- "There is nothing I wouldn't do anymore!"
- —Narcissa after her son is put in danger[src]
Narcissa Malfoy (née Black) is a pure-blood witch, the wife of Lucius Malfoy and the mother of Draco Malfoy. She is the youngest sister of Bellatrix Lestrange and Andromeda Tonks, who affectionately nicknamed her "Cissy". Although never officially a Death Eater herself, Narcissa believed in the importance of blood purity and supported her husband in following Lord Voldemort. This changed, however, when her son's life was put in jeopardy by the Dark Lord. Narcissa did whatever it took to protect her family, including lie to Voldemort about Harry Potter being alive during the Battle of Hogwarts, an act which saved the Malfoys from being sentenced to Azkaban following the end of the Second Wizarding War.
Narcissa Black is the youngest daughter of Cygnus Black and his wife, Druella (née Rosier), born in 1955. She had two older sisters, Bellatrix and Andromeda. Narcissa was taught the philosophy of blood purity from a young age and grew up prejudiced in favour of pure-bloods. Thus, she cut off contact with her sister Andromeda after she was disowned for marrying Muggle-born wizard Ted Tonks and burned off the Black family tree.
At some point after graduating from Hogwarts, likely in the late 1970s, Narcissa married Lucius. The Malfoys lived a life of privilege and luxury at Malfoy Manor, located in the southern English county of Wiltshire. Her husband introduced Narcissa to the lifestyle of Death Eaters and loyalty to Lord Voldemort, though she never took the Dark Mark herself. They had one son, named Draco. Narcissa thus continued her family tradition of naming children after stars and constellations.
Narcissa's cousin Regulus Black was killed in the First Wizarding War, while her other cousin Sirius and sister Bellatrix were both sentenced to Azkaban after Voldemort's fall in 1981. Lucius was able to avoid a similar fate by claiming that he had been under the Imperius Curse, and the Malfoys remained members of the social elite. When Narcissa attended the Quidditch World Cup in 1994 with her husband and son, they watched the game from Minister for Magic Cornelius Fudge's luxury box.
When the time came for Draco to begin school in 1991, Lucius wanted him to attend Durmstrang Institute, which only admitted pure-blood students, taught the Dark Arts, and is located somewhere in northern Europe. Narcissa, however, insisted that Draco attend Hogwarts instead so he would be closer to home. She is very devoted to Draco, and sent him sweets and cakes by owl every day during his first year at Hogwarts.
Involvement in the Plot Against Dumbledore
- Narcissa: "Severus... My son...my only son..."
- Bellatrix: "Draco should be proud. The Dark Lord is granting him a great honour. And I will say this for Draco: He isn't shrinking away from his duty, he seems glad of a chance to prove himself, excited at the prospect —"
- Narcissa: "That's because he is sixteen and has no idea what lies in store! Why, Severus? Why my son? It is too dangerous! This is vengeance for Lucius's mistake, I know it!"
- — Narcissa and Bellatrix visit Snape[src]
In 1996, Lucius participated in the Battle of the Department of Mysteries in an attempt to acquire a prophecy for Lord Voldemort, who had returned to power the previous year. The effort was thwarted by six D.A. members and the Order of the Phoenix. Voldemort was furious with Lucius, who had led the effort, both for failing to obtain the prophecy and for the consequences of that night, which included his return being admitted by the Ministry of Magic and many of his Death Eaters being sent to Azkaban, including Lucius himself.
Narcissa was distraught over her husband's imprisonment as well as Voldemort's subsequent treatment of her family. That summer, she ventured to Severus Snape's home at Spinner's End, accompanied by her sister Bellatrix, to discuss Voldemort's plan for Draco to murder Hogwarts Headmaster Albus Dumbledore. Narcissa was hysterical and theorized that Draco was being sent on a suicide mission to punish Lucius. Despite the pleading of her sister to the contrary, Narcissa begged Severus to make an Unbreakable Vow, which ensured that he would watch over Draco during his efforts. She also made him vow to execute the plan himself, should Draco fail to do so.
Later that month, she went shopping for school supplies with Draco at Madam Malkin's Robes for All Occasions. There she had a heated confrontation with Harry Potter. He taunted her about Lucius's imprisonment, and she responded by coldly alluding to the recent death of his godfather before haughtily departing with her son to Twilfitt and Tatting's.
Home as Death Eater Headquarters
By 1997, Malfoy Manor was being used as a headquarters for Voldemort. Meetings of Death Eaters were held there, and the murder of Charity Burbage took place in the drawing room. The Malfoys were extremely uncomfortable with having their home used for Voldemort's base of operations, but had no choice. They outwardly claimed that nothing pleased them more, but their later decisions would prove their feelings to the contrary. After Burbage's murder, Narcissa coaxed her husband into agreeing to give his wand to Voldemort; it was soon broken in the Battle over Little Whinging.
Voldemort was still displeased with the Malfoys for Lucius's earlier failures and delighted in humiliating them by bringing up their relation to werewolf Remus Lupin through Narcissa's niece, Nymphadora Tonks. Narcissa was also distressed by Voldemort forcing Draco to participate in Death Eater activities such as torturing the servants who displeased him.
When Harry Potter, Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger were caught by a group of Snatchers led by Fenrir Greyback, they were brought to Malfoy Manor. Narcissa acted coldly and disdainfully towards Greyback, but let them in, where she called on her son to identify the prisoners and recognized Hermione from seeing her once in Madam Malkin's. She seemed to clash with her sister over who had authority in her home, as well as over her protectiveness towards Draco. Narcissa was shocked to see her family's former house elf, Dobby, openly defying them.
- Bellatrix: "Draco, move this scum outside. If you haven’t got the guts to finish them, then leave them in the courtyard for me."
- Narcissa: "Don’t you dare speak to Draco like-"
- Bellatrix: "Be quiet! The situation is graver than you can possibly imagine, Cissy!"
- — Bellatrix and Narcissa in Malfoy Manor[src]
After Harry and his friends escaped, Voldemort severely punished Bellatrix and the Malfoys.
Battle of Hogwarts
During the Battle of Hogwarts, Voldemort attempted to kill Harry Potter, once again with the Killing Curse. Narcissa was ordered to check Harry Potter's vital signs and used the opportunity to covertly ask Harry if he knew of Draco's well-being. In a whisper, she asked if Draco was alive. When Harry replied quietly that he was, Narcissa betrayed the Dark Lord and asserted Harry Potter was dead.
When the battle recommenced, Narcissa and Lucius abandoned the Death Eaters and searched frantically for Draco. After the battle, the family was reunited in the Great Hall, where they were seen not quite knowing what to do with themselves. Because Narcissa betrayed Voldemort, the entire Malfoy family was granted a reprieve and avoided incarceration at Azkaban.
Physical Description and Traits
Narcissa Malfoy is described as tall, slim, 'nice looking', and very pale, with blue eyes and long blonde hair. Her colouring thus differs from most of the House of Black, who generally have dark hair. Narcissa's beauty was sometimes marred by her donning an expression that suggested that she was sniffing something wretched whenever she was in the company of those she considered her inferiors.
Narcissa is disdainful of Muggle-borns and other non-pure-bloods such as Fenrir Greyback, believing in the importance of blood purity. Despite being in a family so closely tied to Lord Voldemort and the Death Eaters, she never officially joined the Death Eaters, nor received a Dark Mark tattoo. Narcissa may be an Occlumens, given that Voldemort, the most accomplished Legilimens of his time, believed her lie that Harry Potter was dead. While she treats most people coldly, Narcissa is very loving towards and devoted to her family, displaying a fierce and protective temper on their behalf, as well as ruthless determination to keep them safe.
Narcissa and her husband, Lucius Malfoy, appear to have an affectionate relationship. He gave in to her wishes when she wanted their son to attend Hogwarts, rather than Durmstrang. In 1997, when Lord Voldemort took over their home and demanded that Lucius give him his wand, Lucius looked to his wife in dissaproval, and only when she touched his wrist did he turn it over. Narcissa was very upset when he was briefly imprisoned in Azkaban and became defensive when others mentioned it. Narcissa and Lucius both enjoyed being members of the social elite, and loved and spoiled their only child.
- "Don't you dare insult my mother, Potter."
- —Draco Malfoy[src]
Narcissa adored her only child, Draco, and was very protective of him. She insisted that he not attend Durmstrang because it was so far from home and frequently sent him care packages while he was at school. She was terrified to the point of hysteria when Draco was ordered by Lord Voldemort to kill Albus Dumbledore; she suspected that Voldemort meant him to fail as punishment for Lucius's failure in the Battle of the Department of Mysteries. To help him, Narcissa went to Severus Snape and begged for his assistance, convincing him to take an Unbreakable Vow to take over Draco's task if he should fail. Later on in the war, she tried to shelter Draco as much as possible. It was in order to be able to search for Draco that Narcissa lied to Voldemort about Harry Potter being dead during the Battle of Hogwarts. Draco, in turn, held his mother in great esteem, and became extremely angry if anyone insulted her.
Narcissa appeared to have a fairly affectionate and close relationship with her older sister Bellatrix. The two fondly called each other by their nicknames of "Cissy" and "Bella". Bellatrix accompanied Narcissa to see Snape at Spinner's End, in spite of her distrust for Snape and belief that they should not discuss a task Voldemort assigned in secret. Narcissa was also one of the only people who stood up to Bellatrix and got away with it. The two sometimes clashed over Draco, as Narcissa was frantic over his welfare while Bellatrix coldly stated her belief that he was doing his duty by serving Voldemort and that Narcissa should be proud.
However, Narcissa did not hold her late cousin Sirius Black or her other sister, Andromeda Tonks, in high regard, presumably because they are both "blood traitors" who were disowned by the family. Bellatrix claimed that she and Narcissa had not seen Andromeda since she married Muggle-born wizard Ted Tonks, which would have occurred in the early 1970s. Narcissa also mercilessly threw Sirius's death in Harry Potter's face when he taunted her about Lucius's imprisonment in 1996. For his part, Sirius held his cousin in contempt for her prejudiced beliefs.
Unlike many others of the Black family, Narcissa does not appear to be named after a star or constellation. The name "Narcissa" is derived from Narcissus, a beautiful but vain character in Greek mythology, and the flower by the same name, also known as daffodil. The name of the plant may also be derived from the Greek word narkoa, "to numb", referring to its narcotic properties.
Behind the scenes
- It was rumoured British-born, Australian actress Naomi Watts would portray Narcissa in the film adaptation of Harry Potter and the Half-blood Prince. However, this was refuted by Watts' representatives. Irish actress Alison Doody was also rumoured to have been considered. Finally, in November of 2007, it was announced that Helen McCrory, who was originally cast as Bellatrix Lestrange in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, was cast as Narcissa Malfoy.
- J.K. Rowling stated that Narcissa Malfoy was not a Death Eater, but merely agreed with the philosophy of blood purity.
- In the book version of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Narcissa has very blonde hair, but in the film version, she appears to have blonde-and-black hair.
- Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (First appearance)
- Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
- Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (film)
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
Notes and references
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 Black family tree
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6 Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
- ↑ Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
- ↑ 4.0 4.1 4.2 Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
- ↑ 5.0 5.1 Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
- ↑ Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone
- ↑ 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 7.4 Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince