reenka: (a little obsessed?)
[personal profile] reenka
I have been... um, a little frustrated by the meta environment post-DH, shall we say. My only outlet has been Amalin, so it's to her this post is addressed, even though actually she hasn't frustrated me at all and this is addressing various others' points about people's ideas of the Draco characterization in the book.

But in fact I'd prefer if those people just didn't bother with me. I'm a boring sap and a crazy fangirl, y'know :> I'm not trying to be coy or passive-aggressive or anything, I just honestly have no will to debate anyone, so. :) Maybe it's disingenuous to post this? But it's just my little corner of the webz, no? I dunno. If you really wanna argue canon with me of all people, go ahead :D


    - Draco:

Seventh Year Timeline:
- 1) He's at the Manor, trying to fade into the furniture, and being used by Voldemort to do various things to/for the prisoners that he doesn't seem happy about. He stares at the hanging Muggle Studies teacher, seemingly hypnotized, then unable to look at her once she wakes; you (or, well, I) get the sense he's sort of gone into shock, completely out of his element with no obvious comfort from his parents and his very home invaded with death and the sheer blunt horror of events. He both hates all this and is sickly fascinated like he was with the Dark Arts artifacts in that shop in second year, except this time one doesn't get the sense Draco's having fun.

He falls out of his chair when the professor is Avada Kedavra'd, which even given there was a jerking/movement implies he was totally out of it moreso than the others (and he wasn't the only one freaked out/afraid at that point).

- 1a) Harry worries about him when he learns what's going on. Harry doesn't worry about people that don't deserve it, like say, Pettigrew or even Snape, for instance.

- 2) When Harry sees him next, Draco comes to look at him with his swollen face and Draco, significantly, is ambiguous about recognizing him. He actively turns his back(!!) on Ron and Hermione, acting as he he hasn't seen them that often or doesn't know their faces like the back of his hand by now, like Hermione hasn't bested him at Potions and he didn't know (and mock) Ron as soon as he saw him in first year on the train. Does he say, 'oh that's WEASLEY, our KING, blah-mockety-blah'? He has no reason to fear saying that; his level of safety and his prospects in general would only look up were he to say what he inevitably knew at first glance. His school nemesis and the boy he wrote a jaunty tune about in fifth year, and the Mudblood who he couldn't beat in his favorite subject.

All right, I'll come out and say it: HE LIES TO BELLATRIX. Why, right? This seems ridiculously significant to me because it's definitely intentional. Turning his back: this cannot be more obvious.

Btw, Harry wins Draco's wand from him after Draco 'joins the fight' (sort of feebly) to prevent them leaving at the last minute, and then chooses to use Draco's wand (which says a lot about the wizard who uses it-- the wizard influences and learns from the wand, after all, as much as the wand learns from the wizard), because that particular wand feels the most "friendly" and natural to him. I'm not making this shit up!! People! It's like there's a big blinking sign saying: "DRACO IS NOT BASICALLY JUST A NASTY LOSER COWARD, BECAUSE HARRY LIKES DRACO'S WAND".

I mean, in a book where Harry finds some measure of pity/understanding for both Snape and Voldemort through identifying with their experiences without feeling threatened by that, I'd say there's a significance to Draco's wand being friendly. Even though Harry still doesn't identify with Draco's experiences at all. I dunno, IT'S JUST A GUESS. :>

- 3) He stays(!) when all the other Slytherins have left, and waits for Harry outside the Room of Requirement, hiding behind Crabbe and Goyle and pointing his wand at Harry. This is after his parents are completely discredited and humiliated to the max, and have no power left at all; he's lost his wand to Harry and he's using his mother's. Still, he shows some bravado.

He goes on the old-style offensive: "That's my wand you're holding, Potter"-- but his "voice is brittle" referring to the past year, saying he "virtually lived" in the Room of Hidden Things. I get the sense he's traumatized but proceeding on sheer stubbornness at this point.

- 3a) He argues with Crabbe and a crack is shown in their power dynamic, because Crabbe says he doesn't have to "take orders" from Draco anymore, which suggests this has been on the move between them but crystallized when the Malfoys let the Trio get away (something Draco helped enable, btw-- just thought I'd mention that again). If I may speculate (and I may), I'd say Draco has no real choice unless he wants to put himself in direct danger from his "friends" as a blood traitor: and Harry hasn't exactly offered him an alternative or took Draco with him when he'd Disapparated with Draco's wand or something crazy like that, right?

- 3b) He tries to explain (with some exasperation) about the diadem and what Harry must be trying to do; Draco's still trying to be in the game, trying to prove himself (just like he promised at the end of OoTP). He apparently wants this chance to play the game-- what game there is remaining at this point, but I'd say Draco's a teensy bit desperate-- and is being reasonably cunning though definitely nonviolent (he doesn't hex or attack Harry & co in any way and generally seems to want to avoid another confrontation like in the bathroom... that one Sectumsempra must've been enough to show him Potter's not to be messed with without back-up).

He yells-- yells and shouts loudly (so his voice was "echoing through the room")-- at Crabbe, trying to stop him from killing Harry, because "the Dark Lord wants him alive", which is contrasted with Crabbe, who aims to kill and enrages Harry (btw, I doubt this is because Crabbe's a lot braver than Draco-- rather, he seems oblivious to every subtlety of the situation imaginable). Then Draco stops explaining and simply screams at Crabbe, "DON'T KILL HIM!"

I would say this is also significant but I don't want to put too fine a point on it; however, if anyone missed it: Draco REALLY EMPHATICALLY DOESN'T WANT HARRY DEAD. For whatever reason(s). Ahem.

- 3c) He ducks and "cowers" once the spells/hexes really start flying; I'm not exactly surprised. He doesn't want to fight and he doesn't want to get hit-- makes sense, right. At the same time, he tries to protect Crabbe and Goyle, pulling them out of the way of a Stunning Spell and then grabbing the Stunned Goyle and dragging him once the fighting really starts and Crabbe strikes out on his own with the Dark curse.

- 4) Next Harry sees-- well, hears him scream-- Draco's got an unconscious Goyle in his grasp, having dragged him up upon a "fragile tower of charred desks". Draco saw him coming and "raised one arm" (expecting and knowing Harry would save him... which I find really touching, btw), but he was too sweaty from the heat/fire, and Ron and Hermione had to drag Goyle on their broom before Harry got Malfoy on board his.

He screams at Harry-- "What are you doing"-- about diving after the diadem (not caring about anything but survival, but then Ron's not too happy about the situation either, having voiced his objections earlier); Harry's doing a lot of crazy dives and swerves to avoid the serpent of flame and Draco screams and holds on to him.

His first words once they're finally in the corridor and he's stopped coughing and retching are about Crabbe (who's dead). The same Crabbe that wasn't being the greatest of mates to him earlier.

- 5) He chooses to get up and dust himself off (leaving Goyle to his own devices?) and try for rescue from the Death Eaters ("I'm on your side!") Then he turns, 'beaming' at his 'rescuers' (which suggests to me that he's completely beyond caring at this point and just wants someone to offer protection but clearly didn't think Harry & co were really going to and besides, he didn't want to fight or do things for them, I'm thinking), and Ron sucker-punches him (since they-- not surprisingly-- thought Draco may come around after they, y'know, saved his arse, meaning there was some willingness to mend fences... but then Draco didn't seem too against it, though I'd say he wanted Harry & co to make the first move).

After the big showdown, he's seen 'huddling' with his parents, looking lost & unmoored.
--

I don't think any of this is a regression or a return to status quo; in fact, I think it's a believable progression and I personally am satisfied on the amount of progress given the plot events as they were (meaning, the plot would have to have been different for things to develop further). My overall impression is that Draco was hemmed in by several factors and actually afraid for his life (for good reason); he tries to have Agency where he can find it and makes several small but significant gestures to show something like early-Regulus level of discomfort.

I get the impression he's not playing the sort of game anyone else is (other Death Eaters, his minions or Housemates, his parents, Harry); in HBP he wanted to fiddle about with a small nearly academic-type project with the cabinet and in DH he wants to trap (but not directly hurt) Harry almost in the style of something a third-year might come up with. He's not just passively unable to participate in violence (like with Dumbledore on the Tower)-- rather, he actively tries to resist things reaching a certain point of no return, which I find really significant.
--

I just want to say I'm sick and tired of people saying Draco 'could' still be brave, potentially.

People. *facepalm*

HE'S A SLYTHERIN, OKAY. He started out as one in the first book, and he's still one in the last book. That's what it comes down to, basically. I just actually want to know what people are expecting from Draco that he hasn't done, I mean, realistically, knowing Draco. I know I just wanted him to make a big gesture and jump into the Trio's arms, say, after they rescued him, but how does he know that wasn't just a Gryffindor 'saving people thing'-- and then they just left him with Goyle in that corridor. They forgot about him and left him to his own devices, y'know, understandably, so basically Draco tried to take care of himself as expected. I'm sure if they wanted to call in a Life Debt or negotiate terms, Draco must have thought they could've... done that. The Gryffindorish assumption that of course now Draco would see the obvious way to behave in this situation is... um? Unfortunate, I guess; what's predictable is that Draco would fall back on what he knows.

It's not that I don't think he can be brave, it's that bravery isn't the same value it is in Gryffindor for Slytherins; like Slughorn and even like Lucius, it's typical for them to want to avoid an all-out full-frontal contest of power. Even SNAPE (widely acknowledged as brave by everyone in the text) doesn't actually show his bravery by direct confrontation but merely by indirect cloak-and-dagger methods where he tries to trick Voldemort and do as little as possible to help Harry as he can without arousing suspicion. Crucio in detention, anyone? Obviously taking a stand for righteousness wasn't on brave!Snape's priority list.

The fact is, this is a war, and these are Slytherins.

What, precisely, is anyone expecting from them in the first place? Not to be malicious and furthering enlightened self-interest while protecting their friends and not letting enemies/strangers die if they could help it (as Draco did! when he could help it, in fact!) seems to be the realistic scenario.

Anyway, that's my DH!Draco rant/meta-type thing. Thank you & goodnight :>

Date: 2007-07-29 05:00 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] shaggirl.livejournal.com
I agree with Amalin, that I really just wanted *more* of Draco in this book. But I have no complaints with the way JKR treated his character. I love him more than ever! ♥

Date: 2007-07-30 12:29 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] yourpoison.livejournal.com
Aww! ♥. Me too. I was just not seeing the squee about Draco I'd expected on my flist, but I guess the squee is there, just hidden. Very well hidden :>

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