|Full name||Anneliesse Helene Sauveterre Ellwood-Luxe|
|Born||13 December 1946|
|Birthplace||Saint-Chamas, Provence, France|
|Residence||Bwthyn Pell, North Wales, UK|
|Education||Blackhill Wood School of Magic, 1954-1961; Hogwarts School, 1961-|
|Hair colour||Dark brown|
|Eye colour||Light blue|
|Parents||Pascaline Sauveterre & Dacian Ellwood-Luxe|
|Siblings||Rosemarie Sauveterre (half-sister)|
|Other Family Members||The Ellwood-Luxe Family, The Sauveterre Family|
|Wand||Yew and unicorn hair, 12 in. Rigid.|
Born out of wedlock to Pascaline Sauveterre, Anneliesse's first memories are those of hushed voices. Her mother's dead husband's family, the Sauveterres, were gracious enough to allow Anneliesse to stay with the family. Her mother's pleaded and insisted, that Anneliesse's father would soon return from the war and would marry her, that he knew about his daughter, and wanted her, and there would be a place for Anneliesse and her half sister both once he returned.
The war came and went, and letters from Anna's father stopped coming.Anneliesse was raised alongside her half-sister, Rosemarie, in Provence, at the Château du Seuil, the ancestral seat of the Sauveterre family. She was not afforded the same graceful upbringing as Rosemarie, and was educated by a governess from the age of five as her sister attended premiere girls' schools in southern France, high on the list of students expected to flourish at Beauxbatons. No such plans were made for Anneliesse. Her mother never made secret of the fact that Anna and Rosemarie had different fathers, because her father-in-law, Jean-Loïc Sauveterre, whom Anna was instructed to call "grand-père," wouldn't allow it. He only allowed Rosemarie the privilege of bestowing upon Anneliesse the surname "Sauveterre" out of pity, and to save face: if he were to allow a child so brazenly not of his bloodline to share his roof, then she should at least make like she belonged.
As a result of her lackluster and somewhat isolated upbringing, Anneliesse grew into a short temper and a somewhat feral personality. As a child she often had emotional outbursts that would more than usually end with something being broken; this was especially troublesome when her magical abilities began to show. In one such incident she became furiously upset with Rosemarie and rubbed muck all over herself and her sister's dresses, ruining both. This was the straw that broke the camel's back, so to speak, and it was after this that her "grand-père" insisted she be sent away. He located and contacted whom he believed to be Anna's closest relative-- Nehemius Ellwood-Luxe-- and arranged for her to begin living with him.
Only a couple of months before her eighth birthday, Anneliesse was sent away to Wales, where she would live with this Nehemius, apparently her grandfather, at his little estate of Bwthyn Pell. After a few months of quietly living there, being looked after and tended to almost dotingly by the day-maid, Mrs. Fisher, Nehemius told her that she would soon have to gather herself and attend school at Blackhill Wood School of Magic until such time she was old enough to attend Hogwarts.
Her father, Nehemius told her, had not been seen or heard from since the war; but Anna looked just like him.
At Blackhill Wood
Despite the stellar student-to-teacher ratio and the multiple local resources available, Anna's time at Blackhill Wood was, to her, abysmal. In her eyes, it was precisely the same thing that grand-père had done to her: sending her away that she might be out of sight, and therefore out of mind. Her disciplinary record was murky and deep, and Anna did not get on well with the other children. She entered the boarding programme at age ten and stayed in it, refusing to go to Hogwarts even when she was old enough to do so. She disliked, strongly, the idea that she might have to endure the change of learning and becoming used to an entirely new school just because she was now allowed leave the one she attended.
She was not expelled from Blackhill Wood, but rather she was referred "strongly" out by the dual insistence of her dormitory mother and the school's headmistress that Anneliesse would do better in a larger-scale school setting. Anna was prohibited from returning to Blackhill Wood after her fifth year of attendance, when she was thirteen. At this crossroads, Nehemius told her that her option was now solely Hogwarts, and that she would have to begin her attendance there at the beginning of the next school year, in September.
She enrolled not long after, and agreed to spend time at the associated summer camp before the year began.
Application Biography, 1961
Click "Expand" to read.
Her mother Pascaline was an unlucky woman with two different daughters from two different fathers who had died two different deaths in the war. Once and frequently, Pascaline had told her daughters that there were angels following them, and that those angels were their fathers, and that those fathers would look after them when her eyes were elsewhere. To Anna, an angel was no better than a ghost, a weight and a pair of eyes she couldn’t even see. There were many things to wail about. Too cold, too wet, too dry, too hot. Too many sounds, not enough. What Anneliesse hated was clatter for clatter’s sake, noise that made no point of itself. She pretended she was a mouse, whisper-quiet, sitting alone in the dustier parts of grand-père’s château, folded in amongst the old books and linens.
Rosemarie was two years older and had hair the color of summer. Rosemarie’s papa was grand-père’s son, had married maman when they were nineteen, and then was killed. Anna’s papa had not married maman. Anna’s papa had only sent letters. Anna had never met him. Time went on, maman grew lines around her eyes and mouth. Very quietly, the letters stopped coming.
The world was a tunnel she moved through. There was a light she could see at the end of it, a distant pinprick of-- something, she thought. If she closed her eyes and imagined, she swam through ink and pitch toward it, a little firefly, a flickering star.
Scattered all on the floor in the parlor, Anna scratched at the scab on her knee where she’d skinned it a week earlier. Maman had tried to cover it with long stockings, so she would be presentable to grand-pere in the afternoon, but the stockings itched and sagged. Maman had scolded her. Little ladies did not run about in the garden. Little ladies did not present themselves to grand-père with lopsided stockings and mussed hair. Anna did not think that she could have been born a lady if she was only half Rosemarie’s sister. The pile of cards was askew on the rug. Anna nudged it into order.
“Please give me an eight.”
Perhaps she would have asked Rosemarie for more. Her satin frocks and her shined black mary jane shoes, lovely illustrated books and pretty china dolls. But those things were not for her. Half of Anna was someone else.
“Go fish,” Rosemarie told her. Anna picked a card from the little pile, and she frowned. It was not an eight.
“I do not like this game.” Anneliesse said.
It is most natural, of course, to start at the beginning, but the beginning was so very long ago. Anneliesse had once been born; that was what she knew. First, she wasn’t, and then, suddenly, she was. There were some things that had come before her, like Rosemarie, and grand-père, and the very large tree in the back of the garden, but they were not what mattered. They were not hers.
Once Anna found that she could draw breath, she had found that she could scream. If she thought very hard, Anna thought she could remember that feeling: sucking in a crackling lungful of chilly air and then rejecting it, expelling it, banishing it from herself in a rending, sustained wail. She was born in the winter, after the war was done. The intricacies of this part Anna could not remember. There was not a reason for her to remember. It was too long ago.
Anna could remember sitting beneath the very large tree at the back of the garden. Maman had dressed them in white, because it was Easter and one wore white for Easter. Anneliesse stood brandishing a daffodil like a bobbing rapier, Rosemarie near.
She is perfect, Anneliesse had thought. Her sister’s gleaming hair was tied up with a white lace trimmed ribbon, and she was practicing her poems. Rosemarie had gone to her girl’s school where she learned arithmetic, and painting, and poetry. Anneliesse had stayed behind and practiced her letters with the irritable old governess, upon whom Anna had recently spat and been punished for. Grand-père wanted to hear Rosemarie’s recitation, so she would stand near the roses and tell her poem to the family.
Anna had heard her practice it now at least one hundred times. Two hundred. Rosemarie had her gestures exactly choreographed, the lift and fall of her lovely voice perfectly measured.
“Demain, dès l’aube, à l’heure où blanchit la campagne,” Here, a pause. “Je partirai.”
Anna was tired. She flopped down into the soft grass and pulled a fistful of it up, listening for the particular sound of the individual blades separating from themselves; then, she flung them into the air. They floated down gentle to rest on her, earthen confetti, preceded only by the speckling of moist spring dirt that fell a little heavier. Rosemarie huffed, but did not raise her voice. Rosemarie did not ever become cross.
“Anna, you mustn’t get dirty. Maman said--”
“I will not,” Anna replied. She rolled over in the grass. Rosemarie had drawn breath to reply, but did not manage it.
“Girls,” Sounded a voice from opposite the garden. “Come along! The guests are arriving.”
Maman appeared, all in white, and her pleasant face leaned unhappily into the creases downward of her mouth as she saw Anna in the grass, dirt in her hands and beneath her fingernails. Anna righted herself, moving to stand.
“Anna, what did I tell you? You are no wild beast. Rolling in dirt is not--”
“I told her,” Rosemarie cut in breathlessly. “But--”
Lovely Rosemarie. Perfect Rosemarie. Before she could think what she was doing, Anna had dug her hands deeper into the still dirt, scratching down into the firmness of the ground, and managed a full handful of earth. Her perception felt blurred, red, opaque. Rosemarie was perfect, her white dress and rosy cheeks. Her poems and her learning. Anneliesse found that her hands were moving on their own: they rose to her face, and down both cheeks she left horrible streaks of dark, wet dirt.
But Anna snarled, and reached down for another hard fistful of earth. She rushed at her sister, and in one swift moment her dirty hands had found their mark on the bodice of Rosemarie’s pretty white dress, smearing the muck down her front. Rosemarie shrieked, looking down at her ruined dress. Anneliesse opened her mouth, showed her teeth, and shrieked right back.
She was sent away in the summertime. She was eight years old. She was not grand-père’s blood. She was his Sauveterre granddaughter only because his son had married her mother before he had been killed in war. Grand-père’s pity for her mother was what had kept Anneliesse at the chateau, had given her the name she carried. “You have a grandfather,” grand-père told her, in his study, in June, through dizzying heat. “in Wales, who is willing to see to your--”
her herness, her rending, her whirlpools.
“--to your education and upbringing. You will go pack your things, and you will travel there.”
Anna felt damp and warm, unable to take in a full breath in the stifling heat of his study. She was dismissed.
Anna went to pack her things.
Rosemarie burst all into tears, rushed to Anna and wrapped her arms round her, knocking her hat askew. Maman had not come to the parlor where the fireplace was, and grand-pere was away. The governess took Anna’s hand and they stepped into the crackling green fire. Rosemarie spun away from them, tear-stricken.
The sitting room they came upon was thinly furnished, but comfortable. A greying man with dark eyes looked up from an armchair by a latticed window, surprised.
“You’re early,” he began to say in English, rising from his chair as they stepped from the fireplace, but stopped short as his eyes fell upon Anneliesse.
Anna, in her hat and traveling clothes, was scowling. The governess pinched her. “Anna, maintenant, presente-toi. Vite!”
She did not untangle her scowl.
”Monsieur,” Anna said, standing stiff. “I am Anneliesse. I am happy to make your acquaintance.”
The man who was her grandfather moved to her. “Anneliesse,” he said quietly, bending to her level. “I am very pleased you are here. I am Nehemius--”
She frowned deeper at this nonsense name.
“--but you must call me Nem.”
Her grandfather’s cottage was in a wooded glen not far from the sea. There was a garden, and an oak, and a swing. There was a kind matronly woman called Mrs. Fisher who came in the morning to cook and clean and then left in the evening, who packed Anna lunches after breakfast and sent her out into the wood to play. Most often, her grandfather-- whom stubbornly she called Uncle, because in English grand-fa-ther felt too unwieldly, felt too close to the tyranny of the non-blood that had sent her away from her maman-- was away, gone to see to his jobs. Uncle was an Auror, which she understood to be a vocation which required superior courage and moral fortitude. Anna imagined him beneath a dark umbrella in London, tracking down evildoers, speaking to them quietly before he struck them silently down from their wrongs.
But Uncle would not tell her what he did. He greeted her kindly when he returned home, asked her how her time had been with Mrs. Fisher but would not elaborate further than the short answers he gave to Anna's peppering of questions. After many goings and returnings, Anna decided she would stop asking.
One night, after two winters and a summer, Uncle told her that she resembled her father. Anna had come to say good-night, had already brushed and braided her hair, washed her face, changed into her nightgown. The room was dim as she had approached him sat in his armchair by the latticed window, the fire in the hearth casting shadows that danced under his eyes, a flickering glimmer against their natural shine. He did not have photographs; not anymore.
The little grey cat that lived in the house wound all round her ankles. She reached down and scooped him up, holding him paws over her shoulder. The little grey cat twisted around to look at Uncle, and mewled.
Anna was sure she imagined the flickers shift to glistening in Uncle's eyes, and turned away to go to bed.
She paused to gaze in the mirror in the hall. She did not see her father. She did not see maman, she did not see Rosemarie. There was no one in the mirror but herself, and the little grey cat who purred and purred, butted his wee head against her soft cheek.
Her feet were cold. The little grey cat slept on her pillow that night.
She dreamt of flames engulfing a fine, old house, a château like grand-père's, but elsewhere, by cliffs and sea. Leaded windows exploding outward in a roaring blaze, books and portraits ruined, acres of heath and lavender reduced to a charred nothing. It felt like a memory, an experience, one she could taste and hear and smell. Salt and stone and ash. It was dreadfully quiet but for the ripping flames, deafening in the silence of the night beyond the fire but meltingly hot in its audience. It crept to her without stopping as she stood frozen in the heath, a dragging crawl, blistering, until she woke again.
In the morning, after breakfast, Uncle sat her upon the bench near the kitchen and told her she was old enough to board at the school his sister's husband had hand in, at Blackhill Wood in Norwich. It was not a large school, but it would suit her. The professors were kind. She would do well to socialize with other children her age. As he spoke, Uncle's soft dark eyes did not find hers.
She was eleven years old. She would be sent away again. It would not be the last time.