Summary: As one family struggles to come together, another is torn further apart.
Main Pairing: RL/OC
Story Rating: Hard R or NC-17 (depending on your own views)
Chapter title: The Reunion
Chapter Rating: PG-13
Severus pulled up infront of the cabin and noticed Remus sitting on the porch staring out at the lake. "Where is Harry?"
"Inside, but," Remus stopped his friend from opening the door "You cannot go in there just yet."
"He finished the potion while you were gone and he has already started the spell."
"You let him work on it by himself? Don't you remember what happened the last time?"
"Don't worry, I supervised as he made it and it turned out perfect."
"Why didn't you wait for me to return? You know I wanted to be here for this."
"We waited as long as we could but he had to get started before it went bad. What took you so long anyway and where are the groceries?"
"I didn't pick any up. I went to talk to Dannie."
"What did you go and do that for?"
"Because with the state of mind you have been in since last night I knew you wouldn't listen to a word she had to say and I did not come all this way so that you could ignore her and not find out what is really going on."
"We found out last night what is really going on or don't you remember that she already has a bed buddy."
Just then Harry opened the door and the two men stopped their conversation. "Well?" Severus asked.
"Well what?" the boy smirked.
"Did it work?"
"Of coarse it worked."
"Are you going to tell us what it is?"
"I don't know. I'm not sure how you will react."
"It wasn't a stag or dog was it?" Severus had to ask but Harry just shook his head "I knew it, you're a panther like me." He continued with a hint of pride in his voice.
"Sorry dad, I'm not any sort of feline or canine either. In fact it didn't have fur of any kind but it is black."
"Would you just tell us what it is? Remus asked.
Harry shook his head "If I tell you and you don't like it then you may decide to not help me change. I will give you a hint though, it has to do with something I am good at."
"It's black and something your good at. Please tell me you're not a snake." Severus said but Harry didn't say a word since he felt he had already told them enough and they were still wrong. "Well since you are still refusing to tell us what it is there is something else we do need to discuss."
"What did I do now?"
"This morning, were you not told to stay around the cabin?"
"And where did you go?"
"I took a walk along the lake but, I didn't go that far. How did you know?"
"You may not have gone far but you did go far enough to scare someone half to death. She woke up her mother this morning screaming and yelling that you were haunting her." Severus stated
"I didn't mean to, I had no idea that I had made it as far as her house."
"Well I'm sure now that Miss Dannie knows about you she will talk to Bria as well. Now go on inside and rest up, we're going out later today."
"Where are we going?"
"I thought we would go over to the Gathering." Harry nodded and went into the building as the men continued talking.
"I'll just stay here, you two have fun." Remus said.
"Oh no your not. I have been asked that I bring you along. There are some people that she would like you to meet."
"Only so that she can point out the fool that she lead around on a leash. I refuse to give her that satisfaction."
"Over the past year how well did you fell you got to know her?"
"Until last night I thought I knew almost everything about her."
"Alright, when you two first met face to face last August, how did you now it was her?"
"I guess I sensed it, I'm really not too sure."
"Do you usually sense her emotions?"
"When she's not blocking them."
"Then if she had been hiding the idea that she was involved with someone else, wouldn't you have sensed that as well?"
"I use to think so but now I'm not sure."
"I would know more than anyone. A person can only have a wall up around them for so long before something slips out. If she had been lying to you the whole time you two were together you would have known. Talk with her before you make any decisions."
"How can you be so sure she wasn't lying to you this morning?"
"I have learned to read people very well over the years. Just talk with her." He then turned to walk in the door. "Oh, one more thing. You wouldn't by chance happen to know what her middle name is would you?" Remus just gave him a puzzled look "I didn't think so." He then continued into the cabin while Remus remained outside contemplating what he was going to do. As he remained outside watching some Jet Ski's race across the lake towards the gathering his thoughts were soon interrupted.
"Nice view isn't it?"
Remus turned around and saw the woman from the party "Yes, I must say it is."
"Listen I just wanted to apologize to you and your boyfriend about last night."
"Your boyfriend. The man that you're here with."
"I'm sorry but we are not a couple. He's an old friend and a colleague."
"So he is available." Jenny said as she smiled to herself.
"I'm not sure if he'd consider himself available though. He gets himself pretty well consumed in either his work or his son."
"Listen, let me make it up to the two of you over the way I've acted towards you. How about if you and your friend meet me at the bar just off the lobby tonight for a few drinks. My treat."
"I'm honored but I'm not.."
"No, just as friends. I'll call my cousin and see if she'll meet us."
"Listen, I just found out that my fiancée hasn't been faithful, I'm really not up for a date at this time but I do appreciate the offer."
"Don't worry, my cousin, Angel, won't come onto you or anything like that. In fact she's engaged herself. You can't just sit around here mourning a broken heart now can you?"
"Let me talk to him about it first and I will let you know later."
"Alright. I'll be working in the restaurant all day." Jenny said as she headed back towards the main building.
Remus then went into the cabin, "Are you going to get ready to go?" Severus asked.
"I'll make a deal with you. I'll go to this gathering and see what she has to say but only on one condition."
"What king of condition? What have you done?"
"You my old friend have a date tonight."
"Is the girl blind or something?" Harry asked but was quickly rewarded with a smack to the back of his head. "Ow, What was that for?" he replied as he glared at his father.
"Your comment I would guess." Remus smirked, "Have you looked in the mirror lately? You don't look much different than your dad did when he was your age."
"Remus, I refuse to go on some blind date." Severus stated then turned his attention to the boy again "If you dare say it you will get another." Causing Harry to quickly move to the other side of the room.
"It's not really a blind date. You have met her a few times already and if you want me to go with you two then you will go out with her tonight."
Severus then realized who Remus was referring to "You expect me to spend an evening with that woman alone and not curse her to the ends of the earth? Are you mad?"
"You won't be alone with her don't worry. I'll also be there as well."
"You had better talk with Dannie and work things out with her."
"I'll talk to her but I won't promise anything else."
As Jack spent the day as the Master of Ceremonies, Bria and Dannie were sitting in the booth as patrons came and went. Some buying different herbs but the majority were just looking around. "Mom can I…"
"You didn't even let me say what I wanted to do?"
"I don't care. You have two jobs this weekend and one of them is sitting in here and workin the booth unless your papaw calls you to go for him something."
"So for how long am I being punished?"
"Until I'm no longer mad about what you did."
As Dan and Robert entered the small-tented booth Robert handed Dannie his cell phone. "Call Jenny, she's been tryin to get a hold of you and says it's urgent."
"Ok, who did she leave the party with last night?"
"Are you sure?"
Dannie then dialed the number and Jenny immediately answered "Bobby said to call you. If this is to tell me about some guy you slept with I really don't have the time or stomach to hear about it now."
"That's not the reason I wanted to talk to you, well not exactly."
"There's someone stayin here and I sorta invited him and his friend out and I need your help keeping his friend occupied."
"I told you after the last time that I'm done meeting up with anymore losers just so you can sleep with some idiot who'll just kick you outta bed as soon as he's done. Besides if you remember right, I'm engaged."
"Angel come on please? Besides I already told him that you are off the market and it would only be as friends. Anyway, he just broke up with his girlfriend and not up to meeting the next one yet. It's just this guy is so different from the regular trail riders. You have to at least help me try."
"And what makes this one so special?"
"I really don't know. There's just something about him, and I'm not talking about looks either. It's just the way he carries himself and it's a challenge. You know how much I love challenges. As for his friend, he doesn't look like he'd be a loser, he actually seems nice. If you weren't already engaged then I'd say he'd be perfect for you."
"Perfect like in the butt picker you tried hookin me up with the last time who wanted to literally sleep with a wolf?"
"So I was wrong about him. Just think about it and let me know. Trust me, this will be the last time."
"I will think about it."
"Thanks Angel, I owe you."
"I didn't say I would. If for some strange reason I decide to I will add it to the list." Dannie said as she hung up the phone.
"So what was that about?" Dan asked.
"She's targeted another loser and wants my help as she goes in for the kill." Dannie then looked at the two of them. "Well it's good to see you two have made up."
"Well once he told me who his friends were I couldn't remain mat at him."
"But I can. How dare you not tell me they're here. If I had known I would have either not gone to the party or stayed there until they arrived."
"You didn't tell me you told her already. You know how much I wanted to see the look on her face when she saw them." Robert spat at his partner
"I didn't say a word."
"Then how'd she find out?"
"Severus came by this morning to ask me why I hadn't told either of them that I was already living and sleepin with someone."
"Listen Angel, I'm sorry about that. I had no idea it was them and when they cam in asking for Danny I wasn't sure what to think>"
"Bobby, how could you not know it was them? You've seen their pictures and didn't their accents give them away?"
"I wasn't thinking. I also had a bit too much to drink and it was dark. You know the lighting isn't that great in the shack."
"Well at least Severus is going to explain the misunderstanding to Remus."
"What I don't understand is how they could have believed you would do something like that."
"I guess it's easy when your daughter sends back your engagement ring with a note saying that the two of you won't be returning."
Robert glared at Bria, "You didn't. Bria, how could you do something like that?"
"Let off it Bobby. I've already laid into her about it and I'm quite sure once her father sees her she will get another ear-full." Dannie then noticed Remus and Severus through the crowd as they passed by the booth with Harry following behind. "Good they're here. Would you two mind keepin an eye on things in here as well as her? I'll be right back." Without waiting for and answer Dannie quietly ran up behind the three men. As she approached them she held her finger up to her lips for Harry to remain quiet in which he did as he greeted her with a quick hug. Dannie then very quietly got closer to Remus and said, "I told you it wasn't really that different than the one you took me to." Remus turned around and she continued. "I'm thankful that Sev was able to get you to come here so we could talk. I also know that Bria and some friends of mine would like to see you to apologize for this….."
"For what? For letting me know the truth about this game you spent the last year playing? If you had told me in the beginning about him I would have understood but you didn't. You just had to pretend I meant something to you. Was I really the first wolf you mated with or was I just a distraction because you had a falling out with him?"
Dannie looked at Severus, "I thought you were gonna tell him before you guys came here."
"What was he to tell me that I haven't already learned this week?"
"Remus that is quiet enough." Severus stated then he turned to Dannie "I tried to talk to him but he wouldn't listen."
"So you actually believe that I would do what you are accusing me of? I'm sorry that I was mistaken. I actually thought you knew me better than that. For your information I have spent the past four days tearing Papa's house apart searching frantically for the damn ring that I just found out this mornin what actually happened to it. Guess what. Maybe Bria did me a favor by sendin it back to you because obviously you have no idea who I am." She replied, as she finished Dannie turned and stormed off while Remus lowered his head and sighed heavily.
"Well you really handled that well. I thought you were going to talk to her and listen to what she had to say."
"I did listen to what she said and she's right. I never did know her."
"You heard me and you know how much I hate repeating myself. If you had listened to what she said you would have heard she had torn apart the same home she originally said she would be staying at, her fathers. She even thought I was there because she thought that something happened to you since she hadn't heard from you at all."
"You know how many times I sent her that letter."
"And I also know that it was your daughter that intercepted it and sent it right back without her knowledge."
"She could have just told you that because you confronted her before she was done with her little game."
Severus realized that the conversation wasn't going anywhere and he signed, "You really are hopeless. You refuse to open you eyes to see what is really going on around you, just like when we were back in school. If you want to live the rest of your pathetic life feeling sorry for yourself because you think no one cares for you then go right ahead. But until you open your ears and hear what is actually being said then neither Harry nor I will continue to listen to you complain about it."
Jack had noticed the confrontation between Dannie and the strangers and by the way she had walked past the circle he could tell there was definitely something not right. Once the song was over he announced that it was the end of the afternoon session and that Grand Entry would begin at 7:30 PM. He then put his microphone on its stand and followed her behind the cook-shack and away from on-lookers. "Are you going to tell me what is going on now?"
"There's nothin goin on."
"Angel, its time you stopped this. What is goin on with those guys. You can say they are just co-workers all you want, I don't buy it. No co-workers or teachers would travel as far as they did just over a student deciding not to return to school."
Dannie sighed, "Fine, I had planned on tellin you when you first came home but I felt I needed proof for you to actually believe me. Unfortunately the only proof I had, Nicca sent back to the school with her supply list and a note stating we wouldn't be returning. I just found out this morning what had happened to it and now that he's gotten it back, it's over. He actually thought I'd do that without an explanation of any kind."
"Wait a second here. I'm only hearin half of somethin. Proof of what that was sent back? What is over?"
"Engagement" Dannie whispered.
Jack's eyes widened. "Did you jest tell me you were engaged?" Dannie nodded. "To who? Not the panther that came by this mornin. You said that the two of you were just friends."
"We are just friends, really he's friends with Remus."
"So Remus is this guy that you're engaged to?"
"Was engaged to. It's over now."
"I don't think so. Not after I have a talk with that boy and get this mess straightened out."
"No papa. Don't even think of doin anything. Maybe it's for the best and Nicca just helped us realize we don't know each other like we thought we did."
"Where is Nicca now?"
"In the booth."
"Ok you stay here. I'm gonna have a talk with that girl." Jack said as he stormed off.
Robert had left the tent figuring it would be a good time to apologize to the strangers for the previous night's misunderstanding but once he found them standing to the side arguing he also saw there was no sign of his cousin. At that point he noticed his extremely pissed off uncle heading in his direction, "Papa Jack, have you seen Angel?"
"She's back behind the cook-shack. Where's that mate of yours. I need him to watch the booth while I have a talk with my granddaughter."
Before Robert could tell him that Dan was already there, Jack was half way to the tent so he went to go find Dannie. As Jack walked into the tent he grabbed Bria by the wrist and started pulling her outside with him. "Come with me now."
Bria dug her heels into the dirt and the entrance she whined, "But mom said I'm to stay here."
Jack bent down to look directly into her eyes "I don't care what your mama said. I am tellin you to come with me right now." He softly growled then led her through the crowd.
Remus saw the struggle take place and went following after the two when Severus called out "Remus no, It's only her grandfather, she'll be alright." But the man didn't listen.
Harry tried to follow after them but Severus put his hand on the boy's shoulder, "You need to stay over here. It looks as though Bria's in quite a world of trouble right now and she would be quite embarrassed if she knew you saw her be reprimanded like this."
Remus lost sight of them in the crowd but as he ended the edge of the camp he heard voices. He followed the direction they were coming from and quickly noticed Bria sitting on the top of a picnic table with the large white haired man infront of her. Not seeing any immediate danger Remus stayed back to observe the situation.
"Is it true?"
"I don't know. Is what true?"
"Don't you play innocent with me young lady. What you did to your mama, is it true that you sent her ring back?"
Bria lowered her head "Yes sir."
"What in the Creator's name were you thinkin?" Jack yelled and before Bria could answer he continued. "Don't you dare tell me it was because of that boy dying. Grow up and deal with it. Accidents happen." Bria remained silent as she fought back the tears. "Is it that you don't like the man your mama want's to marry?" Bria then shook her head. "Has he hurt you in any way?"
"Then I don't understand you Nicca. What were you thinkin?"
"I wasn't thinking."
"You're damn right you weren't thinkin. You young lady are grounded for the rest of your vacation. You will not only spend this whole weekend as my gopher but you have lost your TV, VCR, radio, all of that and you will stay inside the house unless you are helping me to work on it. You will do what I say when I say to do it and there with be no snide remarks, complainin, or poutin. Do you understand?"
"What about the moon on Monday?"
"If I cannot convince your mama into changin again I will have to most likely tie you up in the yard."
"Papaw you wouldn't. You don't even tie up Bubba." Bria sounded panicked.
"I don't want to Nicca but I cannot take a chance with you anymore. You have changed so much I have no other choice."
Remus heard this and couldn't handle the idea of her being tied up. "Excuse me, Mr. Lightpaws?"
Jack heard the voice and was irritated that someone would interrupt a private family situation like this and he turned around "What do you want. Oh it's you."
"I couldn't help but overhear but if you don't mind I would like to offer my assistance on Monday evening." Remus stated as Bria lowered her head.
"I'm sorry but this is a private family matter. I don't think you realize what happens to my granddaughter on certain nights."
"Yes sir I understand and I know all to well what happens to her. In fact this past term I assisted in supervising her during the cycles."
Jack looked back and forth between the two as he thought must ask Angel how well she knows this man and said "And you are?"
Remus held out his hand "My apologies, I'm Remus Lupin, the Charms professor."
Jack just stared at the hand infront of him. "Let me think about this Mr. Lupin. I don't think I need to warn you then that she's a fast runner. Do you happen to be one of those Ani-whachamacallits?"
Remus pulled his hand back "Well not exactly sir."
"Then how do you expect to be able to keep up with Nicca? I have never seen a human that can run as fast as a wolf."
Remus was hoping this question wouldn't come up but if it would keep her from being tied up then he had to answer. "I also go through the same thing every month."
Under no circumstance can I forget to ask Angel more about this man "Oh really. So you are a werewolf too. How long have you been one or did you inherit the gift from your folks?"
Remus looked around to see if anyone was within hearing distance "I was bitten before I was ever a student at Hogwarts. It's not something that is normally hereditary, in fact your granddaughter is the only second generation that we know of."
"So all the legends are true. How dangerous are you? There are still people that will be camping here to dance skyclad that I must consider."
Mental note, make sure Severus doesn't let Harry leave the cabin Monday evening "Although I hate to admit that the legends are true I must let you know that for the past few years I have been taking a potion that keeps me in control of my own mind. Your campers have nothing to fear."
"Nicca, are you ok with Mr. Lupin watchin you Monday night?"
"He can but only if your mama agrees to it. Mr. Lupin,"
"Ok, Remus, whether or not I do agree to this and because of your situation. I would like to offer you the use of the caves for that night and I'll have Nicca bring you directions on how to get to them. Although they are on the other side of the road from my home they are still considered part of my property. I must warn you that because of the hunters in the area and Nicca's situation I have had to surround the property with a high electrical fence to keep her safe. If my Angel does agree to this then we will meet you at the caves 30 minutes before sundown."
"Yes sir, thank you." Remus said as he once again tried to shake hands with the man.
"No thank you." Jack said as he grabbed Remus' hand and pulled him in for a hug. He then left the two of them alone while he tried to imagine what his future grandbabies could look like.
Bria waited until she was certain Jack was out of hearing distance as Remus sat on the table next to her. "Hi dad."
"Looks like Papaw likes you." Remus remained silent "How much did you hear?"
"Are you going to punish me too?"
"I'm extremely disappointed in you but I do believe that he has everything covered. I have a few question though." Remus watched as Bria lowered her head and faced the ground. "How is it that your mum never received any of the letters that I sent her?"
"She was working at Aunt Jenny's restaurant when they arrived."
"So she has a job already? So it is true that she wasn't going to return to Hogwarts?"
Bria shook her head. "Mom hates just sitting around the house all day so she works there whenever she can. Besides she needed the money so that she could get the stuff that Aunt Bobby and Uncle Dan needed to fix Granny's old regalia."
"I haven't seen many restaurants around here. Where is this one that she words at?"
Bria pointed towards the lodge "Over there, its connected to the main building. It's more of a bar but they sell food during the day. Aunt Jenny runs it while her brother Bobby and Dan run the lodge."
"I thought you said Aunt Bobby."
"They became a couple while they were in college. Bobby always seemed more girlish than Dan so I've always called him my aunt. The only time he really ever acts like a man is when he thinks someone is trying to steal Uncle Danny from him." Bria finished her sentence and noticed all the color drain from Remus' face. "Dad are you alright?"
Remus then rested his head in his hands as he slowly shook it. "I don't want to ask but I have to and I need you to tell me the truth. Has you mum been um," he took a deep breath "living with any other men?"
Bria stared at him in shock "Most definitely not. Why would you even ask such a thing?"
"Bria tell me the truth."
"Severus and I went to this party last night and when we asked about her and a man said that she had already left with someone named Angel but he would be happy to tell her when he climbed into their bed."
"What did mom say when you asked her about it?"
"Um, I didn't"
"Dad did you hear what Papaw called me and mom?"
"It was Nicca right? But why?"
Bria sighed, "Papaw has his own names for people if he doesn't like their given name or he has bad memories of someone with that name. He calls me Nicca because it's my middle name and I was mom named me after Granny. He also calls mom by her middle name because he feels that the name Granny gave her is too much of a boy's name."
Remus started to talk when they heard a lot of screaming and yelling from the path leading to the lake.
Robert walked behind the cook-shack to find Dannie sitting there with tear stained eyes. "Angel?" Dannie just looked at her cousin. "I'm sor…"
"Don't say it. It's over. Just let me use your cell phone."
"Who are you calling?"
"Jenny, I need to talk to her."
Robert handed her the phone from his pocket and said "I'll be back at the booth to see if I can save Bria from your dad."
Dannie dialed the number and waited for the other end to answer "Hey, it's Angel…..Yeah, I'll be there tonight…..Don't worry about it I can use the distraction…..No, I'm fine…..Yes, I'm sure. I'll tell you about it later……Ok, I'll see you around eight then." She then sat there a while longer before she slowly walked back towards their booth. When she reached the booth she saw Jack, Robert and Dan standing around and talking. She tried not to interrupt the three men as she handed the phone back to Robert but they all turned to look at her. "Where's Nicca?"
"I left her to talk with that teacher of hers."
"No, the other one, Remus. Which reminds me. I have a few questions I want to ask you about that boy."
"Not now Papa. I don't even want to think about him any more today. It's over and done with and I have a date to get ready for."
"A date? With who?"
"I have no idea, Jenny didn't tell me his name."
"Angel listen, whatever was done I'm sure it was a misunderstanding. If you'd let me talk to him."
"I'll say it was a misunderstanding. Thanks to Bobby he thinks I go sleepin around. I'm surprised he didn't ask me if Nicca was even…Never mind. I have to go." She said as she stormed out of the booth and headed towards the lake.
"ANGEL! ANGEL!" Jack shouted as he chased after his daughter. "DANIELLE ANGEL LIGHTPAWS YOU STOP RIGHT THERE!"
Dannie stopped dead in her tracks at the water's edge.
"What do you mean by walkin away from me and what is this about Nicca?"
"Papa I have a date tonight."
"No you don't, you're engaged."
"Not any more I'm not, it's over with, he all but called me a whore."
"If you would let Bobby and I talk to him then I'm sure he's understand."
"I don't care if he learns the truth. Hell maybe I'll even have the guts to tell you the truth about him. Right now I don't care, it's over. Maybe he is right with his accusations, hell look at Nicca."
"Angel, what truth haven't you told me."
Dannie noticed the two figures watching from a picnic table under a shade tree. "Papa, put your glasses on and turn around. Then you will know, I will talk to you later, I've got to go.:
Jack fumbled around his pockets to find his glasses but unfortunately he had left them at the drum. Then he squinted as he tried to see the figures but when he tried to ask her "What will I know?" his voice was drown out by the sound of Dannie starting up her jet-ski.