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 from the age of eleven, 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 the 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; the pair bonded over the pleasure they gained from inflicting pain upon others. She was also a participant in the attempted intimidation of Daya Devdhar, although her motives were borne from jealousy and led her to ultimately fail.
After completing her education, Daphne moved to Britain and married Xanthas, severing all ties between herself and her family. The two together had four children: Archie, Greg, Jamie and Amy. Although never a convicted criminal herself, Daphne supported her husband in his unlawful endeavours at the Viperae, while often taking the necessary measures to protect herself and her children. This changed, however, when she soon 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, 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.
- Xanthas Jordan: "I've heard all the stories. They're not good, are they, love? Your family did ship me some damaged goods, didn't they? There's a reason that you refused to take my name. You're very, very damaged, aren't you?"
- Maksim Yakovich: "Don't speak to her like that... apologise, right now."
- Xanthas Jordan: "Right. All right. Daphne, my darling wife, love of my life. I'm sorry. I'm truly very sorry that this casino is very, very empty. A bit like you, really. There's fuck-all in it, apart from this lying creature of dirt Yakovich here."
- — Xanthas angrily and drunkenly accuses Daphne of infidelity whilst arguing in the Viperae
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 often 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 strikingly and 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
- "Everyone was already afraid of me. She wasn't, though. What could I do to her that she couldn't do to me? She was fearless. There was nothing she wouldn't do."
- —Xanthas pays his respects to his late wife
Magical abilities and skills
- Dark Arts:
- Non-verbal magic:
- Unbreakable Vow:
- Unforgivable Curses:
- Leadership skills:
- Blue spruce wand:
- Dress robes:
- "They didn't really approve of her coming here, so..."
- —Daphne's estrangement from her family later in life
- Xanthas: "My loyalty to my name is how I measure myself."
- Daphne: "What about your loyalty to me?"
- — Daphne and Xanthas argue over his lack of constancy and devotion in married life
- Xanthas Jordan: "You lied."
- Daphne: "Not everything that isn't true is a lie."
- — Daphne finally admits to having had an affair with Maksim
- "One day, Linus Mortan, your miserable life will swallow you whole. We are helping you to live."
- —Daphne to Linus while in the Viperae
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.