***Bloody Awful Poetry***
Chosen +1yr, HP Bk7 +5yrs
Slightly AU: Buffy & Dawn stay in England with Giles
Dawn Summers has to research a Nineteenth Century poet. An English, published, Nineteenth Century poet. "Hmm... I wonder if Spike was ever published?" BTVS/HP, during the spring after Chosen. Dawn, OC, Spuffy, Hermione/Draco
Anything recognizable belongs to Whedon and Rowling. I'm just playing with their worlds and moulding them into my own.
This story is written in the assumption that Harry Potter's first year was school year '91/'92. Based on this assumption, HP book 7 happened at the same time as BTVS S3. Five years later puts us into Angel S5, the events of which are happening simultaneously with my story, and don't really affect it. I reserve the right to turn AU in Angel S5 if I decide I need one of its characters.
NOTE: Chapter 1 is the Beta’d version of the teaser, with an extra scene at the end. Many thanks to Beatrice Otter for taking this on.
"So, Dawn, ready to face Professor Dentworth's infamous poetry module?"
Dawn Summers and her best friend, Kiley Granger, were walking to school on the first day of spring term.
"It'd help if she didn't hate me so much!" Dawn said dejectedly. Ursula Dentworth, Seventh form English teacher at Stonewall High, in Little Whinging, Surrey, England, had an utter disdain for all things colonial, especially if said colonies had the insulting audacity of turning their backs on the Mother Country and fighting for *gasp* their independence!
"Chin up, Dawn! Think Positive!" Kiley said in a falsely cheery voice, then rather more ominously: "It's probably the only thing that'll get us through the month"
Dawn put on a British accent: "Now, now, Kiley, that's not Positive Thinking."
They both had a laugh at this. Dawn's British accent was horrible.
"Today marks the day that you young hooligans will begin the study of the heart and soul of our Great Language: Poetry"
Dawn and Kiley sat in the last class of the day, bored out of their minds. English with Professor Dentworth was a chore; she acted like she was stuck in the last century. A diminutive woman, she kept her graying hair knotted severely a regulatory two inches above her starched white blouse collar. A pleated grey skirt completed the Professor's schoolmarm look, which she carried with a ramrod straight backbone and piercing steel grey eyes. She ruled her classroom with an iron fist clasping a wooden pointer. She carried that pointer everywhere with her, emphasizing her words by tapping it on her desk, or on the desk of an inattentive or otherwise unruly student.
"You may think you have studied the subject before, that you have learned everything there is to know about the art of making words pleasing to the ear, but you have not."
*THWAK!* She brought the pointer down on to her desk to emphasize the ‘not.’
"Poetry is a vast and enthralling subject, much too vast for your puny little minds to comprehend, and so we will limit our study to what I deem to be the most important period for poetry, aside from Shakespearian times: the Nineteenth Century."
Professor Dentworth began to pace around the classroom, tapping the yardstick in one hand.
"In four week's time, you will have completed this module, at the end of which you will present, in pairs, a Nineteenth Century poet, his or her biography as well as an analysis of their published work.”
She began to approach the back of the classroom, where Dawn and Kiley were sitting.
"Bonus points will be awarded to the pair that presents a poet I have never heard of and that can prove he or she is indeed a Nineteenth Century poet."
The class was shocked into silence. The Professor never gave out bonus points!
Noticing the glazed look on Dawn’s face, Professor Dentworth brought her pointer down on her least favorite student’s desk.
"In the forty years I have been teaching this class I have never awarded these points. I highly doubt this year will be any different."
Dawn felt the last sentence was spoken directly at her, a stab at what the Professor called “colonial inferiority”. She silently swore she would get those points, if only to prove to Dentworth that so-called Colonials could amount to something.
Hmm… I wonder if Spike was ever published?
"Brilliant!" Kiley griped, "Four weeks of the Hag waxing rhapsodic on the wonders of poetry! One would think her love of the subject would make this module easier, but nooo! Those teenagers are too stupid to understand so let's dump an impossibly large project on them so we can fail them and make them take the class all over again!"
English with Professor Dentworth had been pure torture, and the girls were relieved to be finally out of the class and on their way home.
"Chin up, Kiley! Think Positive!" Dawn said with a grin, "Besides, I've got a plan to get us those points."
Kiley gave Dawn a skeptic look. "Right. The points that have never been awarded in the forty years of the course? The only way you'll ever manage that is if you happen to have an attic full of old journals filled with poetry."
Dawn raised an eyebrow and smirked. Kiley's eyes widened.
"You do? You actually have Victorian-era journals filled with poetry in your attic!"
Dawn kept walking, smirk still firmly in place, Kiley trotting to keep up.
"Do you have journals like that in your attic?" Kiley asked once again, incredulous.
Dawn dropped the smirk. "I never said I did, did I?" She grinned at Kiley's groaning, "You are so easy to string along, Kiley! Besides I don't even have an attic."
"So you weren't serious about the extra points?"
"Actually, I was, but I don't know if I'll be able to get what we'll need in time for the plan to work. Maybe we should do some boring old poet like George Byron or something. I mean he /is/ the old standard for Nineteenth Century poetry."
"Dawn! Could you please stop being so cryptic!"
"But cryptic is fun!"
"You're avoiding the subject."
"The one with your plan to give Dentworth an aneurysm by getting those extra points."
At the mention of an aneurysm, Dawn closed up, reminded of her mother’s death. They had found the tumor too late, and even after three years, it still hurt.
"Here's your street," she said sullenly to Kiley. "See you tomorrow."
Dawn walked off, leaving a confused Kiley behind. What had she said to make her friend react like that? Bloody Americans! They were completely incomprehensible!
Like it? Hate it? Indifferent? Tell me. REVIEW!!!