by Ishafel

The world has moved on; there is no place in it anymore for Malfoys. There is no place for heritage, for blood, for the world Lucius grew up in. The Minister of Magic is a fool and the hero of the wizarding world is a half-breed child. In his father's day, his grandfather's, the Malfoy name still counted for something; by the time Draco is grown it will be nothing but a word. In 1843 Septima Malfoy inherited an estate and land worth fifteen million Galleons (adjusted for inflation) and when she died she left nearly eight million Galleons worth to her son Pegasus; by the time it was Lucius' turn in 1941 there were less than a million Galleons left and even if Lucius were to die immediately there will not be enough to cover the death tax. His grandmother sold the land and his father flogged the paintings and Lucius has been selling the plate: Draco will inherit nothing but the ancient empty moldering barn of a house, which is worth less standing and should probably be burned to the ground.

Six generations ago the Malfoys married royalty and now they are barely landed gentry in a country where nothing that happened before 1980 matters. Even Draco does not really understand why the past is so important. He does his best to humor Lucius, but it is clear that he is humoring him. Still, he is a good boy, and he never complains when Lucius can't afford to buy him the things his classmates take for granted. Gandalf forbid that anyone should find out just how poor the Malfoys really are; Lucius knows that the discreet loan he got on the house "to pay for Draco's schooling" would be gone so fast their heads would spin and they need that money to eat. They are lucky Draco got the scholarship to Hogwarts; otherwise it would have been a state school for him. They are luckier still Dumbledore dislikes Draco so much that he keeps the scholarship a secret.

The Dark Lord would not welcome into his service a man who cannot even support his own family, and Voldemort is the last best hope of the Malfoys. Surely, if Lucius serves him honestly and well, there will be a place for him in the new order Voldemort is building. Three years ago Lucius sold the Malfoy engagement ring to buy the Slytherin house team new brooms: this is the kind of gesture Voldemort approves, noblesse oblige. Lucius, of course, is neither noble nor obliging and he dislikes seeing the glass emerald and diamonds on Narcissa's finger.

Most of all Lucius dislikes what it is that has become of England-- the old world is dead, the world in which he might have been something, someone. He does not really understand the rules they play by now. He does not know how to live like this, among these people who have no sense of history. Fully half the staff of the Ministry are newcomers to the wizarding world and they have nothing at all in common with Lucius. They are too quick, too careless; they seem like children to him. None of them remember to fear Voldemort, to respect the Malfoy family--Grindelwald, who killed his father Pegasus in 1941, is nothing but a name to them. They are fools, to believe a man can be judged solely on his own merits. They are fools and he fears they will make a fool out of his own son. Already Draco is forgetting the duty he owes his house, his line; already he is more Draco than he is Malfoy.


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