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Lucius Malfoy

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I assure you, my Lord, I have never renounced the old ways. The face I have been obliged to present since your... absence...that is my true mask.
~ Lucius to Lord Voldemort in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire.

Lucius Malfoy is a major antagonist in the Harry Potter franchise, making his debut as the true main antagonist of Chamber of Secrets and later as the quaternary antagonist of Goblet of Fire and tertiary antagonist of Order of the Phoenix and Deathly Hallows. He is a former Death Eater, the son of Abraxas Malfoy, the husband of Narcissa Malfoy, the brother-in-law of Bellatrix Lestrange, the father of Draco Malfoy, the father-in-law of Astoria Malfoy, and the grandfather of Scorpius Malfoy. He is a rival of the good-natured Arthur Weasley, patriarch of the poor Weasley family.

He was portrayed by Jason Isaacs, who was also the voice of Ra's Al Ghul in Batman: Under the Red Hood, Satan in Castlevania: Lords of Shadow, Colonel William Tavington in The Patriot, Admiral Zhao in Avatar: The Last Airbender, The Grand Inquisitor in Star Wars: Rebels, and Captain Hook in the 2003 Peter Pan film and Dr. Heinreich Volmer in A Cure for Wellness

History

Early life

Lucius Malfoy II was born in 1954 in Wiltshire County, England, to a family of wizards with substantial wealth that lived in luxury within a magnificent mansion for many generations. From a very young age, he was taught that how special he was, firstly as a wizard, secondly as a pure-blood, and thirdly as a Malfoy, whose family name alone commanded respect because of the considerable influence they had on the British Ministry of Magic due to their social standing in the magical community in general. As such, his father Abraxas Malfoy, who was known to possess many of the qualities that have distinguished so many of his ancestors taught his son about the prudence of maintaining an appearance of respectability to preserve their status of prominence among their kind, as well as the importance of retaining the goodwill of the ruling class from which the family could benefit. Taught to take great pride in his heritage, Malfoy was encouraged to mainly associate himself with the pure-blood children of other wealthy families who shared their cast-iron belief in the inherent supriority of blood-purity.

At the start of his first year the major wizarding school up in Scotland, called Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, Malfoy was sorted (like the majority of his family who went there) into Slytherin due to his resourcefulness with the Dark Arts and ambition for blood purity, eventually becoming a member of Hogwarts Potions professor Horace Slughorn's "Slug Club".  At some point in his third year, his father became suspected to have had a hand in the mysterious illness which had befallen Nobby Leach, the first Muggle (non-magical)-born Minister for Magic to ever hold office. Regardless of whether there was some truth to this claim, Abraxas and his son both enjoyed seeing Leach removed from power, as they regarded him unworthy to lead the wizarding community. In his fifth year, Malfoy was made prefect due to the hard work he put into appearing a model student in the eyes of his teachers, including Hogwarts headmaster Albus Dumbledore. During this position, he began having contact with younger Slytherins like Severus Snape, who he warmly welcomed into the fold after the latter's sorting, and the two had good rapport and grew to share their extremist ideals.

Following his graduation from Hogwarts, Malfoy quickly began establishing his own network of connections in high places in the Ministry from which he would later be able to gain benefits and favours. But his plans went deeper still as he carried with him high hopes that life had more important things in store for him than the privileged life of a high-born bachelor. Because he liked it when things worked out for him, it was ultimately the desire to further his own ambition, as well as a sense of purpose and self-fulfillment, that eventually had him join fellow Slytherins like Snape within the inner circle of the Death Eaters, an army of supremacistic witches and wizards led by the psychopathic dark wizard Lord Voldemort, who aimed take over the wizarding world with a large conflict against its social order and shape it in his supremacist views through his tyrannical rise to power. Voldemort was a difficult taskmaster of limited patience and did not take kindly to failure from his followers, but Malfoy had little difficulty in gaining the Dark Lord’s favour. Due to the high standing of his family, he was ideally positioned to gain insight into the Ministry’s resources and yet-to-be initiated plans aimed to crush the Dark Rebellion, all of which were valuable information he relayed to the Death Eaters. Rewarded by his usefulness and reliability, the noble wizard squire found himself rising rapidly through the ranks, until Voldemort at last bestowed upon him a position of leadership. At some point during this position, he married Narcissa Black, with whom he had a son named Draco in 1980.

Counted among one of the Voldemort’s most trusted servants, Malfoy went above average intelligence and ability, both of which he turned to crimes like coercion, torture and murder. He fought at his master's side in many battles during the war, some of which he took lead in and was presumably involved in the deaths and disappearances of several members of the Order of the Phoenix, around whom opposition to Voldemort had always rallied. When he came to earn the dark wizard's full trust, Malfoy was thus entrusted with a diary Voldemort kept while attending Hogwarts under his true identity (a former Slytherin prefect and heir to Hogwarts founder Salazar Slytherin named Tom Marvolo Riddle) that was said to be among his Horcruxes (artifacts of dark magic that makes their owner immortal), capable of reopening Slytherin's legendary Chamber of Secrets and unleash the monster inside, the Basilisk, to cleanse the school of all Muggle-borns. Unfortunatley, when Snape discovered a prediction concerning Voldemort's destruction at the hands of a child born at the end of July in 1980 to those who defied him three times and lived, Voldemort came to learn of two boys who matched the description, the most probable of which were believed to be Harry Potter, the then-unborn child of James Potter I and Lily Potter, both distinguished members of the Order of the Phoenix. Dumbledore eventually learned of the dark wizard marking the Potters for death through Snape, who loved Lily Potter since they were children, and had the family go into hiding and keep their heads low enough for Voldemort, Malfoy and other Death Eaters to fail in locating their whereabouts until their friend and Secret-Keeper Peter Pettigrew betrayed their whereabouts. Thus, with their Fidelius Charm broken, Voldemort went out to rectify the odds that had so unexpectedly been stacked against him, but the eradication of the Potters had not went as smoothly as they had anticipated. Having murdered and simply stepped over the bodies of the parents, the psychopathic wizard prepared to kill the son as vowed only for his Killing Curse to rebound back at himself and obliterate his body, leaving Malfoy and the rest of his army shocked and distraught as well as making Harry famous for being the first to ever survive one of the Unforgivable Curses.

From having been the important and impressive second-in-command of Lord Voldemort's army, Malfoy, though a talented leader and a very proficient wizard in his own right, suddenly found himself trying very hard to regain control of the situation and quickly found himself greatly overwhelmed by the combined strength of the Ministry and the surviving members of the Order as they began rounding up all the Death Eaters scattering into hiding. He was eventually caught himself and put on trial before a full Wizengamot for his involvement in Death Eater activities and support of the Voldemort's reign of terror. However, it was first when his belief in the Dark Lord’s uprising became a threat to him that it became clear to him that the purpose of his allegiance to the Death Eaters had ran its course. While a fierce supporter of the cause for which Voldemort stood, Malfoy held little loyalty for the dark wizard himself. He came to the conclusion that he joined the ranks in hopes of some shared glory, and with his master’s disappearance, he saw there was no glory to be found, and as such, no longer any benefits to remaining loyal to the Death Eaters as a group. When he at last stood before the court, Malfoy pleaded his innocence and claimed he had been acting under the influence of the Imperius Curse, although his main course of action were to rely on his good family name, his excellent reputation in the wizarding world and calling in favors from high-placed Ministry officials to win his freedom. While he was formally found not guilty of all the charges against him and thus slipped his way out from the crowds with some of his former peers, most of which was sentenced to a lifelong confinement in the wizard prison Azkaban, some, such as Head of the Misuse of Muggle Artifacts Office Arthur Weasley, whose family had been anathema to the Malfoys for generations, believed it was a lie. With his name cleared, he took up residence in Malfoy Manor with his wife and son shortly after his father died from the worst case of Dragon Pox and passed both the property and a treasured heirloom to him, and from that point on he became the new patriarch of the Malfoy family.

Independently wealthy and therefore without any need to work, Malfoy was more than content with a settled life, preoccupying himself with upholding his influence in the Ministry of Magic and maintaining a waste collection of dark artifacts harking back to family history. He eventually went on to raise his son in an atmosphere of regret that Voldemort had not succeeded in taking command of the wizarding community, yet it was first when he was gone that Malfoy’s lack of devotion to his fallen master became most evident. Despite his high standing in the ranks of the dark forces, his loyalties were primarily towards the cause rather than to the man representing it, as shown by how he still associated with those of his former Death Eater comrades who, like him, avoided Azkaban, many of which became close friends of the family. He even remained in touch even with Igor Karkaroff, who won his freedom after capture by cowardly putting numerous of Malfoy's old comrades into Azkaban in his place. The most prominent evidence for his initial disinterest in revisiting his past and lack of faithfulness to the Voldemort himself was how Malfoy disregarded rumors of the Dark Lord’s survival as wishful thinking, and instead took interest in potentially allying himself with the very person who had brought about his former master's downfall. Many different theories regarding how Harry Potter survived the Voldemort's attack were made, the most persistent of them being that the boy himself was a great dark wizard. This assumption was one Lucius prescribed to most eagerly, even taking comfort in the thought that he one day might get a second chance of world domination if Harry grew up to become another, and greater, pure-blood champion. To prepare for Draco’s magical education, Malfoy informed his wife that it was his wish for their son to attend the major wizarding school in Scandinavia, called Durmstrang Institute of Dark Magic, where Karkaroff was now headmaster. This school did not allow Muggle-borns to attend, and it was also argued that Durmstrang took a 'far more sensible line' about the Dark Arts than Hogwarts, which was still headed by Dumbledore, whom Malfoy held in no higher regard after the war than he had during it for the old wizard's advocacy for Muggle rights and other values that went against their own. Narcissa, on the other hand, didn't like the idea of Draco going to school so far away, thus they decided that he would go to Hogwarts after all.

With the hopes of influencing the day-to-day running of Hogwarts as much as possible, Malfoy sought to undermine Dumbledore’s authority and influence, which led him to claw his way onto the Hogwarts Board of Governors until reaching the the title of Chairman, a position on the board once held by his late grandfather Enceladus. As a governor, he submitted a demand to the Headmaster to have the Beedle the Bard tale The Fountain of Fair Fortune banned from the Hogwarts library as it depicted a love between a witch and a Muggle, for he didn't want want Draco to be influenced into sullying his pure-blood by reading a story that promoted marriage between wizards and Muggles. But Dumbledore considered it illogical and immoral to remove works dealing with the mixture of wizard blood and Muggle blood for the knowledge of the students, thus his refusal to allow the tale to be removed was backed by a majority of the other governors. As a result, he wrote back to Malfoy saying that pure-blood families maintained their so-called purity by disowning, banishing, or lying about Muggles and Muggle-borns in their family trees, and then ask for works that dealt with these truths to be banned. The response prompted several further letters from Malfoy, consisting of "opprobrious remarks" on Dumbledore's sanity, parentage, and hygiene, which marked the beginning of his long campaign to have the old wizard removed from the post of Hogwarts headmaster.

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

Eleven years later, when his son first returned from his first year at Hogwarts, Malfoy learned of Harry Potter’s refusal of Draco’s offer for friendship due to his allegiance to the Weasleys through his already-made best friendship with their youngest son Ron, forcing him to realize that the wild hopes of the ex-Death Eaters (that Harry was another, and better, Voldemort) were completely not found. Despite the disappointment, he nevertheless discouraged Draco from seeming ‘less than thrilled’ about the young Potter, since open hostility towards the boy who ended the dark wizard to he was "forced" to serve could prove potentially disadvantageous to their social standing. 

Over the summer, Arthur Weasley began raids on several wizarding households to confiscate dark or illegally enchanted objects. Before his family manor could be raided, however, Malfoy sold several of his more incriminating possessions at Borgin and Burkes and set in motion the same plan Voldemort had assigned him prior to his downfall that involved sneaking the dark wizard's old school diary into Hogwarts so it could reopen the Chamber of Secrets. Although Voldemort fell before the plan came to fruition, Malfoy still had the diary in his possession and could still make excellent use of it to further his own agenda: to kill three birds with one stone by not only purging the school of Muggle-born students, but also discrediting Weasley for his Muggle protection act and hopefully even exploiting enough further chaos to have Dumbledore removed from his position at Hogwarts. The plan was to be initially successful, despite Malfoy's house-elf Dobby's attempt to warn Harry. While he and Draco mocked the Harry and the Weasleys at the book-signing for celebrity author Gilderoy Lockhart, who was recently appointed the new Defense Against the Dark Arts professor, in the Flourish and Blotts book store, Malfoy himself was able to slip the diary into the belongings of Weasley's daughter Ginny in the hopes that Voldemort would come back to power by draining her life force and taking back his rightful place as leader of the Death Eaters. The foolish girl thus unknowingly brought the diary into Hogwarts castle at the start of Draco's second year with Harry without having her father inspect it, and once the book's hidden sentient memory started gaining command over her during the Halloween celebrations at the school, it led to the second release of the Basilisk from inside the legendary chamber and the petrification of multiple Muggle-born students, animals and ghosts at the school when they made direct eye contact the creature.

With the safety of Hogwarts' student body destabilizing, Malfoy influenced the other 11 school governors into voting for Dumbledore's dismissal from his headmaster post for the poor running of the school, using both the ensuing terror and his threat to attack their families if they did not cooperate. As a result, he went with Minister of Magic Cornelius Fudge to sack the old wizard and arrest the school gamekeeper Rubeus Hagrid, who Voldemort framed for the Chamber of Secrets' first opening fifty years prior. By the end of the year, with Dumbledore out the way, the diary's sentient memory seized the opportunity to not only complete the drainage of Ginny's life but also bring her down into the Chamber in order to lure Harry into Voldemort's clutches, which would thus fulfill Malfoy's plan to use both children to return the his master to full power. However, thanks to his everlasting faith in Dumbledore, Harry saved both himself and Ginny by killing the Basilisk with the sword of Hogwarts founder Godric Gryffindor and destroying the diary with a one of the monster's teeth (eliminating its dark powers), then rode with her, Ron and the amnesic Lockhart on Dumbledore's pet phoenix Fawkes back up to the school, where everyone celebrated them for making it out safely. From there, he was able to prove Ginny's innocence and expose Malfoy as the real culprit. The furious Hogwarts governor, with Dobby cowering at his side, challenged the boy to prove his claims, but Dumbledore, who had returned to Hogwarts at the request of the other governors, stated that would be impossible with the diary beyond repair.

Warned by the reinstated Hogwarts headmaster not to sell any more of Voldemort's school things, as Arthur Weasley would likely trace them back to him, Malfoy was given back the diary by Harry, who just wrapped it with his own sock before handing it to him. Dobby caught the sock after his master carelessly tossed it aside, thus meaning that the surprised house-elf was presented with clothes that would make him no longer in servitude of the Malfoy family. Upon realizing that he was tricked by Harry into freeing his own servant, Malfoy furiously tried to murder the boy right there on the spot only to be shot at by Dobby's own magic. He promised Harry that he will meet his parents in hell and left angrily, ready to plot a way to get back at him. While his role in the opening of the Chamber of Secrets could still not be successfully proven, he was shortly afterwards stripped from his position as Hogwarts Board of Governors chairman for the threats against his eleven colleagues, but still maintained strong ties with the Ministry of Magic.

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

After Draco was attacked by the new Hogwarts hippogriff Buckbeak at the start of his third year, Malfoy saw that this animal was easy to anger. He took the case to court and insisted that the creature should be put to death, while Hagrid, who was Buckbeak's owner, desperately tried to explain that Draco had been insulting the hippogriff and was attacked for it. But Malfoy was able convince the Ministry of Magic to execute Buckbeak at sundown so he didn't endanger anyone else. However, through the use of a Time-Turner (a time-traveling device), Harry and Hermione Granger saved Buckbeak before the executioner Walden Macnair could carry out the death penalty, and in turn used the creature to help Harry's godfather, Azkaban escapee Sirius Black, escape from his recapture after being wrongly accused of Pettigrew's Death Eater activities.

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

Before the beginning of Draco's fourth year, Malfoy attended the 422nd Quidditch World Cup with him and Narcissa, where Cornelius Fudge offered them a seat in his luxury box. Although disgusted that the Weasley family got to be at the top of the stadium to watch due to their poorness, it made him angry even more so when he found out that Harry and Hermione were accompanying them. He rubbed the fact that the red-headed family sit in the worse seats ever in their faces, but he and Arthur Weasley had to restrain themselves due to being in Fudge's presence. Later when the game was over, Malfoy came under his old ways when the Dark Mark (the sign Voldemort adopted as the Death Eaters' insignia) reappeared in tattoo form on his forearm, so he got some Death Eater friends with the same problem (Macnair, Avery, Knott, Crabbe and Goyle) together to torture the Muggle site manager of the World Cup stadium. They then attacked the stadium's surrounding campsite, but his involvement couldn't become known to the public, because he fled with his companions when Barty Crouch Jr, who was lurking nearby, cast the Dark Mark into the sky.  

Near the end of the year, when Voldemort was resurrected with help of a bone from his deceased Muggle father, flesh from Pettigrew (who found him in Albania via rumors from animals the timid Death Eater telepathically communicated with) and blood from Harry (who was brought to him by Crouch Jr via a Portkey made from the Triwizard Cup), Malfoy returned to him on his summons. However, the mutated dark wizard was angry at his minions for failing to find him during the World Cup campsite attack, but Malfoy claimed that he had done everything he could all along. Voldemort believed that his "slippery friend" had not truly renounced his old ways, but mildly doubted his loyalty because Malfoy had fled the Dark Mark at the World Cup. Even though Harry was the only known witness of Malfoy's declaration of loyalty to Voldemort, almost nobody in the Ministry of Magic believed him after the boy escaped using the Triwizard Cup Portkey during his duel with with the Dark Lord himself. Thus, Malfoy continued maintaining strong ties to very high places when he made it back to the Ministry and encouraged Fudge to discredit Harry and Dumbledore for their claims about Vodemort's return, which the paranoid minister and a majority of the Ministry found ludicrous. 

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

While contributing to the Ministry of Magic's smear campaign of discretion throughout the summer of Draco's fifth year, Malfoy made shady dealings with Fudge from which he provided the entire Ministry hierarchy with a mountain of gold. Among which was when Harry arrived for his own disciplinary hearing (for performing a Patronus Charm in a Muggle suburb to save his own life and the life of his Muggle cousin Dudley Dursley from two attacking Dementors) and saw the prominent wizard talking with the minister outside the Ministry's Department of Mysteries, possibly convincing Fudge not to clear the boy's name. Many members of the reinstated Order of the Phoenix were shaken by the thought that the reason of Fudge's denial that Voldemort could have returned was due to a possible Imperius Curse placed upon him by Malfoy himself, but Dumbledore convinced them otherwise that the stubborn minister was acting on his own free will despite it giving them little comfort.

Malfoy's frequent excursions to meet with Fudge were also used as excuses to place the Imperius Curse on others such as Unspeakable (another name for a Department of Mysteries employee) Broderick Bode and Order member Stugis Podmore in a bid to obtain the prophecy concerning Voldemort and Harry from the department's Hall of Prophecy. These attempts were short-lived, however, as Bode's attempt to obtain the prophecy landed him in St Mungo's Hospital for Magical Maladies, therefore forcing Voldemort to have Macnair murder him by mailing a Devil's Snare into the hospital disguised as a Christmas present for the Unspeakable to be strangled by, whereas Podmore was arrested and spent nine months in Azkaban for supposedly attempting to break through the Department of Mysteries door leading into the Hall itself. Malfoy continued to play along with Ministry regime, giving his support of the formation of Educational Decree Number Twenty-Three, which established the post of Hogwarts High Inquisitor for Fudge's senior undersecretary Dolores Umbridge to inspect the teachers' performance. During an interview about this post, he used this to discredit Dumbledore, under the pretence of caring for the future of the school and fearing Dumbledore's "eccentric decisions". The failure of his previous attempts to obtain the prophecy was most likely due to the fact that all prophecies could only be used by those actually in them (which meant that Malfoy couldn't use it), so when Voldemort learned of Harry's relationship with his godfather through Narcissa (who, being Black's cousin, was informed of the bond by her the Black family's old house-elf Kreacher), he successfully attempted to lure the boy to the Hall of Prophecy by planting a vision of Black being tortured in his mind, then asked Malfoy to meet him there.

Malfoy led a group of Death Eaters which included those whom his master recently broke out of Azkaban (such as Narcissa's sister Bellatrix and her husband Rodolphus Lestrange, the latter's brother Rabastan, early follower Antonin Dolohov, Travers and Muliciber, and former Unspeakable Augustus Rookwood) to ambush Harry in the legendary Hall and prying the prophecy from his hands once it was removed. However, the boy and his six friends refused to managed to hold off the political figure's Death Eater accomplices until several members of the Order of the Phoenix arrived to finish the fight, and the unltimatley who is killed moments later by Bellatrix. He is sent to Azkaban at the aftermath of the battle.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

He escapes from Azkaban in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows in which he lends his house, Malfoy Manor to the Dark Lord as his headquarters and is regarded as a disgraced Death Eater. At the Skirmish at Malfoy Manor, Hary, Ron and Hermione were captured by Bellatrix and taken to Malfoy Manor, but they escape and battle the Death Eaters. Dobby, looking to repay Harry for freeing him from the Malfoy's control 5 years ago, Apparates the heroes and the captured Luna Lovegood away, but not before getting wounded by Bellatrix's knife throw, which does end up killing him.

When Voldemort and the Death-Eaters came to Hogwarts for the final battle, Lucius came along too along with his wife. However, he no longer cared which side won, all he cared about was if his son was alive. Because Lucius' wife, Narcissa, lied to Lord Voldemort about Harry Potter being dead and it helped Harry to defeat him, the Malfoy family could use this to get a pardon.

Gallery

Trivia

  • Lucius is the true main antagonist of Chamber of Secrets because he initiated the plot by giving Ginny Weasley an old school diary belonging to Lord Voldemort for her to unknowingly smuggle into Hogwarts so that the sentient memory within could possess her into re-opening the eponymous chamber and drain her vitality, all for the purpose of discrediting her father for his proposed Muggle Protection Act, having Albus Dumbledore removed from the post of Hogwarts Headmaster and using Harry Potter's romantic relationship with Ginny to lure him into Voldemort's clutches (so that the Dark Lord could use boy's blood in addition to the girl's life force to regenerate), causing the events of the book to unfold. Therefore, Dobby had told Harry that it was "a plot to make most terrible things happen."
  • Lucius is rather racist (much like Dolores Umbridge) in that he treats muggle-borns with contempt. However he never calls them "Mudbloods".
  • WatchMojo.com listed Lucius Malfoy as #7 on their Top 10 "Most Evil Harry Potter Characters" list.

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