The beauty of Harry Potter is that many of the best characters aren't necessarily the heroic ones. Take Draco Malfoy, an individual who started out as little more than a bully, but ultimately became one of the most complex and well-developed characters in the whole series. What J.K. Rowling achieved with Draco in the books was adapted well on the big screen with Tom Felton's spot-on performance.
In particular, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows offered a closer look at Draco that did the unthinkable. They provided insight into the insecurities and vulnerability behind his snarky, sometimes cruel facade. He's no saint with a heart of gold and many of his actions and prejudices remain inexcusable. Yet, there was also a lot more to the character than many fans realized, a depth and inner struggle -- particularly explored in Half-Blood Prince and Deathly Hallows -- that explained why he was that way.
Like Harry, Ron, and Hermione, Draco kept himself busy and got up to quite a few things in the years after Hogwarts. While many of Draco's core traits remained in adulthood, he also changed in many ways and overall became a better person. By the time fans caught up with Draco in Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, he was in many senses a changed man.
Cursed Child reveals and hints at the significant things Draco did after Deathly Hallows, as does J.K. Rowling's fascinating Pottermore essay about the character.
Let's take a look at the 20 Things Draco Malfoy Did Between The Deathly Hallows And The Cursed Child.
20 Avoiding Azkaban
After Voldemort was defeated and the Second Wizarding War ended, the Ministry of Magic and Order of the Phoenix worked together to round up the surviving Death Eaters and imprison them in Azkaban. Draco Malfoy and his parents Lucius and Narcissa were certainly Death Eaters, at times being very important to Voldemort's cause.
They were able to avoid imprisonment in Azkaban, though, because of their last-minute switch in allegiance.
It also helped greatly that Narcissa had lied directly to Voldemort when he asked if Harry had truly perished, a lie that was integral to bringing about Voldemort's ultimate defeat. Lucius had already spent time in Azkaban, but for Draco it would’ve been a new experience, and one he likely wouldn’t have handled well.
19 Marrying Astoria Greengrass
While Harry, Ginny, Ron, and Hermione all went on to marry their Hogwarts sweethearts, Draco followed a different path. Instead of his Hogwarts girlfriend Pansy Parkinson, Draco married Astoria Greengrass. J.K. Rowling confirmed that readers met Astoria's older sister Daphne Greengrass in Order of the Phoenix when Hermione took her O.W.L.S. Daphne was part of Pansy Parkinson's posse of Slytherin girls.
Despite a traditional upbringing of pure-blood ideals, Astoria developed more tolerant beliefs of her own. While not as extreme as Draco's journey, their roads from a background of pure-blood snootiness to tolerance provided an essential bond and understanding between Astoria and her husband, a bond that would serve as a strong foundation for their marriage.
18 Maintaining Sacred Twenty-Eight Status
The Sacred Twenty-Eight were a group of twenty-eight families who were completely pure-blood. Most individuals in the magical community recognized they would die out if no one ever married Muggles and continued marrying from the same finite group of families. To those who prized solely pure-blood lineages--such as Voldemort and most of the Sacred Twenty-Eight families--belonging to the exclusive group meant a great deal, though.
When Draco married Astoria Greengrass, the Malfoys remained part of the Sacred Twenty-Eight as the Greengrass family were also among the group's remaining members. Given that they became more tolerant people after the Second Wizarding War, the association to the Sacred Twenty-Eight meant very little to Draco and Astoria as it was a remnant of the people they'd been, not the people they'd become.
17 Standing Up To His Parents
Growing up, Draco was eager to please his parents. Draco's attitude -- such as his general disdain for the Weasleys and Muggles -- and his actions — like trying to take the life of Albus Dumbledore -- were constantly informed by his desire to impress Lucius and Narcissa and be the person they wanted him to be. That's why it's such a big deal that Draco eventually stood up to his parents. Despite Astoria being a Greengrass -- a family that belonged to the Sacred Twenty-Eight -- Lucius and Narcissa didn't approve of Astoria because of her more tolerant view of Muggles.
Draco knew he loved Astoria and that she was a good fit for him, so he stood up to his parents and married her anyway.
Scorpius Malfoy tells Albus Potter in Harry Potter and the Cursed Child his mother claimed that what Draco did "was one of the most courageous things she’d ever seen."
16 Ending His Relationship With Pansy Parkinson
Throughout their years at Hogwarts, Draco was romantically involved with fellow Slytherin Pansy Parkinson. While it's never explicitly stated, it's fair to say that Draco ended his relationship with Pansy. Draco went on to marry Astoria Greengrass, a woman who by all accounts was kind, open-minded, and courageous as opposed to Pansy who exhibited none of those qualities and spent much of her time at Hogwarts bullying others.
Pansy was a good fit for the immature Draco at Hogwarts; Astoria was the perfect fit for the more mature Draco in life after Deathly Hallows. He married Astoria and was by all accounts a loving and faithful husband, meaning he would've severed all romantic ties with Pansy.
15 Becoming A Father
In the years after Deathly Hallows, Draco had the privilege of becoming a father. His wife Astoria gave birth to a son who she and Draco named Scorpius Hyperion Malfoy. Scorpius looked a great deal like his father with their blonde hair, grey eyes, and pointed face. His birth also meant that Lucius and Narcissa Malfoy were able to become grandparents.
While different from his parents and grandparents in many ways, Scorpius would follow in their footsteps by being sorted into Slytherin. He began Hogwarts the same year as Albus Severus Potter, the two of them becoming best friends and as chronicled in Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, their actions had major effects on the entire Wizarding world.
14 Life At Malfoy Manor
Malfoy Manor contained some bad memories for Draco. Watching the body of Muggles Studies teacher Charity Burbage hover over a table, have her life taken by Voldemort, and then have her corpse fed to Nagini is not exactly the stuff of adolescent nostalgia.
Nevertheless, as an adult, Draco remained at Malfoy Manor with his wife Astoria and they raised their son Scorpius there.
Despite the unpleasant memories, other than Hogwarts it was the only home Draco had ever known. That surely came with a sense of comfort and attachment that would've been difficult to break. Draco was used to a certain lifestyle, and having a home like Malfoy Manor was part of that. Besides, it's hard to argue buying a new home when one can be easily gifted to him from his parents.
13 Dark Artifact Collection
J.K. Rowling has stated that she imagines Draco living "a modified version of his father's existence." This includes the Malfoy family's extensive collection of dark artifacts, not just from Lucius but from many previous generations of Malfoys. While living in Malfoy Manor, Rowling imagines that Draco would keep the artifacts, leaving them in their glass cases, never using them.
She claims that this speaks to Draco's dual nature where he can't let go of his family's history and ties to dark magic, yet he won't get rid of them, refusing to touch them let alone use the artifacts for nefarious purposes. There is nothing to indicate that Draco added to the Malfoy family's collection either.
12 Alchemical Manuscripts
Draco never spent as much time in the Hogwarts library as Hermione -- or as much as Harry and Ron when Hermione dragged them there -- but Draco actually had his own intellectual, book-smart interests. J.K. Rowling has said that Draco has an interest in studying alchemical manuscripts, a hobby that occupied much of his time.
Unlike many who are drawn to such manuscripts, Draco never attempted to make his own Philosopher's Stone. Rowling posits that Draco's fascination with the topic and his inaction to create his own Philosopher's Stone "hints at a wish for something other than wealth, perhaps even the wish to be a better man." Given the essential role of Potion-making in alchemy, it seems that Professor Snape had even more of a meaningful impact on Draco than many fans realized. Without Snape, Draco likely wouldn't have the knowledge or interest to study alchemy.
11 Opinion On The Malfoy Line
Knowing her life would most likely be taken by her hereditary blood curse, Astoria wanted the chance to raise a child, and for Draco to have someone so he wouldn't be alone in the years after his wife passed away. Draco told Astoria that he didn't care about furthering the Malfoy line.
His feelings were primarily rooted in how giving birth would affect Astoria's health.
Undoubtedly his feelings also tied back to his own childhood where he was often unhappy and constantly pressured to act as his parents desired. Realizing that a child wouldn't be about carrying on the Malfoy name or for glory, Draco and Astoria agreed to have a child together. Despite Draco's initial misgivings, he says in Harry Potter and the Cursed Child that the birth of Scorpius was the happiest day ever for him and his wife.
10 Taking Care Of Astoria
Many years before ever Astoria Greengrass was born let alone married Draco Malfoy, an ancestor of hers was cursed with a blood malediction. After several generations of the curse remaining dormant in the Greengrass family, it resurfaced within Astoria. Her body was unusually frail because of the curse and her health declined even more after giving birth to Scorpius.
Draco did his best to take care of his wife and give her all the care she needed during this time period. Fortunately she survived long enough to see her son off at Platform 9 3/4 for his first year at Hogwarts. She passed away during Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, before Scorpius began his third year at Hogwarts.
9 Wealthy Enough To Not Work
There are lots of things about being a Malfoy that aren't easy, but one perk is definitely the wealth. The Malfoy family was independently wealthy enough that Draco didn't have to work as an adult. Draco was able to live comfortably and support his wife Astoria and son Scorpius without needing to take on a job. He spent his time taking care of his wife and son, and indulging in hobbies like studying alchemical manuscripts.
While Draco definitely became a better person, he still benefited greatly from the privilege he'd known as a child and as a young man. This is just as fitting a post-Hogwarts path for him as it is for Hermione to have become Minister for Magic and Neville Longbottom to become a professor of Herbology.
8 Raising Scorpius Differently
Both Draco and Astoria resented the traditional pure-blood upbringing they experienced at the hands of their families. Vowing to do better, they raised Scorpius to be a tolerant and accepting person.
This meant they refused to teach that Muggles were inferior to pure-bloods or any witches and wizards in any way.
They also taught him the value of kindness and generosity. As Astoria once told Scorpius, "Sweets, they always help you make friends." Scorpius brings this up when sharing sweets and quickly becoming good friends with Albus Potter on the Hogwarts Express. Such an upbringing made Scorpius a very different person than Draco was at his son's age, an individual far more compassionate, open-minded, and overall happier. In this way, Draco was able to be a much better parent than Lucius or Narcissa had been.
7 Tense Family Gatherings
One would think family gatherings would be less tense in a world Bellatrix Lestrange could no longer attend. Malfoy family gatherings remained intense, though, as Lucius and Narcissa were displeased at the way Draco and Astoria were raising Scorpius.
Tolerance of Muggles did not match up with the ideals Lucius and Narcissa taught their son. Even though they were grateful to no longer live in terror or in service of Voldemort, they still clung to those old beliefs. To family gatherings they brought their displeasure that such ideals weren't being taught to their grandson, causing tension that Draco would have to manage. Not everyone is so lucky with their in-laws as Harry and Hermione. Their in-laws were the Weasleys while Astoria's were Draco's bigoted parents.
6 Getting His Wand Back
When Draco used his hawthorn wand to disarm Albus Dumbledore in Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Draco became master of the Elder Wand. This meant that when Harry "won" Draco's hawthorn wand from him in Deathly Hallows, Harry became master of the Elder Wand.
This led to Harry using the hawthorn wand to defeat Voldemort. Fans know what became of the Elder Wand and that Harry used it to repair his wand with the phoenix feather core, but they didn't know what happened to the hawthorn wand that once belonged to Draco. A tweet that J.K. Rowling used to promote Harry Potter and the Cursed Child showed that Draco's wand in the play is made of hawthorn. This indicates that Draco has his old wand again. Since Harry has his old wand back, he has no need for the hawthorn one anymore, meaning he gave it back to Draco.
5 A Reclusive Life
Draco did not spend his adulthood as a social butterfly. He and his family lived a reclusive life, spending most of their time in Malfoy Manor, hidden away from the public eye.
This decision was primarily motivated by Astoria's health and mean rumors surrounding Scorpius.
Astoria was naturally frail from the blood curse within her, and giving birth to Scorpius only made her health worse, requiring her to stay home during which Draco took care of her. Because of Astoria's health, there were rumors that she and Draco couldn't have children. The rumors only got worse, positing that out of desperation they used a Time-Turner to have Voldemort impregnate Astoria, meaning Scorpius was actually the son of Voldemort. Naturally Draco wanted to shield his son from such terrible rumors, contributing to his decision to live their lives almost solely within Malfoy Manor and away from society.
4 Adding Books To The Malfoy Manor Library
As Scorpius had a reclusive childhood, living in Malfoy Manor without the opportunity to interact with other children his age, he spent a lot of time reading books. While it doesn't sound like he was able to indulge in anything as exciting as The Monster Book of Monsters, he did say he read books that helped him learn about the Wizarding world, the Second Wizarding War, and Harry Potter.
It stands to reason that Draco added many of these books to the Malfoy Manor library. Books about the Second Wizarding War didn't exist when Draco grew up there as the war hadn't started yet or was in progress. Many of these books inevitably highlight the atrocities committed by Voldemort and the Death Eaters in a deservedly negative light, something Lucius and Narcissa wouldn't have had in their home. They also wouldn't have had books about Harry Potter, their master's greatest enemy. If Scorpius was going to have a largely isolated childhood, at least Draco added books to the Malfoy Manor library that could educate his son about the outside world before he went off to Hogwarts.
3 Seeing The World In A Better Light
Draco tells Scorpius in Harry Potter and the Cursed Child how Astoria helped him see the world in a better light. Such optimism and hope helped Draco be a better father for Scorpius, a better husband to Astoria, and an overall better person. Draco emphasizes in Cursed Child how more than anything he cares about Scorpius being happy. He does everything in his power to help his son be happy and to support him.
Without Astoria helping Draco see the world in a better light, it seems unlikely that he would've been able to become the person fans became reacquainted with in Cursed Child. It's important to remember that Draco grew up in a hateful environment, meaning the perspective Astoria helped shape for him was truly game-changing in his journey to becoming a better person.
2 Making Peace With Harry
Despite being enemies throughout their years at Hogwarts, as adults Draco and Harry made their peace with one another. They had matured enough to understand one another and there was no longer any reason for animosity between them.
While peace is one thing, friendship is another.
Draco and Harry were at peace, but they didn't become friends, a dynamic that is captured well when they spot one another from a distance at Platform 9 3/4. In contrast, Harry had made more progress with Dudley Dursley as he actually went to his cousin's house and had his kids interact with Dudley's. That being said, the friendship Scorpius Malfoy and Albus Potter form in Harry Potter and the Cursed Child does cause Harry and Draco to open up and work together.
1 The Time-Turner
Time-Turners--like the one Harry and Hermione use in Prisoner of Azkaban--only allow travelers to remain in the past for five hours at a time without causing serious harm. Lucius Malfoy worked with Theodore Nott to create a "true" Time-Turner that would allow the traveler to remain in the past for an unlimited amount of time.
In Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, Draco reveals that his father gave him a "true" Time-Turner. After his wife passed away during Cursed Child, Draco revealed how he'd resisted the urge to use the Time-Turner to see Astoria one last time. This Time-Turner ended up playing a crucial role in Cursed Child as it was used to save Scorpius and Albus Potter and defeat Delphini.
What's your favorite thing Draco Malfoy from Harry Potter did between Deathly Hallows and Cursed Child? Let us know in the comments!