Muggles' Guide to Harry Potter/Characters/Narcissa Malfoy
|Muggles' Guide to Harry Potter - Character|
|Related Family||Regulus Black, Sirius Black, Bellatrix Lestrange, Andromeda Tonks|
|Loyalty||Lucius Malfoy, Bellatrix Lestrange, Lord Voldemort|
Overview[edit | edit source]
Born Narcissa Black to Cygnus Black and his wife Druella Rosier-Black in 1955, Narcissa was the youngest child of three sisters, Bellatrix and Andromeda being her older siblings. She was the cousin of Sirius Black and Regulus Black, and later became an aunt to Nymphadora Tonks, although it is unlikely that she acknowledges the connection due to Andromeda's marriage to Muggleborn Ted Tonks. The Blacks are a very old wizarding family with firm prejudices against half-bloods, Muggleborns and Muggles, and Narcissa was no doubt taught these prejudices from an early age. She is a natural stunning beauty, though less so than her elder sister Bellatrix, and, unusually, blonde while most of the Black family appear to be dark-haired.
Narcissa attended Hogwarts, where she completed her education along with most of the young wizarding population of Britain and Ireland. She later married Lucius Malfoy, the heir of a wealthy pure-blood family, and they had one son, Draco Malfoy. Narcissa and her sister Bellatrix have a strong bond, the only two to call each other by their nicknames, Cissy and Bella respectively.
Role in the Books[edit | edit source]
Harry later asks Malfoy if the perpetual dissatisfied look on her face has to do with him (Draco). This inspires Draco to try to Curse Harry, which in turn results in Professor Moody Transfiguring him into a white ferret.
While Narcissa Malfoy does not directly take any part in this book, it is mentioned that she is the only member of the Black family that Kreacher still trusts. Albus Dumbledore tells Harry that at Christmas, when Sirius Black had so forcefully ordered Kreacher out, Kreacher had gone to Narcissa, and presumably there had mentioned how much affection there was between Harry and Sirius. It was this bond between Harry and Sirius that Voldemort, with Lucius Malfoy's help, played upon to lure Harry into the Department of Mysteries.
Out of fear for the welfare of her son, Narcissa, accompanied by Bellatrix Lestrange, her sister, visits Severus Snape. She tries to get him to promise that he will protect her son Draco, who has apparently been tasked by Lord Voldemort with a mission that seems to be hopeless. Eventually, Snape is coerced into making an Unbreakable Vow with Narcissa to help her son in the mission.
We next see her shopping for school supplies with Draco at Madam Malkin's Robes for All Occasions, where she appears after a confrontation between Draco, Harry and Ron, started by Draco commenting about Hermione, has already become heated. Responding to a threat from Narcissa. Harry alludes to Lucius's imprisonment, and she responded by coldly mentioning the recent death of Harry's godfather before haughtily departing with her son to Twilfitt and Tatting's.
Throughout the school year, Draco made several unsuccessful attempts to kill Dumbledore, which eventually resulted in the Battle of the Astronomy Tower and Snape's fulfillment of his vow to Narcissa.
When we first see Narcissa in this volume, she is at a council of Death Eaters. She, with her husband and son, are seated far down the table, distant from Voldemort, as a sign of their decreased status within the organization. It would appear that the Malfoy family is in disgrace, and much to her dismay, Bellatrix is seated near them.
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. Narcissa is unable to identify Harry, despite recognizing Hermione, and orders Draco to look; Draco is also uncertain, though Harry believes that he is only feigning that uncertainty. Narcissa is halted from summoning the Dark Lord by Bellatrix, who has seen the Sword of Gryffindor, and believes that her vault at Gringotts has been compromised; knowing that the vault was the hiding place of something highly valued by Voldemort, Bellatrix is aware that Voldemort will be furious if that vault has been infiltrated. Bellatrix by and large takes charge of proceedings at this point and Narcissa retreats into the background.
When Harry has fallen in the Forbidden Forest after confronting Voldemort, Narcissa, presumably because she is closest, is asked by Lord Voldemort to check if Harry Potter is alive. Narcissa sees that he is, and asks if her son is all right, then lies to Voldemort that Harry is dead. Harry guesses that she has done this because only if Harry is believed dead will she be able to get into Hogwarts castle to re-unite with Draco.
Her last appearance is in the Great Hall, after the battle. She is with Lucius and Draco, standing somewhat apart from the celebrations around them.
Strengths[edit | edit source]
While neither she nor Voldemort thinks of it as such, Narcissa's capacity for love, and her love for Draco are a strength. The fact that her love for her son outweighs her loyalty to Voldemort demonstrates how even within Voldemort's inner circles, love is still the force that causes his ultimate downfall. Narcissa's love for her son, possibly equivalent to Lily's love for Harry, gives her the ability to lie to Voldemort that Harry is dead, despite what Harry feels is a quite visible pulse. Narcissa here exhibits the exact type of love Voldemort never understood. This type of love caused his downfall 17 years ago, and it is the cause of his downfall in the final book.
Weaknesses[edit | edit source]
During the scene at Spinner's End in the beginning of Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince, Narcissa practically begs Severus Snape to make an Unbreakable Vow to protect her son, even though her sister Bellatrix Lestrange strongly opposes this action. Narcissa does this even though she is under Voldemort's orders to not speak of Draco's mission. Her love of her son outweighs her obedience to the Dark Lord, which could spell disaster for her in the future.
Relationships with Other Characters[edit | edit source]
Much like her husband and son, she seems to have a fairly close relationship with Severus Snape. At the very least she trusted him enough to go to him for help.
Narcissa is extremely judgmental, obviously holding those whose blood is less than pure, and those who would accept any such, as being greatly beneath her. It is possibly this need to feel superior that placed her in Lord Voldemort's camp initially; his emphasis on purity of blood matches hers. One must wonder how she rationalizes the fact that Voldemort is a half-blood.
Starting in Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, we see that Narcissa's love of her family outweighs her loyalty to Voldemort and his principles.
Analysis[edit | edit source]
While Narcissa is a lesser player in the arc followed by the Malfoy family, we can see the transitions she goes through alongside those of her husband and son. When we first see her, she is haughty, proud, sure of her position at the top of the Wizarding world alongside her husband, Lucius. In Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, she is far less sure of herself; still believing in her family's innate superiority over the half-blood and Muggle-born, she is aware of her family's having fallen out of Voldemort's good books following Lucius' loss of the diary Horcrux, and later his arrest and imprisonment. At the beginning of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, she, along with all her family, are aware that they are in disgrace; Draco had only completed half of his mission, and Narcissa had broken the rules of secrecy in talking to Snape about Draco's mission. At the end of that book, she quite clearly sees that she has lost everything except Draco, and is willing to lie to Voldemort in order to re-unite her family. (While Lucius is still alive, he is quite clearly merely a shell of what he had been, and Narcissa does not seem to be overly concerned with his whereabouts; though this may simply be because when we see her, it is in the clearing in the forest, and Lucius is immediately to hand.)
It is uncertain whether or not Narcissa is a Death Eater. During the riot at the Quidditch World Cup, Draco implies that she (as well as Lucius) were among the group of robed Death Eaters attacking the Muggles. At the end of the book, however, she doesn't seem to have been one of the Death Eaters summoned to the graveyard at Little Hangleton, though Lucius is. Later, apparently under Voldemort's orders, she provides the misinformation to Kreacher that lures Harry into the Department of Mysteries, yet she isn't sent there with her husband or sister. She is also seen during the Death Eater meeting at the Malfoy Manor and participates in the final battle at Hogwarts. With this it seems that she doesn't have the Dark Mark, but is still a member of Voldemort's camp and still takes orders from him. It's unknown why she never took the Dark Mark (or why Voldemort never gave it to her), however it's possible that Voldemort was satisfied with her service to him through Lucius and thus never found it prudent to make her an official Death Eater. It may simply be that Voldemort doesn't trust women enough to grant them full membership; we don't even know if Bellatrix bears the Dark Mark, though events in the cemetery suggests that she is the only woman so "honored".
Questions[edit | edit source]