wealth grab

Chapter 6- The Forgotten

Summary: “Y/N,” He stood closer to me. His lips almost touched mine.  His eyes were staring into my dark soul. “Please tell me the truth.” His hands caressed my cheek and a feeling of joy spread through me.  

Warnings: Implied smut, depictions of bodily injuries ( like bruises etc) , angst A/N: It’s here! Hopefully I can get 7 and 8 out this week so I can get 9 out. Enjoy Chapter 6!

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Thoughts on Lucius Malfoy

I do not like Lucius Malfoy as a person.  He’s pretty shameless, a bit obsessive, and while he loves his family, he is also willing to sacrifice them to a fairly extreme degree to satisfy his ambitions. (Also, I hate to rain on your movie parade, but nowhere in the books does it specify that he has amazing long perfect hair).

But just because I don’t like him, doesn’t mean that I also do not think his character is uninteresting.  In fact, his character is very interesting indeed.

Because as I think about it more and more, I have to come to one conclusion that I have not yet seen anywhere in regards to Mr. Malfoy.

Because he’s totally broke as fuck.

Now, before you bite my head off and bring up all the markers of wealth that he uses to spoil his son to prove me wrong, let me first talk about a very interesting phenomenon that began showing up in the late 80′s/mid 90′s- middle class people overextending themselves financially to look more wealthy than they actually were.  This meant that consumer spending AND consumer debt basically exploded, and people were walking around with things that only the upper middle class and the wealthy were able to afford in the past (this also led to innovation and strides in invention/technology, but that’s a story for another day).  The bottom line is that a lot of people lived far beyond their means, spoiled their kids rotten and yet were under a high amount of stress from the maintenance of this “image of wealth.”

Couple this phenomenon with the very English phenomenon of “old family names” and “titles” and such, which you can see that in a lot of places in Great Britain, your appearance is far more important than the amount of money in your bank account.

Now, sure, Lucius has Malfoy Manor.  But it wasn’t something he paid for.  It has been in his family for generations.  And since the wizarding community is not exactly huge, there is probably not a lot of interest or financial gain in selling such a place (especially if your ancestors are attached to the walls with Permanent Sticking Charms).

Now, let’s also notice the fact that, out of the entire Manor, the only House Elf we ever see or are introduced to is Dobby (who, from his behavior, kind of makes me think was Lucius’s companion/servant as a kid, which means he brought Dobby with him to Malfoy Manor).  Which is strange, because you’d think that a massively wealthy family would have a ton of House Elves on staff.

And in the beginning of Chamber of Secrets, Lucius is REALLY pissed off that Aurors were rifling through his house.  While it’s possible that this is tied to his fear that the Dark objects he has on display or in his vault will get him trouble, though it’s also likely that he was equally afraid that the Aurors would notice that the Manor was in a moderate amount of disrepair (I imagine him forcing Dobby to dress up in a bunch of different wigs and stuff to pretend to be a bunch of different House Elves in an almost farcical display), and the Lucius Malfoy with all of his CLOUT and all of his CONNECTIONS would be unable to bear such ridicule.

Let’s also examine Lucius and Narcissa having been “matched.”  One of the main reasons for arranged marriages was to combine financial resources.  Narcissa may have come from the Black family, but they seem to have also been in decline, especially from the state of Grimmauld Place (and only Kreatcher in the house, once again even back in the 60′s-70′s, the Black family was obviously not wealthy enough to own more than one, which seems strange compared to the literal army of House Elves that live at Hogwarts).  Side Note: I know that Narcissa didn’t live at Grimmauld Place, but it’s the only frame of reference I have for the Black family, so I’m using it.

So, let’s look at some of the other information that we have- Draco is obviously super spoiled, but exactly how expensive is it for Lucius to spoil a child in the wizarding world?  Most kids like toys and candy and that sort of stuff, but the amount of commercial goods, even for kids, seems to be fairly limited from what we see in canon.  And candy is ridiculously inexpensive.  It’s quite possible for Draco to have grown up spoiled without his parents even spending all that much money on him- to be spoiled, after all, is less due to the amount of money spent and more due to permissiveness in parenting styles.

“Ah, but Oni,” you say, “What about the fact that he buys super new brooms for the ENTIRE SLYTHERIN TEAM THAT ONE TIME?!”

Well, Lucius may not necessarily have a lot of money on hand, but what Lucius does have is what I call cultural capital.  He KNOWS people.  He knows how to FLATTER and PLAY people.  He works at the Ministry as far as we know, and so we know that he actually has a JOB (which most wealthy types, such as James Potter) did not.  He hides the fact that he needs the paycheck by acting like it is only to woo the wealthy and politically significant (which is obviously also is, lol), but then he uses these connections to get things.

Just like Slughorn, Lucius has a silver tongue and he actively recruits people who are useful to him.  I think that it’s quite probable that he simply found out who manufactured the newest broom (probably from the Patents office at the Ministry) and then got them to donate some to the Slytherin Team for a publicity stunt and then just purposely just didn’t say anything about having not actually paid money for it, leaving people to assume that is exactly what he did.

Also, Lucius goes to Azkaban after the Ministry debacle (how did the Death Eaters get in? It wasn’t some amazing feat of magic, believe it or not. Lucius works there, he just got them in that way), and most prisoners have their assets frozen/taken from them.  The Malfoys do not seem to have been all that affected by Lucius having been thrown in prison.  Obviously, the Ministry can’t  do much about Malfoy Manor (as it’s probably tied to their blood or something like that, so it’s more than just mere property), but everything else can be taken away.  The thing is, Draco’s standard of living does not go down.  Sure, he suffers for choosing to become a Death Eater to save his father/mother, but he is not shown as being poor.

My final evidence that Lucius is actually poor?  

His disdain of poor people.

The truly wealthy don’t care about poor people.  Sure, there is always the fear that the poor will revolt and rise up and start killing wealthy people by guillotine, but it’s never enough for them to come down from on high and actively confront others about it, especially not to their faces.  But multiple times, Lucius actually gets in people’s faces about their lack of wealth, especially the Weasleys.

The “fake rich” who are using credit to extent their appearance of wealth as well as old money families who continue to show an opulent front while actually being broke are often disdainful of the poor because they themselves are terrified of being “found out.”  It’s an insecurity/projection as they are confronted with how they fear they’ll be reduced to living that they actively fight against.  However, it comes across as “doth protest too much” to me.

Which means, if I’m correct, one of the main reasons Lucius latched onto the blood purity thing is not because he actually believes in it himself, but because it is at its core a huge power/wealth grab by a very tiny percentage of the population. By subjugating others as a Pure Blooded family under a Voldemort-run government, Lucius would be able to quickly and easily restore the family coffers in a way that hard backbreaking work in an honest job would not.  People who have no money but want to appear otherwise are VERY insecure and therefore VERY vulnerable to “get rich quick” schemes.  And Voldemort’s fascist dictatorship has “join me and a very select few will get rich quick” scheme written all over it.  To some extent, this is why I think that Lucius befriends Severus.  Because he sees a kindred spirit- someone from a family with a history of opulence and wealth whose parents or grandparents screwed up and their wealth declined because of it.  

Anyway, those are my thoughts on the matter.  I’m not really looking for someone to debate, but I do think that this is an interesting take on his behavior and motivations, and therefore thought I’d put it out there for others to look at.  Go me! \o/

Lord, I’m Glad Somebody Finally Drew A Portrait of What Hypatia of Alexandria Looked Like.....A Black Woman

A post about Hypatia was one of the first posts on my wordpress blog when I started out on wordpress in January of 2015. I was frustrated cause I din’t see any artist drawings of her, only drawings of a Greek Woman European scholars have presented to the public as Hypatia. However, I discovered the drawing in the post about Hypathia when I discovered this book(pictured) below by Indian Mathemetician, Prof. C.K. Raju:

A description of the book is as follows: 

Euclid is celebrated as the father of geometry, and author of the Elements, a book once revered like the Bible, but now a school text. Strangely, Greek manuscripts do not mention Euclid, but speak anonymously of the “author of the Elements”. Did Euclid exist? Was the real author of the Elements a woman, Hypatia? Was she black? The mystery geometry of black Egypt aimed to arouse the soul, and prove equity, as in Plato’s story of Socrates and the slave boy. Early Christians had similar beliefs about the soul, but the church changed Christian doctrine to enable its priests to rule. When pagans resisted, the church retaliated violently: it smashed their temples, burnt their libraries, cursed the early beliefs about the soul, and banned philosophy. This plunged Christendom into its Dark Age, but catalysed the Islamic Golden Age. The contrast fuelled envy, and Christian priests incited the Crusades, hoping to grab Muslim wealth—but the Crusades failed beyond Spain. To convert Muslims, who accepted reason, the church now sought mathematics, connecting it to Christian doctrine by changing both. That led to a subtle religious bias in mathematics, and to its racist history. This book is for the layperson concerned that both biases are still being thrust upon schoolchildren today.

It looks like it may be an interesting book. I may order a cheap copy and check it out.

And we need to  fix this meme:

Read the TRUE story of Hypatia here.