The sun was beginning to go down, its dying rays
creating streaks of pink, red and gold across the sky. The first stars were
beginning to make their brilliant appearance, and the crickets had begun their
He noticed all of this, but no longer saw the beauty
of the sunset and the stars, could not enjoy the music
of the crickets and other creatures of the night in the small, winding
neighborhood. It was with complete disinterest … no, dispassion … that he
watched as the occupants of the neat rows of homes below him begun to turn on porch and lamps
against the encroaching darkness.
Even with the coming darkness, there was too much light, more than he cared for. He did not fit
with this place -- he, a shadow of darkness, of chaos, of need -- within this
nest of warmth and life. But he and his older companion had been sent by her. The short woman, who radiated darkness and power. She was
powerful, and that was good.
He and his companion soared through the air, the
light breeze rippling through their black, tattered cloaks. Every once in a
while, he could feel thin ribbons of gaiety, wispy memories of recent
happiness, but these were small, faint. Light fingerprints through the shifting
air. The living creatures, they were inside now, shut against the dark … but
creatures. Outside, just below them. He could
sense them. They were moving. He and his companion flew down softly, and he
felt a quiver of anticipation. There were high emotions from the two beings.
The energy, the feeding, would be good.
His excitement intensified as he and his companion
landed, and he scanned the two creatures. One of them was plain, ordinary.
There was no sense of power with this being, a boy, he deduced. The other … it
was the one she had wanted them to get. This one, another boy, was powerful,
like the woman. Possibly dangerous. But this boy’s
emotions were strong. His tattered, graying robes fluttered in anticipation.
I will take care of him, he heard in his mind.
He was disappointed. His companion would go after
the powerful one, while he would go after the weaker creature. But he would do
as he was told, for his companion was older. It never occurred to him to
Softly, he touched down and approached the ordinary
boy. The boy was larger than the powerful one, he noted dispassionately.
Fear. A great wave of horror
struck him in warm, welcoming waves, and he inhaled it greedily, his deep
breath rattling in the very bones of his chest. He heard their voices….
you d-doing? Stop it!”
“I’m not doing
anything! Shut up and don’t move!”
“I c-can’t see!
I’ve g-gone blind! I-”
He started to reach out a hand to the ordinary boy,
feeling the boy’s blinding fear, his terror. He could see this boy’s thoughts
take shape, coming at him at first in swirling, incoherent patterns, then
beginning to solidify….
There is a street, lined with tall buildings covered
in steel, brick and glass. Many structures are so tall,
they nearly blot out the sky. Cars crowd the roads and hundreds of people mill
about the sidewalks and the streets….
Hello, little boy … have you lost your mummy and
Sniffles. Yes. They are with my … my cuzzin. In one of these stores.
Come with me, son. I can help you find them. My car
is right over here….
No! Can’t … let go! Let go of me! Mommy! Daddy!
A loud slap, then crying.
Help! Let go! Let me go! Mummy! Daddy! Where are
Hands drag the boy towards a green car. Two people
suddenly come running out of a store, a thin woman dragging a four-year-old boy
with shaggy black hair, and a larger, beefy man. Both are screaming….
Then brilliant red light … the man’s grip loosened.
The black-haired four-year-old stood there, looking both angry and frightened …
Then the beefy man started screaming at the four-year-old, while the woman ran
over to the other boy in terror….
Trembling in pleasure, he grasped the boy’s wrists
in his hands, delighting in the new surge of terror. Emotions.
Feelings. He had only been changed about a month ago
by his older companion, but he was already forgetting what it was like to have
feelings. Could he recapture what it was like to feel fear? Joy? Hate? What it
was like to feel … human?
Eagerly, he bent his hooded head over the boy’s
face. The fear was radiating from the creature’s prone form like the sun, which
was by now completely below the horizon. So intoxicated he was by this surge of
emotions, he was unaware of the impending danger … until too late….
Pain, white hot pain coursed through him as he was
tossed into the air. Agony. Fire.
Energy, light energy … white energy. No no no nononono,
it was too much emotion. Toomuchtoomuchtoomuchtoomuchtoomuch….
With an effort, he wrenched himself free of the
powerful force’s loosening grip, but by this time, he was far from the
neighborhood, far from the living things they had been sent to attack. He felt
his companion a short distance away, and sensed that the older one also had
been attacked by the powerful white light. Together, silently, they soared
through the welcoming, cool night, their figures casting shadows across nearly
full moon and winking stars as they flew through the sky.
We have failed in our attack against the boy. Do you
wish us to go back?
The short woman was sitting in a high-backed wooden
chair, her hands clasped in front of her. Dark power radiated from her like a
“No,” she finally said. “No. This has already
attracted the wrong sort of attention. It would have been best if you would
have brought the boy down, but ….” And here the woman smiled, and her aura
intensified. “But … I think we could still come out ahead. Indeed, this might
work even better than my original plan.” The short woman laughed loudly, a
high, cold cackle. “Harry Potter will not be a threat to us for much longer.
Mark my words.”
Note: The dialogue in italics is
from Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix Ch. 1 “Dudley Demented.”