Their birth parents were both addicts--pills, alcohol, meth, gambling, all of the above. They lived in an abandoned trailer park since neither parent made a steady enough wage to afford anywhere--or at least, if they did, they spent it all on getting high. It wasn't...all bad, all the time. They had their brother Eric, who did the best he could with what little he had, and their mom only got violent when she started drinking, so.
Eric taught them to read and to do basic math, but beyond that, they didn't get much education. He was six years older than they, and he'd been put into school before their parents drop kicked the wagon into the next dimension. Sometimes he would sit her on the rack of his rusty old bicycle and take her to the library, or with him to hang out with his friends. Even so, their best friends beyond him were the huge dictionary the previous tenants had left behind, the books their brother would bring them, and the feral cats and dogs that hung around. They'd give them food sometimes, if there was extra.
Sometimes their brother would do...things. Weird things--just small weird things, like when his bike tire went flat or the chain broke, he's stare at it really hard and wave his hands a lot, and then it would...be okay again. When they asked how he did it, he always shrugged and said he was a wizard, and that was always good enough for them.
Their dad OD'ed when they were eight, and their mom didn't know what to do about it, so she make the kids back a bag and then lit the old trailer on fire. The fire started inside, and by the time the kids realized what was happening, it was too late to stop it. Their mom had ushered them away quickly, ignoring Cameron's questions about where their dad was, but Eric looked behind them first and broke away, running back toward what had been their home. Cameron followed him--their entire life was in that ugly old trailer! Their dictionary! They wanted to stop the fire, but there wasn't really any way to. The nearest working faucet was a good hundred feet away, and even then there wasn't a bucket, and they didn't have a phone to call the fire department either. So Cameron looked really hard at the fire and waved their hands about like they'd seen Eric do, and they were about to give up when a stream of water--a small stream, but a stream--came out of nowhere, sizzling when it hit the flames. Cameron tried to do more, but they couldn't seem to make it work again, and then their mother was dragging them and Eric back.
The police found them fairly quickly, and Eric and Cameron became wards of the state. The same day they officially became a part of the foster system, they were put into the care of a strange-acting older woman who was nervous around everyone and seemed to have no grasp on modern style at all. She dressed like a housewife from the sixties, but she drove like an absolute maniac. She explained their situation to them, how they were both magical, and they were actually in the care of the magical state, and they were going to live with a magical family and go to magical school, and there were a lot of specifics that Cameron didn't really catch.
Ultimately they went to live with a wealthy, pureblood couple in northern California, Brandon and Elizabeth Shepherd. Elizabeth was a successful businesswoman with a best-selling line of beauty potions, and Brandon a high-ranking member of the Major Investigation department. They weren't terrible parents, especially considering Eric and Cameron's past experiences, but they...liked things to be the way they wanted them. They didn't like how uncultured the siblings were, or how poorly educated they were. Eric, at fourteen, couldn't cast a single spell reliably, and Cameron, at eight, could barely write.
Both kids were assigned to private tutors and received intensive education for seven hours a day, only having Sundays off and a few days around holidays, so, in Brandon's words, they wouldn't be such a disgrace to the Shepherd name. Their new guardians also tried to teach them how to be proper, socially acceptable children, and they would always have them dress in nice clothes and parade them around at their dinner parties, expecting them to be seen and not heard.
Their guardians thought it was unseemly for their children to have a different last name, so they had the kids' surnames changed to Shepherd by the court within the first year.
Eric was deemed "close enough to par" to go to Ilvermorny in time to start his final two years of magical education, and Cameron missed him greatly for the first year, even as taken up as their time was with their own, new tutors. They were set to start at Ilvermorny the next year, but because their birthday would have them graduating at eighteen, their parents had them studying ahead so they could start as a second year student and be on-track to graduate "at a proper age."
At Ilvermorny, Cameron was sorted into Wampus, which suited them just fine. They already knew they wanted to be an auror--an occupation their parents believed had "gone soft" after the ministry stopped executing all the criminals--and what better house to be in than the warrior house?
Cameron had a bit of trouble adjusting to life around so many people all the time. They were used to small groups or being alone, and the unfamiliar boarding school culture was a shock. They had trouble making friends, preferring to spend their time alone in the library or shadowing their brother around, and ultimately they made their first friend on accident. They bonded with a girl named Rachel over the idiocy of some of their classmates, and they stayed close friends until their fifth year, when Cameron, who had been considering their sexuality for a long while, finally came out to Rachel.
Eric never came home after he graduated Ilvermorny, and Cameron hasn't seen him since they hugged him after the graduation ceremony. None of their letters ever got a reply, and eventually they stopped trying. He was the most constant person in their life, and then he was just...not there anymore, and his absence left an emptiness in Cameron's chest that still aches. They spent much of that summer asleep, often skipping meals, and when they did have to get up, all they wanted to do was go back to bed.
Brandon and Elizabeth didn't want a depressed child, so they passed it off as early-onset teenager syndrome.
Cameron stopped caring so much about their parents' opinions, and would often show up to their dinner parties dressed in Eric's old clothes, which they found much more comfortable than the skirts and blouses and dresses they were expected to wear, even though his clothes were a few sizes too big. They wore his clothes to school as well, since their parents wouldn't buy them the clothes they wanted.
For several years, Cameron's depression manifested primarily as self-deprecating humor, lethargy, and a lot of sleeping and poor eating habits.
Cameron's favorite and best subject was DADA, but they did well in all their classes, and even found plenty of time to play on the quodpot team and be in the dueling club.
While not the most creative duelist, Cameron was still a good duelist, even if at times they were deemed "too aggressive."
As they got older, they found they were angry a lot, and it was difficult to find an outlet for that aggression that wouldn't hurt anyone. In their fifth year, as their struggle with their sexuality reached its peak, they finally broke down and joined the MMA club, where they promptly found that hitting things was real nice.
After coming out to Rachel, Cameron noticed that she acted different around her, and they hated to think that they'd alienated their best friend. Summer rolled around quickly, and Rachel wasn't nearly as talkative as she usually was, so Cameron went to their parents for advice, because...that's what they're there for, right?
Wrong. Cameron had known their parents were conservative, but they didn't realize they were downright homophobic. Cameron spent as much of the summer away from them as they could, leaving the house for the beach early before they got up, and making sure to get home before they did, then spending the rest of the time in their room, alone. That summer was...difficult. The Shepherd's stretch of beach was private, and Cameron spent most of their time in the water so they ignored anyone who happened by, and even on the rare occasions they went into town, they didn't really interact with anyone beyond store reps.
Their sixth year was hard for them. Rachel seemed more distant than ever, even though they still spent time together, and Cameron's growing struggle with their gender identity didn't help things. They had trouble keeping up with their activities, even things beyond classes like showering properly and remembering to eat before mealtimes ended. They had to drop Quodpot and the martial arts club to keep up with the academics, and without those outlets, their emotions sometimes became too much to handle, and they would hyperfocus on creating a story for the cut they were about to carve into their skin--sometimes thinking about how they would do it and what lie they would tell was enough, and they didn't need to do any more, but a few times they were feeling too much and they just...needed to dispel it somehow.
Rachel approached Cameron toward the end of that year, and they had a long talk about things to clear the air. Rachel had been distant because she'd been dealing with her own identity crisis--when Cameron had come out to her, she couldn't deny that she wasn't straight either, and it took a while for her to wrap her head around everything.
Having Rachel back in their life helped; it was nice to have a friend to spend time with and talk to over the summer. Cameron was able to pick their hobbies back up in their seventh year, and on the day of graduation they turned their application in to the local auror division in California, and they and Rachel moved into an apartment in town the next week.
Cameron was born Daisy Drinkard, a name they hated with a passion, and after figuring out themself before their seventh year, they started going by Cameron, and they legally changed their first name as soon as they moved out of their parents' house.
Cameron started with the Aurors a few weeks later, and left training at the very top of their class, glad that their dedication had paid off.
Rachel and Cameron started dating not long after that; they'd both been harboring feelings for eachother for a while and, living together as roommates, their feelings were hard to keep ignoring.
Cameron loved their job, even though the paperwork wasn't so fun. They moved to the Hit division when they were twenty-one, and they took an extra course to get their field medic certification, even though they didn't want to be a medic full-time. On their first major mission in that division, though, things went south.
There were blood supremacists, part of a small but widespread organization--domestic terrorists, really, and the operation was supposed to be just a quick undercover thing, get in, find out information about the no-maj born hostages, and get out. The group was more of a makeshift militia than anything, and their security was extremely lacking, so there shouldn't have been any issues.
Cameron, of course, wasn't about to stick to the mission objective when they encountered a few of the hostages on their second night with the group. Some of the more...enthusiastic members liked to torment the hostages. They saw them as less than, and nobody else stopped them when they decided to use the hostages for target practice or lab rats or pincushions.
They knew they had to get them out. There was talk about making "examples" of the hostages soon, and when Cameron was left to guard them after everyone else had gone to sleep, they decided to take the initiative and use the opening to get the hostages out. They sent off a patronus requesting backup, and broke the hostages out and sent them off into the woods, following behind to make sure they were covered.
There was a bit of a standoff when the backup showed up, but their priority was the hostages, and they all got out safely. Cameron, however, was focusing a bit too much on beating the crap out of the supremacists, and one of them grabbed Cameron and apparated away.
They really didn't like being betrayed, and they really didn't like it when Cameron told them they made it really easy. For most of the month they were held captive, Cameron was kept in a small, dark room that seemed to have a door everywhere, and they never knew where was safe to put their back against. They were used like they'd seen the hostages used, and they have scars around the bases of their fingers from the terrorists cutting them off and reattaching them. The terrorists also liked to keep them awake for long periods of time with loud alarms and bells. Finally they decided to get rid of Cameron by watching them drown. They were chained in a large tank which was slowly filled with water until it rose over their head, and they held their breath until their lungs burned, but after a couple minutes they just couldn't, and the water filled their lungs.
They blacked out soon after, so they don't know how exactly it happened, but they woke up in the hospital, very alive, but very much in pain in several ways. The next few weeks were absolute hell--so many things were a trigger, and they were quickly put on leave and set up with regular appointments with a department psychiatrist. Progress was slow and agonizing for Cameron, but they made it to the point where they were cleared for desk duty in three months. Their therapist suggested that a service dog might help them to be more consistently functional a great deal, and while Cameron was skeptical, they agreed to try it.
Rachel and Cameron had been engaged for six months, but Cameron broke it off only three months before their wedding, saying that Rachel deserved someone who was "minimally functional" and that they didn't want to burden her with all their bullshit. They moved into their own studio apartment, and though Rachel tried to get them to see reason, she stopped trying after a few months.
Dakota, Koda for short, is a trained police dog, but he was too nice in the field, and so they passed him on. A group who trains service dogs for magical folks picked him up and, after a few tests, thought he would be a good dog to help someone with their PTSD. He did well in their training, and he and Cameron were an instant pair, and with Koda's help, Cameron improved.
They were allowed to go to crime scenes some days, Koda as well in his little vest, and slowly they eased back into active duty by fourteen months since the incident.
In the three years since they got back to work properly, Cameron has progressed to the point where they can leave Koda at the office or drop him at home before they go on missions. They left California for Texas after the first year, spent a year with the Hit Division there, and then moved on to New York for a little bit more than a year. They liked New York, but they've decided that they're really looking for a bigger change--no more familiar faces, no more familiar faces, just something...new.
A fresh start.