Prompt: World of Magic – 568 years have passed since the Dark Lord was felled by the Chosen One. Since those times, the wizarding world has known change. The Ministry- an institution created to govern the world of magic- has fallen. As such, no rules bind the realm of magic. Tell this story. ***Note: This world was created by J.K. Rowling, the same universe where Harry Potter exists except it takes place in the far away future. It’s NOT my world, but the characters are originals from me. It is not an original universe and thus was merely for literary fun and experience. Fan-fiction may seem like a sour word to some writers, but I assure you that it is only as bad as you make it.***
After a good nights sleep, the first of many I’ve had in awhile, I am feeling brave and have decided to share an excerpt of my submission for this particular contest prompt. Perhaps brave isn’t the right word, but at any rate here goes!
The old alley lay abandoned beneath layers of dust and rubble strewn into wide paved streets. Where there had once been flourishing shops, now lingered dismal shells and vague remnants of what used to be. Much of what remained was without magic. Wands, brooms, and tomes were long since collected or pilfered. It began as a movement called Obliteration- the last act of the Ministry before its fall nearly eight years ago- and it was only the beginnings of what had become a failed struggle to reclaim anonymity in a world shared by humans and creatures of magic.
“Fan out! I want every square inch of this place covered. No one’s going home until she’s found.”
The order came from Warden Reynolds, a woman of short stature and even smaller personality. She wore a permanent scowl and dressed in the standard uniform that every warden was issued to wear by mandate- only hers was adorned with black and white cords over her left shoulder and golden pins above her breast. Each pin marked an achievement but the cords signified her infamous prowess and served as a silent warning- Auror slayer.
From behind Frestone’s Furnishing’s front desk, the cramped nook stagnant and suffocating, Ila heard footsteps clambering over potsherds and splintered beams. They approached the antique store with avid energy. Panic coursed through her veins, followed by a wave of nausea. She choked back a moan of discomfort and scrambled across the dusty floor with her little sister close behind.
In her haste, Ila nearly ran nose first into a looming clothes closet. She paused a moment, something about the black-stained cabinet captivating and familiar. Could it be? In the midst of curiosity and lost thought, Frestone’s shop bell jingled suddenly. Ila’s heart skipped. Her mind began to race, a chaotic storm of fear and resolve warring against each other. She knew that the cabinets required nurturing, but the process took weeks and time was not on her side. Ila wasn’t even certain that it was a true vanishing cabinet. They will connect somewhere, somewhere safe, she assured her worried heart. Ila let her gaze fall to glance behind her. Ila could barely mouth a word, live.
She opened the cabinet and ushered her little sister inside with tears trailing runnels down her dirt-smeared cheeks. In the midst of unspoken grief shared between the siblings something flew across the room in their direction. The impact sent a shelf of candles flying in all directions. Without hesitation, Ila slammed the cabinet closed and whirled in a blaze of protective fury. She was wandless and unable to direct her counter attack with power or precision, but a broken mirror that lay shattered upon the floor caught her eye. Focused attention levitated shards of glass and sent them hurtling toward her aggressors. It was enough to give her a moments breath before bolts of energy exploded like fireworks throughout the shops interior.
They were subjugators; witches and wizards who supported the muggle cause to control magic- only control meant slaughter or imprisonment. In some ways, Ila did not blame them. Humans had earned the right to fear magic. It had been 8 years since the fall of the Ministry. Ila had been too young to remember the first years of turmoil; there had been no time to adjust and everyone was caught in the midst. Her parents had fallen like the rest who opposed the change; they refused to give up the life they always wanted for their daughters and paid the price. Since that day, she had witnessed carnage and atrocities too unfathomable for words. There were no more schools. Magic was used freely by young and old alike- carelessly. A score of public figures in the wizarding world took turns rising to assert their own rule, foolishly believing they could turn the power struggle in their favor, but in the end they were just one more reminder of naïve we’d been; a reminder that we could not control our own. Our kind is self-destructing and there is no one to blame but ourselves.
She closed her eyes, wishing for a storm. Still air began to creep across the floorboards in a steady flow, and then rose like a tidal wave, exhausting its strength as a battering force. An invisible tendril snapped like a whip, flinging a wand far out of reach. For the moment it felt as if things were turning in their favor, but just when her confidence began to surface, it was suddenly stripped away. The energy in the room died away and Ila resigned to defeat at the stabbing point of a wand at her throat. Reynolds got the jump on her- manipulative and cunning, witch.
With the subjugator’s recovered, Ila was surrounded by poised wands. Warden Reynolds squatted down to take Ila’s jaw in her hands. Her grip was unkind as she pulled Ila’s face close to observe her with cold measuring eyes. The moment stretched on until the warden rose, taking a step back to look around. She eyed the clothes closet and just before her eyes drifted away, they narrowed. An unsettling suspicion began to gnaw on her. She looked down at Ila, searching for an answer to the unspoken question. Where did you hide the girl?
“Open the cabinet. Slowly.”
The subjugators did as they were told; a putrid smell emanated from within the furnishing. Warden Reynolds immediately registered a large mass piled beneath folds of a blanket in the centre and stepped in for a closer look. She reached in tentatively to pull back the corner folds. Mangled Flesh and Bones. Reynolds almost visibly balked, almost. She dropped the cloth hastily then moved a short distance across the room, as if simply looking away would rid her of the smell. After a moment she turned to Ila, whose horror had turned her skin pale, and smiled.