Buying your kid the latest, best model of a new racing broom is not abusive, but encouraging. Lucius was trying to keep Draco interested in Quidditch because he had mentioned before that he wished to make his House team.
Moving forward within this essay, I have noticed a cliché, overused strategy Draco defenders use when introducing their argument that Lucius is abusive. When used correctly, it can be effective, but seeing that it is the only thing these fans utilize in said arguments, it gets repetitive and is too easy to see through. That method is called pathos. It is meant to make the reader or audience feel certain emotions toward a subject or (in this case) characters, and is useful when executed correctly. This is where the flaws come in: the more “serious” Draco defenders meticulously choose words that make readers feel sorry for Draco and show resentment toward Lucius. Toss in a few interactions from the books and films without clearly elaborating and ignore the facts of how both characters are presented, and there you have it. They blind other fans who may have had more sensible or neutral views of the relationship between these characters, manipulating and toying with their emotions until they cry over Draco’s “struggles” and curse Lucius. Pathos is probably easiest to use since all human beings feel emotions—they are natural and can be influenced. Although, that is probably the only thing Draco defenders go off of when trying to make their case. No real facts, no looking past either character’s (more so Lucius’s) outward appearances or dialogue. Pathos and assumptions. Nothing deeper.
And so I will make two more points before writing off. I’d wager that these are fairly big, so leaving these out would provide me with a weak spot that I am not going to expose. First and foremost, Deathly Hallows. Every knowledgable Harry Potter fan knows that the Malfoys got at least a quasi-redemption at the end of the series by choosing each other above Voldemort. My question is: if Lucius was abusive, how come he still legitimately loved Draco so much that he SPRINTED IN THE MIDDLE OF A RAGING BATTLE, WITH NO WAND TO DEFEND HIMSELF WITH, JUST TO FIND HIS SON? Hm? Explain that! An abusive parent wouldn’t give anything to know if their child was ok! In fact, if Lucius was abusive, he would have stuck with the Death Eaters until Voldemort’s defeat. He would have cared less to know that Draco was alive! The whole point of Lucius’s character arc is to show that he was a bad but not abusive parent, and in the end chose his son over being a servant to Voldemort. Rowling would not have written him that way otherwise.
Finally, my last point. This has been a bit of a rollercoaster, yes? Anyway. This is a huge question I have for any Potterhead on this planet that thinks Lucius is abusive. I jab my finger in their faces, and I must ask: if Draco was abused, why didn’t Rowling make that more obvious? Or at least shed some light on it? Rowling makes it clear as day that both Harry and Severus were abused. Even though the mention of Severus’s abusive father was fleeting, it was there. Do not protest that I have written this essay for nothing. Do not tell me that Rowling was giving clear evidence herself that Draco was abused. That is lies. I went through and debunked a few of these interactions, and there are no more. Zero. “Lucius forced Draco to become a Death Eater!” Wrong. Lucius was in Azkaban during Half Blood Prince, thus that is impossible. Voldemort forced Draco to become a Death Eater. “Why didn’t Lucius do anything when Moody turned him into a ferret?” Moody? Oh, Barty Crouch Jr. Pardon, but how do you know that Lucius idly sat by and ignored that? He and Crouch Jr. are Death Eaters, so for all we know he could have done something. If Draco was abused, Rowling would have made it clearer in the books, and she would have mentioned it as a factor in Draco’s backstory.
Lucius was not a good parent. He is prejudiced, spiteful, and snotty. But there are no traces of abuse to be found. I encourage fans to love Draco all they want, but don’t chastise Lucius too harshly. Argue all you want, but good arguments in literature have good supporting evidence. Maybe take a writing or ELA Comp. class. As for me, I’ll still love Lucius as a villain, fallen from grace or not.