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Author Topic: Willa Dawson  (Read 111 times)

Willa Dawson

    (09/08/2019 at 04:37)
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Application for Hogwarts School


Name: Willa Barclay Dawson

Birthday: November 26, 1941

Hometown: Deadwood, South Dakota

Bloodline: Muggleborn

Magical Strength (pick one): Charms

Magical Weakness (pick one): Divination

Year (pick two): Fifth, preferably. Sixth, if necessary.


Warren Dawson; Dodge City, Kansas. U.S. Marshal, 1860s.

One Hour

At around two-thirty in the morning, Gemma Dawson (née Baró) gave birth to a little girl, the first in the Dawson line, in a small cabin in the hills of South Dakota; the cabin was old, the roof had holes, and it rained that night. Still, the town’s doctor saw it fit enough to bring Willa Dawson into the world.

There was nothing special about the birth. It was like any other that happened in Deadwood, South Dakota, except she might’ve got some grimy rainwater on her. Her father, William Dawson, was also not waiting just outside the cabin, smoking, instead, he was on duty somewhere smoking.

Willa Dawson was born to not only a long line of boys but a long line of lawmen that reached back to the American frontier. Each one did their bit in cleaning up America’s old west. They kept at it, all the way up to now, and it was the only thing her family was known for.

It wasn’t as glamorous as it sounded.

She wasn’t really meant to be Willa; she was meant to be another William. No one was more disappointed than her mother.

Wes Dawson; Santa Fe, New Mexico. Deputy Sheriff, 1870s.

Eight Years

Willa Dawson, it was quickly becoming apparent, was going to be too much to handle. 

Her daddy had to go pick her up (from whoever was holding her in place after finally catching her; she had a tricky knack for escaping) at least four times a week. Either she was caught fighting, walked out of school when they tried to make her do something stupid, or she was found stealing (it was a dare) or spotted somewhere she definitely wasn’t supposed to be (bigger dare).

William Dawson adored his daughter though (even if he’d caught her stealing his cigarettes at least twice in the last month; he couldn’t be sure if she was smoking them or just trading them). She tried drinking his coffee every morning; black, a little gritty. They played cards the times he was home.

Gemma Dawson didn’t seem to know what to do with her daughter. She wouldn’t wear the dresses laid out for her. Resisted the curls she tried to put in her hair. Most of all, Willa resisted her mother’s attempts to make her look like a little doll version of herself.

But Willa had changed in one way.

She was considerably more responsible, mature, protective - when it came to her baby sister, born four years ago, and another disappointment to Gemma Dawson’s life.

Wynette Dawson had been born in a recently repaired cabin, with only one or two holes in the roof, on a sunny afternoon in May.

She was a happy baby and both Willa and her daddy loved her, but Gemma didn’t seem to know what to do with her either. It could be said that her mother tried her best, did what she could despite never being home and not always getting up when Wynette cried. Daddy was always out working.

Willa only saw her mother not being there for her baby sister like she hadn’t been (and still wasn’t) for her.

Wynette Dawson belonged to Willa as soon as she was born.

Wyatt Dawson; Tombstone, Arizona. Sheriff, 1880s.

Thirteen Years

Two years ago, when the letter came, Willa had been home alone.

She didn’t see the words at first. All she saw these days were keeping Wynette fed and at school; their daddy’s gravestone every Sunday; Caleb or Heath or whoever the hell it was that left in the mornings; and the old target pinned to a tree in the back that was busted on one side and full of holes everywhere else.

She thought the letter had been a joke.

Things like that weren’t real. Magic couldn’t be real. Not for her. She’d never even heard of some of the words and books needed for the school, and it was a school she had to go away to. Away from her baby sister.

It was also something that branded her as a bigger stain on the line to her mother. Like she was cursed.

Willa refused.

Wynette convinced her.

But besides their funny names and clothes, they weren’t much different from them. There were still the good kids and the bad kids (she was still the worst). Still the rich kids and the poor ones (she was still on the wrong side of the tracks on that one). This new world had something else too, something that made her worse still.

She was less than enough because she was the first one born with magic in her family.

Not new. That could get in line right behind being the first Dawson girl. The first Dawson not to follow the rules. It was just one more thing. She’d probably get kicked out of this school too, just like the others.

Whitman Dawson; Fort Griffin, Texas. Texas Ranger, 1890s.

Fifteen Years

It was Thomas, in the end, that stopped leaving in the mornings.

It was also Thomas, in the end, that took them away from Deadwood. He wanted to go back home and take Gemma and her daughters with him (he actually liked them; Wynette liked him, Willa thought his mustache was ridiculous).

She wasn’t an adult yet. Despite how she felt. She didn’t have a choice, and for a moment, she thought maybe she’d end up dropping out of the magical world altogether, but as it turned out, Thomas was very understanding (it was annoying) and there was a school that Willa would be able to attend and finish her studies at.

Thomas Davis was not a rich man, but he made decent enough money to move them back to his home in England. They were still, by no means, well off.

But they were better off than they had been in Deadwood, South Dakota.

Didn’t mean she had to like it. It was still a school with a funny name, and she was going to bet (and she betted often), it had the same class system as America. She’d still have to go away again for school, much to her mother’s relief, and her mother had been even more relieved when she discovered there was a summer camp. Willa could be sent off even sooner.

William Dawson; Deadwood, South Dakota. Police Officer, 1940s-1954.

Fifteen And A Half Years

“What the hell? You’re gonna send me where? You’re not sending me--"

An hour later, Willa Dawson found herself stumbling out of a fireplace, coughing and cursing. Once she got a look around, realized where she was, she scowled.

“You’ve got to be kidding me.”


Option II:

The gardens were peaceful. Quiet. Delicate. 

A loud blast suddenly rang out.

It was followed by glass shattering, sending shards slicing through the surrounding flowers. Willa didn’t bat an eye, only her lips twitched just a little, as her wand was held out in front of her more like a cold, hard pistol than a wand.

Lined up along a row of thick hedges sprouting pink and white flowers were five empty glass bottles and Willa’s wand was trained on the next one. 

She’d found, funnily enough, that not everyone liked objects exploding near their faces or limbs, so she’d been polite, and found places people were not.

It was how she liked it anyway. 


“You blasted rat! Where are you?”


The shot missed its mark and blew a hole through the foliage of the hedge, sending tattered pieces of white and pink everywhere. 

Taking the cigarette from her lips, she blew out an irritated breath of smoke, relaxing her wand hand to look around. Following the sounds of rustling and someone sounding like they were having a fit, Willa rounded a corner, fully determined to rip into whoever had just made her miss her shot. 

Missing wasn’t something she did.  

Willa raised an eyebrow at the boy she’d found though, taking another drag from her cigarette, observing him as if she couldn’t figure out what he was. She pulled a face when he sneezed over everything though. If she noticed that he was upset at all, the only sign was an uncomfortable shift of her shoulders, as she slipped her wand back into the leather holster that hung loosely off her hip. 

“Neither’s blowing snot everywhere, kid.”

“So if you could shut it already,” she took the cigarette from her mouth, exhaling, and the look she gave him said that he definitely should. 

There was a small pause as if Willa was waiting for her words to actually sink into the boy’s thick skull.

“Besides,” she continued after a moment, nonchalantly, “Your rat’s probably long gone by now,” nicer than saying dead, and she gave an indifferent shrug, bringing the cigarette back to her lips, “Cats.”

That was helpful, wasn’t it?


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Merryl Midthunder

    (11/08/2019 at 19:24)
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Dear Miss Dawson,

We are pleased to inform you that you have been accepted to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.

Term begins 1 September 2019. Currently, students have gathered at Camp Loki, and we encourage you to spend your summer there. Should you choose, you may also visit our Elsewhere board via the Floo Network to visit or purchase school supplies.

Yours sincerely,
Merryl Midthunder
Head of Gryffindor