Author: Embemxrabbit PM
An exciting fourth, fifth, sixth and seventh series of the Watership Down Tv Series. The warren once again struggles with an enemy warren, and a plague of elil deep in winter, men on the Down, The Black Rabbit repaying a favor and the sadistic mind games of the enemy's mystic, Cloud.Rated: Fiction T - English - Adventure/Romance - Chapters: 55 - Words: 127,165 - Reviews: 141 - Favs: 11 - Follows: 6 - Updated: 12-31-12 - Published: 01-12-12 - Status: Complete - id: 7734022
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Just a warning, bit of a sad chapter coming up! But I hope you find it gets better! I would really appreciate it if you reviewed for this chapter because I wasn't sure how you would all react to the 'magic' in this one. Please don't stop because I said the word magic! Oh and thanks to Eternal0snow92 for persuading me to go for it.
Fivers11 – I'm glad you like what I did with Shadow and I'm sorry for what happened to Fiver in this chapter, but I'm hoping what happens near the end will make it better
Guest – Thanks for reviewing for the first time! Hopefully Cloud will come in to this soon and this chapter should tell you where Hemlock has been!
Chapter Forty – Two
The Good and the Evil Part Three
Fiver's paws gripped the bank desperately as the dead weight of Ivy dragged him downwards. Campion mercifully helped the shivering seer out and then sat tense. Fiver coughed and spluttered then quickly dipped his head back in for Ivy.
She was deathly still and with her blood stained white coat she had a frighteningly ill appearance.
"Is the kit okay?"Fiver demanded urgently. He ran over to where Blackberry was trying to keep him warm. The grey doe didn't look up from trying to groom the blood from his little face.
"I'm not sure if he breathed in any water," Blackberry said. The tiny body was still and lifeless.
"No," Fiver mumbled in despair. He nudged the tiny muzzle with his own, silently begging, pleading with Frith.
"No Frith!" Fiver shouted. His claws dug into the floor and he gave a loud moan of frustration.
Campion quietly pulled Blackberry away from the deathly still bundle, but she gently picked it up and placed it beside his mother's side.
Fiver's distraught cries grew weaker and he slumped onto the ground beside Hazel, who remained silent. Only then did they notice Shadow, who had a sombre look on his face.
"Why, Shadow?" Campion asked. "You told us he would be fine."
"Fiver would not leave with us any other way," Shadow replied.
Campion let a growl escape his muzzle at the same time as Fiver. They were no longer afraid of Shadow, the Black Rabbit himself.
Shadow though, did not return the growl, instead his scarlet eyes flashed dangerously at the two.
"I wouldn't if I were you," he warned them both.
Hazel attempted to pull himself up, but Blackberry insisted he stay still for the moment. "But… Ivy's waking," Hazel muttered.
Immediately every head turned to the white doe in surprise and Fiver managed to pull himself together and put on a fake smile.
"Hey, how are you feeling?" Fiver nudged her cheek, wiping away the tear there. Noting that he got no acknowledgement, he peered down into her eyes, his heart dropping when he saw they looked away hopelessly.
Realising that she knew that their youngster was dead, Fiver pressed his muzzle against hers and tried to give her strength with his stare.
"We have to go up," Fiver said clearly. "We have to save ourselves."
Ivy gave Fiver an embrace and turned bravely to the others. "Let's go." If there was one thing to be admired above others about her, it was her strength, her selflessness.
Campion went downwards first and out into the constant drizzle of misty rain. Hazel hobbled out after, dangerously close to collapsing. Once everyone was outside they all headed over to where the rest of the warren was gathered.
Shadow hesitated for a split second then stopped. "Campion, Fiver, Blackberry?"
With dread, the three rabbits turned around. Shadow looked at their drenched, dripping coats and mud splattered faces and wavered, but this needed done.
"Do you trust me to get the men away?"
After all that had happened, the rabbits' faith was weakened and they struggled to place their trust in Shadow one last time.
Fiver was the first to speak. "Do what you have to, Shadow. I need to be with Ivy."
With those words, he cast Campion and Blackberry a look that seemed to say 'good luck 'and then sprinted into the woods where everyone was waiting.
Dusk had set in and with it came the coming of more rain, thundering down on the ground again, flooding the already overflowing puddles and sending piles of mud cascading down the steep Down.
With renewed vigour they saw that the fire had turned to glowing embers and was growing duller and duller.
"Thank Frith, it rained," Blackberry said happily to Campion.
"Though from the tree line to just beyond the warren the grass is all burned up." Campion frowned.
"The men did it for two reasons, to get rid of the warren and to get some of the ground ready for building," Shadow whispered.
"Why are we whispering?" Campion countered.
Shadow tilted his head, indicating just ahead of them. "There are men there. Now, please you two, you have to trust me. This is probably the weirdest thing that you will ever do, but it will save your warren."
Blackberry and Campion just froze and stared at him. "Now, hold out your paws." Shadow ordered.
Hesitantly, they obeyed and held out their mud coated paws, claws facing upwards.
Shadow placed each of his on either of theirs and closed his eyes, as if in intense concentration. Campion exchanged glances with Blackberry with an expression of shock, what was going on?
Their bodies started to heat up, slowly at first, then to rather a scorching temperature.
Just when they were about to complain, the fierce heat changed to cold. The cold licked its way into every cell, spreading. It felt rather like the sensation of dipping an arm gradually into a bucket of icy water.
Finally, it reached the tips of toes and tails and disappeared, letting the rabbits' bodies go back to a normal temperature. With a slow breath, Blackberry peeked through her eyelashes at the figure in front of her. She yelped in violent disturbance but didn't move. Shadow was glowing! Every inch of him was bright silver, brighter than any moon or star. Glowing, sparkling, the brilliance of his fur scared the heck out of her, until she looked down at herself.
"Blackberry! Calm down! It's okay!" Shadow said desperately.
"Okay? Okay! I. Am. Glowing."
"I know, that's the point. Now, are you two ready to listen to my plan?"
Remembering Campion, Blackberry looked to see his reaction at his silver fur. It was brilliant, but what she seen when he turned his head to look at her was even better.
"I…..I," Campion stuttered. "My scars are gone! I can see!"
It was true, every scar, the one on his chest, his blinded eye, his ear and his face were all gone to reveal a pair of radiant deep green eyes that Blackberry only remembered seeing once in her life and two perfectly pricked ears.
Shadow looked troubled. "I wasn't supposed to do that, I forgot."
"You forgot what?" Campion asked, his exuberance still burning.
"When I transformed you, it converts you to a pure physical state. Scars, lifelong illnesses and other long term physical aspects are all gone."
"But… but that's brilliant!" Blackberry burst out, unable to help herself. She loved those two sparkling dark green eyes and the soft, velvety, full coat of sienna, brown fur that she knew was underneath the silver. This wasn't a shallow thing; she loved these because of the happiness they brought to him. To have all your scars wiped away after seasons would feel you finally received a second chance to turn your life around.
Campion continued to stare in astonishment at himself before abruptly catching onto Shadow's expression. "You…. wouldn't reverse it, would you?"
"Not even if I wanted to," Shadow said miserably. "Prince Rainbow is not going to be happy with me for sure."
That comment made Campion and Blackberry laugh. That was something they never thought they would hear, from a rabbit they never thought they'd see.
"Okay, okay." Shadow actually smiled. "Listen up. You know what ghosts are, right? Our task is to cover all the Down and let the men see us, silver glowing bodies and all. Hopefully, they should think we are ghosts. Word will spread among their kind and they won't construct here because no one in their right mind would want to come if it was haunted."
Shadow's two companions were gaping at him. "We'll start moving up from the back," Shadow ordered. "Then we'll move towards them together."
Campion and Blackberry nodded and followed Shadow up the side of the hill, wondering what their friends thought of this in the forest.
When they were all standing together on top of the Down, Shadow gave the signal and off they went.
Shadow muttered to them while they moved, "Don't be afraid to do some things that you wouldn't normally do that would confuse them even more, like prancing."
Doing what was usually considered a doe's method of movement didn't really bother Campion, he was still consumed with pure bliss.
"Wait," Shadow ordered, sticking out his foreleg, causing Campion and Blackberry to almost trip over him. "This is it, don't worry about the men doing anything to hurt you, they won't. Stay close to me and maybe growl a little. We're not friendly 'ghosts'. Go!"
Stupidest thing I've ever done, Blackberry thought to herself and sprinted after the two bucks.
It wasn't long before the builders shocked cries started to fly through the air and the rabbits' hearts started to quicken in natural alarm. Remembering what they were told, a growl built up in Campion's throat and erupted out his muzzle, a truly terrifying sound.
"That's it!" Shadow whispered excitedly and motioned for Blackberry to follow suit. She did so nervously, having only ever growled from her throat and not sure she knew how. Campion started from her side as she mirrored his sound and gave her a look full of respect and pride.
"Get into a fighting stance," Shadow said quickly. The large group of men had lined up and were gawping and pointing at them. "Go towards them, quickly and confidently."
Blackberry shifted nervously and sought comfort from the brown rabbit. He grinned. "Don't worry, I won't let you get hurt. How many rabbits get a chance to take a bite out of man for once?"
As expected, when they charged at the men they scattered and got into their hrududos to start up their engines.
"Is it really that easy?" Campion asked incredulously, posed to sprint.
Shadow was too focused to reply and started whispering more orders. "If you can, climb on top of the cars, sorry hrududos, and try to make them as scared as possible."
Campion shrugged. "If you say so. Life is more fun when we act dumb." He struggled to find a grip on the shiny metal surface of one of the diggers, but managed to pull himself up. Then he clambered onto the roof.
He glanced quickly over at Shadow. He was also on one of the diggers, occupied. He was scratching at the front window and baring his teeth like a demon. Campion tried to talk himself into being vicious minded, it had been a while since he had had to use this method. He stamped his hind foot on the roof, as a rabbit does in warning of danger, causing a tin like sound to vibrate within. He pointed his claws and dragged them the length of the roof, creating such a sharp noise that he winced.
The men had had enough. They shot their machines forward, heading towards the flat fields east of the Down. Campion, who hadn't been expecting the machine under him to move, had no grip at the time and tumbled off into the edge of the woodland.
Blackberry and Shadow hopped over and helped him to regain himself. "Are you okay?" Shadow asked, before Blackberry could.
"Yes." Campion brushed down the pine needles that had broken his fall off his chest. "Is that it? Did we do it?"
"Yes." Blackberry smiled widely. "They're gone and Shadow promises they won't be back."
Shadow beamed. "I don't really think they found it suitable building ground anyway."
"Can we go back to the others now?" Blackberry asked excitedly. "They'll want to know the good news immediately."
"Have you forgotten what we look like right now, Blackberry?" Campion pressed gently.
"Oh…. Of course," Shadow realised. "We have to wait here for a while. It will fade soon enough and your normal fur colours will break through again."
They sighed and lay down, with Campion's heart beating a mile a minute. Even owlsa captains had to let go of the strict routines once in a while.
Fiver set down with Ivy a little away from everyone else. None of the others rabbits here knew of their dead kit and nor did he want them to find out.
They had been lying there for about ten minutes when Ivy started shuddering and fidgeting uncomfortably. Fiver went over closer and begged her to get up. A small pile of red appeared on the damp leaves around them and Ivy yelped. Fiver's heart stopped and his eyes widened, panicking and having no idea what to do. Ivy begged him closer and tears shone in her eyes. "Make it stop, Fiver, please! It hurts!"
Fiver felt so helpless he wanted to whimper, he wanted to shout for help to the others but over the constant thunder of the rain they wouldn't hear his cries. Ivy held him in a death grip and the tears that slid onto his paw were warm and salty.
"Ivy, talk to me! Where does it hurt?" Fiver pleaded with her, silly a question it may have been.
Ivy cut off mid sob and pulled her head sharply around to a shivering heap. Fiver gaped at her sudden change and then followed her gaze. He swallowed the lump in his throat and picked up the new little buck to place him beside his marli.
"We had a pair." Ivy smiled through her grief.
Gradually, as Shadow had claimed, the silver disappeared from their coats, but Blackberry couldn't stop staring at Campion. He was just so different from the rabbit she had known.
They were all standing in the rain, but their spirits weren't as dampened. Campion glanced out of the side of his eye at Blackberry for the third time and caught her staring again. "Is something wrong?"
She flushed and looked away muttering, "Nothing."
But he persisted and hopped around in front of her. He pricked his ears inquisitively and she saw fear in his eyes, fear for what she didn't know. She tilted her head up and gave him a nuzzle on the left side of his face.
"It's not too weird then?" he asked her, being pure and sincere.
"For a Captain of Owlsa, you're awfully silly." She leaned into him, radiant.
"Enough you two," Shadow smirked through his words. "We had better get back to the other, now."
Campion and Blackberry were embarrassed, forgetting the company they held.
It didn't take them long to find their friends. Before they showed themselves, Shadow stopped them behind a nearby bush. "You will get out of this. I haven't left you, but I can't accompany you at this moment."
Campion didn't think about what was just said for too long, just looked respectfully at Shadow. "Thank you."
Shadow nodded and took a step back into the night. Within a couple of seconds he was gone. Campion and Blackberry stepped into the clearing together.
"Blackberry, Campion! We were wondering where you two had gotten too!" Bigwig said in relief.
Hazel seemed to squint at them. "Campion, what on earth-"
A dark figure blurred across them and Bigwig shouted out in protest as he was pinned.
"Gather every single rabbit here. If they don't come quietly, kill them!"
Now… review? Pretty please? Thanks to everyone who did last time