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Tallygarunga | The Australian Potterverse


April, 2019
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Tallygarunga: Term One, VMU: Semester One

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An AU non-canon Harry Potter-inspired forum roleplay set in Australia.

Mary Ohara

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    Charms Professor
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    Naomi Shimada

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  1. Charms class, March 5th 2018 Professor Mary Ohara Subject: Cheering Charms. Goals: Understanding the complexities and subtleties of using mood-manipulation spells, as well as being capable of casting them at a basic level. Attendance list: Sturt Hine Parata - Hine shows interest in the class, displaying pre-acquired knowledge on the subject. 5+ Flinders Siwan Llewellyn - Siwan's participation is textbook impeccable. 5+ Bourke Tyson McKennis - Tyson needs to be kept an eye on but shows a capacity for formulating thoughts and hypothesis of his own. 5+ Ilia Collins - Ilia seemed attentive, if quiet. Spencer Naoki Nakamura - Naoki was quiet but seemed to practice his spell.
  2. Mary waved her head, laughing lightly. "Yeah, I don't think my mum is the kind who would be impressed by the semantics. Though," her eyes narrowed in amusement as she considered the thought until she finally nodded, "You definitely should. I can't see it being effective, but I think that it would at least be entertaining!" She offered him a wide smile before adding, her head tilting slightly to the side, "Depending on your definition of entertaining, of course." For example, Alice Ohara would not be the slightest entertained by being explained the difference between childish and childlike by a grown man who seemed to like superheroes. Mary, on the other hand, was thoroughly impressed. "Hmm," she let the sound drag for a bit, scratching her nose absent-mindedly, as she often did while thinking, and had to shake her head after a moment of consideration. "I think you went a little bit too obscure for me -" She raised her hand in a gesture for him to wait for a second, and turned towards the screen in front of her. She might only know a couple of the most mainstream superheroes, but she had spent enough time looking over her little brother's shoulder to feel pretty at ease with the internet. So, a couple of clicks later, she was happily sitting in front of a bunch of Nubia's pictures. "Oh wow, yeah!" Mary smiled widely as she scrolled down a little. "I'm usually more into these underdog characters, you know? But I'll give you this, she does look pretty cool. And pretty hot." She sent him a cheeky smile as she turned away from the computer to go for the last bit of cake on her plate. "D'you guys ever make any kind of dress-up events with the little kids?" Mary had always thought those were the coolest thing ever when she went to costume parties with Mattie as little kids and, as an adult, she always believed there was something pretty pedagogical about them. Looking at a badass woman in superhero armor only got her more convinced.
  3. Wow. Mary forgot how seriously some people took sports just a little too often for someone who had been bumping heads (her home's de facto national sport) with her brother for almost 20 years because he liked football just as much as Mary liked annoying him. It was not an unusual sight back home, that of Mattie gritting his teeth in front of the tv as Mary poked him continuously with a giant foam hand, or tied scarves all around him to make him to football-mummy. How well he reacted usually only slightly depended on how the game went, because invariably Mattie was tense and moody on the couch until a victory gave him a reason to be festive and aggressive. Mary didn't really enjoy either of these moods, and weren't it that foam hands, scarfs and skin-paint were all very fun things, she would probably have avoided football altogether. As it was, she had grown to find the whole experience pretty curious, and moody-sport-fans pretty amusing. Of course, the fact that this guy wasn't really wearing any props or looked in any way as if he was waiting for the game to start went completely unnoticed by Mary. Even if she had taken a moment to notice it, she would assume he was probably simply very serious about his Quidditch. So, used to handle sports-grumpiness, Mary proceeded to happily and expressively roll her eyes at him. "Oh, c'mon!" She grabbed the whistle and turned it around, before moving it as far towards the man as the strap around her neck would allow it, and shaking it a little so he would look at the tiny letters. "See here. It says safe for children, all ages, see?" Not really caring whether he saw it, Mary let the whistle drop against her chest. "And y'know what that means? It means I can blow my bloody whistle right next to your ear and you'd still be okay. It's like, not really in the spirit of Quidditch, but at least you can relax!" A quick sip on her beer. "So, whose side are you on today, you crank?"
  4. If Mary didn't love her teenagers so much, she would probably consider teaching the little kids. The truth was, she didn't even really know how little kids were. The last time she had properly interacted with anyone under ten, it was her little brother and she was fifteen. Yet, the idea of them was incredibly luring, and she couldn't help finding herself wondering how fun it should be to sit in class pondering how much fans of oranges they all were. "That must be pretty cool." She followed her words with an emphatic nod. "Hanging around with small people with a lot of wits and no experience - I can only imagine the things you guys end up talking about!" After all, kids probably had much better answers for the orange question than she could ever come up with, and it really was Mary, and not him, who failed that conversation. She let out a chuckle. "I'll have to tell my mum you just said that. She's pretty convinced I still sound pretty much like a little kid." Without all the cute and funny parts, obviously, because even though Mary was still capable of some pretty childish stuff, they had unfortunately stopped being cute and funny fifteen years ago. So she was a bit too late to properly talk about orange, and probably had a lot to learn from this guy and his students. And from the baker, because the pastry that was now half on her plate and half on her stomach just kept getting better with every bite she took. Which was also the reason she had her mouth full as he thanked her for the indulgence, and could only shake her head as vehemently as she could for a moment. "No," she finally managed, coughing slightly and regretting for a second that she had not brought a drink. "Just go on and keep asking weird questions! I might laugh a bit, but really? The best conversations I ever got out of my students were when I learned about superheroes - and even then I got a whole lot of grunts and eye-rolls from the proper, peak of adolescence part of them!" Which reminded her, "That's why spiderman is my hero, no doubt about it." She raised her hands to lay open a little under her face, "You see, he's awkward, selfless and just figuring himself out - and everything my students are not most of the time!"
  5. Mary was a bit puzzled for a second, and uncharacteristically at a lost of things to say, she pushed the orange pastry in the guy's direction. "Am I a fan of orange?" she repeated the question with a little bit of a smile, her finger moving up to touch her nose in a playful attempt at looking thoughtful. Not that it wasn't admittedly a good one, in the sense that Mary supposed most people could go their whole lives without really thinking about it. She knew that so far she had! "I mean, I'm a fan of cake," she stretched her fingers as she begun to count, "A fan of the Thunders, of the Weird sisters, of superhero movies for a bit when I was teaching muggle kids, and-" she paused for emphasis, raising her now open hand near her face, "I'm actually a pretty big fan of the color orange! I never really thought about oranges, though. I-" Well, most of all, Mary thought it was a very funny question for someone to ask. Not because it was particularly weird in any way, but mostly because it was so innocuous. She had always found it funny how, when people were set on being polite, they so often focused on very light and borderline undebatable topics. And the thing about Mary was that whether it was the weather or one's opinion about orange flavored things, and whether it was in her classroom or in an internet cafe, she really wasn't one to let a polite question go unpunished. So it was only a chuckle she couldn't help that interrupted a speech about oranges and things she was a fan of that might otherwise have continued for as long as he was listening. "Okay," she smiled, "Is that question because you're hungry or like, uhm, vocational bias? You teach the little kids, right?"
  6. Quidditch was not something Mary had ever particularly enjoyed. No, Mary could never relate to the thrill of speeding through the open skies on a broom so thin it felt like flying, while two evil black balls and seven probably lovely but momentarily misguided players seemed to desire nothing more than to see her fall. As a sport, Quidditch was dangerous and vile and thoroughly confusing, and something Mary had been suspicious of from day one. She still remembered it pretty well, finding out about Quidditch. The air of childish awe on fellow muggleborns, the careless excitement of the kids who were already familiar with it, and in Mary's mind only one very pressing question: How would anyone, ever, dare tell her mum she had tragically died after being forced on a flying broom. Mary didn't die, but her overall feeling towards the game remained the same. There was nothing that much fun about throwing balls around while trying not to die horribly, but there was something for sure exhilarating in watching someone else do it. One had just look at the dark room on the back of the Drunken Roo that evening. Mary wasn't the only one covered in Quidditch props, and while not everyone seemed to have gone as far as to turn their skins the color of their team, the whole place seemed pretty committed to what was about to happen. After all, even though the Thundelarra Thunders versus Woollongong Warriors was by this point pretty much an yearly classic, it was still as big an event as Australian-League Quidditch could get. And Mary, a sucker for the underdogs, (even incredibly powerful, multimillionaire teams underdogs), was a hardcore Thunder-fan. She made as much clear the moment she stepped into the room. Just in case her clothes, hat, and magically-decorated skin weren't enough to make it clear where she stood that evening, the first thing she did was to blow on her sports-whistle, which produced the thunderous boom of her team. Other booms followed from different corners of the bar, and Mary found herself beaming in the atmosphere. And so did everyone else, or so it seemed, as Mary made her way through the crowded room and towards the only empty stool in sight. She twirled around a couple of mates waving their beers around, ducked under a group hug and, just as she got to the chair, another bum sat on it. "No!" she exclaimed towards the stool thief with the overly dramatic tone of someone who had been mentally preparing to yell a lot, and then promptly blew on her whistle again. "One-zero and Mary's off to a bad start!" She smiled. "Can the Thunders recover from the morale-bust and make this their only lost tonight?"
  7. “Well yeah, victims.” Mary tilted the ball in her hand to one side and then the other, as a child would with a toy, and grinned cheekily. “As you can clearly see from the look of pure terror in their eyes!” If she was being serious, she’d have to admit they looked somewhere between somewhat puzzled and as someone who just realized they had left their wallets at home the moment they were going to pay for their groceries. Admittedly not her fault, since she had used all the tricks her former muggle students taught her when she googled ‘terrified ping pong balls’. It did look like coconut, Mary granted as she picked up her fork. “So I teach Charms, maybe you knew that? And it turns out that Charms can be a pretty dangerous thing to teach if you’re not very careful the whole time. For example-” She separated a good portion of the whatever-pastry with her fork, and looked at it thoughtfully for a second. Accidents were just as impossible to completely avoid in her class as they were in a Quidditch match, and even though everyone had always been very understanding of that fact whenever something happened, she wasn't confident enough in herself or her teaching abilities immediately throw one of the worst stories at someone who might get a bad impression. “Last year I got hit in the head with pillow when I was teaching the banishing charm to my kids, and it hurts a lot more than you’d expect if the charm is-“ Mary trailed off, her eyebrows furrowing slightly after she tossed the bit of cake into her mouth. “Uhm. Okay,” she picked up a napkin with one hand while raising one finger on the other, “It’s orange, actually. And the little things are, uhm, probably white chocolate? Not awful – I mean, probably pretty good if you’re not expecting coconut!”
  8. “Yeah, I always thought that was cheating a bit,” Mary pointed out after Siwan’s words, her smile widening in amusement as Tyson offered an hypothesis of his own. “I like that theory. Let’s say Mr. Summerbee worked in medieval customer service.” The chuckle that came afterward was interrupted by an alarmed gasp, followed by a disapproving look towards the boy who seemed to have forgotten everything she had taught them about security-measures. “So, it’s five points for Flinders and five points for Tyson - if his next spell actually hits Frank and not a fellow student.” She shook her head slightly, taking a moment to look around and check if anyone looked a bit cheerer than usual. Unfortunately, there were a couple of them who were such grumps that Mary would probably still think them grumpy after a weak first-attempt charm, and some of them who were a bit too quirky for her to identify extra-cheerfulness. Though Mary would be lying if she said she didn’t feel a bit chirpier. it might be that Tyson’s spell hit her, but it might also just be that his momentary lack of aim was a good reason for her to introduce something else. “I suppose you would’ve been more careful and precise if this spell could actually hurt someone?” Mary allowed only for a very quick pause for Tyson to defend himself, because she wasn’t particularly interested in getting an apology. “The thing is, just how innocuous do you think this charm is? I’ll advance that I think a cheering charm can be one of the most dangerous charms out there, if you master it very precisely. Any thoughts on that?” She gave a look around, sending Naomi a smile once she found the shrunken head she was looking for, “Frank?” “Ah! You kids keep trying! I’ve had arms and legs and kids of my own and I wasn’t happy back then, I won’t be happy now!”
  9. Mary squinted her eyes a little bit and didn't hide a smile. She wasn't really after the history of the charm. These kids had plenty of other classes where they needed to worry about that kind of thing, and it had never felt like the most interesting way to tackle charms to Mary. However, as Hine answered her question, Mary found herself tilting her head slightly to the side and scratching her nose absent-mindedly as she thought. Well, yes. That might be just a nice way to steer the conversation to where she wanted it to go. "Yeah, that's it." Frank was waved in Hine's direction as Mary continued, "Nice description of the effects too, so that's five points to Sturt! But Hine, why d'you think Mr. Summerbee came up with the spell? Or-" Mary looked around the room, "Someone else, maybe? How useful do you think this charm is?" She waved her hand, signaling the students to go ahead and answer as she removed the spello-tape from Frank's mouth, who immediately begun shouting the most class-appropriate injuries he could think of. Mary smiled, that was why he was the only of her heads she dared show one of her students. "Ok, so you guys can-" She frowned, finding that she couldn't speak over Frank's shouts, and found a quick solution in throwing him on one of the students' desks. "Pair up now. Please, really, let me know if you start feeling a little too happy, because it's just as Hine put it, and it can get unpleasant really quickly. Meanwhile, give Frank a try and pass it to your left. The first to make him stop complaining wins the class. If anyone gets him to laugh, well, we'll see!"
  10. Mary dropped Frank the Keychain on her desk to get everyone’s attention. Uncharacteristically, Frank didn’t make a peep. “Okay guys, is everyone here?” Mary pulled her hair away from her face as she checked for the usual faces, “Because you’ll be happy you are.“ A smug little smile pulled on her lips as she made the silly pun, and she had to bite down for a moment so she wouldn’t laugh. “We’re actually doing a great one today, especially if you any of you are stressed out with the end of the term workload. so today we’re gonna learn cheering charms. One cheering charm - a very simple one - but I brought a complete book on them -“ Mary tapped the book on her desk, “In case you guys become fans. You know how it works, just ask and come pick it up if you want to have a look.” Her hand searched for Frank on the desk as she sent an encouraging smile around, and once her forefinger was safely wrapped in the keychain ribbon she picked Frank up and showed it to the class. Frank was a very unhappy shrunken head that day, and the only reason it wasn’t more apparent was because Mary had carefully shut his mouth closed with spello-tape. “You can try the spell on the person next to you, but what I really want us to do today is to try it on Frank here. You know how properly moody he is, so it should be a nice challenge to try and make him cheerful, right?” “So,” Mary waved her wand towards the chalkboard with the other hand, and the word contentos was slowly written behind her. It was a nice trick she had learned before coming to teach at Tallygarunga, and pretty much the only bit of nonverbal magic she could do. “You have the spell there, and I’m sure you want to try it. But before you pair up and I start passing dear Frank here around, I want to know -” her eyes landed randomly on a student and she asked, “What do you think this spell does? How do you feel about it?”
  11. And another big circle. Perfect! Mary held the orange ping pong ball in front of her and grinned. Oh yes, this one looked properly scared. Adding the droopy eyebrows had definitely been a genius idea, and it really came to show her that she should let her creativity carry her away a bit more often. Mary was not a very artsy person after all; she didn’t take any pleasure in walking very slowly across a museum, the one time she tried it had been made severely clear that she could not for the life of her understand the difference between a work of contemporary art and a muggle fire extinguisher, and, up until that very point, she had never created anything beautiful. But there they were. A dozen of ping pong balls where she had successfully hand drawn beautiful frightened faces, with no magic at all! Well, maybe a little of muggle-magic. Just a pinterest tab open for inspiration, and a couple of video tutorials on how to draw on round surfaces. She was so proud, she didn’t even mind anymore that a lot of the teenager-est kids were going to think she was so horribly lame. Mary could already imagine their eyes rolling as they were asked to practice the banishing charm on those things. But she could also, as she picked up the thirteenth ping pong ball, picture the smiles on the youngest kids. When she finished drawing the first circle, her gaze was attracted to a proper real-life smile, which her own lips promptly mimicked. “Hey there!” she greeted the familiar face, promptly reaching out for napkins. “These are victims for- Oh, you mean the cake? Oh, uhm. It’s coconut.” Mary scratched her head and handed him the napkins. She was so busy being an artist, she forgot to eat. “Or - wait. Is it carrot? Well, anyway -“ she scratched her head again, a smile pulling on her lips as she heard his stomach growl, “D'you want a bite of whatever? I’m pretty sure it’ll be delicious, whatever is my definitive favorite.”
  12. Mary was born to Paul Ohara and Alice Thomas in a small apartment in Melbourne, shortly followed by her brother Mattie and his fluffy mutt. The 1990s went on fairly uneventfully, or so she recalled. Most of that decade seemed to have been passed on the living room floor playing with Mattie, ruining dinner in the kitchen with grandma Emi, and being told off at school for a lot of weird things that just had the habit of happening around Mary. Because Mary was a sort of weird thing as well, no one gave it much thought until the Summer of 2000. Even then, it seemed that Mary being a witch wasn't reason enough to stop and take a look around. After all, the Oharas had definitely seen better days. Paul Ohara had recently lost his office job and talked a lot about finding something more fulfilling to do with his life. For the time being, it was apparent that he wanted nothing more than being a stay-at-home-dad. Alice Thomas failed to see the greatness of any of it, being the only sustainer of her husband, her husband's mother, and two young children. So even when it was announced to the family that Mary had proper magical abilities and that she had a place at a proper magical school, it was only Mary and Mattie who had time to react. And they did, with unending vows of smuggling the little boy into the school, quickly forgotten promises of bringing him magical pets and enchanted books, and a thoroughly honest - if sometimes forgotten - guarantee that Mary would never love anyone or anything even a tiny bit more than she loved Mattie. Not even a cotton ball more. Not even a hair. Not even an atom. She probably didn't, but seven years is a very long time to be worlds apart. While Mary discovered Tallygarunga and the people of Tallygarunga - those witches and wizards that were so different from everyone she had ever known -, Mattie grew up surrounded by things Mary didn't understand so well anymore either. Unlike the two children, things at home didn't seem to change - they just seemed to get more crowded. Mary took too much space in Mattie's room as she studied days and worked nights through university, Grandma Emi cooked less and less and bickered more and more, Paul seemed to have carved a place for himself on the couch and find himself back there every couple of years, and Alice, as always, was unamused. She dragged her stay at her parents' for a couple of years after she left VMU, working in a local secondary school with an eye out for Tallygarunga's job openings. She hid her wand and Frank-the-keychain away and learned facebook with muggle teenagers. She helped keep the house acceptable and discussed the news with Grandma Emi. As he emerged out of adolescence, Mattie and Mary had conversations longer than five sentences. And so, when what Mary had always really wanted happened and she was accepted at Tallgarunga - only a couple of hours away - she left with a bittersweet taste in her mouth and hundreds of envelopes in her bag.
Charms Professor
* year old Muggleborn Human she/her
Occupation: Charms Professor
Blood Status: Muggleborn
Species: Human
Player:  Ravioli
Pronouns: she/her
Play-by: Naomi Shimada
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