Bella and Remus help Odin, Theo looks into Majik Most Darke and Greg Goyle has talent
Bella knelt in front of Odin so that all he could see was her deep purple gaze.
“Look deep into my eyes, Odin, do not fight the change; flow into your shape. Follow us into your true nature.”
Little Odin whimpered, afraid, still he not dared not stop.
Remus’s soothing voice urged, “Do not dare not to dare. . .”
Bolstered by the love and support of his beloved Mum and Da he poured his being into the wolf cub form. It was less a lycan transformation than it was an animagus coming into his own.
Odin yipped and flipped joyfully!
It hadn’t hurt! For the first time ever he was four legged and free! Best of all the full moon hadn’t risen yet – it wouldn’t for the next 28 days in any case but what did that matter? He was surrounded by his family and he was free to scamper into the forest to play and to run and to chase the small animals and feast on rabbit and vole.
Remus and Bella followed their son-in-love into the forest only to discover the joy of a wolf cub is very contagious. They romped and played, rolling over each other until they were a mass of grey, white and dark brown fur gamboling in the late afternoon.
Of the three only Bella had full command of her faculties. Vampires are fully aware of their surroundings no matter what form they take. She gave little Odin a thrill when she jumped impossibly high over a fallen tree and, at the zenith of her leap, transformed into a large white bat, which swooped and dipped playfully with the cub.
Finally she landed on the trunk of a tree and transformed back into the white wolf just before the cub pounced on her back. She rolled over with him still on her shoulders, as he playfully nipped at her ear.
The three shape shifters would have been content to stay in their animal forms forever, but a higher purpose drove Bella and Remus. They had too much to do in the wizarding community to escape their obligations completely. But tonight was for family. Tomorrow they would get back to work.
The leader of the Sons of the Serpent paced the floor of the master bedroom in his London apartment while clutching the dark, leather-bound book to his breast. Theodore Nott the Third was in a quandary. He had his “army,” a ragtag bunch of pureblood misfits who mooched off him for room and board. He had his Pureblood Manifesto.
What he didn’t have was a powerbase – he just wasn’t imposing enough and he knew it. Hell, Billy Avery was shorter than him and a good two stone lighter but when little Billy got angry no one, and I mean no one got in his way. What was that old saying? “It’s not the size of the dog in the fight that matters, it the size of the fight in the dog.”
He needed to ramp up the size of the fight in the top dog of the Sons of the Serpent, or he’d be relegated to the role of lackey. He looked again at the book in his hands – “Soul Majiks Most Darke.” The book promised to make him strong and most importantly, ruthless. He just hoped he had enough backbone to complete the first ritual.
The first task was murder.
He had to kill someone in cold blood.
Alison Farington watched the wolf family in utter fascination – she didn’t realize the danger she was in. Werewolves have been conditioned over the centuries to attack humans first – before the humans can kill them.
Alison had seen the odd cleric family walk into the forest and wanted to see what their “devotions” entailed. She watched, mesmerized, as the trio knelt. She was a little puzzled by the fact that they seemed to be naked – hard to tell over the distance and through the trees.
Then in a wink where there had been three people there were, instead, three dogs? No, not dogs; wolves.
She laughed to herself as she watched the lycans, two adults and one cute little baby cub, gambol and play. She remembered her chores and grudgingly tore her gaze away from the frolicking group to go back to feeding the chickens.
“Hermione?” Ron asked; concern evident in his voice.
The distracted brunette shook her head, then, realizing where she was and what she was supposed to be doing read the question aloud.
“Citizens of the U.K., magical and non-magical alike are protected by?”
“Common Wizarding Statutes and Due Process of Law, c’mone Hermione, you’ve already asked us that one – twice!”
She closed the book and shook her head as if trying to dislodge something stuck there.
“I’m sorry Ronald, Neville, I guess I have been a little distracted this week.”
“A little distracted? And a hurricane is a little wind, and a hypogriff is a little sensitive over being insulted.”
“Maybe we should call it quits for today, I am, um,”
“Yes, we know. A little distracted.” Ron finished for her.
She had the good graces to look sheepish.
“Neville, could you give us a few minutes here please, mate?”
“I’ll just go into the kitchen and give Luna a floo call, she’s supposed to come over tonight.”
Ron turned to his best friend and asked straight out.
“What is it?”
“Is he any better?”
“Kind of, he’s still really depressed. He asked me if I wanted to marry him and have lots of babies.”
This made Ron pause before asking, “And you said?”
“I asked him if I could please get back to him on that.”
Ron gently took the study guide from her before taking her hands into his own.
“You know I love you, don’t you Hermione?”
A tear streaked down her cheek and she nodded.
“He loves you too.”
She sobbed and fell into his embrace.
“You’ve got to tell him sooner or later.”
“I know, Ron, I know. It’s just too soon - too soon.”
Michael Waddington had always been large for his age. The Waddingtons were a moderately successful family, not ancient, not noble but a vassal house aligned with the ancient and noble houses of Black and Malfoy.
He had been raised most of his ten years to expect privilege and deference from his peers. That all came crashing down in the war. He had been fighting with other children over scraps pulled from the garbage behind Diagon Alley when Mama Pansy had found him. She brought him home, showed him a different path.
Problem was, he still longed for the days when he was a pampered pure-blood prince. He was just the sort of potential convert the Sons of the Serpent were looking for.
When Mama Millie asked for volunteers to help her carry some stuff back from the village Michael was there. Millie had a soft spot for Michael; she knew what it was like to be the abnormally big kid in her class. That was the main reason she took Michael with her, more often than not, when she went into the village. Michael followed as he always did; carrying the ever increasing sacks of dry goods and fresh produce.
The man was there, as usual, in the dry goods store. The man always had a kind word for Michael, and a treat; and a question.
Hello Michael, have a biscuit.”
“So, how many kids from pureblood families are at Parkinson House?”
“Do you think any of them would like to see the old ways come back?”
“Wouldn’t you like to see the old ways come back?”
“Would you like to live in your own big manor house and not have to share a room or a table with a bunch of other kids?”
“Have another chocolate frog.”
“Read this, doesn’t it make sense that purebloods are better than lesser bloods?”
“How many grownups are at Parkinson House?”
“Here, have a drooble.”
“I’ll bet you have lots of wards protecting you over there.”
“Have a ginger newt.”
It all came to a head at dinner when Pansy chided Michael for taking the last drumstick, when he still had one on his plate and it was obvious that Cheryl wanted one.
“But I get it cause I’m entitled is what.”
Michael had said this with such conviction that Cheryl herself couldn’t not believe him.
Pansy on the other hand looked as though all the blood had drained from her face. Millie knew why. “Pure blood privilege” was a concept that was practiced in Slytherin house. Millie, a half-blood, accepted as fact that the pure bloods would always have the first and the best when it came to choosing anything.
Neither one of them had even mentioned the concept in the Parkinson house.
“Where did you hear that, Michael?”
Pansy surprised herself – she sounded absolutely calm as she took the chicken leg from her own plate and placed it on Cheryl’s. The little ginger haired girl smiled and gushed her thanks.
“Oh ever’ body knows that Mama Pansy.”
“I’ve never said anything like that in this house” Pansy said, which was true. She’d been the recipient of “Pure Blood Privilege” often enough in Slytherin House and now the very concept made her ashamed of herself.
“Michael,” Millie asked kindly, “what do all the children call Pansy?”
“And is Mama Pansy a pureblood?”
“Then all the children at Parkinson House are purebloods, right?”
Michael looked confused, “But the man at the dry goods store told me that purebloods are better.”
“Better than who?”
“Um, anyone else?”
“But you just said we’re all purebloods.”
“Can you be pureblood if’n you ain’t born to it?”
“Look around you Michael.”
He did. And he was uncomfortable knowing that dozens of conversations had stopped to listen to the lesson he was getting.
“Everyone you see here is the same.
Everyone who lives in Parkinson house is the same. Oh some of you are a little older, and some of you are a little smarter but you are all my children. . .”
Her gaze was piercing and full of promise when she looked back at Michael.
“. . . equally!”
“Um,” Michael asked, “Cheryl, would you like a leg?”
“No thank you, Michael, but Mama Pansy might be glad of one.”
He sheepishly placed the chicken leg on Pansy’s plate using his fork and knife.
Later that night Pansy and Millie and Harry in his guise as Uncle James told the story of the half-blood who used lies and scare tactics to become the most feared dark lord of the 20th century, and most importantly, how it was a united group of magical citizens, pureblood, muggleborn and even some non-human magical creatures who defeated him.
The teachers, volunteers all, made sure to emphasize the importance of hard work and perseverance over blood status in the upcoming lessons.
Pansy went with Millie and Michael to Hogsmeade Dry Goods Emporium the following day. She studied the bolts of fabric as Millie stocked up on flour and sugar, bartering with eggs from the chicken farm.
“Hello Michael,” she heard from over the next shelf – she strained to hear, the voice sounded familiar.
Pansy used the disillusionment charm that Harry had taught her then moved closer, the better to hear the conversation.
“Hullo sir.” Michael answered sheepishly.
“Um, no sir, I mean, I was wondering if. . .” he looked up at the man as if expecting something.
“Ah, I’ll bet you’ll like these, they’re called “Mistletoads,” they are gummy little frogs that taste like fresh picked apples.
“Thank you, sir!”
“All the wards around the house, they’re keyed your, ah, family?”
Michael nodded, speaking around the gummy toads, he said, “allus kids get a band, see?”
The boy held his arm up showing off the blue band that read “PB”
“PB?” the man asked.
“Yeah, we call em’ peanut butter, but the ‘nitials stand for Mamma Pansy and Mamma Millie, “P” for Parkinson and “B” for Bulstrode.”
“What if you lose your band?”
“Then we gotta wait til another kid brings Mama Pansy with a new one.”
“Could you loan yours to someone else?”
Michael shook his head, “Nope, tried that. Julie left hers out by the rooster house and I tried to give her mine, y’know, to get back in the house?”
The man nodded. “And?”
“An it didn’t work. She couldn’t get in the house.”
“Interesting, here, have another mistletoad.”
“Oh, just that the house is warded but not the grounds.”
Michael just shrugged, then politely said, “Thank you for the mistletoads, sir.”
“Not at all Michael, I’m just glad you like them, be sure to tell all your friends.”
With that the man closed his sample case, which read “Honeydukes Finest,” and started to leave, only to find himself flat on his back facing two wands and an irate shopkeeper.
“Zabini,” the shopman said, “I let you peddle your wares in my store on account of I done a lot of business with your mum, but these witches tell me you been spendin’ an inordinate amount of time with one of their lil’ boys, izzat true?”
“Hey, I ‘ent so little!” Michael objected.
“I’m just letting the rest of the kiddies know were to get the good stuff, Chas, y’know, let one sample the goods and the rest will flock to my stall.”
Millie lowered her wand, “The way I see it, Blaise here is just tryin’ ta get by, just like the rest of us.”
Zabini nodded slowly, trying not to look as worried as he obviously was.
“Yeah, my family lost all our money in the war, just like yours.”
“Of course, that don’t explain how it is you’re tryin’ to recruit Michael here into your little club, nor why you’re so interested in the wards around Crabb’s old place.”
Blaise managed to maintain his cool for almost ten seconds before he lunged, still flat on his back, for his sample case, specifically the tag attached to one side.
Both girls looked surprised at Chas, the shopkeeper.
“I spent most of my adult life kowtowing to people like him cause they had the money and the influence and the “breeding”,” he spat on the ground.
“Never again, by gods, never again!”
“Well,” Millie asked, “whotcha wanna do with this one; the usual?”
“Hey, the Hag’s Hump pays us ten galleons for every pretty boy we deliver.”
“Yeah, but this is Zabini, he’ll probably like it.”
“Maybe at first. . .”
Blaise Zabini came to his senses with his head down on a wooden surface that reeked of old beer and spirits. He was sitting on a barstool and someone had a hand firmly planted on his bum.
He sat up straight and was shocked for just a moment at his reflection in the bar mirror.
He was wigged and painted up like a cheap whore. He was in a skirt that was so short that it barely covered his arse, which was being fondled by the large, smelly demi-troll sitting on the stool next to his.
He tugged the top of his narrow tube top; to get a look his grapefruit sized breasts. He was disappointed at the size.
“Hmmm, the bints might have at least given me a decent pair of knockers” he looked at the stevedore attached to the hand that was attached to his bum batted his long eyelids and asked, “got a wand, sweetie?”
The man held up what looked like a foreshortened tree branch, as Blaise reached for it the trollish voice ordered, “no funny stuff now!”
Zabini snuggled closer to him and said, “Mate, you’ve got me well and truly by the short and curlies, what can I do?
The quasi-troll grunted and handed over his wand.
Blaise pointed at his breasts and said, “engorgio!” All the men in the bar drooled at the comically enlarged boobs straining the fabric of the thin tube top.
“Better,” he said, and then, placing the thick tip of the wand under the burly man’s chin, he shouted “reducto!”
The back of the man’s head exploded in a fine red mist.
Zabini sashayed out of the Hag’s Hump. He didn’t mind being manhandled; he just wanted to choose the man doing the handling. He was a Zabini, after all, and a boy had to have his standards.
Pansy and Millie hurried back to the house with Michael in tow. They burst into the great room and Millie rang the dinner bell two short rings and one long, then repeated the pattern two more times. This was the alarm signal; all the older kids took charge of one or two of the younger ones and assembled at the long tables.
Greg Goyle had one child under each arm, scowling as if to dare anyone to try and touch them. Millie’s heart melted at the sight.
Pansy smirked at her oldest female friend, “Their babies will be huge!” She thought to herself.
“Everyone,” she started, “there’s nothing to be overly worried about but we’re not taking any chances.”
She waited while Millie fetched the boxes that Harry had brought the week before.
“Niners and up!”
She was referring to the nine and ten year olds, the big kids in the group. They dutifully came forward and each received a long, thin box.
“These are spell sticks, not wands, really, because they can only do two things, a freeze hex and sparks.
You must remember, only use these in real emergencies, as soon as you do the Ministry will send aurors to wherever you are.”
Millie gave the last stick to Michael Waddington, who looked with awe at the “almost wand.”
“From now on no one and I mean no one, Alison,” Pansy focused on her original sprog. “No one goes off alone.
“Use the rule of three, no less than three kids anywhere away from our house, and one of those three have to be nine or ten years old.”
Pansy was so distraught as she said this that she turned away so that her children wouldn’t see her tears. Millie stood and enfolded her in her arms.
“Kids, make no mistake, there’s them out there that want to hurt you, hurt us. What we gotta do is not give em’ the chance, alright?”
Some of the younger children, sensing the fear radiating from the Mamas began to cry.
A clear, bright tenor voice cut across the room, singing:
“Hi! says the blackbird, sitting on a chair,
Once I courted a lady fair;
She proved fickle and turned her back,
And ever since then I'm dressed in black.”
Pansy turned to see Gregory finish the first verse of the popular children’s song, then joined in the second verse.
“Hi! says the blue-jay as she flew,
If I was a young man I'd have two;
If one proved fickle and chanced for to go,
I'd have a new string to my bow.”
The older children joined in.
“Hi! says the little leather winged bat,
I will tell you the reason that,
The reason that I fly in the night
Is because I lost my heart's delight.
By now the whole house sang.
“Hi! says the little mourning dove,
I'll tell you how to gain her love;
Court her night and court her day,
Never give her time to say "0 nay!””
By the time the last verse came around the feeling of doom and gloom had vanished.
“Hi! says the robin, with a little squirm,
I wish I had a great, big worm;
I would fly away into my nest;
I have a wife I think is the best!”
This was the scene that Sister Bellanca, Brother David and Little Brother Odin walked in on. They sang along with the other children and followed Pansy to her quarters.
Greg started to follow but Millie grabbed him by the front of his robe and soundly kissed him in front of all the squealing sprogs.
Pandemonium followed, but it was a good pandemonium.
The title of this chapter comes from George Orwell’s Animal Farm, a wonderful allegorical description of Soviet style totalitarianism. The whole line is “All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others.”
I have to give credit to the folks at Hallmark, they actully had a candy called "Mistletoads" this past Christmas. Yummy gummies goodness.