Author's Note: Hiya! I'm back and better than ever! This updating system will be super sporadic, but I'm doing this for Airis Hanamori and I hope to make sure my new friend is satisfied by it, at least a little. As per usual, this is a prologue sort of thing and the chapters will get longer as we go. Have fun!
Warnings: Slash, non-Slash (Hetero), Abuse, AU, anything else I don't consider worth warning you over…
Disclaimer: No shit, Sherlock.
Harry Potter, a few simple days ago, had worked in a café to help make sure his meager rent for his meager apartment got paid each month. He had rushed the three miles from his public college to his job and tied a black apron around his slim waist before running a hand through untamable, windswept black locks and asking whether he would be cooking or waiting tables. A few simple days ago, before he was forced to choose between quitting or dying, he had been told to be a waiter. He hadn't thought it any different than any other day, not even when a pompous blonde started hitting on him. Harry, an incredibly bright, slightly reclusive nineteen year old, was nowhere near ugly. While he didn't consider himself attractive, he couldn't call himself unattractive, either.
True, most people didn't come onto him quite as fiercely as the blonde did – Draco Malfoy, Harry reminded himself – but it still wasn't an uncommon occurrence. Malfoy, with his stark arrogance and incredibly irritating way of assuming that Harry was a prostitute by night, not only had a rich family background, but connections to the underground, too! Harry knew because after turning Malfoy down at every opportunity, not always with the polite smile he was supposed to carry, Malfoy had returned with a friend. Harry had been finishing closing up when an extremely tall, extremely handsome stranger had walked over to his boss and handed the man a piece of paper. Harry had stared for a moment, of course; who wouldn't? But then he had went back to his work, like a good employee.
Which was precisely why he had been surprised at the suave man's hand landing on his shoulder. Before Harry had a chance to turn and ask him if he could help with anything, the man leaned over so that his mouth was a hair's breadth away from Harry's ear and whispered a chilling sentence.
"You work for me now."
It was later explained that Malfoy had told the man – Tom Riddle, Harry later found out – who was apparently dating said blonde male, that Harry had been sexually harassing him nonstop for the past few weeks. The boyfriend had come to settle his blonde sex partner's problem, most likely because sex was guaranteed to him if he did. Harry never got so far as to ask why Riddle felt the need to 'protect' his lover when they clearly weren't in love. He never wanted to. In the end, Harry didn't put a stop to Malfoy's lies. As much as Harry hated being roped into a job as a clean-up boy for a mob boss and his henchmen, there was no guarantee that Malfoy didn't really have feelings for Riddle, and Harry really didn't want to be the one that ruined things between the two narcissistic assholes.
Nice to a fault, his friend Luna had always told him. But it wasn't as if he had a hero-complex or anything; Harry was just a dreamer who liked to believe that true love was possible. He supposed that was what had actually landed him in the predicament of either dying or simultaneously fearing for his life and his state of housing. He couldn't pay rent without a job, after all.
"Potter! Coffee! Now!" That was Bellatrix Black calling. Harry was fairly sure that she was clinically insane.
"Coming!" In truth, he didn't mind the job so much. Besides Malfoy's constant remarks and Riddle's crude, offhanded comments, the other members of the mob were actually fairly pleasant.
There was Bellatrix, who hated everything and everyone but Riddle, but she only bothered Harry when she wanted credit for something Riddle wanted done. Sirius Black, Bellatrix's cousin, was there, too. Harry really liked him. The older man was always goofing off and making jokes toward Malfoy, which Harry definitely enjoyed. Oh, and Sirius's almost-lover, Rodolphus Black. Harry wasn't entirely sure whether or not they were related, but it wasn't really any of his business, and even if it was, he wouldn't mind. Watching Rodolphus make passes at an evasive Sirius was just too much fun. He couldn't forget Ronald Weasley, either. The tall, lanky redhead may not have been the brightest bulb in the box, but he was absolutely brilliant when it came to strategies. Besides, what he lacked in brains his girlfriend made up for in spades. She was probably the smartest person that Harry had ever met! Not counting Riddle, of course, but Harry was reluctant to compliment the man too often.
"Here you go." Scalding hot, plain black coffee, just how Riddle liked it. Bellatrix gave a crazed grin before nodding and taking the cup from him. Her way of thanks, he supposed. Harry watched with light amazement as Riddle took and elegant gulp of the putrid drink (much too bitter, in Harry's opinion) without waiting for it to cool down and without flinching when it slipped down his throat. For a short while, he had wondered why Bellatrix bothered making him make it when Riddle could see him from where he sat, but after that short while Harry decided it was just another thing he didn't care enough about to delve into.
Malfoy disconnected his lips from Riddle's collarbone where he was previously trying to devour the older man or something of the like, and deep, chocolate brown, red-tinted orbs cracked open in annoyed questioning. Both stormy grey and deadly brown turned towards forest green a moment later, and Harry couldn't help but tense.
"Where's my cup, Potter?" Harry just blinked at the demanding inquiry that was clearly supposed to be considered an order.
"Right over there next to the pot. You can go fetch it any time you like." Just because Harry was nice didn't mean he was a pushover. Especially not to the man who could take all the blame for his current predicament. Malfoy scowled.
"Well, why aren't you 'fetching' it for me?" Harry saw Riddle's hands tighten ever so slightly on Malfoy's waist, probably a warning against not continuing the earlier treatment, and Harry let a small smile slip onto his face. Maybe Riddle was jealous? Perhaps the two really did care for each other?
"Because the last time I checked, you don't work here, I don't work for anyone but people who work for the bastard you're trying to turn into your next meal." The chocolate-tinted-crimson eyes narrowed further at the comment, and Malfoy's sneer seemed to ingrain itself in his face. If there was one thing that Harry had learned in his last few days it was that people didn't insult Riddle.
His smile widened. Too bad he wasn't a person. At least, according to his sad excuse for an extended family he wasn't.
"Is there something you're trying to say, Potter?" Green eyes darted between brown and grey before a small timer on his watch sounded in the room, signaling that his work day had officially ended. And suddenly Harry's large smile was a panicked frown.
"Shit! I've got to go!" The high-spirited green-eyed boy was out the door without another glance at any of them, muttered curses falling from his lips. He was later for his next class, and Professor Snape (his chemistry professor) hated him enough without direct reason.
With that in mind, Harry ran all the way to the college and burst into the chemistry room without stopping, skidding to his desk without hurting himself or anyone in his way by means of pure luck. While silently congratulating himself, the young man managed to stutter out a quick apology. The apology was, expectedly, not accepted.
"Mr. Potter, if you must be late to my class then why do you bother coming at all? And such a flamboyant entrance… One might think you crave this juvenile attention." His voice was gravelly and dark, and Harry gritted his teeth to keep himself from retorting. Respecting authority had never been the young man's strongpoint, as one could clearly see from the way he talked to Malfoy and, on occasion, Riddle.
"Sorry, Professor Snape. It won't happen again." It wasn't a lie, as many thought. Harry genuinely tried to be on time. He was just terrible with time management was all. Green eyes lowered to the floor in what he hoped Snape would take as a show of submission but was really just Harry's best attempt not to speak out of turn and get kicked out of the class. Harry didn't doubt Snape knew about his inner defiance – it was like the older man could read minds or something – but the professor must have been feeling gracious because all he did was turn with a swish of his trench coat and get back to the lesson, allowing Harry to take his seat next to a random girl in the back of the class.
Somehow, Harry couldn't help but think that the week wasn't going to get any better.