Author's Note: So sorry for being absent but inspiration was far gone... But now I think I am finding my muse again so I will be writing more of the fic!
By the time he arrives at Chipenden, most of the young women and werewolves, regardless of their innocence, are already burned.
On the back of his mind, his conscience screams that this might be wrong, that he shouldn't take rash decisions like this. But the time for thinking and considering his options is long gone.
The angry mob, driven by their hatred for the accused, haven't sensed William's presence yet, so he decides to take advantage of the fact, use the element of surprise.
There is only one woman left, tied in the pyre. He can see the fear and the tears in her eyes. He decides to strike. After all, he was a man who could not stand injustice, especially to those who couldn't, under the circumstances, defend themselves. So, he decides to strike.
It seems as if only just a moment has passed between the time he decides to attack and the time the fight is over. But during this moment, there has been shed more blood than it has had during periods of war.
The moment he takes human form again the truth of these events dawns on him. Always the same truth. The same in the first dream, the same in the first attack, the same now.
The woman is alive and looking at him in the eye, petrified by the events that took place before her. He slowly approaches her, not wanting to frighten her more.
As he walks towards her, he sees all the people lying dead on the ground and wonders if all this was worth it to save just one woman. All the pain and suffering and this bloodbath, just for one single life. At the moment, it's crucial to him to believe that it is.
He cuts her bonds and frees her from the post, but when he tries to reassure her that everything will be fine from now on, she takes a step back. He starts to take a step forward slowly, but she just turns around and runs away.
It's a waste of time for him to try and shout for her that he's saved her. How safe is she, really? How safe is anyone he tries to save? He's the danger for her, he's the beast in people's nightmares and he saw much more fear in her eyes when the battle was over than when she was tied in that pyre.
He knows now why Malkin sent him here. And he knows that she was right all along.
He hears a familiar neigh. He turns his head and sees Shadowless right behind him. He runs his hand through the horse's hair. "You're never going to abandon me, are you? Not even when everybody has lost their faith on me. Not even when I have lost my faith in..."
The Boggart in response moves so that he can ride her and together they head once more through the forest in the darkness of the night.
The first rays of sun have already started peering through the clouds by the time they reach Pendle Mountain. He farewells Shadowless once more, but this time she refuses to leave. She just stands there waiting for him to get inside. He runs his hand through the horse's mane and whispers. "You leave. Leave and never come back for me, do you hear me? Never... the person you knew is dead and gone. I'm no more the witch-hunter who was your friend... So, just leave."
He turns around and starts heading inside when something makes him stop abruptly. A voice in his head.
"I told you it was the wrong choice, William. You never listen..."
He turns around. Nothing and no one. "Great, now I'm losing my mind as well..." he thinks when it suddenly hit him.
The voices in his head... the strange dream... the warnings about Malkin... "From the very beginning... you warned me not to approach her..."...
He can't stop the thoughts coming to his head, but he can't focus on them either. His emotions change from despair and disappointment to anger and hatred as he bursts into the hideout in the mountain.
His need to find Malkin is so desperate that he doesn't even notice that Bony Lizzie along with her daughter are there too. When he sees them, he approaches the latter, grasps her by her arms ignoring her mother's shouts. "WHERE is she? Tell me now, witch!"
"What took you so long?" Malkin enters the main hall.
William lets go of Alice, turns around and walks towards Malkin, his anger driving him mad, his eyes already changing color and the monster inside him already coming out. "Why did you do this? WHY did you want me to go to this damn village?!"
Malkin shrugs and starts pacing up and down. "I thought it was obvious. You just proved that you are capable of coherent thought unlike those uncivilised villagers you killed." She stops. "Oh. Are we having second thoughts now? Did you regret the choice you make? Oh, pity there is no living person left to apologize to."
He rushes towards her, pinning her to the wall. "Why are you doing all of this? You said you wanted me to embrace my nature, didn't you? Well, here I am, I embraced it quite enough, don't you think? You've made me a far more hideous monster than I ever thought myself to be." His hands are on her neck, almost choking her. Bony Lizzie and Alice try to stop him, but fear takes hold of them the moment he lays a glance at them and they leave.
"I didn't make you do anything. It was your choice. Everything was your choice." She feels his claws piercing her skin. His hold on her gets tighter.
"My choice, you say? Very well, let's accept that. But know that the monster is set free now, so mind your words. You never know when you might be my next victim. Now that I'm thinking about it, I could snap your neck and be rid of you once and for all with just a flicker of my hand..."
It is at this exact moment that he sees it. The fear in her eyes. She tries very well to hide it, but it's impossible. She almost starts quivering, but manages to get a hold of herself. "Why don't you do it, then? What stops you? Go on, kill me!"
He raises his hand, as if wanting to slap her or even kill her, but stops mid-air. Instead, he cups the side of her face and kisses her fiercely, all of his anger fading into lust. She kisses him back, her hands running through his thick grey hair.
He carries her to her private rooms where they spend the night together. The hours pass and the only sound breaking the silence of the night is their moans and ragged breaths as they frantically make love.
When he wakes up, he doesn't know how much time has passed from the moment he arrived at the hideout. He only knows that he is in Malkin's bed, with her lying beside him looking at the ceiling. She turns her head to face him. He can see the marks he's left at her neck.
"Why didn't you kill me?" the only words she can say.
He averts his gaze from her, gets up from the bed and heads to the window, staring at the cloudy sky. There are a few moments of silence between them, that seem like an eternity to both of them.
He turns his head to face her.
"Because I'm sick of being the last of my kind."
End of Chapter