For more information, visit The Alliance of Destiny: A Virtual TV Series.
Written and Directed by Humaira K and Gill P
Eliza Dushku as Faith Lehane
Michael Gambon as Albus Dumbledore
Gemma Jones as Poppy Pomfrey
Devon Murray as Seamus Finnigan
Liam Neeson as Gabriel Masterson
Maggie Smith as Minerva McGonagall
Meliza woke up in the hospital wing, a painful bruise the size of a Hippogriff on her ribs. The last thing she remembered was Pansy’s face. She tried in vain to get up.
“Oh no you don’t!” Madam Pomfrey said, coming from nowhere to hold her down. “You’re in a frightful state. What were you doing, wandering the corridors so late at night? I know the rivalry between your two houses is enormous, but I think there’s something left to be said of a student who attacks another student with no provocation!”
“My robes…” Meliza croaked, her voice thick with sleep, trying to sit up.
“… are on the chair beside your bed. Lay down!” Madam Pomfrey commanded. “I’ll be right back. Don’t move!”
Meliza was in far too much hurt to complain. Luckily, the nurse had left her wand nearby. Meliza performed the Accio spell, and retrieved the sheaf of parchment from her robes. They were wrinkled, but readable. ‘They’re getting more tormented,’ she thought, as she struggled to focus on the scribbled words. The penmanship wasn’t as perfect as the others, and were definitely becoming unreadable. Whoever Sofia was corresponding with was definitely not happy with what Sofia was saying.
“Feeling confused about the things that I have seen/Nothing seems to be real everything’s a dream/Which causes me to question/What life really means.”
It was strange feeling, to be reading these letters. It almost made Meliza pity Sofia. If Sofia was the kind of person who deserved one’s pity. Sofia was infamous for being a man-eater, chewing up and spitting out whoever got in her way. Of course, she and Draco were her latest victims. She wasn’t sure she could keep this charade up any longer.
Meliza thought back to her brief interlude with Professor Bristow before Pansy – or whoever it was – attacked her. ‘Sydney,’ she mentally admonished herself. ‘She’s not your teacher anymore.’ Muggle Studies would be weird without her. Then she thought even farther back, to the moment Seamus dumped her.
“I – I don’t know…” Meliza had spluttered. Seamus had pretty much come to declare his love for her, and she just couldn’t return the gesture, not with what she knew.
“I know you’ve been distracted lately…” his words carrying a heavier meaning than he knew.
“I’m just worried about Anastasia,” she had replied. “She’s been acting differently, and I’m worried about her.”
“No, it’s not that. You’re in love with someone else. Look, I know. You don’t have to play games with me.” He sighed. “Meliza, you’re a very special girl, and I thought we had something. But until you sort out your priorities, I can’t wait for you anymore. I thought I could, but I can’t. I feel like I’m taking a backseat to whatever’s you’ve got going on inside: Anastasia, NEWTs, whatever.”
He kissed her gently on the lips, a bittersweet parting. “You know where to find me when you’re ready.”
“This is our world/Can’t take no more/I’m breaking, help me/Tell me where to go.”
Meliza felt the urge to stop him, but she let him walk away. She didn’t have the heart to tell him the truth.
* * *
Albus Dumbledore was studying the Muggle paper when a knock interrupted his thoughts. “Come in,” he said not looking up from his reading. The figure rustled in and settled them self onto the armchair in front of the roaring fire. The weekend had brought welcome relief from classes and House rivalries for the figure.
“It seems Bellatrix’s wrath is spilling into the Muggle world. It says here that buildings with lots of Muggles in them have been attacked for weeks now, England has on high alert because of that woman,” Albus commented finishing his reading and looking up.
“Well, I hope you’re going to do something about it,” said the clipped voice of Professor McGonagall as she busily made some tea for them.
Albus gave her an indulgent smile, “As if I could Minerva. I’m getting too old for this.”
Minerva snorted as she handed him his steaming cup of tea. “The day you get too old for this, is the day I’m retiring,” she said.
The pair sat in silence drinking their tea and enjoying the roaring fire.
“I hear another one of our staff has left us,” commented Minerva bringing her gaze back to Albus.
He sighed heavily and said, “Miss Bristow has decided to go back to the CIA. She feels she can help Severus better from America.”
Minerva sighed deeply before Albus added, “And I’ve approved for Miss Lehane and Mr. Wyndam-Pryce to go to a memorial service in America. It seems Miss Lehane is incredibly worried Wesley will do something stupid during the trip. His partner’s been taken over by a thousand year old goddess.”
Minerva chuckled and before she could stop herself. It turned into a full belly laugh, which went on for quiet some time. Albus looked on amused before her infectious laughter got him going too. Fawkes looked at his master curiously as the old man laughed along with his companion until they had tears in their eyes.
“It’s nothing to laugh about, poor boy. But, I’ve never heard a better excuse to leave in the middle of NEWTS. I wish I’d thought of that one,” said Minerva as her laughter died down.
“You don’t have a partner that would be taken over by a thousand year goddess,” said Albus playfully.
“How would you know?” asked Minerva with a wicked glint in her eye.
* * *
Anastasia crept out of Gryffindor Tower, as quietly as she could, which was difficult because one of her roommates was notorious for being a light sleeper. Fact was she couldn’t sleep, for the third night in a row. Her body seemed restless, and the only way she knew how to calm herself down was by practicing the Slayer moves she had learned from Faith and Wesley. She recounted the brutal psychological and physical damage Bellatrix Lestrange had inflicted on her, her family, and friends. It made her adrenaline kick up, and let her body carry her outside.
Anastasia wasn’t the kind of person to assign the word “hate” to anything lightly. But she hated Bellatrix Lestrange with a passion. A “deep in the soul” hate. A hate like You-Know-Who had for Harry.
She breathed the night air deeply. The cool breeze seeped into her lungs and she felt slightly calm. She raised her arms and began punching the air in front of her, swift kicks, sharp jabs, and using her body to her advantage against the invisible assailant.
“Truly, it’s for real/We all have to deal with shame/Do we watch, do we ever stop/Another drop everyday/Here we are round and around/The circle’s like a penny’s round/For revenge, we would say/You would look and be amazed.”
She had visited Meliza in the hospital wing that morning, after word had spread of the midnight attack on her best friend.
“What were you doing near Slytherin’s dorms?” Anastasia accused her.
“I… got lost,” Meliza said lamely.
“You were trying to get back to Draco, weren’t you?”
“No! How could you say that? Draco is ancient history.”
“I’m not stupid. You miss him. Why not admit it?”
Meliza leaned back on the pillows. “I’m not.”
“So what’s with Sofia Conti all of a sudden? Why is she always giving you dirty looks?”
“She knows about me and Draco’s affair.”
“You call a six-year-relationship with a boy an ‘affair’? You’re stupider than I thought,” Anastasia blurted out before she could stop herself.
“What?” Meliza said, sitting up in bed suddenly, grimacing as the bruise kicked up in response to her sudden movement. “What about you? Sneaking off in the middle of the night with Professor Lehane? Huh? What about that? You think you’re being secretive, but the fact is we know!”
“You don’t know anything!” Anastasia screamed.
“I know more than enough! Me and Harry are worried about you Ana! Why can’t you tell us what’s wrong?”
“Harry? So Harry’s in on this too?” Anastasia said her vision getting cloudy.
“Girls!” Madam Pomfrey said from her office. “Shh!”
“Fine, I come here, wanting to know how you are and I get the Spanish Inquisition. Forget I ever came here,” Anastasia said, turning her head away as the tears spilled down her cheeks.
“Anastasia!” Meliza had called out.
“You tire us/The little bits of misery.”
Anastasia fought back more tears as she continued to battle the imaginary phantom in front of her.
* * *
Gabriel Masterson read the letter his daughter had sent him for the umpteenth time, with each reading he wished the words would change into a different truth, but they never did.
Meliza had described the real reason she had taken up Karate; to defeat the monsters and demons Voldemort had sent during her sixth year. He could understand his daughter wanting to help, but what boggled his mind was why she had joined some secret society known only as The Alliance of Destiny. It sounded cultist, but from what she said it had helped her to meet her best friend and to finally give her the confidence she needed to get over Draco.
He knew about that too. After meeting Draco during the summer holidays, he had thought things would change for his daughter, but she was chirping on about her new boyfriend at Christmas. Gabriel was concerned, as their seemed to be an infinite sadness behind his daughter’s eyes that showed when she thought no one was watching.
But Gabriel watched, and even though he never used his Legilimens status unless he really needed to, he used it while Meliza was sleeping. Images of Draco’s betrayal made his blood boil but he said nothing to Meliza. She’d tell him when the time was right.
And now she’d told him a secret he hadn’t found out, one he might have expected from Oliver, but not her. Pondering over the letter, there seemed to be a desperation in her words. As if she was asking for help, but felt the way forward was to tell him the truth first and then see what would happen.
Gabriel sighed, he knew she could take care of herself, but this was a surprise and a shock. His little girl was growing up, and it was time for some of his own secrets to be shared with his children.
Settling himself down in front of his favourite writing desk Gabriel started a letter to Meliza.
* * *
Before Wesley and Faith could leave for Los Angeles, there was something they both needed to take care of. They had sent an owl to Anastasia, asking to meet them at the Shrieking Shack.
“Anastasia, could we talk to you for a minute?” Wesley began. Faith stood by his side, and tried not to look too suspicious. They both had decided to stop training Anastasia. She was slacking in her homework, and she was caught more than once nodding off in class. They both had noticed a completely different change in her, and neither of them wanted to enable this any longer.
“What’s up?” Anastasia said, swallowing another yawn. She didn’t get back from her late night training session until the sun came up. She barely got two hours’ sleep that day, and just moving towards them felt like walking underwater.
“We’re worried about you,” Wesley began. “Your training seems to have taken on a life of its own.”
“More like taken you over,” Faith said softly.
Anastasia stared at them, her anger boiling over. “Don’t even say it.”
“Say what?” Wesley began, knowing she knew.
“You want me to stop training.”
“Feeling everything/All the problems I will bring/You might think that, that I’m OK/There’s one word less that you can say/Fooling us like you fool yourself/You’re in danger from your wealth/Treating stuff with no regard/Nothing sacred we are scarred.”
“Well yeah. We should’ve never given our permission to do this. Your grades are suffering, you’re falling asleep in class, and it’s just not right. You might’ve been born a witch, but you weren’t born a Slayer,” Faith said, wondering what the voice of reason came from.
“You expose me to this strength that I never knew I had, and you want to take it away?” Her voice rising as she spoke.
“No, don’t look at it like that,” Wesley said soothingly. “When your life is back in balance, we can start again.”
“No! Go to hell!” Anastasia screamed, her voice echoing off the walls of the tipsy house. She stormed out of the house before they could say another word.
“Let her go,” Faith said. “We’ll figure it out when we come back.”
* * *
Meliza tried very hard to change the words on the letter she’d just received from her father, but no matter what she said to the paper it stayed the same. Magic was useless sometimes.
Rereading it for the 5th time Meliza tried to process this new piece of information. Her father was dating a Spanish witch named Lucia Barron. They had met at one of his recent plays, she was a writer as well as an actress, and had been cast as the lead in Gabriel’s latest play.
“Yo, I’m lying to my girl/Even though I love her/And she all in my world/I give her all my attention and diamonds & pearls/She’s the one who makes me feel on top of the world/Still I lie to my girl, I do it.”
Suddenly it was time to go for classes and though Meliza tried to concentrate on her lessons, her mind kept coming back to the fact that he hadn’t told her face to face. But she reasoned she hadn’t told him about The Alliance of Destiny face to face either. Like father, like daughter. Both too scared to hurt the other by telling them what was really going on in their lives.
She wondered if her older brother Oliver knew. Most likely. Gabriel kept no secrets from his children, and they had to be extremely strong to keep secrets from him.
“Hey Mel, you OK?” asked Anastasia noticing her friend was in a daze. Last night’s fight forgotten as she looked worriedly at her best friend.
“What?” asked Meliza coming out of her stupor and realizing she was standing still in the middle of the corridor eliciting curious stares.
Anastasia led her into an empty classroom before their next lesson and said quietly, “I’m sorry for shouting at you Mel. This is just something I need to do right now.”
“But why? You’re not Atlas. You don’t carry the world on your shoulders. Fighting someone like Bellatrix Lestrange is too much for you to do alone, no matter how much you hate her.”
“I know I’m not Atlas,” Anastasia said softly. “But this is something I have to do.”
They were quiet for a moment, before Meliza blurted out, “My dad’s dating someone.”
Anastasia looked at her friend and saw her really trying not to cry. She hugged Meliza close and said, “Are you OK with that?”
Meliza burst into tears as all the feelings about her break up with Seamus, the pressure of keeping Sofia’s secrets and her worried feelings for Anastasia came to the forefront. Anastasia soothed her and rocked her till Meliza quietened down a little.
“This isn’t about your dad is it?” she said when Meliza had been reduced to heaving dry sobs. Meliza shook her head but didn’t say a word.
Anastasia smoothed her hair and said, “I’m sorry I’ve not been there for you Mel. But I need to sort this out before I can move on.”
“Sort what out Ana?” asked Meliza pleading with her best friend, “Let me help you. Let Harry help you. Let someone in Ana! You’ve been keeping all this anger bottled in and it’s going to destroy you.”
Anastasia’s features turned dark as she said, “Leave me alone Mel! I need to do this alone! No-one can help me!” She stomped away angrily leaving a bewildered Meliza behind.
* * *
“She blew me off again,” Meliza reported to Harry sadly.
It was the third night in a row, and each time, they would tell each other of their run-ins with Anastasia. By their eyewitness accounts, it was getting worse and neither could breach the subject of Anastasia’s crusade without her blowing up and either changing the subject or running away until the heat was off.
“I’m surprised she hasn’t cursed the life out of us yet,” Harry said. “I think she’s getting suspicious.”
“Maybe we’re just aggravating her. Maybe we oughta should back off,” Meliza said, turning to look over the ledge of the Astronomy Tower. Harry joined her.
“Maybe. But if we do, are we really helping her by walking away?”
“No. We wouldn’t be. She needs us, even if she’s not showing it,” added Meliza. “But I don’t like the idea of her doing this on her own. She’s strong, but not as strong as Lestrange. It’ll be just a matter of time before we lose her, to Bella or to this madness that’s taking her over.”
“Yeah,” Harry said. “There has to be something we can do.”
Anastasia was sore. She had worked especially hard on the outskirts of the Forbidden Forest. Her body was screaming at her in pain, but her heart was pumping and she felt energized. She would sneak down and harass Dobby for a cuppa before heading off to bed. Unfortunately, the moon appeared from behind its clouds and suddenly illuminated the Astronomy Tower.
“In time I’m gonna find my own sweet way/My tears will dry/I don’t know why/It’s getting colder in the rain/But the summertime/Got left behind/And there’s no one else to blame.”
She instinctively looked up, and her adrenaline turned to anger. Anastasia blinked a few times, until she was sure what she was seeing was true. Her best friend and her boyfriend were at the Astronomy Tower… alone… in the middle of the night. Thoughts of betrayal spread like a disease in her mind before she blindly made her way back into the castle to confront them once and for all.
* * *
Harry and Meliza quietly crept down the stairs, watching the map to see where Filch and Peeves were. For once Peeves was being useful and keeping Filch busy doing who knew what. Meliza stifled a giggle at the convenience of the situation. All they had to do was take a few more steps before they could both be home safe. Neither saw her coming.
Anastasia’s nostrils were flaring with anger as she silently watched them creeping around and taking a deep breath she stood right in their way. For moment no one said anything. Anastasia glared at the stunned pair in anger before she said, “So? When were you going to tell me about this?”
“Tell you about what?” asked Harry confused, seeing his girlfriend tired and battered doing Merlin knew what.
“You won’t take/No rift from me/In every place/We feel defeat/And you tire us out/Little bits of misery.”
“This! You two! I thought you understood! But obviously my best friend and my boyfriend can’t keep their hands off each other. Is nothing sacred to you?” she shouted at Meliza who had turned a paler shade.
“What the hell do you think is going on Ana? That we’re dating? Harry’s been like a brother to me!” shouted Meliza with just as much anger while Anastasia scoffed and advanced dangerously close, pointing her wand at her.
“Say your prayers to whatever deity you believe in, because when I’m done with you, nobody will recognise you,” she said. Her face was turning an ugly shade of purple as her madness and hatred cam together in a frightening coupling.
“How could you think that of us?” shouted Harry distracting her from Meliza’s shaking form, “We were meeting up to try to figure out what’s wrong with you! You won’t let either of us in! There’s no way we can win Ana! What the hell is wrong with you?!”
“What’s WRONG with me? I’d say something’s finally right! Poor little Anastasia Darcy’s finally grown a backbone that’s what!” spat Anastasia her eyes flashing at Harry. “And I finally find power within myself to defeat the woman who’s ruined my life and you try to find a way to CURE me?!” She laughed bitterly. “There is no cure for what I have Harry, not until I break her bone by bone, not till she’s begging for mercy-”
“WHAT is going on here?” said Filch coming out of nowhere and smiling delightedly at students out of bed.
“Nothing sir, we were just going to bed,” said Meliza trying to smooth over the situation.
Filch tutted and shook his head sadly, “Looks like a fight, and three students out of bed. What fun when I tell Dumbledore!”
Anastasia turned on him and said menacingly, “But you won’t tell Dumbledore will you?” Before he could reply she’d cast an Obliviate charm on him and told him he’d been sleepwalking and he saw nothing. With that done she left without casting a backward glance leaving a shocked Harry and Meliza behind her.
“You won’t take/No rift from me/In every place/We feel defeat/And you tire us out/Little bits of misery.”
The pair exchanged shaking glances, this was over their head. It was time for an intervention.