The Werewolf

Chapter One

Harry kicked the side of the tree and dropped himself on a large boulder. Stupid. Why couldn't he just control himself around the Dursleys? Now he was kicked out in the middle of summer vacation, with nowhere to go. Harry brushed a piece of his hair aside and sighed. He would have to go back later, maybe in a few days when they calmed down, and ask for them to take him back. It just wasn't safe for him to be out without their "blood" protection, as Dumbledore so kindly reminded him.

A twig cracked in the distance, and Harry stiffened in alarm. Perhaps it wasn't the best idea to be moping in dense woodlands during the dead of night where no one would be able to hear his cries for help. He gripped his wand and tensely stood up, straining to hear any other noises. Another crack, footsteps – it was getting quicker, someone was running!

Suddenly a small girl burst through from the line of trees and into the clearing that he was hiding in. She looked to be about 12 years old, with white-blond hair and very pale skin. Her creamy blue blouse was ripped and small scratches lined her face. She huffed, as if exhausted, and fell to the ground.

Harry rushed forward to help the girl, but once the girl caught sight of him, she scurried backwards and put her hands out as if to protect herself.

"N-no!" she cried out desperately, and tried to stand up. Harry frowned, pocketed his wand, and took a small step towards the girl.

"Let me help you," he said softly, and tried to put his hand on her shoulder, but she flinched away violently and staggered to her feet.

"NO! Why are you here, why are you here," she wept, wildly looking around at the forest. She turned her back to him, and tried to run back into the direction she came from.

"Wait!" he yelled.

The girl took a few unsteady steps into the woods before collapsing again. He went to her side and hovered over her, trying to figure out what was wrong with her. She twisted away, back and forth, mumbling under breath. He leaned in and tried to catch her crazed words.

"N-no. Run, run, please run, run!" she kept whispering.

And in an instant, Harry knew why.

Her whispers turned into deep snarls, her lips peeled back to reveal pearly white canine teeth, bared in a ferocious growl. The pupils of her eyes were changing, and all over her body, white fur was beginning to grow rapidly.

He stood terrified, rooted to the ground. He watched her transform, transform into a werewolf, and he couldn't even run. Her hands curled into sharp, clawed paws, and her face grew out into a snout.

In just a few minutes the transformation was complete.

The little girl – no, the werewolf – stood on her four legs and cautiously sniffed the air. Harry held his breath and froze, trying not to draw any attention on himself, but the werewolf had very keen senses.

Her yellow eyes swept the area before settling on him, who gripped his wand in tense anticipation. The werewolf crouched down low on her front legs and continued to stare at Harry. He recognized the crouch for what it was – she was ready to pounce. All coherent thoughts disappeared when she moved forward, his instincts screaming at him to move, move, move!

He spun around and ran into the forest, his heart pounding in his chest. What was a werewolf doing in the middle of Surrey? He could hear the distant running of the werewolf, and the angry howls that she emitted. He kept running, barely feeling the branches whip painfully against his skin as he ran full force through the trees.

He stumbled and tried to think of where the closest exit would be. Was he running deeper into the woods? Was he running towards the border? Harry squinted, guided only by the faint glow of the full moon, and continued to run.

Harry saw a large tree with low branches from the corner of his eye. He thanked Merlin that he was small for his age and veered left, to climb the tree. He pocketed his wand, put his hand on the rough bark of the tree, and began to climb upwards. Harry paused as he heard the werewolf growl from below him. Dizzy with fear, Harry held onto the trunk with dear life, his palms bloody from the effort of clinging onto the tree. He reached up and anchored himself to one of the branches. For a moment, he considered sending a curse down towards the werewolf, but he knew that he couldn't harm her. She was still just a young girl in the inside - somewhere.

Suddenly, the werewolf pounced and swiped a claw at Harry's leg. He screamed as he felt the animal's claws rip through his jeans and come in contact with his skin. Harry slipped down a few precious inches.

The werewolf snarled and jumped again, this time clawing his t-shirt clean through. Harry shrieked as he felt both paws run deep scratches into his back. He lost control of his grip and fell backwards onto the floor of the woods, pine cones and sticks digging painfully into his back. He scrambled backwards and tried to speak to her.

"D-don't do this. You're in there, you're in there, damn it!" he yelled at her.

The werewolf cocked her head to the side, as if studying the human, before snapping her teeth at his leg, which was stretched out painfully before him.

Harry faintly realized, as he felt the sharp teeth sinking into his skin, that he was going to be a werewolf. Harry Potter, the werewolf. He opened his mouth and screamed again, the pain in his leg too much to bare. He could feel the blood gushing out in thick rivulets, streaming down his leg and staining the floor of the woods red. The werewolf shook her head, while her teeth were still in Harry's leg, and began to drag him across the ground.

Harry gave a strangled cry and latched onto something, his arms circling around the small width of a rock.

"HELP ME!" he screamed desperately. "HELP ME! SOMEBODY!"

Suddenly, Harry heard the werewolf yelp from behind him and let go of his leg. Harry looked over his shoulder and a saw a large man throw a thick net around the werewolf, expertly tying her up inside. She savagely clawed and bit at the rope, trying to set herself loose.

He rushed over to Harry and put a hand to his arm.

"We need to leave, now." he said tightly, and helped Harry to his feet. He flinched in pain and put his arm around the other man's shoulders, hopping along on his one good foot.

"T-the - ," he tried to explain, but the man cut him off.

"I know," he said urgently. "We'll talk about it. But right now we have to go."

Harry nodded weakly and stumbled through the woods with the help of the mysterious man, who somehow knew exactly what to do. He seemed very aware of the fact that there was a werewolf in Surrey.

They continued to walk for about 15 minutes. Harry was just about ready to give up and slide to the ground in a heap when he saw a break in the woods, indicating they were nearing a town. The man led him down a quiet, dimly lit street and stopped in front of a large white house.

Waiting on the front porch was a frightened woman. She looked distressed, her hands wringing in anxiety, and her eyes pealed opened with fear. She had the same blond hair as the girl in the forest, except they were streaked with highlights. She had pale skin, and looked very fit, but at the moment she looked like a very tired, very overworked mother.

As soon as she saw Harry and the man, who he supposed was her husband, she rushed forward with a cry and helped him up the steps and into their living room. She settled him down on a long, plush sofa that stretched out in front of an empty, unused fireplace. He groaned in relief as he got off his feet.

"Richard, what - " the wife began.

"I found him in the woods," the husband said quietly.

She looked stricken.

"In the woods?" she said with a tremble. A pained look crossed Richard's face.

"Audrey - tell me she didn't - " she choked on her words and fell silent.

He solemnly nodded and reached out to take her hand. As soon as they made that intimate contact, her face crumbled. She wept into her hands, large wet tears running down her cheeks.

"Oh Richard! What do we tell him," she cried out, looking terrified, and buried her head in the crook of his neck. He held her, the same grave look on his face as she had, and rubbed her back until she quieted down.

Harry kept his eyes closed and pretended to be resting, even though his mind was racing a hundred miles an hour. They assumed that he didn't know about his new condition, as they were probably Muggles and knew nothing about the Wizarding world. He felt his gut wrench as he thought about the little girl who probably transformed every month without a potion to help keep her mind.

Their conversation continued until they whispered too softly for him to understand. He decided this was a good time to "regain consciousness". He groaned loudly and reached out to tenderly touch his leg.

"Dear! Don't touch that!" the wife said quickly, and tried to push him back onto the sofa. But Harry already caught sight of his leg. He felt the blood rush out of his head. His leg was mangled, skin ripped away revealing bright pieces of white bone.

"Oh god," Harry moaned and cradled his head in his hands. "Oh my god,"

"We have to take him to the hospital!" she said in a panicked voice to Richard. He looked unsure.

"What do we tell them?" he asked.

"I don't know! Tell them anything! This boy will die here if we don't do something now," she said hysterically.

"They'll ask questions - "

"He's our responsibility now. Our Audrey did this to him!" she screamed, her finger pointed at Harry.

Richard pushed her finger down and shushed her.

"Not so loud. Not now, not in front of the boy. Okay, we'll drive him to the emergency room, but he must not say anything about what happened. It will destroy our family if word gets out."

Harry interrupted.

"S-sir, I won't tell anyone what happened. I know what's happened to Audrey. I know a lot more than you think, but right now..." Harry trailed off faintly, suddenly feeling woozy.

"You heard him, Richard. Now let's go, let's go!" she said and pushed her husband out of the house.

"Wait! What about Audrey - I left her - " he protested.

"You can pick her up after," she reassured him.

Finally, he nodded and ran to the garage, where his car sat. The wife forced Harry up, who was quickly losing consciousness, and half-carried, half-dragged him to the car. She propped him against the back seat and sat next to him, supporting his upper body.

"Come on, we'll be there soon, don't black out now," she told him. "What's your name, hun?"

"Harry," he moaned, and rolled his eyes, the edges of his vision going black.

She gently slapped the side of his cheek.

"Harry - listen to me, Harry!" She looked up at Richard, who was weaving through the suburbia streets like a mad-man.

"Hurry! I think he's lost a lot of blood!"

"Almost there," he muttered, and stepped on the gas pedal. In no time, the car screeched into the street next to the emergency room entrance. Richard got out of the driver's seat and pulled the door open, catching Harry as he fell out of the back seat. He carried him over his arms, noticing that the boy was very light, and ran into the emergency room.

"This boy needs help," he yelled. A nearby nurse took notice of the situation and came forward.

"What happened?" she asked, while waving for a stretcher.

"Mangled - by a dog. Vicious attack," he lied. The nurse's face darkened.

"We'll have to tell the authorities," she muttered. "This boy needs immediate care!" she yelled, when Harry was secured on the stretcher. A doctor stepped forward, along with a few other nurses, and carted him off through a set of automatic doors.

"He'll be going into surgery for the leg. Are you the parents? Could you step here and fill out any information you have on him?" she said, and pointed towards the desk. Richard grasped for words, to tell her that he knew next to nothing about this boy, when he felt a hand on the small of his back. He turned around and sighed in relief.

"Oh - Anne," he said. "Talk to the nurse, I have to go get Audrey,"

Anne squeezed his hand and looked towards the nurse with an anxious face.

"We don't know much about the boy - Harry. We were driving home when we saw him stumbling out of the trees, severely injured. We picked him up and drove him here,"

The nurse nodded in understanding.

"You did the right thing," she reassured her. "We'll question him after he wakes up from surgery,"

----

Harry stirred awake, his eyes still closed, and lay motionless on the bed. He could hear a steady beep in the background, and felt a warm hand covering his own. A warm hand? Harry blinked open his eyes, his vision swimming in and out of focus, and looked around the room. It was a messy blur of sterile white and blue. Hospital, he immediately thought. He looked to his left and saw a small girl asleep on a chair that was dragged all the way to Harry's bedside.

He gently tugged his hand away and groped around the bedside like a blind man, searching for his glasses. He slipped them on and looked at the girl again, finally realizing who she was. She was the girl from the woods who... bit him. She was Audrey.

I have to go, he suddenly thought, panic seizing him. How long have I been out?

"Harry?" a small voice whispered. Harry whipped his head around and stared down at Audrey, who was now properly sitting up.

"Yeah," he whispered back, his voice cracking with misuse.

"I'm sorry," she said quietly. She lifted her up eyes up and searched his face for a reaction.

"It's okay," he said, after a moment's pause. "It's okay," he repeated softly.

Her lower lip trembled, and she began to cry in earnest, her shoulders shaking as she tried to wipe the tears and snot away. Harry felt lost - he had never been in the presence of a crying girl before - and awkwardly reached out to take her hand. He came to his senses when a nurse passed by, making his heartbeat race a little bit quicker than it did before.

"Audrey," he said anxiously, squeezing her hand. She looked up at him.

"I need to leave the hospital," he said.

"But the doctor has to make sure you're okay first," she said, confused.

"I'm okay," he said. "But you see, I live with my Aunt and Uncle and they'll be really mad if I don't come home,"

"You could call them and tell them you're hurt," she suggested.

"NO!" he said loudly, making her flinch. "Sorry," he muttered.

"No one can know what happened," he said. "How long have I been here?"

"You had surgery two nights ago. You were up on another floor yesterday, but now you're here. Just moved you here this morning."

"Okay, that's good. Two days - that's not so bad. Where are your parents?" he asked.

She turned her head towards the door, before facing him again.

"I think they're on a coffee run. They've hardly slept since you got here. None of us have,"

"You didn't have to stay," Harry said softly.

"But we did," she insisted. "It's my fault. I shouldn't have been in the woods that night. I should have been home - away from people,"

"I don't blame you, Audrey," he said. "But, you can make it up to me by getting me the hell out of this place,"

She took a deep breath.

"Okay, how?"

Harry leaned in closer and beckoned her to do the same.

"Can you find a wheelchair for me? I can't go anywhere with this leg," he said, pointing to his heavily bandaged leg. "And then find your parents, bring them here. Be as discreet as possible,"

She nodded firmly, and left the room, leaving Harry to pretend to be asleep again. Sometime while Audrey was gone, a nurse even came in the room, muttering about how the patient should be awake by now. As soon as the nurse left, he sat up and swung his feet over to the edge.

"Harry - !" An astonished voice said.

"Shhhh," he said and waved the family over.

"I'm leaving," he whispered hurriedly. "There are people who will miss me, and I can't have them suspecting that anything is out of the ordinary," he explained. He caught a glance of Anne and Richard's disapproving looks.

"Just please," he said. "It's important no one finds out who I am. No one can know I was here."

"We'll help you," Audrey said bravely, throwing her parents a determined look.

"Okay, let's make this quick. Audrey, can you look for my things while I get on the wheelchair?"

Richard lifted Harry by the armpits and put him on the wheelchair, while Audrey rummaged through the dresser, looking for his clothes. She found his shirt, his bloodied up pants, and a curious looking...stick.

"Harry?" she called out. "What's this?"

He looked up and quickly snatched his wand from her hand.

"It's nothing," he said uneasily. "Um - can you guys maybe drive me home?"

Richard and Anne shared a nervous look.

"Yes, of course, but how do you plan to do this? Are you just walking out of here?" Richard asked.

"Yeah, I don't really have a plan," Harry said with a shrug. "I was hoping Audrey could wheel me out of here while you got the car,"

"But what if the security guard stops you - "

"Oh my!"

Four heads turned at once and stared at the nurse.

"You really shouldn't be out of bed - " she began to say, stepping into the room to take care of her patient.

"Go," Harry said from the corner of his mouth, and Richard ran out with Anne on his heels.

Audrey grabbed the black handlebars of the wheelchair and pushed by the nurse, who stood dumbfounded as her patient escaped the room.

"Wait! Wait!" she screamed, as Audrey took down the hallway with surprising speed. Other nurses from the station stood up and stared at the duo.

"Call security! Please, he shouldn't be leaving yet!" the nurse yelled.

Harry clutched the armrests and nearly gasped as Audrey made a sharp turn and pushed him into an open elevator. She jabbed a button with her finger and slumped against the wall, waiting for the elevator to reach their destination.

"Harry," she said worriedly. "I think someone's going to be out there when the doors open,"

"Don't worry," he said, even though he felt a little worried himself. How big were security guards anyway? Pretty big, is what he discovered. As soon as the doors 'dinged' open, two burly security guards stood in their way, blocking their path.

This is it, Harry thought. They catch me, and everyone finds out what I am.

"Just keep pushing!" Harry yelled desperately, and Audrey went ahead, her heart pounding. Harry closed his eyes as he went careening into the human wall, expecting quite a lot of pain, but instead, the two guards were thrown backwards by an unknown force.

Onlookers paused and stared as they disappeared through the exit doors, not another soul in the way to stop them. It was perfect timing. As soon as they reached the outside, a gray truck came to a screeching stop in front of them. Anne popped the door open and helped Harry out of the wheelchair, and into the car.

As soon as he was inside, Harry slumped back with a relieved sigh and closed his eyes.

That was certainly a close call, but his magic had served him well. Accidental as it was.

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