Chapter 98. Longest Night Part 3. Back to the Beginning
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As Chiara and I silently enjoyed each other’s embrace, letting the worries of the future float away into the night. I felt another sting of pain, making me wince, Chiara hurriedly leapt up to look at my injuries again. “Are you okay? Where does it hurt?” I just shook my head, the pain helping my mind slowly clear from her honeyed scent. “I’ll be fine. I just need some air.” I sighed, trying to get up to my feet, only stopped by Chiara holding and pushing me back down on the straw covered ground. “No! You need rest!” 

 

Leaning closer into me, my nose was once again filled by her sickeningly sweet smell, stirring within me my desire to continue resting against one another. ‘Why don’t I want to stay on top of her? To be in the dominant position like before? Are the injuries lowering the beast’s strange instincts?’ I pondered, letting her take care of me again. Only realizing after she began licking my wounds again, that my beast’s will was still in full effect, just redirected. He wasn’t as domineering as before since he was injured, now only wanting to be cared for as he healed.

 

Chiara was also under the effect of her own beast, with how close she let her body rest against mine was obvious of that. Our strange kindredness now making sense in my mind, while watching Chiara rest her forehead against mine, tenderly licking my nose instinctively as she closed her eyes. ‘Our beasts are similar, others are violent, but both of ours are not. We’re more-’ “Lucas! Chiara!” My train of thought was derailed after hearing Hermione suddenly yelling at the both of us.

 

Both our heads leapt off the ground to see only half of Hermione’s body. “Hermione! Where’s your body!” Chiara yelled in shock, only to sigh in relief along with me after seeing her move the air past her, and flip it inside out to reveal a cloak. ‘An invisibility cloak, I can’t believe one was right under my nose.’ I gawked in disbelief as Hermione came over to us, yanking my head from the pillow. “I’m really sorry about this Chiara, but this only has space for two.” She muttered, dangling the invisibility cloak in her arms while wrangling a gold chain around my neck.

 

Hermione stared at me with the weight of the world in her eyes, every word she uttered filled with unimaginable importance. “I know you’re hurt, but I need you to come with me. Please.” I glanced down at what she was holding in her hand, and noticed it was a time-turner. A device I had only heard small snippets about from my father in the Ministry. “I know we have already done it. It needs to happen right now.” She urged, my eyes looking back towards her in dismay, horror stories of time manipulation, and its unimaginable damages done to the world itself filling my mind.

 

“What is that? Hermione, you’re scaring me… Lucas, you can’t go in your condition!” Chiara, forgetting she couldn’t speak normally anymore, finally grabbed me as she tried to stop me from hurting myself even more. Looking in her worried eyes reminded me of how many times I had seen those eyes since coming to school here. Some malignant part of me enjoyed knowing those that cared for me, but that just as soon turned to guilt instead. There was so much of what I did, what I withheld, what I lied about, that always bore that look. I didn’t like that I caused dismay in those I cared for most, but yet again, they were necessary.

 

Making up my mind, I quickly licked Chiara’s nose, trying to calm her down. “I will be fine. I trust Hermione… Will you keep my spot warm?” I asked, tilting my head, Chiara silently processing things before licking my nose again. “You better not hurt yourself more.” She huffed, not happy, but trusting Hermione just as much as I did, if not more. I held back a smile, not wanting to bare my teeth accidentally, and looked up at Hermione with a nod. She stuttered a bit before turning the hourglass necklace a few times, letting it twirl.

***

As time whirled around both Hermione and Lucas, she couldn’t help but feel slightly guilty. There was enough for three people under the cloak. However, just seeing Lucas and Chiara intertwined like that, especially including their little goodbye, sent the words out of Hermione’s mouth before she knew what she was saying. She had figured out of both of their reactions, compared to Lupin, that Chiara wasn’t the only werewolf that had… Other tendencies when transformed. Lucas clearly had similar instincts. Hermione had seen that first hand. 

 

She thought back to the medical wing, where Ron, still injured, worriedly waited for her and Harry. All while Harry was waiting at the bottom of the dark tower for Hermione and his invisibility cloak she said she was grabbing. She had lied to him, knowing that the amount of charms would still instantly catch them even under the invisible fabric she now held in her hands. She perhaps could have just stolen the turned in broom that Harry mysteriously got for christmas, and had Harry fly up to get Sirius. 

 

‘But I already made this decision. It was already something I had to do to maintain the timeline.’ She excused her actions, blaming her previous (or perhaps future) self for doing what she was doing now, only to acknowledge the falsehood in it. Her first thought was to do that, but she herself chose to have Lucas help her, the back of her mind wanting to keep him away from Chiara while they were both transformed. She didn’t like it. She couldn’t stand the idea of both Lucas and Chiara being together, making her heart squirm with just the idea. ‘I’m horrible… Some ‘friend’ I am.’ 

 

She hated herself and her feelings. Lucas brought out such polar emotions within her. She hated him, but wanted to be close with him. She wanted Chiara to be happy, but eagerly snatched away something that might, for her own self interests. Her own actions confused herself with how selfish she proved to be. She still hadn’t admitted it to herself, she wouldn’t, she couldn’t. She couldn’t admit what her heart was telling her, to acknowledge her attempts to steal from her best friend in which she also had a feeling felt the same way towards Lucas.

***

As soon as the time turner finished spinning, and we were thrown hours back into the past, the sudden mind shattering pain echoed through my skull, sending my stomach for a loop. “Ah!” I cried in pain, the injuries I had all over my body healed, but the feeling of my beast forcefully suppressed, chained in the back of my mind, made the pain I had earlier seem non-existent by comparison. “Lucas! Oh my-!?” Hermione grabbed onto my back, trying to help ease my pain, but froze after I felt her bare hand on my bare back, both of us now realizing I had no clothes on.

 

I quickly tried covering my front half as I squat onto the ground, trying to show as little skin as possible, the pain in my brain still making me queasy. “I need… My room.” I huffed, still in agony, and embarrassed by the memories of my time with Chiara just a few seconds earlier. My sullen thoughts of Hermione while my beast tainted my emotions without my realization. All of my previous actions and words helped to churn my stomach with shame. “Right, um… Here.” She muttered, trying to keep her eyes covered while handing me her thin pink jacket. I frowned, feeling so wrong about this, hating every moment that idea ran through my mind. ‘I’m not doing that.’

 

With the only other option being wearing Hermione’s jacket around my waist to help cover up my lower half, I decided to reveal one more thing to Hermione, just to avoid the awkwardness of being nude. ‘At least I’ll have fur.’ I slowly began to channel the power of the potion throughout my entire body. My body slowly cracking and snapping as I took hold over my Dominion Of Fear, changing me to my bestial appearance, much to Hermione’s shock and panic. “Lucas… Is that still you…?”

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