Square One

Severus held Harry close. Wizards were shrieking, trying to come up with explanations. Josephina rose and the other three Wolves did the same.

"Order! I will have order!" the voice came from a Ministry official. "Now, the money will be handed out as according to the will. The rest will be dictated by Josephina Hopea-Wolfe and Severus Snape." she turned to them "I assume young Mister Potter is already with you?" Severus nodded as did Josephina. "Then what shall you have done?" Josephina spoke,

"Everything in the will is true. Albus Dumbledore shall be imprisoned following the immediate release of Sirius Black. When he is released, the room will be cleared of all but Harry Potter-Snape, Severus Snape, Anneliese Hopea-Wolfe, Damen Colmillo, and Remus Lupin, all of whom have accompanied me here." The Ministry witch nodded.

"Everyone leave immediately. I will release Mister Black and I shall leave as well." the goblins, witches and wizards all quieted down and filed out. Josephina and the small party walked over to the levitated cage and the witch lowered it, opened the door and left.

Sirius Black looked hesitant, slowly standing and shuffling out of the cage. He then took a bound and leapt into Josephina's open arms. She seemed to allow herself to fall on her back. Sirius laid his head beside hers and she wrapped him tightly in her embrace. Remus seemed frozen in shock. Severus touched him lightly on the shoulder.

"Breath, Remus, you'll suffocate yourself." he said softly. Harry had his eyes pinned on Sirius and Josephina, he seemed wary. Severus held him a little closer. Josephina stood slowly, guiding Sirius into a standing position. He leaned tiredly against her. Josephina gave a small nod and Remus, Anneliese and Damen wrapped Sirius in a hug. Severus took a step closer and Josephina stopped him.

"He's disgusting and Harry is very vulnerable to disease. Let me clean him first." with that, Josephina waved her wand and ridded Sirius of all dirt grime though his clothes were still filled with holes and his hair still over-long. Josephina then allowed Severus and Harry to approach. Sirius stiffened what little muscle had not deteriorated away.

"Snape. I see you have the prongslet." Sirius's voice was cold and curt. Severus sneered at him.

"What of it, Black?" Severus asked, searching for a rise.

"Enough." Josephina had not raised her voice. It had softened and deepened into a growl. It carried enough venom to kill a Dementor. Severus's insides quaked. Harry shivered visibly. Remus and Sirius knelt. Damen and Anneliese bowed their heads.

"Alpha." the four wolves chorused in meek tones. The room's temperature seemed to chill. Josephina seemed large and powerful. Severus knelt.

"I will not have this in my pack. You are as good as brothers. Severus takes the oath next week at the bow of the full moon. A fight will result in a pound of flesh to the pack." Josephina voice retained the venom. She seemed cold and withdrawn.

"Mother?" Harry's eyes were full of tears. Josephina lifted him out of Severus's arms. She now looked sad and tired, but she hid it well.

"Rise. And never fight." Josephina nuzzled the top of Harry's head. He cried harshly and buried his head in her chest.

"D-d-don't hurt F-F-Father, p-p-please." the child wept.

"Shhh, little one. I won't ever have to hurt your father. He will always protect himself. Even if there is no real threat." Severus was immediately taken aback. Did Josephina sound…bitter? Why did that statement seem directed toward him? She must still remember that night, so many years ago. But could that mean…was there any way that Josephina could still love him? One look at Josephina's face told Severus his answer. She seemed so angry. Such hatred directed to no one. If there was any love, it was buried beneath so many layers of pain and it would take mass excavation.

"Come, let's get home." said Anneliese swiftly, tapping into her obvious sisterly radar. Josephina nodded mutely. She was tense and stiff. She led the way out of the courtroom.

Sirius, Remus, and Damen sat in the back while Josephina drove, Anneliese sat next to her with Harry on her lap and Severus beside her. The air was awkward and painful; Severus was choking on tension. Damen tried his best to diffuse it.

"Jo will you let me take the Hummer for a spin sometime?" he asked

"Why? You have your Mustang."

"All you ever let me touch-car wise, that it- is my own and the family pickup."

"Because it used to be my pickup until you smashed it into a tree. And your Mustang is in awful shape."

"It wasn't that bad."

"The pickup took two thousand pounds to fix! At the time my paycheck was supporting half the Pack!"

"So? That was years ago! What would you do if I just stole the keys and left?"

"When you got back I would be waiting for you on the front porch with a drink in one hand and my rifle in the other."

That ended the conversation. Soon they were at the Wolves' manor. They all got out of the car and were greeted at the door by Gunnar. He swept Josephina into his arms and kissed her cheek. She went rigid.

"Did it go well babe? How much dough you make?" He grinned. Severus noticed Gunnar's upper left canine was crooked, like his smile, like his personality

"Enough to cover the cost of the family dinner tonight. We also got custody of Sirius." Gunnar looked up at the emaciated man being helped out of the car. He gave a small nod to him before turning back to Josephina. He cupped her cheek. Rage burned in Severus's gut, Josephina should be his.

"Baby," said Gunnar with exasperation "Can we just forget family dinner this week? C'mon, we haven't had date night in forever."

"Gunn, we have a family to take care of now! I can't seem to stress that enough with you!" She sighed tiredly "Severus, you and Harry are coming for dinner tonight and every Thursday, it's family dinner, okay?" Gunnar growled something inaudible, but obviously vulgar. Severus nodded his thanks to the Wolves and walked home with Harry. The child babbled to himself, and Severus offered a little comfort, but his blood was boiling. The very moment Gunnar said something stupid; Severus would have to make it better. Severus would have to one up him at everything.