Harry shivered despite the heat that had been building and building over the last few weeks. He knew that it wasn't a good sign, he had been working outside for nearly eight hours straight without water or food, come to think of it he hadn't had anything to eat in 24 hours and had only had a drink that morning from the bathroom taps when he had been let in to wash. He knew that something was wrong with the way the edges of his sight was blurring, the fact the heat no longer felt hot, his hands were trembling heavily – heck his whole body was trembling with exhaustion.
"When I was sent to kill you I was expecting something of a good fight, but you look like you could be blown over by a light wind. What's going on pup?" the voice startled Harry, he sat up quickly before swaying and groaning as the blurring of his vision got worse and nausea hit him heavily. However he didn't need to see the person to know who it was, he recognised the voice from the attack on Hogsmeade half way through his fifth year...only six months ago. Fenrir Greyback was standing on the other side of the fence when he felt as though he could barely stand let alone fight. "Merlin's balls. Pup, look at me, fuck your burning up," Fenrir had vaulted over the fence and crouched down in front of Harry, trying to tilt Harry's face up but being startled by the heat coming off his face.
"Just...do...it," Harry managed to get passed his dry throat. He could feel the heavy effect of his dizziness settling in and close behind it the welcomed unconsciousness.
"Do what?" Fenrir frowned. Harry lifted his head and peered at Fenrir, focussing as best he could.
"Kill. Me...Enough...had...enough...do...it," Harry choked out before he collapsed forwards.
Fenrir stared down at the teenager in his arms shocked. He had come expecting a good fight before he killed the headstrong Potter boy, instead he came across him looking weak and broken, anything but the strong man he had watched fighting Voldemort in Hogsmeade, the man that had led the students. His last words were ringing in Fenrir's ears, his abused skin burning through both their clothes, his breathing was shuttered against Fenrir's neck. Looking down at the dark head resting against his shoulder Fenrir made a choice.
When Harry woke up next he was shocked at the fact that he had actually woken up, what shocked him more however was the fact that while he was warm it wasn't the burning pain that he had felt for days before his unconsciousness caught him, his body didn't ache at all and he felt clean and comfy, it felt as though he had been eating good meals regularly rather than the biting hunger he always felt during the summer months.
Slowly opening his eyes he was greeted with the view of a room lit by the setting sun, the orange hews lighting up the cream walls and dyeing them. The room while not decadent was definitely rich, a forest green carpet covered the floor, a large black marble fireplace had a cream leather sofa and matching arm chairs in front of it, the bed was a huge four poster that could probably sleep eight people comfortably in it, white hangings embroidered with black wolves matched the white quilt cover, however an emerald green silk throw covered him as well, matching emerald green cotton sheets and pillowcases that felt as though they might as well be silk.
When he took stock of himself he found he was wearing grey silk pyjamas that were way too big for him but extremely comfortable. Sitting up cautiously he rubbed his head as it swam before slipping to the edge of the bed and getting to his feet slowly, using the post of the bed to steady himself as he swayed. With a lot of pauses against various objects in the room Harry eventually made it to the window in the room and peered curiously out at the wide fields, gardens and forest that surrounded the place he was in, everything was beautiful and well cared for, barley was waving in some of the fields and various different other crops were in the others. Harry hadn't seen this place before but it seemed to radiate a feeling of safety and home.
"You are awake little one, I was getting concerned that you wouldn't," a rough, almost growl like voice spoke from behind him and he spun in fright to stare at Fenrir Greyback as his last memories shot into his mind. As well as fear, confusion spread through him, Greyback had been there to kill him or take him to Voldemort, so why was he healed and put in this amazing room?
"What...what's..." Harry stammered before he swayed dangerously. In a flash of movement Fenrir was across the room and caught Harry before he could hit the floor, stooping he lifted Harry easily and carried him over to the fire so he could sit him in a large cream armchair.
"Steady Little one, you have been out for nearly a week and had a lot of damage to heal, my healers will be tying you to the bed if you don't take it slowly. Here, drink this," Fenrir held out a cup that he had poured something into before sitting down on the sofa himself in a lazy sprawl. Glancing down curiously Harry blinked when he saw coke in the cup, looking up he found Fenrir sipping from his own cup happily.
"Where am I?" Harry asked cautiously not sure whether his questions were welcome, immediately after he took a sip of coke as he realised how dry his throat was, mentally shrugging at the idea that there was poison in the drink, Fenrir could have done anything to him while he was unconscious.
"You are at my home, my pack's home. I brought you here because you will be safe. No wizard can enter these premises without being escorted by a wolf of certain ranking from my pack," Fenrir explained.
"Why?" Harry frowned.
"I'm not the blood thirsty mindless fool that the wizarding world paint me for. A lot of wolves seek me out after they have been bitten and rejected by their human family – if they are lucky, others escape from where they have been abused and treated like a disgrace and an animal. I recognise the signs of abuse Little one, and I have no desire to harm an injured and emotionally weary warrior who has already won my respect. I am Voldemort's ally, not his lap dog. I can make my own decisions and I chose to bring you somewhere where you could be safe to recover," Fenrir spoke softly as though Harry was a frightened rabbit. "Could you answer a question for me though Little one, you have been driving myself and your carers mad with your scent. Why do you smell of wolf?" Fenrir looked so frustrated that Harry couldn't hold in his giggle.
"I'm an animagus, my form is a wolf. I spend a lot of time in my animal form so I guess its become a part of my human form quicker than it normally would," Harry explained.
"Ah thank you, you had Gwen searching you over three times looking for bite marks," Fenrir actually smiled at Harry causing him to blink and stare at the werewolf stunned. Fenrir was a large man, that was the first thought you had when you saw him, he looked around 6,6 and his shoulders easily matched his frame, his hands were large and his jaw line firm, long silvery hair fell about his face and contrasted with his golden eyes catching your attention secondly, the way he moved and held himself was pure predator and screamed power and confidence, his canine teeth were slightly longer and pointier than normal helping with his 'wild' look. But when he smiled his golden eyes glittered softly and predator, power and confidence turned into safety, protection and alpha.
"I...erm...what happens now?" Harry asked softly.
"Well, you have two choices really as far as I can figure out I'm afraid Little one. But before that know that you are welcome to stay as long as you need until you feel you have recovered, but once you leave it will be difficult for you to come back. Alright, firstly, you stay here, get yourself back together and I or one of my pack members take you to the nearest wizarding village where you can floo to wherever you need or want to go. Secondly, you can stay here, under my protection, I have a few wizarding werewolves that need teaching how to use their magic, productively at least, unfortunately I am one of the few wolves that has been to Hogwarts to get an education and regrettably I don't really have to temperament or the patience to teach them. Should you wish to remain here you could take up that teaching role as your place amongst the pack and live here as one of us. There are a few other humans and different creatures living with us so don't worry about being the lamb amongst the wolves," Fenrir grinned at his own joke.
"You want me to teach your magical wolves how to use their magic?" Harry asked softly after thinking it over.
"Yes, they need to be able to focus their magic and it will be helpful to the pack to have some members who can use magic to help protect us and things like that. Last time myself and the other few educated wolves tried we lost our tempers and they ended up in tears – we are all alphas, unfortunately that means we don't have the right attitude to sit and calmly and patiently teach them. Everyone provides some sort of help for the pack, this would be yours," Fenrir explained. Harry couldn't help but chuckle at the thought of Fenrir and a couple of faceless alphas sitting and trying to teach from text books.
"Can I think about it?" Harry asked biting his lip unsurely.
"Of course. This isn't a simple decision to make," Fenrir nodded. "Now, you can't leave these rooms for another day or so under healers orders, so I'll go and get us something to eat for now. You can meet the pack tomorrow," Fenrir smiled.
"How...erm how big is your pack?" Harry asked curiously.
"There are over one hundred and fifty of us all together, living in the mansion at the minute there are about one hundred of us. It varies from time to time, there were a lot of us living in our own homes but with the war they have all started coming back here for safety,"
"Safety?" Harry frowned.
"The Ministry started arresting known werewolves once they knew Voldemort was back, Men, women, their children were dumped with anyone that would take them, which isn't very many people because they are wolves, or because they come from them," Fenrir sighed.
"I didn't...they're keeping it quiet," Harry sighed.
"Yes they are," Fenrir nodded tightly. "I will be back with food," He said before turning and leaving the room, anger clear in his shoulders.
Harry sighed and dropped his head onto the back of the armchair as his brain tried to absorb everything that had just happened and he had just been told. Fenrir Greyback had not only chosen to spare his life when he had clearly come to kill him, but he had chosen to completely ignore his orders from Voldemort and he had rescued him. He had been brought to this beautiful manor and placed in this beautiful room, given healing and treatment.
Fenrir did not appear to be the mad, slobbering, child biting/eating creep that the Ministry and Order had told him he was. Aside from being very clearly an Alpha and exceedingly dominant at that, he seemed quick and intelligent, strong willed but caring if the way he spoke about his pack was anything to go by.
And he was offering Harry a chance to escape from everything, or let him go back once he was healed up and carry on fighting against his side. The chance to stay out of the war though, Harry knew that it was not something that he should consider, that he should be hurrying to get back to the fight...but Dumbledore and the others had sent him back the Dursleys after he had watched Sirius die, he had been left there with no contact and clearly no one watching him considering how long he had been outside for.
The offer of a life here, a peaceful life, under Fenrir's protection, getting to be a teacher, not having to worry about the war, about fighting, being able to just live his life. But he would be resting everything on his trust of Fenrir Greyback, and in the fact that Greyback survived the war and was able to protect him.
"It is good to see you awake!" Harry started and jumped quickly to his feet before groaning and swaying dangerously on the spot.
The man in the doorway held his hands up in a gesture of peace, stepping towards Harry and pausing when Harry tried to take a step back and swayed even more dangerously.
"Hey hey sorry didn't mean to startle you! I am one of the healers here, I have been looking after you. Fenrir let us know you were awake, I wanted to come check on you,"
"I...he said that he would be back with food, he didn't say anything about a healer coming to see me," Harry glared.
"He didn't think he would see any of us, I passed him in the hallway, though he should have come and gotten one of us once you woke up to make sure you were ok," Harry recognised the flash in the man's eyes as a healers annoyance when patients and their visitors did not follow the rules.
"I think I am going to stay over here anyway, till he gets back," Harry hedged stepping behind the armchair, ready to use it as a shield if needed.
"Ok, can I do a few checks from over here?" The man asked.
"How? No magic!" Harry warned.
"No that's fine, can you lift your left arm as high as you can please?" Harry did as he was asked, wincing when his arm lifted passed his shoulder level.
"Why is it sore?" Harry asked rubbing his shoulder to try and get rid of the left over ache.
"You're shoulder blade was fractured from repeated blows," The man said factually, ignoring the wince Harry gave as he remembered Pentunia's rolling pin coming down on his shoulder whenever he didn't do something properly. "Ok, how does your right leg feel?"
"Aching, and weak, I can't really put full weight on it,"
"Ok, and could you try twisting your back slightly to your right?" Harry smiled slightly as the man demonstrated how he wanted him to do it.
"It twinges, feels a lot better than last time I felt it though," Harry shrugged, and then winced when it pulled his shoulder.
"Ok and thinking, does it feel a little foggy?"
"I don't have a concussion don't worry," Harry shook his head.
"And you know that for sure?" The man asked amused raising his eyebrow.
"Had enough concussions in my life to know what one feels like," Harry smiled.
"Everything ok?" Fenrir stepped into the room behind the man looking between them concerned as he held the tray in his hands.
"Harry was a little concerned that I wasn't on the up and up so we were doing some long distance checks until you got here," The man grinned.
"I'm sorry I just..." Harr said blushing.
"Hey its ok, I have been reliably informed that I have a very suspicious face,"
"That's terrible who said that?" Harry frowned.
"Our fearless leader, he was a little put out when I pointed out that I looked like a sugar plum fairy compared to him," The man grinned when Harry giggled at his comment while Fenrir just rolled his eyes and walked over to place the tray on the table. Harry squeaked when Fenrir lifted him up again and settled him carefully back into the white armchair again.
"He's a cheeky sod, I don't know why I put up with him," Fenrir grumbled.
"Because I am an awesome healer and a genius!" He simply said.
"Greg is not a genius," Fenrir huffed to Harry.
"I beg to differ," Greg sing songed.
"I beg for peace and quiet, none of us can get what we want," Fenrir rolled his eyes at Harry making him smile. He took one of the plates from the tray and passed it to Harry, putting a towel over his lap before he could put his plate down. He smiled again at Fenrir, still shocked by this version of him.
"Aw poor big bad Alpha," Greg snickered.
"What's the prognoses Doc?" Fenrir asked settling himself on the sofa and picking up his own plate.
"There is still some healing to be done. I am afraid it is rest for the next couple of days at least, and then gentle warm up to natural movement. We have been giving you a mixture of potions to focus on healing you, I am going to want you to stay on them for at least the next three months, I have included the last couple of days potions to help with malnutrition, and there was significant damage to your eyes, mainly from wearing the wrong prescription glasses. While you were unconscious we fixed them, it can be quite a painful process so we did it while you were out," Greg explained.
"Oh!" Harry reached up to his face and realised that his glasses weren't on his face but he was seeing better than he had in years.
"You have been through a lot, noticing you didn't have your glasses was not near the top of your list," Fenrir assured him.
"Thank you for your help," Harry said, looking shyly between the both of them.
"Hey its no problem," Greg shook his head.
"You can leave now unless there is something more you need to do?" Fenrir asked.
"Nope, next set of potions are on the side there, take them about an hour after you finish eating, any order. And I will be seeing you tomorrow," Greg waved as he closed the door behind himself leaving the two of them by themselves.
"You have nothing to say thank you for," Fenrir said once the door was shut looking at Harry seriously.
"Yes I do, you took me here when you could have just killed me, you looked after me better than the people that are supposed to care for me have," Harry sighed.
"Do you mind me asking, did they know?" Fenrir asked.
"Dumbledore did, my friends did, the rest of them suspected," Harry lowered his eyes.
"I am sorry, they should have protected you," Fenrir sighed.
"It is what it is," Harry frowned.
"No, its not, it shouldn't have been left like that," Fenrir growled making Harry look up to see the werewolf scowling.
"Thank..." Harry paused when Fenrir huffed and looked at him pointedly. "...you,
"Have something to eat," Fenrir grunted making Harry smile slightly.
"Wha..." Harry blinked as it felt as though he was floating. The last thing he remembered was Fenrir telling him about some of the children here at the Pack. It seemed he had clicked onto Harry's love for children and was shamelessly talking up the cubs in his pack.
He had been telling Harry a story about how one of the Cubs had managed to set the living room on fire in a fit of accidental magic, only for another of the cubs to cause a tsunami through the living room in panic trying to put it out. He had been curled up in front of the fire, warm and comfortable with a full stomach. The potions had taken away the lingering pains and had given him a warm, fluffy feeling. Fenrir had passed him a blanket at one point, and that was tucked warmly around him.
Opening his eyes a little he saw Fenrir was very close to him and was looking down amused.
"You nodded off while we were talking, you still need rest," The werewolf explained.
"Sorry," Harry muttered.
"You're still healing, don't worry, just rest," Fenrir chuckled as he placed Harry down onto the bed and pulled the covers over him.
Harry hummed and rubbed his face into the warm, soft pillow and got himself comfortable in the bed. However when Fenrir went to move away he reached out and gripped his wrist. The Alpha paused and turned back to Harry confused, the teen was nearly fully asleep, he could not even open his eyes again.
"Thank you," Harry mumbled into the covers.
"You're welcome," Fenrir found himself smiling softly and reaching out to touch the warm cheek of the younger man. He knew that this was going to cause some difficulties for him, and he was going to have to have a lot of talks with Voldemort whatever choice Harry made. However he could not bring himself to regret his choices.
Harry frowned a little confused as the sound of giggling and whispering woke him from sleep. He had spent most of the three days since he had woken eating, sleeping, taking potions and being poked at by Greg and talking off and on with Fenrir when he had time to visit.
He was feeling better and better by the day, better than he had for a long time, but then Greg was healing things that should have been healed a long time ago, so that made sense.
But that didn't answer the question why he was being woken with giggling. Opening his eyes suddenly he was met with five little faces peering at him over the side of the bed, as one they squeaked and dove down to hide underneath his bed, and he could hear them whispering again frantically.
Grinning to himself he moved quietly to the side of the bed, before hanging over the side and looking at the five children that were trying to hide and looked like they had been caught with their hand in the cookie jar.
"Now, who might you be?" Harry smiled warmly.
"We're sorry to dist...urb you," One of the younger looking ones squeaked.
"That's ok, I like having visitors," Harry laughed motioning them forwards and sitting up properly on his bed.
"Are you really going to be our new teacher?" One of the elder ones asked as they scrambled out from under his bed and climbed onto it.
"I have been asked yes," Harry said slowly.
"Are you going to be? We don't want the Alpha teaching us again," A little girl pouted.
"How about you tell me your names first?" Harry chuckled.
"I'm Joseph," The eldest looking boy nodded. His black curls were wild around his face, his blue eyes serious and older looking than they should on a boy no older then 9.
"Marie," She was around 5 Harry would guess with wild red hair that looked as though someone had tried braiding it this morning and had given in. Green eyes and freckles everywhere, her smile was mischievous.
"Niniel," She was the oldest girl, 8 or 9, long straight black hair and brown eyes, she was delicate looking, but you could see she had a fire in her.
"Theo," Harry found himself easily smiling back at Theo 5 or 6 his blonde hair and blue eyes and chubby cheeks made him look like a cherub.
"Patch," Patch was wearing a little scowl and eyeing Harry cautiously, he had brown hair and eyes, and though around 5 looked to wary for someone his age.
"We know, the adults have been speaking about you, but they won't tell us anything," Marie huffed.
"And is that why you snuck in here?" Harry asked.
"Are you going to tell us off?" Patch frowned.
"No I'm not, but I could have been dangerous, and very grumpy," He smiled when he managed to pull giggles from the five of them at his scowling expression.
"Are you not well?" Theo asked concerned.
"I haven't been, but I am feeling much better,"
"Uncle Greg is looking after you isn't he?" Niniel asked.
"He is, is he really your uncle?" Harry asked curiously.
"No, we're all either orphans or our family didn't want us anymore because of what we are. Alpha Fenrir took us in, and Uncle Greg always looks after us when we're sick," Patch said with a scowl, the words far too matter of fact for one so young.
"I lost my parents too, and my uncle and Aunty didn't want or like me because I am a wizard. Its tough huh?"
"Alpha Fenrir will care for you too, he looks after us all," Marie beamed.
"I have realised," Harry smiled softly.
"Will you read us something?" Niniel asked suddenly making him blink.
"Sure do you have something..." Harry got halfway through the question when Theo suddenly took off like a rocket out of the room leaving him blinked before the little boy raced back in clutching a book.
"This one," Joseph nodded.
"Make yourselves comfy then," Harry smiled. The five of them formed some sort of puppy pile on his bed, before looking at him expectantly. "In a hole in the ground there lived a Hobbit..."
"What do you five think you are doing?!" Fenrir growled when he walked into the room three hours later to see the chaos. The five kids froze looking at their alpha wide eyed, but Harry just snorted.
"It is clearly a fort!"
"A... fort?" Fenrir said slowly walking over to the structure.
"No!" Theo squeaked holding his hands up to stop the Alpha.
"Everyone knows you need a password to get into a fort!" Harry tutted playfully.
"Huh, and what would the password be?" Fenrir asked, calming down and looking a little amused.
"What do you think guys, can we tell him?" Harry mock whispered.
"I think so," Marie giggled.
"I don't know, he's a little big, he might knock it down," Patch frowned. Harry had learnt quickly that he was very practical, and was eager to be seen as older than he was.
"That's true, it might be a no," He shook his head at Fenrir who was looking more and more bemused. Suddenly Niniel raced across the floor and grabbed Fenrir's hand tugging him down so she could whisper in his ear.
"Werewolf?" Fenrir tried.
"Oh, we'll have to let him in!" Harry sighed.
"Come see it! We made it ourselves," Niniel dragged the Alpha over. Harry had to cover his mouth at the sight of the larger man kneeling on the floor peering into the fort.
"Its very good," He nodded.
"Harry taught us how to make one!" Marie said excitedly from inside.
"It looks cosy, why don't you put a few more pillows inside?" Fenrir suggested transfiguring a few more pillows before stepping back and moving back to Harry. "Are you sure you are ok?"
"I'm fine, it is good having something to distract me to be honest," Harry shrugged from where he was sitting on the floor propped against the sofa. Fenrir frowned a little as he pressed his hand to Harry's forehead, taking and blanket and wrapping it around him. "Stop fussing, I am fine," He laughed.
"Mm, 20 more minutes brats and then time for supper!" Fenrir called.
"Aww!" The whine went around them all, even Patch looking fairly mulish at the thought of having to leave Harry.
"Can you read us a little more before we go please Harry?" Niniel pleaded holding out the book.
"Of course I can, everyone get comfy!" Harry clapped his hands. Fenrir watched with small awe as the five most unruly pups in his pack did as they were told, piling into the fort and making themselves comfy so they could see Harry. Honestly only the most Alpha werewolves could make this lot behave.
He sat and listened as Harry read to them, his tone gentle and interesting as he read, his voice changing for the different parts. He even found himself enraptured in the story telling, listening and losing track of time, at least until Harry finished a chapter and closed the book with a grin.
"I believe you got half an hour, time for supper guys,"
"What?" Fenrir blinked at the clock. "No complaining, you got longer!" He scolded when the expected whines started.
"You can come back tomorrow and I will read more for you, but for now I am afraid I need to rest," Harry smiled shaking his head.
"Are you ok Harry?" Theo frowned cupping Harry's face.
"I am fine, just a little tired, I have not had so much good company in a long time, besides your Alpha, but he is a little less energetic," Fenrir found himself smirking at Harry for those words, and the younger man started spluttering while the kids looked between them confused.
"Come on move it!" Fenrir ordered.
"See you tomorrow Harry!"
"Thank you Harry!"
"See you Harry!"
Harry waved the kids out the room with a smile, watching fondly as they tripper over each other. Then he dropped his head back onto the sofa, he was a little more tired than he had realised, he wasn't used to so much company for such a long time.
He started when a hand reached out and gently brushed over his forehead making him open his eyes. Fenrir's golden eyes were concerned s he looked down at Harry before he leant down and scooped Harry off of the floor.
"Hey!" Harry protested. "I can walk now you know!"
"You over did it Little One, you should have said something," Fenrir scolded placing Harry on the sofa gently.
"I enjoyed spending time with them, it was worth it," Harry shrugged.
"You liked them then?" Fenrir asked nonchalantly.
"Yes I liked spending time with your cubs, and yes seeing them and getting to know them does make it even more tempting to stay," Harry rolled his eyes. "You aren't very subtle you know,"
"I am not trying to be subtle. I want you to stay," Fenrir shrugged as he sat down beside where Harry was lying on the sofa. Looking up with calm green eyes Harry searched the other man's face.
"What about Voldemort, I am more trouble than use," Harry shook his head.
"That's my problem and not yours Little One, I have made my decision and I will sort it out, if you wish to stay you have a place here," Fenrir shook his head.
"You want me to stay?" Harry asked softly, unsurely, doubt in his green eyes. And that was enough for Fenrir to make a choice, the other had called to him since the moment he had set eyes on him, his scent had drew him in. There were no such things as destined mates or anything like that which literature, particularly muggle, liked to romanticise, but the wolf did allow them to scent those that were compatible with them, those that were right for them. It didn't always work out, but Harry was perfect for him he knew, his personality and demeanor, the time that they had spent together had told him that.
Slowly, giving Harry time to change his mind he cupped the other man's cheek, leaning down to press their lips together. Harry gasped at the spark that passed between them, and the Alpha could not resist pressing just a little deeper.
"Let me look after you Little One," Fenrir asked softly, brushing his fingers over Harry's cheeks. Harry stared up into golden eyes as his mind spun with everything that he was being offered, everything that he could have here, everything that he would be giving up staying. And did he place his trust in someone else again when he had been let down so often? Could he really trust Fenrir.
The man had done nothing to show Harry couldn't trust him, but he had seen that change so often, could he really risk his heart, the one thing that he had left to himself? Would this man truly treasure it, or would he break it.
Golden eyes were patiently watching him, waiting for his decision.