The Spy for a Cause – Draco Malfoy

Draco Slide

Draco Malfoy

If you’ve been following along, you know that people often spy for personal reasons – patriotism/loyalty, fear, love, etc. There is one personal motivation we HAVE to mention, because it is SO important both in the real world and in the Harry Potter series. And that motivation is…

REVENGE!

ANALYSIS: Why would Draco Malfoy agree to try to kill Dumbledore in book 6, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince?

Remember that, by that point in the series, Draco’s father is imprisoned and derided as a known Death Eater. Voldemort personally gives Draco his assignment, which makes Draco feel powerful and important at the precise moment he has begun to be humiliated by his father. But one must wonder, just as Professor Dumbledore wonders when he is visiting with Snape, whether Draco’s heart is really in it. Draco is not evil at this point, but simply terribly misdirected. His motive is revenge, not hatred, and the difference between the two is significant. Draco seems somewhat apathetic to Lord Voldemort’s cause. In book 7, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Draco observes Lord Voldemort torturing and killing people—including Hogwarts’s Muggle Studies teacher, Professor Charity Burbage, the woman twisting above the drawing room table (DH 3, 11). When he sees his father forced to give his wand to Lord Voldemort, we imagine that he begins to understand Voldemort quite well and perhaps has terrible misgivings about the Dark Lord’s presence in his family’s home (a point raised by Voldemort at the time—perhaps by use of Legilimency!).

We assert that Lucius and Narcissi Malfoy come to the same conclusion by the end of the series, as shown in the final installation of the film series: during the last battle, they grab Draco and quietly leave the scene, no doubt to go into hiding—away from Lord Voldemort, in case he is successful, and in a position to claim they did not fight for him if the tide is turned. A shrewd move indeed, Mr. and Mrs. Malfoy! You will also note that, in the movie version, Draco has a hard time leaving his friends when asked to do so. He is clearly conflicted; after all, he had been saved just a little while ago by Harry Potter (to Ron’s great chagrin!) when the Room of Requirements went up in magical flames (DH 633–34).

Draco Malfoy Analysis

Recruitment by: Voldemort himself, no doubt

Incentive Used: Revenge for father’s downfall

Handler: Voldemort, perhaps through Lucius Malfoy or other Death Eaters when necessary (as when Lucius is in prison)

Method of Communication: Face-to-face

Memorable Quote:

“I haven’t got any options! I’ve got to do it! He’ll kill me! He’ll kill my whole family!” (HBP 591).

Dumbledore: “A frightened teenage boy is a danger to others as well as to himself. Offer him help and guidance, he ought to accept, he likes you—”

Snape: “—much less since his father has lost favor. Draco blames me, he thinks I have usurped Lucius’s position” (DH 682).

The Spies Among Us: Patriotism Gone Bad

Death Eaters

Death Eaters

Patriotism does not necessarily mean that the cause the spy holds dear is related to a nation or the security of a specific nation, as is clearly evident by Voldemort’s Death Eaters. They are against a nation, and indeed, the whole Wizarding world and the world of Muggles. Their cause is Voldemort, or perhaps the desire to obtain power through Voldemort.

Analysis:

Recruitment by: Presumably Voldemort

Incentive Used: Assertion of Wizarding superiority, the opportunity to wreak havoc and assert extraordinary power over Wizards and Muggles alike

Handler: Voldemort or a Death Eater who has a close connection to Voldemort

Method of Communication: Direct assignments from Voldemort, messages sent through another Death Eater, or use of the Dark Mark on the Death Eater’s arm

Memorable Quote:

Sirius: “Well, you don’t just hand in your resignation to Voldemort. It’s a lifetime of service or death” (OP).

Quirrell: “There is no good and evil… there is only power, and those too weak to understand it… Since then, I serve him faithfully, although I have let him down many times.” (SS)

When Voldemort returns at the end of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, you can see exactly what kind of relationship Death Eaters have with their handler, Voldemort. The Dark Lord demands loyalty and disappointing him is dangerous to say the least.

The first blog post in the Spies Among Us series was about Mundungus Fletcher, a Spy for Hire.