Episode 3: The Future Ahead

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

Written and Directed by Humaira K and Gill P

Guest starring
Cate Blanchett as Narcissa Malfoy
Julie Christie as Madam Rosmerta
Elisha Cuthbert as Sofia Conti
Tom Felton as Draco Malfoy
Matthew Lewis as Neville Longbottom
Devon Murray as Seamus Finnigan
Maggie Smith as Minerva McGonagall

“Draco,” said a soft voice.

“What?” he said sourly without looking up from his Transfiguration text. Being back for his seventh year had disadvantages. One of them being the amount of homework he had not missed during the holidays.

“You walked into the party like you were walking onto a yacht/Your hat strategically dipped below one eye/Your scarf it was apricot/You had one eye in the mirror as you watched yourself gavotte/And all the girls dreamed that they’d be your partner/They’d be your partner, and…”

“I have a proposition for you,” it said carefully.

“Leave me alone Sofia, I have a whole evening’s worth of homework to finish and you know how Professor Snape gets if he comes in to check and it’s not done,” said Draco from his place in the textbook.

“This won’t take long. I’m sure once you’ve heard it, you’ll find it mutually beneficial for the both of us,” said Sofia carefully.

Finally Draco looked up into Sofia Conti’s Italian eyes that burned with such intensity as she gazed at him, he was forced to look away. She had pale blonde hair and her blue eyes took in his reaction.

“Why can’t you talk about it here?” he said averting his gaze back to his textbook.

“Because,” said Sofia, her eyes flicking over to the others in the common room. The other Slytherins were shamelessly listening into the conversation, hoping there might be something they could use against the pair someday. Pansy Parkinson’s beady eyes followed Sofia’s every movement.

“Fine but this better not take long Conti,” warned Draco vacating his seat and setting his heavy tome on it.

Sofia led him to the Astronomy Tower.

“If I didn’t know any better I’d say you were planning to seduce me,” mocked Draco quirking up a pale eyebrow.

“Hardly,” came Sofia’s dry response as she looked out at the view beneath her, not meeting Draco’s eyes.

“Then what do you want?” asked Draco impatiently tossing his long blonde hair behind him.

“You’re so vain, you probably think this song is about you/You’re so vain, I’ll bet you think this song is about you/Don’t you? Don’t you?”

“I’ve been getting a lot of offers lately, we’re in our last year of Hogwarts Draco. My parents have already started looking for a suitable match for me, they’ve given me some time to look on my own but the offers are flying in thick and fast from a lot of unsavoury characters,” said Sofia with a sense of urgency as she turned to look at him, her eyes giving away her vulnerability.

“So? What do you want from me?” asked Draco confused as to what she had dragged him into the freezing cold of the tower for. He had already performed a warming charm on himself, but he didn’t want to stay out here for too long.

Sofia stared at him as a sly smile played on her lips, “I want you to marry me.”

Draco stared. Had she gone completely mad?! Draco had known Sofia longer then he had known Meliza, and although they had briefly dated before he had gotten together with Mel, it hadn’t worked out. They were far too competitive to stay with each other for very long.

“Are you high Sofia?!” asked Draco steadily watching her reaction.

“No, just tired of being single. You don’t actually have to marry me,” stressed Sofia, “Just make it look like we’re dating and then the offers can stop and I can look for myself in peace. We just have to look convincing.”

“And why pray tell would I even consider this?” said Draco with some amusement.

“You had me several years ago when I was still quite naive/Well you said that we made such a pretty pair/And that you would never leave/But you gave away the things you loved and one of them was me/I had some dreams, they were clouds in my coffee/Clouds in my coffee, and…”

“Because your mother’s looking to set you up with Pansy Parkinson and I know you’d rather marry me then that pug faced bitch. Besides, it’ll make your little Ravenclaw girlfriend jealous and then we’ll both accomplish our goals,” said Sofia bluntly.

Draco stiffened, how did she know about Mel?

Sofia snorted and answered the unspoken question, “I do listen to gossip Draco. Five generations of Slytherin in my family have taught me from an early age that even gossip can be a weapon.”

“And if I go along with this charade, what would I have to do?” asked Draco despite himself.

He was NOT going to marry Pansy Parkinson. He knew the reason his mother was looking that way. Pansy had been unloaded onto him as soon as he was born and had been his childhood playmate. But Draco would rather die then go anywhere near Pansy.

“I had some dreams they were clouds in my coffee/Clouds in my coffee, and…”

“Ask me out formally in front of everyone at breakfast tomorrow and I’ll say yes. Then it’s just a case of being seen together as a couple during Hogsmeade visits and the common room. If I do find someone else, we’ll break up amicably,” explained Sofia briskly.

“You’re your father’s daughter,” said Draco admiringly.

“No Draco I’m not,” said Sofia with a gleam in her eyes, “I’m better.”

Draco thought about it for a moment. The idea did have its merits. If it stopped his mother arranging the wedding of the year already he was more then glad, besides he’d seen Mel hanging out with that Irish Gryffindor and he had to show her what she was missing by being with that brainless twit.

“You’ve got yourself a deal Conti,” said Draco holding out his hand.

Sofia came nearer to him so she was almost touching his lips and whispered, “I’ll try not to make it too bad Draco.”

Draco gulped as she stepped back and shook his hand.

“You’re so vain, you probably think this song is about you/You’re so vain, I’ll bet you think this song is about you/Don’t you? Don’t you?”

Tomorrow would be interesting.

* * *

Meliza and Anastasia were giggling. Hermione had just told a joke about a hag and a dwarf as they walked towards the Great Hall for breakfast.

“Where did you hear that one?” Meliza asked.

“I heard it in the girls’ bathroom before Charms the other day. The third year Hufflepuffs really know some dirty jokes!”

“It wasn’t my intention to mislead you/It never should have been this way. What can I say?”

The girls walked into the Great Hall with some of the other students.

“I’m starving!” Anastasia said. She grinned as her eyes fell on Harry. She rushed towards him and squeezed him on the arm. Meliza smiled. Anastasia was so happy with Harry. And they could be public about it. She wished Draco would do that for her.

“It’s true, I did extend the invitation/I never knew how long you’d stay.”

“Hey,” Harry said warmly, throwing his left arm around Anastasia’s waist as she sat down beside him.

Instinctively Meliza threw a glance over her shoulder to the Slytherin table as she sat down. Draco hadn’t arrived yet, but she knew he’d show up sooner or later. It still killed her that they had to keep their relationship secret, but it was for the best. ‘One more year,’ he had told her.

“One more year,” she muttered, lunging at the pile of toast on the table.

“When you hear temptation call/It’s your heart that takes, takes a fall.”

“Wha?” Ernie Macmillan asked, his own mouth full of eggs and toast.

“Nuffink,” Meliza replied, grinning.

“Hi Meliza,” Seamus said, smiling shyly at her. He had stopped by the Ravenclaw table on his way to the Gryffindor table.

Meliza blushed and swallowed her food quickly. “Hi Seamus. How are you?”

“Surviving. Did you finish your Charms homework?”

“Yeah, I hated that last paragraph though. What did you get on it?”

“Won’t you come out and play with me?”

But before Seamus could answer, the doors to the Great Hall swung open and in walked Draco, arm in arm with a stunning blonde. Seamus grinned and went to his house table.

“Who’s that with Draco?” Ron inquired from nearby.

Ginny recoiled. “I had a run-in with her my third year. Her name’s Sofia Conti.”

For some reason, the entire Hall fell silent suddenly, as Draco opened his mouth, got down on one knee, and said loudly, “Sofia, will you marry me?”

“Step by step, heart to heart, left right left/We all fall down like toy soldiers/Bit by bit torn apart, we never win/But the battle wages on for toy soldiers.”

The world stopped suddenly as Meliza watched in horror. Sofia blushed and nodded. Meliza watched as the man she loved got up from the floor and kissed the blonde full on the lips, as the Slytherins around them clapped and cheered. Meliza willed herself to turn away, and swallowed the tears that threatened to fall.

* * *

Harry didn’t know what to say. His sworn archenemy had just proposed to some blonde he’d never seen in his life, in front of everyone. He hoped Anastasia didn’t expect him to do that, since he was just getting to know her.

“Well that was strange,” said Ron breaking the silence and stuffing toast into his mouth.

“Where’s Ana?” asked Hermione looking for her friend.

“I just can’t help thinking/What you’ve done to me/You built a wall of love and tore it right down/In front of me/And you think you know what’s going on/You keep telling me that I am wrong/I don’t care about what you do/’Cause if you mess with me I’ll get rid of you.”

“Dunno,” said Harry scanning the skies for the post. That’s when it happened; thousands of owls bombarded his table and pelted him with letters. Harry had to move to stop the letters constantly hitting him. “Why does this remind me of something?” he thought as the Great Hall watched with interest, the proposal already forgotten because of the amount of letters bombarding Harry.

“What’s going on?” asked Hermione dragging him away from the mounting table.

“I think I can answer that,” said Neville giving Harry his copy of the Daily Prophet.

Curiously he looked at the main headline and wished he hadn’t.

“BOY WHO LIVED RECEIVES OFFER TO BE MINISTER OF MAGIC!” screamed one headline.

Harry turned crimson as Hermione snatched the paper off him and read the article, “It says here that now you’re nearly of age, the Daily Prophet’s taking bets on your career choice.”

“I dread to think what the most popular one is,” drawled Draco Malfoy as he approached the table with the blonde.

“Congratulations,” said Harry sarcastically, “I hope you’re very happy together. Shame you won’t be getting much of a choice. I didn’t think they gave career advice at Death Eaters Anonymous.”

Draco’s cheeks reddened but before he could say anything Professor Snape had made his way down from the High Table in the blink of an eye.

“Potter, do clean up that mess of yours. We can’t have the others thinking you’re more of a celebrity then you actually are. They might be severely disappointed,” he said sneering at Harry’s pile. Turning to Draco he said, “Congratulations Mr. Malfoy and Miss Conti. I’m sure you will have a long and happy life together. I wish you all the best for the years to come.”

“The picture you see is no portrait of me/It’s too real to be shown to someone I don’t know/And it’s driving me wild/It makes me act like a child.”

“Thank you sir,” said Sofia smirking and lead Draco to their first class.

* * *

“Meliza!” Anastasia screamed, her voice echoing off the walls.

She listened hard, but knew it was fruitless. Meliza could be far away by now. When Anastasia saw Draco get up and kiss the blonde, she knew Meliza wouldn’t be able to be in the same room for long. She blindly watched as a group of students came spilling from the Great Hall. Breakfast was over, but she forgot her hunger pangs. Her best friend needed her.

“Love’s the funeral of hearts/And an ode for cruelty/When angels cry blood/On flowers of evil in bloom.”

Taking off for the greenhouses, her dark hair and robes flying behind her, Anastasia slowed down. She listened more for the distinct sobs of her best friend. She quietly made her way towards Greenhouse 4.

“Meliza?” she whispered.

“Go away Ana,” Meliza replied, not meaning it one bit.

“Did he tell you?”

“The funeral of hearts/And a plea for mercy/When love is a gun/Separating me from you.”

“What, that he was going to marry another girl?” Meliza cried, flinging a trowel across the greenhouse. A vine from a plant that Anastasia couldn’t identify lunged out and caught it before it could break glass. She watched as her best friend pawed through the dirt of a clay planter. Anastasia had learned early on that when Meliza was at her worst she went into hyper gardening mode.

“One more year, he tells me,” she said, furiously potting a young plant. It snapped at her angrily. “Sorry,” she apologized to the plant. “One more bloody year… ow!” She threw off her gloves, and accidentally slammed her finger into the bench, which left her with a splinter.

“Let me fix that,” Anastasia said gently, whipping out her wand and tapping the splinter. It came out easily with no blood. It fell to the floor, forgotten.

“Thanks,” Meliza muttered.

“She was the sun/Shining upon/The tomb of your hopes and dreams so frail/He was the moon/Painting you/With it’s glow so vulnerable and pale.”

Anastasia brushed a few wild curls from Meliza’s tear-stained face. “He gave no indication that he was with Sofia at all?”

“Is that the bloody trollop’s name?” Meliza said, unable to look at Anastasia. “None at all. He visited me this summer, said we’d be together forever.”

“I remember,” Anastasia said softly. “You told me.”

“Did you feel anything when Draco asked the strumpet? Like where you and Harry stand?”

Anastasia paused. “It’s a little early to tell, but I’d like to think that’s where we’re headed. But I don’t want to force it. I want it to be natural.” Anastasia leaned on the bench beside Meliza. “It seemed like a huge set-up to me, Draco and Sofia. Maybe you should talk to him about it.”

“Love’s the funeral of hearts/And an ode for cruelty/When angels cry blood/On flowers of evil in bloom.”

Meliza grunted, her finger still smarting from the splinter.

* * *

“May I remind you that not only do you have NEWTs to pass this year but you must also decide on your career choice,” said the crisp voice of Professor McGonagall as she addressed her seventh year Gryffindors.

The students stared at her. How could seven years have flown by so quickly? “Now, there will be individual career talks with each of you before Christmas, so if you would like to know more about a particular career please do not hesitate to talk to me before then,” she continued. “I will be seeing you all in alphabetical order, but I have enlisted the help of some of the other teachers to assist me.”

“Any questions?” she asked looking around. Nobody raised their hands until Anastasia boldly did so.

“Yes Miss Darcy?” said Professor McGonagall as everyone turned to stare at her.

“Is it possible to look into Muggle university courses Professor?” she asked timidly.

“You think I am crazy, but what can I do/You waste your time, like my money/It ain’t so funny, but it’s true/Don’t waste my money, baby/Now you can’t tell me what’s going on/And that I am weak while you are strong/What is it you need, that makes your heart bleed/Do you really know? ‘Cause it doesn’t show.”

“That is a good question Miss Darcy,” said McGonagall turning the students attention back to herself. “It is possible to do a bridging course during the summer to qualify for Muggle equivalent qualifications after you get your NEWT results. Anyone else?”

No one spoke up this time.

“For those of you who have been raised in the Muggle world and do not have much idea of what you would like to do in magical or Muggle careers, there are guides available in my office. Feel free to come and get them, if you wish to talk I will listen.” She gave them a rare smile, “You have been the most eventful Gryffindors I have had the pleasure of teaching and watching grow up. I wish you the best of luck in your future careers and lives.”

“Blimey!” said Ron as they stepped out into the noisy corridor on their way to lunch, “That was weird. This day is just getting stranger and stranger. I still dunno what I’m gonna do after Hogwarts.”

“Neither do I,” said Harry glumly; despite the numerous job offers he didn’t have a clue. The only thing he was good at was Quidditch, and now that Voldemort was no longer around he was seriously thinking of going into it if he didn”t become an Auror.

“You don’t need NEWTs to be a Quidditch player do you?” he asked Ron as they navigated through the various corridors.

“Nah, just be good on a broom. When do Quidditch trials start?”

“Soon, once everyone’s settled in.”

“What’s it like being Quidditch captain?” asked Ron in awe.

“The picture you see is no portrait of me/It’s too real to be shown to someone I don’t know/And it’s driving me wild/It makes me act like a child.”

Harry shrugged, “A lot better then being the boy who lived.”

* * *

Sydney looked up from her marking to stare at Severus pointedly.

“Yes, Sydney?” he indulged her with a wry grin.

“I’m in the mood for Butterbeer,” she replied.

“It’s getting hard to wake up in the morning/My head is spinning constantly. How can it be?”

“Shall I muster up the house elves?”

“Nah, I feel like some fresh air. I think I’ll run down to Madam Rosmerta. I haven’t had a good talk with her in a long time.”

“Okay,” Severus replied, turning back to his own marking. “Don’t be late.”

Sydney grinned and pulled on a Muggle jacket. “I won’t.”

It had been an eventful first week. There were definitely some things to smooth out, but for the most part, the students were eager and willing. She breathed in the fresh air that surrounded the magical school.

Sometimes she did miss the spy life and the friends she left behind. However, all her life Sydney had been searching for a place to call her own. From the loss of her mother at such a young age, to discovering the covert organization she worked for were the bad guys, to a countless number of things, really made a girl second-guess everything. The moment she stepped into the Three Broomsticks that fateful night more than a year ago, she knew this was where she belonged.

The Three Broomsticks was strangely empty for a weeknight, and Rosmerta looked up as Sydney entered. Her face broke into a huge smile.

“How could I be so blind to this addiction/If I don’t stop the next one’s gonna be me.”

“Good evening Sydney,” Rosmerta said warmly.

“Hello Rosmerta,” Sydney replied, taking off her jacket and taking a seat from the bar. “One Butterbeer.” Rosmerta pulled a fresh bottle from the confines of the bar.

“Mmm,” Sydney murmured. She let the warmth flow through her, before she realized that the woman had left.

“Rosmerta?”

That’s the one thing she looked forward to when she came to the pub. A good drink and good conversation. Rosmerta appeared, a dark look in the kindly woman’s eyes.

“Rosmerta?” Sydney repeated, staring at her strangely. There was something in her eyes, something she had seen before.

Rosmerta suddenly lunged at her and fastened her hands around Sydney’s neck. Sydney fought wildly against her. Rosmerta pinned her against the bar, her strength growing as Sydney became weak. Sydney pawed blindly behind her, and came up with her half-full mug of butterbeer. She managed to fasten her numb fingers around the handle. Rosmerta’s eyes were wild, her hair a fright. Sydney managed to slam the mug cleanly against Rosmerta’s head. The older woman fell away.

“Rosmerta?” Sydney coughed, gasping for air. “What the hell?”

Rosmerta had fallen to her knees and blinked, her head throbbing, broken pieces of butterbeer mug strewn about. Sydney tested her throat, and coughed some more, trying to get some much-needed oxygen through her system.

“Sydney?” Rosmerta replied, clearly unaware of what she had just done. “What happened?”

“I think you were under the Imperius curse. You just tried to strangle me to death.”

“Step by step, heart to heart, left right left/We all fall down like toy soldiers/Bit by bit torn apart, we never win/But the battle wages on for toy soldiers.”

Rosmerta burst into tears, as Sydney took her up in her arms and comforted her in silence.

* * *

“Damn it,” shouted Lucius as he collapsed into his favourite chair, “It didn’t work.”

Sark tried not to smirk, he could easily have told his father that trying to kill Sydney Bristow was never going to be easy. And he wouldn’t want to do so, after all what was life without a challenge?

“We’ll try next time father,” said Sark soothingly, sitting in a chair across from him. Lucius grunted and closed his eyes.

Someone knocked on the study and Lucius wearily said, “Come in.”

“Well I hear you went up to Saratoga and your horse naturally won/Then you flew your lear jet up to Nova Scotia/To see the total eclipse of the sun/Well you’re where you should be all the time/And when you’re not you’re with/Some underworld spy or the wife from a close friend/Wife from a close friend, and…”

Narcissa glided in with effortless grace that made Lucius wonder how she did that every time. She was wearing a big smile on her face. Either she’d found those rare robes she’d been looking for or something else had happened.

“Narcissa?” he prompted opening his eyes and watching her pull him up to do a little jig.

“Draco’s getting married! He just proposed to Sofia!” she said with glee as she held up a letter and spun him around even more.

“What?” asked Lucius a little dizzy from the spinning and casting the Imperius curse.

“Draco is going to marry Sofia Conti in the summer!” repeated Narcissa, her face beaming with delight.

Lucius broke into a big grin, his son was getting married! He tried to remember the last time he’d seen Sofia, he remembered a gawky girl at age 11 and he wondered how she had turned out.

“That’s wonderful news!” he said hugging his wife.

“Oh there’s so much to plan! I suggested that they have their engagement ball here at Christmas, we can meet Sofia a few days before hand, but it’ll be such fun!” said Narcissa already talking to herself and making plans.

Lucius nodded leaving her to it, as his other son smirked. No doubt to suppress the happiness that his little brother was getting married. Or maybe he’d realised that as a squib he’d gotten lucky. He didn’t have to be married at age 17 and live happily ever after.

“You’re so vain, you probably think this song is about you/You’re so vain, I’ll bet you think this song is about you/Don’t you? Don’t You? Don’t you?”

No, whenever Julian would choose a bride Lucius knew he would choose one who he would do anything for. Not the first available looker who caught his eye.

* * *

It spread like wildfire the day after Sydney’s run-in with Madam Rosmerta. It appeared on the front page of the Daily Prophet the next day. Next to another article about Harry’s future career, the pub owner decided to take some rare time off, which scared some people in their corner of the wizarding community. She was a constant in Hogsmeade. To actually have her gone was just not normal. The experience opened Sydney’s eyes. It wasn’t that she couldn’t trust the people she’d always had, but there was somebody out to get her. This was not an isolated incident.

“Constant vigilance,” Ron joked, trying to keep the mood light.

The Alliance of Destiny meetings hadn’t paused since school resumed. Now their focus was on whoever had cast the Imperius curse on Rosmerta.

“Sark and Lucius,” Sydney blurted out. “Who else would want me dead?”

“And if they could go after you like this,” Buffy added, “there’s a pretty good chance they’ll come after any one of us.”

“Keep your eyes open,” Wesley advised them. “We don’t know in what form the Malfoys will strike, whether it be a friend or a foe or some unknown being we’ve never encountered.”

The meeting broke up noisily, as Ron and Harry – though concerned about Sydney’s incident – wanted to practice Quidditch before curfew. The rest of the kids had homework to do.

Wesley brewed some tea, and Sydney was restless. She took her cup and paced the floor. For some reason, her run-in with Rosmerta triggered something in her. It was her missing two years again. She hadn’t gotten a proper answer since she had arrived at Hogwarts.

‘I came here to find out about those two years,’ she thought. She thought about her Pensieve conversation with the girls.

“Step by step, heart to heart, left right left/We all fall down like toy soldiers/Bit by bit torn apart, we never win/But the battle wages on for toy soldiers.”

‘I’ll ask Severus. He’ll know what to do.’

Fade out

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