Beyond the Foggy Path

Chapter 43: Hogsmeade Weekend

Erela had gone into the restricted section of the library to go check on something she had to know about. There were times back in her sixth year she went in to research on some old spell or ritual that required blood for invisibility, just like the time when she discovered the cult. It was possible to make one invisible, but that spell wasn't taught to sixth years, not until close to the end of their seventh year at least.

Erela flipped through the pages of the book looking for old rituals of dark magic. There was no way . . . there was no way those students went researching for something as dark as a blood sacrifice ritual . . . It made her nervous knowing there were students going around doing those kinds of things and god knows what. She stopped at a page and quickly skimmed through the page for anything that matched what she saw, when—

Her hair was lightly tugged until her head touched the back of her neck to look up at Landon staring down at her from behind the couch. "What are you reading?"

"Just looking into subjects that may or may not be mentioned in Defense Against the Dark Arts sometime this year," Erela answered.

He shouldn't get involved . . .

"So, some "light" reading again?" he raised a brow at her and gently let go of her hair. Erela saw the look in his eyes, concern . . . The book she held definitely wasn't something that appeared to be available to younger students. By the look of it, it was something with dark magic from the restrict section . . .

"Yeah," she nodded and closed the book. "So we just have to wait on Stacee and meet up with Laila?"

"Scratch that, actually . . ." Landon sighed. "Stacee isn't feeling well."

"Oh . . . did he say what was wrong?"

"He said some overdramatic thing like he's going to die or something. Like, cramps or some stomach ache," he shrugged.

"Huh . . . well that's too bad," she commented and wrinkled her nose. He seemed fine just yesterday. In fact, she or Landon would have noticed his hair change colors if he didn't feel too well. Oh well. "So I'm guessing it'll just be us and Laila," Erela said as she stood up.

"Yeah," Landon shrugged again simply as the two went out and waited for Laila in front of the Great Hall. The two made small conversations with one another, commenting back here and there to keep the silence from becoming any thicker. Erela had sort of gotten used to it, but a part of her couldn't help but miss the fact that Landon hated silence and would keep the conversation going rather than let them sit in silence altogether.

Eventually, after about a half an hour of waiting, Landon's little brother (fresh in his second year and housed in Gryffindor) round around the corner. "Hey guys," the little freckled redheaded boy smiled widely. Erela couldn't help but stare at the boy and how he looked like the spitting image of Landon. Just as many freckles, threatening to be just as tall as him when he would hit puberty, glowing honey brown eyes and a wide smile that took up most of his face.

"Hey kid," Landon smiled back.

"Was afraid you two had already left," Braiden sighed. "Laila sent me just as she was running out. She wanted me to come by and tell you to go on without her. She forgot she had Quidditch practice today."

Erela blinked a couple times and peeked up at Landon. That would mean . . . it was just the two of them then . . .

Landon pursed his lips and ran his fingers through his hair before he ruffled Braiden's red hair. "Thanks for running down to tell us."

"Can I come with you guys?" Braiden asked, a little enthusiasm in his tone.

Landon chuckled as he shoved his hands into his jean pocket. "Can't. You have to be a third year and older to go. You know that."

"I knooooow, but it's boring staying here!" the twelve year old Wisenburg boy groaned.

Erela and Landon chuckled lightly when Landon light nudged Braiden's head with his palm. "Sorry. You'll have to wait another year," the seventh year Wisenburg waved to his little brother. "See you around."

"See you, Landon," he waved back. "Bye, Erela!"

Erela nodded and waved back to Braiden as Landon and Erela walked out to the quad and toward the bridge. "He really likes you," Landon commented.

Erela chuckled a little as she hugged herself, the autumn wind making her shiver a little even with her thermals underneath her coat. "Yeah. He's nice," she commented back. God, had it really been two years since she met the boy? He hadn't started Hogwarts yet and she only started hanging out with the boys recently. She didn't even recall talking to him much. "He always has a giant smile on his face when he sees you around the corner."

"Yeah," Landon shrugged. "He thinks it's kind of cool to have me as a brother, I guess."

When Erela thought about it, she wasn't even sure when Landon became a werewolf. He never really shared when the event happened when he was infected. Probably for as long as he could remember, Landon had been suffering from lycanthropy all of Braiden's life. Could the younger Wisenburg boy even remember a time Landon was all human?

Erela didn't dare make a comment. From what she had learned whatever reassurance she tried to manage, Landon wouldn't take it. He saw himself a monster through and through. Nothing else.

The heavy atmosphere in the air lifted when they reached Hogsmeade and walked around the tiny shops. With all the enthusiastic energy looming around the village, it was hard not to get sucked in. Landon and Erela walked around Honeydukes for whatever sweets caught their fancy and spent hours wandering around Zonko's Joke Shop playing with the prankster toys and laughed away at the results.

The two Hufflepuffs relaxed close by to the Wizarding Wireless Network Headquarters listening to music that played off the intercom for passers to hear in an earshot. They tried playing a little game while they watched people walk by them, making up stories on why they were wandering around the village, why they wore what they wore, and even harmlessly joked (well, Landon joked. Erela awkwardly made jokes) of them. If started to feel normal around them, practically relaxing.

Landon and Erela had just passed "the haunt of happy couples", or Madam Puddifoot's Tea Shop as they made way out of the village when Landon asked, "Remember that time after Thanksgiving holiday last year when you suddenly apologized for your . . . exploding moment?"

Erela looked up at him as she shoved her hands into her coat pocket. "Yeah . . . I feel pretty stupid doing that . . . that wasn't fair of me . . ." she apologized again.

"What suddenly brought that on?" Landon nudged the question. "You're usually not the kind of person that makes a move first on anything . . ."

"Oh . . ." Erela pursed her lips as she collected her thoughts. It was silly really, all because of a dream she had while he was away. It was kind of an impulse really. That she had had a dream of green light shot at her, envisioning death at her doorstep at any given moment . . . that stupid dream brought on that little idea to run back to Landon and not die alone . . . she supposed. It was hard to explain. "I had a nasty dream . . ."

Landon waited on her to continue the story, but she stayed quiet with no hint of even going on. "That's it?"

"Well . . . it's . . . really difficult to say . . ." she sighed.

"Some kind of dream that maybe you've been trying to comprehend through Divinations like you have been since our third year . . .?" the werewolf questioned.

Erela bit the side of her lip. "Sort of . . ." Not sort of, the answer was yes. "It's silly," she shook her head. "It was probably because of where I slept—"

"What—huh? Where did you sleep . . .?" he raised a brow, his voice rose with concern.

Erela looked up at him. "It's nothing," she tried to brush off.

"No no, say it. Where did you sleep?"

What was he so concerned about? It wasn't like she slept in someone's bed or something. No wait, was that what he was thinking? That she was sleeping in someone else's bed or something? Oh god, got to fix that misunderstanding that may or may not have been in Landon's head.

"I slept alone in the Shrieking Shack," Erela said to reassure him.

"You did—" Landon sighed in frustration and ran his fingers through his hair. "Why?" he growled.

Seriously? He was mad at that? "What's wrong with that? You don't have a say in what I do . . ." she fought.

"No . . . but . . ." Landon groaned and kicked some branches out of his way. "I thought you were at least somewhat smart to not go somewhere like THAT. Let alone actually sleep there alone . . ." the werewolf boy growled.

"I kept saying "no" . . ." Erela mumbled to herself.

Landon shot a look at her. "What . . . you were dared or something?" Erela dropped her eyes and blinked a couple of times. Shit . . . she already knew where the argument was going to go. "Harris." Dammit! He only referred to her by her last name unless he was truly mad.

"Yes . . . I was dared . . ." she sighed.

"By HIM?"

Erela shot a look back at him. "I'm getting pretty tired of you always baring your teeth at just the mere mention of him," she mumbled grimly.

"Ela . . . god, fuck . . ." he snapped and roughly ran his hands through his hair. "I don't like you hanging out with him."

"And I wasn't exactly in a happy mood then. Who else was I suppose to hang out with when my friends and ex-boyfriend left for the holidays?"

"That was YOUR problem. Not mine."

"Well EXCUSE me for not being in the right enough mood to tell Michael to shove off!" she exclaimed. "I know you don't like him, but this is ridiculous! Whether you like it or not, he's still MY friend."

"And clearly you two have something in common. Nasty and clearly open to the idea of hurting others to prove a point. Right, ice queen?" he snarled at her. And just like that, a strong pang in her chest nearly knocked the wind out of Erela. Sure, it was fine for Michael to call her emotionless or a robot, but hearing it from someone she was in love with hurt way worse.

Erela narrowed her eyes at him and shot her "Cruciatus-curse-like" mind power on him, making him yelp for a moment before she stormed away from him back to the village. She heard him curse just behind her as she took long strides farther and farther away from him.

Ice queen . . . fuck him . . .

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