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Round Two: Challenge Two Voting

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Thriller by Michael Jackson

OR

This picture


Winners will be announced on Wednesday!







1.
Author: gelsey
Title: Thrill of the Hunt
Words: 492
Rating: R
Warnings: Insanity, human hunting, implied character death, mind games
Author's Notes: This was a lot more fun to write than I thought it would be. Used a bit of the lyrics and the picture.

Flight. Hunt. Pursuit.

Nimble feet through the forest, across rocky ground. Follow, follow. Prey scent, find, seek, hunt.

Blood rushes through hearts, hers louder in my ears than mine. The song of the earth, hunter prey, life death, circles all around.

But it isn’t about the circle of life. Never has been for me, no. It’s the thrill, the chase. The game. This is definitely a game this night. Azkaban might have kept me for a time, but it could not keep me forever.

No, Azkaban could not keep Fenrir Greyback contained. Especially not when there was a game left to finish.

I’d promised William Weasley at Hogwarts that night that I was not done with him. At the time, long suffering had seemed most enjoyable, but I had not forseen the outcome of the war.

She breathes in sharp, harsh pants. I chuckle and growl. The sound echoes from every direction, sounding as if demons surround her. The effect, the exquisite hitching of her breath and heaving of her bosom, is perfect.

“Mrs Weasley.” I chew the words slowly, scaring her. “Mrs Fleur Delacour Weasley…”

She runs, long legs pale under the full moon. I lope after her. I could catch her at any time, but I choose to let her flee. The anticipation sharpens the event, gives me joy that is impossible to catch at any other time than during the chase and kill.

“Did he ever tell you what I told him?” The whisper creeps through the high grasses that lead toward her cottage. “That I wasn’t done yet? That I would be back to play?”

She shakes her head in reflex, and I realize that Bill had never confided that in his lover, his wife. How utterly delightful.

“I told him I would make him suffer in the worst ways… How many nights has he laid awake and not told you why, little flower? Roamed the house as midnight approached and never given an explanation?”

I howl, able to see from where I crouch the goosepimples raising on her arms.

It’s only now, as the midnight hour is close at hand, that I herd her back to her home, toward the myth of safety. She barrels through the door, thinking it will be enough. That the wards will protect her.

But I am not a wizard. Never have been. I am werewolf, not man, not wizard. These cannot stop me.

She hides in the bathroom, her blood smearing the white porcelain from where I have harried and harassed her, the bottom streaked from the cuts on her feet. She curls further in the corner, back turned as if denying my presence.

She has fought admirably to stay alive, but her body shivers roughly, knowing her fate already. No mere mortal can resist this, and I surge forward with the thrill of the kill.

Bill Weasley thought I was done with him. He’ll see, now, that I’ve just begun.


2.
Author: mollywheezy
Title: Before Halloween
Words: 499
Rating: PG-13
Warnings: I used the picture prompt.

Bill walked into Shell Cottage, set his briefcase on the floor, and placed two small packages on the kitchen table, both wrapped in orange paper with black bows. Buying gifts for Halloween was silly, but he couldn't help himself. The orange booties and matching Mary Jane's with black kittens on the toes would be helpful in telling Victoire about her new little brother or sister. He made sure both sets were charmable so the kids could wear them for next year's Halloween.

Bill smiled. He and Fleur had decided to make the announcement at the Weasley Halloween Party, but it would be more fun for Victoire to tell everyone. The other package contained an orange t-shirt with black writing stating, "I'm going to be a big sister!" He couldn't wait to show Fleur when she came home from helping George with the shop's books.

Bill heard a noise from upstairs. "Fleur? Are you home?" There was no answer, but Bill still heard something. Wand in hand, he crept up the stairs.

He entered their bedroom slowly and looked around. When he saw the blood-covered sheets, he shrieked, "FLEUR!" Hearing a sob from the bathroom, he hurried in.

Fleur was in the shower wearing her blood spattered nightdress, a bloody trail across the floor, her blood-covered hands making streaks on the shower wall.

Bill crossed the room in one step, and wrapped his sobbing wife in his arms. Fleur clutched his work robes, and sobbed into his chest, "Beel! The baby . . ."

"We need to get you to St. Mungo's . . ." Fleur shook her head desperately and sobbed harder.

"At least let me get my mum."

"Don't leave me!" Fleur cried as she clung more tightly.

"I won't, love. Never." Bill waved his wand, saying "Expecto Patronum!" and his sphinx leapt gracefully out of the bathroom.

Knowing Mum was coming, Bill dropped his wand, embraced Fleur more tightly, and cried with her.

It was only minutes before Bill heard the pop of Apparition, and choked out, "We're in the upstairs bathroom, Mum!"

Bill heard another pop, and Molly Weasley was in their bathroom. After a glance around, she wrapped her arms around both Bill and Fleur. "Oh, my poor dears. I'm so sorry."

***

Bill stood on the back porch of Shell Cottage watching the sun rise over the water. Sipping his strong tea, he tried to process what had happened. They'd lost a child, and he'd found out he almost had a seventh sibling, in between Charlie and Percy. No wonder Mum knew just what to do. Bill certainly didn't. Maybe he'd talk to Dad when he collected Victoire from The Burrow.

Bill sighed, and went inside. He saw the bright orange and black packages right where he'd left them. Fleur hadn't even seen them. As they weren't needed now, Bill shrunk the packages and hid them in the bottom of an unused pocket of his briefcase, where they wouldn't be reminders of his pain.


3.
Author: illusionrain
Title: Find a Way
Words: 499
Rating: PG-13
Warnings: Allusions to torture, kidnapping, and other unpleasant things.
Author's Notes: Nothing graphic, just a piece from a prisoner’s prospective.

Fleur had been caught by Snatchers. On her way back from a shopping trip, nonetheless.

In hindsight, she would wish to whatever deity had given them magic that some restrictions weren’t necessary. If they could have conjured food from thin air, things would have been so much simpler. For all of them. She could have stayed safely under the Fidelius Charm with her husband and everything would have been good.

Regardless of what could have been, she had volunteered to make the trip, insisting she was as good as anyone with a wand and a fist. She had insisted and insisted until Bill had given in. Fleur was nothing if not persistent when she wanted something. Tears prickled at her eyes at the thought of her husband. She would never see him again by the look of it, isolated as she was in this small room with no light. Angry at herself and her captors, she slammed a hand against the wall, biting back a scream – from the pain or frustration didn’t matter, she just knew she couldn’t or they would come back in.

Those Pureblood fanatics would use every trick in the book, too. Simple Crucios had outlived their usefulness to them and the past few days she had been subjected to more gruesome forms of entertainment. A sob ripped from her throat, unbidden, and she dragged her hand down the wall, unseen blood smearing against it. She hated waiting and they were making her do just that. Why wouldn’t they just kill her? No, they were holding her hostage, hoping to lure out Bill, hoping to lure out Bill’s brother. Hoping against hope to lure out Harry Potter and be rewarded beyond all others.

She felt around in the darkness and pulled herself up to sit on the edge of the porcelain tub. They had shoved her into this dingy little bathroom and refused to let her out since what had to be forever. She would have preferred a dungeon to this. The air smelled of mildew and mold and rusted pipes – and her skin was raw from where she had clawed at the door, hoping to break free from steel with her bare hands. They had taken her wand, placed a collar around her neck to absorb any accident outbursts of magic, and she had only to wait. Wait to die, wait to be rescued, wait to see the light of day of again. Wait, wait, wait. Nothing to do but wait.

It was unbearable. She could think of nothing but the pressing darkness, the growing cold, everything else felt too surreal, too much like a dream that would never end. Where was Bill? Was he even searching for her? He ‘as too be, she assured herself, though she knew she couldn’t bear it if something had happened to Bill.

She forced back panic. Bill would come to her, and if he could not, she would come to him. She would find a way; she would.


4.
Author: raspberry_rave
Title: I'm Not Scared (of lions & tigers & bears)
Words: 470
Rating: Pg-13 (to be on the safe side)
Warnings: None.
Author's Notes: I hope you enjoy it! :)


Moonlight glances off ruined stone hallways, glistening with a liquid Fleur doesn’t want to identify as she rushes through the corridors of Hogwarts towards an indefinable feeling of horror. As her feet pick their way through fallen staircases, broken wands and bodies, each step causes a fresh wave of fear to well up inside. Something has happened, something that will change her; she can feel it.

When she enters the hospital wing, the moonlight makes the few unoccupied beds starkly white in mocking contrast to the bloodstained sheet that covers what she is now sure is her husband. She gasps, and her step falters for only an instant before she is rushing towards him, ignoring everyone’s stares and snatching a cloth from the Weasley matriarch’s hand to attend to her husband. She vents her panic with a few choice words, staccato and fierce in the face of their judging looks. That she would no longer love him - how dare they. . .

But when Molly Weasley offers peace in the form of a family heirloom, their grief finally binds them together in the way that shared tragedy often does.

Moonlight glances off the couple walking hand in hand, picking their way along a familiar path. Fleur shakes off such sad memories as Bill murmurs something and she smiles happily before lifting her face to meet his, looking whole and perfect.

“Je t’aime,” she whispers.

“And I love you,” Bill replies in a murmur, smiling.

Fleur cherishes these quiet moments with her husband, when neither of them has to face the uncaring, changing world. They are content to amble in the moonlight bath as it spills over the tops of trees to alight on their hair. By instinct now, Bill turns away from the milky glow, but some rays shine on his face, throwing into sharp relief his battle scars, old warrior’s wounds. He flinches away when Fleur lifts a hand to cup his face gently.

And then suddenly, without warning, his eyes tighten around the edges and he pushes her away to clutch his sides. Fleur’s hand flies to her mouth as she watches his face contort with terror . . . and something foreign, something feral. And then her feet are tripping over themselves to reach him, and she extends a hand inches from his bowed head. When he looks up at her, it is with the eyes of a predator and the dilated pupils betray no hint of her husband.

“Bill?” The question is a half-strangled cry.

He snaps at her then – snaps – and she flinches, unable to stem a tide of tears as she watches her husband lose himself.

Moonlight glances off Fleur’s tear-stained cheek as she lies next to her husband. In her sleep, she reaches for Bill restlessly and nestles snugly into his side.


5.
Author: starstruck1986
Title: Scarlet Nightmare
Words: 493
Rating: R
Warnings: Implied violence, suggested (non-reality) non-con, Bill-as-Werewolf.
Author's Notes: Couldn't not use the photo prompt this week. Disturbing, but a wonderful prompt!

Her blood is so vivid. It stands out in bright streaks from the clinical white tiles of the shower unit. She is huddled, face turned into the wall, away from me. She's hiding.

I approach, unable to stop the tingle in my veins, the tingle which says blood --fresh blood. I smell it all around me. She smells delicious. Her hand prints are painted in disturbing scarlet on the wall; I don't remember if the life force which taints her fingers is her own or mine. I want to taste her. The urge never takes me like this, but tonight of all nights, when the air is thick with spirits and our magic floats in the ether, my control is gone.

She will taste perfect, and her flesh will fold beneath my teeth like butter gives way to a knife.

Her shoulders begin to shake and her sobs rebound off the tiled wall.

“Bill...”

I can hear the stress in her voice, because she doesn't allow her accent to elongate the vowel in my name. The word is tight, terrified. She shivers.

I step forward and put my bloody hands to her waist, gripping it tightly and pressing her into the wall so that she has no hope of escape. She begins to sob my name over and over, desperately hoping that the fear will reach me, stop me and put distance between us.

I sniff her neck and run my hands up to cup her breasts, which are obvious beneath the thin cotton nightdress that she wears.

I feel the beast rise within me, and prepare to pounce. She freezes, sensing the imminent attack, knowing that I will have her and own her.



“Bill, wake up!”

Jerking upright, Bill felt his hair swing forward over his shoulders. His face was hot and sweating, his torso clammy. A concerned hand landed on his chest. Fleur's tired face peered at him through the gloom of their bedroom.

“Sorry,” he breathed, shaking his head to clear it of the image of Fleur bleeding from wounds he had inflicted. “I'm sorry.”
“Ze same again?” she asked worriedly, leaning close to him and bringing with her the scent of sweet flora.
“Uh-huh,” Bill panted, and landed on his back in the bed.

Without another word, his wife curled into his side and clung to him, tucking her head into the crook of his neck.

“Every detail the same,” he whispered. “Like always.”

Fleur pressed a soft, understanding kiss just below his ear. Her sad sigh tickled the same flesh of his neck.

“I'm so afraid of hurting you.”
“You won't. I know zis. You are not like ze monster zat attacked you. You are not a werewolf, mon chéri..."

Unconvinced, Bill closed his eyes and prayed that the image of his bloodied wife would not be waiting for him when sleep claimed him again.





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