The purpose of life is not to be happy. It is to be useful, to be honourable, to be compassionate, to have it make difference that you have lived and most of all lived well.
Professor Ember Hazel Hilliard (née Cauldwell) (b. 29 June) is an Irish half-blood witch and Banshee half-breed of the Cauldwell family, the eldest daughter of Reilly and Lily Cauldwell (née Leander). She is also the elder sister of Ivory, and the first female to be born into the Cauldwell lineage for several generations. When her uncle Sirius suffered a potentially crippling and near death-experience, an incident occurred between Ember and Ivory, which left her sister permanently deafened. In the aftermath of the event, Ember's memory was modified in an attempt to prevent any further guilt and turmoil.
Upon attending Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, Ember was Sorted into Gryffindor House, a decision founded more from her morals than personality. While at school, she was an exceptionally popular student, as well as an avid participant in the school's social scene. She was an eminent overachiever and member of various different clubs, including the Charms, Knitting and Drama Clubs. She was also a member of the Slug Club and later went on to become Head Girl, though her journey throughout adolescence was significantly shaped by the countless adventures she embarked upon alongside her best friend Maisie Thorn and many others.
Following the events of the Winter Formal during her fifth year, Ember was forced to cope with the activation of her latent banshee abilities, which in turn exposed her previously hidden half-breed heritage. From that point forth, Ember began to drift away from the normalcies of magical education and endeavoured to learn more about herself and her family history. This included meeting others just like her, such as Catriona, and even the saving of a human life. However, by her seventh year Ember had become disenchanted with all she had learned, likening her abilities to a curse and herself to her monster. Unable to cope with the stress, she was driven to seek a new life in the Muggle world, which created distance between herself and her family for several long years.
By early adulthood, Ember was engaged to Darien Irvine, a Muggle who was unfamiliar with her background and magic in its entirety. During this time she also conceived her firstborn child Atria in an affair with Noah Hilliard. Not long after this, she became pregnant for the second time with Darien, though he left her in the midsts of their engagement after she exposed the world of magic to him, leaving Ember to raise their son Albus alone. Her return to the wizarding world was a pivotal step in her life, bringing her closer to her family and friends. She spent her days living primarily as a stay-at-home mother for Albus and her newly adopted daughter Musidora, until returning to Hogwarts under the post of Charms Master in order to continue caring for them at a distance. Ember would also continue her exploration of her half-breed heritage alongside Atria, whose father she later married.
Tragically, Ember lived through the death of her son, a loss which shook and devastated her. However, she also lived to see her family expand even further through the birth of her grandson Lucien, who she partially raised alongside Sylvie Coquellin. Ember continued to act as an important maternal figure not only to her grandson, but to the many students she taught at Hogwarts for generations to come.
- "She is a child, a scared little girl. She has never seen a battle, she has never witnessed Dark Magic, she knows no wrong in the world, she knows nothing. Right now, her dreams are full of songs and stories, and we have no right to fill them with nightmares."
Ember and Ivory grew up in Cauldwell lakehouse in Dalkey, Dublin. The home had been sought out eagerly by Reilly, who had always felt some sort of attraction to water. Weekends were often spent visiting Reilly's family on their farm and Lily's family on their various different properties.
- partly raised by giselda who died of dragonpox
Life after Hogwarts
- "I predicted the death of my own son. I tried to stop it, but I couldn't. And I can tell you now, the most painful goodbyes are the ones that are left unsaid."
- —Ember's eulogy for her son's funeral
Personality and traits
- "Never frown, Mais: someone could be falling in love with your smile!"
- —Ember's optimistic nature
- Over time she shed her vain and dim-witted persona in exchange for a brave, intelligent and compassionate leader.
- "You have courage. Not battle courage, but... I don't know... a kind of woman's courage."
Magical abilities and skills
- Reilly Cauldwell: "We know she can be somewhat... erratic. She's never shown much of an interest in her academics, not like her sister, but we're thinking of—"
- Professor Mortan: "Quite the contrary. Academically, Ember is a spectacular student, a pleasure to teach. It's startling how quickly she takes to magic sometimes. And socially, she displays singular leadership qualities, inside the classroom and out. I wouldn't mind saying she's a born leader."
- — A discussion revolving around Ember's academic and magical talent
- Ember was also notable for being the first half-breed in her family, having since decided to only use her voice for good.
- Teaching skills: Despite her lack of former teaching experience, Ember nevertheless proved to be a very skilled and talented teacher when she applied for the post of Charms professor at Hogwarts.
- "That pretty little thing could shatter your skull with her voice, if someone could only teach her how."
- —Agneis Keene regarding Ember's formidable capabilities as a half-breed
- Charmed handbag:
- Copy of Banshee an Droichid:
- "You’re the strongest person I know. You're my sister."
- "She's my sister. And not by something as accidental as blood, but by something much stronger. Choice."
- —Ember regarding her long-lasting friendship with Maisie
- Ember: "Do you think Grady's mentioned me at all? What if he thinks these robes make me look ugly?"
- Maisie Thorn: "Then he's the stupidest wizard that ever lived."
- Ember: "He's so awfully handsome."
- — Ember reveals her feelings for Grady while talking with her best friend
The name Ember simply originates from the English word meaning "glowing coal in a dying fire", and from the Old English ǣmyrge, from Proto-Germanic 'ashes'. In modern times, its use as a given name is probably due to its similarity to Amber.
The name Hazel is taken from the name of the hazelnut tree, which is derived from the Old English hæsel (hazel). Alternatively, the name can also be derived from the Hebrew hazā'ēl (God sees). This name was chosen for Ember because of the natural colour of her eyes, which were hazel.
The surname Cauldwell is of Anglo-Saxon origin, and is a locational surname deriving from any one of the places called "Caldwell" in North Yorkshire and Warwickshire. It means "the cold spring, or stream".