Ever since the end of the war everything had been changing.
Father had been sent away to Azkaban for an indefinite amount of time. My father looked more and more worn down throughout the trial. He seemed emotionless when the judge had given the verdict. It was as if he had given up on fighting, on life. He didn't even appeal the sentence given. It was if to say he agreed that it was fair, and that he knew the world wanted justice, so he wouldn't protest their wishes.
There had been too much evidence of his acts against muggles this time. The punishment given was also meant to serve for his abuses against them which had occurred during the first wizarding war.
It was hard being inconspicuous given the amount of press coverage his trial received. Sat here now, in a closeted corner in The Leaky Cauldron I could still feel everyone else's stares following every movement of my body.
His presence was something which Mother and I did not miss. In fact, we felt liberated from him; the person who had once held us both captive. Mother was forced to suffer the pain brought by him and his many mistresses, but was unable to escape her marriage for fear of retribution from her fellow purebloods. You weren’t, after all, supposed to enjoy your marriage. The only purpose it served you, was for you to able to carry on the pureblood line.
After that matter was dealt with, you both stayed in your private quarters of the family estate, and only conversed over menial matters such as how well your offspring was developing into the next muggle-hating member of the family. It wasn't exactly like the idealised dream of marriage which was about love and happiness.
Yet another good thing which came out of Father's removal was me no longer having to hear, “You must obey the Dark Lord’s will Draco, or punishments will be severe.” He used to say that to me every day. Not that I needed reminding about what happened to those who fell out of Dark Lord’s favour. The deaths reported in the Daily Prophet were some of the nicer and less gruesome ones of which he and his faithful followers committed.
I was still trying to forget the first murder I witnessed the Dark Lord commit. It was the Muggle Studies teacher from Hogwarts. I think her name was Professor Burbage. Nagini carrying out the final part of her death was probably the worst part of the whole ordeal. I wasn't sure if I would ever be able to forgive my father for forcing me to witness that.
I used to say to myself we should never be afraid to die. Back then, death could be considered bliss compared to the paranoia and fear my mother and I endured on a daily basis all thanks to my father and his treacherous deeds. However, after witnessing deaths like the one of Professor Burbage, it made it hard for me to persuade myself that was true. Her death didn't seem to be much like bliss.
Every time I thought about the war and its atrocities, it caused my nightmares to be more frequent and terrifying. Those who try and carry on with their lives and pretend as though nothing had happened didn't go through as much. It would be impossible to go through what we did and come out unscathed. They could forget all about it, since they did not have to witness crimes, and knowing that you were unable to prevent them from happening.
They were on the edge of the war, the outskirts of it, practically unaffected by the consequences of it. The endless red tape of the corrupt ministry and minister kept the truth confined, and the only so called ‘news’ released was blatant propaganda against anyone who didn’t have the purest of pure blood.
You could see it in the eyes of those who did suffer though; both of you knowing that there was no end to these memories constantly being replayed over and over again in your mind. Both of you left wondering every day if you had done one thing differently whether or not it would have made much of a difference.
Luckily Mother escaped Azkaban. She was never a Death Eater after all, and though she agreed with some aspects of their ideology, when it came to killing muggles for fun she never stood for that. Neither did I, but one word that went against the regimes ideology and you were out. Forever.
It was really the fact that she saved Potter’s life, which saved her from enduring the rest of her existence in a close proximity to dementors. Without that, I doubt she would have of got off. Practically anyone who was a close relation of a Death Eater was interrogated thoroughly. If you had no redeeming evidence, you were off to an island in the middle of the North Sea.
I didn't despise Potter like I used to. He did save my life, after all. I never really wanted him to die, as I always knew that he was on the side which was worth fighting for. Not my side. The side which found it fun to commit atrocities which would shock a normal person to the core. I came to think that last year, when I was at the top of the Astronomy Tower with Dumbledore, and I realised that what he was saying was in fact, true.
Potter and Granger were the ones who acted as witnesses in my defence, stating that I was forced into the Death Eater cause, and the repercussions of not joining would, by far, be worse for me. To say I was surprised by their actions would have been an understatement. I would have never thought there would be day when Potter and his gang saved me. Now it had happened three times. Twice in the battle of Hogwarts and once at the trial.
Of course having two thirds of the Golden Trio on my side was more than enough to sway the jury to my cause. There were obviously still rumours about my innocence though, there probably always would be.
That was the reason why I never said anything when Potter and his faithful followers turned up at the Manor last Easter. I knew if I wanted to get rid of my sadistic aunt, and the even more sadistic Dark Lord, the best way of doing so was to save him. I guess it worked, as he managed to get away. Thanks to him it culminated in the demise of both of them.
An old elf of ours, Dobby, died to help them escape. I was still sad that he had died as I always liked that elf. He was incessantly kind to me and my mother despite the way Father treated him. He felt no reason to respond in the same way. The reason my mother was still sane after finding out about Father’s many betrayals was because of that elf.
Now here I was at the end of the war. The last few of the war trials against the Death Eaters had finished. They were not so lenient this time around. The judge wasn’t so keen to accept the idea that there acts weren’t their own. Hopefully that would deter any pureblood uprisings for the time being.
The famous ‘Golden Trio’ as they had now been dubbed, could do no wrong. They had almost become deities due to the amount of admiration they had received. Rumour had it, they were going to be given the Order of Merlin First Class. In fact, I would be surprised if they weren’t given it, considering they rid the wizarding world of the tyranny that controlled them. If the war had ended the other way, I may have even ended up with one. It was funny how a different outcome could have changed the world completely.
Weasley seemed to be revelling in his new-found fame. It wasn't surprising given how successful his siblings were compared to him. He could have his chance in the limelight now that he wasn't just glimpsing at it over Potter’s shoulder. He hadn't seemed to have changed much; he was still making an utter fool of himself, constantly appearing in tabloids, blurting out all of his secrets. Despite my low regard of the Weasley family, I never thought one of them would stoop as low as this Weasley's going.
Potter had been reinstated into the role of the heartthrob for teenage girls. Unlike Weasley, he was running from the fame instead of basking in it. Considering the majority of the wizards in the world have known about him since he was an infant, the joys of having your faced plastered over The Daily Prophet and Witch Weekly must have lost its appeal by now.
Granger was the interesting one; she was dating the weasel now. I couldn't see why, they were nothing alike. She was intelligent, and let’s face it Weasley wasn't the brightest spark. He seemed to be using his fame to enjoy the benefits of girls hanging onto his every word, the wealth and being on the front page of each newspaper.
She was different. Like Potter, she didn’t seem to enjoy the fame as much, but still used it to promote her crazy house elf cause. What was it called S.C.R.E.W.? S.P.E.W.? Who knows? And quite frankly, who really cares?
Then there was me. I didn't really know what to do or how to act. The son of a death-eater who also used to be one against his will. The pureblood society now shuns us as they were all trying to deny that they had any association with Death-Eater families. The blood traitors and muggleborns weren't yet willing to forgive their former abusers. We were ostracized by all members of society, it was as if we were in limbo.
Mother has been insisting we choose our side now, so we know where our allegiance will lie until the next upheaval. She was leaning towards the upper-class purebloods such as the Greengrass', Zabinis and the Parkinsons. She used to enjoy having close friendships in that circle. She also believed if she could marry me off to Astoria, the younger sister of Daphne Greengrass, it would reclaim our position at the top of the social hierarchy.
I disagree. Since the war, I had had enough of this stupid pureblood ideology. Being pureblood brings no advantages except arrogance in the belief you are superior to others. Look at Granger, she was the brightest witch of our age and yet she was a muggleborn. I had come to realise how stupid and immature I was prior to Voldemort’s defeat. Maybe it was time for change.
There were rumours circulating in the ex-Death Eater circles that despite the fact it had only been a couple of months since the defeat, they wanted to regroup and stage an uprising against the muggles and blood traitors. Voldemort being the martyr of this cause of course.
That was why there was such an urgency for the Malfoy family to establish where they stood. Never before have the Malfoys embraced blood traitors and muggleborns, only socialising with the elite purebloods, but perhaps I would be the one to break this tradition.
I had had enough of what I should and shouldn’t be doing dictated to me, instead I was going to choose what I did and who I socialised with. Despites Mother’s protests that I should marry Astoria, as it would bring back good graces to the family, I didn't want to marry some insipid girl who has no cares past her hair and nails.
I wanted someone with substance, who was intelligent, and not afraid to challenge the status quo. To find someone like that would be near impossible for someone who was tainted as I was. The only thing I was sure of was that I had no control over the future and I would just have to lead whatever path fate decides to take me.
Author Note: Hi I hoped you liked this as this was the first time I ever wrote from Draco’s perspective so I hope it was realistic :’) Please review so I can improve from your feedback and it really makes my day :D. Thanks :D P.S. This is for Laurenzo7321's Muse Challenge in case you didn’t know ;D
Lyrics from Muse’s Uprising: “the endless red tape….to keep the truth confined”, “we should never be afraid of death”