For backstory, peep The Alliance of Destiny: A Virtual TV Series.
Written and Directed by Humaira K and Gill P
Shiri Appleby as Anastasia Darcy
Nicholas Brendon as Xander Harris
Alexis Denisof as Wesley Wyndam-Pryce
Tom Felton as Draco Malfoy
Keira Knightley as Meliza Masterson
A stone structure. Two people lashed to the stone, against their will. Screaming at the top of their lungs. Angel watched as the sky opened, lightning crashed, thunder pounded in his ears. Angel reached out, but he couldn’t stop it. He wass rooted to the spot, only inches away from helping…then suddenly, fire! Flames licked at his body as someone steped forward and began to mutter an indecipherable incantation. People scream and finally Angel can speak.
His eyes blink. Night. In a bed, alone. Nothing else. His brain is swirling with images from a ceremony to channel the power of Merlin.
“Angel?” Sydney’s muffled shout crashed into his ears. She threw her weight against the locked door of their rented cottage in Hogsmeade. Buffy was close at her heels.
“Nightmare?” asked Buffy knowingly, seeing the state of his bedclothes and his sweaty face.
“Yes.. no, maybe a premonition,” Angel said hurriedly. ‘Tell them the truth,’ his conscience counselled him.
The two women crept forward and perched themselves on his bed, looking scared.
“Buffy, d’you remember why I came here? Did I ever tell you why?”
“Yeah, but come to think of it, not really. A prophecy?”
Angel sighed. “I think the Alliance should call a meeting tonight before the kids’ curfew. If my dreams mean anything, then we’re in trouble.”
“Speak to me in a language I can hear/Humour me before I have to go/Deep in thought I forgive everyone/As the cluttered streets greet me once again/I know I can’t be late, supper’s waiting on the table.”
* * *
An owl was pecking at the window of the common room, Harry cautiously let it in recognising it as Angel’s owl. Smiling he picked up the letter and brought it to Ron and Hermione.
“Angel sent a letter,” he said struggling to open the heavy seal with his finger nails.
“I wonder what’s wrong? They’d never send a letter at this time of night unless something was wrong,” said Hermione knitting her eyebrows and stopping to look expectantly at Harry from her book.
“Uh…they want to call an emergency meeting. Now.” said Harry puzzled as he put the letter in his robes.
The owl hooted and Harry said, “Sorry I haven’t got anything for you. We’ll follow you out. There’s no need for a reply.”
The owl hooted angrily and flew away as the Trio went out of the common room to find out what was going on.
“Tomorrow’s just an excuse away/So I pull my collar up and face the cold, on my own/The earth laughs beneath my heavy feet/At the blasphemy in my old jangly walk/Steeple guide me to my heart and home/The sun is out and up and down again/I know I’ll make it, love can last forever.”
* * *
Hermione, Harry and Ron arrived soon after his owl Catsy did. Sydney and Buffy had made tea and it was steaming in its teapot still. Angel was scared, not only for himself but for everyone concerned.
“Glad you’re all here on time,” Angel began. He hadn’t given a big speech like this in awhile. It was usually Wesley and Fred who broke the news of prophecies.
“What’s up Angel?” asked Harry.
“First of all, I’ve been having these really strange dreams. Even before I came here.” Angel paused. “It was because of this prophecy I heard back when I was Angelus.”
Hermione recoiled. Angel shook his head. “Still not Angelus, so don’t worry. But sometimes I get vestiges of memories from him. I don’t know who’s telling me, the Powers That Be or Angelus himself, but that’s why I called you all here. I think you should know.”
He cleared his throat, “The blood of the Slayer at the beginning of the twenty-first century, and the blood of the boy born as the seventh month dies, will come together to inherit the source of all magic. Defined in the book of the Dead is the ritual to bring forth the source of all magic and the one who has denied their true self will be able to channel and command the source of all magic at their fingertips. The Channeler will be the one to be feared.”
Harry’s eyes became large behind his round glasses, as did Buffy’s. Sydney grabbed for their hands and held them.
“I think the people involved are me, Buffy, and you, Harry.”
“But all prophecies are up for interpretation. You cannot automatically assume it’s Harry, you, and Buffy!” Hermione cried out.
Ron was staring at Harry almost blindly, dropping his teacup on the floor, shattering cleanly into three pieces. No one made a move to clean it up.
“Well, Hermione, you’re the smart one. Any ideas on who it could be?” Sydney asked softly.
“No, but I can find out.”
* * *
“Oh Maria/Sit here by the window/Stay here/And when we go, hold my hand, I’ll take off/Tell me what I already know.”
“So another prophecy huh Buff?” said Xander conversationally as they made their way to the castle. It was just as enchanting as the others had described and even more beautiful up close.
A big hairy thing gave a cheerful wave to Buffy who smiled and waved back at it before returning to her conversation with Xander.
“That was Hagrid, first introduced me to Hogwarts and Butterbeer,” said Buffy making her way into the grand entrance hall with Xander in tow.
“Buff…. prophecy? I get the sense you’re not dealing with what Deadboy,” said Xander, but with a glare from Buffy corrected, “Angel told you. Don’t go all shuty on me.”
Buffy sighed wearily. Another prophecy another war. She smiled bitterly, “The powers that be just can’t leave me alone Xand. I can make a scene about it or accept it. It’s no longer my duty anymore but if it’s a case of stopping some bad ass that could potentially have all the magic in the world or saving my own lily white ass, I choose to fight. What’s to think about?”
Xander nodded as Buffy led him to the Gryffindor’s painting where the Fat Lady stood, “Password?”
Xander stared. “The…..The painting talked….with the password and the….” he said with his jaw dropping. The Fat Lady smiled, very amused to see the Muggle was impressed by Hogwarts and her in particular.
“Phasmatis,” said Buffy as the painting swung forward and Buffy scrambled into the portrait hole with Xander at her heels.
“Buffy!” said Harry noticing that the portrait hole had opened.
“Harry! Where’s Ron and Hermione?” said Buffy hurrying over to his table where piled of parchment and books were spread out liberally.
“Ron’s out on the Quidditch pitch practicing and Hermione’s in her room. She’ll be down shortly,” said Harry smiling at her.
“And Anastasia?” asked Xander quietly.
Harry heaved a sigh and pointed to a raven haired girl looking out of the window, completely disconnected from the room.
“I’ll take you over to her,” said Harry getting up as Buffy interestedly scanned all the books and parchments.
“Anastasia?” he said cautiously.
His voice seemed to bring Anastasia out of her stupor as she slowly turned her head.
“Uh….this is Xander. He’s a friend of Buffy’s,” said Harry.
“That we can’t talk about it/No we can’t talk about it/Because and someone nearly fell/ and ringing Pavlov’s Bell/History shows there’s not a chance in hell.”
She turned to look at Xander who stepped back in horror. Her eyes were haunted with a faraway look he recognized very clearly as it had been in his eyes just a couple of months ago.
“Hi!” he said cheerfully, coming closer to her.
“What do you want Harry?” asked Anastasia wearily. She had been reliving that night again, and the torture scenes just kept replaying in her mind.
“Uh…Buffy thought Xander could help,” said Harry.
“Yippee. Another person who thinks he can fix me,” said Anastasia sarcastically moving away from the window to flop down in one of the common room chairs. Harry shrugged as Xander carefully made his way over to Anastasia.
She made to get up but he firmly placed a hand on her shoulder.
“Know how I lost this eye?” he said conversationally, “Some badass poked it out of me because I saw things. I was the Slayer’s best friend and I didn’t have any super powers but he took my eye.”
Anastasia remained quiet.
“See they’ll never know what it’s like to have the spotlight taken away so quickly. They deal with it and move on. We don’t, we have to live with it because it’s the price we pay for knowing them,” said Xander.
“And what if that price entails torture that you just keep playing and replaying in your mind?” asked Anastasia bitterly.
“Then you deal with it and move on because it’ll eat you up inside. I’ve seen pain consume both of my best friends and the results were never good i.e. like trying to end the world,” said Xander.
“Buffy….?” said Anastasia awestruck.
“Not Buff, Willow. My best friend since childhood. When her lover died she flayed her killer alive and then tried to end the world, of course, after she kicked Buffy’s ass. And then I went to her and told her I loved her, and she hurt me with the magics and I kept telling her I loved her and she finally broke down.”
“So, are you going to tell me you love me then?” said Anastasia bitterly staring at the fire which danced in her eyes.
“I’m not qualified to do that. But I know someone who is,” said Xander. At this she looked up questioningly, “Harry.”
“What can he do?! He’s too scared to come near me! I heard him and his friends talk about me. I know what everyone is saying.”
“And you let them win by allowing them to get to you. I nearly ended it all when my fiancee died in the final battle of Sunnydale, but something told me that I’d just be betraying her memory and what she fought for if I did. What happened to you was horrible, but normal by Sunnydale standards. You know Angel? When he was Angelus he managed to torture Buffy’s Watcher, Giles, before Buffy came to save him,” said Xander.
“But … we’re only two/It’s going/I won’t let it show/denial/believe.”
Anastasia looked horrified.
“As much as I hate Angel, he’s a good guy now. He’s been working for redemption for five years after he was brought back.”
“Hell, of course.”
“He went to hell?”
“Oh yeah. World was ending, he was Buffy’s boyfriend turned evil and she had to put a sword through his heart even after he got his soul back.”
“Jeez, I never knew.”
“No one does. The point of my little reminiscing is that whatever you have been through is horrible, but you have to let it out before it consumes you. Find someone you trust and just let it out. Bitterness will just swell up and harden your heart, let it out and you can move on.”
“But Harry, what he said about me….”
“Harry’s been through a lot too according to Buff. This is your first time being tortured and if you let him help you, the healing process can begin,” said Xander beginning to get up.
“I think it’s already begun,” said Anastasia quietly.
Xander smiled and went over to Buffy and Harry, leaving Anastasia lost in thought.
“That we could talk about it/But we could talk about it/Because nobody knows/… and ringing Pavlov’s Bell/history shows …”
* * *
“I can’t believe I’m saying this, but my head hurts,” Hermione complained. She was poring over a thick stack of books she had borrowed from Madame Pince. “Everything is incomplete. Every time I chase something down remotely connected to Angel’s Channeler prophecy, it stops abruptly.”
“You’ll find something Hermione,” Ron encouraged her.
It was the day after Xander’s first appearance in the common room.
She eyed him and heaved a thick book his way. “Good, you can help me then.”
“Her-mione,” complained Ron.
“How goes it?” Angel asked appearing from between their common room chairs.
“Hi,” Hermione said listlessly, burying her face in the book again.
“I don’t understand this!” Ron said crossly.
Angel bent over his shoulder to peer at the book with weird drawings and such. “Yeah, I don’t understand this either.”
“See?” Ron said maddeningly, staring at Hermione pointedly.
“Fine! I’ll look for it on my own then!”
“I’ve got an idea,” Angel began. “One of my friends, Wesley, former Watcher, he’ll find anything you want him to. D’you think I should give him a call?”
“Whatever you think will help us because our library here has hardly anything on your prophecy,” Hermione said, near tears. This was a big thing for Hermione; to swear to find something and then not follow through.
“Consider it done.”
* * *
“We stand on a wall of happiness/We stand on a wall of love/We stand on a wall of security so high above/With his arms wrapped all around me/It was like a fairy tale.”
“Harry,” said Anastasia bringing Harry out of his intense concentration as he looked up from the Transfiguration book he was making notes from in the quiet of the Hogwarts library.
“Yeah?” he said cautiously.
“I….I’m sorry. For what happened. I honestly didn’t know what I was doing. Please forgive me,” said Anastasia quietly, head bowed. Her eyes weren’t even meeting his as she shuffled away from him.
“Anastasia!” called out Harry receiving a death glare from Madam Pince.
Anastasia turned around and looked back at him expectantly. Harry hurriedly gathered his books and put them in his bag as he joined Anastasia.
“Let’s find somewhere quieter to talk,” said Harry.
“This is somewhere quiet,” mused Anastasia.
“Yeah but somewhere where the librarian doesn’t wish me dead,” said Harry earnestly, walking quickly before Madam Pince could reprimand him.
They hurried outside and Harry led her to his room where he dumped his things, knowing that he wouldn’t be able to concentrate now.
“Wow, so this is your room huh?” said Anastasia looking around impressed.
“Yep” said Harry.
“Look, what happened. I dealt with it, but when I heard about the suicide attempt I felt really bad at the way I treated you, and it’s me who should be sorry.”
“Forget about it, I have.”
“You haven’t,” said Harry quietly, “You still get nightmares right? It’ll never leave you, but you have to learn to deal with it.”
“And my parents seem to think a therapist will help,” said Anastasia bitterly, “I think she needs help to be honest. She asked me to DRAW! Draw I tell you!”
“Draw what?” asked Harry curiously.
“My feelings about the whole thing I guess,” said Anastasia shrugging and flopping down on Harry’s bed.
“Two people so in love/Tell me how could this fail, how could it fail/The walls start shakin’ her love right now/Happiness is given away, security is fallin’ down/He fell when I fell, another is left to tell.”
“And have you?”
“Well, since I was forced to go and have to keep going, yeah I have.”
“I never got a therapist, but from what you’ve said I’m kind of glad.”
“Yeah, you’re right. I should have known she was crazy. She was wearing an orange sweater!”
“Yeah, like the fruit. Although now I think about it, she’s the fruit.”
Anastasia sighed, “Look Harry I can’t change what happened but I can assure you, I’m not still under her spell.”
“But, your pendant…..”
“I thought it was from you actually, so I wore it to show you I liked it.”
“Ah well, now you know never to put on strange gifts. Happened with Ginny in my second year. She got Tom Riddle’s diary and then bad things happened.”
“Who’s Tom Riddle?”
Anastasia flinched at the name as it evoked bad memories, but she took deep breaths and looked Harry in the eye.
“Ginny Weasley?! I heard rumours, but I never thought they were true.”
“Ginny took a long time to deal with it, but now she’s much more confident and happier.”
They stayed silent for a while as Anastasia made to get up.
“I forgive you.”
Anastasia smiled her first real smile in ages and walked out the door.
* * *
“This girl I know needs some shelter/She don’t believe anyone can help her/She’s doing so much harm, doing so much damage/But you don’t want to get involved/You tell her she can manage/And you can’t change the way she feels/But you could put your arms around her.”
“You look happy,” Meliza said as she came upon Anastasia in the courtyard. She clutched her Muggle jacket around her tighter and made a motion for the two of them to sit down on a bench nearby.
“I feel genuinely happy,” replied Anastasia honestly. “None of this fake stuff that I’ve been putting on to get by.”
“Did my rose help?” Meliza ventured.
“Yes, it did, and a bunch of other little things that are coming together. Closure, that’s all I needed and it’s slow going, but it’s here.” Anastasia sighed and smiled at her new friend, but Meliza was distracted for a moment when a sudden disturbance appeared. “Mel?” Anastasia asked, looking at where she was glaring.
Draco Malfoy, and his crew, Crabbe and Goyle, appeared, scaring the few first and second years enjoying the rare sunshine away with a nasty facial expression.
“So Anastasia Darcy, is it?” Draco hollered from across the yard, announcing his presence. He loped his way towards them as Goyle and Crabbe flanked him.
“That’s what my parents named me. You must be Malfoy? I know you only by reputation,” Anastasia said. She hadn’t really had any contact with Malfoy, but she knew of his rivalry with Harry somewhat.
“‘Tis me,” he said puffing his chest out. He put on a face of mock sadness. “Heard about your suicide attempt.”
Anastasia didn’t know what to say, so Draco turned his attention to Meliza, who was simmering nearby.
“How goes it mudblood?” Draco said with a false sweetness to Meliza.
“Worse, now that you’re here, you little ferret,” Meliza replied. He still had not apologized for not sticking up for her in front of Pansy.
“Really? I thought a bit of pureblood in your atmosphere just might change you!” he fired back coldly.
Meliza fumbled for her wand in her pocket, but Anastasia stopped her.
“Let’s go,” Anastasia said, pulling her friend by the arm away from Malfoy and his cronies, who were laughing uproariously.
“I know you want to live yourself/But could you forgive yourself/If you left her just the way/You found her.”
Anastasia dragged her to the greenhouse, where Meliza finally yanked her arm back. Meliza leaned her back against a wooden table to breathe slowly in and out, watching the floor.
“What was that about?” Anastasia asked.
“Nothing,” Meliza replied, still doing her slow breaths.
“What are you doing?” Anastasia asked, “something’s going on between you and Malfoy, and it’s not just hatred because you’re half and half.”
“I can’t tell you, it’s private, and I’m breathing like this because that’s what my therapist told me to do when I get angry.”
“Mel, if we’re going to be friends, you have to tell me… wait, what? Therapist?”
“Remember when we first met?”
“Vividly,” Anastasia replied.
“I told you that you weren’t alone. My… my mum committed suicide when I was seven.”
“Mel,” Anastasia’s heart broke and she reached out for her and Mel accepted her embrace.
“I mean, she was so happy all the time. My dad never got any inkling that she was unhappy, but for some reason, she was. My brother Oliver said she remembered her being happy all the time too.”
“You have a brother? I’m an only child.”
“Yeah, from my dad’s first marriage. His first wife died in the First War with You-Know-Who.” Meliza paused to catch her breath and let out so many feelings she had kept bottled up inside. “So my dad sent me to St. Mungo’s for therapy because I got really sad after she left us. I mean, at first, he and Oliver didn’t have the heart to tell me what had happened. The only thing they could tell me was that ‘She’s gone to heaven and she’s never coming back.'” Meliza chuckled. “I thought she had popped to the shop for the sweets she had promised me that morning.”
Anastasia held her hand. “How did she die?”
“She jumped off a building.”
Anastasia wrapped her in her arms and held her tightly, as Meliza began to cry.
“I stand in front of you/I’ll take the force of the blow/Protection/I stand in front of you/I’ll take the force of the blow/Protection.”
* * *
“Hey Wesley. Great to see ya!” said Angel as Wesley stood at his doorstep.
“They’ll try to stop the dream we’re dreamin’/But they can’t stop us from believing/They will fill your head with doubt/But that won’t stop us now/So let them say we can’t do it/Put up a road block/We’ll just run right through it.. Cause…”
“Hello Angel! So, this is your humble abode? Very nice,” said Wesley scanning the hallway and looking at the bare walls.
“Come in!” said Angel taking Wesley’s bags and carrying them to the other guestroom. “Xander’s next door. I’m across the hall and Buffy and Sydney are on either side of my door. Bathroom’s down the hall to your left.”
“Very nice. I’m sorry did you say Xander was here?” queried Wesley, his interest piqued.
“Yeah, Buffy called him on account of a crisis we’ll explain later. They’re all at the Shrieking Shack at the moment. I’ll take you their once you’re settled in and less jetlagged,” said Angel dumping Wesley’s suitcases in his room.
“Well, let me freshen up a bit and we’ll go. I must say I’m very curious about this prophecy,” stated Wesley.
“You did bring the books right?” said Angel his brow furrowing.
“Yes, I called Mr. Giles as well, and he was kind enough to loan me some rare texts that might help. On loan from the Los Angeles Museum.”
“Huh,” said Angel as he left Wesley to get refreshed.
Wesley splashed his face with cold water, had a quick shower and changed into cleaner clothes. By the time he came down, he felt much better.
Angel had prepared some tea and dinner, seeing as everyone else had probably had dinner at Hogwarts.
“We can, do the impossible/We have the power in our hands/And we won’t stop ’cause we’ve got/To make a difference in this life/With one voice, one heart, two hands, we can.”
“Ah! Real tea at last!” said Wesley sighing with happiness. “This is something I missed in America. That and beans on toast.”
Tucking into his dinner he told Angel about what had been happening at the Los Angeles office, and asked Angel to sign a few documents.
By the time he’d finished, Angel had signed the documents and was up to date so far.
Wesley vowed to send the documents by post the next day.
When they arrived at the Shrieking Shack, the chatter halted as Angel led Wesley in to meet the gang.
“Buffy,” said Wesley quietly.
“Wesley. You’ve changed, for the better. Glasses really didn’t suit ya, and where did you get those clothes. If I wasn’t in cookie baking stage I’d say eat me!” said Buffy staring at Wesley in wonder.
“They say the odds are stacked against us/But that can’t hold us back, we will be relentless/There’s a voice they’re gonna hear/A voice so loud and clear/So let them say we can’t do it, give us a mountain/and we’re gonna move it.. cause..”
Wesley smiled although he was confused while Angel glared at Buffy.
“Hi, I’m Sydney Bristow,” said Sydney stepping forward to shake his hand, smiling he grasped hers tightly.
“Don’t even think about it, she’s taken,” said Xander knowledgably as he shook hands with Wesley.
“Oh that doesn’t matter, I’m taken too,” said Wesley.
Angel cocked an eyebrow, “Not Lilah again? I mean their should be limits to what you do with ghosts!”
“No, no. Fred actually,” said Wesley dreamily.
“Ah, so you finally got together! How is she?” asked Angel genuinely happy for his friend.
“Busy in her lab as usual,” said Wesley as he was introduced to the rest of the group.
“We can, do the impossible/We have the power in our hands, and we won’t stop/Cause we’ve got to make a difference in this life/With one voice, one heart, Two hands, we can.”
“Hi….I’m Hermione Granger,” said Hermione shyly extending her hand.
“Hello Hermione. A pleasure to meet you,” said Wesley smiling broadly. Angel had told him about this witch’s intelligence but he hadn’t realised how young she was.
“Right, so shall we crack on with the prophecy?” asked Wesley spreading out the books he had brought with him.
Angel gave him the paper on which they had written down the prophecy and they began to work.
“I can (oh I can)/Do the impossible (do the impossible)/I have the power in my hands, and I won’t stop/Cause I’ve got to make a difference in this life/With my one voice, one heart, two hands, we can.”