It was all so wrong; I hadn’t meant for it to come to this.
Watching Aunt Bella torture Granger was possibly the worst experience of my life.
I felt Granger’s eyes drift towards my direction at times, almost glaring at me with accusation and disdain.
Though in my career at Hogwarts, I frequently had the dream of getting back at Granger for beating me in every bloody class and for slapping me that one day in our third year.
But never had I ever wanted to see Granger get bloody killed… and by my Aunt, no less.
Her screams were torture, though probably not like how it was torturing Weasley. His loud screams were very clearly audible, even though he was in the cellar.
I hated Granger and Weasley, but one thing that I couldn’t deny was how guilty I felt for standing there on the sidelines, watching and doing nothing.
No, Granger’s screams were torture because this wasn’t some random Muggleborn that Aunt Bella was having her fun with.
This wasn’t even Professor Burbage, a teacher that I hadn’t known but I had seen, nonetheless at dinner in Hogwarts.
This was Granger…she’d been sitting in my classes and acting like a know-it-all for the past six years.
This wasn’t like turning Granger in to Professor Umbridge when I had been on the Inquisitorial Squad, either.
In all of my wildest and darkest dreams, I had never fancied Granger getting killed, as I was fairly sure I had to witness in only a matter of minutes.
I didn’t fault Father for wanting to turn Potter in to the Dark Lord.
Between Father, Mother, and I, it was an unspoken consensus that by this point of the War, the only importance was our safety.
I could see it in Father’s eyes that he would much rather be at Azkaban with the Dark Lord defeated than to live with the Dark Lord and under his constant scrutiny.
We would do whatever it was to ensure our safety, and Potter being brought to our Manor was perfect. Of course it didn’t matter that we hadn’t actually been the ones who found him.
Aunt Bella had long banished Greyback and those other Snatchers.
Presenting Potter to the Dark Lord and letting him finish him off at our Manor would probably restore our family to his good graces. The fact that Aunt Bella finishes Granger and Weasley off would be the icing on the cake.
The scene was painted so clearly in my mind, and I could see it reflected through my mother and father’s eyes.
The difference between them and me was that Potter, Weasley, and Granger’s death didn’t sit well with me.
It was now that I had truly wished Father had never been a Death Eater in the first place.
It was now that I had truly wished Mother had convinced Father to stay away from being a Death Eater, all those years before my birth.
The darkness that fell all around Britain was frightening and I wished now that I had chosen the right path.
Granted, I hadn’t been given any choice and I had been too late to take Dumbledore up on his offer because Aunt Bella crashed the party.
When I walked all around my Manor, nothing seemed right. It didn’t seem like home.
Of course nothing was different; the portraits were still there, and my room remained as it was. But the additional presence of our house guests casted a dark aura all around the Manor that made me realize that I was far from being home.
It wasn’t home to see Father so helpless when he was usually full of confidence, power, superiority, and knowledge. It wasn’t home to see Mother scared witless when she was usually so gentle, elegant, and graceful.
I wanted to run away and never look back. I wanted to escape and never return.
The logic inside my head told me that I could never run from the Dark Lord, but there was another part of me that told me it wasn’t the right thing to do. That part of me told me that running away from the War wasn’t the solution.
That battle still raged on inside me.
The part of me that hated Potter and his beliefs was being conflicted with what I would recognize in the future to be the part of me that had morals… the part of me that had values.
But that was the question, wasn’t it?
What were my values?
I didn’t think that I, nor Mother and Father, knew what they were anymore.
The Malfoy family crest had the words, “Sanctimonia Vincet Semper” inscribed on a silver banner, meaning Purity Always Conquers.
It was obvious what the ‘Purity’ referred to; we had been purebloods since the beginning of time and had been advocating Pureblood Supremacy for nearly as long as the history of our family began.
But I couldn’t shake the feeling that being a proper pureblood wasn’t the sort of values that I wanted to have.
I had never questioned it before, as it seemed always like the right thing to think that we would be far better off without those Muggleborns.
Given everything that I had seen in these past two years, however, I wasn’t quite so sure that it was right to not question it.
Though I would most likely never admit this aloud, I couldn’t help but wonder whether I ever had values in the first place, if the values that I believed in were the values that the Dark Lord had.
The War had called into questions the very foundations on which I had built my character upon, and I hated it.
I hated questioning what was right and I hated upsetting the status quo.
I realized that I wasn’t quite like Mother and Father. They were already in their forties and asking them to change their beliefs deserved a good eye roll.
But I could.
Hogwarts was no longer an escape either. It seemed as if all eyes were on me, especially those of the Carrows and Professor Snape.
In the moment that Crabbe wanted me to kill Potter and in the moment that Crabbe had attempted to kill Granger, I knew.
I wasn’t certain, and I definitely wasn’t going to march out of the Room of Requirements and announce to the Death Eaters that I was officially on Potter’s side, but I knew then.
I couldn’t ever kill anyone, and in those moments of clarity, Dumbledore’s words rang clear to me.
I didn’t have to do this.
It was all ending; there was no way that Potter would return to Hogwarts unless it meant that the end was near, for one or the other.
Potter, the Hogwarts’ students, the members of the Order, the teachers, and everyone else who had come to fight against the Dark Lord and the Death Eaters was my one last hope.
My one last hope that I could escape from this mental prison. My one last hope that at least for me, I could try to mend things if we all found our way through this darkness.
If Potter could succeed, then I would fulfill the silent promise that I was making to myself as I watched him fly off somewhere with Granger and Weasley.
I owed Potter my life.
Potter would never expect me to go straight up to him and thank him, nor was I sure that I could ask that of myself.
But it would be thanks enough to Potter and to the rest of the world who witnessed the horrors of what the Dark Lord had put everyone through if I could find a way to fix it.
I couldn’t fix it by returning those who died from the dead, and I couldn’t fix it by trying to change the way I had treated everyone at Hogwarts.
But I would fix everything somehow.
Slytherin House wasn’t just the House that favored purebloods or pureblood supremacy. It was a House that favored those with cunningness, ambition, resourcefulness, determination, and intelligence.
I was sorted into Slytherin for a reason, and I would fix it.
The first step was already complete; fixing my broken values by realizing that Magic really isn’t Might, as the Dark Lord believed.
A/N: This one-shot of Draco was inspired by the song 'May It Be' by Enya! It was also written for two challenges as stated in the story summary.
I don't own the song 'May It Be' nor do I own Harry Potter in any way.