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Keeping Bodark in character is hard… and he's my character!
Disclaimer: I only own the OC's.
Believe it or not, this was never supposed to be twenty chapters... I expected this to be 10-15 chapters at the most. But oh my Merlin, I hit twenty chapters!
"It is only for the sake of those without hope that hope is given to us," –Walter Benjamin
"You new big brother?" the child asked excitedly in broken, hurried English.
"You're a werewolf," Remus whispered.
"Aswang, let go of Remus," Lang Ren ordered, reaching forward to grab the child. Aswang frowned at Lang Ren and ducked around the back of Remus' legs, still holding onto them. Remus stumbled a step but Aswang still held tight to him, stumbling with Remus. Lily reached out to steady Remus.
"Aswang. Come here, brat" Bodark barked. Aswang let go of Remus and smiled when he saw the other werewolf, running to him. Bodark bent down and grabbed him by the leg, throwing the kid over his shoulder like a sack of potatoes. Remus was about to protest and Lily most certainly was except Aswang started laughing gleefully as he walked away.
"Are they brothers?" Lily asked.
"Bodark accidentally turned Aswang before he realized he was a werewolf," Lang Ren said. "That was his second full moon, I believe. He took the kid in."
"He didn't know?" Lily asked sharply. Lang Ren looked at her surprised, as if expecting her to be meek. Remus could have easily told Lang Ren that wouldn't have been the case. Lily was anything but meek.
"He was asleep when the change took place the first time and thought it was a dream since no one could explain to him what happened. I found him a few days after his second change and explained what he had become. He realized that he had turned a child and ran to get him. That was two years ago. Aswang is seven now," Lang Ren said. "He somehow manages to look younger, doesn't he? If it weren't for Aswang needing him, I'm sure Bodark would have been much more recluse."
"Not committed suicide?" Remus asked.
"I believe he would find suicide a greater sin than lycanthropy," Lang Ren said. "And not all werewolf experiences are bad, Remus. You will hopefully learn that in your time with us. Come meet everyone… you and…"
"When the flush of a new-born sun fell first on Camelot's green and gold,
Our father Merlin sat under the Tree and scratched with a stick in the mould;…" (1)
"Lily," he supplied.
"You and Lily," Lang Ren repeated, putting his hand on Remus' back and leading him to the other werewolves.
"Are you done sniffing the other werewolves' hind sides?" Bodark asked without turning around as Remus entered his tent. "Where's your beta?"
"She's with the other werewolves. Lang Ren told us about Aswang," Remus said. Bodark stiffened. "You pretend to have a snarky remark for everything but that's just a façade, isn't it?" Bodark snarled and Remus found himself on the floor of the tent, a sadistic smile on Bodark's face as he pressed a blade against Remus' next. Remus hissed as the silver touched his skin, trying to arch his neck away from the blade.
"What are you doing with silver?" Remus hissed. Bodark pulled the silver away from his neck but kept it close enough that Remus was still left to eye it warily.
"Some werewolves cower after being turned. I embraced the change," Bodark snarled. "I had to embrace the change-"
"For Aswang," Remus said. "Right?" Bodark stilled and then let Remus back up.
"You don't know anything," Bodark scowled as the little werewolf crawled into the tent.
"I might know a little more than you think," Remus said. Bodark tossed his head and let the pup crawl into his lap, curling up into a ball and closing his eyes. Bodark muttered something about pups not sleeping in their beds and grabbed him by the scruff of the neck, depositing him on the smaller of the two sleeping bags.
"What's a pup like you know?" Bodark sneered, crossing his arms.
"My… mate is kind of like that," Remus said.
"Mate or girlfriend?" Bodark asked.
"Boyfriend," Remus said.
"So who is the prude? You or the boyfriend?" Bodark asked.
"None of my business?" Bodark snorted. "See, the thing about werewolves is there aren't very many people willing to be friends with us. I'm sure you know that. This… 'paradise' as Lang Ren likes to call it, only has eighteen of us, nineteen if you join our ranks. Mating is a particularly rough subject. Wolves mate for life. A handsome, studious, well educated pup like yourself would be among the better candidates for a father of a litter… better than an ex muggle soldier."
It was dark as Lang Ren and another werewolf, a female named Eigi(2) who had become fast friends with Lily, led Remus and Lily back to Hogwarts.
"Take your time deciding, Remus. You don't have to decide right away- there is no pressure. I personally hope you come to live with us," Lang Ren said to Remus quietly. "We can't leave the Forbidden Forest, so this is as far as we can take you."
"Can I… can I visit again soon?" Remus asked. Lang Ren smiled.
"You may visit us as often as you like. Maybe you can even run with us during the full moon sometime," he said.
"And the first rude sketch that the world had seen was joy to his mighty heart,"(1)
"You…" Remus hesitated.
"Yes?" Lang ren asked.
"You treat me like… an adult. My friends treat me like porcelain," Remus said. "Not that I don't love my friends but-"
"Remus, I understand. The way I see it… 'If I accept you as you are, I will make you worse; however if I treat you as though you are what you are capable of becoming, I help you become that'(3)," Lang Ren said.
"What'd he say to you?" Lily asked as she linked arms with Remus.
"He said I could visit," Remus said.
"Lily, not now," Remus said.
Remus should have been back by now. Lily and Remus had even missed dinner. James knew Sirius hadn't missed it because even Peter had seemed to realize it. Now he was pacing in their dorm, waiting for the werewolf to come back. Peter was being kept awake by the noise he was making, having given up on sleep until Remus was back. There was no way he was still out on prefect patrols- the door knob began to turn and Remus walked in.
"What are you two still doing up?" Remus asked quietly.
"Waiting for you," Peter huffed.
"Where's Lily? Did she find you? Where were you?" James fired off.
"Lily's safe, in her dormitory," Remus said calmly. "If you'll excuse me, I've had a long day…"
"Wait, where've you been?" James demanded. "And with Lily?"
"Don't worry James. We weren't doing anything you're probably thinking of," Remus said. "Goodnight."
"James. I'm tired. I would like to sleep," Remus said.
"You were concerned, I understand. I overreacted," Remus said but James was left with the feeling that Remus hadn't completely forgiven him for having treated him like a porcelain doll.
Lily sat awake in her room, her curtains drawn around her bed. She was still thinking about the events that had happened only minutes ago. Her roommates had already been asleep when she got back in, thinking she was out on prefect duties. She was worried and she knew Remus knew about her concern because he'd asked her not to voice it.
"Till Morgan le Fay whispered behind the leaves, `It's pretty, but is it Art?'(1)" she whispered to herself.
(1) "When the flush of a new-born sun fell first on Eden's green and gold,
Our father Adam sat under the Tree and scratched with a stick in the mould;
And the first rude sketch that the world had seen was joy to his mighty heart,
Till the Devil whispered behind the leaves, "It's pretty, but is it Art?" -Rudyard Kipling – The Conundrum of the Workshops
Like all my stories involving God, I changed it to Merlin and Morgan le Fay because I'm not involving any religion in here, I don't plan to and I refuse to disclose if I have a religion or what religion I am if I do have one.
Morgan le Fay is portrayed as a powerful sorceress who tried to plot King Arthur's death, in case someone doesn't know. I just skimmed that so I might be wrong but I think that's the general idea.
(2) Eigi Einhamir- Norway and Sweden's werewolf creature
(3) Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
More of Remus and Lily's time with the werewolves is going to be in the next chapter.