Muggles' Guide to Harry Potter/Characters/Lucius Malfoy

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Muggles' Guide to Harry Potter - Character
Lucius Malfoy
Gender Male
Hair color Blond
Eye color Gray
Related Family Abraxas Malfoy, wife Narcissa (née Black), son Draco
Loyalty Lord Voldemort, Death Eaters

Overview[edit]

Lucius Malfoy is the father of Draco Malfoy.

Role in the Books[edit]

Beginner warning: Details follow which you may not wish to read at your current level.

Chamber of Secrets[edit]

In Knockturn Alley, Harry observes Lucius and Draco Malfoy in Borgin and Burke's, where Lucius is apparently selling some Dark Magic items. Harry, who entered the store unseen through the Floo network, is hiding inside a large black cabinet, watching the transaction.

Back in Diagon Alley, Lucius Malfoy meets Harry and Ginny Weasley at Flourish & Blotts, and makes some disparaging comments about the Weasley family's poverty; Arthur Weasley, arriving on the scene, gets into a physical altercation with Lucius which is broken up by Rubeus Hagrid.

Late in the school year, Lucius exerts his influence as a school governor to have Albus Dumbledore suspended as Headmaster. Lucius visits the school to personally deliver the suspension, and Harry is present when Lucius speaks to Dumbledore inside Hagrid's hut.

After Ginny is rescued from the Chamber of Secrets, Professor Dumbledore is reinstated, to Lucius' apparent anger; apparently several school governors had the impression that unless they voted to remove Dumbledore, Lucius would curse them. It is revealed that Lucius had intercepted Ginny at Flourish & Blotts specifically to plant Tom Riddle's old diary in her cauldron. Harry tricks Lucius into freeing his House-elf, Dobby.

Finally, it is mentioned that Lucius has been sacked as a school governor.

Prisoner of Azkaban[edit]

After Draco Malfoy is injured in Hagrid's Care of Magical Creatures class by Buckbeak, Draco spends considerable time in the Hospital Wing. On his return, he taunts Harry and Ron, saying that his father can get Hagrid sacked.

As it turns out, he cannot; the hearing, just before Christmas, exonerates Hagrid. However, Lucius can get Buckbeak's part in the case referred to the Committee for the Disposal of Magical Creatures. Despite Hagrid's being coached by Harry, Ron, and Hermione, Hagrid reports that Lucius came across as much smoother and was better able to state his case to the Committee. As a result, though Hagrid was spared punishment, the Committee had ordered Buckbeak executed.

Goblet of Fire[edit]

Lucius attends the Quidditch World Cup with his wife, Narcissa and their son Draco. Apparently, he has been invited to the Top Box by Cornelius Fudge on the strength of a recent donation to St. Mungo's. Lucius and Arthur Weasley have a barbed conversation in the Top Box at the Quidditch World Cup.

In the riots after the Cup, there is a strong suggestion that Lucius may be one of the hooded wizards rampaging through the campsite and tormenting the Muggle owner.

When Draco Malfoy Curses Harry in the Entrance Hall, he is seen and punished by Professor Moody. Later, taking Draco to see his Head of House, Moody comments that Draco's father is "an old friend". Moody being an Auror, and his intonation being threatening, one can see that Moody believes Lucius to have been a Death Eater.

When Lord Voldemort is resurrected, he summons his remaining Death Eaters. One of the Death Eaters speaks with Lucius' voice; it is he who asks how Voldemort had managed to return.

When Harry returns from the graveyard, and describes what happened there, he names Lucius Malfoy as one of the Death Eaters there present. Cornelius Fudge refuses to believe this, saying that Malfoy was an old, established Wizarding family, and had always donated to all the right charities.

Order of the Phoenix[edit]

As Harry is leaving the courtroom with Arthur, after his hearing, he sees Cornelius Fudge and Lucius Malfoy in the Atrium. As usual, Arthur and Lucius exchange heated words, ended by Lucius excusing himself to Fudge's office; evidently Lucius is there to make another donation to some worthy cause.

When Sirius Black accompanies Harry, Ron, and Hermione to the train station to see them off to Hogwarts, his Animagus dog form is recognized by Lucius Malfoy, who apparently passes this information on to Draco. This suspicion is strengthened by a story Hermione finds in the Daily Prophet a week later, suggesting that Sirius had been spotted in London.

Harry later has one of his disturbing dreams, in which he seems to be looking through Voldemort's eyes. In this one, he is speaking to one Rookwood, who Harry later recognizes as a recent escapee from Azkaban Prison. Rookwood tells him that Avery's plan could never have worked, which is why Bode had fought so hard when Lucius had put him under the Imperius curse. Discussing this dream the next day, Harry remembers that Lucius had been hanging around near the entrance to the Department of Mysteries, where Bode worked, on the day of his hearing. Hermione remembers that Sturgis Podmore had been arrested on the day that they had all left Grimmauld Place for school, and speculates that Lucius may have placed him under the Imperius curse to try and get Podmore to steal whatever it was that Voldemort was after.

Lucius is one of the Death Eaters, and apparently the leader, in the battle at the Ministry. While he is seen ordering the other Death Eaters around, we don't see him taking direct part in the battle. He is one of the Death Eaters captured by Dumbledore at the end of that battle.

Draco blames Harry for Lucius' arrest, and is prepared to curse Harry in retaliation, but is interrupted by the arrival of Professor Snape and Professor McGonagall.

Half-Blood Prince[edit]

Lucius has been convicted of being a Death Eater following the Battle at the Ministry in the previous year, and sentenced to Azkaban Prison. As such, we don't actually see him in this book.

Deathly Hallows[edit]

When we first see Lucius in this volume, he is at a council of Death Eaters, which has been convened in Voldemort's new headquarters, Malfoy Manor. He, with his wife Narcissa and son Draco, are seated far down the table, distant from Voldemort, as a sign of their decreased status within the organization. Much to her dismay, Bellatrix is seated near them. It would appear that the Malfoy family is in disgrace: Lucius had first lost the Diary Horcrux, and then bungled the battle at the Ministry and been sent to Azkaban, and now was essentially under house arrest in his own home. Draco had performed half of his mission but then funked the second half, the previous year. And Narcissa had broken the rule about talking with other Death Eaters about missions, not only with Draco, but with Severus Snape. Voldemort, having determined that he likely would be unable to defeat Harry using his own wand, demands that Lucius give him his wand, as he won't be needing one. He taunts Lucius' apparent brief hope that it would be a trade. To test the power of Lucius' wand, Voldemort uses it to kill Charity Burbage.

When Voldemort determines which of the six Harry Potters escaping from Privet Drive is the true Harry, he attempts to use Lucius' wand to kill Harry. The attempt fails, however, with Harry's wand, apparently all on its own, sending out a burst of golden fire that causes Lucius' wand to shatter.

When Harry, Ron, and Hermione, along with Dean Thomas and Griphook are brought to Malfoy Manor, their captors call on the Malfoys to identify them before summoning the Dark Lord. Summoned by Lucius, Narcissa is unable to identify Harry, and orders Draco to look; Draco is also uncertain. Bellatrix by and large takes charge of proceedings at this point and Lucius retreats into the background.

At the battle of Hogwarts, Hermione calls on Harry to find out where Voldemort is. Harry senses that he is in the Shrieking Shack; a hang-dog Lucius is with him. Lucius is asking after Draco, his son. Voldemort replies that he should have left the school and joined him with the other Slytherins. Lucius asks him to stop the battle, so that he can be sure to kill Potter himself. Voldemort says that this is simply an attempt by Lucius to save his son, and sends Lucius to find Snape.

In Snape's memories, Harry sees that when Snape was Sorted into Slytherin house, he was greeted by then-prefect Lucius Malfoy.

When Harry returns to the forest to face Voldemort and his destiny, Lucius is present, though far away from the center of the gathering.

His last appearance is in the Great Hall, after the battle. He is with Narcissa and Draco, standing somewhat apart from the celebrations around them.

Strengths[edit]

While Lucius is considered to be on the "other" side from Harry Potter, he does have some admirable strengths. Lucius is known to be very intelligent; he was a prefect back in his Hogwarts days, and is a rich, successful businessman in his adult life. He has a smooth, charming manner that enables him to read people and he usually gets what he wants from them. He is calculating, intuitive, and strong.

Though we never see Lucius participate in any actual dueling, we can deduce from his past that he has strong leadership skills; he was one of Voldemort's most trusted Death Eaters before Harry Potter was born, and Lucius was selected to lead the raid against Harry Potter in the Hall of Prophecies in the fifth book, Order of the Phoenix. Though this battle marks the beginning of Lucius's fall from Voldemort's grace, Lucius's charisma is undeniable.

Perhaps Lucius's greatest strength is his ability to love. J.K Rowling was quoted as saying "anyone who is still capable of love is redeemable." Unlike the other Death Eaters, Lucius puts his family first and cares far more about his wife and son than serving Lord Voldemort. While his sister-in-law Bellatrix Lestrange admitted she would be perfectly willing to sacrifice any of her children to the service of the Dark Lord, Lucius has no interest in sacrificing his son Draco. When Lucius is freed from prison by Voldemort, he is visibly panicked and miserable when he learns of Draco's mission to kill Dumbledore (under pain of death if he fails). During the final battle at Hogwarts, all Lucius wants to do is find his son and keep him safe; he begs Voldemort to let him find Draco, is refused, but does so anyway as soon as he gets the chance. Lucius does not even attempt to fight against the Order in this battle; all he cares about his finding his wife and son and protecting them. Hence, Lucius has another strength: he can prioritize what matters most to him, and what matters most is his family.

Lucius has a fairly good relationship with his son Draco; Draco obviously respects and loves his father, as he gets violently angry when Harry calls Lucius a "loser" in the sixth book after Lucius is sent to Azkaban. The same can be said for Lucius's wife Narcissa; she becomes furious when Bellatrix insults Lucius in the beginning of the sixth book. Thus, Lucius has a good enough relationship with his wife and son that they love him and will defend him fiercely.

Lucius is a complex character; we see a steady change in him throughout the series, and in the end, his love is his greatest strength, and it is what keeps him alive.

Weaknesses[edit]

Relationships with Other Characters[edit]

Lucius Malfoy is married to Narcissa Malfoy. They have one son, Draco Malfoy. We are never sure of the exact feelings between father and son until the final book, where we learn that Lucius fears that Draco has come to harm in Hogwarts. Prior to that, the only interaction between them we had witnessed was in Borgin and Burkes, where Lucius seemed to be bullying Draco.

Lucius' wealth and status secures him influence over high level Ministry officials including Cornelius Fudge. However, he does not appear to have any true friends.

Lucius is particularly hostile to Arthur Weasley, insulting him about his low level in the Ministry, poverty and fondness of Muggles.

Analysis[edit]

Lucius is one of the more interesting characters in the series, as we see enough of him to be aware of how he is changing as the series continues. In the beginning, he is smooth, assured of his own superiority over the rabble surrounding him. We know that a lot of this is buying influence; this is drawn particularly into focus when, after the return of Voldemort, Harry starts naming the Death Eaters who had come to his side, and Cornelius Fudge protests that Lucius can't be a Death Eater, as he makes hefty donations to all sorts of worthy causes. We see this start to crack when Voldemort returns; Lucius is put on the spot immediately, as Voldemort asks why he had run when the Dark Mark had appeared in the sky at the Quidditch World Cup, and why he, unlike the Lestranges, had not tried to find out where Voldemort had gone. He is still able to put on a good façade, though: we see him talking with Fudge after Harry's hearing, and he is then apparently about to donate a lot of gold to some charity.

As his plans fall apart around him, he collapses inwards into himself as well; when we see him in the beginning of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, he seems little more than a shell of himself. He does not protest when Voldemort demands his wand, not even when Voldemort says he will have no further use for it. Wandless, he cannot fight at Hogwarts, though he is present; Voldemort keeps him around as a messenger, and apparently intends to humiliate him. At the end of the book, when we see him, he seems to be quietly thankful that he and his family were allowed to remain alive; there is no sign of his old confidence.

The interaction between Lucius Malfoy and the Weasleys should, perhaps, be mentioned as well. Lucius was certainly guilty of prejudice against Muggleborns, but the Weasleys were Purebloods also, so Lucius probably was more irritated at the Weasley affinity for things Muggle, perhaps most especially a friendship with Hermione, rather than any racial prejudice against them as a family. As Arthur's job had to do with Muggle life, Lucius would have seen the Weasleys as blood traitors, especially as Arthur was able to get some laws enacted protecting Muggles from the worst Wizards. It is certainly true that Lucius used Arthur's relative poverty against him, something which adds to our perception of him as a bully.

Questions[edit]

Study questions are meant to be left for each student to answer; please don't answer them here.

  1. Lucius Malfoy, when we first formally meet him in Flourish and Blotts in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, makes very cutting comments to Ginny Weasley, and later to Arthur Weasley. Were Lucius' comments to Ginny simple prejudice, or were they intended to increase the likelihood of Ginny's running afoul of the diary and its contents? If the latter, exactly how much did Lucius understand of the diary's nature when he concealed it in Ginny's other purchases?

Greater Picture[edit]

Intermediate warning: Details follow which you may not wish to read at your current level.

While examining Lucius can be rewarding, he does remain largely in the background of the series, except in the second book where he deliberately plants the diary in Ginny Weasley's book bag. We are never entirely sure whether Lucius knew that the diary was one of Voldemort's Horcruxes. Apparently, according to what we learn later, Lucius had been told that the diary was a source of disruption, intended to be left somewhere like Hogwarts. Voldemort had, however, neither informed him of its exact nature, nor given Lucius instruction to part with it. While some Death Eaters knew of Voldemort's Horcruxes, as Regulus Black apparently did, we are led to believe that Lucius did not know that the diary was one. As such, when Voldemort learns of the destruction of the diary, he is enraged. Lucius' fall from grace in Voldemort's eyes can likely be traced from the time Voldemort learned of the destruction of the diary, which seems to mark the first of a series of failures: his attempt to use the Imperius curse to retrieve the Prophecy, first on Sturgis Podmore and later on Broderick Bode, fails, as does the mission he leads into the Ministry to get it via Harry, which results in Lucius himself being locked up.