Abner prefers to be called Yaxley, thanks. He doesn’t have any siblings to worry about being confused with, and ‘Abner’ unfortunately lends itself to so many ridiculous nicknames.
Sixteen years old. 20 December.
One dragon heartstring and two Unicorn tail hairs. Ash. Thirteen inches. Inflexible. It’s a powerful wand, although the Unicorn hair lends it some subtlety that Abner certainly appreciates. He’s not a fan of showing off until he’s ready. The ash wood is rather pale without the streaks occasionally found in the wood, and the handle is carved rather simply; it is a visually unassuming wand.
Abner looks exactly like what he is: the scion of an old, powerful pureblood family who is expected to end up doing great things. His appearance is actually the most striking aspect about him, and tends to be at odds with the more laid-back way he acts. He knows that he’s good-looking, appreciates it, but does just enough to ensure that his looks continue to remain enough to draw female attention. Taller than most, having hit his growth early and still occasionally growing another quarter of an inch at the most inopportune times (like right after buying new robes, for instance), Abner carries his height well. He has perfect posture when the occasion calls for it, although he tends to slouch when hanging around shorter friends.
Having mastered the “I just rolled out of bed, don’t I look amazing?” look, Abner occasionally gets scolded by whatever Prefect dares to disturb him over Hogwarts’ too-stuffy dress code; he dislikes buttoning the top button at his collar and generally wears his tie loose. If it weren’t for the obvious aristocratic bent to his face, carriage, and the fine quality of his clothes (one must keep up appearances, after all), he might just blend in with the casual, average Hogwarts student.
Yaxley… which one is that? Oh, right, the quiet sixth year in… Slytherin, right? The one that… To be honest, it’s hard to recall. He’s always sort of hanging out in the background, back there behind Riddle and Lestrange and Rosier, even behind Avery. Is he taller than they are? Never can tell, the way he stands. He’s the one the Slytherin girls sometimes argue over, though. There’s something about him, apparently, that makes them pay attention him, though only Merlin knows what that is. He’s pleasant enough, though, if you talk to him, even if it’s in that distant, superior pureblood way they all have—always remembers your name. At least he knows how to take a joke.
Like any spoiled single child of an outrageously wealthy, old, and powerful family, Abner has developed a taste for quick and easy self-gratification. He’s the very definition of hedonistic—not the complicated muggle philosophy, you dolt, that doesn’t mean anything to him—and his life is essentially devoted to making himself happy. Also like any spoiled child, he’s unspeakably selfish: Abner won’t lift a finger to do anything that doesn’t involve profits for him or putting him at some kind of advantage. If he likes something, though, he’ll usually go to any lengths to get it.
For example, he enjoys being the center of female attention (although he’d never do anything so gauche as to ruin one of his peers’ potential future wives), and will encourage the girls around him (the pureblooded ones only, of course; mudbloods aren’t worth the time or energy) to bring themselves to his attention. It’s Abner’s self-deprecating charm and smiling charisma that make it possible for him to bring a fluttery swoon into the hearts of so many girls at Hogwarts. (And his good looks, you can’t really forget about the effects of those.) He’s likely to be less popular than the boys, of course; he enjoys drawing girls away from their beaus or their betrotheds just because he can.
His self-deprecation carries on into Abner’s interactions with the rest of Hogwarts, as well. He prefers for people to underestimate him, because it only makes the surprise of his abilities that much more effective. Rather than being a figurehead, he would rather be the second in command, the voice of reason; that he doesn’t hold this position in the Knights of Walpurgis gets under his skin, and he consequently holds a minor (well-concealed, in his opinion) grudge against Foras Rosier for having assumed it rather than he. He’s not quite humble in the way he carries himself, but he’s most likely rather easier to relate to than many of the other members of Riddle’s gang. Abner is friendly—at least in his laidback, near-apathetically dismissive way (it’s a large step above the way most purebloods treat anyone outside their tiny circle)—with everyone, although he’s nobody’s friend. He has a rather dry sense of humor, although he is usually the butt of his own jokes rather than anybody else (unless it’s gingers or mudbloods or, Merlin forbid, ginger mudbloods… those are absolutely ridiculous).
Like any proper Slytherin, Abner is ambitious, although nobody ever expects it from him. Behind the unassuming exterior, he’s actually rather bright. He could have been in Ravenclaw, although a sad eleven-year-old’s insistence that the only Yaxley at Hogwarts couldn’t possibly be a Ravenclaw (along with an already burning desire to rise high in the social circles of Hogwarts), but there is a laziness about Abner that prevents him from achieving academically like a true Ravenclaw might have. He does just enough work to what he wants, which isn’t necessarily to be in charge of everything, but rather to be an integral part of the process that runs everything (preferably at the right hand of whoever nominally holds the power); he has the ambition, but not the willingness to do the hard work.
As a result, Abner relies on craftiness and a keen sense of interpersonal relationships to maneuver through his time at Hogwarts. He knows when to speak and when to stay quiet; people who don’t know him very well will occasionally forget about him until he does something impressive to remind them of his existence. However, that’s just how Abner likes it. Unlike many people who lie compulsively, his lies help him blend into the background, make him stand out just a little less, make people less likely to think of him as competition. He hasn’t told a straight truth since just after Christmas in his first year, and he intends to continue the trend. In an effort to ensure that he’s not found out, he has taken up the study of Occlumency. Thus far, he’s succeeded at being able to mask at least his basic surface thoughts and not broadcast them to anyone who might be a trained Legilmens listening in; he sees absolutely nothing wrong with this, lying shamelessly and often with a perfectly straight face.
Most people might think that Abner, as even-tempered and cool as he is, utterly lacks a temper. Indeed, it is difficult to draw out, but it can be done. Abner absolutely loathes and fears being caught in his lies, since unraveling one can potentially unravel all of them; his social life and reputation at Hogwarts have become a tightly-knit web of untruths, extending into every aspect of what people think they know about Abner Yaxley. He can and will (and has) threaten people who find out about any of his lies, even though this reveals the fact that he is, indeed, a rather good duelist despite what most people might think. Strangely enough, Abner also has an affinity for the Imperius Curse; it is his favorite bit of Dark magic, and it’s his opinion that he doesn’t get to use it near often enough.
For an great majority of the time, though, Abner is incredibly even-tempered, rivaling even Foras Rosier’s semi-legendary patience. He gives off the appearance of being friendly with everyone, although he’s much more likely to think of somebody as a tool or stepping-stone to the next high position of influence and importance. Nowhere near as loudmouthed or fanatical about blood status as certain other people, Abner is of the opinion that he, as a pureblood, is simply intrinsically better than everyone else and should therefore be treated that way. Anyone without blood as pure as the driven snow doesn’t necessarily need to be destroyed—after all, even the wizarding world needs clerks, and it sure as hell won’t be Abner Yaxley handing your change back to you. He won’t take lip from uppity mudbloods, though; there is a limit to even Abner’s magnanimity. Nevertheless, if he had to have a motto, it would probably be that you catch more flies with honey than with vinegar.
Abner maintains a network of contacts both inside and outside of Hogwarts. Having rubbed elbows with Ministry types since he was very young, thanks to the Ministry’s thrice-annual “Bring Your Child To Work Day,” he has continued correspondence with many of them, sending regular letters to the tune of Oh, sir, your job sounds so interesting! Please, tell me more! without even an ounce of shame. For his contacts inside of Hogwarts, his methods range from a semblance of friendship to flat-out blackmail; Abner is certainly not above keeping any sort of incriminating letters sent by girls infatuated with him if he thinks they’ll be able to tell him anything interesting at some point in the future. He’s good at reading between the lines of what people say, both on paper and aloud in a conversation, and he’s equally good at avoiding being read.
If there is a stereotypical childhood for the scion of a pureblood family, then surely Abner Yaxley’s fits right into the mold. His parents were married young and unhappily, by the arrangement of their own parents; he’s only aware of his mother’s maiden name because she was a Malfoy and that was considered to be a good thing.
He rarely saw either of them when he was very young, instead left to the usual string of tutors and governesses who worked into him the basics of a wizard’s education, learning all sorts of old languages (his father was a scholar, thanks to all of the Yaxley money just sitting in their Gringotts vault and not doing anything useful like supporting the family) and going once a week to recite in Latin in his father’s study, hands clasped behind his back, eyes fixed on the clock on the mantel behind Mr. Yaxley’s desk. At the end of that weekly visit, he would be presented to his mother at her afternoon tea, where she would kiss him on the top of the head, smooth down his hair, and send him on his way.
Abner spent much of his time alone, either reading or playing Let’s Pretend with a toy wand. Even at his young age, he was usually a Dark wizard, although as a child he had a slightly more innocent perception of what that entailed: it meant he got to wear the much cooler black robes and steal some of his mother’s face powder to make the fire in his room smoke a neat color purple. He developed a talent for telling wild stories, something that he eventually put to use when he got older as a prodigious skill at lying.
Telling falsehoods came naturally to him, and he would start trying them out on his tutors, learning what was acceptable and what wasn’t. At first, when he tried lying about how well he’d studied, he’d find that they were disappointed in his poor performance on his exams and the recitations of his lessons; instead, Abner switched gears, telling them he’d studied very little and was unprepared and delighting in their praise of how well he’d done for having done so little to prepare.
He was, however, quite prone to accidental magic when he was young, although it was never anything terribly malicious, save for the one time he scornfully told one of his governesses to go jump in the pond at the far edge of the Yaxley property after she’d scolded him for lying to her about how well he’d studied a particular lesson. While she didn’t drown, it took three house elves to keep her from throwing herself back into the water while Abner’s father unenchanted her.
The Hogwarts letter came precisely when it was expected to, and Abner was hustled off to Diagon Alley in one of the grandest (and only) Yaxley family affairs in quite a while. However, it only took a few hours to purchase Abner his supplies and robes and books and his precious, beloved wand, and back they went to the northern English countryside, where Abner spent the summer before school started in the family’s rather sizeable library, trying to learn as much as he could so he didn’t arrive at school looking completely useless.
Of course, the train ride to school was uneventful; he did not meet anyone who would become an important figure in his life, sitting quietly in a compartment with other pureblooded first years, listening to the lot of them talk and only introducing himself when he was coaxed into finally opening his mouth. Once they arrived at the school, the Sorting Hat took far too long to finally Sort him into Slytherin, much to his disconcertion. Nevertheless, Abner took to the House well and was accepted with very little ado from the rest of the students. He was stationed well to start the long climb to the top of the social ladder: nobody expected much from the Yaxley who’d almost been a Ravenclaw, which would only make it more impressive when he was successful.
His second year brought a slew of new first years, among them Tom Riddle, who had been Sorted much more quickly than he. Naturally, that drew his attention, although he never did quite forget the boy’s silly admission on the train that he “figured” his father had been a wizard. “Figured,” indeed. Nevertheless, Abner, in his role as the quiet Slytherin, was drawn into the group that formed around Riddle, remaining in it during the purges of Riddle’s third and fourth years. It irked to see Foras Rosier, also in his year, becoming Riddle’s righthand man, the position that Abner would prefer to see himself in, but Abner remained quiet and useful and not worth spending too much time looking at.
It was in his own fourth year that Abner truly became aware of Foras’s young sister, Druella. She was delicate, light, frail, perfect; he was, embarrassingly enough, suffering from a childish infatuation with her, one that colored his cheeks every time she drifted silently past and made him avert his eyes. In response, he began his campaign of attracting the charmed attention of every girl worthy of his own; the list wasn’t terribly long, of course, since Abner was limited to only those pure of blood, but he certainly took his time about it, always with one eye on Druella, to see if she saw that he was indeed worth noticing despite everything he said and did to convince the rest of the world otherwise. She probably wasn’t aware, of course, but that didn’t stop him from trying.
She was betrothed, however, to a Black (of course) and life went on, through Abner’s fifth year—he got eight OWLS, much to his own surprise and pleasure, although he didn’t make a terribly big fuss about it true to his nature—and into his sixth. His sense of humor, strange for a pureblood, helped him win and maintain “friends” from most Houses—although he really did disdain the Hufflepuffs, silly things—and most years.
Now, in his sixth year, Abner is taking seven classes (he dropped Care of Magical Creatures: it was too embarrassing to be associated with), hanging usefully about at the edges of the inner circle of the Knights of Walpurgis, and wondering just how painful it would be to break an engagement with a Black. Hopefully not too bad. He enjoys having enough limbs and enough brains to remain coherent, useful, and able to enjoy life as much as he does.