(1940-01-28) On Power and Purity
Details for On Power and Purity
Summary: Abraxas tracks down Valda to discuss some heavy topics.
Date: 28 January, 1940
Location: Forest View Louvre, Hogwarts

It's a wonder that everyone at Hogwarts doesn't have the legs of a bodybuilder, what with all the stairs climbed in a single day. But on a snowy evening, Abraxas Malfoy risks the journey back up towards the castle roof, a cursory canvasing of his mates in Slytherin House revealing a possible location for his target - already marked by one of his housemates. He pulls on his scarf and gloves as he exits onto the rooftop, and then heads towards the more dilapidated looking portion that faces the forest.

Valda lounges along the stone bench protruding from the tower's inner wall, wrapped up in her winter robes to fend off the cold. She leans her forehead against the wall, gazing out through the thin slat the looks down upon the Forbidden Forest. There is something akin to a sad longing in her eyes. Whatever is on her mind, it has her distracted enough that she doesn't notice the approach of the Malfoy heir.

Abraxas stops a few paces away, flicking a bit of snow off his robes. He clears his throat loudly enough to announce his presence, and then walks over and says, "Mind if I join you?" It's an announcement, rather than a request for permission, and he sits on the opposite side of the bench. "Does it remind you of home?" he asks, of the forest he has seen many times in the last five years - at least from afar.

Valda jumps a bit at the sudden voice, glancing at Abraxas in surprise. Clearly she thought she was alone. She simply nods. Does that mean she minds? Or that he can join her? Either way, she doesn't object when he sits. She simply scoots her feet back a few inches to make room. "No yes, a little bit. There is forest near my home. In winter it sometimes looks as that."

"I see. It must be difficult, not being able to go home." Abraxas says, crossing his legs and resting his hand on his knee. Though the cold pinks his pale cheeks, he seems unflustered by her reaction to his appearance. "I'm Abraxas Malfoy." he says.

Valda casts her eyes back to the forest, then down to her gloved hands. It takes a moment to compose herself before she nods and looks up to meet his eyes. "I am knowing who you are, Abraxas Malfoy. You are knowned to everybody." She tilts her head. "I am Valda Rozenblats. But…you are knowing this, yes?"

Abraxas nods, "Yes, I know. Well, I don't know you, but I suppose I have heard of your reputation, as you have of mine. But those things are not always truly telling, now are they?" He tilts his head, "Would you be more comfortable with German or French?" He glances at the forest as well, and says, "There was a time when classes used to go out there, with a Professor. That was before the Centaurs starting having their trouble, though. It's been at least two or three years. Someone disobeyed the warning once. It ended badly." He looks at the seventh year, "But then, some decisions do."

"Some decisions end very badly," Valda agrees with a sad sigh. But she takes a deep breath, making a visible effort to perk up. "I am thanking for you to offer German. But I should be practising my English." She narrows her eyes thoughtfully at him. "Now will you tell me why you have come to me?" She gestures toward his chest. "I am knowing what you wear there. Is it about the Magijugend?" This may be the first time the word 'Magijugend' has been pronounced perfectly by a student at Hogwarts.

Abraxas doesn't answer the question directly. Instead, he says, "When you first came to Hogwarts, and Parkinson put on her little show, I wrote my father, to ask him what he thought. He said that I probably had some ability to make your time at Hogwarts better or worse. A wise man, my father." His hand tightens a bit at her mention of the Magijugend, but white knuckles don't show through gloves, "A word that has taken on something of an ill meaning here of late, though. And something different here than it was at Durmstrang. At least from what I can see - here it was a matter of Wizarding purity. I recall Headmaster Flint saying not one word about muggles, or the conquest - excuse me, enlightenment - thereof."

Valda tilts her head curiously — clearly born to be a Ravenclaw. "At Durmstrang it was not so different. Not at first. So, which way will you go? Are you making my life better…or worse?"

"I think I'm rather making life difficult for enough people at the moment, don't you? Besides, I begin to think that spending more than a year in the same place as Gareth Carrow is punishment enough." Abraxas says, with a slight smile. "You have spent more time near Grindelwald and Highmaster Helstrom than anyone - at least anyone I am likely to speak to. It would be rude of me to pester you with questions, but I admit my curiousity."

The mention of Gareth earns a strange response, her nose wrinkling, but her mouth pinching up to the side in a look of…frustration, maybe? "Yes, I do know Headmaster Helstrom very much. Yes, I did meet Mr. Grindelwald some times. Ask questions. Ravenclaw is for learning, yes? So I am learning you."

"I suppose the most general question is what do you make of them? From what I have heard, Grindelwald is a man of amazing personal charisma - he certain has Gareth under his spell, and has whipped most of the oldest families into his support. But you must've seen something - something that took you from willing to do literally anything in support of the Army of Truth's cause, to being here, today."

"Gellert Grindelwald is what you did heard," Valda says cautiously. "He is powerful man. Powerful…what is word…personality? I listen to him and I want to believe him. He is full of passions, and he make us full of passions also." She shuts her eyes for a moment, as if even the memory of Grindelwald is overwhelming. "Headmaster Helstrom is like Grindelwald. But more…" Again, she searches for the right word in English, "…charming."

Abraxas's expression is slightly noncommittal. Perhaps if he were a true believer, he wouldn't be talking to a traitor to the cause, so to speak. But one side of his jaw clenches as she describes them. "A dangerous combination, charisma and charm. I'm sure that all the Frauleins find him irresistible." the Malfoy quips, with a hint of a smile. "What broke the spell, then?"

A slight blush on Valda's cheeks might be a clue as to just how irresistible Helstrom is. But it is banished quickly enough, sobered by Abe's question. "You know what I did." It seems a fair assumption. "Learning to kill rats and insects is easy. Also it is easy to learn to think of enemies and Schlammblut as being vermin." She scowls and shakes her head firmly. "But is not easy to see dead body and knowing that I took life from him."

"No, I imagine it's not." Abraxas says. He looks away for a moment, and says, "I found it uncomfortable using magic against my fellow students, when we had need to do so here. That was shortly before you arrived. And no one was really hurt in that incident." He pauses and then says, "There might be a few people I'd make exceptions for, but… yes. So you didn't believe that it was, in the end, for the greater good."

Valda sighs heavily, dropping her gaze and shaking her head. "What we did that day was not good. It was not for greater good. It was for power. Armando Dippet helped me to see this. He telled me that Grindelwald and Helstrom sacrificed part of my humanity for their own power." She takes another deep, shaky breath, clearly making a mighty effort to maintain her composure in front of Abraxas.

"I suppose that they did." Abraxas says, in the same noncommittal tone he's used all along. He nods, though. "I will admit that while I believe firmly in keeping the wizarding world for wizards, and maintaining the purity of our bloodlines, I'm not so certain I want anything to do with muggles, at least not openly."

Valda sighs and nods. "I do not know if it is a good idea to have no more secrecy. But soon Grindelwald will give us no choice. He wishes to conquer." She lifts her eyes to him, watching his reaction intently.

Abraxas manages to only lift an eyebrow at that confirmation, "So we have suspected, I suppose. With all that is going on in the muggle world in Europe, he could not find a better time. Muggle wars kill millions, so they will be lessened and exhausted. And while I think the fear of what Grindelwald wants to do is one of the reasons that the Wizengamot voted for the Unity Act… well, if Wizards come out against muggles, then we will be in a rather rough spot, won't we?" A pause, "You just met us, muggles, and we know you tend to react to the unknown with violence, but… really, this group of people with wands and magic wants to be your friend. Not like these… other people with magic. And wands." He rolls his eyes, "That would go very far, I'm sure."

Valda shrugs. "Maybe. I do not know. I was taught that Muggles are not as intelligent as wizards. But Helstrom taught me many things that were lies. Now…I do not know. I have no answers. I just have to do what is right. To do my best to give the world what I took from it."

"I see." Abraxas says, "A noble goal. I do hope that we will get to talk more about your experiences. I was actually considering… something of a change to the Magijugend here. Since the name and purpose have been all but destroyed."

Finally gathering up enough courage to speak frankly on the subject — or maybe it's just a raw enough nerve to provoke a response — Valda says, "You can start by throwing away those awful Eyes."

"Perhaps we will." Abraxas says, as he stands. "Other than as a symbol of my brotherhood with the other members, it, extrinsically, didn't mean anything to me. Loyalty is all that matters. And my oath to the Magijugend was satisfied."

"Good," Valda says firmly, emboldened. "That symbol means death. It is better if you are not part of that." She swivels off of the bench, rising with Abraxas. "I am glad that your Magijugend did not become what mine was."

"At this point, we have rather become nothing at all. Fighting amongst ourselves. Or, at least, beating up on two particularly stupid examples of the pureblood kind. It is no wonder that people are unwilling to accept our natural superiority with such horrid examples set before them." Abraxas stands and straightens his robes, "I'll let it be known that I've accepted your presence here, for what that may be worth. Perhaps we can talk more in the future."

Valda pinches her lips with mild aggravation. A Seventh Year, needing the approval of a Fifth Year? Preposterous. But this is Abraxas Malfoy, heir of the most powerful wizarding family in Britain. She swallows down her pride and nods. "Thanks you. You are very fair."

"Not really. But you're welcome anyway." Abraxas says, and then gives a nonchalant wave, "Good evening." And then he turns to depart, whistling a wizarding tune as he goes.

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