|Narcissa Malfoy (née Black)|
|Also known as||
Cissy (by Bellatrix Lestrange)
Narcissa Malfoy (née Black), (b. 1955) was a pure-blood dark witch, the wife of Lucius Malfoy, the mother of Draco Malfoy, and the youngest sister of Bellatrix Lestrange and Andromeda Tonks. Although never officially a Death Eater herself, Narcissa believed in the importance of blood purity and supported her husband in following Lord Voldemort during the First and Second Wizarding Wars. This changed, however, when her husband was incarcerated in Azkaban and her son's life was put in jeopardy by Voldemort. Narcissa took necessary measures to protect her family, including lying to Voldemort about Harry Potter being dead during the Battle of Hogwarts, an act which saved the Malfoys from serving time in Azkaban following the Dark Lord's defeat.
Narcissa Black was the youngest daughter of Cygnus and Druella Black (née Rosier), born in 1955 in the aristocratic House of Black. 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, like her sister Bellatrix, she cut off contact with her sister Andromeda after she was disowned and burned off the Black family tree for marrying Muggle-born wizard Ted Tonks.
At some point after graduating from Hogwarts, likely in the late 1970s, Narcissa married Lucius Malfoy, who was just as wealthy and pure-blood inclined as the Black family Narcissa descended from. 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, though she never became a Death Eater herself. The couple had one son, named Draco Lucius. Narcissa thus continued her family tradition of naming children after stars and constellations, even though her own name did not have this trait.
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 effects of the Imperius Curse, and the Malfoys remained members of the social elite, enjoying close relationships with Ministry of Magic officials such as Minister for Magic Cornelius Fudge and Dolores Umbridge. When Narcissa attended the Quidditch World Cup in 1994 with her husband and son, they watched the game from Fudge's luxury box.
When the time came for Draco Malfoy to begin school in 1991, Lucius Malfoy wanted him to attend Durmstrang Institute, which only admitted pure-blood and half-blood students and taught the Dark Arts, which closely mirrored the Malfoy family beliefs. Narcissa, however, insisted that Draco Malfoy attend Hogwarts instead so he would be closer to home, as Durmstrang was located in northern Europe. She was very devoted to Draco, sending him sweets and cakes by owl every day during his first year at Hogwarts.
Second Wizarding War
In 1996, her sister and brother-in-law escaped Azkaban. That same year, 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 members of 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 the Dark Lord's return being recognised by the Ministry of Magic and many of his Death Eaters being sent to Azkaban, including Lucius himself.
Though her sister Bellatrix managed to escape imprisonment, Narcissa was distraught over her husband's incarceration, 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 Bellatrix, to discuss Voldemort's orders for Draco to murder Hogwarts Headmaster Albus Dumbledore.
Narcissa was hysterical and theorised that Draco was being sent on a suicide mission to punish Lucius for his numerous failures. Despite the pleading of her sister to the contrary, Narcissa brushed off Bellatrix scoffing when Narcissa claimed that "the Dark Lord [was] mistaken," and 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, where 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.
Throughout the school year, Draco enacted a series of unsuccessful attempts to kill Dumbledore, which eventually resulted in the Battle of the Astronomy Tower and Snape's fulfillment of his vow to Narcissa.
Home as headquartersBy 1997, Malfoy Manor was being used as a headquarters for Voldemort. A meeting of Lord Voldemort's inner circle was held there, and the murder of Charity Burbage took place in the drawing room. The Malfoys were extremely uncomfortable with the arrangements, despite their claims that nothing would please them more than to host the Dark Lord. After Lord Voldemort asked for a borrowed wand, Narcissa coaxed her husband into agreeing to give his wand to Voldemort; it was soon broken in the Battle of the Seven Potters.
Voldemort was still displeased with the Malfoys for Lucius's earlier failures and delighted in humiliating them by taunting their relation to werewolf Remus Lupin through Narcissa's niece, Nymphadora Tonks.
Skirmish at Malfoy Manor
- 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]
Battle of Hogwarts and its aftermathRoom of Requirement, leaving it to be incinerated by Vincent Crabbe's Fiendfyre. During the final phase of the Battle of Hogwarts, Voldemort attempted to kill Harry Potter in the Forbidden Forest using the Killing Curse. Voldemort demanded that someone check to see if Harry was, in fact, dead, a deed no one wanted to perform. Perhaps seeing an opportunity to discover her son's current condition, Narcissa volunteered. Seeing that Harry was still alive, she 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 that Harry Potter was dead, as she knew the only way her family would be reunited was as part of Voldemort's conquering army.
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 seemed uncomfortable with their predicament.
However, as Narcissa betrayed Voldemort and they switched sides at the last moment, the entire Malfoy family was granted a reprieve and avoided incarceration in Azkaban. Narcissa would eventually become a grandmother to Scorpius Malfoy, the son of Draco and his wife Astoria Greengrass.
Physical appearanceNarcissa Malfoy is described as tall, slim, "nice looking", and very pale, with blue eyes, long blonde hair, and a clear, cold voice. Her hair colouring thus differs from most of the House of Black, who generally have dark hair, though Narcissa does possess the arrogant good looks characteristic of her family. Despite her physical differences to her sisters, Bellatrix and Andromeda, Harry Potter does describe her as resembling Bellatrix somewhat, though Narcissa was as fair as Bellatrix was dark. However, Narcissa's beauty was somewhat marred by her donning an expression that suggested that she was sniffing dung whenever she was in the company of those she considered her inferiors. Harry Potter once insulted her son Draco by asking if she only had this expression when he was with her.
Personality and traits
Narcissa is a very proud woman who frequently displays a snobby and cold attitude, looking down upon others. As she believes strongly in the importance of blood purity and values her family's wealth, she is disdainful towards Muggle-borns, other non-pure-bloods such as Fenrir Greyback, and so-called "blood traitors". For example, she once rudely exclaimed to the owner of Madam Malkin's that she would rather shop at Twilfitt and Tatting's since Madam Malkin's served "scum" such as Harry Potter, Hermione Granger, and Ron Weasley. Despite her beliefs and her family's close ties to Lord Voldemort and the Death Eaters, Narcissa never joined the organisation herself, nor received the Dark Mark.
While she treats most people coldly, Narcissa is very loving towards and devoted to her family. She was willing to do whatever it took to keep her son safe when he was put in danger during the Second Wizarding War, from begging Severus Snape to take an Unbreakable Vow to help him to lying to Voldemort himself. She cares deeply about her husband and son, displaying a fierce and protective temper on their behalf as well as ruthless determination to keep them safe. It is unknown if this devotion extends to her Black side of her family, as her relationship with her sister Bellatrix seemed to be deteriorating. This was, however, due to Bellatrix not caring about Draco; their relationship may, normally, have been one of caring. However, Narcissa always despised the Blacks who dared to defy their family's beliefs, such as her sister Andromeda Tonks and cousin Sirius Black, and as such, ignored and disowned them.
Magical abilities and skills
- Love: Narcissa was capable of feeling love despite being cold to many people. She loved her family dearly especially Lucius and Draco and she was willing to do anything to protect them. Although she had made an Unbreakable Vow with Severus Snape to protect Draco, Narcissa's love for Lucius and Draco drove her to lie to Voldemort himself to search for Draco, telling him that Harry Potter was dead when he was still alive after asking him whether Draco was still alive. She abandoned her support of Voldemort and searched for Draco along with Lucius until they eventually found him. Her abandonment of Voldemort out of love for her family was what caused the Malfoys to avoid a sentence in Azkaban after the war.
- Dark Arts: Narcissa was described as a Dark Witch by her former house-elf so she could have possibly been a practitioner of the Dark Arts. Given her upbringing and connections, this further supports it.
- Occlumency: Though never stated clearly, it is implied that Narcissa was an Occlumens, and probably a very skilled one, due to her ability to lie to Voldemort himself, the most accomplished Legilimens of his time. However, Voldemort may not have been using Legilimency when Narcissa lied about Harry's death. Her occlumency may have been weak, as she did ask her sister to teach it to her son, rather than herself teaching it.
- Duellist: Though not as powerful as her prodigious sister, Narcissa was able to competently duel Harry Potter and Ron Weasley. The winner of the duel is not stated due to Bellatrix Lestrange's interruption. She also used magic to repel her extremely powerful sister Bellatrix, being one of the very few people unafraid to stand up to her.
- Apparition: Narcissa appears to be a mistress of apparition, perhaps even more skilled than her highly powerful elder sister Bellatrix Lestrange. This is demonstrated when they both apparated into Spinner's End, with Narcissa making only a slight 'pop'ing sound and Bellatrix's pop being somewhat louder. With apparition it is generally considered that the quieter the 'pop' the more skilled at apparition that wizard or witch is, although Bellatrix may simply be too desperate in chasing Narcissa to do it more quietly.
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. Lucius also allowed his wife to continue the Black Family naming custom of stars and constellations through their son, showing obvious respect for her family and deference to herself. Narcissa and Lucius both enjoyed being members of the social elite, and loved and spoiled their only child. Unlike Bellatrix, who did not hold love for her husband, Narcissa truly loved Lucius.
Narcissa was very upset when he was briefly imprisoned in Azkaban and became defensive when others mentioned his failures. In 1997, when Lord Voldemort took over their home and demanded that Lucius give him his wand, Lucius looked to his wife in disapproval, and only when she touched his wrist did he turn it over.
Narcissa was terrified to the point of hysteria when Draco was ordered by Lord Voldemort to kill Albus Dumbledore. Narcissa suspected that Voldemort meant him to fail as punishment for her husband's failure in the Battle of the Department of Mysteries. To help him, Narcissa went to Severus Snape and begged for his assistance, whereupon she asked of him to make the Unbreakable Vow in which he promised to take over Draco's task if he failed. Later on in the war, she tried to shelter Draco as much as possible. During the Battle of Hogwarts, Narcissa lied to the Dark Lord about Harry Potter's death so she and Lucius would be able to search for Draco in the castle. 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 Severus Snape and belief that they should not discuss the task Voldemort assigned in secret.
Narcissa was also one of the only people who was able to question Bellatrix's authority without unleashing Bellatrix's anger. The two sometimes clashed over Draco, as Narcissa was concerned about his welfare, while Bellatrix coldly stated her belief that he was doing his duty by serving Voldemort and that Narcissa should be proud.
However, in the film version of the Deathly Hallows, Part Two, Narcissa did abandon Bellatrix in the Battle of Hogwarts, in an attempt to save her son. Though she remained at Hogwarts in the book, she didn't fight alongside Bellatrix.
Andromeda Tonks and Sirius Black
Narcissa did not hold her late cousin Sirius Black or her other sister, Andromeda Tonks, in high regard, presumably because they were both "blood traitors" who were disowned by the Black 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.
Harry Potter and his Friends
- Narcissa Malfoy: "I see that being Dumbledore's favourite has given you a false sense of security, Harry Potter. But Dumbledore won't always be there to protect you."
- Harry Potter: "Wow...look at that...he's not here now! So why not have a go? They might find you a double cell in Azkaban with your loser of a husband!"
- Draco Malfoy: "Don't you dare talk to my mother like that, Potter!"
- Narcissa Malfoy: "It's all right, Draco. I expect Potter will be reunited with dear Sirius before I am reunited with Lucius"
- — Harry Potter, Narcissa Malfoy and Draco Malfoy arguing in Madam Malkin's Robes for All Occasions.[src]
When Voldemort "killed" Harry in the Forbidden Forest, she asked him whether Draco was still alive, as she knew that the only way she and Lucius could search for Draco inside Hogwarts would be as part of Voldemort's victorious army. Though she disliked Harry, she placed her family's welfare over Voldemort's goals. On confirming Draco's very much alive status, she plainly lied that Harry Potter was "dead". Harry was indeed not dead and was just faking to be dead. This action of hers is a very crucial and important one for Harry's survival - gaining her a very honourable place in the hearts of many readers and also shows the tremendous scope for redemption in the Malfoy's by this point in the series. She also underlines the highly recurring theme of strong motherly love.
Unlike many others of the House of Black, 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 from which the term narcissism, which refers to vanity and elitism, is derived. The name can also be derived from 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.
- Malfoy is derived from the French mal foi or mal foy, meaning bad faith or unfaithful.
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. Before her death in 2009, Natasha Richardson was considered for the role, as well as Jennifer Saunders and Irish actress Alison Doody. Finally, in November of 2007, it was announced that Helen McCrory, who was originally cast as Bellatrix Lestrange in the film adaptation of 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.
- Druella broke the Black family tradition of naming members of their family after stars when she and her husband, Cygnus, named their youngest daughter Narcissa, deriving from the flower of the same name, the daffodil. This made Narcissa the first child born into the Black family that wasn't named for a star or constellation since Phineas Nigellus Black at least.
- Helen McCrory said, that in truth, Narcissa finds most of Bellatrix's behaviour pretty appalling and it is only through loyalty to her, and Lucius and Draco that she allows her to continue behaving in the way she does.
- In the novel version of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, it is Narcissa who asks Severus Snape to make the Unbreakable Vow to her, regarding the protection he has consented to give to her son, who has been by this time entrusted with the dangerous and difficult task of transporting some Death Eaters to Hogwarts by Lord Voldemort. In the film version it is her sister Bellatrix who suggests the vow in order to compromise Snape, rather than out of concern for Draco, while Narcissa seems not to even consider this while she is emotional.
- Also in the book version of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Narcissa has blonde hair. In the first promotional pictures of Helen on set, Narcissa has long blonde hair as well; but in the later pictures, and in the film versions of Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince she appears to have brown hair on top and blonde on the bottom, however in both installments of Deathly Hallows she appears to have mainly black hair with more visibly seen blonde/white streaks. Her hair distinctly is a combination of the blonde hair characteristic of the Malfoy family and the dark hair characteristic of the Black family. This change in hair colour could also be seen to represent her growing disillusionment with the Voldemort and the Malfoy and Black families' traditional beliefs.
- In Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Narcissa and Lucius run through the Battle of Hogwarts when the fighting began again, screaming for their son. They appeared in the Great Hall at the end of the Battle, though appearing unsure if they should be there. In the film, Narcissa grasped her son's hand and began to retreat across the bridge, not looking behind her and walking as fast as possible. Lucius ran after them a few moments later.
- When interviewed, Helen McCrory said that she had to film four different battle scenes for the Battle of Hogwarts in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2.
- In the film version of The Skirmish at Malfoy Manor, Dobby disarms Narcissa by snapping his fingers.
- Although Dobby disarms Narcissa, he conveniently dropped the wand before he disapparates from Malfoy Manor, allowing Narcissa to recover it.
- In Deathly Hallows: Part 2 , Narcissa is seen holding another wand. This wand is the subject of a continuity error. Originally, Narcissa was to retrieve Draco's wand from Harry Potter when she checks him for signs of life in the Forbidden Forest. After Draco rejoins his family during the temporary ceasefire, his mother returns the wand to him. An alternate scene was to show Draco throwing Harry the wand when Harry leaps from Hagrid's arms, but this was not shown in the final cut of the film. Harry was shown to still have his wand after being carried back to Hogwarts by Hagrid. As such, the wand remains a continuity error, as both Harry, Narcissa and Draco are seen holding it in the same scene.
- In the books, Narcissa seems to be somewhat more emotional than her film counterpart; she is noticeably hysterical and distraught when begging Snape to make the Unbreakable Vow in the book, whereas in the film she is much more composed and only seems slightly teary.
- In a deleted (and non released scene) from the Deathly Hallows Part 1, as Snape arrives at Malfoy Manor, Voldemort informs him that Narcissa has been 'most hospitable', to which Narcissa replies 'my Lord is always welcome here'. This is the only known full line that Narcissa has in the script.
- Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone (First mentioned)
- Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (First appearance)
- Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
- Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (film)
- Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
- Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (film)
- Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (video game)
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 (video game) (Mentioned only)
- LEGO Harry Potter: Characters of the Magical World
- Harry Potter LEGO Sets
- LEGO Harry Potter: Years 5-7
Notes and references
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 Online Chat with JK
- ↑ Cite error: Invalid
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- ↑ 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 3.6 Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
- ↑ Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
- ↑ 5.0 5.1 5.2 Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
- ↑ 6.0 6.1 6.2 Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
- ↑ Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone
- ↑ 8.0 8.1 8.2 8.3 8.4 8.5 8.6 8.7 Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
Alecto Carrow | Amycus Carrow | Antonin Dolohov | Augustus Rookwood | Avery (I) | Avery (II) |
Barty Crouch Jr. | Bellatrix Lestrange | Crabbe | Evan Rosier | Gibbon | Goyle |
Jugson | Lestrange | Mulciber (I) | Mulciber (II) | Nott | Rabastan Lestrange | Rodolphus Lestrange | Rosier | Selwyn | Thorfinn Rowle | Travers | Walden Macnair | Wilkes | Yaxley
|Death Eaters who Defected:|
|Death Eaters' allies:|
Vincent Crabbe | Golgomath | Gregory Goyle | Fenrir Greyback | Narcissa Malfoy (defected) |
Quirinus Quirrell | Scabior | Dolores Umbridge
Dementors | Giants (Golgomath's control) | Muggle-Born Registration Commission | Snatchers | Werewolves