: Disclaimer – I do not own Harry Potter or anything else in here that seems familiar. I do own Pard, Richard, and Redemption. Do I write like JK Rowling to you:
Authors Note: New story. To those who know me, this doesn’t seem like such a big surprise. As English is not my first language (nor my second) this may seem not well written to English language speakers. Please help me in my endeavor to correct anything you see is wrong. Thank you. :Bow:
A young man with scraggly long dark hair and a twisted beard lay huddled against the cold damp wall of a dark dungeon. His clothes were mere shreds of their former selves and crusted with dirt and grime that had started building up almost a year ago today. He had deep scars all over his body when They had paid attention to him, playing their favorite games of torture, but he doubted any of Them still knew he was alive. Not even the guards brought in food anymore and he had to filch food from the cell next to his. Not that his neighbor minded, since he was a blubbering mass of insanity. The man was almost glad that They didn't realize that he was alive anymore because then he could try to gather magic to him to try to escape without anyone knowing to try and stop him.
Oh, he didn't know what he would do when he got out of here, because he knew that there was nothing to go back to, but at least he wouldn't be by himself in a lonely cold dungeon. The day that he had been stuck in this cell was the day that the Light fell. He didn't know how it happened, but suddenly the Dark Lord had been at the castle attacking and slaughtering, until only he stood. The Headmaster had been at his feet because he had stepped in front of a stray curse that had been heading the man's way. Then, in a matter of minutes, it had just been him and the Dark Lord, with all of his school friends and enemies lying at his feet.
He had sent a killing curse at the Dark Lord, but it had only made him stumble a little. The Dark Lord had laughed and sent the same curse back at him. There, he had passed out from the expansion of magic over his body and then he woke up in the cell. The torture after the Light's defeat had gone on forever. He shivered as he remembered the excruciating pain that he had gone through day after day. One day he had lost his voice because of the torture, and almost a week after that, They left him alone, thinking him as insane as his dungeon companions.
Dark green eyes glinted in hatred as he remembered how They had laughed at him and downsized him, until he was just a crumpled form on the floor. He was glad that They thought him dead now. That way, he might get his revenge on day without them every worrying that he would be there to attack him. And how he would savor that day. The day that Their blood ran red through his hands and around his feet, the day that he would rip Their hearts out of Their still living bodies. He would kill Them all. He did not care about the world as it was now, but just of revenge on those that lost their lives that day and all of those years before when his parents lost their lives. He did not even care about himself. And when he had killed every last one of them, he would kill himself.
And slowly, but surely, the magic came to him. Magic that They had stripped away from him came back through the walls and from living breathing bodies with dead minds, and it even came from Them. The magic believed his cause worthy and they gave him the strength to do this task, but nothing else. And so he would.
The world as it is now, Harry thought when he escaped from his prison and saw the world for the first time. Well, at least it wasn't as he expected it to be. It wasn't a dark gloomy place where there was no light, nor were there destroyed buildings everywhere you looked. It was just bare. He apparated to the place where London was supposed to be and was surprised when it was still there. Everyone ignored him, even if he stank to high heaven and looked like he had just come out of a war zone. But the strangest thing about this whole thing wasn't the fact that everyone ignored him, but the fact that he saw wizards and witches walking in with the muggles. They just apparated and disapparated on whim, and while there were a few glances when this happened, there was neither panic nor confusion. It seemed like these muggles thought that it was normal.
Suddenly an arm grabbed him and spun him around. He immediately knew it was one of Them. MacNair. "Who's your Owner, boy?" came the rough voice, as MacNair stared at him. Good, he doesn't recognize me he thought grimly. He jerked his arm away leveling it so that his hand came directly in front of MacNair's stomach.
Avada Kedavra. He thought calmly and a startled look came over MacNair's face as the deadly rushed at him and took his soul away into the Abyss. When his corpse toppled over, the screaming started. Turning around, his eyes narrowed, he saw that most of the people on the street had turned around and were staring at him with something akin to horror. He didn't even bother to find out who the one screaming was and apparated away to where he felt one more of Them.
Half a day later, he collapsed on a beaten up couch in the middle of a dumpster. He had managed to use the killing curse on seven more of Them besides MacNair. There were only nineteen more left and he was almost too exhausted to move another inch until later. Laying back and ignoring the smell of the dumpster and the way bugs crawled on the ground before him, he fell asleep.
To be honest, when he awoke, he didn't think he had been asleep that long, but he realized that the sun was down and there was a smell of burning paper in the air. Glancing about in the darkness that had become his home, he noticed a large campfire about a couple hundred yards from where he was. Standing up and stretching out the kinks in his body, he turned and walked slowly over to the camp. As he came nearer, he noticed a couple tents set up around the campfire and about twenty or so people lounging around in front of the fire.
Shivering with cold, he crept closer, wanting to be near the warm fire. He hoped that he could get near enough to feel the warmth, and not be seen, but that was wishful thinking. Without warning, four arms grabbed him and dragged him to camp, with him protesting all the way. When they were in the circle of the tents, he was let go for a second before chains were put on his wrists and he was thrown forward onto the ground where seventeen sets of eyes looked at him with shock and disgust.
"We found him sneaking towards here," said one of the people that had thrown him down said to the group.
An albino with a tattoo in the middle of his forehead and no shirt covering his white, hairless chest came forward and pulled him up by his hair. "So a spy," the albino muttered as he lifted him off the ground by the hair. He didn't even yelp at the harsh treatment to his head, but was trying not to pass out because of the sickly pressure on his neck because of this.
Instead he stayed silent and wary. "Well, what have you to say for yourself spy?" one of the other men from the group said snidely and a couple of people laughed.
"Shut up Richard," the albino said sternly and suddenly all sound stopped as Richard gaped at the albino. The albino's pink eyes searched out his green ones and for once, he couldn't look away. He didn't know what the albino was looking for, but whatever he found made him sigh and gently lower him to the ground. He wasn't that great on his feet, since he had practically sat all the time these last few years, and toppled over when his feet made it to the ground. The albino pulled him up easily by the under of his arm and he winced, standing.
The albino looked contrite and scratched the back of his head. "Sorry about that. We're just wary about anybody who has an Owner. Glad that you don't." The albino turned to the guards. "Un-cuff him."
The guards didn't even argue and suddenly his hands were free of the restraints. He hunched over and rubbed his wrists harshly to get the feeling back into his hands. When he looked back up though his dark hair, he realized that the albino and the others were still staring at him. The albino held out a hand and introduced himself. "The name's Gaylord Archibald Pendragon. Please, just call me Pard." He grinned nervously and scratched the back of his neck again as the matted haired man shook his hand warily.
"This is called Redemption," Pard said motioning around him when Harry let go of Pard's hand. "And everyone behind me had either been owned or was part of the resistance when the Dark Lord took over and wanted their life back." He inclined his head in understanding and Pard seemed pleased. "We rescue people from Owners. That's our job."
Pard looked at him questioningly after a moment silence. "May I ask what your name is?"
He crouched down and transfigured a rock into a pen (because he didn't think a quill would write on skin) before standing back in his hunched over state and wrote 'I'm not sure' in shaky letters on his palm before showing Pard. Pard's eyes searched out his a second time. "Where'd you get the pen?" Pard asked not unkindly, just curiously.
Again in shaky letters he wrote 'Transfiguration' on his palm and showed Pard. Pard stepped backwards as if he had been struck and his eyes were wide. "You're an Owner?" He just looked at Pard questioningly. "You're a wizard?"
His face paled as he realized what the implications of this were. Now he realized what was happening in the world, as if a light had been turned on in his brain. When the Dark Lord had taken over the world, he had given Them the ultimate gift, muggle servants. Or slaves. He assumed that those walking around freely in London were probably not owned by those who were not too high in the Dark Order or owned by those who just didn't care. Why didn't the muggle's fight back? What were they afraid of? He saw that everyone was looking at him in horror, too scared to even utter a sound. He tried to move forward to explain to them that he wasn't one, even as the guards grabbed his arms again.
When they saw that the guards had him and that he couldn't do anything, some of them cracked their knuckles and suddenly everyone was inching forward. He knew that they would beat him to death because he was helpless like this. The guards were also feeling vindictive and he winced when they put too much pressure on his right arm when they pulled it upwards. When it broke with a wet 'snap' at the elbow, he leaned over and dry gagged from the burning pain in his arm. There was a rushing sound in his ears and just before he passed out in the guards’ arms from the pain, hunger, and over-use of his battered body and his magic, he saw the stunned pink eyes of Pard, then swimming darkness.
Bright light woke him out of his unconscious state and automatically tried to raise his right arm to block away the light, but realized that he couldn't move it. Blinking back the tears that the bright light had caused, he saw Pard looking at him worriedly even as someone moved the light source. He felt relieved for a second before remembering how wary everyone had been when Pard announced that he was a wizard and moved as far away as he could, considering he could hardly move his arm. Wrapping his working arm around his drawn-up knees, he buried his face in his dirt-covered slashed up pants.
Just kill me now he thought desperately. I'm too weak to put up against your torture. Just make it quick, a cold barrel against my temple, then nothing. Please... just... I'm too weak... I can't use magic anymore without some nourishment and rest, so I'll not be a problem for you because I can't do magic... Just please... quick... My mission has failed... At least I took out some of Them... Oh god, please... don't make it any longer... You're driving me crazy…
He startled when a soft hand landed on his shoulder and he tried to move as far away, but the hand held his small, malnourished body down. Starting to shake, he knew that this was it. That in a couple of moments they would take all of their rage out on him. He just hoped that he didn't hardly feel it and fell unconscious before it hurt too much. Or that they really just pressed a gun to his temple and blew out his brains so that he wouldn't feel it any more.
Still shaking, he didn't notice when Pard settled in front of him. What did startle him was the amount of gentleness when the albino pulled his arm away from his face. Frowning and still holding his arm away with one hand, Pard wiped his tears gently away with a thumb. "Why are you crying?" the white-haired man softly asked, his pink eyes troubled.
"First things first," Pard said suddenly. His smile was false and there still was a troubled look to his eyes when Harry saw them. "We need to get you a name. I can't be saying 'Hey you!' whenever I want to get your attention or something." Pard grinned, but it didn't reach his eyes, and he brought out a pen and paper. "You might need these. The transfigured pen turned back into a rock after a while, so I figured you could have a new one!" Suddenly he frowned. "Wait... can you write with your left hand?"
He nodded his head hesitantly and took the pen and paper from Pard, expecting him to do something hurtful. Pard seemed to sense this and bowed his head. "I was foolish for believing that you were an Owner. I saw into you and saw that you were good, yet I didn't believe you or my instincts. I knew in my heart that when I said that, that everyone from Redemption would try to attack you, yet I did nothing to stop it. I believed that you were evil and that it was okay if they did you in..." Pard looked up with tears in his eyes. "But then I saw your eyes and the way they just looked so helpless..." Pard broke down, burying his face in his long pale fingers with a sob. "Please forgive me..." he cried.
He was so startled. Why was he crying over something like that? Its just death... He must have seen something so horrible that it makes him not want to see death, in any of its forms. Especially on people he thinks are innocent. He only hesitated a second before he wrapped an arm around Pard's shoulders and pulled the pale man into his embrace, mouthing soundless nonsense things against Pard's ear. After a couple of minutes, Pard had quieted his crying to a couple of hiccups.
Pard pulled back and scrubbed at his eyes laughing. "Look at me... I came here to console you and you're the one that's easing away my fears." Pard hiccupped again and laughed. "'Hey you'... Thanks."
He inclined his head and patted Pard on the cheek. 'Don't worry about it,' he wrote, still shaky, with his left hand. Pard laughed. 'So... this name business...?'
"Right. I want you to pick a name, but I wanted to warn you about the names already taken in Redemption. Many people that come here hardly ever use their real names so there are a lot of people running around here with some strange names they picked up from somewhere. There are actually a lot more people than what you saw last night because some of them were sleeping, or in different parts of the dumpster patrolling on the night shift. Most all of them are here for breakfast, so as soon as we get you a name you'll be ready." Pard looked over him with an appraising eye. "And maybe clean up a little. When was the last time you had a bath?"
He grinned and shook his head. 'Almost a year ago,' he wrote down and Pard gaped at him. 'I wasn't allowed to go anywhere or do anything.'
"Where were you!"
His eyes darkened to be almost black in color. 'You don't want to know.' When Pard tried to catch his eye, he turned away, desperately trying to get rid of the memories of the Dark Citadel.
'My name should be Eerie.'
Pard look startled. "Eerie? As in weird or strange?" At his nod, Pard just looked at him. He still wouldn't look at Pard.
Pard sighed and nodded. "Eerie it is." He smiled a sly smile suddenly and Eerie suddenly felt as though he should bust out of there. There was something in that smile just spoke of trouble. "Now, let's get you cleaned up."
Half and hour later, Pard walked out of the tent, a huge grin on his pale face. His eyes were troubled and turned inward, but he was still happy about the cleaning. Eerie followed, somewhat cowed from before. He had been cleaned up nicely and was now shaved and clean, wearing some of the girls clothes because the guys were just too large for him. The clothes were worn and ragged with patches in them like a lot of the other clothes the people in Redemption had, but they were clean enough and descript enough to not attract the attention of the Owners.
Eerie’s hair and beard had been so ragged and filthy that Pard had just shaved the hair right off. Pard had been so surprised about all of the scars on Eerie’s head that he accidentally dropped the shave into the water the first time. Luckily, he had fished it out before Eerie could realize that Pard had stopped. Seven long gouges ran from his forehead all the way to a large knot of hard flesh at the base of his skull. It looked like someone had literally tried to carve his brain out of his skull.
Luckily they had healed long ago, probably from the ambient magic within Eerie, Pard thought. The beard had been next to shave off. There were scars on his face too. A long dark one that looked to be almost blood-filled ran horizontal across his left eye all the way down to his left ear. Three burns, almost like cigar burns were under his left eye in a triangle pattern. Pard had been surprised at the amount of scars on his face, but was even more surprised when Eerie didn’t come out of the water while Pard was washing his body.
It was most unusual to wash under the water, so Pard just handed the soap to Eerie and left for a little while to scrounge up another temporary cast for the scarred man. It wasn’t that hard to try and find another cast because there were so many people that got hurt around Redemption that there were plenty around. On his way back a lot of people came around, objecting to the fact that there was a wizard (“Not and Owner!” he had to keep reminding them) in Redemption. Pard brushed them off for the time being, but knew that if he put it off for too long there were going to be consequences to pay.
When he had finally gotten back to the underground bathhouse, Eerie was already halfway dressed, with pants and winter boots on. His back was bare and bore the scars of many names carved into his skin. Pard became chilled and before Eerie could notice him, he backed out of the room and waited a couple of minutes to catch his breathe.
The scars on Eerie’s pale form hadn’t unnerved him, there were a lot of people that had once belonged to owners that had maybe as much scars on their skin as Eerie, but the fact that these weren’t normal scars. Names of many of the Death Owners (the ones that were closest to the Dark Lord) were carved on his skin. He had distinctly seen the cursived name Lord Voldemort along the spine of Eerie’s back in such a bright red that it looked like it was bleeding right from the skin. The young man must have been someone very important if the Dark Lord himself had come to torture him.
When Pard went back in, Eerie was dressed in thick, loose black pants, dark winter boots, and a sweater that fit just right. (Incidentally, that sweater had come from a teenaged girl who had outgrown it.) For some reason, Eerie’s hair had already grown back on his head into a messy fray, which Eerie was trying to calm by running his fingers through it. With such short hair and no facial hair, it made Eerie seem ten years younger.
Now they were at the mess hall, a large tent that held nearly two hundred people. Eerie followed warily behind Pard, flinching at every disgusted look that the people from the night before shot his way. Coming to a stop at a raised platform in the very center of the tent, Pard called for silence, which he was granted almost immediately.
“A newbie arrived last night, as many of you have probably heard by now,” Pard called out in a strong voice tinged with magic and Eerie’s head snapped up in disguised astonishment. It didn’t seem like anyone else thought that something was wrong, and Eerie just thought it was just a figment of his imagination (the magic in Pard’s voice) until Pard spoke again.
“I am also sure that many of you have heard of his circumstances.” Pard glanced briefly in the direction of Richard, the man from the night before. “He comes to us as a wizard.” Outcries of rage filled the room until the sound got so loud that Eerie was nearly a quivering mass on the floor with his hands over his ears. The people of Redemption might not know it, but the recessive magic within them threw painful waves of wrath against Eerie’s slight form.
“Enough!” Pard’s voice rang boomingly loud and true over the rants of his people. The sound and the rage suddenly stopped and Eerie whimpered soundlessly, slowly pulling himself up to stand straight next to Pard, his eyes lowered to the ground.
“You all should be ashamed of yourselves! He comes to us beaten and broken worse than most of you were and you want to reject him just because he is human like the rest of us!” Pard’s eyes flashed dangerously and some lowered their heads in shame. “Just because he is ethereal in soul doesn’t make him evil. Evil is not inborn, but thrust upon the people because of prejudice! If he is evil it is because you made him so by damning him because of his background! I am ashamed of the people that I call family.” Pard hissed finally in anger.
“You will respect him and keep him as one of your own.” There was a couple of protests, but not as many as before. Richard was the loudest of them all. “No! I will hear none of it.”
It was silence within the hall. Pard’s body was tensed in anger, his pink eyes sharp and angry. Eerie was suddenly glad that he had at least one friend in Redemption and grew warmer to Pard.
Pard glanced around the hall one last time. “If there is anyone you know that did not come to breakfast this morning, warn them about what I told you. There is to be no one that will hurt him or they will go through me. That goes with all newbie’s until they get their feet beneath them.”
Everyone was silent, waiting until something else was to be said. Pard suddenly smiled. “His name is Eerie. Please make him feel welcome.” The tense air that had settled into the tent slowly dissipated and soon everyone went back to their conversations. Pard sighed in relief and suddenly winked at Eerie.
“No problem here, eh?” Pard grinned and Eerie managed a small smile. “C’mon I would like you to come and meet a couple of people that I know will look after you as a newbie.”
Pard led him towards the back of the tent, but Eerie couldn’t help but feel uneasy. There was just something or someone malignant feeling around here that he couldn’t shake. He knew that there was something growing beneath the surface of Redemption and he was sure that it was because of him.