Chapter 1 : Chapter One: Anguish
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Cold winds ripped at her bare arms and neck, her face stinging from the bitterness. It seemed like only moments ago that she had fled from the All Hollow’s Eve gala that was being hosted by a dear old friend. Behind her, she could hear her husband calling out her name running trying to reach her, yet still she ran, her pace frantic. It had been just moments ago that they had been gathered around the bonfires, the ladies dripping in their glittering jewels and fine evening gowns and the gentlemen with their cigars, reminiscing of old times long gone. A fine thirty-three year old French red was what she had been enjoying when she had felt it. A searing, agonizing pain that ripped through her heart. She remembered doubling over as though someone had struck her, her glass shattering upon the rough ground, before she gathered her skirts and ran for the darkness. Amadeus had heard the gasps and no doubt saw her run off, something so unlike her, but he did not understand. He could not understand; he was not a mother. Over the years they had wandered the earth together, so many children she had born him. Time had not kind been to their children, and she felt each of their deaths keenly in the way only a mother, and a grandmother, could feel. And, while they were not a direct child of her own womb, something terrible was happening to a child of her own blood and she must stop it.
“Rebecca! Rebecca, wait!” She could hear Amadeus, calling out. His heavier footsteps sounded like thunder in her ears.
She did not pause for him, her pace still frantic. Her usually upswept hair had loosened from its pins, hanging down her back in a heavy coil of braids, yet still she ran across the moors of Cornwall. How long had it been now? Minutes? Hours?
“Damn it, woman!” Amadeus cursed behind her. She could hear a loud thump as he hit the ground at his full speed. She spared him a glanced over her bare shoulder to assure herself he was fine. Rebecca could see her husband, sprawled across the damp grass where he had landed, mud and leaves on his face as he pointed towards her. As she turned her head to face forward once more, she felt the sudden tightening and locking of the muscles in her legs. Her legs locked together as rigid as a board, her speed pitching her forward sending her rolling down the small hill.
“Rebecca!” Amadeus called out to her as he jogged down the hill. She glowered at him, attempting to right herself and her clothes to a proper state. “Calm yourself, wife. What has come over you? Explain yourself!”
Rebecca batted his hands away from her, her chin held high in defiance. “There is no time for explanations,” she told him, rubbing her legs in attempt to loosen them without his magic. “I demand you release me at once, Amadeus!” She was quite sharp with him.
“Not without an explanation,” he retorted, standing tall above her. Rebecca’s chest heaved in indignation. She was not to be treated in such a high handed manner. “I’ve just spent time I should be spending enjoying myself with colleagues, chasing you halfway across Cornwall!”
Amadeus sighed, and reached down to pull a braid over her shoulder. “What are you trying to achieve, Rebecca?” He asked, her voice softer than it had been since he jinxed her.
Rebecca sighed in exasperation, ceasing her futile attempts of releasing her legs from his jinx. “It is James…something is wrong, terribly wrong,” she told him. The pain in her heart tightened at the implications of her words, yet she refused to acknowledge it. She would not give up hope, not just yet.
She could see Amadeus’ gaze soften at her words, understanding flickering through his warm hazel eyes. “Rebecca,” he spoke softly as he crouched down beside her, “James is a strong fighter and I’m sure he is well. It is just your nerves, dearest, over not being allowed to see them.”
Rebecca narrowed her eyes at him, not appreciating his words no matter how well intended they were. She dug her fingers into the skirts bunched around her knees, willing them to become free so she could run again. “This is not my nerves,” Rebecca all but hissed at her husband. “Release me now, husband, I must see them. Something is wrong, for I feel it in my heart.”
“Come now, stop this nonsense,” Amadeus spoke once more, his large hands wrapping around her arms as he began to rise with her. “Let me take you home. You can’t see them, I explained the wards to -“
“I do not care about the bloody wards!” Rebecca snapped, not caring one bit about the vulgar language that had just slipped past her lips.
Amadeus stood straight and released her arms, startled that she had spoke so for she was a caring and docile woman. Rebecca did not lower her eyes however, staring down her husband’s piercing gaze. One way or another, she would run across the blasted island to Godric’s Hollow.
They continued to stare at each other for what felt an eternity to the partially paralyzed woman. The ache in her heart was fierce, and she would not relent. Amadeus reached down for her once more, pulling her to her useless feet. Rebecca was preparing to fight her husband tooth and nail if she must when she felt her legs relax, allowing her to support herself.
“Come wife,” Amadeus finally spoke, as he tightened his grip upon her bare arms. “Let me show you that all is well in the Hollow.”
His words were her only warning he gave her, before the terrible squeezing sensation pressed itself into her bones. She gritted her teeth and bore it with grace, they were on their way and she could do nothing but pray.
Rebecca wrenched herself from Amadeus’ grip the moment the village church was in her vision and the squeezing sensation had gone from her bones. She was running once more, leaving Amadeus to follow behind her yet again. The village was quiet, not even an autumn wind blew through the skeleton like branches above her. She knew in her heart it was too late. Only seconds passed by as she ran towards where she knew the concealed home would be. She had been there only twice, brought by dear James, since her Potter’s went into hiding. Not even Amadeus knew of these clandestine visits, and therefore could not see or find the house. Rebecca could do nothing but run through the village, ignoring the cries of her husband and the peculiar look one man gave as she ran past him like a ghost on the wind. She ran, braids and skirts flying with her, until she crossed the unseen threshold that was the Potter’s property.
Her heart shattered as she stood there, her eyes taking in the sight of the broken home before her, a sob slipping past her wind chapped lips. A section of the roof had collapsed inward, pieces of the beams still smoldering as the smell of charred wood hung heavy in the damp air. The window panes had exploded outwards, frosting the grass around her. There was no light, no life within the cottage walls. Only Lily’s curtains, blowing gently through the gaping holes where the glass once rested, greeted her in the night.
Rebecca’s knees bucked, the delicate palms of her hands bleeding when shards of glass dug into the flesh as she collapsed to the unforgiving ground. Her chest heaved, straining against her corset, as she tried to hold back the sobs tearing through her body. She could sense Amadeus behind her, searching for both her and the hidden home, but she couldn’t move to assist her. Every inch of her body was numb and held down with the weight of her ancient year. Clutching a hand to her throat, hysterical sobs echoing in the night, she reached through the charmed barrier and grasped her husband, pulling him through.
“By the gods,” Amadeus gasped, seeing the damage for the first time. “How did this…how…why…”
Rebecca could sense the grief in his own voice as he looked at the destruction of dear family. They had watched James grow from a rambling toddler to a brave young man, as he learned to live and love. They had fallen in love with Lily and welcomed her with open arms once she became accustomed to what they were. And their baby…oh how her heart further broke thinking of that precious boy.
Rebecca continued to stare up at the house as Amadeus knelt behind her, wrapping his arms around her waist, and holding her bleeding hands in his strong ones as a way to comfort her in her grief. “Come, my darling,” he murmured. “Let me take you away from here, you shouldn’t -“
Rebecca silenced him with a hiss, leaning towards the house so suddenly it unbalanced Amadeus to the ground. A noise had pierced the darkness of the house, pulling at heartstrings thought broken. Her eyes narrowed as she found the strength to stand, emboldened by the glimmer of hope. Surely not even to Gods were so cruel to give her hope. She breathed deeply, willing her heart to calm, as she searched in the silence. The sound of beating hearts were too unreliable, the next house being far too close, but…
“Harry,” Rebecca breathed as she sprung herself towards the house, leaving a startled husband behind her once more. She had heard the child’s cry and by the Gods she would find him.
Hello! Thank you for reading the first chapter of the Creperum rewrite! This is my current NaNo project and I have a few more chapters nearly finished, but they’re obviously rough. Hopefully updating will go much better than recent history suggests, but finals are coming up soon so please be patient. This hasn’t been beta read, so I apologize for any/all mistakes. I hope you enjoyed this and I look forward to hearing your thoughts in a review!
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