There aren’t many franchises with as active a fan-fiction community as Harry Potter, even though it has been a decade since the big-screen outings came to an end. And being the blonde baddie everyone loves to hate, Draco Malfoy – played in the movies by Tom Felton – is at the center of a lot of those fan-created stories.
Harry Potter fans love to pair Malfoy in romantic entanglements with loads of the best Harry Potter characters from the best movies in the series. Drarry, in which Malfoy and Harry are imagined as enemies-turned-lovers, is one of the most popular pairings in fanfic history. There’s also Dramione, pairing Malfoy with Hermione Granger.
But for Tom Felton, the most fascinating pairing born out of maybe too many viewings of the Harry Potter movies in order is Drapple. That’s the romantic bond between one of the best Harry Potter villains and a green apple. OK, you’ll have to bear with us while we explain…
In Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Malfoy eats a green apple while snarking his way through Hagrid‘s first Care of Magical Creatures lesson in faux boredom. Malfoy is again seen with an apple in Half-Blood Prince, placing it inside the Vanishing Cabinet as part of a test run before holding it in his hand when he sees that a bite has been taken out of it.
Fans being fans, they’ve taken this and run with it as part of what’s called a “cargo ship”, in which human characters are shipped with inanimate objects. It has become a meme, to the extent that Felton himself addressed it at a 2013 convention, Felton said: “I enjoy the idea of Drapple, which took me years to figure out what it was. It’s Draco and an apple. It took me even further to realize why. It’s because in the sixth film he carries an apple. I don’t know more than that.”
Felton added that he’s at peace with some of the stranger fan-fiction works, but said Drapple is “probably the oddest” twist on the Potter canon he has discovered over the years.
He said: “Over the years, I’ve gotten used to [fanfic]. I’m actually thrilled that people have felt inspired enough by the books to want to create their own [stories]. It’s just that some of their imaginations are a little wacky at times.”
That’s a polite way for Felton to say that he’s absolutely baffled by what Potter fans come up with. We’re equally confused by the whole thing, but ultimately you can’t deny the creativity. We just hope the apple thing isn’t a Call Me By Your Name peach scenario.
For more unique fan takes on Harry Potter, find out about the Harry Potter ship even more popular than Drarry and learn about the Harry Potter fan theory linking Neville to a loathsome villain. You can also learn more about Sirius Black and Dumbledore or learn why we still can’t forgive the Harry Potter finale.
Elsewhere, look ahead to new movies with our guide to the Fantastic Beasts 4 release date and find out whether Felton will return for the Harry Potter and the Cursed Child release date. Or for more magical beasts, find out when House of the Dragon season 2 is coming your way.
The creator of the Harry Potter series, JK Rowling, has made a number of transphobic remarks on social media in recent years. If you’d like to learn more about transgender equality or lend your support, here are two charities we encourage you to visit: the National Center for Transgender Equality in the US, and Mermaids in the UK.