Beyond the Foggy Path

Chapter 22: Sixth Year

It felt as if they never left the castle. The returning students fell back on schedule easily, as usual while the first years ran around looking for their classes and third years were discovering where all their new classes were located. Erela was lounging on the couch of the Hufflepuff common room and reading ahead on her Charms class with her wand in her other hand. She was muttering to herself and waved her wand when birds fluttered from the tip of her wand and flew over her head. The birds chirped and tweeted happily overhead; Erela's cat watched the paper looking birds with wide yellow eyes of interest from the fireplace.

Erela looked up at her incantation carefully and slowly stopped waving her wand as she kept her concentration on keeping the birds alive. The charm was one of few she was actually good at and had been trying to improve how to conjure charms with less use of her wand.

Her eyes danced around with one of the birds she was watching when a pillow smacked her in the face. Erela squealed with surprise, broke her concentration, and all the birds stopped flying and quickly evaporated before they hit the ground. She pulled the pillow from her face and narrowed her eyes at the laughing werewolf.

"Sorry, you were so into your practice that the moment had to be taken," he laughed.

"Ass!" she chuckled and threw the pillow at him. "I was that close to doing it perfectly."

"It seemed fine to me," he smirked and tossed the pillow back on one of the couches. Landon's brown eyes glanced at Erela's wand and furrowed his brows at the design of it. "Interesting wand," he commented.

Erela's eyes dropped to her wand to and bit the corner of her lip and puffed her bangs away. Yes, it was easy to tell someone's future by the appearance of his or her wand. Even if it had a cream color from the holly, it wasn't sanded down cleanly like most wands. Stereotypically, wands that curved or appeared as if it was picked up from your backyard and painted over usually were wands owned by witches and wizards that fell into the dark arts.

"Yeah . . ." she mumbled.

Landon immediately felt the uncomfortable atmosphere that was coming from Erela and changed the subject. "What were you reading about?" he asked and nodded to the book in Erela's lap.

"Oh . . . um, just Standard Book of Spells," the girl shrugged and tossed the book onto the coffee table in front of them.

"You're such an over achiever," he chuckled lightly.

The girl pursed her lips and shrugged. "Well, Charms isn't one of my strongest classes. It's only luck that I managed to do the charm I did a moment ago as well as I did," Erela started. Her wand responded strongly to curses after all.

"Could have had me fooled," Landon shrugged. "You know your origin stories."

"That's different," Erela sighed. "Besides, to somewhat pass the class is to participate if doing spells isn't your strongest point in that class." With what Erela had shown since year one, learning harmless to trickster curses from Defense Against the Dark Arts were her strongest conjurations.

"And yet you're incredibly quiet in Potions," he laughed.

"I don't understand the subject at all . . ." Erela stated grimly. "I read the instructions and do them as I'm instructed. I just don't know why it always goes wrong."

"Maybe because you don't do the process as fast as you should?" he shrugged. "Because you're trying to do it correctly and cautiously, it shows the process which makes the potion go wrong before it's halfway done."

Erela groaned and leaned her head back on the coach. "Tutor me?" she started and looked at him. "You're in Advanced Potions after all."

"That's because I'm awesome," Landon said with a big smug look on his face.

She rolled her eyes at him and nudged him with her foot. "So you'll help me?"

"Sure," he rolled his eyes at her. "Definitely for one of the potions you'll; have to make some time during the year."

"Why? What are we going to make this year?"

"Draught of the Living Death. You'll cause a much more destructive mess if you do it wrong . . ."

"Just great . . ." she sighed.

"Maybe basic potions is a better start for practice," Landon laughed.

"Yeah . . ." Erela nodded and stood up. "Where did Stacee run off to?" she asked and brushed her skirt down.

"Do I look like his babysitter?"

"You two are always together," she rolled her eyes. "Rather hard to not assume, you know each other's whereabouts 24/7."

"Whatever," Landon rolled his eyes back.

Erela couldn't help but notice how sick Landon looked. He appeared to have lost some color, how he held his body was weak, and his eyes were a little red and droopy—Wait . . . when was the next full moon? "Landon, is the lunar position effecting you?"

"Don't remind me . . ." he sighed and ran his hand through his hair.

Right . . . werewolves would get sick a couple days before they transformed. It was usually a sign that they were getting close to their worst days of the month and their "disease" would act up depending on how close those days were getting.

"Have you been drinking your potion this week?" Erela asked. One of the things she remembered from Defense Against the Dark Arts was that there was a potion that werewolves would drink in order to keep their human mind while in wolf form. Without it, they forget everything and everyone they loved and would attack humans. Animals remained safe around werewolves for animal contact.

"No . . . I don't drink that nasty crap . . ." he answered.

"Why not?"

"Tastes like shit . . ."

"That can't be the only reason . . ." Erela mumbled.

"Get off my back already," he growled.

"What? I'm just asking—"

"Well, it's something I don't exactly like to talk about," the freckled boy snapped.

Erela blinked a few times and furrowed her brows at him in frustration and confusion. But, from what she had learned from her father, always fight for answers. "Talk, Wisenburg."

"Just drop it already. You wouldn't understand!" he snarled without even realizing he was yelling

"Then MAKE me understand," she exclaimed in the same volume.

"No," Landon said simply and angrily and pushed himself off the couch.

"Don't just walk away," Erela started and followed just behind him.

"Since you're not going to stop asking me for an answer, ditching you is the only answer," he growled at her and went for the boys' dorm, where he knew she wasn't capable of going into. And he was right, Erela stopped at the foot of the tunnel to the boys' room and groaned.

The girl sighed and pinched the bridge of her nose. She wanted to understand why he wouldn't want to keep his human mind when in wolf form. Why would he not take it at all when it would guarantee any humans' safety?

It just made no sense . . .

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