I've always liked journals. I never kept at it much until I was an adult, but I've always enjoyed putting my thoughts down on paper. I'm not really sure how to describe myself. If asked, I say I'm determined, compassionate, and intelligent- and I am. But everyone I know would describe me a little differently, and everyone in my life knows different things about me. Maybe it's more of the secrets that define me... the things I refuse to share... or maybe it's the actions that stem from those secrets. I don't know. That's why this page begins with my relationships, because they'll reveal more about me than anything else. Right now I'm in the nursery, propped up on the couch as my newborn daughter sleeps soundly, my husband making dinner downstairs. I think I need to write this out... because when I write things out, I can wrap my head around it more easily. And as this is all about me... I should be able to understand everything. And if anyone finds this someday, maybe it'll help them understand me too.
The people I love, the people I hate... but they're all connected to me. They changed me, and I changed many of them.
Ferlen Black- My husband, my rock, loyal and caring... there aren't enough words to describe him. I liked him for a long time, since around my third year at Hogwarts. It took a few years before it finally turned into something more than friendship... but then my grandmother died. I learned she had been a Squib all along, and as I processed through the life she had really lived and the truth about my blood purity, I pushed everyone away, and didn't contact Ferlen at all- not even to break it off. When I returned to England, I ran into Ferlen at the ice cream parlor, and we were able to talk everything through. That's the thing about Ferlen- he is forgiving, and his love is unconditional. It's rare to find- I know how lucky I am to have him. We rekindled our friendship, and ultimately our love. He helped me get the job at the Ministry. It wasn't long before he proposed and we were married. Ferlen has told me that nothing can ever take his love away... even when I deceived him to work on Dark magic, his love remained. When I broke down in apology awhile later, he told me that his forgiveness is always freely offered. I regret that I can't seem to break free of the hold this Dark magic has on me... but now we have our daughter to care for. Perhaps as my priority shifts to family, I can break free. I don't know how else to describe Ferlen's love... his actions speak for themselves.
Rose Black- My darling little daughter. The most expressive eyes, the cutest little nose, her tiny fingers grabbing my shirt... she's perfect. She's mine and Ferlen's, to love and protect for as long as we live. Every time I look at her, I am so happy and so sad at the same time, when I allow myself to feel it. Her delivery was a bit rough- my water broke early, due to Braxton Hicks contractions and Renee knocking me to the ground in what looked like a suicide attempt. After that I was stuck in the hospital for a week while they delayed the birth, giving our little girl as much time as possible to grow and be born healthy. It took twenty hours for her to be born once the labor started- it was complicated because I can't feel pain naturally anymore. It's a side effect of my work with the Cruciatus Curse- so I can only feel pain if I really concentrate. But she came, and she came healthy, smiling, and perfect. We'll love and protect her forever.
Babcia-Babcia is the Polish word for grandmother- and that's what I always called her. She was a Squib, though my sisters and I did not know this until towards the end of her life. She spent most of her years in Poland, but moved to the United States when she married my grandfather. When my mother (her daughter) married my father, my grandparents moved back to Poland. Babcia told lots of stories about Poland, taught me the language, and immersed me in the culture as much as she could whenever I came to visit. I was very attached to her, and very hurt when the truth came out. As I immersed myself in her life, I seriously began to question myself and my own understanding of Muggle and Wizard. I'm a lot like her... we share the same determination and compassion- and, I realize now, our tendency to keep secrets.
Michael and Carol Waters- My parents. My relationship with them is very strained... and very fake when we are together. They hardly even contact me these days, too involved in their great adventures with Elizabeth outside the country to even send an owl. But I suppose it's better that way- they've refused to address the core issues that prompted me to withdraw myself from them. Elizabeth has always been the best sister- leaving Mary and I on our own in too many respects. We could have still worked it out... but then two major things happened. First, they forbade me from visiting Mary in the hospital without one of them present- and, by the way, they barely visited. So I had a choice- I could leave Mary in the hospital scared and alone, or I could find a way to deceive my parents and visit her. The sacrifices I made... I blame my parents for that. The second thing is Luke... they refused to help cure him of his cancer. I know it could have been done- and I didn't know how to get it done- but I thought this was my chance. I could begin my relationship with my parents anew, because they would save my best friend. Instead, their reaction ripped any chance of a relationship to pieces. I never saw them the same way again. I want a better relationship with them, especially for Rose's sake... but in order to do that, I would have to bring up those issues- which, from their words and actions, they dismissed long ago.
Mary Waters- My older sister. She has such a tender heart and a great inner strength to her. Our relationship has rarely been difficult- we have always understood each other. I was the protector growing up, even though she was older. The first time she fainted, I was terrified. She began fainting up to five times a day, without warning, and she was quite dizzy when she came to. The Healers still don't have an exact name for what the illness is or what caused it. But she would go to St. Mungo's for months at a time- she started very late at Hogwarts. She hated being stuck in that hospital room. When she wasn't feeling especially poorly, I'd sneak her out through the window and down the tree, just to lie on the grass and talk. When Mary was home, we'd play in the trees and run through the forest looking for flowers. I think that's why Mary likes the sun and flowers so much. Anyway, after one of our escapades outside, my parents forbade me from visiting her. There was no way I was going to not take care of my sister. I snuck out of the house to take the Knight Bus over to the hospital. They didn't really give me an allowance, so I had to find a means to get money. They always liked it when I sang, so I tried out for the school musical and got a supporting role. We would go out for cast parties and dinners all the time, and I would ask my parents for money to get food. Then I'd blow off the party and go to the hospital to see my sister. I made trips to Gringotts to convert the Muggle money to Wizard coins. Mary doesn't know about any of this... she was too sick to pick up on what was going on, and I wasn't about to burden her. I suppose I could tell her now that it's over... but there wouldn't be much point. It would just feel like I was praising myself. Besides, when I left for Poland, Mary had to fend for herself... and she got involved in such a sad lifestyle. When she confessed, I had my say with a couple of those men who hurt her. I'm surprised that Mary forgave me so easily for leaving her alone... but that's how Mary is. Now she has Benjamin, and I'm just so glad to see that she's happy and safe with him.
Benjamin Flaherty- Soon he will be my brother-in-law. I'm glad to see Mary happy with him, and because of him. My own relationship with him appears a bit strained- I misinterpreted his intentions when he bought that house. I thought he was going to ask Mary to move in with him... I wasn't anticipating a marriage proposal. But he's shown over and over that he's committed, and true to his word. I still don't think he completely trusts me though- but I suppose that's okay. I'm not sure I would trust me either.
Elizabeth Waters- My other older sister, and the favorite of the family. She catered to my parents wishes, and now has the means to do what she pleases. My relationship with her is more distant rather than strained. We never understood each other. While I was rebelling against my parents, she was grovelling in submission to their will. Her relationship with our parents was never strained because she always did what they wanted. She never understood why caring for Mary was so important to me, or even why I loved the forest. She took on my parents wishes well, and willingly. I simply have very little to say to her now. She's currently off travelling the world with my parents, making friends and going to parties all around the world. She seems to be happy; she knows where to find me if she isn't.
Karith Black- Although he's my brother-in-law, I don't know him that well. He was the best man at Ferlen's and my wedding. I remember how broken up Ferlen was when he was being tried for Professor Young's murder, but somehow he became the Minister's bodyguard. I don't pretend to understand it all- but if Ferlen wants to get together with his brother, I'd willingly accompany him.
Friends and Acquaintances
Marléne- I consider Marlene one of my best friends. Our friendship is easygoing. We may not see each other often, but we always have something to talk about when we do get together. She has always been loyal to me. When I was working on how to block the Cruciatus Curse, she was willing to help me learn how to block the Imperius Curse as a building block... and keep my secret. I owe her a lot for that, and she has my loyalty in return.
Ashley- The friendship I have with Ashley now is quite... unexpected. In our Hogwarts years she was intimidating. I was a bit scared of her... better then her friend Lyndsay though. Their combined scars were my first close look at child abuse... anyway, Ferlen took Ashley to the Yule Ball, and I honestly was hoping he'd ask me. So I was a bit jealous- okay, very jealous- and steered clear of her. But then Lily happened. Everything that happened is a lot to write down, and even though a lot of people know, it's not my secret to share... but in the end, she was broken up as Lily slowly slipped away, and I reached out to her. She doesn't have many close friends, or people that she even remotely trusts- so I should feel privileged that I'm in that tiny circle.
Luke- I miss him. We did a few theater productions together... I brought him to my forest.... He knew what to say when I was sad- he could even pick up on my emotions, which were reserved even back then- and he could cheer me up and make me laugh within moments. I trusted him. I think I might have even loved him. But he didn't live long enough for me to find out for sure. He was diagnosed with osteosarcoma- bone cancer. I was angry when my parents wouldn't cure him. The cancer might have ultimately killed him, but he also died because my parents refused to help him. He was my best friend.
Hope- I like Hope very much. She's very caring and very open. She's been a good friend, and her visits have always been light and cheery. It's fun watching Regan progress, especially now that I have my own little one to help along in her development. Hope is such a wonderful mother to Regan, and a great example- I wish I could provide that for my own daughter.
Lily- I was never particularly close with Lily. She helped me a couple times in Hogwarts, giving me relationship advice with Ferlen and using the Marauder's Map to find him for me. Most of what I know about her has been relayed through other people. But with all her secrets, and everything she did... I'm afraid I might be a lot like her.
Phoebe- Phoebe is Ashley's creation- Lily's body, half of Lily's soul, false memories. Ashley did a decent job... as far as I know Lily knew nothing about weddings, and Phoebe was an expert when she helped Ferlen and I plan ours. She's a wonderful person, but it's a bit uncomfortable for me to be around her- since I know the truth.
Michelle- Before I talk about Renee, I should briefly mention Michelle. She was a few years younger than me, and my first close-up encounter with mental illness. She had anorexia, and she had bouts of good days, and bouts of bad days. We were friends, but I never considered us especially close. I helped her eat. I took a bite, she took a bite. She attended my Muggle school, and after Luke died and I went back to Hogwarts, I lost contact with her, along with everyone else. She's one of the reasons I'm afraid to find my old Muggle friends... I don't want to find out her illness has gotten worse.
Renée- She's currently in St. Mungo's, fighting through a mental illness. I understand her in some ways... she doesn't know how to handle a lot of support in a time of crisis, and she needs space. By reaching out my support, she seems to have grabbed my hand in the same way Ashley did- except with her, it seems more as-needed. I'm concerned for her, but more for Mary and Ashley's sakes than my own.
Now that I've referenced this 'Dark research' and how I feel inadequate because of it... I suppose I should give an explanation for this next section. It's changed who I am completely. If I were to put the Sorting Hat on now, I'm not sure if I'd still be a Gryffindor or if I'd be Sorted into Slytherin. Something scary about this... if I had the chance to go back and decide not to pursue this research... I'm not sure if I'd take it. The Darkness has its hold on me still.
My Dark research began in my seventh year at Hogwarts. I became interested-
I don't think I can write this down. I already explained it once... that should be enough.
(Below is a written version of her memory, explaining her research to Ferlen.)
Once they were in the basement, she went straight to the back wall, pulling out her wand and murmuring her name. The wall dissolved, revealing a huge, empty room, like a warehouse. The floor was cushioned in some places, and in the middle of the room was a desk and a bookshelf. Half of the bookshelf consisted of journals; some had various notes and papers sticking out of them, while others looked cleaner, more polished. The rest of the bookshelf held all kinds of books, the biggest one being Secrets of the Darkest Art. Others included information about Legilimency, Occlumency, the Unforgivable Curses, and potion making. The desk was bare except for a flask of dark purple potion, half empty.
He would follow her, looking around and taking account of everything. He would follow his wife through the room, then get her settled into the desk chair. "Alright...so before I ask the obvious questions about the things in this room...why don't we start at the beginning. How long has this been going on?"
She glanced at the Legilimency and Occlumency books. "It began with Legilimency and Occlumency, which I studied beginning in my last year of Hogwarts. As for the Unforgivables, I've been studying them since September 2021."
Her voice was a bit dull, but stronger than before. "It took me a long time, but I actually did teach myself. Occlumency was easier- I could test it in most conversations, but it was difficult to figure out when I'd nailed it. Legilimency was trickier- at the time, Mary offered to help me, and let me practice on her. After that I tested it on various Muggles to make sure I had really nailed it."
"At the time, it simply seemed like a useful skill. I kept it secret because I knew of the possible dangers, and I was headstrong enough to believe I could repair any damage by myself. As it was, there was no lasting damage to repair from that research, though Kinsel definitely wasn't pleased when he found out."
"He didn't find out until I told him two years ago. By then my focus had shifted to the Unforgivable Curses, and how I could mix the Occlumency skills with it to block the Cruciatus Curse in the same way as the Imperius Curse. I was asking for his advice."
"The research was controversial, and I felt I had to keep it outside the Ministry- but I needed a push in the right direction. Kinsel gave me a copy of an excerpt from Salavar Slytherin's journal, detailing an experiment that used Occlumency to protect the mind from the Imperius Curse, and a theory that it could be applied to the Cruciatus Curse." She glanced around. "That's the only thing from this you won't find in here. He ordered me to destroy it when I was finished."
He would frown, trying to figure out where to add that piece. Kinsel had been involved...helped her. What did that mean? "Ok...So at some point your focus shifted to unforgiveable curses. When did that happen, and why? What made that change?"
"The change in focus was an accident. I was looking up something in the "C" section of a spell encyclopedia, and I just keep reading, eventually getting to the Cruciatus Curse. I had been working on Occlumency earlier that day. The theory developed in my mind, which led to more research."
She shrunk back in her chair. "Marlene had told me before that she knew how to block the Imperius Curse, so I asked her to teach me. A huge part of that was observation- which made me realize I wouldn't only have to learn the mechanics of blocking the curse, but the mechanics of performing it. I practiced for months on animals at a Muggle zoo before trying it with Marlene."
She averted her gaze. "Once I learned how to block the Imperius Curse, I shifted to the Cruciatus Curse. I wasn't willing to practice that curse on anyone else, including animals. So I found a way to practice it on myself." She glanced at the potion.
"I created a potion that breaks down one’s self-preservation without inducing self-destruction. It consists of two valerian roots, one powdered unicorn horn, two flying seahorses, three scarab beetles, and four pinches of powdered ginger."
"To protect others. The Cruciatus Curse isn't just about the pain of the moment. It's about the permanent damage that can happen to the mind. Look at all the cases at St. Mungo's, where the mind is completely gone, like the Longbottoms. My goal was to make it so that when it happened, the ones being attacked couldn't feel pain- it wouldn't effect them at all, and they could keep fighting. My plan was to succeed first, then surrender the research to the Ministry, and to the Auror department, to do what they wished with it, and with me." Her voice quieted. "I took every precaution I could think of with this. Once I succeeded in blocking it using the potion, I started doing it without the potion. Never more than five times in one session, and the sessions have been at least 2 days apart as of late... it used to be 3 days, but I tried to speed up the process."
He would help her up, keeping an arm around her waist, touching her as if she were delicate and he was worried she might break. "...and tomorrow I want you to get checked out as St. Mungos. Make sure you're ok. After that we'll figure out...everything else."
He would nod. "That's fine too...but I want someone to check out your mind too and make sure you're not falling apart inside. If you don't mind her doing that, I'm fine with it. If you'd rather her not know another healer would be ok too."
She nodded, then bit her lip. With every word and action, Ferlen was expressing over and over that he loved her. But that didn't mean he couldn't be angry- he was definitely hurt. She studied his face, trying to read his emotion.
She led him out of the room, then pulled out her wand to seal the entrance. She watched as the wall closed- there was no keeping it completely hidden again. She kept her head upright and shoulders squared as she walked steadily up the stairs.
Mary came the next day, and she concluded that I didn't have any type of mental illness... however, the effects of the research began to reveal themselves later. I can't feel emotion naturally. My normal state is an emotionless one- it takes effort to open the door to my emotions and let them out. It's easier to just keep the door closed- letting out the emotion is more exhausting then holding it in when it gets very strong. I can almost dictate what I feel- I bring out the emotions I want to experience, and automatically hide the emotions I don't want to experience. Another effect is my perception of pain... it takes intense concentration for me to be able to feel physical pain. It's one thing that made Rose's delivery more complicated. Even though Mary didn't diagnose me with a mental illness... the guilt and the worthlessness that has arisen from this is sometimes overwhelming, and is showing up in my Boggart. My Patronus has also changed, from a lion to a badger- another reason I'm not sure I'm a Gryffindor anymore. I've paid a heavy price- but I consider myself lucky not to have lost anyone I care about because of this. I was scared when I attempted to destroy it- I nearly placed Ferlen under the Cruciatus Curse. And in the end... I couldn't destroy it. Which leads me to the next section.
Ferlen convinced me to try to destroy the Dark objects in the basement. When I was overcome with the desire to hurt him, I Stunned him and levitated him upstairs. A part of me was angry because he was forcing me to do this... except that he wasn't forcing me to do anything. This was my choice- and I chose to simply create duplicates of everything, and move them to another location. I created an underground fortress in my parents' forest. I've never taken Ferlen there, but it's somewhere that I've always felt safe. That day the place was hastily built and the research tools speedily moved, but I later went back and enchanted the place much more securely. I'll be able to research things better there- and since it's well away from my home, Rose won't be in any danger if something were to go wrong.
There are two things I'm working on right now. One is figuring out what other kinds of spells I can block other than the Cruciatus Curse. The other isn't necessarily Dark... but it is certainly a bit grim. I'm creating a fear simulation... working on a potion that will trigger one's fear response, combined with the techniques used to create a simulation. Making that kind of potion is a bit tricky, but I'm sure it can be done. From there one would find herself in scenario after scenario of their worst fears, and they will be given the opportunity to combat each one within the simulation. I won't go into too much detail about it here- everything about it is in the fortress- but this project will take time. Even if I shouldn't reveal the project's full contents when it is complete, perhaps it will at least help me combat some of my own fears.
July 15, 2024
My cats are following me everywhere today. I just put Rose down for another nap, and Inyx is curled up next to the crib, Echo is curled up next to me on the couch, and Iambe is currently running around downstairs. So with this next section, I'm going to talk about the pets I've had throughout my life, since I've always loved my pets dearly, and it's something much lighter to talk about then what I ended with yesterday.
Echo- I've had Echo since I was... 9 years old? That makes her over 15 years old now. She's old for a cat, but she hasn't really shown her age much. The owner at Magical Menagerie told me that Echo must have some magical qualities... I'm not sure what they are. Nevertheless, she's quite a friendly cat, and she loves the outdoors. She seems to know me well- she leaves me alone when I need to be left in solitude, she offers herself up to be stroked when I need comfort. One thing's for sure: she's a very intelligent animal. I love her dearly.
Inyx- Against all odds, Echo had kittens. I didn't realize she wasn't spayed... I guess my parents didn't bother with the extra expense... anyway, she had two kittens, and Inyx has grown to be a very independent young cat. She's easygoing when you want her to be, but her preferences of everything from food to bedding are made pretty clear. She seems to have been attached to Rose from the day I brought her back from the hospital. At least I know it's not her own motherly instinct kicking in- I made sure to get her spayed.
Iambe- Iambe is Inyx's sister, and she is a clown. She'll do all kinds of goofy things to get our attention, like rolling around on the ground or going crazy jumping on and off the living room chairs in circles. She has one blue eye and one green eye, so she's a bit odd to look at, but she's a very beautiful creature with her soft white fur, and her craziness can cheer people up.
Aleksy- Aleksy is my current owl. He's a quiet creature, and if he were human I'd say he's very sensible and direct. He's young- I bought him soon after I returned from Poland.
Jara- She is my former owl, from my Hogwarts years all the way to Poland. She was a beautiful companion, a quiet presence as I mused on the lake or was alone in the Owlery. She died while I was in Poland- giving me even more of an excuse to lose contact with those back home.
Charlie- He was my dog back at home, a poodle-Bengal mix. After I graduated and left for Poland, my parents and sister Elizabeth continued their world travels, leaving Charlie to be adopted by a Muggle family. I hope he's happy there.
So... after all that... what's my personality? Really I think you can draw your own conclusions from my relationships and my research- the pets were more of a fun thing. I'm not the best judge of who I am. When Mary asked me to rate my self-esteem, at the time I gave her a 4. Now, I'd give it a 6- better, but still not great. I'm not the best person to ask about who I am. I know I'm determined, compassionate, and intelligent. I took some personality tests... I'm an INFP. In the Cattel's 16 Factor Test, I have high abstractness, independence, and openmindedness, and low social assertiveness and anxiety. In the True Colors Personality Test, I am a Blue, with my secondary personalities being Orange and Green. My primary love language is words of affirmation, with physical touch being second. I guess I figured out my personality that way because I'm a researcher, not really a soul-searcher. I know who I am, but my personality can't be limited to words on a page. You know most of the key facts about me, and the factors that shaped me into who I am... make your own judgment about what defines me, and where I am on the scale of good and evil.
Her middle name is Catherine.
Her model is Catherine Zeta-Jones and was previously Echostar (me!)
She stands at 5'6".
She speaks Polish fluently, and is also well-versed in Polish sign language, French, German, Russian, Arabic, Spanish, and Chinese.
She and Ferlen were engaged on Friday, December 21, 2021, and married on Thursday, August 18, 2022.
Teresa has two tattoos. The first is a line tattoo of a book and a Muggle pen, placed behind her right ear so her hair covers it. When the tattoo is touched, the book opens and the pen writes the word 'Natalie' in beautiful script. The second tattoo is on the bottom of her left foot, visible only to her and anyone who touches the tattoo. It is the word 'Przepraszam,' the Polish word for 'I'm sorry,' in the same black script as the book.
Teresa has created four spells: Color Augendae, Confirma Lentium, Hemavicis Atramentum, Tempero Miscetis
This character has been requested to be preserved by Echostar.