I would love to hear why you ship Dramione! I'm intrigued by it but am not sure I could see Hermione ever forgiving/trusting Draco
Okay, so, I haven’t written or thought anything related to Harry Potter or Dramione in a good long while. I barely even read much Dramione these days, mostly a select handful of authors or some fic that looks really good - I’m mostly into other fandoms these days, though I still love this ship.
Anyway, I’m a bit rusty on this whole thing, so bear with me.
First of all, I think we need to actually stop and consider what it is that Draco Malfoy actually needs to be forgiven for. I mean, when you total up his sins, the list is actually pretty small - when you compare Draco Malfoy to say, Spike, or Grant Ward, or <Insert ship between an evilish/antagonsisticish character and a heroic one), in many cases, Draco’s list is pitifully small.
Draco is a bully and a little shit as a kid, yes, and mindlessly parrots his father’s racist ideology (but all of us tend to parrot our parents early in our lives. That’s one of the reasons we go to school, to college, etc, to be exposed to new ideas that make us question the assumptions our parents give us. The internet and the norms of the modern age makes us even more likely to question those assumptions, and faster. Draco was born in like, the early 1980s in the technologically and culturally stagnant Wizarding World), and helps the Death Eaters get into Hogwarts (under threat to his family and his own life, btw).
But Draco has never killed anyone, as far as I can’t remember never even uses the Cruciatus or Imperius curses. Really, Draco hasn’t done all that much to Hermione that needs forgiving.
Bullying is bad, and I’m not trying to minimize the effect it can have on the bullied, but there’s no rule that says ‘once a bully always a bully’. Draco, at the very least, is a very likely emotionally neglected child, possibly more than that (He’s desperate for Daddy’s approval, and Daddy clearly isn’t interested in giving any). It doesn’t excuse what he does, but really, which of us haven’t done things we’ve grown out of?
I don’t ship Dramione as a relationship (Bar in like, Evil!Hermione AUs) in contexts where Draco hasn’t apologized to Hermione for being such a jerk to her, and hasn’t recanted being a racsist. Be it post-War fics where Draco and Hermione are both young adults, older and wiser, or fics set during the war where Draco, for one reason or another, decides to change sides (possibly even serving as a spy) or AUs written where there is no war, I endorse and support Draco growing and realizing that he was wrong, because I love that sort of character development in general.
At the end of the day, we have to remember that the events of the book happen in the equivalent of middle and high school. I think we’re thinking too little of Hermione if we think she’s going to hold Draco’s conduct as a child and teenager against him forever, assuming there’s evidence he’s changed. I mean, Draco’s always going to be a smug, arrogant bastard, but that’s not the core problem with the guy. People grow up, people change, and I think when you actually examine the character closely, the evidence is that Draco is more than just a bully. That he’s just another kid, with no guarantee of staying the way he is as a kid.
As for why I ship them - well, first of all, I think they’re actually pretty compatible. They’re both incredibly smart (though Hermione is smarter), and they’re both quite witty - their interactions in the books work very well, and show that they’re good at getting a rise out of the other and keeping eachother on their toes.
I love enemies to lovers, and rivals to lovers. I love the idea of two people learning there’s so much more to the other person than they though and the idea of someone realizing they were wrong and seeking to become a better person. Dramione is a redemption ship, to one degree or another (again, barring Evil!Hermione AUs)
And if you’ve been following me for long, you know I’m a sucker for redemption.
I love the idea that Hermione represents everything the worldview Draco was raised with says shouldn’t be possible. The racist ideology he was spoon-fed since birth days that purebloods are better than muggleborns every day of the week. And yet, Hermione is smarter than him, a better witch than he is a wizard, consistently gets higher marks, and just… simply existing, disproves what he was raised to think.
I ship Dramione because it makes for some really interesting stories, full of drama, angst, forbidden love, enemies to lovers, redemption, high stakes plots and more,
I ship Dramione because I think Draco is an incredibly loyal person to those he cares about, that Draco would challenge her in just the right ways and at just the right ‘angles’, as it were.
I ship Dramione because I love ships between wildly different people. I ship Dramione because I love Draco as a character, love Hermione as a character, and I love them together because I think they’re good for eachother.
I ship Dramione because goddamnit, it should have been canon!
So this is basically my oldest otp ever. I was around 13 years old when I first sank so bloody hard into this ship. Reading HPatCC has awakened this old flame of mine. Good to know 9 years hasn’t ever changed–such good times.