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  1. #1
    TwoWeekTwoMove
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    Aristophanes Malfoy

    I am writing a "what if?" AU story about what would happen if Harry were not ready or unable to defeat Lord Voldemort at the Battle of Hogwarts and instead was forced to mount an army against the corrupted Ministry of Magic and Lord Voldemort himself. This story is going to be from the point of view of Aristophanes Malfoy, who works within the Ministry under control of Lord Voldemort. There is a lot of death and destruction and everyone is living in fear. I want to get in the mind of a "supporter" of the Dark Lord and his eventual terror and dissatisfaction that leads him to joining Harry Potter to bring down the Ministry.

    Ask me questions. I think I know Aristophanes quite well but I answering questions would help me flesh him out a bit more.






    To Whomever,

    My name is Aristophanes Malfoy. I am thirty-four years old, the son of Cassius Malfoy and Isodore Nott-Malfoy. I was a late gift to my parents, an only child. I was sorted into Slytherin, as my mother and father expected. My parents have since passed away. When my father was alive, he was a very important business man in the Floo Powder trade and provided royal comforts for my mother and me. Before I was born my father and my uncle, Abraxas Malfoy, had a falling out over some inconsequential (my own views) monetary loans and never spoke of or to each other ever again. Thus, I never saw much of my elder cousin Lucius except for the few instances I ran into him on occasion at the Ministry. 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.

    I had a strained relationship with my father Cassius. He was not a pleasant person to interact with. His son, as he saw me, was only an heir to his fortune and he treated me as such. He expected me to surpass my fellow Slytherin students at Hogwarts and when I failed to become Head Boy, his disappointment in me only grew.

    To please him, I entered into the Floo Powder business the day I stepped foot out of Hogwarts. As much as I tried to follow in his footsteps and strive for his approval, I failed. I made a vast fortune in the trade, that is true, but it seemed I could never do anything to heighten his perception of me. It only angered him when I attempted to place a foothold in the Ministry (I can assume only because that was Uncle Abraxas and Lucius' territory and my father resented any correlation that involved that side of his family). My mother voiced her approval countless times of my tireless efforts, me balancing portions of my father's business with my own personal attempts to work my way into the Department of Magical Law Enforcement... but my father had always been quite dismissive of her and his own family in general, most obsessed as he was with making loads of galleons rather than be associated with the "meddlesome fools" working for the Ministry. At least she appreciated my ambitions, that is all I can say. Father merely found that any talk of mine that involved my ambitions outside of the Floo Powder business to be "wasteful" and unworthy of my time when I could carry on in his footsteps.

    I can say that I became, in return, dismissive of his nasty opinions over the last few years of his life, tired as I was of even hearing his obnoxious and snide voice grating against my ear drums. I gave up eventually on his approval of any of my pursuits, though I must admit that I was disappointed by his death only for the fact that he died before he could see me promoted to Head Secretary of the War Department on Level Two in the Department of Magical Law Enforcement. I don't for a minute believe he would have been pleased but I would have quite liked to rub his nose in it out of spite.

    I have a softer place in my heart for my mother. She also was not the most pleasant woman but she was far more bearable than my father. Yes, she did enjoy beating a dead horse about "mud bloods" and half bloods ruining the world but I tolerated it well enough. Well... except for one incident: After a few years of attending Hogwarts I had gotten annoyed by her constant venting about how horrible a Headmaster Albus Dumbledore was. Sure, I agreed he was a weak and foolish old man with a soft spot for those little Gryffindor prats... but each holiday was torture on my ears. So could you blame me for yelling at her to "just shut up about it, already"? I think back on it and laugh now, but when I opened my big mouth and saw my mother's shocked and angry face- I thought it had been the worst mistake I had ever made in my life up to that point. The lecture that followed... oh, it could make a person weaker than I cringe at the memory. But she loved me. She adored me above anything else in her life. I do miss her very much, much more than my father. What I wouldn't give to hear one more lecture about the inadequacies of Albus Dumbledore.

    It saddens me that she also did not live long enough to see me achieve my goal of landing one of the highest positions in the War Department. Of course, I do find myself wondering if I might not...

    Nevermind.

    I must confess something. But you must destroy this letter once it has been read. If I find you have breathed a word about what I will next tell you, I have ways of making you pay. I will make you regret you were ever born. That is a promise. Do not underestimate me.

    Things have not being going so well lately. Ever since the Dark Lord has taken power, I have been put under an increasing amount of stress. It is not like me to complain, I assure you. But I have found myself not being able to sleep as well. My appetite has waned and the circles under my eyes... oh god, I hardly look like myself anymore. I was originally ecstatic and smug about my appointment in this department. But I was unprepared to learn that the Dark Lord did NOT defeat Harry Potter at the Battle of Hogwarts. The magical map hanging on my wall confirms that forces led by the Boy-Who-Lived (more than once, apparently) are growing stronger and look to overtake our numbers very soon. The Daily Prophet lies. It says we are advancing against the blood-traitors... but I only see that we are barely holding our own, surrounded on all sides by a force stronger than Death Eaters and (dare I say it?) the Dark Lord himself.

    I find myself hoping privately, sometimes, that the Potter boy will succeed. As I am now in the business of confessions apparently, I must tell you that the burning of Muggles in Trafalgar Square sickens me. I cannot look upon the faces of the Mudbloods and Half-bloods being led by chains down to the Ministry Courtrooms without feeling a strong desire to curse the Snatchers who pull them along so that they may run for their lives. You must understand. These thoughts are dangerous. Knowledge can kill. I know things I should not speak of and I think things that would land me a place on the pyre next to the Muggles being burned alive. London is not what it once was. Diagon Alley is virtually empty, not the happy shopping street of my childhood. Everything smells like death. Nobody holds their heads high anymore, including myself. I never signed up for something like this. I am not a murderer, although I find myself committing it in writing every day when I sign my name on the bottom of execution papers of those caught by Snatchers or brought in by Death Eaters.

    I fear that this is not at all what I imagined when I rooted for the Dark Lord's success. I fear I have been mistaken all of these years. I fear that I don't know myself anymore. I have no one to turn to for help. I want it all to stop. I don't want to fear for my life around every corner.

    I am no longer the proud Slytherin boy of my younger years. I feel like an old man, a bag of bones. I find my hands shake with anxiety no matter what I do. I am not used to living in fear. I never suspected that I, Aristophanes Malfoy, son of the great Cassius Malfoy, would be reduced to a sniveling coward. But here I am: writing to you. Begging for help.

    What a pity.

    -Aristophanes Malfoy
    Head Secretary of the War Department
    Level Two
    Ministry of Magic

  2. #2
    TwoWeekTwoMove
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    Nobody? :/

  3. #3
    Fifth Year Ravenclaw
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    Okay, as no one else has commented, I’ll have a go myself.

    These are author, rather than character related questions.

    I have to say that I NEVER read AU stories, as they simply don’t interest me. This will almost certainly colour my judgement.

    You have obviously carefully thought out Aristophanes background, although I still have several questions.

    First (because I’m a Brit) I’m going to make a few comments on the rather stilted English he uses. A late gift to my parents, I think you can get away with, but “royal comforts” is not a term I’ve ever heard used. “Creature comforts” is fine. (Didn’t JKR use Kreacher Comforrts once? If not I’m going to nick it). I was confused by your use of “beating a dead horse”. It took me a while to realise why. I’d say “flogging a dead horse” I didn’t realise that the idiom had an English and an American version. Later, you use “gotten” annoyed and “just shut up about it, already”. There is no such word as gotten in English, and the use of “Sure,” as a sentence starter and “already” as an intensifier are two definite Americanisms.

    Now, on to the letter

    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.

    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?

    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.

    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.

    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?

    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?

    -N-

    First Competition Banner I've won. For: Killers

  4. #4
    TwoWeekTwoMove
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    My Americanisms are showing. Oops. :/


    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 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.

    I don’t think that we get a real glimpse into Aristophanes’ mind, so here are a few questions for him.
    Yay!

    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?
    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.

    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.
    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 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.
    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.

    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.

    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?
    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.

    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?
    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.
    Last edited by babewithbrains; 10-28-2012 at 09:35 AM. Reason: having lots of text in bold makes the post harder to read. Please use the quote tags next time.

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