PotterTime 3: Harry Potter and the Boy Who Had No Choice (Part 1)
November 17, 2020
Characters in the Harry Potter series have been glorified and villainized ever since the first book, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, came out in 1997. The most villainous of all, many fans would agree, are Dolorous Umbridge, Voldemort, and Bellatrix Lestrange. Notice how I didn’t say Draco Malfoy. This character is despised and loved by many and causes many debates. Draco Malfoy’s character was written in the perfect set up to right his wrongs and have a beautifully done redemption arc. That is, until he didn’t. There’s a divide amongst fans about whether or not Draco was truly entitled to this redemption or if he was simply a bad person. It’s time to dive into Draco Malfoy’s personality, character, background, his Hogwarts years, and his future to prove why he deserves to be redeemed. Warning: there will be spoilers! Also, I am going to have a part two to this PotterTime (I have strong feelings about this subject) so stay tuned!
It seems almost every fan has faced the Malfoy dilemma before: is he good or bad? “He’s just misunderstood!” some say. “He attempted murder at least three times!” others argue. It’s not just the fans who have discussed the situation regarding Draco; J.K. Rowling, author of the Harry Potter series, has opinions of her own. According to the Time article J.K. Rowling Finally Gives Harry Potter Fans What They Want by Ashley Ross, Rowling has written, “Draco has all the dark glamour of the anti-hero; girls are very apt to romanticise such people. All of this left me in the unenviable position of pouring cold common sense on ardent readers’ daydreams, as I told them, rather severely, that Draco was not concealing a heart of gold under all that sneering.” The article then states, “(Rowling) backtracks a bit, explaining there is “some unextinguished good at the heart of Draco,” which, of course, fans knew all along.” It seems to me that Rowling herself is confused in her beliefs with Draco Malfoy. She contradicts herself on the subject, leaving fans who love or hate him with no solid closure. Draco is not a good person when he is at school, but to understand that you first must understand the conditions that Draco Malfoy comes from.
The Malfoy family is a very prestigious family in the world of wizards and witches. They are part of an elite group called the Sacred 28. This group is made up of only the oldest, “purest” of blood wizarding families. They go back centuries of wizards with no mixed-blood in them. These families are often very prejudiced and hateful to those whose blood status is half-blood or Muggleborn. They also hate purebloods who are not as prejudiced as they are, calling them “blood-traitors”. On page 110 of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, Ron reveals, “(They Malfoys) were some of the first to come back to our side after You-Know-Who disappeared. Said they’d been bewitched. My dad doesn’t believe it. He says Malfoy’s father didn’t need an excuse to go over to the Dark Side.” Lucius Malfoy was a Death Eater (the Dark Lord’s devoted followers who shared the same ideals as him and were branded with the Dark Mark) in the first war against Voldemort and also in the following war, 13 years later. While it is unclear if Narcissa Malfoy was ever a Death Eater, she was clearly in Voldemort’s inner circle. With her husband, sister, and most of her cousins being Death Eaters, it wasn’t hard for her to rise in the ranks as well. Narcissa and Lucius had Draco Lucius Malfoy at about 25-26 years old.
The Malfoy family, being a wizarding family with an extensive bloodline, had old money. According to the Distractify article “Even Die Hard Potterheads Will Be Shocked to Know Draco Malfoy’s Net Worth” by Mufasta Gatollari, “Lucius possesses 321,285,145 Galleons, or $1.6 Billion.” Draco, being the only child of Narcissa and Lucius, would have grown up knowing that he would eventually receive the entire Malfoy fortune. Draco had grown up being told he was better. He was better than Muggles (people with no magical ability) because he was a wizard. He was better than other wizards because he was rich. He was better than other wealthy wizards because he was a Malfoy. Draco’s parents raised him to believe that he was superior to his peers. He had grown up in an environment where he was only alone to develop friendships with the children of other ex Death Eaters or pureblood families who had the same morals as the Malfoys. Draco Malfoy never got a chance to develop his own opinions as his parent’s thrust theirs on him. An article on Pottermore reveals, “Draco was raised in an atmosphere of regret that the Dark Lord had not succeeded in taking command of the wizarding community, although he was prudently reminded that such sentiments ought not to be expressed outside the small circle of the family and their close friends ‘or Daddy might get into trouble’.” This shows that Draco was taught to lie and manipulate others from a young age. He was never taught to be honest and treat others with equality, so it wasn’t a surprise that when he entered his first year at Hogwarts, he had been brainwashed to believe the wizard-racist lies since he was a child.
Draco Malfoy first meets Harry Potter in Diagon Alley in Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, although he doesn’t find out that the boy he was talking to was Harry Potter until chapter six. I believe that this first introduction scene to be essential to understanding Draco. It was disappointing that the movies left out this critical scene as it would have really alluded to Draco’s character development throughout the series. On page 77-79, Draco and Harry share a conversation about flying and Quidditch (the wizard sport played on broomsticks), the Hogwarts houses (Gryffindor, Ravenclaw, Slytherin, and Hufflepuff), and lineage. We can learn a lot about Harry and Draco from this conversation captured before either of them know anything about each other. The very first thing that Draco does is greet Harry and ask him if he is going to Hogwarts. This tells us two things. Firstly, Draco is confident. He doesn’t waste time in interacting with Harry, even though it wasn’t necessary as he was just getting his robes sized. Secondly, Draco is excited for school to start. He is looking for other witches and wizards who are going to Hogwarts and is wanting to make new friends. The conversation continues on page 77 with Draco saying, “My father’s next door buying my books and mother’s up the street looking at wands.” The sentence reveals that Draco doesn’t do much for himself, he is used to being served. We find out in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets that the Malfoys had a house-elf (house-elves are essentially slaves to wizards, although they are written to enjoy their slavery, and they can only be freed when presented with clothes) servant named Dobby, who Harry later ends up freeing. Draco’s word choice regarding his parents, “father” and “mother” as opposed to dad and mum, suggests a detachment from his parents. Throughout both the books and the films, there is lots of evidence of a rocky homelife between Draco and Lucius. It is obvious that Draco practically idolizes his father, constantly vying for his attention and approval. As Draco and Harry continue their conversation, it becomes clear that Draco knows a lot about the wizarding world, having grown up in it, and Harry knows very little. Page 77 says Harry was “…feeling more stupid by the minute.” When Hagrid shows up in the window, the 11 year old’s exchange takes a turn for the worse.
Page 78 shared, “”Oh,” said the boy, “I’ve heard of (Hagrid). He’s sort of a servant isn’t he?” “He’s the Gamekeeper,” said Harry. He was liking the boy less and less every second. “Yes, exactly. I heard he’s some sort of savage – lives in a hut on the school grounds and every now and then he gets drunk, tries to do magic, and sets fire to his bed.” “I think he’s brilliant,” said Harry cooly.’” From Harry’s perspective, this seems to be a dig at his newfound friend. In actuality, Draco lived in Malfoy Manor. The manor that portrayed the Malfoy Manor in the Harry Potter movies was Hardwick Hall, which sits on 2,500 acres of land (for those who don’t know, a Gamekeeper takes care of the game and grounds of an estate). Assuming that the Malfoy Manor would have approximately the same amount of acres, it is extremely possible, given the Malfoys status, that they had a Gamekeeper and servants. Malfoy could have honestly been asking Harry if Hagrid was like the servants he was used to- something completely normal to Draco and absurd to Harry. Harry, having grown up in an abusive Muggle household and knows basically nothing about the wizarding world and the families in it at this point and time, would have taken this as an insult to Hagrid rather than an inquiry. When he continues to describe Hagrid, he hasn’t formed his own opinion on him. Draco had never met Hagrid before and was simply conveying what he had heard about Hagrid. Draco most likely heard the rumor from his father. Lucius Malfoy started his first year at Hogwarts in 1965/1966 and would’ve remembered Hagrid working for Hogwarts from his years at school. Hagrid was a half-giant, and while he didn’t let people know this fact about him, some still speculated about his heritage. This was extremely looked down upon, marking him as a “half-breed” much like the slur for Muggle-Borns, “Mudblood”. If Lucius suspected this, as many did, he would have undoubtedly told Draco to stay away from Hagrid. Besides the “savage” comment, what Draco was saying about Hagrid, unbeknownst to Harry, could honestly possibly have an element of truth to it. Hagrid likes to drink and is drunk at multiple points during the series. That added to the fact that he keeps the broken pieces of his wand inside an umbrella, which would be far from stable magic, could very well influence what Draco has heard about the gamekeeper. Draco wasn’t necessarily attacking Hagrid, rather he was sharing his knowledge with Harry. Besides, Draco grew up sheltered and only associated with those who thought the same way he did. He probably had never needed to think about how his words could affect someone who didn’t grow up and learn the same morals as he had.
After the discussion about Hagrid, Draco asks Harry why Hagrid is with Harry instead of his parents. Page 78 reads, “’They’re dead,” said Harry shortly. He didn’t feel much like going into the matter with this boy. “Oh, sorry,” said the other, not sounding sorry at all. “But they were our kind, weren’t they?” “They were a witch and wizard, if that’s what you mean.” “I don’t really think they should let the other sort in, do you? They’re just not the same, they’ve never been brought up to know our ways. Some of them have never even heard of Hogwarts until they get the letter, imagine. I think they should keep it in the old wizarding families. What’s your surname?’” Draco is swept away before Harry can answer, but this section leaves a lot to unpack. To start, there’s the matter of how Draco reacted to the news of Harry’s parents’ deaths. The fact that Draco appeared relatively unbothered and unsympathetic to Harry could illuminate numerous things pertaining to his character. It’s possible that he didn’t sound sorry when he learned of Harry’s parents death because he suspected Harry to be the same Harry Potter he had grown up hearing about. Perhaps Draco knew that the boy he was talking to was Harry Potter and wanted to get a feel of his beliefs before he went to Hogwarts. Considering the Potter’s were famous, Draco most likely would have seen pictures of both Lily and James Potter. Harry looks exactly like his father (besides his eyes, which resemble his mother’s), and Draco could have recognized him, as many other witches and wizards did, from this fact. If this was the case, then it would have made sense that Draco did not pity Harry in this moment. If he already knew Harry’s parents had died 13 years prior, he wouldn’t be as inclined to feel upset for Harry. Furthermore, Draco would have seen this as more of a fact or a statistic of war than he had grown up hearing rather than a tragedy, especially with how he was raised. While this theory is unlikely, it is possible. He could have been confirming his suspicions when he asked what Harry’s surname was. A more likely explanation of his lack of sympathy is the fact that Draco grew up post war with parents who fought on the wrong side. He probably had plenty of family members who died in the war and grew up with cousins whose parents had passed too. He might be desensitized to the horrors of war, maybe even expect it. The first wizarding war was about 11 years long. Considering how ruthless Voldemort and his Death Eaters were, the number of casualties and deaths was most likely extremely high. It probably is common to have lost someone close to you during that time. Even though Draco didn’t know when Harry’s parents had died, he may have correctly assumed they passed in the war, something fairly common that he could have become somewhat calloused to. This may have been an interaction he frequently had, which contributed to him not sounding sorry, as he had been through the conversation several times. Of course, this line expresses that Draco was raised very sheltered and in a way where other people do not matter as much as him. He very well could have missed out on the social opportunities a child needs to develop healthy social patterns such as empathy and sympathy. I’m not saying Draco is a sociopath by any means, but I am saying that he may not have developed his social skills as far as other children did due to his parents controlling nature and never really learned to value other’s emotions as much as his own.
Moving on to the rest of his comment on page 78, Draco questions Harry about his parents’ magical ability. Once Harry confirms that they were indeed a witch and wizard, Draco said, “’I don’t really think they should let the other sort in, do you? They’re just not the same, they’ve never been brought up to know our ways. Some of them have never even heard of Hogwarts until they get the letter, imagine. I think they should keep it in the old wizarding families.” Right off the bat, we see firsthand the prejudice that Draco has against Muggles and those who possess magic that are born from them. You have to keep in mind that Draco, only 11 years old, had most likely never interacted with those who have opposing beliefs than his family and family friends (most of whom were Death Eaters or supporters of Voldemort) and almost certainly never interacted with any Muggles. He had probably been privately educated in his home by his parents and the beliefs he is sharing with Harry have been instilled in him for some time. In this statement he isn’t belittling or dehumanizing Muggles or Muggleborns, just stating that “…They’re just not the same…”. At 11 years old, Draco has yet to develop his own beliefs and he believes his parents to have the best intentions in mind. When you are a child and your parents tell you that this is the way something is and you never meet anyone who challenges that belief, you are going to believe it. Draco’s parents have successfully laid the groundwork to raise a son who thinks exactly the same way as they do. Sooner or later, a child is going to start asking questions about what they think to be right and wrong, and the question “why” is a favorite among many children. Muggles being “not the same” would be sufficient enough to answer this question without raising any new ones. Lucius and Narcissa must have instilled this into little Draco, and now on his way to Hogwarts he repeats exactly what he has been taught. Unfortunately as he gets older and the brainwashing and manipulation furthers, Draco’s prejudiced beliefs grow to be more severe. A Pottermore article tells us, “Much of Draco’s behavior at school was modelled on the most impressive person he knew – his father – and he faithfully copied Lucius’s cold and contemptuous manner to everyone outside his inner circle.” This explains to us that much of Draco’s behavior was not truly his own, but in mimicry of his father. However, Draco will soon find everything to be not as black and white as his parents made it seem.
The first train ride to Hogwarts is special for any witch or wizard going to Hogwarts, but the year of 1991 was even more so. Harry Potter, The Boy Who Lived, was going to Hogwarts with the rest of the students. Harry and Draco meet for the second time on the Hogwarts Express in chapter six. Draco enters Harry and Ron Weasley’s compartment on page 108, “‘Is it true?” he said. “They’re all saying down the train that Harry Potter’s in this compartment. So it’s you, is it?’” Once again, Draco shows his confidence and feelings of superiority by not even knocking before entering the compartment. As soon as he hears the rumor, he goes to find out for himself who Harry Potter is. In the Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone film, the upcoming scene takes place in the castle before the sorting ceremony (where students get sorted into the four houses: Ravenclaw, Gryffindor, Hufflepuff, and Slytherin) and is the first introduction between the two boys. You’ll find the scene in the book to be similar, but with some striking differences. When Draco notices Harry eyeing his two friends on either side of him, Vincent Crabbe and Greggory Goyle, he introduces them “carelessly”. The book is in a third person perspective from Harry’s side of the story, so anything you read about Malfoy is how Harry interrupts him. Malfoy may not have meant to present his friends “carelessly” to Harry, he may have simply been distracted by the boy who vanquished the Dark Lord. Having grown up hearing of how Harry defeated the one who his parents worshiped, Draco would have been extremely curious about Harry. Page 108 reads, “‘And my name’s Malfoy. Draco Malfoy.” It is significant that Draco introduces himself with his last name before his first. In doing so, he is drawing attention to his family, who are very well known and demand respect, and signifying that he is someone who should be viewed as important. I like to imagine baby face Draco hearing his father introduce himself as “Malfoy, Lucius Malfoy ” over and over as a child and adopting it so he could be just like his dad, although there is no way to prove that this ever happened. Once Draco introduces himself, “Ron gave a slight cough, which might have been hiding a snigger.” Draco had just introduced himself in a way which the attention and respect he was used to and was immediately denied. Never before had Draco ever spent long periods of time with people who did not bend to his will, and it’s highly likely that he never had to earn respect before this point. He was probably confused that this boy was treating him like he had never been treated before (as in, like a normal human being). In Draco’s world, this boy that he had never spoken to had hurt his dignity, and this probably prompted his response, “Think my name’s funny, do you? No need to ask who you are. My father told me all the Weasleys have red hair, freckles, and more children than they can afford.” That was pretty harsh. But notice that Malfoy doesn’t directly come up with the insult, he just shares exactly what his father said about the Weasleys. To put it simply, the Malfoys and the Weasleys have beef. The Weasleys were Blood-Traitors: a pureblood family with non traditional pureblood beliefs (aka, morals). They believed that Muggleborns shouldn’t be discriminated against and that Muggles should be treated like anyone else. The Malfoys couldn’t stand the Weasleys and constantly mocked their family for their large number of children (seven, one girl and six boys) and the fact that they had very little money. Draco would’ve heard plenty about the Weasley family, none of it good. I feel like this moment emphasizes how Draco wholeheartedly believes everything his parents say is true without needing to come to his own conclusions. This also shows that most of what Draco says actions and words are in reflection of his father, something many boys his age would do.
On page 108-109, the book says, “(Malfoy) turned back to Harry. “You’ll soon find out some wizarding families are much better than others, Potter. You don’t want to go making friends with the wrong sort. I can help you there.” He held out his hand to shake Harry’s, but Harry didn’t take it. “I think I can tell who the wrong sort are for myself, thanks,” he said cooly.” The denied handshake is a very well known scene in the Harry Potter universe, as it shapes Harry and Draco’s dynamic for the rest of the series. This line is important because to Draco’s knowledge, different wizarding families truly do not matter as much as others. Is he intentionally insulting the Weasleys? Yes, but he has been repeatedly taught that during his upbringing, so why shouldn’t he believe his mom and dad? According to a Pottermore article on Draco, “It was, therefore, in the knowledge that he was doing nothing of which his father would disapprove, and in the hope that he might be able to relay some interesting news home, that Draco Malfoy offered Harry Potter his hand when he realised who he was on the Hogwarts Express.” Draco never offered friendship to Harry with any malintent. He simply saw the offer to make friends with someone whose status was family approved and thought being Harry’s friend could be “interesting”. If Harry hadn’t already become friends with Ron, the series could have turned out very different. Harry’s rejection towards Draco upset him (as he was used to always getting what he wanted. Page 109 says, “Draco Malfoy didn’t go red, but a pink tinge appeared in his pale cheeks. “I’d be careful if I were you, Potter,” he said slowly. “Unless you’re a bit politer you’ll go the same way as your parents. They didn’t know what was good for them either. You hang around with riffraff like the Weasleys and that Hagrid, and it’ll rub off on you.’” Harry and Ron take this to be a direct threat and immediately stand to fight Draco. However, if you look deeper into the sentence you will find that Draco most likely wasn’t threatening Harry, but rather warning him. Harry’s father, James Potter, came from a respected pureblood family. James’ best friends were Sirius Black (a pureblood blood traitor), Remus Lupin (a half blood werewolf), and Peter Pettigrew (blood status unknown, but he was a backstabbing rat). James grew up to marry his childhood crush, Lily Evans, who was a Muggleborn. Harry’s father would never have been killed if he were not considered a blood traitor because of his beliefs on equality, his friends, and married a Muggleborn. Draco would have known this as his parents revelled in the days of Voldemort’s power long after his defeat. In fact, many Death Eaters were hopeful that Harry Potter would grow to become the new Dark Lord after he was able to defeat Voldemort before he could even walk (of course, it was Harry’s mother’s love that protected him and rebounded the curse, but the Death Eaters did not know this). Lucius Malfoy was one of the Death Eaters who believed this and had most likely discussed the subject with his son. Draco may have been genuinely warning Harry that if he followed the same beliefs as James and didn’t side with families like his (of which he had been brainwashed to believe was in the right), Harry could very well be on his way to being murdered by loyal Voldemort supporters. Unfortunately, we will never know. Draco, being very prideful, was too hurt by Harry’s rejection to ever try and make amends. They nearly fought in the train compartment, but Ron’s pet rat launched itself at Goyle and bit him. The three boys left quickly after the rat attack.
First year students who arrive at Hogwarts are sorted into one of four houses. Harry, Ron, and their later friend Hermione Granger are all sorted into Gryffindor, the house of the brave and daring. Malfoy is sorted into Slytherin, the house of the ambitious and cunning, on page 120. The book says, “Malfoy swaggered forward when his name was called and got his wish at once: the hat had barely touched his head when it screamed, “SLYTHERIN!’” The Sorting Hat uses Legilimency to look into its wearer’s mind and see which house the student would fit into most, and which attributes the student thinks are the most important. In a way, the system very much depends on how the student was raised. If a student is raised to value loyalty and hard work, they will most likely be sorted into Hufflepuff. If the students’ parents emphasized learning and wit, they value characterics of Ravenclaw. Ron, whose family were all Gryffindors, learned to value their ideals and joined Gryffindor. While Hermione was indeed extremely smart and quick witted, she valued bravery more and followed suit to Gryffindor. In a way, Malfoy was almost destined to be in Slytherin. Not that Slytherin is a bad house by any means, but he never had a chance to learn what he valued growing up, rather it was forced upon him. He was raised to get what he wants, whenever he wants, however he can. He was essentially raised to be in Slytherin, just as Ron was raised to be a Gryffindor. Of course, this isn’t always the case. There are many families who get split into different houses. For example, twin sisters Pavarti (Gryffindor) and Padma (Ravenclaw) Patil were sorted into different houses during their time at Hogwarts. Sirius Black was in Gryffindor while all of his family was in Slytherin. Even still, for a child who has grown up in a household that so strongly emphasizes only certain attributes of a personality, it would be difficult to not hold them to the highest value themselves. That’s not to say that Ron doesn’t deserve to be in Gryffindor or that Malfoy shouldn’t be in Slytherin. Throughout the series we see Ron show admirable bravery, and Draco exhibits extraordinary amounts of both ambition and has proven that he can be very cunning. People do tend to reflect what they hold the most value to. Still, the Hat hardly had a chance to truly see what Draco himself held to the highest standard rather than what he thought he should value. The hat nearly put Harry Potter in Slytherin, and only didn’t because Harry asked it to put him in Gryffindor. Draco obviously had his heart set on Slytherin due to his family, so the Sorting Hat may have not truly sorted Draco based on his character and values. If Draco had been sorted into a different house where he would not be surrounded by the influence of other blood supremacists, he may have developed a very different outlook on blood status early on.
For the first time in his life, Draco was interacting with the very same people his parents brought him up to hate on a daily basis. At Hogwarts, the students weren’t separated into groups based on blood status, rather they were interwoven with other students. A recurring trait in Draco’s character is the fact that Draco is constantly trying to impress his father. This could be because Draco feels like he isn’t enough for his father’s incredibly high standards and feels like he has to prove himself to him. It should be no surprise that Draco acts out as much as he can at school while still keeping up his father’s ideals and image. On page 145, he takes Neville Longbottom’s gift from his grandmother, a Remembrall (a ball filled with smoke that changes colors when the holder has forgotten something), but immediately gives it back as soon as Professor McGonagall sees what has happened. This is a great example of Draco pushing as far as he can before he gets in trouble, therefore disappointing his parents.
During his first flying lesson, Draco finds that he isn’t quite as untouchable as his parents raised him to believe. After the lesson starts on page 146, it says, “Harry and Ron were delighted when she told Malfoy he’d been doing it wrong for years.” While this instant may seem like a small, insignificant moment, it’s actually much, much more. Malfoy loves Quidditch. He had been flying most of his life, something he prides himself on. Later on, he joins the Slytherin Quidditch team and goes to see the Quidditch World Cup. When Harry and Draco meet for the first time on page 77, one of the first things he asks Harry is if he plays Quidditch. When Harry says no, Draco then says, “I do – Father says it’s a crime if I’m not picked to play for my house, and I must say, I agree.” Draco is obviously very proud of his flying skills. It’s possible that Draco held this to such a high standard because his skill isn’t something his family name could give him, but rather he worked for it himself. In a fleeting moment in front of his whole class, all his pride came crashing down. The fact that Harry, who had never touched a racing broom in his life, hadn’t stuggled at all with the task probably didn’t help. Perhaps this is why he acts out when Neville accidentally loses control over his broom and ends up breaking his wrist. Once Neville and the instructor, Madam Hooch, leave for the Hospital Wing, Draco begins to laugh and make fun of Neville. On the next page Draco finds the Remembrall. Harry immediately demands that Draco gives it back. Page 148 reads, “’I think I’ll leave it somewhere for Longbottom to find – how about – up a tree?” “Give it here!” Harry yelled, but Malfoy had leapt onto his broomstick and taken off. He hadn’t been lying, he could fly well. Hovering level with the topmost branches of an oak, he called, “Come and get it, Potter!’” It’s important to note that Draco’s hatred toward Harry was almost entirely based in envy. A Pottermore article on Draco shares, “Though he never sought fame, Harry was unquestionably the most talked-about and admired person at school, and this naturally jarred with a boy who had been brought up to believe that he occupied an almost royal position within the wizarding community.” Draco is constantly challenging Harry throughout the series, trying to prove that he is worth more than him just like he was taught. It often didn’t work out very well for Draco. Harry quickly gets on his broom and rises up to Draco’s challenge. Page 148-149 describes, “(Harry) turned his broomstick sharply to face Malfoy in midair. Malfoy looked stunned. “Give it here,” Harry called, “or I’ll knock you off that broom!” “Oh yeah?” said Malfoy, trying to sneer, but looking worried.” Once Harry dives at him and barely misses Draco, page 149 says, “’No Crabbe and Goyle up here to save your neck, Malfoy.” Harry called. The same thought seemed to have struck Malfoy.” Draco ends up tossing the ball “high into the air” and returns to the ground. Harry Potter catches it and heroically saves the day, per usual. Draco had hoped to be the best in his year at flying and was outshined by Harry Potter, further increasing his envy of the boy. Draco, who was trying to prove to Harry that he was better than him, was obviously not expecting Harry to actually be able to fly. Once Harry’s skill on a broom was obvious, Draco backs down, but not before throwing the Remembrall. The fact that he throws it “high into the air” rather than just at the ground shows that Draco never actually wanted to damage Neville’s gift. He had seen how good Harry was and wasn’t surprised when Harry easily caught the ball he threw into the sky. If Draco wanted to destroy the Remembrall, he could have easily done it, but instead he gives it to Harry in a way that still saves his pride. When Harry gets caught flying when they weren’t supposed to be and Draco doesn’t, he and his friends smile “triumphantly” on page 150. However, rather than getting in trouble (and let’s be honestly, Harry should’ve gotten into trouble. Madam Hooch specifically specified that no one was to fly while she was gone), Harry got put on the Gryffindor Quidditch team without so much as a tryout. The pattern of Draco and Harry getting into trouble and Harry getting away with it continues on in the series.
Draco challenges Harry to a wizard’s duel after Harry tells him on page 153, “You’re a lot braver now that you’re back on the ground and you’ve got your little friends with you.” Draco jumps at another chance to prove his worth and challenges Harry once again. He doesn’t expect Harry to accept the challenge, much less know what a wizard’s duel is, but Ron accepts the duel for Harry and both parties agree to meet at midnight. Draco has a habit of biting off more than he can chew, but he also knows when he’s been or is going to be beaten. He knew that this was a fight he wasn’t going to be able to win, so he found a way where he could. While Harry and Ron snuck out past curfew to fight Draco, Draco told the caretaker of the castle, Argus Filch, of their whereabouts. They’re very nearly caught by him too, but manage to get away and evade getting in trouble once more. Page 159 says, “’Malfoy tricked you,” Hermione said to Harry. “You realize that, don’t you? He was never going to meet you – Filch knew someone was going to be in the trophy room, Malfoy must have tipped him off.” Harry thought she was probably right, but he wasn’t going to tell her that.’” Draco constantly outsmarts Harry in the books and is actually one of the top students in their year. Draco knew that if him and Harry actually got into a duel, they would both be discovered no matter who won, so he cleverly evades this in a way so that he won’t get in trouble. It may not line up with most people’s morals, but Draco wasn’t raised with good morals in mind. He was raised to do whatever he can to be superior to others, so that is what he does.
Draco is very good at finding out people’s weaknesses and exploiting them. You’ll find in the second book, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, that this is a learned trait passed on from his father. He does this at multiple points in the series, often provoking his classmates to a fight. Draco becomes a bully at school and is constantly trying to act like he is above everyone else, just as he was raised. He especially targets those who won’t stand up for themselves, like Neville, because it gives him back the feeling of superiority that he was raised to believe he deserved. He constantly bullies his peers, using their weaknesses against them. This probably is due to the way he was raised. Draco’s father is undoubtedly harsh and very controlling. If Draco grew up being manipulated and controlled, he in turn will try to manipulate and control. Have you ever heard the phrase ‘hurt people hurt people’? While it is not clear if Draco’s father was abusive, it certainly is clear that he uses harsh discipline and humiliation to keep Draco up to his incredible high standards. In Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets on page 52, it reads, “’I hope my son will amount to more than a thief or a plunderer, Borgin,” said Mr. Malfoy coldly, and Mr. Borgin said quickly, “No offense, sir, no offense meant-” “Though if his grades don’t pick up,” said Mr. Malfoy, more coldly still, “that may indeed be all he is fit for-” “It’s not my fault,” retorted Draco. “The teachers all have favorites, that Hermione Granger-” “I would have thought you’d be ashamed that a girl of no wizard family beat you in every exam,” snapped Mr. Malfoy.” Lucius Malfoy humiliates Draco in front of the shop vendor by insinuating that Draco may not be smart enough to become something better than a thief. In actuality, Draco is very smart and keeps excellent grades (most likely to win the favor of his father). When Draco tries to defend himself (no matter how wrong he is), he is shut down and humiliated again. This does not excuse his actions, but it does explain them. He particularly bullies those who feel as if they can do nothing about it, just as Draco would feel with his father.
In chapter 14 of the first book, Malfoy overhears Harry, Ron, and Hermione talking about the illegal dragon that Hagrid was keeping. On the night that the trio is taking the dragon to Ron’s brother Charlie, who works at a dragon sanctuary, Draco sneaks out to find them. Only, Harry, Ron, and Hermione have an invisibility cloak. Page 240 reads, “Professor McGonagall, in a tartan bathrobe and a hair net, had Malfoy by the ear. “Detention!” she shouted. “And twenty points from Slytherin! Wandering around in the middle of the night, how dare you-” “You don’t understand, Professor. Harry Potter’s coming- he’s got a dragon!” “What utter rubbish! How dare you tell such lies! Come on – I shall see Professor Snape about you, Malfoy!’” In all honesty, if I overheard someone talking about the illegal dragon that they were smuggling out of a castle, I would sneak out to see it too. When he is caught, he tells Professor McGonagall the truth, but then gets in trouble for it. He should tell McGonagall about the dragon- that’s a very dangerous creature and could cause serious harm to fully grown wizards, much less 11 year old children. Even when he tries to do the right thing and be honest, he is punished for it. Could he be telling McGonagall about the dragon simply to get Harry in trouble? Most definitely, but again, it is something that Harry should get in trouble for as he is breaking the rules. After Harry, Ron, and Hermione safely deliver the dragon, they are caught by Filch and are also given detention. The trio, along with Neville and Draco then have to spend their detention in chapter 15 in the Forbidden Forest. We see Draco lose his cool for the first time in the series on page 249, “’The forest?” he repeated, and he didn’t sound quite as cool as usual. “We can’t go in there at night- there’s all sorts of things in there- werewolves, I heard.’” He’s right to be afraid. The forest is full of dangerous magical creatures. Later on the same page, it says, “’I’m not going in that forest,” he said, and Harry was pleased to hear the note of panic in his voice.” This is the first time, but definitely not the last, that Draco is truly afraid in the series. Draco was used to being treated like royalty. Risking his life for a detention was a serious downgrade in his eyes. On page 250, it says, “’But this is servants stuff, it’s not for students to do. I thought we’d be copying lines or something, if my father knew I was doing this, he’d-” “-tell yer that’s how it is at Hogwarts,” Hagrid growled. “Copyin’ lines! What good’s that ter anyone? Yeh’ll do summat useful or yeh’ll get out. If yeh father’d rather you were expelled, then get back off ter the castle an’ pack. Go on!” Mafloy didn’t move. He looked at Hagrid furiously, but then dropped his gaze.” Draco is still not quite use to being treated like a regular person. You have to understand that he was taught to be feared and respected, not treated like the child he is. And Draco does have a point, his servants would normally do the things that he is being punished to do (in this case, tracking a dying unicorn). Draco’s father would likely be very upset that the school was treating a Malfoy in such a way (i.e. normally), although one could argue that students shouldn’t be forced into a highly dangerous forbidden area for detention anyways. And Draco was right to be afraid, Voldemort was in the forest that night. With his first year at Hogwarts coming to a close, Draco has experienced things he’s never been allowed to experience. After spending the school year surrounded by other blood supremacists, he returns home to his controlling, manipulative family.
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets holds many instances where we can find evidence of Draco being brainwashed by his parents to believe their prejudiced beliefs. When Harry accidentally ends up in a store called “Borgin and Burkes” in Knockturn Alley, he hides in a nearby cabinet when he sees Draco and Lucius Malfoy enter the store. This is the first time in the series that we see Draco interacting with his father. Page 50 said, “Mr. Malfoy crossed the shop, looking lazily at the items on display, and rang a bell on the counter before turning to his son and saying, “Touch nothing, Draco.” Malfoy, who had reached for a glass eye, said, “I thought you were going to buy me a present.” “I said I would buy you a racing broom,” said his father, drumming his fingers on the counter.” Here we see Lucius exhibiting the same behavior we see so often in Draco: ariy, powerful, demanding. It’s so clear that Draco mimics his father and tries to display those features as well. It’s also clear that Draco is used to getting what he wants, but more importantly what his parents want for him. Draco wants a racing broom, and Lucius wants Draco to reflect well upon him so he wants Draco to be good at something wizards are skilled at, such as flying and Quidditch. You’ll notice a pattern of Draco getting whatever he wants, but only if it’s what his parents want him to want. The book continues, “’What’s the good of that if I’m not on the House team?” said Malfoy, looking sulky and bad-tempered. “Harry Potter got a Nimbus Two Thousand last year. Special permission from Dumbledore so he could play for Gryffindor. He’s not even that good, it’s just because he’s famous… famous for having a stupid scar on his forehead…’” To be honest, Draco has a point. It’s pretty much unheard of to have a first year play for the house team. Harry didn’t even have to try out, and the newest, most expensive racing broom yet was gifted to him by one of the teachers. Harry has natural talent and is a good player, but he shouldn’t have been put on the team in such an unfair way just because of his last name. The same page then said, “Malfoy bent down to examine a shelf full of skulls. “…everyone thinks he’s so smart, wonderful Potter with his scar and his broomstick-” “You have told me this at least a dozen times already,” said Mr. Malfoy, with a quelling look at his son. “And I would remind you that it is not- prudent -to appear less than fond of Harry Potter, not when most of our kind regard him as the hero who made the Dark Lord disappear- ah, Mr. Borgin.’” Draco’s jealousy borders on the line of obsession. This, in addition to his backwards brainwashed beliefs, caused him to act foully to Harry and his friends. Dark arts and manipulative lies filled Draco’s childhood. On page 51, Lucius Malfoy says, “The name Malfoy still commands a certain respect, yet the Ministry grows ever more meddlesome. There are certain rumors about a new Muggle Protection Act- no doubt that flea-bitten, Muggle-loving fool Arthur Weasley is behind it-” If this is what you grow up hearing from the people you look up to, this is what you’re going to believe. Lucius believes he is above the Ministry’s command and holds more power than them, seeing them as a sort of pest he must occasionally swat away rather than the governing system it is. He pushes this belief onto Draco as he grows up, along with his hatred of Muggles, Muggle-borns, and “blood traitors”. Being just a child, Draco is of course going to accept that his father, whom he tries to impress more than anyone else, is absolutely correct. He doesn’t start developing his own beliefs until he is about 14 to 15 years old, but by that time it is much too late.
Draco’s interaction with the character in the store “Flourish and Blotts” in Diagon Alley is full of hidden messages and one popular movie fan theory. In the Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets film, Draco rips a page out of a book in the store and stuffs it into his pocket. Later in the film, Harry and Ron find a page describing a basilisk (essentially a giant snake that will kill you if you look at it) that has been ripped out of a book. I think you can see where I’m going with this one. The fan theory is that Draco knew what his father had planned for the school, so he ripped out the paper about the creature that was in the Chamber of Secrets and snuck it into Hermione’s school things because he knew that she would figure it out. Hermione would never rip a page out of a book, she would have simply checked the book out from the library, leading many to believe that this theory is true. However, this headcanon has never been confirmed and in the books, Draco never ripped a page out of a book at all. While in the films, the fan theory seems possible, it most likely isn’t true.
What really happened in that bookstore wasn’t a secret torn page, but rather a public brawl. Here we truly see how awful the Mafloy-Weasley dynamic is. When Draco sees Harry in Flourish and Blotts, Harry is getting his picture taken with a famous author for the front page of the wizard newspaper, The Daily Prophet. This fuels Draco’s envy further than before. He jumps to attack him and his friends. Page 61 says, “’Oh, it’s you,” said Ron, looking at Malfoy as if he were something unpleasant on the sole of his shoe. “Bet you’re surprised to see Harry here, eh?” “Not as surprised as I am to see you in a shop, Weasley,” retorted Mafloy. “I suppose your parents will go hungry for a month to pay for all those.’” It probably didn’t help that Ron gave Draco a dirty look, and though Draco shouldn’t have said anything at all, he immediately attacks Ron’s family. Why would he do that? Well, because that’s what he’s been taught to do. On page 62, Lucius Malfoy and Arthur Weasley meet. The book says that Lucius was “sneering the same way” as Draco, hinting that Draco learned much of his behavior from his father. Page 62 said, “’Busy time at the Ministry, I hear,” said Mr. Malfoy. “All those raids… I hope they’re paying you overtime?” He reached into Ginny’s cauldron and extracted, from amid the glossy Lockhart books, a very old, very battered copy of A Beginner’s Guide to Transfiguration. “Obviously not,” Mr. Malfoy said. “Dear me, what’s the use of being a disgrace to the name of a wizard if they don’t even pay you well for it?’” Lucius doesn’t even try to be passive aggressive, he straight out insults Weasley’s status and their wealth. This is what Draco has grown up thinking is okay. He has been raised to hate those who are “beneath” them and show it. It’s no wonder that Draco doesn’t seem to have a problem attacking and bullying his peers, that’s what he was taught by example to do. The book continued, “Mr. Weasley flushed darker than either Ron or Ginny. “We have a very different idea of what disgraces the name of wizard, Malfoy,” he said. “Clearly,” said Mr. Malfoy, his pale eyes straying to Mr. and Mrs. Granger, who were watching apprehensively. “The company you keep, Weasley… and I thought your family could sink no lower-‘” At this point, Mr. Weasley launches himself at Mr. Malfoy and they get into a fist fight in the middle of the store. Lucius does not hold back on expressing his prejudiced beliefs and provokes his peers to a physical fight (something Draco does multiple times in the books). This is the example Draco has to look up to as a child. Once Hagrid breaks up the fight on page 63, the book said, “Mr. Weasley had a cut lip and Mr. Malfoy had been hit in the eye by an Encyclopedia of Toadstools. He was still holding Ginny’s old Transfiguration book. He thrust it at her, his eyes glittering with malice. “Here, girl -take your book- it’s the best your father can give you-” Pulling himself out of Hagrid’s grip he beckoned to Draco and swept from the shop.” Draco has learned from his father that saying these kinds of things are okay just because he is a Malfoy. His toxic household greatly contributes to his days of bullying students at Hogwarts.
The Slytherin Quidditch team gained a new seeker in the second book. Draco, his Quidditch team dream coming true, becomes Slytherin’s seeker. It’s important that Draco plays the exact same position as Harry does because it represents Draco’s jealousy and need to prove himself as better than Harry. In chapter seven, we find out that Lucius Malfoy gave the Slytherin team brand new Nimbus Two Thousand and One racing brooms. The Gryffindor team is obviously not very pleased with this, as it means the Slytherin team has a higher chance of winning. Ron and Hermione are there with the team and aren’t happy that the Slytherin’s are bragging about their new gifts. Page 112 says, “’At least no one on the Gryffindor team had to buy their way in,” said Hermoine sharply. “They got in on pure talent.” The smug look on Malfoy’s face flickered. “No one asked your opinion, you filthy little Mudblood,” he spat.” Immediately a fight broke out among the teams. Draco’s use of this slur isn’t to be excused, but it does need to be explained. It’s highly likely that his parents, who hate Muggles and Muggleborns with a passion, introduced him to this word at a young age. The word was probably a word frequently used in the Malfoy’s home, but one that they neither encouraged nor discouraged Draco from using. Draco, only 12 years old, uses this slur fully aware of what it means (“dirty blood”), just as he was taught to. If Draco had been raised by a family who valued all people rather than just pure-blood wizards, then he most likely would never have used the slur “Mudblood”. Unfortunately, that is what he learned was okay and true growing up. This doesn’t make it any more okay or excuse his words, but it does explain the reasoning behind it.
In chapter 12, Harry and Ron take Polyjuice Potion (a potion which changes your appearance to look like whoever who put a piece of, such as a strand of their hair) to see if Draco is the heir of Slytherin, who is the only one who can control the monster in the Chamber of Secrets. This is our first look into Draco’s life out of striving for more attention than Harry. I think it’s worth mentioning that the Slytherin common room password on page 221 is “pure-blood”, which just goes to show the toxic environment that Draco is growing up in even away from his family (disclaimer: I am by no means saying that Slytherins are bad people, just that at this time in the series, the majority of the Slytherin house was overrun with blood prejudice and was not the best environment for a child still developing their belief system to learn in). Harry and Ron disguise themselves with the potion as Draco’s friends, Crabbe and Goyle, and essentially drug the real Crabbe and Goyle so they don’t get caught. For one, there are so many things not okay with that but we’re going to move on for Draco’s sake. Once with Draco, he first disrespects Percy Weasley, a prefect, and then continues to the Slytherin common room on page 220-221. He tells Crabbe and Goyle on page 220, “I want to show you something really funny.” Once in the common room, he goes to grab a newspaper clipping on page 221 and says, “…my father’s just sent it to me…” and once he gives it to his ‘friends’ he continues, “That’ll give you a laugh.” The newspaper clipping was an article from the Daily Prophet about Ron’s father, who was facing an inquiry at his job because he had enchanted a Muggle car. After Harry and Ron read this on page 222, the book says, “’Well?” said Draco impatiently as Harry handed the clippings back to him. “Don’t you think it’s funny?” “Ha, ha,” said Harry bleakly. “Arthur Weasley loves Muggles so much he should snap his wand in half and go and join them,” said Malfoy scornfully. “You’d never know the Weasleys were pure-bloods, the way they behave.’” Lucius Malfoy sent his son that article because he knew that Draco would mock the Weasleys for it and praise his father even more, especially since the article states, “’Weasley has brought the Ministry into disrepute,” Mr. Malfoy told our reporter. “He is clearly unfit to draw up our laws and his ridiculous Muggle Protection Act should be scrapped immediately.’” Of course Draco is going to side with his father, he’s been manipulated his whole life to believe that the Weasleys are scum and Muggles are lesser beings than wizards. It’s also clear that he doesn’t show his friends the article with mal intent towards the Weasleys, he doesn’t know that Ron will ever read the article at all. He is simply trying to get his friends to like him. He makes jokes that would normally amuse Crabbe and Goyle’s sense of humor and contribute thoughts to the pure-blood agenda. Draco goes on to insult the Muggle-born students who are petrified from the attack of the monster in the Chamber of Secrets in the hospital wing, and then the book says, “’You know, I’m surprised the Daily Prophet hasn’t reported all these attacks yet,” Draco went on thoughtfully, “I suppose Dumbledore’s trying to hush it all up. He’ll be sacked if it doesn’t stop soon. Father’s always said old Dumbledore’s the worst thing that’s ever happened to this place. He loves Muggle-borns. A decent headmaster would never’ve let slime like that Creevy in.” Malfoy started taking pictures with an imaginary camera and did a cruel but accurate impression of Colin: “Potter, can I have your picture, Potter? Can I have your autograph? Can I lick your shoes, please, Potter?” He dropped his hands and looked at Harry and Ron. “What’s the matter with you two?’” Colin is a Muggle-born student who is obsessed with Harry Potter and tried to get a signed photo of Harry. While cruel, Draco’s impression would have gotten the reaction he wanted from his friends if they weren’t Harry and Ron in disguise. Draco has a need for attention and recognition that may stem from his parents not meeting his emotional needs at him, instead remaining cooler and distant. He has been forced to master manipulation at a young age being a Malfoy and was taught to use it to get whatever he wanted. In this case, it’s a genuine friendship. The fact that Draco refers to his friends by their last names could suggest that he doesn’t feel close enough with the children he’s grown up with under his parent’s watchful eyes to comfortably call them by their first names. Draco is right about Dumbledore as well- not about blood purity and Muggle-borns, but about the Daily Prophet. Dumbledore should have told the press that the students were being targeted and attacked instead of keeping it under the racks. You may notice that Draco doesn’t say much about his own opinion of Dumbledore, but rather his father’s opinion that he’s adopted (per usual). Draco continues his use of the word “Mudblood” throughout this book and the rest of the series, and he’s always supported by his family and peers for the hatred he shows. Harry and Ron discover Draco is not the heir of Slytherin when he mentions that he wishes that he knew who the heir was on page 223, then saying, “I could help them.” We know that Draco’s father was responsible for the reopening of the chamber of secrets by secretly delivering a Horcrux (dark magic item in which a witch or wizard stores a piece of their soul) in the form of the diary of Tom Riddle, aka Voldemort, to Ginny Weasley to take to Hogwarts. Lucius would not have told Draco this in fear of being discovered, but most definitely would have used his son in any way he could. While Lucius did not know that the diary was a Horcrux, he did know that it was an object of great dark magic. He most definitely would have prompted Draco to offer whatever ‘heir’ there was his help and services without telling Draco anything that could be potentially traced back to the Malfoy family. Draco grew up in a home that praised dark magic and would do whatever they could, including manipulating their own son to help Voldemort, to receive power. Perhaps Lucius thought that he could use Draco and the diary to bring Voldemort (and in return, himself) to power once more while simultaneously hurting his enemy’s daughter, Ginny. Draco does say on page 223, “Father won’t tell me anything about the last time the Chamber was opened either. Of course, it was fifty years ago, so it was before his time, but he knows all about it, and he says that it was all kept quiet and it’ll look suspicious if I know too much about it.” It is clear to me that Lucius cares much more about his reputation than he does putting his son in potential danger. The book continues to say, “’But I know one thing- last time the Chamber of Secrets was opened, a Mudblood died. So I bet it’s a matter of time before one of them’s killed this time… I hope it’s Granger,” he said with relish.” Hemione Granger is another one of Draco’s rivals. Draco has been taught that he is above everyone, especially above Muggleborns. Hermione beating Draco in every exam plus befriending the boy who denied his friendship put her at even more of a target from Draco. His parents were Death Eaters and had no qualms over killing Muggles, something that the Malfoys most likely would have tried to instill in Mafloy growing up to desensitize him to others emotions. Wishing the death of a classmate isn’t okay in the slightest, just keep in mind that Draco was raised to believe that it was okay. Hermione does end up getting petrified, but later in the books we see multiple examples of Draco helping Hermione rather than hurting her.
We know that Draco grew up in a home where he witnessed violence regularly because of one character in particular: Dobby the house-elf. A house-elf is a creature that is a servant for typically wealthy wizards. It’s said that they love to work and they can only be freed from their servitude if presented with clothing, which is supposably a great dishonour. We see both ends of the spectrum of house-elf in the series. In Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, we are introduced to Winky, Barty Crouch’s house-elf. When Winky is freed as a punishment, she can hardly bear the shame and basically becomes an alcoholic (chapters nine and 21). On the other hand, we are introduced to Dobby in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. Throughout the second book, Dobby is on a mission to stop Harry from going to Hogwarts or to send him home. This is because Dobby is the Malfoys’ house-elf. Dobby says on page 16, “There is a plot, Harry Potter. A plot to make most terrible things happen at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry this year.” Either the house-elf overheard Lucius Malfoy’s plans or he was told them, but Dobby tells Harry that he “has known it for months” and Harry couldn’t go to school because he would be in peril. Simply visiting Harry could be potentially disastrous for Dobby. Dobby is treated horribly by the Malfoys. Harry asks Dobby to sit down with him the first time they meet. Dobby, having never been treated with respect in his life, promptly bursts into tears on page 13 for being treated “like an equal”. When Dobby “almost spoke ill of his family” (his “family” being the Malfoys) on page 14, he immediately punishes himself by beating himself against the window. Harry asks if Dobby’s family knew he was there, for Dobby will not tell him who the family is, the book says, “Dobby shuddered. “Oh, no, sir, no… Dobby will have to punish himself most grievously for coming to see you, sir. Dobby will have to shut his ears in the oven door for this. If they ever knew, sir-” “But won’t they notice if you shut your ears in the oven door?” “Dobby doubts it, sir. Dobby is always having to punish himself for something, sir. They lets Dobby get on with it, sir. Sometimes they reminds me to do extra punishments…’” On page 337, it says, “(Lucius) wrenched open the door and the elf came hurrying up to him, he kicked him right through it. They could hear Dobby squealing with pain all the way down the corridor.” Dobby is obviously extremely abused by his “family”. Being a servant, Dobby probably took care of Draco often when he was a child. Imagine growing up watching your childhood care taker undergo extreme amounts of violence for the simplest of things. Imagine Draco’s parents using Dobby as an example of those who are inferior to wizard kind. Draco would learn very quickly growing up that the best way to avoid punishment was to be exactly like his father, so that is what he tried to become. He was forced to learn how to manipulate others to get what he wanted and how to avoid getting caught while simultaneously being taught by his parents that the things they were doing were right and fair and that others disagreed because they were beneath them. Most of all, Draco learned from Dobby that if he doesn’t live up to his father’s standards, someone would get hurt.
So far we have experienced Draco Malfoy’s background and first years at Hogwarts, but as the years go on his path becomes more and more dangerous. Although it may not seem like it now, the decisions that Draco is faced with are some of the toughest decisions that no teenager should ever even be faced with. In the next PotterTime, we will dive into Draco’s middle years at Hogwarts and analyze why Draco should’ve been redeemed.