How to start- With the actual truth, or with Esmé's version of it?
"I was born on May 11 to Madeleine and Jean-Baptiste Vigouroux in Lyon, France. Or that's what I'm told, at least. I never got to meet my dad. Mama says that he left before I was born and it's nothing to worry about. I guess she's right. I mean, if he didn't care enough to stay for me, then why should I? I've lived alone with Mama all my life in our small apartment in the middle of the city of Lyon. It's small, but we make it work. We seem to have to find a way to make everything work nowadays. Sometimes I wish to myself that we had our own house away from the city- away from the rusty, 18th Century doorknobs, rowdy neighbors, and paper-thin walls. I never tell her this though. I know she is going above and beyond just to put dinner on the table every night, let alone pack up all of our stuff and move. As for my childhood, it all seems like one big blur to me. I know what happened and when, but I can't seem to relive it in my head. At times, I feel like a part of me is missing, but I guess that's just me overthinking everything, so I ignore that part of me. Why waste my time on the past when I could be looking forward into the future? I had always known about the Wizarding World. Mama told me when I was young that my father was a Wizard but he was homeschooled and never went to any of the big famous schools you hear about today. She says she knew I was going to be a wizard from the start. She always tells me what a mischievous child I was. How I used my not-yet-under-control powers to turn on the TV when she grounded me and unplugged it from the wall. How I used only my mind and will to levitate the plate of cookies when she wasn't looking so I could have a pre-dinner snack. It was obvious, she says. And that's how I got here, I guess. There wasn't a whole lot to it."
Actually, there is much more to it- Esmé just doesn't know. In fact, Esmé doesn't even know her real name.
Caterina Marie di Pasqua and her twin brother Luca di Pasqua were born on May 11 in Sicily, Italy to capo di tutti capi of the Sicilian Mafia, Alessandro di Pasqua, and French model and witch, Camille Maunier, in Sicily, Italy.
Alessandro had been born into the world of Italian crime. His father, grandfather, and generations before him had all held positions of power in the Sicilian Mafia. It was only expected that he take on after them, which he did. He was raised to be leader. As he grew older, he also grew more respected in his Cosa Nostra clan, a confederation of about 100 smaller groups or families, until he was officially named the capo di tutti capi, the boss of all bosses, of his Cosa Nostra at the young age of 23. There was no turning back at this point- he was too far in to turn back, and he had no desire to anyways. This was around the time he met Camille Maunier.
Camille had attended Beauxbatons for her magical schooling. She graduated at the top of her class, however she decided to leave the world of magic and begin a career in modeling instead. The French girl decided to use her savings to go on a trip across Europe two years after she graduated. It was pure fate that Camille found herself passing by a damp alley on a shortcut to her hotel in the streets of Sicily to witness one of Alessandro's henchmen murdering someone who owed him money.
He clearly couldn't let her run off and tell the police so, much to her dismay, he kidnapped her and took her back to his boss in order to keep her silent. Alessandro was completely taken by Camille the second she was presented to him. He was intrigued by her feisty attitude and refusal to comply to anyone despite the fact they could kill her at any moment. Alessandro decided she could be useful and it would be stupid to let her go.
The Italian made the executive decision to train the girl to become a baiter to lure people who owed him or simply broke any of the major codes of the Mafia and needed punishment. Despite her refusal at first, Camille gradually grew more and more comfortable with the idea- probably because the man was offering her a lot of money and she was still paying off a lot of debt. It didn't take long for the pair to fall for each other.
Everyone saw it coming with how the cold man would only let the French girl get away with disobeying him and the firecracker of a girl could only be tamed by him. It was inevitable. Although the pair never really talked about it, they were clearly exclusive. Camille and Alessandro both thought that labels were stupid. Calling each other boyfriend and girlfriend or husband and wife wouldn't change the way they treated each other, so why go there?
Camille became pregnant with Caterina and Luca about two years after the couple initially met. Alessandro knew it was a bad idea to raise two children considering he wasn't the most liked man in Italy to say the last, however he selfishly pushed these thoughts aside. Alessandro didn't let his new family change him, however. He was still in charge of some of the most dangerous operations in the world and he couldn't let anything or anyone distract him. It was mainly Camille who raised their daughter and son. She retired her position as a baiter to care for Caterina and Luca. Alessandro continued working, but this never really bothered Camille. She knew that the man couldn't just stop working, no matter how much she'd like him to.
While being one of the most powerful men in Italy came with its perks, it also came with a lot of baggage. The Mafia is a dirty business, and having a leadership role in it automatically comes with many enemies. Alessandro was quick to realize he must keep his family close to him if they were to remain safe- anyone could easily use them as a means of getting to him.
Once Caterina and Luca was born, he made sure to double up on his family's protection. Despite these worries always in the back of his mind, life seemed to run fairly smoothly for the next few years- or at least, as smoothly as possible being a member of the Sicilian Mafia. This period ended abruptly however when Caterina and Luca were 6-years-old.
Alessandro had unintentionally made himself a major target of certain members of the Russian Mafia after a negotiation went awry. They repeatedly threatened him for about two months, however he didn't think too much of it as they never actually did anything. It wasn't until there was a bombing in a theater Camille had taken Caterina to at the exact time the pair was there that he knew they weren't playing around. Alessandro came to realize the danger he had put his family in.
He knew it was unrealistic to run an organization of thousands of people and protect his family from powerful threats at the same. Alessandro knew he had a big decision to make. It only took one month of threats directed towards his family before he made a drastic decision. He was well aware his wife and children were in grave danger and needed to be protected so he decided to send them away with he exception of six-year-old Luca. Alessandro needed someone to take over his Mafia if anything happened, and he planned on using Luca as his legacy. As much as he wouldn't like it, he had to send his wife and daughter as far from harm's reach as possible.
Although reluctant, Camille ended up agreeing in the end. She knew she had to do what was best for their daughter, no matter how much it might hurt her. The French woman took off with her daughter to her hometown in Lyon, France and used her powers to erase all Caterina's memory including her real father, mother, home, and name. She then used a false memory charm so all the young girl remembered was her 'name', Esmé Vigouroux,'home', Lyon, 'mother', Madeleine Vigouroux, and her birthday along with some basic memories of her past.
Camille erased their names from all records which turned out to be fairly easy and spun up multiple stories about her daughter's past to tell whenever Esmé asked her. All of Esmé's knowledge of the Mafia and her father were completely wiped from her memory, and she still knows none of it today.
Although her memory was altered, there are still a few things that weren't erased. She can still understand and read Italian, although she can't speak it on command. This hasn't proved to be a problem so far in her life however, considering she's constantly surrounded by either French or English.
Esmé also has dreams every now and then of a strange man covered in tattoos and a young boy with vibrant green eyes whom she has no idea are her father and twin brother. She can't remember specific events well either. She knows what happened at her 6th birthday, however she can't actually picture any of it. Camille simply tells her she has a bad memory. Despite these minor defects, Esmé is a completely different person from her former identity.
Camille is unsure if there are people still looking for Esmé. However it is too risky to go back to Italy and try and find out. Someday she will tell her daughter the truth, however not any time soon- Or at least, she doesn't plan on telling her anytime soon.