Hello everyone and welcome back to Lament. This has been far long overdue, perhaps more so than Redemption's rewrite, but I wanted to sit down and explain a few things before I get this rewrite on the way. First of all, I want to thank everyone who supported this story and took the time to read and review. That support showed me that I could attempt my dreams of being a writer.
Second, I want to make everyone aware of something, because a lot of people jumped me for so many things in the original Lament. I was only maybe thirteen years old when I started writing Lament. I may have been twelve, I honestly don't remember the actual timeline, but I started the first writing of Redemption in high school, so I was still in middle school when I wrote Lament. That meant a LOT of screw-ups. I was bullied into writing scenes I didn't want to, especially the lemon/lime scene, because I had NO idea what I was doing. If you were offended, I apologize, guess what? So was I. I never wanted to write anything about them doing anything at that time.
Notes: This is a rewrite. The original story will be on deviant art.
(X) is pov change and or time jump.
Chapter 1: Gift
Harry lay on his bed in silence, staring at his bedroom ceiling in number four Privet Drive. The wind outside blowing in an almost soft melody. Sadly, the boy with black hair, glasses, and the lightning-shaped scar on his forehead was not being lulled to sleep by it as so many others in Little Whinging no doubt were. He closed his eyes, but didn't seem any closer to falling asleep now than he had the first hundred times he'd attempted to sleep that night. Not that this surprised Harry.
Despite the breeze outside, the room itself was quite stuffy, tempting him more than a few times throughout the night to remove his pyjama top, but he knew now not to bother. Every time he'd begun to remove it, the air conditioner would kick on and he'd begin to freeze. He wondered a few times if Uncle Vernon or Dudley were watching his every move so they could turn it on once he sat up in bed and tried to take his top off. Just another way to drive him mad. As if he wasn't already nearly there.
None of that really had anything to do with what was bothering Harry, though. Today had been his birthday and after angrily throwing away two boxes of chocolates, one from Ron, the other from Hermione, he'd tried to sleep the rest of the day away. And it wasn't just his two best friends he was angry with. He was mad at everyone he knew. Until his birthday, not a single person had written him more than a few sentences since he'd left Hogwarts. When he'd awoken that morning, shocked to find a small pile of gifts in front of his bed. Suddenly all his friends had remembered he was alive. The usual card or letter accompanied the gifts, all of them wishing him a happy birthday. He hadn't been happy in months. How was his birthday, at the Dursley's no less, supposed to be even marginally better than the rest of his horrible days so far? No one had even bothered to ask how he was doing.
Doing real great everyone, the fact that Cedric is dead doesn't bother me at all, he thought bitterly.
None of the birthday cards even suggested they'd read any of the letters he'd sent at the beginning of the summer, and he had sent a good deal of them. Not that anyone had taken time out of their busy schedule to properly reply. They had sent letters back a week or two later, but most of them didn't go any longer than three sentences, and all of them contained generic words that could have been ripped off a "missing you" Hallmark card from the nearest shop.
Harry finally concluded he would not be falling back to sleep any time soon. He opened his eyes, flipping over in his bed so he could get a good look at the gifts scattered across the floor. They laid exactly where they'd landed that morning when Harry had thrown them. The rock cake Hagrid had given him was on the floor, a dent in the wall above the package where the murderous cake had struck before falling to the carpet. Sirius' "gift", if one could really call it that, a piece of paper promising Harry any gift he wanted the second they were together, whenever that would be, was at the bottom of his rubbish bin. Lupin's gift, a book on how to fight dark creatures, was next to his bedroom door.
After he'd discarded every gift in turn and mentally cursed every so-called friend that he had, a school owl had arrived carrying a hand-sized nondescript parcel. The owl had landed on his bed and held its foot out proudly. Harry had removed the box, the owl flying away immediately after. A quick inspection of the parcel gave him no clues, but since it was a school owl, it had to be from Dumbledore. None of the other professors would send Harry a gift, not that Dumbledore had ever done so before.
There was no letter inside from what Harry could tell, not even a note saying, "Happy birthday." He'd felt even more ignored than before. On the other hand, Dumbledore had taken the time to get him a birthday gift. He knew the headmaster was busy, but it would be nice to know what was going on. Didn't he deserve that much?
Package in hand, he'd carefully unwrapped the box just in case Dumbledore had sent him something important under the pretext of a birthday gift. There might even be a letter inside. He'd opened the box slowly, making sure not to jostle anything, or cause even the slightest bit of stress to the box. Inside was a small object wrapped in white tissue paper. A small circle pendant about the size of a Galleon, maybe a little bigger, rested inside. Each side had a crescent moon facing in, the bottom and top points touching to form the circle. There were markings of some sort on the moons, but Harry had never seen anything like them before. The framed center was black and empty, a pool of darkness that he could lose himself in with ease. Just holding it had soothed some of his anger.
He had ended up staring at it for quite a few moments before he accidentally stumbled across its true nature. Harry had been holding it up by the silver chain it was on, the pendant spinning in the air when he'd uttered the words, "What am I supposed to do with this?"
The black center of the pendant had flashed a brilliant green light and then faded. Dark green letters began appearing, one by one, until soon, they had formed into words.
'Whatever you want to do with me.'
Harry's mouth had opened somewhat.
"You can understand me?"
The first sentence vanished, new words forming within seconds.
'Better than most.'
"What are you?"
'A gift from Dumbledore.'
Harry's heart began to beat faster. It didn't exactly answer his question, but the growing unease he'd been feeling let up. Somewhere in his mind, or perhaps his instincts, told him he should be wary of magical objects like this, but this felt familiar, comforting almost. And if Dumbledore really had been the one to send it, why worry?
'Go ahead; ask away, talk, I won't be going anywhere.' The necklace read.
Harry was so deprived of real conversations and actual interactions that that was all the convincing he'd needed. Perhaps Dumbledore had realized just how lonely he really was and this necklace, basically an enchanted Muggle eight ball, was his solution. For the next two hours, Harry asked the pendant about everything he could think of, his friends, his future, Dumbledore. The necklace seemed all too happy to give him answers, usually adding its own little details. It seemed especially bent on warning Harry about his future, but stressed that nothing was set in stone. That the future was forever changing.
One feature the necklace had that a Muggle magic ball did not, was its ability to show Harry images. When he'd asked what the length of a normal English Dragon was, a full moving image of one had appeared in the center of the necklace before it disappeared and the answer to his question came forth.
He'd been surprised, shaking his head, when his eyes had caught sight of the clock on his bedside table. It was almost lunchtime. Hours had passed without him even realizing it. He'd placed the necklace on the bedside table and left his room. While he loved the gift, he knew he shouldn't become obsessed with it. Granted, if he did, it would be Dumbledore and his friends' fault. They were the ones leaving him with nothing to converse with, but a magical necklace.
The clock now read three in the morning and to his disappointment, his mind was up and running. Sleep would not be coming anytime soon. He stretched his arm out to the bedside table and lifted the necklace from its resting place, a small amount of warmth flowing through him. Just touching the object was like running into an old friend, one he could talk to at any hour of the day. He watched the pendant spin hypnotically. It was strange how comforted he was just by holding the object.
What to ask, he wondered as he gazed into the black pool between the moons. It continued to spin even as Harry dropped his head back onto his pillow. He'd asked the pendant so many things earlier. He hoped the charm was strong enough to last the rest of his summer. A sudden fear gripped him at the thought of no longer being able to ask the pendant anything. Get ahold of yourself!
The necklace began glowing, even though Harry had said nothing aloud.
Harry blinked, taken aback. There was no way the necklace could read his mind, yet how else could he explain the words?
Maybe I am getting too dependent on this thing. But the alternative was isolation. Dumbledore sent it, he reminded himself yet again. Dumbledore would never give him a dangerous gift; no this was something to keep him going, so he didn't go mad. Once school started, he could be rid of it.
"I can't sleep," he whispered to the necklace.
'So, I can see,' the necklace replied.
Harry made a face, almost feeling the sarcasm dripping from the necklace's words.
It's just a magical object.
"I'm wondering if anyone is ever going to tell me what's going on."
The necklace went dark, almost like it was thinking before words began appearing across it.
'Eventually, if they ever remember, you're here and not at Hogwarts. They have no doubt forgotten you went home.'
"You're supposed to make me feel better," Harry snapped at the necklace. He already knew they'd forgotten him, or at the least, had cast him aside for the time being. His supposed friends and Sirius were doing who knew what and not telling him a single thing. Him. The Boy-Who-Lived, the supposed key to everything, was being left out of the loop. He hadn't expected answers from Dumbledore. His friends, though… and Sirius hadn't even asked him if he was okay after everything that'd happened at the cemetery. A shudder shook his body at the thought. Images of Voldemort laughing, Cedric's body collapsing to the ground, his eyes lifeless.
The bright light from the necklace snapped Harry back to his current reality.
'You asked me a question, and I gave you an answer. There's no point in lying to you,' the necklace read.
Harry glared at the necklace, a mix of anger and sadness surging through him. Was the necklace angry about being disturbed so early in the morning? It was a magical object. Things like time shouldn't be a factor, but it had never answered with such a cruel sentence before.
"Fine, this can't be healthy anyway," he seethed. He dropped the necklace back onto the bedside table and turned his back on it. He didn't want to anger the one thing that was communicating with him, even if it was a magical object.
It's a magical object, he yelled at himself. It was, there was no denying that, but its words had still hurt him, and that scared him. It would probably be best not to interact with it so much. Tomorrow would be easier. He'd spent most of his day talking with it, so once he got some sleep the newness of the object would wear off, not to mention the dread of having no one to talk to. Now he had something that would at least answer him if he truly needed it. That was enough.
The next two days were uneventful. Harry spent most of his time lying in his Aunt's flowerbed trying to listen to the news or anything that would keep him from talking to the necklace. The latter part of his plan proved harder than he'd thought it would. He'd awoken later the next day after his first "disagreement" with the necklace with every intention to ignore it, only to see the words 'Good morning' across its black sphere after he'd gotten dressed. He'd almost picked it up, his fingers inches from it when he'd remembered his decision not to talk with it unless he was absolutely in need of socialization or bored to tears.
From that point, it became a battle of stubbornness. Any time Harry stepped into the room the necklace would glow, usually asking him what he was doing or if everything was all right. By that evening, Harry had gotten so fed up seeing the bright light he'd shoved the necklace into the bedside table drawer. With it safely shut away and Harry unable to see its glow, he was able to ignore it easier and focus more on important issues, like Voldemort's rise to power. He'd expected with Voldemort having a proper form now that he would have made some kind of move by now, but the Daily Prophet, Muggle newspaper, and news channels gave no hints at anything. Obviously, Voldemort had a great deal of more patience than Harry did. Waiting for Voldemort's big reveal and all the hell that would follow it was fury inducing.
I shouldn't but… After three more days of nothing, he couldn't take it. He left the uncomfortable safety of his Aunt's flowerbed and went inside. His hands tightened into fists. He had to remind himself to remove his shoes and not to stomp his feet as he went up the stairs. Once he was in his room, he jerked the bedside table drawer open and removed the necklace from inside. Growling, he held it up inches from his face.
"Why isn't he doing anything," he demanded of it.
The green light flashed immediately.
"Voldemort!" The necklace seemed to hesitate, the light dimming, but remaining constant. "Answer me!" He gave the necklace a firm shirk, the pendant swinging back and forth haphazardly. There was a full flash.
Harry's head jerked away from the necklace towards the window, his free hand pulling his wand out from his pants waistband. Heart thumping, he moved towards the window, the necklace flashing brighter this time than he'd ever known it to do, like it wanted his immediate attention. He stopped, looking down at the necklace.
'Stop.' He frowned, the words were gone and already being replaced. 'What is going on?'
"I don't know," Harry said. He moved cautiously towards the window, his wand ready, and peered out. Several neighbors were sticking their heads out of their own windows, some at their front doors, all of them wearing looks of concern or curiosity. "I don't see anything."
Harry hardly had time to register what was happening. He saw movement in the corner of his eye and turned to react, but before he could, his body slammed against the wall, fat fingers encasing his neck.
"What in the world do you think you're doing," the intruder demanded.
It took Harry a second to process what was happening. He was sure a Death Eater had found him, or Voldemort himself, when his vision stopped spinning just long enough for him to identify his attacker as Uncle Vernon.
"I!—" He tried to get more words out, but his uncle's grip had tightened. He dropped his wand and began prying at the fat fingers around his throat.
"Trying to give everyone a heart attack is what you're doing!" His uncle looked enraged, his face a dark purple.
I'm going to die... Not by Voldemort, but by his idiot uncle.
Suddenly the entire room filled with a blinding light. Uncle Vernon released Harry as he screamed and covered his eyes. Harry grabbed his wand and ran for his bedroom door.
"Petunia! He's trying to blind me!"
Harry threw the door open, his aunt already racing up the stairs. She looked just as mad as his uncle had. He pushed passed her as he ran down the stairs. His aunt let out a small scream herself and he dashed out the front door. He had to blink a few times to get his eyes to adjust as he walked. He slipped his wand back into his jeans, regret, and uneasiness filling him.
"They're going to kill me for that," he muttered. It surprised him to see a small bit of light coming from his left side. He lifted the necklace, praying he wasn't breaking any anti-magic laws by having it outside of his bedroom.
'They were trying to kill you already,' it read.
"You saved me," Harry said. The full weight of that sunk in at once. The necklace had somehow known he was in danger and blinded his uncle with its light. If it hadn't, he wasn't sure his uncle would have let go this time.
'I wasn't about to let you die.'
The same warmth Harry had felt a few nights back returned to him. He smiled despite everything he'd just gone through. So, what if it was just a magical object? It was not only keeping him sane; it had protected him. Sure, he'd have to pay for all of that later, but for now, he was still alive.
'… I will do what needs to be done to keep you safe.'
The last sentence was a bit creepy, but Harry felt safe. He just needed somewhere to go so he could calm down. If he didn't, he might return the favor and attempt to kill his aunt and uncle.
Sounds of laughter drew his attention to the park he'd often played at by himself as a child. The swings and slide were showing signs of damage, the merry-go-round being the worst. The round metal piece of equipment was rusted and shrieked each time one of the children or wind turned it. Most of the kids were playing on the newer side of the playground. It was made from plastic instead of metal and included a twisty slide and climbing bars. Harry went for the swings on the older side and sat down.
"Do you know what that sound was," he asked the necklace. The children were far enough away, so he didn't need to whisper.
The light remained dim but gave enough of a change for Harry to know it was working.
"I know you can hear things," Harry said, anger creeping into his voice. "You're the only one I can rely on right now." The sad, but horrible truth. Harry was alone here, with no backup and no signs of his friends or the one family member he had coming to save him. Ron and Hermione had hinted in his birthday card that they were together but had not bothered to offer him to join them. He'd have much rather joined them than have gotten boxes of chocolate. Chocolate didn't spare him from his uncle or his thoughts.
To Harry's horror, the glow from the necklace vanished, leaving behind nothing but the empty black pool. He stared at it with wide eyes, waiting, mentally pleading, for the light to return. "You can't just turn off," he screamed at it. Had the light it'd used to blind his uncle been too much for it? Had he really overused the charm on it? Maybe it just needed time to rest like a Muggle's electronic did sometimes? That had to be the case. He'd only had it a few days. Even Ron's charmed items from the Quidditch World Cup had lasted a few weeks.
It was a really bright light… Could he get another one? Maybe even have this one recharmed? It wasn't even real, and yet he felt like he'd lost a close friend. He slipped the necklace on, relaxing slightly when he felt the heat coming from the pendant. It wasn't dead, just overused, he was sure of it. It needed time to cool off, just like Harry needed to relax. In a few hours, they'd both be back in normal working order.
"…. funny. The look on his face…" Laughter followed the words. Harry looked up from the ground. He must have drifted off at some point because as he took in his surroundings, he could see that the sun was already setting. He homed in on the voice, three forms in front of him, all of them easily recognizable, because of one. Dudley. While his cousin had been on a diet for the last year and had managed to lose some weight, his school had been mad enough to place him on the wrestling team. With that achievement had brought about Dudley being taught how to fight better and an excuse for him to eat whatever he wanted again, much to the dismay of all the children in the neighborhood.
Would Dudley and his friends spot him on the swing? A part of him wanted them to. Even though a few hours must have passed, his frustration was still present. If Dudley's friends spotted him, they would try to corner him; only things would get bad for Dudley, not Harry. Dudley's encounters with magic over the past few years were still fresh in his mind, and he wouldn't want to risk giving Harry an excuse to use any on him. The internal fight Dudley would endure if his stupid friends spotted Harry however was enough to make him call out after them, almost.
I shouldn't though… the only thing that cares about me right now is the necklace, and it can't save me from expulsion. No, he needed to behave if he was going to make it back to Hogwarts. He might have to endure a summer of hell here with his aunt and uncle, but as long as he knew Hogwarts was at the end of that hell, he could manage.
With a sigh, he stood up from the swing and pulled the necklace out from under his shirt. He needed to get home before Dudley, or he'd be in even more trouble, but he also needed to check on his only companion. There was no writing, but the black sphere was glowing ever so dimly. He let out another breath, this one in relief.
"I'm glad you just need some rest. I promise not to bombard you with so many questions from now on," he muttered, dropping the necklace back beneath his shirt. He watched and waited until he was trailing behind Dudley by a few feet. He listened with disgust as the three boys boasted about their latest victim. It reminded him of Draco and his two cronies. Only Dudley was just listening to the other three talk. Harry doubted his cousin was feeling any remorse and found it strange. Dudley, like Draco, often joined in the bragging of their tortures of others.
"That kid didn't know what to do," Gordon said. "Did you see the look on his face when his back hit the fence?"
"Surprised he didn't wet himself," Piers said. "We should have harassed him more before taking his allowance." He nudged Dudley. "Right Dud?"
"Sure," Dudley said.
"We going out again tomorrow, Big D?"
"Yeah," Dudley said.
"My parents are out of town," Gordon said.
"We can buy what we want and take it back to your place then," Piers said.
"Yeah," Dudley said.
"See ya, Big D!"
Harry nearly gaged hearing the nicknames. Did Dudley's so-called friends even realize how easy it was to make fun of those names? Big D was obvious enough, Dudley was big, huge in fact. How anyone could think it was good to be called, Big D was beyond him, but Dud? Really? Had all three of them failed English? Dudley was a dud; he was far too stupid to ever be a fully functional citizen unless they used him as a crash test doll for something.
They're so stupid, he thought, shaking his head. At least Draco had some common sense, even if he was a complete git.
He waited until Piers and Gordon were out of sight before he caught up with Dudley. He didn't enjoy walking home with his cousin, but his aunt and uncle had decided long ago, if Harry ever came home after Dudley again, he'd be locked in the shed for the evening. Not exactly ideal with the heatwave they were having. Besides, with how angry he'd left his aunt and uncle, he could use his whale of a cousin as a shield or maybe as a distraction depending on their moods. Either way, he could make it into his bedroom before they realized he'd come back.
"So, you're Big D now, huh?"
Dudley turned, scowling when he saw that his companion was Harry.
"Why? That's what your friends called you, or would you rather I call you a dud?" He laughed and even in the fading light, Harry could see Dudley's face turning red.
"I said belt it!"
"They're pretty accurate nicknames, but I'd be pretty mad if my friends called me either."
He could see how badly Dudley wanted to hurt him, but every time his cousin seemed ready to act, his eyes would dart to Harry's jeans and he'd stop himself.
"You're a coward. You're only saying this because you have that with you," he snapped.
"I'm not stupid," Harry said, grinning. "And no more of a coward than you are, jumping a ten-year-old with two other teenagers."
"Yeah, while at least I'm not screaming out in my sleep!"
Harry felt his insides turn cold.
"Don't play stupid. Just last night you were moaning in your sleep. "Mom, Dad! Don't let him kill me! He killed Cedric, don't let him get me!"," he mocked in a high-pitched voice. "Who's Cedric, anyway? Your boyfriend?"
Harry's wand was out before he knew it and aimed at Dudley's head. He hadn't done it consciously, and when he saw that it was out; he decided he didn't care.
"You belt it," he growled.
"P, put that away!" Dudley took a small step back, Harry moving forward with him. "PUT IT AWAY!"
"You're never to speak of that again!"
"MUM AND DAD SAID YOU COULDN'T!"
"I DON'T CARE WHAT YOUR MUM AND DAD SAID!"
Tears began pouring down Dudley's face at this point, and yet Harry still couldn't get himself to fully care. He knew he should, that while Dudley deserved to be bullied for all the things that he'd done, that this wasn't right, but how dare he?! Dudley didn't understand, no one did! He was fourteen and had been forced to watch Cedric die, because the older teen was in the wrong place at the wrong time, caught in a trap set for Harry.
I should have died. The thought whipped across his mind. He'd been trying to fight it back for weeks now, but now that he'd allowed it through his defenses, he knew how right it was. Cedric should have never died. Voldemort wanted him, not Cedric, yet Harry was still standing and Cedric… Cedric was…
"STOP IT!" The shrill voice brought Harry back. His wand was still up, but Dudley had moved away from him, his voice pleading. "STOP, PLEASE!"
Harry wasn't sure what Dudley was talking about at first. He wasn't casting any spell, in fact, he wasn't even pointing his wand at Dudley anymore. His hand had fallen to his side when he'd realized why everyone was ignoring him. The wrong person had died. Then it hit him. All the lights were gone. The stars and streetlamps, any lights coming from the many houses along their path, all of them were gone.
"You're not blind," Harry yelled. "Just belt it for a second— "
"Just stop it!"
"I'm not doing it!"
There's no way… Harry gave a quick look around, but there was still no light in sight. He moved towards Dudley's whimpering voice.
"NO! YOU'RE TRYING TO KILL ME!"
"I AM NOT!"
The one time Harry didn't want Dudley in a state of terror and he was in one. The familiar icy chill hit Harry all at once.
Dementors… but how?!
His breath caught in his throat, the cold stealing it away from him.
"I'M TELLING ON YOU!" Dudley began running. Harry turned, his eyes widening.
"YOU'RE RUNNING RIGHT FOR IT!"
Dudley stopped, but it was too late. The cloaked figure swooped in from the side, it's long skeleton-like fingers grabbing Dudley by the throat, just as a hand went for Harry's own. His world went dark.
Just let go… there's no reason for you to live. No one wants you anymore, not after you let Cedric die. It's all your fault. You should have died…. besides, in death, you'll feel no pain. Perhaps the people you care so much for will forgive you if you die. You can join your parents…
Harry's eyes snapped open.
A small silvery wisp of smoke came out of Harry's wand, but nothing else. He needed a happy memory, but his life had been so horrible lately that none came to mind.
"Expecto Patronum!" The same effect. He was just destined to die today, wasn't he? Uncle Vernon hadn't managed it, so someone sent in a Dementor to finish the job. What were the chances? How had they even gotten into a Muggle town, anyway? He'd never get to see Sirius again, or get to tell his friends how angry he was at their abandonment. He wouldn't get to see Hogwarts. But maybe this was okay...
That voice… Harry wasn't sure where it was coming from. It seemed to be in his mind, but that was impossible. It had to be someone else, Dudley maybe. A shadow in the shape of a human appeared before him, its eyes glowing bright red.
"EXPECTO PATRONUM!" The familiar Stag erupted from Harry's wand, shoving the Dementor that was holding him away and then slammed into the second one attacking Dudley. The lights returned, each one blinding Harry as he fell onto his knees, his energy drained. He glanced to where the shadow had been, but there was nothing. I don't have time for this. He scrambled back to his feet and ran towards Dudley. The Dementor had been close to kissing his cousin, had he been too late? Dudley was on the ground, curled up in a ball, sobbing.
The only answer he got was another whimper.
Footsteps caught Harry's attention, and he turned around, ready to fight again. A few feet away and moving towards them was his neighbor, Mrs. Figg. Her hair was a mess, and she was clutching her purse tight in her hand. Harry tried to shove his wand into his pants pocket, but she grabbed his wrist and held it.
"Don't put that away! What if there's more of them," she hissed. She let out a small scream and pointed to Harry's side. "THERE!"
Harry turned, ready, but stopped just as quickly. Standing beside him was not a Dementor, but the same shadow figure he'd seen before.
Why did seeing this give me the happiness to cast my Patronus?
"That's not…" The shadow gave him a look over before it melted into the darkness.
Harry instantly felt a twinge of loneliness and didn't know why, but he didn't want the shadow to go. He took a step towards where the shadow had been and stopped when he felt a hand on his arm.
"We need to go now," Mrs. Figg said. "Oh, wait until I get my hands on Mundungus! I'll kill him!" She removed her hand from Harry's arm.
Harry knew he needed to get Dudley up and moving so they could get inside. The Dementors could return at any moment, but for some reason, he just couldn't stop staring at where the shadow had been.
"R, right." He gave his head a firm shake. He could think about the shadow later.
Okay, so here's the updated version. I know it's longer, but I did try to keep things relatively close to the original, just hopefully better. I hope to do this with all the chapters. I want things to play out the same way, overall, but this was just in so much need of an upgrade. If you don't like this version, I do apologize, the original will be on my D.A. Account.