A/N: I couldn't really change this much, maybe except for the situations and events that happen, but whatever the case, I'll have to make Jake bitterer. Oh and sorry this is more Harry Potter than Twilight. I intended it that way and won't change the storyline. As for the Cullens... We'll see, we'll see.
A few thousand feet up in the air...
'I knew you'd finally give into my dashing and debonair smile, Potter. If I didn't know any better I'll assume you're sweeping me off my feet and we're eloping together. Gryffindor courage got the better of you didn't it? Couldn't resist my arse could you? Couldn't fathom not being in the same room as me and ogling my irresistibly toned--OW!" That got Draco an unceremonious whack at the back of the head by Granger's book.
"Draco, shut up for a second. Or an hour. Whatever! Merlin just... shut up!" Draco looked expectantly at Harry, who sighed, a hint of blood beneath his cheeks. "And no, we're not eloping."
Harry looked away and returned to skimming the wrinkled map of Great Britain, all the while running through the letter he was having trouble finishing. They will be in Surrey no later than tomorrow, and he couldn't just suddenly appear out of nowhere, at least without short notice. He kept tugging at his unkempt hair, like it were some sort of physical torture, to Draco at least.
Hermione had a book on Advanced Charmes balanced on her lap, flipping the pages with one hand, and her wand glowing and swishing fiercely in the other. She was muttering incoherently and her forehead was scrunched in concentration. Draco threw his hands up in the air and sighed melodramatically.
"No wonder we're not alone--" he glared at Granger, "--seeing as you brought you bushy haired pet with y--Ouch! Merlin, woman! Harry! Control her!"
Both Hermione and Harry found that Draco was expectedly bored and therefore irritating to no end today.
"I'll have you know, Malfoy, that I don't need any control over me. Now if you don't mind, some of us are really busy here!" Hermione said through gritted teeth.
It was exceptionally hard driving, or more precisely levitating and keeping in forward motion, twenty square feet of magic carpet with a magical tent on it, and that coupled with the multiple wards and antispells she kept in place, along with Draco's never ending leg-pulling was sending Hermione towards a high-strung, boiling edge. Harry always knew Hermione was a powerful witch, but he didn't know she was utterly focused and determined as well. She could only go so far before she snaps, though, so Harry decided to intervene once again.
"Draco! Stop it! The bloody bickering is not helping so shut. the fuck. up."
Harry's voice was low and on the edge, and Draco knew exactly that that was the 'No-one-messes-with-the-bloody-Boy-Who-Lived' voice. He opened his mouth, but closed it firmly. He huffed, feigning hurt, crossed his arms, and grumbled as he walked towards the end of the room to sulk.
Harry blew out air again. "Draco..."
"No, no Harry. I get it... don't know why you'd want me here in the first place..." Draco smirked mentally. If he wanted to, he could play Harry like a harp.
"Draco... Drake, you're my best friend and... and I-I need your help with this..."
Draco didn't expect Harry's eyes to look so tired and anguished, far different from the eyes Draco took interest on in Madame Malkins', those that were full of wonder and excitement. He instantly regretted playing the 'I thought I was important to you' card on Harry. With Granger working on the protection and transportation, and Harry on directions and critically the letter for the person they were going to visit, Draco did feel a bit unhelpful, even though he wouldn't admit that to anyone, and although he was the one who stole the carpet from his father's vault.
By all means Draco should be grateful and eternally in debt to Harry. Because of him, Harry and, by backing Harry up, Granger were now fugitives, outcasts of Wizarding Britain, their heads priced with thousands of Galleons and their names spat with loathing and venom. If it weren't for Harry's influence and Granger's wit and intuition, Draco wouldn't have passed through the Ministry court and would probably be rotting in Azkaban by now.
Harry had convinced Draco by second year that Draco should choose what's best for him, and not be influenced by anyone, especially not his Father, or a certain Dark Lord and his followers. Draco believed that. Since Harry saved him from the Forbidden Forest in the first year, Draco had developed trust for the boy. And Harry was right. If Draco hadn't testified against most of the Death Eaters, You-Know-Who would have enlisted him as a Death Eater, and his mother couldn't have escaped to their refuge in Sweden.
The summer after fourth year, last summer, Draco nervously faced the court with a list, a mask of determined indifference, a messy-haired, bespectacled boy and a bushy-haired, bookworm girl--not much to have, but apparently enough. He had sent thirteen Death Eaters confirmed to be wearing the Dark Mark rotting in Azkaban, along with his father and aunt Bellatrix.
The Order, and by persuasion, Dumbledore, didn't trust Harry's judgment and Draco. Hermione had already seen it coming, and had already planned ahead. She anticipated Harry blowing off steam and, the inevitable, some impressive wandless magic, which didn't seem at all impressive to the Order.
They thought it was scary as hell. 'Harry was the next Dark Lord' they said.
Hermione also knew they were safe nowhere in Great Britain, and so had planned their possible destinations for sanctuaries, which were either Cairo with Bill or a Dragon Reserve with Charlie. It was a decision detached from Ron, who had driven Harry into isolating everyone. Remus had already gone ahead to Bill's, who had gladly accepted, offering no resistance--he'd do anything for Harry after what the rest of his family, barring Charlie of course, had done to the Potter family. The werewolf was now off to Romania, not before visiting a pack's friend for guidance. Since Remus was now Harry's unofficial guardian and Alpha, only by a ceremonial Canis Sarcina adoption (1) but not legally, Remus found it only befitting to seek help from a brother pack, jus as they took their detour to Diagon Alley for supplies.
Draco sat next to Harry then, and squeezed his hand. Hermione watched the exchange as Harry squeezed back and smile faintly. These two have been through a lot together, and Hermione couldn't find the heart to be that spiteful of Draco when she knew Harry had established a support system on Draco and herself. No she couldn't do that, break a relationship, especially this strong. It was nothing like what Ron had with Harry, which was bordering on a leech who sucks every stray glory and fame that comes just by standing next to the Boy-Who-Lived, the same thing Ginny and the rest of the Weasleys did. Their betrayal during the confrontation in Grimmauld Place couldn't have broken Harry's resolve any further than Sirius' death had, but it came pretty close. She was terrified to death of anything and everything that's bound to break Harry, and of course the anticipation of her plans and predictions taking effect. She was immensely relieved when they did come true, and that meant Harry being a step closer to a haven where he could be properly readied for the Dark Lord.
Right now the best she could do for Harry, who was more and more a brother to her, was be by his side and help him. She is grateful to Draco, for the carpet, the magic tent, and the tomes, but she isn't quite ready to be too expressive of that thankfulness yet.
After half an hour Harry finished his letter, which was to Draco's amusement very untidy and short if the time it took was to be considered, but kept to himself and tied it to Lucifer, his Eagle Owl, for Harry. It was anyone's guess why Harry had decided to change course, but Harry's hopeful expression told them this Jacob Black was very important.
Tomorrow, Harry thought, tomorrow I'll get to see you again, Jake.
"Hey Rach, what's for Thanksgiving?" Jacob yelled up the stairs just as he entered the front door to his house. It was a dingy little suburban house, strikingly similar to the last thousand houses next to it, picket fence and lawn gnomes and all that. It was one of the numerous things about Surrey he was fed up with: the architects seemed lacking of any creativity. He had originally thought Rachel was born with their mother's sensibility, and would have torn down the pickets and pounded the ceramic gnomes to dust, but no, Rebecca got that, and she's in Hawaii with a drunk husband and a mortgage--not something sensible to do either, so he'd settled for him being the one who had the most perspective, and pretty much everything his brilliant mother had. His mum was independent, well-grounded, and tough. She could have supported three families if she were alive today, with her business savvy and work-hog personality. She would have made a great emotional anchor for Jacob now, if she hadn't died in that freak explosion.
Jacob would just have to face the fact that he had close to nothing to live for.
Billy and Rachel had a fight. It was more in the lines of Billy not wanting Rachel, sweet, dependable Rachel to marry an American. Jacob knew it was deeper than that, that his dad didn't want her to turn into someone like Rebecca, and that he didn't her to leave them, too. Billy just couldn't express himself that way.
It had happened that Thanksgiving dinner.
"I won't need to get around to that! Why don't you help dad out with the damn tree?" she shouted back, in a tone Jacob interpreted as doing-something-important-and-distressing. He shrugged noncommittally and thought about why she didn't need to cook, throwing his wet-from-melted-snow schoolbag onto the couch. He knew that was a bad idea, since Rachel was so obsessive with keeping the furniture neat, but he didn't give a damn right at that time. It was the last day of school for the holidays and he was so tired, but he still had to help his impaired dad, so he dragged his feet towards the dining room-living room intersection where the Billy was, and also where the tree was filled with decorations halfway down to the bottom.
"Son, finish up here, quick! The game's already on and Harry's coming any second!" Billy pleaded in a giddy pitch he didn't bother to hide. It was Harry Clearwater after all, and a football game plus Harry always did make Jacob's dad ecstatic. It was disconcerting, to say the least adding the small fact that the man's name made Jacob wince.
"Yeah, yeah. Hey dad, could you yell at Rachel to get Thanksgiving dinner started? I didn't get lunch 'coz I had to finish a damn History project." He waved Jacob off and wheeled swiftly towards the living room, which from the next room Jacob noticed now was filled with food that could kill a diabetic. It wasn't really a project—Quil merely introduced him to smoking last week, and had had to ditch lunch with him and Embry to savor the goods. He wasn't instantly hooked with smoking. He had to learn how to snuff only just enough and exhale before tears started to prickle. It was sandpaper to his lungs, a very bad idea for someone asthmatic. He thought his windpipe would burst, but otherwise the smoke made him feel somehow real, existing. No one has a say if he's too young, because he just turned sixteen and he can do whatever the hell it is he wants.
Just as he was throwing a few last bits of decorations into the tree, the doorbell rang and a knock on the door followed. Charlie sped towards it--it was amazing how dexterous he was on the wheelchair--narrowly avoiding two vases and a lamp, opening the door to reveal one Harry Clearwater clutching four paper bags, his special fish-and-chips, one Leah Clearwater, who managed to not look like sour, heartbroken wreck--with all the news with the Sam and Emily hook-up--and one beaming Seth Clearwater, holding onto a pack of one point five liter Coke bottles-- he's gotten strong--, waving at Jacob with enthusiasm.
The kid annoyed Jacob to no end, although he wasn't in a position to call him 'kid', since Seth's only a year younger than him, and yet he still acts that way. In some ways however Jacob has been surprised by how much more mature Seth was than him. Seth could turn our small conversations into extensive therapy sessions in a snap, without Jacob noticing or Seth pushing, with him being invasive and Jacob being defensive, just drawing out every inhibition and woe and regret, and pretty much everything Jacob had to say about H... him.
Seth knows Jacob trusts him, and he values that. He's never told a soul about anything Jacob had let out, not even Rachel and Billy.
"Jake! How's the tree?" the gangly boy asked in a lighthearted tone, placing the bottles of Coke onto the table in the living room, next to the pile of junk food, and then practically skipped towards Jacob.
He was on a stool and had just placed the gold star atop the tree when he answered, "Just done, I guess."
Seth grinned again and said, "Guess what our sisters have in store of us."
Jacob rolled his eyes and smiled down at the boy's triumphant grin, coming off the stool and feigning boredom. "Whatever it is, I'm sure I'll be against it."
It was like Seth was a big frowny face when Jacob replied that. "Aw, c'mon! We're going to have fun tonight! Please?" he begged. It was endearing, like watching a kid doing puppy-dog eyes for a cookie from the jar, and Jacob just had to let it go. What harm could two girls do?
Five hours later found a reluctant Jacob in a suit and tie, on their front yard where a bunch of tables had been joined and table-clothed, five turkeys in five different places, cranberry and potatoes and all. Quil and the rest of the Atearas had arrived a while ago, with Embry close and tagging along. The Call family was supposed to be with their relatives in Washington, but Embry had been coerced into staying with the Atearas. Billy didn't forget to invite Sam Uley and his second half Emily Young--guests Leah wasn't too happy about--dragging with them Jared and Paul. All the teenage boys have noticeably grown. There fifteen guests and Jacob was expected to be a host.
He sighed inaudibly and pinched the bridge of his nose, before putting a fake smile and chatting with some of the adults, passing out some wineglasses. His friends found him being less and less social by the day, choosing to stay at home rather than meet with them. The adults however, had liked that Jacob was somehow more mature than them, finding time this time to do schoolwork, and really getting into the car-fixing business. Old Quil seemed to be very proud of Jacob, and was eyeing him like a hawk, as if he was waiting for Jacob to explode. It was very different from what Quil's gaze was doing to him. She looked like he was reading Jacob, or she was seeing right through him.
After a while of catching up with Quil's parents Jacob approached the mischievous boy.
"Hey, Quil. Err, you're grandma's kind of... staring at me funny," he whispered, picking at his tie nervously. It was unusually hot for a December evening. Quil's eyes scanned the yard, passing a scene where Rachel seemingly wants to talk to the new couple while Leah pulled her away. He then settled on his grandmother, who was the only one seated and was drilling a hole through Jacob with her glassy eyes. Quil's eyes widened.
"She's...she's having a... DAD!" he called, albeit a bit frantically, before leaving a confused Jacob wondering what the hell the crazy old woman was having. A baby? A Seizure?
Whatever the case Rachel had released herself from Leah's crablike clutches. She was heading for the dinner bell after all, and rang it at the same time a wolf howl was heard from the distance, sending an irate glare at Leah, who shrugged apologetically. "Dinner's served!" Rachel bellowed, before heading for the chair to the left of the head of the table. Jacob couldn't help but notice the reluctance in the males as they took their seats, looking around warily the forest-y place. Billy wheeled to the head of the table, and Old Quil was the only one left standing. When Mrs Ateara called his attention did he snapped out of it and sat down throwing Sam a terribly confused look.
Everyone was fidgeting for the food as each of them said what they were most thankful for. Paul and Jared, and even Sue Clearwater, who was anxious of what her Turkey might taste like, were drooling in their seats. Only Old Quil and Sam were distracted, looking towards the moon. Jacob was now looking at Quil's grandmother, whispering at Quil's dad's ears in a panicked way. This confounded Jacob to no end. What, is that hag-looking woman finding something offensive about Jacob? Was it the cropped hair, very different from the others' long, bushy ones, or the mismatching tie and suit combo?
"I'm thankful I've finally found the love of my life, my soul mate, Emily Young." Sam Uley pronounced proudly, earning him a very passionate, loving kiss from said girl. Leah was currently leaving grip marks on the wooden table, glaring lasers at the couple.
After everyone laughed at Quil for being thankful Embry was here, Jacob was next. He couldn't think of anything at all to be thankful for, and everyone, for once, noticed some sadness in Jacob's eyes.
"Err...umm, I'm thankful for this lovely couple who have joined us today, Sam and Emily, I guess. You look great together. May you... live life to the fullest, loving each other on the way, and have many beautiful babies."
At once, two people abruptly stood up--a livid, explosive Leah, and an indignant Seth.
"What!? You're never going to let it down, are you Jake!? As if everyone hasn't drilled it into my skull every--"
"Jake! I thought you were siding my sister in this! You actually like Young with--"
"--can't believe how inconsiderate all of you are--"
"--you're my friend! Look at Sam! They look completely opposites! You're being--"
"--God just everyone give it a rest! I'm getting so tired of--"
They were talking so fast and loud, Leah half-sobbing her share, until an angry Sam stood in defense of a very shocked Emily, along with a very flustered Sue hissing at her children to sit down. Everyone was talking--or yelling was more like it-- all at once, and soon everyone was standing up--except for an oddly stoic Quil's grandma--and arguing with each other, taking sides and completely ignoring the food. Sam was trembling with anger, like he was also about to explode, followed by Jared, who has also sided Emily, and Leah. Harry and Billy were beginning to panic, though Jacob, already regretting the words, didn't know why they were so scared. Another wolf howl resounded from the distance.
In an instant four people exploded, knocking the tables over and sending food up in the air. Everyone was beyond shocked and terrified to find four furry, ravenous, wild... creatures standing before them.
The whole neighborhood heard the chaos that erupted next, some even coming out of their house to check. In the middle of the street four wolf-like things snapped and slashed and took gory bites at each other wrestling one another and making some of the asphalt crack. Harry was yelling frantically at Sue to step back and at Leah, or what seemed to be Leah, to calm down, while Billy had wheeled in and out of the house with some smoking grass in his hands, waving them at the wolves and throwing some at them. The burning leaves were unusually calming to everyone except the wolves, who kept coming at each other and colliding at blinding speeds.
The grey wolf weaved around two scuffling ones trying to overcome each other, and leapt into the air towards the biggest brown wolf, which anticipated this and bared its fangs. They sank into the grey wolf's shoulders while it clawed the brown wolf's back. Both were trying to shake the other off, spilling blood everywhere. Despite all the blood loss not one of them tired.
Jacob, still near the tables and looking at the chaotic scene he caused with impossibly wide eyes, noticed in the corner of those eyes someone running off into the forest. Based on the billowing Native American cloak he immediately thought it was Old Quil.
He wanted to get away from it all, the screams from Sue and Rachel, the growling and snapping, the police' sirens in the distance, so he ran past the car shed and past the underbrush and trees, following Old Quil silently but quickly.
He didn't expect a tiring hike. He found it odd that he could jump a little higher than usual and that his arms could support his whole body as he scaled some of the mountainous parts. He could see clearly and he thought it must have been the moonlight. A little ways into the forest he dodged and ducked and weaved around branches and trunks, leapt over rocks and bushes, and even managed minimal damage to the suit he was wearing.
The hem of his slacks were dirty and torn, he was panting and sweating, his coat already removed, as he reached the last of the trees and reached a wide clearing, devoid of any large vegetation. It was grassy, moonlit, and soothing. Jacob had not seen anything like it.
Two figures walking away from him instantly got his attention. It was Old Quil, and he was with someone.
Jacob stood there for a moment and thought. He didn't know what to do at that point. He wondered why Old Quil would suddenly bail out of the situation down at the neighborhood, how he managed to hike to this clearing, and how he knew this man was here. He settled for crawling through the grass as silent as possible, disregarding the fact he'd totally ruined his suit then, until he was close enough to hear the conversation.
"...they just did. Down there in the streets next to our Billy's house," said Old Quil.
"Ah. You must have planned this. Didn't you arrange for that dinner, Old Quil?" asked the taciturn man. Who was this person?
"Yes, I did. Billy never ceases the opportunity to gather friends. It was really a streak of destiny each of us has found home in Surrey."
"And are all of them of age? Who is the Alpha?" asked the man. Jacob propped up from his elbows to see through the tall grass. The man looked like a beggar, his arms and face marred with old scars, and his clothes baggy, torn, oversized and not matching. Rachel would have had a field day with this guy's fashion sense. These distracted him from the fact that it was dark night and his eyes couldn't possibly have seen such detail.
"Only Sam and Jared are. However, Seth's anger activated his prematurely. I also saw his sister Leah with the signs. If she weren't in an emotional state I was sure she would have changed as well. As for the Alpha I am not quite sure yet. I have seen Sam Uley, and he seemed to be the biggest of the four down there. Quite possibly Paul, Embry, Quil and Jacob will follow soon."
Jacob was getting scared. The two spoke of this...thing that's happening at the neighborhood like a picnic. He was confused, and felt a little betrayal from Old Quil. Was he the one who turned Seth and the others into those creatures? And what did he mean by 'follow soon'? His panic rose as well when he thought he might turn into one of them as well.
The quiet man stopped in his tracks and tilted his nose up. The wind blew Jacob's hair to their direction at the time. And then the man looked at Quil with mild surprise, his eyebrows rising.
"We, erm... have a visitor."
Jacob stiffened and ducked around a nearby bush. He was discovered. Jacob dreaded and feared what the two men were going to do to him.
Old Quil also had raised his head, and nodded in agreement.
"It's one of Billy's. Jacob, come out of there!" Jacob, seeing no positive outcome from running away or staying there, rose from the bushes and stared at Old Quil firmly. He unconsciously puffed his chest a bit and straightened himself, not showing any sign of weakness. Old Quil's interest was piqued. Jacob Black looked confident and threatening, despite the ruined suit and disheveled tie.
"I didn't notice you back there," Old Quil said in surprise. He really was surprised, for his senses could have picked up anyone sneaking up on them. Jacob got as close as a few feet before getting discovered. Jacob tilted his head to the side, confused about Old Quil's tone. He didn't seem angry Jacob was spying on them. He looked rather amused instead.
Jacob felt the need to speak when the other man stared at him, waiting. "What's... what's happening to them?"
Old Quil now knew he had been caught, and had to come clean. He couldn't lie, because based from what Jacob had done, which was follow him through a dangerous hike and eavesdrop on their conversation without them noticing, Jacob was exhibiting senses even though he's still human. Could it possibly be...
"Jake, you have overheard us, and I am not going to lie to you. You must promise me though that none of this goes out to anyone. I will promise you myself that what is happening to them would not endanger their lives. Do I make myself clear?"
Jacob stiffened again, like a soldier called to attention by a military official. He was internally debating whether to agree to this.
"What's the catch?" Jacob asked unexpectedly.
"No catch. Just trust me. Billy trusts me, and I'm sure he'd want you to."
Jacob thought for a second, and then nodded stiffly.
"Jacob, our instincts brought us here for a reason. All of us down there are... descended, as you say, from an ancient tribe." Old Quil slowly explained. He'll do this one step at a time, to let it sink into Jacob. The man watched the exchange with patience, expectance and anticipation in his eyes.
"This tribe, the Quileute Tribe, had inhibited a special trait in their genes over the years."
Jacob had heard of this before. It was the stories, the very ones Billy used to tell them when he was a kid. "My dad... he told me about them. Bedtime stories. He knows about this, then." Old Quil nodded in acquiescence. So Jacob already knows this. Old Quil was impressed with how the boy deduced the rest. Billy had saved him time explaining it.
"Yes Jake. It means that those stories, as you saw down there, were indeed true to begin with. Our families are descended from a tribe whose connections and bonds are strong. We were led here because we are a protector tribe. Our destinies led us to Surrey, because on of the most powerful was living here. Your father was a werewolf as well, when the shock of losing his mate ultimately removed his."
Jacob's mind was reeling. If his dad was a werewolf, then surely he would be...
"I'm positive. Even now when you followed me you've shown what you could do. A normal human could not have followed me through the dead of the night and thick forest without some keen sense of smell or hearing. You could not have eavesdropped on us from your distance, for we could have noticed you immediately, and we were barely whispering. But we didn't notice you, and you did hear us, so that would mean that yes, Jacob, you are going to be a werewolf."
Werewolf. Huh. It seemed such a strange concept to Jacob. To think that those wolves fighting in front of the neighborhood were his friends. To think that he was going to turn into one at some point. It made him feel... feel...
Old Quil and his company didn't expect such a positive feedback from Jacob. Old Quil thought it was the lack of excitement in Jacob's life. Whatever the case, he was glad he got that off his chest and glad of the reaction. The man was smiling as well. To him, he was reminded of his cub.
"Jake. You're life's going to change from here. The pack's territory has been scouted lately by other werewolves, and humans threatening to eliminate us. They want us to join a war, one that none of you have ever heard of before. You know the secret own, and must therefore divulge this information to your companions. You, as it seems, would be their leader for now. I do not know who the positive Alpha is, for there are many of you yet to change. You must be aware that from now on your father and I will guide all of you through this."
Jacob nodded quickly, sensing an extreme need to run laps around the clearing. It was an exciting feeling, belong to something entirely secret, and quite possibly life-threatening. He could have forgotten at the time anything that would have bothered him. He belonged to something now.
The other man lightly tapped Old Quil's shoulders. The old man's expression was apologetic. He forgot he had company to introduce.
"Jacob," he called, and Jacob was at full attention. "An...ambassador, if I may say so, has been sent to us from a brother pack. He's a personal friend of mine, and he's aligned and also a mentor to the most powerful one we were born to protect."
The man, sensing his cue offered a rough hand to Jacob, which he quickly and firmly shook. The man smiled gently and spoke.
"Hello there, Jacob Black. My name is Remus Lupin."
A/N: Yeah so, once again tell me what you think and review!