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The girl sat and looked out the window, her dainty fingers tapping rapidly with the ongoing lull of rain. The rain fell monotonously onto the fields surrounding the castle, creating unwelcome puddles in the gardens and parks that her father had had made for her for her birthday that year. Her coffee-colored eyes gazed fixedly at the heavy, iron gate which stood unbending against the rain and willed it to open. She anxiously brushed her curly hair behind her pierced ear, waiting. ‘When would he come?’ she thought. ‘Where is he?’ She twirled around her wand in her fingers, impatiently and waited for those high iron gates to open.
Someone knocked at her door. She quickly stuffed her wand under the many folds of her gown, and said “Who is it?” The caller did not wait answer her, however, and quickly opened the door and strode to her, grasping her cold hands in his warm ones.
“My dear Princess Aurelia,” he said. He sniffed loudly. “You look beautiful, as ever.” Sniff.
She nodded and smiled, shyly, but could not help the foreboding feeling that gathered in her stomach.
“What do you want, Lord Browyn?” she asked. There was a harsh tone in her voice, one that always came when she spoke with him. Lord Browyn was a wealthy man from the far corners of Ever After, her birthplace and the country he father ruled. Everyone knew he desired her hand in marriage, but as he was thirty, and she seventeen, she was repulsed by the idea and firmly said no to every request of marriage and courtship from Lord Browyn. He also was constantly sniffing through his large, hairy nose. The man was disgusting.
Browyn sniffed again. “I have some bad news concerning a certain Caderyn James.” Her heart fluttered, nervously in her chest. “He went hunting today at dawn. He’s usually back before breakfast, so his sister, Jedda went to search for him. All she found was this.” He sniffed and opened his palm before her. In it lay a small silver band, inlaid with red and gold stones.
“No,” Aurelia gasped. It was her ring- the ring she had given him. The ring that only fell off of your finger if you were truly lost or…
“They’re still searching, but they are losing hope.” Sniff “I’m so sorry, you must have been close to him.”
Browyn reached out to grasp her shoulder as one lone tear dripped down Aurelia’s face, and landed on the windowsill, creating its own unwanted puddle there. She brushed away the tear and his hand and walked out of the room. Before she knew where she was going, she had turned right and left and through a door and she stood in front of an oval mirror with a golden frame.
She threw herself down in a crumpled heap on the floor. The dust that had gathered there over the centuries made her lilac gown dirty and grimy, but she sat, miserably, and rocked back and forth.
Her beloved Caderyn- dead? It could not be- she would have felt it. For she loved him, and their bond had been so great she would have known if he had died. But she had enchanted that ring. She made sure it would never fall off unless Cad was really, truly gone.
Gone. He was gone. He had left her, defenseless in a world of stubborn fools. He had understood her; he had been her only confidant, her only friend, her lover. And now, he was gone. Never to return.
She stood and looked at her pitiful self in the mirror, and practically started. She wasn’t in the mirror. It certainly looked like her, but the girl was wearing a black robe with a maroon and gold tie. She had been crying too. What was this mirror?
Aurelia stood and looked behind the mirror. She gasped.
To her astonishment, there was a swirling purple vortex of energy that led from the back of the mirror, and it sucked her like a black hole towards its center. She tried to relinquish herself from its grasp but to no avail. She tugged, but the center grew nearer and nearer. She didn’t think to use her wand. She didn’t think to scream.
Her waist had been swallowed by the center of the vortex and slowly, the room around her vanished inch by inch until she could see nothing but a dark purple haze around her eyes. It was bright. So blindingly bright that she had to close her eyes.
When she opened her eyes, she found herself in a hallway with another golden framed mirror. She ran around the back of it, but the vortex had disappeared. She looked around at the stone corridor. Where was she?
“Aunty Hermy! Aunty Hermy! Look what I’ve found!” said a little five-year old boy, while running through the sand towards Hermione, something hard grasped in his palm. As he reached her, he unfurled his hand, exposing the small hermit crab to the air. It scuttled away, across the sand, toward the blue of the ocean and the boy was after it, quick as a flash. He almost got it too, but the crab was too fast, and it had made it to the refuge of the water.
The boy turned, a momentary sadness in his eyes, but his expression turned to glee again, when he saw Hermione, holding his bucket and pail.
“Come on, Timmy. Let’s build a sand castle.” She said. Hermione loved how the little boy could be so optimistic all the time.
“Hermy, where’s Mommy?” he asked, scooping handfuls of sand into the plastic red bucket. Hermione cupped her hand over her eyes in order to block out the bright sun that was making it impossible to see. She looked far and wide for the tall, thin figure of her older sister, Margaret but could not find her anywhere.
“Good question, Timmy. Let’s go find her.”
Disappointed, the cute little boy poured all the sand out of the bucket and walked, holding it in one hand, and Hermione’s palm in the other. They walked toward the pier that until moments ago was where Margaret had stood, watching Hermione play with her nephew.
As they got closer to the pier, Hermione saw the outline of a human. It was most definitely a boy’s figure, who was over six feet tall, and holding a wand in his other. From here she could see the boy had bright red hair.
“Ron!” she yelled. “Ron!” as she grabbed Timmy’s arm and pulled him faster. Towards the pier.
“Hermione! I’ve been looking for you.” The boy looked uncharacteristically scared. “Hermione, Harry needs your help. Voldemort found him, and he needs your help. There at Hogwarts- the magical barriers have been broken. He made me apparate here to tell you- you need to come quick!”
Hermione stood in shock.
“That’s what I said. We have to hurry!” He looked panicked.
“Okay, one sec.” What was she going to do with Timothy? She couldn’t just leave him here. She would have to take him with her- she was a good enough fighter to protect both of them.
“Timmy- listen to me, we have to go.”
“But what about mommy?” he asked, nervous.
“Mommy’s knows we’re leaving- she’ll find you later.” Hermione lied, easily.
“Where are we going?”
“We have to go save Harry. I told you about Harry, remember?”
“The Boy Who Lived?”
“That’s right Timmy. He’s in trouble and needs us to rescue him. We have to apparate to Hogwarts and there will be a lot of big scary men there, but you must stay close to me, okay? Timmy?”
The boy nodded. He looked solemn, but secure. “I promise, Auntie Hermy.” Hermione grabbed his hand and turned on the spot, picturing the great hall of Hogwarts in her mind’s eye.
She opened her eyes, to see herself surrounded by people in black robes, with skull-like masks covering her faces. She looked to her right, expecting to see Ron, but instead she saw someone with curly black hair, a pale face, and heavy lidded eyes.
The woman cackled. “How do you like some Polyjuice Potion?” she smiled, toothily. Sure enough, she was wearing the same clothes that ‘Ron’ had been wearing. Around her, she saw death eaters, closing in. Taking step after step closer to her and Timmy.
She looked down at the boy who was gripping her hand like a lifesaver. “Aunty Hermy- where’s-”
“Avada Kedavra!” A jet of green light, shot not at her, but at little Timmy. He was blast from her hand, across the room into the crowd of now laughing death eaters.
She saw but she didn’t believe. No, it can’t be- they couldn’t have.
But it was true. Timmy lay, spread eagled, fear etched across the lines of his soft face.
He was dead. And it was all her fault.
A roar of rage ripped through her body. She grabbed her wand and waved it around, maniacally, spitting curse after curse until almost all of the opponents around her had been knocked out and lay, unconscious, on the floor.
The beast who had possessed her soul was gone as soon as it had came, and instead of feeling an intense rush from the battle, an emptiness consumed her and she tore from the hall.
Almost immediately, she saw a mirror. The mirror was blank and did not reflect any of the surrounding halls. She was running faster than she ever had and she didn’t stop.
Suddenly, the mirror lit up in a purple swirl of flames and started pulling her closer. She felt herself inch closer to the mirror, and she fought back with all of her strength. She wasn’t strong enough, she couldn’t do it. She tried to scream, but the mirror was taking away all her energy and she could not make a sound. If she didn’t get out soon, she would run into the mirror, or was it even a mirror? As she got closer, the glass swerved out of her way and she saw a small stone room, with no windows and one stone door, shut tight.
She was going to hit it, she thought but she was wrong. She was getting closer and close when suddenly she had fell straight threw the mirror and onto the stone floor below.
Her last conscious thought was ‘where am I’. Then, blackness began to creep parasitically from the corners of her eyes, and she lost the ability to see, to feel, to think altogether.