Chapter 99. Back and Forth
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After seeing Hermione’s utter shock and unease I realized that my sudden transformation could be taken as the beast forcefully waking up on its own. Werewolf time travel most likely wasn’t in any manual, and Hermione seemed to be fearful of the worst. Just as I was about to nod, I heard a twig break at the outskirts of the ranch, sweet syrup wafting through the wind and into my nose. ‘Chiara!’

 

Fighting the impulse of running out to greet her, I instead tackled Hermione, placing my hand over her throat, skillful pressure points stopping noise from escaping her lips. With my other hand, I covered us both with the invisibility cloak of hers, before rushing out the door, thrusting Hermione against a wall as I stared in the direction I heard Chiara approaching. Hermione slowly stopped fighting back, the smell of her fear morphing into something else while her pulse remained elevated.

 

She slowly moved her gaze from me, to the large entrance, now seeing Chiara slowly trudging through the overgrowth with a bag of extra clothes with her. Looking at her I thought about telling her about the Chamber, giving her a better place to change, the scent of her making my head swim, my instincts jumping at the idea of having her by my side more. Just as she walked by, and entered her room, I removed my hand from Hermione’s throat, a slight bruise left in my wake. 

 

Her red face gasped from the apprehension, and slight lack of air. She gasped, panting while feeling her throat, scowling at me with fury. “Lucas…” She muttered, finally squinting her eyes shut before shaking her head, unable to say another word on the topic. “Let’s just go.” She began leading the way, both of us still hidden under the cloak, bulging from my transformed size, barely able to contain the entirety of my body, forcefully keeping my body pressed up against Hermione’s.

 

After going far enough from the stable, I felt safe enough to let my feet out from the hiding of the cloak, allowing me to keep a further distance from Hermione. I could have done that. To give her room, and to keep my mind focused; rather than constant scratching in the back of my brain to enjoy the scent of parchment that trailed from her raggedy hair. However, just taking a step away from her, I felt uneasy. I didn’t want to remain apart like that.

 

Hermione paused after feeling me distance myself from her. Glancing back, looking me up and down for a moment before noticing my feet hanging out from under the cloak's protection. She frowned, biting her bottom lip, before forcing the words from her mouth. “Stay close. It’s safest to remain fully hidden at all times.” Neither of us moved as I pondered my choice. I knew what was best, and I was in control, my beast still drowsy. I wouldn’t have the luxury of the beast being awake as an excuse for following my desire.

 

My arms slowly raised themselves, resting gently on Hermione’s hips, making sure to avoid so much as nicking her with a claw. I gulped, waiting for Hermione to slap me away, quietly yell at me to back off, any excuse to stay at this distance. However, nothing came. Her gaze remained forward, not so much as glancing back at me, silently waiting for me to move my body closer to hers. ‘Why must you remain silent now, at all times!?’ I grinded my sharpened teeth, trying to keep my inhibitions in check, but slowly through my anger, I wrapped my arms further around her waist. I encompassed her body, while leaning my head over her shoulder, waiting to have her kick me away now.

 

Hermione remained still, her heart beating out from her chest, sweat slowly forming on her brow, finally gulped to ease herself from my embrace. “Can you walk like that?” Was all she asked, skillfully avoiding even acknowledging my strange physical attachment to her. I held my breathing, only taking shallow gulps of air, trying to keep my mind clear, and stop myself from doing anything I would regret. But with each breath, I was pushed closer and closer to accepting my desire. Finally, I nodded, wanting to stay this close to her, admitting to myself.

 

Hermione took a deep breath, her heart still pounding in her chest, but remained calm on the outside. Leading the way out of the forest with me practically hugging her the whole way, without another word between us. Finally making it to the lake, I remembered that I was in my own room studying. I removed my hands from Hermione, who paused to look back in confusion at my sudden action. I immediately covered her eyes, and slowly transformed back into my human self, the ability to speak was needed.

***

Hermione grabbed Lucas’ hand, feeling it shift into more human traits. “Are you an Animagus!? An Animagus that’s also a werewolf, or just an Animagus pretending to be one? Lucas I swear-” “Shh!” He angrily quieted her down, his other hand threatening placement back on her neck, a strange anticipation began building in Hermione at his threat. “I’m still a werewolf, it's just… Complicated.” Hermione couldn’t believe there was still more he was keeping from her, it made her stomach flip, the anger and detest she had for him. “Lucas I swear-!” She was cut off by Lucas, strongly placing his hand over her vocal chords, an action that she knew was coming, but spoke anyway, part of her wanting to make it happen, enjoying the feeling it gave her. Her face burned with shame, so many chaotic feelings and emotions towards the boy standing right in front of her.

***

“I was in my room until Abarrane mentioned that someone called for me up here. I'm sure you can imagine...” I explained, Hermione quickly understanding with a nod. I took a breath, lowering my hands from her while transitioning back into my bestial form. She then took a deep breath to ease the clear rage she had for me at the moment, her sharp glare pointing at me as she whispered. "Lucas... I will hear more of this..." With a small huff, Hermione rushed from out under the cloak, going to the water, and tapping the surface of it with her wand. She sometimes glanced over her shoulder for anyone that might spot her, sometimes looking through me with her gaze. A few minutes, and patience wearing thin, Hermione glared back at me, somehow knowing exactly where I was, despite being invisible.

 

I slowly stalked towards the water’s edge, standing right beside Hermione, her sharp gaze following me through the depressions of grassland I stood over. I took my hand out from under the cloak, Hermione watching it carefully as it descended down to the shallow depths. I took a deep breath, trying to call out for her in the same way my wand rang. “Abarrane.” I whispered, the wind carrying my words, permeating through the water’s surface. Knowing I had done it, calling a part of my pack, I withdrew my hand, letting Hermione stand alone again, waiting in slight apprehension towards the giant approaching being.

 

Tendrils began waving out from the waves, grasping at Hermione as she froze, remaining as still as possible. “Can… Can you get Lucas?” She asked, trying to remain calm. The moment my name was said, Abarrane paused, looking around in confusion for a moment, before heading back under the surface of the water. Hermione let out a gasp, quickly waving her arms around to find me. She inadvertently hit my stomach with her arm, making me growl in annoyance as I bent over slightly to avoid another strike.

 

She parted the cloak to see inside, and gave me a small smirk of payback as she entered inside. As the night drew closer, and with it the moon rising once again over the horizon, my beast was already beginning to wake, its pride having been stepped on. I grabbed Hermione, lifting her off her feet. “Ah- Hey! What are you doing!?” She squirmed in a whisper, trying to free herself, but with my superior strength it was useless. I angled her so she faced me, and held her up, forcing her legs to wrap around my waist to release some of the tension I had on her underarms to keep her airborne.

***

Hermione stared at Lucas, slowly placing her arms around his neck to keep herself stable. She watched his teeth snarl in a crooked smirk just studying her look of uncertainty, his pride feeling at peace with the sight of her. Before Hermione could even react, he suddenly licked her face. She sputtered in his sudden action, clearly he was already being changed by his beast. She shook her burning hot head, pushing away from him. He gave her some more room, but kept holding her leaning over her to study her; his tongue hanging from his closed mouth to insinuate another attack to be incoming.. “Fine! You win! I’m sorry!” She relented, getting exhausted from her meaningless exertion. Lucas snorted, bumping his forehead into hers before gently placing her on the ground.

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