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Black Marketeer
Black Marketeer

135 year old Vampire
5 ft. 5 in.   ❤   Complicated
played by MJ
180 Posts


Full Name: Just Ishmael these days, though he was born Ismail Zahir, and has used many variants and false identities over the years. He’s still trying to make “Zulfiqar” happen. It hasn’t caught on yet.

Nickname(s): --

Birthdate: 2nd February, 1756

Age: 135

Occupation: Black Marketeer

Blood Status: Vampire. When human, was a halfblood - father was a muggle, mother a muggleborn witch.

Residence: Splits his time between the vampire caverns, forbidden forest, and London.

Hogwarts House: n/a

Wand: Never got one.

Family: Hassan Zahir | Father | Muggle
A South Asian sailor, Hassan, like many other lascars, wound up stranded at an English port city thanks to all the navigation acts that limited the employ of non-English crews and prevented sailors returning home. He died of influenza in 1767.

Anne "Lascar Annie" Zahir née Smith | Mother | Muggleborn Witch
Nicknamed "Lascar Annie" for marrying one of the men in her parents' boarding house and taking over its running when they died, she was a woman of little education and a large heart. Ishmael never found out what became of her.

Darya Zahir | Sister
Ava Zahir | Sister
Yousef Zahir | Brother
Reza Zahir | Brother
His siblings were all younger, and some of them sickly, and when he later returned to Liverpool, there was no trace of any of them.
He was always quite short and scrawny, just about scraping 5'5", with skinny limbs and a thin face. He has dark hair and equally dark eyes, and permanently dark circles under them. His skin, once brown, is now much closer to grey, nearly colourless, even when he has fully slaked his thirst. Turned just before he turned twenty-three, the visible onset of death has added the appearance of perhaps a few more years, but he's looked very much the same since. He has always been rather smiley, though now smiling also bares his fangs. He has a fair few scars and some bite marks on his body, most prominently from the vampire who turned him. Though he's worn all sorts of costumes over the years, in Hogsmeade he dresses primarily in dark robes and cloaks, and occasionally muggle clothes, some sleek and some shabby, depending on where he's obtained them. Sometimes he tries, intentionally, to be more intimidating, particularly in front of humans, but he rarely pulls off 'scary' successfully. Don't ask him why, he hasn't seen his reflection in over a century.
Ishmael is a pretty 'go with the flow' kind of guy, and tries to take things in his stride, even when the thing is becoming a vampire. He has never really been bitter about it, and surprised himself by just how well he adjusted to being a monster - although he doesn't really think he's too terrible, since he tries very hard to be good and get his blood where it'll cause the least harm. He's also a chatterbox, and persistently seeking human (though not just human!) connection, because otherwise life would be dreadfully lonely. That said, he doesn't trust figures of authority, particularly not the Ministry, and finds himself far more at home with people if they're just a little shady too. Ishmael's personality is fairly chipper and colourful for someone long undead, and being undead has given him a new lease of freedom and possibility: if he'd just lived his life away, he'd probably have died in America in the war in his twenties anyway, poor and inexperienced and uneducated and tragically ordinary. By now, he's had a wealth of experiences, and regularly feigns stories of even more outlandish things. He's full of tales and fake backstories for himself that he plays out with a flourish, though he's too much of a scatterbrain to remember what exactly he tells people, so it doesn't take a genius to see straight through him.
REPUTATION EXPLAINED: Whilst he doesn’t go around killing people willy-nilly - so could, on the whole, be worse - he has too many shadows in his past (and present) to register with the Ministry, and has extensive connections to the black market to boot.
CHILDHOOD | 1750s - 1760s

Ismail is born to a lascar sailor and his wife living in the poverty-ridden port area of Liverpool in the middle of the eighteenth century. Ismail grows up with his father's stories of his home and sea adventures and his mother's tales of her sole year at Hogwarts. He shows signs of magic himself - disturbances, strange situations, odd little tricks - but the family are in no state to send him to school. There are already more than enough mouths to feed, with four younger siblings, and just after Ismail turns eleven, Hassan passes away from a nasty bout of influenza. Instead, Ismail starts working young. Then, at sixteen, he joins the crew of a merchant ship going in and out of port in Liverpool. A few years later, British tensions with America escalate to the point of full-blown war.

AMERICA | 1770s - 1780s

The last time he sees home - as an ordinary human being - is in 1777, at the age of twenty-one, just before he gets swept into the war efforts. At first, he is just working on a ship trading into New York; eventually, the ship is decommissioned and Ismail finds himself stranded across the world, and is roped into the British war efforts on soil. Not as a proper redcoat, of course (the British army, struggling as it is to fend off the combined efforts of the Patriots and the French, still has certain standards of class and Britishness to keep to, at least for appearance's sake), but even Ismail - though by then, most people who meet him anglicize his name to Ishmael on instinct - is involved in a scrap or two. Just before he turns twenty-three, in early 1779, he is doing some dodgy trading in the (post-fire) ruins of what had been New York's disreputable "Holy Ground", when he is attacked by a creature: a vampire, he later learns. He knows this, because he is now one himself.

After a messy first few meals (messy in all the bodies he leaves behind), Ishmael flees from the city out to the forests, where he scavenges for food, if you like. Admittedly, it isn't all that difficult to come across bands of smugglers, privateers and civilian militia, though it is something of a shame to have to murder them. He would have happily fallen in with some of them, if he hadn't been - well, so thirsty for blood. Fortunately, however, war has its merits, and one of those is the availability of fresh corpses scattered across the fields of New England. Having discovered a little more control (control and a clear head come far more easily when he is sated with blood, who'd have guessed), Ishmael becomes a nocturnal vulture of sorts, orbiting the battlefields for his own kind of carrion. Plenty of soldiers die on both sides (he's hardly picky, at this point, has no stake in the war either way) - and he helps a few more to heaven, putting people out of their misery when they probably won't otherwise survive their injuries. Being riddled with bullet holes or bayonet wounds means no one pays much attention to punctures on their necks, anyway, although it does give their blood an extra dash of metallic flavour.

He's not wholly disgusted by what he is, he decides eventually. It's not something he would have become willingly, but still - he's seen enough of death already to have a fraction of quiet gratefulness for getting to evade it. It isn't too long before Ishmael stumbles across another couple of his kind, vampires with a similar idea to him, and he bands together with a few of them, hanging around the forests of revolutionary America for a time. The arrangement dissolves eventually when they begin to fight amongst themselves. Ishmael doesn't stick around, just takes that as his cue to leave.

FRANCE | 1790s - 1805

He entertains the thought of going home, though knows he can't, really, not like this. So the ship he boards lands in France, and France, intended as a mere stopping point, becomes his destination for lack of another. He lurks around the countryside for a while, but apparently the revolutionary fervour has swept back across the Atlantic, and France is trying out the fit of a republic for itself. Ishmael, who could care less, nonetheless makes his way to Paris: a side effect of revolution is people dying, after all. Things turn towards "the Terror", as it is later christened, with the guillotine's glint in the air and blood in the streets. Plenty of blood. Convenient. The people may be starving, but Ismael certainly isn't. (Bit weird when they don't have heads, mind.)

THE NOMADIC LIFE | 1805 - 1878

He can't stay in the same place forever, not when he's trying to keep a low profile, hide what he is in front of muggles and avoid the more prejudiced wizards, all while not visibly ageing, not being able to go in the sunlight, sucking people's blood and breaking laws left, right, and centre. That means murder, first and foremost, when he slips up on his careful diet, but that's not the only thing - fraud, smuggling and theft are common activities too. (If you've killed someone, after all, you might as well rob them too.) For the next chunk of a century, Ishmael never settles anywhere too long, but this does give him the opportunity to see some of the world. Some situations are more glamorous than others. He tracks revolutions in Europe for a while longer: sees a bit of Greece; educates himself, learns languages and history, takes an interest in fashion and art and at play-acting a rich young man, off on his Grand Tour, just for the fun of it; tells people he met Polidori once and proved the inspiration for The Vampyre. Upon travelling to India - remembering his father's old stories - he heads out to the Indian Ocean with a whaleboat crew for a while (this is not the good idea it seems at the time: ships have, er, a limited blood supply, and most don't take kindly to you snacking on the crew).

His visits back to Britain are few and far between. When at last he returns to Liverpool, it is 1842, and nothing is quite the same. He can't find any evidence of his family: certainly, he oughtn't have expected his mother to be waiting for him, but there seems to be no trace of his siblings or their lives around, and no one who can tell him. He doesn't want to dig too deep in the magical community, either, lest he bring undue attention to himself, but he doubts that Hogwarts have record of any Zahirs attending. It would have been a comforting thought to know there was some family out there, even if they didn't know him, but...


When he gets tired of wandering aimlessly, he falls in with some vampires who lurk around in a seedy magical part of London in the 1870s, and weaves some connections into his life by dabbling in the black market. By now Ishmael is old enough to be fairly practised at interacting with humans - and he rather likes to, wait for it, suck up to the other vampires - so he helps out younger vampires here and there by acquiring blood for them. He eventually slinks off to Hogsmeade, following the magical migration there, and finds new connections in the slums and new company of his own kind in the vampire caverns. He avoids the Ministry where he can, seeing no benefit to having them on his back; it comes as no surprise to him when anti-halfbreed sentiments rear their head again - people do like to squabble about everything, don't they? Ishmael, meanwhile, just wants to enjoy a carefree life afterlife, thank you very much.

❧ He goes by false names and keeps to the shadows of the slums, the forbidden forest, and London's underworld, but you may well notice that he's a vampire.
❧ That he's not registered as a vampire with the Ministry.
❧ About his black market connections.
❧ The whole truth about his life and afterlife; he tells far too many half-truths, stories and outright lies for people to have it all straight.
❧ Bisexual as hell.
Played By: MJ

Contact: PM Elias Grimstone

Plot Preferences:

Networking: http://charmingrp.com/showthread.php?tid=813

Registration Date: April 1, 2018

Date of Birth: February 2

Local Time: April 14, 2021 at 2:25 AM


Joined: April 1, 2018

Last online: April 8, 2021 – 12:10 PM


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Ishmael's Most Liked Post
Post Subject Post Date/Time Numbers of Likes
RE: Charming Confessions 2.0 February 20, 2019 – 9:35 PM 7
Thread Subject Forum Name
Charming Confessions 2.0 OOC - Community » Charmers' Chit Chat
Post Message
Like, I don't care 100% of the time, but... very often... I get nitpicky about words and whether I can justify using them in a VE setting, even if they're not part of a post's dialogue or anything. Cue many etymology detours for accuracy purposes.

This tends to be particularly hard with Ishmael, because although he's from the mid-1700s he is one of the more modern voices in my head ???? So it's a constant struggle.

/currently crying with joy that I can use the word suckers in its slang definition, the earliest wiktionary quote is from 1728

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