He’s been called strange - and plenty worse - and often to his face.
August 1st, 1857
Magical Maintenance, Hogsmeade Hospital
4 (for general oddness)
Scratching Turn, Hogsmeade Slums
Ebony, 9”, unicorn hair, swishy.
Todd Paine | Father | 1831 - 1879
On the side of his day job, Todd was a bit of a thug. At home, he had a temper and a fondness for dirt cheap cider. But, being the only person able to keep his wife in line, he was always Worthy’s favourite family member and one protector.
Mercy Paine née Simkins | Mother | 1837
She was never quite right in the head. A strict upbringing and making some terrible mistakes in her youth saw her cling desperately to religion throughout her hasty marriage, to attempt to repent for her sins and to reconcile the newly-discovered notions of magic with the world she knew. Morbidly unhappy, she treated all her children on a spectrum between indifferent neglect and unwarranted harshness - the latter especially reserved for Worthy, the devil-child. After her husband nearly murdered her, Mercy was even worse at holding it together. Ettie and her husband sent her off to an asylum in 1879 where she has been ever since.
Praise Paine | Sister | 1855 - 1857
Eternal “Ettie” Woods née Paine | Sister | (early) 1859
Penance “Penny” Paine | Sister | (late) 1860
Atonement “Tony” Paine | Brother | 1863
Salvation “Sally” Paine | Sister | 1866 - 1884
Deliverance “Dell” Paine | sister | 1870
At 5'11, he is a little gangly, and the malnourished look he had as a child has never quite worn off. Neither has the haunted look. His brown eyes are usually brightly earnest and serious, though his mother always thought they were black and a gift from Satan. Worthy has dark hair, usually kept long enough to curl over his ears, a wide nose and lips, and his wand- and writing-hand is his left. The clothes he wears are usually shabby. He has a red birthmark on the back of his neck that he scratches almost incessantly, and a few other scars on his body, one from a white-hot poker, another from some stitches that didn't quite heal.
PRE BIRTH | Todd and Mercy - both muggles, both living in Cornwall - married soon after they had discovered she was pregnant, and not, indeed, long after they had met. When she arrives, they name their first daughter Praise.
1857 | Two years later, they have a boy and name him Worthy. He is a quiet baby, rarely crying, solemn and silent. A few months after he is born, Praise dies suddenly one night, in the cot they share. Worthy doesn't remember it, but it has his mother convinced he is a changeling, and she treats him with severity and suspicion for the rest of his childhood.
1859 | Worthy gains a new sister, much to his mother’s displeasure. She christens her Eternal.
1860 | As if the children she had were not already punishment enough, Mercy gives birth to another child, and names her Penance.
1862 | Worthy starts at the local school, and gets bullied there, which is no change. Some of the children have even heard that he is a changeling, and, when they aren't avoiding him, don't like to let him forget. The teacher is equally brutal. Having done no wrong that he can realise, Worthy starts to connect arbitrary signs - thunderclouds, perhaps, or a crow's croaking, a prophetic line in a Bible verse - with warnings of more punishment to come, signs of his fate.
1863 | Another boy is born. Mercy names him Atonement. Worthy shows his first - obvious - sign of magic, unwittingly levitating his mother's Bible under the pressure of being shouted at. He gets shut up in a cupboard for a week as punishment. His father is the one to let him out.
1866 | Another sister, Salvation, is born. (Perhaps more hopeful names will change the family’s fortune.) Worthy gets a beating whenever he goes too near any of his younger siblings, lest he spread his particular innate misfortune.
1867 | There is a widespread bout of illness in town, and Worthy suspects the wealthy landowners are behind the plot to starve out the poor folk by poisoning all the fish. He refuses to eat fish thereafter, and doesn't get many choice alternatives.
1868 | They get a peculiar visitor one day, who brings a letter. Worthy gets a beating from his mother; he doesn't know what for until his father breaks the visitor's news to him. It seems he is some kind of changeling after all. He is a wizard, and not sure if he wants to believe it, let alone whether it is true. Mercy is adamant that she will not send him to the devil school, but Todd puts his foot down. (Half the reason she relents is probably the relief of having him far, far away.) In September, Worthy goes to Hogwarts, which is a daunting enough experience for a boy who has never left his village, let alone one whose mother has convinced him he is off on the fastest road to Hell. Rather, Worthy wonders, with the sorting hat atop his head and a sea of faces staring at him, whether this is all just a dream or delusion he has just made up in his head to escape. He is sorted into Hufflepuff, and hardly cares what that means.
There are lots of new people, and none that know him yet, which should mean a fresh start. Everyone has odd powers here. Still, Worthy is undeniably timid, and can't shake all of his anxieties enough to immerse himself fully. Instead, he keeps his head down and stays on the fringes, making a rare friend here and there.
1870 | Deliverance is born. Worthy picks up some new subjects in his third year, including Divination, which he takes especially seriously.
1873 | Having achieved mediocre OWLs, Worthy does not return to school in September. Todd is fired from his job, though, after a struggle, finds a new one. Worthy tries to settle back into life at home, but his mother and siblings can hardly bear to look at him, and evidently wish he hadn't returned. Worthy eventually manages to find a job in a dusty old shop which gets very little custom even without his help, and spends the rest of his time in his Safe Place, trying to make sense of whatever shows up in a cracked old crystal ball.
Life goes on.
1877 | Stress is getting to their father, whose general mood is in a terrible downward spiral. His temper spikes one night and he nearly strangles Mercy to death. Not a month later, Todd Paine is sent to prison with charges of theft, assault and manslaughter. To top it all off, muggles find out about wizards - in what is surely one grand, terrible conspiracy - which turns his siblings against him all the more. Without his father, and with little left for him, he flees the village.
It turns out to be a good thing, really, as he ventures to Hogsmeade and settles in the Slums. Never having trusted the Ministry, he winds up getting a job in Dervish and Banges.
1879 | Eternal gets married (not that Worthy is invited). Her husband (thankfully, a patient and understanding man) is slightly concerned by the rest of her family. When the news reaches them that Todd has died in prison, Mercy loses it. Fearing that things will only get progressively worse if they do nothing, Ettie and her husband make the executive decision to send her to an asylum, and take in nine-year-old Deliverance and her other siblings to care for them themselves.
1880 | The building he is living in collapses, and Worthy looks for somewhere else to live. He falls in with a (sort of? not really?) friend, and together they find a new place in the slums. The rent is extra cheap because there is a resident ghost who refuses to vacate the property. Worthy and his friend don't mind too much, as they are both as much misfits - even in wizarding society - as she is.
yes this is 100% me ripping off Being Human (which incidentally i have been rewatching) see if i care Worthy gets fired, most probably because he is putting off customers again with talk of the world ending, and so starts working as maintenance at the Hogsmeade Hospital where social interaction is not so necessary.
Present Day | For the most part, Worthy is getting on better in his life. Being away from his family has been a boost to his confidence, even if he still worries that the entire wizarding world is one elaborate-spun lie sometimes. He is holding down a steady job and has his mini housemate support group. He even attends weekly meetings at Tomes and Scrolls to discuss all the worries, fears and theories he has! And heaven knows there are plenty of those.
Slow to trust and quick to leap to superstition, Worthy is very much a product of his situation. Always isolated at home, and lacking any sense of control, these feelings of powerlessness have grown into a muddled mess of anxiety about external forces acting on his life. He picks up on patterns everywhere, and is neurotic and paranoid. Particularly subdued in the muggle world, Worthy has become marginally more outspoken since living in Hogsmeade, though still quiet overall. He may come across as gullible or irrational, but doesn't feel that he is. He can lash out when he is frustrated or upset, and has often worried about having too much of his father in him (however vehemently he loved his father, he still doesn't think that is a good thing). Sometimes seems a victim, but tries to be proactive in his life, and while he submits rather than retaliates to bullying, it has ceased to affect him as much as it did. A true Hufflepuff, he is hardworking and a loyal friend.
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