Diagon Alley. Buildings leaned against each other, reaching up to blot out the gray colored sky. Crowds swirl in a mist of buying and selling, noses pushed against windows to better see wares. Crones huddle. Prices are haggled. Children are pulled by their arms by impatient mothers or nannies. Smiles. Camaraderie of the magical.
A shadow in a cloak slides down the street, fearful each time her thin, feminine hands are raised to push through. Silver eyes flicker, carefully watching those around, regularly cast over a shoulder to watch the masses swirl behind. They land on a face lost in the sea of faces. Footsteps quicken, breath is shallow and quick. Furtive glances lower to the cobble street.
The face again, thin and severe, reflected in a puddle. A gasp. Held breath. Pace quickens again. Don't run. Don't draw attention.
That face! That face all around. Beneath each cloak is the same scowl, the same pools of ink staring back. That face!
The street is spinning.
Weak, afraid, she pushes through a large door. An old man smiles, then frowns. Bespeckled blue eyes widen.
"I must find him!" Her voice is a hushed cry. A crumpled paper thrust forward.
The room is moving, melting.
"Betrayal! Betrayal!" Her hands grab at the counter, but falter. She steps back, arms grasping for solidity. Finding none, she falls to the ground. Black hair splaying.