A/N: Yet another new story... I need to start finishing some of those. The idea for this one just took over my head, so I had to write it down. Hopefully you like werewolves as much as I do :D.

There are many perks to being a witch. Even after a hundred more rebirths I would never choose to be anything else. Currently in my fourth body, I had yet to get used to the full extent of my magic. 18 years weren't enough to tap into all of it, I was still too young. Perhaps the only drawback to my way of eternity was having to restart continuously. And I do mean right from the start. Thankfully my memories activated around the age of 4. Imagine how awful it would be to be fully conscious before that. Not having the ability to form a complex thought while crawling around on the floor would have driven me insane.

How shocked my parents were when I could suddenly speak, read, and calculate at that tender age. Prior to my awakening I had only been existing, and my mother had even worried about my mental condition. I did have to take care afterwards not to appear like some sort of genius. Reading the latest Dean Koontz novel had to be done when no one was watching. It was undeniably bothersome, but necessary. I wasn't there to put on a show for others. The one thing I wanted to do was restore my magic to its full potential.

Therein came the training. Of course, everything was self-taught. There were no schools for witches, as much as I would have appreciated those my first time around. There weren't any mentors either, as witches were much too rare and preferred their solitude. Occasionally they would get bored with life and end their cycles, just drifting around like elemental spirits – no memories, no thoughts, no consciousness. Not me though. I liked experiencing the difference of each life; the progress people made in just a few decades was astonishing. I was too curious to give it up.

The easiest, most basic, yet most important of all trainings, consisted of detaching one's spirit and floating around at night while the body took its rest in sleep. Sometimes I possessed small creatures at the back of their tiny minds, to look at their world for a short time. It had taken me years to learn this useful trick, and I was now ready to tackle cats' brains. Being a cat was one of the goals I intended to achieve by the end of the year. Re-learning all those skills was always fun, much like creating a new character in a favorite game to level up from scratch.

Tonight I was probing around a random tabby's mind, trying to find a crack to slip through. Cats were always remarkably alert at night, which made the task worthwhile. I had no use for them during the day anyway. As I was about to make another attempt at overtaking the body's controls, I got distracted by a familiar beastly presence getting closer. He had to be within a five mile radius for me to sense him, so I decided to fly over to him and check the situation out. Surely enough, it was him, the terror of the wolves' community – Derek Mortimer, born Dietrich Lehmann; not that I would ever mistake him even when his magic had gotten much stronger than I remembered. Stronger than mine, currently at least. Give me ten years and I would best him again.

It was a bad sign to see him here. In fact, I hadn't encountered him since I first started my rebirths, last having seen him as a wicked 16 year old boy. He looked to be in his early twenties now, though his real age was a bit over 200; same thing for wolf shifters. Their magic slowed down that pesky aging process, and with their cells constantly regenerating, longevity was a given, unless they were too weak to protect themselves from another of their kind. They could still die from unnatural causes. And Derek was the proud bringer of said causes.

I had heard news of him in my previous lives. The boy had made quite a name for himself. As I had predicted long ago, he had become the Alpha of his pack, but his rise to power hadn't stopped there. Admittedly, he had accomplished much for the shifter race, most notable of which – bringing the truth of their existence out in the open. He had soaked the land in his people's blood in the process – killing all those against breaking the ancient tradition of secrecy. Entire packs, rogues, rebels gone in days. Everyone who remained he had gathered under his own rule. A ruthless dictator. A mass murderer. Nothing stopped him. Not even his own father, my supposed mate back when I first came to be. I had warned Conrad Lehmann not to marry the Alpha's daughter, but he had been too blind with love to listen. And why would he have taken advice from the woman he despised.

I sneaked closer to Derek and the men surrounding him. The four of them were standing next to the entrance of a lit up mansion, discussing some meeting with humans they would have in the morning. I could see two cars parked behind them. Apparently they had just come to my city, and would hopefully be gone soon after their business was done. I didn't want to get involved with the wolves again. It had proved troublesome the first time.

Abruptly stopping the conversation, Derek inhaled a generous amount of air and held it in for a few seconds. Then he turned towards me scanning the area. I knew he couldn't see me, so I wasn't alarmed at his sudden inspection.

"I'll stay a bit longer in this city. Move the HQ if we must," he told the others curtly.

After another sniff he grinned maniacally, sharp canines gleaming in the moonlight. "My witch is nearby."

I hurriedly returned to my body. How unfortunate that our paths would cross when I was still too young and weak to fight him properly. Smoothing down the chilled skin, I got up and drew a few protective charms around the apartment. While invisible to the human eye, they would still do their job at making this place inaccessible for any supernatural being. As I sat down on my bed, I thought back to when my fate had first changed thanks to a stubborn wolf.


I was born to tediously normal parents in 1789. Since I was the fourth daughter in an already big household, I spent most of my childhood neglected by the parental authority. To escape my siblings, I used to run to the woods and hide out during the day. By instinct I knew which plants and mushrooms were edible, and didn't need to return to the house and fight over food. It was only lucky I first discovered my powers surrounded by trees instead of people. Society believed a great deal in God at that time, and I would have been labeled unholy and possessed by the devil. I heard enough in church to make my own conclusions about what would happen if I showed anyone.

I trained alone, when I wasn't helping out with the family 'business', which consisted of a few cows, a noisy rooster and his harem of a dozen hens, and a small field where we planted wheat. We were well enough by those standards, but even so nobody had the time for a good education. I lived in a bubble of ignorance, and not until a century later would I learn that I was born the same year that the Constitution was adopted.

Apart from our settlement, there was another one beyond the woods – not British like us, which explained why we didn't mix together too much, even though most of them spoke English. No one else could see it, but that wasn't the only difference they had from us. They all carried a wolf spirit inside them, that humans couldn't perceive. Their men were larger and stronger than ours; probably the reason why even with all the grumbling in the village about 'those foreigners', nobody dared to drive them away. We had a tentative agreement with them, trading off goods, mingling from time to time; but the women were required to stay away from their territory. Of course, feeling freer than the others, no words of prohibition stopped me.

The wolves recognized me as an oddity and let me explore undisturbed. They understood I wasn't interested in harming them or uncovering their secret. Much like them, I hated having my territory restricted, as I felt everything, as far as my eyes could see, was a free land I was entitled to walk.

My magic grew stronger each year, and I learned more about my abilities by merely trying out things. It was getting difficult to live in the same place. I wanted to see a lot more than the familiar farming life, and as talks of marrying me off started, the urgency to get away was taking over. Surprisingly, an offer came from the wolves' settlement on my 16th birthday. As much as my mother was unwilling to hand me over to them, a couple of horses quickly sealed the deal for my father. It wasn't like they were losing much, just a daughter who had never quite gotten attached to them.

I was warmly welcomed into the wolves' community, but that couldn't make me give up my desire to travel far from that place. However, I still couldn't count on magic to keep me alive if I left. With nowhere to go, I got used to the life there. The elder, or Alpha, of the community had brought me over because one of the young wolves had scented me as his mate. While I was intrigued at their idea of mates, and could certainly feel the pull of nature towards him, Conrad wasn't well synchronized with his wolf and it reflected in his low ranking among the others. His human part was dominating his wolf spirit, so he rationally refused the mating. He loved Helene, the pack Alpha's daughter, and she loved him back. Conrad was devastatingly attractive, I could easily anticipate a few rivals for his attention.

While human Conrad was against our wedding, wolfie Conrad was all too happy to have me around. When his animal could gain control and transform, he would run to me like a puppy. He liked lazying around in my lap while I scratched behind his ears, more like a big dog than a wolf. I was quickly getting attached to the beast, but in his conscious state he hated me more and more, as I caused his precious Helene to cry with jealousy. It was unheard of to reject a mate, but he was adamant in his loyalty to the woman he had chosen. The more I stayed, the more I divided his self – both the human and the beast getting desperate to receive what they wanted.

Until one night he crept into my room in his wolf form, and I let him climb next to me as usual, petting the thick coat sleepily. He shifted in my arms for the first time, only he didn't regain his humanity, he had his animal's eyes. As he licked my face and neck with relish, I realized the situation would become a lot more difficult if I let him continue. His other half didn't want me, and I wasn't too thrilled to spend my life with a man who loathed my presence. Though I could force his wolf to the surface, and perhaps help him climb to a rank of Beta, he would never be mine of his own free will. So I used my magic to make the beast fall asleep for a year. If Conrad had a child with Helene in that time, then his wolf would have to settle with protecting the new family, and mating me would lose priority. Wolves adored their kids after all.

The moment he came to, he looked at me horrified. "What have you done," he bellowed and grabbed my neck. I pushed him off easily. Even at this level, his magic was much weaker than mine. I thought he was worried about his wolf, ungrateful as ever of my kindness.

"We've done it, haven't we? Helene will never forgive me," he whispered, looking like a broken man.

"Not yet," I said to calm him down. "I'm fully clothed, you dummy."

He turned to me with newfound energy, his expression livid. "Don't come near me again, you revolting witch, or I will tear your heart out while you sleep."

My heart felt cold at his words, and my eyes stung . I didn't cry though. I was too angry and insulted to.

"Then you better elope with your Helene before something like this happens again," I snapped at him fiercely. "But know this first, there will be a penalty if you force another fate on yourself. You might have to forfeit your life."

"Your curses mean nothing to me," he hissed and left my room.

As soon as he married that stupid she-wolf, I would leave. I didn't need anyone to survive. Nature alone could sustain me. I would wander the land where my legs could carry me, never to return. So I kept telling myself steaming with rage on my bed.

Conrad listened to my advice and disappeared with the Alpha's daughter for two months. Everyone but me was shocked at his actions. The Alpha couldn't apologize to me enough for his daughter's foolishness. He didn't have to. I had made up my mind.

When they returned to the settlement, Helene was pregnant. Everyone soon forgave them as new life was a cause for joy, and they married with her father's blessings. I, on the other hand, was daily accompanied by pitying stares. Some even regarded me as a ticking time bomb, so to say. I was prepared to start my adventures, but first went to visit the new family. Judging by the amount of people gathered around, they expected me to do something crazy like attacking the pregnant woman. With this much trust rained on my person, it was only too easy to ditch everyone.

"This child will be very powerful," I told them as a parting gift. I could feel the heavy crackling of ancient magic gathering around this woman, waiting to unite with the baby's life the second it took its first breath. This much power was not natural, the baby was never meant to exist. But Conrad had gone and chosen his own destiny, and had caused this monstrous gathering of destructive energy. "He or she is meant to rule over others, and change life as you know it."

I didn't clarify the nature of those changes the child was going to bring. I didn't wish for it to grow up feared and avoided by others. If anything, that would make it capable of even more cruelty. Letting it have a normal childhood filled with love might change the evil in its future.

Then I left the village behind. Two years I spent drifting around, avoiding civilization, living entirely off of nature, and honing my skills. Rarely I tried my hand at healing, using the inherent knowledge I had of herbs, and trying to gain experience with it. I kept watch at night, my spirit flying above myself in a bird's body. The wildlife wasn't scared of me, the predators didn't attack me. They sensed me as an extension of their habitat, not a threat. I loved this freedom I had, this ascetic life I led.

Contrary to what I had promised myself, I was compelled to return to my place of birth again. A nostalgic pull called to me, and I followed. A witch always follows such pulls.