Draco looked around their room, nodding because it was not only very nice but it was fairly large compared to the dorms. It had a bed, and it was a larger bed than the student ones so someone knew what they were like. It was also a sturdy bed that did not creak when he rolled around on it, which was even better. He liked that attribute in a bed. The small sitting area had a couch and a chair, both shabbily done and probably from Gryffindor by the patterns on them. The fireplace was nice but it didn't give out much heat. Very nice, they'd have to cuddle to stay warm. The walls were cool to the touch so the first thing they did was pull out Xander's spare trunk and start with the tapestries. Wall hangings to block out the breeze and to entertain while they were bored and unwilling to mingle with *them*. Next came an extra comfy chair and the good pillows they had taken off our own bed at home. Then the thick comforter Des had made as a sympathy present. Now they could settle in. Draco removed my robe and vest, looking at the tapestries. "I've never seen any of these."
"They were in storage in my vault. I found them while I was working in the desert," Xander said calmly, walking over to hug him. "I'm already ready to run away screaming. This feels so *wrong*."
"It does," he agreed, calming him down again. The poor boy could get emotional sometimes. That stupid second childhood of his had ruined him. If Xander had gotten all the love and devotion that normal children had, he wouldn't need all the intense affection that he could suck up. Of course, then he wouldn't need him and Draco would have to throw fits and kidnap him until he relented and was his anyway. Anything else would have been unacceptable. Even if Emilia did tell him that he could have picked someone else. Who else would give him everything he's ever wanted and give him great sex at the same time, all while respecting his intelligence? "We'll survive."
Dawn knocked briefly then stuck her head in. "The little people wanted to know if you'd come down and take a tour. We've got treats and stuff hidden already."
Give us a few more," Xander said, giving her a smile.
She walked in and looked at the tapestries. "Wow, those are kinda graphic," she said, staring at the one that told the tale of a battle. "Is that real blood?"
"No, just very good dyes," Draco assured her. "I touched it too." He looked around, noticing half of them were of fights and the other half were sexual. "We only brought the two types?"
"It was these or the scenes of a quest or landscapes of castles and wildflower fields," Xander told him. "How many horse processions did you want to stare at?"
"These are fine," Draco told him, smirking at him. "Though I know you added the sexual ones to inflame me."
Xander winked. "Why would I need to do that, Draco? You're already on fire for me and you know it." He put an arm around Dawn's shoulders. "Come on, let's mingle with our charges." She led them through the doorway that went down to the house, instead of the doorway that came out by the Divination hallway. "Hi," he said, earning many squeals of delight and being pounced on by quite a few people. "Hey, fragile," he told them, trying not to sound like he was complaining.
"The only one who gropes my man is me," Draco said as he joined them, back in his vest and robe. Most of the students hugging Xander grinned at him and backed off. All but one young man.
"You mean you won't share? I'm sure he's got a lot he could teach me," he said with a naughty grin.
Draco looked the boy over, then shook his head. "He's already got a bottom boy. Me." The seventh year sighed and sat down to pout. "There will be no groping of my man, I am jealous and possessive."
"And we help others like that with ideas if someone poaches," Xander told them. That got some tittering from the girls. "Is everyone down here?"
"The younger kids were sent to bed," one of the female seventh years told them. "We enforce a ten pm curfew for them so we have time by ourselves. Fifth years and up only."
"Cool beans," Xander said, looking over at Dawn.
"I'm the right age," she reminded him.
"Yeah, you are, sweetie," he agreed, kissing her on the forehead. "Okay, let's start with the basics. The escape hatch is here," he said, opening the spot. "It goes outside. You can shove the littles if you need to, but get them down it." Everyone nodded. "As a last resort only, you can use the alternate entrance to our room. It comes out by Divination and there's an escape pathway from up there too. You go up toward the classroom and move the suit of armor with the nose." The thing looked like it had belonged to Cyrano, it was very obvious which one he was talking about. "That one ends by the side entrance. Got it?" Everyone nodded. "Good. Don't worry about going in year order, just make sure some of the older kids are left behind to make sure all the scared little ones get out."
The pouting boy raised his hand. "How did you know where it was?"
Xander grinned. "Because I used to use it to sneak in during my first incarnation. I was very popular in the upper common room at that time."
"That one is closed so we only have this one and the upper level's room," the female prefect told him. "Sorry."
"That's okay. I don't expect to be doing any bed hopping anyway. Draco is all the man I need and then some." Draco smirked at that compliment. "You are," he told him. "Why would I need anyone else?"
"Keep it up and I'll jump you right here," Draco warned.
"We don't care, as long as the kiddies are upstairs," the pouting boy told him.
Dawn looked at him. "Don't encourage them. They had sex over dinner last year in front of a lot of people, including Luna and I."
"What is up with Lovegood?" the female prefect asked.
"In what way?" Dawn asked.
"She's using that funny language again and she said I looked fat."
"PHAT," Dawn corrected. "P h a t. It's a compliment."
"Oh." She smiled. "I like that then."
"What did happen to her last year?" another girl asked. "One day she's normal and then she comes back tanned and looking like that. Was she possessed?"
"No." Dawn thought about it, then shrugged. "I can't tell you the specifics without her permission. All I can say is that she went on a trip and it gave her a new outlook."
"But she was only gone for a day," the pouting boy reminded her.
"And then some," Dawn told him. "She's perfectly normal, just a little more hip. She's using Street instead of normal english."
"Was that why she was calling someone a house?" one of the fifth years asked.
"Homie," Xander corrected. "It means friend."
"Oh." She smiled brightly, making her shiny face light up. "So it was a compliment too?" Xander nodded. "Cool." She grinned at her elders. "We should get her to teach us."
"Luna figured out how to charm a CD player," Dawn told them. "Her father found her magical batteries and she figured out how to make the rest work as well. Sometimes it broadcasts in colors but mostly it's a normal CD player."
"CD?" one of the younger boys asked.
"Compact Discs. Standard for music listening," Dawn told him. "Ask Luna to show you." She looked back at Xander, who gave her a look. "Please?"
"We'll see. I have no luck finding things like that when I go looking," he told her. "And no rap."
"Fine, no gansta rap," she agreed quickly. "Can I have some dance and techno? Maybe some of the lighter eighties stuff? And would it be okay if I borrowed from Luna's Tupac collection?"
Xander sighed. "Fine."
"Thanks." She beamed and smiled at her homies. "It'll be cool! We'll have music all the time."
"Wicked," one girl agreed. "Who gets house elf begging this year?"
"Is it considered a job or a perk?" Dawn asked. "They're always pretty nice to me."
"You go for it," the seventh years told her. "You get to ask them nicely whenever we have a party." Dawn nodded. "You remember the tray from last year?" Dawn nodded. "We'd like things like that instead of veggies."
"Sure. I'll even help them if they want. I miss making cookies."
"You make cookies?" Draco asked, stepping closer to her.
"Sometimes. Not from the book or anything," she said with a grin, "but Buffy and I used to make tube cookies."
"Tube cookies?" one of her housemates asked.
"Yeah, Americans are sometimes lazy. They put premade cookie dough into tubes, all you have to do is cut off a chunk," Xander told her. "Either that or get the little squares and put them onto a sheet."
"That way you can have six or six dozen and it's not a lot of work," Dawn added. "It's also pretty good raw. Ooh, or in ice cream. I *miss* Ben and Jerry's, Xander."
"For the holidays," he promised. "We'll have some shipped."
"Thanks. You are way cool." She gave him a long hug and a kiss on the cheek. "Eww. You need to shave, hairy boy."
"He's not half as hairy as Sandburg," Draco reminded her.
"Yeah, he's got a pelt," she agreed, looking disgusted. "Chest and belly pelt. I'm wondering if he shaves his back."
"No, he's just like that," Xander told her. He gave her a pat on the back. "Why don't you go rest now?" The kids groaned. "First day's usually the longest."
"It's a tradition that the upper forms have a party to celebrate," the prefect told her.
"Ooh, food?" Dawn asked.
"Not this time, sweetie. Sixth and seventh years only." Draco coughed to hide his smirk. "Though you two are welcome to join us upstairs."
"No, that's all right," Xander told her. "We've got our own plans in that vein." He winked and led his mate back upstairs. Then he locked the door, just in case. "I want to try that one," he said, pointing at one extremely vivid tapestry.
Draco looked it over. "Which section?"
"How many do you think we can do tonight?" he purred in his mate's ear, stripping his robe off for him.
"As many as my back and legs can stand," he offered, grinning at his consort. He let himself be stripped. Xander spoiled him rotten and he adored it.
Greg looked at his wife, stroking some hair off her cheek. "I miss this," he told her sleeping body. "I don't want to go back without you but we still haven't caught the person."
"I'll be fine, Greg. We'll warn Penn and have him looking out for us," she whispered, turning over to cuddle him. "If you leave me here alone I'll have to pout."
"I know," he said, pulling her even closer. "I've missed seeing you bouncing down the halls to come see me." He gave her a gentle kiss to the forehead. "I want you to come back."
"We'll go back tomorrow," she promised. She gave him a little squeeze. "Honey, would you like to commune with the baby?"
"I'd adore it," he agreed, getting down to rest his head against her stomach. "Hi, baby Greg."
"Lower, dear," she ordered. He grinned and moved lower, using his tongue for other pursuits. "Yeah, that's what I needed."
"Let me knock you out," he begged. "Then you and he will get some sleep."
"Sure. I like this new need. It's like a really good warmth going down my spine all the time." She stretched, enjoying what he was doing. This part of pregnancy wasn't so bad. She grabbed the sheets, gripping them as tightly as she could as she went up the ladder, peaking quickly. He knew just how she liked it. "Again," she murmured sleepily.
"Can I have you?" he begged.
She grinned, her eyes only half open. "Sure. I'm sure we'd both like that." He grinned as he pushed into her, being very gentle. He still played with her clit, making her one happy pregnant woman. She sighed as she came, falling into a gentle and peaceful sleep under him.
Greg rolled her over with him, holding her close against his chest. "You rest, I'll do it again in four hours when you're ready for more," he promised, kissing her on the forehead again.
Dawn opened up her mail the second morning of classes and squealed, holding the large bundle against her chest. She noticed Draco giving her a look. "Cordy and Des got me a slip to put under my purple dress," she said, handing it over.
He looked at the slip, it was marginally thicker than the other and it would look wonderful underneath. "Show us later," he said, handing it back. He noticed the other thing and pulled it out. A very old-fashioned robe in white velvet. One with wide sleeves that were open on the outside but gathered at the wrist, like the current styles. It was vaguely shaped like her lavender gown in the top half and the bottom fell in a more a-line skirt. "Pretty," he noted. "Show them both off tonight."
"Okay." She tucked them into her bag. "I miss Midnight."
"He was happier chasing the plants in the garden," he said patiently. "He'll be up in a few weeks, after the Vet finishes treating his heart defect."
"Okay." She pouted at him. "I miss my fuzzy one."
"Take Weasley around on a leash, no one would notice the difference," he told her. Xander nudged him and shook his head. He still wasn't fully awake yet. This was too early for his tastes.
Ginny bounced over. "Can I see?"
"I'm going to try them on tonight," Dawn told her. "I'll sneak you in or we'll take pictures," she promised.
"Cool. What's the white one?"
"A trial for my Yule Ball gown," Dawn told her. "Des wanted to know how I liked it. Her note said that if I didn't, tell her what was wrong and she'd have it fixed."
"She is very understanding. My mother would tell me to fix it because it's a 'valuable life skill'," Ginny said with a touch of disgust.
"Des wanted me to pick out a wedding dress and leave it in my closet," Dawn told her. Ginny snickered. "Really."
"I'm sure you'll be able to get past that," Ginny told her, giving her a pat before going back to her table.
"It's a white dress, that would work," Draco pointed out. Xander looked at him and shook his head again. "No?"
"Grooms can't see it before the wedding day."
"If we could find a way to cover my arms, I could wear the lavender one to the Yule Ball," Dawn offered. She looked down at her prefects. "Can I invite Ginny and Luna in tonight?" They all nodded. "Thanks. I'm trying on some new clothes."
"Go for it," one of the boys told her. "We want to see as well."
Draco looked down at him. "Only if we can tie you to your chair. Her lavender one is very stunning."
"True," Xander agreed. "It made Ron go caveman and carry her off." The table tittered and giggled over that bit of gossip. "Hopefully that slip will work."
"It should look like a shadow underneath," Draco told him. "It might even highlight some of her assets."
"I don't think they needed more highlighting," Xander said firmly. "I brought a camera so we can take pictures and send one to Cordy and Buffy as well."
"Thank you." Dawn grabbed a piece of bacon off the plate and nibbled it. "I should probably put those up before some grumpy person who doesn't want me to look good tries to ruin them." She grabbed her bag, taking her new clothes up to her room.
Xander looked at his consort. "We'll have to bring smelling salts to the Yule Ball if Ron hasn't seen it yet."
"Hmm. Possibly," Draco agreed dryly. "Or we could take a picture and leave him lying there."
"Is Harry not training with you?" Luna asked from her seat behind them.
Xander looked over his shoulder. "He is, but he's thinking about playing pro for a few years before settling down to do quiet work. Why?"
"Because I heard him talking about how some of his skills are really helpful in quidditch."
"They probably are," Xander agreed. "Do you play, Luna?"
"I'm not good enough for that," she told him. "I do other things very well." She leaned back farther. "Is that purple dress really all that?"
"And a piece of cheese," Xander told her, winking at her. "Ron literally dragged her out of the house to snog her into submission."
"Wow," she sighed. "I want something like that for when I see Wes and Ethan again."
"We'll see what we can find," Xander promised. "I never excelled at fashion but my Aunt Cordy did. Maybe she's got a few ideas."
"I'll write to her this week," Luna said. "Thank you, Xander. I wish we had gotten you two."
"Us too," Draco sighed. "One of my distant cousins has apparently heard and is now hot for my head."
"He can only have it if I share and I don't," Xander told him.
"Not that one," Draco pointed out. "The one with the hair on it."
"Oh. Sorry." He sipped his juice. "I hate pumpkin juice."
Luna giggled. "I'm sure it'll be fine, Xander." She went back to her breakfast.
"Why do some people call you Xander and some call you Alex?" one of the first years asked.
"Because my second identity, the one I was given when I deaged, was Alexander Harris and I went by Xander," he told him.
"Oh. At least it's close."
"It is," Draco agreed. He looked at one girl, who was pouting down at her robes. "What's wrong?"
"I can't tie my stupid tie," she said grumpily. "Help, please?"
"Come here," he said patiently. This really was excellent practice for raising children. He'd give them a week before he went homicidal. She walked over and stood next to him, watching as he tied it. "Thin one shorter, long one around twice, then through," he instructed. She looked down as he put it in the appropriate place but she loosened it. "Not much more than that."
"Thank you, Mr. Dumass," she said, giving him a grin with dimples. "I'll remember that from now on." She went back to her seat.
"Also remember to lint brush your robes," he instructed. "You obviously have an orange cat." She blushed and nodded, ducking her head.
"Very good job," Xander said, giving him a gentle kiss.
"Not at the table," one of the fifth years sighed. "We'll get in trouble from Snape."
"We're married. I get to kiss and grope him wherever I want," Xander told him.
"Oh." He pouted. "If we're married can we do that?" Draco nodded. "Then I've got to find myself a wife." He looked around. "Hey, Ginny, would you go out with me?" he called.
Ginny Weasley looked over at him, stopping her brother by kicking him in the shin under the table. "We'll see. Ask me in a more private spot," she told him. He grinned and nodded. She looked at Hermione. "I've never had that happen before."
"I'm going to cream him," Ron warned.
"Oh, leave it alone," Hermione said in disgust. "Ginny is old enough to start dating." Ron opened his mouth. "Otherwise she might just pick the first person and make it permanent. Then what would you do?"
"Kill him," Ron said firmly.
"I'm the same age you were when you took up with Dawn," she reminded him.
"It's different for girls," he said, staying firm and convinced.
"That doesn't quite work," Harry said, grinning at him. "Dawn is younger than she is." Ron went pale. "I'm sure she'll be very careful and come running if something happens that she can't handle so we can beat the snot out of that one." Ron looked happier at that. "And of course, we'll get to threaten all boyfriends."
"Yeah, we will," Ron said happily. He shook his head to clear the daydream. "Harry, if you play pro, will you watch over Dawn for us?"
"Sure," he agreed happily. "I'll even treat her like I do Ginny." He sipped his juice then put his mug back down. "It'll only be for a few years, Ron."
"Yeah, but I don't know where we'll end up and she'll still be here for another four years. Ginny and Luna will only be here for another year and I don't want her to be alone."
"I'm sure we'll pal around all the time," Harry promised. "I'll even drive off the evil horde of men who'll surround her."
"Thanks, mate. I'm sure you'll be fierce in her defense."
"You're not going for curse breaking?" Pavarti Patil asked from down the table.
"I am, but Xander suggested I get the quidditch thing out of my system for a bit first. He thinks I'm very focused on that."
Ron chuckled. "You are. You lived it for five years, Harry. Are you thinking about Chuddley?"
"I am. I'd like to play with Oliver again," Harry admitted. "And after I get too badly injured or I get tired of the fans and the press, I'll retire to play in the tombs with you."
"If you play for three years, then you can bring Dawn with you," Ron pointed out, sounding hopeful.
"If Xander doesn't get an offer," Ginny pointed out. "He had been offered before. Your whole group might take a year off."
"That would be nice," Ron admitted. "I'd like a long vacation."
"Your mother would probably complain," Hermione told him.
"Maybe, but I've got funds to live off of," Ron pointed out. "I'll be fine for a year or more, but I'd really like to have a year without any fighting, without anything endangering my life, all of it. Besides, then I could go to all the quidditch matches I wanted and cheer Harry on."
"Sure, watch me work," Harry teased.
"Playing has never been work for you," Ginny told him. She cleared her throat. "Harry, have you thought about next year's team?"
"I have and if you'd like some practice I'll gladly let you practice as second string," he said, giving her a smile. She beamed. "Did you want to try for the seeker spot or some other?"
"I think I want to try for beater or keeper," she told him. "I'm little but I'm fairly strong."
"Then we'll have you out there with the boys and see what you can do." The beaters looked down at him and he shrugged. "Next year will need a few new players," he reminded the sixth and seventh year. "Getting them started this year won't be a problem. Getting the year after that's started this year isn't such a bad idea either. You only get players like Oliver every few decades. In two years we'll have to rebuild the team totally if we don't plan ahead."
"Maybe," one of the beaters offered, "but if we're planning on picking next year now, that means we can't put on a first year."
"If a first year comes in who's so stunning that it's necessary, feel free to bump people out of the way," Harry told him. He grinned. "Until then, we'll be looking for next year's team as well. We're losing one of you, two chasers, Ron, and I. if we can pick them now then they'll have time to match our skill level and get used to the rest of the team before the first match, which will help them a lot."
"Good point," he agreed, going back to his breakfast. He looked down at Ginny. "I want to see you fly first," he told her.
"Sure. All my big brothers taught me how to play, except the prat."
"We'll see," he told her. "You might make a better keeper. Or a chaser." He looked at Harry again. "Think your teacher would help her with that?"
"I think he plans on lording over Hufflepuff's team with his consort," Harry sighed. "Slytherin will need a new seeker and Hufflepuff may get Malfoy, Xander, and Dawn." The guys winced. "Yeah. So our strategy will be changing this year a bit. Slytherin might be the easier team."
The rest of the team laughed, that would be a nice change.
Hufflepuff's captain looked over as three people walked toward them with their brooms. "All of you want to try out?" he asked. He looked Dawn over. "This is really a rough game, Dawn."
"I handled slaying vampires, I can do this," she pointed out. "But I might just make next year's instead and have to practice for a bit longer. Xander wasn't sure."
He nodded. "Okay, we can try that." He looked at Draco. "We've got our seeker, but we'll see which one's better."
"Statistically, I am," Draco told him. "Except for one game, where I had the worst cold in the history of the school, I've caught against her each time."
"We'll see. Join her in the air." He looked at Dawn. "You, go join the chasers." She nodded and took off. "Mr. Dumass, are you sure?"
"Yeah, I need something physical to keep my body in shape," he told him. "I play beater best."
"Okay, we're short one," he admitted. "We'll give you a try." He stepped closer. "I am the captain, not you. I got my position because of my chess prowess, not because I'm going to be leading the charge. Can you accept that?"
"Sure, I'll be a helper if you need strategies," Xander told him. The boy frowned. "I'm good at it, kid, don't worry. If I have to, I'll work it out with the other beater and leave you the chasers."
"I can accept that," he admitted, stepping back. "Go warm up." He watched as Xander flew off. He was so casual on the broom, it was like a part of his body. He obviously was a great player. He switched to watching Dawn, noticing she was still a bit stiff and choppy with her movements. She needed more practice, but they'd be running three practices with everyone to see who got spots. Malfoy-Dumass was just as casual and their seeker was agitated. He blew his whistle. "How many chasers do we have?" he called as he mounted up.
"Four candidates for the open spot," Dawn called. "There's only three beaters total and two seekers. One keeper."
"That's fine," he agreed as he joined her. "Dawn, I want you to do ten laps around the pitch. Until you feel like your broom is an extension of your hands." She nodded and zipped off. Well. She turned very well. Maybe she'd be a keeper. He noticed Xander was watching her as well. "Dumass?" Xander looked back at him. "No funny stuff. We're nicer to each other than we are the other teams."
"I'm always nice to m own team," he said, smirking at him. "I'm only mean to others." The returning beater laughed, shaking her head. "I am, and I've still got a grudge against Slytherin."
"Good. We don't like playing them anyway." He looked at Malfoy-Dumass. They were going to be easier this year. They might actually win against Slytherin. Dawn finished her third loop and she was much more comfortable on the broom now. She would have that casualness around her sometime soon. The girl's body would become an extension of her broom. Hmm, definitely a keeper instead of a chaser. He looked at his keeper, who nodded. He was only playing because they didn't have anyone else. He liked fun games, not the harder sport versions. He saw Dumass wince as he swung his bat and one eyebrow went up. "Dumass, are you in pain?"
"Twinge," he admitted. "I didn't stretch yet." Draco floated closer, hovering to help him stretch his arms and shoulders. "Thanks, love."
"Welcome," Draco told him. He looked at the other seeker, noticing she wasn't looking too happy. "We'll fight for it if you want."
"No, I can admit you're the better seeker," she told him. "I'm wondering who Slytherin's getting."
"Jennings was my backup," Draco told her. "Jenistatsia is not a nice player and she will foul you by grabbing your broom's tail." The other seeker nodded. "I'll gladly play against my former house if you want."
"No, you can have it, I'll fall back to backup. Potter would miss playing against you." She floated over to the coach. "That okay with you?"
"That's fine with me," he agreed, kissing her on the cheek. "You can still help him practice, just in case Potter knocks him off his broom." She nodded. "Good. Summers!" he yelled. She zipped back, stopping scant inches from his broom. "You're training as a keeper. Dumass, I want to see you training as a beater, you," he said, pointing at the other guy. "You're going to be their backup." He nodded, looking pleased at that. "Let's play. Chasers, spread out and pass off." They flew up, taking a toss-up. Within moments, he knew his team and they were solid. He tapped a few to sit out for a few minutes, watching the remaining four chasers. It was a hard decision, but one of them was going to have to go.
The former seeker tapped him and pointed. "You need to work with Summers. She's still really unsure."
"I can do that. Or have her boyfriend."
"I doubt Ron would let her near him while he practices. All's fair in love and all but this is quidditch. He holds that holy."
"Good point." He whistled and the game stopped. "Okay, you four chasers, I want you to all come back. The rest of you are the team," he decided. "We'll figure out alternates or whatever next practice." Slytherin was walking toward them with their brooms and they didn't have that long today. He had signed up late for this slot. "Go change. Summers, come here," he called. She floated closer. "I want you to practice," he told her. "You can do it very well if you practice very hard. Got it?" She nodded. "Good. You're on then. The moment you slack off, we'll take the old one back."
"I'm going to practice," she told him. "I'll have Xander help me." She flew off to shower. She was grossly sweaty now.
Draco flew up to meet with Xander, watching the Slytherins. Jennings wasn't down there, but a small, fast, light third year was. Draco didn't know much about the girl, only that she was one who liked to torture others. They had found her stash of Harry dolls a few weeks later when one of her roommates had turned her in for them. Hers had been even more violent than the first year's. "Come on," he said quietly.
"Sure." Xander and he flew down, zipping past the slower Slytherins. He noticed Draco was floating next to his friends and approved. They weren't the nicest of boys but he didn't want to force Draco to give up his friends.
"Crabbe, Goyle, when did you want to be shown where the entrance to our room is?" he asked quietly.
"Tonight?" Crabbe asked, grinning at him.
"That would be fine. I'll be in the library, come find me." He flew off, joining his mate at the front door. "They'll be up tonight."
"I don't mind, Draco. I don't want to cut you off from your friends." He gave him a gentle kiss. "We need to shower."
"We do," Draco agreed. "Then we've got to work with Dawn. She's still hesitating too long. She's thinking instead of reacting."
"Okay." He followed his mate to the Prefect's bathroom to get cleaned up together. His arms did ache. He was out of practice, terribly out of practice. Yet he had stunned the other beater, that didn't speak well of his new team.
Ron looked up as Dawn piled into him, giving her a hug. "How was practice?" he asked, sitting her next to him so the librarian would quit staring at them.
"I made keeper," she said happily.
He looked stunned. She played his position? "Wow," he said finally. It was the only neutral thing he could think of. He wanted to toss a fit because now they couldn't fly together until they played each other.
Harry coughed. "Ron, we don't mind. It'll be the same as if one of us were dating Ravenclaw," he said, nodding at their lead chaser, who was dating a sixth year Ravenclaw and they practiced together all the time. "Don't give her any of our strategies and we'd never say anything about it unless we lost to them." He grinned at Dawn. "Congratulations. Will I be facing Draco?"
She nodded. "Yuppers. He said that the Slytherin had changed too, that it was some little third year who had some of your dolls last year. He was grousing about it near me." She leaned closer. "I'm pretty sure he wanted me to tell you."
"That's fine," he agreed with a smile. "Thank you, Dawn." He patted her on the hand. "We worked out something earlier. If I start to play pro, I'm going to try and play for as long as you're here. That way at least one of us is around, then I'm going to go back to curse breaking when I get tired of the press and the fans."
"That is so cool!" she told him. "Scary because I could handle it myself, but very nice of you to do." She blew a kiss at Xander as he walked in. Then she looked at him again. "You guys treat me like I'm some fragile doll and I'm not."
"No, you're not, but you won't have hardly any friends outside your house after Ginny and Luna graduate," Ron reminded her. "That'll be two years without any of us nearby." He tugged on her ponytail. "This way you'll have someone nearby in case you wanted opinions on your clothes and stuff."
"Okay. If you're sure, Harry."
"I am. I've been wobbling over wanting to play for a few years now," he admitted. "Xander suggested I try it for a year or two before coming back to him. That way it's out of my system and I won't wonder about playing pro. When I'm ready to drop out of sight again, I'll go back to finish my training with Xander and we'll join him then."
"Okay," she agreed. She grinned. "You are such a great big brother." She stood up and kissed him on the cheek, then did the same to Ron's. She knew better than to grab a real kiss in the library. Ron looked hurt. "I don't want a detention with Madam Pince over kissing," she said, giving him a light shove.
He chuckled and pulled her closer, kissing her for real. "Screw her, you're worth the detention."
She sighed in contentment. That was the nicest compliment she had ever gotten. Then she shook her head to clear it. "I'm trying on those outfits. Come see?" They nodded and packed up, and she went to grab Ginny and Luna from their table. "Come on, I'm trying on some new outfits and I need opinions. I've already cleared it so you guys can come up with Harry and Ron." They shrugged and gathered up their things, following her up to her house. "Hi," she told the painting. "I got it cleared with the Prefects."
"That's fine, dear. Password?"
"Um..." She thought back. "Dirt!" She frowned and tried to remember it.
"Seafoam," Harry told her. He grinned when Dawn looked at him. "One of your first years was wandering around earlier repeating it to himself." The painting swung open and they piled in through the door. "Hi," he said, waving at the captain. "We're Dawn's clothing approval committee."
"The other two members are in their room," he said. The captain stood up and walked over. "Slytherin changed to Mitchels."
Harry shuddered. "Wonderful. Thanks for the warning." He patted him on the back. "I think you guys might be the harder team this year." The captain smiled and went back to his planning with his lead chaser. He looked at Ron. "Remind me to talk to our beaters."
"Got it," Ron agreed, pulling over a chair. "Go change, Dawn."
Ginny walked up the other set of stairs, knocking on the single door. "Xander, Draco?" Draco opened the door. "Dawn needs our approval on her clothes."
"Coming," Xander said, grabbing his camera. "Come on, my fast little one," he said, pinching Draco on the rear.
"Hey!" He followed his mate down the stairs, picking a chair for himself and Xander. They were settled in time to see Dawn come down in the lavender outfit. And to hear Ron whimper. The slip created a shadow effect under the gauze that made her look even more ethereal and well-built. Draco had to pry his eyes away, the slip obviously had a built-in bra. "Wow," he said, blinking a few times. He saw Harry had stuck Ron in his chair and snorted, nudging Xander to have him look.
"Dawn, that should be lethal," Luna told her. She took the camera from the stunned fingers and took three good ones of her as she moved around. "That is a killer dress."
Dawn giggled. "I think Ron's going to die of asphyxiation."
Harry nudged Ron, making him look at him. "Breathe before you pass out." Ron took a few breaths for show. "Thanks." He looked at Dawn again. "I can guarantee that you're the prettiest girl ever seen in that dress."
One of the seventh years looked over, her mouth falling open. "Where did you find that?" she squealed, coming over to get a closer look.
"It's a copy of something Xander's family had in storage," she said, turning around slowly so she could get the full effect.
"It rides a bit high on your bum," Ginny told her. "Easily fixed though."
"Leave it," Ron told her. "She needs one spot of imperfection to make sure she's real."
Dawn walked over and kissed him gently on the lips. "I love you too, Ron," she whispered. He swallowed and nodded quickly. "Should I try on the other one?"
"Please," he begged. "Before I can't blink?"
She giggled and walked up the stairs, going to try the white one on. She came down a few minutes later. "I don't like this one as much."
"It looks wonderful on you," Harry told her.
"It's a bit tight," Luna offered. Ginny nodded. "You look like you're wearing a corset."
"No, those are Tara dresses," Dawn told her. "I have one of those. She sent me one." She looked at Ron and he shook his head. "No?"
"I don't like this one as much as the other one. It seems ...wrong somehow," he told her. "Like you're borrowing clothes that weren't meant for you."
"It's the chest," Xander told him. "In the gauzier fabrics it works better. We'll send that one back. Take a few pictures, Luna, so Aunt Cordy can have it fixed." Luna did so, catching it from each angle. "We'll send it back tonight. Go put on the Tara dress." Dawn skipped back up the stairs, coming down with it partially on. It was a blood red corset and a patterned skirt, very Tara but not really Dawn. "Let me," he said, standing up to help her. "I've had a lot of practice with these." He settled it where it was supposed to go and tightened it for her, making sure she could still breathe. It was more for showing her shape than fixing her shape so it didn't need to be tight. He stepped back and looked it over. "With a different dress underneath," he decided. "Take that off with the front clasps and put the blue or the black under it." She went up and did so and he sat down again, getting ready. She came down with the corset and her formal black velvet skirt. Ron was now drooling. "I like that," he told her, motioning her closer. "You're supposed to put the cups under your breasts, Dawn." He fixed it for her and let her go, watching as she moved around. "Ron, breathe," he reminded. "Don't drown."
"I like that," Ron decided. "Can you wear that to town with me next trip?"
"Sure," Dawn agreed, grinning at him. "Luna, Ginny?"
"Adore it," Ginny told her.
"Definitely hot," the seventh year Hufflepuff told her. "You have a friend who wears dresses like that all the time?" Dawn nodded. "Is she pretty?"
"She's not only pretty, but she's shy," Dawn told her. "Luna, picture worthy?" Luna snapped a set of this outfit as well. "Oooh, I've got one more. It was in the bottom of the package from Aunt Cordy." She hurried up the stairs, coming down a few minutes later with a tiny slip dress on. It was thin silk and it obviously was meant for those who had a wonderful body, like Dawn. It fit her perfectly and was in that perfect shade of blue for her hair and eyes. "So?"
Ron whimpered and managed to release himself, picking up Dawn and putting her over his shoulder. "We'll be back," he said, hurrying out before anyone could say anything.
"I want pictures," Luna called. Dawn's giggle echoed back as the portrait closed. "Well."
Ginny looked at Harry. "If I beg, do you think mum would get me one of the last two? I know I can't do that lavender one."
"If not, I'll help you beg," Xander told her.
Draco gave her body an appraising look. "The second. Your torso's not long enough to look good in the corset one." He stood up. "Is that last one couture?"
"Yup," Xander agreed, nodding. "We saw it in London."
"Is that why she was squealing something about D&G?" one of Dawn's roommates called. They had already seen the outfits and were extremely jealous of her body. They would all be helping with workouts this year so they could look like that when they were her age.
"Probably," Xander agreed, smiling at her. "Jealous?"
"Insanely," she agreed, going back to her book. "Were either of you good in history?"
"Not really," Xander admitted. "I had the teacher before Binns and he was even more boring." He shrugged, taking back the camera but Ginny took it from him. "I need to get it developed."
"Let me catch pictures of her in the present dress," Ginny told him. The door opened and Snape walked Dawn in, handing her to Xander. "Did you beat Ron to get her back, sir?" she asked.
"Nearly," he said. "Try to wear more formal attire, Miss Summers."
"Okay. I'll wear the Tara dress," Dawn told him. "It's really pretty."
Luna nodded. "It is. Go put it back on really quickly," she said, nodding at Xander to capture Snape. They needed a fussier opinion. Harry and Ginny both looked at her. "If he likes it then she'll *know* it was more than her friends," she pointed out.
"Why must I suffer this way?" Snape said, looking up.
"Because I've got Michanthal's diary in my bag," Xander taunted. His cousin glared at him. "Seriously. And if you stay for both dresses, I'll have Draco get the potion master's work diary." He could see the spot of drool and smirked. "I'll even let you borrow it for a full month. I gave it to Draco as a birthday present."
Snape slumped. "Fine." Madam Sprout walked in and looked at him. "I had to rescue one of yours from an insensate student," he told her.
"Ron carried Dawn off like he was a caveman," Ginny told her. "We're looking at her new clothes." Dawn coughed from the stairs, and she noticed this time the corset was on correctly. "That does look good on you," she offered.
"It does," Madam Sprout agreed. "Where did you get that one?"
"One of my friends in LA got it for me. She wears this style all the time," Dawn told her. She looked at Professor Snape, she wasn't afraid of him. "Well?"
"It's a bit old for you," he told her. "You're too young to need such enhancements."
"Otherwise?" Luna asked.
"She looks very...mature," Snape admitted under force of losing that book.
Dawn danced back up the stairs and came down in the lavender dress, still adjusting a strap. Luna got up to help and then she twirled a bit, making Luna help with the slip's skirt as well. "Oops, sorry."
Snape looked at Xander. "Your doing?"
"We found the original in the stored stuff and decided it'd look great on her," he admitted. "What do you think, as an unbiased and sometimes grumpy older male?"
Snape looked at her again. "She looks like some fairy princess," he noted honestly. She did. "It's a bit...attracting though, don't you think?"
"I like the neckline," Dawn told him. "I do have a nice set, thank you very much."
"I think you look absolutely charming in it," Madam Sprout told her. "What had you been wearing?" Dawn hopped up the stairs and came down in the slip dress, letting Luna take her picture in it now that her hair was straightened out. "My, I can see why he carried you off," she noted, looking at the other teacher. "Did he have her in his arms?"
"Over his shoulder," Snape told her. "I believe that is a bit too old for your age," he told her. "You should dress your age, not your sister's."
"Aunt Cordy found it for me," Dawn told her.
"She obviously has misjudged your age then," he said, accepting the book from Draco as he came down the stairs. "Thank you. I'll give it back in a month." He hurried out, going to get a drink.
Madam Sprout smiled at her. "I think you look darling, though I do believe he's right. That's more for a twenty-year-old, not someone your age, Dawn."
"It's couture," Dawn told her, showing her the label. The teacher looked really impressed. "I promised Ron I'd wear the corset outfit to town when we went. Is that okay?"
"As long as he's got his wand in hand to protect you," Madam Sprout told her. She gave her a kiss on the cheek and walked out, going to make notes in her diary. Dawn was incredibly built for her age. It showed that she worked out.
"What shoes would you wear with that?" Ginny asked.
"With this, a simple pair of pumps," Dawn told her. "With the lavender, I'd wear something strappy and skin-tone if I could find them." She twirled around. "I really like this one."
"You do look older than fifteen," Luna pointed out as she stood up. "But I like it. I wish I could fit into it but I'm not that well-built." Ginny sighed and nodded. "I need to find something to stun my stallions," she sighed. She gave Ginny a hug, then gave one to Dawn. "We'll get the film developed."
"I'll send it off," Draco told her. "With that white dress." Dawn nodded and went to change back into her usual outfit, bringing the white dress back down for him. "Thank you." He kissed her on the forehead. "I know why Weasley did that. It was a very honest reaction on his part." He walked away, going to sulk in his room. He would never get that reaction, no matter what he wore, because he wasn't a girl.
Xander walked in and closed the door behind him, giving him a kiss. "Some day, you'll be carried off too. I nearly did when you put on that grey silk outfit before the first auction," he told him.
Draco gave him a look before taking a kiss. "That's sweet of you to say but only girls get that reaction."
"And Dawn is definitely one of those," he agreed, cuddling up next to him. "Let's send them now."
"All right." Draco went to call his owl down, sending both to the house with a note to develop the film, send them a copy, keep a copy, and to send one of each dress to the LA group. The white dress's problems were clearly shown in that one. He came back after sending it off, snuggling in again. "Thank you."
"You're welcome. I've never looked like that in an outfit in my life. If I had, I might have killed someone from my beauty."
"Probably," Draco agreed, smirking at him. "Pompous git."
Xander winked. "Me? It's not bragging if it's true." Draco laughed at that and stole a longer kiss. "What should we do for the rest of the night?"
"I need help with my Charms homework."
"If I can, I'm at your service," Xander quipped, letting him get up to grab his homework. Draco brought it back and they sat down to work on it together.
Cordelia Chase grabbed the package from the owl before Fred could start screaming again. "Dawnie mail," she yelled, bringing Buffy running down the stairs, followed by Ethan and Wes. She let Buffy pet the owl for her while she opened the letter. "Ooh, the Cordy there and Des got together to get her some new wizarding clothes." She grinned at Tara. "Plus, she got your dress, but she changed the skirt with it." Tara shrugged and moved closer so she could see. "Let's see," Cordy read. "The dresses are a copy of an ancient one Xander found in the family's stuff. Tara's dress. And a slip dress they found for her." She flipped over the first picture to look at it, blinking a few times. "Damn it, I'll never look like that in anything," she complained as she handed over the slip dress photo.
Tara grabbed the next one, her contribution to Dawn's wardrobe. "She looks really good in that one," she admitted. "Someone fitted the corset perfectly." Buffy snatched both pictures to look at. "Sorry."
"Someone bought my baby sister Dolce and Gabana?" Buffy asked, looking at the slip dress.
Spike pushed his was in to look over her shoulder. "That's Dawn?" he asked, snatching the slip dress to look at it closer. The picture turned and twisted for him to see it all. "Well. She's a bit grown up in that."
"She is," Buffy agreed, handing over the other one. Spike whistled at that. "What's the other one?"
"The ancient dress," Cordy said, turning it over. Her mouth fell open and she stomped off, going to have some ice cream while she sulked. She would *never* look like that in anything!
Buffy picked up the picture before anyone could and Spike whistled from behind her, a long, low one. "Spike!" she complained, turning and hitting him on the arm. Fred snatched the picture from her fingers before it could get bent. Then Tara snatched it from her. "Who knew Xander had taste," Buffy complained. "He always wore nasty clothes."
Tara blinked a few times. "Dawn is one hot babe," she pointed out. Ethan grabbed the photo from her. "Hey! You've got Luna."
"I know," he agreed. "Dawn is quite the young lady."
Fred picked up the letter to read it for herself and she burst out in giggles. "Draco told the Cordy over there that Ron had gone caveman and carried Dawn off over his shoulder after seeing her in all three, finishing in the slip dress. The pale purple one originally didn't have the slip with it and he nearly came at the table when he saw her in that alone." Buffy snatched it from her fingers. "Hey, I wanted to see." She took it back to finish reading it. "Xander and Draco have settled into Hufflepuff with her to protect that house and they're still grumbling about it but apparently Dawn is playing on her house team...." She looked up. "Sports?"
"Quidditch," Spike told her. "What position?"
"Um." Fred went back to reading. "Keeper. Her first game is in a few weeks but it's in the daytime or else you'd be invited up to watch." She handed it over. "The rest is for Buffy anyway." She went to calm down Tara and Cordy so they wouldn't pout all night.
"What's going on?" Angel asked as he walked in.
"Pictures of Dawn in some of her new outfits," Buffy said, gathering the pictures to hand to him. "Tara sent her the corset dress." She went back to her reading, smiling at how good Dawn was doing. "Spike, is this Keeper thing dangerous?"
"She's the goalie for three hoops in midair," he told her, taking the letter and going to sit down to read it. Angel started to splutter so he gave him a mean grin. "Purple dress?" he teased. Angel picked up a stake but Wesley took to from him. "Ta, mate." He finished the letter and handed it back. "She is the belle of her house," he told Buffy. "She's not only sporty, but fun and smart. The boys will come out to watch the game like never before."
"Wasn't Ron a keeper?" Wesley asked.
Spike smirked and nodded. "Yup, that means they'll play against each other. Xander's on her house team too probably. Blond boy as well." He got comfortable, taking the pictures to look at them again. "I really like her in this corset dress," he noted. "It's fairly fashionable for over there."
Ethan sat down to look at the pictures with him. "She is beautiful in it," he agreed. "In the purple she looks like someone's sacrificial offering at Summer Solstice."
Wesley snatched them because he hadn't been able to see them yet. He looked stunned. "I'd say Ron had better learn more protective charms." Gunn walked in and took them from him. "Dawn's new clothes."
Gunn looked at the top one, the slip dress. "Cute. Isn't that a little old for her though?" He hand them over, looking as Wesley changed pictures. "Whoa, we're letting that girl wear corsets? Tara's one thing, she looks innocent. Dawn looks like she's about to become some evil goddess."
"That's my sister," Buffy said proudly. "Look at the other one. Ron went caveboy and snatched her in it."
Wesley flipped the picture and Gunn's mouth fell open. "They're allowed to wear that over there? From Evil Goddess to Good and Pure Goddess."
"Not really, but it's for feasts and things," Spike told him. "We'll get her in her uniform soon. The Hufflepuff colors should look smashing on her."
"They should," Buffy agreed. "That's the same ones on her little tie, right?" Spike nodded.
"Why do the girls wear ties?" Wesley asked. "That and skirts are an odd choice."
"Because men picked the wardrobe," Spike said dryly. "This way, they can prove that they're as good as the boys, but the skirts prove that they're all female." He smirked at him. "Or don't you like school girl outfits."
"Not particularly. I didn't like them when I went to school. The skirts always look to be too short, like the girls were advertising."
"That's another point of the skirt," Spike pointed out. "To make sure all the good ones find mates." He stood up. "I think I'll go wank off to those." Wesley made a distressed noise and kept him from stealing them. "Fine, I've got a good picture of it in my head," he grumbled as he went up the stairs. Buffy got up and stalked him to beat him up, like he knew she would. They both needed a good fight.
Angel looked at the photos again. "We should put them into Dawn's scrapbook."
"We should," Wesley agreed, heading for the kitchen to ask Cordelia where it was. She had made it while they had been bored a few months ago. "Angel suggested these go in the scrap book."
"It's in my desk, in the bottom drawer, so is the rubber cement," Cordelia said before popping another spoonful of ice cream into her mouth. "How long did it take Spike to go all eww over it."
"Just now," he said with a smile. "Buffy went to pummel him." He headed out to her desk, sitting down to add the pictures to the book. He even made captions and put the date for her.