So, this is my first Fan Fiction. And (obviously) my first attempt at the whole A/B/O (Alpha/Beta/Omega) world. I've been reading quite few recently and got inspired, I suppose. Please be gentle! XD
A quick run-down of my little A/B/O world:
Alphas- Generally males; rarely seen in (mated) females. Male Alphas experience a 'rut' period (a time of increased hormone production, occurring approximately every 10-15 weeks, lasting 2-5 days, depending on how strong/potent an Alpha is). Un-mated Alpha tend to be easily led by their hormones/instincts and could be a danger to un-mated Omegas and (occasionally) Betas. Female Alphas aren't 'born'; most are strong Betas, mated to an Alpha, and able to take on a leadership role when required. They do not experience a 'rut' period, and generally their Heat Cycle is short and infrequent; occurring every 6-8 months, lasting 2-5 days. (I've come across a few stories that refuse to bring in the female Alpha but I am. They're rare, but part of the dynamic. And no, they cannot impregnate anyone (really?).) An Alpha is considered fully (sexually) mature after they experience their first knot around the age of 13. Isolation from any un-mated Betas and Omegas is required until full physical maturity (average age of 17), since full control isn't usually possible until then.
Betas- Males and females. Males experience 'rut' period (a time of increased hormones where he's more aggressive sexually, approximately every 12-16 weeks, lasting 2-4 days). This period can vary, based on available mates, other stimuli [competing Betas/Alphas], hormone levels and if they're mated or un-mated. Able to mate (and knot, in specific circumstances) but able to control baser instincts (ie: not mindless to their hormones/instinct when faced with another Beta/Omega in Heat). A Beta is considered fully (sexually) mature after they experience either their first knot (males) or their first Heat Cycle (females) around the age of 13. Beta's experiencing a Heat Cycle (approximately every 12-14 weeks, lasting 2-4 days) are required to be isolated away from rutting Betas and Alphas during their Heat. The use of Hormonal Balancing Aids (AKA HBA or birth control) aren't used until they've reached their physical maturity (on average, at age 17). Physical maturity is, generally, experienced once they've gone through a few full Heat Cycles and they are able to (successfully) conceive.
Omegas- Male and females. (Male Omegas are not rare, but not common either.) Omegas, regardless of gender, are able to bear and birth children once sexually, as well as physically, mature. Omegas experience a Heat Cycle approximately every 13 weeks, lasting 3-5 days, regardless if they're mated or un-mated (though mated Omegas Heats tend to last a bit longer, averaging 4-7 days). An Omega is considered fully (sexually) matured after they experience their first Heat Cycle (on average, at age 13) and isolation from rutting Betas and Alphas is required. HBA is not recommended until they've reached physically maturity; usually after a period of several Heat Cycles (or, on average, age 17). Omegas can opt out of HBA once they're able to take it, but most use them habitually until mated or ready to pup.
A person 'status' isn't known until they reach maturity and either go into their first rut or heat cycle. Until then, it's not known whether child is an Alpha, Beta or Omega (though people can guess and are often times correct -they aren't officially classified and treated accordingly until that time). Schools are required to separate students by 'status' by the age of 13, or grade 8. 'Late bloomers' are held back until they can be assigned by the appropriate status and gender (when required).
Well, now that that's all clarified: So far the main pairings are Lucius/Remus and Harry/Neville. There is going to be a lot of gay in this; that's not to say every character will be in same-sex couplings, I just don't think I'll be focusing on those in het pairings. So. Yeah. I suppose that's a warning, of sorts.
I'll gladly accept constructive criticism, but flaming or hateful comments -just to be a dick- will be ignored. Don't like the content/subject, don't read it. Simple really.
Warnings: AU, male (and maybe female) slash (remember the 'lots 'o gay'? Mhm), smut, mpreg, language, mentions of child abuse/neglect, graphic A/B/O themes (D/s dynamics, mating instincts, and knotting... mainly), most likely OOC characters. I'll only add warnings here when needed... so this is the only warning, so please heed it.
Harry Potter is an Omega and he hates it.
He sighs, the noise rather loud in the small, dark space of his cupboard. He doesn't hate being an Omega, per se; but more accurately, what being an Omega means. As far as society is concerned, he has no choice. In anything. Part of him is relieved he doesn't have to sort out decisions and consequences (no doubt that annoying Omega bit in his brain whispering with relief when others chose for him), but another part is outraged—screaming and throwing a hissy fit. He wants to decide on his own mate. He wants to decide what to do with his time and life. He wants to decide when he'd have pups (not if—he can't bear the thought of not having pups, even if he's not ready for them now).
He knows it's foolish to wish things are different, but he can't help it. The time spent alone in his dark, cramped cupboard gives him little else to do but think.
The rhythmic, heavy thumps of someone on the stairs has him ducking his head instinctively –keeping dust and small particles from landing in his eyes. It stings for hours and he's feared injury from rubbing at the irritating grit more than once. He cocks his head, listening as the footsteps move. It's foolish to hope they'll stop at his makeshift door, but he does anyway. It's foolish because he's technically on punishment. And because it's generally not a good thing, even if he's free of the dark space, since he's put to work doing all manner of things. His Omega nature and status in the family exploited. Used to others' whims and wants.
Mostly, he doesn't mind. He likes taking care of things, doing things to make life easier for others just makes that baser part of him wriggle and sing with pleasure and the satisfaction of a job well done warms him. He only minds because it's expected and he's never done an adequate job, according to his relatives. His efforts aren't ever rewarded or even met with gratitude. It's frustrating and always leaves him with an empty ache deep in his chest to be dismissed without a kind word or an affectionate, grateful touch. He hates that Omega part of him that craves a pat on the head and a kind said 'good pup'.
The footsteps pass by his door and he relaxes a little at the same time he whimpers softly -relieved he's not being pulled out for chores but saddened he'll be left in solitary that much longer. He doesn't mind the solitude, he really doesn't, but his legs are starting to cramp from having to bend them up all the time so he'll fit in a reasonably comfortable position in the small space. He's nearly 17 and much too big to be stuffed in a tiny cupboard under the stairs—even if he is small for his age.
He's quite sure that's part of the reason he's treated so badly; he's too small and barely worthy of even the lowly status of Omega (he's sure if there was a lower ranking, that'd be his). His uncle says he's a freak, a runt, a worthless lump and frequently laments not drowning him when he was still a tiny, wailing pup.
His uncle might be right, even if it pains him to think it; He didn't even have his first Heat until he was 15 and a half. He figured the fact that he seemed to only like the company of other Omegas was another part of his failures. The occasions he actually got to interact with people, he found most Betas made him jumpy to be around and Alphas set his nerves on edge, mostly because he was leered at and openly ogled. He has no such problems with other Omegas, and finds himself feeling most at peace around them. He knows it's wrong but he doesn't care.
Harry thought being 'late bloomer' was a mixed bag, personally; at first, he didn't have to suffer through the Heats like his classmates but he felt like a child amongst his peers. Between his smaller size and dysfunctional hormones, he feels as different as he's accused of being. The only plus was that for that very last year, he had almost been the biggest in his age group. He sighs quietly, reflecting at how pathetic that sounds; he's proud of being able to just reach the shoulders of people 2-3 years younger than him. Ugh.
Harry winces, his head ducking down between his shoulders. He doesn't respond, knowing it's not wanted or required. Heavy footsteps approach his door and he squints his eyes closed, preparing his eyes for the bright light to come. His eyes sting and water, anyway, as the bright sunlight streams into his cupboard. He knows better than to put a hand up to block the light; his uncle always takes it as an offensive move and he gets a thumping for it.
"We're having company. Get out here and get dinner started," Vernon says, stepping back just enough to give the boy room to crawl out of his cupboard. He resists the urge to put a boot in his scrawny bum, only because he doesn't want to hear the boy whine about his sore rear-end as he cooks. Before the boy can scamper off to the kitchen, he places a heavy hand on his thin shoulder, stopping him. "I left the recipe out. Do not muck about. And don't burn it," he sneers.
Harry just nods. He doesn't roll his eyes, but he wants to so badly he has to close his eyes for a moment. He's only burned food once, but he's reminded of that lone occurrence nearly every time he's ordered to make a meal. He had been seven, and still sorting out how to adjust to using the cooker without his stool (his aunt claiming such niceties were above him) and trying to juggle the other chores his aunt had ordered him to do at the same time. He had only reminded his uncle of the single time he actually had burned anything and was thumped. He didn't think he was talking back or smarting off, merely being helpful.
"Yes, sir," he says quietly and hurries into the kitchen once the meaty hand is gone from his shoulder. He wants to shudder and wipe off the imagined filth from the touch, but he doesn't. He focuses on his task, stretching his muscles out from his earlier cramped confines as he stands at the counter.
He can make that in his sleep, he muses with a small, smug smile. Did his uncle really think this would be a challenge? He tsks softly and gets to work, humming under his breath as he goes. He ignores the doorbell when it sounds; knowing he's not to pause in his task and that his aunt will want to answer the door like some proper lady. Not that she is one, he thinks with a snicker. She's a rotten old bat, with mean, beady little eyes that watch his every move when she's of a mind. He imagines her opening the door with her fake smile and an attempt at a graceful curtsy, trying to impress the pants off their guest, and snickers again.
By the time he's sliding the pastry covered meat into the oven, he realizes he's being observed. He goes very still when the scent of an Alpha hits him. He doesn't move, knowing better than to turn and look at the man. He sniffs as subtly as he can; yes, definitely a male. He curses himself for that last sniff, realizing the scent is affecting him. It's not a very strong reaction, or even all that inappropriate. Just the normal one he has around any Alpha; the urge to submit and show his neck. Thankfully, he's not in heat (or sensing a potential mate), so he can easily control himself. And ignore the stranger.
Surely his uncle didn't have guests just so he could daydream or drool over their scent. He giggles softly to himself, imagining his uncle's look of horror if he knew Harry was in here entertaining such thoughts about Important People. The unknown Alpha's scent is nice, but not overpowering or irresistible. It's a bit comforting, actually, and he finds himself wondering what his own papa would've smelled like.
Harry gasps and nearly drops the large knife in his hand in his surprise. He ducks his head down, his shoulders rising submissively and doesn't turn around. "Hello," he murmurs. He doesn't want to speak (and he scowls a little when he hears his voice come out in an embarrassing squeak) but he knows better than to be rude. And ignoring a greeting is rude. He relaxes a bit when he hears the door close, thinking his guest has left but goes stiff and wary when he realizes footsteps are moving into the kitchen. He feels a surge of panic, unsure why the strange man would be coming into the kitchen. Surely, he's safe in his own home... Though, he's quite sure his uncle would only respond to a cry for help by telling him to shut up and to keep an eye on dinner so it didn't burn.
"I'm Lucius Malfoy."
Harry nods politely, keeping his chin tucked to his chest. "Sir," he says politely, bowing respectfully. He doesn't know what else to say. People never want to know his name, so he doesn't offer it.
"And you are?"
Harry's surprise and shock make him finally turn to regard the strange man. "Harry," he says quietly. He wants to look up, see the man's face, but he doesn't. He can only see the ends of pale blonde hair pulled into a loose ponytail that's draped casually over one shoulder and the man's chest. The pale hair looks soft and well styled, and his chest is quite nice, too. Lucius isn't overly muscled, but firm looking and quite broad. He has the embarrassing urge to whine and rub his cheek against the Alpha.
The man is wearing, what is no doubt, a fine, expensive suit. He's probably a very successful man; the fine clothes and the proud posture scream 'Important Person' even if he isn't obviously an Alpha.
Harry inhales, his mouth open just a little bit, drawing the warm scent across his palate (smelling Alpha with a spicy undertone that reminds him of Christmas and a subtle hint of old, worn but comfortable, leather). Yes, successful but currently un-mated. There are too many nuances in the older man's scent he doesn't know how to interpret (not having much in the way of social skills) but his limited knowledge tells him the Alpha is currently un-mated but probably not entirely lonely.
Lucius seems a bit too old to be un-mated, even though the older man looks like he'd be able to easily care for a mate. And children. He curses that stupid Omega voice in the back of his brain—annoyed those thoughts always go right to pups. Thankfully, he's not thinking of pups specifically with Lucius, and he's quite relieved.
Harry goes stiff again when he feels a finger slide under his chin, digging gently to get into the space between his chin and chest. The finger is slender and warm but strong and insistent. He can't suppress the whimper this time and lets the man lift his face. Either he's misread the man's polite intentions or he's angered the man enough he needs to be chastised. He can't imagine what he's done wrong, though, so he keeps his eyes averted.
"Is there a reason you won't look at me, little one?"Lucius asks softly. He feels anger surge through him, well aware of the reasons. He can't believe some Alphas still treat Omegas like they are little more than slaves or hired help (or worse—merely breathing, warm and pliant sex dolls). And this boy is family! (Even if the little one wasn't introduced with the rest of the Dursleys, he can smell it on him.) All the more shameful, in his opinion. He's starting to regret his decisions about Vernon Dursley. He can't help but think of his own son as he looks at the little green-eyed Omega—standing there looking totally submissive and obedient to a perfect stranger. Alpha or not, it's rather unsettling to see an Omega react to him in such a way. He's suddenly feeling rather proud he's encouraged his headstrong Omega son to be more independent and free-spirited; it would kill a piece of him to see his son cowed in a similar way.
Harry shakes his head slowly. His head is lifted but his eyes are still lowered. He's got a fine view of the man's lips now and he doesn't know what to think. They're a soft pink and quite full for a man but he's not at all inclined to wonder how they'd feel pressed against his. (He wants to hang his head down again, shame prickling through him. No, he shouldn't stare at a strange Alpha like that but he's ashamed he doesn't even want to and that seems worse somehow.) He can't seem to do anything right. When he notices the man's lips turn down, ever-so-slightly, he suppresses a whimper, scared that's he's upset the Alpha somehow already.
"Sir," Lucius repeats with a soft sigh. "Am I correct in assuming you're not allowed to speak? Strongly encouraged to keep your tongue, hmm?" He watches the boy nod slowly, a look of confusion on what he can see of his face—as if he doesn't understand why he is being asked such a question. Harry's entire posture screams wary and frightened. It's sad, really, and it makes a part of him ache that he's frightened the little one. "Is it because I'm an Alpha?" he asks, merely curious.
Harry stills, unsure how to answer but slowly shakes his head. "No, sir. I'm not permitted to speak to anyone," he says quietly. His uncle and aunt have made that quite clear. Outside of school, where he's only allowed to speak when spoken to, he's to speak to no one. Lucius Malfoy being an Alpha is just another reason for his reluctance to speak. Alphas don't speak to Omegas unless they want something. He feels a worm of unease go through him, Lucius' motives for being in the kitchen starting to weigh on his mind. There's no way he'd willingly submit to anything the older man wanted but he certainly wouldn't be able to fight him off either.
"I'd ask why, but I think I already know," Lucius says with another soft sigh. "Are you uncomfortable?" He can see the way Harry is still standing stiffly and looking downright scared now. He mentally curses, realizing the boy probably thinks the worst of him when the pungent scent of fear hits him and he can just hear the quiet whimper from the boy. "I'm not here for any other reason than my curiosity about the menu." As much as he wants to rest a reassuring hand on the boy's shoulder, he's quite sure the gesture wouldn't be appreciated, most likely feared. Anger bubbles in him again; he's quite sure this boy has only ever known touch to be painful or cruel. Or none at all—which is almost worse. He lets his hand drop from the Omega's face, brows pinched when Harry's head immediately lowers again and the boy's shoulders relax.
Harry relaxes a little, the words reassuring. Why would the man lie? He turns away enough to reach the printed recipe from the table and silently hands it over. "I made Beef Wellington, sir. Is that acceptable?" he asks, chewing the inside of his cheek nervously. He doesn't know what he'd do if it isn't. His uncle specifically told him to make this, he can't change the menu now. But... to refuse a guest's desires is almost worse, especially since he's sure Lucius Malfoy is a Very Special Guest for his uncle. He can't stop his hands from clasping in front of himself or the way they start to wring against each other with a growing sense of trepidation the longer Lucius stays silent. "Sir?" he asks in a whisper, when he hasn't gotten an answer. He's so tempted to look up, make sure he's not being sneered at or glared at angrily, but he can't.
"Oh, no, it's fine, Harry," Lucius says, still reading over the recipe. It looks quite complicated. "Smells wonderful," he adds, sniffing the air gently. He looks up and smiles a little when he realizes Harry has relaxed a little more with his reassurances and praise. "Harry—" He sets the recipe back onto the table and leans against the counter.
He crosses his arms over his chest and studies the Omega closely. Harry's bright green eyes are still averted but he can still see their bright color. It's quite an intriguing, if not all together unique, color. The boy's hair is pitch black and a complete mess upon his head. It's shaggy and in need of a trim, brushing the boy's collar in the back and nearly in his eyes at the front, but he's quite certain Vernon puts it off caring for the boy as long as possible. Harry is quite petite, as well. Still undeniably male (even for an Omega) but just... small. Short and much too skinny. He sighs softly; his Intended would probably crush the poor boy to his chest and stuff him full of food for a solid week.
He relaxes his stance, on the off chance Harry actually looks up at him, he doesn't want to appear overbearing. "Are you happy here?" he finally asks. He tilts his head, truly curious. He can't imagine the boy would be, but he wants to know his thoughts regardless. He frowns, realizing that it's quite possible the boy doesn't know any different and won't speak up.
"Sir?" Harry sneaks a peek up at Lucius through his lashes and bangs, the image of the man distorted but clear enough to make him gulp. He doesn't know why the man is speaking with him and he wants to squirm with discomfort. Or hide in his cupboard. And what sort of question is that? Does it matter?
Lucius stills. "Yes, it matters." He's barely able to keep the growl from his voice, certain it would upset the fearful young Omega. He's actually a little disconcerted to see what would happen if that were to happen. Would the boy wind up on his back, his belly exposed as he whined pitifully? The very idea of the possibility makes him feel a little nauseous.
"Shit," Harry whispers. He hadn't meant to ask that aloud. He claps both hands over his mouth, belatedly realizing he's cursed aloud, too. Oh no! His eyes widen and he finally looks up at Lucius. "I'm so sorry, sir!" he squeaks from between his fingers. He quickly looks down and shakes his head, stepping back two steps. He knows it won't save him if Lucius decides to discipline him, but he can only hope he looks remorseful enough. He knows he should drop to his knees (or roll onto his back) but he can't move—he's completely frozen.
Lucius chuckles, oddly uplifted to see a bit of spirit in the little Omega. His amusement dies when Harry starts to tremble a little, his knees beginning to bend. "No!" he says, grabbing the boy's elbow to keep him from kneeling. Good god, what have they been teaching this boy! He casts a quick angry glance over his shoulder, making a mental note to talk with Vernon -even if he's quite sure it won't do a damn bit of good. It's not his place to mettle in the personal lives of his employees, but this is a bigger issue than that. He can't sit by and ignore the mistreatment of a child or an Omega; his role as a father and an Alpha status make it nearly impossible to ignore.
"No," he says again, softer this time. "There's no need to apologize, Harry. I asked because it does matter. I'm going to guess you wouldn't even tell me if you weren't happy, though."
"'M sorry, sir," Harry murmurs, squeezing his eyes tightly shut. He doesn't remember ever being happy, but he can't say such things to a stranger, an Alpha. It's rude to speak of his family in such a way and he doesn't know why he's being asked, and he's wary of causing unknown problems for his uncle. (He doesn't care if he does, but he'll be punished for it and he cares about that.) "I wouldn't lie, sir, but it's... disrespectful to speak about my family in such a way." He peeks up at Lucius again, knowing the man would understand his answer; he's worded it carefully so he doesn't have to say anything rude, but making it clear he doesn't have anything nice to say, either. He sees the Alpha purse his lips for a moment, a soft huff of breath briefly puffing out his cheeks and he realizes the man understands.
Lucius snorts, amused to see that spark back for a brief moment. His expression sobers, "They don't deserve that respect, Harry."
"Oh, they do!" Harry says adamantly, looking up at Lucius again. "They're the only ones that care for me. The only ones that would care for me." He nods emphatically. He's been told lots of times that his relatives took care of him. He's lucky he's not in an orphanage or one of those places unwanted Omega's go to be sold as slaves; slaves of every variety. Or left on the streets, forced to sell himself and scrounge for food. He ignores the usual sensation of sorrow that drifts through him at the reminder of his dead parents and sibling, knowing he wouldn't even be where he is if they were alive. It's something he's had nearly 15 years experience with, after all, and he shakes it off without a pause or outward sign.
Lucius snorts again, shaking his head gently. He doesn't ask why the little Omega's scent reeked sharply of sorrow for a moment, but he is curious and files it away, hoping he'll have a chance to ask later. "Care for you," he repeats his voice soft with incredulous doubt yet dripping with scorn. The boy is wearing baggy hand-me-downs and his too-large glasses are taped in a few spots. Proper care. Sure. "Does your cousin ever cook?" he asks.
"No," Harry says with a giggle, forgetting himself in his humor. The image of Dudley at the cooker or chopping vegetables has him giggling again, tears coming to his eyes. "Oh, no," he breathes out through a fresh batch of giggles, his hands holding his belly as he gasps softly. The very idea that Dudley could so more than wipe his own bum is too amusing for words and he goes into another quiet fit of laughter.
Lucius smiles a little, enjoying the little one's mirth, but his suspicions are proven correct. The fat little over-indulged whale of child he noticed furiously playing video games when he arrived isn't held to the same standards as the little Omega. Even if the rotund boy has the scent of a Beta, he should be helping with the home just as much, if not more so, as the little Omega. He should be just as learned in how to care for house and family—roles any Beta is expected to fill when mated and starting their own family. He nearly winces at the very thought of anyone stuck with such a mate. Ugh. "I see," he says. He turns when the kitchen door is opened.
"Boy! How dare you!" Vernon bellows. He's not looking at Mr. Malfoy at all; his gaze is solely on his insolent nephew. The nerve of the boy! Useless whelp! He should be busy with dinner, not faffing about or flirting with his boss. He growls lowly, his face darkening with anger as his hands clench. He only gets two steps towards the useless Omega before he's halted by the pointed sound of a throat being cleared. He realizes Mr. Malfoy is glaring at him and he's taken aback, unsure why he's being looked at in such a way. "Mr. Malfoy. I apologize for my nephew," he says, convinced his boss finds his nephew lacking in some way. Not a surprise, really.
Lucius shakes his head a little. "No apologies needed. For him," he adds, raising an eyebrow and giving Vernon a look loaded with disdain. "I merely came to inquire about dinner. I believe it's nearly ready."
Harry takes the opportunity to slink away, checking on dinner as the two men focus on each other. The vegetables are nearly done and he's grateful the pasta hasn't boiled over or gotten over done. He gets into his task; completely forgetting the glaring Alphas just paces away. He carefully drains the pasta and sets to making a brown butter sauce, pulling a few herbs from the cupboard as the butter melts. He only spares the swinging kitchen door a brief glance, fully relaxing when he's left alone again.
Once Harry has served dinner, he dutifully retreats into the kitchen. As usual when they have an Important Guest, he drags a stool up as close to the door as he can so he can listen in and smell the food. It's a bit embarrassing—pathetic even—but it helps him to pretend he's sitting amongst them, enjoying the food he's worked so hard on. His mouth slowly drops open when he hears "Would you consider selling me your nephew?" drifting through the narrow crack of the door. He goes still, his entire body going rigid, mentally praying he'll hear a firm denial.
The dining room goes still, even Dudley pausing in shoveling food in his face as he looks between his dad and Mr. Malfoy. Who would want to buy that little Omega freak? He'd probably have defective pups or be unable to have any more than 4 or 5 (the fact his own parents only have him is blissfully ignored). He doesn't voice this opinion, though, because his dad hasn't said anything yet. Even he knows better than to speak before his Alpha father.
Lucius feels disgust roll in his belly when Vernon's beady little porcine eyes light up with a greedy look. He only manages to swallow his food by sheer force of will. It's also the only thing keeping him from sneering or just taking the boy outright. He has to test the limits of his self control when he's immediately quoted a ridiculous price for the boy. He idly wonders if Harry can overhear the conversation and fights the urge to go explain, or comfort the boy. "Alright," he agrees. Honestly, he'd pay three times as much just to get the boy away from here.
"Excellent!" Vernon says, tucking into his food with renewed gusto. He spends the rest of dinner going over all of Harry's faults (lazy, in constant need of correction and supervision, whines dreadfully during his Heats, etc.) and his few virtues (he's still 'pure'—never been mated—only due to Lucius' good timing; another month and he had planned on lining up suitors. And he's been tested—he's healthy enough to carry pups, even though one's only bound to get maybe four out of the boy since he's a runty little thing). He's quite unaware of the icy look he's getting from his boss.
He's a bit too preoccupied with the extreme good fortune of getting rid of his nephew and making a tidy sum from the useless thing. "Laws as they are," he starts, his focus mainly on the large slice of chocolate cake he's steadily making his way through, "—it's all a bit tricky until he's seventeen, mind. Are you able to wait a month before you... acquire him?"
"No," Lucius says simply. The very idea of leaving Harry here another moment, let alone another month, makes his hands clench under the table. "I have no desire to use the boy," he says coldly. If he isn't so sure it will ruin his chances of removing Harry from this family, he'd remove Vernon's throat with his bare hands. Or his teeth. How dare he imply such a thing! And to still allow his nephew to go with him, thinking such things could be in his future is appalling! It makes him sick to know Vernon is an Alpha, one that short-sighted about the well-being of a child (and an Omega), isn't fit for the title. "As such, he can be in my care as soon as you've signed the contract."
He feels absolutely sick he's buying the little Omega like livestock, but it is still legal. He's only using the outdated laws to his (and Harry's) advantage. He watches, suppressing a sneer, when Vernon just nods enthusiastically. "I wish to bring him home with me, in the hour."
"Oh, yes. Of course," Vernon says, figuring the boy will just be used for labor until he's old enough. He doesn't care, once Mr. Malfoy owns him, the Omega is no longer his concern. "BOY!" he bellows, quite aware of the boy's habit of sitting by the door. He scowls when the boy's face merely peeks out of a crack in the door. He can only see one green eye, wide with fright (or maybe just the usual blank look the boy has) and he's irritated he's forced to remind the boy of his manners in front of his boss (and now the boy's new owner). "Get. Out. Here! This instant!"
Harry sidles into the room, his eyes firmly on the floor. He's managed to choke back the hot sting of tears, but there's still a thick lump sitting painfully in his throat. He's relieved he won't have to speak, for once grateful for his uncle's aversion to hearing his voice. He keeps his head down, his chin firmly against his chest, and his hands clasped at his front.
"Clear the table, you're leaving as soon as you're done."
Harry nods and hurries to comply. He avoids Dudley's outstretched foot with practiced ease but doesn't dodge the punch Dudley aims at his ribs in time. He whimpers, the stack of plates jarring and nearly falling—only just managing to catch them in time before they tumble from his hands. He hunches his shoulders at his aunt's hissed 'Be careful, you clumsy dolt!' and hurries back into the kitchen. He comes back out only to gather the rest of the silverware and glassware. He avoids looking at Lucius, even though he can feel the older man trying to catch his eye numerous times. It's embarrassing to be seen as such a useless Omega in front of the Alpha and he oddly hopes he doesn't change his mind about taking him away.
Why is Lucius trying to look at him? He knows better than to make eye contact... Is the Alpha trying to rub in the fact he's been sold like a farm animal?
Harry does the washing up, the task familiar and not even requiring his full attention. No, instead, his mind is left to wander and think as his hands go about their well-known task. He's being sold, given up from the only family he's ever known. Lucius seems nice enough, even becoming enraged and disgusted at the mention of Harry being used as a sex object or merely kept around to carry pups (which seems like the same thing, in his mind). He's a little disgusted with himself (and his stupid Omega nature), but the idea of being with pup doesn't bother him at all. Even if he'd probably go through hell and pain, it'd be worth it for a little one of his own. Even the worst Omegas are usually allowed to care for their pups until they reach maturity.
Anyway, all that doesn't mean he's not going to a better place; the man willingly bought him, after all. He even brought it up first! Even so, he's still looking forward to leaving his relatives home.
He goes still when Lucius enters the kitchen again, the man's scent already becoming familiar. There's a hint of something sharp—sorrow maybe?—that makes his nose twitch but the doesn't stop or turn around. He doesn't know why the Alpha is saddened and he can only hope he doesn't further upset the man.
"I'm sorry," Lucius says, watching the little Omega stiffen. Harry doesn't pause in his chore though. He wonders if Harry would learn to give him his full attention with a gentle reminder it's rude to ignore people. "You may leave that, little one," he says, the endearment slipping out, waving a hand at the half-done dishes. He smiles when Harry peeks over his shoulder at him, his green eyes wide and a little panicked. "Your hour is up and it's no longer your responsibility."
For the first time in ages, Harry smiles. Regardless of what happens now, the very idea of any of the Dursleys having to wash their own damn dishes tickles him. Serves them right for selling him to the first person that offered money (little does he know his uncle has been getting offers for weeks, only waiting for bigger amounts). He shrugs and carefully dries his hands, turning to give Lucius the impression he's listening. He can't raise his eyes any further than the older man's knees, though. "Sir?" he finally whispers after almost a solid minute of silence. He needs more instruction, he has no idea what's expected of him.
"I'll give you a moment to pack."
Harry slowly nods and eases past Lucius, ducking into his cupboard. He doesn't worry about the sharp intake of breath or the low growl from Lucius as the older man sees him doing it. (Why would the Alpha be bothered? It's his space after all, and he knows he's lucky to have even this.) He pulls a tiny, battered book from under his ratty pillow and holds it close to his chest. "Ready, sir," he says quietly. A quick glance around his small space assures him he's got all he needs—well, all that he wants. The clothes aren't really his and nothing fits. Either he'll get new ones or just walk around nude; depending on Lucius' whims.
"That's... it?" Lucius asks cautiously. That sadness is back when he sees Harry clutching the small, old book tightly. Harry merely nods and doesn't duck back into that horrible little cubby for clothes or any other personal items. He promises to rectify that problem as well. Harry will probably take a bit of convincing (and slow, patient guidance), but he'll be enjoying his own clothes and personal possessions in no time. "Alright," he says, making to take Harry's arm. The sadness deepens when the little Omega flinches but forces himself to still with a visible effort. "I'm not going to harm you or touch you inappropriately," he says earnestly.
Harry nods slowly. "Sorry, sir." He knows he's being stupid; Lucius bought him and can do what he likes to him. "I'll behave, sir," he adds in a quiet, but firm, voice.
"No, Harry," Lucius says kindly. "That's the point, little one. You can act however you wish to. If you want to push me away, do it. I won't stifle you; that won't happen ever again."
Harry just stares blankly, unable to process the words for the longest time. He goes willingly when Lucius leads him out to a large, black car. He sits quietly when he's buckled in. When he's told to pick a station on the radio, he just presses the first button and tries to melt into the seat. He's too busy replaying Lucius' last words, the sounds repeating and echoing in his head. Is the Alpha serious? Why did he waste money on buying him, then? He's confused but finds himself relaxing at the words, nonetheless. Again, why would an Alpha lie to him? He wouldn't—the very notion of an Alpha doing such a thing is laughable enough to be true. So he spends the ride to wherever Lucius lives convincing himself those words are true.
Vernon and Petunia watch the expensive sedan pull away, both quite pleased with themselves. It's not until later, when they're both waiting expectantly for their tea does the full implication of their actions hit them. With Harry sold, there's no one here to do all his chores. They share a look and both call for Dudley at the same time.
It is about time their precious Beta learns a few things about the ways to make a proper cup of tea.
Harry stares, wide-eyed, as they pull up to what he assumes is Lucius home. The building is massive; probably something more appropriately called a Manor or a mansion than a home. He blinks stupidly when he realizes he's been staring long enough to have Lucius coming around to open his door. He flushes with embarrassment; he's supposed to open doors for the Alpha, not the other way around. Lucius words echo in his head and he forces the apology down, flushing again when he's only given a gentle, warm smile.
Lucius smiles, quite proud to see Harry already working on adapting and learning. For the first time, he's cautiously optimistic about the whole spur-of-the-moment decision. Hopefully, Remus won't skin him. Or go into a pout and refuse his advances for who knows how long. He's hoping the little Omega hits his Intended right in his Instincts and he's quickly forgiven. "Harry," he says softly, smiling warmly at the little Omega. It's nice to see a real reaction to his impressive home; he's quite proud of it. "Do you like it?" he asks, smiling a little.
"It's amazing, sir," Harry breathes, awed. "It's so beautiful!" he says, his eyes darting around the various tones in the marble and the ornate carvings and other details that just make the home look so... awe inspiringly beautiful. He can't believe he'll be living here! His mind immediately wonders how big the cupboards are and he's quite sure a house this size won't have tiny little spaces. No no. He'll probably have a space big enough to actually stretch out in.
Lucius inclines his head in thanks, truly touched at the honest criticism. Most people comment on the size but few notice the small details (like the imported marble and carefully chosen, complimentary colors). He makes a mental note to nix that 'sir' business, but lets it go for now. "Ready to go in?" he asks after Harry spends almost 5 minutes just staring up at the house. "I promise you, you'll have all the time you desire to study your new home," he offers with a grin.
"Thank you," Harry says softly, flushing with warmth at the promise and reminder that this is his home. He finally gets his feet to move, following after Lucius. His smaller, scuttling gait sounds odd in the echoing hall as he hurries to keep up with Lucius. Even the man's footsteps sound like those of an Alpha; commanding, precise and heavy. He squeaks when he runs into Lucius, smacking into his back and bouncing a little, when the Alpha stops suddenly. He cringes when the overpowering musk of another Alpha and a Beta waft towards him as they enter the main house. He sidles closer to Lucius, unconsciously seeking refuge behind the only familiar person and scent he knows.
Lucius glares at his god-brother and Intended, his silvery eyes flicking between them rapidly. The pair aren't even in the little Omega's eye-line and they've already panicked him. He tries to ignore the soft whimper at his back, stifling the urge to lay a comforting hand on Harry. "Beloved," he says, extending a hand towards Remus. "I have news."
"So I see," Remus Lupin says dryly, eyeing the cowering Omega hiding behind Lucius. He's a bit confused he doesn't feel any jealousy, even if he knows his beloved well enough to know he'd never buy an Omega for... unsavory or purely selfish purposes. He only has to inhale deeply to realize the Omega is a mere child and that his Lucius has no dishonorable intentions towards the little one. He doesn't detect a hint of anything from the little Omega other than fear and uncertainty. He watches the little Omega as Lucius speaks, explaining the Omega's (Harry, he learns) presence.
Severus, of course, just sneers at the pathetic little Omega and stalks off, muttering darkly under his breath about strays and unneeded burdens.
Remus, on the other hand, finds himself rushing forward. "Oh, you poor little love—" he coos, easing closer. He wants to grab the little Omega, cuddle him and nuzzle his little neck affectionately and smooth his hair down but he doesn't. Not now that he knows it'll only scare the poor little thing. "Welcome, Harry. I'm Remus."
Harry looks at Remus, a feeling of warmth coming over him as the Beta looks at him with affection. Guarded affection, but it's still there—warming his amber eyes and making Harry want to wriggle in joy. Even after hearing Lucius tell the two strangers his reasons for him being there, he was still wary of the Beta (Lucius' Intended) until this moment. "Hello," he finally whispers, aware he hasn't kept his manners. "Thank you," he says plainly. He's not sure what exactly he's thanking Remus for (maybe for not tearing out his throat on sight) but he ducks his head with a flush when the Beta smiles warmly at him. He's never had so many smiles pointed at him in a year, let alone all in one day. Again, his inner Omega wriggles with joy, pleased he's pleased the Beta.
"You are welcome, Cub."
Harry flushes with warmth, that urge to wriggle happily washing through him again. He's never been called such an endearment before! He likes it but doesn't want to bask in it too much, just in case it's just something Remus does simply out of habit and he's reading too much in to it. He's a little curious what makes Remus say 'cub' and not 'pup', but pushes away his curiosity. He looks to Lucius for direction and feels panic surge through him when he realizes the Alpha isn't there any longer. He whimpers softly, his eyes darting around nervously, unsure what to do.
"Aw," Remus coos and gently places a hand on Harry's arm. Harry doesn't jump or flinch, so he gently rubs at his arm, comforting and soothing the scared cub. "It's alright. He's only left us to get to know each other. I'm Remus, Lucius' Intended," he says again, shifting closer. He's warmed when the little one doesn't move away, only looking up at him with wide green eyes. He hums, eyes flicking to the doorway Severus oozed through moments ago. "That pleasant man earlier was Severus. He's an un-mated Alpha, so we'll... we'll be sure to keep an eye on you two," he says diplomatically. He smiles, a happy smile filled with teeth, when Harry only nods in understanding.
Even if Severus rarely showed an interest in male Omegas, quite a contrary behavior for an Alpha, he doesn't want to risk Harry's new found happiness and growing sense of security. Instincts didn't give a toss to preferences when an Alpha encounters an Omega in Heat. He knows Severus has been bitching about moving out for weeks, maybe this will give him that push to finally get off his arse and quite dithering about. He's not at all regretting the fact that he'll most likely be seeing the back of the dour man.
"We've a son, Lucius' first mate died while pupping..." Remus trails off, sending a silent prayer and thank you to Narcissa for her struggle and most precious gift. "Draco is an Omega as well, but with a bit more—" he pauses, a hand waving around as he cracks a smile, "—enthusiasm than you." He smiles warmly at the thought of Draco, the snarky little Omega currently holed up in his room for pulling a prank on his teacher. Even Lucius had had a hard time keeping a straight face as they spoke to the teacher; the poor woman's favorite cardigan had been dyed into a rainbow of colors, sparkly unicorn stuffies sewn onto the shoulders.
Harry nods, taking the information in. He doesn't like the idea of coming between a family, a loving pack. He blinks, realizing Remus is looking at him intently, but warmly. "I'm sorry, this is so... different."
"I know," Remus says softly. He inches closer, sighing inaudibly with relief when the Omega doesn't flinch or move away. "I know you being here came from deplorable circumstances, but please believe me when I say we only want you to feel welcomed—a part of our pack. Can you do that?"
Harry swallows thickly but nods slowly. "I can try," he whispers. He inhales the Beta's scent—chalk, gardenias and woodsy musk—feeling a sense of calm and comfort sooth a part of him that he's nearly forgot about. "Uhm," he fidgets, unsure just how much can ask for so soon. While they might say they want him as a pack member, not merely as help, he's still leery.
"You can ask anything," Remus says quietly, sensing the Omega's distress. His heart aches a little to see the boy so torn, simply because he needs to ask a question.
Harry takes a deep breath, again soothed by the Beta's rich, calming scent. "Can I have a hug?" he asks in a small voice—just barely above a whisper and almost unheard, even with Remus' heightened sense of hearing. He feels like a child asking for something so silly, but he's aching to know what it feels like. Plus, he can't ignore that Omega part whisperingbeggingpleading for the promised comfort and love any longer. He tries not to stiffen when the Beta's arms go about him, but he does a little. He slowly turns his head and lets his cheek rest again the older man's cardigan, his nose tickling a bit with the fuzzy material. Oh, it feels so good to be held—even by a complete stranger—and he can't keep in a little whimper.
"Hush, now, little one," Remus soothes when hears the soft whimper. He feels Harry relax slowly and small arms tentatively wrap about his waist. He nuzzles the Omega's hair, inhaling his sweet scent, familiarizing himself with it. He feels his paternal instinct revel in the cub's next soft whimper; it's one of happiness and contentment this time. He squeezes the little one gently.
He still needs to have a talk with his Intended, but he's relieved they have the little Omega now—regardless of how it came to be. He's surprised to realize they're still standing there, embracing, 10 minutes later when Lucius eases back into the foyer. He looks at his beloved over the Omega's messy hair and smiles. "Did you sort out Harry's room?" he asks quietly, unwilling to disturb the Omega's happy little bubble.
"Yes, love," Lucius says, a proud look on his face. He's proud of both the Omega for allowing Remus' touch and his beloved for gaining the Omega's trust. He angles his head towards the hallway, indicating they should follow.
Remus pulls back a little. "C'mon, Cub, let's get you settled, hmm?" He nods, even though Harry is silent. He wraps and arm wound the Omega's shoulders and leads him after Lucius. He pauses, pleased, when he realizes Lucius has placed Harry right across the hall from them and Draco. "Here we go," he says and opens the door.
The room is huge and decorated in muted tones of blue, crème and dark grey. Bookcases line two of the walls, each shelf full of books and decorative knick-knacks. The light grey carpet looks thick—plush enough to sink into up to your ankles. Overall, the room is tasteful and stunning.
Harry stares wide-eyed, the realization he's looking at his room dawning slowly. He's gently pushed into the room, but thankfully Remus comes too, holding him steady. "This is mine?" he asks in a hushed whisper. He notices the bed; it's bigger than his aunt's! It's covered in fluffy bedding and so many pillows, he could probably nest in them alone. He doesn't know what to do with all the space and he's embarrassed to feel his eyes prickling painfully and a sob catching in his throat.
"Oh, Cub," Remus coos, rubbing a hand on the little one's back. He can only imagine Harry's shock; the poor cub was probably used to a tiny, bare bedroom if Lucius' brief story was any indicator. He highly doubts the little Omega is disappointed and looking for something more lavish. "Is it alright?"
Harry nods, unable to speak around the lump in his throat. "Yes," he finally manages in a hoarse whisper. He has to force himself to meet Remus' amber eyes, remembering Lucius gentle order. "Thank you," he says quietly, trying to suffuse every ounce of gratitude in his voice as he can.
"You're welcome, Harry."
Harry turns to see Lucius smiling warmly at him, even if his eyes are a little sad. He finds it's harder to force himself to meet the Alpha's eyes as well, but he does. He flushes and leans into Remus when Lucius' smile only widens and he nods approvingly. He pulls his small book from his pocket and looks around. It seems so silly to look for a place for it in the massive room, but he does. He jumps when Lucius is right next to him, his hand on his shoulder with the lightest touch.
"I've already cleared my schedule tomorrow. We'll need to sort out your wardrobe, little one."
Harry blinks and can only nod. He doesn't want to burden his new pack but he doesn't want to argue either. He's left with another hug from Remus, an affectionate nuzzle to his temple making him whine softly in subdued contentment. Lucius just pats his shoulder again before closing the door with a soft click. Once alone, he looks around his room, wide-eyed. He feels a bit foolish for expecting his new pack to shove him in a cupboard... but this... this is just unbelievable.
He wanders his room, touching things and marking a few items with his scent out of habit and instinct. He realizes there's a bathroom attached to his room and he just stares into the large room for awhile. There's a shower and a tub, a few simple hygiene products sitting on the counter. New and unused. Just for him. He feels like a sappy little Omega when it starts him crying; staring at the shampoo bottle and stupidly touched it's his. He knows it's stupid to cry over shampoo, but he can't help himself. He sinks to the floor, amazed the carpet is so plush against his bum, and just lets himself cry. He's alone and no one will mock him for it.
By the time he's cried out, his throat aches and his eyes feel gritty, but he's calmer. He finally eases into his bathroom, looking around at the fixtures and shiny tiles, and rinses his face off, patting himself off with the fluffiest towel he's ever had his hands on.
He slowly makes his way to his bed. He's exhausted and can only give into his urge to strip and crawl under the covers. He sinks into the soft mattress, sighing happily. It's so much better than his thin cot mat he nearly bursts into tears again. He curls up, rolling a bit to form a cocoon of sorts, and inhales the soft scent of linen and lilacs. He wriggles happily, whining softly as he feels the soft fabrics against his skin and he's asleep as soon as he settles again.
So? How was it? Good? Lame? Clichéd? Interesting? Please review! Thanks! :D