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The Worst by adluvshp
Chapter 1 : Dreading The Worst
Rating: MatureChapter Reviews: 79

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Amazing chapter image by Eponine @ TDA

The wind howled as lightning lit up a small cottage nestled at the edge of the Cannock Chase Forest. Rain splattered on the secluded ground and a tall figure was sprinting through it towards the cabin. The figure’s red tresses tumbled down her back as she rushed towards her destination in the chilly night, almost tripping once or twice on the slippery earth. She swore loudly while clumsily skidding to a halt outside the door.

“Bloody hell, I hate this place,” Dominique Weasley mumbled as she caught the door handle to save herself from slipping on the muddy patch.  She carefully retrieved her wand from the pocket of her cloak and pointed it at the padlock that hung on the door.

 “Alohomora,” she muttered, her wide blue eyes furtively darting around, and stepped inside with a relief. Closing the door behind her, she shed her travelling cloak and plopped down on a worn out brown couch.

She hurriedly summoned her rucksack and flicked her wand so the few belongings she had brought along with her went into it, taking care that her little notebook which contained the recap of her entire stay of a week as well as all the interviews she had taken, went in first.

Being a senior journalist for the Daily Prophet, she was in the forest to cover a story on some werewolves who preferred to live in packs and away from society, and the lifestyle they led. Her editor had told her that it was safe to come here as this particular pack was fairly docile, and as long as she came and went before the Full Moon, she would have to face no problem at all. Unfortunately for her, it had taken more time than expected to secure an interview with one of the important werewolves, who had proven to be quite difficult before caving in to her coaxing, and her initial stay of three days had needed to be prolonged.

Dominique sighed as her rucksack finished packing itself.  She was usually a brave woman but tonight, she was quite terrified. The stormy weather didn’t calm her fraying nerves either. She slowly rubbed her forehead, trying to relax.

When she realized that her three-day-stay was evolving into a week, she hadn’t really minded. There was plenty of time until the deadline after all. However, she had stupidly forgotten about the Full Moon. It was only fifteen minutes ago when one of the kinder werewolves' owl had reached her with the reminder that tonight was the Full Moon and she had better hurry out of the place soon.

Though the pack assured her that they didn’t stray out of the forest during their transformation, they also told her point blank that they couldn't be held responsible for their actions when they turned, and they might just hurt her unintentionally. As if that wasn't enough, the cottage was not far from the woods either.

This had practically scared the living daylights out of her; she was a Ravenclaw, not a Gryffindor and it was only acceptable. She had wanted to apparate out of the area as soon as she heard the 'news' but the journalist in her had insisted to collect her record notebook first. Although now, she regretted it more than ever. She had always been a bad decision maker but she realized that tonight she had probably made the worst decision of her life. 

A sudden howl startled her and her breath caught in her throat. It had begun.

Quickly getting up, she put on her cloak again, hoisted her now-packed rucksack on her back, and closed her eyes. Focusing on her cosy home back in England, she turned on the spot.

Nothing happened.

Her eyes flew open in surprise. What was wrong? Was she too scared to apparate? Sighed, she closed her eyes once again and tried disapparating a second time. It didn't work. Trying not to think about the wolves howling nearby, and concentrating as hard as she could, she continued trying to disapparate, but failed each time. Something had horribly gone wrong. 

A shudder rippled through her body as she heard a series of howls rip through the harsh night.

Making up her mind, she nervously fingered her wand in the pocket of her cloak, and inched towards the cottage door. Perhaps there was an anti-apparition charm on the cottage that she didn't know about, after all, when she had first arrived, she had apparated in the nearby village. Maybe she could quickly sneak in to the village and apparate home from there. 

She prayed that the wolves were confined to the depth of the forest and didn’t come anywhere near the cabin. After all, she couldn’t begin to imagine the terrible consequences that might befall if something happened to her tonight. She was proud to claim that her life was pretty much perfect and she couldn’t bear to have it tainted by any adversity. Her family – be it her parents and sister, or her aunts, uncles, and cousins – doted on her. Her boyfriend of two years, Teddy Lupin, loved her immensely. Her job, though stressful at times, was her dream come true. She just knew how terribly everything could fall apart if she got bitten tonight.

Swallowing anxiously, she forced the thought out of her mind and tried to tame her fear. One would have thought that seeing her father’s face marred by a werewolf’s blows, or listening to stories of Teddy’s father being a noble, and fairly controlled werewolf, would have made her almost fearless against the creatures, but it had had the opposite effect. A deep fear of their wolf form had been instilled in her and she couldn't get rid of it no matter how much she tried.

Dominique wasn’t prejudiced against them, she was just afraid. In fact, she had been happy when Aunt Hermione had managed to enforce the law allowing werewolves to secure jobs easily and walk about normal society without being shunned. However, their stories had always frightened her as a little girl and this assignment had brought back all those fears. 

Closing her eyes and taking a deep breath, she listened at the door. She could hear nothing over the violent wind and rain, except for the howls of the wolves. Assuming that they were in the thick of the forest, she gingerly opened the door and quickly stepped outside, ready to rush out of the anti-apparition zone as fast as possible. However, the minute she did so, she realized she was staring into a pair of bright yellow eyes that were mere feet away from her.

All her fears came to life in front of her eyes. Her body froze up in alarm. Her mind ceased to work. She knew she ought to run, or perhaps attack, but she couldn’t move. Instead, she screamed, her lips emitting a shrill screech that they had never released before. The last thing that she remembered before everything went pitch black was the immense pain that arrived when the monster pounced on her and sunk his teeth into the pale skin of her neck.

A/N: What do you think? I am attempting a WIP (albeit a short story) after a long time, so I am a little nervous. This was just the introductory chapter and I hope it wasn't boring. I'd love to know your opinions. How did you like/dislike it? All views are appreciated! 

{Edit 26 Feb 2013 - Minor change in "backstory"}. 

{Edit 22 May 2013 - Major change in the "apparation" part}.

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