Peter turned six only a few months ago, but this year he will turn seven and though we might only be in January, he cannot wait until October. Especially since there is also halloween to look forward to.
Talia, his big sister, is finally back from Europe. She’s a whole eighteen years older than he is. Was already an adult when he was born (grandma Hale calls him her favourite surprise, though he’s also heard people call him an accident…), so he didn’t really get to see her much, ‘cause she left for university then immediately went to Europe. So really, Peter barely knows his big sister.
What he does know is that she always brings him presents, and sends him cards (a different one than the ones she sends the rest of the family, one only for him) telling him anything he might find interesting. She’s the one that sent him a book about medieval castles and lords and Peter had spent hours looking through the images and asking help to grandma Hale with the words he didn’t understand or hadn’t learn to read yet.
He also knows that like their parents and grandparents, his sister is a ‘wolf. Peter isn’t like her, but unlike some of their cousins, she doesn’t seem to mind, and when he tells her that they said mean things, she always has a kind word. Being human isn’t bad, is what she said. He isn’t even the only one in the family. But he’s from the Alpha’s line, and he thinks that’s why his parents sort of ignore him and leave him mostly in the care of grandma Hale.
His mother and father always praise Talia and let him know that she’s the one that will be Alpha one day, when his mother steps down. He thinks maybe they want him to not like Talia, but he doesn’t think he would mind having her as his Alpha, ‘cause she’s always nice to him.
But now, she’s back and he can see her frowning when she notices how their parents act around him. He heard her angry whispering one night when he couldn’t sleep, arguing with their parents, grandma Hale at her side, agreeing. It makes his chest go all tight and warm, knowing she’s there for him now.
January 6th brings a surprise in celebration. The whole pack is there, at Talia’s request. Back in Europe, she discovered the tradition of ‘king’s cake’ and thought it would be a nice touch to add for the family. She even learned to bake it, and she let Peter drop the little charm figurine inside the filling and lick the spoon.
When it’s time to eat, grandma Hale having prepared her special tea for everyone, he’s so excited that he almost swallows the charm and he can’t help himself but to nearly climb onto the table to wave the dirty little thing in Talia’s face, while she grins at him.
She leaves the table, and he nearly vibrates out of his seat, because he knows what she’s going to get. When she comes back, there is a toy crown in her hands, and it looks exactly like some of the crown from the kings in his books, like she knew that he would be the one to win it.
He lets out a scream of excitement and pride when she drops the crown gently onto his head, kissing his cheek and whispering a ‘little king’ into his ear. Except the scream doesn’t sound like a scream at all, and instead sounds like the little howls his cousins like to make during full moon fun. He also hears a rip and his family’s exclamation of surprise.
He looks down at his hands and sees claws where there used to be nails. He risks a glance at grandma Hale, and he sees her smiling proudly at him, with a twinkle in her eyes. Reassured, he looks up at Talia that is still at his side, and her expression of pride and joy is what makes him finally give a full howl of happiness and hop out of his chair.
Because he knowns, even without looking, that he just had his first change to his beta form. Still, he runs to the hallway mirror and he lets out another little howl of pure joy at what he sees. His eyes have gone amber, little fangs are poking out of his mouth and his eyebrows have moved to the side of his face.
He runs full force back to the dining room, and Talia is there to catch him when his launches himself at her. She makes him twirl and twirl, laughing of pleasure and pride for him.
‘My little wolf king,’ she whispers, and he can feel the pack bond in fully formed now, he can feel her affection and love for him and so the only thing he can do is grin down at her, from where she’s propping him in her arms and then crow loudly.
‘I am the wolf king, ruler of all wolves!’
Peter can still hear his howl and Talia’s laughter, as he looks down at the relatively undamaged photograph in his hands. He knows it was grandma Hale that took it, a memento of a very special day for Peter. And as he looks down at Talia holding up the seven years old beta shifted version of him, he can’t help but feel his heart twinge at the loss of his sister.
The picture goes back into the little box of memories of a better time, and when he closes the lid, he closes also any thought other than revenge.