This piece was originally a drabble (for my collection of drabbles, check that out, as well), but it...rather got away with me. My writing tends to do that sometimes.
For all of my readers for my other works (especially the readers of my drabble collection and my 'Dear Blank, Sincerely Blank' readers from Doctor Who), don't worry. I'll update both soon. As you can see, this was intended to be a drabble, but ended up being far too long. Just enjoy!
Please review, all of you!
Change of Perspective
Draco wasn't quite sure when he began to switch sides. Maybe it was when he started having traitorous thoughts about hosting the Dark Lord in his home. Maybe it was up on that tower, listening to that damned old man. Perhaps it was even earlier than that, when his Lord showed up on his doorstep before Sixth Year and asked him to do the unspeakable. Whatever else they say about Draco Malfoy, he is not a killer (he never will be).
Maybe, it even stretched back to the end of his fifth year, hearing of his father's capture and arrest and waiting for the order to come that they were to storm the prison and release them (but only hearing the cold, detached remark of "They were stupid enough to get caught. Let us hope that prison will sharpen their minds.")
Regardless of when it had happened, right now, amidst the raging battle around him (with the spells flying and people screaming and shouting, with the roaring of the giants and the loud crashes of spells rebounding off the battlements and walls coming down and the flames licking at the sky and turning it a dull orange color), Draco found himself just wanting the war to be over (whoever may win) so that he won't have to fight anymore; so that he won't have to be afraid anymore.
Because he's tired of fighting; tired of hiding and being afraid of someone attacking him, tired of being scared, tired of bowing and acting like a servant (in his own house, no less!) whenever Lord Voldemort graced the Death Eaters with his presence. He was tired of being hated, and tired of being a pawn.
So, when the time came to choose a side, Draco picked Potter's. He picked the side that wouldn't make him bow, that wouldn't make him a pawn.
Fighting alongside his classmates, teachers, and other people (some he recognized and some he didn't), Draco was satisfied he made the right choice. He found himself fighting alongside Muggleborns and blood traitors, enemies and acquaintances; and none of them cared that he was Draco Malfoy, former Death Eater and arrogant pureblood. All they seemed to care about was that he was fighting alongside them. After taking down a couple of Death Eaters, he even managed to get a quick thank you from someone (it didn't matter who, just a nameless face, but the heart of the matter was that he had been thanked, which was more than the Death Eaters and Voldemort had ever done). This solidified his choice, and he fought even harder.
Even when (out of nowhere) he felt a painful punch to the nose and a voice calling out (mocking him) he didn't even really blink an eye. He deserved that, of course. He deserved that punch and so much more, but his punishment for all of those years fighting for the wrong side would have to wait. He had a battle to fight.
And when the battle was over (with Potter triumphant, as Draco knew would happen) and his former master was lying dead upon the floor, he simply walked around, trying to find his parents. He didn't want to celebrate the ending of the war; he wanted to go home and have his mother dote on him and his father to tell him how proud he was of him. Logically, of course, this would never happen (the father part, anyway; especially now that he had switched sides) but that didn't deter him a bit.
Finally, he came face to face with his mother, who grabbed him and held him close. Draco mused that it had been a long time since his mother had held him like this (not since he was little, he was sure of that) and he found that the feeling that rose up in him was quite nice. It was almost like the past year (when he and his mother weren't exactly on the best terms) hadn't happened at all. She was just a mother, and he was just her son, and they were having a reunion in the middle of the Great Hall.
His eyes found Potter among all of the others; how Potter's eyes landed on him, he'll never know. But that moment when their eyes locked, they understood each other perfectly. Potter nodded at him, and Draco nodded back, smiling a little (the first true smile he had worn in ages).
At the Slytherin table, with his mother and his father (who had showed up, disheveled and beaten-up but alive) he reflected on the circumstances that led him to this moment.
He vaguely noticed people staring and whispering at them, but he paid them no mind. Let them ponder what they will, let them think that the Malfoys are scum (he couldn't care less at the moment). Right now, he was just a lonely little boy who wanted his parents. And as he sat there at the table with his parents (his mother holding him in a kind of half hug while his father stared pensively into space), Draco admitted something he had never allowed himself to admit before.
He had never really known (or noticed) before, but he really was a very lonely child.
And as Draco sat there, his gaze settled on Potter again (sitting at the Gryffindor table with Weasley and Granger, the 'Golden Trio' together in public for the first time since August), and he felt the unexplainable urge to join them (only so that he had someone to talk to, not out of loneliness and grief, because Draco was too proud to admit that to someone else).
Sitting here, in the Great Hall, surrounded by destruction and yet at the same time surrounded by peace and the beginnings of rebuilding, Draco found inner peace for the first time in…well, forever. No longer warring, no longer afraid, no longer running scared.
Draco was home (as was he always in this huge place of dizzying heights and moving staircases and laughter and classes, in and out every day), and it was high time he started to change, to repent and accept punishment for all of the crimes he had committed in his short seventeen years. It was time to change.