Halfblood Witch

December 7, 2003
Lives in
San Francisco, USA
Significant other
No Information

Last Active: Aug 12 2018, 03:29 AM
"what's the stupidest thing you've ever done"... lmao bold of you to assume i've reached peak dumbass

she is born daniela vitória vargas monteiro - quickly and efficiently shortened to dani, god forbid her brazilian family has to deal with such a mouthful - and already she is trouble.

it is an unusually difficult childbirth and her mother barely recovers, and so it is dani's father who welcomes their many visitors at the hospital with little bags of candy, who brightens with pride as relatives and friends and neighbors coo at his newborn daughter. it's a while before his wife is released from the hospital, but all is forgotten once the three of them are home, all together at last; there is little that can overshadow the joy of a first child, and perhaps it is the very first example of dani getting away with a bit of mischief.

she's a handful as a baby and then as a toddler, reaching for everything she shouldn't and climbing where she's not allowed, though she's not often reprimanded for it. she's her parents' little princesa; at three years old, even the most stoic of dani's extended family can't stand firm in the face of her charming grin.

that doesn't change even when her parents have her little brother, rafael, that same year. to dani, it only means they are sometimes too preoccupied to keep an eye on her or too tired to enforce their rule about not eating cookies before lunch, which she enjoys. maybe later, when he's bigger - at the height of her age, rafi seems so small and unimpressive - they could be partners in crime, but for a while it is a one girl adventure.

when dani is old enough to keep a secret and rafael is still young enough for his excitement to pass off as imaginative babbling, their mother shows them magic. they are an enraptured audience, wide-eyed and begging for more demonstrations, for more of it all. dani is especially inquisitive and their mother seems to find it puzzling, slightly off putting. she's unprepared for her daughter's stubborn inquiries about the whys and the hows and everything the wizarding world itself hasn't quite figured out yet, and at the age of seven dani is already unsatisfied with the fanciful and the vague where she thinks clear facts ought to be.

soon she learns that if she wants facts - if she wants to know how things really work, to take them apart herself and look at all their wiring like the unraveling of a map, she should go to their father instead. he is a nomaj, only ever married into magic and so cannot tell dani anything about it, gives an uneasy smile and jokes that it is not his forte the first time she innocently asks, but he is quite happy to let her root through his tool box and come up with new prizes every time.

privately, he is glad - that his daughter's mind is analytical like his, that she prefers to trace her finger over blueprints of his construction projects rather than look at pictures of magical beasts with her brother. he does not feel entirely comfortable around magic, never has, and he feels he is keeping dani safe by teaching her about the real world, the human world.

privately, he is hopeful - that maybe his daughter isn't magical at all.

secretly, dani knows she is. she knows it and she doesn't breathe a word of it to anyone, doesn't want her father to be disappointed in her. it's not hard to figure out that he prefers her ordinary, just like himself - and all she wants is his approval.

she says she is too tired when her brother eagerly goes to their mother for an evening lesson in magical education. when their mother asks her if she wants to help make pastels, rafael already wrist-deep in dough, dani pretends to be too busy with homework to hear. instead of going home after elementary school every day, she asks to join her father at work and keeps them both there late with endless requests to visit construction sites, to climb into the hulking vehicles and play pretend.

dani avoids her mother as if she fears the scent of magic clings to her skin, as if she will touch her daughter and immediately feel its particular residue. she hopes her efforts are enough, but sometimes dani looks up from her plate at the dinner table and finds her mother watching her, a thoughtful look on her face, and dani swears it's like she already knows.

one night dani rouses suddenly to the sound of shouting, something between animal howls and human sobs of pain chilling her down to the bone as she stumbles over to rafael's bedroom. their father is there already and she reaches for him, frightened, questioning. he slams the door on whatever is happening inside, whisks dani into his arms and takes her back to her room, but not before she gets a glimpse of the scene: her mother's drawn face and steady wand arm, her little brother's head thrown back in a cry of agony, a glint of wild, wolf yellow eyes.

she is scared mute and rushes to comply when their father urges her to pack her things. she's not sure what's happening, not when he joins her in the hallway with his own packed bag, not when they climb into the car, just the two of them, not when their house grows smaller and smaller in the rearview mirror. not until it disappears from sight entirely, and even then it is a while before dani stops wondering when rafi and their mother are going to join them.

dani is ten years old when her family is torn in two. she thinks of what she's been taught about earth - of tectonic plates and volcanic eruptions and forces strong enough to break one big continent to little pieces, drifting apart from each other, a chasm too big to overcome. she thinks it is the same, and when they land in california she realizes at last that it is final.

other than the proximity to the beach, sacramento is not at all like rio de janeiro. her father is changed, too; he is on edge, busy trying to salvage what he can from the construction company he abandoned in brazil and starting a new one in the US, and often short and impatient. other times he just seems lost, his gaze turned inwards and his thoughts far away.

dani recovers quickly; she takes to english with enthusiasm and enjoys making her father laugh with new phrases she's learned. she is as troublesome as ever, knows exactly how much of a bother she has to be to pull her father out of his strange moods, smiling slightly and shaking his head at her antics. in those moments when she succeeds, dani thinks she is happy.

it is only at night that she remembers the enormity of her secret. she tosses and turns in her bed, plagued by dreams both strange and lucid, and, unable to sleep, dani worries. she knows why they left rio. her father did not want to be around magic, his wariness now edged with resentment; he couldn't know she has it too, running treacherously in her veins, exposing itself in uncontrolled bursts that are getting harder and harder to hide. he won't want her anymore, knowing the truth. and then who will?

it is only a few months after the move when she wakes up one morning with a terrible sense of foreboding. she hardly thinks of her oddly detailed dreams in the light of day anymore, but watching her father get ready for his day at work, she feels - remembers, somehow - that if he leaves, something bad will happen.

her father stays home that day and brings her bowls of canja to bed, shrugs at the perfectly normal temperature on the thermometer even though his daughter insists, teary eyed, that she is ill. he is visibly rattled when he receives a phone call from one of his employees later that day. an accident at the construction site, several badly injured - a miracle that he isn't among them. he leaves for the hospital in a rush and dani is alone with her soup and her unneeded medicine and a creeping realization about the nature of her dreams.

dani doesn't even have time to test her theory. the next week, a representative from ilvermorny school of witchcraft and wizardry is in their living room.

her father does not walk away or throw her out, but he leaves just the same. dani feels she might as well be countries away, so distant he becomes. after years of imagining this very scenario, dani is prepared for it, and so she doesn't cry and she doesn't beg for her father's attention. she knows, as clearly as if she's seen this in a vision before, that if she tries to talk to him he will only look right through her, and so she stays quiet.

when the witch offers her a hand, dani goes.

there is relief in the truth, the weight of the secret suddenly lifted. there is freedom in the worst thing imaginable having already happened, and joy in finally allowing herself what is no longer forbidden - magic and wonder and everything lovely and impossible and right. when her shoes scuff the symbol of the gordian knot at the center of the entrance hall of ilvermorny, the carving of the pukwudgie raises its arrow into the air. she grins.

ilvermorny soon feels like home, which is just as well, because dani doesn't think she has one to come back to anymore. though dani is easily distracted, quite lazy, and generally lacks any sort of self discipline, her teachers agree that she shows a lot of promise. a fickle one, just as likely to skip class to play quodpot with her friends as she is to stay up all night researching an essay topic that's piqued her interest. she makes a lot of friends, those who share her taste for chaos and those who share her love for debate and the pursuit of obscure knowledge.

the school is lucky enough to have an actual seer as its divination teacher. the teacher confirms dani's suspicions about her dreams - visions, really - and takes her under her tutelage, shows her everything from how to manipulate the subject of her sight, to channeling it through palmistry and cartomancy.

up on mount greylock, it is so easy to forget that it all comes with a price; dani does not forget, but she pretends to.

none of her friends know about her family, and if anyone asks, they get a different joking answer every time. it is how dani handles anything that hits too close to home - a shrug, a joke, the sense that she doesn't take things seriously, especially not herself. she doesn't even seem to mind the holidays, when most other students go back home and the castle is quiet all around her, and if there's a spike in the number of pranks around that time of the year, nobody pays it much mind.

she graduates with no clear goal in mind except to see the world. there is the vague idea of finding her mother and little brother, but at this point dani finds even the concept of family a bit daunting, a bit impossible, so she puts that thought away for a while. she finds herself drawn to places of ancient magic - cairo, beijing, athens - and picks up odd jobs along the way, sometimes working for nothing more than some food, a bed to sleep in, an old spell that isn't in any of the books.

the more dani sees, the more curious she is, and the more convinced that there is so much about magic - the origins of it, how and why it manifests and in whom - that is still a mystery. she is like her younger self, asking questions that do not yet have answers, except that she is now determined to find them herself.

she enrolls in eastwick and takes classes in magical theory, history of magic, and spellcrafting, before she decides to quit in favor of a position at the international ministry of magic. she is just as surprised as anyone else to end up in an office job, though really, the department of mysteries is anything but normal.

with a field of research that is... vague at best, as befits the department where she works, dani is allowed time and resources to pursue her curiosity. her job is not something that she can share - she is not called an unspeakable for nothing - but should anyone ask, she is more than happy to give a wonderful, if entirely untrue reply.

and, to be honest, it is half the fun.
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