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Life Eternal

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Harry loaded the clip of silver bullets into his pistol. He cocked the hammer and reached for his wand in his holster. The full moon freed herself from the dark veil of clouds. Her silver rays fell upon the bare patch of dead leaves in the middle of the forest. He began to wonder if he should have chosen someone else besides himself to act as bait. Then again, he doubted that any of the villagers would have been willing to volunteer anyway.

He had chased the werewolf here- to the very place where six villagers had been found dead and marred to date. Harry definitely wasn't looking to be lucky number seven. He circled around the area, ankle deep in past years' dead leaves. His eyes were trained on the surrounding bushes and trees. He didn't dare mutter a Lumos at a moment like this.

Harry heard a rustle to his left as he pushed a few bangs of silver blond hair out of his eyes. He shifted his weight about. He heard a rustle to his right. He cursed silently at his own foolhardiness under his breath. He was surrounded. He had chosen an infinitely bad spot to confront the creature but there was no other way to draw it out. "Just come out! There's no use in hiding!"

A howl echoed through the woods. It was a morbid response to his challenge. Harry felt the hair on the back of his neck stand. There- he felt the presence of the monster in the bushes behind him. He whipped around and fired three bullets into the shrubbery without hesitation. A wounded cry filled the air.

Harry almost didn't step out of the way in time when a dark shape shot out of the said bush and charged at him. The werewolf was a sight that would have many a wizard freeze. It bared its razor sharp teeth and salivating jaws at Harry- indicating it very well had chosen him to be its next meal. This wasn't the first time Harry had faced a werewolf. However, the experience he had with Remus' terrifying transformation in his Third Year was tame in comparison.

"Diffindo."

The wolf howled again in pain as he sprouted a cut on its left hind leg. Harry did not waste his time. Keeping his distance, he launched a variety of cutting spells to slow down the monster. He worked it to the point of exhaustion, coupled with parallel pains inflicted on the wolf's body. The werewolf collapsed to the ground. Its chest heaved a slight bit less with every breath taken.

Harry moved to stand over the creature. It continued to snarl and snap at him but could do nothing more. It was no longer of any harm to anyone. The werewolf would die on its own if left alone for another few hours. It would die the instant the sun rose. The human body simply could not deal with this level of injury. However, it would be cruel of him to leave the creature to suffer so and Harry Potter was anything but cruel.

He raised his handgun and aimed between the wolf's eyes. He ignored the image of Remus, as Harry last saw him on the battlefield bloodied and fatally injured, that surfaced. He pulled the trigger without any remorse and buried a silver bullet in the wolf's skull.

The moment the wolf's life ended, he felt a shiver run down his spine. He stood there and took a deep breath and allowed the experience to wash over him. Merlin, he hated that no matter how many times it happened. There was no helping it though.

Harry worked quickly to gather leaves and firewood to place over and around the corpse. He drew a ward circle around the funeral pyre so not to cause an unwarranted forest fire. There would be no return to human features in the light of day. It had died a wolf and would remain so. No family would have the chance to reclaim this corpse. He lit it with an Incendio spell and fanned the flames to the height that he figured would keep burning until sunrise.

His next job would be a welcome change from this.