Author's Notes: This story is a WIP, but chapters should be submitted regularly. Feedback is always appreciated in any form. Email me with suggestions, pleas, or criticism! The basic beginning premise of the story was vaguely borrowed, with permission, from the lovely Lady Feylene's story "Beautiful Stranger."
Taming the Beast
By Lady Grey
We haven't heard anything from you in almost a month! I hope you haven't gotten yourself in trouble with any of those dragons of yours. The only reason I haven't flooed over straight away is because your father has checked on your status with the Ministry. Imagine, having to check on my son through the Ministry! I expect an owl back within twenty-four hours, or the next owl you get from me will have a howler. And don't tell me you're too old for howlers!
The rest of the family is well. Your father is busy at the Ministry, as usual, and has acquired another muggle gadget to keep him busy in his spare time. This one is called a "toaster," and so far seems to set all sorts of things on fire, including your father's robe. I'm hoping he doesn't decide to hex or enchant it; gods know what would happen then, it would probably end up in another prank of the twins.
Fred and George are well, torturing everyone as usual. Yesterday they left a chocolate out for Ron, which of course had a realistic looking spider inside. Poor Ron bit into it, only to have a large, hairy arachnid jump onto his nose. I had quite a time calming him down and trying to send the twins to their room simultaneously. As much as I love all my children, there are days that I can't wait for Hogwarts to be back in session.
Ginny has been spending her days with Charlotte Trask. You remember the Trasks? I think her brother Orlando was the year below you in school. Anyway, the two have been getting along fabulously, and staying out from under my feet to boot. They've been too good lately, I'm just waiting for the other shoe to drop; Ginny can't stay out of some plot or other for long with all her older brothers wreaking havoc. In the meantime, today I've let them go to Flourish and Botts to pick up the latest "Witch Weekly," which, with luck, will stave off the upcoming disaster for a few days.
Percy is immersed in work, as usual, and only comes up sputtering in response to one of the pranks from the twins. Their favorite target as always, this week alone he has suffered an obscene-suggestion quill, dancing socks, ever-changing style gel in his shampoo, and rainbow robes, not to mention other, more minor incidents. I think he's looking forward to the fall term even more than I.
Bill is still enjoying his job and Egypt, although I expect you know this better than I would. He, of course, ignores any hints I make about settling down with a nice girl. I expect a warning from you if he does find someone who is more than a passing fancy! Speaking of which, when are you going to find some nice young man to make a home with? Now you know I don't like to get involved in my children's love lives, but if you'd like me to do something, I know several decent young wizards who, I'm sure, would be thrilled to meet you. Just a suggestion, do let me know, will you?
There's not been much new lately. I suppose you've heard by now that this past year's Defense Against the Dark Arts professor, Remus Lupin, is a werewolf. Now, I have the highest regard for Dumbledore, but it is simply not his right to endanger children like that! A dark creature, spending so much time with my little ones! I was furious, I tell you, and while your father stopped me from sending a howler, I wrote a very strongly worded letter to the headmaster. Thank god the monster was forced to resign; I would not have my children taught by that thing another year. Of course, the young ones, especially Ron, tried to convince me he wasn't all that bad. I'm sure he was a terribly nice fellow once upon a time, but he can't do anything about his nature, now can he? A dark creature indeed. It turns out (typically, I might add) that he's a friend of that Azkaban convict, Sirius Black. Now there's simply no way anyone is going to convince me that a dark creature who is friends with a traitor and murderer is fit to teach children, and about the dark arts no less!
Enough about that, after all, it's over now. Our neighbors, the Reeses have been having trouble with their ghost lately. Reynolds, that's the ghost, has been wreaking havoc worthy of the twins, the poor family. They're working on it with the help of the Ministry, of course, but in the meantime the most alarming things keep happening. Just last night, in fact, we were all awoken to the sound of some dreadful muggle music and dancing pyjamas on their front lawn. It really is becoming more and more disturbing, I hope they settle things with Reynolds soon.
That's all for now, I believe. I expect an owl back within a day, Charlie, and no excuses! Hope all is well with the dragons.
Charlie set the letter down without a word. Remus, who had been reading over his shoulder, was also quiet.
"I think I'd better write back," Charlie said finally.
Remus nodded. "What are you going to say?" he asked gently.
Charlie shook his head. "I don't know," he said dully. "I mean, I want to tell her, but she seems so set... Look, Remus, my mother is a good woman, but she is very protective of her children."
Remus nodded. "It's an appropriate response, considering."
Charlie looked annoyed. "But you see it shouldn't be an appropriate response! People should know the truth about lycanthropy, not just the stories they've been fed!" He sighed. "All right, here's what I think I'm going to do, with your approval." Remus looked at him questioningly. "I'm going to try to soften the werewolf bit by giving her some real facts to dispel the myths. Then I'm going to tell her that...that I'm in love with someone, but I won't say that it's you. I predict there will be a flurry of interest accompanied by an invitation for either dinner or a weekend at The Burrow. I'll put it off for a few weeks until Hogwarts starts up again, so the kids who know you will be at school. When we go, and this is the part you need to think about Remus, we'll give you a fake identity so they can get to know you without the werewolf stigma attached. Then, when they get to like you, and they will of course, we'll tell them the truth." He took a deep breath. "What do you think?"
Remus pondered with a frown on his face. "I don't like lying to your family," he said finally.
Charlie shrugged, looking unhappy. "Neither do I, in this case I think it's for the best."
Remus looked at him carefully, trying to read the expression in his eyes. "All right," he said. "If you think that's how we should handle it, I agree."
Charlie smiled, perking up. "That's right," he murmured. "We. Together. The two of us. It makes me indescribably happy to hear you say that."
"Hmm," hummed Remus. "Turned on by plural pronouns? I knew you were a kinky bastard, but..." He was interrupted by lips on his own.
"Mmm," Charlie purred, "Remus..."
"Charlie..." Remus pushed him away. "No shagging until you've written your mother," he ordered sternly.
Charlie pouted. "But...but..." he protested.
Remus smiled, shaking his head. "I promise it will be worth the wait," he smirked. "Now get to work."
Charlie glared at him, but stalked over to the nightstand, pulled out a quill, ink, and parchment and headed to the kitchen table. "Only if you make me coffee," he tossed over his shoulder as a last minute demand.
Remus rolled his eyes but got up, shedding the sheet, to make coffee, and breakfast while he was at it.
Charlie chewed on the end of his quill and though a bit before setting it on the parchment.
Sorry I haven't written lately. I've been quite busy with the dragons in recent weeks, but to tell the truth, I've found someone rather special who's been distracting me. Mum, he's wonderful, I know you'd love him. We've only known each other a few weeks, admittedly, but I've never felt anything like this before. I confess that I think I've fallen in love with him. He's staying with me now, helping with the dragons, who adore him. Sometimes I think I trust their instincts more than my own. He's so good with them, not to mention sweet, intelligent, funny, and beautiful. All anyone could wish for, no? I know I’m babbling, but he's beyond anything I've dared to dream.
Sounds like the family is doing well, hope they aren't driving you too crazy. When do they head back, three or four weeks from now? I'll hope for your sanity in the last month, but at least you don't have me and Bill on top of them!
About the DADA prof: I think you might be overreacting. Werewolves are nowhere near as dangerous as their reputations claim; it's only the night of the full moon that is a problem, and I'm sure Dumbledore took all possible precautions. Please, Mum, don't judge too harshly. The Headmaster would not put any of the children at Hogwarts in danger, you know that. I'm sure Professor Lupin was a lovely man and an excellent teacher. Listen to the kids, they're the ones that spent time with him.
Too bad about the Reese's ghost, I hope they get that sorted out soon. As usual, send my love to all.
Charlie handed the scroll to Remus in exchange for a mug of steaming caffeine.
"I think I'll write to Bill while I'm motivated," he announced after a sip. "Let me know what you think of the letter to Mum." He dipped the quill in the ink and began another letter.
Sorry again about being out of touch for so long. One of the consequences of falling in love, I'm afraid. And I am in love, although I didn't tell you this morning. Oh, it's a brilliant feeling, makes me want to do ridiculous things like write romantic letters or buy cartloads of flowers. I don't know quite what to do with myself, besides spend as much time as possible in bed.
Regarding Remus' lycanthropy: he's been honest with me about it, and I'm not in any danger. We met, actually, when he came to me to see if I could tame the wolf during full moons. We've just had our first full moon two nights ago and...well, I wasn't scared. A werewolf is an elegant creature; dangerous yes, but no less beautiful for it. I only wish I could stop the pain for him. My heart ached when I saw the bones break, heard the howling agony. I can't imagine such a noble, sweet man suffering this every full moon since his childhood, I'd do anything to right that horrible injustice. He's so gentle, so tender at all other times that the wolf seems as far away as the Egypt. Not that I don't love the wolf too; he has just as much appeal as my soft-spoken academic. Oh, Bill, I'm unapologetically in love with him. I'm sure you'll like him too, when you meet. I can't wait, but do avoid six days from now, will you? It's Remus' birthday, and I want it to be just us.
I've just replied to Mum's frantic letter, which came minutes after we said our goodbyes this morning. Predictably she ranted about the werewolf thing for a bit, as well as nagged us both about settling down with someone. My plan for dealing with the situation is this: I told her I was in love with someone, but not who. When I get the inevitable invitation home, I'll defer until the kids are back at school, then take Remus to meet them. After a bit of debate, we've decided to give him a different name temporarily until they get to know him, then break the truth. I know it's not the best, or most honest plan, but I think it's all we can do now.
Hope this finds you well, please let us know soon when to expect you!
As he finished, he found a plate of ham and eggs beside him. “Oh, thank you, love!” Shoving his scroll to Bill to the side, he pulled the plate in front of him and picked up his fork. “So, what did you think of the letter to Mum?” he asked with a full mouth.
Remus grinned, eating slightly more daintily. “Beyond anything you’d dared to dream, eh? You’ll give me an insufferable ego if I read any more.” He sobered. “But seriously, thank you, it sounds perfect, not at all suspicious.”
“Good, that was the intent,” Charlie answered as he continued to eat voraciously.
“Don’t eat so fast, you’ll choke,” Remus said absently, poking at his own breakfast.
“But it was good!” Charlie replied, shoveling the last forkful into his mouth with a grin. Standing up, still chewing, he grabbed the scroll Remus still held and gestured the owl, which was sitting patiently on the windowsill, to come over. Tying the missive to the bird’s leg, he sent it off with a “take it back to Mum, please.”
The most urgent message on its way, he rolled up the scroll for Bill and, sticking two fingers between his lips, let loose a shrill whistle. He grinned at Remus’ startled expression. “I let him live in the wild,” he explained as a large grey bird came swooping into the kitchen. The eagle-like bird settled on the back of Charlie’s chair, looking ferocious but noble. “Hullo Jasper,” Bill said conversationally. “Would you mind awfully taking this to Bill for me?” The bird cocked its head, apparently in the affirmative, and Charlie carefully tied the communication to its leg. “Thanks, Jasper,” he said, and the bird cooed and was off.
Charlie turned to Remus and grinned. “Well, now that that’s all set, I’m going to indulge in a shower and stick you with the dishes.” He leaned over and gave the older man a quick kiss. “Then we can finish what we started earlier.” He tossed Remus a flirtatious grin before sauntering off to the bathroom.
Remus, still a bit overwhelmed by the early morning activities, sat sipping his coffee before lazily cleaning the dishes magically. He waited patiently for the water to turn off, and only returned to the bedroom when he heard Charlie padding about. It was time to give Charlie his promised reward.
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