24

When they just meet, Draco Malfoy seemingly was trying to cozy up/befriend Harry Potter (before realizing Harry would rather hang with Ron/Hermione).

Given that he was a son of a Death Eater, wouldn't Lucius have warned him to NOT associate with such riffraff as Harry?

  • 8
    I don't have canon backup (hence the comment instead of an answer).. But, off the top of my head, Harry represents Power. Perhaps from fame, perhaps whatever unknown mysterious power defeated Voldy, or what have you... But Draco as the scion of a powerful family would have been raised to automatically cozy up to and take the measure of any strong power; either to add it to his own strength (as an ally, or whatever) or to know the limits of it in case it was an opponent. Besides... Just imagine the points he could have gotten for converting the boy who lived into a willing Death Eater! – K-H-W Oct 4 '12 at 20:33
  • 2
    Famous celebrity = "cool kid" reputation. A total weasel would be all over that, lips to rear. – PoloHoleSet Aug 2 '16 at 18:40
  • 1
    If he cannot be turned... then he will be destroyed! <maniacal laughter> – djm Apr 9 '18 at 18:53
24

As NominSim mentions, Lucius Malfoy actually did subscribe to the theory that Harry was a great Dark Wizard because Harry had incredulously defeated Voldemort as a baby, and then was subsequently removed from the Wizarding community (which heightened the anticipation for those who believed in this theory). Lucius was elated when Harry returned to the Wizarding world because he thought it would be an opportunity for him (Lucius) to sit at another dark wizard's side and help to take command of and rule the Wizarding world. So it was in this regard that Draco knew Lucius would definitely not disapprove of Draco cultivating an alliance with Harry. As well, Draco hoped he might pull new information out of Harry, and subsequently he had hopes that he might be able to relay any interesting news he received to his parents at home.

From "Draco Malfoy" at POTTERMORE: [PART 1] and [PART 2]

  • "Incredulous" refers to a person who find it difficult to believe something. A thing that is hard to believe is "incredible". – Acccumulation Apr 9 '18 at 22:14
12

The reason most people even were Death Eaters was the attraction to power. Draco is like his father in that way, attracted to fame and power of which Harry apparently had both. Bear in mind that some people thought that since Harry beat Voldemort, that he himself would grow up to be a tremendously dark wizard. Some Death Eaters even originally had hope that Harry would rise to power as a dark wizard and that they would again have a leader to follow. It seems unlikely therefore, that Draco's father would warn him to stay away in any case, or that Draco (or any child really) wouldn't jump at the opportunity to befriend a famous, powerful figure.

  • "some people thought that since Harry beat Voldemort, that he himself would grow up to be a tremendously dark wizard. Some Death Eaters even originally had hope that Harry would rise to power as a dark wizard and that they would again have a leader to follow." - Is that canon? – DVK-on-Ahch-To Oct 4 '12 at 21:10
  • 1
    @DVK Chamber of Secrets I believe, when everyone thought that Harry was the heir it was mentioned. IICR. – NominSim Oct 4 '12 at 21:23
  • I don't think that Lucius saw Harry as a future-powerful-dark-wizard. It was just too evident Lucius disliked him greatly. – Voldemort Oct 4 '12 at 23:59
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    @Omega We don't know how Lucius felt about Harry until after Draco's interaction with him. At that point obviously he was disliked, however there is no way to know how he felt before that. – NominSim Oct 5 '12 at 0:04
  • @Downvoter care to explain? – NominSim Oct 5 '12 at 0:16
10

Harry was a half blood wizard, so he wouldn't have been considered riff-raff by pureblood standards, unlike someone with Muggle parents. Also, the Potters had been rather well off, leaving Harry well set in terms of money, so he wasn't too underclass in that regard either. Not to mention too that Harry was a very popular wizard, if only by name. Malfoy would have wanted to be included in that popularity, if only by proxy, as a means to increase his own power.

It is also conceivable that Lucius told Draco to try and befriend Harry, knowing that Voldemort would likely want Harry for some purpose at some future date. Having Harry under his influence through Draco would probably have brought Lucius no small amount of favor with Voldemort when that time came.

  • 2
    At that moment, I doubt that Lucius would want Draco to befriend Harry so it can be useful to Voldemort in the future, because at that moment, Lucius was sure Voldemort was truly gone anyway. – Voldemort Oct 4 '12 at 20:42
  • Lucius was sure Voldemort was gone at the start of book 1? I must have missed when that was mentioned. – Xantec Oct 4 '12 at 20:49
  • 3
    Harry is actually a half-blood wizard. He is not a pureblood. – Slytherincess Oct 5 '12 at 22:24
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    Mudblood is a prejorative for a Muggleborn; Harry is not Muggleborn. He is the offspring of a wizard and a Muggleborn witch, though, which makes him a half-blood. Lucius wondered if Harry was a dark wizard, not a pureblood (well, Lucius might have wondered or thought about it, but it's not documented as far as I know). I mean, one of the most important aspects of the prophecy was that Voldemort targeted Harry, who was a half-blood like himself, and marked Harry as his equal, even though Harry is a half-blood. Hope that all made sense. :) – Slytherincess Oct 6 '12 at 16:33
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    @Xantec - No, I don't think it's altering canon and I totally see what you're saying. I read that sentence as saying "should this Potter boy prove to be another, and greater, champion of purebloods" which means to take up the cause of pureblood superiority and champion those beliefs to others. It's not "champion" in terms of winning a race and getting a blue ribbon or being the bestest bad wizard in the world. That's how it reads to me. :) – Slytherincess Oct 6 '12 at 17:14
5

Lucius (and Draco) at first thought Harry might be a Dark wizard.

J.K. Rowling addresses this in a writing on Pottermore. Especially before Harry actually became part of the wizarding world at 11, one of the reasons that the wizarding world suspected could be why he survived the attack was that he might be a Dark wizard in the making himself.

Many different theories had been in circulation for years as to how Harry survived what should have been a lethal attack, and one of the most persistent was that Harry himself was a great Dark wizard. The fact that he had been removed from the wizarding community seemed (to wishful thinkers) to support this view, and Draco’s father, wily Lucius Malfoy, was one of those who subscribed most eagerly to the theory. It was comforting to think that he, Lucius, might be in for a second chance of world domination, should this Potter boy prove to be another, and greater, pure-blood champion. It was, therefore, in the knowledge that he was doing nothing of which his father would disapprove, and in the hope that he might be able to relay some interesting news home, that Draco Malfoy offered Harry Potter his hand when he realised who he was on the Hogwarts Express.
- Draco Malfoy (Pottermore)

Originally thinking Harry might be a new Dark wizard, both Draco and Lucius would have considered it worthwhile to at least try to build a relationship with him (until of course they see how wrong the thought was). While this theory may seem unusual, Lucius wasn’t the only one who thought it was possible. We see more evidence that some people in the wizarding world believed this theory when Ernie Macmillan tells some fellow Hufflepuffs that must be how Harry survived after people learned that Harry could speak Parseltongue when he spoke to the conjured snake in the duel.

“Ernie lowered his voice mysteriously, the Hufflepuffs bent closer, and Harry edged nearer so that he could catch Ernie’s words. ‘No one knows how he survived that attack by You Know Who. I mean to say, he was only a baby when it happened. He should have been blasted into smithereens. Only a really powerful Dark Wizard could have survived a curse like that.’ He dropped his voice until it was barely more than a whisper, and said, ‘That’s probably why You Know Who wanted to kill him in the first place. Didn’t want another Dark Lord competing with him. I wonder what other powers Potter’s been hiding?”
- Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, Chapter 11 (The Duelling Club)

This belief was short-lived, at least for the Malfoys. Once he actually met Harry, Draco soon realized that Harry was certainly not an ally, and would not be the next Dark Lord to seize control and possibly bring the Malfoys power.

Harry’s refusal of Draco’s friendly overtures, and the fact that he had already formed allegiance to Ron Weasley, whose family is anathema to the Malfoys, turns Malfoy against him at once. Draco realised, correctly, that the wild hopes of the ex-Death Eaters – that Harry Potter was another, and better, Voldemort – are completely unfounded, and their mutual enmity is assured from that point.
- Draco Malfoy (Pottermore)

When Lucius actually meets Harry, we see no evidence that he once had such high hopes for what Harry might be - but he would have had a year of hearing from his son Draco what Harry was like.

3

Draco assumed, as everyone else did, that Voldemort was indeed gone. It is a thing of the past, and Draco himself didn't really meet Voldemort before, so there can hardly be any hard feelings against Harry Potter.

... and Potter is so popular. And pure blood. Heck, why not talk to him then?

  • Potter wasn't pureblood, was he? His mother was a muggle-born, his father was a pureblood, that makes him halfblood. (It maybe however that Draco thought Harry was close enough given that halfbloods were in majority anyways) – Aegon Aug 3 '16 at 6:31
  • @Aegon In that sense, no pure blood is true pure blood because muggle marriage have been happening throughout the history (I believe it has been told by Sirius). – Lobo Jul 4 '17 at 7:27
0

There is an enlightening statement made by Snape to Bellatrix in Chapter Two of Half-Blood Prince:

I should remind you that when Potter first arrived at Hogwarts there were still many stories circulating about him, rumors that he himself was a great Dark wizard, which was how he had survived the Dark Lord's attack. Indeed, many of the Dark Lord's old followers thought Potter might be a standard around which we could all rally one more. I was curious, I admit it, and not at all inclined to murder him the moment he set foot in the castle.

If Snape and many of the Dark Lord's old followers felt this way, it is likely that the Malfoys felt the same way.

-2

I believe Lucius didn't warn Draco because he didn't consider Harry a threat. Although Harry was son of enemies, he was raised in a muggle suburb who barely had any knowledge about wizarding world history. So, he didn't have emotional inclination towards a faction. Plus, it could be great chance to influence Harry towards dark side in case Harry and Draco meet accidently.

From the perspective of Draco, Harry was:

  • famous.

  • pure blood.

  • rich.

So, why not... if he could choose Crabbe and Goyle type losers as his friends.

  • Harry is not a pure-blood... Lily, his mother, was Muggle-born. – Voldemort's Wrath Mar 25 at 23:31

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