In this minute about Chapter 18 of Chamber of Secrets, entitled Dobby’s Reward, I’d like to discuss Lucius Malfoy.
In a previous minute, about Chamber of Secrets chapter 2, which was entitled “Dobby’s Warning,” I talked about why Lucius Malfoy may have chosen Harry’s second year at Hogwarts to enact his plan to reopen the Chamber. In this minute, I’d like to theorize why he didn’t make any further plots of a highly dangerous nature. In “Dobby’s Reward” we find out that the only way Lucius was able to get the other school governors to agree to suspend Dumbledore was by threatening them. When the other governors heard that Ginny Weasley had been taken into the Chamber itself, they sent a ‘hailstorm of owls’ to Dumbledore begging him to come back to Hogwarts, stating that they only agreed to suspend him in the first place because they feared Lucius’ retribution if they did not. These scare tactics lost him the position on the school governing board, and he lost a lot of credibility with that move.
I believe he also feared association with the Dark Lord. Lucius worked hard after Voldemort’s downfall to make sure he didn’t end up in Azkaban for anything he did while being a Death Eater. We see further evidence of Lucius’ desire to not be associated with He Who Must Not Be Named when he disapparted when seeing the Dark Mark during his antics at the Quidditch World Cup, in book 4. Ultimately, Lucius hadn’t planned on anyone finding out how and why Ginny opened the Chamber and started attempting to kill Muggleborns, that was all supposed to be pinned on her alone, taking his rival, Arthur Weasley, and his Muggle-loving notions, down a peg. But, Lucius didn’t plan on Harry interfering and saving Ginny, or that Dumbledore would be brought the destroyed Diary. With this piece of evidence in front of him Dumbledore was able to deduce that it was in fact Voldemort who had committed all of the heinous acts during Harry’s second year at Hogwarts. There was no way to prove Lucius’ connection to this plot, but he definitely wasn’t happy when Dumbledore and Harry connected the dots.
Lucius continued to lay low over the next year, only having enough confidence to try and get a hippogriff killed. But, at the end of the next year, with Voldemort’s return is when Lucius finally started to scheme again, taking the lead in the Muggle torture and also being an influencer in the ministry. I believe his experience in Chamber of Secrets made him only too happy be able to take orders, instead of trying to come up with his own plans.
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In the Harry Potter Lexicon Minute podcast you’ll hear the voices of our editors sharing some of the many little things which delight us about the Wizarding World. In each podcast, just a couple of minutes in length, we’ll talk about anything from cool trivia and interesting canon passages to the latest Wizarding World news. We hope you’ll join us! And we’d love to hear from you as well. Feel free to use the comment section on the blogpost for each podcast to post your thoughts.
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