After the third near fall I decided it time to find a place to rest for the, well, for the day. So of course, there was nothing around except for the blazing sun and the forest in the distance. I groaned. This is quite possibly the stupidest thing I’ve ever done and believe me I’ve done some extremely stupid things… Back to the search. Nothing but the forest. Looks like a wooden bed for tonight. I flattened my spine over the broom and sped towards the shade as fast as I could. I had a pounding headache from the sun and the numbing quiet. I gradually drifted down to Earth, not yet ready to be out of the sky but yearning for a place to sleep.
All too soon I was back on my legs and the weightless, fearless feeling quickly disappeared and as I looked around it was quickly replaced with regret and anger.
“This was a bad idea. I didn’t even bring any money. No clue where I am.
Great! Good job James, as if life wasn’t bad enough! You just had to add running away and getting lost in the forest millions of miles away to the list of shit didn’t you? Well this is just great.” I stormed through the trees yelling at myself. How could I let myself do this? I flung the broom over my shoulder and forced my way through the thick bushes in no particular direction. At least I had my wand if I needed it…
“Things could’ve gotten better.” I started again as a stray branch cut my cheek, “Time could’ve made things better. You just had to jump to conclusions. You just had to be so overdramatic. You just had to leave. Fuck I hate you!”
“Hate is a strong word,” a female voice said from behind me.
“Used appropriately,” I answered automatically. “Wait, what?” I spun around and saw nothing. “Great now I’m hearing voices,” I mumbled as I spun around and right into someone, but not just any someone, a woman, and not just any woman, the most beautiful woman I’ve ever seen, besides Lily. I shook my head once to force her out of my mind. She was gone – in the past – get over her. The woman in front of me got the wrong idea though.
“No you’re not hallucinating I’m really here.”
I guess now would be as good a time as ever to describe her. Her skin was tanned, as if she spent every day out in the sun. Her eyes were the clearest shade of blue, so light, so open. Her hair was long and straight, the blackest of black hair I’ve ever seen. She had a tattoo on the side of her neck – three stars. Her muscles were tonef and strong and her teeth, whiter than snow. She smelt spicy yet sweet at the same time. And the confidence radiating off her was quickly drawing me in.
“Hi,” she said in a husky voice, “I’m Layla.”
Yup I’m hooked. “James,” I said my voice hoarse from lack of water. Things are starting to get better.
“And does James have a last name?” She asked innocently.
“Er,” I paused hearing mom tell me over and over again to never tell a stranger my last name. But hey, if I was going to break the rules, why the hell not break them all? “Potter, James Potter.”
Her eyes shone with delight, “And what are you doing here Mr. Potter?”
“Um, just…out for a walk…” I said unable to move my eyes from hers.
“May I join you?” She asked flipping her hair flirtatiously over her shoulder.
The next moment we were both topless and making out against a tree by a small lake.
“I’ve got a secret,” She said seductively.
“Can’t it wait?”
“No,” she said touching my nose playfully.
“Okay,” I leaned back to give us some talking room, “Spill.”
“I was waiting for you.”
“Mhmm.” If I was in my right mind the tone in which she spoke would’ve alarmed me, but as we all know, I’ve never been farther than my right mind.
“Really really, but I wasn’t sure if it as you or not. You played easily into my trap. Giving up your last name right away, not even asking for mine, I couldn’t have dreamt for an easier task.”
“You had me from the get go. It’s your eyes. They’re beautiful.” I still wasn’t thinking. Maybe she brainwashed me, then again many I’m just stupid, and crazy…
“Thanks hun, you are unbelievably beautiful yourself.”
“Mhmm.” I bent down to kiss her but she kept talking.
“And that’s what makes this that much harder.”
“What’s so hard about this?”
She looked over my shoulder, “James, I called them…”
“Them? What? Hey, I’m not cool with a threesome…”
She laughed and brushed my hair out of my face.
“Don’t worry, we don’t like you like that, oh at all really, do we guys?”
“Not at all.”
My mind was shocked into action. The voice obviously wasn’t hers, it was lower, dangerous, and immensely familiar…
How the hell am I supposed to get out of this one? My wand is over there… Shit.
“Knew you were too good to be true."
The man grabbed my shoulder and flung me against another tree. In the moment it took me to realize what was going on and who he was, he had his wand out.
“We don’t want much, just your life.”
I was scared now.
“Not so brave without your “friends” now are you?” Snivellus’ voice came in my head, “Let’s get one thing straight,” It was my voice this time. It seemed so far away and yet so close. “You better get used to it though,” he said cutting me off, “’cause they won’t always be there to help you out. One day you’ll find yourself completely alone in a dark dungeon because of your own stupidity. No friends and no Dumbledore to save you.” Snivellus’ threat, can’t believe I had forgotten about that. That was a pretty hectic time though. But of course Sirius’ prank would’ve brought it on sooner.
And perhaps it was because I knew I was going to die, but I couldn’t find it in me to hate him, or to even be angry at him. Better sooner than later. Yet I couldn’t do it to him, not without a fight. It really was an innocent prank gone wrong. Everyone was okay, why should he have to carry the burden of my death for life? No, it wasn’t fair and there was no fucking way I was going to do that to him.
The man’s voice brought me forcefully back to Earth. I didn’t understand what he was saying, but wasn’t going to wait to find out. I ducked and punched his stomach in a single move. I dodged a couple curses that couldn’t have come from him. I spotted my wand just over there, I jumped for it. My fingers just brushed the cool wooden surface when I was tackled from the side and feel into the cold water.
I heard the sickening crack of my ribs under his weight, and the reverberating pop of my shoulder popping out of its socket before I felt it. But then oh God did I feel it. I screamed as he landed on top of me crushing my ribs more and forcing my shoulder out more. They gathered around me. God just please let it be quick; quick and painless.
One of the many men around me kicked my shoulder more out of its place and laughed as I screamed. “Not so brave anymore are yeah, son?” They laughed a cold heartless laugh that made the hairs on the back of my neck stand on end. Another one just tapped my ribs with his foot, I screamed. They laughed again.
“He was wanted alive.” It was Layla, if that was even her real name.
“We aren’t killing him, just having some fun.”
“No. Take him back now. You cowards it’s five against one! And he’s completely defenseless! Is that the only way you fight?”
“He warned us about you. "You better watch yourself around Layla. She doesn’t like not being listened to.”" So it was her real name, weird.
“Oh I heard about you to you dumbass and if you weren’t the best at collecting you better bet I never would’ve thought twice on you. Now knock him out and take him to Headquarters, I gotta clean up.”
They sighed dramatically but apparently nobody messes with that bitch as moments later I felt the pressure of something hard hitting my head followed quickly by the painless blackness that swallowed me.