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Dumbledore's Army

In Defense of Draco

Or: Why I Think He’ll Surprise Us in Canon

By The Morning Starr

Revision date: April 23, 2003

        I have been fascinated with the Sneering Slytherin for quite some time.  I can’t even remember how exactly this fascination started, where it came from, or how it escalated to the point of blind devotion and obsession.  At first, I was nothing more than a simple fan girl (despite being twenty-two), and my love for Draco was not much more than squealing at the thought of him.  I blame fan fiction for that.  Then I read Ashwinder’s stories, in which Draco was partially redeemed, meaning that he did not join Voldemort and company.  Her stories led me to wonder: is it possible that Draco won’t join Dad and the Dark Lord?  I decided to go back through canon, looking for all of the parts featuring Draco, and do a bit of an analysis.  I have come up with two theories that I am sure are shared by other Draco fans, but as I have yet to see any essays archived on the subject, I decided to write my own.  Keep in mind that I am writing this before the release of the 5th book, and J.K. Rowling may write something that dismisses all of my theories, at which time I will (begrudgingly) eat my words and run to fandom for well-written stories featuring a redeemed Draco.

            My theories are all sort of interrelated and use a lot of the same evidence, so if it sounds repetitive, you’re not imagining things.  The main point of this essay is to convince others that the possibility of Draco not becoming a Death Eater is very real.  I cannot, of course, prove my theories beyond a reasonable doubt, as I only have four books to go on.  I would like to try to cast a new light on my favorite blonde, and if just one reader emails me and says, “Wow, I never really looked at Draco that way,” my mission will have been completed.

            Before getting into the body of the essay, let me first say a few words about my motivations to write this—and a few words about those reasons that aren’t motivating me.  I am pointing these out now in order to avoid these accusations before they arise.  I, as well as others who hope to see Draco on Dumbledore’s side in the end, have been accused of having impossible fantasies, or as relying only on fandom for our theories.  “There is no evidence in canon,” I’ve been told.  I respectfully disagree.  There are as many interpretations and readings of Harry Potter as there are readers; the evidence is there, it just depends on how one interprets it.  The theories I am writing about are no more or less valid than any other Harry Potter theory out there.  Some may be more sound than others, but as long as canon evidence is presented, I see nothing wrong with any theory.  I do not, however, buy into theories which claim that Draco is abused by his father or ones that say Draco is really good on the inside, so if you want to read those, look elsewhere.  Nor do I think that in order for Draco to be redeemed, he has to be nice to Harry and make the Trio a quartet.  Draco is, was, and, in my opinion, should always be a prat.  Anyone who has read the parts of the books that feature Professor Snape understands that a character doesn’t have to like Harry in order to be on Dumbledore’s side.  Additionally, I have no desire to see Draco in a relationship with anyone in canon, so this essay is not stemming from a fantasy in which Draco runs off with Ginny Weasley.  My sole motivation is too look deeper into the possibilities for Draco.

            I have two main theories that argue the reasons why Draco will not become a Death Eater.  The first explores the possibility that Draco will choose not to become a Death Eater, once he realizes what exactly that entails.  The second theory argues that Draco will not be asked to join the circle, or that Voldemort won’t want him.  Both theories depend on the fact that Draco will not make a good Death Eater, and also feature arguments made by other Sugar Quillers, mainly from the Draco’s Future and Why We’re Fascinated and the Draco: Good or Evil threads in Veritaserum at The Sugar Quill.  I ask only that you keep an open mind while reading this essay, and let the possibilities lead the way.

Draco Chooses NOT to Become a Death Eater

            This theory probably gets the most criticism from other fans.  The most common is something like, “Draco adores/worships/idolizes Lucius.  Why wouldn’t he want to join him?”  Others cite the numerous times Draco has bragged about or publicly supported (if in belief only) the Dark Arts.  Still more fans point out the cruel and awful things he has said to Hermione/Harry/Ron and how his hate runs too deep for him to ever join them against Voldemort.  There was a time when I thought these same things.  But then I really thought about it, and applied the title theory, I found all of those points to be easily explained.

Point # 1: Draco’s Age and Upbringing—

            We know from our first meeting of Draco at age eleven that he values bloodlines.  In Harry Potter and The Sorcerer’s Stone (SS) (American hardcover version, p. 78), Draco says after learning Harry’s parents are dead, “But they were our kind, weren’t they?”  Then he adds, “I really don’t think they should let the other sort in, do you?  They’re just not the same, they’ve never been brought up to know our ways.”  It is quite probable that Draco is not speaking from experience with Muggle-borns here, as he has probably never been allowed to associate with them.  He is just regurgitating what he has heard at home, which, by the way, is exactly what Ron does on page 110 of SS (American hardcover version).

“I’ve heard of his family,” said Ron darkly.  “They were some of the first to come back to our side after You-Know-Who disappeared.  Said they’d been bewitched.  My dad doesn’t believe it.  He says Malfoy’s father didn’t need an excuse to go over to the Dark Side.”

            Then, of course, at age twelve Draco begins to toss around the term “Mudblood” as often as possible, and even says to Ron-as-Crabbe and Harry-as-Goyle that he could help the heir (although Lucius has told him not to get mixed up in it).  In that same conversation he says he hopes Hermione is the one that’s killed by the heir.  Additionally, there is that pesky line in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (GoF), wherein Draco tells Hermione to keep her “big bushy head down,” while the Death Eaters are levitating the Muggle family after the Quidditch World Cup (GoF, American hardcover version, p. 123).  This line has spawned numerous debates.  Some use this as evidence that a small part of Draco cared enough to warn Hermione, others argue he was just mocking her.  (At this point, I don’t think that line really matters either way.)  At the end of that book he goes on and on to Harry about choosing the wrong side, and how Cedric was the first to die.  Draco minces no words in making his values known in any of the books.

            But Draco is only fifteen, at the oldest, at the end of GoF.  He’s also a spoiled brat and a bully (at least when Crabbe and Goyle are around).  Indeed, J.K. Rowling had this to say about Draco in the Connection Interview (and can be found on the Collection of J.K. Rowling quotes in Gringotts SQ on the Sugar Quill):

            “He is the bully of the most refined type in that unlike Dudley, Harry’s cousin who is       a physical bully, but really not bright enough to access all of your weak points. Draco is, um, he’s a snob. He’s a bigot and he’s a bully, and as I say, in the most refined sense, he knows exactly what will hurt people…”

            Note that she did not say that he was evil.  She simply said that he was a bully, and that he knows exactly what will hurt people as far as mean words are concerned.  I am sure that at some point in our life we’ve said things we didn’t mean to people just because we wanted to hurt them.  I know I did that a lot as a child.  I still say hurtful things to my sister at the age of twenty-two.  I don’t mean these things, but once she’s upset me, I know exactly what to say to upset her in return.  Draco despises the Trio.  He despises Harry for snubbing him when he offered to help Harry by pointing out the “wrong sort” of wizards, and for being famous and always having cool things happen to him.  He despises Ron for being a Weasley and Lucius’ idea of the “wrong sort” of wizard.  He despises Hermione because of her parentage and because she gets better marks than he does in school.  He may even think he wants them dead, but I seriously doubt it.  I think they are just words, and Draco enjoys mocking them too much.  Something would be missing if one of them were suddenly gone.

          “Draco adores/worships/idolizes Lucius.  Why wouldn’t he want to join him?”  Right now, at age fifteen, he might very well want to join Lucius.  He probably thinks that it’s only a matter of time before Voldemort asks him to join, and then he’ll be handed all sorts of power and influence just like Dad.  But I think Draco has no real idea of what it means to be a Death Eater.  Lucius in the past has kept information from Draco.  Here, I will quote Elwing from the Draco’s Future and Why We’re Fascinated thread in Veritaserum at the Sugar Quill:

[Book quote] “And father won’t tell me anything about the last time the Chamber was opened, either. Of course, it was fifty years ago, so it was before his time, but he knows all about it, and he says that it was all kept quiet and it’ll look suspicious if I know too much about it.” (Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (CoS) American hardcover version, p. 223)”

            “So we see that Lucius does not trust Draco with any important information. Sure, he’ll send him newspaper clippings about Arthur Weasley, and he’ll tell him about the Triwizard Tournament, but to me, that SMAX of Lucius thinking, Well, the boy wants to know something, so I’ll tell him a lot of useless stuff that won’t do any harm if he goes around shouting about it.

            I think Lucius has kept much of the important information from Draco, at least while he was younger.  It’s possible that Draco may not have known for sure if his father was out there in a mask, though probably not likely.  By that time Draco was old enough to know that his dad was out there with his old Death Eater buddies, and he probably did think it was funny to see a group of Muggles being levitated in the air.  Draco, to our knowledge, has not been in a position where he has actually had to witness someone really suffering, nor has he been the cause of that suffering.  Actions are a whole lot harder to carry out than words.  With the pampered life Draco appears to have led, I can’t help but think he would have a hard time with actually torturing and killing people.  BBennett put it very nicely in the Draco: Good or Evil thread:

“We do know that Draco comes from a wealthy family, that he has a father who has a lot of influence, that he himself has a lot of influence within his House (probably partly due to his father's status), and that the two people he spends most of his time with are much more 'minions' than friends. What we don't know is how Draco thinks about any of this - we aren't given the opportunity to get into Draco's head and find out what he values or how happy he is. We see Draco through Harry's eyes, and Harry actively dislikes Draco - he's not an unbiased narrator.”

            This point lends itself heavily to my argument that Draco is not necessarily evil.  He could have numerous reasons for acting the way he does, and being purely evil does not have to be one of them.  Yes, Draco appears to be fascinated by the Dark Arts, by using them to get what he wants, but I don’t think he really comprehends what that would require of him.  He’s never really had to earn anything; everything has been handed to him.  Voldemort’s inner circle would not be handed to him.  I don’t think he’d know how to handle that.

            Draco has three more books in which he can realize that Lucius is wrong.  Forgive me for using a real life example for a moment.  When I was seventeen and younger, I worshipped anything my father said, especially concerning politics.  He had worked at the White House, after all, so he must know.  It wasn’t until I was able to vote in my first election that I began to look into politics on my own, and then I realized that I didn’t agree with any of my dad’s politics.  Now we can hardly get through dinner without eventually shouting at each other about political ideology.  Political science research shows that others go through similar political epiphanies.  Draco could have a similar revelation when he is presented with the opportunity to make his own choice.  However, if and when he does choose not to join his father, will we really know?  Would Draco really be stupid enough to publicly denounce his father’s actions when he runs around with Crabbe and Goyle?  Would Draco really approach Harry and pour his heart out to him about how he just couldn’t join Voldemort?  No, he wouldn’t.  If and when Draco makes this decision, he will keep it to himself until such time that he feels safe to express his views.

Point # 2: Draco Will Not Make a Good Death Eater—

            Draco is used to getting whatever he wants as soon as he wants it.  He’s used to ordering Crabbe and Goyle around and bragging about his Pureblood lineage.  He is not used to taking orders—and that’s exactly what he would do as a Death Eater.  Not only that, but he’d be taking orders from a wizard who is nothing but a Half-blood himself.  Draco would be nothing more than a lackey, a Crabbe and Goyle.  Additionally, Voldemort would make Draco prove himself, and we know from the books that Draco is a coward.  Here again, I quote Elwing from the Draco’s Future thread:

            “3. He’s a coward. He has no idea how to be brave. In his defense, he’s never had to - he’s always been able to hurt anyone he wants, say anything he wants, because there was always someone bigger standing beside him. But we’ve seen that to be a Death Eater requires its own type of courage, and self-sacrifice as well. As a Death Eater, Draco would be constantly running the risk of going to Azkaban, or suffering at Voldemort’s hands, or even dying on Voldemort’s orders. Death Eaters do die, and they are sometimes caught - we’ve seen it.

4. He’s not used to serving. He’s always got his own way in everything. But if he becomes a Death Eater, suddenly he’ll have to submit, entirely, to everything Voldemort says. If Voldemort tells him to, say, give up Quidditch and make friends with Harry Potter, then Draco is going to have to swallow his pride and do it. And he won’t like it one bit.”

The Draco we know from canon doesn’t strike us as capable of bravery or servitude.  He’s into the easy life.  If and when he does choose Dumbledore’s side, he will fight only out of necessity and self preservation.  Altruism will never be one of Draco’s strengths or defining traits; neither will bravery.  When he realizes what is expected of him, he may think twice about becoming a Death Eater. 

Point # 3: J.K. Rowling likes to Surprise Us—

            Raise your hand if you did not gasp when it ended up being Quirrell at the mirror.  *crickets chirping*  That’s what I thought.  J.K. Rowling loves to hit us with a surprise just when we think we really know a character.

  • Snape—we go through all of Sorcerer’s/Philosopher’s Stone thinking he’s evil and it turns out that he tried to save Harry.
  • Quirrell—just the opposite.  We think he’s a stuttering mess, and it turns out that he’s actually playing host to Voldemort the whole time.
  • Ginny Weasley—we think a lot of her reactions in Chamber of Secrets are simply due to her crush on Harry.  It turns out she’s been possessed by Tom Riddle.
  • Tom Riddle—we think he caught Hagrid, then we think he incorrectly assumed it was Hagrid, then we learn that he framed Hagrid.  Then we learn that he’s Voldemort.
  • Hagrid—we think he’s great, then we think he opened the Chamber, then we learn he’s been framed.  Then we learn he’s a half-giant.
  • Sirius Black—first we think he’s after Harry, then we learn that he was the Potter’s Secret Keeper, then we find out he wasn’t.
  • Peter Pettigrew/Scabbers—first we think Scabbers is just a rat, and that Pettigrew foolishly went to avenge the Potter’s death by getting Sirius.  Then we find out that Pettigrew was actually the Secret Keeper that betrayed Harry’s parents.  (By the way, there was almost NO evidence for these last two characters’ surprises, except perhaps the fact that Scabbers lived so long.)
  • Professor Trelawney—here we think she’s this big fake, and then she goes and makes a real prediction.
  • Mad Eye Moody/Crouch—probably the most disgusting surprise, especially when we remember how he showed them the Unforgivables to Neville’s dismay when it was actually Moody/Crouch that tortured Neville’s parents.  But still a huge shock.
  • Barty Crouch Senior—also a surprising twist to find out what he did for his son, especially when we know how much he despises the Dark Arts.
  • Draco Malfoy—first we think he’s just this little Junior Death Eater, then he defies his father and ends up killing him in the final showdown.

Okay, so the last one is just a fantasy of mine.  But I think the pattern is clear.  As soon as we think we know a character, BOOM!  J.K. Rowling hits us with something.  And who do we know better than Draco?  Who can we depend on to be more consistent in his words and actions than Draco?  Even Dumbledore throws us for a loop sometimes.  But not Draco.  He is consistently nasty, rude, bullying, spoiled, stuck up, the list goes on.  For as much as we see him in the books, we certainly don’t know much about him.  Is perhaps that not a clue in itself?

Quiller taradiane had some good thoughts in the Draco: Good or Evil thread (which I am editing somewhat for length):

“I look most to Tom Riddle for proof that JK has something more up her sleeve for Draco. I think that a lot of people either forget, or just bypass the fact that JK gave Tom a very sympathetic background. His father deserted him for no good reason. His mother died before he even met her. He was left at a Muggle orphanage knowing nothing of his history (we assume), even though he still had living relatives that could of cared for him but chose not to. That alone is enough to garner much sympathy from me.”

“Now we have Draco, who is your typical bully. At the age of 14, he's still spouting the beliefs his father has instilled in him…But I'm not entirely convinced that Draco has taken the initiative to examine his own beliefs. I think he's still simply regurgitating what he's heard since birth about Potter/Mudbloods/purebloods/Voldemort/et al.”

            “Why would JK spend so much time on Draco - and Draco appears in canon nearly as much as our trio does - if for nothing more than a bit of teasing? …No, no, there's something more to it. Something is going to be revealed before the series end, or Draco is going to do something that will change a major player's fate. Whether it's going to be good or evil, that I cannot say. It may even turn out to be something unintentionally good, perhaps to Draco's chagrin. But there will be something. You'll never convince me otherwise.”

            “I think that Draco will have a chance, thru his father or Harry, to come face to face with Voldemort now that he's back (ya know, he never really left). I think that at this point in time, Draco doesn't have a true idea just who he's really supporting. I think that when he does come face to face with that, it'll be life-changing for him.”

“Ahh,” says the naysayer, “But all of those examples had little hints and clues that we just didn’t catch the first time around.  By now we’ve had three years to pick through the four books, and we’ve yet to see any clues about Draco’s redemption.  This is true.  But we should also note that in almost all of the above examples, she confined those clues to one book.  If and when she does surprise us, it will be in one book.  After all, right now, Draco appears to adore/worship/idolize Lucius.  But when combined with Point # 1, this theory is strengthened.  Once Draco realizes he doesn’t want to be a Death Eater, then J.K. Rowling will begin to drop us subtle clues that we won’t see in the first read-through.

Point # 4: The Choice Between What is Right and What is Easy—

            From the J.K. Rowling Quote Collections in Gringotts SQ:

            “What's very important for me is when Dumbledore says that you have to choose between what is right and what is easy. This is the setup for the next three books. All of them are going to have to choose, because what is easy is often not right.”

            All of them are going to have to choose, and who better to teach this lesson than Draco?  It would be way too easy for him to join Lucius, and it certainly wouldn’t be right.  If J.K. Rowling really wanted to drive this lesson home, this is the person she would use.  Again, I haven’t turned up any quotes where she says Draco is evil, and he certainly is not the embodiment of evil—that’s reserved for Voldemort.  Heck, Draco’s not even as bad as Pettigrew.  But he has the potential to be, given his upbringing and values.  But really, who else could better teach this lesson?  Certainly not Harry.  Even if Voldemort did give Harry an easy way out, would he take it?  Would we ever expect him to?  We certainly would not.  So it wouldn’t be much of a lesson if Harry chooses what’s right.  That’s what we expect from him.  I think this point combined with the fact that J.K. Rowling likes to surprise us further supports Draco not becoming a Death Eater.

            And the naysayer speaks again, “But she also said that Draco would not fight evil with Harry in another interview.  That means he won’t join Dumbledore’s side.”

            But the question was, “Is it true that Harry and Draco will have to get together to fight evil?”  And Rowling’s answer was, “Don’t believe everything you read on the net!  I saw that rumour too… but it is just a rumour.”  (From the Yahooligans! Chat and available at Gringotts SQ).

            I personally don’t think you could pay Harry and Draco to get together and fight evil (especially since they are both well-off as it is).  But the key words there are ‘get together.’  Those words imply that the two will consult one another or plan together.  Quite frankly, I don’t know that I’d even want to see that.  But it doesn’t mean that they can’t be on the same side and hate every moment of it.  It doesn’t mean that Draco has to become evil!Draco.  It just means (to me) that they won’t become buddies any time soon.

            So, when you consider that Draco is still young, he won’t make a good Death Eater, J.K. Rowling likes to surprise us, and the theme for the next books is the choice between what is right and what is easy, the possibility for non-Death Eater!Draco is there.  The evidence is there.  You may think it is a stretch, but I see it.

Draco is NOT Invited to Join Voldemort’s Circle

            For this theory, I will depend heavily on Elwing’s arguments, as she articulated them quite nicely.  I read what she said on the Draco’s future post, and thought, Yes!  That’s what I’ve been trying to say!  And as she graciously gave me permission to use her arguments here, I will let her say them again.  This theory depends on the following arguments: that Draco doesn’t understand the importance of secrecy and keeping up appearances, and that Draco would not make a good Death Eater.

Point # 1: Draco Doesn’t Understand the Importance of Secrecy and Appearances—

            Draco is a braggart, end of story.  If he knows something that he isn’t supposed to know, he has to flaunt it.  He told Harry/Goyle and Ron/Crabbe what he knew about the Chamber of Secrets and about the hidden chamber under the drawing room floor, he hinted to Harry that he knew about Sirius Black being the Potter’s Secret Keeper, and he flaunted that he knew about the Tri-Wizard Tournament, as pointed out before.  He can’t even keep these things to himself.  Lucius does not trust him with more sensitive information, or we’d know because Draco wouldn’t be able to keep it quiet.  Draco’s always looking for a one-up on the Trio, and if it comes from knowing something they don’t, he’ll take that.

            His impulsive nature also prevents him from keeping up the proper appearances.  Death Eaters depend heavily on the fact that no one except Voldemort himself knows who all they consist of.  Lucius himself gives to the right charities and is in with the right people.  He denied his involvement with Voldemort and has kept up the right appearances ever since.  Lucius even makes it a point to remind his son that he shouldn’t appear to be less than fond of Harry, but does Draco heed such advice?  No.  Draco, instead, makes his intended loyalties known at every chance.  We all remember when, at age twelve, he said, “Enemies of the Heir, beware! You’ll be next, Mudbloods!” (CoS p139, American hardback version)  Elwing put it nicely in the “Draco’s Future” thread when she said,

“Oh yes, Draco, that was very clever. In front of a corridor full of people, he has just shouted out his allegiance to the Heir. Might seem a good move at the time, but let’s face it - even when Voldemort was in power and doing a lot more than writing messages on walls, no Death Eater worth his salt was going around yelling, “See, Voldemort’s winning! Die, Mudbloods, die!” Whichever way you look at it, that was a very stupid thing to do. Even Tom Riddle didn’t do things like that in front of Dumbledore.”

            Draco establishes a pattern of this:

“You’ve picked the losing side, Potter! I warned you! I told you you ought to choose your company more carefully, remember? When we met on the train, first day at Hogwarts? I told you not to hang around with riff-raff like this!” He jerked his head at Ron and Hermione. “Too late now, Potter! They’ll be the first to go, now the Dark Lord’s back! Mudbloods and Muggle-lovers first! Well - second - Diggory was the f-” (GoF, p. 729, American hardback version).

            This scene on the train at the end of GoF is another famous one, a scene that people use as evidence of seriously-evil!Draco.  I think it sounds more like seriously-impulsive!Draco.  If Draco really understood the gravity of the situation concerning the support of Voldemort, Draco would not have said a word.  Unless Draco undergoes major changes in the summer between fourth and fifth year, I don’t foresee him being anything more than a bully for quite some time.  Voldemort won’t want a petty little bully in his circle.  He’s needs people with their wits about them—people who, like Crouch as Moody, will appear to like and be helpful to Harry, while secretly plotting his demise.  Draco is simply not capable.  His obsession with beating Harry would overtake him, and Draco would not be able to help plot Harry’s downfall without saying something like, “I would be careful if I were you, Potter.  Your days are numbered.”  Voldemort depends too much on the element of surprise.  Hell, Draco would probably show off his Dark Mark if he got it, something else that would not be good for Voldemort.

Point # 2: Draco Would NOT Make a Good Death Eater—

            This point was made in the other theory as well.  Two examples have already been mentioned: Draco is a coward, and Draco is not used to serving.  But there are other reasons why Draco would not make a good Death Eater.  Here, I will quote Elwing again,

“He’s spoilt. He has no idea what it’s like to ask for something he wants and not get it. He’s grown up believing he’s at the centre of the universe - “I am Draco Malfoy, bow down before me!” - but as soon as he becomes a Death Eater, he will be anonymous, just another mask, as expendable as any of the others. If Voldemort sees fit to cast the Cruciatus Curse on him, for once in his life he will not be able to get up and say “Wait till my father hears about this!” because his father will most likely be watching.”

            At home and at Hogwarts, he’s accustomed to instant gratification.  Draco makes it known what he wants done, and it’s done.  As a Death Eater, he will be promised power, but he’ll have to work for it.  When has Draco ever worked for anything in his life?  If this doesn’t cause him to rethink becoming a Death Eater as I argued in the first theory, then at least it will make him a questionable Death Eater.  This goes hand in hand with the argument that Draco is not used to serving.  I think he’ll be in for the shock of his life when he has to call someone ‘Lord’ and ‘Master,’ and humble himself before Voldemort.  I think the Dark Lord would be able to spot such doubts, and wouldn’t want anything less than a loyal servant.

            Again, I don’t think Draco is brave enough to be a Death Eater.  I think he likes the idea that his father is into things he shouldn’t be into, but I think when it comes time for Draco to be behind the wand shouting “Avada Kedavra,” it won’t be so exciting.  Draco is a bully, but that doesn’t make him an automatic cold-blooded killer.  J.K. Rowling has not, from what I have been able to find, ever referred to Draco as evil; she’s only called him mean.

            Draco strikes me as being more like Pettigrew—that his concern for his own life will outweigh any alliances.  Even if he does join Voldemort, the moment he sees that Dumbledore is going to win, he’ll switch sides as quickly as possible.  This makes him too great a risk as a deserter, especially when this point is combined with the other arguments about Draco not making a very good Death Eater.

            I think that Voldemort is very selective about those he lets into his circle.  He can’t, after all, just let anyone in.  They might be working for Dumbledore, or they just may be too careless.  It is very likely that he can tell who will be faithful and who will not.  He does seem to suspect Karkaroff’s fear of returning and that Snape left their circle forever (assuming those are the ones he was referring to in Goblet of Fire).  Draco just doesn’t seem to fit.  He’s careless, cowardly, self-serving, petty, and self-centered.  None of those traits will help Draco rise to power in Voldemort’s circle.

            Either way I look at it, I don’t think Draco will be a Death Eater, and if by some miracle he does become one—he won’t remain as one.  He doesn’t really understand what being in Voldemort’s circle is all about.  No matter how many times I read through canon, I just can’t see it happening.  Draco is not a miniature Lucius.  Lucius is a dangerously influential man; Draco is a petty bully.  If either theory proves correct, that will present a conflict between the two Malfoys, and possibly pit them against each other in the end (which I, for one, am hoping for).  If Draco chooses not to join Voldemort, then Lucius will probably try to kill him (either on his own or on order from the Dark Lord).  If Voldemort tells Lucius that Draco is worthless to him, Lucius will be severely disappointed in his son, and perhaps try to punish him.  Both of these possibilities could serve as motivation for Draco to side with Dumbledore—either for protection or to fight Lucius for his own reasons.  But I am not blinded by a desire to see Draco go after Lucius for the good of the wizarding world.  I like Draco, but I’m not deluded.  Draco is not and will never be Harry, even if they are reluctantly on the same side of the final batter.  And I must reiterate here that being on the same side does not mean they are “getting together to fight evil.”  Harry will never say, “Okay, Draco, you go after your father.  Leave Voldemort to me.”  It won’t happen.  I wouldn’t want it to.

            One thing I would like to see in the future books, however, is a little more insight as to how a young boy could be so filled with hate.  I realize who his father is, and I think that has much to do with it, but was Draco always mean and spiteful?  Did Lucius raise him that way?  I just find it hard to believe that anyone, especially at Draco’s age, can be totally devoid of good feelings.  No matter what the reasons, though, I hope Draco remains as rude and nasty as he is now.  Otherwise, he just wouldn’t be Draco… and where’s the fun in that?

            Whatever J.K. Rowling decides to do with Draco’s character, I can’t wait to read it.  It is my belief that she’ll surprise us, and that her explanation will be great as usual.  And if Draco does follow in the footsteps of his father and my theories are no longer valid, then I will escape to the world of fandom and read all the redeemed!Draco stories I can get my hands on.



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