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Chapter 1 : Haunted
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Disclaimer: The plot in mine and whatever else you don't recognize.
Beautiful CI by the amazing fayeswonderland!
The cold chill of the English fall sent shivers straight through to Austyn Helling’s bones, as she hugged her cloak closer to her body. The sun just began to peer over the horizon line, as she quickly walked down the deserted street.
The humiliation due to the course of the previous evening still ran through her, as she kept her eyes trained towards the cement below her feet. The dreaded walk of shame; the clothes she wore, were the same as the ones she wore the night before. She feared her own appearance at the moment, as she had just minutes before quickly pulled her skimpy dress up back up around her frame in some dark room, which belonged to some stranger. She was sure her hair looked like a wild beast had perched upon her head, the messy brown hair once expertly curled now a mess of waves.
She began to piece together the events of the night before. She recalled going to a pub with some of her mates from work and drinking way too much Firewhiskey. At one point, the once vacant seat to her right was filled by a very fit looking brunette who chatted her up. The next thing she recalled was waking up, sweating and naked. Her heart was racing a million miles a minute, as she had tried to figure out where she was. Soft snores filled the room as she had looked up from her spot on the floor, to see the very naked outline of the brunette lying flat upon his stomach on what she assumed was his bed. Austyn was thankful that he had not heard her screams, nor her apparent sleep walking that had somehow left her on the floor of his bedroom. Quickly dressing, she had managed to find her way out of the apartment without waking up the stranger.
Lately it felt to as if her mind was working against her. Maybe it was the effects of the alcohol, or part of the stresses of her job that brought upon the terrible nightmares and the sleepwalking. To say that life hadn’t gone anywhere near as planned would be a whopper of an understatement. From day one, it seemed that the fates had decided to hand Austyn a crap load of suck, but still she somehow managed to persevere. Meaningless one night stands, one after the other, which were preceded by copious amounts of alcohol, lulled her into a sense of numbness. Life went on all around her, while she felt as if she were stuck.
The clicking of her heels seemed to hypnotise her thoughts, as she sought out some type of destination. She was in no shape to apparate, not that she liked to when she was perfectly sober anyways. Thankfully, she realized she had managed to snag a guy who lived not too far away from her. She dreaded the thought of using the Night Bus or any form of muggle transportation.
For a former Slytherin, she felt as if she was a failure to the house of green. Her fears seemed to be controlling her in a way that would very much put shame to Salazar Slytherin. But it was so much easier for Austyn to ignore all the unpleasant parts of life. By simply bottling up her feelings and her thoughts, it was so much easier to ignore things.
As she continued to make her way back to her flat, she couldn’t help but replay the nightmare that had shaken her to her core earlier that morning.
She sat alone in a dark room, waiting on something. She knew ‘they’ were coming, but wasn’t able to comprehend who they were. Panic filled her thoughts, as she tried with all her might to open the door that was currently hiding her. The door seemed to be much too large, as she could barely reach to knob to open it. Struggling, she kept trying. After what felt like her hundredth try, she managed to turn the handle.
For a second, she felt like dancing due to her accomplishment, but was quickly pulled back into the seriousness of the situation. Something felt very wrong. It was much too quiet, almost like that feeling one gets right before a very large thunderstorm.
Making her way out of the small room, she desperately searched the house for anyone. Her styles slightly echoed down the small hallway. Her steps were halted by a series of loud bangs erupting from all different ends of the house. Panic filled her, as she fell to the floor in fear.
She could see the reflection of flashes of lights, and felt salty tears running down her face. She was petrified, not knowing if ‘they’ were going to harm her too.
“Austyn” came a voice from down the hall. A woman with long blonde hair came running down the hallway, frantically, “What are you doing out here?”
Without a moment’s hesitation, the woman picked her up from the floor and dragged her back to her prison. As the woman made to close the door upon her one more time, she let a tear roll down her pale face.
“I’m so sorry” were the only words she spoke, before pulling out her wand and muttering a spell.
It was always the same dream, over and over with very few differences, but no matter what, it always ended with her and the woman. Austyn felt as if there was something familiar about the woman, but she could not place it.
The endless nightmares were driving Austyn nuts and lately they had been so frequent, that she feared going to sleep at night. No matter how hard she tried to control her dreams, with different potions and spells, the nightmares still came. Each morning she would wake up in a cold sweat, in a location that was certainly not her own bed. This morning she was lucky it was just on the floor, for others times she had woken up in her bathtub, her closet, and on the rare occasion, the small forest outside her flat.
One thing, she noted, that did make the dreams a little more bearable, was alcohol. It was a strange sort of medication that tamed her nightmares and sleep walking only slightly. But any relief was good relief. The only drawback was that the effects of the alcohol often led to her to stupid things, like going home with random strangers.
Austyn became aware of her surroundings, noting that she was standing just outside of her flat. As she opened the door, she realized that it was a relief to be home, only if she had a couple hours left before she had to be at work once again.
Without bother to remove her clothing, Austyn climbed into her bed. Looking up at the ceiling, she realized just how exhausted she had become. Her eyes felt as if they weighed a million pounds, but she attempted to fight off the tiredness. Her last thoughts before sleep consumed her, was whether or not she was losing her mind.
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