Episode 8: Culmination

Written and Directed by Humaira K and Gill P

Guest starring

David Anders as Julian Sark
Shiri Appleby as Anastasia Darcy
Michael Gambon as Albus Dumbeldore
Melissa George as Lauren Reed
James Marsters as Spike
Alan Rickman as Severus Snape
Peta Wilson as Bellatrix Lestrange

Spike was bored. He was more then bored, he was angry. Why did he have to get stuck babysitting two awkward teenagers? True he didn’t know Cordy well like Buffy and Angel had, but that didn’t mean he’d had to be stuck here in crummy old England looking after two brats! He had been a blood thirsty vampire for god’s sake, and now, well now he was a glorified baby sitter.

And when Anastasia touched the chain of her necklace, in a blink of an eye they were gone.

“Oh bloody hell!” shouted Spike.

* * *

“I don’t mind spending everyday/Out on your corner in the pouring rain/Look for the girl with the broken smile/Ask her if she wants to stay awhile/And she will be loved/She will be loved.”

“Are you ready, Miss Bristow?” Professor Snape began. They were standing a few yards away from the entrance to Hogsmeade. Several of the students were eyeing them with some interest, but Snape sent them an icy look and they scattered like leaves in the wind. Sydney was to meet her MI5 contact in London tonight.

Sydney wrapped her borrowed Hogwarts cloak around her a little tighter. “Yes, of course, Professor.” The snow was beginning to fall again. Snape wrapped his arms stiffly around her.

“Just close your eyes,” he reminded her. Just a few hours before, Professors Dumbledore and Snape guided her through a dry run with Apparating. Sydney was overwhelmed, but she trusted them both, a rarity in her life.

Sydney did as she was told, bracing herself in Snape’s embrace. She drew a deep intake of breath and when she felt her feet hit ground, her eyes flew open. They had landed in a dark alleyway in one piece. The sounds of cars zipping by and chatter were not that far off.

“Whoa, what a rush,” she sighed, a little breathless. She shrugged off her cloak and placed it in a dustbin for the time being. Luckily she had a small jacket underneath it.

Traipsing around London in a Hogwarts cloak would be too conspicuous. Snape followed her lead.

“Yes, I get that a lot,” Snape said dryly.

“Was that a joke, Professor?” Sydney said, a little smile playing on her lips. Snape watched her playful facial expression with some amusement. “You should do that more often.”

“Would you like me to accompany you?” Snape continued, following Sydney from the alleyway.

“For your safety or mine?” Sydney replied breezily, emerging from the alleyway and looking both ways before joining the foot traffic on the street to her left.

“For yours, of course,” Snape replied. His last meeting with Voldemort and his fellow Death Eaters left him unsettled. He had kept his eye on the young CIA agent for ages now and wondered what she was up to. He had an overwhelming feeling that she would try to pull something
tonight.

“Professor, we’re in the Muggle world now. I can take care of myself,” Sydney replied. “I’ve been in this life for years. I know how to behave and really, it wouldn’t help me a bit if you were along.”

Snape knew immediately she was up to something.

* * *

“Indie rockin’, there’s no stoppin’/Once you get me on a roll/Name-droppin’, mop-toppin’/Can’t help this feelin’/It’s a feelin’ that I stole/Kick it in now with the backbeat/Put the four on the floor/Innocent now, they try to compete/With a tune I heard before”

The portkey which had been the silver necklace that Buffy had been wearing was charmed to bring them back to the edges of Hogwarts. Angel hung onto Buffy and with a whoosh and a hook around her middle they were spinning fast and landed with a thump outside the school. There was no time to warn Dumbledore as Angel sniffed the air for Harry’s essence.

He shot off like a rocket somewhere and Buffy hurriedly followed. Near the Shrieking Shack, Angel stopped and Spike came into her line of vision. Running to catch up with the ex-vampire she landed with a thump on top of him.

“Where is he?!” she demanded. Her eyes blazing as she pinned Spike down. Angel was still sniffing the air but had stopped at a particular spot.

“Bloody hell slayer! I don’t know! One minute he was there, and then that chit he was with touched a necklace and he was gone in a blink of an eye before I knew what was happening,” gasped Spike, Buffy was holding onto the collar of his coat tightly and wouldn’t let go.

“He’s telling the truth. The smell stops here. I can smell a female and Harry’s scent, she must have port keyed them out to somewhere. But where?!” said Angel with a frustrated sigh.

Buffy turned her attention from Angel back to Spike, in a low voice she said, “If Harry and the girl don’t come back alive, I will personally kill you Spike. Human or not.”

Spike started to laugh, but seeing the look on Buffy’s face he quickly became serious. “But you don’t kill humans slayer,” he said with an amused tone, as if the threat had no impact on him.

Angel shifted into game face and lifted Spike up with one hand, “She might not, but I will.”

Spike looked deep into the eyes of his mentor and could tell he was serious. “OK, fine. What do you want me to do?” he said with a deep sigh.

“Go to the school, ask for Dumbeldore and tell him that Harry and a girl have Portkeyed out of Hogsmeade. We’re going to find Hermione and Ron,” said Angel letting go of Spike.

With that he once again sniffed the air trying to find Harry’s best friends. Buffy shifted her eyes skywards and offered a silent prayer to whatever deity had kept and brought her back so many times to keep the young wizard she had grown fond of safe and alive.

* * *

Hours Earlier

“Long lost words whisper slowly to me/Still can’t find what keeps me here/When all this time I’ve been so hollow inside/I know you’re still there”

“We’ll see ya, Harry,” Ron told his best friend, nodding towards Anastasia who was standing by herself in the Gryffindor common room.

“Good luck,” Hermione added, patting his arm and giving him a little shove in Anastasia’s direction.

“Anastasia?” Harry asked, cornering her.

The common room was even louder than usual, as everyone was preparing for their night in Hogsmeade. Sydney had stopped in to say she was going to London for a little while and didn’t know when she’d be back. Buffy and Angel were sombre as they explained they were leaving for Los Angeles (wherever that was) to attend the funeral of their friend Cordelia. Angel had given strict instructions to Spike – another vampire with a soul – to watch over Harry while they were in America.

“I don’t need a keeper guys, thanks,” Harry had said with a dismissive wave of his hand.

“Don’t think of it that way, Harry,” Angel replied, wrapping his arm around Harry’s shoulders like a father would to his son. “In fact, you should be babysitting Spike. He’s corporeal now, so he can get into trouble and we wouldn’t want that. Just don’t let him out of your sight, okay?”

“Yeah?” Anastasia said weakly, breaking Harry’s train of thought.

“Um, are you ready to go?” he asked half-heartedly. She had her cloak on; it was obvious she was ready.

Harry invited Spike into Hogwarts, which allowed him to explore the grounds.

“Your school’s pretty interesting,” Spike offered, lagging behind the two silent teenagers. He shrugged his shoulders when they didn’t reply.

Instead he spent his time leering at everyone in and around Hogsmeade, who knew immediately he was a vampire.

Anastasia walked into Honeydukes and Harry was obliged to follow.

Spike stood outside and yelled for the whole world to hear, “Aren’t you gonna invite me in? Still a vampire, ya know!” Blushing in embarrassment, Harry invited Spike in and they descended on the shelves of sweets in the shop. Anastasia stepped away to buy something and then thrust the package into Spike’s chest. He looked at her with a funny look, but nearly smiled when it was a blood lolly.

“Thanks,” he said, a little taken aback by her generosity when they hadn’t spoken two words between them.

The night dragged on for Harry. They went into nearly all the shops: Dervish and Banges, Zonko’s, plus Gladrags. After an excruciatingly quiet stop for Butterbeer at the Three Broomsticks, Spike was in a very angry state of mind: angry at Angel for pinning this responsibility on him, and angry at Harry and Anastasia for not doing anything remotely interesting on their date.

Anastasia made her way to the Shrieking Shack, just when Spike had worked himself into a murderous tizzy. Almost like a movie in extreme slow motion, Harry watched as Anastasia reached for his hand and the necklace she had always worn around her neck. But the look on her face made him realize she wasn’t the one doing it. She tried to say something and her eyes locked onto Harry’s in fear, but before Harry could react, there was a tug around his middle like a hook and Harry knew immediately they had used a Portkey.

They landed in a heap in each other’s arms. Blushing and slightly angry, Harry helped Anastasia to her feet and helped brush her off. A nasty smell overwhelmed their nostrils suddenly. It was dark and it smelled of decaying bodies and dead flowers. They were in a crypt.

“Where are we?” Anastasia asked timidly.

“Is this your idea of a joke? Why was your necklace a Portkey?” Harry asked.

Anastasia shook her head violently. “That’s advanced magic Harry. I could never do that.”

“It was me.”

A voice Harry hadn’t heard since last year, a voice he had hoped never to hear again unless it was to take her life, invaded his ears. Harry fumbled for his wand and gestured for Anastasia to do the same. His heart began to race, knowing that Sirius’ murderer was less than ten feet away from him and he would get his revenge now if he could help it. Harry racked his brain for all the spells he had learned and wished that someone else was with him, oddly enough Angel, Buffy, and Sydney popped into his head.

Lit by the light of a single torchlight, Bellatrix Lestrange stepped from the shadows, grinning evilly at both Harry and Anastasia.

“The Dark Lord will be pleased. Expelliarmus,” Lestrange muttered, pocketing both Harry and Anastasia’s wands in her pocket.

“Watching me wanting me/I can feel you pull me down/Fearing you loving you/I won’t let you pull me down.”

* * *

“Hermione, Ron!” shouted Angel as they jogged up to the startled young couple. Both teenagers looked up at Buffy and Angel warmly but as they neared them, their smiles faded.

Hermione was the first to ask, “It’s Harry isn’t it?” Buffy nodded solemnly as she and Angel watched the two best friends pale considerably.

“It seems the girl he was with Portkeyed him somewhere.” said Buffy looking at their reaction carefully to discern whether they thought Anastasia might be the kind to pull something else.

“But…Anastasia wouldn’t do something like this would she?” asked Ron looking between Hermione, Angel and Buffy.

Hermione shook her head grimly as she said, “I don’t know now. But our main priority is trying to find out where they are and how to get them out. Have you warned Professor Dumbledore?”

Angel nodded and said, “We sent Spike to tell him but we can’t wait around for him. Did Harry mention any specific places from his visions or dreams where she might have taken him? I’m guessing this is the work of Voldemort unless Anastasia could pull this off herself?”

Hermione shook her head violently, “Anastasia’s as timid as a rock. Portkeying is an advanced form of magic that you don’t learn until way beyond seventh year, she couldn’t have known how to do this. The only possibility is…..” suddenly Hermione was struck by a thought, “Buffy do you remember that night we met Sydney and she was telling us how Gabrielle Delacouer was telling her about Hogwarts and then something came over her and she fled?”

Buffy nodded remembering the night clearly as Hermione continued, “I might be wrong but it seems both of them were under the Imperius curse and didn’t act alone. It seems like Voldemort is behind this.” Ron shuddered at the name.”He might have been manipulating Anastasia all along and now she’s portkeyed them somewhere. The last known place of Voldemort is a cemetery that he Portkeyed Harry to last time to bring himself back to in human form.”

Buffy thought for a bit, “Do you guys know where this cemetery is?”

Ron shook his head, “No. Sorry.”

Buffy sighed and sharing a look with Angel she jogged back to the school, they had only one hope of finding Harry in time.

* * *

“Tap on my window knock on my door/I want to make you feel beautiful/I know I tend to get insecure/It doesn’t matter anymore.”

“It’s a beautiful night tonight,” said a voice somewhere to the left of Sydney.

“Not as beautiful a night as one would expect in London,” Sydney said to the man who sidled up beside her. She had taken a seat on a bench in a local London park, as the dead drop instructions advised her.

“Nice to meet you, Agent Bristow. I’m Tom Quinn,” said the man, as he took his place next to her. “I don’t know why they bother with this cloak and dagger sometimes. If we could just pop into a coffee shop, life would be so much easier.”

Sydney smiled. “If that’s what they say we do, we do. But if you’re inviting me out for coffee later, I’d love to go.”

“It’s snowing in Scotland, isn’t it?” Tom said, “a good dose of Butterbeer would do us some good, not coffee.”

Sydney paused, confused by this admission. What would a Muggle MI5 agent know about the Three Broomsticks?

“Anyway, I’m sure you’re aware of the problems with the Covenant as of late,” Tom continued, as if talking about Butterbeer was as normal as talking about the weather.

“Yes, before I was transferred here, we were pursuing a lead regarding Allison Doren,” Sydney offered.

“We’ve heard of her,” Tom interjected.

“I’m sure you would. She has established her contacts list in England for quite sometime now,” Sydney continued. “What’s being done on your end to curtail her influence?”

“Is Professor Vector still as bossy as ever?” Tom asked.

“What are you talking about?” Sydney said evenly. Something was not right, and what she didn’t know was that Professor Snape had hidden himself in the shadows nearby and was performing Legilimency on the man who called himself Tom Quinn.

Unable to let this conversation continue, as Muggles were walking by constantly, Snape stepped from the shadows and withdrew his wand. The park was nearly empty as it was beyond dusk now, but a few people were confused at the thing in Snape’s hand.

“Nice to see you again Julian,” Snape hissed. “Did your father make you take the Polyjuice Potion? Didn’t know it could work on squibs.”

“So what if he did? Would you like the whole of the Department of Magical Catastrophes to come down on you, Severus?” Tom replied, dropping the slightly posh London accent, and adopting a rather familiar one. “Don’t think it’ll look too good in the eyes of the Ministry of Magic to have an esteemed Hogwarts Professor doing magic in full view of Muggles now would it?”

Sydney froze. The voice changed slightly and her skin crawled. Julian…Sark! She ran to Snape’s side, knowing full well what Sark was going to do to the both of them.

Mr. Sark removed a 9mm from beneath his jacket. “Step aside, Severus. Sydney is coming with me.”

“Like hell she is,” Snape bit off the words crisply. Sydney looked at Snape with a growing respect and blushed slightly.

“I will take her by force if you don’t step… aside…. Severus!” Julian threatened, cocking the gun and aiming it directly at Sydney.

“Locomotor mortis!” Snape yelled, just as Sark shot the weapon. But having his legs locked in place made him fall forward and completely miss shooting either Sydney or Snape. Screams erupted from nearby, as did a screeching car. Snape grabbed Sydney’s hand and lunged for a rock formation nearby.

“What the hell was that?” Sydney asked. Snape shook his head. “How do you know Sark?” Again, Snape shook his head. Sydney peered around the rock and watched as Sark struggled to his feet. The undeniable face of Lauren Reed appeared from a BMW. She ran from the driver’s side and helped throw Sark into the backseat before roaring away.

“Sydney, this isn’t a good place to talk,” Snape replied, cutting her off before she even began. “We have to go back to Hogwarts tonight, if Julian Sark is somehow involved in this.” Sydney followed him wordlessly to a patch of trees and they Apparated to Hogsmeade, walking back to Hogwarts in silence. Until Sydney caught sight of Buffy and knew immediately that something was wrong.

* * *

Sydney jogged closer to the running Buffy and Angel who stopped so she could catch her breath. Buffy frowned in confusion, “Aren’t you supposed to be in London?” she asked the spy who had caught her breath quicker then the running students and teacher who were following behind.

“Yeah, turns out it was all a set up. Wait, aren’t you supposed to be in LA?” asked Sydney furrowing her eyebrows in confusion.

“We’re all supposed to be trying to help Harry, not trying to find out why we aren’t somewhere we aren’t needed,” muttered Angel looking towards the school which was near them now.

He jogged ahead as Buffy and Sydney ran to catch up with him, “Harry’s missing. He and the girl he was with Portkeyed out of Hogsmeade somewhere. We don’t know where they are, but we think the girl was under the Imperius curse, same as that Gabrielle girl you told us about. Seems that Voldemort has been controlling them both,” explained Buffy as they ran into the entrance hall.

“Where’s Dumbledore’s office?” asked Angel scanning the deserted hall as if that would give a clue to the Headmaster’s whereabouts.

“It’s……..” started a puffing Hermione.

“I heard about Harry,” said Dumbeldore appearing from no where followed by Spike, “It seems Tom, or Voldemort as he likes to be known, has taken Harry back to the graveyard where he performed the spell to get his mortal body back.”

Sydney and Buffy paled considerably, “Oh God! Anastasia’s with him too!” shrieked Hermione shaking at the thought of her best friend trapped and with no way out, Cedric Diggory’s death had left a horrible imprint on Harry, but Anastasia’s might just kill him.

“I have an idea,” said Buffy grimly, “But I’ll need a phone and I know phones don’t work in…….” she didn’t finish her sentence as Dumbeldore materialised a phone in his hand.

“Like this one?” he asked, as Buffy stared in astonishment.

“Go ahead, it works,” urged Sydney.

Wasting no time, Buffy fished in her pocket for a number and was greeted with Willow’s warm voice.

“Hello!”

“Hey Will, it’s Buffy. Listen I need you to do a locator spell for Harry. Seems he’s been magically transported somewhere he shouldn’t be, we know it’s a graveyard somewhere but……”

“I…I….Buffy it’s too far for me to do a locator spell, but I’ll do my best. I’ve still got a map of England from my rehabilitation. Giles tried to point out all the nice castles and stuff they have over there, but hey still oozed up on the mojo and hurting from Tara’s death. But I’ll do my best,” said Willow.

She put the phone on the hook and in the background she heard some chanting and then Willow scrambling back up.

“He’s definitely in a cemetery, one in a town called Little Hangleton,” said Willow helpfully.

“Thanks Will,” said Buffy putting the phone down. Dumbledore sent it back to his office with a simple spell.

“Willow says he’s in Little Hangleton, they have a cemetery there, don’t they?” offered Buffy.

Snape stood back amazed, from just one phone call the Slayer had found out the location of Potter? Amazing. “Who is this witch? Even Albus doesn’t have the power to do a locator spell from across wherever she is.”

“LA,” Spike offered, “Good on Red! Now, let’s go kick some bad guy ass!”

“Good, we have a location. Let us go,” said Dumbeldore but turned back when he saw the youngest two attempt to join them, “No Mr. Weasley and Miss Granger. You can’t come. I don’t think Harry would appreciate you coming along this time.”

“Look, if they get to go, so do we,” said Ron fiercely, “Harry’s my best friend and the longer we take talking the more time he has to get killed. So, we’re coming Professor. I couldn’t live with myself knowing I could have helped Harry.”

All 3 adults nodded at Ron’s assessment, all knowing from experience that even if he couldn’t save Harry he’d have at least tried.

“Severus…..” started Dumbeldore.

“Yes, I’ll tell Minerva and guard Hogwarts. Can’t have my cover blown, now can I?” said Severus heavily. Sydney looked at him with a sense of pity and something else she couldn’t quite put her finger on. They shared one final look, nearly a goodbye, but not quite.

And in a twinkle of an eye, everyone except Dumbeldore crowded around Buffy’s necklace. Dumbeldore waved his wand and they were gone.

“Hunting you I can smell you – alive/Your heart pounding in my head/Watching me wanting me/I can feel you pull me down/Saving me raping me/Watching me”

Fade out

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