Hi! It’s Annie!
I absolutely love ‘Harry Potter’, particularly the movies now because the writing and the author of the books are obviously extremely problematic. I have stopped buying merch and I really implore everyone reading to do the same. But because I’m more of a fan of the way the movies and actors brought the characters and world to life (and not the things the author wrote or voiced), I’m more ok with things within the fandom that I wasn’t before. This is only because people in the fandom have made these things ok or the actors gave me a new perspective. The fandom has made countless things within this fandom better. Including making people feel wanted and offering a sense of belonging, even between houses that were pitted against each other in the books. So, I’m going to get into the things that the fandom has made better for me that I may have disliked before. MAJOR SPOILERS ahead!!! I also won’t be talking about how fans made the house system better because we already have a full post on that!
I used to absolutely hate Draco for the way that he treated particularly Harry and Hermione. He reminded me of a bully that I had when I was in school and he always did little more than disgust me every time he appeared. I rejoiced when Barty Crouch Jr., disguised as Mad-Eye Moody, transformed Draco into a ferret. He was a presence that I absolutely couldn’t stand. As someone who is older than High School age, now working sometimes at a High School, and looking back at my own years, I see Draco in a very different light. He was a child brought up by awful parents and constantly spewing everything that he heard at home. Something you get from children of all ages. And while this by no means exempts him from what he did say, I think Draco was well on his way to making some form of turn around. After all, he didn’t give away Harry and his friends in the seventh book or movie and he ended up not being at all able to kill Dumbledore. I think Draco deserved to have a redemption arc. He deserved to be the example of people who have done bad things that can change. I’ve also been more inclined towards Draco since I’ve started following the career of Tom Felton, who is a major feminist and very sweet. Was Draco a nasty little weasel in his school years? Yes. But I don’t feel that this means he cannot be redeemed. It’s a shame that the scene where he throws Harry his wand in the final movie ended up on the cutting room floor. Draco was one of the only children of the Death Eaters who actually ended up questioning his parents because he knew what it was like to be under Voldemort’s thumb. I feel that should have been given more time.
Hermione and Draco:
When it comes to canon, I’ve said before that I pretty much hate this couple. For years I couldn’t fathom someone ending up with somebody who bullied them. And, honestly, in a way I still can’t. After everything Draco did to Hermione it feels odd. But there are a couple things that can change my mind about this, depending on the situation. Firstly, when people suggest they might have happened in the future, I like the idea of them much more! I’m not as big of a fan of suggestions that they may have dated during their time at Hogwarts before the war, because that feels awful and not realistic for their characters at all. But a lot can happen in the years after you leave school and it also gives Draco time to mature. The other reason that made me start to see this couple as possible is the close relationship between Emma Watson and Tom Felton. Up until the last couple of years, I don’t think the public really understood just how close Emma and Tom have always been. Tom’s friendship was important to Emma on set when she felt like she had no one on her side, and Emma has now helped Tom tell his story through his new autobiography. I think we all swooned just a little when we saw the reunion between Emma and Tom in the recent special. Their friendship is cute, and it makes you almost want at least a friendship between Hermione and Draco. Even if it does happen sometime in the far future. If you still aren’t convinced, I highly recommend watching the behind the scenes footage of them filming the Yule Ball segment in ‘Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire’. Watching Tom and Emma dance together is beyond adorable! Most fanfiction writers actually make Draco way more respectful of Hermione and her intelligence than Ron ever was anyways! There’s also the added bonus that Rowling probably hates this ship.
Percy was another character that I used to not be able to stand whatsoever. I have several times said that I wish Percy would have died to complete a redemption arc rather than Fred. While I still don’t think Fred should have died and I think that this would be better plot wise, I don’t dislike Percy as much as I used to nor am I as convinced that he should have died. I think the dislike of Percy comes from the fact that everyone knows a Percy. Somebody who doesn’t like to be wrong, always believes that they are the smartest person in the room, and takes constant pleasure in telling other people that they are wrong without having the knowledge to support that assumption. Percy is a character who is personal to all of us in a not very pleasant way. But the behavior that Percy exhibits is also a universal sign of feeling inadequate and insecure. And Percy actually has every reason to feel insecure. Molly Weasley is an absolute jerk and I feel like only some people are beginning to notice this. Yes, Molly is very sweet for taking in Harry. But Molly also constantly compares her children, has favorite children, is an absolute monster-in-law to Fleur, makes baseless accusations against Sirius because she gets jealous over Harry, mistreats Hermione for a lie written in the paper, and is a relentless gossip. Percy grew up being compared to perfect Bill and Charlie. He is relentlessly teased by his siblings for boasting the only accomplishment he perceives himself to have. (Though I understand why Fred and George do it and honestly don’t blame them.) Percy is still annoying, but you can’t really blame him. And I am absolutely in love, like plenty of other fans, with the fact that Oliver and Percy were probably roommates. Can you imagine the chaos? Fans were completely right to point out how rough Percy has had it. And why Percy deserves our love far more than Molly.
Fans have pointed out how characters like Sirius, Draco, Percy, Lavender Brown, and Fleur are characters that deserve some empathy and respect after having been widely disliked. Sirius never did anything but try to help his Godson (who he did not think was James), Draco actually was changing by the time the book ended, Percy was understandably insecure, Lavender was just a naive teenage girl who never actually hurt anyone, and Fleur absolutely cared about Bill and never should have been doubted by the family in the way she was. But characters like Molly, James, Dumbledore, Ron, and Snape are all incredibly messed up and are far less deserving of all the love they get. Molly was a choosy mother, James was a straight up bully, Dumbledore used Harry and many others without showing much regret, Ron bullied Hermione perhaps even more than Draco (and his brand of bullying was seen as ok), and Snape was a straight up abusive teacher. While none of these things change the events of the books or movies, they are amazing conversations to have that have actually made me feel more welcome in the fandom. So, once again, I want to thank the fans for making this fandom what it is. It was never Rowling that made this fandom amazing, it was always the fans.
See you across the pond!