Larch, Unicorn Hair, 9 1/2"
Steve Shunpike is the currently 18 year-old nephew of Stan Shunpike, the Knight Bus conductor. His Dad, Dave, however, was a Squib, and became a sound engineer with the BBC. Dave built a studio in the Surrey farmhouse he bought and converted for the family, and together with his wife, Sharon, they raised three children, two girls and a boy, only the middle one of whom, Steve, showed magical inclinations.
Sharon is a much more socially active and involved woman than her husband, but Steve rather takes after his dad. He's a tinkerer, usually immersed in his current project, and used to people telling him what to wear, and when to eat - and what. He's never much worried by his immediate environment, because what's going on inside his head is far more engrossing. This has led to several acts which have been mislabelled as outstanding courage, and more that have been attributed to sheer stupidity.
Given his sisters' tendency to use him as a combination dress-up doll and sounding board, Steve is surprisingly relaxed around girls, for a teenage boy, but then his hormones haven't really kicked in yet, and most of the time he is genuinely not aware of the difference. This has led to several potential flirtations sent his way crashing and burning due to signals failure.
Steve is below average height for his age (5' 5") but unlikely to grow much more, as he's already taller than both his parents. He finds the height issue with regard to his parents disturbing, and will almost always sit while talking to them, even if this means interrupting his current project.
Steve is almost fearless when it comes to things he doesn't understand - fear, for him, is an intellectual rather than a physiological issue. This may well be a byproduct of the incident which triggered his powers when, as an eight year-old, he fell into a small subsidence on the property in Surrey. Trapped underground, his mind somehow froze his body, lowering his pulse rate and preventing hyperventilation. He then proceeded, methodically, to run through everything he could recollect of the basic physics and geology his parents had taught him, and analysed his situation for potential escape routes. Remembering precisely how he had fallen, and calculating probable landslide in his wake, he dug up swiftly at an angle, and very soon broke the surface.
Steve is, for a wizard, amazingly logical, but therefore incapable of accessing many of the greater magics, which require a passion and imagination he simply does not possess. His commitment, however, is total, and if he concludes that a thing must be done, the price becomes an irrelevancy to him. Steve believes there is, and must be, a reason for everything (except Morris Dancing), if he can only root it out.
He excels in such subjects as Arithmancy and Ancient Runes, with their systematised bases, but is rather more hit-and-miss in Transfiguration or Potions, as he frequently cannot envision the purpose or need for a given outcome, and thus fails to visualise properly. He has immense respect for the Healer, but no aptitude for the field, since, even with a set of diagrams, "bedside manner" could never be made clear to him.As a further consequence of his underground experience, he acquired a pet Niffler, which he uses to conduct ongoing experiments in burrowing and construction. The Niffler is one of the very few things for which he shows an illogical affection, and he would never willingly allow it to come to harm, except, perhaps, to save others in grave danger. The Niffler has in the past proved a practical blessing, unearthing several valuable archaeological finds on the family property. In order for it not to be a constant nuisance to those around, the Niffler is housed in a special hutch with an Imperturbability Charm of a permanent nature placed on it.
Steve tried Quidditch, but was rather put off by the number of variables at any given moment, and the improbability of accurate prediction of outcomes. He has no time for Divination, although he does not hate it, as he expends zero emotion (he has little to spare) on things which do not themselves feel. He will happily discourse on his favourite subjects, but is somewhat flummoxed by the idea of hating any. He considers the Caretaker the most vital member of the staff for the day-to-day running of the school, an almost unique perspective that makes him highly respectful, and causes the Caretaker to believe that he is making fun of him.
The most humanising aspect of Steve is the extent to which he misses his sisters, the older one, Sarah, in particular. He is a punctual and considerate correspondent, sending Owls three times a week, but always remembering any special events to which his family have made reference, and adding an extra missive on those occasions. He even once considered trading his Niffler, whom he calls simply Burr, for a Barn Owl, simply because his little sister, Jane, thought they looked cute and cuddly, and wanted one.
Shortcuts, in Steve's experience, come with a heavy price tag later, and so he will not cheat - not for moral, but practical reasons. Having said that, the school environment has taught him to pick his battles, and he is therefore unlikely to report misconduct by others unless it is severe, or he believes genuinely and dangerously counterproductive to their education. If he sees a need, however, he will go ahead, irrespective of the hostility it generates, which is largely water off a duck's back with him.
One considerable shock to would-be bullies is Steve's physique, since his father still has active farming operations on the property, and Steve spends his holidays feeding pigs, baling hay and watering plants. He is unquestionably a bookworm, but one capable of lifting half a shelf of books without hesitation, and generally speaking potential petty tyrants look for softer targets. He can be ridiculed in absolute safety, however, since most cultural references go straight over his head, and those he comprehends he will analyse and fail to see any relevance to his self-image, making them safe to dismiss. He endeavours to expend energy only on those things he can discernibly affect. His spell list reflects this tendency also.
Hogwarts careerSteve has found the adjustment to be far greater than he had anticipated. He is, however, enjoying dealing with others in a magic rich environment. He is slowly realising that "girls are not all the same", mainly due to his burgeoning crush on Mol at Dervish and Banges, and some feelings that are developing with regard to Caly Taylor. He is learning to not always express his ideas, even if he does know the answer.
Petrificus Totalus (which he has in fact used upon himself in his attempts to recreate his original accident)
Vitis Venit (in preparation for when he may use magic on the family property to aid growth of plants)
Herbivicus (as above)
Descendo (also used in the reconstructions of his accident)
(OOC) The following is not known to any student at Hogwarts, only to staff such as his Head of House, and Charms professor
6th year Specialis Revelio, with the proviso that he would use it for private research, never in classes, and not, if he knew they were there, in front of other students.
Darshonion - Somehow burrowing into memory
Sectumsempra/Vulnera Sanentur - ditto
Salvio Hexia - likewise
So far in his life Steve has been educated at home, using a combination of Muggle textbooks and specially prepared materials from the Ministry of Magic, enchanted to educate the young man. The reason for this was that his excessive logic caused some at the Ministry to doubt he was truly a wizard, and so special training tools were made which would help him channel his potential, but also be ready to extract from his mind all knowledge related to magic, should he prove insufficiently talented. However, with his OWLs now looming, the Ministry had to make a decision, and the doubters were overruled, and Steve sent to Hogwarts to join the 4th year.
Amid the furore of school life so far, and having only attended DA meetings in his final year, Steve has, as yet, no Patronus.
Steve has certain mild hypochondriacal tendencies when not in a situation fraught with genuine danger.
He has a remarkable ability to negatively second-guess himself when providing 'post game analysis'.
He doesn't have to 'look for the good in others', he sees it automatically, often when it isn't fully there.
Steve has had, prior to Hogwarts, a rather literal and technical grasp of this term.
Caly Taylor - by far Steve's closest friend, and only constant companion, although why she puts up with him . . .
Xylianne Molyneaux - the preternaturally beautiful shopkeeper - and crush
Ferlen Black - the guy who seems to be regularly half a step ahead of Steve in classes
Professor Kinsel - the man, as far as Steve can tell, with the answers, as far as he and his bizarro history are concerned
Morgan Jenner - the Slytherin who broke the lock on Steve's inner wild child
Lacey - the involuntary and defacto little sister he seems to have acquired
Tastes (such as they are)
Whilst Steve is, thanks to the Ministry, extremely well-versed in classic literature and Classical Mythology, the people who programmed his learning aids were, sadly, just hip enough to use the word "hip", and so his knowledge plummets round about 1980. He heard of Harry Potter, and the official accounts, of course, were included, but when some bright spark recently tried to bring him more "up to date", by having memories implanted of his regular visits to the West End with his mum, this was the consequence.
Of late, burgeoning feelings about Caly, mixed with what his subconscious makes of Mol, have put another worm in his ear.
Harry, as Steve sees him, in Surroundsound.
His seedling defiance. Now that he's thinking rather more clearly (for the first time), Steve's attitude towards the Ministry is shifting.
What Steve says springs to mind with Caly.
Steve's actual first musical thought about her.
In light of Caly's recent comments, Steve has a new number in his mental jukebox.
Steve latest number evoked by his lady.
As he uproots himself from Hogwarts, Steve has come to a realisation.
The new endless loop on the internal jukebox.
This was the first character for Jiskran.