Summary: "What were you thinking, Orion—a werewolf? In our home?" "We've discussed this. It's a pet for the children." SBRL. In an AU where werewolves are considered animals and Ministry property, the Blacks buy their son a very unique pet. Other than that, pretty close to canon.
Disclaimer: All recognizable characters belong to J.K. Rowling and I am not J.K. Rowling. And I did not come up with this idea on my own, it was inspired by a story called "Collared" by albe-chan. I definitely think I changed it and made it my own but I would not have come up with it without reading that story so I will not take credit for the idea.
Warning: This will contain pre-slash and slash. Eventually it will contain explicit M/M sex, but I will put up a warning and change the rating when that happens. If slash is not your thing, I recommend finding another story to read.
For as long as he could remember, Sirius Black had wanted a pet. And for as long as he could remember, his parents had refused to get him one. As much as he and his brother begged and pleaded, they refused. Walburga did not want some wild animal running around the house and Orion pointed out that no matter what Sirius and Regulus promised, he would end up the one taking care of it.
After the four hundred and fifty-seventh argument about this Regulus had given up, but Sirius was more stubborn than his little brother. Sirius Black wanted a pet. So Sirius Black managed to make a deal with his parents. Once he was old enough to go to Hogwarts, he would be old enough for the responsibility of a pet and they would get him one. He would take the pet to school with him so his parents wouldn't have to worry about caring for it, and if it ran away or died under Sirius's care, Sirius would be held accountable and would not be allowed another pet until he was living on his own.
So on a hot July day when Sirius received a heavy parchment envelope bearing the Hogwarts crest, not only was he excited to finally be going to school, he was excited to finally be getting his own pet.
"All right," Walburga sighed, resigned, when her son brought up the topic. "Your father will take you out this weekend to buy you a pet. What would you like?"
Sirius and Regulus grinned at each other. Though they'd had years to think about it and had discussed it at length, they had never actually reached a decision as to what type of pet they wanted.
Though Sirius really wouldn't have minded a dog (preferably a big, ferocious-looking one), his mother had scorned this idea, claiming dogs and cats were "Muggle pets."
"What about a crup?" Regulus suggested, flipping through the family's copy of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.
"Yeah, but once you remove the extra tails it just looks like a Jack Russell Terrier," Sirius pointed out. "Bo-oo-ring. Next?"
"Demiguise? I don't know anyone who's got one of those, and I bet they're really expensive."
"I'd lose it too easily," Sirius argued. "How are you supposed to keep track of a pet that can make itself invisible?" He grabbed the book from his brother's hands and flipped through the pages. "How about an Erkling?" Sirius suggested, smirking at his brother. "When you annoy me I can just get it to eat you."
"Ha ha," Regulus said sarcastically, taking the book back. "A fwooper?"
Sirius glanced at the picture. "What's the point of having a fruity bird that can't even sing? Besides, it says the silencing charms need to be reinforced and I won't learn how to do silencing charms for years."
"You pick something then," Regulus said, shoving the book back at him. "All the animals in here are either dangerous or boring."
"A griffin?" Sirius said hopefully. He called across the room to his father. "Dad, can I get a griffin?"
"Absolutely not," Walburga interrupted before Orion could answer. "Where do you think the name Gryffindor comes from? We are a Slytherin family. Choose something else, Sirius."
"How about a hippogriff then?"
"Much too impractical," Orion said. "Where on earth would you keep the beast?"
Sirius sighed and turned back to the book. Most of the animals in here would not make suitable pets. He thought his brother might like a Runespoor, but Sirius wasn't a huge fan of snakes. Not to be a girl or anything, but he wanted a pet he could...well...pet.
"Can't I just get a dog?" Sirius asked with a sigh, tossing Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them onto a nearby chair.
"Like a common Muggle?" Orion snorted. "Not likely. You're a Black. A dog will impress no one."
Sirius didn't care about impressing people—he just wanted a pet. But he knew it was useless to argue with his parents. "Fine," he grumbled. "How about...a wolf or something then? I don't know."
Orion Black looked up from his Daily Prophet and surveyed his oldest son. "A wolf," he said slowly.
Sirius looked up hopefully and caught his father's eye from across the room. "Could I really?" he said excitedly. "A wolf? It's the perfect pet, Father. Like a dog, but it isn't normally kept as a pet so it won't make us common. And I know wolves are too dangerous to Muggles, but we'd be able to control it with magic. Oh, please, Father, can I get a wolf? Please?"
Orion nodded, and Sirius and Regulus grinned and high-fived each other. "I will take you to the containment center tomorrow."
Sirius didn't even know that the Ministry had containment centers for wolves (were there maybe wolves with magical properties that he hadn't known about before?) but he didn't care. All he knew was that he was getting a pet!
Sirius walked quickly to keep up with his father's long, proud strides. They entered a nondescript building where a wizard in gray robes got up from a desk to greet them.
"Ah, Mr. Black, we've been expecting you," the short wizard said, his eyes darting from Orion to Sirius nervously. "How can we help you today, sir?"
"I'm here to purchase a pet for my son," Orion answered shortly.
The wizard's nervous smile faltered. "The...ah...beasts here aren't generally for sale," he explained, continuing to look from Orion to Sirius and back again. "Very dangerous, you see. Wouldn't...wouldn't want any harm to come to your son."
"We will keep the creature locked up," Orion informed him. "You really think I would allow my son and heir near something dangerous?"
The wizard looked scandalized. "Of course not, sir, of course not! I never meant to suggest–"
"–I suggest," Orion interrupted, "You take my son and I to see the animals. If he finds one suitable as his pet, then we can discuss the formalities." He reached into his robe and withdrew a bag that Sirius knew was filled with galleons. "While these beasts may not generally be for sale to the public, I'm sure we can make some sort of arrangement."
The wizard nodded, and Orion replaced the money bag in his robes.
"Well, follow me then," he said, leading the Blacks to a door. "The cages are this way."
Sirius followed his father and the containment center worker down a long hallway and through another door into a large room lined with cages. He stopped in his tracks, however, when he saw the cages were filled, not with frightening magical beasts, as he suspected, but with people!
There were men and women of all ages, including children younger than Sirius, all wearing tattered gray robes and sitting on benches in their cells. Manacles around their ankles kept them changed to the walls. They stared at Sirius as he passed, looking miserable.
"Dad," Sirius said, running to catch up with his father. "What–?"
"–Werewolves," Orion interrupted. "They may look like people, Sirius, but don't be fooled. There just as much animals as manticores or chimeras. Now have a look around," he said, his voice softening slightly. "You can have whichever one you like."
Sirius nodded and had another look around. It was a bit startling—he'd been thinking more along the lines of an actual wolf, and it was remarkable how much these creatures resembled humans. But it was also very exciting. Not only was he getting his first pet, he was getting what was possibly one of the rarest pets there was. He could just imagine how popular in school this would make him. Everyone would want to be friends with the kid with a pet werewolf. And Sirius suspected this might be a major factor in why Orion chose this particular species as a pet for his son. Social standing was very important to Sirius's parents.
So the young boy walked down the long corridor, taking a look at each animal in turn. He would probably want a male, and not one that was too old...
About halfway down the room Sirius spotted a werewolf that looked close to his own age and knew instinctively that he had found his pet. This creature looked like it could actually be a friend to Sirius if only it were human. And it looked so much like a human. They all did. If he'd passed by one of them on the street he'd never have guessed it was an animal.
This werewolf in particular was very skinny with light brown hair and eyes. He looked about eleven in werewolf years, though Sirius wasn't quite sure how that translated to human years. But young adolescent was a good age for a new pet—old enough that it would be housebroken and understand rules, and young enough that it shouldn't die on him too soon. Sirius wondered how long werewolves lived and decided he might do some research on the creatures once he got home. It would probably be useful, considering caring for this animal would be his responsibility.
"You like this one, Sirius?" Orion asked, approaching his son.
The younger Black realized he'd been staring into this cage for quite some time.
"Yes," he said, turning to his father and smiling. "Can I have this one, Dad, please?"
"Is it well-behaved?" Orion asked the containment center wizard.
"Oh, yes," the man answered. "This one's been here nearly six years now. Of course, he gets a bit frisky round the full moon, they all do, but he's an obedient little runt. Never tries anything funny."
"We'll take him," Orion said with a curt nod.
Sirius felt the joy bubbling up inside him and grinned at his new pet.
The werewolf looked up from the floor for the first time to stare back at him with cold, unfeeling eyes.
"You keep a tight hold on that leash, Sirius," Orion instructed as they exited the center with Sirius's new pet in tow.
Sirius kept glancing back at his werewolf, who stared at the ground as he walked with them. The manacle was around his left wrist now, attached to a leash held by Sirius at the other end. It was not a chain, like in the cage, but the leash was magically reinforced so it would neither break nor slip out of Sirius's grasp.
"When we get home, I'll fix the bedroom next to your room into a cage for it," Orion said. "It will be chained to the wall at night by its ankle, and by both ankles on the full moon. Outside its cage it is to remain on a leash at all times."
"Yes, Father," Sirius repeated.
"I know it doesn't look threatening right now, but during the full moon it will transfigure into its true form and then it will kill whatever crosses its path. This animal can not, under any circumstances, be allowed to escape."
"I understand, Father."
Orion nodded. "The chains in its cage will automatically shorten during the full moon to keep it from moving, but you are not allowed anywhere near it during those times."
"I won't enter its cage during the full moon, Father," Sirius said, trying not to let an exasperated sigh slip through in his voice. So many rules. Well, at least the full moon was only once a month. The rest of the month he'd be able to play with his pet as much as he wanted. Sirius smiled at the thought. His brother would be so jealous.
Orion and Sirius returned home to find an overly-excited Regulus and a disdainful Walburga waiting for them.
Mrs. Black made a face as they entered. "So this is the beast?" she asked, surveying the werewolf with dislike.
"Wow, Sirius!" Regulus said, impressed. "This is your pet? He looks just like a boy!"
"I know," Sirius said. "But he's not, he's a werewolf. Make sure you stay away from his cage during full moon, Reg, he could kill you," the older brother teased.
The younger brother just stared at the pet in awe.
"It is no joking matter," Walburga sniffed. "What were you thinking, Orion—a werewolf? In our home?"
"We've discussed this. It's a pet for the children. And it will be going with Sirius to Hogwarts at the end of the summer anyway." He turned to his sons, who were still staring at the new addition to the family. "I'm going to construct its cage now. Sirius, remember what I said about keeping ahold on its lead."
"I know, Father," Sirius said, relieved when his parents finally made their way upstairs. Then he grinned at his brother. "So what do you think, Reg? Isn't he brilliant? Isn't he the best pet you've ever seen?"
"Definitely," the younger brother agreed. He hadn't taken his eyes off the werewolf since it entered the home. "I just can't believe how human it looks, though. Does it talk?" he asked suddenly, turning to Sirius.
The older Black frowned. "I don't know. I didn't hear any of them talking when we were there." He turned to his new pet. "Can you speak?"
The werewolf looked up from the floor and met Sirius's eyes. It struck him that his pet was nearly as tall as he was. "Yes," the werewolf whispered.
Sirius and Regulus exchanged gleeful looks.
"Wow," Regulus sighed. "A pet that can talk. You're so lucky, Sirius. I wonder if Mum and Dad will let me get a werewolf when I get my Hogwarts letter."
"Who knows?" Sirius shrugged. "Maybe you can get a female and we can breed them. Assuming they haven't been fixed, of course," he added, before frowning and turning to the werewolf. "You haven't been fixed, have you?"
A rush of blood went to the animal's face, turning it pink. Just like a human, Sirius couldn't help but think.
"No," the werewolf murmured, not looking at them.
"Oooh—what are you going to name him, Siri?" Regulus asked.
"Hmm, I haven't thought about that yet," Sirius admitted. "What do you think I should name him?"
"Wolfie?" the younger Black suggested.
"Real original," Sirius sniggered. Then he sobered. "How about something to do with the moon, since that's when he really transforms into a wolf?"
"If he were a girl you could call him Luna," Regulus said. "That's Latin for 'moon.'"
"Great thinking, except he's not a girl," Sirius pointed out, rolling his eyes. "Moon...Moony?"
"Yeah!" Regulus squealed. "Moony! It's perfect!"
"Moony," Sirius repeated, trying it out. Then he smiled. "I like it. Come, Moony," he said, tugging on the leash slightly, and Moony took a step closer to Sirius. Sirius and Regulus grinned at each other again.
"Sirius!" The boys heard their mother call from upstairs. "Bring the creature up here—its cage is finished."
Sirius frowned slightly as he surveyed what had once been a guest bedroom. All decorations had been removed, leaving the floors gleaming wood and the walls pale white. The bed had been Transfigured to a bundle of blankets on the floor, and the dresser to a box of old robes. A self-vanishing basin for excretions lay in one corner, and some chains with ankle manacles were attached magically to the wall between it and the makeshift bed. He was pleased to see, however, that an additional door had been added to the left side of the room that led directly into Sirius's bedroom.
"This is where it will stay," Orion informed his son. "The door to the corridor will be kept locked at all times after this. If you wish to take it outside, it will exit through your room. You are responsible for feeding and bathing it."
Orion flicked his wand and a streak of blue light hit the leash in Sirius's hand. "I've charmed your end of the leash to attach to the nearest wall should you let go of it, so you don't have to hold onto it if the creature is in your room."
Sirius smiled, pleased at thought. "I've named him Moony," he added as Orion turned to leave.
The eldest Black did not comment. He gave his son and his pet one last look before walking through the door and locking it behind him, leaving Sirius and Moony alone.
"All right," Sirius said after a moment of semi-awkward silence. "Well, you'll spend your nights in here, but for now I can show you my room. Come on."
He led Moony through the door into his own bedroom, which was much larger, better lit, and more lived in. Sirius let go of Moony's lead which, just as Orion promised, flew to the wall so Sirius could throw himself across his bed without worrying about keeping hold of his pet.
Moony just stood there.
"You're allowed to sit down, you know," Sirius said, indicating the sofa piled with clothes and magazines. "Hold on, let me move some of that stuff for you." He got off his bed and dumped a bundle of robes unceremoniously onto the floor, making a space for Moony to sit. The werewolf sat down gingerly, on the edge of the sofa, and Sirius sat down in his desk chair, swiveling it to face him.
"So what do you think of your new home?" Sirius asked eagerly. "I know you won't be allowed out of your cage at night or during the full moon, but you can come in here whenever you want, and it's nicer than that place you were at before, yeah?"
Moony studied Sirius a second before nodding.
"So the wizard said you were there six years. Did you live somewhere else before there? Or are you younger than you look? Do werewolves age the same as humans?"
For a moment Moony just looked at Sirius, who wondered if maybe he shouldn't have asked so many questions at once. Despite the leash linking the werewolf's wrist to the wall, it was easy to forget he wasn't talking to a human, and the werewolf's cognitive abilities probably weren't up to par with his own.
"I'm eleven," Moony said finally. "I think werewolves age at the same rate as humans." Then he looked down at his hands, which he'd folded in his lap. "Before the containment facility I lived with my parents."
"Are they werewolves, too? How old do you have to be to get put into a center like that?"
Moony shrugged. "I've seen toddlers brought in. And no, my parents aren't werewolves. I lived with them until I was about five or six, but then I was...bitten," he said the word softly. He stared at his hands, which Sirius noticed were shaking. "They brought me in to do some tests...and once they found out I was an animal...I've been there ever since."
"So..." Sirius furrowed his brow and leaned forward, not realizing until now just how little he actually knew about werewolves, "...so you weren't always this way? You used to be human, with a house and a family and everything?"
Moony nodded again, looking like he was about to cry, and Sirius immediately felt bad.
"Hey," he said, getting up and sitting on the sofa next to Moony. "I'm sorry, I didn't mean to upset you."
Moony shook his head. "Don't be," he whispered. "You didn't do anything wrong. You're my master now. I'm just an animal, I'm your pet, you can say whatever you like to me." He shrugged again, still looking at the ground. "I belong to you, it makes sense for you to know my history."
Though everything Moony said was true, Sirius still didn't want to upset his pet. He reached a tentative hand out and touched the light brown hair on the werewolf's head, surprised by how soft it was.
He pulled back immediately when Moony turned to look at him, but the werewolf's expression was simply one of curiosity.
"You..." Sirius said, "...you don't mind me petting you, do you Moony?"
Moony shook his head, and Sirius ran his hand across it. "Moony," the black-haired boy repeated. "Do you like that name? Hold on," he interrupted himself, and caught his pet's light brown, almost amber eyes. "If you used to have parents and a family and everything, you must have had a name. What was it?"
The werewolf looked down again. He was quiet for so long Sirius thought he might have forgotten it or that it was causing him too much pain to answer, but eventually he did. "Remus," the werewolf whispered.
"Remus," Sirius repeated, stroking his pet's hair again. "Would you prefer I call you that?"
The werewolf shook his head. "Remus is a human name," he whispered. "I'm an animal."
"What did they call you at the center?" Sirius asked.
Remus—Moony—looked at his master a moment. "Number 439," he murmured, turning to his lap again. Then, to Sirius's surprise and delight, the werewolf gave a small smile. "'Moony' is fine."
A/N: Reviews are a very helpful way to let me know what you think. This is the first SBRL fic I've written in four years and I like to think my writing has improved in that time, but if you have any comments, constructive criticism, or questions I'd love to hear them. Please note that I cannot answer questions if you are not signed in (yes, I've actually been interrogated by anonymous reviewers before). Thanks.