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Ryan Buratsche

Take time to smell the roses

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Ryan Buratsche

One of Ryan's favorite places around Hogwarts was the rose garden on the school's lawn. Every time he went there, it was so quiet and peaceful, the air thick with the smell of flowers. It was easy to sit there and think about anything and everything. Unlike the library, which had an atmosphere that could be pulled taught with exam stress, it felt free and relaxing. It was the sort of place that just felt magical without necessarily having to announce that it was.

 

And it was the perfect place to bring Hatty.

 

He held Hatty's hand as they walked to the garden. The sun was setting, and it was the perfect time to be there. The roses were so bright red in the light that they almost looked like they were glowing. "Have you ever been here before? It's one of my favorite places at the school," he said with a smile, gesturing to the rose garden that wound its way through the lawn.

 

"It might seem kind of silly, but I like coming here to think. Not about anything in particular," he shook his head. "It's just...peaceful." He smiled again. 

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Hatty Hambeldon

The rose gardens on the grounds of Hogwarts were beautiful. She had never really ventured into them much before because they were rumored to be a spot for couples and up until this year she had not been one of those lucky people. But now she had Ryan and so she was seeing the rose gardens in a whole new light. "Not really," she said. "Not like this anyways." She grinned and looked up at him. 

 

"I like to go to a spot near the windows in the towers for that," she added. "But I can totally see this as a perfect spot for that. It's perfect. And this night is perfect." 

 

She wanted to pinch herself to make sure that she was not dreaming. How had she gotten so lucky? 

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Ryan Buratsche

It was hard for Ryan to believe that he'd ever gotten so lucky in his entire life. He thought that he was going to spend the rest of his life (which may have been a bit overdramatic, but still), chasing girls that were never going to like him back (Alayna) or ruining things with girls that may have liked him back? He wasn't sure? (Millie). But everything with Hatty seemed so easy. They could hold hands and walk around the grounds together. They could talk about politics together or they could just enjoy the rustle of the leaves on the trees in the forest or birdwatching by the lake. 

 

"I'm glad," Ryan smiled, leaning down to press a kiss against Hatty's temple. "It seems ridiculous almost to like a place like this so much when we're surrounded by so much magic, but it's just...I dunno, it just feels like a special place to me."

 

He led Hatty over to a bench in the garden and gestured for her to sit down next to him. "There weren't many places like this at the orphanage, and at my mum's house, well...I have a sister whose nine and a brother who's basically a baby, and we live on a farm. It's not exactly a quiet place." He had to chuckle a little at the thought.

 

"Hey!" he said, suddenly having a thought. "You should come see the farm. It's really pretty cool. My parents rescue magical creatures, and there's loads of unicorns, hippogriffs..."

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Hatty Hambeldon

"Sometimes things don't have to be made of magic to be magical," she replied. Roses existed in the muggle world and magical alike. But either way they were beautiful. There was just something about the dim lights of the setting sun reflecting against the roses that enhanced the roses' beauty even more. She took it all in as she went to sit by Ryan on the bench and sighed dreamily, a happy expression crossing the features of her face. 

 

Her smile got even wider as Ryan invited her to see the farm. Magical creatures were Hatty's passion in the magical world - that and goblin rights of course. But goblin rights often were a hard sell to people that weren't goblins or part-goblins. So she often didn't say anything about that except sometimes when she was near Ryan. He emboldened her. 

 

"I would love to see the farm," she said. "You know me. Can't resist interacting with a magical creature if I see one."

 

Maybe she would get a chance to ride one of the hippogriffs. "Perhaps I could even help out your parents while I'm there?" She offered. Rescuing magical creatures seemed exactly like one of the jobs she would want when she graduated. 

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Ryan Buratsche

"You're right about that," Ryan nodded. The rose garden had always seemed like a place onto itself. It had its own atmosphere and it was just far more peaceful than anything inside the castle could ever be. He gave Hatty's hand a squeeze at the thought. 

 

Sometimes it surprised him that he and Hatty had so many things in common. Social justice issues were an obvious passion of his, but he did like magical creatures, too. Even though he hadn't continued with the class into his NEWT years, he worked on his family's sanctuary every holiday that he was home. It was likely that after he graduated he would go back and to continue to work there. 

 

"That would be really awesome," Ryan smiled. "They'd really like you, I think. Especially if you helped out with some of the creatures." He gave a little chuckle at the thought.

 

"You wouldn't mind that, right? Meeting my parents?" He wondered for a second if she would. He definitely did like Hatty a lot and would have loved for her to meet his family. "I'm adopted, you know, so I've only lived with them since I was in second year. But they're amazing. And so are my brother and sister, even if I have to babysit them like...all the time.

 

"The sanctuary really is amazing, though. And how often do you get to visit a farm with hippogriffs and unicorns?" he chuckled again, wondering if it was normal to feel this nervous. 

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Gwynthr Hughes

Sometimes you had to know when to quit, even if that meant your meal wasn't finished. He left one the one group when the other wolves - the ones not from their pack - encroached too closely, and luckily caught whiff of another. These two were some distance away and on their own. Perfect.

 

The saccharine scent of roses hit assailed his nose enough for his to flick his head against the pungent smell, but it wasn't enough to deter him. Their blood ran hot in their veins, flushing to just underneath their skin, their hearts, their hearts pumping quicker. Gwyn knew this flavour; it made them all the sweeter.

 

Forgoing stalking entirely, he bound straight for them, knowing they were distracted and that they would never be quick enough to outpace him even with a head start. Crashing through the roses, thorns and all, he lunged, slamming his massive forepaws into the male and bringing him down to skid on the ground.

 

---

Awooo! Your date has been interrupted and you have been invaded! Shouldn't have let all those pheromones loose. Really, it's all your fault.

 

Gwyn has attacked @Ryan Buratsche and slammed him to the ground at speed. How many ribs do you want to break - I'll let you choose.

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Hatty Hambeldon

"No of course I wouldn't mind," she said. She knew some people got nervous about meeting the parents, but Hatty figured that she just had to be herself and then everything would be okay. She was glad that Ryan thought a lot about his family and wanted her to meet them. Family was deeply important to her and was really the only thing that had kept her going during her first few years at Hogwarts when she had been mostly lost, scared and alone. 

 

In short it was important to her to have someone care about family just as much as she did - adopted or not.

 

"That doesn't matter," she replied sincerely. "Family is family."

 

She went to squeeze his hand, but just as she did so something lunged at Ryan and threw him to the ground. Hatty screamed as it happened. "RYAN!" she shouted as loud as her little lungs would go. "RYAN!" 

 

She moved quickly, getting out her wand and shot up sparks in the air hoping that someone anyone would see them. But they were also out in the gardens when they weren't supposed to be and she had little hope of that. But she could try. 

 

"No no no no," she wailed as she began to sob in her hands. "SOMEONE HELP PLEASE! ANYONE!!" 

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Ryan Buratsche

One minute, everything had been fine. Better than fine, even. Ryan couldn't believe that he'd gotten so lucky. It was so easy to talk to Hatty about everything and anything. She just understood instinctively, and it was refreshing to not have to explain himself. It felt like he'd been explaining himself since the moment that he'd arrived at Hogwarts seven years ago.

 

And then, it wasn't.

 

As a second year, Ryan had nearly come face-to-face with a Death Eater. He'd run when confronted with a professor that wanted to get them to safety, and ironically, running at that moment had spared him the torture that had happened to the other students he'd been with in the corridor. It had taken him a long time after that to convince his mother to let him come back to school.

 

The werewolf he couldn't have predicted--crashing through the bright red blooms, sharp claws and teeth barred. When its paws crashed into his chest, he was knocked backwards off of the bench and into a bed of roses. "Get off me!" he gasped, reaching up to try and shove the wolf off of him. 

 

Hatty's screams and his own rapid heartbeat filled his ears. He felt sharp pains every time he tried to take a breath. It was worse than the time that Kimber had reversed his knees. "Off!"

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Gwynthr Hughes

'Off', he says.

 

His paws pounced off the boy's chest, pushing him further into the grass amid the ruin of rose bushes. Leaping off, he shook his large frame, sending leaves and petals flying in all directions. With the crushed blooms trampled into the earth, the sickening-sweet smell of roses was stronger and despite himself, he suffered the indignity of sneezing against it. 

 

Then with a growl he rounded on the pair of humans. 

 

The girl was screaming, afraid and upset, and more than anything at that moment, he wanted to make her stop. He wasn't in a playing mood. Baring his teeth, he barked viciously at her, ears and tail up. His fur had risen along his neck and spine, making him appear bigger than he really was. He lunged at her to scare her off the boy she's been with, taking her legs out from under her and chomping on the wand she gripped. Narrowly, he missed her wrist and the tender bones making the shape of it. 

 

Leaving teeth marks in the grain of the wand and warningly rumbling around it. 

 

Falling upon the male, he clamped his teeth on the fabric of his trousers, forcefully tugging on it to get the thrashing body away from the roses. He didn't want the unpleasantness of the smell ruining his meal. Shaking his great head, he worked the same damage to this boy's leg, as he had to the other, earlier. If it ain't broke...

 

Oh wait, there it was - the sound of bone.

 

The knee popped in his powerful jaws the fabric nearly giving way...

 

---

Gwyn has taken @Hatty Hambeldon down and crushed @Ryan Buratsche knee. You're welcome to try and break free, as my teeth are awfully close now...

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Hatty Hambeldon

If Hatty had been a stronger witch, she would have kept her calm and cast something that she had learned in her classes that would have helped in this situation. But Hatty have never been that strong despite the fact that she was somehow sorted into Gryffindor house. Hatty had never displayed an ounce of bravery - at least in her own mind. 

 

And she was deeply frightened by the whole turn of events. One minute her and Ryan had been having perhaps the most perfect night of her life at least so far. They had been sharing plans for the summer and then...

 

Werewolves. At Hogwarts. The how had they gotten into Hogwarts crossed her mind for a split second until she felt the weight of the werewolf taking her to the ground and her wand drop to the ground and she saw the werewolf get its teeth on it. 

 

Oh no. 

 

Hatty tried to roll away but then she heard the horrific pop of Ryan's knee and Hatty had enough. She was tired to being "Hatty the doormat," as she had been for most of her life at Hogwarts. Even when she had gotten prefect she had always felt that there were others who deserved the position more. But this werewolf - someone she used to have absolutely no ill will towards - was ruining her perfect night and Hatty wasn't having any of it. 

 

"Accio wand!" she muttered calling it to her hands. The wand had marks indicating teeth but it seemed relatively okay to her. 

 

Then, summoning all of her strength she acted. 

 

"Get off of him! Relashio!" 

 

Hatty summons all of her strength and somehow manages to cast a sparkler spell @Gwynthr Hughes

 

 

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Gwynthr Hughes

The spell hit him in the muzzle with a shower of sparks that hop-scotched along his whiskers and momentarily blinded him.

 

He thought about biting down harder and taking the boy with him, resisting the burn of the magic - but he heat and sizzle of it along the short hairs of his snout was too much. With a pained bark, he disengaged his jaws from the knee and back up, growling menacingly at the girl who was pointing it at him. 

 

He could take her, run the risk of getting another spell in him, but... one jump is all it would take. He wanted to and even feinted a snarling lunge at her, stepping over the fallen body of her mate. But a howl to action came to his ears, which perked up in that direction. He knew that voice. 

 

With one last snap of his teeth and swipe of his claws, he raced off, leaving the pair to fend for themselves.

 

---

Gwyn has left you alone, lucky, lucky pups. Watch your backs, though.

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Shay Weber-Li

Hogwarts had descended into the sort of chaos Shay remembered vaguely from her own school days. It had been years since anything of this magnitude had occurred, years since the Death Eaters had died off. This wasn’t supposed to happen anymore. Yet here she was again, running through school grounds that looked, smelled, and sounded more like a war zone than a place parents would gladly leave their children.

 

After nearly two decades as an auror, Shay had become acclimatized to violence, but not here. Never here. It was always different when it was Hogwarts.

 

Shay had shifted into her animagus form to take advantage of the fox’s stronger hearing and vision in the darkness, as well as avoid drawing unnecessary attention from creatures she might prefer to take by surprise. She knew that werewolves had little interest in other animals; all of the creatures’ mindless viciousness was singularly focused on attacking humans.

 

She was passing through the darkened lawn on her way to the Quidditch Pitch, where she had recognized the telltale sounds of fighting, when she heard a new chorus of screams coming from the direction of the rose garden. She chased after the cries, but still arrived too late—by the time she reached the students, the wolf that had attacked them was gone. It was infuriating, but she couldn’t dwell on the frustration of being unable to fight when there were injured children lying in the grass in front of her.

 

Shay stepped out from between the rose bushes, then quickly shifted from fox to woman, hoping to minimize any fear that a wolf had returned to attack them. “I’m an auror,” she said steadily, moving toward them with her wand held aloft to light the scene. “Here to help. Were either of you bitten? Where are you hurt?”

 

Because they were hurt, that much was obvious, and not a surprise. She knew that children were always the first to suffer when adults failed

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Ryan Buratsche

"Stupid animal! Get off of me!" Ryan grunted, trying as best as he could to get his arms around the wolf so that he could throw it off of him. Unfortunately, his build had always been somewhat thin and lanky, and the more he tried to throw the wolf off of himself, the more he realized that he was doing little more than putting himself in danger of being bitten by a werewolf. What was a werewolf doing at Hogwarts of all places anyway?

 

He hissed loudly when the wolf got its teeth into his trousers and was pulling on his knee. A few seconds later, he screamed loudly in pain. He couldn't even look down for fear of passing out. Every wheezing breath that he took sent sharp pains across his chest, but that was nothing in comparison to the pain that was now radiating across his kneecap.

 

"Hatty," he murmured, watching as a determined expression came across his girlfriend's features. He could hardly believe his eyes as Hatty hexed the wolf and sent it running off into the distance. "That was....amazing. Are you okay?"

 

The pain in his kneecap was so overwhelming that he barely noticed the small red fox coming through the rosebushes. Not a moment later, that small red fox had become a human woman. An animagus. Ryan had never seen someone who was an animagus before in person, but he'd read enough about them to recognize the transformation when it occurred in front of him.

 

"I don't think it bit me," Ryan wheezed. "But it definitely broke a rib or two and shattered my knee. Where did that wolf come from?"

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Hatty Hambeldon

Amazingly her spell seemed to have done the trick and the wolf left them. Hatty breathed a heavy sigh of relief as she looked down at her now wolf-chewed wand because she was not so sure that she could have pulled that off a second time. Where had that come from? She had never displayed that kind of power before in the past. 

 

Perhaps there was something else at work, or perhaps it was true awakening at last. Regardless Hatty was only thinking of one thing. Ryan. “Yeah,” she breathed heavily from the effort of casting the spell. “I’m okay. But what about you? You’re injured,” she said as she rushed back over to be by his side. “Can you walk?” She needed to know if she could help get him somewhere else. They were exposed out here; it was not safe. Plus who knew if the wolf would come back for them? 

 

That was when she saw the lady who she had not even noticed had first approached them as a red fox. She had been too worried about her boyfriend and about whether the wolf was coming back. 

 

Only it was definitely no ordinary wolf. It had been a werewolf. That much Hatty was sure of and it was confirmed to her when the auror asked them whether they had been bitten. 

 

“I’m okay,” she replied shakily. “But it injured Ryan, my boyfriend.” It was almost a little bit weird saying those words out loud but she liked the sound of it nonetheless. “Why —“ she started to say and then changed her question halfway through. “How is that here?” This was why her parents had not sent Heidi here. Ever since the house tournament they had been worried about Hogwarts’ lack of safety and this night would only prove them to be 100% accurate. She loved Hogwarts but on some level she had to admit they were right about the place. 

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Shay Weber-Li

“That’s good,” Shay said calmly, deliberately trying not to think of the girl she’d found in the Great Hall who had been bitten. Hogwarts would have more than a few new werewolves after tonight. She only hoped that their peers would treat them better than they would have during her own time at the school. Prejudice was rampant then, and children could be cruel… You sound like a tired old woman, she thought wryly. That was more than twenty years ago.

 

Maybe things were different now.

 

“I don’t know,” she said grimly, answering the students’ many questions (where, why, how) as simply as she could. She’d been asking herself the same questions ever since receiving the summons from her colleague. Last time a werewolf had attacked the school, it had been a student, in an attack perpetuated by Death Eaters. Now the Death Eaters were gone, and there were far too many werewolves wandering the grounds to be current students.

 

“The situation is still unfolding, but we should know more soon. I’m going to get you to safety, all right?” She assessed the pair critically before pointing her wand at the boy, Ryan, and casting a quick levitation charm. “You’ll only damage that knee more by trying to walk on it.

 

As the boy rose into the air, she nodded at the girl. “Keep up. Stay close to me.” And then she led them toward the lakefront safezone.

 

---

Continued here

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