Lorna Virginia Van Patten
She'll put up with mostly anything.
13th August, 1872
- Mother -- Tessa Van Patten; Madam of a Brothel
Father -- Unknown
- Despite never having had a day of good care taken of her in her short life, Lorna has always seen something fortunate in her appearance, or has, at least, already learned what benefits her best features can have. Her hair is long and straggly (she dreams of being able to brush it) but a lustrous dark colour that quite matches her dark doe eyes. She's seen how batting lashes can make things easier, and for a ten year old has rather perfected that art. She's shorter than average height for girls her age, and skinny limbs show no sign of strengthening without better nutrition. She is right handed and vaguely resembles her long-lost mother in appearance as well as personality.
- Late 1871; A young prostitute fell pregnant by one of her London customers.
- Early 1872; A short time after and the prostitute had gotten arrested, and was required to spent a seven-month stint in prison.
- August 1872; On the 13th of the prostitute's six month in the dank women's prison, she gave birth. A tiny baby, she was hastily given the name "Lorna Virginia" as well as the last name of her mother, "Van Patten", before being unceremoniously wrapped up and shipped off Ã» along with a few other August children from the female convicts Ã» to the nearest workhouse.
- 1872; The workhouse is the only place Lorna has ever known. She cannot remember her first years, but she sees that the youngest of children are nursed and brought up for an inevitable dismal future, looked after enough to ensure they survive but never granted any unnecessary affection by those who are employed to look after huge numbers of poor people there.
- 1877; By the age of five, life is less hazy. She and other children her age are set to work, doing simple Ã» if seemingly useless Ã» jobs in a particular section of the workhouse. They also get brief reprieves from the work and the mornings of bread and gruel with their education: rather shoddy at best, but still more than other poor slum rats might expect. Lorna is sharp and quick to learn, both in terms of reading and writing Ã» not that she ever gets the chance to read books or write letters in her exhausting, repetitive existence Ã» and in how the world works, how other people function. She could be considered naÂ´ve considering that her entire world consisted of the workhouse buildings and the permanent population within, but she learned its ropes rather masterfully. She finds a few faces susceptible to her sweet nature and puppy-dog-eyes and manages to get rules secretly bent just for her in the smallest of ways, never mind that it just be she gets a little more than the meagre dinner helping from one of the supervising staff.
- 1880; Between her work, spinning yarn for fabrics, and the rest of the time spent in the female housing block, Lorna managed to make a friend or two. Well. She didn't have the patience with most girls there, they were in one another's company far too much to handle. Her closest ally, then, was a boy, Scott Ã» always "Scotty" to her Ã» Walker, and the two had bonded before, back when children of both genders were allowed to play under the matron's watchful eye. They had both found themselves in odd scrapes once or twice, and despite not liking each other much at first, they'd banded together to look after each other in the huge, gritty workhouse world, Scotty for his boyish brawn (though also his wilfulness and his ideals, his optimism, his never-give-up attitude), Lorna for the brains and beauty; i.e. the one clever enough to keep them out of trouble. Once or twice, they had saved themselves from situations they could not quite explainÃ for neither knew the meaning of "magic".
- 1882; She had always lain in bed at night, staring up at the ceiling and pretending to be able to wish on a star to have two parents and a warm and loving home. Lorna had long given up on that unfulfilled clichÃ, but as she neared the age of ten, she began wondering more about her parents. Her mother had been in prison for something or other, she'd been told dismissively, and that she was "good for nuffin'"Ã Lorna didn't care, to be honest. "Van Patten", she figured, was the surname of her mother, for no one had ever mentioned her being a married woman. It didn't help her much. She'd heard of no other Van Pattens in her enclosed life. It meant nothing to anyone. HoweverÃ one day, she had been on the way back to her bunk with all the other girls her age when she heard a snippet of conversation between one of the supervisors and an old man visiting. "Magic" had grasped her attention at once, followed by "Hogsmeade." Lorna didn't understand, but she saw a strange seriousness in the conversation and continued to mull it over Ã» letting Scotty in on the secret, too Ã» in all her spare moments. "Magic"Ã maybe that was what she was, too. Magic. Special? That made more sense; perhaps she hadn't been destined for a life in the workhouse after all. Either way, Scotty gave her the push she had needed all along.
Escape. To put it simply, she managed to leave. They'd come up with a plan and executed it effortlessly, the only problem as she'd climbed nimbly over the workhouse's yard wall being Scotty. He had helped her thus far, and had somehow made the decision to come along with her. Lorna didn't mind too much, if she were honest, for he'd be a protector of sorts, and would easily enough be able to keep her in good spirits along the way. But she didn't have the liberty to be concerned about him, because her whole mission was to find out who her mother had been. "Van Patten" was all she had. Scotty didn't understand quite why she cared so much; like her, he had been given to the workhouse upon birth, though his mother had not been in prison, but he held no curiosity about the people that had given him away. Lorna didn't know how to explain herself, but she just had a feelingÃ
"Magic" and "Hogsmeade" were hopeful hints, too. Lorna didn't know if her mother had lived with the same flashes of odd brilliance and outbursts of anger that caused things like she and Scotty both did, but perhaps it ran in her family. If notÃ well, if they could find this Hogsmeade place they could get their powers explained. Just maybe.
Their escape was in late June; since then, they'd been fending for themselves. The world happened to look even harsher than the dank workhouse, but Lorna was enthralled by its bleakness, even just the freedom. There was no one to trust or to take pity on them, but they eventually followed the few clues they had and struggled their way up north. Near-misses and close shaves and a time or two when they thought their little adventure was over and done, both ready to give up, did not end up stalling them for long, for on the 1st of October, 1882, they reached the outskirts of Hogsmeade with rumours Ã» Lorna clung to these rumours for her life Ã» that a Ms. Van Patten may live there.
Sample Roleplay Post:
- Shrewd, cunning, stubborn and wilful. Lorna will do whatever she can to get her way. She can exude a girlish innocence, mostly due to her ten years of age, her puppy-dog-eyes and pouting expression, but in reality is exceedingly mature for her age. Precocious and sharp-witted, she has spent her life analysing how people work, and she has had no choice but to grow up fast. However much her determination has created a strong front, though, when knocked down she is still just a fragile, lonely little girl.
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