Full name: Raphael Crane
Date of birth: January 3, 1962
Blood: Unsure but believes himself to be a halfblood or muggleborn; raised muggle
Wand: 11.5" olive, phoenix feather core
Affiliation: MLE, homicide department head.
Home Life Edit
Other family: None
Relationships with each: Raphael was abandoned by his mother at a London hospital. He knows very little about her- the name that he bears was given to the nurses but he has never found evidence of any Chinese women named Crane who match the description he weaseled out of his mother. Then again, he suspects that it's an inaccurate description. The most he knows of his origin is that Helen Andrews, a nurse who was present at the hospital when he was dropped there, once told him that she believed his mother had said she was from Hong Kong.
Home: Raphael lives in a small flat at the border of Corazon Alley, one of the worst parts of wizarding London. This is thereotically a temporary squat as he moves from Midlands but in actuality, he's so work-obsessed, he'll probably never get around to moving again.
Personal Life Edit
Personality: Raphael is very down to earth - this is not to say that he isn't thoughtful or that he doesn't occasionally daydream - more that overall, he gives off the impression of having a grounded sense of self and personality. He doesn't get worked up over petty things (unless they persist in which case he will give way to frustration - he often gets irritable at things he considers a waste of his time). He comes from such a strange background that he sometimes even forgets to notice the little things. For all of this, he doesn't generally speak about his childhood. This isn't because he hasn't come to peace with it - it's more that other people have difficulty understanding or dealing with his past.
Above all, he is driven. It's not always a trait people pick up on because it's a subtle one. Intensity is often characterized by the unobservant as a sudden burst of rage, an "artistic" temperament. Raph possesses neither of these things - his passions are those that burn slowly but forever. Injustice angers him deeply, yet he possesses some empathy for criminals. This is with the exception of crimes against children - like many of his colleagues, this is a crime he can't find himself capable of understanding or forgiving. He also doesn't have a strong concept of racial identity. It's common for people to tell him "you don't act Chinese" but in his life, he's yet to figure out what "Chinese" looks like.
Marital status: Single
Strengths: Courageous, strong-willed, good leadership abilities, empathy for others, strong convictions, interested in and aware of the world around him.
Weaknesses: Somewhat manipulative, easily disconcerted by people he's attracted to (fortunately, this rarely occurs), horrible with anything resembling mathematics, dislikes/distrusts the media (this doesn't mean he won't use it or try to bully its members - wouldn't be MLE if he didn't), addicted to work.
Boggart: This varies but often manifests itself in locked doors and strange religious imagery.
Patronus: Armadillo (and he's not pleased with it overmuch)
Mirror of Erised: A world at peace.
People who do their jobs. Perspiration, wand oil, blood, dirt, straw, chalk, ink, parchment
- Still visits the nurse who found him - Helen Andrews. Helen is currently in a rest home in Belgravia.
- Was actually named after a hero in a trashy romance novel by Helen herself. She's never been bold enough to admit to the lie. This is probably for the best.
- Loves physical activity as a form of recreation but sticks to boxing and running. Refuses to learn Kung Fu.
- An avid music listener but unfortunately, neither discriminating nor a good singer. Thinks he is, though, especially when drunk.
- Loves words - likes to know the meaning of them and collect them. Always keeps a "Word of the Day" bulletin board in his office where he sticks a note with a new word on it daily. The more obscure, unknown, strange or slangy the word the better.
- Has been known to steal the baby Jesus out of nativity scenes at Christmas. No one is quite sure what he does with them.
- Likes to read old science-fiction.
- Doesn't like movies or television - finds it somewhat canned. Not to mention, time consuming and schedule driving.
Appearance: Raphael has aged well for his 45 years, despite the pressures of his work. A large part of this is due to deliberate effort in keeping himself fit. This reflects itself in his build which is reasonably muscular for his height and weight. His eyes are guarded - despite his tendency to look people in the eye when giving an order and a commanding tone of voice - he is always looking around his surroundings. Some people perceive this as paranoia. The gesture is so subtle and quietly at odds with what is an otherwise relaxed persona (at work, at least) that it often goes unseen. His accent is something of a mangled British, caught halfway between London and Birmingham which isn't entirely a pleasant combination.
Height: 5' 7.5"
Raphael knows little of his early history and what he does know, he shook out of a series of hospital administrations, orphanage officials and friendly nurses in London. He was dropped off with a nurse, Helen Andrews, in a hospital in London when he was two years old. Andrews claimed to have been told little of his past, other than that his name was Raphael Crane. The woman who left him spoke little English but said that she was from Hong Kong, or else that the child was. Attempts to track down the mother proved unsuccessful and Raphael was placed in care at an early age.
Some children entering the foster care system were able to find a permanent placement. Raphael was not one of those cases. He lived in a group home for quite some time before finding a placement. At the age of 4, his first foster home resulted in a quick return, the parents telling his counselor that he was "not quite right". This was followed by a rapidfire succession of four homes in four years, each one giving similar reasons. Numerous psychiatric tests revealed nothing wrong with Raphael that wasn't the result of simply being subjected to the difficulties of living in a group home environment from a young age. Raph was distrustful and cynical for his age, as well as intelligent, yet none of his counselors could find any reasons not to continue attempted placement although finding a home for an Asian child who knew nothing of his own culture was difficult, at best.
The pressures only intensified when he was nine. Things started to happen at the homes where he was sent. Salt cellars spilled of their own accord, dishes broke when he picked them up, cards drawn would consistently be pulled in perfect numerical order... nothing that could directly be attributed to the child but that significantly affected the way that others perceived him. Then a mistake was made.
At the age of ten, Raphael was placed in the home of Alfred and Sophie Horn. By this point, he had grown into a sullen child, with no desire to please, simply because he knew that he could not. Accidents were still happening around him and while the case workers kept telling him that it was nothing to do with him, Raph knew very well that somehow, it did. For the first time, however, the people that he was living with not only blamed him- rather than sending him back to the courts, they decided to try to "cure" him. As devout Presbyterians, the Horns believed that he was possessed by the devil and began treatment to save him. This treatment consisted of beating, locking him into his room and starvation. Long periods of deprivation had their effect on his mind and for a while, he almost believed in them and tried to stop the accidents. It only grew worse, however, and one night, after the glass door to the backyard spontaneously smashed, Alfred Horn beat Raphael to within an inch of his life.
It was when he was in hospital that he got the letter to Hogwarts. His caseworker, Niamh, considered it a miracle. There had been weeks of closeted discussions over what to do with the child, the only solution that had seemed feasible that of leaving him in group homes without placement until the age of majority. A boarding school situation seemed a much more realistic option and the full scholarship offered made it still more feasible.
Raphael no longer cared. In later life, he would joke about the fact that, defying all stereotypes, Hogwarts neither placed him in Ravenclaw nor taught him much Arithmancy, but at the time, he felt no ray of light or stupendous wonder at the feel of the hat on his head. At the age of eleven... he was simply tired.
It was as time passed and he learned that he didn't have to eat as quickly as he could to keep another student from snatching his food and that he didn't have to lie with his back against the wall that Raphael began to experience what was for him the wonder of Hogwarts. It was a haven. Although he was in the house characterized by courage, he no longer had to be brave constantly, just to keep breathing. He began to develop an idea, based on reading about the concept of geas in History of Magic, that he owed the wizarding world something. That the miracle worked was to be repaid. Raph resolved that he would go to work for the Ministry as a Hitwizard. It seemed the most direct way to manage the debt.
He graduated in 1980 when the first war was in full swing. His work with the Ministry was at first, largely that of battle. Despite the fact that he was in Hitwizard training, Raph often found himself and the others trailing Aurors and assisting as they fought the Death Eaters, keeping them at bay. Although he was young, he threw himself into the work wholeheartedly. As others from his class were getting married and having children, Raphael kept his relationships brief and discreet. It disturbed him to see people like the Potters give birth to a child when they were so clearly endangering it simply by allowing its birth.
When he turned eighteen, another thing happened. He went to see Alfred Horn to find closure for what had happened. In another story, he would have looked at Horn, realized that he was a bigger man and walked away. In this one, however, he looked at Horn, realized that he was a bigger man and beat the living shit out of him. He has never looked back on or regretted that action.
With the end of the war, Raphael was able to go back to his regular position as a hitwizard. He rose quickly in the ranks due to dedication, drive and an understanding of the criminal mind perhaps fostered by his time spent in the juvenile detention center and group homes. He had a lot of secondhand experience with crimes and those who had committed them. Although he possessed empathy, his negative connotations with much of his childhood also gave him a sense of justice. By 1987, he had been promoted to third-in-command of homicide in London.
Then the wizarding race troubles began. A group of Pakistani immigrant wizards in Birmingham began to experience discrimination for practicing magics that were "not Ministry standard". Despite an obvious racism element to the charges, the MLE was ignoring what was brewing to a dangerous head, the Pakistani wizards trying to protest discrimination for their beliefs while Homicide Hitwizards were running protection rackets against this faction, claiming that unless they paid up, they'd be charged with every murder on the books. A stupid game, the hitwizards were caught, the head of the division sacked and the Ministry not-so-cleverly came to the conclusion that since Crane looked Chinese, he could deal with the Pakis.
And so Raphael found himself the head of the homicide division in Midlands, an area which covered Birmingham, Manchester, Leeds, Liverpool, and York. Not pleased with the rationale behind his promotion, he nonetheless dug into the scandal and managed to effect some change although the troubles at heart were not the kind to be patched simply with a smile and a public apology. As time passed, he began to build respect and the crime rate lowered slightly, though it never reached extremely low levels. He loved his job and what was more, he loved the people and the country. He understood them.
Then the second war hit. This time around, Raphael was called for service and was not as pleased to be leading his hitwizards into battle when he felt that they were needed on the homefront. Battles between himself and Rufus Scrimgeour became vicious, particularly as the Disappearances began, most of them focused on Midlands. Scrimgeour argued that the Witchfinders could handle it while Crane argued that the MLE needed to back them up and maintain protection for the cities. In the end, he was forced to follow orders and kept his job only because of the high death rate of law enforcement personnel. When the switch came and the hitwizards and Aurors merged, Crane wasn't entirely pleased.
While he kept his position as head of homicide in Midlands, he was now forced to supervise a series of Aurors who felt themselves better than his hitwizard command because of their elite status. It took literally years of training and discipline to convince the two groups to work together efficiently. In October of 2002, several of his units were involved in flushing out Death Eater safehouses. It could be said that this was what finally convinced them to unite. They simply couldn't afford the distinction between former Auror and former Hitwizard - they were all Aurors now. The war's end did not seem to have an effect on the dynamic and Midlands' Homicide Office began to run more smoothly than it ever had in the past, the crime rate in the area taking a second drop.
Current Activities Edit
After having a successful career as the head of the Midlands department of Homicide in the Magical Law Enforcement, Raph was offered the job as Homicide head in London. This was due to what has been a quietly closeted discovery of the former head's penchant for activities with underage wizards, soliciting bribes and crossdressing. Auror Jedgar has tactfully offered his resignation. Although Crane loves his work in Midlands, he has chosen to take the position in London, largely because it presents a challenge, given the current shambles of the London Homicide Office. He is mildly concerned about this move because of a slightly irrational fear that he will eventually have to apprehend people he knew as a child.