Title: Felis Domesticatus vs Canis Lupus

Alternate title: Of Cats and Dogs

Rating: T (for swearing and lewd comments, cattishness)

Authoress: Rena Kaerutsukai

Summary: The cursed Defense Against the Dark Arts position has been refilled again, this time by a young woman. She does something that no other holder of this position has done, though: goes to the only available previous DADA professor for advice. That ex-professor is Remus John Lupin, who thinks that the new professor is a bit off her rocker. But they may just have more in common than he thinks. (implied SBRL)

The reason for the double-post is because I didn't want to leave you with just an OC chapter to chew on.

I've been reading too many Remus torture fics, damn it. And I blame Eleonora1, who needs to update everything. Standing Still and Lionsnake Manor, especially. (All titles indicated are a hint if the author ever stumbles across this story, though she likely won't.)

Anyway, after the thoroughly depressing last chapter, here's another chapter chock full of Remus, Felicia, and of course (quickly becoming my favorite OC in this story) Warlock.

To all who have reviewed: Warlock plushies! –tosses plushies to the throng-

Chapter 9: The Miracle of Chocolate

Felicia seemed absorbed in her tea, after telling her story. Remus too was looking down at his cup, lost in his own painful memories. Even Warlock was silent, though in the backs of his surrogate parents' minds they knew that wouldn't last. And it didn't. The fledgling duck's head lifted, and he looked at both of his surrogate parents as if gauging which one needed comfort more. He chose Felicia, waddling over to her and pecking her hand with a soft quack. Remus looked up, and Felicia chuckled, stroking the little duckling.

"I cannot imagine what that must be like." Remus said. Felicia smiled sadly.

"As much as it still hurts, at least I know that it didn't hurt them," she said softly. A comforting smile came to Remus' face, and he patted her hand across the tiny table.

"Even the smallest solace helps to ease the pain," he said wisely. Felicia sniffled, wiping her eyes.

"Oh, I trained myself to stay in the present, and here I am babbling on about the past," she said with a tiny, slightly hysterical laugh.

"It's alright to remember," Remus said reassuringly. Seeing that she wasn't going to be swayed so easily, he stood from the table. He could sense the sadness – no, depression – rolling off of Felicia in waves. And what was the best cure for depression that Remus knew? He rummaged about in the cupboard until he found what he was looking for: a chocolate bar. He unwrapped it, Felicia studying his actions curiously. With a friendly smile, Remus broke off a large piece of the chocolate and handed it to her. She took it, returning his smile, and nibbled on it. She knew of and believed in the magical properties of chocolate (being a woman, she found it the only remedy for her gender-specific monthly malady), but damn she wasn't expecting this. Instantly, she felt happy, almost giddy, and knew that this was not normal chocolate. Remus chuckled at the amazed expression that crossed the werecat's face. Warlock cocked his head curiously. What had made his mommy so much happier? He decided to nibble the strange substance, tossing his head back to swallow a bite of chocolate. With wild quacks of happiness, Warlock flew spinning up into the air like a little helicopter. At this, Remus and Felicia started laughing, as Remus too took a bite of his piece of miracle chocolate. The effect really was impressive, he observed. He wondered why he'd never noticed that before. Felicia, unused to and overdosing on the euphoria from the chocolate, fell off her chair laughing at the sugar-high Warlock, who was still flying giddily around in circles. Remus reined in his sugar rush quickly.

"Are you alright?" He asked, bending to look under the table—at the still-open trap door that Felicia had just slid through. He could still hear her laughing, so she wasn't hurt. If anything, she was laughing harder because she had fallen through the trapdoor. He made a mental note to not give her as much chocolate next time.

"I'm..." she paused a moment to laugh loudly. "I'm fine!" She called, bursting into laughter again. Idly, Remus wondered if she was like this every time that she had chocolate, or whether the chocolate in his stash was more potent than what she usually had.

"Can you stop laughing long enough to climb back out of the trap door?" Remus called down.

"Oh look, there's another passageway!" Felicia squealed. Before Remus could tell her that no, there actually wasn't another passageway, the sound of her smacking against the packed earth wall of the crude corridor wafted up from the trap door. So, Remus thought to himself, not only did she get the worst case of the giggles that he had ever seen in a human being, but she also apparently became dim-witted. Pity, she seemed to possess an intellect that rivaled Remus' when she wasn't under the influence of chocolate. He moved off of his chair to the floor, extending his hand through the trap door to haul Felicia up. He felt her grab his hand, sobriety apparently returned to her when she ran into the wall, and he hoisted her out of the door with surprising strength. He slammed the trapdoor shut like he should have done after they had first emerged.

"Why didn't you tell me that there was no second passageway?" Felicia asked. Remus laughed.

"You decided to find out manually before I could stop you," he said.

"Well it certainly brought me down off my sugar high," she pouted. Again, Remus laughed, and Felicia laughed with him. Warlock fluttered under the table, landing unsteadily on Remus' shoulder. The fledgling nipped at the werewolf's earlobe and fled to the safer ground of Felicia's head, as the werecat laughed hysterically and Remus rubbed his sore ear.

That night, as they were saying good night, Felicia embraced Remus warmly as she had every night since her arrival. Only this time, the embrace was returned, if only slightly. The werecat smiled and pulled back.

"Thanks again. For everything," she said.

"Oh no, I'm afraid that I'm the one who owes you thanks for keeping me safe from the wolf last night, even though your methods were a bit...unusual," he said with a warm smile.

"I owe you for keeping the cat occupied last night. By the way, I call her Vicky." Felicia silently prompted Remus to divulge his nickname for the wolf, sending the message that she would only use the name he gave with his permission. He understood this, his warm hazel gaze softening.

"My friends called him – and me – Moony." Remus felt truly, and oddly, as if in Felicia he had found someone more like him even than the other Marauders. A kindred spirit of sorts. "Do feel free to apply the name, as well." He added in a friendly tone. Felicia nodded.

"Good night, Mr. Moony," she said with a smile.

"Good night, Miss Vicky," he returned, leaving her in the living room with the already sleeping Warlock. She settled down for the night, but found it hard to fall asleep. When she had first met Remus, she had thought that they were completely different. The only similarity that she had seen at the time was the fact that they were reading the same book.

But now that she knew him better, had lived under the same roof with him now for two weeks, and had spent a full moon with him, she realized that they were more alike than she thought. They both were raging bibliophiles (or rabid booklovers was another way to put it), and they both excelled in Defense Against the Dark Arts (though that could be due to the fact that they were both Dark creatures). They were both the last one left of their respective quartets, as well.

Felicia had found a kindred spirit in Remus; that much she knew. And already, she loved the kindly werewolf. Not in a romantic way, but rather as a brother or a dear friend. And she would keep true to her promise; she would be here every full moon from now on, simply because she had told Remus that she would. She wouldn't fail the only friend that she had in England, because she knew what she could do to help.

And no matter what the cost, she wouldn't let Moony hurt Remus anymore: she and Vicky were in agreement on that.

Vicky liked Moony, because he was a challenge. Because she knew that (even though he had tried to kill her) deep down, he was just a great big puppy. The question was: how would she go about digging that far down, to find Moony's inner puppy? As Felicia slept, in the recesses of her mind, the cat was forming a plan.