"The things I have done are unforgivable," he said through gritted teeth.
"Correct. Absolutely correct. But you don't seem to understand that that's precisely the point of forgiveness."
I'd stunned him yet again with that -- gratifying, that was, and this time I took the advantage.
Easy, Hunter. You have to put this calmly and logically, or he'll never understand. It's obviously a totally alien concept to him, no matter that he bandies the word about.
"You regret your crimes, you never want to repeat them -- you've repented, in other words. I'm not saying that you should stop making amends. I think you have an obligation to do so, in fact. The extent to which you'll go to achieve that is a matter for you and your conscience -- or your code of ethics, if you like, since I suspect you think you have no conscience.
"But the problem is that forgiveness has nothing to do with that. It's not a reward for repentance, or for paying off a debt. None of us deserve it, no matter the degree of our crimes, and it can't be earned. It can only be granted. It's an act of love on the part of the pardoner, and you have nothing at all to do with it. It's neither your decision nor your responsibility, and not one single thing you've done can alter or negate it once's it's given."
A Harry Potter fan fiction