The Sugar Quill
Author: K. A. Flower  Story: Shadows  Chapter: Default
The distribution of this story is for personal use only. Any other form of distribution is prohibited without the consent of the author.

The bone thumped gently against his thigh as he hobbled over the dense undergrowth

Shadows

 

Disclaimer: JK Rowling owns all characters places and plots the have to do with the Harry Potter realm, etc. I am simply borrowing them for my enjoyment.

***

 

The bone thumped gently against his thigh as he hobbled over the dense undergrowth. At least there isn’t a clunking noise. He paused briefly, checking the map in his hand and making sure that no one was following him – not like they likely would. SNAP! It was the third time that he’d heard that sound behind him, yet the map showed nothing. Just a werewolf…nothing you can’t fight off…the eye whirled in his head, attempting to pick up the person following him, but strangely enough, it wasn’t working.

 

Abruptly changing his path, Bartemious Crouch Jr. wondered absently what exactly the Dark Lord would say. You’ve made me proud, Bartemious. Very proud. It was more than his father had ever said to him, at least to his face, but the though of it sent shivers up his spine. The fact that the Dark Lord would consider him an equal was almost electrifying. SNAP! Something, or someone, was following him. Yet for the love of all in the Wizarding World, he couldn’t see it, crazy eye or not. He changed direction again, checking to make sure that he was heading south towards Hagrid’s hut. SNAP! Barty spun around, slightly crouched, his wand raised shoulder height. “Who’s there?” he barked menacingly, the crazy eye going wild in his socket.

 

“Please, lower you wand. I have no intention of hurting you,” came a quiet voice from his right. Barty shifted his weight and turned his wand, casting shadow upon a strange looking sight. It was a man…no, a horse…Barty, get a hold on yourself…it’s a Centaur, nagged the voice irritably known as his conscience. He took his time in lowering his wand, still glaring at the beast before him.

 

“I have business here tonight, Centaur. Go back to your fellows,” he snapped, turning to leave. The Centaur, however, sighed.

 

“Saturn has not been in power for a long time, my friend. In your case, I fear it might not be a good thing.”

 

Barty snorted, shaking his head. “You mystics are what make the world an interesting place to live in. Forgive me, but I have no time for small –“

 

“Young Bartemious Crouch,” the centaur murmured softly, stepping slowly into a swathe of moonlight. “One would do good to understand the stars.”

 

His mouth was open wide, his crazy eye going wild searching for anyone that could possibly have heard the Centaur’s words. “What are you on about?”

 

The centaur merely chuckled, leaning against a tree. “Humans cannot begin to understand the realm of possibility that the stars holds for them. The intricacies boggle their logic and they, therefore, are not living their life as it should be lead.”

 

“What are you on about?” Barty asked quietly, narrowing his good eye.

 

“What you’ve done and been doing, as well as what you’ve come to Hogwarts to do, Barty, will bring the end to you and the Wizarding World.”

 

Barty was speechless – Centaurs never were one for idle conversation. “Aren’t you –“

 

“Anyone could have seen this coming if they saw all the facts. I thought simply to try and make it clear to you what you’ve set in motion.” The Centaur turned to leave, but Barty stopped him with a laugh.

 

“What I’ve set in motion? I’ve set in motion a plot to restore the only true ruler to his rightful throne – Lord Voldemort,” he barked, his chest heaving with mirthless laughter. “You all – you beasts, you beings…will all be sorry once you realize that you’ve chosen the wrong side.”

 

The Centaur watched him sadly, placing a hand on the tree nearest to him. Without preamble, however, he began to chant.

 

My shadow there in the night
the jagged edge plain to see
alone in the black of despair
sleep maybe towards dawn
now that fragment of solitude
savoured saved and slayed
reality the perpetrator
the moment the victim
the shadow stumbles and fades
light reality's mate
dawn delivering the day
darkness and shadow dead

 

The centaur ambled off into the dense undergrowth, leaving Barty behind to his wandering thoughts. What was that supposed to mean? I should’ve gotten rid of him…he’ll go to Dumbledore…The more Barty thought about it, however, he knew that it was highly unlikely that the Centaur would go to Dumbledore – they preferred to be by themselves, away from human contact. And yet…how did it know what he’d done? Was it really so plain to see in the stars? What really struck Barty was the chant that the Centaur had laid. His master would succeed – Barty would see to that. It was only a matter of time…and patience. Humming lightly to himself, Barty set off back towards Hagrid’s hut, more confident that he would finally see his master rise again.

 

***

 

It was one of those rare moments, he reflected, that he should’ve done something better with his life. Sitting on the floor with a wand pointed at his throat and his arms bound tightly at his side, Barty couldn’t help but be a little fearful. But my master has returned, one voice sang in his head, skipping for joy. Yes, he has…and he’s left you here to die, sneers a cold voice in return, shadowing his triumph. The Potter boy lived. His master lives. He must die. Now that fragment of solitude savoured, saved and slayed, chanted the Centaur’s voice in his head. It was getting very, very cold and Barty could only sit and wish that he’d thought about things more. That he’d been able to tell his father everything and not have his mother die for him and not be lead into an obvious deathtrap by the most powerful Dark wizard. The coldness was seeping deeply, familiarly, into his bones now. Someone was shrieking. The air was getting sucked out of the room…the shadow stumbles and fadelight reality's mate…visions of his triumphant master, the snivelling coward of a rat flashed before his vision before, quite abruptly, it stopped. He could feel no more.

***

Author’s Note: This story was done to support a very good cause – forests are beautiful, majestic and tranquil with a magic that is truly all their own. A special thanks you to Kathalie for hexing away erroneous plot bunnies and stopping me from wasting three roles of parchment. The poem, unfortunately, I have no recollection of who wrote it. I tried searching both google and yahoo but the search came up empty. It’s one of those things that, in my opinion, have many, many meanings.

 

Illustrious03.write

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