Heathcliff walked through the dusty bazaar, surprised that things hadn't changed very much since he was seven, except for the faces. The products may have been different, but it was always the same, cheap merchandise, being sold severely overpriced, while urchins and con-men stole what the poor fools didn't spend, using whatever tricks necessary to get a decent profit. The first things Heathcliff thought about the environment were "This definitely isn't England," and "Home, sweet and sour home."
He remembered being born and bred on those dusty streets, playing with the other children, seeing who could pick the most pockets. He vaguely remembered a sibling, but he was so young at the time that he couldn't even remember if it was a boy or a girl. His memory of the streets may have been outdated, but he still knew the streets by memory. If he tried hard enough, he would probably even be able to name the individual spots where some of his bigger catches had been earned.
As he walked, he felt a familiar tug at his coat, one he hadn't felt since he had left those streets. He turned and snatched the hand that was trying to rob him blind. It was the hand of a scrawny, bright eyed little boy, who hadn't yet mastered the art of discretion. The boy looked at him like a caged animal, afraid of both the consequences of being caught, and of going another day without loot. Heathcliff remembered that look, and knew it well.
"You're a thousand years too early before you can try and pick my pocket," Heathcliff said in the boy's native language. He knelt down, next to the boy, and turned out his pockets. "Next time, try and make sure your victim actually has something to steal. You can easily feel a hand through empty pockets." The boy gave him a confused stare. Why was this stranger giving him advice, and spoke his own tongue fluently, as if he was born here? He didn't dress like someone from there, and did not act like it either.
"Tell me, boy," Heathcliff asked him. "Do you know Gizela and Kaz?" The boy nodded. "Could you show me where they live?" Again, the boy nodded, and began to run through the shops, and Heathcliff followed eagerly. For the first time in what felt like forever, he would see his parents again.
After much walking and weaving through tents, the boy finally stopped. Heathcliff found himself at a barren area, covered with several dirt mounds, with small, wooden posts jutting from the mounds. There were names written on them, but they were only legible on the more recent ones. He found the ones with his parents' names, though in a year or so they would be unreadable. Heathcliff thanked the boy, and the young urchin ran away.
Heathcliff knelt down at the graves, and began a silent conversation with himself. How long had he been away? What all had happened? What of the sibling he barely remembered? His head filled with more questions and more depressing answers. He spent nearly the entire afternoon there. His train of thought was not broken until he saw a shadow cover his own.
"What business have you at these graves?" asked an unfamiliar male voice. It was rough, but similar to his own, though the accent was much thicker, being undiluted.
"These are my parents," Heathcliff answered, turning around to face the stranger. "I have been away for a long time, and I wanted to see how they were doing."
The man gave a puzzled look, and Heathcliff responded with a surprised one. It was like looking in a mirror that managed to make all the colors about one shade darker. Sure, the stranger was a little rougher around the edges, but that could be accounted for because of environment. The man offered Heathcliff a hand, which he gladly accepted to pull himself up, not realizing exactly how long he had been kneeling by those graves.
"Ziven?" the man asked.
"I used to be called that, but now I respond to Heathcliff," he responded. "I'm sorry that I can't remember your name as well as you do mine."
"Piotr." Heathcliff took from this that his brother had grown to be a man of few words, just like everyone else that lived their entire lives in that outcast community eventually did. Sure, they'd talk your ear off if they were selling something, but if you ran into them again, you'd think that either they were mute, or you were invisible.
Piotr generously offered to give Heathcliff a place to stay for as long as he needed, and once they were in the privacy of their own tent, Heathcliffs suspicions about his brother being reserved were debunked. Piotr bombarded him with question after question about what England was like, what the people were like, and most importantly, how to speak English, talking about all the dreams he had as a boy of going to England, and snatching Heathcliff away to take him back to his family, where he belonged.
When Heathcliff began to talk about England, he couldn't help himself but to use his brother as a vent for all the frustrations he felt, though talking about them only made him dwell on the thoughts longer. As Piotr watched his brother explaining these things, he noticed his worsening expression, and felt the need to change the topic.
"So, having come all the way from there, you must have plenty of money on you, right?" he said, trying to lighten the mood.
"Unfortunately, I had to travel light. I sold what little I 'owned' and used it to board a boat to here." For the second time that day, Heathcliff turned out his pockets to prove his point. Piotr gave him a strong pat on the back, nearly knocking the wind out of Heathcliff.
"No worries, Ziven. When I saw you talking with that boy earlier, I could tell you'd adjust back to this kind of life quickly, if not better than some people do living here since birth." At first Heathcliff wanted to question why he didn't approach him when he addressed the boy, but decided that such things were trivial, and they both barely fell asleep, still jostled by the events of the day.
Three years passed as such. Heathcliff quickly adjusted back to the lifestyle he was born with, making phony deals with false promises, filling his pockets quite nicely. He had even earned the respect of a small band of pickpockets, who had independently decided to give him anywhere from five to fifteen percent of whatever they managed to snatch, all because he taught them a couple of tricks to avoid getting caught. By the third year, he had enough money for two tickets for a first-class boat to England, much better than the fishing boat he took, he didn't even have to haggle this time.
But Piotr had noticed he wasn't as excited as he should be with making that much money. Every day for the past year he had been talking to himself about Catherine. Piotr hated her just from Heathcliff's descriptions. Sure, he had liked her when the stories started, but when he learned how she made his brother leave with her harsh words, it made him angry, but he had no true motives. "Breaking a heart is not a crime," Piotr reasoned. "But it should be."
One day, Piotr returned to their tent, to find his brother not there. Nobody had seen him that day, either. Worried that someone may have done harm to him, Piotr rushed out to try and find him. He searched the gravesite first, only to find a note on their parents' graves, written in English, and although Piotr's speaking of the language had improved to near-fluency, he could not read it. On the back of the note, a tree was drawn, and then Piotr was sure that meant whoever had taken his brother had left his body at the old tree, the only tree nearby that had managed to survive every bit of the harsh weather they were accustomed to, from drought to downpour to blizzard.
Piotr ran as fast as his legs would take him, thinking that if he got there soon enough, he would be able to defeat whoever had taken his brother captive. When he reached the old tree, however, there were no captors. Only Heathcliff, hanging from a branch. Upon seeing this, Piotr understood exactly what had happened. There were no captors. Heathcliff had hung himself, and the note that Piotr was holding explained why. Even though he couldn't read the note, he knew it had something to do with Catherine, and those other people he talked about at Wuthering Heights. It was then that Piotr knew what he was going to do.
He made his entire plan, then and there. He would turn himself into his brother, and become Heathcliff. He would return to England, and use his and his brother's money, and influence caused by it, to exact his revenge upon the people that made his brother do this to himself. "Breaking a heart is not a crime," he told himself. "But it is once it causes someone's death."