Title: Vindicated

Author: Hafthand (Ally)

Rating: PG

Summary: Hope. It dangles on a string before me and I just have to be man enough to reach out and grab it. Draco story.

Disclaimer: Property of JK Rowling and Dashboard Confessional

A/N: Story strongly inspired by Dashboard Confessional's 'Vindicated'. Dear god does this song scream Draco redemption.


Hope. It dangles on a string before me and I just have to be man enough to reach out and grab it. I never meant to find hope, never meant to be so captivated by its luminescent quality. Never would I have thought hope would find me and capture me so completely. But here I am, mesmerized by it so completely I find myself wanting to change everything I had been afraid to before. But now, now that I found hope…well maybe there is hope for me yet.

You see, I am flawed. So irreversibly flawed. You knew this. You saw this. But you refused to see the selfish, flawed, high headed boy I was. You saw something else, something more. And now maybe I am seeing something of that myself.

You had walked into my cabin. Innocent as a lamb for the slaughter. Guilty as a man hanged. You were contradiction, emotion, euphoria, lust, pain, sorrow all mixed into one impossible being. I let my eyes lift up to your angelic face and found your shocked eyes staring back. You didn't think to find me here, not after what had happened. Not after what you had so diligently read in The Daily Prophet. No. Never in your dirtiest fantasies did you expect Draco Malfoy to be going back to Hogwarts.

The look you had on your face then, it made me angry. Did you really think so little of me? Did you really think I would be ashamed to show my face? Did the Malfoy name mean so little to a little witch like you?

But once again I had been wrong. I had never been able to read you. Not you. Never you. I was always so self assured. I could practically sense how others thought, pondered, wondered. But not you. Never you.

You stood lost in the whirlpools of your mind, running through various scenarios as to what to say, what to do, where to run, where to stay. You were trapped and free all at once. You couldn't leave without being rude, and yet you could say anything and I would have been powerless to bite back. Such was my situation. Such was my predicament.

But you surprised me. You always surprise me. Your robes were hanging open, loose, lost to disarray. I could see your legs peeking out from below your uniform skirt. I had never noticed your legs. Your wild hair was wild and free, much like you. I had never really looked at you till then. I never could till that moment. I couldn't move. I was powerless, trapped by the politics of our world, and you knew it then. You know it now.

Your lips parted and my name fell, tumbled, spilled forth and I was lost. Your eyes tore open my soul and you simply stood and analyzed it. Always the intellectual, Granger. Always.

What you found there, what you saw…it must have been enough. It had to be enough. Something in me begged for it to be enough.

Something was pulsing, changing, moving. An opening in a stonewall where nothing had penetrated before. I was lost alone in the dimness of my situation and you had simply walked to the door and slid it open. What would happen to me now? What future could possibly lay before a wizard such as me? My past, our past; my hate, our hate. It all stood between us there that day and yet you ignored it. You simply didn't notice it anymore.

Can a person change so completely in an instant? Would a person want to?

If I had wondered that before that moment, the words that spilled forth from your red lips cemented it all in my mind.

'Welcome back to Hogwarts Draco. Try and have a good year.'

That's it. Simple. No flowery, over expressive words of hate or kindness. Just simple, open acceptance. No disdain, mocking, sarcasm.

I was captivated. You stood before me as never before. I had a choice, a chance, a decision. Would I remain as I was: lost, alone, condemned? Or could I finally be me?

Your hand reached out and hovered in front of you. I stared at it. So small, tiny. But Merlin so powerful. So much power in such a small thing. I have always been the closest to you in power and I didn't even come close.

I waited. I stared. Still your hand hovered before me, before you, before us. Should I reach forward and grasp it? Could I do such a traitorous thing? Could I not?

I stood then. I had never enjoyed people looking down at me. I stood and I towered. Your neck craned so your eyes could capture mine.

It took only one touch. One single, simple, short caress of my fingers against yours and I was swept away.

Hope. It dangles on a string.

I reached out and took it.

I am certain now that I am vindicated.

A/N: Different I know! Intense…yes. Disjointed yet flowy…yes! Any who, thoughts!

Love, Ally
'Defense is paper thin
Just one touch and I'll be in
Too deep now to ever swim against the current
So let me slip away'
-Dashboard Confessional