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Chapter 3 : Draco: Making Amends
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* 2nd May 1998
The castle looked like a dump, a total mess. But there was no doubt about it after all that had gone on the night before. Freedom: that was it. That was all I felt when Voldemort’s body crumpled and fell. Relief flooded over me when it was confirmed that that man - that creature - was out of my family’s life for good. I almost wanted to commend Potter for saving me, but it was neither the time nor the place to go soft, no matter how much he had turned my life around.
Still…the Ministry scum arrested my father the same day, the same few hours in fact. They arrived at about dawn to take away the death eaters that had surrendered and to dispose of his body. I didn’t care what they did with it - burnt it, I hoped.
Most of the death eaters had been gathered in the Entrance Hall, some bound and gagged, some knocked out. Some time through the aurors making sure they were accounted for and in taking turns apparating them to the Ministry, the Hit Wizards made a last minute check. They found themselves in the Great Hall, where most of the people were still celebrating or checking over wounds (quite a lot had gone to St Mungo’s or home to share the news).
“Lucius Malfoy!” A rather large wizard who looked as if he couldn’t run the length of a Quidditch pitch without struggling for breath targeted my father. Everyone looked over at us: Potter, the herd of Weasleys, Granger, Longbottom and every other do-gooder glanced at him while my face fell into my hands. I knew that he was still a marked man and I knew they’d come for him, but not so soon. There were things I wanted to know. I didn’t want to have to ask him why he hated me from while he was behind bars in Azkaban.
My father flinched and his eyes watered. There he was bottling up his emotions, what he was a master of for all of my life.
“Lucius…no…” My mother clutched onto his arms and then his face, kissing him all over, refusing to let him go. We both knew it would come to this.
The large wizard, accompanied by two others, approached, wands out. “You still have a sentence in Azkaban to complete.”
My father nodded, but still sat where he was on the table with us.
Seeing as it was now or never, I turned to him and said, “Why do you hate me?”
Gawping, he squinted his pale and almost translucent eyes at me. “What? Draco, I do not hate you.”
“You certainly did before! And I’m not quite sure what happened between the space of Voldemort being alive and being dead - How long has it been? About six hours? - but I’m guessing your opinion hasn’t changed much: I’m a disappointment to you.”
“You are right now,” he hissed. “Making a scene in front of all of these people!”
“Better here than with the dementors over our shoulders.”
“You two, stop this,” my mother tried.
“Mr Malfoy,” the wizard repeated, stepping forward. He nodded his head and the other two came around the side of the table and held onto my father’s arms.
“No, wait,” I began. “I’m not done yet.”
They pulled him off his chair anyway, humiliating him, me and my mother as he fell to the ground awkwardly.
“Answer me!” I pegged for my last shot, demanding a reply.
As he was hauled up, my mother tried to fight the aurors off with her small pale hands, but resulted in being pushed away and thrown to the ground. I ran to help her up, a few people in the hall shocked at her rough treatment. After all, my mother had done nothing wrong.
“Leave her alone!” I turned to see who had spoken, to see which of the hypocrites had defended us. It was Granger. She shuffled over, although weakened and fragile from the battle, Potter and Weasley by her side.
“Mrs Malfoy’s done nothing wrong here. In fact, she helped me,” Potter said. “You can’t treat her like that.”
“They’re being uncooperative,” the lardy man reasoned.
I steadied my mother as she fell into a ferocious bout of tears. She pulled away from me and dissolved into the crowd, Granger going after her.
“Just take him and go,” Potter told him.
“And Draco Malfoy?” the wizard asked Potter. Seemingly, he had become a new authority figure having taken out the most powerful threat the wizarding world had. I gulped nervously. “Leave him.”
Potter walked away while the aurors shrugged. They dragged him out of the hall and I followed, lenient.
“I guess you are a disappointment, Draco. You couldn’t even do what he asked of you and now look where we are. This is all your fault!”
“My fault? My fault that you are a criminal? That you got us into Dark Magic?”
“He punished us. And you could have stopped that!”
“Yeah, he punished us. For something you did.” My eyes had glazed over. “I don’t see how you think this is my fault…I hope you rot in Azkaban.”
My father couldn’t believe it. In fact neither could I nor anyone else in the room. However, I stood my ground until they apparated him out of Hogwarts. At which point, I hurled a hard punch into the already half-destroyed door, no doubt fracturing a few bones.
I stormed out of the room, ashamed and in search of my mother.
It was nearly midday when I found her, or rather, heard her. Her voice resounded from a bathroom hidden away on the sixth floor, by the History of Magic classrooms. I stepped into the girls bathroom without fear, knowing I would not be disturbing anybody.
“Oh, here you are. I’ve been looking all over for -”
My mother and the mudblood were stuck in a deep conversation and I stopped dead as soon as I entered. The air was still as the three of us glanced at each other.
“What’s going on here?” I questioned as I dawdled lamely in the doorway.
My mother wiped her eyes with a tissue. “This young lady was comforting me.”
“But that’s Granger -”
“It’s about time you got over all of this rubbish, Draco!” she shouted at me. Granger stared at the ground. “She’s told me who she is and you should be ashamed to have treated her this way. It’s all over now. All of this feuding must stop. After all, that’s what got us into all of this mess anyway…You and I are going to have to get by on our own…” She sighed and looked into the mirror, turning her back on me.
“I’ll just go…” Granger shuffled across the room towards me. She paused, waiting for me to move and resentfully, I stepped aside.
She moved slowly, and I stared at her, wondering what was taking her so damn long, until -
There was a warm, no, hot feeling buzzing along my hand and throttling through my fingers. There was no pain as my bones slipped back into place.
Our eyes locked for one moment, but the appeasement was far too much for me to bare. I stared at the dry blood on my palm.
“There’s no need to thank me.” I could not quite tell whether she was being sarcastic or whether she genuinely did not want me to acknowledge the minor pleasantry that had occurred between us. Mouth slightly ajar, I watched as she hobbled out of the bathroom and down to the staircase.
I turned to find my mother frowning at me. Her eyebrows were furrowed and her hand was on her hip.
“Why do you look so angry?” I asked her cautiously.
“Go and thank her.”
“Really? I mean, it’s Granger -”
“NOW!” Mother shook furiously and another tear dripped onto her cheek as I turned quickly out onto the corridor. Who knew what was happening to me? Going to apologise to Granger? Had the world gone mad?! A lot had changed since Voldemort snuffed it, but this…?
I ran along to the staircase and saw her as she reached the third floor. She was too far away. I had to call her. Mustering my breath and readying myself, I bellowed out the word, “GRANGER!”
She flinched a little - which I ignored - and swivelled around a full one hundred and eighty degrees. Granger waited for me to speak and stared at me blankly.
“Thanks…erm…thank you…for the er…fixing my….”
“Hand?” she chuckled nervously. “I told you. Don’t thank me.”
“Trust me. I didn’t want to. My mother forced me.”
“You see…” She walked down a couple more steps. “She’ll make a gentleman out of you yet.”
My throat made uncomfortable jerking noise. Had she just insulted me? And why hadn’t I give her an equally witty or generally bitter response?
I watched as she disappeared from view, still confused and utterly perplexed at what had transpired between us.
“Surprised?” I nearly jumped when my mother appeared behind me. Still, I said nothing. “It’s amazing how much can change with a little less evil in the world.” She started down the steps with her head held high.
“When are we going home?” I asked as I followed her down.
“After I say goodbye and thank you to everybody.”
I refrained from rolling my eyes. Instead, I kept my mouth shut and entered the Great Hall after her, which was still surprisingly crowded. There were a few glances towards us as we came into view, but I ignored them after a while. I had grown accustomed to such glares. We manoeuvred our way through injured students creating makeshift bandages from torn clothes and bits of upholstery. There was blood everywhere, scorch marks adorned the walls and a violent chill swept through the hall as the shattered windows let the outside in.
Positive that nobody would appreciate my mother’s words, I stood behind her silently as she began to speak to Potter.
“Thank you. You don’t know how much -” She bowed her head and wiped away a tear.
“No. I should be thanking you,” Potter said. “If you hadn’t helped me…”
I did not understand what had happened.
“What happened?” Weasley asked as if reading my mind.
Potter paused for a moment. “When he asked if I was dead, she lied. In exchange to know if he was alive.”
He pointed at me. My jaw was hung open like a idiot as I looked between the two who had apparently formed some kind of bond.
“Oh…” Weasley said to my mother. “Thanks.” He turned to his friend. “Although, Harry, we didn’t appreciate thinking you were dead. Half of the people in here nearly keeled over there and then.”
“Well, what was I supposed to do, hop back up and let him kill me again…?”
My mother smiled weakly at the two of them as they argued. “Thanks again,” she muttered.
“Thank you Mrs Malfoy.” Granger appeared behind us and held out her hand, which my mother took gratefully.
She sighed. “I am sorry. For everything.”
Granger shrugged. I know she didn’t understand; no one did. They just thought that we were evil and that was the end of it. But to be sucked into this world where you have no choices and no chances, is one thing that they couldn’t ever understand. My mother never wanted this for her only son. Who would? This started even before I was born. Except, no one had a choice and finally…after so many years, it was over.
Granger disappeared and I watched her crawl back to the other two. She placed herself easily within Weasley’s arms and Potter was soon joined by Weasley’s sister, who kissed him once - no, twice - quite passionately. Potter saw me sneer and stepped forward.
It was only until I saw his hand held out that I spoke - although not the words I had wanted to say. “Think your untouchable now, don’t you? Having being hit with the killing curse twice and survived? How does it feel knowing you’d be dead without a Malfoy?”
Immediately, I heard my mother sigh, along with the three in front of me. I guessed they were somewhat disappointed by my sudden outburst, but they should have known it was coming.
Potter shook his head and let his hand fall beside him. “I would have thought you’d be over all of this, Malfoy.”
“I guess things don’t change,” I muttered.
“Look around,” Granger said sternly. “Things have changed more than ever. He’s gone. He’s finally gone, but look at the cost, the price people have paid.” The side of the room was still reserved for the fallen, dead bodies laid out, some covered due to horrific injuries, some uncovered with families and friends sat beside them, weeping. I thought of Crabbe. “The least you could do is put this all behind you. Not only did Harry save us, he saved you too.”
They turned their backs on me. “I…”
I knew he did. There was nothing more to it. He had saved me, my mother, everyone. I just never ever had the guts to say thank you, even when he was the only person who really deserved it.
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