Chapter 1 : Christmas Eve
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“The ragged men in ragged clothes;
The silver thorn of a bloody rose,
lay crushed and broken on the virgin snow”
-Don McLean “Vincent”
In a world full of prejudices the only tactical response is retaliating against those who would cause your kind harm. They, all of them, are driven by their own selfish fears. They will hunt us down, bind our might, murder every last one of us until we are feeble-minded puppies. They will abuse us; they will sever our instincts until we will do their will; they will impose their supposed hallowed beliefs onto us until we are but slaves. Slaves. That's what they want of us. They want us to do their bidding, be their watchdogs, their guard dogs. If they had it their way, they would bleed every one of us until our gift was extinguished from the world. They say that we are the killers. They say that we are the ones who are blood-thirsty. In the wake of their fright they have revealed their true nature. They are the murderers; they spill the blood; they are the true monsters.
What more could we do aside from making ourselves stronger, defending ourselves. They, the Wizarding World in its entirety will tremble before our might.
It was not easy, building this life for us. My proselytes, the werewolves who have joined me in my cause, are mine to protect alone. They will help us overthrow our foes when we are strong enough. But we are not strong enough alone.
Perhaps that's why, when the Dark Lord sought my assistance in his own cause, I readily accepted. We were after goals of the same nature, after all. He is strong; I am strong; together, with our followers to reinforce our strength, we are the essence of power. He is using me, he is using us, I realize. He will turn on us for sure, when he achieves his victory (for he will be victorious) and will surely attempt to end me. We will be strong enough by then to overcome him, even if he is the end of me. Vengeance will be sought in my honor, and at least one of my kind will have the sweet satisfaction of tearing out his throat. I only wish that the satisfaction will be mine.
For now, we will only grow in strength. There needs to be more of us who are willing to fight for our cause.
That is why we take them while they are young, force them from their families who would only fill their heads with sickening bias against us. We will be the only family that they will ever need; we are a pack, in a way. We will protect our own. I will protect what is mine. The children are infected and, if they are strong enough to survive, they will become one of us. They will learn our ways. They will fight with us, for us.
It pleases me to watch them react when the finally wake. Some of them are afraid and they cry out. They say they want to go home; they say that they want their parents. Sometimes they stare, as if their soul had been ripped from them by a Dementor. Their eyes will glaze over and they almost look dead. Very few try to fight, and they are punished. Eventually, most of them learn. Most of them accept what they are and what they must do. They accept that we are their family; they accept that they are mine.
It is the night before Christmas. The snow blankets the earth, a sheet of white shrouds the defiled world, creating the illusion of innocence. The sky is clear, the moon and stars blink in the blackened midnight darkness creating a breathtaking effect. The snow that lines buildings, weights bows of trees until they dip dangerously low, and hugs the landscape glistens beneath the illuminating lights from the sky. Nothing else on this planet can replicate the twinkling and glittering of the snow...nothing at all.
I have been watching the little girl, Eilidh, for the majority of the month. She is four; her bedtime is at nine; they call her Eili. I have considered her the newest member for the clan, a perfect Christmas present complete with long, curly blonde hair. While she would be a pretty present, I could not bring satisfaction to by self with a convincing argument of how useful she could be. Perhaps this one was too fragile. I did not know why, but I continuously watched despite my uncertainties. It was not until a few days ago that I changed my mind. It seems this little one has an older brother; they called him Will. I suspect he has come home for the Holiday. He speaks of his job at the Ministry, so I can only assume that he's older than seventeen. He's still young though.
He will be a fighter, I can tell as I watch him through the large window into the family room. Will sits with his parents, his skin glowing under the fire's orange light. His eyes twinkle beneath the lights of the tree, donned so flamboyantly with decorations. Although he laughs and carries on like a happy man, I can see the discontent in his eyes as the glow from the tree teased them. He is muscular, heavy but not overweight. He looks determined. He is perfect.
Waiting for him to go to bed seems to take forever. He is sleeping in the bedroom on the first floor. He paces around the family room in deep thought, only taking a break to run a hand through his shaggy blonde hair. It has been an hour since his parents have gone up to bed, but I want to wait a bit longer. If I wake him, he may be disoriented making it easier to overpower him. He looks disgruntled. I wonder what has made him so unhappy.
I wish that I had been able to observe him longer, to learn more about him. I need to know how he will react when I attack him. Will he fight back ferociously; will he be frightened; will he scream? They always scream. I know that I need to bring somebody home with me tonight, somebody infected, somebody to join us, somebody to make us more powerful. He might pose a challenge, and I love a good fight, but I don't want to kill this one.
I have to be tactical.
I have to be patient.
I wait calmly watching, ever silent, steadfast ready until the midnight hour. My anxiety, created purely from anticipation, has caused me to disrupt the glimmering snow beneath my paws. I've churned it enough to pick up particles of dirt as my nails dug deep into the earth. It reminds me of the soiled society that has caused me to act the way I do, the greedy, selfish, murderous society that has spurred my anger once again.
But I must remain calm for Will has extinguished the light in his room. If I let my anger control me, then the outcome of my ferocity would surely be lethal. I know myself too well to let anger control me; I would tear out the boy's throat before I realized what I was doing.
It does not take long before he is back in the family room, pacing. This boy has to fall asleep at some point.
Eventually, he settles down on the plush white couch in the family room. I can see the cushioned fabric bend beneath his muscular weight, dipping just enough to hug the contours of his body. He is laying down, but I will wait until his breathing slows. His skin glows under the lights of the trees.
An hour passes and finally, finally I think he's fallen into a slumber. It's time.
A snarl erupts from my throat as I surged towards the window, my front paws making contact with a resounding thud; that should wake him. I round the corner of the house, waiting. There is a process to this thing. He'll stir, confused by the noise that startled him from his slumber. After a few moments of silence, he'll settle in again, assuming it was just a dream. Again I'll hit the window, but this time he'll check, peering out into the darkness. It never takes the same amount of time, but eventually they are curious enough to open the window.
Only three times I had to bash against the window before Will wrenched it open. I was struck with a bout of bewilderment, nearly costing me my opportunity to take my prize. It typically took at least a few more times to pique a child's interest to the point of opening their home to the perilous, barbaric outdoors. But, then again, Will wasn't a child.
With one swift, powerful motion, I rush forward again. I can feel my teeth sink into the tender flesh of his shoulder, ripping through muscle and fracturing bone as I clamp my jaw down tightly. The sweet taste of blood almost instantly fills my mouth, saturating my tongue, soaking the fur around my jowls, dripping poetically down onto unsullied, pristine snow. The pleasure in the bite itself nearly overcomes the luscious taste of crimson. Brought together in the symphony that is the hallowed moon, I can hardly contain myself.
It is easy to pull him from the window when he flails wildly, unbalanced. What I did not expect was the overwhelming silence that surrounded me. The boy did not cry out; they always scream. I release him, the shoulder I had attached myself to landed roughly on the snow like the rest of his body, staining ground with crimson. Surely the boy is in pain, but he continuously stares up at me with frightened, glossy eyes. He's still holding the golden strand of tinsel that he grasped blindly during the attack. The other end is somewhere in the house, wrapped around the tree.
I lower my face closer to his, a low, threatening growl escaping me. His own blood drips from my snout onto his cheek, but he just stares. Perhaps he hit his head to hard when I tore him away from the window.
Annoyed at his unenthusiastic, uninterested reaction, the feral beast in my heart began to drive me. Perhaps something was wrong with him. He just kept staring. Truly, he was not very fun.
I could kill him.
I could kill him and try for the little girl, instead.
It wouldn't be very entertaining if he did not respond while I tore into his throat.
It would be unwise of me to let him become on of us. He seemed...defective. A defective muggle, infected with lycanthropy, lying in a pool of his own blood on the frozen white landscape with a rope of golden tinsel wrapped around his hand.
I nudge him roughly with my snout and he whimpers pathetically. At least it was a response.
As soon as I move away from him to think, he scrambled to his feet. He bolted for the forest and I watched him curiously. It is peculiar that he didn't run back towards the house, towards the open window he came from. It was more of an oddity that he did not release the garnish in his hand before running. The result was nearly comical. He ran for a few feet with the glimmering rope following him before it snagged. The tree in the house fell through the window accompanied by the sharp sound of breaking bulbs and the angel toppled from the top of the tree onto the red and white ground below. Will was pulled backwards, off of his feet and onto the ground once again.
This was better.
Before I could go after the boy, I heard a tiny voice.
“Santa?” it asked in duress. “Santa, where are you taking the tree?”
I turned to see little Eili standing next to the top of the tree as it leaned from the window, trying her best to see out into the darkened night.
“Santa?” she asked again.
This was perfect. With a flex of my muscles, I pressed into the snowy earth and darted back towards the window.
“Eili, no!” shouted Will from some distance behind me. “Eilidh, close the window!”
“Will?” she asked. “Is Santa out there with you? I want to come out too!”
It was just as easy to grab hold of Eili as it was Will, despite the bristly evergreen branches blocking my path.
She does scream as I bite her, a shrill, vociferous scream. That should wake her parents, which means I must move fast. I pull her by her arm across the snowy ground as she cries and screams and calls for her brother. Lights begin to turn on in the house, making it come alive.
The sudden pressure to my head surprises me enough to drop the screeching child. Will had the audacity to kick me. He was much more entertaining than I had originally thought.
A male voice cuts through the silent night, saying, “Eili...? Will?”
I hear the gasp of another from within the house. “Oh God, what happened? Sam...?”
“Mummy! Daddy!” Eili wails.
There is no time for all of this. I turn on Will, I should have known to not change my mind so suddenly. The girl would have been sufficient, but I had to have the grown boy instead. I must fix this, quickly.
Without a second thought, I knock Will to the ground. The bite I inflict causes his jugular to pop, releasing a rush of sweet liquid. He chokes, unable to breathe, blood bubbling gloriously over his lips and pale face.
There is no time to enjoy, however, as the calls that originated from the house were growing ever closer.
Eili is still carrying on shouting and crying and throwing a fit when I grab hold of her leg. She only screams louder when my teeth pierce her skin. She will be okay, she will learn to love us all. She will be one of us soon enough.
The panicked calls of her parents become distant as we reach the safety of the forest. The girl even becomes quite when we eventually reach the abandoned building that all of us have been living in. I suspect she has exhausted herself, or fainted in the wake of blood-loss or shock. My only hope is that she survives the night.
I lay her on the dirty floor, and tug a tattered blanket over her shivering form. Certainly this will be the best Christmas present that any of us will provide this year.
A little present with delicate blonde curls, wrapped in a blanket, and adorn with pieces of glittering tinsel that have become entwined in her hair.
Our little Eilidh. My little Eilidh. Happy Christmas.
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