Pure-blood Society

Pure-Bloods and Neo-Victorianism by Torrin (aka George and Rab)

In wizarding society, there are a subset of individuals who value the purity of blood, seeing it as both status and currency within the world. These individuals refer to themselves as "Pure-Bloods," having parents of strictly "Pure-Blood" descent. They denote the classes of other wizarding folk as "half bloods," having at least one parent of "Pure-Blood" and one of either "half blood," "muggle born," or "muggle" descent; and "muggle born," having parents of strictly "muggle" descent. Pure-Bloods believe themselves to be at the top of the hierarchy, with half blood and then muggle born (sometimes referred to as "mudbloods" by less couth Pure-Bloods) individuals falling underneath.

Once half blood and muggle born individuals are removed from the equation, Pure-Bloods interact with one another in a "high society" fashion, reminiscent of the Victorian era. This society is mainly patriarchal, with some instances of matriarchal family dynamics. In many cases, matriarchal families occur because of the death of the current patriarch with no successor readily available. More often than not, however, matriarchal families exist because the matriarch's ancestors were of a higher status than the patriarch's ancestors.

Each family, because of the sway blood has over the society, should be capable of tracing its lineage back to at least the inception of the International Statute of Secrecy (1692.) Families who cannot trace their lineage at least this far are considered inferior to families who are capable of tracing their lineage back even further. To proudly display this history, many families possess a large tapestry with their Family Tree emblazoned across its surface.

Inferior Pure-Blood families come about in several manners. Some have lost face, some are poor (monetary gain coupled with influence over government in this society is key), and some are new, and literally unable to trace their ancestry to even the Statute of Secrecy. Each time a family of inferior breeding interacts with a family of superior breeding, the imbalance of power is evident. Many superiorly bred Pure-Blood families interact mainly with each other and only peripherally with these inferior Pure-Bloods, who represent one more rung between them and the more lowly bred individuals.

On Breeding and Courtship

Often, marriages in Pure-Blood society are arranged by the patriarch or matriarch for the benefit of the family's power, prestige, status or monetary gain. Typically, the marrying parties have no say in the matter, but, this practice has waxed and waned as many often do. Currently, the majority of marriages are arranged to keep the bloodlines as pure as possible. In this arrangement, the two parties must prove the mutual benefits of the family merger, with the preference toward neither gaining more nor less than one another.

When both families meet for the first official discussion, each side brings a contract to the table. As the discussion progresses, if many things are agreed upon, the contracts are merged into one document, tailored to fit the situation. The contract is magical and binding, though open to alterations if agreed to by both families. The benefactors/ guardians of the courtier and the courted, along with the courtier and courted in question (regardless of age) each sign the contract. An additional signature is required from a witness, also a Pure-Blood, outside of either family. These signatures denote their commitment to upholding the contract's rules and regulations. The signatures are imbued with each signers "magical signature," which allows for a monitoring of the courtship if deemed necessary.

Situations where a monitoring charm might be placed upon a courtship include, but are not limited to: proven or rumoured impropriety between the courtier and courted, allegations of unfaithfulness, allegations of bending or breaking the contract's rules, and some instances of multiple courtiers or multiple courted individuals.

Once the merger is tentatively agreed upon, the courtier makes a formal bid to the courted for his or her attention. If successful, the courtier and the courted will embark upon a course of courtship, with the expected goal being the union of the individuals at some juncture in the relationship. While courting, the courtier and the courted (heretofore referred to as "the couple") are expected to attend society functions, as a couple, and to interact with others within Pure-Blood society. If the couple chooses to attend to one another outside of society functions, they are required to have a chaperone.

Chaperones have the duty of upholding the honor and virtue of the couple. They accompany the couple on dates not directly associated with functions, soirées, parties, teas, or celebrations that require the attendance of the couple. If the couple chooses to go out to dinner, or on a walk in the park, the chaperone ought to be in the vicinity, able to keep an eye out for impropriety or untoward behaviour.

As a sign of the courter's ability to provide for his intended, he will provide a piece of jewelry that will be charmed by the couple for fidelity and protection. This piece of jewelry (most often a necklace in old blood line families, but some more modernized families might chose other items such as bracelets or rings) should contain at jewel significant to the bloodline of the courter. This piece of jewelry will not be able to be removed until the contract is satisfied or dissolved. In some family traditions, both members of the couple will wear bonded jewelry.

Though the assumed resolution of the courtship is marriage, this is not always the case. In the case of a dissolved courtship, both sides must once again come to a negotiation. The contract, if there has been a breach, will glow red around the sections in question. In the event of a breach of contract, the family in the wrong will be required to provide compensation to the family in the right over the injustice. If either family has decided the union would no longer be in their best interests, will provide detailed reasoning and proper compensation for the other family's sudden loss. If at all possible, however, the two families should reconcile and continue the courtship on the path to a union. Because these courtships are often for status, power, or monetary gain, "lack of interest" or "new love" have rarely ever been deemed reasonable points of contention in a courtship. It is also rare for either the courtier or the courted to have a say in the dissolution or reconciliation of the courtship.

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