Chapter 96. The Longest Night
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It was almost the end of the school year, and tonight was the last full moon before summer break. I took a deep breath after taking headache medicine, The Beast inside of me groggily stirring. I was doing some last minute studying in my room, until Abarrane suddenly tapped on my window. I looked over to see her long tendril against the glass, before pointing up to the surface, her large yellow eye trying to tell me something.

 

I frowned and whipped out my wand, placing it on the glass to hopefully better hear her. Ringing encapsulated my ears as her broken speech began coming though. “Y**r fri*nd i* h*r*.” I hummed in thought, wondering if it was perhaps Luna at the surface of the lake, wanting to spend more time with Gaynor or Val. 'She did say she was going to learn more of something before next month...' I thought, anxiety creeping into the back of my mind. Her words and actions left a stark memory of her perhaps guessing what I was. Was she calling me in a way of proving herself right? I silently groaned at my desk, burying my head in my hands before glancing at Val's tank to make sure I didn't wake him. Val, soon to molt, had begun taking longer and longer rests during the day. I saw him still sleeping in a slightly different position I had noted hours earlier. His skin looked more gray nowadays, he was beginning to molt again, but I didn’t know why it took him so long this time.

 

"This might actually be a good thing..." I raised a brow at the sight of Val, seeing he was too exhausted to come with me gave me a perfect reason to leave Luna early, before the full moon tonight. I couldn't just avoid her tonight, that might give her more cause to believe me as a werewolf. 'Instead, I'll need this.' As a way to prove to her I wasn't lying, I carefully reached inside Val's tank, and gently removed one of his latest shaving's of molt left just where he last rested. I looked at the paper-like skin, and placed it inside my vest pocket before wearing my school issued robes to quell the cold night air.

 

Near the edge of the lake, light was dimming from the sky, and I wondered where Luna was. Knowing I had about half an hour before the full moon, I decided to take my wideye potion now, before I would forget it. With one swig, and a pinch of my nose to avoid the bitter taste, I could feel my consciousness lock into place, a certain stability in my mind that protected me from being overtaken by the beast.

 

I waited for a while, and kept my eyes peeled for anyone, but nobody was around, something my own heightened nose backed up. I knew Abarrane wouldn’t lie, someone she knew must have called for me, but they weren’t around here. After a few more minutes of waiting, and with the sun slowly setting over the horizon I decided to look around, away from the bench, and over to where Luna looked for Moon Frogs when we first had a real conversation. 'Perhaps she's trying to silently wait for me to change for her proof...'

 

A few steps, and a glance behind the bushes that blocked the view between both places was all it took to find nobody present there either. I let out a sigh, and shook my head. Curfew was fast approaching as well as the moon. “I don’t have time for this…” I muttered, forgoing whoever may have called me up here as I walked back to the school. I had enough time to circle through the Chamber’s opening rather than wasting my good shoes to sewage.

 

I walked on the slightly wet grass, keeping my steps deliberate to avoid muddy patches that threatened to slip underneath me. My mind became occupied with Luna, wondering if this was even her to begin with. ‘Abarrane just said a friend. How many know about Abarrane anyway, the list cant be long.’ I hummed in confusion, but a sudden shriek made me gasp in fright. I almost jumped while twisting my neck around to see the forbidden forest.

 

My feet began taking me closer to the direction of the scream before I could even think. My legs carried me to help a familiar voice. I was sure I knew her, but from the small scream I couldn’t say who. What I was sure about was that I needed to help them from perhaps an Acromantula too far from its nest. I ran into the woods, scrambling around for any sign of someone in distress. Making it to a clearing, I looked around for any sign of somebody. “Hello!?” I yelled out, trying to ascertain their location.

 

The loud sound of blood rushing in my ear was all I could hear. I kept looking, a sinking feeling going down into a pit in my stomach. Something was wrong, I felt as if I should smell them if they were in distress, my heightened nose at the full moon already working overtime. However, all I could smell was myself, and other non-essential scents. I knew I heard something, I was sure of it, but now I was left all alone.

 

As I pondered what to do, I noticed the pale light from above enter through the trees. The moon’s rays hitting my skin burned down to my bones, broiling everything in between. My skin prickled as thousands of hairs began growing out from all over my body, fur black as pitch. My clothes ripping and tearing under the strain of my newly growing body, fell to the forest floor, the feeling of confinement now gone as I stood up proud, howling at the moon with excitement, the beast now fully awake.

 

As I howled at the moon, thanking it for granting me this pleasure to finally be free once again, I heard it harmonize with another, near the school. ‘The scream!’ My excitement was cut short as the memory of why I was out here in the first place came flooding back, with all the unease along with it. I quickly rushed towards where I heard the other werewolf, howling again for it to hopefully call back. However, nothing more came from where I first heard it, sending me further and further on edge of having one of the girls I knew injured, or worse.

 

As I made it out of the tree line, I could see distant figures standing by the whomping willow. With one very particular figure of a rearing patchy gray werewolf, ready to angrily pick apart human flesh of those it towered over. Some other beast was attacking what I had claimed. I knew it. The smell of parchment wafted down the hill to my heightened nose, Hermione. He was trying to eat what was mine. My instincts raged as I barked violently at the werewolf I was running full speed towards.

 

Just as he turned his head to see me, his arm still raised to claw for just the satisfaction of rending human flesh, I tackled myself into him. Attempting to bite into his neck, I was blocked by his arm, only now having my sharp teeth embedded in his arm instead. While I bit down harder, yanking his arm to injure it more, he began hitting my head to stop me. I powered through the pain, until he accidentally smacked my snout, forcing me to stumble back, shaking my head to catch my breath.

 

“Bloody hell!” I heard Weasley yell, and glanced back to see who else was here. Standing in front of everyone was Harry Potter, holding out his wand at the ready while his eyes kept darting from me and the other werewolf, to the underbrush behind us. Ron Weasley, his pant leg covered in the blood of his injured leg, barely able to sit up on a nearby stone, the look of absolute terror in his eyes reflected the image of myself. Finally stood Hermione, staring intently at me, unease in her gaze. As I was lost in thought, the other werewolf clawed at me again, slashing through my cheek as I was thrust back into the ground.

 

As Hermione watched Lucas quickly get back up, bite, and yank Lupin’s head back, knocking him from his feet, falling onto his back, her mind buzzed in confusion at what to do. Peter Pettigrew had run off, Sirius Black, who turned out to be innocent, had been thrown over the ridge by Lupin, who was reduced to nothing but a violent beast at the moment. So much had all happened in the last few minutes, but she had no time to think, or process any of it. “Dementors!” Ron yelled, pointing over the ridge, both Hermione and Harry looking skyward to see what appeared to be hundreds of black specters all descending from the backlight of the moon. 

 

“Sirius!” Harry yelled out, rushing past both fighting werewolves. “Harry! No!” Hermione yelled as she rushed out to stop him. Just as she was about to run past the tree, a black mass was flown right before her, she let out a yelp of shock, and looked down to see Lucas, panting heavily as the wind was knocked out from his body as he was slammed into the tree. Growling came just opposite of her, and she slowly turned to look at Lupin, his patchy gray fur matching his skin-tone underneath, giving him a creepy image of a hairless, mange infested creature. His shining blue eyes filled with hunger and hatred, desiring only for destruction, glaring down directly at her.

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