Episode 5: Broken

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

Written and Directed by Humaira K and Gill P

Guest starring
Eliza Dushku as Faith Lehane
Bonnie Wright as Ginny Weasley

Anastasia arrived at breakfast happily chatting with Harry and Meliza, who they’d met on their way. The subject of the animated conversation was for a change about Meliza.

“So you and Seamus?” she prompted again, trying to gauge her friends feelings as Harry shamelessly listened in. He’d privately agreed with Anastasia that he’d do as much prodding and poking as he could with Seamus about his feelings for Mel. But he needed to know how Meliza felt before he did so.

At the mention of his name Meliza blushed scarlet, as Anastasia adopted a smug impression. “He’s a really nice guy,” started Meliza, “And so different from…”

She’d almost said Draco;s name. Harry still didn’t know about that relationship and she didn’t want anyone else to find out. Draco had chosen his path, now it was up to her to choose hers.

“I wanted you to know I love the way you laugh/I wanna hold you high andsteal your pain away/Wait, I keep your photograph; I know it serves me well/I wanna hold you high and steal your pain.”

Anastasia nodded understandingly, momentarily glancing at her boyfriend who seemed oblivious to the unfinished sentence.

“Maybe you should ask him out,” suggested Harry.

“Me?!” screeched Meliza with a shocked look on her face.

“It is the 21st century after all Mel,” advised Anastasia as the group entered the noisy Great Hall.

“Yeah, but…” protested Meliza.

Harry cut her off by saying, “Look, you like him and he likes you. Just go for it and if he says no he’ll have me and Ana to contend with.”

“I’ll think about it.”

“Don;t think too long Mel, I have it on good authority there’s many a Gryffindor girl who have been thankful for his summer transformation.”

They parted ways and went to their separate house tables for breakfast.

“‘Cause I’m broken when I’m lonesome/And I don’t feel right when you’regone away.”

Harry and Anastasia tucked into breakfast and chatted about their classes for the day. As the rush of owls for morning post came in, Anastasia received a letter. And then another until she had to move as her place started filling up. Interested Gryffindors peered at her from reading their own post and the other house tables had noticed as well.

Glancing at Harry who shot her a quizzical glance, which slowly turned to horror, she turned back to her pile of letters. They were all Howlers who’d started screeching at her all at once until all chatter stopped as everyone shamelessly listened. She couldn’t make out what they were saying due to the sheer amount of the Howlers and their loudness.

Neville squeezed her elbow and gave her his copy of the Daily Prophet. Confused she read the headline, “EXCLUSIVE PICTURES OF HARRY POTTER AND GIRLFRIEND!” and dropped the paper like she had been burned. Harry tried to call out to her as she ran away from the Howlers, but his voice couldn’t contend with them, so he picked up the paper. It showed clear pictures of Anastasia and himself during their shared ice cream at Diagon Alley on the last day before term. He guessed that they’d taken this long to run the story because they hadn’t been able to identify Anastasia.

Now as the true depth of the situation struck him his face turned ashen. Once again the media was interfering with his life, and this was the last year he could be protected against it.

With breakneck speed he whizzed by everyone followed by Meliza and Hermione.

* * *

“Ana?” Meliza called after her. Anastasia refused to look back. She wanted to be anywhere but there at that very moment. “Anastasia!” Hermione tried.

“If I was/The last person to know/How you cheated me/Did you think I could let go/Of your betrayal easily?”

Anastasia walked blindly. Her mind was moving in a million different directions, but her feet knew where she was going.

“Where d’you reckon she’s headed?” Ginny asked.

“Don’t know. But let’s follow her, and see where she goes,” Hermione replied.

Anastasia had made her way to Hagrid’s hut.

“Merlin’s beard, why there?” Meliza said, shaking her head and leading the way inside.

“Ana?” Hermione asked gently.

“Oh no/It went deep/I lost a lot of sleep/Thinkin I had no one to turn to/Oh I, oh I.”

“Why me?” Anastasia screamed, finally turning to face her friends. They jumped, and something fluttered in a cage nearby. “Couldn’t I go just one week without people getting ideas about me?” She stood in front of them, anger written all over her face. She said in a mocking tone, “Oh look it’s the crazy suicidal girl. Jumped off the Astronomy Tower. Oh look it’s Harry Potter’s girlfriend. Blah blah blah.”

Meliza stepped over and grabbed her hand. “I’m sure Harry’s hurt about it as much as you.”

Harry stood outside of the hut and listened shamelessly to the conversation. He wasn’t sure if he should burst in.

“Remember in fourth year, Ana?” Hermione said delicately. “When I got those Howlers because of that stupid article?”

“Yeah,” Anastasia said, sniffling away tears that weren’t really there. “How did you deal with it?”

“I just let it go,” Hermione replied. Anastasia peered at her. “It’s not worth getting worked up over. You know where you and Harry stand. That should be enough. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.”

“Yeah,” Ginny offered encouragingly. “Let people think what they want about you. Show them they can say what they want. You’re too good to let it get to you.”

“Maybe you’re right,” Anastasia conceded.

“Gotta stop the world misfocusing on me/Gotta stop the world misfocusing on me/How you ever gonna see clearly?/Are you ever gonna know the real me?/I gotta stop the world, I gotta stop the world/Gotta stop the world misfocusing on me.”

“You know we’re right!” Meliza said happily, throwing her arm around Anastasia and squeezing her shoulders.

Anastasia put on a happy face, but inside, she was dying. She wanted to believe what they were telling her, but her brain was telling her not to.

* * *

Sydney withdrew into herself after an especially taxing day. Severus was quietly marking papers near her and Sydney was just trying to drum up enough energy to start marking her own.

“Severus, what can you tell me about the Pensieve?” she began softly.

“The Pensieve?” he looked up from his marking to stare at her. “Why do you ask?”

“I heard some of the girls talking about it, that’s all.”

“One siphons excess thoughts from their mind at their leisure and the Pensieve holds them, to be played back like a film, of sorts.”

“Do you think that – maybe – I could use it?”

“Et quand dans la nuit tout s’endormit/Je vis les cieux devant mes yeux ferm”s/Dans le silence j’avais trouv” la v”rit”/Comme une fleur qui ressemble ” mon coeur.”

He chuckled. “Don’t be silly Sydney.”

“What are you talking about?” she said hotly.

“Sydney, I don’t need to remind you that you are a Squib. It’s entirely possible that it would be far more harmful to you if you were to use it.”

“You use it.”

“That’s because I was born with a predisposition to handle that sort of thing.”

“And I wasn’t?”

“Sydney, you’re not using the Pensieve,” he said with a finalizing tone.

“I came here to find about out about my missing two years. I know that if I use the Pensieve I can make sense of this mess that’s playing in my head.”

“L’air me semblait l”ger l”ger/Et les couleurs d’une infinie douceur/Les yeux ferm”s.”

“No.” He stood up from his table to look at her. “Isn’t the life that you have here with me enough? Do you have to relive the past? Just let it go.”

“Severus please,” she begged. “I have to know what happened.”

“No, you don’t!” Severus replied hotly. “What will come of it? Who’s to say you’ll become a better person after using it?”

“I will,” she said gently, grabbing his hand. “I just have to know and I’ll never bother you about it again.”

“If something happens to you, I would never be able to forgive myself,” he whispered.

“Nothing will happen. It’s just replaying memories, right?” she said. He nodded in the affirmative. “So then how could my memories hurt me?”

“Le coeur si pur/Qui voit revivre l’espoir/M”me s’il fait noir/Qu’il semble pleuvoir.”

Severus pulled her into an embrace. “Memories can hurt you a lot more than you think.”

* * *

“Hey, how you holdin’ up?” asked Buffy as she finally cornered Harry after the DADA class. He shrugged listlessly. Howlers were still coming as well as angry letters, but Anastasia had chosen to ignore them. Even though they still made him angry.

“All right, I guess,” he said non-committedly.

Buffy raised an eyebrow, “I know non-communication and deep hurt. You wanna talk about it?”

Harry sighed and raked a hand through his hair, “It’s just that Ana can let it go, but it still hurts her. And I’m so angry that everyone thinks they can interfere with my life. Saying who I can and can’t date. Next they’ll be picking out the date for the wedding,” he muttered darkly.

“Wedding?”

“In the wizarding world, when children come of age they are expected to find a partner before they are in their twenties at least. That’s why there was such a big hoo hah about Malfoy and his fiancee. No one saw it coming. It makes everyone else worry about their futures.”

“I don’t know what it is/But you got to do it/I don’t know where to go/But you got to be there/I don’t know where to fall/But I know that its comfortable where/I don’t know where it is.”

“But that’s insane! I’m in my twenties and I still haven’t found the one yet!”

“Maybe I should just go live as a Muggle. Then at least Ana and me can date like a proper couple. I could take her out on date to the cinema or the park and we’d just be two ordinary teenagers. Not the ‘Boy Who Lived’ and his girlfriend,” he said bitterly.

“You like Ana right? So take it slow. Get to know her, do all the things you just told me about. I gather you guys haven’t gone on an official date yet?”

“Well no, what with bringing down Voldemort and the summer holidays,” mumbled Harry.

“Then ask her out. You guys are in seventh year so you can go out on weekends. Just take her out on a picnic somewhere and be yourself. No one should dictate your life Harry.”

“Thanks,” said Harry brightening up a little.

“No problem. Now if you spot some gorgeous man, not vampiric or demony, point him in my direction,” said Buffy wiggling her eyebrows which made Harry laugh.

“Putting all of my time/In learning to care/And a bucket of rhymes/I threw up somewhere/Want a locket of who/Made me lose my perfunctory view/Of all that is around/And of all that I do.”

He waved to her and then left for his next lesson.

* * *

Severus carefully placed the round basin emitting silvery light on his desk. He had borrowed it from Albus again for the experiment.

“I’m not going to remind you that we don’t know if this will even work on you Sydney,” Severus reminded her. “Or the repercussions of first-time usage.”

“I know,” Sydney reassured him. “I have a long list of other avenues to find out what happened. I just want to get the magical options out of the way first.”

He squeezed her hand. “This won’t hurt, initially. Now think about your two years.” Sydney gave him a weird look. “Just think about that time. Clear your mind and focus only on that.”

“Et quand dans la nuit tout s’endormit/Je vis les cieux devant mes yeux ferm”s/Dans le silence.”

Sydney breathed deeply and focused on the black abyss that was her missing two years. He gently tapped his wand against her temple and withdrew her memories from her mind and carefully placed them into the Pensive. He continued to do this for a few more minutes.

“All done, I think,” Severus said. He tapped his wand against the Pensieve and together they watched in silence. That fight she had that fateful night when her memories ended, the fight with Allison Doren.

“Francie,” Sydney wept. “Stupid coffee ice cream.”

“Her doppelganger, right?” Severus asked.

“Yeah.”

The next face she saw surprised her. “Kendall?” Severus glanced at her. They began to watch a video of a bleach blonde Sydney.

“Le coeur si pur/Qui voit revivre l’espoir/M”me s’il fait noir/Qu’il semble pleuvoir.”

“I shot her three times. Then I passed out. Dead to the world. When I woke up, it was days later, and I was in the back of a van, strapped down. A man, a Covenant agent, injected me with a neurotoxin. Temporary paralysis. I couldn’t move or speak. All I could do was watch.

“He explained to me how I died in the apartment fire. I’ll never forget what he said. ‘Your roommate was easy. We unearthed her. We left her in your apartment before we burned it. But you — that was more difficult. When a body is burned badly enough, the DNA they test for is in the teeth. We extracted pulp from your teeth. And we injected it into the teeth of the corpse that was to be your replacement.

“Of course, they tested the body they found. To them, it was you.’ And while he was telling me this, I saw my dad, Vaughn, Weiss, Marshall, Dixon, everyone I loved just inches away from me, throwing my ashes to sea. The bastard.” The Sydney in the Pensieve began to cry, as the Sydney in Hogwarts did too.

Severus’ heart broke. A quick image of a mourning Michael Vaughn flashed from the Pensieve.

“‘He will mourn and move on. Find someone else, perhaps. The sooner you accept that you are no longer who you were, the easier this will be. Sydney Bristow is gone.'”

Sydney tried to look away, but she couldn’t. The Pensieve Sydney continued to speak.

“From my funeral, I was taken to a Covenant facility in St. Petersburg. The Covenant believed I was crucial to their operation. They needed my cooperation, which I wouldn’t give them of course. So the man who gave me the neurotoxin, his name is Oleg Matrijik, began a brainwash protocol. He spent months breaking me down. He used sensory deprivation. Electroshock. He would put to me to sleep by running an IV in one arm with a barbiturate. And shock me awake with an amphetamine into the other.”

“Once Oleg believed I’d been broken, he began a conditioning process. He started with hypnosis.”

But suddenly the Pensieve Sydney’s video stopped and sucked back into the Pensieve like water down a drain.

“What? No!” Sydney screamed. “What happened?” Her voices echoed off the walls. “Tell me! Tell me!”

She ran to the Pensieve, trying to find the way to restart it.

“Sydney, I think that’s enough for tonight,” Severus said in a calm but stern voice.

“No, I have to know what happened!” Sydney cried passionately. “I have to know! Please!”

“I knew I shouldn’t have let you use it,” said Severus, ashamed of his decision.

As quick as a flash, Sydney picked up his wand. “Do it again!”

Severus shook his head. “I don’t think so.”

“Why not?”

“You’re not in the right frame of mind,” Severus began. Sydney dropped his wand on the floor absentmindedly.

“Et dans le noir/On peut voir l’espoir.”

“When will I ever be?” she said. Her heart was racing and she couldn’t think straight. One minute she was in Severus’ rooms, next she was in the graveyard with Buffy and Faith.

* * *

Harry approached Anastasia’s table after dinner. She and Hermione were busy doing the mountains of homework all seventh years had to do for their NEWTS. Harry couldn’t concentrate on his, Buffy’s advice kept playing in his head so he decided to do something about it.

“Ana,” he said sitting on a spare seat that wasn’t covered in scrolls or books. Hermione got the hint as she decided to stretch her legs and go talk to Ron across the common room.

Anastasia finally looked up and noticed Harry, “Yes?”

Harry cleared his throat nervously, “Willyougooutwithme?” he said in a rush of words trying not to redden.

“So I knock on the door/Take a step that is new/Never been here before/Is there anyone else here too/In love with beauty/Playing all of the games/Who thinks three’s company/Is there anyone else who wears slightly mysterious bruises/I don’t know what it is.”

“As adept at I am in one word sentences, I thought we were already going out,” she said in an amused tone.

“I mean go out properly. On a date. Like a real couple. I was thinking next Hogsmeade visit.”

“And what would we do on this date?”

“Well – I mean – I’m open to suggestions,” admitted Harry.

Anastasia laughed, “Look how about we not do a repeat of last Valentine’s Day, and instead go on a picnic. And then we can go to the Halloween dance together.”

“That sounds good,” said Harry with a hopeful smile, relieved that he didn’t have to think of what to do on their date.

“Good. See you then,” said Anastasia turning back to her work.

Harry crossed the common room to Hermione and Ron, as Hermione finished her conversation with him.

“Take a lookin around/At friendly faces/All declaring a war on far off places/Is there anyone else who is through with complaining about what’s/Done unto us.”

“What was all that about?” asked Ron interestedly when Hermione had safely made her way back to Anastasia.

“Just asked Anastasia out on a date” said Harry, trying to sound casual.

“But you’re already going out!” exclaimed Ron in a mystified tone.

“Yes, but we haven’t gone on a date since the whole Portkey thing,” said Harry reddening slightly.

“Ohhhhhh,” said Ron.

“What are you doing on the Hogsmeade visit?” asked Harry trying to change the topic of conversation as he stared at the roaring fire, trying to make his blush go away.

“Well since you’re going off with Anastasia, I was gonna hang out with Hermione, but Buffy and Wesley have roped her into showing them around Hogsmeade. I dunno what Sydney’s doing, so I thought I’d just see if I could help out that Faith woman with her Karate class,” said Ron also looking at the fire, and reddening slightly.

“So I knock on the door/And I am on the train/Going god knows where to/To get me over/To get me over.”

“You wouldn’t happen to be helping her out, because you’ve got a crush on her would you?” asked Harry smirking.

“No! She just needs an assistant, and since I’m free I thought I’d help her out,” said Ron without looking at Harry.

Harry decided not to tease Ron anymore and both boys sat in silence watching the fire, lost in their own thoughts.

* * *

“Ow,” Faith muttered, as a vampire punched her full on the face. She cracked her jaw and said, “Mess up my makeup, why don’t you?” With a spin move, she stabbed him with a stake and caught another in the neck.

“Faith, we have to move!” Buffy said from somewhere behind her.

But before Faith could respond, a demon caught Faith around her middle and trapped her arms. She struggled loudly against the demon whose long, eel-like tentacles appeared from its back and prepared to shock her. But another figure leapt into the scene and brought an axe down on the tentacles, slicing a few of them away. Mortally wounded, the demon let Faith go and slumped to the ground. Faith looked up and saw Sydney with the bloodied axe in her hand.

“The worst is over now and we can breathe again/I wanna hold you high, you steal my pain away/There”s so much left to learn, and no one left to fight/I wanna hold you high and steal your pain.”

“Who brings tentacles to an axe fight?” she said with a smile.

“Thanks,” Faith replied.

“No problem,” said Sydney with a smile.

“Little…. help… here,” Buffy said, breaking their reverie. She was in the clutches of a vampire, who knew she was a Slayer. Faith tossed her a stake and Buffy stabbed him in the forehead.

“‘Cause I’m broken when I’m open/ And I don’t feel like I am strong enough/’Cause I’m broken when I’m lonesome/And I don’t feel right when you’ve gone away.”

Pretty soon, they were all engaged in their own separate battles. Sydney fought blindly. She was still upset about her run-in with the Pensieve. She even went as far as interrupting Faith and Buffy.

“Sydney, get out of the way!” Faith yelled, after she had cornered and weakened a vampire. Sydney staked him and moved on to the next one, without even listening to her.

“I got it!” said Buffy, as Sydney physically pushed her away and took on a tree demon herself.

Pretty soon, the sun began to rise and the remaining demon and vampire population took off for the Forbidden Forest.

The three women stood side by side, catching their breaths.

“Sydney, what the hell was that?” Faith said, turning to her after a few moments of silence.

“What?” asked Sydney blankly.

“You know damn well what!” Faith replied. Buffy tried to grab Faith’s arm to stop her, but she was too tired to argue and Faith yanked her arm back. Faith looked up at Sydney angrily, who easily had 4 inches on her. “You got in the middle of everything, when Buffy and me had it on lock!”

“I don’t believe this,” Sydney muttered walking away with the ax. Faith fumed, but she let Sydney go. She had to prepare for her karate class later that day and stormed back to the castle a different way.

“‘Cause I’m broken when I’m open/ And I don’t feel like I am strong enough/’Cause I’m broken when I’m lonesome/And I don’t feel right when you’ve gone away.”

Buffy watched as her friends walked away. She was worried about Sydney the most.

* * *

Anastasia sat reading a letter with a smile on her face. Hermione poked her from across the table, “If you’re smiling it’s not hate mail.”

Anastasia tore away from her rapturous reading and said, “It’s from Carson. He said that he’s glad that everyone knows about me and Harry, and he’s heard about the hate mail. He promised as soon as he has time, he’ll do a personality make over on all those who sent me some.”

Hermione giggled as her friend read on, “But he also said I’m an incredibly strong person for ignoring it and getting on with my life. Like my dad apparently.”

Hermione prompted for her friend to go on.

“Apparently, my mum and dad were in a similar situation when they were my age. Dad was pretty awkward, and mum wrote to Carson telling him that he kept getting bullied and beaten up for going out with her. So one day he fought back, and kept fighting back and now look at them.”

Anastasia paused and read the letter again, “That’s strange. I’ve seen pictures of my dad when he was my age and he doesn’t look that awkward. But it’s kinda comforting to know that they had to fight for their relationship as well.”

“Yeah, wish I had a story like that. But my mum and dad just met at dentistry school and hit it off from there. After they graduated, they got married, waited a few years and had me,” said Hermione in a monotone voice.

“But that’s pretty cool. How come they didn’t have any more kids after you?” asked Anastasia curiously.

“Mum said that giving birth to me was as much pain as she could handle for one lifetime, and that if they’d had another child then she wouldn’t be able to work. Sounds selfish doesn’t it? But it’s not. It meant they had much more time for me, and treated me like an adult. I read a lot, ever since I was a kid. Mum and Dad used to read to me when I was little, and they were forever buying me books they thought I’d like cos I showed such an interest in reading. And when I got my letter for here, they were really proud.”

“That’s good. So any idea what you wanna do after Hogwarts?” asked Anastasia teasingly.

Hermione laughed, “None! But you know I’m all right with that. Seven years with Harry and Ron have taught me I should just enjoy each day as it comes. You never know what’s around the corner, and destiny isn’t always so great.”

“But if we subscribe to the fact we do have free will, then if there is also fate and destiny, we may just be choosing our destiny. Only we think it’s free will,” said Anastasia.

Hermione stared at her.

“What? You’re not the only brainbox around here y’know!” laughed Anastasia.

Fade out

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