Ephraim Felix Vablatsky
18th June, 1828
Hornbeam and dragon heartstring, 8 3/4”, unyielding.
Cassandra Vablatsky née Vablatsky | Grandmother | 1765 - 1872
Aesacus Vablatsky | Father | 1793 - 1852
Deborah Vablatsky née ____ | Mother | 1805 - 1864
Gideon Vablatsky | Brother | 1835 - 1884
-- Hazel Vablatsky | Sister-in-law; hag | 1843
-- Cassandra ‘Fern’ Vablatsky | Niece; hag | 1865
-- Gabriel Vablatsky | Nephew | 1870
Eunice Vablatsky née ____ | Wife | 1840 - 1880
Micajah Vablatsky | Son | 1858
Ezra Vablatsky | Son | 1858
Cassandra Vablatsky | Daughter | 1861
Apollodora Vablatsky | Daughter | 1865
At 5’5”, Ephraim has never had notable height to strike an imposing figure for him, and his sons stand a few inches above him. He was always decently sturdy in build, though now middle-aged, he errs more towards paunchy. His crop of hair was once blond-brown but is persistently greying: the stress of children, evidently. He has grey-blue eyes, and thin lips; the natural arrangement of his features tends towards visible grumpiness. He wears robes at the Ministry and at other wizarding events, though being out in Birmingham sees him sporting muggle garb. He is right-handed.
1828 | Ephraim is born to Aesacus and Deborah. And, more importantly, into the Vablatsky family, with a special gift and a legacy to continue. All Ephraim can remember of those early years are listening to his grandparents talk about predictions, utterly enraptured. His grandmother is a living idol to him, her renown lavishing fame upon them all.
1835 | Gideon is born. The brothers do eventually get along, for the most part - beyond petty squabbles - but in the early years Ephraim is glad to be the elder child, and rather dismissive of his younger sibling. Ephraim is quite self-absorbed on the whole, anyway, vociferous and ravenous in learning all he can of Divination, his inherited talent. He remembers himself as a precocious child, able to reel off meanings of tarot cards, analyse tea leaves, interpret dreams with great confidence, scarcely after learning to read: the reality was perhaps more of a struggle. There was expectation heaped upon him from without and within: of a new generation, of his own desire to outdo his elders. But he did not take to it naturally, or at all. Learning printed definitions and classifications was the fallback option, a task he threw himself into when the ‘predictions’ he would make (pure guesses, and never particularly right) no longer received the sharp interest of his grandmother, but instead were greeted with conciliatory amusement.
1837 | By now he has clearly shown that he possesses magic, but that thrill soon subsides when nine-year-old Ephraim accidentally eavesdrops on an offhand conversation, his grandmother to his father, a simple ‘And your boy’s not got the gift, that’s clear as day’ crushing the fantasies of his own future he has spent half his childhood creating. It doesn’t end there, of course: he convinces himself that his gift will appear later, suddenly, does his best to ignore the comments that are later offered to his face, as fond as they are soul-destroying.
1839 | Finally, Ephraim is off to Hogwarts: he sees this new freedom as a convenient chance stretch his wings, new conditions that might allow him to make his mark on the world. He is a Vablatsky, after all. Not only will he live up to the name, he will advance it! He is sorted into Slytherin.
1841 | Third year arrives, and with it Ancient Studies... and Divination. Ephraim is frustrated and ashamed to find that not only does it not enlighten him at all as to how to go about Seeing anything, but that he is by no means the best in the class. A class full of ordinary people, and he, a Vablatsky, only mediocre!
1843 | A responsible boy, and a stringent rule-follower, Ephraim is convinced that at least he will be able to gain something in earning Slytherin Prefect. But. He does not. It instead goes to one Lucius Lestrange.
1844 | In summer, he receives consistent Es on all his OWLs.
1845 | He goes into seventh year, and is not magically appointed Head Boy, though it is a title he feels in his soul he deserves. Ffs, Lestrange.
1846 | May: he graduates, after extensive study, with Oustandings on his NEWTs - save in Divination, where he only Exceeds Expectations, and that, only because everyone’s expectations for him are now non-existent! After floundering for a while - wondering whether it might not be better to forge his own path, and leave his ideas about family legacy behind him - Ephraim is accepted into the Department of Mysteries. (And better the alluring intrigue of that than Improper Use of Magic, he supposes.)
1848 | Lestrange joins the same bloody department, because the world will not allow Ephraim to forget his envies so easily.
1852 | His father Aesacus dies of dragon pox.
1855 | With his father gone, his mother is keen to see him married. His grandmother enjoys offering tidbits of things she has Seen, which Ephraim supposes is only sensible to factor into his choice. However, when he meets Eunice, a young debutante, out in society after her OWLs, there is a little more to it than being just superstitious or sensible.
1857 | Three guesses who’s made Assistant Head of the Dept. of Mysteries this year?
(Ephraim had been fairly certain that it would not be him, because his grandmother had already had the decency to reveal to him that something would pass him by. Fabulous.)
Possibly the only thing that goes right for Ephraim this year is that he marries Eunice, and she is soon pregnant.
1858 | Micajah and Ezra are born. Twin sons! It is now that Ephraim feels he has a real crusade. This will be his calling, guiding the next generation.
1860 | Bloody Lestrange becomes the Head of the Department.
1861 | Cassandra is born; Ephraim is certain that she will be special. She is their Cassandra, after all.
1863 | Gideon marries a hag. What the actual fuck. It’s like everyone is just determined to find new and creative ways of ruining Ephraim’s life.
1864 | His mother dies of consumption (or from the shame of having to deal with Gideon’s life choices, perhaps).
1865 | Apollodora is born. At last, one of his children - though not the one Ephraim would have wagered on - presents them with a prophecy. As pleased as he is with Ezra if his son does indeed have the gift, he might’ve been relieved if that particular prophecy had not come true. But it did, and that is Fern, his hag niece. As if more hags were what was required to burnish the Vablatsky name.
1869 | Micajah and Ezra go to Hogwarts, and are sorted into Ravenclaw and Hufflepuff respectively. Ephraim holds out hope that Micajah will go on to prove himself, as he seems more promising in attitude, if Ezra has already shown himself better in ability.
1870 | A nephew, Gabriel, is born to his hag mother. (Being male, he isn’t a hag, but it’s a little late for anything to redeem the rest of the family.)
1872 | The family is left in Ephraim’s hands when his grandmother dies. He does not take this responsibility lightly.
1873 | Cassandra goes to Hogwarts, a Ravenclaw.
1876 | The twins graduate - Ezra decides to follow some outrageous whim and go into healing, completely denying his gift! Ephraim’s outrage is softened a little by Micajah’s career plans, and by Apollodora going to Hogwarts and being sorted into Slytherin.
1878 | Cassandra, for whom Ephraim has high hopes, despite all her reticence, ruins everything by obliviating herself after receiving her OWL results. The anger he might have felt over the humiliating Divination grade is nothing compared to what he has to deal with now. He plays it off, as best he can, as a tragic accident, or a noble sacrifice of a daughter burdened by too terrible a talent to bear. Ephraim does not truly understand what madness drove her to such a stupid action - she had been such a clever girl - but beneath it all, he does feel responsible.
1880 | Eunice dies in a splinching accident. No one in the family had Seen her death coming, and Ephraim is left reeling, utterly unprepared. Because of this - and without her to keep him in check - he only pushes his children harder, that they might be more useful, might spare themselves and other people the heartbreak by predicting - and thus avoiding - such unexpected tragedy. Sometimes it feels as though his life is unravelling at the seams. But where has he gone wrong?
1883 | With only Micajah not a glaring disappointment, Ephraim turns his attentions to his last hope, Apollodora! She seems to have a much better temperament for utilising the gift, and Ephraim is tremendously invested in making sure she, at least, leads the life a Vablatsky deserves.
1884 | His brother Gideon dies of the laughing plague. Ephraim, while appropriately devastated, sees this as Fate offering the chance to distance themselves somewhat from the, er, hags. Which is not to say he does not feel some familial obligation towards them still, but it certainly need not be publicised. To top it all off, Ephraim is ignored for a promotion at least the fifth time, overlooked for Assistant Head - and this time, by Lestrange’s son.
1885 | Out of nowhere, a woman - more than two decades his junior - leaps to the Head of the Department of Mysteries. Ephraim half wants to quit in outrage; instead he just stalks around the Hall of Prophecy muttering more grumpily than ever.
1886 | By now Ezra has moved out, which at least stops Ephraim being reminded of what a waste he is making of his life with quite the frequency he had been; Micajah is off doing research, at least, doing quite well for himself; Cassandra is still resident in St. Mungo’s, with her never-improving condition a blight on all the aspirations Ephraim had had for her; Apollodora, then, might bring the Vablatsky name some fame.
Ephraim has spent his life attempting to comprehend the fact that he is not special. That he is not remarkable, even. It has been a hard lesson. Admiration, a little recognition, is all he dreams of. Since childhood, he has always laboured tirelessly, putting in extreme amounts of effort to everything. And yet, it all comes to nothing; he has not achieved a fraction of what he deserves. Unjustifiably overlooked, to put it plainly. And then there are those - his hopeless children among them - who have such potential, such talent, the chance to be admired and venerated and remembered, and yet continue to squander their gifts. Ephraim knows better, of course, works endlessly on their behalf, and, on the most part, to no thanks. Admittedly, he is difficult to impress: bitterness sees him ever-striving, pushing for more, disappointed every time something or someone falls short of his expectations, no matter how often he has been disappointed before. When something goes right, on the other hand, he swells with pride, feeds on a sort of pompous righteousness (he has little enough on which to subsist; these things must be stretched for all they are worth, so he does not starve) and always delights upon feeling in control of a situation. Organising things is therapeutic; disorder and unpreparedness are stressful and embarrassing. He does not like to be made to feel foolish, though can be so unrelenting and so dogged, can try so hard to achieve anything, that he often begins to look it.
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