A/N: The Leaky Cauldron web site had issued a challenge over the winter of 2009 to pose an unanswered question in the series and write a short story around it, answering it to the author's satisfaction. In 2005, roughly 1 week after reading HBP, I came up with this theory. It made perfect sense to me. I researched it thoroughly and posted it in 2006 as a Scribbulus paper. It is also posted under my name in Fiction Alley. You can search in either place to read the paper "The Werewolf Only Responds To the Call of Its Own Kind". Please note: To date, JKR has yet to disprove this theory. This was my offering and I am pleased to report it was chosen as one of the top three.
"Well, Draco?" said Lucius Malfoy. "Is it? Is it Harry Potter?"1
Staying well away from Greyback, and barely looking at Potter, Draco gave a non-answer. Even when his father insisted he come closer, he refused to answer in the affirmative. So far he had avoided obtaining the final stain on his soul – he wasn't going to give in now. And it all came down to Werewolves.
Draco didn't know when he had begun to fear the creatures of the full moon; he remembered being frightened even as a young child. So, he had been justifiably frightened down to the hand-sewn soles of his polished boots when he'd been assigned detention in the forest with the Gamekeeper his first year.
He had even known the minute he had seen the teacher in the car on the Express before third year, what he was; it was obvious to someone with as healthy a fear of the creatures as Draco possessed.
Draco's greatest fear was being bitten.
Draco's second greatest fear? Getting the Dark Mark burned into his forearm.
He had managed to avoid both so far, but barely.
During the summer after his fifth year, after Potter and his Dumbledore's army had managed to get his father thrown into Azkaban, Voldemort had seen fit to punish Draco and his mother.
"So, the father has failed once again," the Dark Lord had stated while circling around Draco as he regained his knees in the centre of the circle of the remaining Death Eaters. Draco could see his mother standing stoically to the side, with his aunt's wand pointed at her neck – ensuring her silence. "I believe that I will see what this scion of the Malfoy clan is willing to do for me in order to redeem the family name." Draco paled visibly, but made no move to reveal his nervousness.
Voldemort walked around him several more times without saying anything before finally coming to a halt in front of the teen. "I am going to require several things from you, Malfoy, in order to test your loyalty. You will not receive the Dark Mark until you fulfil all of these requirements to my satisfaction. Do you understand?"
Draco nodded his head as he responded with "Yes, my lord."
"Good," the man all but purred. "I'm so glad we are in agreement, this should make things much easier." He released the rest of the room at that point, except for Draco's mother, his aunt, and Greyback who stood behind the Dark Lord's chair. Bellatrix had relaxed a bit, but her wand was still ready in her hand and she watched Voldemort with utter devotion in her eyes.
"I require the use of your manor, Malfoy, for the duration of my campaign against Potter." He ignored Bellatrix's sycophantic 'What's ours is yours, my lord'.
"And I require a service from you," he continued. "In order to prove your loyalty and your commitment to becoming a Death Eater, you are being given the task of killing Dumbledore."
Draco saw his mother twitch out of the corner of his eye, and heard the excited intake of air from his aunt. He kept his head down, barely acknowledging his understanding of the assignment.
"And to remind you of your task, I am going to let Fenrir mark you..." Voldemort chuckled as he saw Draco flinch violently as Greyback came forward, saliva actually dripping from his fangs as he approached the boy. "Hold out your left arm, young Malfoy," Voldemort commanded. Draco slowly held out his trembling arm, shoving the sleeve up his arm to bare his skin. Greyback leaped forward and dragged several nails deeply over his forearm, forever marking him. Draco screamed as the skin tore and minute amounts of non-lethal venom entered his bloodstream. He convulsively clutched at his arm, as the blood dripped to the pristine floor.
"Let that be a warning to you, boy; much worse is what awaits your mother if you disappoint me."
And he had disappointed his lord, but somehow the promised retribution had never materialised – perhaps because Dumbledore had died anyways, or Snape had intervened on his behalf; he never knew. He did know that he still did not have a Dark Mark, and he intended to keep it that way. So, he was careful – perhaps if Potter realised that Draco was reluctant to verify his identity, he would remember that in the end and not feed Draco to the proverbial wolves.
"I don't know," he told his father.2
1 JK Rowling, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, pg 458 Scholastic Hardback Edition, 2007
2 Ibid; pg 459