Don't let his lovely long, flowing hair fool you—Lucius Malfoy is a total snob who loves to show off his money and brag about his connections to certain dark wizards. Oh, and did we mention he's a racist, too?
Wow. This guy has everything going for him.
This is the first time we meet anyone in Draco Malfoy's family and we can kind of see how Draco grew to become the little jerk he is. The first time Lucius meets Harry he lays on the evil charm right out of the gate:
LUCIUS MALFOY: Mr. Potter. Lucius Malfoy. We meet at last. Forgive me. Your scar is legend. As, of course, is the wizard who gave it to you.
Can you imagine the nerve of this guy? Harry's parents were essentially killed by a terrorist and Lucius is like, "Yeah, but he was a legendary terrorist, am I right?"
Lucius also has lots of opinions on Muggles (he's not a fan), Muggle-born wizards (also not a fan), and non-wizard creatures (they are lowly and, of course, exist to serve wizard kind. Now, enjoy this kick in the back, Dobby.) We don't blame Harry for trying to free Dobby. We wouldn't send a dog we liked home with this guy.
In the end, we realize that Lucius actually played a pretty important role in the events of Chamber of Secrets. He was the one plotting against Harry Potter from the beginning. He was the one who stuck Tom Riddle's diary into Ginny's cauldron. He was the one who got Dumbledore removed from Hogwarts. In fact, without Lucius Malfoy, this might have just been another sleepy year at Hogwarts.