Rain in England was nothing special to the inhabitants of the island nation, used to the sky opening up and showering them all at a moment's notice. That was why it was rare to see a very public reaction to this occurrence outside of mild swearing and overly practiced motions of moving away from the rain to somewhere warm and dry to wait it out. It was actions bred by habit.
Death had become like rain to some people. There are only so many times you can see it and react with true emotion before it becomes a complacent habit of mock reaction and moving on with your life. Only so many times you can cry and bawl and let the sorrow knock at the door of your heart, only to let it in and have it wreak havoc upon the insides. You live and you learn.
Soon it takes you less time to get it out of your heart, causing so much pain, and eventually, you don't even let it in anymore. Soon, there is no sorrow, no pain, nothing but emptiness. You hear of death, you go through the motions, and then you wait for it to pass you over to go about your day.
It rained at the start of summer. And many people died that night. In fact, it rained so hard, that their blood was washed from the streets, and their bodies dragged off into the night. By the dawning of the next morning, sunlight climbing into the sky revealing what looked to be clear skies, there was no evidence of anything but a late night rain that left the air crisp and the smell of precipitation drifting on the breeze.
So much of life is based on something as simple yet as important as blood. Simple red substance comprised of everything your body needs to function as it should. Human blood, barring some person-specific things, doesn't vary very much in essence. When one is cut, they bleed this red form of liquid life. But in some places, blood is held to such high regard that it is more than just something giving life. It is life.
It was running down the sink in a thick stream, almost pulsating as it spiraled the sink unnaturally before slipping into the drain, occasionally bubbling back up as if in defiance of its own wasting. White porcelain sinks were rarely, if ever, done in kitchens, it was a pointless practice considering the damage done to the kitchen sink and the upkeep needed to keep it pristine and white. However, this current household had made the expenditure solely based on the fact that they had no intention of operating the sink. For 1 more month, it was someone else's job. Then after that, it would be someone else's house.
The knife's clatter had created a chip into the sink's veneer, and the blood would pool in the crack as it washed over the razor edge of the blade laying there on its way to the drain. The silver blade was soon coated in a red sheen that caused the reflection of the person that had dropped it to be given an ominous crimson glaze.
One would think that, after cutting yourself so deeply, the reaction would be immediate, barring the severing of any nerves or the person going into shock. But there was no shock on the bland face reflected in the tainted blade, no emotion at all. No movement was present, there was no sign of continued life other than the occasional blinking, the rhythmic, almost mantra-like rise and fall of slow breathing, and the continued blood flow into the sink.
The sound of feet scuffling quickly grew louder, but the standing form did not move, staying rooted, watching the blood drain out as the reflection, despite its red hewn, showed his face growing more and more pale, to the point of almost seeming to glow in his paleness. The doors behind him flew open with a slam against the far wall, and the footsteps sounded to what would put the person right behind him, and stopped.
He didn't move. He had no intention of doing so, nor any reason to do such a thing, even as his shoulders were grabbed and he was spun around to have his hand wrapped in a pale bath towel that steadily grew darker and deeper in color as the second hand ticked along. She looked to the eyes of the still mostly motionless form before her, and saw nothing but emptiness. Her lips moved, but he didn't hear her. He saw her mouth working, but heard no voice from her lips. He wasn't listening if he did hear, his mind was elsewhere. Focused on the pain, squeezing every drop of hurt from the pain he was feeling as he could.
Suddenly her voice slipped through into his mind as he heard the end of the sentence "…must you do this to yourself? Do you like pain?" her voice was frantic, a voice she reserved for mishaps concerning only one other person, a person that wasn't him. His eyes drifted up to hers, and he seemed to almost drift off into the back of his mind while staring into her eyes, before he looked away from her as if lost in thought and not alive in his own mind at the same time.
"Masochistic? Not I. But this is the pain they felt as they were taken. This is the pain, and the calm you get, before death. I will never understand what they did until I am there…it's all starting to make sense now. That rumored moment of complete clarity before the darkness comes. I see it now. It all makes sense…" And with those words, his miraculous eyes seemed to almost brighten, becoming so vivid they seemed to emit an awkward glow onto his nearly paper-white face. And then his eyes drifted closed, and his legs gave from under him a moment later.
The once pale, now blood soaked and deep crimson towel was strewn to the side, slapping the wall with a sickening splat sound, before sliding down, leaving a blood trail down to the wall, as a shrill scream echoed around the pale kitchen, bouncing off of the newly purchased appliances and out of the freshly fitted windows. The scream slipped out across the overly manicured lawn, and off every light post along the street, bouncing into every ear within distance. It was a cry of pain, of hurt, of loss. It was a scream of desperation and helplessness. Two things Petunia Dursley wasn't known for.
The moon has long been a speculation of human interest. Every night it seems to appear from nowhere, fading into life for but a few hours, before almost seeming to drift out of existence as the sun rises over the horizon. The moon seems to demonstrate the cycle of life every month, waxing from such a small sliver to a full, bright beacon in the sky, and then reversing the cycle. Birth to death within a month, and then starting all over again.
Mankind has long been enchanted with the moon and its origin. So much so that it has become a fixture in mythology for millennia. On this particular night, the moon was at its fullest. High in the sky, draped in a scant veil of gray clouds the color of smoke, as the stars beside it blinked out a story only able to be told to those who needed to see, and knew how to look.
One such person lay, oddly, atop the roof of a house, staring up at the sky, a smile dusted across her features as she seemed to almost be watching some kind of play before her eyes, serenity in her clear as water blue eyes. She loved the night, and she loved the moon.
Her mother used to sing her a song about the moon, about the stars and the night sky. About love and happiness. But that was before the pain and the suffering. To her, her mother was a beautifully clear night sky. But the morning sun had arisen and caused her to fade away long before her time.
Her mother loved the moon. Her mother had named her Luna. Told her to always shine, be the light in the darkness for other people. Help them see what they otherwise couldn't. Those were the last words she spoke to Luna before her eyes closed, and the last sliver of life waned. But Luna didn't cry. Because she believed her mother would start anew elsewhere, at a different place…on a new night.
Luna loved the night sky after it had rained. The coolness of the air seemed to caress her skin like a lover's cool hand, and she loved it on the summer nights when the brisk air was all she had.
Her father had taken to acting very oddly. He would be up into the early hours of the morning working in the editorial laboratory he had created in the attic of the house, and would refuse to come down. Luna very much doubted he would eat, but every attempt she made to deliver sustenance, she found herself tasting the door in her face as he left her on the other side of it without a word.
He wasn't right. She could see that. But she didn't know what to do, but lay on the roof, reading the story the sky told her, trying to figure out what she was meant to do. It had not been a good day, and it was all she could do to watch the skies, and keep the smile on her face. Something was wrong, and the stars could tell. But they continued to tell her a sweet story, trying to hide it. But her mother had taught her reading the skies incredibly well. And the moon didn't lie. It never lied to her. And the faint red sheen that was glinting across it even in the night sky wasn't a good omen.
Ginevra Weasley gazed out of her window up at the night sky, a sigh escaping her lips at an almost clockwork-like manner. She wasn't happy, and hadn't been for some time. She was sure that Harry would owl her when the summer began and his muggle relations went back to treating him without love. She was sure he would send her word, plans for a rekindling of their just recently dimmed love once he saw how alone he was.
But nothing had come.
She hated being wrong, it unnerved her to a great degree because there was no middle ground to being wrong. You can't be half wrong. It's all or nothing, and that made Ginny shake at the window like the leaves caught in the summer breeze outside. She sighed to herself as the wind caught her thoughts and turned them around several times before delivering them back to her anew.
In a year, Ginny had become more like Hermione than she liked to allow herself to believe. She had looked up to the older girl since the first time they had met and spoken to each other. There was something about the assuredness, the confidence the girl's knowledge seemed to bring her that appealed to Ginny's mind. Growing up as the only girl in such a large family had been hard on the young redhead's psyche, living in a shell, afraid to express herself.
But Hermione had been a wake up call to Ginny. And in short work, the girl had begun to mold herself after the bushy-haired girl. The revelation of the closeness Harry and Hermione shared above all seemed to drag this change into another year. The past year had been all of Ginny's dreams come true. Her subtle transformation into the older girl, not to mention a select potion she had acquired and slipped into a goblet of pumpkin juice, had seemed to yield some kind of emotion to draw Harry toward her. And that had been all Ginny felt she needed, to have him be close to her, for him to realize he cared about her.
Ginny cringed at the word cared. It was past tense. And one thing about being like Hermione was the girl's loathing for failure. Failure was a sign of weakness, a sign of not having been enough to succeed. Not being good enough…
Toying with the shimmering locket around her neck, Ginny gazed back out of her window as she ran her finger along the stylized "S" engraved atop the jewelry, willing her mind to believe that an owl was coming. It simply had to. She didn't fail. She couldn't have.
The darkness of the night was like a coating of paint over the forest, and was unbiased in its covering. The full moon, in all its brightness, couldn't pierce the woolen thickness of the darkness in the forest. There was a rustling of sound as bushes were stepped through. Silence or discretion weren't necessary when it was as dark as it was, darker than it should have been. But it wasn't as if the person who had made the sound had any reason to sneak anywhere as it was. The forest was empty as far as he knew. It had been arranged that the general vicinity was to be as clear as possible to make his approach simple.
His eyes darted back and forth despite his supposed sureness of his solitude, wand dangling in between his finger in a motion meant to look absentminded but was in fact much more, its use just a moment away and always at hand. His hair hung in his eyes as he approached the compound, arriving at the portkeyed door, he slipped his wand back, knowing he was home free.
However, as he reached up to pound the knocker, he was slammed up into the door. Before he could even catch his bearing and go for his wand, he was pressed back against the door with shining yellow eyes pushing him deeper into it than the strong arms against his throat.
"Getting careless in your old age? Or perhaps just going soft with your days as Dumbledore's boy. Maybe that condition can be remedied now that he was felled to your own hands." The voice paused for a second, before speaking again. "Let us hope not Severus. Because your ineptitude has made others have to pick up the slack. And I do so very much enjoy cleaning up after your idiocy. And I would enjoy even more cleaning up after Riddle's. And finally ending your meager existence at my own hands…or teeth." And with that, and a mocking snapping of his mouth, the man stepped back.
"Greyback, stay away from me, lest I speak of your treachery. 'Riddle' you say, how dare you show such lack of respect for our Lord!" Severus was shaking on the inside. Something wasn't right in Fenrir's eyes, and the actual eloquence in wording that the werewolf had shown was completely out of character as far as was known about the personality of the man. If he could be called a man.
"You do not frighten me, Severus. Nor does this 'Lord' of yours. Mind games are for children. Simple children, and let him know I said so. I dare say he shan't hear the words uttered from my lips, as, should he come close enough to heard anything from my mouth, no words will be said. Nothing will spill forth from my mouth but his blood onto the floor." Severus stared. The man before him was not the Fenrir Greyback that had been present at the siege on Hogwarts. This was not the same Fenrir Greyback that was spoken about in horrible stories older children told their younger siblings to give them nightmares and increase the fear of the dark. No, this was a whole different beast.
"You may go Severus. And deliver my message, but be prepared for the pain upon delivering it. I do believe he will be quite angry at losing the werewolves to his foolish, over-prideful pursuits at world domination." Fenrir stepped back a moment and glanced away as if he had heard something. He looked back to Severus with something unreadable in his eyes. "But do not think to not tell him what I have told you. I daresay he would be even less congenial about finding out you were withholding even more information than he knows of." And with that, the yellow eyes drilled into the very skull of Severus Snape, and then they, along with the person that had been before him, were gone.
Reaching up and shakily grasping the door's knocker, he felt the tug of a portkey, and found himself in the foyer of the "Slytherin Compound" as it had been dubbed. His eyes darted around, before he began the trek to the main throne room. Much was to be said, and he began to steel himself for the pain that was to drag across his body in the coming hours.
The sound of death littered the night, paraded up and down the streets like a circus procession, so loud in its presence that human ears could not even hear its arrival until it was far too late.
The wolves showed their true allegiance that night, and their lack of alignment to any side but their own. Dark Pureblood, Half-Blood, Muggleborn and Muggle alike all died that night, and proved that blood made no difference in the end. It all painted the earth the same crimson color, and in the end, one person's blood meant no more than any other person's. It was all spilt the same to the jagged teeth that ripped throats open, that gnarled bodies and shattered bones. That lacked discrimination between man, woman or child upon the rampage.
And for all the hatred of the beasts known as werewolves, there was one thing to be said about them. Their hatred, their anger, their thirst for blood was indiscriminate. Something that those that considered themselves superior to the clawed hybrids of man and beast had yet to learn. And would do well to discover as soon as possible. War was coming, and one dead body is not worth more than another, regardless of blood.
Because it all spilt the same, and was all washed away by the same morning rain.