the magistrate.

Aretha Ona'Mae Harkness
Joaquin Harkness (Husband)
Blood Status
Human, Witch
This character is roleplayed by SoA.

Aretha Harkness is a wizarding lawyer and attorney. She specialises in murder and manslaughter cases.


Aretha is beautiful, but she doesn't necessarily accentuate her beauty. She prefers to look striking, rather than conventionally pretty. Therefore she usually wears quite dark makeup, and long false eyelashes.

She dresses extremely well, and usually wears a weave, as Caucasian beauty standards require African-American women to look like their white counterparts. She's aware of this though, and hates herself for conforming to it.

Aretha was born in New Orleans, Louisiana. Her parents, Jean-Claude and Ophelia Leveau, were both muggles, who owned a bistro which specialised in French-Creole cuisine. Her parents were not wealthy or very well educated, but were both self-made, and understood the importance of hard work, elbow grease and determination in order to achieve one's goals. When Aretha was born, they began instilling these values in her, to remember for whatever she did.

Aretha was a difficult child. She was curious, argumentative and hot-headed. She'd argue with other kids in kindergarten about small things that they did, and would end up getting into quite a bit of trouble. Ophelia and Jean-Claude were both bemused by this behaviour, joking that it was her nature to argue. So they became used to it. However, when an argument during a school trip to the backwaters resulted in a boy being 'pushed' into the swamp, Aretha's parents became worried. She'd never been violent, and she wasn't a strong girl. That, and she claimed to have never touched the boy. Her parents were shocked, as Aretha wouldn't lie, but the evidence seemed to be too convincing to ignore. They were worried. What they didn't know was that Aretha had just performed her first act of magic.

Aretha's parents found out that she had magic when the family puppy was found levitating, upside down in mid air, with a nine year old Aretha clapping excitedly and running around in circles with joy. They vowed to never speak of it again, with Jean-Claude, whose father had been a pastor, thinking there was something devilish going on. It was not until they received the acceptance letter into Ilvermorny School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, that they realised magic was the cause of her strangeness. At first they were shellshocked, and Ophelia was able to trace back her family lineage and realised that her great grandmother on her maternal side had been a voodoo witch, and that it was not a scary story, but in fact, it was truth. Ophelia and Jean Claude looked past their fears, realising how great an opportunity this was, so they sent her to Massechusetts, where she could learn how to cultivate her magic.

Aretha was afraid of moving away from Louisiana at first. She loved home, she loved the bayou, her parents, the easy lifestyle. The thought of moving to a cold stone castle surrounded by mist, mountains and perpetual coldness and people she didn't know was frightful. But, she had to do it. So she packed her stuff up and moved North-West to Mount Greylock. When she was being sorted, she stepped onto the Gordian Knot and waited. She thought she was going to be laughed at - with her prominent southern accent and her shabby looking robes (her parents couldn't really afford anything new). She thought the four houses would all remain silent, and no house would choose her. She imagined the horror, the shame and the disappointment. She imagined being escorted out of the school, and being flown back to Louisiana. Until it all changed. She stepped on, and there was a pause, before the jewel on the head of the Horned Serpent glowed. This was followed by the beating of the Thunderbird's wings and the Wampus Cat's roar. The Pukwudgie did not raise it's arrow, rightly so, but Aretha found herself being asked by the headteacher to choose, at her own liberty, which out of the three houses, she wanted to be a part of. Aretha knew that Wampus favoured warriors and represented the body. She knew that Thunderbird favoured the adventurers and represented the soul, and the Serpent favoured the scholar, and represented the mind. She wanted to be in all three, but it eventually came down to a choice between Thunderbird and Horned Serpent. Eventually, she chose the Horned Serpent, deciding that all the adventures in the world would be fruitless without proper understanding and knowledge of the world.

Aretha surpassed all expectations, coming out of school with top marks, a keen mind and a desire to pursue law. She went and studied in law at Princeton University, before moving to London, to work as a criminal lawyer there, and get a conversion course for British Law at University College of London (UCL). It was there, when Aretha met her to be husband, Joaquin Harkness, another wizarding Lawyer. Joaquin was smart, charismatic and funny - too good for the cutthroat world of Law. He brought out a softer and more vulnerable side to her, and she hasn't stopped loving him ever since.

Today, Aretha can mainly be found in courtrooms. Her speciality is murder and homicide, but she does also excel in family law.

When she was younger, Aretha was always curious. Inherently, she wanted to know the difference between right and wrong, and promote the right. She was curious about the way the world worked, social norms and the way society operated. As she grew older, she cultivated the way she looked at the world even further and discovered how unfair life actually was. For women, for black people, for LGBT+ people. In the magical community, learning about intolerance to half breeds and non pureblood, she realised that amongst all these injustices, she alone could be the change she wanted to see. This resulted in a great sense of purpose and determination, but also a tinge of bitterness, too. It wasn't fair.
Aretha is headstrong, argumentative and almost always right. She's calculating and cold, very cunning and has a face that looks like she's over everything. Because she's so analytical, she comes across as a horrible person, despite her heart being in the right place. Mainly, she's just tired of people's stupidity. She can usually be seen leaving the room in an exhausted manner.


friends, acquaintances and enemies

Handedness Right
Sexual and Romantic Orientation Heterosexual
Relationship Status Married
Pets None
Favourite Songs Cranes in the Sky by Solange
Sandcastles by Beyoncé
Favourite Colours Blue
Favourite Sweet Dark Chocolate
Most Treasured Possession Her wedding ring
Where to Find Them In a courtroom somewhere


  • Her patronus is a Sun bear
  • Her wand is Larch with White River Monster Spine as the Core. It is 12".
  • Her boggart is her husband in a bodybag, at a crime scene
  • She has the following amortentia smells: cinnamon, nutmeg and old leather
  • Aretha's model is Viola Davis


credit goes to Ellie for the page and Red for code
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