“Draco,” his Father drawled, “What do you plan to do with the boy now? You will have to return to Hogwarts by today.”
It was an unwelcome reminder. “Father, what would you suggest?” he asked.
Lucius raised an eyebrow, “Draco, be more independent. You are seventeen.”
Draco swallowed at the hint of disapproval in his father’s voice. He hurriedly attempted to cover up his mistake. “I will take him to Hogwarts with me, Father. I am sure the others will be very impressed, and I refuse to allow even Hogwarts to stop a Malfoy from enjoying his property.”
Lucius nodded, appeased. Draco felt pride blooming inside him again. “Father, Severus will definitely agree?”
“Yes, Severus will not have any problem with it. If he does I will take care of that,” Lucius said. “And we both know that the Board is an infestation of imbeciles.”
“Thank you, Father. I will get ready to return to Hogwarts.” Draco rose from his chair and pulled Harry’s chain. Harry crawled out from underneath the table and followed Draco back to the bedroom.
Draco replaced the few books he had taken out of his trunk back into it, making sure everything was back in place before closing it and locking it shut. He ambled over to where Harry was on the floor and bound Harry’s wrists behind his back. It was a precaution he always took after the distasteful incident that had resulted in Harry being rushed to St. Mungo’s.
Harry didn’t put up much of a fight, which surprised Draco until Harry opened his mouth. “Malfoy, what are you so scared of? Can’t handle a breeder if it’s not tied up?”
Draco glared at Harry’s mocking expression. “For your information, this particular breeder seems to be unable to bear living without its master. I’m giving you a symbol of Master’s love for you.”
All of a sudden, Harry looked murderous. “Death is better than you,” he spat.
“I think you need another reminder of how much you love me,” Draco said primly.
Harry watched him walk away and come back with a familiar vial of potion in his hand. Bile rose in his throat as he saw the dirty orange liquid sloshing inside the glass bottle that Malfoy had unstoppered.
Harry’s words were cut off as Draco held his slave’s jaw still and poured the potion down his throat. The last of the potion trickled into Harry’s mouth.
Harry scowled at him. “Fuck you.”
Draco smirked. “No, fuck you.” Harry grimaced at the innuendo. Draco pushed Harry in the direction of the crate to make him get the idea, and Harry climbed into the crate without a further word. Draco locked him in.
He shrunk his trunk and put it into his pocket. Unfortunately it would be difficult to shrink the crate with Harry in it, so he levitated it to the first floor, where the Floo was. He left it next to the fireplace and went back upstairs to say goodbye to his parents.
Narcissa Malfoy was in the study, sipping a cup of tea as she read. She looked up at the sound of Draco entering and marked her page before closing the book.
“Mother, I will head back to Hogwarts.”
“You won’t be staying until dinner?” Narcissa asked anxiously.
“No,” Draco smiled, “I have nothing to do here. I’ll just go back to school now, talk to my friends and all.”
Narcissa smiled back. “My little dragon, already so grown up.”
Draco shifted uncomfortably in embarrassment. “Stop calling me your ‘dragon’, I’m not five anymore!”
Narcissa smiled fondly. “You’ll always be my little boy, Draco. You know that.” Her smile was replaced by a frown as she remembered the poor boy Lucius had bought. “How about the boy?”
“Oh, my breeder?” Draco smirked, “I’m bringing him to Hogwarts. Mother, you have no idea how jealous Pansy and the others are going to be!”
Narcissa’s frown didn’t abate. “Draco, I’m not sure taking him to school is a good idea; it isn’t even allowed.”
Draco waved her words off. “Severus will allow it, and he’s the Headmaster. And Father approved it already.”
Narcissa put a hand on his shoulder. The weight of it startled Draco.
“Draco, the poor boy has a name, doesn’t he?”
Draco frowned. “Yes. Harry. What about it?”
Narcissa sighed. Draco really was ignorant sometimes, she thought. “Referring to him as an object disregards his humanity, Draco.”
“He’s my breeder. His role to serve me is more important than his, er, humanity.”
“Breeders don’t have the best of lives, Draco. Don’t make it too hard for him, will you?” It was obvious that her son was confused. Internally sighing, she smiled lightly and the perplexed look in Draco’s eyes disappeared.
“Yes, yes, Mother. Where is Father?”
“Your father has been called away for important Death Eater business,” Narcissa said.
Draco blinked. “Oh. Then I’ll head back now, shall I?” He turned, and Narcissa rose to walk with him to the Floo.
Draco tossed the standard pinch of Floo powder into the fireplace and dragged the crate inside with him. Narcissa unhappily looked at the huddled, panting boy who had curled into himself, blocking the world out. She averted her gaze.
“Mother, I will see you soon. The holidays are barely three weeks away. Goodbye!” With that, her son disappeared from sight, and the flames turned from green back to their original orange brightness.
Hogwarts was the same as ever, Draco thought, as he appeared in the Headmaster’s office. On stools and small tables dispersed around the office were the strangest instruments that moved on their own, propelled by magic to stir and decant potions. His godfather, who was sitting behind a huge mahogany desk, looked up at Draco.
“Ah, Draco, I see you are back,” Severus commented dryly. “You are free to go.”
Draco stepped out of the Floo and pulled the crate out. “Severus, did my father tell you that I’m bringing my breeder to school?”
Severus sneered at the crate. “Draco, I would have thought yourself above such things. But yes, I have allowed it.”
“On some conditions, Mr. Malfoy,” a voice rang out. Draco turned to see Professor McGonagall stride into the office.
Minerva McGonagall looked at the horrid cage and the thin boy in it whose rough breaths were escalating as she spoke. Draco surreptitiously cast a Silencio on Harry but received an accusing glare from McGonagall anyway.
“Firstly, Mr. Malfoy, you cannot flaunt this to the other students in Hogwarts. Any… debauchery must be contained within your dorm.” Draco smirked. “Speaking of dorms, you must make sure the other Slytherin boys do not object.”
“Oh, they won’t,” Draco drawled.
“Secondly,” McGonagall sniffed, “He must look decent. He needs to be clothed. This also means that he will be walking.”
“Who are you to tell me what to do with my things?” Draco protested.
“You will not influence the other students.”
“He’s mine, I’ll do as I like with him!”
Professor McGonagall pursed her lips. “That may be so, but Hogwarts is still an institute, Mr. Malfoy. All people are to act and be clothed decently.”
Draco gave her a dirty look, but the old hag didn’t budge, a hard look in her eyes. He wished the Dark Lord had replaced her with someone more like Slughorn.
“Fine,” he glowered. “May I go now?”
“Wait, Draco,” his godfather said, “I will have your breeder moved to your room by a house elf.”
“Thanks, Severus,” Draco replied. He swung open the door and left.
The familiar corridors of Hogwarts were welcoming. A few first year Slytherins stared at him in awe as he passed them. The password to the Slytherin common room hadn’t changed, and when he got to the dorm, he found the crate already there and the dorm mostly empty except for Blaise Zabini, who glanced at him from where he was lying spreadeagled on his bed.
“How was the party?”
“Boring,” Draco replied. Blaise didn’t bother to answer.
Draco enlargened his trunk and put it at the foot of his bed, where he always put it. He dragged Harry’s crate next to the trunk. Harry didn’t make a noise as he was still under the Silencio, but his flushed cheeks and big breaths made his state obvious to Draco.
“Birthday present?” Blaise asked dryly. Draco nodded.
“Where are the others?” He asked.
Blaise shrugged. “Library, I think. They should be back soon.”
As soon as Blaise finished his sentence, the other boys walked in. They all nodded in greeting at him then stopped abruptly as they realised Harry’s presence.
Nott spoke first. “Malfoy, is this your breeder?”
“Yes. Father gave him to me for my birthday.” Draco basked in Nott’s admiration. Unfortunately, Crabbe and Goyle stood there staring stupidly at the metal crate like great blobs of statues in the doorway.
“Vince, Greg, move.” The two massive boys blinked and moved towards the crate, peering inside and between the bars at the figure inside.
“What’s in it?” Vince asked.
“My new breeder,” Draco explained.
“You got a breeder?” Greg repeated in wonderment.
“Yes, Greg, I got him for my birthday.”
“Why’s he naked?” Vince wanted to know.
“Because breeders don’t need clothes; they’re going to take them off anyway,” Draco said, exasperated. Crabbe and Goyle blinked slowly. Draco sighed and turned away. How the pair had even passed a single OWL was beyond him.
Aware of his roommates’ gaze, Draco unlocked the crate and beckoned Harry out. Harry was flushed and trembling from the effects of the lust potion, eyes unfocused and hazy once again. He tried to shuffle out of the crate on his knees as his hands were restrained behind his back. Once he had managed to, he blindly searched for the nearest part of Draco he could find (in this case, his right leg) and leaned against it, resting his cheek on it. Draco ruffled the mass of soft dark hair and left Harry to his attempts to seduce him. He looked up to find Vince, Greg and Nott all staring at Harry and him, with the exception of Blaise who was staring at the ceiling again.
Nott coughed awkwardly. “Er, it’s time for dinner. Let’s go.”
“Wait,” Draco said, “I want to take him too.” All eyes immediately turned to Harry.
“Did the headmaster allow it?” Nott asked.
“Well, McGonagall just gave me a lot of shite about it,” Draco drawled, “but we all know McGonagall can’t actually do anything to me. She knows Father could get rid of her in half a second. I think the only thing Severus is serious about is him” — he shook the leg Harry was leaning on — “wearing clothes in public.”
He looked around to see Vince, Greg and Nott looking at him in awe. He smirked smugly.
“Greg, get me my spare set of black robes. They’re in the second drawer.”
Greg fumbled to open the drawer and rooted around inside, making Draco wince and regret not getting the robes himself. Eventually Greg surfaced with the black robes clutched in his hand and he passed them to Draco, who took them from him.
Draco leaned down and freed Harry’s hands. He draped Harry in the robes and Harry put his arms in the sleeves without any prompting by Draco. He buttoned them up. Deciding he would reward Harry for his good behaviour later, Draco pulled Harry to stand. Nothing was visible from the neck down.
“Let’s go,” Draco said impatiently to the other boys, who were being rather slow. He strode out of the room with Harry’s wrist grasped firmly in his hand, and Harry stumbled behind him. He heard the other boys hurry to follow him. Harry suppressed the arousal and the haze as much as he could — he really didn’t want things to get any worse than they already were.
The Great Hall was full of students when they entered. As they walked to the Slytherin table a sudden hush came over the hall as the students noticed the unfamiliar boy behind Draco Malfoy and the black band around his neck. The Great Hall erupted with excited whispers as Draco put an arm around Harry’s hunched form and sat him down beside him at the Slytherin table, where Pansy and the other girls already sat eating. Their eyes widened as they took in the sight. Pansy froze.
Nott spoke first. “Draco’s father gave him a breeder.” Rather unnecessary, Draco thought.
“Draco,” Pansy shot him a dirty look, “Is that why you won’t be with me anymore?”
“Pansy,” Draco sighed as he raised an eyebrow, “I’ve had him for three days now.” Pansy sniffed disdainfully. She still hadn’t come to terms with the fact that Draco had dumped her.
The others had all sat down. They started to take forkfuls of food from the middle of the table to their plates and eat. Still painfully aware of the attention from the students, Harry looked down at his hands folded on his lap, head bowed and back hunched. He was stiff and motionless under the arm that was still wrapped around his shoulders.
Pansy looked at Harry’s dark lashes. “It’s because of his eyes, isn’t it,” she accused. “You always had an eye fetish. Is it because my eyes aren’t pretty enough?” Nott rolled his eyes discreetly. “And you resorted to dirtying yourself with a mudblood breeder, just because of a pretty face!”
“For your information, Harry’s a halfblood,” Draco snapped.
“Like that’s the important thing,” Pansy retorted. “But in response, I didn’t know a Malfoy would deign to touch anything impure.”
“That’s none of your business, Parkinson.”
“Oh, so now I’m ‘Parkinson’ and he’s ‘Harry’?” Pansy looked livid.
The dark-haired girl sitting next to Pansy spoke up. “Pansy, don’t —”
Pansy whirled around. “Don’t what, Davis? Remember your place, all of you! I’m a pureblood!” She glowered at Harry. The girl flinched. Draco stared right back at Pansy, annoyed.
Daphne patted her friend, who looked like she was about to cry, on the back. She flicked her blonde hair back. “Pansy, what Tracey meant is that it’s not a good idea to whine to Draco in such a public place,” she said icily. She was unperturbed by Pansy’s glare.
“Parkinson, deal with your shite somewhere else,” Blaise said as he joined the table for dinner.
Pansy gave an outraged huff. “Right, so you all side with the breeder, is that it?” She stood up abruptly. “I’m leaving.”
Draco sneered at her. “The breeder didn’t say a single word, Parkinson. No one cares about it. You’re just being a jealous bitch as usual.”
“Draco, you’re going to regret this. You’re going to change your mind,” Pansy snarled.
“Make me,” Draco challenged.
“Oh, I will,” Pansy snapped as she left. Bulstrode hurried after her.
Draco turned his attention back onto Harry, who was still stubbornly motionless. He tightened his arm around the black-haired boy’s shoulders. “Harry, eat.”
Harry didn’t look up. Draco didn’t feel too generous after dealing with Pansy’s antics, but he swallowed his annoyance, snagged a piece of bread from the table and dropped it in front of Harry. Slowly, Harry dragged it off the table and raised it to his mouth, taking a bite out of it and chewing. As he did so the sleeves of the robes slid down, exposing the manacles still on his wrists.
In an uncharacteristic action of boldness, Tracey Davis put a plate in front of Harry. Harry’s eyes flickered to her briefly but the moment passed as if nothing had happened, and the plate stayed unused throughout the meal.
It was nearly as humiliating as his time in the training centre. Harry cursed Malfoy to the depths of hell for what he had made him go through, kneeling and leaning on Malfoy like some dog, naked, out of his mind, in front of other people, then making him feel like a freak show for hundreds of students to stare at and gossip about. The pug-faced, black-haired girl was making it clear that she didn’t want him there. He agreed with her; he didn’t want to be here either.
It was funny, how after his sale strangers were suddenly talking to him as if they knew him, as if they really cared. If they had, they would have come to save him a long time ago. They wouldn’t have just asked if his name was Harry Potter, talked about his parents as if they had any right to rub it into his face that they had known them and he hadn’t, not really; they wouldn’t then have wiped their faces clean of any expression and pretended their unsavoury, disreputable conversation hadn’t happened and sent him away with looks of pity.
Because that was all their ‘care’ and ‘worry’ amounted to in the end. The Healer in St. Mungo’s had been the same. She had asked if he was Harry Potter. Then she’d gone on to tell him she was sorry. Told him to keep fighting.
Sorry. As if she thought that would help him in some unfathomable way.
The Headmaster and his deputy had been even worse. The oily black-haired man had been painfully awkward in the whole encounter, barely looking at him and saying very little until the end, when he told him he had known Lily Potter. Yet another person who thought their knowing Lily Potter was important to him. They’d said they’d tried to buy him, tried to rescue him. That just made him all the more bitter towards everything, about pureblood bigots and halfblood bystanders and gits like Malfoy.
Was he Harry Potter? Harry Potter, son of Lily and James Potter? Or Harry Potter, part of the losing side of Wizarding Britain’s flourishing slave industry? Or was he a nameless nonentity, Draco Malfoy’s new toy until the day the bastard got bored of him?
He tried to stop thinking. It wasn’t helping his sanity.
The heavy silence in the Headmaster’s office was finally broken.
“Minerva, you know I cannot stop Lucius’ son from anything. If I did that we might see Alecto in this office, and then what would become of Hogwarts?”
Minerva’s face softened. “The poor boy. He really does have Lily’s eyes.”
A muscle in Severus Snape’s face twitched. “Yes, I realised.”