Chapter 23: Full Moon
And from that small disagreement, Landon and Erela haven't spoken to each other in two days. As much as Erela wanted them to go back to talking, she was still furious at him for trying to brush off a topic like that. Landon's logic made no sense whatsoever. It was as if he wasn't thinking.
Erela looked out the window to check how low the sun was setting during their evening classes. Landon had skipped his classes, much like what he usually did on his full moon days to ready himself for the transformation. That and he felt weak on those days. Once her last class was over, Erela ran out to the Hufflepuff hole and changed into more comfortable wear before running out of the castle toward the edge of the forest.
It was getting dark . . .
Once she passed the bridge, she looked ahead and found the boys just halfway down the trail toward the Gamekeeper's oversized hut. Erela picked up her feet and took long strides after the boys. With Stacee's pink hair, losing him wasn't going to be easy. They had disappeared into the trees and Erela followed after them with her wand ready in her back pocket.
The thought then struck her, why the hell was she chasing after danger? Following a boy close to transition into his most dangerous form without the help of a potion to keep himself from killing his best friend and a girl just behind him that had a crush on him. Suddenly she started to question her logic.
Up ahead, Erela heard the sound of growth. Something big. Beyond the dark trees, Stacee had his wand raised toward a tree that was rapidly growing at an alarming rate. The branches snaked around here and there, a large number of them were intertwining with one another and forming something that looked like a small house. A little tree house? "What's the point of that?" she asked.
Stacee whipped his head around and saw Erela just behind them. "The hell are you doing here!?" he exclaimed.
"I'm here to help out—"
"Are you crazy? You won't even know—" Stacee was then cut off when Landon started crying out in pain and doubling over to the ground. Erela didn't notice until Landon was on the ground that Stacee was holding onto the werewolf's clothes. The boy's clothing, wand, and a bag of what looked like food. "God. You shouldn't be here," Stacee started and pointed to the tree house. "Get up there fast before he starts to change."
"GO!" he snapped.
Erela was taken aback and immediately climbed up toward the tree with the help of some branches that pulled her footing when she had some difficulty finding a grip. Erela looked back down at the boys, where Stacee was checking up on Landon and what appeared to him trying to reassure him and trying to keep his human mentality in check. The moonlight shined through the trees, cracking and snapping was coming from the boys just down below the base of the trees followed by Landon's cries, the transformation had begun . . .
By the time Erela made it up the tree, she heard snarling, followed by the sound of a howl before she looked down below her. There stood a large wolf on two legs, light brown fur with angrily yellow eyes that glowered at the light green haired boy. Must be the color of fear. The large eight-foot werewolf snarled at Stacee, no recognition for the boy he had been best friends with for six years. Stacee had his wand ready and was slowly backing away from the wolf toward the tree house.
The wolf growled and snapped at him before Stacee cried out: "Protego duo!" and a shield of light surrounded him and forced the wolf back. The metamorphmagus kept the shield up as he took a branch and raised him up into the tree house. The werewolf barked and snapped at Stacee and Erela, jumped and scratched at the tree for the two humans that were too high for him to harm. His yellow eyes glowered at them and glowed in the silver moonlight, his mouth foamed to sink his teeth into something and rip something apart.
"What were you thinking of coming here?" Stacee asked, his attention toward Erela again.
"I'm a part of this group too, I have rights to help with Landon's—" The wolf howled at them from below. "Times of the month," she continued.
"There's a reason for that," he hissed. "My job these past couple of years is to make sure he doesn't go off hurting others," Stacee started and ran his fingers through his hair. "He—" Stacee stopped himself. "We didn't want you involved because it would be too much for you to handle. We didn't tell you about this and on what to do so you wouldn't get hurt. Landon would hate himself if he hurt you," the boy rambled.
Erela pursed her lips and looked down at the large wolf below them with his teeth bared at them. He had calmed down a bit before his ears perked up and looked to another direction. "So you're okay without my help."
"For now, yeah," Stacee shrugged and let out a sigh. "Honestly, keeping up with him alone is hard work. I'll need some help." Stacee looked down and saw that Landon had run off. "Shit. But for now, just stay here. I'll show you the ropes in the morning. Just stay here," he said quickly and jumped out of the tree house and bolted for the werewolf.
Erela watched him disappear deeper into the forest and followed after the howls. She let out a sigh and leaned her back against the walls of the tree house. She probably should have asked rather than jump in uninvited like that. Erela zipped up her hoodie and hugged herself for warmth as she closed her eyes.
The sun rayed through the small window and shined into the girl's eyes. She squeezed her eyes in protest and pulled the hoodie over her eyes to cover. Voices were heard from the distance. Erela rubbed her eyes and yawned before she peeked outside and found the boys just walking toward the tree house. They looked exhausted, equally in fact, with Landon running around the forest throughout the night and Stacee just chasing after him and making sure he wouldn't hurt anyone or hurt himself.
Landon slipped on a shirt and brushed his hair out of his face when he looked up at the tree and found Erela in it. He immediately dropped his eyes and played with the bolt under his lip with his tongue. "So you still want to be a part of this?" Stacee called.
For a moment, Erela thought she wasn't sure. But with how Stacee looked, he needed help to control his best friend. She agreed to it and Stacee told her what she had to do and what the outcomes were. The use of the protection charm, the seize and pull charm for when Landon would wander too close to the edge of the forest, repel him back when he attacks, and keep him from hurting himself out of frustration if he couldn't find animals to interact with or humans to hurt.
The teenagers stayed outside the rest of the day, it was a Saturday, to Erela's relief. They lived off of some food Stacee had smuggled from the kitchen and practiced some spells. The three sixteen year olds had recently been taught how to conjure the Patronus charm and kept digging through their memories for a happy memory to create their charm. Landon had managed to create his easily, and to Erela's surprise, his Patronus was a deer.
Erela analyzed how the werewolf ended up with an animal like that as his Patronus and thought of his personality and ways of thinking. He was rather respectful of others, at least to most, of their space and emotions. He was fearful at times, especially in human form, and had a slightly above average nobility and wisdom to some subjects. To Erela, he came off as the protective type and can be proud in an almost playful way. And he wanted freedom, that was a given with his circumstances. Equality for werewolves like himself in the magical world.
Stacee conjured his Patronus and there a swan formed. Curious. It couldn't be the appealing appearance that had to match the reserved, yet socially colorful boy. It was then that it hit her, Stacee was the passionate one in the group of three. Very open-minded enough to befriend someone as dangerous as Landon and welcomed Erela into the group, even when it took time for him to get used to her. He was good-natured, careful at times but had a fighter in him when it needed to come out. And he obviously had an unconditional fierce love for his friends to want to protect them from each other and themselves.
Erela, on the other hand, couldn't even get her charm to form at all. She wasn't sure if it was because the spell wasn't too positive for her wand to conjure or if it was because her happy memory wasn't strong enough. The tall Hufflepuff girl was only able to get a couple seconds of silver sparkles come out, but nothing formed out of it. Erela sighed bit the tip of her thumb before she kept on practicing while Landon tease Stacee for having a girly Patronus animal.
Stacee ran off into the forest to go and get the tree house ready while Landon and Erela followed behind him. The two awkwardly walked side by side while Erela looked toward the setting sun that was slowly sinking deeper and deeper into the mountains. "Sorry . . ." Landon said.
Erela pried her eyes away and looked up to the wary werewolf. "Pardon?"
"About a couple days ago . . ." he sighed and removed his piercing below his lip. "I snapped and I shouldn't have done that."
"Oh . . . that's okay. I was pushing for an answer and didn't light up about it," Erela said awkwardly.
They stop talking to each other for a while and kept walking. Landon scratched the back of his head and Erela kept playing with lint in her jacket pocket. "I don't like being able to think when I'm . . . not human . . ." he started. Erela looked back up at him. "It just reminds me that I'm not like everyone else. If I do accidentally hurt someone, I don't want to remember doing it . . ."
Oh . . . so that was why. At least it made some sense. At least in Landon's mind it did. But, Erela didn't argue. Two have finally started talking to each other again. "Sorry . . ."
"It's not your fault," Landon said as casually as he could muster and peeled off his shirt. Erela immediately looked away and blushed dark red from the split second look from her preferable vision. Right . . . during the transformation, clothes would rip and tear, especially since Landon grew two feet and widened some inches. "Here."
Erela took his shirt and took a quick look at him. That glance alone, she saw so many scars on his chest. The boy had some nicks and cuts on his arms from the night before as well as some evidence of self-inflicted scars of lycanthropy. His scars ran deep on his chest, one that trailed up to his neck. The immediately looked away to not make him feel uncomfortable.
"You sure you're up for this?" he asked.
"Yeah," she nodded. "Stacee will help me," Erela started and looked toward the calm looking metamorphmagus boy.
Landon pursed his lips and ran his fingers through his hair with a sigh and handed his piercing over to her. "It's best to follow his lead and not do something he didn't list off."
She nodded as they reached Stacee. "All ready," Stacee sighed and turned to his friends. The girl unraveled her hair from its braid to fix and tighten when Landon stripped out of his pants. Again, she turned dark red and looked away from him as she kept weaving her hair. Stacee raised a brow at her and looked to Landon then Erela again. She bit the corner of her lip and dropped her eyes to the ground when Landon started to breathe heavily.
Erela immediately looked at Landon and found that he had lost his color within seconds and was hunched over in pain. "Stay back, Erela," Stacee instructed.
She did as he said and backed away with her wand in hand. Stacee did exactly what he did the night before and kept close to Landon as his body cracked and popped in different places. Light brown fur that matched his hair color started to grow everywhere, his hands morphed and his nails grew hard and sharp, his ears lengthened and pointed, and brown eyes changed to glowing yellow eyes. Landon cried out in pain, a little whimper here and there as the tall boy hunched over on all fours, his spine bent back and his head flew back in response. She saw his teeth bared and sharpen in the process while his muzzle pushed forward. Ever so quickly, the freckled boy in front of her had transformed into the vicious eight-foot wolf.
Stacee backed away to Erela with his wand out and watched the wolf in front of them carefully. He was obviously still in pain from that awful process and was waiting for the agony to calm down a bit. "Stay on your toes," Stacee muttered to her.
Not that he was as quiet as Erela had wished. Keen sense of hearing after all. The wolf whipped his head back and glowered at the two sixteen-year-old Hufflepuffs. Erela swallowed the lump in her throat and raised her wand at the large wolf, readying herself for an attack. His yellow eyes searched them quickly and slowly stepped forward toward them. Stacee took Erela's arm and pulled her back with him, his wand still toward the werewolf and took gentle steps back.
And with a snap of a twig, Landon leapt at them with his teeth bared and a loud snarl from the angry werewolf. "Protego duo!" Stacee cried and bounced Landon back once he hit the shield. The large wolf landed on his feet and glared at the two kids. His fur puffed up from the back of his neck, which made him appear much bigger on all fours until he stood on his hind legs. And so, the illusion of the eight-foot werewolf grew another foot from the looks of it.
"Don't run," Stacee hissed. "He likes to hunt. If you start to run, he'll go after you and get you from there," he reminded her.
"Right . . ." she answered, her voice noticeably shook with fear.
The werewolf hunched over on all fours again and lowered himself to the ground, most of his weight on his back legs. "Get ready, he's about to pounce. We slit away from each other and see whom he goes after. You know how to use the seize and pull charm, right?"
Erela nodded. She was capable of conjuring it, it might not be as strong as Stacee's, but she could still do it without breaking. Landon added a little more weight to his back legs and launched himself at them. Stacee released Erela and shoved her away from him. Landon skidded a little and raised his claws at Erela and swiped at her. She jumped back with a surprised cry and quickly backed away from him. The wolf lunged and swiped at her, she conjured the protection spell to keep him from brutally injuring her. Erela could practically feel Landon push her back from the shield and try to break through the shield, just to have her blood on his hands.
"Carpe retractum!" Stacee called from behind Landon and a red rope tied itself around the wolf's thick neck. The vicious dog was pulled back and was forced back on all fours and growled at Stacee. Then, his attention was to the pink haired boy. How he remained so calm was beyond Erela. "Get back to the tree house. I'll be there in a moment. He'll try to get us from there for about half an hour."
Erela nodded and ran for the sanctuary of wood. Landon took notice of the running prey and howled before he tried to go after her, but Stacee pulled him back from chasing the girl. The girl climbed up the tree when she heard the loud booms of Landon's weight after Stacee. When the pinked haired boy reached the tree house, he conjured the shield charm before Landon could sink his teeth into the boy's shoulder and climbed up as quickly as possible. The two teenagers were out of breath, sweating, and hearts raced as the vicious wolf below them was snarling and snapped at them from, so desperate to reach the humans.
"An hour of that . . ." Stacee started as he looked at his watch. "Not bad."
"Thanks . . ." Erela sighed and took in deep breaths. Her body was trembling and her eyes sparked with fear from what Stacee saw.
"You can still back down," he yawned and took out a muffin from his bag.
"I'm good," Erela pursed her lips. "Thanks for being concerned enough to try and push me away though," she smirked at him.