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Set Pre-Hogwarts/Hogwarts era and will hopefully carry on until and cover the second Wizarding War.
We’ll learn some of Moriah’s background. As always, opinions would be appreciated.

Moriah slowly came to; but used to bad luck as he was, he kept his eyes tightly shut, wanting to avoid to draw attention to himself.

As he slowly became more aware of his surroundings, he also noticed that something was draped over him and that he wasn’t feeling cold anymore. He could not make out a noise in his vicinity, so he cautiously opened his eyes.

It was dark, very dark. He waited a few beats, but there was still nothing to be heard. His hands were tucked in, and when he managed to get them out, he guessed that the warmth he had felt stemmed from the blanket that had covered him up to his chin.

Where was he? He vaguely remembered falling into darkness in a dark corner. Lycan’s Lane. The word popped up in his mind again, yanked the the blanket away and jumped out of the bed. If he was still anywhere near Lycan’s Lane, Fenrir would find him. Or had he already? Although he doubted that it was Fenrir who had found him, the werewolf surely wouldn’t have tucked him in like he had been. So where …?

He was interrupted in his thoughts by footfalls from downstairs, they seemed to become louder and louder, as if ascending stairs. Moriah looked around wildly. He could see better than before, but it was still too dark to make out his surroundings and an escape route. So he did the only thing he could; Moriah hurriedly got back beneath the blanket, feigning sleep.

From somewhere to his right, he heard someone knock on wood, and seconds later, a creaky noise from that direction indicated a door opening.

Cautious steps neared his bedstead; Moriah thought his hammering heart must give him away for sure. The person leaned closer to him, then retreated a bit to put something on the table beside the bed.

“I know you’re awake. Here’s something for you to eat; when you’ve eaten something, come down and we’ll talk. I won’t hurt you, I promise.”

Moriah had held his breath, waiting for a harsh voice. But it wasn’t, the voice sounded gentle and comforting. Whoever it was left him alone again.

He held out under his blanket for some time, contemplating what to do now. In the end, his growling stomach won out, and so he took the blanket off again, to see what was on his table. It wasn’t much, only some cheese and bread with some juice, but he felt like he had never tasted anything that good.

He pounced on the food, but he grew slower and slower in his actions; could – and should – he go downstairs as the stranger had asked? But what else was there to do?

He lingered a bit, but finally worked up his courage, and hesitantly crept down the stairs. His eyes had adjusted enough so he could make out a figure, sitting in a chair in what must have been the living room. Rays of light danced over his face, from the candle that sat beside him on a table, and he was also wrapped in a blanket against the cold.

“Come here, please,” the same gentle voice as before beckoned him.

Moriah gulped, but did as he was told. The other man seemed much older, his hair was littered with grey streaks. But his eyes looked kind, and Moriah decided to trust him, despite his experiences.
“So, I promised not to hurt you, and I keep my word. – My name is Niall, what can I call you?”

“M-Moriah,” he managed quietly.

“Moriah, that’s Hebrew, and means chosen by God.”

“Really?” Moriah couldn’t help but ask. He hadn’t known that.

“Yes, really.” Niall answered, chuckling. “So, I found you half-dead in that alley. How did you get there? Do you even know where you were?”

Moriah was suddenly cautious again. The other couldn’t know. “Uh, I was … I don’t know?” he said slowly, and cursed himself that the last part sounded like a question.

“You don’t know, ya? Well, let me help you. Lycan’s Lane, the worst corner of the werewolf reserve. No one just ends up here by accident, and if you do, you’ll soon enough find yourself in a position that will not allow you to ever leave again.”

Moriah blinked several times, taking his time to work out what Niall had said. “Here? What do you mean, ‘here’? I’m still … there?” Moriah asked in a rush, looking around wildly as the meaning hit him.

“Calm down, boy. We are still in the werewolf reserve, if that’s what you mean. But we’re a good way away from Lycan’s Lane. I was in a hurry to get away myself, no one actually likes to live there, except for Greyback and his pack. But that’s where I found you. Tell me what you did there, I don’t want any trouble with Greyback and his people.”

Moriah felt the perspiration on his forehead. He could not go back to Fenrir Greyback. But could he put the kind old man in danger, out of pure selfishness? His shoulders slumped down, and he looked at his shoes.

Niall let out a deep sigh as he took in the pitiful picture in front of him. “That’s what I was afraid of. You belong with Greyback, don’t you?”

“No I don’t! I hate him!” Moriah cried out, despite his despondence.

“What does that mean? You have to tell me, otherwise I can’t help you.”

“Are you a … what I am too?” Moriah asked suspiciously.

“A werewolf? Yes, that’s what I am. And you too, it seems. How did you get here, and how did you end up with Greyback?”
Moriah reluctantly told him how the Ministry had taken him from the orphanage, brought him here and handed him to the first adult werewolf they’ve come across: Fenrir Greyback. How he had lived there, for he did not know how long, and how he had learned the hard way what he was.

“Poor boy. And before that?” Niall asked sympathetically.

Moriah wiped his nose with his hand, shaking his head silently. He did not want to think about that. “I – I don’t want to go back to Greyback. Please. I’ll do anything you want.”

Niall was silent for a long time. Moriah did not know what to make of that; he continued to sniffle quietly.

After some tense moments, which seemed like an eternity to Moriah, the older man looked at him again.

“I don’t know what we are going to do. But let me clear this up one last time: You are a werewolf, the Ministry took you here and gave you into Greyback’s care. Is that right?”

Moriah nodded wordlessly.

“Does he have official documents for that How old are you? You don look any older than ten.”

Moriah shrugged his shoulders.

“And your parents? We could try to find them, they have the right to claim you back!”

Moriah mumbled something under his breath. Dusntan asked him to repeat it, and so he did. “Don’t have any,” he said again, very quietly.

“Oh, poor child!” He had raised his hand as if to touch Moriah, but thought better of it. “Are you still hungry? Come with me, I might have something else for you.”

Moriah perked up at them mention of food, he was already hungry again.

He ate some more bread, his eyes always going back and forth between Niall’s face, his plate and the door. He had had to learn to always be on his toes.

“You can go back upstairs, if you’re finished. Go back to sleep, I’ll try to think of something we can do, ok?”

Moriah watched as Niall disappeared down the hall, and heard a door shut. The candle on the table was flickering slightly, he watched transfixed, unsure about how he should feel about those recent developments. Hope was something he had not felt in a long time.

Moriah had slept well into the day. He woke up groggily, then went looking for his benefactor. Everything was still like a dream, this house looked much bigger and more well-kept than anything he had seen in the last few years.

He crept downstairs again. Then, he could hear some noise from a few doors down, and it grew louder with every step he took. Moriah stopped at the door; the keyhole was blocked by a key from the other side, and he pressed his ear against the wood.

He could make out two loud voices. They seemed to have a heated discussion.

“Father, I’m telling you again. If he’s Greyback’s charge, there’s nothing but trouble. The Ministry won’t get involved, for all they know, they’ve done their part and have nothing more to do. And Greyback will come for him, if only to get back at you. Or me.”

“This is not about you, Riordan! This is about a young boy.”

“Father, you know Greyback’s just been rearing to have something against you! Don’t get involved in this, I’m begging you!”

“I’m sorry, Riordan. I can’t just do nothing.”

Moriah opened the door a little, just enough for him to peek through. There was Niall again. He was standing behind what looked like a counter, while a younger man – who looked a lot like Niall – sat at one of the many tables, drumming his fingers against the table top.

“That boy is nothing but trouble. We have to give him back.”

Moriah did not wait to hear what Niall would say. He just knew that he could not go back to the Greybacks. He went looking for the exit, and finally, one of the doors led outside. One last miserable look back, which showed him a sign directing customers of the Wolf Tavern to use the front entrance - and he vanished between two other houses.

Moriah was too busy looking behind himself that he did not see it coming. He collided with something rock-hard, and would have tumbled down to earth if it hadn’t been for the hand that gripped his collar.

“Fancy that, Sköll, guess who it is?! Our little, darling brother!”

“I’m not your brother, you stinky little …”

“Ah, you wouldn’t want to complete that sentence, brother dear. Let’s get you back, why don’t we, father will be so … delighted to have you back.”

While Sköll laughed stupidly at his brother’s cruel joke, Hati signalled him to come. Moriah would have liked nothing better than to run away, but the other two werewolves were way stronger than him.

Hati and Sköll Greyback, Fenrir’s sons. And unfortunately his foster-brothers. Sköll had seized him by the skirt, and towed him away. Moriah did not know where they were, but he could guess they would be going back to Lycan’s Lane.

Moriah had tried to free himself and run again, but to no avail. Sköll was not the cleverest person, but made up for it in strength.

The two werewolves, both over twenty, were bellowing loudly and making a lot of noise in general. The people they met seemed to know nothing good was coming from his companions, for they all steered clear of them. Moriah hadn’t been allowed outside much, but he had always known them as being unrestrained and violent.

Out of the corner of his eye, he saw movement. When he looked closer, he shook his head to clear it, he thought he had seen someone on of the roofs of one of the huts they were passing.

But he looked again, and this time, he saw a slender figure with a shock of wild red hair. He supposed it was a boy his age; he did some movements with his hands which Moriah couldn’t make sense of; but had gathered that Hati and Sköll were not supposed to see.

The other boy seemed to roll his eyes at him, leapt from the roof and onto a board that had been placed on some other pieces of wood. Moriah’s eyes followed as a bag went flying, releasing its contents – waste – in the air, which cascaded down on himself and the two Greybacks. Moriah had seen it coming, the other two hadn’t. Thus, he was able to catch Sköll unaware and he managed to get away from his grip, ducking sideways between the huts.

“In here,” a young voice hissed at him, and he felt himself pulled into a shelter.

Moriah held his breath, he knelt beside the other, as they heard the Greyback brothers yell and curse, then saw them charge past the opening Moriah had escaped through.

“Thank you! Whoever you are, thank you!” he said in a heartfelt tone.

“What were you doin’ with them? I could tell it wasn’t because you wanted to, but still,” the boy asked. Only, Moriah thought, his features looked far too delicate to belong to a boy.

“They wanted to take me to Lycan’s Lane. I never want to go back there!”

“You ‘n’ me both, mate. Who are you?”

“I’m Moriah. You?”

The other snorted. “Moriah? ‘t is a girl’s name!”

“No, it’s not!” he protested hotly. “It can be used for both boy and girl! And anyway, you didn’t tell me yours!”

“Believe what you want. Everyone around here knows me as Rowan, because it’s my last name.”

The children crawled out of their hiding spot, and Moriah could see clearer. “Uh, Rowan? Are – are you a girl?”

Rowan jerked around, holding her fist under Moriah’s nose so that he took a step back.

“And what if? Who was the one who was just dragged down the street like a helpless puppy?”

“I’m not a puppy!” Moriah said again defensively. As he fell in step beside her – he was pretty sure that her answer meant yes – and eyed her curiously. The mistake was easy enough to make. She was thin and tall, clothed in old jeans and a big brown jacket. The fire-red hair he already seen earlier was framing around her face, whacked off at different lengths.

“Are you finished?” she asked, annoyed.

“Quite. So, tell me your name.”

“I already did.”

“I told you my first name. I want to know yours. Because my mother, uh, my real mother, told me it’s not polite to address someone by their last name.”

“Bad luck, I don’t tell my name just to anyone. It’s either Rowan, or nothing at all. – What do you think you’re doing, anyway? Shoo, you’re free to go!”

“But I have nowhere to go. Where do you live?”

“Figures. I’m always attracting the lost puppies,” she mumbled, more to herself. “Ok, you can come with me for the night, but I’ll kick you out tomorrow. You’ll need to find your own place.”

Moriah nodded, glad to be able to postpone that particular problem. Tomorrow was another day.

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