Sappho Sabina Hartwright.
Saph to some.
15th June, 1855.
Moderately Friendly Ghost.
Erm… is there a set one for ghosts? She hasn’t done anything notorious or anything but she is a ghost and all. 5 I think, unless it needs to be lower for ghostly reasons and/or the fact she hovers outside the shop where she used to work sometimes.
Scratching Turn, Hogsmeade Slums.
Pearly white and translucent. In life she had long, shiny blonde hair which she tended to religiously and is now slightly sad that it will never grow back to its full splendour again. Standing at 5'4 and of slender proportions, with blue eyes and porcelain skin, she was both an easy and desirable target. Right handed in life and with her wand Sappho is neat and well-kept for a ghost, although an incident before her death lead to her hair being cut rather short and she misses it.
Sappho Olinda is born to a prosperous and comfortable middle class family in the heart of the Midlands. Her father, a pure blood, was an estate manager to the châtelaine of Himley Hall, and her mother, a muggleborn, owned a millinery shop in the village itself. Sappho, their first child, was named at the suggestion of the Lady, herself a patron of antiquity arts, as all subsequent children would be.
Alcaeus is born.
Her mother has Irish twins, Ibycus and Simonides. The family moves out of the estate manager’s cottage as they have expanded significantly since the couple first moved in, and take a much larger house in the village, where all of the children enjoy an idyllic childhood.
Though the family were beginning to worry she may be a squib Sappho eventually displays magic for the first time, rather unhelpfully, by accidentally levitating whilst playing with the village children. Suffice to say, memory charms are involved in the aftermath. Alcaeus, who displayed magic two years earlier is highly supportive of his big sister, as he will continue to be as she is his favourite person in the world.
In the September Sappho finally attends Hogwarts for the first time where she is, unsurprisingly as far as her entire family are concerned, sorted into Hufflepuff house after about three seconds deliberation on the part of the hat.
Alcaeus joins her and is sorted in Slytherin.
After some truly appalling results in her OWLS Sappho, who has grown into an extremely pretty, affable girl and her father gently convinces her that going back to school isn’t what she wants to be. Easily led, Sappho readily agrees and begins to help in her mother’s shop, being rather adept at stitching.
Finding a potential husband proves difficult in the middle of nowhere, especially as amongst the muggles in the area Sappho has a reputation for being incredibly odd, and amongst the few wizards her beauty doesn’t entirely negate her mother’s blood status. As such, life is extremely boring and Sappho spends most of her time reading or painting and as a result, though most people consider her stupid, she is rather well-read and accomplished in some respects.
Increasingly discontented with her dull home life Sappho takes herself off to London alone on occasion, always returning home before she can be missed, and on one of these jaunts she finds a translation of poetry by her namesake in a shop window. Purchasing the book she becomes fascinated by the poetry she has hitherto not understood properly and, ill-advisedly, decides to seek out the translator. Henry T. Wharton, however, is not a wizard and does not understand in the slightest how this odd girl found him, or how she got into his house, and her father and memory charms are forced to save the day again.
After her previous misdemeanour Sappho is closely watched by her parents and grows resentful of their control, looking on glumly as the boys, all graduated now, are allowed to do as they please as far as she can tell. Ibycus, always the most cutting about his sister’s intelligence and grasp of common sense, makes a point of goading her at every opportunity with regards her lot in life as a shop girl and her prospects of marriage in the remote countryside.
One particularly harsh jibe in the middle of Christmas results in her throwing a paperweight at Ibycus and, for once, she actually achieves the thing she intended to do, though she only intended to do it in one mad moment of blind rage, but nevertheless she leaves Ibycus with permanent sight problems in that eye. Panicked by her loss of temper, and fearing that her family will hate her now, Sappho runs away, not to London, but instead to Hogsmeade, where at least her oddness won’t stand out as it would with muggles all around.
By the Spring of her first year there things aren’t too bad. Her skill as a milliner translates easily enough into supporting herself through work at Twilfit and Tatting's and she has found some halfway respectable lodgings. Things might be alright!
Except of course they’re not because, inevitably, Sappho is preyed upon by a brother and sister who believe her to be an easy target – they are not entirely wrong. Still in possession of jewellery gifted to her by her father’s employer she is not wealthy exactly, but is careless with who she shows them off to. The decent citizens in the cheaper area of Bartonburg are trustworthy enough of course, but the Barbary siblings, dwellers of the Slums, are not. After a brief con, in which Sappho is seduced quite thoroughly, they lure her to their home in the Slums and keep her there for a fortnight. To begin with she is confused but still blind to their intentions, until, realising that the doors are locked, she tries to escape and is killed for her trouble, the jewels vanishing in the struggle.
Returning as a ghost Sappho immediately, and quite inadvertently, frightens away her killers, and realising she has nowhere else to go, settles into the house properly, refusing to budge whenever any landlord tries to suggest she go on. She desperately longs to see her family again and will bemoan this fact to anybody she comes into contact with.
Though she remains a perfectly amicable young woman the mere fact of her being ghostly, coupled with her morose insistence that the jewels must still be somewhere in the wainscoting, has a habit of driving away lodger and thus lowering the rent. Sappho grows increasingly lonely and isolated and believes no one will ever like her again.
Until other weirdos turn up – hurrah! Worthy Paine and Beanie’s New Dude move in and, due to their own eccentricities and, as Sappho sees in, their kind hearts, they all get on very well and she is not so lonely! Still a ghost though.
small steps Saph.
Quite chipper for a ghost, Sappho doesn’t like to talk about her death too much, mostly because she recognises now that she was a fool and walked into it really. On the other hand she is bitter and would haunt her killers to the ends of the earth if she could. Well-intentioned, if a little bit slow on the uptake sometime. Chatty and friendly she frequently unnerves people by accident in the High Street and then follows them to apologise and makes it worse. Fail. She is also fairly gullible and believes Worthy’s conspiracies, though in his defence, he believes too.
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