Narcissa Malfoy

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Character
Name: Narcissa Malfoy, née Black
Occupation:
Title/Rank: Slytherin
Location: Malfoy Manor, Wiltshire, England
Status: pureblood; alive
Relationships: Cygnus Black (father)
Druella Rosier (mother)
Bellatrix Lestrange (sister)
Andromeda Tonks (sister, disowned)
Lucius Malfoy (husband)
Draco Malfoy (son)
Scorpius Malfoy (grandson)
Fandom: Harry Potter
Other: born 1955;[1]
nickname "Cissy" (used by Bellatrix)
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Narcissa Malfoy (born Narcissa Black) is a character in the Harry Potter novels. She is the mother of Harry's school rival, Draco Malfoy, and the wife of Death Eater Lucius Malfoy. Though she was not a Death Eater herself, she at least nominally supported Lord Voldemort and is a blood purist.[2]

Character Background & Interpretation

Pre-HBP

Before the release of Half-Blood Prince, Narcissa was generally assumed to be a one-dimensional and relatively unimportant character. As one fan describes, "Narcissa has always tended to be seen as the vapid one who doesn't do anything but stand still and look pretty and make pureblood babies."[3] She was usually featured in fanworks only as a secondary character, in relation to her husband Lucius or her son Draco. When Narcissa did appear in fanworks, she was usually cold and sometimes outright evil. Often, she was depicted as a negligent or even abusive mother, though it was also common for Lucius to be depicted as abusive and for Narcissa as well as Draco to be victims.

Post-HBP

Half-Blood Prince reveals more depth to Narcissa's character. Her interaction with Snape shows her to be loving and protective of her son and loyal to her husband. Additionally, her concern for her son causes her to disobey Lord Voldemort by seeking Snape's help, causing fans to speculate whether she may turn further from the Death Eaters.[3] For example, fanfiction such as Maya's Quality of Mercy have Narcissa acting as a spy for Harry against Voldemort.

Narcissa's role in Half-Blood Prince fascinated many fans, causing the frequency of Narcissa-centric fanworks and meta to skyrocket. While many fans respected Narcissa for her bravery and devotion to her family, others were disappointed by the apparent absence of the self-control and subtlety that she had shown in prior books[4] -- however, some interpret Narcissa's emotionality as a deliberate manipulation rather than desperation alone.[5]

Narcissa's fannish popularity continued with the publication of Deathly Hallows, where she betrayed Lord Voldemort and saved Harry's life in order to ensure Draco's safety.

Shipping

Narcissa is most often paired romantically with her husband, Lucius Malfoy. Lucius/Narcissa stories were more likely to be darkfic before Half-Blood Prince, while more recently redemption-fic became popular. Additionally, the interaction between Severus Snape and Narcissa in Half-Blood Prince sparked the popularity of Snape/Narcissa.

Narcissa is also somewhat commonly shipped in Blackcest pairings, such as with her sisters Bellatrix and Andromeda, or her cousins Sirius and Regulus Black. Sirius/Narcissa fanfiction existed before Order of the Phoenix was published, and for many the revelation that the two were cousins jossed the ship, though some continued to support the Blackcest pairing.

Narcissa is also occasionally paired with James Potter, Remus Lupin, or Lily Evans, due to speculation that she may have attended Hogwarts at the same time as them.

Notable Fanworks

Fanart

Meta

Narcissa-centric Communties

Fanlistings

Journal Communities

Other Resources

References

  1. Harry Potter Lexicon. Narcissa Malfoy. (Accessed 10 October 2011.)
  2. J.K. Rowling wrote in a Post-Deathly Hallows web chat: "[Narcissa] never had the Dark Mark and was never a fully paid-up member. However, her views were identical to those of her husband until Voldemort planned the death of her son." (The Deathly Hallows Web Chat, July 2007, via MuggleNet)
  3. 3.0 3.1 unrequitedangst at hp_essays. Because Blood Tells. 14 August 2005. (Accessed 15 October 2011.)
  4. miranda_macondo. Narcissa, revealed.. 21 January 2006. (Accessed 15 October 2011.)
  5. fayeval05 at hp_essays. Feminist Literary Criticsm and the Black Sisters. 29 March 2006. (Accessed 15 October 2011.)