Draco Malfoy had lost himself. He didn't know what had become of him, what he had turned into. He was, in all forms of the word, biodegradable.

It was the war's fault. It was eating him alive, clawing at his soul. What had happened to the young boy who had loved being on a broom? The bright, blue-eyed toddler that had hoped to one day become the most famous Quidditch player in the Wizarding world? His ambitions had been eaten away, his soul crushed. His eyes had dulled into a stormy gray. He no longer had the time to fly; rather, he had spent his days wasting away in service to the one person he despised the most in his life: the Dark Lord. The countless hours of hurting, of torturing, of killing. . . He hated it. He hated everything that now defined his life, everyone he had come to surround himself with. Because of the war, because of You-Know-Who, he had been labeled as bad. Evil. The enemy. He couldn't go anywhere without being insulted and spit at, without being made a fool of. This was not what he wanted his life to be like. He was a Malfoy for Merlin's sake; he deserved respect.

So, what was he doing here? What was he doing, sitting at the head of a room full of Death Eaters? Why had he, once again, dived back into the world he thought had died along with the war?

Because, he thought as he cleared his throat and called the attention of his companions, he was biodegradable. The war had left him weak; the defeat had bruised his ego. He had arranged this meeting so he could possess the feeling of power he missed so much, the kind of exhilarating high he achieved when he was flying. But there was something missing. As he briefed the guests on the outcomes of the war and discussed with them his dedication to keeping the memory of the Dark Lord very much alive, he wasn't pleased. Instead, he felt diabolical. He felt like the enemy. He realized then that not only was he biodegradable, he was recyclable. He had trapped himself into a vicious cycle, once again fighting for everything he was against and feeling the hopelessness of it all.

He understood what he had to do. It wasn't going to be easy; in fact, it was going to be really, really hard. But he had to do it. He needed to do it, in order for him to save himself. He had to start his whole life over, forget everything he ever knew. Because that's what recycling is. Starting anew.