Title: A Boy and His Wolf
Author: Persephone Yavanna the Entwife
Pairing/Characters: Harry, Remus and Hagrid
Rating: G for gen (in other words, completely work-safe!)
Warnings: None, although some domination/submission is part of the story
Disclaimer: JK Rowling and assorted others have rights to create derivative works within the Potterverse, but I am not one of those licensees, unfortunately. Rather not be sued for playing with the characters, though . . . not making a profit here, just exploring the characters and situations created by the esteemed Ms. Rowling.
Summary: Written for the prompt The 'pet' allowed to Hogwarts students is a 'modified' human slave, trained to serve his or her owner personally, at first as an assistant which can include personal servant, tutor or nursing roles, then later as the wizard or witch's first lover. Harry receives the pet his parents had bought for him when Hagrid brings him to Gringotts for the first time
Author Notes: This is technically pre-slash, although no real slashing occurs since this is taking place before Harry enters Hogwarts.
“We’re almost done now, Harry,” boomed Hagrid as they came out of Ollivander’s shop. “You’ll be needing yer pet, ‘fore long. Wonderful creatures, pets.”
“But I’m afraid I don’t really understand – I collected the letter from the Gringotts vault, like you told me to, but it makes no sense to me,” Harry replied.
“Well, seeing as yer been living with those great puddin’s of Muggles, I’m not surprised at that, no -- not a bit,” Hagrid said. “This way, lad – let me see that letter again.”
Harry handed him the envelope containing the letter and certificate. He had retrieved it while collecting his wizard money from Gringotts and had put it into the same pouch as the coins.
Hagrid opened up the squashed envelope and peered at its contents. He looked around Diagon Alley, then started down a side lane.
Harry followed, looking at the large sign at the corner. Knockturn Alley, it read. He followed the giant, looking at the windows of the shops as best he could, through the grime and dust that covered most of them, unlike the sparkling clarity of the ones on the larger, more open street they had just come from. The people here looked different too – they didn’t smile at him, like the other shoppers had before, and he hurried to get closer to the giant, hopping over a puddle of dark, brackish-looking water that had a milky sheen to its surface.
They stopped in front of a large store, considerably cheerier-looking than its neighbors. A prominent sign declared WULFRIC’S WEREHOUSE in bold script, surrounded by pawprints. A thin young-looking man with sandy hair streaked with a few threads of silver sat in the shop window, sewing a piece of cloth. He looked up from his needlework as the door opened and the bell attached to it rang merrily.
A portly man bustled out from behind the counter in the middle of the room. “Welcome, gentlemen, to Wulfric’s Werehouse, purveyor of the finest cubs and adult werewolves available in the British Wizarding World! We have all types here, from purebloods to half-bloods and even a few loveable Muggleborns – and all adoptions are guaranteed, no questions asked. We also operate a shelter here, if you’re interested in adopting one of our older werewolves. They make mighty fine pets, young master,” the man said with a wink to Harry. “And I am Wulfric Ptolemy Octavian Antoninus Wegman, proprietor, at your service. How may I assist you, sirs?”
Harry looked from the man to Hagrid and back again a few times, unsure if he should speak or not.
Hagrid smiled at him and said, “Go on, lad. Tell him yer business here.”
Harry stammered, “Um, I’m here to pick up . . . my pet?”
“Oh, indeed?” Wegman said with an amused tone. “So it’s a surprise you’re getting, then, is it?” he said with a broad grin. “Birthday present? Start of school gift?”
“Bit o’ both, Wulfric,” Hagrid said. “And a wee bit more – this here’s Harry Potter, and he’s here to pick up the family pet yer been lookin’ after all these years.”
Wegman looked delighted as Harry heard a noise from the window behind him. “Harry Potter! Here at last! Do you hear that, Remus? You’ve got a master again!”
Harry turned to the fellow who had come up behind him. “Umm, hello?” he said with a slight squeak to his voice.
The man – Remus – bent over until his face was at the same height as Harry’s. “Hello, Harry,” he said with a smile. Harry smiled back, uncertainly, as the man straightened up again.
“Small problem, though, Wulfie,” Hagrid said. “The lad’s been raised by the biggest set o’ Muggles yer ever laid eyes on – so he don’t know naught of our ways. Din’t even know he were a wizard ‘til this past evenin’.”
Wegman clucked over the news. “What a pity, that. Although it does explain more than a few things,” he said, shaking his head. “Well, Mr. Potter – don’t you fret. Wulfric’s provides pet boarding services for holidays for a very reasonable fee. Longer term care too, as you can tell.”
Harry turned to the shopkeeper, busy now assembling a few things from the shelves behind the counter. “I’m sorry, sir, but I don’t understand – how can I have a human being as a pet? It doesn’t make any sense to me . . .”
“Oh, don’t worry lad – it’s a question I get all the time, from Muggleborns and their parents when they start at Hogwarts,” Wegman said as he added a few more things to the pile in front of him. “Most are appalled, but they generally see the sense in it, after a bit. Remus, care to explain to the lad? I’m busy getting all the things he’ll need to take care of you together – go sit over there, will you, like a good fellow?”
“Of course, sir,” Remus said, leading Harry over to a set of comfortable looking chairs and a sofa between the window and the counter. Harry sat down on the sofa while Hagrid leaned over the counter to converse with Wegman. Much to Harry’s surprise, Remus didn’t sit on the sofa next to him, nor on one of the nearby chairs – instead he sat on one of the cushions on the floor.
“Why are you sitting there?” he asked.
“Pets aren’t generally allowed on the furniture,” Remus replied.
“Well, I don’t like you sitting there – come up and sit next to me,” Harry said.
Remus complied, settling himself onto the overstuffed cushions with a smile.
“Oi, you there! OFF!” Wulfric bellowed. “You know better than to do that!”
Remus started to move then stopped, unsure of what to do.
“Off I said! Honestly, I thought you had better training than that!” Wegman said as he came toward them from behind the counter. “And here I was, just about to say how well-behaved you are, and now look what you do!”
“Umm, Mr. Wegman?” Harry said hesitantly, “I told him to sit next to me . . .”
Wegman put his hands on his hips and hmmphed. “You’ll spoil him, that you will. I can just see it -- next thing you know he’ll have gained ten stone by the end of the school year!”
“Well, he does look a bit thin,” Harry started, stopping at the headshake he saw Hagrid giving him from behind the irate shopkeeper’s back.
“I’ve kept Remus here in tip-top shape, my lad. He’s wiry and muscular with not an ounce of podge on him -- a fine specimen of a werewolf,” Wegman said with asperity. “You may not appreciate that now, boy, but you will in a few years. By then though, he’ll have a gut, I just know it – you pet owners are all alike, spoiling your charges . . .” He moved back behind the counter, thumping a few more things onto the ever-growing pile on the countertop. “Well, it’s not any more concern of mine. I’ve done my duty by him.”
“Now, now, Wulfie, Harry din’t mean anything. Remember, he’s just a lad – don’t know naught of the other stuff yet,” Hagrid said soothingly.
Wegman hmmphed some more, then disappeared into the back of the shop, where various thumps and box-moving noises came. “Rubeus, can you lend me a hand here?” he called out.
“Sure thing, Wulfie,” Hagrid said, calling back to the two in front, “Remus, you just carry on, while I help Master Wulfric.”
Remus gave a nod, then turned back to Harry as he settled back onto the soft cushions. “What would you like to know first, young master?”
“Umm, why are you calling me master? And why are you my pet? And probably a whole lot of other things I’ll think of later on,” Harry said ruefully.
“Well, first off, I have to tell you that I’m not quite human,” Remus began. “The rest pretty much follows from that . . .”
“You look human,” Harry said.
Remus smiled and replied, “I’m a werewolf, Master Harry. That means once a month I turn into a wolf – but not a normal kind of wolf. Werewolves attack humans – we’re dangerous Dark Creatures, which is why you have to have a special license to own one, since having a werewolf as a pet is a grave responsibility.”
“There was a certificate in the envelope that had the letter about you – I guess that’s the license. I didn’t look at it much – the writing on part of it was funny and I couldn’t read it,” Harry said. “Can you read it? Can you read at all?”
Remus laughed and said, “Yes, I can read – and it was likely written in part in runes or other characters that wizards use when they write. You’ll be learning those at Hogwarts soon enough. And I’ll be helping you, since that’s part of what pets do. We take care of our masters and mistresses – when they are young, we often act as nursemaids, making sure they don’t get themselves into trouble. As they get older, we act as tutors and help them with their studies. If they become sick, we tend them. We make sure their personal effects and clothing are in order, act as companions when they are lonely, playmates when they want to have fun and play games. When they are older, we are their assistants, in whatever way they need. And when they want someone to play with, in a certain special way that adults play, we do that too. Many witches and wizards have had their first lover be their pet – it’s a great privilege and pleasure for a pet to teach them the skills they will need to become happy adults.”
“But . . . you’re a MAN,” Harry said, aghast. “How can you . . . I mean, do I have to . . .?”
“No, Master Harry,” Remus said with a smile, “it’s not a requirement, but it’s something that often happens. And it’s something you might like to try out, since many people as they grow up want to explore certain things, before they decide what it is they do like, and what they don’t – it’s part of the process of learning that, in fact. And doing that with a pet is a safe, familiar, comfortable way to do that exploration. Pets are specially trained to take care of young witches and wizards in that way, before we are released from the pound at Azkaban and allowed to be sold in shops like this one. And we can teach you things and answer questions you might not feel comfortable bringing up with another adult.”
“Oh,” Harry said, in a small voice. “But what if I decide I like girls . . .?”
“Then I’ll teach you what I know about pleasing them,” Remus said with a grin. “I like girls too, you know,” he said in a conspiratorial whisper.
“You do?” Harry asked.
“Yes – you don’t know this, yet, but I was actually a Christmas present from your father to your mother, when he found out she was pregnant with you. While she was pregnant, and after you were born, I took care of her, as her doula, so she could concentrate all her energy and attention on you.”
“What’s a doula?”
“A special helper for women – Muggles have them too, by the by – they take care of running all the errands for a household while a lady is pregnant and the first year or so after the birth. It’s very hard on a woman to take care of herself as well as her husband and children at that time, with a new baby needing so much attention, so doulas help. And pets who are doulas often take care of the children as they grow, and come with them to Hogwarts to continue to look after them, and help keep them from being homesick.”
Harry thought about his cupboard, and the spiders that had been his companions there. He really didn’t think he’d miss them, but he was sure there would be spiders at Hogwarts if he did.
His thoughts about exactly how Remus might have taken care of his mother were interrupted by a few bangs and some swearing from the direction of the backroom, followed soon after by the reappearance of Wulfric Wegman and Rubeus Hagrid, bedecked in spiderwebs. “’Ere, let me ‘elp get a few of those off of yer,” Hagrid began, raising his pink umbrella.
“No, no, no – quite alright, really,” Wegman said hastily, pulling out his own wand before Hagrid could do anything. “Thanks for your assistance – I’ve got everything all sorted now.”
“Least I could do, Wulfie – yer a good sort, taking in all those cubs an’ the older ones as well.”
“I just hope I can find homes for them all,” Wegman sighed. “Some people just don’t seem to understand the responsibility entailed in having a pet . . .”
“Yer a good egg, taking them back – not many as would do that,” Hagrid said. “Not many ‘t all.”
The portly proprietor beamed at the praise from the larger wizard. He turned to the two on the sofa and said, “Mr. Potter, come over here and I’ll help you learn about becoming a responsible pet owner.”
Harry slid off the sofa and came over to the counter, Remus following silently behind. He looked at the pile of things on the counter and asked, “Is all this for him?”
“No, it’s for the cat,” Wegman said, rolling his eyes.
Harry felt rather foolish, but Remus rescued him by explaining what each of the items was and why he needed it. Harry felt rather dubious about the set of cuffs and chains, especially since one of the items the shopkeeper had taken from the back was a kennel cage, but accepted his pet’s explanation of their necessity, and examined the collar and leash, picking out the font for the nametag from a book then watching with interest as Wegman used his wand to engrave it, with the number from the certificate below. Remus smiled as Harry buckled it around his neck.
“Now don’t forget what I told you about the chocolate!” Wegman warned sternly. “Not when he’s transformed!”
Harry nodded solemnly, while feeding Remus another piece.
“Now, then, the next thing is how you’re going to dress him,” the shopkeeper started.
“Now, now, Wulfie, Harry’s spent quite enough here already, just on the bare necessities,” Hagrid said. “Mind you, I’m sure this one’ll be back here soon enough, getting more stuff fer his pet.”
“But how you dress your pet is so important,” Wegman said, aghast. “It’s a reflection of you, as the owner – having a well-dressed pet is vital.”
“Save it fer the Malfoys, Wulfie. Iffin yer had yer way, Harry here would be walking out with jeweled harnesses and spangly hats fer Remus.”
Harry suppressed a laugh at the outraged look on the proprietor’s face. “I promise to come by regularly for wulvie treats for him, Mr. Wegman,” Harry said, consolingly.
Wegman sniffed and said, “Well, you should at least get him something new to work on – he’s almost finished his current piece of cross-stitch. He needs something to do while he’s waiting here, since you aren’t taking him home with you now. Werewolves get bored easily.”
“Is there anything in particular you’d like, Remus?” Harry asked the werewolf, who had been browsing through the kits on the wall while the others talked.
“I like this one here, with the whales,” he said, pointing.
“I’ll take care of that, Harry,” Hagrid said. “That an’ some o’ the other things, so yer can be putting that purse away again now. Birthday present an’ all.”
“Thanks Hagrid,” Harry said with a smile. “And thanks to you too, Mr. Wegman, for helping me with all this.”
Wegman beamed down at Harry from across the counter, covered now in bundles, shrunk and ready to be added to the package of Harry’s other school things. “I’m just happy to see him going to a good home, lad. I’ll miss him, but a pet deserves an owner, to love and cherish.”
Remus helped his new owner get his things sorted out, then walked with him to the door while Hagrid and the shopkeeper bade one another goodbye. He went into the window to watch as the giant man guided the boy through the crowds, waving back as Harry turned, again and again, to wave goodbye to him, huge grin on his face. As the two slipped from sight, his face became melancholy, and he fingered his new tag.
Wegman came up behind him and put an arm around his shoulder. “September will be here soon enough, cub,” he said, giving him a squeeze.
Remus nodded, and thought, It’s good to be owned again.