The name Malfoy conjures many, many negative thoughts. In fact, it’s quite easy to think of the Malfoy’s negatively. Not only did Draco bully his classmates but had a general sense of elation while doing so. His father, Lucius, was sadly, even worse. While Draco still had a boyish innocence about him, especially since his bullying could have been linked to normal childhood anxieties such as jealousy, expectation, and pride, Lucius had no such innocence.
With the compiling of the Sacred Twenty-Eight during a 1930s-1940s Daily Prophet publication, Lucius was able to take his thoughts on purebloods to a whole other level. Lucius’s name may have been cleared after the first rising of Lord Voldemort but that didn’t stop Lucius from attempting malicious, dark magic on those he deemed unworthy. It wasn’t just muggle borns he felt were unworthy either: though the name Weasley was part of the Sacred Twenty-Eight, Lucius did not think they were worthy people. An example that spoke volumes was the one in which Lucius places Tom Riddle’s diary in the cauldron of Ginny Weasley. Lucius was prepared to sacrifice one of the “unofficial’ members of the Sacred Twenty-Eight list because of his prejudices. That was only the beginning too, throughout Harry’s years at Hogwarts, Lucious steadily rose up until he was, once again, side by side with the Dark Lord. There’s not a question of if but how this affected Draco.
In Half-Blood Prince or as I like to call it, Odes to Draco, the Malfoy’s are shown in an entirely different light. Lucius has been shipped off to Azkaban for his crimes in Order of the Phoenix, leaving his wife and son with Voldemort and his Death Eaters. Under Voldemort, Draco was *possibly* inducted into the inner circle and given the impossible task by Voldemort himself. Kill Dumbledore. It was more than an assignment, it was a punishment that would surely take Draco’s life. His mother, Narcissa, was all too aware of this. This is the very moment Narcissa rose of out her husband’s shadow to become the leader of their family.
There was a lot of character development for the Malfoy’s moving forward from Half-Blood Prince. With Narcissa at the head of the family now, the Malfoy’s loyalties to Voldemort weren’t as clear as they once were. Narcissa showed us where her loyalties lay when she allowed Bellatrix to perform the unbreakable vow between her and Severus Snape. That we know of, it was her first act of rebellion against Voldemort.
When Voldemort gave Draco that particular assignment, he underestimated Narcissa. He underestimated a lot of things but there’s one in particular, he did not take into account the bond between mother and child. Like Lily Potter, Narcissa would have died for her son as she stood the likely chance of dying when she lied to the Dark Lord. Dumbledore once said, “It is our choices, Harry, that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities.” Narcissa made a choice. She chose love for her family and in doing so, helped defeat Voldemort. Her actions were not meant to be felt around the world but in choosing love, they were.
In a brilliant way, Narcissa showed us what a real Slytherin should look like. As I said, her actions were not meant to be felt around the world, they were purely individual yet her determination, ambition and cunning behavior saved the world. Standing her ground against the Dark Lord was courageous and brave, both qualities of Gryffindor, I may add.