I’ve decided I’m just going to go off on tangents about my favorite characters from HP. They’re always on my mind, and they’re SO INTERESTING. I have so much to say about them, truly. Every time I think I’ve wrung everything out of them, I stumble across something else that sends me down a whole new path. Draco Malfoy is, in my opinion, one of (if not THE) most interesting character in the series. He’s set up in the first few books as just a dick, a little rich boy who enjoys reaping the benefits of his father’s terribleness and has swallowed his family’s beliefs whole. And I think that’s accurate for the first few books. But as the books go on, and we learn more about ALL our friends (yes, I did just refer to the HP characters as our friends. Act like you don’t think of them like that too), I start to see Draco as…sad. Really, really sad. He’s caught between striving for his father’s approval – something I think we can all relate to on some level – and coming to the realization that his father and the other Death Eaters are WRONG, on a fundamental level. And you can see how that tortures him. I think that’s a big reason why he’s so obsessed with being mean to Harry & Co. He’s so very jealous of everything they represent – Ron has a family that is warm and unconditionally loving, Harry is literally the representation of the opposite side of the war that Draco is on by virtue of his birth. Even their friendship is something he’s never had – after all, Draco doesn’t have friends, he has minions. Crabbe and Goyle may make for impressive muscle, but they’re no Ron & Hermione. Probably the most interesting thing about Draco, though, is that I’m able to extrapolate all of these motivations – that I’m able to imagine the childhood he must have had, striving for his father’s attention and praise (while his father was slightly distracted with the denounce-everything-you-believe-to-stay-out-of-jail dance he was doing at the time) and how that affected him through his life; and I can imagine him slowly coming to the realization that everything his family taught him was wrong and the affect that world-shattering revelation would have on his character and his actions; purely from the way Rowling writes him. At his core, his literary character core, Draco is a fairly straightforward foil for Harry. But he becomes so much more than that in Rowling’s hands. That’s why we love her, isn’t it?