Draco Malfoy, the Almost Hero
Footage from a “Making of Harry Potter” documentary has begun to surface that shows Draco Malfoy doing something very un-Malfoy. In the clip, Draco returns Harry’s wand to him right before the final showdown between Harry and Voldemort. While for canonical reasons I am glad this is not the route the film took, there is a part of me that is disappointed because I believe it could have been a great message for film viewers.
It’s no secret that Harry and Draco are destined to go against one another; that is made clear from the moment that Harry witnesses Draco’s behavior in Madam Malkin’s before their first year. We go through the series, and as the two grow up, the gap between their values widens. There are small moments where Harry appears to feel some genuine emotion toward Draco’s upbringing and situations, but no substantial efforts are made on either side to settle any long-lasting conflicts. The closest we get to any type of positive relationship is when Draco doesn’t turn Harry in while on the run, and in return, Harry saves him from the Fiendfyre in the Room of Requirement.
So why am I slightly disappointed? The world we currently live in is scary. People who should get along do not, and the news continues to depict a society where trust is nothing but a five-letter word. It would have been nice to see two groups of people come to an agreement and work together to build a brighter future rather than continue on in an exhausting, depressing rut. Had this scene with Draco helping Harry defeat Voldemort been used, we would have had visual imagery of this very concept.
Draco is conflicted and tortured for years about the situation he is placed in by being a Slytherin, a child of Death Eaters, and having the Malfoy name. If you don’t believe me, go reread Book 6. He spends that entire year racked with the stress of his looming task of killing Albus Dumbledore. I do not believe Draco is a person who wanted to be marked as a villain or evil.
This scene would have given him a way out. It would have led to several discussions on his character and what it means for a person to truly remove themselves from the environment they were raised in and reconstruct their identity.
If Draco had defied Voldemort and aided Harry, would their feud had dissolved? Maybe, maybe not. However, there would have been a greater possibility for a more civil relationship between the two in the future, especially when their children embark for Hogwarts in similar years.
There also would have been a beautiful metaphor depicted that children really do grow up and that it is okay to not be a carbon copy of your parents. It is okay to settle long childhood arguments and come to an agreement that the past is in the past. It also would have shown the world that Gryffindors and Slytherins, the two Houses designed to hate each other, can be friends. I use the term “friends” lightly, but it is plausible since Dumbledore said, “I sometimes think we Sort too soon”; it is difficult to judge the ideals of an 11-year-old against those he would have as a functioning adult
This would have been a true victory for the die-hard Draco vigilantes who have stood by the character, and I think it’s a wonderful thing for them to hold on to for their craziest headcanon dreams.
As previously stated, I am glad this was not the cut used because it would have been a huge blow to the original storyline and created a huge split between Book!Draco and Movie!Draco. Yet I remain pleased that there was a time where Draco, the loathing Slytherin, could have been one of the heroes of this story.
Sometimes the villains grow up to right their wrongs. Draco Malfoy nearly got that chance, and I’m okay with that.
Watch the deleted scene here and tell me your thoughts.