"Um... Do either of you know how to get back to Hogwarts?" Andrea asked quietly. Archie and Scruffy both looked up at her.
"Nope. Not even sure how you strayed this far out into the forest." Scruffy replied.
"Sorry..." Archie said softly. He looked genuinely sad. Andrea bit her lower lip and rested her head on her knees. Archie looked up at Scruffy, who had gone back to his stick carving.
"Are you hungry, Andrea?" Archie asked. Andrea glanced up at him and shrugged.
"I'll take that as a yes." Scruffy said, standing up. His stick now had a good point on it. "You gonna put the fire on, Arch?" Scruffy asked as he turned around.
"Will do." Archie replied as he too stood up. Andrea watched as Scruffy walked off into the forest and Archie began making a fire. Archie gathered some sticks and put them into a small pile in the middle of a circle of large rocks. Andrea put her head down again and closed her eyes. Part of her wanted to cry, but she didn't want to cry in front of a complete stranger... Instead, she decided to ask some questions.
"How did you end up in here if your just a regular person?" Andrea heard Archie sigh and she glanced up. His back was to her, and he already had a fire going.
"Well, it's just easier for someone like me to live out here. Since I couldn't get a job, I didn't have any money, and a place to stay costs money... So, with no where else to turn, I just came out here." Archie finished his rather short explanation without turning around.
"Don't you have any family?" Andrea asked. Archie didn't reply for a minute, instead he just appeared to be watching the fire.
"Scruffy's the closest to family I have now..." He said softly.
"How long have you been out here?" Andrea asked. She wondered if she should stop asking questions, but she was curious and didn't want to just sit there with her thoughts... Archie sighed again then replied.
"A while. A long while. It's hard to keep track of time when you don't have a watch or a calendar, and after a while, you don't really care anymore..." Archie let his voice trail off. Andrea didn't think she would stop caring about how long she was out here... She would think of a way to keep track.
"How did you meet Scruffy?" Andrea continued her questioning.
"Well, I came out here and came across him. I met him in the middle of the day, and he insisted that I stayed with him, at least for the evening." Andrea interrupted Archie to ask a question.
"What do you mean 'stay with him'? There's no house here."
"Actually, this is our house. This is where Scruffy brought me when we first met. He told me to make a bed... Higher up, he suggested. I had no idea what he meant by that, but I found out that night..."
"What do you mean?"
"I mean that that night was a full moon. That's why Scruffy told me to build a bed high up. And I did." Archie explained. Andrea felt the color rush out of her face.
"Wait... So... Scruffy's a... Werewolf??" Andrea asked slowly.
"Yes, but he's not one of the bad ones. I'll let him explain it to you." Archie replied. Andrea was really scared now... "Anyways, that night Scruffy made sure none of the bad werewolves came too close, and the rest is really history. Scruffy's like the big brother I never had." Archie finished and turned around, a small smile on his face. Just then, Scruffy walked back into the small clearing with three fish in his hands.
"I forgot I didn't bring anything to hold 'em in... So I only brought back three... If it's not enough, I'll go back for more." Scruffy said softly. He glanced over at Andrea and smiled. Andrea had a feeling that he had heard what she and Archie had been talking about. Archie took one of the fish and sat down on a stump near the fire. He pulled a sharp rock out of his pocket and began to skin the fish. Scruffy began skinning another fish with his pocket knife.
"You want one?" Scruffy asked, holding a partially skinned fish out to Andrea. She curled up a little more and shook her head. Scruffy glanced up at Archie, who shrugged.
"Give her time. She'll eat eventually." Archie said in a whisper. Scruffy looked at Andrea out of the corner of his eye and hoped Archie was right.
Andrea curled up as small as she could and bit her bottom lip. She had tears in her eyes, and she wanted to get out of the Forest. She hoped someone would find her soon. Archie and Scruffy seemed nice, but Andrea didn't want to be out here in the Forest with them. She wanted to be back in the school with her friends... Andrea closed her eyes as the first tear rolled down her cheek.