The Tribulation of the Blue Moon
Chapter One – The Human Bite
When Remus had attacked him, that could have easily been the worst day of his life. It had taken a while for the werewolf saliva to work its way through his body, to his heart. Usually the bite effected an instantaneous change in the victim, but Remus had been in human form when he had lost all control and they had fought after an argument, resulting in Remus biting his arm before Sirius could pull him away.
It would have been completely fine, except it had been the day of the full moon and Remus’ werewolf had been far too close to the surface, thus effecting the change in him, albeit slower than anyone would have expected.
He and Remus had sat down after the full moon and talked through what had happened, there were no hard feelings between them after the fight, his bite had been cleaned and had already started healing, they had all thought everything was fine, Remus had been in human form when he had bitten him, werewolves were only contagious when in wolf form, right?
Only it seemed that there was so little information and study on werewolves that no one actually knew that much about them. People had been bitten by werewolves in human form, there were plenty of documented cases on that, only it seemed that none of them were bitten on the day of the actual full moon, thus no one had known that a human werewolf bite on the day of the full moon would turn him into a werewolf the following full moon, long after the bite wound had healed and faded to nothing.
When Remus had attacked him, that could have easily been the worst day of his life. Only it wasn’t. None of them had known it would happen, none of them could have possibly guessed that the following full moon, when Sirius had subtly removed Remus from the house a bit earlier than he normally would have after the fight the previous full moon, no one could have ever guessed that a few hours later Harry would transform into a fully formed werewolf with absolutely no control over himself and only base animal instincts to go on. That had been the worst day of his life, waking up covered in cold, congealing blood with no memory of what had happened to him.
He had first thought that Death Eaters had gotten into Grimmauld Place, he had rushed around, terrified, calling for his friends, screaming for them, but they had never answered him. They couldn’t answer him.
He found them all, nearly the entire Weasley family, Hermione and two Order members, Dedalus Diggle and Hestia Jones, all with their throats ripped out, limbs torn clean off, he saw some of those limbs lying around, looking like a dog had gnawed on them. All of them were dead, yet he was alive, why had the Death Eaters left him alive? Was this some sort of new punishment or torture that Voldemort had dreamed up?
He had fallen to his knees and wept, screaming, tearing his throat with his anguished cries. What had happened and why had he slept through it all? The overwhelming guilt almost choked him as he looked at all of the bodies, an almost perfect trail of them through the house, hands still gripping wands as they had fought and he had slept.
It seemed like the fight had started in his and Ron’s twin bedroom, so the Death Eaters must have slipped into the house and cursed him to sleep, before starting with Ron, but then why had they moved him downstairs? The house must have been alerted by Ron’s yells and they had come running, only to be slain and torn apart where they had stood.
He breathed heavily, being choked by the cloying scent of too much blood, too much meat; they had been dead for a while, possibly the whole night and he had slept.
Almost hyperventilating as he cradled Hermione’s head gingerly in his lap, stroking the untouched half of her frizzy hair, the other half was plastered down with congealed blood, he tried to think desperately how the Death Eaters could have gotten in, this house was locked down, it was the Headquarters for the Order, it was under the Fidelius charm! How could they have gotten in?
Almost crazed with grief and feeling physically sick as he stroked the hair of one of his best friends, the answer came to him suddenly. Kreacher.
Harry screamed himself sick calling for the thrice damned elf and when he finally appeared at the end of the corridor, a sly smirk on its disgusting little face, rage like nothing Harry had ever felt before consumed him, eating through him and he had the little elf by the filthy rags he wore and slammed him against the wall.
“Why?!” He had screamed at the little beast. “Why would you do this?!”
“Kreacher?” The vile thing had croaked, its smirk widening. “Kreacher did not do this. Harry Potter did this. Kreacher saw him, Kreacher watched him.”
Harry’s mind had gone blank, before he slammed the house-elf into the wall. “You’re a liar!”
Kreacher had cackled at him. “Kreacher watched him, Kreacher saw him tear through the house as a filthy werewolf. It attacked the vile blood traitors and the mudbloods, it did! Kreacher is happy that Harry Potter rid this ancient and noble house of them, my Mistress would be so happy!”
Kreacher’s smirk had widened to show his teeth in a vicious smile at that thought before he heaved in a breath, almost excited and perversely pleased by what had gone on last night and he carried on digging the knife in deeper as Harry stood holding him to the wall, completely stunned.
“The traitors pleaded with the beast, but the filthy half breed killed them and fell asleep cleaning its fur of blood in the front parlour and it woke up there when the moon was replaced by the sun!”
Harry dropped the miserable elf, watching it scuttle off before he slid to the floor when his shaking knees had refused to hold him up any longer. He had known that the house was impossible to breach; the Fidelius charm wouldn’t have allowed Kreacher to bring anyone through the wards and into the house or Sirius would have killed him long before now. He had ignored that fact because his mind didn’t want to think of the obvious. That someone must have been let through the wards, had been keyed into the Fidelius charm and had been in the house when this had happened…and he was the only one left alive.
He had touched the place where he had been bitten by Remus a month ago and felt fear grip him. If Remus had been contagious when he had bitten him, then it made sense that he was a werewolf now too, Kreacher had seen him, he looked around and he felt tears burning his eyes as he saw a glassy eyed Ginny, torn from shoulder to neck, a killing bite made by a large animal, like a werewolf.
Mrs Weasley was near Ginny’s body, a little closer to the bedroom that he had shared with Ron, she was in a protective stance still, even though she was slumped against the wall, wand still clutched in her hand. She had died first, deep welts cut into her body, shredding her pyjamas and the flesh underneath, like razor sharp claws had sunk into her body and torn outwards, ripping up her insides. It must have been a very painful death and he sobbed dryly for her.
He looked then to Hermione, the only other body on this floor, spread eagled as if something large and heavy had tackled her, her neck at an odd angle, obviously broken, the bone speared through her skin, a glistening, bright white spear of bone. A memory flashed through his mind, the sensation of a tongue wrapping around that jut of bone, licking it clean of hot blood. His memory…his tongue.
That was when he had lost the battle with his roiling stomach and he had vomited hard onto the floor, clutching at his heaving belly as he purged himself of everything that he had eaten, sickened to see clumps of human flesh coming from his belly. It had been him, he had done this to them, he had killed his only family in the world who had loved and cared for him.
That was when he had run. He hadn’t packed anything; he had just slipped on the same clothes that he had taken off the night before, grabbed his wand and then he’d run. He had done a terrible thing, a heinous thing and he could never forgive himself for it and he didn’t expect anyone else to either. The thought that he should turn himself in to the Ministry had crossed his mind, that he should at least go to Dumbledore, or wait for Sirius and Remus to come back, but he was afraid of what other people’s reactions would be. He was being a coward and he couldn’t help it as he run without a destination, his only purpose was to get as far away from London as he possibly could before the chewed up bodies in Grimmauld Place were found.
Sirius was tired as he helped ease a limping Remus down the street and onto the corner of Grimmauld Place. It was early evening and last night had been a bad full moon that had run the both of them ragged and had left them both with healing bruises and cuts. Blue moons usually were bad as the second full moon in a single calendar month taxed Remus body to its absolute limits with two painful transformations in under a month.
Sirius hated blue moons and he was glad that they came around only once every couple of years. He supported a grimacing Remus down the street towards the ancestral Black house, hating the itchy feeling of the glamour charm covering him, though he knew that it was necessary and honestly he was glad of the fresh air for a change, so he took what he could get with no complaint.
When they reached the bottom of the steps of number twelve however, the front door was wide open. That gave them an adrenaline boost to stand up straighter, wiping away their tiredness and weariness as they both took out their wands and approached the house carefully.
Remus, ever the one on top of the game, even after his second full moon this month, sent his patronus to Dumbledore immediately and stopped Sirius from approaching any further.
“Harry is in there!” Sirius hissed furiously.
“We don’t know who is in there with them, Sirius. We need to wait for backup.”
“What if he’s being hurt, Moony!” Sirius said desperately.
“I know, Sirius, I know. But if there are several Death Eaters in there, then we need to wait or we’ll just be more hostages.”
“I can’t wait while my godson is in there!” Sirius shouted in a whisper, so not to disturb the muggle neighbours.
“We have to.” Remus replied sadly.
Thankfully only half a minute later, as they were still having their whispered argument, several small pops were heard as several people Apparated into Grimmauld Place.
“What has happened?” Albus Dumbledore asked seriously, looking severe and intimidating.
“We don’t know, we’ve just got back and the front door was open when we came onto the street.” Remus explained rationally.
Dumbledore nodded and he took the point position of the group as he strode forward and entered the building, the bottom of the house seemed normal, no movement, which in itself was abnormal as the house should have been bustling with noise and people getting ready for dinner.
“The house smells of blood.” Remus whispered lightly, his skin going a greyish-white.
“There are blood smears on the floor and stairs.” Moody growled, his magical eye was caught on something on the floor above them, but he didn’t tell them what it was.
They cleared the bottom floors; the front parlour was the worst with blood smeared everywhere, particularly on the rug in the middle of the floor, hiding the threadbare carpet as a quick fix until the entire thing could be ripped out and replaced.
“A body lay there.” Kingsley Shacklebolt said in his slow, gruff voice.
They finished the bottom floors without finding anything and they cautiously went up the stairs to the top floors. The first floor was a blood bath and Sirius felt himself swaying where he stood as three bodies of the four women of the house were spread across the floor, obviously what Moody had been looking at when they had first entered.
Little fourteen year old Ginny lay closest to them with her throat ripped out, young sixteen year old Hermione just before her, her neck so severely broken that it was obvious what had killed her and Missus Weasley, thrown into a wall where she had crumpled down. She had died defending the two young girls but she had failed.
“We must find Harry.” Dumbledore broke the spell as he averted his pale blue eyes from the three ladies and hurried on to the second floor, where they found the fourth and last woman who had been in the house, Hestia Jones, who was sprawled half way up the stairs, dead also.
Dedalus Diggle was at the top of the stairs, his head almost completely severed and most of his throat and neck missing. Fred and George Weasley were at the bottom of the third set of stairs, they had obviously either Apparated to the bottom of the stairs or rushed down them before they were killed, one after the other as Fred was still holding his brother’s shoulders, as if he had tried to get him out of harm’s way before he too had died.
Harry and Ron’s room was the bloodiest, Harry’s bed was tousled, the sheets completely torn and blood coated. Ron’s bed was tipped completely on its side, the young fifteen year old was in pieces, bits of him torn and spread throughout the room.
Sirius was horrified and devastated at the level of brutality and utter desolation that the Death Eaters had shown to mere children. He breathed shallowly and rapidly, trying not to smell the bodies and the blood all around him. He felt light headed and spacey, half of an entire family had been wiped out, two esteemed Order members and the only child of two muggles had been killed, brutally and violently, and his godson Harry, his responsibility, his last duty to James and Lily, was missing.
“I’m going to hunt that bastard down and kill him myself!” He swore viciously. “I will get Harry back from him!”
A throaty laugh echoed from further down the corridor and Sirius turned on Kreacher in a flash.
“Harry Potter won’t come back.” The house-elf cackled happily.
“What happened to him? You will tell me what happened to him!” Sirius ordered.
“He’s gone, Master.” Kreacher informed them, before mumbling under his breath. “Good riddance to the friend of mudbloods and blood traitors, if only my Mistress could see what her house has become.”
“Tell me what happened!” Sirius roared.
Kreacher cackled again. “Harry Potter killed them all and then ran away.”
“You liar! I order you to tell me the truth!” Sirius demanded.
Kreacher grinned. “As Master wishes. Harry Potter killed them all and then ran away after Kreacher told him what Kreacher saw him do.”
“Kreacher, perhaps you could try to add in a little more detail?” Dumbledore suggested.
“Harry Potter is a filthy half breed and he killed them before he left.” Kreacher took great pride and happiness in telling them.
“Half-breed?” Dumbledore questioned.
“He turned with the full moon into a filthy werewolf.” Kreacher cackled.
“What do you mean?” Sirius asked all anger drained from him at hearing that. The shocky, light headed feeling was back.
“Harry Potter is a cursed beast and ran when he saw what he had done.”
“But Remus was in human form!” Sirius burst out. “This shouldn’t have happened!”
“Well it did happen.” Moody grunted. “We need to get Potter back; he’s the only one who can defeat You-Know-Who.”
“He’s a person, Moody!” Sirius roared. “He’s a fifteen year old boy! Not a seasoned Auror!”
“He has a purpose to fill; he can be a boy after he’s fulfilled that purpose!”
Sirius went to swing at the one legged Auror but he was intercepted by both Kingsley and Remus.
“Fighting won’t bring him back, this was my fault. I should never have been here so close to the full moon.” Remus murmured. “I knew it was too dangerous.”
“We couldn’t have known how wound up Harry would have been when he arrived; I’ve never seen him like that before.” Sirius consoled.
“That’s the truth of it alright, you don’t know him too well, do you, Black? Haven’t had the time to know what he’s like or to see him without the rose tinted glasses.” Moody pointed out.
“Enough.” Dumbledore cut in sternly. “We need to find out where Harry went to, I can’t even imagine what he would be feeling right at this moment, after his first transformation too. We need to make sure that he is safe and cared for, we need to find him.”
“I’ll alert the other Order members.” Kingsley said slowly and shortly, turning on his heel and walking out.
“I’ll clean up this place.” Moody grunted. “I can’t in good faith let you clean up the bodies of your friends.”
“I’ll see if I can track Harry as Padfoot.” Sirius sighed, tugging at his overlong hair. “Remus you need to get some rest.”
“No I don’t, I’ll go with you so that you aren’t locked up in the animal rescue centre again.”
“I believe that leaves me to inform Mister and Missus Granger, and Arthur and his elder sons what has happened.” Dumbledore said wearily, stroking his beard. “I can only hope that Harry hasn’t gotten too far and we can catch him up quickly.”
The four men went their separate ways then, Sirius and Remus trying not to look at the bodies that their Harry had unintentionally killed while he was in the form of a werewolf with absolutely no control and no memory of what he had done.
It had been a year since Harry had been bitten and turned into a werewolf before he had mauled his friends and family during the night. A full year in which he had struggled to survive in the meagre forests of Britain, hiding from everything. Civilisation, densely populated areas, sparse woodlands, other predators and sometimes larger prey animals too if he was feeling particularly weak.
He was so frightened all of the time, his body ached right down to his bones from the painful, monthly transformations into a large wolf and then back into his thin, starved human body. He was getting better at remembering what he did as a wolf, but sometimes that was a curse that he’d rather not live with as he had killed another four people, all unsuspecting muggles, as his wolf hunted them for food when things got really difficult for him and he hadn’t been able to eat anything else for weeks.
No matter how much time had passed, he had gotten no closer to controlling his wolf form than he had that night in Grimmauld Place, the night that haunted his every waking hour and sent him screaming from sleep on most nights.
He wandered aimlessly, always longing for home but too frightened to seek it out for fear of what awaited him there. Sirius and Remus, the four remaining members of the Weasley family, Hermione’s parents, he was being so cowardly, but he couldn’t face them after what he had done, he couldn’t go back and the harsh, blunt thought always made him cry.
He didn’t know where he was, he was in the countryside somewhere, but he had no idea of knowing how far from London he was, or even if he had doubled back and was right on top of the large, bustling city. It didn’t matter if he was on top of the city, though, he was so hungry now that he was chancing a rare trip to a town to see if he could steal some bread or some fruit. He was much too hungry and the full moon was due soon, if he didn’t feed his wolf side, then the wolf would hunt for them both and he couldn’t take having another innocent person killed and eaten just to sustain his life.
He skulked around the town just before dawn, when everything was silent. He had become so much better at skulking and sticking to the shadows, hiding himself from everyone for fear that they would hurt him, or worse, recognise him and drag him to the Ministry for judgement and imprisonment. Or perhaps even execution like Buckbeak had been scheduled for before he and Hermione had rescued him. Even that small thought of Hermione had Harry’s resolve wobbling as tears stung at his already sore eyes. He steadied himself. He needed to eat, or his wolf would eat anything in their path, even another human.
The town was small, more of a quaint village and that made the job of finding food harder, because everything was clean and orderly, so there was no food left lying about that he could take. His only option was to steal and the situation presented itself almost too conveniently. It made him suspicious.
One house in the quaint little village had an open window that led right into the kitchen. It was almost too good to be true. He wanted to avoid the house, leave it alone, it was suspicious, it wasn’t that warm out to have an open window at night, it felt staged, it felt suspicious, but he was so hungry and the thought of passing this opportunity by and almost inviting his wolf to hunt another human being in a few days was unbearable and weighed heavy on his already burdened conscience.
It was that thought that made him slip the window open further and straining all of his senses, he slipped inside when he heard, saw and smelt nothing. He took amazing care with lowering his body from the counter to the floor and he hurriedly sacked the kitchen for food, using his dirty, tattered shirt, the same one that he had run away in last year, to hold everything that he found. He felt terrible for stealing all of the food that he could hold, but he was just so hungry, and he couldn’t kill and eat another person, he just couldn’t.
A creak of a floorboard above had him freezing like a prey animal would have, not the predator that he was supposed to be, but he was so terrified that he let out a soft squeak. He moved before a prey animal would have, not waiting for more sound to confirm what he already knew and he clambered onto the counter with his laden arms and accidentally kicked a tumbler glass off the draining board.
It smashed and the sound of feet rushing down the stairs panicked him into forcing himself out of the window, catching his arm on the frame and his head on the actual window before he ran for the forest clutching his precious bundle of food. He heard yelling and shouting and he knew that he had to keep running for as long as he could; he couldn’t enjoy his stolen food just yet. He needed to be safe first.
The perks of being a werewolf, even a severely weakened and starved one, was that he could run for longer without needing to stop. His stamina was greatly improved and by the time that he stopped running he had passed through two more woods and had stopped, exhausted, in a dark forest.
He got his breath back as his body steamed in the cold air as he rested, his stomach clenched in anticipation and Harry started his feast in earnest, gorging himself on his stolen food, loathe to waste any of it when he didn’t know when his next meal would be. In the beginning, when he was new to living rough, he had saved some food for the next coming days, but after only the second time that he had done this, he had been forced to flee from his horde of food by a human hunting party. He had never horded again; instead, to save from wasting his precious food, he gorged himself on it until he was almost sick from overeating.
Though he had had practice with limited food intake from the Dursleys, nothing had prepared him for this level of starvation, those first winter months had been the absolute worst and he had feared he would die. There was nothing to hunt, there was no vegetation, he couldn’t raid any farm lands for vegetables, the trees were bare of fruit and he could not generate enough body heat to keep himself warm in the snow, he had huddled in rotting trees, hoping that the decaying leaves and wood would help keep him warm. It had, but only just.
He had survived those desolate two and a bit months only due to his wolf, who had stalked, hunted and eaten an innocent human every single full moon, leaving behind very little in its starved state, they couldn’t eat the bones, though sometimes, if the wolf had time before the sun came up, he would crack the bones with his teeth and lick out the marrow and no matter how starved nothing could make him eat the intestines, but near enough everything else was eaten, he had picked every morsel of meat from the body, he ate all the organs, it all went into his belly and the thought of that often made him feel sick when he woke up, knowing what he had done in his wolf form, but he had survived.
His belly full to bursting, Harry curled up around the base of a tree, winter was coming around again quickly and he needed to prepare himself for it, he needed to find a way to get food without letting his wolf hunt humans every full moon, he needed to put a stop to it, the guilt of it was eating him alive.
Arthur Weasley walked around his home and he felt as empty as the house did. His wife was dead, his twin sons, his youngest son and his only daughter, all dead. He felt empty.
His oldest son, Bill, had moved in with him, despite the pain that being in this house must have caused him, but Arthur couldn’t bear to leave the home that he had created with his wife, filling it with their beloved children, no matter the pain it brought him to relive the memories that came with every item in every room.
When he had first been told, he hadn’t wanted to believe it, but he knew that Dumbledore would not lie about something this serious and grave. Now if it had been Sirius he wouldn’t have believed such a tale, not right away, not even if it had been Remus would he have believed it immediately, but there was no denial with Dumbledore, so the disbelief had passed quickly.
At first he was blisteringly angry with Harry for killing five members of his family, but that soon fizzled out too when Charlie, who had come home as soon as he received the owl about what had happened, had pointed out that Harry hadn’t done it on purpose and would be feeling twice as bad as they all were.
When put that way, with the reminder that Harry had been a fifteen year old boy at the time, he couldn’t be angry with Harry, he couldn’t even hate the little boy who had wormed his way into their family and into his heart as a surrogate son. He had loved Harry like one of his own, as had Molly. He couldn’t hate that little boy, the one who had saved his own life a month before the attack and had saved Ginny’s life too. Harry wouldn’t have done it on purpose; he wouldn’t have done it if he had had any sort of control over himself, that he knew.
His anger and hatred instead went to the person who had turned Harry, the man, who as a werewolf, should have known not to go around biting young people no matter if he was in human form or not. He had had a huge bust up with Remus and he still refused to speak to the man who had bitten Harry. The way he saw it was if he hadn’t of bitten a fifteen year old boy, Harry wouldn’t have changed and over half of his family would still be alive, but even the hatred towards Remus was dying off now after he had seen the man break down and accept full blame for the incident on his own shoulders. Arthur couldn’t bring himself to be a vindictive person, he never had been and he felt guilty for that too, that he couldn’t hate or hold a grudge against the person who had caused over half of his family to be prematurely put into their graves.
The truth was, not even he would have moved Harry from Grimmauld Place if he had been there, he wouldn’t have known back then that a human bite on the day of the full moon would cause Harry to become infected the following month, especially after he hadn’t changed the night that he had been bitten and even if he had been there, in Grimmauld Place on the night that Harry had changed, what could he have done against a feral werewolf under threat and backed into a corner? Two Order members hadn’t been able to take down the werewolf, what hope did he have of taking it on? He was no Auror. No, it was likely that he would have died as well, leaving his three oldest sons as orphans and without four of their younger siblings. At least this way he was still here to look out for them and he now counted that as a blessing. Molly was with their four younger children, watching over them, it was only fair that he stayed behind with their older children.
Some good came from the attack too, a small measure of good at any rate. Percy had been back in touch, shocked back into speaking to them with the news that half of his family was now dead, including the mother that he had refused to speak to for over a month. Percy spoke to her often now, laying fresh flowers over her grave every week and sitting and talking to her for an hour at a time still, a year on from when she had been killed.
Arthur found himself missing everything now that it was gone, the rush, the bustle, the mess, the noise, the mad dash for Hogwarts on the first of September; he missed cosy evenings reading the newspaper, his wife cuddled beside him knitting another jumper. He missed Ginny’s laughter as she teased her older brothers, the way that she would beg for a new dress or pair of shoes, he missed Ron’s talks of the Chudley Cannons and his excitement over another blazing orange poster that came with the morning Prophet, he missed his mischievous twins and the destruction that followed them, always joined at the hip as they experimented in their room. He missed his family.
It also didn’t help that a year on and Harry still couldn’t be found. It was never said, particularly not in front of Sirius, but there were talks going around that he was dead. January and February last year had been particularly cold, what hope did a skinny fifteen year old like Harry have of survival? This year’s winter was forecast to be even colder, werewolf or no, if Harry wasn’t dead yet, he probably would be soon if they still couldn’t find him before the snows hit.
He knew that Harry would be feeling terribly guilty and angry with himself for what had happened and for what he had unknowingly done and Arthur wanted to tell him that he didn’t need to be angry or guilty, that it wasn’t his fault, that none of them could have known what would have happened. He wanted to tell his surrogate son that he wasn’t to blame for what had happened. The blame for that rested solely on Remus Lupin and he wanted to find Harry to drill it in his head that it wasn’t his fault. He was too young to be taking the blame for adults, he’d only be sixteen now, not even a man, he was just a skinny little boy and it wasn’t his fault.
Winter hit earlier than it had last year and colder too, food was scarce and Harry was frozen. He had long since lost his shoes, he had walked them to pieces until they had just fallen off his feet one day in bits and he was afraid that he would lose his toes to the cold.
His whole body was numb, his systems seemed to be shutting down as he couldn’t feel much of anything and everything seemed slower than it should be. His saving grace was an abandoned shack in the middle of nowhere. It looked like an old hunting cabin, but it had a roof and there was no snow inside it.
Harry holed up inside and thanked his lucky stars when he found a mouldy old blanket in a cupboard. It smelt musty and it was decades old, but he didn’t care, it was another layer of protection against the biting wind and unforgiving snow and he wrapped it tightly around his thin frame, throwing it around himself twice before huddling down in a corner and catching a few hours’ sleep.
Harry woke up in the middle of the night feeling strange. He felt fevered and almost crazed and a bubble a fear welled up inside him as he felt his wolf under the surface of his skin. It wasn’t a full moon, what was his wolf doing? Is this what Remus had felt like when he had bitten him? Had his wolf been so close to the surface that he had been contagious when he had bitten him that day?
Thinking about Remus hurt, thinking of Sirius hurt, he hadn’t seen them in a year; his sixteenth birthday had passed in fear and a bloated stomach from severe starvation. His wolf had taken over at the full moon, almost too weak to hunt, but it had found a lost human camper and they had eaten and survived, though the overwhelming guilt of taking yet another human life was soul destroying.
Slipping from his blanket cocoon Harry slipped outside, his bare feet crunching in the fresh snow that had fallen whilst he slept. His wolf perked up and sniffed the air, he noticed something that Harry as a human had missed yesterday, he was in claimed territory.
The fear was instantaneous and flooded his entire body as he strained every single sense that he had to pick out the safest path to leave the claimed territory lest he be killed for his trespassing. By now the wolf pack, or the lone wolf, who had claimed this territory would know of his encroachment, they could right now be stalking his footsteps from where they had discovered his scent breaking the line of their territory. He needed to leave right now.
He slouched off, keeping low and trying not to make much noise, not easy in the crisp snow that hid sticks, rocks, decaying leaves and abandoned burrows. He did not go back the way that he had come. If the wolf, or the wolves, that had claimed this territory were following his scent through their territory, then he would walk right into them, instead he went off to the side, scenting and straining his hearing and eyesight as he went, following the minute signals that his wolf was giving him through ear movements and small huffs.
It was a good plan…while it lasted. There was one thing that Harry had overlooked in his fear and his haste to leave the claimed territory that he had inadvertently encroached upon. The fevered feeling that he had felt when he had first woken up.
Having never experienced such a thing before, it had been shoved aside in his fear, but the winter months were a wolves breeding season and werewolves were no exception to this, and Harry, as a submissive werewolf, not that he knew that he was a submissive werewolf, had gone into oestrus, thus the pack of male wolves trailing him were in a state of arousal and high tension as they tracked him rapidly and determinedly through the snow, moving much faster than the cautious pace that Harry had set for himself.
They caught Harry unaware suddenly and the fear in his stomach and chest almost stopped him from breathing as the four males started heckling and sniffing at him.
It was terrifying to the sixteen year old, who didn’t know what to do now that he was caught, he just knew that he was going to die at the end of whatever sport they found from him. He was prodded, sniffed, pushed and pulled and he let out a soft, almost pleading, whine. The men laughed and grabbed at him and Harry tried to huddle down to make himself seem smaller and less threatening to them.
“You’re in the wrong territory to be on heat, cutie.” One man growled roughly. “Our pack is made up of all unmated males.”
A flash of fear tore through Harry as the meaning of those words sunk in, and he let out a growl, warning the males off and away from him. They ignored him and his weak, squeaky growl, two of them actually laughed at his pathetic attempt at a warning, as they nipped at him as Harry tried fruitlessly to keep them at bay, but he was vastly outnumbered and was fighting a losing battle against the four larger, stronger males. They were obviously well fed; he hadn’t had anything in weeks.
They were big, muscular despite prey becoming scarce, they were running hot still despite the snows, they were healthy werewolves, and they heckled and heckled him, wearing him down, pushing him and throwing him to the floor, trying to get him to stay down and the fear and panic that he felt wound him up tighter and tighter, and then the worst thing possible happened. A human howl was heard in the distance and the four males answered happily and immediately, their alpha male was calling to them.
It was strange hearing a human howling, but Harry was too frightened to care as a fifth male strode into the clearing, his sharp featured face set into a deep frown, until his nose twitched and he inhaled deeply, then a wolfish smirk covered his face as he approached, shoving the other four males away as he did so, almost lazily putting a large, rough hand to their heads and pushing them strongly so that they were knocked off balance and very nearly off their feet.
Harry wanted to run, his instincts told him to run, but his wolf told him that it was a very, very bad idea as his ears flattened to its head. The man in front of them was an alpha wolf, the alpha wolf of the wolf pack whose territory he had stumbled into unawares. He would chase them down and kill them if he dared to run.
“It has been a very long time since a little puppy came wandering so arrogantly into my territory. It’s been even longer since that little puppy was an unmated submissive wolf. Submissives like you tend to avoid my pack of unmated males.” The alpha male rumbled through his deep, gravelly voice, staring at him through deep, dark blue eyes.
“He’s a submissive male, alpha!” One of the unmated males crooned happily, excited by the prospect of that and aroused by the breeding hormones released by the submissive. “He’s on heat!”
The alpha wolf hit the male who had spoken, knocking him clean off his feet and to the ground, where he whined and crawled on his belly to rub his chin over the alpha’s bare feet. Feet that weren’t even red with the cold, let alone blue like Harry’s. The alpha nudged the other wolf with his foot nonchalantly and the man crawled away and slowly stood up again, but he kept his shoulders hunched and his eyes down. The alpha wolf did not once take his hard gaze from Harry throughout the whole exchange.
“Are you an alpha bitch?” The alpha male taunted. “Or perhaps you are a lowly omega bitch that has been used so often by a pack’s beta males that no one wants you anymore? Is that why you were cast out of your pack?”
Harry huddled up small.
“Well, which are you?” The alpha snapped, his hand clenching into a fist and terrified of being hit like the bigger, stronger male wolf had, Harry rushed to answer.
“I don’t know!” He squeaked.
The alpha looked at him consideringly, his eyes gaining a soft crinkle at the edges as he looked critically at Harry.
“How old are you?” He demanded suddenly.
“Si…sixteen.” Harry answered quickly, skipping over the word in his haste to please the alpha so that he wouldn’t be hurt.
“Then this is your first mating heat after your maturity; you really chose the wrong territory to be in.” He grinned then, evilly, cruelly and Harry’s heart sank. He was going to be hurt and there was nothing he could do to prevent it.
“This is my territory, and you are in my territory, that makes you mine.” He said easily and before Harry could say anything or gather enough courage to argue that he wasn’t a possession, he was seized around the waist and jerked up and over a huge shoulder and carried off, deeper into the thick forest that was this alpha wolf’s territory.
Harry was frightened. It seemed to be his primary emotion since he had woken up a year ago in Grimmauld Place, but he was sixteen, he had been living on his own in isolation, in the wild for over a year now. Normal had pretty much gone out of the window by now.
He had been taken to a grassy meadow with a bare clearing right next to it. The bare clearing had several males lounging around it, including the four who had found Harry in the first place, while Harry himself was left swimming in the long grass and wildflowers of the meadow. He didn’t fool himself for a moment into thinking that he could escape. He was in the heart of the alpha wolf’s territory and the alpha wolf himself had not taken his eyes from him since he had been brought here. The alpha was sat on a crop of rock above him, watching him sitting in the meadow as Harry sat still and calm, breathing in the perfume from fox glove, bluebells and buttercups. He was sure that as soon as he moved, then the alpha would leap from his sitting place and be upon him before he could take three hurried steps, no matter how lazily and relaxed he seemed to be lounging in the weak winter sun.
Harry shifted minutely, wriggling his bum to get more comfortable and he saw all of the males around him stiffening, their muscles tensing ready for a flight through the forest the moment that he got up and ran. Harry did the opposite. He laid his tired body down in the long grass, feeling the magic that kept the meadow alive in the winter tingle over his skin.
Everything else around him was snow covered, bare and dead, except this magical part of the forest which was full of long grass and wildflowers. It was also warm, not warm enough to lie around in without clothes, but just warm enough that his skin wasn’t blue tinged or numb anymore. He thought that that might have been the reason that the alpha had put him in the meadow in the first place.
He must have fallen asleep because the next he knew he was waking up to someone with their arms wrapped tight around him. He could tell immediately that the person behind him was sleeping, but the arms wrapped around him were like steel around his chest and stomach despite that their owner was fast asleep.
He wriggled and then settled, before he wriggled again and those arms tightened even more around him, taking his breath away for a moment.
“Keep still.” The deep, gruff voice of the alpha male growled into the back of his head.
“I…I need…” Harry cut himself off before he was punished and he huddled up with those arms still around him, likely to make sure that he didn’t run off while the pack slept.
“What do you need?” The alpha grumbled, his voice sleep rough, his tone annoyed.
“I need a piss.” He said as confidently as he could.
That made the alpha huff out a snort of laughter.
“Go on then.” The alpha encouraged, but he didn’t let him go.
Harry wriggled a bit more, trying to get loose, but those arms were like stone around him.
“You’re a wolf; you don’t need no tree to piss against like a common dog. Show you’re subservient to me and piss where you are.”
“No.” Harry said stupidly and within a blink of an eye, he was on his back pinned to the grassy ground with the alpha looming over him with bared teeth right in his face, pinning him so tightly to the ground that Harry’s shoulders protested sharply.
“You will not challenge me!” The alpha snarled.
Harry huddled up as much as he could and he turned his head to the side to bear his throat, arching his back to rub his vulnerable belly against the alpha’s rock hard one above.
The alpha chuckled deeply and started sniffing around his neck.
“Are you merely apologising to me little wolf, or are you offering yourself to me?”
“Apologising.” Harry murmured.
“You’ll change your mind about that soon enough, when the breeding season puts you at your most fertile, having pups is all you’ll think about, but don’t worry, you’re mine, I won’t let my subordinate males take you, your pups will be mine.”
“I’m not ready for pups.” Harry said softly.
“I don’t care. It’s been a decade since I’ve smelt a ripe submissive and you smell so good, you’re unclaimed for now, but I’ll change that in time. This is your first fertile period; you’ll change your mind soon too.”
Harry didn’t say anything, it didn’t look like he had a choice anyway, but when he gave in with no arguments, the alpha let him go and gave him a shove.
“Go have a piss against that tree and come back quickly. You were too cold to be without my body heat.”
Harry rushed away before the alpha could change his mind. He didn’t know what had made the alpha let him use the tree in the first place, but he wasn’t going to push his luck. He went to the tree that the alpha had told him to use and something told him to crouch down. He didn’t question it as he squatted and had his piss, before hurrying back to the alpha, who yanked him down and wrapped him back up in both arms before holding him tight to his chest and belly.
It took Harry a while to drift back off to sleep, but he managed it after a while and the warmth of the alpha male behind him helped him a lot, he had been so bitingly cold lately that it was nice to have a change, even if it was a small change and he was still quite cool.
He was woken up several hours later when the alpha male removed himself from the back of his body. He rolled over confused and saw the huge man stretching his body above him, his spine cracking satisfyingly as he gave a low groan. The alpha looked at him and chuckled darkly.
“Time to get up little submissive, I want to introduce you to my whole pack, but don’t worry, I’ll keep them from molesting you too much. After all you’re mine now, but they’re all unmated, they’re bound to push their luck with a little fertile submissive like you living with them.” The alpha grinned.
Harry swallowed, but he sat up slowly. He had a feeling that the alpha was playing with him and the evil glint in those blue eyes was telling Harry that the males in the pack were not going to be gentle or respectful of his boundaries, and his fear from yesterday came back tenfold as he was yanked up and manhandled out of the meadow and over to the bare clearing where a bunch of eight or nine males were fighting and growling over what looked like half a salted deer.
He tried to slow down, but the alpha male just pulled him along like a small child before stopping them just before the group of unmated males, who had stopped their fighting, tug of war game over the deer they were having for breakfast and looked up at them both, their alpha male and him.
Harry tried to step back away from them but the alpha held him still in one strong, tight hand as those different coloured eyes all turned to him, he swallowed hard and huddled down, he didn’t want to be left alone with these males.