* Original summary subject to very (very) slight change. Rated for slight peril of characters. Nothing too gory, I promise.

This story as an almost sequel to my series of one-shots called "The Bond". I am still continuing "The Bond", but I strongly recommend reading the recent of those one-shots (there are a few) in order to understand this. I hope this does not disappoint fans of "The Bond". This is also a rewrite of my previous chapter story also called "Reapers Realm".

The creatures contained in this story I almost based off the Dementors from "Harry Potter". However, the creatures in this story have a different purpose. For disclaimer reasons, I'll still note that I don't own "Harry Potter".

I always like reviews, but I love constructive criticism more. If there is anything that could or is in need of change, please let me know.

I don't own "Rise of the Guardians" at all.


His voice dropped into a whispering curse. Currently stuck at the physical age of ten, maybe eleven, he wasn't one for swearing – Jack wouldn't approve – but the cloak had tripped him twice and he hadn't even moved more than a couple feet.

Jamie grumbled irately, but tugged it up as gently as possible. From the moment he saw it in the Room of Memories, he knew it was almost too big for him. However, Jack had given his beloved cloak to him as a gift. Jamie didn't hate it at all, he was just trying to get used to it.

The child rounded a corner, briefly looking at a flower shop sign that flapped lazily in the breeze. Jamie flicked some sweat from his brow and he could almost hear it splattering on the sidewalk. He made a mental note to ask Jack how to change his core body temperature. Jack…

"Oh, man!" Jamie exclaimed when he peered up at the town's clock. Ten-thirty PM.

The boy sped down the street, swerving rights and lefts as his adrenaline produced strands of frost to curl through the seams of the leather cloak. Jamie's curiosity and growing independence tricked him into being terribly late. Jack was going to have his head for this! The wind shoved at Jamie's back, aiding him with an almost complete U-turn toward an alley. He may not be able to fly like his Guardian yet, but the extra spring in speed helped, nonetheless.

Jamie hardly took notice to a grainy hiss that festered in his path. Right before entering the corridor a thick wall black as the night sprang, curling away from the shadows. With a surprised gasp, the kid skidded to halt, jaw dropping at the familiar creature's presence.

The black sand twisted and writhed before slowly slinking into its standard form. Eyes as yellow as the Boogeyman's, the Nightmare stared Jamie down as the child fisted his palms, as if hand-to-hand combat would defeat this creature. Besides, Jack had only really taught him how to sword fight, but even that was minimal and he was terrible at it.

Then the Nightmare snorted and reared onto to its hind legs. Whinnying sharply and hammering the pavement with its hooves, it launched itself straight for the stunned child. Thinking quickly, Jamie gave a quick sidestep out of the way. With a spasmodic, almost distressing rhythm in its gallop, the Fearling continued onward, ignoring the boy. And it reared once more before diving down into a nearby storm drain.

While the resounding clatter of the drain's lid shuddered to a stop, Jamie continued standing in place with dumbfounded astonishment. Pitch wasn't at his full power yet - at least not enough power to create Fearlings - and he wasn't going to be for a long time. Jamie remembered how that Nightmare acted. Not only did it completely ignore him, but its body language appeared hasty, as if trying to get away from something.

"What are Nightmares afraid of," Jamie asked the air before continuing briskly, entering the alley. He would ask Jack about this la-

A breathy 'oof' rushed passed Jamie's lips as something snagged his feet, forcing him to stay put. The boy looked to the ground beside the backdoor of one of the town's butcher shops, and his eyebrows came together. From what he saw, nothing was keeping his feet rooted. There was no tape, no glue, and no nails or screws. Jamie jerked his ankles one at a time, but his feet refused to budge.

Jamie huffed, a puff of air materializing until he could see his own breath on the air. Jamie smirked at the chill in the weather. Though it was the middle of summer, it didn't mean that a certain winter spirit couldn't change that; normally, the cold in the wind signalled his coming arrival. Jack probably grew worried for his lack of returning and went to seek the kid himself. He waited for the familiar presence of the spirit, but this didn't solve the problem with his feet. With an aggravated sigh, the little boy untied the laces in a quick fix to escape.

A chilly flick ran up his spine, making him as still as a statue. The surroundings became stuffy and unnerving. Jamie swallowed while his childlike senses kicked in. He tore at his shoelaces again with new motivation, every cell in his body coaxing him to make haste. Abruptly, Jamie stalled his movements, but not of his own accord. His mind stayed completely calm with inquisition, but he found that his body, tremulous with nerves, wasn't controllable anymore. He blinked as the lights around the alley dimmed and flickered out, and when he looked forward he stopped breathing.

A dark, inky shadow slithered from the ground, rising until it hovered just above Jamie's head. The figure wore a cloak darker than the sand of any Fearling and covered every inch of its tall body. It floated there, faceless hood turning back and forth as if searching. Jamie tried to straighten up, to make himself look braver, until the figure appeared to be looking down at him!

The spirit drifted so close that Jamie could feel its icy, seething breath. The figure's cloak finally revealed dry, skeletal fingers that flexed threateningly at the trembling little boy. Forgetting about the emergency snow globe in his pocket, Jamie couldn't help a tired whimper as his shoulders hunched, almost submissively.

A burst of light suddenly flooded his vision, causing the dark spirit to bellow in agony. Jamie smacked his hands over his head to shield the splitting cry. Ceasing its wail, the creature crouched on the air and sailed over Jamie's head, fusing back into the cement as if it had never even been there.

"Hey, kid," Jamie's gaze snapped to his left, just behind the butcher shop's door. The owner stood at the backdoor, brushing bits of meat from his apron. "What are you doing back here?" The man asked, reaching for the switch that belonged to the overhead light.

"Don't turn that off!" Jamie's unexpected outburst made the man pause. Whatever that…thing was it hated that light. And Jamie didn't want it coming back.

The butcher raised his hands in defense. "If you're that scared of the dark, then why don't you head on home where it's safe," the man spoke gruffly, but delicately. "A kid your age shouldn't be wandering around town at this hour. Don't know what kind of weirdos are out this late."

"Tell me about it," Jamie muttered under his breath. With quicker precision, he worked at his shoelaces until the beautiful moment came where he could literally jump out of his shoes. "Thank you!" Jamie hollered before running down the alley and across a street.

The butcher wiped the last of the meat stains on a clean, white rag. He stole a glance at the kid's discarded shoes and then towards the lamp above. "Kids," the man muttered before shutting the door behind him.

A light-hearted, and relieving, cold breeze rummaged through the streets. The wind brushed at Jamie's old shoes, moving them with ease until they tumbled right over the cover of the storm drain. A little ways beyond that, the overhead light switched off, and the street lamps fizzled back to life. All the while, the watchful gaze of the full moon became submerged in the clouds.

* Again, I strongly suggest reading "The Bond", otherwise it'll be rather hard to understand. Anyway, thanks for taking the time to read!