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The Price You Pay by littlemissmb
Chapter 3 : Accursed
 
Rating: MatureChapter Reviews: 2


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[A/N: Quote at the end is from 'The Call of the Wild' by Jack London. Also thank you to Brittanique for her reviews. Very much apprieciated.]



  

I could feel his glares toward me during classes or at lunchtime. I knew he blamed me for this and for good reason. If it hadn’t been for me, he wouldn’t be in this situation right now. Tonight would be his first night in the cage and I also knew that he was more scared about how it would go than he was letting on.


  

“Hermione!” It was Ron’s impatient demanding that brought me out of my trace and back to the breakfast table.



 

“I was asking if you would help me with my Transfiguration essay.” Ron looked back down at the plate of food in front of him, guilt etched over his face.



 

I shook my head to clear my thoughts. “Oh. Right.. Sure let me see it.” I extended my hand, completely ignoring Harry’s look of concern for me.



 

Ron passed me a crumpled slightly torn piece of parchment with what I could only assume to be blueberry pie smudged on the corner. Normally I would have lectured him for such things but today I was too preoccupied to even care. Pulling out a quill I went over the essay a first time correcting spelling mistakes then a second time crossing the useless information out. Of course in Ron’s case this amounted to half the essay. Finally I quickly went over writing down quick sentences that McGonagall could possibly believe he had written, though I knew it wasn’t likely.



 

I handed the essay back as breakfast was finishing and made a mental note not to agree to that in future until I had eaten first. “Might want to rewrite it before you hand it in.” I stated before parting ways and heading towards my free period. I had managed to fly through my lessons in my sixth year which meant that I only had to attend half the amount of classes that any other 7th year had too.



 

I made my way to the library and found myself lost in the muggle classics. I already had a fairly descent idea of what I was looking for but when I saw it something in my mind clicked. If Malfoy would be going through this because of me then I would do my damn well best to make sure it was as comfortable as possible for him.



 

I arrived back at the common room at least two hours before sun down but Malfoy was already there. Standing in the cage.



 

“Malfoy.. the sun doesn’t go down for hours.. what are you doing..”I asked, curiosity getting the better of me.



 

He looked at me for the first time with something other than a glare and it stopped me short. “I just want to be sure.” He whispered.



 

I nodded in understanding and didn’t say anything for a few minutes. Finally I dragged the desk chair over to about three meters from the cage and sat down. “I got something for you.”



 

He raised an eye brow but remained silent. I pulled out the book I was intending on reading tonight and put it on my lap. Then I dug into my bag once more and pulled out a long chained pendant. On the end was some kind of moonstone set in a thick silver mount. I passed it too him through the bars.



 

“Its suppose to help with balancing emotions and have calming effects so it should make the few days leading up to the change a bit more bearable.” He took it from me and examined it.



 

He looked away, his jaw set as if determined to keep his mouth shut for once. I don’t think he was in the mood to argue right now. Instead he passed it back through the bars “Thanks.” He muttered. Looking at the ground as though that word pained him. “I don’t want to break it.” He explained with a strong sense of bitterness in his voice. I nodded and placed it on the stand next to the couch.



 

Two hours felt like nothing. At least for me it did, but I'm not the one on the other side of those bars. Yet it seemed the change still caught him by surprise. A howl of pain ripped through the air making me shudder. One last pained look passed over his eyes before his mind and body was completely taken over.



 

The beast made a weird sort of humming noise for a few minutes while it stared at the floor.



 

I had learnt my lesson in my third year to expect any remains of human rationality with Remus. Instead I sat in silence watching with a sick fascination. It only took second after that for him to look up at me, nothing but rage in its eyes. Tilting its head back it let another howl penetrate the air.



 

“Malfoy..” I whispered knowing full well it wasn’t him anymore. A frown of pity crossing my face.



 

The howl stopped and then the crashing started as it tried to desperately claw at me, its teeth snapping viciously.



 

Ignoring it I began to read ‘The Call of the Wild’ by Jack London out loud. My reading had a more calming effect than I had expected or could have hoped for. It seemed that as long as I would read the howling would cease and the growling was kept to a minimum. The clawing had stopped when he realised he couldn’t reach.



 

I stared momentarily at the beast before me behind the safety of the cold metal bars. There was a sharp stab of guilt in my heart knowing that what he had become, he had done to save me. Turning back to the book I continued to read to him. It seemed to be the only thing that soothed him now.




“Here was neither peace, nor rest, nor a moment's safety. All was confusion and action, and every moment life and limb were in peril. There was imperative need to be constantly alert, for these dogs and men were not town dogs and men. They were savages, all of them” 


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