|Talula Peony Shippe|
13 March 2013 (age 11)
Part Veela (1/8th)
Beech, Unicorn tail, 7.5 inches, unyielding
Hogwarts, Her friends, her house
((OOC Note: Other than the "Rumour has it" section, the following information is not available to your character unless discussed through roleplay.))
Talula is the third-born child to squib and muggle parents, making her technically muggleborn even though her magical heritage is quite recent. Her father, Edgar, is from a long line of Hogwarts Slytherin graduates; however for unknown reasons, his magical ability never surfaced. He was shunned and sent out into the muggle world to make a life for himself at the young age of 13, living in and out of foster care, until finally graduating from school and obtaining work as an office temp. He met Talula's mother, Valeria (nee Collins), while on assignment. The pair were married at a young age and started a family. They had two boys before having Talula, named Easton and Yorick, neither of which possesses magical ability.
Talula had a very happy childhood. Her brothers were both very protective towards her, and served as a buffer from any playground bullying. Both parents seemed intent on harvesting a tight knit family unit, since relationships with the extended family were unheard of. The household was on a tight budget, hovering just above poverty most of the time, but simple pleasures were found in the backyard and the annual trip to Alton Towers, where Talula discovered her inner adrenaline junkie.
Her favorite sport was gymnastics, though she was game to play just about anything that required her to run around. She was a tomboy through and through, always with skinned knees and elbows, though her mother did take advantage of the girl's sweet tooth to get her in the kitchen from time to time.
First Sign of Magic
The discovery of Talula's magical ability appeared very late in her childhood. For her tenth birthday, she assisted in creating a blueberry cake with her mother and was responsible for adding the blue food coloring. Somehow, the properties of the coloring magnified so that all who sampled the cake at her party turned blue from head to toe. The Ministry was alerted to the situation and arrived at the party to counter the spell and to wash muggles' minds of the occurrence. Talula was then taken aside by her father and learned the secrets of her heritage.
By the end of the year her paternal grandmother Hestarina Shippe was in contact with the family. Although her relationship with her estranged son was tense, the woman was determined to connect with her grandchild and harness the legacy of her family in the wizarding community. In the summer of 2024, Hestarina invited Talula to stay with her near Brighton Beach in efforts to educate the girl on the wizarding world. Talula's parents acquiesced, and so the young girl said goodbye to everything she knew.
Train and Sorting
Arriving in King's Cross station, Talula kissed her nan goodbye. She was left with the lingering advice to "stick to those dressed in green", as Hestarina Shippe's hope for her granddaughter was that she would be sorted into Slytherin. However, Talula failed at fulfilling her nan's wish, finding herself in a cab with other first years who were wondering along with her into which house they'd be sorted. This is where she met Casey Champion and Olivia Sioux, who would ultimately both be sorted into Ravenclaw.
Reeling with energy, Talula chatted up her cab mates throughout the entire train ride, having missed spending time with kids her age. As they arrived at the boats to take them across the Black Lake, Talula started to worry. She had no idea what house she belonged to and, no matter how much her nan pushed for a particular one, her mind refused to settle. The Sorting Hat welcomed them with a song that detailed which attributes gave credence to each house, and Hufflepuff seemed to resonate with her. Under the Hat, she started to sob, eyeing the Slytherin table with terror, knowing she was not particularly ambitious as her nan had hoped. Without question the hat placed her in Hufflepuff, sensing her fears and desires.
Talula Shippe meekly creeps forward, pressing her way past the remaining firsties and taking a seat gingerly under the Sorting Hat. She wrings her hands and releases an involuntary whimper. A quick glance to the Slytherin table strikes fear in the core of her. If Nan gets her way, and she gets sorted there, why.. they'll eat her alive! Talula immediately begins to sob, covering her face with her hands and awaiting the dreaded words from the stupid old hat....
The Sorting hat wiggles its bottom on the young firsties head, in thought, "Well I suppose you would be better off with HUFFLEPUFF!"
During their first free weekend, Talula and friend Mari Sawyer snuck out to investigate the Forbidden Forest. Through use of the Four-Point Spell (the first spell cast successfully by Talula), they found their way to Hogsmeade. It was Talula's suggestion to investigate the Three Broomsticks and perhaps order some butterbeer, since an upcoming Potions project was to create their own recipe and neither girl had ever tasted it. Their adventure was cut short by a run in with Professor Chafferly, who docked 20 points each for their infraction and escorted them back to the castle. Ultimately the punishment from their head of house, Professor Priaulx, was revokation of privileges to attend Hogsmeade weekends for two months, which both gladly accepted. Further infractions, Priaulx told them via owl, would result in them missing the Halloween dance.
It was during a Xylomancy class that Talula received shocking news from Professor Bellingham that her stick (nicknamed Nigel) was marked with the Grim. Feeling she'd been had by the professor after some consoling from her prefect, Aisling Jones, Talula felt resentment towards what seemed to be a rather benign professor. Then, out of nowhere, Talula's pygmy puff Nugget died. A beautiful funeral was held in the Middle Courtyard, attended by a variety of houses and a choir of pygmy puffs who sang beautifully to the demise of their cohort. It was assumed that the puff was simply old and passed away of natural causes, but upon attending a Xylomancy class overseen by Magical Creatures professor Tiona Twine, Talula got the idea that Nigel and Nugget were somehow in contact with one another so as to pass the Grim from Talula onto the unsuspecting pygmy puff.
Peril was never too far away from this little badger throughout her first year. Together with her friend Casey Champion, she explored the hidden tunnels in the quad courtyard and fought off the acromantulae who attacked them there, Talula resorting to stabbing one in the eye with her wand. Then, when the Dhampir 'Elliott' was on the loose, Talula and fellow Hufflepuff Liam Atmore were pursued in the second floor corridor. Talula managed to evade the dark creature, but Liam jumped in the way to save her, suffering a direct attack.
Family was a matter of great importance with Talula as well, seeing that her grandmother Hestarina Shippe was taken into custody and sentenced to three years in Azkaban after supposedly setting Gringotts ablaze with fireballs from her harpy form. This was how Talula learned she was of veela heritage. She spent the holidays in her mother's care once more, as her father tended to the trial at the Ministry of Magic.
Talula is of an average height for her age, with dark blonde hair that varies in length on any given day due to her tendency to cast the Profundus charm. She has light green eyes, and her skin is fair and freckled but oftentimes flushed from exertion. She is unnaturally pretty for a firstie, and that can be attributed to her veela heritage. She prefers skirts to slacks when it comes to her uniform, but is more comfortable in jeans when the occasion calls for casual wear. At night she's typically spotted running around in an oversized and hooded onesie.
At first glance Talula appears to be a well-mannered young lady, thoughtful and kind to others. However she has a fire that manifests in excited, friendly chatter that some quieter students might consider to be excessive. She has an eagerness to build and maintain strong relationships with people, even the occasional friendly rivalry.
For the most part she is rather good natured, but on occasion an argument will be set upon her and the little girl will spark with passionate anger. This is just as upsetting for her as for others, because of the fallout it creates. She tends to come to her senses quickly and apologize for the sake of keeping friendships intact.
Talula has a very active lifestyle and visits the pitch every morning to jog or to practice gymnastics.
Talula is by no means gifted, but performs above average as a student, with Transfiguration, Xylomancy, and Muggle Studies being her strong areas of study. However, she is less successful at subjects such as Potions, Herbology and Alchemy. She delights in reading ahead in Charms and Transfiguration, and thus retains a working knowledge of the spells for her year. Casting them can prove quite volatile; yet that doesn't seem to deter the young badger from her practice.
A - Acceptable. Talula does better with the theory of this class rather than the practical applications, which tend to be poorly executed.
A - Acceptable. When Talula isn't struggling to stay awake in this class, she finds she can answer some of the questions Blackwell poses. Also, she finds the magical chalk rather funny.
A - Acceptable. Neither showy nor skilled, Talula can accomplish some of the assignments, though being a southpaw she tends to smudge the parchment with the heel of the hand, which can frustrate her.
A - Acceptable. Talula has no idea how she's passing this class. She finds Astronomy to be utterly confusing and she probably would be failing if it weren't for her close relationship with Casey Champion.
Care of Magical Creatures
A - Acceptable. The young badger is not as giddy about cute little critters as many other girls her age. She is highly skeptical of magical creatures, ever since fairies attacked and mocked her in a lesson early on in her first year. Since then she approaches most creatures with high amounts of caution, leaving her oftentimes on the outside of class, unable to share in others' excitement.
E - Exceeds Expectations. Known among the firsties as one of the stronger spellcasters in her year, Talula performs admirably, though lately her wand has been temperamental with Reparo (only a second level spell, yet the bane of Tal's existence). As such, her grades have suffered a bit.
Defence Against the Darts Arts
E - Exceeds Expectations. Willing to put her best face forward, Talula is fearless and eager to learn in this class. She typically has a stance of "preserve before destroy", opting to incapacitate dark entities before trying to injure them. This stance encourages her to think creatively, which usually works to her favor in lectures.
A - Acceptable. Curiosity and an open mind carries Talula a long way in this class; without them, she would be floundering for a passing grade. Nevertheless, she applies herself enough in this class to come up with the occasional errant reading, which sometimes leads her straight into trouble.
A - Acceptable. Having seen too many movies, Talula not only has no true knowledge of dragons, but the wrong kind she has to strike from her memory banks. She tends to stay quiet in this class, not really knowing much yet about what real dragons are like.
E - Exceeds expectations. Although Talula is a naturally gifted flier, she finds some of the games they play are simply too challenging. Her maneuvering is good, but her hand eye coordination lacking ((player's computer is too weak to perform well in any of the broom games)).
A - Acceptable. Talula can read the material and understand it, and to a certain degree did enjoy studying carnivorous trees, but her hands-on work is frankly subpar.
History of Magic
E - Exceeds Expectations. Finding the course material for the most part very interesting, Talula can tolerate the long lectures and even answer many questions in class due to her love of history carried over from muggle school. Plus, there is rarely homework assigned, and Talula's bound to love a class without homework.
A - Acceptable. Talula loves cooking, and can read a recipe just fine. Other tasks, however, cause her attention to wane.
Magical Careers and You
E - Exceeds Expectations. At first the class was very confusing for the young badger, but once she started applying herself and thinking creatively, she has found the coursework far easier to tackle. In addition to the ease of work, Talula is simply riveted by the current topic of wandlore, and finds her grades reflect that interest.
O - Outstanding. Talula's muggleborn, and as such she performs admirably in Muggle Studies, finding the topics easy to follow.
A - Acceptable. Norse mythology is the topic of her first year, and if it weren't for her enchanted quill able to record down all the strange names and terms, Talula would be in greater danger of failing this course.
P - Poor. By and large Talula's worst subject. She has a history of things going wrong in this class, from being stung by a billywig and suffering its effects for a week, to the Great Cauldron Head Incident of 2024.
O - Outstanding. By and large Talula's favorite and most skilled subject. Her wand seems to align favorably with this spellwork, and so Talula finds with careful application, she rarely fails a spell.
O - Outstanding. Talula doesn't read the sticks any better than her peers, but succeeds in taking the strange branch of divination seriously, which Bellingham seems to interpret as skill.
Talula is currently in possession of an unyielding 7.5" beech wand with a unicorn tail hair core. It was a long ordeal by which she obtained the wand, going through the wand selection process at Ollivander's with her mother in attendance. The little girl tried many wands, which at first amazed her with their intricate carvings, gem inlays, and many other aesthetic properties. However, none of the wands wanted to perform for her. She went through nearly a dozen before a simple beech wand, no bigger than a letter opener was presented to her. Exhausted and annoyed, what happened next is by her account:
I took the wand out and I remember pointing it at the wandmaker. It wasn't nice of me, but I flicked it and the man yelped. At first I was terrified that I had hurt him, but then he complained of twitchy ears, taking off his cap and showing them to me. That just made me more upset. I thought he was playing a trick on me, and I shoved the wand into his arms and stormed out of the shop. My mother had to buy the wand and give it to me later once I had calmed down.
Talula only feels amicable towards her wand, perhaps because she is still on some level bitter about the process. She feels that her wand performs only as good as it has to, not really grasping the "subtlety" beech wands are supposed to possess. She hopes to understand one day why the wand chose her, when its performance can be volatile at times.
Talula is currently the owner of twin rats whom she refers to as Castor and Pollux; she will also call them 'Gemini' when in the company of staff or prefects (so as to avoid having one of them taken away, as it is against the rules for students to own more than one pet). They are nearly identical in appearance, with grey fur covering most of the bodies and white muzzles. She keeps one in a cage in her dorms while the other travels with her in her backpack, always destined to carry them separately and never quite certain which one is which.
Nigel was a dead pine branch Talula found early on in her first year at Hogwarts. Initially collected as part of an assignment for xylomancy, Talula took it upon herself to bond with the stick, giving it a name and claiming it also had a personality all its own. In a later xylomancy lesson, Professor Bellingham shockingly revealed that Nigel was marked with the Grim, an omen of death. Unsure of who to believe until her pygmy puff Nugget died unexpectedly, Talula kept Nigel under her bed, afraid to touch or interact with it unless required to bring the stick to class.
She kept her fingers crossed that the opportunity to burn Nigel for a reading would present itself, but as the year waned Talula had her doubts. So, one day she opted to cut the long branch into a series of wand-length pieces, bundling them and providing them to Bellingham as a gift through the rose gram service. In a note included with the bundle of sticks, Talula explained that the Grim had been cut away and discarded in the Black Lake. The rest of Nigel now belonged to Bellingham, and Talula suggested that her professor use the bundle for kindling. According to nearby sources, Bellingham was delighted and touched to receive his gift, even crying a little out of happiness. The current whereabouts of Nigel's remaining pieces are unknown.
Talula is typically carrying her backpack when in uniform. It contains the following items at all times:
- folio with sheets of parchment
- two standard quills
- one enchanted quill
- developing solution
- chocolate, usually in the form of a wand and/or frog
- collection of wizarding snap cards
- bottle of water
- two calming draughts
- one of her rats
- Edgar and Valeria (parents): Talula has a very good relationship with both her parents, and is particularly fascinated with her father's past. However she never wishes to upset him and so leaves questions related to the matter out of her letters. Valeria oftentimes sends muggle sweets via owl, weighing down the poor creatures with macaroons and caramels, and Talula is known to share these treats with her schoolmates.
- Easton and Yorick (brothers): At age 18 and 15 respectively, Talula's brothers Easton and Yorick played an integral role in her childhood development. Both were extremely protective of their little sister. They still tend to call her Lu, and have no qualms about roughhousing her and treating her like the tomboy they have come to know. Both brothers are under the assumption that Talula is attending an academy for aspiring gymnasts.
- Hestarina (grandmother): A far more important relationship than Talula realized for a long time. Hestarina is responsible for the girl's preliminary education in the wizarding world and also served as her official guardian for the summer of 2024. She handled all paperwork sent to her from Hogwarts and took a very strong interest in Talula's activities and achievements at school. Furthermore, Hestarina is half-veela, a trait passed to Talula that she was not aware of until the Gringotts attack in December 2024. Talula does her best not to anger the woman, and so has never been exposed to the full brunt of Hestarina's abilities.
- Abigail Grace Bluetooth: Talula's best friend. Though an unlikely pair, Talula and Abigail have bonded in their first year, building a mutual respect for one another. Talula finds her friend's Slytherin ambition a little silly at times (aiming for prefect already?), but will always support her no matter what. The two famously got in their first duel during DADA class, which Abi won.
- Casey Champion: A Ravenclaw firstie whom Talula met on the train ride to Hogwarts. When Abigail isn't available, Talula quickly latches onto the young eagle, feeling rather protective of him, even though they are roughly the same age. The two fought together in the Acromantula attack of 2024, which probably explains Talula's protective side. Both share an intense passion for flying, and the badger will resort to cheering for her quidditch playing friend at matches, provided it isn't against Hufflepuff.
- Aloy Osiris: A Gryffindor firstie whom Talula has recently bonded with, over their mutual interest in Tom Morgan. However, Talula has come to her senses and stepped aside, though staying close to Aloy, finding her to be quite the lovely companion. The two have a tendency towards trouble, so who knows what adventures lie ahead for the pair?
- Matt Warren: Talula's first kiss, if you want to count his cheek. The boy seemed infatuated with Talula, and it was only a matter of time before they were having the LIKE like talk. However, after telling his best friend Tom Morgan that they in fact snogged, Talula was furious with the fellow firstie. She has since moved on, chalking up the whole experience as a disastrous experiment in trying to understand the interests of twelve year old boys.
- Aleksei Ashworth: Perhaps just a troublemaker, Talula still feels quite the affinity for this young Ashworth, finding his energy and his mischievous antics contagious. The pair bonded briefly at the Macaulay ball over the holidays, when Lex took Talula for a spin on the dance floor. Ever since then, Talula has been wanting more dances, but the young Ashworth has adventure on the brain instead.
- Liam Atmore: Talula's surrogate older brother, and a fellow Huffle. He naturally reminds her a lot of Yorick, her actual brother, who is the same age. Talula has tried to be there for Liam through some tough times, and in return Liam has protected and advised the young girl on boys and life in general.
- Sila Warrington: The Hufflepuff prefect seems very protective of Talula, as is the nature of many of her older housemates. However, Talula would pretty much do anything Sila requests, looking up to them as an idol to be modeled after.
- Aisling Rose Opal Jones: Another one of Talula's idols, and of course a Hufflepuff prefect. Ais seems to play mama badger sometimes to the younger years, which Talula usually finds amiable, but other times considers it overbearing.
Enemies and Rivals
- Adelaide Lascelles: A Slytherin firstie whom Talula is extremely wary about approaching. It seems to her that Adelaide has some sort of grudge against her, though the details have never been particularly clear. She guesses it has something to do with her friendship to Abigail, and just being a Hufflepuff in general.
Rumour Has It
"Rumour has it that Matt Warren asked fellow Hufflepuff Talula Shippe to the ball, and she said…No! Poor Matt."
"Some older year told me that they had to Episkey Matt Warren’s nose after he tried to kiss Talula Shippe, because she punched him in the face."
"A Hufflepuff first year was bawling out on the dance floor."
"I heard Talula Shippe and Abigail Bluetooth learned how to make an unbreakable vow. Now if one girl accidentally farts in class, the other girl has to own up to it too."
"Talula Shippe doesn’t do any of her own homework. Rumour has it she gets Ravenclaw boys to do it for her."
"Rumour has it that the Badgers are closing rank to protect one of their own. Some even willing to take on former headmistresses for snapping at her."
"Some say a little Badger isn’t so sweet as people think she is."
"A badger and an eagle had a very vocal spat in Xylomancy class. Seems they aren’t talking, or going to the Hearty Party together. Aren’t they a bit young for a lovers’ quarrel?"
"Rumour has it someone is stalking a little veela every time she casts Profundus on herself. Seems all that hair is just too enticing. Creep factor: 10."
"Heard a young Hufflepuff almost revealing that she has a relative in Azkaban. Poor girl, probably ashamed of her own family…"
Behind the Scenes
Talula was created by player Talula Shippe for Second Life's Mischief Managed RP in the summer of 2015. She engaged in some scenes at the Brighton Beach sim; however, real life and other roleplays intervened and Talula wasn't available to attend during the school year. She rerolled Talula in August of 2017 so that she could enter Hogwarts anew as a first year.
Talula has been role playing in Second Life since 2009, creating and maintaining an array of characters in mostly high fantasy and science fiction sims. Her greatest joy in role play is the development of character through research, making MMRP ideal with its abundance of source material; her second greatest joy is the opportunity to B.S. at length.
When not role playing, Talula enjoys saving her friends from gacha addictions, practicing avatography, and giving her RL dog Kismet a good scratch behind the ear.