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The Little Things

They say it’s the little things that make life worth living. The way the sun shines on your face in the early morning hours of spring. The dew clinging to the grass, or the birds chirping in the trees. The way lovers smile at each other, as though the secrets of the universe are known only to them. The slight touch of a hand, a soft sigh after a first kiss. These are the things people live for, fight for, and die for.

For Draco Malfoy, the little things were a fairytale. His world consisted of making it through a single day without punishment, avoiding the Cruciatus curse for whatever perceived wrong was committed at any given moment, and simply the act of continuing to breathe.

The years leading up to the final battle, and the eventual defeat of Voldemort had left Draco with many scars, both physically and emotionally. He had never pleased his father. Had never lived up to his pureblood dictates. He was, to Lucius Malfoy, a complete failure, an embarrassment.

He had followed Voldemort because his father expected it of him. He had been dragged to raids and revels because the Dark Lord had demanded it. He had witnessed the rape, toture and murder of muggles, men, women and children alike. Each death taking a piece of Draco’s soul with it. No one said no to Voldemort and lived to tell about it. When it came to choices, Draco was severely limited in his options.

Pain was something he was intimately acquainted with. From slapping at the age of three for merely spilling his milk, to Crucio at the age of eleven for failing to befriend Harry Potter on the first day of school, Draco had experienced nearly every hex and curse known to wizard kind. With the exception of the Avada, which if he were truly honest, he had wished for it on more than one occasion.

His list of failures were many. He couldn’t get on Potter’s good side. A beating that took two weeks recovery time at Christmas hols was the punishment for this crime. He had failed to outdo Granger in classes, coming in second to a mudblood. His father had nearly killed him over that failure. He couldn’t kill Dumbledore. The Dark Lord had nearly killed him for that one.

His single act of defiance came entirely by accident, and became the point in which Draco made the choice to escape or die trying. Draco had overheard his father speaking of the final battle, and the taking of Hogwarts, and in a moment of desperation, sent an owl to Harry Potter.

He told them everything he knew, had seen, and done. He knew it most likely meant Azkaban, or at the worst, death. But Draco didn’t care. One way or the other he would be free. The cost of his freedom came in the form of a single phoenix feather. He was to join the Order, and supply them with news and information in the capacity of spy.

Two long years of robe kissing, dealing death and pain to muggles, muggleborns, and half bloods followed his induction. Two years of sneaking around, taking curses and beatings for his failure to produce Potter, the location of the traitor Severus Snape, his Godfather, and for generally being the useless son of a useless Death Eater, as his father was known to the inner circle for his own failures.

In the end, it was Draco who survived, who flourished, who escaped hell after the final battle. His father was killed early in the fighting by Arthur Weasley, a fact that Draco could have thanked him for. His Aunt Bella had met the business end of Neville Longbottom’s wand, and lost. He hugged a stunned Neville in gratitude afterwards. The rest of the Death Eaters had been either killed or sent to Azkaban for life. And Voldemort, well he met his end at Potter’s hands. In Draco’s opinion, Potter killed the despot too quickly. He could have made him suffer a little more, but, well, dead is dead. And if Draco’s face was tracked with tears of relief when it was finally over, well no one was foolish enough to mention it. Not to his face at least.

His final act of rebellion against his upbringing was his choice of wife. He was, after all, THE Malfoy heir, and the crust of pureblood society expected a match of equal pedigree. A pureblood witch to continue the pure bloodline would of course be his choice. The war had not changed at least this thinking. With this thought in mind, the candidates were paraded in front of him like cattle on display.

Fathers begged, pleaded, demanded, threatened, and bribed for their daughter to become the next  Mrs. Malfoy. Surely Draco Malfoy would choose to bestow his name and all those lovely galleons on one of their precious daughters.

Draco grinned as he walked swiftly down the halls of St. Mungo’s toward the Maternity Ward. His life had changed drastically from the moment he chose to fight for the light. The changes were not easy, but he had persevered. And had become a better wizard for it.

The newest change in his life was inside the room he now stood in front of. His wife had given birth just an hour before, and had demanded that Draco let their friends know that she and the baby were well. Draco didn’t mind her bossiness, for the radiant smile on her face made it all worth it.

He softly opened the door, and entered the room, taking a deep breath. The scent of newness surrounded him, filling him with a peace he had never thought to feel. New life. His son. The newest Malfoy heir was cradled in his mother’s arms, fast asleep.

His wife smiled at him as he walked over to her. Sitting on the side of the bed, he leaned over and kissed her gently on the lips, then repeated the kiss on the top of his son’s downy blond head. As he looked into his wife’s eyes, he knew that he would never be his father. He would never take his family for granted. Never would he raise a hand or wand to them. Never would he demand that his choices become theirs. His family would only know love from his lips, gentleness from his hands, and perhaps some fun from his wand.

Draco laid beside his wife, taking her in his arms, and marveled at just how far he had come, and how his life finally made sense. He placed a gentle hand on his son’s head, and closed his eyes. They were right. It is the little things in life that matter.

The Daily Prophet of course had a full page spread on the Malfoy heir’s birth. After all, it was not everyday that a Malfoy married a muggle, and fathered a half blood heir. But that, my friends, is a story for another time.

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