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Author Topic: Icarus Argabright  (Read 9 times)

* Icarus Argabright

    (Today at 04:34)
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  • Junior Healer - Medical Research + Unspeakable in Training
  • C16D15T17S17
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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.”
this is probably the best  not to mention the worst idea
that I have ever had

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