To all die-hard supporters of Harry Potter and his plight to end all evil: you’d best look away now. I had a fervent crush on Draco Malfoy as a teenager, and it has had a pretty drastic effect on my interpretation of the books. My love for Draco changed my whole perspective on Harry Potter. In fact, it made me despise the boy who lived.
There’s something kind of hot about Draco’s long-standing bad boy routine. The kernel of my feelings for Draco began in 1999 while reading The Prisoner of Azkaban. I was getting sick to the back teeth of Harry Potter’s holier-than-thou act and I felt like he deserved a lot of the stick he got from Draco. Had any of my peers come to me at high school and told me they planned to defeat the root of all evil, I’d have laughed in their face at the sheer preposterousness of this nave plan. Sorry, Harry, but this nice-guy act is pretty insufferable.
By 2005, I was 17 years old and deep in the throes of an all-consuming, cheek-flushing crush on fellow adolescent Draco Malfoy. On holiday with my parents and brother in France, I remember clinging to my dog-eared and tattered copy of the just-released Half-Blood Prince and ruminating the many things the much-maligned Draco and I have in common. I’m peak Malfoy crush, and frankly, no one else stands a chance.
I witnessed Draco’s descent into Death-Eaters’ activities before my eyes and could see he was being coerced by Voldemort into dangerous and destructive tasks that he didn’t want to do. I pictured myself in his shoes, being tasked by a dark and evil lord to kill my headteacher, Mr Blaikie, (sorry not sorry, Mr Blaikie!) and I felt a tremendous weight upon me. When it came to carrying out the deed AKA killing Dumbledore I’m not surprised he didn’t do it. He has a heart, after all.
At the same time, Draco, in being enlisted to do Voldemort’s bidding, suddenly became this taciturn and oh-so mature Heathcliff type. And I was into it. I can’t help it, I just love those moody, mercurial villains.
My adolescence was like many people’s a phase dominated by the belief that no one understood me. Brooding Malfoy was my spirit guide as I navigated being misunderstood by my parents, my highly annoying teachers and even some of my so-called friends. He wasn’t the evil person people said he was, but rather a tortured soul who was deeply misconstrued.
Honestly, Voldemort kind of had a point about Harry Potter.
Once I was in full-blown crush mode, I got a thrill every time Draco made a jibe at Harry and made him aware of just how much he didn’t like him. When Draco gave malicious information about Harry to Daily Prophet reporter Rita Skeeter in The Goblet of Fire, I lived for it. I didn’t care about Draco’s ties to the dark side, because honestly Voldemort kind of had a point about Harry. Someone had to say it.
My sympathies for Malfoy grew and grew as the books were released. So too did my romantic feelings for him. I was loyal to Draco, and I rooted for him and him alone. I didn’t care for Harry, Ron and Hermione’s goody-two-shoes antics. I wanted Draco to make their lives as miserable as I felt reading about their virtuous behaviour.
But, could I say these words out loud to my Harry Potter-loving friends? Absolutely not. I just didn’t understand why no one else felt exhausted by this magical man of the hour and his annoyingly worthy actions.
Of course, that’s not to say that Malfoy didn’t have his moments. He did have a tendency to be bratty at times. But, my fervent desire for him made me look straight past that.
Almost two decades after first encountering Draco Malfoy in J.K. Rowling’s books, I stand by my fealty to him. And, yes the torch I held for him still burns bright. Harry just never had what it took to capture my affections. He was too virtuous, too well-intentioned. Malfoy’s tortured soul was and will forever remain the object of my deepest affection.