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Sharp and soft and tickling. He scrunched his nose before inhaling again. There was cobblestones, slightly damp, with hints of dirt. There was the scent of flowers in the air, familiar enough to tell him he was under the tree at the main courtyard. Thick grass, short-trimmed all around and more and more trees to run under and around.

There was neither scents of his littermates nor the elders, scents that should have diffused themselves into the very stones of this tree they napped at every day. He opened his eyes to find himself alone on the grass at the very edge of the paved courtyard and struggled onto his feet. Everything looked right, down to the broken piece he pounced on everytime he came here except for his fellow pack. He pushed his way out of the overhanging branches into clear view of the area and found it completely deserted.

His barks echoed in a way it never before, sharp high-pitched sounds turned back by the high stone walls. He ran to each trees to find below them empty spaces until he reached the archway at the other end and skidded too late to a stop.

Elder Blue Tail’s massive paw was gentle as it kept him from rolling on. He scrambled to his feet, upsetly barking on, before the Elder’s power slowly solidified around them like a mantle, soothing and calming in a way nothing was since months ago.

“Breathe, little one,” the elder said.

Elder Blue Tail’s energy touched, just touched the edge of his senses, a familiar steady thrum, the first truly familiar feeling that had come through his magic sense. It calmed him enough to get him up from his sprawl and stood carefully before tucking in his limbs and tail and breathe.

Just as his mind began to wander, Blue Tail said, “So, you have decided.”

Guiltily, he forced his mind back to the meditation. Part of him was grateful that he did not have to explain, but another part was awash in longing, wishing he was back in the familiar surrounding. He knew he couldn’t come back, not anymore, but he couldn’t explain the sudden fierce decision he’d made around the tall warrior who had came to take them away from their snatchers.

“Do not fret,” the elder continued, voice soothing. “It’s not an unfamiliar thing. One must go on our own path. Though most are a little older when they do so.”

The wry voice was the same as always. “It just mean training you will be a little different, that’s all.

He managed a chagrined little moue.

The elder put one paw on the ground in front of him. When he lifted it, a small little ball of blue light was left, flickering with tiny little tendrils lashing out. The ground it were lit from it much like they were lit from a pool’s reflection.

“We will start on control and shielding earlier for you. Keep breathing. Clear your mind until the ball no longer react to your thoughts.” the elder said, moving back a few paces before settling down with a ball of his own, a perfect sphere of even light.

A hint of the pepper-wood-leather-Harry-Harry scent, much unlike his littermates’ flickered to his mind, and the ball’s surface boiled up from within. Hastily he shoved the thoughts down, and breathed.

---

“Until a time you deem it life-threatening for you or the people around you, do not use your capabilities in the physical world yet.”

There were smokes curling out the bottom of the door. Harry wanted to leave but he cannot leave the many kennels full of his people, and his companion was of like mind. If they leave, a lot of people will die. If they don’t, they will walk straight into a trap.

There is something this foe had not planned for, though.

He walked around a clear space on the floor and centered the energy in a circle. He then rooted his essence into the deep anchors of the dwelling's structure in the earth and let it reach onto the sky-facing roof, tasting the thresholds and wards and the jagged edges of the attackers presence. The many, many lives caught in unbidden deep sleep.

And barked.