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Chapter 1: One
“Potter!” Tilly yelled, whirling around and scanning the area. She didn’t see much in the dim room, and fished her wand from her pocket. “Potter what the fuck has that dumbass cousin of yours done now?!”
Silence responded, deafeningly loud.
“Potter!” She yelled again, taking a step forward and subsequently tripping over something. She landed hard, and, swearing, sat up, stretching her hand out, and cautiously patting the ground around her in an attempt to find the thing that currently bound her feet. She’d expected rope, or cloth, or maybe even cuffs of some kind. That honestly wouldn’t surprise her right now. But what she did find sure freaked her out a bit. It was hair. She groped about frantically, eventually finding her wand and casting lumos. When she was finally able to get a good look, she almost screamed. There was hair everywhere. It hung from the rafters, coiled around the legs of tables and chairs, rested in heaps in the corners of the room… It was thick and brown and soft looking. And it all came from her head. She swallowed the small whimper that was fighting its way up her throat, and she cautiously removed her feet from the strands and stood, backing up to the wall with her wand pointed at the hair. It could be animated for all she knew. Devils Snare-hair. With her free hand she stretched out towards the window, rattling the latch a little. To her surprise, it was unlocked, and she flung the shutters open. And her jaw dropped.
She was high up. Really, really high up. She was in a tower, so high that the forest looked like a child’s toy set and the river a shoelace on a carpet. She turned back around again. Pale moonlight bathing her surroundings, making everything eerily bright and shadows stretch across the floor like dozing cats in the noonday sun. The silver light highlighted everything, every nook and cranny. And it made it painfully obvious that there was no way out of here. Not for her, anyway. She sighed, sitting down heavily. Propping her chin up on her hand, humming lightly and thinking how, exactly, she came to be in this position. All of it, in the end, boiled down to one person and one person alone. Fred Weasley the Second. A mere two hours earlier, everything had been fine…
“James! You won’t believe what I’ve got!” Fred came bounding into the room, a large, dusty tome under his arm and a cocky grin on his face.
Tilly glanced up from her work and set him with a stern look. “Weasley, you know you’re not supposed to play with things you find in here, right? And that you’re here to work?” She gestured to the case files in front of her.
He waved the statement away and continued to jabber on to his cousin about how cool this… thing was.
“Well… What is it?” Potter asked from his spot next to her at the desk, a half amused, half affectionate smile plastered on his face.
“It’s a book!” Weasley said proudly, dropping it onto the table in front of us and crossing his arms proudly.
“A book?” She asked, raising a sceptical brow. “You’re getting this excited over a book? Jesus Christ I knew you were simple, Weasley, but I didn’t think it went this far.”
He glared at her. “It’s not just any book. Take a look.”
Potter brushed the dust off of the cover and Tilly glanced down, reading the title aloud.
“E. E. Kidd’s Fairy Tales for the Bored of Heart?” Potter spoke at the same time as she did. “What kind of -” But she was cut off by the flapping of pages as the book opened up before them on the table, pages whizzing by as if someone was skim reading at supersonic speed. “Weasley…” Her voice was dangerously low. “Where’d you get this?”
“Misuse of Muggle Artifacts Office.” He sounded nervous, and he took a few steps back, just as she mentally slapped him. “What’s it -”
But she and Potter never heard the rest of what Weasley had to say, because at that moment an invisible force grabbed them by the collars of their shirts, tugging them forwards, headfirst into yellowing pages, falling and falling and falling, with Weasley’s yells ringing in their ears.
And then she was here. Sat in a dark room at the top of a tower, with hair impossibly long and realization dawning upon her. They’ve been fairytaled.