It’s Okay to Ship Non-Canon, From a Canon Shipper’s Point of View
Harry and Ginny, Ron and Hermione, Neville and Hannah Abbot, etc…. We all know the canon pairings, and while many fans seem satisfied with the way they turned out, there are others who question these relationships, even Ms. Rowling (anyone remember that big stir with J.K. Rowling saying Hermione and Ron would have some issues from February)? If you go onto Fanfiction.net, or any other fanfiction forum, there will be hundreds of thousands of Harry Potter fanfictions where canon shipping is ignored and instead is a non-canon ship, like Fred and Hermione, Neville and Luna, or Harry and Draco. And what is exactly the matter with that?
Absolutely nothing! Shipping comes in all different forms, and just because you don’t agree or would think another person is better with a certain character is perfectly fine and normal! I consider myself a canon shipper, but I do like to think at some points that Harry and Luna would have ended up together or even Fred and Hermione (that was supposed to happen until JKR reprieved Ron from death and traded him for Fred! Shhh). Shipping different characters from the norm is great and even intellectually stimulating.
By shipping two people of otherwise intolerable existences together (or, on the other end of the spectrum, also just two people that weren’t together but could be), new ways of interpreting behavior are opened up and observed. From a scholarly standpoint, this reveals new motivations for characters, whether those motivations are subconscious or they are fully aware of what they are doing. For example, people pour over scenes with Harry and Draco in order to gather clues for any possible attraction between the two. This kind of searching encourages looking for hidden relations between characters and also provides some truth to non-canon shipping claims.
Going with the Harry and Draco ship (or “Drarry,” as I’ll refer to it now), both characters appear to have a loathing for the other or Draco’s weird jealousy of Harry. Translating this into romance is easier than it looks and can make complete sense: Draco bullies Harry because he likes him, Harry doesn’t give him the time of day, Draco goes to Voldemort’s side because he feels betrayed by Harry even though Harry owed him nothing. Harry, in the end, recognizes this and willingly saves Draco, showing his selflessness. Draco, seeing this, may learn a thing or two about what love really is. It’s instances like these where canon encounters hold deeper meanings one way or the other and inspire people to write fanfictions or draw fanart around it, whether it’s an alternate universe Harry Potter, a rewrite to include Drarry, or a continuance of the story, which leads into Drarry later in their lives. The list goes on. There are an infinite amount of possibilities for non-canon shippers to show the world who they believe have the ability to fall in love, never mind what their canon encounters might be.
On that note, I, as a canon shipper, want to reiterate and say ship whoever and whatever you want: shipping is about expressing your own beliefs and opinions, and nothing is “right or wrong.” Everything has value and is artistic in its own way and is a reflection of yourself, so don’t hide anymore. Shine on and write that Drarry fanfic if that’s what you want.