Summary: Draco visits Azkaban to talk to his father after attempting to kill Dumbledore

Author's Note: I don't own Harry Potter

Strength in a Name

The wind was picking up and tossed the leaves about, causing them to dance, twist, turn, and fall. The road leading up to the prison was vacant and desolate, foreboding the danger that lay inside. There was only one sign of life along the curving, winding, ribbon of cobble – a young man with a black overcoat and a walking stick. His eyes were sunken in and creased with worry, making him look older than he really was.

As he approached the wooden door of the entrance, some would consider it too easy – a prison with a simple wooden door, were the guards insane – but he knew better. There was a magic on the door and sweeping guards constantly keeping watch. He raised his fist and knocked upon the wooden door. A man with sharp, angry eyes appeared, allowing the door to creak and scream its way open as if refusing.

"Yes?" The guard asked impatiently.

"I'm Draco Malfoy and I am here to speak with my father."

The guard winced at the name as if it were a slap and motioned for Draco to follow him. He lead him towards the dark hall, walls leaking with water, or what Draco hoped was water. The prison was so dark, damp, and foul; he instantly felt a pang of shame. He couldn't bear to think of his father living in such a degrading place.

"In that one," the guard nodded towards a cell, "Call if you need me, I'll be right outside."

Draco nodded as the guard ran his wand across the cell, unlocking the magic that held his father captive. As Draco entered the cell, he saw his father sitting on the bed, his head in his hands. The sight killed Draco – his father, the man he had admired for years, was now so weak. It wasn't Lucius. Lucius was strong, powerful, and demanding not weak and worn.

"Father," Draco said quietly as he made his way over towards the cot, "It's me, Father."

"Draco?" Lucius lifted his head and stared at his son with saddened eyes, "What are you doing here? You can't see me like this…"

"Father, I needed to talk to you. It's important."

"What's the matter? Is it your mother? Is she alright?" Lucius's eyes filled with worry and Draco quickly tried to calm his nerves.

"No…no Mother is fine. It's me, Father."

"What have you done?" His father shouted but his voice had no power, no command as Draco was used to. He never thought he would miss the tone that struck terror inside within him but as Draco looked upon his father, he couldn't help but long for that authority that he had commanded.

"Voldemort gave me a task that I had to complete. I-I tried so hard to do as he asked but when it came down to it…I…I wasn't strong enough. I have failed you and I have failed the Dark Lord," Draco hung his head in shame, preparing for a blow or a curse.

"Draco, what was this task that you were to carry out?" Lucius asked, his voice surprisingly calm.

"I-I had to kill Dumbledore, sir. I-I just couldn't kill him and I tried so hard to but it wasn't good enough and I failed. Snape had to finish my task for me and I wish I could…I wish I could have done as he had asked of me. I should have been able to do it, and I shouldn't have been so weak."

"Draco, what Voldemort asked of you was a difficult task, yes, and very difficult for someone so young. But in order to follow him, you must do as he asks."

"I tried, Father!" Draco crumpled to the floor, "I tried but it wasn't enough! I wasn't strong enough!"

"Draco," Lucius bent down and placed his son's face in his hands, "Look at me, I didn't raise you to be weak."

"I have failed you, Father. You surely must be ashamed of me."

"Oh, Draco I know that killing is hard your first time and even the second but you get over that weakness and you overcome it. I had to."

"But I don't want to!" Draco cried, "I don't want to be a killer, a monster. I just…I wish…"

"This isn't the life you would have chosen for yourself, is it, son?"

"Father, you have given me more than I could ever ask for. You have provided for me and gave me my every wish but I would give that all back in a heartbeat to just be normal. I know being a Malfoy is a position of status and I respect our family name, our legend, but I just…I don't want to be the Dark Lord's servant."

Lucius pulled away from his son and leaned back against the wall. He couldn't believe what he was hearing though he supposed he had always known it at heart, "I know I haven't been the best Father to you, Draco, but I have only ever wanted you to be happy. I presumed that what made me happy would also make you happy. Serving my Lord is rewarding to me, but I don't want you to be prisoner to my life. I want you to be happy and make your own choices."

"Father, why haven't you said anything before?"

"Why haven't you?"

Both Draco and Lucius sat there in silence until Draco finally said, "So you are not angry with me?"

"Disappointed, yes but not angry, Draco. You are my son and rather you believe it or not, I do love you."

"Thank you, Father."

"And I am so sorry that you have to see me like this but just look at you! You're dressed like a Malfoy and with my walking stick and my ring, you look just like me. You've grown up fast, Draco, too fast."

"I don't mind it, Father. I like looking like this, strong, powerful, a Malfoy."

"You are a Malfoy, Draco, and I am proud to see that in you."

"Thank you. Are they treating you well, Father?"

"How does it look like they treat me? But I will get out of this place soon, Draco. Tell your mother than I love her and that I can't wait to see her again."

"I will."

"And Draco?"

"Yes, Father?"

"You are not weak, remember that. As long as you bear the Malfoy name, you are never weak."

"Neither are you, Father," Draco took the silver ring from his finger, the ring which he had clung to during the darkest times, and placed it in his father's hands, "Malfoys are never weak."

Lucius smiled, tears brimming his eyes as Draco turned and left.

"I am so sorry, Draco," Lucius whispered to the silence, "I am so sorry."