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Barnabas Lysander Cuffe
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Pureblood - Hufflepuff - Seventh Year - Bradley James
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Barnabas was born in the year 1926, not that long after the first Muggle war had been fought and won; and as a result of the war, his mother had come to England to seek a better, safer life. Barnabas has been told countless stories of the time that existed before he had been born, and since childhood, he’s carried those images around with him. It hasn’t scarred him, for it never was felt by him, but it has changed his perspective – in fact, it’s most likely these ‘horror stories’ that make Barnabas so insistently anti-violence, towards anyone and everyone regardless of their own cruelty or alliance. Barnabas’ mother had been little more than nineteen, a mere year after her graduation from Beauxbatons Academy of Magic, upon giving birth – French, with hard and unyielding features like her son, and a cascade of thick, luxurious brown hair. Barnabas and Marianna are remarkably close to each other, and she makes a point to make sure he keeps up his studies when he’s home for the holidays as she is a housewife, whilst his father works as a Healer and is often resident in London.
During his studies between terms, Barnabas has learnt the French, Latin and Greek languages (though often he finds he stumbles occasionally, most often under pressure, and has to have his mother or father mend the hitch in conversation) and whilst his grasp on the basics of languages is admirable, as soon as he has a wand in his hand he has, on more than one occasion, accidentally upended pots and pans from cupboards and sent the rug in the hallway flying away at top speed through the kitchen window, forcing his mother to run frantically after it before it reached the clothesline of the neighbour down the street that it always tangled itself in. Barnabas occasionally makes the dinner using his knowledge of Potions, leaving his mother to idly wander around the house and promptly get lost (though to view the house from outside, you wouldn’t think it possible to do so) whilst still miraculously reappear in time to eat. The family have never moved in Barnabas’ lifetime – it’s cosy, and has all the affection and personality of an eccentric scientist who likes interior design. The kitchen is similar to that of a getaway cottage on the cliff sides of Wales, with feminine roses spiralling across the cupboard doors, and on the backs of stiff wooden chairs. Marianna has made the living room and the evening dining table on separate levels, with a small staircase leading from the cushy Grandmother-like armchairs to the elegantly carved wood table; the ceiling is nothing short of twenty feet high with large majestic open windows that run the length of the wall. She spends her days transfiguring the house, and Barnabas’ arrival home from Hogwarts is never greeted with the same house he left.
His father Frederick, from whom he also gained his middle name, is a quietly observant man. He reads newspapers, books, lectures and anything to do with literature – whether Magical or Muggle. Barnabas, as a child, remembers vividly how he used to be read children’s stories by his father who used to probably take more pleasure from such books as Beedle The Bard than he did. There was never an occasion that Barnabas remembers that his father was ever less than affectionate with him; despite the times when he’d spend his evenings locked away with his tomes of text rather than join his son and wife for evening meals. Never had he failed to pull himself away to read to Barnabas, or teach him something new and exciting. It’s probably safe to say that Barnabas, being an only child, was fussed over exceptionally, but never spoilt. He was never treated any better than anyone else, nor any worse; he always had what he needed for school, but never more. Barnabas was taught to stand on his own two feet from a very young age – in fact, his first sign of magical ability came about when he was being taught to walk, and instead of his father heaving him onto his feet from under his arms, Barnabas had suddenly lifted his feet completely off the grassy patch of tiny garden a whole three inches, and slowly settled himself back down again, perfectly balanced, at least until he started actually walking.
Barnabas’ room is on the second floor above the kitchen, and is decorated with newspaper clippings and moving black and white photos. He also has a huge poster on the ceiling above his bed of the Irish International Quidditch team, an array of green robes billowing in the torrential rain. His mother had to put a silencing charm on the poster that was active during the hours of nine in the evening and seven in the morning, because she was constantly complaining about how the noises of the wind and the cheering of the spectators kept shocking her awake from her lazy slumber, and since the second Muggle war began in 1933, she kept thinking that the nearby streets of houses were being bombed. He also possesses an array of quills, the broken ones of which seem to congregate beneath his bed with his Wizards Chess set, and on a shelf he has a display of plants both magical and Muggle. He also owns a Muggle mirror – the ones in the Wizarding World always seemed to reflect just about anything but his own reflection. He had lots of Muggle friends, especially those in his street, and often insisted on playing their games because they absolutely fascinated him. He was thoroughly disappointed with the game of Football that they seemed so obsessed with; it was exceptionally boring in comparison with Quidditch, and he was saddened by the fact he knew he could never introduce them to it. He obviously owned a broomstick, and in fact, so did his parents but with his father being away so often, and his mother not being particularly adept at riding (she used it to travel as it was faster than Muggle transport, but otherwise steered well away), Barnabas rarely got a chance to play during the holidays.
At Hogwarts Barnabas found himself a gaggle of friends from both Hufflepuff and Ravenclaw. He was, on principle, interacting as little as possible with the Slytherins – his father had told him of their treacherous reputation even during his time at Hogwarts as a Ravenclaw – but still was civil enough with them to survive relatively unscathed emotionally and physically during lessons. He didn’t necessarily dislike the house of Gryffindor either, but felt that they came off as being almost slightly pompous, so he kept to himself and his small group of fellow students. Barnabas would always read textbook after textbook ahead of the class, mostly in an effort to keep up with them, but it failed spectacularly. He simply struggled through, and hoped it worked out – he lived on luck, ironic considering his favourite Quidditch team was the Irish. Despite Barnabas’ lack of physical aggression, he is also not the type of person to take cruelty and unfairness without an equal verbal argument on his side, and as long as it is justified as self-defence, a few simple and harmless jinxes. Some people perceive Barnabas to be incredibly opinionated and sometimes so blinded by his own thoughts that despite his fairness, if anyone contradicts him, he will almost not care to hear their theories. Barnabas also fights himself often when confronted with such things as students sneaking about and doing things they shouldn’t be; like smuggling food from the house elves in the kitchen, but then he reasons that the house elves are glad of the work, and being a human of the nearly always hungry variety, he couldn’t deny the chance of devouring willing offered food. He’s a remarkably optimistic student with a bright outlook on life and very little to say ill of anyone; he’s quite the joker, but never the relentless practical prankster he is friends with – always, somewhere in the pit of his stomach, is a knot of guilt. He’s energetic and always keeps himself busy and focused, and puts his whole into everything he undertakes. He is ambitious, but certainly not truly driven, and he would never say of himself that he’s accomplished something spectacular. He is modest; almost to the point of letting others take the glory and the reins.
</div></tr></table><br><table cellspacing=0 style="background-color: #f1f1f1; text-align: center; -moz-border-radius: 10px; -webkit-border-radius: 10px;" "><tr><div style="“font-family: arial; text-align:center; font-weight: bold; letter-spacing: 2px; font-size: 11px; color: #333333;”">THE PLAYER</div><div style="background-color: #f1f1f1; color: #363636; -moz-border-radius: 10px; -webkit-border-radius: 10px; padding: 8px;">
Name/alias: Angie.. II.
<br>Limits: Absolutely none.
<br>How did you find us: RPG-D.
</div></tr></table><br></div><div style="font-family: courier new; text-align: center; text-transform: uppercase; font-size: 8px; letter-spacing: 1px; line-height: 85%; color: #D4BA6C;"><br>TEMPLATE BY FEDORA @ <a href=http://z10.invisionfree.com/CAUTIONTOTHEWIND/index.php?showuser=22484>CAUTION 2.0</a> AND <a href=http://z10.invisionfree.com/A_THOUSAND_FIREFLIES/index.php?showuser=2821>A THOUSAND FIREFLIES</a></div></div>[/dohtml]
“Ugh,” a stack of textbooks groaned as it made its way towards the Hufflepuff table. It was swaying threateningly as it situated itself down upon the deep mahogany wood; the top two books teetered dangerously on the edge of their spines, and fell from the tower of textbooks with a heavy thud as it hit the table, opening up onto a page near the middle. As a result, all of the creased and yellowing parchment pieces that had been tucked neatly away within its pages spewed out in all directions – some rolled with a plop onto the benches, whilst others continued the journey across the marble floor of the Great Hall. “You wouldn’t –“ a hand appeared above the table top, clutching a single sheet of parchment. The hand released the roll of parchment, which coiled up and rolled to a halt by the stack of textbooks, and disappeared from view once more. “ – believe how much – “ the voice was thinning now, desperate wheezing evident in each breath as it continued to scramble unceremoniously around the floor by Barnabas’ feet, in search of the remains of the three-foot long essay. “ – work Slughorn has us doing!” it finally exclaimed, as a head and various limbs appeared, forming a fully-fledged and rather disgruntled student. Opposite sat Barnabas, his head bowed so closely over a copy of the Daily Prophet, his large and quite Romanic nose seemed to be barely inches from the printed ink. He had not looked up at the commotion; in fact, his dirty blonde hair had not fallen even slightly out of place upon his large square forehead.
He was blowing gently on the phoenix feather quill that he held tightly in his hand (it was a Christmas present he received in his fifth year when he’d announced that he was writing articles for a newspaper, albeit one that didn’t exist officially at the time) and he always carried it around with him. It had a shiny golden nib and a plume of brilliant red and yellow feathers. Even the scratching of the other quill didn’t distract Barnabas from his own task; it was a wonderfully warm day – something that was becoming very few and far between now they’d reached the month of October – and many of the students had taken advantage of the weather to spend the day outside. Barnabas, too, was taking advantage; the Great Hall was nearly deathly quiet this afternoon, which meant he could concentrate on taking notes from the latest edition of the Daily Prophet about the events happening in both the Wizarding and Muggle worlds. Next to his elbow was a thick pad of lined notepaper, a Muggle invention he was rather fond of; it was small enough to place in his pocket, and unlike parchment, was well kept together. Barnabas was a Pureblood, and grew up in an overwhelmingly magical household, but his family held no prejudices against Muggles, Muggleborns, or their lifestyle – in fact, Barnabas found certain things (such as the notepad) extremely useful to his studies. He scribbled a hastily executed note on the paper, scarlet ink pouring from the nib; he’d charmed his quill to change the colour of his ink depending on what he was taking notes about. He ran a large palmed hand over the newspaper, in an effort to rid it of creases so that he didn’t reiterate a quote incorrectly. He had rather short, plump fingers and a large square head with dirty blonde hair atop it, but Barnabas was by no means oversized; in fact, he had quite a decent build for a boy of his age, if slightly tough and broad shoulders. Glancing at the front page of the newspaper, and satisfied he’d searched in every recess of the print for notes that he could later turn into a source for his own analysis and opinion, Barnabas settled his quill upon the pad of paper and looked up.
His elbows now resting steadily within the ditches of the table, his palms caressing the sides of his herbal tea (a special recipe his mother had affectionately created just for him), Barnabas surveyed the room around him. It was, though there was no surprise in it, nearly empty. There were a few fellow Hufflepuffs further up the table that were engaged in a rather tense game of ‘Exploding Snap’, a handful of Gryffindor first years excitedly exchanging their latest stories of how Peeves had gotten them even more lost than they’d already been to begin with whilst trading a selection of Wizarding Cards and eating greedily from a display of flavoured sweets. Some of them looked like they’d been bought at Honeydukes Sweet Shoppe, so evidently they had friends in higher years. Barnabas also had a rather considerable collection of wizard trading cards too; his first card had been of Mungo Bonham. At the edge of the Ravenclaw table, Barnabas spotted two sixth year girls concentrating, to the point of it inducing great pain, on a game of Wizards Chess. He could see the black figurine of the Knight desperately trying to control his frantically bored horse, whilst simultaneously fighting to stay on the creature as it bucked. Barnabas was far from the smartest seventh year going, but he had various talents, rather than academic prowess, and Wizards Chess was certainly one of those talents. An abrupt spluttering cough brought Barnabas’ attention back from the game of quick thinking and wit, and his gaze fell back upon his copy of the Daily Prophet. The Minister of Magic was looking back at him curiously, a glint of suspicion flickering across his eyes. Barnabas watched intently, though his stare was so fixated upon the man in the black and white photograph that he could almost fall into the image as well, if he kept looking long enough. “Hey, Barn,” the other student hissed across the table, making sure his voice was low, despite the lack of people around to overhear – sometimes Barnabas’ friends used this as a shortened nickname, but Barnabas’ disliked it being used within earshot of anyone who was likely to use it as an insult (it’d once been used by a gaggle of Slytherin students to imply he lived on a farm, and spent his time rolling around in the mud with his ‘piggy friends’). None of this, of course, was true; moreover, they’d shouted this to him outside their Transfiguration class, and he’d promptly set fire to their successfully transfigured object. He’d gained detention, obviously, but it was fair; Barnabas would never be violent to an individual, no matter what house they were in (which might account for his incredibly deep-seated dislike of Defense Against the Dark Arts, which still involved spell work, like Duelling Club) but he would often get this sudden, uncontrollable urge to get even with someone, in his own non-violent way. He was fair to everyone, and perhaps a little bit too idealistic in his perception of people – which his fellow newspaper journalists had picked him up on many a time before now.
“Cuffe!” the other student tried again, and Barnabas looked up from his staring contest with the photograph on the front page of the newspaper. He raised an eyebrow into the ruffles of his forehead, and the beat of his temples, waiting patiently. This was the first time Barnabas had truly acknowledged the scene in front him – an array of different textbooks, stacked twelve high, with their spines all facing the same direction, neat and orderly. He recognised Moste Potente Potions, Asiatic Anti-Venoms and Magical Drafts and Potions were amongst them. “What colour should the Draught of Living Death turn half way through? Mine always goes a strange deep green or brown, and it never looks like anyone else’s potion.” Barnabas was strangely successful when it came to anything that didn’t directly involve wand work, such as Potions. It simply involved ticking off a list of ingredients, and plopping them in the cauldron, and hoping that the procedure wasn’t too complex. With wand work, however, it involved specific pronunciation and sometimes soft and fluid gestures; something Barnabas, being a rather decently built sixteen year old (his birthday wasn’t until the twenty first of January), wasn’t always capable of. He was built for more physical activities, such as Flying. “Deep purple,” he stated, as though simply ticking it off a mental list. He didn’t have to think it over; it was simply instantaneous. The student nodded, and returned with a grateful smile, to his work. Barnabas glanced down at the newspaper; the Minister had gone. He’d tap the parchment, but he didn’t want to spurt ink all over it. He’d use his wand instead. Barnabas looked along the length of the table – often, whilst feasting here in the Great Hall, Barnabas would absently misplace his wand. It wasn’t necessarily always out of idle carelessness, though sometimes it was whilst he was joking around with some fellow students, but often it was simply because they blended in with each other. His wand, like the Hufflepuff table, was made of a deep mahogany wood. “Can I borrow your wand? I’ve lost mine again.” The other student nodded, though rather than nodding at Barnabas, he nodded into his textbook. Regardless, he reached across the table and picked up the other wand, twirling it between his fingers as he often caught himself doing with his own wand. It didn’t feel quite the same, though. His wand was longer, for a start, at eleven and a quarter inches and it was much more supple than this one was. “Accio, wand.” He tried to keep his voice as clear as possible when he pronounced the spell – however way he said it though it had been successful. His wand came flying towards him and fell effortlessly into his free hand. He handed back the other wand, took a quick glance down to see if the Minister was back (he wasn’t) and then performed ‘Incarcerous’ on his belongings to bind them neatly together, (his wand is particularly useful at Charms work) and then picked them up to carry them from the Great Hall. He had a lot of notes to share with his fellow journalists, and he was greatly anticipating equally interesting notes from them – he just hoped that they wouldn’t argue again. He just wished that everyone could work equally, and that no one would go out of his or her way to degrade the others ideas. This was Barnabas’ only way of fighting back, and he cherished it.