J.K. Rowling’s New Story Reveals The Sad Truth About Draco Malfoy

12.22.14 3 years ago 19 Comments
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J.K. Rowling has confirmed what fan fiction writers have known for years, which is that Draco Malfoy is more complicated than the typical school yard bully.

Draco’s new backstory is part of J.K. Rowling’s 12 Days of Christmas with 12 new stories released on Pottermore, Rowling’s official Harry Potter fan site. While she fleshes out his home life and fills in the gaps after Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, she insists that Draco does not secretly have a “heart of gold under all that sneering prejudice.”

I pity Draco, just as I feel sorry for Dudley. Being raised by either the Malfoys or the Dursleys would be a very damaging experience, and Draco undergoes dreadful trials as a direct result of his family’s misguided principles. However, the Malfoys do have a saving grace: they love each other. Draco is motivated quite as much by fear of something happening to his parents as to himself, while Narcissa risks everything when she lies to Voldemort at the end of Deathly Hallows and tells him that Harry is dead, merely so that she can get to her son.

For all this, Draco remains a person of dubious morality in the seven published books, and I have often had cause to remark how unnerved I have been by the number of girls who fell for this particular fictional character (although I do not discount the appeal of Tom Felton, who plays Draco brilliantly in the films and, ironically, is about the nicest person you could meet). Draco has all the dark glamour of the anti-hero; girls are very apt to romanticise such people. All of this left me in the unenviable position of pouring cold common sense on ardent readers’ daydreams as I told them, rather severely, that Draco was not concealing a heart of gold under all that sneering at prejudice and that no, he and Harry were not destined to end up best friends.

Despite these harsh truths, Rowling does show compassion in her account of Draco’s privileged upbringing, and while Draco and Harry would never become friends, he does get his own happy ending.

The events of Draco’s late teens forever changed his life. He had had the beliefs with which he had grown up challenged in the most frightening way: he had experienced terror and despair, seen his parents suffer for their allegiance, and had witnessed the crumbling of all that his family had believed in. People whom Draco had been raised, or else had learned, to hate, such as Dumbledore, had offered him help and kindness, and Harry Potter had given him his life. After the events of the second wizarding war, Lucius found his son as affectionate as ever, but refusing to follow the same old pure-blood line.

Draco married the younger sister of a fellow Slytherin, Astoria Greengrass, who had gone through a similar (though less violent and frightening) conversion from pure-blood ideals to a more tolerant life view, was felt by Narcissa and Lucius to be something of a disappointment as a daughter-in-law. They had had high hopes of a girl whose family featured on the ‘Sacred Twenty-Eight’, but as Astoria refused to raise their grandson Scorpius in the belief that Muggles were scum, family gatherings were often fraught with tension.

See, even wizards and witches have awkward holiday family gatherings! As a general rule at any holiday gathering, wizard or Muggle alike, it is a good idea not to bring up religion, politics, or the rise and fall of Voldemort, also known as He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named.

Source: Daily Dot

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