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 Gathering
Chapter Rating: R for violence
Chapter 7- The Gathering
Dannie opened her eyes and saw Jack sitting on the coffee table staring at her. As soon as he knew she noticed him he left without saying a word. Dannie then looked at the clock on the wall and nudged Remus saying "Love, we have to get going. We have to be there in an hour."
He pulled her close and nuzzled her neck saying, "We have an hour? Plenty of time to..."
"Sorry but I still have to get over there before I get dressed and it takes a good 15 minutes to get into garb. Not to mention the time it will take us to cross the lake." She replied as she regretfully pried his arms off her.
"We could just apparate over."
"Not into that crowd. Come on." Dannie got up then dashed up the stairs, threw her things into an air tight duffel bag, and slipped into a pair of bicycle shorts while Remus looked around the living room for his shoes. He had just finished putting them on when she made her way back down "You may want to take those off until we get over there."
"We're taking the Jet Ski across."
"I'll walk over thank you."
"But you'll miss Bria dancing. It's her last time to be able to do this."
"She'll have other chances. You two are still coming back here for the hols."
"Not necessarily. Even if we do she still won't be able to Fancy-dance. She shouldn't even be doing it tonight but papa already approved of it."
"Why shouldn't she be doing it? Is it because of her age?"
"Well it's not really her age that plays the factor in it, it's her size. You'll see what I mean when you see the other girls." Dannie said as she grabbed his hand and pulled him off the couch then grabbed the keys off the table.
"How safe is this Jet Ski thing?"
"Safer than that flying motorcycle that you took me on."
Remus sighed, "Well I guess I could give it a go for Bria's sake."
"Just for Bria huh? Just make sure you're able to find something other than me to hang onto." She smirked as she stood in the open doorway waiting for him to pass.
As he walked out of the house he placed a hand on her hip, "Luv, you know I didn't mean it like..."
Dannie quickly quieted him with a small kiss "I know."
After they were out of the house she turned to lock the door but had to pause as she felt his brush the hair off her shoulder and started kissing her neck before his hands moved down her thighs to slip his fingers between the spandex and her skin while purring, "Are you absolutely sure we have to leave now? We could be fashionably late."
Dannie closed her eyes and briefly leaned back into him as he moved to her ear. "Um…I.. don't . I …er, we…cant disappoint…. Bria."
"Are you sure? You don't sure too convincing."
Dannie regained her senses "Unfortunately I'm positive." She said as she locked the door as he continued to caress her thighs. Dannie then turned around saying, "You're really not going to make this an easy decision are you?"
Remus looked at her and shook his head before he leaned down to kissed her lightly running his tongue along her bottom lip seeking admittance. She quickly backed away and grabbed his hand to lead him to the water edge where they waded out to the ski. After lifting the seat and placing their belonging in the compartment she climbed on and quickly started up the engine. Just as he started to climb on behind her she took quickly took off dumping him into the lake. Dannie then circled around and stopped next to where he was standing completely drenched, "What was that for?" he asked.
"After the way you acted at the door I figured you needed to cool off." She replied as she held out her arm to help him up.
Remus quickly climbed on and straddled the seat and moved as close as possible to her making her whole back wet as he pressed against her and hanging onto the inside of her thighs. "We'll see who needs cooling off before we get there."
Dannie once again took off but as they rode across the water she felt his fingers roaming closer and closer inwards. She tried moving forward to the edge of the seat to escape his grasp but it only made things worse for her. By the time they reached the center of the lake Dannie was ready to either scream out of frustration or dive into the water herself. Instead she turned off the engine and turned around to face him placing her legs over his. Remus eagerly welcomed the new position as he pulled her onto his lap while kissing her hungrily and slipping his hand up the front of her top. Neither one of them took notice of the other Jet Ski that pulled up besides them until Dan cleared his throat. "People around here really have some horrible timing." Remus snarled as he pulled back.
"I really do hate interrupting you two but, Severus asked me to come over here and tell you to stop putting on this show and get over there. They are starting to line up for Grand Entry." Dan said.
Remus then glanced over Dannie's shoulder and saw three figures standing on the beach. "How long until the dancing is over tonight?"
"Usually lasts until midnight or whenever the drum gets tired. Whichever comes last." She replied
"That's not for another five hours."
"Maybe if you can behave yourself we'll slip out early for a midnight swim?" she proposed as she pulled back and repositioned herself to start driving again. Remus' hands then went back to their original position. "Love, I hate to tell you this but that is definitely not behaving yourself."
"Well if you maybe if you made a more enticing offer other than a midnight swim when I could be encouraged to behave. I didn't even bring my suit."
"Who said anything about bathing suits?" she asked and his arms instantly wrapped around her waist as they headed towards the shore.
"Mom, hurry up and get changed. Aunt Jenny is holding your spot in line." Bria said.
"I'm not doing Grand Entry, I'm gonna watch it with the guys."
"Are you sure. She's standing right behind the Fancy dancers." Bria said with a smile.
"Well then hurry up and get in line before they start going in."
"I have to enter with the children still. I can't believe you're not going in."
"Sorry Bria, I'm not up to dancing tonight. Go on ahead we'll be there shortly." Dannie then turned to Harry "Do you mind escorting her up there?"
Harry ran on ahead to catch up with Bria while Remus offered Dannie his arm, "Luv, if you want to dance go ahead you don't have to sit with us."
"I don't really enjoy Grand Entry to tell you the truth. Especially with where Jenny is standing. A girl could get whiplash that close to them."
"I find that hard to believe. Do you care to explain how someone could get whiplash just from dancing behind someone?" Severus asked out of curiosity.
"Bouncing bustles." She replied.
"Come again?" Remus said.
Dannie sighed, "The feathers on the backside of the guy's regalia bounce as they dance. The faster they dance the more they bounce. It can really be quite distracting and painful."
"And you know this from experience?" Remus asked teasingly.
"Can I plead the fifth?"
"No." the two men said in unison.
"Then um, yes I do. Although it did take me a few times to realize it." She replied honestly as they stopped and stared at her. "Well you two wanted to know." She then looked at the small brick building that stood nearby. "I need to change so I'll meet you at the Circle if you want to find us a place to sit." She then gave Remus a quick kiss before she went into the bathrooms to change.
Just as Severus and Remus found Harry sitting at the spot that the kids had saved for them they sat down Jack got onto the microphone and started the opening announcements. "Thank you for your attendance here this evening. Before we get started I would like to welcome some visitors who have come all the way from Britain to be with us here tonight. If you would make them feel welcome, my friends, Panther and his son, Raven."
Severus and Harry glanced at Remus as they noticed he was not mentioned while the men in the audience applauded and round of Lololololo's were heard from the women. "Uncle Remus?"
"No worries Harry, it's to be expected after this morning." Remus replied.
"Do you care to tell me exactly what happened?" Severus asked.
"He noticed that she was bitten last night." Remus replied while Severus shook his head as Dannie walked up and intertwined her fingers with Remus'.
"Sorry about Papa, he still seems to be just a little upset."
"That's quite understandable besides this morning I got the best welcoming I could have hoped for." He whispered in her ear in, which brought a smile to her face that wasn't able to go unnoticed by those around them.
As Jack started announcing the different groups of dancers as they entered the Circle in a single file line Dannie took notice of some of the looks that some of the people around them were giving her and Remus. Dannie then pointed towards the North end of the Circle as Bria entered with the other children as Jack finally announced "…Last but most important of our dancers this evening lets hear it for twenty-five percent of our population but one hundred percent of our future. Our children!" The crowd cheered and applauded wildly for them. Remus proudly wrapped his arm around Dannie as they watched Bria fancy shawl with the other girls. It may have seemed like nothing spectacular to the majority of the other parents there but to him it was exciting as seeing his child in a school performance or even a parade for the first time.
"Oh my God. I can't believe he is actually allowing her to dance like that." Said a voice from the crowd behind them.
"What did you expect? You know Jack will let that girl do anything she wants he was the same way with her mama. What I can't believe is the fact that they actually had the nerve to come back here when she knows everyone knows why she left in the first place."
"You mean the pregnancy? I thought that was just a rumor."
"Definitely not. She was gone for exactly ten months and not even Jack would say where they went. She's got a lot of nerve showing back up here disgracing their family name like that by not taking care of the child herself."
"Well what do you think she did with the little monster?"
"I can only hope she at least put this one out of its misery but knowing her she probably just put it up for adoption or something like that."
Dannie glanced in the direction of the two women when Remus pulled her close and kissed the top of her head.
"Did you see that?"
"Looks as if Jack brought home a stray this time to try to make us think she has finally caught herself a human."
"Poor guy, lets just hope he doesn't end up like the last man her mama was with."
Dannie just stood there watching the ceremony and doing her best to ignore the women behind her while Remus and Severus glared at them. As the conversation continued Remus had had enough and he started to turn around in their direction. "Remus please don't." she said.
"I don't understand. How can you stand here and let them talk like that about your family?" he asked.
"It's not like it's something I haven't heard a million times before. Its just more reservation rumors and gossip."
"Well it's time they stopped." He stated.
"Later please. It's the middle of Grand Entry and with papa already furious with us we don't need to make things worse by making a scene."
As Dannie continued to try to convince Remus not to confront the women, Severus quietly told Harry "I'll be right back, you stay here with them." He then walked slowly back to the women, "Excuse me but I couldn't help but overhear your conversation about the woman my friend is with."
"Since you obviously don't know their family very well and you seem to care about your friend I'll let you know. She's not human and neither is that daughter of hers."
"What do you mean they're not human? They certainly look as human as you and I do."
"Looks are very deceiving with their kind. All the women in their family are that way that's how they trap their men. I suggest you and your friend stay as far away from them as possible."
"Really now?" Severus said as he glanced at Remus who was watching the situation. "Would you care to walk with me so you could tell me about it without prying ears?"
The two women led him away from the circle and down the path towards the lake as they continue to talk. "They're what's known as shape shifters. They have the ability to change into an animal at will taking on all traits of that animal."
"That sounds a bit like hogwash to me." Severus said smirking to himself. "I understand that your culture believes in sprit animals but to have the ability to actually change into it I find to be pure foolishness."
The other woman spoke up. "It's true. Angel and I went through school together and I've seen her do it. Not only that but that daughter of hers was fathered by one of the wolves who use to reside in the woods across from their home."
"Just look at that daughter of hers. There isn't a man within a hundred miles who would sleep with her but she winds up pregnant. Not just once either, just last year she disappeared just long enough to have the child and get rid of it."
"What about the possibility that she had met someone with the same capabilities?" Severus asked.
"As in a male shape shifter? Not very likely, men aren't evil enough to perform that kind of magic."
"Really now. What would you say if I told you that I have come across quite a few people both men and women that have the ability to change their body structure into that of an animal?"
"I'd ask what you were smoking and if you had some to share. It's simply not physically possible."
"Now we already warned you, and if you care at all for your friend and your boy then you will take them away from here and away from them as soon as possible." The woman warned as she took her friend by the arm and led her away from him. "Do you believe that? Asks our advice then doesn't even listen to it. It'd teach them a lesson if…." The woman quit talking when they noticed that a panther then blocked their path. As they back up they looked around the camping area for someone to help them but unfortunately everyone was up at the Circle.
Suddenly the panther changed back into Severus and while one of the women collapsed, the other stood there shaking in fear. "Now may I suggest that before you start gossiping about people you obviously know nothing about you get some of your facts straight."
"No, it's not possible. You couldn't have done that unless."
"You're a demon of some kind."
"I can assure you that no matter what my students claim, I am in no way a demon of any kind. Although it is no concern of yours, I do happen to know for a fact that there she was not pregnant this past year, for she has been one of my colleagues. Now finally as your concern for my safety, I can assure you that neither Angel or Bria could be considered as dangerous as I or my friend are to anyone who does not provoke them." Severus then turned to walk away but the woman called out after him.
"She still sleeps with animals. If you truly know her and her daughter then you cannot deny it's true. That child is far from being human, as long as your son is around her his life's in danger."
"Madam, from what I have seen and heard around here this weekend I must say that that child is more human than over half the people here. I can honestly tell you that her father is no less human than her mother's fiancée and as for my son, unless he's in anymore of a dangerous situation then he already has been in, then and only then would I restrict his friendships." He then left the woman there as he went back to join the group.
Remus turned to him "How did it go? Did you get everything taken care of?"
"It went quite well I believe. I did cause them a bit of a fright though." Severus replied.
"Um Remie, don't get me wrong but you are starting to scare me. I could have sworn that Harry had told us that Sev had gone to the bathroom, and I know you two aren't that close of friends to be asking such questions. You mind telling me what's going on?"
"Dad's been constipated for the past week now. We were beginning to think that he would soon explode because it's been so bad. If he said he's caused someone a fright, you may not wish to go anywhere near the loo for quite awhile." Harry said before being smacked upside the head, "Ow, What was that for?"
"One more comment like that and you'll be grounded until the term starts up again." Severus told him then turned back towards Dannie "You might say I went and had a talk with some women about some misconceptions they had."
"Misconception about what?" she asked.
"About you and Bria. No worries I think they may have a bit of a different understanding about thing now."
"I really hate to say this but I felt more at ease when I thought Remus was actually concerned about your bodily functions. You didn't tell them about him being her father did you? If papa found out…"
"No nothing of the sort. I just made it quite unmistakably clear to them that it is quite possible that her father could also be a shape shifter and you do not go around mating with everyday normal animals."
"Sev, please tell me you didn't change infront of them." Remus said but didn't receive a reply. "Are you daft? How many times have you lectured the students about risking exposure of our world? Do you realize that they still burn witches at the stake here? Imagine what could happen to not only Bria but Dannie as well if they had any sort of inkling."
"Would you relax? They already know that both the girls have the ability to change at will, all I did was prove to them that some men can do the same thing."
Dannie looked around and noticed the two women talking to other people and pointing in their direction. "Severus you didn't have to do that. It's not like it was something that Bria and I hadn't heard before. We've grown use to it."
"What makes you think I did it for you? I did it because they were disturbing the ceremony. There is nothing that I despise more than missing a performance, no matter how primitive and simple it may be."
"Simple? Do you realize how much work it took to make Bria's regalia? Not to mention the daily practice she had to endure to be able to dance out there."
"Yes simple. Thanks to those women I missed your daughters dancing but if it is by means close to how your cousin dances with that entire head bobbing she did then it is quite simple. As to why you would wish to injure your neck in such a way is beyond me."
Dannie giggled "Sev, that head bobbing that Jenny was doing was not part of her dance. That was done because she was keeping too close of an eye on the bouncing blue bustle infront of her. Just wait, you'll see how the kids really dance later on." Bria finally left the circle panting heavily and walking very slow to the group. "You didn't stretch before you went out there did you?"
Bria sat down between Harry and Remus leaning against his arm, "No, I wasn't smudged either. Papaw had us running all sorts of errands today getting ready for tonight."
Remus wrapped his arm around her and lightly kissed her forehead "You still looked wonderful out there." He smiled as none of them noticed that Jack had seen the fatherly gesture.
As the night went on the five of them sat on the blanket watching everyone dance and have fun and every once in a while during an All Nations dance Bria would drag Harry out into the Circle with her. Throughout the night Jack kept a close eye on 'his' girls and how they interacted with the outsider that he wasn't too fond of at the moment and he announced "Has anyone seen my Gopher Monkey around here?" Bria hesitated before standing up "There you are Nicca, come on out here for a moment." She quickly made her way to the north end of the Circle before entering and walked around inside it in a clockwise direction towards the center where he stood.
"What's going on?" Remus asked.
"Papa has decided to make sure everyone knows she's being punished this weekend and has to be the drum gopher. If there is one thing he is good at, it's embarrassing someone and he enjoys doing it a little too much at times." Dannie replied.
Bria then went to the cook shack and grabbed a wagon with a thirty gallon water cooler and started dragging it back to the drum having to follow the same path as before but, having to stop every now and then as the wagon kept getting stuck in the soft dirt. Harry noticed the trouble that she was having and went into the circle to help. When the kids arrived at the center Jack glared at them then got back on his microphone. "Thank you Raven." Harry smiled and started walking away. "Wait a second, where do you think your going?" Harry stopped and started to turn around. "No, no, no. All the way around." Harry made his way around the inside of the circle to stand next to Bria.
"Luv, what's he doing?" Remus asked.
"He shouldn't have gone out there to help her. Papa's going to try to have some fun with them now."
"I don't know about the rest of you out there but I've been watching my Nicca with this young man for the past two days and they are pretty much unseparable. Raven; question for the other girls out there. Are you available?" Harry shook his head "You're not? Hmmm. Nicca, is Raven here your boyfriend?" Bria shrugged her shoulders. "What do you mean you don't know? Raven do you consider my Nicca your girlfriend?" Harry nodded. "What's wrong with you children? Have you all of a sudden forgotten how to talk?" the kids looked at each other and again shrugged their shoulders. "Someone tell me what's wrong with these kids. You hear them smarts mouth their parents all day and then when you give them the opportunity to talk they don't say a word. Thank you again Raven, you can go back over by your papa now." Harry tried to take a very red faced Bria's hand to lead her away from the circle "Go on, I'm not done with her yet." He said over the microphone and Harry left to stand outside the entrance to the circle. "Now I must admit I am quite proud of my grand-daughter for two reasons. The first of which I must say thrills me since it has taken her five years less time to find herself a boyfriend than it did my own Angel and from what I've learned, they have actually been dating for quite a few months. Also unlike my Angel who was only with him what, one maybe two days?" Dannie couldn't help but sit on the blanket and listen to her father over the microphone as she buried her face in her hands trying to hide her embarrassment.
"Well at least the boy is human." Someone called out from the crowd.
"Now, now," Jack started "You all know I never did believe that rumor and that there had to be an explanation on why Nicca's markings were different than her mama's." Jack paused and thought about what he was going to say next while Dannie held her breath dreading the worse. "Remus wound you come out here and answer some questions?" Dannie's eyes widened as he stood up and made his way out to the circle as she started to follow him but stopped when she heard Jack announce "Danielle Angel, I didn't invite you out here so you stay right where you are." Jack slipped on his glasses and waited the younger man approached the center arena, when he finally arrived and stood behind Bria who was now staring at the ground infront of her, Jack put the microphone back up to his mouth. "Since none of you really know, Remus here is one of Nicca's professors from her school. Another thing is he and the kids have told me that there are all sorts of people at this school who are also a form of shape shifters like both my girls. Is this correct?" Remus nodded, "Listen here, I can understand the children not wanting to talk in front of a crowd but I refuse to let you go without a proper answer. Is what I said correct?"
"Ok now, finally someone who has a voice around here. Now I will admit that I grew up in the 60's and I also attended my share of parties so my memory is not always what it should be so if I have asked you this already I do apologize for it. Before your little trip here this weekend, have you ever been in the area before?"
"Yes sir." Remus replied as he looked in Dannie's direction.
"Everyone of you know the little habit I had when my daughter was younger, hell I most likely tried many times to hook a lot of you men up with her at one time. For some reason lately I seem to remember about 16 years ago when I was a local driver there was a young man that I'd run across a two of three times a month walking either to or from town whom I use to give rides to…."
"Sir may we talk about this in private?" Remus asked.
"You admit that there is something to talk about? I seem to recall yesterday when I asked you if we had met before you told me we hadn't."
"I'm sorry sir but it was the night before last and my reply was 'Not that I am aware of'"
"So you are saying now that we have met before. How long ago?"
Robert, Dan, and Jenny walked up behind Dannie "What is your father doing?" Jenny asked.
"Something has triggered him off and I think he's trying to get confirmation from Remie."
"In front of everyone? Has he gone mad? Did he even give any hints about doing this?" Dan asked.
"No, or I really don't know. He hasn't spoken to me since this morning. He was at the house when I woke up from a nap but he never said a word."
"Yes sir I am, about sixteen years ago." Remus replied. "Mr. Lightpaws sir, if you don't mind."
"I do mind. I'm getting to the bottom of this now. When was the first time you met my daughter?"
Remus placed his hands on Bria's shoulders and replied, "I asked that this be a private conversation and you refused. Well, I refuse to play this game of twenty questions with you any longer. Since you insist on bringing a family matter out into public like this let's do so and end all the rumors right here and now. Dannie has been afraid to let you know due to certain threats you have made but what you see is true. Yes I am Bria's father. I am the one who impregnated your daughter years ago, and as I stated this morning. I would never knowingly do anything to harm her and that includes leaving her behind with my child."
"Gathering is over. Wado." Jack said before putting the microphone on the stand. He then lifted Bria's chin and looked in her eyes. "You take care of yourself at that school of yours. You have any problems what-so-ever you contact Bobby, he'll know how to reach me, and I'll bring you straight home."
Dannie and her cousins stood in shock with what they just saw take place. As Jack stormed out of the circle Dannie chased after him "Papa please wait." Jack stopped and looked at her. "Papa…" she was instantly interrupted when Jack backhanded her across the mouth with enough force to knock her to the ground.
"Don't you ever call me that again. I should have known you were no better than they were. Just like your cousin and your mama, your nothing but a lying little whore." He shouted then turned and walked towards the parking lot to his pickup.
Remus instantly heard the slap and looked at Bria, "Go over by Harry and wait for your mum and me." He then left the Circle and went searching the crowd for Dannie. By the time he found her Robert and Dan had just helped her back to her feet and they started towards the closest picnic table. "Luv, are you all right?" he asked as he lifted her chin and noticed her split lip and bruising starting to form.
Dannie flinched from the pain as she replied; "Well we knew he'd be pissed when he figured out the truth. I just don't ever remember him being this angry."
Remus held her close as he looked at Dan, "Where did he go?"
"To his truck in the parking lot I suppose." Jenny replied as she walked up with a bag of ice.
Remus unclenched her arms from his waist. "Luv, you say here, I'll be right back." he said and he turned and went running towards the parking lot before she say anything. He then ran through the crowd dodging around those who didn't move from his path he caught up with Jack just as he reached his truck. Using all his strength, Remus spun the man around to look at him as he pinned him up again the vehicle.
"What the hell is your problem?" Jack asked.
"You hit my mate." Remus growled.
"Your mate my disgusting slut of a daughter, what difference does it make? I know what you are and I know what time of the month it was everytime I gave you a ride to and from town. Only the Creator knows how many other animals she had sex with."
Remus pulled him off the truck and slammed him against it again, "She is not a slut!"
"How long did you know her before she had sex with you? Was it the first night or the second night of the moon? Maybe she didn't screw other animals but it sure didn't take her long to have sex with you."
"How did you expect her to act? You drive around picking up strangers from the street that you don't even know and try to get them to go home with you just so that you can get rid of her. I couldn't believe what a disgusting pig you were back then to try to pimp out his own child, I just wish I had known it was her that had to go through that."
"Consider yourself lucky, nobody else wanted her back then, If I had known she was that good of a lay maybe I could have used that to get rid of her sooner. Afterall sixteen years definitely haven't improved her looks, especially after giving birth to that monster of yours."
Remus saw nothing but red as he heard what Jack said and as he started to pick him up and throw him in the back of the truck they heard a loud bang. The two men looked to the side of them and saw Bria standing there with tears streaming down her face trying to remove her dagger from the front tire while in the distance they heard a Jet ski engine as it darted across the lake. Remus let go of Jack's collar and said "Thank you for making my family's visit a memorable one." He then walked over and hugged Bria "Where'd your mum go?"
"Robert said something about a pole that she runs to when she's upset over something." Severus said.
"Memaw's pole over in the woods." Bria said between sniffles as she glared at Jack.
"Come on show me." Remus told her and he followed Bria and Harry back towards the lodge.
As Severus started to walk by the truck Jack grabbed his arm "How much did she hear?"
"Although Dannie left after you told him how you thought she was a slut, Bria heard pretty much the rest of it." Severus replied coldly.
"I didn't mean what I said, I was…."
"Don't even try to explain it to me, I'm not the one who needs to know." Severus stated. He then walked away as Jack slid to the ground and closed his eyes to try to hold back the tears.