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                                    Awesome chapter image by RyleeAnn @ TDA

Disclaimer: I claim no ownership of J.K. Rowling’s work or the Silent Hill universe.


Chapter Seven The Dark Mark

“Relax,” said the night man,
"We are programmed to receive."
"You can checkout any time you like,
 But you can never leave." [1] 


Blackness dragged Draco down and left him senseless. For a moment, he huddled on the ground, the siren blaring in his ears, mouth opened in a hopeless scream.

But then a hand shook his shoulder, the noise died, and Officer Bennett pulled him up into a sitting position.

“What the hell?” she muttered through the dark.

Draco twisted his hands, annoyed by the iron cuffs lacing his wrists together. He wished he had his wand, even though it was broken and nearly useless.

Officer Bennett shuffled about, and suddenly a pure beam of light sliced through the shadows.

Draco blinked. “How did you?”

“My flashlight,” she said.

He didn’t bother to ask what she meant.

“The power can’t be out.” Slowly, she rose, and Draco felt her knee pressed against his back. “It wasn’t on to begin with. Dammit, where the hell is the radio?”

He heard her fumbling around, the light in her hand wavering wildly.

Draco pulled his feet closer to his body, his neck stiff and cold with fear.

Someone was watching them.

“We’re not alone,” he rasped.

“What?”

“There’s someone out there.”

She turned around, shining the light directly into his face. “What do you mean?”

“I saw something…before. It happened just like this. The sky went dark and…” He paused, unable to continue, remembering the disemboweled body and the fierce, tiny creatures tearing at him with their misshapen hands.

“What did you see?” Officer Bennett demanded.

Draco swallowed. “I couldn’t tell you. It…it all happened so quick. But I think we’re in danger.”

She said nothing for a moment, then, “If you’re trying to freak me out-”

“No!” Draco protested. “I-”

The door to the firehouse jerked open.

Officer Bennett spun around, her flashlight skimming the outer garage.

The door swung closed with a long, drawn out creak. Shuffling footsteps skidded along the floor.

Draco crouched down lower. He saw Officer Bennett silhouetted by her flashlight, one hand reaching for the door knob.

“Hello?” she called. “Is anyone there? Hey, I’m a police officer!”

Suddenly, she dropped her hand from the door knob and reached for her gun.

Draco strained furiously against the handcuffs.

Officer Bennett must have heard him moving, for she glanced quickly over her shoulder at him. “Don’t move!”

But Draco ignored her.

The shuffling steps in the garage faded.

“Stay here,” Officer Bennett ordered, and Draco watched in horror as she moved out of the room, the light leaving with her.

He squatted on the floor by the chair, weaponless, defenseless, his hands pinned behind his back.

This is not how I’m going to die, he thought. I can’t die like this.

The click of Officer Bennett’s shoes on the floor echoed through the garage. Now was his chance to escape.

Draco pushed his arms back as far as he could, his teeth closing over his lower lip as pain wrenched his shoulders. Slowly, his hands slipped further down his back. He struggled for a long moment, but the cuffs were too tight.

“Bitch,” he growled under his breath.

Officer Bennett had moved to the far side of the garage. He heard her circling the fire truck.

Draco wondered if he should chance slipping out the door unnoticed, handcuffs and all. But the cop still had the broken pieces of his wand, and he wasn’t going anywhere without them.

A sound in the corner of the room caught his attention, and instinctively, he tucked his legs closer to his body, ready to spring to his feet if necessary.

Suddenly, the radio came to life, spewing static and garbled voices.

Draco, who didn’t know the first thing about using radios, but knew it was his only connection to the outside world, lunged into the darkness.

The speaker clattered to the floor. He kicked at it with his feet, stooped down and tried desperately to wrap his hands about it.

“Hello?” he called. “Is anyone there? Help! I need help!”

The static ceased, only to be replaced by a single, disembodied voice that wailed,

Draco 

Energy rushed into his pulsing veins. Draco stumbled back, away from the sheer desperation denoted by the aching cry.

Someone was calling him. Someone knew that he was here, trapped, helpless…

He groped by the transmitter.

“Hello! Hello!”

But the voice was gone, dispersed by the dark. Angrily, he swiped his foot at the chair. The toe of his trainer connected with something less solid, however, something sticky and soft.

He recoiled.

A shape lumbered towards him, breathing in harsh, fetid gasps.

Draco’s nostrils flared, an acidic scent poisoning the oppressive air. A churning, guttural growl made him leap to the side, but not before the figure slammed into him.

The power of the assault threw him against the chair, his ribs shocked with pain. Unable to defend himself, he thrust wildly with his legs, striking the figure only once and poorly at that.

“Help!” he called, the words leaking out of his mouth in a groan.

The figure stooped over him, flaps of burnt skin dangling in his face.

Draco retched, twisting his body beneath the creature, fighting to free himself. But he was pinned, the air being slowly forced out of his lungs by ape-like hands.

He gasped, agonized tears streaking down his cheeks.

Help! 

The door to the radio room flew open, light pouring in and stunning the creature crouched on top of him.

Officer Bennett had her baton out and she brought her arm down in a smooth arch, bashing Draco’s attacker in the skull.

At once it released him, falling back against the radio which smashed to the floor and shattered.

Officer Bennett pulled him quickly to his feet and pushed him behind her, one hand still brandishing her baton.

In the bright glow of the flashlight, Draco saw the creature for what it was or at least what it appeared to be -- a skinless gorilla.

Now angered, the monster shook itself free of the stunning blow and readied itself for another leaping attack. But Officer Bennett slammed the door to the radio room closed and dragged him out into the street.

Draco stumbled wretchedly behind her.

She slowed her pace and wrapped a surprisingly strong arm around his waist, supporting him.

“Are you all right?” she asked in a voice that was not nearly as gruff as before.

Draco coughed. “What the hell was that thing?”

“I don’t know.”

Once more, Silent Hill appeared to have shed its skin. Beneath them, fiery craters had opened in the asphalt. Buildings which had once been made of sturdy brick now stood lopsided, leaking putrid grime. They both tripped over the rotted pavement, barely missing a coil of rusty barbed wire wrapped around a crooked lamppost, lying in wait.

Officer Bennett pushed him underneath a tattered storefront banner and turned to face the street. She looked up and down the gutter, jammed her baton back into her belt and retrieved her gun once more.

“Now do you believe me?” Draco panted, frightened to death but more than willing to rub salt into her wounds.

“Quiet,” Officer Bennett said, her voice stiff again.

They waited, huddled against the storefront next to a trio of rattling pipes that ran up the building’s roof.

Draco lifted his shoes and noticed that the pipes were leaking rancid water.

The stench sickened him.

With difficulty, he swallowed a mouth full of bile.

Suddenly, the pipes stopped rattling altogether and the sidewalk dried, returning to its natural, weathered shade of grey. In the gutter, the craters snapped closed like sutured wounds. Bricks reinserted themselves into buildings. The coil of barb wire disintegrated. And at last, the darkness fell away, revealing the same foggy sky.

Draco blinked his eyes and saw Officer Bennett do the same.

“Did that just happen?” he asked in a whisper.

The town had returned to normal.

Officer Bennett was pale, and slowly, so very slowly, she dropped her gun back in its hostler.

“Let’s get off the street,” she said and pointed at the antiques store behind them.

Draco complied and let her lead them inside. There was a green fainting couch pushed against the far wall next to a mahogany dining room set. Immediately, he sank down onto it, breathing hard.

Officer Bennett paced the length of the store.

“Will you at least take the handcuffs off me now?” he asked.

She shook her head. “No.”

Draco spat on the floor in disgust. “Fuck you, you stupid cop.” [2]

Bennett ignored him. She reached for the walkie-talkie on her belt and put it to her lips.

“This Officer Bennett to base. Base, do you copy?”

Static responded.

“Dammit,” she muttered.

Draco suddenly remembered the voice he had heard on the radio before the creature attacked.

“I was able to reach someone,” he said.

Officer Bennett stopped pacing. “Who? How?”

“The radio in the fire house, after you left. There was a voice calling my name. I tried to respond.” He stared up at her through his matted bangs. “But it doesn’t matter now, the thing was smashed anyway.”

Bennett cocked an eyebrow. “Someone called your name? Does anyone else know you’re here?”

Draco narrowed his eyes. “Of course not. I never intended to come to Silent Hill in the first place.”

“Yeah right.” Bennett put her walkie away and folded her arms over her chest.

“You really are mental,” Draco sputtered. “Don’t you see what’s going on? There is some type of dark magic here. I’ve never seen anything like it before.”

“Magic?” She laughed.

Draco flushed, realizing he had said too much.

“That thing,” he mumbled, “that thing that attacked me. It wasn’t human.”

The smile instantly faded from Officer Bennett’s face. She ran a hand through her close-cropped blond hair. “It was dark,” she said. “I couldn’t see well and-”

“Come off it!” Draco tried to stand, but fell back against the couch. “It wasn’t human.”

Bennett turned away from him. He saw her reach into a pouch on her belt and take out a small, black box. She was counting her bullets.

“People in Brahms,” she said quietly, “say this place is haunted. I’ve…I’ve been here before myself and, Christ, you’re right. There’s something wrong. But we need to relax, keep our heads straight. No use panicking.”

“We’re trapped,” Draco replied hollowly. “You saw the roads. This place wants us here. It-” He broke off abruptly, his eyes widening as he noticed an antique brass knob underneath the glass counter. He struggled to his feet, his stomach dropping down to his knees.

No, it couldn’t be.

“What’s the matter?” Bennett asked as he approached the counter.

Draco bent closer to the knob, his breath fogging the protective glass. The round handle had been engraved with a narrow skull and from its open mouth protruded a vicious looking snake.

The Dark Mark.

“Break the glass,” he told Bennett.

She stared at him. “Why?”

“The knob, I know that seal on it. Please, I need to see it.”

Bennett seemed to consider him for a minute. At last, she extracted her baton with a sigh.
“I suppose it won’t do any harm,” she said, gesturing at him. “Stand back.”

Draco moved away and watched as she brought the baton down on top of the counter.
The glass shattered.

Bennett rifled through the display case and fished out the knob. “Is this what you
Wanted?”

“Yes.” Draco shifted awkwardly in the handcuffs. “Listen, could you please take these
things off. It’s important, really.”

Officer Bennett rolled her eyes. “Come here.”

Draco gratefully turned around and smiled in relief as he felt the cuffs snap off his wrists.
But then Bennett pulled him to face her and put the restraints in front of him instead of
behind.

“That’s good enough for now,” she said.

Draco wanted to protest, but couldn’t afford to jeopardize his position. Instead, he took the knob from her, rolling it around in his palms. Behind the handle he saw engraved the name of a school, Midwich Elementary. How could this have come from there? He didn’t know of any wizarding community in Silent Hill and certainly the Dark Lord couldn’t have had a foothold amongst Muggles.

Draco suddenly became aware of Bennett’s eyes on him and he felt pressed to explain.

“This marking on the knob,” he began, “I know it. See, well, look here.”

Reluctantly, he shook up his right sleeve and displayed the fading Dark Mark on his arm.

“A gang tattoo?” she asked.

“No.” Draco dropped his arm, feeling undeniably embarrassed. “Well, sort of. I was part of the group that used this mark in England.”

He was shocked by his own honesty, but felt at a loss as how to properly relay the
importance of the symbol otherwise.

Bennett looked smug. “So I was right then, you’re here for the drugs.”

“No!” Draco shook his head in frustration. “It’s not like that, it’s…it’s.” He paused and started over. “This group, it was more like a club for certain people, elite people from good families with particular values. But it’s no longer around, you see, and I can’t understand why this mark would be found here, of all places. I’d like to go to the school that it came from, please. I think it might help us understand what’s going on.”

Bennett stared at him skeptically. “You’re not telling me everything,” she said. “And I’m not going anywhere without hearing the whole truth.”

Draco walked back to the couch and sat, his hands clenched over the knob. What could  he tell her, that he was wizard exiled from his homeland for committing crimes against his own kind?

No.

He’d have to simplify his answer and somehow keep her in the dark as to who he really was.

“This group,” he said, “we…well, I’ll admit it. Our members did awful things. They hurt
other people who weren’t like them. Killed people. Destroyed families. None of it should have happened though, and I’m ashamed to say that I was a part of it. I never killed anyone though--my mother protected me from becoming murderer. I’m here in America now because my kind don’t want me. This is my punishment, being away from home, away from my family. I’m sorry if I’ve caused trouble in Brahms. I certainly didn’t mean to. But will you please help me now, help me found a way out this place? I think this might the only way.”

Bennett still didn’t seem entirely convinced. She glanced out into the empty street and
then looked back at him.

“If you’re lying-”

“I’m not.”

“But if you are,” she said. “Don’t think I won’t shoot you -- or any of your friends, for that matter.” 
 

 







Author’s Note: Thanks so much for taking the time to read! If you have a spare moment, please leave a review. I’d love to hear from you ^_^

Chapter Eight has already been beta thanks to the lovely Renfair and shall be posted in a week.

I hope you have an enjoyable weekend!

[1] Taken from “Hotel California” written by Don Felder, Don Henley, and Glenn Frey of The Eagles 1977.

[2] This line was taken directly from the Silent Hill (2006) film, directed by Christopher Gans, screenplay by Roger Avary.
 

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