Courting Life

Chapter 1: The Choosing

Warnings: slavery, nothing major really at the moment but later there will be slash, sexual situations (which will be pointed out for those who don't want to read them to avoid) and possibly mpreg - not decided yet

Disclaimer: I don't own Harry Potter in any way, shape, or form; all that's mine is the plot (which I've gotten permission from Drops of Nightshade to continue with as it is fairly different) and any future OCs.

"Alright children," the woman said patronizingly, staring at us with a look of disinterest; we were all standing in a nervous line awaiting her judgement, "Let's get this over with. I would say the hell with it and just divide you in half, send half of you out to wait for a new contract, and the other half have stay here, but I know that if word got back to our Lord that one of you should have been sent elsewhere I would be in for it, and I don't want to be in trouble for something so insignificant in the long run. So, let's do this quickly and we can all move on with our lives," she finished with a smirk and a dangerous look in her dark eyes.

As she began looking over the sheaf of papers with all of our information on them my mind wandered.

My life wasn't ideal, I was a slave - or "servant" as they call us to make themselves look and feel better. Because, honestly, how would is look to have enslaved a good part of the wizarding population of Europe? - but trying to make the best of things and look on the bright side was my natural reflex. I was just that person that was always trying to make things better for everyone else and supposedly not thinking about my own well being as I "recklessly went out of my way for others." Their words, not mine.

Yet, at this point in my life I couldn't seem to find a bright side. I was about to be, for all intents and purposes, sold off and forced to leave my home, family and friends - what was left of them that is; most of my friends were older than myself and I had never been close to my family.

As "servants" twice a year those children throughout the continent who had turned fifteen since the last choosing were lined up at a central area before the harsh, and certifiably insane, Bellatrix Lestrange who would judge where they would "serve their Lord best," be it staying where they were, sold to another master to work in their household, or any other number of things, including the possibility of being singled out to serve as a courtesan to our Lord or one of his elite, the Death Eaters, possibly even his inner circle.

That was what most of us wished for, if not the slim chance of staying where we were. Courtesans were treated the absolute best that "servants" could ever hope for; meals guaranteed three times a day, a safe place to live, fine clothing - courtesans were a thing to flaunt I had been told in the past, I personally knew none and had never seen any to say otherwise. Becoming a courtesan wasn't something one chose to do either, boys and girls were chosen, singled out for their beauty, grace, elegance, and temperament; after being chosen they quickly were separated from the others and trained for about a year before being sold to a master to pleasure them and grace their arm in public. Often those looking for courtesans would go to observe those in training multiple times before finally signing a courtesan to a contract.

Would I want to do that? I often asked myself that. Become someone's pet bedwarmer? It would be better than being a labor slave . . .

"Muggleborns step forward, we'll start with you," Bellatrix announced, breaking me out of my thoughts.

She began going down the long line of muggleborns, most of them being told to go stand on the far side of the room to wait for the wizards who would take them to be sold to new masters, a select few were told they would be staying, and a few singled out for a specific job; all placements other than courtesan depended on a persons level of magic and their specific talents. One muggleborn by the name of Hermione Granger, an incredibly smart girl who, in the short time I had known her had proved her genius multiple times, was chosen to serve and apprentice to a noted historian and librarian at the Ministry.

When Bellatrix had finished placing the muggleborns she then called the half bloods to step up. Taking a deep breath and steeling myself I stepped forward with the rest of the half bloods, a much smaller number than that of the muggleborns.

I was toward the end of the short line, three people from the end and eleven before me, but with the amount of time it took Bellatrix to get to me I felt as if I had been right at the beginning.

Looking down at her list as she moved to stand in front of me she said with a note of recognition in her voice at my name, "Harry Potter, that is your name correct?"

"Yes ma'am," I said softly, keeping my eyes lowered respectfully and my hands behind my back submissively.

Finally she looked up at me with the bland look on her face that had been there since she began, but suddenly her eyes widened in surprise as she looked me over.

"Look at me Potter," she said after a moment, her eyes fixed intently on what she could see of my face. When I had at last gotten up the courage to look at her she pursed her lips, nodded and after looking back at the paper with my information on it said, "Go walk over and stand by the doors."

Um . . . okay?

"Yes ma'am," I said, not allowing my confusion to show or be heard in my voice, stepping back from the line and beginning to walk towards the place she had pointed out.

"Potter!" I froze, standing by the doors, my eyes wide as I turned slowly to look at one of the Dark Lords most devoted and trusted servants. Bellatrix grinned at me in a way that I didn't understand and winked. "Good luck little courtesan," she said.