2 - Meeting
Harry only barely managed to keep up with the running wolf-man. The bloke was fast – and seemed to be familiar with this forest he had entered.
But Harry wasn't unused to running and could be fast when it mattered – whether he was running from Dudley, from the Snatchers or Death Eathers during their Horcrux hunt, or running towards something or someone equally important. Right now, as always, it was his desperation and determination that fuelled him – that pushed him on and on despite the stitch in his side and his shortness of breath.
Even so, the wolf-man was faster. Not to mention stronger – when his way was blocked, the guy ripped off even the thickest and heaviest tree-branches in his way with an ease that was somewhat scary.
So Harry took a chance, held his wand out in the open and aimed a wordless 'Wingardium Leviosa' at a large branch in front of the running man.
He was already hiding his wand again when the man hit the ground. Harry was slightly embarrassed at having to cheat, especially since the guy hadn't actually done anything to him – but, as he quickly marched over to the lying man, the wizard did manage to portray an air of power and confidence.
At least, he hoped he did. Otherwise he'd be looking like a skinny, embarrassed, harmless kid and that was not quite the image he was going for nowadays. Or ever.
So he cleared his throat, looked down at the man who was quickly scrambling to his feet and put on his most forbidding voice. "What, may I ask, are you?"
Harry was sure he managed to sound hard, unyielding and filled with an impressive command because the man, now once again upright, had his hands raised in a gesture of surrender.
"Ok there, let's just take it easy, alright. I am not your typical Blutbad."
Harry's eyes narrowed at the word; 'Blutbad – bloodbath' that did not sound good.
"I'm a good Blutbad!" the man hastened to say, even as he took another step back, "A vegetarian even. And I work with a Grimm – Nick, he knows me, he can vouch for me."
The wizard relaxed. None of the words spilling from the man's mouth meant anything to him – except vegetarian which he took as a good thing – but the man's manner and hasty explanations were a good enough indication that he didn't mean any harm.
"A Blutbad, huh."
"Vegetarian. A vegetarian Blutbad, I don't do that sort of stuff anymore – fully clean nowadays, working on the side of the angels, or at least the Grimm. And the police."
Harry nodded in understanding and the man sighed in relief and lowered his hands. "So… we're good… Right?" He asked.
The man's face shifted back into his wolf-form and Harry could see him scenting the air before it went back to its former unassuming appearance. "You're sure. I mean, we are good –?"
Harry cocked his head and took a few steps closer to the man who tensed up again, his face going back to that of a wolf-man with a dangerous growl - preparing for a fight, no doubt.
The wizard halted in his steps, hand hovering above where his wand-holster was hidden underneath his jacket. "I just have one more question, if you don't mind?"
He got a slow, wary nod in reply.
"Just what, exactly, is a Blutbad?"
The silence that fell between them was filled with a heavy tension as both men tried to find something in each others eyes – the truth, the start of an attack, a hint of deception.
It was the wolf-man who broke their stalemate by exhaling loudly, letting go of his wolf-like aspects and allowing the tension to drain from his body. "Oh man, you're a new one too?"
Harry frowned, wondering what this man was talking about; "A new what?"
"A Grimm, man." At the look of non-understanding on his face, the man rolled his eyes. "Jeez man, you scared the crap outta me."
"I scared you?" Harry repeated, somewhat amused by the fact that this man – whom he had seen rip off more than just one heavy tree-branch with his bare hands and who had growled at him with the face of a wolf would be scared of him. Not him, Harry Potter – famous, powerful wizard, but him – short skinny stranger. His 'forbidding voice' must have been even better than he thought it was. A smile spread over his face at that thought as he mentally rubbed this in the face of his friends 'Hah – now who's laughing at my powerful wizard persona, huh?'
He ignored the homesick twinge he felt in his chest when, in his mind's eye, he saw them rolling their eyes and laughing at him.
(Word Count: 800)