(1937-12-20) The Predator in Me
Details for The Predator in Me
Summary: Camilla tries to give Lucian some perspective about what he did. Meanwhile, Josie can't sleep and slips out of bed to join them.
Date: December 20, 1937
Location: Fawley Farm, Hogsmeade
Related: Personal Demons

Night has fallen up on the Fawley Family Farm, casting most of it into darkness. Lucian never appeared for dinner, reportedly out for a walk, according to Bannon. He didn't go far, nor is his hiding place in the stable difficult to imagine. Nestled up under the wing of Dragon the hippogriff, sleep eludes him, but it is a form of rest. He stares up through the open part of the stall wall toward the night sky, counting stars and praying for a dreamless sleep.

Camilla incidentally planned on checking Dragon's stall first. After all if he wasn't in his stall than she'd know Lucian had a great deal of distance on them. She gives both of the males within a soft smile. "There's two of my more favorite creatures in all the world." She swings open the stall door and moves to bow to Dragon, waiting for permission from the beast before she tucks in next to Lucian. One arm slides up, opening up her side to Lucian.

Unable to sleep with so much on her mind, Josie is far too fidgety to just stay in bed. So, when she hears Camilla going out to find Lucian, she sneaks down, pulls on her coat over her pajamas, and pulls on her shoes before continuing outside. Hearing Camilla's voice in the stables, she makes her way over closer, though listens from outside for the moment.

There is a moment when it is uncertain if Dragon will permit Camilla to come close. He has been feeling especially protective of his Golden Boy since the attack. But sensing no trepidation from Lucian, the hippogriff dips his head (unable to properly bow from the ground), and pulls back his wing to give Camilla space.

Lucian's eyes drift down from the stars to take in Camilla. A deep breath lifts his chest, but his expression remains neutral, unsmiling. "Hey," he murmurs almost inaudibly.

Camilla wraps an arm around him and leans down to kiss the top of his head. "Hey. Shittiest of shite days, huh?" Dragon as well is given much stroking affection. From her jacket she pulls out a couple of bottles of Knotgrass Mead she taps them with her wand and they warm and then another tap and the cap pops off into her hand. Passing one of the bottles to him she moves to clink their warm bottles together before sending a spell from her wand up into the air and it explodes in a shower of a green flare explosion, calling off the hunt, signaling he's found and safe.

Josie can be exceptionally stealthy when she wants to be. Her feet barely make a sound in the snow as she steps closer to the stable doors, staying just out of sight. She might go completely unnoticed, except she's a little on edge and when the green sparks go up she gives a squeaky yelp and falls onto her back.

Lucian takes the bottle of mead without thinking much about it. He shrugs weakly, "Could have gone worse. We got Josie back. That's all that matters." He lifts his chin at the sound of the yelp and lets out a sigh. "Better come in, Davies. Just go slow, bow to Dragon and keep your eyes on him. When he bows back, you can come in." His voice betrays his exhaustion, but he can at least instruct her to be safe.

Camilla takes a deep breath, it's clear she doesn't even want to think about just how badly it really could have turned out. "Thank you, because of you, Josie is home safe. Not only Josie, you and Bannon are both alive because of you. You are a fine man Lucian. I'm very proud." Another grateful squeeze is given to him before she takes a drink and her wand is flicked to open up the stall door to the outside to allow Josie in. "Couldn't sleep baby girl?"

Josie bites her lip, but stands up, brushing herself off and then steps in. She gives a bow to Dragon, waiting for permission before she shakes her head to Camilla and steps in the rest of the way. "No."

Lucian takes a sip of the mead, scooting over a bit so Josie can lay up against Dragon with them in the hay. "You and me both." He arches an eyebrow at Josie, looking her over discerningly. "You alright, other than that?"

Camilla waves her hand and pulls out a blanket from her pocket so that when they are all snuggled up, Josie cuddled up on Camilla's lap she can cover them up so they are quite the snuggle pile. Josie's cheek is kissed.

Josie settles in, and then nods quickly to Lucian, "Uh-huh. I'm fine. But don't think I ever wanna do that… whatever you did to get me back here, and what he did to take me there, again." Apparating.

"Apparition," Lucian tells her. "You'll get used to it someday." He leans his head back to rest against Dragon's powerfully muscled hide. "I'm sorry I let him take you. My…my first instinct was to land by you…to protect you. I just…I couldn't…" Couldn't get near the Fiendfyre, he wants to say. But he clams up, unable to admit his weakness.

Camilla squeezes them both against her in a hug, "No one could get to her, that damn fiery snake thing. Couldn't even be sure it was safe to apparate to her with how that thing was coiling about. Bastard. He's lucky I've got other things on my plate." Like Lucian's Father. "Or I'd march right up to Azkaban myself and shove a fire crab…" She fades into protective mothery grumbles instead of clearly finishing just where she'd shove the fire crab. "But that would be cruel to the crab." They get a little wink.

Josie giggles a little at Camilla's grumbling, and says, "Yeah, it would." She yawns, and then leans her head back. Distracted now from her thoughts of what happened, and the fact she knows who her father is now, she's looking sleepy.

Lucian gives a humourless glance Camilla's way at her joke, but there is no laughter in his haunted eyes. Behind them, Dragon warbles wearily, and lays his head down over a folded claw. Even the mighty beast is ready for some shuteye.

Camilla gives Lucian a supportive look, the look was mostly for Josie. One hand moves down to try and take his in a friendly hold and then she begins to slowly rock her body a little. "It's a new day tomorrow my darlin's." Softly at first she begins to sing 'Dream Angus', a traditional Scottish lullaby. Her voice loud enough to carry through the whole stable. She often has in the past sung the lullaby to the creatures she cares for.

Tired, warm and feeling safe, there's no way Josie can stay awake during the singing. Before the song is anywhere near over, Josie is sound asleep.

Lucian sits in silence for a long while after Josie has drifted off, still awake himself. Only when he hears the rumbling snores of Dragon does he say softly, "I don't know if I can stay here, Camilla."

Camilla rolls her head in a nod. "You've been through a great deal today. You are safe here, you are wanted here. Give it a day or two. For me? Please. I know he probably seems like some dishonorable bastard to you. But that's just his way of teaching. The only way he'll learn himself is if he's taught. He respects you Lucian. He wants you around too. Adults have a very hard time remembering that Hogwarts is a very formative time for a person. That what's important to someone at Hogwarts seems…not trite, that's not the word I'm looking for. Just…more simple? Please stay. You don't have to deal with him at all. Just tell him straight up, that you would rather him keep his distance and he will."

Lucian lowers his gaze to the mead, though he doesn't take a drink. "He is practically a copy of my father. All smiles when it suits him to make a good impression on others. But get him alone when no one is looking, and he turns vicious, bullying anyone that disagrees with him. They could be brothers."

Camilla frowns and lets out a slow chuffing breath. "The difference with Bannon, is if you tell him he's being an arse, he will sincerely apologize and sincerely try to do better. Just try for a little while? Move on from the Tournament grudge and try to get to know the person Josie and I know. If you find you still don't like him, very well. You know I'd never do anything to see you feeling uncomfortable and upset. But this, having you here, means a great deal to me."

Lucian rolls his eyes. "Right. Because it's just a grudge and I should get over it. He didn't insult me and threaten me, or anything. So we should just pretend everything is fine." He sighs, and slowly begins to rise, careful not to disturb Dragon or Josie. "He isn't the only reason I can't stay here. It's you, too."

Camilla shakes her head, "Dammit Lucian, I didn't say he didn't. I know he did because you say he did. People do bad things sometimes. I'll never excuse his behavior. I was asking you to give him another chance that is all. If he screws it up, I'll be right there with you ripping him a new one. Me, too? What's that supposed to mean?"

Lucian brushes the hay off of his bum, stepping to the door of the stall. "It means that I thought you were different. Answer me honestly. How many times does he get to insult me before you turn him away?"

Camilla looks up at him in the eyes. "I don't turn family away, he's Josie's father. I will however seriously reconsider my relationship with him if he continues to display such behavior as he did with you about the tournament. I risked my job to do what's right Lucian." She pointedly pets Dragon indicatively. "If he proves that his behavior towards you wasn't the fluke I hope it was. Than he is not really the man I love."

Lucian looks down at his feet, a pained expression passing briefly over his face. "Do you know what he said to me tonight? He had the nerve to say no one was ever in danger during the tournament. He said Jones could have thrown a Killing Curse at me, and I'd be fine. He's either completely stupid, or he's a liar and just wants to protect his own pride. I'm fairly sure he isn't stupid." He spreads his hands. "Take that however you like."

Camilla frowns and a tear tumbles down her cheek as she cuddles up Josie in her lap. "I think it's a mixture of both. He doesn't think things through. It was matter of pride I'm sure. He is a proud person. I don't know what happened at the tournament. I know Bannon only does what he thinks is best for everyone involved. Which is pride and stupidity at work at the same time. But he can learn, he will learn, because he has a daughter and a girlfriend to improve himself for now. But look me in the eye Lucian…" She wipes at the few tears that have tumbled down her cheeks. "I will protect you, I will be your mentor, as best as I can. Never ever doubt that you're not important enough to me to fight for. Even against the man I want to marry."

Lucian does look her in the eye, and the look is dark. Not menacing, but rather a window into some lightless place within him. "What if I'm not the one that needs protection?"

Camilla shakes her head, "I have seen you Lucian. You have your demons, you have your issues, but you save a girl you barely know's life tonight. You worked along side a person that you don't like to do the right thing. Terrible things happened today. But you taking a horrible person's life that was trying to murder you for the pleasure of it wasn't one of them. You can stay here, with me, becomes a master to your demons. Or you can continue to let those demons get the better of you and turn into the very thing you mercifully put an end to today. You might not need the protection. You are a man now. But I protect those dear to me, no matter how old they are. I don't do it because someone needs it. I do it because I love someone enough to want to do it."

"First of all, I don't barely know Josie. I've known her all year, and even better now. She's special, and I care about her." Lucian leans against the wall of the stall, crossing his arms, hugging himself. "No offense, Camilla. But if I became a danger…I don't think you could do much to protect anyone from me." He leans his head back, thunking against the wood. "You didn't see what I did to that man. That was the most powerful Severing Charm I've ever cast. I didn't even think twice. I saw an opening and…I killed him. I took a life, Camilla." He shakes his head, looking a bit bewildered. "I should feel something about that. But…I don't. I did it as easily as if I were killing a rat in the pantry."

Camilla very carefully slides Josie down into a pile of hay and covers her up with the blanket. She makes sure Josie's still sound asleep before she stands and much like she did after he broke down in the loft chucking hay bales she moves over to him and just wraps him up in her arms to hug him and hug him tight. "Do you feel this?"

Lucian doesn't fight the hug, but he's a bit like a limp noodle in her arms. At least, until he pulls away. "You said I have a predator in me. You've met my father." He lets her put together the connection there. "It's coming out, whether you teach me to be an Animagus or not. Today was proof of that."

Camilla moves to take him by the cheeks and sides of the face and look him right in the eyes. "You can learn Lucian. It's people like your father that believe they have nothing left to learn. Today hasn't changed that. You are a hard worker, you are disciplined and you are a good person. Do you think a wolf, fox, tiger, lion, dragons, sharks, and every other predator creature and animal out there is evil or bad just because they do what they do to survive? You did what you did tonight to survive, not for the thrill of it. Not because hunting down something or terrifying something gives you pleasure." Like your father. "You are different. That man was a rat in the pantry. What I need you to do is to fight becoming that rat in the pantry Lucian. Don't listen to those demons. Please."

Lucian is the sort of young man that has brooding down to an art. But this isn't the usual grim moodiness he so expertly displays. There is something missing in his gaze now — an emptiness. "I need to talk to Ria," he says flatly, and he steps back, out of the stall. He looks past Camilla, eyes settling on Josie and Dragon. Only then is there a hint of the Lucian that Camilla has come to know. Just a flicker of that protective, deeply emotional boy trying to become a man. But it is gone as soon as he looks away to trudge out of the stable.

Camilla tries to get his gaze back, "We'll go to London tomorrow. You can see Ria and we can work on getting you a full license to handle Hippogriffs. I don't know how long I can keep them here Lucian. We have to prepare you, that is if you want to be prepared. If you decide you still want all of the things we've spoken about. You are a man now, you can make your own decisions. Just know, that I am here. Pick your paths wisely Lucian."

Lucian keeps facing away from Camilla, but he slows his steps at her words. His eyes drift to the hippogriffs in their stalls, and he pauses by the stall of one of the smaller 'griffs. "I won't let him take them back," he says flatly. His departure this time is more hurried, and he quickly vanishes back into the darkness outside.

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