Disclaimer- I own nothing, especially a line at the end which is directly taken from Half Blood Prince.

Clarissa Hawkins had a fairly good life, at least on the surface. Exceptionally good in school, she was popular, the Ravenclaw Quidditch captain and a straight 'O' student. A half-blood who lived with her muggle mother, it was no surprise when she succeeded in becoming one of only three (registered) Animagi halfway at the incredibly young age of 20.

Her mother might not understand magic, but she couldn't fail to be impressed when she saw her only daughter turn into a fox in the middle of their mundane kitchen. The trainers at the Auror academy were impressed too, and she easily earnt a place on the team.

When she was new to the wizarding world 12 years ago, for now she was an up and coming member of the auror squad, she was very close to being sorted into Slytherin, though her intelligence just edged over her ambition. That is not to say, however, that the ambitions faded. So when she got a tip from one of her private sources, she decided to investigate before telling her superiors. Evidence of death eaters could earn her a promotion. Besides, having individual informants was not strictly in the auror handbook.

Oliver Prewett, an accountant, had known Clarissa since she had lived in a little muggle town with her mother. They had moved when she was eleven, but she remembered the old man and his jealousy towards his family, who were made up entirely of witches and wizards. Nevertheless, he was kind enough to her, and helped her understand what was happening when strange things occurred around her, objects flying, bullies rendered mute, and everything else her mother didn't understand. He had moved since, she knew, but they had kept in touch. Due to the fact that Oliver lived near a man named Severus Snape, known to be an 'ex' death eater, she had asked Oliver to keep an eye on him, though he wasn't an official suspect. She didn't trust Snape, partly because she had hated Potions under his awful teaching. And there was no such thing as an 'ex' death eater. If you left, you were killed, Clarissa knew. So how was Snape still alive? So when Oliver sent her a letter swearing that he had seen a short, plump man with a silver hand turning into a rat outside Snape's house- he had kept up with the wizarding world and knew about the various death eaters- she believed him.

That day she had kissed her mum goodbye and apparated to the disgusting riverbank that she knew none of Cokeworth's residents would visit. Once there, she immediately slipped into her second skin. By now, it was as easy as changing her jacket, but she never got used to the assault on her senses. All of a sudden she would be assailed by sounds and scents her human body couldn't detect. It was simultaneously invigorating and terrifying.

Clarissa could never really explain it to anyone, but when you changed it was as though you inherited qualities from your animal. Although you could still think coherently and control yourself, there was a certain animalistic undercurrent to your thoughts and actions. And so Clarissa, who had overslept and so missed breakfast, had no qualms in trotting over to a paper bag emitting the enticing aroma of fish and chips.

Whilst she was snuffling at the, deceptively empty, bag, she heard a noise. With what sounded like a 'bang' to Clarissa's canine ears, where there had previously been nothing, there was something. A hooded figure, to be precise. Wizard thought Clarissa, happy her tip had paid off. There was something happening anyway. Severus Snape was the only registered wizard hereabouts, and he didn't seem the type to entertain guests. The figure set off down the bank and Clarissa noticed their slight frame. Probably a witch she decided. Clarissa hunkered down in the grass, prepared to watch and wait, when another figure appeared. That ruled out a full frontal attack if something went wrong, unless she could determine the strengths of the newcomers. Besides, just because they had turned up in the same shady place as her in black cloaks, didn't mean they were Death Eaters. Clarissa was content to sit and wait until the second one spoke.

"Wait," they called in a harsh voice. That was all. One word. One syllable that changed the rest of Clarissa's life. She knew that voice, and it made her blood run cold. There was a reason she was so determined to become an auror, why she and her widowed mother lived alone. It was because of that one person, so insignificant in the grand scheme of things. She didn't thing. The fox leapt, ready to change, ready to curse, to kill. The voice rang out again. Two words, this time. Six syllables. The light hit the fox in mid-air and Clarissa was no more.

The second figure turned over the animal with her toe.

"Just a fox," said Bellatrix Lestrange dismissively, from under the hood.

A/N: Thank you so much for reading this story, which is the direct result of reading HBP whilst half asleep and procrastination!