Canon: Harry Potter
Scrubs Color: Red
Visible Age: 40.
Complexion: Lightly tanned
Hair: Dark hair, with white at the sides
Bearing/Demeanor: Distinguished, composed but alert and imposing, definitely not a guy you want to fuck with.
Gait: Even, confident strides
Habits: He has a habit of scanning and sizing up an area
Skills: Apparition, duelling, memory modification. He's a powerful wizard back in his world, skilled at wandless and nonverbal magic, although all of the above has been significantly nerfed for purposes of the game. He's skilled at a certain level of Legilimency, although he's much more adept at Occlumency, considering his position and what he does. Graves is adept at an immense range of spells and potion-making, able to conjure a panther Patronus, etc.
History: Percival Graves was born to a very well-respected and influential wizarding family in 1887. His ancestor was Gondolphus Graves, one of the original 12 Aurors that founded the Magical Congress of the United States of America, a governing body for the wizarding community in the USA, charged with upholding the laws and protecting their own. As the need had been so great for Aurors then--the dangers many and reprieves few -- the original 12 Aurors and their descendants were honored above all else and given a particular type of respect. As of 1926, canonically, the United States of America remained one of the most hostile environments for magical people, mainly because of Scourer descendants (Scourers are wizard mercenaries who hunt their own for profit, hunted in turn by the MACUSA). They vanished permanently into the No-Maj community, and very actively kept suspicion of magic alive. Unlike places like the UK, Europe etc, there was no cooperation between the No-Maj government and MACUSA.
Percival Graves, of course, inherited a very proud legacy and lineage to both live up to and surpass:one of protecting and defending the interests of the magical community in the USA, upholding the laws that separate them from the No-Majs thanks to the unprecedented hostility and distrust the No-Majs have against them since the Salem Witch Trials began. He attended Ilvermorny when he was a child, as is required of every child born to magic. He was also sorted into the Wampus house, which favors warriors above all else, and he was an excellent student, which is expected of him considering his privileged background and his proud heritage.
With great power comes great responsibility, so to speak, and Graves became an Auror when he graduated, rising rapidly up the ranks. He was known as one of the most distinguished Aurors at MACUSA even before his promotion, which speaks volumes of his exceptional skill that surpasses even his peers, who are wizarding elites in their own right. He is
known to be a very powerful wizard to all.
In Pottermore, it is said that wizards have participated in the war during WWI in secret, fighting their own kind while the soldiers fighting the war themselves are none the wiser. It can be extrapolated that he participated in WWI on the American side, fighting against enemy wizards as his heritage and his own pride would allow him to do no less than that. Graves has seen war, has been hardened and strengthened by it. Seeing the effects of war also propelled him to work harder to prevent it, especially between No-Majs and wizardkind -- despite the victory on their side, the truth is that nobody really wins, not when the body count on both sides is so high. As a direct result of seeing the devastation of war, Graves’ firm support of hiding the wizarding community from the No-Majs is further augmented.
As the best and most accomplished Auror in MACUSA (able to effortlessly use wandless magic), Graves' abilities earned him two major positions within MACUSA: Director of Magical Security (a post equivalent to that of the No-Maj Secretary of Homeland Security), and chief of the Department of Magical Law Enforcement (the largest department in MACUSA), as well as the unofficial position of being the President Seraphina Picquery's right-hand man. He is charged with very heavy responsibilities, ensuring the safety of American witches and wizards and upholding strict laws to keep the magical and No-Maj community from fraternizing. As he is also often sought for counsel by Madam Picquery, he spends just about all his waking hours within MACUSA, making sure everything runs smoothly.
Personality: Graves is basically known as authoritarian: single-minded and a “good guy.” and as Gellert Grindelwald has to take on Graves' personality and traits in order to pass unsuspected as him in a department full of Aurors (basically superior magical detectives and soldiers), it can be safe to assume that a good chunk of what we see in the movie is Graves' own personality.
Judging also from his incredible accomplishments at a relatively young age of 40 (holding two major posts in MACUSA and essentially the number 2 man in the American wizarding world), it is safe to extrapolate that he is an exceptionally driven, brilliant and perceptive man who lets very little past him, and is a man who is used to being control -- both of himself and of others under him. All these traits, of course, are absolutely essential in Graves carrying out his duties to police and protect the wizarding community in America, in upholding the Graves family name.
As he is well-respected in his own right, it can be assumed that he is a tough but fair boss with high, exacting standards who demands much from his subordinates, brooking no nonsense and possessing a harsh and unforgiving intolerance for incompetence. It's also obvious that he makes it a point to remember the names of just about all who work under him. He seems laid-back but actually watchful, alert and vigilant. He is also disciplined, shrewd and clever -- his pragmatism, competence, experience and his intelligence is why President Picquery chose him as her right-hand man.
To this end, Graves is sharp, tough, grounded and charismatic, knowing exactly what he wants and how to achieve it. Even so, Graves is a gentleman, polite and elegant as is required of his station. He is very aware of the image that he presents to others, and takes care in cultivating that image, as well as the impression he leaves. Self-assured and confident, he is a man who knows himself and trusts in his own abilities, exerting an impressive level of self-discipline and self-knowledge that has no doubt helped to propel him forward in his career.
While he might be a man who keeps his emotions to himself -- and isn't very good at expressing them -- Graves is neither cruel, vicious nor capricious. He believes in establishing his authority firmly, unspoken or otherwise, but he has never been vicious or petty; he believes himself above all of that, and he holds himself to a higher standard than all others. After all, he is a Graves, and he will not besmirch the family name.
On the other hand, he is as deadly as they come, ruthlessly efficient and courageous, believing in setting an example for his subordinates. As a result, he has gained their respect and admiration -- which can be seen in the way Tina addresses him, how she doesn't argue when Grindelwald, impersonating Graves, tells her to be quiet even though she so badly wants to speak up. He is a soldier, a survivor and a leader, and he has no qualms about being charming where necessary, even if he prefers the straightforward way of doing things; and as Director, he has an eye for people who can be assets to the organisation, savvy with interpersonal relationships that he can use to his advantage. Graves most likely is just as smart about maneuvering the inevitable politics that is involved in his position, and it's obvious that he operates at a higher level than most others, his mind constantly working to foresee future challenges and problems. After all, he is the one responsible for his divisions and the people in it, and it is also a responsibility that he takes seriously.
Graves is also a man completely devoted to his work, considering it his life's mission to protect the wizarding community using whatever means necessary. He is hardworking, task-oriented and disciplined, and judging from his impeccable dressing the man knows how to dress for the occasion, as well as to influence. Having also grown up in a family that is still widely-respected and very influential in American wizarding politics, it is safe to say that his thoughts and values are shaped to a significant extent by his heritage, by the bravery and sacrifice of his ancestor, Gondolphus Graves, who gave his life protecting the American wizarding community from both external and internal threats. As his descendant, MACUSA is more than just a job: it's personal to him. Graves is aware that all eyes are on him at any one time, and that while the powerful family name has opened many doors for him, much is expected of him in turn. It is also reasonable to assume that Graves would want to surpass that legacy on his own merits, to make his mark the way his ancestor did.
He is aware of what is needed of him, as both power and control are central tenets of his life; it's what he uses to achieve his ambitions and objectives, and how he always prefers to come at situations from a position of strength. Graves is composed and dignified, relatively economical with words. While he has a dry sense of humor, he is not given over to flights of fancy or whims, as a man of his position is required to make difficult, morally ambiguous decisions often for the good and safety of his community. The American wizarding community has all along been entrenched in a community that is hostile to them, and in this Graves has his work cut out for him in making sure that war doesn't erupt on either side, and that sometimes harsh measures are necessary to prevent bloodbaths and a repeat of the Salem Witch Trials.
Of course, his social life is in shambles; Graves neglects cultivating lasting personal relationships apart from his work -- he's a chronic workaholic, and with the immense weight of the safety of the American wizarding community on his shoulders there is more than enough work to go around. His pragmatism and utilitarian nature extends to that personal life; there is no place for romance in his busy schedule, and considering how he chooses his work above just about everything else, that preference will put a strain on just about any relationship.
It also doesn't help that he prefers his own company and has little patience for theatrics and anything that distracts from his job and his calling. His lifeblood is his work and career, but while so much of what he is is built on his work and the legacy that he's inherited, the truth is that Graves is just as human as the others-- it's only that he does a better job of putting it away, becoming more symbol than man as he derives just about all of his own value through his achievements.
He is what they need him to be; advisor, director, right-hand, but there's more to him that he doesn't allow himself the time to be, feel, or to develop. He keeps his softer side and all other feelings suppressed and stored away, compartmentalising them with the same efficiency with which he approaches his work -- so while he can be lonely sometimes, he tends to fill them up with more paperwork, which feeds into a chicken-and-egg situation re: that lack of a personal / social life outside of MACUSA.
What skills does your character bring to the situation?:
Graves brings many things to the situation: namely, steady and unwavering leadership, effective and efficient usage of resources, sound strategy, unifying potential, pragmatism and key survival skills. Graves is a shrewd, perceptive, and commanding leader, who is capable of assessing a situation quickly to suss out what actions are necessary, as well as to make the difficult decisions. He's a man who steps up without hesitation and does what needs to be done, not allowing his (or others) emotions to rule over logic and rationality because what's best for people is not necessarily what they're going to like. Graves brings with him a wealth of experience in policing/protecting a community from external threats, picking up on key details other people might have missed, and has enough charisma and strength of character to rally people around to do all that's needed. He is a man who truly believes in what he does, who does not waver or sway in his purpose, traits which can inspire confidence in him from others.
He's also capable of picking the people best suited to do particular jobs, and has no qualms getting his hands dirty, himself. He's no stranger to hard labour, and as a leader he understands that it's also his responsibility to carry the team and to do the most work instead of simply delegating all the time. He can be seen both doing the ground work and pulling together the separate teams in the command center, grounded and aware of everything that is going on. After all, that's the job he practically lives and breathes back at home.
While Graves is also capable of empathy and compassion, he does not let that compromise the objectives of their mission. He is pragmatic, a man used to being in command, taking on both the power and responsibility of such a role and using it to improve the situation however he can. Understanding instinctively that he needs to be a source of strength for the people who follow him, Graves is not selfish, nor is he focused on himself or his own personal glory. He focuses on the big picture, the ultimate aim of getting out of that place and back to where they all belong, and every step he takes is meant to be a step closer to achieving that aim.
He's also effective and efficient; he doesn't waste any time mucking around, and he keeps an essentially level head even when a situation goes south. Graves is steady, resilient, and is accustomed to setting himself as the fixed point, immovable and present, trusted to make the decisions when the world is falling all around them. He doesn't pander to people -- he doesn't require admiration or sympathy, he makes it clear that he only requires their skill and compliance to achieve their shared goals. Graves is not cruel or capricious, there is a clear logic
in what he does, results designed to benefit the majority, but he does not set out to be liked even if his heart is in the right place. He lets the outcome speak for him, nothing less.
Graves is someone who has high standards, but is also someone whom you can absolutely depend on and trust when you're in a dangerous situation and he's on your side. He's also a man who while focused on the big picture doesn't miss the details all at once. While he will conceal his magic for as long as is necessary, he understands instinctively the value and importance of teamwork when all of them are stuck in that situation. Graves is also an excellent strategist, and he also brings with him keen insight and crucial problem-solving skills in regards to human behavior, seemingly impossible/mysterious situations, and is the man you can look to get you out of a quagmire. Determined, measured and efficient, he is the man who instinctively takes all responsibilities onto himself; he's also able to see people's strengths and weaknesses and is capable of utilising them to their fullest potential. He is authoritative but not rigid, driven, utilitarian, flexible where necessary and fiercely protective of those he takes under his wing, his incredible courage, determination and focus in the face of overwhelming odds / trouble is what can help bring the team together to survive.
Explain how your character would react to the following:
- Discovering that their memories may have been tampered with:
Answer: Graves is a man who prides himself on his exceptional discipline and self-control. He believes that talent is nothing without hard work, and this has clearly worked for him, especially since he's one of the most powerful wizards in America. Being a formidable Occlumens (which is a necessity, considering his position and all the government secrets he's privy to, as well as deals in) knowing that his memories have been tampered with will enrage him, as it is a violation of everything that he prizes and it's an act that signifies a loss of control and his own agency. Control and power, you see, is a very big thing with Graves, who believes that when you conquer yourself, you can conquer everything else. It's basically how he's lived his life,
and how he got to where he is now. However, he will not allow his fury to control him -- he's better than that.
He will try to work out what it is that's been tampered with, then employ all ways and means to discover the identity of the perpetrator(s), their motivations and purpose before exterminating them if their answers are deeply unsatisfactory. Graves hates being toyed with that way more than anything, and while it gets personal for him very quickly, he's still aware of the big picture, and he trusts his own instincts. Memories may lie, but his instincts are never wrong.
- Having to do physical labor to survive:
Answer: Graves might be born with a silver/gold spoon in his mouth, but he has never been averse to doing physical labor to survive. As a soldier in WWI, he has probably seen some tough times, roughing it out with his fellow wizards for an extended period. As a leader, he understands that sometimes it's necessary to do grunt work, and he is willing to do whatever it takes to achieve a goal or an objective. Graves is also a man who sees the importance of learning to adapt, surviving and thriving through difficult circumstances is what he prides himself on, and therefore he will readily take on this task. However, he will be constantly assessing how best to streamline this particular labor, to further improve on its efficiency, proposing new methods and more effective methods instead of simply going through the motions. This includes designating proper personnel, if needed.
- Having to share resources with others:
Answer: Graves is not a lone wolf, despite appearances. He's an alpha wolf all the way through, and this means sharing the necessary resources to keep the team going and taking care of the people he considers his own. He has no qualms sharing what he has as long as he can call in that favor later, or if it serves a purpose. He commands, and in the same vein he provides and shares, understanding how important it is to stay as a team against a common enemy.
- Being unable to leave the area:
Answer: Graves is deeply displeased at being trapped in this world, unable to go back home. He is unmoored, cut off from the rigors of his job and all that it entails -- the sudden amount of free time that he has is deeply unsettling; a constant, ever-present feeling that he will not be able to dispel. He's used to having every sliver of time accounted for and devoted to MACUSA and the magical community; he's used to putting in extra hours and laying out exactly what needs to be done, investigated, enforced, questioned, researched, by whom and by when. So being in here is being shut off from all of that completely, and it's a blow that he can't shake off easily.
And so more than anything, he's motivated to find a way back to his world and his community. They need him as much as he needs them; the wizarding community in America has always been in a precarious position, with Scourers mingling among the No-Majs and drumming up hate and suspicion, he is needed to weed them out wherever he may find them (if the Scourers are the wolves, he is the sheepdog) and to return home is a matter of utmost importance. However, he understands that it's important to keep a level head, and that he's not going to be able to do this alone, and he's smart enough to set his own emotions aside and get to solving the problem because it's not in his nature to dwell, it's in his driven and pragmatic nature to solve problems and fix things. It's what he's always done, and what he will constantly continue to do, no matter the context or the situation.
While he utterly despises where he's at, he instinctively knows that he has to make the best of it, and that means applying himself whole-heartedly to adapting, discovering more about this world and how it works, and how to use it to achieve his goal. For that, he will need all the assistance he can reasonably get, and this means forging partnerships, connections, acquiring knowledge that can get him -- and incidentally all of them stuck here -- back home.
- Doing without modern conveniences and technology and/or being around tech more advanced than they're used to:
Answer: As the Edwardian era lasted from 1901 to 1910, Graves grew up in that era and is aware of No-Maj technology and amenities in that era, even if he hasn't involved himself with it. What's in the village isn't necessarily too modern or too backward, but he's definitely not used to the whole backwater village life. Graves is city born and city bred, but he is able to adapt. After all, he's been in a battlefield and has definitely seen worse, and so he can adjust to doing without things like Floo Networks. He already doesn't bother with No-Maj inventions like steam engines and the like, but he would eventually be interested in learning about technology that's more advanced than he's used to.
In his mind, it's foolish not to take advantage of any chance available to you, No-Maj inventions or not. In short, Graves will be caught off guard but he will make do, he will adapt and make the most of it, even if he doesn't necessarily like it, considering his deep distrust of No-Majs in general.
- Being separated, possibly permanently, from loved ones and their previous life, including loss of powers, if applicable:
Answer: Being separated permanently from his previous life, as well as losing his powers will devastate him. He has based much of his worth on what he can do, and on the work that he does. He doesn't know what to do with himself when it's all taken away; especially his magic, when it's been a part of him for so very long and, as with just about every wizard, he's heavily dependent on it. It will feel like being crippled, like a crucial part of him has been cut away, and he will hate and loathe every moment of it because it makes him feel helpless, stripping him of everything he's once prized. Losing his previous life and his powers is, to him, losing everything that matters.
Graves' calling is his work, his family's legacy and what he is building for himself and leaving behind; it's the subordinates that have come to depend on him to carry them through -- he was their fixed point, the go-to man whose advice and guidance they sought. He needs his work as much as his work needs him, and doing this will take away so much of what he is, what he's made of himself.
Graves will be shaken up and lost for awhile as he struggles to come to terms with it, but he'll be too proud to let that go on for long. Naturally tenacious, with a driven Type A personality that will not allow himself to continue being lost and adrift, he will eventually find his bearings once more, recalibrate himself, definitely find something to hold on to and bite down on, and move onwards from there. After all, doing nothing is not in his nature. Graves will take the hits and he'll roll with it, and he will not allow the separation or the loss of his powers to defeat him. He will tirelessly find a way to return and to get his powers back, and he will not stop until he achieves it.