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Rated: 13+ · Short Story · Contest Entry · #2120402
Promptly Potter, Day One.
Melinda sat by the large window in her apartment, curled in her comfortable recliner, with a quilt on her lap and a book in her hands. Her mousy brown hair was pulled back into a loose braid, and her narrow nose was mere inches away from the page. It was her seventeenth birthday, but Melinda didn't mind being alone for it. The latest and final Harry Potter book was far too important for her to set it aside for a simple party.

Besides, as a teenage seer, Melinda hadn't exactly kept friendly with the sort to celebrate birthdays. Those who would have celebrated her birthday had long since abandoned her in her life, ultimately intimidated by her unsettling nature or scared away were they to find out that she had visions of the future. Those that stayed in her life were ones that did so for profit, morbid curiosity, or a little bit of both.

Outside the window, clouds rolled and swirled across the sky, tossing about like a grey ocean above the city skyline. It was midday, but it wasn't much brighter than it had been at dawn. The lamp next to the reading chair helped illuminate the area that daylight would normally be sufficient to do on its own.

Melinda knew what these signs meant. She had been waiting since her twelfth birthday for the prophecy to come true. It was the first of her many visions, but it was the one that stuck with her more than any other. One does not exactly forget predicting her own death.

Awaking at the crack of dawn on July 21 five years ago, Melinda's body seized and shook as the visions flashed before her eyes. She could see nothing else but the visions, her eyes rolling back into her head. Melinda was at home, but not one she recognised. It was her birthday, but not the twelfth birthday she knew it to be. Grey clouds rolled before her eyes, much like a turbulent ocean viewed from a plane window, despite the crystal clear sunrise that had been glowing through her window only moments before. She heard gunshots and screams, and she could feel the turmoil flowing through the building before she saw a single person. She felt the searing pain of a bullet piercing her flesh, and saw the window. Looking out the broad window, unidentifiable in her vision, she knew it was the end.

After Melinda spent the next several years evading capture by the government, her visions leading her forwards and providing a tidy profit along the way, Melinda could feel the events in her vision on the horizon. She couldn't tell what was happening specifically, but she could feel it in her bones.

So here she sat, on her birthday, knowing that the government would likely step in at any moment. It had only been a matter of time before they hunted her down. Government controlled witch hunters were not exactly ideal for the life of a seer after all. She was only grateful that she could manage to isolate herself every birthday to ensure that none of her allies were killed in the crossfire.

Melinda held Deathly Hallows tightly in her hands, her eyes racing to finish the final pages before she ran out of time. She had been reading the books since they were new, and all seventeen year old Melinda could hope to accomplish in her lifetime was seeing the series out to an end. She had even lined up the night before to purchase the book at midnight.

Just as her eyes finished the last of the epilogue, before she even had time to be saddened by the end of the series, Melinda heard the chaos exploding below. Voices were shouting out, hollering their government status to the other residents of the building. Gunfire echoed through the building, but Melinda could feel it in her gut that they were only firing into the air. She set the book on the wooden side table, the hardcover making a thud on the surface.

Melinda stood, facing the door, just as the armed assailants burst into the room. She made eye contact with the first man to burst through the room, trying not to show fear, even as she felt her body reflexively leaning back away from the intruders.

As she leaned back until the glass of the window pressed against her back, and the man in the front, armed in full protective gear as if he were on a SWAT team, raised his rifle at her. Melinda felt the bullet pierce her shoulder before she had even processed that the gun had gun off. He had pulled the trigger, just as she had known he would.

Melinda had always thought she would die quickly, but that didn't appear to be the case. More shocking than that seemed to be that nothing was supporting her back anymore, and she gripped the window ledge with both hands as she realised that the glass had vanished. Looking at the distant ground below, Melinda realised what needed to be done. And she realised what she had misinterpreted.

Today was not the day Melinda would die. The witch hunters bellowed in their deep voices, commanding her to surrender. Melinda felt a bullet nick her side, drawing blood and stinging, but she didn't see who pulled the trigger, as she had climbed up to the window ledge.

Feeling as uneasy as anyone about to jump out of a window might, Melinda prepared her body for the leap. The witch hunters didn't need another test subject, and today was not the day she would die. Today was the day she would come into the rest of her powers.

Melinda jumped.
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