Chapter 1 : Chapter One
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Your heart pounding in my head…
“Who’s there?” A man stood in the rain, looking around warily.
“You?” he scoffed. “You’re the one They sent?” Recognition dawned on his features as he spotted the Symbol on the top of your wrist.
Thump. Thump. Thump…
“I’m to meet my end at your hands?” His voice shook slightly and he met your eyes.
“Have They no one else?”
“You can’t harm me. You’re but a chil — aaahh…”
~ ~ ~
Your eyes snap open. You sit up slowly, drenched in cold sweat. Inhaling deeply to calm yourself, you look beyond the iron bars of your tiny cell.
Hooded figures, garbed in tattered robes of black glide past. One stops, reaching a rotted grey hand through. It takes a shuddery, rattling breath, and reaches in further.
You flatten yourself against the far wall.
“Ms. (Your Last Name)? Miss…”
“Aaaaah!” Surprised, you topple off of your cot and land on the concrete. You swear under your breath. That’s going to leave a mark…
A portly man with a bowler hat wrings his hands and looks at you straight in the eye. He winces, wearing a look of utter disgust.
“This way,” The man’s outstretched arm points at your open cell door. “Quickly now, before the Dementors make their rounds again.”
‘Well, if it isn’t the Minister of Magic himself, escorting me out of this hellhole,’ you think cynically. ‘Ironic…He’s one of the men who helped put me here…’
You shudder at the mention of the foul creatures and obligingly and follow him out.
Minutes later, you sit in a finely furnished office. The minister seats himself in a chair behind a large, wooden and polished desk.
“I am Cornelius Fudge, the Minister of Magic.” He states, removing his bowler hat and interlocking his fingers. “But let’s talk about you, Ms. (Your Last Name). Or would you prefer to be called something else?”
“Shadow,” your voice is low, grating; due to little use, “Shadow will do, Minister.”
“I realize that you have been in Azkaban for close to three years. Your sentence is finished today. You are seventeen, am I correct?”
“S’pose so, Minister.” What does your age have to do with anything? Why are you here, anyway?
“I assume you are wondering why I have brought you here.”
“If you must know —”
‘Get on with it already…’
“The Ministry and I have decided —”
‘Oh, Merlin. You’re going to try and kill me, aren’t you? Good luck with that. I won’t go without a fight…’
“That it would be in your best interest if —”
‘Wait. My best interest? My best interest? Since when has anyone cared about me? No one cares about me. Except — No. I mustn’t think about him…’
“If you attended Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry for a final year of schooling before going out into the world.”
“Minister, I really must —” you clear your throat, “protest.”
“You are in no position to protest.” The Minister of Magic’s voice grows hard and his face darkens. “You will attend Hogwarts, come September. That is final.”
I decided to take my writing in a whole different direction with this story. It's going to be quite a bit darker, more mysterious, and mature than my others (even more so than Unlucky.). A big thank you to Blonde Bubbles for the banner!