A/N: I know I should really be working on TRR or LIB right now, but I was just reading a couple essays in the book The Plot Thickens… Harry Potter Investigated by Fans for Fans (which I highly recommend by the way, it's a Wizarding World Press book edited by Galadriel Waters and its really neat), as well as re-reading the fanfiction The God of the Lost, by Gravity (Which is teh shiz man. If you haven't read it, do it right now, it is the best fanfiction I have ever read, and trust me, I've read a lot.) Anyway, I was reading these things and I noticed that Gravity called the whole Draco being a white wolf animagus thing a little cliché (don't worry Gravity, I'm not downing you, I'm just saying it got me thinking) and from there I started looking for more fanfictions in which Draco was an animagus. (It didn't matter what form.) It was then that I realized that almost all the fanfiction writers I came across portrayed Draco as a white wolf animagus. Then of course, I went all philosophical and started to really think about it. I realized that it made perfect sense, and the result was this essay. So sit back, relax as best you can, and don't forget to visit the "Submit Review" button on your way out. (Come on, you know you want to…)
Draco Malfoy and the White Wolf
Why the White Wolf is Draco's Perfect Animagus
More often than not, us fanfiction writers will either stumble across a fanfiction in which Draco Malfoy is an animagus with a white wolf form, or else we incorporate it into our own work. Why is this? Why is it that no matter what other animagus form he's given by fanfiction writers, we always seem to gravitate towards the wolf image? I believe this question can be answered simply by comparing the myth and lore of wolves as well as known facts about wolves with the personality traits of Draco Malfoy.
Let's start off with the myths and lore, shall we? For example, we have the children's story "The Three Little Pigs". In this story, the three little pigs are being terrorized by the Big Bad Wolf. Each little pig builds a house to keep the Big Bad Wolf at bay; one made of straw, one made of twigs, and one made of bricks. The first two houses are easily blown away by the Big Bad Wolf and all his lungpower, but the final house defeats all his hot air. The brick is too strong to simply be blown away, so he tries climbing down the chimney instead. The three little pigs, all hiding out in the brick house, hear him on their roof and quickly build a fire in the fireplace. Both the Big Bad Wolf and his brilliant plan to climb down the chimney all go up in flames, however, when he falls into the fire.
Now let us compare. In this story, the wolf blows down the little pig's houses to try and scare them into being under his control, and to soon after eat them. Draco Malfoy also uses the tactic of fear to get what he wants. He picks on people and starts fights in order to get the fearful respect of all. But if one would take a close look at whom he picks on, one could see that the houses he's blown down were nothing but straw and twigs, making their destruction no impressive feat. Take Neville Longbottom for example, or Collin Creevy. Both are either smaller or more timid than Draco, making them easy prey for anyone wanting to be mean. Unfortunately for him, the few times he tries to prove that he could beat someone equal to him, (namely Harry and his friends); it backfires rather horribly, just like the chimney idea of the wolf. Similarities: the use of fear to get respect, and the tendency for it to come back and burn him in the ass.
Two other wolf stories are "Little Red Riding Hood" and "The Wolf and the Seven Goats", which both share a common theme. In "Little Red Riding Hood", there is a sweet girl on her way to her grandmother's house to bring her wine and cake. On the way, she meets the wolf, who cleverly distracts her from her goal by suggesting she picks flowers for her grandmother. This distraction delaying Little Red Rising Hood from her grandmother's house gives the terrible old wolf the opportunity to sneak ahead of the little girl to her grandmother's house and eat the old woman. When Little Red Riding Hood finally makes it to her grandmother's house, she finds the wolf in her grandmother's bed and wearing her grandmother's clothes in order to fool her. It works until Little Red Riding Hood mentions how large his teeth are, at which point the wolf reveals himself and swallows the girl whole. Fortunately for Little Red Riding Hood and her grandmother, a nearby wood's man hears the wolf's snoring and knows what he has done when he finds him in the grandmother's bed. While the wolf sleeps, he cuts the brute open and saves both Red Riding Hood and her grandmother, and fills the wolf with rocks instead. When the wolf wakes to find himself full of rocks, he falls down dead.
In "The Wolf and the Seven Goats", there is a goat that lives with her seven kids. One day, she leaves to fetch some food for them in the woods, but before she goes she tells her kids to beware of the wolf, and know him by his gruff voice and black feet. The kids promise to be careful, and she leaves. As characteristic for the wolf to show up when he's not wanted, the wolf knocks on the door of the house in which the seven kids live, saying that their mother had returned. Hearing the gruffness of his voice, the kids refuse him entrance. He comes back soon after, swallowing some chalk to soften his voice, but this time the kids see his black feet on the window sill, and again refuse him entrance. Next the wolf goes to the baker and says that he has a bruised foot, and requests some dough to put on it. The baker gives it to him, and the wolf then goes to the miller and threatens to eat the miller if he does not put flour on his foot. Frightened, the miller does as the wolf wanted. Again the wolf goes to the house of the seven goat kids and knocks on the door. Seeing no black feet nor hearing a gruff voice, the kids let him in. Seeing their grave mistake, the kids try to hide. The wolf finds all but one, and leaves to sleep off his meal. The mother comes home to find her house torn apart and all but one of her precious kids gone and eaten. The youngest, who had hidden in the clockcase, goes with the mother to find the wolf. They find him in the meadow, his snores shaking the tree branches in their loudness. Carefully, the mother gets a pair of scissors and cuts open the wolf, freeing her children. Refilling him with rocks and sewing him back up again, the family leaves for home. The wolf, upon waking, finds that he is thirsty and goes to the river to drink. The stones' weight drags him to a watery grave at the bottom of the river, where he can do no more harm to the family of goats.
Two rather lengthy stories later, we're ready to compare. In both "Little Red Riding Hood" as well as "The Wolf and the Seven Goats", the wolf is seen as a very manipulative and very clever character. Draco can also be seen as manipulative and clever. Take for example the incident in book one in which Draco challenges Harry and Ron to a wizard's duel in the trophy room, but instead of going, tips off Filch and nearly gets Harry and Co. expelled. Now I know that some of you will be shaking your heads and arguing, "Yeah, but that was a low and sneaky thing to do!" and to this I reply, so was the was the act of the wolf who pretended to be grandmother in "Little Red Riding Hood" and the goat's mother in "The Wolf and the Seven Goats", yet it was also incredibly clever. He knew that Harry was to proud to not show up, and he used that to his best advantage, which would be to get Harry kicked out of school. That also brings up another Draco characteristic. Nothing is below him to do. If he had the opportunity to sleep with Hermione Granger just to get some dirt on Harry, I wouldn't put it past him to do it, even with the whole "dirty blood" thing. Yet at the same time, the wolves in these stories were careless, as both ended up full of rocks in the end. Draco is also a little careless. He doesn't always think things through before going through with them, such as when he bought the whole Slytherin Quidditch team brooms, but didn't think about the consequences of failure for his team, or how his failures would make him look. Similarities: manipulative, clever, shameless, and careless.
Now let's come back to reality and put some facts about real wolves on the board to consider. Fact: wolves travel in packs. Also fact: Draco Malfoy travels with a pack. Draco is never seen without his troupe of Slytherin friends, such as Crabbe and Goyle, who act almost as bodyguards, and his arm ornament Pansy Parkinson. A lone wolf is usually not a successful wolf. Without a pack hunt with, a lone wolf is never as healthy or lives as long as a wolf that lives within the protection of a pack. As with the lone wolf, Draco would be nothing without his pack to back him up.
Fact: wolves have leaders, also called alphas, within their packs. Also fact: Draco is the alpha of his "pack". Those that are incorporated in Draco's pack of friends listen and believe everything he says, and would do anything that he ordered them to do, playing into the whole dominance and recessive roles of a wolf pack.
Fact: wolves are terribly shy of humans and avoid us whenever possible. Also fact: Draco will avoid direct confrontation whenever possible. He will challenge Harry and pick on anyone smaller and weaker than him, but he will also try to make the lesser of his pack front him and use them as a scapegoat. Remember, Draco never challenges Harry without his cronies there to protect him, or without a teacher to stop Harry's retaliation.
Now, I'm sure that some of you may be saying "Ok, I get the whole wolf thing now, but how does the white thing tie into this?" and I'll tell you. White is often seen as a color of purity, and what is Draco infamously known for bragging about? The purity of his bloodline.
So there you have it folks, why Draco Malfoy's perfect animagus form is a white wolf and why we should care.
A/N: It took me hours to write this, so I better get at least one review saying its halfway decent… :-D. Just kidding, I appreciate constructive criticism just as much as compliments. Anywho, I hope I was insightful. Cheers till next time then.
P.S.- The following are absolutely GORGEOUS Harry Potter fics that I've had the extreme fortune to come across and I just have to mention them. READ THEM:
The Twenty, by Leyna Rountree (I forewarn, this is a Hermione/Snape one, but the writing style and the story is just too gorgeous to ignore. Read it even if the idea creeps you, you'll be addicted to the story by the middle of chapter 1…)
Sunday Night Sex Talk, by Priah (I absolutely love this one. The way Draco and Hermione banter back and forth in this one is great.)
Their Room, by Aleximoon (Wonderful fic. The characters were so i.c., and the storyline was great. Plot twists baby!)
Wild Honey, by Leli (Superb. That's all I can say to describe it.)
And finally, any and all things written by Gravity, Artistically Insane, and burgendyred. They rock my socks man, particularly Gravity. I simply adore her writing.