A/N: Imagine a snail... Imagine a turtle... Imagine slowness... Imagine even slower slowness...And when you think there IS nothing slower than 'slower slowness', imagine the epic battle of time running through your fingers like the proverbial sand. And if you think there is nothing slower than boring hours ticking by during which you look at the clock every second, then you are obviously mistaken, because there are days - no! Even months like that! And after you have spent years contemplating the meaning of slowness, you might come to understand and scratch the surface of our working tempo... So yeah... please don't kill us... Y_Y
Warning: Language (though this time it's considerably less... language-y than it was before...)
Disclaimer: As usual, nothing is ours.
The-things-that-happened-before-but-nobody-actuall y-remembers-'cause-it-took-us-so-damn-long (for short: previously):
"As I was about to say...I can't be bothered to work with the fucking snake retard any longer so I offer you to work with me in the future." Greyback said arrogantly. "I give you 3 days to consider... my proposal."
A large grin spread over his face. "Ah and before I forget: For the time being I take this one with me. Until then."
Vaguely, Harry saw the shocked faces of his friends, frozen to the spot for the moment, before they leaped to the window. They were still in mid-air when he felt the familiar pull behind his navel and they disapparated into thin air.
It was like someone had slowed down time. Remus saw their faces contort into strange grimaces in fright, their mouths wide open but no sound emerged. He watched them rushing to the open window and it was completely silent except for the drum of his heart steadily pounding in his ears.
Helplessly, he felt his body move on its own accord mimicking their actions, almost like it didn't belong to him, like in one of those out-of-body experiences. He passed them, easily, his breath coming out in sharp puffs and reached the window first. His muscles tensed, preparing for the jump...
Suddenly, he was yanked back by the back of his shirt. He stumbled and the world around him exploded into chaos.
Everyone was screaming, shouts could be heard, someone was shaking his shoulder.
The window – he had to reach the window!
Shaking the other off, he stumbled towards it and once there he gripped the sill to steady himself, shoving someone else aside in the process.
In terror, his eyes searched the vast fields behind the house. Greyback was running away with swift movements, his godson hanging limply over the beast's shoulder while his head was bobbing up and down grotesquely with every step.
The sight froze Remus to the spot and a desperate 'no' left his lips.
Out of the corner of his eyes, he saw someone raising their wand, aiming at them.
His heart missed a beat and he screamed at the imbecile. All of a sudden his frozen body responded again and he shoved the outstretched arm aside.
But it was already too late. The hex shot from the tip of the wand to its destiny with lightning speed.
Powerlessly, Remus watched the curse's trajectory with wide eyes, his breath caught in his throat. Just as the curse was about to hit Harry, Greyback dodged to the side as if he had sensed the impending danger.
At once, all breath left Remus in relief, almost forcing him to his knees.
However, his relief was only short-lived as, in the next instant, Greyback jumped over the fence and both of them disappeared into thin air.
No... No! Once again, he had failed to protect his family! Failed like he had before...
"Remus, are you ok?" Someone asked and touched his shoulder, startling him from his guilt ridden thoughts. For a moment he rubbed his temples, his eyes closed while he silently willed the traitorous wetness away. Sighing warily, he murmured a barely audible "fine..." into the chaos around him. Swallowed by the others', his voice sounded shallow even to his ears.
"We have to wake the others!"
"Someone has to go and get Albus and Severus!"
"Oh dear Merlin! The poor boy...What should we do?"
"I'll get Albus and Severus!" Remus said and straightened. Around him the others paused and faced him. Molly looked like she wanted to say something. Her mouth was already open, about to voice her concern, but then she closed it again and her expression settled on a worried frown.
"I'll go get them", Remus repeated decisively, giving her a determined look, the twitching muscle in his jaw giving away his distress. "Go wake the others. We'll meet downstairs."
"Damned rabid dog should've been put to sleep long ago. Should've killed him last time we met! Damned leg..." Moody snarled, his magical eye rolling furiously.
"Don't be like that, Alastor! This doesn't help! And I would really like to know how Greyback managed to get around the Fidelius charm. It's unbreakable!"
"It wasn't broken, Molly. Neither was it lifted..." Dumbledore said, a frown marring his face.
"Then how did that beast manage to get in here?" She asked, her voice pitched high.
Her gaze and everyone else's was focused on him, demanding an answer, but Dumbledore remained silent and his frown deepened. An awkward silence settled over the room that no-one seemed to be able to break.
Uncomfortable, Remus cleared is throat, not looking at anyone. "Shouldn't we discuss what happens now... since it has already happened?"
When nobody reacted, Remus continued quietly. "For example that Greyback wants to work together? Or why he took," at that his voice faltered slightly, "Harry with him..."
"Yeah, why did he do that anyway?" Ron interrupted. "Wouldn't it be better to not take a hostage when you want to negotiate something like that? So that there's no bad blood between the two parties."
Ron paused in thought. "Huh... but who the hell would talk to such a bloody nutcase?"
"Exactly. So he uses Harry to put pressure on us." Tonks pointed out, her hair flashing green.
"Yeah but from his perspective, he doesn't really have another option." Ron agreed.
"That assumes that the lowly beast does indeed possess a fracture of intelligence. A thought which I find highly debatable." Snape sneered.
"Regardless of why he took Harry, we still have to discuss our actions." Arthur interjected.
"So sen vhat vould you 'ave us do? Ve do not kno' any-" Fleur started to say, but Remus interrupted her. "Actually," he said and sent her an apologetic look, "there is something that you need to know."
"What now? Mr. Potter is already missing and there are even more bad news?" McGonagall asked. Looking at her worn face, Remus sighed and elaborated, "Yesterday after I returned from my mission I talked to Harry. I noticed a different smell on him but I couldn't really place it in the beginning because of my cold." He sniffed uneasily.
"So what do you mean?" Someone asked reluctantly.
"My suspicion was confirmed when I saw his neck. I don't know if you're aware but he was bitten by Greyback."
"Yes, we know. He came in with a fever and slight blood loss."
Remus stared at them, disbelieving, and asked, "Don't you know what that means?"
Hermione clapped a hand in front of her mouth in horror. "Oh my gosh! So it's true? But it wasn't even a full moon!"
"Can someone please-"
"It means that Harry's a werewolf now." Hermione explained, and when looking at Remus, got an affirmative nod, who looked devastated.
"What? How?" Ron cried, clearly at a loss of words while he searched Hermione's face for answers.
"I got the notion first when I noticed how Harry suddenly acted strangely … so I spoke to Ginny..." Hermione trailed off at Ron's disbelieving look.
"No!" Hermione glared angrily. "She said that Harry just needed some time to himself to sort things out."
"Wait! Harry is a werewolf?" One of the twins asked.
"Like he's all furry now and stuff?" The other twin added.
"-no offence, Remus", the other interjected while Remus looked at both of them rather pointedly. It did not seem to deter them in the least because they continued on.
"He's gonna be-"
"-howling at the moon, having long sleepless nights, craving bloody steak-"
"Yes, that's it." Remus interrupted them curtly, cutting their taunt off and their easy smiles fell off their faces in surprise.
He stared at them icily for a moment before he turned his attention back to the rest of the assembled Order and said, "That's not all there is to it. To make the situation even worse-"
"What could be even worse than this? Harry's been turned into a werewolf and you say that's not even all?" Molly said worriedly.
"The full moon will rise in two days." Remus explained rather tonelessly.
No one said anything for a moment, whether because they were too shocked or worried was hard to tell. Then Ron braved, "Wait a moment. You mean Harry will be with a pack of utterly stark raving-mad werewolves on the first day of the full moon?!"
"During his first change, nonetheless?" Arthur added, and dawning horror could be seen in his face.
"Very eloquently put, Mr. Weasley," drawled Snape.
"Why you little-" Ron started, his face about to turn red in anger.
"Now, now, this is a very serious situation." Dumbledore interrupted before an argument could break out. The old wizard frowned gravely and he continued. "This development is upsetting, but we cannot change it. Let us move on for now-"
"Move on? Albus, Harry has been turned into a werewolf! How can you just ignore this?!"
"Albus is right, as cruel as it may sound. Harry's condition can't be changed – there is no cure, unfortunately." Kingsley said, glancing at Remus. "So we need to focus on the things that we actually can change. Though its not going to be easy. "He continued while stroking his chin. "We have werewolves on a killing spree, an unorthodox proposal by their leader, a taken hostage, three days to consider, a meeting where we don't know neither location nor the exact time – we don't know anything at all really. Plus, we don't know what will happen to Harry or in which condition he will be after his first change or if he will survive at all."
"Arthur's right. We've got other things to think about. Potter's on his own for now but he's got a knack for surviving Dark Wizards. We can't track his nor the rabid dogs' location so we should prepare for the eventual confrontation to take down as many of the beasts and take Potter back to safety." Moody grumbled.
"Ok, so how can we rock the party?" Tonks asked cheerfully and clapped her hands, her hair flashing brightly.
"God damned little fucker!" He growled lowly before he made a jerky motion with his hand and straightened his nose.
A sense of dread pooled in Harry's gut while he watched the other in morbid fascination.
Slowly the beast looked up and fixated him with an murderous glint in the cold amber eyes.
He was so dead.
In an attempt to protect himself, he tried to scramble backwards but he lost his balance on the rough forest floor and landed on his behind. Greyback's eyes narrowed dangerously and the beast, barely six inches apart, leaned forwards into Harry's space. Not loosing eye contact, Greyback rubbed the blood from his nose with the back of his hand uncaringly.
"You think you know everything… " Greyback growled through his teeth while coming even closer, his large presence looming over him. Harry's breath hitched. For a second, his gaze had fallen onto the beast's sharp fangs, red from the blood that had run down his lip and over his teeth. Unconsciously, Harry tried to move away.
Greyback's eyes flashed in anger, his huge prank shot forwards to grab Harry's shoulder and he was shoved into the ground. "But you know nothing." Greyback spat, his eyes boring into Harry's while his nose was almost touching Harry's. "...nothing, whelp."
His eyes flickered to Harry's neck and some of the tension seemed to leave his shoulders. A barely audible huff left him and the pressure on Harry's shoulder wasn't as painful anymore.
"Don't do that again."
"What?" Harry asked, confused by the sudden change of demeanour.
"I said: Don't. Do. That. Again." Greyback said through gritted teeth, his temper rising again.
Harry's eyes widened in a mixture of shock, disbelieve and fear and he nodded quickly.
"Listen closely, whelp, 'cause I'll only say this once. If you stay and behave, nothing will happen to you or your smart-arse friends. Run – and nobody's safety can be guaranteed. Got that?" Greyback growled, his fangs still visible. Without blinking, he looked intently at Harry.
"As if I could trust you..." Harry said quietly, staring back defiantly.
Fenrir snarled angrily and spat. "I don't give a crap about what happens to them" His eyes flashed in rage. "So think carefully about what you choose to do and what could happen. The pack answers only to me and the little chit-chat is in between full moon nights..."
Pushing himself up, Greyback turned around and moved a few steps away. "Now, move your arse!" He shouted over his shoulder.
Bewildered, Harry watched Greyback step into the line of trees, what he assumed to be deeper into the forest.
What the hell had just happened? And how had he survived breaking the most feared werewolf's nose? He hadn't even been attacked in revenge! Why had Greyback acted so strangely all of a sudden? What was going on?! Why was he still alive?
Confused, his eyes left the spot that Greyback had disappeared at and he looked at the vicinity and the surrounding trees. He snorted to himself.
As if he actually had a chance to outrun the beast in his territory and as if he knew were to run to. Again, he was in the middle of nowhere and he had absolutely no idea where the hell he was. How did he even manage to get INTO these kinds of situations all of the time?! Yes, running now seemed to be the best option of all times, considering his state of dress – or rather lack thereof – in the middle of the night, in a dark creepy forest, when he was drowsy with sleepiness.
But really, who was he kidding? There was no way he could get away. So yes, there was absolutely no better option than running...!
Though it wasn't as if his other option was that much better, Harry thought. He frowned and stared at Greyback's retreating back.
Chances of survival were next to none either way. It's not as if he had anything to lose if he trusted Greyback's word for the moment.
He rolled over onto his hands and knees, got up and dusted himself off.
Warily, he watched Greyback for a moment longer. Then, he followed him into the thick forest.
It wasn't as if he really had a choice. And at the first opportunity that would present itself to him, he would run.
So yes here it is. We hope that you liked it!
We also hope that this time around we won't need as much time for the next chapter but no promises v_v
Anyway... HAPPY HALLOWEEN!