Chapter 1: Prologue
The rain was hitting hard on the moving vehicle. The trees were groaning, and branches were falling and split under the merciless tires, they were not used to this form of a travel. There were no roads, as this side of the forest was real deep, and had never seen by human before. The only indication was left that there had been some structure was from the destructive trail.
The human inside it was a 45-year-old man, his grey eyes widen in fear and desperation, the perspiration stuck his brown hair to his face and his brows narrowed revealing soon to be wrinkles. His fingers grabbed the steering hard, and his eyes looked anxious around him.
As his phone rang he gave a frighten yelp and nearly drove into the threes he was trying too hard to avoid. The screen showed the name Ellie.
his heart clenched as he remembered his beautiful wife before him with their newly born son. He had already missed her thirteen calls adding one more to the tally. Before he knew he was sobbing hard, dangerously blurring the already blurred surrounding.
Out of the nowhere a silver sort of transparent shape, startled him enough hit the brakes hard. But the grass was slick with the downpour rain and the mud it had created, so the vehicle instead of stopping glided and hit the three enough force to knock him out of the front window with more broken bones to almost kill someone.
The man laid down gasping for breath after screaming what seemed to him for hours, his tears mingling with rain. There was only eerily silence, only broken by the rain and as numbness started to set in his tears of pain turned into relief.
Unfortunately, the very thing he was running from stepped into his sight. As the shape stuck his hands forcefully into his chest and grabbed his very soul, a peaking pain instantly rose. A raw bloodcurdling scream fell from his chapped lips. It felt like grabbing the wrong end of the curling iron, it surpassed everything he had ever felt.
The creature wore a malice smile and looked down on him with knowing eyes. It raised his hands slowly, and the man felt like it was ripping his limbs and organs one by one. In his haze of pain, he didn’t know that he screamed or that he even begged and begged for mercy and prayed to god.
The creature licked his blue lips in anticipation as his hand was nearly out with a delicious soul. As he finally had torn it out of the vessel, he gave a cruel laugh and he ate the soul.
As the grey eyes lost their colours and the body died with one last shudder, Harry J. Potter opened his eyes.
When he woke up, he thought he had become blind. His eyes were open but all that he could see was complete darkness, threatening and formless shapes that moved in other shadows.
Luckily, before he had the chance to panic, the darkness had become a light mist, and then the mist dissolved into a white plaster ceiling.
He could smell clean cotton bed linen. Antiseptics, disinfects and the faint metallic tang.
He turned his head when the pain ran through his forehead, like an electric shock a drilled its way through from side-to-side. His sight immediately blurred. When it became clear again, he saw that he was lying in a hospital room.
He couldn’t remember being admitted in a hospital. He couldn’t even remember the hospitals name, which city or which country it was in.
‘What’s wrong with me?’ he thought.
He lifted a scarily weak hand onto his forehead and discovered that the whole upper part of his head was covered in with bandages. His hair was short and slightly stiff. Hadn’t it been longer before?
He didn’t have the strength to keep his arm up and let it fall back on the mattress. This time turning his head slowly, he looked towards his feet, feeling sweaty and warm. The reason he now saw was that his left foot was in a cast. A surprisingly green one that looked like it almost didn’t have any more room with all of the writings. He narrowed his eyes in confusion. Could it have been his friend engraving that? did he even have friends?
Moving his eyes to his right arm he saw that it was a syringe which was connected to a rubber hose. He received food intravenously. The metal rack and it is dangling bags of liquids stood right by the bed.
For a moment he closed his eyes convinced that this was all a dream. But when he opened his eyes, the room was still there, unchanged: white ceiling, white walls, green tile floor, pale yellow curtains pulled aside from a large window. Behind the widow were tall evergreen trees and a cloudy sky, with only few specks of blue.
There was another bed in the room, but it was empty. He was alone. The bed bars on each side of his bed were in upright position, to keep him from falling of the bed. He had a sudden burst of hatred. He was helpless like a baby. He didn’t even know his name. Or age. Or something else about himself.
He banged on the empty wall in his mind, trying to recall his memorise but there was nothing. He tried again and again, each time a little harder, but with no luck.
Memory loss, amnesia, brain damaged.
Those terrible words hit him hard like a quidditch bat, not that he could remember what that was. Apparently, he must have had an accident and had been seriously injured in the head. He imagined, what if it was a permanent mental disorientation and shuddered.
Then suddenly completely unexpected and without tying he remembered his name. Harry. Harry James Potter. He was twenty-five years old. The awaiting flow of memorise that was supposed to come was nothing more but a tickle. He couldn’t recall anything else than his name and age.
Though he stubbornly tried, he still couldn’t remember where he lived. What his work or school was. Whether or not he was married. he glanced at his almost slender bony like fingers and saw no ring. Did he have children, well he must have had. He had a faint impression of holding a toddler in his arms. Where were the child born or better more importantly where had he been born?
What kind of music did he like? or what was his favourite food?
He had no answers to the questions.
Memory loss, amnesia, brain damaged.
Just before falling into a full panic-attack out of fear, someone must have taken pity for he could suddenly remember. He was rooming London due to his vacation. He didn’t know where he had come from or what work he was supposed to go back to when the vacation was over but at least he knew where he was. Somewhere in London.
The last thing he recalled was, he had taken some double-decker bus and then walked a bit enjoying the clear sky and the soft wind mingled with the smell of newly baked bread. He remembered being inside a telephone booth and a turbulent lift. Then there had been a terrible argument and he fell through something soft yet cold. It had felt like an almost liquid veil of some sort and then…
he had woken up disoriented with pain in a hospital room.
“Well good morning dear”
Harry turn his head slowly, trying to focus on the person that had spoken. His vision had blurred again, and a dull pain slowly spread in his head.
“How are you feeling dear? You’re certainly looking a bit pale but that’s understandable after the ordeal you’ve been through.” the voice belonged to a cheerful nurse that moved closer to his bed from the open door. She was a chubby, grey haired woman with warm, brown eyes and a beaming smile. She had a pair of glasses with white steel hanging in a pearl-chain around her neck. The glasses were reflected light from her motherly bosom.
Harry tried to speak but was unable to. Even the pitiful attempt to speak took too much of him, he was almost about to faint. That extreme fatigue was frightening.
The nurse then came to the bed and smiled soothingly “I knew you would make it dear, I just knew. Some of the others had their doubts, but I knew you were a fighter” she pushed the call button right beside the beds headboard.
Harry tried to speak again, this time managing to get a sound out. However, it was nothing else but a low of meaningless gurgle from deep below his throat. He frightfully wondered, if he might ever get to talk again. Maybe he was condemned for the rest of his life to only bring forth these grunting, animalistic sounds. Sometimes the concussion resulted loss of speech development right. Right.
A beat banged loudly and unavoidable in his head, he seemed to be in a merry-go-round, which was spinning faster and faster, and he wished he could stop the wickedly spinning of the room. The nurse must have noticed the panic in his eyes, as she said “Calm down, calm down dear. Everything is going to be alright” she checked the glucose liquid regularly droops, and then gently grabbing his arms to feel the rhythm of his pulse.
‘Oh god’ Harry thought ‘If I am unable to speak, then what if I can’t walk either?”
He tried to move his right leg, under the covers, but there seemed to be no feeling in them at all, they were just as numb and lead heavy as his arms. The nurse let go of his arm, but Harry grabbed the white uniform sleeve and tried desperately to say something. “Relax, there are plenty of times” the nurse said gently.
But Harry knew there weren’t plenty of time. He was balancing on the edge of unconsciousness. The pain in his head was followed by a ring of darkness, slowly consuming him whole.
Chapter 2: Something peculiar
So sorry about the delay. There has been so much going on, moving, finals and weddings that I just didn't have the time to write. Hopefully i can use my summer a bit more productively ;)
The scream was brief and came from a far distant. It sounded like a woman. Paul Henderson, a retired football teacher, looked up from his newspaper. He tried to listen, but the stillness in his office seemed undisturbed. The dust danced leisurely in the bright beam of sunshine, that came through the window shutters. The thin red second-hand on the wall clock moved silently in the watch face. The only sound that was the creaking, came from the chair when Paul moved a little.
The office walls were in warm beige, and it had one floor-to-ceiling window, which faced the main road. It was idyllic suburbia, small charming houses with characters and decent spacing in-between. Just a few blokes away from the hustle and bustle of the inner city. Currently, it looked utterly empty and peaceful in the golden rays of the afternoon sun. He could hear the leaves on the trees, somewhat rustling in the soft wind.
He tried hard to listen, but after a moment conceded defeat. It must have been his imagination; he thought to himself — wishful thinking.
He almost would have preferred that someone screamed. He was restless and bored.
Paul had lost his wife Katharina a few years ago. Living without her was hard. She had been the livelier one, meeting people left and right. She also had a thing for scandals; he fondly remembered as he looked at the binoculars sitting in the bookcase lining the entire left-hand wall.
With both of them being dedicated teachers, they never thought of having children. At times, it could be slightly lonely.
He sighed and was about to pick up the newspaper from the table where he had lain it when he heard it again. Brief and came from a far distant, but this time it sounded like a man’s scream. It wasn’t from being jubilant nor a cautionary shout. This scream, however, was a piercing sound of complete terror.
Peter could feel his heart beating fast. He knew instinctually what to do.
He stood up and walked around the desk to call the police from the landline, just a few steps away from the office. But as he crossed the door, he heard a sound behind him. ‘Impossible’ he thought, there is no one in there.
Times such as these, Nick wondered why he wanted to become a detective. The lifeless body of a pretty young girl starred up from the dewy grass, almost hidden beneath the wild bushes. Her clothes were dirty and stained, her left shoe missing. Her limbs were virtually unrecognizable due to the various abrasions. Her long blonde curls spilled across broken branches.
Her name was Baily Norton. She had been reported missing from her college several days ago. She was only 21. 'Practically a kid,' he thought solemnly, as he crouched to peer at her.
She was the sixth victim of a recent serial killer. The media had christened him the "Oregon Predator" since he only killed people within the state.
The entire precinct was using every recourse, trying to catch the killer. From telephone leads to homeless people. Nothing, not a single clue had yet to come forth. 'What was worse,' he thought, 'there was no indication that a Wessen could be involved.'
"Find anything?" Hank, his partner, asked as he walked away from the primary witness who called it in. He flipped his notebook shut and gave him a significant look.
Wordlessly, he shook his head. Hank sighed and looked dishearteningly at the body. "Another name for the wall," he muttered.
If there were anything that a detective worth his salt hated, it would be the wall. It was a large board, filled with pictures and pieces of information regarding impossible ongoing cases. As of now, it had five headshots with their names and details on it.
Shane Thompson, aged 24, found dead in her apartment with locked doors and windows.
Aliyah McKinney aged 20, found dead, floating in the college pool, where she had practiced every other night.
Caroline Mayer, aged 21, up-and-coming beauty pageant, found strangled with her favourite silk scarf, in the library near her home.
Katy Harrington, aged 19, the youngest of them all, found dead in the living room in the house she was babysitting in, seemingly frightened to death.
Saskia Hubbard, aged 23, had left home to the mosque to perform the Friday prayers. Instead, her body was discovered in the local playground with her heart missing.
And now her. Bailey Norton, aged 21, outwardly beaten and mauled to death in the woods, few miles away from her home.
Nick could feel his Grimm side becoming aggravated and restless, by the thought of an unknown killer lose in his territory. Ever since he had immersed himself in the other realm and its know-how’s, he never had any troubles catching the killer. But this case had even stumped Monroe. There weren’t any obvious evidence nor pattern that could help discern the killer.
‘Another one for the wall indeed’ he thought deprecatorily, as he alongside with Hank walked to their car.
Danny was a thief, a good one. Kidnapping wasn't his thing, but the bookie needed hard cash, or he was looking at paying with the wrong sort of digits. Someone had wanted that girl, and it wasn't prudent to ask why. As far as things were going, he was just the delivery man, and after that, all debts were considered paid.
He'd also tried too hard to think of her like a parcel, yet as she whimpered in the trunk, his guts froze solid. He'd never thought of himself as a moral man, but perhaps morals were like the infra-red beams in the jewellery stores, invisible until crossed.
He almost opened the trunk out of pity, to let her out and forget the whole thing, when a sudden hand gripped his shoulder tightly. He yelped in fright and nearly dislocated his shoulder.
"and pray tell, mortal," a voice with slightly hissing lisp tickled his ear. He aborted the unconscious movement to rub his ear, "what were you about to do?" the man behind him asked.
Standing in an abandon parking lot, in the middle of the witching hour, he endeavoured to prevent the tremors in his body. His active imagination certainly didn’t help, he kept going through every conceivable scenario, that ended with his death.
“Nothing” he whispered scared, “just making sure she wasn’t dead”
As the seconds went by, Danny’s poor heart almost stopped beating. He was about to babble when the man behind him chuckled. “Well, well, look at that, a human that has wit”
Was he not terrified with his life, Danny would be quite offended by that remark. He may be a street rat of a bookie, but even that took mathematical skills. His old man used to take him on trips to Vegas to count cards when he was little. He and his mates would praise his skills, and often slip him ten bucks for every card game he won.
‘Pops’ he thought faintly, as the man – NO – the horrific monster stepped in front of him, ‘I ain't making into dinner’. The last thing Danny saw was an arm sticking through his chest.
From the windy chill of outside, the sun-baked warmth from the air conditioning of Madam Bernadette's house was a blessing to the skin. Harry removed his gloves and jacket, taking in the Mediterranean vibe that the house had conjured, enjoying the many pot plants that reached upward with broad and spreading leaves and the open spaces.
Catching her slight smile, he quickly cast his eyes down to the shoes he was removing, not wanting to be rude, staring into her eyes felt like some sort of professional mis-courtesy.
Harry hated to think it, but Madam Bernadette Markides was an unpleasant woman. She was not overly old, but her body had aged passed her years so much so that she wore the wizened features of an old crone. The occasional strand of her once golden hair could still be seen through the lifeless grey mane that limply framed her aging face. Her forehead was wrinkled by many peaks and trenches - caused by years of consistent scowling - which unflatteringly crowned eyes that permanently harbored a disdainful glare, shadowing their beautifully unique shade of blue. Her entire face seemed drained of any signs of joy and amusement, instead, her frumpy cheeks told a tale of regular displeasure. The only saving grace was, that for some unfathomable reason she was fond Harry.
The Living room looked like a perfect magazine cover. The sofa, where she and a man sat was cream but inlaid with fine green silk; leaves embroidered so delicately that they might have landed there in spring and just sunk in, but in reality, must have taken hundreds of hours to sew. The white curtains are linen, the kind that is untouched by hands and devoid of dust.
A cursory look to the right showed the almost hidden cords that are used to open and close them. There is no television, no bookshelf, no dining table, only the chairs arranged around the bespoke fireplace which leaps with a gas flame. The photographs are black and white, not casual family snaps, but arranged to look like such by a professional. The floor is a high polished wood, dark and free of either dust or clutter.
Once again Harry was grateful for his instinct to buy the so, so expensive oversized red knitted sweater. It almost draped off one of his shoulders, giving a tantalizing peek at his collarbones and its sleeve reached his fingers. The material was buttery soft and smelled like lilies. Normally Harry wasn’t one to buy high-priced clothes, but he had money left from the previous customer. So, he made the impulse of the sweater in various shades.
Though he was starting to regret it by the sleazy predatory gaze of the other gave him. The man was somewhat too tall for his build, had he been a few inches shorter he would be all the more handsome for it. It was as if he stopped growing only to be stretched on one of those medieval racks a half-foot more. His face was mostly obscured by a red scraggly beard that clung to his skin like winter-ravaged ivy tendrils. How odd to see those half-familiar features from Bernadette devoid of misery, like they were stolen.
“Greetings Madam Bernadette, I trust you are well this evening?” Harry said as he sat on the opposite sofa. She smiled higher and gave a small jarring laugh, as though her throat was unused to make the sound. For a moment her feature blurred to something viler hag like; ashen and greasy hue, boils and pus covering half of the face and sharp ragged teeth, before settling to her normal appearances.
Harry gave no outwards hints to something peculiar had just occurred and readied himself for calling. After all, he was a medium.