The Bloody Baron's Bereavement

Entry for the 'One Week in Hogwarts' Competition.
This is just a one shot for me to practice writing in third person as it isn't something I'm comfortable with! Practice makes perfect though, I hope!

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1. Murder

Helena’s hair whipped through the air as she ran from the cover of one tree to another. She couldn't step in the light. She could hear the soft, gentle footsteps of her pursuer as she stopped in front a particularly gnarled tree. She’d dropped her wand when her follower had shot the first spell at her and missed. He’d only just missed. Wandless and panting, Helena knew she was in more than just a spot of trouble. In fact, had her mother been with her she knew her mother would have called it a ‘flock of trouble’. Helena was sick of the bird jokes. Maybe that was one of the other reasons that she had left, she pondered.

Looking down at the velvet wrapped parcel in her hands however, she knew that it was not. Her dear mother had rebuffed her daughter’s pleas for help and more knowledge and so Helena had taken action. Compared to her mother, Helena knew she would never be seen as smart. She doubted she would even be seen as average to those who knew her mother. It wasn't fair. She could feel the edges and attributes of her prize through the midnight blue velvet. With one last small smile she placed it between herself and the tree. She knew that if she looked at it any longer guilt would tear her apart inside. Her mother had once told her that guilt could kill. For once Helena knew that her mother was right.

She couldn't hear the footsteps any more, but far from feeling relieved Helena felt even more panicked. Her opponent had great skill, she knew that much, and far from being arrogant Helena also knew that she was no match for him in a fight. Flight was her only option, ironically enough. She didn’t have much time to decide what to do. Helena slowly turned her head to the right, hoping that the trees there might provide her with her escape route.

A twig snapped to her left.

This was it. It was over. He wasn’t going to reason with her now. He’d tried and failed. Helena knew that she was dead. She was the walking dead, but not for long.

The dagger entered her abdomen. Helena’s eyes flicked from the weapon to the blood seeping from the wound. She almost laughed. Of all the crude, medieval weapons with no magical properties to kill her with he chose a dagger. How romantic.

She looked up to see the face that she knew all too well.  The Baron, with his eyes stormy with rage and burning with an animalistic anger he made no move to remove the dagger from her stomach. The scent of roses clung to his expensive clothing. He’d often given her roses, she recalled. He’d appear at their home with roses and promises. She had spurned them all.

And now the man who had professed himself her lover had turned into her killer.

She wanted to laugh again but her mouth had filled with the copper taste of blood, her blood. Helena’s staggered breaths now turned to choking, a bloody, strangled choking. As she slipped down against the rough surface of the tree she was halted by a hole in its surface. The velvet parcel was caught in its rim. This was it. Her mother had sent this man to retrieve her daughter. The Baron had told her that her mother cared only for her, not her prized possession. Helena did not believe them.

This thing had killed her. Not this man or her mother, but the parcel in her hand, and she knew it would kill again because knowledge was power and power was sought by too many. And so with one final push and her energy spent, she pushed the parcel into the hollow of the tree. Her knees finally buckling and her blood dying her blue dress red, Helena collapsed onto the leaf-strewn floor. As her eyes flickered close she couldn’t hear the diadem hit the bottom of the hollow tree.

As the baron screamed at the starry sky and collapsed at her side she couldn’t feel his fingers probing her neck and wrists for some sign of life.

Instead she begged for her mother’s forgiveness and prayed that the diadem would never be found again.

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