My Americanisms are showing. Oops. :/
I addressed it to "Whomever" because this letter is not part of my story. I considered it an imaginative way to introduce the character, Aristophanes Malfoy, to the Beta Boards. He does take risks in my story, but not casually writing personal letters to people he does not know. Sorry for the confusion. Perhaps a dated diary entry would have been more suitable.
You address this to “Whomever” but Aristophanes then identifies himself, and tells “whomever” about his doubts. This is extremely risky, and I wonder if he’s really considered his actons.
I don’t think that we get a real glimpse into Aristophanes’ mind, so here are a few questions for him.
There was no hatred between Lucius and I. Our fathers despised each other, thus we were never close. I knew of Uncle Abraxas and Lucius from an early age but I never had the chance to meet Uncle Abraxas before he died of dragon pox and the first time I encountered Lucius was on one of my early trips to the Ministry. There has never been a familial warmth between us, though we have spoken on polite terms about Ministry policies. I (and my cousin, I assume by his attitude) did not have much of a chance to carry on the family feud considering how little we saw of each other. I have sought his advice on a few topics (which Ministry employee would be most persuadable should I wish to accomplish a particular task... that sort of thing). I have never disliked Lucius, nor his wife. Yes, I do pity Narcissa and her son. She is good-looking but, do not misunderstand me, I have no deep feelings of attraction to the poor woman. I was sorry to hear of Lucius' execution and I feel empathy for her because she lost her husband, just as anyone would. She and Draco disappeared immediately after before the Dark Lord had a chance to subject them to the same fate. And I do find myself hoping she and her son have found a safe haven away from this madness.
You say “We were on polite terms (albeit not very warm), thus when I learned of Lucius' execution I felt a strong sense of pity for his wife Narcissa and his son, whom I had never met.” You felt little warmth towards Lucius, yet you pitied his wife and son. Why? Are you attracted to Narcissa?
Because my father was a self-righteous, stuffy, old codger, that's why. I spent my entire youth trying to please that man. I drove myself mad trying to gain some sort of approval, any sort of affection. He treated me like an object. He treated me like an extension of his business and his wealth, not as a son! He raised me to be his shadow, slobbering like a lap dog to do his every bidding. I eventually grew disillusioned. I was tired of his dismissal of my ideas, my hopes, my ambitions. Nothing was good enough for me except to shackle myself to the Floo Powder trade. We eventually stopped talking altogether when I refused to continue in his footsteps and left the trade altogether. He grudgingly left the business to me in his will and I sold the contracts for a fair price within the first few weeks after his death.
Why didn’t your father like you? It seems to me that you tried your best to please him, at least, until you entered the Ministry.
The Floo Powder trade was droll. I hated every second I wasted duping idiots into selling the substance for low price and reselling Floo Powder to other idiots at unreasonably high prices. I was little more than a glorified errand boy. I was good at it, I think. I shared in the profits. I made a lot of gold off the backs of the ignorant. But I never had any recognition of my efforts.
Why on earth did you enter the Ministry? If, as you claim, you “made a vast fortune in the (Floo Powder) trade” then you didn’t need a Ministry income, and frankly, you don’t sound like the sort of person who needs a Ministry position or contacts.
Of course I do not need Ministry income. I have never wanted for money. It has always been there for me. After introspection, I can say that the reason I wanted to work in the Ministry is partly because I want the recognition my father never gave me. I want people to look up to me. I want people to know me as Aristophanes Malfoy... not "Cassius Malfoy's son". The idea of holding a high position at the Ministry was sparked into passion when I first met Lucius walking side-by-side with the Minister, Cornelius Fudge. I was young and impressionable and already resenting working for my father. Can you imagine how it felt to see my own cousin speaking to the Minister of Magic as an equal, worthy of his time? Of course I was excited then by the possibilities of actually working in the bustling place, more than working on the side-lines like my cousin. It had never occurred to me before to work for the Ministry until that point, though I worked in the Floo Powder business for a few more years. Thanks to my cousin, I realized a passion greater than gold.
Hmm... I thought very much of my mother, though not her ideas in particular. There is a difference. I loved her very much. A bit of a background: I was taught to hate Mudbloods and half-bloods. They were to be vilified for the audacity to parade their filthy blood all over the place. To my mother the thought of a diluted Wizarding race was abominable. She was a force to be reckoned with when she went into one of her tirades and I never questioned her. I took her opinions to be fact but it was one topic she never let die. I was content knowing I was pure-blood, but for a fourteen year old boy who would much rather spend his holidays from Hogwarts reading Quidditch magazines, it was irritating to be interrupted by the incessant degrading of Albus Dumbledore. I told her over and over again I didn't like him and that he was an embarrassment but she would never let me have a moment's peace. I think she wanted to pound that resentment into my brain but I just wanted, for once, her to shut up about it and talk about something else. The idea that non-pure-bloods are not inherently bad is, I confess, an entirely recent development for me. It has taken years for me to give credence to another viewpoint considering the suffocating fear I've endured these past few years.
It appears that you didn’t think much of your mother, either. If listening to her merely “bleat on” about Dumbledore, Mudbloods, etc., annoyed you to the point that you shouted at her, how on earth did you manage to get a job in DMLE, where you were expected to take action against the vile creatures?
Yes. The Dark Lord has risen to power. Merlin's beard! What rock have you been living under? The Muggles are still being burned daily in Trafalgar Square. Our Ministry is not covering it up. The International Statute of Secrecy has been officially overturned by our government. Though, to the Dark Lord's displeasure, other countries still abide by it. His influence reaches far and wide but he has yet to penetrate foreign governments so fully as he has here. Every single country except our own is intervening as much as possible with admirable intensity. Muggles across the land have been horrified by the state of country. The Daily Prophet reports that the other Magical governments have been persuading the Muggle media that the death and destruction and burning of cities and towns is tied to "terrorists" and "citizen rebellion". I'm sure they are having a horrendous time of keeping the truth of our existence secret but all the same the Muggle world is still largely ignorant. It requires many lies and cover-ups, the scope of which I cannot begin to comprehend. The Dark Lord prefers to work in secrecy and let the Death Eaters carry out his plans while he takes the credit and it seems to be the only reason the Muggles remain ignorant.
Muggles were burned in Trafalgar Square? How did the Ministry cover that one up? They must have covered it up, after all the INTERNATIONAL Statute of Secrecy has been in existence since 1689 and the rest of the wizarding world would have intervened had British wizards broken it, wouldn’t they?