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Author Topic: Évariste Altier [Librarian]  (Read 223 times)

Évariste Altier

    (15/08/2021 at 05:17)
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Character name: Évariste Dieudonné Odilon Altier

Previous and/or Current Character(s) if applicable: Ronnie Jay Beckham, Ivory Summers, Holland Summers, etc.

Character age: 35.

Character education: Académie Flamel, a private pureblood school near Pontoise, France.  Attended only until age 16, when he and his sister fled to relatives in Britain following the Allied powers’ liberation of France in 1944.

Strength and weaknesses (details please):

Évariste’s strength is in the stitch between language and enchantment, in adapting and exploring the depths of magic woven into the very nature of those who practice it.  He seeks discovery through research and experimentation, and is not held back by frivolities such as "impossible" or "too dangerous".

Évariste’s greatest weakness lies in his lack of inter- and intrapersonal awareness.  He has yet to complete any spell he's set out to create (alone, that is) because he is blinded by his own experiences, and struggles to recognize his own strengths, weaknesses, and needs.  He falls short when communicating with others, which has been a significant detriment to his personal relationships, and he often needs assistance in recognizing the hurdles he creates for himself.

Évariste's magical strength is Charms, and he has a gift for intuitive magic, though he struggles with any structured form of Divination, such as prediction or aura-reading.  He generally dislikes verbal Transfiguration, or really any form of magic that demands a specific word structure.

Physical description:

Tall, lean, with sharp shoulders and wavy (or is it just messy?) dark hair.  Piercing sage-green eyes, with permanently tired circles under them.  Usually wearing a well-tailored suit and a red or black turtleneck, or a high quality dress shirt, and oxford shoes.  You can tell he cares about his clothes, but you might also notice they occasionally sport scorch marks or other arcane damage, so maybe he doesn't care that much.  Wears Oudh-brand fragrances, and has very good posture.  Speaks with a French accent.

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

Évariste is rather polite and generally reserved, though he can be coaxed into long-winded discussion, particularly on magical theory and experimental magic.  He rarely lies directly, though he can be difficult to communicate with at times, as he frequently speaks in obscurities, and usually avoids discussing his personal life, even with those involved.

Hopes and dreams. Why are you teaching at Hogwarts?:  My boyfriend works there and I'm lonely at home.  Knowledge should be shared and enjoyed by all, and what better place to foster interest in learning than at the heart of Wizarding Britain's education?  A library is freedom.

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

Évariste Altier began half-emptied, rose stems threaded into his shins and spiderweb cracks in his skull.  He was item more than he was child— toy soldier, mechanical appliance, doll— and he knew no better.  “Patience,” he was reminded, again and again, until he no longer knew the meaning of the word.  It hung in the crimson threads of his mind, swollen and suffocating and grey.

He began half-emptied, and he filled the space with that grey, some undead thing with princely posture.

Early May, 1936
Ambrose Altier Propriété, near Caen, France

The cat was soot-grey and apricot, with missing whiskers and long matted fur that clung to his trousers as he knelt in the grass to pet her.  One ear was torn and healed over in several places, as though some large mouth had taken a bite out of it, and Évariste’s small fingers scratched behind it.

She was very clearly a stray, and he very clearly was not.  Princesse Adélaïde, he called her, with a thin smile that stretched awkwardly across his lips.

His name screeched across the garden and pond and long drive they never used, and the princesse scampered away when Évariste’s head turned to meet the sound.  They wore their pale color in the grass together, alive at last, but he faded away in a march up to the château, and the fur on his clothing kept her memory, like a ghost of something real.

Hours later, scrubbed raw of the stench of cat and grass— (Allergies, Évariste !  Bon à rien garçon, tu n'écoutes jamais ?)— he pressed against the dimming light of his window, watched the spot she’d disappeared, and imagined he’d followed.

8th June, 1944
Sword Beach, France

The breeze was heavy with salt and bodies, and Évariste stood in the relative silence above it.  He gripped the wand so tightly that his knuckles shone, and he could almost hear his father’s scathing remarks on it.  But, that was exactly it— almost stung sharper than it had ever before, held suspended in the stench and whipped around his face with the bangs that had long-since lost their sticking spell.

Blood stained his trousers, no more his own than the wand clutched in his fingers, and the grass bent away from him.  Some miles away, the encampment of the French Wizarding Resistance was hidden from muggle eyes, but Évariste stood on the hill against the beach and grey sky, and stared ahead.  He had no place there, anymore.

Before long, a military representative would stand in the doorway of their shielded château to deliver the news that dried brown on Évariste’s knee.  For once in his life, he refused to bear Maman’s shrieking.  Until then, he would be here, at the edge of a seaside graveyard, with this single remnant of Ambrose Altier no more than a stick in his palm.

Late March, 1953
Wizarding Warehouse District, UK

The spell backfired with a sharp snap.  Évariste felt a twinge in his hand, and clenched his jaw as his arm cramped up.  Thirty-sixth try that morning, and none successful; even Évariste was on his last string.

“Merlin's beard, who's the High and Mighty Pureblood again?”

Another worker, an older man with yellowed teeth and a ragged beard, grinned and shook his head, spitting and flicking a bit of tobacco at the ground.  Évariste ignored him and narrowed his eyes ahead, a diligent soldier armed with crisp shoes and a bitter smile.  The threadbare dummy across from him stared right back.

(“Patience must be your virtue, mon fils,”  A turning head, suits and dress shoes, an old man's firm indifference, a young boy's unflinching stare.  Patience had gotten Papa to the height of his career and wealth.  Patience had given birth to Evariste Altier.)

Évariste raised his wand for the thirty-seventh time at his fabricated victim and the charm fell smoothly from his lips once again.  The muscles in his leg tightened painfully— another backfire— and Évariste ground his teeth together.  The unkempt man laughed and Évariste brushed it aside; any pause would surely be noted by their supervisor, and it was their patience that he would be foolish to test.

June, 1960
London, UK

A thick, odorless liquid simmered on one stove burner, unchanged for several days now, and a second substance steamed on another, its process marked by a soft persistent squeal and occasional pop.  The third burner was occupied by the kettle, heating for yet another steep.  Surrounded by teacups, mugs, and drip-stained parchment and paper, neither of the table’s occupants could recall how many rounds they had consumed, or how many hours had passed.

Equations multiplied upon themselves and stretched beyond material, spectral numbers and letters suspended in the air and manipulated by the movements of Icarus’ ebony wand.  Ambrose’s cypress hummed against a page, and Évariste flicked once and tapped it on the rim of Icarus’ teacup.  A rose-colored mist dissipated into the liquid, and Évariste took a taste without permission, fingers trapping Icarus’ own against the handle.

A single sound from his throat affirmed its success, and he let go, but said nothing of the nature of the alteration.  He didn’t need to— Icarus would discover it himself without prompting, by tongue or divination.  Évariste scribbled a few words on his sheet of parchment, and reached across the table for a snickerdoodle.

Alchemy was delicate work, see.

February, 1962
London, UK

A dull ache stirred him from sleep, beginning in his right shoulder and into his elbow, both crushed against the mattress by his own weight.  His nose was pressed against a thin shoulder, and his left arm was loose around ribs and the hem of a shirt.  Icarus must have been asleep, by the twisting of legs and hum of slowed breathing against the pillows.

Évariste’s arm restated its complaints, but he did nothing to quell it; discomfort held no weight against the magpie’s much-needed rest.  He was comfortable here, even if his body was not.  Évariste adjusted the free arm tighter around Icarus’ waist, and pressed a soft kiss where skin showed at the collar.

Amidst aching limbs and angel’s wings, sleep was not hard to find, here.

Late April, 1963
London, UK

Tendrils of light crept through the thin curtains and across the floor, the morning lapping like a waxing tide at his feet.  Évariste awoke to an empty bed, the sheets distressed with the rush of another early shift, and the smell of coffee wafting through the ajar door from the kitchen.  He sat at the foot, feeling the familiar absence settle in his chest, before he wandered into the kitchen for the last of the coffee that Icarus had left for him.  It had gone cold in the pot, but a swift flick toward his mug sent it steaming once again.

The table was littered with papers, scribbled and scattered in a particular arrangement, and left for days without much change.  It had been nearly a week since they’d worked on anything together; Icarus was busy at both the castle and the Ministry, and too tired to keep up with Évariste’s late hours.  The turner had been the sponsor of most of their time together since the term began again.

Under a strategically placed pile of papers on the table, Évariste plucked a single parchment, and patience lost its pull.  Across the top, in ornamental lettering: Hogwarts School of Witchcraft & Wizardry, Inquiry of Employment.

* all powerplaying of icarus has been approved by the player

(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:

He’d never been more than a cog in an enchanted machine, and now was no exception.  For all Hogwarts’ shortcomings, pulled in strings from the lips of its alumni, and tied firmly to the architecture of the British Ministry, it was beautiful, and it was large, and it was the most powerful infrastructure in the United Kingdom.  (That was precisely what had earned his disapproval, of course.)

And here he was, meeting its Headmistress for want of a job.  For want of company.

Évariste had seen many intimidating offices in his lifetime, and though the others could have taken his life and livelihood in an instant, it was this one that burned his nerves.

“So it seems,” he replied, glancing at the clock on the desk and adjusting the cuff of his suit sleeve.  “Je suis désolé, I will soon perfect my route.”  Évariste did not make a habit of tardiness, but it had been years since he’d had events to be tardy to at all, so the misstep did not surprise him.  Icarus had never mentioned moving staircases.

Muttering a quick enchantment under his breath, Évariste swished his wand and conjured the parchments he’d written up— a copy of his application and résumé of experience, and a detailed summary of his plans for the library.  He pulled it from the air and extended the neatly stacked papers to the Headmistress.  “Shall we discuss the position, then, Headmistress?”
i'm a genius now, but there's
this voice that tells me that