Chapter 28 – Just walk away
As morning dawned, and the pack began to drag themselves from beneath warm blankets and hides to face the reality of what the day was going to bring, no one said a word. Lukas made tea, Callie made porridge; they all went about their normal morning routines but there was one major difference today. Today was the day that the pups were leaving the safety of pack territory for Hogwarts.
Predictably Fenrir was in a foul mood and not even Harry dragging him into the forest for an impromptu blow job had done much to improve his state of mind. He had wanted to escort Harry and the other pups to Kings Cross station himself, to make sure that they got on the train and be with his mate until the last moment possible. However, he knew he couldn't for the same reason he couldn't go to Diagon Alley when they went to buy their school supplies. He was a wanted man in the wizarding world, he just couldn't risk it.
It would be Damon, Micha and Jenson's job to take the three pups to Kings Cross station and make sure that they got on the train without hassle or fuss. Damon hadn't been keen on the idea of taking Micha but he knew how much the older submissive wanted to be there to say goodbye to Harry and he didn't have the heart to tell him no. Equally he knew that Harry would need Micha there seeing as he couldn't have Fenrir with him.
Half an hour before they were due to leave Damon took Micha to one side away from the others to have a quiet word. Ever since Fenrir had decided that Micha would be coming with them, worry had begun to form in Damon's gut, eating away at him; he didn't want anything to happen to the submissive and taking him out of the territory put him in harm's way. Of course it was just a trip to Kings Cross but, where the pups were concerned, he knew that things didn't always run smoothly.
"You don't leave my side, not even for a second, do you understand?" Damon asked him and, as this was the first thing out of his mouth, it took a moment for Micha to catch up with what the former beta was asking of him. The moment he realised, Micha couldn't help but smile at the dominant wolf who clearly had a well-defined protective streak when it came to him, something that Micha wasn't exactly complaining about. In fact he would go so far to say that it even turned him on a little.
"Okay, marshmallow," Micha said softly with a cheeky grin, not wanting the others to overhear them or Damon's new nickname. "Whatever you say."
"Please don't cause trouble," Damon pleaded with him.
"But trouble is my middle name; well, it is my nickname, but close enough," Micha said with glee as Damon rolled his eyes. "I think you have more to worry about with those two," he said motioning towards Harry and Clay who were stuffing their pockets full of joke-shop products that Harry had been gifted for Christmas from Clay.
"Damn it, I thought I made it clear they weren't allowed those until they got to Hogwarts," Damon said with a frown, making to turn and head in the pups direction with the intention of stopping them, Micha however had other ideas, reaching out and taking hold of his wrist to stop him.
"Let them have their fun," Micha said as Damon turned to look at the submissive questioningly. "I'm sure they aren't going to waste them here when they're going to have a train full of students to terrify and torment in a couple of hours."
Damon sighed; Micha was probably right. "I should probably be worried by how good you are at knowing how those two think," he said, narrowing his eyes at the submissive, though the smile on his face gave him away.
"Probably," Micha agreed, grinning. "The pack all say that Harry is the trouble magnet here but I think you might be slightly worse, marshmallow."
Damon thought that Micha just might have a point; between his best friend, his son, Harry and now Micha, there were rather a lot mischievous personalities in his life, not that he would change that for a second of course. "Well soon those two will be at Hogwarts, then I can focus my attention on just the one trouble maker," Damon said and his words made Micha's stomach tingle at the thought.
"Fenrir is going to keep your hands full; it doesn't look like I'm going to get your attention at all, does it?" Micha asked with a mock sigh that made Damon laugh.
"Come on, trouble," Damon said, directing them back towards the clearing. "Let's get these pups off to school and then we can discuss how you can keep my hands full." Micha blushed at the suggestive undertone of what Damon had said but didn't say a word as they veered back towards the rest of the group.
Fenrir had hold of Harry, his strong arms wrapped around the teenager, lifting him off his feet as they shared a rather passionate embrace. Everyone was ready, trunks had been shrunk down and pocketed already but mainly because Romy was still trying to unpack and repack everything for the millionth time, and they were now all saying their goodbyes.
"We really should get going," Damon told the others as he and Micha re-joined them.
It didn't look like either Jenson or Fenrir were going to encourage the pups to get moving and they really couldn't miss the train. The Alpha didn't even seem capable of stopping his kiss with Harry, let alone encouraging him to leave the territory. If anything, at Damon's words Fenrir's grip had tightened around Harry, which made the teenager groan into their kiss in a rather loud and erotic way.
"Jenson, a little help with this please," Damon requested, but when he turned to the Beta, he was clinging to Callie, with Romy caught between the two of them.
"Dad, I think we need to separated Harry and the Alpha before they start something they really don't have time to finish," Clay said; as happy as he was for his best friend, he really was not enjoying baring witness to the Alpha's possessive streak or how much Harry was enjoying it.
"I am open to suggestions, Clayton," Damon said with a pointed look at the teen, not liking the display any more than his son was.
Clay shrugged, before grinning. "A crowbar?"
Micha laughed and shook his head, before heading straight for the Alpha pair. He grinned to himself when he heard Damon's frustrated curse of 'Damn it, Micha,' from behind him; the man sure knew how to worry, but it wasn't like Fenrir would hurt him. "As hot as this is, Harry, My Alpha," he started, the two of them turning to look at him in surprise, "we really will miss the train if we don't get going."
"Micha's right," Harry said, wriggling out of the Alpha's arms to stand in front of him, "I really do have to go, Fen."
"No, you don't," Fenrir said, nuzzling into Harry's neck where the mating mark was, causing Harry to let out another erotic groan at the sensation.
"Oh yes he does," Micha said, wrapping an arm around Harry's waist and starting to move him away before the two could get started again. "Sorry, my Alpha," he shouted back over his shoulder as he pulled Harry away from Fenrir.
"Micha, wait," Harry said, taking his back and returning to the really rather depressed looking Alpha. "You; don't be all mean and grumpy to the rest of them," he ordered with a grin, "this isn't their fault. And besides, I will be back on the full moon which is just a couple of weeks away."
"That's two weeks too many," Fenrir said unhappily.
"I know, Wolfie," Harry said, reaching around his mate and hugging him. "Just behave yourself okay."
"That's meant to be my line," Fenrir said with an unimpressed grunt. He was going to miss his cheeky little mate that was for sure.
"I always behave myself," Harry said with mock indignation, giving his mate a wide-eyed innocent look that didn't fool the Alpha for a second.
Fenrir snorted in amusement, holding on to his little one for as long as he could, not wanting to let him go. It didn't feel right; Fenrir was used to following his instincts and they had never lead him wrong before. There was something that just didn't feel right about sending his mate away and what was worse was there was no way that he could stop Harry from going, except by force, which just wasn't an option.
"How about we just agree that there will be no property damage or body modification?" Damon asked them. "Those rules seemed to do well enough when the boys were growing up."
"Oh, but I really wanted to see if I could make at least a bit of the castle fall down," Clayton complained, but the grin on his face gave Damon a little hope that he might at least have been partly joking.
"I'll keep an eye on them, don't worry," Romy promised in a soft voice and Damon found that was genuinely a comfort; there was no-one more adept at keeping his son in line than Romy. One of these days he was going to have to find out exactly how she managed that because so far he hadn't exactly managed it himself.
Harry was still in Fenrir's arms and it really looked like the two of them were going to be the hardest to separate. Clayton's idea to get a crowbar didn't seem to be too drastic now but at least the Alpha pair were no longer glued together by the lips and Harry was on his own two feet. Fenrir, however, did still seem rather reluctant to let his mate go.
The entire pack walked over to the apparition point, Harry still in the Alpha's arms. Callie was desperately clinging to Romy and Clayton was by his Dad's side, refusing to admit any weakness. He at least had his Dad coming with him to the station, as did Romy; Harry, however, was leaving the Alpha behind here. After they had shared mating marks and a few rather intense days together it was proving rather hard for them to say goodbye.
Fenrir was starting to realise that he simply didn't have it in him to stand there and watch as his little mate left the territory, and so placing a kiss on Harry's mating mark, and then one to his lips as well, he turned and headed back toward the clearing without another word. He didn't even say goodbye, nor did he stop when he heard Harry call out his name.
Instead he headed directly towards the woodpile. He would chop wood for a while and let out his anger and frustration; hopefully the rest of the pack wouldn't be stupid enough to try and talk to him for a while. He would need some time to come to terms with this even though they had known about it for months.
"Harry…?" Micha said, as he stepped up next to his friend, taking hold of his hand supportively, giving it a light squeeze.
"I'm okay," Harry told him, and he pushed away the dampness that formed in his eyes with his free hand. "This is better, I don't think I could have actually left with him here," he admitted. As much as he needed answers and knew that going to Hogwarts was the best way to get them he knew that he would never have been able to leave Fenrir if he had stayed and watched them go. "Just, please, do me a favour?"
"Sure, what is it?" Micha asked, knowing that he would do anything for his friend. Harry had already done so much for him already, there was very little that he wouldn't do in return.
"Just look after him; even when he doesn't want to be looked after," Harry said, with a wry smile. He knew all too well that the Alpha wasn't going to accept anyone looking after him, at least not actively looking after him as if he couldn't do it himself.
"We will, don't worry about that," Damon promised, wrapping a hand around Harry's shoulder, and ruffling his hair affectionately. "That idiot has been my best friend for a long time, I can take care of him."
Harry could only just about see his mate through the trees as he took up the axe in his hands, shrugging off his jacket. The fifteen year old submissive was beginning to second guess his decision to put Baloo bear in his trunk now, wishing that he could have had something to cling on to that smelt like the Alpha male. Equally though, he didn't think that he should turn up at Kings Cross station cuddling his childhood teddy bear either.
Damon took Harry and Micha in his arms while Jenson did the same with Clayton and Romy, Callie was in tears as she watched her mate prepare to leave. Lukas and Tessie had to take her into their arms to comfort her as she became inconsolable as first Damon and then Jenson vanished from sight taking the pups with them.
The first day of a new term, not usually a day that Dumbledore would look forward to but this one was filled with importance. Three new students would be arriving at the school, one of whom was Harry Potter. Dumbledore could scarcely believe that the day had finally arrived. He was considering meeting them on the platform at Hogsmeade station, he was so eager to finally meet the boy, but perhaps it would be better to have Hagrid bring them across the lake; he wanted the experience to be as overwhelming as possible, of course.
And they would need to be sorted of course; the headmaster rubbed his hands together with glee, there really would be no better way to make a big deal about Harry Potter's attendance at his school than to have him sorted in front of the whole school watching. He expected a little trouble from the two additional students, but he would deal with them accordingly if they stepped out of line.
A most interesting distraction for the young girl, Romy, had unexpectedly fallen in his lap, completely by chance too; it was going to be most curious watching that unfold, he just had to keep it from distracting Harry as well. He couldn't very well have the hero distracted with trivial matters such as the family of this girl he was bringing with him. Now if he could satisfactorily distract the other boy, Clayton, too then he would be more than pleased.
He didn't have anything else to worry about now; Harry would have his undivided attention and together they would be able to work together to take down Tom Riddle once and for all. Although admittedly he might have to spare a moment to check in on Sirius and Severus again, he was sure that the two of them weren't going to make the most amicable of house mates even with Severus in the state he was in. After Remus had turned up rather unexpectedly a whole week early he had known that something wasn't right but so far he hadn't had the opportunity to call in on them.
Remus had been the only person keeping Black sane, without him Sirius was going to spiral out of control. The man almost wasn't worth bothering with anymore, he was of little use to anyone given his depreciating mental state. Also the state that Sirius had put Severus in was just ugly, he had had no idea what Black was doing. Though he could see that Snape had maybe deserved the treatment but he still couldn't have the traitorous man dying. He would need him for leverage to use against Harry after all.
None of it mattered as much as Harry did though. He had Harry Potter coming to his school and that undeniably tipped the scales in his favour now that they were at war. Yes, the boy was a werewolf but that wouldn't matter much, he could still serve his purpose; werewolves could kill and be killed just like any man.
Platform 9 3/4's was packed with students and their parents. Draco had come alone, however; his father had not spoken to him since he had inflicted that beating on him in front of his mother. He had also refused the offer of his mother and brother accompanying him; he wanted them to stay safe, hidden away in the nursery, where no one could touch them.
He found himself a little apprehensive when he got to the station, scanning the platform, looking for him, the boy that no one could stop talking about, the boy that everyone wanted to see first, Harry Potter, the true boy-who-lived. He wasn't expecting to actually be one of the first people to spot him and recognise him for who he was; though, perhaps it was to be expected considering they had met once before.
Harry was just as Draco remembered him, scrawny with scruffy black hair and large, startlingly green eyes. It was the three adults, who were flanking him, and two other teenagers with them, that caught Draco's attention. He stood a short distance away, watching them; Harry had mentioned that there would be others from his pack joining him at Hogwarts and so he supposed that this was them.
One of the teenagers, the boy, looked to be a little older than him and Harry, but not by much and so Draco thought he would probably be in their year, maybe the one above at the most. The boy seemed to be unable to stand still and had curly dark brown hair, which he hid under the strangest blue hat Draco had ever seen. However Draco could see why he wore it after the largest of the three adults hit him over the head.
The three adults were huge, though considering that they were all werewolves, Draco thought that this probably made sense. The one to clip the older boy around the head was the largest of the three and had thick red hair that stood up all over the place, though in a much more styled way than Harry's ever could. He seemed very alert, scanning the crowd for any possible dangers with his deep brown eyes and he was clinging to the other teenager, a young girl, as if his life depended on it.
She was clearly the youngest of the group even though she was around the same size as Harry; she had mousy brown hair that fell in ringlets around her beautiful face and, after scowling at the older boy for a moment and sharing a small smile with Harry, her dark blue eyes went back to darting around the platform perceptively, with what looked to be a combination of nervousness and excitement.
The second largest of the group had taken up a firm grip around the older boy's arm in what seemed to be an attempt to keep him with them, and halt his attempts to run off to goodness knows where. The man was almost as bulky and muscled as the large red-head, but by contrast he had dark brown hair that lay neat and flat atop his head; Draco noted that he also appeared to be holding hands with the third, considerably smaller adult.
This man had light sandy blond hair that, despite having been cut short, still managed to look tufty and untidy. He seemed rather nervous too, keeping his face downcast and holding on the man's hand as if his life depended on it.
"I wonder how many people are going to survive the train ride to school," Draco heard Harry ask, his tone suggesting that he might be joking, at least Draco hoped it had been said in jest.
Draco could only just about make it out from where he was standing, but the smallest of the adults looked up with an amused smile, that reached his amethyst eyes, at Harry's words. It seemed a very strange joke to him, but he didn't know what passed for humour within werewolf packs.
"No destruction of property or body modification and I suppose don't kill anyone either, that would be a bonus," the man that was holding on to the oldest boy said sternly. Draco was a little startled at the thought that not killing people was a bonus. He had thought that Harry was a little odd when they had first met but now seeing the people he was spending time with he seemed to fit right in.
"I always kind of assumed that maybe killing someone came under body modification," Harry said as though pondering a complicated puzzle.
"Yes, let's go with that, Harry," the man agreed. "And please keep those brownies away from him, I'd hate to see him that hyper and cooped up in a small train compartment."
"You always know how to spoil my fun, Damon," Harry grumbled, though Draco could see the grin on the teen's face from where he was standing.
"Can't you please take off the hat, Clayton?" the young girl asked. "You look ridiculous."
"It's a helmet, and I clearly need to use it to protect my brain, like Harry said, given your Dad keeps hitting me."
"It's your personality, it makes you very hittable," Harry said with a smile.
"Oh, so that's why all the girls are always hitting on me," Clay said, looking pleased with himself, and despite the blue helmet on his head, both the young girl and her father hit him again. Draco was starting to think that they really were rather an uncouth and violent bunch after all.
"And yet I've always managed to resist," Romy said with a grin.
"And me," Harry said. "I may not be a girl but I am gay and, no offence but you're just not my type."
"I'm sure the Alpha will be very pleased to hear that," the one apparently called Damon said rather dryly.
The group had come to a stop not far from him now and were looking at the train with what seemed to be apprehension, as if none of them really wanted to go; Draco could relate. They were starting to attract attention of others on the platform now too, who were pointing and whispering, wondering if that was him but the group of werewolves were just ignoring it. Harry in particular was focusing just on his group clearly not wanting any of the attention.
"What are you staring at?" a familiar voice asked him a moment later as he had watched Harry and the boy called Clayton start play fighting with each other half-heartedly while giggling manically, clearing teasing each other.
"Harry," Draco responded, turning to look at Daphne who had followed his line of sight to the group of men and one girl that were now trying their hardest to separate the hyper teenage boys.
"That's the boy-who-lived, the one who is meant to save us all?" she asked dubiously. "He hardly looks like much and apparently he's had a fight with a vacuum cleaner the state of his neck."
Draco looked to his friend in surprise, "I'm surprised you know what one is," he said in amusement and she shrugged.
"My mother is obsessed with them, she bought one for our house elf; though the poor pathetic creature doesn't know the first thing about how to use it and obviously it is rather temperamental around magic anyway… wait a minute, how do you know what they are?"
"Daphne, you're my friend, I trust you but that is one story I am never going to share with you," Draco said turning his eyes back to Harry.
"Are you going to go and introduce yourself?" she asked with a smile, wondering what kind of antics Draco could have got up to with a vacuum cleaner that would make him too worried or embarrassed to tell her the story. But she knew her friend better than to pry when it was clear that he wouldn't be willingly forthcoming with the information.
"Nope," he said, thinking that it would be pointless right now and it wasn't something he wanted to do with the adults present; introductions could wait for the train. "Come on, let's go and find a seat, preferably away from Pansy, Blaise and Theo, those three are driving me mad right now."
"Draco, you've not seen them since before school broke up for the holidays," Daphne said, looking at Draco as if he'd gone a little loopy over the Christmas break.
"And yet even knowing they're still breathing managed to annoy me," he returned as he stepped towards the train, opening a door for her and motioning for her to go inside. Before he could follow her on board his silver eyes met emerald green and Harry gave him a small smile and a wave, he inclined his head in recognition and disappeared on to the Hogwarts express.
"Who was that?" Micha asked, having noticed that Harry had been waving at a blond boy a couple of metres away as Damon and Jenson had been saying goodbye to their adoptive children.
"I met him that day I disappeared to Hogsmeade," Harry explained, the rest of the group hearing him and looking over in time to see the blond teenager climb aboard the train. "He's also the son of the blond Deatheater who confronted us in Diagon Alley."
"You stay away from him, Harry," Damon said sternly, "You don't want to…"
"My Dad said I could trust him," Harry interjected. "I trust my Dad wouldn't put me in harm's way and besides, this is a school we're going to, how many life threatening situations can we possibly encounter?"
"Don't tempt fate, little one," Damon chastised as he drew Harry into a tight hug, followed in quick succession by Jenson and then lastly by Micha who held him for the longest time, not willing to let him go.
"Five minutes," Jenson said as he checked his watch, "you'd better get on the train." As he said this suddenly Romy was in his arms again, hugging him for all she was worth.
"Don't leave until the train's gone, promise me, Daddy, please," she said, tears streaming down her face as he clutched on to her and everyone could see that he was struggling just as much as Romy was.
"I promise, kiddo," he told her, placing a kiss on top of her head, he was wavering on the point of just breaking down and refusing to let her go at all but he knew that he couldn't do it, he had to let her go to school, she was the only one who was going to be able to keep the boys in line and the castle standing. He dreaded to think what would happen without Romy there.
Damon pulled Clay into another hug; the yelp of surprise made Harry laugh from where he was standing next to the train door. "Dad…" Clay said, "It's two weeks, let's not do the whole crying thing."
"I love you, Clay, just let me be your Dad for two seconds okay, I am going to miss you."
"Yeah, yeah, okay, I love you too" he agreed quietly, not fighting against the hug. "Two seconds are up, can I get on the train now?"
"Yes, you can," Damon said, releasing him from the hug. "Behave yourself for goodness sake, try not to get expelled and look after each other."
"We get it, Dad," Clay said with a roll of his eyes.
"I'll look after them," Romy said as she wiped the tears from her eyes.
"I'd say we'd behave but that might not be a promise we can keep," Harry said with a grin as the three of them headed towards the train, being watched over by three rather anxious adults.
"That school isn't going to know what hit it," Micha said as the pups boarded the train.
"As long as they come back to us in one piece they can destroy that fucking castle for all I care," Jenson growled, struggling not to cry as he spotted Romy taking a seat in an empty compartment by the window so that they could wave goodbye as the train pulled away.
"I wouldn't encourage that kind of thinking; Clayton might just manage it with Harry's help and goodness help teachers and students alike if those two boys manage to convince Romy to help them."
"I really wish I was going with them," Micha said with longingly. "Blowing up a castle sounds like fun."
"Don't worry, I will find a way to keep you busy, trouble," Damon whispered in his ear.
"Promise, marshmallow?" Micha whispered right back as the train began to pull out of the station, all three adults waving at the pups who were waving back from behind the glass.
"Stop the flirting you two," Jenson said, however there was no disapproval in his tone, if anything he was fairly amused. "There will be plenty of time for that when we get back."
"We should get back before Fenrir kills someone," Damon mused, thinking of how they had left the Alpha male and the dangerous mood that he had been in.
"I'm not leaving yet," Jenson said adamantly. "I promised Romy I wasn't going anywhere until the train had gone and I'm going to stick to that." Micha and Damon nodded, not wanting to go against him. It wasn't that he was the Beta or anything like that, they just knew that as a father, he was just keeping his promise to his daughter.
"Fuck," Harry breathed, "we're really going." He was swarmed with a mix of emotions and he wasn't sure how he was handling it all without falling apart. He was missing the territory and Fenrir already, though he had started missing them before he'd even left; he missed Micha too and in fact he was missing all of his pack.
"Yep," Clayton agreed as the three of them settled in a compartment of their own as the train began to gain speed as it left Kings Cross on its way to Scotland and Hogwarts. Clayton was a lot more relaxed about everything; he had his best friend and the girl he loved, as much as he loved Dad and the other pack members he knew that he was going to be okay. Plus he knew that in two weeks they'd be back to see everyone and enjoy the full moon with them. He could wait two weeks.
"You two aren't REALLY going to try to destroy the school are you?" Romy asked with mild concern. She was looking for anything to distract herself from the knowledge that she had just left her Dad on the platform of the train station and the memory of her Mum sobbing as they had apparated away from the territory. She was struggling with leaving them behind when she had never really been away from them or the territory since she had joined the pack after being rescued from her kidnappers by Jenson.
"Not right away," Clayton assured her with a shrug, he could see how much she was hurting already and was more than happy to distract her a little. He took her hand in his own and gave it a light squeeze of support. He was surprised when she didn't snatch her hand back, instead returning the gesture with a weak smile. "We'll have some fun with it first," he told her, knowing that she would be a little nervous and wanting to make her smile. He then turned his attention to Harry. "So that guy you met in Hogsmeade… the one who you waved to..."
"Draco?" Harry asked. "My Dad was his Godfather," he explained; he really hoped that Draco and Clayton would get along and he was keen to bring them together because he was sure that adding another person to their friendship would only increase the amount of fun they could have while playing pranks and such.
"How come I've never seen him before, he never came to Ingleton, right?" Clay asked, thinking that if Severus had really known him then he would have come to visit. He and Damon had been watching over Harry since they were toddlers and Clay had no recollection of the blond boy at all.
"No, I'd never met him before my Dad gave me a letter the night… yeah, well it said I could trust him and his Mum. My Dad wouldn't put me in danger so I guess we can all trust him. It's not like we have any other allies at the school," Harry told them, though he could see by the looks that they were giving him that they weren't so sure. He could understand that but he was determined to trust the boy. He would need help finding the answers he needed so he could get home to Fenrir quicker.
"Let's just be careful, please," Romy pleaded. "We don't want to be reckless with trusting people regardless of when you want to start destroying the castle," she sounded disparaging but Clayton and Harry couldn't help but laugh at her wording.
"All this talk of destroying the castle," a blond boy said from the door to their compartment, the pups all having been too busy laughing at Romy to notice that they had company. "You're not serious are you?" he asked, looking between the three of them curiously as he took another step inside of their compartment with no fear whatsoever, a timid looking blonde girl following him.
With the way the group had been talking on the platform he just couldn't be sure about whether or not they had been joking. It had sounded like they were but then there were moments when he was certain they were deadly serious. They were certainly a strange bunch and he wasn't sure that he could relate to them or their strange ways. However, seeing as he had been charged with getting to know the boy, not only by Dumbledore but Voldemort too, he was going to have to make the effort to do just that.
"Depends on our mood really," Harry said with amusement and a shrug as he turned towards the doorway with a grin on his face. "Nice to see you again, Draco." The boy was exactly how he remembered but from the slight difference to his scent he knew that the teenager was using glamour charms to hide something and if his nose was right then that something was a few cuts and bruises.
He was taken aback by the fact that he could tell all of this; he had never been able to before. Then again Lukas had said that the potion he had been taking had affected him and his abilities as a werewolf in more ways than they realised. He still couldn't feel physical pain and that hadn't changed but apparently some of the damage done was beginning to repair itself. Harry certainly wasn't complaining, it was something he might find useful, however he knew better than to bring up the glamour's and the scent of blood now, it could wait until later.
"This is Daphne," Draco said, gesturing to the blonde girl who was standing just behind and to one side of him and then waited for Harry to respond in kind, however the boy seemed to lack the social etiquette for that. Sure he was a werewolf but Draco had thought that being raised by Severus Snape would mean the boy would have had manners; but when it became apparent that Harry wouldn't be introducing his friends, Draco asked, "Care to introduce me?"
"Oh, sure, this is Clay and Romy," Harry said, gesturing to each member of his pack as he said their name. He didn't even seem to think that anything was amiss, though he had never really had much social interaction outside of Severus and the pack. Neither had Clayton come to that, Romy was going to have her work cut out for her it seemed as she was the only one who had grown up as a normal child, until she was eleven at least.
Both Romy and Clay gave a slight nod of acknowledgment to both Draco and Daphne as they were introduced but otherwise gave them nothing more. Clayton was particularly wary of them but Romy seemed content to bring out the book she had been reading and occupy herself with that. She wasn't in the mood to play nice with strangers this morning, not after saying goodbye to her family.
Taking their sultry nods as the best sign of welcome they were going to get from the other teenagers, Draco and Daphne moved fully into the compartment to take a seat without waiting to be asked, seeing as Harry had failed to introduce them all properly he didn't think that he should wait to be offered a seat. Though Draco was rather curious about something, he had his suspicions but he had to be sure.
"And you're all…" Draco began not wanting to say the word, not in front of Daphne who had no clue but Harry seemed to understand what he meant. He even seemed to appreciate the subtlety of not saying what they were aloud. It wasn't like it was a closely guarded secret but Fenrir had made it clear he didn't want them to make it public knowledge, not if they could avoid it.
"We are," he said and both Clay and Romy gave him a look, which Harry shrugged off. It wasn't like he could deny it when he had told him out right the first time they had met. In hindsight Harry could admit that this had been stupid but there was no taking it back now, nor the fact that he had said that a couple of his pack would be joining him at Hogwarts. He trusted Draco not to spread that bit of information around.
"Well, this is awkward," Draco said after a couple moments of silence, where no one had really known what to say. Clayton and Romy weren't exactly trusting of this new boy and his female friend and equally Draco and Daphne didn't know the three newcomers. Combined with Harry's less than adequate social skills and small talk seemed an impossible task.
Though they were spared anymore attempts when the compartment door opened again. Draco and Daphne turned and were immediately on edge when they saw that Ron Weasley, flanked by Dean Thomas and Seamus Finnegan, had entered the compartment. All three of them had their wands drawn already, though they weren't pointing them at anyone.
Harry instantly recognized the redhead from the article he had read in the Daily Prophet under the tree in Ingleton with Clay all those years ago. He was certain that it was the same boy. The other two he didn't recognize at all but he didn't have a great feeling regardless, especially not when they had their wands in hand.
"Should have known that you would be the first to try to suck up to Potter, Malfoy" Ron practically spat at them as soon as he took in the group inside the compartment.
"No Potters here," Harry said instantly, hating the use of that name, glaring at the red head, "so I'm not entirely sure who you think Draco's sucking up to."
"We were just having a pleasant conversation before you so rudely interrupted, Weasley," Draco said venomously, not exactly pleased with the interruption. He had a lot to talk to Harry about and it was difficult to know how to do that. He didn't want to have the conversation in front of Daphne and he wasn't sure if Harry would appreciate having his friends there either. So the addition of even more, less friendly, faces was most unwelcome.
"I doubt it was pleasant if you're here, Malfoy," Ron spat at him, raising his wand to point it at Draco, threateningly.
Sighing, Romy put down her book on the vacant seat beside her. "Look; Weasley, isn't it?" she said, not wanting them to get into a full blown war before they had even gotten to the school. "I am not sure who you are, or what you want, but I think you should probably just go."
"Who are you to tell me what to do, little girl?" Ron asked, eyeing the smaller girl with distaste, foolishly not seeing her as any sort of threat.
Romy just smiled sweetly at him. "Why don't you piss me off and you'll find out," she said, she had watched her cousin and Harry enough times, listened to them talk, she knew exactly what to say and do to ensure that she was taken seriously.
"Big talk for such a little girl," Dean hissed from just behind of Ron.
"Good thing it isn't just her then, isn't it," Clayton said, getting to his feet so that Ron could see that he wasn't just threatening a little girl. Clay was about the same height as Ron but he was already bulkier with muscle than the red head, his werewolf genes having started to kick in and then of course all the self-defence and fighting they had been learning had helped a long way towards that too.
"You think we're afraid of you?" Dean Thomas asked from just behind Ron, he had his wand trained on Clayton now, Ron's still pointing at Draco. Seamus hadn't raised his yet, instead keeping it clutched in his hand firmly by his side.
"I think you'd be a fool not to be," Harry said, now also getting to his feet. "There's three of you and five of us, we don't want to fight but make no mistake, if you force our hand, we will."
"You're never going to be half the man that Neville was," Ron spat at Harry, giving him a look of utter revulsion. It was as if comparing him to Neville in this way was the biggest insult that he could have been dealt but his words washed off Harry, having no affect at all.
"I never knew Neville, and I'm sorry about your friend and what happened to him. I remember reading about it and being sad about it, but given he never made it to his twelfth birthday how do you suppose to compare us?" Harry asked. "Look, I know what the papers have been saying about me but I'm not that guy and I don't want to be either."
"Then why don't you go crawl back under whatever rock you came from then," Ron hissed.
"I'd be happy to but I've been summoned here, I have to attend this stupid school. I don't want to be here anymore than you want me here," Harry said. "I'd like nothing more than to be at home with my… boyfriend but I have to be here."
Clayton couldn't help but giggle; calling Fenrir a boyfriend was just far too amusing not to laugh at, even Romy had a smirk on her face. The best thing was Harry knew exactly why they were laughing, he had stalled a little on the word boyfriend thinking that it was a rather poor word to use when talking about his Alpha and mate; the two of them were so much more than just boyfriends, it was just too casual a word to use. However, it wasn't like he could call him his mate without giving away that they were all some form of creature. Draco and Daphne looked as confused as the three Gryffindor's in the doorway, but were wise enough to hold their questions.
"Why the fuck are you laughing?" Dean demanded, confused.
The article in the Daily Prophet about how Harry Potter had been seen in Diagon Alley, and then Dumbledore's response, had left many of Neville's friends aggravated, but Ron had taken it as a personal offence of some kind; given his sister's death none of the Gryffindor's questioned it. Either way they had come in search of Harry Potter with the intention of putting the boy in his place, and now here he was, sitting with Malfoy and laughing at them.
"Family joke," Harry tried to explain, but he was still unable to keep from smiling in amusement. He didn't really want to fight these boys, even if they were being so confrontational, but that wasn't going to stop him from having a laugh with Romy and Clay.
"Some family!" Ron sneered.
"You're one to talk, Weasley," Draco snapped, standing up to glare at the red head.
"Oh for goodness sake, Ronald, what are you doing!?" another female voice said, the owner of which appeared in the doorway to the compartment, looking extremely unhappy.
Ron and his two friends turned to glare at her. "What business is it of yours, Hermione?" the red-head bit back angrily; he thought she was annoying and meddling at the best of times and he still hadn't forgiven her for meddling in his fight with the Slytherins at the start of the holidays.
"It's my business if you lose Gryffindor the house cup for your stupidity," she said glowering at them. "Leave them alone, they didn't know Neville or Ginny!"
"Don't say her name!"
"Ginny… I read about what happened to her, I'm sorry you lost your sister," Harry said, trying to sound sympathetic, however seeing as the laughter had just died from his lips he didn't do a very good job of it and it seemed to make Ron grow angrier, his face turning the same shade as his hair.
"You're sorry, you're fucking sorry!" Ron raged. "Who have you lost while you've been off doing Merlin knows what while Neville and Ginny lost their lives?"
"I lost my Mum" Harry said, looking Ron directly in the eyes, glaring at him, "and my Dad. My Dad died four months ago. Don't presume you're the only one to have lost people you care about."
"Come on, Ron, please, let's just go," Hermione pleaded, trying to lead him away but he was having none of it. Seamus on the other hand seemed to be in the same mind set as Hermione and had put his wand away in his robe pocket. It seemed that he wasn't any keener on fighting than the rest of them. Only Ron and Dean were spoiling for a duel.
"You're not welcome here," Ron snapped at Harry, the grip on his wand tightening as he aimed it directly at him. He wasn't going to suffer this new teenager when he had come here to replace Neville.
"You made that quite clear, but it's not really up to you, is it?" Clayton responded, he really didn't like this boy, the more he started threatening Harry the more likely it was that he was going to get a punch to the face. Of course Harry could see exactly where this confrontation was heading and despite all their jokes before they had left this was not how he wanted their first day to go, fighting before they had even arrived at the school.
Hermione smiled at the unknown boy who was standing up to Ron, he looked kind of peculiar due to the strange helmet he was wearing, but there was something about him that made her want to get to know him better. She had never been one to only be attracted to someone because of their appearance but goodness if there was ever a boy whom she was going to fall for because of his looks then it was going to be him.
"Clay, stop." Harry whispered to him, so only he could hear before turning to Ron. "You obviously don't like us, and honestly, I don't think any of us think much of you either, so I just suggest we stay out of each other's way."
"Ha!" Ron said with almost a mock laugh. "You really think it is going to be that easy?"
"It could be if you aren't a jerk about it," Clayton snapped but Harry put a hand on his arm and shook his head. He didn't like these three boys any more than Clay did but they had months of school ahead of them, they didn't want to be forming any rivalries this early on, though at this point it seemed rather unavoidable.
"Ron, let's just go," Seamus suggested hesitantly. "Surely we can find something better to do than stand here and argue with… them."
"Seamus is right, I'm bored. Let's go, Ron," Dean said, tugging on his friend's sleeve.
"Fine," Ron growled unhappily; this was far from over in his mind, he was going to make sure Potter was put in his place. Ron had decided that Harry had no right to come here and play hero when he had lost so much, when they all had. Whatever Dumbledore was planning by bringing this boy here he wasn't supporting the headmaster this time.
Ron had been about to leave when he turned to glower at Harry but as he opened his mouth to say something, Harry jumped in before he could. "Yeah, I know, this isn't over, you'll be back and all of that bollocks. Just shove off and leave us in peace."
Speechless, Ron allowed himself to be dragged from the compartment by his friends, Hermione following after them but not before she gave Clayton one last look and a shy smile, something that Romy didn't miss.
"She fancies you," Romy teased.
"Urg, no thanks," Clay said screwing his nose up in disgust. "There is only one girl for me," he said giving her a wink.
"Question," Draco asked as Romy gave Clay a light smack on the arm, Harry nodded at him to continue, ignoring his two friends as they commended their usual bickering. "Why were you laughing when you mentioned your boyfriend?"
"Oh," Harry said breaking out in a huge smile, "he's not exactly…"
"Harry's dating an older man," Clay said in amusement. "Boyfriend isn't exactly how you'd imagine anyone describing him, there isn't anything boy like about him."
"That's for sure," Harry said under his breath, with a far from innocent smile.
"When you say older…" Daphne asked curiously.
"He's thirty-six," Harry said, watching in delight as her eyes go wide in shock.
"Fuck, you weren't kidding," Draco said with a low whistle. "Thirty-six, seriously?"
"Well he is nearly thirty-seven," Harry added, looking amused.
"Is that even legal?" Daphne asked. "I mean you're only fifteen right," she asked, still digesting the information that Harry was dating someone twenty-one years his senior.
"Yeah, but it's not like weird or anything, not for us," Harry said, despite the age difference and the knowledge that Fenrir had bitten him when he had been only eighteen months old it had never been weird at all. He actually rather liked having the handsome older man being all protective and possessive over him; if anything, it made him feel special.
"What do your parents think?" Daphne asked. She could only imagine what her own parents would have to say about it if she brought home a man over two decades older than her, though as an afterthought she considered that it might be a worse reaction if he wasn't a pureblood.
"My parents are dead," Harry told her sadly with a shrug of his shoulders. "Clay's Dad kind of looks after me and Fenrir is his best friend." Though now he said that aloud, he realised that might just make it sound weirder still.
"Fenrir?" Draco asked. "As in Fenrir Greyback, he's your boyfriend?" Harry nodded, surprised that Draco knew who he was. "Wow, you're a braver man than me." This statement confused him; however, he didn't have the chance to ask for an explanation before the Draco's friend jumped in with her own question.
"Greyback… isn't he a…? But wouldn't that make you…" Daphne said, looking absolutely horrified at the thought. Just like most wizarding children, she had been brought up to fear werewolves and tales of Fenrir Greyback had been the sorts of horror stories that ensured she had eaten her vegetables and gone to bed on time. He was renowned and feared throughout the wizarding world and yet this scrawny fifteen year old boy was dating him and calling him his boyfriend. It was unfathomable to her.
"Is that a problem?" Harry asked, looking at the blond girl questioningly. He was trying to decipher the look on her face. It concerned him a little that they had both known the name of the Alpha male and seemed to be a little scared. Of course Fenrir had told him that he had done things that he wasn't proud of in his life but other than that he hadn't been specific. Now he was just curious and that was never going to end well.
"Calm down Daphne, they aren't dangerous, look at them," Draco said, before adding quickly, "no offense, but you two are tiny and he's wearing a blue cat on his head."
Harry just laughed. "None taken, you're not exactly threatening yourself."
"Anyway, it isn't like Dumbledore would have let them in the school if they were going to hurt anyone," Draco said to Daphne; he may not have liked the old man but he didn't doubt this.
"Like you have any more faith in that old coot than I do," Daphne said with a frown.
"Just because I don't trust him, doesn't mean I think he'd let three werewolves roam around a school if he believed they were dangerous to the other students. For the sake of his own reputation, if nothing else," Draco told her.
"We won't even be staying on school grounds for the full moons," Romy told the girl, more to reassure her that they had no intention of allowing their wolves' free reign in the school or even the forbidden forest when they transformed. "We'll be going back to our pack's territory for that."
"Fine, I don't have a problem," Daphne said after a moment of consideration. "I'm just surprised is all. You're meant to be the boy-who-lived after all, I didn't expect you to be a werewolf."
"Yeah, well, we're not going to go shouting about it," Clay said, "so, if it's all the same to you, keep it quiet." Clayton didn't want to scare the girl but he put a fair amount of warning in his tone, ensuring that she knew he was very serious when he said this. None of them wanted the whole school to know their secret and judge them for it.
"Are you a werewolf too?" Daphne asked, looking to Romy, her tone saying clearly that she was a little disbelieving. "It's just that you're so small."
Romy looked at her over the top of her book disparagingly as if she were about to roll her eyes. "Want to challenge me to an arm wrestle so I can prove how strong I am?" she asked giving the other girl a pointed stare.
"I would advise against that, just so you know," Clay told Daphne, while giving Romy a sly smile. "Romy is no push over, and I have the numerous bruises to prove that too," he added, earning himself a swot to the arm with her hand. "See, case and point. Why do you think I wear the helmet?"
"I was wondering," Daphne mused, looking at the blue, cat themed crash helmet in amusement. It wasn't an item of clothing she had ever seen anyone wear previously, it was possibly the strangest thing she had ever seen anyone willingly wear on their head.
Clayton then leaned forward, looking at Daphne as if he were about to share some top secret information with her and whispered, rather loudly and sounding deadly serious, no hint of a smile on his lips. "She's killed a man you know," which caused Romy to smack him hard across the helmet using her book.
"CLAYTON!" she exclaimed in horror, though he was laughing too hard to care as he righted the helmet that had been knocked askew by the force she had used. Luckily for Clay however it had had little effect on his head, though Hogwarts: A History had never been put to such good use.
Daphne and Draco looked between the two of them with a mixture of horror, amusement and uncertainty, both of them were unable to determine if it had been a joke or not but both hoping that he wasn't serious. Though looking at the tiny Romy they could hardly believe that he was serious. Werewolf she might be but a killer? They highly doubted it. Apparently werewolf humour left much to be desired.
"I wonder how long you'll be able to keep it on at Hogwarts," Daphne mused, still looking at the helmet, "I doubt Umbridge will be too impressed with it." Daphne wondered, unable to take her eyes off the monstrosity on Clay's head, choosing to focus on this rather than think any more about what she hoped was a joke.
"Who's Umbridge?" Harry asked curiously.
"She's from the Ministry," Draco told them. "She has a couple of Deatheaters working for her too so don't cross her, it just isn't worth the hassle or the detentions." Draco thought that this warning was justified. He hadn't been pulled in for detention with the foul, toad like woman yet but he had seen the resulting injuries of those that had. The three werewolves needed to be warned.
As for the Deatheaters… well, they may not have resorted to using the unforgivable curses yet, unable to with Dumbledore still residing at the castle as headmaster, but they were just as bad as Umbridge with their punishments. The Carrow siblings weren't exactly nice people, any more than Umbridge was.
Harry and Clayton gave each other twin looks of amusement at Draco's warning. "Easily riled? Fun to annoy? Likes to keep everything neat and orderly?" Romy asked with a tired sigh and Draco nodded his head, wondering if the young girl had heard of the woman before. "Then you've just issued these two a challenge," she told him, shaking her head sadly.
"A challenge?" Daphne asked. "What do you mean?"
"Harry and Clayton aren't happy unless they're causing trouble," Romy explained. "Our family have been placing bets on whether the castle will still be standing at the end of the school year."
"Your family… you mean your pack, right?" Daphne said, thinking that a werewolf definition of family probably didn't have the same traditional meaning. She also thought that calling a pack of wolves a family was a little far-fetched. It wasn't what she pictured when she thought of a group of werewolves that was for sure.
"Our pack is our family," Clay interjected, wanting to make this point very clear, Harry and Romy nodding their fervent agreement to this.
"We'll leave you to change," Draco said quickly before Daphne could put her foot in it even more. He found that they were getting on with the three werewolves but he could see that Daphne's pre-established ideas of the creatures were going to cause an argument if she wasn't careful. Draco didn't want to undo all the good work they had done and not when he was legitimately starting to like Harry and his two friends.
"She isn't going to change in here with them is she? She can't do that, she's a girl and…" Daphne started to say before Draco gave her a sharp nudge and glared at her, a clear warning to shut her mouth.
"They've both seen me naked at least six times since I've known them, probably more than that. And I've seen them too," Romy said, sounding a little bored. "Full moons and all that," she informed the older girl. "It's kind of inevitable when you're a werewolf."
Daphne however looked positively horrified at the mere thought. "So your whole… family gets naked together?" she asked.
Draco couldn't help but give her an exasperated look. What had she expected, for their clothing to magically disappear or mould with them as it did when you were an animagus? Werewolves weren't like that, it was a completely different form of transformation.
"And wake up naked all cuddled together and everything," Clayton told her, finding her reaction far too amusing not to elaborate a little more.
"And it isn't awkward?" Draco asked, he was finding the whole conversation a little amusing and Daphne's reaction was just priceless; she was doing a marvellous impression of a fish, though he could admit that he wouldn't want to be naked around his family either.
"It only gets awkward if Harry and Fenrir start rutting together in front of everyone, usually they take it into the forest though, so it's all good," Clayton said, enjoying goading reactions out of the non-werewolves who just weren't accustomed to their way of life, when it was perfectly normal for them.
"I thought you were asleep, Clayton, we have been over this," Harry said with exasperation. They were never going to let him live that down he was sure, though he didn't mind, it was a nice memory and it was also one that was going to cause him a little bit of a problem if he didn't drag his mind out of the gutter.
"That's no excuse," Romy chastised, Clayton might have enjoyed teasing his friend about it but she didn't particularly like the reminder. It wasn't a sound she ever wanted to wake up to again that was for sure.
"Yeah, well, your mum was encouraging us, she got us lube," Harry told her matter-of-factly and she grimaced at this knowledge, not entire sure how she felt about her mother encouraging the Alpha pair in their activities, Clayton however was not helping the matter by making puking sounds.
"So don't want to know what you and the Alpha get up to!" Clayton said firmly. "Or what stuff you need to help with said activities either."
"The lube makes it soooo much nicer… you know how big…" Harry said but Clay had jammed his fingers in his ears and Romy had quickly clamped her hand over Harry's mouth to stop him saying anymore.
"I think maybe we should go," Draco suggested in amusement, "before Daphne dies of heart failure."
Daphne nodded mutely in agreement to this suggestion, she needed to get away from these rather odd teenage werewolves who seemed to talk about sex as if it was a common occurrence, like they weren't ashamed or embarrassed by it. Her mother had given her the impression that it was done only when needed and that meant producing heirs but Harry seemed to almost… enjoy it.
"We'll see you at the start of term feast." Draco said as he opened the compartment door to lead Daphne outside into the corridor.
"There's going to be a feast?" Clayton said with excitement.
"There always is at the start of term," Draco said, "though I expect you'll be sorted first; not that there is usually a sorting in January, so I am not sure exactly what will happen."
"I am so NOT sitting next to you," Romy told Clay matter-of-factly. He was bad enough after a regular meal, but let loose on a feast… well there was no telling what the outcome might be. She would happily observe from afar and mock him for it later; as long as he didn't start singing again she didn't care what he did.
"We'll see you all later," Draco said, as Daphne edged closer to the door, she was desperate for some respite from the werewolves. "It really was good seeing you again, Harry," he said, holding out his hand, which Harry took with a smile and shook firmly once. "And meeting you both, Clayton, Romy," he added, shaking each of their hands in turn as well.
Daphne however still looked a little baffled by everything as Draco finally guided her out of the compartment. Clearly they had made quite a first impression on the girl and Clayton smiled as he remembered his Dad's concerns about what kind of first impression the three of them would make. He was actually rather proud of himself and was quite looking forward to telling his Dad all about it. He was sure his reaction would be well worth it.
"Look on the bright side," Harry said, once the two blondes had left and the compartment door was closed, allowing them a little privacy once more. "We might not even be sorted into the same houses."
"Harry… that's not a bright side, though I think you're right, I don't think we'll all be together," Romy said a little sadly. She had been reading a great deal about the school and Hogwarts: A History had a lot of detail about the traits that each of the houses looked for; she definitely had a pretty good idea where she thought each of them would end up. She wasn't going to voice this however because it was quite clear that Clayton was in denial about it.
"Of course we will," Clay said, looking between them as if they were mad. He didn't see any other option in his mind; they had been sent to the school together and they were going to stay together no matter what it took, on that he was determined.
"It doesn't work like that, did you even read Hogwarts: A History like I suggested?" Romy asked with exasperation, already knowing full well that he hadn't. In all the time that she had known her older cousin she had never once seen him even pick up a book, only be hit with them on occasion. "There is a hat that puts us into the house we're going to be in, which is where we'll sleep too, in our house dormitories. It's why we have black ties to start off with, rather than coloured ones like the others have."
"But we have to protect Harry. How are we meant to do that if we're not even in the same house as him?" Clayton asked with concern. The only reason he had even agreed to come to this school was for his best friend; well for him and the huge opportunity to try out some large scale pranks but it was mainly for Harry.
"We should have all the same classes, Clay, and I'm sure they don't ban interhouse friendships; you're my best friend, being put into a different house isn't going to change that. You really should have read Hogwarts: A History before we came," Harry chastised fondly; he had known that Clay wouldn't bother. He had only skimmed over the important bits, but he at least understood about the houses and such.
"We should get changed," Romy said with a sigh, not looking forward to putting on her uniform, knowing that the boys weren't going to let her uniform slide without comment. She was really going to miss her jeans.
The three of them removed their shrunken trunks from their pockets, enlarging them only long enough to remove their uniforms. Romy looking at the grey pleated skirt her mother had picked out with utter disdain.
"Please tell me you aren't wearing that," Clay said as he saw the article of clothing, his eyes going wide.
"It's my uniform, I have to," Romy said unhappily. "All the girls at Hogwarts wear skirts apparently."
"Here," Harry said handing Clay some tissue, "you'll need it to wipe up the drool."
"Says you, who gets a hard on every time the Alpha is shirtless, which is like always," Clay said with amusement as the boys pulled off their jumpers and t-shirts. Romy didn't even bother to avert her eyes, she had seen both teenagers in worse states of undress, doing worse things than simply changing their clothing.
She too removed her jumper and quickly shrugged on her shirt, doing up the buttons, whereas both boys remained shirtless as they changed into their black trousers. She did notice Clay sneak a not so subtle look at her breasts but she chose not to pass comment considering that she had had on a bra. It was nothing they hadn't seen before and Harry wasn't even interested in girls.
Her jeans were the last to go, wriggling them down her hips before pulling on the skirt. She had wanted one that had gone down past her knees but Callie had told her that that wasn't the style. They had argued a little about it in a complete role reversal to what you would have expected, with Romy wanting it longer rather than shorter. However, in the end they had managed to find a compromise and the skirt came to just above her knee, but it was still showing off far too much for her liking.
She really didn't feel hugely comfortable with the way Clayton was looking at her with lust in his dark brown eyes. Even Harry gave a low whistle that only made her feel more self-conscious about it. She really was going to hate these uniforms she could tell already.
"You look… wow," Clayton said, his eyes sweeping over her appreciatively as he buttoned up his shirt.
"Don't," Romy said, "I hate this. I can't understand why I can't wear trousers, it's sexist to say that the girls here can't."
"Yeah, we know," Harry said fondly, giving her a kiss to the forehead and he swore he heard Clayton stifle a growl. He looked over at him in confusion and received a shrug in response. "Romy, help me please," Harry pleaded as he struggled with his tie.
"Oh for goodness sake," she said, though she did so fondly, "You two are hopeless." Clay too was struggling to tie his tie, though it was rather endearing to see from the over confident werewolves who seemed so cocky and sure of themselves most of the time. It was nice to know that they didn't know everything, even if they thought they did.
She moved to Clayton first, the two of them got rather close and Romy's heart started beating a little faster at the proximity between them as she knotted the silk around Clayton's neck. He could smell her intoxicating scent and he wanted to do nothing more than to kiss her, to claim her lips as his own. He hadn't even realised that he was leaning forward to do just that until…
"If you get any closer to me, Clay, I'm going to strangle you with your own tie," Romy warned much to Harry's amusement as he chuckled at the two of them.
"My turn," Harry said, as he too got up close and personal to Romy. "Do I almost get a kiss too?" he asked cheekily as she tightened the tie around his neck a little too tightly.
"What do you think?" she asked as Harry laughed, loosening the tie as Clay gave him a clip round the ear.
"No big bad Alpha to protect you now, Harry," Clayton teased as Harry rubbed the back of his head.
"I think I can hold my own without him," Harry said with a grin. "And maybe I will just keep a tally to tell him about at the full moon."
Romy rolled her eyes in amusement as the compartment door slid open, a little witch with a trolley asking if they wanted anything. Harry and Clay looked to each other and then to the sweet laden trolley then back to each other. Instantaneously they both said in unison, "We'll take the lot." Romy just gaped at them in horror as they pulled out a handful of gold from their pockets. This was going to be a very long train journey.
Everyone had been waiting anxiously for Jenson, Damon and Micha to return. Callie had taken a while to calm down after they had left and she was still crying, though trying desperately not to show it. Instead Tessie was helping her prepare lunch in an attempt to keep her mind occupied and away from the fact that her daughter was gone.
Fenrir hadn't moved. He had remained at the woodpile, chopping more logs down to size for them to burn. He kept his mind occupied and off Harry. When he had thought too hard about his little mate he had almost done himself an injury with the axe, so he had decided not to think about him at all. It was easier and safer all round if this was the case.
"Did they get to the train okay," Callie asked, dropping what she was doing the second Jenson, Damon and Micha apparated back into the territory, almost running to them, needing to know that Romy and the other two pups were safe.
Jenson gave his mate a disparaging look. "No dear, we took them out to the middle of nowhere and left them to find their own way to school," He said with heavy sarcasm. He knew that Callie was bound to have worried but suggesting that they might not even have made it on to the train was going a little far. Jenson felt that he was justified in his sarcasm.
"You're joking right, please tell me you're joking," Callie asked in a panic, her concern for her daughter overriding her common sense and she completely missed the sarcastic undertone in her mate's voice. He sighed, rolling his eyes in exasperation as he pulled her into a tight hug.
"Yes, he's joking," Damon clarified, reassured his sister. "They all made it on to the train without any problems."
"They were wondering if all the students would survive a train ride with them," Micha added helpfully that made Lukas laugh from where he had been sitting with his book, listening into the conversation eagerly, just as keen as any of the others to hear news on the pups.
"How has he been?" Damon asked quietly, motioning to where the Alpha was still at the wood pile. Everyone looked over to Fenrir as he slammed the axe down, splitting a log in two. They all winched as he completed this action with a little more force than was strictly necessary.
"He hasn't moved from there since you guys left," Lukas said, keeping his voice low. "I don't think he's handling Harry being gone very well." This last part he added needlessly as it was clear that the Alpha was missing his mate. None of them were keen on the idea of the pups being gone but was a hell of a lot more for the Alpha to be separated from his mate in a situation that neither of them could do very much about.
No one was about to volunteer for the job of talking the Alpha down from his mood, not his best friend nor his Beta wolf. It wasn't that they were scared, mostly it wasn't because they were scared, mainly it was down to the fact that they knew Fenrir to be a very personal and private man who turned his emotions inwards, bottling them up rather than dealing with them. Their intrusions wouldn't be welcome while he was trying to let off some steam, however there was one who didn't seem to care about this one little bit.
Before anyone could stop him, Micha, he had started walking, making a beeline directly for the Alpha of the pack. Taking the opportunity when Fenrir paused to wipe sweat from his brow, Micha pounced, wrapping his arms around the large man and hugging him. "I miss Harry too," he whispered softly, refusing to let go.
Fenrir looked positively startled by the sudden hug attack by the submissive. He didn't feel entirely comfortable hugging him back or having him there at all but he could see that the intention had been to comfort him and he couldn't begrudge Micha that. But he really did want some space, so he dropped the axe, picking Micha up instead; it was an impressive show of strength given that Micha wasn't exactly a small man and given the position he had been in too it was certainly an impressive achievement.
Damon was already half way over to them, looking scared half to death and he could see the rest of the pack trying to hold back their amusement at what Micha had done; it almost made Fenrir smile, he would of course never hurt Micha, but it was amusing to see his best friend so scared for the submissive.
Micha chuckled as, without a word, he was handed over to Damon, and was put back on his own two feet, though not making any move to distance himself from Damon either. The two of them watched as Fenrir turned and headed off back in the direction of the woodpile to spend some more quality time alone, venting his frustrations, with his axe.
"Hi, marshmallow," Micha said, with a mischievous grin as Damon gave him a questioning look while encircling his arms around the submissive wolf's waist. "He looked like he needed a hug," Micha said with a shrug as a way of explanation.
"And this is why I call you trouble," Damon said with a disbelieving shake of his head. "Come on, I think Callie could use your hugs a lot more than Fenrir right now. Maybe Jenson too," he added in a whisper, as he started to lead Micha slowly back towards the others. He would feel a lot happier if Micha would stick to just giving him cuddles but he didn't want to sound too forward and shock the still recovering Micha.
"What if I want to give my hugs to you?" Micha asked softly, almost as if he had seen inside Damon's head. He was rather glad that it had been the submissive to voice this first as he knew that he wouldn't have felt comfortable making the first move knowing how delicate a state of mind Micha was in currently.
"I have no objections to hugs, just no more running at, or hugging, sulking Alphas wielding axes, okay?" Damon said, trying to get his worry through to Micha, he needed the submissive to know how much he cared, even if he didn't dare voice it yet.
"He's not sulking, he's just unhappy and he needed a hug." Micha said with another shrug of his shoulders. "No one else was going to give him one."
"Because no one else would dare, not with his face like a storm cloud, but I agree with you, he is probably unhappy," Damon said with a sigh, still not letting Micha go, he rather enjoyed having the other wolf securely in his arms, pressed up close to him, where he couldn't cause or get into any trouble.
"I just… when I think about you leaving," Micha said softly, he hesitated; this thing between them was new and he didn't want to push things too fast but he wanted Damon to understand that whatever they were doing, it was serious to him. Micha knew himself well enough to know he couldn't let himself get in any deeper if Damon didn't want this as much as he did. "...It just makes me sad. And the Alpha had to watch Harry leave today; I just wanted to let him know that it's okay to miss him."
"You think about me leaving?" Damon asked, stopping them and turning Micha so that he could look into his gorgeous purple eyes, trying to figure him out but it was impossible. Micha was going to be trouble for him in more ways than one he realised as he wrapped his arms tighter around the submissive.
"Sometimes," Micha admitted a little shyly, not sure he was ready to divulge his inner most feelings just yet but knowing that he didn't mind standing here in Damon's arms. He actually rather liked it.
"Oh just kiss already," Jenson said fondly to them as he strolled past them, Callie by his side, tucked under one arm as she sobbed into him. The pair of them just needed a little time alone, just as much as the Alpha did.
Micha chuckled at that and met Damon's eyes before he placed a kiss on his lips. "Beta's orders," he said cheekily, glad for a reason to escape the intense topic, before placing another quick kiss on Damon's cheek and rushing off to go sit with Lukas; he really hoped that neither Lukas or Tessie would comment on the blush that was certainly covering his cheeks.
A little startled, Damon reached up to touch his lips where Micha's had been only moments before, his eyes following the cheeky submissive as he deposited himself down by the fire. Determined that he wasn't going to let him go that easily, Damon went in pursuit, kneeling down behind Micha and pulling him close so that he could hold him.
"And where do you think you're going," Damon asked, nuzzling into Micha's neck from behind.
"I was cold," Micha said with a little giggle.
"Then allow me to warm you up," Damon said sitting himself down and pulling Micha on to his lap, arms encompassing him completely.
"Now that you're not having to hide this from Clayton, does it mean the two of you are going to be cute all the time?" Lukas asked, with amusement.
"We're hiding from Clay?" Micha asked, looking up Damon with confusion. He hadn't realised until this moment that this was the first cuddle that they had had in the clearing. It hadn't been apparent before but now it was clear, Damon was keeping whatever they had between them a secret from his son.
"Not hiding anything as such," Damon tried to explain, "just not flaunting it until we figure things out between you and me. I wanted it just to be us before we have to deal with Clayton's undoubtedly strong opinion on the matter."
"I thought it was you who was arguing for complete honesty when dealing with Harry," Lukas pointed out. "Do you think Clay will appreciate being kept out of the loop any more than Harry ever has?"
"No offence, Lukas, but that really isn't any of your business," Damon told him, not really liking what the younger werewolf was implying.
"It is my business though, right?" Micha asked.
"Of course, we can talk about it, but I really do think its best we just take it slow," Damon said insistently, worried that Micha was diving into this far too quickly after the disastrous relationship with Harlan. Damon didn't want to be a rebound guy, he wanted the two of them to last. It was going to difficult finding their footing to start with anyway, particularly given everything Micha had been through recently, but adding his rather volatile son to the mix at this stage just seemed like a rather bad idea.
"Yeah, slow is good," Micha said carefully, "But I don't want to hide this from Clay, or anyone." He had never spoken up when it had come to Harlan, he hadn't fought to stay with Lyla either, he hadn't acted upon his feelings for a certain member of his old pack and he had lost each and every one of them. He wasn't going to make the same mistake again, not with Damon.
"We'll talk about it later," Damon said rather stiffly; he had his own reasons for not wanting to tell his son about his relationship with Micha and he didn't want to go into them now, in front of the others. He needed to wait until their relationship was more solid before even discussing them with Micha as he needed to make sure that the submissive would understand his reasons.
"Oh… okay," Micha said, snuggling into Damon's chest, knowing that conversation wasn't over but that he would at least let it rest for now. He was determined to take a few lessons from Harry and ensure that Damon shared things with him rather than hiding it all away, keeping it bottle up.
Besides, he didn't want a confrontation but he wasn't going to let the matter lie for too long. He and Damon had only just started whatever this was, though and it would have been some form of record to have an argument this soon. They also had two full weeks before Clayton would be back in the clearing, it was a conversation that could wait, particularly given how much he just wanted to enjoy being in Damon's arms for a little while.
Although Micha had decided to keep his mouth shut for the moment, that didn't mean he was going to be a pushover, no, not again; he would never let anyone have that much control over him a second time around. Not that he thought it likely but if Damon even attempted anything close to what Harlan had done to him then the older werewolf was going to know exactly how he felt about that in a big way.
The train ride was long and tedious, at least it was for Romy, who was sure that Harry and Clay were going to throw up because they'd eaten so much junk. She just felt fortunate that the witch with the sweet trolley didn't stock chocolate brownies. She swore they had eaten enough sweets for five adults twice their size. Though they had played a rather interesting guess the flavour game all together with a box of Bertie Bott's Every Flavour Beans, which had been hilarious to watch as Clay got ear wax flavour and Harry swore that he got a dirty sock flavoured one. She had been fortunate and the worst thing she had had was the black pepper flavour.
No one else came in to bother them for the rest of the journey but students were accumulating outside of their compartment, not being shy about staring in at them, pointing and whispering. Though they couldn't hear what they were saying, it didn't take a genius to figure out what it was likely about, seeing as they all had copies of the paper that had their picture in it.
All three of them tried their best to ignore it, which was easily done when there were other things on their minds. Romy kept fidgeting; flattening her skirt and trying to find a comfortable position to sit in that ensured the skirt didn't ride up or flash her underwear. Harry was trying desperately not to think of Fenrir back in the territory and just hoped that the others would make sure that he was alright. Clayton would never have admitted it, of course, but he missed his Dad, a lot.
By the time they were pulling into Hogsmeade station all of them were a bundle of nerves. Soon they would be at Hogwarts and they would have to be sorted in front of the whole school and more than likely be separated, Romy knew this, Harry did too but Clayton was still in denial.
Ready?" Harry asked his friends, offering his hands out to each of them.
"Ready," Romy said, slipping her hand into Harry's.
"As I'll ever be," Clayton agreed, he too taking hold of Harry's hand before offering his free hand to Romy, she took it and they formed a circle.
"We'll get through this," Harry said, trying to convince himself just as much as the others.
"Together," Romy said with a smile.
Harry and Clayton let go of each other but kept a firm grip on Romy as the three of them stood up to disembark the train with the other students. None of them letting go, if anything their grips tightening as they stepped onto the platform. Only to be greeted moments later by a man, if you could call him that, who was bigger than even Fenrir. Harry had never thought he would ever see a man larger than his Alpha but this man was terrifyingly huge.
"You must be 'arry," the huge man said happily. "And Romy; and Clayton?" he asked.
"Yeah, that's us," Harry told him, not really sure what else to say. "And you are?"
"Oh right. Rubeus Hagrid, Keeper of Keys and Grounds, right here at Hogwarts," he explained. "Be takin' ya on the boats, I will. Dumbledore's orders. This way, you three."
Harry shared a look with Romy and then Clay, who shrugged, and the three of them followed as the man led them off in a slightly different direction from the rest of the students. Presumably they were heading to the boats, whatever that meant; all Harry knew was that he was going to be wary of anyone who did things on 'Dumbledore's orders', no matter how harmless they seemed.
Updates are coming slowly at the moment as my work hours are crazy in the amount I have. Please enjoy this chapter and don't forget to leave a review and let us know what you think!