J.K. Rowling posted the next installment from her 12 Days of Christmas series to Pottermore.com today, and it’s the installment fans have been waiting for, the one about Draco Malfoy! She really delivers this time, too. This piece is much longer and thorough than the previously released writings from this series.
When you solve the riddle you’re whisked to a new scene which depicts Dumbledore’s death, allowing fans to access new information about Draco’s back story, including details on why he became the bully he is.
Today’s riddle is: “Death Eaters gather on the Astronomy Tower, keen to rid Dumbledore of his life and power. But which student masterminded this plot with precision, in order to fulfill the Dark Lord’s terrible mission?”
And the answer: Draco Malfoy. Fans can find the writing by clicking the photo titled ‘Avada Kedavra’ and double clicking by Draco’s image to unlock the passage.
Here are some highlights:
While many people thought that Harry Potter, who had witnessed the Dark Lord’s rebirth, was a liar or a fantasist, Draco Malfoy was one of the few who knew that Harry was telling the truth. His own father had felt his Dark Mark burn and had flown to rejoin the Dark Lord, witnessing Harry and Voldemort’s graveyard duel.
The discussions of these events at Malfoy Manor gave rise to conflicting sensations in Draco Malfoy. On the one hand, he was thrilled by the secret knowledge that Voldemort had returned, and that what his father had always described as the family’s glory days were back once more. On the other, the whispered discussions about the way that Harry had, again, evaded the Dark Lord’s attempts to kill him, caused Draco further twinges of anger and envy. Much as the Death Eaters disliked Harry as an obstacle and as a symbol, he was discussed seriously as an adversary, whereas Draco was still relegated to the status of schoolboy by Death Eaters who met at his parents’ house. Though they were on opposing sides of the gathering battle, Draco felt envious of Harry’s status. He cheered himself up by imagining Voldemort’s triumph, seeing his family honoured under a new regime, and he himself feted at Hogwarts as the important and impressive son of Voldemort’s second-in-command.
Draco’s world now fell apart [after Order of the Phoenix]. From having been, as he and his father had believed, on the cusp of authority and prestige such as they had never known before, his father was taken from the family home and imprisoned, far away, in the fearsome wizard prison guarded by Dementors. Lucius had been Draco’s role model and hero since birth. Now he and his mother were pariahs among the Death Eaters; Lucius was a failure and discredited in the eyes of the furious Lord Voldemort.
Draco’s existence had been cloistered and protected until this point; he had been a privileged boy with little to trouble him, assured of his status in the world and with his head full of petty concerns. Now, with his father gone and his mother distraught and afraid, he had to assume a man’s responsibilities.
Worse was to come. Voldemort, seeking to punish Lucius Malfoy still further for the botched capture of Harry, demanded that Draco perform a task so difficult that he would almost certainly fail – and pay with his life. Draco was to murder Albus Dumbledore – how, Voldemort did not trouble to say. Draco was to be left to his own initiative and Narcissa guessed, correctly, that her son was being set up to fail by a wizard who was devoid of pity and could not tolerate failure.
Rowling later admits that she’s unnerved by fans who fancy the blond-haired bully:
“I have often had cause to remark on how unnerved I have been by the number of girls who fell for this particular fictional character (although I do not discount the appeal of Tom Felton, who plays Draco brilliantly in the films and, ironically, is about the nicest person you could meet). Draco has all the dark glamour of the anti-hero; girls are very apt to romanticise such people. All of this left me in the unenviable position of pouring cold common sense on ardent readers’ daydreams as I told them, rather severely, that Draco was not concealing a heart of gold under all that sneering and prejudice and that no, he and Harry were not destined to end up best friends.
I imagine that Draco grew up to lead a modified version of his father’s existence; independently wealthy, without any need to work, Draco inhabits Malfoy Manor with his wife and son. I see in his hobbies further confirmation of his dual nature. The collection of Dark artefacts harks back to family history, even though he keeps them in glass cases and does not use them. However, his strange interest in alchemical manuscripts, from which he never attempts to make a Philosopher’s Stone, hints at a wish for something other than wealth, perhaps even the wish to be a better man. I have high hopes that he will raise Scorpius to be a much kinder and more tolerant Malfoy than he was in his own youth.”
Visit Pottermore.com to read the new writing!