A/N: This is the backstory of Heather Rosegem, one of my O.C.'s from The Destiny of Fire's Song. You will understand the plot of this story well enough without reading that one first, although there will be places where this intertwines with DoFS. This will be one of my shortest stories, hopefully, since I don't want to get stuck not updating another story. O.o
Disclaimer: Hmm … *Pensive beard stroke* Wait a second … I don't have a beard! How can I pensively stroke it while trying to come up with a funny way to say "KingsIsle owns Wizard101, not me" when I don't have a beard?
She could still hear the quake in her mind. The horrible, angry roar of the earth as it shook. The crashing as the rocks came falling into the ravine, falling, falling, falling. The screams of her parents. Her sister's cries of alarm and unbridled terror. The sickening crunch as the boulders hit Anne and Henry Rosegem, crushing them underneath.
She could feel the quake in her mind. The rolling of the ground beneath her feet. The rumbling of stones pouring down the ravine wall towards her. The fingers of Sadie grasping at hers. The dust settling on her hands and face.
She could still see the quake in her mind. The earth shaking, distorting her vision. Her parents tumbling down the side of the ravine. The boulders rolling after them. The tears on Sadie's face, the tears on her own.
Heather Rosegem stood in front of her house on Cyclops Lane. She squeezed Sadie's small hand tightly, staring at the sign being pounded into the ground. "Foreclosed," she whispered, tasting salt as a tear rolled onto her lips. Foreclosed. She knew what the word meant. The bank was taking away her house since her parents were dead. A tall woman approached them slowly. She wore a dark blue uniform and too much makeup. Her sickeningly sweet perfume reached Heather's nose before the woman's voice did.
"Poor girls!" She cried, throwing her sticklike arms around Heather's neck. She ducked away from the woman, pulling Sadie with her.
"Who are y-y-y-you?" She asked softly, staring up at the woman with fearful eyes.
"I'm Mrs. Goldthorn, from the Cyclops Lane Orphanage. I've been sent to bring you two to the orphanage until you can attend Ravenwood." She smiled broadly, seeming to forget the deaths of the girls' parents. "It's really a lovely place; the children are allowed to go to pre-magic school, and there are games, and gardens, and a library, and once you're old enough, you can go off to Ravenwood or to another school. You'll each get a roommate there, in a very nice dormitory."
"We'll be separated?" Heather asked, her eyes growing wide with fear. She gripped Sadie's hand even tighter.
"No! I won't let you take Heather!" The eight-year-old screamed, stumbling away from the orphanage worker.
"Now, dears, please be reasonable! Where else will you go but to the orphanage?"
"You can't make us go!" Sadie turned and dashed away, tearing her hand from Heather's grip. With one last desperate look at her old house, Heather ran after her sister.
11 MONTHS LATER
"Could you spare any gold?" Heather begged, holding out her hands to passersby. "Please, anything at all?" A few of them paused to glance at her pityingly, but most simply continued on their way. Hurry, hurry, hurry. People rushed by her in both directions, hurrying one way or the other, anxious to reach their destinations. No one worried about the girl in the middle, the girl who was going nowhere. They all had places to be, places that were surely more important than the one little girl standing in the middle of the sidewalk. Someone knocked her to the ground as they hurried, and her few gold coins spilled onto the ground. Heather scrambled after them, dodging the moving feet and desperately trying to collect what she could. She paused to cover her head as someone stepped threateningly close, and then scuttled out of the way. Heather paused to catch her breath, huddled under a pine tree, hidden from any hostile eyes. She carefully counted the coins, dropping each one into the pocket of her tattered, dusty skirt. Her grubby fingers paused over a particularly large, thick coin, and she inspected it closely. Could it be possible? It was! She held a 100 gold piece! She laughed aloud with joy; something of this value would feed herself and Sadie for weeks! Maybe she could even buy Sadie a new pair of shoes; her old ones were torn in too many places to count, and they practically hung off her feet. First, though, she had to return home, so she could tell her sister that she was going to Olde Town.
A short walk later, she stood in front of "home." There were a few scraps of wood piled against the wall, forming a kind of wooden tent. A holey tarp was tied on the top with a length of rotten, slimy brown rope, and a second tarp was spread on the inside of the shelter. Sitting under a nearby tree was a frail looking girl dressed in a ragged white robe, which was far too small, not to mention filthy. She held a clump of purple yarn, and her tiny, slender fingers were flying back and forth, braiding it. The girl looked up and waved.
"Hello, Heather!" She called, dropping the yarn and running over to hug her sister.
"Hi, Sadie. What are you doing outside the shelter? I've told you before; someone might see you if you're out!" The eight-year-old's gaze lowered, and she folded her hands, clearly ashamed.
"I'm sorry. It's just … the sky was so blue today, and the trees and grass smelled so good … I didn't want to be stuck inside that old pile of wood!" Heather frowned.
"We're lucky to have 'that old pile of wood.' We could be living somewhere in the open, or even worse, in that orphanage, separate from each other," she scolded.
"Right … I know, I'm sorry." Sadie looked nearly ready to cry, and Heather was instantly sorry for snapping.
"Hey, how's your braid coming?"
"Pretty good, I guess … I've got it nearly a foot long, and then I'll cut it and start another one."
"Didn't I already tell you? I'm making bookmarks for you to sell in Olde Town! There are lots of students there, and they might buy bookmarks from the Bazaar!" The corners of Sadie's mouth turned up slightly. "Do you-do you think they'll buy them?" Heather smiled.
"Of course they will! If my little sister made them, they'll sell faster than diamonds!" That earned a laugh from Sadie. "So, guess what?"
"What?" Heather paused for a moment, letting Sadie think, and then she replied:
"I found a 100 gold piece today!" Her sister gasped.
"One hundred gold? That's a fortune! How could someone misplace THAT?"
"I have no idea! I think someone might have thrown it to me earlier! I'm going to Olde Town soon; you can sit outside …"
"…IF you promise to stay right behind the shelter," Heather finished. Sadie nodded hard, her eyes sparkling.
"Okay. I'm leaving in just a minute, so you can go back to braiding, if you want."
"Already? You just got back!"
"Well, I heard it's someone special's birthday tomorrow, and if I want to get her a special breakfast and maybe a present, I've got to go now, don't I?" She grinned and tugged on one of Sadie's long, dark blond pigtails. "I'll be back by nine-thirty; make sure you get to bed on time!"
"I will. See you tomorrow, Heather!" She gave her sister one more hug, and then returned to her braiding. Heather tried to brush some of the dust off her skirt, and then started out for Olde Town.
A/N: And there you have it! Chapter one is complete! I will get the next chapter up as soon as I can. Please review, and no flames! Flamers shall be forced to walk the plank. xD