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Chapter 1: Chapter One
“Who are you?”
“I’m with S.H.I.E.L.D.”
“And what, pray tell, is S.H.I.E.L.D?”
“Strategic Homeland Intervention, Enforcement and Logistics Division. We deal with the things the Government can’t.”
“Sounds ominous. What do you want with me?”
“We need you.”
“To defend us.”
And that’s how I ended up in the predicament I am in now. I am currently tied to a chair with my arms and hands bound.
A grey haired man in a suit kneeled down in front of me and began to stroke my cheek. “Je vais vous demander une dernière fois, qui êtes-vous? (I’ll ask you one last time, who are you?)”
“Je vous l'ai dit, ma nom est Leanne Thomas. Je ne sais pas pourquoi vous voulez que moi, je suis juste un étudiant en tenant un écart année avant l'université (I've told you, my name is Leanne Thomas. I do not know why you want me, I'm just a student taking a gap year before university),” I try one more time.
He slaps me hard across the face and then massages his slapping hand. Hmm, a possible injury perhaps?
“Pour qui travaillez-vous stupide fille? Ou êtes-vous simplement un autre magnifique perdu touriste? (Who do you work for stupid girl? Or are you just another beautiful lost tourist?)” He asks, getting visibly angrier by the second.
“Tu crois vraiment que je suis belle? (You really think I’m beautiful?)”I answer sarcastically.
Before he can slap me again, my phone starts ringing. I was pretty sure I’d turned that off. Oh well.
Every man in the room turns to look at me questioningly. I can understand why; I haven’t got any pockets or a bag.
“Puis-je? (Can I?)” I ask nicely, batting my mascara covered eyelashes. The grey haired man, who is quite clearly the boss, just looks at me stunned, probably at my nerve. He mutters something in Russian, another language he speaks apparently, and nods to one of his bodyguards.
A man with black hair and a square jaw steps forward. I nod down to my breasts and try to resist a shiver as he reaches down my dress to retrieve my phone. The bodyguard presses the answer button and then places the phone between my ear and shoulder.
“Hello?” I speak awkwardly into the phone.
“Where are you?” a voice replies sharply.
“Working,” I reply quietly. I really hope that English isn’t one of this guy’s many languages.
“You’ve got to come home straight away. It’s urgent!”
“Okay, okay,” I continue whispering. I glance up at my captors to see that they all look confused. Okay, so they don’t understand English. That’s definitely a plus. “What’s wrong?”
“Lily’s in St Mungo’s!”
“Rose, I really need you to calm down. I’ll be home as soon as I can, but I’m not really in the best position right now.”
“Amara, you don’t understand,” Rose begins, “She’s out cold; she has three broken ribs, a dislocated shoulder and a broken ankle.”
I sigh deeply and reply angrily, “What did Potter do now?”
“Tested out another one of his products with Fred,” Rose replies, equally as angrily.
Something inside me snaps at that moment and I turn once more to look at the gang in front of me.
“I’m on my way,” I say and then signal to the body guard closest to me to say that I am done.
Just as he grabs my phone, I kick him in the privates and then head butt him. Before the other men can understand what’s happening, I am standing up with the chair still tied to me. I knock out one guy with a kick to the head, and a backflip which breaks the chair.
With my arms free, I punch another guy before getting him in a head lock and doing another backflip, successfully knocking him out as well. Or maybe he’s dead? Either way, he’s no longer a problem.
Eventually it’s only me and the boss left. He promptly drops the gun he has somehow managed to acquire and raises his hands in the air. I grab a piece of rope and tie it around his hands, making sure to twist that slapping hand painfully, and then knock him to the floor, where I tie up his legs.
I locate my phone on the floor and call Rose back, while using my other hand to straighten my dress.
“So she’s in St Mungo’s?” I ask.
“Yes!” she shouts back, “Hurry up!”
“I’m coming, don’t worry.”
“There you are!” Rose shouts at me the second I walk through the doors of St Mungo’s. It doesn’t take me long to notice how stressed she looks. Her normally smooth red hair has turned frizzy and her brown eyes and looking frantic. That’s without even mentioning the mess of her blue top and grey jeans.
“I’m sorry, I was… tied up,” I apologize, hoping to calm her a bit. Her eyes travel down my body and widen as she takes in the state of my clothes.
“You look like you were literally tied up!” Thanks Rose, I think sarcastically. I’ll admit I do look a bit of a mess. My long brown hair is messy and my black dress is completely creased, not to mention the fact that I am bare foot and carrying my stilettos.
“Seriously, where do you work?! You look like you’ve been out all night and it’s only,” Rose pauses for a moment to check her watch, “half past ten!”
“Never mind me,” I say, trying to divert the conversation before I get into some serious trouble, and that’s not just with Rose. “How’s Lily?”
Rose runs her hands through her hair and sighs tiredly, “She’s okay, I guess. They’ve fixed all the injuries now but she’s still out of it.” She catches my questioning look and answers my unspoken question, “They had to put her in a magically induced coma because of the pain. She should be waking up soon.”
I nod understandingly. “Ah, right. Where’s everyone else?” I ask looking around. This place is dead; there’s not a mediwitch or wizard in sight.
“Well, Mum and Dad are upstairs with the Potters, Hugo’s staying with Nana Molly and Grandpa Arthur for the night and everyone else has gone home.”
“And you wanted me for moral support,” I tease her with a mock-soppy grin, pretending to be completely touched.
“Of course,” she laughs quietly, catching onto the joke.
“Which ward is she in?” I ask as we reach the stairs.
“Spell damage,” she says but then began to mutter to herself, “I’m gonna kill James… bloody idiot.”
I nod my head consolably and place a comforting hand on her shoulder. “Lily will be fine, Rose. She’s a tough cookie. It’s going to take more than her idiot brother to stop her.”
Rose nodded and sob-laughed, “You’re right, she’ll be fine. I was just so worried, you know?”
We eventually reached the Spell Damage ward, and Rose leads me to a private room at the far end of the ward.
Lily looks so fragile, just lying on a hospital bed unconscious. Mr Potter and Mr Weasley are standing in the corner of the room and are discussing something in whispers, while Mrs Weasley is rubbing Mrs Potter’s shoulders from her position behind Mrs Potter’s chair. The kids are nowhere in sight.
Mrs Weasley hears the coming footsteps and spots Rose and me. She moves across the room and embraces me in a bone-crushing hug.
Mrs Wealsey has been like the mother I’ve never had. I never knew my parents, really. I was taken at the age of three and raised in an institution. However, it wasn’t a normal institution. They aimed to create the world’s greatest assassins. Isn’t that nice?
You see, when my parents were killed, a man by the name of Claude Romando took me to a ‘disclosed’ location. I worked and trained there until I was 11, when I was accepted to Hogwarts and forced to go, so as not to arouse suspicion.
There I was sorted into Gryffindor, which was more than surprising (isn’t it for the noble and good?), and eventually I was released from the ‘Red Room’- as some friends of mine had called it – as they saw no apparent need for me. Less than three years later, I was recruited by S.H.I.E.L.D to help fight the very people I grew up with. All very confusing, I know.
Back to the present day, Rose and I sat beside the Potters and Weasleys, waiting patiently for Lily to awaken. It was well past midnight when there was any sign of life. We all held our breath as Lily finally began to stir and managed to open her eyes.
Mr and Mrs Weasley took Rose and I back to their home after that, so that the Potters could have some privacy.
“Seriously,” Rose began as we climbed the stairs to her room, “Where were you tonight?”
I felt my face morph into that expressionless mask I had grown so used to wearing. “I’ve already told you, nowhere. I was just at work.”
I reached for the handle of the door and was about to walk in when Rose grabbed my arm and pulled me back. “You may be able to lie to everyone else, but not to me. Now where were you?”
I shook my head, “It’s none of your concern. Goodnight Rose.”
That was the end of the conversation for that night.
My dreams were clouded by a red fog. Where was I?
Suddenly, the fog took shape and I saw Maria, the little girl I had been ordered to kill when I was ten. Then it was the man from today. And then it was Rose. It began to take the shape of everyone I cared about. Was there no end to this torture?
I had to make a choice, which I knew. One part of me was an innocent and fun-loving student at Hogwarts. It was the other part that I hated. A trained assassin working for the most secret organisation known to man. For now, they could co-exist somewhat peacefully. It wouldn’t always be that way.
One day I was going to have to make a choice. As a great man once said, it is our choices that make us who we are, far more than our abilities. That just leads to one more question:
Who am I?