AN: Just a little note to bring you up to speed, the story's pretty much DH compliant. There are a few changes nearer to the end, but you'll find out about those later in the plot. Oh, obviously the epilogue's been scrapped.
Also, this story is dedicated to Echoing Noise, not only replied to my review of her story A Mirror's Reflection (go check it out, it's good) but then went and read this fic and reviewed it, which I thought was lovely, and also inspired me to continue with it too.
Chapter 1 – A Dark Night And A Pool Of Blood
It was a little past midnight on some of the oldest hills in England. The sky was an inky black. No moon or stars shone. On top of one of the many tors stood a man. His hair dark as the night itself whipped round his face in the turbulent winds. His face was expressionless, but his eyes were as cold and hard as green ice.
John Parks was just as gruff and antisocial as his father, Ted Parks, had been. Ted Parks was the old farmer of Blacktor Farm. He ran nearly everything himself, making his living through selling the produce of his sheep and cattle. Nobody had even known he had a son until the lad had turned up sometime in February thirteen years previous. Apparently, the local village gossips said, he'd divorced his wife about thirty years ago and she'd taken the son with her. The young mister Parks had taken over running the farm eleven years ago, when the old mister Parks died. The young mister Parks didn't come to the village much, supplies had to be bought in the nearest town, except for the odd pint or item from the village shop. Violent sort too. Whenever, he was in the village you could count on there being something wrong with him; cuts, bruises, broken bones. Never seemed to get any help, but by the next time he was seen whatever injury he had would be gone to be replaced by another.
There were odd things that went on at that farm too. Maybe a year after John Parks arrived, strange things would happen there. The wind would blow mighty strong for a well-sheltered area like that and the rocks moved on a near weekly basis. Blacktor Farm had some black magic on it, one the villagers didn't like.
John Parks knew what the villagers thought of him. He didn't care much for them or their opinions; they were the constantly snooping neighbours who reminded him of unpleasant times. Still, little as they mattered, they were a factor in why he was here. A single jot on a long list of points that drove him to do this again and again, looking for release. This would be the nine hundred and seventy sixth time in 11 years, not that anyone was counting. It hadn't worked before and it wasn't likely to work now. But something drove him to keep trying. He jumped.
A man and woman tramped across the moor. They wore classic hiker uniform – knee-length shorts, large backpacks, hats and walking sticks. Their two children – one boy one girl - trailed behind, annoyed at being dragged away from their computers and brooms for two weeks.
Daniel was youngest, he would begin his second year at Hogwarts after the holidays. He had his father's red wavy hair and his mother's intellect, but fortunately he was more streetwise then she was at his age. His scruffy clothing was damp with sweat from his exertations in the hot sun. The humidity caused by last night's rain didn't help either.
His sister Rose was two years older and would begin her fourth year at Hogwarts. She looked mainly like her mother, with calmer, Weasley red hair and her father's freckles. Professor Weasley taught Arithmancy, Rose's most hated subject. It was boring and far too much effort, much like this walk in fact. Rolling hills stretched out to the horizon, each one covered in dull grey grass and dull grey rocks and the occasional short grey tree.
Professor Hermione and Auror Ron Weasley had been happily married for fifteen years. Their children knew little of their school lives, except they became friends in first year, started going out in sixth and married a year after graduation. They'd never said much about their school days, but their children had never asked much. They never said much about the war either, and that they had asked about, only that their father had got his job and a long scar running from his chin to his hip due to the work he did during the war.
They reached a particularly large mound of granite and decided to stop for lunch at the top. Unsheltered by rock and hills, the wind was remarkably strong. The gale swept through them like an eagle in pursuit of dinner, blowing hair into sandwich-filled mouths and pushing rucksacks aside.
Dan sat at the edge of the rock, away from the rest of his family. His legs dangled over the edge, inches from a small ledge that would prevent him from slipping off the mound. With his tired feet able to rest and stomach steadily being filled with ham sandwich, the view was really quite nice. A forest ran down a valley, the leaves a vibrant green. Patches of blue bells intermingled with haggard looking sheep. A small cottage surrounded by a rough stone wall clung to the hill side. A kind of harsh beauty, wasn't that what they called it? He slid off his perch onto the ledge, in order to climb back to his parents, but the predatory wind decided to strike again.
A blast of cold wind blew at the exact moment that neither feet nor bottom supported his weight, with a precision that could only be cruel fate or murderous intent. Blown off track, the boy stumbled and fell over the edge of the ledge. Bracken broke his fall, but only enough to prevent major head damage, and he rolled into a pool of festering blood.
All this happened over the course of three seconds, leaving Dan little time even to gasp before he was knocked unconscious. A dull thunk in the middle of blustery moor tends to go unnoticed, as do children when parents are enjoying a view or little brothers, as long as they aren't being annoying. So, for the next five minutes of relaxation Dan's body lay three metres below his parents' feet until Mr Weasley went to pick up a stray crisp and saw his son's battered body lying on the grass surrounded by dark liquid. It was the type of thing he'd had to cope with during the war, and occasionally his job. A mostly dormant part of his brain switched on as fear and adrenaline shot through his body.
"DAN! Dan can you hear me?"
"What? What's ha- Oh my God! DAN!"
The two parents scrambled down the rocks, as their viewpoint was taken up by Rose, who then followed them down the tor. They rushed to the child.
"DAN! Dan, can you hear me? Wake up! Dan!"
She checked his pulse, it was still present. He was breathing shallowly, but there was far too much blood, it was partly congealed and somewhere in Hermione's brain she recognized it couldn't be his, but that much blood near any woman's injured son will often erase all logical thought.
"Hermione, he's unconscious. We need to get him to St. Mungo's."
"How? There's no Floo and we can hardly apparate him!"
"We'll take him to a muggle hospital. They'll have an access point or at least be able to help him."
"Rose, there's a cottage not too far away. Get help. Ask them to call for an ambulance."
"O.K." was the faint reply, and she ran off.
The cottage was about two hundred metres away, or if you use imperial, two hundred yards. She ran the first half, then had to slow down to as fast a walk as she could manage with a stitch. She came out of fields of prickly gorse on to a dirt track with the stone wall of the cottage not far away. Breath regained, she jogged over to the wooden gate and let herself in. She hammered at the door, panting, 'til a well tanned man came round from the back of the house. He had dark hair and tough, tanned skin marked red by the wind. He wore scruffy clothes patched with mud and worn out black boots. He was short and lean, almost wiry, and his eyes were obscured by a long fringe and a deep-set scowl.
"An' wha' do you want?"
Chappie 1. For those who don't know, this story is being redone, so I may be vaguely satisfied with it and may even, dare I say it, get finished. If anyone can think of a better title, please tell me, as I can't think of one but am deeply dissatisfied with the current one.
Now, remember what I said about Echoing Noise being absolutely amazing and reading this travesty of a literary work and even asking for me to update? Well that was a pure and unselfless act, and by reviewing she put a little more love in the world. We all know that love makes the world go round, so therefore reviews make the world go round. Think you can guess what I'm getting at,