This is a “bonus” (but incomplete) episode of The Alliance of Destiny. I checked our old Yahoo group and we were writing this one before we ceased production of new episodes. Enjoy!
Written and Directed by Humaira K and Gill P
Eliza Dushku as Faith Lehane
Michael Gambon as Albus Dumbledore
Mia Maestro as Nadia Santos
Natalia Tena as Nymphadora Tonks
David Thewlis as Remus Lupin
Sydney wasn’t sure if she was ready for this meeting, but she decided to trust her mother’s judgement. She may be a powerful, manipulative woman but her mother had more clarity on the situation than she did. So here she was in London’s Hyde Park, the sun shining down on her as if to give her strength, as she waited for the man she loved. She was apprehensive about the situation but she felt that she should at least meet Severus once more.
She was so close to capturing Lucius and Sark and putting them away forever. She just needed to know the reason she was fighting for was still there, and if necessary to say goodbye to the man she loved.
He came ambling in from nowhere though Sydney doubted he’d be strong enough for Apparition yet, perhaps he had come with a Healer who was nearby but far enough away to give them some privacy, something she was grateful for. If she had to say goodbye to him now, she couldn’t predict if it would send him swirling down into a spiral that he could never recover from.
The weather was warmer, or at least becoming warmer these days. He was bundled up in a Muggle coat and he was looking right at her as he approached. Her breath caught in her throat as she sensed him coming nearer, her body on high alert.
“Sydney,” he said softly looking into her eyes.
“Severus,” she whispered, fighting hard to keep the tears at bay.
“I remembered,” he said with a smile as he brought out with a flourish some chocolates and flowers. “It’s a little late for Valentine’s Day, I’m sorry and our anniversary is a way off but-”
Sydney couldn’t stop the tears anymore as his simple gesture touched her more than he knew and she lurched towards him and collapsed into tears. The emotional significance of his recovered memories, a huge milestone in his progress, was too much for her. He was coming back to her, he really was.
“Shhh,” said Severus gently. He stroked her hair and held her as she cried herself out and led her to a bench to sit down. “Dry your eyes my love, I’m better. I’m getting better. The Healer’s say I’m not 100% yet, and they want to keep me for a month or so longer, but I’ll be home soon.”
“A-Ab-About that,” hiccupped Sydney, “I quit Hogwarts. It was too painful not to be around you anymore, with your things their but you not there.”
“I understand sweetheart, how is your father these days? And…Mr. Vaughn?” asked Severus gently, although she could sense some fear in his voice as he spoke the last name.
“Dad’s dad,” she said with a small chuckle, then she looked him in the eyes and said, “Vaughn’s dating someone else. Outside the Agency. We’re friends but things can never go back to the way they used to be. I’m yours forever.”
“Thank you,” said Severus with an audible sigh of relief. Then with a wry grin he said, “I wouldn’t have blamed you, y’know. If you’d have gone back to him or someone else. I would have understood.”
Sydney shook her head forcefully, “Never. Hogwarts is my home now and I miss it, but I can’t go back their until you’re their with me. Understand? You’re not going to get rid of me that easily.”
“I wouldn’t want to love, I wouldn’t want to,” he said holding her close once again.
This felt more right than the months she’d spent in LA. Her mother was right; she wouldn’t let him get away again.
“Marry me,” she said with sudden clarity.
Severus jerked away from her, his eyes wide as he took in her statement.
“What?” he asked in a shocked voice.
“Marry me, once you’re healed and we have Sark and Lucius in custody, marry me,” repeated Sydney with a sudden wild look in her eyes.
“Why?” he asked without thinking.
“Because, we’re meant to be together Severus. I’d be honoured to be your wife, to start a family with you. This whole thing has finally made me realise life’s too short. We may get 5 years or 50 together, but I want to be with you and share my life with you permanently. I’m yours forever.”
Severus was too stunned by this show of passion to say anything.
He pulled her close and kissed her fervently and then pulled away breathing hard before he said, “Yes!”
* * *
Nadia eyed Tonks and Lupin. They had just finished their breakfast in the decrepit old kitchen. Tonks was cleaning up the plates, with little success. She dropped a few with loud crashes, blushing. Lupin and Nadia were so used to her rare moments of clumsiness, that they didn’t bat an eye. Nadia scooped up the broken plates with a spare rag, and Lupin buried his nose in the Daily Prophet.
“The Lestranges are on the move again,” Lupin said aloud, not expecting a reply.
“Where are they going?” Tonks asked.
“They’re branching out into Germany now. It seems as though she is recruiting for her Death Eaters, and having some success.”
“Indeed,” Lupin said, turning the page.
They were an interesting pair. They never did anything without the other, finished each other’s sentences, and moved as one. However, when Nadia was feeling particularly nosy, they denied that they were having an affair. Nadia was a natural undercover agent; her mother was Irina Derevko, after all. She wondered why they were bothering with all the denials. It was obvious in every movement, every word not spoken.
“Nadia, we have to go,” Tonks explained, after Lupin stowed his paper and repaired the broken plates.
“It’s for your own safety, you know,” Lupin began. “You might not know it now -”
“But you will when this is all over,” Tonks finished up.
“Can I open a window? The air in this house has been grating on my nerves,” Nadia whined.
“Maybe later, la hermanita,” Lupin said, with a smile.
Nadia glowered at him. “Usted me sostiene detrás, incluso si está para mi propia seguridad.”
“Quizá. ¿Pero usted moriría algo, o viviría para ver otro día?” Lupin said.
“Is someone going to clue me in?” Tonks asked.
Nadia flounced away, leaving Lupin to explain. She rounded a corner, and fell over Kreacher. Nadia managed to catch herself on a drape, which allowed the bright light of the day to shine through. Kreacher didn’t even stop to hear her apology, but slunk away into the shadows.
Kreacher didn’t know when the master would show up, but he had hoped soon. He didn’t have to wait long.
* * *
Sydney walked through the courtyard still elated from her meeting with Severus, she had needed to come to Hogwarts before she left for LA, to come home to renew her spirits and to remember what she was fighting for. She was on her way to their rooms to get some things Severus had requested to help him with his last month at St. Mungos.
Now his memories were coming back, he wanted his creature comforts and Sydney was more than happy to oblige him. As she entered the castle she noticed how empty it seemed. ‘Must be a Hogsmeade weekend,’ she thought as she made her way to dungeons and their rooms. It had stopped being Severus’s room the day she had moved in and it now held remnants of their life together that Sydney didn’t have the heart to
take with her to LA. Most notably there was the Pensieve that still resided there, but Sydney didn’t dare touch it, she walked past determined. She was past that.
After she had picked the things Severus needed she walked out of the room and closed it knowing she’d be home soon. They’d be home soon. As she carried them out into the main hallway, Professor Dumbledore materialised from nowhere startling her so that she dropped the things. Sydney put her hand on her heart at the shock, the castle had seemed empty and eerie and Professor Dumbledore had jolted her badly.
She was proud she hadn’t reverted to the Krav Maga position as soon as he’d materialised, maybe civilian life was making her less of a spy
and more of a woman.
“I’m sorry to startle you my dear,” said Dumbledore smiling gently at her.
Sydney smiled warmly as she hugged him, “No professor, I thought the castle was empty and truth be told I didn’t want to announce my
appearance just yet.”
“I understand. You’re lucky everyone’s away for the Hogsmeade visit. Taking advantage of the rare sunshine I imagine. Care to join me for a
stroll?” he asked offering his arm.
Sydney looped her arm through his and they explored Hogwarts sprawling gardens, which were once again coming into bloom with the oncoming spring.
“How is Severus?” he asked after they had walked in silence for a while.
“Good. His memories are coming back more quickly, you may have your Potions Master back before the end of the term,” she said with a
“Please tell Severus to take his time, I value his recovery more than coming back to teach so quickly,” said Dumbledore with a concerned look.
“I’ll be sure to pass on that message,” assured Sydney.
It was getting dark and the students would be coming back soon. It wouldn’t be wise to tarry here much longer.
“I want you to come back mon cherie, come back to teach when you’ve finished what you started. Hogwarts and Severus need you here,” said
Dumbledore, unlooping his arms and turning to face her with a seriousness that she had never seen before.
“We’ll see how it goes Headmaster, we’ll see,” said Sydney before something hit her. Mon Cherie. That had been the phrase the man who had seen inside her head and directed her to Hogsmeade more than a year ago had called her. She whipped around to look at Dumbledore but he’d disappeared before she could say a word.
* * *
Nadia jerked awake, a slight headache coming on. She hadn’t realized that she had fallen asleep until she had heard the crash. She peeked at her watch, but knew it was useless. Time was a moot point inside number 12, Grimmauld Place.
She stretched her arms, and put the book back on the shelf. Ambling towards the door, she threw it open, and was soon greeted with the musty smell and dark hallway of the home. Nadia padded her way downstairs, hoping she would find some remnants of food in the kitchen. She snuck past Mrs. Black’s portrait carefully. But the house was oddly silent. Even when she was alone, there was always something going on, noise-wise.
‘There’s something wrong,’ the little voice in her head told her. She was immediately put on her guard, and looked around carefully.
“Petrificus totalus,” a voice commanded from behind her.
Nadia spun around just in time to see Lucius Malfoy and Julian Sark before the spell took effect. She could still feel her body, she could move and blink her eyes, but she couldn’t move.
“Do you remember us, Miss Santos?” Julian Sark asked. “Blink your eyes twice.” Nadia complied.
“Thank you Kreacher,” Lucius said to the house elf, who had bent down to kiss his feet.
“Anything for the husband of the one true Black,” Kreacher snivelled, before Lucius kicked him away.
“Let’s go Father,” Sark said. “They’ll be back any time soon.”
“Mobilicorpus,” Lucius said, pointing his wand at Nadia. Nadia felt invisible ropes slither around her body and she was gently lifted off of the ground. Nadia felt her body move up the stairs and towards the attic.
“Is the bomb set, son?”
“Yes Father. It will destroy the Vanishing Cabinet as soon as we pass through it.”
“Oh wait. First things first,” Lucius said. He dropped a ring with the Malfoy family crest printed on it outside of the attic door in a conspicuous place, and led the way back into the Vanishing Cabinet with Nadia.
Sark soon followed, and as promised, the Vanishing Cabinet exploded with a loud bang, shattering into a thousand pieces.
* * *
Tonks was the first to realise that something was wrong when she got home. Nadia would usually rush to meet them and unsuccessfully ask where they had been. Tonks would give her a wry smile and Nadia would sigh in resignation knowing that Tonks had been away doing work for the Order of the Phoenix. With Voldemort’s banishment, the Lestranges had taken up his mantle and were surprisingly successful.
“We cannot have a repeat of Voldemort,” Professor Dumbledore had warned at one of their meetings. The whole Order wasn’t present this time, since the threat wasn’t large enough to involve them. “A group of people and the Muggle authorities from America keep trying to thwart them but they are but amateurs.”
Tonks was surprised by the intensity of his speech. The Dumbledore she knew had always given rousing speeches about loving your fellow Muggles and since she was half Muggle and her own father was in the police force, it struck an extra chord with her. She’d shared a look
with Lupin, and they’d turned back to the listen to the older man outline his plan to rid the Wizarding world of the Lestranges.
So now with no one here, not even the noises Nadia made coming down the stairs from the reading room was disconcerting.
Wand out, she stood ready for any threat as she called out, “Nadia!” repeatedly as she wandered from room to room in search of their charge. Lupin came home in the meantime and once she had informed him of Nadia’s absence he looked worried and started aiding her in her search.
As the descendant of a true Black, there were some places she was allowed to go that the others could not and since her Uncle Sirius’s death the house was now the property of Harry Potter. But he would still not be allowed to go to the attic, which she now made her way to. She had a bad feeling about this, knowing Nadia would not be allowed to go there either.
When she made her way up the stairs the complete silence of the house struck her. And then she saw it, the unmistakable ring glittering like a beacon bearing the Malfoy family crest. She suddenly knew what had happened to Nadia. She knew who Nadia was with and how she’d got there.
“Kreacher!” she screamed at the top of her lungs.
Kreacher materialised out of nowhere but refused to meet her eyes.
“Where is Nadia?” she asked with a calm gentleness she reserved for only the most violent of people.
“Kreacher…does not know,” even though the smirk on his face revealed that he did.
“Kreacher, you do know. And as the descendant of a true Black I command you to tell me,” she said now losing her temper.
“OK Kreacher. You win this round,” she said in a resigned tone, although a plan was already forming in her head.
Kreacher had the audacity to smile his hideous smile before he disappeared somewhere. Kreacher knew exactly what had happened to the filthy mudblood and no one could make him tell!
* * *
Faith had finished teaching for the day and was tidying up, probably to the chagrin of the houselves, which she still had a hard time accepting existed. They freaked her out to no end and she preferred to tidy up herself. This way, she knew where everything was.
A presence made itself known as it stepped out of the shadows. Faith tensed before she turned around. She let out a sigh of relief when she
realized it was Buffy.
“Hey,” said Buffy looking a little down. She shuffled her feet as she walked over to Faith who had just finished putting the last of the mats away in the store cupboard.
“Hey,” said Faith, frowning at the expression on the other Slayer’s face. “Is everything OK?”
“No,” said Buffy stiffly and then added, “And it takes a lot for me to say that to you. It’s just…do you ever think about your mom?”
Faith tensed at the mention of her mother. “No.” She stayed quiet for a bit, knowing that Buffy wasn’t actually asking about her mother,
but mother’s in general. “You wanna talk?” she asked, as she pulled out two chairs she kept to talk to her students after class. Sometimes they got a little too aggressive during classes and it was usually down to a deeper issue than using someone else as a human punching bag.
Buffy sat down, but was still staring into space before she babbled, “I never realised how much it hurt her. I was awful to her. Never knowing if I’d come home alive or dead. Especially after she found out what I really did at night.”
Faith nodded sympathetically. Not that her own mother would have cared one way or the other if she’d been found dead in a gutter somewhere.
She was too drunk to notice that half the time Faith wasn’t there.
“Seeing Anastasia’s mother, the way she was depending on this seventeen year old boy to find her daughter, it broke my heart. She knows he’s just a kid, but they’ve all placed this awful burden on him. He’s not a saviour, he’s just a scared boy who’s terrified of the dark and what’s happened to his girlfriend,” said Buffy, her voice breaking and her eyes welling up with repressed tears. Faith moved closer and gingerly laid a hand on Buffy’s arm. This was weird. Buffy never cried because she was always the strong one. It was easier to hate her that way.
“I never got to say goodbye y’know,” she sobbed. “She was just laying there, motionless and I knew she was dead, but what kills me is I didn’t get to say goodbye. She was my MOTHER! The powers should have given me that at least.”
Faith let go the part of her that compartmentalised every emotion she’d ever had to repress as she held Buffy until the other woman had cried herself out. Although she couldn’t say the same for her own mother, Joyce Summers was the one thing she envied most about Buffy.