“I saw it, felt it, heard it too. He used to hide his disdain much better when we were in school. However, I – we – are not harmed by one man’s dislike. He is not Pack. He is of no consequence right now…”
The wolf subsided, grumbling. Remus gently picked up a still slumbering Harry, burying his nose in the toddler’s hair and breathing deeply, letting the familiar scents of contented baby mixed with Lily’s hint of lavender and James’s mixture of forest and wind take over his senses and calming both him and Moony further. Pack. Home. Safe.
He moved to the rocking chair in the corner and carefully sat down, closing his eyes with a heavy sigh. Lily had also insisted on replicating her favorite objects – the rocking chair, Harry’s crib, and the changing table were only a start – at both Sirius’ and Remus’ houses, so when they came to visit or when one of the men had to baby sit, Harry wouldn’t be uncomfortable.
Frowning, he recalled the underlying emotions emanating from his former Headmaster – remorse, regret, frustration, anger, resentment, dislike… That had hurt far more than he wanted to admit. The Headmaster was one of the first adults that Remus had come to trust, since it was Dumbledore who had allowed Remus to attend Hogwarts in the first place; something that the older wizard had no problems holding over the younger man’s head as needed.
Shaking his head, he decided that he didn’t want to over analyze anymore. The important thing was that Dumbledore still believed that Harry was with the Dursleys, and now assumed that Remus would be out of the country for some time.
Harry whined and squirmed in his sleep, and Remus shushed him, smiling as the boy snuggled deeper into the crook of his neck, soft breaths ruffling the hair at his nape. The wolf was also content, and slumbering lightly. Remus had a sudden vision of a tawny gold male, curled protectively around a small pile of black fur that twitched and shivered in his sleep. The wolf pup whimpered and moved his head, revealing a jagged white lightning bolt shaped patch of fur on his forehead – exactly where Harry’s was. The adult wolf raised his head, opening gold-brown eyes to meet his gaze.
Remus’ eyes shot open, and he yelped as he jumped up, startling Harry in the process. Startled rudely awake, the baby responded with a squall, protesting such treatment. The next few minutes were spent appeasing him. A bottle, clean diaper, and an especially loud and content burp later, and a now wide awake Harry was in his walker, pocking and prodding the various bright balls, and gadgets, and warbling in delight as they changed in shape and color with each touch.
Remus’s stomach rumbled loudly, reminding him that he had not eaten since early that morning. A storm had rumbled in, inspiring his rainy day meal of hot soup and bread. Full and sleepy once again, he settled on his couch after renewing the monitoring charms on Harry. He thought about getting up to grab a book, but was too comfortable and relaxed to make the effort. Letting his mind drift, but resolutely not thinking about the wolf or that voice in his head, he had almost succumbed to sleep completely when it spoke again.