Red, still in disbelief that Granny could lie to her for so long, did her best to hide with Snow White in the woods.
Red had always known the girls name wasn’t Mary.
She chuckled at the memory of her friend, frightend, had first told her that her name was Frosty.
snow looked curiously at Red, wondering what was so funny.
Red shook her head.
They have been running away from the Evil Queen’s men, one of whom ripped Red’s hood.
“Oh, no!” Red cried, fear creeping up and down in her veins.
She looked at the moon... it was still full.
“It’s torn!” she cried. “You have to get away from me!”
“Maybe it will still work!” Snow whispered, terrified more of leaving Red than staying with her.
“I trust you!”
Red smiled at her friend sadly, tears filling her eyes.
“Thank you, Snow. But for your safety we have to split up. When this is over, I will find you”
Snow smiled and hugged Red.
“Okay, and when you do, we’ll run away together. i know of a wood cabin a good distance from here. No one will be able to find us.”
Red nodded, and hugged Snow tight.
“Okay. Now go!”
Snow nodded and ran, looking back every once in a while.
In the morning, Red found herself in the forest. The hood worked, but Red was still wary as she made her way to the stream and washed her face.
Her cloak lain beside her, it was suddenly grabbed by a tall young man in black she’d never seen before.
“Hey!” Red yelled as she ran after him.
Surprised, Red realized she was able to run much faster than she could as a young girl.
She wondered if this was due to the wolf.
Red finally halted as she noticed the stranger dangling her cloak over a torch.
“Looking for this?” he grinned, his eyes gleaming.
Red gulped. Of course in her childhood there had been moments when she detested wearing the hood, especially when she felt that Granny was being too overbearing.
Red now knew that her grandmother in her way, had loved her and had tried her best to protect Red at all costs.
Aside from that, there was more to it then that.
When Red wore her hood, she felt encased and comforted in magic, as if the maker of the cloak knew what she was and wanted to protect her...
Just like her papa...
Wait, Red thought. My father is dead...
She turned her attention back to the stranger who was placing her security blanket even closer to the flame, which would effectively destroy it forever...
"No, no! Don’t! Please. I need that!” Red cried.
The stranger smirked. “This old thing? What could you possibly need this for?”
Red glared at him and growled. “Drop it!”
The man eyed her, the cloak and then eyed Red again, looking smug.
"Unless… It protects you from something...”
Red panicked. “What are you talking about?” How did he know?
The man smirked.
“You think I don’t know a wolf when I see one?”
Red tripped up the stranger, successfully retreiving her cloak. her eyes glowed yellow.
“How do you know what I am?!”
The man smirked again, reversing their position.
"Because I know how to recognize a child of the moon.” His eyes glowed in return.
Red, taken aback, not noticing their compromising position, smiled at the stranger.
"You… You’re one, too?”
The man nodded, agilely getting up, and then helping her to stand up as well.
"Name’s Quinn. I picked up on your scent last night. You never had anyone talk to you about this, did you? Teach you about what you are?”
He eyed her in sympathy.
Red shook her head sadly, then told him what she had always believed, or at least been told...
"My parents were killed by hunters when I was a baby. I was raised by my Granny.”
Quinn turned to her in disbelief. He shook his head. You poor girl he seemed to say.
"But she kept the truth from you. Made you wear that.”
Red picked up the hood, draping it over her arm.
“Still blacking out, right? Still losing control when you turn? Probably even hurt someone.”
Red winced as she thought about Peter, she wanted to cry. Quinn eyed her again.
“I know how you feel. I’ve been there. It doesn’t have to be this way.”
He knew how she felt? He had ripped some poor girl’s heart out?
How could there be an end to the pain she had caused, the pain she was feeling?
"What do you mean?” she asked.
Quinn smiled. ”
What if I told you there was a way to control it, so you never have to be afraid of what you might do again?”
Red felt doubtful. “Is that possible?”
Quinn nodded. “Follow me.”
He led her to the base of a tree and opened a hatch in the ground.
Red, her instincts on the rise, bristled up in alarm.
"Is this some kind of trick?” she asked warily.
Quinn ignored the question and led Red to the den of the Wolves.
“Used to be the grand hall of a castle, until it sunk underground. Now, it’s all ours.”
Red looked around in awe, noticing all different types of boys and girls some napping, some reading, two boys were wrestling.
"Are they…” she looked at Quinn.
Again, he nodded.
"Yes. We are all the same. Come–Anita is expecting you.”
Red’s ears perked up. That name didn’t sound familiar...
“Who’s Anita?” she asked.
A dark, mysterious woman appeared a moment later, her brown eyes flashing yellow.
"That would be me. Well done, Quinn. You finally found her.”
Turning to Red, she embraced her, fingering her hair.
“You’ve grown so much.” she said, tenderly.
The she wolf vaguely wondered how the child was able to survive out in the snowy regions of the Misty Mountains.
She soon noticed Red’s stomach and smiled secretively.
“and soon to be a mother on your own...”
They would soon take care of that...
Red, feeling slightly wary, placed a hand on her stomach as if she could feel what the woman was thinking.
“You know me?”
Anita nodded. “I’m your mother.”
Granny had told Red that her parents were dead, but Anita was very much alive and the pack leader for a whole gang of werewolves.
Anita lied to Red explaining that Granny kidnapped Red, because she saw the wolf as a monster to be ashamed of.
In reality, Anita knew that she had sired the child of the Dark One. She could not train her daughter to kill her father, when that very daughter was born with magic in her veins...
But now, if Red had sired a full blood werewolf, perhaps her child could be trained.
If it was proved to be a mortal, it would have to go...
But all in good time...
"Granny lied to me. That story about you being killed by hunters..." Red said sadly.
Anita shook her head. "She’s been lying to you ever since she stole you away from me, when you were just a baby."
Red, feeling her instincts flare up again, turned her head. "Why would she do that?"
Anita gestured to the others.
"Because she didn’t want you to find out the truth about who you really are. She believed the wolf is something to be ashamed of. I see things differently. Humans want us to believe we’re the monsters. The moment you believe them... that’s when you become one. You’re not the first to learn the truth about yourself through tragedy. So many of us spent so much of our life suppressing the wolf. They have no idea how to control it."
She took a deep breath and exhaled.
"They just need help... help embracing their true nature. The only way you will ever control the wolf, is by accepting it as a part of you."
Red was excited now. "You can teach me to do that?"
"Indeed, I can." Anita nodded.
"How?" Red asked.
Anita pointed at Red's cloak. "You can start, by getting rid of that."
Red took off her hood, hoping no one else would try to destroy it.
Red didn’t know why, for she was extremely ecstatic to find her birth mother; but for some reason, Red’s instincts were telling her not to trust Anita...
In the following weeks Anita taught Red to accept the wolf and thus control it. The lessons took some time and getting used to.
Red was startled the first time that she was able to hear her mother’s voice instructing her as the wolf.
It’ll be like nothing you’ve ever felt before… the pine needles underfoot, the air rushing over your fur, your brothers and sisters at your side.
True to Anita’s word, Red felt adrenaline rushing through her veins as she ran beside her fellow wolves, wild, free...
Your mind won’t want to believe it. It will tell you a wolf is invading your body, trying to take over. And if you believe that, for even a moment, you’ll black out, and lose control. Like you have every other night you’ve turned.
Red remembered the first time her concentration was averted, and she blacked out.
Sadly, she’d bitten another wolf’s ear and scuffled with one of the boys.
Anita and Quinn tried to console her and encouraged her to try again...
But, if you give in to the wolf, you’ll realize the truth. You, are the wolf. And, when you accept that, you will finally be in control.
Ruby taught herself a mantra. When she was the wolf, her eyes flashed yellow at will.
When she was human, and fear took over her mind, she would repeat “There is no fear, I am the wolf. I will not turn”
For the first time, Ruby looked at herself in a pool of water as the wolf. She was powerful...
Her onyx-grey fur shone in the moonlight, and her eyes, yellow like the sun glowed like stars...
Ruby awoke to her new friends surrounding her.
"How much do you remember?” Anita asked.
Ruby grinnned. “All of it” she answered.
Anita smiled. “Well done, my daughter. You have finally become the wolf”
Ruby beamed as the others congratulated her.
The next day was spent lazing around in the den, when all of a sudden everyone was jolted awake by a sudden noise.
“What is it?” Red asked.
“Hunters” Quinn growled. Red noticed that during her time here, Quinn was rather aggressive. It took Anita to calm him down.
It turned out that the noise hadn’t been hunters at all.
Snow White had tracked Red to the werewolf lair.
Red was overjoyed to see her sister again, and hugged her feircely.
During their time apart, she had regretted their last argument and had made a resolution to appologize when she saw Snow next.
Snow too had been saddened by their last quarrel and had wanted to make ammends.
"l'm so sorry!" Red cried
"I’m sorry too" Snow said tearfully.
Anita and Quinn looked at the girl suspiciously... who was she and how did she get here?
“Red,” Snow asked nervously, “Who are all your friends?”
Red smiled sadly, knowing she’d have to break her best friends heart.
“I found my mother... these people are werewolves just like me... I don’t have to hide from who I am anymore”
Snow nodded sadly, realizing Red wouldn’t be coming wth her.
“I’m sorry” Red said, knowing what Snow was thinking.
“It’s alright” Snow said, managing a smile. “I’m glad you found what you were looking for”
The two hugged desperately, not wanting to say goodbye.
Anita rolled her eyes. it was time for the girl to go. There was work to be done!
Before Snow could leave, several of the Queen’s soldiers burst in, hunting for Snow White.
"Noo!" Snow screamed.
"How did they...?" Red wondered.
"They followed her here!" Anita roared.
During the fight, one of the girls was knocked unconscious, and then one of the boys was killed.
Writhing with fury, Anita charged at Snow ready to kill, when the last soldier, recovered from unconsciousness, shot Anita.
As she lay dying, with Red by her side, Anita whispered two puzzling words to her daughter: “I’m sorry”
Red was puzzled by this, and didn't have time to ask her what she meant.
"Mother!" she cried. Snow put an arm around Red.
"This is your fault!" growled Quinn as he took Anita's head into his lap, sobbing over her.
"She was all that we had and you killed her! You chose that stupid princess over your own pack!"
Red gulped, distraut. "I didn't! I chose me! I'm not a killer!"
"Leave" Quinn hissed. "Before I become one!"
Snow grabbed Red's hand and dragged her out of there.
Once the remaining soldiers had fled, the remaining wolves with Quinn as their new leader sat in a circle around Anita’s grave, grieving as they buried their fallen leader.
Once they were sure the wolves were out of sight, Red and Snow inched to the grave so that Red could say goodbye to the mother she never knew...
“May you always run free beneath the pale moon light...” Red whimpered the mantra, touching the headstone tenderly.
Somehow, though she grieved, Red felt as if she were grieving a stranger...
Mama... where are you...? Red thought as she dozed off to sleep.
It was then, as she and Snow settled down for the night, a young woman in blue with fair skin, brunette hair, and bright blue eyes came before her vision...
Try as she might, Red could not remember the beautiful young woman’s name...