Harry Potter and his whole world belong to JK Rowling. I am borrowing them and writing what I hope might happen in future books

Prologue

I knew he would be following me. I had to get away. I didn't even bother to close the door behind me when I left; I just ran. We live near a highway, so that's where I headed. I ran as long as I could, and then I ran some more. I was miles away when the pain in my side forced me to slow to a walk. Trying to regulate my breathing somewhat, I tried to make some sense of my new predicament.

I couldn't go back; that much was certain. Noah would never allow me to return unscathed. I had no money. My family lived hours away, but that didn't matter because I had no car and no way of contacting them. I barely had any clothes.

I realized this suddenly. It was cool that night and I had suddenly become very aware that I was in a thin tank top and short shorts. I'd been dressed for bed when we'd started arguing. When the fight had began, when he'd grabbed me, one of the straps on my shirt had snapped.

"Jules, you've got yourself into a hell of a predicament now."

I winced as I ran my hand over my face. It was something I'd picked up somewhere along the way. When I was nervous, I would run my hand over my face. It had never hurt quite this much before.

A car whipped past me, causing me to jump into the ditch. I needed a ride, but the way I was dressed was no way to be picked up. It scared me just to think about what could happen to me.

Contrary to popular belief, it's not safe to walk down the road in your night things in Canada. No safer here than it is anywhere else.

Actually worse, because here you have the added threat of being eaten by coyotes or wolves.

Another car. Another dilemma. Beg for a ride and take my chances or hide and take my chances. I stuck out my thumb.

The car was full of teenaged boys. They wolf-whistled at me and called awful things at me, but kept on driving. I didn't mind that part. I kept walking.

After I'd walked for a while, I glanced at my watch. I hadn't seen a car since that one with the boys. It was five to midnight. I knew Noah couldn't be too far behind me, even if I had already been walking for close to twenty minutes. Although he had hit his head hard when I'd pushed him away from me.

Three to midnight. Close to the witching hour. The time when all the ghoulies and ghosties came out to play.

Magic has always fascinated me. I devour books about wizards and witches and goblins and elves and anything that doesn't belong in this world. My grandmother always told me that my first word was unicorn. Every year on my birthday, from the year I was born until the year she died, my grandmother had bought me a stuffed unicorn. It killed me to think about what Noah might do to my unicorns. Anything else I didn't care about, but my unicorns were the last thing I had from my grandmother. They were precious to me and he knew it.

Two minutes to midnight. Even as a girl I'd been slightly afraid of midnight. It was a tween, when everything that lurked unseen came out to play. Everything you ever dreamt about in the space between sleep and awake. Everything from that tween came out to play at midnight.

The witching hour.

I could hear them, just beyond my imagination. I knew they were there, waiting for midnight. Waiting for me.

"Somebody please help me." I hated the pleading tone in my voice. I hated being weak. All my life I had prided myself on being strong. Since my parents had left me with my grandmother. They'd never wanted me, but my grandmother never made me feel unloved. I had everything I had ever needed with my Nannie.

One minute to midnight. Two things happened at once. Headlights appeared in the distance. As they rounded the bend, they illuminated a figure stalking up the grass.

Noah.

He hadn't seen me yet. He was screaming at the top of his voice, I could hear him even though he was at least three miles behind me still. I stifled a sob and picked up my pace again.

The car drew closer. Soon the lights would show me and both Noah and the driver would see me. I had no choice. Take my chances with the car or with Noah. Either way, I would probably die.

I jumped in front of the car as it sped toward me. There was a sound of squealing tires as the driver slammed on his brakes.

"Jules!" Noah yelled. "You bitch! Get your fat ass back here!"

"Help me," I pleaded as the driver started to open his door. "Please, please, I need a ride. Please help me."

He stared at me, right in my eyes. Noah continued to scream, threatening me, calling me awful things.

"Please."

The stranger nodded and unlocked the doors. I heard a gunshot as I dove into the backseat. Without a word, the stranger drove off.