“Is everyone alright?”
The cry is frantic, even through the forced calm and authority he has attempted to inject into his voice. The New Year had been just seconds away, yet it felt like they’d been asleep for hours. The clock proved this theory incorrect, chiming midnight’s arrival gaily. But there were no fireworks accompanying the clock’s chimes, no joyous cries or drunken cat calls; this, in addition to the feeling of having just been woken by an abrupt jerking sensation, and the fact that they were outside, told him that something was wrong. Very wrong. He looked around at his sister, who was forcing herself to her feet groggily, taking in the unfamiliar surrounding nervously.
“What happened?” A second female asks, panicked, her eyes wide and doe-like in the moonlight. Nobody hears her question through the sound of the pounding rain, rain that hadn’t been falling a moment ago, and she shouts it out once more. The desperation in her voice is evident. Blood slaps against the cold stone pavement where rainwater should land; she shakes her head – she is obviously hallucinating. The feeling in her gut is making her dizzy, like she’s just been anchored and thrown against a heavy stone wall. The thunder screams, irate and deafening, and she hunches into herself as the heavy rain continues to torment her flesh. Lowering her eyes to her exposed legs, she shrieks as she realises they’re stained, tainted, with crimson liquid.
Another eerie clap of thunder, and they realise that it desires their attention. They all turn their attention to the skies, as if expecting answers; none come. The group crowd around the woman who had shrieked, after several moments of pointless staring, checking to see if she’s ok. The weather continues its assault, spreading itself out around them until they are engulfed in darkness, through which nothing can be seen or heard or even felt but the screeching of the thunder and the punching of the rain. When they awaken, the sun is grinning at them, mocking them; the pavements are blood-specked with the fallen rain, but they are perfectly unharmed.
“What the hell happened?”
Dumbledore’s words never quite reach their years. The only man with any potential theories, any answers, has been thrown back in time, and words find it hard to travel twenty years into the future. Still, the trapped live in hope that someone may rise to the challenge of explaining this strange twist in a time; who, what, and most importantly, how? The closest they’ve come to the truth is with the suggestion of pensieves and tainted blood staining ancient time-turners. A combination nobody thought would prove to have so many, if any, ramifications… And, although they didn’t know it, it was this combination that caused four generations to hurtle into one year, expelling 1986’s occupants and scattering them across the century to make room for magical people, prisoners, who don’t belong here.
Mist hovers over Britain, mingling with the clouds and blending according to their colour. It licks and caresses the trapped witches and wizards, a wicked comfort. Every situation has its advantages and disadvantages, and this one is no different. The Dark Lord, who was so powerful, so terrifying and torturous, doesn’t exist in this warped era, for he was inexplicably destroyed on October the 31st, 1981. But now, his damaged soul has traded places with his younger self… The ever-infamous Dark Mark is but a mental image to Tom, yet to be designed, so when he sees it, he’s faced with knowledge, of his power and of his brilliance, both which are acknowledged and feared in this time. His Dark Mark will astound him… This Tom Riddle is building his army, an army that was in its early stages in 1949, but is fully formed here in 1986. The Death Eaters who evaded capture are returning to their Lord, loyal and eager as they once were, but in vaster numbers: four generations of supporters have been thrust into one year. Dangerous.
But of course, The Order of the Phoenix exists here. It is a glowing, bright light in a world of darkness, a beacon that is strong and efficient, something that installs hope and drive into those who have doubts. The fight is far from over. To oppose the deadly Death Eaters are the ‘good-guys’; the majority of prominent supporters of Albus Dumbledore and The Order of the Phoenix are all in 1986, prepared to battle for themselves and their families. Harry Potter, aged twenty-three, has been handed the unique opportunity to do something he has, of yet, lacked the power to do; defeat the Dark Lord. His malignant adversary is by no means powerless, but he has yet to make his horcruxes, horcruxes which will save his life so many times in the future… To his knowledge, Harry Potter has never defeated the Dark Lord. Those who have been moved from 2027 know differently… Lord Voldemort was killed just five years after The Battle of Hogwarts, by The Boy Who Lived. But maybe, just maybe, he’ll be able to dispose of the torturous wizard before he does all the damage, defeat him in this blood-laced era, where the thunder claps whenever it desires the attention.
Most prominent paragons of good and evil have spiralled into this perilous era, bringing with them their own wars. For those from the past, destiny and definition of what is to come is forced upon them. For those from the future, the darkest secrets of their ancestry is revealed to them. And oh, not everything will be pretty, not everything will be desirable. This is war, on each other, and on yourself… And all thanks to ancient time-turners dipping into misty memories, revolving mercilessly until a hazardous rip in time was caused. Those most associated with the memory in question were selected and plummeted into a year that is so foreign to them. The rain bleeds its pain and the thunder screams its fury, for they can’t express it for themselves.
“1986.” Silence. “We’re in 1986.”
The handsome young man jabs the cover of the crisp newspaper impatiently, his finger slightly lower than the small black print which declares the date. He’s right, they are in 1986, but barely. It’s the first of January, and instead of welcoming a year with a higher number, they have found themselves a different century altogether. A gasp ripples through the small crowd, which begins to thin; they don’t know where they are going to go and begin their journey to nowhere in particular. They are all captive here, united in their imprisonment, but war will commence. Whether they are all joined in isolated unity or not, they are still divided by their views.
Someone laughs. “This is bullshit. Utter bullshit. A bad joke.” But she knows this is not the case. Laughing again, she shakes her head and stalks off with the target of finding as many members of her family as she can. This is something that is mimicked on a large scale, because although children have been left behind in certain generations, they have also been moved here… they are simply older. Much older. It is soon agreed by the worried mothers that the 1986 counterparts of themselves are looking after the young children while they are bonding with their grown-up selves. It is not normal, and none of them like it, but they are forced to deal with it. And if they don’t the thunder will screech and the blood-rain will attack.
It’s a game. A game which few desire to participate in, and also one which none are able to get out of playing. It is obligatory; everyone here must take their turn, roll the dice and move their spaces. But their moves are limited, Dumbledore has seen to this. Anyone from the future trying to distribute information that could change the course of time and events are tongue-tied and experience a stabbing sensation throughout their bodies, something which commands their silence. Nothing can be changed but the route the piece wishes to take, nothing can be given away that easily... So they must roll the dice and play the game.
The shady, sinister game of blood and thunder.