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Dorothy Harness

Under a falling sky, the terror is real this time

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Dorothy Harness

Dottie willed the pain of transformation and the trauma of the night before away, wishing nothing but eternal numbness for herself so she would never have to feel any of it again. What she got instead was the burning sensation leftover from transformation, several injuries from the wolf that had bitten her the night before, and the excruciating twisting of her several broken ribs as they tried to settle back into place. As she took her human form again, Dottie screamed and gasped alternately before curling up against the cold stone wall of the cave and sobbing into the tattered remains of her dress.

 

Her mud-caked converse were missing most of the shiny red sequins which had previously been sewn on, mud and leaves a less than satisfactory replacement decoration. One of the sleeves on her dress had been ripped off entirely and the skirt and bodice were shredded beyond recognition. Instead of a high ponytail, strands of red hair hung around her face and down her back. Goosebumps covered her arms and legs as the chill air of the pre-dawn morning clung to her skin.

 

It was several minutes before Dottie was ready to take in her surroundings and assess the situation at hand. As she reflected silently on the destruction she had wreaked at the school she had once called home, including biting Julian and a younger girl who seemed familiar in some senses but she did not know, there seemed to be no way out of the situation she and Ryker, as well as the other werewolves, had found themselves in. 

 

She moved tenderly, fighting to take deep, stabilizing breaths and not jerk her body around suddenly. Everything still hurt from the Cruciatus Curse she had suffered and while she didn’t blame the witch who did it, it was an experience she wished to avoid repeating for the rest of her life. The lingering pain would pass, at least, and that was more than she could say for the memories she’d have to carry for years to come. 

 

Finally, as she regained the last of her human mental sensibilities, she looked toward Ryker. Her handsome boyfriend always looked a little worse for wear after transformation, but his yelps had echoed off the walls as loudly as hers had and a quick glance backward had been more than enough for Dottie to know that he had suffered terribly for sins he hadn’t wished to commit; he had taken a beating worse than normal. Breathing deeply as tears began to pour down her cheeks, Dottie's voice cracked a little as she spoke. “Ry-ker? I’m so sorry. I tried. I tried to get us away. But I was too late. I'm so sorry.”

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Ryker Leigh

He didn't want to remember.  

 

Most of the time, that was the case.  The transformations were still so new to him, but this one he would never be able to forget.  This one and everything that had come with it.   

 

The boy's face that he’d come nose to nose with, pleading with him had haunted him all night.  It was only one word... 'Don't'  But it repeated over and over in his mind in the dark, steadily growing louder and louder as the dawn broke and the moon faded away and every bone shifted painfully back into it's proper place again.  They cracked with each syllable, popped with each memory of the breaking pitch in the boys tone.   

He'd never bitten anyone before, hell his own attack was still fresh enough of a memory to give him nightmares that would awaken him in a pool of sweat.  

 

He had woken up long before Dottie had, or had he even really slept?  He wasn't even sure.  He wasn't sure of where they had ended up when they had stopped running, or where they were going to go next.  He was merely thankful they had gotten away at all.  His body felt drained and empty and he startled when her voice called out to his back.   

 

The shaky breath and the start of her tears should have been a warning but he'd been so lost in his own head that he hadn't caught them and that only made him feel worse.  Despite that the nineteen year old pushed himself to move through the aches that pounded with the torturous motion of each muscle to get himself back to her side and wrap his arms around her.  

 

"It wasn't your fault.  It wasn't our fault at all." He said, his voice hushed and low.  "It was a portkey.  Why was it a damned portkey?" He wasn't asking her, not really.  It was a question voiced to the universe for putting them all in that place and position to begin with.  They had no where to go anymore.  

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Dorothy Harness

Arms warmed her as Ryker painstakingly joined Dottie where she had curled up in their cave. While they were never as strong as she remembered following transformation, she sank into the comfort they provided regardless, reveling in the familiarity of his touch and smell. She didn’t need to see him or hear him to know that it was him. He was home for her. Home.

 

Could she ever return home again after that night’s events? Surely there’d be enough negative press regarding the attacks, the escape from Taith Coch, and the fall-out from the events of the night before that before long it would no longer be safe anywhere in England for any of the surviving werewolves. People didn’t tend to side with werewolves on things like public safety during the full moon, even when ample amounts of wolfsbane had flowed in the week leading up to it. She could only imagine that it would all only get worse from that point on.

 

And what of their families? Dottie’s parents, both Muggles, lived on a farm in Cornwall and she could only hope there weren’t Ministry Officials on their doorstep now, at this unfortunate hour of the morning, waking them up with the worst kind of news. While she had written home as soon as she could about what had happened to her and why she’d be living on a random island with Ryker following their attack, she had been purposely vague. It was a wildlife sanctuary, she had written, dedicated to England’s little-known growing wolf population. The irony of those words struck her as she lay with her head in Ryker’s lap.

 

Would her efforts to protect them lead them to harm instead? There were so many questions which needed answers, but there was nobody she could trust to provide them. The media, sensationalist as it was, would put their own spin on the events of the previous night and she and Ryker would have to figure something out. They had to eat to survive and, above all, they had to stay safe while they tried to find shelter.

 

Dottie bolted upright at that thought, her eyes wide as she cringed from the sharp pains in her rib cage. “Ryker, my wand. Where’s my wand. We should ward this place till we can leave.”

 

She felt wildly around her dress, reaching into the special wand sleeve she sewed into the pocket of every dress and skirt she owned. It wasn’t there. Her beloved Cedar and Unicorn Hair wand was missing, dropped as she had attempted to break them out of the confines of the wards guarding Hogwarts against the exact threat she represented. “Ryker, I dropped my wand. We have to go back. I have to get it.”

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