Episode 11: Old and New

For backstory, peep The Alliance of Destiny: A Virtual TV Series.

Written and Directed by Humaira K and Gill P

Guest starring

Shiri Appleby as Anastasia Darcy
Nicholas Brendon as Xander Harris
Tom Felton as Draco Malfoy
Colin Firth as Alexander Darcy
Genevieve Gaunt as Pansy Parkinson
Elizabeth Hurley as Natasha Darcy
Keira Knightley as Meliza Masterson
Katie Leung as Cho Chang
Megan Mullally as Cassandra Rhys

“Did you hear about Anastasia Darcy?” Cho Chang whispered to Meliza Masterson during lunch in the Great Hall. Meliza and Cho were notorious gossipers and their friends around them immediately tuned out.

“No,” Mel said eagerly. “What?”

“She tried to kill herself by jumping off the Astronomy Tower last night. Screaming at the top of her lungs!”

Meliza looked over her shoulder. She knew of Anastasia Darcy, having had classes with her in their previous years. Mel didn’t know what to
expect by looking over at the Gryffindor House table. Anastasia wasn’t there.

“How did she survive? She’s still alive right?”

“That vampire, Angel, saved her or something. Or maybe Dumbledore saved her. He’s always saving Harry. I expect he’d do the same for her, seeing as how they were together when You-Know-Who… I remember in fourth year during that Quidditch match and we had all those Dementors around.” Cho shivered, but her face became slightly condescending. “I always knew she was a bit off her rocker,” Cho continued loftily.

Mel leveled her gaze on the older girl. “You had your chance with Harry. He blew it,” Mel replied. “Just ’cause she’s dating him now doesn’t mean you have to badmouth her.”

Cho looked positively shocked as Mel swept her robes around her and took off.

‘If only Cho knew,’ Mel thought sadly.

Meliza went straight to the greenhouses. Her singing roses were in full bloom, and sang a doo-wop harmony as Meliza watered them down. She planned on teaching them a few songs her mother knew from her own childhood, if final exams weren’t too rough on them this year, which the professors had said they would be. NEWTS were coming up quickly on them.

“Why does my heart skip a crazy beat?/For I know it will reach defeat!/Tell me why, tell me why?/Why do fools fall in love?”

“Fancy meeting you here,” Draco said huskily, trying to sound sexy and irresistible.

“Hi,” Mel replied listlessly.

“What’s up?” Draco said, switching gears immediately. “I saw you leave.”

“Do you know Anastasia Darcy? Sixth year Gryffindor?”

Draco recoiled slightly. “No.”

“Liar.”

“So what?”

“She nearly killed herself that’s what!”

“Calm down, Mel. Obviously she’s had problems before all this. You can’t help people like that. They’re too far gone. Best to just cart them off to St. Mungo’s and be done with it.”

Meliza looked at him, aghast, as she put down her watering can. “I just wish there was something I could’ve done.” She breathed heavily, thinking back to her own spotty past. “We all know she was kidnapped by You-Know-Who.”

“Rumours, hearsay,” Draco said airily. “I wouldn’t believe anything that primadonna Potter says anyways.”

“Shut up,” Meliza said on the verge of tears. “What would happen if You-Know-Who kidnapped and tortured me, huh? What would you do? Would you call me a liar too?”

Draco walked over to envelope Meliza in his embrace, kissing her forehead. “No, because You-Know-Who wouldn’t get within two inches of you. He’d have to mess with me first.”

Mel wasn’t comforted by the thought though. Hearing about Anastasia’s suicide touched something off in Meliza that she hoped would never rear its ugly head again.

“In an effort to be nice,” Draco began, “why not send Suicide Girl one of those roses you’re growing here?”

Meliza blinked away her tears. “Draco,” she said, looking into his eyes, “that’s a wonderful idea!”

Draco smirked. “Since I’m so brilliant, I know of one way you can repay me.”

Mel grinned, but watched as Draco’s face fell.

“What?” Meliza asked cautiously.

“Julian’s coming here. He sent an owl asking after our next Hogsmeade weekend.”

“Draco, you should tell him how you feel,” Mel counselled him.

“I should bloody well hope that git knows how I feel about him!”

“No, I mean not with your actions and innuendo. Give him a chance. I’m sure he’s not all that bad.”

“Hmph,” Draco replied. “Why don’t you meet him for yourself? Then you’ll see how much of a prat he really is.”

“Fine, I will,” Mel said resolutely, setting her jaw.

Draco smiled mischievously. “Now about that repayment…”

“Love is a losing game/Love can be a shame I/I know of a fool, you see/For that fool is me!/Tell me why, tell me why?”

* * *

“Anastasia Darcy?” called a soft voice at the therapist’s office. The secretary ushered her into a spacious room with the standard desk and psychiatrists’ couch.

The school and her parents had decided that after her suicide attempt that she needed help and had arranged for therapy at St. Mungo’s. This was Anastasia’s first visit and she didn’t know what to expect.

Visions of a man stroking a beard invaded her memories as her Muggle TV viewing gave her the cliche of a therapist. What she got instead made her jaw drop.

The therapist looked up and waved brightly at Anastasia and motioned for her to sit down. Anastasia couldn’t take her eyes off the therapist’s clothes, her therapist wore a bright orange top and had on dark trousers as she stepped from her chair and came to sit across from Anastasia who perched cautiously on the couch.

“I hide my pain like the rest of them/That’s why I’m always laughing/I’m troubled, I’m br /illiant and miserable too/That’s why I am so funny/I swallow down all my fears/With a bottle made of silver/I’ve only been here for 27 years/ But already my life is over.”

“Hi,” said Anastasia in a small voice as she tried to ascertain what this creature expected her to do.

“Hi,” repeated the therapist

“Um…. aren’t you supposed to be y’know fixing me or…I dunno taking notes or something?” asked Anastasia looking around the stark office.

“Why are you here?” asked the therapist, staring straight into Anastasia as if trying to read her thoughts.

“I tried to commit suicide and failed. They think I need help,” said Anastasia quietly.

“Do you think you need help?”

“Maybe?”

“But, you’re not sure?”

“I don’t know. What would getting helped achieved? I’m not a doll; you can’t put me back together because I’m broken.”

“And why do you think you’re broken?” the therapist put her chin in her hand with an exaggerated gesture.

“Because I was tortured by Voldemort, I nearly got Harry killed and I myself was tortured,” said Anastasia bitterly.

“Uh huh,” said the therapist before going back to her desk and rummaging for a while whilst Anastasia looked on curiously.

“I want you to draw me out how you feel by our next session, time’s up. See you next week.”

Anastasia stared at the sketchbook she had been given.

Draw?! Was this woman crazy?!

“Um… are you sure you want me to draw?!” asked Anastasia sceptically. “You don’t wanna prescribe a potion or Muggle pills or anything?”

“Oh yes, quite sure,” said the therapist turning back to her paperwork leaving Anastasia to get up and walk out reeling.

* * *

“And cut you like you want me to/Cut that little child/Inside of me and such a part of you/Ooh, the years burn.”

“Harry, we’re not blaming you or anything,” Hermione began delicately.

Harry was devastated after hearing of Anastasia’s suicide attempt. Angel had recovered from Anastasia’s spell during the night and had told them everything. Buffy had grabbed his hand and held it tight as Hermione paced the floor. They had converged in the Shrieking Shack for an impromptu meeting.

“She couldn’t be helped,” Ron added. Hermione shot him a Look.

Ron shrugged his shoulders. “Tea anyone? Hermione, I’ll need some of those bluebell flames you can conjure.”

Buffy squeezed his hand. “It’s not your fault, Harry. We were all hurt by that experience with You-Know-Who,” Buffy said gently. “Maybe we should’ve done more to look after Anastasia. She’s not as tough as she seems.”

“I used to be a little boy/So old in my shoes/And what I choose is my choice/What’s a boy supposed to do?/The killer in me is the killer in you/My love/I send this smile over to you.”

“It is my fault,” Harry moaned angrily. He leapt up suddenly and looked out the window to the snow-covered grounds surrounding the Shrieking Shack. “I was being a total prat to her this whole time. It’s just that…” his voice trailed off.

“What?” Buffy asked.

“Nothing,” he muttered.

“What did I miss?” Sydney trilled happily, dressed in jeans, entering the room. She took in the grim faces of her friends and knew something was up. Hermione pulled her aside and spoke in quiet whispers as to what had transpired and Sydney went to comfort Harry immediately. But he shrank away.

“Harry, stop acting like that,” Angel ordered him.

“Stop acting like what?” Harry shot back. He stared down Angel, who refused to back down either.

“Are you two done?” Buffy asked irritably. “I have an idea.”

“Disarm you with a smile/And leave you like they left me here/To wither in denial/The bitterness of one who’s left alone/Ooh, the years burn/Ooh, the years burn, burn, burn.”

* * *

“Super Trouper beams are gonna blind me/But I won’t feel blue/Like I always do/’Cause somewhere in the crowd there’s you.”

“Hello?”

“Hi Xand! Listen I’ll cut to the chase. I have an interesting situation that I need help with,” said Buffy looking around curiously at Dumbledore’s office. After explaining the situation to Dumbeldore, who of course already knew, she asked if she could borrow the phone.

Dumbeldore had been delighted that it was being used more now then it had been in a century and readily gave it to her.

Buffy dialed a number she knew by heart, feeling guilty that she hadn’t called Xander or talked to him after the funeral, but if he came she’d make sure to spend some time with him before he left again.

“I’m listening,” said Xander easily and from the slurping sounds Buffy guessed he was in a bar.

“Are you in a bar somewhere Xand, ’cause I hear ya slurping but no usual bar sounds,” said Buffy suspiciously.

“Nope, I’m on a beach enjoying the sun,” said Xander happily.

“You remember that boy I told you about? Harry? Well, there was an incident and he kinda got kidnapped by the bad guy and we rescued him and this other girl who he was on a date with,” said Buffy carefully.

“Well, that was definitely a mood killer. But I guess Harry’s not the problem, come on Buffy, give me the twist,” said Xander.

“Well, the girl, Anastasia was kinda under a spell and she transported him to where the bad guy was, she got tortured and Harry’s been kinda avoiding her. Last night she nearly committed suicide but luckily Angel got to her before she could end it all,” said Buffy.

She heard sounds of choking and said worriedly, “Xand? Xand?! You OK?!”

“I’m OK now….WHAT?! How old is she?” asked Xander.

“16.”

“Huh, I remember when you died at 16, except this time Deadboy’s good for something.”

“Yeah, but I’m glad I had you to bring me back to life, twice. And don’t call him that, you know he gets cranky,” said Buffy irritably but she could almost see Xander’s smug face.

“Eh, all in a day’s work,” said Xander nonchalantly.

Buffy chuckled at him, “So, I was wondering maybe you could come over to talk to her? She’s not insane, just doesn’t have much confidence and what she went through was pretty intense. I mean, remember all the times I tried to run away or I dunno, nearly get killed,” said Buffy playfully.

“Yeah but you had a destiny. This kid’s just an ordinary person like me, and it’s hard for us ordinary people to be in the limelight and then have it taken away so suddenly,” said Xander softly.

“Is that how you felt Xand?” asked Buffy her voice choking. She had never known that without super powers, Xander always felt out.

“At the time I did, but hey Caleb took out my eye because I see things. So, I guess I had a role after all,” said Xander and Buffy could see him shrugging.

“Xand, you always had a role. You were the heart of the group, you kept us together,” said Buffy comfortingly.

“But I walked out on Anya on our wedding day and now she’s dead,” said Xander choking a sob back.

“Anya’s death was not your fault. I can assure you, she’s probably bugging everyone in heaven by now and they’ll be ready to send her back, but I know she’s happy. She paid her debts and she was at peace with herself. She loved you and you loved her. I think it’s time to accept she’s not coming back, but she’ll always have a part of you just like Cordy,” said Buffy.

“So I’ll be there when you arrive/The sight of you will prove to me I’m still alive/And when you take me in your arms/And hold me tight/I know it’s gonna mean so much tonight.”

“Thanks Buff. Tell ya what, I’ll come over to wherever you are, or you might have to come get me or whatever, but I’ll come Buff,” said Xander.

“Thanks Xand,” said Buffy smiling and giving him directions to the school.

* * *

“Just like the white winged dove/Sings a song/Sounds like she’s singing/Whoo, whoo, whoo/Just like the white winged dove/Sings a song/Sounds like she’s singing/Ooo baby, ooo, said ooo.”

Anastasia was escorted back to Hogwarts by her parents after her first therapy session, feeling a little perturbed. The scenery rolled by in the carriages drawn by invisible horses from Hogsmeade Station.

They were shocked to hear that Anastasia had tried to commit suicide, of course.

“That’s it!” her mother had screamed at the top of her lungs. “You’re not going back to that school! We’re sending you to Beauxbatons, like we should have in the first place!” She had sent a Howler to Professors Dumbledore and McGonagall, demanding to know why there weren’t any counselling sessions at Hogwarts for people who have come into contact with He Who Must Not Be Named.

Anastasia’s father wrapped his arm around his shoulder, kissing her on the side of her head, as her mother continued to pace the floor, half screaming, half muttering to herself. “Perhaps we should’ve allowed you a holiday or two, here at home. Expecting you to focus on school so soon after your ordeal was too much to ask of you.”

“There you go darling,” Anastasia’s mother said with a false sense of cheer, pulling Anastasia into a warm embrace. Any faith she had in Hogwarts was dispelled when Anastasia nearly ended it.

But both Anastasia’s father and Anastasia insisted she must face her demons at Hogwarts and deal with it in her own time and her own way. That’s the only reason why she agreed to go to the therapist in the first place.

“Buck up pud,” her father said affectionately. They shared a warm smile and Anastasia sighed, ready to face whatever was waiting for her at school.

“And the days go by/Like a strand in the wind/In the web that is my own/I begin again/Said to my friend, baby/Nothin’ else mattered.”

Anastasia was passing the greenhouses when an unfamiliar voice stopped her in her tracks.

“Hey, you’re Anastasia right?” the girl with the beautiful smile asked.

“Yes,” Anastasia replied warily, “do I know you?”

The girl grinned and rubbed potting soil from her hands. “Maybe, maybe not. I’m Meliza Masterson. Ravenclaw. We’ve had History of Magic together before.” Meliza stretched her hand out, which Anastasia took politely.

“Anastasia Darcy, but I bet you knew that already.”

“Yeah, I did,” Meliza said breezily. “So come in. I’ve got something to show you.”

“Well, I, uh, wasn’t planning…” Anastasia stuttered.

“Come on,” Meliza urged, disarming Anastasia with a smile.

Anastasia couldn’t help but follow. There was something she liked about the girl already.

“He was no more than a baby then/Well he seemed broken hearted/Something within him/But the moment that I first laid/Eyes on him all alone/On the edge of seventeen.”

“So I’m only half witch. My dad’s a wizard, went to Hogwarts and all that. He was in Gryffindor though, like you,” Meliza began. “My mum’s American and took a trip to Europe as a graduation present from my gran.” She took a watering can and began watering down a brilliant set of roses, which started to sing. Anastasia’s mouth dropped open in surprise.

“Like ’em? My dad sent them to me after visiting Italy.”

“I think they’re brilliant,” Anastasia said, forgetting for a moment her problems.

“You can actually teach them songs. At least that’s what he said,” Meliza added. “One of my friends is in the choir, so I’m hoping she’ll teach them something.” She smiled. “So I heard about you.”

“Did you?” Anastasia asked, falling back into her little space of anger like a cloak.

“I just wanted to let you know…” Meliza said, turning to Anastasia gravely. “You’re not alone.”

“Just like the white winged dove/Sings a song/Sounds like she’s singing/Whoo, whoo, whoo/Just like the white winged dove/Sings a song/Sounds like she’s singing/Ooo baby, ooo, said ooo.”

“What would you know about me? Huh?” Anastasia said hotly. Maybe it was the fact that the therapy session left her unsettled, but she felt a floodgate open and here she was, taking it out on someone she hardly knew. ” I don’t even know you and you’re certainly not qualified to judge me, okay?”

Meliza pressed her lips together, shaking her head knowingly. “I knew you’d say that.”

“Fine!” Anastasia said. The singing roses ceased to sing as her voice rose. “So what did you want?”

“I wanted to give you this,” Meliza said, bending down to grab a flowerpot. Buried in the fresh dirt was a single singing rose. “Just water it once a day and it’ll sing for a few months. I thought you could use a bit of cheerfulness to look forward to.”

Anastasia was floored, but accepted the rose silently.

“I went today, maybe I will go again tomorrow/And the music there it was hauntingly familiar/And I see you doing/What I try to do for me/With the words from a poet/And the voice from a choir/And a melody, nothing else mattered.”

* * *

“The remedy is the experience. This is a dangerous liaison/I say the comedy is that it’s serious. Which is a strange enough new play on words/I said the tragedy is how you’re gonna spend the rest of your nights with the light on/So shine the light on all of your friends because it all amounts to nothing in the end.”

“Buff!” called Xander as he stepped into the arrivals lounge at Edinburgh airport. Buffy jogged up to him and hugged him tightly. “Buff, human here, and no Sumo suit, so let up a bit,” said Xander smiling at her.

Sheepishly Buffy let him go and stared at him. His eyes were not as hollow as she remembered and she saw a tan had developed on his skin, he was actually starting to look healthier and happier then she’s seen him since both Anya and Cordy’s deaths.

“It’s good to see ya Xand,” said Buffy slipping her hand in his and leading him out to the dreary weather outside.

“So, this is Scotland huh?” said Xander looking around.

“Yeah,” said Buffy as she silently led him to the rented car that Angel had arranged. He still didn’t like Xander and vice versa but for Buffy and Anastasia’s sake they had a mutual agreement to be civil to each other.

Rolling into Hogwarts Xander was amazed at the scenery and the size of the castle. Of course they had to leave the car on the outskirts of Hogsmeade, and walk on foot, but Xander was enchanted by the village and of course the school.

“It’s beautiful,” said Xander in awe.

Buffy led him to a creaky old house near the Shrieking Shack which Angel had rented out for himself, Buffy and Sydney.

It had gotten too expensive to stay at the Three broomsticks, although Buffy did miss Madam Rosmerta’s motherliness and sauciness. She was quiet a character, so they had all paid up and after much arguing, Angel had rented out the house for the three of them.

Xander was to have the spare bedroom, since Angel had anticipated that they would have guests from time to time, so he had gone for a bit of a mansion to accommodate them all.

Leading Xander to his room, Buffy pointed out her, Sydney and Angel’s rooms and bathroom, kitchen and living room. It was cosy and sparsely furnished as they were never really home.

Most of the time was spent in the Shrieking Shack, which had become the Alliance’s unofficial headquarters or Hogwarts.

Buffy helped Xander unpack as he cheerfully told her he had been travelling America again, doing odd jobs to raise money to move to the next town.

When they had fully unpacked it was nightfall, but Xander had a lot of energy so Buffy suggested he accompany her on patrol and meet the rest of her friends.

“Are they like you?” asked Xander.

“I won’t worry my life away/I won’t worry my life away.”

“You mean slayers?” said Buffy arching an eyebrow, “Nah. Well, ya know Angel. But there’s Sydney who’s a spy/assassin, Harry who’s the boy who lived and kinda prophecy boy, Hermione and Ron who are his best friends and well me. Hermione’s a genius and Ron’s well, Ron. But he’s a really good fighter. He gets better and better everyday.”

“And Anastasia?” asked Xander

“We don’t really know much about her, except Hermione tells me she’s in Harry’s year and his house.”

“House?”

“I’ll tell ya about it later over some Butterbeer.”

“Butterbeer?”

“Later Xand! Let me work up an appetite before I tell ya about the world I live in now. Sorta. Anyway, Anastasia’s a solitary kinda girl, very quiet. It was amazing she asked Harry out and then well, she kinda led him into danger and you know the rest.”

“And no one’s talked to her about it since?”

“Well, we were kinda busy. Voldemort sent more and more vampires to Hogsmeade and after the fights I just kinda forgot about her. Only Angel managed to save her, and she was kinda hysterical that she hadn’t died.”

Xander and Buffy remained quiet for the rest of the trip to the graveyard and as they stepped in, a vampire attacked Xander.

* * *

“Oops,” Pansy Parkinson trilled as she dumped too much bat guano in Meliza’s cauldron, completely ruining her Temporary Health concoction.

Meliza heard the whizz and felt the execution of a spell hit the back of her head during Transfiguration. Her hair stood straight up on end. Professor McGonagall sent her to Madam Pomfrey for a hair restoration draught amid gales of obnoxious laughter from Pansy and the other Slytherin girls.

“Draco! This is getting out of hand!” Meliza yelled at Draco in the hall outside of Arithmancy. “She had to know about me and you!”

Draco’s blue-grey eyes darted back and forth, noting only a few jumpy first-years watching. “Calm down, Mel. I’ll talk to her.”

“Dra-co! Just the man I wanted to see,” Pansy simpered suddenly, a few of the other Slytherin girls crowded around her, as they came upon the two of them in the hall.

“Tell her,” Meliza ordered under her breath, trying to keep her composure. “Tell her!”

“Tell me what, mudblood?” Pansy fired back, training her dark eyes on Meliza’s.

Draco looked conflicted and stuttered.

“Tell her Draco!” Meliza screamed.

Draco hesitated for too long before Meliza stormed off in a huff.

“Dra-co,” Pansy repeated, “what was that filthy mudblood on about?” She sidled up to him, her voice like honey.

“I have to go,” Draco replied, shrinking back and taking off.

“Why does my heart skip a crazy beat?/For I know it will reach defeat!/Tell me why, tell me why?/Why do fools fall in love?”

* * *

Before the vampire could even so much as try to bite Xander, he’d staked it before it could register that it was dusted.

Twirling it in his hands he said in his best commercial voice, “Stakes, don’t leave home without ’em!”

“My life is like a fairytale/That nobody believes in/I can’t remember anything/Not the people, not the places I’ve been/Just one more day you can make it, babe/That’s what I tell myself/And everything that I love in life/It is killing me, ’cause it’s bad for my health.”

Hermione and the rest had watched the scene with awe as Xander had flawlessly and quickly dusted the vampire.

“Wow,” she breathed staring at the jokey manner in which he’d treated the staking.

“And I already have a fan club, no autographs please,” said Xander smiling at Hermione and holding up his hand against fake light bulbs.

Hermione blushed as the rest of the gang converged on Xander.

“Xander,” said Angel coldly.

“Deadboy,” said Xander, just as coldly.

“Hi, I’m Sydney Bristow. You must be Xander!” said Sydney holding out her hand and a warm smile.

Xander shook it heartily gazing appreciatively at Sydney. “Sorry mate, she’s taken,” said another voice as Ron held out his hand. “Ron Weasley. And not by me unfortunately.”

Xander laughed as Hermione shyly extended her hand, “I’m Hermione Granger.”

“Nice to meet ya Hermione,” said Xander smiling at her and that left one other.

“You must be Harry right?” he said extending a hand.

Harry nodded, waiting for the familiar check of the scar but Xander did no such thing. Reluctantly Harry shook Xander’s hand and smiled shyly.

“So, if there’s no more vampires, can we go eat? Buffy hasn’t fed me yet,” said Xander cheekily.

Buffy nudged him playfully and said, “Well, I don’t sense any vampires.”

Xander coughed, “Deadboy

“Apart from Angel,” said Buffy glaring at Xander.

“OK, OK. I’ll play nice,” said Xander under her glare, “as long as your promise not to bite me. Or I’ll set Willow on you.”

Angel rolled his eyes and noticing Buffy’s glare said, “Fine. I’ll be good.”

Satisfied, Buffy took Xander’s arm and led him to The Three Broomsticks to sample the delights of Butterbeer.

“And I need to unwind, yes, and I/I need to unwind, yes, and I/Want all the time/To be loved, to unwind.”

Fade out

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