For backstory, peep The Alliance of Destiny: A Virtual TV Series.
Written and Directed by Humaira K and Gill P
David Anders as Julian Sark
Shiri Appleby as Anastasia Darcy
Melissa George as Lauren Reed
Jason Issacs as Lucius Malfoy
Alan Rickman as Severus Snape
Maggie Smith as Minerva McGonagall
Sydney landed with a thump on her rear as she tackled the vampire. Without checking to see where she was bleeding, she charged at it with renewed vigour and successfully dodged a blow. Using the time to kick the vampire down and quickly stake him.
It was like a war zone as the increased vampire activity in Hogsmeade was coming to a very dusty end. Harry was holding his own with spells and the fighting he’d learned from all 3 of them. Hermione was struggling a bit, but Ron…Ron was onto his fifth vampire of the night
It seemed Ron had found his talent.
Sydney jogged over to Hermione who was losing as the vampire suddenly caught her by the throat in a death grip. Before he could suffocate her, Sydney staked him and Hermione fell to the ground choking on the vampire dust and from trying to relearn how to breathe.
Sydney didn’t stop to help Hermione because she knew she would be fine. Harry and Angel were doing well and she joined the fray once again.
“The Dark Lord sees your weaknesses,” growled a vampire.
“Oh yeah? Well, I see yours bub, and it ain’t pretty,” quipped Buffy as she stared at the ugly vampire in front of her. It seemed ever since their confrontation with Voldemort the vampire activity in Hogsmeade had increased so dramatically she was having to need all the help she could get. Right now, there were half the vampires there had been when the night had started, and they kept coming each night.
Buffy kicked the vampire in a roundhouse kick and as it stumbled onto the ground she squashed his throat and staked him.
Voldemort was doing everything he could to take them down, but he hadn’t reckoned on the might of the Alliance of Destiny.
“When it gets cold outside and you got nobody to love/You’ll understand what I mean when I say/There’s no way we’re gonna give up/And like a little girl cries in the face of a monster that lives in her dreams/Is there anyone out there cause it’s getting harder and harder to breathe/Is there anyone out there cause it’s getting harder and harder to breathe.”
* * *
“Last night/She brought me to/The state of mind/In an empty room/ White light/The kiss of life/A and E/On a Saturday night.”
“You know, I don’t think I’ve ever taken a train anywhere,” Buffy said, as the Hogwarts Express jerked on its track.
“It’s the only way we get to and from Hogwarts,” Anastasia said, adjusting her Muggle sweater slightly. Why she allowed them to drag her along was beyond her, even though she was a tiny bit excited. “I mean, it’s not like Hermione or I can Apparate.”
When Sydney confided in Buffy that she hadn’t been on a real date in ages, Buffy took it upon herself to arrange a shopping excursion in London the week before her big date with Professor Snape.
Professor McGonagall gave Anastasia and Hermione special permission to leave Hogwarts on Saturday, but they were to be in Gryffindor Tower by ten o’clock and no later or “suffer the consequences.” Professor Dumbledore spoke to the conductor of the Hogwarts Express, who readily agreed to shuffle them to and from King’s Cross station. Professor Snape tried to maintain a professional demeanour when he passed Sydney in the hall, but it was a difficult task, as all Sydney wanted to do was kiss him. She settled for casting seductive glances to make him hot under the collar.
Within an hour or two of gossiping and giggling between the four young women, they arrived at Platform 9 3/4 in one piece.
“Where to first?” Buffy said excitedly, after passing through the barrier, her arm wound tightly around Sydney’s.
“Um, there’s a little boutique I know we can go,” Sydney said, leading the way out of King’s Cross to hail a cab. As promised, Sydney gave the address to the cab driver who drove them to a posh section on the West End.
“Sydney, can you afford Mug-um, the clothes here?” Hermione asked, watching the extremely nice shops fly by the window.
“I’ve decided to charge it to my account,” she said airily. Paying for outfits to go on missions was not new. The CIA had set up a traveller’s account for her long ago, to pay for such amenities as hotel rooms, clothes, weapons, and the like. Sydney would make this a deduction in her CIA spending account. They owed her big time. Paying for a nice dress and shoes on a date was the only time she would abuse this privilege.
“I like that one!” Anastasia breathed, as Sydney stepped out from the silk curtains in a shimmery black dress.
Buffy was sandwiched between Anastasia and Hermione and the three of them were enjoying Sydney’s impromptu fashion show, after Buffy ordered the salesgirl to bring everything they’ve got and to buzz off in the meantime.
“Nah, more skin!” Buffy yelled.
“Ooh, yellow doesn’t look good on ya, Sydney,” Hermione said, as Sydney stepped out with a spring like orange floor-length dress.
“Makes me look like a sunflower, huh?” Sydney replied agreeably, turning in the floor-length mirrors in the boutique’s dressing room.
“More skin!” Buffy insisted.
“What do you mean ‘more skin’?” Anastasia elbowed Buffy. “It’s still winter out here! It’s better she get a long dress so she won’t be cold.”
“Anastasia…. Hermione,” Buffy began slowly, wrapping her arms around both Anastasia and Hermione’s shoulders, “I think it’s time to tell you two young girls about the birds and the bees…”
“Ew, gross!” Hermione cried, leaping away from Buffy immediately.
“That is okay,” Anastasia said primly, removing Buffy’s arm from her shoulders.
Buffy shrugged. “Well, if you ever need someone to break it down for ya…”
“What?” Sydney’s voice was muffled through the drawn curtain.
“Nothing,” Buffy singsonged. “More skin!”
After a few more dresses, nixed by the three more than once, Sydney stepped out with a short, spaghetti-strapped black dress that showed off her cleavage and long legs.
“Finally!” Buffy cheered, clapping her hands.
“Don’t stop, and don’t look back/Cos your love’s like a heart attack/Come on/I can’t stop, I can’t turn back/Feel your love like a heart attack/Come on.”
* * *
Severus Snape was finding it very, very hard to not ravish Sydney Bristow right in the corridor. He thanked Merlin that he had survived worse torture at Voldemort’s hands when he had not been pleased with the intel Severus had provided.
He settled for a nod and walked on his way before his self control could be unbuttoned.
He had noticed that the four women were whispering furiously and giggling like mad. Sighing he turned a corner to run into the vampire Angel.
Angel nodded at him but seeing the other girls going out to shop for what he knew was their date he suddenly didn’t know how to dress. He had Muggle attire of course, but it was mostly casual.
“Mr. Angel,” he said before Angel turned the corner.
“Yes Professor Snape,” said Angel turning around.
“I don’t think we’ve properly met, and this is a little embarrassing. I wonder if you could help me with something,” said Severus turning the corner and leading Angel to his private rooms.
Whispering a spell he entered.
“Um….need to be invited in,” said Angel quietly.
“Oh yes, I’m sorry I forgot. I invite you in,” said Severus.
Angel stepped into the richly decorated green living room. A study’s door was open and the other room he guessed was Severus’s bedroom. Rich mahogany furniture complimented by the trademark green and silver of Slytherin.
“I…I need some help shopping for tonight’s date with Sydney,” asked Severus looking down at the floor.
“Oh well…….I…….um………you do know I’m a vampire so I can’t go shopping in the daylight,” said Angel.
“I do, that is why I will transfigure some of my other clothes to what is acceptable for a dinner date in the Muggle world,” said Severus stiffly.
“Uh huh, well, you’ll need. Oh heck, wait a minute. I’ll be back,” said Angel jogging away and leaving a confused Potions Master in his wake.
Severus waited 10 minutes before the vampire came back. He wondered how he had avoided the sunlight but didn’t bother asking.
In his arms he carried a full tuxedo.
“I think we’re the same height and build. Try it on, you can make it longer if you want,” said Angel handing the tuxedo over.
“I….I…..thank you,” said Severus stunned at the vampire’s generosity.
Angel waved him away and settled down near one of the chairs by the fire.
No one had ever treated him like an equal much less be this generous upon their first meeting mused Severus as he changed. He had to lengthen the tuxedo a bit, but it fit perfectly.
Stepping out he faced Angel’s critical gaze.
“Yeah, that looks good, although we might have to do something about your hair. I had longer hair before I chopped it off. Might wanna tie it back a bit. That’s how I coped with it,” suggested Angel.
Severus readily tied the hair back and stood looking at himself in the mirror. He had to say he did look good and it had been more years then he cared to admit since he’d had a date.
“I’ll return this to you tomorrow,” said Severus stepping back into the room wearing his customary garb.
Angel nodded and gazed back to the flickering fire obviously lost in his own thoughts.
“I don’t know Sydney well enough to threaten you with the big brother routine, but if you do hurt her I will kill you,” said Angel quietly but the threat was obvious.
“I rather think Sydney would hurt me beyond recognition if I ever hurt her. And I never would intentionally, I…..well, it’s been a long time since I’ve been attracted to a woman or been noticed by one,” explained Severus.
Angel nodded and the two men sat staring at the fire, each lost in their own thoughts, sitting in companionable silence.
* * *
“Stars shining bright above you/Night breezes seem to whisper I love you/Birds singin”Stars shining bright above you/Night breezes seem to whisper I love you/Birds singin’ in the sycamore trees/Dream a little dream of me.”
“After you,” Severus said to Sydney, leading the way into the posh Italian Muggle restaurant in Scotland.
“Thank you,” Sydney said, shivering slightly under her long black trench coat. ‘I should’ve listened to Anastasia!’ Sydney was mentally kicking herself. But the dress had done its job. Severus hadn’t been able to keep his eyes off her the whole night.
“So how long have you been teaching at..” Sydney paused and became conscious of the crowded room. “at your school?”
“Nearly fifteen years,” Severus replied proudly. It was an accomplishment on his part, considering his past, to even be teaching.
“Ron Weasley was telling me the other night that you have a liking for Defence Against the… um, even though you do what you do,” Sydney supplied, sipping on her champagne.
“I want nothing more than to prepare my students for the horrors in the world. And there are many, Sydney. I only wish to arm them with all the information that I can, but Professor Dumbledore has seen fit to assign me as Potions Master. If I cannot teach what I originally applied for, then I do my best with what I’ve got.”
“Do I detect a hint of sarcasm in your voice, Sev?” Sydney asked jokingly.
“Professor Dumbledore gave me a second chance when no one else would. I would never speak ill of him,” Severus replied, noting how she had shortened his name already.
“There you are!” said an annoyingly familiar voice before Sydney could speak again. She glanced over her shoulder and her mouth dropped open in surprise. Julian Sark and Lauren Reed, dressed to the nines, were being led to their table by a waiter.
“I’m sorry, but…” Severus began, eyeing the couple.
“Sorry we’re late,” Sark replied grandly, talking over Snape and pulling a chair out for Lauren. Severus stood up chivalrously, but shot daggers from his eyes at Julian. “Before you say another word, hear me out.”
“We’ll do no such thing,” Severus replied coldly.
“Well, you’ll have to,” Lauren replied just as icily. “We’ve got people stationed around this restaurant on shoot-to-kill orders for both of you, if we don’t leave this restaurant in one piece.”
“Sydney,” Sark began, turning towards her. “I do wish we could’ve spoken under more cordial circumstances, but you never seem to be in one place long enough for me to talk.”
“Get on with it Julian,” Sydney spat. “Or I’ll stab you in the throat with my salad fork.”
“Simple enough. Come work for me. We’ll continue the search for Rambaldi’s endgame.”
“Rambaldi? Milo Rambaldi?” Snape questioned. “What are you playing at?”
“You know as well as I that you are the woman on page 47,” Sark said airily, unwavering as he watched Sydney twirl her salad fork in her hand. “If you come to work for me, we can find out more about the Passenger.”
“No,” Sydney said simply, although her interest was piqued at the sound of ‘The Passenger.’ “I chased after Rambaldi artefacts to keep it out of your hands. I’m not obsessed with Rambaldi like you. I’m not my mother.”
“No?” Lauren asked. “Rambaldi was more than just an architect Sydney. We have found papers that Rambaldi himself wrote for the Passenger to channel his essence.”
“No,” Sydney said firmly. “I don’t want to hear anymore of this!”
“You will regret this,” Sark warned her. “The true scope of Rambaldi’s work is yet to be found. You, as the woman in the prophecy, can help bring it about faster, but since you’re doing this the hard way…”
“And just what are you going to do about it?” Severus threatened him.
“Don’t threaten me, Severus,” Sark spat. “I can just as easily inform the Dark Lord of the fact that you’re… I guess you could say, sleeping with the enemy.”
Severus shot up like someone had poked him with a pin, disrupting the table in his sudden movement and momentarily, the crowd in the restaurant as well. Sydney grabbed his wand hand and knew immediately what Severus was thinking: battle the little twit and curse him into death.
“Severus, no. You can’t do that here,” Sydney said.
“She’s right you know,” Sark said, sipping on a water glass. “Well, my work here is done.” He turned to Sydney. “You have twenty-four hours to accept or reject my proposal. I’ll be waiting.”
“Like hell you will,” Sydney replied. “I refuse.”
Sark pressed his lips together in mock sadness. “Then this is not goodbye, Sydney. This is au revoir, until we meet again.”
Sark led Lauren out of the restaurant and was pleased to see that neither Sydney nor Severus ran after them. They didn’t actually have snipers in the restaurant, but clearly, Severus and Sydney were gullible. That just proved to them that Sydney was primed to become Julia Thorne once again. Lauren climbed into the white stretch limo and Sark followed after. Sark tapped on the wall of the limo three times and the driver fired up the engine and pulled away. Lucius Malfoy aimed his wand at Lauren and whispered, “Obliviate,” as they rushed away in a limo Sark had rented. Lauren’s eyes fluttered.
“Where are we?” she asked, slightly confused.
“We’re on our way home from an excellent dinner,” Sark replied heavily. “You remember. You had a small steak and tomato soup.”
“Oh yes,” Lauren said, as her eyes lit up. “I can still taste it! I should check in with Michael soon. He’ll want to know where I am.”
“I didn’t hear you leave/I wonder how am I still here/I don’t want to move a thing/It might change my memory.”
* * *
“I wonder how Sydney’s going on her date,” wondered Ron aloud. Hermione sighed for the fifth time and rolled her eyes.
“I’m sure he’s torturing her by now, shouldn’t we be able to hear the screams?” said Ron once again prodding Hermione, because of course Hermione and the girls who had gone on the shopping trip knew where Sydney was going on her date.
“No, and I don’t think they’ll be coming back to Hogwarts either tonight to face the Spanish Inquisition,” said Hermione sternly turning back to reading Hogwarts: A History for the umpteenth time since they has started school.
“Ugh! Don’t put images in my head ‘Mione!” said Harry joining in the conversation since he had been staring at the fire for a long while.
“Speaking of images,” said Hermione casually, “what’s this I hear about you and Anastasia being in the fashion show together?”
“What’s she said?” asked Harry not looking at Hermione, but both Hermione and Ron could see a blush creeping at Anastasia’s name.
“She didn’t need to. Every time I spoke about you she turned completely red and went a little dreamy,” said Hermione slyly.
“Do you want something to happen mate?” asked Ron reasonably.
“Yes….no…I don’t know,” said Harry with a sigh as he flopped in his chair he was sitting in, “Ever since Voldemort kidnapped and tortured us, I’ve been doing my best to avoid her. I mean she took me to him last time, what’s to stop her taking me again?”
Hermione was so shocked she got up and smacked the back of Harry’s head.
“Ow! What was that for?!” asked Harry glaring up at her.
“Anastasia was under Bellatrix Lestrange’s curse. Just like Gabrielle Delacour. If anything, you should be helping her, I can’t imagine the nightmares she’s having, but if they’re as bad as yours, Voldemort’s scarred her for life. Anastasia’s a smart, beautiful and wonderful girl and I just hope to god you see that Harry or she’ll be snapped up by someone who’s willing to treat her how she deserves to be treated,” said Hermione fuming with unbridled anger, “with respect.”
And with that she turned and stormed out of the common room, little noticing that not far away, Anastasia heard all and was silently crying.
“I wish you would step back from that ledge my friend/You could cut ties with all the lies that you’ve been living in/And if you do not want to see me again I would understand/I would understand.”
* * *
“I think I just lost my appetite,” Sydney said, placing her fork on her still full plate of food.
“Sydney, they’re gone. They won’t bother us again tonight,” Snape urged her.
“But they will bother us again. If not here, somewhere else,” Sydney sighed heavily.
In an unusual show of affection, Severus leaned over to grasp her hand. “Please. Let’s forget about them. There’s only two of us in this restaurant right now.”
Sydney was touched, physically and emotionally. “I suppose you’re right.
They ate in silence for a few more moments.
“There’s something we’re missing,” Sydney began.
“Sydney,” Severus warned.
“It’s just.. how did Sark know that we’d be right here, right now?” Sydney said. “We should’ve followed him.”
Snape shook his head. She was stubborn, that’s for sure. “I don’t know. But please eat.”
After dinner, they stood in the street, a chill breeze causing Sydney to wrap her long jacket around her.
“I took the liberty of renting a room in a local hotel beforehand,” Snape began. “It’s much too late to return to Hogwarts.” Sydney raised her eyebrows, blushing slightly.
“I hope I am not being presumptuous by assuming our dinner would be so late,” Severus added, noting her facial expression. “Even accounting for Julian.”
“Not at all,” Sydney replied, her heart racing at the thought.
They rode to the hotel in silence.
“Two beds,” Snape said, opening the door. He hadn’t stayed in a Muggle hotel ever, but he hoped he was acting appropriately. They both got ready for bed, turning down the covers, cleaning up, and all that.
“I had a nice time tonight, Sydney,” Severus said, as he curled up under the covers.
“As did I,” Sydney said, her mind racing at what she was about to do. She leaned over to turn off the light. Hoping that Severus was a light sleeper, she threw off her bed covers and padded her way in the dark to the man she knew she was meant for.
“Sydney?” Severus began, as she turned down his bedcovers. His own heart began to race, hoping Sydney would make the first move.
“Severus, please. Kiss me.”
“Say nighty-night and kiss me/Just hold me tight and tell me you’ll miss me/While I’m alone and blue as can be/Dream a little dream of me.”
* * *
Anastasia stared out of the Astronomy tower hurt by Harry’s careless words towards her. She had thought he’d notice she wasn’t herself, and that it was in fact Bellatrix Lestrange’s curse that had caused her to lead him into that nightmare.
“The angry boy a bit too insane/Icing over a secret pain/You know you don’t belong/You’re the first to fight/You’re way too loud/You’re the flash of light on a burial shroud/ I know something’s wrong/Well everyone I know has got a reason/To say put the past away.”
She laughed bitterly.
At least she had a name for the black haired woman in her nightmares now. Bellatrix Lestrange, escaped Death Eater and part of Voldemort’s Inner Circle.
Sighing she realised that Harry could never ever even begin to think of dating her now. Not after what she put him through.
“What about me?” she whispered to no one, “What about what I’ve been put through?”
But of course Anastasia hid her feelings well and got on with everything like usual after that horrific night. Never once allowing herself to remember, to think about what she had been through. She was a little paler then usual and her friends treated her more cautiously.
Some of them had even stopped talking to her once they had heard the rumours of what had gone on, and she faced harsh remarks from the rest of the school for leading the Boy Who Lived into Voldemort’s hands.
The new arrivals at the school, Buffy Summers, Angel and Sydney Bristow had been there. They had rescued Anastasia but none had asked after her since. Of course there had been that shopping trip to London which she remembered with relish.
“No, I must end my life now. Today,” she said aloud miserably, preparing for the blackness to engulf her. After all no one wanted her, everyone hated her and she was not worth it.
Stepping onto the ledge she peered down terrified. It was a long drop, but the darkness would welcome her with open arms. She hoped she died quickly so that at least they could tell her parents she hadn’t suffered.
“Oh mum, dad. I’m so sorry,” she whispered as she prepared to step off the ledge. When they had found out what had happened they had told her in no uncertain terms that Witch or not they were taking her out of Hogwarts. She had begged and pleaded, and her mother pitying her had given her another chance. What surprised them most was when Anastasia volunteered to be part of the fashion show and drum up recruits. They thought things would go back to normal after that.
But they didn’t, Anastasia put on a cheery facade, but inside she was crumbling away. She dared not ask for a Dreamless Sleep potion from Madam Pomfrey because that would raise suspicions.
Stepping off the curb she raised her arms to embrace the darkness and shouted, “Goodbye world!”
* * *
“Well he’s on the table and he’s gone to code/And I do not think anyone knows/What they’re doing here/And your friends have left you/You’ve been dismissed/I never thought it would come to this/And I, I want you to know/Everyone’s got to face down the demons/Maybe today/You could put the past away.”
Prowling around the Hogwarts grounds was not new for Angel. Since Voldemort had stepped up the vampire population, he felt it his duty to keep Hogwarts – and Harry – safe. Dumbledore had once assured him that Hogwarts and the grounds leading up to the Forbidden Forest were well-protected from all sorts of Dark Magic. But he much preferred his role as champion. Even if it meant protecting the house elves from vamps.
“Goodbye world!” a familiar voice wafted down from him suddenly.
“Anastasia,” Angel whispered, smelling the air and rushing towards her. The Astronomy Tower. He hadn’t spoken to her since her abduction by Voldemort. It wasn’t his fault though. He was off protecting Hogsmeade from vampires. His reaction was swift. She had slipped or fallen or something. Angel looked up, Anastasia was falling through midair.
“Damn,” he said, watching in horror, as the heavy body fell like a feather. He caught her and they fell to the ground, from the sheer force of Anastasia’s fall. She was knocked out and Angel moved her in
his arms to be more comfortable, wondering if he could sneak her into her dormitory without disturbing her. She probably had gone for a walk and lost her footing, he assured himself. Anastasia was a good kid, she wouldn’t intentionally try to kill herself. Would she?
Angel received his answer in the next few moments. Anastasia’s eyes began to flutter and the realization of what should’ve happened hit her full force.
“Bloody hell!” Anastasia began screaming at the top of her lungs. “I’m supposed to DIE!” She wrestled herself away from Angel’s embrace and pulled out her wand.
Angel began rolling on the floor, laughing uncontrollably.
Lights were turning on in the nearby house towers, as were windows were opening to find out who was making all that racket in the dead of night.
“Anastasia?” the gentle, calming voice of Professor McGonagall said. She appeared in her tartan dressing gown and slippers.
“WHAT?” Anastasia screamed back. “Stay away from me! Stay away!”
“Go back to your dormitory. Now,” McGonagall instructed the Gryffindors who had followed her. They moved a few inches back, but didn’t dare leave. Anastasia noted depressingly that Harry was not with them.
“Anastasia, don’t do this,” McGonagall said as gently as she could. “We can help you.”
“No, no one can help me! Voldemort tried to kill me, and no one cares! No one cares!!” Anastasia’s shoulders sagged.
“We do, we care greatly about you. To survive something from Voldemort shows what a great witch you are.”
“Serpensortia,” Anastasia mumbled in the general direction of McGonagall. A great long snake appeared out of Anastasia’s wand and in reply, McGonagall flicked her wand, saying, “Vipera evanesca.”
She was tired. She didn’t want to fight anymore. Not anymore.
“I wish you would step back from that ledge my friend/You could cut ties with all the lies that you’ve been living in/And if you do not want to see me again I would understand/I would understand.”