Notes: I went through a whole bunch of Fenrir/Harry stories in the last few days and there needs to be more. So I'm writing one. This does play with dominant/submissive werewolves, but subs aren't weak so there's that. It also deals with werewolf politics and dynamics and is a canon AU. Eh, read it and you'll figure it out.
And well hmm I guess I've become one of those authors that just starts a whole bunch of stories. I'll try not to abandon any of them… I just write what I'm in the mood for. 'Cause it's my fanfiction and all.
In Harry's third year at Hogwarts, Remus Lupin was his Defense teacher. Lupin hadn't ever gone to Hogwarts—werewolves never did—but he was the best teacher Harry ever had. He seemed to pay special attention to Harry, even though Harry was just another orphan leftover from the old war.
Harry flourished under Lupin's attention. Though he'd been cared for at Riddle's Home, the orphanage set up for those left without homes to go back to, he'd never had much one-on-one attention from the caretakers there. Lupin talked to him after class and on the weekends, answering his many questions and helping him with the finer points of Defense.
Lupin even taught him how to do the patronus charm after Harry's boggart had turned into a dementor.
"You're a Defense prodigy, Harry," he said. "I've never seen anyone learn quite like you do."
Harry fancied Lupin the father he'd never had, which was why it was so hard to see him go at the end of the year.
"Why?" he asked as he watched Lupin pack up his office.
"My alpha has called me back to the pack," Lupin explained gently. "I was only ever going to be here for a year."
"Why?" Harry asked again.
Lupin set down his trunk and came over. He placed a warm hand on Harry's shoulder. "You remember when we talked about werewolves in class?"
Harry nodded. "But no one cares that you're a werewolf."
Lupin's lips quirked. "I know. But the reason I became a teacher was because it was my quest."
Harry frowned. He remembered Lupin mentioning that now. "You mean the quest betas have to go on before they can accept their place in the pack?"
"Correct. My alpha held a competition a few years ago to see who would become the third beta of his pack."
"Three betas?" Harry gaped. "The pack is that large?"
"It is. My alpha is very strong." Lupin looked pleased then. "I won the completion and so I was sent away for a year to go on my quest. I'm only grateful that there was a position here at Hogwarts since the old Defense professor retired at the end of the last year."
Harry wrinkled his nose. He hadn't been that fond of old Professor Blishwick. "But now your quest is over?"
"Now I have to go back and become a beta for my pack." Lupin kneeled down so that he and Harry were almost the same height. "I loved teaching here, and teaching you, Harry. Whoever the headmaster hires to become the Defense professor after me, I want you to continue working as hard as you have been."
"Will I ever see you again, Professor?" Harry asked softly.
Lupin's eyes seemed to shine a golden amber color. "I imagine we will," he said back. "Not for many years, but we will indeed." He stood, ruffling Harry's messy black hair. "And I'm not your professor anymore. Call me Remus."
Harry blushed, but he was out of things to say and soon enough Lupin, or Remus rather, was on his way back to his pack and Harry on his way back to the orphanage for a boring summer before his fourth year.
The old war was a dark and dangerous time for the British wizarding world. The seeds of discrimination that had sprung after Grindlewald's terrorism had blossomed into full-blown conflict. Light and dark witches and wizards began fighting on the streets. Anyone with creature blood went into hiding to avoid the bigoted some who hunted them. The vampire clans and werewolf packs strengthened their alliances with each other and with other magical creatures in a bid to prevent too much loss.
The war lasted years, bringing many casualties on all sides, until finally a peace agreement was created and signed by Albus Dumbledore and Tom Marvolo Riddle. Under the agreement, Dumbledore was allowed to remain Headmaster of Hogwarts and Riddle kept his seat as the Minister of Magic.
Things changed, though. The subject used to be known as Defense Against the Dark Arts became just Defense. The ghost that used to teach History was banished and replaced by a grey wizard who was watched carefully for bias as he retold ancient and recent history. Sixth and seventh years were allowed to chose between learning the Dark Arts or the Light Arts, or the now popular combination that had been named the Grey Arts. Muggle Studies remained, but a mandatory Wizarding Studies was put in place for all muggleborn and muggle-raised students.
Harry's parents were just another set of casualties from the old war. Minister Riddle had funded and opened Riddle's Home as a good-will gesture that Dumbledore had heartily approved of. All magical children orphaned by the war were placed in the home if no immediate magical family was able to take them. There were three others in Harry's year at Hogwarts from Riddle's Home and many more in the years above and below him.
Things changed for magical creatures, as well. The vampire clans and werewolf packs especially were able to win the most political clout and used it to further their positions in the wizarding world. Discrimination wasn't completely done away with, but it wasn't as common as it used to be.
The war ended on Halloween, a few months after Harry had turned one-year-old, and he didn't remember life before the peace agreement. He'd grown up knowing werewolves and vampires and centaurs and countless others had once been discriminated against, but like most in his generation all he'd known was respect for them. He'd been especially interested in werewolves from the beginning, but ever since he'd met Remus, that respect had turned into something that bordered on an obsession with them… but that wouldn't matter as much for thirteen-year-old Harry.
It would matter a lot for seventeen-year-old Harry. But on the eve of his graduation from Hogwarts, he didn't quite know it yet.
"How do you think you did, Harry?"
Harry looked over at his fellow Hufflepuff. "Pretty good, I think. That last question on the History exam might have failed me, though."
Ernie winced and nodded. "Agreed. Still can't believe you took seven NEWTS. Only Granger did more that you."
Harry thought about the bushy-haired Ravenclaw who'd been top of their class since first year. The only thing that stopped the purebloods from hating her was how she'd aced Wizarding Studies too. Harry had never had to take the class because he'd grown up in the wizarding world like the others at the orphanage, but he'd heard all about how hard that class was.
"She'll probably get all Os or Es," Harry said. "I'm just hoping to pass at least five of mine."
Ernie nodded. He headed out the portrait and began to walk toward the Great Hall for the end-of-year feast. Harry followed him. "Which ones are you most confident about?"
"Defense," Harry said immediately.
Ernie rolled his eyes. "I know that. Seriously, everyone knows how good you are at Defense. Even Malfoy asks your advice, and you know his dad was a general for the Dark side during the old war."
Harry shrugged. He liked Professor Bones well enough. She was a retired auror and for all she'd fought for the Light, she wasn't biased. She wasn't nearly as good as Remus had been for Harry's third year, but she was better than Professor Blishwick had been.
"Um, I think I did pretty good at Transfiguration and Grey Arts." Harry scratched his chin. "I probably failed History, like I said, and I'm not too confident about my Charms grade either. Potions was maybe an E."
Ernie wrinkled his nose. "Professor Slughorn is the worst. Always pandering to his favorites."
Harry laughed. That was very true. Slughorn had always completely ignored him, as he had with all the other orphans, but he supposedly invited all the children with powerful connections from both the Light and the Dark to his Slug Club. "Yeah, but I like making potions. Anyway, Slughorn's retiring soon, I think."
"Not that it matters for us, since we're graduating," Ernie said. "What else did you do? Magical Creatures, right?"
Harry nodded. Care of Non-Humanoid Magical Creatures had been a fun class. Hagrid, the half-giant professor, was a bit eccentric but Harry didn't mind. He'd always been a bit fascinated with all sorts of magical creatures, though the intelligent, usually humanoid ones were only talked about in History or Defense. He wished there'd been a separate class just for them, but Magical Creatures had been fun in it of itself. He'd learned how to approach unicorns and dragons and all sorts of animals. The seventh year NEWTS class had only had three people in it, so they'd gone on a lot of cool field trips. "I think I did well in that one," he admitted.
They arrived at the Great Hall and sat down at the unofficial seventh year section of the Hufflepuff table. Harry looked over the crowd of students. He'd miss Hogwarts, but he was excited to go on in the world. He'd been of age for almost a year, after all. He thought he was ready.
"Hey guys," Justin said as he sat down across from Harry and Ernie.
They greeted their fellow housemate just as Dumbledore stood and began his end-of-year announcements.
Harry listened, smiling as the headmaster congratulated the graduating seventh years. The Slytherins had won the Quidditch Cup that year and Harry clapped for them as Dumbledore presented the trophy to the captain of the team, Draco Malfoy. Harry loved flying himself, but while he liked watching quidditch, he'd never been a big fan of playing it. He preferred his flying as a leisurely activity, not a sport. Justin had always said he would have been a great seeker if he'd tried out for the team, but Harry usually had just shrugged him off and laughed.
"And finally, the House Cup."
Harry held his breath. He looked over at the Ravenclaw table. Hermione Granger met his gaze. They'd led their houses in a neck-and-neck tie for most of the year. Hannah Abbot was Head Girl and Theodore Nott was Head Boy, but everyone knew the academic leaders of Hogwarts were Hermione and Harry.
"In fourth place, with two-hundred and sixty points, comes Gryffindor house," Dumbledore said. "In third place, with two-hundred and ninety eight points, is Slytherin."
There was scattered clapping, but everyone waited to see who would win between the two center tables.
"In second place, with three hundred and fifteen points…" Harry held his breath. "Is Ravenclaw."
Harry turned to Ernie and Justin, grinning. They grinned back as Dumbledore continued. "Which leaves Hufflepuff, with three hundred and twenty points, for the first time in over a decade, the winners of the Hogwarts House Cup."
Harry cheered loudly along with the rest of his house. The banners along the Great Hall turned into yellow and black, showcasing the Hufflepuff badger. Up at the head table, Professor Sprout clapped excitedly, her hat almost falling off her head. Flitwick shook his head as McGonagall patted him on the shoulder.
"What a way to end it all, huh," Ernie said, still grinning.
"Yeah," Harry said back. And then softer, "What an end indeed."
Harry sat on his trunk, waiting with the rest of the students for the train to arrive so they could load up on it. Hedwig, his beautiful snowy owl, sat in her cage next to Harry. Harry smiled at her. "We'll find a new place to live soon, Hedwig," he said. "A nice little apartment for the both of us."
Hedwig hooted softly. Ernie had remarked several times that his owl familiar was quite a bit smarter than most. Harry attributed that to the long nights he'd spent talking to her at the orphanage. His parents had been well off and had left him a suitable trust fund. He'd used some of that money to buy Hedwig the minute he'd gotten his Hogwarts letter.
The trust fund wouldn't last him forever, though. It was already almost empty after seven years of the Hogwarts tuition and school supplies. He'd be using the last of it to put a down payment on an apartment, but he'd need to get a job soon. Unfortunately, the old Potter home at Godric's Hallow had been burned down in the old war and most of his dad's fortune had been used to fund the Light side so the trust fund had been all he'd had.
He had it better than most of the other orphans, at least. There was a scholarship to send those students to Hogwarts and get what they needed, but it was often a bit less than Harry had been able to afford and none of them would have any help once they graduated. He was only grateful his mom had had the foresight to set that trust money aside for him on the off chance that something would happen to her and his dad.
"Sad about leaving, Potter?"
Harry looked up to see Draco Malfoy walk up to him. "I thought we agreed to call each other by our first names, Draco."
Draco snorted. "Of course. Harry."
Harry smiled. "To answer your question, yeah a bit sad. Hogwarts was my true home, you know. The orphanage is fine, but it's not really a home for all that it's named such."
Draco nodded. Harry knew the boy likely didn't truly understand. He had both his parents and the Malfoy wealth. He'd never wanted for anything, including companionship, but still Draco was friendly enough with him not to mention that.
"What are you planning on doing next?" Harry asked, curious.
"My father secured me a position at the Ministry," Draco said. "It's a starter position in the Department of Public Affairs, but I'll work my way up quick enough."
"I'm sure you will. You know the Minister personally, don't you?"
Draco smirked. "He's been over for dinner," he said easily.
"Such a Slytherin answer," Harry teased.
Draco sniffed, but it was good-natured. He hadn't liked Harry at first, especially since Draco had been the top of Defense until their third year, but they'd grown friendly after Bones assigned them as partners in their sixth year and that friendship had only strengthened when they'd been two of the ten students in the NEWTS Defense class.
Of course, Draco had taken Dark Arts, not Grey Arts, or Harry might have been able to work even closer with him. He didn't mind though. Just this level of friendliness was enough for his purposes.
After all, the hat had stalled on his head, going back and forth between his sly mind and his unwavering loyalty to those he considered friends. It had eventually put him in Hufflepuff, but it had warned Harry not to let go of his Slytherin side. And Harry hadn't. For all Draco might think him just another friendly Hufflepuff, Harry had done all he could to earn the Malfoy's favorable feelings. Everyone knew Draco Malfoy was going places and Harry wanted to be remembered by him if he ever needed Draco's good word to help him out.
"And you?" Draco asked. "Got a job yet?"
Harry shook his head. "I've got an interview with the Greyback pack, though," he admitted. "They need another ambassador to go-between them and the Ministry."
It was a dream job for him if he got it. He'd owled Remus about it earlier that year and had been delighted when the beta werewolf had not only remembered him, but also put in the word to his alpha to allow him the interview.
Draco's eyes sharpened. "Fenrir Greyback is a very powerful alpha," he murmured. "Unofficially, they say his pack is the strongest in Great Britain."
"They do, don't they?" Harry said.
Draco studied him for a moment. Harry thought that maybe this was the moment Draco finally realized Harry wasn't just another good-natured Hufflepuff.
Draco blinked and then his mouth curled upward into a pleased smile. The train took that moment to arrive, but they ignored it. Draco held out a hand and Harry grasped it firmly.
"You'll keep in touch, won't you Harry?" Draco said.
"Of course," Harry agreed. "As you will."
Draco let go and with one last nod, went to go find the other graduated Slytherins. Harry grabbed his trunk and Hedwig's cage. He'd cast a featherweight charm on the trunk, so it wasn't hard to get it on the train. He felt someone fall into step with him as he searched for the compartment his Hufflepuff friends had likely already grabbed.
"Granger," Harry greeted.
"Potter," Granger said back. "I wanted to congratulate you."
"It was close," Harry said. "If it makes you feel better, I have no doubt you'll be the top individual of our year once the NEWTS scores arrive."
Granger smiled. Harry spotted his friends through the compartment on his left and stopped. Granger stopped with him. She held out a hand. "It was good," she said. "To have competition. I don't think I would have pushed myself quite as hard as I did if you hadn't been right behind me."
Harry took hold of Granger's hand and kissed the air over it as was proper wizarding protocol. He straightened. "I highly doubt that. You're a brilliant witch and you've proved it over these past seven years."
Granger blinked and then her smile brightened. "Thanks." She blushed a bit as he dropped her hand. "I actually got a job with the Department of Muggle Management waiting. The department head was really impressed with my credentials and since I'm muggleborn, she thinks I'll be a good candidate for an eventual diplomat."
"You will be," Harry said. "That sounds like a great job for you."
"I just wanted to let you know," Granger said. "If you ever need any help with muggles, or maybe with other parts of the Ministry. I won't have much sway at the beginning, but I know how smart you are. I won't forget."
It was no where near as subtle as Draco had been, but then Granger was a Ravenclaw and had a number of Gryffindor qualities everyone knew about. Harry would have been very surprised to find subtle from her, though she'd have to learn it if she wanted to be a successful diplomat. "Thanks, Hermione," he said.
Granger, or Hermione as it were, blushed again. "Right. I… I'll see you around, I suppose, Harry."
Harry nodded and Hermione left. He was still smiling as he opened the compartment door and found a seat next to Justin.
A few days after he'd said a hard goodbye to Ernie and Justin at Platform 9 and 3/4, Harry stood in front of the mirror in his room at the Leaky Cauldron. He hadn't looked too hard for an apartment yet, since he didn't want to make a decision until he knew if he'd gotten the job with the Greyback pack. If he did, he'd probably have a higher income then if he had to find some temporary job in one of the shops at Diagon Alley.
"You look quite dashing," the mirror told him as Harry tried in vein to flatten his hair. "Appearing ravished is in this season, I here."
"Thanks," Harry muttered. He wore a nice set of emerald and black robes. His glasses were thin-wired and only a few years old, so they were fine. He'd brushed his teeth several times, mindful about the heightened sense of smell werewolves had. He didn't want to start of the interview by putting off whoever was going to be talking to him with the smell of his breakfast.
Harry left the small bathroom and headed back to the dresser. Hedwig sat on her perch. He scratched her behind one wing for a moment until he felt calmer. "Okay," he said. "I can do this. Wish me luck, Hedwig."
Hedwig nibbled his finger and Harry smiled at her. He pulled back, straightened his robes, checked his untamable hair one last time, and then headed downstairs. He couldn't apparate inside the Leaky Cauldron, but was just a quick walk to Diagon Alley and from there he apparated to the meeting spot just outside Greyback's pack territory.
Harry blinked, momentarily disoriented after the apparition. When he had his wits about him, he looked around. There was a tent set up in front of him. He'd been given the apparition coordinates by Remus, so he hadn't ever been here before—but supposedly the tent was a permanent fixture for members of the Greyback pack to meet with anyone their alpha didn't trust enough to let inside the territory.
"So this is the little wizard Remus is so smitten with," a voice said from behind Harry.
Harry turned to stare at the redhead who'd spoken. He looked several years older than Harry, though he could honestly be anywhere from only a couple years to several decades older. Werewolves aged much slower than even wizards, who already aged slower than muggles. The werewolf, for Harry had to assume he was, wore his red hair long and tied with a simple leather thong. He had on brown leather trousers and a simple vest that showed off his strong, and freckled, arms.
"I'm not smitten," another voice, this one Harry recognized said. Harry turned again to see Remus come out of the tent. He didn't look a day older than the last time Harry had seen him, though it had been four years ago. "I do already have a mate, Fabian."
The werewolf, Fabian, walked up to Remus with a grin. "And my brother gives you all sorts of trouble, doesn't he?"
Remus sighed. He looked at Harry and his exasperated expression morphed into genuine pleasure. "It's good to see you again, Harry. You've grown."
"People do that when they're teenagers," Harry said, smiling. "It's good to see you too, Remus. I wasn't expecting you to be the one to meet me."
"I'm not, really," Remus said. "I just came to make sure someone was here. The one who'll interview you got caught up in some last minute business."
"I don't mind," Harry said.
Remus shrugged. "Good thing I was here. I wouldn't leave you alone with Fabian even if you were a pack member. He's liable to fill your head with lies."
"Hey!" Fabian said, though Harry could tell it was only mock outrage. "I'm a perfectly decent werewolf."
"Of course you are," Remus said easily. "But I still won't be leaving you alone with Harry."
Fabian pouted and it was outrageous enough that Harry had to hide a laugh behind his hand. Fabian obviously caught it anyway, for he turned his amber eyes in Harry's direction and winked. Remus sighed again.
"Come, Harry," he said. "We can wait inside."
Harry followed Remus and Fabian into the tent. Like most wizarding tents, it was much larger on the inside then it looked on the outside. The flap opened up to a sort of parlor area perfect for diplomatic talks. Harry waited until Remus had found a seat on one of the burgundy armchairs and until Fabian had sprawled across the brown loveseat, before he sat down on a black armchair across from them. It put his back toward the tent opening, but then that was probably the point.
"How were your remaining four years at Hogwarts?" Remus asked.
"Good," Harry said. "Amelia Bones took over for you."
Remus nodded. "I heard. She was a good auror, once upon a time."
"She was a good teacher, too. Not as good as you, but still good."
Harry shifted, glancing at Fabian before turning his gaze back to Remus. "How is being a beta for your pack?"
Remus smiled. "I find it suits me well."
Harry smiled back. "I'm not surprised. You were always good at wrangling students and making them listen to and follow your instructions. I can't imagine it's that different with the gammas of your pack."
Remus and Fabian both stared, before Fabian started to laugh. "He's got you figured, Professor," Fabian said. "Remus is the easiest of our betas to talk to, I'll give you that, but when he gets mad… no one wants to be in his path of destruction."
Harry couldn't imagine the mild-mannered ex-professor getting angry, but perhaps that was the point.
Remus snorted. "If your twin wasn't my mate, Fabian…."
Fabian grinned. "Remus lets me get away with a lot because if he punishes me, then Gideon looks at him with his wide eyes, all silently sad and disapproving."
"Don't push your luck," Remus said, just the hint of a growl in his voice.
Fabian closed his mouth, but he was still smiling so Harry supposed the threat wasn't that bad. He was interested in learning more about Remus' mate, though.
"Were you mated to Gideon while you were teaching at Hogwarts?"
Remus shook his head. "No. I was courting him before I left, but Gideon has always been a very strong submissive. It wasn't until I was a beta for the pack that he submitted to me."
"Oh." Harry felt excitement swirl in his gut at the information. For all that werewolves were a relatively common part of wizarding society, not much was known about their inner politics. He knew there were four ranks for the werewolves: alphas, betas, gammas, and omegas. And he knew there were two types: dominants and submissives.
Ranks, he knew, were changeable. Omegas were wolves that had no pack, the lowest of low in werewolf society. Alphas, on the other hand, led a pack. The stronger the alpha, the larger a pack they could run. Betas were chosen from the gammas of the pack to help the alpha lead. Most packs only had one beta, but larger packs needed more to keep order. Harry had heard word of the Greyback pack having four betas, the fourth being added just a year before. Four betas meant somewhere around one hundred wolves, which was almost unheard of.
Harry had researched endlessly after Remus had left Hogwarts and he knew as much as a non-wolf could know about the ranking system, but what he could never find much information on was dominants versus submissives. He knew it was a born thing—when a wolf was born or turned then other wolves could tell straight off what category the wolf fell into. But that was basically all he knew about it.
Apparently, submissives had some measure of control over who mated them, if what Remus was suggesting was true for all packs and situations. Gideon was a strong submissive, so he'd… held off the dominants perhaps? Either way, he hadn't accepted Remus until he'd become a beta, and therefore one of the strongest members of the pack. It was really interesting.
Harry hoped he'd have the chance to learn more. That would depend entirely on if he got this job, though.
"So who's interviewing me?" Harry asked.
Harry jumped. He hadn't heard the other wolf come in. He stood from his chair as the two other wolves did. They each bowed, Fabian lower than Remus but the fact that Remus bowed at all meant that the new werewolf could only be one person.
Harry turned with wide eyes to stare at Fenrir Greyback, the alpha of the largest pack in Great Britain. Fenrir had shoulder-length silver hair and dark blue eyes. He was large—easily the largest person Harry had seen expect Hagrid—with defined muscles highlighted by his vest and leather pants. Apparently it was the pack outfit, for all three wolves wore the same thing and without much discernable difference based upon their ranks.
Then again, Harry supposed they didn't need any gold trim to tell who the alpha was. Fenrir radiated dominance that even Harry, who wasn't a werewolf, could feel. He quickly dropped his gaze and bowed low.
"Alpha Greyback," he greeted.
Fenrir stepped forward, right into Harry's space. Harry let out a little gasp of surprise as the wolf's strong fingers grasped his chin and lifted it. He met Fenrir's blue eyes. Fenrir seemed to stare straight into his soul and he shivered at the sensation of being bare before him. He couldn't hide anything, all his thoughts and emotions seemed so close to the surface of his eyes that he couldn't imagine Fenrir wasn't reading all of them.
Fenrir let him go. Harry only remained standing through sheer willpower. He felt intoxicated. Fenrir continued to watch him, but it wasn't quite as hard.
The alpha let out a ragged breath and it was like the spell had been broken. Harry came back to himself in time to see Fenrir turn to Remus. "You knew," he said.
"I only suspected, Alpha," Remus said. Harry noticed that his gaze rested about Fenrir's chin, whilst Fabian's was all the way down to Fenrir's feet. Bare feet, Harry realized off-handedly. Just like Remus' and Fabian's.
"A strong suspicion, I'm sure," Fenrir said. "If you had deliberately hid it from me, I would have punished you, Remus. But I know now why you argued so strongly for him to be brought here." There was a heavy pause. "I thank you for it."
Remus seemed to relax. His gaze rose to Fenrir's eyes. "I only wish for your happiness, Fenrir."
Harry looked back and forth between the two werewolves. He wasn't quite sure what was going on, but he had a feeling that something big had just happened.
Fenrir nodded abruptly. "Then you'll stay and explain it to him." He turned, but seemed to hesitate before actually leaving. He looked back at Harry. "Remus will give you two choices. Don't be pressured into either one. I won't be angry."
"I think that's a lie," Harry said, before his brain caught up with his mouth. He closed it and flushed.
Fenrir just laughed though. He walked back into Harry's space and ran a calloused thumb over Harry's bottom lip. "Yes," he said. "I suppose it is. I certainly have a preference, but I would never take someone unwilling. Not into my pack and not into my bed."
Harry was even more confused than ever, though his Slytherin side was working hard to piece things together. He said nothing as Fenrir pulled himself away and left the tent without another backward look.
The silence hung in the air for a long moment, until Fabian let out a low hiss. "Merlin's beard," he said. "He's been searching for decades, Remus."
"I know very well," Remus said. "Be silent or leave, Fabian. Let's not confuse Harry any more than he already is."
Fabian obediently closed his mouth. Remus sat back down and Fabian and Harry both followed suit.
Harry met Remus' gaze. He felt none of the same need to drop his eyes as he had for Fenrir. Remus was a dominant wolf and a strong one, but his power had nothing next to Fenrir's and beside, Harry wanted answers.
Remus nodded, seeming pleased. "Had we found you when you were younger, Harry, things would have perhaps been easier. We could have turned you and brought you into the pack as a child and you would already know what I'm going to tell you."
"I was young, though," Harry said. "When I first met you, I was only thirteen."
"Yes, but you were at Hogwarts. Had this happened earlier, you never would have gone to Hogwarts. As it was, I knew it would be best to wait until you'd graduated. I had planned on finding some way to bring you here, so I was pleased when you contacted me."
"So what exactly did just happen?"
Remus looked at Fabian, and then back at Harry. "There's no such thing as a destined mate, however most wolves find some who pull them stronger than others. It's a matter of biology, truly. When I met you, I could smell that you were compatible with our alpha and… well Fenrir hasn't found one compatible with him ever."
Harry had suspected something along those lines, though he honestly hadn't wanted to contemplate the implications. Not yet. "Is that rare?"
Remus nodded. "Very rare. I'm compatible with Gideon, and vice versa, but there are several other submissives in our pack that I'm compatible with as well, if not quite to the same degree. I even met a few wizards and witches and I was compatible with, but if a wolf has a choice they almost always chose someone compatible who is already a wolf."
"Except Fenrir has never found a wolf he's compatible with."
"Or a witch or wizard. He's been alive many years, Harry, and he's never found anyone who was even mildly compatible with him. It's been the cause of some concern within the pack for a long time."
"I can imagine." How lonely that must be, to be surrounded by so many submissive wolves and find none of them right. Harry ached briefly imagining all the years Fenrir spent alone.
But… he and Fenrir were compatible. He took an unsteady breath. "How compatible are we?"
"Very," Fabian said. Remus didn't even glare at him. "I could smell it the minute he entered the tent. I didn't before… I mean I wasn't really looking, but when you two were together I could. Not even my brother and Remus smelled that compatible before they mated."
"You smell like you're already mates," Remus murmured. "It's unheard of."
Harry's heart skipped a beat. "But we're not."
"No," Remus agreed. "You're not mates. And you don't ever have to be mates. Like our alpha said, it is your choice, Harry."
"What choice is it exactly?"
Remus sighed. "If you agree, then you'll be bitten and turned. Likely on the next full moon, in seven days. You'd come to live with the pack then and Fenrir would officially initiate a courtship."
"So we wouldn't be mates immediately?"
"No. It is a submissive's right to choose their mate. It's been that way for hundreds of years. You're the first our alpha has found compatible and for that reason alone I imagine you'd be a very strong submissive wolf. Even if he is our alpha, I don't think he'd be the only one courting you. You'd have options."
Harry frowned. "What if I get turned and I'm not submissive?"
Fabian snorted. Harry turned to him and he flushed. "It's very unlikely," he said. "We can sometimes tell even with wizards. You're a submissive, alright."
Harry wondered to be insulted by that or not. He settled with letting it go. "And my other choice?"
"To leave. Return to your life in the wizarding world." Remus frowned. "I would love to offer you the position as the ambassador you originally came here for, but frankly it would be unfair to our alpha. If he had to smell you so often knowing you'd refused to be turned and give him a chance to court you..."
Harry frowned. "That job never was open to me, was it? If I accept, I'll stay in the pack, and if I don't I won't be able to be anywhere near the pack. You lured me here under false pretenses."
Remus had the grace to look guilty. "I am sorry, Harry. If it makes you feel better, your credentials are very good. If you don't accept a place in our pack, I can recommend you to others that you can apply to be an ambassador for."
That did make him feel better, but he had dreamed of being the ambassador for the Greyback pack. Any other would feel so much like stepping down. And yet… and yet here he was being offered the chance to become a werewolf. Not just an ambassador and therefore the closest a wizard could ever get to a pack… but an actual member of the pack.
Harry felt his stomach roll, not in queasiness but in excitement. Why was he even deliberating? He'd been obsessed with werewolves since he'd heard of their existence and that obsession had only grown as he and Remus had become close. Maybe Remus had paid so much attention to him because he'd smelled his compatibility to Fenrir… but then Harry and countless others had paid Draco Malfoy so much attention because of his father's position in the Ministry.
Remus hadn't lied when he'd said Harry was a Defense prodigy, Professor Bones had confirmed it for the four years he'd been under her tutelage. He wasn't upset with Remus about that. He wasn't even upset about being lured into meeting Fenrir. The man had called to him, but Harry wasn't one to roll over just because of a quirk of biology.
That didn't mean he wouldn't take this chance to grab onto something he'd been dreaming about since he was a child.
"I'll do it," Harry said. "I'll become a member of your pack." He paused. "Can I bring my owl?"
"Of course," Remus said. "We don't live in the woods. We have a manor house. We stay in our human form most of the time and truly aren't that different from wizards. We might not go to Hogwarts, but our young are taught how to use their magic well enough."
Harry blinked. Yet another thing he hadn't known about werewolves. He was thrilled with the opportunity to learn more. To be a part of them.
Because pack… pack was family, wasn't it? And family was something Harry hadn't had since he was a baby.
"Fabian, go run and tell Fenrir," Remus ordered. Fabian jumped up. He shifted right before Harry's eyes. It was seamless, like McGonagall turning into her cat animagus form. He'd known that for most werewolves the shift could come at any time. They felt a stronger pull the night of a full moon, but most of the time they lived basically as wolf animagi.
Still, knowing and seeing were two different things. He watched Fabian run out of the tent on four legs.
"Fenrir didn't stay because he didn't want to influence you," Remus explained. "And he won't be the one to turn you either. I don't know who will."
"Can it be you?"
Remus smiled softly. "I'd be honored. I'll bring it up with Fenrir." He took a deep breath. "You'll need to go and settle your affairs. Most pack members don't have anyone outside of the pack, but we have some who came to us late and some that have simply made friends among wizards. Once you're settled into the pack, I can't imagine Fenrir would refuse allowing you to visit your friends and you'll definitely be able to correspond with them."
"I'm glad," Harry said, though he know deep inside himself that he would have given all that up to be a werewolf. Obsessions were rarely reasonable and Harry tried to think with his head, not his heart. He was happy Remus had brought it up.
"There's a mandatory waiting period of a month after first turning before anyone is allowed to start courting a submissive," Remus told him. "In that time, I or someone will be able to explain everything you need to know about the courtship process. You don't have to feel anxious about that. You can hold off all the wolves who court you for as long as you like, basically. You don't ever have to chose any of them if you don't want to."
"I probably will," Harry said with a small blush. "I don't want to live my life lonely, but I… I don't want to accept your alpha just because we're compatible."
"And he won't expect it of you," Remus said. "He told you, he doesn't accept the unwilling into his pack or his bed and he means it. No one will be upset if you chose someone else. It's exciting to find someone Fenrir is compatible with, but that only proves that they exist. There were a lot that were giving up hope that anyone was out there that could be, so your presence will ease a lot of worries even if you chose someone else."
"Good to know."
Remus reached forward and clasped Harry by the shoulder. "I am happy you chose to join us, but if you change your mind in the next seven days… well don't feel you have to stick with this decision. It's a permanent once after the next full moon, after all." He took a deep breath. "You should go now. I'll owl you specifics."
Harry nodded. He stood and turned to go, but Remus' last words stopped him.
"Fenrir is a tough wolf. He's rough around the edges and he's done some things, especially during the old war, that might frighten you. But despite that, he's a good alpha. There's a reason so many of us follow him, and it's not just because of how strong he is."
Harry put a hand on the flap of the tent. He didn't look back at Remus, but he nodded to show he'd heard him.
Those words echoed inside him as he left and apparated back to Diagon Alley.
I've been getting A LOT of reviews on this story, many of which have been awesome and others of which have been very annoying. Look, I know I posted this first chapter a year ago BUT SILVER ARROW IS NOT ABANDONED. I said up at the top, didn't I? I've just become the kind of author that starts a lot of stories, going where my muse takes me. I will be updating Silver Arrow one day—that day being the day I get back into Fenrir/Harry stories. I haven't been inspired to write that pairing in a year, so sorry but I'm not going to force myself (because I've tried and had to scrap three different starts to the next chapter because of it).
I've seen some discussion about someone adopting Silver Arrow. It is not up for adoption. If someone wants to take the idea of it and write it in their own words, I am totally cool with that. Under no circumstances are you allowed to copy and paste my text. Thank you in advance for respecting my wishes on that.
Okay, sorry for the rant. I'll probably take this down when I update the next chapter. I can't tell you when that will be because, again, it depends on when my consensual werewolf kink mood comes back. So until then, you can enjoy my other stories or other people's stories or original romance werewolf fiction (of which there is also a ton).
To all my lovely reviewers who made this short little story popular, thanks for being sweet!