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American Honey

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Summary: Harry Potter and Dawn Summers shouldn’t have turned out anything alike.

Categories Author Rating Chapters Words Recs Reviews Hits Published Updated Complete
Harry Potter > Dawn-CenteredelviFR1311,082282,33015 Aug 1015 Aug 10Yes
Disclaimer: Harry Potter and Buffy the Vampire Slayer do not belong to me.
Note: #1 in my "inspired by country songs" stories.


She grew up on the side of the road,
where the church bells ring and strong love grows.
She grew up good,
she grew up slow
like American honey
-Lady Antebellum

They weren't anything alike. They weren’t supposed to turn out anything alike.

Except that they did.

She had had a normal childhood. She had grown up with a loving mother, a protective older sister. She didn’t know what it felt like to live in constant fear. She got to grow up in a neighborhood. She had a white picket fence. She didn't stay awake at night, afraid for her life. She didn’t know what it felt like to see her friends die because of her, see people hurt because of her, to have a killer snipping at her heels. She didn’t know what it felt like to have the fate of the world rest on her shoulders.

Except that she did.

Albus Dumbledore had handpicked Buffy Summers for him. He had begun the day he died by writing her a letter. He had begged her on his behalf. And he never knew. It was one of the many secrets Dumbledore had managed to keep from him.

He hadn’t even met her until later. But by then it was over. By then he realized that he had already seen her, a picture of strength and beauty. He had already met her, swords drawn, guns blazing, flanked by an army of women, holding off Voldemort’s own army. She was already helping him, giving him the time he needed to do what he had to do.

“Buffy Summers has been here before. She is a champion, a fighter, a leader. She is a chosen one. I can no longer help you Harry, but she can. Only she can understand you now. Whatever you feel, whatever darkness is in your heart, she has already been there. She has pulled back, and she has won.”

But Buffy Summers had taken one look at him and burst into tears.

In the end, it wasn’t Buffy at all. It was Dawn. It was Dawn who comforted him, who held him while he cried, and pinky swore never to tell.

Dawn Summers, who had appeared from nowhere with that sword in her hand and that scar on her cheek and her blue eyes and blinding smile. She had taken Buffy’s breakdown in stride, offering only a three-word explanation. “Buffy was fifteen.”

Harry's heart stopped. Everything tumbled into place then, and he understood why Dumbledore had begged this woman to come. Her life was just as destined as Harry’s; her destiny just as gruesome. She did understand. But Dumbledore hadn’t counted on Buffy’s overwhelming heartache over the loss of his youth.

Dawn was stronger that way. “Buffy’s frontline girl. I’m more behind the scenes.”

And then she had pressed her left index finger to his forehead and stared into his eyes.

“Dumbledore assumes things about us, about you. He wanted Buffy to save you, to pick up your pieces. He wanted to make sure that the darkness wouldn’t consume your soul. I’m not quite sure why he didn’t ask Faith, because she probably could have done a better job, but I think he’s a little scared of her.”

Faith was scary. She had made her entrance into his battle by riding into Hogwarts on one of Charlie Weasley’s precious dragons and had swan dived straight into a hoard of Death Eaters.

“Dumbledore was wrong. Buffy doesn’t know how to fail. All she knows how to do is win. Dumbledore didn’t think about that. She’s the longest living and most successful slayer ever for a reason. Buffy doesn’t understand because she’s never had to be saved. Not like this, not like you.”

Dawn had snorted then. She picked up his hand and began to trace the lines on his palm.

“She’s like a kid that way. Buffy's pain and suffering and strength. But she's not done. She doesn't have time to stop and make her life normal. I don’t get why he waited until now to ask her to come here. This kind of aftermath, this isn’t her scene. Buffy could have taught you a lot. You can still learn a lot from her. She can teach you ambush tactics and which sword kills what best, and how to wash demon guts out of your clothes. Buffy’s destiny girl. But I think now your destiny might be over.”

Dawn smiled brightly at him. The way she looked at him made Harry want to cry again. He wanted to throw himself into her arms and never let go because Dawn Summers didn’t look at him like he was a hero. She didn’t look at him like he was the boy-who-lived. She didn’t look at him with pity or sorrow or awe. She just looked at him.

“Buffy’s destiny doesn’t end. She’s a smart girl but, but how to put your life back together after your job’s done? How to go on living now that the world doesn’t need you to save it or open up a portal to a Hell dimension? That’s me. That’s my specialty.”

Harry's throat closed up and he turned his head to the left to look into those pools of blue staring back at him. That was another difference he hadn't noticed until now. Buffy's eyes were sad. At times, they were determined and angry and sparked. But they were always sad. Dawn's eyes weren't. Dawn's eyes had wrinkles at the corners and shone like diamonds with unspoken hope.

Then she let go of his hand and turned to face the sunset. She let Harry lay his head on her shoulder and she curled her toes in the grass. Then she took a deep breath and began to speak again. The vibrations of her voice made his head spin with thoughts. And as Dawn talked about destiny and life and free will and Hell goddesses, Harry dreamed. He dreamed about a boy that should have had a normal childhood and a girl that only had memories of one. He dreamed about a boy that should have had two loving parents and a girl that had only been created a few years ago. He dreamed about prophecies and wars and people that were done being used and had endless worlds of choices ahead of them.

Harry Potter and Dawn Summers shouldn’t have turned out anything alike. But they did.

The End

You have reached the end of "American Honey". This story is complete.

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