Episode 19: Homecoming

For more information, check The Alliance of Destiny: A Virtual TV Series page.

Written and Directed by Humaira K and Gill P

Guest starring

Shiri Appleby as Anastasia Darcy
Nicholas Brendon as Xander Harris
Alexis Denisof as Wesley Wyndam-Pryce
Alyson Hannigan as Willow Rosenberg
Keira Knightley as Meliza Masterson
Monica Potter as Otrere
Alan Rickman as Severus Snape
Michelle Trachtenberg as Dawn Summers

“The only problem is we need to go to Otrere’s homeland to resurrect her body,” Willow explained. She and Hermione were standing side by side, explaining to the others assembled in the Shrieking Shack about the process of separating Buffy and Otrere.

“Listen as the wind blows from across the great divide/voices trapped in yearning, memories trapped in time/the night is my companion, and solitude my guide/would I spend forever here and not be satisfied?”

“Will it hurt?” Otrere asked fearfully.

“No, not at all,” Hermione reassured her.

“I’ll book your flight,” Wesley offered immediately, standing up.

“Book a ticket for me too, Wesley,” Xander said to him suddenly. Wesley gave him a look, but nodded in comprehension.

“Xander,” Willow began. “Maybe it would be better if you stayed. They’ll need you here for demon duty in Hogsmeade.”

“I would like to have Xander there,” Otrere argued politely. “just in case.”

Willow gazed at her, but shrugged her shoulders, “Whatever you want.”

“And I would be the one/to hold you down/kiss you so hard/I’ll take your breath away/and after, I’d wipe away the tears/just close your eyes dear.”

* * *

“You’re going too?” asked Harry looking uncertainly at Xander. They had broken the news about their departure to the kids and Xander still had to tell Dumbledore’s Army about the departure.

“I’ll be back though, can’t miss Anastasia in high heels, I promised,” assured Xander placing a calming hand on Harry’s shoulder.

“But who’ll be in charge then?” asked Harry frowning at Xander.

“If you, if you could return, don’t let it burn, don’t let it fade/I’m sure I’m not being rude, but it’s just your attitude/It’s tearing me apart, It’s ruining everything.”

“Angel. Angel will stay here and so will Syd. We’re taking Hermione though, she’s a part of the research team and besides, when will she ever have the opportunity to help resurrect a long dead Amazon warrior and bring Buffy back?” said Xander jokingly.

Seeing the look on Ron’s face he assured, “She’ll be fine. She’s got Willow, me, Otrere and Wesley looking out for her.”

“What about me?” asked Dawn uncertainly looking at Otrere who hugged her and said, “I never had a sister but you’ve been a very good sister to me. I only hope that your own sister appreciates you as much as I do.”

Dawn smiled and said, “You will come back right Otrere? I kinda wanna see what you really look like.”

Otrere smiled, “I’ll come back Dawn. though my body has been dead for many years, I do not know what the damage to it will be, or if we can make it comes back properly. If I cannot come back whole I have asked to be cremated so as to let my spirit rest in peace.”

Dawn tried fighting back tears as she hoped that Otrere came back in one piece along with Buffy. She’d grown quiet fond of the Warrior.

“But I’m in so deep/You know I’m such a fool for you/You got me wrapped around your finger/Do you have to let it linger/Do you have to, do you have to/Do you have to let it linger?”

* * *

“Behind you!” Meliza cried.

“I was six years old/When my parents ran away/I was stuck inside a broken life/I couldn’t wish away/She was beautiful/She had everything and more/And my escape was hiding out and running for the door.”

She tossed a sword to Anastasia, who spun around quickly and beheaded the vulture demon who had lunged at her.

“How do you like that?” Anastasia cheered herself on, brushing her hair out of her face with a grandiose motion.

“Somebody listen please/It used to be so hard being me.”

“I can’t believe your mum let you out for demon duty tonight,” Meliza replied, breathing heavily, after slaying the vampire she had cornered.

“I know,” Anastasia replied. She blushed. “Actually, she didn’t. She doesn’t know I’m here. I gave her a sleeping potion on the pretence that it was a special blend of Muggle tea Ted brought from America, just so she’d leave me alone. Otherwise she’d stay in the dorm all night, asking my opinions on her ideas for the fashion show and ‘What do you think about them darling?'” she said, doing an uncanny impression of Natasha. “It’s just a bonus that I’m out here.”

“All the days collided/One less perfect than the next/I was stuck inside someone else’s life and always second best/Oh, I love you now ’cause now I realize/That it’s safe outside to come alive in my identity.”

Meliza threw her arm around Anastasia’s shoulders and squeezed. “I’ve taught you well grasshopper. Is your dad coming to the show?”

“Oh yeah,” Anastasia said in a moment of clarity. “He has another showing of his artwork, but he’ll be here in time to see us prance up and down the catwalk like a bunch of overdone animals in a dog show. Not that I don’t support the idea of Muggle awareness, I just don’t know how a wizarding fashion show is gonna help. We need to get out there and hand out literature, offer classes for adult wizards in Diagon Alley, we need our Muggle Studies classes changed to have a wider perspective…”

“Whoa, you’re really into Muggle awareness, aren’t you?”

“Yeah, well, I enjoy charity work. Last summer I tutored children of my parents’ friends, ones who have magical prowess. I loved it. But don’t tell my mum that, otherwise she’d have a heart attack that I might be showing interest in something she likes.”

“Living in the shadow/Of someone else’s dream/Trying to find a hand to hold but every touch felt cold to me/Living in a nightmare/A never-ending sleep/But now that I am wide awake/My chains are finally free/Don’t feel sorry for me.”

They giggled as two more demons came from the Forbidden Forest. The two teenagers eyed each other, knocked their weapons together in a silent moment of solidarity, and ran screaming towards them.

* * *

“Right. So by our calculations, this is where your body was slain,” Hermione said, peering out in the middle of the lonely field.

“Are you sure?” Otrere asked worriedly.

“Does anything look familiar?” Willow asked, looking at the map over Hermione’s shoulder as she spoke. They had hiked all day to end up at one wide, grassy field.

Otrere looked around. Things had changed in all the centuries she had been sleeping. “No, nothing.”

“Maybe we should keep walking?” Xander asked. “I’d rather not see some spectacular destruction of Otrere’s soul and Buffy’s body if we’re in the wrong place, thank you very much.”

Otrere looked at him almost sadly. Though she had lived in this world for a short time, everything was becoming commonplace. But for some reason, Xander was still a mystery to her that needed to be solved.

“We don’t have much time,” Otrere said. “The full moon will rise soon enough and I would like to meet Buffy, if I may be so honest. To know the woman whose memories are reborn in my dreams.” She looked trustingly at Hermione and Willow, who looked at her encouragingly. “If they say this is where I was killed, then it is.”

“Why? Why are you going to risk your life, and Buffy’s, on speculation?” Xander shot back. He was getting whiny and he didn’t know why.

“I have faith.”

“But I’m in so deep/You know I’m such a fool for you/You got me wrapped around your finger/Do you have to let it linger/Do you have to, do you have to/Do you have to let it linger?”

* * *

“Hey,” said Sydney prancing into Severus’s rooms and planting a kiss on his cheek. He looked up distractedly from his marking and sighed.

“I’m not going to finish this tonight. Third year Gryffindors and Slytherins will just have to wait an extra day. I don’t know. The idiocy of some people! At least when Hermione was in third year, I actually enjoyed marking,” he said rubbing his sore neck.

“Through this world I’ve stumbled/so many times betrayed/trying to find an honest word to find/the truth enslaved/oh you speak to me in riddles/and you speak to me in rhymes/my body aches to breathe your breath/your words keep me alive.”

Sydney giggled at the comment which turned into an all out laugh.

Severus glared at her and said coldly, “What?”

She stopped and looked deep in his eyes, “You never fail to surprise me. If Hermione could hear you talk like that then I think she’d feel honoured.”

“Yes she is an exceptionally talented witch. I don’t believe in this pure-blood nonesense. If we hadn’t married Muggles our race would have died out. But of course I have to play the part and it’s tiring sometimes Sydney,” said Severus flopping down into a chair and closing his eyes.

Sydney walked behind his chair and started massaging his neck.

“And I would be the one/to hold you down/kiss you so hard/I’ll take your breath away/and after, I’d wipe away the tears/just close your eyes dear.”

“Did I ever tell you how lucky I am to have you?” said Severus moaning appreciatively at the massage as his sore muscles started to loosen.

“Oh not today, but I’d never get tired of it. How did you survive your visit with the Fab Five?” asked Sydney curiously.

Severus shuddered, “I was poked and prodded and told I had to look pretty for you. As you can see the changes have been different. They’re even making me wear some colour at the fashion show!”

Sydney giggled again and said, “I like your new rooms. Much better then those dank ones.” Stopping for a bit she slid into his lap and said, “Maybe when this war is over you can stop hiding and actually acknowledge you like a bit of colour. That you’re not as snarky as some say, and you really do appreciate your students. It’s liberating Sev, to be able to kiss who I want.”

She kissed him and then said, “To be able to touch who I want.” Stroking his arms he shivered under his touch.

“And to be able to love who I want without fear that they’ll killed because of my job or who I am,” said Sydney.

Severus froze. She loved HIM?!

“Sydney, this is a dangerous game you’re playing. I’ve been hurt many times before so please don’t say things you don’t mean,” he said icily.

“Into this night I wander/it’s morning that I dread/another day of knowing of/the path I fear to tread/oh into the sea of waking dreams/I follow without pride/nothing stands between us here/and I won’t be denied.”

Sydney grew angry and slid off his lap and stood facing him.

“Oh so now I’m not even allowed to say I love you? I know we’re playing a dangerous game and I know you have to hide parts of yourself. Been there, done that. I understand Sev! But I really do love you. I thought after Danny and even Vaughn I’d find it hard to trust anyone, let alone love someone. But from day one here, you’ve captivated me. You’ve got me hook, line and sinker without even trying. I saw through your mask Sev, you can’t pretend with me.

I don’t know if this is a British thing or what, but when I say I love you to someone, I mean it! And if they decide to say it back or not, that’s their choice. I just want you to know how I feel about you and where you stand with me,” she said turning away still angry at him. How could he think that after all they’d been through, were going to go through together, she didn’t love him. That he was the best thing to happen to her because he made her feel alive.

Severus was shocked. She truly loved him?! Why?!

“Sydney, all my life people have put me down or said I wasn’t worth loving. It is hard for me to accept any kind of love because the last time someone accepted me, this was the result,” he said rolling up his sleeve. Sydney turned around out of curiosity and saw the ugly black mark.

Coming closer to inspect it, she cautiously touched it with her finger. It didn’t move but stayed still. “It burns when we’re called,” explained Severus, “Otherwise it’s stationary.”

“Well, I’m glad SD-6 never made me get a tattoo,” joked Sydney trying weakly to smile.

“This is me Sydney. This is who I am really. I’ve killed people, raped and helped the Dark Lord in his rise to power. How can you accept me, let alone love me?” asked Severus bitterly.

Kissing the Dark Mark she said, “Because I can see the good in you, I can see the pain that years of putting yourself down and being put down has done to you. I understand better then you think I do. My family life is so screwed up, they could make a play about it and people wouldn’t believe it’s real life. But, you let me love you, you make me feel wanted and cherished. You care about me and my safety.”

“I do Sydney, which is why I’m accompanying you to that cursed ball. We’ll be going shopping tomorrow for your robes. I’m sure you can find a stunning yet usable Muggle dress by yourself,” said Severus with a hint of a smile.

“And afterwards, you get to unwrap me,” said Sydney huskily.

“Sydney?”

“Mmmm.”

“I love you.”

“And I would be the one/to hold you down/kiss you so hard/I’ll take your breath away/and after, I’d wipe away the tears/just close your eyes dear.”

* * *

It was nightfall, but the moon had not yet appeared. Luckily they had arrived in enough time before the rise of the full moon.

“So we align the stones like this,” Willow said, as she and Xander dragged six large stones from the surrounding area.

“More circular,” Hermione said, bending down in the grass.

It was a rather complicated spell they would be performing to separate Otrere and Buffy. But if they did it right, they would leave Greece with two women tonight.

“So, Otrere, you lie on your back, leaving enough room in the circle for you to re-enter your body,” Hermione guided her.

Otrere nodded and stretched out on the ground. Xander was pouting a safe distance away.

“Xander, what is that expression on your face?” Otrere said, looking straight up at the starless night above.

“Anger,” he said simply. Hermione looked at him, as she lit candles they had bought around the circle of stones.

“Faith, Xander,” Otrere admonished him. She nodded at Hermione and Willow looking over her. “Go ahead.”

Hermione and Willow looked at each other encouragingly. Removing a piece of paper from her pocket, she and Hermione held hands and began to mutter the Greek spell on the paper. The candlelight began to flicker, and clouds that weren’t there before suddenly covered the moon. The ground began to shake beneath Otrere, but she didn’t move. She had faith that everything would be okay.

The louder the incantation got, the more violently Earth reacted to it.

Before long, Otrere felt faint and closed her eyes.

The candlelight and dust flying around the circle of stones created a cloud they couldn’t see through.

When the incantation was said in full, Hermione, Xander, and Willow ran to the stones, brushing away the dust from the air around it.

“Buffy? Otrere?”

“What?”

* * *

“Tell me again why I am assisting you in this endeavour?” muttered Severus as Sydney put the finishing touches to her makeup, slipped on her dress and then donned her new green robes.

“Because you love me, and The Alliance needs that book back before Voldemort decides to channel the source of all magic,” said Sydney simply checking herself one last time.

“Living in the shadow/Of someone else’s dream/Trying to find a hand to hold but every touch felt cold to me/Living in a nightmare/A never-ending sleep/But now that I am wide awake/Then I can finally see/Don’t feel sorry.”

This time she was wearing a red dress, her hair piled up in curls. The robes Severus had helped her choose were deep green which Severus had said not only suited her, but was part of the Slytherin colours so would help with the deception.

“Hold on tight Sydney,” said Severus as she clutched him tightly. They had walked to the Apparition point outside Hogwarts and Sydney felt the dizzying feel of Apparition as she landed gracefully beside Severus.

“Keep your guard up, and don’t try to piss off Julian,” instructed Severus. “Narcissa is charming in public but she’s a viper behind closed doors. That’s all an act, Narcissa’s on our side, she was terribly hurt when Sirius died. She’ll help you in whatever way she can.”

“Yes Severus,” said Sydney rolling her eyes.

Severus turned and grabbed her arms fiercely, “I don’t think you understand the danger of this place. You’re special, but you’re not magical. You’d never survive the Cruciatus or Avada Kedavra, so don’t put yourself in danger. I don’t think I could bear to lose you now I’ve found you Syd,” he said sincerely hugging her.

Sydney sighed deeply in his arms and gently pulled herself away.

“I can take care of myself Sev, but with no Marshall to guide me, I’ll do my best not to put myself into any danger,” said Sydney.

“Living in, living in, living in the shadow/Living in, living in, living in a new day.”

Satisfied Severus looped his arm into Sydney’s and they walked up the path to Malfoy Manor.

* * *

“Buffy, is it really you?” Xander whispered like he was in a library.

“Duh. Who else would it be? God, I’m starving,” Buffy said cheerfully, getting up from the ground to brush herself off. “What am I doing on the floor?” She looked to her left. “Naked chick!” She jumped up.

“Oh, I thought the world of you/I thought nothing could go wrong/but I was wrong/I was wrong/If you, if you could get by, trying not to lie/Things wouldn’t be so confused and I wouldn’t feel so used/But you always really knew, I just wanna be with you.”

Curled up into the foetal position on the grassy floor beside her was Otrere, a long-haired blonde girl that resembled what Buffy would look like in a few years.

“Otrere, Otrere!” Hermione cried excitedly. “Wake up!” She felt like a huge weight had been lifted from her shoulders. She had performed a spell wizards decades older than her would never have attempted. She grinned at her accomplishment.

Otrere blinked her eyes and screamed in surprise. “It worked!”

She sat up, examining her body. It was still bruised from her final battle, her arms hurt a lot, and there was a nasty scar on her neck from the beheading. She blushed, realizing her state of nakedness and looked at Xander. He blushed as well and looked away politely. Willow went into Hermione’s shoulder bag and removed her Gryffindor robes, which Otrere accepted gratefully.

“So what happened? I feel like I just woke up from a very long, well-deserved nap,” Buffy asked. She looked down at her clothes. “What the hell am I wearing?”

“This is all my fault,” Otrere said, silencing the others before they could speak. She held her hand out. “I am Otrere.”

“Buffy Summers. So why is it your fault?”

“In Argentina, you released my soul from purgatory and I took over your body.”

“What?” Buffy said confused. She thought for a moment. “Oh yeah. So where are we? Hogsmeade?”

“Buff, we’re in Greece,” Xander explained.

“Oh well. Let’s go back,” she said immediately, as if resurrecting a dead Amazon warrior was an everyday thing. “Is Dawn okay? Sydney? Angel? The others? Did I mention I was starving? Let’s go already!” she urged them.

“Same old Buffy,” Willow said happily, throwing her arm around Buffy’s shoulders, who kept on talking.

Hermione gathered up their things, grinning incessantly, and followed them.

“I’m in so deep/You know I’m such a fool for you/You got me wrapped around your finger/Do you have to let it linger/Do you have to, do you have to/Do you have to let it linger?”

Xander looked down at Otrere for a moment and didn’t say a word. His eyes said everything she needed to hear and they quickly caught up with the others for their return trip to Hogsmeade.

Fade out

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