Hey folks! I just wanted to apologize for the long delay, this was just not coming, the wall was too long, the block to big, the *insert analogy of choice. I hope you enjoy it.
18 The Night
Everything was going well for the odd family. The next event that had happened to the family wasn't bad it was just... unexpected.
Over the course of the last few weeks Cale had become increasingly closer to both Remus, they were both part wolf, and Harry, they had both suffered terribly at the hands of people that were suppose to protect them, Severus and Draco had remained the outsiders. He trusted the pair but not like he trusted Harry and Remus.
It was a full moon and Cale's first since arriving at Hogwarts. It had been decided that Harry and Remus would be with Cale for the transformation while Draco and Severus worked on what they were currently calling Cale's Elixir.
Severus and Poppy had been discussing the Wolf's Bane potion, which Cale could take since he was actually a werewolf, and how much the small boy could take when Harry who had been taking inventory for Poppy butted into the conversation.
'Why not make Cale into a Lycan, I mean I know that's not what happened to Remus but what if you could I don't know, maybe combine Cale with the wolf, somehow... maybe...' he trailed off at the incredulous looks that both Poppy and Severus were giving him. 'Apparently that's the dumbest thing you've ever heard I am going to go over hear and not talk anymore...' Harry muttered as he went back to the potions he was cataloguing.
Suddenly he was pulled into strong arms that had come around his waist.
'You my son, are a bloody genius!' Severus said with so much conviction that Harry almost cried, which he didn't. And then just as suddenly he was let go and Severus and Poppy were arguing back and forth about whether or not that could be done, leaving Harry alone with the potions cupboard.
'No you go ahead I still have work to do here,' he called after them slightly peeved that they hadn't included him. He spent the rest of his inventory grumbling about lazy fathers and erstwhile possible employers.
So on the night of the full moon, Draco and Severus were ensconced in Severus' lab while Harry and Remus were with Cale for the full moon.
Moony was wrapped around Cale, as the boy whimpered as the moon made its appearance, bathing the tiger and two wolves in moonlight.
After the transformation Cale huddled in Remus' protective embrace for almost ten minutes before the small wolf peaked out of Remus' cocoon.
He struggled to get free of the hulking wolf to examine this other creature.
It was different than him but was still a part of his pack. He whimpered, there was someone missing, two someone's actually. Harry and Remus, as Pheo and Moony, traded a look as Cale burrowed into Remus.
Moony gently nudged Cale, trying to figure out what was wrong with the cub. A second later Cale was pelting, rather clumsily, toward Hogwarts. Harry and Remus followed but didn't stop him. They did however growl at anyone who tried to stop the wolf cub.
'He's with 'Ry and Remy,' Draco said softly not looking up from the beetles he was crushing, 'he'll be okay.'
Severus sighed, 'I know, I just,' before he could say what he was feeling they both turned to a scratching at the door, curious, Draco got up to see what it was. He stumbled back when a wolf cub bolted past him and began to pull on Severus' pant leg.
Draco turned to find Harry watching in fascination but Remus was laughing at the sight.
'He was quite distressed in the woods and came bolting into the castle,' offered Remus as he watched Cale with Shadow and Severus.
Severus gave a half hearted attempt to get the cub to stop pulling his pant leg and then, much to Draco's astonishment, turned into the fluffy white dog, without an argument, as Remus became his wolf.
Draco stumbled having been caught unawares when Shadow head butted him. He gave a great sigh and turned into a tiger.
Cale wanted to play so he and Moony play fought and the others watched in amusement as Cale managed to climb all over Moony.
It didn't take very long to tire Cale out as the transformation had taken a lot out of him.
Eventually the small cub tried to get up onto the chair that Severus was in and Severus tired of listening to the whimpering had hopped down and gently taken Cale by the scruff of his neck and resettled in the chair. Remus, of course, joined the pair and would have chuckled if he could have when Severus dropped an arm over Cale to settle the young cub.
The next morning Lucius had been selected as the one to check on them because no one had seen them.
He was shocked but highly amused to find the small human child cradled between the large white dog and the auburn wolf on Severus' chair and the two tigers, one white, one black, on the couch, curled into one another.
He had to take a take several photos, for blackmail.
Rhett and Arthur were bent over plans for the new house when a nondescript barn owl landed on the table. The missive it had delivered hadn't been very informative just that Arthur was to report to Azkaban as soon as possible.
'Do you want to go alone?' Rhett asked concerned.
Arthur stared at the missive in apprehension. It had something to do with one of his children, of that he was sure but he had no idea what to expect, so he blushed slightly when he replied, 'I would really appreciate it if you could come with me.'
Rhett offered him a gentle smile and kissed his knuckles, 'of course.'
The pair made it to the prison about an hour later and Arthur was surprised to see Kingsley waiting for him.
'I'm sorry about this Arthur but it was best you come as soon as you could manage,' Kingsley said as Arthur nodded.
'What happened?' Arthur asked, unable to keep the anxiousness from his voice.
'We don't know all the details but it's in regards to your daughter. It seems that she still harboured feelings for Harry and believed that he would come rescue her, she hadn't had anything to eat or drink in several days and her body just gave up.'
Arthur stopped walking, 'what?'
Kingsley sighed, 'she died, sometime after dinner and before breakfast, she was discovered not too long ago. I'm sorry Arthur but she's died.'
Arthur suddenly grabbed Rhett's arm, his baby girl couldn't be dead. She was too young and full of life.
'Arthur?' Rhett's voice brought him back.
'She was my baby girl,' he trailed off and Rhett pulled Arthur into his arms and the older man buried himself in the crook of the younger man's shoulder. He didn't cry, he simply needed a moment to get his thoughts together and Kingsley gave him that.
Arthur lay on the couch in one of the guard rooms staring at the ceiling, wondering how it had come to this. His wife was dead as was his baby girl, his youngest son was in prison and one son was estranged, the other four were scattered about United Kingdom. Which he supposed was probably normal but he just had no idea it would be like this.
He sighed and stood, and almost fell back onto the couch. Standing in the door way was Ron with Kingsley behind him.
'He wanted to see you,' the tall dark skinned man explained.
'I just... Is she really dead?' Ron looked up with pleading eyes.
Arthur nodded and Ron sighed. 'She was so desperate for Harry to come and save her. Hermione and I tried to get her to eat but she wouldn't listen to us. She kept insisting that Harry was coming. I'm sorry Dad,' he finished.
'I know Ron,' he replied resting a hand on his son's shoulder.
'No just about Ginny, but about everything. I shouldn't have done that. I just wanted to be noticed.' He admitted, his eyes on his lace-less shoes, shame coloured his entire being.
'It's good you finally realize that, but I'm not the one you should be apologizing too.' Arthur gently reminded him.
'Think he'd listen?' Ron sounded mildly hopeful.
Arthur sighed as he studied Ron, he seemed genuine but Arthur couldn't know for sure, not anymore. 'I don't know Ron, give him more time, you all really hurt him. He trusted you and threw it all back in his face.'
'Time to go Ron,' Kingsley announced from the door where he had watched the whole thing.
Ron nodded and gave his father a hopeful look as Arthur squeezed his shoulder. He was still angry with Ronald but it was fading, however he believed it would only be truly gone when his youngest son spoke to Ron.
'Dad, what are you doing here?' Hermione asked surprised to see her father sitting in one of the visitors rooms.
'I wanted to see how you were doing,' Rhett replied.
'Why what happened?'
'This morning they found Ginny,' Rhett started.
Hermione gasped and tears filled her eyes, 'I thought I had gotten her to eat finally,' she whispered.
'This isn't your fault,' her father told her adamantly.
She swiped at her eyes, 'I just... she... I tried to talk to her but she wouldn't listen to anyone. She was so focused on Harry that she refused to believe what anyone told her.'
'You aren't responsible for other people's choices,' Rhett said sadly.
Hermione looked up at her father, 'I know...' she sighed.
The guard knocked on the door, and Rhett sighed, 'you be good,' he said kissing her head.
'You too,' she replied with a small smile.
That night Arthur and Rhett poured all their energy into planning the new house. How many bedrooms, how many bathrooms, how big the closets would be, anything to keep their mind off Ginny who would be buried tomorrow next to her mother.
'I'm sorry about Ginny, Arthur.' Harry said finally getting a moment alone with is third father.
'Thank you Harry, so am I,' he replied offering the boy a glass of red wine.
'Harry,' Ron said softly as he and Kingsley joined Arthur and Harry.
Harry took a step back, into Severus who had his back to them as he talked with Rhett and Hermione.
Ron looked guilty as he spoke, 'I just wanted to say I'm sorry, about what I said and did. About everything. It was uncalled for and just plain stupid. I know you probably won't ever forgive me but I wanted you to know that I realized that I was wrong and way out of line,' he said.
Harry didn't say anything but he nodded before Ron was taken away again. It was a start. And that's almost what mattered.
Well that's all folks, I know it's probably what you wanted, and it's certainly not what I expected when I started it. I would love to write more for this but there just isn't anything left for it, I'm sorry. If you have any ideas I'd be happy to hear them. You never know what might spark something!
Thanks to everyone who favourite, reviewed, alerted and so on and so forth. I hope you enjoyed the ride, as odd as it was! ;)