: The characters of Buffy the Vampire Slayer belong to J. Whedon, etc. The characters of Harry Potter belong to J. K. Rowling. All are used here without permission. No copyright infringement is intended.Notes/Warnings
: Portal problem again, but at least Dawn's not going through it this time. :-)A Sirius Issue
Why was she here again?
She knew better than to come down here.
She knew better then to slip into the basement of the high school and look for the Hellmouth.
She really, really knew better than to follow this tunnel to the place her sister died.
"Just a little further," Kit whispered.
Oh yeah. She was here because Kit, the big idiot, had taken up the dare that even the bigger idiot who challenged her took back when the earthquake happened earlier.
Of course, if whatever was down here didn't kill her, Buffy would followed by Xander, Willow, Giles, Spike and probably even Tara.
Even as a teenager she knew this was stupid - so why was she here again?
Someone stepped on the back of her shoe - Carlos.
That's right, she was here because you stuck by your friends no matter what.
If only they'd listen to reason.
"The epicenter is just ahead," Kit whispered.
They took only a few more steps when a low groan echoed in the chamber, causing the young teens to freeze in place.
Dawn took a deep breath and let her stake slide into her hand. She used her other hand to make sure she had easy access to the silver knife she'd "borrowed" from Buffy's collection.
When neither of her friends seemed capable of moving forward or backward, Dawn stepped around kit and headed toward the sound, sparing only the briefest thought for her complete lack of self-preservation.
Reaching another turn in the cave, she ducked down and cautiously peered around the corner.
There was a puddle of water and a chill of dread raced down her spine as she realized it was where Buffy drowned a few years before.
A man in tattered clothing lay next to the puddle, fortunately on his back. She wasn't sure of his evil status, but she caught his chest moving up and down, so at the very least he wasn't a vampire.
Moving cautiously forward, they approached the man.
As they neared, they could see he looked worse for wear. In fact, if it weren't for the strangeness of the clothes, Dawn would have assumed he was nothing more than a typical vagrant - albeit a very lucky one to still be alive.
Seeing the rather pathetic looking excuse for a stake laying next to him, Dawn picked it up and slipped it into her back pocket just as the man released another groan, raising his and to cover his eyes.
"What the bloody hell was that?" he muttered, his voice only audible because of the extreme silence of the cave system.
"Better question might be 'Who the bloody hell are you'?" Dawn replied.
The man's arm immediately flew away from his face as he struggled to sit up, only to nearly fall over. "What?" he asked as he started looking around him. "This is not the ministry."
Carlos snorted and Kit snickered. Dawn, channelling her inner Buffy, allowed a smirk to appear on her face as she crossed her arms. "Nope. Nowhere close to any sort of ministry." When the man looked at her, she continued, "You've arrived at the Hellmouth and we'd like to know why."
"Hellmouth?" he questioned, sounding baffled. "Never heard of it. Last I recall I was in the Ministry of Magic fighting off the Death Eaters when my dear cousing Bellatrix hit me with a curse and...." His voice trailed off and he turned even paler.
"And?" Dawn prompted.
"And I fell through the veil," he finished.
"And the veil thingy led here?" Kit asked, forgetting her nervousness.
The man shrugged. "No one knows. People never come back from the veil," he said, sadness coloring his tone.
Dawn snorted and all eyes turned to her. "What? You go tell my sister and her crew it can't be done, she'll figure out how to do it," she answered with a shrug.
"Sounds like an interesting woman," the man replied, while his eyes studied the area. Taking a step forward, he concentrated on the space in front of him. "Odd. I can feel the veil here, but..." he reached a hand out and ran it through the area, "... can't go back through. I wonder if the others sent through the veil are around, or if there's some trace of them."
Dawn paled at his musings. Unless they came through in the last few years, she now knew the answer to the question of how the Master fed when he didn't have Luke or Darla around. Her stomach churned at the thought and she struggled to find a distraction. "Name!" she blurted suddenly, as shocked as the others when the word escaped her. "We didn't catch your name," she clarified.
"Oh. I'm Serius Black," he said with a bow and a dashing smile. "And you are?"
"Dawn, Kit and Carlos," she introduced, pointing to each in turn.
Kit glanced at her wrist and gasped. "Dawn, we gotta book," she urged.
Grabbing Kit's wrist she checked the time and stamped her foot in frustration. If they hurred she should just be able to make it home by curfew. "Let's go," she commanded, stepping toward the tunnel they'd used to arrive. The feeling of something being removed from her back pocket caused her to stop and turn.
Sirius stood a few steps behind him, the stick resting comfortably by his side and pointed downward. "Since I'm new to this place, you wouldn't happen to mind if I tag along, would you?"
Dawn sighed and dropped her head. She was in so much trouble, but, honestly, she couldn't think of anything else to do with him at the moment. "Fine. You can come home with me," she grudginly offered before turning and stalking off. As she left she started muttering, "I can just hear it now, normal people bring home stray dogs or cats, but you, Dawnie, oh, not, that's not good enough for you. You bring home stray men. And wow did that sound awful." She spun quickly as she heard Kit squeal. "What?"
Behind them where Sirius had been following stood a large black dog holding the sick in its mouth.
Dawn's mind only froze for a moment before she checked, "Sirius?" When the dog nodded, a smile spread across her face. Maybe she could make this work to her advantage after all.