Draco Malfoy

Draco Malfoy is Harry Potter's archrival, the snobby, sneering little spoilt
brat who lives to make Harry and company miserable. He teases, taunts, and
horribly insults every member of the main trio at some point or another, is
disrespectful to every teacher except Snape, and is essentially the antihero
of the story. He met Harry for the first time in Diagon Alley, and Harry
distrusted Malfoy from this very first meeting- with good reason. Things would
have turned out very differently in the entire series if Harry had taken the
hand of friendship extended by Draco, but Harry refused, and in my opinion
this was the best choice to make. Draco wasn't interested in Harry at all
until he learned who Harry was, and he was suddenly eager to make friends.
This speaks volumes in and of itself- he never would have approached Harry if
Harry was just another face in the crowd, but when he finds that Harry is the
famous boy-who-lived, he's suddenly eager to have such a famous friend. Harry,
though, is wise enough to see through this game and makes friends with Ron
instead. Draco may even resent Ron for this on some level; he didn't get to
have the fame associated with being Harry Potter's best pal, which Draco only
wanted for his own selfish reasons to begin with.

Some fans of Draco, especially fanfiction writers, try to flesh out his
character more or try to defend his bullying and give endless reasons for it-
that he's abused and is lashing out from fear, for instance. There's nothing
wrong with writing fanfiction and developing a character beyond the parameters
they're set in the book, but, really, outside of that world, there doesn't
HAVE to be a reason that Draco is a bully, nor does there have to be any
deepness to his character. I've known and been tormented by several people
like him, and all of them came from good home situations, etc.- they had no
rhyme or reason behind being bullies, they just were. This is the case, in my
opinion, with canon Draco, as J.K. Rowling writes him- he's not MEANT to have
some deep, angsty layers to him, he's meant to be the mean bully that gives
the hero grief on top of all the other grief the hero has to deal with. Draco
also doesn't bully the Gryffindors because he's afraid of having them as
"true" friends. There are plenty of people in Slytherin he could be good,
close friends with. But notice whom he chooses to surround himself with-
minions, people who will protect him and do his bidding (Crabbe and Goyle) or
in Pansy Parkinson's case, someone to coo and fawn all over him. Also, he's
not being mean to the Gryffindors because he's lashing out from fear of
getting close to people- think to the Quidditch match in Book 5, for instance.
Was the "Weasley Is Our King" song the product of the mind of a scared little
boy who is mean because he's scared to make friends? No, it was the action of
a BULLY- he wrote the song and told his cronies to sing it for no reason
except to publicly humiliate Ron so they could get a good laugh out of it.

Let's analyze now the notion that Draco is physically, emotionally, or
sexually abused to some degree. I am going to make my stance clear from the
outset- I do not for one second believe that Draco is abused in ANY manner to
the insane degree that some fanon writers will have you believe. There is
NOTHING, or very little, in canon to suggest that Lucius is an abusive father.
Some people like to point to the shoving and prodding in the 2nd movie, but
please remember that, though the movies are based on the books, and even
though J.K. Rowling has some say in them, they are NOT the books and events or
appearances in them shouldn't affect one's perception of book canon. Ignoring
the movies for a moment, in the only canon we have, which is the books, there
is nothing to suggest that Lucius physically or sexually abuses Draco.
Emotionally, yes, I will grant you that there may be a little emotional abuse
there, but it's only to make Draco into a miniature version of Lucius, which
is what everybody seems to want, anyway. Indeed, judging from Lucius' attitude
and behaviour, the apple didn't fall far from the tree and Draco needs little
encouragement to be an arrogant follower of evil like his father.

I'm sorry if I have offended any Draco fans out there, but I'm hoping I got my
point across- fanon Draco is nice for some people, but at the end of the day,
there's nothing more to the actual canon Draco than what's on the surface- a
spoilt brat who's a selfish bully.

 

by Mary McGowan
History Major
CM 301 Cumberland/Kentucky Hall, NKU


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