A cackle of thunder shattered through the sky like laughter from the dead. Rain collapsed onto the Earth from the heavens, sinking into the underground where it dripped, dripped, dripped onto the roots of plants many. The roots stretched and extended down, seizing hold of all weeds, pushing them down further, away from the surface, away from the light.
With a sudden crash, a man appeared into the clearing panting heavily. He fell down on the floor. He was numb, painstakingly numb. Blood trailed from his forehead as though it were a tear, kissing down his face. He grasped at his side, crying out in pain. He looked down at his sudden and warm hand, covered in blood.
Things were not going according to plan. This was not how the mission was supposed to go. Robbie Wood was supposed to go in and out cleanly. He was supposed to find the information. Robbie lurched forward, attempting to crawl away into the woods, where he'd be ensconced by the trees and shrubbery. However, his attempt was thwarted as a loud crack sounded into the clearing.
Rafael Gaunt met the floor of the clearing.
Darkness encased him. His flesh was pale and lucid, his eyes tainted with blood; they were tainted with the blood of the good. His robe hung against his lean frame and flowed on endlessly, the hem fading into the dust and grass of the clearing. His wand was held tightly in his left hand, long and crooked like a deadly bolt of lightning, pulsating from his grip.
Robbie's entire body shook with anticipation. Fear overcame him and he wanted to give into Gaunt right there and then. However; the Gryffindor in him refused to give up. The night that surrounded them all continued to crack with the fiery storm, the scent of death wafting through the air.
"Ah, Mr. Wood. It's a pleasure to finally meet you." Robbie looked up, meeting the man's deranged gaze.
Rafael tsked and shook his head, walking idly to the man. Robbie suddenly shrank, feeling rather small. Rafael bent down and stared at Robbie. "That is hardly any way to talk to me." Rafael patted the side of Robbie's face and stood up. "We could have been friends. Oh well."
Rafael turned on his heel and began to walk away, tugging on his pocket watch, checking the time.
Robbie managed to stagger to his feet, gasping for air. He took a single step forwards, his entire body shaking with apprehension. He held onto his side whilst a strength poured through the boy's veins like he had never felt before. He could no longer feel the throbbing pain that had since been tearing away at his side.
And, then the clearing burst.
The trees that encircled him burst into colors of maroon and orange, ashes of gray and crimson overwhelming the air. The blaze danced willingly behind him, greedy for flesh. Robbie was seized and twisted, tossed up in the air. Jerking back, he was thrown onto the edge of the fire. When he slowly rose from the ground, fire encased his pale body as though he were a ghost gripped by Hell itself.
Robbie Wood looked up with a terrified, almost mangled expression before falling forward with a thud.
The fire instantly ceased and Rafael sighed as a young woman appeared next to him, looking rather bored. She looked around the clearing and bit the edge of her lips.
"What did I miss?"
A single, manic smile stretched over the lips of the boy.
"The hunt has begun."
AN: I want to thank Miranda (FannyPrice) to giving this a once over and Viv for helping me write this! You both are pretty amazing! :D Oh, and this is my first story, so please tell me what you think I can improve on! :)