Quin Toni Danse
Newport, Rhode Island
When looking at Quin, the thing people notice first tends to be the way the girl carries herself. Despite her average height and slim build, she radiates authority and self-assurance. With her shoulders back and head held high, confidence radiates off of her. Each long stride coupled with her forward gaze speaks to her driven nature. Even if she doesn't know where she's going or what she's doing she walks with a purpose, as if it will help her sort things out and give her clarity.
Quin likes to joke that, had she inherited her father's blue, she would have been a perfect match to the American, what with her red hair and pale, whitish complexion. Alas, she inherited her birth mother's green eyes, thus completely ruining her aesthetic. She tend to make up for it, however, with her draw towards clothing that shows off her love for her country in some way or another. It's a rare sight to see the girl leave her room without at least one bit of military or American paraphernalia on her body. Most commonly seen on her are is a single insignia pin from her father's previous rank of lieutenant. It is a pair of thick silver bars held together by two, smaller silver bars underneath, roughly the size of a quarter and forming a perfect square. Usually it can be found pinned to the color of whatever jacket she's wearing that day. To her, it's both a reminder of her father and an encouragement to push through in order to achieve her goals and follow in his footsteps.
On a day to day basis, the red-head doesn't wear much makeup. Maybe a swish of eyeliner here, and a dab of lip color here, but it's not something she deems to be important enough to spend more than fifteen minutes on a day. Since she was about 12, however, she has shown an interest in body painting and stage makeup, having picked up on it while helping out with a summer play her younger sister happened to be a part of. Sometimes, if you're very luck, you can find her made up to be her favorite comic book, television or movie characters. Unfortunately, with her busy schedule these days, she doesn't have much time for it anymore.
Having grown up in a military household for the majority of her life, Quin grew up with a strong mindfulness for authority and the ability to follow orders without question, for the most part. While she believes true respect is earned, not freely given, she will play the part of obedient subordinate so long she isn’t asked to do something which violates her own code of ethics. Despite this, the young witch does have a tendency to mouth off when she thinks she knows better or is presented with a stupid order that she feels is below her. Sharp witted and sometimes likely to speak before she thinks, this often translates into a quick, sarcastic quip here and there gets her into trouble on occasion.
Due to his busy and demanding job in the United States Navy, Quin’s father was often not at home. While at a young age, she often had a babysitter or family member care for her, once she was old enough she started having to fend for herself more and more. As such, she is able to think quickly on her feet and often takes the initiative to do things herself. Relying on other people for support it a foreign concept to her and is something she usually views as inefficient. When doing any sort of group project the phrase “here, just let me do it,” is often heard more than once.
Quin has adopted the philosophy that it is ‘better to ask forgiveness than permission.’ If ever something is unclear to her or skates on the edges of the rules, she’ll go for it and hope for the best. In her eyes it’s better to do something in ignorance and be able to plead innocent should anything go wrong rather than to ask and be told no and the either deliberately disobey the rules or miss out on something entirely. What’s more, she finds taking the initiative and just going for something tends to be more effective than waiting around for the go ahead on every little decision she makes.
A natural born leader, Quin likes to be the one to take charge of the situation. In her attempts to direct people are not often met kindly as she to bark out orders and expect people to follow them without any sort of resistance. While she means well, she often comes off as bossy and controlling and can be difficult to work with at times. People who don’t speak up for themselves can often be trampled by her strong will and vision, even though she doesn’t intend for them to. Those who are purposefully disruptive and try and work against her tend to push her buttons and she does have the tendency to get short and snippy, especially when lacking caffeine in her system.
In her attempts to be a good leader, Quin also tries to set herself up as a good role model for people who do look up to her. She feels a lot of responsibility, particularly towards younger girls and her own sister. While she has done her fair share of partying and drinking and having some less than clean fun with the opposite sex, she tries to section that part of her life away and keep it out of sight of anyone who might be influenced by what she does. Even when she does partake in the life of teenage excess, she tries not to go to overboard and is sure to make safe decisions, not self destructive ones.
While she can come across as stiff and straight-laced, Quin does know how to let loose and have fun. Once she’s finished her day’s work, she likes to hang out with her friends and share drinks on the Quidditch pitch while playing a few rounds of Cards Against Humanity or even attend the occasional student held party when it tickles her fancy. Getting too wild, however, has never been her thing. Often, she would stay with her cousins, all boys, while her father was away on duty and often finds that she prefers hanging out with guys and do guy things. She loves to play sports or spend the whole day on the xbox playing Call of Duty and Halo while eating cheetos out of the bag.
Quin has always had a clear vision for what she wants for her future, to follow in the footsteps of her family in joining the Navy. As such, she's always had a drive burning inside of her to put her on her desired path. Incredibly self-disciplined, she's been able to power through even the things she finds less than enjoyable. Most of her summers, she's used taking muggle classes, spending extra time at the gym and studying for her entrance exam. While sometimes she finds if frustrated and feels the need for a break, she knows that it will be worth it in the end just for the since of accomplishment allow.
"Hey dad, do I have a mother?" The small ginger girl said, sitting down on the floor next to the tall, muscular man who was resting in an overstuffed, green armchair. As she rested the side of her head on the man's knee, the rustle of the man's newspaper told her that he had moved to look down at her. Quin loosed a soft giggle as her father reached down and tousled her head of stick-straight hair.
"Of course you do, silly girl." He said, with a soft chuckle, his buttery voice filling the room and stilling any anxieties or fears in the girl.
Looking up at her beloved father, she grinned at him and he smiled back. Then, reaching down, the man hooked his hands under Quin's arms and lifted his daughter into his lap, causing her to giggle again. "Why haven't I met her?" The man's forehead creased as a small frown marred his otherwise handsome face. Even the girl, as young as she was, was able to tell that something was wrong. "Dad?" She asked again, turning her body around to better see the man's face.
A heavy sigh left the man's lips, followed by a somewhat painful smile. "You know what, sweetheart. Why don't we go into the kitchen and make some strawberry milk and we can talk about you're mom, okay."
All her questions seemed to vanish at the idea of strawberry milk and she jumped from her father's lap. "Race you to the kitchen!" She called out, already half way to the room...
Quin Danse never knew her mother. Her father, William, often told her stories of a beautiful, strong, independent woman that he had met when he was stationed in Newport. That had had a brief yet passionate tryst that lasted only a few months. When she had left him, he hadn’t expected to hear from her again, especially not right before her was preparing to move on to a new duty station, one year later. Her mother begged him for his help and William, who had fell in love with his daughter almost instantly,offered to take her in and be a father to her. Quin’s mother accepted and was never seen again.
"Daddy! Don't go!" Despite the fact that the man had left her many times before, it still hadn't gotten easier. Tears spilled down Quin's pale cheeks as her father wrapped her in his strong arms and gave her one last kiss on the top of her soft red hair before standing up straight and shouldering his navy blue, camouflage duffel bag. The child choked back a sob and she wrapped her arms around his leg, as if her insubstantial weight would be enough to keep him from walking through the door and leaving her yet again.
The man blinked rapidly, obviously trying to hold back tears as she said his goodbyes. "I'll be back before you know it, okay, angel?" He reassured her as her aunt carefully pried the child off her father.
Seeing the man get emotional, she tried to hold in a second wave of tears. He needed her to be strong so that he could be strong. With a nod, Quin wiped the tears and snot from her face with the back of her sleeve, sniffling her little red nose. Her clean hand sought out a comforting squeeze from her aunt. "I'll see you soon, daddy." She choked as she watched him vanish through the doorway. As soon as he was gone, however, she fell apart, burying her head in the side of her aunt's leg as she sobbed uncontrollably...
Growing up with a single father who was in the military was difficult for Quin. Her father worked as hard as he could to be with his daughter but work often pulled him away. While he tried his hardest to avoid deployment, it wasn’t always possible. When he was away, sometimes for almost years at a time with very few chances to visit during those times. Usually, Quin was left to stay with her aunt and four cousins in Colorado during those times. The four boys never had a problem taking Quin in and treating her like the sister none of them had ever had.
"Hey Georgie... I don't think that's a good idea." The young Quin called out from the back of her bicycle. The youngest boy didn't seem to hear his cousin as he continued to scale the massive tree in the middle of the park. Despite the face that she wasn't the oldest, she knew her aunt trusted her the most out of the five of them. The boys, however, didn't seem to hear the girl as the continued to encourage the child onward. Biting her lip, she looked around, hoping that she might see an adult around that could help her to get her cousins to listen to her, but no one else was around. "Well, I'm going to get Auntie Lynn and tell her-"
A loud crash, followed by a thud and the pain filled shrieks of a small boy filled the air. Jumping off the back of her bike, she let it fall to the ground as she ran to the small boy. The other children had already gathered around their brother and Quin heard the oldest boy yelling a string of curses as what happened sank in. "Oh shit guys. Oh shit. Mom is going to kill us if she finds out."
The boys started arguing, however their cousin ignored them, instead kneeling down next to the child writhing on the ground and taking his arm and moving it ever so slowly to a position more conducive to inspection. Her stomach turned as she saw blood flowing from a gash in his arm, where white bone protruded from the skin. "Hey," She said, tenderly turning the boy's face to face her's, trying her best to keep her voice steady and calm through the panic. "I need you to tell me if you're hurting anywhere else, okay?" The boy shook his head and she let out a sign of relief. "I promise everything is going to be okay."
Sliding her pale arms under the boy's neck and knees, she tried to lift him with no success. George whimpered in pain, fear in his wide blue eyes. "Guys, you gotta go get your mom." Quin looked up at the other boys as she spoke.
Gabe, who was the same age she was, shook his head. "No way.. Mom will kill us. We gotta fix him here."
"Angry, the girl stood and put her hands on her hips. "Are you crazy? I can see his bone! There's no way we can-"
"What bone?" It was Nathaniel who interrupted her, bending over his brother and looking at the bloodied arm.
"What do you mean 'what bone?' It's Clearly right there." As she pointed at the spot where the bone had been sticking out, she realized that it was gone. Only the blood on his arm spoke to the fact that anything had happened at all.
"Holy shit, guys! I think Quin is a mutant! X-men is real..."
Her aunt had been excited to have a little girl in the family quickly found that Quin was definitely more one of the boys than your stereotypical little girl. She liked to run around outside and get into mud fights and ride their bikes around the neighborhood as fast as they could. At the time, no one would believe the boys when they would tell wild tales of the weird things their cousin would do. They would swear up and down that she could retrieve balls and frisbees from treetops ‘with her mind’. George, the youngest, even claims that he once broke his arm only to be healed when she touched it. Unfortunately, she wasn’t able to repeat it every time.
Quin's face tilted up as she moved her head to look at her aunt. "Girl, you better stop moving or this braid is going to be crooked," the woman scolded, pushing the girl's head back down into position.
"Sorry, Auntie Lyn," she said with a nervous giggle, trying her best to keep still as her aunt worked her hair into a tight braid. She was sitting on the wooden floor of the woman's home in Colorado. Truth be told, she didn't really like having her hair done, however she wanted to get in as much time with the woman as possible. They were moving again, her father and her. At this point, she was used to it. Every three years or so, the man would always come to her with the news and, usually, it was exciting. This time, however, was different. They were going overseas, to England. Her father had told her that while they were there, he wouldn't be going away again. As excited as she was, she knew the news was a double edged sword. Being that far away meant not seeing Georgie, Pete, Gabe, Nate or Auntie Lyn for a long while.
"Do you think I'll like London?" The small girl asked, her head drifting upwards again to look into her aunts eyes, only to have the woman push it down a second time.
"Of course, my little Q-Tip." The woman said, pulling a hair tie off her wrist and tying off the end of the braid. "There you go, kiddo, no you can turn around." Standing up, Quin faced her aunt. The worried expression on her face must have been more apparent than she realized because the woman quickly added. "You do know the boys and I will come visit you, right? And besides, You'll have so much fun you probably won't even miss me or your stinky cousins"
A giggle left Quin's lips as the woman held her nose and waved her hand in front of her face as if she was wafting away a foul smell. "You promise you'll come see me?" She asked, her voice hopeful as a cautious smile spread across her face.
"Of course I promise. Now you get your butt upstairs and get you're shoes on. We're going out for dinner..."
She had always been somewhat sad when it came time to leave her aunt’s house. She loved her father but often found it to be lonely without her cousins. When she learned that her and her father were to be stationed overseas, Quin was crushed because she knew it would be unable to see the rest of her family as easily as she was used to. It did, however, mean she got to spend more time with her father as the new station meant that he wouldn’t be deployed, which softened the blow somewhat and as the move rolled around it was hard not to be excited to move to an entire new country.
"I knew it! You guys owe me ten bucks. Each" The loud voice of her cousin Gabe blared from the computer as he jumped from his chair in front of the computer and did a victory lap around the living room. "I'm rich! I'm rich!" She could hear the boy yelling from off screen. Her aunt shot the boy a dirty look and told him to 'sit his butt down' Cackling, the boy climbed back onto the couch the family was crowded on.
"Why do they owe you ten bucks?"She asked, leaning in closer to the computer to better see her family on the screen. The sun was setting behind her, casting a glare on the laptop. She wrinkled her brow in confusion, ignoring when Gabe yelled out 'each'.
"Well," Her cousin Nate started, leaning in closer to the center of the camera so Quin could better see him as he spoke. "Georgie and I both bet that you were a mutant. And Pete said that you were... What was it again?"
"A changling." Pete's blond head was hidden by Gabe's gloating face as hee wormed his was in closer to the screen. "Like, one of those magic things that gets switched with human babies at birth."
"Right..." The eldest boy responded, shaking his head and rolling his eyes."Anyways, Gabe bet that you were a witch. And he was right. So we all owe him money."
"And I'm going to be rich!" The smaller boy said, putting his face right up to the camera and tilting his head up so Quin could see up his nose.
Quin giggled and covered screen with her hand. "Gross!" She yelled, prompting her aunt to forcibly make the rambunctious boy sit back down. "It might not be real, you know. Dad still think's it's some sort of weird prank."
"Yeah but what about that time when-" The sound of key jingling behind her caused the preteen to turn around. Jumping up as the door sung open, Quin ran to greet the tall man that strode through the door.
"What's going on here?" The man boomed with a chuckle as he was attacked with a hug from his daughter. Her aunt shouted a greeting out from Colorado and Quin's father turned to look at the computer. "Is that my sister I hear?" He asked, him and his daughter sliding to sit at the kitchen table together. "So, you have to tell me how you've been doing..."
They had been there about six months before the girl’s eleventh birthday. Quin had been expecting the usual dull, uneventful post-move birthday. It had been over the summer and she hadn’t been enrolled in school yet, meaning she had no friends. But she was used to it by this time and tried not to be too disappointed in an attempt to not make her father feel too bad for dragging her around all the time. It, however, was brightened by a very unexpected surprise that came for her in the mail.
At first, the pair didn’t know what to do with the mysterious letter from the ‘school of witchcraft and wizardry’. It seemed like a prank. Further investigation, however, disproved that theory and the two were in shock. As soon as she found out it was real, the first thing she did was call her aunt and cousins. The boys wouldn’t stop telling the adults that they had told them so for several years after. The siblings, of course, were hesitant to send the girl but in the end, her father was unable to crush the girl’s dreams. And so, Quin was sent to Hogwarts to learn about this new world she was apparently a part of.
"You really think she'll like me?" Quin asked her father, wide eyes staring up at him as she tilted her head to the side. Her father chuckled, seemingly amused by the ridiculousness of his daughter's question. "Hey! I'm being serious!" The girl said sternly, crossing her arms and looking her father in the eyes. The man met her gaze and for a solid thirty seconds, they stared each other down. Quin broke first, her mouth cracking into a wide grin as she giggled.
"Of course, she'll like you. How could she not? You're my favorite kiddo." As he spoke, he ruffled the girl's hair, the same way he used to when she was a little girl who would curl up next to his feet while he read the paper.
"Hey! I'm you're only kid!" She said, raising an eyebrow, trying to fight the smile that threatened to creep up on her face. In the end, the happy expression won out and she laughed again, smoothing her hair down and peeking into the mirror. "Do I look okay?"
"Look at me." the man said, grabbing the girl by the shoulder and turning her to face him. He smiled and tried to smooth down a stubborn strand of ginger hair down. It, of course, sprung straight back up. Quin licked her hand and used it to stick the piece down. "Perfect." Her father said, with a grin. "They're going to love you, I promise..."
About a year into his tour in England, William had met a new woman. She was a witch herself, a muggleborn with a daughter of her own. They fell in love and were married two years later. The two girls got on well, despite the four year age gap. Quin did her best to prepare her younger sister for what she would expect at Hogwarts as well. She had never had a sister before and it was a different sort of experience. She loved the younger girl but she still found herself missing the rough and tumble fun her and her cousins used to have.
Four years had passed since the Danse’s had first moved to the UK and they found themselves facing yet another move that was going to take them back to the State. It had been somewhat of a struggle trying to figure out what to do with the girls’ schooling. Quin’s little sister was scheduled to start school soon and her mother really wanted her to go to the English school. Quin didn’t want to have to move schools and have to get set up in a new place so far along in her education. In the end, it was decided that the best plan of action would be for the two girls to go to England for the school year so that Quin could finish her education out and her younger sister could be somewhere where her older sister could watch out for her.