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* Ronnie Jay Beckham

    (15/08/2019 at 09:03)
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  • Healer - Magical Psychology + Head Nurse
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CHARACTER INFORMATION
Character name: Ronnie Jay Beckham

Previous and/or Current Character(s) if applicable: Charles Neddy Palmer, Ivory Summers, Andromeda Crowley, Pearce Märchen, Bunny Märchen, Évariste Altier.

Character age: 26 ; 11 October, 1930

Education:
Gryffindor Class of ‘49.
Prefect 1947-1948, Head Girl 1948-1949.
Hospital Wing Nurse 1944-1947, Senior Nurse 1947-1949.
Gryffindor Co-Captain 1946-1947, Captain 1947-1949.

Work Experience:
Pediatric Junior Healer 1949-1953
Pediatric Healer 1953-1956
Pediatric Psychologist 1956-present

Strength and weaknesses (details please):

Weaknesses:  For much of her life, Ronnie Jay Beckham could be fairly accurately described as a pushover.  She learned, even preferred, to take the backseat where possible, allowing others to take credit and advantage instead of claiming it for herself.  Though this has mostly worn off since the epiphany of her divorce, she still fears that it’ll resurface sometime while she’s teaching, and she’ll be unable to keep the lesson from dissolving into chaos.  Additionally, she sometimes gets carried away in the defense of those in her charge, and worries it’ll cause strain between her and a few colleagues should they endanger their students during classes.  Fortunately, Ronnie is familiar with a good number of staff members already, so she’s fairly certain it won’t come to that.

Strengths:  Experienced healer specializing in pediatric psychology, Divination, and muggle-method treatment.  Very good with school-aged children, and excels at time management.  Hard worker, very teachable, and a passion for helping people.  Mother of three, which has taught her multitasking, and has solidified her belief that the teaching proper mental health care is just as important as physical health care.  Aside from being well-versed in medical spells (most of which, to her great frustration, are not taught at a student level), Ronnie has worked on cases dealing with child trauma and PTSD, and has diagnosed several magical conditions.

Physical description: 5’1” and thin, but sturdy.  Dark eyes and soft features, and brown hair usually pulled back in a low bun while working.  Strong arms from Quidditch and carrying children.  Hips of a mother, lips of a lover.

Personality (nice, rude, funny etc. Paragraph please.):  Ronnie is what you might call a ‘mom friend’.  She’ll pack your lunch, listen to you ramble about your terrible commute, and patch up your scraped knees.  Though very kind by nature, she has no qualms telling people off if she believes they’ve crossed a line or put someone else in harm’s way.  Though this has backfired on her several times, and she’s mistakenly taken retribution too far, nearly everything is done with good intention, if a bit selfishly.  She pushes through her own trials to use them to help others, taking her own wrongdoings as a template of what not to do.

Occasionally frail (a symptom of her Sight and lingering PTSD), and still shaking off the remnants of a timid exterior shell, Ronnie is finally learning what it means to be worth more than what you can provide.  She’s gotten her hands on a newfound confidence that’s been taunting her, unreachable, since she was sorted into the house of lions (a mistake, a younger Ronnie might insist).  It’s unclear what that might mean for the students of Hogwarts, but evidently, she believes she has something worthwhile to offer, whether that’s a bandaid, a prescription, or just a listening ear.

Hopes and dreams. Why are you teaching at Hogwarts?:  Ronnie has had this goal in mind ever since becoming a Senior Nurse in her 6th year.  Before then, even.  She’s seen Head Nurses come and go, some more equipped for the job than others, but all providing a piece of wisdom that she’d like to incorporate into the Hospital Wing.  Ronnie would like to bring more safety to the castle, and encourage casual healing among students.  She’s honestly appalled at how few medical spells are taught in comparison to spells used for harm or fun, and hopes to inspire students to find creative ways to prevent injury using mundane magic and even muggle precautions.  More than anything, Ronnie wants the students of Hogwarts, who are so often born or bred into tragedy, to know that they aren’t alone.

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

SCENE 1.  Bibury, Cotswold.  Summer 1939.

Ronnie Jay wiggled in her seat, arm extended and focus split between the bandages on her hand and the individual unwrapping them.  He was a large man, with burly arms and a square jaw, though Ronnie Jay had never found him imposing.  Rather, he was gentle and precise, with a warm smile and a soft, low voice that she’d inherited.  He was her father, after all.

“When treating open wounds, the cut must be kept clean and protected,” the man said, and Ronnie Jay nodded fervently.  She’d been reading the handful of books he kept in the treatment room, but she learned things best when he was explaining them.  “That’s why it’s important to change bandages frequently, even for small injuries.  At least once a day, until the skin scabs.”

“What happens if you don’t?”  Ronnie Jay struggled to keep still, arm finally settling but legs kicking between chair legs to keep up the movement.  She was working on patience, because she wanted to be more like her Dad.  It was a hard thing to learn.

Her father— who was called Ru-pert by adults— removed the last of the bandage and cast it aside.  “If you don’t properly clean and cover your cuts, dirt and all sorts of debris can get trapped under the skin, and when there’s too many germs for your body to handle, it causes an infection.”  He smiled reassuringly and reached for a fresh bandage.  “Luckily, infections are preventable and treatable, but they can be dangerous, so never neglect your bandaging.”

Ronnie Jay nodded thoughtfully, frowning the way she’d seen grown-ups frown when they’d just heard something very important or sad.  The large man chuckled at her expression, finished dressing the gash, and lay his giant hand on her tiny shoulder.  “Now,” he said.  “Are you going to tell me how this happened yet?”

Her mouth scrunched up to one side and she narrowed her eyes at him, considering his trustworthiness.  “It’s a secret,” she finally said.

“I won’t tell your mother.”  Something mischievous flickered in his eyes, and he extended his pinky toward her.  “Pinky promise.”

She considered the offering, and after a moment, accepted.  They shook on it.



SCENE 2.  Hogwarts School of Witchcraft & Wizardry.  March 1949.

Ronnie steered him toward the bench with a stern frown and the scrutinizing gaze of a disappointed mother, and despite his grumbling protests, Amerigo had no choice but to follow her direction.  His Quidditch uniform, similar to hers but for the pads on her shoulders, was adjusted to allow her to inspect the injury, and she removed the gauze with careful and steady movements, almost as if she were preparing him for surgery.  Amerigo rolled his eyes at her, but Ronnie paid him no mind, only tsk-tsking in exasperation at the sight of his untreated wound.  The gash, which he’d acquired during a tumble through the stands during the previous week’s practice, was now swollen and dark, streaked red in the surrounding skin, and beginning to take a yellowish tone on the edges of the wound.  It was awful, but Ronnie wasn’t the squeamish sort, so she was hardly blinked an eye.

After she inspected it a bit closer, Amerigo squirming in her steady grip, she sighed.  He’d been in the sport too long to be still neglecting his injuries.  “Did you not clean it and change the bandage like I told you to?”  It was clearly infected, and by the look on Amerigo’s face, he was well aware.

Amerigo grumbled and tried to shift his arm away from her.  She let him, and reached for the medical kit she kept with her during all games and practices.  “Merda, I did a few times,” he insisted, but the dull edge of shame to his typical mumble refuted the claim.  “E allora?”

Ronnie shook her head, disappointment dripping from her shoulders, and fixed him with a look that could make even a snake repent.  He knew better than this.  “If you’re not going to take care of injuries acquired during Quidditch, I don’t see why you should be allowed to play.”  Without further hesitation, she firmly adjusted the sleeve of his uniform and began cleaning and re-wrapping the infection.  “Until this heals properly, you’ll be sitting out of practice.”

“Dai!  You can’t be serious?”

Again, she neglected a response.  He knew exactly how serious she was; Ronnie didn’t fool around with medicine.  “Keeping your arms in good shape is imperative to the welfare of the rest of the players.  I won’t have a dead-limbed Beater threatening the safety of my defenseless Chasers and Seeker.

“Now, you’re going to follow my instructions very carefully if you want your spot back.  The wound needs to be kept clean and dry.  For an infected cut, that means washing it and replacing the bandage every few hours, or anytime the bandage is soaked through.  You’re going to check in with me at the Hospital Wing every other day after dinner, starting tomorrow.”

Amerigo glared stubbornly at his Captain, but he knew when to take her seriously, so he held his arm still and didn’t interrupt.

“If you miss even one check-up, without valid reason,” she continued.  “You’ll be out the next game, no matter the state of your injury.”  Ronnie smiled, and though it was warm like honey and the arms of a mother, there was a sharpness that cut any hope of compromise right from its branch.  She finished wrapping the cut and squeezed his other arm fondly, before standing.

“It’s important, Amerigo, to watch out for yourself before anyone else.”

(Wise words, but Ronnie rarely practiced what she preached.)



SCENE 3.  St. Mungo’s Pediatric Department.  Winter 1954.

The headaches were more consistent now, and she’d self-diagnosed it as the leaping phantom of Mum’s death, because the official title ‘seer’ sounded more like a gift than the reality.  She scoured books and dug herself into pits of research that ended up in dead ends more often than not— there was no cure, aside from tricky and deadly muggle surgeries, and even that wasn’t guaranteed to work.

She kept it a secret, for the most part, mainly for fear that the news would reach Icarus.  Slick knew, of course, and she wished she could say it was the right call.  He was her husband; hardly home and rarely husbandly, but nevertheless the goings-on of her life were his right to know.  (Still, she broke the vow of honesty, and felt no remorse for it; he was still unaware that she’d kept her job at the hospital after he’d demanded she quit.)

It was moments like this, holding the fingers of an eleven year old girl complaining of hot flashes and dreams that came true, that she was both grateful for and cursed her budding ability.  Her experience and research on magical psychological abnormalities gave her the information she needed to tentatively diagnose the patient, but it also reminded her that there was no way out of it.

Like Ronnie, this child was stuck in the future, and only a great miracle could cure her of it.



SCENE 4.  Streets of London; Waldo Angerville’s Apartment.  October 1955.

Tears had never phased her before, and they wouldn't now.  The liquid poured from her eyes in salty streams, chest seizing with hiccups and gasping breaths as she made the trek.  She had only the hour to thank for the lack of stares following her through London streets, and the wand gripped in her hand to thank for their safety.

The children, too young to fully understand the situation, clung to her throughout the journey.  Sam shared a hand with the magical weapon in his mother's possession, silent and balancing fury with satisfaction.  Amity Jean, balanced in Ronnie’s arm and on her hip, mirrored the sobs in confused panic.  And Ephraim, who had taken the event almost as harshly as Ronnie herself, dragged his feet and refused to let go of the skirt of her dress, demanding through tears that they return home.

She dreaded the moment she’d be stable enough to tell him that no, they would never be going back home.  At this moment, she wondered if it had ever been their home at all.

Ronnie's heart broke for her children, but it mostly broke for herself.  She'd always imagined marriage as an end to all sorrow, the answer to insecurity and enemy of loneliness.  She'd pictured cocoa by the fireplace, laughter in the kitchen, and romantic gestures on even the most insignificant of days.  After a few years of none of this, she'd lowered her standard: she expected only acknowledgement, and when she began to receive this only in his frustration at an empty icebox, and the clumsy shattering of dishes on the counter, it became apparent that she would never be home, not with him.

She had to leave.  And finally, that’s what she did.

Knowing it was the right thing to do didn’t stop the pain; if anything, it worsened it, because she knew she could never turn back.  Ephraim would beg, and Amity Jean would cry, and she would be hustled from friend to friend until she could put enough money down for a deposit, but no matter how hard it was, she’d never go back to Slick.  And— here was the kicker— despite it all, she still loved him.  Not the way she’d loved Darius, in waterfall limbs and flower beds and go fish.  Not the way she loved Waldo, in confusion and candy floss and mistaken feelings.  She loved him like only she could: in careful fear and dead devotion, trampled and forgotten and still holding on.

They rounded the corner, and Ronnie realized that Sam— that bitter angel boy she was ever-grateful to have as a son— had begun leading them to their destination, as the tears blurred her vision.  They took the trek up the stairs and to the familiar door.  In the middle of the night, she still knew he’d answer.  (Collectively, they’d been waiting for this.)

She knocked, and when the door eventually opened, she wept anew with hopeless relief.  “Waldo—” she said, and smiled sadly as Sam and Ephraim leapt through the doors as if that was where they were meant to be all along.  “It’s not for long— I just— I didn’t know where else to go.”  AJ reached for the lanky man, chubby fingers making grabbing motions at his hair.  “I left him.”



SCENE 5.  St. Mungo’s Psychology Dept.  Room 407.  January 2nd 1957.

Medicine wasn’t perfect.  The human body was far too complex to find a solution that fit every patient perfectly.  The magical community often got this wrong; they prescribed spells and potions as a be-all end-all answer: a pepper-up for this, a pepper-up for that; Sleeping Draughts as everyday sedatives; Episkey for everything from papercuts to a lacerated chest.  (Both would end in a disaster.)

In psychology, it was even more a mystery.  If the body was complex, the mind was... unimaginably so.  There were so many things that could go wrong, so many ‘gifts’ that could be easily twisted into nightmares.  She knew that firsthand.

"What if I don't like the potions?"

Lysander Stone, who responded to her verdict with what appeared to be dull apprehension, frowned at her, and Ronnie didn’t dare counter it with a grin.  Instead, she willed warmth toward him in a what she hoped was a look of reassurance.  The headache returned to burn in the back of her head, but she disregarded the throbbing fire for something far more important: an Empath almost lost to the casual dismissal of exasperated Healers.

(He, like Icarus and young Will, would feel the dark of everything, and she refused to allow him to plummet into waters like they had.)

“You don’t need to take them all the time.  Dulling all your emotions would only create a different problem.  Just keep one with you when you go to classes or mealtimes or other places with a lot of people around.  If you feel a bad headache coming on, try taking the potion and see if it helps.  I’ll speak to the castle’s Head Nurse to make sure he’s aware of the problem.”

She slid him a paper with written instructions, and a smile like peach cobbler.  “We’ll figure this out.  Promise.”



SAMPLE ROLEPLAY
(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:

Finding a babysitter for the day had proved more difficult than she’d expected.  With all her friends at work, and the daycare unexpectedly closed for the day, she’d been suddenly faced with a crisis that had previously only been a second thought.

Most of the young witches and wizards in her area were away, and she didn’t dare hire a muggle for fear of exposing them to accidental magic and, consequently, breaking the Statute of Secrecy.  Finally, she’d resorted to dropping them off at the Lilac Tree, and promised Mavis that she’d find someone to come watch them.  (In the end, she’d hired Sebastian, who was off to work at the Greenhouse anyway; not exactly what she’d promised, but necessary if she was going to make it to her interview on time.)

She been late anyway.

If the Headmistress’ expression was a winter night that sunk below freezing, Ronnie’s was the warm pie and cocoa that warmed the belly of anyone who dared brave the storm.  That lingering fear of being scolded twisted her guts, but she believed she knew the Headmistress’ character well enough to know they both had the same goal.  Ivanova, Ronnie assumed, only wanted what was best for the students and the school— as evidenced by her actions during the Hexenreich invasion— and Ronnie was nearly certain she had what they needed.

She’d learned— slowly, painfully, with many setbacks— that her experience and skill wasn’t something to scoff at, or to be disregarded.  Ronnie was a caretaker before anything else, and to say that she had nothing to offer the student body of Hogwarts would be an ill-informed assumption at best.  Between the werewolf attack, the high percentage of students suffering from mental illness, and the shocking ratio of healing to combat spells, Ronnie was certain her experience in healing magic and pediatric psychology could do a lot of good in the castle.

“So sorry, Headmistress.  I’ll do better.”  She pulled a folder from her bag, opened it to reveal a series of papers organized by unit, lesson, and budget, and pointed an inquisitive look in her potential employer’s direction.  “But if you are able to forgive me, I can tell you exactly why you should hire me despite my shortcomings.”
« Last Edit: 15/08/2019 at 15:14 by Ronnie Jay Beckham »
terrified
im
but im not leaving

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