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Chapter 1: Fearless
As I shiver, the wispy mist is shrinking and I can finally discern my surroundings. It is dismal and foreboding, and I can sense something circulating around. My head snaps to scrutinize behind my back, but all I can see is pitch darkness. I am utterly confused.
I do not know how I came to be here, nor why I am wearing black robes that look strangely familiar. I know only that those questions are irrelevant, even if I have no answers.
I hear a loud thudding to my right and I see six glowing eyes, too large to be humans. I yell and follow my instincts, which are urging me to run. Twigs are snapping furiously and I am still confused. I run in no direction, and everywhere I run, nothing changes. I donít think about anything, the only thought pulsing in my mind is to run. Run. Run.. Run...
I donít know how long I run, and at the risk of being clichť, it feels like forever before the noises behind me stop. I stop too, and bend over, and listen to my ragged gasps in the silence. The cracking twigs, a six-eyed animal, and the smell of woody decay gives it away. I suddenly realise where I must be.
I am in the Forbidden Forest.
I am living my worst nightmare, because I am not in control of myself, of my mind and of my body. I can not see a thing. I do not know why it is black, but though I wonder, I know it is irrelevant too. I cannot hear anything but silence. I cannot smell anything but a forest, and that I knew already. I am too afraid to reach ahead and touch. I simply stand stock still and wait for something to happen. All my senses are alert, but I am still suffused with confusion. Iím waiting, and waiting, and waiting. I am the brave one, the one who laughs at horror movies and scoffs at otherís fears of spiders and snakes. I thought I did not have any fears. But I do. I am scared of losing control.
A tearing scream rips through the air, and I shout because it is unexpected, and also because I recognise it. It is the sound of a car. Somehow, I know that it will be blue, and it will be a Ford Anglia. It still surprises me when it draws up in front of me, and the sudden brightness of the headlights makes me cover my eyes with my hand. In movies, people always die because they do stupid things without thinking. And even though I am a pureblood, I know of muggles, and of cars, and I have long instilled in me, a rule saying to never go off with a stranger, and to never get into an unfamiliar car.
My eyes adjust to the light and I stare at the car. It looks years old, and my instinct tells me that it is years old. It is covered in dirt and wild branches. I disregard the car and wait for the next thing thatís going to happen. I donít know when it will come, but inevitably, something will happen. I make the decision to let it come to me, rather than venturing out and exploring a land I canít see.
Every decision you make affects something. Life is made up of choices, made up of a million different paths you can take. One decision can alter the course of the road for the good, another for the bad, and yet another decision can create a thousand new branches. Iím musing over my decision when I hear scuttling sounds. The fear in me shoots up another stage. The scuttling sounds are growing in volume and velocity. They are coming nearer, and surrounding the car and me. My body moves on its own, one step towards the car and legs standing near the door.
The next few seconds are a shocking blur of action. The car vrooms!, and the headlights are stronger. Iím jumping with fright from the sudden noise, and the fear increases when I see the owners of the scuttling, thanks to the headlights.
They are spiders.
They are giant spiders. And they are stalking closer. I search myself frantically. I am not carrying anything. Instinctively, Iím somehow in the car, clutching the wheel and stomping on the pedals. I do not know how I can drive, but I must be, because the car is moving. The car shoots forward, and I duck and brace myself for the hit against the spiders. It doesnít come.
I look around cautiously and see only trees. I turn down the windows and look down. We are in the air. Iím not afraid of heights, so I admire the thrill of flying. Subconsciously, Iíve let go of the wheel, but the car seems to be enlightened, because itís somehow avoiding the trees on its own. The car shudders and jerks and bumps down roughly onto the ground. Iím thrown out, and all I see is black once again.
The lights are gone.
When I come to, it is not black anymore, but grey. I don't meditate on that thought because what registers next is that there is motion underneath me. Something rhythmic is pounding, but I wonder if itís in my head. I move my arm and I touch skin.
I jerk to a sitting position and the human stumbles. Then I hear hooves and realise I am on a horse. A horse with skinÖ My mind only takes a second to connect the dots.
I am on a centaur.
The hooves belong to more than one. I hear murmurs, but no words. I am staring at them, and I know to get off. I land on my feet and stare around. A few are staring back at me, but mostly, they are talking. I am not listening, and even if I tried, I know I wouldnít be able to comprehend what they are saying. It is awhile before they stop. But they donít move. I am confused. If they are doing something with me, why have they not done it yet? If they are leaving me, why are they still here?
I hear far off thuds, and the centaurs suddenly all turn tail and bolt. Something bigger is coming and I am obviously not worth the risk. I try to run but my feet arenít moving. They are telling me to stay.
I hear guttural noises, and I see the same six glowing eyes from the beginning. Before it was black, then it was grey, and suddenly itís faint light. I know itís a three headed dog, named Fluffy. Again, Iím confused. How do I know that? Why am I not running away?
I run. Hot breath follows behind me, getting closer. It is right behind me. I am sprinting for my life. I hear growling, next to my ear. Then something snaps at my ear and withdraws. I am in terror that itís so close. Then thereís a loud snap, Iím fighting to breathe, I see flying red, something is going numb, and then, peacefully, itís black once more.
I sputter awake, choking on a cough. I thrash around, but stop when I feel a cool hand on my forehead.
ďJames? Are you alright?Ē
I open my eyes and gasp in frantic relief. Itís my mum.
Iím taking deep breaths to calm myself, ďI just had the strangest, and the worst nightmareÖĒ
ďWhy donít you tell me about it after you get a few more hourís rest? Your fever just broke, but youíre still very pale, and obviously coughing, so take the chance to sleep a bit more okay? Thereís your first day of Hogwarts in two days, and you donít want to miss that, do you?Ē
Ginny strokes my head, and I settle in under the blankets. She closes the door on her way out, leaving me alone. I realise my dream was a bad mix of the stories Iíve been hearing all my life. It was definitely one weird dream. I had so many questions, but the burning curiousity to find out the answers wasnít there. Yet I was frightened, but not in control of my body. I canít explain why, but it was a dream. My imagination works in zany ways, and combined with stories of dark forestsÖ
I remember the feeling of fear. Itís something Iíve never felt before. Spiders are intriguing, and I donít run away from them, but metre big spiders are a completely different matter. Iíll remember this dream for awhile. Iíll remember the feeling of fear.
A/N: I'm not happy with this, so please leave some feedback. All reviews greatly appreciated (:
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