A/N: I want to try different styles of writing. So, you can call this fic "An experiment." This is a huge project and I have high hopes for it. Let's see how it goes! I really have to thank two people from the bottom of my heart, my beta Majerus and my sister! They both have been very kind and patient with me.
It was nearly twilight when today's practice ended after more than ten hours of heavy drills and sweat. Gwenog Jones made sure that players gave their hundred percent whether it was during practice or the World Cup. Because of her tough demeanor, everyone calls Gwenog "The Woman of Steel" behind her back.
After her retirement nobody really expected her to take the position of coaching the Holyhead Harpies. Everyone questioned her coaching skills, some said coaching a team and playing Quidditch are two different things and of-course they were right. It took some time to shut the mouths of her critics as she failed miserably in her first year of coaching. But to everyone's amazement, Holyhead placed fourth and then third in the next two years in the League Cup. Suddenly everyone was praising her coaching techniques.
The Daily Prophet reported that as a team Holyhead was nothing special, that it was the skill of the coach that made the Harpies tough to beat. This infuriated Gwenog because she knew more than anybody else that every member of her team was talented. In the beginning, the team members had problem of gelling with each other. Gwenog's motivational skills and her players' hard work made sure they got it together from the second year of her coaching. She had a gut feeling that her fourth year was going to be different since the Harpies were positioned second as the first half of the season ended. Only Puddlemere United seemed to be a real threat to Holyhead clinching this year's title. Gwenog didn't want to take anything for granted, so she made her team start training a week before the start of second half of the season.
"Madam, are you leaving?" Gwenog was locking her office when one of the security guards came through on patrol.
"Yes. I will be back early tomorrow morning. Did all the players leave?"
The guard nodded and said, "I was about to lock the main entrance when I saw the light in your office."
The guard bade her goodnight as she left the Harpies office building. The night outside was quite chilly compared to the other nights this October in Wales. She wrapped herself tightly in her cloak as she started to walk towards her apartment. Her flat was only five minutes away and she always preferred walking to apparition if she could avoid it.
There weren't many people on the road as it was a Saturday and everyone was probably with their family and friends. She thought maybe after this year she could cut back on coaching and spend some time with her family. Suddenly her musings were interrupted by the feeling that someone was watching her. She glanced behind and to the sides to reassure herself that she really was alone.
There wasn't anyone around.
Gwenog groaned to herself, maybe living away from her family and friends was harder on her than she realized. After another few steps she stopped in her tracks. This time she thought she heard footsteps behind her.
No reply. Was it the wind? She didn't know, but she didn't want to panic over a bit of trash on the breeze. Gwenog was a tough woman but still her heart was beating fast. She wasn't about to just apparate like a scared girl. She had taken on all comers both during games and after. Still, some instinct told her to walk faster as she stepped away from the pool of light shed by the dim street light. It seemed to her that the street lights did nothing but increase the darkness between them.
There hadn't been another noise as she stepped from one pool of light to the next. Her wand was clutched tightly inside her cloak, just in case. She could see her building as she rounded the corner. She was about to sigh in relief when she felt the hairs raise on the back of her neck. She knew that someone was standing very close to her, in fact right behind her.
As she turned to face the man behind her with her wand aloft, a shot of jet- green light went straight through her chest. Gwenog tumbled forward, dead before she could even realize what happened. Her body lay sprawled on the pavement, fifty yards away from her flat.
Half an hour later, a man was walking home when stumbled against the body. He was a bit drunk, so it took him some time to grasp that a woman was apparently sleeping on the pavement. But then his fogged mind cleared and he thought that no woman in her right mind should sleep on the side of the road! As he looked at the unnatural angle of her body he became truly concerned. He reached down to check her pulse, just to make sure that the woman was okay.
She had no pulse.
His eyes widened with fear, he stood rooted to the spot for one very long moment before running to get help.