AN: Written in response to the "One Line Starts it All" Challenge from CrAzY flamINGO . At first I was going to make Draco loving, as often I feel sympathetic towards him, but then I changed my mind…
"Hate isn't the worst thing Astoria." Draco Malfoy looked straight into his new bride's eyes and felt her shudder. "You can hate me all you want, you can detest and loathe and snipe at me all you want but you can never betray me." Draco fell silent and decided that he should change position. This is how Draco Malfoy thought. He thought in crisp, cool, cunning phrases befitting a Slytherin mind. Emotion had been cast out. Lucius and Narcissa may have avoided Azkaban but emotionally entangling himself in current family drama was not a practice Draco entered. The current deviation in though was even beginning to irritate the young man.
A ninety-degree foot movement to the left and ten, perfectly even steps led him to Astoria's side. He looked over her profile appreciatively. The Greengrass' blood purity was undoubtable and Astoria was aesthetically much nicer than Daphne. He hadn't cared much about Parkinson's school friends. Just the kissing he had so desired as an immature adolescent, far away from parental scrutiny, had led him to notice the opposite sex.
"I have hated before." Draco's eyes returned to Astoria from that far away place of reminiscence. "That hate did nothing, it did not affect the people I hated, and those people grew stronger and more powerful by each day that I hated them."
Astoria gasped. "Harry Potter," she murmured.
"No, not Potter, maybe I thought I hated him but now I have realised it is entirely probable that it was jealously. That the glory of Gryffindor was infinitely more important than the Slytherins and of course, me was a thought to hard to handle." Draco released what could have possibly been interpreted as a smile but Astoria was too afraid to laugh.
"No, I hated others but what really hurt them was betrayal. When they thought that they had been betrayed by those closest to them it showed. It shows on all humans. On that stupid Weasley family when their brother rebuked them in favour of the ministry, when Blaise cheated on Milicent in fifth year, when Slytherin was so certain they had won the house cup and Longbottom ruined it for them." Draco grimaced and moved again around his shivering, shuddering wife.
"Do these events seem trivial to you?" Astoria made no move to answer and Draco did not seem to notice.
"Dumbledore's face contorted as I stepped out on the Astronomy tower. I saw it." Draco's eyes returned to the far away place.
"Oh yes, he counselled me, told me I could never do it, told me he wasn't afraid, tried to convince me to join the Order and I stood there shaking as he slowly, slowly began to convince me. But, before that I saw the look of betrayal. It wasn't all to do with me. I know that now. Albus Dumbledore was betrayed by a student that turned into a monster. A person that Dumbledore helped mould. Every time the Dark Lord did something, anything. Dumbledore was betrayed by Tom Riddle. I know it hurt Snape to kill Dumbledore but the old man didn't seem betrayed, it was almost as if it was pre-arranged…" Astoria's eyes widened as Draco recounted this story. He was lost in the moment and as she stood there, terribly afraid, nineteen years old, dressed in her wedding robes and wondering about what was coming next. Secrets were being revealed at a fast and furious rate.
"But I didn't only hate Dumbledore, meddling old man, I hated another. Stronger than my hate for Dumbledore was my hate for the monster. I didn't recognise this hate. I knew I didn't like what made my family ostracised. When Potter looked down his nose at me and refused my friendship, at the age of eleven, I was hurt. I thought I was made at him but really, I was mad at whatever made the Malfoys be treated this way. We were treated with fear or disdain. Then when that monster took my mother and humiliated her and tortured her and then finally when the blood lust in the room was almost at breaking point, that despicable creature…raped my mother, he didn't care. My family was disgraced. He snapped my father's wand, he ridiculed us, we had failed him countless times. But then when he raped my mother at a death eater's meeting, high off the excitement of violence and killing and presumed power I felt such a huge swell of hatred that my occlumens shield broke down. He felt it. I was next; I was crucio-ed to the point where I couldn't walk properly for two weeks. I was seventeen, nearly eighteen, years old. However, the real question is, what did my hatred do? The answer nothing." Draco's eyes now returned to the land of the living and he noticed that his bride was mewling and shaking at a faster rate.
"You don't believe me?" Draco's eyebrow was infuriatingly cocked up at an angle and Astoria fighting her nerves and the pain in her feet from standing so long whispered her response,
"No?" The tone was calm, even condescending, "You should believe me." Seven steps lead Draco to the other side of Astoria.
"Why should you believe me? Because every word of it is true, everything I describe is true. Anyone that I have ever hated has not fallen because of hate, it was because of betrayal." Draco paused and reflected, tilting his head ever so slightly.
"Well, I suppose Dumbledore did win, prevailing through Potter. Who know what the lot of them did in that year? Who knows what any of us did? What we resorted to? Crucio-ing half-bloods for detention, reciting propaganda, you were there Astoria, a fifth year, preparing for examinations that you were not being taught the material of. But you don't understand."
"What don't I understand, Draco?" Astoria's voice, raspy from the shaking and silent sobbing is quiet, not much more than a murmur.
"The reason my parents are not in Azkaban is due to the fact that my mother lied to the monster, telling him Potter was dead, when in fact he had not passed over. You didn't see the Battle. You were a student that left the castle. We all saw though. He paraded Potter as dead and then he rose again. My mother's betrayal because of her love for me brought him down, not hate." Draco's eyes had a steely glint and Astoria's sobs reverberated around the chamber.
"Do you understand, Astoria? You must never betray me. It is my greatest fear. You must stay loyal for ever. The Greengrass family was always neutral but you, darling, are now a Malfoy."