This would be my first fan fic. All comments and critisims welcome.
keroauc in a hackney.
DISCLAIMER: ALL RIGHTS BELONG TO CATE TIERNAN
Prologue: Chasing Memories
The sea was always cold. Today it was stormy also; I tried not to make that into a bad omen. Hunter, my incredibly annoying, self-righteous, elder brother, had left for New York, Athar tailing after him as usual. Now my lovely sea, that had been calm and clear his morning, reared and bucked and smashed like no other. I would not make a connection. This was just typical British weather, not an omen!
Even through all my drearily unconvincing-convincing, my mind nagged at me: "There are no coincidences". I shook my head, sending my stubbornly untameable hair flying, clearing those thoughts away. Hunter will be fine, he's strong and well trained, and Athar is there to look after him, so he will eat and wear clean socks and not get rotting vegetables thrown at him. HE. WILL. BE. FINE. He has to be.
I sat on my rock for the rest of the day staring listlessly out to sea; I always did this when I was sad or trying to remember. I was only four when our parents disappeared, Hunter was eight and Linden six, I knew it was spiteful but I envied the bank of memories they had. For years I made them tell me the stories, rather selfishly considering I knew how much it hurt them to remember. I had always felt numb not truly remembering what I had been missing, so I strived to garner the memories my brother's held, then maybe I would feel the hurt as well and they would let me help them. Then Linden went and got himself killed and nearly got Hunter convicted, I had never been angry with Mum and Dad for leaving us, I always had faith that they had a reason, but the night when I came home and found one brother dead and the other not waking up, I snapped. My blood boiled and seethed through out me, I stormed about the house using words that would have made the entire navy blush. I smashed a window and kicked a hole in the living room wall. I seriously considered diving right into death and hauling Linden's dead arse back out, yelling at him then sending him right back in there. And I flooded the toilet. It was then we dicovered my affinity for water.
I had always liked the water; in fact one of my most solid memories with my parents includes it. It was sunny that day and my fourth birthday, right at the start of July, Mum and Dad had packed the car and blindfolded me in the backseat between my brothers, so they could make sure I didn't peak, of course they also took my state of temporary blindness as an opportunity to torture me. I never like being tickled, that journey is the reason. Dad drove as always, and Mum sang songs in front seat. She had a beautiful voice, Wyndenkell's are famously musical, I think it's because spell craft is a lot like making music. Finally after what seemed like an entire French revolution, though I am informed it was only and hour, the car stopped. Excitement coiled in my stomach and I giggled nervously as I felt my dad lift me out of the car. Wherever we where it smelled different, salty and raw as apposed to the smells of farmland and grass that I was used to. I could hear rhythmic rumbling, laughter and squawking. My hands gripped whoever was pushing me in an unknown direction and I felt the ground change from solid to soft, grainy and scratchy. My blindfold was removed . . .and before me the beach . . . and better, beyond that: the sea!
We spent the entire day there; we built the best sandcastles, with windows, moats and a drawbridge, Hunter's was perfect, Lindens almost exactly the same as hunters. Mine was the messiest, my drawbridge collapsed and my moat was more of a puddle but I had a dragon and a seaweed flag so mine was actually the best. Mum had made one of her famous picnics, filled with corned beef sandwiches, apples from our little orchard and the most fabulous fairy cakes that ever donned the planet. My one was special, it had a picture of a faery, my favourite from the book of tales that had been presented to me earlier at breakfast, and four candles round the edge. My Dad taught me how to swim and when I put my chubby little pale feet in the froth of the breakwater, I had never felt more alive. My Dad was impressed at how quickly I learned to swim; he said I was faster than either of the boys. I was extremely pleased at that, being the youngest and the only girl, even then I knew I would have to prove myself as a person and a witch.
By the time I had gotten my fill of the seaside the sun had set and the stars started to poke out of the velvet sky, my brothers and I thoroughly exhausted and sandy fell asleep in the backseat as soon as we where all belted in. Dad carried us one by one to our beds and tucked us in, he kissed me on my forehead and smoothed my curls as he always did.
A mere two weeks later he did the exact same thing, then I woke up to a strange feeling, I was being suffocated by a black cloud in my dream and I woke up screaming. Mum would always rush to my bedside when I had a nightmare, but this time I waited and she didn't come, I gathered my courage and sneaked over to my parents room, only to find it empty. The bed made, curtains open, a greenish hue cast about the room. Then I ran to my brother's room and snuck into Linden's bed to wake him, Hunter was a grumpy bugger if you woke him, still is mind you. Linden had the courage I didn't. He led the way with the torch he got in his spy kit from Uncle Beck and Aunt Shelagh for his birthday, I clutched the back of his pyjamas as we descended the stairs, we searched in all our best hide-and-seek places but Mum and Dad definitely weren't in the house. By this time I was sobbing, Linden comforted me by saying that they had probably been called on grown-up coven business, but he offered to stay in my room with me.
When we woke up in the morning, the rain came down in sheaths, there was still no sign, we shook Hunter awake, he was the oldest and he would know what to do. After he had gotten over his usual grumpiness, he applied the same logic as Linden, they where away on coven business and that he was in charge until they returned. By night we had no word and my four-year-old imagination had conjured up ideas of dragons (The bad variety of course. Most dragons are lovely), evil witches and dungeons. I had already dressed us up in armour, Hunter our leader, with his gallant sword. Linden with his spy kit so we could find out where they had been taken and I armed with my vast knowledge of mythical creatures and fairy tales would make sure we did not get harmed on our quest to free our parents from evil's clutches.
Uncle Beck called. Even in his iron voice I sensed his worry. He told us to stay indoors and wait for him to come and get us, he tried to find one of our neighbours to stay the night with us but he couldn't get a hold of any of our coven. We know now that was because they had all fled. We all slept in the same bed that night, I squashed in the middle, my brothers both fell asleep eventually but I never, I just listened to the rain, and wondered why it seemed as if the sky was crying.
My back had become numb from lying on the hard rock, the sky had darkened and I could feel the splash of the approaching tide on my bare feet. I knew it was time to go back up to the house, Aunt Legh was an awful worrier and even though she would never intrude on me her mind would be panicking, I lay there a little longer watching the stars blink to life in the sky. Astronomy wasn't my best subject but I could tell you the stories of the constellations, my love of mythology had not left me as I gathered birthdays. My fear for Hunter had not ebbed away either, but I became aware of another feeling towards my brother, there was a tiny little thread of hope mixed in there, something would happen to make my brother happier. Of that I became certain.
I dipped my hand into the sea and spread my sense's, I let the pulse of the ocean fill me up. It was calling "Goodbye" to me. With that I jumped down from my rock and ran up the beach and through the dunes to the house that had been my home for eleven years.
The Eventide household was old crumbling, with no central heating and a myriad of bats in the loft. It was also loud and full of life, with thirteen people at its full occupancy it was hard to imagine it a quiet place. I stopped at the back gate, looked in at the warm kitchen; it had been a sad place for the last wee while. What with Linden gone and Hunter being blamed, my coming into stronger powers than expected and my lack of control over them, the house had been fraught. Grief, worry and anger had been the prevailing emotions, so much so it had lead Cara to move out and run to Paris, of course she was extremely successful there, she was one of those perfect people that everything came so easily to. Hunter and Athar also hardly came home anymore, Hunter at least had a decent excuse of tracking down awry witches and kicking the firmly back into the light. Athar just didn't like it here.
Now there were just six of us. It seemed very empty and you could actually get a shower with hot water. But our music was beginning to come back, the lines around Aunt Legh's mouth had loosened and Uncle Beck even cracked a smile the other day, granted it was because Mairith tripped over Dixby's tail and did a fabulous Flying Gwendola down the stairs and crash landed into Siobhan, who was sitting in the armchair on the phone. It was a tangle of blonde hair, legs and the phone cable. I hadn't laughed so heartily since Linden left us. I had come downstairs to breakfast humming and old song and relishing in the summer. With no normal school and hours of free time ahead of me, I began to come back to life, began to leave all the hate I had behind. But I still saw those feeling's in Hunter's eyes, he was tenacious and I knew he wouldn't be able to let them go until he had answers, until he had made sure what had happened to us would never happen again. My heart broke for him, I knew he couldn't guarantee that for everyone. In our next circle I had sent a prayer to the goddess to help my brother let go even a little amount those emotions, enough so that he could be happy. My faith that our parents had left us so we could have a good life had returned, wherever they where I knew they would be sad that Hunter was so unhappy, so wrathful. I realised now that the little slither of hope I felt was maybe the possibility that my brother could find happiness. If he got over his bloody stubbornness.
That strengthened my resolve to be happier, to keep my brooding to a minimum. I ran up through the back garden, rubbed Dixby's ears as he bounded to greet me, and smiled at Aunt Legh as she held the door open for me. I could feel the hope beaming out of us all that night. As Samhain left us with a new year, my family would finally let the dead rest.