“Filthy abomination!” Spittle flew from the werewolf’s lips as he dragged the boy away. “You will bring down the wrath of all the Gods. The sky will rain blood and the rivers turn red.” The werewolf’s eyes flickered wildly from side to side as he screamed, and he grunted as he lifted the small boy aloft against the tree.

“Father?” the little boy barely choked out under the massive fist, but the werewolf was beyond hearing the pitiful, frightened cries as he looked up to the sky. His large hands were too powerful for him to be concerned with the little fingers desperately clawing at them or the little boy choking under his grip.

“Sirius … I beseech thee.” The werewolf lifted his eyes to the heavens. “We were not aware of the evil in our midst. Please accept this sacrifice as a sign of our devotion. We are loyal servants, all.”

“Then killing the boy would be an immensely foolish thing to do.”

The werewolf nearly dropped the child in shock as the figure stepped from behind the tree.

He let the unconscious child slide to the ground. “Who are you to tell me what to do?” Lightning immediately flashed and struck the ground, and the werewolf cowered in terror, letting go of his son. The tree he had been touching seconds before was instantly ablaze. He turned to see the stranger and gasped in shock as the figure seemed to grow, his face elongating into the black shape of a wolf, his bronzed body gleaming and a staff appearing in his outstretched hand.

He shook in fear. He had seen enough of the old texts to know who stood before him. In his terror he was barely aware of his own urine trickling down his leg, of blood oozing from his ears as his heart pounded so fiercely it could not contain it all.

“You have one chance,” the voice from the god echoed around the clearing. “You will keep the boy hidden, safe. He has a task to do that is of immense importance to me. In return I will make your hunts prosperous and your pack safe. You will never have to scramble for food in harsh winters and you need not fear larger predators. Humans will never learn of your existence.”

The werewolf fell to his knees. “Anything, my lord, anything.”

“You will keep him a secret. If you travel due east you will find hidden caves with everything you need. There are medications for the child and instructions on how to use them. I advise you to practice on others so in your ignorance you do him no harm.

“For how long, my lord?” The werewolf gasped. “How will I know what my son has to do?”

“He is no longer your son. He is mine. Keep him safe. I will be watching.”