In the Forest of the Night
Disclaimer: All of this is based upon the lovely J.K. Rowling's work. I own nothing except Salazar's wife, son, and various other original characters. This story is an AU of sixth year, but it will contain a few spoilers from Half-Blood Prince and Deathly Hallows. However, it will still seriously diverge from canon. Also, this story is a sequel and will not make any sense without first reading How to Tell the Truth from the Lies.
"blah" : Parseltongue
Italics: excerpt from a book /newspaper or any other written form
Bold: a word or phrase that is emphasized
Italics, Underlined, and Bold: location/date of a scene in the story
Prologue: Into the Abyss
The rain spattered to the ground, and the already soggy earth degenerated to muck and slime. Her heart pounded in her aching chest, urging her to walk faster, despite the heavy basket in her hands. She felt the faint stirring of a breeze at her back, but it only served to make her step even quicker. Something was wrong, terribly wrong, and she could feel it in the very air. It oozed all around her, twisting and bending its way through the trees.
She stepped faster, ears straining at every sound, even as her breath echoed through them. She didn't hear anything, however, not even birds. Her eyes darted all about, though not much was visible through the rain, which had now lightened to a drizzle. Still, she didn't see anything out of the ordinary. Her gaze drifted from the leafless trees to the few remaining plants on the forest floor. There was nothing, not anything that would make her this way, make her know that she was in danger.
Once more, her eyes roved around. And she finally looked up. There was a dense, grey-black cloud hanging in the air high above her. It coiled through the sky, drifting away and becoming indistinct as it did so. And it took her a minute to realize it for what it was.
Braches whipped by, grabbing at her clothes. One caught her on the arm, but she frantically pulled herself free. She hurried on, ignoring the angry, red scratches on her skin. She raced through the trees, feet sliding through the muck. She misstepped but managed to right herself and simply kept going. Her mind was too focused to even notice the vague but still persistent jab of pain that shot through her ankle with each step.
At last, she saw the end in sight, and she half-hobbled, half-ran through the wreckage of the gate. Her basket, which had managed to make it all the way through her frenzied dash, slipped from her suddenly limp fingers and now laid forgotten in the sludge. And she walked dazedly into the village, eyes taking in the now smoldering fire. The ruined buildings. The charred bodies.
And there was blood… so much of blood. It coated everything. The houses, the burnt trees, the people, the very earth. The remaining walls were coated in it, covered with finger marks and handprints. The trees were soaked, and it dripped to the ground, making it seem as though they wept the foul substance. The mud burned red with it like a river of molten fire that was now cooling in the evening air.
There simply was blood everywhere, on everything. Nothing was left untouched.
Not even her. Not anymore.
She just stumbled through the town, taking in the sight of her home ravaged and nearly razed to the ground. Her light blue eyes widened as she saw the bodies of her neighbors, her friends, her family. All that remained of them were their mortal shells, their souls having departed some time ago. Well, truly only part of their shells remained, and her fragile mind didn't want to think about what had happened to the rest of them.
She hoped, prayed, pleaded that some had been able to escape. That some had transfer into Death and avoided the slaughter, but with their bodies gone, there was no hope of that now. There was no anchor to pull them back; there was nothing for them to hold on to. They were gone; that was it. They were gone. They were dead. Really dead. And they weren't coming back. Not in this lifetime.
And the guilt, the horror, the sadness tore through her, but she couldn't cry. She ached with the need but didn't cry; she simply lacked the ability. The tears wouldn't come, and she was so far beyond them that she doubted she would ever be able to cry again.
She staggered on and came up to the barely standing remains of her house. She paused, dead blue eyes staring back at her. There was another girl lying in a doorway. Her mouth was open in a silent scream with her face turned to the side.
She knew this one, this person. And her heart shattered.
It was her sister. Her beautiful sister, who lacked tangible magic but was still so special, who always laughed and smiled, who was always willing to offer a helping hand. It was her sister. The one who was ill, who she had just spent the day collecting herbs for.
Her wonderful sister was dead. Her family was dead. Her home was destroyed. Everything was gone. Everything she had ever known. And in that moment, something within her died, too.
Siobhan sank to her knees, her hand trailing down the broken wood of the doorframe. And though no tears were forthcoming, she still wept.
AN: All right, boys and girls. We have officially moved onto the second fic of the series, and I couldn't be happier. I know this is a bit… well… different, but the story will get darker from here on. It will still have its fluffy and light moment, but the kid gloves have come off. The rating might go up, but I'm not sure.
In case you are wondering, this scene was referenced in chapter thirteen of the last story, Sister of the Raven.
Chapter One: November Reign
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