A/N: this started out as a joke, and it didn't exactly turn any more serious as I wrote it. XD It's just a cracky idea I had about what the result of von Glower's first Change could have possibly been like. No, it don't really think it went this way, but I had this chance of writing silly humor for a change and I couldn't let it pass by.
"Let me in! For the love of God, let me in!"
"I'm sorry, we can't. It's too dangerous."
"That is an order! An order! Let me in!" the woman shrieked as she struggled in the man's grip, deaf to anything but her son's screams – those horrible, agonizing screams that were coming from behind the sturdy wooden door of the room Rudolf had been locked into the very same moment they had seen his eyes flashing amber and the muscles beneath his skin rippling as if trying to change shape and had finally understood what the reason of his sickness was.
"We cannot, Baroness, for his own good an yours. The Duke ordered us to keep both of you sa-" whatever the man said next was covered by yet another scream coming from the room Rudolf was into, louder and even more pained than before – shrieks of pain that bespoke of a suffering that went well past physical pain, of a torment that only a damned soul could feel.
For just an instant, the Baroness' anguish turned into unspeakable fury. Her son deserved none of that pain: he was innocent, he had never done anything to deserve damnation, and he was still doomed to suffer for his father's deeds. She had spent so many sleepless nights praying for her child to be spared the curse that had brought to the downfall of his wretched father – all for nothing. Now she was a powerless witness the last result of Claus von Ralick's cruelty; even from beyond the grave that creature could cause pain.
A wordless cry of fury and dismay left her, making the men fear she'd try to push her way through them and to her child, but instead she sank on her knees as though that last cry had taken any strength she had left.
May God damn you, Claus! May He damn you to the deepest pit of Hell!
From beyond the door came one last scream that died down after a few instants, as if gradually fading, and then there was silence. All eyes went to the door, and the men's grip on their muskets tightened as they waited for… for something to happen. A horrible creature of darkness lurked now behind that door, the fangs of Death itself waiting for a meal, and they knew they should expect it to try fighting its way out, maybe even breaking down the door to. It would fight, it would growl, it would howl: that much they knew. Still, nothing could have prepared them for the blood-curling, terrifying howls that…
…that did not happen. Moments passed, and then minutes, and still no sound came from inside. The men finally dared to take their eyes off the door and exchanged nervous, confused glances. Why wasn't the Beast trying to break out? Was it to lure them into a trap? Was it really that clever, able to retain that much of a human consciousness?
The eerie silence was finally broken by the Baroness. "Open the door," she said, almost jumping on her feet with a rush that, in other circumstances, they could have thought of as rather undignified for a noble – but right now they were beyond caring for such things.
"Baroness, we cannot – if we Beast gets out…"
"I hear nothing! Why isn't he making a noise?" she cut him off, sounding as though she could barely contain her worry "he could be hurt, he could be… he… good God, open that door!"
"It could be a trap!"
"Then stay back! If it is, I will be the only one to-" she began, but she was cut off by a sudden sound finally coming from behind the door – a scratching noise. All of the men immediately held up their muskets again, expecting the Beast to try getting past the door any moment, but no growls or crashes followed: there was only that light scratching sound… too light to make anyone think of a vicious creature of darkness. A few more puzzled looks were exchanged, and one of the men was about to open his mouth and say something when another noise finally reached their ears – a whimper.
No, definitely not the sound a bloodthirsty beast would make. Then there was another whimper, a little stronger, and then the… thing in the room began whining and yelping somewhat pathetically. The servants glanced at each other again, incredulous and rather unsure; all of them were starting to get rather… odd ideas about what could be in the next room, but none of them dared to say it in fear of sounding ridiculous. And what if it was some kind of trap?
A sound that could have been something close to a howl and that only sounded like yet another whine seemed to snap the Baroness from her confusion. "Let me in," she repeated.
"Baroness, I must insist-" one of the men began, but he trailed off as she grabbed the collar of his shirt and pulled him closer.
"The key. Now," she snarled, sounding far more like an infernal beast than the thing beyond the door did, and it occurred to him that wronging her could be worse than facing the Beast after all. The key was in her possession only seconds later, and she immediately walked up to the door and unlocked it before hastily pushing it open and stepping in, followed somewhat hesitantly by the servants. There were a few moments of silence as all of them stared at the creature in the middle of the room.
"…what, is it all?" one of the servants finally said, sounding almost disappointed.
"Looks like it," another one commented, his eyes still fixed on the tiny wolf pup sitting on the floor, its fur black as night itself. Its tiny muzzle was tilted upwards, small ears flattened, and it was emitting what should have probably been a howl and that was actually more of a whine.
The Baroness said nothing, a baffled expression on her face, then she dared to take a step forward and crouched. "Rudolf?" she called out.
The pup's ears immediately perked up, its whimpers cut short. It seemed to recoil and looked up at the woman, and it seemed to recognize her or at least to decide she wasn't a threat, for it padded towards her on tiny paws. She held out her hand, and the pup sniffed it for a few moments before snuggling up against the folds of her gown with a yapping sound. It rolled over its back, belly exposed, small white teeth playfully yanking at the fabric.
Its – his – mother couldn't hold back a chuckle. "It looks like he'll be easier to handle than we anticipated," she commented, reaching to scratch the pup's belly, and one of the servants chuckled as well as its hind leg twitched a bit in response. The pup's yanking at her gown grew more enthusiastic, small yaps and growls leaving its throat.
"Doesn't look dangerous, eh?"
"Not at all."
"What's up with the gown anyway?"
"Maybe it just wants to play."
"Maybe it's hungry?" someone suggested.
"Ah well. I'll see if in the kitchen there is some grinded meat," one of them said, faintly hoping the pup would just eat it without need of further encouragement.
He certainly wasn't going to eat and regurgitate anything to make it eat.