Is Draco Malfoy a Death Eater?

Draco Malfoy grew up in a household where pureblooded wizards and witches were higher than half-bloods and Muggle-borns. 

Draco’s father, Lucius, joined Death Eaters to support Lord Voldemort in purifying the wizarding society. He taught Draco that this was the only way forward, and Draco should follow in Lucius’s footsteps.

Is Draco Malfoy Really a Death Eater?

Is Draco Malfoy a Death Eater

According to books, there never was a mention of Draco belonging to Death Eaters, although he certainly acted as he was branded with the Dark Mark. Due to this behavior, Harry Potter thought Draco became a Death Eater in his father’s place.

The first time Harry witnessed Draco’s unusual behavior was during robe fitting at Madame Malkin’s. Draco overreacted at Madam Malkin’s lifting the hem of his left sleeve.

The second time happened later the same day at Borgin and Burke’s. Even though neither Harry, Ron, or Hermione saw anything for sure, Harry deduced from Draco’s conversation that he must have shown Borgin his Dark Mark to scare the shop owner into cooperation.

Another hint at Draco’s new allegiance Harry got on Hogwarts Express when he sneaked into Draco’s compartment.

Draco never admitted to anything, but he was insinuating that he might have other, better things to do rather than attend school the following year.

“Well, you never know,” said Malfoy with the ghost of a smirk. “I might have – er – moved on to bigger and better things.” (…)
“Maybe the job he wants me to do isn’t something that you need to be qualified for,” said Malfoy quietly.

In the Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince movie, there was a scene where Draco showed his Dark Mark to Dumbledore to prove what he became. This scene is not in the books because J.K. Rowling wanted to leave Draco’s allegiance to the reader’s interpretation. 

Another thing we could go with is the passage from the story of Draco Malfoy written by J.K. Rowling for her flagship website on all things Harry Potter.

In that passage, we can read, that Draco accepted a full membership of a Death Eater before his sixth year at Hogwarts.

Why Did Draco Malfoy Join Death Eaters?

Draco had no choice but to do Voldemort’s bidding because of his father, but in the books, there is never any confirmation if Draco joined Death Eaters or not. 

Lucius Malfoy, a Death Eater himself, was performing multiple tasks at Lord Voldemort’s command.

Still, unfortunately for him, he managed to fail, got caught, and was sent to the wizarding prison of Azkaban. It upset Voldemort enough to use Draco as a punishment for Lucius’s failure.

Voldemort insisted that Draco join Death Eaters’ meetings and gave him a task most people thought impossible – Draco was to kill Albus Dumbledore. 

When he first got the task from Voldemort, Draco was proud of this distinction and the trust Voldemort bestowed upon him, but the longer it took to complete the task, the less enjoyable it became.

Draco realized that to serve the Dark Lord, one needs to do more than just nod one’s head when Voldemort spoke. 

Voldemort never showed mercy to his enemies but never showed it to his followers either. By the time Draco cornered Dumbledore on the Astronomy Tower in June, he had a death sentence hanging over himself and his family. 

“I haven’t got any options!” said Malfoy, and he was suddenly white as Dumbledore. “I’ve got to do it! He’ll kill me! He’ll kill my whole family!”

Was Draco Malfoy the Youngest Death Eater?

If we assume that Draco actually joined Death Eaters, he would probably be the youngest Death Eater during Voldemort’s second rise to power. 

As we know from the books, Death Eaters existed as long as the name Lord Voldemort.

Although it was never specified at what age one could join Death Eaters, we could assume that during Snape’s time at Hogwarts as a student, Voldemort’s followers called themselves Death Eaters even before graduating.

However, later rules might have changed to ensure that anyone joining Death Eaters’ ranks is a qualified witch or wizard. It would have made more sense because underage wizards still have the Trace and can’t legally perform magic outside of Hogwarts.

In Draco’s case, however, there could be an exception. Since his task was to kill Dumbledore during the school year, he could have been invited to join Death Eaters and still freely perform magic.

Did Draco Malfoy Get His Dark Mark Removed?

If we are to believe books, there was never any confirmation that Draco Malfoy had the Dark Mark on his left forearm. Therefore, there would be no need to remove it if he didn’t have one.

If he had one, there is also no mention about Draco trying to remove the Mark or still having one after so many years.

The same goes for if we are to believe movies over books. During the scene on the Astronomy Tower, Draco showed his Dark Mark to Dumbledore. We know it was there, but alas, there is no mention about Draco ever removing it or still having it.

Voldemort put Dark Marks on his followers’ forearms with dark magic, so it would be difficult to remove it without using more dark magic.

In our opinion, mediwitches and mediwizards from St. Mungo’s are not trained in using dark magic to heal people, so removing the Dark Mark would be rather challenging, if not impossible.

If Draco was indeed branded, he would have to live with the Dark Mark on his forearm forever.

Final Thoughts

Draco Malfoy might or might not be a Death Eater. He certainly acted like one in the books but never confirmed his allegiance or showed the Dark Mark to anyone.

In the movie, however, we had a clear view of the Dark Mark on Draco’s forearm, and therefore we knew that he was s Death Eater. We didn’t find out whether he managed to remove his Dark Mark after Voldemort’s death.

We think the way J.K. Rowling left out Draco’s true allegiance in the books was brilliant and gave readers something to think about during reading.

Like Harry, some of us were sure that Draco was a Death Eater, and others, like Hermione, were trying to find explanations for Draco’s weird behavior.

Whether or not a Death Eater, Draco went through the motions of believing his father, and therefore Voldemort, to form his own opinions, and we could see that despite his upbringing, he didn’t end up like his Death Eater father.