The Mystery that is Malfoy

by Chella Hughes

We all know that Draco Malfoy is a selfish, bratty, condescending little twerp, but is that just his nature, or is it derived from something else? I have personally always thought that Draco is just an abused, misunderstood little boy who doesn’t know any better. Evidence of this:

First, analyze the second movie in which Lucius Malfoy seems to be violent towards his son in Borgin and Burkes. When Draco was looking at something near the door, Lucius nearly hit him with his cane and said, “Touch nothing.”

Draco seems to be genuinely afraid of him here. (Excellent acting done by Tom Felton!) Yes, I realize that this interpretation was in the movie and not the original story text, but it’s still worth a look at. J.K. Rowling oversaw the entire production, allowing clues to what could happen to be placed in the films.

Then there’s the way he treats Dobby and the obvious fact that he’s a Death Eater counts against him in this category. Furthermore, watch him roll his eyes when Draco falls from his broom during the Quidditch match.

Now, on to the books.

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s/Philosopher’s Stone

There’s not a lot in this book, really. In fact, Draco doesn’t show up much. Although one could cite Draco challenging Harry to a duel and then never showing up, choosing to tip off Filch instead.

Was this a stroke of evil genius or was it a deeply set fear of being beaten that caused him to back out at the last possible moment? It’s something to think about.

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

In Borgin and Burkes, Lucius tells Draco that he ought to be ashamed that a Muggle-born girl beat him in every exam and hopes that he will amount to be more than a thief or plunderer, though his grades reflect that may be all he is fit for. (Chapter Four, Page 52, CoS American version)

And again, the way he treats Dobby is a reflection of how he treats those smaller than he, in both stature and position.

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

Somehow I don’t think that Lucius tried to have Buckbeak executed because he slashed his son’s arm open. I’m relatively certain that it was to show that he still wields powers that most wizards will never have, such as the power to control the actions of others, either through sheer influence or by threatening to curse people’s families. Especially after he was removed as a school governor in CoS, he’d have something to prove.

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

I find it funny how Lucius and Narcissa Malfoy can leave their son in the middle of a riot to go levitate muggles/muggle-borns. It shows how they disregard him and how obvious it is that they like to cause others pain/embarrassment/discomfort.

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

There isn’t much here, aside from the incident in the Department of Mysteries. Being a Death Eater seems to give Lucius a violent, wicked aura and makes him seem cold and uncaring.

Why is Draco so defensive of his abusive father? Perhaps to cover up that anything is wrong. Maybe he feels that if he defends his father, or says things like “my father —” and goes on about how powerful he is and how much influence he has, his father will approve more of him and perhaps not be so hard on Draco.

In closing, I’d like to say that Draco may not be a little brat after all, just misunderstood and brushed aside.