Writing to just write.
Whirling, twirling, falling. Snow flakes fell freely from the darkening gray clouds that swam over the tiny town of Gatlinburg, Tennessee, decorating the strip in a soft, white dust as it settled over the streets and buildings. Those daring to drive in the sudden downpour of snow had their faces pressed nearly to their windows, searching out what might lay only inches from their cars, as seeing through the thickness had become somewhat of a chore. It had been a while - nearly a decade - since the area had seen a bad storm, and everyone always teased that this year was the year they were due, however it was widely known that no one expected that unexpected storm to actually come to life within their little mountain paradise. However, as the wind picked up speed, blowing in the cold front from somewhere up north, and the snow seemed to come only faster it was quite obvious this year would be the year.
Clearly unmoved by the whiteness outside as it danced about, the young store clerk rubbed her cheeks, exhaustion drawing circles under her dark eyes as she tried to force them to stay alert and open as the hour dwindled away. Working graveyard had always been a pleasure of Tabitha's, as she'd always been something of a night owl, coming more alive in the wee hours of morning than any other time of day, however she'd taken to waking earlier this same morning as Christmas was drawing near, and it was her duty as the daughter who had moved away to buy expensive and wonderfully un-ordinary things from the mountains. Both her parents were natives of Florida, where they preferred their sunshine year round to anything else, and found it very difficult to endure even the small months of coldness Florida saw in late winter.
Waking up much earlier than usual, however, had proved to be unneeded as she had browsed more stores than she could count and hadn't found a single item that gave her any interest in the slightest. What did you get a Mother that refused to grow old and a Father who thought Christmas was a waste of perfectly good money and time, anyways? Running a hand over her tried features and eying the two young men that had come in a few moments ago and were now talking about beer in the corning, she wished she had chosen to take the day off instead of filling in for Maggie, who had 'come down with something suddenly' and had been unable to pull her shift this evening. Opening her mouth, she was just about to ask them if they needed any help when the phone beside her gave a stir and let out a shrill ring, causing her to jump slightly, her eyes coming around to stare at it quizzically.
Her reaction caused a slightly quirk to her lip as she picked it up, cradling it between her ear and her shoulder. The ringer had been broken ever since Dave from management had tried to take the phone with him in the back room, absentmindedly forgetting that it wasn't a cordless. It was more of a shrill screeching sound then a ring, and as she hardly received phone calls during the night, it always managed to cause a slight jump out of her. "Seven Eleven, this is Tabitha speaking, how many I help you tonight?"
"Hello Tabitha, this is Dave, are you with a customer?"
Tabitha looked back at the two men who had seemed to have not come to any decision since the last time she had glanced upon them and shook her head before realizing he couldn't see her answer, "No, no one at the moment. Is something wrong?" Dave from Management never called unless something was wrong.
"Mr. Jameson called from upstate and has announced that every store within the area be closed until six o'clock tomorrow evening unless notified differently. As soon as you can clear everyone out, close up shop and head on home."
Tabitha tilted her head slightly, glancing out of the corner of her eye at the men in the corner before speaking, "Okay, no problem. I suppose it's really going to be that bad, huh?" Tabitha hated small talk, but it somehow seemed wrong for her to hang up on her boss.
"Yes, out of nowhere. I'll see you tomorrow evening, Tabitha. Good night."
The line went dead and Tabby hung it up, her hopes feeling slightly higher. The idea of going home to her perfectly warm bed seemed almost a dream. Smiling, she glanced back up and spoke to the beer boys who couldn't seem to make up their minds, "Can I help you find anything, Sir?" She suppressed a grin as one of the men gave a slight jump, seemingly just noticing she was there.
"No, no, excuse me. We're ready," Reaching the counter, they set their purchases down, making small talk with each other as they waited patiently.
Tabitha loved credit cards. People swiped them, she rang up their items, and off they went, everyone happy and no jour opening involved. Not bothering with them once they gathered their things, she went about ending the shift and dropping any large pills into the safe before gathering her coat and purse and leaving, pausing only to lock up behind her. Her mood had suddenly risen a bit, and for the first time that evening she seemed to notice the swirling snow flakes as they darted about, covering the ground in beautiful mounds of white. Sighing softly, she opened a warm palm and caught upon it several flakes, which became water in her hands upon contact. Grinning more like a child then the tired twenty year old she'd been only half an hour ago, she tightened her scarf around her neck and set out toward the small one bedroom she rented beside the Mountain Inn, which had belonged to the owner of the hotel before he'd gotten married and had a family of his own.
Only three blocks from home, Tabitha started across the street, thinking she could almost taste the warm hot chocolate as it slid down her throat, or hear the sound of her bird Maximus as it called 'Good morning' to her when she entered. Of course, he only got it right when it was in the morning, for no matter what part of the day it was, it was always 'Good morning'. Fate, however, had decided to deal Tabitha a much greater adventure then that of what awaited her at home.
She hadn't seen the car lights of the automobile behind her until it was much too late and she was standing like a deer caught in the headlights, her eyes transfixed on those of the white ones that zoomed closer and closer until she was sent flying nearly ten feet in the air. It had never occurred to her that people were right when they said your life does flash before your eyes when you believe death is lurking ever so close, but at that very moment she could almost see everything she had done in life perfectly. All her accomplishments and all her mistakes, all the laughter and tears and happiness she had ever experienced seemed to rush forward at her.
Closing her eyes tightly, she awaited the hard landing, anticipated the pain that would come when she smacked the cement and what would happen if the car struck once more as she lay there, helpless. That landing and all the pain that was to ensure with it, however, never came. She hit the ground with a soft thud, the only form of pain coming from her left leg where the car had struck her and the center of her back, which she had landed on roughly. However the ground was soft beneath her, and when she moved her hand over it, as if to try and understand, she felt grass and not hard, snow covered cement. Confusion twisted her brow and she forced herself to sit up, ignoring the pain that seemed to shoot up her back as she did so and glanced around, her eyes trying to adjust to the sudden darkness around her. It seemed to engulf everything, she had never seen it so quiet, never felt anything so empty before. Sound then suddenly seemed to find it's way back to her ears and she could hear the sounds of evening. The music of a cricket, the dance of rustling leaves, the soft brush of wind against her cheek. Blinking in an uncertain, mystified way, she squinted her eyes and peered into the darkness around her, yet nothing seemed to move or give any sign of awareness to her arrival.
Where in the world was she?
Struggling to bring her eyes to sight, she opened and closed them repeatedly, though she knew it was no use, they would adjust to the darkness in their own times - which though only took moments, seemed like an eternity. Breathing shallow and clutching her jacket at her neck, she looked about. Tree's upon tree's was all she saw in every direction, and she knew she couldn't have been thrown far enough to land in the mountains, the idea of it was absurd. Standing slowly, testing her hurt leg gently and judging it only badly sprained and bruised, and not broken, she limped around quietly, trying to remain as noiseless as possible, as to go unnoticed by whatever happened to lurk within the woods... or wherever she happened to be, which she wasn't too sure of.
The thought of calling out for someone came and passed, as she wasn't sure there was anyone to hear her, and idea of waking or bringing an animal sent the thought right back where it deserved to be - the please do not disturb box within her brain. After walking in nearly a circle, and finding nothing in every direction, she decided that picking one and continuing in that direction would eventually lead to something. Yes, she had been - and she was sure nearly everyone else in the world had been - told you had a better chance of being found if you stayed put, but the logic of that seemed slightly flawed to her at the moment as she didn't even know where here was. North had always seemed like a good direction, and everyone always said you found home if you followed the North star. With that thought, she looked upward toward the sky and noticed for the first time the bright, brilliant stars that shined above. She had never seen the stars so bright and beautiful, and for a moment she was caught in their beauty.
Shaking her head softly, she located what she believed to be the north star and started forward in a limp, all the while talking animatedly to herself, the noise oddly soothing to her in the dead silence, "It would be my luck, getting lost in the middle of nowhere after getting hit by a car. A hit and run, of all things. You'd think someone up above could give me a little slack down here. I mean, a hit and run, sure, getting lost, sure, but both of them together? When does that happen?" Tabitha rolled her eyes and forced herself not to let out a string of curses that would send a sailor running. Unbelievable.
Seventh year, AU.
Evening began to set on Privet Drive, the sky darkening into brilliant shades of lavender and orange. A little drizzle left puddles of rain for the dying sun to shimmer in as darkening clouds began to move inward, covering Privet Drive and all that surrounded it. The grass, which had been yellowing and parched last year, now flourished under the rainy season summer had taken to being. With the rest of the day appearing to be a summer shower, children abandoned their play to return inside to video games and watch television, leaving the neighborhood seeming uninhabited. The only one left outside was a rather sorrowful looking fellow with unruly black hair and circular spectacles, which did nothing to hide the darkening rings around his eyes, giving off the appearance that he hadn't had a good nights sleep for a good while. His shoulders were hunched forward, his hands positioned deep into the pockets of a pair of very large and baggy jeans.
His walk was slow and unhurried, his head hung against the growing wind and cold shower. Over the last year, the once gangly teenager had sprouted into a young adult, his shoulders becoming more broad, his frame taking on the shape of that of a mans, rather than that of a boys. Sixth year, to say the least, had brought more hard times, more deaths, and an attitude of preparation. He'd drilled spell after spell into himself, and then into the D.A. If war was to erupt, he knew that every D.A. member would be in line, ready to fight to save tomorrow. He also knew that they were merely students, and that there was no way to prepare them for the battle they were being forced to face, but he could at least help them the best he could.
Fighting the erg to simply let the wind carry him away, Harry lifted his head to it, staring up into the growing darkness of the sky. He could feel it in the air, a change was about to take place, he only hoped it upped the Orders chance of survival. Quickening his pace, Harry walked the rest of the way to Privet Drive, Number four, and let himself in, softly closing the door behind him. There were no longer words between the Dursley's and himself, and Harry scarcely saw them, but he didn't mind. If he was awake during the day, he was out and about, on some mission of his own. Night time had taken to being his time. When the Dursley's climbed into their beds, Harry was only just getting out of his. He didn't bother with the Television or other such things, but out came books on Charms, Defense Against the Dark Arts, and anything else Harry could get his hands on. Understanding the Dark Arts, By Bertha Werthering was what was laid across the bed upstairs at this moment, and was where the young wizard was returning to.
Harry closed the door to his room and leaned against it, water droplets falling from his clothes beginning to form a small puddle where he stood. Pulling his wand from his pocket, Harry muttered "Sicco", his clothes becoming instantly dry. Yes, today was Harry Potter's seventeenth birthday. He was able to perform magic at his will, with no worry of Ministry letters and Decrease of Underage Wizardry. When the clock had struck twelve, Harry had started practicing the spells he had been reading about all holiday, doing his best to perform the spells and charms as he had read to do them. Harry had long sense surpassed N.E.W.T. level spells, and was now teaching himself things not many other wizards his age knew.
Brushing a hand lightly over his scar, Harry sighed. Seven days ago Harry's scar had begun to tingle, though it was merely a warming sensation, and for some reason Harry believed that the Dark Lord was satisfied over something, but what this something was he had no idea. Having no idea left Harry frustrated and worried, especially since the feeling had remained for several days now.
Crossing his room, Harry leaned down and picked the book that laid over his pillow up and sat down, briefly closing his eyes as he sat quietly. Something felt wrong, he had known it since he'd woken up late last night, but he hadn't been able to put his finger on it, and it seemed silly to owl a member of the Order because he had a bad feeling. Gently needling his forehead, Harry tried to force his overworked mind to think, to come up with something that could possibly happen. It was in that moment that his mind seemed to erupt with searing, unbelievable pain. Voldemort wasn't just satisfied or happy, he was completely overjoyed with something that was taking place right now. Harry groaned and hit his knees, his hands planted on the floor in front of him, holding himself off the ground the best he could as he waited, hoping for the pain to subside in his head.
Biting his lip, Harry forced himself to keep the pain to himself - the last thing he wanted was the Dursley's running in here, telling him to shut his screaming and then find him sprawled on the floor, holding his forehead.
After several minutes of unstoppable, head-splitting pain, Harry fell unconscious.