Chapter 1: The Twisted Street

Of all the dark and lonely streets in the village of Carpelcobber, none would ever expect anything sinister or dark to happen on this one. This street was long and winding, twisting into various paths that led into a series of row homes, all of which were the same, dusty, grey color. It was a mundane street. A street no one would pay attention to. A street that would be perfect for hiding something.

The residents of this particular village were friendly enough. They helped each other, greeted one another when passing down the twisted streets, and were more than willing to welcome a new neighbor into their village. And yet, there was one member of the village who didn't seem to want to be welcomed.

The biggest row home, which sat on the edge of the longest and most twisted street, had been empty for decades. But a few years ago, however, someone had bought it. This person, whomever they may be, was rarely seen. The windows were always shut with the curtains drawn, so that no one could see their face, the door was always locked, so that no one could enter, and hardly a sound was heard from within it. To the pleasant villagers of Carpelcobber, the person who resided in that house did not want to be known. It was almost as if they were hiding.

It would come as no surprise to learn that on this particular warm summer night, no one was out on the twisted street leading up the house of the unknown resident. Why would they be? Nothing ever occurred there anyway.

But if someone had been outside on the street, they certainly would have been baffled to see someone appear there, in the middle of the street, with no car to drop him off. In fact, the only thing that even showed that this person had appeared was the loud crack! that came with them.

No one bothered to look out of their windows on this night, it was just a loud sound after all. It was nearly midnight, of course, which made it most unusual that there would be any noise at all, but it was just a noise. A harmless crack! It wasn't as if someone had just suddenly appeared there, or anything like that. As the villagers knew, that was impossible. Humans couldn't simply just appear out of no where.

The person who was now standing in the middle of the street following the loud noise was now glaring up at the big house at the end of the street. He (or was it a she?) was wearing a dark cloak. It was the darkest cloak anyone could have ever seen, though of course, no one bothered to look. Their hood was drawn up over their face; this person, whomever they were, did not want to be seen either.

The cloaked figure quietly walked down the twisted street, careful not to make any noise as they did so. The night sky made it very hard for this person to see, but it was probably better this way. This way, no one could see what was about to occur.

The cloaked figure was now directly in front of the door of the big house. They did not knock, nor did they seem to make any attempt to alert the house owner of their presence. They seemed to know it was locked however, as the cloaked figure had silently plunged their hand into their cloak and pulled out a long thin stick. The second that they had done so, they tapped the doorknob with the stick, and a small clicking noise let them know that the door was now open.

Slowly, the hooded figure pushed the door open and walked inside. They found themselves in what looked like a reasonably comfortable sitting room.

There was a small couch in the corner, and a table that still had a dirty plate on it. The fire in the fireplace was certainly lit, but was almost out, and the rocking chair in front of it looked quite comfortable indeed. And it was still rocking. Whoever was just sitting in it had evidently just gotten up, and would no doubt be returning to it soon.

The cloaked figure took another look around, and began calculating their next move. There were two doorways in this very comfortable sitting room. One in the corner that looked battered, and the other directly next to the rocking chair, which seemed slightly more taken care of.

Before the cloaked figure had time to pick however, the door next to the rocking chair swung open. In the few seconds it was open, what looked like a brightly lit kitchen could be seen.

Standing in the doorway was a man who had not been seen the entire time that he had resided in the village. He had very thin glasses and a tuft of thick auburn hair that hung over one side of his head. He was very lanky, and was wearing robes of a deep midnight blue.

The man was not merely standing there staring though. In one hand, he had what looked like a very thin paperback book that was partially opened, and in the other, a small white cup that may have held tea. It was not hard to know the situation. The person had apparently been reading by the fire when they left to the kitchen, but upon returning, was not alone.

The cloaked figure stood still near the entrance to the house. The man with the thin glasses had resumed sitting down in their rocking chair, and was now back to reading his book. He had not noticed the dark figure in his doorway.

Realizing that they had not been noticed, the hooded figure, still holding the thin stick in their hand, closed the door behind them and walked forward one, maybe two steps.

The sound of the closing door snapped the man who was reading out of his concentration, he now stood up and backed against the wall near the fireplace, dropping the tea that he had been holding in one hand, and still clinging to the book in the other.

"What do you want!" the thin man with glasses demanded.

The cloaked figure did not speak. They took another step forward, but remained still after that. They were obviously counting on the terrified man before them to steer the conversation.

"I said what do you want!" the thin man repeated, now eyeing the thin stick warily. "Who are you?" he said, now slightly more nervous.

The cloaked figure once again stepped forward, and this time raised the thin stick in front of them, pointing it directly at the cowering man before them. Once more, they did not speak; they seemed to think that holding the stick up was threatening enough.

The cowering man was still near the fireplace, but a look of dawning realization seemed to have struck him. "You want the wand, don't you?" he said plainly.

The cloaked figure nodded their head.

"What's wrong? Yours isn't good enough?" he asked, motioning his head towards the thin stick in the hooded figure's hand.

The cloaked figure once more failed to speak. They had apparently not even heard the last comment, and had remained focused on the same spot since nodding their head.

The thin man seemed to have relaxed a little; the knowledge of why the intruder was there seemed to comfort him slightly. He crouched down and peered upwards, his eyes narrowed, trying to see who was under the hood of the cloak. "Ahh...is that you, Sebastian?" he said after a moment.

The man known as Sebastian did nothing but continue to stare, hand still firmly gripped on their wand.

The thin man was now smiling slightly. "It's a shame, Sebastian, it really is. You're doing this at his bidding aren't you?"

Sebastian tightened his grip on the wand even further, and there was no denying that he looked up slightly at these words, somewhat surprised.

"Oh yes, I've heard the rumors. It's hard, when you're surrounded by muggles, but I know a thing or two about what's going on. I never pinned you down as a follower though" the thin man said pompously.

Sebastian raised his wand and stepped forward so that it was now level with the man's face. He watched as the color drained from it, and the thin man's smile flickered.

"I'm afraid you're wasting your time. And his time. It isn't here" he said through gritted teeth, beads of sweat now trickling down his forehead.

Sebastian remained where he was standing, his wand just inches from his victim's face. He showed no sign of fear, no sign of what could be eventual remorse. He was giving him a chance...

"I said it isn't here, Sebastian!" the man yelled. "I sent it to the Ministry in London days ago. It's in the Department of Mysteries, where it belongs!"

The cloaked figure known as Sebastian took a few steps back, and in an instant, a jet of green light had burst from the tip of his wand. The rushing of the wind put out the small fire in the fireplace, and the green light collided with the thin man's stomach, pressing him up against the wall, off of his feet for several seconds, before he fell to the ground, huddled up against the cold stone. Blood trickled down the side of his head as his lopsided glasses fell off of his face, but it didn't matter. He had been dead the second that the green light had touched him.

Sebastian pulled the man away from the wall by his legs and began searching his robes, as if expecting to find something. There was nothing there. Had he been telling the truth? Had he really sent the wand away? But he couldn't have been...he must still have it. Had the wand been sent to the Ministry, then certainly, he would have known.

He had known that he would have to kill the second that the man identified him, but it would have been much easier to keep him alive long enough to torture the wand's whereabouts out of him. He was always doing that...killing when it wasn't necessary.

He stepped over the lifeless body on the ground and walked towards the battered looking door at the other end of the room. He would simply have to search for it. He pushed the door open and found himself in what looked like a dark workshop.

There were long tables with various pieces of wood stretched across them, wands not unlike the one that he had just used to take his victim's life. There were large shelves in the corners, of what looked like ingredients of some sort-wand cores. He could see Phoenix feathers at the top of the shelf, feathers that would never get to be wands. A few shelves below were containers of what he knew was Unicorn hair, and next to it, a container of Grindylow scales. On the bottommost shelf, there was even what looked like Chimaera hair.

The shelf across from this one had hundreds of thin boxes on it, boxes that no doubt contained wands. Was this wandmaker foolish enough to keep it here? Was he under the impression that he was completely hidden, that no one would ever come looking for it?

Sebastian strode towards the shelf and began removing random boxes from it, opening them up and throwing them at his feet. They were all shapes and sizes, and all appeared to very well made, but they were not the one that he needed to find.

In being honest with himself, he knew that he would not be able to recognize the wand he was looking for by sight alone. He had been told that when he found it, he would know. And so he continued rifling through box after box, becoming increasingly irritated as he did so.

And just when he was about to give up hope, he saw it. A thin golden box in the corner of the shelf, looking extremely dusty, as though it had not been opened for some time. He reached out and picked it up gently, then opened it.

He saw the strangest wand that he had ever seen within the box. It was slightly thinner than his own, but unnaturally long, and it was, like its case, a deep gold in color. But the handle-the handle was what was truly strange. It was jet black, blacker than the sky outside, blacker than the cloak that he was wearing to conceal his identity. And it was curved and pointed at the end, as though it were a tooth. Or a fang.

He gently picked up the wand and held it in his hands. It did not feel any different than a usual wand. It gave him no sense of increased power, and yet, for some reason, he felt different. He could not explain it, but he knew. This was the wand that he was seeking. This is the wand that he had been told to retrieve.

Of course, he thought. How could he have ever believed that this man, however foolish he might be, would have sent this away? No one in their right mind would send away this treasure.

He placed it back in its golden case and tucked it deep inside his cloak. He walked away from the shelf and the discarded wands at his feet. He knew that he was doing a very poor job at concealing the nature of what had occurred here. If anyone knew of the wands existence, they would know that it had been taken, and that its owner had been killed because of it. But he didn't care. He had what he had came for.

Stepping over his victim's body once more, he left through the door and out into the open street. He stared once more around the twisted street, wondering if anyone had seen the flash of green light, but alas, on this typical, twisted, dark street, no one seemed to notice. And with a whirl of his cloak, and another loud crack! the figure was gone.