Big thanks to Kitty Chou for managing to beta even when everything was trying to keep her from it XD

Next chapter's going to be a bit longer -- need to sort out a couple of plot points.

A couple of answers on some questions that came back a few times in reviews, though:

1) Harry and his friends will NOT be coming into the story as more than background characters. Heero and Wufei are in Harry's school, the school doesn't have that many students, it's normal that they all know of each other. But they're not running in the same circles and they will not meet and become friends, OR enemies. Heero knows Draco personally because they're in the same year and thus have the same classes and share a dormitory room. Duo knows the Twins because they have the same hobbies. Wufei's cousin Meiran happens to be in Ginny's year. That's IT.

2)Heero and Wufei are normal students, as normal as students can be at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. They will not go on a quest to defeat Voldemort or kick Fudge out of office. (though... XD) They do have some problems of a magical nature (IE lycanthropy) but they are attempting to deal with these in the same way as all wizarding folks must deal with them. Wufei will NOT find a miracle potion that lets him transform at will and keep his mind when transformed so he can be a wolf-Animagus in all but the name. There's the Wolfsbane. That's it.

Chapter 8

Wufei paused by a window, looking out at the fading evening sky. The sun was still out, but he was acutely aware of the passage of time--or rather, aware of the moon which would rise shortly.

The friends he'd eaten with had told him to hurry up and join them for a walk outside, but he'd refused, quietly, saying that he thought he should return to his room. It wouldn't be long now...

Meiran, for once less oblivious than the rest of them, offered to go with him, but Wufei declined and left discretely. He didn't want to make a big deal out of it, to make it too obvious. He was glad his friends had forgotten that it was the full moon tonight and he could do without the pitying and horrified looks he would undoubtedly get. It was already hard to deal with them coming from random people in the halls, he thought as a group of Hufflepuffs second year scattered like a flight of sparrows in their haste to run away from him, but from his friends too... He couldn't stand that.

Going down the passage to his room, he walked past a few of his Housemates, who nodded tightly but didn't stop to chat, and a couple of Slytherins who started and hurried away at his approach. It was odd to find people from that House in that part of the castle, but it wasn't the first time it had happened. Shrugging it off, he reached out for the painting hiding the corridor going to his new room --and then hesitated. It smelled of people who shouldn't have any business touching it. This time of the month he could pick out the individual traits... Avery's friend, the sly, dark haired one, a couple of other boys from his little gang--what could they have been doing there?

Pushing them from his mind, Wufei told the faerie guarding his door the password -- and realized that she was frozen in place, her eyes empty, unmoving just like a Muggle painting. Alarmed, he tried again. The door was most definitely blocked--the painting didn't react at all. What sort of spell could do that? There were traces of magic, he could smell them, taste them in the air almost, but he had never encountered that hex before. He could probably have worked out the counter spell--but his textbooks were in his room, he didn't need them for dinner...

His heightened senses told him that someone was coming, and he recognized the voices. Instinct warned him to get out of sight and he took the opposite corridor, crouching down behind a statue, just in time.

"He's not here!"

"Well, he can't have gotten far--he'll want to go to Flitwick or Dumbledore... As long as the people watching the corridors don't let him go to the staffroom, he's right where we want him."

"You sure he's not dangerous?"

"Not really. Just like a dog. Once he changes we can rile him up and then, we can get him kicked out of here faster than Malfoy can lose the snitch--"

Wufei decided that he had heard enough and hurriedly slipped down the passage. He kept going until he was far away from them, and not even sure of where he was. That part of the corridors wasn't traveled as often as the rest, probably because it took the long way around to most of the points of interest of the castle.

He was locked out of his room and the full moon was ready to rise, he could feel it. He could barely think, he was scared and he had no where to go--unless--they wouldn't think he would go to the Slytherin common room, surely--and Heero was the only one who would help him... He hurried in the directions of the dungeons, managing to use his sense of smell to find the entrance to the Slytherin Common Room.

He thumped on the door loudly. "I don't care about the stupid password! I want to talk to Heero!"

After a few minutes, the portrait slid open and Malfoy appeared, brushing imaginary flint off his impeccable cloak as he looked down his nose at him. He paused when he recognized Wufei, his eyebrows arching in surprised alarm. "What the hell are you doing here!?" he exclaimed, glaring.

Wufei tried to fight back an urge to growl and raise his hackles. "I want to see Heero."

Malfoy blinked. Now THAT was interesting info-- nothing that didn't prove something he didn't already suspect, though. He would have loved to be angry, but he remembered that it was the full moon and Wufei was a werewolf, and he doubted that beast would respect his Prefect status.

"Let me in or I'll rip your head off."

Malfoy gasped in shock and turned paler. Growing impatient, Wufei shoved past him into the dimly lit corridor. The Pureblood stepped away hurriedly, still trying to look brave for the other Slytherin but making sure he was out of his reach.

"You should be locked away !! Aren't you supposed to turn furry by now? I'll tell my father that you attacked me, you beast!!" he threatened.

Wufei growled after him, not thinking enough to realize how bad it looked, and Draco promptly ran away to get Professor Snape.

The second Wufei stepped in, the students who had been listening started to scream and run to their dorms. Some weren't quick enough and ended up locked out, and pressed against the doors, eyes wide and horrified. There were papers floating everywhere.

Wufei looked around the Common Room, his eyes adapting quickly to the lack of adequate light. Heero wasn't there... He felt completely lost. He didn't know what to do now--Heero was his only hope... He slid down against the wall, waiting for Snape to come and expel him ... or maybe kill him if the Wolf arrived first.

Heero sat up on his bed, startled when the other fifth year irrupted in and locked the door.

"What's going on?" he asked, getting up.

Avery turned to him, pale as death. "He's come to kill me!!!"

Heero glared at his enemy, his wand in hand. "... What are you babbling about now?"

"Your fucking Ravenclaw friend!! That bloody werewolf!! He just charged in the common room, snarling and growling like a beast!! He's going to kill us all!!"

Heero froze. Now that he listened, he could hear kids cry outside... It was not possible that the Wolfsbane potion hadn't worked, was it? Snape never got a potion wrong... But why else would Wufei be out there?

He had to... hide and wait for it to end-- he should-- he was more important. He was a Slytherin, Slytherins thought of themselves first and that was why they survived anything.

But if Wufei bit any of the kids...

He remembered the look on Wufei's face when he had learned of what he was... He couldn't let that happen to anyone else, not to his young Housemates. And the guilt Wufei would feel...

He pushed Avery out of the way and unlocked the door, the strongest freezing spell he knew already on his lips. He was almost crushed in the rush to get inside the room and shut the door. The young students had heard the door open and hadn't lost any time running for cover.

He managed to push past the rush of scared kids and heard the door lock behind him and about a dozen locking spells shouted at it. No escape now. Duo was going to laugh and call him a wannabe Gryff to his dying day...

A lone first year was curled up behind the couch, her eyes wide and terrified, frozen in terror. It wasn't heavy enough to offer her any protection and if she ran, she would be seen. He looked around wildly for the wolf-- and paused when he saw Wufei curled up against the wall by the door, still human.

"... 'Fei?" he called softly. He stepped closer, but he was wary. What if he started to change now?

Wufei looked up, scarcely daring to believe that Heero was there. "Heero--oh, I'm so glad you're here!"

"... What are you doing here? It's the full moon and you're going to change in a few minutes, you should be in your room!!"

"They locked my door, I can't go in... I'm afraid--" He shook, feeling the need to change but fighting it desperately.

Heero checked the antiquated clock in the common room. "...ooh, fuck-- tell me you took your potion," he whispered as he realized how little time they had left. And the child, hiding behind the couch...

"Of course I took it!!"

Heero hadn't been joking when he said that he'd never try to look at Wufei transforming. He wasn't that stupid... but there was no choice any longer. It looked like he would be getting a show either way. Maybe if the wolf transformed early, he could get it to chase him, leading it away from that kid.

He grabbed Wufei's wrist. "Come on!! Let's find you a room that locks!"

Wufei choked back a sob of relief, letting Heero take care of things. He didn't know this part of the school and he was glad he wasn't alone to figure it out. The Slytherin dragged him outside of the Common Room, the portrait slamming shut behind them, running down the damp corridor toward that dungeon room he liked-- the walls were very thick there, and the door was covered in strong, magicked iron. He hoped it would be safe enough.

Wufei was feeling dizzy, and he stumbled a bit as they ran --two legs felt wrong somehow...

The wrist in Heero's hand felt like it was growing thicker, and he prayed for it to be an illusion. So close, touching the beast, there would be no escape and he could feel the teeth closing in on his throat already...

The door!! They were almost there... Just a few more steps...!!

Wufei stumbled, falling on his knees. He struggled to rise, his body contorting as he did, and gasped in pain. Heero nearly slid on the paved floor at the brutal stop but managed to keep his balance and turned to Wufei. His eyes widened as he saw his boyfriend's body twist under his robes-- and the nauseating sound of cracking bones...

Wufei moaned, his sobs suddenly becoming a whine. A long shudder ran up his frame as he suddenly became much the wrong shape for his robes and cloak. Heero briefly stepped back, shaking and nauseous. But there were other students in the corridors, who wouldn't have the time to hide in the Common Rooms.

"Alohomora!!"

He grabbed the back of Wufei's robes and hauled the twisting mass of fur to the room, expecting to feel a bite any second. The transforming creature let out a startled yelp, but, still in the throes of the change, was unable to protest more.

He was so heavy-- Heero stumbled on a loose stone and fell, landing heavily on his side inside the room, Wufei across his legs. A covering of fur was spreading over it, completing the change.

The beast rid itself of the shredded clothes with a shake. Then it rested on his legs again, panting, visibly tired. Heero bit his lip, eyes closed. He couldn't get free now-- but maybe he could prevent Wufei from hurting anyone else. He pointed his wand at the door and called a locking spell quietly, hoping to get a few seconds longer of respite. The door slammed closed and the locks fell in place, the iron shimmering for a second before the spell sank into the wood.

The wolf rested a few minutes, panting heavily, then stood on shaky legs. Heero crawled back on heels and elbows slowly, watching him warily.

Wufei nosed Mate's leg gently, puzzled. He wanted to make sure that Mate was all right. He didn't smell happy. He smelled scared. The wolf scanned the room, searching for a threat, but the place was safe enough. He pawed at Mate's leg again, whining softly.

Heero gave the wolf's large head a pat, his hand shaking in relief. The potion seemed to work --he had feared that it had been tampered with-- and he wasn't acting aggressive... but just a nip would be enough, as long as it drew blood. He petted Wufei more, gaining assurance, scratching the fur behind his ears. The wolf settled down to rest against Heero, resting his head in Heero's lap with absolute trust. He was so black... The Slytherin felt like he was petting an ebony statue. Only his eyes were less than black... They had turned a weird brownish-golden, in fact. In contrast, his fangs appeared whiter than snow, and his tongue surprisingly pink.

Wufei let his mouth loll open, wagging his tail slightly. Heero sighed shakily and relaxed a little. Needing something to busy himself with, he started to tear off the remnants of clothes still around the beast, careful not to pull on his hairs or startle him with too loud a sound. He could feel his own heart slow down, though it stayed on the fast side for a while. He was petting a werewolf... This hadn't quite sunk in yet. If that was the sort of thrills Gryffindors loved, he wondered how it was that so many of them lived old enough to get a job and a family.

Wufei rested quietly against him for a while, tired out by the transformation, but as the moon got higher, he started to get restless. He got up, pacing along the room, then went to scratch at the door. Heero winced.

"No, Wufei, you can't."

The wolf whined, scratching more vigorously. Heero could see the spell glow where splinters of wood had been torn off. So far it refused to give, but the Slytherin didn't know how long it would last against a Dark creature.

Wufei gave the human a soulful look, and Heero shook his head slowly.

"You have to stay here, I'm sorry," he said softly.

Heero reminded himself not to be afraid-- werewolves could smell fear and he didn't want Wufei to get aggressive. He was huge as a beast, but his big paws and tall legs made him look a little like a half-grown puppy. He couldn't be scared of that, could he?

Wufei whined again, padding over to Heero. He went behind him to push him with his head towards the door, wagging his tail hopefully. Heero sighed and sidestepped the werewolf.

"No."

A bit nervous, the Slytherin went to the bench where they had sat together and sat down, his feet on the seat, curled up in the corner.

Wufei gave him an unhappy look, then deciding to try another tactic, picked up Heero's forgotten wand in his mouth and carried it towards the door. Heero gasped. "Hey, give that back!!"

He could hear his wand -- ten and a half inches, ebony with oriental dragon mane core-- snapping between powerful teeth already... He hurried over to Wufei and tried to make him let go gently.

Mate wanted to play! Wufei was so happy. He tugged away playfully, rolling on his back.

Heero winced-- his wand!! "... Wufei, be nice. Give it back," he ordered, trying to sound stern. Why didn't the werewolf play with his own wand, dammit?

The wolf tightened his hold and Heero looked around frantically, searching for something else to give him. He found a scrap of cloth and shook it under his nose. "Here, play with that!"

Thankfully, it worked. Wufei let go of the wand to play with the cloth, and Heero hid his wand in his sleeve quickly, and then went to the rest of Wufei's clothes to find his, hiding it before he could snap it too. Wufei's sharp teeth had put an end to the cloth's days on earth fairly rapidly, and to keep him entertained, the short-haired boy kicked the torn rags at him. The wolf pounced, growling playfully, then investigated and dragged them over to where Heero was sitting down to serve as a sleeping nest.

Heero sighed and petted Wufei's ears again. The fur there was so soft... On his neck, it was coarse, almost like a horse's mane, but his ears felt like velvet.

Wufei was in doggy bliss land. Mate was nice. He played with him and found him a nest and petted him just right. He rested his head on Mate's lap, shutting his eyes happily. Something was missing though ... He thought a second, and then rolled on his back, displaying his stomach to Mate.

Heero blinked, and hesitated a second, but when the wolf poked him with his forepaw, he decided to comply. He started petting Wufei's belly gently, rubbing the soft fur there. He hoped that the wolf wouldn't get perverted ideas...

Wufei shut his eyes, his tail wagging at full speed. Heero laughed. It was hard to stay afraid when he acted so goofy.

"You're cute, you know? You're so proper usually..." he commented, scratching his stomach.

He didn't know how long they spent like that, Wufei's heavy head on his lap, Heero's hands lost in his thick fur, when the wolf scrabbled to his feet, ears pointed toward the door. Heero tensed up, alarmed, then heard the sound of steps resonating in the paved corridor. It was hard to hear how many, because the door was so thick.

The wolf was alert and interested, but still calm, so Heero decided that he wasn't going to lose it just now and slid an arm around his neck to keep him under control before calling out. "Hey, what's going on?"

He heard voices and then someone tried to unlock the door. Heero straightened up, startled. "No, don't!!"

Could they hear him? They were still trying. Heero pet Wufei's head and went to the door, glad to see that the wolf stayed in the corner. "Don't try to open the door, I locked it!"

"Mr Yuy?" Dumbledore asked, his voice almost as unruffled as always. "For what reason is this door sealed?"

Heero fidgeted, for some reason feeling like a kid caught messing up a prank spectacularly. "Ah, I wanted to keep Wufei in."

"I'll have the door open in a second, Headmaster."

Snape's tone was dry, harsher than usual. After all this time with him as his Head of House, Heero still couldn't tell if he was concerned or angry beyond belief.

"No!! He's here, but he's playing nice. I'm okay, Professor. I just think it would be better if he was kept here for the night. He might try to run away-- and he won't attack, but if he nips someone..."

"That is precisely why you should open the door," Snape shot back, his tone implying that Heero was the dumbest moron that he had had the misfortune to teach. The student winced.

"Sir... If you open the door he will run. I'll be fine. He's been -- quite friendly. Your potion is working amazingly well." He didn't think flattery would distract the man, but it didn't hurt to try.

He could hear Snape muttering to himself-- something about suicidal fools and wet-behind-the-ears idiots who thought they could butter him up. He was going to end up with a year of detentions. He glanced back at Wufei, just to meet his big pleading eyes. Oh well. Doing the right thing must be a kind of reward in itself, he supposed.

"Professor Dumbledore-- he told me, before he changed... Someone locked his door, he couldn't get in. I'm guessing he meant his bedroom."

Wufei was still giving him puppy eyes. Heero sighed. "Oh, don't look at me like that."

"We can't look at you, there's a door in the way," snarled Snape. It sounded like he was getting impatient--like he wasn't already.

"No, sir, I was talking to Wufei. I think he'd like to run a bit," he commented, more softly, but he had a feeling his Head of House wasn't that interested.

He head Dumbledore and Snape talking, and tried to listen in, but the wood was thick and just when he was starting to make out words, Wufei distracted him by nosing at his hand. Heero jumped; he hadn't heard the beast move. He petted him to keep him quiet as he listened, straining his ears desperately.

Dumbledore's voice was regretful and worried when he raised it to address Heero. "Sadly, there are too many students walking around the grounds right now. Mr Filch is currently trying to get everyone to go back to their common room, but as it is not curfew time yet, this is going to take some time. You have undoubtedly learned in Defense against the Dark Arts that most freezing spells aren't of a sufficient strength to hold back a werewolf, and I'm afraid that we cannot get Mr Chang outside while avoiding all risk for the other students. Furthermore, in his state, he wouldn't be any competition to the feral werewolves in the Forest and might get injured. We are still searching for another solution, so please don't worry."

Heero sighed. He was cold and tired and he wanted to sleep, but he could take spending the night here if it was what was needed. "I understand, sir. We'll be fine."

The werewolf whined, not understanding the words but getting the tone well enough.

Snape was still muttering in a sarcastic fashion. "At any rate you can't stay here, Yuy -- don't be ridiculous, I am not letting one of my students spend the night locked in with a werewolf. One nip would be enough to contaminate you, and even dosed up in Wolfsbane potion, the smell of blood could awaken the beast's hunger for human flesh."

Heero sighed. "If you can devise a way to get me out without giving Wufei a chance to escape or distress him, then why not. But he -- I think my not being here would distress him quite a lot," he added, scratching the wolf's ears. For the moment Wufei appeared very happy and not in the least distressed; Heero wanted it to last. He snorted at him, smiling softly. "Silly pup."

They were talking between each other again.

"We can't just leave him there, Albus. That beast's own room is magically sealed for a reason--it belongs there."

"I know, Severus, but there are still students roaming the corridors. We cannot open the door yet."

"If we were too get it to eat something containing a sleeping potion, we could then transport it to its room--of course, someone should determine if the room is still able to be used..."

"Do you have anything to make the potion odorless, Severus? He will smell it otherwise... But I admit that the idea has merit. Minerva, could you...? Thank you."

The Transfiguration teacher exchanged a few words with the Headmaster, but her voice was softer than usual and it was hard to understand.

Wufei wasn't being sufficiently petted. He poked Mate with his nose, satisfied when he looked down at him and resumed his caresses.

"Gah, stupid dog. I missed what the Professors were saying about you."

Snape was still talking with Dumbledore, trying to think of a way to get Wufei back to his room, but that was all he could understand. They seemed to have a plan, but Heero had missed the details.

"At any rate, Headmaster, it would be better to remove the beast from the school altogether. You heard what the students said--"

Heero scowled at the door. "He was scared!! He didn't hurt anyone. He was scared and he went to me, that's all!!" he shouted through the wood. It was easier to shout at Snape when there was a thick door between them -- not that he didn't know said door wouldn't be here forever. "It isn't his fault that some morons thought it would be clever to lock him out of his room!"

Snape ignored him blatantly, still talking to the Headmaster. "I'll admit that Chang Wufei is a responsible and hard-working student--but this is not Chang Wufei anymore."

"Right now, the only thing he is, is a big overgrown puppy !" protested Heero, hitting the door in frustration.

Alarmed, Wufei barked. Mate was angry!

Heero closed his hand around Wufei's muzzle to keep him quiet. "Shush, you. It's not the time." What were they saying? He needed to know!

The werewolf wriggled away from Heero and retreated to a corner. The Slytherin blinked. He looked hurt, offended.

"... Wufei?"

The wolf gave Heero big reproachful eyes. The boy stepped toward him, a bit worried. "Wufei? Come back-- I'm sorry. I just wanted to listen..." Of course he knew the werewolf didn't understand his apologies, but he hoped his tone would be enough. Heero knelt, waiting for the wolf to step closer, and finally Wufei padded over to Heero, sticking his cold nose against his neck. Heero slid both arms around his powerful shoulders and hugged him.

"I'm sorry..."

He was relieved when Wufei wagged his tail briefly.

Heero was so busy petting his boyfriend to make sure he knew how sorry he was for shushing him that he didn't hear the wards coming down and the door opening behind him. Wufei did. He saw them too.

There was an old human with long, white fur -- he seemed slow and careful, probably too old to fight, but for some reason Wufei's instincts told him he was still someone to be wary of-- and another, younger one, with dark and dirty fur, who stank of things Wufei didn't feel like investigating. And then, after them, a huge not-quite-man smelling strongly of the forest and somehow, of pack -- not Wufei's pack but still, it was a nice, comforting scent. The dark one was pointing his stick at him. Wufei faintly remembered that people could do things with these sticks. Mate could have opened the door with his own stick, but he wanted to play with Wufei more. Wufei doubted dark-and-stinky wanted to play.

He wanted to growl to warn them off; this was Mate's secret place. The way they stared at him was unnerving --he wanted to slip past them and run out-- but he couldn't leave Mate alone. He had to protect him.

"Yuy, get up and step back slowly," Snape ordered coldly. Startled, Heero jumped and whirled around, almost falling on his ass, and bumped into Wufei's shoulder, grabbing a handful of black fur to keep himself up. The adults tensed visibly, even Dumbledore. Wufei nosed Heero's neck, still staring at the intruders warily.

"Professor!!" Heero's eyes went from Snape to Dumbledore to Hagrid quickly, trying to regain his composure. The door was open; Wufei could try to slip past them…

"There is a containment spell at the end of the corridor," the Headmaster informed him gently. Heero wondered how he'd known. But then maybe he'd just seen him looking at the door.

"Well he appears calm--Hagrid, you want to put the lead on him now?"

Seeing the half-giant advance, Wufei backed cautiously into a corner. The man may smell a lot like he belonged in the forest, but he was still quite huge and the wolf apparently didn't feel like a direct confrontation.

"You're scaring him," Heero intervened, getting up slowly. "He'll be just fine here. The door's thick…"

His Head of House shook his head, spearing him with a dark, contemptuous look. As soon as all that was finished, Heero would be in trouble. "Werewolves have been known to break doors twice this width."

Hagrid was still walking forward slowly. He patted Heero on the shoulder as he passed him. "He'll be right," the Groundskeeper commented quietly. "Best place for this one ain't here. Nor is it th'best place fer you either."

Heero stayed frozen in place, not knowing what to do. Snape was biased against werewolves, but if even Hagrid, who was known to be unreasonably trusting of dangerous creature, agreed with him…

The half-giant sat on his heels, looking more closely at the black werewolf in the corner. "Chang is it? Well, be a good pup and I'll give you a treat… Come on…"

Wufei growled softly, uneasy and wary. Heero winced as he stepped back against the wall, out of the way. It felt like a betrayal somehow, but ...

Hagrid held his giant hand out to Wufei, and eventually, the wolf stepped forward to sniff it. His growls slowly quieted, and Heero relaxed as he saw that the werewolf seemed to trust the Professor and wasn't going to get scared and bite. He even let the big man pull out a collar and close it on his neck, although his posture made it clear that he was only putting up with this because it made them happy. And then Hagrid pulled a muzzle out of his vest and slipped it over the werewolf's nose, so fast Wufei was still blinking in confusion when it was buckled shut behind his head. He shook his head a little, but it wouldn't bulge; luckily Hagrid distracted him before he could get annoyed about it.

Heero reached out to pet Wufei's ears a last time as the half-giant led him toward the door.

"I'll see you tomorrow?" he whispered, earning a soft bark in return. A few times on the way out the black werewolf looked over his shoulder to see if he was following, but finally he was pulled out in the corridor and out of Heero's sight.

"That will not be possible, Yuy."

The boy started. Snape was standing by the door, his wand still held ready for a quick curse.

"... Why not, Professor?" he asked, puzzled.

"Chang will be confined to his room, for the rest of the full moon. No visitors."

"...oh," Heero whispered, lowering his eyes, apparently chastened. He was already thinking up ways to send him a message.

Dumbledore patted Heero's shoulder and leaned toward him, whispering, in a tone that Snape couldn't hear, "I'm certain Hagrid will make sure that Wufei isn't lonely. And I don't believe he knows about the 'no contact' rule--or that he cares."

Heero sent the Headmaster a nervous little smile, mildly relieved. "Thank you, sir."

At the door, Snape gave them a suspicious glare but his eyes strayed to the corridor once again. "If you have no further need of me, Albus, I shall be updating the protections over my house's common room." H stalked off, in a flurry of black robes.

"... I should probably go to bed," Heero said with a sigh, and paused when he felt Dumbledore put his hand on his arm.

"Before you go, there is the little matter of the accusations brought against Chang."

The boy blinked.

"I believe you were a witness to the event?"

The Slytherin hesitated, then nodded wearily. He wasn't in the wrong, so there was nothing to lie about or cover up. It was just a tough habit to break when faced with the Headmaster.

"Can you tell me what happened?" the old man asked him kindly.

" ... I was in my dorm room. I heard screams and my dorm mates stormed in. I went to check..."

"And?"

"Wufei was curled up in a corner, and he looked very scared. He told me that he had been locked out of his room. I checked the clock, and it was only a few minutes before the moonrise, so I pulled him out of the common room. He started to change before we arrived to this chamber, though. I pulled him in, and then I fell-- He landed on me. He was transforming and I was stuck anyway, so I locked the door before he could escape. And then I petted him and tried to make him stop thinking of my wand as a stick to play with," he added with a tired little smile.

"He didn't harm anyone?"

Heero frowned thoughtfully. "He may have pushed people out of his way, maybe. I don't know. But nothing more than that. And he was in a hurry to find me... It's understandable."

The old man nodded, as if taking his argument into account.

"Would you say, Heero that Wufei's actions were in any way--aggressive? And by that I mean, did he, while with you, show any signs that the potion was not working?"

"No. Sure I was scared for a while, but he never tried to bite or anything. To be frank, he acted like a big puppy."

Dumbledore smiled at him, his blue eyes sparkling. Heero wanted to trust these eyes, even though he had always been wary of the old man before. It was easy to forget that he should be suspicious and keep his secrets close.

"It was kind of --cute."

He would never have dreamed of admitting it to anyone else, but Dumbledore was special and weird, so... For once it didn't sound like an insult. He flushed and looked away, feeling silly. Dumbledore was still smiling, a bit like a grandfather sharing a secret with his grandchild. It made him feel a bit better.

The Headmaster's amused smile didn't last, though, and soon melted into concern. "Would you think it likely that there is anyone who would deliberately lock Mr Chang out of his room, knowing that he needed to be confined?"

Heero frowned, his eyes narrowed. He couldn't admit to being suspicious of anything, he didn't have proof and if he went and sold one of his Housemates to Dumbledore, he would be finished. But he didn't want to just say nothing.

"Frankly...? That seems big for a prank... I'd say someone was trying to have him kicked out."

Dumbledore nodded seriously. "Thank you, Mr. Yuy. You've been a great help."

Heero shrugged, a bit nervous. "Ah-- It's nothing."

"Now, I expect Madame Pomfrey will want to look you over before you return to your House?"

"I'm fine, sir. I wasn't even scratched or bruised."

The old man patted Heero's arm. "She'll want to look you over anyway. Besides ... I have a feeling that the hospital wing will be a lot quieter than your common room tonight. You should spend the night there."

Heero thought about it and winced. He didn't feel like dealing with hysteria and backstabbing yet. "... Probably," he agreed wearily.

Dumbledore patted his shoulder comfortingly. Clearly dismissed, Heero walked quietly up the corridor, his shoulders a bit slumped.