Duke Thomas and Duchess Lillian Hardings were married on August 16th 1525, being promised since birth, when they were both just 14 years of age. During their marriage they had 18 children, Edward March 12th 1526, Elizabeth and Everly February 2nd 1527, Ethan and Emmanuel January 13th 1529, Elodie and Eden August 9th 1530, Elijah and Edgar July 30th 1531, Ella-Rose April 21st 1533, Evan June 18th 1535, Esmerelda and Eva September 8th 1536, Essylt November 10th 1538, Emeline May 25th 1540, Elliott and Everett December 1st 1542 and Ezra October 14th 1543. Surprisingly, despite the times of disease, all 18 children survived childhood, they had strong genes, incredible wealth and were very healthy.
Growing up, the Hardings children were very spoilt, given lavish and expensive presents and anything that they wanted, they got; each of the children had their own room along with an En suite and private dressing room, each with their own maid or butler. They all had their own nanny from birth to the age of 15 who would also tutor them in educational abilities. The only few things the children had to share were the dining room for mealtimes and the playroom which contained all of their toys, activities and musical instruments for their lessons which they took together. They had an organ, harp, violin, trumpet, recorder, cello, lute and a set of drums.
The main floor of the Hardings mansion was the children’s playroom, the dining room and the kitchen, in which the staff would enter the house, the first floor was the children’s bedrooms, bathrooms and dressing rooms as well as the Nanny’s sharing quarters, the third floor was the Duke and Duchess’ bedroom, bathroom and walk in wardrobes as well as dressing rooms. Within the basement of the large extravagant mansion was the servants quarters where the cooks, butlers and maids would spend their free time, sleep and live if their family and homes were too far away for them to go home each night. In the garden of the mansion was a very large covered pool, with shrubbery, flowers and trees protecting it; the garden had a large lush green space for the children to run and play together.
The Hardings children had many pets, all of which they got when the animals were a month old, including four adorable, loyal and loving dogs, Jax the Shiba Innu, Jessie the Huskie, Jonah the Pomeranian and Jenna the Staffordshire Terrier, three cuddly, cute and caring cats, Melody the Maine Coon, Mila the Persian and Maxie the Ragdoll, three fluffy, smooth and snuggly rabbits, Flora the English Lop, Fauna the English Spot and Felicity the Netherland Dwarf and a beautiful, colourful and talkative bird, Kingston the Scarlet Macaw. The children grew up well mannered, polite and well rounded through the Nanny’s tutoring and nurturing and their parents love for all of them.
Despite the fact that it ran in both Thomas and Lillian’s bloodlines, the gift and power of magic skipped both Lillian and Thomas as well as all but one of their children. The magical powers and incredible gifts of being a Witch was only bestowed on their youngest Daughter, Emeline. Her powers began to show at a fairly young age; after her younger brothers were born Emeline managed to stay normal until she was 10. At this point in her life she began to cast spells and complete potions; she didn’t learn any of this, she just knew it, it was part of her DNA and the knowledge of all spells, potions and hexes were engraved in her mind. Spell books and scrolls weren’t needed for Emeline.
Emeline was a very powerful Witch; she had the ability to do the impossible. Moving things, materialising things and healing, she could even cure all of her family’s ailments, her brother Ethan got smallpox when Emeline was 15, and she cured him, saving his life. Curing physical, mental and fatal illnesses, saving dying or dead animals and plants and magically cleaning the entire mansion without moving a muscle, Emeline was very important to her family, not just her powers but her wonderful personality, beautiful character and amazing knowledge of the world.
Whilst gathering ingredients for spells, hexes and potions, Emeline’s life, now at the age of 23, changed drastically. As she was walking through the woods a few miles from her home, she heard an insanely faint sequence of screaming, echoing around her; unsure where it was coming from, Emeline continued picking her ingredients, shrugging it of as someone playing and having fun. She spent another 2 hours looking through the woods for any ingredients she may need before heading back home. Walking back through the woods towards her home, she noticed the lack of noise coming from her house, she could usually hear something when she got within a mile of the house, with 17 siblings, 11 pets and now 25 staff there was usually some sort of noise.
Approaching her home, Jax came running out of the open front door sopping wet, it looked as if she had been in the pool, but she was afraid of the water. But then Emeline noticed that Jax’s usually pale brown fur was also slightly redder in colour, not quite how it should be when it was wet. Kingston came flying out of the front door at that point too, frantically squawking at Emeline.
“Stabbed, Stabbed, Stabbed” he cried, flapping his wings uncontrollably. Confused and upset at what Kingston had said, Emeline slowly peeked into her home and saw just what Kingston and Jax had experienced, both of her parents were lying in a pool of blood at the bottom of the stairs. Emeline gasped, and came to the realisation that she was now an orphan, as her eyes filled with tears she looked around the entranceway, looking for any sign of life. Looking up, she saw all of her brothers lined against the banister at the top of the stairs, their legs dangling, limply over the side, blood dripping from them landing in a puddle on the floor, slowly rolling towards her parents. Screaming in anger and fright at the sight of her brothers and parents. She couldn’t stay in the room and she ran with Jax and Kingston to the playroom; she sat and cried for a long and painful 10 minutes before gathering herself.
Walking through the playroom and out into the garden, she found her sisters, all face down in the pool, their blood turning it a dark maroon red. She cried again as she saw her oldest sisters hair wrapped around her arm and her youngest sisters dress ripped and partly on the stone beside the pool where she was floating. She couldn’t just stand there, she had to find the animals, they must have been terrified, having to watch this happen to their owners.
She first looked in the basement, where she found all of the staff, also covered in their own blood, piled together in the corner of the room. Trying to hold herself together she took a deep breath and continued through the house. Walking upstairs, past her parents and brothers, she found all bedroom doors wide open, as all of the family, including herself, usually left them when they weren’t in them, but her bedroom door was ajar; walking cautiously into her room, she found the rabbits and cats with their throats slit handing upside-down from her curtain rod, their blood soaked into her rug under the window. She screamed at the sight of her pets. As she turned away, she saw the other dogs, crowded sleeping in the corner of her bathroom, through her open door. She walked towards the dogs and then saw the blood, it had dripped behind them, into the little gully behind the pipes in her bathroom. This time she was angry, frustrated and furious.
Of all the tragic and terrible things that could have happened to change Emeline’s life, this was the worst thing imaginable. Her entire life was taken from her; all she had left was her dog, her bird and her magic. Within 5 hours, her entire family, staff and most of her pets had been brutally murdered and positioned, and she had absolutely no idea. Emeline had the ability to see things through others’ eyes, animals included, with this power, she wanted to see if Kingston or Jax had seen what had happened exactly to her family, or more specifically, who did it to her family.
Slowing her breath and holding Jax’s paw and Kingston’s talon, along with a deep inhale Emeline entered a state of meditation. As she closed her eyes, the film of what Jax and Kingston had seen played in Emeline’s mind. She saw three large, muscular men run through the front door lunging at her parents and two of her brothers, grabbing and holding them, binding their hands together with rope and to the bottom of the stairs. Another four men ran in and grabbed and dragged her other brothers towards her parents binding them together. Leaving the first three men, the second four went through the house and gathered her sisters, dragging and beating them into submission, binding them to the rest of her family. Then another two more men came into the house, grabbing the house staff as they came to see what all the commotion was. All that Emeline could hear was crying, screaming and the men shouting indistinguishable orders at her family.
She watched as three of the men took the staff downstairs, pulled out two knives each and stabbed and cut into the staff multiple times, sending blood all over themselves, the staff and the corner of the room. Finishing up, the men piled them into the spot in which Emeline had found them and one of the men spat onto the pile of bodies. As this was happening, the rest of the men took her brothers up the stairs, ties each one to a part of the banister, pushing their legs through the railings and then pulling each brothers head back by the hair, slicing their throats clean through, killing them instantly, whilst her Mother screamed, her Father pleaded for them to stop and her sisters cried.
Moving onto her sisters, the men who were downstairs came back up and two of them pulled her parents into the back garden, holding them up and forcing them to watch as the rest of the men assaulted, raped and murdered their daughters right in front of them, throwing or dropping each one into the pool as they stabbed and sliced into them. Their blood mixing and their hair twisting and twirling with the water; her Mother and Father screaming and crying as each girl was more brutally killed. Throwing the last of her sisters into the pool, the men lunged at her parents mocking and laughing at them. At this point, Jax’s view stopped, she had run onto the pool, cowering on the top step of the ladder, hiding from the men, as she hadn’t been seen.
They dragged her inconsolable and shocked parents into the house and threw them under the waterfall of blood from their sons. Pulling them to the middle of the entranceway, the men took their time with the murder of her parents, slowly draining the blood from small but deep cuts and long superficial cuts. Four of the men beat and battered her Father, knocking out teeth and breaking bones, she could hear the snapping and her Father wincing in pain. Three of the men abused, beat and raped her Mother while the other man was battering her Father.
While these Seven men were attacking and killing her parents, the other two went to look for the pets, finding them in Emeline’s room, the men slip the rabbits and cats throats, one leaving the other to tie them up onto the curtain rail. The one who left, found the dogs and stabbed each of them as they slept together. One of the men grabbed Kingston as he tried flying out of the room, he bit the man on the finger and managed to get away, flying all the way into the hidden attic; without the men seeing him, he had got away. Now Emeline couldn’t see anything, all she could hear were the men laughing and running away from the mansion.
Emeline sobbed as she opened her eyes from the thought sharing. Seeing Jax and Kingston being forced to see this happening to the entire family and staff. She hugged and soothed her dog and then gently stroked her birds head as she ruffled his feathers.
Using her pain, anger and sadness Emeline knew what she had to do, she needed to take revenge for the death of her family, friends and pets; she had seen the men’s faces, she could find them through a tracking spell and she could scare and mess with them perfectly. Thankfully, during her ingredients picking, she had obtained the last of the ingredients needed for the tracking spell. There were only three ingredients were needed for the spell; rosemary, ginger and turmeric. She mixed them all together along with a little bit of water to make a paste, she then took a map of the city out and began tracking the men, using an incantation while she dripped nine drops of the mixture for each of the men who attacked, beat, abused and murdered her family. Each droplet found the Hardings Mansion before splitting off into three different directions before meeting up again in a singular location only a few streets down from the Mansion.
Emeline knew the place that the men’s droplets ended at, it was the towns council hall and they were still currently there; Emeline packed some potions into her bag, one to cause temporary blindness, one to cause involuntary muscle spasms and one to cause temporary deafness. She also planned to use some spells and hexes to mess with these men physically and psychologically. The only thing left for her to do was to change her clothes; she took some of her brothers clothes and pulled her hair back, tying it up with a black ribbon.
Emeline left her home along with Jax and Kingston and walked to the town hall, seething with anger; as they got closer to the hall, Emeline slowly began to calm down, her mind and body focusing on what she had to do next. Arriving at the hall, she was both mentally and physically prepared for what she was to do.
“Make sure you aren’t seen, Jax, hide in the bushes, Kingston, hide in the trees or the rafters, be careful and be quiet.” Emeline told her pets. Jax ran to the bushes and hid under the shrubbery, Emeline could only just see her fur, but only because she watched her run into the bushes; Kingston flew high above her and nestled into a small alcove shape in a tree trunk. Satisfied with her pets hiding spaces, Emeline prepared to take revenge on these men.
Inside the hall, the men were laughing and cheering over the heinous, despicable crime that they had just committed. Many of them still have blood on their skin; the men had changed their clothes and shoes but hadn’t washed the blood out of their hair or off of their faces, hands and arms. Emeline was going to use her potion for involuntary spasms first; throwing the bottle into the hall, it shattered on the floor and the fumes rose throughout the hall, the dark faded green mist slowly swirled around the men, being breathed in as the men panicked at the fog around them. Within moments the men began spasming, firstly, just their hands and feet, making it hard for them to stand, but then moved to their entire bodies, forcing them to make strange noises, they fell to the floor, some hitting their heads or limbs on the steps or furniture within the hall and convulse intensely and randomly.
She then threw in the blindness potion whilst the men were spasming and convulsing, they watched the yellow fog fill the space around them as the bottle smashed on the wall over their heads. The potion took effect within moments; at first, their sight went a little blurry, either in one or both eyes and everything through one eye turned fully white. After just a few moments, the men couldn’t see at all, but couldn’t do anything due to their convulsing and seizing due to the previous potion.
As the first two potions took its last toll on the confused and frightened men, over two hours later, Emeline whispered her first hex against her family’s murderers, which would cause each of the men’s deepest, darkest fear to appear above them, attacking, physically scarring them and scaring them half to death.
“Deepest, darkest, most hidden fears; above these men now appears. Never spoken or never known, come and be with your own.” As the final word left Emeline’s mouth, the hall turned extremely dark, the sunlight seemed to be blocked from entering the windows and the candles all snuffed out exactly at the same time, yet without the usual swirl of smoke. Two of the men screamed at the sudden darkness, while the rest looked around in confusion and shock; shadows figures, even darker and deeper black than the hall began attacking, picking up and throwing the two terrified men, not even touching or paying attention to the other men.
Not even thirty seconds later, the next deepest, darkest fear arrived, hundreds of thousands of snakes came slithering in through the windows, doors and from cracks in the walls and up through the broken floor and falling from the ceiling rafters; another five men screamed, one even crying at the sight of the snakes. The snakes began slithering over parts of their bodies, constricting around extremities, cutting of blood flow to hands, feet and lower legs and viciously biting and poisoning the five petrified men; again the snakes completely focused on the five men, leaving the other four men currently just staring confused at their friends currently fighting and being attacked by, seemingly nothing.
The last four men also shared a deep fear, this would probably be the worst of the men’s fears; the building began to rumble, the air turning stale and the floor began to fall away around the men. From the fallen ground came a foul stench of sulphur and burning flesh, a bright and pulsing red light, pulsing with dark red, black and orange specks floating up from the void, landing and burning the men who were backing away from the area. A huge growling roar came from the void below the town hall, rumbling the entire building, knocking the final four men to the ground. Rising from the deep, bottomless, pulsing void came a ginormous figure, it had a large humanoid shape with long, twisting sharp horns. Emeline had to stifle a gasp at the sight of the Devil, even she didn’t exactly enjoy the idea of the Devil. The Devil, turned towards the four cowering men and screeched, spitting fire and acid at them as he did. Reaching the height of fear and terror, the men cried out as the Devil grabbed all four of them in a single hand. Ripping the men’s clothing with his long jagged claws, he lifted them high into the rafters of the town hall ceiling, dangling them by their ripped clothes; with the constant threat of being dropped over 100 meters to the ground or into the void, the men cried and pleaded for their lives.
Only ten minutes after casting the spell, Emeline ended their terrifying experience using the closing spell; this caused the men being held by the Devil to fall to the ground, landing on top of one another, surprisingly not breaking any bones, just causing more bruising and scrapes. The men being attacked by snakes and dark forces also fell to the ground from standing or being thrown around, in pain and exhaustion.
“Deepest, darkest fears have been, now known and seen. They’ve begun to learn their lesson here today, now terror go and be on your way.” As suddenly as the hall went dark, everything that was terrorising, torturing and psychologically ruining these men, disappeared and light flooded back through the windows. Watching the men cower, cry and console one another, recounting what had just happened to them, Emeline started to feel sorry for them, but she wasn’t finished teaching them their lesson just yet.
Allowing a little time for the men to breathe and recuperate from their traumatic personal experiences, Emeline got the next hex and potion ready to unleash on them. She chose the deafness potion and the hallucination hex to go hand in hand with each other to completely screw with them. Opening the potion bottle, she blew the purple fog in through the window sending it swirling towards the men, now beginning to stand again. As the men were talking, making sure that each other were okay, their voices faded, distorted and then finally stopped, they could see one another’s lips moving but couldn’t hear anything. The men frantically screamed and batted at their heads, trying to find a way to get their ears to work. As the men furiously screamed inaudibly to each other, Emeline unleashed the hallucinations on the men.
“Things not there but still heard and seen, to get rid and hide from these men will be keen. Unleash the frightening unknown, make them feel ever so alone.”
Swirling and turning violently in all directions, the men began hallucinating, seeing strange and terrifying things including ghosts, spiders, shadows, and monstrous creatures both real and fantasy. The men were terrified, being unable to hear a thing, they grabbed each other and stood in a circle holding hands to defend themselves against the terror of what they were seeing. Then the noises began, still unable to hear themselves and each other, they began to hear other things, from disembodied voices whispering and screeching in their ears to scratching and scraping from the walls, ceiling and floors, sounding as if thousands upon thousands of rodents, critters and animals were within the foundations and materials of the building. The doors disappeared for the men and the windows covered in metal bars, leaving no escape.
Emeline released the men from their final hex within minutes of putting them into it. She knew that the men had learnt their lesson.
“Release these men, let them hear and know again. No more hallucination and craze, let them go and leave without daze.” As the hallucinations slowly faded away and their hearing came back, their own screaming and crying hurting their ears; the men stopped screaming and crying to try to stop the pain radiating inside their heads, the natural silence was soothing, they could hear the wind gently blowing outside, through leaves and around the building. After over 20 minutes one of the men began to talk, almost whispering to not alarm the rest of them and to keep from their heads splitting from the pain.
“That must have been punishment from killing the Hardings family. That’s never happened before, not with the Johnstun family, Knighting family or the Zarahan family. Something or someone must have seen or known what we’ve done. We need to get out of here, split up and stay away. We can’t do this again. Ever.” The rest of the men nodded in agreement and they all began walking towards the door, picking up their belongings as they went.
Running quickly from her hiding spot, Emeline joined Jax in the bushes opposite the town hall. As Emeline reached Jax and pulled her onto her lap, the men came barrelling out of the town hall, half going to the left and the other half to the right, running far from the hall and the horror that they had just experienced. As each of the men disappeared from her view, Emeline, Jax and Kingston came out of their hiding space.
Over the next decade, Emeline’s life progressed, she kept Jax and Kingston alive for the whole decade and she ended up getting married. Twice a year, she checked where the men who murdered her family were to ensure the men were still keeping away from the area; each of the men’s droplets moved further away, and after a couple of years they began to disappear and finally 5 years after the incident they were all gone.
With her husband, Daniel Reddington, they also had a large number of children, despite Emeline being one of 18 children and Daniel being one of 15 children, they didn’t want as many, but still wanted a large family, so decided on having 9 children, Lola and Lilith 16th January 1567, Laura 7th November 1567, Lawrence and Lorenzo 23rd September 1568, Lottie 7th July 1569, Lexis and Laya 28th December 1571 and Landon 15th December 1572. Unlike her family, Emeline died peacefully in her sleep of old age at 70 years old, being a witch, she could keep herself alive longer than the usual life expectancy than the times. The bloodline, heritage Witch powers and gifts of magic were passed along to Lola, Laura, Lorenzo, Lexia and Landon.