Author's Chapter Notes:
The rating and warnings may increase. This fanfic is based on the novelization of the movie The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen written by K. J. Anderson. As is the style in the book, the chapters will be short, so there will be many chapters to this. Also, many of the details from the novelization figure into this fanfic.
Near Tiger Bay
It had been two, perhaps nearer to three, years since a madman in a silver mask had threatened the world with the possibility of a world war. To a select, scattered group, the memory was even fresher than memories of more recent days. For many, however, the war had never come, and the terror had died quickly. The masses were able to, with a shrug of their collected shoulders, throw off the weight of impending war and forget how very real the threat had been.
The part of London known as Tiger Bay, located in what could easily be called the slums of the vast city, was particularly heave in atmosphere on the gray, overcast afternoon. Years upon years ago, the once stately mansions now abandoned to decay bragged, aristocrats and men of science and men of the arts housed here. The rotting pier once had heralded immense ships to dock and sell their cargo to the wealthy that once roused in these homes and roamed these streets. The god that rolled in from the patch of the Thames which still caressed the forgotten dock seemed to try and mask the once great area that it could only be ashamed of now.
One house, no different on its fašade than the others on the street, stood before a passerby as a monument. This house, the woman speculated, had seen much. It had been one of the first houses built here, and it had watched as the neighborhood had risen and fallen. It had seen a similar fate befall its final owner, the fatally beautiful Dorian Gray.
The woman in front of the house clutched a portrait covered in canvas to protect it with her right hand as her left opened her umbrella. A few seconds later, the rain began again, and the pale woman walked down the street. Two blocks south, she recited the memorized path, a block east, then a final block south. The house she now stood in front of interested her more than it ever had before. It was a one story house with a fading gold plate on the door. The name on the plate, the woman noted as she walked to the door, was faded and nearly illegible. She opened the door with ease, no lock daring to delay her, and she walked past the threshold.
No one had bought the house since its previous owner, an artist, had been found in a back room, his studio, stabbed to death by “person or persons unknown” according to the inquest. Stabbed fourteen times, Dorian had told this woman when he had taken her by this house before. All Dorian had ever said was the man’s name and that he and the other had been friends but suffered a serious falling out. The woman put down her umbrella but took the picture further into the house.
The studio was ruined. Furniture was overturned, canvases were slashed, and blood was still splattered against the floor and ground, permanently stained where it had fallen by now. Even the murder weapon still lay on the floor near a ruined couch. Slowly, the woman walked forward and set the portrait on the tattered and blood soaked couch before she pulled the canvas off the painting.
“Your masterpiece, Mr. Hallward,” the woman whispered. The vermillion name written on the back of the canvas had told her where to lay the painting, and all the painful memories it brought to her mind, to rest.
As she left the room, Mina Harker felt as though the innocent features captured on the canvas so long ago curved into even more serene a smile. The painting knew it was home, and Mina felt as though her mind and body were a little less heavy.
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