"Render's been spotted, My Lord."
Fenrir turned to face one of his kneeling scouts. "Let's be off then, lead the way," Fenrir ordered.
The young scout nodded and rose, turning to run off to the East, Fenrir and Catherine followed silently. "He's not alone though, there were four others with him," the scout explained.
"Four?" Catherine questioned. "Wizards or Werewolves?"
"Werewolves, I think, though from a distance even I could sense something...off about them."
"Perhaps we should wait to meet them head on. We are outnumbered against unknown enemies," Catherine suggested.
Fenrir shook his head, "We need to strike now, though the rest of the pack needs to be warned." Then, turning to the scout, "I'm sure I can find the intruders on my own from here, you've done well. Go back and notify the others and direct them to set up a perimeter defense."
The scout promptly bowed and then ran back in the direction of the main clearing to warn the others.
Fenrir continued on Eastward, with Catherine following warily, though dutifully behind.
After several minutes of persistent searching, Fenrir caught the scent of the newcomers.
"They're just ahead," Fenrir spoke lowly. The two slowed to a trot, moving forward to make their way through the thick brush.
The intruders' scent grew stronger and Fenrir's step faltered.
Catherine turned. "Fenrir, what it is?"
"Their scent...it's familiar," Fenrir murmured, his eyes glinting with an emotion that Catherine seldom saw upon his face, that of fear.
Fenrir straightened up, no longer hunched over in the hunting position. "They know we're here."
"What?" Catherine asked in a harsh undertone. "How-"
But Catherine abruptly stopped speaking when the branches ahead of them slowly parted to reveal a nervous, though still smug looking Render.
Fenrir wasn't looking at Render though, he was staring past, to the four figures that followed.
First came two women, one with blond hair falling in waves to her waist; and the second with fiery red hair, chopped short and exploding in spikes away from her face. Following them were two men, one large and bulky with dark brown hair the color of freshly tilled earth, and the second man lithe though still formidable looking with striking white hair, the color of fallen snow.
Catherine fell back, immediately recognizing them. Fenrir didn't move, his eyes only flicked to Render, looking at the other werewolf for the first time.
"You summoned them," Fenrir spoke quietly, not a question, an accusation.
Render gave one silent nod.
"You think they will protect you?" Fenrir asked. "They care nothing about you-"
"Enough, Fenrir," the one with red hair ordered. "You know why we're here."
"There is not a problem, Pire. Your presence here is unnecessary," Fenrir protested.
"That is not what Render says," the calm voice of the man with white hair broke in.
Fenrir turned to him. "Avier, please, you were always the most understanding of the Council. Can't you see Render is only using you. He is the one that should be punished, exploiting you for such a trifling matter."
"We have spoken to him about that, already," the blond woman informed casually.
Render gave an uncontrollable shiver at the memory. Fenrir noticed the move and looked at the blond woman critically. "Viviane, as cruel as always I see."
Viviane's eyes glinted. "A characteristic of mine that you appreciated once not so long ago."
"Things have changed," Fenrir countered.
"And some things have stayed the same, it seems. Such as your predilection for biting young boys?"
"And what is that supposed to mean?" Fenrir asked defensively.
Viviane shrugged. "Just that that was the one of the few parts of Render's story that actually warranted some action on our part. He said that you gave...what was his name, oh yes...Harry a mating mark, before the boy was of age, before he chose you, before he even became one of us."
"I had my reasons...But if I admit to this, you will punish me accordingly and leave my pack in peace?"
"You know that isn't how it works, Fenrir," Pire chastised.
"We must investigate," Avier agreed.
"We're going to need to speak to the boy," Viviane admitted with relish, tilting her head to smile.
Fenrir shook his head. "That is unnecessary. He is still a cub and knows nothing about this matter that I do not."
"Yes, but you may give biased answers in order to hide your guilt. We must speak with the boy," Avier reiterated once more.
Fenrir opened his mouth to protest but Viviane cut him off, "Get him...Now, Fenrir."
After a tense moment Fenrir bowed grudgingly. "As you wish."
"The carriages come every half an hour, we just missed the last one. Would you like to wait, perhaps we should go get some after dinner tea or cocoa?" Lereux asked.
Harry shook his head. He was uncomfortable already, and it was getting later in the day. "Let's just walk," Harry suggested.
Shrugging, "As you wish, Harry," Lereux consented.
Harry led the way with a brisk pace, even though the shoes made walking on the uneven grass awkward to say the least.
Lereux followed, trying to strike up a conversation along the way.
Harry wasn't really paying attention though. In fact, he was purposefully trying not to listen to what Lereux was saying. He was frustrated with Lereux beyond anything. If you forgot the one little fact that Harry didn't want to go out on the date in the first place, the outing was by itself, nice. The food had tasted good and everything, since it wasn't made with magic at least. But what Lereux had insinuated earlier in the evening, about Fenrir not being completely honest with him was weighing heavily on Harry's mind.
Still deep in thought, Harry's right foot slipped suddenly on the wet grass. It happened too fast for Harry to regain his balance and before he knew it he had fallen ungracefully upon the ground.
Harry growled and reached down to pull off the two offending heeled boots.
"Harry are you alright?" Lereux asked concernedly.
"I'm fine, just take your shoes," Harry returned curtly, tossing the two boots to Lereux with a little more force than necessary.
"But they were gifts," Lereux protested.
"If you haven't noticed by now, I don't want your gifts!" Harry shouted angrily.
Harry got to his now bare feet, intent on getting back to Hogwarts as soon as possible. When he put some weight on his right foot though, Harry let out a short involuntary yelp of pain.
"Harry, let me help you," Lereux insisted, taking Harry's right arm.
"I don't need your help, my ankle's just a little sore that's all. It'll heal quickly enough."
"Well until then, you shouldn't walk on it. At least let me carry you back to Hogwarts."
Harry scoffed. "You're not carrying me anywhere."
"Oh come on, I just want to help you. I haven't done one thing to you this evening, don't you trust me yet?"
Harry continued glaring.
Lereuex rolled his yes. "Well I guess that answers that question. Nevertheless, I'm not going to have you walk the rest of the way on an injured leg."
"It's fine-" Harry began to protest again which Lereux ignored in
favor of picking Harry up, legs help up by his left arm with Harry's back propped up by his right.
Catherine and Fenrir appeared silently in the Forbidden Forest.
"He is probably in his common room, he has already described where it is from here to me. I will disguise us and we can go find him on our own," Fenrir explained, rising the wind around himself and Catherine.
Catherine, now invisible, nodded nevertheless and followed Fenrir out onto the expanse of grass that separated the forest from the school.
When Fenrir made it about halfway across the grounds, he stopped suddenly. "He is not within the castle."
Catherine looked curiously up to Hogwarts, but was unable to sense Harry's presence as Fenrir was. However, she knew well enough to believe when Fenrir said that Harry was not inside.
"His scent is coming from that direction," Fenrir noted a bit confused, pointing eastwards.
At that moment a startled yelp broke the silence, too far away for humans to hear but more than loud enough for Fenrir to detect.
"That was him, I'm sure of it," Fenrir murmured, already worried. Catherine barely caught the words before Fenrir began sprinting off towards the sound.
"Lereux, put me down!" Harry growled angrily.
"Will be fine, now put me down!" Harry shouted again, trying to wiggle out of Lereux's grasp.
Lereux retained his firm grip though, not seeming in any hurry to let Harry down.
"I'd do as he asks immediately," a voice ordered from up ahead, cutting through the still evening air.
Harry whipped around to see Fenrir standing several feet in front of them, glaring daggers at Lereux.
"Let me down...now," Harry whispered fiercely into Lereux's ear. Harry's heart had leapt to his throat the moment he had heard Fenrir. His alpha had caught him in the worst possible situation and Lereux being stubborn wasn't helping in the slightest. Lereux hesitated for a moment. Fenrir took one slow calculated step forward, eyes glowing a faint golden color.
"Let...me go," Harry prompted.
Sighing, Leruex slowly loosened his grip, allowing Harry to slide slowly to the ground. Harry put most of his weight on his left foot, and quickly hopped up the gentle slope to Fenrir.
Fenrir's eyes gentled to the color closer of their usual hazel as he reached out to place a possessive hand on Harry's shoulder.
"What in the name of the stars above are you wearing?" Fenrir asked, looking Harry over. "And what is this nonsense?" Fenrir added, waving a hand over Harry's face, banishing the subtle glamour there.
"Are you hurt? I heard you yelp."
Harry shook his head. "I just sprained my ankle a little I think," Harry answered, pointing to the brightly colored shoes that were lying on the grass several feet away.
Fenrir knelt to examine Harry's foot
"And why were you wearing these things, aren't you supposed to be in the castle?"
"I gave the clothing and shoes to him, as a gift," Lereux explained, steeping forward for the first time.
Fenrir tilted his head, glaring at Lereux once again. "A gift? Why? What were you even doing out here?"
"Harry consented to go out with me this evening," Lereux quickly explained, rather smugly.
Fenrir turned to look down at Harry. "Is this true?"
"No," Harry quickly disagreed, the hidden look of pain in Fenrir's eyes becoming harder to bear by the second. "It wasn't like that."
"So you didn't agree to court Lereux?"
"It was only one date," Harry was quick to explain. "Lereux helped me with a problem I had and in return he asked that I go on one outing with him. It meant nothing to me, and I didn't do anything with him, I swear."
"What did he help you with that I couldn't have?" Fenrir asked, looking confused.
"A school thing, Hermione got into some trouble-"
"Something only a real werewolf could help him with," Lereux cut in condescendingly.
A low growl began deep in Fenrir's chest.
Wincing, Harry shot Lereux an angry glance. "Lereux, you're not needed here anymore, go back to the castle."
"I should escort you back to your dormitory, just to be safe," Lereux argued.
"My alpha is here, I will be safe," Harry replied quickly, placing a suggestive hand upon Fenrir's shoulder, both to vex Lereux and to hopefully calm Fenrir a bit.
It seemed to work. Leruex's eyes narrowed, clearly irritated, and Fenrir's growl lessened into somewhat of a warning purr.
After a tense moment, in which Lereux and Fenrir continued glaring at one another, Harry was relieved to see Lereux finally back down.
The Astronomy Professor pivoted quickly on his heel and brushed past Fenrir, his head still held arrogantly high.
Once he had gone Fenrir quickly turned to Harry, picking him up easily.
"Do you enjoy scaring me, foolish pup?" Fenrir asked, looking over Harry again worriedly.
"No," Harry shook his head quickly. "I just didn't want to bother you, I'm really sorry. I honestly don't like Lereux at all, it was just he'd only help Hermione if I went with him-"
"He blackmailed you?" Fenrir spat, enraged. "I'll tear out his throat-"
"Fenrir, please!" Harry interrupted, bringing his hands up to Fenrir's face to make the angered wolf look back at him. The touch seemed to calm Fenrir somewhat, and he was able to continue speaking in a calmer voice.
"Shhh, little one, I am not angry with you. The fault of this lies not with you but with that scoundrel for blackmailing you. I only wish you would give some thought to your own safety though."
At that moment Fenrir looked up, having heard the approach of two new figures from the surrounding brush.
"Perhaps I should not have underestimated you, Harry," Fenrir mused as Remus and Sirius stepped out from behind a tree, pulling off the invisibility cloak.
"Despite your low regard of wizards Fenrir, we can protect Harry as well as you can from harm," Remus muttered, walking up slowly to Harry, who was still being held protectively in Fenrir's grasp."That, I doubt," Fenrir scoffed."We were prepared in our own way," Remus disagreed, reaching out to take the tracking charm and emergency portkey bracelet from Harry's wrist.
Fenrir looked approvingly at the measures that Remus had taken, but was still mostly unimpressed.
"Your tricks would have been enough to protect him from Lereux perhaps," Fenrir conceded after a moment's thought.
"From anything...or anyone," Remus reaffirmed, looking directly at Fenrir.
Harry looked back and forth between Remus and Fenrir, fearing that another argument would erupt any moment.
However, Fenrir simply shrugged.
"Be that as it may, I do expect to be notified of these sorts of things in the future."
"As would I," Sirius spoke up, walking forward.
"Why didn't you tell us that Lereux had blackmailed you into the date?" Sirius questioned.
"He didn't tell you either?" Fenrir noted, surprised.
"Why all the lies, Harry?" Remus prompted, when Harry didn't answer.
Harry resisted the urge to bury his face in Fenrir's shoulder. "I-I just didn't want anyone to get into a fight over anything. You all have your own problems and I don't want to make them worse. So I figured out how to deal with Umbrige on my own, and how to help Hermione out. Lereux doesn't have any other responsibilities besides teaching at the moment, so I just used his help. I didn't want to tell Fenrir because then he wouldn't let me go on the outing with Lereux and then I woudn't be able to help Hermione."
"Why wouldn't he let you go out with Lereux? Isn't it your right to spend time with whomever you choose? Fenrir did let Lereux into the competition after all," Remus added.
Harry looked up at Fenrir a bit nervously. Suddenly the elder werewolf's eyes brightened with understanding.
"Harry didn't explain the situation to you because he feared your disapproval."
"Disapproval of what?" Sirius quickly interjected.
Fenrir looked down at Harry once more, silently asking if Harry wished for him to continue.
Harry nodded his head after a moment.
"Harry has chosen me to be his mate. That's why he didn't want to tell me about the outing he had planned with Lereux, and why he didn't tell you about the real reason he was keeping it all from me. He didn't want to upset you."
"Didn't want to upset us?" Remus whispered, his voice low. "It was one thing to become a werewolf without telling us, another to purposefully hide his choice from us. But now...to choose Fenrir of all werewolves," Remus stopped, bowing his head, he was clearly distressed. Then, seeming as to suddenly come to a conclusion, Remus lifted his head. "It is no matter, Harry still has until July to decide."
"I won't change my mind," Harry answered quietly, but with conviction.
Remus opened his mouth to respond but was cut off by the appearance of Catherine at the top of the knoll.
"You have found him then, is he alright?" Catherine asked, eyes flicking to Harry as he was still held protectively in Fenrir's arms
Fenrir gave a sharp nod.
"We should hurry my lord, the council is not one to be kept waiting," Catherine prompted when Fenir didn't continue.
Looking down at Harry once more, Fenrir nodded. "Of course, you are right, Catherine. If you would excuse us?" Fenrir asked, looking towards Remus and Sirius. "I'm sure you can sort this out later."
Fenrir started to turn when Harry ambled out of his grasp to go to Remus.
"Remus, I'm sorry," Harry apologized, his voice almost pleading. "I didn't mean you to find out this way."
Remus waved him off. "We can talk later," Remus relented.
Harry took an uncertain step forward.
"Harry, we must be going," Catherine called.
"Go, Harry, just go."
"You don't hate me?" Harry asked worriedly.
"Of course I don't hate you," Remus scoffed. "It is just...a lot to take in. We can talk about it later, really."
Harry nodded, hugging Remus and Sirius briefly before following Catherine and Fenrir back into the Forbidden forest.
"So what is going on?" Harry started. "Why did you show up so early, and why are we in a hurry?"
"The council has been summoned," Catherine answered bluntly.
"The council?" Harry wondered aloud.
"The council is a group of four elemental werewolves that can be summoned when one feels that the pack is being taken in the wrong direction," Catherine explained abruptly.
"Wait, what? What are elemental werewolves?" Harry questioned as they continued walking through the forest.
"More spirits than anything else, they have a power of their own and have been periodically called on for assistance throughout our history."
"Stop making them sound so noble. They are simply the result of one of our foolish ancestors who couldn't take the decision of his alpha," Fenrir sneered.
"Why are they here now?" Harry asked.
"Render summoned them, who else," Fenrir answered with disdain.
"Oh, so Render is back? That's a good thing though isn't it? You can reprimand him and then everything will be sorted out."
"I am not allowed to punish Render until the Council has completed their investigation and issued judgment," Fenrir sighed regretfully.
"Judgment of what? You have done nothing wrong, Render has nothing to accuse you of," Harry argued.
"Render is saying that I used my influence and superior position to unfairly sway your decision of choosing me as your mate," Fenrir explained, his voice purposefully level.
"But that's not true," Harry argued.
"Hopefully the council will agree," Catherine concluded.
When they arrived in the main camp, Harry was surprised to see hardly anyone around. Only a few of the scouts that were permanently stationed in the central clearing remained, and even they looked tense.
Catherine and Fenrir walked sedately alongside Harry, leading him to one of the rooms that was frequently used for meetings among the senior members of the pack.
Harry faltered, suddenly nervous. Why was everyone acting so strangely? Never had he seen the main clearing so deserted so early in the evening and he had never seen Fenrir look so uncomfortable or Catherine seem so worried, even before the great battle that had taken place over the summer. It all made no sense.
Taking a deep breath, Harry nevertheless continued forward.
"And he has finally arrived," a pleased voice announced as Harry entered the room.
Harry looked up to see a blond woman approach him, with a contented smile upon her face.
Before the woman got much farther, Fenrir stepped directly in front of Harry.
"He's here as you asked, Viviane, now get on with your questioning," Fenrir ordered.
Harry leaned around Fenrir to see the woman cock her head to the side, smirking slightly, as if a child had just said something amusing.
"I don't think you're in any position to dictate this meeting, Fenrir," the woman remarked condescendingly, her smirk quickly disappearing.
"Actually, I think it would be better if you weren't present at all," Viviane continued.
"But I want him here," Harry quickly protested.
"Harry," Fenrir started warningly.
"No, they are here to hear from me and they will," Harry stated forcefully, angry at the four werewolves that had treated Fenrir so rudely.
"The pup is a bit controlling for submissive, no?" The redhead noted.
Harry turned to her sharply. "You don't need to be Alpha to resent being treated so poorly, especially by outsiders," Harry countered.
"Oh dear, we aren't outsiders," Viviane crooned. "We have been here before."
"This doesn't sound like questioning," Fenrir broke in briskly."Of course," light-haired man agreed stepping forward to look down at Harry.
"Please forgive my companions. We don't get out much and it seems our sense of propriety has suffered," the elemental wolf added, giving a sharp look to Viviane, who only shrugged in response.
"Now, if you would please leave us for a moment, we can get this business all taken care of quickly."
After a tense moment, Fenrir nodded once, and left, followed by Catherine.
Harry looked after Fenrir confusedly, before turning his irritated gaze back onto the four elementals.
"Allow us to introduce ourselves, my name is Avier," the white haired man began pleasantly. "I represent the element of air. Viviane, whom you have already had words with represents the element of water."
The blond woman nodded amiably before taking up where Avier left off.
"And this is Pire, she represents the element of fire. And last but not least-
"Erdan," the man brown haired man ended simply, nodding once greeting.
Harry crossed his arms. "You obviously know who I am already, so I'll keep this short. There is no reason for any of you to be here. I just learned about you today and they said you were here because Render told you Fenrir is being a bad leader for the pack, but Render just has a personal problem against Fenrir because I chose Fenrir as a mate," Harry explained.
"Be that as it may, some of what Render told us does seem to point to Fenrir influencing you unfairly," Avier continued diplomatically.
"Fenrir has done nothing wrong," Harry replied sternly.
"We will see about that," Pire began.
Gesturing to Harry's bare arm Viviane continued. "So it is as Render said, Fenrir marked you?"
Harry looked down at his wrist, noting the circle of blue dots that was covered for most of the day, and covering it automatically as if to protect it. The mark was his, and his alone.
"And what if he did?" Harry asked challengingly.
"When did he mark you?" Pire asked instead of answering.
Harry shrugged. "Early, when I first came here. He said it would protect me," Harry explained.
"How?" Erdan asked, seeming honestly curious, as he sat down steadily upon one of the tree stump like chairs.
"hmm, he said..." Harry paused for a moment, trying to recall what Fenrir had said. "He said that it would let the other packs know that I was part of a pack already, that they wouldn't try to take me for their own."
"Didn't work very well did it?" Viviane noted sarcastically, referring to the multiple packs that had tried to kidnap Harry over the summer.
"Those packs didn't follow the old ways and were corrupt, Fenrir did his best," Harry countered, glaring at the blond haired elemental.
"Don't you think Fenrir knew that the majority of the packs outside his territory no longer followed the old ways?" Pire asked.
"No, he didn't know, he was doing what he thought was right," Harry reiterated.
"He knew," Viviane muttered. "Not everything about Fenrir is as it seems."
Harry opened his mouth to immediately disagree with Viviane, the elemental werewolf he was fast coming to like the least, but stopped suddenly as the words echoed in his mind. Lereux had said almost exactly the same thing several hours before.
"What did you say?" Harry asked, looking more closely at Viviane.
The elemental werewolf shrugged. "Fenrir wasn't always like the werewolf he shows you today."
"What do you mean?" Harry quickly followed.
"Viviane," Avier barked harshly. "We are not here to dig up past history but to evaluate the situation, today," Avier finished, glaring.
The two elementals remained in a silent standoff for a moment before Pire quickly continued.
"If Fenrir really did all this for your own good, why did he hide the mark's true nature from you for so long?"
"Fenrir didn't want to worry me. He wanted me to be comfortable here while it was possible, he was being kind," Harry stressed.
"Keeping information from you is one thing, but then how do you explain Fenrir telling you to call him Venren from the very beginning?"
"What?" Harry asked.
"Venren, that was what Fenrir asked you to call him when you first arrived here, and he called you Senren in return, isn't that right?" Pire clarified.
"So, that was just a name, he didn't want me to know him as Fenrir until later," Harry let out a high laugh. "Venren is not some random name, little cub. You need to sharpen you language skills. Venren is the name for the dominate in a mating relationship, as is Senren the name for the submissive partner. It seems Fenrir had your place planned from the very beginning, doesn't it?"
Harry shook his head. "He didn't tell me that, perhaps there was a mistake-"
"There was no mistake, cub," Pire snapped. "By what you say Fenrir has indeed used his position to force you-"
"He did not force me!" Harry shouted, now angry and not a little hurt if what the elemental werewolves were saying was true. "He.." Harry stopped searching for words. "He gave me a choice. Fenrir has always given me a choice. A choice to become a werewolf or not, and yes, he gave me a choice as to whom I want my mate to be."
"He only gave you the illusion of choice," Avier summarized lightly.
"That is your opinion," Harry growled. "I am telling you here and now that I choose Fenrir.
Harry glared at the four elemental werewolves, daring them to disagree.
Avier sighed, "Well you have certainly made your opinion known. Now leave us and we will deliberate."
Harry rolled his eyes and stalked from the room, intent on finding Render. Fenrir may not be able to issue punishment but, there was nothing saying that Harry couldn't exact his own form of revenge.
"The cub has clearly been deceived," Viviane started immediately after Harry had left.
Pire shrugged, agreeing.
"Though I too agree that the cub has been lied to often enough, he seems fairly well informed as of now, and he still remains loyal to Fenrir. There seems to be little that we would need to interfere with," Avier noted.
"Interfere with? It's obvious that Fenrir should be punished!" Viviane exclaimed.
"Viviane, your personal enmity with Fenrir is clearly clouding your judgment," Erdan sighed. "Yes, Fenrir's actions towards Harry are questionable, however, as Fenrir himself noted, this is not a pack issue. Perhaps if the other alphas had come to us along with Render, but as it stands now, there is no reason for us to interfere," Erdan concluded.
Viviane glared angrily, crossing her arms.
"This isn't a problem between the entire pack, Viviane," Avier explained once more, sighing. "There is no purpose we could serve here."
Shoulders slumping dejectedly, Viviane nodded. "Then we shall disappear along with the rising sun as it is told."
Harry made his way angrily across the main clearing, towards the sleeping den where he assumed most of the pack was gathered.
Pushing open the two heavy wooden doors hard enough to make them swing, Harry entered the den.
He had assumed correctly and was met with the rest of his pack staring back at him worriedly.
Harry immediately searched the crowd for Render. His sharp lycan eyes easily picked him out, standing off to the side, joking around with a couple of the other scouts.
Without bothering to share any greetings or news of how the meeting had went, Harry simply walked through the group of werewolves that instinctively parted before him until he stood directly in front of Render.
The Alpha looked down at Harry smugly.
"Come to thank me, Harry? Do you see now what I meant, how Fenrir has been manipulating you this entire time?"Harry glared up at the condescending werewolf for a split second before soundly backhanding the Alpha across the cheek.
The force behind the blow was enough to push Render back a step as he bent to cradle his injured face with his hands.
"If you ever, interfere with my own personal business again, you won't have to fear Fenrir, I'll punish you myself," Harry spat, his eyes glowing a threatening yellow hue.
Render straightened up fairly quickly, glaring back at Harry. "Insolent pup! What makes you think you can talk to me that way," Render demanded, lifting his hand to strike Harry in return.
Before Harry could even ready to defend himself from the blow, he suddenly felt himself being lifted up by the waist and heard a crash.
Opening his eyes, Harry realized the sound was Render hitting the wall.
"After all you have gone through to turn him against me, you'd raise a hand to him?" Fenrir asked disbelievingly. "You are truly a fool."
Harry, still being held in a tight one armed grasp, tapped Fenrir's shoulder.
"Sorta-hard to breathe, here," Harry started out.
Fenrir looked down and quickly released his hold on Harry.
Taking a deep breath, Harry lightly glared at Fenrir. "I had it handled."
"He could have hurt you," Fenrir pointed out.
"I can handle him!" Harry argued, looking down to glare at Render, who now looked sufficiently cowed since Fenrir had shown up. "Besides, you're not supposed to hurt him until the elementals make their decision."
"Hitting you would have been a separate infraction, and one that I would have relished punishing him for," Fenrir answered gruffly.
Just then, the doors to the sleeping den opened once more, admitting the four elementals as they walked sedately to Fenrir and Harry.
"We have found," Avier started sagely, "that this situation warrants no action on our part as the case in question involves chiefly only two individuals, and is not a pack issue. Unless there are others here that believe that Fenrir is using his station for his own personal means and is leading the pack in a wrong direction?" Avier asked, surveying the crowd.
The elementals looked pointedly at the other alphas that had made their claims for Harry earlier in the season.
Render looked at his scouting partners pleadingly, until one by one, they each looked down, refusing to meet his gaze.
"That is settled then," Pire summarized.
"We'll leave you to it," Viviane added, smirking at Render who was now quite pale.
Harry smiled, feeling very relieved, as he was picked up once more by a now grinning Fenrir.
Hooking his legs around Fenrir's waist as was custom, Harry smirked triumphantly.
"I told you I'd convince them."
"That you did pup, that you did," Fenrir admitted, content to have his future mate within his embrace once more. Looking in Harry's bright green eyes, full of hope, Fenrir felt a part of himself that he had long since buried come back to him once more. He was complete.