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 Post subject: Some Secrets
PostPosted: Tuesday 11 August 2009 9:55:35pm 
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Disclaimer: I don't own Harry Potter. Thanks to Duckie for all her help and beta-ing!

Howl. Howl at the moon. Catch the scent, a child playing outside at night. Delicious, delicate flesh with an exclusive taste like none other. Wait for the right moment to lunge, to strike. Yes. But don't kill it, just wound... This one must live.

Even werewolves have some control, this one more than others. Only years of practice and solid discipline have produced such skill.

A scream rings out through the night, inhuman and terrifying. A girl's parents rush outside, wands drawn and ready.

They did not know their child had sneaked outside, tonight of all nights...

The full moon sheds it's light down upon them as one calls for help for their child, another looking around wildly for the culprit who had changed their daughters life forever.

No one must know who had done it, who had bitten the child... So tempting to keep biting, to keep killing, but no, think of the plan... Now leave the trail, not to apparent, but enough for one who knows how to look, enough to come back...

The wizarding authorities began to show up, healers and employees from the Department of Magical Law Enforcement from the Ministry of Magic, but it is too late to catch the wolf that has bitten the child.

The healers do everything they can, and it looks good. The child will live.

But there is no cure for lycanthropy.

From now on, the girl will transform into a wolf, just like the one who did this to her. She will have to be locked up, isolated on these nights, reduced to injuring herself in order to prevent her from hurting others and making them just like her...

No one knows who had done it, the attacker had left before the parents had even made it to the stairs, the tracks going cold long before the Ministry officials came.

The wizards from the Department of Magical Law Enforcement try to explain this to the girl's parents, explaining that they may never catch the one who did this to her daughter, that it is possible that the werewolf that bit the six-year-old child may never pay the price for what they had done.

The parents cry and sob in despair as their daughter is transported to the hospital, then go there themselves to oversee what amount of recovery their child can make.

“Lia,” they murmur desolately as they stand by her sickbed, slowly coming to terms with what will happen to the girl's life now. What will happen to all their lives now.

By the time Lia returns to consciousness a few weeks later, her parents have accepted what will happen.

As Lia opens her eyes for the first time in many days, her mother and father stand stony and aloof above her, barely visibly cringing away when she tries to speak. Her parents know they have to tell her, and do so.

But they do not comfort her when she begins to cry, they do not even move. They know what will happen at the next full moon, at every full moon from then on.

They've accepted it, but they will never understand.

Some secrets are never meant to be kept.

 Post subject: Re: Some Secrets
PostPosted: Wednesday 12 August 2009 8:09:37am 
Scholar of all that is Deep and Meaningful
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whoa! wonderful!

Just watched the last Underworld movie, about the start of the lycans... I love stories about werewolves. I hope you keep going...

 Post subject: Re: Some Secrets
PostPosted: Thursday 20 August 2009 4:39:43am 
Keeper of the Keys and Dragon Tamer Of The West
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I love it! The way you wrote this seems so mysterious.
Really interested to see what happens next! :)

 Post subject: Re: Some Secrets
PostPosted: Thursday 20 August 2009 4:39:08pm 
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Aw, thanks guys! I'll try to post the next chapter soon, once I stop procrastinating enough to get it done. :lol:

 Post subject: Re: Some Secrets
PostPosted: Friday 21 August 2009 2:36:58pm 
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procrastination is my personal demon! eek! there it is again! go AWAY! lol

 Post subject: Re: Some Secrets
PostPosted: Thursday 3 September 2009 4:41:29am 
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Location: No idea, all I know is that there are a LOT of felt-tipped pens...
Thanks for everyone's support, and here's the next chapter!

Chapter 1:

“Will I be better in time for class?” I ask Madam Pomfrey as she doles out potions and bandages like fliers at some sick convention, not entirely sure what I hope she'll say.

“Probably not, dearie.” the nurse says apologetically, patting my shoulder with a soft smile.

“Alright.” I mutter, leaning back against the headboard of the bed I sit on. The bed I always sit on. The bed I always will sit on, after every full moon for the rest of my time at Hogwarts.

I try not to be bitter. It's a challenge.

I try to blame others. It's a challenge.

I know I can only truly blame myself.

It was I who went outside to stargaze on the night of the full moon, my six-year-old self feeling quite rebellious as I crept out to the lawn. Then came the lashing pain and vague screaming, waking up in St. Mungo's hospital weeks later. Now, eight years later, I still remember the pain of being bitten by a werewolf. Perhaps because I relive pain just as terrible each month in my own personal hell called the Shrieking Shack.

Located beneath a rather violent tree on Hogwarts grounds, it's been the backdrop of my misery each and every full moon since I came. Madam Pomfrey says there's only ever been one werewolf here before. I wonder what would happen if another came to school now. Would they build another shack?

I blink away my reverie as a student walks in, looking at me curiously as she cradles her hand against her chest. “I slammed my finger in the bathroom stall,” she explains as Madam Pomfrey turns her attention away from me, “and it hurts really badly.”

I repress a snort with difficulty, earning another strange look from the girl. She thought that hurt? That was nothing. I'd slam my fingers in a door every day if it meant that I'd never have to turn into the wolf again.

Madam Pomfrey heals the student in no time and sends her on her way. I sigh, closing my eyes against the bright light of the hospital setting. “Is your head bothering you?” Madam Pomfrey asks with concern.

“I'm fine,” I say, even though it's a lie. I'm far from fine. “Have my parents owled yet?”

“Not yet,” Madam Pomfrey says, her brow furrowing slightly, “but I'm sure they will any minute now.” she attempts to console me, but I am not fooled. I don't know why I still wait eagerly for my parents' letters after each full moon, despite the fact that they'd never done me any good in the past.

The criteria is so familiar that I could very well write one myself. Sorry you're hurt. Get well soon. We'll be in touch. Don't tell anyone.

As if I ever would. I know better than to think anyone would understand. If my parents have taught me one thing, it's that people aren't to be trusted, that I can never share my secret with anyone. They're living testaments to such a lesson.

I remember when my parents used to be unafraid of being near me, if only vaguely. Before I got bitten. Before the werewolf took away their child. Because the don't see me that way anymore. Their daughter Lia is dead to them, though I still live and breathe. This is a fact I've long gotten used to.

Madam Pomfrey bustles about, preparing potions for me, to speed the healing process, as she does every month. It works just fine, but even with magic, the injuries take their toll.

As more students come and go throughout the day, I sit on the bed, being resignedly bored with the day.

At around supper-time Madam Pomfrey deems me well enough to go, and I leave as quickly as I can, loathe to sit and stare at the all to familiar walls one more instant.

I walk briskly down the corridors to the Great Hall, avoiding eye contact with everyone that passes by. These habits have become second nature to me in the last four years. No one wants to talk to the loner girl with the mysterious injuries, and pretending otherwise is just setting yourself up for disappointment.

Upon arriving at the Great Hall I face the daily predicament of where to sit. The vast number of students in Hufflepuff house make it virtually impossible to sit by yourself without anyone next to you.

Normally, I try to secure a seat on the end so I can turn myself away from the student next to me and avoid the penetrating looks shot by my fellows in favor of the floor and staff table. The major problem with this plan is the risk of being shoved straight off the bench onto the floor, in the event that someone tries to squeeze their way onto an obviously full seat in the hopes that if they feign ignorance at the lack of space, then an empty seat will magically appear, saving them from the horror of having to sit on the other side of the table.

No such luck today. The Great Hall is packed to the breaking point as I walk in late, trying to avoid making eye-contact with anyone at the other house tables as I walk past.

After sumptuous moments of persistent awkwardness, I finally manage to sit between two first years, both of whom completely ignore me in the scramble to secure the largest piece of pie as dessert rolls around. I eat in silence, as I always do, and leave the moment the remnants of food have disappeared from the now spotlessly sparkling plates.

The halls are almost entirely empty as I walk back to the Common Room; the only exceptions are a few ghosts that drift silently past and Peeves, the poltergeist, who I manage to avoid by ducking into a broom cupboard as he floats past, blowing loud raspberries and throwing pieces of chalk at the walls.

I reach the entrance to the Common Room in no time, and the plush room bedecked in yellow and black greets me like an old friend as I grab my homework and take a seat by the fire. I work steadily through my Potions essay, then move on to Transfiguration as students begin to trickle into the Common Room in twos and threes, none of whom make any acknowledgment of my presence, instead choosing to talk among themselves and act as if the armchair by the fire is contaminated by the plague that is me.

It's not that they think lycanthropy is contagious; no, none of them have a clue as to why I spend days in the Hospital Wing every month. But the structural laws of school dictate that people who are different must be singled out, and so it shall be. I don't doubt that few could even name my hair-color, much less my name.

Due to the extreme lack of distractions, my homework is soon done to perfection, and I take to staring off into the distance, my eyes glazed over as I think about nothing and everything at the same time.

A flutter of movement by the window catches my eye, and I stare fixedly at the glass, wondering what on earth had lured my attention over there. The view is the same as it always was; sloping grass, the Whomping Willow, and a fleeting view of the Greenhouses. I start to get to my feet, planning on walking over to investigate what had distracted me, when a voice comes from behind me.

I jump, sending my books tumbling off my lap onto the carpet in front of the fire.

“Nice one, Lia.” I turn to glare at the speaker, who I now recognize as Mia Filisia, one of my prime tormentors.

I pick up my books as quickly as possible, trying to ignore Mia as she continues on snidely, “If you were any clumsier you'd have to admitted to St. Mungos. Not that it matters. You go there every week anyway.”

I know better than to reply, and instead stalk off to the Girl's Dormitory, where I seclude myself in my four-poster bed. I've long gotten used to this nightly ritual, and it doesn't bother me much anymore.

The Dormitory is empty and quiet, the way I like it. Whenever anyone else is in the place I have to listen to the other girls talk about their traumatic love lives, and how they're going to suffocate under the mountain of homework we've all been getting. I never join in on the complaining; a couple Arithmency essays are hardly the worst of my problems.

I sigh quietly to myself and attempt to sleep. My dreams are plagued with horrors as usual; the only time I ever have pleasant sleep these days is when Madam Pomfrey gives me a potion for it.

* * *

I wake up the next day in the same fashion I always do. Having finally broke free of my nightmares, I lie in bed gasping for breath and covered in a nervous sweat.

Blinking away the night's gruesome images, I get up quietly, glancing outside as I pass one of the room's windows. It's cloudy, but dry so far.

I take a quick shower, get dressed, and then it's off to the Great Hall for yet another awkward breakfast. I snag a seat at the end of the table, with a seventh year I don't know sitting to my left.

I eat quickly, avoiding eye contact with anyone, especially other fourth years, and then head to Transfiguration, the first class of the day. Due to my speed-eating, I'm the first one there.

I sit down at a table in the back corner of the classroom, hoping no one will notice me when they come in. But no such luck. Mia Filisia, having been the first to come in after me, quickly spots my presence and saunters over with a fake smile.

“Hey, Lia!” she says, sickly sweet as she sits down. “Looks like we're the first people here!”

“Yeah.” I mumble, studying the desk's surface closely. She only sits next to me when she doesn't do her homework.

“Oh, shoot,” Mia says, looking through her bag, though I know very well she isn't really looking for anything. If she really thought she had her essay, she wouldn't be paying an ounce of attention to me, other than to shoot me the occasional dirty looks throughout class. “I can't find my homework! Lia, can I just take a peek at yours?”

“No.” I say. My, but this desk is interesting.

“Oh, come on! Aren't we friends?”

“No.” Someone chiseled a declaration of love onto this desk.

“Lia! I must say, I'm hurt.”

“Sorry.” Looks like they did it with their fingernails, it's not very well done.

“Well, I hope you change your mind. I want to be your friend, not your enemy!” Liar.

Mia gets to her feet elegantly, before anyone else can arrive. It just wouldn't do to be seen with me, even if the sole purpose of such and interaction is to demand credit for my work.

I continue staring at the desk until the teacher arrives, at which point I begin taking careful notes on the lecture, if only to distract myself from all the glares I'm attracting. News travels fast, and apparently it's a crime punishable by death to refuse Mia Filisia my homework. Suffice to say the class passes by slowly.

I'm out of my seat the minute the bell rings, and halfway to my next class before the others even begin to notice I've left. Not that they're paying any attention. No one ever does.

 Post subject: Re: Some Secrets
PostPosted: Saturday 26 June 2010 10:42:32pm 
President of the Penguins
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Location: No idea, all I know is that there are a LOT of felt-tipped pens...
Chapter 2:

Sometimes I feel like I'm moving at a different speed than the rest of the world, going slow-motion while everyone else speed-walks. Other days it's like I'm the one going faster, but that the ending I'm hurtling towards with so much more speed than anyone else is something terrible that I haven't had the good sense to avoid.

Today is one of those days.

I'm walking to Potions class, and I'm suffocating. The crowd of students is stifling my breath. Smothering me. I begin to breath faster, then force myself to slow down and inhale deeply.

I'm having a panic attack, Madame Pomfrey would have said. She always tells me breathing deeply helps, and it does, a little. But not enough because that's the thing; I can't breathe.

I try to make my way nonchalantly through the seemingly crowded hallway, but I don't need to worry. No one cares about my slight hyperventilation, or the panicked look in my eyes. I'm just the loner girl, good for nothing except teasing and exploitation.

After a few minutes of plodding through the impossibly large throng of students, I see it-- a bathroom. It might be Moaning Myrtle's, but I don't care. Maybe we can have a good cry together.

Either way, it's a place I can be alone, away from this mesh of cluttered activity.

I renew my efforts to get through the hallway, and eventually push my way into the bathroom, ignoring the fifth-year walking past it, and not even stopping to mutter an apology as I step on his foot in my hurry.

Once inside the cooler, emptier area of the bathroom, I start to calm down. That hallway really wasn't very crowded at all, I realize with chagrin. I was imagining the situation to be worse than it was.

How stupid of me, I think to myself, and start gathering up the contents of my bag, which had spilled out over the floor in my frenzy. I'm going to be late for Potions.

The classroom is quiet as I sneak in late, and, other than a reprimand from Professor Slughorn about my behavior and timing, the class goes without a hitch. I know that my fellow students will pounce upon my lateness as an excuse for berating me the moment they get the chance, but what else is new? I should be used to this by now.

And yet, I still find anxiety creeping into my stomach as I enter the common room that night. Perhaps some things never change.

Sitting by the fire with my homework splayed half-finished across my lap, I catch a fluttering by the window in my peripherals, the same as last night. I try to ignore it, mindful of the precarious position of all the various books and papers on my person. But I keep a close watch on it as I struggle through the rest of my assignments, getting up to go to bed only when it fades from sight.

I walk into the Girl's Dormitory, only to stop up short when I see that Mia and some of her friends are still up. They scurry out of the way, with barely a glance in my direction as I walk towards my bed. Odd.

I discover the cause of their actions as I open my four-poster bed a few moments later.

Stenciled across my bedspread in red paint is the word, “loser” in elegant print. Very original. I bundle up the soiled cloth and leave it in a pile on the floor. The house elves will take care of it by morning, and if I'm lucky, maybe Mia will step in the wet paint on her way to the bathroom that night.

Herbology the next day would've been a cause for extreme embarrassment, if I hadn't stopped caring about my life in general years ago.

The boy who I had almost steamrolled over as I rushed to the bathroom in the midst of the previous day's panic attack, was not, I discovered, a fifth-year who I'd hopefully never encounter again, much less remember. Fate hates me too much for that.

No, he's a new student in my year, and had been assigned as my partner. Not that I volunteered or anything. I, being the social pariah I was, had been left partnerless at the beginning of the year when everyone was told to pair up, and had been working either by myself or with the professor all year. It seemed all that was about to change.

His name is Jarret, and with his dark hair and intense brown eyes, I might have been lusting after him along with all the other girls (Mia's mouth seemed to be watering). That is, if he had said a word to me the entire period. Or even made eye contact.

Now, as I sit alone at the house table during lunch, I wonder if I ought to have made an attempt to make conversation. Or to be friendly at all. But, having been forbidden contact with other people my age after being bitten as a child, I never developed any terribly adept people skills. Besides, what was there to talk about?

I don't eat much, and soon I'm sitting in Defense Against the Dark Arts, where I'm again sitting next to Jarret. He starts writing the moment the teacher begins lecturing, successfully guilting me into talking careful notes on the various types of jinxes throughout the duration of the class.

I'm making my bravest attempt at listening to the teacher, but it's a struggle. I'm so used to looking through a fog that the writing on the board is a mystery. I'm copying the letters down, but I have no idea what the lesson is about.

Just as my quill is about to snap from all the pressure I'm putting on it in my concentration, the class miraculously ends.

“Remember, essay due next week!” the professor calls out as everyone begins to pack up their things. “Eight inches of parchment, and no writing in all capitals!” A couple boys in the back groan at this pronouncement. I roll my eyes discreetly.

I always try to be the first one out of each class, so as to avoid too much interaction with my fellows, but today I drop my bag as I stand up, and so have to pick up the scrambled contents from the floor before I can leave.

I try to get everything as quickly as possible, before anyone notices my clumsiness. I can feel my face turn a deep scarlet, and my embarrassment only thickens when Mia notices me scrambling on the floor.

“Oh, dear!” she exclaims in mock pity, “Poor Lia has dropped her bag! I'll catch up with you later,” she says to her friends, who cover their smirks with nods of fake understanding. “I ought to help clean up this mess.”

I cringe as she walks over. I hate her. I hate her wavy brown hair, so shiny compared to my stringy, mousy brown locks. I hate that her name sounds so much like mine.

But most of all, I hate that her courtesy is such a thin pretense; everyone knows that helping me is the very last thing on her mind as she saunters over, but even the teacher doesn't lift a finger.

After gathering up a few forgotten papers from one of the desks, the professor bustles out of the classroom, leaving Mia and I alone.

Or so I think, until I notice third set of shoes out of the corner of my eye. Jarret was still here. Great. Really fantastic.

The good news was that Mia wouldn't dare jinx me with a possible love interest standing nearby, fiddling absently with the shoulder strap on his bag. The bad news was that now I had one more witness to my teasing.

“Here, Lia,” Mia offered, “Let me help you clean this up.” She sounded cheerful, but I could tell that she was clenching her teeth. She'd obviously hoped to hiss a few choice words at me and kick my bag so that its contents would be more messily strewn across the floor, but with Jarret present, she now had to feign manners and get creative.

I could see her nose wrinkling as she knelt down next to me and slowly poked a bottle of ink back into my bag. She crumpled each paper as she picked it up and shoved it in my direction, all the while spouting an endless stream of sickly sweet chatter, about anything from homework to quidditch.

I could see Jarret's ankles out of the corner of my eye, but I didn't dare look up at his face. Why hadn't he left yet? Did he take pleasure at my humiliation? I couldn't understand his motives.

At last the floor was free of my clutter, and I scrambled to my feet before Mia could pretend to help me up. She got to her feet more gracefully than I, and was out the door before I had even taken a step.

This confused me. She hadn't made a move to insult me. What was up? I take a few steps towards the door, reorganizing the contents of my bag. I come up short when I find an unfamiliar slip of paper. It's folded twice, and I recognize Mia's handwriting instantly as I open it up.

Freak, it reads as an introduction, loser, loner, whatever you are. How very original.

I'm about to throw it into the trash bin, when one of the later sentences catches my eye. You're no better than an animal. My dog has more of a spine than you do. Do you always howl at the moon?

My breath catches in my throat, and the note crinkles as I crumble it into my fist. Does she know? I hadn't said a word. She can't know. She can't, she can't! She knows. How can she possibly know? How did she find out?

Both the paper and my bag fall from my hands, and it's all I can do to contain my sobs as I tearfully flee the classroom.

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