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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17. photograph

I'd almost forgotten what nighttime in the city was like. I could hear loud bass coming from a house nearby and people yelling in the street, bottles shattering to match their shrill voices. It was oddly comforting.

I sat on the couch cross-legged while George slept on the other side. I couldn't sleep. It was impossible with all that was going on--not to mention the bloody images that swam behind my eyelids every time I closed them.

I got up and crossed the littered floor to the window and pulled back the curtain. I took some of the papers Draco had left out of my bag. The city lights were enough for me to see. So with a burning curiousity, I started to read.

Sleeping outside is beginning to make me question things. And I'm not sure if it's the mud or the mosquitoes, but I'm wondering whether or not I should be on the run. Maybe I should just turn myself in or jump in front of a train. At least then I'd be free.

The fucked up part is, every single time I look down I'm reminded of all the horrible things that have happened. I tried to cut the mark out of my skin with a piece of dirty glass today. But I couldn't do it. Maybe I need to be reminded. Or maybe I'm a masochist.

But I don't know. In fact, the only thing I do know is that I know nothing. I don't know what's happened to everyone else. I don't know what You-Know-Who is doing. I don't even know what I'm doing.

All I can do is keep walking, I guess.

George groaned and turned over in his sleep. He was still fully clothed so when he turned, it was evident that there was something sticking out of his pocket in danger of falling to the floor where it would surely be lost amidst all the clutter.

When I got up, I had meant to save it by pushing it in slightly, but when I saw that it was a photo, my curiousity got the better of me. I held it in my hands, wondering why George chose to keep it so close to him. There was a deep crease down the middle like it had been opened and refolded hundreds of times. It was important.

Now it was my turn to unfold it. As soon as I saw the photo, I understood. There they were, one with their arm thrown lazily across the other's shoulder. The picture moved and, though I should be surprised, it didn't faze me one bit. I was used to it by now.

They were smiling as big as anyone could--each and every one of their teeth seemed to be represented. The people around them laughed till they cried, wiping their eyes dry with glee. The building in the back had 'Weasley's Wizarding Wheezes' printed across in vibrant color. It was a photo of George and Fred.

From my interactions with George, I could tell that he wasn't himself--that he had changed--but not how much. This photo explained it all. His smile was gone. The only thing he could manage now-a-days was a small smirk but even that was coated in misery and dispair. With my heart already heavy from Draco's letters, the full weight of his personal tragedy hit me like a bus. Tears stung my eyes and I wiped them away with haste. Poor George.

"He was always the better looking one," George said, startling me enough to make me jump. He was just beginning to sit up, wiping his eyes of sleep.

"Sorry," I began. "It was falling out of your pocket." I tried to mask the pity I felt and the tears that plauged me, but when George shook his head to himself, I knew I hadn't succeeded.

I handed the photo back to him and he promptly stuffed it in his pocket without bothering to look at it. "Look, Layla, don't cry. It wasn't your twin who died. Why be sad when you don't have to be?"

"I'm sorry," I said, though the double meaning was clear even to him.

George turned his head in my direction. His shaggy hair was sticking up in all directions, revealing the left side of his head. I gasped. "George, what happened?"

His ear was totally gone with only the ear canal left to see. Looking down, he attempted to brush his hair down to cover the spot again. "Nothing."

Scenarios sprinted through my mind. "Why have I never seen--"

"Excuse me for being insecure about my missing ear," he said playfully. He managed to lift the heavy feeling in the atmosphere around us.

I scooted closer to where he was sitting. "Well, what happened?"

He shrugged. "Death Eater. The usual."

"Can't you... I don't know, grow it back?" I questioned.

He laughed. "Not when it's cursed off, no. I don't mind though. Makes me look more rugged and dangerous, I think."

I laughed incredulously. "Sure, sure."

But soon our laughs dwindled into silence. I went back in forth in my mind, wondering whether or not I should voice a concern that had been getting more and more urgent by the second. "George?" I spoke up.

"Yeah, Layla?"

I lowered my voice into a whisper. "I don't think I have enough money for the guns," I admitted.

His face grew skeptical. "But...but we raided every shop. How could we not?"

"The black market is an expensive one, George. And those were small town shops. I don't know what I'm going to do. If we go there without the money, we'll get killed or something. And Jackson will probably get hurt too... Should we back out?"

George leaned against the back of the couch, his eyebrows knitted together and lips pursed. "We could steal them," he suggested.

I gasped. "George! Do you have a death wish? They'll kill us for sure."

He snorted. "I'm a wizard. You think a bunch of gangster muggles stand a chance?"

"They have guns!"

"Ah," he began. "but the difference is, I know they have guns. I'll be prepared and they won't."

Maybe he was right but it was still risky. "What about Jackson?"

"What about him?"

I glared at him. "If we leave him, they will kill him."

"Fine, fine. I guess we can bring him when we apparate. That'll be a handful though. Are you completely sure that he's not expendable?"

"George."

"Okay, we'll bring him. Don't get your knickers in a twist--"

We both jumped when footsteps sounded in the hallway. Intially, I thought we had woken Jackson up. He yawned and wiped the sleep out of his eyes, a pair of jogging bottoms pulled loosely around his hips. "Got some news, Lay. The guy said he'll only sell in bulk. We're talking around fifty firearms and a lifetime supply of ammo here. I can call around but it might take awhile--"

"No, no. It's fine. We'll take them," I said quickly, nearly running my words together.

His mouth fell open for a moment before he recovered. "What kind of cash do you have, Lay? Are you sure you can cover it?"

"I got it. It'll be fine." I gave a reassuring smile and he softened.

"Alrighty then. They'll meet us in about an hour," he said, stretching his arms above his head. "And Lay?"

"Yeah?"

With a crooked smile, he said, "It might be a little easier on you if you wear something nice." He winked.

Once again, I was self conscious. "I-I don't have anything else..."

"I might have something for you in the spare room. My sister stays in there sometimes. Go ahead," he said, motioning to the back room.

But even stealing guns from a bunch of criminals wasn't as frightening as wearing Jackson's sister's clothes.

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