TITLE: Seeking Home
Fandom(s): Alpha and Omega, Mercy Thompson, Harry Potter
Email: royslady51 or nabikib
Pairings: Adam/Mercy. Samuel/Ariana, Warren/Kyle, Darryl/Arielle, Gabriel/Jessie
Original Characters: Hallie Bre (f) and Corinth Thyler (m) Warsaw. (Twins)
Warning #1: Embedded Plotbunnies Free to a Good home...if you want to play in the sandbox, take off your shoes and socks first.
EXAMPLE: You'll find these (and many others) in the story below:
1. Dominance was fine, but when a woman like Moira teamed up with one like Mercy...women with a mission who'd decided it was better if they worked together...
2. "You may want to watch your language, (the name of a babysitting Werewolf male of your choice here), kids that age pick up on all sorts of things...and they share them when you least expect it. And they always manage to do it when it will embarrass you the most."
When you see a rabbit like this one, take it home with you...there's a warren of them, in this thing.
Warning #2: Due to an author with a SPEW addiction, Spew abounds in most of my ficcies. Just get used to it and your life will be easier. This time there's a good bit of angst, comic relief and some of the oddest excuses for a Crossover I've managed in a while also included.
Warning #3: Apparently my Bran Muse has no defenses whatsoever against small children and babies. Like most big tough guys, little kids turn him into absolute MUSH.
Warning #4: My Mercy muse has a big chip on her shoulder where my Bran muse is concerned...but he brought it on himself...and he knows that.
Disclaimer: If you DO recognize the character, it doesn't belong to me. If you DO NOT recognize the character, it's an original character and those ARE MINE. As I'm playing in someone else's sandbox, if they want to use my Original Characters in future books, it is only fair that they should do so. Just let me know, okay?'Cause some of you guys DO read this stuff.
SUMMARY: A pair of newly Changed young children wander into Adam's Territory throwing the Columbia Basin Pack back into chaos and confusion when they follow Warren home: Apparently the Universe thinks Bran's people have had enough of peace and quiet...chaos erupts on all sides and from many sources.
"I tell you, Adam...someone is watching Kyle's place...I can smell them. There's at least two, but I never see anyone but a couple of small kids, seriously, those two are maybe nine or ten years old, max: This is more intense than that." Warren was agitated. "I can never get them upwind of me, though, whoever this is won't allow me to get a really good scent of them! I can tell it's a werewolf but that's all. My wolf is going nuts, he knows there's something that isn't quite right about the whole thing, but not enough to tell me anything! Whenever I go out to look around, whoever it is has already moved out of range. My wolf swears whoever it is, is werewolves he doesn't know...do you remember what happened the last time we had strange wolves hanging around? We need to find out who it is before Mercy finds out and does something...well..crazy. You know how she gets."
Hallie and Corinth smirked at each other as they listened to the man rant at someone else on the phone. They were good at moving out of the reach of dangerous people. They had been forced to learn that and other skills in the two months since a rogue wolf had attacked them, Changing them. Their parents were the sort of Christian that believed that bad things only happened to people who deserved it and because of that belief had rejected both of them as Damned when they had returned home, battered and in tattered clothing after escaping from him. The nine-year-old twins were taken out into rarely used roads in the forests near Adam's territory since everyone knew there was a pack living near there and kicked out of the car, their parents had driven away without a word.
In the weeks since then, they'd become expert thieves. They raided gardens and people's kitchens when they were at work, stealing clothes and boots from houses with children that were about their size. The young wolves were fast and strong so ripping doors off hinges to get into houses wasn't a big problem...nor was getting in and out before the cops got there. Both kids were in the habit of stripping naked at night to sleep Wolf in the cold...since they stayed warmer that way. They taught themselves to hunt and to kill. Mice, or rats, at first, then rabbits. Their wolves were still cubs and deer were a bit beyond what they could handle, for like any cub, they were all legs and huge paws that got tangled up and made them clumsy. The children's inner wolves were luckier than an adult's would have been since their humans considered them cubs and granted them their childish 'coo, squeal, aren't they cute' accolades. Eventually, though, they wandered into town and their cubs identified Warren as a normal dominant male whose protection they needed.
Now the children had balked, feeding the cubs images of the attack that had made them Wolf. They were afraid to get too close...with reason, the cubs admitted...but their instincts were stronger than the children's human fears. They humored their humans while setting up a situation that would eventually send Warren out to hunt down his mate's watchers.
There was a good sized open area not far from Kyle's house and even in full flight it would be obvious to the adult wolves that they were chasing babies. The cub's forms looked like they were about five months old...and that's when all of the rules would change and the cubs knew they would be taken into the pack that they needed for protection. Hell, Tic grumbled at Toc, We still have milk teeth...
Hallie's cub wafted a bit of scent at Warren, finally teasing his nose and making his head snap up just as Adam and the rest of the pack pulled in, the field was at the children's backs and beyond it was the tiny cave where they slept at night. They had used the same trails across it for months so there was plenty of scent available to explain everything to the big Alpha male getting out of a large truck with his mate and...surely not. Corinth's cub sniffed suspiciously.
That's a coyote...she's mated to this pack's Alpha, but she's a coyote..." His cub told him dubiously. "The Alpha female of this were-wolfpack is a coyote."
"So? Must be a good reason for it, if she is." Corinth murmured. "Unless you think the leader is an idiot...I don't want to be in a pack led by a moron. Are you sure this is a good idea?"
"Yes." His cub said firmly. "Coyotes are pretty smart, if he's a idiot don't worry 'cause she'd make up for it. He'd have to be a really nice idiot to pick a coyote for a mate...so either way we're good 'cause me and Hallie's cub picked a smart one."
Corinth's cub wafted more scent at Warren...enough to tell him that the scent belonged to one of the people who'd been watching his mate's den. The responding outraged snarl could be heard all the way to where the twins waited, already Changed and tensely waiting for their cubs to bolt. They'd given the cubs control for this. The cubs knew that no cub would ever be able to pull this trick on Warren's wolf again...because he would know what a cub smelled like after this.
The first wolf appeared at the top of the hill and it wasn't Warren...it was the big pack leader. He was paced by his coyote mate...and this pairing still discombobulated both werewolf cubs. Once the rest of the pack was on the hilltop and the leaders had entered their field, the pair of werewolf cubs bolted toward the cave, causing startled yelps behind them.
The coyote turned on a burst of speed and cut them off...not something they'd planned for...and snatched Corinth up by the scruff of his neck, tossing the cub at Warren, while her rump banged into Hallie, flipping her over so Adam could put a firm, but gentle paw on her shoulder.
Mercy flashed back down the hill, grabbed her clothes, a few other things in her teeth and with her sneakers dangling by their shoelaces ran back up to disappear behind a large boulder. A few minutes later she came out from behind it fully clothed and wearing shoes. She also had extra two pairs of extra socks and a couple of bathrobes she's gotten from Kyle with her. She opened and tossed a bathrobe on each cub.
"Change. No one is going to hurt you. Put on the socks, too. Your wolves have tougher feet than you do." Her gentle but firm tone wasn't something that either child felt like challenging. "You could have just come up and knocked at Kyle's door...Warren's wolf would have seen you were kids, smelled the werewolf in you both, he would have known what you were asking by just being there and he would have taken you into the protection of our pack, which is best damned Pack and made up of the best damned werewolves and the only Coyote Walker in America, by the way, immediately. You didn't have to drive the poor guy crazy: Warren's a sweetie and so is his wolf."
A few moments later, bundled in bathrobes far too big for them, the kids were being questioned by Mercy while Adam and Warren went back to get dressed and Darryl kept an eye on the young interlopers. Ben retrieved their clothing by going to the cave Hallie gave directions to. Ben had given her a startled look followed by a sweet smile at the pride in her voice when she announced that her mate's pack was better than the Marrok's.
Finally, Mercy looked at Darryl and sighed. "Okay, I can understand why the part of them which is a scared human child didn't want to approach Warren directly...not after that...just as I can understand why their cubs set this up just to show them the difference between a decent pack and a rogue." She paused to pin both kids with a gimlet eye. "Just as I realize that the part about deliberately yanking Warren's chain was just something children do to their elders...just one of those things. Doesn't make it smart or safe, just that it is normal behavior for children in your age group...that said, don't do it again."
Now that the adult wolves were acting like adults...and not like that...well. She and her twin had calmed down, were answering questions and beginning normal childish chattering.
Corinth had Mercy laughing her coyote ass off when he explained to Darryl what his cub had said about it was okay if his alpha wasn't too bright 'cause the coyote would make up for it and that if he was a big old dumdum at least he was a nice one...and that it didn't really matter since they'd settled on Warren for a daddy 'cause he was smart.
When Darryl discovered that in the absence of the ability to physically laugh, his wolf shuffled between twitching fits and shuddering...he Changed so they could both get it out of their system.
Hallie pulled Ben half over her lap and started bragging about how good they were at stealing clothes and food, while her brother sat on Darryl and was doing a good bit of exaggerating about how good his cub was at catching rabbits. Ben snorted, knowing about the broken doors because one of the houses raided had been a neighbor's and Darryl discovered he had the need to learn how to dodge Corinth's wildly waving arms and 'talkative' hands as he insisted his inner cub was the best rabbiter ever, when the boy accidentally blacked one of his eyes. Both were amused...and charmed by the children's acceptance of them and just let them be kids.
Adam's Second grunted and stayed close to the kids at Mercy's remark, watching the children protectively as Mercy flipped open her cellphone and called Charles directly. She didn't bother going through Bran because in a situation like this there was no question that a packless rogue had to be killed, everyone agreed he deserved it and what was more...Adam's pack agreed that the exterminator needed to be called...and insisted on helping.
She explained rapidly, made him talk to both kids to get details about where the rogue was and, after taking her cellphone back, almost begged him...without actually asking of course, to be allowed to assist her 'big brother'. Adam barked a denial behind her...qualifying it with the claim that it was his right, not her's to deal himself into Charles' hunt, and help out. He stressed that Charles was his brother-in-law, now and family helped family and after all, who was the former Ranger here? and it was his pack, now, wasn't it? Warren put in that the cubs had come to him, not Adam and it was his right to defend his cubs.
Everyone wanted to be in on the kill.
Charles laid his cell, speaker on, on the kitchen counter at his house and smiled slightly at his father as the argument raged on. This was new, usually the thought that he'd have to go and execute someone made people nervous...but not this time. Of course, this time there were a set of really nice nine year old twins who'd been attacked and Changed by some asshole...and that had everyone pissed off, from Mercy down to the absolute bottom ranked submissive who could be clearly heard begging Adam to 'Let me go too, please?!"
Hallie finally reached over and pulled at Warren's sleeve, effectively halting the argument. "You saying that he wasn't supposed to give us our cubs? The attack was scary...and it hurt...a lot...but..."
Corinth nodded. "Tic and Toc are good cubs."
Bran echoed. "Tic and Toc?"
Hallie frowned at the phone..."Uh, yeah. Cause they work with us and each other like clockwork...duh?" Her childish sass brought memories of Mercy's younger self to his mind...and to Charles' as well, and both of them laughed as they realized that she still sassed them.
Mercy grinned at the cubs. "Enjoy sassing the grown wolves while you can, kids. They'll put up with a lot from cubs."
Corinth nodded, "That's what Toc just said."
Hallie cocked her head. "Tic says to get the Borned One down here once or twice a month 'cause we 'cepted'em right off and ain't nobody but...what's his name Tic? Charlie, Chuckie...somethin' like that, ever done that before. So there's stuff he can teach that can't nobody else teach and plus, Chuckie needs a sense of humor really, really bad." She told Warren while every adult present smiled while listening to Bran's laughter and Charles choking on his coffee. She curled up almost in Warren's lap and leaned against the solid warmth. "Tic an' Toc says you'll be a good papa." She told him as she leaned her head back and looked straight up at his chin.
"Yeah." Corinth agreed, climbing up on Warren's other side. "Says your mate is a little funny looking, but that Kyle's all girl where it matters." Warren had to deal with a coughing fit brought on by inhaling instead of swallowing.
They all busted out laughing when Hallie, patting her new daddy said, "It's okay, daddy, I bet Kyle's going to be the best Mama ever. Everyone knows that gay guys of the really fem sort are ubermoms."
Bran arrived to meet the newest young wolves a few days later, entering Adam's home while Mercy was explaining him to the kids. He moved down the stairs to the T.V. room just as she asked, "Do you understand, kids?"
"Yeah, you mean he looks like one of those college dorks, but he's really gigantically super ultra old and creaking with it." Corinth nodded, compassionate pity for the old man had been quite thick in his voice.
Hallie's tone was...soothing..."Yeah, uber grungy upper greater grandmama pa. Gots to be careful with that sort, you know. Cause they've got uber amounts of weirdness in the brain an' y'never know what they're gonna come up with on the ubersuper idi-otic dumdum level: Not their fault, though...the old brain burns up and dies, is all. And then it tries to regrow and everyone knows that doesn't work."
Mercy, having heard Bran on the stairs, groaned a little, "Well...I don't know what I expected. At your age, anyone over 25 is considered ancient...and not in a good way."
"Well, I guess you're not too bad for an old cougar lady. But I bet that Bran fella lost whatever was left of his brain, 20, you know, like, eons ago." Hallie said, trying to make her feel better...while Bran spluttered on the steps. He had also forgotten the views of the extremely young on the extremely old. "In case you forgot, 'cause people your age forget simple stuff...a lot, an eon is like a hundred billion years long."
"I'd show you something, but you're too young for it," He groused, as he entered the room, "So, my wolf won't allow it."
Mercy nodded and patted her foster father on his shoulder. "Yeah, wait a few years before you share yourself with them. We just barely got them convinced they're safe here."
"It's okay, Mercy." Corinth reassured her. "Uber old people are always uber-weird. He can't really help it, you know." He nodded, his gentle sister having taken Bran's nearest hand and was patting him. "We'll try to work on him for you. I bet he's been eating the wrong foods and staying up too late. We'll get him on a proper old folk's diet and sleeping schedule."
Bran Cornick heard Anna chuckling upstairs while his sons whispered jokes at him, but the twins were truly trying to convince themselves that him being so old wasn't all bad.
"Look at the bright side, Gramps." Corinth pointed out finally, in triumph. "I bet you know all sorts of neat games we can play that no one else remembers...his voice tapered off when his sister swatted him...and told him, in what she thought was a whisper, that 'old people had atrocious memories and he'd just set the poor old man up for a grievous disappointment'.
Shame filled the little boy's face as he hugged Bran's neck now that his sister had the Marrok sitting on the couch with them, "I'm sorry Gramps. We'll find something you can do." He told Bran sadly. "And if we can't find something normal, we'll just make something up." There was protective determination in his tone.
Both children clearly thought it was hopeless, though they also clearly intended it give it their very best try. It would have helped if Adam, Mercy, his sons, his Omega and every wolf in Adam's pack weren't trying so desperately not to bust a gut laughing. Bran simply cuddled the cubs that were trying so hard to make him...and his wolf...feel better about being literally older than dirt.
One of them ran up the stairs and got the walker that Mercy had shown them that was for special uses only, and brought it downstairs for Bran...to help him get up and down from the couch. Bran's odd choking noises had the little boy going upstairs to ask Warren to take him to the store to get 'old people medicines', citing the need for 'fiber'. Corinth pointed at the TV where an advertisement for one that could be mixed with orange juice was on...and then said something about a special nutrient for 'joint health'.
Bran couldn't even be irritated when these two tried to put him to bed early...they were trying to 'take care' of him. It was sweet and caring...and he intended to personally tear the rogue that had attacked them from end to end, He mentioned this to Charles...who reacted without surprise at his father's intention to lead the Hunt this time. When it came to a reason like this one, the old wolf was in no danger of going rogue himself. This was clearly justified.
The twins were born Dominants and were showing early evidence of it, trying to care for and coddle someone their very limited experience told them was elderly and vulnerable because of it. Even though they were werewolves, their internal meter wasn't 'on' yet...they were still too young to need it. The powerful old Marrok reacted well to these positive traits the children showed, allowing it to encourage it. His father had done the same for himself, from what Sam had told him.
That backfired when Hallie went upstairs to draw Bran a bath and asked Charles to help her get his daddy clean and into bed, stating in a firm tone that, "Everybody knows that really old people shouldn't stay up very late, it isn't good for them."
Charles, for the first time in living memory, failed miserably at keeping a straight face. He ruffled her hair affectionately and obediently drew his father upstairs with a murmured, "Now, da, don't fuss...you'll hurt her feelings." But he was still sporting a mile wide grin and Bran could clearly hear Brother Wolf's snickering.
Unfortunately the only person who had extra clothing suitable for sleeping in was Sam...and the object that Hallie crowed happily was a 'most excellent nightie' was a hospital gown...one of those embarrassing backless jobs.
Sam got his da bundled into the fluffy, flannel and heavy woolen blanket piled bed Hallie and Corinth had made for him...way too many covers for a werewolf who was sleeping indoors in a heated building...even if he was in human form and half naked. Bran started to sweat just looking at those blankets...but he also looked at the expectant expressions of the cubs and sighed inwardly...then climbed in. He had to wonder what else the children had planned.
He found out ten par-broiled minutes later when Hallie brought in a tray with hot soup, a big spoon and a glass of orange juice that, as he held the door for his new daughter, Warren's amusement-filled expression warned him he probably wasn't going to like at all.
Adam's Third had a container of something in one of his hands and as soon as the twins had both their backs to him, he showed Bran the label and pointed at the big glass of orange juice with the other hand.
Great. Wonderful...FIBER. His fierce inner wolf was close to whimpering in open horror: The twins thought he was decrepit...and clearly intended to make sure that he drank every drop. He was quite sure no one had ever before dared to insist on feeding him Medimusal. He drank it.
I am not a rabbit.His wolf told him sharply.
That's not why they fed it to us. He said, trying desperately to get the taste out of his mouth.
He explained to an increasingly horrified wolf...who looked at the children who viewed him as well as his human with the unconditional love that only a child can give, and as Bran had already done, gave up. There was no point in fighting it. Cubs were off limits to a werewolf's temper...and that meant there was no way out but acceptance.
Look at the bright side...sooner or later they'll find out how old Adam is...and my sons.
His wolf perked up with a suggestion that made the Marrok smile. Tell them.
"Now, now, children, you've got me washed, fed, dosed and I'm super comfy," The near boiling old wolf's last statement was a bald-faced lie, though the rest was true enough. "But surely you'll think my poor sons and Adam need someone to tend them, too. Sam's only 20 years younger than me and Charles is over 200 years old. Adam is in his seventies...werewolves don't show our ages much, but it's still there." He told them.
Bran barely kept the earnest expression on his face for the cubs to see when he wanted to laugh out loud instead at the sudden silence in the kitchen, "Your turn." He said into their minds as the children turned off the bedroom light, closed the door and headed with determination to get the rest of this 'old folk's home', as Hallie put it to Corinth, tended to.
"Right, you get Sam down here, while I clean the tub and get it ready for Sam's bath." Corinth told his sister, already rolling up his sleeves. "While Tic and I get him cleaned up, you can get Mercy to help by making trays while you get on with the bed-making. I think she's still intelligent enough to handle doing the food trays."
The plan went awry when Hallie got to the kitchen and discovered that Charles and Anna had gone back to their hotel and Sam had gone home. She smiled at Adam who looked a little cornered until Mercy told the girl, "He's my responsibility, Hallie. I put him to bed every night just as Anna (she's only 23) does for Charles and Ariana (who is an ageless Fae) does for Sam." Mercy told the girl with complete truth. "But, thanks for helping us with Old Bran." She told them both as Corinth joined his sister.
She heard him grumbling his disappointment all the way to where she stood and so did the twins. Corinth headed back to Bran's room in a hurry, worried.
"He sounds like he's having bad dreams." Hallie fussed, also sounding worried.
"He's fine. He just doesn't like admitting he needs someone to mother him sometimes." Mercy told her, lying through her teeth while at the same time loading her voice with approval. "He's got a long trip in the morning though, so it's probably best he get some rest tonight. I'll handle the rest of it, though you've both been a big help and a pure joy to have in the house tonight."
"But," Warren cut in, "It's time for Kyle and I to go home...and you are our children so you live with us now."
Hallie nodded and she took his hand while Kyle rounded up her brother.
As soon as Warren and Kyle had taken the twins and left, Bran appeared upstairs still damp from a new shower taken to rid himself of rivers of sweat, fully clothed and glaring at Mercy's helpless giggles as her mate thanked her fervently for intervening with the children's intentions for his person, citing he wasn't ready for the bowel loosening effects of the stuff they'd fed Bran in his orange juice.
"Admit it, Bran...they're adorable." Ben insisted, the lesser wolf was clearly enchanted with the new cubs of his pack.
He sighed, grunted...and nodded. "They are, yes, but I think I'm going to be far safer in Montana, mostly. I had forgotten that to children that age, old and senile are the exact same thing." He griped, then turned to glare as both of his smirking sons re-entered Adam's house. "If the two of you are finally done hiding from nine-year-olds, let's go get this bastard."
The mood shifted abruptly as every adult wolf in the house Changed at the words. Not one of them hesitated and all of them Changed a bit faster than usual. Only Mercy remained human...and that was because she'd grabbed the keys to Adam's truck.
Mercy laughed at Bran's last minute need for the john, courtesy of the loaded orange juice.
"Bleh...roughage." grumped his wolf.
Bran was unsurprised when Mercy somehow managed to put Adam, Anna and Charles in the front with her while stuffing him and Sam in the back with the 19 lesser members of Adam's pack that were allowed to go. It was as deliberate of a silent comment as she could manage. Just as Sam knew it, so was his father equally well aware of it. They both heard Charles' sigh, though Bran wordlessly reassured him. "It's my own fault, Charles. I'm the one who hurt her that badly. She wanted you to come but not me...and that's why she didn't stop the cubs from...treating me like a live doll. You heard what she told me...and she's right. I broke trust with her."
For all intents and purposes, Mercy had been a sister to his sons...but because of their actions, Mercy had cut off himself and Sam in those roles altogether, even though she still acknowledged Charles as her big brother and now his Anna as her little sister.
He deserved it, he knew...as did Sam. Bran and Sam were in the back of the truck because she didn't trust either of them past a certain point...and her reasons had nothing whatsoever to do with species. She still loved him, yes.. And she knew that physically she could trust him not to harm her...but she still didn't trust him.
And that's what had hurt most, because before he sent her away, she'd viewed him the same way the twins did...and he'd thrown that unconditional love and endlessly sincere affection into her face. He didn't like thinking about the last conversation he'd had with her during Charles' and Anna's trip to the East Coast, he'd paid a visit to her and Adam and she had pretty much told him to 'get lost'.
She'd repeated most of it this trip well within Adam's hearing...as well as most of Adam's wolves...and then added a few things, explained her position and handed him a scathing set down.
It had been a conversation long overdue, but very painful for both of them. Sam's long ago plans for her had made sending her away the easiest thing for Bran to do...but it had been the wrong decision. One thing she'd made quite clear to Bran while Warren had gotten the twins cleaned up, was that she was a member of Adam's pack...and only Adam's pack...because Bran had cast her out of the Montana pack when she had been a scared 15-year-old who had needed him. She'd been expecting daddy cuddles and instead...well.
She had seen it as a betrayal then and still did. She told him bluntly that the outcasting wasn't something she would reverse because she simply didn't trust him not to do it again and that for that reason, it was a bridge burnt and gone.
She had needed him in his role of her Father and he had shown her the door instead. When she finally made him realize that it had given her a wound in her soul, it hit him like claws through his gut, as he finally understood that the mental and emotional wound he had inflicted was still gaping and raw, unhealed and unhealing...and unlikely to. Not on its own or it would have by now.
So, her entering Adam's pack didn't mean he'd ever be considered her Marrok again...because the one thing you had to be able to give your Marrok was trust. So, Adam was her Mate and her Alpha...whom she'd obey...to a point...and his pack was her pack...but although both he and they answered to Bran, she did not. Because she didn't trust him. She had made it clear that she'd have rathered he'd have stayed in Montana.
"Because I am not a werewolf, I," She had informed him tartly, "Am Coyote's Daughter, claimed and acknowledged as such before Thunderbird, Raven, Wolf, Bear, Badger, Bobcat, Hawk and many others, by my Father at Stonehenge before the battle with the River Devil...and my Father is proud of me, loves me and wants me."
She'd also turned to Charles and sharply ordered him to explain to his father what that actually meant...then turned into a coyote and disappeared into the brush. Usually, they could have caught up with her easily, but not in that terrain. She had selected it carefully and there were far too many places made of boulders too heavy for even a werewolf to move that made narrow little passages where they simply wouldn't fit. Charles wasn't super happy with him either, actually...and once she found out what had happened, Anna was just downright impossible to live with, what with those sad looks she kept tossing his direction. There wasn't much a Dominant werewolf disliked more than an unhappy Omega.
So, as the ride to the rogue's territory was tense for reasons that had little to do with the actual hunt, he simply lay down with the lesser wolves and dozed, letting his strength comfort them.
Even Darryl snoozed through most of that trip, it was unusual for wolves that were not 'problem children' to be able to bask in the Marrok's powerwash and know that nothing could touch them with Bran there. The rest of them moved closer in their sleep until he was nearly buried in cuddling wolves. The ones that didn't fit close enough, cuddled Sam instead.
He quietly mourned the loss of Mercy's trust with his grieving wolf who still loved the little coyote so very much. Earning that kind of trust back was a long, hard road, Bran knew, if it was even possible. Because he knew it might not be...depending on how deeply wounded she still was. He had explained it to Anna...all of it...and had let her Power soothe him. But he could see no sign that Anna's attempts to soothe Mercy had gotten a response...or had even been felt...because Mercy wasn't a werewolf.
But he had to try...because Mercy still trusted his wolf...she just didn't trust Bran. In her mind, his wolf hadn't betrayed her...he had.
The rogue's house was dark and still, but they could smell him, hear him as he slept inside under the entirely false belief that they'd never find him. With a pack of over twenty werewolves bent on vengeance bursting through the doors and every available window, he quickly realized just how false.
Bran realized just as quickly that he'd never met this one before...not that it mattered. The rogue recognized that several of his unexpected guests were high ranking, old wolves. Very old, very powerful, very dominant wolves that were so strong their identities were impossible not to make correctly. He backed away from Bran, tail tucked down and showing every signal of submissiveness, but the instant he exposed his throat was the instant that Bran ripped it away. Child-killers were given no mercy and there were several bodies in his yard of youngsters that hadn't made it. Anna and Mercy and most of Adam's submissives were in some pens he'd built in the back, rescuing the ones that had made the Change but hadn't also managed to escape the way Hallie and Corinth had.
Fourteen children were bundled into blankets from the house and into Adam's truck...and Bran only managed to take three of them to Montana: Mercy claimed the youngest of them, then she called half the Alphas she knew, including Angus in Seattle, explained and had him come down and get a few of them. He understood and let her talk him into adopting several children which were siblings...swore to her in fact that he was getting in the car and headed to Adam's territory right then. Seven hours later the poor wolf found himself with a set of tiny, blonde haired, girls with big blue eyes cuddled against his chest and belly, sucking their tiny thumbs and staring at Adam's coyote mate: Five of them. Siblings...identical, too. She passed his Second's mate a note that told her the kids aimed at Angus were still full humans...and received an evil grin from the blind white witch.
"This is rich, I think I like you, Coyote Girl. I'll take a couple of the Changed kids for myself and my husband. Tom is Angus' Second and he'll be a good daddy."
"I can't believe you talked me into this."
"Afraid of babies, are you?" Mercy asked Angus speculatively, thoughtfully tapping her chin with one finger.
"What? Hell no."
"You may want to watch your language, kids that age pick up on all sorts of things...and they share them when you least expect it. Usually when it will embarrass you the most." Moira, his blind white witch warned her mate's Alpha. She had decided to come along when her mate had been selected to come with Angus to pick up the kids reserved for him. She'd selected a couple herself, actually, telling Tom he'd make a wonderful father. She and Mercy worked together and quickly got the group into Angus' car and on their way back to Seattle before the stunned males recovered enough to really start to whinge...erm...protest.
Dominance was fine, but when a woman like Moira teamed up with one like Mercy...women with a mission who'd decided it was better if they worked together...
Bran wondered sadly if she'd trust him with a child young enough to trust him the way she had trusted him, to be there when they needed him the most, ever again.
It wasn't a werewolf thing, really. It wasn't about that at all. It was about a young girl who had needed her daddy and about a daddy who had been too lazy to give a damn. He hadn't been invited to go into Adam's house again when they got back, in fact, Mercy had slammed the door in his face once she saw her real father inside, leaving Bran to take the older children in his car. Bran's wolf told him tartly that Marrok or no Marrok, THAT was Coyote...who would hand them their ass if they challenged him, when Bran thought to barge in anyway...flatly refusing to help.
Mercy would still trust him to deal with some issues...and seriously, any asshole going around attacking babies just to see if they'd survive the Change needed killing...no questions asked...even Leigh had been outraged when he'd told her about it...which was why Mercy had called Charles directly instead of bothering Bran, but it also required his personal authority, which was why he'd come along.. But on other issues...not much.
Adam's eyes were not challenging, though he was well aware of the tension and the reason for it. He would not soothe his Marrok with his mate watching, nor could he soothe her until Bran left.
With his inner wolf watching Mercy sadly, whining a little, Bran pulled away from Adam's home.
"Father by marriage." Adam spoke quietly.
"Yeah?" Coyote answered, leaning against Adam's house. He finally acknowledged his son-in-law was more wolf than man.
"Think Wolf would mind taking Bran Cornick under his aegis?"
"It would mean many changes...good ones, for the werewolf population."
"Mercy wants her father back...mostly because he only really screwed up once and you've made a habit of it...you do know she still wonders why you were never around when she needed you? She just won't tell you."
His father-in-law sighed. "I'll tell Gordon."
"No need." Came another familiar voice nearby. "I've already passed it on...and he'll be waiting at Bran's home when he gets there. Right now, though, he's a bit busy."
"Bran's mate is a bit of a piece of work. Not at all suited to being the supreme Alpha female, he says. He's thinking about doing something about that."
"Tell him to wait until Bran's home...he needs to have a nice, solid hold on Bran's wolf first. Bran's balance isn't the best. When he loses it...he really, really losesit."
"That's because his wolf thinks it's a magical dog called a Grim." Adam heard Sam interrupt, handing a old, old book at Thunderbird. "The information he'll need is in there...careful, it's a very old text, hand written in the days before printing presses were invented...both we werewolves and the Grims are, like the fae, European monsters."
Thunderbird encased the book in his hands, absorbed the information and then tossed it to Wolf...and they watched silently as it disappeared into thin air. He looked at Sam, "That's disturbing information, young one." He murmured, then looked at Adam. "I'll be inviting myself into your household for a while...sometimes a favored Uncle is needed."
"Yeah, and as far as she's concerned, you're probably less likely to bail on her. Fortunately, she's aware of that fact. That's why she made me wait ten years before she'd marry me...she wanted to know if I'd 'go the distance'."
"That also." Thunderbird nodded his old human head. "That is not the reason we are here, though. You have more new pack members, the wolf you executed tonight has also raided into Yakama homes...we had to help our children keep their children from his reach, but a few people you know were Changed during the defense. This is why I said household instead of house or home."
"Jim?" Adam sighed.
"Yes...and Calvin, Fred and Hank. Hawk and Wolf are having problems...when in human form, they can still shift to Hawk and we've had some interesting...combinations, I suppose you'd call it. We would like you to move your headquarters to the reservation...it's more suited to werewolves, or wolves in general, for that matter, anyway. Benny is still at the rehab center in Portland, learning to use his prosthetic foot so he wasn't there nor was his wife and children."
Adam looked at Gordon thoughtfully and flipped open his phone to call Bran. He got the permission he needed since no pack had that area and it was in his territory. Bran agreed that it was a better area for wolves, any kind. It was a longer commute, but the freedom of the forests beckoned strongly.
Angus discovered that it was a good thing Alan Choo was a doctor, because the 'diaper changing lessons' included a stench that was enough to choke a horse. He knew this because his nose was just as sensitive as a horse's was...and it was certainly choking him. His new daughters were not only not potty trained, according to Choo, they were far, far too young to start.
"Angus, they're not even a year old. You have another year to two years of this." He'd told his moaning Alpha. "Look at the bright side...if you're lucky, they'll be at least fifteen or sixteen before any of them will want to seriously start dating." The younger wolf's deft hands cleaned a bare bottom and dried it before putting on a clean diaper and handing the child to the grinning human mate of Angus' Third. He discreetly winked at her and took the next foul smelling girl from her cringing, water-eyed, nose-wrinkled husband.
Angus froze, his face suddenly pale. "Dating?" He stared wild-eyed as the submissive opened the loaded diaper, then choked on the renewed foul-smelling fragrance.
"Well, eventually, they'll want to marry, you know..." He paused to remove the crap filled diaper, roll it up, tape it closed and bin it, then proceeded to wiping the smelly baby clean, "But that's well over ten years away. Forget it for now...you'll know when it's getting close."
"How?" And for once, Angus sounded like any half panicked father.
"When you have to buy them their first bras or when they first begin menstruation."
" Begin what?"
"When they start their periods. Don't worry that you'll miss it, boss...you'll smell it." He told his Alpha, keeping the last one since the other four were already done. "Actually, that particular kind of blood is so strong that even humans can detect it quite readily. They're supposed to, actually, as it signals that the female in question has just ended a fertile time and the next one is 25 days away...and thankfully, these girls were in the the pen for children who hadn't yet been attacked, from what Mercy told Moira.
"They're still fully human." Angus whispered. "Like Adam's Jessie?"
"Yep." Tom's Moira sounded a bit too smug. Unfortunately, because she was a witch instead of a wolf, he couldn't smack her.
Angus paled further as he began to realize just exactly how deeply into this he was...because he already adored his little girls.
"I don't care, I don't know how they did it, but they're MINE."
"Yes, well...babies are designed to do that to people, Boss. Adam's Mercy knew that, of course." Choo told him, smiling slightly. "They strike an inner cord in us as well as humans. You're an Alpha, they're absolutely helpless...and they can't keep their hands off you. Hell, they start crying when you leave the room...between being an Alpha and a poor, inexperienced never been a parent before male..."
Moira nodded. "You never had a chance, Angus." She smirked, cuddling her own adopted infant...while Tom dandled his slightly older...meaning potty-trained...sister, on his knee. "However, our two were Changed...and my younger one isn't even six months old. Bran brought ten wolves from Montana to hunt him down with himself and his sons...and Adam's pack made them babysit Jessie and the twins while he and his pack took their places. And Mercy drove."
"Can't blame them for that, although having Adam explain to Asil that he couldn't go..."
"Actually, Mercy explained that there were only a few from Montana she'd trust with Jessie...and that Bran wasn't one of them." Tom told his Alpha. "He let her down when she needed him...and he was acting as her da at the time...so now she..." He paused, pain lacing his tone. "It's not a wolf or coyote thing, it's a parent thing." And then he told his Alpha about the discussion he'd overheard between Mercy and Bran.
Angus watched his new daughters as they attempted to walk, wobbling around on unsteady little legs and going 'plop' on their backsides regularly, and looked up at Tom with answering pain in his eyes. "I don't know who's more hurt...her or the Marrok."
"Neither do I, I do know that Bran's wolf claimed her as a cub of his own from the start...because his wolf told mine...he also made it very clear that it wasn't the wolf that screwed up, Boss. His wolf told mine that she still trusts HIM, she just doesn't trust Bran and considering this is Mercy we're discussing...it's harsh to have to say it but was the man, not the inner wolf, that screwed up. Bran let himself down as much as he let her down because there's one thing that only your kids can really give you...human or wolf...that you just don't get anywhere else." Tears stood out in Tom's eyes. "And he threw it away."
"Unconditional trust, love and a few other things, those have to be present and in place, for you to get." Moira whispered. "She pointed at Angus' new daughters with her chin. "You'll see...those baby girls will show you."
Adam discovered that after every Alpha in the Country who could be trusted with rearing small children had received at least one child, he still had three left...and those he kept himself. They found a large enough house for everyone...and got permission to build a larger one. He also took over reservation security, while Fred and Hank watched in something approaching wonder. They were dominants, but nothing like Adam, yet. He thought they would be...eventually. But Jim was the one he was actively training to be an Alpha. Jim's newly Changed Dominance was fifth rank, as he aged that would rise, Adam explained, then told Darryl and Warren to make sure Jim stayed 'busy'.
About two months after the move to the reservation, a somewhat queasy Mercy was found sitting silently on the living room couch staring into space with a sneaky grin on her face. This, to anyone who knew her, was disquieting...it made her husband nervous and that made the rest of the pack jittery. As Wolf had indeed taken Bran under his aegis and authority, he'd gotten every wolf under Bran in the process...and knew what was or wasn't normal for an Alpha...any Alpha. So, nervous Adam and his jittery pack got Wolf's attention.
Wolf studied the coyote, when he'd gotten Bran, he'd gotten Sam, Charles and Adam...all of which knew Mercy's history quite well. He knew her better than Coyote did, inside and out...one glance at her expression made his left eyebrow rise and his lips quirk because he knew why her Pack was jumpy. A closer look at Mercy's position and posture had him laughing at her husband.
"She's fine, Adam." Wolf told the worried werewolf. "She's just pregnant."
"Pregnant?" Adam sank down on the couch next to his mate in shock...and in joy. Mercy was human...but her shapechanging ability was …."Werewolf, Wolf cubs or Coyote ones?" He queried intently.
Wolf took a closer look and made an 'not sure, but something very weird is going on in there' noise.
Two days later, after several short 'question and answer' sessions with Thunderbird, Mercy shifted to Coyote...and stayed there for the duration, eventually birthing two coyote cubs, three wolf cubs and one that was clearly a werewolf. She nursed them only as coyote or on bottles for the first few days, if she were in human form...because none them managed their first shift until they were almost two weeks old. For her werewolf cub and one of the coyote cubs, at least, this was the first and last change until they were three. The other four shifted back and forth with a frequency that made it clear all four were Shifters. This greatly pleased and displeased Wolf at the same time.
The Wolf Shifters were his avatars...he finally had some again...this pleased him. The one coyote cub, though...everyone, including Bran was dead sure that cub was a werecoyote. Mercy didn't tell Bran until Marsalla Lousia Hauptmann was twelve...when she sent both Were Cubs to Bran to be fostered when he was only expecting her brother, without any warning whatsoever, while wearing such a huge grin when Charles picked her children up, that it sent a full body shudder through him...and another when she flatly refused to explain.
"Mercy's accident prone and trouble causing tendencies in a were I don't have any authority over?" Bran had said to Charles a week later, then moaned. "And with my mating bond broken by Wolf, no help, either."
"At least it's safe to have her living with you...or so Mercy told me that she fully expects...and that you'd know why."
"I do...and I'm grateful, trust me on that...but with Mercy as a standard..."
"Yes...and another girl, too, da. So, glad she selected you instead of me." Charles told his father honestly. "Between Mercy and Adam, that kid's dominant as hell with her age group."
"Yes, and her brother refused to cross her, too. That's not a good sign."
Thunderbird sat silently and invisibly next to Wolf by the playground of Aspen Creek's Elementary Through High-school. "Another coyote avatar and three wolf avatars, one coyote as a werebeast and a full werewolf cub...and all in one litter, Mercy's father has been very busy." Gordon told Wolf who thought about it and shivered a little bit.
"Truth." He replied.
Hawk and Raven, on an upper branch over the pair's head agreed. No one else would engineer such a thing as this.
"Grandparents tend to spoil grandchildren rotten, too. Therein is the opening for chaos widest." Hawk mused aloud to them all.
Raven immediately passed this to the Werewolf Shaman along with a warning to 'brace' himself...and lifted into the air to go warn Charles. He also suggested that Charles be schooled under the Shaman as the eventual official Medicine Man of Aspen Creek, implying he'd need to be, without actually saying so.
Bran agreed, having known Greater Ravens, the magical ones who Spoke, who lived in the Tower of London and Charles sighed.
Raven 'read' this knowledge of his kind as Bran brought it to the forefront of his mind and nodded. "I recall you too, Bran...you were named for me, after all."
Now it was Bran who sighed, "We're going to need help."
"Who do you want?"
"Rubeus would be my first choice, actually."
"Sorry, he's employed at Hogwarts. I can get you a lad who's a young powerhouse and needs somewhere to live where he is safe. With him, you get a fully trained wizard, graduated Hogwarts, in fact...Gryffindor House, who is also a werewolf...both are English."
Raven waited while Bran thought about it. "I fostered a coyote who is the direct offspring of the mutt, I can foster a human wizardling."
"You'll need to accept the legal responsibility for him outright, on his mother's side...that will make him an American. It is needful."
"An unknown grandson through his mother?"
"Yes, actually. His mother was Lily Evans, your daughter through her mother, thought to be a muggle but who was actually a squib, Agatha Evans ne Bresh when she was Changed, a Hogwarts trained witch of the light, who got her Power through you, from your mother."
"Ah...Agatha Bresh. Yes, I do remember her, she was my lover for years, until her family found out and forced her to choose between me and them. The fact I was werewolf instead of a human man came as an unpleasant shock for them, though Aggie had known of it for twenty years." His voice was soft as he remembered. "Her family treated her Change as 'death by natural causes' as I recall." He nodded. "Eventually, she mated and is now in a pack in Florida."
"She bore a daughter two weeks before she was Changed...that was Lily Evans who eventually married and bore a son to Lord Wizard James Potter...and Harry is the son she bore. Harry Potter is your natural grandson, his mother was a half sister to your living sons who are his uncles. He desperately needs you to acknowledge him. He is not well treated at his mother's sister's home...for two reasons."
"Which are?" Bran growled.
"One is that Petunia is well aware that Lily was a bastard, held her in contempt for it and hated her. Both the hatred and the contempt have been transferred to Harry. The other reason is that she despises magic in any form as being 'Unnatural' and both Lily and her son are Magical Humans...Lily was strong in magical power but Harry is a young mage." Raven informed Bran. "Harry has never been told of his mother's bastard status and the rest of the Wizarding World doesn't know because Lily was also never told. Petunia beats him, her husband beats him, her son and his friends beat him, daily. Even surrounded on all sides by werewolves, he'll be safer, for he has been attacked on multiple occasions while in school at Hogwarts, several seeking to take his life. The muggles even half starve that lovely post owl he has...she's an unmated, three-year-old Snowy, during the summers."
"And I also recall the name of the human daughter she had born me and was forced to leave behind. I had no headquarters in those days and nowhere to raise a human child. We used a cave and slept in wolf form..." Bran admitted. "Bring his guardian wolf to me. I will decide if he keeps the same wolf as a guardian or not, once I've fetched my grandson home." Rage burned in Bran's eyes at Raven's description of Harry's treatment.
"I'd suggest not, actually. At least, not as a guardian wolf, yet. As for being his Magical Guardian, that has more to do with directing Harry's magical education than an actual guardianship. The Wizard's council assigned him to that: Out of your hands, I'm afraid." Wolf interrupted. "Remus is a good man and has an excellent wolf, but there are several key points to werewolf lore that were left completely out of his education...he'll be busy learning those, I think. He's been taking Wolfsbane to control his beast, each month."
Bran shuddered, "Noted. Yes, then, I'll have Harry live with me and when he needs to go somewhere that I don't have time to take him, there will always be his Uncle Charles or Asil...and his magical education is about all Remus is to direct."
"Tag." Rumbled Wolf. "As for Remus, once you have him balanced and sorted out, he is a full wizard and quite strong. He will replace the unschooled, untrained witch you used to have here, who accepted a better offer with someone else last week."
"Or Tag, who has several human children from his human mate, yes." Bran smiled. "A Hogwarts trained Wizard as the magical protection for Aspen Creek is an excellent idea. You know, I think I'll ask Aggie and her mate to come along. Both grandparents should trump one muggle aunt."
"Truth. Also, Petunia still sees her Aunt from time to time at Reunions. She'll faint when she finds out that Aggie has found out."
"Harry's post owl will also be much happier here...males can be found here in winter. And I know where most of them go." Bran nodded sharply and picked up the telephone to arrange for airline travel to Great Britain. He had a grandson to fetch home. "YOU get Remus here once Harry and I are in the air." He told Raven, then to Charles he instructed, "Meet us on the tarmac with the pack's jet in Atlanta. No need to mess about with the terminal. If the feds give you problems request the presence of Leslie Fisher on the ride home. We can settle the paperwork while we fly."
Bran Cornick entered the cookie cutter neighborhood alone, Aggie had simply called Petunia with threats from Florida, . The only differences were seen in various yards or in the small gardens as individual tastes in plants were seen and where only mowing without extra 'show-off' plantings was considered, apparently, crass. Number #4 Privet had an excellent yard and garden which, due to the fact he was about to remove Harry, was about to fall into lesser standards of care. His grandson was not going to stay here one instant longer than it took Bran to remove him from the property. And despite the so-called 'guard' on the house, he had been and gone long before Dumbledore and his 'order' arrived to prevent it. By the time they got there, Harry and Bran were over the Atlantic Ocean headed for Georgia because interceptions would assume New York to be Bran's destination...it was both closer and a bigger airport.
He and Harry had talked quietly on the way over the ocean, other passengers giving Harry's holding of his owl in his lap, odd looks but the glare of the Alpha wolf silenced protests before they began. Three wizards from countries other than England arranged to sit nearest, telling the stewardesses that "That's okay, miss...we're used to owls trained that way...use'em to deliver mail, y'see." and smiling at Harry and his lovely Snowy. "Nice bird, lad."
Bran took the opportunity to explain that he had only recently discovered the child was A. His grandson, B. Living with magic hating muggle kin and C. Was a great deal less than safe in school...and so he had gone to fetch him. He was also quite free with the wizarding contracts, letting them to be examined when the older wizard proved he was a member of the International Wizard Confederation...and it was he who first clicked to exactly who the boy was.
"He isn't safe under Albus' magical guardianship?"
"No. Not in the least. From the reports I had, it sounds like that barmey old fool is trying to set my grandson up as a goat to lure in the other man...the one in the Tigersuit." He growled a little. "I'm Bran Cornick, by the way."
The I.W.C. man blinked. "The American Marrok? And Harry's your kin? I almost...almost, mind you, feel sorry for the guy in the tigersuit. I'll warn off Albus, you've gone through the proper channels, did it legally and you've got too many allies to buck on this. And Voldemort would have to be a complete moron to come after him now."
"True." Bran smiled. "On all counts...his grandmother was Changed two weeks after Lily's birth...she was MY daughter, by the way. Aggie called Pet to scare the crap out of her before I'd even left American Airspace."
Bran let the his twelve year old grandson sleep as Charles moved their bags to their private jet, then simply carried Harry aboard and settled him onto one of the bunks built into one wall. He made the error of sitting down on the edge of the bunk and the little boy curled around his grandpa, gripping tightly and dropped deeper into sleep. Bran wasn't able to rise without waking him so he settled into a more comfortable position and just relaxed where he was.
He brought his sons and Anna up to date, allowing Sam to give the exhausted kid a thorough exam while he slept. Harry didn't even notice as long as some part of him was in contact with his grandfather. Bran couldn't recall ever having been quite this angry with anyone without someone dying of it...he was furious with the Dursleys and Dumbledore as well. He'd have to warn Harry about his ex-mate, but he'd issued a few direct orders to her concerning Harry.
Three days later, Bran had gone to the store for some groceries, felt his former mate's panic the pack bond and then Anna called him on his cell, laughing although he could hear Leigh's panicked yells in the background.
"She's fine, Bran. Just scared...apparently Harry knows a few charms that are useful when dealing with one of us," She said, meaning werewolves, "She's just been hovered in mid-air...about thirty feet off the ground and stuck by her spine to the underside of a good sized limb. Harry was just explaining what would likely happen if the branch broke when I came down. She's yelling, but she's sure not so much as twitching."
He started laughing, he couldn't help it. One of his pack who was also shopping looked up curiously. He just grinned and told the lesser wolf, "Harry just put Leigh in her place, quite firmly, from what Anna just said. She's fine, but I need to finish getting groceries and head home." He headed down another aisle. "No need to get in that much of a rush, though. Now...Harry said he liked creamy peanut-butter best...oh, there's the Peterpan." He mused, grabbing the largest jar and then went looking for more things little boys would probably like to eat. He had already told Anna to do Harry's 'GOOD FOR GROWING CHILDREN' grocery shopping so he, Bran, could spoil the boy with extras. Anna had laughed at him...so had Charles, for that matter.
He'd snorted, "I'm his grandfather, I can spoil him if I want...that's what grandparents do."
Bran discovered that 'spoiling Harry' was far easier said than done since Petunia had withheld even clothing that fit him. Her own son was the size of a young whale and those were the hand-me-downs Harry had gotten stuck with, he'd never even had a Christmas present until he'd started Hogwarts, just boxing day donations the day after...and only the most ragged things even then. Anna and Sage told Bran that they, he and Charles were going to Denver for a week...on a major shopping spree for Harry. Not asked...told.
"Marrock you are, but you're also a man...what would you know about shopping for and with children? You're coming along so you can learn." Anna had told him blithely, "My father's meeting us there so he can help. Charles is less than useful for this...back when he was a boy, you people were still making your own clothes. My dad went through it with my brother in this century, after all." So, they'd gotten into the pack jet again with Harry and Remus who also needed new clothes and headed for Denver.
After they were settled in the pack-owned hotel downtown, Sage told the local alpha female, a nice woman with a ready smile, "Burlington Coat Factory." and then, on the way over, the two texted back and forth in the rental van while Sage gave her all the details on Harry's relationship and short history. Belinda May began to remind Harry rather sharply of Molly Weasley...coddling and smothering the boy as she kept finding things for him to try on and every once in a while when the pile of "They fit and look good' got huge, sent one of the men to go pay for it all and take it out to the van. Sage and Belinda May also told the sales people why he needed so many clothes and told them the absolute truth. Harry ended up trying on just about everything in his size in the store...and walked out with most of it. Several copies of some of the jeans, in fact. Then they headed to the mall.
None of the adult males except Remus did well in malls at any time, but the wizard simply warded all of them and ignored the muggles around him after that. Bran had calmed but Charles hadn't...but then, he'd never had a woman with him before that was also a werewolf and could tell him what to ignore. He did calm somewhat when he realized several of the Denver pack's wolves worked in the particular mall they were shopping in...and found out that the local alpha's mate had texted her wolves with the details on the shopping spree.
By the end of the week, both Remus and Harry had huge wardrobes. Harry was very sure he had more clothes now than Dudley had ever had...and he knew he'd not seen much of what was purchased because in ten days he'd have a birthday and he was fairly sure his grandpa wasn't going to let him down.
He was very much correct.