Chapter 1 : Prologue; The Last Breath
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With that said; I hope you enjoy my first fic, and maybe, if you decide to be extra nice, you'll leave me a little review and tell me what you thought ^^
The night was dark.
Much darker than nights usually were in July; the black clouds were obscuring the stars from view. Only the faint sheen from the full moon could be seen through the fog, and even that seemed vague and helpless as a cold breeze blew over the meadowland and eliminated any trace of warmth that had been there a moment before.
But something stirred the silence; the sound of light, quick footfalls and breathless gasps for air.
Hermione Granger had never been athletic. She much preferred to read heavy books on history of magic in front of a cozy fireplace or else skim through romantic novels before bedtime, getting lost in her own peaceful daydreams.
Now she was paying the price.
Her mucles were aching, her legs so shaky with fear and exhaustion they could barely carry her any further and her vison was blurred by tears. All she knew was that she had to keep going, ignore the taste of blood that lingered in her mouth, the throbbing of her own thundering heartbeats in her ears and the hair that fluttered by her face in the wind.
She had to keep running.
Because the only thing worse than fleeing was to stop.
She was nearing the small forest, the woods offering an inviting darkness as she ran past the first few trees. Maybe she could be able to get away? Maybe she could manage to find a hiding place, somewhere that it could not find her? Maybe she still had a chance?
Her breath came in pained gasps, her voice betraying her and letting out small whimpers as she sprinted past countless trunks. She did no longer see, the darkness too absolute for her to make out more than the silhouettes of the stems that surrounded her as she made her way deeper into the forest. Deeper into the dense woods that she had feared so feverently when she was a little girl.
Still, the ghosts and monsters that had lived there in her childhood did not even compare to the brutal beast now following suit.
Was it still there? Had she managed to shake it off?
Could she afford to stop and check?
Fate made the decision for her as the hem of her long, white dress got caught by the branches of a naked bush and Hermione found herself stuck. Her breath came in gasps that witnessed of the pain inside, her heart was beating faster than a mouse's and her shivering fingers grabbed the silken fabric of her dress and pulled helplessly. She was out of strength, and the silence was embracing her in the unnerving silence.
Where was it?
Had she actually managed to shake it off?
With a display of all the force her frail body could manage she wrenched the dress out of the firm grip the branches held on it, the ripping silk sending tremors of sound through the serene forest.
Her lungs cried for air, her mouth dry and her stomach queasy, yet Hermione denied herself the simple luxury of breathing. She pressed her back up against the closest tree, the bark rough and bruising towards her naked back as she turned her head frantically from side to side, the long mane of brown hair whipping across her pale cheeks.
The inevitable was happening.
She was panicking.
She could feel her head beginning to get weirdly light as she started to hyperventilate, all the while turning and spinning in the spot to try and grasp some sight of something else, something to indicate that she wasn't alone. A blanket of fog covered the rooted forest floor, the pine needles beneath her bare feet stinging and piercing through the sensitive skin as she started running again once more. Her usually sharp mind was blinded by fear and the sensation of being shadowed by something much more horrific than anything she had seen before.
Her sprint became more clumsy and faltering as the last of her energy faded into fatigue. After minutes that seemed like hours she chanced a glance over her shoulder, just for good measure. The long tresses of brown were flying in her view, yet something caught her eyes, making them widen with fear as the sight of two large, hungry, yellow orbs drew closer through the darkness.
She had not managed to shake it off.
Her sweaty, tearstained face was contorted with horror as she stood stock still and watched the beast emerge from between the trees, eyeing her with evident maliciousness as it pushed itself up on its heavily musculed hind legs. It was a horrible sight, the towering figure before her only distinguishable by the narrow beams of moonlight that managed to penetrate the canopies above and touch its furry frame. It was tall, its mouth hanging open and displaying long, yellowing teeth dripping with saliva. The long snout rising to the air before the beast howled towards the canopies.
The howl was loud, shrieking; a sound that would last forever within Hermione's memory. She took a few shaky steps backwards, her body acting upon sheer instinct as her unclear mind clung to the frail hope still left within her.
Maybe there was still hope?
Maybe, if she could just turn around now, she could make it out unharmed.
But before she could continue her heel had collided with a root and she stumbled backwards, landing on her back and staring wide-eyed up at the obscured heavens.
Hope was out.
She was doomed to death by the hand of this animal before her.
The beast looked down as a moan of pain escaped her lips. The small of her back had fallen upon a sharp rock, the sensation of paralysing pain stunning her nerve-system. She was fainting.
But she would be dead in a second anyway.
As she lay on the ground, taking in the last few rays of moonlight she would ever see, she could feel the tears that continued to trickle down the sides of her face. Never again would she see Harry's green eyes sparkling from behind his clear glasses. Never again would she see Ron grinning brilliantly towards her. Never again would she hear Ginny's laughter like a soft melody through the summer air. Never again would she draw her breath and know that there were many more to come.
Her vision became more and more bleary, the canopies seemingly spreading open to allow the moonlight to caress her dying body before she left this world forever.
Spreading to allow her to see just a bit of heaven before her eyes were forced closed.
Darkness fell, the werewolf was bending over her with it's long teeth ready to strike the pale, unprotected skin on her neck.
And Hermione closed her tearfilled eyes against the pain, two last tears falling from her eyelashes and down her soft cheeks.
The last thing she heard was a scream, which she assumed was her own lament as she knew deep inside that her eyes would never open again.