Welcome to Charming
Welcome to Charming, the year is now 1894. It’s time to join us and immerse yourself in scandal and drama interlaced with magic both light and dark.

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It’s quite unusual for a caster's patronus to be their favourite animal, but very possible that it will take the shape of a creature they’ve never before seen or heard of. — Amy
As he fell, Ford recalled the trials of Gulliver during his interactions with the Lilliputians.
Potato Wars

Francesca McKinnon
28 Posts
Played by Lynn
Paperwork & Drudgery Instructor, Auror Training Programme
36 year old Halfblood
5 ft. 4 in.
❤   Widowed
Full Name: Francesca Deirdre McKinnon nee Cattermole

Nickname(s): Fran, Franny

Birthdate: January 9th, 1857

Age: 36

Gender: Perceives Female

Occupation: Paperwork & Drudgery Instructor

Blood Status: Pureblood

Residence: Bartonburg South.

Hogwarts House: Slytherin

Wand: Unicorn hair and fir, rigid, ten and three-quarter inches.

  • NATAL: A living mother and father, two or more younger siblings, and a few skeletons in the closet.
  • MARRIED: A husband who was just eaten by a dragon, two or more children, a few more skeletons in the closet.
General | With barely tamed hair and wide, inquisitive eyes, Francesca is easily recognized as "the owl lady" by new pupils. She has no particular care for fashion or appearances in general, but does like to feel comfortable and confident. She usually wears robes to work and simple but well-tailored and neatly kept dresses socially.

Accessories | Sometimes wears reading glasses on a crystal chain around her neck. She does not need them except for very long stretches of paperwork but likes to gesture with them theatrically to make points.

Scent | Francesca wears a simple no-nonsense perfume with a very faint lavender scent, but due to her undercover animagus adventures she smells like the Hogwarts Owlry or the Post Office just as frequently (and often much more strongly).

Face Claim | Jenny Slate
1857 — 1868Francesca is born, presumably the first child to a married couple — she would later learn that neither point of this statement was true. Her childhood was at times typical for a middle class wizarding family, but is perforated by short bouts of "mother's moods" here and there. Her mother's "moods" have a lasting impact on Francesca, and it is from these periods that she learns such important life lessons from her mother as:
  • there is no happiness in this world for women except what they are willing to seize for themselves;
  • only fools live life without an escape plan;
  • people are judgemental but alcohol is not;
  • children are tolerable for at most four days a week;
...and similar. When Francesca's younger siblings become old enough to be cognizant of the things people say, Fran does her best to shuffle them away from their mother during her "moods" and so shield them from this "wisdom."
1868 — 1875Francesca attends Hogwarts as a Slytherin (perhaps an early sign that she has internalized more of her mother's wisdom than she would admit to). She is studious and solitary in school, with only two or three friends worth mentioning. As she approaches the end of her school years she determines that she will have a career: though not opposed to marriage in theory, the marriage mart in particular seems like a whole lot of waiting around and the lack of agency does not particularly appeal to her, especially as someone who had never flourished socially in school and whose ventures into the etiquette class dance floors are gawky at best.

Also noteworthy during this period is that during her early school years, Francesca's family visits the traveling summer circus, where she sees an animagus transform as part of an act. She is enchanted with the display (another symptom of her mother's "wisdom" about always having an escape plan?) and prioritizes transfiguration in her studies, which her grades certainly reflect. By the end of her school years her transfiguration professor is gently prodding her to go into research, but this career field seems to lack the stability that made her want a career in the first place, so she instead interns with the Ministry of Magic during her later summers and eventually joins the Department of Magical Law Enforcement as a paperwork-pushing intern after graduation.
1875 — 1882Although technically a debutante, Francesca splits her attention in these years between her career (in which she establishes herself in short order as the sort of person who can quickly catch and correct mistakes even from those several years her senior) and her ongoing transfiguration studies. She attempts an animagus transformation and succeeds, and is a bit of a show-off about it in the subsequent months. This is the first time in her life where she seems properly confident and begins to come into her own socially. Unfortunately what should have been a positive development for her marriage prospects instead does her no favors; while she does seem to make traction with a few gentlemen, none form a commitment before rumors about what she might be getting up to whilst flitting about as an owl begin to circulate. Francesca had honestly not considered using her animagus form to get into trouble prior to the rumors, but she takes them as a suggestion and begins immediately.

All well and good (despite her parent's increasing agitation over her looming spinsterhood) until she ends up unexpectedly pregnant in 1881. Her father manages things by arranging a very hasty marriage to Finlay McKinnon which is executed in 1882, and her child is born "two months early" seven months following the wedding. Suspiciously healthy and robust for an early baby. Does Finlay know or suspect the child is not his? That is a matter of great internal debate for Francesca, but at the very least he never broaches the subject.
1882 — 1886During this stretch of time Francesca seeks fulfillment more and more through her work. It's not that she dislikes her husband, or her child, but she does have trouble forming what she considers a proper natural attachment to either. She works late when she can, and begins to invest more in her social connections with others in her department, including the aurors. After an auror friend confides some details of a difficult case to her, Francesca uses handwriting analysis — something she had casually started reading about after finishing her animagus studies and then subsequently become obsessed with, and was now accidentally an expert in — to help solve the case. Word spreads and Francesca starts receiving consulting requests from other aurors from time to time, which she genuinely doesn't mind. Somewhere in there she also begins forging documents and letters for the aurors on occasion when they need something for a case, and then there's the fateful day where someone gets the bright idea that she could actually deliver the forged letter to the suspected criminal and then report back on whether he seemed to take the bait. This incident sets up an unfortunate pattern of the auror department occasionally asking Francesca to go undercover as an owl for purposes of espionage, subterfuge, general tomfoolery — which is decidedly not in her job description, but it does afford her hazard pay, so she begrudgingly accepts. Her husband is, at this stage, kept in the dark about her owl ops.
1886 — 1892A vacancy in the Auror Training Programme sees Francesca offered a promotion into the role of Paperwork and Drudgery Instructor. It comes with a pay bump, and (Francesca assumes) the end of owl ops, which is a bonus, so she accepts. Unfortunately it is not the end of owl ops — while she declines for a while, eventually an auror comes to her with a case that is really really important (apparently), and she begrudgingly agrees. There is a bit of back and forth where she delivers several letters without being able to get the information that they want, and someone suggests a long-term undercover mission. Francesca protests that her classroom cannot run itself and is rather dismayed when someone proves that in fact it can, if she leaves out several weeks of lessons (and arguably the students may learn better without her looming over their shoulders to criticize all their mistakes). She agrees to go and tells her husband she'll be absent for about a month. This is the first he's heard of this entire extra income stream and he is not particularly pleased, and forbids her to go (think of the children, Franny, won't they miss you?). So then, of course, she has to.

When Edric Umbridge assumes the role of Head Auror in 1888, Francesca casually complains about him to her mother — at this point she can't even remember what he had done to annoy her, but she was frequently annoyed with aurors at this point — and gets a bombshell in return: her mother (in the midst of one of her moods, though Francesca hadn't realized it when she started the conversation) claims that Umbridge is Francesca's half-brother. Fran replies dismissively and asks how much her mother has had to drink, and in response her mother offers "proof" by explaining that she was previously married to Oswald Umbridge, was terribly unhappy, ran away, and then moved in with Francesca's father. We weren't even married when you were born, we just told everyone we were, her mother says. Fran finds the first available moment to say her goodbyes and leaves with her head in a whirl. It takes actual years for her to broach the subject with her father (her mother never brings it up again — she may not even remember having said it). When Francesca asks her father whether it's true, she does so via letter (delivered with a real owl, not undercover-Franny) in a single question: My mother said you were not married when I was born; is this true? He responds a day later with a one-word answer. They never discuss it again.
1893 — PresentDragons take London. Finlay McKinnon dies. Francesca is disappointed, she supposes. She will be feeling something else entirely when she discovers the state of the family financials (which she had never had occasion to care about previously — her salary went into her husband's account and her hazard pay went into her pocket), and when she uncovers the reason her husband has left their family more or less destitute...
— An expert in handwriting analysis and skilled in forgery.
— Barn owl animagus.
— Good at keeping secrets.
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