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Fragmented Soul

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Chapter 1 

Dead.

How could she be gone?

Severus Snape hadn't even flinched upon seeing the body of James Potter, his old school rival, lifeless and cold upon the floor of his home in Godric's Hollow. However, seeing him there had caused a feeling of dread to spread deep from within his heart, for he knew what it would undoubtedly mean.

They were all supposed to have been protected here. Severus couldn't understand what had gone wrong; Albus had promised him that they would be protected and yet it was clear that they had not. James was dead and that could only mean one thing.

Snape simply stepped over the man whom he resented so much, caring very little for what had happened to him. He cared nothing for James Potter; it bothered him very little that the man was dead. Potter's death by the look of it had been quick, painless even; he had died protecting his family, and it was at least an honourable death.

Severus' throat was so dry that he struggled to swallow. His heart was beating fiercely in his chest, knowing what he was going to find as he ventured further into the house, but he couldn't turn back now; he had to see with his own two eyes, otherwise he would never believe it to be true.

His feet felt like unmovable blocks of lead as he forced them, one at a time, up the wooden staircase, steeling himself for the worst. He had been to this house only once before in his lifetime. He had come here on Lily's request to see her and her new-born son, Harry, when he was only two months old. It had been an attempt to salvage their precious friendship and it had worked to some extent. However, times were tough and there was a war raging, a war where he needed to appear to be on the opposite side than Lily.

He knew where he was going when he reached the top of the staircase; he knew where Lily would have died protecting the most precious thing in her life, her little boy. Harry, the child who had inherited her stunningly beautiful emerald green eyes and James' scruffy black hair and was named after Lily's grandfather, whom she had loved dearly.

Despite his certainty about what he was going to find, he couldn't help but fall to his knees when he reached the room where she lay. Her lifeless body wide eyed and motionless on the floor. The life that had once filled her was long gone and in it's place a look of terror on her face.

It was true, she was dead. She had died while protecting her son, her only child. It looked as if she hadn't even drawn her wand to try to fight Voldemort off when he had come for her, simply accepting what she couldn't change. Severus couldn't bring himself to turn towards the crib in the room, sure that the child would be dead too.

The child would have been the last part of his lovely Lily to remain, and yet he had been snatched from his grasp too, leaving nothing of her behind. There was no way that the Dark Lord would leave the child alive and he had no wish to look upon Harry's tiny lifeless body.

Tears filled Severus' eyes as he stared only at Lily, unable to bring himself to touch her, knowing that her warmth would be gone and her skin would be cold. He so desperately wanted to hold her, to cradle her lifeless body in his arms, to stroke her flaming red hair and to vainly will the life back into her body. It crushed his very soul to know that he would never hear her laugh, never see her smile, never feel her embrace him, ever again. All he had now were his memories, thoughts and feelings that he would treasure until the day he died.

A small and unexpected whimper from across the room drew his attention to the crib as he realised, for the first time since entering the room, that he wasn't alone and for a moment he feared an attack.

He found himself speechless when he realised that the child, who he believed would be dead, was not; little Harry was, instead, holding on to the bars of his cot, standing and staring at him. The fifteen month old baby boy was looking at him with an intense fascination through eyes that were all Lily.

For whatever reason, Voldemort had failed in his task to kill the child and Severus was surprised to realise just how profoundly grateful he was for that. A small part of the woman he had loved so deeply lived on in her son. The Dark Lord had not spared her, as he had once sworn that he would, and Severus knew he would never know love like what he had felt for her again; however, the child was alive. He looked upon the boy with love and affection but there was also pity. Harry's life would not be easy. Orphaned, alone and never understanding why.

It took only a moment to decided. If it had taken any longer then the outcome could have been vastly different for them both. The roar of an approaching motorcycle made him jump into action, not even pausing to think it through, there was no time for that. He snatched up the little, dark haired, child into his arms, glad when Harry accepted his hold without any fuss or tears.

The young boy was already dressed in a thick cotton romper suit of baby blue but Severus made sure to wrap the child in the knitted Gryffindor red blanket as well, to ensure that Harry would be warm enough on the cold October evening. It was the blanket that Lily had knitted for him, while she had been pregnant, and Severus remembered fondly how she had told him proudly that she had insisted upon doing it the muggle way without using magic at all.

As his gaze went back to the young boy, who lay so still, snuggled trustingly into the crook of his arm, he saw the angry red scar on Harry's forehead. Severus knew from the sight of it that Voldemort had tried, and failed, to kill this child. The boy was special, unique even, and if they stayed here then Albus Dumbledore would no doubt use the boy mercilessly for his own power and gain, or for whatever greater good he wanted to achieve next.

Severus knew he could not allow that to happen to the innocent child, not to Lily's child, and have his conscience remain clear. It was rapidly dawning on him that this was his last remaining link to his beloved Lily and he could never let anyone hurt him. Severus would take it upon himself to care for the baby, to hide him away from the world that would seek to use him, to hurt him and he do everything and anything in his power to protect Harry.

Severus simply didn't trust anyone else to do so. He knew why Lily had given up her life and he would ensure that it hadn't been in vain. Harry was so small and innocent; whatever plan Dumbledore would inevitably have for this child, Severus wasn't going to let come to pass. Albus could not be trusted; he had made that mistake once and Lily had ended up dead. He would never make that mistake again.

The roaring of the motorcycle engine was growing increasingly louder. Something in the back of Snape's mind reminded him, somewhat snidely, that Sirius Black had a motorbike. What if it was him? Severus had to act quickly, otherwise his spontaneous plan would be ruined before it even started; his plan to protect Harry would be foiled and who knew what would happen to the infant then.

If Black arrived and caught him with the child then all hell would break loose. They had never been the best of friends, in fact quite the opposite; their school yard rivalry lived on into adulthood and Severus couldn't allow it to overflow into this house. No, he had to leave and he had to leave now.

He knew that he wouldn't be able to go home to Spinners End, he would he too easily found there, he couldn't even go there for supplies, he would just have to run. He would find somewhere new for them to lay low for a while, where no one knew them. They could hide away from the wizarding world and he could raise Harry as his own, treasure him, protect him and love him like a father.

As the idea took hold in Severus Snape's mind and in his heart, he began to tear through the nursery in a panic, careful to avoid the body of his darling Lily in the process as he packed as many things he thought he might need into a large changing bag that he charmed to be bottomless with a quick wave of his wand.

It was a little tricky to manage while still holding Harry in one arm, but he wasn't going to risk putting the boy down for even a second in case they had to make a quick getaway. He hastily shrunk down anything that would not be missed when the Order of the Phoenix came searching for the boy, taking all the essentials he knew they'd need. Though, he was no expert on children and had no clue if half the stuff he packed would be useful or not.

He did know, however, that the Order of the Phoenix would come, and probably sooner, rather than later. The scar on Harry's forehead told him that Voldemort had fulfilled the prophecy and marked Harry as his equal. It marked him as a future pawn in a war that was many years in the future. Severus was not naive enough to believe that it was over and that Voldemort was gone, he knew better than that.

Severus knew of the prophecy; he knew what it meant for the sweet, innocent child that had dozed off so peacefully in his arms. He wasn't going to let it happen. Lily's son would not become another of Albus Dumbledore's weapons.

From the sound of it, the motorbike had arrived; whoever had sat astride it would soon be there and Severus knew that they had run out of time. He was vaguely aware that it was the point of no return, but the only thought that really came to him was that they had to go.

Whether he had everything they needed, or not, Severus didn't have any choice. It was now or never; if he didn't leave now then he would be caught. Throwing the changing bag over his shoulder and shoving his wand into the specially designed pocket within his robes he cast one more longing look at his fallen soul mate. At least she was at peace now; she wouldn't have to feel any more pain.

"Time to go," Severus whispered softly, as he ensured that Harry was safely tucked into his arm, the knitted blanket secured tightly around him. "Say goodbye to your Mama, Harry." He hated that his voice cracked slightly at that; it felt so wrong to just leave Lily there alone. However, he knew she would have been yelling at them to go already, if she had been alive to do so, telling them to run and for him to protect Harry in her stead.

Harry slept on, oblivious to what was going on around him, unaware that the last time he would lay eyes on his mother had just passed. He didn't even stir as Severus Snape disapparated, stealing him away from Godric's Hollow and changing both of their futures forever. Severus, however, felt all too aware of everything; he was aware that he had just made himself responsible for a small child and he was aware he might be followed by those who wanted the child for themselves.

He disapparated again as soon as they had apparated into field in the middle of nowhere. He did this again and again, terrified that someone, anyone, would find them. He apparated them all across England and Wales , even going across the sea to Ireland for a short while. Harry slept through it all but Severus was becoming too tired to carry on; he didn't want to risk splinching himself or hurting the baby in his arms; he just had to hope it had been enough.

It was Halloween night and the harsh October winds, which signalled the coming of the winter, were bitter against his face as he travelled. He drew Harry closer to the warmth of his body, tucking the blanket around him tighter to shield him from the elements. Still the infant didn't even stir; the sight of the tiny child made Severus' heart ache. The reality of what he had done was starting to sink in and he knew that he had made the right decision.

Though, he had to be extremely cautious. Once or twice he had passed through towns and there were rumours everywhere, whispers that Voldemort had been killed, that their tormentor was somehow gone and no one knew exactly why or how.

Severus was all too aware that the Dark Lord's loyal Deatheaters were still out there and they would be desperate to hear of any news of certainty about the whereabouts of their master. If he was caught literally holding the child that had brought about the downfall of Lord Voldemort, then they would both be killed without hesitation.

Unsure of where he was going, but knowing that he had to keep moving, Severus carried on. He was in a muggle village but that was all he could be sure of; he knew he was somewhere in England, Yorkshire he supposed, but it didn't really matter. He had to get off the streets and find somewhere to rest for the night. Being out so late in the icy winter winds would not be good for the infant, who still sleeping deeply in his arms. He drew his cloak around them as much as he could manage, the weight of the child growing increasingly heavy the longer he held him.

He knew that all of Voldemort's most loyal Deatheaters would be searching the length and breadth of the country for their master; they would want answers to their questions regarding what had happened, what had gone so terribly wrong? However, there was one family who he knew feared for their own child's safety more than their own lives and had wanted to escape the Dark Lord as much as he had.

Severus wasn't sure that he could trust them for longer than a single night but their boy was the same age as Harry, almost; Draco Malfoy had been born at the beginning of June, almost two whole months before Lily had given birth. They would have everything he needed to care for Harry. He wouldn't have to be there long at all but he knew that they would help him.

Narcissa and Lucius had wanted him as Godfather to Draco and he had accepted the honour, vowing to protect him; hopefully they would be able to do the same for little Harry. Lucius might not understand but he knew that Narcissa would. He had so few options open to him that he had to take the chance.

He took a deep breath a steadied himself and, with a great of effort, Severus Snape disapparated for the last time that evening, or so he hoped. He just had to hope that, in all of the confusion, the Malfoy's would be left alone by the authorities; at least for one night. He needed to stop, to take a breath and give himself time to think. He hadn't had even a moment to form any kind of plan when he had taken Harry into his arms and decided to leave with him.

He needed to work out what his next move was and he couldn't do that on practically no sleep, with a young child and on the run. He needed time to think everything over or neither of them was going to survive the week, maybe not even the day.

He couldn't even think any further ahead than that, not now, there were just too many uncertainties. It just wasn't safe, the whole world was dangerous and people would be looking for them; granted it wasn't likely that they would be looking for them together, but there was one thing he was sure of. He needed to remain hidden with his newly adopted son.

FGHP

Dumbledore was a man much in demand this evening. The wizarding world was in uproar. The Potters were dead and the Longbottom family had been tortured to the point where they had lost their sanity. He had been informed that Neville Longbottom had been injured, though not badly, in the attack on his parents. Everyone was demanding answers and they were demanding them from him like he was the Minister for Magic; it was, of course, to be expected given his considerable talents and knowledge .

He had taken control of the situation quickly, asking Hagrid to collect the Potter boy and to deliver him to his Aunt and Uncle's house; but it had been a huge blow to be informed that the fifteen month old, Harry Potter, was now missing. That he was not where he was supposed to have been, was extremely odd and rather infuriating; it seemed that someone was meddling in his plans, which he didn't like one bit.

Upon learning of the Potter boys disappearance, the aging man had then travelled personally to see the Longbottom's child. He had to think of something quickly before someone noticed that something was amiss. The prophecy bothered him a lot more than he would like to admit; he had a great mind, it should have been clear to him what to do and he would not tolerate being made to look like a fool.

The Dark Lord would mark him as his equal. Well Tom had clearly decided upon Harry in that respect, but the Potter boy was gone. That was when the idea struck him; he was always amazed at his own genius. Neville Longbottom would have to take his place; he would become the boy-who-lived in Harry's stead.

In the meantime he would have time to figure out what had happened at Godrics Hollow. Right now, however, there was no time; the Ministry needed answers, everybody did. It would be simple enough to convince them of what had happened, his version of events at least.

He would ensure that the wizarding world knew that Lord Voldemort had fallen in his attempts to kill the Longbottom family. Those who had actually tortured Alice and Frank Longbottom would be sent to Azkaban, without trial, and charged with the murders of Lily, James and Harry Potter.

Everyone would be too busy celebrating soon enough; no one would notice him going about his business, doing what needed to be done. He would make all the arrangements, let those that needed to be told know and he would keep the truth to himself, telling only those he trusted to keep his secret. Neville Longbottom's fate would be set in stone once he was finished setting everything into place.

If the Potter boy really was alive, which wasn't likely at this point, then he would be found eventually but it couldn't be his priority; that honour would rest with Neville. As there had been no sign of Harry anywhere, Dumbledore could only assume that he had been killed or at the very least kidnapped, but by friend or foe he couldn't be sure. The state of play being the way it was, it seemed more probable that it would have been a foe.

It didn't matter either way to Albus, as long as he had one of them, that was all that mattered. The Longbottom child would be powerful; as the son of two prominent Aurors, he made a fine candidate for becoming the hero of the wizarding world.

Harry Potter would just become another of those lost to the war, no one would miss him. Well perhaps Sirius Black but then he was the only one who knew that it had actually been Peter Pettigrew who had been the Potter's secret keeper rather than him. Sirius could easily be disposed of in Azkaban along with the other Deatheaters. No one would question it. Everyone wanted to see justice done.

Remus Lupin was too busy trying to find answers to his Werewolf curse abroad and would have no clue about what was going on until it was too late to do anything about it. By the time he got back from wherever his travels had taken him on his quest for answers it would past the point when he might have been able to stand up for Sirius.

The werewolf would of course mourn his friends and hate Sirius for his betrayal; Dumbledore didn't care about such things, as long as Remus didn't meddle in his plans he cared very little for the state of the man or how he coped with the loss of everything he held dear.

Dumbledore smiled to himself, humming happily. He had a lot of work to do but he was satisfied with his plan. He popped a sherbet lemon in his mouth, sucking upon it leisurely as he went about his business. He may not officially have been Minister for Magic but the power and the control was ultimately his and he felt giddy on it.

Oh, how he enjoyed to pull the strings of those around him, dictating their lives as if he were a puppet master. Manipulating Neville to his own purpose would be easy, he was a fresh young mind after all, easy to mould into a hero as he grew up; someone that Dumbledore could be proud of.

He was getting to be the master manipulator, a fact that he was very proud of. He had manipulated Severus almost artistically; using the man's ridiculous infatuation with Lily to ensure the man brought him any information he could gather from the Deatheaters and Voldemort.

Of course his loyalty might waver a little now in the face of her death, but Dumbledore would have no trouble pinning the blame on Black and letting Severus' intense hate of the man do the rest of the work. He was confident that he would still have a firm grip on the man's loyalty when this night was over.

FGHP

Severus Snape apparated between the tall and beautifully manicured yew hedges that bordered both sides of the driveway of Malfoy Manor, landing directly in front of the wrought-iron gates, where the wards preventing trespassers from entering began.

As a close friend of the family he could pass through them without trouble but no one could apparate within them. Harry wasn't perceived as a threat, given he was only a baby, and so the two of them were able to pass through without hassle.

The manor loomed over him ominously as he made the straight walk from the gates to the front door; the only things in his way were the lavish displays of wealth, including marble statues and albino peacocks that strutted around majestically.

The building itself was imposingly large and grand; it was rather pretentious, in his opinion, but none the less, there was no denying it suited the family well. It was a home he had visited regularly, it was one the Dark Lord believed suited his own stature and Deatheater meetings were frequently held here.

Even if Lucius wasn't home tonight then Narcissa would be; she had become somewhat obsessive about keeping young Draco out of harm's way, shielding him from the world that was becoming a dark and dangerous place to live.

She rarely left the safety of her home; she never needed to go anywhere anyway, not when everything they ever needed was brought to them by the many house elves in their service. Narcissa never wanted the Dark Lord anywhere close to her precious son and Severus could not begrudge her this; even less so now that he had Harry in his care.

Whenever the Dark Lord had taken up residence at Malfoy Manor, Narcissa had found solitude in young Draco's nursery, which Severus knew to be warded. She was not a witch to be trifled with; she possessed strong magic and used it to protect her first born son, not only from Voldemort but also her tyrant of her husband, who had become an increasingly cruel man since their wedding day.

Severus' brain was working on overdrive as he strode purposefully toward the imposing house, trying to come up with a vague but plausible story that he could tell Narcissa when she answered the door. He didn't want to put her in any danger by telling her too much. He trusted her, they were friends but he could not tell her the identity of the child.

As he raised his hand and knocked on the large door, Severus' heart was beating hard in his chest, anxious about the welcome that he would receive. He was surprised that the loud thumping of his heart in his chest had not woken the slumbering child as he held Harry so close to him.

If Lucius was home he would not be able to linger longer than a moment. Coming here had been one hell of a risky gamble to take, one he really hoped he didn't come to regret.

As the grand door to the stately home was opened, it was neither a house elf that greeted him, nor anyone he had expected to be there. In fact the face that met him now was not one he cared to see ever again. Fellow Deatheater and occasional friend to the Malfoy family, Fenrir Greyback, stood before him, barring him entrance. The werewolf's golden eyes were darting about, scanning the terrain behind Severus, scouting for any potential threats.

"Get inside, quickly," Greyback said in his rough, bark like voice. The werewolf reached out and grabbed Severus by the front of the robes, practically throwing him through the open door by the scruff of his neck, as Greyback continued to look outside warily, as if expecting attack at any moment.

The action of the Werewolf had been so sudden and violent that baby Harry had almost toppled from Severus' arms. Steadying himself just in time, he adjusted his hold upon the child and saw that Harry slept on, blissfully unaware of what was going on around him.

The front door was hastily slammed shut the moment Severus and Harry were across the threshold, the sound reverberating off the walls of the large entrance hall. Severus brought the infant closer to him, covering Harry's ears so that it did not disturb the slumbering child at all.

Fenrir turned to look at the potions master, with a displeased sneer on his handsome, strong face and then his eyes drifted down to the bundle of blankets in Snape's arms; a glittering look of interest sparked in his golden eyes. Inhaling deeply, the werewolf cricked his neck and smiled, baring his teeth.

"What are you doing here Greyback?" Severus asked, feigning annoyed disinterest, all the while his insides knotted with anxiety at having the monstrous man so close to him and Harry. "The Dark Lord will be displeased to see you have deserted your post," he said, in his usual cool drawling voice, his head held high as he met the werewolf's eyes with unwavering confidence.

Severus Snape knew full well he was one of Lord Voldemort's most trusted servants, that he easily outranked the Werewolf, who could be considered, at best, a lower level Deatheater. Greyback hadn't even had the so called privilege of the Dark Mark being branded onto his left forearm; not that Fenrir cared about this at all.

The werewolf was infamous all on his own, though it was perhaps not all truth but he didn't mind the stigma that came attached to the rumors as it meant people left him alone. He had joined the ranks of Voldemort for the carnage and the bloodshed, for access to victims and the chance for revenge for what had happened to his pack. A pack that was now dead.

Fenrir had few friends and with his pack slaughtered by Ministry Wizards he had sworn to get revenge, something Voldemort had offered to him but had so far not delivered. Though, if the rumours were true and the Dark Lord was gone then it was a good excuse to escape from it, he didn't want to be under the thumb of any man, especially not Voldemort. He had plans in mind, to get away from the wizarding world and start again.

Severus drew Harry closer into his body as he recalled that Fenrir had had a disturbing obsession with young children as of late. He knew that the Werewolf had a desire to start a pack of his own and seemed to be biting young children for that purpose.

"Have you not heard, Snape?" Fenrir mocked, taking a step towards the potions master; Severus held his ground despite how uncomfortable it made him to be so close to such a vile creature.

Every instinct he had telling him to run a mile and keep Harry as far from Greyback as possible, but Narcissa Malfoy was still their best hope and that meant standing his ground. "The Dark Lord is gone," Fenrir went on, inhaling deeply again and not taking his eyes from Harry, "dead according to rumour." Though Fenrir put very little stock in rumours.

Greyback had never had the presence of a pleasant man and never pretended otherwise. On the contrary in fact and he rather enjoyed having this air about him. When you looked at him you could tell he was not the kind of man to be messed with and he liked that.

He was a big, over six feet tall, overly muscled, with dark blonde hair that fell to his shoulders with large golden eyes. He neither cared what he looked like nor came across as being well groomed. He had worn the same brown leather jacket, which reached down to just above his calves, over a bare, well defined chest since the first time Severus had laid eyes upon him. Even in the dead of winter the Werewolf never wore a shirt, the elements did not affect the species as much as it did everyone else.

"I have heard the rumour," Severus said carefully, keeping his eyes on the aggressive looking man, not liking the way that Fenrir never once took his eyes from the bundle of blankets that contained Harry.

He felt the young child stir in his arms; Fenrir's golden gaze had not faltered from the child since they had entered and this didn't change now.

The beast of a man was on some kind of vendetta against the world, seemingly wanting to populate the world with his kind after he had lost his pack. He had taken to biting children to see if they were strong enough to survive the change. Most were not strong enough, unfortunately, but those that were, were often left to fend for themselves, suffering once a month as they grew up with a monster inside of them.

What Fenrir planned to do with these poor children, Severus didn't know, nor did he care. It was none of his concern and he wouldn't waste time concerning himself with the inner workings of the beast's mind. He had other more important things on his mind and one of those was keeping Greyback away from Harry.

"I came to see if Narcissa and Lucius had any more information on the matter," Severus stated simply, thinking that this was was the plausible excuse to be at the Manor at such an hour. It was a reason that he hoped would not be questioned.

Hearing approaching footsteps, Severus turned, instinctively adjusting Harry in his arms to protect him from the approaching threat, just in case it was someone else come to hurt the infant he had sworn that he would protect.

"Good evening, Severus," Narcissa said softly as she entered the entrance hall of her home. She had heard voices and come to investigate what was going on and been relieved when she had recognized Severus' voice. She had no reason to fear the potions master.

In her arms a sleeping child lay, draped in a luxurious cashmere shawl and sucking his thumb; he had wisps of blonde hair upon his head and looked as content as could be. Draco, Snape's godson, was beautifully perfect and so clearly a Malfoy; his mother, however, looked worn and ragged as if she had not been sleeping well.

The last few months had taken its toll on Narcissa. Her somewhat deranged sister, Bellatrix had been hounding her as to why she had not been at the Deatheater meetings and the Dark Lord had been threatening the life of her child, if she did not cooperate and do as he demanded. The stresses and strains were starting to drain the life from her; the only thing she lived for was the baby in her arms for she had very little else.

"Narcissa, I am sorry to arrive unannounced," Severus began, casting a cautious eye to Fenrir, knowing that he could not speak openly in front of him. Narcissa simply failed to acknowledge the werewolf, clearly unhappy with his presence in her home. "I was hoping that you could assist me with a matter that is somewhat personal to me."

"Fenrir, could you possibly give Severus and I a moment? I realise that Lucius has asked you to protect us on this most awful of nights but I assure you that Severus means us no harm." She spoke this request coolly and with eloquent calm, it was a quality that Severus had always admired her for, to remain calm and collect whatever happened.

Fenrir Greyback looked between the two of them suspiciously. He had been summoned to Malfoy Manor in order to protect Malfoy's wife and son and, while he did not take being ordered around by anyone very well, Lucius was something akin to a friend and so he had agreed. His vow to protect the man's family was not something to be taken lightly, but there was no reason to believe Snape was a threat and so he begrudgingly nodded. Though he was somewhat reluctant to let the child in Snape's arms out of his sight.

Lucius had, of course, heard the rumours that the Dark Lord had fallen and made quick work of summoning Greyback to him. He needed someone powerful to remain with his wife and child while he salvaged his reputation and good standing at the Ministry of Magic. He planned to claim that he was under the Imperius curse and spare himself from Azkaban. However, just in case his plan failed, he had wanted someone to protect his family.

Lucius Malfoy wasn't stupid, of course, and so he had forced the Werewolf to make an Unbreakable vow; it was the only way he could ensure that Greyback wouldn't infect his wife or son with his curse. It had helped that the werewolf had been promised a generous fee for his services too.

As it happened Fenrir was just glad that vow he had made did not stretch to visitors, since the unknown child who was held in Snape's arms smelt enticingly good. He had an aroma of dark magic to him, but beneath that there was more, so much more.

He hadn't even seen if the child that Severus Snape carried was male or female but that didn't matter to him, gender and sexuality meant very little to him; as far as he was concerned there was only dominant and submissive. A powerful werewolf such as himself could scent good breeding mates and that was what Fenrir sensed in the child. He knew he would have to turn him, no matter what it took.

Only once Fenrir had reluctantly exited the room, and left them to it, did Severus breathe a little easier. It had unnerved him the way the werewolf had fixated so intently on Harry. Perhaps coming here had been a bad idea, even if he had been completely out of alternative options. Either way, Severus knew he couldn't change that now and so he had no choice by to just hope that he wouldn't regret his decision.

"I think we should take this conversation upstairs," Narcissa said before he could say anything. She was looking at him curiously, glancing occasionally at the bundle in his arms with a questioning expression that demanded answers.

Narcissa Malfoy had a good sense for trouble. Whatever the reason Severus Snape had for turning up on her doorstep this evening, she already knew that it would be neither good nor joyous; especially given that he had come with a child in his arms. She knew that he neither had a lover nor a child and therefore she could see no reason for him have this child in his care.

They would need privacy for this conversation, somewhere she knew that they couldn't be overheard; and so she led him up the nearest staircase thinking that there was only one place that she could take him where she would happily lay Draco down to rest for a while, especially with Greyback in the house.

Without question, Severus began to follow her; what else was he to do at this point? And, while she was clearly suspicious, he had no reason to believe she would bring harm to either him or Harry. She lead him to the one room in Malfoy Manor that was warded with enough protection, silencing and privacy enchantments that no one, probably not even Voldemort himself, would be able to break them; which had been her intent. The nursery.

Only once they were inside the nursery, and the door locked and warded shut, did either of them visibly relax. Narcissa moved over to the large rosewood cot and settled a sleeping Draco into it. She gazed lovingly at her son, stroking the white blonde hair fondly. The small child, suckled noiselessly on his thumb as he stirred lightly in his slumber after losing his mother's warmth but slept on without a care in the world.

"I never knew you to have a child, Severus," she said gently; her eyes still on Draco, watching him with love and unwilling to look away from her little boy. She would do anything for her child, there were no limits to her love for him. She had already taken several beatings from Lucius since giving birth, all in the name of protecting her precious boy.

"As of tonight Cissa, I have a son," Severus told her softly, reminding himself that he had to keep things vague. He cared deeply for Narcissa, they were friends but he would not put her in danger by telling her too much. It would have been selfish for him to do that, especially considering that it would also put Draco in danger too.

He knew that her mind would not be a safe place for such knowledge. He couldn't tell anyone the entire truth of the situation, not without the constant fear of being discovered. This would be his secret to keep.

He would have to make sure not to tell anyone the entire truth, but he would tell her just enough to assure her assistance; but nothing more, and then he would be gone, meaning that she would be out of danger. There was no need to put Narcissa in harm's way if he could avoid it.

"Indeed," Narcissa said, turning to him with curiosity still in her eyes, but when he made no attempts to elaborate she went on; deciding she would just have to trust his judgement and she did trust him she realised, they had been friends too long for her not to. "Settle him beside Draco, then you can rest. You look tired, Sev, have you slept at all since the last time we spoke?" she asked.

Narcissa cared for Severus dearly, he had always looked out for and protected her, shielding her from the Dark Lord when it was needed and often more frequently than her own husband had. They had been friends for a great many years and it had been an easy decision to make, when she had chosen him to be Godfather to her child; even Lucius had been more than willing to bestow the honour on the man.

She was intensely curious as to how Severus had come to have such a young child in his care but he had never kept things from her without purpose and so she knew that he would have his reasons for not sharing all the details of his current predicament.

Severus Snape had the mind of a true and devious Slytherin; but, unusually, he was also an incredibly selfless man more often than not. If he decided to conceal something then it was for very good reason. She knew him well enough to know that whatever his reasons for having this child in his care then he wasn't doing it for himself.

Their lives had, for so long, been controlled by a man whom could delve into the deepest recesses of his servants' minds, and many of those servants were little better than the Dark Lord himself. She understood all too well that sometimes ignorance was for the best.

She had, of course, learnt that the hard way, as had so many of the Deatheaters and his victims alike. She hated the terror and uncertainty they lived in, and there was very little she wouldn't have done to escape from the Dark Lords grasp, taking her son with her. However, she still held out a vain hope that her husband cared for her; although it was becoming less and less likely every time he hit her and every time he forced himself on her.

Tentatively, Severus moved forward, adjusting his grip on Harry so that he could settle the sleeping child in beside Draco. The two young boys were so vastly different to one another; Harry's hair was as dark as Draco's was blond and even their skin tones contrasted, the Malfoy child's several shades lighter making the other boy look considerably tanned by comparison, even though he too was milky white.

Carefully, Severus adjusted the bright red blanket over Harry, who had squirmed unhappily when he had been put down but didn't make a sound. Severus lingered on him a moment, unable to help himself admire how adorable the two of them looked, sleeping side by side. Narcissa stood beside her friend, smiling down at the two boys and envying their innocence.

When large green eyes flickered open Narcissa gasped at their beauty. She had seen those eyes before but she couldn't for the life of her remember where or who they had belonged to and it took her a while to realise, without Severus saying a word, who this child belonged to.

She could see the angry red scar upon his forehead, the mark of dark magic. Shaped like a lightning bolt in dark crimson, the mark was recent and would scar horribly and permanently. The young child's dark mass of raven hair was all over the place. He could easily have been Severus' child but she knew that he wasn't. Narcissa wasn't naive, nor was she stupid; she knew that whatever had happened tonight, this child had something to do with it. You didn't gain a mark like that by accident.

That Severus had come to her for help on tonight of all nights had been enough to tell her that he probably wasn't suppose to have this boy and she thought that it was probably foolish for him to have taken him. Whatever the reason for Severus having this child however, she had to trust that he was making the right choice. She trusted the man, that she knew.

"It's true, isn't it?" Narcissa whispered softly, gazing down at the two infants, Severus by her side. She reached down with one hand, grasping at Severus' their fingers lacing together innocently

"I believe so," Severus said, giving her hand a squeeze, trying his best to reassure her. "He is gone … for now."

"And you are leaving with this child," she said calmly; it wasn't a question, merely a statement of fact. It would sadden her to lose her friend but even with so few words spoken between them she could see that this was what needed to happen. This child, he would be renowned and she could see that all Severus wanted to do was protect him from that and a life that almost wouldn't be worth living with all the danger he would be in.

She had suspected that it was Severus' intention to disappear when he had turned up here with an unexplainable child in his arms. Now it was becoming increasingly clear to her that it meant he would have to leave permanently and hide away from their world, leaving her behind.

It would be the only way that he would be able to protect this boy, who she could see would need protecting from so many people. Curiosity over what had happened, and how Severus had come to have the young boy in his care without being caught, was threatening to overwhelmed her but she wouldn't allow it to tempt her; the less she knew the better.

"I am," Severus confirmed and she nodded her head, understanding why he was being so vague and her role in this evening. She knew that she would help him without question; they were friends and if the situation had been reversed then Severus would have done the same for her.

"What do you need?" she asked him gently. It wasn't much, but those three words lifted Severus' heart; it was all he needed to hear to know she would help.

Narcissa may not have known for sure the reason behind why Severus was determined to leave with this child but he was a good man and whatever his reasons behind his actions she had decided to help him. Whoever this child was, and she had her suspicions, she would be glad to help.

Both she and her husband had been in Lord Voldemort's inner circle since his rise to power, though it had not been her choice to be. Due to how close she had been to Voldemort on her husbands request, she could make an educated guess as to who the boy was and exactly how much danger he was in, even with the Dark Lord gone.

"Enough of whatever is needed to care for the child for a week," Severus responded, giving her a grateful smile, their hands still joined together. "At least until we can settle down somewhere."

He knew that she would understand and give him aid without the need for a long and complicated explanation because that was who Narcissa was. A bright, intelligent witch who was taken for granted both by her husband and the master she unwilling served.

"Severus, I will gladly help you and give you whatever you need," Narcissa told him earnestly, "but I will not permit you to leave here until you have rested," she insisted stubbornly.

She could see how exhausted the man was, he had confided in her only last week that he had not been sleeping well; it was the effect that the Dark Lord had on his followers, even on a man as well practiced in the art of Occlumency as Severus. He looked even more exhausted now than he had then; she strongly suspected he had not slept one wink the night before. She could not in good conscience allow him to leave her home in such a state of exhaustion and with a young boy to care for as well.

"I will remember your kindness, Cissa, always," he told her bringing her into him and holding her in a tight embrace. She returned the hug gratefully, the contact a comfort to her. It had been so long since she had shared anything as innocent as a hug with anyone other than her son.

Lucius was not a man who enjoyed cuddling or showing any affectionate gestures whether in public or in private. He was not an romantic or a gentle man by any stretch of the imagination, not even towards his son, but she still insisted, more to herself than anyone else that she loved him regardless. If for no other reason that for the beautiful boy he had given her, the heir to the Malfoy name and estate.

Helping Severus tonight would at least distract her from what her husband was trying to do for his family; she was concerned that he would be whisked off to Azkaban the moment he set foot in the Ministry and she would be left alone with their young son. She had no idea how self serving her husband was being as he went about the ministry, saving his own skin.

Tending to her friend gave her a purpose and a welcome distraction; she wouldn't sleep until Lucius returned home and greyback was dismissed from his position as guard dog, this task would be a good use of her time until then.

In more than one instance Severus Snape had saved her from humiliation and on more than one occasion torture as well at the hands of Lucius and the Dark Lord and so she was glad she could be of assistance to her friend tonight. She owed him this and her silence on the matter too.

FGHP

Fenrir Greyback couldn't stop thinking about the infant whom Severus Snape had brought to the Manor; he cared very little who the boy was, or where he had come from, but the scent of him had been burned into his werewolf brain irrevocably.

His mind was frantic with the desire to taste the child's blood, to sample that which ran in the veins of someone who smelled so deliciously tempting to him. That child would be bitten and infected, and he would be the one to do the honour.

He knew that the child could not be of Severus' own blood as he could smell no familial connection between them at all, but still he could not bring himself to care who the infant was. It made no difference and the only thing that was of importance now was that the child's future, when fully grown, would be as his new mate.

Fenrir had not scented anything or anyone as perfect or as pure as that child in his lifetime. Not even his last mate, who was long dead along with his two pups who had been growing in her belly and the rest of his pack. A pack that he had sworn vengeance for, revenge that Voldemort had promise and never delivered.

They had been killed by the Ministry of Magic for his apparent crimes or so he believed, there had been very little proof either way but it was clearly the work of wizards. He blamed himself every day for not doing what he should have done as the Alpha of their pack and as her mate, to protect them from harm.

He felt anger bubble in the pit of stomach as he remembered what had happened to them all, his precious pack whom he had cared for as any Alpha would. He had failed them all but he would not fail again, especially not now that the opportunity to take another mate and create another pack had arisen.

In his foolish, grief induced state he had joined Voldemort, so as to take revenge upon those that had killed his first mate and the two pups that had been growing in her belly. He had regretted that decision as soon as he had made it, of course, but that was all in the past and Voldemort was dead, if the rumours were to be believed. Everything he had seen so far led him to believe that they were true.

He was glad for the Dark Lords demise; he had hated that monster of a man more than he had hated anything in his life, including the disease that had killed his mother when he was a child. Voldemort had never smelt right, his soul fragmented and decaying. It had sickened Fenrir to see anyone in such a poor state of existence.

The Ministry was hunting him down and he had had no where else to go when his pack had been slaughtered so brutally. Werewolves were not welcomed into society but by accepting a place as one of Voldemort's henchmen it had given him a chance to get his revenge of some witches and wizards, to take his anger out on the victims he was offered and distract himself with violence.

However, in the end, none of it had helped him to forget. For years he had bitten children in the hope that they might grow up strong enough to build a new pack with, but his plans had fallen short as only a handful of them had survived.

Despite the Dark Magic, that lingered beneath the skin of the infant Snape had carried in his arms, he knew the heart that beat within was strong and pure. It would be virile enough to survive the initial bite, he was sure, and then the first change after that.

So many of the children that he had bitten had not but this one was different and Fenrir had decided that he had to lay claim to the child. He could see that when the child was fully grown he would make a fine wolf, there was no doubt about that. That was what Fenrir desired when he infected the younglings of wizards, a powerful pack of Wolves that would be stronger than his last.

Once he had bitten the youngster he would allow Snape to do whatever he planned to do, taking a back seat; he had no interest in raising the infant, he had no desire to be a father figure to anyone unless it was to his own pups.

He had something much better in mind for this particular youngling. Siring the child, giving him the blessing of a werewolf life would ensure that the youngster became like him and become strong. All he had to do was watch and wait for the opportunity to do what needed to be done and then he would just have to bide his time until the infant became fully grown and matured, only then he would step in once again.

Narcissa entered the sitting room where Fenrir had been lounging, pondering over the child, shaking him from his thoughts. She looked tired but by now it was the early hours of the morning and that was to be expected.

Narcissa was a beautiful woman, even sleep deprived with bags beneath her silver eyes but he couldn't stand her blonde hair, he much preferred brunettes. Though he still watched her carefully, it wasn't often that she was without her child and even now she seemed at a loss of what to do with herself as she moved through the room.

"Where's Snape?" Fenrir asked curiously, trying to keep all the tension and impatience out of his voice. He actually cared very little for Snape but he knew that Snape would never leave the child.

"Resting," Narcissa replied curtly, her mind clearly busy with other thoughts. She cared very little for Greyback, she knew that he would not hurt her, could not, thanks to the unbreakable vow that Lucius had insisted on. She had no fear in regards to turning her back on the monstrous man.

The two of them had never been the best of friends and he doubted they ever would be. It was Lucius who Fenrir was acquaintances with; neither man fully trusted anyone, so their acquaintance was one of convenience more than anything else.

Narcissa, on the other hand, merely accepted the werewolf's presence because of her husband, who she knew was only trying to protect his family. However just because she was happy to tolerate him did not mean she had to be overly courteous to him. Narcissa distrusted Greyback because of his love of biting and infecting children. She knew that he had made the vow not to hurt her or Draco, and yet she still could not bring herself to trust him.

"Is he staying long?" Fenrir demanded, watching the woman carefully.

He found himself thinking that he too could do with a rest but he would not leave his two wards unprotected, even for a moment, not until Lucius returned. He was nothing if not professional in everything he undertook, plus he had been told that he would be paid handsomely for his troubles.

Fenrir had welcomed the news that Severus was resting, it would mean the child he had brought with him would be without a guardian until he awoke. This was his opportunity, he just had to take it when no one was likely to stop him.

"Long enough," Narcissa said, "he has asked me to gather a few things for him before he leaves."

Fenrir nodded courteously as she bustled off to do what she needed to do; the woman never seemed comfortable in his presence, he had noticed, but that wasn't particularly unusual and he was hardly offended. Not many people were comfortable being around him, either because of his reputation, which was grossly over exaggerated, or what he was.

Greyback, realising that now might be his only opportunity, took his chance; the child would be sleeping and unprotected. Severus was resting and Narcissa was busy doing whatever the potions master had asked of her. He smirked to himself, anticipation brewing inside him as he stole silently from the room and up the stairs.

He edged his way slowly along the corridor, following the scent of the child he desired, past many doors, the delectable scent which hung in the air, almost intoxicating his senses directing him towards the nursery.

The wards around the room would have no effect on him; it was something which Lucius had insisted upon, so that he would be able to go anywhere and everywhere in the manor. The argument for this had been that if he couldn't enter a room then he would never be able to fully protect them if an intruder broke in, which was why Narcissa had eventually bent to the will of her husband and allowed Fenrir through the wards that surrounded Draco's bedroom, though she had done so reluctantly.

It was this that had brought about the casting of the unbreakable vow too, so that she could be reassured that the Werewolf wouldn't hurt her baby or infect him with his curse. He pressed his hand on the door and inhaled deeply, a smile forming on his face; yes, this was where they had predictably brought the boy.

Standing at the threshold of the room he pushed open the heavy oak door. Moonlight flooded in through the window as the curtains had not been drawn this evening. The room was huge, the rose wood crib, at the centre point of the space, where the heir of the name and fortune of Malfoy lay. Tonight, however, he was not alone, curled up beside him was another boy and they both slept peacefully.

Severus had fallen asleep in Narcissa's nursing chair in the corner of Draco's room; exhaustion had overcome him but he had refused to leave the room where Harry lay sleeping. He had been too afraid of going anywhere just in case something was to happen and he wouldn't be able to reach Harry in time.

Severus, however, couldn't have imagined the horror that was now creeping up on the precious bundle that he had sworn to protect, while he slumbered only a few feet away. A horror that was about to alter the course of both their lives forever.

The werewolf was not pleased to see the man had stubbornly remained in the room with the child but it did nothing to change his plans; he knew what he wanted and nothing was going to stop him. Moving, as swiftly and as silently as he could, Fenrir crossed the nursery, he took great care not to tread on any squeaky floorboards for fear of waking up the slumbering potions master and have his plan foiled at the last moment.

It only took a few paces of Fenrir's long broad legs to reach the middle of the room and when he did he peered over the rose wood crib bars. His golden eyes fixated on the dark haired child; the scent was even more intoxicating now that he was able to get closer. He took a deep lungful of the aroma and quivered with undiluted excitement. This was the child that he had been waiting for.

He brought a large hand down to gently stroke the mass of raven hair atop the boy's head. As he came into contact with the infant, large green eyes opened and fixated on him. Fenrir was surprised that there was no fear there, simply a glittering curiosity. This child was unique, that was for sure. In fact he was the first youngling that had not wailed for its parents at the sight of him. Oh yes, it was clear that this child was exactly what Fenrir was looking for.

The small hand of the child reached up to touch his own; there was a gleam of joy in the brilliantly intense emerald eyes and a contented grin upon the child's face. Fenrir gently clasped the tiny fingers in his grip, leaning over the bars of the cot, licking his sharp teeth, coating them with his infectious saliva.

It was regretful almost that he would have to break the skin and draw blood for the infection to be effective, which would surely make the boy cry but he knew that it must be done if he were to achieve his goal. He had done this many times before, he knew how to infect a person without injuring them too badly and he didn't want to scar his future mate at all.

One nip was all it took, his sharp front teeth, coated with infected saliva sinking into the soft flesh of the pad of the baby's left index finger. The baby screamed, of course he was bound to, as Fenrir had broken the skin and had tasted blood upon his tongue. He savoured it, enjoying the metallic taste as he lapped up every drop that he could, committing it to memory as well as the scent.

The instant that the little boy's shrill cries pierced the air, Severus Snape was on his feet, wide awake and with his wand drawn. Greyback let out a harsh laugh because he had already succeeded, it was too late and the deed had been done.

Horrified understanding dawned on Severus' face as he fired a stunning spell at the werewolf in a rage; infuriated with himself that he had fallen asleep and let his guard down, putting Harry at risk. He had been so foolish to even rest his eyes for a moment and give such a monster a chance to get close to Harry.

His heart sunk as he realised that he had failed so badly at protecting the child already. He was ashamed of himself and he knew that Lily would be too. The precious child that he thought he would be protecting by taking him from Godric's Hollow was now a werewolf, forever cursed and it was entirely his fault.

Chapter Text

Chapter Two

“What have you done?” Severus bellowed as Fenrir laughed, picking himself up from the floor, where the force of Snape's spell had put him. Harry’s cries and Snape’s booming shout had also woken Draco, whose screams only added to the ruckus as Narcissa ran into the room; a look of horror on her face, fearful about what had happened andscared for the safety of her son.

 

“Nothing you can do now,” Greyback said with a mocking bark like laugh as he glared at Severus with the glint of a challenge in his stunning golden eyes. He grinned and Severus could clearly see that his front teeth had a slightly red staining to them. The sight of it made him feel sick to his stomach. Precious Harry’s blood was still upon his lips and he wanted to kill him for that.  What had he done in bringing Harry here, to this place? How could he have let it happen? How could he have been so careless as to fall asleep when he knew that they were not safe? He swore that he would never be that careless with the young child ever again.

 

Narcissa rushed to the large crib in the centre of the room and scooped out the red faced blonde child, trying to sooth him and stop his tears and screaming. Her eyes fixed on the other child, fresh blood upon his hand as he whimpered, wanting to be picked up. She looked at the tiny infant, mouth agape in shock, staring in horror as she it dawned on her what had happened and what the Werewolf, who Lucius had sworn to her could be trusted, had done to such a small and defenceless toddler. Instantly she scanned over Draco, checking for any injuries though she knew in her heart there would be none because otherwise Greyback would be dead. He had only infected the other child.

 

“Severus …” Narcissa said as Snape came forward to gather Harry into his arms. She could see that he was practically trembling with the effort to controlhis rage.

 

His heart sunk like it was made of lead when he saw the spilt blood. He had been so foolish and reckless taking the boy from Godrics Hollow and now Lily’s son, the last tiny fragment of her, was irreversibly infected with the Lycanthropy curse. There was no other reason that Fenrir would have bitten him and drawn blood without killing, he was too much of an experienced Werewolf not to infect those that he intended to. There was no escaping the fact that the precious child he had wanted so badly to protect would now be a Werewolf. He had failed Lily and he had failed Harry too. He would never forgive himself for allowing this to happen.

 

“I have to leave,” Severus declared suddenly, glaring hatefully at Greyback who was doing nothing but smiling in triumph that he had succeeded with his intended goal. He ran his tongue across his teeth, the faint trace of blood tasting wonderful upon his tongue. The child indeed would be something special, his blood tasted beautiful.

 

Severus rested a still sobbing Harry upon his hip, the small child burying his head into the nape of Snape’s neck as he continued to cry. The potions master inspected the left index finger carefully so not to aggravate the child any further. The injury was neither deep nor life threatening, it would stop bleeding of its own accord soon enough. The young boy didn’t need a healer but everyone in the room was aware that the real damage that had been done could not be seen. He could see the pity in Narcissa's eyes as she looked at them, hold Draco desperately close to her chest, rocking him gently in an attempt to calm him.

 

Fenrir stood back, watching the two of them carefully. He clutched his wand within his jacket pocket, fully prepared to defend himself against the two of them if he needed to. However neither Severus nor Narcissa seemed overly interested in him. They were both too busy tending to their crying children to notice much about what he was doing.  Taking his chance he familiarised himself with the unique scent of his child to make it easier to track him and now he would forever remember him as being a part of his new pack.

 

Severus had never felt such rage nor had he experienced such guilt or overwhelming feelings of failure, not even when his abusive father still lived. He wanted to lash out, violently; to kill the self-satisfied Alpha Werewolf, who seemed to be so cheerful in regards to what he had done. However there was another urge within him, a stronger one, that told him he needed to get little Harry as far away from the odious man as possible.

 

As much as he would have gladly served a life sentence in Azkaban with the dreaded dementors for killing the beast that had dared to touch his son, he knew that it wouldn’t solve anything. Harry would still be a Werewolf and he would not feel any better for taking his revenge. He was no murderer, he wasn’t like Voldemort or any of the other deatheaters. Killing did not come easy to him no matter how much anger and resentment he felt towards the person on the receiving end.

 

Severus Snape had always been a fighter however, he was never one to shy away from danger or from an altercation with anyone and he would always defend himself and those that he loved; not even the Dark Lord himself would have quashed this instinct from him.

 

However when it was not just him, when it was something as precious as a child that was endangered, especially when it was Lily’s child that was involved; he knew that he had to run, and run as far as he could to ensure that no further danger could befall the precious bundle wrapped protectively in his arms. For whatever reason Fenrir Greyback couldn’t take his eyes off the boy. It was an uneasy atmosphere in the room as the Werewolf looked upon the innocent child with a hunger that Severus could not identify but it worried him.

 

“Everything you asked of me is in a package on the table,” Narcissa said, her voice wavering, she was in shock, horrified at what had transpired, hating the Werewolf all the more for his inexcusable actions. If her assumptions regarding the identity of the child were correct then the poor child was going to have a difficult enough life as it was without this hanging over him as well. She admired Severus for having the courage to take the child away from all of that. It was admirable, that was for sure, and she couldn’t regret more the fate that had befallen on the poor boy.

 

She did not envy Severus for the unrequited love he had had throughout his life towards muggleborn Lily Evans; she did not even judge him for choosing to take this particular path with his life, taking a child that had been left orphaned so that he might have a better life. Narcissa could only hope that if anything happened to her and Lucius that Draco would have been protected and as loved as little Harry Potter would now be, thanks to Severus. She had heard Lucius talk about the boy often enough, she knew the intentions the Dark Lord had against the infant. It had always made her feel sick to think that the Dark Lord would want to harm such an innocent creature as a defenceless baby, especially when the child in question was only two months younger than her own son.

 

Greyback stood back, shrinking into the corner of the room as if he expected retribution from the potions master. He didn’t fancy having to deal with curses being thrown at him. Not that they would have had much effect on him. As a werewolf it gave him a thicker hide when it came to spells, curses and jinxes. It would take a lot to bring him down but he still felt pain. Plus he was here to do Lucius Malfoy a favour and he couldn’t very well fulfil that promise if he was duelling with another for unrelated reasons.

 

Narcissa looked to her dear friend with pity and apologies as he thanked her again for her kindness. He didn’t look at Greyback again, he physically couldn’t, not without risking his temper flaring and losing control of himself.  He swept from the room, black robes billowing out behind him as he made to flee Malfoy Manor with the small child in his arms. He wouldn’t have been able to rein in the anger that bubbled ferociously inside of him had he caught another glimpse of the smug Werewolf. If he ever saw the man again when he didn’t have the young child on his hip then he would kill the beast and make him regret the day that he had ever dared to touch the young boy.

 

He found a small package, neatly wrapped up, exactly where Narcissa had said it would be. He thanked Merlin that Narcissa was such a wonderful woman that cared for him. He didn’t know what he would have done without her. Though that was a question that he hoped he would never have to discover the answer to. If only Fenrirhadn’t have been here tonight; if only Lucius had asked someone else to watch over his family while he went about his business at the Ministry of Magic, saving his skin.

 

However he knew there was no point in dwelling over thoughts that began with ‘if only’. He had already done enough of that when considering Lily and if only she had ended up with him rather than James. He couldn’t go down that road again, not now that he had Harry to take care of. He would not resort to being the closed off man that had been forced into spying for the side of the light by Albus Dumbledore. He would be a kind and compassionate father, so unlike his own and  he would raise Harry as his son and protect him from Dumbledore and the deatheaters that remained free from Azkaban.

 

As for the Werewolf curse, well he was at least a skilled potions master and would be able to brew a potion to help with the Lycanthropy. Harry would have to take it daily for the rest of his life and that thought gutted Severus.

 

Ever since Remus Lupin had asked him to see if he could find a way to supress the Werewolf transformations, Severus had been working on a more drastic form of the existing Wolfsbane potion. Of course it was all theory so far and he should have sent his notes regarding the new potion to the Ministry of Magic for approval, something he had fully intended to do before tonight. However now that he was officially on the run and not wanting to be found it was no longer an option.

 

Of course he was more than competent in his chosen profession and was sure that the potion wouldn’t have had any problems passing the many tests the Ministry would have put it through. The only issue was the possible side effects, however he had designed the potion to be taken daily and been overly cautious in what had gone into it. Severus would make doubly sure about it and then he would start giving it to his adopted son. He didn’t want to have to watch as Harry suffered through the gut wrenchingly painful changes once a month. If this new potion could stop them or make them slightly less painful then he was going to give it to him, with Ministry approval or not.

 

The poor defenceless child had stood no chance against the infamously brutal Werewolf. He would make sure that Harry had at least something close to the life that he would have had if Lily and James were alive. The child would be treasured and he would be loved. Severus would do anything it took to ensure that Harry was taken care of to the fullest extent. This potion would be key to giving him a normal as possible upbringing.

 

Plans began to formulate in his mind. He even thought of a place to go where they might be able to settle permanently. Of course he would have to educate the child at home. There was no chance that he would ever get away with sending him to Hogwarts or any other wizarding school for that matter. Dumbledore would know who he was in a heartbeat and Severus would not put Harry directly in harm's way like that again. It would be a long and hard road raising the young wizard but he was determined to do the very best job that he could do. He wasn’t about to disgrace Lily’s memory by doing anything less.

 

FGHP

 

Albus Dumbledore was furious. There was no trace of Severus Snape anywhere; he knew that the man would need time to grieve upon hearing the news that his beloved Lily was dead but to disappear entirely was ridiculous. He stormed through the dungeons of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry in a foul mood, however there was no sign of the potions master anywhere.

 

He had, of course, considered the possibility that Snape had vanished with the child, as his Order members had searched that house in Godrics Hollow from top to bottom without finding a single trace of the boy who had brought about the downfall of Tom Riddle. Of course it was a ludicrous thought; Severus Snape despised children, he would never take a child that wasn’t his own, especially a child that was half James Potter, a man whom he had always hated. Albus had done the paternity test himself in secret to ensure that Harry was James’ boy, not fully trusting Lily. No, Snape couldn’t have done anything like that, the potions master simply needed time to grieve; he wouldn’t have been foolish enough to take the child, of that Albus was sure.

 

The headmaster wouldn’t have put it past his potions master to do something as reckless as take his own life however. He was all for the power of love but Lily had been the only reason that he had risen from bed in the morning since he was a small child. Now that she was gone Severus had nothing left. Aside from his use as a spy, a position the headmaster had blackmailed the professor into, Albus didn’t care much for Severus’ fate. The information gathered by Severus could be obtained another way if necessary, as long as the body didn’t start to decompose in the school then he really didn’t care either way if the professor was alive or dead.

 

Neville Longbottom was his main and, more or less, only concern for the moment; he had to take precedent. Albus had already started to tell everyone, the media included, that it had been Neville that had been the child to bring about the downfall of Lord Voldemort rather than Harry Potter. Every witch and wizard across the country had been celebrating in his honour.

 

No one questioned Dumbledore’s word, he was respected and honoured throughout the wizarding community, they had no reason to question anything he said. It was a widely known fact that he was in regular correspondence with the Minister of Magic, who more often than not took heed of his advice. If he told them that Bellatrix Lestrange and a host of other deatheaters murdered the Potter family while Voldemort tortured the Longbottom’s into insanity before turning on their young son who survived the killing curse directed at him, which had rebounded and taken out the Dark Lord instead, then why would anyone question it?

 

He would never admit to losing a child, especially one as important, as Harry Potter was to the cause. His pride and overinflated ego would just not allow it. Harry was dead as far as anyone else was concerned. He had been killed by deatheaters along with his parents, Lily and James, in a tragic attack. It was a horrible loss to the wizarding world, of course, but one that couldn’t have been avoided. Soon people would forget them, Neville was the one that would matter. Every child in their world would know his name.

 

Everything was going according to his brilliant plan. Sirius Black had reacted as rationally as Albus had expected him to and had gone after Peter Pettigrew without any hesitation or forethought. Whatever had happened between the two old school friends was of no consequence now as Peter was presumed dead, as only the index finger of his right hand had been found. Sirius Black had been sent to Azkaban without a trial, charged with the death of all three Potter’s; and with Pettigrew’s murder not to mention the deaths of twelve muggles  as well. One less problem for him to worry about, a situation that had worked out more convenient  than the headmaster could have hoped for.

 

Remus Lupin had not received the news as of yet and Albus was, at least for the moment, happy to keep him in the dark about the specifics of what had happened. He was apparently in Bulgaria currently with a pack of Werewolves trying to seek answers in regards of his monthly affliction. Lupin was always seeking answers of some description and had desperately, though rather foolishly, dreamt of finding a cure for the Lycanthropy disease, something that Albus thought would be impossible to do.

 

Either way it would still be a few days before he received the owl informing him of the tragic recent events that had seen him left as the only Marauder not killed or imprisoned. He would be devastated at the loss of young Harry but that was of no consequence to Dumbledore, if anything Albus hoped that it would encourage Lupin to become a more loyal  and active member of the Order of the Phoenix, instead of chasing answers around the world seeking things that were just not out there to find.

 

Voldemort already had Werewolves on his side, brutal, vicious, child killing creatures. Remus wasn’t like them but Dumbledore would still have liked to have a Werewolf in the inner circle of the Order to boost ranks and make them more powerful.  If there was one thing that Albus craved more than anything then it was power and control.

 

Neville had been placed in the care of his Grandmother, seeing as his parents had been so heartlessly tortured that they had lost their minds in the attack against them. The healer at St Mungos who had dealt with their admission to the wizarding medical facility had informed him that there was a slim possibility that the Longbottom’s might one day gain back their minds with a lot of medical help and healing.

 

To anyone else this would have been wonderful news however it was nothing of the kind to the Headmaster. He swiftly bound the two prominent Auror’s to remain in the state they were currently in. It would not do to have them regain any level of their former sanity. He couldn’t have them telling anyone that it had actually Bellatrix Lestrange that had tortured them rather than Voldemort. It would have ruined his well thought out and prepared plans.

 

Bellatrix Lestrange herself and a number of other deatheaters that had been loyal to the Dark Lord had been rounded up and sent to the wizarding prison for indefinite sentences. Albus was only saddened that he couldn’t get all of them into the wizarding prison. There was nothing he could have done when Lucius Malfoy claimed the Imperius curse as so many of them had. Those slimy excuses for witches and wizards would go free. However Dumbledore wasn’t going to forget, he would keep a close eye on them and ensure that if they tried anything then they would be in a cell in Azkaban faster than they could blink.

 

Fenrir Greyback had been another of them to slip through the fingers of the Ministry as the Deatheaters had been rounded up. He had gone into hiding after being thrown out of the Malfoy household. Narcissa hadn’t dared to tell her husband about the child that Fenrir had bitten because he would have asked questions. It wouldn’t have been a secret for long if Lucius discovered that Severus had taken the Potter boy and gone on the run. She wouldn’t put her friend, whom she had helped, in that much danger. Once Severus had left, Narcissa had retreated into her bedroom with her son and allowed the Werewolf to stand guard outside the door.

 

Greyback had left the moment that Lucius Malfoy had returned home. His mind had been racing. He would have to track the scent of the potions master and the child he had taken. That young boy would need protecting, Fenrir was sure of that. He was unique, special and that scent had been delectable. He would rebuild his pack and by the time the child came of age it would be a strong unit; something that they could all be proud to be a part of. That child, regardless of who he was now, would become part of the pack at sixteen and eventually would become his mate, the second highest position in the pack seeing as he was Alpha.

 

As soon as he tracked down where the wizard had taken the youngling he would ensure that someone was watching over the boy at all times. He would protect what was his at any cost but he had to be the Alpha to his pack he intended to build first and foremost. If he was an absent leader then his position would be easily challenged, something he wanted to avoid if it was at all possible. The infant would have to grow up before he became a part of the Pack. He did not want young pups unless they were his own. He was certain that leaving his bitten children in the care of witches and wizards would be fine. The only magic trick against werewolves they had was a feeble potion that barely did anything against the gift that was Lycanthropy. He was under no delusion that they would all survive into adult hood but if they couldn’t survive then they weren’t any good to him anyway. He only wanted the strongest in the Pack. There was no room for weakness.

 

The fall of the Dark Lord had given Fenrir the opportunity to escape the servitude he had found himself in with Tom Riddle after his first pack had fallen foul to wizards. It had been a dark path he had followed then and had deeply regretted it, all apart from the access to those that would be strong enough to survive a bite from him. That was something that he didn’t regret because it was this that had led him to that child, the one that held so much promise. Now however was the time for him to rebuild his Pack; make a strong, secure home away from the prejudice and violence of wizards. He would need to have something to offer the young one when it came time for him to join the Pack.

 

FGHP

 

Years passed by and it was peaceful. No sign of Voldemort arose and the world moved on. The name Potter was almost completely forgotten, the monument to their memories erected in Godrics Hollow but nothing more was done, and thoughts were rarely spared for little Harry, who supposedly lost his life that night. The name Neville Longbottom became infamous. History books were written about how an eighteen month old baby had been able to bring down the darkest wizard known to man. Everyone celebrated him and Dumbledore sat back in smug satisfaction as the young boy's magic grew under the praise and tutelage of several Auror’s.

 

Away from prying eyes Severus Snape raised Harry Potter as his own, both of them keeping their forenames but both using Prince as their surname, Severus borrowing his mother’s maiden name so that they could start their lives again. The eighteen month old infant turned into a handsome young boy, who was very competent at everything he did, magical or otherwise. Under Severus’ watchful eye he practiced spell work and potions, he mastered occlumency with ease, produce a patronus in the form of a stag and could even transform into an animagus by the time he was eleven years old, which curiously was a falcon.

 

Of course he was still having to take the dreaded Wolfsbane potion daily, which Severus had successfully managed to improve to ease the monthly werewolf transformations though he still ended up in a cage in their basement once a month;, a cage with silver bars.

 

Severus had worked hard to improve the Wolfsbane potion enough that the transformations were painless and the werewolf you became was docile and almost tame. The cage Harry was resided to once a month was just a precaution. As far as Severus knew there had been no adverse effects but then he had never used his adopted son as a lab rat, having only wanted him to lead a relatively normal life and therefore, given that Harry had seemed in good health, had not tested for adverse effects to the new and improved Wolfsbane potion he had created.

 

Snape was very proud of his son. He couldn’t quite believe how wonderfully talented the boy was. Despite the Lycanthropy curse, that ravaged his body, he was a well-adjusted child. He, of course, asked questions, as any boy would. Severus would often tell him stories about his mother, Lily, and of how kind and beautiful she had been. Though Harry noticed that his father always closed up when he mentioned how he had come to be bitten and become a werewolf. He learnt very quickly that he was never going to be told that particular story. It was clearly far too painful for his father to talk about and Harry respected that because he respected him.

 

“Dad, can I go out with Clay this afternoon?” Harry asked, he was hoping to catch his father in a good mood. Severus didn’t much like Clayton Danes however he had no reason to distrust him either. Clayton was just a boy who was tutored at home by his over protective father. He was the same age as Harry and even Severus could admit that his son needed to socialise with other children that were his own age and magically inclined.

 

Severus folded the Daily Prophet in half, looking over at his eleven year old son with his untameable jet black hair that fell to his shoulders and was always tied back in a scruffy pony tail. Thankfully he had never needed glasses, though Severus presumed that was because of his Lycanthropy but it meant that the vivid green eyes shone, almost blinding him just the way Lily’s had. It was mid-June, the beginning of the summer months and his young son was nearing his twelfth birthday.

 

“It’s two days before the full moon,” Severus reminded Harry carefully.

 

“I know, I’ll be extra careful, please can I go?”

 

Severus sighed, Harry knew all too well that the sweet and innocent act would usually get him what he wanted. His father was strict but not so much that it made his life unbearable. Harry knew that he was just protective. Their constant moving around when he was younger had shown him that. This time however they were settled and Harry even had a friend, he was not about to mess it up.

 

“Be back before dark and no magic,” Severus warned with a stern look and watched as his adopted son smiled with glee, flinging his arms around his Dad’s neck, chanting his thanks several times and crushing the wizarding newspaper between them before charging off out the back door, presumably to meet Clayton.

 

With a deep sigh, Severus straightened out his paper and continued to read the rather worrying article. Neville Longbottom, the boy-who-lived was dead. The report that Dumbledore had given on the matter was that it was a tragic accident, something Severus found extremely hard to believe. The scheming headmaster was never out of control enough to allow for accidents like this to happen.

 

Lord Voldemort had apparently taken up residence inside a teacher with the aims of stealing and using the Philosophers Stone to lengthen his life. Neville and a group of his friends had gone to try and stop him but in the process Neville, a slight, eleven year old boy had died. Severus was glad that Harry had asked to go out this afternoon because Severus needed to be alone with his thoughts.

 

All he could think was that could have been Harry. He was now certain that he had made the right choice in taking Lily’s son away from the meddling ways of Albus Dumbledore. If he hadn’t then Harry would be the one who was dead. He would at least have been embroiled in it somehow but thankfully Harry was safe, he had never set foot inside of Hogwarts. As far as Harry was concerned he couldn’t go to a wizarding school because of his Lycanthropy and that was how Severus wanted it to remain.

 

It was fortunate that Dumbledore had arrived just in time to ensure that the Dark Lord had been unable to obtain the Stone and the article in the Prophet made the old man sound like a hero. Severus supposed he was; the Dark Lord had been thwarted in his attempts to come back from the dead, something that Severus Prince was very grateful for. Having that horrible creature back and at full strength again would have been disastrous seeing as he knew the truth about what had happened that night at Godrics Hollow.

 

Dumbledore had spun his elaborate web of lies, allowing him to put another defenceless young boy in Harry’s place for his own personal gain. If Voldemort were to come back then the secret that Harry was alive would not remain that way for long. The Dark Lord would have known that Neville was not the boy whom he had tried to kill, a fact that Severus was sure Albus knew all too well. However it was now clear that the Dark Lord was trying to return and another attempt to return to full strength would not be far behind this first one now he had made his intentions clear.

 

The problem was however that now that the Longbottom boy was dead the old meddling man would need another hero to take his place. Severus did not feel too threatened by this just yet considering it had been announced publically that all three Potter’s had lost their lives that Halloween night. He had some time and he would ensure that Harry remained safe and out of the headmaster's selfish reach. They were protected by enchantments and other spells carefully put into place by the potions master so they couldn’t be tracked magically. However these were not infallible and were only really a stalling tactic.

 

FGHP

 

Over the ten years where Harry had grown up with Severus, Fenrir Greyback had successfully staked his claim on some woodland territory in the north of England, though it was by no means perfect nor completely safe yet but it was a work in progress and would one day become their permanent home. The numbers in his pack had swollen to four so far, himself included. He had his beta wolf and second in command, Damon whom he had intrusted to keep a watchful eye on Harry. He’d also sent with him Clayton, a young pup whom he had bitten. Clayton was the same age as Harry and Fenrir had hoped that the two boys would be friends.

 

The only other pack member so far was Callie, Damon’s younger sister. Their history was tragic, both of them bitten by their father who had had no idea what was happening to him at the time of his first change after being bitten. He had killed their mother in a savage rage the first time he had turned before attacking and biting his children too. Damon and Callie had had a third sibling, another sister but she had not survived the first change as so many didn’t.

 

The new territory however was a fresh start for all four of them. They had all been magical before they had been bitten and all of them had managed to retain their wands. All except for Clayton who despite having magical blood running in his veins had been disowned by his parents before they even bought him a wand. Fenrir had taken him into the pack as a pup, breaking his own rule about not wanting them unless they were his own. He had entrusted the care of the youngling to Damon who had taken the young boy in and raised him.

               

They used their magic to ward the boundaries of their territory to keep danger away. As werewolves they preferred to sleep outside, being in doors felt very claustrophobic to them. Sleeping under the stars as a pack was what kept them sane and grounded. Being surrounded by stone walls for too long was liable to send any werewolf a little loopy. Their bodies were more robust than that of humans, the elements not bothering them as much, though they used furs and hides from the animals they hunted in the winter to ward off some of the cold and the snow.

 

“We’ll hunt tonight,” Fenrir grunted to Callie as he entered the small clearing where they had been sleeping. It wasn’t cold currently as they were approaching the summer months but they would need a much bigger pack to ensure warmth when the winter weather began to hit. “The cave is running low on meat.”

 

“Yes Alpha,” Callie replied curtly as she stood up from the ground where she had been sat brooding. She had been missing her brother, he had been gone for a long while on a mission from the Alpha but she would not question it. Alpha’s orders were final and he shouldn’t have to explain them. It was however the longest she had ever been away from her older brother since they had become werewolves and she couldn’t help but miss him.

 

“We’ll start down up the larger of the two streams, the deer should still be gathered there, we can round one of them up between the two of us I’m sure.” Again Callie nodded but this time remaining silent. He eyed her with suspicion but didn’t ask her what was wrong, he knew how much she missed her brother.

 

It was a struggle for the pack to be split in half, Fenrir and Callie warding and marking out their new territory while Damon and Clayton watched over Harry, who was too precious to be left without a guard. The Alpha couldn’t risk anyone else finding out how wonderfully unique Harry was and laying claim to him. Fenrir was a jealous and possessive man and didn’t like anyone touching his things. Harry, at least in Fenrir’s mind, belonged to him and would fight for him if that was what it took.

 

FGHP

 

Severus Prince looked on from the front door of his home as Damon, a large, muscle bound man with dark brown hair and steely grey eyes said goodbye to little Harry who was growing up so fast. Soon he would be twelve and it was a thought that scared Severus, who couldn’t understand where the time had gone.

 

He watched with a fondness as Harry and Clayton joked around, laughing and play fighting with one another. The two young ones startling similar in appearance, though Clayton’s hair was a couple shades lighter than Harry’s own raven locks and his eyes brown rather than emerald green.

 

Severus found himself glad that the two of them had found one another. Damon and Clayton had travelled here from America and before coming to England had only vaguely heard the name Neville Longbottom and the Potter’s were not even fractionally as well known. It meant that he had nothing to worry about when it came to them finding out who they were. He knew that Harry would be heartbroken if they had to leave their home and his new found friend behind. However he kept a careful eye on the two boys, cautiously protective of his adoptive son. He would never be able to completely trust anyone until they stopped running and no longer had to hide.

 

“Good evening Severus,” Damon said as he strolled down the garden path, reaching the potions master and offering his hand to shake, which Severus took gladly; he liked the man, he might even have gone so far as to call them casual acquaintances.

 

“Evening Damon,” Snape said with a warm smile as they shook hands. Severus would always be more trusting of a man with a strong handshake and there was no doubting that Damon had one.

 

The two men watched over their children as the two young ones laughed and pretended to rough house all the while charging around the garden like the carefree eleven year old boys that they were. With the news that Severus had read that afternoon in regards to the passing of Neville Longbottom he couldn’t help but feel as if the calm of their world would soon shatter irreversibly.

 

There was another war coming, he could feel it in his gut, it felt how it did before. They would soon be facing the return of Lord Voldemort but he was determined that he would keep Harry safely away from it all. He didn’t want his son to have to face the horrors of battle, war, and more than likely death as well, so early in his life; not again. Dumbledore was not going to get his hands on the young boy, Severus was going to make sure of it.

Chapter Text

Chapter Three – Time has passed

Time moved forward and the wizarding world grieved for their fallen hero, he had brought about the downfall of the Dark Lord when he was only eighteen months old and then had been killed at his hands at the young age of eleven. Even though He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named had failed in his attempt to return it had brought about old fears that it might just one day happen. However now there was no boy-who-lived to prevent it from happening. In fact the only one left alive that Voldemort feared was Albus Dumbledore, a frail old man who was currently held up at Hogwarts scheming and planning. No one knew what it was that he was doing and no one much cared either. With the death of a first year student two years in a row under his care, faith in him was beginning to crumble.

 

The loss of Neville had hit him hard and the lie that he had told the wizarding world that all Potter’s, including baby Harry, had all been killed that Halloween night was truly backfiring on him now. He had never expected for the chosen one to be so callously reckless with his own life and to die when he was only eleven years of age. Now he either had to find proof that Harry really was dead or to track him down and force him to do what was necessary in order to protect the wizarding world just in case Tom found a way to return.

 

Finding the proof he needed that the boy was indeed dead, or else tracking down the boy, would be difficult, seeing as he could recruit no one to help him and he had no idea where to start. It might take years but he was nothing if not determined. Without Longbottom at his disposal he needed someone who could take Neville’s place.

               

Harry Prince meanwhile turned twelve and carried on with his magical education at home under the tutelage of Severus Prince. Thanks to his father’s dedication and resounding patience Harry thrived and his magical ability soared to that of a Hogwarts fifth year at the very least if not further. Severus was hugely dedicated to his son’s magical education, he was bright and capable especially when he put his mind to it.

 

His friendship with the Clayton boy only became stronger. The two of them were the best of friends and it lightened Severus’ heart to see his son form a close bond with another, something he had always failed at as a child himself unless you counted Lily, who had been his only companion growing up. He was immensely proud of his son, there was no questioning that. He was growing into a handsome and charming young man, even at the age of twelve this was evident. However Severus was still mistrusting of the Danes’ family and kept a watchful eye on them just in case they figured out who he and Harry really were.

 

It had happened on three occasions previously. On every occasion, where they had had to leave, it was because the lightning bolt scar upon Harry’s forehead had been seen. Questions had been raised; difficult ones that Severus couldn’t answer. It was clearly a mark left by dark and dangerous magic. He had had to erase memories and leave town quickly so that their secret wouldn’t be discovered. Now Harry’s long black hair draped across his fore head and prevented the dreaded scar from being seen.

               

Harry was more than happy to conceal it, he hated the damn thing. He hated too that his father had no explanation as to how it had come to be there, at least not one that he had been willing to give. Harry put it down to the only other thing about himself that his dad refused to tell him about; his Werewolf curse. He assumed that the scar had something to do with how he had come to be infected and didn’t ask questions about it because he knew how much it upset his father.

 

Tragic news reached the Prince household via the Daily Prophet nearing the summer and Harry’s thirteenth birthday. Severus had been keeping an eye on the goings on at Hogwarts School for the entire year. It had been on the verge of closing all year due to the attacks on muggleborns. There was a lot of speculation, of course, but Severus knew the history of the school well and he could tell that whatever was happening had something to do with Voldemort; it was something he was sure of.

 

When the Daily Prophet announced that a young, eleven year old girl had died, a pureblood, Severus was shocked. Dumbledore himself had issued a statement, regarding the death of Ginerva Weasley to be a horrific tragedy. What was more devastating was the fact that her body was yet to be discovered. A message left in blood had stated her body would lie in the chamber forever. What was even more concerning for Severus however was the fact that the person who killed her was none other than Voldemort himself and he was back.

 

How he had managed it no one knew. He had strolled casually out of a girl’s bathroom at Hogwarts according to witnesses, a snake, gargantuan in size and seemingly under his control following in his wake. Many people had died that day for every time someone had looked into the eyes of the huge serpent they would die instantly.

 

Only Dumbledore had recognized him to begin with because he was not the terrifying monster that he had become at the height of his power; he was a young, handsome and charismatic Tom Riddle aged only sixteen years old, the same Riddle that had gone to Hogwarts. Albus had been quick to stress that despite the change in appearance that Voldemort was still as dark and as dangerous as he had ever been. He had walked out of Hogwarts and so far no sightings of him had been reported but the Ministry of Magic was on high alert. Severus had felt his dark mark burn mere hours after he had read the news of Voldemort’s return but he had ignored it and simply strengthened the wards around his and Harry’s home.

 

War had begun that fact was undeniable. Tom Riddle had returned and was stronger than ever, his body restored to its younger self. It was terrifying to think that the world was about to be dragged into another war, just like the previous one. It would only be a matter of time until his most loyal and terrifying deatheaters that had been sent to Azkaban were released. He would not attempt to take power again until he had them by his side once more. Severus looked at Harry who was almost thirteen years old and was probably the only hope that the wizarding world had to defeat the Dark Lord now that he had come back. However there was no way that he would ever let his son have any involvement in this. He was still only a child, innocent and as long as Severus could keep him carefree then he would do just that.

 

FGHP

 

Clayton had stolen Damon’s copy of the wizarding newspaper, a publication that the two young teens weren’t usually permitted to have a copy of let alone read anything from. Damon and Severus had both agreed that they didn’t want their young son’s to be exposed to the horrors currently going on in the wizarding world. However the sneaky young werewolf had snuck into his father’s study and stolen it, just so that they could see what all the fuss was about. He and Harry had then headed for the park and sat underneath a large oak with the paper spread out between the two of them. The article about Ginny Weasley’s death taking over the two page spread that they had opened the paper on and their eyes scanning over the print.

 

“I’d love to go to Hogwarts, I think it would be amazing to be in that castle, surrounded by other magical kids,” Clayton said. He knew of course that it would never happen, he was a pack werewolf and they took care of each other without relying on anyone else, especially not wizards who held a prejudice against them as a species.

 

Clayton had scented instantly the same thing about Harry too when they had first met, though he had suspected as much when his Alpha had told him to befriend the boy. Whoever Harry was to Fenrir the Alpha wanted the boy in the pack as well and he was special enough that he warranted the protection of two pack wolves. He had thought that Harry would figure out quickly what he was in return but his friend never seemed to make the realisation that they were both werewolves.

 

They never spoke about anything like that, they didn’t even speak about magic very much. Neither of their fathers allowed them to take their wands out when they left the house so it was a moot point anyway. Both Damon and Severus were very strict on this matter. Neither of the two boys were permitted to do any magic outside of the house just in case they were seen. As the only two wizarding families in an area teeming with muggles they had to be extra careful not to be seen using magic. It was because they lived in a muggle village that both Clay and Harry could understand why this rule had been put in place and they didn’t argue against it, much; however as thirteen year old boys, both with the capability of powerful magic it was frustrating that they weren’t permitted to use it outside of their homes.

 

“Apart from all the death,” Harry joked, “The paper says it’s the second death of a first year within two years. They’re thinking that the headmaster has gone a little deranged in his old age according to this. Apparently he’s some famous wizard but I’ve never heard of him, have you?” Clayton shrugged his shoulders as he read the name Albus Dumbledore and shook his head.

 

Harry turned his attention to look at the picture of the smiling girl, who had been the second victim. He could see that she had a beautiful face, pale skin that was dusted with freckles and bright red hair. He would have liked to have known her, she at least looked nice. He studied the picture fondly thinking that maybe they could have been friends if he had gone to Hogwarts, according to the article she had a brother his age along with five others. The second photo backed this up, showing a large group of red heads; all nine of them smiling and waving happily, one of the younger boys holding a rat.

 

Harry had never much appreciated the female form, it had never interested him. Clayton was the ladies’ man out of the two of them, he would ogle at them as they walked past, admiring their breasts and their curves but never daring to talk to them. Harry just didn’t see the appeal. There had been a young man who was at least four years older and very handsome, who had worked in the local store whom he had found attractive, though he had never voiced this to his best friend. He much preferred to just agree with Clay’s comments and keep his thoughts about the matter to himself. He hadn’t even told his dad how he felt.

 

“Oh yeah but I still think it would be awesome,” Clay responded, “All that magic everywhere, being able to practice it whenever we felt like it. We’d have so much fun and just imagine the pranks we could pull on the other students.”

 

“Yeah, Dad can see my pranks coming a mile off, they never work anymore,” Harry said grumpily, “Who do you reckon this Dark Lord character is? Supposedly dark and dangerous, he can’t be all that bad.” Harry had read the name within the article, though he had never heard of it before now, it intrigued him. An odd memory niggling at the back of his mind as if he ought to remember something but the harder he tried the further away it seemed to get. There was something about a lot of green light but that was all he could recall.

 

“I don’t know,” Clay said as he scanned the article again, “Apparently there was this horrific war fourteen years ago. Something happened and he fell from power but now he’s back,” Clayton said with a shrug of his shoulders, seemingly uninterested as Harry read over the bit that his friend had mentioned. “That’s all Dad has ever told me about it, I’ve tried to get more out of him but he won’t budge. I’m fascinated about the whole thing really but it’s almost as if he doesn’t want to remember it, like it’s too painful.”

 

“Dad won’t tell me anything about the past either,” Harry said but caught himself when he realised he was walking down a dangerous path. He had always been forbidden from talking about the past and especially not to anyone other than his father. Harry didn’t want to have to leave here and leave Clayton behind when he was so happy. He very quickly changed the subject to something a little less intense and entirely less inflammatory as well. “Want to come over to my place? We can go flying.”

 

Clayton’s face lit up, nodding enthusiastically, “Hell yeah,” he said with a huge grin. Both of them loved to fly. Harry, for his birthday, had been given a firebolt, the best broom currently on the market. Even though Clay only had a nimbus 2001 they were both equally fantastic fliers. Severus had had to heighten the wards around their home to allow for the two boys and their insistence on flying higher than should ever have been permitted while in a muggle area. They had both been severely warned about what would happen if they were almost seen again which was why they were extra careful when it came to flying now. Ever since they had come close to being seen by some muggles in a little hang glider plane they had promised to stay within the wards.

 

Standing up and ensuring that the magical newspaper had been folded and tucked neatly and unnoticeably beneath Clayton’s jumper the two of them took off towards Harry’s home, excited at the prospect of being able to fly as it was their favourite past time. They were both overly keen to get on their brooms. It was the weekend and they had been given the time off from their lessons with their fathers and they intended to make the most of it by having as much fun as possible.

 

Harry loved to fly more than anything else in the world, he figured that that was why his animagus was a falcon. That was something he could explain away with ease however he had never figured out why it was that his patronus was a stag. When he had first produced the stag he’d asked his Dad why it was that his patronus took that form, expecting to hear a simple answer, but instead his father had gone strangely quiet and not said a word. He had instead left the room without saying a word. Harry had distinctly heard him crying in his bedroom later that evening and decided never to mention it again. He didn’t like to hear his father crying. The stag being his patronus was yet another thing that went unexplained about his life. The things that remained somewhat mysterious were becoming more numerous but Harry didn’t dare to question it and risk upsetting his Dad.

               

FGHP

 

Over the next few months Severus kept a close eye on the goings on at Hogwarts and in the rest of the wizarding world. He could recognize Voldemort’s handiwork a mile off. He knew when the Ministry had fallen even though there had been no obvious outward signs that it had happened and the general public remained oblivious. Severus however had been around him and his followers the first time that he had tried to take power that wasn’t his and he strongly suspected that the Minister for Magic, one Cornelius Fudge, was under the imperius curse. The laws and restrictions that were being passed were unfairly biased against those who were anything less than half-bloods.

 

One name that Severus was glad not to see in the papers was one Fenrir Greyback. He was still missing, a list of people that included himself and the Werewolf had been produced by the Ministry in an attempt to find those that had deserted since the last war. Curiously the name Harry Potter had also been on the list. This was how Severus had known that it was actually Voldemort behind the list of missing persons and not the Ministry or the Order. Dumbledore wouldn’t have wanted the knowledge of his failure so obviously displayed and besides Tom and the headmaster there was no one else, apart from Severus, that knew Harry to be alive and well. The fact that Harry’s name appeared on that list did not bode well, it meant that people were going to start to question if he had really died or not. Severus didn’t want anyone to know that Harry was alive and well, he didn’t want his son to be used as a weapon in the war. They were going to have to be even more careful than ever now.

 

FGHP

 

 The mass breakout of high security Azkaban prisoners had happened in August; a few months after Tom Riddle had returned. The likes of Bellatrix Lestrange were back on the streets. Now that these dangerous witches and wizards were back at large the wizarding world was becoming a dangerous place to reside. Muggleborns were starting to turn up dead. Fear was escalating fast and it seemed that there was very little that anyone could do. They were living in dark and difficult times, that was for certain. Severus however made sure that Harry remained oblivious to it all, preserving his childhood as best as he could. It was a childhood filled with laughter and sometimes literally magic but it was void of the horrors of what was happening in the rest of the world. Their village and happy lifestyle remained untouched and tranquil.

 

Harry had a best friend and the two of them were inseparable. and on occasion insufferable when they were together. However the important thing was that he was happy. They were both safe and nothing would be able to touch them here, not with the wards and protective charms that Severus had erected around them. Magically they couldn’t be tracked or located; not even Riddle with his damn unique way of tracking anyone with the dark mark branded on their skin would be able to get to them here. Severus didn’t want to risk moving again, not now and not when Harry was so settled and so content.

 

The young teenager had even learnt to deal with his Lycanthropy better. He took himself to his silver barred cage every night that the moon was full, just as the sun was beginning to set. He took his potion daily without question despite its questionable taste and as a result the transformations into his wolf form were painless and the animal he became was almost completely tame and very docile. Severus always loved his son’s wolf form now that he had grown accustomed to it. His thick coat of fur the same jet black as his hair and his eyes a more startling shade of emerald than even in his human form.

 

It was rare that a werewolf would have an animagus form as well but Harry had enough power that he had managed it and before he had even turned twelve. The boy had such extraordinary power that it sometimes scared Severus. Before Harry’s thirteenth birthday he had started to train him to apparate too. He knew that one day their secret would be revealed and he wanted his son to be able to have all the knowledge and the ability he needed to be able to escape the war, and defend himself if that is what it came to.

 

Severus knew that he would be a prime target for both Voldemort and Dumbledore after what he had done, he held no delusions on that front, if they were ever discovered then he wasn’t going to live long enough to be able to further protect his son. He knew all too well that by taking Harry that night in Godrics Hollow he had likely assured his own death sentence and yet he had no regrets at all; except perhaps what had happened at Malfoy Manor but even that they had adjusted to, so that it wasn’t quite the curse it was supposed to be, just an inconvenience.

 

Severus was content whether or not he lost his life because of the decision that he had made, he knew that it was worth it. It had been worth it when the Longbottom boy had died because Snape was all too aware that that could have been Harry. It didn’t bear thinking about; that his little boy, the one whom he had raised from infancy could have died before he had even see his twelfth birthday. He knew that no matter what the cost was to him, it had been the right thing to take the boy. Now that there had been another death, another child only a year younger than Harry, it fortified his opinion that no matter what it cost him in the future the price wouldn’t be too high because he had kept Lily’s son alive and out of danger.

 

FGHP

 

The two young boys charged into the living room of Harry’s house with the aim of heading out the back to grab their broomsticks, it was early September and the summer weather was still desperately clinging on and the two of them intended to make the most of it. However Harry stopped when he saw that a strange owl was perched on one of the brown leather armchairs. On the coffee table was a wicker basket with an envelope attached.

 

“I should run this to Dad, he might need it for his potions today,” Harry said. Severus didn’t like to be disturbed when he was brewing. He ran a mail order service for any kind of potions anyone would ever need to anywhere in the world and it kept them very comfortable for money. At least Harry had never gone without anything. However Harry knew that his dad probably needed whatever was in the basket and thought that it was probably worth the risk. “Will you grab the owl treats for me, Clay, I’ll run this through and then we can fly.”

 

Clay nodded and went to fetch the owl treats from the kitchen. Harry went to pick up the basket however he heard a hissing sound coming from within. He withdrew from it slightly, crouching down to peer through the small gaps in the wicker. Within he could just about see the bright green scales of a small snake. Harry grinned, he loved animals but Severus could never abide having them in the house for longer than was necessary for getting whatever he needed from them for his potions.

 

“Hello there,” he said into the basket, grinning as he watched through the gap as the small green snake uncoiled itself and began to move slowly around its sealed basket.

 

“Hello,” came the hissed reply and Harry nearly fell over backwards when he heard the snake talk back to him, something that he hadn’t been expecting.

 

“You can understand me?” Harry asked in astonishment.

 

“Of course, you talk snake,” the creature replied as if it were bored and Harry supposed that it was, after all it had been in this basket for however long. “Not many wizards I meet can talk to us.”

 

“I’m honoured,” Harry hissed back, peering in through the small gaps trying to get a better look at the magnificent creature.

 

“You have a talent,” the snake responded as it raised its nose to where Harry was looking into its confined space.

 

“Where did you come from little one?” Harry asked, however the snake’s response was lost in the shout that came from Clayton as he came back into the room.

 

“Blimey Harry, I didn’t know you could speak parseltongue!” he exclaimed wide eyed in amazement. Harry just looked to him as if he were mad. Just behind him his dad was looking equally bewildered and a little worried.

 

“Dad?” Harry questioned, “What’s wrong?”

 

“Nothing, never mind, you boys go flying or whatever it is you wanted to do this afternoon,” Severus said in a calm tone that Harry knew all too well. Severus was on the verge of either getting very angry or really upset. Either way Harry knew that he was very close to the danger zone. Clay too had taken note of this and the two of them ran for the back door without uttering another word.

 

Once far enough from the house Harry turned to his best friend with fear in his emerald eyes. “What the hell happened?” he asked Clayton who still looked as if he had seen a ghost.

 

“You were talking to that snake!” Clayton said.

 

“Yeah, so?” Harry asked, not understanding what it meant, why his friend was looking at him as if he were a freak nor why his father had reacted the way that he had.

 

“You were talking in another language, almost like you were hissing,” Clayton elaborated and now it was Harry’s turn to gape in shock.

 

“No I wasn’t,” he said, in denial.

 

“Yeah, you were,” Clayton said, “Whatever you were saying it was seriously weird!”

 

“I was really talking another language?” Harry asked and Clay nodded, “I didn’t even know. Do you think that many other wizards can … you know … talk to snakes?” Even as harry asked this he thought of how his Dad had reacted and he highly doubted it.

 

“I don’t know of any but then I don’t know many other witches or wizards,” Clayton said with a shrug as they headed for the broom shed. Harry following after his friend, his shoulders slumped as he thought about this, unsure of how he felt about having such an odd ability that he hadn’t even known about. It was yet another thing to add to the lengthening list of the unexpliained.

 

FGHP

 

There was a stranger in their territory. With only himself and Callie here Fenrir was not best pleased about this, in fact he was damn near furious. The fact that it was at least two other werewolves that had dared to breach his territory had not improved his mood at all. Their scent was unfamiliar to him; they were not wolves he had crossed paths with before.

 

The pack he had built had been in this territory for over a year now and their scent must have been thick through their marked area of forest. If there were other wolves here then they either had a death wish or wanted to fight for the territory. Fenrir would happily kill them either way and then he would skin them, displaying their hides as a warning to anyone else who dared even think that they might stake a claim here.

 

It was Callie who spotted the two unwelcome wolves first. He was a young man with thick red hair that stood up all over the place and deep brown eyes. He was shirtless with worn, ripped jeans and bare feet as he strode confidently into the clearing and carrying a young girl in his arms she was seemingly unconscious and bleeding. Callie reckoned that she couldn’t have been more than eleven or twelve given her size. She called out to her Alpha who immediately came running at the sound of her cries. Callie took up a defensive stance against the two intruders, growling violently in warning.

 

It was nearing the end of October, the nights were beginning to get cold and they had lit a fire to keep them warm in the centre of the clearing, which was where Callie had been sat when the unwelcome guests had come across them. Fenrir bounded over to them from where he had been chopping firewood a few metres away, fully prepared to kill the intruder without question for trespassing within his territory. However the young man who was nothing more than a stranger to them lay the young girl down close to the fire so that she would be warm before lowering his head to the Alpha wolf, keeping his eyes on the ground, submitting to him willingly without a fight.

 

Fenrir stopped, watching carefully the shirtless and barefoot young man, whose torso was stained with blood from the girl he had been carrying. Keeping his eyes on the floor and never looking at the Alpha wolf directly he tilted his head slightly upwards and bore his vulnerable throat. Fenrir stood tall, pinning the other werewolf down with his gaze, asserting his dominance.

 

“Who are you?” Fenrir growled viciously, ready to attack and to kill if he didn’t like what he heard. His pack was split and it was weak with only four members to it but that didn’t matter, he would protect Callie with whatever it took. He wasn’t going to lose another pack before he had even had a chance to finish making themselves comfortable in their own territory.

 

“Jenson,” was the brisk and rather formal reply, he kept his gaze on the ground, not having any desire to challenge the Alpha wolf for his pack or his territory, seeking only sanctuary from what he had escaped from. Jenson had never had the drive to be an alpha. He was perfectly content to be within a pack as long as he wasn’t the omega, which with his knowledge and strength he never would be. He was an asset and he knew it but he wasn’t cocky with this information and was more than willing to prove himself.

 

“Why are you here?” Fenrir bit out, still glaring down at the wolf who had so easily submitted to him, something that he didn’t quite trust. The dominant werewolf would forever be unsure of others, his past ensured that. However his uncertainty and need to protect what was his, which included Callie as she was a part of his pack, was being over shadowed with another part of his wolf brain that looked at Jenson, and saw a strong, able bodied young man, who would make an excellent addition to the pack.

 

“My former pack aligned themselves with the dark wizard known as Tom Riddle or Lord Voldemort as he prefers to be known. They were torturing this poor child and I couldn’t abide by the cruelty of it so I took her and I left,” Jenson informed them keeping his answers factual and precise, giving the Alpha the information he needed to know but no more than that. The past few hours had been horrific. When he had tried to leave the pack, those that he had counted as his friends and even family had violently turned on him. He was lucky that he was so fast and had managed to escape without serious injury. The young girl however had not been so fortunate. Jenson just hoped that she would survive, she reminded him of a sister that he had had that had died as a young girl. He felt very protective of her.

 

“You seek another pack?” Fenrir questioned and was answered by a stiff nod. He could see the advantages of adding further wolves; the winter was fast approaching and they would need the numbers for warmth and for hunting the larger game to add to their cave where the food was stored over the winter months to save them from starving, especially when the snow began to fall. However he was wary of these two and unsure of whether he wanted the burden of a sickly young girl on his shoulders. “Was she bitten?” Fenrir grunted motioning towards the girl.

 

“Yes, Alpha, several times by many werewolves” Jenson said and clearly this answer pleased Fenrir greatly because he nodded his head slowly, appreciating the acknowledgement of his superiority. If the girl had been bitten as much as Jenson claimed and was still alive then she could be strong enough. It was a slim hope but there was still a chance.

 

“Why should I allow you here?” Fenrir asked, his eyes narrowed in suspicion. He didn’t trust outsiders and especially not those from other packs. It concerned him that they had sided with Voldemort. He had experience when it came to that particular dark wizard and it wasn’t something he wanted to repeat. That had been a dark time in his life and he had no intention of going back and being in servitude to him again.

 

“I’m a good fighter, I won’t cause any trouble and I’ll pull my weight within the pack. If you don’t want us here that is fine and we’ll leave but please help the girl first. My former pack abducted her, tortured, raped and bit her, she may not live from her injuries, she may not even survive her first change but if you force us from here without aid then she won’t even have a chance,” Jenson said, his tone was forceful and determined and yet he kept his eyes down, not wanting to meet the Alpha’s heavy gaze. He had no desire to make a challenge for the top position, he didn’t even want for it to be a thought on any of their minds.

 

Fenrir glared at the trespasser, suddenly pouncing upon him, his clawed hand grasping at the vulnerable throat of the shirtless man who presented it to him without hesitation or even a flicker of fear. Jenson was aware that he needed to keep himself in a submissive pose if he stood any chance of being accepted into this pack or to even survive this encounter. The alpha growled viciously, making his presence as the dominant wolf known and fully enforced. He bore his teeth in a snarl, his grip tightening so that he was almost choking Jenson, cutting off his air supply. Fenrir wouldn’t tolerate disloyalty within his pack and he needed to ensure that if he was going to give this wolf a chance then he needed to be clear who was in charge.

 

“Very well, you may stay for the time being but you’ll earn your keep and work hard or you won’t be here long,” Fenrir warned with a harsh bark before turning to his other pack member, the only other pack member within their territory currently. “Callie, tend to the girl,” he instructed and immediately she did as she had been instructed. Fenrir wasn’t in the habit of trusting people without question, especially ones that just strolled into his territory but they were short on numbers and they could use the muscle. For this reason only, he was willing to give Jenson a chance to prove himself, especially with the winter months swiftly closing in on them.

 

The Alpha watched with a keen and over-protective eye as Callie began to tend to the small girls wounds, most of them were bite marks though some looked questionable, as if she had been punched or kicked too hard and her small frame just couldn’t cope with the strain. It was doubtful that the tiny creature would survive past her first transformation but Jenson had done an admirable thing by leaving his pack to try and save her. Fenrir could appreciate actions such as that and knew that he would make a good addition to the Pack if he could prove himself to be worthy of it.

 

“Do you know her name?” Callie asked as she pulled her own light brown hair back into a pony tail so that that it wouldn’t get in the way or become matted in the child’s blood, which was plentiful, though a lot of it was no longer fresh.

               

“Romy,” Jenson replied, he had knelt down beside the two of them, clearly concerned over the fate of the young girl, which was certainly endearing, especially to Callie who found it very difficult to keep her attention on the child and not stare openly at the bare chested man who crouched so close to her. She could feel his warmth radiating from his body despite the chilly temperatures and was very aware of the fact he was half way to being completely naked.

 

“How old is she, do you know?” Callie asked trying to distract herself from the very attractive man as she began to inspect all of the bite marks that were already starting to heal over, they had at least stopped bleeding, the accelerated healing known in werewolves already kicking in. There was no denying that she was strong, a fighter.

 

“She’s only twelve,” Jenson responded as he helped in any way that he could. Fenrir watched the two of them as they interacted over the twelve year old Romy, smiling faintly at them. He could clearly see that they would get on well. If the girl survived she would only be a year younger than Clayton and Harry. He would be able to cope with having yet another pup in the Pack. She would be another one that he could train to hunt, to fight and protect them.

 

The addition of Jenson and even Romy could be considered as a good thing however the news that had come with them was worrying. If what Jenson had said was true then the damned dark wizard was back and it seemed that he had other werewolves in league with him. Fenrir knew that they were protected here and wouldn’t be found easily, if at all. He had faith in the wards that they had erected and the safety they had within their territory. Unless someone literally wandered in, like what Jenson and Romy had done, then there would be no discovering them.

 

FGHP

 

Dumbledore looked upon the deranged man before him with a forced expression of sympathy on his face. Sirius Black had escaped the confines of Azkaban during the mass breakout of prisoners that Voldemort had arranged as he had taken over the prison. Black had slipped out amongst the Deatheaters in his animagus form with a clear goal but the headmaster could see that he was a shadow of his former self after years of being locked up with the dementors; unstable and probably unpredictable.

 

“I saw Peter …” the mad man rambled.

 

From what Dumbledore could figure out, Sirius had seen a picture in the wizarding newspaper that showed Peter Pettigrew to be alive and well, living in his animagus form as a rat with none other than the Weasley family. It had been the article about their youngest child’s death that had alerted Black that his former childhood friend was still alive. The headmaster had listened as Sirius had told him every detail of the rather fanciful story, including how he had finally committed the murder that he had been imprisoned in Azkaban for all those years ago.

 

“I killed him,” Sirius stated bluntly, seemingly almost proud of himself, as if he were a child that had said its first word or taken its first step. However he quickly started to tremble with the acknowledgement and looking guilty once more. “What have I done …?” he mumbled to himself pitifully.

 

Sirius Black couldn’t stop fidgeting and shifting restlessly as he sat in Dumbledore’s office; his hands trembling. The room was reminding him too vividly of his cell in Azkaban prison, it didn’t matter that there was a miniature version of a Christmas tree in the corner or that mistletoe and tinsel adorned the walls, he didn’t like the closed door. He didn’t like to be in confined spaces, he needed to be outside in the fresh air and enjoying his freedom after all these years. Albus however had other ideas.

 

One thing Dumbledore knew for sure and that was the fact that upon being hit with the killing curse the rat, known as Scabbers, had reverted back into the man who Sirius had proclaimed him to be; much to the alarm and distress of the Weasley’s youngest son, Ron, who had been holding the rat at the time. Dumbledore almost felt sorry for the family who seemed to have been curse with terrible misfortune, but at least the boy had not been hurt, and he had to admit that it was convenient for him to suddenly have Black back and on his side. The headmaster could see great use for him. This was why he was keeping the man cooped up in his office, he needed something from him and he was waiting for the arrival of one other before he could divulge what that was.

 

“I have something that I need to tell you, Sirius,” Dumbledore began solemnly, considering his words with great care and consideration; it wouldn’t do to have Sirius becoming anymore twitchy than he was obviously already was. This was not something that the headmaster had ever told to anyone else and it was a wrench telling this convict of a man too however he had had very little luck in tracking Harry down and he could now at least admit that he needed help.

 

Albus was more than aware of the worsening state of the wizarding world now that Tom was back. He knew that Fudge had fallen foul of one of Riddle’s followers and now no longer in his right mind. The headmaster knew that he needed to speed up the process in regards to finding the missing boy and if telling another was what was needed then so be it. “However there is one other that needs to be told and I don’t like to repeat myself.”

 

Sirius nodded. He was not feeling right. He had spent so long shifting between his animagus and human form to keep himself sane from the dementors that he didn’t know what persona he felt more comfortable in anymore. His skin itched uncomfortably in his clothes. He had just killed a man too. He wasn’t sure exactly how he felt about that. That man had been his friend and yet he had betrayed them all. Sirius had been imprisoned for years on the charge of murder but had been an innocent man, until now. He knew that he was guilty and he felt every ounce of that guilt weighing down upon him. He now deserved to be in Azkaban for what he had done, though he wasn’t sure that he regretted it in the slightest, which only made him more sure that he needed to be back in that awful prison. After all Peter had been the reason that his friends and their son, his Godson was dead. To feel no regret but to also feel guilty over the same action was akin to the feeling of being torn apart inside. It made him entirely uncomfortable in his own body.

 

Sirius Black didn’t know how to react when the door to the headmasters office opened and in walked Remus Lupin. His old school friend and occasional lover, a werewolf and the reason he had learnt how to transform into a great big black dog. Remus stopped in his tracks upon seeing his former partner. He had not seen Sirius since before James, Lily and Harry had been murdered and he hadn’t expected to see him sat in the headmasters office in Hogwarts looking forlorn and unhappy.

 

“Sirius …?” Remus asked to be sure, certain that his eyes would be deceiving him. He had of course been told that Sirius Black had been imprisoned for murder but he couldn’t believe it, it was the reason he had delayed his return to the United Kingdom, until Albus had summoned him back somewhat urgently.

 

“Remy?” Sirius queried as he stood up and for a moment he seemed unsure of whether to move towards or away from his old friend.

 

“Siri,” Remus said with a breath of relief as the two men embraced one another in a crushing hug.

 

It was a heart-warming display for sure but the headmaster had no time for sentimentality. However he was as patient as he could be with the two men, he needed something from them and most of all he needed them on his side. If allowing them a moment to reacquaint themselves would get them in a good enough mood to help him then so be it, it was a bout of sentimentality that he could cope with.

 

Albus knew that the two of them had once been lovers, a long time ago of course. They had amicably broken the relationship off when Lupin had gone in search of his answers. Sirius couldn’t go with him, he was needed at home to help with the war effort and with the impending arrival of Harry. It had been easier to put their relationship on hold and then the resulting years had been harsh on both of them, preventing them rekindling the old flame. Now however there was nothing to stop them, nothing but a meddling old man who had a bombshell of life changing news to bestow upon them.

 

What Albus didn’t know was the true reason why Remus had had to leave in search of answers. Not even Sirius knew all the details, he had been delivered the same excuse as everyone else about the werewolf’s reasons for disappearing. The horror of what Remus had done to such a young child had been horrific, he had needed to go in search of answers, he wanted to find a cure. He wanted to be able to live a normal life without the constant fear of losing his temper and hurting those that he loved.

 

“Now that you are both here,” the headmaster said as the two men settled themselves before him in comfortable armchairs; Sirius shuffling his chair closer to Remus’ as though he feared them being separated again. “There is something that I need to tell you both.”

 

Sirius and Remus waited with baited breath as the Headmaster took a deep breath and began to explain. “I have not been entirely truthful with you gentlemen and I must ask you to forgive an old man who was only trying to make the most out of a bad situation,” he began slowly. Albus could feel the weight of their gazes on him, questioning him, wondering what he was going on about. “The world was led to believe that Neville Longbottom was the child to bring about the downfall of Lord Voldemort. However that was a lie, it was in fact Harry that should have been our hero and not Neville.”

 

“What do you mean a lie, how could Harry be a hero, he died?” Sirius asked, his eyes narrowing with suspicion and distrust, “I thought that Peter told Bellatrix where the Potter’s were hiding and she went to kill them and Voldemort went to the Longbottom house.”

 

“That is what I wanted the world to believe. Tom Riddle was the one who killed Lily and James and it was Peter who told him where they were. You were justified in killing Pettigrew Sirius, it was him who betrayed your friends.”

 

“What about Harry?” Remus asked, he had picked up on the fact that the headmaster had said that Voldemort had killed Lily and James but he hadn’t mentioned Harry. The werewolf knew that this had been purposeful, he was a lot more accustomed to the headmaster’s games than Sirius was.

 

“When Hagrid went to retrieve Harry from Godrics Hollow he was gone,” Dumbledore said sadly, he made sure he kept his tone sober and regretful, he needed them on his side. “There was no trace of him anywhere in the house. Lily and James’ bodies were found exactly where the killing curse had struck them down, however there was no sign that Harry had ever been there dead or alive.”

 

“Are you saying that Harry could be alive?” Remus asked in shock as this new piece of information sunk in. Lily and James’ son could still be alive.

 

“I believe that he is indeed alive, something I kept to myself only to protect him from those that might seek to harm him,” Dumbledore said, “However I am not sure who took him.”

 

“How could you have lied about something like that?!” Sirius roared in anger, “You told us all that Harry had died along with Lily and James!”

 

“I believed that he might have been dead for a long time,” the headmaster told them, “And I feared that if he was not that looking for him would only place his life in greater danger. Now though it is essential that we find him.”

 

Remus nodded his understanding but Sirius looked positively livid, Dumbledore was worried about what he might do but at this point he had no other choice, other than a memory charm, than to plough on. He did need their help after all and that wasn’t something they could give him if he obliviated their memories.

 

“I have been attempting to track him since Neville died. The magic I’ve been using is scrambled and a little weak, he is surrounded by wards making it impossible to magically track him to a precise location. The magical signature however is very much like his would be.”

 

“You lied to us; you told us Harry died,” Sirius repeated.

 

“I believed it to be so,” Dumbledore lied, “It should have been impossible for him to have survived, Voldemort after all did attempt to kill the boy, it is my belief that he went so far as to fire a killing curse at him, which hit him but rebounded. I have my theories about why but none of them concrete as of yet and I am not willing to share them. However I do know that it would have left a scar upon his body, wherever the spell touched him. It would make the boy instantly recognizable,” Dumbledore told them firmly but still remaining calm.

 

It was clear that Sirius was still silently seething at this news, shocked that he had been told that his Godson wasn’t dead as he had originally thought. If he had known that Harry was indeed alive and just needed to be found then he might have broken out of Azkaban sooner. The poor child had been taken away from his parents before he had even had a chance to know them, snatched from his life when he was nothing more than an innocent baby. Who knew what kind of life he had been living for the last few years or even who that life had been with? Sirius couldn’t help but think of his Godson held captive, just like he had been and he wanted to take revenge.

 

Remus on the other hand sat in silent contemplation. His mind whirring with the possibilities of what it meant to have a part of James and Lily living on. It had never felt real that they were dead, his best friends and their little baby, a child he had never met and never wanted to meet, at least not until he had found the answers he had so desperately craved. He hadn’t wanted to risk infecting the child with his curse.

 

“I assume you have a reason why you brought us here,” Remus said, his voice calm and steady. He reached over to Sirius, gripping his hand tightly. Neither was sure who this was intended to calm more but both took comfort in the contact they could finally share again.

 

“I have told no one else. It cannot be known that Neville was a decoy and that there is another boy out there that can fulfil the role of the boy-who-lived and defeat Tom. There would be outrage if this became public knowledge. I have told the two of you because I am hoping as old friends of Lily and James that the two of you would be able to help me in tracking their son. He needs us, but magic will be of no help in this instance, whoever has him in their care has warded their home too well, not even I can break through them. However I can tell you he is in England. That much I am certain.”

 

“Why us?” Remus asked sceptically. He loved Sirius, they had been lovers for years and the best of friends for longer than that. He wouldn’t hear a bad word said against the man he loved but the man he loved had been in Azkaban and his stay in the wizarding prison had clearly had an adverse effect on his mind. Remus wasn’t entirely sure that it was a fantastic idea to set Sirius on a path to find a thirteen year old teenager who probably had no idea who he was or where he came from.

 

“Because I believe that the two of you have the best hope of finding him. I don’t expect for you to bring him back, just to find him. You need not talk to him at all but I implore you to at least find him so that we might know that he is safe and in no danger from the person who took him,” Dumbledore said, he prided himself on being a master at manipulation. He would use these two dim halfwits that were so full of love for each other and their fallen friends to find the boy. Once they had successfully managed this then he would reel the boy in and use him the same way that he had used Neville. He could only hope that Harry had more sense and more power because otherwise the wizarding world was doomed.

 

FGHP

 

June 1994 and Tom Riddle, having failed to take control of Hogwarts from Albus Dumbledore had set his sights abroad and claimed Durmstrang Institute of Magic as his own. Severus had read this in the Prophet, startled. He was surprised that Dumbledore had been able to withstand the onslaught from Riddle and managed to keep control of his precious school. He presumed that this was now also the headquarters of the Order, if such an organisation still existed.

 

“You look like you have the world on your shoulders,” Damon said as he walked into the kitchen of the Prince household through the back door, Clayton running past both the adults up to Harry’s room with only a casual call of hello over his shoulder to Severus. The Dane’s were always welcome in their house and vice versa, knocking was past them now, only a locked door would signal that they were not to be disturbed.

 

Severus grinned at the small whirlwind that was Clayton Danes’ as he dashed past; at fifteen he was taller than average, his dark brown hair a mass of bouncing curls atop his head. The potions master had grown rather fond of the two of them over the years that they had known them.

 

“Did you read the Prophet this morning?” Severus asked once he was sure that Clayton was out of earshot. This was signalled by Harry’s joyous shout and his bedroom door slamming rather loudly closed. Neither of the older men wanted to know what their sons were doing that required the door to be closed, they just figured that they didn’t want to know.

 

“I did,” Damon responded solemnly. The large muscle bound man didn’t look a day over twenty-five and yet he was ten years older than that. His dark brown hair a similar shade to that of his son’s but straight and worn loose down to his chin. The steely grey eyes were so unlike the warm brown of Clayton’s but the bond between the two was so wonderful to behold that Severus had never thought to question whether or not they were truly father and son.

 

“It’s spreading fast,” Severus commented. “I worry about our boys in this.”

 

“It won’t touch us here, not for a long while but you’re right, the war that is coming could be bad for everyone.”

 

“Would you go back to America again?” Severus asked curiously. Damon had taken Clayton there just as the first war had started so that they could escape it, or so Damon had told him.

 

“And split up the two of them?” Damon asked with an amused grin on his ruggedly handsome face as he motioned to the ceiling with a tilt of his head, “I doubt I would ever be forgiven.”

 

“You would stay here and risk them being dragged into this war just to keep the two of them together when they are only friends?” Severus asked dubiously, raising an amused eyebrow.

 

“Only friends, you say that like they aren’t the centre of each other’s worlds right now. We have taught them well and they have good heads on their shoulders, especially considering that they are only fifteen,” Damon said, “Or will be by the end of next month,” He added as an afterthought remembering that Harry’s fifteenth birthday was still forthcoming.

 

Snape gave a small sigh and nodded, conceding that Damon had a point though not wanting to give it vocal acceptance. Realising that he would get no more of a response from Severus on the matter Damon ploughed on, far too accustomed to his friend’s non-talkative ways. “Perhaps it won’t get as bad as the last war,” he said with vague hope.

 

“I think the last war will be a fond memory by comparison with what is coming toward us now,” Severus responded.

 

“I’m still traumatized from the last one and I wasn’t even in the country,” Damon said sounding weary. He didn’t like lying to Severus, they were friends and had been for four years now. However he had told him the lie about living in America for the first eleven years of Clayton’s life when they had first met and he couldn’t change that now.

 

“Aren’t we all,” Severus replied somewhat cryptically. He was unwilling to go into the details of just how traumatized he was, with everything that he had lost and everything that he had done, he just didn’t have the strength nor was he willing to share it. He may have liked Damon Danes, even trusted him to some extent but not with that, not with anything important.

 

Before Damon could respond a loud crash coming from above their heads had them both wincing, “Merlin what was that?” Damon asked giving Severus a concerned look. Severus just looked tired. Loud, unexplained crashes were not an uncommon occurrence in the Prince household. In fact they weren’t too uncommon in the Danes’ household either, which was why neither of the two grown men had gone rushing to see what the problem was.

 

“I suppose we had better go and check that they haven’t blown up part of the house,” Severus said with an exasperated sigh.

 

“Yes, I’m not sure the neighbours would appreciate that happening again; the last time they had part of your wall on their roof,” Damon replied as the two of them trailed wearily up the stairs to check on their teenage sons.

 

Upon reaching the top of the stairs the two older wizards were very concerned to hear a lot of laughing and giggling going on from within Harry’s bedroom. They shared a worried look as Severus turned the handle and opened the door.

 

The sight that met their eyes was at least not one of half the walls missing. Rather the two boys had built a rather impressive fort out of cushions, blankets and the most important element, magic. It was not like a regular fort, oh no, Harry and Clayton could never do anything simple like that. The monstrosity they had created appeared to have several floors to it, with windows and apparently a draw bridge as well.

 

As they entered the disordered bedroom a small head with a mass of messy jet black hair popped up from the third level of the impressive magical fort, grinning madly, mischief glinting in the brilliantly green eyes. “Hi Dad,” Harry said, stifling a giggle, something that worried the older two … they couldn’t see Clayton.

 

“ATTACK!” a familiar voice roared from within the pillow castle and the two older wizards barely had time to duck out of the way as jets of coloured bubbles flew towards them from the younger two’s wands. One of them, bright purple in colour, popped against Damon’s hand and turned his skin the exact same hideous shade. Severus had been more fortunate, or so he had thought as he had managed to dive out of the room and hidden himself but he couldn’t help but snigger at the sight of Damon suddenly purple.

 

Damon however just laughed, “Love the hair, Sev,” he said laughing. The potions master then caught sight of himself in the hallway mirror and groaned. His hair was now a sickly lime green. “You have to give them points for creativity,” Damon said as hysterical laughter echoed from within Harry’s room.

 

“Indeed,” Severus responded sourly, however he could see the funny side of the situation. “Perhaps we should show the little devils exactly who they are messing with,” Severus suggested as he withdrew his wand. Damon nodded, grinning with glee as he too took out his wand.

 

FGHP

 

Fenrir was pleased. It had been just about a year since Jenson had strolled in through their territory with Romy in his arms and both were doing well. They had assimilated into the pack nicely. Jenson particularly was a wonderful addition with added muscle and his eagerness to do the bidding of the Alpha. Not only this but over the time that he had been here he and Callie had formulated a bond between them which had ended in them mating. They had all survived their first winter together as a group of four in their territory and were swiftly approaching their second now that the October evenings grew steadily darker and colder.

               

Their mutual love and affection for the pup Romy had started it off and they continued to take care of the girl as if she were their own. They wouldn’t have their own pups for a while yet, not until the safety of the territory was assured. Also with the wizarding world becoming increasingly more hostile it wasn’t worth the risk to have one member of the pack pregnant or with young pups if for whatever reason they had to leave their territory unexpectedly. Romy was the closest thing they had for the moment and they doted over her, which Fenrir was more than happy to allow as it made the two of them happy and they were teaching the pup what she needed to know to survive and to protect herself.

               

It was Romy’s shrill scream that alerted the rest of the pack to a problem. It was early in the morning and the young girl had gone down up to the cave to fetch some meat for breakfast while the men gathered some wood and Callie got the fire started. Romy was accustomed to doing little jobs like this within the territory where it was supposed to be safe; she liked to pull her weight with the pack seeing as they had essentially saved her life.

 

With the sound of her screaming echoing throughout the territory however, everyone was instantly on alert, charging in the direction that she had taken to the cave, Fenrir in the lead, Callie and Jenson following closely behind. All of them were desperate to protect the youngest and weakest member of the pack from danger.

 

It was in moments such as this one that Fenrir hated that his Pack was split. They weren’t as feeble now that Jenson and Romy had been added to their numbers but they still weren’t as strong as they would be if they had all been together. He knew that it was worth it so that Harry was protected but he was eager for them all to be back in the territory and safe so that they would be a stronger pack unit.

 

Reaching Romy where she was cowering behind a large tree, almost physically shaking in shock, she pointed to the mouth of the cave that they used to store their cache of food that they hunted as well as all their supplies. At the opening was a man, however he didn’t appear to be a threat at all, at least not anymore.

 

He had collapsed in a heap, blood around his mouth where it seemed he had been gorging himself on the meat within their store. He appeared to be badly injured if not close to death but he was at least breathing and had managed the strength to feast upon their food before collapsing which was a good sign if they wanted him to survive. It was clear from his scent that he was one of them, there was no denying that. No pack member dared to say it but the wolf clearly had guts to sneak into claimed territory and steal food, either that or he was just plain stupid.

 

Whatever had happened to this werewolf he wouldn’t survive if they just left him, refusing him aid. Fenrir sighed, he didn’t relish the idea of taking in another werewolf that was on the verge of death, it had been a risk the first time around when Jenson had brought Romy into their clearing. However she had been worth the risk and the drop in their supplies because now she was strong and a valuable pack member who contributed to the day to day running of their home. This young man was older and just like Jenson would be strong and able fighter should he recover. Fenrir played the odds over in his mind, their numbers were not vast, six werewolves not including Harry and two of them were pups.

 

He could see that another fully grown adult male wolf would only strengthen them however he knew that if this new wolf survived and refused to join them he would have to be killed as he knew where their territory was now. Fenrir wouldn’t risk his pack by taking reckless risks like leaving alive those that knew where they were. Killing him after using valuable supplies to heal him would be a waste but they needed numbers and Fenrir decided that they would have to take the chance.

 

“Jenson, take Romy and check the boundaries of the territory, if whatever did this is still close by we need to know but whatever you do, don’t approach, keep your distance. I don’t want anyone else hurt.” The Alpha barked out, he didn’t like sending Romy to scout the boundaries with Jenson but he needed Callie with him, she was the only one with medical knowledge and he wouldn’t leave her and Romy with the stranger in case he posed a danger to them. Equally he couldn’t send Jenson on his own just in case whatever had hurt this Werewolf was still out there.

 

Fenrir approached the injured wolf with caution, prepared for an attack but it never came as the light haired man remained unconscious. Scooping him up with care so not to aggravate the injuries he already had. Fenrir motioned for Callie to lead the way towards their clearing where hopefully the fire would have already taken hold. Jenson and Romy had already left to scout the boundaries of the territory as they had been instructed. They didn’t question his decision only following the orders that he gave.

 

It was three days before the strange new wolf regained consciousness. It had taken a lot of medicine and magic to heal his injuries, which Callie had discovered came from wizards. Some of the spells that had been used on him were specifically engineered to do harm to werewolves and ensure that their accelerated healing power was no use. When Callie had relayed this information to Fenrir after the Alpha had enquired after the patient he had gone into a rather foul mood. It was a widely known fact that Fenrir had a strong dislike of wizards and their prejudices but no one really knew why this was.

 

Fenrir had been watching the injured wolf for days, waiting for him to come round, which meant the second the man awoke he was with him. He needed to ensure that this new wolf knew the hierarchy, knew who was Alpha and that he wouldn’t be easily challenged for the position. He stood back as Callie checked him over, pinning the startled wolf with his gaze.

 

“Where am I? What happened?” he asked, his voice weak as he tried to sit up, Callie however kept him down. He still wasn’t at full strength and his wounds were healing slower than they ought to have done.

 

“We found you,” Callie said, her voice soft as she checked him over, her wand making complicated swishing motions that Fenrir could make no sense over. He only ever used magic now to erect the wards. He had never been the most adapt student of the magical arts and that hadn’t changed in adult hood.

 

“We were hoping you could tell us the rest,” Fenrir grunted. “Starting with your name.” He kept his tone harsh and his gaze fierce, asserting his dominance.

 

“Micha,” the wolf said before wincing as Callie prodded the wrong part of him sending shooting pain through his abdomen.

 

“What happened to you?” Fenrir demanded with a growl, circling the younger man, ensuring that his gaze never left him. Micha was no threat and didn’t even need to make much movement to submit as he was already lying on the ground, his belly and throat exposed. Combined with his injuries he was no threat to the Alpha, at least not yet.

 

“Deatheater recruitment, I refused them and they didn’t take that well,” Micha managed. Fenrir’s eyes narrowed with anger, a warning growl erupting from his throat as his rage began to build.

               

“Were you followed?” Fenrir roared, the thought that this recklessly stupid wolf could have brought not only wizards down upon them but also deatheaters, even though there had been no sign of anyone else since Micha’s arrival. If they were found then they would have to give up their territory and flee. It could take them years to find territory as good as this and even longer than that to make it even half as safe. If wizards found them here then Fenrir would kill Micha without question. They had to be sure.

               

“No!” Micha said with strained effort, still in pain but it was greatly improved from when he had snuck into the claimed territory, enticed by the smell of fresh meat in that cave. “I was careful, I swear! If they had followed me I wouldn’t be alive, I’m certain of it. They were trying to kill me.”

 

“If your stupidity has brought wizards here I will kill you,” Fenrir snarled. “Make no mistake I won’t tolerate any attacks on us here.”

 

“Look, I get the whole protect the pack thing but I just want to be a team player here. You guys saved my life, least I can do is help out a little … my Alpha.” Micha’s acknowledgement of Fenrir as the Alpha only added to the appeal of adding him to the pack. Callie drew back and whispered to Fenrir who nodded.

“You appear to be on the mend. As soon as you are fit and able you will go hunting with the rest of the pack,” Fenrir declared, “Then we will see how much use you will be to us.”

 

It was just over two weeks before Micha was well enough to prove himself. Two weeks during which he was watched closely, but finally he was able to go out hunting with Jenson, Fenrir and Callie, to restock the cache of food in the cave; leaving Romy, who was too young, in the clearing. When Micha took down a doe solo Fenrir was suitably impressed and, even though there was a long way for go until he was fully accepted into the pack and allowed a true place in its dynamic, by proving his more than adequate hunting abilities he had taken an important step in the right direction.

 

FGHP

 

“Why did you have to leave, Remy?” Sirius asked, his eyes sad and shadowed in his prematurely aged face. And somehow there was a youthful innocence to the question, as if he were still the twenty year old that Remus had known. “Everything had been going so well between us.”

 

It had been a full year since they had been reunited and the two of them were staying on the outskirts of a muggle village. It was nearing Christmas again, though neither of them had much reason to celebrate the holiday now. They knew they had to avoid wizarding communities because Sirius was still a wanted fugitive. He would be rounded up by the dark witches and wizards to be tortured if he was caught, even if it was by Ministry officials he would probably be handed over. They were aware that the Ministry was fully under Tom Riddle’s control even if most of the wizarding world remained unaware of this fact. It was only those that knew the signs that could tell what was really going on.

               

Remus sighed; he had strong reasons for leaving, though he had told everyone that he just needed to find answers. This was partly true of course. He had wanted to find answers but he hadn’t been able to confess the true reason why. He had told Sirius and James another half-truth; that he hadn’t trusted himself to be around the new born baby, not wanting to risk accidentally infecting him. The reality however was so much more dire and it was something that Remus was deeply ashamed of; something that tormented him still.

 

It had been only a few months before Harry had been born, the terrible night that Remus had bitten and presumably killed a young boy who couldn’t have been more than five or six years old at the time. Remus had never been able to face going back to check on him, despite the constant feelings of guilt, figuring that the poor child was probably dead. He had never allowed himself to consider the possibility that the young boy might have survived. He couldn’t consider it.

 

“It is difficult to explain,” Remus began, his voice as weary as his mind. He settled himself on the double bed beside his lover and one remaining best friend. He wanted so much more from Sirius but to call themselves boyfriends seemed so juvenile. They were more than that to one another, even after all this time but sometimes he had to wonder if they had enough sanity and hope left between them to make it work. Either way they had to try.

 

“I would never judge you for anything, Remy,” Sirius responded, his expression wary but accepting as Remus shuffled closer to him. “You took me back without question even after I killed a man. After I murdered our so called friend…” Sirius responded and Remus could see him replaying the traumatising memory over in his mind.

 

Sirius did not look as unhealthy as he had been when Remus had first set eyes upon him in the headmasters office a year ago. He had gained back a fraction of the boyishly handsome good looks but he had aged, that was undeniable; they both had, in mind as well as body. The fathomless grey eyes twinkled with mischief increasingly often and his long black hair hung seductively around his face that after a year of eating full meals was no longer gaunt or as pale as it had been as a result of his stint in Azkaban.

 

“You would judge me for this,” Remus said sadly, “I judge myself for it every single day. But please, I do not want to talk about the past anymore, Siri, I want to talk about our future.” The werewolf was hopeful that the two of them could have one; they had both lost so much and even sacrificed their very humanity to get to where they were in their lives now. They would cling to each other because they were all each other had right now, except for a small fragile hope that some small part of their friends lived on their son.

 

“Our future,” Sirius agreed; wide-eyed with genuine enthusiasm that seemed to come from nowhere; just as it often did now. “With Harry,” he added emphatically, as though making sure Remus hadn’t forgotten an important detail of what their future together would include.

 

Remus frowned at Sirius and his optimism. Remus couldn’t think of the boy like that. Whatever Harry had been through he was now fourteen years old, almost fifteen. There was no telling how they would find him or the state of mind he would be in; there was no telling what he would have been raised to be.

 

“You are aware that he won’t know us,” Remus said tentatively, not wanting to anger or upset his friend who still wasn’t in the most stable of mind sets. He secretly thought that Dumbledore ought not to have involved Sirius in the tracking and retrieval of Harry, especially not so soon after he had escaped Azkaban and killed a man. “He won’t be anything like Lily or James. He hardly knew them.”

 

“I know that but he’s Harry, little Harry. I held him in my arms, I looked after him so that Lily and James could go out for dinner one evening, I held him when he cried and let him pull my hair,” Sirius said, reminiscing about the times that he had spent with Lily and James after Remus had left. They had put up with him always hanging around and never said a word about it, understanding that he needed them.

 

“He isn’t a baby anymore, Siri,” Remus said gently, cuddling into his lovers side, resting his head upon Sirius’ chest; one arm resting, draped across his taut abdomen. “He’s a fourteen year old boy who will be scared and will, no doubt, not have a clue what’s going on with him.”

 

Sirius didn’t respond, instead returning the embrace. Remus got the impression that his words were not sinking into his lover and that worried the werewolf but there was nothing he could do for the moment. He refused to force the issue anymore tonight, he didn’t want to argue with him. It had been a long and tiring day but they were sure they were getting closer to Harry. They had been following leads and getting closer for the entire year that they had been searching. It wouldn’t be very long now, it couldn’t be.

Chapter Text

 

Chapter 4 - Found

 

“Come on,” Harry hissed in excitement. He and Clay had been organising this clandestine expedition between themselves for weeks now and both were anxious to get going. It was the eve of Harry’s fifteenth birthday and they had decided that it didn’t matter what their fathers had said on the matter, they were going out and they were going to celebrate. Not that they had told their father’s anything about what they were planning.

 

Harry had waited until Severus had gone to bed at ten, transformed into his animagus form, which took the form of a tan and brown flecked falcon before flying out of his bedroom window and over to Clay’s house. It was a trip he would make frequently as a bird of prey and he was more than accustomed to avoiding the power lines and other such dangers in the air between his and his best friend’s house.

 

Severus had always been a light sleeper and for that reason he was hard to sneak past, which was why Harry had had to be stealthy and become his animagus so not to make any noise. Damon on the other hand was harder to wake than the dead once he was deep asleep, which he had been for the last hour by the time Harry had arrived. This was why the two young teenagers would apparate in and out from Clay’s bedroom, though they would still be erecting silencing charms just in case. They didn’t want to be caught.

 

The two of them planned to apparate to the club together. The place they wanted to go to was only a handful of miles away and seeing as they had both been taught how to apparate they planned to make good use of their abilities. The only other way of travelling they could use without parental help was flying via their broom sticks but neither had thought that this was a good idea as the risk that they would be seen greatly increased and it would take far longer as well.

 

The plan for the evening had been hatched when Clay had seen an advertisement for a ‘sixteen and over’ club in one of the local papers in town. Even though it was a muggle thing, it wasn’t far from their home in Ingleton. The club had an air of the forbidden about it as they were still a year too young to go, which made them all the more eager.

 

They were both aware that neither Severus nor Damon would have let them go if they had asked and both fathers would have had very good reasons for not wanting their son’s to be in that place, far away from their protective wards and such; but they were two fifteen year old teenage wizards, who very rarely got any interaction with anyone other than each other, and they were in dire need of some fun. Clay understood the need to be cautious more than Harry did but then he was more aware of the dangers. Harry had been kept fairly uninformed by Severus who hadn’t wanted his son to have to worry about such things at such a young age.

 

They had both ensured that they had their wands with them. Harry had found a spell in one of his father’s books that allowed him to carry it even while in his animagus form. It was a complicated spell but after several days of practice he had perfected it without guidance from his Dad, who would have only asked questions as to why he needed to know this particular bit of magic.

 

Both Harry and Clayton had agreed that it would be better for their safety if they took their wands with them. It would give them piece of mind that they would be able to protect themselves with their magic if something went wrong. However they hoped that it wouldn’t and this would be just a precaution. Clay was overly aware of how his Alpha would feel about the two of them going off on their own in such a reckless manner but he was willing to take the risk, they just had to be careful. It was just a muggle club and one that didn’t serve alcohol either, he didn’t think there would be anything to worry about.

 

Clay wasn’t worried though, they were planning to be back in their own beds safe and sound by five o’clock in the morning at the very latest. Severus always rose at six no matter the day or the time of year, so it would give them enough leeway in case anything held them up.

 

“Alright, alright, I’m coming,” Clay grumbled as he secured his wand up the sleeve of the light blue shirt he was wearing. They had special arm bands that ensured that their wands would be kept out of sight, strapped to their forearms but easily accessible if necessary. Harry had been practicing using his holly and phoenix feather wand without releasing it from its harness and his efforts were coming on nicely, however the more powerful the spell the harder it was to perform in this way.

 

Both of the teenagers were very capable at apparating but it had already been decided that they would be going together, Harry would hold on to Clayton and then the former would apparate them both so as not to risk being separated. They were so excited that they didn’t quite trust themselves not to mess it up in their haste to arrive. Harry was by far the more practiced and more reliable when it came to this form of travelling, Clay was more than happy to leave it up to him. He much preferred his skateboard as a form of getting around or his broom but he had to admit that this was a lot faster.

 

Clay knew that Fenrir and Damon would lose their shit if anything happened to Harry tonight so he had to make sure that nothing did. He took his best friend by the hand, grinning madly with excitement. They had never done anything remotely like this expedition before but with them both now being fifteen years old seemed like a good reason to break the rules.

 

Aside from a few pranks it wasn’t as if they broke the rules often and the two of them were kept on such a short leash that it wasn’t surprising that they were itching to get out and explore the world, or at least do something they would never be allowed to do otherwise. They wouldn’t be drinking, they’d come home in one piece and their parents need never know what they had done.

 

Taking a deep breath, Harry closed his eyes and focused. He needed to make sure he got this right. Remembering what his Dad had taught him; destination, determination and deliberation. The two of them were suddenly compressed together, seemingly forced into a narrow tube. Harry gripped Clayton’s hand tighter as he struggled to find his breath. When he opened his eyes again, somewhat tentatively, he saw that he was exactly where he wanted to be. The two of them were tucked into a little alley across the road from the over 16’s club that declared its name ‘heaven’ in bright red neon lights across the main entrance.

 

The two of them took off towards the club, which was protected by a large and aggressive looking male bouncer, the door was adorned with a long queue of impatiently waiting teenagers, all of them of varying ages but none looking older than eighteen or nineteen. Neither Harry nor Clayton were intending to join the queue or to wait patiently until they were granted admittance. That was something they would leave to the muggles. They looked to one another, smiled and nodded before subtly casting notice-me-not spells on themselves before slipping past both the queue and the bouncer without anyone trying to stop them.

 

The sound of the live music assaulted their ears the minute they stepped inside. The club boasted bands on most nights it was open and the evidence of this almost deafened the werewolves with their supernaturally over-sensitive hearing but neither seemed to mind as neither could keep the smiles off their faces. A pool table in one corner was surrounded by people as two men played competitively for the pile of cash on one side of the table. The band set up on the opposite corner of the room, closest to the bar.

 

The music itself was indie/rock and had drawn in quite a crowd for the night. A lot of the patrons were dancing unashamedly, a few of the young girls wearing far too few clothes, their skirts barely covering their behinds and tops so low cut Harry thought that their breasts might fall out at any given moment, it wasn’t something he wanted to see but Clayton was practically drooling.

 

“Let’s grab a drink,” Harry suggested; taking Clay by the scruff of his shirt laughing as he dragged him towards the bar. His attention had been on a blonde girl on the dance floor who had been swaying her hips rather seductively in time with the music, mesmerizing not only Clayton but a fair few other young men in the room.

 

“Umm … yeah,” Clay agreed a little distracted, never taking his eyes off the girl who had captivated his attention so aptly, as they made their way to the bar to order. They were served by a cheerful red haired young man who smiled at them politely and gave them their cokes without fuss.

 

“Why don’t you go and talk to her?” Harry asked, motioning to the blonde that Clay just couldn’t stop staring at. Harry, despite his preferences for his own gender, could still appreciate that she was stunning, her breasts on display in her too tight cami, jeans riding too low on her hips exposing her waistline and pierced bellybutton; he could see why Clay had become so enthralled with her obvious beauty.

 

“You sure?” Clay asked a little sceptically. “You won’t be bored?”

 

Harry laughed, shaking his head. “I’m going to go and earn myself a little cash,” he responded with a cheeky grin as he nodded toward the pool table. Clay couldn’t help but be amused. Damon had put a pool table in their basement when he and Harry were twelve and the darker haired teen had become rather good at it. Not even Damon could win a game against him now. Severus had begrudgingly allowed him to enter a few local competitions which most of he had won but it wasn’t a hobby that the potion master had actively encouraged.

 

“Have fun,” Clayton said with a smirk, knowing that Harry was going to wipe the floor with the young men currently playing.

 

“Oh, you too,” Harry replied as they went in their own directions. Clay making a note to keep his friend within his eye line at all times. He couldn’t afford to get distracted and have something happen to Harry. The Alpha was scary enough without being in a towering temper as well.

 

The evening seemed to be going well. Clay had had his tongue down the blonde girl’s throat and had then moved on to at least two others’ after her. Harry had been more than content to just play pool and keep a watchful eye on his best friend, who seemed to be having way too much fun with the women. Not that they seemed to mind; Clay was of course a handsome young man who looked at least three years older than he was and seemed to interact and flirt with ease. He had a natural talent for it. Harry on the other hand was far more awkward when it came to talking to the guys he liked, not that he had had much opportunity.

 

He had however won every game of pool that he had played and his pockets were filled with the cash of some rather disgruntled young men who seemed to think that he was somehow cheating them out of their money. Harry however didn’t need to cheat, even when he could have used his magic to his advantage in the game he hadn’t.

 

“Anymore takers?” Harry asked with a satisfied grin as he potted the black for the twentieth time that evening. As the tall, tattooed guy he had just beaten glared at him, handing over his cash reluctantly to the triumphant younger teen. Harry seemed oblivious to the mounting dislike of his talent with a pool cue.

 

“What’s the fucking point when you’re cheating?!” It was the young man that he had just beaten and very clearly he was rather resentful of that fact. Harry however didn’t appreciate the insinuation that he wasn’t playing by the rules and told him so. “You have to be, you’ve not lost a single game!” The man continued to insist much to Harry’s annoyance.

 

“Maybe I’m just better than you,” Harry said, feeling a little giddy as he squared up to the older and taller teenager confidently. Harry had never been as tall as Clay but he wasn’t exactly short for his age either and he was able to meet the gaze of the angry young man who was trying to stare him down but Harry was going to be having none of it, the wolf in him wasn’t about to step down from a fight.

 

Across the room, on the dance floor with yet another beautiful young lady who had been dying for his attention, Clayton sensed the trouble that was brewing and immediately looked over to see where Harry was, spotting him as he squared up to an older teenager with a pierced lip and several tattoos. Neither looked particularly happy and without a word to the girl he abandoned her, making a bee line for his friend.

 

“Problem?” the older werewolf asked as he reached them, standing himself next to Harry, preparing to back him up if needed. He had been hoping for a trouble free evening but now that that wasn’t possible he was determined that Harry would at least make it home in the same condition he had come out in.

 

“Your mate’s been cheating and I want my money back!” The other teenager said with a disgusted look on his face as he sneered at Harry.

 

“Him, cheat? I doubt it; no one can beat him at pool, not even my dad and he’s been playing for years,” Clay said trying to keep the peace with his casual tone and small laugh but judging by the tension in the room he was failing miserably.

 

Whoever it was that Harry had pissed off, his mates were gathering around him now and he was a seemingly popular guy. They were all muggles though and not only were Harry and Clay well educated and knowledgeable wizards but they were both werewolves too. They may not have had the numbers but if it came to a fight there was no question regarding who would come out favourably. Clay was itching to remove his spruce and dragon heartstring wand and start sending jinxes towards the unsuspecting muggles, however he reframed, knowing that it would only cause more hassle than it was worth. They could still get home and never have to tell their fathers anything about what they had done this evening.

 

It was maybe the wolf part of their brains but they wouldn’t back down to these inferior creatures that would have been nothing more than an unsatisfying meal had the moon been full. The muggles were foolishly attempting to assert dominance over them. Instinctively, without even realising that they were doing it, neither Harry nor Clayton were about to let that happen, it was a matter of pride. The club bouncers however were more than accustomed to dealing with trouble makers and were quick to intervene before punches could be thrown.

 

Harry realised fairly quickly that he was going to have to tone down his confrontational tendencies which he knew were down to the part of him that was a werewolf. He didn’t want his friend to figure out what he was. Clayton, on the other hand, didn’t care about Harry discovering his other nature, he would soon enough anyway. It wouldn’t be long until Fenrir would claim him for the Pack, regardless of what Severus had to say on the matter.

 

“Break it up boys,” the gruff voice of the bouncer said, he towered over all of them and was broader than Harry and Clay put together. The two teen wolves were not fearful however, they were fuelled by the arrogance of youth and didn’t have the good sense to know when to back out of a fight.

 

“The kid’s been cheating!” Came the outraged response along with a pointed finger in Harry’s direction, he looked utterly outraged at the accusation yet again.

 

“I have not,” Harry said forcefully making a move to hit the other young man who had now accused him of cheating twice. He hadn’t even used his hidden wand to give him an unfair advantage over the stupid muggles. He had won all the games just on pure talent with a cue and he didn’t like the accusation that it was anything else. Harry didn’t like sore losers.

 

The bouncer took hold of Harry before he could throw the punch and began to manhandle the young teenager outside before anything could start in the riled up group. Clayton, who had wanted to lash out just as much at the now sniggering muggle knew that he couldn’t and that he had to remain with his pack brother at all costs or else risk inciting Fenrir’s legendary temper if he ever found out.

 

Sending a final glare at the annoyingly smug muggle who had tried to goad Harry into a fight, Clay followed the bouncer out of the club where Harry had been deposited rather forcefully on to the pavement.

 

After having made it perfectly clear that neither Harry nor Clayton were getting back inside for the night the bouncer resumed his post on the door, glaring at them. They could have easily used their magic to get back inside and finish what was started but now they were out of the testosterone fuelled environment they were able to compose themselves better and realise that it just wasn’t worth it.

 

Clayton offered his hand to help Harry up from the ground, an offer which was accepted gratefully, the two teenagers grinning at each other like lunatics at how the evening had transpired. Despite ending a little earlier than planned, it had not been a bad night.

 

“Fancy grabbing something to eat?” Harry asked with a smile as he withdrew a wad of cash from his jeans pocket, “On them,” He added and Clay couldn’t help but snigger at the amount of cash that Harry had won from the pathetic muggles. It made the fact that they hadn’t been able to beat them to a pulp a little easier to stomach.

 

“No wonder they were pissed,” Clayton said with a low and impressed whistle, surveying the money in Harry’s hand. “You must have at least a hundred, right there.”

 

“Hundred and twenty actually,” Harry boasted arrogantly as he replaced the money in his pocket out of sight, “so, you want food?”

 

“Sure,” Clayton said happily as the two of them headed in the direction that their noses told them they would find some late night burger joint that would still be open.

 

“James,” a voice called out somewhere behind them as they were a couple metres from the take-out shop, the smell of cooking meat making their bellies rumble in anticipation of finding food, both surprised by how hungry they were at three in the morning. They ignored the shout, paying it no mind, not even when it sounded again, this time louder and closer to them.

 

It wasn’t until a hand grabbed Harry’s arm did they realise that the man who had been calling out for James had meant Harry. He looked round trying to tear his arm away from the tall and rather thin man. Harry glared at him, staring into cold grey eyes, wanting to grab at the long black hair and rip it out at the roots for this invasion of personal space.

 

Clay too had reacted rather badly to his pack brother being grabbed so forcefully but it had momentarily confused them both when the stranger had yet again called him James as if questioning why Harry didn’t recognise him. The man seemed to be extremely confused by this. He was unkempt and dirty but insistent, his grip never loosening.

 

“Excuse me?” Harry bit out rudely as he gave another firm tug and this time he managed to remove his arm from the man’s strong grip. The stranger was looking at Harry as if he were a ghost, a great sadness echoing in the fathomless grey eyes, signalling a deep depression that almost made Harry feel sorry for him. Almost.

 

“Oh Merlin,” the man said in a deep gruff voice, “James, it’s you. I thought you were dead but …” The stranger was rambling now and looking at Harry as if he were some form of miracle, something truly amazing to behold.

 

Harry, finally free from the rough grip had taken a step back and instinctively Clayton had moved forward, protectively, coming between his pack brother and the stranger that had accosted him. Whoever this obviously crazed man was, he wasn’t welcome. Clay tensed, poised for an attack, fully prepared to remove his wand if necessary to defend Harry.

 

“Shove off, you weirdo,” Clay snarled dangerously at the stranger who looked at the other teen somewhat affronted by his hostility. Clearly he hadn’t been expecting it and was surprised at the unfriendly tone.

 

“Sirius,” another man said, suddenly appearing at the stranger’s side, placing a gentle hand upon his friends shoulder. Harry switched his gaze to this man instead. He looked to be roughly the same age as the first unwelcome stranger. He had greying light brown hair and they both looked a little shabby and in dire need of a bath and some clean clothes. Harry presumed that they were both probably just homeless and slightly deranged as well. “That isn’t James, it can’t be, just look at the eyes; those are Lily’s eyes.”

 

The man clearly called Sirius focused now on Harry’s eyes and it was allowed only because of the mention of the name Lily had made Harry stall. That had been his mother’s name; his Dad had told him all about her. How had these men known his mother’s name, and that he had been gifted her eyes through the wonders of genetics? And who the hell was James?

 

“Harry …” Sirius said in amazement before turning to his friend. “Remus … we found him, we finally found him!” The joy and excitement in his voice was clear, like a small child on Christmas morning. The man called Remus however did not seem to be as overjoyed and Clayton could smell why. He was a werewolf just like them and judging by the look on his face he knew what they were too.

 

At the declaration that they had found Harry Clayton panicked, he wasn’t entirely sure who these two men were but they knew Harry’s name, knew his mother’s name. Whoever they were they were dangerous and he and Harry had to leave.

 

Just as he processed everything that had been said the older men had begun to reach within their coat pockets. Clay had spotted the wands the other two men had just before they were drawn and reacted instinctually. Harry was too shocked and full of questions to realise what was going on as his best friend grabbed hold of him. Not caring who saw them go, or how many muggles they frightened with their sudden disappearing act, Clay apparated them both away.

 

Landing with a solid bump back in Clay’s bedroom, Harry staggered backwards, landing somewhat ungracefully on the bed, his mind racing. He didn’t even register when Clayton asked him if he was okay. The memory of what had just happened playing over in his mind and neither of the two teenagers thinking anything of the fact that they might have been followed. The older of the two knew what he would have to do though. He wouldn’t have a choice; he had to tell his Dad what had happened.

 

FGHP

 

“Dad,” Clay said hesitantly the next morning. The two of them were sat at their small circular dining table in the kitchen. Damon had made bacon and sausages for him having woken up in an extremely good mood. Clayton hadn’t slept much at all after Harry had turned into a falcon and flown home, instead pacing in his room, trying to think about how best to word what he was about to say.

 

“Yes, Clay,” Damon said glancing up from the Daily Prophet that was reporting on some more missing muggleborn witches and wizards. It was not boding well for the coming war that so many good witches and wizards were disappearing just because of their blood status.

 

“I have something I think I should tell you.” Clay knew his father was not a man to fly off the handle easily but he had his suspicions that this would be one of the rare occasions that it might just happen. Damon was the beta wolf of their pack, he had to balance out Fenrir’s well-known violent temper but that didn’t mean he didn’t have one of his own when the occasion rose for it.

 

Damon sighed, realising that this was something he ought to listen to more closely as he could tell from the tone of his son’s voice that it wasn’t something he was going to like. Folding the paper in half and placing it down he looked at his adopted son curiously. Just from Clay’s demeanour he knew the younger wolf to be uneasy as he shifted nervously in his chair. “Then perhaps you should tell me,” he said firmly.

 

“Harry and I snuck out last night,” Clayton began. He found it hard to look at his father, intent to stare at the table instead. He knew how disappointed Damon would be at him and he hated that look.

 

“Go on,” Damon said as he glared dangerously at his son, his entire body tense, dreading what was to come. Nothing surprised him when it came to the two teenagers now. However, if they had managed to get away with it without being caught then there had to be a fairly serious reason that Clay would come clean and risk punishment.

 

“These two guys started calling Harry, James,” he said carefully. “They seemed to know him; they knew that his mum was called Lily too.”

 

Damon considered this for a moment. “Did you catch their names?” he asked his son, who nodded in response.

 

“They called each other Sirius and Remus,” Clay told him. Fenrir had told Damon before sending him on the assignment to watch over and protect Harry that the boy was being raised by a man who was not his real father. That was all the Alpha wolf had known at the time and it was all he had cared to know, far more interested in his unique scent than who he had been when he was only a wizard.

 

The only Lily and James, Damon knew to be associated with a Harry were the Potter’s. However they had all died, Harry included, or so the stories went. Severus had moved around with Harry at least three times before settling here in Ingleton and Damon had never really understood why. Unless of course they were running from something. It was suddenly starting to make a lot of sense.

 

“Were you followed?” Damon asked somewhat stiffly. Whoever these two strangers were and whatever they knew wasn’t going to end well. He didn’t relish the idea of killing but he would do it to protect his pack and Harry was a part of that.

 

“There’s something else,” Clay said hesitantly, looking up at his father timidly as he prepared himself for the explosive reaction and prepared to take it like a man. “The one called Remus, I’m pretty sure that he was a werewolf.”

 

FGHP

 

Malfoy Manor, once a refuge for Narcissa to escape the fear and the terror that came hand in hand with her husband being in the inner circle of the darkest wizard known to mankind, had now become Lord Voldemort’s headquarters. There was no escaping him now; the charming and handsome nineteen year old Dark Lord seemed to take pleasure in residing with them. Narcissa now refused to let her precious son from her sight, not even now that she was seven months pregnant with her second child, another boy or so the healers told her.

 

With Tom prowling around her home, and her insane older sister simpering after him, she didn’t want either of them to get any ideas in regards to Draco, who was still just a boy at the tender age of fifteen. Their presence in the Malfoy family home made her increasingly nervous, which was doing nothing to help her relax in the final few months of her pregnancy.

 

The news that she was expecting another Malfoy child had come as a shock to both Lucius and Narcissa when they had found out. Lucius hadn’t cared much for the news, the only reason he had been happy about his wife’s first pregnancy with Draco was because he would finally have an heir to the family name. This second child was a waste but one he could do nothing about, Narcissa already loved the boy growing inside of her belly and couldn’t be persuaded to get rid of it.

 

Narcissa too was desperate to keep away from Voldemort. He took great pleasure invading the minds of those supposedly loyal to him and she could not risk him finding out that she was still in contact with Severus. She had managed to keep it a secret, even from her husband, for all these years but now that Tom was back she was constantly in fear that he would discover the truth.

 

The Dark Lord was very keen to locate the potions master who had not been seen since Tom’s downfall that fateful Halloween night in Godric’s Hollow. He would kill her if he ever found out that she had helped Severus to escape with the baby that Voldemort now wanted so desperately to kill. She took great pleasure in knowing that she was the cause of the Dark Lord’s irritation on that matter. Not that she knew where they were but the fact she had helped them all those years ago would be enough to damn her.

 

Tom knew that there had to be a connection to Snape’s disappearance and the vanishing act that the Potter boy had done. He was aware that he hadn’t killed the boy but he wanted to, he wanted to very much. He just had to find the boy, who would now be a young teenager. Finding him however was proving harder than he originally thought and that greatly frustrated him. A frustrated Lord Voldemort was not someone that you ever wanted to be around and he frequently took out these feelings of annoyance on his lesser followers.

 

However Harry Potter was not his only concern, not anymore. He had managed to take control of Durmstrang Institute with relative ease but he wanted Hogwarts and the meddlesome headmaster, Albus Dumbledore, was managing to hold him off. Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry was a point of pride for Riddle and he would take control of it no matter what it took and in that regard he had a plan.

 

Voldemort glanced over the fearful faces of his followers with disdain. He loathed each and every one of them, from the simpering pathetic Bellatrix, who wanted him and professed to love him, to the arrogantly aloof Lucius, who would do anything if it benefited him and his family. This evening however he had requested for a special guest to join them. A guest whom his gracious host was not best pleased about having at the Deatheater meeting.

 

Tom twiddled his wand between his fingers, caressing the smooth wooden shaft made of ash. It was a powerful thing with its dragon heartstring core, especially considering the little pureblood witch he had taken it from as he had drained the life from her. He remembered that fondly, how he had tricked her into reincarnating him. It had been so easy. Such a shame to have wasted the life of a pureblood but he was strong, powerful and youthful because of her. The wand worked well for him, he had so far not been disappointed.

 

“Draco, you will stay behind and talk to me,” Tom said in his soft, drawling voice that slithered around them all like a highly venomous snake. Draco almost stopped breathing at the sound of his name being spoken by Riddle. He had been asked here especially by invitation of the Dark Lord himself and Draco had been hoping that he could go unnoticed for the entire meeting; this had been a foolish hope however. He didn’t want to be here, he didn’t want anything to do with the soulless, evil monster or his pet basilisk that resided in the dungeons of the Manor.

 

Even as these thoughts crossed his mind the young blond teenager nodded his head in agreement. He watched the handsome nineteen year old carefully, trying to read him and predict his next move. Once you became accustomed to doing this you could better protect yourself from any cruciatus curses that might have been sent in your direction unexpectedly, just because Tom felt like it. Draco could see that the Dark Lord was an attractive man and he didn’t lack in charm either. The youngest Malfoy however was all too aware of how dark his soul was; it was an evil that tainted even Tom’s handsome face.

 

His poor Aunt Bellatrix however was seemingly not as aware of this. Draco could see her undying love for him in every look and action she made and he pitied her for it. Though he pitted himself more because she had the bedroom across the hall from his and he had heard Tom come to her every night since they had arrived at Malfoy Manor. Judging by the screams of anguish that echoed violently from her throat each night, Draco knew that Tom was neither a gentle nor a kind lover. The young blonde shuddered with the memories.

 

Tom Riddle had become vain in his new found youth. Every piece of his fragmented soul was connected and he could remember what it had felt like to be living like a parasite in another’s body. He had seen the hideous form he had taken in the Mirror of Erised, he had resorted to drinking the blood of unicorns to survive and all because of Harry Potter.

 

He would have his revenge on the boy sooner or later. He had his former body back, which was proof enough that his horcruxes worked and that he was now unstoppable. He relished in being young again, his youthful nineteen year old body so much more appealing than the creature he had become after his downfall. No wizard alive, not Albus Dumbledore and certainly not Harry Potter could stop him now.

 

Narcissa had looked to her fifteen year old son as his name had been spoken, terror in her eyes, but she said nothing as there was nothing she could do. She wouldn’t risk a ‘crucio’ being sent in her direction no matter how scared she was about what could happen to Draco. She wouldn’t be forced to risk the life of one son just to stop the other simply talking to Riddle. She placed a protective hand over her swollen belly feeling her eyes burn with the force of not shedding tears. How had it come to this?

 

She was dismissed along with the others and reluctantly trailed out of the dining room leaving Draco alone with Voldemort. Lucius hadn’t even looked over his shoulder to see if his son would be okay, he had just left, seemingly without a care in the world. Narcissa hated him for that. She hated him full stop. If he hadn’t forced himself on her seven months ago then she wouldn’t have her second child growing in her womb currently but she still despised him despite the small blessing that would be her second child, if she survived long enough to give birth to him.

 

Narcissa paced anxiously in the corridor outside of the dining room. Her back ached and her ankles were already starting to swell but she was too nervous to sit down, she needed to know why the Dark Lord had summoned her boy in to see him privately. With the silencing charms and anti-eavesdropping spells cast around the room Tom could have been torturing him and she wouldn’t have known; something that made a lump lodge in her throat as she struggled to breathe, rubbing her stomach calmingly as her son squirmed within.

 

She had nearly worked herself up into having a full blown panic attack when the door finally opened and Draco stepped out much to Narcissa’s relief. She threw her arms around him, holding her to him as best she could with her protruding stomach wedged between them. Draco was unsurprised by the sudden assault and returned the embrace.

 

“It’s okay, Mum,” he said to her soothingly though really he was terrified. What had he just agreed to do? He tugged nervously at his sleeve of his left arm that covered his burning skin that had just been freshly branded with the dark mark. He hadn’t wanted this, he hadn’t wanted to be anything like his unemotional and detached father who cared so little for his mother. “Let’s find you somewhere to sit and we can talk.”

 

Draco was aware that they could not have this conversation here and Narcissa silently nodded, all too aware of the dangers herself and allowing her son to lead her away. This house was not safe anymore, there were no secrets kept within these walls. They had to be careful what was said because one way or another Tom would find out.

 

Finding a quiet spot in what would be baby Abraxus’ nursery when he was born, the same room that had been Draco’s nursery when he was a baby, the young blond sat his pregnant mother down and ensured that she was comfortable. Lucius would never have taken so much care or effort to see that she was okay but Draco was nothing like his father and had no desire to be either. He sat himself on the floor at her feet, leaning his head against her leg, allowing his sadness to wash over both of them.

 

“Talk to me, my little dragon,” she said as her fingers found his hair and began to run through it, taking the time to treasure how soft it felt. It was early August, she had but a month until he was back at school for his fifth year. In one instant she was glad that he would no longer be in Malfoy Manor, he would be away from Voldemort and the Deatheaters but also away from her protective eye as well.

 

“He’s given me a mission,” Draco said, his voice soft but trembling. Narcissa’s breath hitched when she heard his words, suddenly fearful for the fate of her eldest son. She had never wanted her children to be embroiled in anything to do with that man. Draco wouldn’t tell his mother about the brand, she would be concerned enough without that playing on her mind as well. He didn’t want to add any unnecessary stress on her while she was so heavily pregnant.

 

“What has he asked of you?” Narcissa queried, one hand still running through the soft golden strands of her son’s hair while she tenderly stroked her belly. Everything she cared about was in this room with her now; she just wished that it would stay that way and that she could protect her two boys.

 

“He has asked me to kill Dumbledore,” Draco said to her. It took a moment for the weight of these words to sink in and a tear to escape from the corner of her eye and trickle down her cheek. The usual calm façade that she portrayed shattered by this one single tear drop of emotion.

 

Neither of them needed to say anything more. This was a test of loyalty. Lucius may have been one of the most lethal and trusted Deatheaters but Draco would not earn that position automatically just because his father had it. Voldemort would know all too well that it was an impossible task that he had bestowed upon the fifteen year old teenager. Narcissa knew that she would have to try to find a way out for herself and both of her sons, no matter what the cost was to her.

 

Draco too understood the enormity of the task he had been asked to perform. Albus Dumbledore may have fallen from the pedestal that he had been placed upon by many since the death of Neville Longbottom and Ginny Weasley but he was still a great and powerful wizard. If he wasn’t then Hogwarts would already be in the hands of Tom Riddle and his Deatheaters. That was what it was about, the Dark Lord cared very little about the headmaster but he desired that school, almost as much as he wanted Harry Potter dead.

 

“Come with me my darling,” Narcissa said with a sigh, realising what she would have to do. When Tom Riddle had returned three years previously both she and Severus had known that they would be in grave danger for what they had done after Voldemort had fallen that Halloween night back in 1981. Each had written a letter to their boys just in case the worst were to happen. They had agreed that they would be a safety net for each other’s children.

 

Looking a little confused Draco got to his feet before helping his pregnant mother up from her chair. She took a moment to steady herself as she stood as she had been getting dizzy spells recently whenever she got up too quickly. Draco kept a firm grasp on her to ensure that she didn’t fall over, something Narcissa appreciated greatly.

 

She couldn’t comprehend how such a sweet, compassionate child could have been born from such a belligerent, callous bully of a man such as Lucius. She had always hated her parents for forcing her into the marriage. It had given her everything that her parents had ever wanted for her, money, status and power. She had cared very little for it all and envied her sister, Andromeda for being able to marry for love even though she had been disowned because of it.

 

Lucius had been a violent bully, taking his anger out on her and occasionally their young son. Whenever she had been able to she had come between his fists and the small child who held her heart. Draco had been the only reason that she had remained, despite his temper Lucius could provide everything Draco needed and more. If she had left they would have had nothing, no home, no money and she refused to have her son living in poverty.

 

“Where are we going?” Draco asked curiously as he allowed his mother to lead the way through the cavernous corridors of the large manor house. He kept a supporting arm out, which she leant on. Walking was becoming increasingly more difficult as her baby bump increased in size but no one other than her eldest boy seemed to care anything for her or how she was feeling.

 

“You will see darling,” she said softly, impressing on him with her tone that she could say no more on the matter. The two of them walked the rest of the way in silence. Draco was confused as they came upon his room and after checking around them, went inside. Withdrawing her wand she cast several privacy and silencing charms on the room, not wanting to risk anyone interrupting or over hearing them. She knew if they were caught then they would both be killed with no thought to the unborn child in her belly.

 

“Mum …” Draco said, watching with confusion as she moved to his bed, wand still drawn. With a muttered incantation Narcissa made an ivory envelope appear upon his pillow, his name scrawled elegantly upon it. “What is this?” he asked; his voice barely above a whisper.

 

“I wrote this for you three years ago, when …” She trailed off and Draco nodded to show that he understood what she meant. She had written this letter to him when Tom Riddle had come back. “It was in case anything was to happen to me, the letter would appear to you,” she continued, “There were things I wanted you to know. Once you have read it the letter will disappear as if it never existed. So you must read it carefully.”

 

Draco nodded to show that he had taken in her words. She passed him the envelope, gave him a tender kiss to the temple and told him to read it, before taking her leave. He would have questions but they wouldn’t have time for those now. The two of them were bound to be missed sooner rather than later. Narcissa would stall them to allow Draco the time he needed to read the letter she had written. Leaving her eldest son alone in his room she headed downstairs.

 

The young blonde turned the envelope over in his hands, wondering why the need for so much secrecy, what had his mother done that required her to conceal it with so much care? He almost didn’t want to know, however with the weight of the mission that Voldemort had personally bestowed, weighing down on him, he knew that he needed to read this. His mother had wanted him to know the contents and he wouldn’t go against that.

 

With shaking fingers he opened the envelope, pulling the parchment within out and unfolding it. His eyes swept over his mother’s elegant scrawl, reading each word carefully ensuring that he understood her words and any meanings behind them because he would only have this one chance to read it before it disappeared forever to protect the both of them.

 

Dearest Draco

When you were no more than a baby your Godfather came to me with a child in his arms. It was Halloween and the Dark Lord had just fallen. He asked me to help him and I did because he was a dear friend to me and I hoped that one day that small boy in Severus’ arms would be able to save us all from the Dark Lord. Now that he has returned I am scared that my actions will be discovered and I cannot afford to have you oblivious to what I did all those years ago because by doing what I did, I ensured that there will be someone to rid the world of this evil man. If anything should happen to me my darling boy then you must do whatever it takes to find Severus Snape. You will be able to trust him. The child he took was Harry Potter, the true boy-who-lived. Find them and remind Severus of what I did for him and he will not turn you away. Keep yourself safe my precious boy and know that I will always love you no matter what. 

Your loving mother.

 

The name Severus Snape had not been uttered in their household since he had vanished when Draco was a baby. To find out now that his mother had had something to do with that disappearance raised countless questions. Harry Potter was supposed to have died in the attack on his home that had also claimed the lives of his parents. To learn that the child was alive and with his Godfather only confused him more. However his mother had been right about one thing, with the Potter boy alive there was hope that one day he might be able to rid the world of Tom Riddle once and for all.

 

FGHP

 

Sirius and Remus were going out of their minds, though it was affecting Sirius more seriously than Remus. They had seen Harry, spoken to him even but then they had lost him. However the only hope they had had was that they were able to track the boys’ apparition with a unique piece of magic that Dumbledore had taught them. The magic however wasn’t exactly accurate and all it had done was taken them to the village where the two boys had apparated to.

 

Of course, true to his character, Sirius had wanted to start knocking on doors in an attempt to find and, in his mind, rescue Harry. Remus on the other hand had been a lot more level headed on the matter and talked Sirius into seeing the benefits of patience. If this was where Harry and his friend lived then it wouldn’t be long until they resurfaced. They didn’t need to draw unwanted attention to themselves.

 

The end of July turned into the eighteenth of August before they got any leads at all. The two of them had been close to giving up on being patient and trying Sirius’ more head on approach by knocking on doors until they found him. Remus found that his lover’s behaviour was pushing him to the limit. He could understand how anxious he was to get Harry back but these things took time and not everything always went according to plan.

 

The only reason they hadn’t given up, figuring that they had stumbled upon the wrong village and had been tricked, was because they had seen Harry’s little friend with an older gentleman who seemed to be his father. It had given them the confidence in their tracking skills, to stick it out and wait to see if Harry showed his face too. Most of the watching and waiting had been left to Remus while Sirius wandered off, prowling through the village with annoyance and impatience. He had solemnly promised not to knock on any doors but the werewolf was sure that his lover was, at the very least, peering into windows.

 

However, when their patience and determination finally paid off it wasn’t Harry that they saw first but someone completely unexpected. Someone else that had been missing since Voldemort had first fallen.

 

“Merlin’s balls, is that …?” Sirius said his mouth agape in shock.

 

“Snape,” Remus growled in anger, his eyes narrowing. Both men spying their old school rival at the same time. His long, greasy black hair and hooked nose unmistakable. They were hidden from sight, concealed where they could watch the goings on around them unnoticed.

 

“I’ll kill him,” Sirius snarled, getting over his shock fairly quickly. “That greasy, bat like, hook nosed, dungeon creeping, slimy, Slytherin bastard,” Sirius snarled in one breath, his fists clenched, his nails cutting into the palms of his hands and drawing blood. The resentment he felt at seeing Snape again after so many years bubbling just beneath the surface. “I can’t believe Snivellus took OUR Harry!”

 

“Calm down, we’ll get him back,” Remus said, trying to remain calm but he too was fuming with this new found knowledge. As the two men continued to watch from their hiding place, a young raven haired teenager, who they both recognized as Harry, came running out of the house that Severus had been approaching. It took them both by surprise again just how much he looked like James.

 

“Dad!” Harry exclaimed happily, practically skipping down the garden path to greet his father, beaming at the older man as he started to ask Snape something. The potions master was giving Harry a soft smile at whatever was being said that neither Remus nor Sirius could make out as they were just a little too far away from them.

 

That one word from Harry however was enough for Sirius to blow a gasket. If Remus hadn’t seen this coming and thrown James’ old invisibility cloak over the both of them then they would have been seen. As it was the werewolf had to clamp his hand over his lover’s mouth so that his shout wouldn’t be heard. If they had any chance of rescuing Harry then they needed the element of surprise.

 

“We have to tell Dumbledore,” Remus said, glaring at Sirius pointedly, his hand still over his lover’s mouth. “We know where they are now and that we can get him back but we can’t do it alone. Send your patronus to Albus so that he can send reinforcements. Can you keep calm enough to do that?” When Sirius wasn’t exactly forthcoming with an agreement, Remus added, “If you can’t keep a lid on your temper then I’ll send you back to Hogwarts. I love you but we can’t mess this up!” Remus threatened and reluctantly his lover nodded.

 

Remus knew how dangerous it was for the two of them to be here. He hadn’t divulged the fact that Harry was now a Werewolf, nor that his friend had been one as well. The knowledge had shocked him, unsure of how such a thing could have happened but sure that somehow it was Snape’s fault. He could however be sympathetic with the boy and out of empathy for his situation he hadn’t given away the secret and he wouldn’t.

 

FGHP

 

Fenrir disliked the rare occasions that he ventured into human towns away from his pack and its territory, but they desperately needed supplies; and if he had had to stay in the pack’s territory much longer, listening to Micha winding Jenson up, one of them was likely to find his teeth at their throat.

 

The two of them were constantly bickering, mocking and teasing one another, both of them as bad as the other. Usually this errand would have been run by anyone else but today he had needed to get out for a while. The town of Brucknell was the closest to their territory and for them it was an easy run; though Fenrir had long been considering some form of muggle vehicle as he despised apparating but the costs and other considerations had so far made it impractical.

 

“What do we need first?” Micha asked enthusiastically; it wasn’t often that he got to go anywhere and he had been more than a little surprised when Fenrir had ordered him to get ready and come with him. He had, of course, jumped at the chance to run even this simple errand with the Alpha; it showed that Fenrir trusted him enough to be his backup should anything go wrong.

 

Fenrir growled deep in his throat, a warning to the young werewolf not to test him. He was already second guessing his decision to bring the most excitable wolf from his pack into town with him, but he hadn’t trusted Jenson and Micha not to get violent when the latter inevitably took the joking and teasing too far. It always happened and he was always there to pull them apart, he didn’t want to risk leaving them unsupervised and it made him yearn to have his second living back with the pack as it should be, so that such tasks could be left to Damon. It would only be another year until Harry turned sixteen and then Damon and Clayton could return with him.

 

But for now, his only option was to separate his two trouble makers to keep the peace. He never wanted to come home to bloodshed ever again; the memories of the horror of finding his previous pack slaughtered still brought bile to his throat and made him yearn for the revenge he felt he had never had.

 

Wizards had a unique skill to breed horror in his opinion, especially when it came to their kind. Witches and wizards comforted themselves by saying that werewolves were brutal animals and they had to come up with something to defend themselves against them. Regular curses and jinxes had very little effect on werewolves so they had invented more vicious spells, some that could literally cut deep those with Lycanthropy and infect them with fragments of silver, a substance lethal on its own to a Werewolf, given the right dosage.

 

“My Alpha?” Micha asked, doing his best to sound a little calmer and damned respective as he looked up at the older werewolf imploringly. He was ready to charge off and explore the moment Fenrir said it was alright to do so. Micha had been part of a pack his entire life and when he had been given the opportunity to venture out he had never strayed from the wizarding world. The muggle world was new and interesting to him. Micha’s curiosity was barely being contained and even then he was only managing it due to the respect he had for the far more senior pack member.

 

Fenrir shook off the mental demons that haunted his subconscious, discarding the horrific thoughts that they brought back with a practised ease. He had a new pack, one to be proud of despite the troublemakers in it, whom he was starting to get rather fond of regardless of their behaviour. His new pack was one that deserved his attention now; dwelling on the past couldn’t help his lost pack nor could it help the unborn pups that had been brutally slain while still in the womb, he had to focus on the present and the future, which would, within a year, hopefully involve him having a new mate in Harry.

 

He returned his focus to his young charge who was almost hopping from foot to foot, anxious to get going. Fenrir was always on edge about the fact that Micha never seemed to stop moving. “Pharmacy, we need bandages and medicines,” he said bluntly with a slight grunt and nod of his head in the direction they needed to go in.

 

The small high street was little more than a handful of shops and was fairly quiet, but there were occasional muggles wandering in and out of the doors, setting off little bells that jingled, grating on his nerves. He wasn’t in the best of moods as it was. He by-passed several convenience stores and cafés before reaching the building he wanted.

 

A slightly stuffy looking woman practically jumped out of his way, giving a small shriek of fright as Fenrir barged into the little store and he heard Micha’s amused chuckle behind him as the young man followed him inside.

 

Fright at the sight of him was not a reaction that fazed Fenrir anymore; he was far too used to it to be bothered. Secretly it pleased him that muggles and even most magical folk feared him on sight, it felt right that it be this way and it gave him immense satisfaction. The fact that he wore heavy work boots, jeans and no t-shirt to speak off, the only thing covering his upper body; a well-worn leather jacket only added to his overbearing presence he emitted every time he entered a room.

 

The two werewolves fairly quickly found what they needed with very little browsing. Their list of required items mostly included bandages, but he also selected a few bottles of antiseptic he had seen Callie use before and painkillers as well. The muggle stuff was far easier to store and lasted longer than bottled potions. Fenrir had very little time for potions which required patience, something he knew he lacked. The closest all wizarding village to them where they would be able to buy potion supplies was Hogsmead, somewhere he couldn’t go as he was a wanted man in the wizarding world.

 

“Is there … umm, anything else I can help you with, S...s...sir?” the nervous looking sales girl asked, her voice shaking. The counter stood as a barrier between them but even so she still looked as if she were about to drop to the ground in a faint at any given moment.

 

Fenrir gave her a gruesome grin, relishing in the fear that seeped from her pores intoxicatingly. He bore his sharp yellowed teeth in a fierce smile that made the young girl quiver in terror. Her hands physically shaking as she began to scan the items he had unceremoniously dumped upon the counter. Micha had left his side and begun wandering around the store, peering at the various muggle things the pharmacy had in stock, they were strange and unknown to the werewolf who had never set foot in the muggle world before now.

 

“This is all, little girl,” the Alpha told her, nodding at the small mountain of sterile rolls of fabrics, gauzes and other first aid supplies in front of her as she started to bag them up. He delighted in the fact that her hands refused to steady, it was good to know that he still incited terror wherever he went.

 

He dug out a handful of paper notes from his pocket and thumped it onto the counter with more force than was really necessary. A glass full of loose change on the counter trembled under the force of the motion and the werewolf’s grin widened when the shop assistant jumped in surprise and alarm, speeding up her scanning and bagging, eager to get the large and overbearing man out of the store.

 

Fenrir earned his way in the world, a fact that he was proud of; he could take care of his pack and had little interest in hand outs; he was their Alpha and always strove to be worthy of the role. They rarely had any need of money, either muggle or wizarding, and survived on the occasional odd jobs they could get. But if they found they needed something and couldn’t afford it, they would steal it. He would never let his pack go without what was needed.

 

Whatever it was the girl was doing with her bleeping machine and the things they were buying was taking too long with her trembling hands which were starting to agitate the Alpha wolf. The small amount of pleasure he had derived from it was dwindling fast. Fenrir found his attention wandering as he turned to check on where Micha had gone. He snorted in amusement at the sight of the younger werewolf inspecting a bottle of liquid lube, holding it no more than an inch from his eyes, a box of condoms in his other hand. It had been worth bringing Micha with him this afternoon just to see that.

 

Luckily it didn’t take much longer before they were handed a bag with their purchases and the girl placed a selection of coins into Fenrir’s palm. He let his large hand brush against hers as she pulled away as quickly as possible, delighting in the little panicked squeak she let out. Muggles really were so amusing and he did so enjoy toying with them.

 

“Micha!” Fenrir barked out as he headed for the door; the bag of medical supplies in his hand and knowing the other would obey and follow without him saying anything else.

 

Sure enough he had gotten no more than a few feet down the road before the younger werewolf appeared at his side, jogging to keep up with the Alpha’s pace. At that point however he was distracted by the scent of another werewolf; it was not one he knew and yet... The scent was familiar, familial even. The werewolf infection in the unknown person was like that of those he had infected himself, but different too.

 

Fenrir slowed his pace as he glanced around the street, scanning over every person that he could see until his eyes fell upon an average looking young man walking along the pavement on the other side of the road. He was slender given the fact he was a werewolf, with short, curly, chestnut coloured hair. He appeared to be hunched over, trying to remain unnoticed, determined to just get to wherever it was he was going.

 

“My Alpha?” Micha questioned when Fenrir actually stopped walking to watch the stranger that was heading in the direction they had just come from at quite a pace.

 

“Shut up,” Fenrir snapped, not turning to look at his fellow pack member, instead keeping his gaze focused on the wolf he had scented.

 

“Who is...?” Micha started to question, but the tight grip of the larger werewolf’s hand on the back of his neck silenced him apart from the small whimper of pain that he couldn’t hold back. The action of the Alpha had been so quick that Micha had had no time to resist it, not that he would have, this was his punishment for not doing what the Alpha had said instantly.

 

“Come,” the Alpha werewolf instructed, but it wasn’t like Micha really had a choice in this as he was practically dragged across the road by his neck.

 

The unknown man had just gone past the point they were at, and so remained oblivious to the two werewolves who were hastily crossing the road and gaining on him. He looked morose and his head was tilted down so that he was watching his feet as he walked. Fenrir and a very confused Micha set a pace that kept them just a few feet behind him.

 

Fenrir inhaled deeply, concentrating on the scents that reached him, focusing on the one coming from the werewolf just in front; but even then it took him several minutes to figure out what had happened. He was more than a little surprised when he realised that whoever it was who had turned this young man, it had to have been a werewolf who Fenrir had bitten. That made the Alpha wolf this stranger’s grandsire so to speak and that made the stranger family to him, one of their pack, whether he liked it or not.

 

The newly found werewolf looked over his shoulder; his dull blue eyes narrowed on the odd pair who seemed to be following him. Frowning with confusion he turned back to watch where he was going, but a growl had him stopping and turning around once again.

 

The stranger looked up without fear into the face of the scruffy but powerful looking Alpha wolf, seemingly unperturbed about his dominance. Fenrir had his teeth bared slightly in a grimace at the way the other wolf was acting. Micha on the other hand was wearing a goofy smile as he took in the stranger who just looked back at him as if he were an escaped convict.

 

“Can I help you?” The stranger asked keeping his tone strong and his gaze steady as he attempted to stare down Fenrir Greyback, not a task to be taken lightly.

 

Micha’s face broke out into a full smile at the question. The stranger had a geeky cuteness and innocence about him that was making Micha think of all sorts of highly inappropriate things he would like the stranger to ‘help’ him with, preferably starting with the tightness that was growing in his trousers.

 

“You are coming with us now,” Fenrir stated, and the stranger’s eyes widened in surprise and no small amount of alarm at what the Alpha wolf had just said.

 

“I think not,” the stranger said, turning on his heels and going on his way a little faster than before. Fenrir had not expected resistance at all; he wasn’t accustomed to having lower ranking wolves not obey him.

 

Honestly Micha was a little impressed at the guts the man showed just in refusing the Alpha so defiantly and then not taken off at a run afterwards. If Fenrir had barked such a demand at him Micha knew that he would have run for cover without a second of hesitation, Fenrir was a scary bloke. Micha had no idea what his Alpha had scented on the other werewolf but it had apparently been decided that he would be joining them. If Fenrir Greyback wanted something then it was usually inadvisable to deny him.

 

Sure enough the Alpha wolf was off after him, Micha jogging quickly to catch up to them, belatedly realising that Fenrir had released him when the strange wolf they were now chasing after had stopped to confront them.

 

“You’re a werewolf; turned by one I sired,” Fenrir growled out as he made a grab for the non-pack wolf, stopping the geeky brunet from quickening his pace and getting away from them.

 

“Look!” the stranger said, turning to face them full on with far more courage than either Fenrir or Micha had expected, “I have NO idea who you are, or what you THINK I am, but leave me the hell alone,” he said snappishly; wrenching his wrist away from a startled Fenrir and turning and hurrying off. This time apparently the urge to run was too strong, and they watched as he hurried around the corner with a panicked glance over his shoulder to ensure that he was no longer being followed.

 

Fenrir growled in angered annoyance. Every fibre of his being was telling him to chase after him, to wrap his hands around the little brat’s neck and pin him against the nearest surface until he damn well learned some respect and submitted to him. However the Alpha was painfully aware that they were still in the middle of a muggle village and his pack was vulnerable every moment that it went without his presence. He would have to return another time and hunt the ballsy wolf down and try again another day. He would find the young man again, and he would be part of their pack; he would learn his place.

 

FGHP

 

Kings Cross was the same as it ever was on every September first. This would be Draco Lucius Malfoy’s fifth year at Hogwarts and it was perhaps the first time that he hadn’t been dying to get out of his family home and away from his domineering, demanding father who had high aspirations for his eldest son.

 

Lucius Malfoy however had not deemed Draco worthy enough of his time today and had not accompanied him to platform 9 ¾. His darling mother who always had time for him despite the fact that she was heavily pregnant with her second child, had accompanied him regardless of her eldest son’s insistence that he didn’t need to be chauffeured to the train station.

 

Narcissa Malfoy was six weeks away from her due date in mid-October but this fact had not perturbed her at all and if Lucius had been at all concerned about his wife and second son then he hadn’t voiced it and had simply waved them off without a word. Secretly she was glad to have some time outside of the manor with her eldest boy whom she would miss greatly.

 

The two of them stood on platform 9 ¾ looking at one another as if it were the end of the world. Draco was fearful of leaving his mother and unborn brother alone at Malfoy Manor with a host of lunatics who cared nothing for her or the child she carried. However he had to go back to school, it would only rouse suspicions if he didn’t; after all Voldemort had given him a job to do. He had been given the mission of murdering Albus Dumbledore to prove his loyalty to the dark wizard.

 

In snippets of conversation and during many lengthy walks around the grounds of their country manor home Narcissa and Draco had formulated a plan. The letter that she had given to her child had opened them up to the possibility that it might be time to get out and seek help before it was too late. This was why Narcissa had purchased a single vanishing cabinet. She’d managed to get it cheap as it was meant to be one of a pair, however its brother had not been seen in decades.

 

She had put it in the nursery, claiming it to be simply a cabinet to her husband, who had no real interest in furniture or in fact anything his wife thought to be pretty. He never set foot in the nursery anyway so it didn’t bother him in the slightest, which had been exactly what she had been counting on. The reason she had purchased it when the shop owner had warned her that it was simply a piece of furniture now and that it’s brother was missing, presumably destroyed, was because she knew where to find the missing one.

 

As a young girl at Hogwarts she had come across a special room, somewhere to hide what you didn’t want to be found. She had explained all of this to Draco and assured him that he would find the brother of the cabinet in the nursery there, all Draco had to do was fix it and they would have a connection to each other, a safety net. Once this was established then they would be able to communicate easily and Narcissa would always have an escape plan if need be, one close to her second child, whom she wouldn’t leave behind no matter what it cost her.

 

“I wish you could come with me,” Draco said to his mother as they said their final goodbyes on the platform. “I hate the thought of you in that place.”

 

“Darling dragon,” she said as she placed a loving hand upon her son’s cheek, the other resting on her bump, “Don’t worry about me.”

 

“But I do worry, Mum,” Draco returned as he hugged her, his arms around her waist, an action made painfully difficult by her protruding stomach. He withdrew when he felt something against his stomach, looking at his mother in confusion. “Was that …”

 

She smiled at him and nodded, “It’s your little brother telling you it’s time to go or you’ll miss your train,” she returned before placing a gentle kiss upon his cheek.

 

He was reluctant to leave her but he knew he had no choice. School this year would be loathsome enough without the constant worrying about his mother and brother. He could already feel the hateful glares, from the Gryffindor’s, on his back. He could never understand why it was that they blamed him for Ginevra Weasley’s untimely demise. Ronald Weasley had once shouted something unintelligible about his father and a diary but it hadn’t made any sense to Draco. He was also somehow to blame for Longbottom’s death too which he couldn’t comprehend. They hated him and they took great pleasure in showing it. Not that they would do anything with their parents watching but it meant that this school year was going to be filled with just as many corridor duels as the previous four.

 

Draco had no interest in fighting them, not like Pansy and Blaise seemed to. Those two would be so jealous if they knew he had received the dark mark over the summer. They worshipped the Dark Lord; they craved nothing more than to be a loyal follower. He wouldn’t tell them about the branding, he hadn’t even told his mother.

 

Daphne was a safer bet; she was a lot less inclined to bicker with her fellow students and went with the flow of school life to make things easier on herself. Draco would frequently see her nodding in agreement to whatever Pansy was saying without really listening. He liked her.

 

Boarding the Hogwarts express he found the usual compartment they occupied to be filled with familiar faces. He wouldn’t go so far as to call them friendly. Blaise and Pansy were talking animatedly about how amazing their summers had been, as Draco entered and took a seat across from Daphne who, as usual, had her nose in a book. She did however look up and give him a faint smile, which Draco returned.

 

“So…” Pansy said, smiling at Draco with simpering wetness as she battered her eyelashes at him in a way she thought was seductive but Draco actually just found rather disturbing from the pug faced girl. “How was your summer?”

 

“No different than any other,” Draco responded blandly, turning his head to look out the window where his mother stood, glowing in her pregnancy. His fellow Slytherin’s turned to look to see what he was staring at.

 

“Your father must be thrilled with a second pureblood child on the way,” Blaise said as he eyed the large swell of Narcissa’s pregnant belly.

 

“He’s ecstatic,” Draco replied sourly as he reached into his bag, pulling out one of his school text books and settling himself down to read it as the train pulled away. He was willing to do anything to not to have to talk to the other Slytherin’s in the compartment who were supposed to be his friends.

 

FGHP

 

Severus had been reminiscing about Hogwarts as he climbed the stairs wearily to bed. Harry had been in bed and asleep for an hour already but he had had a large potions order to finish and ship before he could even consider turning in for the night. It was the evening of the first of September and he couldn’t help but think of all the students that would have flocked back to the infamous school for a new school year today.

 

Thinking of the school made him feel strange. He didn’t miss it, in fact he was glad to be away from the place. It held more negative memories than good ones. He had been relentlessly tormented by James, Sirius and the rest of their pathetic group of friends. It was the memories of Lily there that he clung to. However it was this day that always made him wonder if he had done the right thing in denying Harry the opportunity to go to school with other witches and wizards.

 

He was exhausted after the relentless work hours he had had to put in this week; his mail order potion business had kept him extremely busy as of late. Not to mention tutoring Harry with his school subjects. Harry didn’t really need much tutoring anymore. His son was an intelligent young man, there was no denying that. By being taught at home he had already excelled to the point where he could have taken his N.E.W.T’s and passed them with ease two whole years before he had to take them. By the end of the year however Harry would have to sit his O.W.L’s.

 

Severus was thankful that the tests could all be done under his supervision at home due to anti-cheating spells applied to each test sheet by the Ministry. He had no doubt that his son would do well and pass them all with an Outstanding in each subject. Harry was certainly a powerful wizard; there was no doubt about that. He was a werewolf, but also an animagus, which was almost unheard of. He could speak parseltongue, produce a fully formed patronus and he could apparate. It astounded Severus, what a powerful wizard Harry was, to the point that it concerned him.

 

However all Severus could think of right now was a hot shower and his nice warm bed, which he hadn’t seen much of recently. He would finally be able to get a good seven hours sleep before getting up and he had promised himself that he and Harry would have a day together where they could just be father and son. They had a great relationship but work had kept him occupied as of late and they needed to have some fun together. They both deserved a day off.

 

Harry had been dying to go participate in the under sixteen’s pool tournament in the next town over and Severus hadn’t been sure that it had been wise for them to go or that he would have the time to take him. However he fully intended on taking him regardless as it had broken his heart a little to see the disappointment on his son’s face when he had said that he didn’t think it would be possible. Severus had even bought Harry a brand new cue to play with as well as a surprise. He was hoping that the look on his son’s face at breakfast the next morning would be more than worth the risk they would be taking by going. Harry, of course, had no clue about his father’s intentions.

 

Severus had just finished his shower and pulled on his drawstring pyjama bottoms when a shrill shriek pierced the night air and made his heart stop in fear. The wards surrounding their home were signalling an intruder had broken through them.

 

Panicking he ran to his son’s room, he wasn’t about to take the chance of not getting Harry out of the house even if it did turn out to be a false alarm. They had gone over this routine several times a year ever since Harry had turned eleven and had been able to turn into an animagus. Harry had thought his dad was paranoid and a little delusional with all of his safety precautions but he hadn’t argued about it, he had just gone over it without complaint and as a result Harry knew exactly what to do.

 

“Harry,” Severus said loudly as he dashed into his son’s bedroom, turning the light on as he went. “You need to wake up right now, Harry!” He grabbed his son by the shoulders and shook him gently until bright, confused emerald eyes looked up at him, still misty from sleep.

 

“Dad?” Harry grumbled with confusion, rubbing his eyes, “What’s going on?”

 

“There isn’t time, you need to run,” he said pulling back the duvet, glad to see that his son had not been sleeping naked. Just like his father he was just wearing pyjama bottoms and nothing else. “Someone is coming!”

 

This grabbed at Harry’s attention immediately and he sat up in bed, suddenly more alert, his heart pounding fiercely in his chest as the realisation of those words sank in. “Dad …”

 

“Take this,” Severus said handing Harry an envelope with his name on it. “You know what to do,” the older man said as they both heard the door downstairs explode off its hinges with a resounding crash. As Snape looked deeply into his son’s eyes that echoed Lily’s so perfectly he could see fear there and it pained him to know that there was nothing he could do about it. “No matter what you hear, or what you are told know that I love you and that you will always be my son. No one and nothing can change that. I love you.”

 

“Dad, what are you saying?” Harry asked, hearing his words as if they were a goodbye, but there was no time. Whoever had broken in to their home was closing in on them. They had only seconds left before they were discovered.

 

“Go, now!” Severus barked more harshly than he would have liked as he ran for the door, wand drawn, ready to defend his son and give him the chance to escape. Harry shoved the envelope in his pocket, opened his bedroom window, grabbed his wand and transformed into his animagus form, stretching out his wings, before taking flight into the darkness of the night taking the familiar route to the Danes’ home.

 

Still shirtless and barefoot, his hair damp from the shower, Severus charged into the hallway, brandishing his wand, gratified that Harry would have the chance to escape and that he wouldn’t be caught. His son would not fall into the hands of the Order, Deatheaters, Voldemort or Albus Dumbledore tonight, though he was aware that it would cost him his freedom and probably his life too. Whatever he did now would only give his son more of a chance to escape from whoever had broken into their home.

 

When Severus had first taken Harry from his crib in Godric's Hollow it had been about keeping a part of Lily to himself but over the years he had grown to love Harry as if he truly was his son. It wasn’t about having a small part of Lily anymore, it was about protecting a boy whom he had raised and loved like a son. He was a boy that had grown into a powerful and happy young man. Severus, as any real father would be prepared to do, would die to protect his child; just the same as James had done for Harry all those years ago.

 

FGHP

 

It was a flight that Harry had flown several times previously, in his animagus form, though his father was perhaps not aware of exactly how many times he had flown to the Danes’ home on the other side of the village as a falcon.

 

Tonight however his mind was frantic and worried; if birds could cry then he would have been at the goodbye his dad had shared with him. He flew on autopilot, not taking anything in as he travelled further away from his home and his Dad. It was only because of the promises he had made to his father countless times over the years that stopped him from turning around and going back to help him.

 

Every time they had gone over what Harry should do in case of an emergency such as this Severus had made his son promise that no matter what he wouldn’t go back for any reason. He was instead to make sure he got as far away as possible and to ensure that he was safe from harm. The letter would help him find his way.

 

Harry didn’t want to think too hard about what was happening back at his home or even what fate had met his father. He couldn’t think about it, he just couldn’t. Every time he did he pictured his dad alone, dying and the pain wrenched through him painfully. He should have told his dad that he loved him but he had been too panicked, too scared and now he might never say it to him again.

 

Clay always left his bedroom window ajar a small way just for Harry and he took advantage of that tonight, swooping gracefully inside. His best friend was asleep and snoring lightly. His duvet hanging haphazardly over him, halfway to being on the floor and only just covering his modesty as it didn’t appear that he wore anything when he went to bed.

 

Changing back into his human form Harry took a moment to regain himself; refusing to let himself cry. Clayton, just like his father, was a heavy sleepier and wouldn’t be woken easily but even so Harry didn’t want to just break down and risk waking him. He didn’t want to even attempt to rouse his friend, it was late and he needed time to think while he was alone and he needed time to read that letter without interruption too.

 

Creeping on his tip toes Harry headed downstairs, not even daring to switch on the lights in case whoever had attacked his home came here as well, instead, using his wand to cast a small amount of light so that he could see where he was going, glad that he knew the house as well as he knew his own. He thought that if the lights were off then it would look as if everyone was sleeping. Harry collapsed on to the familiarly worn leather sofa, curling into a ball, making himself as small as possible; his wand clutched in his trembling hands. He might have been fifteen but he still wished he had his favourite teddy with him to cuddle but he had left Baloo bear on his bed.

 

On the verge of tears Harry reached into his pocket and withdrew the envelope his dad had given him. He was shaking badly as he broke the seal, unsure if he wanted to read the contents after what his father had said to him, those words echoing in his mind. No matter what you hear, or what you are told know that I love you and that you will always be my son. No one and nothing can change that. I love you. Harry didn’t understand what that meant and he wasn’t sure he wanted to know either. He took the letter in his hands and began to scan over the contents, reading it with care.

 

My son, 

If you are reading this then know that I am sorry. I should have explained this to you when I had the chance; I hope you can forgive me for not doing so. When you were eighteen months old your mother was murdered by a man called Tom Riddle. This same man also tried to kill you and failed, the result of which is that lightning bolt scar on your forehead.

That night I took you away with me and swore to protect you but I failed only hours later when I let my guard down and you were bitten by a Werewolf.

A dear friend of mine helped me that night and as she has already proven herself once I am sure that you will be able to trust her. Narcissa Malfoy and her son Draco will be more than willing to help you and perhaps explain more than I can in this letter, however be cautious when you approach them, her husband is in league with the man who killed your mother.

Stay with Damon and Clay until you can find the Malfoy’s, they will not let harm come to you, I am sure of that. They have been good friends to the both of us but I realise that you will need answers. I am sorry that I will not be there to give them to you.

Whatever happens my son, do not trust everything you are told, the truth may be more complicated than it seems, especially when it is spoken by Albus Dumbledore, he is not a friend to either of us. Stay safe and know that I love you. 

Your Father, Severus.

 

By the time Harry had finished reading the letter he couldn’t hold it back anymore. He just let the emotions flow letting the tears stream down his cheeks endlessly. He had so many questions and no one to answer them now that his father was gone and he was alone. So much had been hidden from him it seemed and he resented that.

 

It wasn’t until the early hours of the morning that Harry finally managed to cry himself to sleep, the letter clutched tightly to his chest as the last remaining link that he had to his father. The final words his Dad had said to him echoing in his mind as if stuck in a loop.

Chapter Text

Chapter 5 - Lost

 

Severus had put up one hell of a fight. It had taken Dumbledore, Tonks, Mad-Eye, Sirius and Remus to finally stun him. The werewolf had been their only casualty, hit by a rather nasty stunning spell. Severus it seemed had not been aiming to kill or even seriously injure any of them. Albus couldn’t help but wonder when it was that Severus Snape had become so weak minded. The headmaster, having bound the potions master’s hands behind his back and confiscated the man’s wand, left him unconscious in what clearly had been Harry’s bedroom.

 

It had frustrated them all that there was no sign of Harry anywhere in the house or the surrounding area. Sirius, especially, was furious that Harry hadn’t been here when the Order had finally organised themselves enough to strike. He had seen the young boy go inside. He and Remus had been watching the house all day, there was no way he had left again, they were sure.

 

Dumbledore and the two Aurors didn’t believe for a moment that they could be positive though; halfway suspecting the couple might have been making out and missed something. No-one knew where it was that he had disappeared off to, or how, and that was what Dumbledore and Sirius were determined to find out; along with a few other things.

 

Albus Dumbledore sent Tonks and Mad-Eye downstairs to keep watch, just in case Harry was foolish enough to come back. He didn’t want too many witnesses to what was about to happen. This way the two Aurors would have a clear conscience. Remus, who was the only one in the group who might have tried to stop them, was out cold in the hallway. Sirius however was itching to get his hands on old Snivellus, and Dumbledore wanted the answers only Snape could give. He wasn’t above using the delusional fool, Black, to inspire Snape into telling him what he wanted to know.

 

The two Aurors had things to do in the rest of the house anyway, as they had found a number of rather disturbing things when they had raided the place; including a cage in the basement which the group could only assume Severus had put Harry in when he misbehaved; either that or the potions master had been experimenting on goodness knows what while Harry was in the house. Whatever the purpose it proved he was not fit to be a parent in their minds. What none of them could understand, however, was why it had been made out of pure silver, it seemed like a very odd metal to use.

 

Remus had not betrayed Harry’s secret to any of them. He remembered what it was like to be a young werewolf, terrified of what others would think. They were here to find Harry, track him down, not expose that he was a werewolf. It wasn’t something that Dumbledore needed to know, not in Remus’ opinion.

 

As well as the cage, which was cause for concern as it was, they had discovered some questionable potion ingredients within a private store cupboard, ingredients used in the brewing of dark potions they were sure. One of the ingredients in particular worried them considerably. Aconite was a potent substance which was highly poisonous and strictly regulated by the Ministry. It amazed them that Severus had been able to get his hands on so much.

 

Whatever Severus had been using it for though, didn’t matter to them for the moment as it was now evidence that damned Snape even further. If Remus had been conscious then he could have told them what potion aconite was used for primarily but alas he was not.

 

Open on the dining table had been a number of textbooks and pieces of parchment, clearly from where young Harry had been studying. Dumbledore had noted that the subjects had not exactly been on the Hogwarts approval list for fifteen year olds. He would have considered some of the information and books to be inappropriate for even some of the seventh years he taught at Hogwarts. It seemed that Severus had not been sticking to the recommended list of subjects and it made the headmaster wonder what else Snape had been teaching Harry while he was young and impressionable.

 

They would get all of the answers they were looking for, however. Albus had chosen his interrogation room with strategic genius, to ensure they were able to extract everything they needed from the wanted man before doing what was necessary to deal with him. Severus Snape might survive the night, or he might not, but he would spill his secrets either way. Occlumency would be no use with him as Snape was a master of the art himself but there were other ways to make people talk than resorting to mind reading and potions.

 

Sirius couldn’t help himself; he walked around Snape’s motionless body, surveying Harry’s bedroom. He wanted to know the boy, he wanted to know his Godson. Judging by the firebolt in the corner of the room and Quidditch posters upon his walls he could tell that Harry, just like James, must love to fly. Sirius could remember a tiny little Harry, wide eyed in amazement and wonder as he rode his first ever broom in the back garden at Godrics Hollow at the tender age of one. He had bought it for Harry’s first birthday; he just hadn’t been able to resist.

 

He recalled how disapproving Lily had been to have her one year old son on a broom already but also how much Harry had loved it, he could still remember the excited giggles as the little boy had hovered just above the ground. Just like James, Sirius thought fondly. He smiled when he saw a clear favourite in his preference towards a Quidditch team. The Appleby Arrows, just like he and James had supported in their youth. Like father, like son.

 

The bedding was a deep hunter green but Snape must have picked them out for Harry, Sirius thought, disregarded it entirely. His attention caught by the golden snitch on the bedside table, perched on a specially made stand of red. Gryffindor colours, Sirius noted proudly, Harry’s true nature shining through despite what the greasy git had tried to drill into him throughout the many years he had held him captive.

 

That was what had happened in Sirius’ mind; Snape had taken Harry away from the people who loved him and cared about him; Harry had been taken away from him. Next to the snitch was a framed photograph; it showed Harry smiling and messing about, clearly play fighting quite energetically with another young boy, who Sirius thought might have been the other teen they had seen before. Both of them looking like they were having a little too much fun; it reminded Sirius of how he and James had been together when they were younger. Oh yes, Harry was a true Gryffindor no matter what Severus Snape had done to him, Sirius was sure of it.

 

Dumbledore surveyed Sirius with interest, watching as he moved around the teenager’s bedroom, taking everything in. The convict was going to be the perfect tool for interrogating Snape. Their bitter rivalry from their school days would have been good enough, but Black’s righteous anger at his old rival for stealing away with his Godson was just too perfect for what he had in mind.

 

The headmaster cast a cold glance down to the still unconscious potions master. They needed answers now, they didn’t have time to wait any longer for Severus to decided to re-join them on his own accord. With a wave of his wand, and a muttered incantation, Severus’ eyes snapped open and the potions master gasped for breath, immediately struggling frantically against the bonds that bound his wrists behind his back. Albus chuckled at the sight of him so desperate, he had seen this look on his face once before, when Snape had begged for Lily, James and Harry to be protected from Voldemort.

 

“Nice of you to join us, Severus,” Albus said, his voice polite and calm in contradiction to his actions and intentions.

 

The potions master was still just in his pyjama bottoms; topless and barefoot. It did not bode well for what was to come and it made him feel exposed and vulnerable as the twinkling, blue eyes studied him intensely over the top of half-moon glasses. Severus pushed himself up and onto his knees, despite his bound wrists, ensuring that Dumbledore knew he wouldn’t go down without a fight. He glared menacingly at the headmaster, bringing up his mental shields to ensure the elderly wizard would not penetrate his mind.

 

All Severus could think of now was protecting Harry. Whatever they did to him, however low they stooped he wouldn’t tell them anything; for surely the information he had in his head could be the only reason he wasn’t already dead. He had been at the receiving end of the most horrific torture at the hands of Voldemort, he doubted that Dumbledore could be worse than the Dark Lord.

 

Before Severus knew what had happened he felt a fist connect with the side of his face. He recoiled but didn’t fall, swaying slightly where he knelt. “Sirius!” he heard Albus chastise, “At least give him the chance to cooperate before you hit him, I haven’t asked him anything yet.” Snape grunted in amusement, despite the ache in his jaw where Sirius had hit him; he had forgotten how manipulative the headmaster could be.

 

“Then get on with it,” Sirius barked in annoyance at Albus as he rubbed his fist; he’d forgotten how much it hurt to punch someone, he hadn’t done it in years, far too accustomed to wiping out his wand for everything. He knelt down to Severus’ level, grinning wickedly, “That one was for Harry,” he said quietly but Severus didn’t even glance over to him, choosing to ignore the convict in favour of watching Dumbledore. He knew who was the more dangerous of the two wizards.

 

Sirius may have been handy with the physical violence, just like he had been back in their Hogwarts days but it was the scheming old man that had him worried the most. Severus watched tensely as the once prestigious headmaster paced, running his fingertips over Harry’s belongings carefully, clearly deep in thought as he browsed over each item, considering it as if he were committing each one to memory.

 

“Why did you take him, Severus?” Albus asked. He didn’t turn to look at the bound man as he asked this of him, instead choosing to study some of the more intimate possessions belonging to Harry, which included, oddly enough, his mother’s wedding and engagement ring. They had been propped up against a framed photo of Lily, holding a newborn Harry in her arms.

 

Dumbledore wasn’t even sure how Snape would have come to acquire these items of jewellery. He was sure they hadn’t been missing when the Order had gone to recover the bodies of the two Potter’s. At least he hadn’t been made aware that they were missing. As far as Albus was aware anything of value had been locked away in Harry Potter’s vault at Gringotts which had remained untouched, given that a body had never been found for the baby boy; they had never been able to prove him to be dead and had therefore his bank vault had been kept intact.

 

“For Lily,” Severus replied. His entire body tensing as he watched the elderly man; he hated that Dumbledore was touching things that belonged to Harry. He hated that they were all in his room right now. Severus was aware that it was almost certainly part of Albus’ game. Snape however was strong minded and was determined not to say anything but it bothered him regardless and the headmaster was sure to know this.

 

“Don’t say her name,” Sirius snapped, his fists clenching. He didn’t believe for a moment that Severus had ever had any feelings for Lily. Snape had called her a mudblood and all sorts of other horrible things, no the slimy Slytherin git had never felt anything for dear, sweet Lily.

 

“You thought you would honour her memory by kidnapping her orphaned son?” Albus asked casually, ignoring Sirius’ interruption. He picked up another of the framed photographs, this one of Severus and Harry, when the latter was a young child. They looked happy but photographs could be deceiving.

 

“To protect him from you,” Severus sneered. He knew that what he had done was wrong, he had indeed kidnapped a defenceless and helpless infant when he had been so recently and tragically orphaned. But it was the way Dumbledore had said it that made it sound wrong and Severus knew that he had done it for the right reasons; he wasn’t ashamed of his actions in regards to Harry. He had managed to keep the boy away from the scheming headmaster for more than thirteen years and he couldn’t regret that at all.

 

“And who protected him from you, Snivellus?” Sirius barked viciously. Snape grimaced at the old nickname for him but otherwise barely acknowledged Black’s presence in the room, still content to stare at Dumbledore, as the headmaster surveyed the cluttered and highly personal bedroom.

 

“Harry has never needed protecting from me, Black; not once in the thirteen years I have been his father!” Snape said, his voice steady, stating the fact he knew to be true. He fought to keep himself calm, refusing to rise to the bait that Dumbledore figuratively dangled before him by questioning him in here and by going through Harry’s possessions.

 

“James is his father!” Sirius roared furiously, struggling to control his anger. He hated Snape violently. The man had ruined Harry’s life; stolen him away from people that really loved him. He wanted to make Snape suffer!

 

“He has been my son, Harry Prince, far longer than he was ever Harry Potter,” Severus said maliciously, taking great pride in the enraged roar that came from Black at his words. It wouldn’t matter how many times Sirius lashed out and hit him, nothing would take away the wonderful thirteen and a half years he had spent raising Harry as his own. He would always have those memories, no amount of torture could force him to forget that.

 

“You changed his name?!” Sirius’ shout was full of anger and Severus knew what was coming and braced himself for it. A clenched fist collided, once again with the same side of his head as the previous punch and this time Severus tasted blood upon his tongue. He smirked inwardly to himself, allowing it pool there for a moment before rearing his head back and spitting it at the convict. Sirius reeled back in disgust as the combination of blood and saliva that coated his clothes and skin.

 

“Don’t worry, Sirius, the name can be changed again,” Albus said as calmly as ever, before Black could react to what Snape had done. The headmaster seemed to be completely unaffected by the bickering of the two other wizards. “He will be Harry Potter again regardless of what Severus has done,” the elderly wizard said, keeping his resolve. The boy would be who he was meant to be one way or another, Albus was determined on that matter.

 

“No,” Severus said at once and Dumbledore knew that he had pushed the right button. “I won’t let you!”

 

“You won’t be around to stop it, Severus, my boy,” Dumbledore said with a faint smile, his light blue eyes twinkling with knowledge and cunning. That man ought to have been a Slytherin rather than a Gryffindor, Severus thought angrily. “I have plans for you.”

 

Sirius sniggered at that, happy that Albus wasn’t going to let Snape get away with what he had done. In an attempt to calm himself down he sat upon Harry’s bed and picked up a stuffed bear, it looked worn and well loved. He turned it over in his hands, surveying it with interest, feeling Snape’s glare on him.

 

Severus hated seeing Black touch Baloo bear. It had been Harry’s special toy since he was five years old. Snape could still remember the small boy carrying it around with him, a toy that was half his size. Harry had refused to go anywhere without it, having had a love of the Jungle Book Disney movie for months. Even after his obsession of it had passed he had never left Baloo bear behind. To see it in the hands of Sirius made him want to shout, swear and lash out, to grab the toy away from him. He had no right to touch such a precious item of Harry’s.

 

“This thing mean something to you, Snivellus?” Black asked in amusement, seeing how strained the potions master was becoming as he held back his emotions. He moved across the room and held the stuffed bear up in front of Snape, mocking him with it. When Severus didn’t respond, Sirius continued; “I guess you wouldn’t want me to do this either.” With those final words he took Baloo bear in both his hands, smiled cruelly and roughly pulled at it.

 

The old, much loved toy that Harry had had for the last ten years of his life fell apart in the convicts hands, the thread too old to withstand much strain. The pain that tore through Severus’ chest was enough to bring tears to his eyes. The thought of the five year old Harry so besotted with that bear in his mind as the tatters of fabric were dropped to the floor, disregarded as if they were nothing.

 

“Harry will never forgive you for that, you know.” Snape stated dryly, trying not to allow his tears to fall, if he made it out of this alive then he would do whatever it took to get his son another one. He didn’t want to give either Black or Dumbledore the satisfaction of his tears; however, it was difficult when he knew how devastated Harry would be when he found out that his beloved Baloo bear was broken beyond repair, torn to unrecognisable strips of fabric and stuffing.

 

“I’m sure you believed that he truly wanted to be here, Severus, but he belongs with his true family.” the headmaster said. He sounded so detached from the whole situation; it was almost if Dumbledore was delusional enough to believe that they were all sitting around drinking tea rather than emotionally and mentally torturing a man with the slow demise of his son’s most precious possessions.

 

“And what would you classify as true family, Albus?” Severus spat out in fury. He struggled more viciously against the ties that bound his wrists behind his back to no avail. There would be no easy escape for him out of this situation. He just hoped that Harry had the good sense not to come back looking for him.

 

“What about his Godfather perhaps, or how about his Aunt and Uncle? Did they not deserve him, to have Harry in their lives?” Albus asked still calm, still calculating.

 

“You mean this crazy fool who spent a decade having his brain addled by dementors or Petunia, who Lily fell out with all because she despised magic so much?” Severus sneered at them. Severus knew that Harry had had no true family, at least none that could have taken him in and accepted him; given him the life he deserved, the life that Severus had been able to provide.

 

“At least we wouldn’t have kept him in a cage!” Sirius bellowed heatedly. He went to lash out again but a raised hand and a stern look kept Sirius from hitting Snape for a third time.

 

“Harry was happy with me, he was safe with me,” Severus retorted, he wanted to deny putting Harry in the cage but he couldn’t because he had done it once a month until Harry was old enough to do it himself. He wouldn’t give away Harry’s secret to these fools however, he refused to tell them anything of importance. They could question him endlessly but he wouldn’t give in. He would give them nothing they could use against his son and he especially would tell them nothing about how to go about finding him.

 

“Severus, I am sure that you meant well but Harry will be taken care of properly now, you don’t have to worry about him anymore.” Dumbledore said with a wry smile. The headmaster was thrilled that sooner rather than later he was going to have the wizarding world’s hero back and the war effort would finally be back on track. They would finally have a chance to defeat Tom, now they would have Harry on their side.

 

“No!” Severus said in horror, “You can’t!”

 

“See, he doesn’t even want Harry to be loved; he wants to watch him suffer, he’s doing this as his revenge on James for stupid childish pranks!” Sirius said in outrage eliciting another glare from Severus who couldn’t believe that Black was foolish enough to believe that he would do something like this as revenge for a few practical jokes. That he would take an innocent child on a whim and raise him because he was bullied in school. Black was even more delusional than he had realised.

 

“I think we are getting a little off topic here, gentleman,” Dumbledore said patiently as he turned to face the bound man. He held Harry’s snitch in his hand, twirling it around in his long fingers. “Severus, you need to tell us what you’ve done with Harry, where is he?” The headmaster asked kindly as he played with the little golden ball.

 

Severus remembered vividly when Harry had caught it, he’d been only seven years old and he had been given the snitch along his first broom for his birthday. He had instantly run out into the garden, anxious to play. Severus had watched with pride as Harry had jumped upon the broom without hesitation, releasing the snitch into the air and chasing after it. He had captured the little golden ball with ease. However that was just another memory that these two were going to destroy right in front of his eyes while attempting to crush his soul. Their actions however only made him more determined to protect his son from them.

 

“Harry is gone, where I hope you never get to lay your greedy, selfish hands on him,” Severus growled, protective of his boy. He couldn’t help but wonder what the time was, how long did he have until Harry, Damon and Clay came looking for him? They were bound to do so eventually. Severus knew his son well, he would have gone straight to the Danes’ home for the night. He just hoped that they didn’t all walk into a trap. Severus would never forgive himself if the two Danes men were caught in the crossfire and hurt when they had no clue what was going on.

 

“Severus, we have known each other a long time, I would rather not have to watch you suffer. However, I do need answers and, I assure you, I will get them,” Dumbledore pressed on, he dropped the little golden ball on the floor before lowering his heel upon it stepped on the small golden ball. The snitch had been eight years old and no match for Albus’ heavy footing, it cracked in half revealing its hollow inside.

 

Despite the clear threat that had been delivered there was no hint of violence or hatred in his tone, only his actions seemed to back up what he was saying but even they were subtle. The elderly wizard remained calm and aloof almost, as if he had washed his hands of the ugly matter entirely, as though emotionally torturing someone wasn’t as reprehensible as doing it physically. The sight of the broken snitch, another memento from Harry’s childhood destroyed, made Severus tense but he forced himself to be strong and not show he cared.

 

“I love Harry, he is my son; I would rather die than allow him to become a pawn in your war Albus!” Severus hissed and the headmaster sighed; his patience beginning to wear thin. The sun was already beginning to rise. He hadn’t wanted it to go on this long but Snape was being stubborn. Albus had thought that he would be easier to break than this but perhaps this had been a foolish assumption to make.

 

“Your death can easily be arranged,” Sirius countered as he strode forward, ignoring Dumbledore’s calm and softly spoken warnings to stop; the headmaster hadn’t sounded as if he really wanted him to stop at all.

 

Black raised a fist and brought it down heavily upon Severus’ cheek, catching the potions master off guard, and he fell to the side. Taking the opportunity Sirius landed a well-placed kick to Snape’s abdomen. Albus stood back, calmly asking Sirius to stop but doing nothing to back up his words as blow after blow rained down on the bound and defenseless man, who could do nothing but instinctively curl up on himself.

 

As Sirius continued to hit and kick him Severus couldn’t help but think, perhaps it would be better for it all to end here for him; that it potentially might be better for Black to beat him until his body gave out. At least then they would never get to Harry.

 

While he was alive, he was a living, breathing map to their saviour; he was nothing more than a piece of meat that could be used as bait to draw Harry in. He even found himself smiling through the pain as blood trickled out the corner of his mouth. Harry knew that he loved him no matter what and the letter had warned him not to trust Albus Dumbledore. Severus had done everything in his power to help and protect the boy who he felt was his son. If he died now then he would die happy.

 

He would get to see his beloved Lily once more. He would finally be able to tell her how much of a remarkable young man her son had turned out to be. He could share with her all the happy memories they had created together and how much joy little Harry had brought into his life. How Harry had become the family that he had never known that he had wanted until the opportunity to have it was presented. He would be able to take Lily into his arms and hold her once again. Oh how he missed her. If only death would come quicker so that he may see her sooner.

 

Severus found himself disappointed when the attack ceased but the pain did not. It meant that he was, regrettably, still alive. He would have welcomed death and couldn’t understand why Black had stopped his assault. Then he realised what had happened, as he heard Dumbledore ask Sirius to go and check what the noise was that they were hearing downstairs.

 

Severus’ stomach lurched and he almost expelled the contents of his stomach as he realised that Harry had probably come back to look for him, likely with Damon and Clay in tow. There could be no other person who would come here at this time in the morning when the sun was still climbing. They were going to take Harry away and there was nothing Severus could do to stop them; too weak and in too much pain to do anything to protect his son.

 

FGHP

 

Walking into his living room the following morning Damon was startled to find the small form of Harry Prince curled up on his sofa. The young boy was shirtless and just in a pair of pyjama bottoms. It was disconcerting to find him there as he hadn’t expected him. Also when Harry did decide to stay over he always slept on a camp bed in Clay’s room. He was too curious about why Harry had found the need to come and sleep in their living room, or even how he had got into the house at all, to just let the poor child sleep.

 

Damon sat down on the coffee table in front of the sofa, staring at the fifteen year old, startled to see the dry tear tracks down his cheeks; he also noted the scrunched up piece of parchment in one fist. Whatever the reason for finding Harry here he knew that it couldn’t be anything good. Damon had no clue what it could be, Harry and Severus didn’t fight; it wasn’t in their nature when it came to each other. He just couldn’t understand what could have happened to bring him here.

 

“Harry,” Damon said gently, not wanting to startle the young boy, placing a gentle hand on his arm to rouse the teenager.

 

Emerald eyes blinked open, looking around in confusion as he took in where he was. Damon said nothing while he waited for Harry to adjust from his dream clouded state and become a little more alert. Horror seemed to flash deep within his eyes and it pained the older wolf to see it there. Before either of them had said a word Harry broke down into tears. A little alarmed, Damon gathered Harry up into his arms and just held him as the young boy cried.

 

“Someone came,” Harry managed to say through his sobs, “Someone came to the house and he told me that he loved me and made me leave, he told me to run.”

 

“Harry, you need to calm down little one,” Damon said calmly as he rubbed soothing circles upon his back, not understand what a distraught Harry was saying “What happened?”

 

Harry tried to calm himself with a deep breath but his chest felt constricted as if something was preventing him from taking a breath. He had just left his Dad to face whatever or whoever it was who had broken into their home when he could have easily stayed and fought by his side. Sure, he had promised his dad that he would escape and be safe, but how safe could he be without his Dad by his side? Harry knew that if his father wasn’t here and that he hadn’t come to find him, then there was very little chance that he was still alive. He would never willingly stay away.

 

“Dad came and woke me up, he was panicking, I’ve never seen him so scared,” Harry said trying to organise his jumbled thoughts in way that would be coherent and easily understood. “I heard them as they broke down the door. Dad gave me this letter and told me that no matter what happened or what I was told I would always be his son and that he loved me.”

 

“May I see the letter?” Damon asked, motioning to the parchment that was still scrunched up in Harry’s hand. The younger wolf nodded as he handed it over, seeing no problem with showing him. He trusted Damon, Harry had known him since he was eleven. He had slept in his house countless times, eaten the food he had prepared and loved him as his best friend’s Dad who had always spoilt and indulged him a little more than his own father had.

 

Damon scanned over the contents; it was lucky he could read fast because a few seconds later Harry snatched back the letter in horror, realising that he had just willingly handed this man his deepest, darkest secret. That he was a werewolf.

 

“It’s okay little one, I know what you are,” Damon said softly, understanding Harry’s sudden panic. Harry almost fell out of his lap in shock. “I’m one as well and so is Clayton, we were sent here to watch out for you and protect you.”

 

“Who sent you?” Harry asked desperately, feeling utterly overwhelmed and a little betrayed. He had been kept in the dark about so much by everyone that he loved. It wasn’t a nice feeling to have. It was becoming rather apparent that there was a lot that had been hidden from him.

 

“Our Alpha,” Damon said, not willing to go into it any further, at least not here, not now and certainly not like this. Harry was clearly in a state of shock and he needed some time to process everything that had happened before more baggage was loaded on top of him.

 

“Alpha?” Harry questioned as Damon stood up, placing Harry effortlessly back on the sofa. He needed to get dressed, he needed to check on Severus, he needed to inform Fenrir what was going on and most importantly he needed to protect the two boys; they were his sole responsibility right now, there was no one else to protect them other than him.

 

“Yes, the Alpha of our pack,” Damon responded absent-mindedly as he headed for the stairs with Harry following in his wake. He knew that he was being followed and he didn’t have the heart to stop him. Damon knew the poor child would have more questions than he knew what to do with but he was not the one to give him the answers that he needed.

 

Hammering on Clayton’s closed bedroom door somewhat violently, Damon shouted through to him to wake up. Harry couldn’t help but snigger at the resounding groan that came from within. Confused, upset and overwhelmed he might have been at everything that was happening but Clay would never fail to make him smile no matter what mood he was in. The older man then turned to him, looking at him directly in the eye, insuring that he was listening.

 

“Put on some of Clay’s clothes, you need to be dressed. I’m going to go and check on your house, see if your Dad’s there,” Damon said quickly, enforcing his words. “Can you do that?”

 

“I’m coming with you,” Harry insisted with determination as he nodded his head. Damon however was shaking his.

 

“No, Harry, you are not. Your father would never forgive me if I allowed it and our Alpha would skin me alive if I put you in danger; you’ll be staying here with Clayton.”

 

“You keep saying our Alpha …” Harry said, meeting the older man’s gaze with defiant confidence, staring him down and refusing to look away.

 

“Yes, because he will be your Alpha too, Harry,” Damon said softly, he didn’t want to overload the poor boy, who had already dealt with enough in the past few hours. “Go and get dressed, make sure Clay does the same, be ready to leave when I get back, just in case.”
“Just in case what?”

 

“Whoever broke into your house isn’t gone,” Damon stated bluntly before turning and heading into his bedroom to dress himself.

 

Harry charged into Clay’s room, shutting the door behind him. He didn’t care what Damon said, he was going; he wanted to go and find his Dad, even if he only found a body, and if those that had done this were still there then he was going to make sure they suffered for taking his Dad from him.

 

“Harry …?” Clay said sleepily, as he stretched and yawned in bed still, Harry couldn’t help but roll his eyes. “What are you doing here?”

 

“Something happened, last night; Dad and I were attacked, I came here; and we need to get dressed.” Harry rambled off as he threw open Clay’s wardrobe drawers and began throwing clothes in his direction. “And why the hell didn’t you tell me you were a werewolf!” Harry demanded suddenly, rounding on his best friend.

 

“Back at you,” Clay returned un-phased by the sudden demanding question so early in the morning as he grabbed at the clothes Harry had thrown at him and started pulling them on. He really did sleep naked and so made sure to pull his jeans on before standing up.

 

Harry glared at Clay, knowing that he was right. Harry hadn’t been any more forthcoming about his second nature than Clayton had been. However they had bigger concerns to deal with right now without worrying about who had deceived the other more.

 

“Your Dad is going to my place to check things out, he doesn’t want us to come,” Harry said in a clear grump at this decision.

 

“We’re going though, right?” Clayton asked as he turned around to face the wall to allow Harry the privacy he needed to dress. Harry took the cue and took off his pyjama bottoms and pulled on a pair of Clay’s jeans.

 

“Of course,” Harry returned, sounding as if he was surprised that Clay had even asked this; he pulled a t-shirt over his head and his best friend did the same.

 

It was fortunate that the two of them were so similar in size. Clay was at least a head taller than Harry but other than that his clothes fit the younger boy perfectly. They were even the same shoe size, which couldn’t have been more perfect, for that moment, as they pulled on a pair of sneakers each and grabbed their wands, stowing them safely in their arm holsters. They both shrugged on zip up jumpers over the top to conceal them from any muggles that might be lurking around. Also they didn’t want Damon to know what they were planning on doing, hiding their wands was key to that.

 

The two teenagers came out just as Damon was heading down the stairs, fully dressed himself, he looked grimly determined in the way he was walking. Clayton called out to his Dad, making him stop and turn to face the two boys; they looked at the older man expectantly. “No,” Damon said at once.

 

“Dad,” Clay argued.

 

“No,” Damon repeated.

 

“This is my Dad!” Harry argued.

 

“I don’t care, I’ve given you my reasons and I didn’t need to, you’ll both stay here and do as you’re told for once,” Damon said sternly before adding, “Clay, if I’m not back in half an hour you know where to go.”

 

With that he turned away from them thinking that the matter was settled, however he missed the look that the two teenagers shared and the satisfied smirk they had given each other. They knew that if they hadn’t caused any fuss over not going at all then Damon would have been suspicious. The objection at being left behind had all been for show.

 

They waited somewhat impatiently for the front door to close as Damon left before they hurried back into Clay’s bedroom, opening the window wide enough for them to fit through and taking it in turns to jump out. Landing two storey’s down without a single injury.

 

Stealing around the side of the house, Clayton in lead, they headed for Harry’s house. The older of the two teenagers was more than a little aware of how dangerous what they were doing actually was. He had been told countless times by his Dad that Harry had to be protected by orders of their Alpha. This felt like he was going directly against those orders and it didn’t sit right with him at all. Harry however would have gone whether Clay had agreed to help or not and what kind of friend or protector would he have been if he had let Harry go alone?

 

The two of them ducked behind some overgrown shrubbery as they watched Damon very cautiously enter Harry’s home. From the outside nothing untoward seemed to have happened within. Harry hoped that this was a good omen but somehow he doubted it.

 

“Come on, we’ll go round to the back door,” Harry said quietly. Clay nodded in agreement. He went first, checking the area for hidden dangers.

 

The rear door of the house had been blasted off its hinges. It almost looked as if a giant had taken hold of it and ripped it off with his bare hands. Harry’s heart was thumping wildly in his chest as they crouched below the window frame by the dismantled back door, listening as voices floated out from within.

 

“…Using children to fight his battles, think they can sneak up on me,” came a gruff voice from within. Harry and Clay exchanged looks of horror at these words. Without understanding how they had been caught.

 

“What do you mean, Mad-Eye?” a more feminine voice questioned with a little confusion.

 

“Show yourselves,” the wizard apparently called Mad-Eye, grunted rather loudly.

 

Clutching at their wands for all they were worth, Harry and Clayton stood up and walked brazenly into the kitchen, pointing their wands directly at the two strangers. One a witch with bright pink hair and a pretty face, the other an older man, with a face that looked as if he had seen better days, one eye spinning around in a way that made the younger boys slightly dizzy. Both of them wore insignias on their cloaks that declared them as Aurors.

 

Damon was stood on the other side of the two strangers, the woman’s wand pointed directly at him, Damon’s own blackthorn wand already discarded to the ground. Harry didn’t think that he had ever seen him look quite so disappointed at them as he did in that moment and Damon had had plenty of opportunity in the last four years to look disappointed at Harry and Clayton with the amount of trouble they caused together.

 

“Mad-Eye … that’s …” the woman said, glancing at the two teenagers, her attention focused mainly on Harry though and the scar which was only just visible through his thick mass of black hair. Her focus on his pack brother made Clayton growl and step in front of his friend defensively, wanting to protect him from her. He too had seen the look his father was giving them and wanted to prove himself not to be completely incompetent.

 

“I’m aware, Nymphadora!” the wizard snapped. The witch glared at him, her hair going bright red at his words but with great effort she held her tongue. Neither Harry nor Clay had the good sense to lower their wands. “Drop your wands boys, or else I might do something I regret to this man here,” Mad-Eye said, trying to lessen how harsh his tone sounded, motioning to Damon.

 

“Dumbledore sent us to get you, Harry,” the woman, who apparently disliked being called Nymphadora, said, her wand still aimed directly at Damon. The name Dumbledore echoed in his mind as the man whom his father had warned him about, told him not to trust. Neither teenager paid any heed to the warning to lower their wands though, only gripping them tighter, posed and ready for an attack.

 

“What did you do to my Dad?” Harry demanded from them furiously.

 

“Your father is dead!” the male Auror barked in annoyance.

 

“No! You did something to him!” Harry yelled, refusing to believe that it was true, his hands trembled with rage at the thought that his Dad was gone, that he would never see him again. He couldn’t be dead, he just couldn’t!

 

“Mad-Eye … he thinks that,” Nymphadora started to say but her fellow Auror rudely cut her off mid-sentence.

 

“Shut up!” he barked at the witch, before turning back to Harry. “Don’t be stupid boy, now drop your wands and we can get going back to Hog-.” However Mad-Eye didn’t get to finish what he was saying before he was hit directly in the chest with a stunning spell, sent from Clayton.

 

Taking the chance, Damon dove for his wand. The witch, startled by this turn of events, tried to curse the older werewolf with a well-aimed ‘confringo’ to stop him from reaching his wand and attacking her; but Harry, thinking on his feet, cast a shield charm between the two of them to protect Damon from the curse, which if it hadn’t killed him then it would have at least caused some serious damage.

 

While the male Auror lay upon the floor under the effects of the stunning spell, Clayton disarmed the witch of her wand while Damon got to his feet, regaining himself and his composure.

 

Nymphadora immediately raised her hands in surrender, rendered wandless and therefore defenceless against the three werewolves. The older of the three did not look happy; though to say that was probably an understatement judging by the thunderous look he wore as he glared at the two boys.

 

Words couldn’t express how angry he was at the two teenagers for putting themselves in such great danger when he had specifically asked them to stay behind where they would be out of harm’s way. He hoped he never had to tell Fenrir how recklessly idiotic the two of them were. He aimed his wand at the female Auror, who looked positively terrified and she had good reason to be, his rage bubbling as he glared at her. She would have killed him with that curse she’d fired, if it wasn’t for Harry casting the shield charm.

 

Damon desperately wanted to return the favour, however he wasn’t about to traumatise the two teenage boys, whom he cared so much for, no matter how much trouble they were, especially when together, by killing someone in front of them. It wasn’t worth it, not when you considered all the effort he and Severus had gone to so that they would be protected from things like that. He wasn’t about to undo all their hard work in a fit of rage. He muttered the body-binding curse, first on the witch and then on her male companion before rounding on the teenagers, a murderous look in his steely grey eyes.

 

“Home, right now!” he snarled as he put his wand away, the two boys doing the same now that the danger had passed. Damon took two large strides towards Harry and Clay, taking each teen by one ear and forcibly dragging them out of the house and back towards his home so that they could pack their bags. They had to leave as it was no longer safe for them to stay here.

 

It hadn’t been in Fenrir’s plans to bring Harry to join the pack until he reached sixteen however with no sign of Severus and the Auror declaring him dead, Damon didn’t think he had much choice now. He had been sent to watch over and protect Harry until he was sixteen, no one had expected something like this to happen.

 

Damon had liked Severus, they had been friends, it was hard to believe that the man was dead. What reason would Aurors have to break into his house and kill him? Aurors were not known for acting rashly, not even in times of war. There had to be a reason for it and he would have to at least try to figure it out before they reached the pack because Fenrir would want an explanation as to why his orders had not been followed.

 

“Can I get some of my stuff from upstairs?” Harry asked, wincing at the pain shooting through his ear as Damon dragged him from the house.

 

“No,” he snapped irritably, not slowing his pace, “It’s too dangerous, you can negotiate coming back here with Fenrir another time!”

 

“Who’s Fenrir?” Harry asked as their pace quickened and the boys had to jog to keep up or else have their already sore ears torn from their heads.

 

“The Alpha!” came the harsh barked reply.

 

FGHP

 

Sirius crept down the stairs, wand drawn, leaving Dumbledore in Harry’s bedroom with Snape. Black was covered in the potion master’s blood from the brutal attack he had launched upon him, which had been worth the expended energy as it had given him immense satisfaction. He had dreamed about beating up the greasy git for so many years, the fantasy of it had often kept him amused in Azkaban, long before he’d known that the slimy bat had kidnapped his Godson. However, the smug satisfaction of what he had just done faded somewhat, when he walked into the kitchen and saw both Tonks and Mad-Eye on the floor under the body-bind curse. Immediately he called up to Dumbledore, for him to come down.

 

It took next to no time at all for Albus to appear, but not before stunning Severus, of course. He didn’t want to risk him escaping, though there was little chance of that with a combination of the beating Sirius had given him and the magical bindings that rendered his hands useless. As he joined Sirius downstairs, the headmaster took in the damage that had been done; he removed the body-bind curse from the two prominent Aurors and started demanding answers from them. Tonks immediately looked embarrassed, Mad-Eye however looked furious.

 

“Potter!” he had growled furiously and at the mention of Harry, Sirius had made an attempt to get to the door but the headmaster had stopped him.

 

“No, Sirius,” he had said calmly giving the convict a very stern glare.

 

“But he can’t have gone far, we could still catch him,” Sirius protested.

 

“We don’t need to run after him anymore,” Albus reasoned, “Harry will come to us in time.”

 

“What do you mean?” Tonks asked. She was confused as to how they would manage this when they had been tracking Harry for a good few years and this was the first time they had ever come close to catching him.

 

“He has no legal guardian now, and no one to tutor him in his magical education,” Dumbledore explained. “He will be forced into attendance at Hogwarts come January. He wouldn’t dare refuse, not when we have something he will want.”

 

Without waiting for anyone to comment on his plan to allow Harry to come to them, Dumbledore turned on his heel, allowing his violet cloak swish out behind him as he headed back up the stairs to Harry’s bedroom. He grinned at the stunned form of Severus Snape lying broken and bleeding on the floor. Dumbledore had been intending to let the man die; after all, Albus hadn’t thought that there would be a use for him. Now however he knew different.

 

It was perfect really. There had been a spell that he had been dying to try out ever since they had lost control of Azkaban. He had thought it up himself and it was perfectly ingenious even if he did say so himself. It was a spell to immobilise the victim entirely so that they had no control over their body, essentially becoming comatose. However the wonder of the spell meant that the victim would remain conscious and aware of their surroundings, not even finding solace in sleep.

 

Albus’ favourite part of course was the emotional aspect; while immobile and defenceless they would feel as if there were a hundred dementors surrounding them. Completely ingenious, in one simple spell he mirrored the effects of being imprisoned in Azkaban but so much worse, as the victim couldn’t move and couldn’t scream.

 

Removing his wand from within his robes Albus Dumbledore smiled. He made sure to wake the potions professor first; he wanted to ensure that Severus would be aware of everything around him and be able to do nothing about it. He waited until the onyx eyes glared up at him feebly before he cast.

 

“Corporis Miseria Carcerium” the headmaster said clearly, pronouncing each word with care, a ghost of a smile on his lips as the spell took effect.

 

FGHP

 

The Pack had settled well, aside from Micha and Jenson’s constant bickering and teasing amongst themselves which was just par for the course now. Fenrir’s mind was preoccupied with the werewolf he had seen in town and was planning his return within the next few days to fetch him. He wouldn’t take no for an answer this time. He would go alone and have no distractions.

 

The peaceful calm that had descended in the clearing at Oakhill wood was very abruptly shattered when a loud crack of someone apparating in sounded, echoing off the trees, and Callie was distinctly heard calling out her brother’s name in surprise. Fenrir’s attention was suddenly on his surroundings and fully alert; he had asked Damon to watch over Harry, if he was here then something must have been wrong.

 

His eyes located his second in command quickly, looking to judge what had happened but he was surprised to see that Damon was dragging the two teenage boys under his care along with him, having hold of their upper arms in a fierce grip and all three looked to be unharmed.

 

Everyone had clambered to their feet and were ready for an attack; Micha had even stopped his teasing of Jenson at the sudden intrusion of three new werewolves into their territory, falling silent, which Fenrir might have taken a moment to appreciate if he hadn’t been so concerned as to why the three of them had suddenly appeared. Every pack member was on the defensive and ready to attack if their Alpha gave the order that these three newcomers were not welcome.

 

The majority of the pack had never met Damon before today as he had been forbidden from leaving Harry unguarded; Fenrir and Callie the only two to know who Damon was. Clayton, just like Harry, had never set foot in the claimed territory before but neither of the young boys had much of a chance to appreciate the beauty of their surroundings, both too focused on the grip that Damon had upon them as he dragged them along.

 

“Stand down!” Fenrir barked at the tensed werewolves, who all visibly relaxed at their Alpha’s instruction, though all of them looking curiously intrigued at the three new arrivals. All apart from Callie whose focus was largely on the dark haired boy to the left of her brother. He was the only one of the three she had never seen before, though her brother had informed her that he had been charged with guarding someone, for Fenrir, during their frequent correspondence with one another; she could only assume that it had been this unknown boy.

 

“What is the meaning of this Damon?” The Alpha growled, glaring at his beta wolf, his voice harsh, demanding answers somewhat impatiently. He hadn’t wanted Harry here for another year; he hadn’t been expecting them to turn up without a word of a warning that they were coming. This was not how he would have liked to be reunited with his mate for the first time since biting him.

 

“We had a… complication,” Damon began, not releasing his firm grip upon the two fifteen year olds. “Aurors, two of them; one damn near killed me,” Damon explained. “I would probably be dead if it wasn’t for these two never listening to a single word I say!”

 

Fenrir’s gaze switched to Harry at the mention of Aurors, barely registering anything else his beta wolf had said. Fenrir itched to go to his little mate, to check him over for injuries and make sure he was okay. He hadn’t seen the boy since he was a baby and had bitten him. He found that there was a desperate need to reacquaint himself, now that Harry was grown, stirring within him.

 

The scent of the young submissive wolf had hit Fenrir the moment he’d come within three feet of the teenager, making him go a little instinctual, which he had to fight to suppress. He found that it bothered him to see the harsh grip that Damon had on his mate and he tensed, eyes narrowing and fists clenching, overly aware that every eye in the pack was upon them, their gazes curious.

 

Damon instantly recognized the disapproval and annoyance on his Alpha’s face; the two of them had known each other since they were nine year old boys in a muggle orphanage and he knew when Fenrir was less than pleased. Realising that it was his hold on Harry that was causing the problem, Damon released the young boy at once and then so that it wouldn’t be too suspicious he also released his hold on Clayton.

 

“The boy’s father?” Fenrir enquired stiffly, trying to reign in his animalistic tendencies that were telling him to cover the teen with his scent, to mark his soft flesh and claim him as his mate. He couldn’t though, the human side of him knew that much at least; he didn’t want to scare Harry away. The poor teenager looked positively terrified as it was. There was no telling what his reaction would be if Fenrir went feral and began quite publicly claiming him.

 

“Dead,” Damon responded, “according to the Aurors that came to his home.”

 

At these words Harry’s breath hitched and Fenrir’s attention was turned to his little mate fully and he saw that tears were forming at the corners of his bright green eyes. He wasn’t sure why but he felt sorry for him, he didn’t like to feel pity for anything but he did for Harry. Fenrir had never known his own father and his mother had died when he was a very young boy; he couldn’t understand parental love that wizards knew, he could only understand the love for his pack but he felt sympathy for Harry when he saw the tears beginning to form.

 

Angrily Harry wiped away the wetness around his eyes. He wouldn’t cry in front of these people, he didn’t know them and refused to show weakness. He didn’t understand why Damon had brought him here but he didn’t like it. If this was the Alpha then he was determined that he wasn’t about to play nice just because this man was supposed to be the leader of the pack. He had just lost his Dad and he was struggling to wrap his mind around that. He couldn’t believe that his Dad was gone that he would never see him again.

 

Surveying the wolf he now knew to be Fenrir, the Alpha wolf, he could admit that he had a rugged handsomeness to him; however his personal grooming techniques left much to be desired. He had long dark blonde hair that looked as if it hadn’t seen a hair brush in a fair few days, if not weeks and was tied untidily at the nape of his neck. Not that Harry could point fingers with his unruly mass of hair but at least he made an effort with it.

 

The Alpha’s beautifully muscled torso was bare beneath a well-worn leather jacket that reached down to his calves, an item of clothing that looked as if it had seen better days. His gloriously manly chest covered in sprinklings of curled hair that matched the shade atop his head. Harry’s eyes swept over the trail of light coloured hair that led from the older man’s belly button and disappeared beneath the waistband of his jeans.

 

Quickly tearing his eyes away, he focused them anywhere else but on the Alpha wolf. He didn’t want to give Fenrir the satisfaction of knowing that he had been staring, even admiring, him. Oh no, he wasn’t about to do that. Harry cast a quick glance to Clayton who was determinedly keeping his head lowered and gaze down, not making eye contact; something Harry didn’t understand as it was most unlike the Clay he knew.

 

Harry looked up he met the beautifully golden gaze of Fenrir Greyback; he didn’t blink, instead holding the gaze determinedly. If the Alpha hadn’t known from his scent that Harry was a naturally submissive werewolf then he would have seen the blatant, unwavering eye contact as a challenge. As it was, he found it endearing that his little mate had so much courage that he would dare to try and stare him down.

 

Harry didn’t know where he was and he was feeling emotionally overwhelmed, his body awash with the grief from the loss of his father, the painful emotion having not yet pierced his heart. The moment it did he would collapse, give up and just cry but for the moment he was running on adrenaline, it gave him the strength to meet the intense golden irises and not look away from them.

 

He still had Damon and Clayton with him and that made him braver. Despite feeling hurt and slightly betrayed that they had hidden so much from him for so long, he still trusted them. If he couldn’t trust them then he wouldn’t have had anyone left and he would truly be alone, feeling lost and vulnerable with no clue as to what was going on.

 

“Let the boys get some rest,” Fenrir ordered, though his tone was a lot less harsh as he said this, his gaze still resting on his young mate, who was looking around in confusion.

 

Harry was glad that no one was trying to separate him from Clay and Damon; he was more than willing to kick up a fuss if anyone, including the Alpha, tried. Looking around however, Harry realised for the first time that there were no buildings here. He wasn’t entirely sure exactly where he was supposed to rest with no beds.

 

There was a large fire and he spotted that close by there a pile of animal hides, which was when he realised that the Pack apparently slept outside. He had never slept anywhere other than in a bed or on a sofa; he had never even so much as gone camping before. The idea of being on the ground didn’t exactly appeal to him, Harry liked to be comfortable and in a bed. It made him wonder what they did in regards to bathing, but then perhaps, looking at Fenrir, they didn’t do that all too often. Harry wasn’t sure he was going to get along well here if first impressions were anything to go by. It seemed a wholly miserable existence to him.

 

It was still early but Harry hadn’t slept much the night before and he felt himself being drawn to the warmth of the fire regardless of his feelings about it and sleeping on the ground. Clay approached him and put an arm around his shoulder, silently offering reassurance to Harry, who despite feeling a little detached from his best friend, accepted the embrace. He was more in need of the comfort he could offer, than the argument the two of them were bound to have at some point.

 

“They’re only friends,” Damon said quietly to his Alpha so that only the two of them could hear as Fenrir watched the two young teenagers together, his fists clenching in jealousy. He didn’t like the contact they shared as they sat before the fire, gazing into the embers and practically cuddled like lovers rather than best friends. “They are all each other have known for years, they’re close but nothing more than friends.” Somewhat stiffly Fenrir nodded, saying nothing more on the matter.

 

“We need to talk” Fenrir grunted to his beta. Damon nodded and followed his Alpha as they walked away from the group. He could see that his sister desperately wanted to talk to him but she would have to wait. Fenrir needed to be informed of everything first. “What happened?” Fenrir asked once they were far enough away from the group.
“This morning I woke up and found Harry asleep on my sofa. After talking to him I went to his house to see what was going on and find Severus …”

 

“Who?” Fenrir barked out impatiently.

 

“Oh … Harry’s father, but there were Aurors there, they attacked me, damn near killed me too,” Damon explained. “It was Harry who saved my life and before you ask, Alpha, I didn’t take the boys with me, I told them to stay behind and they didn’t listen. They have a habit of doing that.” Damon spoke calmly and quickly, delivering what his Alpha needed to know in quick succession. “For the record though I think I know how this happened.”

 

“Explain,” Fenrir asked, he was never as harsh with Damon as he was with the rest of the Pack. They had known each other since they were nine year old boys having met in a muggle orphanage. Fenrir had instantly taken Damon and Callie under his wing and sworn to protect them both.

 

“Clay and Harry snuck out for Harry’s fifteenth birthday at the end of July.” Damon told him making Fenrir growl deep in his throat. “Again, not something I approved,” he added quickly. “But it seems that they ran into trouble. Two men approached them and started calling Harry by a different name, James I think it was.” Damon paused, watching to see if the name meant anything to his Alpha, but it seemed it didn’t and not wanting to test Fenrir’s patience, he went on. “They seemed to know a lot about him, including his mother’s name, which was Lily. One of them was a werewolf. I can’t be sure if that incident is linked to whatever happened last night but I doubt it is a coincidence.”

 

“The two men, do you know their names?” Fenrir asked curiously.

 

“Clay told me that they referred to each other as Remus and Sirius,” Damon informed his Alpha who seemed to be churning this information over in his head. He waited, wanting to give the slightly older werewolf a chance to draw his own conclusions before interrupting his thought processes. “Look, I know that it’s unrelated but something occurred to me,” Damon told him.

 

Fenrir’s attention returned to him and he made a grunting noise which the beta wolf took as permission to go on. “The only James and Lily I have ever heard of are the Potter’s,” he explained. “They were supposedly killed along with their son … Harry, that was almost fourteen years ago. You told me when you sent me to watch over him that Severus was not his real father, it could explain why they kept running.”

 

“Harry…” Fenrir said in a quiet rumbling voice, “you believe he is the murdered boy?”

 

Damon shrugged; he couldn’t be sure of this but he believed it to be so. He wanted to give the Alpha a chance to draw his own conclusions on the matter. Not that it would likely make a lot of difference in Fenrir’s mind, the boy would still be his mate and bear his pups; but Damon was aware that if this was truly Harry Potter then the chance that someone would come looking for him just increased many times over.

 

People would want answers if they knew that he were alive; probably including the Dark Lord, who would likely want to finish the murder of the Potter family that had been started all those years ago. Dumbledore would probably want him too, and the Ministry might come looking for explanations. Harry was going to be trouble for them, Damon knew that. However he had watched Harry grow up, he was almost like a second son to him and a brother to Clayton. Harry couldn’t help who he was and it didn’t seem that Severus had been very forthcoming with the boy about it either. The pack was all that Harry had now, they were his family and they would take care of their own, no matter what danger presented itself.

 

Fenrir looked over at where Harry was sitting with Clayton. “It changes nothing,” Fenrir grunted stubbornly. He cared very little for the worries of those outside of his pack; it didn’t matter where his Harry had come from, all that was important was that the boy was where he was meant to be now.

 

Damon didn’t want to argue with the head of their pack but he worried that it would never be simple. He wished that what the Alpha said would be true, that Harry’s identity would never come back to bite the pack in the arse, but he didn’t honestly believe that. “I hope that you’re right, my Alpha,” Damon said somewhat doubtfully. “It’s good to be back here finally,” he added.

 

“Believe me, Damon, it is good to have you back,” Fenrir said giving his beta a brief pat on the back. It was as close as the two would ever get to hugging but the emotion was there.

 

There was a deep respect and trust between the two of them. Fenrir had trusted his beta wolf with Harry for over a decade and Damon had trusted his Alpha with his little sister, whom he was very protective over. They were family, they were more than that, they were a pack. “I think Callie wants to talk to you,” Fenrir added with an amused grunt as he looked over to see her waiting rather impatiently.

 

“Indeed,” Damon returned, “I think she might have something to tell me in regards to the young man who can’t take his eyes off her.”

 

“I believe I’ll let her fill you in,” Fenrir returned with a wry smile as his beta wolf began to head off towards his sister.

 

It was good to see his little sister. She was a tall yet slender woman whose skeleton could be seen through her skin. She had never fully recovered from the bought of childhood illnesses that had forced the two of them into the orphanage where they had first met Fenrir. Damon was shocked that she had survived her first change and he suspected that it was only due to her being a werewolf that she lived this long. She had always kept her hair cut short, never letting it grow beyond her chin, the light brown colour echoing that of their mother.

 

The moment he was close enough she flung her arms around his shoulders, holding him close and he returned the embrace wholeheartedly. He had missed her and clearly the feeling had been mutual. It took a few moments for the two of them to release one another, it had been too long since they last seen each other.

 

“I think you have some explaining to do,” Damon said as he nodded his head towards Jenson who was hovering about not far from them. Being the protective big brother that he was he eyed the other wolf who seemed to have intentions towards his little sister with dislike. Aside from Fenrir he seemed to be the largest and most muscled of the pack with red hair that stuck up all over the place, worse than even Harry’s, which was saying something.

 

“He was one of the first to join the pack after you left with Clay,” Callie explained as the two of them headed away from the group a little way so that they could talk, settling themselves at the edge of a clearing, leaning against the trunk of a particularly large tree. “He rescued the little girl over there, Romy.”

 

Damon quickly located the girl she had mentioned, he watched with interest as Jenson went to sit beside the little, young girl, fondly stroking the mass of light brown curls that fell to her shoulders as they tended to the fire together. Clearly she was the youngest of the pack. Compared to everyone else gathered in the clearing she was positively tiny. He found it hard to believe that she was a werewolf at all. Jenson was clearly very protective of Romy, something which Damon approved of, it proved that he might just be worthy enough to receive his sister’s affections.

 

“And you two are … together?” Damon queried, trying not to sound overly bothered but he could never hide anything from Callie.

 

She smiled at her big brother fondly. “We are,” she said to him. Damon nodded thoughtfully at this as he turned his attention to his adoptive son and Harry who were curled up together under a single animal hide next to the fire.

 

“If he hurts you I will rip him to pieces,” Damon told her, his voice calm but there was no mistaking the fact that he was deadly serious.

 

“I would expect no less from you, big brother,” Callie returned with a smile as she followed his gaze to the two young boys. “What about you, Daddy Damon, it seems you’ve been busy. Who is he?”

 

“You know Clayton,” Damon returned knowing all too well that she hadn’t meant him. Callie just gave him a look, knowing when her brother was avoiding the issue, she didn’t need to say anything, Damon just rolled his eyes. “His name is Harry but anything else is for Fenrir to share; sorry, Sis.” As he said this he threw his arm around her shoulders and gave her a squeeze, placing a kiss to her temple fondly. It really was good to be back with his pack.

 

FGHP

 

Draco sat picking at his breakfast absent-mindedly, thinking of anything but being back at Hogwarts. Pansy and Blaise were chattering incessantly away beside him; Daphne was reading one of her school textbooks opposite him, as she tended to do rather than getting involved in the gossip mongering of the other two.

 

He wasn’t hungry, or at least he had no appetite, his mind too preoccupied with thoughts of his family and the unwelcome residence in their home. He should have been there with his mother, making sure she was safe, not here on some suicidal mission from the Dark Lord.

 

Dumbledore, it seemed, was still absent, he noted. It had been more conspicuous at the welcoming feast the previous evening, when McGonagall had had to give his usual speech; she didn’t have any flare for speech giving and the whole thing had felt rather lacklustre. It puzzled him what business could have been important enough to take the headmaster away from Hogwarts when to Draco’s knowledge he had never before been absent from a welcoming feast before. For some strange reason Albus Dumbledore took great pleasure in watching the new students be sorted into their houses, something everyone else found tediously dull.

 

When Pansy and Blaise fell silent beside him, something that was a rare occurrence, he looked up and noticed that everyone’s attention had been captivated by the commotion at the entrance of the Great Hall, where the doors had burst open rather dramatically. The headmaster striding purposefully the length of the room with a less than happy expression on his face. In fact Draco didn’t think that he had ever seen the elderly wizard look as sour or discontented as he did right then. He strode to the front of the hall where the teachers table resided and spoke directly to Minerva in hushed tones as he took his seat beside her.

 

Whatever was going on, neither of them looked impressed about it. The students were just about returning to their own business when there was a small, throat clearing cough, that was loud enough to carry over the few conversations that had started up again. All eyes returned once more to the entrance to the Great Hall, where a small toad-like woman stood, dressed all in pink with a hideous bow perched on the top of her head, smiling a sickly sweet smile. She looked far too pleased with herself, a look of smug contentment on her hideous features. Behind her stood one witch and a wizard, both dressed all in black. Draco recognized them as the Carrows, siblings and both of them Deatheaters.

 

Everyone had stopped eating by this point. The entire student population were all now staring at the woman who, flanked by her intimidating bodyguards, began walking toward the headmaster. In her hand an official looking scroll of parchment. She walked with an air of self-importance that Draco didn’t like one bit. There was something about the odious woman that he didn’t trust. Whatever was going on wasn’t going to bode well for the school and by the looks of it, Albus Dumbledore was thinking the exact same thing.

 

What concerned Draco the most, were the two Deatheaters that flanked the official looking woman. Clearly they were here on orders from Voldemort, or at least with his approval. It made Draco wonder why he had been given his mission at all if Tom Riddle had intended all along to interfere at Hogwarts in other ways. Though perhaps they were here to watch over him, as much as the school and the headmaster, which was an even more alarming thought. Whatever the reasons, the Dark Lord didn’t seem to trust him or have faith in him being able to complete his mission without aid.

 

Albus never took his eyes off the woman as she approached, her sickening, and obviously forced, smile never faltering. The Carrows remained grim faced as they followed in her wake, disapproving of their role in this facade.

 

“Who do you think she is?” Pansy asked almost excitedly, eyeing the very pink woman with heightening interest. To her, anyone who could rile the headmaster was someone to look up to and admire.

 

“Looks official,” Blaise said, “Ministry maybe?”

 

Draco said nothing. If his ‘friends’ didn’t know enough to figure out what was going on then he wasn’t going to make it any easier for them. Their stupidity amazed him sometimes. Far more interested in gossiping than noticing what was right in front of them. They were only a slight improvement than the grunting Crabbe and Goyle. Daphne remained silent too, she hadn’t even looked up from her book to see what all the fuss was about, something Draco greatly admired about her.

 

Waiting, Draco watched as the toad-like woman handed the scroll over to the headmaster; the atmosphere in the Great Hall became uneasy as the students watched with baited breath. Albus unrolled the parchment with agonising slowness, all the students waiting tensely as he read the contents with an increasing look of distaste. Dumbledore seemed to have gone slightly rigid as he took in the words written there and though Draco did not usually side with the headmaster on a great many things, anyone against the Dark Lord had his support, at least momentarily.

 

“It seems that we have an addition to our staff,” Dumbledore said, a false smile gracing his lips. He had too much on his mind to concern himself with the Ministry official. “Dolores Umbridge will be joining us from the Ministry of Magic as our High Inquisitor.”

 

Dumbledore was not a man who like to have his hand forced, on the contrary, he liked to be in control of everything. To be handed some parchment that declared that to go against this woman meant a spell in Azkaban did not sit well with him in the least. It seemed however that he would have no choice. If he hadn’t had other things on his mind then perhaps he would have had the mental capacity to challenge this, to protect his precious school. However, as it was, he needed to concentrate on Harry Potter and the damned horcruxes that Tom had created.

 

Umbridge could be dealt with later, she mattered very little in the grand scheme of things. If Voldemort was behind her turning up here, which Albus suspected that he was, then there wasn’t much he could do until they revealed their hand, then he could act accordingly. To openly defy the ministry, when so much of the wizarding world remained oblivious to the Dark Lord’s control there, would only complicate things further and potentially compromise his position as headmaster. After the death of Neville and Ginny his position was already precarious. Losing his title of headmaster of Hogwarts was not something he could ever allow to happen. However he felt certain that it was no coincidence that Umbridge was here just as he had managed to locate the true boy-who-lived and had formed plans to have him attend Hogwarts; even if he hadn’t identified the connection as of yet. Albus Dumbledore didn’t believe in coincidences.

 

Draco frowned at the announcement the headmaster had made. High Inquisitor sounded like some bogus made up crap to him. It was clear however that Dumbledore was having his arm twisted. Whatever the parchment had contained had stopped him from kicking the Umbridge woman and her Deatheater cronies out of the castle without a second thought; which honestly was what Draco had been anticipating. Shame, he thought to himself, seeing the Carrows and some ministry hag forced from the castle might have brightened what was looking to be a rather miserable day.

 

On top of that the fact, that they were being allowed to stay did not sit well with him or the plan that he had. Fixing the cabinet in the Room of Requirement was supposed to be an escape route for his mother and soon to be born little brother. Hogwarts was supposed to be a safe haven but apparently not, it seemed that even the school was going to fall. He was starting to think that there was no where left that they would be able to run. His mother held out hope that there was still a boy-who-lived out there someone, ready and waiting to save the day. Draco couldn’t hold that foolish hope however, he was under no delusion. There was no hero waiting in the wings ready to ride in and save the day. If he wanted to survive this and keep the family that mattered to him safe then he was going to have to figure out how on his own. Lacking a better plan he would continue on the path he was on and find the cabinet and fix it.

 

Not desiring to bear witness to this scene any longer, now that the potential for entertainment or useful information had passed, he got to his feet. His friends querying where he was going but Draco paid them no mind. He had no interest in their inane questions. He was aware of the control that Voldemort had over the Ministry, even if the rest of the wizarding world still remained oblivious to it. Tom was getting closer to taking control of Hogwarts and if that happened he had no idea if there would be any hope for the side of the Light.

 

He thought of his mother, who had put so much faith in Severus Snape and the baby he disappeared with. She thought that that child could save them all. Draco held no such optimism; he couldn’t understand why they would rest their hopes on some boy. Harry Potter, if he could even be found, would, after all, only be the same age as he was. All Draco could afford to think of was surviving and ensuring that his mother and baby brother lived through this as well. He didn’t care about the rest of the world, the Dark Lord could curse it all for all he cared, as long as he could protect his family. Lucius however could suffer with the rest of the world, as could his lunatic of an Aunt for all he cared, his sympathy for her only stretching so far.

 

He took his leave from the Great Hall, not looking back, instead heading straight down to the dungeons. He intended to write to his mother at once and inform her of the developments at the school. They could tell each other nothing of substance just in case the letters were ever intercepted or discovered but at least he could inform her of what was going on. If he told her about Umbridge and the Carrows she would understand how concerned he was about Voldemort not trusting him, she would be able to read between the lines. At least he hoped that she would be able to.

 

Hogwarts was not going to be a pleasant place for anyone to be this year. The sooner he could escape, and take his mother and brother with him, the better. This world didn’t need a hero, it needed a damn miracle now. No one person could save them now, no matter how great he was supposed to be.

 

FGHP

 

Following their catch up session Callie and Damon joined the others around the fire. It was a little awkward given that it was really up to Fenrir to introduce them all, but Damon was able to figure out who most of them were, easily putting the names to faces thanks to everything his sister had told him in the correspondence they had managed over the years. The information had also been relayed to Clayton who had loved the letters from his Aunt. It was Harry that everyone was really curious about.

 

Things were uneasy seeing as with the addition of three new wolves the hierarchy of the pack had fallen into disarray and it needed to be re-established. Damon sat and waited for Fenrir to make the first move in this regard and while he waited he surveyed the two young boys. He had never seen Clayton and Harry so quiet and at peace when together. It was perhaps a sign of how shaken up the two of them were by the whole ordeal.

 

It took little more than an hour before Fenrir was unable to put off explaining any longer. He had become increasingly agitated over that time, as his pack scented just how unique Harry was and started whispering amongst themselves; wondering how he had come to be brought here. Micha was particularly interested in the little submissive wolf.

 

Micha’s reaction to the stranger they had met in town two days ago had shown Fenrir that he was certainly interested in men, which meant he would no doubt be interested in Harry too, after catching his scent. The Alpha was going to make it perfectly clear exactly whom Harry belonged to and he was going to have to assert that dominance over him fairly quickly. Until he did Fenrir was aware that Harry was technically fair game; not that he thought any members of his pack would be stupid enough to try something.

 

The two teenagers hadn’t moved more than inch since they had sat down in front of the fire. Damon had draped some of the animal hides around the two of them to ensure that they were warm in the chilly early September weather and Fenrir was distinctly aware that his little mate had been silently crying.

 

The Alpha hadn’t gone to Harry, as he had wanted to though, as he wasn’t entirely capable at dealing with tears; they were not a sign of emotion that he was accustomed to or entirely comfortable with. It hadn’t taken long for Harry to cry himself to sleep, while resting against Clayton and the older of the two teenagers was obviously more than content to remain sat, unmoving and let his friend get the rest he so desperately needed.

 

Fenrir took the opportunity while Harry dozed to gather his pack around the fire and attempt to explain what was going on, though he had no desire to share with them who Damon suspected the boy was. It wasn’t their business if he was Harry Potter or a sodding Hippogriff. Fenrir had chosen to wait until his mate was asleep to explain because he didn’t want to scare him with what he had to say to the rest of the Pack. Harry didn’t need to know what he was going to tell the rest of them just yet.

 

The entire pack all looked to the Alpha expectantly as he stood up, ready to talk to them. Jenson sat with Callie nestled between his legs, one of his arms wrapped around her protectively and the other around Romy who was at their side. Micha had taken a seat closer to Clayton and Harry but positioning himself so that he would have a good view of the raven haired teenager who rested so peacefully. The Alpha and Damon both remained standing; the beta wolf just slightly behind Fenrir like a bodyguard, glaring at his sister’s boyfriend, his position as second command settling easily in the minds of the others just by the position they stood in.

 

"That's Damon, that's Clay, they've been in the pack since the start, they were charged with watching Harry, he's mine; you do not touch him, you do not bother him. You protect him; that is all. He is mine!" Fenrir had motioned to each of the pack mates as he had mentioned them before casting a fond glance over Harry, which he ensured did not linger too long on the sleeping teenager. “He was raised by wizards and will not be accustomed to pack life so he may need time to … adjust. You will help him do this.”

 

The pack members were all too used to Fenrir and his bluntness for the way he spoke to bother them. They took it in their stride, accepting the rather poor introductions that were offered by their Alpha; now that it had been covered they could figure out the rest amongst themselves. They were just happy that he had said anything to them about it at all, Fenrir wasn’t known for his way with words.

 

Micha, who had been unable to take his eyes from Harry, heeded the intended warning that they had all been given and turned his attention away from the slumbering teenager. This new Harry kid was attractive and he couldn’t help the envy he had felt when he had watched him curl up next to the other teen but with the Alpha’s warning, he knew he would have to put such ideas behind him and move on. What he didn’t know was that his jealous feelings were not that different from those Fenrir was battling with.

 

The Alpha would never admit to these feelings, of course, nor would he show any outward sign of them; he was too proud for that and he had enough common sense to know that Clay was no real threat in competition for Harry’s affections. Even if Damon hadn’t assured him that the two boys were just friends he would have known this.

 

Fenrir could not shake of the thought of his mate being Harry Potter, despite his insistence to his beta that it didn’t matter. Though even Damon had to admit that this was not a sure thing; they didn’t have any evidence of it being true. But he had an uneasy feeling in his gut that they would soon find out one way or another, and his gut was rarely ever wrong on these matters.

 

Though if the boy was meant to be dead then surely no one could come looking for him. Even the man who had raised him, pretending to be his father, was supposedly gone now. The teenager had no one else, except for the pack. They were his family, as Fenrir had always intended them to be. Harry wouldn’t need anyone else in his life. If someone did come looking for him then Fenrir was determined that he would protect what was his at all costs; he would kill anyone that dared try and take it from him. He wouldn’t lose another mate, not for any reason.

 

FGHP

 

It was a very strange sensation being levitated and Black was not exactly being careful about it either. It felt particularly odd because he had no control at all over any muscle in his body. That horrendous spell that Dumbledore had cast had left him without a scrap of control and at the mercy of those around him. He already loathed it. However not having control over his own body was not what bothered him the most.

 

It was the feeling in his chest that infected the very core of him. It seemed to absorb happiness, destroying every good feeling he had. He clung desperately to the memories he had of Harry, knowing that no amount of spells or curses would ever rid him of these but they were becoming harder to remember all ready. It was as if no joy or contentment could survive inside of him anymore. His heart swelled with the love he felt for his son, the need to protect him at any given cost but even that, he could feel it starting to ebb. Soon he would have nothing left.

 

Wherever he had been taken it was dark, grimy and miserable; not that he could see much more than the tops of the walls and the ceilings; but even the musty smell that had greeted his nostrils alone would have made him detest the place. The fact that Dumbledore was having him moved at all was extremely worrying, it implied an intent to keep him around for some time and if this was the state they intended to keep him in, then Severus was not looking forward to the coming months. Sorrow and fear slowly replacing any compassion or desire he had had. Sapping his last remnants of hope from him. The spell acted fast, it couldn’t have been more than a day since he had been placed under the curse.

 

He thought of Harry, wondering if he had been able to get away; fearing that at this very moment he could be being manipulated by the elderly wizard, who always seemed to believe that he was acting for the greater good of all wizard kind. In actual fact, Severus was sure that he simply had delusions of grandeur. However thinking bitterly of the old man would not help him now. None of his thoughts would help him now. He was at the mercy of Sirius Black and there was no one here to hold him back.

 

“Oh look at your lovely new home, Snivellus,” Black’s irritating voice mocked, relishing in the torment he could deliver to his childhood rival on a whim. “This room used to be my father’s office. It has such… fond memories for me,” he said with blatant sarcasm. “Destroying his precious desk was fun though, admittedly.”

 

Severus would have rolled his eyes, if he had been able to; the man’s ramblings were going to drive him insane quicker than the damned spell the headmaster had cast. He wouldn’t actually put it passed Dumbledore to have foreseen that and arranged his prison guard accordingly. Though, he thought, it better that Black be here with him than out there with Harry. The man had spent far too much time in the company of dementors; Severus didn’t want him anywhere near his son.

 

“I was picturing your face when I blasted the desk to pieces, you know,” Sirius informed him, it was the only way I could keep myself from slitting your throat for what you have done to my godson. But I promised Dumbledore that I would keep you alive … for now.”

 

Severus was twisted in the air, until he was righted again and then manoeuvring into a chair, his limbs being bent viciously to the will of Black. He couldn’t see his deranged captor, who was presumably behind him. Being unable to turn his head to watch the demented lunatic was making him anxious; not that his nerves weren’t already completely on edge from the whole experience. He doubted he would be able to feel anything by the time this was over and he dreaded losing the love he felt for Harry and even Lily.

 

He had no choice but to stare at the faded and peeling wallpaper in front of him and already he was wishing he had been turned a few degrees to his right, so that he could at least have passed a little time reading the titles from the shelves of the books that he could just about see from the corner of his eye. At least that way he might have been able to escape his own mind for a short period of time. He had read a lot about being around dementors, he knew all the techniques that the books advised upon. Focus on facts not emotions, distract the mind. The effects of the spell seemed disturbingly similar to the fear, sadness and horror that the dementors ignited. He needed to stay strong or make the choice to give up and allow his body to slowly cease to function. Already the latter was a tempting option, but he wouldn’t want Harry to see him like that; a broken man, unable to love.

 

He was vaguely aware of Black speaking again, but given it would likely be more of the same taunts and mocking jeers that he had been hearing his whole life, Severus made a point to ignore him. He wasn’t desperate enough to distract himself with anything Sirius Black had to say, at least not yet. Though he feared that he would be desperate enough sooner rather than later.

 

Seemingly as punishment for not paying attention, though how Sirius could have known was beyond Snape, a fist hit him in the side of the head. Unable to control his own body he fell from the chair, hitting the floor with a resounding crash, his arms and legs at awkward and uncomfortable angles that had Black laughing uncontrollably. Anger and humiliation flooded through Severus as he lay on the floor, unable to move. Hatred for Black made him want to scream, as a kick was delivered to his ribs. What kind of a coward was this pathetic excuse for a wizard to beat a man unable to defend himself? It wasn’t much of a comforting thought but it was the best he had as the blows continued to fall.

Chapter Text

Chapter Six

 

Harry slept through that first day in the territory and then right through the night as well. Fenrir found himself jealous of the fact that he was snuggled against Clay, who didn’t move the entire time that Harry slept. However this closeness between the two of them didn’t stretch beyond the moment Harry woke up. He had been in the pack now for four days and he had made no effort to communicate or interact with the others; not even Damon or Clay, who he should have trusted.

Fenrir had already left it longer than he had intended to, in regards to the werewolf he had run into by accident in town. He needed to track him down but he was nervous about leaving Harry.

Clearly the young werewolf had been through a lot but his behaviour was concerning. Clayton, who was supposed to be Harry’s best friend, had been ignored in favour of slinking off into the woodland and brooding alone. Fenrir was glad that the boy at least had enough sense to stay just within sight of the clearing, otherwise he would have been out there dragging his mate back; no matter how much time and space Harry needed to adjust. Whenever Harry returned to the clearing however it was obvious that he had been crying, but when Damon had tried to talk to him about it, Harry had just glared at him in defiance before walking away again without saying a word.

If this behaviour continued for much longer, then Fenrir was going to have to step in; however right now he had other things on his mind and was happy to let Harry come to terms with things on his own, at least for the time being. It was a good sign that he was eating and taking care of himself; it was his attitude that was the problem and the notable fact that he seemed to have no respect for the structure of the pack; which Fenrir found most curious.

Fenrir had to remind himself that even though Harry had been a werewolf since before he was two years old, he had never had any experience with being in a pack. It made Fenrir wonder as to how the young boy had spent the full moons. Damon and Clay had never come across another wolf during their transformations. They would have informed him if they had. Harry had only just discovered the two of them were Werewolves the day they arrived in pack territory. The Alpha had found this hard to believe because Harry should have been able to scent them out for what they were. Damon had had no answers to give him on that front, he just informed his Alpha what he knew the be true.

Resigning himself to the fact that he couldn’t wait another day before going into town, Fenrir decided that he would have to just get it over with and try and retrieve the mysterious werewolf, lest he tried to leave the area completely. If the strange, young wolf had left the area, Fenrir had decided that he wouldn’t bother tracking him. He didn’t have the time or the inclination to leave Harry for longer than was necessary.

The Alpha wolf pulled Damon aside one morning after breakfast was finished; he was eyeing Harry with concern as he leant against the trunk of a tree picking at his bowl of porridge with very little interest in actually eating it. “I need to go into town,” he grunted, not actually looking at his beta. He was still second guessing the decision to leave, when Harry had so recently joined them.

“Will you be gone long?” Damon asked, following Fenrir’s gaze and realising where his Alpha’s thoughts lay.

“No,” Fenrir returned bluntly.

“I’ll make sure he’s safe Alpha,” Damon said, knowing that this was what his Alpha needed to hear. He wasn’t about to take risks with either of his boys, he’d been watching over the two male pups since they had arrived back in their territory; honestly he had been watching them since they were small kids, he wasn’t about to stop now. He was very protective over both of them, just as Callie had said, Daddy Damon.

Fenrir gave a curt in acknowledgement, knowing that he didn’t have anything to worry about. Though the uneasy feeling sitting in his gut wouldn’t leave him regardless. He trusted Damon but his inner wolf didn’t want to leave his mate alone when he clearly didn’t feel safe or happy, it went against every instinct he had in his body.

Damon watched as his Alpha headed off towards the boundary of the territory at a quick pace; he took another glance at Harry to make sure he hadn’t wandered off again, before turning his eyes to his adoptive son. Clay, in comparison to Harry, had adjusted remarkably quickly to pack life; getting along well with Micha, who seemed to be an older version of himself, and even showing a slight interest in Romy who was remarkably resistant to his well-practiced charms.

Jenson had given the flirtatious young man a very harsh look when he had seen Clay try it on with the young girl, not that that had deterred Clay in the least. Clayton had always known that he would end up in the pack, surrounded by others that were like him. Harry, on the other hand, had not. He had grown up with only his father to guide him, his monthly transformations an inconvenience to them rather than a blessing and a joy as they were in the pack. It was no surprise that Harry had reacted in this way, when he had been flung so far from the life he had once known; it wasn’t helping matters that he was also in mourning for sudden death of his father too.

With his reluctance to leave his newly reunited pack and mate, whom he had not yet fully claimed, Fenrir had decided that even though he loathed it, he would apparate from the edge of the territory. If he had had the time then he would have run but it would take him a good hour to literally run to town and he needed to save the time it would take so that he could return to Harry sooner.

It would of course mean that he would have a lot less patience than he had intended when dealing with the new wolf. He had hoped to go after him with a level head, especially after the reaction he’d received the last time, however that was not going to be possible, not with Harry struggling as much as he was. If anything he was infuriated at the strange wolf that had the familial link to him. He should have just come back to the pack the first time he had been asked, rather than running off.

The moment he got past the edge of their territory and the wards that protected them he focused himself, preparing to apparate. This method of transportation never felt right to him. He was a big guy and the feeling of being compressed into a tight, air locked tube, always made him feel uncomfortable. He preferred the freedom of running, it mattered very little to him what form he took when he did it. Whether in human or wolf form he had always loved to run.

Arriving at the edge of town with a crack, Fenrir took a deep breath. He told himself that he was trying to catch the scent of the wolf he was tracking whose smell he had committed to memory, however this was only part of the reason. The magical travel always made him a little unsteady on his feet, especially after not having done it for a while.

If the wolf was still here then he clearly didn’t stray this far out of town as there was no trace of his scent here. Fenrir took off at a brisk pace towards the centre of town where they had first bumped into him with hope that he would get a better sense of where to look from there.

FGHP

Lukas Faris hadn’t felt quite right since he had been so rudely accosted by the large werewolf. He had gone to great lengths to conceal what he was to the outside world, only his parents knew that he was a werewolf. Ever since he had been bitten when he was five years old he had had to shy away from others, fearful of their reactions. Not that he minded this too much, he found that he rather enjoyed his own company and that of fictional characters in the many books he read. It was also how he had discovered his great love of numbers.

Though he did often wonder what it would be like to have friends, even a proper family. His own had never really accepted him fully after he had been bitten. They had learnt to cope with his curse and they’d never turned him away but he knew that he had been treated differently because of it. Almost as if his parents had been afraid of him, of catching the curse he carried if they got too close.

He was content in his life now. He owned his own home, his own vehicle, one he was immensely proud of and he had a steady income with his work as an Arithmancer as well. He didn’t see his parents much but that wasn’t too much of an inconvenience as they had never been close. Of course in his basement he had a safe room where he would lock himself in once a month on the full moon but aside from that he couldn’t complain.

Meeting the other werewolf had startled him. He’d never crossed paths with another of his kind before now. He shied away from the wizarding world, all his work came to him via owl. When he had settled in Brucknell a few months back he hadn’t expected to have any contact with those like him or any other magical folk either. Now however he had a problem and it had kept him up at night, worrying about whether or not the brash and rather rude werewolf would come back and try again.

Lukas sighed tiredly, with a wave of his ten inch, walnut and unicorn hair wand his newly completed paperwork folded itself up and tucked itself into an envelope ready for sending. He was officially finished, though with another stack coming to him this afternoon he was going to use his free time wisely. He had a book he would have liked to finish and then grab a couple of hours sleep before the next owl arrived. He loved his work, it was his passion but there were times such as these where he would have preferred to escape into the world of books and fiction where he didn’t have to think about his own life.

Just as Lukas had settled in his favourite armchair by the fire, mug of freshly brewed tea beside him and book in hand, there came a rather loud and insistent knocking on the front door. He groaned, tempted to ignore it and hope they went away. However after a moment of silence the loud, irritating sound came again and he knew that he wasn’t going to escape that easily.

Putting down his tea and book, he got up to go and investigate the reason his peaceful morning was being so rudely interrupted. Swinging open the front door he immediately tried to close it again, regretting not checking through the peephole to see who it was first.

On his doorstep was a large man, the same man who had confronted him in town almost a week ago, clearly a werewolf and an Alpha one at that. He’d put his foot inside the door to prevent it from being closed on him.

“We need to talk,” the Alpha wolf grunted; Lukas gave him an apprehensive look though he knew that he didn’t stand a chance of getting rid of the other man without first hearing him out. He’d barely stepped to one side before the stranger came inside.

Lukas looked at him in disdain, the other werewolf looked far too large to be in his tiny cottage. Clearly over six foot four, his head brushed the ceiling, his broad shoulders, clad in brown leather, almost didn’t fit through the doorframe. The jacket he wore over a bare chest had certainly seen better days, but then everything about him had that air about it, from his well-worn working boots and faded jeans to his untidy mass of blonde hair that he had tied back out of the way.

“Tea?” Lukas offered automatically, his manors kicking in, though his tone was more that of exasperation than actual politeness. Fenrir looked stunned at the offer and shook his head, an offer for tea had not been what he was expecting upon barging into this man’s home uninvited.

“I want you to join my pack,” Fenrir said bluntly as he was offered a seat on the sofa. Lukas was determined to at least be cordial to this man as he declined him. He watched as the Alpha wolf perched upon the sofa, acting as if his weight alone would crush the old piece of furniture, which it might well have done as it was a few years past its expiration date.

Lukas sat back in his favourite armchair and surveyed the man with interest. He could at least see that he was trying to be more tactful than he had been the last time they had met. However he didn’t even know his name, it was as if pleasantries just weren’t worth his time somehow or he had better things to be doing.

"It’s nice to meet you, my name is Lukas Faris,” he said pointedly, offering out his hand to shake. The Alpha glared at him, his teeth clenched as he struggled to keep a hold on the threads of his limited patience.

“Fenrir Greyback,” he responded gruffly, taking the hand and shaking it roughly.

“I’m honoured you want me to join your pack but I don’t think I’m interested Mr Greyback,” Lukas said as he withdrew his hand and settled himself in his armchair, trying to keep himself confident and poised when he felt neither.

“You were bitten by one that I sired, your place is with us,” Fenrir said and this caught Lukas’ attention. He had said this before, when they had first met but it hadn’t really registered then, not really. He couldn’t be sure that he had heard him right but it had been undeniable this time.

“I don’t know the person who bit me. I was five years old at the time and have no recollection of the incident. Whoever turned me never came back, my parents adjusted and we learnt to cope. I have no interest in joining a pack; I have a home, a job and I am perfectly happy here.”

“Keep the job, the house. Joining the pack won’t change anything other than your loyalty will be to us.”

Lukas looked at Fenrir sceptically. He had heard that a lot of werewolves were being recruited by Deatheaters to join the Dark Lord, it was part of the reason he had fled from London and settled here. He had no desire to join the forces of darkness anytime soon, he knew he wouldn’t have the stomach for it and he had no inclination to follow that path in life.

“Do you as Alpha have another master?” Lukas asked sceptically, not wanting to offend Fenrir by asking outright if he was in league with Tom Riddle who was currently recruiting as many as possible to join his cause before he made his move. The papers had been filled with speculation about his movements and strange disappearances.

At the question Fenrir’s eyes narrowed but he found that he oddly respected him for having the guts it took to ask. “I have been free from him for almost fourteen years and have no intention of allowing him to dictate anything to my pack.”

Lukas nodded, taking in the information that was given. Clearly Fenrir Greyback was a man of few words, something that he found endearing. “How big is your pack?”

“You will bring our numbers to nine,” Fenrir informed him, startled at the ease of the conversation. He had expected more resistance, for the man to run again. Clearly the time between encounters had given him a chance to consider things.

“And if I refuse?”

Fenrir growled at his question, not liking the idea that the man was considering refusing the offer. “I will leave but I include this town as part of my territory, if you remain here then you will be part of the pack.”

Lukas considered this for a moment, “I’ll be able to still work and retain my residence?” Fenrir nodded in annoyance, he had already said that and he didn’t like to repeat himself. “And what about full moons?”

“You will transform with the rest of the pack and spend the full moon with us, that is non-negotiable,” Fenrir said firmly.

“How do you prevent us from hurting humans if you allow us to run free?” Lukas asked with genuine curiosity, he had always locked himself away. The idea of running free, giving in to his animalistic tendencies scared him a little. He had never allowed his wolf to run free or to hunt, too scared that he might hurt someone.

“My pack has never hunted a human during the full moon. I am a good Alpha, I wouldn’t allow for it to happen,” Fenrir growled with some warning, not liking that his competence as the leader of the pack was being challenged. Lukas however seemed to ignore the offended tone and nodded.

“And if I agree to come with you?”

“We will leave now and apparate to our territory. It is not far from here. You will need to meet the rest of the Pack.” Lukas considered this for a moment, thinking of the owl currently winging its way to him with several days’ worth of work contained in its delivery.

“I will be free to come and go as I please, to work and such?”

“It would be better for you to sleep in pack territory, full moons you must spend with us but otherwise yes, I have another wolf who also works, the same rules apply to him.”

Lukas had had no intention of joining with this man. However the prospect of moving again, constantly on the lookout for Deatheaters, it lacked any appeal to it. He could see that Fenrir Greyback could offer him protection from all of that and still allow him some elements of freedom while he maintained his old life.

“If it doesn’t work out …” Lukas began hesitantly, “You’ll let me leave?”

“I do not run a prison camp!” he bit out with hostility in his voice. Lukas could see that he had clearly over-stepped the mark with that question.

“Sorry,” he said and genuinely meant it too. “I’ll come with you; I’ll give it a chance.”

FGHP

Damon had been watching Harry as he had sat by the fire, curled into a ball, having made himself as small as physically possible. His eyes were red rimmed from his tears but it seemed he had even run out of energy to cry now. He just sat, unmoving, staring into the embers of the fire, lost in thought.

Clay had attempted to sit with him an hour before but hadn’t received so much as a nod or any other form of acknowledgement that he had made any effort at all. Damon hated how badly Harry’s withdrawal was affecting his adopted son. Clay loved Micha, whom he had bonded with instantly, but he was not Harry. The two teens had grown up together, causing countless numbers of sleepless nights for Damon, and no doubt for Severus too, with their antics. It was strange to see the two of them being anything less than best friends.

He was distracted by his thoughts when a crack ripped through the air, signalling someone had apparated into the territory. The sharp sound caught everyone’s attention, including Harry. The entire pack was suddenly on their feet in case they were required to defend their territory from the intruder. Harry on the other hand just turned his head to the source of the noise and upon seeing that it was their Alpha, just turned his attention back to the fire, uncaring.

The rest of the pack visibly relaxed at the sight of Fenrir returning, all suddenly curious about the new werewolf that trailed behind him looking a little overwhelmed. Micha was the only one to recognize him of course and again he liked what he saw. Just as he had when he had first encountered him, from his short, curly chestnut hair to his slight build, at least what was considered slight for a werewolf.

Without a word from the Alpha everyone gravitated toward the fire so that they could be introduced. Unlike when Damon, Clayton and Harry had arrived, Fenrir wouldn’t go long without introductions. He had gone out to specifically acquire this wolf for the pack, the other three had arrived unannounced, a whole year before they should have done.

 

“This is Lukas,” Fenrir said, “He’ll be joining us from now on.” Everyone nodded and then realised that that was all they were going to get from their Alpha as he motioned for Damon to come with him. They would have to make their own introductions individually it would seem but no one considered this to be odd, it was just Fenrir’s way.

Fenrir stalked off toward the far end of the clearing so that he could talk to his Beta privately while remaining in eyesight of the pack. Partly to make sure no one bullied or scared the newest member into leaving straight away but also because he wanted to be able to see Harry.

“He’s been fine,” Damon said before Fenrir could ask, “he doesn’t appear to be crying anymore but he still isn’t talking to anyone.”

“Has anyone tried?” Fenrir asked. He was pleased that his mate no longer cried, he really didn’t feel comfortable dealing with tears as there wasn’t much he could do about them. He liked to be faced with problems he could solve, not ones that made him feel powerless. However, from the look of Harry. he was more like a statue than anything else, withdrawn into himself, tranquil and uncaring almost as if he had just given up and was waiting to shut down.

“Clay did earlier, Harry didn’t even acknowledge him. The only time he moves is to eat. I’m worried about him; he doesn’t appear to be dealing with the loss of his father very well. I don’t think he understands why and, to be honest, neither do I; all we can do is guess.”

“What do you suggest then?” Fenrir asked, he hated to see his mate in so much pain. He had hoped that once Harry joined the pack when he turned sixteen that he would be happy with the new life he was offered, apparently it wasn’t going to be that easy. Perhaps he was going to have to consider the possibility of looking into who the child had been before Severus had taken him. He wanted his mate to have peace of mind, which would mean he would need answers. Also, Fenrir could admit that it would be good to know why Aurors wanted him in the first place.

“I could look into it if you would like. We have some names and some assumptions. I could start there.” Damon suggested and Fenrir considered this for a moment, looking over to where Micha seemed to be shamelessly flirting with Lukas, before nodding and switching his gaze back to Harry, who hadn’t moved, though seemed to be surveying the new pack member with something close to interest.

FGHP

Harry cast a cursory glance over the new man that Fenrir had brought back, wondering how often this happened, the Alpha bringing back new wolves for the pack. He seemed nice enough, though unlike some of the others he appeared less bulky and more serious. It amused Harry slightly to see that Micha was flirting with him, completely unabashed. Romy hung back a little behind Callie, clearly shy of new people, as Jenson went forward confidently to shake his hand. Clayton not far behind him in greeting the newcomer. Harry however was not in the mood to be welcoming and didn’t make any attempt to go and say hello.

Fenrir and Damon returned to the group soon after but neither of them bothered Harry, which he was glad of. He was more than content to just sit and think. He knew that it had been Aurors that they’d found in his home when they’d returned and he couldn’t understand why Ministry of Magic Aurors would want to hurt his dad. Though it had seemed that they were after him rather than his father and that was something else that confused him.

His dad had ensured that they wouldn’t get to him and there must have been a reason for that. He knew nothing of the Dark Lord that had been mentioned in the letter or what it meant that he had murdered his mother. Harry hated not knowing, he hated being stuck here and he hated that he felt so small and useless. He would have given anything to be back in his own bed with everything back to normal but he was realistic enough to know that that wasn’t likely to happen.

One thing was for sure though and that was that Harry wanted to go back to his house. He wanted to get some of his things from there but he knew that he couldn’t go alone. Not if there were Aurors out there after him. He may not have felt much like talking to any of the pack but he was not foolish enough to consider going alone. He might have risked it with Clay by his side but he was still feeling slightly betrayed by his supposed best friend and didn’t want to ask. He would have to bite the bullet and ask Damon, the only other person in the pack that he really knew.

FGHP

It felt like an age since he had been in such a good mood; the past few years had been cause for concern and frequent worry, but not anymore. Dumbledore felt nothing short of relieved that everything was finally looking as though it might work out as he had always planned. Having confirmed that Harry was indeed alive was a great relief; it would have been such a nuisance having to find or train some other weapon to defeat Tom with. However, with his current speculation regarding the diary with which Tom had returned, it was always more probable that Harry was alive, though that was only if his theory was correct.

Finding Harry with Severus, however, was not something he had expected. Dumbledore had wondered occasionally over the years if that was what had happened, but it still surprised him. He had halfway hoped that Severus had been so distraught over the death of his precious Lily that he had died. He had never truly considered that he would steal her child and have, what seemed to be, an attempt at a paternal relationship with the boy. It was most peculiar, though admittedly useful to him.

He smiled a self-satisfied smirk as he dipped his flamboyant quill into his well of emerald green ink and went to lower it to the parchment. The realisation that he wasn’t quite sure how to address the letter gave him pause. Severus had mentioned that the boy went by Harry Prince now, however the headmaster refused to acknowledge that more than absolutely necessary. Best to start as he meant to go on, he decided. ‘Dear Mr Harry Potter,’ he wrote. Prince wasn’t his name and Harry would have to get used to being a Potter again.

He gave himself a moment to revel in the joy of having being able to write that; he was going to bring this boy to heel and it would all work out perfectly, just as he had planned it; on that he was certain. Dumbledore wasn’t sure, though, if Harry even knew that he was a Potter, so he supposed some basic explanations were in order. The gentle scratching of the nib against the parchment was soothing to him as his looping handwriting told Harry of his birth name. He made a point not to include many details, of course; it wouldn’t do to shatter the boy’s belief in Severus as his father just when that could be used to their advantage.

It had been ten days since the first day of the new school year, when the order had broken into the house in Ingleton. Dumbledore was so pleased with how well the spell was holding on Severus; not bad for the first time it had truly be used. He was admittedly curious as to how long Severus’ sanity would hold out. Not that it was of much consequence; Harry would surely still want to save his previous ‘father’ regardless of his mental state. Dumbledore was still hopeful it wouldn’t come to that and that the boy would agree to attend of his own free will, which would make the whole thing a good deal more pleasant. Not that it mattered either way, if Harry wouldn’t cooperate then Albus didn’t have any qualms about forcing the boys hand.

Turning his attention back to the letter once more he continued to write, forming his words with precise care and attention.

‘Due to the lack of a formal tutor I have been informed by the Ministry of Magic that you currently require a place at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, so as to complete your magical education. It is therefore with great pleasure that I, as Headmaster of this fine institution, have agreed to grant you a place, starting on the 3rd January 1996, where you will start in your fifth year.’

He was, of course, doing it out of the kindness of his heart, he thought sarcastically with a little chuckle to himself at his joke. When this was over the wizarding world would see Albus Dumbledore as a hero, a great man. He hated that his fall from grace had been caused by the death of two eleven year olds, one of whom he thought might have taken Harry’s place. He was a great wizard and deserved to be recognized as such. He would have that again and Harry would be the one to get it for him.

Oh how he loved it when people recognised their place in the world; he was happy to be back in control, his little pawns doing as he instructed them. He thought of Remus obediently watching the Prince house in Ingleton, just in case Harry chose to return; he thought of Tonks and Moody traipsing all over the country attempting to get an approximate location on wherever the unknown man that had attacked them had taken Harry. It was of little consequence really, but should Harry be foolish enough to deny him, or to try to vanish again, it would never hurt to have such information. Besides, he was simply curious.

Dumbledore added a large swirling and curling signature to the bottom of the letter and found a copy of the usual ‘required equipment’ list for fifth years. It was best to show assumption that Harry would attend and not let the boy believe that refusal was an option. Folding the two pieces of parchment together he slipped them into an envelope and sealed it closed with the Hogwarts seal. He had no address so simply scrawled ‘Harry Potter’ on the front; he paused but then added ‘/Prince’. It would hardly help anyone if the boy didn’t even open the letter at all.

He had already decided that he would take the letter and leave it in Harry’s old bedroom. It would be worth checking up on Remus as well anyway; that man had a penchant for thinking far too independently for Dumbledore’s liking. Hopefully it wouldn’t take too long, he had other places to be; he had a new possible location he wanted to visit before the day was out.

He got to his feet, and took the letter in his hand, as he made his way across his office, letting his fingers trail over the long yew and phoenix feather wand that was kept in a little specially made stand on his desk. Of course, no one knew the true significance of it; it was largely dismissed as one of Albus Dumbledore’s many eccentricities, but in truth it had belonged to one Tom Riddle. Dumbledore had always found it a comfort to keep it close to hand. It was the only way he could be sure it wasn’t being used to commit terrible atrocities; though apparently the monster had unsurprisingly found another, given the trouble he had been causing since his return.

He was glad that he had thought to connect house in Ingleton to the floo network, it really did make it far more convenient. Not dawdling any further, Dumbledore through floo powder into his personal fireplace and stepped through into the former home of Severus and Harry Prince.

FGHP

Harry had been in pack territory for a grand total of twelve miserable days. He had so far slept more than he should have done, eaten far less and spoken to no one. Today however he was going to get it over with; he was going to talk to Damon. He desperately wanted to go home; he wanted to see the house he had happily grown up in, with his father, it felt like he needed the proof that it had been real when he was now faced with the completely different life as part of a pack. He knew he wouldn’t be able stay there but he wanted to collect some of his more personal belongings. He was missing his dad and he needed to go back there to come to terms with what had happened; what had happened to both of them. More than anything he wanted a photo of him and his dad together, happy and smiling.

He took his chance when Damon was coming back from the stream after washing. He was alone and that was just how Harry wanted him. “Can I talk to you?” he asked with determination. Damon looked startled at being accosted so early in the morning. He hadn’t heard Harry speak since they had arrived there. Silently he nodded, dumping his stuff on the ground and motioning for Harry to follow him, figuring that the teenager would want some privacy; he could have asked Harry to wait but he didn’t want to discourage this breakthrough.

“What did you want talk about?” Damon asked with concern. He kept his voice soft and gentle, aware that the poor child was probably still struggling to cope with things.

“I want to go home,” Harry began.

“Harry….” Damon said in a comforting tone of sympathy; he hated that the first thing the young werewolf asked him for would have to be denied but Harry had to accept that this was his life now; there was no going back.

“I want to get some of my clothes, photos … please,” Harry went on. Even though this was the main motive for going there was something else too, something that he wouldn’t admit to. Severus had been brewing and giving him a heightened version of the wolfsbane potion every day of his life and since arriving here he had been failing to take it. He needed to go home and collect the store of it that his Dad had kept. If it would get him through to the next full moon then he would be grateful but then he would have to brew more; luckily though his dad had taught him how and he was more than competent in the art of potion making. He was the son of a potions master after all.

“I’m sorry, Harry …” Damon said and he genuinely sounded sympathetic. “It isn’t up to me.”

“Damon, please …” His wide emerald eyes were pleading.

“It isn’t my decision to make, little one, you’ll have to ask Fenrir.” Harry looked at him as if he had suggested he walk across broken glass or inject himself with silver. He didn’t want to talk to Fenrir and he certainly didn’t want to take the Alpha back to his home. In that moment he almost made the decision to go alone, Aurors be damned. However he knew he couldn’t be that reckless, not when his dad had died to keep him alive.

Turning on his heel in a grump he stormed off, Damon sighing in exasperation, shaking his head. At least Harry was talking again, that was a bonus. Whether or not he would actually go and talk to Fenrir was another matter entirely but it was certainly an improvement.

Harry threw himself down at the base of what was swiftly becoming his favourite tree, feeling entirely grumpy and kicking at the dirt beneath his feet. He was still wearing Clay’s shoes and clothes, not having any of his own which did nothing to improve his mood. It was like his whole identity was being deny to him and he wanted his own stuff. It infuriated him that Damon, a man who had been so important to him for so many years, was unwilling to help him.

“You okay?” a voice asked and harry’s head snapped up to see the newest member of the pack approaching him, two steaming mugs in his hand. Harry gave him an odd look; they hadn’t spoken a single word to each other since the other werewolf had arrived a week earlier. Harry shrugged in response; he wasn’t okay, not close to it, but it wasn’t like there was anything anyone, let alone this complete stranger, could do to help.

“Everyone’s worried about you,” Lukas told him as he handed Harry a cup of tea which was accepted gratefully and sat down beside him.

“Good for them,” Harry replied moodily glaring into his mug, and he felt a twinge of malicious pleasure at that; after all it was them who had brought him to this place against his will, even if he didn’t have anywhere else to go.

“You know, I didn’t want to be here either,” Lukas informed him, taking a sip of his drink as he gave Harry a moment to process this. “When Fenrir first approached me about being in a pack, it was honestly the last thing I wanted.”

“Then why are you here?” Harry asked, nursing his mug between his cold fingers, allowing the boiling liquid to warm them before taking a tentative sip; he wasn’t much of a tea drinker, but he did appreciate the gesture. Besides it meant he had something to focus on other than the person standing next to him.

“The world isn’t as nice as it used to be and it’s safer here than living on my own. Besides I was bitten by a man that was sired by Fenrir; apparently I belong here,” Lukas said as he shrugged his shoulders. He still felt doubts about some aspects of being part of the pack but for now, at least, the benefits outweighed the cons.

Harry snorted in amusement; it was not a sentiment that he could relate to because belonging there was definitely not something that he felt right now. He felt awkward and out of place, there was no feeling of belonging. He wasn’t even sure if he wanted to feel that, but he supposed that if he was going to have to stay with the pack long term, then it would, at least, help make it easier to cope with.

“Come on, drink up,” Lukas encouraged.

Harry glanced at him, not really sure what to make of him, but he sipped at the tea, as instructed, anyway. Admittedly the other werewolf could make a good cup of tea and he drank a little more before Lukas was apparently appeased and went on.

“He isn’t a bad guy you know,” Lukas said, “he’s a bit intimidating at first but he isn’t that bad.”

“I wouldn’t know,” Harry admitted, as he thought back. “He hasn’t spoken to me at all since I got here. Just looked at me a lot.”

Lukas couldn’t help but laugh, he had gathered from some of the others exactly why Fenrir looked at Harry as much as he did. It was clear however that Harry had no clue and he was not going to be the one to enlighten him. “Damon’s been telling me you’re an excellent student, how’s your Arithmancy?”

Harry shrugged his shoulders, “Okay I guess, it isn’t my favourite subject but my Dad taught me. He said it would be useful for me to know it. He got me up to N.E.W.T level last year.”

“That’s impressive that you’re at N.E.W.T level already, how old are you?”

“Fifteen,” Harry said with a shrug of his shoulders.

“And your dad taught you at home?” Lukas asked kindly.

“Yeah, he didn’t want me to go away to school, he was worried about the full moons so he decided to teach me at home.” Harry explained, his mind going back over the hours they had spent studying together, “He was great,” Harry added a fond smile on his lips. For a moment he thought he was going to cry, but he distracted himself with another sip of tea.

“You and your dad were close then?”

“Yeah, we were,” Harry said sadly, “He died right before I came here.”

“I’m sorry, he sounds as if he was a great man.”

“He was,” And then after a moment of deliberation he added, “I miss him.” It was more open and honest than he had been with anyone. Opening up to Lukas however seemed easier than talking to anyone else. Perhaps it was because he didn’t really know him, which made it less intense, but whatever the reason Harry felt a little better for admitting it.

“Do you have a picture of him?” Lukas asked him and watched sadly as Harry shook his head.

“I want to go and get one, as well as a few other things, but Damon says I have to ask Fenrir. I haven’t got anything of my own here,” Harry grumbled unhappily.

“I’m sure Fenrir won’t mind going with you if it means that much to you,” Lukas said with a wry smile. He didn’t have a mate but he had read enough about werewolves to know that once they found their mate they would do anything to keep them content and happy, and they would never leave them either. Lukas found it hilarious that the Alpha hadn’t even come to talk to the teenager yet, but that was not his business and he wasn’t about to get involved in their relationship or lack thereof. “He really isn’t a bad guy you know, you should talk to him.”

Harry looked to Lukas, reevaluating the thoughts he had had on the man after first seeing him. He had thought that he looked serious and a little unhappy but now he saw that the man had a kind heart. “I will,” Harry said giving Lukas a weak smile which was returned in kind before the older of the two climbed to his feet. “Oh and thank you for the tea,” Harry added quickly.

Lukas grinned, “No problem, little one.”

FGHP

Fenrir had watched with curiosity as Lukas had managed to entice Harry into a conversation with something as simple as a cup of tea. As soon as he had realised that his mate had spoken to Damon he had summoned his Beta too him and asked what it had been regarding. Harry had still not spoken to him or vice versa.

“I told him to talk to you,” Damon said, “But he wants to go home and collect a few things.”

“Understandable,” Fenrir grunted.

“Indeed,” Damon said, “Though perhaps not a good idea, Aurors will no doubt be watching the house and you are a wanted man.”

“I’m aware,” Fenrir snapped, “If he asks me I’ll take him, I wouldn’t ask anyone else to take that risk.” Damon nodded his understanding. It would be dangerous to return there regardless of the reason behind it. He was also aware that the Alpha would not allow his mate to go into such a perilous situation without being by his side to protect him. “Have you found anything out about the Aurors yet and what they want with him?”

“I managed to find a photograph from the Daily Prophet, it was attached to the article regarding the attack on the Potter’s. I thought you might want to see it.” Damon withdrew the picture of a smiling young couple holding a little baby. It was unmistakable, the baby was Harry. Even if Fenrir hadn’t recognized him, the man in the picture was the spitting image of the boy Harry had grown to be, there was no doubt that these were his parents.

“It’s him,” Fenrir said, studying the photograph.

“Yes, I don’t know what they want with him yet but it is him they want.”

FGHP

He had been back at Hogwarts for a grand total of thirteen days and so far he hadn’t been hugely successful in achieving anything. Dolores Umbridge was a pain in the arse and the Carrows … well Draco couldn’t say what they were without resorting to language his mother would have frowned upon. With the headmaster seemingly absent or else held up in his office things at the school were starting to get out of hand.

Umbridge had rather unique ideas about the way in which things ought to be done. She liked things to be neat and tidy, black and white. Anything that didn’t fit in her neat little boxes was deemed highly dangerous and in need of elimination. Draco had heard a fair few students complaining of a rather unique quill that she had for them to use during her detentions. He was hoping that he never got first-hand experience of it, but given he had every intention to keep his head down and do nothing other than get on with his school work and the mission from Voldemort, he wasn’t too concerned.

The Carrow siblings were not much better. Draco had seen them at Deatheater meetings and he knew all too well just how sadistic they could be, but thankfully they hadn’t resorted to using any unforgivables or dark magic. At least not yet, but Draco was painfully aware it had only been a couple of weeks and he suspected that it was primarily only because Albus Dumbledore was still in charge, despite his absence. The majority of the students and staff remained loyal to their headmaster and so he still has a great number of informants throughout the school; Draco was in no doubt that he was being kept informed.

High Inquisitor Umbridge was liberally introducing new rules and regulations, apparently with full approval and backing from the Ministry of Magic; which Draco took as confirmation that the Dark Lord’s hand was at play in her manipulations. The changing regime had made it more or less impossible to sneak off and look for the Room of Requirement where his mother had said that he would find it.

He finally got the opportunity while everyone else was at dinner, two weeks after the start of term. He had watched, concealed by a suit of armour, as all three of Hogwart’s tyrants, the people he wanted to avoid, entered the Great Hall. Knowing that they would be occupied for a while he raced up the marble staircase.

Draco had been so blind in his haste that he hadn’t been watching where he was going and literally had into the last group of people that he had wanted to see at that moment. Ron Weasley, the leader of the Gryffindor group, backed up by Dean Thomas and Seamus Finnegan. Hermione Granger also flanked them as the only girl. Draco had collided with Ron and with enough force that they both went flying.

“Watch where you’re going, Malfoy!” Ron hissed in annoyance as they both picked themselves up off the floor, Draco dusting himself off, all too aware that he didn’t have much time before someone realised that he wasn’t where he was meant to be.

“Sod off, Weasley!” Draco snapped back. He was itching to draw his wand but he had very little time for a duel and his patience was already frayed past breaking point. The last thing he wanted was to make a scene and get himself thrown in detention and he reminded himself that he was supposed to be keeping his head down. He needed to leave before the Gryffindor’s took the matter out of his hands and attacked first, however he knew better than to turn his back on an enemy.

“Leave him Ron,” Hermione said gently in his ear, “he isn’t worth it.”

“Listen to your girlfriend, Weasley,” Draco sneered, unable to resist. “Least she has some sense.”

Dean and Seamus had brought out their wands in their friend’s defence but, with Hermione’s hand on his arm, Ron had not. The redhead was fuming, his cheeks matching his hair but his mudblood girlfriend was trying to drag him away and Draco knew that wherever Weasley went Thomas and Finnegan would follow, like the good little minions they were. It was fortunate this evening that they had been able to part ways without resorting to dueling. Draco didn’t enjoy it, he would rather have just ignored the lot of them. He had no interest in them at all, but he would never allow them to think he was weak for that would only encourage them to harass him further.

Waiting long enough for the Gryffindor’s to go on their way and forget about him before he resumed racing up to the seventh floor. The corridors were thankfully quiet and he followed the instructions his mother had given him and soon he had located the tapestry she had described. It depicted Barnabas the Barmy trying to teach trolls how to dance the ballet. It was a fairly unique thing and not easily forgotten.

However the problem was there didn’t appear to be a door where Narcissa had said there would be. Feeling like a right prat he remembered her strict instructions and began to pace back and forward along the length of the corridor, thinking about needing somewhere to hide something. He hadn’t realised his own scepticism until, on the third pass, a door appeared. It was alike to every other door in the castle but trusting his mother he went inside.

He stopped and stared in wonder at the sight that met his eyes when he entered the room. He couldn’t believe that he had never known about this room before now when he had been attending the school since he was eleven years old. It was huge! And a little overwhelming if he was honest with himself. How he was meant to find a single cabinet was beyond him. There were mountains of broken and damaged furniture, thousands upon thousands of books piled, so high he couldn’t see the top, haphazardly all over the place and so many odds and ends that he wasn’t quite sure what to look at. He was there for a reason though, so he focused on making his way into the depths of the room; taking great care, as he dodged around the stacks that were everywhere, not to knock anything over .

There were shelves of congealed potions, piles of abandoned cloaks, a heavily blood stained axe propped against a suit of armour that he didn’t like to go near, old hats, several rusting swords and more than a few fanged frisbees too. He was particularly taken by a beautiful, though slightly tarnished tiara that was sat upon the bust of an ugly old warlock which sat on top of the cabinet which he had been looking for. There was no mistaking that this was what he needed, it was identical to the one in the room that would be his brother’s nursery. This was what he had been looking for.

With his baby brother due to be born in a little less than a month he would have to work quickly. Finding the damn thing had been the easy part, he knew that, and now all he had to do was figure out what was wrong with it and mend it. How hard could it possibly be?

FGHP

The day after his talk over tea with Lukas, and after a great deal of deliberating, Harry gathered up every ounce of courage he had and went to talk to Fenrir. This was the first time the two of them were going to talk. To say that he was nervous was an understatement. He couldn’t deny that he had cast a few interested glances whenever the Alpha wolf was around and he couldn’t help but admire the brief glimpses of bare chest that were offered frequently, but Lukas was right, he was intimidating.

Fenrir was manually chopping logs for the fire, which Harry couldn’t understand, it ought to be easier to use magic he was sure Not that he minded the sight of the Alpha wolf completely naked from the waist up and glistening with sweat from the effort of chopping the fire wood. It was a sight that made something stir in Harry’s nether regions. Though he dreaded to think what the Alpha would think if he knew that those thoughts were going through his head. He could probably be kicked out of the pack for it and he couldn’t risk that because he had nowhere else to go.

“Can we … I need to talk to you,” Harry said after he took a deep steadying breath but still struggling to get the words out right. Fenrir seemed to have that effect on him and he didn’t like it. Fenrir looked up and seemed more than a little surprised to see Harry stood before him, actually talking.

Fenrir said nothing, giving only a curt nod as he brought the axe he carried down onto the tree stump and left it there. Harry’s heart was racing as he watched the older man do this, the muscles in his arms rippling with the effort of it and to Harry the sight was nothing short of mesmerising. “Over here,” Fenrir said, motioning for Harry to follow him. Unfortunately for Harry however the Alpha made no move to cover himself up as they headed off to find a more private place to talk.

“I… I want to go home… Damon said that I should ask you… it’s just to get some stuff, please… it would mean... I really want… please.” Fenrir watched Harry with interest as he stumbled over his words, struggling to get them out. He couldn’t figure out why the boy was so nervous, he didn’t want Harry to feel nervous around him.

Harry was trying to look anywhere but at the well-defined torso, the dustings of light blonde hair, light pink nipples that were erect in the chilly September weather and beads of sweat trailed down his abdomen making Harry want to fall to his knees and lick it off. He had seen Clay shirtless before, his Dad and Damon too but they were his family… they also had nothing on Fenrir.

“You want to go home,” Fenrir clarified and Harry nodded. “And you’re asking permission?” Again Harry nodded. “Damon said you didn’t do that a lot. I’m honoured.” Harry scowled at this, wondering what else Fenrir had been told about him. He could feel the beautiful golden eyes watching him as he studied the ground. All Fenrir had done was look at him since Harry had arrived in pack territory and it was beginning to feel a little creepy. Harry couldn’t understand what the Alpha was looking at, sure he was a little shorter and less bulky than some of the others but he didn’t think he looked odd or anything.

“Please,” Harry said looking up and meeting Fenrir’s gaze with determination. He knew that it had been a bad idea to ask, the Alpha was going to say no, that it was just too dangerous because of the Aurors hanging around. It had been a bad idea to even ask and he was going to make sure he stayed grumpy at Damon longer for even suggesting that he speak to Fenrir.

“Alright,” The Alpha said taking Harry by surprise. “But we’ll go in a few days, you stay within my line of sight at all times and, if there is any sign of trouble, we’ll leave whether you have everything you need or not. Understand?” Harry nodded quickly, stunned at the easy acceptance and not caring about the terms that came with it. He could accept those terms if it meant he could collect some photographs and more importantly his potions.

FGHP

Sirius’ patience was wearing very thin as September rambled on and he remained stuck in his old family home, a place he despised. Admittedly having the slimy git imprisoned and at his mercy was at least entertainment for him that meant he wasn’t bored but it seemed that nothing helped to ease his frustrations. Though making Severus Snape bleed and knowing he could do nothing about it helped a little.

He was almost sad that the potions master wasn’t able to react, it would have be so rewarding to hear his suffering while inflicting it, to have him be able to beg for him to stop, or to just end it all; either would have been sufficient after what that Slytherin bastard had done to Harry. He was angry at Dumbledore too, for allowing a deatheater to get close enough to be able to do this, though at least the old man was trying to rectify his mistakes.

Even toying with Snape wasn’t enough to completely ease back the resentment he felt at not having managed to rescue his poor little Harry. He couldn’t help but worry constantly about where James’ little boy was now. It wasn’t helping that Remus had been absent since that day they had captured Snivellus. He had grown so used to having his lover around since he had escaped from Azkaban. Sirius found that he wasn’t quite sure how to manage without him.

That blasted house-elf, Kreacher, made him meals, but they were bland and unsatisfying, even when he could bring himself to stomach them, which wasn’t often recently. He was sure the decrepit house-elf was doing it deliberately, a thought that was backed up by Kreacher’s incessant and usually rude ramblings, which mentioned blood-traitors and ungrateful sons. He was sure that the house-elf was in cahoots with the portrait of his bitch of a mother who had been known to scream the place down, though only when he was trying to sleep waking him up and giving him a headache.

The only blessing of being alone in the dank and miserable house during the day was that it was usually quiet, the horrendous painting of his mother in the hallway rarely woke, seemingly saving her energy for her night-time efforts of driving him round the bend. Though at least once he had heard his mother speaking in hushed whispers, with the house-elf, as though concocting some great conspiracy, which always worried him.

He had too many thoughts in his head, and he was halfway ready to go looking for Remus if he didn’t turn up soon; he strongly suspected that the meddlesome headmaster had given him instructions to stay at the house in Ingleton. He couldn’t be sure about this though. Wherever his lover was, what he didn’t doubt was that it was on Dumbledore’s instruction for him to be there and so it was with great ease that he could direct at least some of his anger at the much older man.

Right now though, he needed to let off some steam, and given his limited options he headed towards his father’s old study, where he had put Severus. He hadn’t been kidding when he had joked about the memories of the room; it was never a place he had been permitted to go as a child and the few times he had dared to venture in there, on one of his childhood explorations, he had paid for it dearly. Orion Black had not been a man who was hesitant to raise his hand to his children, believing it was best to beat obedience into them while young. Sirius shuddered with the memory of his father; the odious man would have been so proud to see his eldest son now, torturing another with such spiteful vindictiveness.

It had seemed appropriate for Sirius to dole out his own punishments in that room. Replacing the ghosts of his past with viciously pleasing images of his childhood rival sprawled helplessly across the floor which now had a pretty splattering of crimson across the fine oak boards.

The door creaked as it opened and Sirius really hoped that Severus had already learned to associate it with the inevitable suffering that would be inflicted upon his arrival in the room. Of course, Snape couldn’t move, so he had no way of telling but he really hoped that he was flinching mentally at least.

“Are you not even going to get up and greet me,” Sirius mocked as he stepped inside and closed the door behind him, grinning at his victim with malicious delight. The bruised and battered body of Severus Snape looked very little like the man they had taken from the Prince house on the Second of September. Fourteen days had passed since then and the man was swollen and discoloured from the torture that Sirius had inflicted upon him.

FGHP

Severus’ mind was in torment and that was far worse that the pain in his body; he just wanted to stop thinking but he was unable to switch off thanks to Dumbledore’s spell, which forcefully held him conscious and alert at all times. He no longer had any perception of time but it felt like it had been an eternity. The days he had spent raising and teaching Harry were nothing more than a wistful dream now, memories of a past life that he would never see again. There were moments where he honestly had questioned the reality of it, wondering if his life with his son, his Harry was one he had dreamt up just to save himself from the nightmare he lived now. The never ending pain and anguish of being trapped here, the brutal and sadistic torturing from a man he could barely recognize through his blackened and swollen eyes.

He wanted to cry and scream more often than not, he only remember that he had had something other than this when loathed, painful memories pushed their way to the forefront of his mind. They were recollections of his life; his abusive, alcoholic father, screaming that he would amount to nothing and how right he had been.

The things that he could remember with vivid certainty were the worst he had discovered. He recalled how Black and Potter had relentlessly tormented him throughout his school years; the torture that he watched the Dark Lord inflict upon the young and the innocent while he stood by and did nothing, the wonder on the face of Lucius Malfoy who, next to him, was enjoying the show.

Then there was a tiny dark haired boy screaming, blood coating his hand, that was by far the worst of them all because he couldn’t do anything about it, only let the child cry, heart wrenching sobs as the child cried for its mother, for anyone to comfort him. Then a jolt of misery and soul-destroying agony as he saw the beautiful tan and brown flecked falcon that he care for so much flying away from him, never to be seen again.

It was so strange that he had come to almost look forward to the moments when Black would come, to the beating that would break his skin and leave him covered in fresh trails of blood. Even the new pains and the disturbing sensation of trickling blood were welcome distractions; the physical horrors easier to process than the mental anguish that he would be left alone with soon after.

He hoped that one day Black would take it too far and that his suffering would be over. He knew that Dumbledore had cursed him, the spiteful old man wanted him to feel this pain. Severus had always known that if he was ever found that his fate would be something worse than death but he had never expected this.

FGHP

Three days after Harry had found the courage to talk to Fenrir they were finally going back to Ingleton and back to the Prince house. Harry couldn’t have been more excited. He had overheard Damon telling Fenrir that he didn’t think it was a good idea, the Alpha had just given his beta a strange look that Harry couldn’t understand but nothing more was said on the matter and no more protests were lodged about them going, just the two of them.

In the three days that he had been waiting for this, Harry had found a little more of a rhythm within the pack. Although he still withdrew from larger group activities he was often found talking to Lukas. The two of them were intellectual and could hold endless discussions about Arithmancy and Ancient Runes which most of the other pack mates found tediously dull. Lukas was so far the only one of them that Harry would properly talk to. If anyone else tried to join in on their conversations he would go quiet and eventually skulk away to be alone.

Fenrir was pleased that his little mate was interacting more, even if it was only with the newest pack member. He had ensured that Lukas knew that Harry was off limits in anything more than a friendship capacity. To this Lukas had laughed and told his Alpha that he had no intentions of being anything more than friends seeing as he was a very heterosexual male and even if he had been gay he had figured out pretty quickly the state of play regarding the young boy.

Harry and Fenrir left the clearing in silence, walking to the edge of the territory together so that they could apparate. Fenrir had insisted that they go together. He was not going to risk anything happening to Harry in the unlikely event that they were separated. The Alpha had even insisted that he be the one to take them until Harry had forced him to admit that he had no clue where he was going, which was how it came to be that the younger werewolf was the one to apparate them to Ingleton.

Tentatively Harry turned to face Fenrir, they would have to be touching for Harry to apparate them both, a thought that filled Harry with both dread and excitement. He looked up into the stunning golden eyes and reached out to take the Alphas hand within his own. Fenrir grunted in amusement at this before grabbing hold of Harry’s waist and pulling them together, chest to chest, Harry’s heart thudding uncontrollably.

Struggling to focus he closed his eyes and tried not to think of how close Fenrir was to him, or the scent of the larger man as it took over his nostrils. The second they appeared in Ingleton Harry tore himself from Fenrir’s warmth, desperate to get away from him but only because he could feel himself growing hard from the contact they had shared. The Alpha appeared startled at his mate’s sudden desperation to get away from him, however it had taken a moment too long and he had felt it. He tried not to look smug; it wouldn’t do for Harry to know just yet, he was still emotionally unstable and visiting this place wasn’t going to help matters.

“Which house?” Fenrir asked a rather flushed Harry, who pointed towards his home. The two of them went round the back where they knew that the door had already been blasted off the hinges. It was with a heavy heart that they approached, wands drawn and ready for an attack.

Fenrir loved his pine and dragon heartstring wand, he had had it since he was a boy, the last gift his mother had ever given to him before she had died. He had taken good care of it over the years and it was the item he owned that he was truly sentimental about. “Stay behind me,” The Alpha ordered as they entered the house. Harry noted that the two Aurors, both of whom Damon had stunned, were now gone.

Harry did as he was told, remaining behind the much larger man, feeling as if he could trust Fenrir to protect him and it was a feeling that hit him quite suddenly, with no explanation. Wanting to be sure that they had no surprises Fenrir waved his wand, casting ‘Homenum Revelio’ and discovering that they were indeed alone.

“What do you need?” Fenrir asked.

“Any chance you’re going to let me go and get it while you wait here?” Harry asked innocently and the Alpha shook his head, “thought not, this way then.”

As they climbed the stairs to his bedroom Harry tried to think how he was going to get into the basement without Fenrir following him. He needed to collect his potions without raising suspicions and of course that was where his silver cage was kept. He wasn’t sure he wanted Fenrir to know about that just yet. However if the older wolf insisted on trailing him everywhere then it didn’t seem likely that he wouldn’t find out because there was no chance Harry was leaving without his potions.

All thoughts about potions and dodging Fenrir fell from him mind as he reached his bedroom door. Harry fell to his knees, unable to breath. It felt as if a hippogriff had sat on his chest and was suffocating him. Nothing inside his room had been left untouched. A single tear escaped from him and trickled down his cheek, his mouth slightly open in shock as he saw his life, his memories, his everything destroyed.

Fenrir went down also, wrapping his arms around the younger boy, holding him close to his chest to prevent him from going into shock. For a long moment they knelt together, breathing in time with each other. The Alpha surveyed the room as he held his mate protectively in his arms, noting the blood upon the floor before anything else. Harry didn’t need to see this, he didn’t need to be here.

After several minutes Harry slowly removed himself from Fenrir’s embrace, crawling to where his golden snitch lay crushed upon the ground, broken in two, unable to believe that it was gone. His hands shook violently as he picked up the two pieces, tears now flowing freely. He pressed them together, clinging to a childish hope that he might be able to undo what had been done but it was in vain for nothing could undo such destruction. He had to look away from the shattered memory he held in his trembling hands, unable to process what had been done. This had been his first snitch, bought for him on his seventh birthday.

He let out a gasped sob as he saw the tatters of fabric upon the ground, they were mangled with blood, that he could only assume was his father’s, and discoloured stuffing from his Baloo bear; he could see where one of the eyes clung on to what was now no more than a scrap end of material.

His Dad had gifted it to him when he was only five years old and he had never wanted to be without it since then. The thought that someone had been here, ripping apart his life, destroying his memories and his happiness made him feel ill. He gripped the torn fabric within his fists, clutching it to his chest as his breath came in heaving gasps. The tatters of material were almost unrecognizable now, having nothing in common with the form they had once held.

Unable to hold on to the contents of his stomach he vomited, every part of him trembling. Fenrir helped him to his feet, steadying him, when it looked like his legs weren’t going to be able to hold him, but not saying a word. Harry had turned several shades whiter than usual and tears were streaming endlessly from his wide, pain filled eyes. He reached up to the shelf of photographs that by some miracle was still intact. However what he searched for was no longer there. His mother's wedding and engagement ring were gone. That was enough for Harry and he collapsed onto his bed, unable to support his weight any longer, the alpha wolf lowering him gently down as he went into shock.

What they hadn’t noticed, and Harry almost sat on, was the envelope, sealed with the Hogwarts crest, that had been rested on the bed. At the sight of it Harry wanted to tear into little pieces and not look or think about it. However he still had some shreds of his mind remaining and they told him that if he wanted answers for what had happened here then he should keep hold of it and read it when he was able to take in what it said. Shakily he put the envelope, addressed to Harry Potter/Prince, in his pocket. He couldn’t deal with it now.

Fenrir looked to the shelf of framed pictures. It was almost as if he could see how much each of the broken and destroyed objects meant to Harry just from them. He had not realised how sentimental his mate had been. He only had a wand, Harry on the other hand had so many things but they were all gone. Not only had he lost his father but he had lost his memories as well; stolen from him just like the man who had raised him had been.

The Alpha wolf scooped Harry up in his arms and held him there, the younger boy resting his head upon Fenrir’s solid chest where he could hear the strong heartbeat within. The small body of the boy shaking, his tears dripping from his chin. He had fallen silent as he took in the posters that had been torn violently from the walls and the blood upon the ground and walls.

“We should go,” Fenrir said, “What do you need from here.”

Silently and regretfully Harry slowly shifted himself from his alpha’s arms, moving toward his wardrobe where he removed a backpack. He hastily began to throw clothes inside, working on autopilot, not wanting to be here a moment longer than he needed to be. He paused long enough to take the time to remove the pictures he wanted to take from their frames. He even took the one of him and Clay that had been taken as they were wrestling. it was one thing harry was grateful for, that the photos had remained intact. It would have irreversibly broken him if he had lost those too.

Harry picked up the broken snitch and put that into his bag. If he could have taken a scrap of Baloo bear then he would have done but it had too much blood on it. Harry almost gave up completely as the realisation dawned on him that this had probably been the room that his Dad had died in.

He bent down and ran his fingers over a spattering of blood on the floor, “They killed him here,” Harry managed to say through his gasped breathes as he struggled to remain calm, it was so much more real with the evidence under his fingertips.

“Don’t think about it,” Fenrir instructed as if it were that simple. He remained close to Harry, aware that it was all too much for him and that they needed to leave. “Is that everything?

When Harry shook his head, Fenrir motioned for him to lead the way so they could get out of there faster. There was no way that he was going to let his little mate out of his sight now. The younger wolf couldn’t get out of his room fast enough. He couldn’t stay in there, not knowing that that was where his Dad had lost his life to protect him, to keep him safe.

Guilt wracked his body. If only he had stayed behind and helped fight. What would have happened if he had woken Clay and Damon that night upon reach their house. The three of them were werewolves, even though he hadn’t known that at the time. Maybe they could have saved him. It could have made a difference. He could have saved his Dad but now he was gone and it was his fault because he hadn’t gone back with help sooner, he hadn’t stayed to fight. He could have done something, anything and yet he had done nothing. He had failed. The Aurors had been after him and he had run away like a coward.

“I’ll be back,” Harry said as they reached the kitchen. Fenrir glared at Harry, not caring how much shock he was in, he wasn’t going to leave him alone. “Please,” Harry pleaded, looking up at him with still wet, red and swollen eyes.

“Not a chance,” Fenrir growled with warning.

Resigned that he wouldn’t be able to free himself of the domineering Alpha he unlocked the basement door with his wand and went down the stairs, Fenrir following after him. His heart was pounding as he flicked on the switch. There were three rooms down here, the main one a potions lab, the second little more than a store where his father had kept all the brewed potions. The third was the one Harry didn’t want Fenrir to find as it contained his cage.

Taking his backpack he moved to the store, subtly shrinking down the wolfsbane potion so that it went unseen and picking up a few less worrying potions for headache relief and blood replenishing. However while Harry had distracted himself with this Fenrir had gone to make sure that they were truly alone down here, not wanting to let his guard down for a moment.

Before Harry could stop him, Fenrir had opened up the door to the room that contained his cage. The silver hung heavily in the air here and the Alpha wolf hissed at the sight and smell of it.

He rounded on Harry in a rage, demanding to know what that room was for, why it was in the house at all. Startled by the sudden volume of his voice combined with the shock from what he had seen upstairs Harry lost control, throwing up a defiant wall to keep Fenrir out. He didn’t want to seem like he cared. He had felt so much in the last few days but it almost hadn’t been real. The reality was hitting him hard now, he wanted to scream and shout, he wanted to be angry. Fenrir was the perfect candidate for his fury.

“We needed it,” Harry said bluntly; he wouldn’t have wanted to answer the Alpha’s questions about this even if his heart didn’t feel like it had just been ripped from his chest, he certainly was in no state to do so now but if the Alpha wolf wanted a fight then he was going to get one.

Fenrir however was livid at what he had just discovered and he wanted answers. “For what?” he demanded, fearing that the thought screaming inside his mind could be true, that Harry had been put in that room. The silver that hung in the air could very well have poisoned him. It was no wonder he never scented out Damon and Clay for what they were if he had been subjected to being in their once a month as he transformed. There was no telling what damage had been done.

“For me,” Harry admitted, his voice soft but strong. It was a shame that his body betrayed him, his hands still trembling and he was unable to stop the flow of tears despite his anger at being challenged over what was such a trivial thing to him. He couldn’t understand why Fenrir was this angry about something that meant nothing more than safety for those he loved from his wolf on the full moon.

The young werewolf met his eyes stubbornly, the way he had the night he had joined the pack, his gaze unwavering. “Why,” Fenrir asked, trying to control the rage that was burning inside him; images of his little mate caged up like some animal, being slowly poisoned by silver, tormenting him. For the first time he was regretting not having taken Harry with him that night at Malfoy Manor. He had assumed his mate would be safer with the man that had called himself his father. Apparently he was wrong.

At the time he had had no pack and no territory. He couldn’t have raised a pup, there wouldn’t been any stability and if he had been caught by the Ministry then he would have been locked up in Azkaban, Harry’s fate would have been just as bad. However judging by what he had been put through in what was supposed to be a loving home he wasn’t sure that it had been any better for him here and it didn’t bear thinking about.

“You know why,” Harry almost whispered. Fenrir growled in fury at the confirmation, “I would have hurt someone otherwise, I could have hurt my Dad.”

“That’s silver!” Fenrir snarled as if Harry wouldn’t know, as if somehow he wouldn’t understand how dangerous that metal was for them as werewolves.

“I know!” Harry snapped back, hating that Fenrir was treating him like a disillusioned, uninformed child. He knew what it was, it had been his decision to use it when he had become older, stronger, especially in his wolf form. He hadn’t wanted to run the risk that he might get out, that he could have hurt someone that he loved. The silver had been his choice, not something anyone had forced upon him.

“Why would your father, who supposedly loved you, let you anywhere near silver,” Fenrir demanded, assuming that no werewolf would ever put themselves through that willingly but not realising exactly how self-sacrificing his mate was. Fenrir didn’t really know him at all.

“HE DID LOVE ME!” Harry bellowed, his temper suddenly rising to match Fenrir’s, he would never let anyone question how much his father loved him. Severus Prince loved his son, he had died for his son, and that was how Harry would make sure everyone remembered him; as an amazing father.

“NOT THE POINT!” The Alpha wolf shouted right back at him.

“YES IT IS!” Harry yelled, stepping forward and actually shoving at Fenrir’s chest; it made him feel a tiny bit better, or at least empowered, even if he was unable to move the Alpha even an inch. “I DID IT BECAUSE I LOVED HIM, I DIDN’T WANT TO HURT HIM OR ANYONE ELSE! I WANTED TO BE IN THERE! I STILL WANT TO BE IN THERE!” Fenrir was going to have to learn he was not going to just sit back and let his life be judged or dictated to him. He was always going to make his own choices regardless of what anyone else thought.

“NO!” Fenrir shouted, horrified that Harry could wish to himself in that cage at all, not daring to believe that the silver poisoning that had no doubt damaged his mates senses was self-inflicted. He couldn’t even begin to comprehend that Harry would rather put himself in that cage than spend the full moon with the pack where he belonged. “Never again. You will be a real werewolf. You are part of the pack now.”

“Maybe I don’t want to be part of the pack, maybe I don’t want to be a real werewolf!” Harry didn’t mean it, he was angry and he was scared. Fenrir was a large and powerful man, words were all Harry had to hurt him with. “I was happy here with my Dad, I didn’t want it to change,” he added with far more honesty and a fresh set of tears streaming down his face.

“Well it did!” Fenrir growled out. He was angry about the cage and worried about Harry’s attitude to being a pack werewolf and found he had reached his limit with Harry’s inability to accept the way things were. “You belong with me now!!” He hadn’t meant to say that; he had meant to say ‘us’ but in the heat of the moment he had let it slip and there was nothing he could do to take it back.

“I’m never going to belong to you! I don’t, and won’t ever, belong to anyone,” Harry said as he turned and stormed off up the stairs, wanting to get as far away from Fenrir as he could. The Alpha wolf just didn’t understand and how could he?

Fenrir couldn’t understand how only minutes ago he had held Harry in his arms, felt his heart beating against his chest, cradled him lovingly, holding him close and now … it was hard to keep up with the emotional whiplash he was bound to get with his mate. He did not enjoy the screaming matches, but what he had seen was cause for concern and he only wanted to protect Harry, keep him from being hurt; even if it was from himself. However it seemed that now he had been the cause of the pain he was feeling, as if the young boy needed to feel anymore.

Not wanting to let Harry out of his sight but still wanting to give him a little space to calm down, he followed in Harry’s wake. Fenrir hoped that his mate had enough sense to return to the pack, despite his clear dislike for being there. He was at least safe in their territory and they could keep their distance from one another while their tempers settled; then they could try to talk again. This time it would hopefully be a little more level headedly.

FGHP

Remus Lupin had been watching the house that Severus and Harry had been found in for weeks, almost two and a half of them to be more precise and that wasn’t even including the whole of August when he and Sirius had been waiting around to try and find Harry in the first place. In all honesty he was completely sick of the place; he missed sleeping in a comfortable bed, he missed having real meals and, most of all, he really missed his lover.

There was no question that Sirius was infuriating and frustrating at times, but despite himself, and probably what would be in his best interests, Remus still loved the man. He truly did believe that Sirius loved him too, but for the moment his best friend and lover had only one focus; getting Harry back. Of course Remus wanted to find Harry too, wanted to know that James and Lily’s boy was safe and happy, but not with the same fervent possessive obsession that Sirius did.

So although he no longer wanted to be there, he would stay and wait and watch, just like Dumbledore had told him to, in the hope that Harry would return. He would do it for Sirius, so that they might be able to give Harry the life the poor boy deserved. It was the only way his and Sirius’ relationship would ever stand a chance. If they failed in regards to Harry the two of them would have nothing and that thought saddened the werewolf.

It was early evening of yet another day where nothing had happened and the light of the day was just starting to dim in the back garden where he was sitting. Remus shifted around to get more comfortable; being careful to make sure James’ old invisibility cloak still covered him completely. His boredom alone was threatening to let him fall asleep despite the early hour and uncomfortable position he was sat in that had made his bum go numb, the mid-September weather not helping in this regard.

“Stay behind me,” a gruff, commanding voice commanded, catching Remus’ attention and making him look up towards the house.

There, just stepping through the broken back doorway into the house, was a teenage boy who was so obviously Harry. He was being led by a much bigger and older man with scruffy, long, dirty blond hair tied back at the nape of his neck and was wearing a very long brown leather jacket that had definitely seen better days. They both had their wands drawn and the older man cast a spell to detect human presence in the house before they very cautiously stepped inside.

Remus listened carefully as the man spoke again. “What do you need?” he demanded.

“Any chance you’re going to let me go and get it while you wait here?” Remus heard Harry ask and he saw the other man shook his head in refusal. “Thought not, this way then,” Harry said as they headed further into the house
Remus was surprised to see that Harry had returned at all, surely Snape would have taught the boy enough to know not to come back, that it would be dangerous and someone would likely be waiting for them. Maybe was Sirius was right about Harry being like James; he would have come back despite the risks too. Remus was more than a little glad it was him who Dumbledore had asked to keep look out, rather than someone like Mad-Eye, who would have stunned first, asked questions later.

He knew what he was supposed to do now, he was supposed to send his patronus to Dumbledore, but he found himself hesitating; if he sent a message to the headmaster then undoubtedly the man would show up with his Aurors and half of the Order of the Phoenix to seize Harry. Then surely the man taking care of Harry would suffer the same fate as Snape had; whatever that was. Remus had already decided that, if Sirius and Dumbledore weren’t telling, then he was better off not knowing.

Getting to his feet slowly, so as to stay as quiet as possible, Remus pulled the cloak tighter around himself. He was curious as to what Harry was back here for, there had to be a good reason and he needed to know what it was before he decided to take action. He felt like too many people were keeping too many secrets and for once he wanted to be the one with the information.

He stepped inside the house and wondered where the two of them would have gone. He took his time checking around on the ground floor but nothing seemed to have been touched and there was no sign of either Harry or the unknown man. Closing his eyes, he focused on listening. It sounded as though they were upstairs, probably collecting a few of Harry’s things Remus supposed, but he couldn’t make out anything that was being said.

Still debating whether or not to risk going up the stairs, Remus had a moment of panic when Harry started to come down them at quite a pace. He quickly moved himself into the living room out of the way, not wanting to risk one of the two of them barging into him and discovering his presence there. He could hear them talking again, in the kitchen this time he thought, and so he crept into the hallway where he pressed himself against the wall to listen, but they had gone quiet once more.

Frustrated by missing even the small snippets of conversation the two were having Remus poked his head around the doorway and peered around the room. They were no longer there but given it was the only other door out of the room it seemed as though they had headed down into what looked like a basement. Remus bit his lip for a moment before summoning his Gryffindor courage and stepped into the kitchen. He was still invisible, after all, and he really was curious what Harry could possibly want or need from the basement.

“That’s silver!” he heard the unknown man say angrily and he guessed that whoever it was knew about Harry being a werewolf.

“I know,” Harry argued back, and Remus almost smiled as he thought just how much like James Harry sounded.

“Why would your father, who supposedly loved you, let you anywhere near silver?”

A fair question in Remus’ opinion, thinking about the times he had been close to it and how it made him feel. There was no question in Remus’ mind that Snape must have known about Harry’s lycanthropy. He had asked Severus to help him develop a potion too but the potions master had vanished before Remus had had a chance to ask him about it and that got him wondering.

“HE DID LOVE ME!” Harry bellowed and Remus was actually a little bit stunned by his fervour and the surety in his voice.

“NOT THE POINT!” the other man bellowed back.

“YES IT IS! I DID IT BECAUSE I LOVED HIM, I DIDN’T WANT TO HURT HIM OR ANYONE ELSE! I WANTED TO BE IN THERE! I STILL WANT TO BE IN THERE!”

Harry was yelling at the top of his lungs and whether or not Snape had really loved him, Harry obviously believed it. That was something that surprised him if he was honest with himself; Remus had just accepted that Harry’s childhood with Snape had been less than the one he could have had otherwise and now he found himself suddenly questioning that assumption. He was already certain that neither Dumbledore nor Sirius would want to hear that Snape might have been a good father to the boy; they would never be able to accept it.

“NO! Never again. You will be a real werewolf. You are part of the pack now.”

So this other man was a werewolf too, and Harry was with a pack? He wasn’t quite sure how he felt about that; the idea of werewolves running wild but at least he was fair sure Harry would be kept safe, given how protective he had heard packs were over their members. Remus guessed this man was likely their alpha, which made the way Harry had been talking to him very daring; he was a little surprised that Harry hadn’t been dragged out of the house by the scruff of his neck already if that really was his Alpha.

“Maybe I don’t want to be part of the pack, maybe I don’t want to be a real werewolf!” Oh, so the wrong thing to say, Remus thought to himself with a cringe. “I was happy here with my Dad, I didn’t want it to change.”

“Well it did! You belong with me now!!”

“I’m never going to belong to you! I don’t, and won’t ever, belong to anyone,”

He barely had time to process those words before the sound of footsteps hurrying up the stairs made him move quickly from the doorway and it was only just in time because a crying, and obviously angry, Harry rushed through it, and then out of the kitchen, a few seconds later. Remus noted, with a bit of relief, that at least the boy had Dumbledore’s letter sticking out of his pocket. Even if everything else had gone wrong there was that.

Remus quickly hurried after him and got out to the garden just in time to watch Harry vanish as he apparated away. There was a roar of frustration and anger. Remus spun on the spot and jumped to the side when the large man came storming out of the house a few seconds later his face contorted with rage but still it was unmistakable. Remus was trembling as he took in the man before him, the reality of who it really was hitting him like a kick to the stomach.

Greyback. Harry’s Alpha werewolf was Fenrir Greyback. Remus felt sick; Harry had been right there and he had let him leave again to go back to living in a pack of werewolves with the monster who had bitten Remus when he was only four years old. Remus could do nothing but watch in horror as the most feared and well known werewolf in Britain apparated away, presumably to follow after Harry.

Remus knew he would have to speak with Dumbledore, he would let the headmaster know that Harry got his letter but there was something that made him want to keep Harry’s secret. As much as the idea of James and Lily’s son being in the care of Greyback scared him, he couldn’t honestly say that he believed he would be any safer under the devious watch of Albus Dumbledore.

It was only with a little hesitation and doubt that he decided he would tell the man the bare minimum; he had seen Harry and the letter had been taken, everything else was Harry’s business as far as Remus was concerned and nothing to do with the nosey headmaster. Harry would probably be at Hogwarts come the new year anyway, if Dumbledore wanted to know more about Harry’s life he could ask him then. Playing over in his head exactly what he was going to say, Remus threw floo powder into the fireplace and instructed, “Dumbledore’s Office, Hogwarts.”

Chapter Text

Chapter Seven

 

Clay was sulking in front of the fire. Harry and Fenrir had gone back to Ingleton to fetch some of Harry’s things. Clay was miserable because once upon a time his best friend wouldn’t have asked permission from the grown-up’s. The two of them would have cooked up some reckless scheme and they would have gone together, without telling anyone what they were doing or where they were going and end up in a shit load of trouble. It would be worth it though.

  

“What’s wrong little one?” Callie asked her nephew kindly, sitting down beside him. Damon had been too busy keeping Micha and Jenson from tearing each other apart to notice that his son was miserable. Micha had enchanted Jenson’s wand to roll away from him every time he reached for it. This had resulted in Jenson chasing Micha around the territory in a rage when he’d refused to reverse the enchantment, Micha laughing hysterically. Normally Clay would have joined in the hijinks but he just wasn’t in the mood today.

 

 

Lukas had gone to work, promising to pick up supplies for the pack on the way home and Romy, as always had her nose in a book in a quieter area of the territory, Micha and Jenson having got pretty loud with their antics. No one thought that Jenson would actually do any serious or even permanent damage to Micha, whose jokes were all in good fun, but Fenrir knew that they didn’t have the supplies to be patching the two of them up constantly. It was easier to just intervene and prevent the damage from being done in the first place.

 

 

Clay shrugged in response to his Aunt’s question, not wanting to sound like a spoilt brat and whine about losing his best friend. Callie smiled at him reassuringly, having a good idea about why he was so unhappy regardless of whether he told her about it. “Give him some time, pup, he’ll come around.”

 

 

“I don’t understand why he won’t talk to me. We’ve been friends for years, he doesn’t even know Lukas and they talk all the time now,” Clay said bitterly. He missed Harry, he wanted his friend back. He hadn’t been permitted to tell him anything about why they were there, he would have done if he could. He had hated keeping secrets. Clay had so badly wanted to share the full moon with his best friend but had never had the chance. Now that they had the opportunity Harry wasn’t even speaking to him.

 

 

The next full moon was seven days from now and it didn’t look like they were going to get their friendship back on track in such a short time. Clay was wondering if they were ever going to be able to get things sorted between them at all. The idea that he and Harry would never have what they’d had in Ingleton upset Clay to the core. Sure he had bonded with Micha and he was great fun to be around but he just wasn’t Harry.

 

 

“And in all those years he never knew what you were. You knew and couldn’t say anything but he doesn’t know that. I don’t think that Harry really understands the pack yet. He’s only been here two weeks and he’s had a lot to deal with. It’s a good sign that he’s talking to Lukas, he wouldn’t talk to anyone to begin with. He’s spoken to Damon and Fenrir too but you’re not the only one he’s ignored.”

 

 

Callie was doing her best to explain it to her nephew, she could understand how upset he was about being ignored by his best friend but the poor child was grieving. He had lost his father, the only parent he’d ever known, and that wasn’t something you got over by waving your wand. Callie had had first-hand experience of losing a parent, she knew how agonising that pain was to experience.

 

She had watched her own father as he devoured her mother as his first and rather unexpected transformation into a werewolf had overcome him. Callie had been four at the time and Damon nine. They’d run from their home that night, carrying their one year old sister with them, all three having been bitten and infected. One year old, Leah had not survived the night. Neither Damon nor Callie had seen their father since that night.

 

 

“Mum, are we going to start dinner before Fenrir and Harry get back?” Romy asked as she appeared beside Callie and Clayton who were sat by the fire. She was carrying her book in her hands, Advanced Arithmancy, something that Lukas had let her borrow. He was very particular about his books but he could see that the young girl was thirsty for knowledge and had promised her that she could borrow any of the books from his personal library as long as she was careful.

 

Of course Romy had eagerly agreed, devouring each and every book that Lukas had brought back to the pack territory almost overnight before demanding another with enthusiasm. She treated each one as if it were her most prized possession, keen not to upset Lukas by returning his books in poor condition.

 

 

“I suppose we ought to, they’ll be hungry when they get back,” Callie said with a sigh. She truly loved the pack, every single one of them. She had found her mate here, and gained an adoptive daughter through him too, but the men were utterly hopeless. None of them could prepare a decent meal if their lives depended on it. It was lucky therefore that she loved to cook and Romy was an eager student in that regard and didn’t mind helping out. “Will you be helping, Clayton?” his Aunt asked him sweetly already knowing what his answer would be.

 

 

“Sure,” Clay replied with sarcasm, “I’ll help the moment you want to kill everyone.” He had sworn never to try and cook anything again after the last time. Damon had never trusted him in the kitchen again. The food poisoning had been bad, which was saying something considering the fact that werewolves were designed to eat raw meat and had stronger stomachs than most.

 

 

Romy couldn’t help but laugh at him, flopping down beside Clay. He never failed to amuse, sometimes when he didn’t even mean to. His obvious flirting was sweet and hilarious but she wasn’t interested in him in that way. “Cheer up,” she said with a cute smile, “Full moon in a week.”

 

“I can’t wait!” Clay said with excitement, this would be his first time with the pack. Damon too hadn’t had the chance to transform with them since the pack had been fully formed. As a group of nine it would an exciting full moon for all of them.

 

 

“And don’t worry about Harry, he’ll come round,” Romy said comfortingly as she rested her head on his shoulder. “Lukas says he’s just feeling a little lost, maybe the trip with Fenrir will help him.”

 

 

“Maybe you’re right,” Clayton responded with a sigh, leaning his head against hers. It felt nice, it felt right. He couldn’t understand how she had remained so resistant to his charms. He really liked her. Romy had been adamant as keeping their bond as just friends seeing as technically  they were cousins, even though they weren’t related by blood. However every time he looked at her he noticed every curl in her hair and the flecks of green in her dark blue eyes.

 

 

A sharp crack announced the arrival of a wizard apparating into the territory, everyone turned to see Harry striding into the territory alone, tears streaming down his cheeks. Backpack in hand and looking like he had been through hell. Damon, noticing the absence of Fenrir, was immediately by Harry’s side, frantically checking him over and asking what had happened.

 

 

Harry however was not in the mood to be manhandled however good the intentions. He tore himself out of Damon’s anxious grasp, glaring at him. “STAY THE FUCK AWAY FROM ME!” Harry shouted as another crack ripped through the air. The young wolf didn’t even look over as the Alpha returned just behind him, instead storming off away from the rest of the group, wanting to be on his own.

 

 

Damon had been about to go after Harry and tell him off, firstly for shouting and secondly for swearing, when Fenrir placed a hand on his Beta’s shoulder to stop him. Damon looked at his Alpha who just shook his head solemnly. Clay, Romy and Callie were all still by the fire, looking a little shocked at Harry’s behaviour. Even Micha and Jenson had ceased their antics and turned to see what was going on.

 

 

“What happened?” Damon asked, “Was someone there, were you attacked?” He surveyed the Alpha, who seemed unharmed, if not a little ill-tempered.

 

 

“Fetch Clayton, I need to speak with the two of you, NOW!” Damon looked at Fenrir in surprise but slowly nodded his head. He motioned for his son to join them and as a threesome they headed away from the rest of the pack. Fenrir didn’t want the others to hear this.

 

 

Clay looked positively terrified, Damon just a little apprehensive. Fenrir was in a towering temper and Harry was no better. Whatever had happened they were about to catch hell for it. Neither the Beta wolf nor his adoptive son had a chance to ask their Alpha anything before Fenrir turned to them, rage burning in his golden eyes. “Did you know?” he demanded from them.

 

 

“Know what Alpha?” Damon asked cautiously; very wisely, Clayton remained silent.

 

 

“About the cage!” Fenrir snapped in anger. “He had a damned cage made of silver in his basement!”

 

 

Damon and Clayton gaped at him in shock. “We honestly had no idea,” Damon said, looking to his son who was shaking his head. “Is that why Harry was angry, because you found it?”

 

 

“He told me he still wanted to still be in there! DAMN IT!” He roared as his fist slammed into the tree closest to them. The entire trunk shuddered on impact, dislodging leaves and twigs with the impact.

 

 

Clayton looked over his shoulder to where Harry had collapsed at the other side of the clearing, his back to the rest of the pack. Clay couldn’t understand, confusion swept over him. Silver was poisonous to werewolves and could be fatal, everyone knew that, even muggles. He couldn’t comprehend why Harry had done that to himself, why he still wanted to do that to himself. He could well understand the Alpha’s anger and felt the exact same way but he contained it, not wanting to push Harry away from the group more. Harry had been doing so well and now it seemed that he had withdrawn into himself again, cuddled up on his own in a little ball and quite clearly crying again.

 

 

“I think this can explain a few things,” Damon said carefully. “I just wonder what else he and Severus were using to control his transformations. If they resorted to a silver cage I doubt it was the only preventative measure that was used.”

 

 

“How can any man claim to love his son and yet treat him in such a barbaric manner?” Fenrir hissed in anger, the question rhetorical.

 

 

“From what I saw, Severus loved Harry dearly, however as most magical folk don’t, I do not think he would have known the best way to deal with our kind. I think it is a wonder that he didn’t abandon the boy the moment it was confirmed he was a werewolf,” Damon said, choosing his words with care as he was overly aware of the fact that his young son was still listening.

 

 

“He might have been better taken care of if he had been abandoned!” Fenrir growled, his temper not easing in the slightest. He could see Harry huddled against the tree, unmoving and clearly upset. It was eating away at him that he had caused that.

 

 

“There were no signs that Harry was ever unhappy in his life with Severus. Clayton and I were never far away. If either of us had noticed any behaviour we thought might even hint at abuse or the slightest discontentment at all then we would have done something about it, we would have told you,” Clayton nodded frantically at this. “There was none. He was happy. We didn’t know about the cage or the silver and for that I am deeply sorry.”

 

 

“I want Callie to check him over as soon as possible. Being exposed to silver continuously for such a long time could have had had some serious effects. It’s already clear it’s damaged his sense of smell. I want to know what else there is.,” Fenrir said as he flexed his fist, the knuckles scraped from where they had connected with the tree. Thanks to his werewolf accelerated healing the grazes had already stopped bleeding.

 

 

“Once he has calmed down, I’ll ask her,” Damon said, thinking that he didn’t want his frail sister anywhere near the angry young teenager right now. She may have been a werewolf but she wasn’t the strongest she could have been and Harry, even at fifteen, was probably stronger than her, his rage would only have added to that. Besides he didn’t think that in the mood he was in Harry would appreciate someone poking and prodding at him while asking him questions.  

 

 

FGHP

 

 

Curled up at the base of the tree not far from the worried glances of the others in the clearing Harry let himself cry. Wrapping his arms around his legs and resting his forehead on his knees he let the tears flow. It was all gone, there was no going back. The blood proved to Harry that Severus hadn’t made it out of that house… his bedroom… alive. He couldn’t understand why Aurors would want to destroy his life like that, he just didn’t know what to think anymore.

 

 

What had his Dad done that warranted death? Why were they after him? On top of it all he had shouted at Fenrir. He’d even hit him, well shoved at him, not that the Alpha had been bothered by it. Harry knew that the overgrown beast of a man had deserved it, passing judgement on his Dad the way he had, but Harry still felt bad. He had been looking for a fight to release his frustration, to stop him feeling so helpless. Fenrir had been so easy to rile up, especially after he had seen the cage.

 

 

Something else was gnawing at Harry though. When he had first seen his bedroom destroyed and had fallen to his knees Fenrir had been there to hold him, encompassing him in his warmth to offer comfort and reassurance. Harry had repaid that with screaming at him and lashing out. He may have hated the Alpha for what he had implied about Severus but Harry had a lot to thank him for as well. He might not have felt as if he belonged in the pack but they had accepted him without question when he had nowhere else to go. Harry got the distinct impression that if Fenrir hadn’t permitted it then he wouldn’t have been here.

 

 

Harry was grateful that they had left him alone long enough to calm down. He would have felt even worse than he did right now if he had shouted at one of the others the way he had at Damon and Fenrir. He also didn’t think that the Alpha would have tolerated him treating the others in that way. He was genuinely surprised that Damon hadn’t followed him to tell him off for shouting and even swearing. As he cuddled his legs, scrunching them up against his body, his only wish was for a hug from his Dad and as that thought crossed his mind he felt lost and entirely alone.

 

 

FGHP

 

 

Lord Voldemort was, for once, averagely pleased. The conversion of Durmstrang, into an educational institution he could be proud of, was progressing as planned and  he was hopeful that within the year he would have at least a few new recruits from there who might be adequate to wear his mark. It was not the conquering of Hogwarts, that he had hoped for, but it was still early days yet. He was, after all, now only nineteen years old once again and yet he had the wisdom of a lifetime of errors that he had learnt from and would never again repeat.

The worst case scenario in regards to Hogwarts was to simply wait until the old fool of a headmaster, Albus Dumbledore, dropped dead of old age; which surely that wouldn’t take long, not judging by the look of him. Tom Riddle shuddered at the idea of being so old, wrinkled, or grey; no he would find the solution to aging he required long before he ever decayed to that revolting point again. Dumbledore had already fallen from grace in the eyes of the wizarding world, something that had pleased the Dark Lord greatly.

 

Voldemort was still not a particularly patient man and so he was eager to hear how his more proactive plans were progressing. What he had learnt throughout the years was to think much bigger, his desire for change had grown, and now he had grand plans for the world; he would focus on Britain to start off with, before going global. Voldemort was certain, that once his homeland had fallen totally under his control, the rest would see the benefits to his ways and fall in line easily enough.

 

He intended to make Britain the first country in the world to become entirely populated with witches and wizards. Though he would permit a few muggles to keep their wretched lives, in exchange for this he would expect complete obedience and servitude. They would at least be slightly less revolting to look at than house-elves, he was sure someone would find some use for them. They would certainly be useful when it came to constructing the networks of wizarding towns that would be the base of his empire.

 

 

It would be glorious, they would all see it his way eventually, but right now he would have the progress report he had ordered for projects a little closer to home. Riddle tapped his index finger on the large, antique table of the Malfoy’s grand dining room, his other fingers wrapped loosely around his wand that wasn’t really his but would do until he could locate his own. The Carrows were late and this pushed his limited patience to the limit. They would pay for making him wait for them, he didn’t wait for anyone. Not even the prospect of a few cruciatus curses would make up for their tardiness.

 

The large double doors, which were at the opposite end of the room to where he was sitting, flew open and a short stocky witch hurried in. Alecto was quickly followed by her rather squat and stumpy looking brother, Amycus. “Our apologies, my Lord,” Alecto said between wheezes as she desperately tried to catch her breath. Not wanting to anger their Master they had run any distance that they had been unable to apparate.

 

“You kept me waiting,” Riddle stated coldly. He let out a deep chuckle as he slowly turned his head to observe where the two Deatheaters come to a sudden stop at the sight of the Dark Lord’s pet being present in the room, both of the siblings looking absolutely terrified at what this could mean for them. The enormous basilisk had curled up on the floor around Voldemort's chair, hissing into the deadly silence of the room.

 

Both of the Carrows seemed to be resisting the urge to close their eyes; they had seen too many others pay the price for that mistake to make it themselves. If Lord Voldemort decided that the last thing they would see would be the yellow eyes of the basilisk then who were they to question it.

 

It was difficult to resist, particularly when they would never be able to forget the incident where Igor Karkaroff, former headmaster of Durmstrang, had met his death. Karkaroff had been dragged in front of the great scaled monster and made to stare his own death in the face.  It was perhaps having to observe the basilisk consume the man afterwards that had stuck in the Carrows’ minds most vividly.

 

Riddle had found that having the basilisk around was definitely an efficient measure to ensure that all his subject’s eyes and attention were focused exactly where they were supposed to be. On him. The creature was linked to him irreversibly since a part of his soul had come to reside inside of it. No one would be able to kill the great snake and therefore even if his horcruxes were found and somehow destroyed, the snake would ensure that he lived on even though it wasn’t exactly a horcrux itself.

 

“My Lord…” Alecto began, bowing her head, her brother following suit with this action, wanting to appease their master.

 

“Do not simper,” Tom hissed. “Tell me what is happening at Hogwarts. Is Umbridge working out … as planned?”

 

“Things are progressing well, my Lord,” Amycus told him.

 

 “Give me details! You are here to provide me with information; I would hope you would have informed me before now if things had failed to progress. Or are you every bit as useless as you appear?”

 

“Umbridge has mostly put a stop to Dumbledore’s pathetic leniency on the students; she has found that detentions using a blood quill have been quite effective,” Alecto told him. She really had been enjoying watching those little brats make themselves bleed, it was most… amusing.

“She is also gathering evidence again Dumbledore’s more… sympathetic professors,” Amycus added.

 

“Excellent, excellent; and what of our dear headmaster?” Riddle asked as he got to his feet. The Dark Lord took a few slow steps towards the brother and sister, who cowered in his presence; the basilisk raised its head and brushed against his hand before going back to dozing.

 

“There is… not much to… erm… report on that matter, my Lord,” Amycus stuttered, glancing at his sister nervously.

 

“I instructed you to watch him closely, you fools,” Voldemort snapped impatiently and turning around in an attempt to suppress the urge to strike them dead; he was really looking forward to the moment he could recruit more competent subjects in the coming years.

 

“What Amycus means to say, is that Dumbledore isn’t at the school much. He seems almost uninterested in the control Umbridge has taken,” Alecto clarified, holding her breath as their master turned slowly back to face them.

 

“Curious,” he hissed. “What are you up to old man?”

 

“My Lord?” Amycus questioned stupidly.

 

“And Draco? What do you have to say about the boy?” Riddle asked, deciding to think about the Dumbledore issue when he didn’t have these two simpering idiots distracting him.

 

 

“Draco has been acting suspiciously,” Alecto told him.

 

“He is avoiding us, my Lord, I believe he knows we are there on your orders,” Amycus added.

 

“Of course he does!” Riddle snapped in annoyance, “he is not as pathetic as the pair of you; the boy at least has some brains, maybe he will yet prove his worth. Now be gone!”

 

The Carrows both turned to leave, heading for the door quickly but they had gotten no more than a few paces towards their escape route before the angry hiss of ‘Crucio’ hit their ears and Amycus fell to the floor as pain flooded his body.

 

“You think I will let you turn up late with no consequence?” Voldemort tormented them with his evil jeer. “We are going to have some fun, aren’t we Alecto?”

 

She didn’t look like she was enjoying watching her brother’s suffering one bit. “Yes, my Lord,” she said as she nodded obediently, nonetheless and the large doors to the dining room slammed shut, sealing the two of them inside with Tom Riddle and his dreaded monster of a basilisk.

 

 

FGHP

           

 

Two days after the incident at Ingleton and five before the full moon would be upon the pack Harry finally conceded and allowed Callie to check him over. Harry was aware that she did this at Fenrir’s insistence and that the Alpha was concerned about the affects the silver had had on him. Since their argument they hadn’t spoken to one another. Though Harry was beginning to feel as if he ought to apologise to Fenrir for lashing out at him the way he had. Though if he was going to say that he was sorry then he wanted the Alpha wolf to say it too. They had both said things they shouldn’t have.

 

 

Callie poked and prodded at him, testing his reflexes and reaction speeds, which she noted were a little slower than they ought to have been but not drastically so. She then tested his vision, which again was not as enhanced as it should have been but the difference was slight and not too concerning. His sensitive werewolf hearing hadn’t been affected at all she was glad to note but she couldn’t test everything. Callie would have liked to test his healing rate though she didn’t think that Fenrir would react too well to her injuring his mate for the sake of a test.

 

 

She therefore declared that until she could watch his transformation, see him in wolf form and conduct further tests, which for the moment the Alpha would not allow; there was nothing wrong with him that she could see. Although she did make a note that he would have to be watched carefully over the next few months. Harry didn’t tell her about the potions. He had kept them well concealed but he knew that they would not last more than three weeks after the next full moon.

 

 

It was a huge concern for him that he wouldn’t have enough potion. His Dad had always stressed the importance of dosage of the Wolfsbane potion which could be fatal if too much was drank over too long. However if too little was taken then it would have very little effect when it came time to transform, making the pain of the change significantly worse than if he hadn’t taken the potion at all. Harry just hoped that he would have enough to keep him going until he could figure out where to get all of the ingredients he needed to brew more and where to brew it without any of the others discovering his secret.

 

 

Callie of course reported her findings back to Fenrir who didn’t exactly seemed satisfied with her evaluation but knew there was little more that she could do. It was two hours after Callie had finished, and left Harry alone again, that the young wolf found that he had company and it wasn’t who he was expecting.

 

 

When he heard the sound of heavy footsteps behind him he had hoped that Lukas had come to talk to him and perhaps brought him more tea. Harry loved the fact that Lukas was a little obsessed with the drink and treated everyone around him as if they felt the same way. However when Harry turned his head and cast a cursory glance over his shoulder he saw the large frame of the Alpha wolf.

 

 

“May I?” Fenrir asked.

 

 

“Your territory,” Harry said with an indifferent shrug.

 

 

“Our territory,” Fenrir corrected as he took a seat beside his mate, “Pack territory.” Harry snorted at his as he lent his chin against his knees, determinedly staring straight ahead of him, his arms wrapping around his legs. He still didn’t feel as if he was really part of the pack.

 

 

“I’m sorry for shouting at you and hitting you,” Harry said in a rush, wanting to get it over with and out of the way. Fenrir looked at his little mate in surprise, not having expected him to apologise.

 

 

“You didn’t hurt me,” Fenrir returned, still a little shocked that he was being apologised to. None of the other wolves in the pack would have said that they were sorry, though none of the others would have been stupid enough to hit him in the first place no matter how angry they were.

 

 

“I didn’t think that I did, I’m still sorry,” Harry said a little annoyed at the response the Alpha wolf had given.

 

 

“You do need to learn some respect,” Fenrir said to him and Harry had to hold down his temper at those words, he didn’t want another fight, he didn’t have the energy for one. He was too emotionally raw to deal with another screaming match.

 

 

“And you need to apologise as well,” Harry snapped a little harsher than he meant to, turning his head to glare at Fenrir.

 

 

“For what?” Fenrir asked as he turned to look at Harry with confusion, he hadn’t realised that he had anything that he needed to be sorry for. As far as he was concerned he had simply informed his young mate of his disapproval at his living conditions. He had had every right to be concerned over his mate and the way he had been treated.

 

 

“For what you said!” Harry said, unable to believe that the Alpha didn’t realise that what he had said had hurt him.

 

 

“I don’t know what you think I shouldn’t have said,” Fenrir stated matter-of-factly.

 

 

“What you said about my Dad,” Harry told him with exasperation; staring at the older werewolf in disbelief; did he really not see what he had done wrong?

 

 

Fenrir had heard Harry’s arguments and opinions about how he and his father had dealt with his lycanthropy, but he would not be swayed on this matter. There was no acceptable reason to lock up any werewolf, let alone one who was just a pup. “He shouldn’t have put you in a cage,” That was something Fenrir needed Harry to understand.

 

 

“He didn’t!” Harry said, feeling tired of trying to make him understand. He didn’t want the pack blaming his father if there were any consequences from being so close to that silver. “I put myself there, it was my choice. But I also meant what you said about him not loving me, he gave up his life to protect me. He has just died and you insulted him,” he added. This was what had really hurt him; this is what he really needed the Alpha to apologise for, if he was ever going to be able to stay with the pack, with him.

 

 

Fenrir furrowed his brow as he considered this for a moment, realising that it clearly meant something to Harry to hear him say the words. However he wanted to be very clear what he was and was not apologising for. He wouldn’t apologise for being concerned over his mate or his reaction to the cage. “I did not mean to insult him, for that I am sorry.”

 

 

“Thanks.” Harry said, softly, taken aback that he had said it; even more so that it had sounded sincere. He couldn’t take his wide surprised eyes off the Alpha.  “He did love me, you know,” he told him.

 

 

“So I’ve heard,” Fenrir grumbled under his breath; his beta had been quite clear on the matter and he supposed he would have to trust him on it, no matter his own feelings.

 

 

“Heard from who?” Harry asked curiously.

 

 

“You,” The Alpha grunted.

 

Harry rolled his eyes at Fenrir’s obvious avoidance tactic. “And…” he prompted.

 

 

There was silence, which Harry was willing to wait out and after a minute or so Fenrir admitted, “Damon, Clayton.”

 

 

“They told you?” Harry asked as he looked up at him surprised, but this time he was smiling and the green of his eyes seemed bright.

 

 

“They did,” Fenrir confirmed, the corner of his mouth curling up at an imitation of a smile, at the sudden change in his young mate.

 

 

“See, you should have believed me,” Harry said, breaking out into a full smug grin.

 

 

“Perhaps,” Fenrir said, holding back a groan. He had a feeling that this smug Harry was something he would have to get used to and, though he was sure that life with his mate would never be easy, it was endearing enough that he was sure it would be worth it.

FGHP

 

 

The full moon came round quickly enough for the pack. It was nearing the end of September, the weather was getting significantly cooler and wetter. Not that the werewolves seemed to notice. They had their charms and their wards to keep the clearing dry and warm, and they were a little more resilient to the harsher weather that English winters involved.

 

Everyone was excited except, of course, for Harry. After he and Fenrir had made up, following their disastrous trip to Ingleton, things within the pack had settled into a steady rhythm. Harry still didn’t talk much to anyone apart from Lukas, though now on the odd occasion Romy was permitted to join in on their conversations. Though that might have been because she was the only one intellectually matched to the two males within the group.

 

It would be the first time transforming and enjoying a full moon with the pack for a few of them. For some it would be the first change not done behind bars, silver or otherwise. Lukas already had the Alpha’s reassurance that they would not be allowed to hurt humans but he was still nervous about it, but it was nothing on how Harry was feeling. He knew that he had been taking the correct dose of the potion and therefore he should be fine out of his cage for this transformation. It had always just been a safety precaution at home, one that had never been needed.

The entire pack had been watching him closely and, even though it had crossed his mind to make his way back to Ingleton and lock himself in the silver cage that Fenrir had detested so much, he had not found the opportunity to sneak away. Apparently Fenrir had been listening closely when Harry had said he still wanted to be in his cage and the pack had been put on full alert in case he tried to run.

 

Not wanting them to carry on with this high level of supervision he had given them no reason to mistrust him, thinking that it would be nice to get them to relax a little. Only then would he be able to sneak away to get his potion ingredients, that he would need to make his father’s version of the wolfsbane potion, before the next full moon.

 

The morning of the full moon Lukas came to sit with Harry while they had breakfast. The older of the two of them already on his second mug of tea. Harry didn’t have much of an appetite this morning, his stomach tying up in knots at the prospect of the coming evening. He picked at his porridge that Callie had made for them, playing with it more than eating it.

“You alright?” Lukas asked, sipping at his tea. It was familiar to see him with a mug of steaming liquid now, it was rare that he was ever without one.

“I guess,” Harry said with a shrug.

 

“You thinking about tonight?” Lukas asked and Harry nodded in confirmation putting his bowl down, the meal barely touched. “Honestly … me too.” Lukas confessed, leaning forward as though to share his secret with the young werewolf alone.

“You are?” Harry asked curiously; if he didn’t know that it wasn’t really in Lukas’ nature he would have thought that he was winding him up. None of the other had shown the slightest anxieties about the rapidly approaching full moon; on the contrary, Harry thought they were slightly disturbingly joyful at the prospect. Full moons had never been a reason to celebrate, they had been something to fear and worry about. There had been no happiness regarding them at home, not like there was here.

 

 

“It’ll be my first time not in a cage for my transformation,” Lukas told him with a faint smile.

 

“Mine too,” Harry admitted quietly.

 

Lukas took a deep swig of his tea before he spoke again, “You’re worried about it?” Harry nodded in answer to Lukas’ question. “It was one of the things I asked before joining the pack. I didn’t want to hurt anyone,” he added.

 

“I don’t either,” Harry admitted, feeling relieved that he wasn’t the only one. This whole idea of letting the pack loose as wolves seemed entirely reckless in his opinion and he couldn’t see how it wouldn’t end in someone getting hurt or killed; be that one of the pack or some poor innocent victim.

 

“Fenrir assured me that he wouldn’t allow it,” Lukas said, trying to reassure the teen. “Try not to think about it too much, I’m sure it’ll be okay.” And he patted the teen on the shoulder as he went to refill his now empty mug.

 

Harry watched him go, grateful that he had Lukas as a friend. It was nice to know that he wasn’t the only one who was a little apprehensive about the coming evening. He looked on in amusement as Micha bounded up to Lukas grinning. He had been watching the two of them since he’d arrived, the two of them a great source of entertainment during the day when things got rather dull.

 

Micha was clearly crushing big time on Lukas, who just wasn’t interested in the advances being made. Not that that deterred Micha in the slightest. If he wasn’t flirting with the newest pack member then he was teasing and playing practical jokes on Jenson, who was never amused by them. Harry liked observing the rest of the pack, it meant he got to know them a little better from a distance without having to interact with them at all. He could see why Clay had taken an instant liking to Micha, not that he was jealous or anything.

 

As the evening began to draw in and the last of the pack, Jenson, arrived back in the clearing after a day at work, a feeling of dread settled on Harry. Lukas remained as calm as ever not that he ever seemed to be anything other than calm but Harry supposed that that was all the tea he drank, it was supposed to be soothing after all. Everyone else was practically bubbling with excitement at the prospect of having a complete pack on the night of the full moon.

It wasn’t until it was almost full dark that everyone began to undress.

 

Now, of course, Harry knew that he would have to get naked, failing to do so would only result in becoming tangled in a mass of fabric and making a fool of yourself; it was something he had had firsthand experience of as he had wanted to try it just to see what would happen when he was younger. It wasn’t something he wanted to repeat. Harry hadn’t realised however that they would be undressing and being naked in front of each other before the change took over.

 

He had never seen a completely naked person before. Topless men, sure, scantily clothed women, sure, but never completely naked.  He had always known his sexual preference gravitated towards men, having found no appeal in staring at females the way Clay did, however even the prospect of seeing Callie and Romy in nothing but their skin was equally as disturbing as seeing Clay and Damon, who were his family, without a stitch on. Then of course there was Fenrir … Harry had already woken up several times with a raging hard on after some rather erotic dreams of him. He wasn’t sure how he was going to cope now that those dreams would be part way into becoming a reality.

 

Seeing everyone else naked however was only part of the problem. The other issue Harry was having was the fact that everyone would be able to see him naked too. He would have much preferred to find a quiet spot behind a tree and get the process over with as quickly as possible in private. Harry was the smallest out of all the men in bulk and height and he was worried that he would he the smallest in other areas too.

He kicked off his shoes first, following suit from Fenrir, whom he kept a discreet eye on. Harry had become accustomed to seeing the Alpha shirtless, he never wore anything beneath his leather jacket and Harry felt as if he had memorized every light blonde hair that led from his belly button down to the waistband of his jeans. Tonight he was going to see what lay beyond that and he wasn’t really sure if what he was feeling was more terror or excitement at the prospect.

 

His bare feet came to rest upon the grass as his socks were discarded; he wiggled his toes trying to get used to the soft ground compared to the hard floors he had grown up with. Fenrir shrugged off his jacket, letting it fall to the floor. Harry took a moment to look over the glorious chest that belonged to the Alpha wolf. He was a huge man but there was not an ounce of excess flesh on him. It made Harry’s body ache to touch him … but he tore his eyes away quickly, not wanting to be caught giving him longing stares.

 

He focused instead on himself; for as nervous as he was about being naked in front of them all, it felt as though it would be just as awkward to be the one person left dressed. So, with trembling fingers, he brought his t-shirt up, over his head, discarding it on the ground, leaving himself exposed. He quickly crossed his arms over his slender chest to hide himself as best he could.

 

The chill in the night air sent goose pimples across his skin, his nipples stiffening as the cold air hit them. He had eyes for no one but the Alpha as Harry’s tongue flickered out, wetting dry lips. It was an action that didn’t escape Fenrir’s attention, nor was the fact that Harry didn’t seem to be able to stop staring at him. He watched his young mate with more subtlety than the teenager could manage, enjoying how embarrassed Harry clearly was by it.

 

Fenrir reached down, aware that Harry’s eyes never left him, pulling at the button of his jeans, tugging until it came loose. Pushing them down muscular thighs and stepping out of them. He didn’t wear underwear. Nudity was not something that tended to bother Werewolves, it was all a natural process, especially when it came to the change but Fenrir found it rather endearing that his little mate felt so shy about it. Something else that was rather unique about him.

 

Harry’s breath caught in his throat. He had watched as the jeans had been lowered to the floor and he stubbornly kept his eyes on the now crumpled pile of material for as long as he could, but he wanted to see, and he couldn’t resist the need to know any longer. His eyes slowly travelled up heavily muscled calves, that were covered in hair the same shade of that on the Alpha’s chest and then on up over his broad thighs that were honestly a little frightening and made Harry feel as small and breakable as a twig.

 

He half believed he wasn’t going be able keep looking up further, but he knew that he wouldn’t be able to resist either; he really had to know, he had to see. He bit his lip as he quickly flicked his eyes up to Fenrir’s groin; his hands flying quickly to cover his mouth when a small ‘eep’ noise escaped without permission from his brain. The Alpha’s soft but deep chuckle made Harry’s eye flick up to the older werewolf’s grinning expression, and, in seconds, Harry was sure that not just his cheeks but his whole body was blushing.

 

Harry couldn’t take the tension anymore and quickly turned his back to the others, not even wanting to know if the rest of the pack had noticed the interaction between the pair of them. That was going to be all kinds of awkward in the morning; he had already played out how Clay would tease him, in his head before he remembered the two of them were still barely talking. But he was not going to think about that just yet. He had never wanted to transform into his wolf more than he did in that moment, to forgo his human brain for a while. Wolves didn’t feel embarrassment like this and right now Harry wanted the ground to open up and swallow him.

With a deep calming breaths Harry tried to will his heartbeat down to something like a normal pace, which was difficult when the vivid image of Fenrir wearing nothing was burned into his mind, for all eternity he was sure. He clenched and unclenching his fists in a steady rhythm as he kept his eyes pinched tightly shut and slowly he felt his buzzing brain start to calm a little. It was only really at this point that he realised he actually now wanted to take his jeans off, simply because he was hard, and his erection was pressing uncomfortably against the constricting zip.

 

Facing the other way definitely made it easier to not think too much about the group of eight people standing, in various states of undress, behind him. He knew that was simply denial, but better that than humiliating embarrassment. His nimble fingers played with his zip for a few seconds before he undid it, sliding his jeans and boxers down in one swift movement a few seconds later. The one real benefit of the colder night air was that it quickly helped ease his arousal.

 

He felt vulnerable, and alone and scared of what his inner wolf might do when given such free reign; even with the potions inside him and admittedly he was perhaps even more scared of what the obviously bigger and stronger wolves might do to him. Harry just wanted to curl up as small as he could make himself, and wait until the change came, but he didn’t want to let anymore of himself touch the muddy ground beneath him. He yearned for the warmth of the Ingleton house basement, the cleanliness of the room and the security the cage gave him. A single tear was halfway down his cheek when a firm hand rested on his shoulder.

 

“Come on, Harry,” Damon’s warm tones said, comforting Harry more than he expected. His panic easing slightly as he looked over his shoulder and up at the only other adult he had ever really trusted in his life aside from his Dad. “I know it isn’t what you are used to, but we will keep you safe. I promise.”

 

Harry gave a curt, though somewhat nervous nod and swallowed, he was disturbingly aware that Damon, basically his second parent, was standing barely a few inches from him wearing absolutely nothing at all. Never in all his life had Harry focused so intently on someone’s face before; because as much as he was curious and had wanted to see what Fenrir had in his trousers, he absolutely did not want to see Damon’s; those privates he was quite happy for to stay… well… private. The same went for Clay too, slight alarm filled him at the prospect of seeing his almost brother in the nude.

 

There was no resisting it though, this would be the first night of many where they would be naked around each other and so biting his lip, and forcing himself not to pinch his eyes shut, Harry turned around. The other werewolves were walking around as if it were the most natural thing in the world, which Harry supposed it technically was. Though he couldn't help but feel highly embarrassed and wholly in need of a sudden growth spurt.

 

He wanted to cover himself up desperately but he could feel the magic beneath his skin, bubbling furiously; the change was coming. He glanced up at the clear but dark blue sky, lit only but the glowing presence of the perfectly round moon and in that moment, despite his doubts and fears, he wanted it; he wanted the fur that would grow over the entirety of his body and make him feel less exposed.

Harry’s temples began to throb, a tingling sensation spreading from his spine through his arms and down his legs that swiftly turned into a slight burn. His embarrassment and anxiety forming a tight ball in his gut, threatening to explode. He felt his skin begin to stretch, the potion taking away the worst of the pain. He dropped to the ground, focusing everything he had on his breathing, knowing that it would make the difficult transformation from human to wolf easier.

 

As he had done every month since he had been old enough to know what was happening, Harry tried to anticipate the change as it took hold of his body. Each phase he shifted to accordingly, his head down, on all fours in the mud of the clearing, surrounded by his pack mates, all of them in varying forms of the transformation. His back arched, muscles knotting, twisting and convulsing as fur sprouted over his entire body.

 

And then it was over.

 

Stretching and blinking, he had never felt so free. There were no bars to hold him back here but then his natural instincts as a wolf were quashed as the wolfsbane potion kicked in, a wave of lethargy washing over him. it happened very suddenly and almost instantaneously and Harry welcomed it, knowing that he wouldn’t have the strength to do any damage to anyone or anything tonight.

 

He lay down, tucking his hind legs under him and yawning widely before resting his head on his front legs, closing his eyes. He was happy to just lay here and sleep but a nudge to his behind made him growl. Opening his eyes he glared at the dark blonde wolf beside him that stared at him in confusion with golden eyes, his head cocked to one side questioningly. Fenrir. The large blonde wolf nudged him again, this time by nuzzling at his snout, trying to coax him up and moving.

 

Harry gave a low warning rumble deep within his throat, as he rested his head down once more. A second wolf approached, this one wasn’t as large as Fenrir but was damned close with dark brown fur and looked between the two of them with steely grey eyes. Harry wasn’t sure how he knew but something told him that this was Damon. Just as his human eyes would have recognized the man, his wolf recognised the beta without question.

 

Fenrir could see that something wasn’t right with his mate. Though he was a beautiful wolf to behold, pure black fur with the glittering emerald eyes that he had admired from the moment he’d first seen them. However unlike the rest of the pack that were bounding around in excitement, eager to run and to hunt, Harry had settled down, seemingly to go to sleep. The lack of energy wasn’t natural.  Even an attempt to coax him on to his feet seemed to do nothing other than illicit an unhappy grumble of complaint.

 

The Alpha wolf jerked his head, giving off a low rumble of communication to his beta, instructing him to take charge of the other wolves. He was going to stay behind and take care of his mate. Settling beside Harry, who was considerably smaller in size, he shuffled up against him, nudging Harry’s nose with his own and giving him a small lick. The younger, smaller wolf returned the gesture by nuzzling against his Alpha, butting their heads together affectionately.

 

Fenrir was itching to join his pack in the hunt.  To take his rightful place in the lead, as Alpha, and sink his powerful jaws into the flesh of a doe; to feel the animal’s life leave its body. Harry however was asleep or at the very least dozing. He was unlike any wolf Fenrir had ever known. To not want to hunt or to run just wasn’t natural. It made Fenrir think back, with dread, to Damon and his suggestion that the damned silver cage might not be Harry’s only attempt at controlling his wolf.

 

Whatever plagued his mate, the Alpha didn't like it. It didn't matter what it took, he would find out what caused the feisty young man to turn into such a docile and sickly wolf. But until then, he would keep him safe, he assured himself as he nuzzled his nose into Harry’s fur, letting the familiar scent of his young mate wash over him.

 

It was a little while later when the others finally returned from the hunt and they did so dragging a carcass of a freshly slaughtered doe. Untouched by the other wolves. Fenrir appreciated this as his stomach was growling with hunger and he was unable to leave his young mate. He wanted Harry to eat too; it was still worrying him greatly that the young wolf had not acted upon what should have been his natural instincts to hunt and feed. Even with the fresh kill so close by Harry showed no inclination to share in the meal the others had brought back.

 

Bleary green eyes opened and took in his surroundings with mild curiosity, but still he lay on the ground, curled into the Alphas side, his head resting on his front paws. It concerned Fenrir greatly that Harry could ignore the scent of a fresh kill when it was so freely offered to him, the little wolf closing his eyes instead with the intent to fall back to sleep.

 

The Alpha wasn’t having any of that, he was going to ensure that his mate was fed, whether he wanted to eat or not. Nudging gently at Harry seemed to be receiving no response, so changing tactics Fenrir nibbled gently upon his ear, which initiated a low growl of annoyance from the younger wolf. The Alpha returned the noise of annoyance with a lower, more threatening growl of warning. Harry took note of this, turning his head to look at the older wolf tiredly.

 

He could clearly see the fresh kill laid out before him, the tear in the throat signifying that it was dead but Harry remained uninterested and it wasn’t until Fenrir began to continuously nudge and nibble at him that he finally got the message and raised himself to his feet to make any attempt to eat. The rest of the pack had gone off to hunt for their own meal leaving the Alpha and his mate alone to satisfy their hunger.

 

Once he was assured that Harry was eating, Fenrir joined him, continuously encouraging him to eat more anytime it looked as if the younger, darker furred wolf might stop and attempt to lie back down to sleep once more. Once they had both had their fill Fenrir watched as Harry settled himself back down to sleep. The Alpha nestled into him again, enjoying the closeness, licking the blood from his mates muzzle. Harry whimpered but allowed Fenrir this as he fell back into a doze.

FGHP

 

Harry blinked, groaning with the stiffness of his limbs. He hated the morning after the full moon, always felt so groggy and disoriented. He shifted, adjusting to the warmth that surrounded him. The arm thrown across his waist tightened slightly and the sleeping man that was spooned around him grumbled in his sleep.

 

Instantly Harry stilled, he was cuddled up to a very naked Fenrir, while he too had nothing more than the flush of embarrassment that now covered his body. To make the situation worse his cock was rock hard, achingly so and desperate for release. However he realised as the older wolf shifted restlessly behind him that the Alpha too was highly aroused.

 

Harry’s breath caught in his throat as he recalled watching the Alpha undress the night before as he prepared for the change. Imagining the long, thick member enlarged and throbbing behind him was almost too much to bear.

 

He wanted to find his clothes and to cover himself before making an escape. Fenrir’s grip on him however was relentlessly tight, the Alpha’s breath warm on the back of his neck. The heat of his body encompassed Harry so completely and it felt wonderfully nice.

 

As Harry adjusted to this he realised that the two of them were not alone. Although none of the others were touching them, the entire pack had surrounded them, all equally naked and as deeply asleep as Fenrir.

 

It was the first time since arriving at the pack, Harry found himself feeling grateful of his slightly smaller frame. It enabled him to gently wiggle out of the Alpha’s firm grip that had slightly slackened as he had drifted back into a deeper sleep. Harry took great care to ensure that he didn’t wake Fenrir or any of the other pack mates.

Quickly and silently Harry gathered his clothing which had remained exactly where he had left them the night before. He pulled on his jeans before doing anything else, feeling suddenly a lot less vulnerable than he had moments before. Reaching for his wand he headed for the stream, feeling dirty after laying naked on the ground all night.

Casting heating charms on the water he once again removed his jeans, not feeling stupid at all for just having put them on. However he left on his underwear even as he bathed, not ready to feel that exposed again anytime soon.

 

He remained there for a long while, enjoying the magically heated water and actually feeling clean, something that was rare when you lived in a clearing in a forest without so much as a tap. Though their magical ability meant they didn’t want for any home comforts, Fenrir did so like to keep things simple. Confused shouts roused Harry from deep within his thoughts, it seemed that the rest of the pack was finally awake.

 

Harry ignored the shouting, drowning it out as he scrubbed every inch of his skin. Dipping his head under the water to clean his hair. As he brought himself up, there was another shout, this one sounding relieved and a lot closer to him.  

 

“He’s here,” Clayton’s voice called, “I found him.” Harry turned his head to see his best friend, thankfully wearing trousers, heading away from him, only for Fenrir to appear a moment later to confirm what Clay had said to be true. The Alpha too had put his trousers on, much to Harry’s relief, he couldn’t have dealt with any more nudity right now.

 

Fenrir however didn’t leave after confirming with his own eyes that Harry hadn’t run off. He stalked down to the stream where his young mate was extracting himself from the water and casting drying charms on himself and cleaning charms on his clothes. Harry found it very difficult to meet the golden gaze of the Alpha wolf after his reaction to him naked the night before and he was desperate to fully clothe himself too.

 

“I want to talk to you,” Fenrir said in his usual blunt tone. Harry was used to hearing it from him now but it didn’t stop the swell of panic. He thought that this was it, he had been caught looking inappropriately at the Alpha male and he’d be asked, no, forced to leave.

 

“Okay,” Harry said nervously as he pulled on his magically cleaned jeans and t-shirt, not wanting to leave himself exposed to Fenrir’s domineering presence. He even put on his socks and shoes, so that he was also ready to run if it was needed and with the Alpha, Harry could never be too sure.

“I need to know what else you were doing to prevent your changes aside from the silver,” Fenrir demanded, trying to keep his tone even and calm, which was why he hadn’t used the word cage. If he had called it that then he would have been close to flying off the handle again and after their bonding the night before he didn’t want to push the boy away again. The Alpha had panicked upon waking to find the boy gone, thinking he had taken his chance and left. The relief upon finding him by the river had been immense.

 

Harry breathed a sigh of relief that he wasn’t being asked to leave the pack for his inappropriate behaviour. However what Fenrir wanted from him wasn’t something Harry wanted to tell him about. “What do you mean?” he asked, trying to play the innocent act. Fenrir simply gave him a pointed look, not fooled in the slightest. “It was just the silver cage,” Harry told him.

Fenrir glared at him. He knew that his mate wasn’t telling him the truth, no wolf could act so placid just from silver poisoning, no matter the length of the exposure. It frustrated the Alpha that Harry wouldn’t open up to him. “You’re lying,” he said with a rough grunt.

 

“It’s nothing,” Harry insisted defensively, though his mind rested with his backpack still in the clearing, containing his wolfsbane potions. “I guess you were just right about how bad the silver was.” Harry was keen to move the conversation on quickly before the Alpha starting prying too deeply; he was quite certain that Fenrir would not take well to the idea of the wolfsbane potion, given his reaction to the silver cage.

 

Fenrir narrowed his eyes suspiciously, something wasn’t right, there was no way that silver would have that kind of an effect on any wolf. It burnt their skin and if ingested it would kill them, if in the air it would damage their senses, the Alpha wolf knew all of this but he was also aware that it couldn’t cause what he had seen last night. However it seemed that Harry wasn’t going to tell him, at least not willingly.

That tore at the Alpha wolf, he had thought they had finally started become closer during their transformation. Sure he would have liked to have woken up with his mate beside him, and not be filled with panic because he wasn’t there, but they had been close; he had slept with Harry in his arms, where the little one belonged. It had felt amazing to have him there too. He needed to know what Harry had done to himself to cause his unusual behaviour as a wolf but if he forced it out of him then it could potentially destroy everything they had built the night before. He wasn’t sure it was worth the risk.

 

“Don’t think that I’m letting this drop,” Fenrir growled with warning and Harry found himself relieved that at least for the moment the Alpha wasn’t going to push the matter further and his secret would remain hidden from him and the rest of the pack.

 

Harry had enough to worry about, in regards to the potion, without being concerned about its discovery as well. He knew that he didn’t have enough to sustain him at the proper dosage for the next full moon. He had worked out that if he took three quarters of the correct dose then it might be enough but he could still hear his Dad’s warning in his head, telling him about taking the right amount being imperative to its success. He was concerned that it might not be enough to suppress his wolf, to ease his change and that without the cage he would hurt someone.

 

Harry was still caught up in his thoughts about how he was going to get through the next full moon, when Fenrir started to heading back towards the clearing in silence and Harry couldn’t resist checking on the bag that contained all he had left in the world. The Alpha surveyed his young mate with interest. Watching as he walked away, heading toward the place where he kept his bag of personal items. Harry didn’t seem interested in the fact that Callie and Romy were preparing breakfast or that Micha was still lounging by the fire naked, completely unabashed and still half asleep.

 

Jenson and Lukas were both clothed and had taken over the chopping of the firewood which was what Fenrir usually occupied his time with; it was obviously not something that Lukas had much experience with because Jenson was letting out chuckles as he corrected the younger werewolf’s technique. Damon and Clay, after locating Harry, had gone to fetch supplies from the cave so that the pack would have a decent breakfast after their transformation, which always left them hungry despite their kills during the night.

 

It might have been a picture of pack unity, had it not been for Harry’s secretiveness and self-isolation, Fenrir realised. Something he was determined he would rectify sooner rather than later. At least there had been some steps in the right direction; not least Harry’s obvious attraction to him, Fenrir thought smugly.

 

Harry took a seat beneath what was swiftly becoming his favourite tree to sit under and think. From this position he could see the pack in the clearing, hear them laughing, joking and occasionally arguing. Micha and Jenson were always bickering amongst themselves. However it gave him enough privacy that he could take his potion and not be disturbed or seen.

As he rifled through his backpack he found the unopened letter that he had taken from his bedroom in Ingleton. With the argument in the basement and the following tensions between him and Fenrir, he had completely forgotten about it but now it seemed like a most appealing distraction.

 

 

Harry turned it over in his hands, eyeing the seal on it suspiciously. He of course knew about Hogwarts, he had read about it in the Prophet, when he and Clayton had taken them when their fathers weren’t looking. What Harry couldn’t understand was what anyone from Hogwarts would want from him; but there it was, plain as day, addressed to Harry Potter/Prince. He wasn’t sure what the Potter bit was all about but maybe that was his mother’s name; he decided to shrug it off.

 

He supposed that there was only one way to find out what it was about so he slid a finger under the seal and pulled it open. The parchment fell out into his hands and he took great care to unfold it, taking in the poncy looking green writing; clearly whoever had written the letter thought a lot of themselves. Harry half considered just screwing it up and discarding it, but that would leave him with no reason not to join the rest of the pack for breakfast, so he rested the pages against his knees and started to read.

Dear Mr Harry Potter

 

Due to the lack of a formal tutor I have been informed by the Ministry of Magic that you currently require a place at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, so as to complete your magical education. It is therefore with great pleasure that I, as Headmaster of this fine institution, have agreed to grant you a place, starting on the 3rd January 1996, where you will start in your fifth year.

Albus Dumbledore, Headmaster of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Order of Merlin 1st Class, Grand Sorc., D. Wiz., X.J. (sorc.), S of Mag.Q.

 

Harry nearly laughed at the ridiculously long title that Dumbledore had used, not having a clue what any of it meant apart from the headmaster bit. He found that the man had also included the list of equipment, which he would need, with the letter. He scanned over the required items, amazed that so much that he would need. He considered this offer, knowing that he would no doubt have to talk to Fenrir if he even wanted to consider accepting.

 

 

It was the name Albus Dumbledore that made him want to accept. His Dad had warned him not to trust the man and something was telling Harry that Albus Dumbledore was the one with the answers. Someone had gone to his home, killed his Dad, destroyed his life and now he was being offered a place at Hogwarts; not to mention finding the letter in his bedroom.

 

 

It seemed too much of coincidence and that was exactly why he wanted to go. He wanted to know what was going on. Right now he was clueless; if Dumbledore wanted him at Hogwarts then it seemed likely that Hogwarts was a good place to be to get what he needed. The one thing he was certain on, was that he wouldn’t get his answers sitting around moping in the pack territory.

 

 

FGHP

 

 

An anguished scream tore through the ancient halls of Malfoy Manor, Narcissa Malfoy was in the nursery and she was entirely alone except for a single loyal house elf. Not that she wanted anyone else there; certainly not anyone who was currently in residence, not when she was so vulnerable.

 

She was crouching down, rocking herself back and forth as a contraction ripped through her abdomen and she screamed again, tears escaping down her pale cheeks as she sobbed, struggling to catch her breath. She was terrified, she had asked for a healer to be summoned but so far none had come. According to the house elf Lucius had been too concerned with his Ministry paperwork to pay much heed to the needs of his wife.

 

It wouldn’t be long now. She had been in labour since the early hours of the morning and her contractions were coming fast without so much as a minutes rest between them. She knew that soon she would have the urge to push.

Breathing heavily as she had been taught to, Narcissa manoeuvred herself cautiously onto her bed, taking it slowly, not wanting to do anything that might hurt her baby. It was an odd thought to have but she wanted her other son. He wouldn’t have abandoned her to suffer this alone, he would have brought her help.

 

The urge to push took over and that’s exactly what she did. Straining, her fists clenching in the sheets beneath her. Sweat beaded across her brow as she strained to bring her second child into the world. Her body acted on instinct and a lot of it she remembered from when Draco had been born all those years ago.

 

Finally, as the sun rose on the first of October 1995, Abraxus Cygnus Malfoy was born. He was perfect as Narcissa had always known that he would be. He looked exactly like Draco had when he had first been born, wailed for attention like him too, and from the moment she first laid eyes upon the young boy she loved him and knew that she would give her life to protect him, just as she would for Draco.  

Chapter Text

The Hogwarts letter had been playing over in Harry’s mind. He hadn’t shared it with any of the others yet but only because he doubted that he would be allowed to go to the school on a whim; not without stating good reasons for wanting to go and backing them up with logic. That was the only way he was ever going to make Fenrir see reason.

 

It had been eight days since he had opened it and decided that he would be going regardless of what the Alpha said, though he had no doubt that it would be easier if he agreed. It had taken Harry that long to figure out what he wanted to say to the Alpha wolf and he was still nervous about going through with asking for permission to go. He was aware that he couldn’t act like a petulant child on the matter, demanding to be allowed to go, he had be thoughtful about how he presented it.

 

He wanted to do it today before he lost his nerve, however it was now the fourth of October and also Damon’s thirty sixth birthday; the pack was having a celebration of sorts for him and Harry didn’t want to ruin that but he knew that if he didn’t get it over with then he might not ever find the courage. After the full moon, waking up cuddled against an aroused and naked Fenrir, and then their resulting discussion, they had been oddly quiet towards one another. Harry supposed that the Alpha was as happy to avoid their issues as much as he was, at least for now.

 

Fenrir had let the matter, of what else Harry and his Father had been using to suppress his wolf, slide for the time being, which Harry was grateful for; however the Alpha had been keeping an annoyingly close watch on him since then, even though he was not talking to him. He simply gave Harry the space he needed. The young werewolf was thankful for this because every time his eyes locked with Fenrir’s he couldn’t stop the heated blush that rose up onto his cheeks as he remembered his reaction to the naked Alpha wolf.

 

Getting into the celebratory spirit, Romy had been decorating the clearing with colourful bunting and balloons all morning, conjuring them from her beech and unicorn hair wand. Damon had not really felt the need to make a thing of the day, but the younger pack members and his sister seemed keen, so he didn’t want to spoil their fun. Callie had gone with Lukas into town so that they could collect a cake. Lukas had needed to get some work done over the morning so the two of them were set to be gone until after lunch; apparently he also needed to buy tea, which none of the others had understood as they already had plenty in their store.

In the meantime Clayton was spending quality time with this Dad, the two of them off going off to do who knew what; Harry hadn’t cared enough to pay attention. Harry, though, suspected that it was just a distraction so that the celebrations could be prepared for.

 

Jenson too had needed to go into work. His job restoring magical artefacts seemed to be unseasonably busy of late, he had also been receiving some rather odd letters recently regarding a piece of furniture that was supposed to have magical properties but currently wasn’t acting as it was supposed to. The owner of the unspecified object was refusing to bring it in to show him and refused to tell him anymore about it. He had also refused to reveal his identity, which made Jenson highly suspicious that it was an object full of dark magic, something that he wanted to avoid, particularly given the uncertain times.

 

This had left Micha, Fenrir and Harry in the territory alone, along with Romy, of course, but she was too preoccupied with decorations and barely said anything anyway, so she didn’t really count. Harry liked her, she was smart, she’d read more books than Harry had ever heard off but she was wary of people and Harry had no clue why. Even though the two of them could interact on an intellectual level, with Lukas present, they hadn’t really bonded enough to talk, just the two of them yet.

 

Harry watched in amusement from his place at the base of his usual tree, as Romy accosted Micha, who had been trying to skilfully avoid her. The older werewolf hadn’t wanted to be dragged into helping with party decorations but Romy, despite her small stature, was not a witch, nor a werewolf, to be trifled with. Harry had watched from a distance with a smile on his face as Romy's eyes had narrowed, her wand pointed directly at Micha and she had threatened to write ‘I love Lukas’ across his forehead if he didn’t help.

 

It hadn’t escaped her keen notice the obvious flirting that Micha had been doing with the newest member of their pack. She wasn’t adverse to using this to get what she wanted from her stubborn pack brother. It was all Harry could do not to giggle at the two of them as Micha begrudgingly agreed to help and started conjuring twinkling fairy lights to decorate some of the foliage around their clearing.

 

“Something amusing?” a deep, gruff voice asked as a heavy body sat down beside him. Harry hastily closed his backpack and moved it out of sight before turning to smile faintly at the Alpha wolf, still determinedly not meeting his golden gaze.

 

“Romy and Micha,” Harry said motioning to where he could see her keeping a watchful eye on him to make sure he wasn’t slacking off and she didn’t have to follow through on her threat.

 

“Ah yes,” Fenrir grunted, watching the two of them in amusement also. He had taken the opportunity, of most of his pack being otherwise occupied, to come and talk to his young mate for the first time in days. However, now that he was here, he didn’t quite know what to say to him, though just sitting with him was enough for the Alpha. He enjoyed Harry’s company.

 

“I wanted to ask you something,” Harry began nervously. He began fiddling with the hem of his sleeve as he went over the words in his head, making sure he knew exactly what he was planning on saying so that Fenrir didn’t dismiss his request straight away without thought.

 

“Go on,” Fenrir said, watching his young mate curiously. His behaviour was odd. Harry wouldn’t look at him, or couldn’t. He seemed nervous, on edge somehow and the Alpha was curious as to what was bothering him.

 

“The letter that we found at my house,” Harry started and Fenrir nodded to show that he was following even though Harry wasn’t really looking at him. “It said that because I no longer had a formal tutor that I’d been offered a place at Hogwarts.” Fenrir had been about to object to this but Harry was clearly determined and ploughed on. “Now I know, bad idea, but if I ever want to find out what happened to my Dad then I have to do it, I have to go. I’ll never know what happened to him if I just stay here. I wouldn’t be leaving the pack, I mean, Merlin, I’d have nowhere else to go. But I just have to go, to Hogwarts I mean. Albus Dumbledore knows something about what happened to my Dad, I know he does,” Harry finished, finally managing to look up at him with pleading eyes.

 

Fenrir considered this for a moment. “Can I see the letter?” he asked gruffly and Harry nodded, handing it over to the Alpha without hesitation after digging it out from his backpack. Fenrir scanned the contents and he knew what he had to do. “I don’t trust him.”

 

“Neither do I,” Harry agreed eagerly, not hearing a no and becoming decidedly hopeful that this was a good sign. “I just want some answers.”

 

“I’ll consider it,” Fenrir said and Harry was just pleased that he hadn’t refused instantly. Having the Alpha agree to think about it was a huge step in the right direction and it made his good mood soar.

 

Fenrir didn’t like the idea of his mate going somewhere that he wouldn’t be able to protect him. However he could understand the young wolf’s need for answers. This was why he hadn’t disregarded the idea completely. He could see how much Harry wanted it, his desire for answers shining through, giving him a healthy glow that had been lacking in recent days. For that reason and that reason alone he was willing to talk it over with his Beta because if he did permit Harry to go, then he certainly wouldn’t be going alone and unprotected.

 

FGHP

 

Dumbledore had been unimpressed that Remus had let Harry slip through their fingers once again, but seemed more or less appeased by the fact that the boy had taken the letter. Remus had very deliberately failed to mention the company that Harry was keeping. He was also keeping his lips very firmly sealed on the matter of Harry’s lycanthropy. He had not even mentioned it to his lover, knowing that Sirius would not take that news well at all and, worse yet, would probably run off to tell Dumbledore without a single moment of hesitation.

 

Given that it seemed unlikely that Harry would return to Ingleton again, now that he had been to collect a few things and seen the damage that had been done, Dumbledore agree that it would be best for Remus to return to Sirius, who was still living at Grimmauld Place. He had flooed into the old Black house only to find Sirius conspicuously absent; which was most odd given that he was still technically a convict on the run. As far as Remus knew Sirius had nowhere else to go. It was a big house though, and it was entirely possible that there were several rooms that he had failed to check.

 

Sure enough, about an hour later the missing man had walked into the kitchen where Remus was helping himself to some lunch. Needless to say Sirius had been more than a little delighted to see his best friend and lover; it would be sometime before either of them would be able to look at the kitchen table without thinking some decidedly naughty thoughts.

 

It had now been almost three weeks since their rather enthusiastic reunion and not only had their relief in being back together worn off but their suspicions in each other were starting to grow. Remus was getting tired of Sirius vanishing at all hours of the day and night, sometimes for hours at a time, with no explanation. He was also busy battling his own demons about whether or not to tell someone about Harry being a werewolf; or perhaps even more crucially, about whether he should enlighten them as to the identity of his Alpha wolf.

 

Knowing whose care Harry was currently in was giving him nightmares; he had more than once woken up, crying out, as he tried to remind himself that the images of a beaten and mauled Harry weren’t real. Or at least he desperately hoped they weren’t. He was also trying to work out how it had even happened; how had Harry left with the still unidentified man and another teenage boy and then ended up in Fenrir Greyback’s pack. He could only assume that the two unknown people were already affiliated with the feared werewolf and had taken Harry to him.

 

Not that he had heard anything about Fenrir Greyback even having a pack; it had been generally assumed that he had returned to Voldemort’s side after his return, but that didn’t par with what he had witnessed in Ingleton. The two unknown people seemed to genuinely care for Harry and therefore surely they would have kept him away from Greyback if they feared he would turn the boy over to Voldemort. Not to mention, Harry obviously hadn’t been turned over; given that the Alpha wolf had even gone back to his former home with the boy. It appeared as if they were taking care of him and doing it well.

 

Remus shook his head, it was all too confusing and no matter how many times he thought it over, it still gave him a headache. None of it made any sense. Greyback was supposed to be a fearless, man killing beast. He was the werewolf that had bitten him as a boy. He couldn’t compare that man with the man he had seen being rather protective of Harry.

 

But it was Sirius’ secretiveness, his frequent unexplained disappearances that were really bothering him. Remus knew full well that his lover couldn't leave the house, so wherever he was disappearing to do it had to be within the Black family residence. However no matter how many times he asked, Sirius refused to tell him anything and, no matter how much he searched, he still came up empty. After this going on for a number of weeks he was getting hugely annoyed; not to mention worried.

 

Sirius’ mental state was far from stable and, in truth, Remus wasn’t even really sure that he wanted to know what was going on in those missing hours; but when it came down to it he did love Sirius, he wanted them to work out and he wasn’t ready to give up on them yet.

 

“Where were you?!” Remus demanded; slamming his book shut as Sirius casually strolled into the library where the werewolf had been trying to distract himself, unsuccessfully, by reading. He had been gone even longer than usual and had missed dinner, leaving Remus to eat alone.

 

Sirius however seemed in a good mood and entirely unconcerned about his lover’s frustrated and almost angry tone. “I was busy,” he simply stated, dropping himself into a chair not far from the one Remus was sat in.

 

“Busy?” Remus asked in disbelief. “You were gone for two hours, Sirius!” he said through gritted teeth. “I love you but I am getting tired of these secrets, what in Merlin’s name is going on?”

 

“Secrets? You want to talk about secrets?!” Sirius yelled suddenly, jumping back to his feet and pacing erratically around the seating area, “How about those nightmares? Hmmm?” he demanded in a breathy whisper as he rounded on Remus with an insane glint in his eyes, and a twitchy smile on his lips, “the ones you won’t talk about.”

 

Remus blanched, the colour draining from his cheeks as Sirius came forward towards his lover who had remained sat down trying not to panic at Sirius’ sudden burst of anger. He couldn’t tell his lover about Harry and Greyback, it would surely snap those fragile threads that were all that remained of the man’s sanity.

 

“They are just nightmares, Sirius,” Remus said quietly, trying to calm his racing heartbeat.

 

“I don’t believe you,” Sirius whispered in Remus’ ear, before placing a kiss on his temple. He pushed himself away from the chair and turned his back on his lover.

 

“Sirius, I just want to know where you are going to…” Remus said in a soft voice.

 

“And I want to know what your nightmares are about!” Sirius snarled, turning back to face him with narrowed eyes, “seems neither of us is going to be getting what we want.”

 

Remus sighed, “They are just bad dreams…”

 

“I DON’T BELIEVE YOU!” Sirius yelled suddenly, taking a step closer to Remus, his fists clenched and his whole body tense. Remus stared at him in speechless surprise for a few seconds before Sirius turned and stormed out of the room.

 

Remus pinched his eyes closed for a second, his hands tightly gripping the arms of the chair, as he took calming breaths, as he tried to work out when he had started being scared of Sirius? 'When you stopped being able to predict him', a little knowing voice in his head answered. He felt a tear roll down his cheek as he realised he wasn’t sure their relationship could survive this, no matter how much, or how long he had loved his lifelong friend. They had both changed, their years apart altering their relationship irreversibly. Azkaban had changed Sirius and not for the better, he wasn’t the man that Remus had fallen in love with all those years ago.

 

FGHP

 

Severus was fairly sure his shoulder was dislocated, not that it hurt any more or less than the other innumerable injuries that covered his body. His eyes were both so swollen that it was difficult to see out of them; he supposed it was the next best thing to being able to close them. His brain was foggy and he found thinking difficult as the same nightmarish memories went through his mind repeatedly.

 

He vaguely wondered if it had been a deliberate choice that Black had made to remove the silencing spells when he left, so that Severus could hear what was going on in the house; it wasn’t as though Severus could make even the tiniest of sounds. It meant that he knew that Lupin had returned but he rarely heard much, so he assumed it was just the three of them.

 

It wasn’t as though Severus could bring himself to care that the werewolf was in the house, but it did give him occasion to wonder if the secret of his imprisonment had been revealed to Lupin; no one other than Black ever visited him, so he assumed not. In his more lucid moments he found himself curious as to why.

 

Not wanting to think about two of the people who had made his childhood a misery, he tried to focus on Harry; his son Harry; his precious Harry. Even that was difficult when it felt like every good memory he had ever had was locked just out of reach. Harry is real, he reminded himself when the now usual doubts crept in, Harry is real, he is my son.

 

He thought that Black had been there recently, hitting and kicking him, but he wasn’t even sure of that anymore. It could have been ten minutes or ten hours, it all seemed the same to him. He could hear voices now, angry voices. He focused on them, it was almost a relief to hear them as though it was a reminder that the rest of the world was still out there, beyond this prison made of his own battered flesh and blood.

 

“You were gone for two hours, Sirius! I love you but I am getting tired of these secrets, what in Merlin’s name is going on?”

 

Ah, so Lupin doesn’t know, Severus thought to himself. The declaration of love made his stomach churn with revulsion, and reminded him of a time, soon after Lupin had shown up, when he had had no choice but to listen to them take their carnal pleasure with each other. He had thought that perhaps a punch to the head might have been a more welcome form of torture than listening to that again. Severus felt a vindictive pleasure in hearing the anger in the werewolf’s tone, glad that things were not all peachy for those that had obliterated the beautiful life he and Harry had had.

 

“Secrets? You want to talk about secrets?!” Black asked dangerously. Could Lupin not hear how unhinged he had become?

 

The voices went quiet, or at least too quiet for him to hear and he mourned the sudden loss of the only entertainment he had had since his bizarre incarceration. He was left alone in his mind again; longing to stretch his muscles; longing to be able to move even a tiny bit; longing to close his eyes. But more than that, needing to believe that Harry was safe from harm and that it wasn’t all for naught.

 

“I DON’T BELIEVE YOU!”

 

Black’s bellowing voice carried through the house, followed by a slamming of a door and Severus would have smiled if he could. He hoped Black would lose himself the one person possibly stupid enough to love him. Even Remus Lupin’s patience and sappy heart wouldn’t hold on forever. If only Black might become foolish enough, then he might be able to make eye contact and then he’d be able to discover how much they knew about Harry, find out if he was safe.

 

FGHP

 

Four days after Harry had initially asked about going to Hogwarts in search of answers, Fenrir had finally reached his decision and also decided what he needed to tell Harry. He had had a discussion with Damon, and Jenson as well; they both needed to be informed on the matter as he intended on allowing Harry to go but only if Clayton and Romy would go too. They were the only other two pack members of the right age to be enrolling in the school and Fenrir wanted as many of the Pack with his mate as possible, considering the fact that he could not go with him. Fenrir could, as Alpha, order the two other pups to go with Harry, of course, but decided it was best if he at least discussed it with their adoptive Fathers before making his final decision.

 

He knew that it meant a lot to Harry to go in search of answers, he didn’t like the idea of his little mate being away from him but the Alpha knew that Harry would never be happy or be able to settle with the pack until he had the information he was so desperately seeking. Fenrir found that he could understand this, thinking back to the answers he had yearned for after the loss of this first pack and mate. The deciding factor however had been when Fenrir had spoken to Lukas, who remained the only pack member who regularly spoke to Harry and who Harry actually sought out for casual conversation.

 

Lukas hadn’t wanted to but after some prompting he had told Fenrir that mainly, when the two of them weren’t discussing academics, Harry was reminiscing about being tutored at home by his Father and how much he missed him.

 

The others were busy preparing dinner when Fenrir called Harry over to him; Callie and Romy being the two doing the actual cooking, though, in fairness to Jenson and Lukas, they were watching in an attempt to learn. They couldn’t have the two females being the only two members of the pack who could prepare food without killing the rest of them. Harry’s heart had practically skipped a beat when he heard the Alpha call his name and summon him over so that they could talk.

 

“You can go,” Fenrir said the moment that they were far enough away from the rest of the group and instantly Harry’s eyes went wide in shock, thinking that the Alpha had finally come to his senses and wanted Harry to leave the pack. The inappropriate glances and imaginings had finally disgusted the Alpha enough that he was asking him to leave.

 

“I can go?” he asked, hoping that Fenrir didn’t mean what he thought. His heart was beating rapidly in his chest, as panic rolled through him. He didn’t know what he would do if he really was being kicked out of the pack. With Aurors chasing him he couldn’t go home. Damon and Clayton were the only two people he knew and they would stay with the pack; and even with his and Clay’s friendship on the rocks he didn’t want to be away from him. He felt a little nauseous at the realisation of just how little he had outside of the pack, no matter how uncomfortable he felt here.

 

Harry was on the verge of hyperventilating when Fenrir said, “Yes, you can go to Hogwarts. But there are conditions.” The Alpha’s voice was stern, making sure that his little mate was listening by getting, and maintaining, eye contact; though he missed the sigh of relief that Harry let out when he realised that he wasn’t being asked to leave the pack. Golden orbs focused on emerald and they just looked at each other. “Clayton and Romy will be going with you.” Harry nodded, willing to accept any reasonable condition that Fenrir gave now that he wasn’t being asked to leave. “All three of you will return to pack territory for each full moon, if we have to tell Dumbledore what you are, then so be it.” Again Harry nodded. “And the minute you have the answers you need you’ll be coming home, do you understand?”

 

Harry was grinning from ear to ear, the Alpha hadn’t seen him so happy since arriving at the pack. Fenrir thought that the smile suited his beautiful little mate, it was certainly an improvement on the frowning and sulking that he had done for the first few weeks. It was this expression that made him realise that he had done the right thing in allowing Harry to go to Hogwarts, even if he was still a little uneasy about it.

 

What happened next shocked the both of them. So overwhelmed with his gratitude Harry just didn’t think about what he was doing until it was too late. He flung his arms around Fenrir’s neck and hugged him. Startled, the Alpha wasn’t sure what to do, though this only lasted a few split seconds before his arms wrapped around his mate's smaller frame, returning the embrace. His nose buried in the raven locks, inhaling the scent that so intoxicated him.

 

Suddenly realising what he was doing Harry gasped, releasing his Alpha and looking abashed, trying to step back but Fenrir kept his hands firmly planted on the younger boy's hips. Harry’s breathing accelerated at their proximity to one another. As golden eyes met emerald green the younger wolf bit his lip nervously.

 

“Thank you,” he murmured softly. Fenrir kept staring as Harry tore himself from the Alpha’s grasp and hurried back off to the clearing where Callie was beginning to serve up the dinner.

 

FGHP

 

Her second son was now twelve days old, nearly two whole weeks, and she was not really sure if she was more relieved or insulted that Lucius had yet to even lay eyes upon the small boy. Narcissa, on the other hand, couldn’t bear to be apart from new-born Abraxus; certainly not with all the dangerous and unpredictable Deatheaters who had access to her home at present. Of course, she was confident that the wards on the nursery would hold and as such she had taken up residence in there; it wasn’t as though she would miss sharing a bed with her darling husband. He certainly didn’t appear to be missing her.

 

It had been a simple enough task to have a house-elf move all her belongings and that left her with little reason to ever leave her and little Abraxus’ sanctuary. She was sat at her writing desk with the recently fed and grizzling baby in the crook of her arm, singing a lullaby in quite, gentle tones. It was the same lullaby that she had sung to Draco when he was a baby. The two boys were surprisingly alike, even considering they were siblings, and she hoped her second son was every bit as wonderful as Draco had grown up to be.

 

She smiled as she thought about her first born and pulled over a piece of parchment; they weren’t able to communicate often and she had not sent him a letter since the day of his brother’s birth. Narcissa wished the three of them could be together, but that wouldn’t be possible just yet; if they wanted to all get through the coming years alive they would have to tread with great care in all matters.

 

Now though, Narcissa wanted to send Draco a picture of his brother; she had had a loyal house-elf help her take and develop it. Draco had replied to her previous correspondence saying that surely the two of them couldn’t look quite as alike as she had claimed; she believed he was likely just angling for a photograph, which she was more than happy to provide.

 

Narcissa had barely addressed the letter to Draco when there was an impatient knock on the door which made her jump. She cuddled the almost sleeping little boy against her tighter as she stopped her humming of the lullaby that she had absent-mindedly slipped into. She had hoped that perhaps it was Lucius, come to finally see his second son, but, alas, it wouldn’t be.

 

“Cissy! Let me in…” Bellatrix’s voice carried through the door, slightly muffled by the wards.

 

Narcissa let out a breath she hadn’t meant to hold, her older sister might be insane and have fallen in love with completely the wrong… person, but Narcissa was equally sure that she would not harm either her or Abraxus; not without the Dark Lord ordering it at least. If he ordered it then it wouldn’t matter that they were sisters, she would only want to please the man she loved and, should that happen, then no degree of warding would protect them from his wrath. She doubted any wards in the world would keep out the Dark Lord.

 

She carefully got from her chair and relaxed the wards enough to permit Bellatrix, alone, entry into the nursery, before she pulled the door open cautiously.

 

“Cissy,” Bellatrix greeted, sweeping past her sister, into the room, without even looking at her.

 

“Bella,” Narcissa returned, cradling her son closer to her instinctively.

 

“Why do you hide from our Lord, sister? Why do you hide in here away from me?” Bella asked with what seemed like genuine curiosity as her eyes dashed over the room, taking it all in, before finally landing on Narcissa and then Abraxus. “Oooh, the baby, why did Lucius not say?” she cooed in a rather disturbing manner, licking her lips as she stepped towards them, her fingers twitching, apparently unable to stay still as though she wanted to grab out.

 

“His name is Abraxus Cygnus,” Narcissa told her softly, but not loosening her grip one iota and ignoring the question regarding her wayward and absent husband.

 

“Oh what a good little pure-blood he will be with that name, just like our Father,” Bellatrix said, pleased that he had a name from his Black family heritage as well as his Malfoy one. She reached out a finger to run over his barely-there blond hair. “Two little pure-blooded boys, you must be so proud, Cissy.”

 

There was a definite tone of longing in her voice and her fingers still seemed itching to snatch the little boy for herself. Narcissa had always assumed that Bellatrix didn’t have a maternal bone in her body, but apparently something had changed that. She was just getting ready to ask her about it when Bellatrix’s face formed her usual sly grin and Narcissa knew the moment had passed.

 

“Talking of your boys, Cissy, is Draco any closer to proving himself?”

 

“I believe so but we haven’t spoken much aside from informing him of his brothers birth,” Narcissa told her.

 

“If it was my son…”

 

“Well he isn’t, you don’t have a son,” Narcissa interrupted irritably, “Draco will succeed, you’ll see.”

 

“He will have to, it would be such a shame if he was too weak,” Bellatrix said thoughtfully, glaring hatefully at her sister for her off the cuff remark about her not having a son. “Well at least you have a spare now, just in case” she added breaking into an insane grin and letting out a little cackling laugh as though she believed this truly was marvellous news.

 

“I am sure Lucius would agree with you,” Narcissa said dryly, hating the truth of those words, the truth in what Bella said stung. “Not that he’s seen his spare heir yet,” she added bitterly.

 

FGHP

 

Dumbledore was getting his way and everything was coming together just as he had planned. He had received his reply from Harry and the boy would be coming to Hogwarts. Of course, he hadn’t expected for two other students to be joining him, nor for all three of his new students to be werewolves and to have certain conditions for coming to the school. To say that he had been stunned to learn of Harry’s lycanthropy would be an understatement, though admittedly it did explain some of the contents of the Ingleton house a little better.

 

The headmaster scanned the letter he had received. There was no name attached to the response, it was simply signed ‘Pack Alpha’. Whoever this Alpha was, he was claiming legal guardianship over Harry under werewolf legislation that declared werewolf packs to be a family. The Alpha was apparently more than happy for Harry to come to Hogwarts as long as two other of the younger pack members joined him and that permission was granted for all three to return to pack territory on the nights of the full moon.

 

Considering he was responsible for the safety of the other students at the school, Dumbledore didn’t have a problem with this. It would certainly solve a problem for him, considering he couldn’t very well put three students in the shrieking shack with Remus Lupin, whom he had asked to return to teach Defence Against the Dark Arts come January. The man was an adequate teacher but in truth he had only asked to get him out of Grimmauld Place. Sirius had reported that Remus was starting to get suspicious, asking difficult questions, and the headmaster thought it inadvisable to allow him to discover Severus. Not yet at least. The man had a conscience and that wasn’t compatible with Albus’ plans.

 

The third condition for Harry coming to the school was another easy request to fill. Secrecy regarding Harry’s lycanthropy. Albus didn’t want anyone else to know about that, anymore than the Alpha wolf did. It wouldn’t do for the wizarding world to know that their saviour was a werewolf, not with the general public’s feelings towards the creatures, thinking them vicious killing machines. Albus was half inclined to agree with the general consensus about the creatures but begrudgingly, he would accept all three conditions because it meant that he would be seen as being cooperative, while simultaneously it would mean he would get his own way; and Albus Dumbledore liked getting his own way.

 

However, there was something nagging him at the back of his mind. He had sent Remus to watch over the Ingleton house and the werewolf had seen Harry returning with another, apparently unknown, man and yet he had failed to recognize either of them as his own kind. Albus knew that werewolves had a strong sense of smell, all of their senses were heightened, and it didn’t seem plausible that Remus hadn’t known. Dumbledore would have to have words with Lupin, question him about why he hadn’t known, or else why he had simply failed to inform him.

 

In the meantime, now that Albus knew for certain that his little hero would be coming back into the wizarding world where he belonged, the headmaster could focus his energy on other things. He had a few unique items to find. His theory was so far proving to be correct but it was still a theory. He still had to prove it and that was what he intended on doing. If he could prove it then it could be the key to the undoing of Tom Riddle.

 

He also had his precious school to consider. The tyrant that was Dolores Umbridge was slowly taking over. The punishments she was doling out to students unsavoury and the new school rules preposterous. Her Deatheater bodyguards ever present at her side. He didn’t care about the three unwelcome additions to his school too much. They were of little importance because regardless of the punishments and new regulations he was still in charge, but they were a nuisance.

 

What truly mattered was that his teachers were still loyal to him and the school remained under his control; it would take more than the petty meddling of Dolores Umbridge to change that. If he so desired it then he could force them to leave, however he had no desire to do this yet. To force Umbridge and the Carrow siblings from the school, while they were under the guise as being Ministry employees, would send the most unwelcome message that Hogwarts had broken away from the Ministry of Magic.

 

Even though Albus refused to have any connection with the Ministry, it was still the assumption of the general public that he did and that the Ministry remained untouched by dark magic. Dumbledore knew better but it was still not common knowledge. The Order knew, of course; they all saw the signs that the Ministry had fallen under the control of Tom Riddle but the rest of the wizarding world chose not to see, not wanting to think about it. So far Voldemort was doing nothing more than recruiting. There were a few disappearances, a handful of murders but then there always were. Dumbledore was confident that he would be able to bring down Riddle, especially now that he had Harry Potter back in the fold.

 

Once he had proven his theory then the boy would be an important instrument to use in destroying them all and finally taking down Riddle. It wouldn’t matter if he was a werewolf, part of a pack or even a reincarnation of Merlin himself. Harry Potter would be brought to heel and forced into his destiny whether he wanted it or not.

 

FGHP

 

Harry had found himself in an alarmingly good mood since Fenrir had agreed to let him go to Hogwarts. He had even been making a real effort with some of the less boisterous members of the pack. Harry had taken to watching every day as Callie and Romy prepared all the pack’s meal and, having now reached a point where he thought he was familiar with how the girls liked things done, he had decided to offer to lend a hand.

 

His Dad had never been much of a chef, but Harry was a good student and read up on cooking, teaching himself with ease; and so it was that, as soon as he was old enough, Harry had taken over most of their meal preparation, initially with supervision, of course. Severus had been so proud of his young son when Harry had been able to place that first completely self-cooked meal on the table with a broad grin and sparkling green eyes full of joy. Since then Harry had never gone so long without cooking, as he had since joining the pack. Callie and Romy looked sceptical when he asked to help but he assured them that he wasn't a bad cook and actually rather enjoyed it.

 

Micha had made a joke about how Harry couldn’t be as bad a cook as the rest of the men. Romy apparently didn’t approve because she had then hit him over the head with the heavy book in her hand and told him it was just laziness not incompetence, before panicking and checking the hardback cover for damage from Micha’s ‘dense head’.

 

Harry had to repress his laugh as Micha snuck away with a putout look on his face and rubbing his sore head. Lukas had looked up with disapproval at the rather loud ‘clunk’ and while he didn’t approve of the misuse of literature, in this case he felt he could make an exception; perhaps a knock to the head might do the other werewolf some good.

 

Romy had given an apologetic smile and assured Lukas that his book had suffered no permanent harm; promising to utilise something like the sturdy cookware for any such occasions in the future. Satisfied that the youngest pack member wasn’t going to make a habit of abusing the texts he was loaning her, he turned back to his own book.

 

Harry didn’t bother to hide his smile when Romy turned back to him and told him that he was quite welcome to help Callie with the next meal. They all knew they would never let Micha near the food while it was being prepared; meal related pranks were not a good idea. Besides his last attempt at helping had resulted in him somehow managing to make a simple salad taste as if he'd put ash on it.

 

Damon had already forbidden Clayton from helping, not that the teen seemed even a tiny bit offended or upset about this. Lukas could only just manage beans on toast without burning it, despite the numerous books he had read on the subject over the years in an attempt to learn. Fenrir had never so much as attempted to cook in his life, much preferring to hunt than to cook. Jenson loved his mates cooking too much to interfere, at least that was his excuse. It was his favourite time of day watching her take charge of cooking the dinner. It was a huge turn on for him. Just as watching Romy help her, was a point of great pride.

 

Harry had been so desperate to prove himself in regards to preparing meals, thinking that it wasn’t fair on the two women of the pack to have to be in solely charge of it, that he had thrown himself into the task without a single moment of hesitation. He seemed to come alive with it, chatting to both Callie and Romy as if it were completely normal to be preparing food with them and had done so many times previously. Both of the women were shocked when Harry, without second thought, started to tell them all about how he had done this at home with his Dad, because Severus, despite being a wonderful potions master, couldn’t cook to save his life either and how up until Harry had started to help cook they’d lived off canned goods and pasta.

 

Fenrir looked on with warmth in his heart as his little mate smiled and talked as he chopped up vegetables for the stew. He truly belonged here and slowly he was starting to integrate into the pack as he should have done when he first arrived over a month ago. It was hard to believe that he’d been here for five weeks already. Even though he was starting to accept his life here, the Alpha could see that the young wolf was still in a great deal of pain, it was there for all to see whenever you looked into his eyes. He couldn’t hide everything behind that a smile.

 

Harry was in fact so busy talking to Romy about the book she was reading, Magical Hieroglyphs and Logograms, so involved in the conversation, that the stew on the fire had started to bubble over. With a low spoken profanity Harry grabbed at the pot with his bare hands, removing it from the flames. He did it without thinking and the reaction that it got was instantaneous.

 

Fenrir was on his feet and grabbing at his mate the moment he smelt burning flesh. Gripping his wrists tightly and making him release the large pot, which fell to the floor on its side, tipping the contents onto the ground. Harry made to protest, trying to save their meal, but he was the only one. Callie and Romy were making noises of panic, as Fenrir turned Harry’s hands palm up and showed him the already developing blisters.

 

“Oh …” Harry said in shock, “It doesn’t hurt. I didn’t even feel it.”

 

“How could you not feel THAT!?” Romy asked in obvious alarm, to which Harry just shrugged; Lukas and Callie struck dumb with horror at the sight of blisters that were growing in size before their eyes, the skin around them an angry red. The rest of the pack had now begun gravitating towards the fire to see what all the commotion was about.

 

“Silver poisoning wouldn’t do that,” Fenrir growled in annoyance, not letting go of his mates wrists, his grip bruisingly tight, Harry struggled to get him to let go but the Alpha was clearly enraged about the situation and refused, wanting to keep a firm hold on his injured mate.

 

“Let go, please, it doesn’t hurt,” Harry insisted again, “I’m fine.” He was more in shock than anything else but he could feel the pressure around his wrists, an odd tingle in his palms but there was no pain to speak off. He could see the damage that had been done but he still couldn’t understand why they were all making such a fuss. He had never really felt much in the way of pain, even as a young child. He had put it down to his werewolf traits but clearly it had been wrong for him to do so.

 

“FINE?!” Fenrir roared.

 

“Harry, look,” Callie said, coming and trying to pry the Alpha’s vice-like grip off him a little, seeing that Harry was clearly distressed by it.“You clearly aren’t fine. Not only are you badly burnt but not being able to feel that is very worrying.”

 

“What did you do to yourself?!” Fenrir demanded in a deep warning tone. He had had enough of waiting for Harry to be ready to give them the answers. This was too much, he couldn’t allow his mate to accidentally injure himself and not even notice.

 

“Nothing!” Harry insisted, “It was just the silver!”

 

“YOU’RE LYING!” Fenrir yelled, releasing his wrists and instead taking a grip on his mate's hair to turn Harry’s avoiding gaze back to meet his eyes. His instincts as Alpha told him he had to punish Harry for outright lying to him; mate or not, he wouldn’t be disrespected in such away. He had given the younger wolf enough free passes where his behaviour was concerned, he needed to learn to fall in line like the others.

 

“PROVE IT THEN!” Harry snapped, glaring up into furious golden orbs as Fenrir continued to fist a handful of his hair, forcing them to maintain the eye contact. He was challenging the Alpha to find even a shred of evidence that he had been doing anything else other than just locking himself in the silver cage. Of course he couldn’t, Harry had been so very careful to hide his potions, even as he continued to take them at a fraction of the correct dosage.

 

“Alpha….” Damon said hesitantly, not wanting to risk interfering but equally worried that Harry might push Fenrir’s temper too far. This was not how they would get answers from the teenager and it would certainly do any favours, as far as Harry’s trust in their leader went. No one wanted for Harry to retreat back into his shell and refuse to talk to anyone again. Damon knew Harry well, after watching him grow up he ought to have. He knew that Fenrir’s actions would only bring out the teenagers stubborn refusal to cooperate and make things even more difficult for all of them.

 

“Let me go!” Harry demanded, his comparatively small fingers trying to pry Fenrir’s larger ones from his hair. He wanted to run, to get away from the domineering male, feeling a little scared about what he was capable of. Harry was smaller, weaker in comparison. It wasn’t the first time that he had thought the Alpha might snap him like a twig, however he hadn’t considered that it might be in a rage.

 

There was a small part of him that just wanted to confess it all, so that they might understand, but he was so certain that Fenrir’s reaction to that would make even this seem like child’s play, that he didn’t think he would ever dare to. The looks of concern on the faces of his pack mates gathered around them tore at his insides, filling Harry with guilt that it was his secret that was causing them such worry. He might only just be getting to know most of them, but that didn’t mean he hadn’t come to care about them all.

 

“Not until you tell me the truth,” Fenrir growled.

 

“You’re hurting me,” Harry lied, his burnt and blistered fingers still trying to pry at the Alpha’s grip. He was not against using emotional blackmail to get what he wanted. Truthfully the werewolf’s grip was painless. It wasn’t all that weird for him, but their alarmed expressions were what was worrying him, if he was honest with himself.

 

“You can feel that but not the burns?” Damon asked curiously.

 

Harry said nothing, glaring at the Alpha in defiance. “Answer him,” Fenrir demanded.

 

“I can feel it, and… Well it should hurt!” Harry bit back in anger, feeling quite humiliated at being manhandled and called a liar by the Alpha in front of the whole pack.

 

“But it doesn’t?” Fenrir asked, more in fear than anger now, loosening his grip slightly on his young mate.

 

Harry took his chance; pulling himself free, he ducked under the Alpha’s arm and started to run for his usual tree, needing to be away from them all. Damon made a grab for him and managed to wrap an arm around his waist, but when Harry looked up at him with tear filled eyes and mouthed ‘please’, he reluctantly allowed the boy to go, trusting that he wouldn’t attempt to leave the territory.

 

“Something’s wrong, seriously wrong,” Callie said softly, watching the teen run to the other side of the territory, to his place of safety, where he curled up on himself, facing away from them.

 

“Whatever he’s been doing, he’s been doing it for years, this is normal for him,” Damon said to the worried looks that the rest of the pack had. Fenrir couldn’t seem to tear his eyes away from Harry.

 

“That bastard Father of his poisoned him with something more than silver, I am sure of it,” Fenrir said with barely restrained anger, every inch of him tensing as he tried to control his breathing, wanting to let a roar of anguish rip from his lungs at the thought of his mate being poisoned in this way. If the man wasn’t already dead then he would have had the overwhelming urge to track and kill him for what he had done to Harry.

 

“Severus loved Harry, he wouldn’t have deliberately…” Damon said in an attempt to defend his friend. He would never believe that Severus would have wanted this for his son, that he could have done anything to put Harry into harm’s way.

 

“I never said it was deliberate,” Fenrir interrupted. “I have come to understand that he probably meant well,” he admitted, “but still; he acted with a wizard’s stupidity in things he knew nothing about.”

 

“Do you suppose it was that Wolfsbane potion they have?” Clayton asked, he knew a little about the subject, having known Severus too.

 

“No, that wouldn’t be as extreme as this, this is something else, something worse.” Damon responded to his son’s question.

 

“Wasn’t his father a potions master?” Callie asked

 

“You think Severus made him a specific potion? Why would he have done that and then given it to Harry without knowing all the risks and side effects?” Damon asked.

 

“Because he was a fool!” Fenrir growled.

 

“Or because he was desperate,” Jenson said, speaking up for the first time. He knew what it was like to take drastic action to help a child in need; he had come to the pack that night with Romy knowing it might mean both their deaths and he had hardly known her, they hadn’t had a chance to bond yet, when he made the decision and put their lives on the line to save her.

 

“I don’t care!” Fenrir grunted, “We need to fix him.”

 

“My Alpha, please, it isn’t going to be that easy,” Callie tried to explain, “we don’t even know what he’s taken; and that is assuming it is even a potion, or that it can be undone at all. But I will do what I can,” she added quickly.

 

“I don’t care! We fix whatever it is that’s been done to him!” Fenrir insisted again, his tone heated, his anger bubbling, almost ready to boil over.

 

“Alpha … we all know that you care for him …” Damon said and the instant these words had left his mouth he regretted them. He hadn’t thought before speaking and the look of fury that the Alpha was giving him made him realise what was coming next.

 

Fenrir, enraged at Damon for bringing his feelings into his, turned on his Beta, grabbing hold of his neck with a fierce grip, growling in warning. He was not going to have his Beta wolf make him out to be weak or portray Harry as a weakness. He was the Alpha, he wouldn’t stand for his subordinates acting this way.

 

Jenson had been a werewolf in a pack long enough to know how quickly even a small disagreement between the Alpha and Beta of a pack could spiral out of control, and like hell he was going to stand there and let any of the pack’s pups get hurt, let alone his adoptive daughter. He wrapped a firm arm around Romy’s waist, easily lifting her up, despite her protests, and then took a firm grip on the back of Clay’s neck and made quick work of removing both of them from the situation. He was glad to see that Callie too had had the sense to move out of the way.

 

“We need to move,” Micha whispered to Lukas, and it was the seriousness of his tone that made the newest pack member obey without question. He knew that Micha had spent his whole life dealing with pack dynamics, now was not the time to doubt him. It seemed the other wolf had been right because when he looked back at Damon and Fenrir, the Alpha had his hand round his Beta’s throat and was growling his dominance.

 

Harry turned to look at the rest of them at the sound of Romy’s protesting shouts and that was when he saw that Fenrir had Damon by the throat and all he could think was that it was his fault. The Alpha and the Beta were both large men and the sight of them locked together, preparing to fight was terrifying to behold.

 

Harry still clutched at the bottle of dittany that he had taken from his backpack to treat the blisters on his hand, one of which had burst during his struggle with Fenrir who had refused to let him go. It still didn’t hurt. He wished he had had the forethought to take some bruise salve from his Dad’s store cupboard, as where Fenrir had grabbed at him fiercely around the wrists was already starting to purple.

 

Clayton was screaming and shouting, struggling against Jenson as he tried to reach his Dad, wanting to help him. Micha had to help restrain him as Lukas stood with Callie, who held Romy protectively against her, he wanted to make sure that neither of the women were caught in the crossfire.

 

Harry watched, horrified as Fenrir seemed to pick Damon up by the throat with only one hand as if he were no heavier than a rag doll and slam his body forcefully into the ground. Harry swore that as Damon’s large body came into contact with the floor he felt a tremor beneath his feet. He dropped the bottle of dittany, bringing his hands up to cover his mouth in shock at what he was seeing.

 

Harry had fooled himself into believing that the attractive Alpha male had some tenderness about him, he had been so stupid to believe this. Looking at him now, this was the real Fenrir, he was feral and more beast than human. The man who had taken him back to Ingleton, held him as he had cried over the wreckage that was his bedroom, he wasn’t real. The man who had agreed to let him go back to Hogwarts and had seemingly cared how he was feeling, he was a figment of Harry’s imagination, he could see that now.

 

Damon submitted completely, rearing back his head, exposing his throat and baring his belly to his Alpha as a form of apology for what he had said, whimpering. Fenrir gave a final, violent growl before releasing him. He then turned to the rest of his pack, he could see the fear on their faces, the tears that were streaming down Clay’s cheeks as he fought against Jenson, who held him back. Callie, cradling Romy close to her. He then turned his gaze to Harry who had come forward but still stood back from the rest of the pack and he looked nothing short of terrified.

 

The Alpha’s keen eyes could see the bruising marks on Harry’s wrists and he knew that he had been the one to cause them, he had hurt his mate, scaring his entire pack in the process. He might have felt something at the sight of the bruises but other than that he wasn’t sorry. He wouldn’t have his Beta challenging him, whether he had meant it or not.

 

Jenson finally let Clay go and the young wolf ran to his Dad, who was already getting to his feet, seemingly unharmed by the exchange. “I am sorry, My Alpha,” Damon said with a low nod of his head as he pulled his obviously shaken teenage son into his tight embrace. Fenrir grunted his acceptance of this before turning and heading to where they chopped the firewood. He had a lot of pent up aggression that he needed to get rid of before he spoke to any of them again; it was one thing to assert his rightful dominance as Alpha, but he did not wish to take any more of his anger out on the pack.

 

With Damon’s apology the tension began to ease. None of them, apart from Harry, thought much more on the matter. It was always bound to happen with so many dominant males in the group. Those who had been in packs before knew that fighting was par for the course and wouldn’t split the pack, not unless the Alpha was challenged for his position, something that Damon would never attempt to do. Micha had already lived through a struggle for dominance once, he had no desire to do so again. Although, with this being the first power struggle the pack had experienced, it had left them all a little shaken.

 

Harry however had seen enough and he was sure that he didn’t want to be here anymore. Despite his attraction to the older man, he was scared of him too. Harry didn’t want to be around him, not when he had the capability to hurt him. Even if Harry couldn’t feel pain he could see the bruises forming on his wrists and was aware that they should hurt, he knew that they had been caused by the strong and powerful Alpha without him even thinking.

 

Even as the Alpha watched, Harry turned and huddled back into his place of sanctuary, his tree. So much for all the progress they had made with one another.

 

FGHP

 

Draco stared at the letter in his hand again; it was from his mother and he had reread it many times in the week since it had arrived. He pulled the picture out of the envelope and smiled at the only image he had of his little brother, Abraxus Cygnus Malfoy. Draco shook his head; what on earth was his mother thinking with that name. He knew that they were the names of his two grandfathers but he would be finding a suitable abbreviation whether his parents approved of it or not; that was surely his prerogative as an older brother. Brax maybe, he thought with a crooked smile, thinking of the day he would finally get to hold the little boy.

 

His smile slipped though, as he looked up from where he had sat himself on the floor opposite the large magical cabinet. He hadn’t even bothered trying to move it from the room where he had found it; it wasn’t as though there was a more suitable location he could think of and at least here he, himself, was well hidden too.

 

The whole thing was maddening and frustrating to the highest degree. His mother and baby brother were on the other end of the cabinet’s broken magical connection and yet he couldn’t even complete the one simple task of repairing it. He glared at the stack of decidedly unhelpful textbooks at his side, borrowed from the school library and kept in the come-and-go room, so that people wouldn’t ask difficult questions. People seemed to like asking him difficult questions at the moment, whether it was teachers asking why his grades had dropped, Umbridge querying why he had missed so many meals, or supposed friends interrogating him about his unexplained absences.

 

Thirty six. That was how many days he had failed and now the sun outside was settling on yet another day of failure. He had been so foolish to think that he was smart enough, that he was powerful enough to fix the cabinet’s magic, which was so badly broken that it had been discarded and forgotten. He pulled his legs up to his chest and rested his head on his knees, trying to think about what else to try.

 

He had even written to several professionals in the hope of at least being pointed in the right direction. Of course, without being able to tell them the details of the cabinet, or even his own name, they were less than willing to assist him; one or two of them had offered to help him discreetly if he would only bring the item to them but it wasn’t as though that was a realistic option. Options, that was exactly what he was short on and it was driving him crazy.

 

His mother was counting on him; almost three week old Brax was counting on him. Draco knew that the two of them would likely have to remain at the manor even if he did fix it, but at least he would be able to rest easier knowing that they had a viable escape route. Even the concept of escape seemed somewhat hopeless, it wasn’t like their supposed headmaster even seemed to care for the safety of the students.

 

Draco was fairly sure he wasn’t even in the school a lot of the time and the blond was starting to wonder if Dumbledore was going to just let the Dark Lord take Hogwarts without a fight. He dreaded to think what would happen to all the students should that ever happen. Though perhaps it would be for the best because if Albus Dumbledore was no longer headmaster then maybe he wouldn’t be expected to kill the old man anymore. Draco didn’t think that he would ever be able to take a life … at least not without good reason.

 

On the other hand, the anger he felt towards the headmaster, who was seemingly abandoning so many school children into the care of two Deatheaters and a truly monstrous woman, would, at least, make it easier if it did come to that, if he had to murder him in the end. If he had to choose between the lives of his mother and brother, and that of the old headmaster, it was barely a choice at all; he would protect his family, it wasn’t like anyone else would.

Chapter Text

Chapter 9 - Pain

 

            It had been Four days since Fenrir had forced Damon to submit to him and the pack had settled back into its normal rhythm. All apart from Harry. The rest of the pack had accepted, after some explaining from Jenson and Micha, who had both been part of packs before, that power struggles and the Alpha asserting his dominance, were perfectly normal. Fenrir’s mood had evened out but he was keeping a very close eye on Harry just in case he accidentally injured himself again. However the young wolf had not attempted to socialise with the pack again.

 

                They had hoped that after a couple days things would return to normal, that Harry would go back to talking to Lukas, Romy and Callie at the very least. However he hadn’t spoken to anyone. Callie had attempted, with minimal success, to engage him in conversation when checking over the injuries to his hands. They had healed nicely thanks to Harry applying copious amounts of dittany, which was glad he had thought to take from his Father’s potion supply room when they had been in Ingleton. The blisters were almost completely gone and the skin wasn’t nearly as red as it had been four days earlier when he’d first sustained the injury.

 

                Harry had remained by his tree, his backpack clutched close to him. He remained there, huddled into himself, even at night. He wouldn’t even venture into the clearing to sleep with the rest of the pack. This was something that grated on Fenrir, particularly as he was concerned that his little mate would be cold. It was nearing the end of October now and the next full moon was only a day away. The weather was starting to close in and not even their charms and wards could keep it away completely.

 

                Lukas had brought him extra hides and blankets to ensure that he was comfortable and warm. He’d also been bringing Harry meals, as it had been made clear that not even hunger was going to force the young werewolf to re-join the group before he was ready. Lukas had received a muttered “thanks” each time he had brought something to him but nothing more.

 

                Harry had remained huddled by his tree, his mind churning. He had watched the bruises upon his wrists worsen to a dark purple, which he had been careful to hide, even from Lukas. His werewolf healing was clearly starting to kick in as they were beginning to fade slightly now and were just an unattractive greenish yellow. However they were still there and Harry couldn’t forget.

 

                He’d been overthinking everything the entire time he had been sat beneath the tree but his thoughts had mainly been with the potion and the amount he had been taking. He knew that it wasn’t enough. Tomorrow night he would change again, his second full moon with the pack and he hadn’t got enough of the potion in his system. He knew that he would have to risk returning to Ingleton; he would then be able to use his cage, ensuring that no one would get hurt and he would also be able to brew the potion again.

 

                He wasn’t sure if he intended on coming back to the pack after that. He hadn’t made that decision yet but he knew that he wouldn’t be here for the full moon. It wasn’t like he had anywhere else to go afterwards though. The pack, however much he didn’t want to be there, were all he had, now that his Dad was gone and that depressed him. That was if the pack, and Fenrir, accepted him back after he returned to his cage for the full moon. He knew the Alpha would be furious but Harry just couldn’t find it in himself to care anymore. He needed to stop thinking about Fenrir as an attractive man that he was crushing on. Instead he needed to think of him as the violent, domineering Alpha wolf that he was.

 

                Night fell quickly, the pack was tense and anxious about the coming evening and the transformation, normally it would have been filled with excitement but, with one of their own still isolating himself, it didn’t feel right. However, they all soon settled down to sleep around the fire but not before Lukas came to check on Harry at his tree, to make sure he was alright and asking if he’d be joining the rest of them. Harry had shook his head and then watched his pack brother as he returned to the clearing to turn in for the night.

 

                Harry waited until the sounds of the pack breathing deeply, some of them snoring quite loudly, came to greet him. He had spent the last three nights memorizing them, learning when each one of them were deeply asleep. The low snores of Fenrir were what he was truly waiting for. Any of the others he could deal with if they caught him running but not the Alpha.

 

                Throwing off the hides and blankets he had covered himself with, he took his backpack flinging it over one shoulder and taking out his wand. When he got to Ingleton he would have to be careful in case there were Aurors still lurking around. They were going to be in for a nasty shock if they were. If they walked in on him while he was in wolf form then it wasn’t his fault if he killed them. They should have known better.

 

                Harry moved slowly, slowly and deliberately through the forest, however he hadn’t even got close to the boundary, where he would be able to apparate home, before someone called his name. He had grown up with that voice, there was no mistaking it. His best friend, the one he had failed to talk to since arriving in the pack. Harry closed his eyes in regret, he didn’t want to have to have this conversation, or, more likely, this argument, now. It was the early hours of the morning and it was cold. He could feel the magic under his skin, searing his nerve endings telling him that the change was soon.

 

                 “Go back to sleep, Clayton,” Harry said in exasperation without turning to face him. He already knew it was a futile request to make but he knew if the other werewolf chose to rouse the others, he would never get far.

 

                 “You’re leaving?” Clay asked and genuinely sounded hurt.

 

                 “Just for a couple days,” Harry said, still unable to find the strength to turn around and look at his friend. If he did he feared that he would lose his resolve to leave without saying goodbye to the others, all of whom he had genuinely come to care about, even if he felt as if he couldn’t talk to them at the moment.

 

                 “But the full moon… oh…” The revelation and feeling of betrayal was evident in Clay’s voice and for a moment Harry felt guilt overwhelm him at the disappointment he heard. “You’re going back to that cage aren’t you?” Clayton asked, already knowing the answer.

 

                At this Harry finally turned to look at him, surprise written all over his face. “How did you know about that?” he asked with confusion.

 

                 “Fenrir asked if we knew about it,” Clay said with a shrug, “I can’t believe you never told me!”

 

                 “You never told me anything either!” Harry raged, trying to keep his voice low out of fear of waking the others. The last thing he needed was the entire pack judging him again. To feel their eyes on him, knowing that he had wanted to supress his natural instincts as a werewolf and was willing to lock himself in a cage, one made of silver, was too much to think about.

 

                 “I wasn’t allowed to, Alpha’s orders!” Clay said angrily, “I was there to protect you, befriend you, but I couldn’t tell you anything! I wanted to tell you, but I couldn’t.”

 

                 “Like any grown up saying no has ever stopped you before!”

 

                 “Orders from the Alpha are different, Harry.” Clayton took a deep breath, realising that he wasn’t going to get anywhere with this argument. “I’m sorry, okay.”

 

                 “You’re sorry?” Harry asked, enraged, dropping his backpack on the floor and stowing away his wand. “You’re fucking sorry!?” he said, louder than he intended, closing the distance between him and Clay and giving him a hard shove in the chest making him stumble.

 

                 “Fuck, Harry, how many times do you want me to say that I’m sorry!?” Clay asked as he found his footing again.

 

                 “I’m not interested in sorry. I’m interested in my best friend lying to me! I’m sure you’ll be so happy here.” Harry said, it was taking all of his effort not to start shouting. “You belong here with all of them, they’re your family!”

 

                 “You belong here too!” Clay told him with exasperation, “You’re family!”

 

                 “No, I don’t!” He was just as fed up as his friend was, he was tired of the whole pack trying to convince him he was one of them; and to think he had almost been stupid enough to believe them. “If I was family, you wouldn’t have hidden anything from me. My Dad is my family, no one else!”

 

                 “Yeah well, your Dad’s dead!” That was enough for Harry, who saw red and pounced on the other unsuspecting werewolf, his fist connecting with Clay’s jaw with a surprisingly loud sound.

 

                 “Fuck, Harry!” Clay cried out as he fell backwards, hitting the ground hard; Harry’s fist was curled around a handful of his friend’s clothes and so he tumbled with him. Harry swung again, colliding with Clay’s face, splitting his lip. He shoved at Harry, trying to stop him. How had it come to this? A fist fight in the middle of the night. His own fist caught Harry’s face and his only thought, as his friend finally let him go, was that he hoped the Alpha wouldn’t be too angry.

 

                Clay reached up and felt his now definitely bruised face, wiping away the blood from his lip. “Okay, so that was a dickish thing to say,” Clay admitted, “but I meant what I said about you being family.”

 

                Harry ran his hand over his jaw where Clay had hit him, getting to his feet unsteadily. “Well I meant what I said about my Dad being my only family,” Harry said crossing his arms over his chest defensively and glaring at the other teen.

 

                 “You want to be that way, fine,” Clay said pushing himself up off the ground; Harry was always so damn stubborn, “but you aren’t leaving the territory!”

 

                 “Wanna bet?”

 

                 “I am going to keep you safe, whether you damn well like it or not, Harry. You will always be family to me, no matter what, you’re like a brother to me, and it isn’t my problem if you can’t deal with that. I have been protecting you since we were eleven years old.”

 

                 “I never asked you to protect me, Clayton,”

 

                 “No, that is exactly the point, the Alpha did,” Clay tried to explain, why couldn’t Harry understand that this was what it meant to be a pack wolf.

 

                 “Yeah well, the Alpha can go fuck himself for all I care!”

 

                 “Harry!!” He wasn’t sure he had ever heard anyone say such a thing about an Alpha before, half of him wanted to laugh because it was just SO recklessly Harry.

 

                 “I have no… obligation to him.”

 

                 “He took you in without question, fed you, took care of you ….”

 

                 “I don’t need anyone to take care of me!”

 

                 “So that’s why you’re running off in the middle of the night with nowhere to go.” Clay felt like something had just clicked in his mind, like he would see Harry’s thoughts as clearly as his own. His wonderfully stupid friend. “What? Are you going to prove yourself? Prove you don’t need anyone, just so you never have to risk losing anyone else again. Death happens, Harry! It is horrible, it sucks, but it happens.”

 

                 “It shouldn’t have happened to him. I’m the reason it happened to him.” Harry was crying again, and that wasn’t what Clay had wanted, but if they had to talk about this for Harry to understand, for him to stay, then so be it.

 

                 “It happened to him because he loved YOU, Harry,” Clay said kindly. “He loved you more than he wanted to live. Great way to honour his memory, running potentially straight into the open arms of his murders.”

 

                Harry broke down completely at his words. Finally someone who understood that his Dad had died for him. He didn’t want to make that sacrifice in vain but equally he just couldn’t stand the thought accidentally hurting someone when he transformed. Clay knew him, really knew him; he understood what was eating at Harry’s mind without even having spoken to him in weeks. Maybe their friendship wasn’t quite as fake as he had come to believe.

 

                 “I just… I can’t let anyone else get hurt…”

 

                 “You saw us all on the last full moon!” Clayton pointed out. He knew that wizards believed that werewolves were monsters, but surely Severus had not raised Harry to believe that; Clay couldn’t understand why Harry was so scared of his wolf. “We weren’t behind bars, nothing restrained us and we didn’t hurt anyone.”

 

                 “I can’t trust myself without the cage, I’ve not had enough of the potion!”

 

                 “Potion?” Shit, Clay thought, so there was more that Harry was doing to control himself during the full moons. The others had already said it wasn’t wolfsbane, so he dreaded to think what it could be.

 

                 “Fuck…” Harry swore in panic, “Never mind, if you tell Fenrir about that and I’ll never forgive you!”

 

                 “You haven't forgiven me anyway!”

 

                 “Yeah well, I’m starting to,” Harry mumbled.

 

                 “You don’t hate me then?” Clay asked, hopefully.

 

                 “I never hated you, I’m mad at you but I don’t hate you. You’re still my best friend.”

 

                 “For the record, I’m really, really sorry,” Clay told him, taking a step towards him and trying to meet his eye.

 

                 “I know you are.”

 

                 “And if it means that much to you I won’t tell Fenrir about the potion.”

 

                 “Thanks.”

 

                 “But he’s worried about you, we all are. You need to tell him!”

 

                 “I know!” Harry almost yelled; he was glad that Clay would keep his secret but the guilt of it was already nagging at him. He knew how much the pack meant to his friend and didn’t want to put that at risk, but his secret was just too important.

 

                 “Please don’t leave.” Harry met his eyes at those words, surprised by Clay's pleading tone.

 

                 “Clay … I have to,” he told him.

 

                 “No, you don’t. I’ll make sure you don’t hurt anyone.”

 

                 “You can’t do that, Clay.”

 

                 “Yes I can, besides do you really think that Fenrir will let you hunt humans?”

 

                 “I don’t know what to think about him,” Harry said somewhat bitterly.

 

                 “Trust me, you’re more likely to hunt humans away from the pack than with us.”

 

                 “I don’t know…” Harry so desperately wanted to believe him, but he wasn’t sure he could risk it. He knew he didn’t want to risk it, but he felt short on viable options.

 

                 “You can’t just leave, Harry, it isn’t safe for you out there. Besides, Fenrir won’t just let you go! He might seem like a hard arse, and in most respects he is, but he cares about you, about all of us.”

 

                 “It didn’t look like he cared about Damon the other day.”

 

                 “Yeah well, shit like that happens in packs, he’s Alpha; he can’t appear weak, not even to the rest of the pack.”

 

                 “It’s barbaric,” Harry said with disgust, remembering how Fenrir had grabbed Damon by the throat, slamming him to ground as if he were nothing more than a rag doll.

 

                 “We’re werewolves,” Clay said with a shrug. “Come on, I’m freezing, let’s go back, please.”

 

                Harry looked uncertain, glancing in the direction of the clearing where he could see the glow of the fire. “Do I have a choice?”

 

                 “Oh by all means go.” Clay shrugged again, he knew Harry well enough to know that given him no option was the surest way to make him rebel. “I give you half an hour before Fenrir has tracked you down and dragged you back.” It was true too; the Alpha wouldn’t hesitate to put a difficult member of the pack in their place, which in turn would make Harry fight back harder. It was a downward spiral that Clay knew he had only one chance to stop.

 

                 “Fine,” Harry said in defeat, realising that he wasn’t going to get very far this evening; Clay was right when he said that Fenrir would know where to find him. “I’ll stay,”

 

                FGHP

 

                Fenrir had heard them yelling at each other, Damon had too, and the both of them remained awake, silently acknowledging that the other was conscious while they listened to the two young pups argue. When the shout had first been heard Fenrir had wanted to charge over and intervene and to protect his mate. Damon however had shook his head, knowing that the two of them needed this.

 

                 “They need to work out their issues, my Alpha,” Damon said cautiously, speaking carefully, not wanting another performance like the one a few days previously.

 

                 “They’re fighting,” Fenrir said with a low growl of anger as he heard the first punch come into contact with flesh.

 

                 “Clay won’t hurt Harry,” Damon said softly, “They’re like brothers, let them bicker, they won’t seriously injure each other, I doubt they have it in them to do that to one another.”

 

                Fenrir grunted unhappily. He wasn’t pleased about allowing Clayton and his little mate to fight and argue, potentially injuring each other, which would not end well for Harry with the way things stood. However he could see that Damon was right. Clay and Harry were supposed to be the best of friends and yet they hadn’t spoken in over a month. If this was what it took to get them talking, and at least being civil to one another, then so be it.

 

                The Alpha however didn’t relax and allow himself to fall back to sleep until he saw both the pups returning to the clearing and snuggling up together by the fire. Neither of them looked hurt, at least there was no scent of Harry’s blood in the air, only a faint trace of Clayton’s. It was the first time that Harry had slept with the rest of the pack since Fenrir had had to assert his dominance over Damon. It was a good sign and he took that to mean that things were not beyond repair.

 

                FGHP

 

                Tom Riddle was causing Albus Dumbledore trouble, honestly the boy had been causing him trouble for getting on sixty years, which was particularly frustrating as the dark wizard now had himself the body of someone in their late teenage years. It was his method of surviving, of anchoring himself in life, that was currently what Dumbledore was battling against.

 

                It shouldn’t have been his responsibility but due to Severus Snape’s meddling, Harry Potter was not currently available to shoulder the burden as the boy had been born to do. He had not appreciated having to dig through the rubble that was the old Gaunt home, even with magic, but the ancient ring was now safely wrapped in a velvet rag as he returned to Hogwarts.

 

                He would examine it more carefully once he had returned. He expected that he would have to listen to whatever his more competent professors had to report. He expected they would have the usual complaints about Umbridge and the Carrow’s, but he honestly had better things to worry about and would simply fob them off with a falsely sympathetic ear and it would have to wait until he had dealt with the insidious contents of pocket. Did he honestly have to take care of everything?

 

                Soon, he reminded himself; soon the perfect weapon, Harry Potter, would be there and he could begin to teach the boy his place, show him how it was his responsibility to save the wizarding world from a monster, or else carry the guilt of failure. The boy should consider himself lucky to have had so much of the work done for him, after all, Dumbledore had finally solved the great mystery of how to destroy the horcruxes.

 

                Fiendfyre was one of only a very few solutions but while Dumbledore knew himself to be capable of controlling Fiendfyre, he had no reason to believe the boy would be and as such he knew he had to create something the foolish child wouldn’t simply destroy himself with. The use of Gryffindor’s Sword had been a combination of his usual genius and a dash of luck.

 

                He had been mulling the whole problem over, with the sorting hat on his head so as to have someone to discuss it with, when something rather heavy seemed to knock him on the top of the head from inside the hat. A goblin made sword, one that had been believed to have been lost to the mysteries of time, and it had presented itself in a time of great need as though confirming that to Dumbledore's mind that he was on the right course. From there it had been a simple process to imbuing the ancient blade with the power of Fiendfyre and the moment it was exposed to the dangerous spell the goblin magic more or less took care of that for him.

 

                He sat himself in his large chair behind his desk and pulled out the tiny object in its velvet wrappings. It had been too easy to find and that made Dumbledore suspicious of it; it was implausible that Tom Riddle would leave a piece of his own soul, and more importantly one of his keys to his immortality, so vulnerable.

 

                Dumbledore lifted his wand and carefully uncovered the horcrux; levitating the ancient ring and rotating it to view it from all angles. There was something about the stone that was familiar and he couldn’t put his finger on what it was. It didn’t matter either way, he still had to destroy the blasted thing, no matter what it was. It would come to him eventually he was sure.

 

                Glancing out of his office window he saw the bright shining moon, it was full tonight and it made him think of Harry. He was going to have to keep a closer eye on the lunar cycle from now on. The boy was in a pack, of course, and they would all transform and be roaming around somewhere this evening. When Harry Potter finally got to Hogwarts, Remus Lupin was either going to be his greatest asset or his biggest weakness. Albus was going to make sure that it wasn’t going to be the latter.

 

                Standing up he took great care as he levitated the cursed ring, which contained a part of Tom Riddle’s soul, onto the floor. He took the sword of Godric Gryffindor in hand, caressing the jewelled handle with love and affection, it was a magnificent weapon and now enchanted with the Fiendfyre which only made it all the more powerful and, of course, the only device with which to destroy the horcruxes.

 

                With one swift movement the elderly man demonstrated that he still had a lot of life in him yet, bringing the blade up over his head before crashing it down upon the ring. Instantly a hissing began emanating from the heirloom, black smoke screamed out of it, swirling around him with frightful power. It took a few moments but went it quietened and the object seemed to be dead, the stone that had been embedded into the gold band fell out, the metal cracking in two.

 

                Picking up the stone carefully with the fabric, not sure if there would be any remaining curses upon it, he finally realised the true significance of what it was that he held in his hand. He had finally done it, he realised with sudden jubilation, he finally had access to all three of them. The Deathly Hallows. Of course Remus Lupin still had the invisibility cloak but he could easily get it back and then he would be the master of death.

 

                FGHP

 

                Clayton had his best friend back and that was all he could think about. That and the fact that the full moon was once again upon them and they would be able to enjoy it together as a united pack. Damon had given his adoptive son a stern telling off for punching Harry in the face but Fenrir thankfully hadn’t got involved, not seeing as Harry had given as good as he got and drawn blood.

 

                The Alpha had known that Clay had just been defending himself, Harry’s temper was becoming well known within the pack, though it was nothing compared to his own. Fenrir was just glad that Harry had resumed his friendship with Clayton, and that his little mate was still with them. He hoped that, like the last full moon, it would be a chance for him to get close to Harry, make his intentions towards him known and take care of him in a way that the stubborn teenager wouldn’t allow while they were in their human form.

 

                Magic began to crackle in their clearing as twilight settled around them. Harry once again stood slightly apart from the rest of the pack, his nerves having got the better of him once more. He shouldn’t be here, he hadn’t drunk enough of his potion, he needed to be in his cage so that he wouldn’t hurt anyone. With it being the end of October the weather was steadily getting cooler and it made him think of the warmth of his basement room, craving it desperately.

 

                So lost in his own thoughts Harry didn’t even realise that the Alpha was standing right before him until a large hand came to rest gently on his cheek. He looked up into the startlingly golden orbs silently. They hadn’t had much in the way of interaction since Harry had injured his hands and the Alpha had asserted his dominance over Damon. The large dominating man still terrified Harry however he wouldn’t shy away from him. Instead he just stared up at him in defiance, amazed at the gentleness of his touch.

 

                Harry had managed to convince himself that this Fenrir didn’t exist, that he couldn’t be real. The tenderness just a front to cover the brutality and the cruelty of his true nature however as they stood staring at each other he just wasn’t sure anymore. The Alpha appeared to have two very different sides to him. One of them reserved especially and exclusively for Harry, it was a thought that made the younger werewolf’s stomach tingle.

 

                 “Don’t worry, little one,” Fenrir grunted softly for only Harry to hear, “It will be okay tonight.” The Alpha lightly butted his head gently against that of his little mate, an affectionate gesture that left Harry reeling as the Alpha went off to the rest of the pack, knowing how uncomfortable Harry was when it came to undressing in front of the large group.

 

                Harry watched as Fenrir shrugged off his old brown jacket, the rest of the pack also beginning to undress ready for the change. He could feel his skin tingling as he drew his shirt up and over his head. Harry’s eyes never leaving his Alpha, however Fenrir, deciding that if Harry wasn’t going to be subtle then neither was he. He rested his golden gaze upon the now shirtless teen, appreciating the smooth, hairless chest and also the blush that rose in his cheeks as Harry realised he was being admired.

 

                The Alpha couldn’t help but grin smugly as he heard his mate’s intake of breath upon realising that they were both staring at each other. Harry’s beautiful emerald eyes seemed fixated on the Alpha's waist as Fenrir popped the button undone, exposing the top of his public hair to the younger man, Fenrir never taking his eyes off of Harry who seemed to struggle with the fastening of his own jeans. Their exchange seemed to be exclusively for one another, ignoring everyone else around them.

 

                They may have been standing meters away from one another but their exchanged looks had enough heated intensity that they may have well have been standing chest to chest on the verge of sharing their first kiss.

 

                It frustrated the Alpha when Harry seemingly lost his nerve and turned his back to him so to lower his trousers, clearly still self-conscious about baring all to the pack. Now fully nude Fenrir strode confidently towards his little mate, wanting to share some form of contact. His wolf was too close to the surface, normally he wouldn’t have dared for fear of scaring the little one away.

 

                If it hadn’t been for the full moon about to take control of them then he would never have been so brazen in their human forms. The large Alpha encircled his arms around the teenagers waist, lowering his lips to his ear and whispered, “eep” so softly that only Harry could hear, as the transformation began to take hold.

 

                It would have been a perfect moment if it hadn’t have been for a gut wrenching scream that left Harry’s lips a moment later. The change had started off the same as it always had for the young werewolf, his temples throbbing, the tingling sensation spreading from his spine throughout his limbs and the rest of the body as his skin began to stretch with the change. However the slight burn had increased into an inferno and it felt as if he were being burnt alive within his own skin.

 

                Harry would have fallen to the ground if it wasn’t for the grip of the Alpha around him, as Fenrir looked at his mate in terror. There was always pain when it came to the transformation but never this bad. There was something seriously wrong. Staving off his own change as best he could, in a way that only an Alpha wolf would be able to do, he lowered his little mate to the ground, worry knotting his insides.

 

                Unable to do anything to help Fenrir curled up around his mate as his own change claimed him, holding his mate tightly as Harry screamed, the transformation taking hold of the both of them. Harry felt as if he was being flayed alive, his muscles tearing and convulsing, his skin aflame.  Tears escaped him at the agony that tore through him, feeling the lick of flame against his flesh as fur sprouted over his body, the heat of his Alpha's body doing nothing to ease the pain but providing some of the comfort that he so desperately needed.

 

                And then it was over. Harry whimpered, his body still in agony. He could barely move at all without a jolt of fire surging through him so he lay still and unmoving, fearful that he would only hurt himself more if he tried to stand.

 

                The Alpha still lay beside him, his warm, protective presence a comfort. Harry knew the others would not come near him while Fenrir lay beside him. He found that even if he could, he wouldn't have wanted to move.

 

                Fenrir remained curled around his mate knowing that something was wrong and hating that there was nothing whatsoever that he could do about it. He surveyed the others to ensure the rest of his pack had made it through the transformation without difficulty.  They all seemed to be fine, their wolves bounding around happily, enjoying their alternative forms, all of them awaiting instruction from him.  Whatever was wrong it was just Harry that it affected, which made the Alpha realise that his mate was still keeping secrets and now they were starting to physically hurt him.  

 

                The Alpha watched in amusement as the dark brown wolf he knew to be Clayton made an obvious advance toward Romy who was the smallest in the pack, her wolf's fur a very light brown, which was almost grey in colour, showing his interest in her. An action that was blocked by the large rustic brown, almost red furred wolf that was Jenson who snarled at Clay, protecting his young pup from the romantic advances.  

 

                It pained him to know that he would have to go for a second full moon without joining his pack in the hunt but Fenrir could see that his mate was in clear distress, unable to move without whimpering in pain. The agony that had taken control of his body dulled now but still present nevertheless. Once again Harry had settled himself down, closing his eyes and seemingly dozing off into sleep.

 

                The dark brown Beta wolf padded softly forward, tilting his head to the side and surveying the jet black wolf, that was Harry, with intelligent silver eyes. Damon just as concerned as Fenrir, at the agonizing scream that had ripped through the clearing as Harry had changed. The Alpha wolf met his Beta's gaze and signalled for him to lead the others off on the hunt. Once again he would remain with his little mate who whined softly in protest as Fenrir shifted beside him.

 

                With every movement made, Harry's body jolted slightly sending tremors of pain through him. He just wanted it to end. The listened as he heard the distinct sound of the rest of the pack as they followed Damon off into the forest to hunt. Harry was glad of the silence and gave another soft whine of contentment as Fenrir started to lick about his ears, sniffing at him to see if he could scent out what was wrong.

 

                FGHP

 

                The pack returned a few hours later, just as they had done on the previous full moon; this time it was a stag that was being dragged back to the clearing by Jenson to be presented to, who they all knew to be, their Alpha pair. Each one of the pack was concerned about Harry and the pain he was in, and how much he suffered. Depositing the meal in front of Fenrir, who gave each of them his approval, before they loped back off into the forest to catch their own meal.

 

                Fenrir was desperate to get Harry to eat something, however the younger wolf just wasn’t interested. No matter how many times the Alpha nudged, nibbled and butted against his little mate nothing seemed to stir him. If it wasn’t for the obvious signs of him breathing Fenrir would have worried that Harry hadn’t survived the transformation.

 

                It took several hours for Harry to move at all, waking from his slumber, his sparkling emerald eyes finding Fenrir before he nuzzled into him lovingly. The Alpha had refrained from eating the stag, not feeling right filling his growling belly as his mate was in clear distress and going hungry. Now the two of them, Harry with some help and encouragement, made their way to the fallen animal and began to eat.

 

                After eating their fill, Harry collapsed back onto the soft grass and permitted to allow his Alpha to clean his muzzle of blood, the rough swipes of Fenrir’s tongue drawing a soft growl of contentment from the younger wolf. Only once his little mate was clean, fed and once again dozing, did Fenrir lay down beside him, resting his head protectively on Harry’s shoulder blades. The rest of the pack settling around them, exhausted from their hunt, gradually all drifting off to sleep.

 

                FGHP

 

                Blinking open his eyes Harry groaned, every inch of him ached terribly; the full moon, the night before, had not been a pleasant one. However, he knew he had no one to blame but himself; after all, his Dad had warned him time and time again the importance of taking the right dosage of the enhanced Wolfsbane potion. He had been drinking only three quarters of the right dosage in an attempt to make it last that little bit longer. At least he hadn’t hurt anyone, which was something. He would have happily suffered that agony for a single night rather than live with the guilt of hurting another person for the rest of his life.

 

                Fenrir would no doubt have more questions for him this morning though. Thinking of the large Alpha, Harry could feel him wrapped around his smaller frame, the Alpha’s obvious and  ‘eep’ worthy erection pressing into the small of Harry’s back as he slept. The younger wolf remembered his Alpha’s tender actions the night before, how he had taken care of him, not just as another pack member but something more.

 

                The thought of this didn’t terrify Harry nearly as much as he thought it ought to. Even though he had the urge to break himself free from the group, to cover his nudity and to bathe, the urge was not to run, nor to get as far away as possible. Harry found that was actually glad of the warmth that Fenrir provided him with as it was a fairly chilly morning. He would have happily stayed in the Alpha’s embrace if it hadn’t been for the desperate need to take a piss.

 

                Wiggling out of the warm embrace, Harry gathered up his clothes from where had dropped them the night before, pulling on his jeans before rushing off to the treeline to relieve himself. He really wanted a wash and to scrub the thin coating of grim from his body, though clearly he hadn’t woken as early as the morning after the last full moon as the rest of the pack was already beginning to stir.

 

                Slipping off into the trees as the others began to sit up and stretch out their limbs, Harry made his way to the deeper and faster flowing of the two streams where the pack bathed. It wasn’t long before he was joined Fenrir who looked more than a little grumpy this morning.

 

                 “One of these days I’m actually going to wake up and you’re still going to be in my arms,” the Alpha growled lowly as he took in his mate who was most of the way submerged in the fresh water stream, which had been magically heated and deepened by the little wizard to allow for a comfortable bath.

 

                 “My Alpha,” another voice called before Harry could say anything in response. Damon hurried over to them, a worried look on his face. “Last night, while we were hunting we smelt other werewolves,” he said seriously. “They haven’t yet come into our territory but there are at least four strays out there that we could smell.”

 

                Fenrir had tensed at the mention of other wolves and nodded his understanding to his Beta. “Take Jenson and Micha with you to scout the boundaries,” he ordered and Damon nodded, hurrying off to do as he was told. Fenrir then turned to Harry. “Clearing now, little one, until we know that it is safe.”

 

                Harry nodded, waiting for the Alpha to leave so that he could put his clothes back on, but apparently Fenrir had no intention of even looking the other way. With a sigh Harry realised he was left with no choice but to climb out of the water and dress quickly under the Alpha's annoyingly smug and watchful gaze, feeling hugely self-conscious.  Once he had dried and clothed himself, the two of them began heading back to the clearing together.

 

                Harry wasn’t sure what it meant to have other werewolves roaming around close to their territory but judging by Fenrir’s reaction and his unwillingness to leave Harry alone, even to finish bathing unsupervised, it wasn’t likely to mean anything good.

 

                FGHP

 

                Tom was furious with the ignorance of the majority of the wizarding world; they didn't need to die, he didn't want to spill true magical blood but they seemed determined to make things difficult. He stalked through the halls of Malfoy Manor; it had been a long day of bringing people into line and his rage was at boiling point. He would find one of his loyal subjects to appease him, but it was doing nothing for his mood that he had to go looking at all; the truly obedient would have known when to fall to his feet.

 

                 “My lord,” Bellatrix simpered, bowing deeply as he rounded the corner, her eyes never leaving his.

 

                She would do, he thought. He reached a hand out and easily threaded his long and elegant fingers through her wild and uncontrollable black hair; at least it gave him a good grip, he appreciated that. A startled yelp left her lips as he yanked on the dark locks, pulling her to her knees. He sneered her pathetic-ness, relishing the beautiful sight of her submission before him; it was like remembering to breathe as the power of it flowed through him.

 

                He knew she loved him, it was how it should be. He would take what he needed from her and she would be grateful for it, she would love him for it. He pulled on hair again, it was so pleasingly childish and he knew it, but that didn’t make the little startled and pained noises she made any less pleasing. His lips pulled back into an imitation of a smile, his tongue pressing forward against his teeth as though resisting tasting the deliciousness of the moment.

 

                It would have been curious to see how long he could have maintained her discomfort before she would speak of it; but given the things he had done to her in the past, he suspected it would be indefinitely and he already grew bored.

 

                Slowly, very slowly he leaned down and place his lips against her ear, “Playtime,” he hissed, suddenly releasing his grip. He let out a cackling laugh as she fell helplessly to the floor, having been unable to catch herself in time. “Come,” he ordered as he strode past her; she would follow, he had no doubt in his mind about that. She wanted this as much as he did, he could see it in her eyes every time he looked at her. Who was he to deny such a pathetic creature?

 

                They would use the room he had put aside for such occasions. He would not have her polluting his own space; he might sometimes appreciate the sight of blood, but it really would do nothing for the decor. Besides he doubted she would be able to move by the time he would be done with her and he certainly didn’t want the hassle of dealing with her in such a state.

 

                The room, oh how he loved this room; he took a deep breath as rolled his neck as though limbering up for what was to come. He opened his eyes and put on his true charming smile; it had fooled so many in his years and as he looked around at the mirrors that lined all the walls, he could see the handsome teenager that they had all believed him to be. Ah, his youth and perfection, he knew he was someone the wizarding world would look up to and the vermin of the mudbloods, squibs and muggles would fear.

 

                 “My Lord,” Bellatrix’s voice was full of longing as she stood in the doorway; her eyes too appreciating how the mirrors displayed him from every angle. There was no denying that she loved this man, would do anything for him, suffer anything for him.

 

                She couldn’t have him though, no-one would ever have him; they were his, all his for the taking and he would take his fill but he would never give himself to anyone in return. His eyes shifted to meet the reflection of hers in the mirror in front of them and he saw the second she caved to her desires and stepped towards him. He was quicker though; spelling the door shut and turning to face her. The look in his eyes froze her for a moment; she knew not to touch, that she had no control; it was not the first time they had danced this dance.

 

                He remembered the first time he had brought her here and her suggestion that they silence the room; he had laughed at her then and spelled the house so that no-one would miss her every scream. He would not pretend to be anything other than the master he was and he would have his servants know that she was nothing more than an occasionally satisfying amusement to him.

 

                Bellatrix was barely breathing as she watched him step closer to her, in painfully slow increments. Suddenly he was upon her, his hand in her hair again, but near the base of her skull; spinning her around and pressing her against the door, he ran his wand the length of her spine. His wordless spell slitting her robes from tailbone to nape.

 

                *Graphic scene of torture and sex from here!*

 

                 “Whore,” he hissed, and even though she was unable to understand parseltongue, the sound of it alone sent a tremor through her body hard enough that the fabric of her torn clothing slipped from one shoulder.

 

                It was almost a tender moment, despite the word; until, in one swift motion, he pushed himself away from her, summoned a whip and cracked it down hard against her exposed back; drawing out a genuine exclamation of pain. This was no toy he held in his hand and already the little tendrils of blood trickled over her skin. She wasn’t even restrained and yet she remained where she was, the front of her body flush with the door; her hands clenched but her arms hanging placidly at her sides.

 

                She bit down hard on her lip so that she didn't scream or cry out; her breathing the only sign of her pain or distress. A second blow came down upon the flesh of her back and she whimpered, tears welling up in her eyes as she accepted the pain. Angry red welts burning harshly upon the skin of her back. A third crack of the whip had her knees shaking and with the fourth she finally cried out in anguish.

 

                The sound seemed to appease Tom, he enjoyed how long it took to make her react.  She always held out the longest of all his followers. It was why she had swiftly become his favourite plaything. He brought down the whip with a fifth sickening but highly satisfyingly crack. This time her reaction was to scream, the pain too much to bear.

 

                Stepping forward he ran a finger through the crimson marks that crisscrossed on the flesh canvas. “Come now, Bella" Voldemort said, his breath brushing over her ear as he leaned in close, “we have barely begun.”

 

                She knew his words were the truth, Tom would likely never tire of the torture he could inflict upon her willing body.  Her love for him kept her pliant as he took what he needed and left her with nothing. He basked in the reverence she had for him. knowing that she adored him; his viciousness and the ease with which he took power over her; the handsome face helped too, and that thought made him look up and smile at himself in the mirrored walls.

 

                "My lord," Bellatrix simpered hopelessly, more to remind him of her presence than in hope that he might stop; she never wanted him to stop. He continued to caress the injuries he had inflicted upon her, his touch almost loving. It was the pain he loved, the heat that radiated from her skin that he admired. It had nothing to do with the subject.

 

                "Turn" Tom ordered and without hesitation but, full of a heady mix of fear and excitement, she did as she was told. Voldemort traced his wand down her cheek, sneering in disgust at the witch. He continued down over her jaw and pressed the tip of his wand into the underside of her chin just to watch the moment of terror flash in her eyes. He leaned in close and for a moment she thought he would kiss her neck but instead he felt her rapid pulse with his tongue before suddenly biting at her sharply with his teeth. It hurt and tears ran down her cheeks as she let herself feel it.

 

                His wand was already trailing down the front of her clothing, splitting it as he had done with the back and Bellatrix did nothing to stop it falling away. He liked her this way, bared in front of him, not for her body but for how vulnerable it made her, for the unfettered access it gave him.

 

                The whip was still in his other hand and he pressed the end of the grip into the top of her thigh, “spread them,” and, despite the use of parseltongue, she recognised the sounds and complied. She had failed to once and he had kept them spread for her for days, until he was sure she would never fail to again.

 

                With one swift motion he buried the long and solid handle of the whip deep inside her, the leather tails hanging between her legs. Her eyes pinched shut at the pain and suddenness of it; her knees felt shaky and her breathing unsteady, it took all her will to force herself to push her eyelids back up and meet his eyes.

 

                 “Don’t drop it,” he warned her, he had no need for or-else’s; Bellatrix knew she would suffer for disobedience, the how was irrelevant.

 

                He turned and took in the room; so many beautiful toys to play with that he didn’t know where to start. What did he want first, bruises or blood? Either way he would fill the air with her screams; he was almost hard at the thought of it. Blood always satisfied him most, bruising her fair skin was simply foreplay leading up to the main event.

 

                He didn't even need to instruct her vocally this time. She walked, painfully slowly so as not to drop the whip, towards the bed, for lack of a better word. Tom watched the agony on her face as she moved, taking great pleasure in it.

 

                The bed in question was not the traditional kind one would expect with mattress and pillows. This was something akin to what would be found in a cell inAzkaban and it could be raised up to waist height, enough that he could bend her over it if he so desired to take her in such a way.  Made of wrought iron, flat bars crisscrossed together to form the frame. There was no doubt that the contraption was designed not for comfort but for agony instead. Bellatrix knelt on the floor at the end of the bed, heels together, knees apart as she leaned over the metal structure, hair falling forward and covering her face. Just how he liked it.

 

                It displayed the recent markings he had painted on her back so beautifully as her spine curved towards him, begging for more, the whip still dangling from between her legs and splaying onto the floor. A simple flick of his wand had manacles around her wrists, pulling her arms further up either side of the bed; her knees barely able to reach the floor leaving her completely unable to move unless she would be foolish enough to attempt to get to her feet.

 

                 “You like this, don’t you, Bella?” he cooed teasingly, nudging the whip deeper inside her with the toe of his boot.

 

                “Yes, my Lord,” she said breathily, “I am yours to do with as you please.”

 

                 “You think I need you to tell me that!?” he snapped angrily, yanking her head up by her hair to meet his eyes, the manacles on her wrists pulling and digging in against her wrists.

 

                 “Sorry, my Lord,” she said quickly, trying to blink away the tears from her watering eyes.

 

                 “No more words,” he ordered pushing her head back against the bed where a strap looped around her neck and the slats of the bed, holding her head in place making her whimper, “let me know when it hurts.”

 

                She tried to nod, but it was difficult and unnecessary; he was not waiting for her consent. He didn’t care for it and knew she would have given it anyway, no matter what it was for. She cried out at the sharp scratching sensation on the back of her right shoulder, quickly followed by rivulets of warmth that she knew to be her blood. A matching sensation mirrored it on her left shoulder a few seconds later.

 

                 “Your body bleeds so obediently,” he told her, leaning down and gathering the droplets on his tongue, only to spit them back at her. Smiling his blood tinted lips at the spattering of red droplets on her arms and in her hair. So pretty. It made his whole body throb with desire to see more.

 

                 “I know what you want,” he teased, pressing his hard groin into the top of her back. Bellatrix bit her lip as her body spasmed with her desire and clenched around the end of the whip that was inside her. “And you will get it, but not until you are beyond any capability of asking for it.”

 

                Tom chose a long handled wooden paddle and began beating her body, relishing the noises that fell from her lips as he thought about how he had never wanted some pretty little thing to keep, he had never wanted a wife, or anyone in his bed; he had no use for an heir like mortal men, he would carry on his own legacy for an eternity.

 

                He switched back to the whip, removing it from Bellatrix’s body with a harsh pull that had her screaming from the force of it.

 

                It was the power, that was what made him feel alive and he cared very little for the body that surrendered, it was the submission that was important. He would have been just as hard as he was at that moment, watching any of the Malfoy’s bend to his will, but their egos and arrogance would always stand in the way of true obedience; though Tom could admit that they had their uses. Besides if they continued to follow orders and provide pure-blooded children, loyal to the cause, they could be forgiven their imperfections.

 

                He pushed the handle of the whip roughly back into the convenient hole and went back to using the small blade, tracing lines over the newly forming bruises.

 

                It was the newest Malfoy child that had filled his head with ridiculous thoughts of heirs and he had begun to wonder if he might have use for one after all. Not to replace him, of course; he would never let himself fall to the weakness that was death; he would soon find a way to preserve his youth and beauty too. He glanced at the mirror relishing the pretty patterns that now covered Bellatrix’s back. Tom wanted an heir who he could control, someone who would appreciate the perfection that would be his empire.

 

                Tom picked up the wooden paddle again and went to work on the backs of her thighs, as Bellatrix whimpered and yelped.

 

                His empire would not run itself after all and he didn’t intend on doing all of the work himself. An heir that he could bend to his will from the moment it was born, now that was something that sparked interest in his mind. He could hand the reins over to his pure-blood son and he could just pull all of the strings, enjoying his hold on the world. He would not, however, be burdened with some needy brat and so it was an idea he had shelved for now.

 

                He raised the bed up higher, leaving Bellatrix almost hanging from it as she could barely stand, what with all the injuries to her back and legs and the new height of the bed.

 

                 “Now the real fun begins,” he whispered into her ear and her body shuddered with a mix of anticipation and terror at what was coming.

 

                *Graphic scene of torture and sex ends here!*

 

                FGHP

 

                It had been six days since the full moon and Harry still ached with remembered pain, there was only two more nights until Halloween, not his favourite time of year as it was the anniversary of his mother’s death. It was the time of year where his nightmares would come and he would see flashes of green light, another child and searing pain. They were the whole reason that his Dad had taught him Occlumency and this had ensured that for the rest of the year he remained unbothered by them. The nightmares only returning on Halloween.

 

                Harry had made the decision fairly quickly, after his last transformation into his wolf form, that he really needed his potion, no matter what it took for him to get the ingredients to brew more. After the pain he experienced during the last full moon, both during the transformation and while he was in wolf form, he was sure that he wouldn’t be able to cope with such agony again. He had now officially run out of the stock of his father's adapted wolfsbane potion that he had taken from his home in Ingleton and was desperate to get more.

 

                He would need to go to a primarily wizarding village or location to be able to find the ingredients he needed for the advanced form of the Wolfsbane potion. Aconite would be the hardest to find, of course, seeing as it was regulated by the Ministry of Magic due to its poisonous properties but Harry was nothing if not determined. All he had to do was remember the pain he had felt and he knew that he had to manage to get hold of some somehow.

 

                The problem was the only wizarding location that he knew about where he would be able to get everything he needed was Diagon Alley. His Dad had never told him about any others and he knew Diagon Alley was the most popular and well known, he couldn’t exactly go there if Aurors were still looking for him. He found that he actually wanted to make it back to the pack this time; he had no intention of running away, not like before, he just needed to go on a little expedition.

 

                He would have to go alone too. He couldn’t exactly ask permission this time, no matter how much he wanted to stay on Fenrir’s good side; the side that the Alpha wolf seemed to reserve just for him, though Harry had no idea why. He wouldn’t drag Clay into this either, not when the two of them had only just about managed to get their friendship back on track. Besides either way he would have to explain why he was wanting to go and that was something that he couldn’t do. Of course Clay already halfway knew about the potion but not the exact details, and Harry didn’t want him to know either.

 

                Clay and Harry were once again inseparable, it was heart-warming to see but also rather worrying, though only Damon seemed to be concerned. He was the only one who had seen the antics of the two of them when they were together, he knew that the pack should be very concerned with the two of them on speaking terms again. Throwing Micha into the mix could only add to the devastation that would likely be caused. However the Beta wolf was simply glad to see that Harry, after re-igniting his friendship with Clay, was now coming into pack life more. Even Fenrir watched on with a rare smile as his mate laughed and joked with the other members of the pack.

 

                The two young teenagers had decided to go on an exploratory walk of the territory. They were too young to be sent on jobs like scouting the boundaries of the territory as they were still counted as pups within the pack until they turned sixteen, and even then they had to prove themselves at hunting in wolf form before they became fully fledged members and could shake themselves of the title of pup. They wisely stayed in sight of the clearing, knowing that neither Fenrir nor Damon would like it if they wandered off too far.

 

                 “Where do you think we’ll go to get the things we need for Hogwarts? The list was fairly extensive,” Harry asked casually as they walked. He wanted to at least be subtle about gathering his information.

 

                 “Diagon Alley probably, easier,” Clayton said with a shrug. “I’m hoping I can pick up a new skateboard too, I left my old one in our old house.”

 

                 “Then we’ll make sure we get one, even if we have to sneak off to get it,” Harry declared with a cheeky smile which Clayton returned. “Are there any wizarding towns closer than London?” he asked curiously and his best friend gave him a sly look.

 

                 “Course there are, there are loads of them, depends what you’re after though,”

 

                 “It’s complicated,” Harry admitted and Clay gave him a look.

 

                 “Is this about that potion?” he asked giving Harry a pointed look, he wasn’t stupid, far from it, and he knew that his friend was dancing around the real issue.

 

                 “Would you still help me if it were?” Harry asked dubiously, giving Clayton a pleading look.

 

                 “If you want potion ingredients and won’t go to Diagon Alley then you’re best bet is Hogsmeade,” Clay said with a sigh.

 

                 “You’re not going to tell Fenrir or Damon, are you?” Harry asked desperately.

 

                 “I’ll do you a deal; if you can manage to sneak off and get back here without them noticing then I won’t say a word but if they notice that you’re gone then I’ll have to tell them, okay?” Harry nodded, he could agree to those terms. Besides, if he didn’t make it back or something went wrong he knew that someone had known where he was going and would no doubt send out a search party looking for him. It was a comforting thought.

 

                 “Thanks,” Harry said with a smile, appreciating having Clay back as his friend all the more.

 

                 “No problem,” he said with his trademark cheeky smirk, “what are friends for and besides we’ve done crazier shit than this.”

 

                 “Yeah,” Harry said grinning with the remembered good times he had shared with his childhood friend, “Speaking of which …”

 

                 “You thinking of having some fun?” Clay asked, grinning from ear to ear.

 

                 “It’s long overdue, we can’t let Micha have the monopoly on mischief making,” Harry said returning the grin, a glint of mischief in his eyes.

 

                 “Perhaps he needs a taste of his own medicine,” Clay suggested, motioning over to where Micha was having an afternoon doze in front of the fire. The two teenagers could hear his soft snores and knew that they had to take their opportunity when it was so easily presented. They shared a look, withdrawing their wands and at nodding each other.

 

                Fenrir was watching in amusement as his little mate and Clayton crept suspiciously out of the forest where they had been walking. He had been keeping a close eye on them, of course, and was feeling a little wary of the fact that they were stifling giggles.

 

                He continued to watch as they crept up to a slumbering Micha, their wands drawn, the two of them swiftly and silently began to give the sleeping werewolf something of a makeover. They turned his sandy blonde hair a shocking shade of electric pink, Harry painting his fingernails a bright shade of blue. Clayton adding copious amounts of blusher to his cheeks and a thick coating of red lipstick to his lips.

 

                The two teenagers were struggling to hold back their laughter as they added the finishing touches, putting dark purple eyeshadow on him that seemed to glitter. Through it all Micha slept on, both Harry and Clayton using their wands with precise care and attention so that they didn’t wake the older wolf before they were finished. Seeing the two of them joking and having fun brought a smile to the Alpha’s lips, not having the inclination to stop them, not after all the teasing Micha had done in regards to Jenson, who would no doubt get a kick from this.

 

                Once they were finished Harry and Clayton ran for cover, hiding in the undergrowth close by so that they could have a good view. However Micha didn’t seem receptive to the plan and after five minutes of waiting they grew a little bored when he didn’t wake up naturally so the older of the two teens began to scrabble around in the dirt. Finding a handful of small stones Clayton began flicking them toward the sleeping werewolf with remarkable aim thanks to the use of his spruce wand.

 

Harry had to cover his mouth with his hands to keep from laughing as each tiny stone hit the slumbering Micha one at a time until he finally began to rouse from his nap. It was rather perfect timing really as Jenson and Lukas wandered into the clearing both having just come home from work. They were chatting animatedly amongst themselves until they saw Micha by the fire, stretching and yawning.

 

                Both of them immediately began laughing, Micha looking at them in confusion as the two of the usually serious werewolves struggled to remain standing they were laughing so hard. They were clutching their sides and only seemed to remain standing by clutching on to each other.

 

                 “What?” Micha asked in confusion, but that just made Jenson laugh harder as Lukas wiped tears of joy from his own face. “Seriously, what?” Micha asked, now turning to the Alpha.

 

                Fenrir was genuinely impressed by the job the two teens had done, but even with Micha’s confusion was he wasn’t going to be the one to ruin his little mate’s fun, not when it was all in harmless jest and so he simply shrugged in response.

 

                 “Will someone tell me what is so amusing,” Micha requested again, putting his hands on the ground to push himself to his feet. That was when he noticed. He was absolutely certain his nails had not been that disturbing shade of blue when he had fallen asleep. “CLAYTON!”

 

                That was apparently too much for Harry who burst into sudden fit of laughter, clutching as his stomach and stumbled back into the clearing.

 

                 “Harry….?” Micha asked in confusion.

 

                 “Harry did that to him?” Jenson asked Fenrir in surprise, the Alpha gave a single nod, highly amused “Oh that is bloody brilliant.”

 

                 “Way to give the game away early, Harry,” Clay said in a mock upset tone. “He can’t take all the credit though,”

 

                 “Yeah, the hair was Clay’s idea,” Harry said smirking at his friend.

 

                 “Hair?” Micha said in alarm reaching up to feel the top of his head.

 

                 “Bright pink is not really your colour,” Lukas said seriously.

 

                 “Pink? This was your doing,” Micha said, jumping up and chasing after Clayton, who had the good sense to make a run for it, Harry unable to stop laughing at them both. “I’ll show you pink.” With a swish of his wand and a muttered incantation he turned Clay’s entire outfit a pink bright enough to rival that of his hair.

 

                Harry was unable to stay standing, he was laughing so hard, “he sure... showed you..., Clay,” he managed to stutter out in amusement between fits of laughter.

 

                Clayton and Micha turned to face him with matching grins that wiped the one from Harry’s face. He jumped back to his feet and ran to hide behind Fenrir, just in time for the colour changing spell to catch the Alpha rather than him.

 

                 “Uh oh,” Clay and Micha chorused. Now they were really done for. Fenrir’s favourite brown leather jacket, the one he’d owned and worn every day for the past fifteen years was now no longer brown but rather a shocking shade of pink. The Alpha didn’t look entirely impressed but Harry on the other hand had started up his giggling once more, unable to control it, clutching at his aching side and leaning on Fenrir for support. Most of the Pack were highly aware that it was probably only Harry’s good mood and status as Fenrir's mate that had spared the spell casters from the Alpha’s wrath.

 

                Fenrir shrugged off his coat and threw it towards Clayton and Micha, “I don’t care what it takes, you’ll turn it back,” he growled, before turning to Harry and scooping him up in his arms. “That was very naughty, little one,” Fenrir said but he couldn’t keep the amusement from his tone and Harry smiled up at him innocently. “Damon told me the two of you were trouble when together, though I didn’t know if to believe him, until now.”

 

                 “Are we worse than Micha?” he asked, almost hopefully.

 

                “Yes, little one, I think you might be,” Fenrir said with amused exasperation, as Harry grinned up at him proudly. The Alpha placed his little mate back on his feet, and swotted his bum as Harry headed off to help Clay and Micha rescue the precious coat.

 

                Harry let out a small growl of complaint, definitely not wanting the Alpha to realise his surprise at having been aroused a little by the gesture, instead he tried to focus on the fact that at least the pack seemed more relaxed around him now, and in a good mood, and how that would definitely make taking a little trip to Hogsmeade a lot easier to pull off. Assuming the Alpha didn't skin them all alive first for ruining his jacket and, with that thought, the teen picked up his pace as he ran over to Micha and Clay.

Chapter Text

Chapter Ten

 

 

Draco had had enough; he needed to get out of the castle for a while. The Carrow siblings wouldn’t stop following him and Umbridge was a nightmare in pink, ever present and annoying in her quest to make the lives of the students miserable. The headmaster seemed to be appearing more for mealtimes now, at least; though he wore a smug expression that no one else seemed to be able to figure out.

 

The old man was up to something, his notable absences were proof enough of that, however, Albus Dumbledore was not the problem of Draco Malfoy; the blonde was quite happy to let others worry about the old man’s meddling. He had other issues to concern himself with for now, despite the orders he had been given by the Dark Lord. Tomorrow was Halloween and then it would be November, his little brother would be a month old and he was still no closer to fixing the damned cabinet and giving both him and his mother an escape route.

 

One of the professionals he had written to, who was supposed to be the best in his field of magical artefact restoration and repair, had finally gotten back to him and he needed a few things to continue on his mission to fix the stupid piece of furniture. Getting into Hogsmead was imperative. However it wasn’t exactly a Hogsmead weekend, something the horrible Ministry hag had banned for the foreseeable future unless you were given special permission, which he wasn’t likely to get without a good reason.

 

Now, Draco knew that he probably would have been able to get the special permission that was required given his family name and the position of his father amongst the deatheaters, however he neither had the patience nor the inclination to go and ask nicely, practically beg to go, and furthermore have to explain why it was he needed to go at all. It wasn’t information he wanted Umbridge or the Carrow siblings privy to at this point. The less they knew about the cabinet, the better.

 

The only plus side to the reign of terror that currently resided over the magical school was that the Gryffindor’s were far too busy rebelling against Umbridge and the Carrow’s to find the time or the energy to harass him or the other Slytherin’s. Draco was rather thankful for this, considering his mind was too preoccupied to be watching out for the curses and jinxes that would have usually been sent at him between classes in the corridors.

 

So it was that, shortly before lunch, Draco snuck away through one of the many secret passages he knew existed and stole his way out of the castle, heading for the magical village of Hogsmeade. He knew needed to be quick, to get in and out without being seen, so that he could return to the castle before he was noticed as absent. Being caught leaving without permission would lead to some most unwelcome questions for sure.

 

FGHP

 

Clayton had begrudgingly agreed to provide a distraction so that Harry could slip away unnoticed and go to Hogsmeade; it had taken a fair amount of pleading on Harry’s part and even then Clay only consented on the condition that he came back quickly. After Micha’s hair prank everyone was in a decidedly good mood. Even Fenrir could see the funny side seeing as they had managed to restore his leather jacket back to its original colour, without a trace of the shocking pink it had been turned.

 

As a result the teens weren’t being watched quite as closely anymore, though the whole pack was a little more aware of, and on the lookout for, any mischief the two boys could potentially create. It was nice to have the security around him relax a little and it gave Harry the perfect opportunity to come up with a plan to slip away without being noticed. He sincerely hoped that he could get back and stash away his potions ingredients without being seen, as well.

 

Harry had managed to grab some Dr. Filibuster’s Fabulous Wet-Start, No-Heat Fireworks from his cupboard in Ingleton, when he’d taken his clothing. He had no idea why he had grabbed them in his panic to get out of his trashed bedroom but he was now glad that he had. He handed them over to the still reluctant Clay now, who would have been delighted for the chance to play with the fireworks under almost any other circumstances.

 

The plan was for Clay to throw them into the fire and then run for cover, where he could watch the madness ensue and in that moment Harry would make a break for it. It was just after lunch and Micha had settled down for his usual nap again; he was such an easy target. Clay was considerate of Callie and Romy though and waited for them to be clear of the fire, giving Harry the signal before he threw them in.

 

The moment the fireworks exploded, there was a loud bang which caused Micha to almost leap out of his skin, and everyone else's attention to be drawn to the fire to see what the hell had happened. As everyone’s eyes were fixed on the grand display of coloured lights and bangs, it was clear that the distraction had worked and Harry made a run for it, grabbing his backpack and heading for the edge of the boundary. He heard Clay shout “Harry, run,” with a fit of giggles; all of it was prearranged so that the pack would think that the two of them had run off together to hide from Micha.

 

It took him only a few moments to reach the apparition point at the edge of the territory and, using the cover of the still exploding fireworks, he disapparated to Hogsmeade without so much as a second thought to what he was leaving behind. He was confident that Clayton would cover for him if it came to it, but he would hurry in the hopes that it wouldn’t.

 

Upon arriving in the small wizarding village the first thing Harry saw was the looming castle in the distance. He reckoned it to be Hogwarts but he couldn’t be sure, though it was certainly an impressive sight to behold. He drew his cloak securely around him, partially for warmth, and partially to hide who he was, as he took in the rows of shops and the few witches and wizards in the town.

 

He wasn’t sure how well known he would be to the wizarding world, considering the Aurors were after him. They could have plastered his face all over the place, for all he knew, and he couldn’t just stroll into a shop brazenly without forethought; he wasn’t quite that recklessly stupid. He decided he would need to enlist help and as he looked around thoughtfully he spotted a young blond boy, who seemed to be about his age; Harry thought that the other boy seemed vaguely familiar too, though Harry couldn’t even begin to explain why. The blond boy seemed to be rushed and agitated, as he hurried along the street, seemingly distracted with his own thoughts; an easy target, he would do.

 

Stalking him like a predator would stalk his prey, Harry followed the young blond as he walked through the village. When he turned down an alley, seemingly heading for a pub called the Hogshead, Harry made his move; taking hold of the blond, a hand over his mouth to silence him, and dragging him off, despite struggled, silenced protests, into an alcove in the alley where they wouldn’t be disturbed.

 

“What the fuck?” the blond demanded in startled and angry surprise, as soon as Harry uncovered his mouth, fighting against the other teen’s surprisingly tight hold on him.

 

“Do you know who I am?” Harry snarled out the question, he had to know how much the blond boy knew and if the Aurors had been making his face well known.

 

“Seriously, fuck…” Draco said feeling seriously offended at being manhandled in such a manner. “No, I have no fucking clue who you are,” the blond told him, as he tried to get a better look at the other teenager.

 

Honestly he was still a little relieved it wasn’t, as he had first assumed, one of the Deatheaters or else one of the Hogwarts professors; though admittedly it was unlikely for a professor to have grabbed him like that, they would have surely just dragged him back to school and probably into detention.

 

“I want you to do something for me,” Harry said, still not loosening his grip.

 

“Oh yeah, because that’s bloody likely,” Draco snapped sarcastically, feeling disgruntled and annoyed with the other boys complete lack of manners. Besides he had his own reasons for having snuck into the town and things he had to do before he was found missing from the castle. “Let go of me!” he demanded, trying again to pull himself free of the raven haired boy.

 

“Not a chance,” Harry said tightening his grip on the other boys clothing.  “What’s your name?”

 

The blonde frowned and the demanding tone the other boy used, and noted that he wasn’t offering up his own name. He looked determined though and it wasn’t like his own name was a great secret, if anything it was fairly common public knowledge. “Draco Malfoy,” he said.

 

Harry had to stare at him again, in both surprise and confusion. “Your mother … Narcissa?” he asked and Draco looked affronted.

 

“You know my mother?” the blond asked in disbelief.

 

“My father mentioned her once,” Harry explained, still feeling a little stunned by the coincidence of it all; that the boy he would happen upon would be one of the people his father had mentioned. “He said I could trust her and her son.”

 

“Who, the fuck, are you?” Draco said, he own tone demanding this time.

 

Harry bit at his lip, telling this boy that could be dangerous, but his father had said to trust him. “Harry Prince,” he said deciding to take a gamble based on the advice in his father’s final letter.

 

Draco thought hard but still drew a blank on the name. “And your father?” he questioned.

 

“Severus Prince,” Harry told him, loosening his grip a little.

 

“Severus …?” Draco asked, looking surprised. He might not have known the surname Prince but the name Severus was very familiar. It wasn’t exactly a common name and so it seemed a fairly likely conclusion that this was the boy his mother had told him about.

 

“You knew my Dad?” Harry asked, with a combination of surprise and hope; there were seemingly so few people who had known the late potions master, and meeting someone else who might have known him was like confirming that the man really had existed.

 

“He’s my Godfather,” Draco explained, feeling a bit shaken up by the completely unexpected meeting.

 

“Oh… well…” Harry said sadly, thinking the other boy probably should know the truth, “he’s dead.”

 

“I’m sorry,” Draco said earnestly. He was a little sad that he would never get to meet the man his mother seemed to think so highly of, one of the few people he was supposed to be trusting to help save his family from the Dark Lord. It wasn’t encouraging news; that was for sure.

 

“Yeah well, shit happens,” Harry said, really not wanting to get into it.

 

He was only starting to be able really process the reality of his loss and having an emotional breakdown in front of the other boy wasn’t going to help him get what he needed; he really wanted to get what he needed and make his way back as soon as possible.

 

“Now, will you help me or not?” Harry demanded somewhat impatiently. “Dad said I could trust you. Was he right?” he asked, putting all the challenge into his voice he could; that had always been the most effective way to get Clay to go along with him. Harry hadn’t much experience with other teenagers and just had to hope that this boy was as easy to get on side.

 

“Depends what do you need?” Draco said, not yet willing to commit himself even if this was the boy his mother had mentioned. He finally managing to pull himself free from the other teens grip and crossing his arms over his chest, watching the other teen expectantly. .

 

“Potion ingredients,” Harry told him, glad that the other boy hadn’t made a run for it as soon as he had been released.

 

Draco looked surprised for all of half a second before he schooled his face blank again; he knew that his godfather had been a potions master, so it made some sense that his son would have some experience in the subject as well. “Fine!” he agreed a moment later, “have you got a list?”

 

Harry pulled out a scrap of paper but paused before handed it over. “Just so you know,” he said, his lips curling into a sly grin, “if you try and make a run for it, I’m a werewolf.” He flashed a toothy grin, in a kind of feeble attempt of mimicking the one the Alpha pulled sometimes. “I will chase you down and bite you, so don’t even think about it.”

 

“Geez,” Draco said, rolling his eyes, and snatching the list from Harry’s hand, “I said I’d get them for you, lay off with the threats!”

 

He was struggling to believe that he had just met the teenager that was meant to be the saviour of them all and the boy was a bloody werewolf. He backed out of the alley, not really wanting to turn his back on the weird teenage werewolf who had just very clearly threatened to turn him.

 

Harry leaned against the wall while he waited, hoping that the blond wouldn’t run; he was okay with being a werewolf… mostly, but he certainly didn’t have plans to be turning anyone else anytime soon; there was no need for the blond to know that though. Within half an hour Draco was back, carrying a bag with him with everything that Harry needed, something he checked over thoroughly, the bag even contained the aconite that was supposed to be difficult to get hold of.

 

“How did you get the aconite?” Harry questioned suspiciously.

 

“They had it in stock,” Draco said simply with a shrug, though Harry didn’t miss the rather smug expression the blond was trying to hide.

 

“It’s Ministry regulated,” Harry growled, glaring at the blonde.

 

“Yeah well, I’m a Malfoy,” Draco said dismissively. “Nothing is off limits to us,” he added in a tone that clearly expressed that he thought that everyone should know that already.

 

Harry smirked. “I like you,” he said, and he found that he regretted that his father hadn’t allowed him to meet this Draco sooner. Perhaps he could introduce him to Clay. “You go to Hogwarts?” he asked curiously, his eyes glancing up at the big castle in the distance.

 

“Yeah...,” Draco confirmed cautiously. “Why?”

 

“Oh, it’s just that me and a couple of my pack will be attending in January,” Harry explained, “Dumbledore’s orders,” he added with a frown that Draco didn’t miss and made the blond particularly curious. Wasn’t this Harry… whatever-his-surname-is, supposed to be on Dumbledore’s side.

 

“Lucky you,” Draco said; he really didn’t want to get into details and sides of the war, it was already too complicated and confusing. Draco had already decided he was on his own side, with his mother and Brax, with or without this Harry kid.

 

“Look,” Harry said, looking nervous, “I have to get back before my Alpha misses me, but I guess I’ll see you in January?”

 

“I guess you will,” Draco agreed with a shrug, still not having a clue what to make of the other teen.

 

Harry got half way down the alley before he hesitated and turned back towards Draco. “Oh..., and thanks, Draco,” he said with a huge grin on his face.

 

“No problem … Harry,” Draco said, leaning against the wall to gather his thoughts, before he suddenly realised what he was doing. Looking appalled at himself and standing back up straight, he cast a cleaning spell on his sleeve. By the time he looked back up, Harry had gone around the corner and out of sight.

 

Putting his newly acquired potions ingredients into his backpack, Harry took off at a run, ready to apparate back to the territory, feeling both hopeful and thankful for his new potential friend. Now he just had to hope that the plan had worked and that his absence hadn’t been noticed.

 

FGHP

 

It had taken Micha all of ten minutes to catch up with Clayton, tackling him to the ground and wrestling with him playfully for setting off the fireworks before realising that Harry wasn’t with him. It had then taken the rest of the pack less than five minutes to conclusively establish that that Harry was nowhere within their boundaries.

 

Fenrir was furious, more so at Clayton for allowing Harry the opportunity to make a run for it than anything else; his temper flared when it was established that the two of them had plotted this together. When Damon had said the two of them were trouble, the Alpha had never imagined this. He was ready to string the teen up when Damon took hold of Clayton by the neck and pointed out to Fenrir that he needed to keep his cool, at least long enough to locate Harry.

 

“Where is he?” Fenrir demanded with his snarling face up close to Clayton’s nervous one.

 

“He’s coming back!” the teen insisted. Harry had promised he would come back and their friendship was so newly repaired Clay prayed that Harry wouldn’t put that at risk again; Clay had to believe that his friend would return. Harry was his brother, his kin, his very best friend in all the world. He loved Harry.

 

“Where is he?” Fenrir said, his patience wearing thin, despite Damon's excellent point that he needed to keep his head.

 

“Just tell us, Clayton,” Damon pleaded, fearful for his son’s safety as much as Harry’s.

 

There would be no stopping the Alpha if Clay insisted on continuing to be defiant. Harry could get away with it to some extent because of his position as the Alpha’s mate, even if he didn’t know it yet, but Clayton could be in serious danger. At the very least, he could be expelled from the pack or, at worst, killed; neither was uncommon in wolf packs, especially when it came to continued defiance towards the Alpha.  Damon was just praying that Harry came back soon, and in one piece, or Clay might not survive the night.

 

“He didn’t want you to know,” Clay tried to explain; he already knew that it wouldn’t be enough for either his father or the Alpha, the latter of which looked like he was about ready to explode with his rage.

 

“Where is he?” Fenrir questioned again, pulling Damon away from the boy, as he prowled towards him; towering over the teen who had allowed his little mate to put himself in danger.

 

“He’ll be back soon!” Clay said, his voice having the edge of panic as he back away a few paces, chancing a glance at his now terrified looking father; but Damon knew he could do nothing but watch as Fenrir’s rage was focused entirely on the fifteen year old.

 

“WHERE IS HE?!” Fenrir roared, grabbing Clayton by the throat and slamming him up against a tree, his temper getting the better of him. The tree shook violently; the force used breaking off pieces of bark, and almost cracking the trunk, with the strength behind the Alpha’s blow.

 

“I’m right here, now let him go!” the familiar voice of Harry said angrily from behind them. He had already stowed away his backpack to hide the potion ingredients and now stormed up to the Alpha where he had Clay by the throat, his feet barely touching the ground. “Let him fucking go!” Harry shouted.

 

“HARRY!” Fenrir roared in a mixture of fury and relief, rounding on the little werewolf, dropping Clay to the ground. “Where the FUCK did you go?!”

 

“I came back,” Harry pointed out, “that is what matters, right?”

 

“Where did you go?!” the Alpha asked insistently, grinding his teeth in annoyance, fed up of the pups not respecting his authority. He shouldn’t have had to ask twice let alone half a dozen times.

 

Damon took advantage of the Alpha’s attention now being entirely focused on Harry, to make his way over to Clay, pulling his son into his arms to calm the distressed teen.

 

“I thought you told Lukas that you DON’T run a prison camp,” Harry argued, feeling kind of bad about dragging his pack brother into it, but he was honestly feeling somewhat like a prisoner in the territory and Fenrir needed to understand that.

 

“You’re just a pup!” Fenrir snapped, and Harry scrunched up his nose to show what he thought about being called that. “You can’t just run off whenever you feel like! If you want to go somewhere, you ask and one of the pack will go with you! You don’t run off on your own, especially not you!”

 

“What if the Aurors had snatched you, Harry?” Damon asked, from where he was comforting his still very shaken son.

 

“I was careful,” Harry snapped, still glaring at the Alpha. “And I’m not a child and I’m not one of your pups either!”

 

“Where did you go?” Fenrir demanded once more. He needed to know, it would drive him crazy if he didn’t. He wanted to know what had been so damn important that Harry had gone running off without a word about where he was going or why.

 

“None of your fucking business!” Harry bit back, not willing to share where it was he had gone or why. For starters it wasn’t a conversation he wanted to have with the entire pack staring at them and secondly he didn’t want to get Clay into any more trouble. He’d known everything after all and he had kept the secret. Harry had a lot to be thankful for with his friendship with Clayton.

 

Fenrir prowled forward, pulling his young stubborn mate into his arms and inhaling deeply. “Who do you smell of? Who did you meet?”

 

“Someone my father trusted,” Harry said trying to struggle out of the Alpha’s grip. “What are you worried about? That someone else might look at me? Jealous?” he sneered. “Well I don’t belong to you!”

 

“You’re still part of this pack!” Damon said to Harry, before Fenrir could say anything he might regret later; the Alpha glared at his Beta, who submitted immediately, backing off at once.  

 

Harry felt so ganged up upon as he looked around at the others, “Only because I have no choice!” he yelled in anger.

 

“You don’t mean that, Harry,” Jenson said, sounding surprised by the boy’s outburst. They had all witnessed how much Harry had adjusted, in the time he had been with them, to become one of them and a very much loved part of the group. To hear that he was still struggling with the reality of pack life was a hard blow to all of them.

 

“The hell, I don’t!” Harry said in a rage, “Just stay the fuck away from me,” the angry teen said, roughly pushing the Alpha off him before storming off towards his tree. Fenrir growled, rubbing his chest where his little mate had yet again hit him. He half admired the guts it took to do it but Harry was going to have to stop literally pushing him away or he was going to seriously lose his temper.

 

Reaching the familiar tree trunk Harry slammed his fist into it in a rage; finding, with frustration, that it didn’t hurt at all; he sunk down to the floor feeling extremely sorry for himself. He wasn’t surprised in the slightest when someone sat down beside him and he turned to see that it was Clayton looking a little worse for wear.

 

“I’m sorry,” Harry said pathetically. He clenched and unclenched the injured fist willing himself to feel any form of pain, or discomfort, as blood oozed gently from the injured knuckles but he felt nothing.  

 

“Did you get what you needed?” Clayton asked, rubbing at his throat when his voice came out a bit gruff. Fenrir had quite a grip and, though Clay wouldn’t admit it even to Harry, he had been genuinely frightened for a moment there. It would have been disturbingly easy for Fenrir to have just snapped his neck.

 

“Yeah,” Harry said, giving his best friend a very worried look; he hated that yet again someone had gotten hurt for him. The whole point of the potion was to stop people getting hurt because of him.

 

“Then it was worth it,” Clay said, bumping his shoulder into Harry’s.

 

“I’m still sorry. You okay?” Harry asked, still looking at his friend with a worried expression.

 

“Yeah, fine, no harm done,” Clay assured him. “Okay fine, no permanent harm done,” he amended at Harry’s sceptical look.

 

“Thank you” Harry said, looking across the clearing at where Jenson and Damon appeared to be attempting to restore calm. However, Fenrir was nowhere in sight so he assumed that the Alpha had headed off into the woods to let off some steam. Harry was just glad that the large Alpha werewolf wasn’t letting off steam on Damon this time.

 

“For what?” Clay asked, looking at Harry with a confused frown.

 

“Keeping my secret,” Harry clarified.

 

Clay shrugged, he had promised, after all. “You have to tell them eventually, though,” he said as he took Harry’s injured hand in his own, staring at it. “Whatever you’re taking and for whatever reason, it means you don’t feel this and that isn’t a good thing.”

 

“I know,” Harry said; he could admit that he couldn’t go through this every time he needed more potion ingredients. He hadn’t even figured out how he was going to brew the damn thing yet.

 

“Did you mean it?” Clay asked suddenly, releasing Harry’s injured hand

 

Harry looked thoughtful, “Mean what?” he asked.

 

“That you’re only here because you don’t have another choice?”

 

Harry shrugged. “No, not really,” he said. “Sometimes... I guess,” he corrected himself, “but I don’t hate it here.” It felt important that Clay understood that. It wasn’t as though Harry thought of the territory as home yet, but he was starting to think that he might be able to in time. “I mean… you’re here,” he told his friend with a smile.

 

“Yeah, I’m here,” Clay said with a smile, throwing his arm around Harry. “You sleeping out here tonight or you coming over to the fire?”

 

“If it wasn’t so damn cold I’d stay out here,” Harry told him, pulling his knees up to his chest and wrapping his arms around them. “I don’t think Alpha bossy boots, over there, will let me sleep out here this close to the winter,” he said with mock grumpiness.

 

Clayton laughed a deep bellowing laugh at Harry’s nickname for Fenrir, “No, I don’t think he would and I just dare you to call him that to his face someday.” Clay and Harry both smiled at the mental image that conjured.

 

"Oh you're on!" Harry said with a wide grin on his face. He would get a huge thrill saying that to Fenrir’s face just to see if he could get away with it.

 

“He just wants to protect us, you know; after what happened to his last pack I can’t really blame him for being protective,” Clay explained.

 

“What happened to his last pack?” Harry asked; he hadn’t even known that there had been a previous pack.

 

“He went out hunting and came back to find them all slaughtered by wizards,” Clay said, shuddering with the concept of finding their current pack that way; it didn’t even bear thinking about. “My Dad told me that he was lucky not to have been there when it happened, he should have been.”

 

“Oh,” Harry said, lost for words. “So that’s why he is the way he is, I thought it was all just a power trip.”

 

Again Clay laughed, thinking about how it sure was great to have Harry back in his life; his best friend never failed to make him feel better about things. “Power trip or not he’s just trying to look after us, it’s what Alpha’s do, the good ones anyway.” It was something that Clay liked about Fenrir; the werewolf loved his pack and he was a strong Alpha too.

 

“Thanks Clay,” Harry said with a smile to his friend; it turned out that even his and Fenrir’s explosive arguments were easier to stomach when Clay was at his side.

 

“We’ll think nothing more of it,” Clay agreed, “if you let Callie take a look at your hand,” he added with a smirk at his stubborn friend, knowing that Harry would never have gone to her on his own.

 

“Fine,” Harry agreed reluctantly, “I’ll let Callie look at my hand.”

 

“Good,” Clay said, as they leaned back against the tree and watched the rest of the pack going about their business in the clearing, all of them still looking a little nervous. Damon was looking over to where Harry and Clay were talking, checking that they were both still there and hadn’t made another run for it.

 

FGHP

 

“NO!” Sirius yelled as he followed Remus through the halls of Grimmauld Place.

 

“Dumbledore needs me there, he has asked me specifically to come and help him at the school,” Remus told him, not turning to look at his agitated lover as he kept walking. He didn’t want to see the anger etched upon that once handsome face, which had been marred, irreversibly, during Sirius’ years in the wizarding prison of Azkaban.

 

“NO!” Sirius shouted again, “I don’t care if Merlin himself asked you!” he said like a petulant child, and Remus thought he heard him actually stamp his foot in his rage, but didn’t turn around to confirm it. He didn’t want to think of his lover, a grown man, acting like a four year old throwing a tantrum.

 

“Sirius, I need to go to Hogwarts, so that I can be there for Harry,” Remus tried to explain, keeping his voice even and calm. Though he knew it was possible that his even temper would only infuriate his lover more, it often tended to happen, but he didn’t want a fight over things they couldn’t control.

 

He couldn’t do anything about the situation; Dumbledore had asked him to become a teacher at the school, starting in January. They needed someone there to keep an eye on Harry. The purpose of this, according to the headmaster, was to guide him on to the right path; as if Remus believed the motives of the elderly wizard to be that simple. But he did want to help Harry, on that much there was no debate and he would be damned if he let Sirius stand in the way of that.

 

It had been an awkward conversation to have with Dumbledore, who hadn’t been best pleased that Remus had withheld information from him. Somehow the headmaster had found out about Harry being a werewolf and challenged Remus on why he had hidden it. Of course, Remus had no choice at that point and had lied, telling the headmaster that he hadn’t know anything about it, but they both knew that there would have been no fooling his werewolf scenes; though if Albus didn’t trust him anymore he hadn’t shown any signs of it. Remus was sure that if he was no longer trusted then the headmaster wouldn’t have been permitted him to be anywhere near Harry when the boy came to Hogwarts; and clearly that was not the case.

 

“I want to be there for Harry too, we’ll both go,” Sirius pleaded in an annoyingly whiny voice.

 

Remus was getting awfully tired of Sirius having a one track mind. Even when they had sex now, his mind was clearly elsewhere; and the aftermath, when they should have been cuddling and whispering sweet nothings to each other, Sirius would instead be talking what their life would be like once Harry was with them. He seemed to be under the delusion that everything would be perfect, they’d be happier and that Harry would be their adoptive son. Remus just didn’t have the courage to burst that bubble and face the fallout of doing just that. He just couldn’t shatter the hopes of the man he loved, who seemed so certain that his dream would come true.

 

“Sirius…” Remus said, in a warning tone.

 

“You can’t leave ME!” Sirius said; he had believed that Remus would never allow them to be parted again and now here they were and he was planning to leave. It might be months before they could be together, months where Sirius would be alone with Snivellus, in the house of his hated ancestors and he couldn’t think of anything more loathsome. “Not HERE!”

 

“Sirius, stop it, I have to go so I can help Harry and you can’t come with me, however much I would like you to. It would only land you back in Azkaban, and neither of us want that,” Remus said finally turning to look his lover in the eyes, wanting to show him that he cared too much to let that happen. He only wanted to protect Sirius from ending up back in that place.

 

Sirius felt like he was going to lose his mind. The idea that his lover would get to go to Hogwarts and that Remus would have a chance to get to know Harry, it was almost too much for Sirius to handle and he had no clue how he would be able to stand being left alone with only Snivellus for company once more. Jealousy rose in him like a feral animal trying to claw its way out; the fact that Remus was going to get to know his Godson before him was sickening. It wasn’t fair, he hadn’t done what he was accused of and, even though he was no longer in Azkaban, he was still a prisoner. He couldn’t imagine how it could get worse than this.

 

 “I can stay hidden,” Sirius tried to plead, desperate to have Remus understand, for his lover to agree that he could come with him to Hogwarts.

 

“Sirius Orion Black! You couldn’t keep yourself hidden away for five minutes, let alone several months,” Remus said angrily, glaring at his lover harshly; he knew his friend far too well to believe that he could be resigned enough to stay hidden.

 

 

Sirius had been driving Remus to the point of distraction lately and Remus was honestly glad that he was going to have a viable reason for some time away from him. It wasn’t that he didn’t love Sirius, he really did but more frequently than not he would look at his lover and wonder what had happened to the man that he had fallen in love with. He still truly loved the man that stood before him but he wanted to get some space from him. They just weren’t the same people anymore, too much had happened, and it was only just beginning to dawn on Remus that perhaps he and Sirius just weren’t suited to one another anymore.

 

“I want to see Harry!” Sirius said heatedly, “I’d stay hidden for him!”

 

“Even if you did come with me you wouldn’t be able to see him,” Remus tried to reason with him.” You’d have less space and freedom than you do here. I realise this is frustrating-”

 

“FRUSTRATING!?” Sirius roared, “You have no idea!”

 

Remus sighed, he had known that this wouldn’t go well but he hadn’t expected his lover to take it this badly. Clearly his obsession with Harry ran deeper than Remus had dared to believe was possible. He was beginning to realise that, whatever the outcome, it wasn’t going to end well for Sirius, a thought that saddened Remus. They had been lovers for years, friends longer than that; they had been together through his lycanthropy; Sirius had become an animagus for him. He couldn’t understand how it had gone so terribly wrong for their love to become almost non-existent. All they had was sex and arguments; it was a sad existence to live. Remus couldn’t wait to get out of this place.

 

“Sirius …”

 

“No, don’t ‘Sirius’ me!” Sirius snapped, “You have no idea what it’s like being stuck here, not being able to leave! I HATE it!”

 

“And yet you seem to be able to find something to amuse yourself with, disappearing for hours on end, refusing to tell me where you’re going?” Remus said with a frown, “You can’t be that bored.”

 

Sirius seemed beyond words by this point and simply let out a roar of anger, turning on his heel and storming away. Remus just watched him go, not having the energy to stop him from leaving, nor to continue the argument. He knew that it was a bad sign when he didn’t even have enough passion inside of himself to fight for what they had. It was in that moment that he knew their relationship may not be worth the effort it would take to save it; not if he was the only one fighting for it.

 

Sirius desperately needed to vent because if he didn’t calm down soon he was going to say or do something to Remus that he would definitely regret later when he had had time to think properly. Snape on the other hand, he was an easy target, less of a person and more of a satisfying punching bag. Sirius could do lots of things to Snape without a single drop of remorse; everything was Snape’s fault anyway. One way or another it was all Snape’s fault.

 

FGHP

 

The last time Black had paid Severus a visit he had gotten tired of having to bend down to give him a proper punch to the stomach, and so he had righted the chair and propped the potions master back up on it. Severus wasn’t sure how long it had been since then, but at least he got to stare at a slightly different patch of faded peeling wallpaper as the last of the hope slowly drained from his mind.

 

He knew that time was passing because a small, terrified looking house elf wearing what appeared to be a pillow case would show up twice a day to ensure that he was nourished and his wounds, inflicted by Black, were tended to. If it wasn’t for this little creature then any number of the injuries could have become infected and killed him by now. Severus was almost beginning to wish that the house elf would cease in his care and just let him die, ending the pain.

 

For some time since early on in his imprisonment, he had been trying to focus his thoughts on gaining access to his mind magic, his body may have been enchanted to be out of his control but he wouldn’t surrender his mind without a fight. The idea to use Occlumency had come to him initially in the desperation to free himself from the all-consuming depression of Dumbledore’s uniquely masochistic spell but it had slowly dawned on him that he was not just a master of Occlumency, but also Legilimency as well. This was something that had given him a rare spark of hope.

 

Since then he had be praying that the unhinged prison guard that Black was, would come close enough and meet his eyes long enough that he might be able to steal a peek into the man’s head. Of course, this was frustratingly difficult when Severus was still unable to move his own eyes, let alone his head. It left him with no other alternative but to try and remain patient until Black made a mistake.

 

He had almost given up on that hope however, when Black stormed into the room and slammed the door; clearly the man was having a bad day, not that Severus could bring himself to feel even the tiniest pang of sympathy. He hated Black, always had, even before the man had ruined his life and chased his son, his Harry, away. He had, of course, heard the shouting and knew that the cause of the foul mood was another argument with Remus. Knowing that the two of them were still bickering gave Severus a small iota of joy, which he desperately clung to; any amount of happiness would allow him to recall some of the happy memories he had of Harry. It was those that kept him going, kept him fighting.

 

“Dumbledore has found Harry,” Black said with glee as he walked across the room, leaning down and looking Severus directly in the eye to see if he could see even a tiny reaction from this news.

 

It was exactly what Severus had been waiting for. He was so surprised that finally something had gone his way that he nearly forgot to act on this rare opportunity but he quickly tried to clear his mind as he focused on the cool grey eyes directly in front of him. Of course, the focus could only be mental, as he didn’t even have control of his vision, and Sirius was far too close to see clearly. He just had to hope that it worked because if the words that Black spoke were true, Dumbledore had his son, which meant that Harry was in terrible danger.

 

They had eye contact and that was what mattered, it was what he needed and with a sudden forced mental push, Severus broke through into his torturer’s mind. If he could have smiled then he would have done. That eye contact was enough for the potions master to get the all access pass into the insane man’s head. But he didn’t have the luxury of time to celebrate this small victory, nor to be gentle, not that he had the inclination. He didn’t care if Black knew that his mind was being pillaged, Severus was too desperate for information, to know what was happening to his son. He tore through Black’s mind without an iota of care or tenderness, ripping through memory after memory looking for what he wanted.

 

Images and thoughts of the argument that Black and Lupin just had flashed in front of him but it was too fast to gather much real information, though Severus was glad he had been right about the instability of their relationship; he didn’t care enough about either of the two men to dwell on the memory, nor the similar and related ones. He needed to know about something much more important, so he threw those particular memories to one side and kept going, frantic in his search knowing that he didn’t have much time left. It wouldn’t take long for Black, as stupid as he was, to realise what was going on and tear his gaze away.

 

Harry, he was looking for information on Harry; Severus desperately dug through Black’s head looking for any scrap of knowledge about the teenager. Sirius had said that Dumbledore had found Harry, which he didn’t want to be true; he wanted nothing more than to find that it was a lie, told to torment him further. It couldn’t be true, it just couldn’t be; Harry wasn’t that reckless. He searched desperately, tossing aside irrelevant thoughts, for any sign that this was a lie. Everything he had done, and suffered through willingly, just so that he could keep Harry safe. His son couldn’t have fallen into the hands of Dumbledore, he just couldn’t have.

    

“He has no legal guardian now, and no one to tutor him in his magical education. He will be forced into attendance at Hogwarts come January. He wouldn’t dare refuse, not when we have something he will want.”

 

Dumbledore had said that! Severus was starting to feel panic but surely Harry would know to stay away, the letter he’d written and given to the teenager had warned him about the headmaster. But it suddenly made so much sense when Severus realised that he was the bait. Dumbledore would manipulate Harry using the only father he had ever known. Severus understood that his son would never just abandon him and walk away no matter what the letter said. Harry may not have been reckless but when he cared about something or someone he would do anything to keep them safe.

 

“Sirius, I need to go to Hogwarts, so that I can be there for Harry.”

 

Remus was going to go to Hogwarts, Harry was going to Hogwarts. Severus wanted to scream his anger, his fear, and his frustration. He wanted to remind his son of all those lessons he had tried to give him about doing what he was told and not putting himself in danger, but, as he had feared, his son had more than a little of James and Lily’s Gryffindor nature in him.

 

“BASTARD!” Sirius bellowed suddenly as he finally managed to force the potions master from his mind, his fist crashing into the side of Severus’ head with alarming strength. “You see now though, don’t you?” Sirius taunted, putting a foot on the chair between Severus’ legs and kicking.

 

The chair toppled backwards with ease and Severus’ head collided with the floorboards. His head spun, and he likely had a concussion; for a moment he thought he would throw up and be left to choke to death, but Sirius’ kick to his shoulder rolled him, like a rag doll, onto his side and it seemed his body didn’t even have enough control left to act on a reflex like retching.

 

“Harry will come to Hogwarts, in January,” Sirius told him smugly, “and then he will learn the truth about you, the truth about James, the truth about himself and the truth about ME!” Sirius let out a barking laugh and kicked Severus once more in the side of the head before he was apparently done and took his leave.

 

Oh, Harry, Severus mentally sighed as the pain radiated through his skull, I really hope you know what you are doing.

  

He couldn’t help the slight twinge of hope that he felt when he realised that Harry might come looking for him, that he might get to see Harry at least one more time before his life was lost. It was something he thought he would never get to do again and the thought renewed his determination a little in spite of the spell upon him and the guilt the thought inspired. He knew that he shouldn’t wish for his own son to come and save him but just to see Harry one more time would be enough. Severus needed Harry to know that no matter what he had loved him and had done what he thought was the right thing in a bad situation. Snape just hoped that his precious son would be able to see that.

 

FGHP

 

The moment the clock struck midnight Harry started tossing and turning beside Clayton where he had fallen asleep close to the fire for warmth, the two of them curled up under a pile of hides and blankets. Fenrir was sitting up, watching contently over his resting pack when it started. He had lost his temper today and he had almost seriously hurt Clayton, one of his pups. He had been angry and he had needed them to know that it wasn’t okay for them to be running around recklessly, not with the added dangers that faced them now,however he did somewhat regret his harsh actions against the fifteen year old.

 

He had had his reasons to act the way he had. He didn’t want to take any chances, not when there were strange werewolves lurking around the edges of the territory that had so far been able to evade even the pack’s best trackers. And then there were the Aurors that wanted Harry too; Ministry witches and wizards that had targeted and killed his father, and now seemed to want to get their hands on Harry, for some unknown reason.

 

Fenrir had been worried about what could have happened to his little mate when he had run off, it was just too dangerous for any of them to be venturing out on their own, especially the young pups. He had specifically told them all to do everything in pairs, minimum, even bathing in the stream and fetching supplies from the cave. He didn’t want to risk any of their lives. If Harry had asked to go somewhere then he would have given his mate anything he wanted within reason. Regardless of all of his reasoning’s though he still felt guilty for hurting, and probably scaring, Clayton the way he had.

 

The Alpha was just glad that he had left the clearing to let off steam. He wouldn’t have been able to handle smelling Harry’s blood on top of his towering temper as well. Callie had come to him upon his return and timidly informed him that Harry had punched a tree in anger after the argument and damaged his hand. The reason she felt the need to inform him of this was that his werewolf healing hadn’t kicked in as fast as it should have done and she had had to bandage his hand up. Something else the Alpha could blame himself for; he hated to see the white bandage on Harry’s hand, knowing that it had been his temper that had made his mate hurt himself in such a way.

 

Fenrir had been watching Harry intently, sitting as close to him as he dared while the teenager slept. He had been somewhat lost in his own thoughts when Harry had started to thrash about in his sleep restlessly, though not waking. So as not to disturb the rest of the slumbering pack, Fenrir acted quickly, scooping the still sleeping Harry up and into his arms before carrying him away from the warmth of the fire but grabbing a few of the blankets along the way.

 

Clearly the young teenager was having a nightmare, though it really wasn’t surprising after everything that the boy had been through. Moving off to sit at the edge of the clearing, holding Harry close to his bare chest, he wrapped his mate up in the blankets to ensure that he remained warm. Fenrir could see signs of distress on the young teenager’s face and simply held him closer, hoping that the simple act of holding him, and even comforting him, would help to stave off the night terrors.

 

Harsh hissing noises were coming from Harry’s mouth, it sounded half like words though, and disjointed like those that people spoke in their sleep always were and between them were whimpers of pain that fell from the pup’s lips. Fenrir wished he could pull his little mate out of whatever it was that was distressing him so; it seemed to pain him, his face scrunching up as he strained against invisible bonds.

 

Suddenly Harry stopped his thrashing and tear soaked green eyes were wide open and peering up at him as he fought to find his breath, gasping for air as if it had been denied him. Fenrir expected the little werewolf to push him away, he wouldn’t even have been angry about it after the argument this afternoon. But instead, Fenrir watched in amazement as Harry buried his head into his Alpha’s chest, still crying but accepting the comfort of the large strong arms around him. The younger werewolf snuggled up more closely against his Alpha, small arms slipping around the strong, muscular waist.

 

The nightmare was almost the same as every year. He visited strange places where he was sure he had never been before; he saw things that he had no recollection of. First there was a lake in a dark, foreboding place and a locket being dropped into water. Next there was a room full of broken things, which towered up to the sky. The sudden blasts of green light accompanied by a woman’s scream were, as always, by far the worst. A house in a forest, mostly rubble where he knew a ring lay beneath the floorboards.

 

There was a beautiful golden cup in a room that was filled to the brim with sparkling treasure. That green light and screaming again, always screaming. In recent years there had also been a snake, that impossibly huge with bright yellow eyes that made him shiver in fear. The great snake scared him as much as the flashes of green light. He fought to remember what his Dad had told him when he was just a boy; that good things could sometimes be green too, but this green light was so malevolent and it scared him.

 

“Shush, little one,” Fenrir’s low, almost soft voice told him and that was the moment that Harry realised he was still crying. “It was a nightmare, you can sleep again now.” The Alpha’s arms tightened around him as Harry snuggled into the older werewolf, seeking warmth and comfort.

 

Harry was tired, but he didn’t want to sleep, he didn’t want to see those disjointed images of things he didn’t understand, not again. Not even his father had ever been able to explain them to him. He had been seeing variations of the same nightmare year after year since he could remember and always on Halloween. He knew it was the anniversary of his mother’s death and he hated the festivities surrounding the sacred magical date and could never bring himself to join in with the celebrations.

 

Fenrir brought up a large hand to stroke Harry’s thick raven hair, surprised that his little mate was so relaxed after the disastrous events of the afternoon but he was glad that he was being allowed this contact. It felt wonderful to have Harry willingly in his arms, accepting the affection he could show towards the younger boy. He ran his fingers through the soft black hair, enjoying the texture beneath his fingers and the scent that it emitted. He smelt clean, like soap, unlike most of his other pack members who didn’t bathe as frequently.

 

“I don’t want to sleep,” Harry mumbled from his place tucked under the Alpha’s arm. He found that he actually rather liked the feeling of the large domineering man around him, holding him close. Harry had seen him at his worst but there were brief moments that he saw Fenrir at his best and those were the moments he treasured, moments like these.  

 

“You have to sleep, little one,” Fenrir said kindly, still running his hands through the thick black hair.

 

“You won’t let me go?” Harry asked helplessly, looking up at his Alpha with large, pleading emerald eyes.

 

“I’m not going anywhere, nothing is going to happen to you,” Fenrir replied gruffly as he reaffirmed his hold on his little mate, who was practically shaking with the fear from his nightmare. He waited, without saying another word until Harry had fallen back to sleep before making a move to return to the fire where the two of them would be warmer.

 

“Is he alright?” Damon asked as Fenrir found a spot to settle close to the fire where he could ensure that his little mate would be warm.

 

The Alpha locked gazes with his Beta and nodded, “Nightmare,” he grunted, keeping his voice low so as not to wake the others who slept on, oblivious.

 

“Poor child, he hates this time of year,” Damon said softly as he watched his Alpha gently ensure that Harry was completely covered by the blankets and hides and remained slumbering deeply.

 

“Why?” Fenrir asked, curious and a little jealous that Damon knew his mate more than he did. Though he had to swiftly remind himself that it had been his decision to send Damon and Clay to watch over Harry rather than go himself. He had built an impressive territory here for them all and he couldn’t bring himself to regret that because they were safe here, even if it meant he didn't know his mate as well as he might like to.

 

“Halloween is the anniversary of his mother’s death,” Damon told him, “Clayton would always be desperate to go trick or treating but Harry would never go. Eventually Severus told me it was because his mother died on Halloween, it is another thing that ties him into being Harry Potter. The attack on Godrics Hollow happened then too.”

 

“You really think that he’s that supposedly dead boy?”

 

“I do, my Alpha,” Damon said, “Have you shown him the photograph I gave to you?”

 

Fenrir shook his head gently so not to disturb his mate, “I will before he has to go to that school,” he said; he hated the idea of his mate being at Hogwarts, away from where he could protect him. “He needs to know who he is before he leaves this pack.”

 

FGHP

 

After meeting Harry Prince, Potter, or whatever he was calling himself, in Hogsmeade, Draco felt a little bit more hopeful. The boy may have been a rather odd teenager, and a werewolf to boot, but Harry was still supposedly the saviour of the wizarding world, according to his mother. He could at least see that, with Dumbledore’s absences from the castle of late, the old coot might have actually been doing something of note, in finding and bringing the teen to the school. He was still sceptical, of course, and wasn’t about to place his trust in either of them. As such, his priority remained the cabinet.

 

He stood in the come-and-go room staring at it once more, glaring at the damn thing really. He had purchased a few items that he thought might help but he had been hoping to have the stupid thing fixed by now. Voldemort was always in a particularly foul mood this time of year. Narcissa had told him that Halloween was the time when he had first fallen, though Draco had worked out that it was also the night Severus had come to her with Harry in his arms. If there was any day where Tom Riddle was more likely to hurt his family, then it was tomorrow and that thought scared him more than he would ever admit to anyone.

 

The knowledge of this didn’t make being separated from the only family he cared about any easier. He just hoped that the Dark Lord’s frustrations were taken out on his sadistic and quite probably masochistic Aunt or one of the other Deatheaters, rather than on his mother and brother. He hadn’t received anymore correspondence from her since the letter and the photograph, which he treasured; he was greatly looking forward to the Christmas holidays when he would finally get to meet his little brother. Though next month he was going to convince the Carrow’s to allow him to visit home for the weekend, just so he could check on them and ensure that they were safe. He had no idea what he would do if they were not; he wasn’t exactly fixing this cabinet for nothing.

 

Draco was also dying to tell his mother all about meeting Harry and he was wise enough to know not to put anything like that in a letter, for fear that it would be intercepted and put them all in danger. One thing was for sure, in Draco’s mind, the whole situation wasn’t as hopeless as it had seemed yesterday. They actually had some hope, someone that might have what it would take to bring down Voldemort and his reign of terror; besides, he had a few new things to try with the cabinet.

 

FGHP

  

The morning of Halloween, Harry had woken up in Fenrir’s warm embrace, relishing in the heat that the other man gave off. The mornings were always the worst, when they had to drag themselves from under the hides and blankets, they had piled on top of themselves to starve off the winters chill through the night, and start their day.

 

Harry lingered beneath his blankets after waking, fending off the desperate need to empty his full bladder just so that he could enjoy the warmth and comfort of the Alpha’s arms around him as he snuggled against Fenrir. Harry’s fingers played loosely with the soft blonde curls on his chest, careful so as not to wake the older man. Harry loved the scent that surrounded Fenrir, musk and man was the only way he knew to describe it; he inhaled that now and felt completely content and at ease, even after the nightmares.

 

Harry could hear the others groaning, yawning and stretching as they began to rouse from sleep, Callie, as always the first to drag herself up and out from Jenson’s arms so to put water on to boil. Lukas wouldn’t get out of bed without a mug of his preferred tea. Some of the others needed coffee before they were functioning on a normal level too, so it was always a good start to ensure there was enough boiled water to go around.

 

He knew that it was time to get up but knowing what day it was made him want to bury deeper under the blankets and stay there, snuggled into Fenrir’s warm embrace. However the Alpha was beginning to stir, as the sounds of the rest of the pack moving around and grumbling about the cold met his ears. Closing his eyes Harry feigned sleep, trying desperately to ignore his aching bladder, desperate to stay in the warm embrace for a few moments longer.

 

Fenrir was ecstatic; he had woken and had found that his little mate, for the first time since he had come to the territory, had not risen before him and snuck off. Harry remained blissfully asleep in his arms, breathing softly and evenly. He took a moment to enjoy the feeling of having Harry so close to him, and Harry’s head buried into his chest. His freshly washed scent unique unto Harry and making the Alpha want to mark him, claiming him as his own. However he would refrain from that for the moment, not wanting to scare the poor child more. Something told the Alpha that today was not the day to be pushing Harry to try new things, like being claimed indefinitely as the mate to the Alpha wolf of their pack.

 

Fenrir normally would get up and start his day the moment he awoke, but he wasn’t about to waste the opportunity to hold Harry close, and he was quite sure that the slightest movement would rouse the sleeping werewolf in his arms. So it was a rather baffled, but amused, looking Callie who came over to him to offer him something to drink. Fenrir turned down the offer, not wanting to risk spilling something that hot over Harry, and definitely not willing to move until he really had to.

 

She gave the Alpha an understanding nod and headed off to waft a cup of tea under Lukas’ nose, hoping that it was the right kind; he was so particular when it came to his tea and getting the right one could make the difference of him being in a good mood or not for the rest of the day. Damon came over to Fenrir, and Harry, with his own cup of coffee, which he treated as if it were a life force and was the only thing that sustained him so early in the morning. He sat close to the Alpha’s head, putting a rolled up blanket under Fenrir’s head so they could talk more easily.

 

“At least he is getting some sleep,” Damon said, nodding towards the sleeping form of Harry and taking another sip of his steaming cup, savouring the bitter taste.

 

“He needs it,” Fenrir agreed, “I am just glad he will let me take care of him.”

 

“He would probably be more willing if you would just explain the situation to him,” Damon pointed out.

 

“It is not time,” Fenrir told him gruffly, with finality.

 

Harry focused on keeping his breathing steady and even, knowing how easy it would be to alert the Alpha to the fact that he was awake. He had just wanted to stay Fenrir’s arms a little longer, but now that the Alpha and Damon were talking about him he was more than a little curious. He knew that he shouldn’t have been listening in to such a personal conversation but he had been kept in the dark his entire life without even realising it. He wasn’t about to let that happen again.

“Harry will not appreciate having had this kept from him,” Damon warned him, with a nervous glance at the seemingly still sleeping teen.

 

“What do you suggest?” Fenrir asked, glancing down to check to see if his mate was still sleeping just as Damon had moments before. Both however seemed satisfied but Harry refused to let down his guard, focusing intently on keeping up the facade so he could listen a little more. If they had thought for a moment that he was awake they’d stop spilling their secrets and Harry was desperate to know more.

 

“I suggest we should have been honest with him from the start,” Damon said, making Fenrir growl deeply in irritation. “Okay, fine. I know that isn’t helpful. I’m just not entirely sure what to suggest really, but Harry is going to eventually find out that he is your mate. The others have already figured it out without being told. The only reason Harry hasn’t yet worked it out is that he doesn’t know how Packs work. Once he’s clued up on that there’ll be hell to pay.”

 

At the word mate Harry had almost tensed up. He forced himself to remain relaxed and still however, focusing on his breathing but his mind buzzed with this new information. He was Fenrir’s mate?! He didn’t know exactly what that meant but he knew enough to know that certain things would be expected, things that terrified the fifteen year old virgin. Harry knew that Callie and Jenson were a couple, were they mates? He assumed that they were but he wasn’t entirely sure what it meant between him and Fenrir. It took everything he had not to panic a little at the prospect.

 

“He isn’t going to find out, there will be hell to pay if someone tells him,” Fenrir said with a low warning growl.

 

“No one is going to tell him, Alpha.” Damon was certain that no-one would be that stupid, not even Clay or Micha who were prone to occasional acts of idiocy.

 

It had been obvious to them all, that Harry was clueless about Fenrir’s intentions and, given the Alpha’s temper, none of the pack were going to put themselves in that firing line. Especially not after what they had all witnessed happen to Clay the day before when he had helped Harry escape pack territory for less than hour.

 

“But maybe you should,” Damon suggested tentatively.

 

“You think he would like that?” Fenrir queried, turning his head a bit awkwardly to look at his beta.

 

“You telling him the truth?” Damon asked, “Probably. He is going to be pissed you didn’t tell him sooner though,” he added; it seemed important that the Alpha didn’t start expecting Harry to react well, because Damon was pretty certain that wasn’t going to happen. “Better he hears it from you, than by accident from one of the others, or by figuring it out himself; he’s a smart kid, it won’t take him long to realise you treat him differently to the others. Honestly, he’s probably figured that much out already, even if he doesn’t understand why.”

 

“He’s fifteen; he isn’t ready to know this. He’s still a pup,” Fenrir argued.

 

Harry wasn’t even meant to have joined the pack yet, the Alpha should have had until next summer before working these things out. It was never meant to be as difficult as this. He hadn’t expected Aurors to be searching for the teenager or for him to be summoned to Wizarding School. Fenrir hadn’t predicted any of that. However, what was important was that Harry was safe in the pack now and he wasn’t going anywhere.

 

It was taking all Harry’s willpower not to start ranting and raving at this point; he was tired of being told he was too young to know things, tired of being kept in the dark and he really hated being called a ‘pup’. That and he still really needed to pee, which was not making his sleeping act any easier to maintain.

 

“You’d be surprised at his maturity; the practical jokes aside, which I suspect are more Clayton’s influence,” the Beta told him. “He acts older than he is.” Damon had watched the boy grow from when he was a young boy and now that he was reaching adulthood Damon could hardly believe how well Harry took things in his stride. Of course he was still a teenager and teenagers weren’t perfect, and would always occasionally fuck up, but he was handling everything a damn sight better than most boys his age would have done considering.

 

The Alpha mulled this over for a minute, before making up his mind and answering, “He still isn’t ready.” It was the final word on the matter. Fenrir could see that Harry was, as Damon said, very mature for his age. It wasn’t just his lack of years that made Fenrir believe he wasn’t ready. Harry was already coping with too much, more than he should be. He didn’t need anything else to deal with right now.

 

“That’s up to you, my Alpha but…”

 

“He isn’t ready,” Fenrir insisted, interrupting his Beta. Damon nodded, the Alpha’s tone alone told him not to push the matter any further and he silenced himself, and his thoughts, by sipping at his coffee. “Will he not just be pleased to be able to build a family?” the Alpha questioned.

 

“You mean having pups?” Damon asked, mulling it over a little as Fenrir nodded. “Surely that won’t be happening for some time, like you said, he is just a pup himself,” the Beta queried, a little concerned. He was still only fifteen years old; Damon didn’t like to think of Harry pregnant with pups just yet.

 

“I have been building this pack for years, I’ll wait only long enough to know that it’s safe,” Fenrir said with a low growl. He didn’t like Damon concerning himself with what he and Harry did in regards to having a family, something the Alpha was desperate for.

 

“You still don’t think we’re safe here?” Damon asked, happy to have the chance to change the subject.

 

His parental concerns aside, it wasn’t his business when his Alpha had pups with his mate, even if that mate was practically a second son to him in many ways. He was however confident that Harry was strong minded enough to point blank refuse if he wasn’t ready. There might have been arguments but the Beta wolf knew the teenager well enough to know that he wouldn’t do anything he didn’t want. Damon actually found himself glad for the first time that the pups were going to Hogwarts just to allow Harry a little more time to grow up before having his own family.

 

“Before the last full moon I would have thought that we were, but now with these stray wolves hanging around and the Aurors … I want to be careful, especially where Harry is concerned,” Fenrir said, looking down at his little mate once more, content in the knowledge that he slept on.

 

“I can understand that,” Damon said, “I know why you bit him, I can tell how unique he is from his scent. If there are stray wolves and they catch his scent, they’ll want him.” In truth he had known since he had first met Harry, and it was hardly a mystery to the rest of the pack. Harry was special, and they would protect him.

 

Harry could feel his stomach churning dangerously, Fenrir had been the one who had bitten him! It took all of his self-control not to expel the contents of his stomach, or his now painful bladder, then and there. His Dad had never been able to talk about the night that Harry was bitten and he had always figured that it had been a horrific accident; he didn’t know how to handle the knowledge that he’d been turned as a small baby because he smelt different, because Fenrir believed him to be special.

 

“Indeed,” Fenrir said. “He doesn’t need to know any of that either,” he added quickly.

 

Damon mentally sighed, all these secrets were bound to come back around and cause trouble, but there would be no talking with the Alpha now his mind was made up. “About being unique or you biting him?” he asked.

 

“Both,” Fenrir grunted, dreading to think how Harry would take the news about the identity of his werewolf sire; it might be preferable for him to remain ignorant to such a thing for the foreseeable future.

 

“There are more important things he needs to know first,” the Alpha pointed out, wanting to move away from the subject; he was fairly sure that most of the pack remained oblivious to who had bitten Harry, none of them had a sense of smell quite as attuned as Fenrir’s and he didn’t want to be overheard discussing it.

 

“Of course, do you know how you’re going to tell him yet?” Damon asked. “About his Dad I mean…”

 

It was getting seriously painful to hold onto the contents of his bladder but Harrycouldn’t regret it, not when all these secrets kept spilling from their mouths. At this point he would rather piss himself than miss his chance to hear what they had to say. Especially now that they had mentioned his Dad, he couldn’t think what they might know.

 

“No, not yet, soon, but not today,” Fenrir insisted. “He has enough to deal with today.”

 

“Agreed,” Damon said, sipping at his almost empty cup of coffee, “but I wouldn’t leave it too long Alpha,” he added, “he’s bound to find out one way or another, especially if he keeps disappearing off to meet people.”

 

“Has Clayton said anymore on that matter?” Fenrir questioned; he was still furious that both the pups continued to defy him in such a manner, but it was clear there was no changing their minds on the issue.

 

“No, my Alpha,” Damon said, his tone apologetic, “those two are as thick as thieves, they’ll take each other’s secrets to the grave”

 

“I’m not sure I approve of that Damon,” Fenrir said in almost a growl.

 

“I’m not sure I do either, my Alpha,” Damon said with a wry smile as he stood up to leave, having spotted his adoptive son making an appearance from the stream, along with Micha. No one was permitted to go anywhere alone with the threat of stray wolves lurking around. It was a precaution that Fenrir had insisted upon.

 

The smells of breakfast were starting to fill the clearing and so Fenrir got up carefully, with Harry still in his arms as he wanted his little mate to be awake enough to eat some breakfast. Seeing his opportunity, Harry opened his eyes and faked sleepiness as best he could, by stretching and yawning, forcing a smile onto his face.

 

“I need to pee,” Harry said, almost cringing when the Alpha chuckled.

 

Harry didn’t want to be anywhere near this man right now while he got his head around the things he had heard and he was glad when he was placed down on his own two feet, allowed to make a bid for the cover of the trees. He ensured that he stayed within eyesight of the clearing so that he wouldn’t be followed. Once there he would let himself think over all he had heard. Once he had relieved his now quite painful bladder, that is.

Chapter Text

Chapter Eleven – Uncharted Territory

 

Dumbledore was beyond frustrated, as he threw his copy of the Daily Prophet down on his desk. The front page showed a picture of a muggle town that had all but been burnt to the ground, the article detailed how it had been found with most of the residents slaughtered and the rest missing. Even during the first war things had not been this dangerous and the ministry seemed to barely be attempting to hide the atrocities from the muggle world; both wizarding and muggle communities alike were starting to panic.

 

He wanted to put an end to Tom’s vendetta against the world, he wished that he could finish it already, but he was sure he needed Harry for that. Even with the progress he had made on that front, it still felt a long way off; there would still be months of these attacks ahead. At least he was making some progress with the Horcruxes; the Fiendfyre imbued Sword of Gryffindor was highly effective at destroying the Gaunt Ring.

 

Dumbledore had a theory, that Tom would have split his soul into seven pieces; it was a magical number after all and he had no doubt that Tom had been highly aware of that. The headmaster remembered what a remarkable student Tom Riddle had always been; granted he had never trusted or particularly liked the boy, but Dumbledore wasn’t stupid enough to deny his talent.

 

It seemed a safe assumption that the teenage version of Tom that had walked out of the girl’s bathroom was the soul from one of the Horcruxes, that was the moment Dumbledore had really begun to understand what Dark Magic’s Tom had invoked. It was also why the headmaster had not wasted his time with a search for Ginny Weasley; undoubtedly it was her sacrifice that had allowed Tom Riddle to take a corporeal form once more. Wherever her body lay it was of no concern to him.

 

 

The Gaunt ring, which, he’d been shocked to discover was also the Resurrection Stone, had been another Horcrux and the confirmation Dumbledore had needed for what Tom had done; the way it had reacted when struck with the Fiendfyre sword was proof enough of what it had contained. It was also his first real clue as to what the other Horcruxes might be. He had suspected that Tom would use items of significance and the ring had given credit to that theory, not that he was much closer to identifying what the others would be; he had a few ideas though.

 

But there were simply too many possibilities to be certain of anything, and so the headmaster was choosing to focus on their locations rather than the objects themselves and on that front his progress was slightly more pleasing, though still painstakingly slow. It was the location of the original soul piece that was truly leaving Dumbledore baffled though, the piece that would have been left without form or body that Halloween night in Godric’s Hollow.

 

The thought that plagued his mind was that with Lily’s sacrifice for her child, would that have been enough for a part of Voldemort to be put into Harry as well? Albus was now almost certain that it would have been. If he was right in his assumptions then Harry Potter was the seventh horcrux and that meant the boy would have to die one way or another; whether he survived was of no concern as long as the part of Voldemort inside of him died it’s final death. He couldn’t wait until January, he felt like a child on the eve of Christmas at the prospect of the Potter boy coming to the school, being under his control. Werewolf or not it was a marvellous thing to have happen.

 

With all these things he knew now, he felt uncharacteristically foolish for having wasted his time with Neville Longbottom, but he would not dwell on that now that things were starting to look more favourable. He had only ever done what he believed best, and it was the rest of the wizarding world who were fools if they couldn’t see that. He was the great Albus Dumbledore, they should trust him.

 

And soon he would have another title to add to his list of commendations. He had the Resurrection Stone; he had had the Elder Wand for decades, ever since Grindelwald lost their legendary duel; and James Potter had all but handed him the Cloak of Invisibility on a plate. Of course, Remus Lupin had borrowed the last of the three, but Dumbledore would fetch it from him soon and then he would be the Master of Death. He would live a long time yet; long enough to appreciate the world he was going to have saved; long enough that the world would learn to love him, like they should, once more.

 

FGHP

 

Halloween passed with no significance or celebration. Harry took the opportunity to distance himself from the rest of the pack, his mind a buzz with new information.  No one bothered him the entire day; the reason for his morose mood had quickly spread throughout the pack and they all respected that he needed space. It would have been almost the perfect excuse to be alone with his thoughts, if it hadn’t been the anniversary of his mother’s untimely demise.

 

 

Harry just couldn’t wrap his head around everything that he’d heard. Secret after secret had been spilt by Damon and Fenrir and it made everything spin. He was the mate of Fenrir Greyback, Alpha wolf to their pack. The same man who had bitten and turned him into a Werewolf before he had even reached his second birthday. To top it all off he was apparently special, something to do with his scent made him that way. Something that Harry just couldn’t comprehend. Plus they knew something about his Dad that they weren’t sharing, and that enraged Harry further. He deserved to know, he needed to know, it was the whole reason he was going to Hogwarts, to find answers.

 

 

He was sat with his back against his favourite tree, once again curled up in a little ball, arms wrapped around his legs, chin resting upon his knees. He could hear the pack in the clearing only a few metres away, he could have seen them too if he had cared enough to turn his head. The werewolves that he had eaten, slept and bonded with over the two months that he had been here, had wormed their way into his heart. In a way even Fenrir had but the revelation from this morning had left Harry reeling.

 

 

He could hear Jenson picking yet another argument with Micha, this time about why his favourite shirt had mysteriously gained a gaping hole in the back of it. Of course Micha was feigning ignorance on the matter. Harry could clearly hear Clayton sniggering in the background, quite obviously having had something to do with it. He didn’t need to look over to know that Callie would be by the fire, preparing their next meal. She never strayed far, though Harry suspected it had just as much to do with starving off the cold from her too thin frame. He also knew that Romy would be curled up near her adoptive mother, reading or chatting to Lukas, who would be nursing a cup of tea.

 

 

Fenrir on the other hand liked to survey his pack; keep a protective eye on everyone Clay called it. Though, when he wasn’t watching everyone, he was usually chopping firewood. This was an activity that Harry loved to observe, largely because the Alpha always took off his well-worn leather jacket to do it. His chest muscles would ripple deliciously with each movement, the sweat dripping from him as he worked. Today however, the thought of watching him with such captivated awe made Harry feel sick to the stomach.

 

 

In fact staying in pack territory for another night seemed unbearable. Harry knew that he would be having another nightmare tonight, it was always the same on Halloween, there was no escaping it. And if he stayed, then he would no doubt end up in the arms of the Alpha again. Last night it had been blissfully peaceful knowing that he had a big strong wolf to protect and watch over him as he slept, now however that thought made him slightly queasy.

 

 

 To be in the arms of the man who had bitten him and turned him into a werewolf, to think that he was that man’s mate was all too much. He needed to be able to process the information he now had and being in close proximity with Fenrir wasn’t about to allow him to do that.

 

 

When Lukas brought him a cup of tea shortly before lunch, which apparently was of the Earl Grey variety, Harry was already beginning to formulate a plan. He accepted the mug of steaming liquid without a word, giving only a small nod of thanks. Taking the hint, Lukas left him alone again, without saying anything, but not before giving him a sad smile.

 

 

Fenrir attempted to bring him lunch a little later but Harry left it untouched, not feeling up to eating. He had drank the tea however and that was enough for him. Fenrir clearly did not agree, however the Alpha couldn’t raise any form of reaction from Harry, not even when he was challenged. The young werewolf just sat and said nothing, unmoving.

 

 

“This is the first Halloween I’ve ever seen him,” Damon told Fenrir. “When we were living in Ingleton, Harry never left the house. He wouldn’t even talk to Severus, let alone anyone else on this day. Clay would beg and plead for Harry to come trick or treating but he never would.” The Alpha was sat near the fire, watching his mate with concern when the Beta wolf had come to sit beside him.

 

 

“I wouldn’t worry so much if he would just eat something. He’s so small for his age!” Fenrir growled irritably. He could see the plate of untouched food exactly where he’d left it an hour before. There was something niggling the Alpha, he felt as if something wasn’t right and it stretched from more than just the anniversary of Harry’s mother’s death.

 

 

“I wouldn’t worry,” Damon said trying to sound reassuring. “In all the time I’ve known him, he’s never been much of an eater. He’s a strong kid, he has to be for everything that’s happened. He’ll be okay.” Fenrir grunted in response. He knew that about Harry, the strength and resilience shone out of the boy but that didn’t mean Fenrir liked it when his mate withdrew into himself like this and refused to speak to anyone.

 

Fenrir attempted to feed him dinner, which was every bit as successful as lunch had been, only making the Alpha more irritable. Harry however remained stubbornly silent, lost in his thoughts as he plotted and schemed. His backpack was packed, ready to go, he hadn’t spread out, he hadn’t made himself at home here. He knew that he couldn’t make his move until everyone was asleep, he wasn’t stupid. Harry knew they’d try to stop him if he tried to just walk out now and they would want an explanation. He didn’t want to go into the fact he had overheard Damon and Fenrir’s conversation this morning.

 

He would instead wait until everyone was asleep before making his getaway. Clayton came to see him as the others were preparing themselves to settle down for the night. His best friend flopped down beside him and gave him a small nudge that caused Harry to turn and look at him with sad emerald eyes.

 

“You coming over?” Clay asked.

 

Harry shook his head, “Later,” he said, his voice quite as he resumed staring off into space.

 

“Want a blanket?”

 

 

Harry smiled at him, “Please,” he responded and Clay nodded.

 

Clayton went and fetched a blanket, on the way receiving a curious stare from Damon. Fenrir however stopped him before the young wolf could return to Harry, asking him what he was doing. The Alpha wanted Harry closer to the fire where he’d be warm even if the two of them didn’t sleep curled up with each other again. He wouldn’t have Harry freezing on his own through the night.


“He’s not ready to come to bed yet, Alpha. I asked him if he wanted a blanket and he said yes,” Clayton told Fenrir, who didn’t look happy at all.

 

 

Fenrir snatched the blanket from Clay’s hands and strode purposefully over to his mate. Crouching down the Alpha draped the cloth around the younger werewolf who seemed to stiffen at the proximity between them.

 

“Don’t stay out here all night,” Fenrir said stiffly, not knowing what he had done to make Harry tense up around him. “You’ll freeze!”

 

“Okay,” Harry returned, his voice soft, almost distant. Fenrir stared at him expectantly for a moment longer but it was clear that Harry had no intention of saying anything more and so, not knowing what else to say, Fenrir got to his feet and walked back to the rest of the pack.

 

Harry drew the blanket tightly around his shoulders and inhaling the scent of the Alpha that lingered on it; even that brought up such conflicting feelings of comfort and betrayal. He had to get out of here for a while, he had to get his head on straight. He couldn’t be around the handsome, bad tempered and highly infuriating man.

 

As the evening grew later, Harry felt his eyelids start to droop as he waited for the others to fall asleep. He shrugged off his blanket and allowed the cool air to rush to greet him, jolting him awake with the shock of it. He had spent weeks memorizing the snores of the others and he found himself glad of this knowledge now. He knew exactly when each pack member had fallen into a deep sleep. The last to doze off was, of course, Fenrir but Harry hadn’t expected anything else.

 

Even when Harry was certain that they were all asleep he waited a little while longer, shivering with the chill in the late October air; it was starting to get colder, that was for sure. Once he was certain that he wouldn’t be caught, Harry quietly and carefully got to his feet. His body was stiff from sitting in the same position the whole day, he had to take a moment to stretch out his legs and wait for the pins and needles to pass; wincing and biting his lip to silence himself when he got a cramp in his thigh.

 

His stomach rumbled in protest at not having consumed anything more than a mug of Earl Grey tea all day but Harry ignored that. Food was not a priority right now, escaping pack territory without being caught was.

 

Taking his backpack in hand, throwing it over one shoulder he cast a final glance back toward the clearing. He missed them already but he needed to do this. He felt sorry for Clayton, whom he’d only just repaired his friendship with. Harry could always have asked him to come along but this was something he had to do alone and he would never let himself be the reason Clay was separated from his family. He just hoped his friend would understand.

 

Taking a deep breath, more to convince himself that this was a good idea than anything else, Harry set off. He walked purposefully away from the clearing, unknowing that he was not the only one who could feign sleep.

 

FGHP

 

The afterglow she sported following the torturing of so many muggles was beginning to fade. It had been so much fun while it had lasted, hearing their screams and drawing their blood from their pathetic bodies. Bellatrix Lestrange meandered through the corridors, trailing her fingers along the wall, following the swirls of the pretentious wallpaper the likes of which coated the walls of Malfoy Manor; she sighed with contentment at the memory of the beautiful violence that she had dealt out in the height of her PMS.

 

It was a darn sight better than being forced to acknowledge that yet again she had failed to conceive the Dark Lord’s child. That is what they both wanted and it seemed to be the one thing that she couldn’t give him. She had given him everything else, heart, mind, body and soul. None of it interested him and none of it really mattered, not when she couldn’t give him the heir he desired. She had never failed him before and she hated that she was doing so now.

 

He hated it too, she could tell. She could feel his eyes on her, questioning why she wasn’t yet impregnated and she knew that soon he would grow tired of her, become bored of her body and weary of her ineptitude. Her body bore too many scars, scars that he had given her. She kept them to please him but there were too many now, her body almost deformed and misshapen from them.

 

She hated that her sister had fulfilled her role of wife twice over, for Lucius Malfoy, and yet she couldn’t provide one boy for the all-powerful Dark Lord; surely he was more in need, more worthy of an heir than any other. Her jealousy ate at her, and she could barely stand to look at Lucius’ second son, even more so when it was so blatantly clear that the man cared not that the boy even existed. But Narcissa had her boy and despite her gripping that Lucius had not even laid eyes upon him, she still had completed her duty as his wife.

 

Bellatrix would not let this defeat her, she would provide for him, she would do anything for him. She understood why he raged at her, and beat her, and hurt her because it was what her failure had given her; she even enjoyed it… sometimes. And then there were those moments, when she wished for him to look at her and touch her with affection and gentleness, for him to love her in return; she knew he would if she could just bare him his heir. Then he would love her and protect her and treat her like the most loyal of all, like she always tried to be.

 

She felt tense, too tense; she pushed away from the wall and paused to think, a small sinister smirk slipping onto her lips. The Dark Lord wasn’t the only one who needed an outlet and Rodolphus was just so convenient. She would no longer let him desecrate her body just in case the wrong man were to impregnate her, which would be disastrous, of course, but he would bend to her will; she would see to that and maybe tonight would be the glorious night she would finally break him.

 

She let out a joyful cackle and turned, almost bounding along the hallway in anticipation. Oh, how he would bleed for her tonight. She would enjoy inflicting pain and misery on her pathetic excuse for a husband whom her parents had deemed worthy enough to marry her. Her little sister had the wealthy aristocratic and she had the bumbling buffoon. Though she detested the man, she forgave her parents, they couldn’t have known what higher purpose she would have; that she would truly belong to the greatest wizard to ever live; to the glorious Dark Lord.

 

FGHP

 

Until Harry was sure he was clear of pack territory he moved as gracefully through the forest as he could, trying to keep the noise to a minimum. On the off chance someone awoke and realised that he was missing sooner than he thought, Harry didn’t want to help them along by crashing through the undergrowth like a wildebeest.

 

He knew the exact moment that he stepped outside of pack territory, he felt himself pass through the wards but there was something else too, it smelt different. Even though his nose had been desensitised from the silver or the potion he could still smell the difference as to what was marked out by his Alpha and what wasn’t. He was now in uncharted territory.

 

Harry’s heart beat a little faster at this, he knew he would have to apparate soon but until he figured out where he wanted to go he would just keep walking and see where his feet led him. Walking helped him think and right now he was thinking that he had made a huge mistake. He needed time to clear his head that was for sure but he didn’t feel safe out here, on his own and outside of the territory that ensured his protection.

 

The sound of a twig snapping somewhere to his left made him freeze. He wasn’t the only one out here. His heart began to race uncontrollably, cursing his senses for not being what they should be. He prayed that it was just an animal, a non-wizard in origin animal that meant him no harm. Knowing his luck however he doubted it.

 

Tentatively Harry began to walk again, the wind picking up and making him shiver. He thought about the warmth of the fire and Fenrir’s willing embrace back in the clearing, which he had foolishly left behind in a moment of anger and uncertainty. It was his stubborn streak that kept him moving forward and not turning tail and running back home where he felt safe. He had started something and he would finish it.

 

A low gruff laugh caught his attention no more than a minute later. He knew the laugh of every one of his pack brothers and sisters. This laugh didn’t belong to anyone that he counted as his family. Oh how he wished he had stayed with them tonight and quashed the cowardly instinct to run away from his problems, rather than facing them head on like he should have done.

 

Whoever was out here, and Harry was now certain that it was a who and not a what, was playing with him, hunting him down and enjoying it. Picking up his pace but not allowing himself to break out into a full on run, Harry kept moving. A second harsher laugh met his ears, making his heart beat painfully faster as he realised a second person was now stalking him through the forest. Harry’s fear peaked, thinking of his father and how he had sacrificed his life and now Harry had foolishly put it at risk … again.

 

A third laugh from directly ahead of him now made him stall. Darkness surrounded him and he couldn’t see more than a metre in front of his nose. If someone was ahead of him he couldn’t see them. Harry felt as if they were surrounding him, coming at him from all sides. Unwilling to carry on into the path of certain danger he spun around on his heel and took off at a run, back towards the pack territory where he knew that he would be safe, not caring how much noise he made getting there as long as he survived.

 

Why had he left? How irresponsible did he have to be to waste his father's sacrifice so stupidly? He was stubborn, cowardly and unable to face his problems when presented with them and now he was going to pay the price for that. Each footfall thudded loudly upon the forest floor, his breathing raging wildly as he ran.

 

He was moving so hastily that he was barely watching where he was going or where his feet were landing. It was so dark that it was difficult to predict any obstacles that might be ahead of him and his feet caught and landed on several large roots, nearly tripping him, but he managed to keep upright and moving. Though, if the darkness of the night hadn’t blinded him, then his sheer panic would have done as he heard footfalls behind him, chasing him down, and by the sound of it there were more than just three people in pursuit of him.

 

His heart was beating loudly in his chest and his breath coming in harsh gasps. He chanced a look over his shoulder, but couldn’t see anything. He nearly stumbled again on the uneven ground but then a broken branch that jutted out precariously from a tree caught him hard by the shoulder, slamming into him and making him tumble. His palms connected with the soft cold ground beneath him but he didn’t pause long enough to even catch his breath before pushing himself up and kept running. He didn’t feel any pain in his shoulder but the scent of blood told him that he had done himself some form of injury regardless of if he could feel the pain of it.

 

Harry wasn’t sure he was even running in the right direction, he just knew that he had to keep going. His pursuers were still behind him, he could hear them crashing gracelessly through the undergrowth not far behind. The stumble had cost him any lead he might have had and he cursed himself for being so clumsy.

 

He kept waiting for the moment he would feel himself cross through the wards, searching for the familiar scent of their claimed territory with his nose, sure that he couldn’t be far, praying that he was close, that he would make it before he was caught. He was so sure he hadn’t come this far from the boundaries, it was taking too long and he felt more than a little hysterical. His mind cried out for his Alpha, desperate for his protection. Cried out for his mate, he suddenly realised, but he didn’t have time to think on the strangeness of that thought before someone dropped from a tree directly into his path.

 

Harry let out a shrill cry of surprise at the sight of the large, fierce looking male in front of him. The sudden appearance forced him to stop and fall backwards onto his arse with a thud as the unknown man let out a false laugh that somehow showed far too many yellowed teeth. Harry did his best to turn around and scramble to get to his feet, his fingers clawing at the cold mud as they tried to get purchase to push off from so that he might keep running.

 

Managing to get back up, he turned slightly to his right and kept his feet moving. He needed to get away but to his horror Harry saw a second male now step into his path, grinning at him manically. This one smaller than the first, but still imposing and just as terrifying to the small werewolf, who was nowhere near as large or bulky as any of his other pack brothers and significantly smaller than these men as well.

 

He let out a pitiful whimper of fear, exhaustion and frustration, as he turned to try and run in a different direction once more, but he had barely gotten anywhere before he barrelled directly into a large chest of a third man and went flying back down to the ground. This time he was too tired and too hungry to consider getting up again. He was caught, there was nothing he could do against the larger werewolves as they closed in on him, all five of them.

 

“Looky here what we caught, Dean,” one of the wolves mocked. Harry looked to him when he spoke, taking in the mass of dark blond hair and large frame.

 

“A feisty little submissive wolf by the looks of it,” the wolf clearly called Dean responded. Turning towards him now in his panic and not liking the look of this wolf. He seemed to be harsher than the others, his presence domineering but he wasn’t the Alpha of this pack, Harry could tell that much.

 

Harry’s eyes flicking between all five of the men, taking in their unkempt appearances and trying to figure out which one of them was the Alpha wolf. If Harry had thought that his pack brother’s standards of personal hygiene were bad, they had nothing on this lot who looked as if they hadn’t washed in months, their clothes were caked in dirt and grime, what he could see of their skin was in no better condition.

 

“And all mine,” the largest of the five werewolves said, clearly this was the Alpha of the group. The predatory tone in his voice made Harry scramble away from him as the large man took a step forward, coming towards him clearly with the intent to take hold of him. Harry could clearly see the dark, almost black eyes bearing down upon him, his hair was either dark brown or black also but Harry couldn’t tell in the poor light.

 

“Ah, Gideon, that’s no fair, you gotta share him, he looks scrumptious,” grumbled one of the others, who was mostly hidden. Harry didn’t turn to see who had spoken this time, he wouldn’t take his eyes off the Alpha.

 

“Bet he is a screamer too,” another one said, a wide, mad grin on his face as he stepped out from the darkness of the trees.

 

Harry kept his eyes focused on the Alpha, knowing that this man was the biggest threat, the others would do nothing unless their Alpha gave them the orders to do it. He kept his gaze focused on the almost black, eyes of Gideon.

 

“He’s a cocky thing,” Gideon said appreciatively. “He won’t look away, almost as if he’s challenging me.” With this he left out a harsh laugh as if such a thing was ludicrous to even consider, though judging by the size difference between them it probably was. “I’m going to enjoy breaking you little sub.”

 

“What do you think he’s doing out here instead of in his territory?” the smallest of the five wolves asked curiously. Harry risked a cursory glance towards him, taking in the auburn hair and bright blue eyes. He wanted to remember these faces so that if he made it out of here alive he wouldn’t fall foul of them again.

 

“Shut up Jack! What the fuck does it matter?” Dean snapped viciously at his pack mate.

 

“Russ, Roderic, move aside, let’s see how fast our little sub can run,” Gideon said with a malicious smirk. Harry didn’t move, not even when the two large wolves with dark blond hair, Russ and Roderic did as they were told. He was beyond exhausted, his energy spent. He had no interest in playing their games when he knew he had no chance of actually getting away from them. He wouldn’t reduce himself to being a source of amusement to these werewolves, he was stronger than that, he was done running away from his problems. It was time to stand and fight, or in this case, cower on his arse but he wouldn’t run.

 

Gideon however wasn’t the kind of man that took lightly to anyone going against his wishes. Harry found himself roughly grabbed by this hair and pulled viciously to his feet, a shallow scream escaping from his lips, not from pain but from the shock of the sudden movement. Harry was thrown rather callously toward the space Russ and Roderic had vacated. He didn’t care what they did to him he wouldn’t run.

 

Harry hit the floor again, this time unable to bring his hands up to brace himself in time and his head hitting the ground first. He was thankful that he couldn’t feel any pain right now because he knew that it was bound to have hurt like hell otherwise. Using the last of his strength, Harry clawed his way over to the base of a tree where he cowered, trying to make himself as small as possible. The other werewolves just laughed at him.

 

“That’s not going to save you, little sub,” Roderic mocked, stepping forward, Russ not far behind, the two of them looked so similar they must have been related but even as that fact registered in Harry’s mind he disregarded it, knowing that wasn’t going to help him. The two of them grabbed one of Harry’s arms each, forcibly picking him up and holding him to the tree. Harry struggled valiantly despite his exhaustion and hunger as Gideon came forward, a smug look on his face.

 

“Should have run when you had the chance,” Dean taunted from just behind his Alpha. The only one of them who stood further back and away from the action without saying a word was auburn haired, Jack, clearly the weak link in the group, the omega wolf.

 

“Please,” Harry said in a panic, “Let me go,” he pleaded making them all laugh at him once again. He had never known anyone to be so cruel, so callous.

 

Gideon cupped his hand round Harry’s cheek, grinning at him as he drew closer so that Harry could feel the heat of his breath against his cool skin. He stank of rotting meat, it was enough to turn Harry’s stomach. The young wolf almost threw up as the Alpha licked his jaw line, Harry scrunched up his face, turning his head to try and get away. However Gideon’s hand forced him to remain still, with the help of Russ and Roderic who had a fierce grip on his arms that had been twisted around the trunk of the tree, almost uncomfortably so.

 

He could smell this vulgar Alpha’s scent all around him and it made him nauseous, it made him want to cry out for Fenrir, missing the musky scent of man, not realising exactly how much he had liked the way Fenrir smelt until being confronted with this monstrosity of an Alpha wolf. It suddenly didn’t matter who had bitten him or why, Harry just wanted to go back to his pack where he would be safe. But it was too late to think like that now, he should have realised before he had decided to run.

 

“There will be no mistaking who you belong to,” Gideon growled at him, pressing his large form against Harry’s trembling and much smaller body. “I will claim you, bitch. You pretty little sub. It will be such a shame to ruin your face if you are too stupid to do as you’re told.”

 

“Stay still,” Russ snapped, pulling hard on Harry’s arm, as Dean and Jack came forward to grab his legs, holding him even more firmly in place.

 

“I would say this isn’t going to hurt…” Roderic told him smugly, “but that would be lying. This is going to be pure agony that will never let you forget your place.”

 

Harry pulled at his arms and legs, desperate to get free. He even tried to lunge forward in a vain attempt to bite one of them; but that just seemed to amuse them. He knew he was little more than a play toy to them. His stomach lurched again when he thought back to the conversation he had overheard the previous morning. He was unique and they could probably smell that all over him.

 

The Alpha threaded the fingers of his left hand through Harry’s hair and easily put a stop to his attempts to bite the others, tilting Harry’s head so their eyes met. His right hand keeping a firm grip on his blade as he ran it up the little submissive wolfs leg, splitting the skin beneath as easily as the denim that covered it. He could smell it in the air, the sweet, sweet scent of the submissive boy’s blood and… oh that was just too priceless, the little sub had pissed himself in fear. Gideon smirked in victory as he kept the tip of blade near the top of the terrified werewolf’s thigh.

 

“What are you going to do to me?” Harry whimpered in terror.

 

“He’s going to slice you good,” Jack told him with a cackling laugh; his bright blue eyes wide as he watched the events unfold like a mesmerising show. “He is going to chop off all those extra bits a bitch like you will never need.”

 

“I… what do you…? I don’t…” Harry stumbled over the words. The combination of the disgusting little werewolf’s words and the horrifying position of the gross Alpha’s blade making the realisation crash down upon him. Surely he wouldn’t cut him…there? Harry however was starting to realise that there were some people in the world that were just plain evil and those were the kind of people that had him pinned to a tree with a knife in his groin.

 

“Shut it, Jack, or you’ll be next,” Russ warned.

 

Harry pulled futilely against the grip that the werewolves had on him, knowing he had to do anything to get away, he couldn’t let them cut him like that. Even if Fenrir did come find him, Harry wasn’t sure his Alpha would still want him cut and damaged, and probably used; a sickening thought that would have made him throw up, if he had anything in his stomach to lose.

 

“I suggest you don’t move, little sub,” Gideon said in a mockingly sweet voice, “I wouldn’t want to cut the wrong bit and have you bleed yourself to death. What a waste that would be.”

 

“ALPHA! FENRIR!” Harry screamed hysterically through the tears he didn’t remember starting to cry. He had never been so terrified in his life. “Alph…..!” He was cut off as a filthy hand was forced over his mouth but that didn’t stop him; his muffled cries echoing through the night air. He had no idea how far he was from the clearing or the pack, but he prayed it was enough. He had to believe his mate would come.

 

FGHP

 

Fenrir had got up to follow the moment he had realised that Harry was trying to run away again. He had known in his gut that something wasn’t right with his mate and as usual his instincts were right on target. He wasn’t sure what had happened to make the boy want to run this time but he was damned well going to find out but not before dragging his sorry arse back to the clearing where he would be safe. If he had to tie Harry to a tree to make him stay put for the night then that was what he would do.

 

He should have just gone after Harry but he had hesitated, looking around at his sleeping pack, he knew that there were dangers lurking in the forest, including some stray werewolves that seemed content to skirt their territory for the moment. He wasn’t stupid enough to take off on his own after Harry when he didn’t know how many of strays there were. If he ran into trouble then he might need back up.

 

Shaking Jenson awake, careful not to disturb Callie or Romy who were deeply asleep, curled up next to him, he motioned that they were going. Without question or hesitation Jenson pulled on his shoes as Fenrir moved to Damon. His beta blinked sleepily, confused as to what was going on, untangling himself from his son who lay sleeping beside him. Once the two of them were up and wake, which thankfully didn’t take long, he began to explain.

 

“Harry’s gone,” Fenrir told them, “Jenson and I will go after him. Damon, stay awake and stay alert, I have a bad feeling about this.” Without another word the two of them were off, Damon watching after them with concern, unable to comprehend why Harry had decided to run again.

 

“Clayton!” Damon said, shaking his son awake.

 

“What is it, Dad?” The young wolf grumbled, rubbing his eyes and groaning when he realised that it was still dark, unable to understand why he was being woken up.

 

“It’s Harry,” Damon said and instantly Clay was wide awake and alert, looking around the clearing for any sign of his friend. The absence of the Alpha, Harry and Jenson was glaringly obvious as he looked between the rest of the sleeping pack. “What’s wrong, where is he… Fenrir, Jenson?”

 

“Harry decided to run but we don’t know why,” Damon said quietly to his son, “I was hoping you might have some idea.”

 

“Might have something to do with whatever you were talking about this morning,” Clay said giving his dad a pointed stare, Damon just looking confused. “You didn’t think he was really asleep did you?”

 

“Shit,” Damon swore, grimacing as he recalled the conversation. If Harry had heard what they were saying then that explained why he had decided to run this time. It would have been a lot for a young boy to handle all in one go.

 

"So what were you talking about?" Clay asked curiously as he sat up, prepared to wait up for when the others all returned, hopefully with Harry; and hopefully unharmed too.

 

"Never you mind, Clayton," Damon said a little too harshly, causing Micha to stir beside them. It wouldn’t be long until the entire pack was awake at this rate.

 

"What's going on?" Micha grumbled sleepily, aware of the other wolves that were awake around him and finding it strange that they were all up at this hour.  

 

"Harry's gone, Fenrir and Jenson have gone after him," Damon explained, keeping his voice low so not to wake the others.

 

"Fuck, that boy needs to get his head checked, he was fine yesterday," Micha declared firmly, jumping to his feet and grabbing his shoes.

 

"Yeah well he might have been provoked this time" Damon explained. “Where are you going?"

 

"To help," Micha called over his shoulder as he disappeared into the darkness as he headed quickly off towards to the edge of the territory. A feeling of heavy apprehension weighed down heavily on Damon as he watched Micha disappear into the forest. He knew the instant that he was gone that he should have tried to stop him from leaving but there was nothing he could do now.

 

"Can I go too, Dad?" Clayton asked desperately.

 

"Not a chance" Damon growled, protective of his only child. Now all they could do was wait. They would tend the fire and try not to wake Romy, Callie and Lukas as they awaited the return of the others anxiously.

 

FGHP

 

Fenrir tore through the forest, Jenson hot on his heels. The Alpha was following the delicious scent of his young mate. However, shortly outside of pack territory the scent of the stray wolves mingled in with that of Harry and Fenrir knew that his little mate was in trouble. Not every Werewolf treated a submissive well.

 

Fenrir also knew, far too well, just how tempting Harry’s scent was; it was little short of a miracle that he had been able to resist claiming the young werewolf himself, and he didn’t trust any other werewolf to show the same restraint and patience. He cared enough to wait until the young boy was ready, no other would be so lenient. He had to find Harry and now; he was already cursing himself for hesitating long enough to have let Harry get out of the territory at all.

 

There were the usual sounds of the woodland around them, but all of it was drowned out by harsh deep breathing, leaves and twigs snapping and crackling underfoot and the blood he could hear pumping in his ears. He had never been so focused in all his life. Fenrir inhaled deeply and confirmed that Harry had travelled this way.

 

But then the scent of the young pup was failing, it made no sense. It was as though Harry had suddenly changed direction, almost as if something had frightened him, forcing him to change course. Shit, Fenrir cursed inwardly as he stopped for a fraction of a second and took a deep breath, trying to figure out which direction Harry had taken.

 

Jenson too was using his nose in an effort to seek out Harry, however it wasn’t the young ones scent that concerned him. It was the strays. They smelt familiar; and not in the way that brought back fond memories either. He had occasionally thought, though not said out loud for his own safety, that Fenrir was overly protective of Harry, and worried too much, but on this occasion he was terrified for the pup; he feared what state Harry might be in when they found him if they didn’t catch up with him soon.

 

A loud crashing to the rear of them had them on high alert. Someone was incoming and fast. Diving across the path of the unknown person, Fenrir slammed the intruder into the trunk of the tree, snarling dangerously. He bared his teeth in warning; every Alpha instinct he had piqued with the worry for his mate. He certainly wasn’t going to take any chance with letting the stray werewolves get an advantage over him. Such it was that he was half ready to tear into the werewolf he had pinned against the tree when the familiar scent registered in his brain. Realising that he was staring at a terrified looking Micha, he relaxed his painful grip on his pack member.

 

“What the fuck, Micha?” Fenrir bit out, letting the younger wolf down.  

 

Micha rubbed at his throat, looking apologetic; he really should have known better than to approach the enraged Alpha without warning, even as a member of his pack. “Damon told me that Harry had gone, I wanted to help,” he explained; he couldn’t let there be a scrap of doubt for his motivations, his life depended on it. Micha had no delusions; if the Alpha had to choose between Micha’s life and Harry’s, he was a dead man.

 

“We’re wasting time,” Jenson said, “He went this way.”

 

The three wolves took off in the direction Jenson had indicated without another word of debate, though the Alpha wasn’t happy about Micha’s sudden appearance. Of all of the werewolves from his pack that could have come chasing after them, Micha was not the one he would have wanted as he wasn’t as strong a fighter as some of the others. Fenrir, after taking a deep breath and confirming that Harry’s scent lay thick in the air, kept moving, staying in the lead. The Alpha was just hoping that they weren’t too late.

 

Jenson wasn’t sure if he had the breath to mention the fact that he recognised the scent of the strays, he wasn’t sure if it would matter or whether Fenrir would consider it useful information or not. The Alpha was focused solely on tracking down his young mate and that type of information might not have been deemed as important.

 

However, if it was the werewolves that Jenson thought that it was, then they were in trouble. It would mean that Voldemort supporters were sniffing around and no good ever came of that. Riddle was pure evil, Jenson had wanted nothing to do with him from the moment his old pack had joined with the madman. He hadn’t been like them. He hoped that it was them, in a way, because then he could kill each and every one of them for what they did to Romy.

 

They ran and just kept running without saying anything. Until shrill screams echoed throughout the forest that were so distinctly Harry that it made Fenrir throw back his head and howl as he heard his mate call out to him. The screams that ripped through the forest were agonising and full of fear and pain.

 

“ALPHA! FENRIR!”

 

At the sound of his voice the three of them picked up their pace, something that they hadn’t even believed possible, charging relentlessly towards where they had heard Harry’s distressed shout. He had sounded scared, in fact, damn near terrified might have been more appropriate way of describing it. This could mean only one thing, the strays had caught him and he was trapped. They were running out of time.

 

This thought rang through Fenrir’s mind along with every possibility about what they could be doing with his little mate every second that he wasn’t with him, protecting him as he should be. He caught the scent of Harry’s blood and roared as he, Jenson and Micha burst through the undergrowth to see little Harry pinned to a tree by four large, imposing wolves. A fifth, who was clearly another Alpha, held a knife to Harry’s groin where Fenrir could clearly see blood, wetting the denim of the torn jeans.

 

The three of them had made no attempt at stealth as they had tried to reach Harry with all the haste they could muster, and so it was no surprise to Fenrir when six pairs of eyes turned on him, glaring at him. The strays snarled, baring their teeth in warning.  

 

Fenrir barely had time to note the relief on Harry’s face at their sudden appearance as he pulled out a blade of his own. These stray werewolves had touched his mate; they had scared Harry, they had hurt him, and from the looks of things the strays had plans to hurt him a good deal more before they were done. All in all it didn’t bode well for the lives of the stray wolves, who were severely pissing him off.

 

“Fen …” Harry sobbed out quietly, desperately, the hands pinning him to the tree tightened. He yelped, more from the tugging and the pressure than anything else but he knew that it should have hurt, he could feel the skin stretching around his shoulders as they tightened their hold, pulling his arms back and further around the trunk of the tree. He could feel the bark of the tree digging into the flesh of his back, registering the sensation but again not feeling the sting of pain that should have been there.

 

“Let him go,” Fenrir growled, the call of his little mate sounding so hopeless and defeated making him angrier still. He didn’t think that it was possible to feel such rage but as he took in the sight of his mate, the stench of blood and urine filling the air, he wanted to kill them all, tearing them to pieces with his bare hands.

 

“Boys, make sure the little bitch doesn’t go anywhere, I’m not done with him yet,” the stray’s Alpha instructed, turning away from where Harry was still held firmly against the tree trunk.

 

“Don’t be stupid, Gideon,” Jenson said, his body tense, ready for the attack.  It had been a while since he had stood face to face with his old Alpha and the family reunion was not looking to be a happy one. He stood firmly just to one side of Fenrir, wanting no doubts about his loyalty; not that there would be given how he had left his former pack.

 

“Jenson,” Gideon said with a laugh, he’d always thought that his littlest brother would be dead, “you stubborn fool, you should have died like the little bint you stole away with.”

 

“She isn’t dead!” Jenson snarled.

 

“Romy?” Fenrir growled under his breath to Jenson, infuriated by the idea that this werewolf had not only dared attack Harry, but was also behind all the shit that had happened to another of his pack’s pups. Fenrir had never considered himself particularly intellectual, but it hadn’t taken much for him to figure out this was probably the pack that Jenson had run from, which meant that Gideon was Jenson’s older brother.

 

“Well, I’ll have to rectify that,” one of the wolves who was still manhandling Harry said. Fenrir growled lowly at the reminder that his mate was still very much terrified and suffering.

 

“I’ll kill you first, Dean,” Jenson snarled dangerously but Fenrir seemed determined to beat him to it. The Alpha wolf lunged at Gideon, but the one called Dean wasn’t just going to stand by and watch his own Alpha being attacked. Without pausing for thought, Dean released his grip on Harry’s leg, and he leapt forward, intercepted Fenrir, knocking him to the floor in a mass of flying limbs.

 

“I’d like to see you try,” Russ said with a laugh, “you were always so pathetically weak, Jen, and looks like your new Alpha is as well. Letting him fight your battles for you, pathetic.”

 

Fenrir’s grip on his knife was strong and, it was with a well-placed blow that he managed to break Dean’s nose with the end of the handle. A strangled yelp sounded as blood began to spurt everywhere, however it didn’t stop the two of them as they continued to land blow after blow, hitting whatever they could reach.

 

“Enough,” Gideon roared, “The Dark Lord wants Greyback alive, kill the rest of them. The bitch is ours.”

 

“I’m not a BITCH!” Harry bellowed, swinging out with his recently freed leg and managing to kick the back of Gideon’s thigh. It wasn’t as though it would do much good, but after what the vulgar Alpha had planned to do to him, Harry needed to lash out in retaliation.

 

Fury flashing in his eyes, Gideon turned on Harry; if the submissive didn’t smell so damned amazing he would have slit his throat already just to save himself the trouble. Gideon opened his mouth to speak, but at that moment another body collided into him from the side, he hadn’t been expecting it and it through him off balance.

 

“Bastard!” Micha yelled as his fist collided with the side of Gideon’s face, both Russ and Roderic looked torn between maintaining their grip on the unruly sub and helping their Alpha fend off his attacker.

 

Jenson rushed forward, ready to fight the two strays that still maintained their grip on Harry, aiming to get the brothers Russ and Roderic away from the young pup, their grip on him looking painful. He didn’t want what happened to Romy be repeated. He wanted to kill them all for what they had done to his adoptive daughter.

 

 Jack just continued to help hold onto Harry, not being stupid enough to take on the werewolf coming towards him; Jenson was twice as large and twice as strong as the omega wolf and he wouldn’t have stood a chance. The submissive on the other hand was smaller and weaker, this didn’t happen often and Jack intended to take full advantage.

            

 

Harry, taking the opportunity granted to him by the numerous distractions, he swung his free foot at the smallest of the strays; the sound as Harry’s shoe collided with Jack’s head was slightly sickening, but he had to kick him thrice more before the omega werewolf would let go of his other leg.

 

Harry looked up from the barely conscious werewolf at his feet and went wide-eyed at the rather intimidating sight of Jenson with his hand around Russ’ throat. Roderic released Harry’s arm, which he had been holding, so that he could help his brother, but this foolishly gave Harry a free hand to swing at the back of Russ’ head.

 

And suddenly Harry found himself unrestrained and completely unsure what to do; so he started with an additional kick to the head for the disgusting little omega werewolf, Jack, knocking him out cold. Looking around in a panic he saw that Fenrir was still wrestling with Dean and Micha was not faring well in his fight with Gideon.

 

Making the decision to follow his head and not his heart Harry launched towards Gideon in a rage, knowing that if he didn’t intervene then Micha wasn’t going to make it. Gideon’s hands were wrapped around Micha’s throat and his pack brother was slowly turning purple as his air supply was cut off by the large, strong hands of the stray’s Alpha.

 

Harry was all too aware that he was no match for the large Alpha wolf but he wasn’t about to stand aside and do nothing while Micha lost his life because of him. Gideon seemed to be having far too much fun choking the life out of the smaller wolf. Harry threw himself onto Gideon’s back, punching, hitting, kicking and hair pulling, in fact doing anything and everything he could to get him to stop strangling Micha.

 

This was his fault, they were all here, fighting and bleeding because of him, just like what had happened to his Dad. He had decided to run rather than face his problems and this was the price, he should be the one to pay for it not them. The possibility that they wouldn’t all make it back to the rest of the pack was sickening. Harry wasn’t about to let any of them die because of his stupid mistake, not if he could help it.

 

Jenson’s grip had tightened around Russ’ throat but Roderic wasn’t about to let his brother go unaided. There were too many of the strays, without help the four of them were going to struggle to all make it out alive. Micha and Harry were not strong fighters like Jenson and Fenrir. The strays still had four strong members, making the odds unfortunately in the enemies’ favour.

 

Fenrir was furious, of course he had been angry the moment that he had realised Harry had run off again, however that was nothing compared to the rage he felt now. The fact that his little mate had now thrown himself into the fighting only made it worse, despite his relief that Harry was okay enough to do so. He still didn’t like the notion that the little submissive that was so small for his age was currently attacking an Alpha male over three times his size.

 

Roaring his anger he finally managed to plunge the blade of his knife deep into Dean’s right shoulder, incapacitating him and making Dean howl with pain as he tried to get away from Fenrir, his right arm now useless.

 

Kicking the now profusely bleeding werewolf out of the way, Fenrir thumped him in the temple, using the butt of the knife again, thankful when Dean fell to the ground and stopped moving. It didn’t matter whether he was dead or alive, what was important to Fenrir was that he could help his pack now and they all needed his help.

 

Jenson had been tackled to the ground, the brothers Russ and Roderic overwhelming him. Gideon had finally released his grip around Micha’s throat, unfortunately he was now making a grab for Harry. Fenrir, having incapacitated Dean, now had to decide who needed his help more, Harry and Micha or Jenson. It was an easy choice to make in his mind.

 

Hoping Jenson could hold his own for a few minutes, Fenrir, moved quickly over to Harry, Micha and the other Alpha. It took no effort at all to remove the protesting Harry from Gideon’s back, and he felt a spark of pride at how well his little mate had held his own, but now it was his turn. Placing Harry just behind him, to ensure he stayed out of the way Fenrir turned his attention to the other Alpha wolf.

 

He bore his weight down upon Gideon’s back, leaving him nowhere to go, Micha still pinned beneath him. Fenrir then wrapped his arms around the other Alpha wolf in a mockery of a hug; with swift precision Fenrir grabbed Gideon’s arm, which had been reaching for Micha’s throat once again, twisting it to allow for better access, then with a strong swing, brought his blade down on the other Alpha’s wrist. The blade slicing through the skin and muscle, clicking against the bone as it sliced through the flesh with a sickening sound.


An agonised and furious scream ripped through the forest and Micha was practically painted scarlet as Gideon’s now severed right hand fell away, the stump spurting blood, like something out of a horror film, Fenrir having cut it off at the wrist joint.

 

“Take Harry home!” Fenrir roared at a stunned Micha, as he pulled Gideon back off of his smaller pack member, “NOW!” he bellowed, shocking Micha into action as the other Alpha almost lost consciousness in Fenrir’s grasp. Gideon’s horrified eyes unable to look away from the bloody, dripping stump where his hand had once been.

 

“NO!” Harry screamed, trying to reach Fenrir as a blood soaked Micha picked up the younger wolf, predicting his protests, “Fenrir!” Harry called out, struggling against his pack brother, he wanted to be with his Alpha. “Micha please, we have to help him … them!” Fenrir had to hold himself back from running to his mate at the sound of his screams. He had to finish this before he could be with him. It took a lot of determination to hold himself back as Micha removed Harry from the scene of the fight.

 

“Sorry, little one, Alpha’s orders,” Micha told him with sympathy, he wanted to stay and make sure that nothing happened to Fenrir and Jenson too, but he had been a pack wolf his whole life, it didn’t occur to him not to obey such a clear, direct and important order from the Alpha male. He did however turn to make sure they were going to be okay and saw Fenrir charge towards Jenson who was still managing to fend off both Russ and Roderic single handed.

 

“But we can’t leave them!” Harry pleaded, tears in his eyes as he fought against the tight grip Micha had on him. He didn’t want to hurt his pack brother so his attempts to get away were not as determined as they could have been. He knew that he was too tired and too hungry to be much use but it felt awful being ordered away like a naughty child. All he wanted was to know that the Alpha, his mate, was going to survive this. He could have screamed out his frustration as he lost sight of them but instead, he let himself go numb and be led away.

 

“We aren’t fighters, pup,” Micha tried to explain, it really wasn’t their place to be fighting like this, particularly not as submissive wolves, though they could if the occasion called for it, like it had tonight. “They’ll be okay, let’s just go home.” He prayed it was the truth, but he knew that if Harry didn’t believe him then there would be no hope of getting the little werewolf out of there while still conscious. Micha didn’t want to have to do anything drastic and knock him out. He would feel terrible if he had to do something like that without being provoked into it.

 

Mutely Harry nodded, wanting nothing more than to be close to Fenrir, to smell his musky, manly scent and have him take away the memories of what had just happened by holding him close. He was finally accepting that the territory really was his home and the pack were now his family in the absence of his Dad. He was now terrified of the idea that, should Fenrir or Jenson fail to return to them alive, they might never be a whole pack again, and he hadn’t even minded being called a pup.

 

Micha still had to bodily carry Harry away from the blood splattered scene, and as Harry looked back the last thing he saw before they became too far away from the fight to see anything was Fenrir diving in to help Jenson, ripping Roderic away and throwing him quite forcefully into the trunk of a tree, a sickening crunch signalling that he’d broken bones upon impact.

 

FGHP

 

Damon looked up from his position at the fire where he had been lost in thought to see two of the missing four pack members stagger back into the clearing. Clay had dozed off into a light sleep as they awaited the arrival of the others, his head in his Dad’s lap. However at the sight of a blood splattered Micha carrying a dirty, cut up and bleeding Harry back into the clearing, without Fenrir or Jenson accompanying them, Damon had jumped up to his feet, knocking Clayton, quite abruptly, awake.

 

“What the fuck happened?” Damon demanded rather loudly as he took Harry from Micha, checking the young teenager over for injuries.

 

Harry cringed, he had never heard Damon swear before; it wasn’t nice to hear from the normally calm, collect man. Once content that the cut on Harry’s leg and the injury to his shoulder were mostly superficial and were already beginning to heal the Beta wolf turned back to Micha, “Where are Fenrir and Jenson?” he demanded as he began to check over the other wolf.

 

“Strays,” Micha said, trembling with shock, as he allowed Damon to check him over without complaint. “They had Harry.”

 

“Are you okay?” Clayton demanded as he came to join them, he pulled his best friend into a tight hug the second Damon had placed Harry back onto the ground. He was so relieved to see him back in pack territory shaken but alive, with only limited minor injuries.

 

“I think so,” Harry said a bit faintly, feeling as if he might topple over at any minute and if it hadn’t been for the adrenaline he probably would have done. For a very brief moment he debated asking Clayton to help him sneak away again, to try and get back to Fenrir and make sure he and Jenson were okay. However he thought better of it when he realised how weak he felt, practically swaying in place where he stood. He hadn’t eaten or had a proper night’s sleep, thanks to his nightmares, in a few days and now his body was beginning to shut down in protest.

 

“Good,” Clay said, pulling back and meeting Harry’s eyes, suddenly, and most unexpectedly, slapping him roughly over the back of the head, “WHAT THE FUCK WERE YOU THINKING?” he demanded loudly.

 

Damon and Micha were quick to intervene, trying to get themselves between the two pups; it would hardly help matters if Fenrir came back to find that Clay had hit Harry, even if it was just a clip around the ear.

 

“What was that for?” Harry asked stupidly as he rubbed the back of his head, glaring at his best friend. Callie, Romy and Lukas were all starting to wake due to the shouting and the ruckus the rest of the group were now making. It was a good thing too, considering that Callie’s medical knowledge was going to be needed by the looks of Micha who was covered in blood.

 

“Enough, both of you,” Damon said pulling his son away, “You’re not helping, Clay!” The Beta then turned to Harry, “Go and clean up, you don’t need medical attention, you’re dirty and you stink.” Harry hesitated, not knowing what to think of these rather harsly spoken orders, he wanted to wait for Fenrir, nothing else mattered, he didn’t care how badly he stank or how dirty he was. “NOW!” Damon roared when Harry didn’t make any movement to do as he had been instructed. “Lukas, go with him, make sure he does as he’s told for once!”

 

Lukas nodded sleepily, wishing he could have had time to at least start the process of making a cup of tea, before putting a hand on Harry’s back and guided him towards the stream. Harry glanced back towards the clearing several times, but went with him with very little resistance, what Damon had said had hurt. Clearly when Fenrir was out of the picture Damon stood in as Alpha until he got back, he hadn’t known this before tonight. The beta wolf clearly took the position very seriously too.

 

“Is that blood yours?” Callie asked, coming over to inspect an increasingly distressed looking Micha, who shook his head, shock starting to sink in as he ran his hand over his already bruising neck where Gideon’s hands had attempted to choke the life from him and almost succeeded too. If it hadn’t have been for Harry he knew he wouldn’t be standing here now. Callie sat him down and wrapped a warm blanket around him, worried and fairly sure that Micha was going into shock as the adrenaline worked its way out of his system.

 

“Fenrir, he cut off his hand,” Micha said, not realising that his words made very little sense to those who had not witnessed the fight.

 

“Where are they?” Romy asked in a panic, thinking of her Dad. Callie was remaining remarkably calm, considering her mate wasn’t yet back; Romy on the other hand was frantic with worry.

 

“What do you mean Fenrir cut off his hand?” Damon asked confused.

 

“We were outnumbered, Fenrir told me to bring Harry home,” Micha said, struggling to breathe properly as the scrambled memories from the fight rushed through his brain and he struggled to make sense of them all. “The strays, they had an alpha, Fenrir cut of his hand because he tried to hurt Harry, he almost killed me.”

 

“You aren’t making any sense Micha, take a breath, calm down and explain it to us.” Damon said, taking a seat beside the distressed Wolf. He really looked a sight, his handsome face and light, sandy blond, hair covered in crimson.

 

Micha however never got a chance to explain anything further, instead he raised his hand and pointed towards the edge of the clearing. Everyone turned to look to see what he had seen. When Damon saw what Micha had spotted he was glad that he had ordered Harry away. The young pup wouldn’t have reacted well to the sight that greeted them now.

 

“Clayton!” Damon said hurriedly, turning his son’s attention quickly to him, “take Romy and go down to the stream! Keep Harry and Lukas there! If I hear one argument you’ll regret it, do you understand?!” he ordered; he couldn’t have the pups bear witness to this, especially not Harry. None of them needed to see this.

 

“Yes, Dad,” Clayton said, unable to not look at where Micha was pointing and that alone told him enough to know that this was no time for fun and games or childish grudges.

 

He put an arm round Romy’s shoulder quickly, his other hand up near her eyes to stop her from looking and started to guide her off in the direction Lukas and Harry had taken. When it was clear that Romy wasn’t going to even attempt to look he took his arm from her eyes and moved it to her waist to hurry her along. They were both determined to do as they were told, it was clear the last thing the adults needed right now was the pups causing trouble.

 

Not even waiting long enough for Clay and Romy to leave the clearing, Callie and Damon rushed forward, in a panic, to help Jenson, who was struggling to hold up the weight of an unconscious Fenrir in his arms. The pair of them were covered in blood and none of the pack had ever seen Fenrir in such a state; it was rare that anyone could manage to do more than inflict more than minor injuries on their Alpha but this, this was serious.

 

Micha tried valiantly to get to his feet and follow them, but was too shaken and hurt to manage it; that attempt to stand up was too much for his exhausted body and traumatised mind, and he collapsed in a heap on the ground close to the fire, unconscious.

 

Callie was in full healer mode as she took in the bruised and bloodied body of their Alpha. He had deep oozing gashes all down his bare chest and down to the soft flesh of his stomach, with blood seeping from them in vast quantities, spilling down his jeans and on to the ground. His innards were easily visible and on the verge of tumbling from the open wounds and on to the ground. Large bruises scattering his face and chest already starting to purple up and she was fairly sure his left arm was broken, as were likely several ribs.

 

She wasn’t sure where to start as her exhausted mate lay the Alpha down close to the fire, but she barked out orders to Damon to fetch what she needed to start healing them. Jenson was in no fit state to help anyone, but she didn’t have time to worry about the now unconscious Micha and so asked her mate to try to wake the younger wolf. She needed more hands and was almost ready to shout for the pups to come back and help. This was bad. This was really, really bad.

Chapter Text

Chapter 12 - Aftermath

 

Harry, Clay and Romy were down by the stream, their eyes safely kept from witnessing the horrors unfolding in the clearing; though Harry had likely already been exposed to far more than any pup should have been, after what had happened this evening. The others didn’t think too much about the pups as they rushed around taking care of the injured, they felt sure in the knowledge that the pups were being watched over by Lukas, who was probably the most level headed and sensible of them all. It allowed them to focus on their highest priority of desperately trying to heal their dying Alpha.

 

Jenson had lain Fenrir down close to the fire, in a hope to keep him warm while Callie did all she could to treat his severe injuries. There was blood everywhere, it seemed, and it was difficult to know where to start, but the men trusted Callie when she knelt down next to the Alpha and got to work. While it was worrying, in many ways, it was fortunate that the Alpha wolf was unconscious; no man, or werewolf, would have been able to handle the agony he would have undoubtedly felt had he been awake.

 

At his sister’s barked instruction Damon had run off at full speed to the cave to fetch their limited medical supplies. Shortly before he had brought Lukas into the pack, Fenrir had been into town to stock up on things that they might need, however, there was very little left and there certainly wasn’t enough or anything suitable to treat the serious nature of the injuries that the Alpha wolf had. This hadn’t been something that anyone had foreseen happening; they had thought that their territory was safe, at least safe enough that serious injuries such as this shouldn’t even have been on their minds.

 

Not waiting for Damon to return, Callie frantically used her wand to clean and then tear one of the nearby blankets into strips that would be large enough to bind the vast chest of Fenrir. Regular bandages wouldn’t even come close to being able to do the job properly. Jenson briefly tried to aid her as best as he could but he had his own injuries to contend with; he was sure that he had dislocated his shoulder in the scuffle with the two brothers, Russ and Roderic if the intense pain that repeatedly jolted through his arm was any guide, and it was only his concern for his Alpha that kept him from crying out in pain.

 

Jenson's whole body was littered from head to foot with small cuts and bruises, the possibility of a broken rib was also nagging at him, as with every breath he took shooting pains shot through his chest. However he gritted his teeth and worked through the intense discomfort; helping his mate use the makeshift bandages to stem the worst of the bleeding from their Alpha.

 

Callie was a pillar of strength as she worked and he knew he needed to help her in any way that he was able, his own discomfort be damned. Jenson was so fiercely proud of his mate; her hands not even shaking as she dealt with the injured Alpha wolf. She remained calm and in control, though it was perhaps because she had seen so much blood be spilt in her lifetime that it just didn’t faze her anymore.

                                                                                                                             

It was becoming clear that he was of little use; his strength was failing him and he kept forcing himself to stop and catch his breath or occasionally to let a moment of dizzy disorientation pass. “Jen!” Callie said sternly, catching his attention when he was on the verge of passing out or possibly just emptying his stomach where they were knelt over Fenrir. Jenson managed to take a couple of deep, determined breaths and meet her eyes.

 

“I think Micha fainted from the shock; I need you to try and wake him and then you need to sit down and stay with him,” she instructed her mate clearly, and waited for him to nod. “I’ll look over both of your injuries in a minute, I just have to stop this bleeding first,” Callie explained firmly.  

 

She loved Jenson, he and Romy were her whole world, she was really worried about him and she did not want him to hurt himself more than what he had already managed; but Fenrir was going to be dead soon if she couldn’t help him first. He might be dead anyway regardless of what she did but she had to try no matter how useless it seemed. She would try and keep trying until the Alpha had drawn his last breathe, even then she would still feel as if she had failed if she couldn’t save his life.

 

Damon returned as quickly as he could, his arms filled with everything the pack had in the way of medical supplies, it wasn’t nearly as much as any of them would have liked it to be but none of them had ever envisioned something like this. Numerous disturbing thoughts were going through his mind as he put them down in front of Callie.

 

He had to believe that his sister could fix this, he had to have faith in her and her abilities, the alternative was beyond reasonable thought, but even if the next few hours went well, Fenrir was going to be out of the game for a while. Damon knew then that he would have to take over as the Alpha wolf temporarily. It was a role he had never coveted, or envied in the least, however, as the Beta wolf, it was his responsibility when Fenrir wasn’t able; it was his place however much he hated it and he knew that he would have to be the pack’s strength in their toughest of moments until Fenrir came back to them.

 

 Damon steeled himself, internally berating himself for allowing a moment of hesitation or to think on such matters when Fenrir’s very life was on the line. “What can I do?” he asked, dropping to his knees on the opposite side of the Alpha’s unconscious form from Callie. She said nothing but took his hands and pressed them down on a wad of bandages as she cast some unknown spell. His own knowledge of medical magic was frightfully limited; he could deal with little more than the most basic of scrapes and bruises.

 

It had always been Severus who had been the one to repair the breaks and fractures in the boys when they had fallen out of trees or off skateboards. It wasn’t a specialty that he and his sister shared. Though he should have been used to dealing with broken bones the amount of times Clayton had all but thrown himself off his skateboard trying out new tricks. It had paid off and he was an accomplished skateboarder now but he had suffered a fair amount of fractures and breaks to achieve that.

 

He watched her work for what felt like hours, but in reality was likely only minutes, before she yanked his hands away and when it didn’t bleed any more she moved to tending a different wound. “Check over Jenson for me,” she ordered, not taking her eyes off Fenrir as she closed up another deep, oozing gash with her wand, sealing his intestines securely inside of him once more. She had never been so thankful that a patient of hers was unconscious; treating him for his injuries was daunting enough without even thinking about the idea of having to do so whilst he was awake and screaming. There was no doubt in her mind that even the strong Alpha would have been screaming.

 

She vaguely noted Damon’s nod of understanding at her barked instruction, but she didn’t let her focus waver, her hands were already covered in blood and she was amazed by how steady they were as she alternated between pressure using the makeshift blanket bandages and the cleansing and healing spells.

 

Her clothing was saturated; she couldn’t even remember what colour they had been before they had become soaked to their current burgundy shade. And the smell, the metallic tang that was hanging in the air, like death itself, stung her eyes and made it harder to focus her energies exactly where they were needed. Though the dull stinging of her eyes might have been the tears she was refusing to cry. If she let those particular flood gates open then there would be no stopping them.

 

Damon hesitated to leave her alone with the Alpha, not because of lack of trust or lack of ability but because there was so much that had to be done that he didn’t think any one person could do it alone, however she seemed to be coping… just about. She seemed to need to be able to focus without any distractions and so he obeyed her command and went to Jenson.

 

The large red-head seemed to be having trouble catching his breath and was in obvious pain, wincing with every breath he took, his left arm hanging limply to his side. The strain he felt in drawing breath wasn’t being helped by the fact that he had propped the unconscious, and still blood soaked, Micha against his side as he tried valiantly to wake him; his attempts so far, however, had been futile.

 

“He won’t…” Jenson said with a gasped breath that showed exactly how much pain he was in, “...won’t wake…” Damon wasn’t sure if it was the shock of everything that had happened or purely the fact that he couldn’t rouse Micha but Jenson seemed to be genuinely upset, on the verge of tears. Damon had never seen the large werewolf like this and it was truly distressing to see.

 

“I know...,” Damon told him, sitting down in front of Jenson to help him with the younger wolf, “I know..., come on, Micha,” he said to the only slightly smaller man, moving Micha onto his lap so that he was off the cold ground; this also helped to relieve the pressure on Jenson’s injured body.

 

It was a little awkward given that Micha wasn’t that much smaller than Damon but right now he couldn’t bring himself to care as he tried to shake him gently awake. Micha still couldn’t be roused but gave a groan of complaint and tucked his head against Damon’s neck, where the older werewolf could feel his steady breaths. Damon decided that for now that would have to be close enough as he pulled a heavy blanket over Micha’s back and pulled it tightly around him to keep the cold away. The poor young wolf was in shock that was for sure and seeing the Alpha come back in such a state had just been too much for him, pushing him over the edge.

 

“Jenson!” Damon said in a sharp tone when he realised just how out of it the large man was looking. The red-head blinked at him wearily and with great effort managed to focus on the blond curled up in Damon’s lap. “Micha is going to be okay but I need you to work with me now,” the Beta, and acting Alpha, said in his most commanding tone.

 

Jenson managed to nod, as he shuffled a bit closer to Damon to allow him to check his injuries. “Do you think that the Alpha …?” he began to ask.

 

“Don’t!” Damon ordered with a warning look, as he managed to extract his wand from his pocket without so much as jostling Micha and cast the few medical examination spells he could remember, Callie having taught him the basics, the adrenaline in his body helping to bring back things he believed he had long ago forgotten.

 

Even though the Beta wolf had so very little experience with identifying injuries this severe, he managed, after a few attempts and some help and guidance from Jenson, to establish that large man had a dislocated shoulder and a badly bruised rib, rather than a broken one as Jenson had initially believed. He glanced back over at Callie who was still furiously working at healing the Alpha with all the expertise that she had. Damon was just relieved that Jenson wasn’t hurt any worse, as these were all the injuries that they could, more or less, manage between the two of them.

 

With Jenson’s accelerated werewolf healing he would be all right as long as they could put the shoulder back into his socket; some of the smaller abrasions, he had returned to the clearing with, were already beginning to seal up. However the red-head was still looking out of it, as if any attempt of getting to his feet would see him collapsing to the ground unconscious.

 

Damon took great care to lay Micha down on some blankets, momentarily missing the warmth of his body, before returning quickly to help Jenson set his shoulder back into the joint. The longer it was left the more pain Jenson would be in as his werewolf healing tried to repair his body. Jenson clenched his teeth and only let out a small shout as Damon popped his shoulder back into place, focusing on looking over at Callie and Fenrir to distract himself. Finally, when Damon had wrapped his arm into a sling, the Beta sat back down next to him.

 

“Do you really think that he will be…?” he started to say again, his tired brain scared of what could happen to their Alpha. He had seen the attack, he had watched as Russ had attacked Fenrir in an attempt to avenge his murdered brother.

 

“Jenson! Don’t!” Damon said again, his tone making it very clear that it was an order. He couldn’t bear thinking about the worst case scenario yet, and he certainly wasn’t about to discuss the possibility that Fenrir might not pull through. As far as Damon was concerned Fenrir, his oldest and best friend, was going to be fine and he was going to hold firmly onto that belief until the stubborn Alpha was cold and dead in the ground. Without Fenrir and his notorious reputation there was no telling what would happen to their pack.

 

Damon knew that he wasn’t a strong enough Alpha to be able to take over in the long term; he was sure that if Jenson challenged him on the position then he would have been overthrown. Damon only held the beta position as he was Fenrir’s oldest friend and because Jenson allowed it. Jenson was stronger and larger than him, though he might have willingly stepped aside if Jenson was to challenge him as he had no desire to be Alpha wolf, knowing that he just wasn’t cut out for the role.

 

“He’ll be fine!” Damon said with a low growl, though he was trying to convince himself as much as Jenson when he said it, casting an uncertain glance over at the crimson mud that surrounded Callie and Fenrir. It was a reminder that the death of their Alpha was a very real possibility. He had lost so much blood, if he hadn’t been a werewolf, if he hadn’t been a wizard, then he wouldn’t have even made it back to the clearing for them to attempt to heal him.

 

He glanced the other way across the clearing, in the direction of the stream, thinking that he could have done with having someone spare to go and make sure that the pups were alright. They were a strong pack of nine but three of them were pups, too young to shoulder the responsibility of a fully-fledged pack member, only four of them were strong fighters and that was down to three without Fenrir.

 

He couldn’t leave the young ones to their own devices right now, especially not Harry, who was bound to be in as much shock as Micha after everything that had happened. Who knew what had happened to him before the others had found him; there was no telling what state he would be in. Even though Lukas would have been useful to have helping in the clearing, he was needed more with the young wolves. It wouldn’t do for Fenrir to wake up and find out that the pack had failed to take care proper care of his mate while he was unconscious. But right now, he was all out of options, at least until Jenson’s strength returned.

 

FGHP

 

“I am not getting in while you’re here,” Harry snapped stubbornly, crossing his arms over his chest and glaring at his older pack brother, challenging him. Whether Lukas was a friend or not, Harry wasn’t about to start putting on a strip tease for him, he just wasn’t in the mood to be gawped at. He felt raw after what the strays had done, vulnerable and exposed. He didn’t even want to be looked at let alone touched by anyone.

 

“Harry, I am not leaving you here on your own. You were just attacked,” Lukas said with an exasperated sigh, thinking that he shouldn’t have had to explain this to the intelligent werewolf. He could, however, understand the pup's reluctance to undress in front of him right now, even his slight aversion to public displays of nudity in general, but they didn’t have the luxury to be bashful at the moment, not after everything that had happened.

 

“We’re in pack territory, we’re safe here, can you at least turn around?” Harry pleaded, letting his arms flop back down to his sides pathetically, feeling utterly defeated; he had nothing left.

 

Lukas was a good friend to him, and he was someone that he really looked up to, but that didn’t mean he wanted to take a bath in front of him. It was humiliating enough that he had pissed himself and every single one of the pack knew it too. Harry had hated how Damon had yelled at him; he knew that the Beta of the pack blamed him for what had happened and rightfully so, seeing as it was his fault.

 

“I already told you that I am not taking my eyes off you, not even for a second, little one. Do you think I want the Alpha, or even Damon for that matter, to ring my neck because I couldn’t keep you safe?” Lukas asked rhetorically, meeting Harry’s stubborn gaze with one of his own.

 

He knew that most of the pack thought him a bit of a pushover and not as strong as the rest of them, and he was happy to let them keep believing that, but he hadn’t had the easy life they all seemed to believe he had. He could and would be as bolshie and pig-headed as the rest of them if and when the occasion called for it. Like right now.

 

“Oh and I am DEFINITELY not getting naked with them watching as well!” Harry raged as he waved a hand in the general direction of where he had spotted Clay and Romy approaching. Standing here in front of Lukas was bad enough; his best friend and pack sister appearing just made it ten times worse.

 

Lukas turned and saw the other two pups approaching; he closed his eyes and pinched the bridge of his nose in exasperation. “Harry!” he pleaded, opening his eyes once more and running his hand through his curly chestnut hair having had enough of the teen’s attitude and stubbornness to last a life time.

 

 It was the early hours of the morning, he hadn’t had a single cup of tea since the previous evening, before he had gone to sleep, and all he wanted to do was get back to the rest of the pack and find out what the hell had happened and boil enough water to make several large cups of tea to sooth his frayed nerves. Fenrir and Jenson hadn’t been back when he had removed Harry from the clearing and he was anxious to see if they had returned and if they were okay.

 

He was sure that if Fenrir had been back and able then he would have been checking on his mate and the fact that it was Romy and Clayton that had come to join them didn’t register as a good thing to Lukas. He couldn’t, however, go back and check on the state of things until Harry had done as he was told and cleaned himself up a bit. He also wouldn’t leave the three pups unattended, not until he knew that they were out of danger.

 

He knew better than to believe he would be able to get any sort of information from Harry right now; the boy had gone through too much tonight and, despite being a very resilient young man, he was in no state to be recounting the evening’s events. Clay however didn’t seem to share this sentiment for protecting Harry’s emotional well-being.

 

“What the fuck happened?” Clay asked the moment he was close enough to them to be heard. Harry had tensed up, remembering none too fondly the clip round the ear he had received upon returning to the pack. He wasn’t exactly please with his so called best friend right now.

 

Clayton was aware that he had to pretend that he hadn’t seen the Alpha come back in such a bad way; he couldn’t let Harry think that there was anything out of the ordinary. Damon had asked them to keep Harry and Lukas here, they couldn’t risk raising suspicions. He knew that his friend would go rushing back if he knew that Fenrir had returned and was injured to the point that he might not make it through the night.

 

“We thought you would be done washing by now,” Romy said, looking quite disgusted at the state of Harry and his clothing.

 

She hadn’t been awake enough to really take in his appearance back in the clearing, when he had first returned, but now she could see just how much of a mess he was and it made her all the more curious as to what had happened. She surveyed the torn shoulder of his t-shirt that was rimmed with blood and the torn jeans that were practically hanging off him which were also tainted with blood. Everything was covered with mud, from his ruined clothing to his skin and hair. He truly was a sight to behold.

 

Harry looked over at the two of them with a tired exasperation, not wanting to talk about what had happened, nor why he was stubbornly refusing to get into the stream to wash himself of the dirt and grime. His jeans were ripped and damp from where he had pissed himself and his boxers, though not torn, were still wet and uncomfortable and he was dying to get them off; he truly wanted to feel clean again, to be out of his clothing but not at the expense of humiliating himself further.

 

He could still feel the place on his neck and cheek where the other Alpha had licked him, the memory sent a shiver of revulsion down his spine. It really wasn’t the washing part that bothered him, he wanted to get clean more than anything and Lukas had even put a heating charm on the stream for him already, so he knew it would be warm, but Harry felt so self-conscious about stripping off in front of the others. It was so much worse than on the full moon because at least when they were about to transform into their wolf counterparts none of them really had any choice in the matter and everyone would be equally as exposed.

 

“Come on,” Lukas tried to encouraged, “Damon said…”

 

“I don’t care what Damon said!” Harry snapped angrily, his fists tugging self-consciously at his torn clothing.

 

He already felt so vulnerable, so unclothed and violated, from how the strays had spoken to him, manhandled him, cut at him. He flinched at the memories and bit his lip as a way to remind himself that he was safe now, Fenrir had come and saved him. He needed to keep reminding himself that they couldn’t touch him here to stop himself from folding over on to himself and just giving up.

 

The shoulder of his t-shirt had taken the brunt of the damage done by the branch; it had barely pierced the skin at all; though, there was dried blood, which meant the small amount of accelerated healing he had, which wasn’t affected by the potion, had done its job and healed the worst of it already. But it wasn’t the physical injuries that were affecting him, he couldn’t feel them so they didn’t bother him, the worst thing was how scared he still felt. The fear hadn’t ebbed at all since the moment he had been pinned to the tree. All he wanted was to be in his Alpha’s arms and he wouldn’t feel safe until he was.

 

Romy stared at him, meeting his eyes; there was ferocity in her gaze that Harry wasn’t sure he had ever noticed in her before. However it was short lived as apparently whatever she saw in his eyes she either didn’t like or couldn’t handle, because she turned away with a small intake of breath. She backed away from the teenager, who she counted as a friend, as well as another pack brother; she just didn’t recognize him in the state he was in. She had seen fear and uncertainty in his eyes, terror that she could relate to in so many ways. It wasn’t something she was used to from him, she was accustomed to cocky assurance and over-confidence, not the horror that had replaced it.

 

Romy found herself a rock just a short distance from the boys and sat herself on it, facing away from them with her knees up to her chest. Clay watched her with concern, as did Lukas, not knowing what it was that she had seen in Harry to force her to retreat into herself, but at least she wasn’t going anywhere. Romy was too cautious to do anything reckless like run off, even if she did feel as if she needed to be alone. Past experience had taught her some touch lessons on that front. It allowed Lukas, and unfortunately Clayton as well, to turn their attention back to the problem at hand, Harry.

 

Lukas sighed and willed himself to find the energy and mental strength he was going to need to deal with the situation presented to him. He loved Harry like a little brother; they shared a high level of intelligence and could have long, intense and serious debates on a variation of subjects; the boy was smart without a doubt, opinionated too and they got on well, but this side of the teenager was not something that he liked to see often.

 

The stroppy, argumentative young man, who relished in anything rebellious, was not a person he wanted to spend time with, and truthfully he just didn’t know how to deal with him when he was in one of these moods. Even the playful, practical joker side of him was better than this and Lukas had never been one for playing tricks.

 

“What happened?!” Clayton demanded again, more forcefully this time, his arms folded across his chest, glaring at his best friend accusingly. He needed to know what had happened, not just while Harry had been out of the territory but also why Harry had decided, yet again, to run away from them. They were supposed to be family; they were meant to talk things through and protect each other.  He couldn’t understand why Harry didn’t get that.

 

Lukas was already apprehensive about the situation given Harry’s mood, and became more on edge with the tone that Clayton used when addressing the fragile and shaken Harry. They might not have been together as a pack for more than a couple of months but already he was well aware of how quickly and passionately the two older pups could turn on each other. It was clear that they cared for each other deeply and sometimes that could turn into something a lot more violent when they butted heads.

 

There was no doubt that Harry and Clayton loved each other as brothers, but they fought just like real brothers would and things could take a turn for the worse in the blink of an eye. Clayton had already given Harry a clip round the ear in his frustration this evening, which hadn’t been a good move to make after everything Harry had been through. It also seemed that they weren’t done with working out all their frustrations just yet.

 

“We were attacked,” Harry bit out. He was talking to his friend as if he were stupid when he knew that Clayton was anything but.

 

Harry felt like he was being pulled in so many directions all at once; he wanted to curl up and cry, hide from the world and never let anyone lay a finger on him ever again; he wanted to fight, prove himself, show those bastards that he wasn’t some bitch to be just taken and claimed; he wanted to get back to the clearing and make sure that Fenrir, and Jenson, and Micha, were all alright; he wanted to be able to stop feeling so damn scared that the stray werewolf pack were going to come back and finish what they started.

 

Harry let out a frustrated sob of rage, finally losing control as he turned away from the others and pulled frantically at his hair, trying to calm his mind for just a second, brushing at his face roughly to rid himself of his traitorous tears. But his body was refusing to calm down as the fear still played over in his mind remaining fresh as if it were still real and feeling as though it was still pressing in all around him and he had no hope of escape. The adrenaline wouldn’t leave his body, his heart racing frantically making him want to vomit.

 

“I’m going to go and get you clean clothes,” Lukas said, looking uneasily between the two pups knowing that it wasn’t a good idea to leave them unsupervised.

 

Harry seemed to be having a slight mental breakdown and he really wasn’t keen on leaving him in the state he was currently in. However they were getting nowhere fast and Lukas hoped that if Harry had something clean to put on then he might be able to convince him to take a wash and at least get the worst of the dirt off if he had something else to put on after he was done.

 

Romy was still sat silently on her rock, but her body was rigid and tensed. She was grateful that she at least knew her Dad was alive and not seriously injured but it was all she could do not to think about Fenrir too closely, or that look that she had seen in Harry’s eyes. It had been bad, really bad, she knew that much and she was only just about keeping herself together when she want to curl up between her adoptive parents, knowing that they would keep the world away. Fenrir had become just as important to her as either Callie or Jenson, all of the pack had and it was strange to feel this way when she had never really been close to her biological family, going so far as to say that she hated her older brother.

 

“And no fighting! Or I’ll be forced to tell Damon,” Lukas said as he started to head back to the clearing, his warning echoed over to them sternly as he hurried away.

 

He was apprehensive about letting them out of his sight for even a second but he was sure the three of them together would be safe for the couple of minutes he required to fetch the items he needed. He glanced back over his shoulder nervously, knowing that he needed to hurry and feeling grateful that he knew where Harry stored his things and wasn’t quite as messy as some of his other pack brothers.

 

“Harry!” Clay snapped impatiently, torn between being worried and fucking furious. Wanting his friend to stop freaking him out, it honestly looked like Harry was on the verge of completely losing his mind.

 

Harry was pacing, trying to get his erratic breathing back under control, starving off a panic attack and holding back his tears, which he was still trying to hide behind his hands. He didn’t even dare look in Clay’s direction; his pack brother knew him too well and one look in his eyes at the moment and Clay would know how scared he was. He would have known how close he was to breaking down and losing himself in his pain. Harry couldn’t handle the shit load of sympathy that would rain down upon him if that happened, sympathy was the one thing he was sure he couldn’t handle right now. He was just so angry and he needed Clayton to be angry too.

 

Harry realised that he was verging on furious. He hated that he had been ordered away from the clearing; Damon had had no right to force him to leave. He had wanted to go back and make sure that Fenrir was all right, he should have ignored them all and gone to his Alpha, his mate, the consequences be damned; he just wanted to see Fenrir. It was the not knowing that was making everything so much worse right now, his mind feeling as if it were about to explode. It was all too much, he needed an outlet; he was spoiling for a fight.

 

“Harry!! What the FUCK happened?” Clayton shouted in frustration.

 

And it seemed that Clay would be the one to rise to the bait and give him what he needed. “We were fucking attacked!” Harry shouted back, finally turning his rage on his best friend. He let the anger take over; his eyes narrowed in fury and his blood pumping loudly in his ears, his adrenaline high somehow still on going. He clenched his fists as his body tensed.

 

“I mean before that,” Clay said, his entire body rigid at seeing just how far beyond reason Harry seemed to have been pushed; he had never seen his best friend look at anyone that way before, let alone at him.“Why did you leave? There must have been a reason!” He desperately wanted to understand. There was no words to describe the level of betrayal he felt. Leaving the way Harry had, sneaking off in the dead of night yet again, it was not only a betrayal of the pack but also their friendship. This knowledge was eating at him and he needed answers, he needed for Harry to explain why he had done it.

 

Harry huffed, and gritted his teeth, it was hard to think with his mind buzzing wildly with so many thoughts that it was confusing him. It felt like an age ago, another lifetime, when he had sat under the tree fuming about the conversation he had overheard between Damon and Fenrir, he didn’t even know how to start to explain how hurt and betrayed he had felt when he had heard just how many secrets were being kept from him.  He had felt oblivious to everything going on around him and he had hated it, especially when he thought he could trust them.

 

“What business is it of yours?” Harry snarled, trying to reign back his anger slightly and copying Clayton’s defensive stance by crossing his arms over his chest and glaring.

 

“It’s my business because I’m supposed to be your best friend,” Clay said angrily, hardly able to believe they were back to Harry keeping things from him again, he had hoped they had managed to get past this. “I thought you were over all this running away bullshit!” Clay said, taking a step towards Harry as he struggled to keep from yelling.

 

He had to admit the step that Harry took away from him in that moment hurt, it cut at him somewhere deep inside; surely Harry didn’t think that he would actually harm him in anyway. Clay wanted to shout and scream and stamp his feet. As much as he wanted to yell at Harry he didn’t want to attract the attention of the others who would be trying to help their Alpha.

 

Clay wanted Harry to understand that he was screwing everything up; if Harry could stop overreacting to every little thing, then they could all settle into being a real pack, a real family. Clay had spent his life helping keeping Harry safe, waiting for the day they could all go to the territory. This was supposed to be a happy time, the best time of their lives, and Harry was fucking it all up. He was desperate to know why.

 

Harry was ruining everything. Clay had seen the terrible state that Fenrir had been in; as much as his father had tried to hurry him away before he saw it, Clay had seen enough to know that the Alpha might be dying. Could their pack survive the loss of their leader? All he knew was that it was Harry’s fault and for the first time in his life he hated Harry’s recklessness. If Harry hadn’t run then it wouldn’t have happened.  

 

“You shouldn’t have run away!” Clayton yelled, he had wanted to sound angry, but his voice wavered with sadness too.

 

“Yeah well, forgive me for not wanting to be around the man that bit me!” Harry snapped, suddenly having enough of Clay’s seemingly righteous anger. He needed to make him understand that he hadn’t done it for no reason, he hadn’t just decided he had had enough and gone. He had needed to get some head space and he couldn’t do that when he was so conflicted about how he felt about the Alpha.

 

“Bit you?” Clayton asked, surprised that something like that had been a reason behind why his friend had run. Most of them had been bitten, only Micha and Jenson were born werewolves. “What do you mean? Who bit you?” Very few people knew their sires. Clayton didn’t know his, though he sometimes thought that he would have liked to, he didn’t understand what the big deal was.

 

“Fenrir,” Harry said with a scowl, his fist clenching more tightly, nails digging into the palm of his hand and Clay strongly suspected that his friend was resisting the urge to start hitting something.

 

“The Alpha bit you? I don’t understand,” Clay said, shaking his head. It didn’t make any sense. Why had Harry suddenly freaked out about that and run now? Unless...“You just found this out now?” he asked, wondering if it was related to what his father and the Alpha had been talking about while Harry was faking sleep. Idiots, he thought to himself. It was, as he thought this that he realised that perhaps Harry wasn’t entirely at fault for this. The Alpha and his Beta should have known better; Damon especially should have known what Harry was like.

 

Harry nodded, “Yeah, I did, and your Dad knew about it too,” he told him angrily. “Maybe you knew too,” he snarled, his voice full of accusation as he jabbed a finger in Clay’s direction before crossing his arms over his chest again.

 

“I didn’t,” Clay told him in a quiet and cold voice, “and how come YOU didn’t know before?” he asked, with confusion. “How would you not remember something like that?!”

 

“Because I was one and a half! My Dad told me that much,” Harry explained, glaring at his friend with suspicious bitterness. “He just neglected to mention exactly WHO it was.”

 

“Well, that still isn’t an excuse to fucking run off!” Clayton argued, not really sure what else to say. He couldn't see why it would be such a big issue that Harry would leave. “So what if the Alpha bit you, big deal. He still made sure that there was someone there to always watch over you, he protected you and you repay him by fucking running off and now …” Clay hesitated, thinking better of mentioning the state in which Fenrir had returned to the clearing.

 

“Now what?" Harry demanded. "What were you going to say?” he asked, not being stupid enough to fail to pick up on his best friend’s slip up. He knew something wasn’t right and he wanted to know; he was completely sick of all the half-truths and full blown lies.

 

Hearing the danger in Harry’s voice Romy turned to look at them, getting to her feet. She didn’t want to see them hurt each other but wasn't sure whether to run and find Lukas or get between the two of them before they started to physically hurt each other. Neither of the boys was paying her the slightest bit of attention though.

 

“Never mind!” Clay snarled. He was furious, his fists now clenched at his sides. He wanted to tell Harry how it was his fault, he wanted to make his friend understand just how stupid he had been but he had to resist or else Harry would undoubtedly run straight back to the clearing and that wasn’t somewhere any of them needed to be right now. The older pack members needed time and space to heal those that had been injured.

 

“Now what, Clayton?!” Harry demanded again, not giving up.  His best friend was hiding something and he was going to find out what it was no matter what it took.

 

“Clayton…!” Romy hissed in warning.

 

She was keeping her distance but knew that her cousin's temper was barely holding and that he was about to explode; when that happened the results weren’t going to be pleasant. She glanced around nervously, wondering what was taking Lukas so long, she really didn’t want to get between Harry and Clay. Both of them were larger than her, stronger too; though it had never been put to the test, she was sure that she wasn't a match for either of them individually, let alone together.

 

Harry unfolded his arms and clenched his fists in an unconscious mimic of Clay; the more his best friend avoided the question the angrier Harry was becoming and now it sounded like Romy was hiding things too. Was there anyone in the whole pack that he could trust?

 

“What do you care? You clearly don’t even want to be here!” Clayton said hatefully, taking several steps forward , so that they were barely a step from each other. He couldn’t believe that Harry had been stupid enough to try and run away again when things were so dangerous for them as a pack. He wanted to do a lot more than just give him a clip round the ear this time.

 

“Of course I care!” Harry raged, feeling largely unsettled with Clay being so close to him, every fibre of his body was telling him to put some distance between them as his heart rate speed up to an uncontrollable level, but Harry drew the line at fearing his own best friend; his instincts could shut up.

 

On some level he knew that Clay wouldn’t hurt him, at least not seriously, just as surely as he knew his friend wouldn’t understand his reasoning’s as to why he’d had to leave. Yes, Harry had run away, but he had changed his mind, he had wanted to come back; he had tried to come back the moment he had realised his mistake. He could barely get his own thoughts around that so it was doubtful he would be able to explain that to Clay in a way he would understand and certainly not while they were standing chest to chest, the tension thick between them.

 

“Stop this,” Romy pleaded tentatively. She was never one for confrontation but Lukas was still nowhere to be seen and the way the two teenage boys were going at each other it wasn’t going to end well. “With everything that’s going on are you two seriously going to start fighting?”

 

“What’s going on, what aren't you telling me?” Harry demanded, rounding on Romy now, furious that he had been right about her keeping secrets too. He was beginning to feel extremely isolated and when paired with the feeling of violation and fear he was very close to breaking down completely. “Tell me what the fuck it is that you’re trying to hide from me!” he insisted, taking several steps towards his rather alarmed looking pack sister who seemed terrified that Harry was suddenly directing his rage at her.

 

“Leave her alone!” Clay said, grabbing hold of Harry’s shoulder and turning him so that he was away from Romy; he didn’t want her to get hurt, this was between the two of them. No one was going to hurt her on his watch, not while he was able to defend her.

 

Harry was still shaken from his encounter with the strays and he hadn’t expected to be grabbed in such a way, so the second that he felt the hand upon his shoulder he reacted purely on instinct; he raised his arm in a violent swing and he shoved the hand that had grabbed him away and slammed the fist of his other hand directly into Clayton’s jaw. Romy rose her hands to cover her mouth in shock, it had happened so quickly and taken her by surprise. It was all she could do not to scream at them to stop.

 

Not having expected it, Clay staggered from the force of the blow and fell to the floor. Harry pounced upon him, as fear flooded his body, he would never give anyone the chance to hurt him again, he had to fight back, he wouldn’t be vulnerable or weak ever again. He never again wanted to feel so out of control in a situation. He had to prove to himself that he could take care of himself.

 

 It took a moment for Harry to realise that it was Clay that he was leaning over and not one of the stray wolves that had attacked him and by that point he had decided that he had had more than enough of being lied to and was going to find out what they were hiding using the skills he had at his disposal. He was beyond tired of having secrets kept from him his entire life and he wasn’t about to let his so called best friend get away with doing just that as well.

 

He allowed himself a split second to revel in the feeling of finally being in control, in having proved, at least to himself, that he wasn’t just some weak submissive that needed protection, he wasn’t just some helpless bitch to be played with. Pinning Clay to the floor with his whole body he forced the other teen to make eye contact with him, emerald green meeting dark brown and that was all Harry needed. His dad had been a good teacher after all.

 

Clay, of course, had no idea what was going on as Harry delved deep into his mind, searching for the answers that he was frustratingly being denied. With the way the mind worked made it easy for Harry to find exactly what he wanted, because the harder Clay tried to hide, what it was he didn’t want Harry to know, the easier it was to find. It was so simple for Harry to find the memory that he had wanted, a memory that both horrified and sickened him.

 

Fenrir was hurt; badly, Harry realised, as the images of Jenson holding the Alpha’s battered and bloodied body easily came to the front of Clay’s mind. But the reality of it started to sink in and Harry struggled to come to terms with what it was he was seeing. He almost wanted to believe that it was a lie, a memory from a different time and that Fenrir wasn’t hurt, that he was fine but Harry couldn’t lie to himself. It was clear that the Alpha was critically injured, maybe even dead, and it was all his fault. What had he done?!

 

Retreating back out of Clayton’s head Harry lost himself for a moment. Suddenly, taking full advantage of that moment, Clayton flipped them over and their roles were reversed. Harry felt panic and terror as he realised he was trapped again; Clay was certainly slightly larger than Harry, considerably stronger too and the younger of the two found it hard to get any leverage to buck Clay off of him, despite his crying, and screaming, and frantic kicking, and shoving, to get the other boy off him.

 

Clay was horrified of the sudden change in Harry from controlled anger to completely freaking out. He wanted to let Harry up, to allow him some space but the other teen seemed to genuinely be terrified about something, beyond rational thought and Clay was sure that he wouldn’t be able to let go without one, or both, of them getting injured.

 

Romy watched on in horror, crouching down and wrapping her arms around herself as she cried softly; she had no idea what to do other than to allow little whispered pleas for them to stop escape her lips.

 

Harry needed to get to Fenrir; the Alpha would protect him, but he needed to make sure that the Alpha was okay too. The thoughts in his head didn’t make sense, it was scary and horrible and Harry wanted it all to stop and go away. He just wanted to feel safe and secure again. He felt fingers wrap around one of his wrists and it was too much for him to handle and Harry reared his head back and slammed it forward straight into Clay’s nose with all the strength he could managed. He had to get away, he didn’t want anyone but the Alpha to touch him.

 

Romy screamed, crying even harder and hugging her own legs tighter, as blood began to spurt everywhere. Clayton stumbled backwards off Harry, clutching at his broken nose, “FUCK, HARRY!” he bellowed as best he could through the blood streaming down his face. Whatever he had been expecting it wasn’t to be head butted, he had seriously underestimated his best friend's fighting abilities.

 

Harry took his chance; he was riled up with a combination of the fear that was still consuming him and the pent up frustration after everything that had happened and all the secrets that had been kept from him. He pounced at his best friend again, only vaguely aware that an extremely distressed, and crying, Romy was calling out for Lukas, and for her Mum, and for her Dad, even for the Alpha, though she knew he wouldn’t come; she just wanted the fighting to stop.

 

Clay however had been ready, grabbing at Harry’s fists with blood-coated hands, ignoring the pain in his nose. He wanted to put a stop to this himself, without the aid of the grown-ups. Though he wasn’t going to be able to hide it from them now that Harry had broken his nose but they would need to know anyway because there was clearly something more going on with Harry, than Clay was able to understand. It was more than just who had bitten him, more than grieving the loss of his dad. There was so much more going on in Harry’s head than any one of the pack truly realised.

 

The younger werewolf was not about to let Clay take hold of his wrists without a fight and as the older teen tried to take hold of him, Harry swung for his friend several more times. “Stop Harry!” Clayton pleaded but to no avail. He spat out the mouthful of blood he had ended up with, thanks to his, very much broken, nose, ensuring to aim away from Harry and from Romy too.

 

He wasn’t sure exactly what happened but the pair of them suddenly found themselves rolling around in the dirt of the forest floor, limbs flailing wildly as punches were thrown and kicks dealt until finally Clay managed to find purchase and pinned Harry to the ground once again. His blood still trickled relentlessly down his chin, dripping on to Harry, only adding to the blood and dirt already covering the younger of the two teenagers.

 

 Clay started to punching Harry in the jaw, part of him wanted to subdue his friend who was quite clearly distressed, but he wouldn’t deny that he also kind of wanted revenge for the broken nose and also whatever Harry had been doing, rummaging around in his head. He got in at least three hits before someone grabbed him from behind and heaved him off of Harry, throwing him quite violently away.

 

“What the hell… is going on here?!” Lukas shouted in anger and worry, his breath coming in harsh pants from the extension of having thrown the other werewolf several feet. “I leave you alone... for a few minutes... and you resort to a damn fist fight?”

 

He hurried over to Romy, who clenched her fists onto the front of his robes desperately, cuddling up against him tears streaming down her cheeks. “I thought you two were meant to be best friends!” he yelled at them, angry that not only were they fighting but they had clearly terrified Romy too.

 

“He did something to me! He was inside my head!” Clay said angrily. He wiped away more blood from his face with the back of his hand, and stared at where Harry had sat himself up, as he tried to stem the flow from his own bleeding nose.

 

Lukas turned to look at Harry in surprise, realising then that the pup looked almost as scared as Romy did and had curled himself up, holding his legs to his chest as he started to cry himself, blood soaking into already ruined jeans and, even from many feet away, Lukas could see that he was trembling.

 

“Harry … is that true?”  Lukas asked. He had heard of the kind of magic that Clay was talking about but he had never known of a child so young to have mastered it. Though he wasn’t entirely surprised that Harry was capable of such advanced magic; the teenager was certainly smart enough to have picked it up if he had a competent teacher.

 

“I’m so sick of people keeping secrets from me, not telling me anything!” Harry snapped, looking up to glare at Lukas. He had been so scared and only now was he starting to be able to think again. He wanted to feel the pain from the fight, he wanted to feel anything other than numb but he couldn’t; he felt nothing.

 

“Harry…” Lukas said, trying to calm him, but knowing he couldn’t go to Harry while Romy was still clinging to him as though for dear life. This was too much for him to handle on his own, but from the state of things in the clearing he wasn’t going to get much help. Harry needed to be taken care of and Lukas couldn’t do that while he had to worry about Clayton and Romy too.

 

“He wouldn’t tell me what was going on,” Harry said pathetically, the rage fading from his tone as he leant his head against his knees again, hiding himself and his tears away from the others.

 

He felt utterly humiliated for freaking out in front of them and knew that Clay would want answers that he just wasn’t ready to give. Though, he did feel as if he had been justified in his actions when he had delved into Clay’s mind to get the answers that he had wanted, that had been denied him via normal methods of communication. All Harry could think was that he needed to get to his Alpha, his mate, and the only person standing in his way now was Lukas and he knew that he would never be baited into a fight, not like Clay would. Lukas was far too smart and logical for that.  

 

“But now I know,” Harry said forcing himself to look up at Clay with sad eyes. The images of Fenrir, that he had dragged from his friends mind, that had been forgotten in the midst of his panic and their tussle, now came flooding back making his stomach churn violently but he had nothing in his stomach to throw up, not having eaten a full meal in a couple of days.

 

Lukas knew he needed to look after Harry, he knew he needed to look after all of them but he needed to be able to focus on Harry. He also needed to keep the peace between them all. It was obvious, by the look of Clay’s nose that they weren't going to be able to keep the incident from the others; he could also clearly see that Harry’s jaw was swiftly turning purple. This wasn’t going to work with all of the pups together with emotions running as high as they were.

 

 “Romy,” he said, encouraging the youngest of the pups to look up at him, “I need you take Clayton to your Mum, she’ll be able to heal him.”

 

Romy’s eyes flashed with panic as she glanced over at Clay, who had a hand over his nose and was looking a little grey. After a moment, and a quick glance at Harry, she nodded mutely and Lukas helped her to her feet. To start with she was a little unsteady but soon became determined to get back to her parents, where she knew that she would be safe and protected.

 

Harry and Lukas watched as Clay reluctantly followed Romy back towards the clearing and the rest of the pack, leaving them alone once again. Romy didn’t look back, her arms wrapped around herself and keeping her distance from Clay, who shot Harry an angry look over his shoulder. Harry however couldn’t bring himself to care, he was drowning, it was the only way he could describe it. Knowing how badly Fenrir was hurt and knowing that it was because of what he had done, it was too much to handle and he felt as if he couldn’t breathe.

 

 “So,” Lukas said as he gathered up the clean clothes for Harry that he had fetched, having dropped them the moment he had come back and seen them fighting. “What is it that you think you know?” he asked calmly, as he settled himself down next to Harry.

 

He noticed the way Harry flinched away from him, despite, having taken such care not to get close enough to brush against him or touch him in any way. It was clear that whatever had shaken the teen, it meant that Harry didn’t want anyone getting too close to him at the moment. Lukas could work with that; he was nothing if not patient. He placed Harry’s clean clothing down in front of them and waited. It took minutes, many of them, but Harry started to relax; Lukas made no move to touch him or say anything, prepared to let Harry realise in his own time that he was safe and that nothing was going to happen to him.

 

 “Fenrir,” Harry said softly, and though the teen keep his head down and Lukas thought he might have been crying. “He’s been hurt ...badly,” he continued, still not looking up, his eyes fixed on the clean clothing.

 

Harry wanted to be clean, he wanted to remove the smells of blood and urine that were doing nothing but making everything feel like it was still happening; it was as though he was still held against that tree in the woods. He could feel the rough tongue of Gideon against his skin and it made him want to scream that he belonged to no one, that only Fenrir was allowed to touch him.

 

He wasn’t in any more danger though, he had to keep reminding himself of that. The Alpha had found him and saved him, he was back in their territory and he was sitting here with Lukas. This werewolf would never hurt him and might even tell him the truth now if he asked.

 

 “Yes, he has,” Lukas said with a sigh, giving Harry a sad smile when the teen managed to turn his head slightly to look at him. “But you can’t help him right now. The best thing you can do is to do as Damon asked of you. Clean up and then you can go and see him.”

 

Harry nodded and bit his lip; Lukas was right, he couldn’t go back to the clearing in the state he was in and he would feel much better being close to the Alpha right now and being able to see for himself that Fenrir wasn’t dead. He stifled a whimper as images of the Alpha splayed out on the ground dead assaulted his mind and he had to remind himself that it wasn’t real; that wasn't what he had seen in Clay's mind.

 

Lukas decided to be patient again, it worked well before, and sure enough after a couple of minutes Harry got up and hesitantly started to remove his tattered shirt. Not wanting to discourage him, Lukas kept his focus firmly in front of him, so that he would only see Harry in his peripheral vision. He listened as the teen removed the rest of his clothing and heard the sloshing of water that indicated that Harry had finally got into the stream. It had taken a long while, and a bloody fist fight, but they had managed to get there in the end.

 

 “Is it still warm?” Lukas asked, as he moved over to sit closer to the bank where Harry had gotten in, wanting to make sure that the heating charm was still in place. The last thing Harry needed was to be bathing in cold water. He kept his eyes down so not to stare and make the teen uncomfortable.

 

 “Yeah,” Harry mumbled quietly, “thanks.”

 

Lukas considered his thoughts for a moment, keeping Harry just on the edge of his vision, before he spoke. “I saw your potion ingredients,” he stated and Harry froze. Lukas had been in his bag to get the clean clothes, of course he had seen them. Lukas turned to look directly at Harry; glaring at the teen as Harry crossed his arms over his exposed chest protectively. Lukas made sure that he kept eye contact, not letting his gaze wander anywhere else but needing to let the teenager know how serious he considered the matter to be.

 

Lukas turned away from him again, feeling that Harry had received the message. “The second that Fenrir is better you will find a time to tell him,” he said sternly, “because, if you don’t, I will.” He heard Harry let out a small noise of distress, and flicked his eyes to him. He was fine, but his eyes were wide and fearful, pleading even. “I love you like a kid brother, Harry, I’m not going to let you keep hurting yourself with that stuff,” Lukas told him flatly.

 

 “I need …” Harry began to say but was swiftly cut off by a stern glare from Lukas, who dared him to say that he needed it.

 

 “No you don’t!” he snapped irritably, “Aconite can kill us, Harry.” Lukas ran his hand through his hair in frustration and worry for his little pack brother, who didn’t seem to understand exactly what he had been doing to himself. “Honestly there is no wonder you’re not feeling pain, it probably has a lot to do with your weakened senses too.” Lukas said as he got to his feet, pacing back and forward along the edge of the stream. He was glad that Harry at least couldn’t run from this conversation, not without exposing himself more than he would comfortable doing. “Merlin, you’ve done some serious damage to yourself! I thought the two of us were friends, Harry …”

 

 “We are!” Harry tried to insist.

 

 “Then prove it, little one, please stop taking whatever potion you’re brewing,” Lukas said, stopping his pacing so to turn and meet Harry’s eyes pleadingly. “Please stop hurting yourself like this.”

 

 “But it hurt so much,” Harry said with a whimper at the remembered pain of the previous full moon. “The potion, it makes it better.”

 

Lukas looked at him carefully. Harry was not particularly small for his age or anything but standing in the stream with sad wide eyes staring up at Lukas, a pleading desperation on his face, he looked practically tiny. Lukas hated that the strong, fierce, frankly difficult, teen could be reduced to this and, despite his earlier thoughts, he wished that he could have the wilful and rebellious young man back because anything was better than seeing him look so scared and defeated. “You mean the transformations?” he asked him, needing to understand.

 

Harry nodded mutely, and apparently unable to stand looking at Lukas a moment longer he turned around and faced the other way, starting to scrub the grime from his body. He carefully washed at his shoulder wound, knowing he needed to make sure it was clean. The skin where the branch had caught him was red raw but he felt no pain from it. The cut that Gideon had made on his thigh was practically gone now.

 

Lukas thought on that. It didn’t quite make sense; if Harry had been taking his potion and it made the transformations easier for him, why had he been in such pain on the previous full moon. It took him a few moments to draw his own conclusions from this. “You… you haven’t been taking the right dosage have you?” Lukas questioned and after a few moments he saw Harry shake his head.

 

Well that explained a lot, Lukas figured. “Once the potion is out of your system it won’t hurt so much,” he reassured him. “Just please, don’t take it anymore, it’s extremely dangerous. Promise me Harry, please.” For a boy who usually didn't feel pain at all, a painful transformation would be almost beyond imagining; it wouldn't be numbed much by his damaged nerves as the hurt would be directly in his spine and brain, but Lukas was sure without the potion, it would become so much more manageable.

 

“What if I hurt someone?” Harry almost whispered.

 

Lukas sighed, he understood that fear; he had been scared of that same thing before he had really experienced the full moons with the pack. “You won’t,” he tried to assure him, “I have learnt to trust in the pack; after all, they couldn’t have been here as long as they have if they were hunting humans once a month.” Lukas sat back down on the edge of the bank. “I’m sure we’re safe here. If I wasn’t sure I’d still be at home locking myself in my own cage. If you trust me, and my judgement as friends should, then you’ll promise me you won’t take that potion again.”

 

Harry didn’t say anything but he made his way over to bank once he was done ensuring that every inch of him was scrubbed clean. He had been desperate to remove all traces of the strays and their disgusting Alpha from his skin. Lukas looked away to give Harry a moment to climb out and cast a drying charm.

 

“Is he going to be okay?” Harry asked as he pulled on his clean boxers, relishing in finally feeling clean. “In Clay’s memory… he looked... bad. Really bad,” he added as he slipped into his fresh pair of jeans.

 

Lukas looked back at him and watched as Harry pulled the clean shirt over his own head. “Callie is fixing him up right now,” Lukas told him, sounding as exhausted as he felt. “She reckons that if he can survive through the night then he’ll live but he’ll be unconscious for a while, his body will need time to heal.”

 

Harry nodded silently, glad that Lukas was at least willing to answer the questions he asked directly and didn’t appear to be lying to him. Holding back his tears Harry forced himself to look away. He didn’t want Lukas to think that he was unable to handle hearing the truth.  The adrenaline surge he had felt during his fight with Clay was all but gone from his body, and now that he felt clean again, he was near the point of exhaustion. He wavered where he stood, struggling to stay on his own two feet and not to just allow his body to give in and go to sleep.

 

He couldn’t sleep, at least not yet. He wanted to go back to the clearing first and make sure the rest of his pack were all right. He wanted to make sure that Clay had been healed and that Romy wasn’t scared of him. He needed to ensure that Fenrir was the only one that had been seriously injured before he would allow himself to curl up with the Alpha and go to sleep. He wouldn’t sleep anywhere other than in his mates arms', and no one was going to convince him otherwise.

 

 “Can we…?” Harry asked, “... can we go back now?” He looked to Lukas pleadingly, hoping to convey just how much he needed to be back in the clearing where he would know what was happening and be able to watch over Fenrir however long it took for him to recover.

 

Lukas sighed and nodded; he had no further reason to delay Harry, now that the teenager was washed and clean, and so reluctantly he decided it was probably time for them to head back. Dawn was beginning to break now and none of them were exactly well rested after the events of the night. Lukas knew that he probably wasn’t the only one that he could do with a nice cup of tea, he’d certainly need one if he was ever going to get through the coming day.

 

He thought that perhaps Harry would benefit from one too; judging by the state of him it might have been beneficial to force him to eat or drink something before he went to sleep. “Come on,” he said, hesitantly putting his hand on Harry’s shoulder, smiling when the teen didn’t flinch or move away from him.

 

 “You used Legilimency on Clay didn’t you?” Lukas asked as an afterthought, as they started to head back towards the clearing, both of them moving slower than usual, Harry still feeling shaken.

 

 “Yeah, I did,” Harry said sheepishly. He was aware that it had been an invasion of Clay’s privacy to do it but he had been so desperate to know the truth, even though the truth hadn’t exactly been pleasant.

 

 “Your Dad taught you how to do that?” Lukas asked, sounding impressed.

 

 “Yeah, he was a master of it and Occlumency too, he wanted me to be too. Why do you ask?” Harry asked curiously. It was the norm for him to know such things, he’d never thought it odd to have been taught advanced magic.

 

 “It’s rather impressive magic for a boy so young,” Lukas informed him. “There are some wizards that are a hundred years older than you that would struggle to master such complex magic.”

 

 “Really….? Wow… thanks… I guess,” Harry muttered.

 

He remembered how long it had taken him to work it, the months of practice he had put in. His Dad had been so patient with him and together they had endured through the difficulties until Harry had mastered it; Severus had been so proud of him when he had managed it. Harry was aware that it was the only reason his nightmares stayed away. The horrific things that he saw every Halloween would have haunted him all year round if it wasn’t for the mind magic that his Dad had taken the time and effort to teach him. He would forever be grateful to his Dad for everything the man had taught him, the life that he had given to him.

 

 “Oh, and Harry,” Lukas said, waiting until the other boy met his eyes, “I meant what I said about telling Fenrir about that potion. He needs to know.”

 

 “I know he does,” Harry said very quietly, biting his lip nervously as he looked towards the clearing where they were heading. “I changed my mind you know,” he said suddenly before he even realised what it was he was saying.

 

 “You changed your mind?” Lukas asked curiously.

 

 “I tried to come back before the strays caught me, I tried to come home.” They had just reached the edge of the clearing as this admission fell from Harry’s lips. Lukas stopped and pulled Harry into a tight hug, which Harry returned with a sad smile.

 

 “I’m glad you changed your mind, little one,” Lukas said fondly. He really did love Harry and he saw it as a very good sign that Harry had told him that he thought of the pack territory as home.

 

FGHP

 

Damon had barely just sat down next to Jenson, having finished strapping his arm into the sling, when he spotted Romy and Clay returning to the clearing. To say he was unhappy to see the state of his son would be an understatement. He had been very clear about how he felt about fighting.

 

 “Clayton Danes!” he said furiously, getting to his feet and starting to storm towards the teen, who had frozen at the sight of his enraged father stalking towards them. It also turned Jenson’s attention to where the two pups had been approaching from; looking startled to see that the pup was covered in blood and seemingly had a broken nose.

 

Romy gave a small smile at seeing her Dad sitting up unaided, seemingly doing okay, and hurried over to him, quickly tucking herself into his side, under his good arm, “I love you, Daddy,” she whispered, glad to see he wasn’t too seriously hurt. She was still feeling shaken from Harry and Clay’s fight and needed the comfort that her adoptive father could give. Instinctively his arm tightened around his daughter and, sensing her distress, he placed a kiss on the top of her head.  

 

 “I told you NOT to cause trouble, Clayton,” Damon said furiously, pulling Clayton’s hand from his broken nose to see what damage had been done; the worst of the bleeding seemed to have stopped. He led his son back to towards the fire where the others were all gathered; Callie was still tending to the Alpha and Micha unconscious under several blankets for the warmth.

 

 “Is he going to be okay?” Clay asked his Dad, nodding his head in the direction of where Callie was now wrapping huge makeshift bandages around the Alpha’s large chest, which seemed to be rising and falling with steady breathes. Clay was no medical expert but he was sure that that was a good sign.

 

 “He will be fine, now sit!” Damon commanded, getting Clay to sit next to Jenson. “Explain yourself, young man, and PLEASE tell me that you and Harry weren’t fighting… again.” Clay hung his head in shame, feeling bad that he had let his father down and hating the feeling that in evoked in him.

 

 “It wasn’t entirely his fault,” Romy said softly from her father’s side, “Harry hit him first.”

 

 “Wait, you actually hit Harry again?” Damon asked, noticing how Romy had phrased her explanation. He was about ready to start pulling his own hair out in frustration at the two teenage boys. “You should be glad that Fenrir is still out cold or he would skin you alive for hitting Harry!”

 

 “I’m sorry,” Clay grumbled. He understood that Harry’s place in the pack, as Fenrir’s future mate, was an important and protected position, higher than even Damon’s as the Beta wolf but that didn’t make it seem any fairer. He was used to Harry just being his best friend and he felt that if his best friend was being a complete arse he should be allowed to thump him one. “He isn’t the Alphas mate yet,” he grumbled under his breath.

 

 “But he will be,” Damon snapped. “I really don’t have time to deal with this right now,” he told his son, dreading seeing how much damage had been done to Harry too.

 

Callie had finally done all she could to help the Alpha and, having wrapped him up warm, they would have to let his own body’s healing ability take care of the rest. “Okay, let me look at you,” she said to Clay, tilting his head up to make sure it was just a broken nose. “Episkey,” she said with a wave of her wand.

 

Clay cried out as he felt his nose magically straighten itself out and heal almost instantaneously but when he reached up again the pain was gone. “Thanks,” he said, with a grateful smile at his Aunt, who patted him on the shoulder and quickly moved off to check on her mate and daughter.

 

 “Okay, now you can explain,” Damon said, crouching down next to his healed son, handing him a cloth to clean up the blood that was covering his face. They were going to have to burn so many of their clothes today, they’d never be able to get all of the blood out, not even with the use of magic.

 

 “Harry got pissed that I wouldn’t tell him what was going on, so he pinned me down and then did this thing where he went digging around in my head or something. I’m not sure how or what he did,” Clay told his father. “I managed to roll us over and pin him down but then he just freaked out, I swear, I have no idea why, and then he head butted me.”

 

“And that’s how your nose got broken?” Damon asked, and Clay nodded. “So why couldn’t you just walk away? Why hit him?”

 

                “I tried to!” Clay insisted, “It was him who tried to hit me, all I did was try to stop him,” he said with a pout, crossing his arms over his chest. Even with his Dad it felt like it was always about Harry lately.

 

                “Okay, okay, fine,” Damon agreed, knowing that Clay was likely telling the truth and Harry’s legendary temper had almost certainly played at least a small part in their fight. “But take a look at your cousin a moment, look at Romy,” he said.

 

                Clayton did as his father instructed, looking at where Romy was curled up, and obviously crying again, snuggled between Jenson and Callie. Guilt flared in him when he realised that it was he and Harry who had scared her to tears. He was still angry with Harry but he did feel bad for causing further problems for the pack when things were already so dire. “Sorry, Dad,” he mumbled.

 

                “Do me a favour, go and wash some of the blood off of Micha, and find him some clean clothes for him,” Damon instructed, “I don’t want him waking up in that state.” He sounded fed up and completely drained; he had no idea how Fenrir did this Alpha lark all the time, there was no wonder he was so often a grump, it was a wonder he found the strength to be pleasant at all. “And try not to start any more fights,” he added as Clayton nodded and got up. “I need to go and find Harry and Lukas.”

 

Damon got to his feet and had taken only a few paces in the direction of the stream when he spotted Harry and Lukas embracing each other in a hug near the edge of the clearing. He crossed his arms over his chest and reminded himself not to lose his temper with the teen for starting another fight; Harry had been through alot and right now they all just needed to move on from this terrible night and try to heal.

 

                The two separated and headed on over, both wearing wry smiles as they spotted Damon standing waiting for them a short way from the fire. “You have some explaining to do, Harry Prince,” Damon said sternly, as he tilted the teenager's chin to look at the purpling bruise that was spreading across Harry's jaw. Apparently Clayton had a good swing on him, Damon would have been proud, if the boy could stop using it against Harry. “But that can wait for later. Right now we all need to get some sleep; you go and lie down, little one. I am going to take care of Micha.”

 

Harry nodded. He spotted Jenson and Callie, who were cuddled up together with Romy between them; she had finally fallen asleep but her grip remained tight on her Dad’s shirt. Clay was clearly ignoring Harry while he tended to the lightly snoring Micha; Damon moved over to his son and helped Clay start changing the unconscious and blood soaked Micha into clean and blood free clothes. The Beta carefully cast spells to wash and dry Micha’s sandy blond hair, running his fingers through the freshly washed locks with tenderness.

 

 “I’m going to make some tea and then sleep,” Lukas told Harry softly, keeping his voice low so not to disturb his slumbering pack mates, “would you like a cup?” he asked. Harry shook his head, his eyes were fixed on where the Alpha was lying, barely moving at all except for his shallow breaths that indicated he was at least still alive. “Okay well I suggest to get some sleep,” Lukas told him, waiting for Harry to nod his agreement before beginning to gather what was needed to make tea and coffee for those that wouldn’t be going back to sleep.

 

Clay cuddled up to his Dad and, the now clean, Micha; he was still determinedly not looking at Harry, still angry with him for playing a part in scaring Romy. Everyone else, however, who was able and willing had their eyes fixed on Harry, curious as to what he was going to do as he staggered tiredly to where the Alpha lay, close to the fire, hides and blankets covering him.

 

The young submissive wolf collapsed down beside Fenrir, relieved at the sight of the Alpha's large chest rising and falling steadily. Harry’s hand hovered gently on Fenrir's chest where he felt reassured by being able to feel rhythmic beating of Fenrir’s heart beneath his palm. Relief flooded him as the images he had forced from Clay’s mind were able to be pushed away now that he had seen for himself that the Alpha wolf of their pack was at least on the mend.

 

All eyes remained on the teen; with no one saying a word, as he tucked himself into the Alpha’s side, burying himself under the blankets that covered Fenrir. Harry’s words were lost as he cuddled up to the unconscious man, laying his head with great care upon the older man’s shoulder. The tears Harry shed went unnoticed by his fellow pack members as he whispered gently to his mate how sorry he was and started pleaded softly with the Alpha not to die.

 

FGHP

 

Russ was digging at the hard ground furiously with his bare hands, angry tears streaming down his cheeks, the frozen earth had almost torn his nails off at their beds he worked so tirelessly and caring very little for the pain it caused him. He was digging for his little brother, to give him a final resting place. The others would have just burnt him and been done with it but he wouldn’t let that happen. He wanted to say goodbye, he needed to lay him to rest properly.

 

Those fucking bastards had killed him and all for the sake of that little whore of a submissive that wasn’t even worth the air that he breathed. Russ was going to kill Jenson for this, he couldn’t believe that a wolf he had once counted as a pack brother and a friend had murdered his brother right in front of his eyes.

 

Though he felt a spark of pride knowing that he had already taken care of their Alpha, he was sure of it. Russ could still remember the dread of realisation as it had entered the Alpha’s eyes as he had sunk his blade into the fleshy belly of the larger man and torn through the skin with the aim of gutting the man. It wasn’t enough though,he wanted the whole damn pack dead for what they had done, not just to Roderic, but also for the injuries inflicted on the rest of their pack too.

 

He stopped for a moment, rubbing a hand over his sore and bruised throat as he looked over at where Dean was propped up with his back against a tree, with a look of fury on his face as he tore at an old, grumpy piece of fabric to bind his shoulder wound. It had been Dean who had regained consciousness first and, despite the deep stab wound to his shoulder and a mild concussion, he had crawled over to their Alpha and managed to cauterise the bleeding stump where Gideon's right hand used to be, effectively saving their Alpha's life. At least Dean hoped it would be enough to save Gideon’s life; the Alpha was still out cold and fighting a fever.

 

Jack had woken up not long after Dean, and had in turned roused Russ, while the Alpha had been taken care of by Dean. There had been no waking Roderic though no matter how hard they tried. Russ had known that this would be the case however, given he had had no choice but to watch in horror as his brother’s neck had been snapped by Jenson. It was something that he would never forget witnessing. Roderic had been the last remaining member of his biological family and now he was dead.

 

Now Russ would have to lay Roderic in the ground in a shamefully shallow grave. Rage was boiling furiously inside of him, his brother deserved a better burial than this. He longed to hunt down the traitorous bastard that had murdered him and make him pay. Jenson was supposed to be one of them. Once upon a time he had been. He had hunted with them, killed with them. They had known each other since they were pups. How could he have so easily killed Roderic without a second thought?

 

When he had seen Jenson come to the aid of the pathetic submissive wolf with a fierce looking Alpha wolf by his side, Russ had thought that it wouldn’t be much of a fight at all. Foolishly he had thought that Jenson would have helped them and been welcomed back into the pack like a hero, forgiven for his oversights. They had been childhood friends and now he was going to ensure that he ripped his still beating heart out of his chest but not before forcing Jenson to watch everyone he loved and cared about die slow and painful deaths first.

 

Dean however had ordered Russ to stay put for the time being rather than go and hunt down the other pack and avenge his brother on a whim with no forethought or planning. Russ would obey his acting Alpha, at least for the moment; he would use the time, which his pack brothers needed to recover, to give his true brother, by blood, the respect he deserved. With that intent, he turned his attentions back to digging the grave; Jack had offered to help in the task, but it was something he had wanted to take care of himself, though he appreciated the offer.

 

They all really needed Gideon to wake up soon, Dean knew that; they had never really been a pack with strong emotional bonds apart from the two biological brothers and, even as acting Alpha, Dean wouldn’t be able to hold them together for long. Years ago, before Gideon had challenged and killed his father for the position of Alpha male and before they had joined the ranks of Voldemort their pack had been stronger; they’d had female wolves and had been a family. That was no more, they had no females and no pups, they had either left or they had died and now it was just the five, no... just four of them left.

 

Keeping the pack together was not going to be made any easier by Russ’ desire for vengeance, nor the loss of Roderic to their numbers. Of course, Dean wanted to see the traitorous Jenson dead too; he wanted to break every bone in the red-head’s body and then make him watch while they slaughtered the little bitch of a girl, who apparently had somehow survived, before finally beating the life from him. Dean was no one to suffer a traitor.

 

Dean was going to enjoy beating the life from Jenson that was for sure. However not before he took some pleasure in the little bitch his traitorous pack brother had stolen away with. He much preferred women to men and even though the whore of a submissive, that had stumbled upon them quite by accident this evening, would have been fun to play with, it wasn’t what he ultimately wanted. Once they had taken the other pack down, he would be quite happy for Gideon to do whatever he wanted with the boy; would probably be entertaining to witness anyway but the little bitch he now knew resided with the other pack, she was the one he wanted.

 

He was also sure that the other pack would no doubt have other females amongst them too. He would, as beta wolf, be able to take his pick of them before the others got a chance. That would be when his fun would begin, starting with Jenson’s pretty little girl; he had seemed to care for the bitch so much that he had chosen her over his pack brothers and that would be why Dean would take great pleasure in claiming her before he killed her. It was these thoughts that kept him strong and in control as he wrapped the grubby bandage around his shoulder.

 

They needed to regain back their strength and heal the wounds that had been inflicted upon them before they could strike back and take their revenge. They also needed numbers. The pack they were facing was strong, stronger than them right now. That would soon change. Even if they had to bite and train more wolves to add to their pack then that would be what they would do. They would do whatever it took so that they would be able to make the other pack pay for hurting them.

 

Jack stood back and watched Russ intently, remaining very silent, in fear of a beating if he said anything out of turn. As the pack's omega he was largely there to act as a punching bag for the rest of them and they all certainly had a lot of frustrations to vent and he didn’t want to draw attention to himself so to bear the brunt of his anger. With Gideon unconscious, and running a fever, they were all on edge about whether or not he was going to pull through.

 

He observed from a safe distance as Dean struggled to his feet, his shoulder clearly paining him as he headed off deep into the woods. Jack knew he had gone hunting; he wouldn't trusted the omega wolf to do it as he was a hopeless hunter and Russ was too busy digging a grave for his brother, leaving Dean no choice but to do it himself despite his injury. If he didn’t hunt then they were going to starve.

 

The omega wolf had never been more afraid or uncertain about the future of their pack than as he watched Gideon’s motionless body lying in the dirt. The only sign that he was alive was the fact that his chest rose and fell as he drew breath. Their numbers may have dropped considerably since they had aligned themselves with Tom Riddle but the killing they were now permitted to do sure was fun. Jack loved the violence and the blood lust of his pack brothers. He had only newly joined the pack when he had been asked to find and kidnap a young bitch.

 

He hadn’t been allowed to touch her after he had fulfilled the task that had been asked of him, at least not until the others were done having their fun with her. He had taken the time to survey his new pack back then and so knew Jenson by sight, though not well. As the Alpha’s kid brother he was hard to miss. Seeing him again after all these years had certainly been a surprise.

 

He had also been happy to learn that the little bitch he’d snatched from her family all those years ago was still alive; it had made him hard to see them rape and torture the little girl, he would still masturbate as he remembered her screams. It would seem that he would finally be able to get his turn with her. He would be able to live out the fantasies that he had played out in his head as he had pleasured himself.

 

Little girls were his favourite. Since Jenson had stolen away with the little bitch, Jack had taken pleasure in four others that had been her age or slightly younger. He rarely went older but in this case he would make an exception because there was unfinished business between them. Oh he loved their screaming. He was aching to find another, it had been too long since he had felt the young, virginal flesh of a prepubescent girl beneath him, fighting in vain to stop him, something that only turned him on more. He would take his pleasure in her before feasting on her, sinking his teeth into her sweat soaked skin after fucking her within an inch of her life. Jack was really hoping that this pack had more pups, female pups that he could enjoy all to himself.

 

The others were not keen on eating raw flesh while in human form, not liking to indulge their inner wolves in that way but Jack relished in it. It didn’t matter to him what form he was in, he wanted to feel the warmth of still living skin as he tore chunks out of a still screaming little girl. To feel the beating heart of his prey as he started eating them was the greatest pleasure he had ever known and frequently it had made him orgasm as he enjoyed his meal.

 

Jack was torn from his delightfully arousing musings by a groan from his Alpha. It was a good sign, it meant that he was finally coming round. Shit, he thought to himself; Dean was still off hunting and it would be no use trying to put a stop to Russ’ digging until Roderic was fully laid to rest, that left him to be the one to bear the brunt of Gideon’s wrath when he realised how badly things had worked out for their pack.

 

 “DEAN!!!” Gideon roared, his voice unsteady and gruff but there was no doubting the fury in it as he attempted to sit up and failing miserably, still weak from blood loss.

 

 “My Alpha,” Jack said as he hurried over to his side, bowing deeply; it was mostly out of habit, given that Gideon seemed barely able to force his eyes open, let alone focus on anything. “He’s hunting, my Alpha.” Jack was sure to show all and every sign of submission to his Alpha as possible. He needed to make it clear that even with Gideon’s injuries, he had nothing to worry about in regards to his position as leader of their pack, at least not where Jack was concerned.

 

Gideon was nothing if not stubborn, and, with heaving effort, he rolled onto his side, using his remaining hand to push himself to his feet. For a moment, Jack was worried the large man was just going to pass out again; probably falling straight on top of him and crushing him to death, given his luck. But Gideon just staggered for a bit and found a nearby tree to lean against while the dizziness passed. Jack knew better than to aid him. He didn’t want to give the impression that he thought the Alpha to be weak.

 

 “Tell me you have the head of the bastard who stole my hand, for me to shove a spike in,” the Alpha growled deeply, “or at least that little whore for me to put my cock in.”

 

 “I’m… sorry… my Alpha, forgive us,” Jack stuttered, wringing his hands. “They killed Roderic.”

 

Gideon snarled dangerously at the stupid little Omega, he had failed, their pack had failed and he was furious. He reached out to wrap his fingers around Jack’s neck only to be faced with the reality of just a cauterised stump where his hand had once been. He roared in fury once more, the sound echoing off the trees around them. He swung the arm anyway, ignoring the pain that flared when it collided with the side of Jack’s face, sending the Omega wolf flying.

 

He turned to watch where Russ was determinedly digging and saw Roderic’s body lying under one of their large blankets. The reality that Roderic was now dead sinking in and his fury only growing at the loss of one of his brothers; the other pack would pay for this. But their own pack now grew weak, with such few numbers and with their injuries. He glared at his cauterised stump that throbbed painfully, hating that he had been distracted enough to allow it to happen. It felt odd, as if his hand was still there, he could even send a message from his brain to flex his fingers that were non-existent.

 

He knew that he wouldn’t last long as the pack Alpha, not with this injury, not unless he proved to them all that he was still as strong as he always had been. And he would prove it; that pathetic and twisted little Omega wolf would see how powerful his Alpha still was. With Russ digging his brothers grave, and Dean off hunting; Jack would have the honour of being the first to submit to his Alpha’s proof of his dominance, and he would be perfect for venting his frustrations on too.

 

Turning his gaze on to Jack, where the Omega wolf was picking himself up from the ground, Gideon pounced on him, adjusting himself so that he could become more accustomed to using his left hand. He curled his fingers into a tight fist and slammed it into the jaw of the smaller werewolf. The blow lacked the ferocity of his usual hits but then he had never used his left hand to punch someone before. The sounds coming from Jack still seemed to imply it hurt… a lot; but he still knew that if he was going to survive as a wolf, and remain at the head of the pack, he was going to have to strengthen the left side of his body.

 

Dean returned from the hunt with very little to show for his efforts, furious that all he had been able to catch was a single doe that looked as if it would have died soon anyway. It would have to suffice as his shoulder was bothering him a great deal, a reminder about what had happened and constantly fuelling his anger. Once Roderic was in the ground they would send Russ to hunt, he hadn’t been as badly injured as the rest of them and might fare better.

 

It improved Dean’s mood greatly when he saw the Alpha wolf awake and beating the living daylights out of Jack. Everyone’s mood always improved when using the little omega as a punching bag. It was a good sign that the Alpha was fit enough to be doing it or even that he was awake at all. Though he was still looking a little peaky from the blood loss, but a good meal should sort them all out.

 

Once they had fed they would be able to bury Roderic, laying their fellow pack brother to rest as Russ wanted. The hunt had done Dean some good, his anger channelled into catching a meal for the pack and providing for them, it was probably the only reason that he had been able to catch anything. He was also slightly more level headed now than he had been before hunting, when his mind had been whirling with plans of attack and vengeance. They would have their revenge but only once they were stronger. In the state they were currently in they wouldn’t be winning any fights that was for sure.

 

 “My Alpha,” Dean said reverently, wanting no doubt that he wouldn’t be challenging Gideon for that position. He had no desire to be Alpha wolf, he was more than content in his position as Beta. It came with a fair few perks and with none of the hassle of responsibility that Gideon had.

 

The Alpha turned his head, the fingers of his left hand loosely circling Jack’s throat as the omega’s own finger’s held onto his wrist to ease the strain. Gideon snarled at the measly meal his Beta had returned with and wondered how severe Dean’s own injuries were; it was not at all the other werewolf’s usual standard.

 

 “Russ will fetch more, when Roderic is buried,” Gideon commanded. He was sure that the Beta wolf had already drawn the same conclusion himself but, that Dean had allowed him to speak it himself, was a sign of his continued acceptance of Gideon’s place as Alpha. What unnerved Gideon was that even with Dean injured the beta wolf would win if the challenge was put forward for the top position in their pack. Losing his hand was a huge blow.

 

At least they would have something to report when they met with the Dark Lord in a few days’ time. They had found Greyback and he had something precious that they could use against him. That was certainly good news. Voldemort would be pleased with the progress they had made. The Dark Lord seemed keen to have Greyback on side in the war he was waging. The fact that he had a strong pack would only delight Voldemort more because it meant he would have more werewolves to do his bidding.

 

Gideon released Jack unceremoniously into a gasping heap on the floor, where the little wolf rubbed at his throat and tried to catch his breath. Feeding his pack and burying their lost brother were the priorities for the moment. They would move on from this, they would find new strength, and new members; it was what had to be done. That would all come in time however, for now they had to work on short term goals and that was keeping themselves alive.

 

                 “Russ!” the Alpha called out.

 

 “Alpha,” Russ replied, but he didn’t halt in his digging for a second. The grave covered a large enough area to lay even the large body of Roderic in, but he wanted to give him more than a very shallow grave and was continuing to burrow further in the ground with a vicious determination.

 

 “Stop and eat!” Gideon commanded, knowing the werewolf wouldn’t even think to do such a thing unless ordered to.

 

 “When I am done, Alpha,” Russ insisted.

 

 “NOW!” Gideon roared; he was certainly in no mood to be defied, no matter how much his subordinate was grieving. He would not allow any of them to think him weak, not for a single second, and they would obey the orders given and if they didn’t then he would show them their place beneath him.

 

Russ looked unhappy, but pulled himself out of the hole he had dug and joined his remaining pack mates around the pitiful little doe that Dean had caught. The Beta was already in the process of skinning the animal and so Russ took to the task of building a fire; Jack was hovering a short distance away, scavenging on the bits that Dean was discarding, he always preferred the raw bleeding pieces anyway.

 

Gideon sat close to where Russ was going to start their fire, waiting; it was a little disconcerting to see the large man looking so pale but a meal would probably do him some good. Russ would give the Alpha a chance to prove himself strong, but he was watching; he knew Dean wouldn’t challenge Gideon, but Russ wasn’t going to let Roderic’s death be their end; if they needed a new stronger Alpha then Russ would fight to make that happen, even if that meant taking down the maimed Gideon himself.

 

“The other Alpha,” Russ grunted just loud enough for Gideon to hear him, as he got the fire going and started adding more wood to it, “I slit him real good, he’ll be dead by now,” he said smugly, thinking of how the man’s guts had all but been spilling onto the ground beneath them. It had been a moment of fury when he had seen Jenson kill Roderic, but he had still done it and that prove him to be strong.

 

Gideon growled, not missing the hidden message of power than Russ’ words carried, the other werewolf was warning the Alpha to prove himself, and soon. But he was glad to hear that the other pack had not gotten off easily. “And the traitor?”

 

 “He... got away,” Russ admitted.

 

 “But we will get him later,” Dean promised, “They will be weakened with the loss of their Alpha.”

 

 “You’re sure he’s dead?” Gideon demanded; as much as he wanted his revenge personally for the loss of his hand, if one of his pack mates had killed that son of a bitch then he would get over it, but he wanted to be certain; besides the death of Greyback might not be appreciated by Voldemort.

 

 “Jenson carried him off,” Jack told him, suffering a little from the injuries his Alpha had just inflicted upon him. He had barely been conscious but he had been able to force his eyes open to see the traitor carry his own unconscious Alpha, presumably back to their territory.

 

 “I sliced his stomach open,” Russ said, puffing his chest out proudly. The other Alpha was a big wolf and to have slain that beast of a man was a great achievement. “If he wasn’t dead when he left he will be soon,”

 

 “We take nothing for granted,” Gideon snapped, still furious that his pack had allowed their attackers, and the submissive, to get away. “If you didn’t see him die then we assume he is alive and injured, I won’t be taken by surprise again!”

 

 “Yes, my Alpha” Dean and Jack chorused obediently.

 

Gideon looked to Russ who had only nodded, not giving any sign of submitting to Gideon. “You want to challenge me, boy?” the Alpha suddenly roared. He cared very little for Roderic lying dead only a few feet from them or the fact that Russ was no doubt grieving for the loss of his biological brother. If his position was going to be openly challenged then he was going to answer that and prove himself.

 

 “I want our pack to have a strong Alpha,” Russ growled. “Prove yourself and I won’t have to challenge anyone,” Russ snarled, he was really in no mood to fight, though if it came to it he was confident; he wasn’t the one who had just had his hand chopped off.

 

Dean looked between the two knowing that if Russ beat Gideon in such a challenge then he would step up and put Russ in his place. Dean had ample amounts of respect for his current Alpha but he wouldn’t fall in line and follow orders from Russ, his wolf wouldn’t allow it.

 

Gideon roared and lunged at Russ, easily pinning him to the floor, “Remember your place, boy, or else you will save us the hunt and we will just feast on you and what is left of your brother,” he warned.

 

 “Yes, my Alpha,” Russ said, turning his head to the side and submitting, even though his guts twisted and turned at the idea of them feeding on Roderic. He would hold his tongue to prevent that from happening, if for no other reason.

 

“Good choice,” Gideon told him with a sneer, “piss me off and I might just end up accidentally killing Jack, and that would leave you as the Omega,” he said with a laugh as he released Russ and allowed the other wolf to get back to his feet. Jack had let out a protesting cry, which went ignored by the others, but Dean seemed just as amused as the Alpha at this threat. No one wanted to be the omega in a pack.

 

Russ was done building the fire, and was going to say or do something he would regret if he didn’t get some space, so he left Dean to cook the doe and went back to Roderic’s mostly dug out grave. He sat down next to where his brother’s body lay under a blanket; it had always been the two of them against the world and the future looked a lot bleaker now than it had done in many years.

 

He had wanted for them to bury Roderic as a pack, but now he didn’t want those other bastards to be part of the last moment between siblings; he would lay him in the ground and then head out to hunt, hopefully the run would help him forget all this shit for a bit. With great care he picked Roderic’s body up, blanket and all, cherishing the last time they would be together before he climbed down into the dirt hole.

 

Russ felt tears trailing down his cheeks and he turned away from the others who didn’t come forward or offer to help him. He didn’t want them to see his weakness because that was all his tears were, weakness. He would be strong, he would avenge his little brother. Placing Roderic into the ground, Russ pulled back the blanket and placed a tender kiss upon his forehead, before covering him back up, knowing that this was the last time that they would be together. He didn’t believe in reincarnation or heaven, if any such existence was based in truth then they’d be going to hell for what they had done in life.

 

He climbed out and threw down the first handful of dirt. Thumping his fist on the ground in anger, at the werewolf who had slain Roderic and at his own failure to protect him. He started to shove all the mud he had dug out, back into place; covering the body of his little brother in this way was painful and so final. Roderic would never take another breath, they wouldn’t laugh together, or fight, or hunt. Their mother would be so ashamed to know that he had been unable to protect his baby brother. At least she would have been if she’d been alive.

 

 “You done?” Gideon grunted making no acknowledgment that Russ had just buried a loved one or that he might be grieving for the loss. After Russ had just openly challenged him the Alpha didn’t much care for sentiment. He was going to literally kick Russ to heel if he didn’t start to show the proper respect.

 

 “Almost…, my Alpha,” Russ returned through gritted teeth. If he had felt stronger, then he would have challenged Gideon to full out fight for the top most position and probably won too.

 

This pack was a joke, ever since they had joined forces with Voldemort they were less of a pack and more of a violent, blood thirsty gang. Their bitches had fled or been killed soon after Jenson had run off. At first the killing had been fun but now the pleasure was starting to wear thin. Now that Roderic was gone he had no one to enjoy it with.

 

He patted down the earth, making sure it was patted down tight; he wouldn’t have animals digging his brother back up, savaging for food. He took a long, deep steeling breath, reigning in his emotions and his tears before turning to face Gideon, “I’ll go hunt, my Alpha,” he said, keeping his head bowed. He hoped the Alpha would just see it as respectful and a sign of submission to him, but in truth he knew his face showed far too much raw emotion to display it to the heartless bastard of a man; that would be signing his own death warrant.

 

 “Be quick about it,” Gideon snapped. “This measly bit of meat won’t feed all of us,” he watched Russ carefully. The Alpha knew he would have to keep a close eye on this subordinate because he had a feeling that he wasn’t done pushing the limits just yet.

 

Russ grunted in agreement and dashed off into the woods, glad for the reprieve. He needed to get some distance from the rest of the pack which were lacking in sympathy or respect for the fallen Roderic. It made Russ hate them all. The early morning air brushed away the tears from his face as he ran and soon his grieve ridden mind was lost to the focus of the hunt. It was a distraction that he needed, allowing allthe worries and horrors of the night to be buried, just like Roderic.

 

FGHP

 

Despite his plans to sleep, along with the rest of the pack, Lukas hadn’t been able to get his mind to relax enough to allow it. He sat by the fire, nursing a third cup of Imperial Ceylon tea instead; the brew did a wonderful job of calming his frayed nerves and clearing his mind. It had helped a little that he wasn’t the only one of the pack who had been unable to find solace in sleep, though Lukas suspected that Damon’s restlessness had more to do with wanting to protect the rest of them while Fenrir was out for the count.

 

The Beta wolf wouldn’t have been able to defend them anyway, not with the way he was lounging against a small pile of blankets with his son curled up on his left side and Micha tucked into his right, both of the younger wolves snuggling into him and fast asleep. He held them close to him protectively, his gaze occasionally sweeping over Jenson and Callie who were curled around Romy and then to Fenrir who had Harry snuggled close to him.

 

It was so tranquil in the clearing now, compared to the horrors that had been unfolding so very recently but, while they were still cautious with their optimism, it was looking as though they might just all survive this ordeal. Of course it would be a while until Fenrir was back on his feet but he was remaining hopeful that it would happen. Damon had been keeping a close eye on his best friend and Alpha, ensuring that the man was still breathing.

 

 “You should sleep,” Damon suggested in a soft voice, so as not to wake the others. Lukas turned to him with a faint smile gracing his lips at the thought that he might actually be able to get some rest.

 

 “Don’t think I could,” Lukas told him, glancing at where Fenrir and Harry were laying peacefully together, the picture of innocence, almost.

 

The young pup had fallen asleep with his head resting upon the Alpha’s shoulder, so as not to disturb the injuries or their bindings. It hadn’t escaped either Damon or Lukas’ notice that Harry had obviously been crying, their sensitive wolf ears even picking up the pleading for him not to die and the apologies before the pup had given in to sleep.

 

 “No, neither could I,” Damon said. His arse had gone numb sitting on the ground with the weight of both Clay and Micha on him but he wouldn’t have changed his position for anything. He would have suffered through much worse to hold Clayton and Micha close to him, simply glad that they were both still alive and not wanting to let them go.

 

He knew he should never have let Micha run off after the Alpha, every instinct in his body had been telling him to stop the younger wolf and yet stupidly he hadn’t done a thing to stop him. Micha had never been cut out for battle; it wasn't that he was weak, but it just wasn't in his nature, he wasn’t a dominant fighter, he was like Harry, a submissive. His heart was too big, he didn’t have it in him to kill without mercy.

 

Things could have been so much worse for them. Even with the injuries they had, they’d been lucky to all survive. The way it stood Fenrir was still touch and go, his wounds had been so severe. If he caught an infection now then it was doubtful he’d be able to fight it off and with Harry wrapped around him the way he was it would no doubt be hard on the young pup to lose the Alpha of their pack. Clearly the two of them had a bond, despite all the arguments and attempts to run away.

 

Damon knew Harry well, it had taken the pup a while to adjust to his new way of life. With the loss of his father and his life turned upside down it wasn’t surprising that he had needed some time. He had grown up believing that his wolf was something that had to be tamed at any cost. As a result he had been hurting himself irreversibly only to find that it had never been necessary. It was wonderful to see that despite everything Harry was finally beginning to understand his role within the pack, as the mate of the Alpha.

 

 “You know Harry used Legilimency on Clayton earlier, from what I gather it was what started the fight between them,” Lukas said conversationally to the acting Alpha. “Were you aware that he could do that, it isn’t exactly a common ability to have?”

 

 “I wasn’t aware of it, no, but it doesn’t surprise me at all," Damon said. They both kept their voices low, not wanting to risk waking the others. "Harry is also the only werewolf I’ve ever known to be able to transform into an animagus on command. He can talk to snakes too, Clayton saw him do it once.”

 

Lukas looked at Damon in amazement, casting an impressed look over to where Harry lay sleeping. He had known that the boy was special but he had never realised just how unique he was. “I am betting everything I have that that headmaster regrets asking for Harry to go to Hogwarts before the year is out,” Lukas said with an amused smile.

 

He could only imagine the high-jinks that all the pups would be involved in when left unsupervised away from the pack. No teacher would ever have authority over them, at least not so much as their Alpha and other pack members would have. It would no doubt be more difficult for Harry, who as second only to Fenrir, he would have to learn that that wasn’t the case in the wizarding world.

 

                Damon snorted, as he tried to smother his laugh, “And that is even before you add Clayton into the mix.” He thought of his son and remembered all the trouble the two of them had caused while living in Ingleton. That had been before all this trouble had started. Even though he had been on the verge of pulling his hair out at the antics they got up to he would give anything to have that fun loving, prank-pulling and mischievous pair back.

 

“The two of them would be unstoppable if they could convince Romy to join in with them, add her intelligence to their trouble making abilities and other… unique skills and that school isn’t going to know what hit them come January. I almost wish I could go just to watch it all unfold.” Lukas mused, remembering fondly, Micha’s not so glamorous make over and the resulting incident where Fenrir’s favourite, and only, jacket had been turned an alarming shade of pink.

 

                “And give them a chance to recruit you to join in too?” Damon asked with a raised eyebrow, “You would have to be crazy to want to be at that school this year.”

 

“I think we should just be glad that Micha isn’t going with them, can you imagine?" Lukas asked, with something close to horror in his eyes, "There wouldn’t be a school left!”

 

“That’s possible even without Micha going with them," Damon assured him, though he was definitely a little amused by Lukas' concern. "Did I ever tell you about the time Harry and Clayton blew apart a wall in Harry’s bedroom?”

 

“No, you didn’t. How about I make us both a fresh cup of tea and you tell me all about it,” Lukas suggested.

 

Damon nodded and launched into the story with a smile on his face, remembering the occasion fondly. In the light of the horror and the unease that had settled around them it felt nice to be discussing something light hearted. Lukas had to stifle his laughter as Damon recounted the incident to him, neither of them wanting to wake the others. It was a good thing that the Beta wolf had plenty of stories to tell. By lunchtime he was recounting them to most of the pack, now with added input from Clay of course.

 

Only Harry and Fenrir remained sleeping.

 


 

Chapter Text

Chapter Thirteen – Vigil

 

Voldemort surveyed the pathetic Alpha wolf, who was knelt before him, with disgust and revulsion. The day before they had apparently been attacked by Fenrir Greyback, the very werewolf they were supposed to be recruiting for him, not fighting and almost killing. It displeased him greatly to hear of this. He had thought that Gideon and his unkempt group of mangy dogs would have been more than up to the task of bringing to heel one lone wolf. It had been a major oversight that Greyback had formed a pack; it certainly wasn’t something that he, himself had been expecting.

 

“We lost one of our pack brothers in the attack, my Lord,” Gideon explained. “Greyback also cut off my hand!” he told him, waving the butchered stump for the Dark Lord to see, though it was of very little concern to Voldemort, “and all for some whore of a submissive he’s keeping as a personal fuck toy!”

 

“A submissive?” Tom asked, musing over this with interest, Gideon nodded in confirmation. Voldemort considered this carefully as he watched the Alpha wolf curiously. “So he has people he cares for,” Tom said thoughtfully, a small smirk sneaking onto his lips. “That will make him easier to control,” he said mostly to himself. “Bring me the submissive, as well as Greyback!” he ordered.

 

“My Lord…” Gideon said, trying to keep the grimace from his face at having to capture the boy all over again, only to just hand him over. He had rather hoped to be able to capture him to have his way with him. He had been thinking about all the deliciously wonderful things that he could do to the boy.

 

“If he wants to keep his little whore, as you so delightfully put it,” Tom said with a manic smile, “then we will make him work for it. Do what you will with the others … I care for their fates, very little. I am sure you will find some way to amuse yourselves with them ,” he said with a dismissive wave of his hand; it was unlikely that any of them would be worth the hassle of ensuring their loyalty.

 

“My lord…” Gideon said again, gritting his teeth. He knew that the Dark Lord had promised to improve the position of werewolves in the world, but it still grated on his nerves, on his instincts, that he was being made to bend to the will of another, no matter how powerful they were. “I was hoping that…”

 

“Hoping what?” Tom snapped, all hint of good humour or patience evaporating in an instant when the pathetic werewolf didn’t take the hint to leave.

 

“I want the submissive,” Gideon said somewhat forcefully, certainly more so than he knew he should have done. “After what was done to me, I fucking deserve him!”

 

Riddle let out a harsh barking laugh, “Come here, wolf!” he demanded. “Give me your hand!” Gideon offered the dark lord his left hand, his entire body tense. “The other one!” Tom snapped impatiently as the Alpha wolf did as he was told, holding out right arm that was now missing its hand.

 

Wrapping his long fingers around the werewolf’s wrist, he waved his wand and, with a muttered incantation, a silver hand appeared to grow from Gideon’s stump. He was so shocked and so terrified of it being actual silver that he almost screamed; trying, with obviously futility, to get away from his own newly formed metallic hand and the Dark Lord’s grip. Voldemort laughed, loud, and with genuine amusement, at the werewolf’s reaction.

 

“My Lord… the silver…” Gideon stuttered, waiting for the pain to hit him and wondering, with confusion, why it hadn’t already.

 

“I am aware, dog!” Tom sneered, still clutching at the wrist of the wolf in a harsh grip. “It is real silver, of course, but it won’t affect you…so long as you behave.”

 

Gideon looked at Voldemort with wide, fearful eyes as the realisation hit him. This silver hand was effectively a collar and leash, something that his inner wolf snarled at, he would have no choice but obey the Dark Lords commands now. That amount of silver being permanently attached to his body would kill him in a matter of hours, slowly and painfully.

 

“You will bring the submissive to me,” the Dark Lord commanded again, knowing that the Alpha would heed his order without question this time. “Unharmed,” he added with a stern gaze that made it clear that the alternative was not worth considering. He dropped the wrist from his grip and turned to walk back to his chair. “Greyback too,” he instructed as though this part should have been obvious, “I imagine if you take hold of the little whore with your new hand, Greyback will be quite… cooperative and you may find that he even comes willingly.”

 

“”Yes, my Lord,” Gideon said through gritted teeth.

 

“Leave, before I lose my patience with you,” Tom said dismissively, bored with the whimpering pathetic Alpha werewolf in his presence. He was itching to cause some damage and he vaguely wondered where Bellatrix was, she was such a delightful stress relief.

 

“But, my Lord...,” Gideon said, knowing that he was pushing his luck now. However in his mind they weren’t done, he still had things he needed to discuss because he couldn’t very well achieve what the Dark Lord wanted when he was so lacking in numbers.

 

“What now?” the Dark Lord said, fury and irritation ringing in his voice as the poor excuse of a werewolf ignored the order to leave for a second time.

 

“Our pack..., we… our numbers dwindle, there are only four of us remaining,” Gideon said, his head bowed, not wanting to find out what it would feel like, should the Dark Lord become angry enough to remove whatever was holding back the pain of the silver. “Greyback’s pack is strong. We will need others if we are to capture him and his whore.”

 

"Fortunately for you, I anticipated your weakness and failure and have already thought of that," Tom said with a sickening smile on his handsome face. "I have been recruiting."

 

Gideon ignored the insult and looked at his lord hopefully; with more werewolves they might stand a chance of taking down Greyback’s pack and getting revenge on Jenson, who had so stupidly betrayed them. Gideon thought that his little brother would have had more brains than that.

 

The Dark Lord said nothing further but headed for the door; assuming he was supposed to follow, Gideon got to his feet and hurried after him. Voldemort strode along regally, his robes billowing behind him.They passed several Death Eaters in the hallway, all of whom bowed to their master and then turned to sneer in disgust at the werewolf following after him.

 

Gideon would have loved to throttle every single one of them, show them who was superior, especially the blond wizard who looked so far up his own arse that Gideon would have loved to have literally shoved his neatly kept blond head up there. He was no mutt to be kicked and ordered around by the likes of them, he was an Alpha, he answered to no one… except the Dark Lord, and that alone disgusted him enough.

 

They turned a corner and Voldemort barged his way through a door into what looked to be someone’s private quarters. Gideon supposed private was word that didn’t quite apply to anything when you were one of the Dark Lord’s servants.

 

“Axlar!” Tom said loudly, announcing their presence in the room.

 

Gideon followed him inside, jumping slightly when the door slammed shut behind him, seemingly of its own accord. He stepped forward to see past the Dark Lord to whoever this Axlar was. The man Gideon saw would have been an imposing sight, if he hadn’t been sat in a large comfy armchair with what looked to be knitting needles in his hands. He appeared to be knitting a…. a light blue cardigan? Gideon couldn’t be sure, but whatever it was it was a confusing sight to behold.

 

He was large and broad shouldered, with dark brown hair and dull, cold blue eyes. The man seemed vaguely familiar to Gideon but he couldn’t place where it was he had seen him before. The name rang a bell with him too but why escaped him. His scent alone told the Alpha that this man was a werewolf but Gideon had never known a werewolf to have the patience or the inclination to knit. It wasn’t a hobby that was associated with the species in general.

 

“This is a joke right?” Gideon asked, turning his head to stare at Voldemort incredulously. He couldn’t believe that this werewolf would be able to help against Fenrir in anyway, not unless the knitting needles doubled as a weapon.

 

“Axlar, this is Gideon, the Alpha I told you about,” Tom said conversationally, as though introducing two dear friends who he thought would get along splendidly. To say the Alpha was sceptical would be an understatement.

 

“Ooh,” Axlar purred happily, looking up with interest as he placed his knitting down with great care on the nearby table. “An Alpha…” Axlar got to his feet and prowled across the room, his head cocked slightly to one side as though it would help him figure out more about the other werewolf.

 

Axlar started to circle around them, but as he reached Gideon he cocked his head to the other side and inhaled deeply. “We are going to have fun… I can go have fun with the Alpha, right?” he asked Tom, who chuckled in amusement.

 

Gideon was somewhat stunned, and confused; he had met some crazy werewolves in his time, hell he might even count himself amongst them, but this was a whole new level of nuts; it was impressive. Axlar moved around in front of the Alpha and opened his mouth; Gideon thought it was supposed to be a smile, but there was no way he could call it that.

 

“I smell silver,” Axlar told him, looking the Alpha up and down and spotting the newly formed hand with psychotic glee.

 

Gideon almost jumped back in alarm when Axlar reached out and took the silver hand in his own, but he could only watch in fascination as the obviously insane werewolf just closed his eyes as his lips morphed into a sickly grin of delight, his skin almost sizzling as it came into contact with the toxic metal. The scent of burning flesh soon reached their nostrils but he never once flinched or showed any sign of discomfort. And soon the Alpha was looking at the Dark Lord with an expression of malicious joy on his face, as though he had been given a wondrous gift, but hadn’t even realised he had wanted it. “He’s perfect,” he said.

 

“Isn’t he?” Tom agreed with the closest thing to affection Gideon had ever seen him wear. “He sought out a werewolf, wanted to be bitten. Such a lust for blood,the things the man did before he was bitten were truly wondrous to behold.” The way Voldemort spoke about this man was in awe and admiration. Whatever Axlar had done must have been truly horrendous.  The werewolf in question just stood before them with his chest puffed out in pride as his watched his injured hand heal itself before their eyes.

 

“He’ll make a fine addition to the pack, my Lord,” Gideon said with a manic grin on his face. He couldn’t wait to take Axlar back to meet the others, he’d make them stronger that was for sure.

 

“There will be others to join you soon enough,” Tom said sounding close to being bored, never a good sign. “Perhaps it would be prudent to send one of the weaker members into Greyback’s pack to gather information. It would be unfortunate for you to be beaten by him again. You should know, Gideon, that I do not like failure; if you were to fail me again you would not live to do so a third time.”

 

“Yes, My lord,” Gideon said with a stiff bow to Voldemort who sneered at the two wolves in front of him. “Come Axlar, we must head back to the pack.”

 

“Yes, my Alpha,” Axlar said eagerly, following behind Gideon, but not before taking his knitting, shrinking it down and putting it in his pocket.

 

“Can I ask, what is with the knitting?” Gideon asked as they walked away, heading for the apparition point outside of Malfoy Manor.

 

“My grandmother taught me,” Axlar said. “She raised me, now I knit things for her.”

 

“Oh, how … lovely,” Gideon said, not understand how the werewolf could show such sentimentality and yet be the way he was.

 

“She did so appreciate the cardigans,” Axlar told him, and he sounded as though he was reminiscing over a fond memory.

 

“Did?” Gideon asked, confused about why Axlar would continue to make cardigans now, if his beloved Grandmother was dead and gone.

 

“Before I killed her.”

 

Okay, that was something Gideon hadn’t seen coming; although, in retrospect he supposed he probably should have. “You killed her?” he asked, admittedly curious about this bizarre man, who he just couldn’t make heads or tails of.

 

“Oh yes, she was my first,” Axlar told him with obvious pride.

 

“Your first…?” Gideon didn’t quite know what to say to that and he found himself reluctantly impressed, that was definitely the kind of heartless killer who would give the pack the strength they needed; it also reminded him never to trust the new pack member, though. “How many have you killed?”

 

“I lost count after twenty seven. She was a screamer,” Axlar said with a fond smile on his face, “Almost had to cut her eyelids off.”

 

“Excuse me?” Gideon was startled and baffled by that statement. He actually stopped walking and blinked in Axlar‘s direction a couple of times before he felt ready to start walking again.

 

“She wouldn’t hold still for me to put the glue on,” Axlar explained as though it was the most obvious thing in the world, oblivious to Gideon’s surprise and confusion.

 

“Glue?”

 

“Yes, Alpha,” Axlar confirmed. “I like them to look at me when I kill them. There is no greater pleasure than to watch the life fade from a woman’s eyes, it’s even better if you’re still inside her too, fucking her as you plunge a knife in her belly.”

 

Gideon looked at Axlar with renewed interest, he was going to have a lot of fun with this new recruit, he could tell that already. “I think you’ll fit in with us just fine, Axlar.”

 

“Thank you, my Alpha.”

 

FGHP

 

It had been less than a day; a long and agonising day, granted, but still only twelve hours had passed, and Fenrir was still unconscious. After the initial panic the entire pack had calmed considerably; most of them had managed to get a decent amount of sleep and now almost everyone was up and about. They had prepared and eaten a meal, and Lukas had kept himself busy by ensuring that no-one went for more than half an hour without a fresh cup of tea. The mood, however, was dour and felt like something that might be found in a graveyard.

 

Unlike his pack brothers and sisters, Harry hadn’t moved, stubbornly refusing to be moved from the Alpha’s side; whether he was sleeping or simply laying there wide awake, he wouldn’t shift an inch. He wouldn’t eat or drink anything, and the pack was more than a little concerned as none of them could remember the last time the teen had accepted food; they were fairly sure he hadn’t had anything the day before either. But no amount of coaxing or convincing seemed to initiate anything other than a low growl of warning from the young pup. He didn’t want anyone near his mate.

 

Damon could understand Harry’s reluctance to leave the Alpha; the two of them seemed to have bonded over the incident with the strays, which was the only silver lining, so to speak, the Beta wolf could see. Damon suspected that a lot of it was guilt on Harry’s part, and rightfully so, he thought in his more bitter moments, but Harry was still just fifteen, and scared fifteen years old boys could be relied on to do stupid things. He knew he would have to talk to him soon; Harry would hate him for it, he was sure but they needed to deal with Harry’s issues before it really did get someone killed.

 

For the moment, however, is primary concern was that the young pup would grow weak if he continued to refused to take sustenance of any kind; they at least needed him to drink something. Fenrir wouldn’t be in anyway happy to find Harry starving and weak when he awoke; Damon was determined to say when and not if. He would stay optimistic; they were all trying to stay optimistic.

 

Once awake, Clayton had begun to profusely apologise to Romy who had barely spoken a word since witnessing Harry and Clay’s fight. He had literally got down on his knees, following her around the clearing, grovelling, until she had forcefully dragged him back to his feet, hugged him and told him to stop being so ridiculous. Jenson had watched the exchange with a keen eye, he didn’t like the teenage boy anywhere near his daughter, particularly not since Clay and Harry had reduced her to hysterical tears in the early hours of the morning.

 

Callie had tried to get Jenson to ease up on their daughter a little, but, with the strays being the ones who had hurt her all those years ago, he was feeling extra protective of her. Every time he looked at her he could still see the little blood covered girl he had stumbled into the territory with all those year ago and it made him want to hide her away from the world, dreading the day it might try to hurt her again; he knew his heart wouldn’t be able to handle that. He just loved her so much. He felt as if he needed to explain this to the rest of them, they needed to know exactly what they were dealing with when it came to these strays.

 

Micha was reeling with his own mixed up emotions having found it rather odd to wake up to find Damon’s protective arm around him; though it had felt it odd he had also discovered that he had actually rather liked it. He also appreciated the fact that he had been cleaned of blood and was in a fresh set of clothes too. He hadn’t expected any of it; it wasn’t something that would have been done in his old pack, they just hadn’t taken care of each other in that way. He was beginning to learn that every pack was different and it all depended on the members of the pack and the Alpha in charge.

 

Since waking up snuggled up to the Beta wolf, Micha had stuck close by him, seeking comfort in his warmth and presence, something that Damon had been more than happy to oblige the younger wolf with. Micha had been through a lot the previous night and it wasn’t surprising that he was feeling a little delicate and vulnerable. Damon certainly didn’t mind having him as a little shadow that just wanted to be protected for a little while.

 

“Damon,” Callie said, approaching her brother cautiously. The Beta wolf was back in front of the fire, his eyes on Harry and Fenrir with Micha tucked under one arm.

 

“Yeah,” he asked, turning to look at his sister, having been shaken out of his thoughts.

 

“I need to check on the Alpha, make sure his wounds are healing and are clear of infection. I can’t do that with Harry there, and he shouldn’t see the damage…”

 

Damon sighed, realising that she was right but dreading it. Harry wasn’t going to be moved easily. “Alright, I guess now is as good a time as any,” the Beta Wolf said, resigning himself to the fact that he would have to get up, which was such a shame, he had been so comfortable in front of the fire with Micha.

 

“I’ll go first,” she said gently, with a hand on Damon's shoulder to stop him just rushing in head first. “He won’t see me as a threat, just be ready to back me up if I need it,” she suggested.

 

Damon nodded his understanding and signalled over for Jenson to join them, thinking that he might need a little help. The two fully grown men stood back and allowed Callie to approach the Alpha and his mate; both Damon and Jenson were prepared to step in at a moment’s notice if need be. Both of them were aware of just how volatile Harry’s temper could be.

 

Clayton, Romy, Micha and Lukas were all looking a little apprehensive when they realised what was about to happen. Everyone knew that it had to be done, it was unavoidable, Fenrir had to be checked over to ensure that he was healing and wasn’t infected, but Harry wasn’t willingly going to be moved anytime soon either. Plus no one could recall when he had last eaten or drunk anything and this way they could hopefully deal with both issues simultaneously, however that didn’t mean it was going to be easy or pain free.

 

“Little one,” Callie said, keeping her voice low and soft, just in case the pup was sleeping. He wasn’t, of course, something that she discovered when glaring green eyes turned on her for daring to come near them; a small growl escaping Harry’s throat as he snuggled against the Alpha’s side, little hands wrapping around Fenrir’s large arm. “I have to look over the Alpha,” she told him gently. “I need to make sure he’s okay, can you let me do that?” She really wanted to do this as easily as possible with the minimum amount of fuss, remaining calm was the key to that.  

 

Mutely, Harry nodded his permission but he remained lying beside Fenrir, watching her carefully. Callie moved closer, kneeling on the opposite side of the Alpha to the one that Harry was lying on and proceeding to unwrap the makeshift bandages. Callie however was hesitant when it came to removing them, biting at her bottom lip as she watched Harry cautiously, their eyes fixed on each other’s warily.

 

“Little one, you shouldn’t see this,” She said gently. “Why don’t you-”

 

“I’m not going anywhere!” Harry snapped, his wide eyes quickly narrowing back to a glare.

 

“You have to eat, Harry,” she said a little more firmly this time. “You haven’t eaten in a couple of days. Even if you don’t want to eat, you need water at the very least.”

 

“No,” Harry said with a snarl.

 

“Little one, please, this isn’t something you should see,” Callie said trying to be reasonable, however she could see now that reasonable wasn’t going to work with Harry this evening. It didn’t matter how nice she was, or how much she tip-toed around him, the pup wasn’t going to be co-operative. If they were going to get him fed and watered then they were going to have to force him. Judging by Harry’s past reactions this wasn’t going to be a simple process.

 

“Stop talking and just fix him, then leave us alone.”

 

This was the last thing Harry said before he felt large, strong arms encircling round his waist and trying to pull him away from Fenrir. He hadn’t been expecting them and his mind, which had been with the strays and their attack on him only moments before, jumped to all the wrong conclusions. In that moment when he was grabbed roughly around the waist he thought that the strays had come for him, that they were going to finish what they started.

 

Determination filled Harry. He wouldn’t be caught by them, he wouldn’t be defenceless, not again, he had to fight them. He needed to get back to his mate no matter what the cost. He opened his mouth and just started screaming, lashing out blindly at anything he could, feeling his nails connecting with skin and digging in. He threw his body in every direction he was able in an attempt to get free, not once stopping his screaming. No one was going to take him away from Fenrir.

 

Damon knew that it had been a mistake to grab Harry the moment that he had started screaming. In that instant Jenson had been by his side to help but even two fully grown werewolves didn’t seem to be enough to hold one fifteen year old pup still, as he thrashed around wildly trying to get free from his captors. It was painfully clear that he wouldn’t be fed food or water in the hysterical state he was in.

 

Clayton cowered by the fire, Romy in his arms physically shaking, with her hands covering her ears against the soul destroying noise that filled their clearing, echoing from Harry's lungs. Lukas too stood well away, protecting the other two pups along with Micha as they watched the battle. No one had expected such a reaction but it was evident that whatever had happened to Harry while he had been with the strays had severely traumatised him.

 

They hadn’t really thought about what must have happened in the woodlands outside their territory and no one had asked; they hadn’t been given the opportunity to ask. All Lukas knew was that before Harry had been caught, the pup had changed his mind and tried to come home, a fact that he had relayed to Damon, who had taken it on board. However there wasn’t much that he could do with the information. Now though it was clear that they probably should have asked the questions, it was obvious that they needed to know just what had happened to Harry to scare him so.

 

Jenson cried out in agony as he got a little too close to the flailing young pup and Harry sunk his teeth into exposed flesh of the older werewolf’s arm. An injury that joined countless scratches and steadily forming bruises as Harry, in his panic, continued to kick and hit the two large men that held him. The two of them struggled valiantly but there seemed to be nothing that either of them could do to calm him.

 

“Let him go,” Callie said weakly having checked the Alpha over as quickly as possible and replaced the bandages; now making a point to stand well back from all of them. “I’m finished,” she told them.

 

Reluctantly Jenson and Damon released the teenager who stopped his screaming almost instantly, dropping to the floor and scuttling back over to Fenrir on his hands and knees; the entire pack could hear him heaving out loud, dry sobs of anguish as he snuggled into the Alpha once again. They all distinctly heard Harry start his whispered apologies and pleading for him not to die once again as they all looked on sadly.

 

Callie assured them that Fenrir was recovering as well as could be expected, all things considered, and then immediately moved on to check over Jenson, who was bleeding from where he had been bitten. Damon had fared a little better, with only scratches and bruises to show from the tussle with Harry but that didn’t stop Micha from rushing over to check him for more serious injuries as well.

 

“He reacted like that with me yesterday,” Clay said with concerned glances at where his best friend was curled up with the Alpha. He kept his arms protectively around Romy who was trembling as she cuddled into him. “What happened to him?” he asked.

 

“Knowing Gideon and the others it wasn’t pleasant,” Jenson said through gritted teeth as Callie used the last of the antibacterial medical wipes to clean the deep punctures on his forearm from Harry’s teeth.

 

“You know them?” Damon asked in surprise as he allowed Micha to fuss over him. None of them had exactly spoken at length about the matter, in fact the incident had barely been discussed further than what had happened to Fenrir. Now it seemed was the time to sit down and talk about it, not having done so was obviously causing problems.

 

“I did, a long time ago,” Jenson said confirmed, casting a wary glance over towards his daughter who had been quite clearly terrified by Harry’s reaction.

 

“I think you need to explain,” Damon said firmly and Jenson nodded his agreement. It was time.

 

With one look from her mate, Callie moved over and took Romy from Clay, settling down beside the fire with her daughter in her arms, Jenson coming over and taking a seat by her side. Damon assured Micha that he was fine, and led him over to a spot where they could sit; he made sure that he had a direct line of sight to the still sobbing Harry and the unconscious Alpha, while still being able to make eye contact with Jenson. Clay came over to his Dad, taking up residence on the other side of him from Micha. Lukas took a seat between the two groups, not really belonging to either.

 

“The strays that attacked Harry… they’re my old pack, the ones I left after they joined with Voldemort,” Jenson explained and instantly Romy stilled, Callie’s arms tightened around her. If Romy hadn’t been terrified before then there was no mistaking or doubting that she was now.

 

“No, no no...” she said, her voice soft and barely audible, trembling at the mention of them as she remembered what that had done, what they had planned to do if Jenson hadn’t have saved her. “Are they…? Are they... here for me?”

 

Even Clayton let out a protective growl at the thought of anyone hurting Romy, something that didn’t go unnoticed by the other members of the pack. Callie remembered all too clearly the night that Jenson had arrived in the clearing with the half dead little girl in his arms, practically begging them to save her. It had just been her and the Alpha back then. It had taken many months of healing, mentally as well as physically, plus a lot of talking, to get Romy better and even then she hadn’t wanted to attempt to go in search of her biological family that she had been snatched from. She had felt safe in the pack and it had been her choice to stay.

 

“No,” Jenson said clearly in answer to his daughter’s question, making sure he met her eyes so she would know he spoke the truth. “I don’t know why they were here but they were surprised to see me and they thought you were dead. They aren’t here for you, sweet girl,” he said to his daughter comfortingly, resting a comforting hand on her cheek, which she leaned into.

 

“No one will touch her anyway,” Clayton growled fiercely.

 

“Agreed,” Damon said, “But that still begs the question, why are they here?”

 

“They were pretty fixated on Harry,” Micha said, in a rather shaky voice as he pictured how they had had Harry vastly outnumbered and pinned to the tree, “when we arrived …” he tried to go on, but his voice trailed off, shuffling a little closer to Damon who wrapped an arm over his shoulders, holding him tightly in comfort.

 

“It’s okay, Micha,” Jenson said reassuringly, not wanting the younger wolf to have to relive it again by telling the rest of the group what had happened. It was his job to recount the story. “When we arrived, they had a knife up to Harry’s groin,” Jenson explained, “as if they were going to…” He didn’t need to finish that sentence. Everyone knew what the strays would have been about to do. Even Romy, one of the most innocent of them all, had a good general idea.

 

“Whatever was done to him, it’s freaked him out. I’ve never seen him like this before,” Clayton said, casting a glance over to where his best friend was lying very still beside the unconscious Alpha male, crying.

 

“If he hadn’t shouted out...,” Jenson said, shaking his head sadly. “His screams, they were so frightened, but at least they lead us right to him,” he explained, dreading to think what might have happened if Harry had been unable to call out.

 

“He is clearly traumatised and as much as we all hate that, there is probably nothing we can do about that right now,” Damon told them, “what I am really worried about is getting him to eat or drink something. He can’t carry on like this for much longer.”

 

“I’m worried he’ll get sick if he doesn’t, and if that happens then…” Callie said, her voice trailing off for a moment before she found the courage to say what she knew none of them would want to hear, “...then we will have no choice but to tear him away from the Alpha, even if it means stunning him.”

 

“You can’t,” Clay pleaded, looking horrified at that idea.

 

“If Harry gets sick, he could give Fenrir an infection,” Callie tried to explain to her nephew, “and at this point, if the Alpha gets an infection it could kill him."

 

Clay bit his lip, knowing that they were right but he had hated seeing Harry so broken and the idea that they would stun him, just seemed… wrong. “He’s just scared… please,” he begged, turning to look at his Dad, “…let me try first.”

 

“Clayton, the last time we left the two of you alone together you ended up punching each other! What makes you think that it’s a good idea for you to go anywhere near Harry right now?” Damon asked sceptically.

 

“Because he’s still my best friend,” Clayton said defensively, “I promise, no more fist fights… this week at least,” he added under his breath, and while Damon heard him he didn’t comment on it. “Just please let me try,” Clay said with his most pleading expression.

 

Damon frowned at his adoptive son; he was sure that everything would go a lot smoother if they could actually manage to get Harry to eat and drink willingly, rather than having to resort to stunning him and forcing it down his throat. They wanted, needed even, for Harry to trust them, for him to become a fully-fledged member of the pack. That was never going to happen if they had to use such extreme measures to keep him nourished, and he dreaded to think what Fenrir would say about such treatment of his mate, even if it was to potentially save his own life. Equally they weren’t going to let him pass out from lack of nutrition either.

 

“Alright,” Damon said with a resigned sigh, it had to be worth a try. “You have one chance,” he said sternly holding up his index finger to emphasis the point. “If there is ANY hint of either of you starting a fight, especially around the Alpha, then there will be hell to pay. Do you understand me, Clayton?!”

 

Clay nodded his understanding moving to sit up from where he had been leaning against his Dad; he could hear how serious he was on this matter. Though, it wasn’t exactly as if he liked fighting with Harry, it just seemed to happen a lot recently. Getting to his feet, under the watchful eyes of the rest of the pack, he grabbed one of the bottles that contained the fresh drinking water.

 

He took a steadying breath and tentatively made his way towards his best friend and the packs Alpha. After Harry’s display a few moments before he wasn’t going to take any chances and ensured that he kept a safe distance away from the teenager, going a bit of a long way around to make sure he was within Harry’s eye line. He knew he couldn’t let this go wrong, especially seeing as he knew how low they were running on medical supplies now. He didn’t want to end up getting bitten like Jenson had.

 

“Harry…?” Clay said softly, trying to meet Harry’s eyes, not wanting to startle his clearly distressed best friend.

 

“Leave us alone,” Harry said, however his voice was neither challenging nor violent anymore, it was hopeless and defeated. It made Clay’s heart ache to hear his strong, stubborn friend sound as if he was on the brink of simply giving up.

 

“I will,” he promised, settling himself down on the grass a few feet away from the Alpha and his rather protective mate, his brain calculating what he thought might be a safe distance. “But…” he added, “Before I go, I want you to do something for me first.”

 

“Just leave Clay, please,” Harry pleaded desperately.

 

“Drink some of this and I’ll leave you alone,” Clay said, “alternatively I can sit here and talk your ear off until you give in and just drink the water anyway. You know me, Harry, I’d do it too and we both know which one of us is more stubborn. So what are you going to do?”

 

“Give me the damn bottle,” Harry said grumpily, but Clay thought there was a hint of amusement on his friend’s face. Harry let out a sigh as he sat up a little and glared at his best friend, who gave him a triumphant and slightly smug grin as he offered over the water bottle.

 

The rest of the pack watched on, in impressed amazement as Harry sat up a little and accepted the bottle from Clayton, even taking a swig before lying back down against the Alpha’s side. Damon was surprised that it had been so quick and easy. Triumphantly Clay returned to the group a few minutes later looking rather smug with his achievement. He had left the bottle of water with Harry, encouraging him to keep drinking until the bottle was empty or he’d come back and make good on his promise to talk his ear off. They had been friends for far too long for Harry to doubt him.

 

“How did you do that?” Romy asked curiously from her place in her mother’s lap.

 

Clayton smiled at her. “I told him I’d stay exactly where I was and not stop talking to him until he drank something.”

 

Romy scoffed a little at this. “No wonder he gave in so quickly, I would have done as well with that threat.” At her laugh, Clay poking his tongue out at her; it was almost like normalcy had returned to the clearing. However things were hardly normal but at least Harry had had some water, which was something at least. They still had the problem with running out of supplies and of course the strays that were still lurking around, presumably trying to get Harry, though they couldn’t be sure on that.

 

“We need supplies,” Damon said, mostly to Jenson, who seemed to have automatically fallen into the role of acting Beta.

 

“I can pick some up when I go to my house to work tomorrow,” Lukas suggested casually, clearly thinking it was no big deal.

 

“You are NOT going to leave the territory!” Damon snapped at him instantly.

 

“It’s okay,” Micha piped up, “I’ll go with him, we’ll keep each other safe.”

 

“Absolutely NOT!” Damon said furiously and with stubborn determination; he had ignored his instincts about letting Micha out of the territory once, and he would not be doing that again anytime soon.

 

“I have to work tomorrow,” Lukas said carefully, “I’ll be careful and I can get the supplies that we need without any hassle. I’m happy to go alone or take someone with me but I do have to go.”

 

“No,” Damon said again, more firm this time, “If you need to work you will bring it here. You and ….” Damon surveyed his pack. He needed his best fighters here to protect the injured Alpha and the pups. He knew that he couldn’t send Lukas alone, Jenson was the best fighter of the pack, after Fenrir, and would have to stay put too. There was no question of sending Micha, he had been through too much and needed to rest. His only other option was Callie, she would at least know what they needed in the way of medical supplies but he was loathed to send his little sister away where he couldn’t protect her but they really did desperately need supplies.

 

“Callie … you’ll have to go with him,” Damon told her, shaking his head in disbelief that he was even considering this. “If you are gone any longer than two hours I will have to send people looking for you. Don’t make me do that.”

 

“We’ll leave first thing in the morning,” Callie said and she had to put a reassuring hand on Jenson’s shoulder; he was even less happy about her going than Damon was.

 

“Why can’t Micha go instead?” Jenson challenged, he didn’t want his mate leaving to go on a run for supplies when things were so precarious for them. The thought of not being able to protect her terrified him.

 

“Micha has been through enough,” Damon said sternly, he understood Jenson’s concern, but right now he was the acting Alpha and they would abide by his decision on the matter. “I need you here to help me fight if it comes to it,” he explained. “Callie knows what we need and she’ll have Lukas with her. You know it makes sense Jenson,” Damon said, hating that he was being forced to explain his thought process to the acting Beta wolf. What they didn’t need right now was a fight for dominance, it was something they had to avoid at all costs.

 

“Fine,” Jenson said in a huff. “But I don’t like it.” He flung an arm around Callie and grew her close to him, dragging Romy into him too where both of them got a kiss to the temple as he gathered them into him.

 

Damon could only look at him apologetically. He hated doing it and would have much rather have gone himself but he couldn’t risk leaving. He needed to watch over the pups and defend the territory. With Fenrir unable to fight he and Jenson were the two best fighters the pack had, it was a stretch letting Lukas go as it was but he couldn’t risk sending anyone anywhere alone.

 

“I really could go,” Micha said in barely more than a whisper from where he was still tucked into Damon’s side.

 

“Do NOT argue with me on this, Micha,” he said in the firmest voice he could manage.

 

“I’m not weak, you know, I could go,” Micha said a bit grumpily, tired of being treated like one of the pups, he was four years older than Lukas even; so what if he didn’t always act like it.

 

“Micha,” Damon growled in warning. It was enough that Micha didn’t say another word on the matter, though he was distinctly annoyed that he wasn’t thought capable about going on a simple run for supplies. The Alpha had taken him once and he’d loved it. Fenrir would have let him go. He didn’t understand why Damon wouldn’t even consider it but would let his frail sister go in his place.

 

Micha had never understood the thought processes that went into the decisions the Alpha and Beta wolf made. Having grown up in a pack as the youngest of two brothers he had been mollycoddled by his mother far too much. When his eldest brother had challenged their Alpha, Micha had been forced to pick a side. He had of course aligned himself with his brother, believing him strong enough to defeat their current Alpha, he had been wrong however. His two brothers, father and mother had all been killed in that fight for dominance and although his life had been spared he had been exiled from his pack. The Alpha wolf had known that Micha was no threat as a submissive and had doubted that he would survive on his own.

 

The twenty five year old had been fortunate, after escaping an attempted recruitment by deatheaters, that he had been found by Fenrir and accepted into the pack. If he hadn’t have been that lucky then he probably wouldn’t have survived, just as his first Alpha had predicted.

 

FGHP

 

Hogwarts in general was getting to Draco, he felt like the whole term so far had been nothing but a waste of time. He wasn’t learning much in his lessons, he was fed up with his so called friends, and that monstrosity of a cabinet in that implausible room was driving him to distraction. He had decided he needed to get away from the place for a couple of days. He needed to see his mother, and properly meet his baby brother, Brax. He hoped that it would be suitable motivation to encourage him to keep going no matter how hopeless it seemed.

 

The trouble was that students were not usually permitted to return home during term time except under extraordinary circumstances and he didn’t think that ‘I need a break from pretending to help Voldemort’ would really fly with the Headmaster. Given his family’s well known associations with the Dark Lord and his cronies he couldn’t imagine Dumbledore agreeing to give him a leave of absence under any conditions, in all honesty, not without expecting something in return. He didn’t want to owe the headmaster anything.

 

This left him with the rather distasteful option of talking to Umbridge and her two shadow goons; to convince them that he should be allowed to go home for the weekend. He assumed that this would be an easier task than asking the headmaster directly. He had to be able to convince them , however, and if he had to tell them he had to see Voldemort to get the permission he needed, then that was what he was prepared to do.

 

The Dark Lord’s presence in Malfoy Manor meant that he wouldn’t be able to go home without updating him on his progress so far; if he wanted to survive that encounter then he would have to be able to present his term so far in a more favourable light than he viewed it. He was under no delusion about the Carrows; he was sure they would have been sneaking Voldemort snippets of information on him. He could feel them watching every move that he made, making Draco feel rather trapped. It was the whole reason he had been struggling with the cabinet so much. It wasn’t often that he found the opportunity to sneak away without drawing attention to himself.

 

“Madam Umbridge,” Draco called out in a polite tone as he saw her leaving the Great Hall with the Carrow siblings in tow. She never seemed to go anywhere without them; it had been made clear that, unless it involved the blood quill, she didn’t like getting her hands dirty.

 

The odious woman turned at the sound of her name being called, the sickly sweet smile gracing overly pink lips. “May I help you, young man?” she asked curiously and Draco couldn’t help but appreciate just how much like a toad she was. Everything about her repulsed him, from her painted lips and her bright pink clothing, to her sickly sweet perfume that she wore far too much of.

 

The Carrow siblings had taken up their usual positions either side of her and surveyed Draco with interest, but he made no move even acknowledge their presence, the Deatheaters were of no concern of his. “I was hoping that I might ask something of you, Madam Umbridge.”

 

“You may ask,” she said keeping her sugary tone in her voice as she gave him the once over. All she knew about the boy was his name and the fact that he had kept his head down, got on with his school work and managed to slip under the radar so far this year. She was yet to make up her mind about whether or not she approved.

 

“I am not sure if you are aware, but my parents are playing host to a rather special guest currently,” he said pointedly, letting the Carrow’s know exactly who it was that he meant. “I was hoping that I might get permission to go home this weekend so that I might see him.”

 

The Carrows looked to each other and then back to Draco, who knew that as thick as they were they had understood the subtle undertones of his request. Umbridge, however, was oblivious and looked at him disapprovingly, ready to deny his request with a sickly smile of satisfaction. She did so love to dash the hopes of students.

 

“I am sure that you are aware that only under extraordinary circumstances…” she started to say, but the female Carrow leaned forward and whispered something, that Draco didn’t catch, in Umbridge’s ear; her smile quickly turned more into a grimace and her eyes narrowed. “Fine,” she snapped, her voice becoming higher pitched, and irritable, and Draco had to resist flinching. “I think that we can arrange for you to go home for the weekend, given your… circumstances.”

 

Clearly she was displeased at being denied the joy of saying no. Draco was acutely aware that her mood would no doubt be unleashed on some unsuspected student, who had done likely done little or nothing wrong, but he couldn’t find it in himself to care. He had got exactly what he wanted, he would be going home to see his mother and Brax. Of course he would also have to see the Dark Lord but he could cope with that, he hoped.

 

Draco plastered what he hoped was a grateful smile on his face, as though the woman had done him a great kindness in permitting the weekend to go home. “I really appreciate, that, thank you,” he said, giving her a small, courteous bow, during which he sneered his disgust, but by the time he was standing facing them again, he was smiling pleasantly once more.

 

He made a hasty exit from the Great Hall at that point, trying to not look too pleased with himself. He really didn’t much care that Umbridge obviously disapproved, nor did he care what her thoughts on why he needed to go home for the weekend were. He couldn’t even be bothered to give a second thought to what the Carrows might have told her to sway her opinion on the matter. All that was important to him now, was that he would be able to go home; he would be able to spend some time with his mother and brother, and that was even worth the meeting he would have to have with the Dark Lord.

 

He now had two days, in which time he needed to have a damn good explanation of what he had achieved to further the Dark Lord’s mission; the truth was absolutely nothing, but somehow Draco suspected that wasn’t what Lord Voldemort would want to hear. If he were to avoid the cruciatus curse he would have to present something of interest to the Dark Lord and as of right now he had no idea what that might be.

 

FGHP

 

No one was fully at ease when Gideon had returned to his pack, after his meeting with Voldemort, with a new member, who seemed a little unhinged. Russ had taken an instant dislike to the large, brutish man, who he saw as replacing his brother. Roderic’s grave was still fresh and he hated Gideon for bringing someone new into the pack so soon.

 

Axlar seemed not to care, or even be remotely interested, about any of them; he had sat down against the trunk of a tree, taken out his knitting and quite happily just sat there casting on and adding in more stitches. The other werewolves looking at him as if he were deranged; they had no idea how close to the truth they were.

 

Dean and Jack had been fascinated by the new hand that Voldemort had gifted Gideon with. They couldn’t stand to touch it without feeling pain, as the silver burnt their skin, and they were in awe of their Alpha for being able to have it attached to his body, delighted when Gideon swore he would strangle the life out of Jenson with it.

 

Gideon didn’t see any reason to tell them that it wouldn’t do him any damage unless he refused to follow the orders of the Dark Lord, as far as he was concerned it was no-one’s business but his and the Dark Lord’s. He would have no one think him under anyone’s control. He would ensure his pack knew him to be strong and resilient, and if they were foolish enough to believe his strength was even against silver, then that was on them. It was at least clear that his position as Alpha was no longer under threat.

 

The injuries that the others had suffered were healing nicely but they still had a long way to go before they were restored to their full strength, as individuals, let alone as a pack. Gideon knew that their task, to capture Greyback and his little whore, wasn’t going to be achieved overnight. They had to await numbers to come to them, they would gather intelligence with the new recruit that Voldemort had promised, one that would infiltrate Greyback’s pack. They would bide their time before they attacked.

 

“Look at him,” Dean sneered to Russ as they all stood around their little camp fire, warming their hands; the two of them were glaring at the new pack member who was still rather absorbed in his knitting, paying no one any attention. “I doubt he’s even a werewolf!”

 

Jack was sat a little way from the group; he had suffered several more beatings as each of the werewolves proved their strength had not been broken or impinged by the attack, and now he was simply glad that he was finally being given the chance to heal his own injuries. He wasn’t going to risk drawing attention to himself for a while and so he just kept quiet, watching, observing but not saying a word. Gideon, on the other hand, smirked when he heard Dean’s words.

 

The Alpha had been wondering when this would happen. It was par for the course, when a new werewolf joined a pack, that eventually a fight for dominance and position would ensue; but this was sooner than he had anticipated. The Alpha looked between the new recruit and the current Beta wolf wondering who would stand victorious if it came down to a fight. He knew whom he would have preferred as his second in command. He needed the strongest, he needed the best.

 

Axlar put down his knitting project calmly and precisely, after finishing his current row, and stood up. He was at least six foot four, which put him at about four inches taller than Dean. There was no denying that Axlar was a foreboding man; his dull blue eyes were cold and calculating as he walked up to Dean with a sickly grin on his face.

 

“Problem?” Axlar asked, almost politely, and Dean glared at him.

 

Russ, who had no interest in this man nor the fight for dominance that was to ensue, took a step backwards, allowing the two wolves space. It wasn’t the position of Beta wolf he was after. He didn’t even want to be Alpha anymore, not now that Gideon had regained a hand of sorts and proved himself to be a worthy and strong leader.

 

“Yeah, there’s a problem,” Dean said with a growl. “What kind of wolf likes to fucking knit baby booties?”

 

Surprisingly Axlar said nothing, he simply turned to look at Gideon as if seeking permission. The Alpha nodded his approval. “Just don’t kill him, we need the numbers,” he said with a dismissive wave of his hand. Dean didn’t even have time to look confused before he was forcefully grabbed by the large hands that belonged to Axlar and thrown thirty feet across the forest, into the trunk of a tree, as though he weighed nothing.

 

Dean groaned with pain, having jarred his still recovering shoulder, but before he could regain himself, a weight bore down on top of him. Instantly Dean tried to throw a punch, to get the great oaf off him but Axlar’s weight was too much, larger and heavier than the current Beta wolf, who could find no purchase. In seconds teeth were at his throat, clamping down on soft flesh, drawing blood.

 

It was a mark of dominance, Dean wouldn’t have to submit to the other wolf now; Axlar had staked his claim and proven that he was dominant to Dean, and, doing so, taken his place as the Beta wolf of the pack. Gideon had watched the exchange with glee, happy that the delightfully psychotic new pack member had proven himself adequate to be his second in command.

 

Mere moments after the rather lacklustre tussle between the two wolves was over, a slow, monotonous clapping came to their attention. Everyone was instantly on alert as they looked around for the source of the sound. They believed that they could potentially be under attack and all of them tensed, ready to defend themselves and their pack if it came to it. When a young man came into view, clearly having disillusioned himself, they all looked surprised but none of them relaxed. They weren’t going to be caught off guard again.

 

“What a disappointing display,” he drawled as if bored. “Especially from a werewolf of your calibre,” the stranger said addressing Axlar who seemed pleased to have received the compliment.

 

Gideon, who was not one to be ignored, had crossed the distance between himself and the strange wolf in a second, clasping the man's throat with his left hand. He wanted to choke the life out of the clearly cocky and arrogant young man but he refrained, needing answers more than he needed another body on his hands. “Who are you?” the Alpha wolf demanded.

 

“Begging your pardon, my Alpha, I didn’t mean to be rude,” the handsome young man said with a charming smile. “Harlan Cobain, the Dark Lord sent me.” Gideon released his hold, surveying Harlan with interest. “He said I’d be going behind enemy lines so to speak.”

 

“I’ll be the judge of that,” Gideon snarled as he released Harlan and turned back to his pack. Axlar, not perceiving the new werewolf to be a threat had resumed his knitting, Russ had taken a seat by the camp fire, staring into the flames, brooding, as he had done every day since his brother had died. Dean was sulking, clearly in a foul mood after not only having his position in the pack challenged but then also being so easily defeated. Gideon watched curiously as Harlan walked confidently over to where Axlar was sitting and took a seat beside him.

 

“I’m a big fan of your work,” the newcomer said with a wide, charming grin. The unhinged wolf turned to look at the man that was now invading his personal space and cocked his head to one side, looking at him curiously but not saying a word. “All those women,” Harlan sighed as if yearning for a taste of them himself, “They must have been great fun.”

 

“Some more than others,” Axlar replied with a sickening grin. All ears were on the two of them now, especially Jack who lapped up the conversation with silent enthusiasm. He wasn’t stupid, he could see the foul mood that Dean was in and knew that he’d get the brunt of it if he made his presence known.

 

“I heard you super glued their eyes open,” Harlan said almost excitedly, igniting a spark of joy in Axlar’s cold eyes as if he were remembering fondly, “I highly respect that.”

 

Gideon had to admit that Voldemort certainly had a talent for finding slightly unbalanced werewolves. He looked to the handsome young man with his light brown hair and sage green eyes and snorted as the thought crossed his mind that the boy, who was clearly the youngest of the group, could have looked right at home on the cover of a romance novel.

 

With the addition of Harlan to their numbers their pack had increased in size to six. They still needed time to heal, to bond and to prepare but they were well on their way to becoming strong enough to take down the Greyback pack. Then they would take him and his little whore to the Dark Lord. However, not before they had their fun with the others, even if they couldn’t harm the submissive.

 

FGHP

 

Dumbledore had been most displeased to hear that Umbridge had approved Draco Malfoy for a weekend visit to his see his parents. Did the boy think him a fool? Surely it was obvious that there was more on the agenda than a simple family reunion. However, he had to admit that the Malfoy child seemed decidedly uneasy when he stepped into the headmaster’s office.

 

The headmaster felt a certain amount of vindictive glee that, whatever plot or scheme the boy had got himself mixed up in, it was not pressing lightly upon his conscience. Of course, he was curious; it was not Tom’s style to send fifteen year olds off to do his business, he had far too many other more… experienced servants for such things.

 

However, there was so little to be done on the matter at the moment, given that Draco wouldn’t even be present in the school for the next couple of days, and as such he set aside such thoughts and suspicions for later examination.

 

“Hurry along now, Mr Malfoy,” the headmaster encouraged, dropping a small handful of floo powder into the teenager’s hand. “We wouldn’t want to keep… your parents waiting.”

 

The blonde’s attempt to restrain a scowl was admittedly rather amusing but Dumbledore had other business to attend to and found he had little patience for the boy’s dilly dallying. As such it was a relief to see him vanish in a flash of green flames, leaving the headmaster alone in his office once more.

 

“Now, onto some serious matters, don’t you think, Fawkes,” he said to his phoenix. Since his discovery of the Resurrection Stone, his interest in the Deathly Hallows had taken on a fever the likes of which he not felt in half a century; he was so close, and there was just one final piece to collect. He would have it for himself, but that would mean retrieving it from Lupin; Dumbledore just had a feeling the man would be less than willing to be parted from James Potter’s most precious of items, but he would see it done.

 

Determination flooded through him, as memories of his youthful quest for the legendary items rejuvenated him. He grabbed a handful of floo powder for himself and stepping into the fireplace, with a call of “Twelve Grimmauld Place,” he disappeared from the room, much as the Malfoy boy had done, only moments earlier.

 

FGHP

 

Three days had passed since the attack and Callie was pleased with the progress that Fenrir had made; however, he was still healing and he was still unconscious, which added to the mounting anxiety in the territory as they all continued to fear for his life. They had not even attempted to remove Harry from the Alpha’s side again,  not even when Callie did her checks, fearing that they would undo the small progress they had made with the pup. He was consuming water now, but had yet to leave Fenrir’s side and was adamantly refusing to eat, claiming that he just wasn’t hungry.

 

Each and every member of the pack was worried for Harry; they could see him growing weaker by the day and it scared them. No one knew what to do with him though. He still wouldn’t talk to them and he was still distrusting of Callie after what had happened the first time she had checked Fenrir over, though he continued to allow it of her, even if it was only to keep his mate alive. Logically he knew that she was the only one who could ensure that Fenrir would live.

 

He wouldn’t talk about what had happened to him with the strays, despite various pack members trying to coax information out of him. Even Clay, who had been the one to finally get him to at least accept water, couldn’t convince him to eat or talk. Harry just wanted to be left alone with the Alpha. They all worried what would happen to Harry, and if he would be able to cope at all, if Fenrir didn’t make it, but that was something none of them wanted to discuss.

 

It was Lukas who finally came up with an idea to help Harry. Flushed with the success of an uneventful trip into town with Callie to gather supplies, he had decided to tackle the problem with the uncooperative pup head on. He cared too much for the little one to see him slowly killing himself like this. He knew that forcing Harry or tricking him wasn’t going to help in the long run even though it might have done in the short term.

 

What they needed was for Harry to accept that he was hurting himself, and potentially the Alpha, and to get him to care about that. Lukas discussed it with Damon, who was happy to try anything at this point. The Beta was clearly stressed by the additional responsibilities that had fallen on his shoulders, a state that wasn’t helped any by his worries for Harry and Fenrir.

 

So this was why, just as Callie was starting to cook lunch with Romy's help, Lukas decided it was time. He approached Harry and Fenrir with caution, hoping that he wouldn’t be seen as a threat. He mirrored what Clay had done a few evenings previously, keeping a safe distance and remaining in Harry’s eye line at all times so that the pup could see him coming and wouldn’t be startled by his sudden presence. He settled himself a little closer than Clayton had dared to, refusing to be scared of the fifteen year old.

 

“Go away,” Lukas heard Harry growl, his voice low and hostile.

 

None of the others even looked up from what they had been doing. Damon was the only one who was aware of what Lukas was planning and was now watched them eagerly as he realised what Lukas was doing. Micha had been dozing in his lap but the acting Alpha now placed him gently down on some blankets near the fire, just in case Harry lost it again. Despite now having the supplies they needed, he still didn’t want to have to deal with anymore injuries, no matter how minor.

 

“I’m not going anywhere, little one,” Lukas said gently. “I want to talk to you, I miss our chats.”

 

Harry simply glared at him thinking that this wasn’t really the time to be discussing Arithmancy or, in fact anything intellectual. He just wanted to curl up against his mate and be left alone. He couldn’t’ understand why the others were so keen to get him to move, to eat, to do anything that involved taking him away from Fenrir. He didn’t want to go anywhere until his mate was better.

 

“Don’t want to talk,” Harry grunted. He seemed to be channelling Fenrir rather well with his lacking conversation skills as of late. Lukas might have found it rather amusing if the situation hadn’t been so dire.

 

"Then don't talk, little one, just listen," Lukas said.  “You said that we were friends and I assume that that means you trust me and know that I wouldn’t lie to you.” Lukas waited patiently for the pup to acknowledge this, watching Harry very carefully until he finally gave a small nod of his head.

 

“This may not be something you want to hear, little one, but I wouldn’t tell you unless you needed to hear it.” Taking a deep breath Lukas prepared himself for the fallout for what he was about to say, glad that at least they had supplies if Harry lost his temper and ended up biting someone again. “If you carry on the way you’re going you’ll make yourself sick. If that happens you could pass on an infection to the Alpha, which could kill him. Do you understand, little one?”

 

Harry looked at him fearfully, wide green eyes watering, and Lukas felt a stab of guilt in his chest; he hadn’t meant to upset the teenager. He had thought that he would be facing a distressed, emotionally charged and angry young man, however Harry just seemed lost and terrified, a small hand clutched tightly at the large bicep of the Alpha wolf in panic at the mention of him not making it.

 

“I don’t …” Harry started to say before he lost the battle to hold back his emotions and his tears began to fall.

 

“Harry …” Lukas said apologetically, “please, let us help you.”

 

Mutely Harry gave a small nod, cuddling up against the Alpha, his tears running silently down his cheeks and on to Fenrir’s large chest. Harry already felt so guilty for being the reason that Fenrir was in this state in the first place.  He couldn't be the reason he died too.

 

“Will you talk to me?” Lukas asked, hesitantly, knowing it was a lot to expect of the pup. “Or anyone? We’re worried about you,” he added.

 

Harry suddenly flinched away from him, hiding his head against the Alpha and Lukas thought he could see him trembling slightly. He hated to see the usually head strong teenager in such a state. He needed to find out what had happened to make him this way. Once they got him to open up then they would be able to help him come to terms with it and, with any luck, move on too.

 

"Okay, okay…,” Lukas tried to reassure, unsurprised that he was going to have to take it in small steps. “Will you at least eat something?" he questioned and after a moment of hesitation, Harry gave a small nod of agreement. Considering the young boy hadn’t eaten in days his agreement was a huge step forward.

 

"Here" the teenager insisted softly, "I can't leave him."

 

"I understand that,” Lukas agreed, not particularly surprised by the request. “It won't be a problem to eat here so long as you eat."

 

Harry nodded minutely again; he watched Lukas very carefully for a few moments, as the older werewolf got up, before he rested his head back on Fenrir’s shoulder. “I’ll be good,” Harry whispered to the Alpha, making barely a sound, “I won’t let anything happen to you,” he promised almost silently.

 

Lukas went and informed Callie that, at long last, Harry was finally going to be requiring food, something that made her smile in relief, Romy too. At once they added some more vegetables to the pot over the fire to ensure that they had plenty to go around. If Harry had decided that he was going to eat then they were going to make sure there was plenty to give him. After a few days with nothing they needed to put something in his empty belly.

 

“Thank you, Lukas,” Damon said unexpectedly, approaching Lukas with a grateful look on his face.

 

“Why are you thanking me?” Lukas asked with confusion.

 

“I’m thanking you for whatever you said to Harry that has made him decide to eat. I was considering stunning him, drugging his water, anything. I doubt either of those options would have ended well.”

 

Lukas gave a tired sigh, looking pointedly at the acting Alpha with exasperation, “Harry responds to facts, that is what I gave him. That poor child, because that is what he still is, a child, has been through hell and I don’t think we really appreciate that enough,” he told Damon firmly. “He’s struggling right now but, that night, he tried to come home; he knew he had made a mistake by running again. I can see that he’s blaming himself for what’s happened and I see that you are too, though you’d never say it. Grabbing him the way you did, after he had suffered such a traumatic event… well, let’s just say that I am surprised he didn’t have a full blown meltdown,” Lukas explained, his voice tense and stern.

 

Damon didn’t quite know what to say. Lukas had never spoken to anyone in such a way before, Damon wasn’t sure how to react. To see the twenty-one year old, intellectual werewolf go off on a rant was unlike anything the acting Alpha had ever expected. He wasn’t entirely sure how Fenrir coped with this on a day to day basis but he could sure as hell understand the grumpy moods now he had a brand new perspective.

 

“I’m going to try to talk to him, emphasis on try, though,” Lukas told him, “I’m going to try and get him to open up about what happened while we eat.”

 

Without saying anything else, or allowing Damon time to speak, Lukas turned away and headed back to Harry. He knew that Callie or Romy would bring them their food when it was ready but right now he wanted to try to get Harry to agree to talk to him. Lukas feared that it would take a fair amount of coaxing to get anything out of the teenager.

 

Lukas resumed his seat close to Harry and the Alpha but once again he only made slow movements and ensured that he remained in the teenager's eye line; startling the teen could set them back to square one. He was going to get Harry talking over this meal, he was determined; he hoped that he could get to the bottom of what had traumatised the boy, but knew that might be wishful thinking.

 

“Harry…” Lukas said softly, smiling when green eyes flickered open and met his, “Callie is cooking us some food,” he told him.

 

Lukas said nothing more looking over at where Callie and Romy were working near the fire, giving Harry a few minutes to get comfortable with his presence there.

 

“I know you don’t want to talk, little one,” Lukas said kindly, still not looking in the teen’s direction, “but can I keep talking to you?” he asked, knowing full well that he wouldn’t see if Harry nodded or shook his head. Harry would have to answer him aloud.

 

“O...Okay…” Harry said, his voice a little shaky.

 

“Thanks,” Lukas said, turning back to the younger werewolf with a pleased smile on his face. “You know that I love you like a brother, don’t you, Harry?”

 

Harry nodded again, and even managed to smile at that, “I know,” he whispered, “I… love you like that too,” he added looking a little embarrassed at the admission. “It’s just…” Harry started to say, but seemed to get stuck and was unable to say anymore.

 

“I want to understand, Harry,” Lukas prompted, pleased that Harry was engaging in a conversation with him already. “It might help to talk about it, you know?” he suggested.

 

Harry shook his head, almost in panic, at that. “Harry,” Lukas said sternly and wide green eyes were suddenly focused on the older werewolf again. “We’re friends, remember? So that means I tell you the truth, just like with what I told you before.”

 

Harry frowned at him, clearly not liking the reminder, but he didn’t try to hide away or retreat into himself again, so that was progress.

 

“Well this is kind of the same thing,” Lukas tried to explain, “I know it was horrible and scary, but I can’t know what you are feeling, or keep from accidentally scaring you, if I don’t understand. Does that make sense?”

 

Harry was still frowning, but he seemed to be considering the point. He was so tired of being scared, he knew the pack cared about him and Lukas only wanted to help him, but the only thing that had made him feel safe, since that night, was the feel of Fenrir next to him. Even in his weak and exhausted mind he could recognise the irrationality of relying on an unconscious man for security and now Lukas was offering him an alternative. One that Harry knew he should probably accept and so, a few moments later, he gave a tiny nod of agreement

 

“Will you tell me what happened when you left Harry?” Lukas asked gently, wanting to make it clear exactly what he wanted to discuss.

 

Harry looked alarmed at that, and started to shake his head in refusal before he stopped himself. Lukas waited patiently, which paid off when Harry slowly sat himself up, however he was still sitting impossibly close to the Alpha wolf and clutched at his large hand, holding on to it, as though for dear life.

 

“Take as long as you need,” Lukas assured him, but otherwise remaining silent and patient.

 

“I heard Fenrir talking to Damon on Halloween morning. They…” Harry took a deep breath and look down at his and Fenrir’s joined hands. “They thought I was asleep,” he said thinking that it was best to start at the beginning.

 

If he was going to talk about this then he needed to start from the top and work his way up to it. It was going to be difficult enough to go through again as it was. He was sure that this was the only time he was going to recall it but he knew Lukas would pay attention and wouldn’t make him repeat anything. If he was going to talk to anyone about what had happened that night then he was glad it was Lukas. There would be no judgement or assumptions from Lukas, Harry trusted in that, but it was still making him feel a little unwell with anxiety.

 

“What did they say that made you want to run away again?” Lukas asked gently, encouraging Harry to keep talking.

 

“There was a lot,” Harry told him, “but it was finding out that Fenrir was the one who bit me that really bothered me,” he explained, “it was when I