As the title says, did Draco Malfoy buy his way onto the Slytherin Quidditch team, or did he make the team through talent?

There's conflicting suggestions:

Malfoy had leapt on to his broomstick and taken off. He hadn’t been lying, he could fly well – hovering level with the topmost branches of an oak he called, ‘Come and get it, Potter!’

Philosopher's Stone - page 110 - Bloomsbury - chapter 9, The Midnight Duel


‘At least no one on the Gryffindor team had to buy their way in,’ said Hermione sharply. ‘They got in on pure talent.’

The smug look on Malfoy’s face flickered.

Chamber of Secrets - page 86 - Bloomsbury - chapter 7, Mudbloods and Murmurs

I've always wondered about this. Knowing what we do about Draco, did he make the Slytherin Quidditch team by talent or through nepotism?

  • 18
    In the real world, such things can be a "little of both". Who's to say that he didn't have borderline talent and then made up the rest with minor bribery? That would especially explain the reaction Hermione provokes. A person who merely bribed their way on wouldn't give a crap, a person who got in on pure talent would roll their eyes... but the guy who felt he fairly deserved to be there but it still wasn't quite enough, I imagine for such a person the bribery might be a sore point.
    – John O
    Commented Aug 25, 2012 at 7:43
  • 2
    I think John O is correct, it's likely a bit of both. That said, with the level of entitlement Draco displays throughout the books he'd likely feel that he "fairly deserved to be there" even if he was absolutely awful. Commented Aug 25, 2012 at 8:54
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    On the contrary, a person who bribed his way onto the team might be frantically trying to forget that fact, and so it stings when forgetting is not allowed.
    – EvilSnack
    Commented Aug 31, 2016 at 1:01

3 Answers 3


It's definitely partly bribing and partly other reasons. Let me mention several factors.

First, let's consider that scene from CS chapter 7 itself that Sytherincess is asking about. Obviously Hermione is a biased observer, but notice how none of the Slytherin team apart from Malfoy is described to react in any way. If the claim of a bribe was so absurd, surely they'd be outraged too.

Second, let's consider how there just aren't enough good Quidditch players available from students in a house. Harry is an exceptionally good Seeker, and we know how the Gryffindor Quidditch team faces the lack of good players often. Even if Draco didn't match the bar of the rest of his team, there just might not have been enough Seeker types in Slytherin.

Next, I imagine as the head of house, Professor Snape probably has some say about what happens in the Quidditch team if there are arguments. If Draco was a really bad player, he would veto Draco playing. Recall how Professor Snape even gave detention to Harry during a Quidditch match in HBP, knowing fully that this means he couldn't play on the final match. Surely it's much more difficult to bribe Professor Snape with brooms than it is to bribe the team captain and other students.

On the other hand, Professor Snape seems to have favored Draco even among Slytherins, which might have taken part in Draco getting in the Quidditch team as much as buying new brooms.

The final factor why Draco got in might be psychological: the Slytherin team knew about how Draco playing Seeker would annoy Harry, and betted on this inducing Harry playing worse on the match.


My personal interpretation was that he bought his way on to the team.

There is a difference between being able to do something and doing something in the context of a sport.

He could fly the broom well, but couldn't play the sport of Quidditch that well.

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    I don't think there's any evidence to suggest that Draco couldn't play Quidditch well, after all Slytherin were by no means a bad team with him as Seeker. Commented Aug 25, 2012 at 8:51
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    "Not as good as Harry Potter" != "not well" Commented Apr 19, 2014 at 12:43

Well I've been thinking recently that he had made hi way onto the team with talent, the only real time we get a gage on his talent is in prisoner of azkaban when he is like literally moments away from winning the cup for his team only to have Harry bullshit his way to victory on the fire bolt

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