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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.

Biography

Family lineage

Early life

Durmstrang years

Sixth year

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

Seventh year

Life after Durmstrang

Later life

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

Jamie Jordan: "Do you honestly think she had any care for us? She left, Amy. She was selfish."
Amy Jordan: "That's not true. She was sad. She was depressed!"
Amy and Jamie vehemently disagree over Daphne's death

Physical description

"What can I say? I suppose she was the most beautiful creature I had ever seen."
Yakovich regarding Daphne's physical beauty
Daph 9

Daphne, aged 20

Daphne was a tall woman with curly brown hair, a tan complexion, intimidatingly wide brown eyes and an angular facial structure. Her facial features and hair colouring thus made her an exceptional fit for the Jordan family even as a spouse, as they were generally renowned for their dark and fine-boned appearances. Despite coming from an affluent and strict family, Mallory described her as "grumpy-looking with bad posture", and many other students took note of her clear cold voice and apathetic expression. When it came to her children, she was said to share a thin pencil-like frame with her daughter Amy, while Elliot pointed out that Jamie must have inherited his thick black brows from his mother.

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
Daphne was a dangerous and formidably talented witch.
  • Dark Arts:
  • Non-verbal magic:
  • Occlumency:
  • Duelling:
  • Transfiguration:
  • Quidditch:
  • Apparition:
  • Unbreakable Vow:
  • Unforgivable Curses:
  • Leadership skills:
  • Love:

Possessions

  • Magnolia wand:
  • Dress robes:

Relationships

Family

Sevchenko family

"They didn't really approve of her coming here, so..."
—Daphne becomes estranged from her own family later in life

Xanthas Jordan

"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

Children

"Don't make my decision. Your child deserves at least one parent who is capable of love."
—Daphne's distant relationship with her children

Vanya Boicheva

"Sweet girl, but she talked and talked and talked. And sweet girls, they get boring in time."
—Daphne about her former friend Vanya

Daya Devdhar

"I want to put one through her face."
—Daphne jealously threatening Daya

Maksim Yakovich

"If my bloody wife hadn't have vouched for you, you would be fucking dead."
—Xanthas regarding Daphne's trust in Maksim

Linus Mortan

"One day, Linus, your miserable life will swallow you whole. We are helping you to live."
—Daphne manipulates Linus into staying with The Firm

Megaera Alder

"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

Tiberius Rawkes

Arcus Drage

Vakby

Etymology

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.

Quotes


Daphne: Have you ever seen a body, tortured by the worst Dark magic, twisted and deformed until it is unrecognisable? Not so pretty. But it's a special day. Why am I talking about these things?

Daphne: Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that.

Daya: Does he want to hurt me?
Daphne: Hurt you? Who said anything about hurting you? He cannot hurt you. They need you. Damien needs you. Xanthas needs you. Though I think... he doesn't need all of you. Just parts of you to torment, until he is finished with you. Then he has plans for those parts. Don't look like that. The scar you have. Embrace it. You understand? Good. I have enjoyed knowing you, Daya. Make the most of your life as it lasts.

Daphne: Men and children can afford to be careless. Not women.

Daphne: God does not ask if we accept this life. There is no choice. Life is forced upon you. The only choice is how we live it. Or not. That's choice, as well.

Xanthas: My loyalty to my name is how I measure myself.
Daphne: And what about your loyalty to me?

Megaera: What would you if it was your child?
Daphne: I would support my husband.
Megaera: No. That's what you have to do. What would you want to do? I know you well enough now, Daphne. A still tongue and idle hands aren't strategies in your domestic handbook.
Daphne: I want you out of this car. Now. I'm going to count to three. There will not be a four.

Notes

Trivia

  • 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.

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