Half Fae

Herbology Shop Owner
April 28, 2006
Lives in
Significant other
No Information

Last Active: Yesterday at 09:22 am
why would you go big when you can go home 😒

the very fact of zahrah renshaw's birth is... well, a bit awkward.

her father, benjamin renshaw - if you know anything about herbology, you probably still shudder when thinking of that one book he wrote about carnivorous plants - was researching flesh eating trees in malaysia when he met a fae by the name of raya. still relatively new to the field back then, it was his first encounter with her kind. he was immediately (and understandably, some might say) enamored by her beauty, the reverent way with which she handled every living thing in the forest, and the hibiscus flowers that bloomed wherever she went.

benjamin went back home with enough material for several shudder-worthy books - back to his son and his very much pregnant wife. poor, very much pregnant isabella, who did not think to imagine that months later she would both discover her husband had cheated on her on his research trip, and welcome a baby that was not her own into her care. at the same time.

(the fae on their doorstep one sunny april day only lingered long enough to tell the couple that the baby's name was zahrah. raya was good with plants but not as much with humans, leaving a spluttering benjamin to handle the rest of the explanation himself.)

growing up, zahrah developed a very firm belief that she was not a part of her family. she was an outsider. an intruder. her mother was not her mother but merely a woman who raised her for lack of any other option, and as for her father, what could he see when looking at zahrah other than living proof of a mistake that nearly ruined his marriage?

it's important to note that, to this day, nothing has ever been actually said or done to encourage that belief, nor has it ever been implied or hinted at that zahrah was not welcome with the renshaws. but what are facts to a child who realizes that unlike other families, she looks nothing like her parents, and worse, is met with a nervous silence the first time she asks why? to a teen who, to her horror and embarrassment, sprouts green wings at 14 and knows that it's one step of puberty her siblings would never go through too?

it didn't matter that isabella was always gentle and kind, that her father came to every one of her piano recitals looking like a proud parent should. zahrah needed only to nudge the boundary (then push it, then absolutely break it) to confirm that she was not like the other renshaw kids. if they got a stern talking to at home for not cleaning their room or slacking off in their schoolwork, zahrah could get away with all that and more without comment. she'd actually tried it once, as a kid, with an almost scientific approach to her little experiment - a week after her brother got grounded for a schoolyard (barely) fight, zahrah did the exact same thing. it got her an early birthday present and exactly zero punishments. that, too, was the thing about being other - she could use that otherness to guilt her father into doing and giving her everything she wanted without even trying. in zahrah's eyes, her existence was leverage enough.

and if no one ever reprimanded her or told her to behave herself or even acknowledged any negative behavior, why on earth would she stop? and so she was an angry child, spoiled rotten but still frustrated, caught up in feeling like she did not belong and wanting to believe it when she was told it wasn't the case, hating that she couldn't.

coming to hogwarts and getting sorted to ravenclaw, zahrah found out that other than singing to herself when no one's listening and playing the piano, she actually quite liked learning to be a witch - not in any teacher-approved kind of way because she still thought homework was a recommendation at best and preferred literally anything else over sitting in a cramped classroom and writing down whatever was being said; but in her own time, on her own terms, and as long as she found it interesting enough, zahrah grew into her magical abilities. she discovered herbology - or rediscovered it, really, now that she was away from her father and it didn't feel like a grab for his affection, because obviously she couldn't show that she wished for it. it was as calm as she ever got during her hogwarts years, kneeling out by her hidden garden patch with her hands in the soil and knowing that there, at last, she wasn't an outsider. that was another thing hogwarts gave zahrah: free access to all the library books she could possibly want, including ones about the fae, allowing her to begin to understand all the parts of her that had been a mystery until then. the wrongness of being in a four-walled classroom as opposed to having the sun on her face, the way the plants she grew seemed to lean towards her as if they understood it when she absentmindedly talked to them, it all started to make sense.

still, although hogwarts gave her something to do other than look for reasons to pick fights, it didn't exactly smooth her edges. zahrah was a pain for the teachers at best, a menace at worst, and as someone already used to getting away with that kind of behavior, she was surprised - and angry - to find out that in the real world, people actually hold you accountable for the trouble you cause. what a concept! it meant she had to think twice before skipping that class or growing that poisonous flower on the windowsill of her room, though that didn't necessarily stop her from doing it. zahrah didn't limit herself to getting on only her teachers' bad sides, either, and by choice or just by virtue of her natural combative personality, there were several instances of unpleasantness with some of her classmates as well.

graduation brought with it a creeping fear of what was next, because with subjects she deemed irrelevant and not of interest zahrah had no hope (or desire) to pass the NEWTs, and the ones she did actually enjoy and therefore could answer questions about in her sleep weren't enough to quite balance out the rest. in short, she had absolutely no idea where she was headed. her mother - her actual, fae mother - arriving to whisk her away to malaysia, where she would be taught, finally, finally, where she came from and what that meant, effectively nipped those worries in the bud.

four years later and... zahrah's not an entirely different person, no, but definitely a changed one. living in a fae community was a different experience of learning from hogwarts altogether, giving her a much truer and more accurate understanding of her self, of nature, of how it all connected and flowed together and where exactly she fit inside it.

now that zahrah's in the uk again, upon hearing news of her brother skipping out on his hogsmeade shop and leaving the renshaws a bit confused and definitely in debt and deciding that it was as good a time as any to come back, she's nervously ready to figure her life out, independently this time.

** credit for the gif goes to anyarps-archive.tumblr.com
ZAHRAH RENSHAW has a total of 11 badges

Image Map