A/N: This fic is a mixed bag of Welsh, Scottish and Japanese fairytales, but mainly it's a spin-off of the manga, "Her Majesty's Dog" by Mick Takeuchi. I'm just really fooling around with it (taking a break from my other Fred related works lol). I would love to know what you think! I know the concept's a bit mental XD

Summary: After he died, Fred's soul was stolen by a fox spirit. A freak incident forces him into a dangerous contract with Luna Lovegood's boyish female assistant. Now the only way Fred can retain a human form is to feed on her life force. A Winter Fairytale.


Fantastic Mr. Fox
A Winter Fairytale

oOo

Being in the employment of Luna Lovegood, Gertrude Nox had always known she was bound for trouble.

Walking through a forest, there are certain animals you might expect to catch a glimpse of throughout the course of the day: squirrels, deer, Gwyllion, foxes. The latter of these was staring at her from between the split trunk of an elm. It was a thin weaselly head, sprouting rusty whiskers along its pointed snout. Golden eyes flashed at her.

"Hello there," the fox leered. "No need to jump, we're only a fox. We won't attack you… Or then again, might we?" With slow, deliberate movements, it hobbled out of the tree, a bundle of flame red fur and feet - human feet. And hands too! The witch gasped, her foot crunching into the crisp snow.

There were many ancient beings in the woods surrounding Hogsmeade. The roots of the trees grew far beneath the old hills and deep lochs, hiding many things from human eyes, so the creature that was facing her should not have come as any surprise. At first she suspected an Animagus, but that was impossible. Both ears were intact and the human-ish face now leering at her still retained its foxy nature, and its hands, which she had first thought to be wholly human, sported dark, curving claws.

Nox took another involuntary step back, her hand moving towards the wand in her coat pocket.

"Don't do that." The fox grinned, revealing needle-like teeth. "You're not fast enough and I'm very hungry."

Nox kept her mouth shut, inching closer towards the bank of the clearing. Fox spirits, like this one appeared to be, could not leave their home without first being given a name. Your name was the key to your soul, after all, and without one you had no real place in the universe. She would be safe once she reached the bank. The fox licked its chops and started towards her through the snow, impervious to the cold winter flecks landing on its bare, freckled skin.

"But I'll give you a sporting chance," the fox began, slyly, "if you get my name right in three guesses, I'll leave your throat intact. If you get it wrong, well huff puff, you're scrawny bones are mine. Does that seem fair?"

Nox pulled the collar of her berry red coat around her neck and nodded stiffly.

The fox stopped three feet from her in the deep snow, panting eagerly. "First guess -"

"T-Tod!" she stammered.

"Wrong." The fox raised its arm. "Next guess -"

Her heart was racing. Her wand was deep in the bottom of her coat pocket. By the time her fingers could reach it, the fox would have caught her.

"G-George!" she cried in earnest.

The fox's eyes were flashing wild gold. "WRONG. Next guess!"

Nox knew the fox's name. She had known its name from the moment it had dropped from the elm. She had heard it hollered often enough through the corridors of Hogwarts. She had read it on a sign hanging outside the premises at 93 Diagon Alley. She had read it on the gravestone after the Last War, having stood solemnly next to Luna Lovegood, watching a family grieve and a twin bid his last farewells.

Nox also knew enough about the cunningness of fox spirits – how they were rumoured to snatch the still-warm souls of the dead the moment they had left their bodies. It was in that way that a fox spirit could manipulate a human form. The soul that it had stolen would remain trapped inside the body of the fox until such time a witch or wizard guessed its name.

She ground her teeth. More than anything else, as a Word Witch, Nox knew the deadly consequences of granting a name to a fox spirit. But for all her knowledge, she did not know what to do now.

"You're running out of time," the fox snapped impatiently, its hot breath rising up in clouds. Just then, a sudden flurry of snow cut the creature off from her and Nox took her chance, making a frantic dive towards the bank of the clearing, but the fox was every bit as fast as it had promised, catching her around the waist before she could even run three feet. She landed painfully on top of a severed tree trunk, the weight of his body crushing her's. Her eyes flew open in alarm; the fox's claws flashed through the snow and drove towards her open throat.

"YOUR NAME IS FRED GIDEON WEASLEY!"

The fox stopped, its golden eyes widening in shock in its weaselly, half-human face. Then it picked itself off of her and staggered backwards, doubling over and dropping onto the snowy ground with a high-pitched cry of pain.

He lay there for a while, completely motionless, and for a moment Nox wondered if the shock of the cold might have killed him all over again. She took a tentative step towards the still body, then stopped in her tracks upon realising the very naked state of the young unconscious wizard before her. His nakedity hadn't seemed altogether important before when her life had been at stake.

She huffed and puffed, and threaded her fingers into her short messy hair then swore very loudly. She had given him back his name! How could she have been so stupid? The reality of her situation cut her like frostbite: she had just brought Fred Weasley back to life.

"Oh... BUGGER," Fred suddenly groaned, pushing himself up on one hand while the other went to his throbbing head. "Fuck wank bugger shitting arse head and hole!"

Nox trembled. And now they were both jammed in a very awkward contract.

oOo


A/N: Cheers for reading, please do let me know what you think! And Merry Christmas!