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The battlefields seem to reach every corner. There is no place not tainted with it. Few buildings stand, fewer still fight, and no one is unbroken.

It is quiet now – the cries of the dying no longer ring out day and night. The guns have stopped. The bombs have stopped. Entire metropolicies hang in dead air.

Fog curls around the corners of rubble mountains. Drifting ash blocks out the sun.

From green to black forests have been reduced to wastelands like spindled ghosts reaching from the red earth. Fields have been slashed and burned; rivers, which had flowed cool and calm, run red with civil blood.

All nature has fled, every field, every ragged forest stands empty. The only ones that remain are the humans.

 


She picks her way through the corpses and craters, the mud to her knees. Perhaps she’ll find a dead man’s boots or canteen. She rolls a body over and reaches into its pockets over its rotting stomach. A few coins and a picture of his sweetheart is all she pulls out.

A figure moves among the trees yet she hasn’t taken notice. There is nothing graceful about the girl, the way she moves, her mud caked hair or her dirty rags. But the thing could see what she had once been.

 




I watch her walk quickly through the alley. Her footsteps have no sound as do mine. Tonight is my duty. My turn to spy. I want to jump out at her and rip her throat open with my bare hands. Make her tell me where she;s taken them. I shake my head in the cold January air. Fred will want a shot at her too. The winters in Canada are as bitter as they come I think turning up my collar and rubbing my gloved hands together.

 

As I watch her she skirts in a kind of dance around the piles of rubble and garbage. She stops at an old warehouse and scans the surrounding area. I duck down and hold my breath. The Order didn't really know what kind of powers this freak had. The door creaks open slightly and she disappears inside. So far the Order had found out her name was Morgan. She was young too, no older than twenty. Other than that all records of where she was from, who she was before the war had been destroyed or lost.

 

I step out from behind the building. She's been going here ever since we’d started keeping a watch on her. The place has dark magic bound tightly around it; Mad Eye can’t even break it. It's a different kind of magic than ours. Not something done with a wand. At least that's my theory. Flying upward I try looking in one of the windows, but as usual it's completely dark. What could she be doing in there? It plagues me. She'll just disappear for hours in there. Sometimes even spending the night or the whole day. It could be the key to freeing everyone! What if they were in there right now? But I know that's not likely; that's not what happens to the people that get captured.

 

I sail down to the ground and stop in front of the door. It's still open a crack and my heart leaps into my throat. “This is so stupid! This is so stupid and reckless!” I shout in my head. “It's obviously a trap, she knows you were watching and now she's going to turn you in.” Sweat slicks the handle of my wand making me grip it harder. My palms itch and I dig my nails in. I erase my footprints then pull open the door just enough to slide in. Fear is racing through me, burning in my veins. Flattening myself against the wall I wait for my eyes to adjust to the blackness and crouch down in case she comes. My heart beats wildly and I can hear the blood rushing in my ears. “So stupid! So stupid! I must have a death wish.” The inside's enitely dark, I can't see my wand infront of my face. Too dangerous to have a light though.

 

There was usually - no always some kind of barrier that locked the door. I press my lips together tightly and stand walking forward. A narrow staircase came into view and testing each step I climb expecting her to suddenly appear and put a bullet in my head. My heart feels like it's was going triple time. It's like one of those muggle haunted houses where you were just waiting for someone to jump out at you. Expect here it's not all fun and games. A door at the top stands firmly closed. I jiggle it but of course it's locked.

 

“Alohomora,” I whisper and try it but it still doesn’t open. I try various other unlocking charms but nothing works. I jimmy the handle again but it won’t budge. I probably could kick it down but what a way to be subtle eh? “Oh shit,” I whisper putting my hands over my face. I give it one last try then go back down to the ground floor. Maybe there's another way to get up. A fire escape or something. I look around in the dark trying to spot something. If I could have a light that would really help. There's a big desk and a funny looking cart. I look around again, maybe it had been some kind of hotel back in the day.

 

I stumble over to an out of service elevator on the lower floor that's open. No way can I use it even if it did work. I wouldn't trust this thing to work after so many years. She'll hear me coming up too. Alright plan C. I lean against the wall and grip the handrails tightly. “Come on think George, there's got ot be another way.” I bang my head on the wall and groan. Opening my eyes I notice the vent. It's about a foot above my head; easily I reach up and unscrew the screws and pull it out. The metal makes a horrible screetching sound coming out. I pause and hold my breath hoping I haven't made too much noise. But there is nothing, no movement, no quiet steps in the hallways above me.

 

“Alright here goes.” Holding my wand between my teeth I grab one side of the opening and brace my foot against the handrail. I have my torso above the vent with a heave. Blackness swallows me up entirely; grasping the cords I pull myself up until I'm standing on the top. It's dark up here, really dark. Dark you can taste and feel.

“Lumos,” my wand brightens the elevator shaft. Looking up I see the cords reaching up into the blackness. Turning around I can see several closed doorways randomly up the shaft. The closest one's at least thirty feet up.
“Accio broom,” I mutter under my breath and put my wand in my jacket. My cleansweep softly zooms through the hole and holds steady for me to get on.

 

 Praying to Merlin she isn’t outside the door I force it open with my fingers. The hallway beyond is completely black. Fear pricks every nerve in my body, she could be anywhere. I jump at any sound, at any trick my eyes played on me. I see her face in the shadows on every wall, a crouched figure in every corner.



This floor is deserted and hasn’t been used in years. I creet up the stairs and stop at the next floor. Only protection on the groundfloor? That doesn't seem like her. A shaft of firelight spills into the dark hallway. I take a step closer, I can hear her moving around in the room. Swallowing I grip my wand tighter holding it out infront of me. I draw the gun from my pocket. It's cold and heaviness felt like a reassuring weight in my hand. I flip off the safety on the side and cock it. 



I dare a few steps down the hallway and wait. I've never used a gun before. It's just back-up incase she resists the magic. But what if she has a partner? What if I get caught? I peer around the doorframe with one eye. She's in an old claw foot tub and rubbing a cloth down her arm. Her dark hair hangs in wet tendrils down into the water. She raises a leg and points her toes. I watch transfixed as she slides the cloth from her toes to out of sight.



I back out again and try to take a silent breath. The thing that puzzles me about this girl is she's a muggle. We haven't seen anything to suggest she's a witch or some kind of creature. But there's no mistake she's got some kind of power. I wish Fred was here to have my back. I steel myself, this is for him. This is for Fred.

 

“I know you’re there. The other twin. Been following me?” her voice is gravely and rough for a girl. I step into the doorway, wand and gun aimed at her. Her arms rest casually on the edge of the tub. It's unnerving how at ease she is. How can she be so dead pan? A gun and a wand aimed at her, if one doesn't get her the other will. She smiles and the door slams shut behind me without moving a muscle.

“Come in won’t you? Sit down.”

 
“Where is my family?”

 
“Oh, I think you know where they are… sorry I never did get your name,” she smiles sweetly. I grit my teeth and glare at her fiercely. “No need for you to say it. Got it, George,” she snaps her fingers and places them to her forehead. I grit my teeth together tighter. A legimens eh? Maybe she is a witch.

 

When she turns back to me her entire eye's coal black making it seem like her pupil has bled into the rest of her eye. The darkness passes and the moment's over. What the hell was that? What the fuck! Her eyes! A curl of fear unraveles itself inside me and I grip my wand and gun tighter. It spreads throughout me making me shake.

 

“Oh put those silly toys away,” she waves a hand and my wand and gun fly from my hands and sail out the window. I watch them fall away and I feel numb. Maybe it's a kind of fear overload, there's too much of it to deal with so my subconscious doesn’t even begin to try. Isn’t this what you wanted? To see Fred again whatever the cost? Isn’t this part of the plan?

 

“Now,” she proceeds rising from the tub and stepping out. “I must say George, it was pretty damn stupid of you to come here alone. And you are alone. I have to wonder was this part of a plan? It seems a little too obvious don’t you think?” she asks circling me.I struggle to focus on her face, look in her eyes instead of her body. They're coal black again. I struggle to look her in the eyes.

 

“I know how dearly you wish to see your brother again. Fred? Isn’t it? Or can I call him Gred?”

 

“Shut your mouth bitch,” I seethe.

 

“Awww come on, I think it’s kind of cute they way twins can be so close.”

 

With every word she speaks the fury boils a notch higher and I can see myself sending her flying across the room with a good punch. She taunts me more and I watch her circle me like I'm some kind of prey and she's the hunter. Fuck you, fuck you, I shout in my head. I move to do something to her. Anything, hit her, kick her, rip her to pieces but she's quicker. She lifts a hand and I'm thrown across the room and pinned to the wall. Her face instantly becomes serenely calm.

 

“Let’s cut to the chase. By this time tomorrow you’ll be sleeping on some shitty mattress in a dreary little cell. Maybe if you’re lucky you’ll even get a spot near your brother.” She grins again with her dark eyes and tilts her head to the side. “Enjoy your stay.”

 

All I remember is blacking out and waking up in a cell. “Well you got what you wanted, George on the inside,” I tell myself grimly. It feels like every part of my body has been bruised, like I’ve been dragged there. “Probably can’t rule that out,” I tell myself miserably. The cell - it's like I'm in one of those morgue drawers. I grip the bars above me; it's not even enough space to straighten my arms. I flip over and look out through the bars. A walkway is outside and across the hall there are more drawers. Everything is completely silent. I can hear the buzz of the flourescent lights overhead. It smells like chemicals; like a hospital or some kind of industrial place. A few people are gripping the bars their faces pressed to them like me.  Across the room from a ginger head is visible through the bars. My heart leaps into my throat as I call out to them. Every head turns to look at the source of the noise.

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