After days of pretty underwhelming pieces of new ‘content’ on fansite Pottermore, J.K. Rowling has finally delivered. In her latest piece in the 12 Days of Christmas series, Rowling reveals new information about the backstory of Draco Malfoy. In the new story, which is at least 10 times longer than previous content in the series, fans will learn about Draco’s upbringing and why he became the bully Potter fans loved to hate.
“Draco was raised in an atmosphere of regret that the Dark Lord has not succeeded in taking command of the wizarding community,” Rowling writes, revealing that before meeting Harry on the Hogwarts Express, Draco, his family and other ex-Death Eaters thought Harry could be “another, and better, Voldemort.” Draco’s hatred for Harry was spurred on by the realization that the one who lived was nothing like Voldemort, and due to Potter’s budding friendship with Ron Weasley. And the rest, as Potter superfans know, is history.
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But what happened next? Draco married Astoria Greengass (Rowling revealed this to TIME in 2007 when she was named to the TIME 100), who may have helped shape the bitter Slytherin into a better man. “As Astoria refused to raise their grandson Scorpius in the belief that Muggles were scum, family gatherings were fraught with tension,” Rowling writes.
The story is followed up with a few paragraphs of Rowling’s thoughts on the character, which makes for the funniest bit of all. While she reveals she does pity him (“just as I feel sorry for Dudley”), she is not a fan of those who came to fancy him.
“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 will ever meet,” Rowling writes. “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.”
She backtracks a bit, explaining there is “some unextinguished good at the heart of Draco,” which, of course, fans knew all along. There are still two more days of Rowling’s promised Christmas Pottermore content. Could we get a taste of Harry’s future tomorrow? If only Professor Trewlaney were around to tell us.