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...


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