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Unforeseen Consequences: Heart of Darkness

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This story is No. 3 in the series "Black Sunrise". You may wish to read the series introduction and the preceeding stories first.

Summary: BtVS, HP, Noir. Black Sunrise series, part 3. Hermione finds out why it was a bad idea to bring two young American girls to Diagon Alley.

Categories Author Rating Chapters Words Recs Reviews Hits Published Updated Complete
Anime > Noir
Harry Potter > Dawn-Centered
ArjenFR15113,145273,2172 Aug 042 Aug 04Yes
Title: Unforeseen Consequences: Heart of Darkness

Author: Arjen

Word count: About 12.500 words

Summary: Sidestory to Black Sunrise. Hermione finds out why it was a bad
idea to bring two young American girls to Diagon Alley.

Pairings: None.

Rating: This story might not be suitable for young children.

Crossover: Harry Potter, Noir.

Disclaimer: All characters and other recognizable things are property of
Mutant Enemy, ADV films, J.K. Rowling and whoever else wants to lay claim to
them. Everything that I thought up is made using their property so I can’t
really claim that either.

Feedback: Preferably constructive criticism, tell me what I’ve done
right and wrong and I’ll be happy. Flames I consider as written by five years
old who according to that ridiculous rating system aren’t allowed to read this.



Chronology:
Black Sunrise
The Day After
Dark, Darker, …
Unforeseen Consequences: Heart of Darkness
Christmas Shopping
Unforeseen Consequences: Revelations
Background: Dawn was created early and the monks weren’t stupid
enough to lead Glory directly to her. During Halloween ‘97 she was possessed by
Kirika from Noir. Afterwards she retained the memories of this assassin and had
gained knowledge of the supernatural. The next day she found out who it was that
had caused this to happen and she gained an idea of what it would do to her.
During the next weeks her different personalities started to merge with some
less than pleasant side-effects.

For Harry Potter this takes place after Order of the Phoenix.


WARNING: This story is not always positive about the Harry Potter
verse as Dawn hates magic. It’s not really bad (in my opinion) but if you don’t
believe you can deal with it, don’t read.



~~~~~~~~~~~~ indicates a change of POV


 


Every action has consequences, of which at least one cannot be predicted
beforehand. When the monks turned the Key into a living being they had not
expected her to be possessed by the spirit of an assassin. But what if that had
not been the only unforeseen consequence of their action? What if there was
another, one that might have even more of an impact on her life?



 


Heart of Darkness:


 


“Mom, they can’t come. I have to buy my books and other things remember?” Why
didn’t her mother understand she couldn’t take the two Americans along?


“Hermione, I’m sure they won’t mind visiting the bookstore.”


“But...”


“No buts, you take them with you or you won’t go either.”


She uttered a sigh and turned to look at the objects of her frustration. It
wasn’t exactly that they were bad kids, for Americans that is, but she really
didn’t want to take them along to Diagon Alley. The trouble she’d have getting
them into the Leaky Cauldron would be negligible compared to what she was sure
Fred and George would do. Oh yeah, she could already imagine how she’d have to
explain to her parents why the girls had been used as test subjects.


And then there was of course the little fact that a war was going on and she
was right in the middle of it. Not that she could use that excuse since her
parents didn’t know about it.


“Alright then, I guess you two will be coming along then.” As she said so the
quieter of the two girls walked upstairs. “Where’s she going?”


“Getting her jacket, so where are we going exactly?” Jane asked her, the girl
looked excited and Hermione realized that was most likely her own fault. After
all, children were always anxious to go where they weren’t wanted or allowed.


But wait a minute, it was hot outside. “Her jacket? With this weather?”


“Well, this is Dawn we’re talking about. She doesn’t care about the weather,
in fact I remember this one time last winter where she didn’t notice she had
forgotten her coat until we were almost at school. She says it’s something to do
with not paying attention to the elements but I have no idea how she does it.
And you were going to tell me where we are going.” It kept amazing her how
anyone could keep talking like that without the apparent need to breathe.


“You’ll see once we get there.”


“Oh come on. It’s only me now, we don’t have to tell your parents or mine
where you’ll be taking us, are you going to see your boyfriend?”


What? She could only blink at this latest onslaught of strange ideas. “Why
would you think that?”


“Well, when Buffy, Dawn’s sister, didn’t want her to come somewhere it was
usually so she could meet up with her boyfriend. But he was like really old, in
his twenties or something and she didn’t want their mother to know about it.”


“Well, I am not going to visit my boyfriend, I’ve got better things to do
with my time.”


“Really? All I’ve ever seen you do is read and feed those owls that keep
coming here. Are you sure you aren’t composing love letters or anything?
Sometimes when you are in your room we can hear you shouting at someone named
Ron, is he your boyfriend?”


What? Why would she think that…? Shaking of the incomprehensible behavior of
the girl she answered. “I don’t have a boyfriend.”


“Why not?” Luckily the brunette girl had chosen that moment to return and she
could change subjects.


“Ready to go then?”



“I’m telling you Dawn, there wasn’t anything there.”


“It’s just a bar Jane, nothing special, why wouldn’t it be there before?”


The strange conversation drew Ginny’s attention to the entrance where she
noticed Hermione enter with two girls, who couldn’t be over thirteen.


“Hermione!” She shouted, running over to her tired looking friend.


“Ginny! It’s so good to see you.” Hermione greeted her, sounding very
relieved while hugging her.


“Are you okay? What’s wrong?”


“American teenagers, that’s what’s wrong.” She had no idea what the other
girl was talking about and when that became clear the statement was elaborated
on. “They’re driving me crazy, all the time asking the strangest questions.”


“I’m sure it isn’t as bad as you think and besides I thought you would
approve of them wanting to learn things.”


“Learning is alright, but they pose the most ridiculous questions. It’s even
worse then on the telly.”


Okay, the conversation was getting a little unreal so she decided to switch
subjects. “Ron and Harry are already through, shall we go?”


“Ron?” The brunette girl said, right before her friend spoke up.


“Hermione’s boyfriend?”


A long-suffering sigh was uttered by her friend who gave her a look that
clearly indicated this wasn’t the first time something like this came up. “I
don’t know where they got that nonsense, but it’s driving me insane.”


Yes, where could they have come up with a notion like that? Trying to
suppress a grin Ginny then turned to the girls introducing herself.


The brunette replied by simply stating her name but the other one was more
active in her greeting. “Hi, I’m Jane. You know, your clothes are really out of
style, even for England. Oh, and who is Harry?”


“Eh, I like my clothes.” What was wrong with her clothes? “And Harry is a
friend of us.”


“Ooh, love triangle.”


What? Okay, she was now starting to understand why Hermione was acting as if
she wanted to strangle the girls. But why wouldn’t they know who Harry was? She
thought they would have known about him in America. She turned to Hermione to
find that out and was shocked by the answer.


“Muggles? You brought Muggles here? What did you do that for?” She hissed at
the older girl.


“I didn’t have a choice, my mother demanded I take them with me and I
couldn’t convince her otherwise. After all, she and my dad could come here. And
it’s not like I could tell her about the war because they would probably take me
away from Hogwarts if that happened.”


“But Muggles? Now?”


“I know but I didn’t know what else to do.” That was quite a confession and
it proved exactly how far up the wall the girls had driven her friend. Taking a
look at them she could see that Jane was looking at everything in amazement
while Dawn was staring around in what appeared to be suspicion. “Besides, I
don’t think Dawn actually is a Muggle since she could see the Leaky Cauldron.”


“But she isn’t a witch.”


“I know, that doesn’t make any sense. There are schools over there but maybe
she didn’t want to go.”


Didn’t want to go? It was obvious Hermione didn’t know anything either and
her guessing didn’t really make any sense either. Strange how two little girls
appeared to have the same effect on the older girl as her brother had, well
apart from the fighting thing.


“Have you at least explained things to them?”


“No, I’m sure they’ll find out once we’re in Diagon Alley.” The smirk that
had appeared on Hermione’s face was almost Slytherin in nature but she had to
agree with the sentiment. If they hadn’t implied that about Harry she might have
had some compassion for them but now… “Right.”



“What’s keeping them?” Ron nervously asked his best friend. “Hermione should
have arrived long before.”


Harry didn’t appear to be concerned however, just happy that he was actually
allowed to be outside in the world he loved. “She had to come using public
transportation, that isn’t exactly as reliable as wizard modes of
transportation.”


“Maybe, but what if something happened to her?”


“Ron, I really just want to enjoy today. It took me all summer to convince
Dumbledore that I should be allowed one day where I could have some fun and I
don’t want to ruin it by thinking about what might happen.” As his friend told
him this Ron looked at him while doing his best to keep the compassion off his
face. Harry had often enough declared he didn’t want pity and anything that even
approached it was bound to make him angry again.


“Alright Harry, you’re probably right anyway. Or it might be those Muggle
friends of her parents that stopped her from leaving.” Not that he didn’t
believe for a moment that Hermione wouldn’t be able to get around them, she was
far too smart for that.


“Oh yeah that, poor Hermione.”


“What do you mean?”


“She has two American teenagers there, if they are even half as bad as the
television shows them to be…” He faked a shudder that more than convinced Ron
that American teenagers should be categorized as a bad thing.


“Okay, but.” He stopped talking as he spotted what he had been waiting for.
“There they are! Hermione! Ginny! Over here!” Ron waved the girls over to their
table.


“I told you, didn’t I?”


“Yes you did, hey, who is that with them?” The two girls weren’t two girls,
there were four of them although the younger two seemed to be staring at
everything.


“What?” Harry turned to look as well but Ron had already drawn a conclusion
he really hoped was wrong, she wouldn’t actually do that would she?


“I think they’re the Muggles.”


Harry didn’t seem to be inclined to believe that anymore than he did but as
the group approached it became more and more obvious that it was the most likely
answer.


“Hermione? Who are they?”


Before his friend could answer though, the blonde girl spoke up. “Hi, I’m
Jane. Are you Ron?”


Taken aback by the abrupt introduction from the American girl he didn’t
really know how to answer. “Uh, yes.”


“You know, Hermione didn’t really want to tell us but you are her boyfriend
aren’t you?”


Her what? “Hermione?”


“I don’t know!” She sounded a little hysterical, in fact now that he really
looked at her she appeared to be in almost worse shape than she did after she
found out she had made a mistake on a test. “They keep talking about it, for
some reason they aren’t able to think of anything else.”


“You’re all mages and witches or something, aren’t you?” The little brunette
spoke up for the first time.


“Wizards, actually.”


“Great, fools that mess around with nature and are worried about semantics.”
She scoffed in an eerily soft voice.


“Hey! We don’t mess around with anything. We know how to do things.”


“I don’t like magic and I rather doubt you’ll be able to convince me it is a
good thing.”


“What’s not to like?” Harry asked in amazement, something Ron had to agree
with. After all, magic was wonderful and allowed you to do many things Muggles
couldn’t do. “I mean, everything is possible.”


“Yeah, everything is possible. And unless I miss my guess, everything
happened.”


“What are you talking about?” He asked her confusedly.


She sighed for a moment before pointing to a copy of the Daily Prophet lying
on the table next to theirs. “A civil war?”


“Oh, that.”


“A war? We’re in a war zone?” This time it was the blonde girl who spoke.
“Are we in any danger?”


“Relax Jane. I don’t think we’re in any real danger here.” If he hadn’t been
paying close attention to the strange girl he might have missed the way her eyes
briefly scanned certain people in the crowd around them. Some of whom he knew to
be members of the Order.


Hermione then also decided to reassure the child. “No, we’re safe here.
Diagon Alley is well guarded and it’s unlikely anyone would attack here.”


“However, the fact that we’re safe here doesn’t mean that magic is a good
thing.” The brunette spoke up again. Wait a minute, he still didn’t know her
name.


“Magic is good for a lot of things. Who are you anyway?”


“Dawn and name one thing that magic is good for.”


“Quidditch.” He saw Hermione roll her eyes but both Harry and Ginny agreed
with him.


“Quidditch? What’s that? Some kind of disease?”


“Disease?” He barely noticed the echo as the other two Quidditch players
asked the same scandalized question. “It is the sport of sports.”


“Oh great. A magical game, what kind of nonsense will the universe come up
with next?” Dawn muttered while looking as if she couldn’t believe anyone could
find a sport useful.


“Wait until you’ve actually seen it before you judge it. Nothing beats a good
game of Quidditch.”


“Right, now is there anything that might actually prove magic is worthwhile?”


Hermione answered that particular question. “I don’t think there’s anything
you can’t do with magic, so yes it’s worthwhile.”


“Nothing you can’t do?” The girl seemed lost in thought for a moment and from
the way she looked he didn’t think it was a very good thought. “Let me guess,
things like possession are possible.”


“Yes.” Ginny bit out, obviously not happy about the fact that she was
reminded of her first year.


“Oh, I see.” Dawn said in that freakishly understanding way. “Now let me ask
another question. If for example I had a prop based on a TV series, would it be
possible to make that the real thing?”


Wow, that was a hard question and he had no idea if something like that was
possible, well he was pretty sure it was but he had no idea how it could be
done. He looked at the others to see if they had an answer to that but Harry
looked as perplexed as he felt and Hermione didn’t appear to know anything more
either. Ginny however looked thoughtful and she was the one to speak up. “I’m
not sure but I think I know a shop that might be able to do something like
that.”


The switch in behavior was immediate. From the distrustful little girl that
tried to prove the worthlessness of magic, Dawn turned into a little girl that
looked as if her greatest wish was about to be fulfilled. “Really? Can you take
me there?”


“Are you talking about…?” Jane wanted to know from her friend, not bothering
to actually mention what she thought the other was talking about. No, Ron
wouldn’t find out that way. After all, that would be spoiling the surprise,
wouldn’t it?


“Yes.”


“That would be so cool! Can I come to that shop too? I wanna see it done.”
The last was with a pleading look at Ginny who only now seemed to realize she
would actually need to take them there.


“You know Gin, while you take the two of them there we’ll go and visit Fred
and George. We’ll see you there when you’re done.”


The look she sent him told him exactly what she thought of him saddling her
with the two girls but getting rid of them for a moment would be worth whatever
Ginny was going to come up with. He hoped.


“Come on then, let’s go.” Jane started tugging on his sister’s arm indicating
it was time for them to find out if magic was useful after all.


As the three of them watched them walk of it was Harry who spoke first. “That
was one strange girl.”


“Yeah, I wonder what her problem with magic is.”


The answer that came from Hermione wasn’t very enlightening but it was
strange. “I don’t think she’s a Muggle.”


“Huh?”


“She could see the Leaky Cauldron but maybe her family hates magic or
something, that might explain why she didn’t go to a wizard school.”


“Could be.” Harry answered. “I wonder why was she wearing a jacket by the
way?”


A jacket? Yes, now that his friend had mentioned it he could remember her
wearing that as well. Hermione told them that she had no idea either before they
turned in the direction of Weasley’s Wizard Wheezes. It wasn’t until they were
close to the shop that he decided to tell them what he had noticed about her. “I
think she actually recognized the Order members as guards.”


”She what?” Both his friends asked in surprise.


He was going to repeat it before he saw something that he had really hoped
not to until he got back to Hogwarts.



“Potter.” Oh no, Hermione thought when she heard the venomous voice. Turning
around with the rest she looked at the blond boy flanked by his usual two
stooges. “I see you brought the Mudblood and Weasel along as well. Afraid to
come here alone?”


“Don’t call her a Mudblood, you…” Ron was at it again so she had to interfere
before he got out of control.


“Ron! Don’t.”


“Yes, Weasel, don’t.” Draco mocked. “I was talking to Potter anyway.”


“Why Malfoy? Do you miss your daddy?”


“I told you before Potter, he won’t stay away for long.”


Before any of them could answer though a voice called her name, causing her
to turn around to see Jane running towards her while both Ginny and Dawn walked
calmly. As if the other American ever did anything without being calm. “They can
do it.”


“What?”


Jane had reached them by now and started explaining. “That guy said he could
turn Dawn’s watch real but it would cost a lot of money. He said it was
something like 35 Galleons or whatever. How much is that in real money? Ginny
didn’t know since she only uses that kind of money but you use real money as
well. So how much is that in dollars and is it possible to exchange them
somewhere? The guy said he didn’t take American Express, in fact he didn’t even
know what it was. Can you believe that?” When the rambling suddenly stopped
after that question she didn’t know what to answer at first.


“Eh…”


But something else had drawn the attention of the girl. “Oh, new boy. He
looks nice, who are you?”


The look of revulsion on Draco’s face was almost funny to watch. “You’re a
Muggle? How did you get in here? Your kind isn’t allowed.”


“My kind?” For the first time since meeting the girl Hermione got the
impression that there actually might be a mind behind all the flighty actions.
And that mind didn’t seem to appreciate the Slytherin’s words. “You’re a racist,
aren’t you? Yes. Well, I’m glad you cleared that up before I might actually
start believing you to be someone I could possibly like.”


“What?” Apparently he hadn’t expected the girl to react like that anymore
than she had. By then however it was too late for him as the other two had
reached them as well.


“What’s going on?” Dawn asked in her soft voice after looking at her friend’s
face.


“Were he normal.” Jane pointed at Draco. “He’d be a card-carrying member of
the guys in white dresses and pointy hats.”


“The ones on Jerry Springer?” Jerry Springer? While she had an idea what was
meant by the white dresses and pointy hats she had no idea what Jerry Springer
was.


“Yes. He says our kind isn’t allowed here?”


“Our kind?” Dawn’s voice was so cold Hermione half expected ice to start
forming all around them. The girl then turned to them. “He’s not a friend of
yours, is he?”


“No.” Harry’s voice too was flat, apparently for the first time really
getting how Draco’s behavior could be seen.


“Good.” For some reason Dawn was rubbing a fake watch with her thumb as if
her life depended on it. Was that the prop she had been talking about?
Apparently she wasn’t the only one who noticed it though as she saw Jane looking
at the scene with fear in her eyes. Fear? What would she be afraid of?


“I’ll take that.” And with a move obviously trained to catch a snitch Draco
took the watch out of the girl’s hand. The reaction to that was once again
something quite unexpected.


“Oh shit.” Was Jane’s whispered reaction while Dawn’s was simply to stare up
at the Slytherin for a moment before she spoke.


“Mike did that.” A hissing sound from the other American accompanied that
statement, obviously it meant something to both of them. But since she had never
even heard of this Mike she had no idea what it meant. On the other hand, even
without that knowledge she could recognize a warning when she heard it.


Something Draco apparently couldn’t since he only smirked at the girl. Harry
decided to help the child then though and demanded him to give it back.


“And why should I do that? You’re no more allowed to use magic than I am and
Crabbe and Goyle could beat you into mush.” Returning his attention to the
little girl he then taunted her. “See, this is why your kind isn’t allowed here.
You’re not worthy of even kissing my feet.”


“Give. It. Back.”


“Oh, you’re such a scary little girl that I’ve got no choice but to give it
back.” Stretching out his hand to the girl, pretending to give the watch back,
he suddenly dropped it to the ground and stepped on it. “Oops.”


“Dawn?” The scared voice of Jane seemed to inflate Draco’s self-esteem even
more while the girl mentioned was merely staring at him in amazement.


“Not even Mike was that stupid.” Dawn finally said in a voice that could only
be interpreted as surprise. And while Hermione didn’t like it either she
realized that she should have seen it coming. Draco was a lot bigger than Dawn
was and combined with how he felt about Muggles she should have known that he
might try something like that.


“Don’t worry Dawn, we can fix it.”


But the girl didn’t appear to hear her comforting words. She just stood
there, looking in amazement at the broken watch before looking back at the boy
who had just destroyed it. The watch obviously was very important to her for
some reason Hermione couldn’t fathom. Looking at Jane didn’t help her either,
since she was looking even more scared than before and had stepped back, as if
she didn’t want to be in the line of fire. But from what? She tried to figure
that out but before she could it was almost as if the world changed.



What was happening? Ginny had no idea what had caused the atmosphere to
change, but change it had. Moments before she had been watching the little girl
reacting to how Malfoy broke the watch she so cherished but now… Now she was
looking around to see what had caused the sudden chill but when she did so it
became obvious to her that it was a rather localized phenomenon.


A sudden whimper from Jane drew her attention to the scared American and she
noticed her mouthing “No.” while looking at Dawn. This made Ginny look at the
other girl as well and doing so, she realized that she had found the answer to
the mystery. Something had changed inside the girl, had she not known better she
might have thought the girl possessed, so different was she from before.


The girl’s eyes were slitted and when she once again looked up from the watch
she had been staring at, Malfoy took a step back. Not that it helped him however
since at that moment hell broke loose.


In a move she couldn’t really follow a foot was planted in Malfoy’s privates
causing him to let out a shriek of pain while he doubled over. Crabbe and Goyle
then moved to protect their friend. Was he actually their friend or merely their
master or something? That didn’t matter however and she focused back on the
fight that had started. Certain that any minute now both Harry and Ron would try
to help the girl. Maybe not because of the girl herself although that would have
been enough for them but also because it was against Malfoy.


The girl didn’t need the help however as she moved towards the hulking
figures and snapped out kicks at them as well. One of these kicks was planted in
Goyle’s stomach while another landed on Crabbe’s knee and if the cracking sound
was any indication she had just broken it. Where had the girl learned to do
that? More importantly, where could she learn that?


By now the girl was so close to the two that she could punch them, which she
also did. Having no knowledge of that kind of thing she didn’t know why the girl
aimed for certain points on their bodies but it sure proved effective. After a
couple of punches in their stomachs and several more in their face the girl, who
hadn’t even needed to dodge once, stepped away from them for a moment. Obviously
expecting them to fall to the ground and fall they did.


Never before had she seen anyone doing that to someone, let alone to two boys
who were obviously a lot bigger and stronger. Once they were on the ground
however, Dawn didn’t pay them anymore attention and turned back to Malfoy, who
now had a terrified look on his face and made a grab for his wand.


She should help the girl, or stop her. At least do something but she felt as
if she was glued to the ground in shock. The way the girl had taken the others
out spoke of great experience in that sort of thing and she wasn’t really
certain she wanted to be in the line of fire. Combined with the girl’s hatred
for magic actually letting herself be noticed might prove to be rather
dangerous. “Look out, his wand!” She called out to warn Dawn who might not know
what the stick was for. Okay, so she did help the girl after all, but she
couldn’t let her be victimized by Malfoy.


Unlike what she had expected however Dawn didn’t back off after her warning.
Instead she moved directly at Malfoy and before he was more then halfway through
his spell she yanked the wand out of his hands. When that happened he started
doing a very nice impression of a fish on dry land. Not exactly unexpected since
she was just as surprised about Dawn’s move and almost joined him. After all,
wizards were used to fighting with their wands and while someone might throw an
expellarmius at you, they didn’t just grab your wand.


But that was exactly what had happened and while Dawn stepped out of reach of
the older boy she took the wand in both hands and snapped it. When she threw the
pieces to the ground she then spoke for the first time.


“You broke what’s mine. I broke what’s yours. You might say we’re even now.”
A fire seemed to flash in her eyes before she continued and Ginny felt her mouth
go dry as she realized what was to come. “But I don’t.”


“Dawn! Stop it!” Jane shouted in an obvious attempt to prevent her friend
from doing something stupid.


The other American didn’t seem to want to do that however. “Stay away Jane,
I’m not sure if I can control myself.” While she said that she had started
walking back to Malfoy again and the creepy smile that appeared on her face
would have scared anyone.


“You don’t want to do this, remember? You want to be controlled, you want to
be grounded.”


“HE BROKE IT! HE BROKE MY ONLY LINK TO SANITY!” The girl shouted.


“I know! But they can fix it, magic can fix it.”


The glare Dawn sent to all of them after hearing that statement was one that
she’d remember all of her life. Never had she seen such loathing and hatred in
anyone’s eyes. “Magic isn’t the cure, it’s the disease.”


“Dawn, don’t do this. I’m not exactly Malfoy’s biggest fan myself but you
have to stop.” Harry tried to stop her but the girl didn’t even listen, instead
she had reached her target and kicked Malfoy in the face.


“Stop her!” Jane beseeched them, close to crying herself. “You have to stop
her before she kills him.”


Kills him? She wouldn’t, would she? Looking at the groaning bodies of Crabbe
and Goyle doubt entered her mind, but no, not even an American teenager would
kill someone over a fake watch would she? Ginny then remembered what Dawn had
called the watch, her only link to sanity. Oh god, she raised her horrified eyes
back to the scene where the little girl was once again pounding on Malfoy. Harry
already lay sprawled on the ground a couple of feet from that scene, he had
obviously tried and failed to stop the girl, and Ron was nervously thinking up
something to do. But what could they do?


“Stupefy!”


She heard her brothers shout the curse but obviously so had Dawn as she was
turning around by the time it hit her and knocked her out. Unfortunately, for
the boy they saved, only one of the spells actually hit the American while the
other landed on Malfoy himself.


“Well, Fred. I have to admit that was some beautiful work.”


“You know George, I reckon you’re right about that. We saved the fair
princess from the dragon and didn’t even mess our clothes in doing so.”


“Oh grow up, you two.” Hermione told the two who had obviously come out of
their store to help them. “I just hope for your sake that Dawn has lost her
anger by the time she wakes up. If she realizes it was you who used magic on her
she might forget about Malfoy and go for you instead.”


“Ah, she wouldn’t actually do so, would she?” The slightly anxious look on
Fred’s face made it obvious he had seen at least part of the fight and knew what
the girl was capable of.


“Oh, I don’t know. I mean she’s been telling us how much she hates magic more
or less from the moment she arrived, then he.” Hermione pointed at Malfoy.
“Decided it might be a good idea to ruin her precious watch and she went on a
rampage. One that you interrupted by using magic.”


Her brother’s looked at each other, then at the girl lying on the ground and
back at each other. “You reckon what I reckon?”


“We’re out of here?”


“That’s what I was thinking.”


“Hold it you two.” Ginny said before the two actually ran away and left them
to deal with the mess they had created. “You could at least fix her watch.”


“Do you think that would be enough to calm her down? Because the shop is
having a great day, what with everyone here to buy their books, and then we
wouldn’t have to leave.”


“Maybe, I’m not sure about it.”


“Excuse me.” Jane interrupted the conversation and came walking from where
she had just checked on her friend. “But are you thinking about a way to stop
her from being angry at you?”


“Yes, would you have any idea on how to do that?”


“I’m her best friend, of course I know how to do that. See that watch thingie
on the ground there?”


“Yes, Ginny said we should repair it but she wasn’t sure that would be
enough.”


“Oh, trust me. That’s nowhere near enough, I’ve never seen anyone hold a
grudge like Dawn and you can be sure she’ll be angry at you.”


“Wonderful, that’s just wonderful.” George exclaimed while looking at the sky
before turning his gaze back down. “But you said you know a way to stop that?”


“Yes, all you have to do is do something that means more to her than her
anger.”


Ginny shared confused looks with her brothers before she asked. “And what
could that be?”


“That’s easy. Make the watch real, like she wanted to. It will prove to her
that you mean everything well and might actually stop her from hating magic.”


“Yes, about that. Do you know why she hates magic?”


The girl shook her head. “Nah, I didn’t even know magic was real before
today. That’s something she’ll have to explain to me as well, if she knew it was
real why didn’t she tell me?”


“Hold on, that can wait. Our lives are more important now. You said to make
the watch real? We can’t do that, is there anything else?”


“Oh Ginny knows a store that can do it. We went there earlier but they didn’t
take creditcards. You had to pay in something called Galleons.”


“Right, and how much did it cost?”


“Thirty-five Galleons.” Ginny told her brothers, watching their hopeful faces
turn sour again. Even with everything they made from the shop, thirty-five
galleons was still a lot of money.


“I’ll pay for it.”


Turning around she noticed Harry standing there. When had he arrived? There
had been a time she’d always known where he was and now he was able to sneak up
on her? She really ought to pay more attention.


“You know Harry, that’s a nice offer.” Fred started the sentence that George
ended.


“But we can’t take it, you see we’re the ones in trouble and if we don’t get
ourselves out of it she seems to be the kind to figure it out.”


“Besides, it was worth it to see Malfoy taken down like that.”



When she had woken up the lunatic had indeed been ready to go after his
brothers and while they were a little hard to live with at times, Ron was rather
glad she had been distracted by her toy. No, he amended himself, it wasn’t a toy
anymore. It was now a real watch and it even played some kind of melody when you
opened it.


It was strange, all that was needed to keep Dawn from actually killing his
brothers had been for that melody to play. When she heard it she instantly
stopped her violent behavior and became docile. It was almost an entire reversal
of the change he had witnessed just before she gave bloody Malfoy what he
deserved. Oh yes, he felt a grin break out on his face, that expression of fear
on the Slytherin’s face was one he’d treasure for the rest of his life.


Of course, they had asked about the watch, before they brought her back to
consciousness actually, but the information Jane had given them didn’t make any
sense to him. Even when compared to Ginny, Hermione or other girls the American
talked in a weird way, and what was it with the whole boyfriend thing? Couldn’t
she think of anything else? No, back to the creepy watch. Apparently Dawn used
it to ground herself, a theory Jane had proudly proclaimed to have deducted from
the telesomething. And that had started around Halloween since she had then
started to get multiple personalities.


Yes, that’s what the little girl had said. At least, he thought so, he wasn’t
entirely certain about some of the phrases that had been used but that seemed to
be the gist of it. There were four personalities, wouldn’t that get crowded up
there? So far they had only seen two, the happy Dawn and the, what did she call
it? Out-of-control-freaky-hyperviolent-you-mess-with-me-I-kill-you personality.
Which left only the sad girl and the emotionless one. Not that he had any
intention of meeting them.


From where he was sitting in the ever strange smelling store he looked at the
girl, couldn’t they put a charm on it or something after all Ron doubted anyone
really wanted to constantly smell the Portable Swamps. Strange smells aside he
could see how Dawn was having fun with her friend about some of his brothers’
inventions he was quite content with the current personality. The others could
come back once she was safely out of the country. Oh look, they had discovered
the Headless Hats and were experimenting with them.


“These are quite handy.”


“Handy? They’re fun, who cares if they’re useful.”


He watched as Dawn looked at her friend, obviously not agreeing with that
statement, and about to deny it when she thought better of it. “Well, that
depends on what you think of as useful.”


“How do you mean?”


“Do you think we could take a couple with us and then during math…”


The pealing laughter from Jane clearly showed that she liked that idea but
when they started to discuss possibilities he focused back on his friends.


“So, what do you think about the whole watch thing?”


“Well, it’s obvious she has had previous experience with magic. And it wasn’t
in any way positive.”


“Yes Hermione, you’ve already told us that.” He sighed for a moment trying to
figure things out as well. “You think it had anything to do with the personality
thing?”


“I think she’s been possessed and that the personality hasn’t left her.”


“What?” The horrified sounding question came from Ginny, who of course knew
better than anyone else present exactly how bad possession could be.


“Well, it’s the only thing that makes any sense. I mean, from what Jane told
us she changed from one day to the next.”


“Could it be You-Know-Who? We still don’t know what he did last year and he
might have gone to wherever it is they live.”


“No, I don’t think so. He was too busy trying to arrange things here. You
never saw him going to California either, did you?” The last part was directed
at Harry.


Oh no, you shouldn’t have made him think of the dreams Hermione. That reminds
him of Sirius, which causes him to be sad and mopey again. But fortunately that
wasn’t the case as Harry simply answered. “No, as far as I know he was in
England the whole time. But then, I could have been fooled.” The last part was
said with a bitter inflection and Ron cursed himself for his premature hope.


“And besides, he was after the prophecy so he wouldn’t have left.” Oh Ginny,
not you too. “By the way, Hermione. Why is she wearing a jacket with this
weather?”


Having already heard the answer to that question Ron looked at where his
brothers were explaining the virtues of skiving boxes to the girls.


“So you’re telling me that if I eat this end I get sick, which would get me
out of class and when I take the other end I’ll get better again so I can go and
have fun?”


“Yes.” George told her with a smile on his face.


“That is so cool. You know Dawn, we have to get us some of these. We could
get entire days of and nobody would think we’d be playing hooky.”


“You’re right, that might even be better than using those hat things. Or
can’t we take these into the real world either?”


“No, no. As long as you’re careful and don’t tell anyone where you got them
we don’t see any problems.”


“Good. You know, I have an older sister. You wouldn’t happen to have some
things I could use for, ah, teasing her, would you?”


“Now you’re talking. Come this way and we’ll introduce you to the wonderful
world of ton-tongue toffees.”


Tearing his attention back to the ongoing conversation of his friends he had
to wonder what they were talking about now. “… didn’t they help?”


“I’m not sure, maybe they didn’t want to risk being exposed as guards. And
remember Fred and George arrived very fast, they probably warned them to come
and help.”


“Yeah, and then they had to go and placate Dawn.” Ginny snickered. “I’d
almost feel sorry for them if I didn’t think they consider it to be a great
joke.”


“And it was funny wasn’t it. Did you see the look at Malfoy’s face when Dawn
broke his wand? I almost expected him to start crying like a baby.” Ron said
before all four of them started laughing about what had happened.



“So, do you two like the shop?”


“Oh yeah, most definitely. I mean, it may smell a little weird here with all
that stuff but it’s so cool. It almost makes me wish I wasn’t an only child so I
could go and get some things to tease my sister like Dawn is doing.”


Both of them looked at where Dawn was currently negotiating on the price of
the items she wanted to buy. Not that Hermione thought she actually had wizard
money but it became quite obvious their next stop would be Gringotts.


“So, she doesn’t seem to mind the magic anymore, does she?”


“Yeah, well.” Jane looked a little troubled at that. “I’m not too sure about
that. If I knew why she hates it so much I might know if she’s over it but to be
honest, I think she’s only thinking about the watch now. Once that’s over she
might start ranting again but your friends are pretty good at distracting her
from thinking about everything being magic in here.”


“Yeah, joking is something they’re very good at.” She said with a slightly
disapproving smile, after all she couldn’t possibly admit she might agree with
them about not finishing their education.


“What are you thinking about?”


Deciding she might as well tell the American girl about the way the twins had
left Hogwarts Hermione did so.


“You’re kidding? They made a swamp inside the school? That is so cool, wait a
minute. Was that one of those portable swamps I’ve seen somewhere here? Do you
think they might sell it to me?”


What had she done? Didn’t she realize by now that this girl had no idea about
lines you shouldn’t cross? “I don’t think they’re allowed to sell them either.
In fact I’m pretty sure that they shouldn’t sell half of the things Dawn wants
either.”


“What do you care?”


“The rules are there for a reason.”


“Of course they are, rules are there to be broken. Everybody knows that.”


For some inexplicable reason, the growing headache couldn’t possibly have
anything to do with it, Hermione was starting to believe it would have been best
if she’d stayed in bed that morning. No, best would have been if she had managed
to convince her mother that bringing the Americans here was a bad idea. “Rules
aren’t to be broken, in fact these rules are there to protect Muggles from
magic.”


“You know, I think that might be part of Dawn’s problems with magic.”


“What?” She had no idea what the girl meant.


“The fact that wizards think themselves better than the normal people.”


“No, that’s only people like Malfoy.”


“Really? So why don’t you let the rest of the world know you exist then? Why
do you treat the normal people like children by not letting them deal with
things they couldn’t possibly understand?” The last part was said in such a
mocking voice it was obvious that the girl really meant what she said.


She looked at Jane who was staring right back with her hands on her hips and
an expectant look on her face. The American clearly expected an answer but she
had to realize she couldn’t give one. “I-I don’t know. I can’t give you a good
answer for that besides the fact that Mu- normal humans aren’t ready to deal
with it.”


“Oh I know that, most people would probably only see the dangers but that
only gets worse if you keep hiding. After all, you’re in both worlds. You must
know that technology is busy catching up to magic.”


“You know, you’re pretty cynical for your age.”


“I live in a town where the chances of surviving until your graduation are
about 50%, that makes you learn to pay attention fast enough.”


“What?”


“It’s not important right now.” The American waved the question of before
focusing on something else. “I think Dawn is done with negotiating, I wanna go
see what she’s bought.” And with that the girl walked away without bothering to
explain about her hometown.


Hermione couldn’t stop thinking about it though, a town where only about half
the children lived until their graduation? In the middle of California? Once she
got home she really had to look up this Sunnyvale, Sunnydale, whatever it was
called.


But on the other hand she now at least had an idea of what it was that made
Dawn hate magic so much. Unless she had really misunderstood everything Jane had
told her she was certain that Dawn had previous experience with magic and
probably something bad. The possession she had proposed before was a possibility
but after this conversation she realized it might also be the Imperius Curse.



And whoever it was that had done it to her obviously had told her that she
wasn’t important, unworthy or something like that. That would explain her need
to be seen as at least an equal. And from what she knew of the girl the lack of
control alone would have been enough to earn her eternal hatred. Maybe someday
she’d get over it, at least being here today could only help in showing her that
not all magic was bad.



“So where are we going now?” Jane asked when they left the joke shop.


“I still haven’t exchanged money.” Hermione suddenly seemed to remember with
a frown. “And after that I at least need to visit Flourish and Blotts, we
still need our schoolbooks and maybe there are some other books as well.”


“Alright, why don’t you go to Gringotts while we wait for you at
Fortescue’s
? That way you’ll know where to find us and we don’t have to deal
with the goblins.”


“Goblins?” Ginny could see the ears of both young girls prick up when they
heard her brother mention them. “Can we come and see them as well? Dawn has to
exchange money after all and that’s where you can do that isn’t it?”


“Yes, why don’t you two go with Hermione?” Ginny told them, happy that she’d
be rid of them for a while. Although from the look on her friend’s face she
would probably pay for it later. But that didn’t matter, actually seeing the two
terrors leave was more than worth whatever Hermione could come up with and
besides, it wasn’t as if her friend hadn’t dumped them on her earlier. She then
turned to her brother and friend. “Let’s go eat some ice-cream.”


The delicious cold taste of her ice-cream was enough to stop her thinking
about the Americans and she let herself enjoy the sun, half-listening to the
conversation of the two boys. But they weren’t discussing anything really
important so her thoughts turned to what the coming year would bring.


Once again they had no idea who the new DADA professor would be but she was
confident it couldn’t possibly be as bad as Umbridge. Now that was someone she’d
like to see Dawn get angry at. A smile played along her face at that particular
image. Oh yes, that would be wonderful. However, that woman was no longer of any
importance in her life so her thoughts turned back to where she had at first
directed them.


This year the OWL’s were coming and from what she had seen and heard last
year that meant a lot of work. Combined with the fact that she really wanted to
be on the House team again, as Chaser of course since Harry was bound to be
reinstated as Seeker, that would leave her with little time to spare. Which
meant that today might be one of the last times she could actually enjoy herself
without feeling the need to do something else.


If the rest of the day would just go as planned she would consider the
strange things about the American girls at another time. For now, peace and
quiet was what she wanted. Well, that and spending time with her friends and
family. Realizing she was ignoring the other two she opened her eyes again and
looked at them.


Both Harry and Ron looked happy as they were talking about their favorite
subject. And for that one single moment she felt as if there wasn’t anything in
the world to fear, after all, if the boy who was the most affected by the war
could have fun everything must be alright. So with a smile on her own face she
bent forward and joined the conversation.


* * *


“… I mean, how could anyone be that sour all the time? Is it a particular
trait of their race or are some goblins nice?” Ever since they had returned with
Hermione from visiting Gringotts, the girls had been pestering them with
questions about the goblins.


“Goblins too can be nice but they take money very seriously.”


“Why?” This time it was Dawn who asked the question of her friend. “Money is
only a tool you use to get what you want. It doesn’t have any real meaning.”


What? Well, it was obvious the girl had never had any money problems. “If
you’ve got it maybe, otherwise you might see it differently.”


“What? Oh yeah, I think you’re right about that. Sorry, I am used to having
access to money.”


Well, at least she was nice enough to apologize even if Ginny wasn’t entirely
sure whether she did it to stop an argument or because she meant it. “That’s
okay. So, do we need to go anywhere else or are we done with everything we need
for Hogwarts?”


As the others indicated they too had everything it was time to decide on what
to do. They still had a couple of hours before they had to leave and combined
with the beautiful weather they didn’t feel any need to hurry.


Quality Quidditch Supplies.” The boys proposed nearly simultaneously.


“That’s a store for that weird game you’ve been talking about?” Jane wanted
to know. “I think I’d like to see how that is played.”


“You’d love it, everybody loves Quidditch.”


“Yeah, yeah it’s the sport of sports, the game of games. We’ve heard that
already but I still don’t know what actually goes on.” The girl countered.


After the girls had been given an explanation of how it was played the group
decided to split up. Hermione wanted to look at some more books in Flourish
and Botts
and Dawn, who still wasn’t interested in Quidditch, would join her
while she and the others were going to try and see if there was anything new in
the Quidditch shop. Dropping their bags at Weasley’s Wizard Wheezes,
having brothers with a shop here was quite useful after all, they were barely
back on the street when it happened.


She didn’t know how they had gotten there but a group of Death Eaters
suddenly came out of Knockturn Alley while firing their spells. It took only a
moment before one of the Death Eaters recognized them, or at least Harry, and
they were under fire.


Spells seemed to be coming from everywhere and it seemed like half of them
were unforgivables. Cruciatus seemed to be the most popular, although the
Killing Curse was aimed at some of the shopping public as well. The first spells
hadn’t even had time to reach them before members of the Order were already in
action, trying to subdue the group of Death Eaters. But even she could see that
they were clearly outnumbered. Unless reinforcements started to show up soon
they wouldn’t stand a chance.


Screams caused her to look back at her friends again, only to see that the
two American girls had been hit by the green light of an Unforgivable. They had
to get them inside, they all had to get inside. Their guards started to shout
the same thing and while none of them wanted to just stand by while others did
the fighting she also knew they couldn’t do anything. That day in the Department
of Mysteries had shown her they wouldn’t stand a chance against a group this
size.



It had been difficult for him to fall back, no there was no reason to lie to
himself so Ron amended himself. Alright, it had been difficult to retreat but he
also realized they couldn’t do anything to help. Which meant that he was here,
inside his brother’s smelly shop. And while his brothers were out there fighting
the biggest risk he ran was that of trying to look out the window just so he’d
have an idea of what was going on. And what was going on wasn’t something he was
happy about.


As far as he could see the Death Eaters seemed to be winning this battle as
they had the good guys completely outnumbered. Fortunately none of them had so
far managed to get to the shop where they were hidden and, he looked at the two
prone figures lying on the floor, recuperating. The only thing good about that
particular part of this situation was that they hadn’t been hit with the Killing
Curse. Not that being hit by the Cruciatus was in anyway a good thing but at
least they were still alive.


“Anything yet Ron?” Harry asked him as he walked back into the store after
checking the back.


“They haven’t gotten past the Order yet but I think it won’t be long.”


“We should be out there helping them.”


“Harry, we can’t.” Hermione told him as she tried again to ease the Muggles’
suffering. Was it normal for them to be affected this long? He had no idea what
the effect of the curse was on Muggles but it seemed strange to him.


“Why not? We’ve fought Death Eaters before.”


“And we had to be rescued when we did so.”


He could see his friend trying to control his anger but it clearly wasn’t
easy, despite the fact that Hermione was right. “Maybe, but we can’t just wait
here until the Death Eaters come, can we?”


“Damn, that hurts.” Dawn suddenly spoke as she sat up. “What happened?”


“You were hit by the Cruciatus curse.” Ginny answered the girl, carefully
keeping her distance, she knew as well as he did what the likely reaction to
that would be.


“Magic? See, I knew there was a reason I hated it. It always manages to screw
up my life.” With a slight smile on her face she then stood up and moved to
where he was standing so she could look outside as well. “Let me guess, it was
one of the mask wearing freaks?”


“Ehm, yeah. Death Eaters.”


He could see her roll her eyes in exasperation at what she clearly considered
a silly name. But frankly he didn’t care about that, what he was interested in
was the fact that she hadn’t started to try and kill anyone yet. She seemed
calm, maybe a little too calm actually, but that was better than the raging
maniac she had been before, wasn’t it? Her right hand disappeared into the
jacket and he could see her take out the watch, which she then opened in order
to hear the music play.


He could understand the soothing effect of the music, it was nice and
distracting, but he still wasn’t sure what use the watch had besides that. After
all, it had worked before it was capable of playing the music. Looking at the
watch however he could see she wasn’t as calm as she appeared, the knuckles of
her right hand were white as she almost seemed to want to crush the object.


She suddenly turned away from the window in order to check on her friend.
“How is she?”


“She’ll be fine, I’m sure she’ll wake up in a couple of minutes.”


“She was hurt worse than I was?”


“Probably, both of you got hit and passed out from the pain so I can’t say
for sure but the evidence seems to suggest that’s the case.”


“Bloody weak body.” Ron thought he heard her mutter that but wasn’t entirely
sure, not only if he actually heard her say it but also why she’d say that.
“Okay, did any of you happen to see who it was that hit us?”


Despite the very polite and nice way she asked the question he was pretty
sure he shouldn’t be answering it. Apparently the others thought the same thing.
“I don’t think it’s important that you know exactly who it was. It was one of
the Death Eaters and they’re all dangerous.”


He could see the little girl sigh before she walked to the counter and placed
the watch on it. When she then spoke again her voice had completely lost even
the slightest trace of emotion. “Who did that to me?”


“I told you, it’s best if you don’t know. They are too dangerous to deal
with.”


“Hermione?”


“Yes Dawn?”


She still stood with her back to all of them so he couldn’t see what her face
looked like, although after what Jane had told them earlier he had a suspicion.
“You told me that electronics and such don’t work here, right?”


“That’s true, there’s something about the magic that interferes with
electricity, why?” Yeah, why would she ask a strange question like that?


“Does cordite ignite?” What’s cordite? He looked at the others but aside from
a suddenly blanching Hermione the others didn’t seem to have any more of a clue
than he did.


“I ask again, does cordite ignite?”


Hermione, obviously scared about that question, finally answered her. “I-I
think so, yes.”


“Want to test it?” What?


“Who cares if something can ignite?”


“Ron.”


He turned to his friend when she said his name. “What? I mean it can’t be
anything important, can it?”


“Cordite is used to fire guns.”


“I thought that was gunpowder?”


“Not in this century.” The flat way that comment had been spoken meant it
came from Dawn and he looked back at her.


“What does it matter anyway?”


“Why do you think she’d ask about that?”


“She’s curious?” How should he know why the bloody girl wanted to know
something? But when he then turned to Harry to get his support his friend too
was staring with dawning comprehension at the girl.


“Harry?” He asked his friend but the American spoke up before he could
receive an answer.


“Unlike you, your friends realize that I’m an American. And they have
probably seen enough movies to believe that all of us go around armed to the
teeth.” Dawn sighed after she said that and while she still had her back turned
to them she looked far more relaxed than he felt. “Now, while I hate to
reinforce stereotypes they are actually right this time.”


“But what would be the use of that? Everyone knows those things take minutes
to reload.”


“Excellent.” For the first time since this discussion had started emotion
colored Dawn’s voice and he wondered what was so excellent about his statement.


Watching her from behind he had a clear view as she took off her jacket and
laid it before her on the counter. Now that it no longer covered her back he
could see she wore some kind of black metal thing at the small of her back. He
had no idea what that was for but it wasn’t the only thing that had been hidden.


On both sides of it she wore some kind of leather bags, at least that was
what it looked like to him until she took one and put it on her arm. But even
then he didn’t have any idea of what it was until she opened it and he could see
a collection of small knives sticking out of it. Now, he would be the first to
admit he didn’t know a lot of Muggle weapons but even he understood that those
knives wouldn’t be large enough to use in a fight. Which meant that they were
most likely meant to be thrown. When she was finished with her right arm she
repeated the actions for her left before she revealed a couple of larger knives
as well.


 “What are you doing?” It was Ginny who asked so he didn’t have to feel
completely stupid about not understanding exactly what the girl was doing.


Apparently satisfied with the placement of her knives Dawn took the metal
thing from the small of her back then and flipped a switch on it before turning
around and looking at all of them with slitted eyes. “I’m going to let someone
know what I do when magic is used against me.” Pointing the metal thing, which
he now finally figured had to be a gun, although he had always believed they
were bigger, at Hermione she repeated the question she had asked before, clearly
enunciating each word. “Who. Did. This. To. Me.”


“It was Bellatrix Lestrange.” Harry told her quickly as he was the first to
understand the threat she had suddenly become to them. When Ron understood it
moments later he mentally thanked Harry for answering before anything could have
happened.


“Show me.”


Once more braving the dangers looking out of the window brought with it they
pointed the murderess out, it wasn’t difficult since she wore no mask. Probably
realizing that her face was scarier to most people than a mask could ever be.
And while he didn’t like Dawn’s ideas about the proper use of violence he
couldn’t help but think that at least she had good taste when it came to picking
targets.


Actually looking outside and picking out her target hadn’t taken Dawn more
than a couple of seconds and before he knew it she had walked to the racks
containing the products his brothers sold. His brothers who were still out there
fighting, oh how he itched to go and help them. But he couldn’t and not just
because of the law that said he wasn’t allowed to. On the other hand he had a
feeling that sending the girl out might be of more help anyway.



Hermione looked at the girl who moments before had actually threatened her
life to gain information about someone she wanted to kill. The girl might claim
to hate reinforcing stereotypes but she continuously did so. But now she had no
idea what Dawn was doing, she had half expected her to go out and shoot at the
Death Eaters in a mindless rage not unlike the one she had exhibited when
fighting Malfoy but instead she was walking through the store. Looking for
something.


“What are you doing?”


Unfortunately no answer was forthcoming as the girl just kept walking past
the different products as if judging their usefulness. Hermione furrowed her
brows in thought, this was a jokeshop, what could the girl possibly find here
that was useful in a fight? After another minute of looking, during which the
fighting outside seemed to have gotten even closer, Dawn gave up. As was to be
expected of course.


When the American then picked up some string and one of the Headless Hats
however it seemed she had been mistaken. There was a use for some of these
things in a fight after all.


“What are you going to do with that?” This time she wasn’t the one to ask the
question, not that she needed to anyway since she had already figured it out.
The person exiting Weasley Wizard Wheezes wouldn’t be the Headless Horseman but
she had no doubt the Headless American Psychopathic Teenage Girl would be just
as dangerous.


Unlike when she asked however, Ron received an answer, even if that answer
only came after it had become obvious. From where she figured the now hidden
head to be she could hear the whispered words. “Fear is the mind killer.” What
do you know? Americans did know how to read after all.


As the girl then finally left the store Hermione figured that they might as
well follow her example when it came to the Hats. “If we wear the Hats as well
we can look out of the window without anyone being able to see us.”


Harry and Ron looked at her for a moment before racing of to get their Hats
so they could do as she said. Only Ginny remained where she was, by Jane’s side,
still attempting to bring the young girl back to consciousness.


The redheaded girl looked up at her when she asked why. “I don’t want to
look. If I can’t do anything I’ll feel completely useless. Helping her I know
I’m at least doing something useful, you go and look. Just tell me what
happens.”


“Wow.” Looking at the window where Harry and Ron were sitting she asked what
had happened. “She just used her gun but it didn’t do anything, there was just
some kind of spark where the bullet hit the Death Eater.”


“Of course.” How could she have forgotten about that? There was a good reason
wizards didn’t really fear guns. While holding a wand no bullet would hit them
and she had forgotten to tell Dawn about that.


“Dawn has just put her gun away but the Death Eaters now know she is there.
Hah! Look at how scared they are of seeing someone without a head.” Okay
Hermione, time to get a Hat and join them at the window.


When she finally joined her friends she almost wished she hadn’t. That the
fight hadn’t been pretty was something she had expected but she still hadn’t
been prepared to see the bodies of innocent people. Her mouth went dry and she
had to swallow to make sure her lunch stayed down. But then she finally noticed
Dawn.


The lack of a useful gun didn’t seem to faze her, but since she couldn’t see
the girl’s face she couldn’t be entirely certain about that. Dawn was
approaching one of the Death Eaters that had become isolated from the rest.
Nobody was paying any attention to her as the Death Eaters had apparently
decided that despite the fact that she had no head she clearly didn’t pose any
threat. Somehow Hermione had a feeling that wouldn’t last long once she had
reached her current target.


Spells were being fired at the Death Eater but that didn’t seem to stop the
American, whatever her problem with magic was it clearly didn’t bother her when
it wasn’t pointed at her. Or at least not while she was like this.


While giving a running commentary to Ginny, the three of them watched as Dawn
snuck up from behind on the Death Eater. When she had reached him however there
was no more need to tell Ginny what was happening.


The cry of pain was loud enough that it seemed to scare everyone who could
hear it into silence. Aurors, Death Eaters, members of the Order, bystanders who
had decided to help, it didn’t matter. All of them looked as the little girl
twisted the knife in her target’s back, allowing him to live so he could scream
but preventing him from doing anything that could hurt her.


It seemed to last forever but after, what Hermione figured to be, only about
five seconds Dawn tore the knife out again. Her stomach rebelled once more as
she saw the bloody blade and while it didn’t improve how she felt she was more
than happy when Dawn slit the Death Eaters throat before he had even fallen to
the ground.


“Oh god.” She had no idea who had said that. It could have been any of the
three of them but she did realize that she couldn’t stand to watch this anymore.
She had been in battles before but never had she seen that kind of blood. The
Killing Curse was the vilest thing there was but at least its recipients didn’t
look like the victim in a horror movie.


Once more joining Ginny to help the harmless American she tried to dispel
those images from her mind. Not that that was in any way an easy task, she was
pretty sure she’d have nightmares about the scene she had just witnessed.


“Now she’s taken the wand away from one.” The sound of another gunshot could
be heard over Harry’s emotionless commentary then. “She’s figured out that the
wands protect them from bullets.”


Wonderful, now the girl had found yet another way of killing Death Eaters.
And the Aurors seemed to be helping her reach her goal as well, probably happy
to see their enemies die so cruelly. No Hermione, be fair. A war is going on and
they are just using whatever tools they can. Even if it was a tool that killed
in a ways worse than anything she had ever imagined.


“She just broke another wand with one of her throwing knives. Wow.” An
explosion punctuated that statement. “That’s got to hurt. The Death Eater didn’t
know his wand was broken and tried another spell, I couldn’t hear which one but
he definitely won’t be fighting anymore.”


Why hadn’t the Death Eaters given up yet? Was it pride? Were they too proud
to admit being defeated by what was obviously a young Muggle? Hermione couldn’t
imagine anyone facing something like that out of stupid pride but then again,
she wasn’t a Death Eater. No, that didn’t matter. Nobody would be stupid enough
to actually stay and fight someone they couldn’t seem to hit with spells and who
kept on killing their members unless there was a very good reason.


“She’s got Bellatrix.” Harry said with surprise coloring his voice.


“She’s killed her?”


“No, but they are trying to kill each other now.” Trying to kill each other,
it was obvious that Harry had a high opinion of Dawn if he said the girl had
Bellatrix while they were still fighting. “She’s got her wand. Voldemort.”


“What?”


“He’s here. He apparated here.”


“You can’t apparate into Diagon Alley anymore.”


“Well, he did and now he’s talking to Dawn.”


This she had to hear as well and within moments all four of them were peering
around the corner of the door in an attempt to hear what was being said.


“… you move your wand or start saying a spell, I’ll pull the trigger and your
associate will be dead.” Dawn said while she had her gun against Bellatrix’
head.


“I don’t believe you understand who your talking to little girl. I am Lord
Voldemort.”


“Really? I’m sorry for that, have you tried changing your name? Because if
you were born with that one I understand why you went crazy.”


“How dare you. You insignificant little...”


“Ah ah, you don’t want to finish that or I’ll pull the trigger now.” The look
on Voldemort’s face was enough to make Hermione very happy he couldn’t see them.


“I will hunt you down like the meaningless muggle you are.”


“You can try but if you and your friends don’t leave within 10 seconds you’ll
have to see what happens when someone’s face is blown off.”


The darkest wizard in history then looked at Bellatrix, obviously considering
his options, before he told his protégé. “I’ll come back for you. They don’t
have access to Dementors anymore so they won’t be able to give you the Kiss.”


“I’ll be fine master.” And then he disapparated, closely followed by his
Death Eaters until all that was left of them were the ones that had already died
and Bellatrix Lestrange.


“He left. Can you believe it? She actually scared him away.” Ron told them
and Hermione more than understood his amazement.


It had been obvious from his behavior at the Ministry that Voldemort thought
Bellatrix important but to actually retreat in order to save her life… The
Aurors could use that to set a trap for him, so many possibilities had been
opened by this capture. A gunshot stopped her thoughts cold and she realized
that none of those possibilities mattered. As she watched the corpse of what
once was Bellatrix Lestrange fall to the ground she realized that she should
have remembered that Dawn didn’t care about the war, only about revenge.



She tried to wipe the bits of brain and blood of her face while mentally
berating herself for shooting someone in the head while standing so close to
them. Or more precisely, while standing where everything ended up. It was only
when she discovered her face to be clean that Dawn noticed the other
inconsistencies. She was in a bed and it was dark.


Trying to make sense of that wasn’t an easy task. At first she had believed
that maybe she had passed out again and that she had been taken to a hospital
but the moment she recognized the room that option was out. How did she get
home? The last she could remember was putting a bullet through the head of that
freak of nature and then she woke up here.


Okay, something strange was going on here and she really needed to find out
what it was, where were the other magical people? Where was Hermione, Ginny, Ron
or even Harry… Harry? Now that she thought about it there was something familiar
about his name. Harry Potter, where had she heard that before?


When she finally remembered she had to stop herself from laughing out loud
and waking the rest of the house. She had read about it in the paper, apparently
it was some kind of book that the church believed should be banned. No wonder
some of those things had been so strange, none of it had been real, she had just
dreamed it. Relief swept through her as she realized this and she decided to get
up for a drink of water.


As she bent under the tap and drank the cold water she once again had to stop
herself from laughing. How did she come up with those ideas, even for a dream
something like a Headless Hat or Portable Swamp was totally out there. Although,
those Extendable Ears would have been great for spying on her sister. That would
have nice, just like those candies she had bought, well hadn’t bought of course.
But then again the ridiculous way they had used magic should have tipped her of,
nowhere in all the books she had read about that subject did it say that there
were actually people who used wands. Even in a dream she ought to have
remembered that.


And then there had been the way she had been armed, the way she carried the
knives might actually be a good idea, but why had she been using that gun? She’d
expected to dream of using her usual Beretta or even Mireille’s Walther, not
some other kind. Oh well, no use thinking about how strange dreams were. She
dried her hands and face before leaving the bathroom and walking back to her
room.


It was time to get some sleep now, there was still a lot of training she had
to do before her body was in any way in a decent shape. Opening the door she saw
the moon shining down on the watch that had featured so greatly in her crazy
dream. Now at least she had an idea of what would happen if it got broken. While
the feeling of hurting that boy had been pleasant it was obviously something
that shouldn’t happen in the real world, her current grounding would seem like a
vacation if that happened. She picked the precious object up and almost without
thinking about it she tried the lid.


And almost dropped it in surprise when it actually opened and she could hear
its familiar melody.


End



Post-fic comments: Okay people, a couple of things. One, when I posted this
it was my birthday today so I’ve given you this story instead of a piece of pie.
Which means that I
expect you to give me feedback instead of presents :-)


Two, I really mean it about the feedback. Tell me what you liked or didn’t
like about the story and you’ll make me happy. I would like to know how this
writing style is received, no viewpoint from the main character (except for the
last paragraph but that doesn’t really count).


For those of you confused about what actually happened here, in the comments
to one of the reviews I posted an explanation.


Three, at the moment I have plans to write at least a couple more stories
like this but since they don’t have anything of a real impact on the main
storyline I’ll also keep working on that. I usually post an update about what
I’m working on the DawnHalloween yahoogroup. Of course, if there is a particular
verse you’d like to see used in one of these stories you only have to tell me. I
won’t promise it will happen but it might, just please if you suggest something
don’t ask for her to be send back in time, forward in time (at least not past an
age she can survive, Dark Angel for example is possible and planned) or to
another (magical) world.

The End

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