Chapter 1 : Prologue
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The cold mist swirled around her body as she passed through the field, silent as a shadow. She was at the bottom of a grassy hill, upon which twinkled the lightened windows of several small cottages. She drew closer to the trees beside her, away from the light; she did not wish to be seen. A long black travelling cloak rippled around her body, and as the moon slid out from behind the clouds, she pulled the hood up over her head, shrouding her face in shadow. Silence pressed in upon her ears, broken only by the frantic beating of her own heart.
Suddenly, from very close behind her, she heard a very faint popping sound. She whirled around, whipped out her wand and yelled, “Stupefy!” A jet of red light issued from the tip of the wand, but out of the darkness, a voice immediately hissed, “Protego,” and the spell bounced off of an invisible shield.
The girl held her wand high and muttered, “Lumos,” trying to hold her shaking hand steady. She watched uneasily as a figure emerged from the darkness of the trees; he walked into the pool of light, pointing his own wand directly at the girl’s heart. The wan light fell on his deathly pale skin, throwing his gleaming red eyes into sharp relief. His snakelike nostrils widened as he chuckled softly, his thin, pale lips stretching into a sneering grin.
He said nothing for a few brief seconds; then, without warning, he hissed “Crucio.” The girl screamed, screamed as if every nerve in her body was on fire. She fell to the ground at the man’s feet, writhing in agony. The man lifted his wand, and the girl lay still, panting. “Do not refuse Lord Voldemort,” he said softly, with a cruel and terrible smile once again lighting up his face. “I have offered you more than you can ever have dreamed, and yet still you deny me your service,” He paused, as though waiting for her to speak. She pressed her face into the ground, inhaling the sweet smell of crushed grass, and kept her lips tightly shut. She would not let him play with her.
She heard the rustling of robes as he crouched down in front of her and picked up her chin with long, white fingers. “You are about to be taught that there is no alternative, little one.” He leaned in so close that his lips brushed her ear. “You are mine. Cruc—”
“Expelliarmus!” yelled the girl, jabbing her wand into Voldemort’s chest. He was thrown away from her, and she staggered to her feet. He lunged for his wand, but she yelled, “Crucio!” and suddenly it was Voldemort who was writhing and screaming on the ground, feeling for the first time in his memory, the sting of his preferred curse.
More shapes were emerging from the trees, running towards the girl. She could hear their yells and see the jets of red light hitting her body, but miraculously, she was still standing. Then suddenly the closest figure made a violent slashing motion with his wand, and a line of purple fire went directly into her chest. She was thrown backwards and her wand flew out from her suddenly limp fingers.
Voldemort was on his feet again in an instant, and before the girl could right herself, he had hit her with the torture curse, and she was once again flailing desperately on the ground. The new figures surrounded the screaming girl; cruel laughter issued from beneath their hoods. Voldemort finally lifted the curse, and her screams ceased once again, although her breathing was reduced to shallow gasps. She dug her fingers into the soft earth, trying to block out the dull pain still shooting through her body.
Voldemort advanced on the girl, picking up her wand from the ground beside her. He stood over her prostrate form, his face livid. She raised her head to look at him, only to see her wand, her one and only weapon, twirling between Voldemort’s deathly white fingers. He gave a casual flick of his own wand, and her body was slammed into a nearby tree. He pinned her to it by her throat, and pointed both wands into her face. “How dare you,” he hissed, his terrible snakelike face inches from hers. “How dare you turn your wand on me? I created you!” His voice was growing louder. “You are what you are because I made it so! We share blood – even if you had succeeded in escaping, I would always know how to find you! And,” he leaned in close again, so that only she could hear him. “You wouldn’t get far. As soon as people realise who you are, they will throw you in Azkaban – straight into my waiting arms. You have no one to turn to but me, little one,” he whispered, stroking her cheek with the tips of the wands.
Suddenly, the wood behind them erupted with shouts and curses. Furious, Voldemort tore his eyes from the girl’s face and shouted something to his Death Eaters. Seizing her chance, the girl pushed herself away from the tree into Voldemort, so that they both tumbled to the ground. She scrambled to her feet and began to run, but with another casual flick of his wand, he threw her back to the ground. She landed hard on her back and felt all the breath leave her lungs. He advanced towards her, a triumphant gleam in his eyes.
A voice suddenly rose above the din of the fight. “Master!” It cried. “There are too many of them! We cannot –”
An echoing blast drowned out the rest of the sentence. Voldemort’s eyes flashed with rage. “Leave, all of you!” he roared, and the dark figures were gone with the swish of their many cloaks. He moved toward the girl, but the newcomers were closing in quickly. With a roar of rage that echoed through the darkness, he pointed his wand at the girl and shrieked “Avada Kedavra!” before disapparating. The girl crumpled to the ground as the jet of green light hit her, and was still.