Author Note:

This idea came to me as I was making myself a nice cup of hot chocolate. Not sure why. Anyway, I wrote it down and here I am; making another attempt at writing. If the response is positive, I will try my damnedest to keep this story going. Please, please, leave suggestions on how to improve and where to take this story. I am still kinda new to writing and need all the help I can get.

Anyways, without further ado, here's my attempt at a WBWL with a rather ghoulish twist.

Chapter One:

The heavy footfalls of Hagrid's hurried pace echoed through the hallway as he makes his way towards the Medical Wing of Hogwarts. A small, blood and dirt covered child held in his arms, looking no more than ten years old at most, her unconscious form worryingly pale.

A plain black cloak, almost like a Witches robe, covered her from head to toe, masking her petite form. On her chest, having fallen from her face, is a plain black full-face mask. What she needed a black cloak and mask for, Hagrid didn't know. All he knew was that her face and hands were covered in blood and dirt, and he found her unconscious in the Forbidden Forest; he couldn't just leave her there. The Forest is no place for children.

What worried him most, though, was that she was unconscious near an Acromantula Nest. If one of those giant spiders had used its venom on her, possibly why she was so pale, then he dreaded to think of the pain that the young girl was going to be in when she awoke. Yet, while he was in a hurry to help this young girl, there was a small, instinctual part of him that wanted nothing more than to drop her and run. He didn't know why, but something about this child made his instincts scream danger. Nonsense, of course – he just needed some more sleep is all.

With a crash, Hagrid barged open the doors to the Medical Wing, knowing that it would immediately get Poppy's attention.

"What in Merlin's name do you think you are -" the Nurse's rant about the banging of her doors was cut short as the woman stepped out of her office to see the young child curled up in Hagrid's arms. She spotted the blood and her pale complexion immediately. "Lay her down on a bed, quickly."

Hagrid complied with Madam Pomfrey's orders and lay the girl down on the bed, picking up the girl's black mask and placing it on the bedside table. Madam Pomfrey shot the mask an inquisitive glance as she reached the bedside, but did not question it, too busy doing the first of the scans with her wand; a brief magic core check – to see if she was magic-capable.

Hagrid, not exactly the picture of patience, piped up as soon as he saw that Madam Pomfrey completed her check of the girl's magic status. "Well, Mada' Pomfrey? Is te girl a Witch?"

After a couple of seconds of checking the results, Madam Pomfrey frowned. "She's magic-capable, alright. Though there's something off about her core; it seems almost… inhuman." She whispered the last word under her breath – not that Hagrid noticed, he just took in the fact that the girl had a magic core.

As Hagrid started wondering to himself, out loud, how a little Witch ended up in the middle of the Forbidden Forest and covered in blood, Madam Pomfrey started a half-dozen different spells at once to try and confirm her suspicions. A couple of injury diagnostic spells, to see how she was injured, and some spells to try and find out exactly what she was began to run simultaneously.

"Where exactly did you find her, Hagrid?" the nurse questioned, not taking her eyes off of the enigma before her. Unknown to Hagrid, she was also beginning to feel the instinctual urge that something was wrong.

"Oh, out in de Forbi'en Fores'. Near an Acromantula Nes'."

Poppy's frown got deeper at that. Acromantulas patrolled for miles around their nests. There should be no way that they didn't know that she was there. Unless… were they driven away by the same instinctual fear that she was feeling? The feeling that the girl before her was a predator, even though she could not be older than ten?

A pulse of magic let her know that the first of her scans was done; an injury diagnostic spell. She had a few bones that looked recently healed and faint signs of healed deep tissue damage deep inside her muscles, yet there was not a single scar on her. The only way that tissue that deep in a body can be damaged is by cutting or piercing, yet not a single scar meant that either that did not happen, or she healed; which should not be possible. Scars, even when 'healed' by magic, always leave detectable damage in the lower layers of skin. Her body was in almost perfect condition, asides from the aforementioned anomalies, which only convinced her further that this little girl before her was not Human.

Madam Pomfrey was just moving on to the results of another scan when the door to the Medical Wing opened. The two adults in the room turned to see the grandfatherly face of Albus Dumbledore come towards them, a soft smile on his face.

The elderly, yet powerful, Headmaster of Hogwarts came to a stop next to Hagrid and looked down at the girl. "When I saw Rubeus carrying a little girl onto the grounds, I got a little curious. Mind letting me in on the secret?"

Madam Pomfrey spoke up first. "Hagrid found this young girl in the Forbidden Forest, near an Acromantula nest. He brought her here to get treatment. She has a magic core, albeit a strange one, and..." she trailed off as she read the results of another of her scans.

"And…?" Albus prompted.

"…and she's not Human." Poppy finished absently, as she tried to understand what she was seeing. The girl certainly wasn't Human, the readings confirmed that, but she wasn't entirely sure what she was.

"Hogwarts is a sanctuary, first and foremost. We have housed many non-Human students over the years. I see no reason why her species should be a problem – as long as the knowledge of her species does not go past the three of us." Dumbledore answered sagely. As per usual, Hagrid was in awe of Dumbledore's kindness, while Poppy pretended not to notice how fake and manipulative Dumbledore was being.

While Poppy agreed that Hogwarts should act as a sanctuary, she also knew that all who used it as such usually ended up as pawns for Dumbledore; little Remus Lupin was an example of this. The young Werewolf now all-but hung off every word Dumbledore said. Perhaps she would watch over this young girl to make sure that the same does not happen to this girl, whatever she may be.

"So, Poppy, have you been able to figure out what species our guest is?" Dumbledore continued, unaware of the nurse's plan to keep the child out of his manipulative grip.

In truth, she had a few ideas, but she wasn't about to tell him that. The signs of having a ridiculously powerful healing ability had narrowed it down a bit now that she thought about it. Dumbledore wasn't the man that he once was; the power got to his head. So, she lied. "No, Albus. I don't have the faintest idea, but I'd assume her to be a half-human at most, likely little stronger than the average Human."

It was hard to see, but Poppy knew him well; Dumbledore was disappointed that this girl would likely be a minor pawn at most. She had to hide her disgust behind her powerful Occlumency barriers. Why might a Mediwitch need such strong barriers? Simply put, her barriers were naturally strong, but as she saw what kind of a man Dumbledore was becoming, she immediately set about hiring tutors to help her gain complete mastery of them. Perhaps she would pass on said skill to the girl…

"No matter, if anything it will help her blend in better." Dumbledore answered. "Now, if you will excuse me, Fawkes has been a little bit ill today and I must return to him." Sending a quick glance at the girl as he turned, Dumbledore left the medical wing, Hagrid trailing after him, suggesting remedies to heal the poor phoenix, though none ever worked.

Only Poppy seemed to have latched on to why Fawkes was so ill, though she mentioned nothing of it. Dumbledore was light when Fawkes became his familiar, now he was not so. Fawkes was ill because he was a creature of the light that was bound to a fallen wizard. In short, the darkness within Dumbledore was passing through the familiar bond and causing Fawkes to fall ill.

Madam Pomfrey put aside her sympathy for the phoenix, however, as she turned back to the girl. A faint smile on her lips as she read the results of the last scan. "Ghoul." She whispered aloud.

Author Note:

Don't worry, we will find out who this young girl is, though I'm sure it is obvious. I do, however, want as many suggestions on where to go next as you are willing to give. I want to see, and write, the kind of stories that you all want to see.

With Love,

SAJones.