First Harry Potter fic :D. I'm a bit nervous about entering this fandom (due to a certain fanfic by the name of My Immortal), but here goes ;p

Basically, I know that, despite all their faults, the Malfoys love each other. They may be hatemongering racist Death Eaters, but read the second chapter of the sixth book, or any of the seventh book with them together, and tell me they don't care. Anyway, read, review, etc.

They were far from the ideal family.

They had more than their share of arrogance. Prejudice against Muggles and Muggle borns. They mistreated their House Elf- Until that Potter boy had set him free. Perhaps it was their hubris and excess of pride that brought these hardships upon them.

Ever since Draco had joined the Death Eaters, in what he proclaimed to be an attempt to follow in his father's footsteps, an unspoken tension had settled over the Malfoy household. No one- not Draco, not Narcissa, not even Lucius- dared to say anything, fearing, perhaps, that by keeping silent, their fears would not become real.

They had sided with Voldemort out of fear. Narcissa's sister Bellatrix may have been loyal, but the Malfoys' allegiance was one forged from fear. Fear for their lives, their safety.

They had followed his orders like a pack of broken dogs. Not complaining when they were held prisoner inside their own home. The home that was supposed to be the sanctuary from the ugly world outside.

(Children weren't supposed to fear home. Weren't supposed to fear coming back for Christmas break. Draco did...)

Lucius knew he'd been a coward. He should have stood up to Voldemort. Protected his wife. Kept his son from siding with that monster, from going down that long, hard road to nowhere. But he didn't. He merely submitted himself, all the while knowing what his dirty cowardice was costing him his family.

If I could change just one thing, he often found himself thinking, I would have changed that.

Perhaps, if given the chance to do it over again, he would have set a better example for his son to follow. Without his foul influence corrupting him, perhaps Draco would have never developed the desire to become a Death Eater in the first place. He might have stayed out of the ordeal altogether.

If Lucius and Narcissa themselves had never become Death Eaters…

If I had been a better father…

But that didn't matter anymore.

It was all over now.

Narcissa had exhausted the last of her tears in the Great Hall at Hogwarts. Her breathing was still shaky, but her eyes were dry. Draco, on the other hand, had somehow managed to hold himself together until they were safe back home at Malfoy Manor. It was only then that he collapsed into his mother's arms, his body shaking as he sobbed.

It was the first sound he had made since they left the Great Hall. The last thing he said was a simple, quiet, childlike "I want to go home."

Lucius put his arms around his son and his wife, the small family coming together in a tight embrace.

It was all over. Voldemort was gone. Somehow, they had made it through.

They had gone through many hard times, most brought about by their own sheer stupidity. But they had stayed together. They were still a family.

"I-I love y-you, Mum," Draco said, stammering through his tears. "I L-love you, Dad."

Narcissa hugged him tighter.

"We love you, Draco."

Love. It seemed like love had left their home for a time. But it was there, always there. Just muted. Quiet, waiting until they shut up and let its feeble voice be heard. And, in the deathly silence of Malfoy Manor, they finally had.

Lucius let a few tears of his own fall, thinking about what he had almost lost- what he had almost thrown away.

What he had wanted his whole life was here, in his arms, crying bitter tears that dripped onto his father's shirtsleeve.

It wasn't perfect, but it was enough.