"This is your kind of thing, right? The disciple becomes the master." The trio had agreed upon scheduling their little adventure up the Narrie Lakes' wall for a lazy Sunday afternoon, the one day of the week a certain bakery closed and allowed for a day off. It was hot enough that they weren't shivering with the cold of Winter, though they still had to wear a nice coat to warm up properly. The pair waited near the main event of "Just Do It June" for Samantha's friend, Max, whom had been the one requesting company for the climb in the first place. "Can't say I dislike the sound of that." Samantha giggled at her baking mentor. Eyes scanned up the wall as she analyzed it - it was likely something she could climb with no support, and even if she were to trip, her non-human physiology would make it easier to catch herself prior to hitting the ground. Even if she did, she'd likely be able to withstand a much greater height than a run of the mill human - she just hoped that there were no Muggles around to witness such a thing if it were to happen. "Is your friend going to take too long?" Natasha idly asked as her gaze perused the surrounding activities. They were truly all about getting active - it was fortunate that she had gotten into shape (somewhat) over the course of the past year through Judo, but that didn't change the fact she wasn't agile like a monkey. It was likely that the task would not be too easy, something that served as a bit of a downer; on the flip side, the company would likely keep her mind occupied enough for her not to notice the difficulty. "No, she should show up any minute now. I'll show you how to secure yourself to the wall in a bit." Samantha had picked up on how unsure the older woman seemed about the activity and gave her a wide smile. Natasha wrinkled her nose and stared up the obstacle as well. 'Why did I agree to this...?'
A wide smile crossed Samantha's lips as she had gotten something verbally correct, winning the Bourke house some points in the process - it wasn't something that she got to do all that often, and thus the thought that she pulled her own weight for once so to help the team win the House Cup made her quite content with herself. She made a mental note of going over the subject with family members, almost every single one of which being all too comfortable with the element in question, to get recommendations as to which spells she should use in order to provide the little plant with just enough light to make it grow. "Target practice? Now you're talkin'!" Amber spoke up with glee. Taking care of plants was a task too boring for someone like her - she looked as if Rachel's lightning spell struck her directly half the time. "But... Wait. That's for now, or for the term?" 'God, now. Please now. I'm dyin' here.' Samantha shook her head at her cousin's antics, but her smile remained - she was more amused than frustrated. "Will the plant's state at the end of the term serve as our final evaluation for this particular term?" She decided to ask instead, in hopes they'd dodge an actual exam through their work - even if it was her subject of choice, she was still terrified of having to take on a written test about it. "Or will it carry over to other terms?"
A smile of relief stretched out Samantha's lips at the spoken confirmation of her success, cheering her back up immediately. The Bourke clapped the palm of her teacher's hand with her own when prompted, pleased with the outcome. Now, if only she could keep it up, perhaps she wouldn't run that high a risk of failing the year when it came down to it. At least they didn't have national exams during the Fifth Year, which was likely her saving grace for the time being. "Hey." Amber talked back to the teacher, visibly unhappy with the comment. "Why's everyone holdin' isolated mistakes against me for months lately? Kinda gettin' old..." She grumbled, having grown frustrated with it as of late. It felt like people had been particularly merciless when it came to her for the past couple months. Had she done something to piss everyone off that she wasn't aware of? "It's okay." The Spencer felt a palm lightly collide against the top of her back, it belonging to her cousin. "Just focus on the class, alright? Nobody can tell you anything if you just pull through, right?" "Guess so." Amber shrugged to herself and let the thorn on her side go. She leaned back on her chair, letting it hang back and forth on its back legs as usual while waiting for the class to progress. Samantha took the downtime to carefully inspect the plant she was set to take care of, as well as Amber's, but soon the teacher spoke up again to continue the lecture. It seemed that every student had to take care of the plant assigned to them for the duration of the term. Samantha was excited about such a task - to maintain a living being alive, nurture it and care for its existence was her bread and butter, and something she greatly relished in. Amber, on the other hand, was rather bothered by the idea. She knew how irresponsible she could be, and she had never been someone that had any sliver of a 'green thumb' to go with her studies - there was a reason why she never bothered to take on Herbology beyond the mandatory time after all. "They'll need to get plenty of sunlight to survive. I guess we should draw from fire magic for a light source?" They were still susceptible to temperature, however, and a Lumos spell didn't exactly qualify as Fire magic. While the Bourke struggled with the conundrum in her head, Amber could only scratch the side of her head through her beanie, not understanding a thing about plant care and being limited to observing the class as a result.
"Good morning, Professor Ackers!" Came the ever so cheerful greeting as soon as Samantha entered the classroom, grinning ear-to-ear: the first term had been all about fire, a subject which they loved, and the second term transitioned into something she was equally comfortable with - water. It was rare when the Bourke had so much confidence in herself heading into any given class, and it gave a pronounced boost to her already normally jolly demeanor. Sitting by the desk, her gaze was greeted by the sight of a wilted flower, which made a dent in said high spirits. Even if it was for the sake of a class, she didn't much appreciate the sight of a living being in distress, even if it was plant life. But she understood practical knowledge only came with exactly that - practice. She didn't voice her displeasure with the situation, waiting for the initial lecture to finish so she could get her hands dirty. Reaching for her wand, the girl traced the needed movement with its tip for the spell to take effect, although she didn't pronounce the incantation out of instinct - water had always felt like an extension of herself, such was the Veela nature. The spell took effect without much difficulty, having the desired outcome. Other than the plant, another thing was also restored, it being the smile in Samantha's lips. "Like this?" She asked for confirmation - even if she was a natural in the matter, the subconscious insecurity borne of constant failures in every other avenue forced itself to be known.
Oops, baked some excess cookies today! Would anyone be so kind as taking them off my hands? Free of charge!
Samantha Hammond earned a Trophy Rambunctious Reactor Level Five
Samantha looked up from the intense focus she had on her apparently malfunctioning wand (or so she hoped was the case) to meet the eyes of her cousin, now lecturer, offering comforting words. She had always been a hard person to read; but her cadence and tone were certainly soothing. She nodded along, although she wasn't quite sure of what her happiest memory was. Perhaps she just needed to think harder? Deciding upon the time she had acquired her first instrument, a 12-hole ocarina, she closed her eyes and let that feeling 'flood her being', as the fellow half-Veela had put it. Have the memory as vivid as can be, and let it overpower her. It certainly made a little something stir in her heart, and brought a smile to her lips - a smile that soon vanished when she failed the spell once more after repeating the incantation. All she could do at that point was to keep trying, and hope at least one attempt would stick. It was all for naught, ultimately, as the bell rang and Evelyn left her be. The Bourke sighed in defeat, but her attention was caught by a hand squeezing her shoulder. "It's alright." Said Meadow, giving her a reassuring smile. "Remember, this isn't a sign of ability, or happiness. You're doing just fine." Samantha could tell Meadow believed in her words, but unfortunately, it wasn't enough to reassure her. "Hey, ya two need to stop moping. This class is over, we need to get outta here. How about I treat you both 'n Harvey out, hm? Some food in your belly might cheer you up, Samwise Gamgee." Said the Spencer as she gathered her things. The three soon left for their break, intent on taking their mind off of the class.
"Would that be so bad?" It was a very comfortable seat after all, and an effective tool to mess with onlookers. "The way I see it, you're excellent company, and I could hardly request for anything better. Maybe it shouldn't be you who's flattered, but myself." She wanted to avoid being placed on a pedestal, even for a little tiny joke. "But... That's actually a good idea. Let's make Meadow's day somehow, what do you say?" It was then that she got up from Travis' lap and took her time to adjust her uniform. "Let's 'slap a smile on her face' as you put it. We'll find a way. Come on now." She held a hand out to help him get up from his seat and nodded encouragingly. They had loafed around for a considerable amount of time at that point: it was time they actually put their social wizardry into good use.
Samantha Hammond earned a Trophy Explosive Level Four
From the trio, Meadow was the first to rise from her seat. Her Patronus was quite large - it was a mare, after all - and so it would make more sense for her to work in an open area rather than stay sitting at her desk. It was a difficult spell, but she had the right memory for it: her first day in Tallygarunga. Her first taste of freedom. A day she would never forget for as long as she lived. "Expecto Patronum." With the incantation and appropriate wand movement, a white mare escaped from her wand, galloping to a halt for the sake of not running into any students. "If it's tangible... I can't help but wonder if one could use them as means of transportation." Meadow mused out loud, not for anyone in particular to hear. Her thoughts were interrupted by some shuffling behind her - it seemed that Amber had sat down sideways on her desk, turned to the same open area to perform her own spell. Before she could, however, Meadow reached for the collar of her uniform's shirt to pull her off and onto her feet, which was soon met with protests. "Hey! You need to stop being so pushy!" Amber complained, adjusting her collar as soon as it was let go of. The Flinders could only sigh in frustration. "You need to get your act together and behave. You're in class. Go on now." She stepped backwards once to give the Spencer enough space to perform the spell in front of the two. With a cocksure grin, she rose her wand to the empty space in front of her. "Expecto Patronum!" Amber declared, but unlike a few of the people around her, no animal burst forth; instead, a shield-like layer protruded from the wand with its tip as its center. Amber had done that before, and it brought a slight frown to her lips. "Aw, c'mon. Coulda sworn that would be it..." Wasn't her finally getting a push in her side gig a happy memory? What else would it take? Samantha, however, wasn't so lucky. She soon followed the two, joining them in their attempts; try after try, not even the slightest mist erupted from her wand. What was she doing wrong? Could it be her happy memories weren't happy enough? Did she remember them wrong? Were her feelings misplaced, or just not strong enough?
Samantha Hammond earned a Medal Class Champion Level One
Samantha Hammond earned a Medal The Opener Level One
Step by step, the daredevil Spencer crossed the threshold to the backyard of the McCarthy manor, eyes greeted by the pool party she had organized in full swing. But none of that mattered. All that mattered was that at the moment she was a predator, and she was searching for very specific prey. She hunched over slightly while trying to make her steps as silent as possible once spotting her target. It was showtime. "SAMMEE!" A yell was heard throughout the backyard roughly at the same time a figure started sprinting, jumped in the air, and latched on to an unsuspecting Bourke. Perhaps it was for the best that Samantha's physiology was more durable than that of a regular human's, or else she would've been knocked over; coupled with the fact that she was all too used to this treatment by Amber, the perpetrator, she didn't seem too bothered. The only thing the Spencer succeeded in was make Sam stumble a couple steps closer to the pool. "Hi to you too." The half-Veela greeted in good humor, peeking past her shoulder to an absolutely devious grin. But as was standard, luck wasn't by Amber's side that day. The first hint of such was when Samantha hooked her arms around Amber's legs, ensuring the girl wouldn't jump off of her back. "...Whatcha doin', Momantha?" No response. Instead, Samantha stepped closer and closer to the pool. "...Uh...?" Her confusion shifted to realization once, at the edge of the pool, Samantha turned so Amber's back was turned to it as well. 'Oh no.' "SAM, DON'T--" Her speech was cut short as her back hit the water and she was submerged - her cousin had let herself fall backwards onto the pool, additional human attachment and all, creating quite the big splash.
"It would be, yeah." Samantha nodded as she envisioned Meadow taking offense to things but begrudgingly doing them anyway, but enjoying the fact she was doing it regardless due to it being for her friends. Sam then cracked another smile and shook her head, having her arm sneak around the back of Travis' shoulders for a playful hold as she stayed sat upon his lap, upright. "But maybe I want your company instead. Ever considered that, Mr. Franklin?" Right back to where they started. The younger Bourke was not one to joke around with such things usually, but it just flowed naturally when it came to the boy. They both knew it was a joke, so long as it didn't cross the line into being crass. "Call it 'quality time'." She raised her free hand to emphasize her saying with air quotes.
Samantha Hammond earned a Medal School Superstar Level One
Samantha Hammond earned a Medal Local Hero Level One
As Nox left to retrieve the gillyweed, Amber was done stripping - she just shoved her clothes haphazardly into the *colorful* bag she always carried, opened Samantha's purse wide, and dropped it inside. "Hey, Spalamadingdong, why aren't you stripping?" Amber questioned her cousin, eyes squinting as she tossed the purse she had previously stolen back at Samantha. "You expect going on our little adventure looking like that?" "One of us actually has to stay behind and look out for this." The Bourke spoke as she caught her purse with both hands, unaffected by the nickname that time. "We can't do magic outside of Tallygarunga, remember? I can't just hide this and be done with it." "How old's that fella?" She couldn't really tell if they were a boy or a girl, having only seen their head. Rather than replying, Samantha was distracted with Nox, as they were very quick to return. Amber was quick to tread into the water and fish her portion of the gillyweed out of Nox's hands. "Bottom's up!" She shoved the plant in her mouth in one go, chewing just enough to be able to swallow. Almost immediately, gills formed at the sides of her neck, and webbing in between all of her fingers did as well. "Sweet. Let's go!" Racing further into the water, she dove in with reckless disregard for those nearby. Samantha didn't seem much affected by the water. "...On that note, say, how old are you?" She didn't even know if Nox was a student to begin with, but it didn't hurt to ask. She was very interesting in getting to know them better for that matter, and it would be a shame if a simple purse was what would derail that endeavor.
Samantha had been caught off guard once pulled to Travis' lap, but seeing his intentions clear as day, she didn't struggle; in fact, she relished in the display of affection from her friend. Despite this, she didn't seem too happy given the heaviness of her words, which she was promptly being scolded for. Could she blame him? No, she would have done the exact same thing if a friend of hers was saying the same stuff. It was just that she couldn't help but feel that was the case. Not all the logic and rationale in the world could take that away, at least not immediately. The mood lightened up a little when Travis gently poked Samantha's nose, at least. She wrinkled it on reflex, and couldn't manage to keep a small smile from stretching out in her lips despite the general mood. "I appreciate the loyalty. And with so much smooth talking and comforting, no wonder you're such a hit with the ladies." She decided to compliment him as a means of thanking him for the pep talk. It was something she had to mull over on her own time. Perhaps she should talk to her parents about it, or her siblings, during the break. She didn't exactly want to ruin the festivities, and talking at home felt like it was better than just blindsiding them during a visit.
The idea Travis was proposing was a perfectly plausible, common sense idea that hadn't occurred to Samantha; however, it was also one that left her with mixed feelings. On the one hand, there could still be a path towards academic success, and if there was life there was also hope; on the other hand, did that mean something was wrong with her head? She looked down at her lap, unsure. Did she have a few screws loose? Was that the tradeoff for being who she was? "...Are you sure it will help?" The girl mustered the courage to look up and at the older Bourke, watching him rest his head against the top part of the back of the couch. "I mean... I'm willing to explore it, but I'm not looking forward to potentially getting the news I'm damaged in some way..." What would her family think of it? She had intelligent siblings and was always in their shadow when it came to personal accomplishments. Having something diagnosed would only make it worse, and she didn't want to be useless to them. "...I guess I just don't want to disappoint people further." She eventually looked away, her gaze ending up watching a few students on the opposite side of the room playing Wizard's Chess. They looked like they were having a lot of fun, but she never really caught on to how it was played properly, even after her siblings explained it to her on multiple occasions.
Samantha couldn't help but feel pleased at Evelyn's decision to punish their cousin over misbehaving. She didn't want to cause Amber any pain, not at all, but that girl needed to get her act together. She let go of the arm and regained her composure, reaching for her wand inside of the bag for the upcoming exercises. She could see Meadow shake her head in disappointment at Amber from the corner of her eye. The pro wrestler sulked at being thwarted, however. "What? C'mon!" She protested the point removal, but ultimately knew nothing could be done about it. She groaned to herself, but eventually regained her usual energy quickly enough to be the first of the trio to reply to the posed question. "Non-corporeal. Gotta make it full this year, eh?" She then glanced over at her two friends, noticing Samantha didn't raise her hand at all. 'Right, she always has trouble with this crap.' "A white mare." Said the Flinders next to them. "Although I'm not sure why."
"You don't know many things about me, Mr. Franklin. Now, get in line." Despite the tone and posture, Samantha couldn't hide a small smile from breaching her expression. Ultimately, she only wanted to see her friends be happy, and that included Travis. In fact, she wanted to ensure that proactively. Allowing herself to be pushed away wouldn't be very conducive to that goal, now would it? The young Hammond wrinkled her nose in defeat, and looked down, crossing her arms. It was, indeed, giving her a headache. Pursing her lips, she looked back up and followed Travis to the couch as he spoke, ultimately sitting on one of its arms. The subject was veering into a very serious direction - that time, on her own end. But should she discuss it? She didn't want to be a burden to the older Bourke. "I'll try to... rephrase it, I suppose." She let out a sigh and uncrossed her arms, letting her hands splay on her lap - almost as if trying to get a grip. "It's hard to rephrase this actually since it's two separated issues meshed into one, but here goes. I'm not very bright." She was visibly surprised with how blunt she was about it. Admitting it out loud was certainly an unpleasant experience, and her eyes widened mildly with the shock of actually being able to say it to herself, let alone another. "Yes, I know it has nothing to do with how I look like and such, but it has to do with how I feel about myself, if that makes any sense. Hence the trophy wife comment, there's not much past a pretty face." She waved a hand in front of her face to make her point. "So the weapon I'm looking for... Is to make me not so dim? In a way. I've tried everything I know of. Study long hours into the night, pay attention, memory tricks, so on and so forth... Nothing works. But at the same time I feel babied by everyone, so I feel like I got to do it on my own." Maybe talking things out wasn't so bad. At least she had the presence of mind to talk in a bit of a lower tone, lest some nosy student eavesdrop on them.
1st Year - Current: Tallygarunga, Bourke House
- Is actually extremely talented in singing, Musiciary and Muggle instruments, but is horrified of anyone finding out;
- Is a halfbreed;
- Deeply troubled psychologically because of her academic failures.
- Has a million nicknames and doesn't seem to mind any of them;
- Proud owner of a little pink Pygmy Puff given to her by her cousin Amber, and the fella was named Harvey by her oldest sister;
- Dislikes cursing/perversion/really dark humor and tends to scold people who do so - even Keira, her own sister, whom thrives in this sort of speech;
- Many people think she's a Legilimens due to her ability to read people like a book (she can't even perform Legilimency);
- The Hammond Challenge: She seems to shoot every single suitor under the sun down, and it's become a game;
- She really likes fishing and cooking/baking as a way to decompress;
- Visits Whitlam Bilby a lot to visit her nephews;
- Is a big fan of camping, hiking and rock climbing, as well as most outdoorsy activities;
- Left handed;
- Is a precious cinnamon roll that should be protected.
Sammy is an ultra friendly, fun loving girl with a penchant for helping others whether they want her to or not. She's very lively and can quickly inject energy into a room, and her smile is contagious. This excessive kindness might make a few people uneasy, but she means every last bit of it.
She faces things head on, very impulsively at times, even if she's terrified. She's quite adventurous and doesn't hesitate much when it comes to her own well being, but is quite caring and cautious when it comes to others since all she wishes is to naively spread love and happiness in the world. This is a double edged blade, however: her naiveness and willingness to believe everyone has a good side to them makes her highly susceptible to any type of charm that might take advantage of her.
Her natural talent is to read person's body cues and facial expressions, something she does unconsciously, and acts accordingly. As a result it's hard to lie to her, and she gets hurt very easily when someone does that to her due to how trusting she is of everyone.
She has quite a few self esteem issues, mostly stemming from her lack of an academic success (due to an undiagnosed learning disability) and the fact most approach her romantically only due to her Veela heritage. She feels like she's just another pretty face in the crowd and has little worth to provide to the world. As such, when she is competent at something, she tends to feel too embarrassed to do it in front of everyone despite her courage in most other things.
In a group, she often takes up the 'mother hen' role and is quite happy to do so.
When she enters the room, it's like the whole place lights up - her smile so large and bright one could mistake it for a metaphorical sun. It does not seem to ever go away, complimenting her Veela-accentuated looks.
Much like her mother, she has bright blue eyes that seem to bewitch most staring into them (unwittingly, at that); but unlike her, she has the deep brown mane that's familiar to the Hammond wizarding family. She's also on the tall side of things. She's not the most sporty individual in the world but she makes sure to stay fit for the sake of health.
When outside of her uniform, she's very fond of summer dresses, frilly blouses and skirts, but she's known to experiment in a variety of styles - not only with her clothing and shoes, but on occasion with her hair as well, liking a change every now and again, be it dyeing or a new hairstyle.
The fact she's a half-Veela makes it so her looks are rather accentuated as unnaturally beautiful, and very captivating to those attracted to women. From her generation in particular, she's the Hammond sibling whom has benefited from this the most (although she'd say it's a curse) - to the point the eponymous 'Hammond Challenge' started because of a combination of her looks and consistent rejection of suitors.
Samantha Michelle Hammond is the last of four children to be born to a rather quirky and gigantic Pureblood family whom are historically known for their size. Her mother stuck to tradition and decided to have a child every four years, give or take.
Her degree of closeness to her siblings varies - Keira, the oldest sister, left the house when Sam was only 4. This meant they never spent a lot of time together despite being on friendly terms. She is closer to her other two siblings. However, due to her undiagnosed learning disability, she demanded a lot more attention from her parents - this made it so they wound up somewhat neglected, a fact Samantha will never forgive herself for.
Mental issue aside, her childhood was mostly uneventful - she was always social and friendly, and passed through all her grades, even if with some difficulty. Instead she watched the convoluted life of every other person in the house and quickly acquired the skills to comfort them and read through them in a trial by fire, contributing to her social butterfly ways of present days.
She isn't entirely sure if she'll pass to the sixth year, and is hoping not to disappoint her parents and friends. In the meantime, all she can do is keep studying hard.