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Author Topic: William Lancaster  (Read 240 times)

* William Lancaster

    (01/12/2014 at 02:15)
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CHARACTER INFORMATION

Character name: William Clarence Lancaster

Previous and/or Current Character(s) if applicable: Monroe Litchfield, Viola Vane, and entourage.

Character age: 43

Character education: Hogwarts, Ravenclaw, 1911-1918; Prefect 1917-1918

Strength and weaknesses (details please):

Though he is an intellectual at heart, he received decent marks at Hogwarts not through any extraordinary talent, but due to his diligence and sense of duty. Mature and down-to-earth, William is a realist and a capable caretaker. However, the man can also be incredibly uptight and closed-off, often preferring the company of books to that of people. He is oversensitive to criticism; even after receiving a very large share of it over the years from his family, he hasn't really developed a particularly thick skin, only a few different ways of coping with it. A bit of a loner, he is, occasionally, a particularly awkward person to converse with - often he either rambles endlessly on tangents or perpetuates extended awkward silence.

Physical description:

William's appearance is mostly unremarkable; he tries to blend in with the crowd and go about his life unnoticed. His brown hair is well-kept and graying in a few areas, usually combed straight back, but he can never seem to hide his cowlick quite well enough. His eyes are a deep blue, often dark and pensive, but can be bright and cheery if he is outside in the sunlight or in a particularly good mood. Will has always been tall and gangly, standing at a formidable 6'3" with lanky limbs and perfect posture born from years spent under the scrutinizing eyes of his elderly relatives. Despite his height, the way he carries himself isn't at all threatening; he seems genuinely approachable. He isn't very keen on the traditional, expensive robes of his relatives, preferring instead to wear a plain black or navy robe over a dress shirt, waistcoat, and slacks in any combination of neutrals and the occasional addition of color.

Personality (nice, rude, funny etc. Paragraph please.):

William is a very rational individual, taking the time to think things through before acting. Because of this, he is very indecisive, constantly second-guessing himself, and this sometimes drives people away and solidifies his distant and isolated nature. When speaking outside of a classroom setting, he is very anxious and forced, often piecing together strings of words that are impossible to follow. He has gotten better at public speaking and speaking in general since his time as a Hogwarts professor, but he remains perpetually awkward and difficult to connect with. For this reason, William has scarce few close friends to speak of, save for his mother and his siblings, and particularly a certain few of his nieces and nephews. He is oversensitive at times, taking things far too personally and letting them affect his work. The only thing that seems to alleviate this stress is a good novel, and William certainly has an impressive collection of them. On average, he has six bookmarked at any given time, picking up a different one depending on his mood.

Hopes and dreams. Why are you teaching at Hogwarts?:

Leaving Hogwarts, as it turns out, is about the most impulsive decision William has ever made. Even though he left to pursue a lifelong ambition, something perpetually put off due to his various excuses and rationalizations, he found that he missed teaching in a way he hadn't expected. Certainly, it had been his favorite of all the occupations he'd tried, but he hadn't thought it would be so hard to give it up, so difficult to focus on doing something else. So, after four years away with nothing to show for it, he's hesitant but willing to return to teaching, hoping that perhaps the academic atmosphere will reveal an approach to his problem he hadn't thought to try.

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

Five, six… Seven.

He frowned.

Perhaps it was a symptom of his age, but he could have sworn he owned exactly eight quills. At the moment, at least, he thought that it was eight, and though they frequently ended up misplaced or otherwise out of commission, he'd always tried to be aware of how many were at his disposal at any given moment.

The man pursed his lips and pulled out the chair at his desk to sit down. He often became attached to objects that didn't matter so much in the grand scheme of things, and the quill that had gone missing had been a favorite. He sighed and picked up one of the others to load with ink, always black.

Francesca,

That was as far as he'd gotten with the other letters. What did one say to a niece who was furious with you?

What I said was for your own good.

He scratched this bit out immediately. It seemed far too... fatherly. Not that he had much experience with that, as a son or otherwise. But it seemed like something that Arthur Lancaster might have said, if he'd been alive when William was his niece's age and if William had been the sort to attend parties in the Forbidden Forest.

He was not.

Your mother is worried.

William paused for a moment before crossing this out as well. It was untrue and surely Francesca knew that. He'd been far too dishonest the last few years for a statement like that to make any headway.

And being who he was, he had to pause and consider why he was so terribly distraught at the thought of his niece's animosity. He'd been away from the school for so long that he no longer remembered what it was like there, and certainly couldn't relate to being a teenager anymore. Perhaps it was because Francesca was the very closest thing he'd had to a friend in his time away from being a professor.

The years he'd spent at the estate were surprisingly dull. Surprisingly, because he tended to box himself in as about as dull as one could get, and thought he'd benefit from the quiet of the empty halls and prudish relatives. There were no explosions or hexes thrown or potions mishaps to be had outside of Hogwarts, and he found he missed the excitement.

He set the quill back on the desk, reaching for a theory book lying open nearby. If it wasn't one of his relationships that was suffering, there was always his studies to put a damper on his mood. He wondered if, somewhere in his subconscious, he enjoyed putting himself in difficult situations. He didn't blame circumstances - he'd always attributed his failures to his own shortcomings because it seemed like the thing to do.

A finger traced over the words and they blurred before his eyes. He'd finally descended into unambiguous monotony. William flipped the book shut with a snap and put it aside, too, taking out a fresh sheet of parchment.

Headmistress, he wrote, shaking his head. This had gone on long enough.

I'm writing to inquire

He stopped.

The missing quill had shaken itself loose from behind his ear and fallen onto the letter he'd begun.

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:

His eyes had fallen immediately on the portrait of the familiar blonde woman at the far end of one wall, and he knew it would distract him for the entire meeting. It wasn't that their working relationship had been poor, necessarily, but he'd long resigned himself to the fact that he'd developed a healthy anxiety when around the former Headmistress. Or, in this case, her likeness (he pitied the poor soul who'd done the painting), which now seemed to be staring down at him icily. Knowingly.

He swallowed.

His gaze slid to the office's current occupant, imparting a tight-lipped smile meant to ease the tension caused by his tardiness but only making him appear uncomfortable. This reunion was not off to a great start.

"Yes."

(In every iteration of this meeting he'd run through in his head, he'd been eloquent. His hair had cooperated with his comb. Anneka had offered him a cup of tea. They'd had a social interaction appropriate to their age. It had been pleasant.)

A period of silence followed in which he straightened his tie.

"The portrait of Giffard Abbott—" Something in the back of his mind hissed that talking to portraits more than people was unbecoming. "—detained me for a chat." Also, that it was quite impossible for a portrait to physically detain him. Blue eyes flicked briefly back to the blonde woman. If any portrait could

"It's been a while, hasn't it?"

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