|Social Class||Upper Class|
The Burke Family traces their lineage back to the earliest days of wizardry. Thus, it may be said that they are among the oldest of wizarding families. Through the cumulative efforts of heads and members, they are also among the most well-to-do families in the wizarding community and with many of its members holding high-ranking positions in both Ministry and the business world, they are also quite influential.
Their family maxim - "manu in umbras", meaning 'the hand in the shadows' - describes the conduct and philosophy of each member quite aptly. As one of the oldest lines in the world, they consider it their responsibility help preserve the integrity of magic and the lores that magic entails. They do so by maintaining what many term 'the old ways' - that is, they are a family deeply rooted in traditions - and the purity of their blood. On a more communal scale, members exact their influence and power (whenever necesary) in both the political and economy arenas in subtle ways. Rarely will one ever see a Burke in the headlines but rest assured, they have a hand in nearly every significant change in the magical community.
Their family crest is adorned with an Eagle Owl soaring through an Ouroboros (a snake swallowing itself), which bears the meaning of 'a silent hunter preserving through eternity'.
One of the most effective ways in ensuring the purity of their heritage as well as the superiority of their gene pool is through the application of arranged marriages. The Burke children are typically betrothed to suitable partners by the time they reach toddler-hood. Such matches are also decided strategically with the aim of improving Burke relationships with various other families of prestige. With the limited pool of pure blood families available, incestuous pairings between close relatives - first or second cousins etc. - are not below the Burke. An example would be the arrangement between current Burke-heir Rowland Burke and his first cousin Aries Black.
So far, no Burke has ever questioned this tradition. Burke gentlemen are reputed to be faithful and courteous towards their wives and likewise, Burke women are known to treat their husbands just as well, regardless of whether 'true love' exists between the partners. If a Burke were to (God forbid) decline their betrothal, choosing instead a partner of lower blood and/or breeding... Well, let's just say the Burke have a tendency to eradicate all problems at their roots.
The Burkes are strictly a purist family. Every child is brought up on their ideal that their blood is superior to those other than the members of other wealthy, pure blood families. It is a privilege they forsake only at the cost of their lives. They do, however, tend to maintain relatively cordial relationships - outwardly, at least - with people from all walks of life. Enemies are counter-productive and besides, the Burke prefer to exact their more malicious deeds behind the scenes.
The exception is in the treatment of "blood traitors" such as the Longbottoms, whom they believe to be worse than muggleborns and half-breeds. These are wizards who have forsaken their responsibility towards the magical community. Not only that, they support the ones who have all but ruined the magical community that they were supposed to be protecting. There is no graver sin than this.
After the Great Purge, the Burkes have come to adhere even more ferverently to their purist ideals. With so much magical blood vainly lost, there is a greater urgency to protect what's taken centuries to cultivate. They feel a strong resentment towards muggles but are sympathetic towards the muggle-born wizards who are suffering as much as the pure bloods. Family members have been instructed to aid these poor souls to safety and to show no mercy towards those that threaten to harm them. While no one but pure bloods will ever be accepted as peers or into the family, the Burkes are tolerant of wizards of lower-birth. Now that so many have been killed, every drop of magical blood is precious. What is a hand without those whom they govern and protect?
Simply having superior breeding isn't enough to make one an outstanding member in society. Education is a heavily prioritized factor in the upbringing of Burke children. Apart from being given lessons in languages, history and etiquette, the children are encouraged to watch when adults are performing spells or brewing potions. They are also encouraged to control their innate abilities. Rarely is there any magic performed on Burke estates that could truly be called 'accidental'.
Being predominantly a dark family, the children typically begin their student career at Hogwarts with a solid foundation in the dark arts as well as the counter measures against such magic. It is encouraged that they enter Slytherin house so that they may mingle and form closer relations with the children of prominent families. Networking is important, after all.
There are several milestones that mark the maturity of a Burke. At one month of age, babies are christened and have their details recorded in the family log. At age six, they start receiving lessons from tutors. At age eight, they are given their first familiar etc. But perhaps, the most significant milestone in a Burke's life is their coming-of-age.
While the wizarding community recognizes individuals who have reached their seventeenth birthday as majors, a Burke becomes recognized by the family as an adult when he/she celebrates the nineteenth birthday. On that day, they are required to open their own vault at Gringotts and receive a small sum of gold to help them get started in society. At this age, they are also allowed access to some of the more advanced magical techniques kept by the family. It is a standard for them to learn spells like the unforgiveables at this age. They may wed their partners any time after their arrive at this maturity.
- Arcturus Burke & Isabelle Rosier
- Rowland Burke (17, slytherin)
- [Male] Burke (15, slytherin)
- [Female] Burke (14, slytherin)
- Jarvis Burke