She was running in a darkened world. A starless night sky spiraled overhead, the dense cloud-cover blocking out their wan light. Something was at her heels; something that growled and snarled as it crashed through the underbrush. She didn't know how much longer she could go on. The monster's breath fell hot on her neck. She felt herself plummeting forward, the ground rushing up in slow motion. She felt as if she fell forever... And then she was staring at the sky. She didn't remember landing, or rolling over. That thing was going to get her now. Any second, she would feel its jagged fangs close over her neck. Overhead, the clouds parted and the full moon gleamed down on her, basking her in silvery radiance. She couldn't look away from it. So mesmerizing... And then the monster struck.
Cadence woke with a horrified cry and crash-landed onto the floor next to her bed, the sheets wound around her like a straight jacket. After a ream like that, she was starting to wonder if she needed one. As she began to disentangle herself, there was a sharp knock at the door.
"Honey? Are you okay?" her mother called, and Cadence saw the handle turn before she had a chance to answer.
"Never been better, Mom," she said, heaving herself to her feet and throwing the sheet haphazardly onto the bed. "You know, the whole point of knocking is to wait for an answer, right?"
Her mother, a dark-haired woman of around forty, frowned. Her brown eyes tightened. "Did you have that dream again?" she asked, her tone almost accusing.
"Yeah, well, it's not like I can control what I dream, now can I?"
As always when they had this discussion, Cadence had the distinct feeling that there was something her mother wasn't telling her. And this time, she wasn't about to let the matter drop again.
"What is it, Mom?" She took a step forward. "Tell me... You've always been keeping something from me, I know it!"
"Not this again!" her mother shot back. "Every time you have that dream-"
"It's about my father, isn't it?"
Silence reigned throughout the room, broken only by the steady hum of the fish tank. Cadence's mother fidgeted, lacing and unlacing her fingers.
"That's it, isn't it?" Cadence whispered. "These... weird dreams, the strange stuff that always happens around me... Who was he, Mom? What was he?"
Her mother stared at her, her expression a mixture of fury and sorrow. "Can't you just accept that you don't want to know?" she whispered venomously. "Can't you just accept that this has been my burden to bare, and mine alone?"
"He's my father!"
"He's a rapist and a monster!"
Cadence's breath caught in her throat. "So... that's it? He... he raped you? I'm just a-"
"Don't say it." The woman turned away. "You're my daughter. Not the child of a monster." Cadence had never seen her mother's face looking so cold, and so... wounded. She tentatively stepped forward, laying a hand on her shoulder.
"I'm sorry. I... shouldn't have asked. I just wanted to know why I'm different."
"I just wanted you to live a normal life. Away from... all of that."
"All of what?" Cadence sat down on the edge of the bed. "So my father was a bad guy. So what? It wouldn't have changed anything." But when she caught her mother's eye, she knew with a sinking feeling that there was more.
"When I say a monster," the woman whispered softly, "I mean it in every way. He... it ...was a werewolf... Named Fenrir Greyback." She closed her eyes. "...And you, aside from all of that, are a witch."
Cadence opened her mouth and closed it again, and stared at her mother as if the woman had turned into a raving lunatic. "That's not possible... None of that is real." But even as she said so, she remembered the dream... the beast... the full moon... "Wh... what do you mean by... witch?" she asked shakily.
"I... it... there's a school, Cadence. Called Hogwarts. A school of witchcraft and wizardry. They... sent letters here, seven years ago, wanting you to attend. I... hid them from you."
"But why?" Cadence was on her feet again, pacing and trying to think.
"I wanted you to be normal- to be happy! I didn't want you to ask questions about your father- you were too young to even think about what he is... what he's done..."
"Mom, I've never even heard of him. If he's so horrible, why haven't I?"
Her mother shook her head. "That's the dealings of magic folk. Us, in the rest of the world, aren't supposed to know."
"Then why do you?" Cadence couldn't stop herself from asking.
"Because of you." She shook her head. "You can't raise a daughter as special as you and not know it. Not even they could- or would- make me forget."
"Special? Or abnormal?" Cadence said bitterly. She walked over to the window and stared out. "What about... all the stuff on TV? The killings, the disappearances? Are they somehow related?"
"I don't know. Maybe. I think they are," her mothers aid quietly. "Be careful, Cadence. Just forget all of this. Just be happy to be normal."
Cadence glanced back at her. "I can't... because I'm not."
AN/ Alright, so... this first chapter isn't really exciting, it just sort of sets up for the rest of it. If you read, please review! If you review, I'll write more, faster! And don't worry, I'll be introducing some of the HP characters next chapter- or at least Draco, anyway!