Six Reasons Why Draco Malfoy Is Actually Really Smart
Draco Malfoy is many things: a bully, a coward, a spoiled brat, a bouncing ferret, but there is one aspect of his personality that is hidden when looking at him from Harry’s point of view: his incredible magical skill and intelligence. Draco is no Hermione, but he is still one of the most talented students in Harry’s year.
In the Dueling Club during his second year, Draco uses Serpensortia, sending a huge black serpent out of the tip of his wand. Conjuring animals out of nothing is incredibly advanced magic that even Hermione doesn’t attempt until her sixth year. Draco, however, manages it as a 12-year-old, while all his classmates are still learning how to disarm each other.
2. “Outstanding” in Potions
Draco is one of only ten students in Harry’s year who manage to get an Outstanding on their Potions OWL. Draco, of course, has encountered favoritism in Potions class from the moment he walked into the dungeon, but the Potions OWL is led by an impartial examiner, so he must have passed on his own merits alone. Snape’s partiality, in fact, had the potential to work against Draco by giving him a false sense of his own abilities, but it turns out that Draco actually is as talented as Snape thinks him to be.
Draco shows himself to be a powerful Occlumens, capable of resisting even such a talented wizard as Snape. Occlumency takes an intense amount of mental willpower, and Draco shows himself to be a natural at it with only a few lessons from his aunt Bellatrix.
4. Protean Charm
After Draco finds out that Hermione created enchanted coins to communicate messages for Dumbledore’s Army, Draco uses the Protean Charm to create his own Galleons to use with Madam Rosmerta. The Protean Charm is advanced NEWT magic that certainly has not been taught to him by the beginning of his sixth year, and Draco’s ability to use it shows that he is far more magically competent than most of his peers.
5. Imperius Curse
Although this spell is far crueler than the Protean Charm, it is just as difficult to do properly. Draco Malfoy keeps the Imperius Curse on Madam Rosmerta for a full year, at a distance, without anyone noticing her acting unusually. There are various examples throughout the books of the Imperius Curse being used ineffectively or in a way that evokes suspicion, but Draco seems to be a natural.
6. Fixing the Vanishing Cabinet
Last, but certainly not least, Draco fixes the broken Vanishing Cabinet completely on his own. The Vanishing Cabinet is clearly a very complicated magical item, and you certainly aren’t taught to fix one by your professors in class. Draco must have done a lot of experimenting, research, and difficult magic to fix that cabinet.
Although Harry would never admit it, Draco is obviously an intelligent and talented wizard, perhaps one of the smartest in his Hogwarts year. Unfortunately, however, most of his talent is exploited in his sixth year to be used for Voldemort, and we never get to see just what Draco could accomplish if his intelligence were harnessed for the good of wizarding society at large.