Disclaimer: If you recognize it....most likely it belongs to J.K. Rowling herself. I owe absolutely nothing. Also, the formatting (POV Change) was inspired by the Kitty Norville books by Carrie Vaughn.
Special Thanks To: CambAngst who was great to once again BETA read this chapter for me. He has a great stories called Monster (M) and Detox (M) among others! Read them!
Wolf paced back and forth in his cage; he had a steady growl going in the back of his throat and his tail was tucked firmly between his legs.
The Other One had pleaded with him to wait just a bit longer but Wolf was done waiting. He could feel it in his bones that the moon was out and he knew perfectly well that she would not wait for him. Time and time again he had tried to break free from his confinement to attack those that had dared to trespass into his territory, but for the first time in many years, the Other One was putting up a fight against Wolf’s desires.
“They’re not all the enemy, just listen, please!” Wolf vaguely heard the Other One’s desperate plea.“He was set up. Peter. That bloody rat was the one who made us lose our pack!” Wolf narrowed his eyes at the mention of the Rat and his old pack, but the growing fire inside his belly made him disregard what the Other One was saying.
“DON’T LIE!” He heard a somewhat familiar voice shout. “YOU’D BEEN PASSING INFORMATION TO HIM FOR A YEAR BEFORE LILY AND JAMES DIED! YOU WERE HIS SPY!”*
Wolf’s ears perked up as he registered the names but once more, he dismissed them. The Stag and his mate were in Wolf’s past. He had mourned for them as any wolf would do for a pack member but he had moved on long ago. Wolf did not care for anything but his current frustrating situation. He wanted freedom. Or whatever freedom he’d had for the last decade thanks to the Other One’s paranoia. Wolf couldn’t remember the last time he was able to run under the pale moon or the feel of grass under his paws as he sped through the forest. He was always trapped in a small room, chained to the wall with only a tiny window that allowed him to see the stars. Even that, however, was better than his current cage which felt to Wolf that it was getting smaller with each passing moment.
“I know, I’m sorry…but it was for the best; for everyone’s safety.” Wolf grunted at the Other One’s apology; he was tired of hearing that old excuse. Wolf resented him for keeping him away from the outside world; for not letting him run and hunt in his old territory. It was unnatural for him to be caged up all the time just because the Other One was in constant fright.
Wolf growled and snapped at the air before howling into the darkness.
He was fed up and his patience was wearing thin.
With Crookshanks in the lead, we proceeded down into the tunnel which, to my great dislike was damp and cold. I shook uncontrollably but I wasn’t sure if it was from the cold or the fact that I was near my transformation. I needed to make it to the castle first to give this piece of shit to the Dementors before heading back to my raggedy shack where I could let him go without worry. I had, however, forgotten to take the potion and I was now paying the price. I knew I had no control over him and, by the way he was behaving, that he was beyond mad, so I was unsure of what he would do after he took over. The potion usually put him into submission, in a drugged-like state, and I was able to shift whenever I thought it was appropriate and be in control of his actions. But now that the potion was no longer in my system, it was a lot harder for me to dominate his erratic behavior. I was close to shifting and there was absolutely nothing I could do to stop him.
Then again, I couldn’t shift with everyone here: in a small tunnel where he would feel anxious and trapped and where it would be almost impossible for anyone to escape. Harry, Ron, Hermione and even Snape were in danger of being infected or becoming a meal. Sirius could shift back to his animagus form and as for Peter…I couldn’t care less about his fate. I needed, however, for him to understand that Sirius, my--our--old friend and pack member, was not the traitor. This rat, chained to myself and Ron, was at fault and that it was thanks to him that Lily and James were gone.
I felt sick to my stomach that I once considered Peter to be one of Sirius’ victims. Thirteen years I had mourned for him and now I felt disgusted with myself. Every year I would drop by his honorary tombstone to drop some flowers when I was on my way to or from Godric’s Hollow. I wondered if he had ever seen me and laughed at my stupidity. I knew I was near my transformation because all I wanted to do was to drop my wand and punch Peter to death right on the spot and rejoice in the killing. I shook my head trying to get rid of the bloody images. I knew better. I knew that this sudden rage I was feeling was not only my own but the werewolf’s. I also knew well enough to not act on these feral feelings no matter how great they would have made me feel.
I glanced back to see Sirius and Harry having an awkward chat and I couldn’t help but smile at the sight. The Rat is here! I heard the wolf’s thoughts just as I knew he could hear mine. The beast inside me was smart but only in the animalistic sense so I doubted that he fully comprehended the complexity of the issue. I just hoped and prayed that he understood that Sirius was not the enemy.
For the first time that evening, Wolf stopped agonizing on his lack of freedom and began to pay attention to his surroundings and for the second time in his life, Wolf was confused by his own nose. The stench coming from the man chained to the Other One was overwhelming but no matter how long it had been, he could still recognize it.
The Rat was here.
It didn’t, however, make any sense to Wolf. The Rat was supposed to be dead, Wolf knew this and so did the Other One. They would go and visit his honorary burial place once a year to lay flowers and mourn for the loss of the pack. It didn’t make any sense for Wolf to smell him. As he concentrated on the scents again, thinking that he had made a mistake, Wolf came across another familiar scent.
The traitor was here as well.
Wolf wanted nothing but to break free from his cage and rip through the Dog’s neck and kill him. He had betrayed the pack. He had betrayed the family and thanks to him the Stag and his mate were gone. The fawn had been lost and the Rat was dead.
Wolf shook his head. No, the Rat wasn’t dead.
Wolf began to get agitated once more; he was confused, trapped and angry. Nothing made any sense to him anymore except that he wanted his freedom.
“One wrong move, Peter,” I threatened Peter with my wand, jabbing him on his chest hard hoping it had hurt.**
We managed to walk a couple of minutes out in the open Hogwarts grounds until everything was too much for me. I begged for him to wait a just a tad longer. Just a few more minutes but I knew that it was futile the moment the clouds parted and the moon came into full view. The smell of the cold night, the trees and the wilderness made my tongue hang out. My breathing became rapid with both excitement and panic. I wanted to tell Sirius that it was too late, to just release Ronald from the chain, take Peter to Dumbledore and get everyone to safety but only an animalistic snarl escape my lips.
I could feel the shift coming and there was absolutely nothing I could do to stop it. Help me! I wanted to shout at someone. Anyone. But I was trapped in that cage.
The Wolf was free and he was livid.
It only took one quick look upon the moon and Wolf’s cage disappeared. Without wasting a moment he closed his eyes and relaxed his body allowing the transformation to take place. He whined in pain as he slowly took over the Other One’s form. But the pain was welcomed. Wolf knew that the moon, open sky and trees were out there waiting for him-he had seen them. He would run free for the first time in years and hunt as much as he wanted to fill his belly and kill the traitor; he would do everything that he had been denied for a long time.
Wolf opened his eyes and released a howl. He was free.
His joy quickly ended when he heard a girl scream, making him nervous. With tail firmly tucked between his legs, he began to growl at the humans and simultaneously he backed away from them out of pure fear. It had been such a long time since Wolf had been so close to the two legged animals that it made him both nervous and hungry.
The Rat was close to him, he could smell him.
He turned and growled at him. Wolf still considered himself the Rat’s Alpha and as such he needed answers right now. He bared his long fangs at him and the human Rat squirmed and shouted but never once did he dare to meet Wolf’s eyes. Wolf was proud; even though the years had passed, he was still in control of at least one of his pack members. Wolf Ignored the screaming fire-headed boy and charged at the human Rat but his attack was stopped by a massive black blur.
He recognized the scent and for the first time in years he was face to face with the traitor.
He’s not the traitor! .The Rat is the traitor! The Other One shouted to Wolf who was now beyond confused.
The Dog made no sound as he stood in between Wolf and the Rat. Wolf on the other hand snarled at him; he was going to get answers from the Dog as well sooner or later and it would be up to Wolf whether he got to live. His main priority right now, though, was the human Rat who was squirming in pure fear, trying to get away from Wolf, but was being weighed down by the fire-headed human.
Wolf wanted to get to the Rat immediately but the only way to do so was to get rid of the Dog first. Wolf felt irritated at his change of plan but nonetheless he lunged at the Dog who met Wolf in mid-air. They locked jaws on the first attack. Wolf growled a command to the Dog to stand down but it was only met by the Dog’s own snarl. Wolf released the Dog from his jaw lock and backed a bit before attacking again. This time he took the Dog by surprise by standing on his hind legs and attacking the Dog’s face with his front paws, scratching him from his eye to muzzle. Blood spilled out from the Dog’s wound but that didn’t stop him. He continued his attack in despite of the loss of blood. Wolf dodged his attack and quickly pounced. He didn’t want to kill the Dog. Wolf still felt that he still needed some answers, plus the Other One was screaming in his ear that the Dog was not his enemy. But Wolf was going to kill him if the Dog didn’t back down and allow Wolf to deal with the Rat as the leader of the pack saw fit.
As he pinned the Dog down, Wolf took a quick glance at the spot where the human Rat had been but saw no one except for the fire-headed human who was, thankfully, quiet. With one quick nip at the Dog’s neck to let him know that Wolf was still his Alpha and that he should obey, Wolf let him go before he followed the Rat’s trail.
As he ran down the grounds and into the forest, he rejoiced in the freedom he had been denied for so many years. He howled at the moon and let his tongue lag from his muzzle as he ran. Freedom!
A growl and panting from behind made Wolf slow down before coming to a full stop. Wolf wanted to be left alone so he tackled the Dog into submission. The Dog didn’t put of a fight against Wolf, instead he immediately got on his back and showed Wolf his belly. Wolf tucked his tail between his legs. He was annoyed and confused at the Dog but he didn’t want to kill him anymore. At least not yet. The Rat, Wolf knew, held the key to everything and he needed to find him.
Wolf’s trail of thoughts, however, stopped when a sudden wave of panic overcame his very being. The Dog got back on all fours, got low to the ground and began to whine in despair as he looked up into the sky. Wolf looked around for the threat but found nothing that posed a danger to him of the Dog.. All he could see were low, dark clouds heading towards them. Nonetheless, Wolf felt scared all of the sudden and the fact that he could not explain it, it scared him even more. His hackles were raised and all he could think about was running away before he died.
Wolf motioned the Dog to follow him into the forest but the Dog wouldn’t submit to Wolf’s leadership. The Dog staggered away from him and headed towards the lake hoping to get away from whatever was frightening Wolf and the Dog. Wolf tried to drag the Dog with him, into the forest where Wolf knew they could be safe, he had even scratched the Dog along his back to get his attention but he just would not submit to Wolf. Wolf had tried everything but eventually, the sense of foreboding grew so great that Wolf did what he thought was best for him: run away.
In the end, Wolf, whose panic level was at boiling point, ran non-stop until he came across the Rat’s scent once more. Calming down and making sure that no predators were nearby, he followed the scent for a while until he arrived at a small creek where it had disappeared. Wolf tipped his nose upward hoping to catch a scent; he had even crossed the small body of water hoping to find it once more but he could not find a trace of it. He released a growl out of pure annoyance with himself. Not only had he left a pack member behind to fend for himself when there was danger, Wolf, who knew that he was a large and powerful predator, had somehow allowed a tiny animal to get away from him.
His stomach made a loud rumbling noise and instead of worrying on the Rat, Wolf began a hunt. He had been rusty, after so many years of being trapped thanks to the Other One, so after his third attempt to catch a raccoon, Wolf settled on smaller prey that couldn’t outsmart him: a squirrel.
After an eventful night full of hunting and new territory marking, Wolf settled in a clearing deep in the forest and fell asleep.
I woke up in a clearing to a bird perching on my head and taking a few pecks at my ear, most likely hoping to find some food. Not a very pleasant wake up call but I had to settle. The day’s early light was coming and I had to find my way back to the castle before the students began to make their way down to the Great Hall for breakfast. I knew that word of a naked professor would make its way to the entire school by the first class and that it would be remembered for years to come. I studied my surroundings and came to the sad conclusion that I was lost.
“Ah, now there’s a sight I certainly did not miss,” I heard a voice behind me say.
“Sirius,” I said with a slight grin on my face as I covered myself with my hands. “I would hug you but-”
“You best keep that to yourself, Lupin!” he said with a very serious face. We stared at each other for a few moments in silence before Sirius cracked up first. “You look ghastly, mate.”
“I could say the same thing about you,” I said as I saw the large gash across his face. I felt bad for what had happened but Sirius just shrugged it off, saying that he had missed the thrill of being around a werewolf once a month. “I tried looking for Peter but he managed to escape. I believe he ran across the creek because that’s where his track ended.”
“Aye, of course that tosser would remember that you can’t track past water.” He paused for a moment before he looked around and up at the sky in a wild manner.
“You alright, mate?” I asked as I, too, looked around not knowing what exactly I was expecting to see.
“I’m tired of looking at your bloody naked arse while trying to have a serious conversation with you!” he said as he whistled. I was about to ask him what exactly he was going to do when I saw a hippogriff land gracefully a couple of yards away from us.
“How-but-oy! What is this?” I exclaimed as I caught a piece of fabric Sirius threw at me. Realizing what I was, I dressed myself in the women’s robes Sirius had stolen for me. He snickered at my look but I was grateful that I had something to wear. I admit, thought, I looked rather ridiculous with the lace and frills. I knew that Sirius had nicked for a laugh. “He was supposed to be executed last night.”
“And I was sentenced to have the Dementor’s Kiss.” Sirius explained how he had been in the middle of swarm of Dementors after a fight with the wolf. He had no memories of what had happened next and had only come to in Professor Flitwick’s office to await his end. Sirius had mentioned how he was coming to terms with dying until Harry and his friend, Hermione, arrived on Hagrid’s hippogriff to help him escape.
“Why didn’t you leave?”
“I was looking for you!” he exclaimed as he tossed me a piece of bread that he had most likely nicked as well, along with my wand. “We were flying over Hogsmeade when I made him land just outside the village. I felt bad, mate. I wanted to get as fast and far away as I could but I couldn’t leave you stark naked in the bloody forest. I haven’t forgiven myself for thinking that you were the traitor so I thought this was a small way to begin making it up to you.”
“Sirius, you don’t-”
“Let me finish.” He paused for a moment, as if he was collecting all of his thoughts for the past thirteen years. “I hated you, mate. I hated every fiber in you and what you were. I thought you had betrayed all of us even after what we had done for you back in Hogwarts. We were supposed to be a family; I thought of the three of you as brothers. The night Fabian and Gideon were murdered, I got so pissed drunk that all I could think about was how to ambush your flat and kill you. I found myself in Godric’s Hollow bellowing to James that we should just finish you off.” His voice broke into sobs but he continued. I, on the other hand, was too stunned to say anything. “Lily, though, Lily was the one that told me to shut up and stop saying rubbish things. I remember shouting at her that you kept asking me about their whereabouts, that you were dangerous to keep alive.” He paused for a moment as he let out a dry, mirthless chuckle.
“She ended jinxing me into silence because I made Harry cry with all my shouting. James, mate…up to his last moments, James thought you had betrayed us. If we had just confronted you instead of thinking that you had betrayed us just because you were a werewolf…we would’ve figured out that Peter was the traitor and not you. I’m sorry…I’m so sorry!”
Silence followed Sirius’s apology.
“When I learned that James and Lily were dead and that you had chased Peter and apparently killed him and all those muggles,” I said, breaking the silence, “I wanted to see you dead. Perhaps…not by my own hands but I wanted for you to pay for what I thought you had done. I used to think: ‘poor Peter and all those muggles…they were just innocent bystanders to a madman’s love for dark magic’. Now…now it makes me sick that I thought you were the guilty one; that I had visited Peter’s empty grave with flowers and cursed your name every year for what you had done. I’m sorry as well, Sirius, for not trusting you, for not looking for you to demand some answers. ”
We stood in silence, allowing the other one to process the confessions without judgment. I didn’t blame Sirius for thinking that I had been the spy, werewolves had sided with Voldemort earlier that year, but I couldn’t help but to feel startled by his confession.
“If you take that path, it’ll take you to the creek where you lost Peter. If you go north, it’ll take you to the Black Lake. I’m sure you’ll be able to find the castle from there,” said Sirius as he mounted the hippogriff.
“Where are you going?”
“To be honest, I don’t know as of yet. Perhaps a beach or somewhere sunny. Being in prison for the last decade or so makes a man yearn for the sun and open space. I’ll be in touch, though.”
“If you need help-”
“I won’t hesitate.” He patted the hippogriff’s neck to get his attention. “I’ll see you around, mate.” Without any other words, Sirius and Buckbeak disappeared into the horizon leaving me alone with my thoughts. Despite Sirius’s confession, I couldn’t help but feel happy. Even Wolf, who had actually wanted to kill Sirius himself, was happy. We had part of our family, part of our pack, back and now nothing was going to separate us. Sirius was on the run, and Peter was free…but I had a feeling that one day the truth would be revealed and Sirius could enjoy his freedom, as he very much deserved.
But now…I had to make my way back to the castle where I knew Dumbledore was waiting for me.
I hope you enjoyed this chapter! Happy New Year to all of you! :D And now...do you see that box below? Please leave your comments. Why did you like? Hate? Any CC? Please, let me know! :D Until next time, my dearies!
*--Prisoner of Azkaban by J.K. Rowling, Chapter 19, Page 374, USA hardcover edition.
**--Prisoner of Azkaban by J.K. Rowling, Chapter 20 , Page 380, USA hardcover edition.