Run

Layla Wright had no inkling that magic existed, the name Voldemort went right over her head and she had no clue what a muggle was. So how is it that she got stuck right smack in the middle of a wizarding war? When Draco Malfoy walked into the antique shop that she happened to work in, she had no clue that it would be destroyed by Death Eaters. And she definitely never thought that she and this stranger would have to go on the run.

Now, hiding from Death Eaters, she learns that this mysterious Voldemort won the Battle of Hogwarts, the infamous Harry Potter is dead, and the wizarding world, along with the muggle world, has no hope. At least, that's what they were led to believe...

Completely out of her element, with just a long barrel pistol as protection, Layla is thrown into a world she never knew existed in the midst of a takeover. She is persuaded to not only protect the wizarding world, but her own as the two collide.

Alternate Universe FF (FF Royale competition)

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9. changes

I took the stairs one at a time, hesitating ever so often to oggle at the creepy non-human heads on the wall. They couldn't be real... "So, this is our bedroom," Hermione said while she turned the door knob. It was shaped like the head of a serpent.

The room was dark and dreary, much like the rest of the house. Grimmauld Place was starting to look more and more like Grim-Old-Place instead. There were three beds pushed up against one wall, side by side by side. "This one is yours," she said, gesturing towards the bed in the middle.

I sat down on it gratefully and the rusty springs within groaned in response. "Well, this is cozy..." Hermione sat down on her own bed to the left of me while I took the opportunity to change my bandages.

I lifted my jeans up and ripped off the bandage and adhesive in one motion. Wincing, I surveyed the wound carefully. It was an angry red, swollen and oozing. It drained a yellow substance that made my stomach churn. There were red streaks surrounding it that signaled the infection had spread to my other body systems--possibly even my blood. I touched it gently and fever was absorbed through my fingertips.

"Ouch. Here, let me fix that," Hermione said, walking up to me and taking her wand out.

"Woah, wait. I thought they were tracking the magic use," I said with my hands up, not prepared for another Death Eater attack.

Hermione laughed. "This house is under a Fidelius Charm. That means that this house, and all that happens within, can't be tracked or monitored by external sources. Someone would have to be told where this house was by one of the designated secret keepers in order to infiltrate. We're safe," she explained, approaching me and asking for permission with her eyes.

I nodded. She grasped my leg and pointed her wand at the wound, mumbling some words that sounded Latin, and a tingling feeling ran through my calf. After only a couple seconds, the gash started to dissolve, leaving clean, new and slightly pink skin in it's wake. My mouth fell open.

"Woah, that was bloody amazing," I breathed. It was the first time I had seen magic used in a casual setting and had the time to fully absorb the experience.

"That's Hermione. She's the best with that kind of stuff," Ginny said as she came through the door, collapsing on her bed with a sigh.

"Where's Harry?" Hermione asked as she walked back to her own mattress.

"Taking a shower." I sighed as I thought about how great it would be to take a shower again--to finally feel warm and safe and normal--

"So, Layla, right?" Ginny began. "It must have been hell to be a muggle and have to travel with Malfoy, huh?"

I furrowed my brows. "Not really. He's actually been quite nice to me," I paused. "What was he like...before, I mean?"

"A git--" Ginny began before Hermione interrupted.

"He was egotistical and arrogant, to be completely honest. He was prejudice against every wizard who didn't come from a pureblood family. And even those who did come from a pureblood family but didn't partake in the same prejudices that his family did--like the Weasleys. And worst of all...he was a Death Eater."

My mouth fell open again. "What? He was one of them? But--"

"Well, I believe that was mostly because Voldemort was trying to punish Draco's father..."

"Wait, is Voldemort the same person as You-Know-Who?"

"If you can call him a person," Ginny said with a cynical laugh.

"Anyway, he was assigned to kill Dumbledore who was the headmaster at our school," Hermione said, though once she noticed my horrified expression she quickly continued. "He didn't do it but...he was supposed to."

Just then, Mrs. Weasley poked her head through the door. "Layla, dear, the shower is open. I know you must be waiting." Her face was blotchy and red as if she'd just stopped crying not too long ago.

"Uh, yeah, thanks," I mumbled, getting up to follow her.

"There is a bath on this floor but the best shower is on up on the second floor, second door down," she explained with a weak smile, the skin by her eyes crinkling. "It's just up there." She motioned farther up the staircase.

I gave her a smile before setting off to my destination. Goosebumps raised on my skin as if my pores were excited to be clean once more. I couldn't wait to feel hot water pour onto my flesh...to feel clean--

"So, do you trust him?" I heard someone say from inside one of the rooms on the second floor. I couldn't tell who it was--everyone was so new.

There was a pause. "I wouldn't say I trusted him...no, but I can tell that he's different from before. That's obvious. I guess he's in the same boat as me now. Voldemort killed his parents too. That's not something you can overlook," Harry said. I knew they were talking about Draco so I halted my steps and listened.

"I couldn't believe he was sitting with a muggle. And talking to her... And being nice... Are you sure it's not just an act? That he's not spying on us for You-Know-Who?"

"Well, Ron, he was with Layla before they even found Neville. He was in an antique store in a random muggle village. I'm pretty sure Voldemort doesn't care about what a muggle girl is doing. And Death Eaters wouldn't have been attacking him... No, Voldemort killed his family because they defied him at the Battle of Hogwarts and Draco got away..." I heard some floor boards shift so I crossed the space between me and the bathroom quickly.

I bolted the door behind me, my head reeling. As I let the hot water hit my body and the steam fill my lungs, I couldn't help but wonder about Draco's transformation. It seemed strange that someone could change so completely so quickly. Was he faking it?

When my dad got cancer, it did change me, I suppose. I became more thankful for the time I had with him and mum. It made me realize that everyone was mortal...that I shouldn't take anything for granted... After they were taken by You-Know-Who, I felt a sense of determination...a resolve that I've never been struck with before.

I guess I have changed. I'm more strong now than ever before. So why couldn't Draco become a better person? Why couldn't he come to the realization that what he believed and stood for was completely and utterly wrong? And why is it so hard to believe that he would want to be on the side that would help him avenge his family?

No, Draco had definitely changed. I may not have known him before but I know him now. And I trust my gut. And no matter what anybody else thinks, I know that he's not spying for anyone. And that he just wants to feel a part of something that's good for once.

Because everyone deserves a second chance. And anyone can change.

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