How redeemable is canon Draco Malfoy?
Sun 08 December 2019
(originally posted on Reddit)
Yes, everybody is redeemable. I believe redemption stories of some former SSmen (and SSwomen), guards in the Nazi concentration camps, etc. Redemption (or let’s use the old-fashioned term “conversion” or “penance”) however doesn’t mean to somehow excuse previous deeds. It requires true acknowledgement that these deeds happened, to own them, and to admit that they were evil. It requires honest asking for forgiveness. I don’t want to get any political, but it requires at least on the personal level, something like what Germany did after the Second World War (see for example recent visit of Angela Merkel in Auschwitz).
What we see in most so called redemption stories of Draco Malfoy (or Severus Snape, or Petunia Dursley)? Excuses that those deeds were not so bad, excuses that they were crippled by their past, excuses by some good deeds they have done as well (“Your honor, why we are still talking about those twenty minutes when I was stealing from the bank, and not about my all my life when I was a good law-abiding citizen?”). Yes, there could be an interesting story how the path to hell is paved with good intentions, and how somebody can persuade herself, that being a Death Eater is The Right Thing to do, but that’s a different type of literature and I think it would do better for everybody involved if they were kept separate. What I would be more interested, and what I mostly still wait for is the story how the main heroes stand in the wreckage of their lives, they are disgusted in themselves, and they try to build up their lives back.
Perhaps the closest i got to it was Exile by bennybear, but even that was more story of a pureblood trying to find his way in the strange world of muggles then true redemption story of dealing with guilt. Nevertheless, it is still a very good story.
Or perhaps Dudley’s Memories and Snape’s Memories by paganaidd for the Dudley character, not so much for Snape who is more in the excuses territory. The same author wrote Digging for the Bones, which is one of the best attempts to do the redemption for Snape/Severitus, but still I think it mixes too much of the path-to-hell-pavement with the redemption and it sometimes balances quite close to making excuses for his behaviour (BTW, I love Molly Weasley in this story).