God doesn't want you to be happy. He wants you to be strong.
— Daphne to her children
Daphne Ulyana Sevchenko (Ukrainian: Дафна Ульяна Севченко) (b. 16 July — 19 November) was a Ukrainian pure-blood witch of the old and privileged Sevchenko family, the only child of Mr and Mrs Sevchenko. Her family were infamous for their austere views on Dark magic and blood supremacy, as well as having once been former followers and ancestral advocates for Gellert Grindelwald.
Upon attending Durmstrang Institute, Daphne was Sorted into Molokov House, the House of strength and endurance. She was also a Beater for the Molokov Quidditch team. During her sixth year, Durmstrang acted as hosts for the Triwizard Tournament, welcoming Hogwarts School and Beauxbatons Academy. It was during this time that she first met her future husband Xanthas Jordan, with whom she shared a cruel and sadistic nature. She acted as a participant in the attempted intimidation of Daya Devdhar, although her motives were borne from jealousy and led her to ultimately fail.
After her education, Daphne moved to Britain and married Xanthas, severing all ties with her family. The two had four children: Archie, Greg, Jamie and Amy. Although never a convicted criminal herself, Daphne rose to prominence alongside her husband in the magical underworld and supported him in his unlawful endeavours at the Viperae, often taking the necessary measures to protect herself and her children. This changed once she fell into a deep depression and committed suicide partway through Jamie's first year as a result. This tragedy would have a profound impact on those she left behind; Xanthas became the sole carer for their children, who he abused religiously. He later died while facing lifelong incarceration in Azkaban for the murders of the Mortan family, leaving the children orphaned.
Through her four children, Daphne would posthumously gain a number of grandchildren, all of whom were raised without most of the prejudicial ideals their own parents had dealt them. Amy and her husband also named their only daughter Daphne Vance in her memory. Her youthful form was memorialised through the form of her very own portrait, which was kept on the walls of the portrait room in the Jordan House.
- Vanya Boicheva: "Daphne's a good girl. Only sometimes she has urges."
- Daphne: "So do the others. Only they lie about them."
- — Vanya and Daphne introduce themselves to Xanthas
Life after Durmstrang
- Tiberius Rawkes: "Do you ever wonder if it's possible, for a person to become a ghost while they're still alive?"
- Daphne: "Why?"
- Tiberius Rawkes: "Well, it's happened to you, hasn't it?"
- — Tiberus regarding Daphne's slowly deteriorating state in later life
Death and post-mortem
- "What can I say? I suppose she was the most beautiful creature I had ever seen."
- —Yakovich regarding Daphne's physical beauty
As a married woman and wealthy socialite, Daphne usually donned robes and dresses of an elegant make that were indicative of her upper-class role in society. However, the eventual stress and depression that began to consume Daphne took a considerable toll on her appearance. She lost a fair amount of weight, developed a gaunt hollow-cheeked countenance, allowed her hair to thin and made movements that were frail and weary. She remained this way up until her death, after which her appearance was mainly memorialised through the form of paintings, photographs or newspaper clippings. Her portrait in the Jordan House depicted her with a healthy and full outward form, sporting her same blank gaze and an unnervingly knowing smirk.
Despite her imminent deterioration, Daphne was recognised as a chillingly beautiful witch, with her husband often broadcasting her beauty and showing her off to those who came into the Viperae. In the words of Maksim Yakovich, she was perhaps "the most beautiful creature [he] had ever seen".
Personality and traits
- "I’ll see them in hell first, she’d say, and I'd say that's right, because you were born into this world to take what you can out of it. And she did, she didn’t care, she wasn’t afraid. That’s how she went at life. She cared for nothing and for no one. And then she was beaten in the end. But it wasn’t by her fucking brute of a husband, no. It was herself. Her mind was too strong for her. Her mind was what got her in the end."
- —Maksim Yakovich regarding Daphne's ambitious and forceful personality
Magical abilities and skills
- "Everybody was already afraid of me. She wasn't, though. What could I do to her that she couldn't return, just as equally? She was fearless. There was nothing she wouldn't do."
- —Xanthas on Daphne's power and ruthlessness
- Dark Arts:
- Non-verbal magic:
- Unbreakable Vow:
- Unforgivable Curses:
- Leadership skills:
- Magnolia wand:
- Dress robes:
- "They didn't really approve of her coming here, so..."
- —Daphne becomes estranged from her own family later in life
- "He broke her. He broke her spirit. He ruined her everyday of that dreadful marriage. He ruined everything she had. Loving him was a sacrifice. She gave him the power to destroy her, and that's exactly what he did. She never saw that as being abused."
- —Maksim Yakovich explains the toxicity of Xanthas and Daphne's marriage
- "Don't make my decision. Your child deserves at least one parent who is capable of love."
- —Daphne's distant relationship with her children
- "Sweet girl, but she talked and talked and talked. And sweet girls, they get boring in time."
- —Daphne about her former friend Vanya
- "I want to put one through her face."
- —Daphne jealously threatening Daya
- "If my bloody wife hadn't have vouched for you, you would be fucking dead."
- —Xanthas regarding Daphne's trust in Maksim
- "One day, Linus, your miserable life will swallow you whole. We are helping you to live."
- —Daphne manipulates Linus into staying with The Firm
- "When you marry into this life, you make a choice. Either you live inside the circle, know all that happens, see all that happens, but to survive you feel nothing. Or you can live outside the circle. Know nothing. Feel everything. Don't make my decision. Your child deserves at least one parent who is capable of love."
- —Daphne advising Megaera on how to best handle motherhood
The name Daphne means "laurel" in Greek. It is derived from the nymph Daphne in Greek mythology, who was pursued by the god Apollo. She prayed to her father, the river god Peneus, to change her body in order to escape the love-struck Apollo and Peneus then transformed her into the laurel tree, which Apollo then claimed as one of his sacred symbols. In Ancient Greece, a wreath of laurels was given as a prize and considered a symbol of prosperity, fame, and victory.
Ulyana is the Russian form of the name Julia or Juliana, meaning "youthful" or "downy".
Sevchenko is a variant of the name Shevchenko (Ukrainian: Шевченко), a family name of Ukrainian origin. It is derived from the Ukrainian word shvets (Ukrainian: швець), meaning "cobbler/shoemaker", and the suffix -enko, denoting descent.
- While at the Durmstrang Institute, Daphne was a member of the Molokov House, who were intended to be representative of strength and endurance. This choice of House could be considered partially ironic: Daphne initially came across as stolid when she was first introduced, but her character gradually began to wear away over time up until the point that she committed suicide — "the coward's way out", according to her son. Xanthas often described his wife as being "fragile" and "damaged goods", despite later contradicting himself by calling her "fearless". The fact that Daphne was able to endure isolation from her family, raise four children and still manage to support all of her husband's criminal endeavours is indicative of a powerful will, although it seems that in the end she was not able to endure all of the stress that had been amounted upon her.