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Archived Applications / Icarus Argabright
« on: 03/08/2020 at 17:53 »


CHARACTER INFORMATION
Character name: Icarus Michael Argabright

Previous and/or Current Character(s) if applicable: Rafael, etc.

Character age: 26

Character education:
Hogwarts— Ravenclaw, Class of 1952
Ministry of Magic— Unspeakable apprenticeship, 1952-55
St. Mungo’s— Medical research apprenticeship, 1952-55
Independent study— muggle physics, 1943-


Strengths and weaknesses:
The routine is the same. It has been for years, and he likes it that way. He cleaves to consistency, to reliance, results, like his only tether to the lonely earth. He would never claim it to be healthy, but he trusts it. It’s the last thing he has left. The space beside him is empty again, and he’s started to blame himself.

Sleep is a stranger. Food, an awkward handshake. Icarus lays in bed on this dying afternoon, finding an enemy in both. The closeness of his skin to bone conducts the crawling discomfort of his deficits. He feels it all over, like everything, always, though awareness of himself is loud and new. He blames the emptiness and the static (its name: Évariste) for turning a mirror on him; he blames himself for self-dissection, for his own keen eyes looking back beneath the microscope. There isn’t much to see.

Is it the frailty of his emotions, the delicate nature of his stability? Is it his failure to say the right things, or a consequence of speaking at all the wrong times? It’s not his fault if he’s suspicious of people, if he guards himself from them, if he distrusts. That’s just how people have been. Whether meaning, mean, or not, they have shaped him.

But the sweet boy he’d been is not gone, not completely. He hides to protect the tenderness of his heart. Some might call him resilient, given the things he’s been through; others might say stubborn. Either way, one thing is certain: Icarus Argabright is not lightly swayed from his purposes. It might help that his genius for math and sciences drives him with a singular need to know, and everything else is the precipitate. Those who know him, and those are few, would credit his mother for that attentiveness, his depth of loving, and an insurmountable compassion for those in need.

He curses all of them in a sigh as he drags himself from bed to dress and find his associate at large in the apartment.

Physical description:
He doesn’t look in the mirror. What would he see if he did? A smear of darkness across a roundness of light, a pink smudge, spots— a halo behind him, an alien shade of heavy, clear ubiquity, like water, heat, like atmosphere. There is gold somewhere, staring back.

Slowly, he buttons a new shirt to the collarbone. The sleeves ride along sharp, bent elbows, unfastened cuffs flopping a hand’s width from his wrist. As he adjusts his brown wool tie, a lucky charm unverified, Icarus doubts himself and his place in it. But Evie likes nice clothes, and this is the best Icarus can do.

He pulls on a black leather jacket, slides a thin hand easily through a watch of the northern sky, and he does not look in the mirror. Hair, dark and apathetic, will do as a potion pleases, when or if he decides to try. Maybe not today.

Personality:
Icarus puts the coffee on with a half-considered flick of a pale wand. The beans and the grinder and the water to boil and the cup and the sugar get to work. He stands in the kitchen in the same place every morning now, at the bar with its view of (a dark curly head just visible over the back of) the couch. A question haunts him. There is always one—  or too many to count. Every answer he seeks is a symbol or integer in the Theory of Everything. If he stands here, it’s almost silent. If he holds his breath, he can almost hear the numbers in his teeth—

Long fingers on a thin hand remember to check the experiment kept in a backburning pot. The alkahest in a low boil remains unchanged. A different wand, an even carving of ebony by which his adolescent dental records could be assessed, dips into it and stirs. Of all his irons in all his fires, he calls this one most precious. He’s busy more hours than the day can offer with work and work and work and pain, but he makes time for this one. He’s figured that equation. He makes time. And though that string of hours, of months it took through years, might yield enough to sleep, he wonders what it might do for the Stone in the pot. The wet wand conjures a pen, and he writes a note to himself across yesterday’s smudges on his hand. He’ll press it to the notepad on the fridge a little later. Or now. Icarus and patience never seemed to agree.

As his mind begins to wander and work again, ignoring the daily calendar that blinks irritably SUNDAY,  he shoves the wand of silver lime into his breast pocket like a pen. The pen, still poised proudly, commits new thoughts to a page atop a pile sprawled over the countertop like an altar to entropy and academic anarchy. If the counter is an altar, the apartment itself must be the holiest of chaos cathedrals.

But it’s not shambles, he’d swear. There’s an order in emotion. There’s a method to the muddle. He’s just finished rearranging the light-notes that cover the walls, as if they were made of blackboard. Rearranged, and yet they have always looked this way. Because even if he’s learned to spawn time from a spell, when it comes to matters of space, he prefers it all stands still. It keeps him closer to Mum. And yet—

He steps over the back of the couch onto the worn out cushions, and slides into place beside Évariste and the touchless grey drone of his breathing.

(When would this change?)

He misses her. His bones scream in her voice. Fates are caged in the DNA.

(Always already and never.)

Biography:
He wondered if she Saw this. Her son, lost and hurtling and still and waiting, trapped in this moment and the ones that followed, for years within the next room. How much of the rest might sit beside it? She’d mentioned once or twice that she’d Seen him before he was born, a fragile thing of feathers in an egg: he knew how they drove her, these frantic visions, to build the nest as she had done. He knew that when she Saw things, she suffered for them. In many ways, they both had. Mum behaved with sorrow in her eyes, even smiling. 

Icarus looked after her for years she had already Seen.

The longer he lives without her, the less he understands.

Once, he’d believed that she Saw his destiny was science, and that was why, at the age of nine, he’d been given a university text on the foundations of quantum physics. They went without meat and sugar for some time, but Icarus was sustained on thought, and Mum was very proud. He likes to believe that she still is. After all, it got him here.

It was not an easy journey.

That castle was unkind. The hulking, ancient thing, cold with centuries and solitude. Solitude, no matter how many souls. Alienation, antagonism. Threat. Icarus would always think of the place as a loneliness, for it had taken him away from her, to never be returned. He could count the afternoons on one bony hand.

Had the Seer Seen such things as song, heard a silver magpie born of her own thought? Flown and struggled and caught and won? Pulled a wand on a sixth year? A beater’s bat? Had she suffered the smell of Amortentia, the curse of fruit and fire? Had she touched the black beneath the stars that named him, challenged that dead man, hated and adored him, too? He would have understood that look in her eye then, and no matter what she’d done to push or pull, it would have happened nonetheless.

Hopes and dreams. Why are you teaching at Hogwarts?: 
Had she Seen the static slumped at his side, the emptiness of Évariste like a broken teacup always wanting at his lips? It’s been months since his    associate woke from a dreamless void, and there is still so little of him that the son with his other Senses cannot find. Not here, but perhaps...

Évariste was still weak. He could walk again, at least, but his magic suffered, and his confidence with it. There was one place he knew where he could taste the sparking magic in the air. And even if Evie could not come with him, perhaps in study it would reveal answers he could take back home.

How is magic harnessed and learned?

Icarus vanishes a shot of espresso and leans over to tap Évariste on the knee.

“I have an idea.”

SAMPLE ROLEPLAY
It was the largest office in Hogwarts and, perhaps to students and newcomers, the most intimidating. The shelves were filled with various odds and ends, with a place of honor for the Sorting Hat, and the walls held all the portraits of past Headmasters and Headmistresses.

In the middle of the room sat a large desk. Everything was in order, for the current occupant had always despised a messy desk. It was the sign of a messy mind, and she had always favored neatness.

A clock sat on the desk, which currently showed the time to be 2:05. The meeting was supposed to begin at 2:00 precisely.

Along with order, Anneka valued punctuality. She was a very busy woman these days. Even during the summer, she had a number of matters to attend to. Interviewing and hiring staff was only of those matters. The newest potential member of her staff wasn't making a good impression.

She paced the room, black heels clicking against the stone floor. When the door finally opened, Anneka turned, her expression reminiscent of a Russian winter. "You are late."

Explain yourself was what her face said.

Roleplay Response:
“Yes, Headmistress, sorry, Headmistress— I was—”

His chest heaved to catch his breath as he stood there in the door, dark eyes locked on the echo of the sound of her shoes, just behind her and in his periphery, every wall. He could taste them up the hall, at the top of his lungs. The shade of her stare was so properly cold that he did not need to see it to wither. She had always made him nervous, nevermind the lack of warning.

Woah. Deja vu.

“...do you ever get the f-feeling that things, sssmall as they are, actually happen for a r-reason?”

Icarus was always cautious to approach questions of destinies. While they both lived within a society that knew well certain things were, in a word, inescapable, there were still those who didn’t even believe in coincidence. Even about the smallest things, even for an empath, the Headmistress had always been impossible to divine. Nevertheless, that timeless tongue of his never did share his interest in social caution.

“This is the sssecond time I f-find myself in your office,” he continued with a tilt of his head that invoked an invitation to his rhetoric, “and the second time I ssseem to be late. I hope this time, at least, that doesn’t influence your decision, of course, but I wonder if it’s just how these meetings work, ma’am. Time is relative, as I’m sure you well know, but what occurs in time is written and we as their consequence are beholden to— that is, we as magic take no differing role but have instead the power to see through it, and— Well, I don’t sssuppose you’d d-do me a favor this time,   would you?”

Weakly, he grinned.

2
Archived Applications / Icarus Argabright
« on: 14/12/2018 at 04:34 »


CHARACTER INFORMATION

Character name: Icarus Michael Argabright

Previous and/or Current Character(s) if applicable: Rafael, dolores, etc.

Character age: 21

Character education: Hogwarts— Ravenclaw, Class of 1952
Ministry of Magic— Unspeakable apprenticeship, 1952-55

Strengths and weaknesses:
It’s been forty-nine hours since Icarus has seen his bed. It may have been fifty-some more; he’s taken to sleeping in his chair (if those fifteen minute dreamless drifts could really be called sleep), and the sheets, a mess, cannot be seen beneath the clothes and books and papers and clothes and books and—  He rubs his eyes, and in deft silence conjures coffee into an empty mug from the drip across the room. The manuscript (the report) is almost done. The day is finally here. He tightens his jaw and his hand around the pen before sliding the blue ballpoint snug behind his ear. Mug in hand, he retreats to his bedroom. There’s a book in the nest he needs to find. Not a missing reference for his new theoretical text, because he knows Dirac and Farraday by heart, but a tangential curiosity of another novel idea, plucked somewhere from the manifold of the first. It’ll all get done. It always does. Icarus Argabright does not stop.

It is only the thought of what comes next that gives that dedication pause. They’ll want it explained, and he will explain it. But then, he’ll ask for his promotion, if they’re satisfied with the report (the manuscript) they’ll never read. He’ll want to disappear then, stumbling, falling over his words, never knowing how the elegant chaos of thought will emerge on his trembling voice. The challenge of eloquence is nothing new, but there is weakness behind it, overthought and cowardice— if they say he lacks the leadership for the title after training, he might not disagree… but he might also argue nonetheless. Strong proclivity for solitary research doesn’t mean he can’t fulfill the rest of the duties. He’ll break himself to get what’s coming to him, without a moment to waste. He will be an Unspeakable if it kills him. With half an hour left, he gathers himself, spread all through the house.

Before he’s ready, it’s time to go.

Physical description:
He doesn’t look in the mirror. What would he see if he did? A smear of darkness across a roundness of light, a pink smudge, spots— a halo behind him, an alien shade of heavy, clear ubiquity, like water, heat, like atmosphere. There is gold somewhere, staring back.

Quickly, he buttons a new shirt to the collarbone. The sleeves ride along sharp, bent elbows, unfastened cuffs flopping a hand’s width from his wrist. Even clothes made for his long, long limbs seem to shrink away. The tie is worn loose; the same one, every day; wrinkled and old, the brown length of wool is tied in the same eldritch knot as the day his uncle offered it. It’s a lucky charm now. Like everything, it matches nothing.

He pulls on a black leather jacket, slides a thin hand easily through a watch of the northern sky, and he does not look in the mirror. Hair, dark and apathetic, will do as a potion pleases on his way now out the door. Slung around his fragile frame, an old beast of canvas holds the rest of the world that matters, report tucked in at the top. They are long strides after his brighter half, falling into sync-syncopation, moving like jazz. He is electric, strings and a red-rich snare. The ground beneath worn wingtips hums.

Personality:
He stands behind her as they approach the fireplace, a scarecrow staring into the green flames that take her away. They taste cold in color, rich along the shell of his ear. He can feel them in his jaw, tart with a witching wind. A bite of an apple swiped from the counter could balance the dissonance, and it tastes of sweet fire and an ache that holds on. This is enough for breakfast. The powder flows through long fingers as he takes a handful, cringing inward at the ugly sensation that reaches his tongue and his toes. He readies himself for the onslaught of the Atrium.

The only trouble with magic travel is how it robs him of being emotionally prepared. The rest hangs heavy from thin and angular shoulders.

A twinkling blue awaits him, a head of white. She is the ping of a triangle, the tip of a tongue, above the choir of horns and drums, the stuffy, chittering, bombastic crowd. They thrum in his eyes, and he stumbles, someone tumbling down the Floo behind him, into the cacophonous scene. They push by, leaving his shoulder marked with hours of a bad taste in his wrists. Reaching for a small, white hand to temper the temper that brews, Icarus clutches the strap of the Bag, wearing the threads with the rubbing of a restive thumb. They share most things, but never trade; his stress is displaced by her sweetness, like a bird returning home. Deep breath. It’s not that he dislikes being touched by strangers, it’s that he doesn’t much like being around people. Or people in general. They’re often too unkind.

Deep breath.

On the other side of his ambition is a cautious restraint. For as always forward-moving, he’s afraid that too much might change. He’s happy in the office with Felicia and the plum. It’s arranged in a way that smells like calm, and he’s just found a place for the lightning device. Everything has obeyed the laws of classical physics for three whole months. He can’t give up that victory. But this is progress, he reminds himself. When it comes to matters of space, he prefers that time stands still. On his way past the fountain, he tosses a knut in for luck. Mum always did things like that, no matter how little they had.

She reassured him, sometimes, through things Felicia said. Perhaps it was just Felicia reminding. In his solitudes, there was sometimes trouble telling hope apart from reality.

There are five hours and forty minutes until the report is due. Five hours forty minutes to psych up, breathe deep. It’s enough time to finish. It’s time to be done. The wait and the silence are torture.

Hopes and dreams. Why are you teaching at Hogwarts?: It will be some time until he knows.

Biography:
The report (the manuscript!) is finished with time and stress to spare. He reflects on lunch as he avoids it, spending the second half of the hour alone at a door in the Time Room. The light of the bell jar and the marching of infinite seconds are almost a comfort. It is the closest thing to clearness.

He wondered if she Saw this. Her son, lost and hurtling and still and waiting, trapped in this moment and the ones that followed, for years within the next room. How much of the rest might sit beside it? She’d mentioned once or twice that she’d Seen him before he was born, a fragile thing of feathers in an egg: he knew how they drove her, these frantic visions, to build the nest as she had done. He knew that when she Saw things, she suffered for them. In many ways, they both had. Mum behaved with sorrow in her eyes, even smiling. 

Icarus looked after her for years. She had already Seen them.

The longer he lives without her, the less he understands.

Once, he’d believed that she Saw his destiny was science, and that was why, at the age of nine, he’d been given a university text on the foundations of quantum physics. They went without meat and sugar for some time, but Icarus was sustained on thought, and Mum was very proud. He likes to believe that she still is. After all, it got him here.

It was not an easy journey.

That castle was unkind. The hulking, ancient thing, cold with centuries and solitude. Solitude, no matter how many souls. Alienation, antagonism. Threat. Icarus would always think of the place as a loneliness, for it had taken him away from her, to never be returned. He could count the afternoons on one bony hand.

The oases, for years, were precious and few. Ronnie first, Mirella. Lost, of course, in hard times, years on. He earned Sylvia and Adrian, and they would be gone, too. Mavis, he let slip, but they were always just like that.  And then, of course, Felicia, who still shimmers with organic fire. Felicia, who he fears to touch, but touches, knowing that to close a fist, his palm would meet only his fingers, and she would remain beyond. He waits sometimes to lose her, too. Sometimes, like today. Icarus is too fragile to take another loss. After Mum, after A—    There are things that stay broken forever.

Had the Seer Seen such things as song, heard a silver magpie born of her own thought? Flown and struggled and caught and won? Pulled a wand on a sixth year? A beater’s bat? Had she suffered the smell of Amortentia, fruit and fire? Had she touched the Void beneath the stars that named him, challenged that dead man, hated and adored him, too? He would have understood that look in her eye then, and no matter what she’d done to push or pull, it would have happened nonetheless.

Fingertips on the old wood, Icarus sighs. They’ve advised him to stay out, and of course, he agrees. But it brings some measure of peace to know her voice might be in there, speaking his name.

“Argabright.”

He starts with a violent breath, and wide-eyed, trembling, stares at his immediate superior. The man is aglow with a camel-colored sheen, humming with an arrogant red-violet. The appointment isn’t until 2:00. Isn’t it? Icarus finally speaks, nonetheless.  “Sir.”

“I’ve arranged your next assignment,” he says without pause, as if the tick-tock-tick kept his time, too. “the details of which you may find already in your pockets. Don’t read them publicly. Do note they will self-destruct.” The young man staring dumbly is given even less opportunity to react to this. “Off you go to Hogwarts, then.”

“Ssssorry, what? Sir, I’ve—”

He is already walking away, his voice diminished by his broad back. The woolen rub of his moods on pale skin and bones remains steady. “We’ll see you over the weekend.”

“I work at the hospital on the weekends!”

“Not anymore. Now Floo your way out of here this instant or I’ll get someone else for the job next year.”

SAMPLE ROLEPLAY
It was the largest office in Hogwarts and, perhaps to students and newcomers, the most intimidating. The shelves were filled with various odds and ends, with a place of honor for the Sorting Hat, and the walls held all the portraits of past Headmasters and Headmistresses.

In the middle of the room sat a large desk. Everything was in order, for the current occupant had always despised a messy desk. It was the sign of a messy mind, and she had always favored neatness.

A clock sat on the desk, which currently showed the time to be 2:05. The meeting was supposed to begin at 2:00 precisely.

Along with order, Anneka valued punctuality. She was a very busy woman these days. Even during the summer, she had a number of matters to attend to. Interviewing and hiring staff was only of those matters. The newest potential member of her staff wasn't making a good impression.

She paced the room, black heels clicking against the stone floor. When the door finally opened, Anneka turned, her expression reminiscent of a Russian winter. "You are late."

Explain yourself was what her face said.

Roleplay Response:
“Yes, Headmistress, sorry, Headmistress— I was—”

His chest heaved to catch his breath as he stood there in the door, dark eyes locked on the echo of the sound of her shoes, just behind her and in his periphery, every wall. He could taste them up the hall, at the top of his lungs. The shade of her stare was so properly cold that he did not need see it to wither. She had always made him nervous, nevermind the lack of warning.

The sprint from the Great Hall had included a frantic review of the directive in his pocket, which, at some point up the stairs, had detonated like a firework, as if someone were playing a trick. It had robbed him of noticing the disconcerting quiet of the halls in the summer. Solitude, unkind. The emptiness of stone trailed along his jaw.

The directive still stung in his hands, still repeated in his mind. The Ravenclaw alumnus was the right man for this job in most ways, but it had gotten him started at a terrible disadvantage: verbal improvisation. Not even a valedictorian honor in Magical Drama helped him with that. Shouldn’t being an Unspeakable absolve him of having to speak? He offered her a queasy smile, following the fade of the sound with the rest of his attention. Eye contact was never a skill he’d developed.

“—I c-could really use a t-t-t-time turner, actually. My ssschedule lately has been w-w-wild. Adulthood, you know. Can’t sslow down.  Um.”

It was outlined very clearly. It was simple, it was perfect, and he was happy to do part of it, but the thought of trying to lead students again made his aching hands sweat. They weren’t a Quidditch team with the same goal. They weren’t a likeminded House who generally did good, nor were they a study group who just wanted his help to pass. Students: cruel and indifferent— Certainly not being one of them anymore would be to his benefit, though. Wouldn’t it?

Oh, shipwrecks. There was no turning back. He took a deep breath. It did not stay, deflating him but for the buzz of coffee in forty-nine hour nerves. The important thing was he knew what he was talking about. He did.

“I just thought I could help teach.”

3

Nox Ales Pub & Brewery | the Argabrights
[[under construction]]

From 1653 until 1908, Nox Ales Brewery was operated by a long line of witch alewives who will sadly remain unknown to history. The men who have helped perpetuate the line have been varied and many from the scholars and travelers, magical and muggle alike, who have passed through the old pub.

Nox Ales is run out of Oxford, and owns and operates three pubs across the UK. They are known for their sweetness, particularly their Gilded Gander scotch ale and Starling summer shandy.

In 1908, the only heir of the charm of alewives  left to take take over his mother's duties was Calvin Argabright. He and his wife, a former barmaid disowned by her family, have since passed, and their sons are now responsible for the brew. There is talk of a bad stroke of luck for Argabright blood since the men have taken over. Not a one has had things easy. Though they are part of a long, nameless, ephemeral family made of good company, good conversation, healthy variety, and endless laughter, they have a difficult time carrying on the ways of the matriarchs.

The Argabrights find communication among each other to be quite challenging, and in order to find any common ground, their relationships are based on the games they used to play as children. They often enjoyed trying to get each other into trouble with their parents, but gave the victim a chance to save themselves by shouting "Fly away, Mr. [Insert Nickname Here]!" They called each other after birds, as a homage to the nameless owl herald of the pub. Their childhood nicknames are often used as aliases.

Julian Argabright (alias: Mr. Finch)
'i've seen more spine in jellyfish'
FOOLISH & COWARDLY // SQUIB
fc: Matthew McFadyen
The oldest son of Coronis (nee Märchen) and Calvin Argabright (the first man to operate the brewery when his older sister died of flu). Fearful of falling in love with seer Yvadne Bains, Julian was obliged to marry her muggle sister instead. They had one son, Michael Icarus Argabright, before the time warp. When his wife disappeared, he left his son with Yvadne (who he considered the child's real mother) and left the magical world completely to become a clerk at a local bank. He is masquerading as a solicitor named James Finch at Nick's demand that he pay for his son's education, and has been seeing to Yvadne's care now that he's had her institutionalized at St. Mungo's. Sends his son as many magical items as he can without it seeming suspicious, as if to correct the errors of his being.
Read a workshop by this unreliable narrator here.

Nicolas Argabright (alias: Mr. Crane)
'a goal without a plan is just a wish'
CONFIDENT & SLY // Slytherin '28
fc: ? ? ?
Nick is the second son, and believes he should have been the first to inherit the company - he's calling it a company, not "the brew" as its always been - because Julian is a worthless squib. Currently, he handles accounts and acquisitions, and can be considered to operate Nox Ales. He still resents Julian for taking over and making the brand suffer under his incompetence. His goal is to distribute Nox Ales brews internationally, and gain recognition for bringing the brand out of the dark ages. This dream is on the backburner currently, as his daughter Nell has just passed away from a fatal illness at the age of five.



Garrett Argabright (alias: Mr. Peacock)
'laughter is brightest where food is best'
GREGARIOUS & TALENTED // Hufflepuff '33
fc: T. R. Knight
Garrett is the youngest, and lives at the London establishment of Nox Ales Pub & Brewery. He'll clap you on the shoulder or give you the shirt off his back if you look like you need it. Garrett turns no one away from his tables unless they aren't playing nice, and will make you anything to eat whether or not he's got it on the menu. He isn't the most skilled of bartenders, but the man can really cook, despite the leg braces that have prevented him from speed his entire life. His cooking skill has made the London storefront well known as a gastropub where the brew is used as much as an ingredient than as a drink. You will need a reservation to get in.


You're welcome to associate yourself with the pub or any of the boys. 'Cept Finch.
Please PM Icarus Argabright if interested in any of these, or if you'd like to help open the London/Diagon Alley Nox Ales!

4
Archived Applications / Icarus Argabright
« on: 01/04/2016 at 01:33 »

Application for Hogwarts School




→ CHARACTER INFORMATION.

Name: Icarus Argabright

Birthday: March 18, 1934

Hometown: Oxford, England

Bloodline: Halfblood

Magical Strength (pick one): Transfiguration

Magical Weakness (pick one):  Divination

Year (pick two): 3, 4

Biography:
Yvadne was a solitary witch who had left the family when she left for Hogwarts, her Muggle parents having forbid her return out of fear. She had always spooked them with her nonsense, odd words that came true, and the piles of trinkets she collected in her room that sometimes jibbered in the night when she snored. Her older sister Yvonne had always been amused with her oddness, teased her in good fun about her "prophecies" except when they were about Yvonne's bad luck. It wasn't too much of a shock to learn her sister was a witch, and it probably wasn't the worst thing that it meant she could escape the harshness of their parents. She could handle it. If Yvadne was anything, she was resilient. If she was anything else, she was "eccentric." And that's if they were being polite.

In the middle of Divination in her third year, Yvadne saw in her sister's belly an egg made of feathers. Yvonne denied even having a boyfriend, much less a baby, and the issue was put to bed. But Yvadne could not sleep. She saw feathers like signs in her tea and her bath water. The summer after her sixth year, she attended a local festival in Oxford with Yvonne where she saw a feather at the glass bottom of a pint. Before the mug slammed back to the bar to command a refill, Yvadne was there to learn the name of one Julian Argabright. She had seen him before.

Julian was a twenty-something owner of a failing brewery nearby (if she had been older she might have recognized Nox Ales as one of the strongest scotch ales in wizarding Britain), and had no interest in girls of fifteen. She asked him what he knew about birds. This finally drew a side-eye, and he stared at her for a moment as if to remark on the oddness of her aura - it was as if, somehow, he had known her for years. Yvonne ran to her as soon as she saw that look about her that she got just moments before she began to spew riddles - and quickly interrupted by making a scene of her own of false fainting from the heat. Anything to save herself and this handsome and completely normal young man the embarrassment of a teenage girl's uncommon "talents."

"Witch," Julian mouthed silently to the girl over Yvonne's head as she dramatically swooned.

"Squib," the accused smiled back at him while Yvonne glanced back at Julian in response to the odd look on her sister's face. Julian hid his discomfort with by offering Yvonne a drink. Yvadne's entranced, scrutinizing eyes did not leave him until he took Yvonne away when the sun went down. She would see him again.

Yvadne went back to her childhood home for the last time to collect the rest of her belongings, ignoring the screams of her parents. Yvadne did not return to Hogwarts that year, or any other. She rented a cottage from a kindly old wizarding couple, and slowly began to build her fortress of things. He would need Things.

On March 18th, 1972, her vision of the egg returned, and the feathers fell away.

Yvadne rushed to the hospital -- which hospital she still has no recollection of, she only knew she had to get there -- and found the room where Yvonne lay asleep, alone with a newborn. It had hatched before she got there, but has not yet opened its eyes. She crept in to pick it out of the little hospital crib when the room seemed to morph and change. Yvonne disappeared from the bed. A magpie called her attention from the crib. Yvadne picked up the baby, who grew to nearly four years old clinging to her with lanky limbs. She turned to call for help. Julian spoke, suddenly appearing in the doorway, silencing the bird. The room was righted, and Yvonne again lay napping off a twelve hour labor. The infant was seven pounds in her arms, and looked up at her with a calm smile. The bird was gone.

"I wasn't ready for this. Haven't had the nerve to hold it," Julian told her. "It looked so odd when it came out. I swear the thing was born -- "

"With feathers," she affirmed. Her eyes seemed to glaze over as she approached him. "They're gone now. And I don't give you much longer either. Hold your son, Daedalus. I'll be expecting you." She handed the baby to his father, and left them as the magpie began to cry.

The new parents were more interested in the life they had carved for themselves than the new one they created. Yvonne suffered from post partum depression until their next house party. And Julian -- well, she never could figure him out. As the apparent need to host functions increased, Yvadne was often enlisted to babysit despite the clutter of her little home... And so, she raised the child, tipped by the spectral magpie. She held her arms out for his first steps, cried at his first word. When the working day or dinner party or long weekend in Nice was through, Yvonne always returned to pick up the boy. If the child had another name, neither he nor Yvadne learned it. He was always and only Icarus.

Yvadne came down with an odd illness on New Year's Eve of 1973. Everything was the same, but it looked different. There were fewer names, even fewer faces. When her sister came to the door, she saw no one except Icarus standing on her doorstep with his little red luggage. Yvonne's voice was even further away with this pulsing, blinding headache. For the first time had to refuse to care for the boy. Although it ruined Yvonne's plans, she didn't argue, simply grateful for all the help Yvadne had given them in babysitting Icarus. But that meant the little boy was coming along to the adult party. It didn't go so well.

It was Julian who arrived at Yvadne's cottage the next morning with a sleeping three-year-old in one trembling arm and a small red luggage in the other. His eyes bleary from hours of weeping, he could do little more than shake his head when the witch answered the door and asked him where Yvonne was. Confused and desperate, she tried to placate him, but she was a Seer, not a soothe-sayer.

"Hold your son, Daedalus," he told Yvadne through his furor, forcing the child into her arms. Still shaking violently, he left, weeping in controlled silence. Icarus stirred awake in his guardian's embrace, and hugged her tight. Julian was gone, and the magpie called after him.

Yvadne learned of the time warp later that week, after checking herself in to St. Mungo's, and never spoke of it again. Icarus accompanied her happily, and never left her side. There were plenty of things around to collect, and so many odd people to look at. They stayed at the hospital for several days, and made a few trips back. It was a different sort of stay with her now, but he enjoyed it nonetheless.

Yvadne, who he called Mum, cleared out the 'spare' room for the boy as he got bigger. She still couldn't help the stacks of books and letters spilling into the new little bed sometimes, but even less could she control the accumulation. He brought more trinkets as gifts when he found them, wherever he found them. It started as daisies and snails from the garden, coins and bottlecaps off the street. The gifts got bigger as he got older, and it all became part of the place. It was crowded in their tiny cottage, but Icarus didn't mind. She was his mom, of course, and he would love her no matter what. He only wanted to see her happy. Slowly, steadily, happily, they built a little empire in the flowers.

The overwhelming presence of vision and clutter - an amalgam of old things, found things, strange things, nameless things - fostered great strength of creativity and conscious in young Icarus. Through play and necessity, he learned to organize, sort, and arrange; to plan and engineer; to visualize and to imagine. Icarus spent much of his time watching or reading to figure a way to do or create something new and different. His little inventions always brightened his Mum's day as her health grew steadily worse. The time Mum had to spend at St. Mungo's flew by as he sopped up information on injections and incantations just watching them, repeating under his breath. They only had to tell him once, and the nurses could all be sure that his mum was in good hands at home.

He was seven when she had another vision, and it took a particularly heavy toll. It seemed like she had suddenly become paranoid, keeping a closer eye on her "son" when he left the cottage. She had previously allowed him to wander the neighborhood and park as he pleased, and these new limitations felt very different than the confines of their crowded home. Sit for your lessons, Yvadne insisted. Don't touch that. Don't run ahead. I can't lose you too. Yvadne never said a word about the nature of it, and it was difficult for Icarus to figure what it might have been. He trusted her so implicitly and loved her so dearly that he never wished to upset her by asking. They visited the hospital every now and again, and he helped out if he could. Most of the time, Icarus just watched.

When Icarus received his Hogwarts letter, Yvadne tried to keep it from him. She had her reasons. One being that she couldn't afford to send him (she was still paying off her own education). The other was the vision. Everything he needed to know he could learn from her. But she couldn't hide anything from him. A red envelope in the garbage? You'll have to try harder than that.

She was in the street with a man Icarus did not recognize. There was an exchange of a package. Mum just nodded, and then shook her head as she pushed the package back toward him. When the man put his hand on her shoulder, as if somehow he had known her for years, she began to cry, and nodded again. Icarus ran back to his little room in the labyrinth to pretend he'd been working on his owl trap before she came back. The man followed her in. He listened in through the stacks of books and boxes and the wall in between.

"--had known that Julian had a child, it is my understanding that they would have sent more sooner," he said gently, insistently. The latch clicked shut behind him.

"We don't need their money, Mr. Finch, we're doing just fine. We're quite happy."

"And the Argabrights are quite happy to provide for his education. Nox Ales is no longer the peddler of such, ah, swill, as it was under Julian's direction... since his, ah, disappearance."

"He's disappeared? Him too? But some squibs were... "

"I'm sorry, Miss Yvadne. I'm sure your husband loved you very much, but he, ah -- "

Icarus dropped the owl trap, and scuttled out of the path of total structural collapse of the eastern wall before it caved in over his little bed. Mum grabbed him as he tried to run out, and took him by the shoulders in the middle of the kitchen. Mr. Finch looked on with hopeful eyes as she explained in defeat that it was time for Icarus to attend Hogwarts. As expected, he was resistant. As expected, he asked questions. Yvadne only had time to answer one of them before she fainted and was rushed to St. Mungo's by some men Mr. Finch called.

Mr. Finch sent him to Camp Loki with his red suitcase full of Things before the term began, and every summer since, to get acquainted with the other children. Icarus wept for home the whole way. He wasn't given a choice, but he was provided a barn owl named Janus to keep in contact with his Mum during the school year. Since the other students he met seemed not to covet the role of his best friend (relentless, they called him Icky), the honor belonged to Janus.

She doesn't respond often from St. Mungo's. Mr. Finch is kind and caring, and sends most of the owls with updates about her worsening condition. The letters Icarus does get back from his Mum are hard to read, but he keeps trying.

→ ADDITIONAL INFORMATION.

House Request: Ravenclaw

Personality: Inventive. Collector. Awkward. Rational. Understanding. Stutters.

Appearance: Short for his age, awaiting a growth spurt to balance out his lanky limbs. Much of his clothing is a little too small, and none of it is coordinated; wears things he finds.

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Movement through the flowers caught his attention out of the corner of his eye, and Icarus looked up from his book just in time to see the rat scamper toward him. It wasn't long before the rat was followed by his human. Icarus arched a brow at the accusation the boy threw his way as the rat hid in his robes. The wriggle of the critter against his skin tickled, and he smiled until the boy approached.

"That's n-no way to address someone who just c-caught your runaway, you know," he said gently. He lifted the rat to allow it to perch on his shoulder. It was a cute, gentle thing. Every time he handled a rat, he wished he could have owned one, but his owl Janus would never allow it. Icarus relished the moment with the creature, giving it a stroke on the head as he lifted his voice again to the boy. "And, as long as I'm uh-honest, that's an even w-worse way to speak to an animal from which you seem to expect l-loyalty. It's n-no wonder he's trying to g-get away from you. Be gentle, they're s-small."

Icarus wasn't even quite sure if the rat belonged to this little bully, and he didn't want to hand it over unless he was sure the little thing was safe.


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