Episode 11: Protection

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
David Boreanaz as Angel
Elisha Cuthbert asSofia Conti
Victor Garber as Jack Bristow
Greg Grunberg as Eric Weiss
Helen Mirren as Constance
Michael Vartan as Michael Vaughn

Severus knew one thing. And that was to restore Sydney’s sanity, one way or another. The only way to do that would be to contact Lucius and Julian. They were the most direct link he had to the Covenant, the monsters who took two years of Sydney’s life. In between classes and breaking up fights amongst his students, Severus pored over the tomes of Rambaldi history he had acquired. One thing that was always mentioned was the Circumference. Severus had no clue what it was, but that wouldn’t stop him. If it would help give Sydney closure, he’d do anything.

He was able to get a hold of Julian via the Muggle phone he set up for Sydney. They agreed to meet in an inconspicuous place: Westminster Abbey, in the Muggle world.

How he came to tell Jack Bristow of it was beyond him.

“You are certifiably insane, Severus!” Jack began.

They were standing together outside of Sydney’s room at St. Mungo’s, when Severus spilled his secret. Sydney was taking another nap after another round with the Healers.

“She would never say where she came from/Yesterday don’t matter if it’s gone/While the sun is bright/Or in the darkest night/ No one knows/She comes and goes.”

“You’re not only putting yourself in danger, you’re putting my daughter in danger again. For a man with your intelligence, I would’ve thought you would’ve used more than that.”

Severus tried not to smile; calling him intelligent was the closest thing to a compliment Jack had ever given him. Severus switched gears. “What is the Circumference?”

Jack sighed. “Something to do with Rambaldi’s endgame. Nobody knows what it is.” He paused. “How did you set up the meet?”

“We agreed to meet at Westminster Abbey, in two days’ time.”

“Just so you know, the last time the Circumference was mentioned to Sark, he nearly killed Will Tippin, a friend of Sydney’s. Are you willing to die for my daughter? To be put through needless and unnatural torture to give Sark what he needs?”

Severus brought himself up to full height. “For Sydney, I would do anything.”

“Goodbye, Ruby Tuesday/Who could hang a name on you?/When you change with every new day/Still I’m gonna miss you.”

Jack grunted, and walked away to stew in his thoughts.

* * *

Harry walked arm in arm with Anastasia as they entered the festively decorated Yule Ball. All around them were reminders of what time of year it was. Christmas was coming and for once he’d have good friends or family as they thought of each other to share it with. And somehow the fates had decided to bestow him with a beautiful girl that not only liked him, but who was so incredibly strong he was amazed at his luck.

Meliza strolled with Seamus into the hall, chatting amiably, until her eyes unconsiously found Draco’s with that blonde tramp. Every time she had to look at that witch’s face, she nearly laughed. Draco was so deluded to her real identity, but she wouldn’t say anything. After all, public humiliation was humbling, especially to Draco Malfoy. The letter Pansy had stolen from Sofia made her cheeks burn every time she thought about it. She just wasn’t sure what she was going to with it yet.

“I told my friend I’d check for you/He told me that he liked you too/But then I saw him kissing you/I could’ve died when he said, hands off she’s mine.”

Buffy was supervising, and dateless. This didn’t worry her at all. In fact, it felt liberating to watch a bunch of awkward teens go through the same things she had gone through. Amusing in fact. Wesley sidled up to her side.

“Do you remember your high school prom?” he asked surveying the chatting teenagers, and keeping an eye on the punch bowl.

“Perfectly,” she said not turning to face him. Having been a teenager herself, anytime the adults backs were turned, chaos would rule.

“I wish Sydney and Angel were here. It just doesn’t feel right without them…last year…it was all so different,” sighed Wesley.

Buffy finally turned to face him, “How’s the research going on Fred?”

“It’s not. Every time I think I find a lead, I run into another dead end.”

“Maybe it’s time to let go Wes,” said Buffy softly.

“Have you been talking to Faith?” he asked irritatedly.

“No, but I can see this is hurting you…and if you do manage to bring Fred back, she’s won’t be the same. Let her go Wesley,” said Buffy putting a gentle hand on his arm.

Wesley didn’t say anything as he walked away to supervise the punch.

“Said hands off she’s mine/Hands off she’s mine/Hands off she’s mine, want her all the time/Hands off she’s mine, hands off she’s mine.”

Ron and Hermione awkwardly danced being one of the few couples doing so. “I’m nervous,” admitted Ron as he twirled Hermione away from him and then back again.

“Really? Why?” asked Hermione, curious as ever.

“Well, because you’re you. Hermione. One of my best friends, and as you rightly pointed out at the last Yule Ball, a girl. And ever since third year, I’ve had…well…feelings for you…and then I thought you did for me too, then you started seeing Krum,” said Ron, faltering a bit at Hermione’s piercing gaze.

“I feel the same,” she said slowly smiling at him. “And just so you know, Victor and I will always be friends. So don’t go getting all jealous on me.”

“Me? Jealous?” scoffed Ron and then slowly smiled, “Do you think he can get us tickets for the next Qudditch World Cup?”

“I knew that this was real although/It usually comes mixed up with fear/I knew that I could wait/Although it just might take a thousand years.”

Hermione groaned.

* * *

Severus was – well, he wasn’t sure what he was feeling. He was nervous, excited, and a little bit relieved. He was helping Sydney. He only wished he could tell her. But he reassured himself that when Julian and Lucius were given enough intel to leave Sydney alone, it would help speed her recovery. He rolled his shoulder blades again. Muggle clothing was so uncomfortable.

Unbeknownst to Severus was that Jack Bristow was monitoring him from a van nearby. He had requisitioned it using his contacts at MI-5. He was flying solo on this mission, and he would step in the moment Severus needed him. He was slowly coming to accept the fact that this man was willing to do anything for Sydney, as he would and had before in the past.

“Don’t question why she needs to be so free/She’ll tell you it’s the only way to be/She just can’t be chained/To a life where nothing’s gained/And nothing’s lost/At such a cost.”

Julian smiled, adjusting his Armani sunglasses, even though it was really too dark to wear them. He was intrigued by Snape’s proposal to meet about exchanging intel on the Circumference, and sauntered carefully across the courtyard. Tourists were milling around, but Snape – looking incredibly uncomfortable in Muggle clothing – was easy to spot. Julian stepped back into the shadows for a moment, waiting for his watch to click over to 11 o’clock. That’s the time they had agreed on.

At exactly 11, Severus bought a ticket to enter. He made his way to the Poet’s Corner, as Julian instructed. He was now officially nervous, as he took in all the names that were engraved into the floor beside Chaucer’s tomb, waiting for Julian to arrive. Alfred Lord Tennyson, Edward Lear, Henry James. He felt a pang in his heart, when he realized Sydney would have loved to see this.

‘When she hears what you’ve done, she’ll be proud,’ the little voice in his head was saying. ‘You can always bring her back here.’

“Professor,” Julian said, cutting the internal conversation short. He took off his sunglasses with one swift movement and placed them into his Armani suit jacket.

“Julian,” Severus replied.

“What’s this I hear about the Circumference?” Julian said with a smile, leaning on a pillar. “How did you come to know of its existence?”

“You’re not the only one who has a vested interest in Rambaldi, Julian,” Severus said, hoping his voice sounded even. His palms were sweating, and he surreptitiously wiped them on the sides of the linen trousers he had bought only hours before. “Of course, my passing interest in Rambaldi is clearly your obsession.”

“Why Severus? Why throw me a bone?” Julian asked.

“Because I want what’s best for Sydney,” he said as strongly as he could. “Like I said, in exchange for my intel, you tell the Covenant to leave her and her sister alone.”

Julian chuckled. “You don’t think I don’t also have Sydney and Nadia’s best interests at heart?”

“Let’s just get this over with Julian.”

“Very well. Give it to me. If what you say is on the level, then I will speak to my employers.”

“Um, what?” Severus asked, stalling for time.

“Give me whatever you have on the Circumference,” Julian replied.

“Oh right,” Severus said, and handed the intel over.

In the shadows, Jack Bristow was groaning internally. ‘Greenhorn,’ he thought.

Julian shuffled through the papers and threw them on the ground at Snape’s feet. “You’re giving me intel that I already know about. You sadden me, Severus, wasting my time like this. This isn’t a game, Professor.”

“Goodbye, Ruby Tuesday/Who could hang a name on you?/When you change with every new day/Still I’m gonna miss you.”

Suddenly, his Muggle clothing became tighter, restricting his air. Or at least, that’s what it felt like. “Julian, I don’t see how you can already know this. I culled this intel from various sources, unknown to the Muggle world.”

Lucius stepped out from another column and stood beside his son. “Then we’ll take you instead.” He revealed his wand and pointed it at Snape’s chest.

“I, I thought we said no weapons,” Snape said weakly, knowing full well what was about to happen.

“Muggle weapons, Severus,” Lucius replied. With a zap of his wand, Severus was frozen, and fell to the ground in a heap.

“Meet you at the rendezvous point,” Julian said to his father. Lucius nodded, and disappeared with Severus’ catatonic body.

Jack leaped out from the column, pointing a gun at Sark.

“You’re too late Jack,” Sark said, his hands in the air.

“Like hell I am,” Jack said, cocking the weapon.

“You want to defile this sacred space?” Julian asked. “Is your daughter worth that much to you?”

“Like you even know what sacred means.”

“Put your weapon down. Fight like a man,” Sark taunted.

Jack obliged, and kicked the gun away. “You mean, like the man you’ll never be?”

They fought hand-to-hand for a few minutes, the blows and groans from each man echoing off the empty space. They were evenly matched. Finally Jack delivered the final blow that knocked the wind out of Sark.

“Are you going to kill me Jack?” Sark huffed.

“No,” Jack said, removing a needle from his own jacket pocket and injecting it into Sark’s neck. “Death to you would be a tragic, dramatic event, and I’d rather not be party to some unattainable event you’ve built up in your head.”

“What… was that?” asked Sark, wincing as the needle left his skin.

“Just a little tranquilizer. Can’t have you kicking and screaming your way out of Westminster Abbey, now can I?” Jack brought him roughly to his feet, but Sark was too quick. He swept his leg around, and knocked Jack cleanly off his feet.

“Until we meet again, Mr. Bristow.” He disappeared, before Jack could react.

* * *

Contrary to popular belief, Narcissa Malfoy didn’t spend all her time shopping and hosting parties. Her chief interests, even as a child, were manipulating people. Sadly, after her marriage to Lucius, he wasn’t around as much as he had been during their courtship to be manipulated.

Rifling through his study, Narcissa could find nothing to help her in the plan she was formulating. If her sister Bellatrix could incite fear into the hearts of grown men, she would too. There was nothing quite like sibling rivalry.

“Don’t tell me to stop/Tell the rain not to drop/Tell the wind not to blow/’Cause you said so.”

Even when they were children, Narcissa had been different. The only one of the Black family not to have inherited their dark hair, and brooding eyes, as well as the sullen demeanour. It seemed the Malfoy gene, through years of intermarrying, had made it’s way into her. The blonde beauty was a striking sight against her dark haired sisters and cousins. No-one could believe this dainty, beautiful and icy woman could do anything apart from well…pose.

Narcissa Malfoy hid her intelligence, and charmed everyone who crossed her path. Right now, she knew that Lucius and Julian had gone to meet with Severus about something to do with The Covenant. She’d had enough of that organisation, and nothing in Lucius’s study was helping her.

It was time to call in an old favour.

Apparating herself into the spacious offices of Wolfram and Hart was easy. No one even batted an eye as took the lift like she knew what she was doing. She didn’t want to be seen, so had used an Illusionary spell which meant if she was fast, they’d never notice her. Seeing only the furniture and other people around them.

“Tell the sun not to shine/Not to get up this time, no, no/Let it fall by the way/But don’t leave me where I lay down.”

Pressing the top most buttons, Narcissa was taken to the offices of the CEO. They owed her a favour.

“Hello cousin Lila,” she said as she stepped into the spacious offices without bothering to knock.

“Unless I’ve suddenly been turned into a woman Mrs. Malfoy, Lilah has left the building. How may I help?” said Angel turning to face her.

Narcissa’s shock was composed as it always was. This changed things entirely.

“What happened to Lilah?” she asked calmly, gingerly perching herself on a chair.

“Well, she’s dead. Technically. She was killed,” offered Angel.

“Lilah…died…And now you expect me to ask you for help?” asked Narcissa arching an eyebrow condescendingly.

“Well, I’ve been in stranger situations. I’m sorry for your loss but if there’s nothing I can help you with, then I have other business to attend to. I’ll get someone to take you to Lilah,” said Angel turning back to his paper work.

“You made me a promise vampire. You and that spy. You promised me protection from Lucius, and I admit, my motives were not entirely honourable in coming here but I still think we can help each other.”

“What could you help me with?”

Narcissa graced him with an icy smile, “At this moment in time Severus Snape, my dear friend and unfortunate pawn in a game which I wish to eradicate, is being kidnapped by my husband and stepson. Your little spy friend, Miss. Bristow is currently in hospital recovering from a nervous breakdown and attacking a student. Once Miss Bristow finds out about her lover’s kidnapping, I can assume she will not be pleased.

“Tell me love isn’t true/It’s just something that we do/Tell me everything I’m not/But please don’t tell me to stop.”

“You help me to eradicate The Covenant, using all your resources, of which I know you have ample. And I will make sure Severus gets out, I cannot say unharmed because I do not know what my husband plans for him, but I can help him to escape Malfoy Manor.”

Angel paused considering the proposition, “So, say I agree to this proposal. All I get for helping you out is Severus’s life?”

“I had you down as a good person Mr. Angel, clearly I didn’t know who I was dealing with.”

“Touche, Mrs. Malfoy. But is the life of one of my friends enough for what you’re asking me to do? The Senior Partners have an interest in Rambaldi. In return for me helping you in your scheme, I want a copy of every Rambaldi artefact, document, mention of him in obscure texts, everything. Of which I know your husband and stepson have plenty. Wolfram and Hart will help you but you must leave the Bristows alone for the duration of the Christmas holidays. That’s all the head start they and you are getting.”

“Why?”

Angel smiled, “The Senior Partners believe in the spirit of the holidays.”

“Somehow I find that hard to believe. How do I know you won’t double cross me?”

“Tell the leaves not to turn/But don’t ever tell me I’ll learn, no, no/Take the black off a crow/But don’t tell me I have to go.”

Angel buzzed his secretary who came in with a lengthy legal document. “This contract means that everything we just agreed will happen. If either side go back on their word well…you can read the small print.”

Narcissa read with the help of a small spell.

“Creative,” she said impressed. Signing the document with a pen she conjured, the deal was done. “How soon can you start?”

“Things are already moving,” said Angel offering his hand.

Narcissa smiled but declined.

“Would you like to see Lilah?”

“Tell me love isn’t true/It’s just something that we do/Tell me everything I’m not/But don’t ever tell me to stop.”

“Another time, as you say, things are moving. And I must be there to move with them.”

* * *

Severus screamed in an unearthly pain. He had seen the damage done by You-Know-Who, as he had been taught and practiced the Dark Arts at one time, but that was by magical means. Muggle torture was something completely different. Severus didn’t have a clue where he was. It was in a dark, dank room, on his back and up to his ears in a large metal tub of water. It took all of his strength to keep his head above the water line. If he stopped fighting for just one second, he was sure he would drown.

“You double-crossed me,” Lucius spat into Snape’s face. “You traitor!” He took a baseball bat and tapped it against the unused Protean charm burned into Severus’ skin. “You were my brother, we were compatriots. But no more!” Instead of bringing the baseball bat down on Severus, he vent his frustrations on a nearby wooden chair, which shattered into pieces. He nodded to his son to proceed.

Julian turned the voltage on the electricity box, his face expressionless. Wires attached to the box snaked down to cufflinks snapped to Snape’s wrists and ankles. Severus screamed shrilly as the electricity surged through the cufflinks and rocked his body with pain with the flick of the switch.

“Are you going to cry, Severus?” Lucius asked coldly. Snape shook his head. For all the airs he had adopted as he had grown older, letting his guard down and crying was one he hoped no one would ever see.

“Again!” Lucius commanded. Julian flipped the switch. Severus’ wailing pounced off the walls in waves.

Jack was scared. Not for himself, but for whatever Sark was probably doing to him. He didn’t know what else to do, but return to Sydney’s bedside.

“Dad?” she said, that beautiful smile of hers lighting up the room. “You look like you’ve got something on your mind.”

“It’s – it’s nothing,” Jack said, shaking his head.

She set her meal aside. “When Jack Bristow says it’s nothing, it’s something.” She looked at him. “Tell me Dad.”

Jack took a deep breath. “Severus contacted Sark to trade intel on the Circumference in exchange for their promise to leave you and your sister alone. But when Sark was given old intel, his father came in and they kidnapped Severus earlier today. I think they had it planned that way…”

“WHAT?” Sydney screamed. She made a move to get out of bed, but Jack stood up and held her down. “Let me go!”

“Sydney I’ll take care of it,” Jack said patiently.

“Like hell!” Sydney replied. Jack knew there was no point in keeping his daughter from pursuing something when she set her mind to it. There was an instant change in her face: the cold harshness she took on when she was given a mission, her body language, the fire in her eyes. He let go of her, and she leapt up to get dressed.

“Where do we start?” she said, her mind clicking away. Jack stood back and watched her.

“Sydney?” Constance said, poking her head inside, surprised to see her patient pacing the floor.

“Constance, thank you. I appreciate all you’ve done for me, but there’s something I’ve got to do.” She turned to Jack, talking more to herself than to him. “Did they send a ransom note yet? They want me, maybe we can make a trade…”

“Mr. Bristow?” Constance asked, looking over at him.

“I believe my daughter is rehabilitated,” Jack replied, “I don’t think we’ll be back.”

“Let’s go,” Sydney said, scooping up her jacket.

Jack asked, “Where are we going?”

“First, to find a phone. I need to call Vaughn.”

* * *

Meliza cornered Sofia in the ladies toilets before the blonde could protest. Locking the doors and putting a soundproof spell in place she turned to the other witch.

“Hello Sofia,” she said with a sweet smile.

Sofia arched an eyebrow to invite further explanation.

“It seems you’re missing a letter from your…friend. I do wonder how Draco would react to find it…” Meliza said with a puzzled expression.

All the blood drained from Sofia’s face but she kept silent.

“Park the car at the side of the road/You should know/Time’s tide will smother you/And I will too/When you laugh about people who feel so/Very lonely/Their only desire is to die/Well, I’m afraid/It doesn’t make me smile/I wish I could laugh.”

“It seems your engagement is really a sham, well I suspected it, but I never knew just how much of a sham it really was. I’m sure it would harm your chances of any kind of marriage if this got out. Not that there’s anything wrong with it. But in a school like Hogwarts where reputations last a lifetime, well…” said Meliza as she came closer to the other girl.

“What do you want?” asked Sofia, keeping her voice steady.

“I want you to tell Draco. No matter what I think of him, he deserves to know the truth. And if you don’t tell him by the Christmas holidays that letter’s on a one way ticket to The Daily Prophet,” said Meliza with a hard expression.

“And if I don’t tell Draco then what? Send the damned thing to the Daily Prophet, if you do I’ll be out of here and I’ll take Draco with me. Hurts doesn’t it? When someone threatens the one you love?” sneered Sofia.

“Why would I care what Draco does. He had me, and he lost me. I’m never going to take him back,” said Meliza.

Sofia eyed the other girl for a while before she said, “But would your Irish boyfriend take you back if he found out about you and Draco?”

Meliza didn’t say a word and the two girls stared each other down.

“But that joke isn’t funny anymore/It’s too close to home/And it’s too near the bone/It’s too close to home/And it’s too near the bone/More than you’ll ever know …”

“How about a truce? I won’t tell Seamus about your…thing with Draco as long as you keep that letter away from the press until the end of the year. After that I couldn’t care less what happens to it. Break that contract and another letter will find it’s way to the Daily Prophet, then we’ll be even.”

The girls stared at each other some more and then both nodded their heads and went their separate ways.

* * *

“Sydney?” Michael Vaughn asked incredulously. He was sitting in his office the LA branch of the CIA, and Weiss was sitting across from him. They had been talking about catching a hockey game and a pizza dinner that night.

“Michael,” Sydney began, “I need your help.” She had phoned Dixon on his direct line, and he had transferred the call to Vaughn without a thorough explanation.

“I’m there,” he said immediately. “What do you need me to do?”

“I need you to come to Scotland. My boyfr…” Sydney faltered. Jack glanced at her, as he drove the MI-5 van. It tore through the streets of London as quickly as it could, so that he and Sydney could plan Severus’ extraction in the Muggle world. “A very dear man to me was kidnapped by ark and I need to get him back.”

“There’s no time to lose, I heard her say/Catch your dreams before they slip away/Dying all the time/Lose your dreams/And you will lose your mind/Ain’t life unkind?”

“Weiss, book me a flight to Scotland,” he said, his body erect hanging onto her every word.

“Are you crazy?” Weiss asked. “What for? What’s up with Sydney? Where are you going?”

“Edinburgh,” Sydney offered.

“Edinburgh,” Vaughn added. “Try military transports. I need to get there like, tomorrow. Sark has kidnapped a friend of Syd’s.”

“I know this is kind of out of the blue, considering I haven’t spoken to you in so long,” Sydney continued.

“Syd, I always said I’d be there for you. This is one of those times.”

“Thank you Vaughn. I really appreciate that.” Her voice wavered slightly, but she swallowed hard. She thought of how they had left each other, how long ago it had been. “I owe you.”

“Goodbye, Ruby Tuesday/Who could hang a name on you?/When you change with every new day/Still I’m gonna miss you.”

“Don’t even worry about that.”

“I should warn you, no matter what you see when you’re here, you have to promise not to freak out.”

“I’m a big boy, Syd. I think I can handle it.”

“I haven’t actually told you where I live, did I?”

“Goodbye, Ruby Tuesday/Who could hang a name on you?/When you change with every new day/Still I’m gonna miss you.”

In two hours’ time, Vaughn was able to catch a C-130 military transport lane out of Edwards Air Force Base that made a beeline for Scotland.

“Thank you so much for coming,” Sydney said gratefully.

He winked at her. “Have you been contacted yet?” Vaughn asked, all business-like looking at his partners in this endeavour. Sydney was beautiful as ever, her face crinkled by pent-up pain. Jack was brusque as usual. They had amassed several packs of MI-5 issued gear, including night vision goggles, bullet-proof vests and small handguns.

“Yes, we managed to triangulate the location of the phone call Sark placed when he contacted us,” Jack replied. “We also managed to dispatch MI-6 agents to that location and they confirmed that our target, Severus Snape, is being held captive in an underground bunker in the Charlottenberg district of Berlin.”

“Let’s go get him.”

* * *

The Yule Ball ended with fireworks outside Hogwarts as the students held onto their dates in the chilly winter.

Buffy eyed the celebrations with a wistful air and wished her friends were there.

Faith’s troubled mind was already groaning at the marking that would find it’s way into her Christmas holidays.

Wesley struggled to listen to what his friends were saying. Maybe it was time to let Fred go.

Anastasia swore to kill Bellatrix before she left school as she marvelled at the fireworks with Harry.

Harry’s thoughts kept coming back to his conversation with Peter. The man had helped them countless times, and even though he could never forgive him for what he’d done, he could perhaps clear Sirius’s name if Pettigrew handed himself in.

Meliza and Sofia eyed each other warily as each thought of the secrets they kept.

Draco was already scheming to find out who Sofia was writing letters to.

Ron and Hermione kissed after a particularly loud firework.

Fade out

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