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Ev woke up on their third day in Galway, and her heart sank. Instantly, she knew what day it was.
The day of the full moon.
Newt was gone already, -he normally was, off doing his wizard business-, so she got up and made breakfast for herself. Afterwards, she went out on the town and ambled around. She had to force down her instinct to nab a souvenir, reminding herself that she didn't need to steal anymore.
At lunch, she went back to the inn to check and see if Newt was home. He wasn't.
Trying not to grow worried, she went back out and wandered around the beach Galway was close to. The sand was packed hard, and it wasn't very tropical, but it was relaxing in its own way. She stripped out of her shoes and rolled up the cuffs of her trousers so she could wade in the ice-cold water. As the tide came in, the water flooded around her bony ankles.
Ev watched as the sun sank lower and lower, and at about four, she went back into town to grab a cuppa.
Her thoughts wandered to Newt, and she couldn't help worrying. She really hoped he was home, or she wouldn't have time to tell him about the full moon.
All at once she set down the cup and got to her feet, leaving some money for the tea. She headed home, hunching her shoulders when rain began to fall. The inn was a welcome sight, and she ducked inside to escape what had quickly become a downpour.
She headed back to their room and changed out of her soaked clothes. She sat at the table provided for them, eyes watching the clock. As the hour hand crept further and further past six, she grew drawn and frightened. Where was Newt? Had something happened to him? Her knee jogged nervously under the table.
The innkeeper's wife brought a dinner up to her, since it was included in the purchase of their room, and she picked nervously at it as the hour hand passed seven, and the sun had nearly disappeared behind the mountains in the distance.
When the hand hit eight, Ev realized she'd made a mistake. She'd spent all this time waiting for Newt, when she should have been fleeing Galway. But it was too late.
As the last of the sunlight disappeared and the moon took over in the sky, Ev felt a bolt of fire-lightning jolting her whole body.
She collapsed to the ground, wailing as white-hot pain took over. Scales pushed through her skin, and her transformation forced over her. She groaned and whimpered as the bones in her back snapped and remolded to form her wings.
Ev curled up in a ball as throbbing pain wracked her whole body, and her bones seem to splinter under her skin. A roar escaped her lips and she writhed in pain, feeling like her skin was too tight to hold all of her in. She was splitting at the seams.
Everything disappeared in the haze of pain, and she trembled and howled on the ground, unable to move. This was how Newt found her, hours later, when he came in sopping wet from the rain.
"Everly, I'm-," he stopped as he heard her pain-riddled cries. "Everly?"
She tried to look at him, but her whole body cried out in protest as she tried to stretch to see him.
"D-Don't come closer," she gasped out, voice a bare hiss. Her words were clumsy, her ability to speak human language almost gone in her brutal shift. Even now it was difficult to organize her whirling mind to form any sense. "Midnight… full dragon."
Newt's eyes flickered to the clock, where it read eleven forty seven. He carefully put the box he was carrying on the counter and set his suitcase down.
"Hold still, Everly," he said very calmly. "I'm going to shrink you now, and take you into the case so you don't break anything."
She whined as her skin seemed to feel even tighter and she shrank four times smaller, to the size of a house cat. She barely registered as Newt picked her up and descended down the ladder into his suitcase.
Her eyes opened as she felt herself being placed in the grass, and she whimpered as her skin loosened, and she felt herself expand back to her normal size. The magic was an overwhelming sensation that only added to her pain, and she let loose a guttural rumble of protest.
When Ev forced her eyes open, she could blearily see Newt walking a wide circle around her, waving his wand and chanting under his breath. A spasm of pain wracked her body and she let herself forget him as she squeezed her eyes shut, gritting her teeth.
"...Away," she implored, trying to fight off the blackness closing around her mind. "Go…"
He didn't make any move to escape, and if she could have cried in her dragon from, she would have.
"Please," she begged, right before the human part of her mind shut down, and she was swallowed by darkness.
Everything was blank
Newt finished casting the last of the spell when Everly collapsed in a heap of black scales and leathery wings. It was disturbing to see her so pained when she was normally so confident and relaxed.
He watched her closely, resisting the urge to go inside the magical enclosure he'd casted. After a moment, her mercurial eyes opened, and she got to her feet.
"Everly?" he asked slowly.
She prowled closer, lips pulled over her razor-sharp teeth in a feral snarl. Muscles coiled and shifted under her scaled skin as she approached. When she was a few meters away she crouched low, and he leaned forward.
"Are you alright?" he probed, but no recognition lit in her eyes.
All at once, her muscles bunched, and she leapt at him, claws extended, teeth flashing. She hit an invisible wall, and fell back, roaring in frustration. A swipe at the wall proved ineffective, and she began to pace, angered. Her liquid-silver stare never left him.
It was a little terrifying, seeing such rage, such hate in her normally smiling eyes. He'd even begun to think of her dragon form as familiar. Dependable. Now everything was thrown to the wind as she snarled and snapped at him from behind the magical wall. She hated him now, she would maul him in a second if he gave her the opportunity.
Newt got to his feet with a sigh and strode off towards the ladder, ignoring her roars of fury. He popped out into the inn room to grab the box he had abandoned on the kitchen counter before. Balancing his prize carefully on his hip, he climbed back down, minding not to jostle the contents.
Everly lifted her head when he returned with his prize, letting out a low growl but nothing more. She was curled in ball, head resting in the grass, her tail twitching just a little.
"Settled down a bit, have we?" he asked her softly. Her lips lifted in a snarl, but she didn't move.
Newt sighed, smiling a little and sat down next to her enclosure. He lifted the contents of the box out carefully.
Squirming in his hands were two blind kittens, completely soaked through from the rain he'd rescued them from. They mewled pitifully and splayed their tiny limbs in fruitless resistance.
Clicking his tongue against the roof of his mouth, he set them in his lap and casted a drying spell over them. They rolled around, trying to bat their little palms at the warm sensation. He smiled fondly down at their stuttery stop-start motion of their limbs, in stark contrast with the normal grace common in cats.
Newt looked up to see Everly eyeing him with guarded eyes.
"I rescued these little guys from an alley," he explained softly to her, though he knew she didn't understand in this state. "They were in a little crate, and it was filling up with water. I figured they'd drown if I didn't rescue them, so I brought them home."
She did not reply, not that he'd expected different, but did ease to her clawed feet. She crept closer, sniffing along the edge of the barrier so she was less than a foot away from him.
"Aren't they cute?" he smiled, holding them up to her for inspection.
She sniffed at the kittens who tumbled over each other. Everly gave whuff of curiosity and pawed gently at the barrier.
"I don't think so," he told her with a smirk. "A valiant effort, but you'll have to try a little harder than that."
She gave a soft keen and nosed at the barrier, but he held firm. Defeated, she settled in a heap and stared at the kittens as they wrestled sightlessly Newt's lap.
They stayed like that for a while, and Newt found himself drifting off occasionally. It felt like he'd only closed his eyes for a moment, but when he woke up it was the early morning. A glance at his pocket watch told him it was about three in the morning. He looked over his shoulder to check on Everly. She was slumped over in the grass, in a state of incredible chaos.
Patches of midnight scales marked her pale skin haphazardly, a single horn rose from out of her dark hair, and her leathery wings were blanketing her body. One arm was still a clawed dragon hand, and her tail was coiled by her feet. She looked caught halfway between her shift.
"Everly?" he whispered through the barrier.
She stirred and then opened her eyes. One was still split by the catlike pupil of her dragon form. She looked so fragile in that moment, so delicate with her milk-white skin and wide eyes like moons.
"W-What-, What happened?" She asked, her words rasping in her throat. Her eyes focused on him and then zeroed in on her surroundings. Horror flashed across her face and she backed up as fast as possible until her back was pressed-up against the wall of the invisible enclosure.
"Did I hurt anyone?" she demanded, panicked. "Please say I didn't."
"Of course you didn't," he assured her.
She stared at him for a long moment, and then she pulled her knees up to her chest, forehead dropping to rest on her knees. There was a beat of silence, and then Newt realized she was crying. His heart dropped.
"Ah, oh no," he mumbled, scratching the back of his head. "No, don't do that. D-Don't cry, Everly, everything's alright now."
"But w-what if it wasn't?" she sobbed, voice muffled. "I c-c-could have seriously hurt s-somebody!"
"But you didn't," he told her, leaning against the barrier. Realizing it was still up, he raised his wand to take it down.
"No!' she blurted out, tear-stained face snapping up. "Just leave it. I-I can't trust myself. This is the best place for me."
Newt waved it down anyway and moved closer to her. "Don't say that."
Everly flinched away as he sat next to her, but he ignored it.
"Give me your hand."
She shakily complied, handing him her human hand, delicate and cold.
"Your other hand."
She glanced at him worriedly. "I shouldn't."
He widened his eyes in what he hoped as an imploring way and held out his own hand. After a moment, her gaze flickered away, and she gingerly placed the hand that was still a dragon claw in his.
Newt reached for one of the kittens and picked it up, ignoring the way it squirmed.
"You're not going to hurt his, Everly," he told her, absolutely certain. Her eyes flashed with unbridled fear, and she yanked her hand away.
"Newt you can't- you can't just trust me to do that," she said softly, voice cracking.
"Really?" he said. "Who's stopping me?"
He took her clawed hand once more and used one hand to hold the individual claws open. He placed the kitten in the center of her palm, and she froze, her chest stopping in the middle of its rise and fall, her eyes fixed on the tiny life she held in her monstrous hand.
"Newt- you can't-,"
"I'm holding your hand open, see?" he said, cutting her off gently. "You're not going to hurt it."
She looked at him with something unreadable in her volatile eyes for just a beat too long, and then her gaze fixed back on the kitten. It clambered clumsily around the surface area of her hand.
The awe in her face was something truly priceless, Newt thought to himself. It was naive and afraid and amazed all at once. He never thought he'd see an expression so raw, so honest in his entire lifetime. She gazed at that tiny, blind kitten like it hung the moon and stars in the sky.
Newt didn't realize, but at a certain point, he'd stopped holding her hand open. Even with no force resisting her grip she let her hand remain relaxed to keep from hurting the cat. As she stroked along its spine with her human hand, scales retracted back into her skin, and the horn poking out of her hair sank back into her skull. Her pupil morphed back into the regular circular shape, and her leathery wings disappeared into her back. Finally her dragon hand shrank and the scales rippled away to reveal her normal creamy skin.
She sighed, eyes lingering on her hand. "Usually it takes longer than that."
"Well, you had some help today," Newt replied, lips curving into a small smikle.
Everly looked over with that piercing gaze, and after a moment she smiled back.
"I guess I did."
This will probably be one of the last or the last aimless chapter, and the real plot will be starting quite soon. I know it's been a lot of set up of Ev's character and background, as well as Newt and Ev's relationship, but I do have a point I going towards here! I promise!
Anyway, please drop a review if you liked it, I love hearing your predictions and feedback!
Find me on Tumblr at octaviastareyes! Let's hang out! May or may not post fan art for this story, and you can get updates on when I'm next posting a chapter.