Madam Puddifoot’s: Opposites Attract

by Annie

Take one look at any fanfiction site out there, and, judging by the overwhelming number of fics written about the pair, you will find that Hermione/Draco is by far one of the most popular of ships. However, JK Rowling herself has declared that this ship will never happen, so there should be no reason for so many people to continue supporting it. Why then, I asked myself, do so many passionate shippers still write and read about a possible romance between Harry’s best friend and worst enemy? As I investigated this mystery, I found that there are quite a few explanations.

First of all, the incredulity of a romantic relationship emerging between two students who so blatantly hate each other may actually encourage rather than discourage the shipping. Draco is a pureblood who has been taught all his life to look down upon Muggleborns, or as his kind calls them, “Mudbloods” – in other words, someone like Hermione. It is evident that Draco does indeed consider himself superior to Hermione in that he has never missed a chance to flaunt it. For example, during the Quidditch World Cup scene when the Death Eaters attacked Muggles, the trio ran into Malfoy in the forest.

“Language, Weasley,” said Malfoy, his pale eyes glittering. “Hadn’t you better be hurrying along, now? You wouldn’t like her spotted, would you?”

He nodded at Hermione, and at the same moment, a blast like a bomb sounded from the campsite, and a flash of green light momentarily lit the trees around them.

“What’s that supposed to mean?” said Hermione defiantly.

“Granger, they’re after Muggles,” said Malfoy. “D’you want to be showing off your knickers in mid-air? Because if you do, hang around…they’re moving this way, and it would give us all a laugh.”

In this passage, it is obvious that Draco delights in the idea of Hermione being publicly humiliated because of her parentage. However, Draco’s first sentence is very ambiguous. While many would consider his warning sarcastic or careless, hardcore Hermione/Draco shippers might argue that he genuinely is concerned for Hermione’s well-being. This little process of desperately searching for and twisting around evidence from the stories is very appealing to some people (including myself). One could call it a form of reverse psychology: the laws of attraction and logical reasoning all stand against Hermione/Draco, thus, in some strange way, spurring shippers on even more to create ways for the two of them to get together through fanfiction.

Secondly, we must consider the almost definite conflict that would arise if Hermione and Draco ever got together. Because Hermione — the epitome of a brave and dedicated Gryffindor — and Draco — often dubbed “The Slytherin Prince” because of his ideal Slytherin qualities — represent conflicting ideas, a relationship between the two would no doubt cause the level of drama between their respective houses to rise. Poor Harry, of course, would be caught in the middle — his brotherly love for Hermione would tell him to respect Draco, yet at the same time, his burning hatred towards Draco would force him to act otherwise.

Teenagers, who make up a large percentage of fanfiction readers and writers, also thrive on TV shows that are solely based on drama, like “The OC,” “One Tree Hill,” and “Summerland” (this, of course, is only a generalization). I represent one of these teenagers: in my opinion, Ron/Hermione and Harry/Ginny are boring because the odds of those two ships happening are so high that the there are only so many ways to bring them together without being redundant or cliché. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve read a fic in which Hermione and Ron fight, realize they have feelings for each other, profess their love, then hold a double wedding ceremony with Harry and Ginny. On the other hand, Hermione/Draco would be far more dramatic, interesting, and original. The turmoil that would result from their being together makes for a captivating read filled with twists and cliffhangers, which is definitely a better way to pass my time than the average Ron/Hermione fic.

Finally, there is the powerful emotions many Hermione/Draco fics evoke in the reader. I’m sure that most supporters of this ship will agree with me when I say that reading fics that deal with Hermione’s dark side becoming more significant after getting together with Draco or fics in which Draco puts his life in danger by going against his father’s wishes in order to be with Hermione creates a sort of satisfaction inside oneself. Whether it’s guilty pleasure that comes along with reading a fic with the first plotline, or the “Awww” factor in fics with the second plotline, just knowing that Hermione and Draco would both have to go against their family, friends, and beliefs in order to be with the other is very moving.

So, despite the fact that Hermione/Draco will never be a part of the Harry Potter series, the ship will always remain dear in the hearts of many shippers. Why? As the famous quote goes, “opposites attract,” and no matter what anyone else says, us Hermione/Draco shippers will always hold faith in that saying.