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Black Rose: Prologue

Celeste was running. She didn't know where to, and no one really knew where from. At least not in this case. She had a bad feeling about tonight; something wasn't right. Something about this August night seemed fateful, though Celeste was not quite sure why. All she knew was who she was running from: Voldemort. Of course, these days, most people were, but her story was different.

Celeste was weary, but she didn't dare stop. Who knows what state Tom would be in when he returned ... or even if he did. Her premonitions told her something was up, and she always was one who was leaning to the art of Divination. Though it wasn't exactly her forte, when she got premonitions, they were almost always right. Another reason why she would be a good mother, though she had made many mistakes in this lifetime.

In her arms Celeste carried her daughter, Terra. Terra looked so innocent, and was definitely smart, by Celeste's opinion. This was mostly because Terra had the sense to be quiet when she most needed to, for both of their safety. Celeste loved Terra, which was why she was running in the first place. Terra's life was more important than her own, and Celeste would never really forgive herself for putting Terra's life in jeopardy. Though it was more that Terra was born jeopardized, having the father that she had. 'Why, oh why?' Celeste asked herself, as she looked into Tom's daughter's six-month-old face. 'Why did I have his daughter? Why did I agree? Will she be a powerful witch?'

The last of those questions Celeste had mixed feelings about, although those would definitely not be the last questions of this night. If Terra was a weakling, or worse, a squib, she would have no chance at survival, due to Tom's hatred for incompetence. If Terra was a strong witch, she could be lead to the dark side, and reek havoc. Everyone knew he wanted an heir, but who would he call upon? If it was to be family, Terra was the last chance, that Celeste knew of. 'Tom killed the rest of his family off' Celeste thought to herself with a deep shudder.

Tom Riddle, or Voldemort, as he went by to people who had the luck of not knowing him, was surely the most evil person Celeste knew. She was instantly reminded of Satan, without regrets. Satan was just the evil wizard of the past, who, much like Voldemort, destroyed the innocent and not-so-innocent alike, without so much as a flinch of regret or fear. Satan was then killed and sent with his followers to be doomed to the underworld for eternity.

God, of course, was the pure wizard who defeated Satan, at a price. He had to sacrifice his own life for the safety of the world. He was rewarded for his sense of humanity and willingness to save the world and to sacrifice himself by being sent the Utopia, or as some people call it, Heaven.

'If Voldemort is Satan,' Celeste thought with a sense of bitterness, 'Who am I? Certainly not God ...' though "Celeste" does mean heaven, 'I feel like a fallen angel, I think ... Am I just the mother of Tom's child? What is my purpose? What am I supposed to do? What will happen, when I age and die, and Voldemort continues his slowed aging process? Damn his wizarding skill! He has the ability to live a prolonged life all due to a stupid chance on a spell. Sometimes I wish I was a muggle, they don't have all these problems!' Celeste took this time to conveniently forget that the grass is always greener on the other side of the fence.

All this quiet atmosphere and endless running gave Celeste time, that she didn't normally have, to think. 'What about Terra? Six-months old, and already has people after her life. What will she do? How great will her power be, for it is bound to be great, whether it will ultimately be for good or for bad.' Celeste realized, even though she would almost rather have Terra be a squib, so that the world would have another chance of safety, instead of another Dark Lord, that Terra would more than likely be one of the most powerful witches of the century, whether it will be for good or for bad. Otherwise, her sacrifice would be wasted; fed to the hounds of time. 'What will Tom be like, when Terra is grown? What is seventeen years to a man-no, creature- who doesn't age like the rest of mankind? What will he do to her? Is there anywhere safe? Can I hide her from his wrath?'

Celeste shivered in the cold air. Although it was August, tonight had an unnatural, eerie coldness that Celeste automatically related to Tom's level of kindness.

'What is he doing now? Where did he go? Why did he insist upon revenge against the Potters? Did they even do anything, or does Tom just like killing? Does it matter if he knows people or not? Does poor Tom just kill for sport? I'm surprised he doesn't hang human heads in a trophy room! Why the Potters? And why must he also desire to murder the one-year-old anyway? Or did he just want to convert the child? Why is that child so special to the Dark Lord? He obviously can't care for a one-year-old!'

Celeste continued to run as fast as her feet could carry her. Running, away from everything. Trying to keep Terra safe. She would never give up trying to hide Terra, she would take upon this task as her life goal. The rest of her life, there only for the protection of her child. There was something different about Terra ... something that seemed like a destiny. She, if no one else, though she wouldn't put it past Tom, he was very clever, too clever ..., knew that her child would be an important role in the Magic world's fate. All the signs were there, how could she not be, being Voldemort's daughter? Whatever it was that would happen, Celeste knew not of; if it was for good, or for evil, for learning, or for power-thirst, for life, or for death, or most importantly, for love or for hate. After all, didn't love or hate control all of the above anyway? What was life without love, no matter what for?

It was this last thought that scared Celeste the most, as love had always scared her. As much as she hated to admit it, all this hiding, running, thinking, and who knows what else, all of it was because of him. Her desire, her life, her love.

And then a thought struck her in the horrible way that thoughts like this do. Everything she did and gave up was because of one tiny little sentence, as life changing as it might be. She had always admired great wizarding power, and of course wanted her child to be talented and clever at magic, but no matter what she tried to reason it with, she always came back to the same little sentence, in both terms of the word, a group of words, and a life threatening decision. She thought with an odd realization, one that she'd never quite thought of, in her naive search for power. Power was not the most important thing. Celeste scolded her self for her young and stupid decisions. Too late to change it now. But no matter what, she kept drifting back to the same damn sentence.

She said it to herself in a whisper, as if she were sentencing her own incomprehensible death.

"I love Tom Riddle ..."

Chapter 2: Star Wishes
The Western Tower