Spoilers for Deathly Hallows

I am not a good man.

I try to be, for my mother. Because she is truly the only person who I believe truly ever loved me.

I press on each day, reminding myself that I can be a good man. I can make up for my mistakes. I can make my life worthy of those who saved it.

As much as I might hate them...as much as I used to hate them.

Yes, strange, I know, not hating them now, when I dedicated so much of my life to it.

Truly, though, I do not believe it was really hate.

It was fear.

I have always been a coward, hiding behind the powerful, eating their scraps because that got me attention. Sometimes, it got me power.

Oh, I loved power. Oh, I loved being a bully and a prat. I loved the way I knew I was better than all of them, anyone who was not a pure-blood, anyone who didn't have a drop of magic.

It was a slap in the face when I realized that Harry Potter would not follow as my shadow, when I realized he would try to be as powerful as I. It was impossible, offensive!

Impossible, I thought. After all, he surrounds himself with Mudbloods and Blood Traitors.

And yet... all those years,taunting, hating, fearing...

Do you know... I really did want to be his friend, at least at first. How things might have been different...

I am a coward. I conspired with Voldemort to help kill Dumbledore. Dumbledore, whose eyes will haunt me for all time, regardless of knowing I did not kill him, regardless of knowing he was dying anyway and his death wasa mercy. Dumbledore who truly wanted to save me, and not because he was afraid for himself. He was afraid for me.

I ran with Snape, to Voldemort, a failure. I hid a year away in the Room of Requirement, and I let my hate fester, my fear fester.

So, that last night, when Harry Potter and others appeared, I wanted to kill. I came so close. I could have just said it, with no drama, no acting out and saying long speeches back and forth.

I don't know why I didn't. Perhaps it is because I am a coward.

Perhaps it was the vision of all-knowing blue eyes that floated across my vision.

And then they saved me and Goyle. The perfect Golden Trio, my loathsome enemies, saved me. I could not react, could do nothing, so shocked I was.

And Crabbe was dead. I consider him a true friend still, though I know he craved the power I did, and perhaps that is the only reason he became my friend. I am a coward, I am not a fool.

Then, a Death Eater was standing over me, and I couldn't understand why he wanted to kill me. Honestly, I'm a Malfoy. And then, he fell back, as did I a moment later, and yes, I was surprised and amused at the voice that yelled out at me.

Saved again, by those that moments ago I was planning to kill and turn over to Lord Voldemort.

So came the final moments, when everyone was running amok, until suddenly, HIS voice cut through. "Harry Potter is dead." It boomed all around and I believe time may have stopped. Oh, he droned on, talking, telling everyone to come and see Potter's body. I saw those around me though, McGonagall, and the professors. Members of the Weasley's family and Hermione Granger (how strange in that moment, I didn't once think the phrase Blood Traitors or Mudblood.)

I filed out with the rest of them, arranging myself so I could stick to the shadows and still see everything.

I did see everything. I saw it all. I saw my parents, my aunt Bella. I saw Hagrid (no longer the lumbering oaf) holding Harry.

I do not expect you to believe it, but I almost lost all hope. You will not believe the change in me, but it had been so sudden that not even I fully realized it had happened. But as I saw Harry, heard McGonagall scream, I looked around me. I did not see Purebloods. I did not see Muggle-borns(not Mudbloods). I did not see Muggles or Witches.

I saw victims. And I saw the boy, the only one, who could stop Voldemort, dead.

Then, though, came the most unexpected thing I have ever seen.

And yet, the most expected.

No one fell down and begged to be spared. No one ran and hid from Voldemort.

They stood there and made me so ashamed, because this is the one thing I'll never have. I'll never be this brave. Even now, I am terrified, ready to break.

Then Neville runs out, and I feel the shift of power. I feel it, though no one's moved an inch.

We will fight, and yes, I mean we. I will fight, alongside these people I have feared and hated and maybe I will...

But I see her, that same one that I always hated most, always showing me up in everything. She's looking at me, at the way I'm gripping the wand I found earlier lying in a corridor. Her face has paled and she is reachign to get Ron's attention, and then she stops, and she is looking at my face.

She knows. As do the ones around me, because they will fight too.

And we fight, and Harry is not dead. And Voldemort dies.

Voldemort is dead...

And I find my parents.

And gradually I discover I will not be put to death and my parents will not go to prison.

I owe it to them, those who cannot, after all I have, resist saving us.

It is a new era for the Wizarding World.

I will be part of it.

I am still not a good man.

But someday I will have a son who will not judge by blood. He will be my legacy. He will be a good man.

That is all I have to say.

Oh, I will have several fics similar to this, I have one out on Snape that I put out before I read DH, but it fits too, and I'll be updating it. I will miss waiting in lines for these books, and I raise a glass to all the characters we fell in love with.