Helen Bryce

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[[File:Helen.jpg]]
Helen Bryce
Biographical Information
Full nameHelen Katrina Bryce (née Torrio)
Born2/25/1909
BirthplaceChicago, IL
ResidenceDiagon Ally
NationalityAmerican
Blood StatusPureblood
EducationSalem Institute
Class1926
Physical Information
Family Information
SpouseHenry Bryce (deceased)
ChildrenEugene Bryce, Marcella Bryce
ParentsSalvi Torrio, Rhea Torrio
SiblingsNolan Louis Torrio
Magical Characteristics
WandPear wood, Unicorn Hair core
Affiliation
OccupationBaker

Biography

Chicago, IL

Helen's forehead dotted with sweat as she mixed the dough in the quiet morning of the bakery.

Born to a rather questionably well-off pureblood family, the Torrio's, she'd been a Chicago socialite, and had never wanted for anything. Growing up, young Helen denied any rumors that her family may or may-not be involved in mafia activity with a shake of her blonde head and a trill of laughter that always convinced the asker that it had been such a silly thing to ask.

She graduated from Salem Institute, popular and the top of her class, with a mind for business and a skill with charms. Helen had just returned to Chicago after graduation, walking down a muggle street on her way to work, when she ran into a muggle man about her age.

His name was Henry Bryce, and he was very late for work. Henry apologized rounding on what must have been twenty times, even though Helen had said it was quite alright around the fifth. He was bashful, thick bodied with strong arms and a round face, and his bright eyes looked friendly, thoughtful.

Helen smiled and Henry seemed to melt.

After finding out he worked at the bakery she'd just been passing, Helen made sure to stop in every morning she passed it to work. She'd made a conscious effort to carry muggle money on her. Nobody asked her why. When she'd enter the bakery, she'd ask for whatever Henry had just made, be it a loaf of bread or a stack of cookies. They were always perfect and Henry always puffed up proudly after she left. One day when she entered, a large cookie the shape of a heart was waiting for her. They went on their first date that night and it was perfect.

Months later when Helen announced her engagement to a muggle man, her family was not happy. "Have you even told him you're a witch?" her sister had asked, and Helen bit her painted lip. She hadn't, wasn't sure she had planned to, but how could someone hide that? She loved Henry, she couldn't lie to him. Her family was so sure he'd balk at the reveal, call off the engagement, and so they sent her off to tell him.

At twenty-one years old, Helen Bryce was celebrating her two year anniversary with her husband. The bakery Henry had worked at had gone out of business, but with the money he had saved up over the years he acquired a building closer to the magical community, and together they spent their anniversary painting the walls with magic and muscle. With the skills Henry had acquired over the years, and Helen's love of business, they made Bryce and Co. Bakery a booming success.

A year later, Eugene was born, screaming and crying with a beat red face and a tuft of pale hair. Helen had never been so happy, teaching Eugene to walk in the sitting area of the bakery while Henry worked the register. Eugene was a good kid, quiet and bashful and smart, with his father's round face and bright blue eyes, and his mother's blond curls and infectious grin.

Without a sign of magical ability for the longest time, they enrolled their son to a public muggle school, just in case. He'd get picked on, occasionally. Henry would often find their boy in the alley with the gang of cats that lived there when it would happen. Helen would often find out who the bully was and storm down the culprits home.

And then suddenly Henry was gone. Dead. It felt like it wasn't real, more like a waking dream. She wasn't even really sure how it had happened, just that she'd woken up, cold, in a large bed one night. She was left with an awful sour feeling, and the echoing last words of, "I love you, Kat," whispered sleepily in her ear.

Eugene continued on okay, like he didn't really understand what was happening. Helen closed the bakery for a week, retaught herself all the tricks Henry had shown her over the years, and didn't allow herself to break down and grieve. She was never as good a cook as Henry had been, but she wasn't about to let the business go under.

When Eugene turned eleven, he was accepted into Salem Institute. Helen was proud, took him to get his wand and supplies, and sent him off with a kiss and the promise that his father was proud of him too, and would be watching over him. That was the loneliest year she had ever experienced. Or so she thought, until the next year when Salem closed and she sent her little Eugene overseas with his cat, to Hogwart's for a better education.

With Bryce and Co. starting to wane, parents long ago estranged, and her only son having to school out of the country, Helen felt it time for a change. The business she'd built with her husband was a ghost of what it once was, haunting her and weighing her down...

It the quiet morning of the bakery, Helen never turned the open sign over.


Diagon Alley

Helen closed down the original bakery in the summer of 1941 and made the move to Diagon Alley in order to be closer to her son. Here, she opened a new shop where she decorated to her tastes but kept her husbands name for it: Bryce & Co. Bakery.

The store has kept afloat rather well, but would be doing better if she didn't have another bakery to compete against her. It was with the owner of this other bakery, Derek Ross, that Helen found herself rivaling with and despite her annoyance with the man, often found herself in his company over the next year. The summer of 1943, however, things changed in a big way: Helen found herself pregnant with Derek's child, but after finding out what his son Jackson Ross had written about her son Eugene, the two had split ways. Helen keeps the father of her child a secret, and on March 31st, 1944, she gave birth to Marcella Grace Bryce.


Bryce & Co. Bakery

Brybake.jpg
The building is two stories, the bottom being the bakery and the top an apartment for the owner and her son. The outside is often decorated cutely, and rather feminine; themes of flowers, bright colors, candy stripes, etc are often present. Sometimes the color of the building is changed from pink to blue or green or purple... Whatever the color might be, its guaranteed to be in pastel. Large windows set in front help bring in natural lighting, and help display that days wares or loaves of bread charmed to dance and cookies charmed to float.