I know the question of whether Draco and Hermione will ever ‘end up’ together has been discussed several times before, but since JKR herself has said that will never happen… there goes that theory. However, the flying discussions brought another idea to my mind. Don’t get me wrong – I don’t take Draco for a misunderstood, ‘deep-in-his-heart-he’s-nice’ little kid. No, I actually like him as evil and arrogant as he is, BUT…
As you all know, at the end of Order of the Phoenix Lucius and some of his fellow Death Eaters are arrested and sent to Azkaban prison, caught red-handed in the Department of Mysteries. Draco said that it was all Harry’s fault, and he was really angry about how everything turned out. He still spoke highly of his father, and the hatred between him and Harry grew even more.
So, how on earth do I get the idea that Draco could switch sides in the end? First, I think it would simply be too boring and lame if Draco turned out to be a miniature version of his father, not being his own character, and JKR isn’t one to write boring stuff. Second, I think Draco’s mother, Narcissa, may have something to do with the way Draco chooses his future.
To explain my idea, first I’m going to have to look at the relationships between Draco and each of his parents.
As anyone might have noticed, Lucius doesn’t seem to be a loving daddy – the type that kids around with his child and greets him with open arms when he comes home for Christmas. Their relationship resembles more that of a teacher and his pupil – respectful and admiring from Draco’s side, while distant, strict and even harsh (remember that scene in CoS, the shop in Knockturn Alley) from Lucius’ side. In my opinion, Draco admires his dad for his power, but I think that he is also scared of Lucius.
When examining the relationship with Narcissa, I see that things are quite different. We don’t know much about her, simply because she doesn’t appear much in the books. We know, from Draco’s telling Crabbe and Goyle (GoF, on the Hogwarts train, when Ron says “shame his mother likes him”) that Narcissa didn’t agree on sending Draco to Durmstrang instead of Hogwarts, something Lucius apparently considered. She obviously cares about her son. But the only scene in which we really catch a glimpse of her is at the Quidditch World Cup in GoF. She is described as “blonde too; tall and slim, she would have been nice-looking if she hadn’t been wearing a look that suggested there was a nasty smell under her nose” (101 GoF). Later in the book, this exchange takes place:
“You know your mother, Malfoy?” said Harry – both he and Hermione had grabbed the back of Ron’s robes to stop him launching himself at Malfoy – “That expression she’s got, like she’s got dung under her nose? Has she always looked like that, or was it just because you were with her?”
Malfoy’s pale face went slightly pink. “Don’t you dare insult my mother, Potter.” (GoF)
This is quite a different reaction to an insult directed at Lucius as far as I remember. I think Draco really loves his mother and cares a great deal about her.
So, that brings us back to the fact that Lucius ended up imprisoned. And I don’t think that Voldemort is too pleased about Mr. Malfoy’s performance at the Department of Mysteries, including not killing Harry, not knowing what exactly the prophecy said and on top of that getting caught and sent to Azkaban. Do you expect Voldemort to accept such a bad outcome and simply say, “Lucius, my dear old friend, it doesn’t matter that much. I know for sure, next time, you will do better!”…? No way! Especially when you think about what Voldemort said to Lucius about his behavior during the last years – saving his skin by saying he never was a follower of the Dark Lord etc. – at the first meeting of the DEs in GoF. Doesn’t Voldemort say something like “I expect better of you next time.” and Lucius replies “Thank you, my Lord, you are merciful.”?!
I hope you agree with me, that Voldemort won’t simply let things down, and I believe that there will be some sort of punishment for Lucius, and I really do think Voldemort will take it out on Narcissa. I am not sure if he will kill her straight away but I am quite sure that he will torture her, using the Cruciatus Curse, breaking her will, etc. and either she will end up similar to Frank and Alice Longbottom or dead. Of course, Draco will learn about this right after it happens, finding his mother lying motionless – or maybe Voldemort, evil as he is, will make him watch the scene – to be a lesson – and Draco, frozen by shock and just weak against Voldemort, won’t be able to help her out. That could be the first moment for Draco, when realization sinks in. The moment he sees beyond the money and power and starts to understand what exactly being a Death Eater means, what his father does to other people, what he supports and stands out for.
I guess Draco would go to Azkaban and visit his father as soon as possible after that incident, and there could be a second moment of shock waiting for him. When he talks to Lucius, I wouldn’t be so sure that Draco would hear words of sorrow and comfort from his father. Probably it’ll be more the opposite – that Lucius’ loyalty has always and will always belong to the Dark Lord, and if Voldemort decided that Narcissa had to die, it was the right thing to do. We’ve read the evidence in GoF? You don’t just hand in your resignation to the Dark Lord and simply quit being a Death Eater – it’s the choice between lifelong service or early death. And as I am considering Lucius a true follower, I bet he would choose lifelong service.
And as I am sure that Draco really does love his mother, this could be the way he turns against Voldemort and joins the side of Harry, Dumbledore, etc. I never said that he would become friends with Ron, Hermione and Harry, nor that he would give up his cocky, arrogant attitude, turning out to be the nicest guy in the world – that would get him a bit far out of character – but there might be a good chance that they will fight on the same side in the end.