Chapter 46: One More Time
Stacee and Erela spoke about the cult when Landon was away for the upcoming weeks. They went into the library together a couple times to look into the group some more for a better understanding. And Erela talked about what she had seen the one time when Stacee and Landon were celebrating Thanksgiving together their sixth year. They weren't sure if what they read was true. They only went with the patch they had seen on the students that time.
"They celebrate being supernatural by . . . sacrificing to their "lord"," Stacee said. "As a gift of some sorts. By giving them the blood of animals that act as familiars to witches and wizards," he said. "It gets bad though . . ."
"How bad?" Erela asked.
Stacee didn't say anything for a while. He was uncomfortable talking about the topic, Erela was too but was more eager to get more information on the dangerous students they attended school with. "It's extreme and I don't think they actually do it . . ." Erela waited for him to explain. "You see . . . with this one, it talks about sacrificing to gain: fame, fortune, and power. With killing animals, it's a cost as a thank you."
"You're not saying that—"
"They kill people. It has to be a blood sacrifice . . ."
Erela had thought about that conversation with Stacee a lot, she lost sleep over it as a matter of fact. She wanted to tell her father, he and the other aurors would do something about it. She was just afraid of the cost of her friends' and families' lives if she blabbed. The question was: was she just being a coward to tell the authorities or was she merely protecting the people she loved?
She brushed a curl behind her ear as she scribbled a drawing in her notebook with her feet propped over her trunk waiting for the boys to get their things together to leave for the holiday. Whenever anyone else came out of their hole with their luggage, Erela always peeked up at them cautiously for a moment before dropping her glance. She had been watching to make sure if any of them looked familiar from that night or if any of them had that intense intimidation she had to fear.
Erela hadn't pin pointed that may be in the cult . . .
"We're tired of waiting for you, brown eyes. Lets go," Landon joked.
She rolled her eyes, closed her notebook, and took her trunk. "Your mother knows about me coming over?"
"Yeah," the werewolf nodded. "Have you heard anything from your parents yet?"
"Ummm . . ." Erela did bring it up with them, and they were allowing her to go. Her mum was all smiles to go on and have fun. Her dad on the other hand . . . was rather cautious of the idea being in a household that held a young werewolf. "My dad probably won't come," she shrugged. "I'm not sure just yet, it's only a guess since he's always busy. I'm not sure about mum either. I'll be sure to write you when I know."
"That's fine. You have a few days to tell us," Landon shrugged. Hogwarts only gave the students two weeks of winter break and had to return to school the first Sunday of January, it gave her plenty of time to figure out her plans but also pressured her to rush and ask.
The three rushed to the Hogwarts Express to go and get their own compartment closer to the front, at least by then the sweets trolley would still be full when it reached them. They were often lucky enough to have a compartment for themselves, not a lot of people were willing to share one with the strange/dangerous trio. It was fine, really. More room for them to move around.
"I'll meet you guys in the compartment later. I'm going to go find Laila," Stacee said as he dropped his stuff in the luggage pile.
"Sure," Landon nodded and the pinked haired metamorphmagus disappeared into the crowd for his girlfriend.
"It has become pretty normal for him to disappear and look for her," Erela commented. Stacee was a fine gentleman, but it was fine for her to go looking for him too. It wasn't like Stacee was hard to pick out in a crowd anyways.
"Yeah," Landon nodded in agreement while the two went into the train looking for an empty compartment to occupy. "Was your dad okay with you wanting to come over to visit?" he asked out of the blue.
Erela pursed her lips and shoved her hands into her pocket. "He was uncomfortable with the idea. Him probably not coming has nothing to do with do with . . ."
"With me being a monster?" he finished.
"No," Erela shook her head. "Not because you're "a monster"." Well, maybe a little. "You're just different," she added. "Point is, my mum most likely convinced him that it's okay since she actually met you and your family. She trusts all of you and she likes you a lot."
Landon looked uncomfortable about the topic and instantly dropped it by the looks of it.
She pursed her lips and slid her hand into his and gave it a light squeeze. "I like you a lot too . . ." she reminded him.
The young werewolf returned her reassuring squeeze before he pulled her hand up to lightly kiss her knuckles. "I like you too," he lightly smiled and gently pulled her along down the corridor of the train. As the two walked quickly down the hall, they found an empty room and took claim of it immediately. It wasn't as close to the front as they wished, but it was better than farther down where the first years would most likely stay if they didn't leave the castle soon enough. Erela took a seat at the window and Landon sat close beside her at a comfortable closeness. He swung her scrawny legs over his lap with a big smile on his face and merely stared at her with those warm brown eyes that glowed with love once again.
"We're going to do this again?"
"Yep," he nodded. "I'm not a fan about breaking up with a girl I really like a million times."
"Same goes for me," she nodded. "Except, with a guy. Not a girl," she shrugged awkwardly.
Landon chuckled and shook her head. "You're a dork," he commented. "Promise to talk things over."
"And not completely freak out about it?" she raised a brow at him.
"Well, that's a given no matter what," the freckled boy shrugged.
"Okay . . . how about not to the point that we just end it right then and there. I don't want to come any close to being that one couple that broke up because one doesn't like the other's favorite movie or because they fought over a toaster."
Landon lightly laughed. "Deal. And no keeping secrets."
Erela kept a straight face on and restrained herself from gulping down the lump caught in her throat. That one she couldn't take. Not one hundred percent that was. There was only that one secret she would never tell him, no matter what. "Promise," she nodded with a gentle smile.
He returned the smile and leaned in closer to her. Their foreheads met and lightly closed their eyes, feeling each others' temperature rise and the intensity to kiss one another lingered for long moments of their time. It was just the two of them. No students wandering outside their compartment. No noise to be heard. Just each other and the sound of their gentle breath. Erela felt Landon's lashes brush against her own lashes and felt his eyes on her. She couldn't help but smile at how warm his gaze felt on her, like his honey brown eyes just melted the weight off her chest with ease.
One more time . . .
Landon gently leveled his head with hers and their lips met. Just like the first time they kissed, her heart exploded. Her body fell victim to his touch and it felt so right. All too right. She automatically welcomed him and he took her warm embrace. His hands slid around her waist and lightly pulled her closer to him, deepening their kiss and getting rather cozy with one another.
Had their kisses always felt that intimate? Or had it been so long that the once familiar kisses felt different to her? She wasn't exactly sure nor did she care. Landon was hers again and she was his.
They softened their kiss when they heard the compartment door slid open. "Seriously, guys?"
Landon and Erela's lips separated and Erela blushed dark red when Landon looked up toward his best friend and girlfriend. "Hey, guys," he laughed.
"I can't leave you two alone for fifteen minutes, I swear," he rolled his eyes and sat across from the two. Laila giggled at the two and sat beside Stacee when the train whistle echoed loudly for everyone to get on before it would leave.
Erela lightly smiled and looked up at the freckled Landon when she lightly slid her hand into his and intertwined their fingers. He squeezed her hand and grinned at her, the same amount of love glowed in his eyes just like the first time.
One more time.
And this time it felt like it would last much longer . . .