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Chapter 2 : Chapter Two
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At last…The blessed, blessed light.
“Lovely,” you murmur, closing your eyes and breathing deeply.
You’ve been shut up in the dark so long, you’re unaccustomed to light of any kind. Blinking rapidly, you survey the world that’s been torn away from you for four years.
The Minister had been wrong, saying that you’d been in Azkaban for three years. It’d been four…Four years of absolute hell.
Actually, Hell would be an understatement.
Not all of your stay had been horrific, though.
The first few months in Azkaban had yielded an unlikely confidante. Rubeus Hagrid, the gamekeeper on the Hogwarts grounds had been detained for supposedly setting a creature loose on the students.
You smile, going back to those beginning days.
~ ~ ~
“`Lo there, lass.”
You looked up from tracing dust circles on the concrete floor. A giant of a man with a bushy black beard and dark eyes gave you a friendly smile from the cell across the way.
You didn’t know how to react at first. Few had ever been kind to you before.
“Hello,” you responded at last, going back to your dust circles.
“What’ve they stuck ye in here for?”
“Murder,” your voice came out soft, hesitant, “sir.” You added hastily. He was an elder. An elder always had to be addressed respectfully. One did not speak unless spoken to. Your face contorted suddenly. You were done with Them. You didn’t have to follow Their Code anymore. They’d abandoned you.
“Murder?” His voice was quieter now. “What’s a lass like ye doin’ things like tha?”
You didn’t answer his question. An Assassin is bound by a strict Code, sworn to secrecy by his or her employer. “I’m Shadow.”
How child-like. You should have said something different.
The man didn’t press any further. “Rubeus Hagrid. Most jus' call me Hagrid. No need for all this ‘sir’ rubbish.”
He was polite.
Something was afoot…It had to be. You were letting your guard down, you must have been. No one spoke so to an Assassin, especially one such as yourself.
‘Get out of my head!’ you yelled silently.
Why wouldn’t it go away? Why wouldn’t it leave you in peace and take your paranoia with it?
“A lass like ye should be in school, not 'ere in some ruddy prison.”
You merely grunted. Anywhere was better than Azkaban.
“Albus Dumbledore, Headmaster of Hogwarts and th’ finest man there ever could be. He’ll get me out soon enough.” A new strength enters Hagrid’s voice. “He’ll get us out.”
You glance up, noticing the change in his tone.
“It’s not healthy in 'ere, lass. It won’t do no good for anyone to keep ye locked up in here, either.”
“Thank you, Hagrid.”
He looked slightly puzzled. “Fer what?”
~ ~ ~
“My name is Shadow, Professor Dumbledore.”
“Maybe you’ve heard of me. I’m the youngest witch ever to be placed—Well—thrown, more like, in Azkaban.”
You sigh contemplating possible ways to introduce yourself to the headmaster of your school-to-be, while on the Hogwarts Express.
Maybe he’d introduce himself first…
They’re absolutely terrifying. Terrifying, yet beautiful.
Strapped to carriages, horse-like, reptilian creatures stand. Their eyes are completely white, their wings huge and black. Their slick ebony coats are stretched over massive skeletons.
You stare at them in grotesque wonder.
What are they?
Completely on impulse, you stretch out a hand.
The creature whinnies and shies away, startling you.
“Shhh…” you mutter, stepping back. “Whoa there…”
It rears on its hind legs, jolting the carriage and the people inside. The creature’s wings beat wildly, stirring up dust and nearly knocking you off your feet. The people in the carriage scream, and a book drops out onto the ground. Whinnying again, the creature bares ivory-colored fangs at you, pupil-less eyes widening. Without warning, it takes off in the direction of Hogwarts.
As if playing follow-the-leader, the rest of the creatures dash off, their silky black manes billowing.
You’re left standing alone, the kicked-up dust swirling around you and the abandoned book.
You sigh. Now you’re going to have to walk all the way up to the castle. You pick up the book before starting off.
Opening up the front cover, you spot the owner’s name, scrawled in black ink.
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