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The wall exploded outward. Another piece of Tom Riddle went flying away from the rest of his wretched being. Death watched Voldemort flee, the man's pale visage shaken, his soul hemorrhaging—but ignorant Tom felt no remorse for what he had done, only a sick remnant of fear from witnessing the curse sling itself back in his direction, and so his soul found no respite as the Dark Lord fled into the night. Instead, he remained and looked down upon the still form of the infant with red seeping from her neck, her green eyes frozen, her being tangled in the net between this realm and the next.

Shadowy fingers slipped across the child's brow. Strange , Death mused as he plucked the girl's soul from the Veil. He knew this soul; had come across it in another time, another place, another world , and had called it Master. The bit of Tom that had splintered from the already ravaged whole had twisted itself about the girl, strangling her soul like a determined snake, but something of the mother remained in a vein of gold suppressing the parasitic fragment.

Try as he might, Death could not steal that piece of Tom's wretched soul. It clung with unrivaled ferocity to the girl's in an attempt to consume and subvert it—but the innocent soul did not give in. It persisted, burnished and brilliant despite the taint trying to tear it apart. He returned the soul to the girl. A shuddering breath escaped fragile lungs, and then weeping split the air, the great, gasping sobs of a wounded child shattering the solemnity of Death settling upon the broken home. The had girl lost everything in but a handful of minutes. Really, they turned normalcy into an art form; Mrs Dursley fancied herself a model housewife, Mr Dursley the consummate businessman, and their son a rosy-cheeked, boisterous lad.

Petunia Dursley—tall, blond, thin and rather horsey in appearance—cleaned house, gossiped with their equally nosy neighbors, and always had supper on the table by five in the evening. Vernon Dursley was a heavyset man with a black mustache and little hair on the crown of his head. He work as a director at Grunnings, a firm that produced drills, a career so thoroughly mundane even his office was painted a boring beige.

Their son, Dudley, often returned from school with a note or two of reprimand from his teachers, but they put off his antics as examples of youthful enthusiasm. Yes, the Dursleys were perfectly bland. By all expectations, a soul would be hard-pressed to ever find a family more ordinary, more average, more dull than the Dursleys of Privet Drive.

They did, however, have a secret—a secret who lived in the cupboard under the stairs, a secret the Dursleys hated to acknowledge, a secret they denied and ridiculed and feared in equal measures. The sudden rapping of knuckles on the cupboard door jerked Harriet out of unsound dreams. Groggy, she rose from her nest of well-worn blankets—and whacked her head on the underside of a stair riser.

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Her dream stayed with her like a filmy shroud of mist. She tried to wipe it from her skin, but the malignant sense of oozing dread remained, and when Aunt Petunia slid back the latch on the cupboard door, Harriet remembered that something had been there in her dream, something scrabbling at the handle trying to get inside. The door came open, and Harriet's eyes watered in the harsh brunt of morning sunshine. Aunt Petunia crouched at the entrance, wearing an apron already spotted with flour, glowering at the scrawny girl sitting in a dizzy heap atop her cot.


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Harriet watched as her aunt sniffed and rose, turning on the heels of her white shoes before pacing back toward the kitchen. Harriet swayed for a moment and weighed the repercussions of falling back into her pillow against Aunt Petunia's eventual wrath. The black shadows in the cupboard created by the narrowly focused sunshine curled and twisted in such a way that was not at all typical for shadows to behave.

The tendrils solidified into a rather comical approximation of an arrow and jabbed toward the waiting hall. In her own opinion, the strangest thing about Harriet Potter had to be her shadow—or, to be more precise, the creature who lived within it. He had been there for as long as she could remember, and she knew he was a he because of the vaguely looming, masculine shape he took when he stopped hiding underfoot. One of her earliest memories was of him making shadow puppets on the ceiling of her cupboard just to make her laugh.

She knew nothing about him, really, and had only ever gotten three words out of the entity in the all the years she'd been testing him: Harriet was not like the Dursleys. She was thin-boned, green-eyed, and messy haired—an ugly crow chick kicked too soon from the nest, short and skinny and pale from living in the dark for the better part of ten years like Gollum in her favorite story books.

Her thick glasses had been picked from a bin at a local charity shop, and her hand-me-down clothes were stained and carelessly hemmed by her Aunt within an inch of their life. Whereas the Dursleys were fleshy and loud and red in color, Harriet was dry, quiet as the wind through winter trees and just as lackluster in hue.

Her mum had been Aunt Petunia's sister, but Harriet just couldn't imagine coming from a woman related to anything Dursley. She also had scar upon her neck she had supposedly received in the accident that had killed her mum and dad ten years ago. A curious thing, it stretched from her right collarbone up around her throat and down part of her chest in fractal patterns, like branches of lightning spiraling through her flesh.

Self-shadow in Serpentine?

The white color of the scarring stood out stark against even Harriet's pale skin, and her aunt often sneered whenever she caught sight of the strange marking. She wondered if the scar reminded Aunt Petunia of her sister Lily. Sighing, Harriet shuffled out into the hall, feeling grubby and disheveled from sleeping in the stuffy dark of the cupboard. She ran her fingers through her short hair in a vain attempt to flatten the wilder spots, but nothing Harriet ever did tamed the mop on her head. Several times she'd pleaded with her aunt to let her grow it out, but Aunt Petunia had no time from her "scruffiness," and so every other month or so the woman took a pair of kitchen shears and hacked off Harriet's hair until it was only vaguely longer than a boy's.

Her classmates often mocked her and called her " Hairy Harry. The smell of vanilla and cinnamon invaded Harriet's nose when she walked into the kitchen and she sniffed in appreciation, glancing toward the oven to see Aunt Petunia moving a baked cake from its pan onto a cooling rack. Bowls of mixed frosting and little tacky decorations littered the counter.

Serpentine Chapter 1: the shadow of the serpent charmer, a harry potter fanfic | FanFiction

Harriet stifled a groan when she remembered it was Dudley's eleventh birthday. The boy himself came barging in not a minute after Harriet finished frying up three plates of bangers and mash and more bacon than a reasonably sized pig could provide. Dudley was blond like his mother and rotund like his father—more so, in fact.

He had all the presence of a garishly colored beach ball, especially in his striped t-shirt already stained with what looked like chocolate on the collar. Harriet wouldn't have held his weight against him if Dudley hadn't of been such a terrible little monster. He and his gang of friends loved to chase her down, and though Harriet was often quick enough to evade him, Dudley had caught and sat on her once. Harriet broke two ribs and spent two days whinging about the pain before Uncle Vernon took her to the emergency room.

Dudley toddled over to the table groaning under the weight of wrapped presents with a gleeful expression on his face. He looked a bit like a pig in a wig to Harriet, but she wisely kept her opinion to herself. If Aunt Petunia expected Dudley to be grateful, she had another thing coming. That's two less than last year! Aunt Petunia went about trying to mitigate the boy's oncoming temper tantrum and Harriet turned a deaf ear to the conversation, going back to the kitchen proper so she could pop a piece of bread into the toaster and slather on some peanut butter.

She thought of her own eleventh birthday looming on the horizon, just a month away, and knew there'd be no celebration, no happy affection or hugs or warm kisses on the cheek. There'd be no presents for her, of course.

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The Dursleys abhorred spending any amount of money of selfish little freaks like Harriet. She couldn't help being a freak, if that was indeed what she was. Sometimes odd things occurred around her, odd things that infuriated her aunt and uncle and terrified the daylights out of Dudley. Harriet didn't think it fair for them to blame her, especially since she couldn't explain why these things happened in the first place. Sometimes objects fell off the counter, and she had a sneaking suspicion Set was to blame, though she never caught him in the act. Once, Uncle Vernon's pant leg burst into flame when he stood over Harriet threatening to smack her upside the head for her cheek.

Another time the television exploded while Harriet wasn't even in the room, though she had been fervently hoping someone would turn the roaring volume down. They could hardly blame her for such oddities. It wasn't like someone could set people on fire with their mind.

Though, to be honest, Harriet rather liked the idea; she thought the Dursleys could benefit from having the seat of their pants set alight every now and then. Thanks for telling us about the problem. Return to Book Page. Searching for lost companions, hidden exits, or redemption for wasted years, each of these strangers will face the toughest challenge of their lives.

For, within the confines of th "Within the makeshift corridors of a dark labyrinth, lost beneath an old man's secluded mansion, five reluctant strangers will find one another, drawn together by a mysterious, luminescent force. For, within the confines of the dark labyrinth, the strangers are being hunted by an ancient legend, a shadowy horror unknown to the world of man. Their journeys will take them through haunted graveyards, possessed swamps, and dreamscape realms filled with hopes and horrors; yet, along the way, through all their encounters, the sands of the hourglass are ever-shifting, counting down to a nightmarish reality.

Now, racing against time and the shadows around them, these strangers must confront the darkest of demons, an aged man obsessed with immortality, and the ultimate horror he has awakened: Kindle Edition , pages. Published April 8th by iUniverse first published March 28th To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. To ask other readers questions about The Shadow Serpentine , please sign up. Be the first to ask a question about The Shadow Serpentine. Lists with This Book. This book is not yet featured on Listopia.

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