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Chapter 1: 00 Prologue
Disclaimer: What you recognize, it belongs to J. K. Rowling. What you do not recognize, it belongs to me.
Author's Note: You'll see a song with every chapter. That song, of course, does not belong to me but since I have a movie soundtrack obsession, I figured I could bring that here to help set the mood. If you happen to have the song that I point out, listen to it while reading this. If you don't, then it's alright! I'm sure you can enjoy this story regardless.
Author's Note #2: Jami was awesome enough to not only provide with the title to this fic but also the medical/science help! Thank you! And for that I say that you must check out her Marauder's Fic: Before They Fall (M). Also! CambAngst was awesome enough to once again beta for me. So please! Check out his stories such as Marked (M) or Conspiracy of Blood (M). You're missing out if you're not!
Her hot pink heels clucked against the laboratory’s pristine floor with every rapid step she took towards the director’s office. She weaved through the numerous hallways and walked through several security doors thinking of what had just happened. And most importantly, what they needed to change in order to prevent the horrible outcome from happening again.
The experiment had failed despite the high probability of success. They had transferred the same virus strand that had worked flawlessly with the lab rats into the subjects, but instead of reaching the desired outcome, the subjects died. She had watched from behind the glass window as, within hours of observation, the subjects began to show signs that their bodies were not compatible with the virus and began to slowly fail. Their temperature had increased dramatically to the point of developing second to third degree burns. It looked as if they had literally caught on fire from within. The doctors had done everything they could to help them. In the end, however, all three subjects had died due to their body’s inability to sustain the virus and the burns it had caused. She never bothered to learn their names; they were test subjects not people she was going to have over for tea. She did, nonetheless, appreciate their sacrifice for they had died for the sake of science. Something she could only hope for in the end of her own life.
After minutes of walking she finally arrived at her destination feeling rather nervous about her meeting; the job needed to get done no matter how much she was dreading it. Before daring to knock on the door, she straightened the name badge on her left lapel, made sure that no strands of her dark hair were lose and checked to see that her clothes were wrinkle free. There was nothing she could do about the blood stains on her lab coat, much to her dislike. She always took pride in matching her own appearance to that of the immaculate lab. As her grandmamma always used to say ‘cleanliness is next to godliness’. The only thing she could do from now on was to learn from her mistake and keep a spare coat in her locker just in case. This ritual of hers wasn’t something she did because she was attracted to the man. In fact she was terrified of him. She had witnessed the director’s volatile mood many times and its terrible outcome. The last thing she wanted to do was to give him more reasons to be mad at her.
She took a deep breath, knocked once and waited; her clipboard was becoming heavier with each passing moment. She knocked again and prayed that he wasn’t in for the day. That way she could just let herself in, place the files on his desk and leave without having to face him. She knocked one last time with no answer; a small, victorious smile crept up her face. She was about to unlock the door with her key when the lock clicked and the door opened by itself. Moments like these were the ones that both terrified and fascinated her. They went against everything science stood for but it was real. The director’s magic was real.
She poked her head in and found him sitting behind his desk typing away on his laptop. If it weren’t for the natural light coming in from the large windows behind him, she would’ve found him in total darkness save for the light coming off his computer’s screen. She hesitated for a moment at the threshold, wondering if she should just leave him to whatever he was doing. “If you wish, I could come back later,” she said. Internally she was proud that she had managed to keep the fright away from her voice.
“No, come on in,” he said. “I’m glad you’re here to be honest. I’m just about done with this file so I need you to take it to Murphy after you’re done reading through them. Now tell me, what can I do for you Cassandra?” he asked as the printer’s power button started flashing and printing the paperwork he had finished. The file piqued her curious mind but she needed to deliver the bad news first.
“Experiment 0253 failed, sir,” she explained as she handed him the files. “All three subjects died of the result of extremely high temperatures. When we tried to lift them onto a trolley, everywhere we touched them, their pores began to seep with blood. There was nothing we could’ve done to save them, sir.” She cringed internally as he began to flip through the files. He was a man in his late forties, with brown hair trimmed in the military fashion and stern brown eyes.
“Perhaps we need to go back to the first virus we were successful with and modify it,” he said. “Are the subjects from experiment 038 still leading a normal life?”
Cassandra pulled out what appeared to be a rectangular compact mirror but in reality it was both her mobile and personal holographic tablet. “Yes, sir," she said as she pulled up the files. "Mr. Alex Pettridge-subject four of that particular experiment- has been married for a while and his wife just delivered a healthy child. The baby girl is six months old and is already showing signs that the virus has been passed on to her as well. Apparently, according to the update we received from Mr. Pettridge, she has managed to levitate her own soft toy towards her. And I believe you know of the first successful offspring’s activities.”
“Aye, leading a political career in London. Can’t say that I agree but it is his life to lead, not mine.” She knew that the director bore no love for politicians of any kind. Then again, she didn’t know if he loved anything save for the laboratories he had created along with his old friend. Cassandra had been his assistant for over five years, yet she didn’t know much of the man before her. Thanks to the picture he kept on his desk, all she knew is that he was once a happy child from a happy family. Aside from that, she couldn’t recall any detail about him that would stand out of the ordinary. “Tell Anderson to re-evaluate the virus strand from our very first successful test subject.”
“And the bodies of the last three subjects?”
“They’re being examined by Meadors sir, but it is merely a standard procedure.”
“Did they sign the waivers before they agreed to do the study?”
“Yes sir and their families will be compensated for their loss. I’ve contacted our team of lawyers, just in case the families decide to sue us.”
“Good,” he grinned at her, sending her chills all over her body. “I’m glad you’ve thought of everything, Cassandra, and that you’ve already taken care of it. This way, you will have time to look through these papers now instead of fussing over small details.” From a cabinet, he took the long piece of wood that always sparked fascination in her. Her scientist mind wanted to take it from him, cut it in half and examine it, but Cassandra knew better than to act on those impulses. Instead she watched with allure as he flicked his wrist and the papers flew towards her and landed in front of her in neat pile. She scanned through the ten page information report on a person she had never heard of. “Harry Potter. Who is he, sir? If I may ask.”
The director stood from his chair and limped towards the window. She could tell that he was tense and hurting just by his posture as he leaned on his cane. “He’s the man who took everything I loved from me, Cassandra, and in return I’m going to take that what is important to him: his magic.”
Well, what do you think about this prologue? I know it doesn't say much but that's the point of a prologue! Any comments and/or critiques, let me know! Don't forget to review!