Chapter
-1-

Werewolves? Yeah, Right

"Come on, Anelia, it'll be fun!" Kasia Days, her violet eyes flashing with excitement, grabbed her five year old sister's hand and dragged her into a dense, ominous looking forest. The trees, to Anelia, looked like they were going to reach down and strangle her. To Kasia, they looked like an adventure. She had a crazy looking grin on her olive-skinned face as she ran her hand through her dark, ash brown hair eagerly.

"But it's scary in here!" Anelia protested, trying to yank her hand away, "There're all these really bad monsters!"

Kasia stopped and raised an eyebrow at her, much to the jealousy of her sister. Anelia couldn't even whistle yet! And Kasia could do all these other strange things like jump from the highest branch of a tree and land on her feet, and walk along a fence with the balance of a cat, and make paper aeroplanes that would fly around for hours!

"Like what?" Kasia asked sceptically, bearing herself. Her sister had a huge, endless imagination.

"Like werewolves...and dra–"

"Werewolves? Yeah, right," Kasia cut her off, rolling her eyes, "you know those are only in fairytales. There's nothing but bunnies and squirrels, come on! Don't you wanna explore? I'll let you be the map holder, once we make one."

Anelia grumbled to herself and followed her older sister's lead. For a six year old, Kasia was far too adventurous and careless for her own good. Surely kids weren't allowed to go roaming into every forest they saw? Kasia didn't seem to care.

"One day..." Anelia began, thinking hard, "You're gonna find an actual dragon or werewolf..."

"Anelia..."

"Fine, an ordinary wolf, then!" Anelia frowned, "Or a bear, or a lion. And you know what you're gonna do? You're gonna shake hands with it and jump on its back and pretend it's a horse 'cause you aren't afraid of anything!"

Kasia smirked. Anelia really admired her bravery. Suddenly Anelia stopped walking.

"What is it now, Lia?" Kasia asked, exasperated, and turned around. Anelia looked frightened. But then again, Kasia thought to herself, Anelia usually looked frightened.

"I heard something."

"Well what was it?"

"I dunno. Something," Anelia insisted. Kasia rolled her eyes. Then she heard a growl.

"Did you hear that!?" Anelia whispered frantically, looking petrified by now. Kasia nodded, and put her finger to her lips, telling Anelia to be silent, and pushed her behind her protectively, facing the direction of the growl, which was near the top of the hill in front of them.

There it was again, and the crunching of leaves and sticks on the ground. Kasia held her sister's hand tightly, hoping Anelia wouldn't scream.

Then the strangest creature either of them had ever seen came from behind a tree near the top of the hill. Kasia instinctively put her hand over Anelia's mouth and she felt her own heart drumming rapidly. If she hadn't been scared before in her life, she was now. This thing screamed fear. Any thought of acting brave for Anelia's sake ran out of her mind faster than a comet plummeting to the earth.

It was like a huge wolf, double the size, covered in bristling grey fur, but its snout was a different shape, more squashed and almost human-like. It had a tufted tail, which was odd for a wolf, and its eyes were like a distorted madman's, with crazed and hungry yellow pupils. Its joints and paws were more like a human's, too. There was only one word that jumped to Kasia's mind when she saw it, besides 'run!' And it was something she didn't believe in, that she had just scoffed at Anelia for believing in.

Werewolf.

"Run," Kasia whispered hysterically. This...werewolf was not getting a bite of her little sister. It'd have to go through her first. That thought almost made Kasia wince. Anelia didn't move. The werewolf pricked up its ears at the whisper, and locked its bloodthirsty eyes on Kasia, growling.

"RUN, ANELIA!" Kasia screamed at her sister. The look on Kasia's face scared Anelia; she had never seen Kasia look even anxious, now she was in frenzy. Anelia's legs responded to that look, and Anelia sprinted away to the entrance of the forest to go find their mother.

"KASIA, ARE YOU COMING!?" Anelia shrieked, horrified, turning around.

"I'll...I'LL DISTRACT IT, JUST GO!" Kasia yelled, not taking her eyes off the werewolf. It was ferocious. Kasia ran the opposite direction to Anelia, trying to lure it away from her. It growled menacingly, and started down Anelia's way. Kasia picked up a rock and threw it at the werewolf, and remarkably, it hit its head. Kasia had to admire her own nerve, then. Not many people she knew would throw a rock at a terrifying overgrown wolf. The wolf snarled and charged towards her.

Kasia screamed and turned to run, but tripped over a root. Tears were prickling at the corners of her eyes, and she turned around, putting her arms protectively in front of her face. All she saw was yellow, bloodthirsty eyes through her hands, and heard a vicious snarl before she felt a blinding pain on her arms. She screamed, and saw blood pouring out of wounds she couldn't even see.

"HELP!" Kasia screeched, and the werewolf attacked her neck. Her throat felt odd, like there was a breeze inside it, but it was agony. Kasia cried in pain and tried to kick it off, but she was no match. Breathing became a struggle and it seemed everything was slowing down, and the only thing left was pain. Burning, terrible, incapacitating pain. Suddenly the shadow over her and the werewolf's stinking breath was gone and it seemed the werewolf had disappeared. Kasia looked up and saw the murderous figure of the werewolf about ten feet away from her. How had it been thrown back there? It picked itself up and looked like it was about to go for her again.

"STUPEFY!" A voice yelled, and there was a flash of red light. It barely meant anything to her, the pain was overwhelming. Everything went fuzzy. She couldn't even wonder what Stupefy could possibly be.

The last thing she could remember was seeing some red hair, a yell of 'Harry!' and then the blackness took over.

oOo

"Harry!" Ron yelled, quickly scooping up the small bloody figure. From what he could see, it was a small girl, probably six or seven. Her dark brown hair was dotted with blood, and the deep slashes on her neck and face were pouring blood. The wounds on her neck were horrific, to say the least. Ron could only just hear the sound of her very faint, ragged breathing.

"Did you find anyone?" Harry shouted, running towards him. Seeing the figure, Harry swore.

"We've got to get her to St Mungo's," Harry said frantically, "what happened to the werewolf?"

"I stunned it, froze it and gave it some Wolfsbane. It's over there."

A cure for lycanthropy itself was still out of reach to the medical researchers; however they created a different version of Wolfsbane which could be used on a werewolf at the full moon, assuming one could stun it powerfully enough. Harry nodded; grabbed Ron's arm and the three of them disappeared with a loud crack.

A moment later they appeared on the first floor of St Mungo's. As Aurors, they had clearance to Apparate directly into the hospital.

"Merlin! Harry, Ron, what happened!?" Katie Wood exclaimed and rushed over to them.

"Werewolf," Ron grimaced, and Katie moved the girl over to a stretcher and began clearing away the blood immediately.

"Get me some long-term blood-clotting bandages! And Lindsey!" Katie snapped at a nervous looking apprentice Healer, who nodded quickly and rushed away.

Katie ran her wand over the wounds gently, muttering long and complex spells that reminded Harry of when Snape healed Draco after he used Sectumsempra. Harry shuddered, and Ron looked at him oddly. The apprentice came back holding some thick, shimmering bandages, and handed them to Katie. Another Healer, presumably Lindsey, helped her seal up some more wounds.

"We've got to go, Katie, get the werewolf and we'll notify the girl's family as well," Harry said when Katie swapped her wand for the bandages. When she was healing, it was hard to get through to her.

"Sure, thanks," Katie murmured, wrapping the bandages around the girl's neck and putting a spell on them afterwards.

"Good to see you, too," Ron muttered, and grabbed Harry's shoulder.

oOo

An hour later, Ron and Harry returned through the front entrance. It had been difficult to explain what had happened, and they had left out the part about Kasia now being a werewolf as well.

They met Katie at the door, leaving Kasia's mother waiting outside.

"I've managed to seal up the wounds on her face, and minimize the amount of future scarring, however her neck wounds were far more difficult," Katie informed them, "I healed the insides of her neck, so she can breathe properly, but it still looks pretty bad. She's lost a lot of blood, and I've had to speed up the process of sealing the layers of her skin back together, but even then, it will take about a week before I can seal them up properly with the potions we have here. She'll need Blood Replenishing Potion every three hours for a week as well."

"What will happen after that?" Harry asked.

"She will be in a lot of pain, more than a six year old should have to go through," Katie grimaced, "but she will need physical therapy, and perhaps emotional therapy, too. She's a Muggle, so it will be difficult to explain what has happened, but all in all, the process should take three months, and after that we can send her home and provide her with a constant supply for Wolfsbane every month."

"Are you going to tell me what is happening to my daughter?"

Katie, Harry and Ron looked up to see Kasia's mother looking impatient and stressed. Kasia had evidently inherited her mother's dark ashy hair and olive skin.

"I would like to explain to both you and Mr Days at the same time," Katie said.

"He's dead," Mrs Days said shortly, and Katie opened her mouth to apologise but Kasia's mother cut ahead of her.

"Now don't give me that preposterous werewolf tale," Mrs Days snapped, "Is that some kind of sick joke?"

"Mrs Days, I can assure you that werewolves are real," Katie said patiently, "and Kasia has been attacked by one."

"I don't believe it," Mrs Days insisted stubbornly. Harry restrained from rolling his eyes.

"Well come and see the scars on her face!" Ron exclaimed angrily, "Muggles are so close minded," he muttered to Harry, before leading Kasia's mother into the ward and to Kasia's stretcher.

Kasia's skin, usually a smooth olive colour, was as pale as a ship's sail, and her dark ash brown hair fell lifelessly on her scarred face. Her neck was the worst, the deep and thick gashes were still healing. Her face was angular, like a cat's, and her sharp jaw looked defiant even in its unconscious state.

Mrs Days' mouth opened and closed like goldfish as she looked at her mauled daughter.

"She has been infected with lycanthropy from the bites and scratches," Katie explained, taking advantage of their silence, "which means that every full moon she will take the form of a werewolf. Usually this would be extremely dangerous to any humans around her, however –"

"I won't have her in the house with Anelia," Mrs Days whispered suddenly, "I won't take that risk."

"There is hardly any risk involved, Mrs Days..." Ron began, but she cut him off.

"THERE SHOULD BE NONE!"

"The only way there would be a risk is if she didn't drink –" Harry started angrily. He couldn't stand discrimination against werewolves.

Put that with the fact that Mrs Days was going to abandon her daughter because of it. He remembered the time when he, Ron and Hermione were in Grimmould Place when they were searching for the Horcruxes, and Remus offered to help them, leaving Tonks with their unborn child, because he was afraid and ashamed his son might be a werewolf also.

Harry had yelled at him about how parents shouldn't abandon their kids, and Remus had stormed out. Later, Remus thanked Harry for his advice and named him godfather to the blue haired Teddy. The amount that Remus cared was a shocking contrast to Mrs Days.

"I won't risk my life, and certainly not my daughter's," Mrs Days said firmly.

"Kasia is your daughter too!" Harry growled, "Parents shouldn't leave their kids unless they've got to."

"As long as she's a beast she isn't Kasia anymore!" Mrs Days snarled. Harry resisted the huge temptation to hex permanent boils onto her face, and just glared.

"So you're just going to abandon her? Give up on your daughter? And stop your other daughter from having a sister?" Harry seethed.

"She is not my daughter," Mrs Days hissed.

A few minutes later the Mrs Days was gone, and Katie, Harry and Ron were discussing what was to happen to Kasia.

"She'll have to go into a wizarding family, of course. She's a witch, she made the werewolf get thrown back, I'm sure of it."

"It can just be a foster home until we find a more permanent arrangement."

"A family who doesn't discriminate against werewolves."

"Or muggle-borns."

"Come off it, Ron, there aren't many families like that anymore. Even Malfoy –"

"It doesn't matter, Harry. Anyway, it'd probably be best if the family had a daughter around her age, too."

"Look," Katie interrupted, "we have three months of recovering to do first, so we don't have to decide now."

Harry and Ron agreed, and Katie began sealing up another layer of skin on Kasia's neck. Katie wanted to change the subject. She had a daughter who was six. But Oliver Wood and she already had two kids, and with him playing Quidditch and her Healing, they didn't have enough time for a third.

"So how's Ginny?" Katie asked interestedly, "I haven't seen her in ages. Is she still with the Daily Prophet?"

"Yeah," Harry smiled, "she loves the job, she writes about Quidditch for a living."

"Does Alicia still work here?" Ron asked Katie.

"Yeah, she's coming back from a holiday in Australia with her boyfriend tomorrow," Katie nodded, "she has to work full time then, and then night shifts four times a week to make up for it."

Harry whistled. "They sure work Healers hard."

"Well it is saving lives," Katie shrugged.

"What about Oliver?" Ron asked Katie, "How are you two doing?"

"He's still playing for Puddlemere," Katie rolled her eyes, "not that I don't approve, but he is so Quidditch obsessed. Puddlemere's done well though; they're in the semi finals. Which just makes him even more Quidditch obsessed. That boy has a one-track-mind."

"No arguments there," Harry muttered, thinking of the time when Oliver had made them practise in a bloody storm. Katie laughed.

"Apollo and Demeter think it's the coolest thing ever for their dad to be a professional Keeper. They're both obsessed with Quidditch as well."

"When's Apollo starting Hogwarts?" Ron asked, and Katie thought for a second.

"Still three years," she grinned, "he's so excited, already. And bragging all about it to Demeter, of course. Didn't Teddy start this year, Harry?"

"Yeah, and of course, he's instantly Mr Popular," Harry replied, shaking his head and grinning.

"Victoire's having separation anxiety," Ron chuckled, "I visited Bill and Fleur yesterday. She isn't used to him not being around, and she was so bored that she counted down the days she goes to Hogwarts in two years!"

"Hey do you guys know about Luna?" Harry exclaimed suddenly, "She came over a couple of days ago, and she's pregnant with twins!"

"Woah!" Ron said, his eyebrows disappearing into his hair, "Seems like only yesterday it was their wedding."

"She married the grandson of the guy who wrote Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them, umm...Rolf Scamander, right?" Katie verified, thinking hard. She didn't know Luna that well.

"While she was travelling the world for magical creatures," Ron smiled, "she's an odd one, Luna."

They caught up for half an hour more while Katie tended to Kasia's wounds, but Katie felt a weight on her shoulders already. There may not be many families left who cared about pure blood anymore; the Blacks were finished and Draco Malfoy had been more tolerant after the war, but most people wouldn't want to take on a werewolf child. People don't know enough about werewolves, so they discriminate and are scared of them. Not to mention the fact that since the war, everyone automatically thought they were evil because there was dozens of them on You-Know-Who's side.

Katie knew that was false, and so did Oliver. Neither of them minded, they just couldn't handle another child.

oOo

Disclaimer for the whole story: don't own HP, just my OC's

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