Chapter 104 – The Rebirth of Things Past
A twenty-three-year-old, auburn colored hair matted and reaching halfway down his back, cowered under a cardboard box in a London alley. Pale green eyes watched heavy rain come down outside and uneasily watched the growing damp spot on the top of his shelter. If the rain did not lessen, his so-called "shelter" would turn into nothing but mush.
The man tucked his knees up to his chest and wrapped his arms around them, locking his right hand about his left wrist. He rested his chin between his knees, one of which was showing through a large hole in his patched and very battered looking jeans.
He glared out of the alley at what had once been his home.
It had been an ancient wooden building, rickety and already falling apart. Sparrows had captured the eaves and sometimes hopped along the rafters inside. The windows had been boarded up.
But it had been home.
The building no longer stood. Not for a year now. A year today, on this most dreary of mornings.
And it was all because of him.
"Potter," growled the man, his voice dark, deep, and menacing.
But not as menacing as Potter's had been that night.
He'd looked like some demon with those all-black eyes. And he'd killed Argil. Right after the man had killed Tyls.
But he'd let him go.
God, why had he listened to Argil? He'd hated the man for years.
And Harry… Heh.
Harry he loved like a brother.
After all, hadn't he, at nine – oh so innocent nine, found the boy in an alleyway, naught but a baby then? Left alone, in the rain.
Argil had almost not taken him in. They'd had two three-year-old's then – Mara and Etar they'd been called.
But Lyra, beautiful Lyra begged Argil, told him she would care for Harry.
And he had loved Harry liked a brother.
Abram Baxter sighed and closed his eyes as a drop of rain finally made it through his cardboard shelter and spattered onto his head.
He then looked up, saw two figures, hooded and cloaked…and the rain did not touch them.
One was short, pudgy looking, not a threat as Abram saw it. But the other one…the other one was tall and thin…menace and hate flowed about him like armor.
And now they stood by the ruin of his home.
"You are certain this is the place, Wormtail?" said the taller in a commanding yet bored tone. "I would hate it not to be."
The shorter one nodded furiously – he didn't speak.
Odd, thought Abram.
"I hope you are correct, for you sake then. Else…well, we shall see, shall we not?"
The short one nodded again.
Abram then watched as the taller pulled out…a stick?…and flicked it at the rubble of his once home.
He then began to speak in a strange language.
"Chod i fyny 'r farw , 'r burnt , 'r 'n lladdedig! Chyrch 'u i fyny , at bod chrynswth ail!"
"What?" breathed Abram as a golden-red stream of dust spiraled out of the stick and settled on the ruins. He looked from one cloaked figure to the other, wondering what on earth they were doing.
The sparkling dust motes multiplied and covered the burnt boards of the ruin so much that it shone like a sun, the falling rain becoming droplets of fine crystal.
Then the motes dimmed and some of the boards began to shake, just rocking back and forth at first then violently. And more joined them.
Abram's eyes widened at this and he pressed himself back as far as he could into his "shelter". He didn't know who these people were but the taller one…the taller one had that same menacing presence around him that he had felt around Harry when Argil had murdered Tyls. And he had been a conspirator.
As he watched, something flew up out of the boards. Something burnt and black. It flew forward and hovered to the left of the taller figure, the one with the stick. More burnt…pieces…flew up and they began to form –
A body, Abram realized with a shock.
Then another…body…began to form, to the right.
And Abram couldn't believe what he was seeing.
He was seeing this…this…thing reform the bodies of Argil and Tyls!
The bodies formed, fully, still burnt and blackened. The dust motes faded and the taller peered at first the left, then the right.
"Hmm," he said, then tapped first the left then the right with his "stick".
Quite suddenly the bodies were no longer burnt. They were as whole as they'd been before the building had burned. And both of their wounds were gone.
"You gathered this information, Wormtail. Which is the one I want? Tell me quickly or I shall find fault with your presence."
The shorter man leapt into action, pointing a shimmering silver hand at Tyls floating body.
"Very good, Wormtail. Very good. Now go get the Muggle watching us from that alley while I finish this."
Abram's eyes widened as the shorter one turned and began to come towards him. Fear, white-hot and rabid as a fox, leapt up and adrenaline coursed through him. He turned, punched through the sodden cardboard, and took off running as fast as he could.
A beam of red light shot past him and Abram dodged it with an agility born of racing through crowds from police. His heart hammered against his ribs and he slipped in a puddle as he turned to race out of the alley. As he ran, he heard a vice bellow, "CRUCIO!" followed by screams.
Abram ran two alleys down, ducked into a rickety old building, and raced up the battered staircase to the top floor. There he peered out a shattered window down the street to where the shorter figure, Wormtail, was rolling on the ground in pain. The taller flicked his "stick" and Wormtail was thrown across the street into a building, sliding down the wall and lay there, sobbing.
The taller said something then turned back to the two floating bodies. He pointed his "stick" at Argil and the man's body disintegrated. Then he turned his attention on Tyls.
Abram could hear the strange language again, chanted over and over this time, growing louder with each chant.
"Chyrch buchedd chan addoed. Anrhega chryfder bacia at aelodau cerddedig at daenu llwch. Anrhega anadl at chorff cerddedig at braena. Anrhega buchedd at hon farw beth a caethiwa 'i ewyllysia ata!"
What the hell? thought Abram as a beam of dark purple or black shot out of the "stick" and enveloped Tyls' body. Blue lightning flashed in the purple and above them the heavens seem to roil with anger as the ash gray clouds that had poured down rain turned the color of charcoal and white lightning lashed down.
It was as though the world itself knew what was happening and opposed it.
And then it was over.
Abram looked down at the street below him and saw a figure, a naked boy of fifteen crouched on the ground, the rain falling upon him. The tall figure removed their cloak, revealing a face that made Abram's stomach twist in revulsion. It was a face but it wasn't a face! No human could have that face!
The…the…creature wrapped the teen in the cloak and lifted him to his feet, which appeared to be unsteady. He laid one long-fingered, pale hand on the chin and pulled it up.
It was Tyls. Tyls in the flesh. His sandy hair was as matted and untamable as it had been before that night but his eyes – black and full of mischief before – had changed.
Now they were dark purple like that light had been and veined with blue lightning.
Harry, thought Abram instantly. Harry will know. I know he will. I don't know how, but I do.
Abram took one last look at Tyls, cloaked in the snake-faced man's cloak, then ran. Ran from the building, ran from the slums.
Ran to find perhaps the only person who could tell him what the hell was going on.
Chod i fyny 'r farw , 'r burnt , 'r 'n lladdedig! Chyrch 'u i fyny , at bod chrynswth ail! – Welsh: Lift up the dead, the burnt, the slain! Bring them up, to be whole again!
Chyrch buchedd chan addoed. Anrhega chryfder bacia at aelodau cerddedig at daenu llwch. Anrhega anadl at chorff cerddedig at braena. Anrhega buchedd at hon farw beth a caethiwa 'i ewyllysia ata! – Welsh: Bring life from death. Give strength back to limbs gone to dust. Give breath to body gone to rot. Give life to this dead thing and bind its will to me!