by Rose Red
A story of how the changing can effect many.
| Standing alone overlooking the ever darkening plain, Orion sighed. It was getting close to night once more. Closer to his changing. He shivered at the thought of becoming the lonely wolf again. Why had this happened to him? He thought over and over again as he headed far from the others to change. The others never wanted him to change alone, but it was dangerous for others to be around when it happened. The last person to be standing nearby when he had changed was dead and buried many years ago, never to breathe again. A lump caught in his throat as he thought of Manna. They had been together for centuries before the curse and then only a few years more before they had fought and Manna had been killed by the wolf. Orion would never forgive himself for letting Manna come. It had been a moment of weakness on his part and it would never happen again.
“Orion! Where are you going?” A voice called out to him. Pushing all thoughts of Manna out of his head, Orion walked faster out into the plain as the figure behind him ran to catch up.
“Orion, stop. You don’t have to change alone anymore. Come with us.” The figure slowly became a young man of nineteen years. He wore a black leather vest over his bare bronze muscular chest and leather pants that rested on his hips. His black shoulder length hair was tied back into a ponytail and his green eyes stared back at Orion with pleading.
“Come on, Orion. We want you to be with us. Even Lana said so.” He begged in a warm voice. Orion shook his head, a few strands of white hair falling across his face, hiding his blue-gray eyes.
“No, Sirius. I’ll just put you all in harms way. Go back.” He said, turning away from the young man again and walking even farther into the plain. Sirius wouldn’t give up obviously as he ran to catch up again.
“Then let me stay with you. I’ll be careful. A wolf could never take me down in my leopard form. Please, Orion.” He practically begged. Orion could remember something similar happening between Manna and him. The night of Manna’s death.
“Come on, Orion. Let me come. I want to see your wolf form.” Manna had pleaded, watching him through silver eyes.
“No, Manna. It’s too dangerous. You know this.” Orion had fought, heading for the door. Manna grabbed his arm, stopping him.
“You don’t have to be alone anymore, Orion. Let me keep you company. I’ve heard you howling with loneliness and it pierces my heart. Please let me come.” He requested once more. Looking at Manna once more, Orion nodded.
“Alright, but keep your distance. I don’t want to hurt you.” He said, causing a smile to break out across Manna’s pale face.
But hurt you I did, Orion thought as he looked away from Sirius. He didn’t even realize he was crying until Sirius reached out and wiped the tears from his face.
“What are you afraid of, Orion? What happened to cause you so much pain?” Sirius asked, standing in front of Orion and tilting his face up so that he was staring into his blue-gray eyes. Orion shook his head, brushing pass Sirius and kept walking. Finally giving up, Sirius headed back to the others, feeling the first pangs of the change begin.
“Stay here, Manna.” Orion ordered, moving into the clearing as Manna hid among the trees. Pain slowly began to spread through his body. Clenching his teeth, he fell to his knees as liquid fire spread through his veins and his bones began to reform his body. A gasp escaped his lips as silver fur sprouted through his skin. Sharp nails took place of his short ones. He released a pain filled howl as his face lengthened to form a wolf’s muzzle. His teeth busted his lip as they sharpened. As the pain ebbed away, he heard a gasp from nearby and snarled, standing up on his four legs.
“Orion.” He heard as a figure emerged from the forest and he growled again, lifting his lips to show his canine teeth. The figure stopped where it stood at the edge of the clearing. Taking a deep breath, he took in a familiar scent, but couldn’t place it.
“Orion?” He let out a hunger filled howl and charged at the shivering form, sinking his teeth into the soft pale skin. Warm blood spurted into his mouth as he dragged the fresh meat to the ground.
“Stop, Orion!” the figure yelled. Orion? Who is Orion? The wolf just bit harder; then let go and went for the kill.
Orion was jerked awake.
“Orion, wake up!” Sirius yelled in his ear. Groaning in annoyance, he opened his eyes slowly, only to see Sirius leaning over him.
“What, Sirius?” He asked, sitting up and blinking back the tears that formed in his eyes from the light of the sun. Sirius sat back with a sigh of relief.
“You were yelling in your sleep again. You kept yelling Manna.” Orion stiffened, sitting up completely straight, ignoring the rest of what Sirius was saying.
“Stop, Orion!” Rang through his mind, as he stared blankly at the ground.
“Orion?” Sirius asked carefully, placing a hand on Orion’s forearm. Orion didn’t answer as his nightmare filled his mind and vision.
“Orion, look at me.” Numb and unfeeling, Orion complied, looking into Sirius’s emerald green eyes with his own dull haunted ones. Sirius ran his knuckles against Orion’s cheek in a comforting gesture.
“Please, Orion. Tell me what happened. I want to help you. If you don’t tell me; then I can’t.” Sirius pleaded, hating the hollow look in Orion’s normally stormy eyes. Orion looked away for a moment before nodding.
“Fine. I’ll tell you, but you may not like what you hear.” He warned, trying to think of where to begin. Sirius only remained quiet, offering his strength.
Orion finally began. “Many centuries ago, when I first set out into the world, I had only one person to turn to at the time. He had been there for me my entire life and I knew he always would. We had our differences as all people do, but mine soon became obvious. We’d been traveling for a few centuries before I finally showed that I had inherited the Change. It forced us to settle down in Fangorn Forest. Once every month, I went out into a clearing and didn’t come back till morning. Needless to say, he wanted to know where I went every time and wanted to see my wolf form. I was always able to turn him away, except for the last time. He had begged till my heart broke. Finally in a moment of weakness, I allowed him to come with me.” His voice broke slightly and Sirius laid his hand on Orion’s shoulder.
“I told him to stay in the forest while I changed in the clearing. He appeared to listen to me, for he didn’t appear as I changed. I was wrong though. When I finally reached wolf form, he showed himself. I didn’t know who he was or who I was so I attacked. He yelled for me to stop, but I only saw him as fresh meat…I…I killed him.” He finished, a single tear running down his cheek. Now Sirius understood, Orion thought to himself as he turned away in self disgust.
“His name was Manna.” Sirius stated, knowing how hard it is to accidentally kill someone you can about. “Did you love him?”
Orion’s breath caught in his throat. “What?”
“Did you love him?” Sirius asked again.
“I don’t know…I didn’t know what I…”
“Did you love him?” Sirius interrupted, forcing Orion to look him in the eyes.
“Yes.” Orion sobbed, breaking down completely. “Yes. I loved him…And I killed him.” Sirius gathered the sobbing man into his arms, holding him close as he whispered calming words into Orion’s ear. He could feel the other’s pain in his heart, having once done something similar.
“I know what you’re feeling, Orion. I know how much it hurts to know that you killed someone you loved. It feels like your heart is only half there. Just know it wasn’t your fault. Manna knew not to go into the clearing. He knew you were dangerous. It wasn’t your fault he chose to get closer. Besides, no one can control their animal side enough to keep it from killing.” He tried to reason as Orion’s sobs quieted until he pulled away.
“I know this, Sirius. It just hurts.” Orion said in a hoarse voice as he wiped the remaining tears from his eyes and sighed. “I should be over it by now. It’s been at least a century since it happened, but I can’t. I’ve tried to forget.”
Sirius shook his head. “You’ll get better now, Orion. You just needed to talk to someone.” He said, giving him a small smile. “Now. Let’s go get something to eat from the others. I’m sure Adonis is sick of worrying about us.” He stifled a laugh. Orion snorted.
“Adonis…Worry. You must be kidding.” He said and Sirius burst out laughing as Orion soon joined in.
“About time you two got back.” A man of about twenty three said as Sirius and Orion entered the camp. He wore a white button up shirt with the sleeves rolled up to his elbows and the first three unbuttoned and a pair of close-fitting blue jeans. His shoulder length russet hair fell against his bronze skin hiding his almond eyes from view.
“We were just talking, Adonis.” Sirius said, sitting on a log by the extinguished fire. Orion nodded his head in agreement as he leaned against a large red wood tree, his eyes shut as though asleep.
“Tell that to Lana. She’s worried about you two again. I swear she’s going to have a heart attack one of these days.” Adonis said with a shake of his head. When Orion’s deep laugh didn’t come, he gave Sirius a questioning look. “What’s up with Orion?” He asked in a whisper. Sirius shook his head and motioned that they would talk later. Nodding, Adonis went over to a white tent, which was really a colorless fabric thrown over a low hanging tree limb, to tell Lana they had returned.
‘Don’t tell him anything, Sirius.’ Orion’s voice penetrated Sirius mind easily, causing him to shiver.
‘Why? He could help you.’ Sirius replied half-heartedly, knowing what he said wouldn’t matter.
‘I will tell them when I am ready.’ Then there was silence. Sirius glanced over at where Orion stood just to find him gone. Standing up, he made to go after him, only to be held back by a slender, feminine hand on his upper bicep.
“Let him go, Sirius. He needs time to think.” Said a sweet womanly voice. Sirius glanced at the fair nineteen years old. Her burgundy hair had grown pass her shoulders to about mid-back and her skin had turned a light tan instead of its original milky white. Her light blue t-shirt accented her cerulean eyes and her jeans were skin tight, showing off every curve on her body.
“Lana, he needs me…He might not say it, but I can feel his pain and loneliness. I must go to him or he will destroy himself with grief.” Sirius pleaded with her, his heart breaking. Lana shook her head, turning her knowing eyes to the woodland.
“He will come to you when he’s ready, Sirius. You’ve followed enough. It is his turn.” She turned and walked back into the tent where Adonis was waiting for her. Sirius watched her leave; then dropped his head into his hands with a sad sigh.
‘Orion’ He thought sadly.
Night had fallen long ago and Sirius now lay in front of the tent, trying to sleep. Orion was not back yet. He had been gone all afternoon and had appeared to just disappear from the face of the planet. After tossing and turning for more than an hour, Sirius stood up and stretched, deciding to walk around some. Pulling on his boots and a black muscle shirt, he headed into the ebony forest. Trees rose on every side of him as he moved further in. Finally a patch of light appeared before him and he silently walked closer. What met his eyes was a beautifully alluring pond. Grass covered banks led down into the glistening blue waters. Bubbles of air from the fishes below dotted the water’s surface. Looking up, the night sky shone down upon the scene. A small smile graced his face as he sat on the edge of the pond. The silence that surrounded him was almost peaceful.
“Sirius?” His head whipped around to face the new comer at the sound of his name. Sighing in he noticed it was only Orion.
“Orion…Where have you been today?” He asked casually as he gazed at the pond once more, hoping to keep his mind off of Orion’s bare chest.
“I had to get away for a while…Telling you what happened took a lot out of me…It hurt to remember.” Orion said, trying to explain. Sirius nodded, grateful to Lana.
“How did you find me?” He asked, knowing that Orion hadn’t been anywhere near the pond before him. Orion sat beside him, wrapping his arms around his bended knees.
“I could feel where you were.” He said in an almost whisper. Sirius gazed at him in an understanding way.
“I know the feeling. I only get it with you.” He replied with a small smile. Orion returned the smile, subtly placing his hand on top of Sirius’s. When Sirius clasped his hand in return, his smile widened. They both turned back to the pond.
A groan emitted from Sirius’s mouth as he awoke the next morning. He sat up, slightly disoriented before realizing he was still by the pond. Remembering all that had happened last night, he looked around in search of Orion, only to find him gone again. An empty, despairing feeling filled his chest as he shook his head in confusion. Why does he always leave? He thought to himself as he stood up and brushed the clinging dust from his leather pants. With a last look around, he headed back to camp, unaware of the blood red eyes that followed him.
Orion jumped from his perch in the oak tree as he watched Sirius leave. I can’t get close to him, he thought as he made his way across the soft brown earth to camp. Sirius will be mad at me, but it’s better that way, he tried to convince himself as he pushed away a low hanging branch.
“HELP!!” That sounded like Sirius, he thought, stopping and waiting to hear the voice again.
“Orion, Adonis, Lana, Help!!” He heard the yell again and was sure it was Adonis. Without a second thought, Orion took off through the trees, searching for his friend.
Completely lost, Sirius wandered around the woodland for a little while until he came to Organ’s old cave. He sat down with his back against the rock wall exhausted from his walk. No one can know about this, he thought with a sigh. Leaning his head back, he relaxed.
SNAP! He lifted his head in search of the noise. Standing up, he drew one of his silver handled short swords and searched the area around him. He found nothing and sighed in relief before sitting down once more, but more tense this time. A leaf fell onto his shoulder from above. Studying it, he jumped up from his seat and backed away from the cave.
The sound of a sword being unsheathed caught his attention and he turned just in time to parry the deadly blow. Before him stood a dark haired man with insane red eyes and fanged teeth. He wore no shirt, on his chest the symbol of the Carnesir. Sirius took a step back, prepared for another blow. The next one came swiftly, trying to behead him. He met with his sword ready as sparks flew from the clashing metal.
“Orion, Adonis, Lana, Help!!” He called out as the next blow cut him across his chest and arm, knocking him against the rocky wall. Lifting his head, he glared unflinchingly as the finally blow way swung.
The sword seemed to merge with Orion’s broad sword as they met. Pushing the vampire back, Orion motioned for Lana and Adonis to help Sirius. He turned back to his opponent in time to evade another blow.
“Colicana molaga noa.” Orion said in Vampiric. “Stop fighting now.” He blocked another blow.
“Docana lanaca.” The vampire answered, blocking Orion’s attack. “Their Orders.”
“Froma noca?” He asked. “From who?”
“Carnesir quano.” The vampire answered, guarding himself closely. “Carnesir queen.”
“Talana yoa fora infonalanma.” Orion said. “Thank you for information.” The vampire was unable to dodge the last blow and turned to dust. Looking over at the others, Orion gave them a grave look before walking over. Sirius lay unconscious on the ground between Adonis and Lana. His cuts were bandaged, but Orion could tell they would scar.
“I’ll carry him.” Orion said, picking up the young man before walking away, completely aware of the incredulous looks he was receiving. Considering for a mere moment if he should go back to camp, Orion took off toward the cabin Manna had forced him to build with Sirius still in his arms. I can give him better help there, he thought to himself as he disappeared between the trees.
Pain was the first thing Sirius registered to when he woke. Pain and nausea. His felt as though it was on fire. Sitting up with a whimper, he looked around the room he was in with interest. The walls were made of many lodge forced tightly together while the floor was of smooth timber wood panels. A window was covered along the right wall as his bed, which he was on, was against the left one. A dresser stood of to the corner of the right and back walls. On the table beside him was a set of clothes. Looking under the blankets, he finally realized someone had stripped him of his clothes. He stood up wobbly as he dressed before heading out his room’s door in search of the others.
“Why didn’t you tell us about where you came from?” He heard Lana’s voice accuse.
“None of you asked. What should it matter? I haven’t hurt any of you and I never would.” What was Lana accusing Orion of? He thought as he stepped into the doorway.
“You being a vampire is very important. For all we know you could be Carnesir.” She said back in an icy tone. A vampire…Orion…Sirius stumbled back, knocking over a small side table. The noise caught no body’s attention except Orion’s.
“Sirius?” He asked, standing up and walking to him. Sirius felt himself begin to fall before two strong arms pulled him against a muscular chest.
“Orion?” He asked in a weak voice as he sagged with relief as the pain ebbed away.
“It’s me, Sirius. You’re safe.” Orion answered before picking him up and carrying him to the couch. He sat down first before laying Sirius down beside him so that Sirius’s head was lying in his lap. Relaxing, Sirius felt fingers running through his hair for comfort and sighed.
“Orion, Sirius is coming back to camp with us. You’re not.” Lana said in the same icy voice.
“I can take of care of him here, Lana. As soon as he’s better, you can take if that’s what he wants.” Orion whispered as though in pain. Hearing that pain in Orion’s voice, Sirius grabbed Orion’s free hand and wove their fingers together before placing them over his heart. Orion stared at him in amazement before smiling fondly at the young man.
‘I’m not leaving Orion.’ Sirius said telepathically to everyone in the room. Lana and Adonis looked at him in surprise. ‘It’s not his fault he is what he is. It was how he was born.’
Lana was the first to shake off her stupor. “Sirius, Orion is a vampire. He is a target for the Carnesir if not one himself.” She said calmly.
Sirius turned his head to look at her, keeping his head on Orion’s lap. ‘I don’t care. He’s someone I care about greatly, Lana.’ He said just to her. Lana gave him a soft smile before nodding with defeat.
“If that’s what you feel, Sirius, than so be it, but if anything happens I’m taking you away.” She said as her and Adonis left the cabin in silence. Looking down at Sirius, Orion wondered about the young man. Why had he wanted to stay? He asked himself. Maybe he likes me, he thought before dismissing the idea completely.
“Why did you want to stay, Sirius?” He finally asked. Sirius unwove their fingers, studying Orion’s hand with his own as he thought about what to say.
“I see something in you that nobody else can.” He replied, never looking at Orion.
“What is it that you see?” Orion asked, wondering just how much Sirius knew about him.
“Your pain and suffering. Your happiness and joy. Your disappointment and humiliation. How your kind and caring around your friends, but cold toward your enemies. How you try to refrain from talking about your past. How you’re passionate about what you believe in. How you’re fierce when protecting your friends…I know a lot about you, Orion Clearwater.” Sirius said with a small smile as he glanced at Orion. Orion looked startled for a moment before giving him a smile in return.
“You watch me a lot, don’t you?” He asked, noticing a faint blush creeping across Sirius’s bronze skin.