- "It is often said of the Malfoy family that you will never find one at the scene of the crime, though their fingerprints might be all over the guilty wand. Independently wealthy, with no need to work for a living, they have generally preferred the role of power behind the throne, happy for others to do the donkey work and to take the responsibility for failure. They have helped finance many of their preferred candidates’ election campaigns, which have (it is alleged) included paying for dirty work such as hexing the opposition."
Malfoy is the surname of a wealthy pure-blood wizarding family and one of the Sacred Twenty-Eight. They live in Malfoy Manor in Wiltshire, England. The Malfoys are related to many other pure-blood families, including the: Blacks, Lestranges, Greengrasses, and Rosiers. They are also related to the Tonks and Lupin families, of mixed wizarding and Muggle heritage, much to the Malfoys' disdain, although they are not against marrying half-bloods.
- "I know I´ll be in Slytherin, all our family have been."
- —Draco Malfoy
The Malfoy family consists of an ancient line of pure-blood wizards, most of whom attended Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry and were traditionally sorted into Slytherin House. The family first arrived in Britain with Armand Malfoy, who founded the family estate Malfoy Manor on land obtained from King William I.
The Malfoy family would soon gain the reputation for pure-blood supremacy and courting richness and power from those around them. Until the passing of the International Statute of Wizarding Secrecy in 1692, the Malfoys integrated themselves in high-class Muggle society. Though hotly denied by subsequent generations, there is ample evidence to suggest that the first Lucius Malfoy was an unsuccessful aspirant to the hand of Elizabeth I, and some wizarding historians allege that the Queen's subsequent opposition to marriage was due to a jinx placed upon her by the thwarted Malfoy. The Malfoys expanded their already large estate with the lands of their Muggle neighbours, and dabbled successfully into Muggle currency and assets, becoming one of the wealthiest families in wizarding Britian. Though they opposed the Statute of Secrecy at first, they soon embraced it and cut off all ties with Muggle families, denying that they had ever fraternised with such people.
After this period, the Malfoys instead began to seek influence over the newly formed British Ministry of Magic, using their considerable wealth to do so. Though no Malfoy is known to have ever aspired for the position of Minister for Magic, many members of the family financed the elections of their preferred candidates for the post, even going so far as to pay to have the opposition hexed.
Notable Malfoys of past generations include the fourteenth-century Nicholas Malfoy, who is believed to have dispatched many a fractious Muggle tenant under the guise of the Black Death, though escaping censure by the Wizards' Council; Septimus Malfoy, who was greatly influential at the Ministry in the late eighteenth century, many claiming that Minister for Magic Unctuous Osbert was little more than his puppet.Abraxas Malfoy, who was widely believed to be part of the shady plot that saw the first Muggle-born Minister (Nobby Leach) leave his post prematurely in 1968 (nothing was ever proven against Malfoy).
- "The family has, however, eschewed the somewhat dangerous practise of inter-marrying within such a small pool of pure-bloods that they become enfeebled or unstable, unlike a small minority of fanatic families such as the Gaunts and Lestranges, and many a half-blood appears on the Malfoy family tree."
- —Description of the Malfoy family[src]
Though the family is inclined to blood-purity, they are unwilling to practise the dangers of inbreeding with cousins, knowing that it would endanger their genes, and would accept marrying half-bloods due to the small pool of available pure-bloods. Hence, it is possible to find several half-bloods on the Malfoy family tree. This differs them from the more fanatical groups such as Blacks, Lestranges and Gaunts, though apparently did not deter their respect from such families.
- Draco Malfoy: "You’ll soon find out some wizarding families are much better than others, Potter. You don’t want to go making friends with the wrong sort. I can help you there."
- Harry Potter: "I think I can tell who the wrong sort are for myself, thanks."
- — Harry refuses to accept Draco's offer of friendship
Lucius Malfoy, the son of Abraxas Malfoy and brother of Lucille Malfoy, was one of the few pure-blood wizards left by the late 20th century. He joined the Death Eaters when they came to power in the First Wizarding War. He married Narcissa Black, a fellow pure-blood of similar wealthy background, and they had one son, Draco, who would later become Harry Potter's main rival in his school years. The Malfoy family was one of the first wizarding families to repent following Lord Voldemort's first defeat, claiming they had been bewitched, in 1981.
Malfoy family crest
The family crest pays homage to Salazar Slytherin, bearing the colours black, green and silver, as well as images of several serpentine creatures. The Latin words Sanctimonia Vincet Semper appear inscribed on a silver banner, meaning Purity Will Always Conquer.
|Armand Malfoy||The first Malfoy in Britain, arriving with the Norman Conquest. Was given land in Wiltshire because of his services to King William I.|
|Nicholas Malfoy||He is believed to have dispatched many a fractious Muggle tenant under the guise of the Black Death, though escaping censure by the Wizards' Council.|
|Lucius Malfoy I||Is believed to have been an unsuccessful aspirant to the hand of Elizabeth I.|
|Brutus Malfoy||The editor of anti-Muggle periodical Warlock at War|
|Septimus Malfoy||Had a lot of influence in the Ministry of Magic in the late 18th century.|
|Abraxas Malfoy||The father of Lucius Malfoy and possibly a friend of Horace Slughorn. Died of Dragon-Pox sometime between 1968 and 1996.|
|Lucius Malfoy||The son of Abraxas Malfoy and brother of Lucille Malfoy, the husband of Narcissa Malfoy, and the father of Draco Malfoy. He was a Death Eater.|
|The daughter of Abraxas Malfoy and sister of Lucius Malfoy, the wife of Jonathan Raeken, and the mother of Theo Raeken.|
|The wife of Lucius Malfoy, and the mother of Draco Malfoy. She has two sisters, and many other relatives. She married into the Malfoy family.|
|Draco Lucius Malfoy||The son of Lucius and Narcissa Malfoy, the husband of Astoria Greengrass and the father of Scorpius Malfoy. He was a Death Eater.|
Malfoy family tree
(fl. c. 1340s)
|Lucius Malfoy I|
|House of Black||Rosier family|
|Cygnus Black III|
|Draco Lucius Malfoy|
|Lestrange family||Nymphadora Tonks|
|Remus John Lupin|
(b. c. 1950s)
Malfoy is derived from the French "mal foi", meaning "badly (or in this case, bad) faith" or "unfaithful". In law, "bad faith" refers to a case in which a malicious motive on the part of a party in a lawsuit undermines their case. This would be relevant to the general cruel natures displayed by Lucius and Draco as well as Narcissa. In existentialism, "bad faith" is a philosophical concept in which people blame their own failures on external factors, thus denying responsibility for their actions. Also, this most likely refers to the Malfoys' tendency to switch their loyalties to avoid danger or punishment, rather than steadfastly supporting their presented views.