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Author Topic: Sylvia Renn | Sonomancy  (Read 283 times)

* Sylvia Renn

    (14/12/2020 at 00:52)
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Character name: Sylvia Rose Renn

Previous and/or Current Character(s) if applicable: Elsie Märchen, Lynn Basile, Artemis Foxe, Austin Nadeau, Avery Elliot

Character age: 26 (will turn 27 shortly after '61 term starts)

Character education: Hogwarts - Hufflepuff, Head Girl, Class of ‘52

Strength and weaknesses (details please):

Sylvia was always built for ballrooms.

She was taught to be quiet and observant, attuned to those around her. She would typically use this to her advantage in socialite gatherings, able to please others easily with her compliments and bright personality. However, in her attempts to predict people’s intentions, Sylvia often gets caught up in her own judgements and can misinterpret situations entirely in an effort to understand them.

While eager to keep a semblance of harmony, Sylvia is fiercely loyal to those she has grown close to, which has extended firmly past her family’s small borders. As such, this facade intricately crafted from years in Pureblood society can come across as haughty and cold to those caught in the eye of one who has grown wary of anyone who would tear her loved ones down. It has also led to her stubbornness of both opinion and decision, quick to deem someone unworthy and she exhibits passive-aggressive behaviour when letting it be known.

In more recent years, Sylvia has learned to have patience with others, having taught for years in France and showing young women how to become leaders within their households. She is encouraging to students, always challenging them to push past what they believe possible, and not just in the realm of their musical talent.

Sylvia prides herself on being extremely well organized, managing her own career as a Curriculum Coordinator at L'école Enchantons and assisting Dorian with managing their estate during their marriage. Taking a page from her own lessons, Sylvia looks to expand her horizons and apply as a professor at Hogwarts.

It’s all about learning a new dance.

Physical description:

Sylvia is fairly short at 5’ 2”, with blonde hair that has darkened as she has grown older to a more golden-brown hue. Her vivid blue eyes remain unchanged if a bit more tired since she last saw Hogwarts with them. Her freckles are most prominent in September upon returning from summers spent outside on her terrace and in the parks of France, small constellations across the bridge of her nose and forehead.

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

If she had to pick only one word to describe herself as, it would be refined. Despite the changes in her life over the last several years and with some relaxation around the term, Sylvia still considers her to be a young lady committed to coming across as polite and ‘upper-class’. While no longer quite the pride of her family as she was, Sylvia remains a Renn and holds her head up appropriately, greeting politely, curtsying neatly, and only talking badly when the subject is not present.

In the classroom, Sylvia’s walls seem to shake, she smiles more as she interacts with students and listens with less judgement. For once, she actively encourages wrong answers, looking for discussion before correcting. She strives for understanding in her classrooms, even around her discipline, being firm but fair to all.

Sylvia can be reserved but much like when she was younger, when she has grown comfortable, there is a brightness in her countenance just looking for a place to shine.

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

Most of Sylvia’s life has been decided by everyone else but her. It comes with the territory of being a Renn child. The trade-off of protection by the Renn name in return for utmost loyalty to their ways and decisions. For a long time, it never felt like a burden to bear when she couldn’t imagine life otherwise.

When arranged into a marriage with Dorian Fortnum, it seemed to be a continuation of the best possible case given her situation, and once more, was just another thing she accepted as part of her role. One boy slowly growing wet in the rain as he handed back a chipped umbrella would not be her downfall.

Maybe it was France, then. With her small collection of students and large collection of teapots they gifted her, Sylvia did not fall in love with France. She fell in love with who she could be there, away from the judgemental eye of her parents and the stifling expectations of running a household.

She fought to stay in France with the same dedication that she fought for her hardingfele back in third year and to stay on the Quidditch team after repeated injuries. With the type of ferocity she should have fought for a lot of things that she knew made her happier, but had always been tempered by her loyalty to her family’s desires.

It gave her a taste of how it felt to be the daughter they didn’t fully approve of, showing what it meant to be an adult outside of the sphere of Pureblood society and what it meant to be Sylvia, without the weight of Renn or Fortnum attached to her. As her parents continued to quietly disapprove but were unwilling to lose another of their children by outright disowning her as they did her elder sister, Sylvia grew more emboldened to her commitment to these small freedoms.

Teaching at L'école Enchantons, Sylvia has always imagined what it would be like to stand in the same classrooms she had loved in Hogwarts, beside some of the professors she’d admired so greatly. Perhaps even beside some of the people she had once walked through these halls with as students.

Though she’s the Curriculum Coordinator at L'école Enchantons, there are certain expectations she has to abide by as a leader in the finishing school, still rooted in traditionalist beliefs and the ‘proper roles’ in society. It dictates who can take her classes and the content she is allowed to teach, all to ensure the women who leave the halls are ‘proper ladies’ about to embark in the tangled webs of Pureblood society where they still fight for an equal place.

After having up-ended so much of her life in the past year, Sylvia now is looking to come home, by her own choice, and teach the class she’s wished she could for the past five years.

Biography (500 words minimum. There is never such a thing as too much.):
[allusions to Dorian made with permission from original player <3]

The question has always been, where to start, hasn’t it?

Perhaps the best starting point would be her childhood, filled with lavish toys and sporadic magic. The warmth of her family that loved their youngest addition even as she was carefully moulded into the daughter that was fit for a family of their reputation. Sweet and playful, but not obnoxious or ignorant. Kind and giving, but understood the hierarchy of society. Hard-working but effortlessly so. Ambitious, but loyal to her family.

It would be a fitting beginning, but Sylvia never really felt that it was where her life started.

It could have been at Hogwarts, stone hallways that echoed with the voices of hundreds and magic that ran more ancient than her family could ever claim. Where she found friends who challenged her world. Professors taught her theory and spells and two Ravenclaws taught her everything else.

Friendship without ulterior motives, love without conditions, family of choice, bonded by experience. They became her greatest source of strength and in turn, one of her great weaknesses. Threads twisted into her veins to hold all her seams together.

And her family asked her to choose.

Sylvia watched two birds fly away from her after that Christmas, dragging with them pieces of her heart until there were only the frayed edges of the promises they never kept and the biggest one she broke.

The echoes of what could have been was the only thing Sylvia could see in their eyes. Shades of autumn leaves, coffee with milk, sunlight through a forest, they were everywhere and likely because Sylvia never stopped looking for them.

She wished she could have given them anything else, but all they wanted was her, honest and scared and wildly free. And, she couldn’t give them that at all.

So maybe it started with graduation. Out into the real world. When she was married, running an estate, falling into exactly where she was supposed to be as a Pureblood lady.

These all sound fitting for the Sylvia who graduated with honours, a Head Girl badge, and a broken heart, married to a gentle husband with a prestigious name and beautiful gardens. Only that she was defined as the wife of Dorian, the Head Girl of 1952, the Hufflepuff, the child of the Renn family. Sylvia wasn’t really sure if that was who she wanted to be known for anymore.

It had actually all started on that cold Christmas morning in 1959, when she cried in their study, watching the ledger she filled with her neat script bleed and make a mess of her work. The galleons poured into charity galas, gifts for weddings they couldn’t attend, babies they’d never met. The countless hours poured into all these things not worth anything at all. The time she’d continue to let slip between her fingers until she was left nothing to hold onto.

Dorian had leaned against her back, his arms warm and solid around her as he rested his chin on her head, and asked what she wanted to do.

“Just not this,” she had whispered, covering her face as if in hiding the tears she’d also hide her shame. He knew she didn’t mean the accounting and he was quiet for a moment, rocking them back and forth.

It started when Dorian said with a soft smile, pulling her hands away from her face to kiss her thumb, “Then you don’t have to.”

They kept it quiet and cordial, sorting out their finances side-by-side and filling out paperwork that their parents couldn’t understand. Just a difference of opinion and interest, they wrote on paper, though it couldn’t be further from the truth. They had never done anything without being in complete agreement and this, as bittersweet as it was, was exactly the same.

Everything that had been hers before they married, became theirs and then left as his. She kept the funds she’d earned as a teacher at the school and politely refused her parents’ expectation she’d return to the Renn Estate upon separation. She knew the intention was to keep an eye on her and find her a new partner, rather than for her own benefit.

She made sure the House Elves knew the gardening schedule and reminded Dorian to rest when he worked too hard. She left all the things they’d collected over the years to fill the empty corners of the estate they grew together, polishing them by hand just to memorize the feel of porcelain, gold, and heavy oak underneath her fingertips.

Sylvia left notes tucked away inside books in their library, in the corner of his desk, drawers they rarely opened, one carefully placed behind a mirror should he ever decide to redecorate. On the paper she’d made by pressing flowers from their garden into the pulp, grainy and uneven, she reminded him to smile, to relax his shoulders, to take deep breaths. To call her, to come over for tea, to not worry about her.

Before she Dis-Apparated from their porch into her small studio apartment in France, Sylvia held Dorian’s hands tightly in her own. “You’ll write? And you’ll come visit sometime?” he asked with a little furrow in his brow.

“Of course,” Sylvia promised, the easiest promise she’d ever made in her life because of the weightlessness of her heart to swear it. “And you’ll come for tea? You can spend every holiday with me.”

Dorian laughed because he couldn’t promise the same and they both knew it. He hugged her until she was breathless, and when they parted, they both looked at each other and said, “I love you.”

Perhaps it wasn’t the kind that was meant for a couple, but it was the kind that was for them. A kind that Sylvia never felt hesitant to declare, the same way she loved Icarus and the young women she taught. Dorian taught her acceptance and a gentle, unbidden affection, and then pushed her to love herself a little more fiercely.

That … that was when it all began.

(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 one 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:

Sylva had not imagined a lot of things in her life going the way they had. She did not imagine being sorted into Hufflepuff, with her winged brothers and sister curious as to why she did not join their flock. She did not imagine playing Quidditch, the wind on her face and the tilt of a broom underneath her. She could have never imagined Adrian Alric or Icarus Argabright.

She also never imagined being late for an interview with Professor Ivanova, but if Sylvia had learned anything in the past twenty-six years: there was a first time for everything. Including getting mardi and mercredi mixed up, even with her years of fluency. Perhaps it was the more recent back-and-forth she had been doing between Britain and France, thoughts becoming an odd mix of the two languages that she felt more than understood in perfect form.

Sylvia had been seated at her desk in France, rehearsing a piece she had planned for Professor Ivanova. She had been wondering how happiness could be so simply understood, yet so difficult to define. When Weigela sprung from the notes that drifted through the air, her pale blue barely visible in the daylight, she’d asked Weigela what she thought of happiness. Her Patronus didn’t have much to say in the tilt of her small head, perched on the end of her hardingfele tuning pegs.

“Could you be made from hope alone?” she asked aloud, continuing to play and shifting the tune so Weigela took flight, looping around the wrought iron rails of her balcony before turning back. If one’s happiest memory was not enough to produce a Patronus, could hope be? Was the happiness produced from dreams not as real as the one pulled from the past?

If played in a duet, could a Patronus be spurred from both? Was it a quantity measured in some magical form?

Ah, Icarus would know the answer to this.

Dropping her hands, Weigela disappearing in the same motion, she looked at her calendar to check when she would expect to see Icarus next, before freezing when her eyes landed on the circled date. Sylvia’s eyes widened, quickly recounting the date and was already grabbing a shawl as she raced down to the complex’s shared Floo.

“Hogwarts!” she yelled the moment the fire turned green, stepping in.

It was tempting to burst straight into Professor Ivanova’s office the moment the clock struck 2:07 PM but Sylvia took a gulping breath to calm her racing heart. Another, to calm her nerves. And one more, just for good luck. When she opened the door, the Professor turned on her heel and levelled a stare that Sylvia had never seen from the Headmistress. At least, not directed at her.

“I am,” Sylvia replied evenly, realizing when she went to curtsy that one of her hands still held her hardingfele and bow. She settled for a one-handed dip at the door before entering. “I will not presume that my excuses would be worth listening to, though I assure you lateness is not a tendency of mine now just as it was not while I attended this institution.”

Walking forward, Sylvia straightened her shoulders and raised her bow, smiling at the Headmistress with a bright gleam in her blue eyes. “If you will still grant me the honour of interviewing for professor, Headmistress, I do believe I have something more valuable to listen to.”

In addition to posting a completed application in this forum, we also ask that you submit a PM to Anneka Ivanova with details of your class and with the lesson plans for that class (include at least a minimum of 4 lessons). Also, please be sure to check the Available Positions thread located in this forum to make sure the class you want is available before applying.
PM following shortly after this!
you  /yōō, yə/ pronoun.
  a microscope through which I can see
  all the broken parts of me.