Warning: Cannological werewolf self-sabotage/self-harm in wolf form.

Cyra knew she shouldn't basically leave her friends waiting but as she headed outside, she welcomed the crisp night air on her face which gave her something besides guilt to feel.

Turning her face toward the full moon, she thought of Chiara. What had Penny said to her? How had Penny found out about her condition? How had Chiara reacted? Was she in the forbidden forest now? Was she doing alright? Had she taken her potion?

If only there was some way for her to safely be able to enter the forest and check up on her.

Maybe I can research werewolves? Maybe there is a way for me to be sure she is alright…Lupin did say he had friends that stayed with him.

She thought, closing her eyes as she heard a distant, loud but mournful sound echoing from the forest.

I have to figure out what they did.No one deserves to be alone.

With that, she headed back inside the castle. Determined to figure out a way to something.

The following day felt like it had inched by and as soon as she got the chance, she headed to the owlery with a handful of gold and a piece of parchment that simply read:

One copy of the third year Defense against the dark arts and whatever magizology book you have that contains creatures in the xxxxx category.

Tying the parchment and pouch of gold onto the leg of a small, grey screech owl Cyra paused to sigh.

"Flourish and blots Motty. Try to not get sidetracked, yeah? I'm trying to help a friend."

The owl cooed once before taking flight, leaving Cyra alone in the tower.

The weather was murky, that much Cyra was grateful for as she walked toward Hagrid's hut, only to be intercepted by a bolt of grey and white fur crashing into her ankles and nearly toppling her over.

"Merlin's pants! Borf, what the hell?" She yelped in surprise, only to earn a yip and a growl from the cub who's erratic body language made it seem like he wanted her to follow him.

"Alright, alright. I'm coming."

She was only mildly surprised when she found a rather sickly looking Chiara sitting beneath a tree near the dark forest, wrapped in a cloak and trembling as blood seeped from her torn pants leg.

"Bloody fuck, what happened to you?"

Cyra thought, winching as she saw the evident signs of teeth marks on the pale flesh.

Borf barked as if trying to respond, though Chiara only managed a response.

"Last night was the full moon."

She sounded tired, weak even and Cyra could only imagine why.

"Yes and that explains why your leg is ripped to ribbons?"

Chiara blanched at that and Cyra figured she would have been sick.

"I'm a monster, Cyra. When a werewolf is deprived of human flesh….they will turn on themselves. I forgot to take yesterday's dose."

Cyra swore under her breath, closing her eyes. Shedidremember what Chiara had said about the wounds being cursed.

"We need to get you to Madame Pomfrey. Think you can stand?" Cyra asked, muttering the incantationferulaunder her breath and earning a yelp from the Hufflepuff.

"Sorry. I just needed to stop the bleeding." She said, taking note of how the other girl flinched when she reached a hand out to help her up.

"You should just go. Penny is right. I'll just end up hurting someone...Or worse. I should have never let my parents and Dumbledor talk me into coming here."

The way Chiara's voice broke snapped something inside Cyra and every ounce of the anger she had felt toward Penny's outburst the previous day came flooding back.

"I amnotleaving and what does Penny really know about you? Yes, you're a werewolf…"

Chiara cut her off, voice crackling with emotion.

"A werewolf, Cyra! Don't you get it? I can't control it and once a month, I turn into a bloodthirsty beast that would stop atnothingto killany person that crosses it! If it wasn't for Snape and the wolfsbane potion everyone would be at risk because of me!"

Chiara broke then and Cyra had to wonder if it was Penny's words alone or the stress of everything that had happened that caused the reaction.

Another thing that Cyra realized is that shehatedseeing the platinum-haired girl cry.

"Look, I don't give a frilly damn rather you can control it or not! It's one day a month! That doesn't bloody change who you are! You doeverythingin your power to keep everyone safe."

Cyra was nearly shouting at this point.

"You didn't choose this, Chiara. You're a victim of this andthatdoesn't make you a monster. How you deal with it proves that."

With that Cyra put a hand on the girl's shoulder, unaware of the hawk that was watching them.

Merula wasn't sure what was going on when Cyra just walked over and grabbed her by the hood, forcing her off the wall she had been sitting on.

"Bloody hell, Moores! What do you want?" She demanded, managing to twist away though she dropped her sketchbook in the process.

"Duel me….anddon'thold back."

The request was hissed, furious even and for a moment Merula couldn't help but wonder where this change of attitude had come from.

"Fine but if you land me in detention…" she began, only to earn a smirk.

"Way ahead of you, Snyde. I know a place we can duel and not get caught."

To say that she felt like an idiot for following Cyra Moores anywhere was an understatement, however, when she was eventually lead through a tapestry on the seventh floor and into a strange room filled with training equipment, she instantly relaxed.

"We'll have privacy here...Rowan's love for books and history comes in handy sometimes," Cyra stated and Merula would never admit it but for once she agreed.

"Is this duel about little miss sunshine?" She asked, glancing around the room. Taking note of several books on the shelves and the death eater replicas.

"What is this place anyway?"

"The room of requirement. Anything that can be conjured can be found here." Cyra responded before pulling a scroll off a shelf, brow arching as she pulled a bottle of fire whiskey from the shelf.

"And looks like someone has been hiding illegal contraband in here."

"And practicing potions making. What evenisthis supposed to be?"

Merula retorted, picking up a bottle with what looked like purple goo congealed inside of it.

"Why did you want to duel me anyway? I thought you hated fighting?"

She added, unable to not be curious about the other girl's reasoning.

"It is either this or flatten Penny for something she doesn't remember and like it or notyouare one of the best duelists here...topped only by Diego butheis a pain."

It was weird hearing Cyra compliment her (now for the second time) though things seemeddifferentthis year. Sincewhendid Cyra doubt her friends? Sincewhendid Cyrawantto fight?

"Are you sure you didn't land on your head during flying class?"

Merula retorted, earning a sigh.

"Just duel me arsehole."

By the time they were done, Cyra had several burns and Merulaknewthat she would have bruises. Yet there was a kind of calm between them, a strange sort of silence that surprisingly wasn't awkward.

"Okay, that makes round three and I don't want to go to Azkaban for murder," Merula said with a sigh, flopping down unceremoniously on a dusty, overstuffed but legless chair.

She commented, earning a sigh from Cyra who nodded.

"Thanks for doing this. I evidently inherited my father's temper and the last thing my mother needs right now is an owl saying I muggle punched a student."

She said after a while, earning a surprised look

"Okay, I am not going to lie and tell you I didn't hear some of the exchange between you and blondie. So why did you oblivate her? She was trying to manipulate you into choosing between her and whoever. You could have just walked away."

Merula couldn't believe that she was saying this but she had never seen her rival (who she assumed was goody-two-shoes) be so harsh or turn on a friend.

"Because she was going to ruin someone's life, Snyde. Because no one deserves to be judged for something out of their control."

Merula felt her stomach twist at those words and felt the familiar anger once again boil up.

"Isn't thatexactlywhatyoudid to me for the last two years? Bringing up my parents? Sneering at me because of what they did? What makes that any different?"

She said after a while, causing the room to grow quiet.

"I know and I'm sorry. It wasn't fair even if you do drive me crazy."

Cyra said after several minutes.

"Youaren'tyour parents. No more, than I am mine. No wonder you gave me such a hard time...I didn't make it easy on you either."

No, you didn't.

Merula thought as she regarded her housemate for several moments.

"And maybe I shouldn't have made those jokes about Jacob." She said before sighing and adding "look, we're not friends or anything but thanks."

It felt weird to say those words to anyone, least of all Cyra Moores. The icon of their age.

An icon that seemed as full of mystery as the vaults surrounding the school.

"And...If you need to let off some stress or something...I'll duel you or whatever."

"Thanks, Snyde. This doesn't mean I'll take it easy on you in class though."

Cyra retorted and Merula felt herself grin.

"Thank heavens for that. I don't need you going soft on me, Moores."

They sat in silence for some time before Merula spoke again.

"So Haywood was trying to tell you who you couldn't be friends with because she didn't approve? Bloody hell, Moores. You have the right to choose your own friends. Even if they are weird."

Cyra tried not to be offended by this comment though she couldn't help but quip back:

"Need I remind you that Ismelda is the definition of weird?"

Merula snorted at that.

"That is an understatement. You don't share a dorm with her."

"Please tell me you and Merula didn't get yourselves in detention…Again."

Liz commented as soon as Cyra walked into their dorm, finding Nyx laying on the bed near the other girl.

"No. Is itthatbig of a deal that we decided to study together? She's ace at potions and I exploded my cauldron last week."

Cyra retorted, the half-lie coming far too easy for her though she couldn't tell the creature lover the truth.

Not that she would believe her anyway.

"Merulaisbetter than Snape, I suppose."