The Harry Potter Series by J K Rowling
Yet another character from the shadows, someone who had been referred to since the beginning of the series but is also one of those characters that get prominence only when they have a purpose / are used to move the story forward in some way.
Unless one is a die-hard fan of the Harry Potter series, Yaxley can be mistaken as just another death-eater, a dark wizard who supported Voldemort, but did not go out of his way once the leader vanished, and eventually came back to be accepted during round 2 of Voldemort’s rein.
Yaxley is that opportunist. That man who, with times, chose to either openly align himself with the dark side or keep a low profile so he would not be affected. Even during the second wizarding war, Yaxley is in a plum position in the Ministry of Magic, even managing to manipulate the minister of magic himself into subjugation, so the laws can be passed in favour of the dark side.
The notable moments in the characterisation of Yaxley are the way he teases (a metamorphosed) Ronald Weasley into giving up a muggle-born woman, relating to the sensitive issues the real Ron himself would eventually face – thereby laying the foundation for him to realise that unless the wizarding world became more tolerant, Ron himself would not be able to marry the woman he loved, the muggle-born Hermione Granger.
I love how Yaxley participates in the battle in the Astronomy Tower, leading to the fall of Albus Dumbledore, the ‘face’ of the good side, how he identified Grimmauld Place and left Harry without a living place, and how he also was a part of the main wizarding wars that shaped up the history of that world. Yaxley is the perfect example of how the opportunistic people always float above the muck, knowing the right places to be in, and the (apparently) most powerful people to stick to.
What is much more telling is the fact that the fate of Corban Yaxley is unknown. He did not die fighting for the dark side, like his counterparts, nor did he have a change of heart and go to the good side. Maybe he is around in that world somewhere, waiting for the next chance that would put him in a position of power, and give him the leeway he had always sought.
The soundtrack I dedicate to this character: GAME OF THRONES – The Piano Medley | Costantino Carrara
(Mixing two major fandoms but for some reason, in my mind, this music fits that scene in the Malfoy Manor where Yaxley notes the white peacocks and snorts with amusement at the fate of the muggle studies professor, Charity Burbage. Of all the scenes he is a part of, that affected me the most – the ability of a human to mercilessly laugh at the fate of another.)