This is the final part of the No.4 trilogy; it’s taken a while but writing dialogue was harder than I anticipated. I have a few thoughts that could add a Part 4 but for now I’m working on something else I will post when I have a finished piece of work.
I hope you enjoy this last piece, best wishes
The red headed man stood looking out of the window, he turned and said to his wife, “It’s going to be a cold night, probably snow a bit later.”
“Mmm” she said without looking up from the book she was reading.
“I think I’ll put another log on the fire.” he said.
“Good idea.” She replied, still not looking up from the book.
Several hours later the log had burnt down to embers and the house was silent.
A dark-haired man staggered towards the little cottage and felt himself falling as the prickling sensation in his forehead turned to pain, his vision started to blur as he stumbled up the path leading to the front door, and he fell into darkness.
There was a muffled thump as he landed heavily on the path and the woman with long brown hair jerked awake and in the stillness that followed, she listened intently. After a minute or so she nudged the red headed man sleeping next to her.
“Wake up, I just heard something.”
‘Whassa matter” he mumbled
“Wake up, I heard a noise outside.” She snapped at him.
“Ok, ok. I’m awake, I’ll go and look.
“We will.” She said, getting out of bed and putting on a dressing gown and throwing another one at the red headed man.
They crept downstairs and reached the front door and with infinite care she turned the key, and the lock made a quiet click as she unlocked the front door. The red headed man grasped the handle and slowly opened the door. They peered into the snowy night and just at the very edge of the light cast by opening the front door they saw a snow-covered shape in the middle of the path.
They both stared at the shape in the snow watching as it moved and a dark-haired man appeared and tried to raise his himself but lost his balance and collapsed.
The dark-haired man had no idea if he had been unconscious for moments or hours, but he could hear a woman’s voice, he recognised, asking, “Is he ok?”
“I don’t know, I haven’t seen him like this since we were at school.” said the man’s voice.
“Why was he holding his forehead?” she asked.
“I have no idea, let him sleep there’s nothing we can do tonight.”
The fire crackled in the grate and the man fell back into darkness, no pain but absolute darkness and he dreamed, he dreamt of the man with red eyes and of his cold high voice speaking his name. He woke with a start and looked around; the fire had burnt low and as he gazed around the cosy room he realised where he was and stood up. Then he sat down, quickly, as a wave of dizziness hit him; he waited a minute and tried to stand up again and this time he succeeded.
He walked across the room knelt slowly and put another log on the fire and walked over to the window pulled back the curtains and could see nothing but snow swirling in the darkness; then he heard a noise at the front door.
Turning the key as quietly as he could he slowly twisted the handle and opened the door; something small and fast ran past him and he quietly closed and locked the door and then turned to see what had entered the room. To his relief it was a small white cat with mismatched eyes, one gold the other bright green, it looked hungry.
He went into the kitchen and found a pot of stew on the stove; he helped himself to a bowl and put some on a saucer for the cat and went back into the sitting room. They ate in front of the fire, and he fell asleep and this time he did not dream.
He woke with a start feeling a hand on his shoulder.
“Are you ok?” she asked him.
“I think so, how did I get here?”
“I don’t know, we just heard a noise and when we opened the door you were lying in the snow.”
“You had us worried for a minute mate; when we brought you in you started holding your forehead.” said the red headed man.
” You scared us.” he added
The woman looked shrewdly at the dark-haired man and said, “What’s going on and what happened to bring you here?”
“I don’t know what happened, I remember leaving number four and then nothing until I woke up here.” He said. “By the way do you have a cat?”
“What? Oh yes, you met Errol” the woman said. “What were you doing at number four?”
“I went for these,” he said reaching into his pocket and removing the long slim box and passing it to her.
She opened the box and stared for a moment as the contents glowed briefly.
‘Whose were they?” she asked.
“My parents, I think.” He replied.
“I don’t understand mate, how did they get there?”
“The only thing I can think is that someone collected them from the cottage the night my parents died and hid them at number four, but I don’t see how, no one entered the house the night they left me with my aunt and uncle. Well, there was……. but he only grabbed me because he only had seconds before the Fire Brigade arrived.
“If it’s who I think it is, that put them there,” said the red headed man, “he’d have had no trouble re-arranging time to be able to do that.”
“Why do they glow?” the woman asked.
“I was hoping you might know.”
“I’ve no idea, I mean I’ve studied this subject extensively but there is nothing about them glowing. And these look different from even the oldest documented ones, was there anything at the shop?” she asked.
He recounted what had happened when he was at the shop and what happened at number four and his conversation with the neighbour.
The woman’s brow furrowed, and she looked worried, “It might have been a long time ago but someone sent people to find them and they risked exposure so whatever these are or whoever they belonged to they are really important.”
“So, what next?” asked the red headed man.
“Next we need to understand why they glow and what it is about them that makes them so special. And there is only one place where we will find the answers.”
“The Library.” said both men at the same time.
She stared at both of them and after a lengthy pause she said, “Yes, the Library.”
Disclaimer: I don’t need to tell anyone who has read this far that the protagonist and locations used in this short story do not belong to me, they are the creation and property of JK Rowling. I am a fan of her work and simply wanted to know if I could take one of my favourite fictional characters and create a very short story.