'Harry Potter' Fans Just Learned The Stupefying Secret History Of Draco Malfoy
It really, really must have pissed off Draco Malfoy that while Harry Potter was his greatest enemy, he was number two -- at best -- on Harry's most-hated list. (Voldemort, duh.)
In today's 12 Days of OMG HARRY POTTER CHRISTMAS AHHHHH surprise on Pottermore, the online home of J.K. Rowling's wildly successful "Harry Potter" series, Rowling revealed a lengthy backstory about everyone's favorite platinum-haired school bully-turned-Death Eater.
As we know from seeing Draco at Platform 9 3/4 with wee Scorpius in the epilogue of "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows," the Slytherin survived. He was rescued by Harry and Ron from the flaming Room of Requirement at the Battle of Hogwarts, but between then and his reappearance as an adult, there was a blank space in Malfoy's history.
Rowling filled that in: Lucius managed to avoid a second stint in the wizarding prison of Azkaban by Filching on his fellow Death Eaters, but things were never quite the same. "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." Deeply impacted by the mercy of those such as Dumbledore (who forced Snape to promise he'd kill the headmaster instead of Draco), Harry and Ron, Draco saw the world in a different way.
He married fellow pureblood Astoria Greengrass, another Slytherin whose beliefs had been remolded by the war. Narcissa and Lucius were not fans. As Rowling writes, "They 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."
Rowling also revealed several of the motivations behind Draco's actions. Surprise, surprise: dude was jealous of Harry. Raised believing he was borderline wizarding royalty due to his pureblood status, he was shocked that Harry would reject his friendship, and hated that Harry was better at certain things (flying, world-saving) than he was.
But even though Draco was a damaged little brat, he did have one thing in common with Harry: the power of love. "I pity Draco, just as I feel sorry for Dudley," Rowling writes on Pottermore. "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."
But, fangirls, here's the harsh reality: Rowling is creeped out by your attraction to Draco, calling it "unhealthy fantasy." She felt tasked to tell them "rather severely, that Draco was not concealing a heart of gold under all that sneering and prejudice, and that, no, he and Harry were not destined to end up best friends."
And, on a lighter note, a bit of what never was. Rowling revealed that in the earlier drafts of the "Harry Potter" books, his surname was Smart, Spinks or Spungen.
Thank goodness for editors.