The In-Between: Absolution

A/N: Part of "The In-Between" series- because epilogues are never satisfying.

I am Draco Malfoy.

Perhaps you recognize my name. I am rather legendary. My surname probably niggles at the edge of your consciousness, invoking an ethereal sense of fear, hatred, or pity, depending on your disposition.

I, of course, am the school boy who fancied himself a Death Eater and the would-be assassin of Albus Dumbledore. My personal infamy has faded over these last thirty years- I'm but a mere couple of lines in most books: Hogwarts, A History; The Second War; The Rise and Fall of the Dark Arts (revised edition), etc. I may be Harry 'The Chosen One' Potter's school-days nemesis, but Severus Snape is the one who ultimately Avada'd the most beloved headmaster in Hogwart's history.

Yet, there is quite a bit to a name, despite what that medieval muggle (Spakesheare?) may have said. The Malfoy family will never entirely emerge from the dark cloud that hangs over our reputation. People may no longer remember that I was the one who was intended to carry out Lord Voldemort's plan, but popular memory will always recall that Malfoy Manor was Voldemort's headquarters; just as everyone knows that Number 12 Grimmauld Place was headquarters for The Order of the Phoenix.

No, there is no disassociating the family name from the greatest, cruelest, most terrible evil the wizarding world has ever seen. An implicit tension will always occur at introductions for generations to come.

But I don't care.

You see, all of that is insubstantial. Its pretenses, reputation, perception- all the things my father valued and all the things that ruined a substantial portion of my life.

I've found that living with yourself is much more important than trying to live out a so-called 'honorable' or 'respectable' image. Power and blood-status will only take you so far, and who knows what direction they will carry you.

And today, the day of my son's wedding- the greatest example of the redemption I've been given- I can't help but think of how I found absolution…

A/N: Thanks for reading. Perhaps a bit mushy/sentimental for Draco, but let's just assume he's gone soft in his old age. No worries- plenty of angst to come