Draco Malfoy is the most recent link in the Noble House of Malfoy, and a good friend of Harry Potter. He is shown to be exceedingly talented at manipulation, due to being taught the art by tutors hired by his father, Lucius Malfoy. Draco is very likely better than Harry Potter at manipulation, though he has not been directly pitted against Harry’s dark side, so it cannot be scientifically proven one way or the other as it stands. The fact that Draco is seemingly confident enough in his skills to inform Harry that he is manipulating him as he does it, and still successfully gets the reaction he desired, more than once in their first few encounters, seems to be evident of how skilled Draco is: even being aware what he is doing, people can’t help but acquiesce to him. This makes him a useful ally and an obvious friend choice for Harry, who needs as many intelligent and powerful friends as he can get.
Further to the credit of Draco’s intelligence is how quickly he takes to science. Only one month past their initial meeting in September, he had co-founded the Bayesian Conspiracy with Harry, a secret society designed to combine the findings of Muggle science with the power of spells, in order to take over the world. While nothing came of this aborted secret society, Draco never forgot the methods and lessons he learned, as evidenced by his use of the scientific method and inductive reasoning later, especially in the battles between his Dragon Army, the Sunshine Regiment, and the Chaos Legion.