There was a faint ringing escaping from the heater. Lazily Dakota reached up a hand and hit it lightly, the noise ceased. He lay back down, satisfied and smiling slightly feeling the nice warm breeze fluttering over him. The newly acquired heat was like pinpricks on his frozen skin, but still felt amazing, yet it was then his peace was destroyed. He heard her coming before he saw her, as she whistled and clomped her way towards his chair. Then when she lay next to him he could feel the heat radiating off of her body. He shifted away slightly out of the blast of the new heater, he didn't want to be too close, not close enough to attract her excess body heat, even though he was almost shivering.

When she stopped moving, everything else seemed silent, even her heavy laboured and smoke induced breathing, the daze of sleep and the slowly heating up air that had enclosed them within its newly suffocating bubble due to her presence. There was the faint rumble of the cars from the motorway in the background and still another noise, a quiet buzzing of which Dakota did not know the source, hopefully not the heater, he couldn't afford another. He debated whether to reach up and hit the heater again, but decided not to for the effort of having to move his hand again didn't seem worth it for the result, the piece of shit couldn't keep the house warm enough, only his mother paying the bills could.

Dakota squinted at the shock of the removal of the blanket that had been covering him up to his eyes and face, the sudden brightness caused him to groan, and resulted in the effortful move of his pale arm to shield them. Once the brightness and contrast dulled to a bearable stage he began to feel the cold, he'd created a layer of warm air, which had now been ripped off him. He opened his eyes very slightly, He knew the culprit, the figure next to him, who had his blanket placed conveniently over her. His mother never was a caring person.

He sighed and slowly pushed up to his feet reckoning it wasn't worth the effort to try to argue with her, he may as well try to make the escape now. He walked slowly and gradually neared the door, walking quietly away from the wall where the heater and his sofa were and soon was through the open gateway door. If she hadn't made objection yet Dakota reckoned he was in with a chance of no confrontation today.

The inner walls of his house were grimy, a muddy brown paint that was cracking with age and as he sauntered over to the door of his bedroom he cursed the old house for the oak floorboards that creaked occasionally at his weight, this never happened normally. There was no time for him to linger when his mother was asleep, and seeing as the Scottish weather was nothing unpredictable the cold wouldn't shed and there seemed to be no reason for him to stay much longer.

When he reached the door he turned the handle and pushed it open glancing back towards his mother at the end of the old living room, she seemed fine. As he stepped in he caught his little toe on the edge of the door and swore, his face screwing up for a minute in pain, he always did that. When the initial wave faded he headed to the stairs, just with a sore toe. He checked his watch, there was only half an hour left anyway before he'd arranged to leave, cutting early now, to avoid goodbye may not be the right thing to do, but to Dakota I definitely seemed the easiest.

After grabbing the final bag he hadn't yet packed into the boot of his old ford Dakota leapt down the stairs covering two at a time, should he say goodbye? His mother would be so angry if he didn't but he wasn't sure he could cope with another bipolar mood. He didn't like the thought that he was relieved to leave, and he didn't want to know what most people would think to him wishing to return to school. He felt like Harry Potter, an analogy that almost made him laugh out loud at his stupidity straight after thinking it. He none the less chuckled to himself at the thought, not being able to imagine himself living under the stairs.

He did feel guilty, but he liked boarding school. He was the typical enigma, enjoying the anonymity and mysteriousness. He reveled in the fact that if anyone asked him where he was from he could just say Scotland and he didn't have to state his financial state. He wasn't poor but often he forgot himself whilst surrounded by the people at his boarding school. No one knew he was in on a bursary, and no one needed to. There was one valuable possession in the family, the old castle, which although cracked and lifeless, was a piece of beauty. The normal grief at leaving his unstable mother alone, was not so extreme this year as he knew Gail would be there. Not that this thought was a comfort to Dakota; he believed the balding man was after more than his mother, namely the grand castle.

When he finally exited through the front door he was struck again by the immense light for this time of morning, the sun wasn't yet up but the tips over the horizon reflected off the latest dewdrops, every morning amazed him. However it wasn't that rare to have such cold bright weather at this time of year so he wasn't shocked. Opening the car's boot he chucked his bag in with the others and climbed in the car, basically everything he owned was in this little Ford. The drive down to England was going to be long and as he pressed down on the accelerator he was struck by another wave of guilt that he knew wouldn't be the last he felt. The cold Kintyre wind blew in the windows and over him as he drove out of the castle, leaving the heavily foliage of the drive behind him. Weirdly he always looked forward to the drive, he liked leaving by himself, and heading into England and leaving behind the familiarity of the beautiful island he grew up on. He wouldn't be back until Christmas, and his mother would have to hold fort on her own again, well not quite alone, until then. Soon he sped past the ugly greys of Campbelltown and onto the coastal path, only feet away from the Atlantic ocean, you could see Ireland on a clear day but straight out to sea could only take you to America. He began to relax as the sun rose in the sky, but he knew he'd get called in about an hour, his frantic mother on the other end having woken up to a dark and empty room. He felt a pang of guilt but reminded himself of them opposite way he was treated half of the time and just pressed down the accelerator and cut off the island aiming to beat the sunset to England.

Note: Sadly I don't own Harry Potter, but I do own this story. : ) (and Dakota :P)