Summary: Everything we do has a reason. Draco's reasons may not be what everyone expected. Based on the song by Hoobastank; a companion piece to All You Wanted. Read that one first or you won't understand! (Btw I promise this is my last songfic until I finish Propechy Fulfilled.)

DISCLAIMER: I do not own this song; it is the property of Hoobastank. I do not own Harry Potter. If you thought I did then… well, wow.

The Reason

Draco sighed. His mother was crying again, as she had done late every night since Lucius had been taken to Azkaban. His insides burned at the thought of their ex-friends shunning them over it. Filthy hypocrites, he thought viciously, slamming his hand down on the table. Every last one of them supported Voldemort, they were just too scared to show it.

Sure, Draco had felt that way for a long time. He knew the fear of finally choosing that side, rather than just professing support of the cause. But no more. He was not to be a mummy's boy any longer. He was a Malfoy, and Malfoys were not afraid.

I'm not a perfect person
There's many things I wish I didn't do

Draco stared dazedly at the black mark marring the porcelain skin of his inner forearm. He couldn't believe he'd actually done it. Part of him was still terrified, though a very small part. He was proud of himself. His mother would be distraught when she discovered it, but he didn't care. He was a man, and he needed to start making decisions for himself.

He'd always been vocal of his disdain and even hatred for muggles and mudbloods. This was the final step. Now, instead of being all bark and no bite, he could do something to prove his allegiance to the side of power.

He turned and gazed into the face of his new master, who lazily flicked his wand. Suddenly, Draco was met with excruciating pain.

When Voldemort let up, Draco got to his feet, panting. He knew better than to remain on the ground like a weakling. He could take a little pain.

"That is for being a Malfoy," Voldemort informed him. "And to serve as a reminder of what's to come if you fail me, as your father did." Draco nodded vigorously. He would not fail.

But I continue learning
I never meant to do those things to you

"I have an assignment for you, Draco," Voldemort said when Draco entered his chambers three days after receiving the dark mark. Draco nodded eagerly. He was ready for whatever Voldemort wanted. Anything to prove himself worthy of the mark on his arm.

"Thank you, my Lord. Thank you for giving me this opportunity." He wanted to show Voldemort how grateful he was without sounding like a fool.

And so I have to say before I go
That I just want you to know

Draco trembled as he boarded the Hogwarts Express. He'd not wanted to return this year, but his "assignment" required it of him.

Snape had tried to take the assignment for himself, but Draco refused to allow it to be relinquished. He would do this, even if he died in the process. After all, wasn't that what loyalty was all about?

I've found a reason for me
To change who I used to be

He wasn't going to be afraid anymore. Not of Snape, not of Potter, not of Dumbledore. He was strong, he was powerful. He was important in the eyes of Voldemort, important enough to be given this momentous opportunity.

He was not afraid. Voldemort had given him a reason to be brave.

A reason to start over new
And the reason is you

Draco sighed. She was crying, or at least, she was about to. He had been so stressed out that year that he had lashed out at the first person he could, and it just happened to be her. He tried to give her a sympathetic look, but thought it probably came across as mocking. Turning away, he left her there.

It wasn't until she ripped on Potter that he realized he was the one who'd turned her into such a heartless – well, witch. He tried to compliment her, but it must have come across the wrong way again, because she turned her new "charm" on him.

Was he pathetic? He couldn't be pathetic, he was Voldemort's man now. Voldemort's men weren't pathetic… were they?

I'm sorry that I hurt you
It's something I must live with everyday

A few days later, when he found her out on the front step, he was surprised to find that he wanted very badly to be in her company. Somehow, her presence banished away all thoughts of his assignment and his growing anxiety as he continued to fail miserably.

He didn't want to think about what he felt for her. For one, she was a Weasley, a blood traitor. For another, she was Potter's girlfriend, and that alone was dangerous enough. He felt guilty during the time he spent with her, not only because Potter didn't know, but also because he was too afraid to tell her of his true allegiances. How could he? She would never speak to him again, and that was something he couldn't bear.

He knew he would never forget her face that night. The hurt, the disappointment, the sting of betrayal was evident in her eyes. He wanted to speak to her, but it would have been impossible. Instead, he told her with his eyes how he didn't want to do what he was about to do. He silently begged her to forgive him.

And all the pain I put you through
I wish that I could take it all away

Up on the tower, with Dumbledore at his mercy and Potter frozen under the cloak, unable to interfere, Draco couldn't get her face out of his head. He knew Potter was there; knew Dumbledore had sacrificed his own protection to freeze Potter so that he wouldn't interfere.

What he hadn't expected was Dumbledore's offer. Here he was, about to kill the man, and instead of being angry, Dumbledore was offering him a way out. Draco didn't want the man to know it, but he was considering. After all, if the situation was reversed and he was standing there, about to kill Voldemort at Dumbledore's bidding, Voldemort would have killed him. And he knew that if he failed Voldemort, he would die. If he failed Dumbledore, he would simply face deep disappointment from the old wizard – and lose Ginny forever.

His wand began to drop. Bang! The door behind him flew open and the other death eaters joined him. He was furious. They were supposed to stay downstairs and guard the way, but it was apparent that they could not bear to miss this. Draco's last chance at redemption died, as did his last ounce of courage. He couldn't do it. He didn't care if Voldemort killed him, he just couldn't do it.

The door banged open again and Snape appeared, his chest heaving. He quickly assessed the situation. Draco no longer cared if Snape wanted his glory or not; he could have it. But the look Snape gave him was not gloating. It was pity. It was understanding. And Snape, looking furious with himself and repulsed by the situation, raised his wand and killed the old man.

And be the one who catches all your tears
That's why I need you to hear

They ran. They ran until they were sure they needed to run no more. Snape sent Draco to hide with a family friend, from his father's side of the family of course. Draco had wanted to stay with Snape, but that was impossible. Voldemort would find him.

When he realized that this "friend's" house was close to where he knew the Weasley's lived, he took his first opportunity to send her a letter. He was terrified that she wanted nothing more to do with him.

When he received her reply, he felt a huge weight being lifted. He would meet her, because he had to hold her again. He had to know she truly forgave him.

I've found a reason for me
To change who I used to be

He snuck out after dark and met her in the village, where she cried and begged him not to leave again. He had to, they both knew it, but he promised to come back for her. He would hide out until Voldemort was gone, because they both knew that Potter would not rest until he was.

He wanted Voldemort dead. He wanted to be good. He didn't want to be like his father. And he didn't care about being afraid.

Being afraid didn't always make you a coward; you could be afraid for someone else. Ginny had given him a reason to be afraid.

A reason to start over new
And the reason is you

Draco sighed. He was crying, sitting in the middle of the floor, clutching his head in his hands. He kept reliving that night, over and over.

Why hadn't he just taken Dumbledore's offer? Thanks to him, the entire light side thought Snape was a traitor, a murderer.

I'm not a perfect person
There's many things I wish I didn't do

Ginny had made him promise to stay hidden. She feared that both sides would be after his blood, and both of them knew that if he fought, he wouldn't survive.

And so I have to say before I go
That I just want you to know

He was a coward. Ginny, Potter, Snape, all of them were out there, risking their lives, and he sat here on the cold wood floor, hiding. Suddenly, he began to understand the true meaning of being brave. Being brave didn't mean that you weren't afraid of things. It meant that you faced the things that you feared the most.

He felt truly responsible for Dumbledore's death, and he silently sent an apology to the old man. Whether he got it or not, Draco didn't know, but he felt somewhat better just thinking it.

I've found a reason for me
To change who I used to be
A reason to start over new
And the reason is you

He wasn't going to sit here and take the coward's way out. He was going to stand up for what was right. And if he died doing it, then a glorious death that would be. Better than sitting there in the floor, crying about something he couldn't change.

He couldn't bring Dumbledore back. And he couldn't erase the things he'd done. But he could do his best to atone for his mistakes. He could fight, and he could turn over a new leaf, here and now. He wasn't going to be a coward anymore.

I've found a reason to show
A side of me you didn't know

He apparated to where he knew the battle was taking place. He immediately noticed the celebrating; Voldemort was gone. He was too late to fight.

Then, without warning, his crazy aunt Bellatrix began attacking anything and everything in sight. Without hesitation, he stepped into her line of fire. Even if it killed him, he would fight for what was right, what was honorable, what was true.

He believed in those things now. Dumbledore had given him a reason to believe.

A reason for all that I do
And the reason is you