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Dumbledore's Army

What Makes Draco Tick?

by Darcy Smittenaar

Revision date: December 25, 2004

Note: Any references are either from my own brain, the Harry Potter movies, or the Harry Potter books. If I have a quote from anywhere else, I'll cite it with the speaker's last name. If they are from books, the citation will say "JKR," then a book and page number. If they are from the movies, the citation will include one word from the movie's title--like, "Azkaban," and if they are from my own brain, they won't have any citation. Duh.

"The amazing bouncing ferret” (JKR 4/207), that "spineless, evil little cockroach" (Azkaban), Drama King. Whatever he's called, Draco Malfoy isn't a nice guy. Unless you're rich and pure-blooded to the third generation, that is. Draco scorns Muggles, Weasleys, and all things Potter, and makes no excuses. I'm not making excuses for him either, but what makes him tick? What's behind the white-blonde hair and scathing sneer--besides the obvious connection to his father's Death Eater status?

Personally, I think the kid's a brat, and needs a good spanking as much as Dudley Dursley does. However, for some strange reason, I have been gifted with the key to understanding this snobby little vermin, so I feel I must share.

Indulgence and Sacrifice

Draco is rich, so he has never had to hear the word, "no." He is the heir to the Malfoy fortune--a considerable sum, as evidenced by Lucius' purchase of seven Nimbus Two Thousand and Ones in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, a ploy to buy Draco's way onto the Slytherin Quidditch team—so he feels entitled to treat anyone poorer like scum on the bottom of his shoe. In fact, due to this sense of entitlement, young Malfoy sees nothing wrong with taking someone else's gifts (Chamber).

"Only those who try to resist temptation know how strong it is. . . . A man who gives into temptation after five minutes simply does not know what it would have been like an hour later. That is why bad people, in one sense, know very little about badness. They have lived a sheltered life by always giving in" (C.S. Lewis).

As an heir to such a fortune as the Malfoys', Draco was probably taught to see siblings as just that much less inheritance. Lucius and Narcissa don't seem the type to shower children with affection--they are merely a means to keep the bloodline from breaking. In such rich and affluent families, usually the eldest child (particularly male) would get the--ahem--lion's share of the family wealth, but some of that wealth would still have to be set aside to keep the younger siblings alive--or at least to get them started on their own--after the parents' deaths.
The Malfoys--including Draco--seem to think that Mr. and Mrs. Weasley have "more children than they can afford" (JKR 1/108), which, as shown from the feasts Molly provides when Harry visits, is a fallacy. When he taunts Ginny at Flourish and Blotts in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, he makes a nasty comment about Arthur and Molly having to "go hungry for a month to pay for all [the children's textbooks]" (JKR 2/61). He said that as though it never occurred to him that the pair would willingly sacrifice all they had to for their children. Why? Because he doesn't understand sacrifice.

He has never had to work a day in his life for something he wanted. He has house elves at his beck and call 364 days a year to cook, clean, and run errands for him. He has had shelter, food, and everything else handed to him on a silver platter, and his parents had money to spare. Lucius and Narcissa never had to learn to say "no," so Draco was, inevitably, spoilt rotten. In the same vein, Draco has probably never had to give up something for love of someone else. He is inherently selfish, and thinks anyone who is selfless a fool for risking their necks for someone else. There are no "labors of love" in his rich-boy past--just greed.

Love and Marriage

As the heir to an elite family, Draco is expected to produce at least one heir--preferably male. For this task, he needs a wife, and therefore must be at least openly heterosexual. There is evidence in canon that Pansy is Draco's choice of mate; he plays up his injury, and milks all the sympathy Pansy will give him after the Buckbeak incident (JKR 3/123), suggesting that he is endeavoring to impress her with how well he is holding up. Afterward, when Pansy looks away, Draco "wink[s] at Crabbe and Goyle," suggesting that the girl bought his act, "Hook, line, and sink 'er." Draco would never seek a relationship with Hermione, Ginny, or Luna. First off, Draco despises Muggle-borns, half-bloods, and Weasleys, so the first two are out. Luna is out, simply because she associates with the first two. J.K. Rowling consistently depicts this, and there is no reason to suspect that five books and three movies' worth of canon is going to change abruptly, simply because some fans want to see Emma Watson (or Bonnie Wright) and Tom Felton together. There is no canonical evidence that Draco--or any other character, for that matter--is homosexual either. However, were Draco to take a male lover, the affair would have to stay secret, because, as I said above, he is expected to produce heirs--homosexuality does not little baby Malfoys make--and he would be considered a disgrace to the Malfoy
name, should he "come out of the closet."

Were young Malfoy gay, however, he would not choose Harry, Ron, or Neville as a partner. There is no evidence that Harry, Ron, or Neville is gay either, but that's a topic for another essay. I'm sorry to all those H/D 'shippers out there, but it's true. There is plenty of canonical evidence that Draco despises all three boys, and none to support a relationship with either of them.

To top it off, those three boys hate Draco too. Malfoy insulted Lily Potter long before he or Harry knew she was Muggle-born, and insulted the Weasleys--including Ron--when he volunteered to show Harry who the "wrong sort" (JKR 1/108) of Wizarding family was--in other words, Muggle-loving fools and people with more mouths to feed than galleons. Draco sees Neville as nothing more than a bumbling idiot to laugh at and push around, along the same order as Crabbe and Goyle--and no, there's no evidence in canon that they are gay either.

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