Author: Persephone Yavanna the Entwife
Pairing/Characters: Remus and Fenrir
Rating: G for gen (in other words, completely work-safe!)
Disclaimer: JK Rowling and assorted others have rights to create derivative works within the Potterverse, but I am not one of those licensees, unfortunately. Rather not be sued for playing with the characters, though . . . not making a profit here, just exploring the characters and situations created by the esteemed Ms. Rowling.
Summary: One of the things Remus had missed most about his time as Dark Arts professor was the children.
Author Notes: Happy Birthday Remus!
One of the things Remus had missed most about his time as Dark Arts professor was the children.
He missed the moment of comprehension flashing across their faces when they all of a sudden “got it” – the “ohhhhhhh” he’d get and the smile that inevitably accompanied it. He missed the giggles and the surreptitious note-passing – and not just from the female students. He missed the oh-so-innocent looks he’d get when he’d catch someone misbehaving – and the wild excuses they would come up with, which made him smile even now as he remembered some of his favorites. The only thing funnier than those was some of the writing in their essays – “In my fastidious opinion . . .” (penned by one H. Granger) remained at the top of his list of patronus-inducing memories, having never failed since the moment he almost spit out his tea in the staff room. The look Snape had given him then was second on that list -- withering glare mixed with amusement at the spectacle he’d made of himself.
When Dumbledore sent him as emissary to the werewolves, Remus hadn’t been looking forward to it. Still, a job was a job – and he desperately needed cash. A certain pink-haired witch had been dropping hints lately, as had the Weasley matriarch. He figured he’d have to bow to the inevitable sooner or later, so he’d best start saving what he could, so she’d have something to show off when the time came to cave into the pressure. He didn’t hold much hope that her family would accept him, but if he made a decent show of not being a total deadbeat, maybe it wouldn’t be quite so bad as he feared . . .
Remus trudged up the path to the werewolf camp in the Forbidden Forest, occasionally shuffling his feet through the half-rotted leaves, just to hear the sound they made. He caught Fenrir’s scent soon enough, as well as that of some of the younger cubs in the pack.
When he hit the top of the hill and looked down into the hollow where the camp lay, he saw the older wizard engaged in what seemed to be a game of blindman’s buff with several of the boys and a few of the older girls.
“Gonna get you! Gonna get you!” Fenrir cried as he ran around and the shrieking children evaded his grasp. “Rahhhhhhr!”
“Uncle Fangface can’t caaaaatch us! Uncle Fangface can’t caaaatch us!” one girl singsonged as she ran about while a particularly bold boy ran up behind Fenrir and tickled him, then squeaked when the older man whirled and caught him up and held him upside down and swung him back and forth, just above the ground.
“Got you now my lad – and I’m going to eat you alllllll up!” Fenrir chortled as he was surrounded by the children trying to rescue their fellow. Giggles and shrieks ensued as he grabbed at first one then the other, tickling them ferociously and play-biting as he did so. With an “Ooooph!” he fell over, and started howling with laughter himself as his erstwhile victims turned on him.
Remus leaned against a tree as he watched the scene below. Leaves were flying everywhere and Fenrir looked like he was enjoying himself at least as much as the children were, his loud protests not withstanding. When the pile below calmed down into just the occasional giggle, he continued down the path.
Fenrir lifted up the bottom edge of his blindfold. “Hello, you.”
“Hello Fenrir,” Remus replied. “Enjoy your romp?”
“What do you think?” Fenrir said with a grin.
“That you’re sixty going on six.”
“Sounds about right,” Fenrir smiled up at him. “Give us a hand up, will you?”
“Sure,” the younger wizard said, extending his hand.
Next thing he knew, he was on the ground, covered in leaves and children, being tickled by one and all. “Let’s show Uncle Remus here a proper greeting, shall we?” Fenrir cried as he went for Remus’ belly first, then his neck.
Remus wriggled and squirmed under the assault, laughing until the tears came. “Haa – hooo – heeee! Nooooo, nononononoooo, aaaaarrghhhh – hohohohooo! HELP! HELP! SAVE MEEEEE!!!! Ahahahahahahahaaaaaaa!”
“Never!” the children cried. “One of us! One of us!”
The torment continued until Remus started hiccupping. “Enough, cubs – let him up,” Fenrir said with a grin. He pulled the younger man into a fierce hug, then started pulling leaves out of his hair, while the children brushed leaves off themselves and the two men, huge smiles on their faces.
“Off with you lot now – Uncle Remus and I have some catching up to do,” Fenrir said, watching as the pack of them ran down the hill in search of further mayhem to wreak on the unsuspecting adults below.
“Bit wild, they are,” Remus said, continuing to brush himself off, and pulling a twig from Fenrir’s hair.
“Ta. Any more?” Fenrir asked as he bent his head down for Remus to inspect.
“I think I’ve gotten most of it,” Remus replied.
“They’re good kids. Could use with some more schooling though, Master Wolf-from-Hogwarts, eh?” Fenrir said, raising his eyebrow.
Remus sniffed. “Spit it out.”
“Look, we both know why you’re here. While you do your errand, might as well be useful to the pack and help me out with the cubs. You’re used to the older ones, and I’m better with the little ones. Split the load a bit. And we can keep the politics out of things, unless we’re in council. Deal?”
Remus looked down into the hollow, where smoke from the cookfires drifted up lazily. “It would be nice not to be snarling at one another over our respective positions, yes. And I have missed teaching . . .”
“Thought you might have,” Fenrir grinned. “Pack’s grown some.”
Remus raised an eyebrow.
“Not all my work, pup. I’m not the only wolf on the prowl – and at least mine tend to survive.”
Remus rubbed at an old scar and nodded, looking at the forest floor.
Fenrir flung an arm around the younger wizard. “Let’s show them what wolves can do – together.”
Remus enjoyed the squeeze that accompanied the words. He looked again down the path, hearing the laughter of the cubs, then nodded.
“Good, good, good,” Fenrir said, giving him another squeeze. “We’ll work out the details later – first we have to get some nosh into you. Merlin, don’t they ever feed you?”
Remus shrugged, scuffling at the leaves as he looked away.
“Well, we’ll take care of all that – put some meat on your bones again. You’re part of the pack and we look after our own.” Fenrir pulled him into a hug again. “You’re home now,” he whispered in Remus’ ear.
Remus buried his face in the older wizard’s chest and nodded. “Home,” he whispered.