Chapter 17

Life Starts Now

Severus dressed in his nicest black dress robes and Harry in grey ones. Harry seemed to have calmed a bit; he bombarded Severus with questions on the Pack.

"Father, what's the Pack like?" he asked, his green eyes wide with curiosity.

"I haven't the slightest idea. We've never met. You have met the only members I know." Severus responded patiently. He then lifted Harry into his arms. "Shall we?" Harry nodded eagerly. They walked to the Wolves Manor. There lights coming from the windows and many figures moving behind them. Severus barley knocked when the door opened to reveal a smiling Josephina. Severus was surprised to see a genuine smile. She looked tired, but happy.

"My goodness! You both look sharp! There are so many people you have to meet! Captain! Lieutenant! Chanteur! Come ladies, meet the new arrivals!" Josephina called to three young women who stood immediately at her command. They walked over to her, seeming militant and completely under Josephina's thumb. She smiled as they came forward, obviously offering her warmth to them. When they stood beside her, Josephina introduced them.

"Ladies, this is Severus Snape and his and my son, Harry. Guys, this is Chanteur Lauren Mesiac, Captain Natalia Efoy and Lieutenant Isebeau Cvijet."

Lauren was tall and slender; it seemed to be an ongoing trait with Nezeljen she-wolves, and with fiery red and untamable hair. Freckles spattered all exposed flesh. Her eyes were golden and a huge grin graced her face when she saw Harry. Severus carefully took in her countenance. She was seemed to have had a very happy and content life. Though, the fine scars on her delicate jaw line spoke otherwise. Natalia was sullen and incredibly young. She seemed to be no more than the age of sixteen. Her dark red hair fell straight and bangs hid most of her brow. Her incredibly dark blue irises betrayed her mistrust. However when she turned them onto Josephina, they softened. It seemed Josephina had been good to her in a time few else had. Isebeau had what looked to Severus to be an aristocratic build. With high cheek bones, platinum blonde hair and light lavender eyes, it was apparent that Isebeau had once had an aristocratic mode of life before her bite.

"So. Zis is ze son you 'ave been speaking about, alpha?" asked Isebeau with a thick French accent. Josephina nodded. Isebeau gave Severus and Harry a respectful nod. "It is quite ze pleasure, Meester 'Arry. And you as well, Severus. I 'ave 'eard many good zings about you. 'E is ze strapping young one, you 'ave, is 'e not, Lauren, Natalia?" Severus was taken aback by this profuse praise, not only to Harry but him. But when he looked to Natalia he was again surprised. She glared at Harry with an intense hatred. Luckily, the boy did not seem to notice. However Josephina did. She cast an annoyed glance at the girl and she shrank back and she forced her countenance in to one of pleasantness.

"Alpha, he is adorable." Lauren's yellow eyes looked at Harry with a fervent affection. "May I?" Josephina tossed her a knowing smile.

"Don't ask me. Harry's in his father's captivity." Lauren turned her golden optics on to Severus.

"Harry would you be willing to go with Miss Mesiac, here?" asked Severus. Harry who had been watching the small exchange with calm disinterest nodded, seeming to be eager for a more exciting turn of events. Severus then looked to Josephina who inclined her head slightly. Carefully Severus deposited Harry into the open arms of Lauren who supported his weight well, despite her petite build. Immediately, Isebeau began to speak softly in French. Lauren carried Harry over to the sofa where Josephina, Natalia, Isebeau and herself had previously been sat. Severus watched after them until Josephina gave him a friendly swat at the shoulder that sent him reeling.

"Sorry." said Josephina unapologetically "Go mingle. Ask Jake if you want wine or something. Go on. Get." Severus rubbed his shoulder gently and walked off. Meeting new people or making friends or just talking to fellow human beings had never been a strong suit of his. Half humans would present even more of a challenge. Severus was relieved to find Anneliese and Damen in the main sitting room with Sirius, Remus and two other men Severus did not know. Damen smiled as he spotted Severus.

"Severus! Come and sit!" Damen seemed slightly intoxicated, Severus judged, as he was being far too outgoing and there was a slight flush in his high cheek bones. However Severus nodded pleasantly and joined them. Anneliese grinned, and moved over to allow Severus a spot on the sofa. The two unknown men nodded to Severus.

"Ah, you're the new one. I'm Declan Jega and this is Dusk Overader." said one of the unknown men. Declan was an absolute monster of a man. At what Severus estimated to be seven feet tall with an almost ridiculous amount of muscle he fit into an unspoken behemoth category. He had dark skin and amber eyes. His deep voice sounded like he gargled regularly with sand. Dusk was shorter and slighter, but still tall and muscular. He had olive skin, pleasant calf brown eyes, and thick black hair.

"Ah, you are the Severus Snape that Josephina speaks of?"Dusk had a warm smile and Severus decided that the man could never be a Slytherin. That countenance was too kind, too thoughtful. It was all he could do to keep from muttering 'Huffelpuff' under his breath.

"Yes. Would be so out of line to inquire what the alpha says about me?" Dusk shook his head and shrugged.

"Nothing of interest to you, mate. Just that you and her boy will be joining us." Severus nodded, slightly disappointed. He turned to Anneliese.

"And where is Gunnar on this fine evening?" Severus had not been able to keep the harshness from his tone. Sirius shot him an odd look.

"I dunno. Probably having a beer and a bragging match with Henry." responded Anneliese Severus did not even want to know who Henry was. There were a few moments of silence then Sirius spoke unexpectedly

"A word, Snape." Surprised, but interested, Severus stood and watched as the skinny man weakly got to his feet. They walked a short distance away until Sirius lost his breath and had to lean against a wall. "Azkaban," he murmured "worst place in the world." Severus waited quietly for what was to happen next.

"You take good care of that boy, Snape or I'll gut you before you can blink." Sirius said the comment with passion, but not venom.

"A bit of an empty threat, eh Black?" Severus gave a vicious little smirk "Can you even shift?"

"No, but I sure as hell can." Josephina looked livid. "And now I have too. Severus is ignorant but you're not Sirius." Josephina balled a fist. She looked at it and smirked. But not a real smirk, the kind of forced laughter to hide tears. She steeled herself and whipped the fist across Sirius's face. Then she turned and before Severus could blink and slammed the fist on to his breast bone. He saw stars and his breath left him. His only thought was how the slight Josephina called upon the strength that Severus compared to that of a bull. Somewhere he heard her voice swim into focus.

"Is it clear what I can do? I barely touched you." Severus nodded dizzily, the haze in his head beginning to thicken as pain exploded harshly across his chest once again. But a pair of thin arms wrapped themselves around him and helped him to his feet. With some whispered words, the pain dulled and the haze cleared. Severus was surprised to look down to see Josephina holding him steady. Even contact through the layers of clothing that Severus was wearing sent shivers up his spine.

"You are the most obtuse human being I have ever come across, Severus Snape. I hope the wolf blood will thrash some sense into you." Josephina said before delicately kissing his cheek and meandering away. Severus was, for his part, floored. What the hell was that?

Women. He thought idly before collecting Harry and getting caught up as the man subject in some girl talk.

"I mean, don't you agree that the alpha would look spectacular in the right dress, Severus?" asked Caela Speir, a young girl who had joined Isebeau, Lauren, and Natalia. "It's a shame she only wears pants and tee-shirts." Severus blushed at where the conversation had turned

"Oh, I know!" agreed Isebeau "in ze blues and ze silvers. She would look like ze queen she is."

"She says she only does it because she can fight better in jeans." pointed out Lauren

"We shouldn't speak of our alpha in this light. She is our leader." Said Natalia with steely finality.

"I think Mother looks good in everything!" piped up Harry

"And I think I have the best son in the world." Josephina had appeared behind the small group "Time for dinner."