[exordium (noun) ex·or·di·um \eg-ˈzȯr-dē-əm\, a beginning or introduction especially to a discourse or composition; introduction, foreword, preamble, preface, prologue. From Latin, exordiri, ordiri "to begin."]

Miss Sasha Loveswell considered herself sensible, shrewd, perspicacious in the ways of society - all this, in spite of her renown as an esteemed singer, a vocal enchantress of high society. As such, she would wisely admit her human weakness; one of which, was currently–, palpably grating on her nerves. The Black Magician. Or more accurately, his absence.

"Why did he not show today?" She flipped her hair, addressing her companion with a flick of her eyes. "The client advertised that he would be present. How dare they lie to me." She examined the state of her fashionable nails. It wouldn't do to ruin them because of those imbeciles. Imbeciles they were, for whom else would dare incite the wrath of the finest songstress of the patria. Not only was she a proficient; she was self-financed to such a degree that she was entitled to choose her gigs. Miss Sasha Loveswell was the very apotheosis of the aria; her voice rang across the country like the pure glockenspiel of Mother Magic. Yet, those imbeciles hazarded her goodwill on the fortuity of the Black Magician's appearance. Such was the magnitude of their impudence. This was not to be bourne!

"Call up my solicitor. I shall teach them what it is to raise my pique."

"Yes Ma-"

Her companion's speech was disturbed by the sudden jolting of the carriage. The horses let out a distressed whiney, rearing up as the driver attempted to regain their orderliness.

"What in the name of Job is the matter?" The lady cried, and stuck her head out of the window.

A resounding boom, like the angry clap of thunder gods, was her answer.

"Missus! 't is not safe! Please retreat back int' the -"

Another crack rattled the ground and the carriage upturned with it, accompanied by the undignified screech of their chauffeur. The ladies, nerves thoroughly rattled though thankfully uninjured, withdrew through the carriage window on shaky feet. Once they were helped up, Miss Loveswell shot an incredulous look at her driver, who quivered on the ground like a newborn lamb.

"What in blazes, man! What!"

"D-d-demon!" He cried, and she followed the course of his pointed finger as he struggled to regain his wits.

There, in the distance, some 30 yards away, the very gruesome likeness of a demon's head arose from the forest foliage. It's silhouette was some ten metric units still above the great oak trees. A veritable 60-feet-tall Class 3 demon.

The ladies paled to an alarming shade of white.

Then, as though happenstance could not afflict horror enough, the abomination cocked it's head, glowing eyes in clear survey of the company. It was alive.

The company, manservants included, screamed and ran. The ladies had scrambled for purchase in the dark woods.

Perhaps it was their quick movement, or perhaps their deep bellows that drew the attention of the monstrous demon to the men. It reached over the treetops with alarming speed, capturing no less than two men in it's phalanges. The rest of the company could do no more than watch in dread and trepidation as the twosome were picked up off mother earth. There was no sound to interrupt the terrible moment that seemed to slow to a crawl.

The surprisingly audible click of a tongue punctuated the stilted silence. A black blur flew past the raised and monstrous appendage, which twitched and tumbled to the ground, the men landed unawares on the felled member. The Class 3 shrieked with outrage as black blood flowed from it's cleanly cut arm. The offender, a black-haired young man with glowing blue eyes, readjusted his black robes and pulled out a pad and pen.

"Excuse me, Miss Loveswell?" he addressed the ladies still hidden it the shadow of the copse.

"Y-yes?" The blonde beauty answered, and his gaze focused on her. While beyond, the demon's enraged red orbs fixated on him.

"Would you please sign your name here?" he shot her a dazzling smile and handed her his effects. The monster's rubbernecking, no cause for concern. When she failed to take the pen and pad from him, he pushed them into her hands, with a spell-worthy, "please?"

With tremulous roar, the demon shot toward their saviour in three earth-shattering strides.

"Be-behind you!" she exclaimed, eyes wide in terror.

The strange young man turned on his heel and jumped over the remaining monstrous arm. Without pause, he ran along it's length to the head, and struck it's temple with what looked like blue-tinged black lightning. In one fell swoop, the demon was bowled over. He landed with grace, as though he had not commanded lightning at-will to smite the demon.

He paused at the stunned gazes of the company, seemed to rethink a smile, but trod to the ladies and collected the grounded pad and pen.

"Miss Loveswell?" He gestured with the pen.

In a daze, Miss Loveswell signed as he asked and watched as he smiled in thanks. Much to their consternation, he politely asked leave and without waiting for reply, disappeared into the foliage.

It was then that she noticed a twinge of pain in her delicate fingers. A broken nail, she observed with surprising composure. She gazed about her, the situation no less dire - stranded in the depth of the wood, carriage upturned and horses run affright - when reality finally imposed itself. They had escaped the rare and elusive Class 3 demon with their lives, rescued by the very man with whom she sought to acquaint herself. The hilarity, perhaps the sheer terror she had been through, finally settled in her mind as she began to laugh without mirth, and then cackle, undoubtedly appearing insane to these witnesses.

This story is inspired by the manhwa, Black Haze.

Disclaimer: I do not own Harry Potter or Black Haze.