Episode 7: Aftermath

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Written and Directed by Humaira K and Gill P

Guest starring
Eliza Dushku as Faith Lehane
Colin Firth as Alexander Darcy
Elizabeth Hurley as Natasha Darcy
Peta Wilson as Bellatrix Lestrange

Natasha and Alexander Darcy had kept a strict vigil around Anastasia’s bed in St. Mungo’s since her last run-in with Bellatrix Lestrange. Lestrange had snuck into Hogsmeade with the express purpose of harming their daughter, they had been told. When both she and Harry did not return to Hogwarts in time for curfew, the entire school were sent out to find them. They had been knocked unconscious and found lifeless just a few feet into the forest. Harry managed to wake up after a few days and explained in full detail what had happened. The Daily Prophet’s readers lambasted Hogwarts for letting their guard down during this terrible time.

But neither Natasha nor Alexander cared what people thought. Their daughter was in a coma (from which the St. Mungo’s healers were sure she’d pull through), and they managed to circumvent the nosy Daily Prophet writers as they walked in and out of St. Mungo’s every chance they got.

Natasha’s eyes were tear stained, and gripping onto Anastasia’s hand. Alexander had left for the night. It had become a regular thing for them now. One spent the day with Anastasia, the other, the night.

“An,” Natasha whispered. “It’s been long enough. Wake up.”

Anastasia was walking through a meadow. The sun was shining brightly, and she felt so free. Then she heard her mother’s voice. She felt scared all of a sudden, like something was coming after her, and ran after the voice because she knew her mother would protect her from whatever she was scared of.

“Mum!” Anastasia cried, her voice echoing, as she ran towards the sound. “Mum!”

Her mother’s voice sounded so calm, so reassuring, so strong. She thought of the times that her mother scared away the monsters in her closet. She remembered the times that her mother, as flighty as she was, would look at Anastasia in a way that made her think that she would never let her mother down.

Natasha wept again, as Anastasia struggled to come out of her coma beside her.

* * *

Bellatrix was satisfied as she casually read the morning paper, once again using the dead witch’s hair to make her appearance in Hogsmeade.

The front pages screamed with horror at the brutal attack on Anastasia Darcy, the bane of her existence. Trying to look suitably horrified, as she read the headline, she shook her head.

It was a shame the bitch wasn’t dead, but this victory would keep her going until she was. She noted with delight that she was now the most wanted person in the Wizarding World; now that Voldemort was not around. Finally she would be able to take the crown she so coveted. Her followers would obey her now. They had to.

“There must be some kind of way out of here/Said the joker to the thief/There’s too much confusion/I can’t get no relief/Businessman they drink my wine/Plow men dig my earth/None will level on the line/Nobody of it is worth/Hey hey.”

Apparating back to her hideout she noticed with dismay that Rudolphus was not around to share in her victory. Probably holed up in the lesser-explored rooms reading. That amused Bellatrix. When they were courting she had noticed Rudolphus was not much of a reader. In fact he wasn’t much of anything. He was invisible, which was rare for a Slytherin.

Memories crashed into her like a tidal wave. Lucius’s rejection, his betrothal to Narcissa, her sister’s infuriating smugness. Bellatrix wanted to throw something to vent her anger. Frustrated at the lack of cutlery she conjured up a plate and smashed it at the wall. Why did things never go the way she planned?!

Her legions of followers should be crawling to her feet quivering with fear! She had given them the example she knew they needed to prove her worth. She was the female Voldemort!

She conjured some more plates and continued to smash them until she tired herself out. It wasn’t fair! Lucius should have been hers! The next best thing she had had was Julian, and even he had gone. Now all she had left was Rudolphus, she doubted if he was even here sometimes. His gibbering madness sometimes made its appearance; Azkaban had not been kind to him. Not that sanity was much of a virtue, sanity made you regret.

“No reason to get excited/The thief he kindly spoke/There are many here among us/Who feel that life is but a joke but uh/But you and I we’ve been through that/And this is not our fate/So let us not talk falsely now/The hour’s getting late/Hey.”

Bellatrix was finally making sure she had no regrets. Anastasia Darcy would die at their next meeting, this was just a taster for the world. Bellatrix Lestrange was back.

* * *

Anastasia’s eyes flew open. She saw her mother’s face buried in her arm, sobbing. Then it hit her like a ton of bricks. Hogsmeade, Harry… Bellatrix.

“Mo-om?” she croaked. She felt beaten, breathless, and sore, but she felt strong.

Natasha leapt backwards and screamed. “Oh my! Anastasia!” Natasha cried, lunging to throw her arms around her only child.

“Mum, stop that,” Anastasia scolded her.

“We were so worried that you’d be out of it forever, even though the healers reassured us you’d be okay. Oh my darling…” Natasha said, beginning to get weepy again.

“Sing me to sleep/Sing me to sleep/I”m tired and I/I want to go to bed.”

“Stop that,” Anastasia said weakly. “How’s Harry? Is he okay?”

“Calm down, sweetheart. Harry’s fine. A bit shaken up, but he was able to start classes this past Monday.”

“And Bellatrix?”

“She… got away. Apparently the attack on you was to build her reputation. The papers have been saying that she’s the next You-Know-Who. The attack was so blantant, so calculated, so heinous, they said it looked like something He Who Must Not Be Named would do.”

Anastasia shook her head. “I should’ve killed her. I had the chance. I just… chickened out.”

“No!” Natasha said, shaking her head and squeezing her hand. “Then you would be no better than her. Death to a witch like Bellatrix Lestrange is too good, far too good.” Natasha let Anastasia dwell on this for a moment. “I’m going to owl your father and have the Healers fuss over you in the meantime.” She leaned over and kissed Anastasia on the head. “My sweet little girl. You’ve got a bit of that Beauchamp-Jones fighting spirit in you.”

Anastasia mulled over what her mother had said, and leaned back on her pillows. The Healers descended on her, and she let them fuss over her whilst she thought. Not necessarily about what had happened, but she just cleared her mind.

“Sing me to sleep/Sing me to sleep/And then leave me alone/Don’t try to wake me in the morning/cause I will be gone/Don’t feel bad for me/I want you to know/Deep in the cell of my heart/I will feel so glad to go.”

Something occurred to her. She had to get out of St. Mungo’s, first of all. Next, she had to talk to Faith, the new Karate teacher. A plan formulated in her foggy brain, as the Healers did what they did.

* * *

In the aftermath of Anastasia Darcy’s vicious attack, the governors of Hogwarts had been deluged with Owls, demanding to know why this had happened. Why wasn’t Dumbledore doing more? After many harried conversations between the governors and the Headmaster, a solution had been reached. Faith’s Karate class was to become an official class at Hogwarts, effective immediately. No parent wanted to see a repeat of Hogsmeade; no parent wanted that to happen to their child.

Faith’s classes had dramatically increased, as she found she was teaching the whole school as a proper teacher. The strain had started to show, as she tried to balance her groundskeeper duties with teaching, but eventually Hagrid had kindly suggested that she focus on one thing. She kissed him through her exhaustion, making the giant blush under his beard.

“Every time I think of you/I feel shot right through with a bolt of blue/It’s no problem of mine but it’s a problem I find/Living a life that I can’t leave behind/There’s no sense in telling me/The wisdom of a fool won’t set you free/But that’s the way that it goes/And it’s what nobody knows/While every day my confusion grows.”

Her last class had finished for the day, and she was on her way to the Great Hall for dinner. Passing the DADA classroom, she noticed the light on and decided to pop in. Wesley was working alone on some complicated looking diagrams and books were strewn haphazardly around the table.

“Hey, whatcha doing?” she asked lightly knocking on the door.

Wesley looked up at her with blank eyes, “I’m researching Fred’s condition. I’ve found nothing so far, not even the spell we used for Buffy is any help.”

“You heard from that Amazon chick lately?”

“Otrere? Buffy gets letters from her frequently; they developed quite a bond while Otrere took over her body. Funny that,” said Wesley smiling absently and then bending his head once again.

Faith watched him for a few moments and then sighed. Wesley looked up once again, “Is there something I can help you with?”

“OK Wes, I’m saying this out of concern. None of the others will say anything because they love you too much; fact is I think you’re wastin’ your time. Fred’s gone Wes, she’s dead. Soon as that goddess took over her body, Fred had left the building,” said Faith sincerely trying to convey her concern to him, “Don’t you think with all the resources Angel has at Wolfram and Hart he’d have been able to help Fred? Get her back? If he can’t do it Wes, then what hope have you got?”

“It’s the only hope I have Faith!” shouted Wesley as he stood to his full height, “There has to be something somewhere! She’s not gone; she’s still there while that creature takes over her body. Fred’s still there.”

“Every day Illyria possesses Fred’s body is one more day that makes it impossible for you to get her back. Wes, you can’t save her!” shouted Faith before she left the DADA teacher to his futile research.

“Every time I see you falling/I get down on my knees and pray/I’m waiting for that final moment/You’ll say the words that I can’t say.”

“I can,” Wes said to Faith’s retreating body. “And I will.”

* * *

Harry couldn’t concentrate on his lessons; his eyes seemed to glaze over while his thoughts constantly worried about Anastasia. He’d received word from her parents that she was awake, and that they’d be taking her home to recover. He’d not been told if he’d be allowed to visit yet. Turning his attention back to the lesson, he knew he had to see her to make sure she was all right.

“Harry wait,” said Sydney as she stopped him before he went to lunch. “How are you? Have you heard anything about Anastasia?”

Harry looked at her with dead eyes, “She’s awake. Her parents are taking her home soon. That’s all that matters.”

“You matter too Harry, how’s this affecting you? I know you zoned out in my lesson, and I’m not going to reprimand you for it. I understand, I’ll help you when it comes to finals. Just…if you need to talk, you know where to find me,” said Sydney squeezing his arm comfortingly.

Harry nodded and was about to head off but something stopped him, “Does it ever get easier Syd? Seeing the ones you love being hurt because of who you are?”

Sydney shook her head sadly, “It never does, Harry. But if you keep going, keep fighting the good fight, the people you love keep becoming stronger, because they have to. We can’t afford to lose them Harry, let her know how much she means to you.”

Harry quickly hugged Sydney before he ran to Dumbledore’s office to ask for permission to see Anastasia on the upcoming weekend.

* * *

Lucius Malfoy had never been drunk in his life. That was a facet of his personality he was quite proud of. Now, drunk on power, that was a different high. But to allow his senses to be muddled by a thing like alcohol was an entirely different thing.

“Julian…” he slurred, waving his firewhisky glass at his eldest and sloshing some onto the mahogany table carelessly.

Julian peered up from his papers amusedly. “Father, are you pissed?”

“Aren’t I allowed?” Lucius said sloppily.

“Yes, of course. You were saying?”

“This Bella thing, we can’t just walk away from it. Why should that selfish woman get everything?”

Julian sighed. He was doing it again. Backtracking in his words, just as he had done with Angelus. Words were a powerful tool. He would talk his father out of whatever his drunk mind was unlocking. “I thought we agreed that the Covenant would be our priority now.”

“All along the watchtower/Princes kept the view/While all the women came and went/Bare-foot servants to, but huh/Outside in the cold distance/A wild cat did growl/Two riders were approachin”/And the wind began to howl/Hey/Oh.”

“But I’m a wizard son. Why should I give a damn what the Covenant wants? Bunch of rich, poncy Muggles trying to take over the world! How original!”

“The Passenger, Father. If we eliminate the Passenger, then we can take on the wizarding world and Bellatrix. Who’s to say she’ll even accomplish anything?”

Lucius flung that day’s Daily Prophet at his son and it landed in a heap. “You should read the papers more, boy.”

Julian peered at the moving pictures and the screaming headline. Bella had attacked Anastasia Darcy, the girl from the year before. Put her in a coma. He froze and looked at his father with big eyes. For the first time in his life, he was speechless about Bellatrix’s intentions.

“See? That’s exactly how I felt! This is all a machination of that evil woman, wanting to be the next Dark Lord. Bah!”

“Well, this certainly changes things,” Julian conceded, laying the paper carefully on the table beside him.

“Perhaps we can use this to play Bella’s hand,” Lucius continued, everything in his mind becoming so much more clearer.

“What do you propose?”

“Well, we need to take care of the Covenant first, get them off our backs. What about the mother?”

For a moment, Julian was confused. “My mother…”

“I know about your mother!” Lucius said angrily, his gray eyes flashing. His heart twinged a little when Julian mentioned his mother. Julia was a sore spot for Lucius to this day. “Their mother, Bristow and the Passenger. Irene?”

“Irina,” Julian replied lifelessly. “Irina Derevko.”

“All along the watchtower/Hear you sing around the watch/Gotta beware gotta beware I will/Yeah/Ooh baby/All along the watchtower.”

“We can use her, yes? You’ve have a history with her.” Lucius looked at his son, his eyes glassy. “Here’s what I propose.”

* * *

Sydney’s talk with Harry had left her somewhat troubled about her own past. She waited once again until she was sure Severus was asleep, and then taking his wand she approached the Pensieve. Tapping her head, she watched her silvery thoughts flow into the basin as she watched her time with Danny. The memory showed her the day Danny proposed to her, the day she told him what she did and the day she found him in the bathtub. Sydney walked around the bathtub, watching her sobbing and screaming self upon discovering the body. She felt nothing for that younger self except a deep sadness at the horrors life was about to inflict on her.

Coming out of the Pensieve, Sydney took the Dreamless Sleep potion and went to sleep. As soon as he was sure, Severus went to the Pensieve and watched Sydney’s memories. A deep sadness welling up inside of him as he watched the younger version of the woman he loved lose the love of her life.

“I feel fine and I feel good/I’m feeling like I never should/Whenever I get this way, I just don’t know what to say/Why can’t we be ourselves like we were yesterday/I’m not sure what this could mean/I don’t think you’re what you seem/I do admit to myself/That if I hurt someone else/Then I’ll never see just what we’re meant to be.”

He could never compete with Danny, nor would he want to. Sydney could never compete with his first love either, nor would he want her to. He loved Sydney for who she was, but he was becoming worried about her nightly excursions. He knew if he didn’t say something Sydney would continue to torture herself mentally. He had to put a stop to this, but there were times…she was so normal, so sweet, the woman he’d fallen in love with that he found himself excusing her from her troubling behaviour.

Coming out of the memory he went back to bed, hoping that tomorrow Sydney would stop herself before it became too late.

* * *

“Mrs. Darcy! Will your daughter’s recent attack affect your donations for Friends of Muggles?” asked a particularly nosy reporter as they took Anastasia out of the hospital.

“Anastasia! How are you feeling?”

“Mr. Darcy! What is you opinion of the security at Hogsmeade? Should our children still be allowed to go there?”

The questions went on and on, but the couple ignored them, as they bundled Anastasia out into the Muggle world, and swiftly took her to the Leaky Cauldron. The patrons briefly looked up, but the haggard couple and their pale daughter made them go back to their conversations. Tom the inn
keeper, gave them a toothy smile and led them out back so they could charm a bottle into becoming a port key to take them all home.

“Sing me to sleep/Sing me to sleep/I don’t want to wake up/On my own anymore.”

Anastasia barely noticed anything as she formulated her plan for revenge on Bellatrix. The karate lessons had helped but they weren’t enough for someone like Bellatrix. She needed more help; she needed to become better to beat Bellatrix. When she snapped back to reality she found herself being bundled up into bed. Her mother was fussing as usual, fluffing her pillows while her dad looked on worriedly.

“If you need anything we’ll be near by. It’s so good to have you home, pud,” said Alex Darcy as he hugged his daughter.

“It’s good to be home Dad,” said Anastasia with a weak smile.

“Now come on, we’ll leave you to rest. Don’t you ever do that to me again An, I don’t think I need to look 10 years older,” admonished her mother playfully.

“You’ve never looked anything but beautiful Mum,” said Anastasia, “I saw you, in my dreams. You pulled me out of wherever I was.”

Natasha Darcy started sobbing as she embraced her daughter tightly, “Don’t you leave me again Ana.”

“I won’t Mum.”

“Sing to me/Sing to me/I don”t want to wake up/On my own anymore.”

“Hey Ana,” said Harry as he came out of the shadows. Anastasia’s eyes widened as she took in her boyfriend.

Natasha smiled though her tears, “Surprise!”

“You’re OK?” asked Anastasia ignoring her parents.

Harry sat down next to her on the bed, “I should be asking you that Ana, I couldn’t visit you at the hospital. I got you this,” he said as he gave her a box. Anastasia pulled apart the wrapping to reveal a frame with a couple smiling and laughing in it. The couple was Harry and Anastasia at the Fashion Show. “Colin was putting some pictures he’d taken into the year book, and I asked if I could have a copy for you.”

“Oh Harry…” said Anastasia as she took in the smiling couple, oblivious of the troubles ahead.

“Well, we’ll leave you to it,” said Natasha in an overly cheerful voice.

“Take care of her young man, and don’t tire her out,” came Alex’s warning before he left the room.

“Don”t feel bad for me/I want you to know/Deep in the cell of my heart/I really want to go.”

“Your dad’s scary,” admitted Harry, which made Anastasia giggle.

“He’s very overprotective.”

“So he should be, you’re worth more than words Anastasia. Your… attack made me realise how much you mean to me. If you’d died I don’t know what I’d have done Ana, you’re too special.”

“I’m sorry Harry, about knocking you out. That wasn’t me…she..”

“Don’t say anything. Just listen. I love you Anastasia Darcy and I want to be with you. I think we’re cursed though. I’d like to be able to go on one date with you without somebody getting hurt,” joked Harry.

Anastasia giggled again, feeling a little sleepy.

“Hold me Harry?” she asked softly.

“There is another world/There is a better world/Well, there must be/Well, there must be/Well, there must be/Well, there must be/Well…”

Harry kicked off his shoes, and slid into bed next to Anastasia watching her sleep.

Fade out

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