Written by Kristina
In her relatively short life, Dawn Summers has endured one hundred times more than the average sixteen-year-old girl. Then again, what else would you expect from a girl who is sister to a vampire slayer? Besides dealing with being a teenage girl, Dawn has had to cope with a whirlwind of emotions - the discovery of her mother's brain tumor, her sister's destined vocation, and learning that she isn't real. This girl has got some problems.
At first, Buffy and Dawn shared the typical relationship that blooms between sisters; Dawn snooped, and had a tendency to drive Buffy a bit nuts. When Joyce became suddenly ill, Buffy entered a trance state to determine if the cause of her illness was demon related. Instead, she learned that her sister wasn't really there - she was just a flash that flickered in and out. Believing Dawn to be the cause of her mother's problems, Buffy lashed out, and ended up hurting Dawn in the process.
Buffy only learned of Dawn's true identity when she encountered Glorificus (also known as Glory). Unable to defeat Glory in a fight, Buffy acted quickly and saved the monk, that Glory had been torturing, hoping that he would be able to give her information about her sister. Buffy succeeded in getting the man away from the angry Glory, but he had little time left. Before dying, the man told Buffy how he and the other monks had conjured Dawn. Buffy listened in horror and astonishment as he explained that Buffy's memories, along with the memories of those close to her, had been altered by the monks, to include Dawn, and hide her from Glory. Before being disguised as human, Dawn was "the Key." The monks took possession of her, in her pure energy state, and sent her to the Slayer, for protection. "The Key" was to be used, by Glory, to return to her home dimension, of which she was a HellGod.
Choosing to keep this information to herself, Buffy watched Dawn like a hawk. As younger sisters do, Dawn rebelled. Eventually, Buffy told Giles and Joyce about Dawn's true identity and soon after, told her friends as well. Dawn did not learn of her origins until later. Dawn knew Glory was after "The Key," but she didn't know who, or what, it was. While at the hospital, visiting her mother, Dawn learned from a victim of Glory's brain-sucking tendencies, that she was nothing - there "was no data" on her. Slowly, Dawn noticed more of these so called "crazy people" and began to doubt who she was.
Knowing Giles still kept his Watcher's diaries, Dawn set off to the Magic Box with Spike. She found Giles' diary, and began reading it; however, it was Spike that discovered she was "The Key" first, although Dawn had her growing suspicions. With her beliefs in her existence stripped away, Dawn lashed out. She slashed her arm with a kitchen knife during Buffy's birthday party, and asked whether her blood was real, whether or not she was real. Burning her diaries, Dawn ran from the house in a fit of rage, and ended up at the Sunnydale Hospital. Ben, a new intern at the hospital, brought Dawn into the lounge, and tried to calm her down. In her confusion, she blurted out what she had learned of herself. Ben had an unexpected reaction, seeming almost frightened, and we later found out why - he knew that Glory would be after Dawn as soon as she found out who Dawn really was. He tried to get Dawn away from him, but Glory established control over Ben's body and emerged - without any memories of Ben and Dawn's conversation.
Held captive by Glory, Dawn learned more about the origin of "the Key." Before Glory could kill her, Buffy burst in, and defended Dawn. Taking the blood from a fresh shoulder wound, Buffy clasped her hand over Dawn's open cut - they were tied together by blood.
When Joyce died of a brain aneurysm, Dawn was beside herself in grief. She refused comfort, and instead, begged Tara and Willow for a spell to resurrect her mother. With the help of Spike, Dawn visited Doc to get the spell, and the list of ingredients. However, her sister inevitably discovered Dawn's plan, and tried to stop her. Dawn accused Buffy of not caring, or crying over their mother's death, and Buffy broke down as she shared the truth with her sister. Realizing what she had done, Dawn stopped the resurrection spell in time, and broke down in her sister's arms.
Dawn's identity as "the Key" was accidentally revealed by Tara after she had become another victim of Glory's brain-sucking. In order to protect her sister, Buffy fled town in a broken-down RV with Spike, her sister, and her friends. However, on their way out of town, they were waylaid by the Knights of Byzantium, who injured Giles, and forced the gang to hole up in a deserted gas station. After Buffy captured the Knights' General, Dawn learned more about who she was, and the power she possessed as "the Key." She was created to unlock the boundaries between all of the dimensions, allowing demons, and other creatures to create chaos on Earth. Dawn took the news calmly.
As Giles' condition worsened, Buffy called Ben to attend to him. Unfortunately, while Ben was in the gas station, Glory reasserted control over his body, and kidnapped Dawn. Preparations began for the ceremony to break down the dimensional barriers. Terrified, Dawn was taken to Glory's headquarters, bound and gagged, and left to watch whilst the HellGod and her minions began to make preparations for the blood-letting ceremony. When Glory morphed back into Ben, Dawn begged him to help her escape. He took her out of the building, but an argument between Glory and Ben ensued. Rather than helping Dawn, Ben chose to save his own hide, and returned Dawn to the headquarters. Unable to stand the sight of Ben, Dawn called on Glory to re-emerge. Despite her sister's absence, Dawn believed that Buffy would save her.
Kicking and screaming, Dawn was escorted to the top of a tower, created specifically for the blood-letting ceremony. The Scooby Gang arrived, and began to battle their way to the tower. When Glory was unable to reach the top of the tower to begin the ceremony, Doc (the same demon who'd helped Dawn with her mom's resurrection spell) arrived, with a knife in hand. Before he could cut Dawn, however, Spike arrived on top of the tower. Dawn watched, helpless, as Doc overpowered Spike, and tossed him from the tower.
Doc began to make tiny cuts into Dawn's stomach and her blood pooled into droplets beneath her. Buffy arrived at the top of the tower, but she was too late. The barriers had already begun to break down. Demons, and other creatures, began filtering into Sunnydale. The world was ending, and the only way to stop it, was to stop the blood flow. In other words, kill Dawn. Aware of this, Dawn was willing to jump into the portal, and kill herself to save the world, but her sister wouldn't let her. Buffy finally figured out that her sister was made from her blood. If she sacrificed herself, giving her "gift" to the world, the barriers would shut. Comforting her sister, Buffy told Dawn to be strong, and to take care of her friends. With one last look at the sunrise, Buffy jumped as Dawn watched on, helpless.
Dawn coped as best she could over the summer without her sister. She put on a brave face, and went about her daily business - including a newfound hobby - shoplifting. One night a demon biker gang raced into town and began rioting in the streets. Spike was left to watch over Dawn, but the violence came too close to home and they were forced to flee the house. Escaping the rioting around her, with Spike, Dawn spotted her Buffy. Overjoyed that her sister had returned to her, Dawn convinced a confused Buffy not to jump off of the same tower she jumped off of three months earlier.
Dawn was still having troubles adjusting to a "normal" life. Her shoplifting tendencies continued, and she also experimented with dating bad boys. Well - one that we know of, but he really wasn't a bad boy - he was a vampire. Giles and Buffy try disciplining Dawn, but this didn't stop her from causing trouble wherever she went. She was disheartened by Buffy's apparent lack of interest in her well being, and continued to act out.
Dawn took Willow and Tara's break up especially hard, as they were the most stable family she had for awhile. Tara still made an effort to be in Dawn's life, which she took to very well. She was even pleased when Willow made an effort to be involved with her life, but this pleasure turned to pain. In the throes of her "addiction to magic," Willow endangered Dawn's life, leaving Dawn enraged and hurt.
Her pain was a beacon to Halfrek, Anya's vengeance demon friend. Halfrek, posing as a school guidance counselor, got Dawn to wish that people would stop leaving her. And, true to form, the vengeance demon granted this wish - Buffy, Dawn and the Scooby Gang were trapped in the Summer's residence during Buffy's birthday bash. Anya, in blind panic, was convinced that Dawn was behind the entrapment, and rampaged through her room. Instead of discovering the solution to the entrapment, Anya found trinkets Dawn had stolen from the Magic Shop - Dawn's shoplifting was out in the open. Finally, Dawn revealed she'd made a wish to a new guidance counselor, and Anya put two and two together. Halfrek lifted the spell, and Buffy began working on building her relationship with her sister once again.
All did not go well, however. When Buffy was caused to doubt whether or not Sunnydale is real, she hurt her sister. Dawn was supportive, however, and Buffy finally revealed her major secret - she'd been sleeping with Spike. Dawn was not convinced that Buffy was making an effort to want to be with her, but grudgingly carried on, in the hopes that Buffy would smarten up.
One morning, Dawn stumbled across Tara and Willow - back together. Overjoyed, Dawn left the two lovers alone. It seemed like her life was finally coming back together, but her joy was short-lived. When she returned home from school, the Summers' residence was empty. She headed up to the master bedroom, where she discovered Tara's body. Unsure of what to do, Dawn sat in the room with Tara until Buffy came home and found her. While Buffy and Xander searched for Willow, Dawn was left with Clem. Knowing of Rack's existence, and Willow's visits to him earlier in the year, Dawn convinced Clem to take her to Rack. When she arrived there, however, she found Rack dead, and was almost unmade by Willow. Once again, her sister saved her.
While trapped in a pit in a graveyard, Dawn was finally given the chance to prove herself in battle, fighting beside her sister against earth creatures conjured by Willow. When the sun rose, once again and the creatures were vanquished, Dawn finally confronted her sister about her depression. Buffy began the long crawl from her depression by helping Dawn to climb out of the hole, while looking out at a new world, which she was eager to show to her sister.
Over the summer, Dawn was trained in the ways of vampire slaying by Buffy. She did fairly well, but was still fairly "green." Cautiously, she prepared for her first day at the newly re-opened Sunnydale High. Buffy presented her with a cell phone as a back to school present. At school, Dawn was fitting in, until Buffy caused her social life to take a nose dive (by freaking out and running into Dawn's classroom). Dawn, however, was targeted by zombie-ghost-apparition things, and she ended up in the basement of SHS with Kit and Carlos. The three teens bonded over their near-death experience, and became good friends.
Dawn started to get the hang of high school life. She still bore a deep grudge against Spike for what he had done to Buffy - she threatened to stake him in his sleep if he harmed her sister again. Dawn also became more of an active member of the Scoobies, helping out with research. She was apprehensive about Willow returning to Sunnydale - she still remembered almost being unmade - but welcomed Willow back anyway.
Dawn was a little unnerved by the fact that her sister was at school with her, but when Buffy asked her to help her out, she gladly complied. She befriended Cassie when Buffy was worried about her, and mourned her friend after her death. Dawn also fell under the influence of RJ's SHS letter jacket, and was deeply hurt when her sister also fell for him. Even though the sisters were close, a rivalry still existed between them.
One night, Dawn was alone at home, talking to Kit on the phone, when strange things started happening. She heard her mother's voice on the radio, and when she tried to unplug appliances, they still stayed on. Seriously wigging, Dawn took an axe to almost everything on the main floor of the house, before she discovered some entity was preventing her mother from talking to her. Dawn performed a small exorcism, and was able to talk to Joyce, however fleetingly. Joyce told her that when things got bad, Buffy wouldn't choose her. Dawn was hurt by this news, and kept the Joyce's message from Buffy. She couldn't keep Joyce's appearance a secret though, since the main floor of the house was totaled.
Dawn and Anya became close (after Anya was de-venge-ified), and together they enjoyed playing "bad cop" with a tied up Andrew. Dawn was not amused by the slayers in training Giles brought with him from England, but was deeply concerned about her sister's injuries after facing the Uber-vampire.