Born August 8th to Kasimir (strong in battle
) and Adeline (sweet, noble
), her existence brought a light into her parents' world like the fabled fairy tale princesses of old. Hair dark as the night sky, skin like sweet cream, and eyes green as grass. She wasn't born evil, full of spite and vengeance. She did, as most babies do, next to nothing besides look cute and fill her pants.
Still, she was the center of the universe as far as her parents were concerned. And things stayed perfect for the better part of her childhood. However, darkness is known to lurk around the very next bend in the road. Nothing can be perfect forever. And day by day the more her father loved her the less her mother did. It was peculiar and nobody noticed until it was too late.
By the time Melanie was six, her mother was on the verge of absolute mental collapse. She fell away from them, no longer finding joy in even her favorite activities, and saying hateful things to her daughter when she pressed her to spend time with them. Melanie felt abandoned and her mother's mental state only got worse until one day, Adeline took her own life. Melly found her body, and a note, within which was written "Only death can take me away from the vile creature I brought into this unsuspecting world."
When she came to her father after the funeral was over and the mourners had all gone away, she questioned him on the meaning in the letter. He told her that her mother had been a weak woman with a weaker mind and had been hallucinating in her final months. He was a frank man; and despite his own heart breaking, he never let it show. He assured her that Adeline's death was not her fault and that he would never leave her as her mother had.
With him as a role model, Melanie dried her tears for one last time that night. If Papa could forgive Mama and continue to go about his life with head held high and shoulders squared then so would she. This was the first of many times that she learned to flip the switch and bury her emotions. But as with all things, a person can only do this for so long before the pressure becomes too much for them to bear.
She'd shown her magic at an early age, which thrilled her father. It was one less thing to worry about - whether your kid was going to be a squib or not. It was something the two had truly bonded over since her mother was a muggle. As Melanie would realize in her adult years, the occurrences of the drapes suddenly catching flame or pots and pans lifting from the sink, were the "hallucinations" her father had referred to.
When Adeline had come to him about the evil that lie within their daughter he brushed her off and told her she was crazy. But he knew the true reason these things were happening. And he was scared of his wife leaving him if he told her he'd hidden his entire world from her. In the meantime he planned to coach Melanie as much as he could under Wizarding Law on how to keep things from just happening. Only five years stood between her going away to Durmstrang, and he would try his best to keep the secret from Adeline and preserve their happy marriage. And of course, we know how that worked out.
Not only was five years too long, but that dream he and Melanie had of her going off to his old school was stomped to the ground. Although they've begun to be more lenient on blood status, in those years Melanie was incredibly ineligible. As a pure blood himself, her father had never even realized there was such a rule against half-bloods and muggle borns in place. He'd never dealt with it nor had any of his friends. And no amount of angry owls could change their minds.
So on her 11th birthday, in the middle of her party, a worse for wear tawny owl landed in her cake with an envelope, stamped red with the Hogwarts seal. The school year would start in just over a month and they were pleased to inform her of her acceptance. "Funny, I don't remember applying. she'd muttered shoving the smelly owl off of her perfect dessert.
Her father chastised her, not bothering to save face since it was just the two of them, their house elf, and a couple work friends and their kids. She heard their snickers about Hoggy warty Hogwarts and felt the tears stinging at her lids. She apologized to her father and asked to be excused, saying she wasn't hungry as she stared at the owl shaped cake angel with a tail feather stuck right in the center. She was less than thrilled that such a momentous thing had happened to disastrously, rather than being upset about her acceptance.
Actually, the longer she stared at the letter in the privacy of her bedroom the giddier she got. This was her shot. She was going to go to school and learn magic and make friends and it all sounded so fun! Like an adventure to take her away from the literal ghosts of her past here at home. So she began to make lists: to-do, to-be, to-learn, to-ask, to-bring, to-leave. Lists were her thing, still are in fact. When her mind is going a mile a minute and she wants to be sure to get everything done, she makes lists to sort it all out and get it down on paper.
Before long the day comes when they make their way to London for the week. Her father seemed uncomfortable, speaking broken English to the shopkeepers in Diagon Alley as Melly ran about the stores piling her arms full of what she knew she needed. When it came time to get her wand, Mr. Ollivander beamed at her over the counter, bringing her a plain pink box wherein lay the perfect wand.
He told her to give it a wave as she held it in her hands, examining the intricate carvings at the wider end. She did so and it glowed pink, briefly. Hazel with unicorn hair core. 7 1/4 inches. Hazel wands are very choosey. They only like truly good people and are for those who seek the highest levels of knowledge. I have a good feeling about you based on that alone, little lady. the elderly man rattled off to her.
Those were words she tried to remember every time she felt like hexing someone to oblivion when they imitated her accent down the line or asked about her muggle mother going crazy. Her wand chose her because she was good. She had to be good. But dammit if it wasn't hard to smile through the teasing. She'd been sorted into Slytherin almost immediately, and for some reason to the other houses that meant she automatically was off limits for friendship land. And within her house, she was finding it more and more difficult to make friends. And she could see where the stigma came from. Some of her fellow house members were total assholes.
The longer she stayed in school the harder it was to not just shrug and say when in Rome. She kept up with her studies, spending the first three years of school with her nose in the books and her back to the world. Little by little her goodness slipped away only to be replaced with a cold, indifferent bitterness. Soon she was the one teasing first years and leading the pack in pranks. The professor's pet status she'd earned up until that point helped keep her and her band of troublemakers out of detention for the most part. Usually she just got a slap on the wrist and an "I'm disappointed in you/expected more of you" speech and was sent on her way.
She straightened up after a prank gone horribly wrong and put her foot down within her group to better themselves. As the last two years of school drew closer she did a 180 and was named prefect her sixth year, and head girl her seventh. This of course meant her closest allies could get away with all but literal murder. She looked at it as networking. Knowing the right people meant getting what you wanted out of life. And she soon found herself wanting to be the "right people" that others wanted to know.
After graduation she spent a few years travelling before ending up right back at the stone castle in the countryside applying for the position of DAtDA Professor. At the age of twenty-three she was hired to replace her favorite professor who was high tailing it out of there and into retirement in sunny Spain. It didn't take long for her to fall back in love with the school that had been her home for so long. Or for the power of being a leader to go to her head. Just like in school, being good wasn't good enough. She sought out Slytherin Head of House, not only replacing the current HoH but getting them fired altogether with a well executed set up of....well, really you can't know the details. Then she'd have to kill you
Anyway, now she's sitting pretty in her dream job, feared by the right students and worshiped by the wrong ones. And that's just the way she likes it.