Summary: When Harry's rushed to Muggle hospital from a fire, the doctors find something strange in his blood. The answer is the same as the one to the question of how he came to be caught in the fire in the first place.

Rating: T, subject to change

Warnings: Slash

Disclaimer: Not mine!

Author's notes:
I'm not good at action. I'd like to get some tips from Anthony Horowitz (my second-favourite author after JKR – he's got to be a fan too actually, considering the number of HP references in his books), but this will have to do for now.
I am working on a prologue but … well … it's not coming along too well, and I'd like to get this one started before I'm loaded with too much homework. No wonder most students drop a subject second year, A2s are hard. I'll probably (hopefully) post the prologue with the next chapter, and move it to the beginning of the fic so you'd have to flick back to chapter one to read it.

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Chapter One: The Moon is Bright Tonight

Something wasn't quite right. Clarence could sense it. So could his dogs – they were what had alerted him. Fido and Rufus were growling and pacing, their hackles raised. After the attack on the sheep by whatever-it-was last month, Clarence had been ready.

It wasn't a fox, or a common wolf. Clarence had caught a glimpse of it the first time. It was nothing he'd ever seen before.

It was about a month ago now. The dogs had alerted him to the fact that something was wrong. Thinking of sheep rustlers, he'd charged into the field with his shotgun, only to be bowled down by a … creature. Fortunately it had seemed too afraid of the dogs to attack him, but five of his sheep had already been killed.

Clarence picked up his shotgun and loaded it. He motioned for the dogs to quieten and quietly led them out of the house and towards the sheep field. It was easy to see without the torch he held, the sky was cloudless and the full moon made everything glow silver.

The dogs stopped, a low growl escaping from Fido. Clarence shushed him, and spotted it. A creature, larger than the average wolf, scrabbling at the new fence. A few moments passed, before Clarence jumped as it burst right through. The sheep were making a row, scurrying away.

Clarence took aim.

The creature moved at just the wrong moment, and looked over in his direction as it heard the missed shot. Before he knew it, it was coming for him.

The dogs fled. Clarence hurriedly took aim again and fired. This time he was luckier: the thing staggered, the bullet homed into its back leg. Before Clarence could kill it properly, it took off in the direction of the hay barn.

He followed, hot on its trail. Clarence kicked the door open and the creature suddenly lunged from beside. His shotgun and torch fell, and there was a crunch of metal as the creature landed on them. Clarence scrambled backwards into a corner.

The creature gave a yelp. Flames had sprung up where the torch had been crushed into the hay on the floor. Instead of escaping, the creature backed away from the heat, whining loudly. As it limped around the barn, searching for a means of exit without going near the fire, Clarence staggered to his feet, holding a hand out to grasp something.

The ladder.

The ladder was leaning up against the second floor of the barn. As he grabbed it, the top tipped and pulled down a heavy tarpaulin – and with the tarpaulin, the crate it had been covering. Judging by the yelps of pain, it had fallen on the creature too.

The crate had missed Clarence by inches. Clarence scrambled out from underneath the tarpaulin. There was no escape – the doorway was completely aflame and there was no other exit. The fire was spreading rapidly.

Before he could panic, the creature had re-emerged and lunged at him. As the two struggled, Clarence heard something else, and remembered the pitchfork. His youngest worker had a habit of leaving it out. Usually he would find it in the morning, balanced on the top of the crate, or leaning against the wall, or just lying on the second floor.

He looked up, and in the split second before the creature tore at his face, saw the handle poking over the balcony edge. Clarence kicked out at the creature, catching it in the head, and it fell down, probably knocked out.

The pitchfork wobbled, and slipped. Clarence watched it, as if in slow motion, turn in the air until it was hurtling, prongs downwards, towards his chest. There was no pain.

He was alive just long enough to see, as the dawn sunlight began to creep through the barn window, amongst the flames, the paws of the unconscious creature turn into hands.

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"This one's still alive, sir."

"Get him in the ambulance."

A low moan escaped the werewolf's mouth as he was lifted onto a stretcher. Darkness clouded in and he knew no more.

TBC …

AN: Please, be honest and tell me what the action bit was like. I know the death was a bit dramatic, I'm learning from the best (see first AN). Oh, and I know it was REALLY short. Sorry.