looked utterly woebegone, pouting, her large, blue eyes filling with tears.
Vicky, seeing this, kicked slightly into her uncle's ribs, reaching for Dawn. “Sorry! I didn't mean it!”
Arthur gaped, as did Bill and Percy. Percy handed Victoire to Dawn, who spotted Fleur, wet as well, standing at the top of the stairs with a smile on her face.
She carried the toddler up the steps. “Fleur, hello.”
Fleur lightly bussed Dawn's cheek and lifted one perfect brow. “That was very impressive. Do you have any experience with bathing children?”
“I used to baby-sit. But none of them were quite as cute as this little darling,” Dawn tickled Vicky, who giggled.
“Let's get her back into the tub then,” Victoire sighed. “And she will need another bath after dinner, probably.”
“Takes after her father, apparently?” Dawn smirked.
Fleur rolled her eyes “Who can get dirty while sitting at the table. Still”
Bill grinned and inclined his head at Percy. “I see you've told her about me, Perce.”
“I thought that forewarned was forearmed. I also counselled her not to accept any food or drink, or even a handshake, from George or Ron.”
Bill nodded sagely. “And of course mum will change them into weasels and put them in a hutch for Vicky to play with if they do.”
Dawn swallowed against the tears that tried to come, realising again what it was that she had lost. Her mother, her sister, the friends that had been so much more than that. Molly Weasley in the kitchen doorway and Fleur in front of her both noticed the way her arms tightened around Vicky and the sudden impassiveness of her face. Exchanging looks over Dawn's shoulder, Molly shook her head slightly and Fleur inclined hers in recognition of the matriarch's authority.
“Percy? Come and help bathe your niece!” Dawn called out.
Percy smiled at Bill and headed up the stairs.
“She’s lovely,” Molly told her son much later in the evening, as they sat in the cosy living room of the Burrow.
She gently kissed Dawn’s hair as the girl had fallen asleep and cuddled into her, acting much younger than they’d come to expect from her.
“And lonely,” Percy smiled sadly. “She fought with her sister. And her mother is dead. The friends who helped raise her after her mother died… Well suffice it to say that I think she has been in need of a family for a while.”
“The poor thing. Well, we’ll put her in Ginny’s room-” Molly’s eyes narrowed at Percy’s expression. “Percival! You are not debauching this girl tonight!”
Bill and Fleur sniggered. George hooted with laughter.
“I doubt she’s up for it anyway,” Charlie noted. “She seems like a proper brought up girl,” he added. “They never put out just like that.”
There was sudden shocked silence from the rest of the family. Then Bill, George and Percy started to giggle while Arthur and Molly's eyes met in a roll and Fleur elbowed her husband in the side.
Percy shook his head. “It’s not that. It’s the nightmares. She doesn’t like to admit to them… ”
Molly sighed. “Well, we know how to deal with nightmares. We’ve got experience. Come on, you carry her upstairs.”
Percy rose, cast a lightening spell and gently lifted his still sleeping girlfriend and carried her up the stairs, Molly following and tut-tut ting all the way. Charlie met Bill’s eyes and both of them smiled.
“Something amusing?” Fleur asked.
“Haven’t seen Perce look like that since he first learned to read,” Bill smiled at her.
Fleur frowned. “What?”
“The face of revelation,” Charlie clarified. Then he leaned forward and poked Bill. “Now why don’t you and your beautiful wife go practice for making lots and lots of little siblings for Vicky.”
“Charles!” Fleur scolded blushing.
Charlie shrugged. “Just pointing out that Vicky is staying over with Mum and Dad tonight.”
Arthur sighed wistfully. “We never really had the luxury of sending you to stay with grandparents.”
Bill and Charlie snorted. “Doesn’t seem to have crimped your style, Dad. Considering our numbers,” Bill teased.
“Ah, but we had to be up early to ensure that you lot didn’t destroy the house. Or each other,” Arthur twinkled at his sons. “No chance for long drawn out sessions-”
Bill held up his hands, smiling in defeat and Charlie gulped with laughter. “Okay. You win, dad.”
Arthur rose. “That said, I’m going to bed. Vicky will be up early tomorrow,” he smiled at Fleur and Bill, then winked. “Charlie’s suggestion does have merit, you know. Practice makes perfect. Good night.”
Fleur buried her blushing face in Bill’s shoulder. “Your family ees terrible!”
“Yes, but we love you anyway,” Charlie teased. “I’m going to see if Hagrid is still up. Good night.”
He left and they heard the pop of apparition. Their eyes met and Bill smiled rather hesitantly. “Errr…”
Fleur smiled, took his hand and rose. “Come. We have practice to do.”
Dawn was in the kitchen, helping with the preparations for breakfast. Though Molly kept taking away the more interesting ingredients and muttering things about not mixing Bertie Botts Every Flavour beans with Marmite.
“Why not? They look just like Jelly Beans?” Dawn asked, rather confused.
Molly sighed. “Every flavour. The last one I tasted was apparently armadillo bile.”
Dawn shuddered. “Ooo-kaay. I’m so gonna get some Jelly beans. And peanut butter.”
“Peanut butter? Oh, ground Groundnuts,” Molly rummaged in a cupboard and pulled out a huge, industrial sized jar. Dawn gaped at it.
Molly grinned. “All the children are home, dear. I’ve got three more jars like this. I get them at a muggle shop that caters to restaurants.”
“Oh, right, big family,” Dawn smiled and looked away, starting to cut some cucumber for sandwiches.
Molly looked at her back and then stepped closer. “Percy told me you’re at odds with your sister?”
Dawn kept cutting, but her shoulders stiffened.
Molly sighed. “I realise this is going to sound dreadfully impertinent and you may tell me to mind my own business, but I think it would be wise if you spoke to her. To talk about it.”
“There’s nothing to talk about. She’s made perfectly clear that she’s the one in control and that I’m the one who should be obeying her every order,” Dawn growled.
A slice of cucumber, parted with unusual vigour from the rest of the fruit, leaped up and hit the counterpane.
Molly’s mouth quirked. “If this was about Percy, I’d suggest discussing safe words and offering to switch places on occasion. But since this is your sister, I really hope I don’t have to.”
Dawn coughed and spluttered and went very, very red, then gaped at the older woman in shocked amazement. “W-what?”
“Well, that got your attention,” Molly smirked.
Dawn shook her head. “Okay. I’m so not ready for this conversation with you. This is like Mom and Giles, the hood of the police car and the handcuffs and I’m not ready to go there either.”
“Not to worry dear, we'll talk about it when you’re a little older,” Molly patted her shoulder. “But before you burn every last bridge, do try and talk to your sister again. If we had listened to Percy, and he to us, instead of talking, and then shouting at each other…”
Dawn gave her a look and sighed. “Yeah. I will. Once I’m a bit more…”
“Settled?” Molly suggested. “Well, don’t wait until you’ve got a couple of children at any rate, that might annoy her.”
“Speaking from experience?” Dawn raised an inquisitive eyebrow.
Molly shook her head. “Something a friend and I were discussing. Though in her case, the child might actually have helped. Ah well… At any rate, if you need any help, I’m quite willing to do so. Even if it is just by listening.”
Dawn took a deep breath that turned into a sob. Then she started to cry. Molly took the knife and the cucumber from her hands and drew the crying girl close.
After a few minutes Dawn calmed somewhat. Molly handed her a large, white linen handkerchief. “Better?”
Dawn nodded and wiped her eyes and blew her nose. “Yeah. You just sounded so much like my mom.”
Molly smiled. “I’ll take that as a very big compliment. Now, do you know how to bake cookies?”
George Weasley really was a handful. He egged on his niece and seemed to carry around a selection of materials, intended purely for pulling pranks, that would have rivalled Buffy's armoury when patrolling certain areas of Sunnydale.
Dawn found him quite amusing, most of the time.
It was slightly annoying when the pranks caused a mess, especially since George was a master at not being anywhere in sight when there was cleaning up to be done.
This meant that she was currently standing in the kitchen, glaring at what looked like a very small purple cowpat , with a very small pink cow standing munching contentedly at a bunch of herbs Molly had been growing in the windowsill.
The fact that it allegedly produced chocolate milk did not make up, in any way whatsoever, for the fact that there was now a cow shitting in the kitchen.
“Your mother is going to have things to say to you, George Weasley,” she muttered. “And I doubt they'll be complimentary.”
“She's cu-ute!” Vicki cooed at the purple mini-cow. “Can I keep her?”
Dawn sighed. “You'll have to ask your parents, grand parents and your Uncle George. Not me.”
“But why can't you let me keep her?” Vicky pouted.
“She’s not mine and you’re not my daughter,” Dawn pointed out reasonably.
“But she’s cute!” Vicki insisted, as if that would immediately remove all objections against her gaining a new pet.
“Maybe. But she’s also a cow, and eating your grandmother’s herbs and HAVE I SAID THAT YOU’RE GONNA BE IN SUCH TROUBLE, GEORGE WEASLEY?”
Dawn leaned down and opened a cabinet under the sink, rummaged around, ‘ah-ed’ in satisfaction and took out some cleaning materials.
“C’mon Vicki. If you want any chance of keeping her, we need to clean up what she did before your grandmother and mother see it.”
A slight, almost inaudible snigger that had been present had suddenly stopped as the cupboard was opened.
Dawn took no notice of it, thinking it was just another of the pranks of her boyfriend’s brother. *And when did I start thinking about him as my boyfriend?*
“She opened it without a single word or spell,” George said quietly.
“She opened the door to the attic as well, and that was warded when Vicki wanted to go and visit the ghoul, then poked him in the eye,” Arthur added.
Molly looked at Percy, who was scrutinising them closely from behind his glasses, his face closed and his eyes hard.
“Percy? You realise what this means?”
“No mother, what does it mean?” he asked coldly.
“No need to use that tone, Percival,” Molly said reprovingly. “I mean the girl no harm. It means semi-conscious magic. She has partial control over it. So I want you to take her to Olivander’s and let him talk to her.”
Percy blinked. “That’s it?”
Molly rolled her eyes. “Yes Percy, that’s it. You might want to bring enough money to buy her a wand, though.”
“Instead of having her polish yours,” George leered.
“George Weasley! You will not talk about that young lady in such a manner! Any young lady, for that matter! And that reminds me, why is there a cow in my kitchen?”