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Author Topic: Mark Lerner | Assistant Professor of Transfiguration  (Read 335 times)

Mark Lerner

    (15/04/2017 at 04:55)
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  • Transfiguration Professor
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Character name: Mark Lerner

Previous and/or Current Character(s) if applicable: Mavis Lerner, Laura Fitzpatrick, Vera Eckert, Goose Märchen

Character age: 23

Character education: Approximately 2 and a half years at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry in Ravenclaw House, withdrawn at the age of 13 due to illness. Homeschooled by  father until 17, forever studying books and things and people.

Strength and weaknesses (details please):

Magically, his strength lies in Transfiguration, his area of intrigue. He can get invested in a subject quite easily, researching and asking questions, discovering answers. Studious by nature, a behavior he applies to the world around him, investigating things and people. He tends to grow deeply passionate about things and people, and he will devote himself to them.  As a person he is exceptionally caring, someone who would let you speak or allow you to say nothing at all. He’s available for hugs, if needed.

But his devotion is his hubris, and he spreads himself thin making sure everyone and everything is doing alright. He blames the misfortune of those close to him on himself, and carries the emotional weight with him, rarely shedding it. He can get invested too easily, near obsession fueled by a gnawing boredom.  Mark leaves his own well being a mystery, using “i’m fine to disguise physical illness or emotional turmoil. Physically he is weak, a body ravaged by constant illness leaving him scrawny and delicate, a fact he rejects, displaying a persona of wellness he doesn’t always possess. Conjuring and Summoning bored him, and he never put much effort in it, and continues to do so, finding non-magical methods as an alternative.

Physical description: Standing at five feet 10 inches, Mark is a physique of extremes, too tall, too thin. His dark brown hair is perpetually too long, falling into his eyes, eyes he would call simply blue, an evening sky sort of blue, clouded with a darkness he had taken great care to hide away. His hands are long, nimble and perpetually preoccupied, he is constantly holding something, too often it is paper in some form. He owns too many sweaters and wears them with pride, mostly darker colors, he has always loved the deep Ravenclaw blues and the grey of a clouded afternoon. His pants are often just slightly too short, hair just slightly disheveled, Mark has never needed to be meticulous about his appearance, and despite his greatest efforts it is doubtful he ever will. Around others he's quick to grin, walks slowly but with long strides, feigning natural strength he doesn't possess.

Personality (nice, rude, funny etc. Paragraph please.):A series of events has slowly molded Mark into from the optimistic young boy to whom he has become, a blend of too many things fighting for space in one body. Above all he is unfailingly kind, picking up pieces of people and putting them back together with sympathy is second nature to him. On the surface he is seemingly relaxed, a caring boy protective of all he encounters, with witty dialogue and an almost optimism.

But for all the people he's put together he can't fathom how to handle his own broken pieces, so he's buried them away. Mark has been sickly for most of his life, and lingering symptoms have brought a feeling of limitations that follow him everywhere. He's haunted by what he can't do, by things he's missed out on.

Hopes and dreams. Why are you teaching at Hogwarts?:
Mark has missed academia. He thrived in his time at Hogwarts, an environment that allowed him to discover and grow, an environment he’s spent a decade trying to recreate in the facts he’s devoured and countless books he’s read. But the mind begins to wander, and his has wandered back to Hogwarts. His time in a traditional schooling environment was short lived, and in a way he wants to take it back, this time as the teacher instead of the student. The subject matter is a driving force behind his dream of teaching, Transfiguration has always been his personal favorite branch of magic, and through teaching he wants to influence the exploration and investigation of the subject.

Biography (500 words minimum. There is never such a thing as too much.):

At the age of five years old, Mark Lerner was supposed to understand everything.

He understood the picture books that sat in a stack near his bed, he understood some of the bigger books too. He understood why the forks were slightly rusted and the spoons shone in the kitchen light (the forks were very old and the spoons were very new), he understood why he was not supposed to run down the stairs (because the fourth step had pushed him and it hurt when he fell.)

He did not understand the child in the crib.

She (they told him it was a she) was small and slept soundly, almost smiling and he didn’t understand why she was almost smiling. Her name was Mavis and he liked it, he didn’t understand why it sounded so odd when he said it, almost like the wind in the summer or his mother’s laugh, but not quite, it was something else and he didn’t understand what.

But he didn’t understand wind either, sometimes it was warm and calm and other times it blew scarves from necks and ripped wood from houses, and his mother’s laugh…

Perhaps there were some things he did not need to understand.

At the age of nine years old, Mark was supposed to understand one thing.

And yet he was bewildered by confusion and dismay, a hurricane of pouring emotions drowned him, and he emerged from the tidal wave dazed. Something was wrong, he noticed it the moment he woke, there was dust and cobwebs and a shade of grey that choked every inch of the house even though the winter sun shone cooly through cracked window panes. The stairs creaked and the sound was menacing, a warning, dust billowed softly around bare feet followed him into the barren kitchen.

He stepped around the shards of a coffee mug, past scattered papers and a house suddenly sepia to find his sister on the sagging sofa, dwarfed by the cushions and the monochrome quiet.

He sat next to her, and there was a clouded sky in her green eyes.


“Yes.” he said.

He wrapped his arms around Mavis, and they sat in silence for awhile.

At the age of eleven years old it hurt too much to understand.

”I’m concerned that the fungus may have reached his throat--”

He heard the words through a distant fog, he coughed and an earthquake shuddered through his body.

There were other words, garbled and faded and painful to hear, so Mark chose to drown them out, dozing off and waking to silence, dozing and waking to fatigue and aches and his lungs ripping themselves apart then dozing, over and over, a cycle of malicious harmony.

He dozed and the flowers on his bedside table were wilting slightly, he woke and the scent of lily of the valley had filled the room, he dozed and woke and Mavis was watching him, huddled against the doorframe.

(He wanted to hug her and say everything would be fine, and they could walk outside and she could pick flowers and he could push her on the swings and everything would return to a normal like perpetual summer.)

Drowsiness stole him away, and he slept once more.

He was 12 years old and he more than understood the task before him.

It was interesting, a strange sort of project, art meeting magic and scientific practicality, his quill scratched against the page as he outlined and diagramed. “Basic commands along with color commands would work, and in theory each time the spell is used the same color will be produced.”

Scratches and lines, details and dimensions.

“I wonder if there’s any way we change the exact hue of the color, maybe a different wand movement would affect it?” he asked aloud, more to himself then the Slytherin boy he was meant to be working with, paging through a heavily annotated textbook.

He picked up his quill and it was immediately snatched away by the other boy. “Alek!” he protested with a small grin, stealing it back, feathers crumpling under his fingers. “We need to finish this, do you want to do the entire thing by yourself?”

At age thirteen he did not understand. He refused to understand.

He was not meant to be at the kitchen table for another five months and yet he sat there in the quiet of the house, the untouched tea before him staring up at the boy accusingly.

”This isn’t a new conversation Mark.”

He refused to look at his father, and his eyes found anything, everything else, the dust bunnies collecting in the corner, the beige stain on the table cloth.

”I understand how you’re feeling, but…”

He did not understand. Bits and pieces perhaps, but only Mark saw the situation for what it really was, complicated and fatigued, swirls of color and the dull red of excuses thinly covering the mural that had been the past months.

”You knew your time at Hogwarts was dependent on your health.”

He stared into the tea, weak and watching. It wasn’t supposed to be like that. It should have been steeped longer, he should have been stronger, every inhale should not have caught in his throat and stuttered into a hoarse cough, the sound dissipated into the crowded stone corridors that radiated with life and he could pretend it never--

“I was fine.”


He was fine counting coughs and gasping for air and stumbling on stairways and dozing through the day--

”I think we both know that’s not true.

At the age of seventeen, he attempted to understand muggle science.

It was strange. Letters were numbers and numbers were the infinite, the atoms that were the pencil that twirled slowly in his fingers, the atoms that were everything, the rays of afternoon sunlight glowing golden on the windows, abstract shapes and negative space shadows, atoms and light and everything.

The pencil, preoccupied, scratched notes on the parchment, letters and numbers and an equation he did not comprehend. A moment passed and he scribbled graphite lines over the science, and left a reminder he did not need, for he was already standing, walking towards the door.

It was spring. He had to pick flowers for his sister.

At the age of twenty three he understood himself as a puzzle.

Some pieces he saw in ultimate clarity, novels in the moment. Others were blurred, streaks of color with no visible plot, a story indiscernible.

Perhaps it would all come together one day. An Atlas of a being, maps of eyes and emotion, but for now he was a story with pages of jumbled words and perhaps one day he would sort them out, sentence by sentence, stanza by stanza.

He sipped his tea and paged through the Daily Prophet, watching the bakery patrons from the corner of his vision, a river of humanity swirling all around him.

(Please respond to to this in third person past tense. Do not write the other characters' reactions. Only your own.)

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:

He’d worn a tie, a relic, threads fraying and tearing, unraveling from the rows of ashen pinstripe. Mark had spent too many minutes staring at the boy in the mirror, hands lanky and bony smoothing and fixing hair that never stayed put, molecular motions moving individual strands, causing a mass migration.

He thought he had given up on his appearance, but it seemed Mark Lerner dressed up for Hogwarts.

The books he held shifted from hand to hand, as if the dog eared parchment and underlined phrases would ease the nerves that fluttered in his stomach, raw and untethered among birds of ambitions that flapped wings of trepidation and cried out logic and dreams nearing fruition.

Mark turned the corner absentmindedly, small amid the portraits and the rows of stone. Every corner was foreign and yet familiar, a distant memory cloaked in dust and sand. He remembered walking in a hallway with Alek and without Alek, footsteps sure and unsure, but he was confident in every motion, a twelve year old boy paving his own path.

But there never was a path. There were only doors, and countless corridors.

Corridors cloaked in dust and the shadow of a clouded morning, corridors bright with windows in the walls, corridors that reeked of bleach and grim despair and the identical stone corridors in which he found himself wandering, hopelessly lost.

He walked, slowly backwards, searching for familiarity and anything to indicate direction, the tapping of weathered soles echoing against the stone and muttering cruel lies, mistakes he made and books he should not have bothered with, and turn back turn back, but there were always doors in labyrinthine corridors, and Mark opened one to opportunity.

”You are late.”

(And the door began to close.)

“I’m sorry Headmistress Ivanova…” he stammered, frantic hands stacking and restacking the books he held. “It’s been a long time, a-and the corridors are almost identical unless--”

He took a deep breath, attentions turned from the books and towards the Headmistress. “I’m sorry.” he grinned sheepishly. “I’m afraid I’m not very good at this.”
we get colder as we grow  older