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Author Topic: Gwendolen Prendergast - Elsewhere Adult  (Read 811 times)

* Gwendolen Prendergast

    (06/01/2017 at 22:03)
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E L S E W H E R E   A D U L T

Character Name: Gwendolen Arabella Prendergast
Gender: Female
Age: 30 (b. 12 May, 1919)
Blood Status: Squib (Pureblood)

Gwendolen has been working in her father's tiny wand shop since she was eleven, when most girls her age were sent to Hogwarts. She began apprenticing with him when she was fourteen and discovered a rare (and ironic) talent for the art of wandmaking.

Diagon Alley, London, England


Do you plan to have a connection to a particular existing place (for example: the Ministry, Shrieking Shack) or to take over an existing shop in need of new management?
I have the intent of opening a wand shop -- Prendergast & Sons -- in Diagon Alley.

Requested Magic Levels:
Gwendolen is a Squib and cannot wield magic of any kind. Instead, her powers are shrewdness, meticulousness, and uncommonly good sense.
  • Charms: 0
  • Divination: 0
  • Transfiguration: 0
  • Summoning: 0
Do you wish to be approved as a group with any other characters? If so who and for what IC reason?

Please list any other characters you already have at the site:
Cedric Galyn et. al.

Biography: (300 words minimum.)
Miss Gwendolen Prendergast never gave a fizzing whizbee what anybody else thought about her, thank you very much, not since she'd been a very little girl.  She wore red lipstick to funerals and silk stockings in the middle of wartime and she said precisely what she meant without a hint of sugar to ease the bitter taste. It didn't matter, after all.  People would think of her what they would think of her and she didn't have a moment of time to waste on their petty little grievances.

Her father Alpheus was a wandmaker by trade and a thumping good one at that, as had been his father, and his mother, and a whole string of ancient relatives of which no one really bothered to remember the entirety. He owned a tiny little shop on a dead-end side street in Diagon Alley, a two-story building as old as the business itself which proclaimed in proud silver lettering: Prendergast & Sons.  Since 1522. The exterior was lopsided and weathered and in some light gave one the impression of a wilting weed, but looks can be deceiving especially in the wizarding world. That shop had made the Prendergasts rather wealthy over the centuries -- a Prendergast wand, by its maker's less than humble admission, was a wand not easily bested.

Her mother Elaine, by all accounts, did her sworn duty as a pureblood wife and produced not one but three strapping lads to carry on the Prendergast name and tradition, all of them enviably normal and properly magical.  Gwendolen came last, the only girl, healthy and strong and possessing of the most powerful set of lungs.  But while each of her brothers showed signs of magical ability, little Gwen showed none at all.  And when her eleventh birthday came and went with no Hogwarts letter to speak of, her parents were forced to face a truth almost too embarrassing to fathom.

Having a Squib daughter threw a rather large wrench into the Prendergasts' perfect pureblood lives. How would they explain it to their high-society acquaintances? What must people be saying about them? There also arose the difficult question of what exactly to do with a daughter who couldn't be magically educated, so in the meantime Gwendolen ran nearly wild. She was a holy terror, throwing tantrums and rebelling in the most glorious fashion. After long it was determined that someone needed to keep an eye on her, and in the end it was her father who volunteered.

Alpheus, despite his embarrassment, had always held a fondness for his youngest.  While his sons held aspirations of a loftier sort -- positions in the Ministry, professional Quidditch, healing at St. Mungo's -- Gwendolen was the only Prendergast child to take a real and early interest into the family business. As a very little girl, Gwendolen would run her fingers over the blocks of uncarved wood in the storeroom and sit for hours watching Alpheus craft a new wand. The shop was perhaps the only place in the world where Gwendolen would behave herself and she did have to learn to make a living eventually. Initially, she was put to work as a stock girl, organizing the shelves, displaying new products in the windows. And she watched.  She watched as her father built wands and carved the details, she paid attention to how he matched customers and the memorized the properties of cores and woods alike.  She entrenched herself in the art of it all, all the while knowing that a wand was the last thing she would ever own.  Perhaps that was what made it so appealing.

A year later, in the summer of 1931, she was putting new boxes out into the window display -- her first morning duty -- when a customer entered. Alpheus was taking care of some business or another in the back room and so Gwendolen being only twelve thought she must be old and intelligent enough to assist herself.

"Sir," she called to the man.  "Can I help you?"

What that customer thought as he looked down at this slip of a girl (she had never been very tall or well-built) is uncertain, but for whatever reason the man accepted her assistance.  He was looking for a silver lime wand with a unicorn hair core like his last one. Silver lime was all rage -- quite flashy, very chic.

"No," said Gwendolen instantly and quite seriously. "You don't want a silver lime wand."

And why ever not? She was asked and the customer looked a bit miffed.

"You're not suited for it, that's why not," Gwendolen retorted, and marched over to the window to retrieve one of the newest wands on display.  It was yew, ten and a quarter inches, unicorn hair core, whippy, and she presented it still in the box. "Go on, then."

Who can say why a grown man elected to listen to a snippy little twelve year old girl, but he took the wand and the results were... curious to say the least. It was a warm bright light that suddenly filled the room, with different colors streaming across the walls of the shop. The customer looked fairly astonished, Gwendolen's eyes widened with delight and it was just at this precise moment that Alpheus rounded the corner.

After the customer had left, new wand purchased and looking quite satisfied, Gwendolen received a talking to. Under no circumstances was she ever to assist a customer without Alpheus' supervision again. It was the shop's reputation at stake, their name.

"He wanted a silver lime wand." she protested. "He shouldn't have a silver lime. He wasn't made for it."

Wands, she was informed sternly, were made for wizards and not the other way around. That was the end of it. But not for Gwendolen.

When she was fourteen, he caught her with a carving tool and a block of scrap wood. "I'm making a wand," she told him with a fierce sort of honesty and Alpheus couldn't help but laugh. What made her believe an old piece of wood too ugly and thin to be of any use could be turned into a wand, he wanted to know, but she read his expression. How could a Squib possibly hope...?

"This is the best part of the wood," that young Squib hissed back.  "You wait and see."

Less than a week later she placed a thin, supple wand on his workbench, simple but elegant. The work was rough in a few places and there was a bit of sanding to be done, yet when he gave it a condescending wave and a pot of wood glue levitated on the other side of the room, there was little that Alpheus could do to deny that this wand was not simply a child's fantasy.  Perhaps...

"Teach me," his daughter commanded, and against his better judgment Alpheus threw up his hands. Why not?

By the time she was eighteen, she was more than adept at the elements of wandmaking. Her first saleable work -- oak, eleven inches, dragon heartstring, rigid -- was sold after a week and it only improved from there. With nary a drop of magic in her veins, every wand she crafted was entirely handmade. She braided thin plaits of unicorn hair and discovered that the twists made the wand more durable and the magic more stable than the traditional method of bundling. She learned to carve delicate leaves and three dimensional designs, and when she was finished her father would inspect the result.  He was never disappointed.

A new decade brought war and eventually tragedy; in 1941, Gwendolen's oldest brother Evren was killed in action in France. The shock of losing his oldest son hit Alpheus with more force than he was able to bear and his health suffered greatly for it. In 1943, he died of a heart attack.

Gwendolen herself mourned her father's loss, but she had never been the sort to cry over spilt milk. Neither of her remaining brothers were going to be much help seeing as they hardly ever set foot in the wandshop, so it was left to her to be the Prendergast that carried on the family tradition.  Elaine protested, having never been in favor of a Squib making wands -- they had already lost customers over it and people were talking -- but there was little choice. Either Gwendolen made wands or Prendergast & Sons would die with Alpheus.

After all, Gwendolen Predergast didn't care a wit about what anyone else thought.

You come across one of these posts on the site. Please select one & reply as your character:

Option One -
Amelia Nixon was many things, but she was never a pushover reporter that people could just usher away with a busy shuffle past. She was dedicated and eager to cut to the very middle of the current political tensions because she was Amelia Nixon and her articles would most certainly become front page material.

“Sir, please! It’s for the Prophet, how do you feel-“

Another one brushed passed her, the shuffling busy masses making their way through Diagon Alley for the lunchtime rush. This had been the best possible time to get people, but none of them were giving her anything to go with.

Only momentarily discouraged, the short red headed lady took a seat on a nearby bench. Her quill resting in her left hand and her notepad ready in the opposite hand. Amelia pouted, tapping the quill against her leg as she scanned the waves of people for somebody - anybody - who looked like they had something to say.

She had been dreaming of her name in bold print, Amelia Nixon: The Source of Today’s Tomorrow. She had been dreaming of the larger office and the secretaries that would fetch her the morning coffee and fetch her anything she needed. The VIP interviews and the most exclusive press passes. But all Amelia had was a page seventeen piece on the rising number of frogs in London.

Hardened by a day of no success, the reporter stood up and started to trod off down the alley. A loose stone on the cobble path caught her heel, sending the distraught girl toppling down to the ground.

“Merlin’s fog watch, my heel is broken! Help!” she yelled as she tried desperately to recover her shoe frantically in the middle of the Diagon Alley moving crowds.

Roleplay Response:
Black pumps -- patent leather with a thin silver twist running down the heel -- clicked smartly on the pavement as Gwendolen took a brisk stroll through the bustling streets of Diagon, shopping list in hand. The unicorn hair shipment was late again and she had thirteen wands to complete by week's end. Fortunately she knew a little place in Knockturn that could get her the goods in time. Not cheaply, of course, but legally, which was important since she hadn't any intention of selling cursed wands. Messing about with unicorn products was tantamount to casting the curse herself.

Not that she actually could cast a curse, but the metaphor stood.

She was just turning the corner when a woman in the crowd, short and redheaded and looking rather bewildered, was knocked off her feet. There was screaming and shouting and carrying on and Gwendolen gave a disapproving shake of her head. Pitiful. Someone ought to remind the poor, senseless idiot that she had a wand at her disposal, but seeing that no one was reminding her, Gwen resigned herself to the fact that she would have to do it herself.

She approached Amelia on the ground, crouching down in a perfect balancing act on her spindly heels.

"Is it really that much of an emergency that you have to call for help on account of a shoe? Merlin's beard, it's a wonder magical folk have any common sense at all. You have a wand."  With a yank, she freed the pump from the cobblestones and held it outstretched to the harried reporter.  "Shall I put it on for you too, or are you quite finished playing the helpless damsel?"

Honestly. There were days she was glad she was a Squib if only to see how horribly dependent upon magic people really were.

How did you find us? The magical land of the Internet.

* Calypso Ross

    (09/01/2017 at 15:54)
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