AN: I decided I'm going to take away all the POV captions from here on out. I think it'll be pretty easy to realise who's point of view you're reading from. Also, this chapter will have a lot of changes in POV from character to character with the Harry Potter characters. This is the main reason, as it wouldn't flow very smoothly, so watch out for those changes in the third person point of view!

Hint: For most chapters, I will only be using the point of views of Harry, Hermione, Draco and Cleo

So if we're looking from a first person point of view, it's going to be Cleo, but its the third person point of view you have to look out for! No i'm not doing this for fun, I just think that the story is more genuine when you don't have these constant POV captions every few paragraphs.

P.S. I will also be taking away 'FLASHBACK/FLASHBACK END' captions, sorry for those of you that get a bit confused without those. I know those can be tricky, but for flashbacks, I will have page break lines at the beginning and end of them, so you should be able to tell that it is a flashback.

In his dream, he both heard and felt an eerily beautiful song that tugged at his soul, his essence, pulling him towards the source. It was beautiful, even more so than the mermaids in the black lake that he had encountered in the Triwizard Tournament. The song however, began to feel dangerous and despite this, he couldn't help but want to move towards the source even more. What had originally felt like a dream was beginning to feel frighteningly real and suddenly, he wasn't so sure he was dreaming. Cold sweat broke out on his skin and he could see dangerously delicate fangs adorning the blood red lips of a beautiful mouth, cooing at him, inviting him in with it's bewitching lips. He couldn't see any other part of its face, save two golden orbs smoldering seductively at him, willing him to come closer.

'Come,' It seemed to purr. 'Come and let me devour your soul.' He felt himself nodding. The source of that beautiful voice could do whatever it wanted to him. He felt a drunken smile spread across his face. He didn't pay attention to the enchanting waters around him, nor did he pay attention to the claws that glittered like backstabbing daggers in the moonlight.

Muscles suddenly too heavy, he took another step forward, grappling with his heavy limbs. He hadn't even realised that he'd been standing. Something was in his way. He couldn't see it, he could only see those eyes and he could only hear that deceptively heavenly voice.

"Harry! Oi, Harry, wake up mate." Someone's voice was intruding on the song. He shoved the barrier away with surprising strength considering his leaden limbs. He took another step closer and another one after that and ano-He jolted awake, fairly certain his nose was broken. He fell on his butt with a painful thump and the laughter of three people ringing in his ears. The blurry world refused to swim into focus until someone shoved his glasses on his face. Realising he was facing the wall, he turned around and stared up at the three people he never would have expected to be laughing with each other and definitely not against each other.

Three figures, one with blonde hair, one with black and one with red, were doubled over at the waist laughing hysterically. Ron was red in the face and Zabini looked like he was trying to hold back tears of mirth. Malfoy looked like he was about to choke himself to death.

Belatedly, he realised that he had just sleep-walked himself into the wall.

"Oh Potter, if I get to wake up to this every morning, it'll make living with you worth it." Harry had no idea how Malfoy didn't die then and there after wasting his much needed air supply on talking rather than being unable to stop laughing.

Usually the war hero would have been slightly more irritated to have his best friend laughing along with his nemesis and said nemesis' best friend at him, of all things, but the war had changed him. And it was because the war had changed everyone, including Malfoy, that he felt the corners of his mouth twitching up into a smile.

Finally gathering his bearings, he chuckled and ruffled his hair, "Don't get your hopes up Malfoy, that was a one off." He joked lightheartedly, hoping to maintain the carefree atmosphere before officially starting his day.

"Don't get your wand in a knot Potter, maybe next time it'll be Weasley." He snorted back.

"Or you." Ron guffawed in return.

"Either way, next time I'll be ready with a camera." snickered Zabini.

That brought a fresh bought of laughter down on the four of them. A few minutes later, they were just beginning to sober up when a semi-terrified voice spoke from the doorway. "I think they've gone mental."

The round face of Neville, accompanied by Seamus and Dean, looked slightly mortified at the scene before him. Despite the protests of his aching sides, he couldn't help but dissolve into laughter once more.

It was a while before he was leaving the bathroom and returning to his dorm to change into his uniform, hurriedly flinging his clothes on his bed to look for the right article. In the midst of trying and failing to jam his head through the arm hole of his robe, he stopped for a few seconds when he saw Hagrid exiting his hut and entering the forest. Something sent off a minor alarm bell, marking this action as strange, before a more urgent one woke up from its slumber, reminding him that he had less than ten minutes to get to the Great Hall, shove a piece of toast (if Ron hadn't already eaten his share) in his mouth before making his way to transfiguration.

It was only as he was snagging the last piece of toast, from Ron's plate and pecking Ginny on the cheek before he remembered Hagrid's odd behaviour. Normally, after running at a near sprint down six floors with no elevator system, he would've been much too out of breath to even be able to take a bite out of his toast, not to mention speak while doing so, but the war had raised his stamina, especially in running. That distance was as easy as pie compared to all the other times he'd had to run for his life over long distances, not to mention, there wasn't the pressure of someone, or something, breathing down his neck as he ran.

Only slightly winded, he sank his teeth into his jam-covered toast with a satisfying crunch and swallowed before voicing his thoughts. "Don't you think it's odd that Hagrid went out to the Forbidden Forest last night and just left again for it, or is it just me?"

"I don't think so, it's Hagrid, he probably went all moon-eyed at some monster and couldn't catch it last night so he went back to find it this morning." Ron reasoned. True, Hagrid was known for these kind of scenarios, but something was off. He couldn't quite identify what, something about last night was tickling the edge of his mind, but he couldn't quite grasp it. It was a memory, that was for sure. Perhaps he'd been dreaming.

"Last night," He started uncertainly, "He came out of the forest looking like a zombie. I know it sounds stupid, but-"

"It's Hagrid, mate, he probably found another Fluffy." At this, he couldn't help but laugh at Ron's antics. It was plausible, but still...

The clamour of dozens of wooden benches scraping against stone pulled him out of his brooding state. Hermione's voice was slowly reaching his brain as Ginny's soft lips pecked him on the cheek with a hurried, "See you in a few hours." He caught a whiff of her hair, the light scent of flowers tinted with strawberries that naturally followed her wherever she went. He hummed in response, grabbing his own bag and turning to her only to find she had disappeared from his sight. Her innocently tantalizing scent lingered in the air before someone bumped into him from behind.

"Sorry!" Squeaked a small second year girl with pigtails.

"It's fine." He smiled at her kindly. She squeaked again and turned red before proceeding to run towards a small flock of girls who gasped and continued to sneak looks at him, giggling and 'discreetly' pointing at his scar.

"I think Ginny has some competition." Hermione teased, tugging on his sleeve, reminding him that he'd lost sight of the two love birds. He allowed himself to be dragged along through the crowd that was parting, as usual, like the Red Sea for the two war heroes. He noticed that Ron was waiting patiently withing his own invisible barriers that accompanied all the war heroes. Even Neville, to some extent, was treated with this attentiveness. The crowd hurried to part around him in an almost perfect circle, pointing and whispering. Hermione seemed to notice this as well, an amused smile on her face as she spotted the red head. "He's loving this attention, finally he's on par with his best friend."

"Almost," Malfoy appeared besides them, shocking the duo. "Potter's still got the whole, well, Harry Potter thing." The cool tone of voice, the closest thing any of them had ever heard that could be considered remotely similar to friendly from Draco Malfoy, almost made him stop in his tracks. Hermione stumbled, but he quickly grasped her arm, and lifted her a few inches off the ground. He was proud to say that on the outside, thanks to her long robes, you couldn't tell that she'd tripped. His arm, on the other hand, was another story. It shrieked at him before he mentally told it to shut its whining. He'd never been particularly strong, but for some reason, he felt that his and Malfoy's relationship was very delicate right now. The smallest thing could tip the scale and then they would be back to base one. Scratch that, they'd be back to batting the ball. Lightheartedly, as if nothing were out of the ordinary, he replied, gently pushing Hermione forward, silently urging her to keep moving.


When they reached Ron, Hermione had calmed down enough to process what had happened with a level head. She'd figured that Malfoy was undoubtedly trying to make amends for his past actions by slowly attempting to work himself into the Golden Trio's good side. When Ron opened his mouth, she was about to shoot him a look that could rival Mrs. Weasley's, but before she could, he suddenly seemed to think better of it. Baffled, she mentally noted that she needed to ask for a full explanation from the boys once they were alone. Perhaps something had happened last night? Maybe even this morning.

She still stood by her declaration of Ron's emotional capacity being equivalent to a teaspoon. His ability to sense someone else's emotions or intentions were even worse. Perhaps she was a horrible girlfriend for having such lack of faith in her partner, but she could remember countless occasions in which Ron had blurted out something in the most delicate of situations that would cause everything to crash and burn before the first word had even left his mouth.

Glancing at Malfoy, she noticed the worn out look in his eyes as well as the cautiously lowered barriers that had always seemed to be around him, even when he was talking to Pansy or Crabbe and Goyle. Granted, she had never spent enough time with him alone to be a reliable judge on the matter, but thinking back, she could see the small differences that the war had pushed onto him.

His limbs and muscles were tense, ready to grab his wand at a moments notice, his eyes flickered back and forth, subtly being constantly aware his surroundings. But it was more than just that. There was also the deep, deep sadness in his eyes. The sadness that came with the knowledge and experience of a fully grown man. A man that had been through deep, immeasurable pain. Not just the pain of a broken heart, but the pain of a broken soul. A broken spirit.

She could see him remembering, as he passed each exact spot where he had shot a spell, had a spell shot at him or seen someone die. She could see him wince and look away, the barrier in his eyes getting stronger with each step. She was doing that too. These halls, to all the older students, contained both the best and the worst of all their memories.

Yet still, she could see just a glimmer of the tiniest something in his eyes. She couldn't tell if it was hope or something else, but she could tell that it was what was keeping him alive. Just by the smallest slither of thread. And it sparked in his eyes every time he looked at Harry, looked at the majestic halls of Hogwarts that had been repaired as if nothing had ever happened, heard the laughter of people who had been through the war with him, their worn faces splitting into heartwarming smiles that almost erased the events of the past year from their faces.

The blonde in question glanced up at her, grey eyes catching hers and she stared back at him, right into his eyes, searching, pushing through all his pain and sadness and brokenness for that small glimmer of hope. She found it and she smiled at him for the first time. She didn't do it politely. She did it genuinely, but she also let out a bit of her own suffering, trying to tell him that it would be ok and that he didn't have to be invincible. Everyone was hurting, some more than others, but he would get through it.

He stared at her for a moment, guarded expression melting for a moment to make way for surprise, before she saw the understanding flashed in his eyes. For a moment he stared at her, guard pulled back up, before tentatively, he cautiously pulled a small close-lipped smile at her. It was a bit odd. The muscles in his face looked like they hadn't been used to give a smile in years. A real smile, not the cold, calculating sneer he usually gave, but a real smile. Despite the slightly stiff appearance, it was warm and real and it was in that moment that she decided that she wanted to be friends with Malfoy.

No. She wanted to be friends with Draco. She widened her smile a fraction longer before tilting her head, gesturing at Harry and Ron, who were a few steps ahead of them, quickening her pace to catch up with, looking back at Mal-no-Draco, probing him gently with a silent invitation. He seemed to consider a bit, before shaking his head, seeming to respect their space for a bit and slowing his pace, allowing himself to fall behind and out of her sight. She frowned, but decided that he wanted a bit of thinking time alone.

She quickly made her way back to Harry and Ron just in time to catch Ron's question, "What do we have first?"

"Potions, then we've got Hagrid." She replied. Harry quietened at this and they continued the rest of their walk in silence.

Potions passed, to Harry at least, in a blur. Although Slughorn had already been the Potions Professor once, he couldn't shake off the unfamiliarity of the atmosphere in the classroom that marked the absence of Professor Snape and the reason for his absence. Much to Slughorn's chagrin, he spent the lesson staring into the bubbling mess of his potion, producing nothing but a smelly mass of what looked like bubbling purple tar at the end of the lesson, as opposed to Hermione and Draco's shimmering clear liquids.

"It's because of Professor Snape," he heard Hermione whisper sadly to Ron after he'd received nothing but unattached answers from Harry the entire lesson.

"I get it, but I can't see why he's still mop - ouch!" He heard the muffled sound of books hitting arms.

"Don't be so insensitive."

He glanced over to see Ron scowling and smiled, the two unknowingly bringing him out of his gloomy mood. He sighed and gathered his books, deciding that he'd be gloomy in his own time.

Despite his lack of concentration during the lesson, he'd noticed Malfoy had also been caught up in his own brooding mood. Though the blonde was in a state that reflected his own, his potion had still turned out perfect.

Malfoy, throughout the lesson had been completely preoccupied by his thoughts on the previous night. After he'd had that... chat (he didn't know how he felt about opening up so much) with Potter, he'd gone to bed, only to be awoken at an ungodly hour by the sound of dripping water and frantic whispers. Oddly enough, he'd felt chilled, yet he could hear the sound of quiet flames.

Groggily, he opened his eyes and had to suppress a gasp. Carefully, he pulled his covers up to cover his nose, peeking over them at the scene before him. The back of a butt naked woman standing in a puddle of water was the first thing he saw. She had dripping hair and water droplets all over her body. Then he saw two of the girls that had been in the Great Hall. Despite having seen them before, he still couldn't help but stare in wonder at the flames that licked delicately at her hair, or the ice that was creeping up the other ones forearms, crackling up her neck. There was only one girl he didn't recognise, she seemed the calmest and wasn't exhibiting any odd magic, unlike the other two. Deciding it was best to keep quiet, he held his breath to watch the scene play out in front of him.

"For god's sake, Cleo, put some clothes on!" The one he didn't recognise shouted in a whisper.

"Don't even try, Bella." Emma, if his memory served him right, snorted.

"Why? Prey is so much easier to catch when you're naked. I don't even have to sing, they just come to me." The naked one - Cleo - giggled. The three girls immediately shushed her frantically, saying she would wake up the occupants in the room, but he barely noticed. Her voice was beautiful. He'd never heard anything like it, it was enchanting. He had to grip the covers to stop himself from jumping out of bed to look at her face.

"Told you so."

Cleo began to saunter around the room, one clawed finger trailing over the end of the bed frames. The sound of it - wait. His eyes bugged, she had claws. She. Had. Claws. The blood drained from his face.

"Who should I eat first?"

Eat? Shit. Shit. Shit. His heart began to beat faster and he wondered if he could reach his wand on the bedside table without any of them noticing.

"Great, what do we do now?" Rikki, if he remembered correctly from the previous incident in the Hall, hissed.

How did these girls even get into the castle? Not once, but twice now. Hell, how did they even get into the dorm? It was guarded by a giant bloody mermaid.

He squeezed his eyes shut as she passed his bed, he swore he could feel her eyes on him. He let out a breath when he heard her move past his bed to Blaise's. He peeked at her face, taking in her slightly glowing eyes, just in time to catch her tongue running over her blood red lips. Fangs. She had fangs, too. Fuck. What the hell was she? A bloody siren? Finally, she stopped at Potter's bed. Oh shit. His hand crept to his wand. Blaise snorted and he stopped. 'Bloody stupid, good for nothing bastard.' He quickly squeezed his eyes shut when one of them snapped their head up toward him. Merlin, they were all so screwed. His eyes snapped open at the silent scuffle that had begun.

"What are you doing?" The ice-girl grabbed Cleo by the arm, who snarled at her, baring her fangs.

"Mine. My prey, go find your own." Her face turned back to Potter in anticipation. The three girls looked at each other behind Cleo's back and nodded.

"Sorry Cleo." Rikki sighed, before she grabbed her arms and pinned them behind her back, careful to avoid her claws, while Bella morphed her hands into some sort of jelly-like substance and pushing more of it around Cleo's hands and forearms, trapping them in a cylinder of the stuff, before she twisted her hand sharply and it hardened into what looked like crystal. He felt his eyes widen into saucepans. How were these girls doing this, how powerful were they, what kind of magic was this and exactly what were they?

Cleo opened her mouth as if to scream, fangs glinting in the moonlight but Rikki covered her mouth, only to pull it away two seconds later, blood dripping from her palm.

"Ouch! She bit me! She-"

"Shhh!" Bella hissed, quickly taking Rikki's place, using her crystalised arm instead.

Rikki huffed in response. "I feel so loved." She muttered to herself.

"Come on, let's go before anyone wakes up." Rikki placed her hands on all three of the girls and just for a moment, a split second, Cleo caught his eye. Shit. In that moment of pure terror, for him anyway, her face broke free from the hand on her mouth and she turned her head and snarled at him, fangs bared, hair and eyes wild, hissing and spitting at him like a savage animal. Then they disappeared. That beautifully terrifying face and the four impossible girls vanished.

He refused to admit he fainted, he must have been dreaming or over exhausted, so he just fell asleep. Either way, his last thoughts were, 'It's impossible to apparate inside Hogwarts.'

He felt his eye twitch as he realised he sounded an awful bloody lot like the bookworm.

Like Granger. He reminded himself begrudgingly. He refused to use her first name yet. Not until she used his, first. Only then would he begin to move onto using first names with any of them.

Last night felt so real. He had forgotten about it temporarily in the morning with Potter making a fool of himself, but since it had come back to him, he couldn't stop thinking about it. He hadn't told anyone yet. It couldn't have been a dream. But he could have sworn that in the Great Hall, that... Cleo, hadn't been a psychotic siren-like creature that wanted to eat people.

He brooded all the way to his next class, Care of Magical Creatures, before he snapped out of it just in time to realise that they were going into the Forbidden Forest.

"Don' worry, I've got a great surprise fer yeh. Yeh'll love it." Hagrid boasted, smiling through his beard.

The entire class groaned and he sighed.

"He always says that," Moaned Weasley, voicing his thoughts.

"Draco, you in there?" Blaise waved his hand in front of his face.

"Stop that." He grumbled, swatting the offending limb away.

"You've been out of it all morning, what happened?"

"Nothing. Don't worry about it." He responded before reluctantly moving his feet to follow the rest of the class into the forest.

What a way to start the school year.

Rikki's hand was still bleeding.

"I'm so sorry." I apologised again. I felt horrible. I didn't remember anything of last night. Apparently as soon as I'd been completely 'sirenified,' as Rikki so eloquently put it, I'd smelled my way through the castle, to a room full of boys and had proceeded to choose one to feast on. Yes, smelled, apparently being a siren meant I could now smell out the blood of healthier and more satisfying prey. Whatever that meant. It's what Emma had concluded anyway. Somehow my siren form allowed me to choose whether I had a tail or not because, I'd just up and walked out of the Moon Pool, where I had for no apparent reason, stripped, and continued along my way to the castle.

Apparently my siren form had full control over all my powers - I had flown (apparently) in my air form and gone through the cracks between doors in my air form whenever there was something in the way. I suspected the only reason the girls were able to keep up with me was because of Bella's ability to phase through things.

The night ended with Rikki teleporting the four of us out of the castle and back into the Moon Pool, where Emma was forced to maintain a force field around me for the rest of the night.

I felt terrible.

We had made a platform in the middle of the Moon Pool, courtesy of Bella, and were currently lazing around on it, allowing our tails to be warmed by the sun without fear of sunburn, discussing last night and brainstorming ideas on how to get home.

Suddenly, Bella shot up.

"What about Rikki teleporting us back home?"

"I would, but I've never teleported that far before, not on purpose anyway, I don't know my limits. What if I end up only teleporting half my body there or something?"

Bella deflated like a balloon and pouted.

"How does this Moon Pool not lead to the sea, anyway? It doesn't make sense." Emma mused. It was true. Moon Pools should all have been connected to the sea.

"I don't know." I answered, agreeing with her. "Moon Pools should all be connected to the sea, besides, this water is ocean water, I can feel it."

"And taste it." Snickered Rikki, splashing water into Emma's mouth that had opened to speak.


"Yes," she batted her lashes innocently.

"Oh, you're so on."

"Like fire could beat ice."

I sighed. Not again. Emma and Rikki tended to argue over who's element was better, it was amusing, if not exasperating, to watch to say the last.

"Puh-lease, not this again, we've been through this a million times. In the end, fire beats all."

"Fire is just a basic element, ice, on the other hand, is a combination of wind and water, making it rarer and stronger."

"Well wind and water are both 'basic elements,' so without us 'basic elements,' yours wouldn't exist, which means us 'basic elements' are the parents of your element, which makes us stronger. We're the originals." Rikki used her fingers to make air quotations, smirking at Emma.

"My element is an evolved element, which means that though yours may be the original, mine is a new and improved version of your type of element."

"Oh yeah? Well fire can burn at a hotter temperature than ice can freeze at, you just stop at 0 degrees."

"Not true, ice can reach absolute zero."

"But you can't actually reach absolute zero, can you."

"You wanna bet?"

"Well... anyways, I have fire and lightning. You're just stuck with one element, so I am stronger than you."

"Well I have a force field... thingy, so you couldn't hurt me anyway." Emma replied stubbornly.

Bella and I watched, amused at their usual antics, thoughts of getting home long forgotten. Deciding that this argument was getting us nowhere, I swept my arm towards them, creating a mini tidal wave that reduced their bickering to shrieks and laughter.

"You are so getting it now!" Rikki yelled, before shouting a battle cry and boosting herself off the platform and belly flopping back into the water, creating an explosion of water. She disappeared for a few seconds, allowing me to regain my bearings, before she shot out of the water again. "Attack!" She shouted to herself, as she arched high over the platform like a dolphin, grinning devilishly at us. Bella and I shrieked and hightailed our way to the other side of the Moon Pool.

"You wanna play that way? Fine, let's play that way." I raised my arm and a dozens of tiny water balls rose with it, aimed at Emma and Rikki.

"Cleo! Hey, not me Cleo, just Rikki, I haven't done anything yet." Emma pleaded, edging away.

"No way, you two are in this together."

"Fire!" Bella shouted playfully. I brought my arm down at her command and the water balls shot at the other two mermaids who dived back underwater, purple-blue tails taking the onslaught of water balls as they disappeared under the water.

It was dead silent for a few seconds, so I ducked under water, only to immediately shoot back up, flipping gracefully over the platform and back to the other side of the pool. Emma followed suit, chasing me.

After a while, I flopped onto the shore of the Moon Pool, exhausted, while the girls continued splashing about for a few more moments before falling into a pile of tangled hair and tails on the platform. We lay in random bursts of giggles and heavy breathing for a while, content and relaxed.

Our peaceful illusion was shattered by the sound of a scream, followed by the sound of dozens more.

The colour drained from my face. There were people here. Before any of us had any time to react, a girl with bushy hair was chased out of the forest with what looked like a giant tarantula on her heels.

If possible, my face became even whiter. The tarantula truly was gigantic, it was at least twice this girl's height.

"Accio wand! Accio wand!" She shrieked, but nothing happened. Not thinking, I shifted into my water form, intent on helping her.

"Hermione!" A male voice bellowed. A red haired boy came sprinting out of the forest, stick in hand, aiming at the giant spider. He shouted something and a blue light shot out of the stick, striking the spider. It let out a high pitched shriek before falling to the ground, unmoving.

Was it dead?

The boy continued sprinting towards the girl who had fallen over in exhaustion. He fell down next to her, grabbing her arms and hugging her.

Then the boy looked up and caught my eye. I realised how this looked. I was in my elemental form and my arm was raised in an attack motion directed at the girl, which was where the spider would have been had it not been stopped. Immediately he aimed his wand at me.

"Stupefy!" I ducked and a few moments later heard a loud splash. I turned around and to my horror saw that instead of hitting me, the spell had struck Emma. She lay still, eyes closed.

"Emma? Emma, wake up! Emma!" Rikki shouted, shaking her. Completely terrified at what these people could do, I turned back around to attempt to raise a white flag.

"Ron! No, don't!" I vaguely registered a girl's voice protesting, turning around only to see a red light heading straight to Rikki.

"No!" I shouted. I kicked my tail, as hard as I could and launched myself in front of Rikki, just in time for the red light to strike me in the chest. I thought blackness would come, but instead I instantly felt a hot, searing sensation running through my body. In my panic to get to Rikki in time, I had stayed in my water form. I looked down to see red light emanating from my body. It moved around my water form, bouncing around as if trying to escape. With every second, the burning sensation grew stronger and stronger. Soon it was beginning to hurt.

"Cleo? Cleo! Are you ok? Whatever you do, don't turn back, ok? Just stay in that form. I don't know what this thing does, but Emma's not waking up." Rikki grabbed my arms, making me look into her terrified eyes. I merely nodded in response, not trusting myself to speak. The pain was intense now and I couldn't help opening my mouth to gasp in a vain attempt to relieve the pain.

"Rikki, it... Rikki it hurts." I whimpered. She looked at me and her eyes filled with fury at my pain. She snapped her head to the couple on the ground, hair crackling with electricity, thunder clouds beginning to form in the sky.

"What have you done?"

"We can fix it-" The girl tried to protest but Rikki cut her off, not paying any attention to what she said.

"Leave. Leave now." Thunder began to rumble above us.

"But we can-"

"I said go!" she all but shouted. She threw her arm out and lightning struck the ground in front of them. They jumped, letting out shouts of surprise began to back away. When they didn't run for their lives, Rikki growled and threw her arm out again, this time dozens of lightning bolts raced down from the sky around them. They finally began to run, lightning chasing them until they had disappeared back into the forest.

"What do we do now?" Bella asked in my place.

"Just then," I panted, "Just then, that girl said she could help."

"Maybe we shouldn't have chased them off..." Bella trailed off.

"We're not asking them for help. They're the ones that caused this." Rikki clutched Emma.

"They were panicked though, it was-"

"No!" Rikki cut Bella off.

It was silent for a while.

"We might not have any choice." Bella said quietly as she gazed at my glowing chest and Emma's closed eyes.