Albus stared ahead of him, his jade green eyes unblinking but weary. Faded memories of the past few days shot across his mind, reminding him of what was still left to do. He sighed and heaved his rucksack onto his back.
His rucksack contained the few items that seemed of real value to him.
Some clothes, ones that cloaked his true identity from the wizards that would eventually try to find him. The Gringotts key that he'd accepted from the Minister several days ago - had it really been that long? The three charms books that he'd purchased, when he first met Sky Ellis eight years previously.
Sky's journal - the very book that he'd salvaged from the dead wizard's trunk. Deep down, Albus was afraid of that book. Whatever malicious secrets it'd yield when he opened the ancient pages, he did not yet know.
When Albus had been packing, he'd grabbed, or stolen, the jet-black sword that Sky had inherited when the four of them, Arthur and Scorpious included, had been foolish to open the tomb of the mighty founders of Hogwarts. In the eight chambers, they'd all completed a task that, had they been imposters, would have been prevented them from passing to the next one.
Albus remembered that moment when he'd spotted that anxious glint in Sky's eyes.
It had been a shock to them all when Salazar Slytherin had refused to help any of the four - except for Sky. He'd then murmured in the terrified twelve year old's ear and passed him that nefarious sword.
Albus knew that sword, similar to the ways of wands, would not work properly for him as it belonged rightfully to Androclus. But it felt good, having a weapon like that in his hands. For fear of being discovered, he'd stowed it away in his rucksack, wrapped in an old, sky-blue, ragged fabric.
Around Albus' neck hung Sky's last birthday gift to Albus. The crystal that enabled Light Brigade members to communicate effectively.
He smiled at the memory of that one blissful day.
A pouch of Galleons and Muggle money was also hidden in his rucksack. He wanted to be prepared for whatever was thrown at him, so he'd taken along what Muggles named a compass. Albus had barely worked out how to use it so far.
The faithful companion that was his wand was safe in his gigantic pocket. He just hoped it would remain there.
The last two things that he'd taken was the sketchbook and pencil set that Scorpious had given him last year and his broomstick, that he had to use an Enlarging Spell on his rucksack for.
It was around nine o'clock in the evening, when the last of the ferocious August heat dwindled away, for the night, when he stopped at a Wizarding pub, named the Four Snitches.
He was exhausted.
"How much for a night here?" Albus asked the landlord quietly. The elderly man glared at him, evidently surprised by the question.
"It's your lucky night, mate," the landlord answered. "Ten Galleons. I'd be surprised if you can sleep with that bloody Irish kid crawling around up there, anyway-"
"There's an Irish wizard up there? Any chance you know his name?"
He was clinging onto his one desperate hope that it wasn't Jason Dale, the leader of the Light Brigade that Sky and Albus had formed only last year. The landlord raised an eyebrow.
"Think he said his name was...Dark? Sebastian Dark...? I'm not sure. Anyway, you'd better pay now and get off to where you're going to sleep tonight. Room twenty two," the man replied. Albus breathed a sign of relief before hurriedly paying the wizard. He stumbled upstairs and locked the door, before falling onto the bed.
It wasn't quite luxury, he thought, but it'll do.
The constant knocking on the wooden door barely disturbed the sleeping Albus.
Nor did he awake when an owl fluttered through the window and sat on the windowsill, perched there for an hour or two. The suffocating darkness outside gave way to a rosy red dawn.
The tawny gold owl screeched loudly.
"OI!" the landlord roared and Albus Severus Potter woke with a start. "You've got ten minutes to get out of that room, and get going!" There was a thud as the man made his way to another room.
Al glanced briefly at the owl, before quickly sauntering over to it. It was a letter from Hogwarts. A late one, about the NEWTS, that he'd taken in June. Before...Sky was murdered.
His heart pounded as he ripped the letter open and began greedily reading.
NASTILY EXHAUSTING WIZARDING LEVELS
ALBUS SEVERUS POTTER HAS ACHIEVED:
Defence Against the Dark Arts : EE
History of Magic: EE
Ancient Runes: O
This was it! He'd achieved seven NEWTS! Albus smiled softly, wishing sincerely that Scorpious and Arthur were here, so he could, at least, discuss the results. Or maybe Rose, his formidable cousin.
Suddenly, he remembered the job that he'd set out to do.
To find and bring down the man who was at the centre of the malicious web of lies that had begun to be spun the very day that Sky's mother were murdered by his father.
It took less than two minutes before Albus had tracked down everything that might have fallen out of his rucksack during the night (which included Sky's journal). He added the Hogwarts letter to his possessions in the bag and sent the owl off, sorry that he hadn't anything to feed him with.
He sprinted down the stairs and nearly knocked the Irish boy over.
"Hey!" Dark yelled, sporting some armour over normal Muggle clothes. "What are you doing, man?" Albus had his wand pointed in the boy's face.
"What are you doing?" Albus demanded.
"Joining the Light Brigade camp that's been set up in Alda-Caldwell," Dark answered, his muddy brown eyes almost sliding out of focus as he watched Albus' wand.
"What do you mean?"
Albus was starved for news and relished the chance to find out anything about what was going on in the fight against the Dark Riders, an association that followed a path similar to Lord Voldemort'. Only that instead of eliminating Muggle-borns, they preferred to fight over an object that had the ability to turn into a god.
"Haven't you heard?" Dark demanded. "The Dark Riders want to take the city of Alagale, and they're going to start the battle in, what, four days' time? The Light Brigadiers declared war and are refusing to surrender the city!"
"And are you going there now?"
"Yeah, course I am! The Captain's ordered everyone from Brigadier families to join-"
"Well, take me with you. I want to fight! And, I'm sorry about sticking my wand in your face, it was rude of me. My name's...Robbie Moore," Albus announced. He'd decided to use a fake name, so he couldn't be identified.
"OK...Well, pleased to meet you. I'm just going to Apparate there now, but I'll take you along, as well..."
Albus felt the horrible sensation of being forced into a rubber tube. But when he opened his eyes, and gazed on the scene before him, he was shocked.
Miles upon miles of tents erected on muddied fields, all of them with the yellow and black flag of the Light Brigade fluttering above them. His mouth fell open, and he glanced over - Sebastian' s surprised expressions were similar to his own. A toweringly tall but slender wizard stepped out from one of the tents and greeted them.
"You new here?" he asked. Albus and Sebastian nodded.
"That tent over there is yours. Training for the tent starts in two hours but you'll see me long before that. Now, what are your names?"
"This is Robbie, and I'm...er...Sebastian," Dark announced. The tall wizard nodded.
The pair of them were ushered into the cavernous tent and told to eat the rations from the cupboards. Albus immediately hurried to the bottom bunk and began unpacking his things.
He had an hour to read Sky's journal.
Albus slowly undid the clasp on it and opened it up so it was balanced in his lap. Yellowed worn pages was the first thing he found. Secondly...the scent of Sky was instantly overpowering.
In the distance, Albus heard the sounds of swords clashing upon each other - the sound of battle.
This book belongs to Sky Ellis it read. And the date of the first entry was petrifying into itself. 31 st December 1999. Written eight years before Albus Severus Potter was born.
AUTHOR'S NOTE - 2ND DECEMBER 2014
So, hey, less than 24 hours after The Year of the Badger (now going to be changed to Year of the Eagle) finished, this is started!
I just hope this fan fiction doesn't take as long as that project. Two years. A lot's happened in two years. The year I started it, I was finishing primary school (11 years old) and next year I'm doing my GCSEs, (the youngest in my year, or 'grade').
What do you think? Is it surprising or predictable? Is there anything you want me to smooth out?
Next chapter should be sometime around the end of this week, going into next week mark. Maybe even earlier. Who knows? Don't forget, next chapter will be Sky's first few diary entries. Does it fit in with the timeline that's going on?
From no other person than the shocking SeekerDraconis23. :)