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Finding Out

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This story is No. 2 in the series "Identity Trilogy". You may wish to read the series introduction and the preceeding stories first.

Summary: He’s changed who he is, and she's finally figured out who she was, but it takes someone else to show them who they can be. Identity Trilogy #2 *Rewritten*

Categories Author Rating Chapters Words Recs Reviews Hits Published Updated Complete
Harry Potter > Dawn-Centered > Pairing: Draco MalfoySunfireFR1314,459151,8606 Nov 0523 Mar 12Yes
Title: Finding Out
Series: Identity Trilogy
Author: Sunfire
Rating: FR13
Classification: HP/BtVS
Pairing: Draco/Dawn
Spoilers: HP:HBP, BtVS finale
Summary: He’s changed who he is, and she's finally figured out who she was, but it takes someone else to show them who they can be.
Disclaimer: Neither Draco nor Dawn are mine, and the song, Tuesday Morning belongs to Michelle Branch

~:I remember stormy weather
The way the sky looks when it’s cold:~

Dawn rolled her shoulders, trying to loosen the muscles that had knotted up during her long flight. She’d been running errands for Giles and the others for months now, but this was one of the longest trips she’d been sent on thus far. With another absent rub of the back of her neck, she stepped through the doors of the small inn she’d be staying in while she was in Antigua, pausing for a moment to take in the picturesque quality of the small building.

Dawn sent a silent thank-you to Willow for setting her up in the antiquated section of the city. Antigua itself was very old, but portions of it had begun to lose some of the old world charm as the modern age seeped into the narrow cobbled streets. As much as she enjoyed the conveniences of a hotel, she was more in the mood for the type of simple charm the inn offered.

And simple charms, it had aplenty, she soon discovered as she settled into her room, though she didn’t get long to enjoy them as her cell phone shattered the comforting silence. It was Willow, ever the responsible one, wanting to know if she’d gotten in all right and if she’d had a chance to get in touch with their contact. The question was so familiar from her other trips that it almost took her a moment to remember what contact she was there to meet and why. For all that she kept scrupulous track of her assignments, they were starting to run together.

With a barely detectable hesitation, however, she was able to field the witch’s inquiries even while mentally scanning the notes she’d taken when she’d been sent on this latest trip. She was here to talk with an old friend of Giles’ from the British Museum who was working at an archaeological site outside of Antigua, towards Tikal. It was a great source of Mayan artifacts, the man had said, most notably inscriptions regarding a prophecy Giles thought might one day be pertinent to the slayers’ activities. Nothing too out of the ordinary for her, she silently acknowledged as the conversation with Willow wound down.

Her reason for being in Guatemala wasn’t shocking or overly taxing, but it was something she had been entrusted with doing. It was her job, and it was time to begin doing it.

~:And you were with me
Content with walking
So unaware of the world:~

With a sigh and a parting assurance of her well being, the youngest Summers hung up her phone, picked up her purse, and left her small room with a lingering glance at the comfortable bed. The air was still warm as it was wont to be in Guatemala, so she walked slowly through the streets, wondering how long she could stretch her trip. If she finished with their contact quickly enough maybe she’d have a couple of days to herself in the old city.

A smile curved her lips as she strolled into the small café. A couple days to herself was just what she needed, the young woman decided. A little time to add to the store of memories and experiences that had nothing whatsoever to do with those that had been fabricated by the Monks-Who-Shall-Not-Be-Considered.

It soon became apparent, however, that she needn’t have worried about finding a way to stretch out her stay. Dawn looked down at her drink with a bit of a scowl as she spent yet another afternoon in the local café. She’d be here forever if their contact didn’t get his act together soon. It had been three days now since she’d arrived and while the charm of the city had not begun to wear off, her patience was starting to wear a little thin. How was she supposed to relax and enjoy her time here if she was constantly worrying about getting a hold of their contact.

Sighing heavily, the brunette paid for her coffee and headed back towards her quaint cottage. She was half way there, however, when she remembered the errand Willow had asked her to run the last time they’d spoken. So with another soft exhalation of breath, Dawn headed back in the other direction, passing the café and continuing through the backstreets of Antigua until she ended up at a small shop next to one of the city’s many churches.

~:Please don’t drive me home tonight
‘Cause I don’t wanna feel alone
Please don’t drive me home tonight
‘Cause I don’t wanna go:~

It looked ordinary on the outside, and for a moment, she thought she might have gotten the address wrong, but a quick check of the paper on which she’d written down the redhead’s directions confirmed she was at the right place. With a shrug of her shoulders, Dawn entered the building and almost laughed at herself. This was definitely the right place.

It reminded her of the Magic Box back in Sunnydale, back before it sunk into the Crater of Hell, as she liked to call it. There were some differences though, between this particular shop and the one Anya and Giles had run. This place had a distinct Mayan feel, not surprising considering how many Mayans had once lived in Guatemala and Antigua’s proximity to some of the best Mayan temples and ruins in the country.

She was drawn from her assessment of the shop by the arrival of an old woman Dawn assumed was the proprietor. A chuckle threatened to break free as she noticed the look in the woman’s eye. She was more correct in her comparison to the Magic Box than she’d first thought. Anya would have surely found a few things in common with the elderly woman, what with the suspicious but assessing gaze that was sweeping over the teen at the moment.

“We no have mummies or daggers from sacrifice,” the woman stated in heavily accented English.

Dawn glanced down at her clothing and realized how much a tourist she must appear and smiled again as she thought of a comment Anya’d once made about fad witches. Returning her gaze to the shopkeeper, she offered the woman a smile and handed her the list of things Willow had asked her to get. “Actually, I was hoping you might have a few other items.”

The suspicious and guarded look vanished from the woman’s face as soon as she glanced over the items listed and after a short, reassessing glance, she nodded and offered the younger girl a businesslike smile. “We have some in back. I will look.”

Dawn turned to look at some of the tools on the nearest self as the woman disappeared behind a brightly colored curtain, but her attention was soon drawn to the door as it opened to admit another customer. The brunette’s gaze was immediately caught by the shock of white-blond hair that graced the young man’s head and after a brief twinge at the thought of the vampire they had lost in Sunnydale, she allowed herself to look over the rest of his form. She was certainly not disappointed with the view and a small smile stole across her lips as she met a pair of icy grey eyes.

~:Tuesday morning
In the dark
I was finding out
Who you are:~

By the time the shopkeeper had returned, Dawn found herself growing somewhat frustrated. The handsome blond hadn’t even so much as returned her smile, and she was pretty sure he thought her just as much a tourist as the older woman had, if his condescending smirk was any indication.

“Only one ounce sopophorous beans and two ounce essence of rue. Everything else all there.” Dawn nodded at the woman, missing the frosty gaze that had flicked over her when the shopkeeper had made her announcement. The brunette started to count out the amount listed on the small slip of paper sitting atop her basket of purchases, but the task took considerably longer than it should have, as the sound of a deep voice conversing with the shopkeeper kept diverting her attention.

That same voice brought her to a stop as she exited the shop and headed towards her inn. “No bezoars handy then?”

Dawn whipped around at the question, slightly startled to see the young man standing behind her. It took her a moment to process the question and another second to remember Willow’s comment when she’d asked her to buy some essence of rue. “Even if we did, I’d rather take the rue, considering where the stone’s been.”

Her answer was met with another smirk, though this one was decidedly more friendly. “Yank?” He quarried with a cocked brow.

“Brit?” She returned with a raised brow of her own.

“Bloody right.” Dawn laughed at the arrogant expression that covered his face when he said it, an image of Spike coming immediately to mind.

~:I took your picture
While you were sleeping
And then I paced around the room
If I had known then that these things happen
Would they have happened with you?:~

Dawn laughed again as Draco glared at her across the table, an indignant look on his face.

“I fail to see why you think it’s so bloody hilarious.”

Dawn grinned at the young man she’d met the week before. “Well, that’s because you can’t see the look on your face right now.”

His scowl grew more prominent, which only made her laugh harder. In the seven days since they’d met in the small magic shop, Dawn and Draco had met up every day either at the café where she had finally spoken with Giles’ professor friend the day before, or at some other location the blond recommended. His presence had made the days pass much more quickly for the brunette and though she had left for this trip with every intention of enjoying the time to herself, she couldn’t quite make herself regret the change.

“Oh, come on Draco,” she pleaded through her giggles. “You don’t have to act all affronted or whatever. It was just a question.”

“It was a needless question.” The insulted scowl still hadn’t budged and Dawn couldn’t suppress another giggle.

“Fine, it was needless. I had no reason whatsoever to think your hair color wasn’t completely natural.”

“No, you didn’t.”

Dawn’s grin remained almost painfully wide as she watched her new friend continue to sulk. “Look, I’m really sorry I asked, okay?”

He remained stubbornly silent, looking for all the world as if she’d insulted his very pride. “Draco, come on.”

He offered no response, so she reached out, covering the hand he had resting lightly next to his tea. “You’re not really that mad about me asking how much peroxide you go through, are you? I mean, it was just a joke.”

He froze when she touched him, suddenly becoming all too aware of how close they were sitting, how long they’d been talking, so openly, so lightheartedly all this time, as if he were just anyone, as if he wasn’t slimy Slytherin Death Eating scum. The realization slammed into him with an almost physical pain and he stared at her silently for several moments, looking intently between her open, smiling face, and the hand resting so casually atop his own, as if he were making some great decision. Then, just when she was about to say something, he stood.

“I have to go.”

His abrupt announcement caused a frown to form on her face and she responded softly, her gaze dropping to her lap so he wouldn’t see the hurt expression on her features. “Oh, okay.”

He nodded and turned to leave, but before he took a step towards the door he glanced back at the small brunette sitting so forlornly at their table, and paused, grey eyes widening in surprise. She didn’t want him to leave. The thought spun around and around in his head, literally making him dizzy.

She looked up sharply as the blond she’d thought had left nearly fell into his chair, words falling from his lips as if he had no control over them. “You want me to stay.”

A sarcastic retort flew to her lips, but before she could get it out, she noticed the bewildered expression on his handsome face, and she paused. He wasn’t being a smart ass or fishing for compliments as she had grown used to him doing over the past few days. He was genuinely shocked that she hadn’t wanted him to leave.

“Yes, I want you to stay.” His brow furrowed, none of the shock dissolving at her statement and she sighed.

“Draco, what is it? What’s the matter? I know it’s not the hair thing, so don’t even think about using that as an excuse, even you aren’t that vain.” He remained silent, still staring at the table as if he were in some kind of trance, so she tried again, reaching back over and squeezing his hand comfortingly in an effort to get his attention. “Draco, please, tell me what’s wrong.”

~:Please don’t drive me home tonight
‘Cause I don’t wanna feel alone
Please don’t drive me home tonight
‘Cause I don’t wanna go:~

It was the concern that did it. He wasn’t used to concern, not from anyone, let alone from someone he’d only known a week. He didn’t know how to handle this and shook his head almost in denial, the white-blond strands brushing across his forehead with the movement, almost hiding his confused grey eyes.

“I don’t…” he trailed off, the Malfoy in him raging at his verbal ineptitude, fueling his confusion and turning it to frustration. “Damn it all!”

His exclamation was soft, as if a part of him was somehow still aware that they were in a public, if empty, café, but the emotion behind the words was nearly palpable and the pain there kept Dawn from reacting to his anger in kind. Instead, she tightened her grip on his hand and stood, pulling him up with her, somehow knowing that wherever this conversation led, it wasn’t somewhere either one of them should be going in such a public place.

He resisted at first, but in the end he gave in to her gentle grip and the soft expression of worry on her pretty face. Together they silently left the café and made their way down the narrow streets until they reached a secluded bench at the end of a deserted back alley.

She didn’t say anything, just sat there, holding his hand, watching his face encouragingly. It took him a moment to realize she was waiting for him to talk. She was waiting for him to decide when to talk and what to say. He couldn’t remember the last time someone had done that and that fact was what finally freed the words trapped soundlessly in his throat.

“I don’t understand.”

“Don’t understand what?” She studied his tense features carefully, getting some idea how much it had cost him to admit his confusion. She did her best to run through their conversation in her head, not wanting him to have to answer the question himself if at all possible. She had a feeling that admission would be even more painful for him than the last one had been. Then it clicked. “Why I wanted you to stay? You don’t understand why I wanted you to stay?”

It sounded so simple, so stupid a thing not to understand, and every ounce of Malfoy pride couldn’t keep his icy grey orbs from avoiding her gaze. Her next words, however, brought his eyes to her face with alarming speed.

“You’re my friend, Draco, why wouldn’t I want you to stay?”

“Friend?” It spilled from his mouth before he could hold it back and he practically cringed at the hopeful little voice that had uttered it.

“Don’t act so shocked.” She smiled at him and nudged his shoulder with hers, trying to break up his melancholy mood. “Really, Draco, haven’t you ever had a friend before?”

The attempt at humor died a rather painful death as she watched him once again avert his gaze and shake his head ever so slightly.

“Well,” Dawn managed through the ache growing in her chest, “now you do.”

~:Tuesday morning
In the dark
I was finding out
Who I was:~

Draco looked over at the brunette next to him with a tiny, but very genuine smile, remembering the feelings that had rushed over him at her words all those days before. His first friend. Eighteen years old and he was just now having what he could call a friend. Not a follower, a minion, a social ally, or any other acquaintance that was acceptable for a Malfoy. Just a friend.

He’d never really thought about it before, never thought about the fact that he’d never had a real friend. He’d thought over it quite a few times since that afternoon, though, and he’d come to one simple conclusion. He was glad.

He was glad that Dawn Summers was his first real friend, that she had been the one that showed him what a friend was, that showed him what it was like to have someone with whom you wanted to spend time for no other reason than they made you feel good when they were around. He was glad she’d been the one to show him what it was like to be able to talk, really talk, with someone without worrying about what they thought, or what they might do with the information being given to them.

He was so very glad it was Dawn Summers who had given him his first lessons in friendly banter, who had taught him how to give and receive insults made solely in jest. Of course, when it came down to it, she’d been doing that even before their little talk on that bench. When she’d teased him about his hair, it had been perhaps the first time someone had said something like that to him and he had known that they meant nothing by it, that he had no reason what so ever to wonder at the exact intent behind the barb or to weigh each word for hidden menace.

Yes, she was most certainly the perfect person to have become a true friend. A friend, beyond the meaning the word held in the dungeons of Hogwarts or the shinning halls of his childhood home. An honest friend. And maybe, he thought as he reached across the small space separating them to brush a few strands of golden brown hair behind her ear, maybe something more.

He held back a chuckle at the thought. It was ironic, in an entirely pleasurable way. He, Draco Malfoy, someone who had never before even considered the possibility of true friendship with another person, who had once viewed any and every existing and potential relationship as a means to an end, was actually looking at someone and seeing, not only a real friend, but something more.

Who would have ever thought it possible? Certainly not him, at least not until he’d met the young woman beside him. Dawn. It was a rather fitting name, as far as he was concerned, because when it came right down to it, that was pretty much what she was for him. She was the dawn of a new day, a new world full of possibilities for him.

If only she could be in that new world with him.

The smile on his face, so unlike the smirks and sneers that had only weeks before characterized his every expression, wilted slightly as he carefully extracted himself from the soothing comfort of her arms. Now was not the time, not with all the Death Eaters, not to mention the Dark Lord himself, who wouldn’t hesitate to kill him, and anyone with him, on sight. Now was not a safe time for her to be anywhere near him.

He knew it, and deep down, she did too. It sucked, as she liked to say, but it was the truth, and until that truth changed, it was the reality he had to live in. A look of regret passed over his face as he watched her sleeping in the rather awkward position they’d drifted off in the night before after their rather exhausting visit to Tikal.

He should probably wake her, if only so she could shift into a more comfortable position, but he just couldn’t make himself do it. She was leaving that night. She’d arranged the flight and everything. He couldn’t really say he blamed her. She’d gotten everything her friends needed from the professor over two weeks before and had delayed her return for too long already. She had to return to her friends now, to her family, and he… well, he just had to go.

It hurt, he could admit that, if only to himself. It hurt to go, to leave her, but he had to keep her safe. If she was safe then he could continue hiding with a clean conscious. Another chuckle threatened to break free as he slipped on his shoes and carefully placed the sheets of paper on the pillow of her still neatly made bed. A Malfoy concerned with keeping his conscious clear.

He smiled as he looked down at her one last time and wondered, as he quietly shut the door behind him, if she would ever know the miracles that she had wrought these past few weeks.

~:And if you turned around to see me
And I was gone
You should have looked outside your window
‘Cause the sun was coming up:~

She hadn’t really expected it. For all that they’d talked about that very thing, for all that she’d spent almost two hours trying unsuccessfully to convince him that it was all right, that it would be safe for both of them, she hadn’t really expected him to go. But he had. He’d left, before she’d woken up, he’d left her, left Antigua all together, according to the letter he’d placed on the small bed.

Dawn wasn’t really sure why she hadn’t seen it coming. They’d talked about it, he’d told her, plainly, though regretfully, that he couldn’t risk leading the Dark Lord to her, that he couldn’t put her, or any of her friends in danger by going back to the council with her. She’d tried telling him that they could take care of themselves, that if anyone was prepared to deal with it, it was them, but he hadn’t listened.

Even after she’d told him everything. Even after she’d explained about the Slayer, and Willow’s wiccan magic, so different from his own but still so powerful. Even after she’d told him what the council was, what they did, what she did. Even after she’d detailed what they had gone through over the years, before and after the other slayers had been activated. He still hadn’t listened.

“You don’t know, Dawn, you don’t know what they can do, what they will do,” he’d said, his normally exuberant and arrogant voice subdued with what she’d known was guilt for the things his one-time friends and family had done. What he himself had done at their bidding.

Yes, she knew what he’d done. She knew about the poisoned mead, the cursed necklace, the Vanishing Cabinet, the Dark Mark, the trap for his Headmaster. She knew all of it, even the taunts and insults, the hexes and curses that had filled his early years. She knew everything he’d done, and she knew how long it had taken him to regret it, and how much he now truly wished it hadn’t happened.

Once she’d been able to fully absorb all that he’d told her, once she’d been able to accept who he’d been and who he was, she’d found it rather funny. Of all the things to inherit from the blood the monks had made her from, she’d had to get Buffy’s affinity for the reformed bad-boys.

A laugh bubbled past her lips even as a tear slid down her pale cheek. Of all the things she’d wanted to understand about her sister, this was not one of them.

~:Please don’t drive me home tonight
‘Cause I don’t wanna feel alone
Please don’t drive me home tonight
‘Cause I don’t wanna go:~

It was light, she noted absently as she stepped into the room Giles had claimed for his office the day they’d moved in. It was almost a full notebook worth of paper, yet she could hardly feel it in her hand.

For all that the dozens of pages were covered in the professor’s cramped scrawl, for all that the words pertained entirely to a possibly apocalyptic prophecy written down thousands of years before by Mayan high priests, Dawn could barely feel the weight of them, the importance of them as she placed them on the polished wood of the watcher’s desk. Those pages held so much, so many facts and portents that might one day save the world, yet even as she stared at them, her mind’s eye saw only the few sheets of paper still sitting in her suitcase upstairs, covered in a certain blond’s elegant writing, waiting to be read yet again.

“Thank you.”

Giles’ voice pulled her gaze from the notebook of papers to the older man’s face as he entered the room behind her and she forced a smile to her lips.

“I trust you had an acceptable flight?”

“Uh, yeah, it was fine.”

“Good,” he stated with that fatherly smile she’d always loved. “I truly appreciate you going all that way Dawn. I shudder to think what might have happened to these notes had they been left in the hands of some nameless mail carrier.”

Her lips twitched slightly at the former librarian’s ruffled dignity at the thought of mailing the notebook she’d gone to Antigua to retrieve. “You’re welcome, Giles. It was no problem, honest.”

He returned her smile as he took a seat at his desk and turned his attention to the pages they had been discussing. Taking that as her cue to leave, Dawn climbed the stairs to her room, her mind already going over the pages that awaited her there, and the words that were all she had left of a blond wizard she’d only known a little over three weeks.

~:Tuesday morning
In the dark
We were finding out
Who we were
Who we were:~

The End

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