Disclaimer: Don't own the owned! Eragon belongs to CP as does everything else, this plot has probably been used before too.
Author's Note: Once again, I'm writing another Eragon fanfic only this one is different. In it, *SPOILER ALERT* Eragon becomes a werewolf although in secret and several years before the first book starts. This also begs the question what would happen differently if he was a werewolf, how would the Cycle end? Hopefully, this fanfic attempts to answer those questions.
Also, while this fanfic starts out with Roran's POV it is NOT about him and there will be NO slash whatsoever. If there will be romance, it will be with AxE and traditional pairings that should have been in the books. The chapter just wrote itself. Also, the events in the chapter will be explained in full next time around so do stay tuned for more to come. So now without any further ado, allow me to present you with my latest fanfic attempt!
CHAPTER 1: Turned
"Please, brother? I want to join you. We can be a team!" The plaintive cry came from a young boy with tousled brown hair, deep brown eyes that were currently sad and pleading, and a wiry but strong frame.
He wore a thin cotton tunic and was squatting in front of an older boy who was stringing a strong thread, nearly a wire, onto a piece of flexible wood. He sat on a stool in front of a work table that displayed several new arrows.
A small satchel was on the floor next to him packed with some bread, cheese, a hunting knife, and two skin bottles of water. The older boy heaved a sigh, put down the half-made bow, and ran a hand through his hair.
"I'm sorry, Eragon," He said gently, looking at the young boy before him. "But I've told you countless times why you can't come along with me. The Spine is dangerous."
"But no one got hurt there," The boy called Eragon pointed out cheekily.
"That's because no one but me has been there before," The older boy grumbled, trying to ignore the glint in his brother's eyes.
Truth be told, they weren't brothers but cousins. Even so, they did everything together and were inseparable. They lived with the older boy's father, a farmer named Garrow, on the outskirts of Carvahal Valley. Since it was a short ways away from the main village, it was close to the Spine.
The Spine made good hunting grounds since no one from the village dared to go there and the older boy knew why. Rumour had it there where demons of shadows who lurked in those woods. No one knew what they were exactly but legend, history actually, told of how a whole legion of the notorious Empire was killed in the night by a whole pack of those demons.
And travellers foolish enough to cross through the Spine to make their journey shorter told of tales about glowing golden eyes in the darkness and eerie, mournful howls on a night of fool moon. Gigantic paw prints ten times larger than any normal animal were allegedly found and sometimes people even claimed to see a flash of silver fur.
Naturally, dozens of warriors had gone into the Spine in the hopes of discovering these demons and slaying them, whether to do the right thing or become famous. Other people just went into the treacherous mountains to prove the legend false. But one thing was for certain: Neither of the groups, or anyone else who entered the Spine, ever returned.
No bodies, blood, or bones were found either. After a time, people stopped going into the Spine, even the Empire's men. The tyrannical king of the Empire, Galbatorix by name, stopped sending troops into the mountains and as a result, the Valley of Carvahal was left pretty much alone from the rest of the world.
In a way, it was better and definitely more peaceful. But it also made trade nearly impossible and so the older boy, Roran, would often go hunting on the edge of the Spine to provide meat for his family since most of the vegetables were sold at the nearby village, and other hamlets scattered throughout the Valley.
Of course, Roran dared not to tell Eragon the real reason why he couldn't come, it just wouldn't be right to tell that to an eager, naive nine-year-old who wanted to be like one of those heroes from that story-teller's tales. What was his name again, Brom? That's right, the old man was called Brom and he would come to their house from time to time to watch over Eragon when they were busy.
Roran's father had been suspicious about that at first but then he caved since Eragon had been too young to help out in the farm. Besides, it kept him out of trouble and gave him something to do and, in time, Brom became a good friend to Garrow who enjoyed the company of a fellow adult as opposed to his own children all the time. That wasn't selfish, but human nature and Roran was thankful for the break it gave him from Eragon.
However, the wild tales that Brom engaged Eragon in about crazy things like evil tyrants and Dragon Riders sometimes made the boy unmanageable afterwards since Eragon would rant and rave about how boring things were here and how much more fun they would be if he was a hero. He always wanted to go on an adventure and counted Roran's hunting trips as one such adventure.
Of course it wasn't, but Eragon couldn't understand that. So here they were once again and Roran was getting a bit frustrated. He almost considered letting Eragon tag along to the base of the Spine and then make his way back while Roran continued onto the mountains, so that Eragon wouldn't bother him anymore. Sadly, his father would get very upset if that happened and he wouldn't be able to go to the village and see his friend Katrina.
Heaving another sigh, Roran steeled himself against Eragon's whines that would follow.
"Sorry, cousin," He said curtly, hoping the steel in his voice would cause Eragon to stop pestering him. "But you can't come. It's just not safe up there. Besides, what would you do? You can't handle a bow and you definitely can't carry too much. You'd just get in the way and I can't afford to watch you while on the hunt."
Instantly, he hated himself for saying all of that since Eragon's eyes drooped and the boy flinched back at Roran's sharp words. Tears sprung to his eyes and Eragon's face got red from embarrassment and anger.
"Fine!" He snapped, trying to save face. "If you don't want me around, I'll leave!"
Before Roran could react, Eragon scrambled to his feet and ran out the front door to his "hideout" behind the cottage. Roran groaned and closed his eyes. He pinched the bridge of his nose in frustration and slammed his fist onto the table, making the light arrows jump.
Why did things have to be this way? Why did Eragon's mother leave them with him? It's not that Eragon was always a pain and Roran loved him dearly, as a cousin, but sometimes Eragon could get so stuck in his ways and it was hard to make him see sense. They really needed a woman in the family but Roran's father was too old for that and wouldn't even consider it.
No. All they could do was wait for Eragon to calm down as he always did after a fight. Instead of coming to blows when angry, Eragon would run off and hide in a hollowed out tree trunk that was blown over during a storm. It wasn't dangerous and Roran actually cleaned it out one time to make sure Eragon wouldn't get sick. Now it was Eragon's hideout although he, Garrow, and Brom knew about it.
After a period of sulking, Eragon would return shame-faced and apologise, promising to be good. It wasn't the greatest way to raise a boy but Roran was raised without a mother and didn't know much about family either, since his own father was always busy with the farm. Heaving a last sigh, Roran fixed his bow, gathered his arrows, satchel, and stood up.
He decided he would have to leave without saying goodbye since it would get dark soon and he couldn't afford to wait. His father wouldn't mind since this was a regular thing for Roran and he also knew that Eragon would be okay with it eventually. Glancing around the cabin, Roran pulled his cloak on, gathered his things, and left the cottage humming an old tune to get his mind off the argument.
Little did he know, however, that Eragon had followed him after he was a short ways away. Contrary to what Roran thought, the young boy hadn't gone to his hideout. He was still angry and this time, he was fed up with running away to his little hovel all the time. He wanted to be brave and fierce like the Dragon Riders in the old tales that his friend Brom told him about but Roran didn't let him.
Why couldn't he see that Eragon was made of sterner stuff and was ready for an adventure? Why couldn't he just let Eragon go with him? All the other village boys were already doing farm work but Eragon was just sitting around doing nothing all day and he was sick of it. Well, now all of that was about to change, Eragon was certain of it. So it was that he followed his older cousin quietly and determinedly, eager to show him how he wouldn't get in the way on the hunt.
Maybe he could even help out!
Excited as he was, Eragon failed to notice the pair of golden glowing eyes that trailed after him until it was too late.
- PAGE BREAK -
A few hours later, Eragon was panting for breath. He felt hot and sweaty and tired. This was the longest walk he had ever gone on in his short life and on top of it, he was lost. He had started out well and managed to follow Roran easily enough.
But in time, all the twists and turns Roran took confused the boy. Since Eragon wasn't right next to him, he soon got lost and had to backtrack several times. Eventually, Eragon gave up and collapsed, exhausted, in a small clearing he had stumbled across several times.
Breathing deeply and shaking slightly, he sank to his knees and struggled not to cry. But it did little good and soon the tears flow as Eragon wept. Why couldn't he do anything right? He couldn't convince Roran and now he saw why.
Eragon was useless! What's more, he was lost and he would get into big trouble when he got home, if he got home. Panic flared within him as he realised he might not make it back alive. He was tired and hungry and didn't have the strength to continue. He needed a nap but Roran had said it wasn't safe in these woods and this mountain.
Even Brom had told him about how an entire Legion of the Empire had mysteriously vanished. Suppose the same thing happened to him? What if he disappeared and nobody found him again? Even worse, what if everyone just forgot about him and he turned into some sort of ghost, able to see everyone but do nothing?
Then Eragon got really scared, especially since it was getting dark and the shadows made odd shapes in the corners. Owls hooted and the crickets sang eerily, making Eragon's heart pound wildly in his chest. Suddenly, a twig snapped nearby causing the already-terrified boy to jump, startled, and spin around, his eyes wide with fear.
"Who's there?" He cried. "Who are you?"
The bushes rustled and a low growl emanated from the shadows.
"Please don't hurt me!" Eragon fretted, wringing his hands nervously as he backed away. "I didn't mean to be bad. I promise I won't run away again!"
But still, the growl continued and Eragon gulped as the sunset illuminated the silhouette of a large shape of some animal on all fours. The strange beast looked invisible but real at the same time making Eragon scared and confused. Upon a closer look, he realised it looked like...a wolf?
But that was strange. He clearly remembered Roran telling him there were no wolves or bears in this part of the Spine. What was a beast as big as that thing doing so close? But soon, all curiosity turned to terror as the wolf stepped through the undergrowth.
It was gigantic, the size of a small pony. It's eyes were blood red and had no pupils. The beast was growling softly but not in an angry way. Eragon was too scared to notice though and was stumbling in his haste to escape the beast. But it was too late and the wolf was too fast.
In one split second, the wolf leapt into the air. Eragon shrieked in fear, thinking he was going to die. But instead, the giant wolf bit in the wrist. If the boy had been less afraid, he might have noticed how the wolf was panting heavily and was actually wounded under his belly.
He would have also noticed how a strange, silver liquid flowed into his veins as the wolf's silver fangs pierced his wrist. But Eragon was unable to comprehend that for he was too far gone from simple terror to pain as excruciating agony shot up his body from his right wrist.
His job accomplished, the wolf's entire form relaxed as he drew his final breaths and withdrew his fangs almost tenderly from his chosen heir's wrist. It was a shame that he didn't Turn him under better circumstances but the Prophecy demanded it. If the Evil One were to be defeated and the wolf redeemed, then the boy must be Turned.
He could only hope his dense cousin found him soon and the boy survived the Turning. With one last look, the wolf slunk off into the bushes waiting for death. But this time around, he would embrace it, his task almost complete.
- PAGE BREAK -
Roran grinned tiredly as he slumped into his usual chair by the window, gulping down water from his skin bottle. The hunt had gone well and he had even bagged a doe as well as a few rabbits and a couple of quails. He had not seen any sign of the legendary demon and had come back alive once again.
His family would eat meat this winter and so far, life was good...
...until a shadow stepped in front of him making him confused and worried as he glance d up only to see none other than a furious Brom who looked about ready to strangle him.
"Where is he?" Brom practically growled, causing Roran to flinch.
"Where is who?" Roran asked in confusion, shoving aside a sinking feeling of dread.
"Eragon, you dimwit!" Brom snapped, his eyes flashing.
Roran stood up, his body tense and his mind reeling. His mind flashed back to the time when he last saw Eragon. He had an argument with his cousin about the hunting trip.
"Fine! If you don't want me, I'll leave." Eragon had said.
Roran had thought he meant he would go to his hideout but would he...
His heart sank.
"I thought he meant that tree..." He said weakly, his victory of the hunt instantly forgotten.
"Well he's not there," Brom growled.
"How do you know?" Roran retorted.
"Simple," Brom shot back. "I was coming over here as usual to watch over Eragon while you went on the hunt. But when I came, you two weren't exactly bidding each other a fond farewell so I waited, thinking it prudent. I came back in a couple hours and checked out back but Eragon wasn't there. I searched all over the place and even asked Garrow but he didn't have a clue. He's out in the Spine now with a search party from the village. So I ask you again, WHERE IS YOUR COUSIN?"
This time, Roran was in panic mode and regretted every damnable word he said to the poor boy. This was all his fault. Eragon probably followed him in secret and was probably dead somewhere in the Spine, whether due to falling off a precarious cliff or being torn to pieces by the legendary demon.
"Well? Answer me, boy!" Brom demanded.
"I don't know!" Roran stammered.
Brom looked like he wanted to punch him until a noise from nearby caused him to turn his head around. Roran looked on in confusion as Brom turned white as a sheet and seemed frozen with shock, dread, and remorse. Then Brom snapped and ran over to...
Roran watched, frozen in horror, as he saw a tear-stained Garrow carry the prone form of a lifeless Eragon in his arms. He was surrounded by some of the men from the village and Katrina was also there. They all looked sad and angry, shooting dark looks at Roran. Only Katrina didn't seem to hate him and for that Roran loved her.
Wait, what did he say? Now was not the time! Giving himself a mental shake, he raced off after Brom who was actually showed some emotion for a change and looked like he might be about to cry. Roran didn't care though since he had tears trickling down his own cheeks.
Clearly exhausted, Garrow collapsed and Brom grasped Eragon's hands, sobbing freely now. The old man shook as he chanted some strange words in a foreign language that no one comprehended. There was a flash of golden light from the old man's hand and suddenly, miraculously, Eragon gasped.
His body convulsed and he began to shake as he gasped frantically for air. Instantly, the mood changed as life flowed back to Eragon's body and Brom began barking orders to get Eragon inside and healed. Katrina was a big help as she began nursing Eragon back to health.
Roran could only stand there in a daze as everything moved about him in slow motion. He didn't know what just happened with that light, those words, and Eragon's sudden change from seeming death to life again. No one else cared and Brom was a hero. Personally, Roran didn't care but he knew now that one thing was certain.
Things would be very, very different around here.
Little did he know just how true that thought would be!
TO BE CONTINUED...