Chapter 1: Of Alpha's and Omega's
Witches and Wizards live in a society where everyone is either an Alpha, Beta or Omega. This trait came from werewolves, who centuries ago mated with wizards, creating half-magical, half-wolf children who mated with more humans. After thousands of years the other werewolf traits faded, all by one. The Alpha's were strong, protective and fierce, meant to defend what is theirs including their mates. Omega's were skilled magicians but less physically fit and designed to carry children...however after some times, male Omegas were born despite being unable to get pregnant. Beta's were in-between the two, and could mate with either, although Alpha's could not mate with other Alpha's, or Omega's with other Omega's.
When a Witch or Wizard turned nineteen, they made a connection with their mate and it was up to them to come together. Mates had a strong emotional and physical connection and if either one tried to deny that, it would cause them discomfort or even pain. Hurting your mate meant also hurting yourself, and barely anyone could resist the pull of their bond. Normally a member of the Ministry of Magic would either visit or send a letter to a Wizard, informing them about if they were an Alpha, Beta or Omega, alongside with the name of their mate.
For Draco Malfoy it was different. Because Draco Malfoy decided to stay in Hogwarts for his eight year. So did his mate.
Things were different around Hogwarts after the second Wizarding War. Minerva McGonagall was the headmistress and she overlooked the restoration of Hogwarts personally. After four months there was barely a trace after the battle, except for the ghosts of the dead and the memorials right outside the walls. Everything else had been cleaned and built again and the school seemed almost back the way it was. Most of the teachers remained as well, which added to the familiar feeling. Because they missed their seventh year, Draco's year group was invited back to Hogwarts for an additional year. Some declined, after having enough magic thrills to last them a lifetime, but a good portion of the students decided to return.
They were assigned to new rooms in the Dungeons, and houses were forgotten. They became one big group, with separate rooms for each of them. They still had a common room with moving paintings and cackling fireplaces. A magical hole in the ceiling, not unlike the one in the Great Hall, showed them the sky during the day and the galaxy during the night. Old, miss-matched sofas and armchairs dotted the room, and all four banners of each house hung from the walls. Draco's room was respectably silver and green, but he allowed himself to place other colours around the chamber, something he was too afraid to do in his old dorm. He hated to admit it but their new dormitory felt more like home than the Slytherin common room had ever.
Everyone seemed to forgive and forget, and people for all houses mixed together daily, leaving behind disagreements and wrongs they did one another. After all the horrors of the war they needed each other's strength. Draco kept to himself, his old snark seemed to leave him and he no longer felt the need to make anyone's life miserable. He knew well enough the part his family played in the War, and it wasn't a good part. His father was in Azkaban, his mother holed up in the Malfoy Manor. They lost their wealth, their homes in France and Germany. 'Malfoy' was no longer a name of power and pride, but the name of a traitor. Despite changing sides when it truly mattered, Draco still felt horribly like an outsider, even with his other Slytherins, and he often wondered if he made a mistake retuning to Hogwarts.
"You guys ready for tonight?" Blaise's deep voice reached Draco across the room, where he was curled up in an armchair, doing his homework. He was only half concentrating, his attention drawn to the conversation in the opposite corner.
"Oh please," it was Ginny's voice now. Despite being a year younger, she often came down to the Eight year common room, to lounge in her boyfriend's lap, "I was born ready."
"That's because you know that Harry is your mate," Hermione chided, "but what if it turns out that you're the Alpha and he's the Omega?"
"Well...," Ginny didn't sound too bothered, "I do like being in control."
A burst of laughter drifted over and then Draco very clearly heard Harry and Ginny kiss. He fought a cringe and tried to go back to work, but his mind was too distracted to write more than two more words on the parchment. Besides, the conversation was more interesting.
"So what do you think everyone will be?" Harry asked,
"I sure hope I'm an Alpha," Seamus said, "or a Beta. What 'bout you, Ron?"
"Ron's an Alpha," Luna's dreamy voice mumbled, "that much is obvious..."
When Draco risked a glance over his shoulder he saw Weasley's face burning red. He looked away quickly, his hands tightening on his quill. He knew what tonight was...the thirtieth of December, the day that it was announced who you were and who you were destined to be with. Draco had already had samples taken; blood, hair, magic, everything to figure out who he was. He hated labels and now he was subjected to being forced under one. I am an Alpha, he told himself stubbornly when his hands began to shake with nerves, I'm too strong to be anything else...well, perhaps a Beta. But I could not possibly be an Omega...
He didn't write another word, his heart pounding, his stomach churning as the minutes ticked on. Hermione, Ginny and Harry went down first, arm in arm, chattering. To get in and out of the common room you had to have a key, simple as that. There were no ridiculous riddles or weird tap patterns or angry paintings to pass. It was just a lock and a key. But the lock knew it you were unwelcome.
Draco waited, staring into the flames as one after the other the Eight years drifted from the common room, talking and joking, passing through the doors. Draco's heart was in his throat and he felt like crawling under his covers and never coming out. He was so scared of what would happen downstairs, but he didn't know why. He just felt sick and angry and afraid all at once, and it was making him tremble.
"Draco?" Luna Lovegood was the only one who talked to Draco as if she didn't get the memo about him being an outcast...or maybe she did get it but just didn't care, "Are you coming down?"
She had not changed at all, her hair was the same platinum blonde and she had stripy tights underneath her paint stained skirt. No matter how many times Draco tried to chase her off and get her to leave him alone, she never did. And he was a bit glad about that, because he truly hated being alone.
"Yes," he lied and stood up, smoothing out his shirt, making sure all his buttons were done up. Luna smiled at him and flicked a piece of blonde hair off of his forehead. She seemed perfectly at ease, "Aren't you nervous?"
The girl shrugged, "Whatever happens, happens," she said, "I don't mind. I know who I am, no matter if I'm an Alpha or Omega or Beta," she slid her arm through his and together they walked to the door. Draco's heart was in his throat as they walked down the stone corridors but he let Luna's easy chatter about Crumple Horned Storkack's. Draco wished he could be as calm about the whole ordeal as her, but when they entered the Great Hall with all its floating candles and long, empty benches, the boy just felt more tense. He didn't know when Hogwarts stopped feeling like home. Maybe when he let the Deatheaters through the cupboard in the Room of Requirements. ..
All of the eighth years were gathered around the teachers table, where McGonagall was waiting, her face pinched and neutral as usual. She waved Draco and Luna over and the two blondes hurried their step. When they were all around her, the woman cleared her throat,
"As you know," she began in her no-nonsense voice, "When a Witch or Wizard turn nineteen, they are identified as either an Omega, Beta or an Alpha. Because this year you are all still at Hogwarts, we decided to wait for all of you so you could all know at the same time," her sharp cat-like eyes swiped over the students, "some of you will have mates at this school, and suitable changes will be made to the rooms to...err...," she cleared her throat awkwardly, "but some of you," she continued quickly, "will have mates outside of Hogwarts, perhaps in a different country. Do not fret for you will be allowed to leave and meet them," she rubbed her wrinkled cheek and Draco wondered if she ever had a mate, and what happened to them, "Let us not drag this on further," the teacher clapped her hands and dozens of envelopes appeared above the heads of the students. They were creamy, with tiny little wings like clouds sticking out from the papers. They fluttered down from the ceiling and found their way into the recipient's hands.
Draco's fingers were shaking as they closed over the paper. It was smooth against his palms and the boy could hear ripping all around him as the students impatiently opened their letters. The Slytherin gulped as blood rushed to his head, and ran his hands over the writing on the envelope.
Mr Draco Lucius Malfoy,
HOGWARTS SCHOOL OF WITCHCRAFT and WIZARDRY
The boy tried to steady his breath and hands as he gently opened the envelope and eased out the paper. It was a pale brown colour, the ink black, and then Draco couldn't stop himself from reading the neatly written out words, no matter how much he wanted to delay the moment.
THE MINISTRY OF MAGIC
Minister of Magic: Kingsley Shacklebolt
Dear Mr Malfoy,
We are pleased to inform you that after a full examination, it has been concluded that you are an OMEGA.
Draco stared at the paper and his heart clenched. He read the word over and over and over. Impossible, he thought helplessly, impossible my father was an Alpha, and his father before him...Draco felt like he was going to be sick, his heart thudded against his ribs as he wanted to cry and scream and rip the letter to pieces. He wondered if he could pretend that it never existed, that he could lie about being it. Maybe there was a mistake...Draco's treacherous eyes were not satisfied with this horrid information, and they had to travel lower. What the blonde read next made his whole body tense and his stomach do a weird little flip.
We are also incredibly pleased to inform you that your mate has been identified as MR RONALD BILIUS WEASLEY. For further questions please contact the ministry of magic.
Carmella Stacker, Administrative Registration Department.
Draco's hands shook harder, the paper scrunching up in his grip. He didn't dare look up, knowing that Weasley was probably holding the same letter, reading the same words. He didn't understand it. He didn't understand anything. How could Weasley be his mate?! That ginger beast, stupid and worthless and ginger. Wasn't Draco's mate meant to be someone who'd love him and who he could love back?!
The Slytherin shoved the paper into his pocket and without a word he turned on his heel and ran from the hall as if he was thirteen again, trying to escape Hermione Granger's fist. Tears pricked at his eyes but he didn't let them fall, not yet. He heard Luna calling after him but he didn't stop. The corridors felt too hot, the stairs too long. His feet made a loud echoing noise as they slapped the stone. Every inch of Draco hurt and he just wanted...what did he want? He wanted to be anywhere but here, but he had nowhere to go. If he was Harry glorious Potter or one of his sidekicks he would have gone to Hagrid's hut, if he was Neville he would have gone to the Greenhouse, if he was anyone else he could go anywhere else.
But he wasn't. He was Draco Malfoy and he had no business in Hogwarts. Not after the war.
The boy made it as far as third floor bathrooms before he couldn't hold it in anymore, and he collapsed against a wall. Sobs shook his body and he tried to get them to stop immediately, to stop himself being so fucking pathetic, but he couldn't. He shook and even his dark mark seemed to burn, even though it hadn’t pained him since Voldemort's death.
Stop it! Draco shouted at himself in his head, You're a Malfoy stop crying! But he couldn't. He curled up into a ball and buried his face in his hands and cried at how unfair the world was. He wasn't loud, afraid of attracting any attention, his voice muffled by his robes. He just wanted to disappear, to die, to be anywhere but here. He wanted life to be the way it was before the Dark Lord ruined all of it, before Draco lost everything and everyone.
He hadn't heard her come in but when he looked up, red-faced with puffy eyes, Granger was standing over him. Her hair was pulled out of her face and her warm brown eyes were looking down at him. She had the most unbearable soft expression on her face.
"I thought you could read, Granger," Draco hissed as a line of defence because he was truly nothing but a pitiful traitor crying on the bathroom floor, "This is a boy's bathroom."
"Would you drop that?" Granger sighed. She squatted down so she was eye-level with Draco, "Ron's one of my best friends. If you're his mate we should try to get along."
"I am not his mate," Draco growled. Granger gave him a sad look and reached out but he flinched away, "Don't touch me," Draco rose to his feet, feeling anger bubble up inside him. Anger was better than fear and sadness and he welcomed it with open arms, "I am not your friend. I will never be your friend," he spat, "you're just a filthy mudblood and Weasley is...i-is...," Draco had no words to describe Weasley. None came to mind, so instead he just shoved past Granger and out of the bathroom.
The boy wiped his eyes on his sleeve and took a deep breath and strode down the stairs to the Eighth year dormitories. His anger was just beneath the surface, ready to explode, his hand curled into fists. Draco knew exactly who he would take it out on; Ron fucking Weasley.
The commotion in the common room was unreal. Some of the couples that had been revealed to be mates, like Terry and Hannah, were sitting around and holding hands, big smiles on their faces. Others were frantically trying to locate what country their mates were in, shoving maps and phones around. But the biggest crowd was gathered around Weasley.
Magically, the rooms have shifted around, creating new, joined ones with bigger, king-sized beds and more space. Weasley stood in front of one and Draco heard him before he even saw him.
"...what am I meant to do?!" he exclaimed to his friends, "that little shit will probably try and kill me in my sleep! Oh Merlin...it's just my luck! George will have a fit, and mom...ugh, why a Malfoy?! Out of all the fucked up people-"
"I'm glad you think so highly of me," Draco said dryly, crossing his arms over his chest and glaring, despite his heart pounding in his chest. He hoped the Gryffindor couldn't tell that he had been crying. The group of teens parted and Draco came face to face with Weasley.
He wanted to say that somehow the other boy had changed in his eyes, but to Draco he still looked just like that morning; messy red hair, unevenly buttoned shirt, angry blue eyes, and freckles sprinkled across his face. He was glaring heatedly and Draco had to crane his neck up to return the look.
"Malfoy," the ginger growled.
"Weasley," Draco smiled mockingly, the people around him staring openly but at least they stopped the whispers, "I believe you're standing in my doorway."
"Your doorway?!" Weasley snorted, "are you deaf or blind? Didn't you read your damn letter."
"The letter is wrong," Draco's heart stuttered in his chest but he fought to keep his face neutral, "there is a mistake. So get out of my room."
"Stop acting all high and mighty-" Weasley started.
"We are not having this conversation."
"Why do you have to be such a prick?!"
"Go sleep in precious Potter's room, or in Granger's," Draco fumed, face red. He couldn't stand it. Your mate should always love and protect you, his mother had told him before she went made with grief, and you should love them too... "or anywhere else. Just get out of my godamned room!" Draco's voice rose steadily, "I don't want to be your mate and I don't want to share a room with you and I don't want to look at you," he came closer to Weasley with every word until he was all up in his personal space. The boy looked taken aback when Draco growled through his teeth, "So get out of my room, Weasley."
To his surprise, Weasley let him pass and the second Draco was in the familiar darkness of the room he slammed the door shut. Shakily, he pulled out his wand and muttered,
"Silencio," and then, "Colloportus."
When the door clicked, indicating that it had locked, the boy looked around in distaste, trying to control himself. It looked as if his and Weasley's room had been combined to one. His silver drapes still hung over the small window, and his candles stood in the corner, alongside his trunk. There was a picture of him and his mother, a quill and some paper, a stack of expensive, old books. But mixed in with that was Weasley's quidditch broom and his clothes strewn across the room, a dozen frames with him and his family, the stupid freckly Weasley's. They were all grinning at Draco from the frames, waving, and he looked at them in disgust. He turned to the bed and found that it was a double now, with a dark red canopy overhead. Why did it have to be red? Draco thought sourly as he collapsed on the blankets. He was ready for the day to end, he was ready to wake up and prove that the whole ordeal was a mistake...it had to be. He couldn't be Weasley's mate.
Maybe Draco would've never left the room and starved to death if it wasn't for Luna and, surprise surprise, Granger.
"Malfoy," the Gryffindor said, voice muffled by the doors, "You need to eat something."
"Don't tell me what to do," Draco grumbled into the pillow, though he doubted the girls could hear him. He had had the worst night's sleep, and his dreams – or nightmares – have been filled with glaring blue eyes and freckles. So many freckles. Draco shuddered into the blankets.
"Draco," this time it was Luna's dreamy voice, "please come out. We were meant to go to Hogsmeade today. You promised."
Draco groaned, wondering why he even bothered with friends. But Luna was right, he couldn't stay in bed for the rest of his miserable life, avoiding Weasley. They say you can't resist your mate, Draco thought bitterly, well I guess we'll find out. He pulled himself out of bed with a lot of effort. Grey sunlight filtered in through the window, cold and sad. It made Draco even more miserable.
When he walked into the Great Hall, Granger and Luna flanking his sides, he didn't even bother to look at Weasley. He felt absolutely nothing, no pull towards him, no imaginary rope pulling him along. Nothing. The thought made him smile as he sat himself down at the end of the Slytherin table. Maybe I can just ignore it. Ignore that we're mates, and it will all go away...Granger disappeared but Luna sat with him. She never did pay attention to Houses and rules and where she was supposed to sit.
"So," she said, as if the morning was just like any other, "my father wrote about the newest edition of the Quibbler."
Food appeared on plates, bacon and sausages and toast and beans, but Draco didn't flinch, already used to it. He let Luna talk, only half listening, as he reached for a croissant. He was aware of eyes studying him, the whispers at the back of his head, and he tried not to listen or look. He made sure he looked immaculate that morning; hair perfectly brushed, robes ironed. He made sure that nobody could see how much he had been crying. And nobody did. He was a Malfoy after all, and he had a great poker face.
"Luna," he interrupted the girl halfway through her sentence, but she didn't seem to mind, "You never told me what you were identified as."
Luna bit into a peanut-butter, jelly and bacon sandwich,
"Oh," she said and smile, jam in the corner of her mouth as she finished chewing, "I don't think it matters, but I am a Beta, if that makes you feel any better."
"It doesn't," Draco glared at his cup of tea. It wouldn't have been that bad if I was a Beta, he thought glumly. He dared a look at the Gryffindor table and saw the back of Weasley, he was gesturing wildly, halfway through a conversation. Draco huffed under his breath. He would not let that...that imbecile anywhere near his bed. Just the thought made him blush.
The boy turned back to Luna, "So who's your mate?" he asked, food abandoned, wanting desperately to forget about his own troubles. Luna didn't reply and Draco frowned, "it can't be as bad as mine, surely..."
Luna shrugged and for a second she looked sad before smiling, "I have no mate."
Draco blinked, "W-What?"
"It happens sometimes," Luna poured some juice for herself, as if talking about the weather, her voice soft and dreamy, "when your heart doesn't match anyone else's you can't be matched to anyone. You can't be in love with anyone...I don't mind, truly. I have my friends, I have you and my dad. I don't need a mate."
"Luna," Draco didn't know whether to be horrified or sad or sorry, "It's not about hearts or a-anything like that...it must be a mistake."
"Like you and Ron?" Luna asked. Draco flinched and bit his lip. He suddenly realized that he wasn't the worst off. At least he had someone, even if he didn't want him. At least he wasn't destined to be alone. The boy didn't know what to tell Luna, so he just reached across the bench and took her hand.
"What is he doing?!" Ron growled. He was never much good at whispering and some heads swivelled towards them at his words.
"Will you quiet down?" Harry sighed, buttering his toast, "You're making a scene. Again."
"Well excuse me," Ron's glare grew more heated, "but you have no right to talk. Oh, me and Ginny are mates let's run off and get married and have loads of babies," he imitated Harry's voice. Hermione snorted into her juice, "not everyone is as lucky as you! Some of us are stuck with blonde devils for mates," Ron glanced over his shoulder at Malfoy, "and by 'some of us' I mean me. I am stuck with a blonde devil for a mate," he finished with a dramatic sigh and buried his face in his hands. He wasn't eating, which was a first.
Hermione patted his shoulder comfortingly, unable to keep the smile from her face, "At least he's good looking."
"No he's not," Ron whined like a child. He felt like kicking something. Preferably Malfoy.
"It could be worse," Harry offered, "He could be...err...um...," he tried to think of what could be worse.
"Any more bright thoughts, Harry?" Hermione asked. The raven haired boy shrugged,
"Leave me out of it," he said and stood up to go talk to Ginny. Ron sighed again. He really did have rotten luck. Of course he was an Alpha, which had come as a relief, but Malfoy. Not only was he a traitor, he bore a dark mark and he had a stupid smirk and he was stuck up and...ugh. Sleeping on the couch really didn't help Ron's mood, all his bones were stiff now.
"Relax," Hermione urged, "You two need to get along sooner or later."
"Isn't there a way to avoid this?" Ron grumbled, "someway to...I don't know...change it?"
Hermione shook her head, "Hey," she said and touched his cheek, "chin up. It's not that bad. At least he's cute."
"No he's not," Ron mumbled weakly.