Episode 4: Light and Dark

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

Written and Directed by Humaira K and Gill P

Guest starring

Elisha Cuthbert as Sofia Conti
Eliza Dushku as Faith Lehane
Tom Felton as Draco Malfoy
Devon Murray as Seamus Finnigan
Richard Roxburgh as Rudolphus Lestrange
Peta Wilson as Bellatrix Lestrange

“And what will Bellatrix Lestrange offer me that I cannot do on my own?”

Bellatrix kept her unbridled fury in check. She breathed deeply and tried to re-educate this Death Eater. “Do you remember the height of the Dark Lord?”

“Are you insulting me Lestrange?” came the reply with a dry chuckle. “I was there, remember?”

“I lie/I wait/I start/I hesitate/I am/I breath/I melt/I think of me.”

“As I was saying before I was so rudely interrupted, the very name of the Dark Lord terrified millions. Now that he is indisposed, I can harness that fear. No one would dare tangle with me, after I gain your support and we join forces.”

The Death Eater was looking for any way to discredit her. “And what of Lucius Malfoy?”

“What of that featherheaded twit?” Bellatrix replied easily.

“Is it any wonder I can’t sleep?/All I have is all you gave to me/Is it any wonder I found these/Through you.”

“I seem to remember you two were bosom buddies. Fell on the battlefield at Stonehenge together. Or so the rumours say.” A pause. “Surely Malfoy should also be begging for my support, am I right?”

Bellatrix’s icy eyes became daggers. “Now you are insulting me. Lucius and I were never bosom buddies.”

“I seem to recall that was what you wanted?”

Bellatrix withdrew her wand and aimed it squarely in the face of the Death Eater. “Since you do seem to remember the First War, then I will also remind you of what happened to sycophants who dared to speak ill of the Dark Lord’s motives.”

The Death Eater paused and coughed. He also knew what Bellatrix was capable of. “Very well. Count me in.”

Bellatrix’s smile spread slowly across her face, as her wand hand fell away.

“Turn to the gates of heaven, to myself feel down/Turn away from Eye/It’s not enough/Just a touch/It’s not enough.”

“I’ll be in touch.”

* * *

“Faith,” said Wesley finally catching the brunette slayer. It was obvious she had been avoiding him, perhaps to save herself more beatings and give her bruises some time to recover.

She turned around awkwardly, and he could see she was not comfortable in his presence.

“I’m sorry,” he said sincerely, “I should never have taken my anger out on you.”

Faith shrugged nonchalantly, “It’s OK. I knew you had to take it out on someone. Better me then someone you actually cared about.”

“Take me down, 6 underground/The ground beneath your feet/Laid out low, nothing to go/Nowhere a way to meet.”

He didn’t know what to say to that so changed the subject, “How are you liking Hogwarts?”

She shrugged again, “It’s OK. Kinda wish I’d gone to a school like this.”

Wesley nodded and they fell into step as she walked outside into the grounds. “So what are you gonna do?”

“Teach, research into Fred’s condition and find a way to cure her.”

“You planning to eat or sleep in between?” she asked jokingly.

“I have to eat and sleep as well?” he said in an exaggerated tone.

Faith chuckled at his antics, “Nice to have ya back Wes.”

“I didn’t know I was gone,” he said peering at her sideways.

“I”ve got a head full of drought/Down here, so far off from losing out/Round here.”

“Maybe you just found who you really were. You’re a lot different from the straight laced Watcher I first met,” she admitted.

Wesley looked away awkwardly. He had apologised for his behaviour at that time, but it would always be a rift between them.

“How is your Karate class going?” he asked curiously.

“Haven’t started yet, thought I’d give the kids a chance to settle down. Me too, for that matter. I know the seventh years aren’t doing it, mainly cause they’re pretty good and cause they have final exams this year. But I’m gonna ask if any of them if they have some spare time to help me out.”

“That’s good.”

“How’s teaching going?”

“Overground, watch this space/I’m open to falling from grace.”

“Ha! Haven’t started yet. I’m doing it tomorrow, Buffy insists on leaving me in the deep end for the first day. She said something about payback.”

* * *

Hermione looked up from her Arithmancy book and said, “Have you guys read the Daily Prophet lately?”

It was a rare Indian summer day, and most of the seventh years were draped around the courtyard, trying to enjoy the beautiful weather whilst they studied for the dreaded NEWTs. Harry couldn’t concentrate with the weather, so he urged everyone to join him.

“No,” Ron replied, taking her bait. “What’s it been saying?”

Hermione shut her book and took a deep breath. Seamus, Anastasia, Harry, Meliza, and Ron sat up and listened. They were eager for any distraction, even if it meant listening to gossip from the Daily Prophet.

“Well, there’s a rumour going around that someone is trying to pick up where You-Know-Who left off.”

Seamus’ eyes became wide. “But You-Know-Who is trapped in another dimension, isn’t he?”

“That’s what they say,” Meliza said blandly. Officially, a group of older wizards had banded together and banished Voldemort. No one knew what had actually gone down at Stonehenge the summer before. And the members of the Alliance of Destiny weren’t about to speak up.

“What does ‘pick up’ mean exactly Hermione?” Anastasia asked politely.

“They say someone is appeasing the Death Eaters. They scattered after he disappeared, you know.”

“So this person is trying to bring the Death Eaters back together?” Harry asked.

“Yeah, sounds like it,” Ron replied.

They pondered this for a few moments in silence.

* * *

“She’s recruiting more wizards to her side,” said Lucius pacing his study. His son watched him warily wondering what his father would come up with next.

“I thought you didn’t care if she took on the hole left by Voldemort,” said Julian casually, knowing it would infuriate his father.

“I know that!” snapped Lucius glaring at him. Ever since the Covenant had asked them to head the UK Branch, their search for Nadia had been fruitless. They needed someone who could find her wherever she was, but he was coming at a blank. He wondered if he should contact Nadia’s father but dismissed it immediately. Julian had informed him what kind of man Arvin Sloane was, and he would want Nadia for his own purposes.

“I taste/I love/I call/I bleed enough/I hate/I might/I was/I want too much.”

He thought about her mother. She seemed like a viable ally but he wasn’t sure if even she could be trusted. But she could probably lure both Sydney and Nadia away from wherever they were. Perhaps.

But his mind went back to his sister-in-law. Bellatrix Lestrange. If she became too powerful then she could bring a siege against him and he needed her to stay on the backburner, but he couldn’t devote all his time to that venture. What to do?

Narcissa was no help. He had tried to casually bring her sister into the conversation but she had ignored him talking loudly about Draco’s wedding arrangements.

“Father what if I were to talk to Irina?” asked Julian trying to see a way out of this problem.

“Can we trust her to not take them both away from us for her own purposes?” he asked savagely.

“No,” admitted Julian. Irina Derevko had her own endgame, and he wasn’t sure if that matched theirs.

“I refuse to admit defeat against either side,” said Lucius aloud, “Bellatrix cannot get too powerful. We have to stop her, who knows what she’ll do. She might even try to bring him back.”

Julian’s hollow laugh echoed across the room, “She wouldn’t. Being number one in the wizarding world would be enough. Being the first woman to be so, even more intoxicating.”

“Is it any wonder I can’t sleep?/All I have is all you gave to me/Is it any wonder I found these/Through you.”

“Then she can’t be,” said Lucius with finality, a gleam in his eye.

* * *

“Got it?” Buffy said with a teasing grin.

Wesley nodded. He was a former Watcher. He could handle a bunch of first-year DADA students in the practical application of an art he knew inside out. Couldn’t he?

“When I pretend, everything is what I want it be/I looked exactly like what you always wanted to see/When I pretend, I can’t forget about the criminal I am/Stealing second after second just cause I know I can, but/I can’t pretend that this is they way it will stay, I’m just/I can’t pretend of who you want me to be so.”

He smiled politely at the eager first-years. “Open your books to page 147,” Wesley said. They did as they were told. “Today we will be studying doxies. Does anyone have any experience with them?”

By the end of the lesson, the kids were chattering on about the most creative method they would use with doxycide and left the room smiling and laughing. Buffy came into the room with a surprised look on her face.

“See? No problem at all,” Wes replied confidently.

Buffy leaned over to look at their lesson plan and snickered. “Not quite. You’ve got seventh-year Slytherins and Ravenclaws next,” she warned him. “Keep an eye on Meliza for me, would you? I’m worried about her. She hasn’t been herself lately.”

“Okay,” Wesley replied.

With all the hormones raging during that lesson, it’s a wonder Wesley didn’t just put them out of their misery.

“Move your fat head, mudblood,” Wes distinctly heard as soon as he turned his back to scribble on the blackboard. He turned around quickly. Meliza looked mortified, and a Slytherin by the name of Sofia Conti looked innocent, as Wes stared at them from behind his glasses.

“Ow!” Meliza’s voice yelped when he turned his back again.

Wes whipped around and Meliza was rubbing her arm painfully, while Sofia and Draco Malfoy and their clique tried hard not to laugh out loud.

“Professor?” Meliza said, her brown eyes a little tired and sad. “Can I be excused to go to hospital?”

“Certainly,” Wesley replied. “Just pick up the homework assignment from one of your classmates.”

Meliza nodded and gathered up her things. The entire class watched in silence as Meliza hurried away. Sofia stuck her foot out from beneath the table and tripped her, causing her to spill her book bag. Meliza cried out in pain as she fell to her knees. The Slytherins burst into laughter, as Meliza’s fellow Ravenclaws shot daggers at Sofia, who shrugged her shoulders.

“Silence!” Wesley replied, rushing to Meliza’s side. The Slytherins shut up quickly, but continued to snicker behind their hands. “Are you all right?”

“Yes, I’m fine,” Meliza said, taking out her wand and pointing it at her spilled bag. It cleaned itself up quickly, and she refused to look at Wesley again before running from the room.

“Five points from Slytherin,” Wesley said as he saw the door swing close noisily behind Meliza.

“What?” they complained. “That’s not fair! What did we do?”

“Professor,” Sofia spoke up sweetly, “I believe I speak for all of my peers when I honestly say that Miss Masterson is not the most coordinated student at Hogwarts. It’s possible she simply… fell over her own feet.”

“Are you questioning my ability to teach, Miss Conti?” Wesley asked.

“Not at all sir,” Sofia said in a dangerously honeyed tone. “I’m merely offering my own interpretation of a rash punishment.”

“Five more points from Slytherin, and not another word on this matter.”

The class left noisily, as Wesley sank into a chair. Buffy leaned in, saw the look on his face, and locked the door behind her, after hustling the other students from the room.

“That bad?” she asked softly, standing in front of him.

Wesley took off his glasses and rubbed his eyes. He was so glad he hadn’t had drama like this when he was in school.

“You/(nah, no turning back now)/I wanna be close beside so let me go/(nah, no turning back now)/Let me take me back my life/I’d rather be all alone/(no turning back now)/And anywhere on my own, cause I can see/(nah, no turning back now) ’cause everyone’s lying from you/With me.”

“Worse.”

* * *

Severus sipped his pumpkin juice at dinner and glared daggers at Wesley who didn’t seem to notice as he merrily chatted to Sydney.

His students had come to his office complaining about Professor Wyndham-Pryce’s favouritism and unfairness. Severus planned to have a word after dinner. Turning to Sydney who had resumed her dinner he started saying,

“Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?

Thou art more lovely and more temperate:

Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May,

And summer’s lease hath all too short a date:

Sometime too hot the eye of heaven shines,

And often is his gold complexion dimmed,

And every fair from fair sometime declines,

By chance, or nature’s changing course untrimmed:

But thy eternal summer shall not fade,

Nor lose possession of that fair thou ow’st,

Nor shall death brag thou wander’st in his shade,

When in eternal lines to time thou grow’st,

So long as men can breathe, or eyes can see,

So long lives this, and this gives life to thee.”

Sydney didn’t breathe as she turned to stare at her boyfriend; indeed the whole Great Hall had stopped to listen as he recited Sonnet 18. When he had finished everyone started to clap and Sydney just gawked at him as if she was seeing him with new eyes. Severus tried to keep his dignity as he glared at the students. He didn’t know what this was but when the applause had died down he sniffed his goblet and distinctly smelled the potion.

He felt a little stupid for not tasting it, but he had to commend the brewer for masking it so well, which made him wonder which one among the students had dared to do this to him. He didn’t trust himself to speak so he motioned Sydney to join him after dinner.

“Don’t say anything. I don’t care what it is, but can you just leave it be for tonight? When you were reciting Sonnet 18 I felt so special because no-one’s ever been that romantic to me,” said Sydney, before he could try to communicate his anger about the situation through a Sonnet when they got to their rooms.

Leading her to sofa he sat her down, took her hand and recited his feelings for her through Sonnet 116,

“Let me not to the marriage of true minds

Admit impediments. Love is not love

Which alters when it alteration finds,

Or bends with the remover to remove:

O, no! it is an ever-fixed mark,

That looks on tempests and is never shaken;

It is the star to every wandering bark,

Whose worth’s unknown, although his height be taken.

Love’s not Time’s fool, though rosy lips and cheeks

Within his bending sickle’s compass come;

Love alters not with his brief hours and weeks,

But bears it out even to the edge of doom.

If this be error and upon me proved,

I never writ, nor no man ever loved.”

* * *

He finally lost her. “Thank Merlin,” Draco wheezed. He ducked around a corner, leaned up against the wall, and sucked the much-needed oxygen into his lungs.

Ever since he and Sofia announced their “engagement” she hadn’t let him out of her sight. Draco assumed it was because they had to keep the pretence up, but he never thought he’d get sick of seeing a gorgeous girl day in and day out. Draco didn’t like Sofia “like that” but he did appreciate the fact that Sofia was very beautiful. But there was another beautiful girl he had to give his apologies to.

“You watch the phone like it was the TV/If you’re all alone, well whose fault can that be?/Your keys, your bag, the car – they’re where they always are.”

Meliza’s cheeks were tear stained when Anastasia and Hermione found her in the Hospital wing. “God, I feel like such a Hippogriff’s bum,” Meliza said, trying to be strong for her friends. They each took a hand and listened to her.

Madam Pomfrey said the damage to her arm and the fall to her knees would need a few hours healing. She gave her a potion to speed up the process and was due to leave in a bit. Parvati Patil told Hermione and Anastasia over lunch that she heard from her sister Padma that Meliza had tripped during DADA, and was in hospital. The girls slipped away as quietly as they could.

“I didn’t even do anything to her!” Meliza said passionately.

“Who?” Hermione asked.

“Sofia Conti.”

“Draco’s fiancee?” Hermione asked.

“Yeah,” Anastasia offered. “‘Mione doesn’t know, does she?”

“No. I reckon she should though,” Meliza said. Hermione’s eyebrows became crinkled. “Draco is – was – my boyfriend. We’ve been together since first year.”

Hermione smiled gently. She had a hunch Meliza was seeing someone, but Hermione thought Meliza should be honest and tell her. That’s what friends were supposed to do. “I figured as much. I just wanted to hear it from you.”

“And the light goes down and all the lights come on/and they call to me, oh come on, come on/and you don’t make, you don’t make no difference to me.”

“I mean, I accept the fact that he’s been seeing another girl behind my back this whole time. I mean, I can’t watch him every minute of everyday! He was probably sucking face at the Astronomy Tower for the last seven years and I just never saw it. Never,” Meliza said angrily. “I don’t know why he couldn’t come clean to me… not in front of the Great Hall like that.”

“I still think you should talk to him,” Anastasia reminded her. “Let him tell his side of the story because if you ask me, it looked like a big show.”

“If I know Sofia, and unfortunately I do, then she wanted everyone to know from the start,” Hermione added. “She likes being the centre of attention.”

The doors to the hospital wing creaked open, and Anastasia saw Draco’s blonde head scanning the beds before he saw them. “Hide ‘Mione!” Anastasia whispered, ducking. Hermione did as she was told and the two girls hid together behind a screen nearby.

“Meliza?” Draco whispered.

“What do you want, pureblood?” Meliza spat. It was a shame calling a pureblood “pureblood” didn’t have the same effect as calling someone like her a mudblood. It didn’t quite come off.

“You look at me, say ‘what you talking about?’/well me, I’m going out,
with or without/I know I don’t get far and we’re where we always are.”

“I’m really sorry about what Sofia did to you today,” he began.

“She should be apologizing for herself.”

“I know. I know.” Draco inched closer to her side. “I just wanted to tell you about me and Sofia. We’re not really going to get married.”

“You had me fooled!”

“No, hear me out. It’s just that our parents, I mean Sofia’s and mine, they expect certain things of us. Not only to choose a career beyond Hogwarts, but to choose a partner. Sofia thought it would be advantageous for us to put on a little charade.”

“Why didn’t you tell me? I should’ve been the first person you told.”

“I couldn’t without arousing someone’s suspicions. You understand, don’t you?”

“Yes.”

Draco leaned into kiss her. The one thing that was missing in his “relationship” with Sofia was intimacy. He wanted that so badly from Meliza. Meliza turned her head away quickly, and he stared at her.

“But I never want to see you again.”

“What?” Draco asked. His mind drifted back to when he had visited her this past summer. She wouldn’t disregard the pact they had made, could she?”

“See the thing is… I’ve had a lot of time to think about us. About you, in particular,” Meliza sat up in bed and pushed him away. “You are nothing to me. You are lower than a Flobberworm. With all your breeding and education, you still don’t know a good thing when you see it. I’m sick and tired of hiding from my best friends, the lying, and the secrecy! I hope you’re very happy with Sofia. Because there are a thousand other guys here at Hogwarts who would be proud to have me as their girlfriend.”

Draco stared at her open mouthed, as if she had just slapped him. “If that’s the way you feel…”

“Yes, that’s exactly how I feel. Goodbye Draco.”

“Goodbye.”

“But the light goes down and all the lights come on/and they call to me oh come on, come on/and you don’t make, you don’t no difference to me/You don’t make no difference to me/You don’t make no difference to me.”

When the hospital wing door slammed behind Draco, Hermione and Anastasia came out from behind the screen. They smiled appreciatively at their friend, who fought back tears.

* * *

“Did you get a result?” asked a familiar voice as Bellatrix entered the sanctuary of her temporary home.

“Is it any wonder I can’t sleep?/All I have is all you gave to me/Is it any wonder I found these/Through you.”

Exhausted, she flopped onto the sofa and sighed, “Yes, but it’s getting harder…Lucius’s shadow stops me achieving what I want.”

Rudolphus Lestrange came out of the shadows with a glass of wine in his hand and sat down beside his wife giving it to her.

“What did you do all day?” she asked sipping the beverage gratefully.

“Read some more, I was deeply engrossed in one of the rarer Dark Arts texts before you came home,” he answered, sipping his own wine.

Bellatrix smiled distractedly, already her mind on the next potential candidate, scheming to recruit him to her side.

“Turn to the gates of heaven, to myself feel down/Turn away from Eye.”

“Bella,” he said gently causing her to come out of her reverie.

“What?” she said irritated.

“Do you remember what day it is today?” he asked quietly.

Bellatrix frowned, time had lost its meaning once they had been broke out of Azkaban, and she found it hard to grasp what Rudolphus was trying to tell her.

“Today is the day our daughter died,” he said quietly.

Bellatrix paled as the memories of that day crashed into her, every detail as sharp and hurtful as if it had been yesterday.

“I was thinking of going to her today…disguised of course…” started Rudolphus breaking the suffocating silence.

“Of course,” she said in a hollow voice, “She would have been 19 today…”

The couple sat in silence, each lost in their own thoughts about their lost daughter.

“Why didn’t you leave me…after?” asked Bellatrix suddenly, startling her husband.

“I loved you, I couldn’t leave you. No one else would understand the pain of losing our one and only child…and the pain of not being able to create any more.”

“You don’t have to remind me of my failings as a woman,” said Bellatrix icily.

“You didn’t fail…you channelled all your anger to a different cause Bella, it wasn’t your fault,” he said, adamantly gripping her shoulder and shaking her to emphasis his point.

“Why did it have to happen to us Rudy? Why?!” asked an anguished Bellatrix, so very different from Bellatrix the Deatheater.

“I don’t know why, but it led you to a greater path Bella.”

“It’s not enough/Just a touch/It’s not enough/Just a touch/It’s not enough/Just a touch/It’s not enough/Just a touch.”

“Where did it lead you?”

Rudolphus didn’t answer her.

Fade out

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