Chapter 1 : Fall
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A light summer’s breeze took the place of the winter chill; the sound of children playing in the distance caused her to look towards the park at the end of the road.
Two small children came into view, neither noticing the strange girl observing them. They continued with their game, the blonde shrieking hysterically, her sister’s stolen hairclip tight in her grasp. Her sister pelted after her, both racing around the park, before the elder finally relented, tossing the clip towards the younger, skinnier sister, smiling smugly.
“I’m telling Mummy.”
The elder blonde turned to her sister, scowling at the pout on her sibling’s face.
“You will not! If…if you do, I’ll tell her who broke the teapot last week," she said, grinning as she watched her sister’s face fall.
Her sister crossed her arms in annoyance, glaring angrily.
“Come on, Ellie, it’s time to go. Mum wanted us home for lunch, remember?”
The younger, Ellie, followed her sister out of the park and towards a small, slightly rundown house, pinning her hair back with the clip as she did.
As soon as the girls crossed the threshold of their home, the scene changed again. The sky darkened again, the lone girl edged back from the park and the dark forest surrounding the sleepy village. A full moon shone in the sky, the girl looked up at it with a sense of deep foreboding, her face hardened at a memory that was haunting her, a memory soon to be re-enacted.
“Ellie! Get back here! It’s dangerous out there!” the blonde hissed towards a shadowy figure, her sister, running barefoot away from the house, her eyes gleaming with mischief.
They both looked older than they had in the previous memory, Ellie about nine, her sister around eleven. The elder sister hesitantly stepped further away from the dilapidated house, glancing between it and her sister warily. Her wand was clutched in her pale hand.
“What are you scared of, Liza?” Ellie taunted, taking a few more steps towards the park and the forest, away from the safety of the house.
“Ellie! Don’t you dare!” Eliza’s voice rose this time, though not enough to prevent it from being drowned out by the howl of a wolf, close enough that both girls turned towards the sound and the forest, dark and foreboding.
Ellie turned back to her sister, their eyes meeting. The howl grew closer, the fear in Ellie’s eyes growing, overpowering the mischievous gleam.
The observer watched as Eliza called out one last time, saw as a wolf, slightly larger than the Muggle variety, appeared at the edge of the forest. Ellie screamed, Eliza screamed, but neither could stop it. Eliza didn’t move, frozen on the doorstep of her home. Ellie ran, too slowly. The teeth clasped around her ankle, instantly sending her to the ground, her palms skinned by the rough gravel of the road.
The watching girl turned away. She didn’t see Eliza burst into tears as Ellie lay on the street, bleeding. She didn’t see Eliza lift her wand, sending a burst of light towards the werewolf. It startled, stepping back slightly from its prey. Ellie, sensing an opening, scrambled backwards, but the damage was done. The bite on her leg was red with blood, her leg hanging limp, broken. Her sister darted forward, dragging her inside the house’s protective wards as the wolf watched, slowly creeping forward, not wanting to lose it's prey.
The scene dissolved into grey, and the observing girl crouched down on the ground, hugging her knees to her chest. She rocked back and forth, sobbing quietly, as the scene slowly cleared, returning to the floating furniture and streams of light. The cycle began again.
Her reflection stared back at her in the dirty glass of the window, her eyes like a window to her soul. Her sister, several floors below, on the grass was visible through the window, walking towards the greenhouses, her slight limp only just noticeable from Eliza’s position. Eliza watched as Ellie disappeared inside Greenhouse Two, turning away once she’d disappeared.
Tonight was a full moon. Tonight, her sister would suffer.
It was wrong. It should never have happened. Ellie had been stupid to run outside that night; Eliza had said so at the time. Ellie, like usual, hadn’t listened. She was paying for that.
Ellie was fourteen now. She’d settled into life at Hogwarts, finding friends who, once they figured out her secret, didn’t care. She was a Gryffindor, a fighter, surrounded by the famous members of the Weasley and Potter clans. She didn’t need her sister anymore. She’d found acceptance, she’d found her place in the world. She had friends now.
Eliza, down in the dungeons, wasn’t as lucky. She woke up most nights covered in a light sheen of sweat, having once again relieved the memory of her sister’s attack. Her sister, the one everyone doted on, the one that everyone inquired after. She was the special one, the werewolf. They should’ve hated her for being what she was. Instead, they embraced her while Eliza stood on the sidelines.
Sixteen year old Eliza turned around, coming face to face with her Professor.
“Are you alright?”
Eliza stared at him for a moment, her gaze unreadable.
“I’m fine, Professor Lupin,” she replied coldly, sweeping out of the room before he could respond.
She returned to the Slytherin common room, seeking solace in the cold, stark interior, guaranteed to be empty at this time of day.
She didn’t understand her sister at all. She should have been miserable, a recluse, affected somehow by what had happened, by what she was. Instead, she had no problem telling people about it. Eliza didn’t understand that at all. Being a werewolf made her different, she should have been ashamed.
Eliza had been mortified. She’d started at Hogwarts just after Ellie had been attacked. She’d never mentioned the existence of her sister, not once. Only when Ellie had started at Hogwarts, two years later, did Eliza’s peers realise she had a sister.
She couldn’t deal with her. Even now, several years later, Eliza avoided her own sister. They’d been close once, but after that night, it was all ruined. Eliza lived in the past, reliving that night over and over. Ellie moved on. They were in separate worlds.
Ellie smiled at Professor Lupin as she left his classroom, the two of them walking to the end of the corridor together before parting ways. Eliza watched from the shadows, hidden by a suit of armour. Professor Lupin was just like her sister. She’d been spying on the two of them for weeks now, trying to figure it out. She couldn’t understand how the young, talented Professor could always have time for chats with her sister. Now she knew.
He was like her, a werewolf. Well, almost a werewolf. He wasn’t quite a full monster, like her sister was. He was still human; he wasn’t always in pain like she was.
Her sister, on the other hand…she shouldn’t be alive. Being dead would be better than not knowing what she did every time the full moon shone. She could kill without even knowing it. She…she truly was a monster. And everyone adored her for it. They thought it made her special, when it just made her dangerous. Eliza had seen it. Her sister’s temper could snap in a moment. She wasn’t as sweet and docile as everyone thought.
She couldn’t be flawless. She was a werewolf. It was impossible for her to be perfect, to be adored, because she’d been attacked. It was her own fault, Eliza thought. She could see it in her mind, the full moon, the forest, the wolf coming out of the shadows. It was a nightmare, a living nightmare.
It was Ellie’s fault. She’d brought it on herself, she’d run outside. Eliza had tried to warn her, if she’d only listened…of course she hadn’t. Her sister was stubborn, she was a fighter.
Eliza just gave up.
Eliza awoke, her body once more drenched in sweat. The light of the full moon shone down once again, and she shivered, her mind instantly flicking to her sister and the pain she’d be in at the moment.
She’d been dreaming again, dreaming of that night. She’d had the same dream, night after night, for months now. Reliving the nightmare.
She’d started seeing shadows at the edges of the corridors. Whenever she went into the grounds at night, she swore she could see a wolf at the boundary of the Forbidden Forest. The howls she heard each night, perhaps they were just a figment of her imagination. She wasn’t sure.
She was sure, however, that her sister had caused it all. She couldn’t escape the curse of the werewolf. Her sister’s infliction followed her everywhere. Every time she laid eyes on Ellie, she thought about it. The pain her sister must be in.
It wasn’t fair. It had to be stopped.
Months came and went, and nothing changed. Eliza collapsed, complaining of seeing visions. No one listened to her complaints. No one ever really listened to Eliza, Ellie was always the special one, the one to be pampered and watched. Eliza faded into the background all too easily.
The endless loop of the dream was almost constant in her mind now. One minute, she was a child, playing with Ellie. Before she was a monster.
The next, the bite was present on her sister’s leg, and everything changed. Over and over, she relived the moment. She was trapped, in her own mind, in the nightmare.
It wasn’t her curse, in a physical sense, but in a mental one, it seemed to be burden only her. Ellie seemed unscathed. She was happy, content. Eliza was not.
Her stays in the hospital wing for fainting spells and hallucinations grew longer. The full moon came once again, and she heard howling. The cycle repeated itself.
The hot summer breeze blew in the air, signalling the end to the school year. There was only a week left, but Eliza didn’t care. Her mind was completely full of her sister’s condition. She had to put a stop to it. Now.
She found her sister with little trouble, sneaking out of the hospital wing with no effort. Her sister protested, but she didn’t listen. She dragged her to the Astronomy Tower, and tried to talk to her.
“You have to be helped, Ellie. You’re a monster,” she mumbled, pacing back and forth.
"Eliza, think about this. I'm not a monster. I've got a condition, that's all. It's manageable. I'm not a monster," Ellie said, her voice shaking.
Ellie’s eyes were wide with fright. She knew her sister was unstable, yet anything she said floated past her sister’s mind, ever to be ignored. Eliza was in a world of her own.
“You can’t help yourself, you don’t see it.” Eliza’s eyes blazed as she looked at her sister.
Her sister, that she loved with all her heart. Her sister, who’d been corrupted by that monster, the wolf. Her sister, that was now nothing more than a monster in disguise. She was doing this for the greater good.
Her arms reached out, gripping her sister’s shoulders. The summer night’s air was thick around them as Ellie was forced back, her feet stumbling over each other as Eliza forced her back, and back, towards the edge.
For the greater good.
One sister had learned to cope. The other hadn’t. Neither was free of the curse.