Chapter 8 : In the Moonlight
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Disclaimer: I don't own Harry Potter. If I did, I never would have butchered the series that way. Frankly, this is the only way I can see to fix it: by writing fanfics like this one, and others.
Author's Note: I have been getting so many reviews, all saying they love this story. I am very glad it's so well-liked. If you like this story, and are keeping up with it, I urge you to also check out my other stories. They are: Hidden Agendas and The Day Ron Weasley Doomed Us All. Also, updates should be coming faster over the Christmas Season, as my college classes will be finished by then.
Chapter 8 In the Moonlight
Time seemed to fly by. Spring came, bringing with it warmer weather and nocturnal activities. The teachers probably guessed what would happen when students weren't in danger of getting frostbite in the halls during the night, but they didn't step up patrols. Or at least, they didn't look for miscreants performing other kinds of activities. A few teachers were on the look-out for a single student. That single student was usually in his bed dreaming of a simpler life. A pretty girl on his arm, no worries other than end-of-year exams (which were coming fast), and natural things like a heartbeat. But he didn't have either of those things, not even the heartbeat. He couldn't have the girl of his dreams, there were things besides tests to worry about, but he was persevering. On this warm night, Harry Potter was in his bed, dreaming. However, that was not to last long...
Harry woke in the middle of the night after a particularly vivid dream. He had dreamed that Hagrid's pet hippogriff was sentenced to die for attacking Draco Malfoy, though the attack had failed. He dreamed that the night Buckbeak was put to death there was a werewolf loose on the grounds. The dream was so vivid, and it brought back memories of that Care of Magical Creatures class when Malfoy thought it was funny to insult a proud hippogriff.
It was the day after Defense Against the Dark Arts. The class was still talking about the boggart Lupin had showed them. They were talking excitedly about the way Neville had dealt with his greatest fear. On the way down to Hagrid's hut, Ron was saying, “What do you suppose Hagrid will show us?”
“Considering it's Hagrid, it'll probably be dangerous. Though I heard Fred and George talking about hippogriffs. Maybe we'll get to see them,” Harry replied with an easy grin. The day was beautiful, and harry had fed the previous night, so he was in a good mood.
When they got to class, Hagrid was indeed standing in front of four hippogriffs with shiny feathers. Hagrid explained quite clearly that hippogriffs were proud creatures and that to insult one was likely to be fatal. Harry looked around, sensing unfocused minds around him. He pinpointed the location, and Draco Malfoy, along with Crabbe and Goyle positively reeked of it. He watched as Malfoy sauntered forward and said to Buckbeak, the silver-gray hippogriff, “You're not dangerous, are you? Are you, you great ugly brute?” At those words, Buckbeak reared back on his hind legs, ready to slash at Malfoy. Harry leaped forward, faster than a normal human, and knocked Malfoy back.
“Get back,” Harry snapped to Malfoy. The blond boy scrambled to his feet and ran back to the fence, a grass stain clearly visible on his once-pristine white shirt. Harry turned back to the angry hippogriff he was holding at bay. “Down boy, down. Calm down, Buckbeak.” Hagrid arrived soon after, at first too surprised to act. He restrained Buckbeak, while Harry walked back to his friends, his shirt ripped and a bloody gash on his arm.
“Harry, Harry, are you alright?” Hermione seemed very worried. “Yeah, mate, you're bleeding. Are you okay?” Ron chimed in with.
“Yeah, I'll be fine. I don't even feel it, so it's just a graze.” Harry gazed down at his arm, surprised that he was hurt. “Well, alright, if you're sure,” Ron said dubiously. He walked on, muttering about macho boys who don't notice when their arm has been ripped open. Hermione stayed back and said, “Are you sure you'll be okay, Harry?”
“I just said that for Ron's benefit. The truth is, pigs' blood won't fix this...” Harry trailed off. Hermione looked uncertain for a split second, then nodded. “I'll donate some,” she said.
And she did, that night, Harry remembered. He got up to look out the window, and saw the moon. It was shining brightly on the grounds. It'll be full this weekend, Harry thought. It'll happen this weekend. Harry sighed, remembering how smug Malfoy had looked in class the next Monday. Malfoy had just gotten a letter from his father telling him he'd prosecute Hagrid for setting a dangerous beast on unsuspecting children. That had started the whole thing.
When the weekend arrived, Harry started preparing. He read all the books on vampires he and Hermione could find. They told Madame Pince it was for an extra-credit assignment, and she believed them. Harry discovered that Back Forest vampires could grow wings, so he was anxious to try it out. He hadn't told Hermione yet; he was afraid she wouldn't react well. It was nearly nightfall when Harry, Hermione, and Ron set out for Hagrid's hut. They walked quickly and quietly under the Invisibility Cloak. Harry had warned Ron about the full moon that night. Ron had caught on after a couple of minutes.
When they got to Hagrid's hut, they saw that they were too late. The executioner was already there. Ron groaned, and Hermione shushed him. Harry was thinking. “If we wait until they see Buckbeak tied up, then cut him loose when they weren't looking, we could probably stop this,” he whispered. Hermione and Ron nodded in response. They waited until they saw Fudge look out the window; then things started going slightly wrong. Fudge saw them. His eyes widened, but then he winked. He turned away, but kept his back to the window.
Harry ran forward, and bowed to Buckbeak. The hippogriff bowed back, and allowed Harry to come closer. He untied the loop holding Buckbeak to the fence with deft fingers. Hermione and Ron came with dead ferrets, using them to lure Buckbeak. They managed to get away silently, and Fudge looked back outside. All was clear, and Fudge grinned, relieved. When Dumbledore and Macnair realized the condemned hippogriff was gone, they were furious. Fudge just kept his mouth shut, happy that justice was being carried out.
The kids ran into the woods to avoid pursuit, and tried to think of what to do next. “I think we should just let him go, let him fend for himself like any other wild beast,” Ron said. Hermione looked torn as Harry retorted, “But he isn't a wild beast. He's been domesticated. I think we should give him to Sirius, at least until the heat dies down. Then, maybe, Sirius can give him back to Hagrid.” Hermione nodded slowly, and said, “I think that's best. Harry, can you get a message to Sirius?” Harry was about to reply when they heard the howling. Night had fallen, and its creatures were coming out. “Hurry, up a tree!” Harry called out, and helped shove his friends into the tallest tree he could spot.
Buckbeak had stopped straining to get back to Hagrid when he heard the howl. Instinct was taking over. Harry looked around, trying to spot movement that would be a prelude to attack. He saw it, over in the distance. It was coming closer. Hermione and Ron called out to him, trying to get him into the tree, too. He ignored them, focusing instead on the movement. He ran into a clearing, knowing Remus would follow him. It worked.
Remus followed Harry into the clearing, and howled. Harry removed his ring, knowing his friends couldn't see him. He bared his fangs and extended his claws, ready to turn a year of abuse around. Remus lunged, and tried to pounce on the unnatural creature in front of him. He wanted to rip and tear it to pieces, he hated it. Harry realized that Remus hadn't had his potion, so tonight his teacher had no humanity for Harry to find. He sensed the second presence nearly too late. He ducked just in time to avoid the tree branch being swung at him. He heard a frightened squeak, then pounding footsteps. “Damn Death Eater,” Harry muttered, getting to his feet. Remus charged again, and Harry concentrated.
Harry felt free when he sprouted the wings. They were huge creations, leathery like bat wings, and had a span of nine feet. He flapped them experimentally, intimidating Remus. They had sprouted out of his shoulder-blades and felt like they could support him. He took to the air, and soared above Remus. Buckbeak galloped into the clearing and reared up at Remus, holding him at bay while Harry returned to the ground. Remus charged at Harry, catching him by surprise as he had just sensed Dementors coming. Let me guess, Dumbledore figured out I was loose. That coward is going to get me killed—again. Remus managed to sink his claws in Harry's chest, and started ripping. Harry screamed, and brought his rather delicate wings back in. Buckbeak knocked Remus off Harry, but there was still a lot of blood. Harry lay on the ground, panting, as the Dementors approached. Ron and Hermione came running. They had climbed out of the tree when they heard Harry scream.
“Hermione, how do we fight off Dementors?” Ron asked quickly. The answer she gave was not one he wanted to hear. “I-I d-don't k-know,” she stammered, terrified. She was reliving her worst memory, finding out Harry was dead. The Dementors were leaving Harry alone for now, and going after Ron and Hermione. Ron fell first, rendered unconscious by the Dementors. Hermione backed away, and tried calling for help. Meanwhile, Remus was approaching Harry's body. He still hated vampires, and wanted to rip this one some more.
Hermione shot a spell at Remus, and then help came. A large black dog hurtled into the clearing, and charged Remus. That gave Hermione time to run to Harry. She tried to get him to move, but was unable to. Luckily for them, though, the moon was going down. The battle had taken all night. The sun would soon be up, and Remus would transform back. Hopefully, then he'll grow a heart, Hermione thought desperately. The moon went down, and Remus gave a long scream as he transformed back. Ron was still unconscious, from whatever memory Hermione didn't know. Probably when his brothers transfigured his favorite teddy bear into a spider, she thought disgustedly.
Remus lay on the ground, panting, as Sirius crouched beside him for a moment. When Sirius heard Hermione sniffling, he turned to look, and saw Harry on the ground. “Oh Merlin, no...” He scrambled over to his godson and gathered him in his arms. Hermione slid Harry's ring back on him as she heard Ron stirring. Unfortunately for Ron, though, a dead branch high up in the tree he was under decided to fall at that moment. It crashed onto him with a sickening thud. Harry looked just like a normal boy with mortal wounds. As Hermione held him, the light went out of his eyes and his lean body went limp. Sirius closed Harry's eyes, thinking it was for the last time.
Remus finally came back to himself, and checked himself for injuries. He wasn't even scratched, though he still smelled blood. Then he looked at his fingers, and they were bloody. He had obviously injured or killed something. Then he saw Ron under the tree branch, but he wasn't mauled, so it couldn't have been him... Then he looked around him, and saw two people and a pair of legs. A limp pair of legs. He scrambled over to make sure he hadn't done that much damage. When he got close enough, he saw the shock of black hair and the scar. It was Harry Potter, vampire extraordinaire. Sirius looked up as his ex-friend's shadow fell over him. “You tried to kill him...”
“He was already dead, you know. That's what vampires are,” Remus retorted tiredly.
“That's why I said 'tried', you traitor!” Sirius lurched to his feet, holding Harry carefully. “You did this to him! You attacked him, probably on Dumbledore's orders!” Hermione was quietly crying.
“Can I help what I do during the full moon?” Remus asked, almost unconcerned.
Sirius ignored him and continued, “Not only did you maul Harry, you put two innocent children in mortal peril.” Remus took a step towards Hermione as Sirius spoke, and saw the truth of it when she flinched away. His failure to take his potion nearly killed two people and finished off their vampire defender. The weight of his ex-friend's words finally started to sink in.
When Harry started to stir, Sirius looked like a miracle was taking place. He carefully put Harry on the ground and whispered, “Come on, Harry, wake up. You can do it, come back to us.” It seemed to work, Harry slowly opened his eyes. “It hurts...” Harry moaned. “I...need...blood...” Hermione listened to Harry, and then brushed her hair away from her neck. “If you need blood, then you can drink mine,” she said firmly. Harry tried to shake his head, he didn't want to hurt her or anyone else, but silenced his protests. Remus watched in horror as Harry lifted his head and sank his fangs into Hermione's neck. She moaned deep in her throat as he fed. When he pulled away, she was pale and clammy. Harry was immediately afraid he'd taken too much, but she quickly assured him that she'd be fine.
EDITOR’S NOTE: How do you all like the wings? They were my idea, like the shadow-travel. Well, the shadow-travel isn’t exactly my idea, but the originator has granted me and the author permission to use it. But the wings are (hopefully). Questions? Comments? Review! And thanks for reading.
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