A/N- Hiya! I'm the DarkLadyOfRavenclaw, and this only my second fan fiction, so please be nice. If you rate or you hate, please review anyway. Enjoy!
A/N Update- I've had a few flames saying that my main character is a complete and utter Mary Sue. Seeing as I wrote this when I wasn't so well experienced in the art of keeping a good character in character, it's to be expected, but it's not a bad story so give it a go. Here's the warning anyhow:
WARNING: Flamers dislike this story very much because it has an own character who has a few development flaws at the beginning and therefore brand it Mary Sue. So if own character instantly means Mary Sue, it's not your cup of tea. If you don't mind a possible hint of Mary Sue-ness then proceed in reading. I think it gets better.
Disclaimer: I do not own any characters, settings or plots, registered to Joanne Kathleen Rowling, author of the Harry Potter books. Since I have stated this, you have no right to sue. There are, however, a few characters that came from my imagination. Do not touch these!
A girl of around sixteen years of age sat in her room with a book open on her lap. If you could call it a room. The floor was made of rough stones and the bed was a thin mattress with only a thin sheet to use as a cover. It was alright in the summer for then it wasn't too bad, but in the winter the girl fought to keep her health. It was a miracle the girl had lived to be sixteen at all. The way she was treated, she should have died a long time ago, but somehow she survived. The girl turned the page of the book delicately with her thin pale fingers. She enjoyed reading, but was only allowed to as a treat, so she savoured each sentence with pleasure. Her dark eyes scanned the page, and she hid a small smile of pleasure behind curtains of raven black hair. But that smile was about to be wiped off her face.
She had not heard her father walking down the stairs towards her room, if it's what you would call it, and only looked up when the door slammed open. She quickly shut the book, put it underneath her pillow, and stood up. She looked down on the floor, and wondered what she had done wrong. She seldom saw her father unless he was to punish her. One of the things he had taught her was that she must not look him directly in the eye. She was scum; she had to be treated like it.
Her father was a thickly built man in his late thirties, and you would not have known they were related since they looked nothing alike. Whereas the girl was pale, thin, had dark hair and eyes, he was quite good-looking, with slightly tanned skin, and baby blue eyes. It was not his good looks that had attracted the girl's mother to him, but his kindness. If she could be here now, she would not have recognised the man. He was no longer kind and loving, but his heart was full of hatred and bitterness. Especially towards his daughter.
He paced around the room, his midnight blue robes sweeping behind him at every turn. He was playing with her mind, making her wait before he blew. The girl watched his feet and braced herself for whatever was coming. She must have done something wrong. Considering her father's resentment towards her, simply being alive was doing something wrong. Maybe she had cried out in her sleep again. It was frequent nowadays, but it wasn't her fault. Each night she dreamt her father wanted to kill her, and he was just about to when she would wake up. But she knew he would never do that. He himself couldn't. He had sworn to her mother on her deathbed that he wouldn't kill her.
"Tell me, Kiara, when was the last time you ate?" her father asked stopping in front of her. Kiara could feel the warmth of his breath on her scalp. He was a giant compared to her. Kiara didn't reply; she wasn't sure what to say. Perhaps her father had found out that a house-elf had snuck her a piece of carrot. "Well, are you going to answer me? Or are you being disobedient today?"
"Yesterday, father," Kiara answered, her head still down. She was bracing herself for what was going to happen to her. She was kept alive by Nourishing Potions once a week but apart from that she was not allowed to eat anything else, unless she had done very well in her lessons.
"And did I give you permission to eat yesterday? Or did you just think you could get my house elves to sneak you food? Are you trying to get my own house elves to obey you instead of me?" His face was getting closer to hers, and he pulled her hair away from her face so violently her head went along with it. "Answer me."
"No, father. You did not give me permission to eat and I am not trying to turn your own house-elves against you," Kiara explained. Her father slapped her face hard, and she flinched slightly. It was best not to show any sign of pain or emotion towards her father, that way he would get bored. If he saw no reaction there was no point in him continuing. "I was hungry."
"Aw, my poor daughter was hungry. I give you a safe place to sleep, I pay someone to teach you, I clothe you, and I keep you alive. And this is how you repay me? By turning my house-elves against me?" He pulled her hair back so she had to look at him. His face was quite close to hers, she could see the hatred towards her in his eyes, and Kiara could feel his musty breath on her face.
"Father, I wasn't-"Kiara was cut off as her father swung threw her aside. Her head contacted the wall, and she slid down onto the floor. She opened her eyes and saw him come closer to her. He kicked her hard twice in the stomach, and Kiara knew it meant he wanted her to get up. She struggled onto her feet only to be brought down with a kick to the shins.
"You are an ungrateful piece of shit, that's what you are. Your mother gave her life for you, and you are shame to her name. You aren't even fit to have the surname, Brentwood. Why if I hadn't promised her that I would keep here little Kiara alive, you would have died a long time ago."
"I am sorry Father. For being such a burden. For having lived instead of my mother. I do not deserve to live." After many years of it being said to her, this is what Kiara also thought of herself. No-one had ever told her differently.
"You damn well should be. And now you will pay for your disobedience. I have tried to help you become a good person, fit to be seen in society, but you are constantly trying to fight me. This is for your own good. Crucio."
Pain swept through Kiara's frail body as the effect of the curse filled her body. She twitched in pain, and hoped that it would end soon. She tried as hard as she could from crying out in pain, he would only increase the effect of the curse if she did. Every week, more than once, she was put under the Cruciatus. Not only by her father, but by her teacher. He was a friend of her father, and possibly worse. If she misread a word, she would be put under the Cruciatus for five minutes, and for any other mistakes she made. She should have been used to it by now, but she was too weak to withstand any pain. It was a wonder she hadn't broken a bone when she had been swung against the wall.
Unable to contain her pain she cried out. It was what her father had wanted, to see her in pain. He laughed, and increased the curse. Kiara writhed around, and she continued to twitch. That's what he wanted to see, and he always enjoyed seeing what had caused his wife to die. He too felt pain every time he thought of Kiara's mother. In his heart. He had loved her, and she was going, leaving him not with a son but a worthless daughter that he had to keep alive.
"Mr. Brentwood, a visitor is here to see you," a voice said from the door. It was Kiara's teacher, Vexus Ripley. Kiara's father lifted the curse and left her there in pain. He could always deal with her later. "He says it is most important that he sees you right away."
"Thank you for informing me, Vexus. Just giving the little brat what she deserved. I'll be there in a minute, show them into the study," he said, putting his wand away and brushing dust off his robed. Five minutes in the cellar and you could pick up a lot of dust. Before he left he turned to Kiara. "Don't worry, I haven't finished with you yet. Sweet dreams."
As the door shut, Kiara let out a groan. He had been quite nice compared to what he usually did when she had disobeyed him. She should have been grateful, but she wasn't. In the books she had read girls were not treated like this, even when they were treated badly. Kiara dragged herself over to her bed and hoisted herself up. It's not like she could do anything about it, she was stuck here until the day she died. Or was there?
Kiara looked about the room. There were no windows, just a few lanterns along the side so that she could see. Cellars didn't usually have windows, and this cellar was no exception. Maybe, she could find a way to run away. To where, she couldn't care less, just as long as she was away from here. Away from her father and Mr. Ripley, the malicious teacher, and away from the cellar she called her home. She had hardly anywhere to go. She had never been outside her room, let alone Brentwood manor. But she could do it, if she stayed in the shadows. And there should be many in a house like this.
Gathering up any strength that was left in her frail self, she stood up and made her way to the door. It wasn't usually locked except at night to make sure she didn't run away, but you could never know. She turned the knob, and thankfully it wasn't locked, but how would she know her way around the manor. It could be huge. She needed to ask a house-elf, and she knew which one. Elvin.
"Elvin, Elvin. I require your assistance, be quick on your way," Kiara whispered into the empty space. She knew he would hear her. He had promised he would always come if she called out. Come to think of it, Elvin had been more of a father than her father would ever be.
An elf dressed in a midnight blue pillow case with the initial B.M. sewn on the side appeared. He had eyes to match the pillow case, an unusual colour for a house-elf. But then again, he was a pretty unusual house-elf.
"Did Kiara call Elvin? I do not think it wise that Kiara eats anymore. Master Brentwood was angry Very angry indeed," Elvin said jumping onto the bed. He sat down and looked at Kiara intensely with his big blue eyes. "But Kiara is not wanting food. She is wanting something else."
"You could always read me like a book, Elvin. You are right. I do not require food. I need you to tell me how I would get out of this place. I need to escape, Elvin," Kiara told him, going over to the bed and sitting down next to him. She wrapped her bony arms around him, and gave the small house-elf a hug. "Please Elvin."
"Elvin not so sure it is wise. Master would be very angry if he found out you is gone. Master would have my head cut off and hung up on the wall. And Kiara cannot be thinking about running away from her own father."
"Please, do this for me, Elvin. I know you've done loads for me over the years, but please do one final thing for me, I don't think I'll live past my seventeenth birthday at this rate. Help me get out of this place." Kiara pleaded the little house-elf and finally he nodded.
"Anything for my little Kiara, but we must be hasty, Elvin not sure how long visitor is staying. Follow me, and keep very quiet. Oh, Master will not be happy. His own blood running away from him. He will be angry." The house-elf continued to mutter things under his breath but jumped off the bed and made his way to the door. He beckoned to Kiara with one of his long green fingers to follow him, and with that they were gone.
It was the first time in sixteen years this room was empty. Empty of a girl crying out in hunger or pain. It didn't matter whether or not Kiara was caught. If she was she would probably be tortured until she died, and if she wasn't then she would never return to the room again. Wherever she was going, she would be safer than here. Kiara had heard much of the city of London, and perhaps there she could seek some help. She would no longer be Kiara Brentwood, a name that she was unfit to carry, but simply Kiara. She would make up a surname along the way, but right now her main concern was escaping.
"Thank you Elvin, and farewell. If any harm is to come to you, I humbly apologise. You have been a great house-elf for my father and I. Continue to look after him," Kiara said, bending down and hugging the house-elf tightly.
They were now behind a rose bush near the gate. Elvin was bound to the Brentwood grounds and this is where they would say goodbye. The journey out of the manor had been a successful one. The corridor seemed to be clear, as if everybody was occupied. Kiara felt as if there was a guardian angel watching over her. There must have been for her to even have lived past her childhood.
"Goodbye my little Kiara. Good luck to wherever you is going. And I promise, I will look after your father. Now go, whilst it is clear for you," Elvin replied, pushing Kiara forward. Kiara ran towards the gate and out into the open. She had to stop for a bit. Out here, the sun was shining down so very brightly it blinded her. She gave one final look behind her and began running down a path. To where it led, she did not know.
At that moment, Kiara's father returned to her room to find it empty. He ransacked the cellar, upturning the bed, throwing aside her desk and chair. She wasn't there. She had gone. He roared in anger and left the room to alert his guards. He needed her back. She knew and had seen enough to have the Ministry on his tails. He had to get her back. Now.
"Vexus! Vexus! Where the hell are you?" he shouted as he walked through the many corridors. The tall, skinny man appeared from behind double doors. He had small round dark green eyes, with dirty blonde hair but with pale skin. This gave him a sinister look, but otherwise he would have been handsome.
"You called, William? Is there something wrong?" Vexus asked. He had a cold icy voice which also added to his sinister being. Vexus had always been alongside Mr. Brentwood, and he was his trusted adviser.
"Yes, I bloody well did! The little bitch has escaped, and she knows too much. She knows enough to bring us down!" The man was getting unnerved , and it became visible why Vexus Ripley was his adviser. He always kept calm in the trickiest situations, unlike Kiara's father, who looked as if he was soon going to start pulling his hair out.
"But you cannot possibly think she will talk, she will be too scared to say anything." Mr, Brentwood roared in anger, and Vexus quickly changed his tone. "Or if it is absolutely necessary, I'll get my men to see if they can find her and bring her back."
"And I want her alive, you hear me? If she comes back dead, I will skin you and your men alive is that understood?" Vexus nodded, and swept down the corridor, his emerald green robes sweeping behind him. "I made a promise and I have to keep it, no matter what."
Kiara had stopped running and was now walking along a little stream. Fishes were jumping in and out of it, and Kiara smiled. She had only ever read about them, not actually seen one. And she had never seen so many colours. The green of the grass, the blue of the sky, the red of the roses, the yellow of the daisies, the sea-green of the stream. She wondered why she had never been allowed out, even only out to the gardens. A little rabbit ran in front of her and Kiara called for it to come to her. It jumped onto her lap, and Kiara cuddled it.
Just then she heard bangs and shouts behind her. She looked up and saw birds flying away in fear. So they had realised that she was gone. Kiara put the rabbit down gently and began running as fast as her feet would carry her. She didn't have any shoes and the rocks dug into her bare feet. The shouts got closer, and she ran faster, pushing through branches that were in her way.
"Look, there she is!" a voice said. They must have been pretty close to see her. Kiara moved just in time or she would have been stunned as a spell flew towards to her. She kept running, not really knowing where she was going to, but hoped she wouldn't run into a dead end. Kiara reached the edge. It seemed she was on the top of hill and to get to the bottom was a pretty steep fall. Where was she going to go now? She began running along the side of the dip. If she could just get somewhere safe. A spell hit her on the side. Blood began to seep through her thin clothes. She was caught off balance and she toppled down the side of the hill.
"She's gone down! Come on!" another man shouted. He reached the edge, and looked down. He saw Kiara scramble up and run into the woods. He stopped the other men and shook his head. "There's no point in continuing. No-one survives the night in Brentwood Forest."
Kiara ran through the woods as fast as she could. They could still be after her, but wouldn't she be hearing them. She stopped in a small clearing, and listened. It was silent, except for the occasional rustle of leaves. She had tripped quite a few times on her way here. Her thin robes were torn; she had quite a few scratches on her face, arm and legs. Where the spell had hit her she now had a long deep gash, and it hurt to breath. Kiara was aware that she was losing a lot of blood but she had to keep going and at least find a stream, or get out of the forest. Her legs collapsed under her, and she groaned as her head hit the floor. Kiara scrambled up to her feet and kept going; she had to get out of there. She had to get out of here...
"Mr. Brentwood, we have news on your daughter," Vexus said as he entered the big study. Books upon books lined two walls full of shelves. And this was only the study. The library contained five times as many books. Mr. Brentwood had been standing looking out of the big window overlooking the gardens.
"Well? Have you found her?" Mr. Brentwood said impatiently, turning his gaze away from the gardens where he and his late wife had spent so many days together. Taking midnight walks by the moonlight, or having picnics in the orchard.
"Not exactly. She ran into Brentwood Forest, and my men could not find her, but I must say William, she will not survive the night. She took quite a fall, and she will probably die of her injuries." Mr. Brentwood nodded, and turned back to the window.
He had kept his promise. He had not killed her. He had kept her alive. She was the one who had run away, and he had even tried to bring her back. If Kiara died today, it would not be his fault. A tear fell down his face.
"I miss you Eleanor. Why did you have to die instead of her? Look what your death has done to me," he whispered to the emptiness of his study.
Nightfall was near and Kiara was still in the forest. At least now the trees were thinning. It had got to a point where the trees where so thick that she had to squeeze herself through the gaps. She kept going although she was weak, and soon she was out of the forest. How many hours it had taken her she did not know, but she was now safely out of the forest. What she needed now was a place to stay. Kiara spotted a path, and decided to walk down it. Perhaps it would lead her to a place to stay. Surely they would give her some water to drink and heal some of her wounds. And perhaps a thin sheet to cover herself with.
Night was upon her and still she did not stop. The path had died out and she was just following her instincts now. She seemed to be in a dream. The pain didn't seem real; it was just numb. She knew her feet had blistered and been cut by jagged stones but the thought that if she kept going she might find a house kept her going. Once or twice she tripped creating more cuts and bruises, and tearing her already torn robes even more.
In the distance, Kiara saw the outline of a house. No, it was too big to be a house. It was another manor. Could she have gone backwards and returned to Brentwood Manor. No, she was sure this one was different. All she had to do was hang in there, and soon she would be safe. Hopefully...
A man sat in his study, reading a book close to the fireplace. It wasn't that cold, but it was comforting, and it created that air of elegance. He turned the page of the book and frowned at it. The book had been given to him years before by a very close friend and mentor of his. 'Fifty Reasons to Smile, and Why Not to Frown'. Typical of him. This had just been one of the many books that he received each year, along with a box of lemon drops which he simply added to the ever growing pile. Maybe if he just tried one he'd like it, but the man was not fond of Muggle sweets.
The man put the book down and walked over to his desk. The book must have been written by a mindless idiot who was pent up on making you frown even more. One of the reasons to smile was 'to celebrate the fact that you are alive'. There was nothing for him to celebrate. He was a Death Eater, the Dark Lord had risen from the near-dead, and he had to be a spy for the Order, which would obviously lead him to an early death. Perhaps writing a letter asking for the ban of Muggle sweets, then he would stop receiving Lemon drops, but did he have the time to do such petty things?
He ran his hands through his long dark hair. His students were right, he was a greasy old git, but right now he felt like a greasy lonely git. He had no-one in this house apart from the house-elves and most of them were scared of him. There were portraits of his fore-fathers but he did not have the patience to listen to them droning on about their slimy lives.
The man's pale face twisted from a frown to a look of annoyance. He should have been enjoying his free time, but he loathed it. It was so boring. Maybe he shouldn't have finished his lesson plans in the first week of the summer holidays.
"Master, there is someone at the door wishing to speak to you. They say it is important you talk to them," a house-elf squeaked pulling the man out of his thoughts. Who would want to see him at this time of night? He wasn't expecting anybody and it wasn't everyday that somebody popped in to say hello. More like never. His neighbours lived five miles or more in both directions, so it wasn't like they could come over and ask him for some sugar because they had ran out. The man stood up from behind his desk, and left the study his black robes sweeping behind him.
The man opened the door to find a girl of around sixteen standing there, leaning against a pillar for support. Her robes were in tatters, her face covered in many scratches and bruises. He could see blood seeping through her robes through various places and her breathing was heavy. She looked as if she had been dragged through the forest, and true, there was a forest nearby.
"Can I help you?" the man said looking at the girl curiously. She looked strangely like himself but you couldn't tell due to the blood and dirt on her face. She was oddly skinny, too skinny in fact.
"Please, sir, I am hurt, and I am being chased by my f-somebody and they want me dead. Please could you spare me some water so I could be on my way," Kiara told the man. He didn't think he would care for a girl like herself. After all, she was scum. All she needed was water to bathe her wounds in.
"Who are you? Who wants you dead?" the man asked. He had to make sure she wasn't a trick to get into his house. You had to be safe nowadays. You couldn't really trust people.
"It does not matter who I am, but please just spare me some water." Kiara groaned, and her legs gave way. She could no longer stand, or breathe. She gave one last groan before darkness passed over her.
The man bent down and examined her. He was no Healer, and nor did he need to be to see that she was hurt. He lowered his face to hers . Kiara was no longer breathing.
Dum! Dum! DUM! So how did you like the first chapter of my second fan fiction. Review please, or no next chapter! It'll only take a minute. Oh, and thanks for reading this anyway.