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Ministry of Magic
Salome Rishad
Magical Law Enforcement
Senior Witch Watcher
AGE
60
BIRTHDAY
22 Nov 1944
BLOOD STATUS
Halfblood
MAGIC STATUS
n/a
HEIGHT
5'5"
POSTS
25
PLAYER | Red
HISTORY
Once upon a time the Rishad family ruled the Tehran flying carpet market. From manufacturing to the markets, Rishads were renowned - at least in days gone by. At the turn of the century, the family was active and wealthy, but thoroughly limited to Iran and its immediate surroundings. It was Salome's grandfather who managed to diversify the family business into other magical artefacts and to broader markets. It was the best possible business move at the best possible time. It was 1921 and the Ottoman Empire was imminently in collapse. The Great War had ended and the world was seeing a newfound globalism, and with that came the push for exotic goods.

Her father was the middle child of three, born with a business acumen rivalling his father's. When his father directed him to move to London, he took his young wife wholeheartedly. By the time Salome was born, her family had been living in London for almost a decade.

Salome was the youngest of three and the only daughter. Her brothers were six and four years older than her respectively, leaving her to grow up rather on her own. Like many Iranians, she grew up in a very multilingual environment. Her father, determined to give his family options in the West, insisted on speaking French to her. Meanwhile, her mother stuck with Farsi, she spoke Arabic at mosque, and she spoke English at her Muggle elementary school. By the time she was six, both brothers had gone off to Hogwarts. By the time she made it to Hogwarts, they'd long since found solid cliques beyond her social reach.

When the Sorting Hat was put upon her head, it took a good few minutes before a decision was made. She wasn't a Hatstall, but she didn't make it easy for it. She rather wanted Slytherin, like her eldest brother, but the damn thing made a good case for Ravenclaw, and that's how the cookie crumbled.

She did fairly well in school, earning ten OWLS and six NEWTS. Of particular note were her O's in History of Magic and Defense Against the Dark Arts. Her tutor, noticing her talent for practical magic and the humanities, encouraged her to look at Ministry jobs, particularly pointing her to the Department of Magical Law Enforcement. She took half his advice and applied at first as an entry-level assistant in the Department of International Magical Cooperation. She'd done well in DADA and Charms at school, but when it came down to it, she worried about her magical ability in a fight too much to try.

There weren't many Persian employees in the Department of IMC at the time. She found herself first in the Middle East office in London as a translator and assistant, and four years after that, in 1967, was sent to Tehran as an assistant to the Ministry's office there. She puttered around the Tehran office in various positions for three years, growing steadily more bored. She'd loved cultural studies and exotic histories in school, but the real thing turned out to be a lot of office work and guarded tongues.

In 1970 she returned to London and applied to become a Witch Watcher. It was exquisitely bad timing - the First Wizarding War broke out shortly after her arrival. The wartime stress shaped her training - she went from a timid diplomat anxious at the thought of conflict to a talented trainee.

Shortly after passing the training, she eloped with Joshua Whitely. They'd met in training and had quietly dated for three years. He was an Auror, she was a newly-minted Witch Watcher, and the world was becoming crazier by the day. At the time, it just made sense.

As it happens, married life is difficult for Witch Watchers. At age 29, she was a few years older than her peers, but she was also one of few who spoke Farsi, Russian, and Arabic. It only took a year for her to be sent to Tehran once again, enabling her to miss the worst of the war back home. Josh wasn't quite so lucky. They spoke as often as they could, but both of them were on the front lines of civil wars, and she had a cover to maintain.

For thirteen years she see-sawed from stints back in London to assignments in Iran and the Middle East. Josh wasn't happy with what he saw as reckless risk-taking on her part - nowhere was safe anymore, but close was better than far. She felt much the same about his role back home. In the end, it wasn't surprising that their marriage fell apart. It took five years and two wars to do it, but the two of them agreed to divorce in 1978. Though tense for awhile, it only took a year for them to begin exchanging letters. They remained penpals for twenty years, grabbing the odd dinner when both happened to be in the same city.

But at the time, she had no idea how to react. She buried herself in her work, moving from London to Tehran and back for nine years. In that time, she saw the Iranian Revolution, the rise of the Ayatollah, the Iran-Iraq War, and a shocking amount of death - so much so that she was recalled to London in 1987. After a brief stint back home to recover and debrief, she was sent to Moscow for four years as the Cold War ended, Belgrade for five years as the Yugoslav wars began, and then to Moscow for a year to report on the activity of Russian wizards in the First Chechen War.

It was in Moscow in 1997 that she began to hear whispers of trouble back home. In July, a few weeks before the Ministry fell, she vanished. It wasn't until November 1998, six months after Shacklebolt became Interim Minister for Magic, that she reported back to HQ. It wasn't until she got back to London that she learned Joshua hadn't made it.

By this point, she was 54 years old and had survived seven wars - albeit some from a distance. It wasn't surprising that the Ministry began suggesting a move back home. She had worked a gruelling career in a high-stress job in the heart of conflict. But for Salome, returning home didn't feel like an option. She was divorced, a workaholic, and far more comfortable at subterfuge than any bona fide office work.

Two and a half decades as a Witch Watcher had given her the right strings to pull to enable her to stay on the job, but it was a losing battle. The Department leadership had changed dramatically since her day, and after the War many her peers had died or resigned. There was a strong drive for more experienced DoMLE workers to come back, if not to teach the new generation, then to recoup institutional losses after a devastating conflict.

In 2004, after accepting assignments in Kosovo, Belarus, and Morocco, she was finally tugged back to London - sorry, promoted. Whatever the motives, she felt it was a leashing, a placing of the obsolete behind a nice, comfy desk. The sign on her desk might have said Senior Witch Watcher, but her life in general went from exhilarating to monotonous. It's been four months, and she's still acclimating to the change.
PERSONALITY
Salome's personality can best be understood if divided into two parts - what she feels, and what she shows.

From the outside, she is calm, collected, and thoughtful. A long and diverse career has given her insight in many things. She rarely offers her input unless it's important she do so - she's learned that in most cases other people usually raise her points anyway. If not, she will do so in as efficient a way as possible.

Years ago, she was known to be warm and interested in other people - one of those people who always remembered your Aunt was ill, or the name of your cat. Now that she's back she keeps more to herself. She knows fewer people in the office than she used to, and in general tries to keep out of the typical Ministry buffoonery. Once you've seen the shit she has, it just leaves you pissed off.

She is an expert at bottling up her emotions, be they good or bad. In the field, this is an asset, but now that she's firmly back in London, it's proving to be problematic. As a Witch Watcher, she was trained to endure emotionally turbulent events without breaking, but there are limits. Two and a half decades of fieldwork from adversarial government offices to battlefields have left her psyche pretty dinged up. It doesn't quite qualify as PTSD in that she's functional and not sufficiently reactive, but it's definitely no picnic. Salome has trouble sleeping, has mild nightmares from her assignments, and has sporadic bouts of hypervigilance that leave her exhausted for hours.
PHYSICAL DESCRIPTION
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Salome has exceedingly good posture. She walks with her toes directly in front of her - not duck-footed or pigeon toed. When she does, she moves smoothly, with no perceivable bounce in her step. Her face rarely shows what she's feeling, but she has a specific expression that comes across it when she's deep in thought. She doesn't like to show off except in her style of dress - now that she's home, she tends to wear cultural garb from the places she's lived as a way of reminding herself what she's been through.
PERSONAL SPACES

RESIDENCE DESCRIPTION

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WORKSPACE DESCRIPTION

Her desk has a very specific order to it. Plop something down haphazardly at your own risk. It's immaculate, everything at right angles, six different kinds of Muggle pastel highlighters ready to go. She's specific with which stationery she uses - after years of writing reports in various climates and cultures, she prefers Muggle ballpoint pens to quills. They're just more reliable.

Her desk drawers are locked and charmed shut with powerful hexes should anyone try to fuck with them. If you want to keep your appendages, keep them away.


NOTES

Wand

Elm, 13", roc feather


Educational History

Hogwarts, Ravenclaw, 1955-1961


Face Claim

Shohreh Aghdashloo


Additional Notes

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