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Roots of a new life

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Draco’s day started like any other day would start ever since he’d presented as an Omega. He was awoken by a moderately pretty maid, who would tell him his bath was ready and breakfast would be served in an hour. He got up sleepily and the maid draped his dressing gown around his body. She gently guided him towards the bathroom. He took the dressing gown off again and pushed his black briefs down. The maid picked them up before he could do anything about it. She gestured towards the bath.
He carefully stepped in and hissed. The bathwater was slightly too hot.
‘Are you all right, sir?’
Draco looked up. Maids usually didn’t talk to him unless it was the usual things. His father carefully instructed everyone that came into contact with Draco not to speak to him. ‘Yes, of course. You may leave now.’ He waved his hand in the direction of the door. She left.
Strange… Very strange…

‘Good morning, darling.’ His mother sat at her usual spot, cup of tea in her hands and the Daily Prophet next to her. He sat down carefully, as dainty as he could. It was still a work in progress though and he could tell from his mother’s frown that it still wasn’t the perfect, elegant motion they were trying to create.
‘Good morning, mother.’ His voice sounded perfectly soft, soothing and especially obedient.
She smiled at him and handed him the Prophet. He took it from her, trying not to let his hands tremble. It had been at least four months ago, the last time he had been allowed to read the newspaper. “Omegas are supposed to be pretty and obedient, not cultured.” His father’s credo.
‘Have you seen today’s headline?’ His mother’s voice cut through his train of thought and he quickly looked at the headline. “Another case of Omega abuse. Ministry investigates,” it blared. Beneath it was a picture Adelaide Parker, a girl he used to go to school with. He tried to keep his features completely smooth. ‘Such a pity. She was a nice girl,’ he commented.
‘Yes. But now she’s tainted. No-one will have her now,’ his mother responded coolly. The threat in it was clear: whoever was going to own Draco, he was not to make such a mess as Adelaide had made.
Draco let his eyes rake over the article to see if there was anything else interesting in it.
A soft, polite cough made him look up from the paper. His mother looked at the paper and shook her head ever so slightly. He folded the paper quickly and placed it back in the table.
‘Due to all this ruckus the Ministry feels as though it’s a necessity to pay all the registered Omegas a visit. We expect a Ministry official right after lunch, therefore your afternoon will be taken up by all that. We have owled miss Fawley and asked her to come this morning for your lessons instead. She will arrive at ten.’
‘Yes, mother,’ Draco answered politely.
She smiled at him and took the paper away from him. Breakfast went by undisturbed after their conversation. The same maid that had woken him this morning cleaned up after them.
He waited for his mother to get up before copying her movements, once again trying to be as dainty as he could be. She frowned at him. Still not quite good enough.

‘Good morning, Draco.’
‘Good morning, miss Fawley,’ he answered as polite as he could.
‘Have you read the paper, Draco?’
He hesitated. He wasn’t supposed to read, but he did take a look at the headline, mostly because his mother wanted to discuss it with him. ‘Mother showed me the headline about the new abuse case, miss Fawley.’
‘But you didn’t read anything else?’
‘No, miss Fawley.’
‘I should only read things that apply to my personal situation.’
‘Such as…?’
He frowned. ‘Approved Omega literature.’
She frowned a little at him and he hastily added, ‘miss Fawley.’
‘Very well. Now sit.’ She sat down at her desk. He pulled out his chair and, for the third time this morning, tried to sit down in the dainty way everyone wanted him to.
‘That’s not quite right, Draco.’ Miss Fawley sounded friendly. She was really nice, actually. She never shouted at him, or raised her voice, like some of his other tutors did. Sometimes she allowed him to do things he really wasn’t supposed to, like read a book that had not been approved as appropriate literature for Omegas, drink coffee or sit inappropriately. Occasionally, she’d read the paper to him. The fact that he wasn’t allowed to read it, didn’t mean he couldn’t listen to someone else reading it.
‘Draco? I’m talking to you. Get up, please.’
He stood up obediently and smiled at her in, what he hoped was, a submissive manner.
‘Look at how I’m doing it.’ Miss Fawley pulled out her chair and sat down gracefully, with her skirt whirling just the right way around her as she did so.
He bit his lip. It seemed like something that was only possible for ladies to achieve. He didn’t wear a skirt like hers. Some Omegas did, he knew, but he usually wore fitted trousers and a long tunic.
‘Is there something wrong?’
‘I, erm… It seems to me like that is something one can only achieve when wearing a skirt or similar clothing, miss Fawley.’ He tried to be as polite as could be, knowing that if she told his father that he’d been difficult, he would be chastised.
Miss Fawley smiled at him. ‘Of course it is possible for you to do, even in your attire today. Just scoot your right foot backwards, your left foot to the right and then turn to sit facing forward. After that, place your feet next to each other and sit up straight.’
Draco had heard this explanation at least a dozen of times before, but miss Fawley stayed patient, so he had to try to be equally patient. He scooted his right foot backwords, the left one over to the right and made the odd half-turn he had to make to end up in his chair the right way. Well, that was the theory of it. He couldn’t make the turn, but lost his balance and almost fell over, tripping over the chair legs.
‘Hmmm. Well, just try again. We have all morning…’
And all morning it took.

Draco sat nervously in the window bench, waiting for the Ministry officials to arrive. He’d seen then arrive at the manor, undoubtedly welcomed by his mother. It had been difficult to see from afar, but as far as he could tell, he had never seen any of the officials before.
He got up, pacing around the drawing room, waiting for them to arrive.
Luckily, he didn’t have to wait for long. A soft knock – definitely his mother’s – on the door announced their arrival. For a moment, he panicked. No-one was here with him and he wasn’t allowed to speak if he hadn’t been given explicit permission to do so.
But of course, his mother knew and she opened the door, smiling at him. ‘Hello darling, I’ve got someone for you to meet.’ She stepped aside and a short, burly man stepped in. He was about as tall as Draco was, maybe a bit shorter, and dressed in regular office attire. For the most part, he looked quite acceptable. His hair, however… It was nothing short of an abomination. It was black and stood up on all sides, like some sort of explosion had taken place in there only minutes prior to him stepping in the room, despite obvious attempts to tame the thing. His skin was a soft, golden brown and he smiled at Draco, showing a lovely smile with straight white teeth.
‘Draco darling, I’d like you to meet Mr Harry Potter. He would just like to talk to you for a few minutes, if that is all right. I will be right next door so if there is anything you need…’ like an easy lie, a way out of the conversation, someone to save me before I’ll say something stupid or wrong… ‘… just call for me.’
Draco rose quickly, remembering his manners just in time and nodded. ‘Yes, mother, thank you.’ He stood still, because all guests were supposed to come to the Omega and greet them.
Mr Potter smiled at his mother. ‘Thank you, Mrs Malfoy. I believe we will be just fine.’
His mother smiled again – it was so, so fake to Draco – and left to room, closing the door with a soft click.
Mr Potter stepped forwards and extended his hand. Draco stared at it bewilderedly. Omegas weren’t supposed to shake hands, they weren’t supposed to touch or be touched by anyone. Most everyone would bow for an Omega. What was he supposed to do now?
‘Ah, excuse me.’ Mr Potter withdrew his hand and bowed politely.
Draco bowed back at him as he was taught and waited for the other man to sit down. When Mr Potter was seated, Draco sat down as well. Gracefully this time, as he had been practising with Miss Fawley all morning. Mr Potter took out a clipboard and a small stash of papers from his satchel.
‘Let me just get through the formalities real quick, okay? Your name is?’
‘Draco Malfoy, sir.’
‘Twenty-two, sir.’
‘Owned by Alpha Lucius Malfoy, paternal relationship, no prospects of switching owner within the upcoming six months, sir.’
Mr Potter signed something. ‘That all seems in order, wonderful,’ he muttered. ‘Ahem. Yes. Do you know why I am here?’
‘Yes, sir,’ Draco said tensely. He didn’t want to get into trouble for breaking Ministry rules, or breaking his father’s rules so he tried to speak as little as he could.
‘And how did you obtain this information?’ Mr Potter didn’t even look up from his clipboard and Draco relaxed a little bit. ‘My mother informed me this morning that some Ministry officials would visit due to the influx of Omega abuse cases, sir.’ These questions were awfully easy to dodge. Last time a Ministry official visited they asked all kinds of difficult things, things his father had ordered him not to talk about.
‘So do you understand that I am here to ask questions about your health and well-being?’
Draco nodded. ‘Yes, sir.’
‘Do you realise that this encompasses I also need to see if there has been any form of physical abuse?’ Mr Potter looked straight at Draco as he said so. Draco could feel the colour drain from his face. ‘I am not allowed to undress in the presence of someone else without explicit permission, sir,’ he said uncomfortably.
‘That is all right. I will ask your mother for permission later. Let’s just talk a little bit for now, okay?’ Mr Potter smiled friendly at him. ‘When did you find out you were an Omega?’
Draco looked away awkwardly, even though he had been thaught not to do that. ‘I presented at the age of fifteen, sir.’
‘And how did you find out you were an Omega, then?’ He still smiled and Draco felt even more awkward now. ‘Well, I, er… The er… usual way.’
‘Which is…?’
All the colour surged back to his face now and Draco felt horrible for flushing like that. ‘I had been feeling out of sorts for a few weeks. My mother was aware of this fact. Then I woke up the night of the fifteenth of September at five-thirty am in the morning, in heat.’
Mr Potter wrote some things down. ‘And you got through this heat well?’
Draco rubbed his sweaty hands across his trousers. What was up with these questions? No official had ever asked these kinds of things! ‘I don’t remember it well. If you want specifics you should ask my mother, sir.’
‘Of course, I will. And how have your heats been ever since?’
Draco tensed. ‘I don’t have heats, sit. I am on the suppressants the Ministry provides.’
‘At the age of twenty-two?’ Mr Potter looked and sounded rather surprised.
‘Yes, sir. My family entertains a great deal of people on a regular basis and among our regular guests are many Alphas. It deemed us best to prevent anything… inappropriate from happening.’
Mr Potter scribbled something down again. ‘I understand. And how is your life? Are you treated well?’
If that is the question you asked Adelaide as well it doesn’t surprise me no-one noticed her abuse… he thought, but answered perfectly polite: ‘my life is wonderful, thank you for asking. My parents treat me very well. I love them dearly.’
‘Do you still receive education?’
‘Yes. I have four tutors that visit me regularly,’ Draco answered relieved, glad that they were back to normal questions again.
‘And do they ever discipline you?’
‘No, sir. If something is out of sorts, my father will be informed.’
‘And then what?’
Draco gritted his teeth. Mr Potter was very nosy. ‘My father comes up with a fitting solution for the issue.’
‘Aha. Well, I think that is all for now,’ Mr Potter told him politely. ‘I will see your mother now and ask permission for the other steps.’
Draco smiled his most submissive smile. ‘Thank you, sir.’
Mr Potter answered his smile and got up. He bowed once more and left the room, not even giving Draco time to get up as well and mimic the motion. Oh well he thought and he retreated again to his comfortable window seat, only to hear his mother cry out. ‘NO!’