Where's My Wolf?
"What did you do?"
Harry spun around from just seeing Prongs disappear, his eyes bugged at the sight of a furious Hermione coming towards him. He quickly put his hands up in surrender.
"You said you were only going to keep a lookout!" she fumed as she tugged on Buckbeak's chain.
"I saved us, Hermione! Don't you get it? It was me, I sent the Patronus, I look so much like my Dad, everyone says so," Harry interjected as he stepped back to where his friend and the hippogriff were standing amongst the edge of the Forbidden Forest. Hermione stared at him a moment longer while Buckbeak began to tug at his restraints; a howl that was coming closer never registering with the two teenagers.
"Oh, I don't know what to do with you, Harry Potter. Come on, I think I see Professor Snape coming to bring us back to the castle," Hermione huffed as she turned to lead them back along the Forest edge towards the Ravenclaw's Tower. Buckbeak instantly reared to his hind legs as the howl finally penetrated the teenagers' brains. They stared at each other for a split second before Hermione was suddenly thrown to the ground as Professor Lupin snarled over top of her, the werewolf in complete control. His glistening teeth were the only thing the young witch saw, her fear palpable in her screams. Harry stood frozen for only a second at the sight of Buckbeak breaking free of Hermione's grasp as Lupin forced her to the ground. A sudden protectiveness overcame him as he lowered his head and broke into a run tackling the surprised werewolf just as Buckbeak swiped his talons across the wolf's face as he was knocked aside by Harry.
Hermione watched in an altogether different terror from moments before as she watched her friend fighting off their Defense professor while a hippogriff attacked the creature from above. She sat in the mud only jumping to her feet as Lupin gave a whine as Buckbeak slashed him across the spine finally sending him further into the Forest leaving Harry to slowly roll over to use the tree next to him to pull himself up as Buckbeak screeched in victory. Hermione ran to her friend tears flowing down her face.
"Are you alright? Oh, stupid question, how bad are you hurt? Oh, you stupid boy! You could've been killed!" Hermione rambled as she stepped around to see the front of him, a gasp escaped as she covered her mouth. Blood streaked down the left side of his face a gash that nearly blinded him, while his left shoulder was a mess of torn flesh, shirt, and blood. She lowered her sight to his right side where there was a long tear from Lupin's claws swiped at his abdomen. Harry moved his left hand to cover most of it bringing Hermione back to earth. She looked into his green eyes that were clouded with his pain.
"Why?" she sobbed out.
"You're my best friend, Mi. I couldn't just stand aside as a werewolf was on top of you. Come on, we need to get to where we can see, we need to make sure it's not too late to save Sirius," Harry muttered as he started to turn to move when his legs gave out. He hissed in pain as Hermione grabbed his left arm to try and catch him, she let go of him instantly as she realized what she had done.
"Oh, I'm so sorry, I didn't…I was only…" she stammered.
"It's alright, I know…Buckbeak?" Harry mumbled as the hippogriff came up next to him then lowered himself like in class when he allowed Harry to ride him. Harry looked into the big yellow eye puzzled but relaxed when Buckbeak nodded his head slowly.
"Thank you," he whispered as he slowly climbed onto the animal's back with help from Hermione. He clutched his side with only a soft hiss as the only sound of his pain while Buckbeak rose. Hermione took hold of the chain with a watery smile of gratitude towards the hippogriff who nodded at her slowly. The young witch led them around to see McNair running off to get the Dementors.
"Get up, Hermione, we have to hurry," Harry ordered reaching his right hand down to help her up while Buckbeak lowered to his knees once more. The second she was situated behind Harry, carefully putting her arms around him to hold on, Buckbeak took off towards Sirius' makeshift cell. They landed on the balcony where Hermione slid down to unlock the door, Harry watched her wave his godfather over franticly. Sirius was soon climbing up sandwiching Hermione between them. He quickly nudged their ride telling him to take them where he guided them around to land on the Astronomy Tower on the other side of the castle. Sirius slid down the turned to help Hermione down then turned to see his godson clearly in the moonlight for the first time. He froze with a haunted look in his eyes.
"What happened?" he asked.
"Later," Harry gasped as he slid off as Buckbeak lowered for him. Sirius caught him as he swayed slightly. He hissed from where the older wizard had clamped down on his shoulder where the escapee froze once more at the mangled flesh, tears came to his eyes as he looked back to see that his godson already knew the consequences.
"Don't worry; he will not pay the price for my stupidity for not using a wand. Keep him close until I can talk to him. Now, get out of here," Harry interrupted quietly so Hermione wouldn't hear. Sirius gave him a proud yet teary grin as he cupped the unmarked cheek.
"I'll write; who knows I may see you soon," he stated, he gave Buckbeak a bow and the hippogriff bowed back. The runaway hopped onto the creature's back giving Harry one more look then giving Hermione a grin before they took off into the sky. Hermione gently touched his right shoulder silently telling him that they had to go. Harry turned away and quickly followed his friend through the halls avoiding Peeves, Mrs. Norris, and Professor Flitwick. They finally reached the Wing hearing their Headmaster telling the Hermione in there that she only needed to spin the Time Turner three times. Hermione skidded to a stop while Harry swayed to lean against the wall, breathing slowly through his teeth.
"Headmaster, help please," Hermione whispered desperately as she glanced over to her friend. The grown wizard looked over to see Harry first and his eyes went wide. He glanced back to see the others vanish in time which had him instantly slinging the doors wide.
"My dear boy, what happened?" he asked as he stepped over to take a closer look. Harry lifted his head to look him in the eye, flicking his gaze to Hermione in a silent message. Dumbledore nodded knowingly then gently helped him inside.
"Miss Granger, if you would be so kind as to fetch Madam Pompfrey please,"
"Of course, sir," she nearly exclaimed as she ran to the Healer's office door. Dumbledore let Harry sink down onto "his" bed before giving him a look.
"First, you must promise me that you won't let Fudge kill him, that it can stay a secret as long as possible," Harry prompted quickly instantly confirming the Headmaster's fears.
"No, Sir, he doesn't know, he didn't take his potion you know this. He had Hermione pinned; I had to do something to help her. I had help, of course…I just reacted. It's my fault, Sir," the teen interjected vehemently keeping his gaze locked with the older man. The Headmaster gave him a slow proud smile then nodded.
"Very well, but Professor Lupin will need to know. He will be able to help you come time,"
"Thank you, Sir, I'd like to speak with him once he's able," Dumbledore nodded once more then stepped aside as Madam Pompfrey and Hermione ran up to them.
"Good heavens, Mr. Potter, how did you even manage this?" Pompfrey exclaimed with a start as she saw the bloody mess that was her patient.
"Poppy, if you would meet me in my office once everything is done tonight and I believe silence would be best until that talk. Speaking of which," he turned to face the portrait above the large double entrance doors.
"I, Albus Percival Wulfric Brian Dumbledore, current Headmaster of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry declare that no portrait, statue, or spirit shall speak of this night's happenings to anyone on grounds or in other portrait housing. So mote it be," he stated with a pulse of his magic that encompassed everything as it expanded from him. Harry stared at the wizard as his own magic shivered at the power that forced his fledgling wolf to succumb to the Great Alpha in his presence.
"My word, Albus, you haven't invoked that in nearly seventy years," Pompfrey managed once everything was quiet.
"Indeed, Poppy, but I assure you it is of greatest importance," he stated looking back to watch the Healer nod her head. The Headmaster grinned at the group one last time before leaving to meet up with the Minister of Magic, his Potions Professor, and the Dementors.
"Alright, Mr. Potter, how ever did you manage to become this badly mangled within a span of five minutes? The truth please as I'm sure the Headmaster will give me a less detailed account," Madam Pompfrey enquired as she began to wave her wand over the weak boy bleeding on the bed.
"Would you believe I tried to wrestle a werewolf with the help of a hippogriff?" he asked as he gave her a weak grin as he looked up to see the older woman blinking at him.
"Mr. Potter, of all the stories…lay back I have my work cut out for him this time. Miss Granger, if you please," Madam Pompfrey flicked her wand as Hermione stepped back worry evident in her nervous twisting of her dirty hair.
"Get cleaned up, you can come back in an hour. I'll make sure he doesn't leave this time," the older witch added gently before the privacy curtains shot up between them, cutting the girl off from any conversations to come.
"Were you bitten, Mr. Potter?" she asked quietly as she vanished the filthy and tattered clothes that covered the boy in front of her, exposing the bruised and torn flesh. Her heart ached at the sight of him in so much pain.
"Shoulder, Ma'am…teeth grazed face and ear…don't blame him…didn't know," Harry managed between the pulsing pain and fighting the blackness that kept creeping from the edges of his vision.
"Easy, I was here when he was, have no fear of that. Rest, I will heal you as well as I can but I can only do so much with the werewolf curse now going through you. Mr. Potter, I'm afraid you are in for a very rough night," Madam Pompfrey soothed as she continued to clean and close the rips in his side, shoulder, and face. She watched him nod slightly before he finally passed out. Poppy watched all her diagnosis spells came up and a single tear slid down her cheek as his left femur, six ribs, left collar bone, and his entire right arm came up broken severely while there were multiple fractures along the left side of his skull. All that wasn't counting the bruising scraped, and claw slashes along his back.
"You poor boy, what could have possibly caused you to even attempt to 'wrestle' a werewolf?" she murmured as she summoned potions to aid her spells.