“Profit is sweet, even if it comes from deception.”
: Hugh Bartley Cairns
: 13 December 1984
: Irish Traveller
- Native: Shelta, English
- Conversational: French, Romanian
: Wizard - Seer
: Half blood
- Father's Blood Heritage: Half blood
Mother's Blood Heritage: Half blood
: Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry
: Michael Cairns [b.1960] - Handyman; Ireland
: Nan (nee
Viney) Cairns [b.1965] - Homemaker, Ireland
- Gorman Cairns [b. 1982] - Handyman; Ireland
- Teresa Cairns [b. 1987] - None ; Ireland
Favourite Ice-cream Flavour:
Charming, cynical, and enterprising. Hugh is "snarky" and sarcastic, but can turn up the charm when it is called for. Shaped by the experiences of his youth, where he was bullied for being Irish Traveller, Hugh is bitter. By the time he enrolled in Hogwarts, he was uncomfortable with his heritage and the stereotypes people associated with that. Even though he didn't broadcast his background at school, Hugh was still seen as different and struggled to make friends.
As an adult, Hugh struggles less. But he doesn't shy away from exploiting the stereotypes hurting his ethnic group for work. Hugh only sees what can to be gained from something that caused him so much pain in his youth. As a performer, Hugh is charming enough to draw people in and knows how to brand himself for maximum benefit. He puts on a good face to the outside world, but there is a darkness inside him lurking beneath the surface.
Weight: 165 lbs ; 74.8 kg
Hugh's features are dark, allegedly inherited along with his roguish smile from a grandfather that died long before his birth. His unruly, curly hair is black and kept long, falling almost to his shoulders. His hands are often in it, pushing it back out of his eyes so he can see. But he refuses to take more permanent curative efforts, like tying it back or cutting it off, if not from pure laziness than on principle. His eyes, too, are such a dark shade of brown it's often impossible to distinguish his iris from his pupil.
Standing at an unassuming 5'10", Hugh keeps himself in shape. Though he finds it is easier to lure people in to hear their fortunes if he looks as unintimidating as possible, so he maintains his slim form but not much more. In that same vein, he finds that people are more willing to hear their fortunes if he looks like a fortune teller "should". So while his casual clothes are typically a t-shirt and jeans, his work outfit is much more flamboyant featuring colorful head-scarves, patterned shirts, suede vests, and harem pants. He does, however, refuse to wear a turban as that would be too low for even him.
Hugh was raised in his family’s caravan, the middle son of Irish Traveller parents. His family spent most of his childhood travelling around the UK. During his formative years, Hugh and his siblings were subject to stereotyping and racism. The people in the towns which their family travelled to for work treated them with disdain. It was hard on Hugh to be treated this way from such a young age. Hugh came to resent not only those that treated him like he was less, but his own people for “sticking” him with the stereotypes.
While Hugh’s father was born a squib, his mother was a magic user. While Hugh’s older brother was trained in magic at home, by his mother and paternal grandmother, when Hugh’s Hogwarts letter came he demanded to be sent away. Even by 11, Hugh found the negative treatment from outsiders to be stifling, and humiliating. He wanted out of the community, to be away from anything associated with Irish Travellers. His parents refused, not wanting to lose their son or their son to lose his heritage. But his grandmother heard his frustration and understood that keeping him home would only allow the resentment to fester. Despite rumors of Voldemort’s return, she helped Hugh make the journey to London and Platform 9 ¾.
Hugh spent holidays at school, and summers in his grandmother’s caravan when his angry father would not allow him back into the family’s home. He still doesn’t speak to them for the way they treated him, though they have tried to reestablish contact since his graduation. He only speaks with his Grandmadge, though it is infrequent and between tours with the circus.
In the summer before his final year at Hogwarts, 17 year old Hugh was sitting in his grandmother’s caravan drinking tea when he blacked out. When he came too, he had knocked over his tea cup and drawn a crude leg with an “X” through it using the dark liquid on her white formica table. Two days later, he fell trying to fix some shingles on a jobsite and broke his foot. His grandmother, a seer herself, was able to explain to him what had happened. Her sight manifested in a similar way, and she had decades of experience to share. It has happened a few times a year since, and his reputation for visions has helped him in the fortune teller business.
From a young age, Hugh had taken an interest in divination. His mother and grandmother taught him both tarot and palm reading. It was a skill he expanded on at Hogwarts. After graduating Hugh, who had become increasingly jaded about the perception of his ethnic group in wider society, decided to use it to his advantage. Taking the skills his mother, grandmother, and Professor Trelawney had taught him, and his reputation for having the Sight, he joined Bucket Bros. Circus as a Fortune Teller. He has embraced the Gypsy/Traveller stereotype for his own gain, not much caring about the negative impact it has on the public image of his people. In his ‘act’ he plays a caricature of what people expect of an Irish Traveller.
Hugh has just started adjusting to the fact that he has “the sight” and is a seer. It’s not so much trouble, expect the part where he will black out with little to no warning. It has been good for business, though. So Hugh can’t complain too much.