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Jean-Baptiste Labouchère
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Legilimens for Hire
41 year old Half-Blood
5 ft. 7 in.
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Full Name: Jean-Baptiste Matthieu Labouchère

Nickname(s): Only ever Baptiste, or simply Baps when he feels like it.

Birthdate: June 06, 1851

Age: 41

Gender: Male

Occupation: Legilimens for Hire; former International Liaison Representative for France at the British Ministry for Magic

Blood Status: Halfblood

Residence: Hogsmeade, in a magically enlarged top-floor flat on the north side of Bartonburg.

Hogwarts House: Beauxbaton » Ombrelune

Wand: Walnut, 9”, pliable, Kneazle whisker

Family:
» Father: Guillaume Labouchère, 65
» Mother: Marion Labouchère (née Illouz), 60
» Sister: Salomé —(née Labouchère), 38
Appearance
At 5’7, Baps is on the shorter side, much to the dismay of his father Guillaume who after each school year waited for his son’s (surely inevitable) growth spurt and to finally fill in those slim shoulders of his. But now into his 40s, Baptiste has stayed slender and slight.
Any remaining insecurities about his build, he covers up with dark, velvety fabrics - be it dinner jackets or robes, as long as they have pockets. He carries his wand in his right pocket for easy access. With his shiny coat and straight, black hair, he’s come to think of himself as a panther, though others have compared him to a slippery weasel.

In recent years, Baptiste has noticed that his 'coat' has been thinning. The first grey hairs have also begun to sprout. But his vanity prevents him from merely accepting his age. Instead, he uses all sorts of tinctures and spells to keep his head of hair dark and full.
Being a former politician, Baptiste has picked up a few tricks to win people over. For example, an easy, winning smile that one should never fully trust, as well as determined hand gestures. However, even during his time at the Ministry, Baps never fully blended in with his colleagues. His gestures were too exuberant - and his eye contact always lasted just a little too long.

His dark, secretive eyes, however, are what Baptiste quietly calls his ‘secret weapon’. True or not, he believes they add to his exceptional Legilimency skill, as his ‘victims’ simply seem to lose themselves in their endless black pools.

Face claim is Andrew Scott.

History
1851 | Jean-Baptiste is born on a mild, cloudy morning in June. Four weeks early, he is Guillame and Marion Labouchère’s first child. Small and frail but determined to stay in this world.

1853 | Baptiste is a sickly infant. Always coughing, rarely sleeping, his parents are concerned that he will not make it past the age of three. And so his parents try for another child. It’s a girl, this time. Salomé, unlike Baps, is a winter child. Strong, healthy and wilful, they couldn’t be less alike. But her sudden appearance in Baps’ life gives the toddler purpose, too. At first, in his fight for attention from his mother, then, later as a big brother, as he begins to understand the concept of responsibility.

1858 | Once Sal can walk, she and Baptiste are practically inseparable. He reads her stories and plays music (badly) for her on the family’s untuned heirloom piano.

Just like every brother and sister, they, too, fight. And Salomé can be so infuriating! She knows exactly how to push his buttons and Baps, usually at least a little more level-headed than his 5-year-old sister, one day shouts back at her with all the raw, unrestrained anger of a child. And with it, the sleeve of Sal’s nightgown goes up in flames. It happens so suddenly and inexplicably that for a few moments Baptiste can’t believe his eyes. He just…stands there in shock. Is there a monster? Might it get him next?

Only the screams of his sister as the fire eats through the thin cloth and starts licking at the rosy skin beneath brings any attention to the situation. Their mother comes bursting in. Terror draws across her face when she sees her little girl, but with her wand in hand, she acts quickly and extinguishes the flames.

Only later, after Sal has fallen asleep between the stark white sheets of the hospital bed, his father explains to Baptiste that he caused the flames. Is he not ashamed of attacking his helpless sister? ‘It was an accident!’, Baptiste cries and insists and while his parents eventually claim they believe him, the young boy could never completely sure that this was true.

The skin on Salomé’s arm has never completely healed. A reminder that Baptiste has failed as a big brother. He has harmed his sister and not only that - he had been too scared to call for help. Thinking back on it, the first sign of his magic is not a celebratory moment. Instead it is a formative moment in how Baptiste sees his magic. It, too, signals the end of the friendship with his sister - better to stay at a distance than risk hurting her any further.

1862 - 1869 | Despite his nerves and his fear of magic, Baptiste looks forward to his start at Beauxbaton. After the incident with Sal, their mother hardly ever left the two children alone together. Since then, Baps has turned quiet and inward. The young boy has closed himself off to magic, scared of any more outbursts that he might not be able to control.

But receiving a stack of books, his first set of robes and, most importantly, a wand, Baptiste can’t help but feel excited for what is to come.

He takes to magic slowly. Where the other students around him approach each new spell boldly, he remains timid but also thorough. In the end, it is that eye for detail that helps him pass his exams each year. His written work always surpasses his practical assessments. Improvisation is where he typically falters and freeze. At times, an image of himself, much younger, standing across from his sister in flames comes back to him and haunts his dreams for days after.

Baptiste never makes a great effort with friends at school. Boys find him too quiet, girls think he is a little odd. With his lingering pose and his slicked back, black hair. There are people he talks to, mostly while they are partnered on projects but he is never sure what they actually think of him. When they laugh, is it with him? Or about him?

1871 | His very mediocre grades and a favour from a family friend grant Baps a position at the French Ministry for Magic. Nothing special, he only helps out at reception, much like a welcome witch though he refuses to call it that. It means a lot of waiting and sitting, and because he is their newest start, they often give him the night shifts. It is during this time that Baps starts to play around with Legilimency. The art of it fascinates him from his first attempt: To see into people’s minds and learn what they might really think of him. It wouldn’t exactly work like that but he doesn’t understand this yet.

Baptiste takes to it quickly, more proficient and confident in this side of magic than he has ever been in lessons at school. His first guinea pigs are visitors to the Ministry who often leave looking confused when the desk clerk has testingly knocked against the door to their mind.

1874 | Baptiste steadily improves at Legilimency. But keeping it quiet is gnawing on him. It’s the only thing he has ever stuck with, and now he can’t even boast about it. But deep down he knows that retaining the element of surprise will be in his favour.

At work, he practises non-verbal Legilimency, in his free time he pays workers and beggars a few coins to test his skills on them more thoroughly. Their memories are filled with equal measures of monotony and tragedy but to Baptiste they are irrelevant. The people he is truly interested in were sitting in the Ministry; the ones that never respect him.

One late evening, as he is manning the front desk, he slips into the mind of one of the usual boastful men from the upper floors. So quickly, so smoothly, Baps has already seen plenty before the man notices and eventually forces him back out, then promptly punches him in the face. That doesn’t let Baptiste forget what he saw, however - sweat-glistened silhouettes, multiple bodies, several of them men. Baps remembers he makes a snarky comment before another fist against his temple fully knocks him out.

When he comes to - all by himself in the dark Atrium, Baptiste decides that simply remarking on people’s secrets is squandering his newest skill. The next day, he approaches the same man and instead threatens to reveal what he has seen. Baps' promotion into a Ministry Department (of his choosing) follows the week after.

1879 | Baptise meets Odette at a small, informal ball in his hometown. Desperate for his son to settle down with ‘a nice girl’, Guillaume insists his son should attend. Odette isn’t the prettiest nor the most memorable girl there, but she meets the description of ‘a nice girl’ well enough.

For a few months, Baps does consider marrying her. He likes taking her on walks through Paris, she’s got a sharp wit and an even sharper tongue. They watch and speculate about other people’s secrets and Baptiste can imagine tolerating a life like that. But most, he enjoys walking her back home, and catching a glimpse of her brother. Tall and blonde with stubble so light it was almost invisible. Whenever their eyes meet, it is quite unlike any quick glances he spares Odette.

They finally and inevitably collide at a conjoined family dinner in a gloomy alley beneath the family’s lodgings. His father finds them there, well into their encounter. It is the first time his father strikes him, a grown man already, but Baptiste accepts it like he is only ten. The wedding is called off on Guillaume’s insistence, though he never lets on how much he has revealed about his reasons to anyone else.

1882 | Over the coming years, Baptiste begins to perfect his method of extracting secrets and memories from people - too many bastards and mistresses to count. Sometimes he demands money, other times he sees himself rise up another rank on the corporate ladder of the Ministry.

Each time he wonders when someone - even just fate - will put a stop to this endeavour of his. But good standing in the Ministry means everything, and people would rather lose money than power.

His schemes are turning out to be quite profitable. More than his still relatively insignificant job could ever pay, and for the first time in his life Baptiste is enjoying something akin to luxury, though he keeps his extravagances private, so people won’t ask questions about his sudden accumulation of wealth.

1890 | After another one of his schemes, Baptiste is promoted to the French representative at the British Ministry of Magic. It is a considerable step up, although he is under no illusion that it isn’t all in an attempt to rid themselves of him. Still, Baptiste gladly accepts the offer. Even with new people always coming and going inside the Ministry, the pool of secrets has turned shallow over the years. People are wary of him, refuse to meet his eye, only speak to him when they have no choice. He once had sought respect, but had instead produced fear and unease. Yes, a change of scenery would be useful.

1891 | Baptiste moves to London, which proves to be as windy and rainy as he had heard. It wasn’t exactly love at first sight. But the spacious, high-ceilinged flat the Ministry provides him with makes his new country of residence a little more palatable. Shockingly little actual work is expected of him. Sorely, Baptiste remembers the late nights and stacks of paperwork that used to clutter his trays in the years as a simple desk clerk.

When he eventually grows bored again in his new role, he does what he can do best. He manages to pull off a couple of “jobs” (which is what he’s come to call them; ‘schemes’, ‘blackmail’ and ‘manipulation’ all sound so…crooked). Maybe the British are more gutsy, maybe he has gotten unlucky, or maybe, his time is simply up, but less than a year into his new role, he is being asked to leave; almost wordlessly. It is insulting! Baptiste tries to bite back with some discreet but well-placed threats. Perhaps he underestimates his latest victim’s influence in the Ministry but when talks turn towards Azkaban, Baptiste falls quiet and retreats. No, he certainly doesn’t belong there.

1892 | Baptiste could return to France but there is nothing for him there. His Ministry position is gone, his family still under the impression he is employed. The ambassador role has been the only reason that has gotten his father to stop insisting on marriage. They have never since spoken of that night more than a decade ago now. Sometimes Baptiste wonders if his father has forgotten about it.

So instead of moving back home with his tail between his legs, Baps stays and tries to keep up the charades. In public, he is a former politician, a retired Frenchman with too much time and money on his hands. Behind closed doors, however, he offers out his Legilimency to anyone that pays well enough. He leaves the blackmail to whoever employs him, he only procures the secrets now.

“Savoir c'est pouvoir” (Knowledge is power) - he had gotten it tattooed on his forearm recently. It was a cold fact, even in a seemingly sleepy town like Hogsmeade. And Baptiste, only a year after his arrival, had quickly become an open secret around town.

Personality

» Sly.
» Cowardly.
» Starts projects but doesn’t see them through.
» Always puts himself first.
» Manipulative.
» Enjoys social settings but never teamwork.
» Passive aggressive and will definitely hold a grudge.
» Jealous of men with more power.
» Sore loser.
Other

» Highly-skilled Legilimens and decent enough at Occlumency to protect himself.
» Is a mean drunk - spends a lot of money on his wine collection.
» His wine collection is only second in value to his memory collection which he keeps in neatly labelled phials in a magically locked trunk.
» Wanted to become an Animagus (a black Bombay cat) but stopped when it got too difficult.
» Loves to bet and gamble.
» Can’t swim, and is of the opinion that he is past the age where he would deign to learn.
» Is fluent in French and English but will pretend to not speak any English at all to avoid uncomfortable situations.
» Tried out for the House Seeker position at Beauxbaton 3 years in a row but never made the team.
» Cannot create a corporeal Patronus.
» Gay on most days - but who can really say for sure?
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Jean-Baptiste Labouchère's Most Liked Post: At Their Very Best | Julia's Networking | Post Subject: At Their Very Best | Julia's Networking | Numbers of Likes: 2
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