this is called i have too much time on my hands after midnight during quarantine yay
let’s jump right into it:
Heaps upon heaps of Harry Potter fans are wallowing in the assumption that Lucius Malfoy is an abusive father, despite there being zero solid, supporting evidence in both the books and movies. They’ve fallen so deeply in love with Draco (“the Boy Who Had No Choice”) that they choose to demonize Lucius in any way, shape or form to earn Draco sympathy.
Most of the “evidence” these people present are from the movies rather than the actual books. Unlike in the novels, the film counterparts depict Lucius carrying an elm and metal walking stick that doubles as a sheath for his wand. However, to these fans, the walking stick provides a perfect reason to make Lucius a scapegoat for abusing his son. In Lucius’s first appearance in a deleted scene from Chamber of Secrets, we see Lucius swatting at Draco with his cane inside of Borgin and Burkes. Fans took note, falling over and bawling and emphasizing that this is a clear sign of child abuse.
Or is it?
Had Lucius not warned Draco at that same time that he mustn’t touch anything? Borgin and Burkes is a shop in Knockturn Alley of all places, selling dark and cursed objects. If we fast forward to Half-Blood Prince, we clearly see that Draco swiped a necklace from that same shop that cursed Katie Belle. So of course, no decent parent would want their only child wandering about touching whatever they pleased if they knew it could kill them. (Severus later states in HBP, and I quote; “I think Miss Belle…is lucky to be alive.”)
So what was Lucius trying to accomplish? Simple: it is the same as a parent using their hand to shoo or swat at the air near their child to prevent them from getting hurt. Lucius was using the walking stick as an extension of his arm so he could react quick enough. It was only a form of tough love, and later on, in this same scene, Draco STILL disobeys his father despite being told once already not to touch anything. This leads to Lucius using his cane a second time, while he’s allowing Borgin to examine the artifacts he was selling. This isn’t abusive, this is Lucius simply going into “Stern Protective Dad Mode” in order to teach Draco that dark artifacts are nothing to mess with. He’s a Death Eater, so of course he’s familiar with such things. On the other hand, if Lucius was abusive, he would likely let Draco touch everything in the shop just to see him get injured.
But oh, these fans are still pressing on. “Lucius almost hit Draco’s hand! That could have seriously hurt him!!” They cry, to which I roll my eyes and shake my head. Now, in one of the takes of filming this movie, Jason Isaacs (Lucius) did hit Tom Felton’s (Draco’s) hand by accident, but that was obviously cut. Lucius almost hit Draco’s hand. But he did not actually hit Draco’s hand. See the difference? Hold on. May I elaborate? There’s a stark contrast between almost doing an action versus actually doing it. I could almost kick a ball, allowing my foot to narrowly miss and instead kick the ground or the air, or I could actually kick a ball, sending it rolling a few feet away depending on how hard. Lucius might have “almost” hit his son’s hand with his cane, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that his intention was to successfully deliver that blow. It makes far more sense for Lucius to swipe at his son to get his attention, because they’re in a shop with cursed objects which could potentially be fatal if touched, (and Lucius doesn’t want to take the risk of touching things himself—hence his cane comes in handy) than if he were to purposely hit Draco and cause him pain in order to “get his point across”. Not to mention they’re in a public setting, there was another person outside of their family present, and everyone knows Malfoys do not decide to start beating the snot out of each other when they should be looking prim and proper. Why would they? It would get their fancy robes and perfect hair all messy!
Let’s switch gears for a couple of paragraphs, and take a peek of the book version of this scene. (Chapter four of Chamber of Secrets: At Flourish and Blotts, page 50.) Upon first entering the shop with his son, Lucius catches sight of Draco reaching for a glass eye and says, “Touch nothing, Draco.” This tone may be warning, and he is giving Draco a command, but there is no trace of anything abusive about this; again, it very well should be the opposite. Some believe this is “bullying” on Lucius’s part, but how is issuing a warning to a child bullying? Would that mean those signs seen in museum exhibits are “bullying” visitors by telling them not to touch things? He was being firm because this is a shop with artifacts that are not to be played with. Lucius is the adult, and has every right to go “hey, don’t touch anything, seriously”. I honestly wonder about these people in this fandom, if they are so offended by a father merely doing his job to—