"Oh, Ron!" Hermione Granger exclaimed frustrated, throwing her hands up in the air. "Would you just stop it?"
"Stop what?" Ronald Weasley replied innocently with his mouth full, knowing what Hermione meant.
Hermione sighed as Harry Potter and Ginny Weasley looked on with amusement and laughter dancing in their eyes.
Hermione looked around the reconstructed Great Hall. Even though the Great Hall was surrounded by cheerful, carefree first, second and third years, something was missing. The Great Hall both looked and felt different. Everything that looked so familiar did not feel the same anymore. The ornaments, the long tables and the décor certainly didn't feel the same. Why? Because they didn't feel like home. Students who survived the war came back to Hogwarts to continue their studies. Their spirits were low as they were still in mourning for their beloved friends and family who passed away during the War. All these downcast feelings left an invisible shield to cover the joyfulness that the younger students felt.
And that was just the start. Neither the Light nor the Dark had won. Both the Dark and the Light had weakened and retreated, that is, until one finally strikes.
Hermione breathed in sharply as she turned her gaze towards the other houses. The students all hid their sadness and grief behind a wall and were smiling and chatting along with the other students that had survived the war. Most surprisingly, all of the Slytherins [including those who were branded with the Dark Mark] were fighting alongside the Light.
Meanwhile, Draco Malfoy sat there quietly, unlike his usual sarcastic, biting self, commenting on other people's thoughts or how they have been. Unbeknownst to him, Pansy and Blaise were both looking at him from the corner of their eyes, watching his every move.
Pansy and Blaise were sick with worry for their blond friend, for he had been quiet since he stepped foot onto Platform 9 and ¾. They had tried their best to chat him up in their conversation, but he would only grunt and reply in short sentences, but they soon gave up. That was until they arrived in the Great Hall. Pansy and Blaise shared another look again as they failed at yet another attempt in getting their friend's attention. They had a silent agreement to ask Draco about his unusual behavior later in the common room.
Draco, oblivious to reality, was in his own little world. His mind was in a completely different time. A month ago, to be exact.
"Draco, dear!" Narcissa Malfoy's voice chirped nervously as she knocked on his room door. "Your father and I have something, rather important to speak to you about. Come down to your father's study, there is someone we would like you to see."
Draco flipped onto his side. Still lying sideways on his bed, he wondered what they wanted to talk about.Please.He begged to anyone listening up there. Not another pureblood witch!
Ever since he celebrated his 17thbirthday three months ago, Narcissa and Lucius have been trying to find a pureblooded witch for Draco to marry to ensure the continuation of the Malfoy bloodline. However, Draco had showed obvious disinterest and had often walked out halfway, in the middle of the introduced witch's speech. In all honesty, Draco had been feeling off for a while now. He had pushed it aside, thinking it was just an aftermath of the war.
Draco frowned as he stood up and changed into his appropriate robes. He walked to the full-length mirror after he finished changing to examine how he looked. He wore a black robe with black polished shoes. His hair wasn't sleeked back anymore, now it hung down, covering his eyes a little. He frowned at his reflection, wondering if he had grown taller. Shaking his head to focus on the task on hand, he walked out of his room and towards his father's study.
"Excuse me," Draco interrupted with a knock on the study's door. "You wished to see me?"
"Yes. Please take a seat, son." Lucius instructed. As Draco sat down, Lucius continued in a drawling voice. "This is, I'm sure you already know, Mr. Zabini. He is here to talk to you more on what we" —indicating to Narcissa and himself—"are about to tell you."
Draco sat there relieved that it wasn't another pureblood witch that his parents were trying to set him up with. He sat up straighter, awaiting the news.
"Draco darling, I am sure you know what a Veela is?" Narcissa asked slowly, after seeing fit to continue on what Lucius had said.
"If I'm not wrong, Veela's attract people of the opposite gender with their extreme beauty, and they have a mate. They are very protective of their mate." Draco furrowed his brow, wondering what this information was needed for. Then, as soon as he wondered, the answer screamed in his face. Nervously, he asked the question aloud. "Please tell me that this is just a test, right?"
"I'm sorry Draco, but this is the truth." Mr. Zabini replied. "You see, from what I know, your mother's veela trait was…oddly dominant in her. Your father's veela instinct was weaker than normal, but his mating wasn't a problem. When two veelas mate together, their offspring will have a stronger veela blood in them and in this case, that would be you. Your senses should have been heightened when you celebrated your 17thbirthday."
"Is that why mother and father have been trying to find a witch for me?" Draco asked, putting the pieces together. "To try and find my mate?"
"Yes," Lucius frowned. "None of them seem to be your match."
Mr. Zabini nodded with his brows furrowed in deep thinking. "Have you ever thought that maybe his mate isn't a pureblood?"
"But how could this be?" Narcissa asked confused. "All Malfoy mates have been purebloods."
"The rules change. I've looked at the Malfoy's records. Only one Malfoy mate was either a half-blood or a muggleborn." Mr. Zabini said, recollecting his memories. "If my memories do not serve me wrong, Lucius' great-great-great grandfather had a non-pureblood mate."
"Excuse me," Draco voiced, making sure the adults knew that he was still in the room. "I will die if I don't find my mate, am I right? How will I know who my mate is?"
"Your mate should be educationally and magically matched with you. You will be able to identify her through the scent she sends out. You will be intoxicated and sometimes obsessed with her scent." Lucius explained. "You will feel pain and anguish if your mate is hurt, both emotionally and physically. Your protectiveness will kick in when your mate is in trouble or danger."
"Ok, well, that's one thing down." Draco mumbled. Turning to Mr. Zabini, he asked. "Why do you know all this information? Is Blaise one, too?"
"Yes he is, he's known that since before he started Hogwarts. He doesn't know that you are one yet, I'll leave that for you to tell him yourself." Mr. Zabini explained. "The Zabini offspring were and always will be all veelas; it's a trait that stays the same when passed on. It will never disappear, unless the veela or veelas are unable to mate or in other words, die of heartbreak. This applies to you too, Draco. If you can't find your mate, you will die of heartbreak, which hardly ever happens."
"But we're in the middle of a war right now!" Draco exclaimed frustrated. "Something's bound to happen."
No one seemed to have a reply for that comment as everyone thought about his words. That was a good point that Draco had made, but if he found his mate earlier, he would protect her as best as he could. Draco decided he needed some space on his own before he set out to look for his mate. She would be in Hogwarts, he could just feel it.
"Thank you Mr. Zabini." Draco thanked absent-mindedly. "Mother, father, I'll be in my room if you need me. I need to think through some things."
"That's fine Draco." Narcissa whispered as she hugged Draco lovingly in encouragement. "Just come down for dinner, alright?"
Draco nodded before letting go of his mother and going towards his room.
In the Great Hall, people were slowly leaving while Draco remained seated, his face flashing different sorts of emotions- confusion, eagerness, worry and hopelessness. Those were the types of emotions that were hardly found on a Malfoy. No one would have bothered to care if they were shown on anyone else's face, but this was Draco Malfoy- the boy who was infamous for his unemotional, cold exterior.
During the welcoming feast, students from different houses where whispering about the Slytherin Prince, wondering why he wasn't boasting about the new broom his father got him. It wasn't really news to Hogwarts that Draco Malfoy gets a new broom every summer for the new Quidditch season, but he always boasts about it, leaving girls in awe and boys jealous. Most girls from the four houses were giggling and gossiping about the Slytherin Prince, no doubt. But the boys were talking about him, too, mostly about his quiet self. All the conversation continued, even when Professor Dumbledore dismissed them to their common rooms.
"Draco," Blaise said, nudging his best friend. "Draco, mate. Everyone's back in the common room."
Draco fell out from his trance and looked around. It was nearly empty now, the only ones left were Blaise, himself, and the professors who were standing up, looking at Draco like he had grown a third head. Dumbledore was the only exception; he looked at Draco with mere fascination. He had noticed the boy's attention wasn't on him the moment he stepped up to speak to the students and had observed the young Malfoy's every move until then. Dumbledore knew something was different about the newly elected Head Boy, and intended to help him—without him actually knowing—to bond with his mate willingly and vise versa.
"Alright," Draco said, getting up. "Let's go. I need to tell you something. Get Pansy too."
author's note: hello my dear readers :) this story is in the process of being beta-ed so yeah, there might be a few changes and all.