Emmeline Elessedil wants to be known as an enigma. She wants to be the Serpents' own mystery, a puzzle that they have to try and crack on their own. She's always enjoyed the mysterious new girl cliche; she probably always will. While she disguises it under this, she knows the truth behind her own interests: she doesn't necessarily want to get too close to people. Though she once lived off the attention of others, she's adopted that overused cliché that more often than not ends wrapped up all too soon thanks to a love interest with a dimpled smile and charming wit. She seeks to be different this time around; she doesn't want to live on the spotlight, not anymore. She wants people to want to decipher her out of curiosity, not a desire for her popularity or her money.
Emmeline was once a very prideful and arrogant girl. She sought to be perfect in every way possible. To be wanted by guys and envied by girls, and vice versa. Her priorities were very messed up at the time; parties, booze and fashion. In the face of this daunting trauma, though, Emmeline has had to learn how to adjust. No longer can she focus on these materials; it'll get her nowhere with this second chance she got. The Serpents... they don't seem like the kind that like rich brats. It's not like she has the time or desire to concern herself with these now trivial things, anyways.
Emotionally, Emmeline is very vulnerable. She doesn't know how to move on from this trauma. She treated her parents so harshly when it wasn't merited. She lost sight of what was of biggest importance: her family's love. She feels confusion, above all else. Where is she supposed to go from here? What is she supposed to do? She knows now what she did was wrong, of course she did, but how is she going to find redemption from her mistakes? How is she supposed to make amends for being such a shitty daughter? How will she be able to earn her mother's forgiveness, when death itself stands like a barrier between them?
To this day, Emmeline still values her reputation to some extent. While her priorities have shifted throughout this time, she recognizes appearances and reputation are crucial. She seeks to still present herself as powerful rather than broken, and confident instead of riddled with insecurities. While she doesn't necessarily want people to know who she is, she does want to exhibit a sense of clarity, where she knows what she wants and will do anything to get it. At the end of the day, though, Emmeline is a mess. She's riddled with more insecurities than she once was, and presents only what is a false sense of confidence. Right now, Emmeline is in survival mode. It's the only way she can make it past this trauma, let alone thrive with these scoundrels she know aligns herself with.
Stella Elessedil had it far from easy. She was from the Southside, where money was difficult to come by and people often resorted to different means to generate some income. She was an orphan, too, at any rate. While her parents were alive, they were both part of the Serpents - the infamous gang that enjoyed wreaking havoc in both the Southside and Northside. They'd lived through the leadership of current leader Lilith Kingston's predecessor, but unfortunately were unable to see Lilith come to power, if only because of a race gone wrong at the Devil's Advocate. She was nine when the accident occurred. Stella's education was funded by the blood money her parents had amassed throughout their time as Serpents. She attended Hogwarts for her education, after being sorted into Hufflepuff. This was very rare, for someone who was destined to be a Southside Serpent. Everyone was expected to be a Slytherin, Ravenclaw or Gryffindor, each for the qualities they valued most: ambition, wisdom and bravery respectively. Nonetheless, Stella thrived at Hogwarts. She had always been a loud one, very rambunctious and outspoken. From an immature kid, she grew into a kind-hearted but fierce-minded young lady. At age seventeen, like other aspiring Serpents, she was initiated and later tattooed; she was marked as one of their own, permanently. Her tattoo... well, let's just say it was in an unlikely place that not many had the fortune to see.
Hale Vaughn was one of the lucky ones. He and Stella had always had a bit of a thing, but they were never steady. They were like a flick switch; always on and off. It's what you'd have expected, honestly. Hale had always possessed a charm that lured in all kinds of girls. From the North, from the South, from the Serpents or rivaling gangs. He slept with many women, and Stella wasn't an exception. Sure she often held out on him, made him actually want her, but regardless it did lead to them sleeping together. It was the night of their graduation, after the pole dance. That night, she conceived their child: Emmeline Elessedil. Why, pray tell, wasn't she known as Emmeline Vaughn? It was as easy as the ABCs; Stella didn't want her daughter associated with her father. He was the child of the leader's romantic interest - by tradition, he was destined to be the second in the Serpents. And that brought trouble for any and every person that meant anything to him.
Stella came to the decision of deserting the Serpents when her daughter was a mere three years old. She didn't come to it lightly. While a big part of that is wanting to prevent anyone from ever finding out about Em's heritage, she'd also fallen for someone outside the Serpents. Oscar Langston. He hailed from a rich family, who by far detested the fact that he and Stella were a thing. In the face of adversity, they felt as though they could only do one thing: run away. And they did. To a quaint little home in the middle of nowhere, Northern Ireland. It was Emmeline's home until she was eight, at which point she, her mother, and her step-father had to return. Having been isolated for the vast majority of her life up until that point, it was difficult for her to adjust.
She hadn't known Oscar's family, let alone seen them as her family, but she still felt the loss after they passed away that cold winter. She remembers the somber look on her mother's face, and how she'd witnessed her step-father cry for the first time. It was a horrible week, that one, and it ended in their permanent stay at England. Taking residence at the Langston Manor was the origin of Emmeline's arrogance and nasty habit of putting herself above everyone else. She was rich now; the man who she believed to be her father had inherited a manor, multiple residences, and vaults filled to the brim with Langston money. She was at the top now, and nobody - not even her mother - could bring her down from Cloud 9. Her mother did what she could to ensure she wouldn't wind up like most of the elite, but it was difficult. Emmeline was prone to lashing out, fulfilling the stereotype of pompous, ingrate rich kids. Her newfound abilities did little to slow this down, even as it opened doors to spot the malice in the world.
She was ten when it started to happen. She could see different colors coming from different people, and these weird sensations every time she came across someone new. It was all very alarming for her, and caused more headaches than it was worth. Everywhere she went, she was plagued by bright, vibrant colors, or dark, dreary colors. And these weird feelings... it was like they were taunting her. They sure influenced her, causing mood swings at every point possible. Stella and Oscar were at a loss as to how they could remedy this. It wasn't a muggle problem; their daughter wasn't a muggle nor was she a squib. (She was seven when she made it snow inside her room.) This little situation perplexed them. Sure, Em was good at hiding how she truly felt, but they could see her confusion and pain from a mile away. This prompted Stella to research her bloodline, during which she discovered clairvoyance was a gift that had the tendency to resurface every two or three generations. She was... surprised, to say the least. She didn't remember her grandmother mentioning any of this, before her passing. But it did explain how she seemed to know everything.
Stella, always worrying about her daughter, took it upon herself to seek out someone who knew how to deal with these abilities. As it turned out, there was someone who could help her. Unfortunately, they didn't exactly work at Hogwarts School - the school where Stella and Oscar had planned to send her. If they expected her to get any better, to be able to go outside and be able to socialize without crying from sheer pain, they knew she had to go to this person. Even if it was in France, even if she'd be countries away, this was for the best and all parties involved knew it. Of course, the only reason for which Emmeline agreed was because she knew of the school's pristine reputation, but that was a whole different thing on its own. Thus, at eleven, she was sent to Beauxbatons, all prim and proper in her blue uniform. Shortly after her arrival, Emmeline Elessedil was introduced to the House of Ombrelune.
Ombrelune was very fitting for someone of the likes of Emmeline Elessedil. Every evening, she was excused to go to the Headmistress, whom was a clairvoyant herself and had the means to teach Emmeline how to control her abilities. Throughout the day, though, Em spent her time getting acquainted with the elite. Looking back now, she was nothing short of a mean girl. While she regrets it nowadays, she recognizes that that time had been... fun. Terrorizing other students, and using her money to have the best of the best. Em had built a reputation for herself. She was rich, she was beautiful, and she was intimidating. It was like she knew everything about everyone, at all times. Their intentions, their feelings, their innermost thoughts. Everyone learned quickly not to mess with her, which brought on a sense of satisfaction from her. Her standing at Beauxbatons grew, and it didn't take long for her name to be known by literally every student gracing the halls at the time. Some people even grew onto calling her Ivy, like, well, the plant. She was a poisonous bitch. It was only fitting.
Summers at Langston Manor were interesting, to say the least. With every passing year at Beauxbatons, where she was influenced strongly by other similarly as rich (and snotty) girls, it seemed her tolerance towards her mother only became smaller and smaller every year. Stella often tried to meet her daughter halfway, but it was difficult. No matter what she did, no matter where she tried to take her, she was only faced with an onslaught of negativity from her daughter. It was like she never did anything quite right. Emmeline wasn't lenient at all; she often called her mother out on her "bullshit" and it was very frequent the times that she snuck out to meet up with older friends to hit different parties and the likes. With her "gift" (at the time being a curse, in Em's opinion) under her strict control, she felt as though she was finally getting a big enough grip on her own life to be able to start enjoying it. Oscar and Stella tried to keep a grip on their daughter, but that was a tough thing to go when she refused to even address them during days on end.
Emmeline was wrapping up her fourth year of schooling when Oscar and Stella Langston passed away. A mugging gone wrong, aurors had said. It's what was doing to go on the official death reports, when the killings were claimed by the actual culprits: rogue Southside Serpents who harbored resentment against the deserter and her husband. They planned to take Emmeline as one of their own, but they hadn't taken into account the fact that Beauxbatons released their students a little later than Hogwarts. Likewise, they hadn't counted on being kicked out of the Serpents. Why should they have? They killed a deserter. Didn't that warrant some hatred towards the Langstons? Apparently not, because they were swiftly kicked off the Serpents' turf. It seemed that once a Serpent, always a Serpent. Or maybe Stella was just an exception. No matter what happened, the rogue serpents were both thrown into jail after being unable to hide themselves during an auror raid.
She remembers crying as she was escorted out of Beauxbatons. Her life had changed radically that day. It hadn't even been a week before that she'd been writing her mother a howler for forgetting to send her her louboutin heels in time for a trip down to Paris to celebrate the end of the school year. How is it that in the span of one week, she lost her mother for good? If only she'd talked to her more often... maybe invited her for the Paris trip... maybe she'd have avoided those rogue Serpents. How was she supposed to get around without her parents? She'd voiced those exact thoughts when she arrived at Langston Manor - the one that was in her name now, for when she turned 17. It was then that the aurors had to break the news to her: she would be living with her father?
"But how? Father passed with mother; you told me so yourselves. Oscar and Stella Langston."
It had been then that they realized; Emmeline didn't know who her father really was. They were faced with the task of telling her about him. About Hale Vaughn, and how he was her father. How he would be taking full custody of her until she was 17. God, how could she not have seen it? That's why she carried her mother's maiden name. That's why she didn't share many similarities with Oscar. How could she have been so stupid? She should have realized. Hale made his appearance not too long after, at which point he explained himself to her; Stella had made it clear that if he fought for his daughter, she would ensure he made a home out of Azkaban. The threat had been convincing enough for him and for the other Serpents. Emmeline was... stunned. She was a carbon copy of Hale Vaughn. That was - that was her father. Her real one. And now he wanted her to answer her calling: the Southside Serpents. It's who she was, at the end of the day. She carried them in her blood. It was time she honored it. And Emmeline, still shaken by the loss of her mother, heard herself agree to the words falling out of her would-be dad's mouth.
She didn't actually realize what she'd gotten herself into until she arrived at Ophidian Row, where she was sat down and properly explained to who the Southside Serpents were, what they stood for, and how she came into the equation. They were her family now. Blinded by her disappointment in herself for not being a good daughter to her mother, Emmeline was - and still is - adamant to not commit that same mistake with Hale. Her existence, until this point, was kept under the wraps, keeping it a closely guarded secret between the highest ranking Southside Serpents, namely Lilith and Hale. (This including her clairvoyant gifts.) At least until her debut night - the night of her initiation. She'd be doing the pole dance and be given her own leather jacket with the Serpents' insignia to done. She'd acquaint herself with her generation of Southside Serpents and attend Hogwarts with them. Ride or die, Hale had said. That's what being a Southside Serpent was all about.