Draco Malfoy is Irredeemable, Here’s Why

I seem to rant about Draco Malfoy quite a lot. If I were just focused on canon, that probably wouldn’t be the case, as I wouldn’t really care. The epilogue (or crapilogue, if you will) shows Malfoy 19 years after the war, apparently free and with a family. That means that JKR did her usual redemption scheme ala Dumbledore, and let him get away with everything just like he did during his Hogwarts years.

But I’m not just focused on canon. I’m a big fanfiction guy, which means I still have a lot of exposure to the ferret, often unwillingly. For some God awful reason, the Harry Potter fandom has become enchanted with the Dramione ship over the years. It makes me want to tear my hair out and yell at these stupid, stupid, stupid, people. But I won’t. Instead, let me rant a bit about why the ship doesn’t make any sense (with one exception that I’ll discuss at the end).

The biggest problem with the ship is that Draco Malfoy is irredeemable. I know he can’t help how he was raised, and that it’s his parent’s fault that he is the way he is. I know that. I don’t care. Draco Malfoy was a monster for six years. He let a group of mass murderers into Hogwarts (which, in case you’ve forgotten, is a school full of underage children). His only redeeming quality comes at the end of book 6 when he doesn’t kill Albus Dumbledore. We seem to forget that, while Malfoy may not have cast the spell, he was still the reason why Snape was there to kill Dumbledore in his place.

Moving on to Book 7, he does keep the trio from being recognized in Malfoy Manor. Bully for him. It could have been the start of the redemption that so many Draco fans were looking for, but then he cornered the trio in the Room of Requirement, totally negating any good will we had for him. The diadem mission would have been simple if he’d continued on his way to being redeemed, but he didn’t. I’ve heard some blame his presence on Crabbe and Goyle. Phhht. Are we to believe that after six years of them being portrayed as Draco’s minions that he suddenly started taking orders from them? Right. Pull the other one, will you?

So what did he do that could see him redeemed? Did something happen post-war that got him off the hook for the crimes he almost certainly committed (are we to believe that he didn’t take part in using the unforgivable curses during the seventh book under the reign of the Carrows)? I don’t believe it. Not for one moment. He probably got off because Harry’s a noble asshole who probably testified for Draco’s mom because of what happened in the Forbidden Forest when she lied to Voldemort for him. Like always, he rode on his parent’s coattails to innocence.

So where exactly are his redeeming factors? Oh, there are a plethora of fan stories out there on how he is redeemed over time, and that may happen. But it would take time, and even then that redemption can only go so far.

How is it that Hermione, the smart, wonderful woman we know, could fall in love with Draco Malfoy, no matter how repentant he eventually becomes? Okay, so she is apparently dumb enough to love Ronald Weasley, but at least he has been her friend forever, even if he doesn’t have many good qualities. But still, Draco? Please.

Even if he is somehow redeemed through fanfiction, how is she to forget what he did while they were fighting the war and those years before? She may forgive him, that is just who she is, but forget? Not likely at all.

And, even if he is redeemed, and truly regrets his actions, are we to somehow believe that he no longer dislikes muggleborn witches and wizards? Maybe he doesn’t want to see them dead (anymore), but how does he ever get to the point where he wants to create a mixed-blood family with Hermione Granger? It doesn’t make sense in any argument I’ve ever heard. In order to make that leap, you have to completely change the Malfoy character into someone much better than he could ever be, no matter how much time passes. You have to move him so far away from the canon character we know, that he becomes a completely different person just with the same name. He becomes an Original Character. 

That leads me to the one way Draco is good, and could conceivably end up with Hermione. That’s if he is a good person from the start. Keira Marcos does some great things with Draco Malfoy. Her Draco is likable, light (or at least grey), and worth the time to read about. He doesn’t have to be redeemed because he is nothing like his father. Another way Dramione could work is if Draco had a change of heart somewhere around book four or five. Say right after Voldemort comes back. Maybe he sees how the Dark Lord treats his dad and decided to defect to the LIght. That could work.

Those are the only two scenarios that make it feasible that Hermione Granger chooses him as a romantic partner over anyone else. And even then, I still wouldn’t read it. I’d be less malevolent towards the pairing if either of those situations was used, but it still wouldn’t be my cup of tea.

Outside of that, however, Draco Malfoy and the Dramione ship he inspires, are almost impossible for me to support. I wish it was otherwise. There are so many Dramione stories out there, that I miss out on a lot of great writing. But I can’t bring myself to believe that Draco Malfoy could be redeemed enough that Hermione would ever forgive and forget everything that he had done to her and her friends.

What do you think? Let me know in the comment section below! 


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Chris C.

Agreed. Even worse to me are the fics that put Hermione with an adult death eater or Riddle himself. Nothing we know about Hermione would cause her to willingly do that, unless it was to protect Harry and even then, I’d like to think she’d rather be tortured and killed, as illustrated in DH, than turn on Harry and everything they believe in. So it baffles me and makes me gag that people would write fics where she ends up with a death eater, a death nibbler (my favorite nickname for the children of death eaters that I’ve seen in a few fics) or Voldemort in a romantic way. It would take an extreme, magically induced case of Stockholm Syndrome for that to happen and I think that would require a scenario where she’s kidnapped by a DE at a very early age and literally doesn’t know any better.


This feels like a very limited perspective on what changes would make Dramione make sense. You keep talking about how to redeem Draco, without considering corrupting Hermione, or giving her a different background. Several I’ve enjoyed have her as being secretly Voldemort’s daughter, either known (secretly a spy) or unknown to her (until some event or magic reveals it). Other options include fics where He falls for her very early on, and instead of insulting her, getting flustered/embarrassed and either goes off or insults someone else. Riddle/anyone pairings I’ve enjoyed *usually* involve using the horcruxes in a ritual to restore his soul, thus restoring his sanity. There’s only one Riddle/Harry pairing I’ve enjoyed where that wasn’t the case. Draco/Harry pairings I’ve enjoyed often involve both restoring Riddle’s sanity, and Dumbledore’s manipulative streak extending so far as faking the prophecy in the Hogshead, and intentionally allowing it to be overheard to use the Potters/Longbottoms as bait for Riddle. That often makes it easy for Harry to at least go “grey”, not enough on it’s own to… Read more »