Disclaimer: Harry Potter belongs to Warner Bros, Scholastic, Bloomsbury, Heyday/1498 films, JK Rowling and Raincoat books. I don't lay any claim to it. However, the character Alexandria Cain does belong to me.


Chapter One: Decerto

The grimy, darkened street flew by in a blur of dark grays and browns. A thick cloud shifted somewhere overhead, allowing pale white moonlight to flood the barren street. The thudding of her feet on the gritty pavement combined with the furious pounding of her heart and the heave of her breath coming out in heavy pants created a constant rhythmic drumbeat that her body pulsed with as she sprinted. The muscles in her legs were searing; her face was red from the whiplash of the fierce air around her. Behind her, a low growl erupted in the night.

A ragged black cloak billowed about her shoulders, but beneath it she wore a plain long-sleeved shirt and a pair of fraying jeans. Added to this mismatched appearance was the wand that remained clutched in her sweating, white-knuckled fist. Behind her, the unrelenting thumping of four massive paws continued to pummel the road.

Decrepit houses loomed on either side of the pothole-ridden street, which was coming to an abrupt end at a metal fence about ten feet tall. She pumped her arms vigorously to the beat of the panting of her breath, beating of her heart, and hammering of her feet against the pavement. Panic shrieked through her aching muscles as she prepared herself for the leap. As the fence towered over her, she hurled herself into the air, grasped onto the fence, and vaulted herself over. She landed like a cat, crouched on the balls of her feet and palms of her hands, which were now chafed from the impact. Her wand clattered to her right, and she snatched it up before spinning herself around to face the fence and the creature bearing down on it.

"Argentum Eversor!" she shouted, and a thin beam of brilliant silver radiance exploded from the tip of her wand and streaked through the air. It missed the colossal wolf by inches as it arrived at the fence. She watched in horror as the monster scaled the fence in a single bound, soaring after her. Shoving herself to her feet, she dashed forward once again when a clawed paw caught her ankle, twisting it around and causing her to once more be horizontally airborne. First her knees collided with the street, tearing her jeans; then her stomach, forcing the air from her lungs; then her forehead smashed onto the street with a loud crack, and she felt warm liquid dripping down her face. As the wolf came at her again, she acted on instinct and forced herself to do a very painful backward roll, head swimming, vision blurred with pain. The wolf pounced over her as she rolled behind it and skidded to a halt, wondering where she had gone.

As she lay in an uncomfortable position on her back, breathing hard, she slowly pushed herself to her feet. But when she made it, her twisted ankle buckled beneath her weight, and she was sent to her already throbbing and cut up knees. The wolf's back was to her as it sniffed around, the perfect time to strike. Crouched on the ground, she raised her wand in a trembling grip and gathered up her strength for the exhausting and complex spell.

"Argentum Eversor!" she gasped, and once more a blinding silver beam shot through the air, this time slamming into the unaware wolf's backside. An eerie howl echoed through the night as the beam sizzled a hole into the wolf's brown fur. The monster whirled around in pain, its body now glowing with silver effulgence. Its eyes gleamed angrily, and saliva dripped from its bared fangs. Then it began to stagger back and forth like a drunken man, and at last it collapsed in a heap on the street, whimpering as it slowly and painfully wheezed its last breaths.

When the wolf had stopped moving and the night became silent once more, she attempted to get to her feet again. This time successful, she began limping slowly over to the wolf, chest heaving with the effort as she dragged her mangled foot behind her. Pocketing her wand, she trudged further down the street, trying to walk off the pain in her ankle to no avail. Her head was pounding agonizingly, and she feared she was not going to be able to take many more steps. "Come on, Alex, just a bit farther," she mumbled to herself.

But there, in the middle of the street between houses eleven and thirteen, her ankle finally gave way, and she collapsed onto the pavement, the side of her already bleeding head connecting with the road painfully. She let out a sharp cry as her body hit the solid street. A cloud rolled over the full moon above, covering the dim light that it shed onto the neighborhood. The street was suddenly filled with the soft pit-pat of falling rain, and she felt drops like stinging icicles begin to soak her sore body.

She closed her eyes against the blur of rain, consciousness fading in and out, and let the darkness take her.