Chapter 92. Tension
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We both slowly crept from the edge of the thicket, branches cracking and snapping announcing our presence. Buckbeak snapped his head up to us, and began squawking while taking a stand, ready to fight. “I s*a** v*n*u*sh **u b**h!!” I glanced at Chiara, she was ready, but calm, no longer the shivering girl I had known for years. Her nervousness was gone when she was in this form. An intriguing difference in character, but one to focus on later, right now I was just pleased that she was dependable at this moment.


After making sure of that, I rushed to Hagrid’s drying rack he had kept outside, stealing the dead ferrets he was preparing for Buckbeak. Buckbeak began screaming louder at his food being stolen, but paused after I tossed one to him. Looking down at the ground where the dead ferret lay. He stopped mid screech, and glanced back up at me with intrigue. I bowed to him, the exact same as when we first spoke. “We’re here to stop your death.” I didn’t have my wand, my language no doubt being as unreadable to him as his was to me, all that I had to rely on was my tone. However I knew Buckbeak was very intelligent, enough to understand human language to some degree, he must know he’s on death row.


Buckbeak ate the ferret on the ground, and glanced at the large metal chain around his neck, attached to a collar. “T**n g** *e o** o* t*is.” He huffed while yanking the chain loosely on the ground with his talons. I nodded while throwing him another ferret, and stalked closer. As Buckbeak ate the ferret, I easily took the chain between my hands, and broke the metal like it was made of reed. 


Suddenly a howl echoed throughout the night, and I turned around to see Chiara’s twinkling silver fur hidden behind a few branches, howling at the moon. My stomach dropped, knowing that was the signal for something wrong. “Go!” I howled back at Buckbeak as he ran into the woods, my following closely behind him on all fours. “You aint eat’n Buckbeak!!” I heard Hagrid yell behind me, mistaking us just like we hoped, as a pack of feral werewolves looking for food.


There was only one thing we didn’t account for. A zip of something flying through the air, made my ears twitch before a sudden pain in my side forced a whimper out of me, and I faltered on the uneven terrain. Tripping over my own legs, the pain increased as I landed on something embedded in my side. I glanced down to see the bolt of a crossbow sunk into my flesh.

“What are you doing!? Run!” Chiara yelled back at me, clearly not hearing the thwip of the bolt flying through the air. As she rushed to my side to drag me behind, she froze after catching a whiff of iron in the air. “Oh by Merlin…” She gasped, but as Hagrid continued running towards us, a torch in one hand, as well as the crossbow in the other, we had no time. Chiara bit the nape of my neck, and tugged me forward as we both delved further into the woods.


It wasn’t working well, Hagrid was slowly catching up, using my trail of blood as a guide to find us. Buckbeak silently squawked at us, tussling his feathers while looking intently at me. “You go first. Buckbeak and I will catch up.” I muttered while pushing Chiara away from me, my side causing constant pain in me as I weakly squirmed onto Buckbeak’s back. Chiara, understanding of my intentions, helped me on, before running off. Buckbeak rumbled in what seemed like amusement before rushing off following Chiara.


Resting on Buckbeak's back hurt with every step, leaving me to just whimper with each bump on our trek. After making it to the stable, Buckbeak took me to the ‘room’, and carefully dropped me down. “Oh my god! What happened!?” Hermione yelled in shock while Chiara helped me to a patch of hay to lay on. “Hagrid is what happened.” I snidefully replied, not bothering to care that she couldn’t understand my sigh. Hermione bit her lower lip, taking a closer look at the blood-drenched bolt. “We have to remove this.”


Chiara began whimpering herself, trying to stop Hermione from doing that. “We don’t have any potions, he could bleed out!” Hermione without hearing a word she could understand, still shook her head at Chiara, still understanding Chiara's worries. “This is our only option! We can’t just go to Madam Pomfrey like this! I have some medical knowledge… Lucas, it’s up to you.” Both looked at me, waiting for my response.


I sighed from the pain, but nodded at Hermione before laying my head back down. I trusted her, she could do this. After all of the time we had spent together, I knew she never took the easy road for anything. If anything, I was glad that she was here, there was nobody else I would rather have look at me. Glancing at her eyes, filled with nothing but worry at my safety forced a small grin out of me. 'Perhaps the look I saw in her before was just my own imagination...' I pondered, thinking back to that night in the Chamber. The look that Hermione showcased now was not one that she could have forced or trained herself to show. Her brown chocolate eyes quaking in fear not of me, but in care of me.


Hermione’s hands shook with angst, seeing Lucas in this form for the first time, looking at his glowing yellow eyes that seemed to stare into her very soul made her chest squeeze. However, in only a few moments of seeing it, he had returned with a bolt in his side. Hermione knew that werewolves could heal almost any amount when transforming back into their human forms, but that process would be severely worsened if something remained in the werewolf’s body. Lucas wouldn’t heal correctly if this was still inside him, he may shift back the bolt twisting away in his gut as he shrunk.


She pressed down around the area the bolt had been lodged in his abdomen. His black fur was sticky with blood. ‘Is this how he felt with the unicorn?’ Hermione couldn’t help but wonder, before shaking the thought from her mind, and stealing Chiara’s jacket. “Chiara, you’ll need to hold him down!” She ordered, Chiara’s more nervous attitude resurfacing as she whimpered. Hermione frowned while ripping up the jacket to use as a bandage. “If you don’t, and he starts thrashing in pain, what do you think will happen to me?” 


Chiara’s silver eyes widened, before she leapt overtop Lucas, pinning his wrists down while staring intently into his eyes. Lucas snorted, looking away from both girls in embarrassment, silently telling Hermione to hurry up. Hermione looked at the bolt embedded in his stomach once again. Luckily it didn’t go too deep, his dense muscles slowing the projectile down. Hermione gulped, prodding his muscles a few times before focusing again, she frowned at Lucas’ lack of fear, his complete trust in her had made her take his injury less critically. 


She used some of the torn jacket to get a better grip of the shaft, watching as the cotton yellow dyed into a deep crimson. “1…2…3!” She yelled, pulling out the bolt in one swift tug. Lucas howled in pain, thrashing only being held back from Chiara overtop of him. Hermione swiftly stuffed the injury with the torn jacket, as Lucas’ pain slowly began to ease. Hermione sighed with relief, seeing Lucas’ breathing slow to a natural motion. 


After a small moment to collect ourselves, Buckbeak squawked to get our attention. Chiara, curling beside me, no longer overtop, but now resting gently near my stomach, sticking close to her torn jacket used to stent anymore blood, perhaps as some instinctual portion of her inner beast trying to protect me from anymore harm. Buckbeak bowed himself to us as thanks, his gaze lingering to me for a bit longer before taking off into the night.

“How are you feeling?” Chiara asked after a few seconds of silence, glancing back at me, I took a deep breath of her alluring scent, finding myself losing to my instincts again, wanting her as close to my body as possible. Without a thought, I licked her snout, before bumping my head against hers. “Never better.” I responded, not even registering my actions. Chiara stared at me, enough for me to realize only then what I had done. Before I could or say a thing, she licked part of my unkempt fur near my neck, putting it back into place before licking my snout as well. After she placed her head in the spot she had just cleaned, I looked at Hermione’s frozen expression to acknowledge that Chiara did indeed do that, Chiara’s instinctual beast altering her actions the same way as mine.