(1937-11-02) The Beast Within
Details for The Beast Within
Summary: Lucian pays a visit to the Fawley Farm to ask Camilla to train him as an Animagus.
Date: November 2, 1937
Location: Fawley Farm (formerly Grey)
Related: Animagus Aspirations, Transfiguration Taunts

Lucian slipped out of the Great Hall right after breakfast, hurrying well ahead of the crowd down to Hogsmeade while the sun was still barely cresting the horizon. He didn't care for anyone spying him heading out to the furthest edges of the village. As he walks up the long gravel road toward the Fawley Farm, he murmurs to himself, going over in his head what he'll say. It's a big request, but he's confident he can win Camilla over.

Camilla is in a paddock off of the barn, surrounded by eight beautiful Granian Winged Horses. Her attention is aimed towards the visitor when Thunder stretches out his wings and lifts his head and gives a mighty, 'don't you mess with my herd human' whinny. "Well hello there Mr. Proudmore." She calls and waves him over. She's breaking up hay bales and sprinkling some oats from a bag at her side over the piles of hay that each horse gets.

Lucian knows how to handle himself around animals such as these, and gives the stallion a deferential posture. He smiles when Camilla recognizes him, "Hello, Madam Gr-…Camilla." He approaches at her invitation, and immediately falls into old habits, helping her spread the hay. He's a stable-boy to the core.

Camilla smiles and slides out of the oats bag at her side and offers it over to him. Teamwork! She spreads out the right portions of hay leaving him to give the treat of oats sprinkled over it. "You're up and out rather early. Trying to beat the swarm, hmm?" Smirking she winks over at Lucian and then watches as Thunder comes over to sniff and examine the visitor.

Lucian grins at Camilla, "Something like that." He takes up a handful of oats, and holds it out for Thunder to come inspect. Clearly, this chap is the one to befriend. "Hey there, big fellow. You're a handsome one, aren't you?" If the kids at school could see Lucian talking like this, their eyes would bug out of their heads. He's even gentler with the animal than he is with Firsties in Dueling Club.

Camilla has only seen this side of Lucian, so it would be hard for her to believe if she heard anything slanderous about him. "That is Thunder…" She then goes about introducing everyone. "Lightning, Princess Anne, Char, Soot, Princess Liz, Casanova, and Peppy Damsel." Then she points towards the barn where there's other Winged Horse heads poking out of their stalls. "Orion, Pient, and Lavender."

Lucian smiles more broadly with each introduction, nodding his head to each. "They're all beautiful. I envy you." With Thunder eating out of his hand (literally), he pets the winged horses nose, chuckling softly. "I think I made a friend." Well, might as well get down to business. "Camilla…I wanted to talk to you about something."

Camilla smiles and watches Lucian as she lays out another bale. "You know, you could intern for me here this summer. The whole summer, not just the Summer Camp. It looks very good on a resume. Do you know what you want to do with yourself in the future Lucian? I'm sure you do, all Slytherin's seem to have their lives all planned out for themselves by age two it seems like a lot of time." She doesn't mean it in a bad way at all through her tone and warm smile.

Lucian chuckles, "I have some ideas. But…I doubt my father would permit me to stay here." He sneers at the word. "The stables are usually a mess by the time summer rolls around, and it takes me weeks just to get the hippogriffs out of their depression." He takes a long, heavy breath. "I wouldn't mind it, though. If it were my choice."

Camilla frowns looking over at this bit of news. "It's a mess? You mean your family doesn't look after them very well when you're not around?" Are those drums? Camilla looks and sounds like she might just be on the war path. "Maybe I'll have to pay a surprise visit to your father very soon. And we can discuss your internship and the state of the Hippogriffs. So you might just get your wish."

Lucian pauses, considering that for a moment. "Camilla…be careful. My father's a powerful man, and he tends to take things personally." He gives her a concerned frown. "I don't want you to get hurt."

Camilla laughs and reaches over to ruffle Lucian's hair. "Don't you worry about me. I wrestle with dragons for a living. Both the human and lizardy kind." She also has quite the feisty Auror that's not above catching a minister's robes on fire when he talks down to said Auror's loved one. "But I do what I do for the creatures well being. They don't know how to speak English, so I do it for them." Dr. Dooooooolittle!

Lucian sighs, genuine worry in his features. "I know that…and they do deserve better. But you don't know my father. He has the Minister for Magic over for Christmas sometimes. He could probably have your job if you made him angry. Just…watch how you handle him. I don't care what happens to him. But you're about the coolest adult I know. So I care what happens to you."

Camilla leans over to give Lucian a very appropriate side hug filled with coolest adult caring. "Thank you. I promise, I'll be very careful. But I'm not too scared about losing my job. A Fawley has been in the Ministry for centuries. She knows that I'm the only one that can handle this job. That I'm the one that's keeping the hostilities between Centaurs from spilling out of the forest. She also has quite the soft spot for animals, shhh." She smiles and puts a finger over her lips in a pretend secret pact.

Lucian doesn't look especially reassured. But he's warned her. What else can he do? Besides, there is a warm hope in his chest that maybe she actually can take on Actaeon Proudmore, and he could come stay here for the summer. "So…about that thing I wanted to talk to you about? Ah…you know I understand beasts. I mean, not literally like you do…but they still speak to me. Sometimes…I feel like I'm one of them. You know?" He rubs his neck, suddenly feeling terribly stupid in how this is coming out. "Like I've got a beast within, trying to get out." He pauses for a deep breath, watching her to see if she can tell where this is going.

Camilla tilts her head, not putting together all of what he's hinting at, she's very distracted about the Hippogriffs now. "Well, we all have a beast within us. It's why Patronuses take animal from, and why some of us can turn into animal forms ourselves. These are completely normal feelings Lucian." It's like the birds and the bees talk…but so not.

Lucian nods deeply, apparently thinking she entirely understands him. "Exactly, and I always get high marks in Transfiguration. I know what I'm doing. I just…need someone to teach me. Someone that actually knows how to do it." He swallows, obviously nervous, but determined to see through this request. "I have to let it out. I want to…see it."

Camilla now gets what he's talking about and oohs, "So you want to be an Animagus then? I think that's wonderful. You have an understanding that is rare. I'm sure you'll fine many students start to clamber for it. But it's just because they think it'll be 'cool' not because they have the calling. I'm proud of you Lucian, I would very much like to help in any way that I can."

Lucian blinks, eyes widening along with his smile. "Really? You'll teach me? That's excellent!" He hasn't been this happy since Ria said yes! "When can we start?" This is one eager young future Animagus!

Lucian blinks, eyes widening along with his smile. "Really? You'll teach me? That's excellent!" He hasn't been this happy since Ria said yes! "Yeah, I've already had one girl try to cozy up to me about it. I don't know how she knew I was going to ask you." He shrugs, grinning ear-to-ear. "So when can we start?" This is one eager young future Animagus!

Camilla gives a wide smile and her voice is as rich and soulful as the expression. "We can start right now Lucian. Describe to me what this beast within feels like to you. Sounds to me like it's a predator by the way you speak and move when talking about it. So keep talking."

Lucian blinks, obviously not expecting that training would begin immediately. But he's not about to complain! "A predator? Wow. I…suppose it does." He inhales deeply, focusing himself as he would before a duel. His voice comes out cool and distant as he searches his memory. "It's maddening, sometimes. I feel…angry and…confined. Like it's clawing at me to get out. I use Dueling Club to sort of give it an outlet. You know…something that won't really hurt anyone." He looks a bit ashamed when he admits, "Because I could hurt people…I know I could."

Camilla hmms and looks a little perplexed by that bit of news. "Dueling Club doesn't hurt anyone? I was there, I saw kids getting laid out. Out like a flame in a hurricane. We all have anger inside of us my friend. What separates us from the beasts is that we can and should learn how to focus and release these feelings in a productive way. In my experience while our wizarding world is a magnificent place to live in, there is a detachment from the world. Come on… may I show you something that helps me when I'm feeling that way?" She spreads out the last pile of hay and then tilts her towards the barn.

Lucian frowns a bit at her response. He follows, but feels compelled to justify himself. "Dueling Club isn't about hurting people. Sure, there's bumps and bruises. But anyone that goes in there looking to cause serious damage is just asking for trouble. It's like what you said…focusing and release those feelings, on a field of honour. I don't stand for recklessness in my club." My club. He's a bit possessive about it.

Camilla nods and smiles over to him as she leads the way into the barn and then up a couple of flights or stairs until they are in the hay loft. "I'm glad someone with the discipline you have takes such a leadership role in the Dueling Club. My girl, Josie, she's in the Dueling Club. Take good care of her for me, right?" The loft window like doors are swung open and she points to a scarecrow down at the bottom of the the drop from the windows. "Now…Imagine that scarecrow is the cause of your anger. Name him - or her. Tell it what it's done and then hurl a bale at it."

Lucian arches an eyebrow at the mention of Josie. He knows her. She's a Gryffindor…something he can usually forgive during club meetings. But outside of that? And she's connected to Camilla somehow? This is awkward. He shakes it off. Something to address later. He looks out the window, down toward the scarecrow. "Seriously? You want me to attack your scarecrow?"

Camilla grins and hoist up a bale of hay, she's quite physically impressive all in all. Looking down at the scarecrow she growls. "You murderous son of a bitch!" She then flings the Bale down at the scarecrow with a mighty cathartic bellow.

Hearing Camilla's angry bellow at the scarecrow, he starts to get the idea. He stares down at the stuffed man, trying to form a picture in his mind. Slowly, his brow creases, tighter and tighter, pulling the rest of his face into a mask of painful rage. He clutches a hay bale, hefting it with the ease one would expect of a lifelong stable-boy. He literally roars before screaming, "YOU'RE NOT MY FATHER!" He flings the bale down at the scarecrow, and while Camilla's missed it's mark, the duelist's sharp aim finds his, crushing the scarecrow with a loud *CRACK* of its pole. He very nearly topples out the window after the projectile.

Camilla quickly moves to wrap her arms around him to keep him from falling. Pulling him back towards safety she lets out a cheer and ruffles his hair a little bit and then turns to swing another bale of hay to be set at his feet. "Get it all out!"

Lucian looks surprised for a moment. She wants him to dip into that pool of rage? Doesn't she know how dark this can get? Too late now. He takes up the second bale, hauling it over his head this time before flinging it down at the scarecrow. "You son of a bitch! I'm a person!" Thank the stars no other student is around to hear this. He goes for another bale without prompting, hurling it blindly down at the mental image of his father. "I could have died! You FUCKING COWARD!!!" Hot tears are streaming down his cheeks, his face flush with fury.

Camilla moves out of his way sliding her arms around herself in a hug as she watches Lucian vent it all out. Tears running down her cheeks but she doesn't move to stop him. She'll let him throw every bale of hay in the loft if he needs to. Standing, back against the wall next to the window she stands a silent vigilance making sure he doesn't go tumbling out at any point.

Lucian hurls one hay-bale after another, spewing a vicious string of obscenities at the stuffed man below. He sobs openly, venting, but equally frustrated that his own father won't hear these words…and likely would laugh them off if he did. Finally, he collapses to the loft floor, exhausted and off-balance. "I hate you! I hate you…" he says hoarsely, trembling. As his mind slowly returns to the here and now, shame overwhelms him, and he stares forward, unable to make eye contact with Camilla.

Camilla takes a few steps towards him and very smoothly as she crosses her legs as if to lower herself and sit down she seemingly shrinks down and then there's a grey fox that pads into view under Lucian's bowed down head. She curls up and lays down against his legs chin resting on his knee. Instinct telling her that Lucian is enough of a kindred spirit that this animal presence instead of a Human one is what he could use. Easier for him to accept support and nurturing from an animal over her human form. Black eyes looking up at him with a depth of understanding and support.

Her instincts are spot on. The sight of the fox at Lucian's knee brings him calm and reassurance. Even knowing that this is a thinking human, he can't help but feel that those fox eyes couldn't possibly judge him or make him feel inferior. His hand goes reflexively to pet the fox. It's a slow, cautious movement, allowing her to permit it — again, treating her like a creature of the wild, not a human being.

Camilla allows it and then gives a little fox happy yip and her big bushy tail comes up to wipe at Lucian's face ever so gently.

Lucian gets the hint and wipes his cheeks, sniffing as he composes himself. "It's okay…you can change back. I'm…I'm okay."

Camilla curls up into a ball that grows and grows until black hair sprouts out from the fur and she morphs before his eyes into Camilla. She pats his knee and then hops up and offers a hand down to help hoist him up too. "How's that clawing feeling now?"

Lucian accepts her hand and rises. He stares at nothing in particular for a moment, just feeling. "Better…and worse." He gives her a worried grimace, fearful that he's doing it wrong. "Is it supposed to be like this?"

Camilla nods, and lightly presses a fingertip to the young man's solar plexus. "The clawing you feel is your guardian inside of you, fighting the demons you keep down deep. You won't be able to embrace him until the fighting stops. So you and I Lucian, we're going to work on helping him conquer those demons. Because if we don't and I teach you how to embrace the guardian and wear him on the outside… the demons will be free. Does that make sense?"

Lucian never expected this to be so harrowing. This is way bigger than mere transfiguration. He nods, a slow, careful motion. "I think so. But…what if I can't? What if my demons are always a part of me?" Please don't send me away. Please don't tell me I can't be an Animagus.

Camilla reaches and takes Lucian's face to look in his eyes. "With your strength, discipline and character the biggest demons have nothing on you. This isn't some neat parlor trick. It's a great responsibility, one that I know you can handle Lucian. Every demon can be defeated. It's just a matter of finding their weakness."

Lucian gazes dumbfounded for a moment. Did she just say that? She believes in me. Nobody ever believes in me. He nods solemnly, his voice soft and serious. "I'll do my best."

Camilla nods and then ruffles his hair. "Come on, I make a mean cup of enchanted hot cocoa. You can tell me more about the guardian within over a nice mug, peppered by roars, quacks and elephant trumpeting. It's Josie's favorite. I miss making it for her."

Josie again. This is going to be rough. Swallow your pride, Lucian. This is your shot. "Don't worry about Josie," he reassures Camilla, following after her. "I'll look after her." She's just a First Year…maybe he can rescue her from the Gryffindor taint.

Big score points for Lucian. Cami smiles warmly over at Lucian as she leads the way back down and then out to cross the grounds to head into The Big House. "That really does mean a lot to me. She's a tough kid. I think you two would get along really well. Check the rooves every once in a while. She really likes to climb." Cami really talks about Josie as if she was her daughter. When they get inside the house and after she's stoked a fire up she gets to making the cocoa in the kitchen made from melting down Enchanted Animal Noise Chocolates. "So Lucian, could you give me more…" evidence "…information on what happens to the Hippogriffs?"

Lucian stands near the doorway, looking a bit awkward. Her question pulls him out of his discomfort, though. "They have another caretaker when I'm not there. Mr. Whippet. He's a right git. Mostly he just makes sure they're fed, and takes the lash to them if they act out. He barely ever takes them out for exercise. Half my summer is just building up their muscle mass and getting them to trust me again." He gets a dark look when he talks about Whippet. This man could be another of Lucian's demons. "Last summer I took the lash to him. It got me locked in the cellar for a day, but it was worth it."

Camilla looks just as dark about Whippet as Lucian reveals more about him. "Oh he'll get more than a lashing from me. He'll never be able to step within a mile from a creature without shite-ing himself." She gives him a supportive smile and wink as she pours him a mug of the enchanted hot chocolate and then offers the cup over. "Anything else you can tell me about what goes on there? I want you to know that all you have to say is 'in confidence' and you can rant and vent and talk til the cows come home and I won't tell another soul."

Lucian shrugs, "You can tell anyone you want. What are they going to do to me?" He takes the mug, grateful for the warms on his hands after the time spent in the cold outdoors. Relaxing a bit, he leans up against the countertop. "Three years ago, one of the mares foaled, and the baby was sick. I kept telling my…father…that he needed to get a healer for him. But he wouldn't listen." His tone gets grimmer as he goes on. "The foal died." He shakes his head angrily. "He doesn't even care about the hippogriffs. He just likes showing them off to his friends. They're a status symbol to him. That's all."

Camilla lowers her head in a moment of silence for the baby that died. "You send for me if anything like that ever happens again. Spread the word to all your friends too. No creature will face that sort of torture while I live and breath. I think I have a good idea of how to hand Mr. Proudmore. You don't have to feel you have to call him father around me. I full well know that being a sire, doesn't make someone a father. And that you don't need to be a sire to be a father either. Thank you for bringing this to my attention Lucian. I appreciate it greatly. I know it's a Hogsmeade weekend. So I don't want to keep you if you'd rather be off with your friends. On the contrary you can also stay here as long as you like until curfew of course.

Lucian gives her a grateful smile, nodding. "I have to get back at some point. I've got Prefect duties. But…how much time can we spend training? I really want this." He doesn't want to say he needs it, but the need is there in his face. That beast wants out.

Camilla leads him into the living room and she cozies up in Her Chair by the fire. It's about then that animals start coming out of the wood work near literally. The door under the stairs is pushed open and Godric gives a lionish yawn and then pads over to lay down at Camilla's feet. What looked like what might have at first been stuffed…Helena lifts her golden eagle head and stretches on her piece of driftwood on the mantle of the fireplace. From the very seat Cami sat in comes a blunt black nose out of the cushions next to her thigh and Helga soon crawls up onto Cami's lap for snuggles. "So let's visualize. Have you been able to manifest a Patronus?"

Lucian follows Camilla, taking a seat nearby. His eyes widen a bit at the appearance, of the animals, especially the lion. But he doesn't shy away. Despite being the Gryffindor mascot, he can't help but appreciate Godric's majestic presence. "A Patronus? Merlin, no. That's advanced stuff. Not that this isn't. I just mean…I'm way better at Transfiguration than Charms or anything. I don't know anyone at school that can do the Patronus Charm."

Camilla smiles and shrugs, "It's no strike against you, just a question I ask anyone interested. I've managed a very whispy one once. Bet you couldn't guess what it was." She says in playful sarcasm. "So we'll just visualize…hmm…please don't be alarmed, but I think you're sitting on Sal." She points to a little tip of silvery scaled tail that's poking out from under the cushion Lucian's on.

Lucian keeps his cool, but carefully lifts himself up to let the snake slither out. Settling back in, he folds his hands in his lap. "Visualize what? Animal forms?"

Camilla wobbles her head as she takes a sip of her cocoa and then brays like a donkey. "More like what is inside of you. It's got claws… are the blunt? Are they short? Fur, feathers, scales?" She slides her feet out of her boots and then uses the lion at her feet like and ottoman.

Lucian sips his own cocoa, and caws like a crow. "I don't know. How can I know something like that?" This is all way more cerebral than Lucian had anticipated.

Camilla grins and can't help but chuckle a little. "Just relax and don't really think about it. Just say what comes to you naturally. Claws…"

Lucian sighs, uncertain about this. But he gives it a shot, at first echoing her, "Claws…teeth?" Is this word association, or soul-searching?

A little bit of both, if nothing than it's allowing Camilla to get to know her would be pupil. "Skin."

Lucian looks down at his own hands, then shakes his head. "Right, don't think about it. Um…fur."

Camilla rolls her head in a nod and takes a drink of her hot cocoa and then gives a deep thunderous *ribbet*, "Sound?"

Lucian goes blank. His mind just races, and latches onto nothing. He sips his cocoa to buy time, and lets out a ferocious roar. But he just shakes his head. "I don't know."

Camilla smiles and nods, "It's alright. It's just an exercise. There's no wrong answers. Even I don't know is alright. When you dream, is there ever an animal they you remember often being about, protecting you, you being it?"

That question draws a frown from Lucian. Dreams are someplace he generally prefers not to go. "Not…for a long time." He fidgets now, his discomfort with this personal exploration growing.

Camilla takes one more final drink of her cocoa and crows like a rooster at dawn. "When you did, can you remember anything? I'm sorry if this is too hard for you. We can stop for today."

Lucian nods, eyes looking anywhere but at her. "Yeah…maybe we'd better stop for now. I've got to go play Prefect in Hogsmeade anyhow." He rises, looking vaguely her direction. "Thank you, Camilla. I really appreciate this. I'm sorry if I'm…" He struggles for the right word.

Camilla shakes her head and waves a hand to dismiss any further apology he's trying to make. "You are doing great. I told you, this isn't some neat parlor trick. This is advanced stuff just like a Patronus. So don't you start losing hope. You can do this Lucian. I wouldn't even have done this much with you if I had thought that I was wasting my time. Now, go boss around the kids." She winks and waves him to the door. Come back tomorrow. "Hopefully by Winter Holidays you can hang out here with Josie and I all vacation long and we can get to brass tacks then."

Lucian manages to look her in the eye, and a smile starts to form. A whole winter break here, training? That has possibilities. Assuming some miracle occurs and his father allows it. He nods, "Alright. I'll see you tomorrow." He deposits his half-empty cocoa cup in the kitchen, then heads out to resume his vigil over his housemates.

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