We barely escaped Filtch on the way to the forest. Had it not been for the invisibility cloak, we would have been dead meat. We were in the forbidden forest, in human form. It was about 6 P.M, so the days feeble light was still showing through the forest canopy.
"Ted!" Newt hissed. "Should we go to the White Wolf's clearing or look around for a cave?"
"Cave. And I don't know why you are whispering, Newt, Pitch's part of the forest is far away from here. You gotta relax."
"I wish you could have one like the white wolf's. His is really cool!" Said Sky, walking down a called tree's trunk.
"I do too, but thats not gonna happen. I want one with water in or very near it, a couple rock shelves and a nice floor."
"Ok, hold on while I call the forest realtor." Said Newton, rolling his eyes. "You are so picky. It's not like you are going to live there." He scoffed, and Sky laughed, but my stomach fluttered. I still hadn't decided if I wanted to accept the Alpha's gift of eternal life. Usually I would have gone to my friends for a matter like this, but I felt on this occasion, their opinions were particularly biased. Luckily in their amusement, Sky and Newt didn't notice my silence.
"Let's check near the river that runs close to the centaurs camp!" Said Sky. "I bet that caves near the river will have some water in them. Plus, the water will have sculpted the cave at some point, so the walls will most likely be really smooth."
"Woah there, Miss Geologist. Where did you get all that?" I asked, goggling at her.
"Close your mouth, you look like a frog," She snapped, but her tone was amused. "My dad teaches Earth Science at Oxford."
"Ox- Oxford? Oxford University?" Said Newt, his pupils widening.
"Yes, Oxford. Chill out Newt. You won't go there anyway, stupid, not wizards allowed." Newt crossed his arms in a mock pout.
"No fair!" He whined.
"Guys, look! A cave!" I shouted, my heart pumping in excitement. I grabbed Sky's hand and dragged her with me to the cave's face. It was behind a small waterfall, but still easy to axcess without soaking your skin. I leaped over rocks and bushes, Skylar in tow, as we all made our way to the cave face.
The meadow around the cave was very pretty. It was a pleasant oval shape, very wide and very vast. On the far end were about 20 huge boulders of varying size and shape, all covered in moss. The waterfall that masked the cave entrance turned into a creek that flowed through the middle of the meadow and exited through a hole between two of the big boulders. Small patches of tiny blue flowers where scattered around the whole field, like bright blue freckles. The cliff where the waterfall was was the only place where trees were not, as tall evergreens lined the clearing.
"Its... perfect." I whispered, staring with awe. I dropped Sky's hand and she cast me an odd look, as though she couldn't tell if she enjoyed that or not.
"Don't fall in love too fast, Ted. We haven't been in the cave yet." Newt called as he trudged to the cave. I followed, sprinting, and Sky jogged at my tail. We walked behind the waterfall, a pleasant mist (Not too heavy, not too light, just enough to feel wonderful) sprayed at our faces. I turned at walked into the cave, illuminating my wand. Immediately, I knew that I had to claim this cave before anyone else could.
It was better then I could have imagined. The cave was very spacious, just like the clearing outside. There wasnt much light, but I could easily fix that. On the back wall there were 4 rock shelves, each about 3 feet long, that created some type of steps, leading to another hole in the wall. On both of the near corners there where tiny streams of water running down the wall into a little pool surrounded by moss. The cave floor was smooth rock, not a crack of a divit except for the middle, where there was a small dip in the floor with the remains of a fire. Both of the side walls had little cubby holes in them, perfect for storage.
"Ted?" Newt said, turning to me. "Someone had to have been living here. Not recently, judging by these fire remains, but this place is just so perfect. What if they come back?" He asked. It was exactly what I had been thinking.
"Only one way to find out." I said, and they followed my lead. We all ran over to the stone steps on the back wall and leaped up them two at a time, and I launched myself into the hole, holding my wand aloft. This room was about half the size of the main cave, but it still didn't feel cramped. These walls had cubby's in them too, except these ones where much much larger, big enough for me to lay in them comfortably. All of the cubbies had one small one inside of them. In the center of the room was another fire pit.
"Someone definitely lived here. But they don't anymore, since non of these cubbies are filled with bedding and the fire pit's burned wood are all really old. This place is ours now. Lets get to work before we have to morph and can't use our wands." So together we tidied up the place, clearing out the cobwebs and dust, collecting dry moss and feathers to put in the cubbies. Sky put little balls of white light on the ceilings, bright enough to illuminate the whole cave to look like daylight, and experimented a bit so they would dim at night. I collected firewood and filled come cubbyholes in the main cave with it, then lit a fire in the main cave. Newt was outside, casting protective enchantments around the place. He also cast the fidelius charm, me being secret keeper, just to ensure we didn't get any unwanted visitors. Then we all gathered around the fire and roasted a cold piece of chicken I had nicked from the dinner table.
"It's getting dark. We should morph, just in cast Teddy transforms soon." Said Sky after a few minutes, and we all agreed, morphing and laying down next to the fire. Newts plan worked of course, and I didn't have to undergo my usual transformation. I laid there feeling the happiest I had in my entire life and listened to Sky and Newt chatter about the upcoming exams.
"I'm telling you, the charms exam isn't going to be as easy as you think, Newt!" Sky laughed. "You advent even gotten the hang of the vinegar to wine charm yet!"
"Have too, just because it doesn't taste perfect like your's, Sky, doesn't mean I can't do it." Newt retorted.
"I recken we should get to sleep. We have to get up early tomorrow to go back to hogwarts before everyone realizes we were gone." Said Sky, and Newt and I immediately began to lumber off to bed, yawning.
"Hold on, Ted. Can I talk to you for a bit?" She asked, not meeting my eyes.
"Um.. yeah, sure." I said questioningly, but she yielded no information to me. I followed her outside, and she leaped up to the top of the cliff from which the waterfall flowed. She sat on the moss near the edge o the cliff, sticking her feet over the edge. I laid on my back next to her, staring at the twinkling stars overhead, and wiggled so my back was being massaged by the moss. I howled with delight, but Sky remained oddly serious. I stop my wiggling and sat back up.
"Well? What did you call me here for?" I asked, looking at her.
"I don't really know how to begin..." She murmured, staring at the trees in the distance. I noticed her tail was flicking nervously. "It's just... have you ever felt some way about someone who you shouldn't feel that way about, because you don't want your friend to feel left out? And deep down, you are really afraid of being rejected by him, because for him there are so many other choices?" I stared.
"Umm... not really no," I said, completely addled. There was silence for a couple minutes were Sky looked on the verge of words, but she couldn't (or wouldn't) spit them out. "Sky..." I said, comprehension dawning. "You aren't... in love with Newt?" She looked at me, her fur shining in the moonlight.
"Not Newt, no." Her ears flattened. "Gosh Teddy, how thick are you? I'm talking about you!" It took me a couple seconds to process what she had said.
"You like... Me?" I said, my voice squeaking.
"Yes, Ted," She said, looking embarrassed. "I was hoping you would feel the same way, but.."
"But I do!!" I yelped quickly, like someone would reach out and take her away from me if I didn't respond fast enough. My insides were all dancing with happiness, and my limbs were about to join them. Sky's face had split into a foxish smile, and I chased my tail and howled at the moon happily.
When at last we went to bed, Sky chose to sleep in the main cave. I didm mind though. That meaned I could talk to Newt without her hearing us.
"Newton, you won't believe what just happened!" I said, the second I walked into the ledge room.
"Sky and you are dating now after confessing your feelings to each other under the moon?" Asked Newt, a smile in his voice. "You really think I'm not going to eavesdrop on a conversation between my two best friends who have been silently flirting over since the day on the train?" I sat there, stunned. "Its cool, Ted," He laughed. "I'm fine with it. Besides, I got my eye on a certain raven claw from Frog Choir." In the darkness, I could imagine his eyebrows wiggling when he said that.
"Well, we should probably go to sleep. We have to get up at dawn tomorrow." And at that, we drifted off into waves of sweet, dreamless sleep.