I'm so sorry!

Chapter Nine

After the encounter with Remus, Ron and Hermione, Harry's thoughts hadn't been much more than a blur. Being around Fenrir made his body tingle, his mind foggy, and his heart ache, though he didn't know how any of that was possible. He hated the man for goodness sake!

You don't hate him, said the Fenrir-like voice in his head. You went to find him; you didn't ask to be rescued when you had the chance.

During the bumpy, uncomfortable journey, Harry had fallen limp; he was too tired to prevent his head from lolling upside down, so his face was pressed in between Fenrir's shoulder blades. He was also very cold seeing as he was topless, his shirt being back in the forbidden forest, so he took comfort in the warmth of Fenrir's body.

It had hurt his heart when they had crossed through the meagre wards of Hogwarts. He had watched the castle grow smaller and smaller as Fenrir took him further away.

I really don't know what I want, do I? Harry asked himself. One minute I dread going back to the castle, the next I want to go with this... werewolf! No, I don't want to go with him... I've got to keep my head.

"Put me down," Harry said shortly, as Greyback wound his way, stealthily and sneakily, through the shadows of Hogsmeade.

"I thought you'd fainted, pup," Fenrir said, a smirk emerging as he heard his mate's muffled voice. He hoisted the boy up so his grip was more secure. "And I have no intentions of putting you down where you could make an escape. You're quite fast for a human, I must say."

Harry snorted at being called a human. "Thanks."

Fenrir grunted, unsure whether his cub was being sarcastic or not. He continued making his way to the cave, ignoring his mate's protests and objections for him to be put down. Fenrir thought he'd enjoy hearing the fight and spirit inside the boy, but he found himself wanting to please his mate. Later, he thought, when he's unable to get away, I'll make it up to him.

*FG-HP*

Fenrir looked up to the sky and saw the moon hiding behind a grey sheet of cloud.

"Nearly time," he muttered to himself.

He picked up his speed and sprinted the rest of the way to the cave, his pup bouncing on his shoulder as his body jostled at the speed.

Harry grunted at the sudden jerky movements and tried to tell Fenrir to slow down, but the vigorous strides the man was taking made it hard for Harry to articulate properly.

As soon as Fenrir reached the outskirts of his cave, he felt a sudden spasm spread down his back. He grunted and dropped Harry to the floor, who landed with a soft thud. At the sudden pain that was rapidly coursing round his body, Fenrir let out a soft whine and dropped to his knees.

Harry didn't know what to do. He watched this strong, tough man fall to floor in what Harry could only assume to be agonizing pain. He would have thought seeing this monster of a man in agony would be satisfying, but for some reason Harry wanted to help him.

"F-Fenrir?" he croaked.

The man turned to look at him, and even in the dim light Harry could see the man's pupils were dilated. Fenrir opened his mouth to speak but before he could utter a single syllable, his back arched and he fell.

Harry scrambled up and hurried over to Fenrir.

"What do I do?" he asked hysterically. Surely he'd get bitten or eaten if he stayed with a werewolf who clearly hadn't taken the Wolfsbane potion?

"You mustn't... ru–" but Fenrir was unable to finish as he let out a loud, mournful howl.

Harry jumped at the sound and shuffled backwards, watching the man before him tear off what little clothes that were covering up that marred, muscular body.

Fenrir tried to tell Harry not to worry; the mating instinct in his wolf form should be stronger than that of his urge for human flesh, but Harry didn't know that. Damn it, he should have explained what would happen earlier! However, before he could think another rational thought, his mind started to haze over, leaving nothing but primal instincts and the need to eat, sleep and run.

He let out a bloodcurdling howl as he felt his bones rearrange themselves and he convulsed maniacally on the floor.

Harry continued to watch Greyback as he transformed, the moonlight illuminating his constantly changing form. As much as he wanted to run away, Harry found he couldn't look away from the changing werewolf. It was captivating, hypnotic almost. When Fenrir let out a whine worthy of a frightened, newborn puppy, Harry felt his heart ache. The first thought that rushed through his mind was, "Your mate is in pain. Do something."

So, almost subconsciously, Harry found himself edging closer to the distressed man whose figure was rapidly changing into the form of a wolf.

"Shh, it's okay," Harry whispered, his voice shaky from nerves. "I'm here, hush."

He stretched out a comforting hand but snatched it back as Fenrir turned and snapped his jaw – which was now a snout – down on where Harry's hand had been a mere moment ago.

With another ear-screeching howl, Fenrir's body was nearly unrecognisable. His joints were constantly rearranging themselves as his body began the final stages of the transformation.

Harry felt his stomach turn as Greyback's joints cracked into different positions until all that was left was a golumesque figure, cowering on the floor. Memories of Harry's third year rushed back into his mind as he recalled Lupin's transformation. Taking a deep breath, he stretched out his hand again, this time ignoring the fear, and focusing on this strange, primal tenderness that was pulsing through his veins. He needed to help his... his mate.

"Fenrir, it's okay, you're okay..."

At the man's cowering, crouching form, Harry ran his hand along the exposed back. Immediately the werewolf reacted to the touch; the bony back arched up into Harry's touch, very similar to how Crookshanks reacted to Hermione's petting.

Wait a minute... Harry thought, his hand freezing on Fenrir's back, did I just insinuate that I was 'petting' Fenrir?

Harry shook his head; that didn't matter now, all he knew was that this slow stroking of Fenrir's back was keeping the wolf calm. They stayed like that for what had to have been ten long minutes, until finally, Greyback slowly stood up so he was towering over Harry.

Harry gazed up at the huge werewolf and started trembling; Greyback was a lot larger than Remus when he had transformed. He found he couldn't do anything but sit on the earth, staring into the hungry, amber eyes which were getting ever closer to his face. Harry flinched as the snout was suddenly pressed against his cheek, the warm air from the nose gusting over his face as Fenrir scented him. When Harry realised that he was safe he relaxed a little and couldn't suppress a grin as the creature in front of him lay down and rested its head in Harry's lap.

This is weird, Harry thought as he stroked the wolf's head.

"I... um... I don't know if you can understand me," Harry began uncertainly, "but... uh... thanks for, you know, not attacking me."

Harry blushed as Fenrir sat up and stared into Harry's eyes. It was strange but Harry felt as though, if it were able, the wolf would have laughed.

"Stop looking at me like that," he mumbled. It was so bizarre how Harry wasn't fussed that he was in the presence of a werewolf. He supposed that was part of the deal of being a werewolf's mate though. He snapped out of his reverie when a warm, wet tongue licked up his face, not once, nor twice, but three times.

"Urgh!" Harry exclaimed disgusted, standing up and wiping his face on his arm. "That's gross!"

The werewolf narrowed its eyes and Harry gulped; had he offended Fenrir?

"Hey! Where are you going?" Harry called as the werewolf turned and walked in the opposite direction of Harry. He began to panic; should he follow Greyback? What if he wanted to be left alone? Or, what if Harry had truly upset him? "Um, I'm sorry?"

But no luck, the wolf didn't change its path. Harry made his mind up; he ran after the wolf and caught up with him in no time. However, Fenrir didn't acknowledge Harry's presence at all. He merely continued to slink away to wherever he was headed. Harry decided it was probably best not to say anything until Fenrir made a move, so he traipsed after the wolf, wondering why they were heading away from the cave. He was getting slightly edgy but said nothing; Fenrir was his mate, he wouldn't lead him into any danger.

Finally the wolf came to a halt at a rippling lake. Harry looked at it nervously; it looked dark and threatening, not to mention scary the way the moonbeams reflected off the subtle waves.

Harry then looked up at Fenrir who was approaching him slowly.

"F-Fenrir... I... I'm not too sure about th– HEY!" Fenrir had pounced on Harry and was now tearing off Harry's trousers. "Get off me!"

But Greyback didn't oblige, he ripped at Harry's trousers until Harry was left in nothing but his underwear. Fenrir then retreated and stood by the side of the lake, watching Harry intently. Harry sat up and wrapped his arms round his body protectively. Earlier he hadn't cared that much that he was topless, but now he was even more exposed he felt downright paranoid.

Fenrir looked into the lake and splashed the water with his paw, indicating for Harry to get in.

"Are you mad?" he asked. "It'll be freezing in there!"

The wolf growled angrily and Harry started. He knew his mate wouldn't harm him, but at the moment Fenrir looked downright dangerous. So, hesitantly Harry made his way over to the edge of the lake and looked down at the dark depths.

"I can't swim," Harry stated. "What if I drown?"

Fenrir somehow managed a glare and Harry shivered at the threat in the amber eyes. Carefully he dipped a toe in to test the temperature of the lake and immediately goosebumps had sprouted all over his body. The water was cold.

He wants me to take a bath? Harry thought, and then understanding hit him like a rock; Fenrir had tried washing Harry with his tongue but seeing Harry didn't like it, he'd taken him to bathe in the water.

Harry looked at Fenrir imploringly. "This is very considerate of you and all but please listen; I really don't need to bathe. I had a shower yester–"

Splash.

Fenrir had nudged Harry into the lake and was now in the water with him. In his wolf form he was much taller than his normal self so from his shoulders up he was above the water. Harry, meanwhile, was struggling to stay afloat and his little head bobbed in and out of the water, so Fenrir's impulsive reaction to save his mate kicked in.

Harry spluttered for air and tried to stay afloat but he just couldn't stay up for more than three seconds. Just when he thought he was running out of energy to resurface again he felt a strong arm curl round his waist and was hoisted up out of the icy depths. He coughed and gasped before opening his eyes to find he was back-to-chest with Greyback. He held on to the thick arm for dear life, not wanting to slip under the water again.

Suddenly he felt himself being turned around and found himself nose to nose with the hybrid-looking werewolf. He didn't know what to do so he just kept Fenrir's gaze, shivering slightly as the cool water rocked against him.

This had to be the most interesting bath time Harry had ever experienced, and that was including the time when Myrtle had joined him in the Prefects tub.


Okay, there's chapter nine done. Again, I'm so sorry for my late updates, not only on this, but on EVERYTHING else.

*gives readers tripple... no QUADRUPLE choc chip cookies :D*