Episode 20: True Colours

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
Cate Blanchett as Narcissa Malfoy
Kyan Douglas as Himself
Colin Firth as Alexander Darcy
Elizabeth Hurley as Natasha Darcy
Jason Issacs as Lucius Malfoy
Keira Knightley as Meliza Masterson
Carson Kressley as Himself
Monica Potter as Otrere
Alan Rickman as Severus Snape
Michelle Trachtenberg as Dawn Summers

The cool air didn’t affect Angel as he stealthily made his way into Malfoy Manor. Severus had Apparated him there earlier and Narcissa had given him an invitation to go inside.

He watched through some bushes as Sydney and Severus made their way up the beautifully manicured pathway to the Manor. Malfoy Manor was impressive and imposing. It all came back to him and he regretted what Angelus had done to this poor family. But he consoled himself with the fact that what he was about to do was for the Greater Good.

“I wish I had an angel/For one moment of love/I wish I had your angel/Your Virgin Mary undone/I’m in love with my lust/Burning angel wings to dust/I wish I had your angel tonight.”

Seeing Sydney and Severus be welcomed by the House Elf, Angel scuttled his way up the dark path and stationed himself outside of Lucius Malfoy’s study. The study itself was on the first floor, so with a careful jump, he landed outside on the balcony. Lucius always did like a view.

Sydney was probably making her way up by now, but he couldn’t smell her scent. Her excuse to use the bathroom would be met by a cutting remark by Narcissa about her dress and then she would tell her in code where to find Lucius’ study.

That was the plan, Angel just hoped it worked.

* * *

“Anastasia!” Natasha scolded her only child. “Fix your hair. Your father’s coming. Can’t have you looking like you just woke up!” she giggled, but it didn’t quite come off right.

“Goddess on a mountain top/Burning like a silver flame/Summit of beauty and love/And Venus was her name.”

“Yes Mum,” Anastasia replied, smoothing her flyaway hair. The weather around Hogsmeade was unforgiving, blowing everything around mercilessly. As Alexander Darcy had attended Hogwarts, he would be arriving by the Hogwarts Express.

Natasha looked up and down the track, nervously checking and re-checking her watch. Anastasia watched with interest at her mother’s obsessive motions. She had told Meliza during one of their late night gossip sessions that whenever Alexander was around, Natasha changed.

“She’s got it/Yeah, baby, she’s got it/I’m your Venus/I’m your fire/At your desire/Well, I’m your Venus/I’m your fire/At your desire.”

Her mother was a busy woman, fronting the Friends of Muggles organization, soliciting money for whatever FM was focused on that week, and running the Darcy household while Alexander painted and attended gallery openings, but she always did it with a sort of haughty air. But when the mere presence of Alexander was afoot, Natasha became natural, as though she had nothing to prove to him and she could truly be herself.

Anastasia only hoped that someday she’d find someone to be normal with, whatever that was.

The Hogwarts Express came screaming down the tracks and Natasha froze. She bustled over to Anastasia, fixing her hair again, and Anastasia blocked herself from her mother’s relentless attacks to her hair. “Mum! My hair is fine!”

“No, it’s not. Now smile darling, chin up, make it look like we’ve been having fun while your father was away.”

“Hellooo there!” Alexander yelled, unlocking a window near the station and peeking his head out as the train came to a stop near them.

“Her weapons were her crystal eyes/Making every man mad/Black as the dark night she was/Got what no-one else had/Wow!”

“Alex!” Natasha said breathily, rushing towards him.

Alexander Darcy was a tall, imposing man, with a smile that could disarm even the saddest of men. He hopped out of the train, enveloping Natasha in a hug and kissed her gently on the lips in greeting. “How have my two girls been getting on without me?”

“Barely, Alex,” Natasha said cheerfully. Ah. There it was. Natasha being natural. Anastasia grinned.

“Stop the presses! Someone call the Daily Prophet!” Alexander boomed out. “Anastasia Darcy SMILES! Front page, I’d say!”

Anastasia blushed and thanked Merlin no one was around to see how geeky her father was. He wrapped his arms around her and held her tight. “How’s it going?”

“Loads better than the last time you were here,” Anastasia replied.

“Good,” Alex said, happy with her assessment. “So let’s go. I’m dying to have some good ol’ fashioned Hogwarts food, ’cause Merlin knows your mum never could compete with the house elves!”

Natasha’s face took on a look of mock outrage. “Alex, that’s not fair!”

Alexander scooped up his things and threw his left arm around Natasha and his right arm around Anastasia. “No, you’re right. But at least I don’t stoop so low as to try to cook a lobster with my wand!”

“She’s got it/Yeah, baby, she’s got it/I’m your Venus/I’m your fire/At your desire/Well, I’m your Venus/I’m your fire/At your desire.”

Anastasia threw her head back and laughed, as her parents continued to flirt, giggle, and invoke their family jokes, as they made their way from Hogsmeade Station to the Thestral led carriages that would lead them to the castle.

* * *

“Severus,” boomed out Lucius Malfoy’s voice throughout the ballroom, causing every guest to turn to look at him. Severus winced inside but forced himself to act natural and smiled at Lucius.

(Cristina Elisa Waltz instrumental)

“Lucius,” he said cheerfully escorting Sydney towards their hosts.

Narcissa Malfoy was more delicate then Sydney had ever imagined her to be. She was beautiful but there was a cool, cold glint in her eye that told Sydney that this woman was never to be crossed. Sydney wondered why Severus trusted her.

Stooping Severus kissed Narcissa on both cheeks and shared a hearty handshake and hug with Lucius.

“Lucius, Narcissa, I’d like you to meet my partner, Sydney Bristow,” said Severus proudly.

“Well, well. You have kept this a secret Severus,” said Lucius amused. “Charmed to meet you Miss Bristow.”

Bending down he kissed her offered hand after Severus made her put it out. Her skin crawled at the contact but she managed to smile warmly.

“Mr. Malfoy, it’s such an honour to finally meet you,” lied Sydney. They both knew the other was lying, but for the sake of publicity, they pretended they didn’t know each other.

“Miss Bristow, allow me to introduce my wife, Narcissa,” said Lucius smiling and watching Narcissa’s reaction to Sydney.

“How do you do Mrs. Malfoy?” asked Sydney politely.

“Better then you my dear, tell me, did you buy that dress from the Muggle world? Severus I didn’t know your girlfriend had such low tastes in couture,” said Narcissa coldly, a smile playing on her lips.

The guests waited for Sydney’s reaction but all she did was lower her head in shame. Seeing nothing worth getting excited about, the guests returned to their chatter.

“Could you direct me to the bathroom,” said Sydney in a near-whisper.

“I’ll show you myself dear, after all, I couldn’t bear for the paintings to see what kind of guests I allow into this house,” said Narcissa cuttingly, leading Sydney out of the ballroom.

Lucius smiled maliciously and turned back to face Severus who had a hint of a smile on his face.

“She always was a viper, that’s why I married her.”

“Where is Julian?” asked Severus conversationally, “It had been a long time since I last saw him.”

“You’re not fooling anyone Severus,” whispered Lucius, “It may be true that Miss Bristow is indeed your partner, but from Julian tells me, you’ve been helping her out.”

Severus waved away the comment. “I am merely acting to try and seduce her over to our way of thinking, if you must know. Somehow the silly girl’s managed to fall in love with me, and think what a prize she would be to deliver to the Dark Lord,” said Severus maliciously.

Lucius chuckled, “I like the way you think old friend.”

“My loyalty to the Dark Lord has never wavered since I took up my position at Hogwarts. Every show of affection, every time I pretend to like these people I’m secretly thinking how I’ll enjoy killing them slowly,” said Severus.

“You always were about the slow torture with your potions Severus, give me Muggle implements to ruin the pretty faces and bodies of Muggles, blood is so much more fun,” said Lucius maliciously.

* * *

“Do we have to practice again Mum?” Anastasia complained.

“Watch out, you might get what you’re after/Cool babies, strange but not a stranger/I’m an ordinary guy/Burning down the house.”

It was after a hearty Hogwarts lunch and everyone was mingling around. Natasha had the bright idea to rehearse the fashion show again.

Natasha nodded. “We’ll go through a dry run for your father. The fashion show is tomorrow night and there are many important people attending, people on whose support Muggle awareness must be driven home.”

Alexander shook his head and held up his hands, when Anastasia gave him a “Help me” look. “It’s out of my hands, pud. But Natasha,” he said, turning towards his wife, “I’d much rather be surprised. Give them a day off.” He brought his coffee cup to his lips. “And knowing you, they certainly need one.”

“He’s right,” Anastasia supplied quickly, before Natasha could defend herself.

She sighed and also picked up her coffee cup. It was infuriating sometimes, the way they ganged up on her. But she supposed it wouldn’t be all that bad to let the participants rest.

“Hold tight, wait ’til the party’s over/Hold tight, we’re in for nasty weather/There has got to be a way/Burning down the house.”

“Natasha!” Carson boomed out from down the Gryffindor house table. “Look at what just came in from Diagon Alley!” He came running in with a couple of long, flowy dresses.

Natasha nearly dropped her coffee. “Thank goodness! I was wondering when it would come in!”

“Sorry, Alex,” Carson said jovially, coming upon their seats, “but I need to borrow your wife for a moment. Have no fear, she shall return in one piece with all her apparatus intact.”

Alexander grinned, “Take your time.”

“Let’s motor,” Carson said, looping his arm through Natasha’s, as they began to chatter on about the couture of the show.

“Here’s your ticket pack your bag; time for jumpin’ overboard/Transportation is here/Close enough but not too far, maybe you know where you are/Fightin’ fire with fire.”

“Finally, some time to ourselves,” Alexander said, elbowing Anastasia, who elbowed him back. This went on for a while, and they giggled.

Anastasia felt someone watching them and it was Meliza, who had just come in.

“Mel! Over here!” Anastasia said, waving madly. Meliza smiled shyly and sat down beside Anastasia.

“All wet, hey you might need a raincoat/Shakedown, dreams walking in broad daylight/Three hundred sixty five degrees/Burning down the house.”

“Dad, this is Meliza Masterson. The girl I was telling you about,” Anastasia offered.

Alexander proffered his large hand to Meliza’s tiny one. “Nice to finally meet you, Miss Masterson. I have heard a lot of great things about you.”

“Knowing Anastasia, she probably over exaggerated,” Meliza said, winking at Anastasia who grinned.

“Perhaps. Did you really protect her from a demon?” Alexander asked.

“Well, there was that one time…” Meliza replied shyly.

“Good enough for me,” Alexander said. “Say, your father wouldn’t be Gabriel Masterson, would he?”

“Yeah, I mean, yes sir,” Meliza replied, surprised.

“It was once upon a place, sometimes I listen to myself/Gonna come in first place/People on their way to wars and baby what did you expect/Gonna burst into flame/Burning down the house.”

“We went to Hogwarts together. He was a year ahead of me,” Alexander replied. “That year Gryffindor beat the pants off Hufflepuff in a Quidditch match at the beginning of my third year. Bad blood between us that whole year.”

“Really?” Meliza asked excitedly. Anastasia was pleased her best friend and her dad were getting along so well.

“Indeed. I particularly remember the time your father used his wand to pants me from down the hall outside of Charms,” Alexander added, taking another sip of coffee.

Meliza and Anastasia stared at each other, mortified. “I apologize for my father sir.”

“No need. I got my revenge,” Alexander said loftily. “I stole his pet toad…”

“Clarence!” Meliza piped up. She grinned at Anastasia. “I think Clarence was the only other thing my dad loved, after our family and Quidditch of course.”

“Ah yes, Clarence,” Alexander said. “So anyway, I stole Clarence and cursed the toad to change into an interesting shade of pink.” Alexander burst out laughing, as did the girls.

“My house, s’out of the ordinary/That’s right, don’t want to hurt nobody/Some things sure can sweep me off my feet/Burning down the house.”

“So then what happened?” Anastasia asked eagerly.

“After weeks of trying counter curse upon counter curse, even dropping Clarence into a cauldron full of color-changing potion,” Alexander wrapped up, “your father apologized to me, after which I changed Clarence back.”

The three laughed amongst themselves.

“How is your father anyway?” Alexander asked.

“Excellent, Mr. Darcy. He decided to become an actor after he left Hogwarts and he’s done some plays in the Muggle world. In fact, he’s quite the celebrity,” Meliza said proudly.

“He was in that play Hall of Mirrors, wasn’t he?”

“Yes he was, fresh out of Hogwarts,” Meliza replied. She had long ago memorized her father’s career.

“I think I saw that one,” Alexander said, thinking hard. “I had a gallery opening not far from there.”

“Anastasia! Oh Meliza, there you are!” Kyan said warmly. “Anastasia, your mother wants you to try on some outfits for the show. Plus I have to decide how we’ll be fixing your hair.”

“Do I have to?” Anastasia said under her breath, as she unfolded her tiny legs from under the table. She dragged her feet towards the wide, double doors of the Great Hall. “Come on, Mel.”

“Coming!” Meliza said happily. She held out her hand to Alexander. “It was great to meet you sir, and to hear something I can use against my dad someday soon.”

“No visible means of support, and you have not seen nothing yet/Everything’s stuck together/I don’t know what you expect, staring into the TV set/Fighting fire with fire.”

Alexander grinned and shook her hand. “Charmed, Miss Masterson. I’m glad I could be of some help.”

Meliza grinned again and ran to catch up with his daughter. Miss Masterson was just what Anastasia needed to move on with her life. Alexander went back into his memories, nostalgic of his time at Hogwarts. He hoped Anastasia would have an even better experience than he.

* * *

Narcissa led Sydney down endless corridors, which made her head hurt trying to memorize. It was unusual, as none of these corridors had any paintings like she had observed in Hogwarts, it seemed the paintings were the spies rather then her.

“Thanks for doing this Narcissa,” whispered Sydney as they travelled around the Manor.

(Cristina Elisa Waltz instrumental)

“Oh no trouble dear, that book has given me the creeps ever since Lucius and Julian brought it back with them. They don’t know that I know everything that goes on in this house. It won’t be hard to crack Lucius’s security measures when we get to his study, I was in Slytherin after all,” she said with a quick smile before she led them to an impressive oak door.

Opening the door silently, they were greeted by Angel who watched as Narcissa tapped a book with her wand and muttered a spell, the book dissolved to show a safe. After another muttered spell, the safe silently opened and Narcissa carefully took out the book.

“Here,” she said handing the book to Angel and then before either could stop them, she had her wand pointed at them both.

“You know, as much as I hate that book, I have to wonder what’s in it for me? I’m doing this for Severus because he’s an old friend, but you two aren’t. What can you give me when the time comes to show my true colours?” she asked almost playfully, but there was a dangerous glint in her eyes.

“Safety, protection, anonymity,” replied Sydney who was used to dealing with this, except she’d never had to bargain with a wand pointed at her.

Narcissa’s laugh didn’t match her cold eyes, “I want Lucius and Julian dead. No Dementor’s Kiss, I want their heads cut off. Lucius always will be evil, and he’s shaped Julian to be like him too. I will not allow him to do that to my son.”

“I’ll kill Sark myself with pleasure,” said Sydney with a smile that almost matched Narcissa’s.

“But of course you cannot guarantee anything can you? Well, I see no point in keeping the Book, so you may leave Angelus, but as soon as you are out that door, you will never be welcome in this house again. I may be a Malfoy by marriage, vampire, but I certainly don’t condone massacres. Even though you were ingenious, and handsome, I’ve seen the portraits. Shame about that Gypsy curse,” said Narcissa sweetly, still brandishing the wand.

“Sydney…” Angel started to say, but Sydney cut him off.

“Go, you heard what the lady said. Sev and I’ll meet you soon,” said Sydney without taking her eyes of Narcissa’s wand.

Feeling horrible about leaving Sydney alone with a psychotic witch, Angel slowly inched his way out of the Manor and fled to the safety outside.

“Now, was that little show for my benefit or his?” asked Sydney conversationally.

“I meant every word I said Sydney. Lucius is not the man I married, he worships a power-crazed half-blood rather then me. He and Julian go on their little adventures and leave me alone in this big house. I’ve had to deal with the pain and loneliness of not being loved for years, and I’m angry. I want them out of my life, so I can pass on this Manor to my son and go see the world that my blood denied me,” said Narcissa.

“Narcissa, I promise one of these days I will kill Sark, Lucius too. And then you can do what you want, but please point the wand away from me now, I’m not a threat. I’m here to help,” said Sydney calmly watching as Narcissa carefully put the wand away like a sullen child.

“Now, we’re going to go back to the ballroom, and Severus and I will make our excuses and leave,” she said inching forwards to make sure Narcissa wouldn’t pull out the wand again.

Narcissa didn’t say anything but led Sydney away from Lucius’ study.

* * *

After dinner, Hermione and Ron made their way to the Shrieking Shack. Harry didn’t even eat dinner, but had been waiting all day for dinnertime. That was the timeframe in which Angel and Sydney promised to return.

“Deep into a dying day/I took a step outside an innocent heart/Prepare to hate me fall when I may/This night will hurt you like never before.”

“I hope they make it back okay,” Hermione began, breaking the silence.

“They will. Angel doesn’t know how to fail, and neither will Sydney or Snape,” Ron replied immediately. “Besides, they’d have the whole of the wizarding community descending on the Malfoy Manor if something did happen. Dumbledore would’ve seen to that.”

“Old loves they die hard/Old lies they die harder.”

“I just feel like there was more we could’ve done,” Hermione fretted.

“What could we have done?” Ron asked. “You need to let other people do the work. We all know you’re the smart one. Not many other people in our year could resurrect an Amazon from a million centuries ago, Hermione.”

Hermione looked at him sharply, but softened. “I suppose you’re right.”

“I wish…”

“Yeah, I am,” replied Ron. He glanced at her and caught her looking at him. They blushed at each other and looked away.

Otrere was in the front of the house, sparring with Buffy.

“I’m going down so frail ‘n cruel/Drunken disguise changes all the rules.”

“Hey!” Ron called, pleased with the distraction.

“Hello Ronald!” Otrere called politely. “Hermione!” There was a certain kinship that came when you’re resurrected from the dead and Otrere felt it with Hermione.

“Otrere! How are you feeling?” Hermione asked, catching up to watch the two women fight each other.

“Alive,” Otrere said happily. “I’m beginning to feel like my old self again. And Buffy’s helping me brush up on my techniques. Fighting has changed a lot since I was asleep.”

“Hey guys,” Buffy said waving her stake at them. “We couldn’t stand being in the house anymore, so we came out here to release the tension. Otrere’s a natural.”

“I’m gonna go inside,” Hermione said, nudging Ron.

“I think I’ll stay and watch,” Ron replied.

“Old loves…”

“Great!” Buffy said. “We’ll practice together.” Buffy and Otrere waited until he had removed his jacket. “You know,” Buffy began conversationally, “Ronald here is a natural. If he were a girl, he’d probably be a slayer.” Ron’s ears turned pink.

Hermione entered the Shrieking Shack and found that Buffy was right. Everyone was in a state of high tension. Kennedy and Willow were draped on the beat-up couch. Wesley was pacing the floor, Xander was playing with a pencil in his hands, and Nadia was nursing a cup of tea.

“I guess they’re not back yet?” Hermione whispered in Dawn’s ear, taking a seat beside her new friend.

“Nope, they’ve been like this for hours, I swear,” Dawn whispered back.

But they didn’t have to wait long. Buffy let out a loud scream, and everyone jumped up, their eyes glued to the door.

Angel raced in first, the Book of the Dead in a bag. Sydney caught up soon after.

“I wish…”

“We did it.”

* * *

“How’s the plans for the sleepover going?” asked Mel as she sidled up to Anastasia.

Anastasia smiled and looked up from her book, “Great! After the fashion show, we’re going to have the sleepover. Hermione’s made sure all the new arrivals are coming, and I think Dumbledore’s organising a ball after the show or something. I swear I heard him giggle.”

Both girls looked at each other and started laughing raucously.

“How’s your mum holding up?” asked Mel as she plonked herself down onto the bench beside Anastasia in the courtyard.

Anastasia rolled her eyes, “My dad’s had to take her out to give us some semblance of peace! She’s been so nervous and of course if he didn’t, she’d make me keep practicing all night! I dunno what it is with my dad, but he seems to calm her down.”

“At least you have a mum,” said Meliza softly.

Anastasia’s gaze softened, “Do you miss her?”

“Every day, but I’ve learned to grow up without a mum. I mean my dad’s great and Oliver’s a lovely brother, even if he isn’t around much, but you know, it’d be nice to have some female guidance. Or just to have someone to talk to about boys and things,” said Meliza shrugging.

“You can borrow my mum anytime,” said Anastasia seriously, “In fact, I could do with a break from her! Honestly, she’d try to set me up with every guy in Hogwarts if she could.”

“But there’s one guy in particular you wouldn’t mind being setting up with?” asked Mel slyly.

“Yeah…” said Anastasia blushing.

“Boys are stupid when it comes to acting on their own. I was so fed up of Draco not doing anything, even though we were both attracted that I just planted one on him. He didn’t say anything for a whole half hour!” giggled Mel.

“Yeah except in my case it’s not that easy,” said Anastasia in a small voice.

“An, you can only make love as easy or as hard as you want it to be. Yes terrible things happened to you both, but think of it as a strengthening of your relationship. If your friendship can survive this, then just think how long lasting your relationship might be if you give it a chance,” said Mel sagely.

* * *

Natasha was standing behind the makeshift curtain of the stage they had conjured up in the Great Hall. It was very modern, a silver box that came out of the ground, with the runway also lifting from the floor. The twenty fashion show participants were standing together in a group and she was trying desperately to give them a pep talk.

“Now I hate to remind you, but the Minister of Magic is out there, waiting for us. He was very keen on the idea of Muggle awareness, and has been impressed with Friends of Muggles thus far.” Natasha breathed heavily, in and out, trying not to sound hysterical. “If we can pull this off, imagine the kind of support our cause will get if the Minister of Magic himself throws his approval behind us!”

“She’s got it/Yeah, baby, she’s got it/I’m your Venus/I’m your fire/At your desire/Well, I’m your Venus/I’m your fire/At your desire.”

Anastasia shook her head. From the gossip that went on behind Natasha’s back, the participants could care less. It’s not that they didn’t care about Muggle awareness, but they all agreed that a fashion show was going about it the wrong way. But they respected the Darcys, which is why they agreed to be in the show in the first place.

Anastasia cleared her throat and raised her hand. “Mum, can I say something?”

Natasha faltered, but nodded her head wordlessly. Anastasia gathered up her long dress and stood before the other nineteen participants silently for what seemed like a lifetime. ‘Okay, maybe this wasn’t such a good idea,’ she thought. But she saw Mel giving her a big grin and a thumbs
up, so she let her heart do the talking.

“On behalf of myself, my mum, and Friends of Muggles, we just want to thank you all for giving up your Easter holiday to support Muggle awareness. In times like these, it’s important that we bridge the gap between the Muggle world and the wizarding world. Plus if we can raise Galleons for it, all the better!”

Anastasia paused.

“So get out there, shake what your mama gave you, and most important of all, have fun!

The participants gave a loud cheer, clapped hands, and assembled into a line. As Anastasia made her way back down the line, Buffy patted her on the back and whispered in her ear, “You go girl.” Angel grinned at her, but nervously adjusted his suit jacket. She passed Harry, who looked at her appreciatively. She couldn’t look at him, but blushed. Hermione gave her a huge smile. Meliza turned, as Anastasia stood in line behind her.

“That was amazing!” Meliza whispered, as the thumping Muggle music roared outside the curtain. “You’ve been practising that, haven’t you?”

“No,” Anastasia replied, looking at her mum, who looked to be near tears at her daughter’s assertiveness, “I just tapped into something I had in me the whole time.”

“She’s got it/Yeah, baby, she’s got it/I’m your Venus/I’m your fire/At your desire/Well, I’m your Venus/I’m your fire/At your desire.”

The curtains parted, and the fashion show began.

Fade out

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