All the Wrong Reasons
July 28, 2025
My sweet but stubborn son, after last night's argument I feel that I need to tell you a bit about my youth. Perhaps only then will you finally concede the point that it's possible to do the right thing for the wrong reasons.
At the end of my fifth year of schooling my father was imprisoned and I was furious. I was ready to kill Potter, become a Death Eater, and everything else that would assist the Dark Lord's cause.
I couldn't become a Death Eater officially, of course, as I was not yet of age. (Not that the Dark Lord cared much for legalities, mind--but the Ministry would know if I did magic outside of school, so I couldn't well take part in attacks.) But once Father was freed, he managed to convince the Dark Lord that my strategic skills were fairly sharp--better than most of his flunkies, in fact--and that I could be put to use as a planner.
Most of my early planning assignments were fairly mundane. I guess they were intended to assess my performance. Eventually, I suppose, the Dark Lord decided that I was a good strategist, for over Christmas break of my sixth year, I was given an assignment of vital importance: figure out who the mole in our operation was.
It was clear that there was a spy of some sort. Many of our attacks were foiled before they could begin. I quickly came to the conclusion that there must be more than one. One must be in the upper hierarchy, and one must be among the flunkies. Each set got information that the other did not, and Dumbledore seemed to have access to both sets of data.
For the life of me, I couldn't figure out who the traitors could be. I figured they must be people motivated by money--whoever they were, they were not after power. And so I scratched off of my list everyone who was extremely wealthy (such people wouldn't take risks for more gold) as well as those who were extremely poor (and therefore couldn't be accepting bribes). Severus Snape was among the latter. Needless to say, I was not able to find the spies.
By spring break of my sixth year, I was starting to think I was on the losing side. This worried me greatly; I did not want to spend the rest of my life in Azkaban.
It was not until the summer after my sixth year, however, that I made my decision. I would work for Dumbledore; I would be one of the moles who couldn't be found.
It was not easy for me to come to this conclusion. At first, I figured that even if the Dark Lord were killed or otherwise stopped, Father would find a way to dissociate himself from the mess; and he and I and Mother would live together happily ever after.
But then I realized that I might have my cake and eat it too. If Voldemort started taking the upper hand, I could feed him information on the Order to get into his good graces. And if Dumbledore won, well, I'd stay 'loyal' to him and turn up on the winning side.
In either case, the Malfoy family name would be honored. The Malfoy line would be preserved.
And so, in my seventh year, I began spying for the Order of the Phoenix. I was pleased to learn that I'd been right; there were several spies keeping tabs on the Death Eaters. Snape, of all people--that was a shock. And Millicent Bulstrode, for crying out loud. I'd spent tons of time with Bulstrode; I'd probably fed her quite a few choice tidbits myself.
This only reinforced my feelings that the Order was cleverer than its competition and would ultimately gain the upper hand.
I began private Defence lessons--just me and Bulstrode, tutored by your Uncle Harry. And once again, I was impressed. Harry was a natural leader; I'd always envied that in him. What I hadn't realized was how intuitively he grasped the most difficult of magics. Calmly, as though it was nothing of importance.
The Dark Lord was definitely in trouble.
It was a relief to finish school. Being away from Hogwarts meant I no longer had to associate with those idiots Crabbe and Goyle any more. Of course it meant that I did have to do more work for the Dark Lord--and take the Dark Mark, as well. But overall, I still had a lot more freedom than I'd previously had.
A month later my mother was killed. Not by a member of the Order, not by someone bent on revenge, but by her own husband. My father. And why? Because Voldemort needed a pureblood's spleen for a potion, and Mother was a pureblood of highest quality.
It was the turning point in my life. I'd never even considered the fact that the Dark Lord might be wrong. Up until that point I'd hated Dumbledore and his cronies, helped them only for my own selfish purposes. All of a sudden I understood why they labeled my former master as "evil". I understood the meaning of selfishness.
Once I saw the selfishness amongst the Death Eaters, I could see the selflessness amongst the Order. I could, at last, appreciate the differences between the two organizations. Voldemort bound his followers to him using their own fear or greed. Dumbledore and Potter didn't manipulate; they led. They did what needed to be done and honestly loved those who followed and helped them.
I wanted to be loved again. Mother was the only one who'd truly loved me, and now she was gone. Love and acceptance could be had in droves in the Order. I would not leave them for anything, not even for defeat.
I was right to join the Order of the Phoenix; I just did it for the wrong reason. I came around eventually, but I paid a terrible price for my realization.
Think hard before you make your decisions, son. I want only the best for you.
P.S. If you are willing to tell me the specifics of your situation, I will gladly help you in making the correct decision. It is hard to assist with hypothetical situations.
P.P.S. Tip from one Malfoy to another: Never say, "hypothetically speaking" when discussing a real-life situation. It's a dead giveaway.
This is really a teaser one-shot for the sequel, which will follow eventually. The next story will involve Draco's reminiscing on how he ended up married to Ginny Weasley. Once again, he will do the right thing for the wrong reason.
The sequel will be rated R, which is why I separated this part (formerly the first chapter) from the rest.