“A man who's pure of heart and says his prayers by night
May still become a wolf when the autumn moon is bright”
~ Florence + The Machine – Howl (also heard that little speech on Van Helsing and Red Riding Hood, as well as the Wolfman lol) 

@nutz4lutz - @much-better-now - @let-there-be-light - @maggaims2live

Corin’s a bit harsh, and a bit of an ass because he gets cold rather easily…but he’s miserable. Don’t hate him too much lol 
This story I kind of actually really love; no real romance or anything, just two…eventual friends talking :3
For some of the Russian words I used http://www.youswear.com/index.asp?language=Russian so I’m sorry if I got them incorrect. 
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{Song for the Set} ~ Florence + The Machine – Howl
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JZweDwbJ_Ic 
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{Flashback} 
~ Corin, age 17 – St. Mungo’s Hospital ~

There was a crawling under his skin and a boiling to his blood just below the surface; enough to feel like his flesh was burning – roasting him like steak above a scorching flame. Corin could feel the infection spreading like wildfire across his body, working its way into all of the spaces in between and shoving other things aside to make way for itself – marking him as its own; cursing him, as so many believed it to be. The healers had told him to rest, but what they had considered rest was more of a calm panic; his body was changing and no one could truly comprehend what that felt like – sleep was hardly something he considered to be a realistic activity. Yet with the throbbing pain pulsating inside of his head, all he could do not to keep from screaming out was to close his eyes, and suffer as he always did, but at least this - /this/ new kind of existence was different. 

It had been well over a week since he had had a visitor, besides the healers that had passed in and out of his room; and so few at that since there was still quite the stigma when it came to those of a ‘wolf-like’ nature, even with the anti-prejudice laws that a one Mrs. Hermione Weasley had worked to pass. Only one of them had cared to share her name, and even then, he had already known who she was; though her skin had aged – with wrinkles and a few age spots here and there – there was still a strong dark beauty to Wilhelmina Gryffin, a woman on her way to practically running the entire hospital of St. Mungo’s. In her age of early sixties, she had not softened – well, not softened very much; there was bitter wit that came as the sauce on Russian Pelmeni that was her personality, and she was not one to suffer fools. You listened to her, or you weren’t going to get help. Corin felt no need to not comply with the elder Gryffin woman’s demands and orders, and did so as quickly as his body would allow. 

He did not expect his parents – they had made it clear enough that they never truly wished to see him again; this /werewolf/ that laid before them was not their son an longer, not that he really felt like their son at all in the first place. He did not expect those he had once called ‘friends’ – and even calling them friends was a lie about those in his own house; one he had called his best friend – his real friend – now lay six feet under, decorated in wilting roses and lilies, for almost a month now, and the other…she had also made it clear that she found him to be an idiot for risking his life as he had done to get him in such a predicament as he found himself in and had not seen him since he had been admitted. Never had he felt more alone, left to only himself for company; and due to his headache, he couldn’t even read the stack of books that sat on the floor next to his cot to occupy his mind. All he could do was think about how things had progressed, how things would change; watching memories and ideas like a real of film inside of his head. 

What vibrant images that came to the surface of his conscious seemed to cycle through a few things, just over and over in an endless loop; some sweet, but others very bitter. When the werewolf attack pushed its way past any kind of happy memories that did exist, his wounds would throb with a painful ache, worse than that of what he was already suffering. As that memory would go to fade into the blackness, that of another – of hair as crimson as the blood that soaked into the ground, bleeding from the cuts in his skin – would come to replace it…

---

The moonlight had been shown so bright that night that one could have believed it was daylight had it not been for the stars in the sky; it was as if the moon had grown tired, deciding to grace the surface of the lake as if it were resting from a long millennia of work from illuminating the night sky – penetrating the darkness, blanketing the school grounds with a layer of light that exposed many of the darkest corners of the forest. The birds were silent in the trees – whether or not they were actually there, Corin didn’t know – but they had probably flown away for safety; a brilliant decision on their part compared to the choice he had made. He was unsure of how long he had spent slumped against that tree – only that he could not feel much of anything in his extremities, because the pain was so strong that he grew numb to it – in an intese state of shock as it were. All he could do was stare up at all of the stars in the sky; no one believed that he paid much attention in Astronomy class – but he knew all of the constellations; Orion, Andromeda – the list went on, even if on that night he couldn’t really make anything out but tiny speckles of silver like Imogene had in her eyes. No one really knew how much he paid attention to anything, but it was any wonder he was able to concentrate at all with the bountiful head of bright, vibrant blood-orange curls that sat three rows in front of him in class. 

When he thought to blink, feeling that he had not done so for a few minutes, he was slow to react and when his eyes closed they remained so for a few minutes; it was easier to keep them closed. Yet after those minutes of resting his lids, he forced himself to open them when he felt himself beginning falling asleep. He couldn’t sleep, not now – not yet; especially not when he heard something – or someone – heading towards him. His fingers tried to clutch the wand in his hand, but in trying to do so he found that the wand was as useless as his arms were; he couldn’t defend himself in this condition – he could barely even move. He was practically dead meat now; this person – or creature – would simply end the pain quicker before his body would realize the state that he was in. /’So this is the end’/ Corin thought. /’Barely seventeen and at the end already. At least I’ll be with Yvaine now, if she bothers with me in another life – if I ever make it to wherever she is…’/. Anyone who had been sent for help was probably concerning themselves with Xavier or chasing after the werewolf that had attacked them. It could have been hours before they found him. By then, his heart would have stopped beating – maybe the other animals in the forest would have began to pick at his body; just another death to add to the infamy of the school, and he just another footnote. 

The twigs and leave snapping under foot – or paw – were growing louder; with every sharp crack it pulled him farther from sanity – the end was so near that he could taste it like the iron in his blood that was on his lips. His heartbeat as beat so violently in his chest that he felt it would leap out of his chest, and he could hear it pounding in his ears like a drum line. 

A heavy, rough growl came before the monster did, and Corin’s eyes squeezed shut preparing for the final impact of what might snap his bones into pieces with no less than the impact of a wrecking ball colliding with a brick building. Only such did not happen, nothing happened except for the beast making its way leisurely around to get a better view of him as Corin saw when he opened his eyes, and he even could have thought that it was sizing him up – but according to Defense Against the Dark Arts such creatures were not capable of such actions. He still waited for death to come, but merely watched as the werewolf seemed to proceeded to take in the surrounding area. This werewolf before him, as Corin now realized, was different than the one who had left its teeth marks in his shin; the other had been as black as the night on a new moon, and the one before him had patches of chocolate and light brown fur – the first incredibly more vicious than the latter, as the brown werewolf went around sniffing the ground – making its way to Corin’s bloodied jeans. Pausing, the brown werewolf stuck out its tongue rather slowly, brushing it against Corin’s leg, which caused both of them to flinch; Corin out of pain, and the wolf out of the distaste for the smell and taste of what it had just licked. Then the werewolf paused again, as if trying to look Corin directly in the eye, confusing the young, lanky Slytherin boy even further which heightened his fear. 

Without warning, the brown werewolf’s head sharply tilted up and it let out a rattling howl that seemed to make the ground tremble. But the heart beating inside of Corin’s chest was so fast that in a split second, with loss of blood and fear ravaging his mind, he slipped into unconsciousness – never expecting to wake again being in caught up in such a painful series of events. That amount of time, too, seemed to have been forever. Corin was floating away, letting go even if his body had not yet given up the fight. Never would he have attempted to kill himself – but getting himself killed, that was a decision that he had made all too easily. To cease his existence – to no longer be the puppet that his father and the others around him controlled; no life at all was better than one that he was told what to do, what to say, and how to hurt the people he never wished to harm. Yvaine must have believed that he was incredibly heartless still, before she had died that day – barely two weeks ago; surely the lunch they would have had that day would have convinced her very little that he had been mean to her brother’s best friend out of saving her possible ridicule and torment from the people that surrounded him. It mattered little anymore; nothing mattered much anymore. He would continue to lose the people that he actually did care about, while having people he hated piled on. At least all of it would end now, and he wouldn’t have to deal with misery any longer. 

He was floating in the darkness of his own subconscious – the sensation to his limbs beginning to pulse as shock dissipated and the pain of the wounds began to settle in, but there was a slight warmth there too that he wasn’t entirely sure of what it could be. Part of him knew he was still alive, when the other half wished to fight off the part that still lived and to free himself from mortal coil. /’Just let go already’/ he ordered himself /’the pain will disappear if you just let go’/ but it was not affective. Something inside of his chest still had a grip on the world underneath him and he wasn’t sure what could possibly be that strong to stay death even when he was trying so hard just to give up. 

Though he had not felt the brown werewolf settle against him, its head so close to his foot, but when the beast had moved, Corin felt it against his good leg very lightly. This did not cause him to open his eyes, even with the quick succession of twigs and leaves snapping under someone’s feet that sounded like mere soft crackles now. What followed was a shallow, quick breath – that he could feel lightly against his face, then came the sudden heat of fingers – not just any fingers, hot fingers with the gentlest of touch – against his neck, pressing against the vein in his neck. It took everything he had to force his eyes open; when he did, he couldn’t help but let his lips twist lightly into a smile because here, so close to death, was the girl that he was never really able to ever forget. 

“Oh thank god.” Imogene breathed out with a sigh of relief; and for a split second her hands left Corin’s throat, making him slowly grimace, but his face fell flat as Imogene’s hand brushed over his cheek. 

The moonlight was practically blinding now, illuminating her hair as if it were actually flames instead of curls falling down past her shoulders. From what he could tell, there were tears in her eyes; /’tears’/ he wondered, /’she’s crying over /me/?’/ For some reason, he found this to make him overjoyed for what little of it he could comprehend. Tears meant care, if she had not already been crying over her best friend before the attack had happened, but the words he had heard - /oh thank god/ - were those of relief; still, that meant care. More than what he know would come from his brother’s mouth. 

Behind her, he could see the brown monstrous mass of fur and dog-like-features hovering, observing as he had done when first coming upon Corin in the first place. Whoever that was had pure control over their condition, and if Corin believed he were to survive this, he would work well to learn exactly how such things were done. He flinched slightly, hearing someone else come along, but did not move from where he was perched behind the ginger girl. 

“Christ, he looks awful.” Glori – Imogene’s little sister; he knew her well enough to recognize her voice. 

“Shut up and get mum, damnit.” Imogene snapped at Glori, the first true time that he had heard anger in Imogene’s voice, not since she had slapped him after being purposely harsh to her cousin Aella some many weeks previous. 

“He’s not going to die,” Glori said rather calmly. “Xavier looks worse than he does and- -” there was a sharp crack, like a car back-firing and Glori immediately shut up. 

“Move, move move move.” The voice of the headmistress, another familiar voice he had come to know, sounded more velvety than Imogene’s, and gentler than Glori’s, as it came to his hears. “Corin?” she spoke his name very clearly as her fingers, much like Imogene’s hand, went to check the pulse in his neck; he wanted to keep that warmth against his skin incredibly bad. “Corin, we’re going to take you to St. Mungo’s, but you have to hold on for me. Don’t let go, do you understand?” 

He couldn’t nod or speak very well; all he wished to do was fall back asleep, but in view of three of the Gryffin women, he could see the similarities to their eyes. Each one of them had the same metallic sapphire coloring to their iris, with the hallow of ember around the pupil with silver specks splashed across it; it was as if he were staring at the night sky in looking in their eyes, and somehow he managed to nod while moving his eyes slowly from Amelia, to Glori, and came to rest on Imogene who appeared to be crying still. Imogene’s hands carefully left her side as she stayed kneeled on the ground, one to take up his wand and stuff it into her pocket, and the other so incredibly gentle to brush the mopy dark mess that was his hair out of his face, and did not once grimace at it being greasy. Her eyes stayed on his, watching his reaction with a sorrowful expression; if he would have been able to move his arms, he would have wrapped them around her and pulled her close. He had wanted to since the funeral but had been ripped away by his brother Dmitri before thought had turned into action. 

The rustling of bushes and the snapping of more twigs and leaves alerted Corin to the onset of more people coming his way, not that they concerned him at all. His lips stayed shut as he store at her, his eyelids drooping from exhaustion and the loss of blood, but he would be damned if he closed them before he was pulled away from her. But as the aurors came into sight, and her eyes broke from his, Corvin let his shut as he just barely felt himself being moved onto a stretcher, and from there being carried away, and in what felt like an eternity, he let go of his conscious, waking mind again, and drifted away back into the blackness. 

----

So wrapped up in his own thoughts from that day, Corin had not noticed someone opening the door to his room, or how they quietly made their way inside before carefully closing the door as to be as silent as possible. Even the steps of the person were soft like cotton, something he might have mistaken for those of someone outside in the hall, but the distinct scent of Annick Goutal 'Eau d'Hadrien' Eau de Parfum spray wafted to his nose – and it was not one that he was terribly familiar with. The sight was hazy at first, but he could clearly make out tan skin, long dark brown hair, and brown fuzzy circles where the eyes were to have been. Rubbing his eyes sloppily with the one arm of his that was healing faster than the other, he tried to clear his site only to find the face of Aella Constantinople twisted into a heavy, angry expression. “You arse!” 

Suddenly she began beating her hands against his arm, not as painful as a punch from his brother Dmitri, but painful enough with the wounds still healing on his left arm. “Ow- -ow! Aella! Stop!” he attempted to stop her, and catch her arm, but found himself weaker than she. 

“You’re such an arse!” she continued her relentlessness assault against him with her open hands as she growled out the words like a puppy growled out in anger. “She.” And yet another onslaught of hits that made him feel pain so much in those throbbing wounds that he couldn’t stop himself from grinding his teeth together and lowly growling out in pain. “Just lost.” And a few more, but slowing down and softening – not that it felt that way to him. “She just lost,” Aella’s hand came down twice more before she let out a huff of a breath “She just lost her best friend…and now…” even if everything was throbbing horribly now, he turned to her with a contorted face as he clutched his incredibly pained arm in his less-pained grasp. “You could have died, you arse.” One last time, her hand flew out to hit him, but he caught it before it landed on his cheek. 

For a long while, they store at each other; the small pixie-ish Greek girl wishing to rip her hand away and kick him instead but remained still and breathing in such a way that Corin believed steam would come out of her ears. Furrowing his brows, he lessened his grip on her tiny wrist but did not yet release it. “I know, Aella…I know…” he mumbled, his Russian accent heavy, and then his hand broke free, surrendering her hand back into her own control. 

Her expression did not soften. “Why did you go out there? If you knew you were going to die- -if you knew something was going to kill you, because that thing would have killed you and if you were smart- -”

“Because I wanted to.” The gaze they had with each other did not break, his words were barely audible when he spoke; she read them clear enough on his lips, and it was then her face fell – turning into pity and confusion with anger bubbling under the surface like the potions she made in class. 

“Why.” She said in a soft voice yet the command was there for him to answer, and honestly. 

Grey eyes turned away from brown as he painfully adjusted in the cot, attempting to sit up in a position for maximum comfort that he would not find sitting against iron bars and wooden walls. Despite having beaten him not more than a minute before, Aella was careful not to seat herself too close to the leg that had been injured; just on the edge of the mattress near his ankles. A few more minutes passed and Aella appeared to be growing impatient, but his eyes turned up to meet hers as he held his head low for a bit, trying to for the words correctly in his head. 

“What do your parents expect of you?” Corin asked rather simply in a calm tone, which rather surprised her.

“What do they- -expect of me? I stay out of trouble, I work on school- -”

“No, no – that’s not what I meant.” The young Slytherin waved a hand as if clearing the question from Aella’s mind. “Do they expect you to marry another pure-blood? Have they chosen what they want you to do as a profession when you’re older – or even the name of your children?” 

The pixie Greek girl’s brows furrowed and she shook her head. “No. my parents always wanted me to be happy. Even papa said that if what I wanted was something I wanted so badly…that he’d help, in any way that he could.” There was a smile on the end of her words, but it vanished as they continued to look at each other. 

“What would you do if they told you those dreams were stupid?”

“Papa would never- -” 

“Imagine for a moment that he did- -”

“I told you that my- -”

“/Your papa loves you/.” Corin spoke in a mocking tone. “I know that. I’ve heard you jabber on about it again and again – how papa would /buy you a horse/ or /help you get an apartment on Broadway/. How mama and yaya, papo and all those other people simply adore you.” Aella could only stare at him as he spoke, not believing that he was even using the condescending tone that he had used – a harsher version of when he had rejected her in front of both of their groups of friends. 

The furrow in Corin’s brows softened as she store at him, a little speechless as he had without warning started cutting her down to size. He shook his head, took in a deep breath, then let out a very long sigh. “I’m…sorry.” The words were not lost on Aella; for the simple fact that ‘sorry’ had left his busted lips was enough of a surprise to her, besides his sincere tone. “But you have to understand, all of those things – your grandfather’s love, your mother’s love, your dad’s, your brothers and sister’s…” his eyes deviated from hers for a quick moment when his voice dropped away, but shot back to her and it made her jump. “Do they ever give you a reason as to why they love you?”

Aella shook her head. “No, they just do. Its unconditional, just like Imogene loves me.” The name of her fiery-haired distant cousin caused his lips to twitch into a small smile – a twitch she had not missed but she let it slip by as if unnoticed. “Why do you care?”

“I don’t- -I mean, its apart of the point I am making. You asked me why I went out into the forest, and I am telling you.” 

The Huffelpuff’s brows furrowed. “You almost got yourself killed because /my/ family loves /me/.” 

A pause came before the Slytherin boy answered, squeezing his eyes shut – wincing at the throbbing pain in his head that seemed to be growing worse the longer he stayed with his back to the iron frame of the bed – but then opened his eyes with a subtly pained expression. “I /almost got myself killed/, because, my family doesn’t love /me/, Aella.” Corin’s voice sounded hollow – like the worlds were just as dead as he was on the inside; as stale as the air in the hospital. “I don’t believe they ever did.” 

She was unsure how to respond; Aella opened her mouth to speak, but no words came. For a long moment she store into his eyes, store at the expression on his face, which was hard to read; after admitting to her a secret that he had not told anyone, she expected him to appear stricken with this nakedness that would make him appear venerable, but instead he appear rather unemotional about the statement he had made. Something inside of her cause her to stand, and move to quickly wrap her arms around him – to hug him as her natural comforting reflexes commanded herself to do so – but Corin held up a hand and wagged his finger. “Don’t,” he said flatly. “I don’t do hugs.” 

“Why not? That was something that /calls/ for a hug – you can’t just lay that on someone and not expect me to hug you.” She replied sadly. 

Rolling his eyes, Corin then narrowed them. “I know you were going to hug me but that doesn’t mean I’m a hug-type of person, Aella. I don’t need it.” 

Aella rolled her own eyes with a sigh and went back to her place near the end of the cot on the edge of the mattress and smoothed out her skirt before folding her hands on her lap. The Hufflepuff was silent for a few seconds before asking him yet another question. “Why…why do you think that they don’t love you?” she asked in a rather low voice. 

Corin adjusted his position again, and winced heavily this time – his bandaged injured shoulder hitting the bars, making his usual hiss come out as a rough growl, making Aella shiver; something about it was sexy but a little frightening. Letting the pain subside with a few slow deep breaths, he went to answer her. “It’s not something I /think/. Its something I know.

“You’re from a pure-blood family- -my brother and his blyadischa girlfriend know of…” seeing the confused look on her face made his train of thought stop. “Blyadischa – it means whorre in English.” She almost giggled at the word – and how blatantly honestly he had used it, which caused him to roll his eyes for yet another time; waiting until she tried to stop herself from smiling before he went on. “Aella, your…family, is pure-blooded, as is mine, and a small handful of others that go to the school…my parents take you for blood traitors as you associated with muggle-borns- -”

Attentiveness and mild amusement disappeared in a fraction of a second. “And why the hell does it matter to them what- -”

“Quiet.” He commanded; she silenced quickly but in doing so she had a harsh glare to her eyes. “What I was saying is that, /they/ have a problem with you. Not /me/.” This lessened the glare, but not by much. “I have nothing- -absolutely nothing – against Shia.” and saying her best friend’s name allowed with no malice lightened the glare more. “I, /was/, one of his sister’s best friend after all. I should know his name.” The Slytherin boy watched to see if this information, too, would confuse her – that he had, at one time, been friends with their beloved Porcelain boy’s rather bitter twin sister. Yet she didn’t appear surprised at all; in fact she appeared sadder than when he admitted his bitter secrets to her. Corin looked away from her with the shake of his head. “I waited too long to talk to her.”

“There’s still time to talk to Imogene.” And with her cousin’s name she reeled his attention back to her. 

He bitterly scoffed. “/Sure there is/. The last time I saw her she slapped me and got pissed off when I told her that I went out there on purpose…”

“Well…did you tell her what you told me?” she was attempting to stir hope in him – in Corin Corvin, of all people – but it was futile. 

“/I told her that I went out there on purpose/.” Corin reiterated, shifting for a fourth time now, the discomfort beginning to sting more than he found bearable. “Besides, I wasn’t there, /Aella/. I left Imogene standing there, I could have told her something at the funeral but I didn’t because of /them/.” he nearly spat out the words like poison tipped arrows as anger began to grow. “All I ever did was listen to them, and I got /so/ sick of it. Becoming this monster is the best thing that’s ever happened as far as I care.” His tone of voice was steadily causing fear and distress to make Aella’s heart pound faster, making her antsy – wishing to spring from her spot at a moment’s notice; he was injured, and if what he was now - /lycanthrope/, a werewolf – that was causing him to get angry so quickly but he would not be able to move fast at all with how much his injuries appeared to pain him. Yet it was as if he could smell that fear starting up inside of her, that he could hear her heart – even if it was just barely, like hearing the world around you from underwater – and his face softened, his jaw unclenched to make it less prominent than it already was. At one time, when Aella had thought he was rather attractive despite how his hair covered his face the majority of the time, he never had appeared as cold or rude to her even in his infamy until previous months when he had so harshly rejected her. 

[more on the following set: http://www.polyvore.com/cgi/set?id=52995834]
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