At JACFC, we're all about exploring and expanding Potterverse canon... and I've gone a bit wild with the Department of Mysteries, inspired by both Rowling's work and my love of welcome to nightvale, which is a fabulous podcast (and now novel!) that you should be obsessed with, too. I've developed my own headcanons about the Department, some descriptions of the weirdos who work there, and I'd love to have some more writers help me continue to flesh out this little piece of the Potterverse!
The N.E.R.D.S. differ in their focus (details below) and the nerds who work in them differ in their interests, but the DoM is small enough that the Unspeakables work together frequently. All Unspeakables find common ground in their sworn secrecy about their work, their willingness to face the unknown, having a certain disregard for the rules, and, of course, in the break room. The break room contains an endless supply of tea and snacks, a few bunks for Unspeakables who must stay at work overnight for particular projects, and the unofficial, top-secret departmental mascot, Khoshekh the cat. He's a pretty normal cat except for the way he always hovers a few feet off the ground and sometimes fades in and out of existence.
If you'd like to snatch one of these characters, just post below to let me know, and then get started on your app! I'll reserve the character for you once you've begun an application. I will reserve the character for you only once. For convenience, I called each character by a nickname, and I'll add character names when each is taken. You'll see that these are somewhat loose character concepts; I want you to make them your own, including by deciding which Sector they work within! Be sure you check out the group plotter for some developed group canon; in particular, keep in mind that due to the total secrecy about what the DoM does, Unspeakables are almost always recruits rather than applicants.
• Sector One consists of a single room, the Ever-Locked Room. No Unspeakables work here.
• Sector Two is formally titled Investigations into the Past, Present, and Possibilities. It houses the Hall of Prophecy and Time Room, along with other chambers.
• Sector Three is sometimes called the Mysteries of Mind or "mom" sector. It houses the Brain Room, the Pensieve Repository, a Dream Chamber, and a highly embarrassing chamber that projects an ever-changing stream of one's thoughts onto the wall like a home movie, among others.
• Sector Four consists entirely of the departmental archives. It contains cliff-sized shelves of inventions, books, scrolls, notes from Unspeakables of the past, and allegedly two mummies. Although this fact is known only to few, it is the largest, most dangerous library in the world. Also, lots of paperwork happens here.
• Sector Five is home to research related to magical theory, experimental spells, and experimental objects. Though it consists of a series of chambers, the entire sector is nicknamed the Boom Room due to the high frequency of explosions.
• Sector Six has been missing from the Department since 1814, along with the seven Unspeakables who worked within it. Previous research was related space and multiverse theory.
• Sector Seven has no other title. It is where Unspeakables study the mysteries of death and the afterlife. It contains the death chamber as well as a fair number of ghosts of former Unspeakables, some of whom continue their work from beyond the grave.
• Sector Eight specializes in research related to living creatures including plants, beasts, and sometimes even beasts and beings. This is one of the more controversial sectors, and the Department has been denying its existence to Ministers and other higher-ups with high security clearance since the fifteenth century.
• Sector Nine is currently full of magic-resistant bees and is therefore not in use. Unspeakables from Sector Eight deny that they are responsible for the bees.
• Sector Ten is also known as the break room. It's pretty much everyone's favorite. The department Head has an office in the back, but it doesn't get much use.
• Sector Eleven is entitled Extraterrestrial Theory and Experimentation and is essentially the replacement for Sector Six. No one has vanished yet. This sector contains the Space Room, a wormhole development chamber, and a locked room that occasionally emits bone-rattling humming sounds.
No one is sure what happened to him. Did he vanish in a work-related accident in Sector Two, where he did complicated, time-related research? Might he be trapped somewhere in the past or future? Could he have been arrested at the behest of the new Minister DeVos, whom Temple had refused to give access to the Department of Mysteries, citing that no Minister had ever had such access before? Did it have something to do with his choice to protect two recently arrested employees (Brynn Rhydderch and Finnegan Holt), in defiance of Minister DeVos yet again? Or perhaps he just got sick of sending out departmental memos that no one ever read, and then he took an abrupt and unannounced vacation...
WORK: Once an accomplished curse-breaker, the Queen was recruited to the DoM and built a long career as essentially the most badass librarian you've ever met. You see, she's been in charge of the departmental archives (Sector Four) for decades. Four is a labyrinth of bookshelves, rows of scrolls, and archived research and inventions that might develop an appetite for human flesh at any moment. Or a fondness of Christmas carols. It's really quite unpredictable, and that's what she has always loved about it. The adventure is what gives her the patience for the other part of the job: taking the lead on all the tedious departmental paperwork. She's not shy about demanding the relevant Unspeakables shoulder some of the paperwork load or do their damn jobs, either. Some days she has felt more like the boss than Temple, and since his recent disappearance, she's become his unofficial replacement. She hopes it's temporary, not just because she wants Temple to be well and return, but because she doesn't much like the weight and tedium of running the department in his absence.
WORK: Brynn's research is all over the place, largely because she's easily distracted, but also because her research has far-reaching implications and applications. While she's invented some interesting items for departmental use, and while she's done consulting work to help handle magic-gone-wrong, the heart of her work is this: developing new magic and hacking magic in much the same way computer systems can be hacked. Her restraint and ethics are questionable, but her abilities certainly aren't.
WORK: The Slacker is a former Obliviator, and despite his change in departments, he hasn't lost any of his interest in memory. Most of his work is related to the destruction, alteration, and recovery of memory. At one point he accidentally (or maybe not... there were rumors at the time of the incident) transferred all his own memories to a brain in the Brain Room, but after a stay in St. Mungo's and some review of his notes by his co-workers, he made a full recovery. Well... maybe he's a little more distractible since then.
PLAYBY: I'm cool with you changing the playby to any other female and encourage you to consider a playby of color. Age may be altered to be anywhere from her mid-twenties on up. Some pre-approved alternatives are: Kiko Mizuhara, Fan Bingbing, Chanel Iman, Bae Doona, Tessa Thompson, Freida Pinto, and Jasika Nicole.
PLAYBY: I'm cool with you changing the playby and strongly encourage you to consider a playby of color. Character age should stay in the 30s. Some pre-approved alternatives are Tahar Rahim and Godfrey Gao.
PLAYBY: I'm cool with you changing the playby and strongly encourage you to consider a playby of color. Character age can be anything from mid twenties on up.
NOTE: Given her position, the Noob isn't assigned to any one of the N.E.R.D.S. yet. She spent her internship floating between them, learning about the work done in each and assisting the Unspeakables when she was qualified enough to do so and sometimes when she wasn't remotely qualified. If Temple hadn't vanished, she probably would've already been forced to pick a Sector for her specialization, but thus far that requirement hasn't yet come to pass. She's trying to view this as an opportunity to continue to explore and not a chance to accidentally stumble into whatever caused Temple to vanish. Gulp.
PLAYBY: I'm cool with you changing the playby and the character's gender or gender identity, and I strongly encourage you to consider a playby of color. Character age should stay between the ages of 18-23. Some pre-approved alternatives are: Emily Bador, Alia Shawkat, Avan Jogia, Amandla Stenberg, John Boyega, Kiersey Clemons, Zhenya Katava, and Ashley Moore.