Well of Nimue: Gillian Keane
"They've forgotten that we're badgers."
The Big Red Witch of Hufflepuff House Gillian is a tall girl, having topped six feet this past summer, with an Amazonian build. People have long tended to assume she's older than she is, with people now easily mistaking her for a 7th year or simply an adult. While some look up to her (socially, at least; physically, most other students have to) and some are intimidated by her, she's also gotten a lot of teasing. She puts on a big, boisterous personally partly as compensation for that, and partly because it feels like her body sets that expectation, though sometimes she wishes she could pass more unremarkably in a crowd or just fit society's narrow definition of 'feminine' better (which is one of the reasons she's so strongly drawn to transfiguration).
- Invoke: To apply brute strength to a problem, to use her height and reach to her advantage, to stick out in a crowd
- Compel: To be self-conscious about her physique, to feel uncomfortable while trying to be 'girly', to obliviously overapply her size and strength.
Huff and Puff and Bludge Your House Down Gillian is one of Hufflepuff's starting Beaters, and a particularly aggressive one at that. Last year, she beat Hufflepuff's rookie-season record for forcing dismounts, and came frustratingly close to the same record for all of Hogwarts*. She had a lot of anger to draw on, after the year of hell before that. She's also unusually 'partisan' for a Hufflepuff, being thoroughly tired of her House's reputation as the slow kid shuffling behind.
*Held by a Slytherin wizard, Edmund Strand, who went on to a storied career in the Orkney Nuckleavees and the Scottish national team, but his number was retired in disgrace for being a Death-Eater.
- Invoke: To play Quidditch aggressively, to stand up for her House, to go on a rant, to intimidate someone.
- Compel: To play Quidditch too aggressively, to go on a rant, to lash out in anger.
Wizarding World Aspects
Big Pawprints to Fill Gillian is keenly aware that many of the fallen in the Battle of Hogwarts were Hufflepuffs, such as the Auror Nymphadora Tonks, despite popular history focusing on the conflict between Slytherin's Death-Eater infestation and Gryffindor's prophecy-anointed heroes. Other Hufflepuffs were among the first members of Dumbledore's Army, like Susan Bones, and did everything they could to keep younger students like her safe. Gillian is trying to honor their memories through defending others rather than being bitter, but being part of the afterthought House is... grating.
- Invoke: To jump in harm's way to protect someone, to carry on through a dire situation, to carry on her House's legacy of unsung service.
- Compel: To feel obligated to jump into harm's way to protect someone, or conversely to let a Gryffindor or Slytherin suffer the backlash from something hey brought on themselves. To take bold action when it's ill-advised.
Sort-of-Legally a Wolverine After being helped through her first transformation by McGonagall, Gillian is registered as a wolverine Animagus, and is taking private NEWT-level human transfiguration instruction from the Headmistress to avoid accidentally hurting herself or, worse, someone else. She's not supposed to change without supervision, but things often don't go the way they're supposed to...
- Invoke: Demonstrate knowledge of potions and transfigurations beyond her normal year, when performing transfigurations, and doing animalistic things. Permission for Animagus stunt.
- Compel: To take on bestial traits when losing her temper too badly, to have someone spot her transformed when she shouldn't be.
Wolverine Form: Swap Flashy & Sneaky
- Advantages: Vicious claws and bite, disproportionate strength, superior smell, digging & climbing claws, long-distance endurance, toughness
- Disadvantages: Inferior eyesight, slow running, no grasping hands or thumbs, distinctive odor, cannot talk or cast magic
Wood: 16" Cypress | Core: Troll Whisker | Flexibility: Unyielding but not Brittle
- Gillian's wand provides +2 to Forcefully defend with physical barrier spells.
Troll whisker is stubbornly resilient, and cypress favors wizards of a defensive mindset; this combines to make Gillian's wand exceptionally suited to solid defenses such as the Protego charm. The wand comes not from Ollivander's, but from wandmaker Melody McGraw in Boston, who made her mother's wand.
Pet Name: Pip, Eurasian Pygmy Owl
Oh, thanks, Pip!
- Once per session, Gillian can spend a Fate point to declare that Pip just showed up with a small and mundane or relatively common item needed to either overcome an obstacle automatically or create an advantage with two free invokes, as if she'd succeeded with style.
Pip is a Eurasian Pygmy Owl of typical plumage and size, small enough for Gillian to casually cradle in one hand. He struggles carrying particularly large envelopes, but is a resourceful little creature that sometimes knows what his owner will need before she does.
Just Beat It:
- Because Gillian is physically powerful and accustomed to accurately delivering powerful blows on the Quidditch pitch, she gets +2 to Forcefully Attack with muscle power rather than magic.
Time for a Change:
- Having intensely practiced Transfigurations leading up to her attempt to become an Animagus, Gillian has become quite good at it. Though, as usual, she is broadly incapable of being subtle. She gets +2 to Flashily create an advantage through Transfiguration magic.
- Gillian is nearly as quick as she is strong, thanks in large part to a long stride length, but she's also a quick and confident climber, jumper, and general athlete. She gets +2 to Quickly Overcome an Obstacle that can be circumvented or outmaneuvered with mobility. (As a wolverine, this is less outright speed and more extreme climbing and maneuvering.)
Stress & Conditions
What was she doing during the Battle of Hogwarts (two years prior)?
- After the brief overview of animagi in 3rd year Transfiguration, Gillian became enchanted with the possibility; with her brother's betrayal and circumstances at the school growing ever more dire, she became obsessed with it. During a raid for spellbooks by the D.A, she had found Obscura Principia Persona Zoologica in the restricted stacks of the library detailing the method. Mysteriously, the book was already enchanted not to set off the normal alarms, by someone from years past presumably. Despite frantic practice, she'd barely learned the first principles of the magics necessary by the battle.
- Gillian wouldn't let herself simply hide away with the other younger students, though, not after everything else. So she took advantage of everyone's tendency to think she was older, and snuck off with the upperclassmen to join in the defense with the Order of the Phoenix. She wasn't able to do much magically, besides a few basic counter-curses, but she was able to carry supplies and wounded.
What was her focus before the battle? What were her favorite classes/things to learn? What did she see herself doing after school was finally over?
- Before the battle, Gillian would easily have been described as a stereotypical Hufflepuff, unafraid to apply effort but not particularly sticking out. Except for her awkward height, which along with her red hair made her an easy target for bullies from Slytherin (and other houses). Despite Professor Snape's relentless favoritism, she did do fairly well with the methodical attention to detail required of Potions.
- Out of the classroom, she practiced hard through her first year to try out for Keeper on the Hufflepuff team in her second, but didn't make it. She practiced even harder before her third year... and then everything went to heck.
What is her focus in the aftermath of the battle? It has been two years since the battle. How did it change or temper her answers to the question above? How has it affected how she moves forward as a witch?
- Gillian devoured Obscura Principia Persona Zoologica obsessively over the summer after; her parents gave her wide latitude while the whole family struggled to come to terms with her brother's choices and death. In 4th year the previously middling student raised eyebrows in Potions and Transfiguration classes, though her reputation from the Quidditch pitch spoke more loudly for most.
- Rather than Keeper, Gillian tried out for Beater, and performed spectacularly, whacking the Bludgers with force and purpose into every target. In her rookie year, she smashed through Hufflepuff's record for forced dismounts and started to gain a measure of actual appreciation from her fellow students, even though it was mixed with more than a little fear.
- Once the Quidditch season was over, she badgered her girlfriend at the time, Karyn Culver of Ravenclaw, to help her set up the final rituals. Karyn didn't think Gillian would actually go through with it, not yet at least, and panicked and went to Headmistress McGonagall once Gillian started preparing the final potion. As the young woman started to partially transform during the ensuing shouting match with Karyn, McGonagall recognized she was too far along to stop now, and (after docking Hufflepuff 20 points) she agreed to help Gillian through the final phases so long as she absolutely did not transform over the summer.
Who are her parents/guardians, and what (if any) is their place in the wizarding world?
- Simon Keane, her father, was from a pureblood line of Irish wizards, while her mother Melinda Knopf was a muggle-born American. Simon is a broker in the international magical materials trade, and Melinda is a portkey specialist and travel agent. They moved to London together to start their family... right before the first rise of Voldemort. Melinda had to give birth to James, their first child, in hiding, though they managed to avoid getting caught up in the violence directly. They had Gillian four years later, and thus far no further children.
- James Keane is tall like his sister, but gangly rather than powerful. He was sorted into Slytherin house in the same year as Draco Malfoy, but never rose particularly high in the social structure nor ended up as a prominent minion. He lied to his friends that the Knopfs were a pureblood line from America to fit in, got increasingly swept up in Slytherin's pureblood-supremacy culture, and by seventh year had gone full Death-Eater - to his little sister's horror and shock. Having always idolized her brother, even as he started to turn into an asshole, she thought she could trust him with news she'd learned about Dumbledore's Army... and was horribly, horribly wrong. She spent the rest of the year with the D.A. When their father tried to talk some sense into him over winter break (with Melinda wintering in relative safety in America), he used the Cruiciatus curse on him, prompting Gillian to kick his ass good and proper. James didn't return to Hogwarts, instead leaving to join the Death Eaters outright, and has been missing since Voldemort's final defeat.
Extra Curricular Classes
- Human Transfiguration (Independent Study with Headmistress McGonagall)
- Muggle Studies