Hey! Hallie here!
There’s been a lot of talk amongst Harry Potter fans about which characters are much worse than the books seem to think they are. Among these characters are Albus Dumbledore, who left Harry in an abusive home, Severus Snape, who bullied children as a grown adult, and of course, Draco Malfoy. Even after Snape and Dumbledore fans admitted these characters were problematic, Draco Malfoy fans have still been advocating for a redemption arc. Obviously, I don’t support this idea. Draco Malfoy is the Wizarding World’s equivalent of a racist, and while he wasn’t trying to kill anyone, he was only ever out for himself during his entire character arc. A lot of POC Harry Potter fans have laid out all the reasons why Draco doesn’t deserve a character redemption arc, so I’d recommend looking for some of them if you’re really looking for reasons not to support a Draco Malfoy redemption. Regardless, I think there are several characters that deserve the fandoms attention far more than Draco. So let’s look at the characters who deserved more than they were given!
Rowling herself threw Sirius under the bus in interviews. In several interviews she mentioned how Sirius was irresponsible in the way he treated Harry because he viewed Harry as a second James rather than as his godson. This even wound up coming up in the fifth movie, where a line was thrown in that wasn’t in the books. “Nice one James!” Despite writing plenty of problematic characters Rowling always seemed ready to point to Sirius Black as the problematic father-figure for Harry. However, as he’s written in the books, this is absolutely untrue. Sirius is a doting Godfather who constantly checks up on Harry. He worries about him, gives him advice, and answers every letter Harry sends. He puts his own life at risk on some occasions, but never Harry’s. He constantly warns Harry to be cautious and, in one book, even stays in a cave near Hogsmeade, living off of rats, so he can stay closer to Hogwarts and watch over Harry.
Molly Weasley does once accuse Sirius of treating Harry like James, but Sirius is right that Harry deserves to know about the fight against Voldemort. Molly is also especially cruel to Sirius on several occasions. In the same argument, Molly rubs in Sirius’ face that he couldn’t be there for Harry because he was locked in Azkaban. A situation that wasn’t his fault. I don’t think Molly’s critiques of Sirius should stand considering all of her attempts to prevent Sirius from taking any sort of parental position in Harry’s life. Despite the fact that Sirius was made Harry’s Godfather by his deceased parents. Sirius also gets flack for treating Kreacher badly, but Kreacher was a racist and a painful reminder of his abusive mother. Who would be happy with that situation? In other words, Sirius doesn’t deserve to be seen as an irresponsible parental figure. He was reckless because of his own seclusion (Once again understandable considering he was never allowed to leave his childhood home to fight the guy who killed his best friends). However, he was never reckless about the way he treated Harry. A lot of people mention Sirius’ support of Harry forming Dumbledore’s Army as a bad move, but it wasn’t one. Dumbledore’s Army was important, especially with Umbridge as Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher. Sirius tries his best, even after being stuck in Azkaban for twelve years despite the fact that Dumbledore knew full well that he was an innocent man. Once again, I hate Dumbledore. Sirius Black deserves justice.
A lot of people talk about how Regulus Black is the character Draco Malfoy fans are really looking for when they talk about a redemption arc. I can’t help but agree. Regulus Black was all for his family’s Pure-Blood supremacy thing at first. Unlike Sirius, he was praised by his family for his traditional ideals. He was even a Death Eater at one point. But when he realized that Voldemort’s plan involved mass murder, proven to Regulus when Voldemort nearly killed Kreacher while testing the defenses around the locket horcrux, Regulus didn’t hide behind his parents. Regulus decided to sacrifice his life to destroy the horcrux. He even left a fake horcrux in it’s place to confuse Voldemort, and eventually reveal to him who had been responsible for the missing horcrux. Unfortunately, Regulus died in the attempt to destroy the real horcrux and Kreacher was left unable to destroy it. Regulus was still racist and a lot of that is waved away in favor of his kindness towards Kreacher. But Regulus wasn’t selfish like Draco is. He was willing to die to destroy only one horcrux. That deserves at least some attention.
Lavender Brown’s only crime was being too feminine and liking to make out with her boyfriend. Lavender was among the group of girls who acted “girly” in Hogwarts, which was somehow seen as an obnoxious trait. In the sixth movie she wears lots of pink and a few more bracelets than any of the other characters to further this obnoxious persona, as if wearing feminine things suddenly makes a character annoying. While I think her ideas about relationships were skewed, so were Ron’s. Lavender was genuinely worried about Ron when he was poisoned and Ron decided to pretend to sleep every time she visited. Lavender Brown wasn’t just some airhead, either. She joined Dumbledore’s Army in her fifth year and she was among those who fought in the battle of Hogwarts. But she’s only ever portrayed as an unlikable nuisance and her death is barely glossed over in the last movie. Lavender Brown suffers from a lot of tropes you wouldn’t expect to come from a woman, but I’m not surprised they came from Rowling.
That’s my list! As you can see, I’m really passionate about the hate Sirius Black receives. I could see some of the critiques against Sirius if he had actually talked Harry into doing something dangerous with him. But the most dangerous thing Sirius does with Harry is walk around as Fluffy on rare occasions. And if it’s a redemption arc you’re looking for, stop looking at Draco when Regulus already exists. Regulus proved himself far more than Draco ever did. As for Lavender, the way Rowling looks down on Lavender at every point for simply being a teenage girl is more obnoxious than Lavender ever was. These three deserve so much more. Draco Malfoy doesn’t deserve any sympathy from the fandom.
Don’t do anything fun until I get back!