Oxley
oxley.png
Portrayed By Damian Lewis
House Slytherin
Year Graduated 1976
Position Criminal
Sex Male
Race Muggleborn
Age 36
Date of Birth 27 June 1959
Place of Birth Exeter, Devon, England
Mother Marion Oxley
Father Felton Oxley
Siblings None
Marital Status Single
Children None
First Appearance ?
Last Appearance ?

History

James Oxley was born in Exeter in 1959 to his very, very Muggle parents. His mother, Marion, was an artist who frequently published illustrations for children's books. His father, Felton? An author who wrote a single bestseller and became incapable of writing anything worthwhile after his five minutes of fame passed. Their son did the normal weird things that muggleborn wizards tend to do when his magic was manifesting, like accidentally exploding a jar of flour, and his parents were quite confused but always put things down to coincidence. Theirs was a happy home life even if it was low on the availability of luxuries, and the Oxleys were very surprised indeed when a very nice woman claiming to be from a special school showed up to their house and started talking about witchcraft and wizardry and how little James was "special." Hardly daring to believe his luck, the young man was only too happy to start the transition into the life of a citizen of wizarding Britain… which was currently a very uncertain world, since it was at the time experiencing the rise of Lord Voldemort.

The usual ritual of traveling to London and Diagon Alley followed. Buying a wand, opening a Gringotts account and exchanging pounds for galleons, and figuring out which way a robe was meant to go on the body were all relatively easy, as was the train ride to Hogwarts. And then James Oxley, frightfully obvious muggleborn that he was, got sorted into Slytherin in 1969. It wasn't unprecedented, certainly; it had happened before, and there were a handful of other muggleborns within the house while James was a part of it, but it was never easy. He found his fellow Slytherins distastefully racist right from the start - it didn't help that he also considered Gryffindors too bold and obnoxious and Hufflepuffs simply boring, so most of the boy's friends ended up being Ravenclaw students. He never became active in school activities requiring house participation. Despite being a good flier who could likely have become a fair hand at Quidditch he shunned the Slytherin team, even going so far as to sit with and cheer for the Ravenclaw students during all games. Frankly, it was a wonder James got out of Hogwarts with his hide intact - but survive intact he did, though it was with very few close chums and quite a lot of experience with all the anti-muggleborn cruelty that other children could muster.

Graduation from Hogwarts came in 1976, and enemies of Voldemort were disappearing faster and faster. Not just political opponents - muggleborns were vanishing, and people who were just in the wrong place at the wrong time wound up never finding the way home again. Ox chose to ignore the warning signs, however, at least for the time being, and started to exact his roundabout revenge for childhood bullying on the wizarding community as a whole through the vehicle of scams designed to separate purebloods and half-bloods from their gold as quickly and painlessly as possible. His fraudulent schemes ranged from selling fake dragon eggs to quidditch investment scams and identity theft, and he was quite good at what he did, staying under the radar of the Ministry by never taking too much.

1979: the heart of the First Wizarding War, and about the time at which Oxley stopped lying to himself about the dangers he was facing simply by walking around on the street. He vanished from the wizarding world to hide from anti-Muggleborn activity by returning to Exeter, living with his parents and securing a job in a Muggle publishing firm. It was excruciatingly difficult for James to refrain from using magic and his time in the Muggle realm was unbelievably boring, as well as turning out to be pretty much pointless in the long run. Though he succeeded in evading Death Eaters hunting Muggleborns, he failed at slithering his way out of anti-Muggle violence at the hands of the same. He ran afoul of some of Voldemort's followers simply due to poor timing, and was recognized from his time at Hogwarts. He escaped the encounter with his life but ended up having a nice stay at the Royal Devon & Exeter trust hospital.

Several dangerously close calls followed - enough so that James in fact managed to pin down the mannerisms and vocal affectations of a few Death Eaters - but the threat of the Dark Lord passed, and in 1981 James found himself testifying before the Wizengamot at the Death Eater trials. Death Eaters that he spilled the beans on are generally not very pleased with him. He returned to his life of crime as soon as he could get out of the spotlight. Unfortunately, he then almost immediately blipped onto the radar of the DMLE by panicking and cursing an aging witch who caught him in his scams. James nearly killed her, and the ensuing investigation brought to light his other illicit activity. He surrendered to a team of Hit Wizards in the May of 1981 and spent the next seven years in Azkaban for his ill-slung curse, locked in along with the Death Eaters he'd helped put away.

All things considered, James Oxley handled Azkaban better than most. He served his time until 1988 and left the prison a battered but fundamentally unchanged man on even terms with the Ministry, and back home at Exeter managed to recuperate from his physical sufferings with admirable speed. Several months later he was fighting fit and back to his old tricks, which have provided him with a comfortable lifestyle (though not an extravagant one), and he's been living in London around the general geography of Diagon Alley since then. The DMLE would very much like to have a chat with Mr. Oxley about a couple of scams that have been brought to their attention in recent months, and though he is not very high on their list of priorities he does his best to keep out of the Ministry's way.

Strengths

Oxley has displayed reasonable aptitude for Transfiguration and Charms, with a slightly greater emphasis on the latter. He's good with numbers, persuasion, and thinking on his feet, all of which make him excellent at talking people out of their money or himself out of bad situations. Another natural talent lies with his interactions with beasts both magical and mundane of the four-legged-mammal persuasion, most of which he can win over with very little effort.

Weaknesses

Ox has an absolutely crippling disability as far as most defensive spells go, which started showing itself while he was still in Hogwarts and continues to this day despite his constant efforts to improve. Accordingly, his capacity to defend himself from harm relies mostly upon presenting hard and fast offensives when confronted with violence - this does not always work out so terribly well and he has the scars to prove it. As far as less theoretical and more hands-on branches of magic like herbology and potions go, poor Ox is rather hopeless and likely can't tell the difference between a tentacula and spanish moss. His greatest personal weakness is likely overconfidence, which colors most of his endeavors and ends up sinking its fair share.

Other Information

  • [Firearms] James Oxley grew up watching bad television with all sorts of gunfights and shenanigans, and his dad used to take him hunting when he was younger and during summers. He's a good shot, and he occasionally participates in Muggle-run hunting and shooting trials for recreation.
  • [Impressionist] Ox does a great impression and is a natural actor. Unfortunately for him, being an obnoxiously obvious ginger makes it hard to get away with physical performances unless heavily disguised, but he is very good at vocal imitation. He's even claimed on more than one occasion to be an obscure black sheep member of the Weasley family to soak up some of that family's good and honest reputation for his own ends and his new schemes.
  • [Wand] A 9" springy wand made of rowan with a unicorn tail hair core. A fast-casting wand - it's not particularly powerful, but it's good at casting just about everything and is quite decent at Transfiguration and Charms. This wand has also earned the reputation of being a fine dueling instrument.

Notes

  • [Companion] An unaltered male English Setter named Apollo. The dog is completely normal, if rather intelligent for its breed, and has been well trained by its owner. The dog is a capable field animal and Ox takes Apollo out hunting quite frequently for game both mundane and magical.
  • [Patronus] Partridge.
  • [Residence] Lives in a three-room flat in a nameless side street off of Knockturn Alley.
  • [Stranger in a Strange Land] His public life is virtually nonexistent and he exists only as a random stranger to most people. James tends to keep his personal information and details - even his name - quiet.
  • [Wanted for Questioning] The DMLE wants to talk to Ox. Ox does not want to talk to them. This can be extremely awkward.

Timeline

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