A different perspective on the end of Book 5.
And what have we here?
Ah of course. The inevitable tableau...one against three. Any other teacher would side with the one, but we know better, don't we Mr. Potter.
Let me guess, let me envision...you came down the stairs, Mr. Malfoy came up. He started it, of course, one comment, snide or furious it doesn't matter. I'd guess furious from the way he's holding himself. Reaching for his wand? Yes, but you were quicker, weren't you, Mr. Potter, which is why you were caught, and stupid enough to admit to it! Not afraid to tempt authority when your house has nothing to lose? Or is it the hate driving you? I can see it, darkening those oh-so-sighed-after green eyes. You think I care?
An interrupted duel doesn't cause such emotions. So what could it be? Let me guess...I won't even bother with Legilimency, it's written across your face like text in the book you once thought the mind to be. You blame me for the loss of your pathetic Godfather.
I don't think so, Mr. Potter. Even had I liked Sirius Black, had I been his /friend/, I would not feel guilty now. Why? Because despite the accusation in your eyes, I am blameless. You told me of the danger; I reported it to the Order.
You went tearing out of the school grounds, not even bothering to consult me; I once again reported it to the Order and specifically told Black, told the insufferable idiot who I will not miss or lament, thank you, to stay where he was.
I will not feel guilt because you do not trust; I will not feel guilt because he would not listen.
Had you paid attention to your Occlumency, you would still have your precious puppy. Admittedly, I was a fool for thinking you understood why Albus wanted you to study the art. You never were that clever without Granger around to do your thinking for you, although in retrospect I'm amazed that she didn't deduce the reason and enlighten you. Perhaps this was one thing you decided to keep secret from your dear friends? More the fool you if you did.
What I truly don't understand about your arrogant little brain is how you could so obviously hold me at fault when you were learning, when, just once, you not only pushed me from your mind, but invaded mine! And then you stopped! You never practiced, you seemed to actively chase those damned visions the Dark Lord sent! And still, I can tell by the way you set your jaw, the same way your father used to when he was about to stubbornly defend his own stupidity, you will blame my 'inability to teach.'
Rather blame your unwillingness to comprehend. Not even I'm so stubborn in my hatred as to ignore you.
How many times have I aided you, Mr. Potter? Do you even remember that I saved your life once?
Does anyone else in the Order?
Albus...Minerva...Hagrid...possibly Lupin...so few who actually trust me. The rest...like you, unable to see past their dislike of my attitude and my past and see loyalty.
Ah! And here, just in time to save you from detention, your fairy Godmother! This is the real reason you left the grounds, isn't it? Because you lead a charmed life, someone will always be there to make sure your recklessness doesn't hurt /you/, and all you have to do is sit there in the aftermath and feel sorry for yourself, moan about how no one knows what you're going through.
Now I wonder, is that what Mr. Malfoy did to upset you? Failed to understand the deep loss of your beloved Godfather? I wonder...
It wouldn't surprise me. Everyone expects the son of a Death Eater to understand death, to respect it. But really, why should they? I heard the laughing after Hagrid took you all into the forest, Mr. Malfoy chuckling about how stupid that half-giant had looked showing you all creatures you couldn't see. You know, he didn't even believe they were there? Does it make sense, then Mr. Potter, to expect someone who's never even seen death to understand your pain? How can he?
And yet I'd be willing to bet my rather pitiful salary that you haven't tried to understand his loss. Yes, he's lost something, in case you didn't notice. He lost a father; a corrupt, prejudiced (and really, aren't we all prejudiced?), murdering father, yes, but a father.
That's something you can't understand, but you can come close now, can't you? Not even three full years, not even seeing each other more than a handful of times, and you were close enough to Black to know you lost something when he was gone. Now imagine that same removal, that same loss after sixteen years. Oh yes, Lucius Malfoy will be back, probably even worming his way back into his old social circles and the Ministry, but that doesn't do anything about the fear, does it? The knowledge that, until it happens, Draco stands condemned by the entire Wizard World. The knowledge that if his father isn't careful, not only will he be lost for good, but possibly his wife as well, and all of the family fortune and standing and the condemnation will continue.
I remember times you've been very unpopular, Mr. Potter...when almost everyone abandoned you. How did it feel? How would you like if, instead of coddling you because you've been through a horrid, traumatic experience, they shunned you as the Godson of the horrible Sirius Black?
Mr. Malfoy can't begin to understand your loss, but you should have at least some idea of his.
I wish I could wash my hands of you and your childish arrogance, your foolish belief, spawned from dreams and your ego, that the world should be nice to you and everything should turn out alright in the end without your trying. I wish I could dedicate all of my time to my less fortunate students, the students who have been actually taught to believe such foolish things and who are dependent upon their teachers so that one day, when those teachers are gone and the dreams die, my students won't go with them.
But such a move would be too dangerous. I have to keep trying to aid you when you don't want to be aided. Why? So that one day...
...when the cavalry doesn't show up...
...when your reckless arrogance gets you in trouble and your luck fails...
...no one can look at me and say "It was your fault."