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Topics - Sylvain Shaw

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Archived Applications / Sylvain Shaw
« on: 11/04/2020 at 17:01 »
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Application for Hogwarts School


Name: Sylvain Shaw

Birthday: 13 May 1948

Hometown: Bamburgh, Northumberland


Magical Strength (pick one):

Magical Weakness (pick one):
Conjuring & Summoning

Year (pick two): 1st, 2nd

Sylvain had never heard his father laugh as hard as the night on which he had received his Hogwarts letter. He remembered every second of it, etched into his memory - the sound of ripping paper as the curious looking envelope was opened, the blank stare of confusion that had only served to build his own anticipation, and then the sudden eruption as the large man threw his head back, black curls dancing at his neck, sound exploding from his wide mouth to spill warm into the room. It had been a good laugh, if only it had been a joke.

Adam Shaw was a stonemason. Sylvain Shaw was a mason too, for the most part, helping his father out when he was not in school with his sister (they were primarily home schooled, due to the very small community), or in the smithy with his mother. Adam Shaw had met Ruth Kelly at a pub in Northumberland, where Ruth the blacksmith had beat him at his own drinking game, and they had been in love ever since. Two years into marriage they'd had a boy, and they had called him Sylvain after Ruth's late French grandfather. Three years after, they'd had Sarah.

The Shaws were simple people with simple needs and used to doing labour. Living in the countryside of the tiny village of Bamburgh, they did most things themselves, and what they did not, they traded. Ruth's craftmanship was particularly sought after, be it hard steel or soft silver, and Adam was never short of work with the old Bamburgh Castle close by. The rooster woke them in morning and the poultry yard provided meat and eggs. It was good living.

None of them had ever heard of magic.

Not until the night a self-proclaimed witch had turned up on their doorstep with an enveloped letter in their hand, reading Sylvain Adam Shaw, in clean, elegant letters.

To Syl it had been incredibly exciting and heartbreaking all at once. Used to being the stone-faced, the down-to-earth and clear-minded, always a bit in the background, it was bizarre for him to find himself the Main Character of a show that was mainly built on the concept of himself as a wizard - or not. While Adam had been vehemently refusing the story in backhand rejection, Ruth had looked at the strangely clothed woman with outright concern and Sarah had circled, somewhat in the background, catching on her parents' energies changing from entertained to a little scared and back again.

"What do you mean my son is a wizard? What do you mean he has probably done magic before, however subtle - I haven't ever noticed any of that!"

"Clearly this is a joke," his dad had said at one point.

That was the point at which Syl had stepped forward for the first time during that conversation, in quiet calm, arms crossed over his chest.

"Maybe it isn't a joke," he had voiced. For even if Adam did not, he could recognise some of these things that the witch was talking about. In all its insanity, from his viewpoint, the whole world made a little more sense now.

"So, you're going to gaze into crystal balls now, eh?" Adam Shaw had said, much, much later, in dead humour, and the sense of resentment in his father's voice was one he had never heard before. Up until that point him and his dad had been pals. He'd been the boy, and although the gender roles of the Shaw family were not entirely traditional, he'd been an important part of their constellation.

Hard labour had always been the norm for which he had been rewarded.

That some frisky letter had suddenly had arrived with its fancy handwriting telling them they'd be one man short, and a highly capable one at that, was no less than a direct blow to their economy. Besides, Sylvain had absolutely no idea what this was, feeling no urge to stroll around with some star sprangled pointy hat. In fact, it took the trip to Diagon Alley with his mother to even get them to understand that this was real. It had seeped into them then, slowly and unbelievably, as fact, rather than fiction.

His fierce love of his parents, for his family, had burnt hot in his chest, the day Sylvain decided he'd have to find this out for himself. That he had to go. And perhaps, in the long run, this whole magic thing could help make things better. He supported himself on the idea, the long-standing hope, that things would work out fine - all he needed was a little bit of patience.

Note: This section is optional, and is up to you to complete.

House Request: Sort!

Tell us a bit about your character’s personality (likes, dislikes, fears, etc.) What are they like on a good day versus a bad one? Is your character particularly cheerful? Do they hate sunlight?

If there is one word (or, technically, three) to describe Syl, it is down-to-earth. He is never at a rush and tends to do things at his own pace. Which by no means means that he is lazy (though he can be, particularly on days off) - he is quite used to working hard and to taking care of himself. Underneath rests a calm rationality and a certain ability to detach himself from the pulse of the masses.

Syl is steady and Syl is reliable. Syl does not lose his head. In this way he tends to seem older than he actually is. Though it is hard to coin just exactly what it is that drives him - is it patience, courage, confidence, determination, or just cold logic? Perhaps it is a mix of them all. Either way, he is stubborn as a beast, a solid rock, the wall standing when everyone else drops to the ground. Yet, curiously enough he tends to endure in silence rather to stand up when he experiencing and/or seeing wrongs.

On a bad day, Syl can get fussy, in particular if he does not get things right or things just don't go the way he wants them to. Syl spends his energy wisely, knowing when not to dwell on silly matters. At the same time he does not forgive easily, in finding that some personalities are purely poison. It is hard to make him laugh, which can make him seem like an overly serious, no-bullshit kind of guy (which is sort of right). In many ways he appears insensitive and impossible to touch, though that might not be the whole truth of it. In fact, he knows there's much more to people than what meets the eye, and given the opportunity, he can be a warm and loyal friend. He is curious about the workings of things and a keen learner, though he is a learn-by-doing sort of person, having trouble with purely theoretical approaches, not helped by the fact that he is a very slow reader.

Syl likes: Sunny days, lazy days, physical work, practical things, pretty things

Syl dislikes: Rainy days, stress, people who are mean, people who overreact

Strengths: Patience, rationality, does not lose his head in stressful situations, apparent impenerability

Weaknesses: Sometimes too stubborn and hard to get through to and at other times giving up too quickly, can appear shallow and insensitive

Soft spots: Really cute animals

Sylvain is just over average height and a bit broader than the average eleven-year-old. Combined with his demenour, this means he is often mistaken for being older. He has dark brown hair and dark brown eyes and looks quite like his father, which is something he likes about himself.

Syl does not give all that much thought to his appearance unless there is someone blatantly different from him to compare to. Then he becomes aware of their differences, first and foremost in terms of clothing, but also because he does not have the fancy sort of haircut that some other boys do. It other words, he is quite aware of his own status in the social hierarchy, as someone with little money, as a labourer, and soon also as a muggleborn. However, he does not do anything in order to hide this. Rather he tries to be proud of who he is, going forward as an example to show others that working with your hands is not something you do because you're too stupid for "finer" or "more academic" endeavours. Following this, he is the sort of boy who cares little about the dirt on his knees, his hair standing out on one side, or the bruises on his knuckles. Despite the magic, he intends (at least in the start) on following in his parents' footsteps as a muggle labourer.

You come across one of these posts on the site. Please select one & reply as your character. Remember, you can only roleplay your own character's actions, not Evangeline's or Hugh's.

Option I:

The dungeons. A place eleven-year-old Evangeline had not yet travelled since her arrival at Hogwarts.

A place she really was just fine with not knowing; but it was too late. The dare had been accepted, even if it had been done in fear of being kicked out of Gryffindor, like the older girls had said she would because Gryffindors were supposed to be brave.

The air changed instantly when she hit the main corridor of the dungeons. The dampness was almost too much for her and she instinctively took a deep breath to avoid the sensation of being suffocated. There was also a sour burning smell which Evangeline assumed was from many, many Potions lessons.

Further and further she walked, her steps so slow and gentle they made no noise against the stone walls and floor. The feeling that she wasn't alone crept up her spine and raised the tiny hair on the back of her neck. Shivering, Evangeline wrapped her arms around herself. Suddenly, she missed the warmth and comfort of the Gryffindor common room. The fire was always going and it made her feel at ease.

Why had she let those girls talk her into this? She was only eleven, she didn't have to be brave. Surely the Headmistress would not kick her out of Hogwarts for not being brave.

If only she had these thoughts while being dared to search for the ghost of one Emma Birch, whom supposedly haunted the dungeons. It was not, Evangeline had learned, the place where the sixteen-year-old girl's life had ended but as she had been from the house with a snake as its mascot, it was the place her spirit had returned to. That common room was down here somewhere, she'd been told.

Something - the small blonde girl wasn't quite sure what - but something made her stop in her tracks suddenly. There was a low, dull thumping noise. Or maybe that was her heart beating so loudly she thought it was coming from outside her body.

"H-h-hello?" Her voice was barely above a whisper.

Remembering that she was supposed to be brave, Evangeline tried again.

"Hello! Is Emma Birch here?"

The sound of her own words bouncing back at her off the walls made her jump.


Admittably, Sylvain was not a big fan of the Dungeons. There was something about its biting solitude though, that got to him and which made it easier to think, in its general removal from the buzz of a hundred students. He was still working on taking all of this in, being a muggleborn with no foundation whatsoever to build on in terms of how to do this. Every day was another day of pure improvisation and he knew he would have gone positively mad if he had not ran into Calliope in summer camp, if he had not known Billie's constant sunrays.

Now he creeped around down here like some sort of rat. Yet, he had also managed to find his interest peaked by inspection of the masonry, which appeared to him to be very old. Putting one finger in his mouth, he used the spit to wet the rock in order to make its minerals more pronounced finding much use in his very first spell, Lumos, which caused the differing elements to twinkle at his from within the massive grey.

Here was evidence of the lime of the mortar, so much coarser down here in the core of the building - he did not touch it, in fond memory of the way that lime would bubble and steam in his bucket as he poured and mixed with sand and water, half his face covered by his scarf, eyes covered by his father's old glasses. It was not a friendly reaction, unless you knew it well, but he was familiar with its warmth and he knew its old, hidden tricks.

Then a sound - he turned, brown eyes searching in the darkness. His Lumos had gone out - it did not last for very long at his level - and he raised the Pine wood in order to try to get it going again.

"Hello! Is Emma Birch here?"

Light shot from his wand as Syl uttered his Lumos and came on land on a girl, now brightly lit against the dark of the background - it paled her skin unnaturally much and he lowered the wand a little, not having meant to blind her completely.

"Syl is here," he told her. "No Emma."


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