Where Darkness Hides

Chapter One

She was running through the graveyard, her body moving far faster than was natural as she tried to catch up to a figure in the distance. She was within a yard of the figure when she tackled it.

It kicked her off and she regained her balance just as the figure made it to its feet. For the first time she could see its face. It was ugly, grey with huge thick veins twisting out of it. The things eyes were huge and yellow, and it looked like puss was dripping from its horn like mouth. It was also big. At least four times her size and three feet taller than her.

She spun around and kicked it in the face with a force that surprised her, but the thing barely registered it. Instead, it seemed to grin for a second as if relishing the pain.

The thing struck her in the face. Hard. She stood frozen with fear as her vision went black but she could smell it. Sense it. Now she could hear it laughing as it seemed to circle her.

She screamed as a cold object sliced clean through her body.

"Petunia, are you okay?"

Petunia calmed down when she recognized her father's voice but she still jumped when she felt his hand touch her arm.

"What happened?" Her mother, Rachel Evans asked, coming into the room and turning on the light. It was only then that Petunia saw that her father George Evans had a metal baseball bat in his hand. His eyes were still scanning the room for any signs of danger.

"I had a nightmare," Petunia said uneasily.

Rachel frowned, putting a hand to Petunia's head. "This is the second week in a row that you've been having nightmares Petunia. Is there anything we should know about?"

"Well… I have been watching some scary movies," Petunia lied.

A look of relief covered her mother's face having finally found something to explain her daughter's nightmares.

"Well, no more scary movies for a while, okay?" Rachel said smoothing out Petunia's brown hair.

"And try to get some rest. Lily will be home soon and your birthday is in two days and we have something special planned," Her dad told her smiling.

Petunia nodded and watched as her parents filed out the room. She wished she could feel as relieved as her mother, but she couldn't. She hadn't been watching scary movies or reading any mysterious books; there was no explanation she could tell herself to rationalize this, and the longer she had the nightmares the more she became unable to convince herself they meant nothing.

She almost broke down and wrote her sister, Lily, who was a witch. Surely this must have something to do with her lot. She could probably fix it easily enough.

But no, she couldn't do that. Lily was at that freak school of hers, and Petunia didn't associate with her anymore. Just before Lily had left for her first year at that…that place of hers, they had gotten into an argument. That had been over a year and a half ago but Petunia wasn't willing to be the one to reach out first. Not even if it meant stopping these nightmares.

Besides, Petunia thought as something occurred to her, what if Lily or Severus had sent her these nightmares? That might not be something Lily would ordinarily do, but Severus definitely would, and she could see Lily doing it with the influence of Severus or those other freaks.

Laying back down Petunia forced herself to try and get more sleep, having finally figured out why she was having nightmares. She was sure they would stop when Lily got home, because she knew they couldn't do magic outside of that school.

If only she had known, it had nothing to do with Lily and her lot she might not have been so comfortable dismissing these nightmares or going back to sleep.

"Anthony…, slumming again?"

Petunia hadn't even noticed that Emily Carlisle, her best friend, had left the table until she heard her voice practically dripping with venom. Petunia looked around the library and walked over to where the blonde girl was standing over her ex-boyfriend Anthony Creavence and some red head girl Petunia couldn't quite place.

"Mind your business Emily," Anthony hissed angrily as the red head blushed with embarrassment.

Knowing Emily's temper and sharp tongue Petunia might have felt some sympathy for the girl if she didn't look a little like Lily. Examining the girl closer she realized it was Cathy Reynolds. Cathy was from the bad side a town, a neighborhood even worse off than the one Lily's little freak friend Severus lived in.

"Oh but this is my business," Emily said cheerfully looking directly at the girl, "After all, if you're going to be dragging some gutter trash to the event tonight I'll have to tell my mother to make sure she doesn't get the good china out. One can never be too careful around your kind."

'What do you mean by my kind?" The girl asked indignantly.

. Emily let her eyes pointedly rake over the girl's clothes. An oversized patched sweater that clashed horribly with her hair and a pair of paint splattered jeans and a ragged pair of sneakers.

"I mean poor; which you obviously are."

"Money doesn't buy class," Cathy spat standing up.

"Maybe not, but it can get you into Nor'brex," Petunia interjected smugly, "And that's the only way you'll ever get an invite to the Creavence Manor so I certainly hope you're not planning to get serious. Isn't that right, Anthony?"

Anthony looked away as Cathy turned to stare at him her eyes willing him to say something. He stayed silent and Cathy stood there a moment, a look of fury and hurt crossing her face before she stormed away bumping into Emily who turned to glare at her.

"You're such a bloody bitch," Anthony muttered, his eyes on Cathy's retreating form.

Emily shrugged a smile gracing her lips, "We're honest; your parents would never accept her. Now you won't have to worry about disappointing your parents and having your trust fund cut and I won't have to worry about my good china. You're welcome."

Anthony stormed off, presumably to catch Cathy but Petunia was pretty sure the damage was done even if he did manage to gain her forgiveness. If the girl took him back after he failed to defend her, Anthony would get bored as he always did with girls who let him walk over them, and he'd soon be back with Emily.

"What did you do?" Their friend Nelly Moore asked accusingly as she walked toward them.

"We didn't do anything," Emily said defensively.

Nelly was definitely the do-gooder of the group. She was also the most intelligent one and she was passionate about human and animal rights. She had, in fact started a small organization last year, but with the amount of affluent family and friends she had her organization had a lot more resources than most of the big ones.

She was a brunette like Petunia and the girls often passed as sisters with a few small differences- where Nelly had brown eyes, Petunia had blue. Nelly was short and slightly curvy already while Petunia was tall and lean. Nelly's hair was very curly, only reaching her shoulders and she had a dusky skin tone and Petunia's complexion was creamy and her hair was long and wavy.

Petunia was the tallest even though she was the youngest of the group at fourteen- though in two days she'd be the same age as them.

"So you had nothing to do with Cathy and Anthony standing outside the library arguing?" Nelly asked disbelievingly.

Emily's light green eyes lit up, "They were arguing? Did you hear any of it?"

Nelly glared at her, "So you did have something to do with it!"

"Oh come off it, Nelly. The girl had it coming," Petunia said exasperated.

"What did she do?" Nelly challenged.

"She's a social climbing money-hungry two bit skank who thought she was going to whore her way into our circle," Emily responded a bit too loudly.

"Well it seems you've put a stop to that," Nelly said sarcastically.

"Yes I did," Emily said firmly, "Now we need to pick out Petunia's dress for tomorrow night. Her parents are planning something but we'll steal her away afterwards."

"Oh I can't," Petunia said gathering her things from her table.

"Why can't you?" Nelly asked.

"I have to go with mum and dad to pick Lily up from the train station. I'm already late," Petunia lied.

Lily really was coming home from that freak school of hers but Petunia's parents had picked her up hours ago.

"I can't go to your mother's tonight either," she told Emily as the girls walked out the library."

"Why? I don't want to deal with the step-monster alone and Nelly already cancelled." Emily complained.

"I already told you I have a charity event," Nelly said quickly before her friend could get too far into her guilt trip.

"Mum's making us have a family dinner," Petunia explained as her parents car pulled up to the curb. Thankfully Lily wasn't in it or her friends would know she had lied, though she'd been telling the truth about the family dinner.

She was just too exhausted to go shopping and now that Lily was home Petunia wanted to get some sleep.

"Fine," Emily grumbled, "Nelly and I will get you a dress for tomorrow and I'll distract mum's husband with his son Bradley. That will surely get him of my back for the night."

"Damn it! I forgot my book," Emily remembered dashing back in the library.

"I thought Bradley was in Finland," Nelly said as Petunia's mum beeped impatiently.

"He is," Petunia confirmed, "but that's not going to stop Emily from making up a rumor that she will have supposedly 'heard from friends' about the kind of trouble he's getting into. Thus Jared's attention will be focused solely on Bradley and he won't have time to worry about Emily."

"That's not right. Bradley gets in enough trouble as it is," Nelly commented and Petunia shrugged.

She thought it was kind of genius actually and if her parents were the easily fooled type she'd be doing the same to Lily.

"I'll see you later," Petunia said.

"I'm not a car service Petunia. It's rude to keep me waiting. The next time you'll have to walk." Rachel said sternly.

"Sorry, I was telling Nelly about my nightmares," Petunia said in a bid to get out of a lecture that would surely include 'being grateful and considerate.' Those kinds of lectures could last an hour.

It worked and her mum's face softened considerably. "Well, now that you've stopped watching those scary movies those should go away."

No, now that Lily's home they should go away. And as soon as they do I'm going to confront Lily about what she was doing and expose her and magic for what it really is. Petunia thought angrily and tuned her mum out as she began to talk about Lily.