||[Mar. 29th, 2006|07:30 pm]
Today, we are speaking to a young woman whose life until now has been shrouded in secrecy and deception. Blanche Malfoy, daughter of an old and venerable wizarding family, has spent most of her life running away from the legacy she was born to. This previous February, she even went so far as to fake her own death, to throw her relatives off of her scent. |
Why such drastic measures? We sent our reporter Sebastian Singer to meet with Miss Malfoy, and find out.
Q: We've checked, and we do not have record with St. Mungo's of your birth...
A: I was not born in St. Mungo's. We were not living within the Wizarding world at that time. My father had been disinherited by his mother, and he was angry. I was delivered by a midwife and my mother registered my birth with the other Muggle babies of London.
Q: If your birth was registered in London, did you live there for some time before moving to Russia? What caused your family to move?
A: We all lived in London until I was about four years old. We were very poor, and when my mother braved Malfoy Manor in order to ask my father's mother for help, none was given. My father heard of some sort of scam, a get-rich-quick scheme--to this day I still cannot remember details--and when I was four, we moved to Moscow.
Q: What was your childhood like?
A: Well, like most children, I had friends in the neighborhood, and I played with them as much as I was able. I needed to work to bring in money from a young age, and was a very helpful assistant to a midwife in our poor neighborhood. She was often the only recourse for people too poor to go to a hospital or to see a doctor. I earned a very small sum, and sometimes food as barter.
Q: You sound as if you were a particularly precocious and intelligent child. Why weren’t you sent to a Wizarding school?
A: My father wanted me at home; for reasons best known only to himself. I was not included in discussions about my future. I remember that I got invitations to all three of the major Wizarding schools in Europe and England. I remember that I would hear stories of Mother’s time in Hogwarts and I wanted to go too.
Instead, I was schooled at home, by my mother. She was a Muggleborn witch, and my father did not want her to teach me more than the most rudimentary magic. My father, unbeknownst to me, had other plans for me, and my mother was frightened of him, so she obeyed. She educated me well in other ways, and I loved to read.
Q: Where are your parents now?
My mother died when I was twelve years old. We could not afford a doctor, or so I thought. I was the only one tending her, and she died in my arms. I still do not know what killed her.
Q: I'm sorry for your loss. You must have been devestated.
A: I was. Even my father seemed crushed, and he treated me with care.
But it was two weeks later that we went to Siberia, and my life changed.
Q: Siberia sounds like a bleak and lonely place.
A: I liked the train ride there. I was excited and frightened. I thought foolishly that my father and I were to make a new life there. [pause]
Q: You look upset. Shall we break?
A: No, I should get it out.
When we got there, I found out that my father had sold me to a wealthy wizard by the name of Karl Grozny. I was not old enough to make consent, but my father used spells to make sure I was quiescent.
I married him two days later, and signed a binding magical contract.
Q: That's very hard to believe, that a father could do such a thing to his daughter.
A: I have reason to believe that it was what he intended for me for a long time. The curses and compulsions my father had placed on me since I was very young were all undetectable by casual means, and all of them were tailored to make me especially compliant.
The magical contract I signed bound me to the house itself. I could not even go out of the door without being bounced back by the wards. I put my hand out of the window once and burned my fingers.
Q: What sort of relationship could you have had with this man? Surely he must have found out how young you were very quickly.
A: He saw in me what he wanted to see. I was not an unattractive child, the glamour my father put on me was strong, as well. He saw in me the promise of an heir.
I was depressed most of the time. He'd assigned servants to me, and it was all they could do sometimes to get me out of bed and dressed. I used to go to the ballroom in his home, and stare out of the windows at the gardens. [pause]
He did not know how to deal with me. He didn't understand why I was so upset all the time, since I had consented to the marriage of my free will--or so it seemed to him. He had no idea of the compulsions I was under.
I remember, it was a year later, that he caught me looking out at the gardens and crying. It was new spring, and I'd not been outside in months.
He brought me outside and took me for a walk. I could barely speak. I cannot tell you what it was like to finally have grass beneath my feet again.
Soon thereafter, we began to travel together. He seemed to care for me a lot more. And when I got pregnant, I hoped for a real family. When our Nickolai was born, I'd never been so happy and for a couple of months, we were a family.
Q: That did not last.
A: Unfortunately, no. My son died of a mysterious illness while he slept at two months. It was a devastating time for both of us, and a very dark time.
Q: What led you to to travel all the way from your home in Siberia to the U.K.?
A: Actually, I had never intended to leave Eastern Europe. It was an emergency situation. My husband was dying, and the will was uncertain, since we had no heir. He said I should go, lest I be in danger from his relations. You see, he was the eldest son, his father had just died, and his family had had many dealings with Dark wizards. It was in trying to divest himself of such ties that he met the wrong end of a particularly insidious curse which ended his life slowly and painfully.
He directed me to flee to Romania, where they had certain facilities for runaway young witches and wizards. Most of the servants were bound, either to the houses or to the grounds, as I was bound to the house. Karl released me from the spell, and I ran away.
I made my way to Romania, a long and tiring journey, and fell into the welcome of the Center for Young Witches and Wizards in Bucharest, where the headmistress there let me stay for a while. I helped with the children and wherever I could. I was so very lost and unsure of what I should do.
My caseworker, Mrs. Blavatskna, made arrangements for me to come to Britain to study, and off I went again. But I stayed with dear friends, and I learned magic for the first time in a nice, safe place for the first time in my life.
Q: Was it difficult for you to adjust to being a student?
A: It was strange to be free. I still felt as if I had to ask permission for everything. It was wonderful to have my own wand, to make friends my own age, and to finally learn magic. It was like I'd been blind all those years and now I could see again. I had time to recover from everything I'd been through, and in a safe place. It was heavenly.
Q: You took quite a drastic step in faking your death. May I ask why you did such a thing?
A: I had traveled with a friend to Diagon Alley to get some supplies for myself. While I was there, my father chanced upon me, and tried to revive some old compulsion spells he used on me as a child. He knew I was in Britain, he wanted me to come to him, and his intentions were nefarious. I knew that unless they thought I were dead, I would have no peace, and I desperately needed peace in order to recover.
Q: What is your relationship with Charlie Weasley?
A: He is a good friend and he helped me to gain my education. He agreed to help me fake my death in order to keep me safe from my father and all who would hurt me.
We had been recruited for the February mission against the Werewolf Research Facility by Sirius Black, and we decided to take that opportunity to fake my death. Of course…we’d no idea that the person who recruited us was, indeed, Sirius Black.
Q: At any time while you were with Sirius Black, did you feel that you were in danger?
A: Not at all. Mr. Black seemed to be reckless and courageous, but never made a threat to me or any of my classmates. He always seemed very concerned with our well-being.
Q: And now, one final question, Miss Malfoy, and we'll let you and your friends get back to business: if you could change any single circumstance of your life, what would that one circumstance be?
A: I find it difficult, as anyone would, I think, to answer your question. My experiences have made me who I am, and I rather like myself this way. There are things I regret happened, of course. I wish my son were alive. I wish my mother were alive. I wish things had not happened as they did. But just to change one thing would be to change me. I would not change anything that I had done, but I do regret that I had to do some of them. [Pause] But I do wish my son were alive.