A/N: This stories beginning is set approximately 16-20 years before Men at Arms, and tells the story of Angua before her arrival in Ankh-Morpork, picking up on the part in the Fifth Elephant where she tells her mother that Ankh-Morpork taught her restraint, hence the title. I am going to continue T.P's portrayal of Wolfgang as an increasingly insane neo Nazi. just as a warning.
The baroness Serafine von Uberwald screamed as she gave birth to the last of her litter. 3 were wolves and one was human, yet 2 of the wolf cubs underwent a strange and visually disquieting change. The remaining wolf cub and the remaining human baby stayed the same. The baroness snorted with disgust. Yennorks she thought, unworthy carriers of werewolf blood, aristocratic werewolf blood at that. Momentarily she wondered if the old tales about her ancestors mating with yennorks were true, then thrust it to the back of her mind. Of course they couldn't, no werewolf would betray the blood so by mating with a non-werewolf (1). She looked at the other two pups, the two true inheritors of their exalted lineage of the litter. One male, one female. Those two, the proper inheritors of the werewolf legacy would receive old, aristocratic and proper names, as befitting werewolves of such exalted heritage. The yennorks would receive rather more common names as befitted their somewhat more lowly status in the pack. She was about to change so to offer the maximum amount of nipples to the newborns when a young woman came in, men not being permitted entry to the birthing chamber, unless they were doctors. She curtsied and gave a note to the baroness and said, " begging your pardon milady, but an odd old man in orange robes came by and asked who you were, hearing the noises, when I told him who you were he smiled, and asked me to give you this and he also said, say hello to 'Wolfgang, Delphine Angua, Andrei and Elsa for me'". The Baroness bridled at the extraordinary presumption of a mere human for a moment, but then thought about the names. They were not so bad after all, she mused, and also it was well known that it did very little good and a lot of bad not to follow rule 1 (2). Uncle Adolf (3) had found that out the hard way None of the pack knew quite what happened, but since he came back missing one of his family jewels(4), it wasn't likely to have been nice. Though he did shriek a little around old men in orange. Besides they were good names. Two of the names were noble, two common, as befitted the makeup of the litter. She unfolded the piece of paper. It said, "One shall be powerful and much feared but will die at the hands of the Beast who wears justice like a cloak and carries the law like a candle in the wind (5) and never ceases chasing. One shall be clever and beautiful and have the love of the King who serves his people. One shall be a highly acclaimed champion and one shall perish in the killing flames, betrayed by one of her own blood."
Serafine scanned the hastily penned note for a moment, then balled it up and threw it in the fire, where the future burnt in the fires of the past. The old man may have had a flair for names but he was a bad prophet. She changed and the newborns began to suckle, and their father came in, as a human and glanced at the litter and nodded satisfied. It was good.
4 years later
A golden furred youngish wolf cub pounced on a small blonde girl. In other places this would have caused much comment and possibly some screaming, but in the Von Uberwald household it was a fairly normal occurrence, as was the girl changing into a very similar if leaner wolf cub to the first and slamming the first cubs snout onto the ground and promptly squashing the other cub, all of which happened in a matter of a few seconds. The first cub let out a noisy 'harrumph' of irritation as he was sat upon and wriggled out from underneath his sister and trotted off grumbling under his breath. The cub that had been pounced on shook herself calmly and trotted over to another blonde girl in a small and highly old fashioned dress and another gold cub who were play fighting. The girl currently had the ferociously squirming wolf cub in a headlock. Said ferociously squirming wolf was getting dirt and spittle all over the dress, which the little girl was blissfully unaware of. The little girl looked up and cheerily said "Hi Delphine!", at the approaching wolf cub and looked puzzled as her sister pulled off the wolf approximation of a frown, and then she remembered. Delphine preferred to be called by her second name, Angua, despite the fact that mother despaired that it was common, and, behaviour not befitting their station in life. Elsa (for this was the little girl's name) made a face as her brother Andrei jumped up yelping and licked her face without warning. "Urgh, Andrei, get off!" she moaned as her brother sat on her so as to gain a better licking point, though he fell off with a yelp as Angua cannoned into him. For the moment, all of them save Wolfgang were happy. For the moment.
This was the happy and carefree beginning to a story with a terrible conclusion...
(1)And how wrong she would turn out to be...
(2) Which was by now embedded in the back of the genetic codes drawer of the sentient species of the Disc. On the other hand, you always found some foolhardy Humans/Dwarves/Trolls who tried to break the rule and who would soon regret it deeply and wish they had listened to the little voice in the back of their heads saying, "For all the God's sakes, don't, please don't." Werewolves were more in touch with their instincts, so consequently more likely to listen to the voices in their head, something that didn't always turn out all that well. It's very nice and good if you have excellent survival instincts but not so good if you completely bypass (and wave at them as they go by) them to become a megalomaniac, and if you happen to be a creature that is vilified as a monster in some parts of the multiverse, this is as good as a death sentence. Evolution forgot about Health and safety where werewolves were concerned.
(3) I am sorry, but it was truly impossible to resist the temptation.
(4) Yet more temptation not resisted. This refers to the popular WW2 British soldiers song, 'Hitler's only got one ball'. You don't have to be a genius to see why it was popular.
(5) Many, many brownie points go to whoever works out the reference. Good L-. May the Lady with green eyes be with you.