DISCLAIMER I do not own any original plots, characters, themes, ideas or anything from 'Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl'. All I own is everything in this story of my own creation.

Chapter One – The beginning

'Nosebleed Inn' was the dirtiest, most dangerous inn in all of Port Royal. No one respectable even came in a ten-meter radius of it. It was situated on the outskirts of the harbour on the very last pier. It was dark and gloomy place with a broken sign hanging from the door, clouded windows and a foul smell coming from the side. It was very small and often drunken men lay sleeping or unconscious outside the inn. It was more a tavern than an inn with one or two useable rooms and one communal bathroom. The owner was an old pirate some said, Jog John, with a glass eye and a wooden peg. He was old with wispy grey hair and dark sunken eyes. He wore stain clothing and didn't talk much. He was also the bar attended.

Many ashamed sailors went there for comfort from some of the whore's that hung around. Many men conducting bad deeds went there because they would be suspected in any other respectable tavern in town. Many pirates went there. One in particular was Pierre Carrad, a French pirate who was sailing on the Black Maiden. He was a slight man with royal blue eyes and straight black hair. He was clothed in tatty black breeches, a canvas shirt that was in desperate need of a wash, worn brown boots and a ratty brown vest. Around his neck was an orange bandanna, faded from years of wear. He sat alone in the corner of the room next to a cloudy window. It was sometime after midnight and he sat drinking a mug of rum. A shadow passed his window and he followed its movement with his eyes.

Diane Fairweather was cloaked and her face hidden. She was trying to look as plain as possible and to hide who she really was. A lady high in society she wore the most simple dress she could find in her home – even at that she stood out as wealthy. She blended into the shadows however, not seen leaving her large manor high on the hill. She was trembling in fear when she arrived at the inn; she was always told and always told others never to go into that inn. She cautiously walked through the in, getting weird looks from the men sitting around drinking. She walked up to the bar and asked Jog John something very quietly. He pointed to Carrad in the corner. She thanked him and walked over.

She sat down opposite the pirate who sat back in his chair. "I am glad you could make it on such short notice," she said in a hushed voice. He took a swig of rum and looked over at her.

"I do not usually make calls like zis, my crew are waiting for moi, so please make zis quick," he said in a very French accent.

"I need a boat, well a ride to Tortuga," she said dropping her voice even quieter. He nodded, expecting her to go on, "I have payment," she said pulling out a purse from the sash around the belt of her dress and put it on the table. Carrad grabbed it and looked inside, there was about a hundred pounds worth of gold coins in there. She watched him with close eyes, "If that is not enough I can get more," she added. He pondered it, but that would mean she would have to go back to her manor probably and get it and that would just take too long.

"Zis is fine," he said and drank the last of the rum and walked began to walk outside. Diane followed him. When they left the inn he moved fast, Diane was almost running to keep up with him. He led her away from the town and the harbour. Not three days earlier Diane had received word that her beloved husband Philip a Captain in the Royal Navy had gone missing whilst on call. Acting purely on impulse that only belongs to people between twenty and twenty-five Diane decided that the best move would be to jump on a ship to the pirate port Tortuga and begin her arduous search for her husband. Hence the meeting the with pirate Pierre Carrad in the middle of the night.

It was fifteen minutes before he stopped. They had come to a small rowboat moored on the bank of the mainland with a man wearing tattered clothing similar to Carrad's sitting in the boat smoking a pipe. He jumped to life as soon as he spotted Carrad. He hopped out of the boat and waited to push it away from shore. Carrad got into the little boat first then helped Diane who was desperately trying not to get her skirts wet. She sat at the front of the boat facing out to sea. Carrad then hoped out again and helped the pirate push the boat into the water. They jumped in the boat, Carrad sitting at the back facing Diane and the other man in the middle facing Carrad. He began to row.

For a while they just rowed straight out into the sea until they were far enough away from the mainland to see around the big corner in the shape of the land. This bend led into another cove similar to that of Port Royal. The small boat headed for this cove. It took them a while before they got anywhere near the little inlet. But once they had got around the bend Diane could see a faint light in the cove. It was a pirate ship moored in the shallows.

The oarsman had a break when they went around the bend and into the mouth of the inlet. Diane looked around her she couldn't see anything suggesting that there was a busy port just around the bend. The oarsman started up again and they were ever coming closer to the ship. Diane pulled her cloak tight around her body and remained hooded. She shivered not just from the cold but because she was nervous.

Soon the little boat met the side of the large pirate ship. Someone above threw a rope ladder over the side of the ship. It was not an old boat but not a particularly new one. Barnacles were beginning to grow on the underside of the ship and the wood in some parts was beginning to rot. It had two large masts on either side of the largest one, which was in the middle of the ship. The sails were black and tattered at the bottom. Written in large cursive writing on the side of the boat near the bowsprit were the words 'Black Maiden'. Diane guessed that was the name of the ship.

She climbed up the ladder slowly, loosing her balance often and needing help from Carrad who was behind her. She swung her leg over the side of the ship, trying to keep modesty, and when she was all over turned around and looked at the crew. They were not nearly as bad looking or disgusting as Diane assumed pirates would be. In fact they were relatively clean, for pirates, and wore relatively respectable clothing, for pirates. They stopped what they were doing and looked at Diane, she could feel all of their eyes on her. She looked to the ground, just as Carrad came up behind her.

"Men, zis is Lady Diane, she will be riding with us to Tortuga," he said address all the men. They nodded and went back to their work, "Come zis way," he said leading her down a set of stairs, "You shall sleep in zi captain's room," he said leading her to the largest bedroom. It wasn't a traditional captain's room, which would be filled with fine drapery; a large four-poster bed with drapes and fine linen. Or large paintings and furniture it was a small room with a hammock stretching from the far wall across to the wall on the right. There was a thin blanket and a few cushions with careful embroidery on them. There was also a small vanity with a cushioned stool on the right wall next to where the hammock was tied. There was no carpet, no wall paint just a dirty window on the far side of the room. The light from the torch on the wall had a faint glow that lit up the room illuminating the dirt and dust hanging on the floorboards and vanity. There was a chamber pot and small washbasin in the farthest corner and a few small paintings on the walls. To the left there was a door that led to an adjoining room.

"Is this where I will be sleeping?" asked Diane walking into the room looking around; it was about as big as Rosemary's room.

"Yes," said Carrad, "Breakfast will be brought to you in zi morning. Zi journey is about two to three days. Feel free to look around the deck during the day, in zi case of a storm you must retreat immediately to zis room, but do not lock your door. Meals will be served in here. If you do come up on deck during the day try not to get in zi crews way. Good evening Lady Diane," he said bowing and backing out the door.

"Captain!" she called he straightened up.

"I am not zi captain, you shall meet zi captain in Tortuga if you are lucky," he said and closed the door then walked away.

Diane looked at the door for a while and exhaled. She removed her cloak then looked around the room. There was no curtain to the window letting the moonlight shine in, its light depreciated by the torch. I will never be able to sleep in the morning, she though. She moved over to the vanity and looked at it. The mirror was very dirty and there was nothing but a brush and a variety of hairpins on the table. She moved to the windows and looked outside she saw the shadow of another boat not far from the Black Maiden. She couldn't make much of it out. Suddenly the ship began to move, obviously the men had decided to set sail.

She walked over to the other side of the room and opened the door. It was a dimly lit room with a large table in the middle. There were maps scattered all over the room and the table. Stacked in the corner were some old black chairs. The room had red carpet like the previous room and dark red walls. There was another door that obviously led out into the corridor. Lining the walls were book selves filled with books some with paper sticking out of them some with no covers. At the very end of the room there was a set of windows with red drapes pulled back.

Diane ran her fingers along to books lightly on one of the closer shelves. She dropped her hand by her side and left the room, closing the door quietly behind her. She wasn't quite used to the sensation of the boat moving forward. She steadily undressed down to her under garments then climb into the hammock. It took her a while to steady herself in the contraption. She pulled the blanket over her body and tried to make herself comfortable. She soon found that hammocks were very comfortable and fell into a dreamless sleep.