((Work in progress, obviously. Standard disclaimer about not using stuff IC unless you have a reason to know it.))
Amira is descended from a long line of North African wizards who fled into the Sahara desert to avoid persecution by muggles. On her father's side, her ancestors settled a village deep in southern Algeria and used magical sandstorms to repel any unwelcome visitors. They were quite successful and remain undisturbed by muggles to this day while maintaining a friendly relationship with other magical communities across the region. This enforced isolation from muggles has kept their bloodline pure, with very few members of the family bringing home mixed blood spouses. As is common with Uagadou families, they have a proud tradition of strong transfiguration skills, with nearly every member becoming an animagus prior to graduation.
Amira's family passes family headship and inheritance along the line of the eldest child, regardless of gender. Though she is younger than many of her cousins and she lives in Britain, her father is her grandmother's eldest, making her third in line to lead their village. Her position has not gone unchallenged. Amenzu's younger brother has claimed that his eldest daughter is the true heir and that Amira cannot become family head because she doesn't live in the village or attend Uagadou. While her grandmother presently supports the current line of inheritance, much of her approval hinges on how well her granddaughter does in school. If Amira cannot demonstrate sufficient mastery over subjects which matter to the family, it's possible she may be removed from the line of succession.
Hunting werewolves is both a tradition and business in the Zidane family. It began nearly three centuries ago, when Basira Zidane's youngest daughter was killed by a werewolf. Grief-struck and outraged, Basira and two of her brothers used their animagus forms to track the responsible werewolf down. They stalked him for weeks, waiting, and as soon as the next full moon rose, they struck, killing the creature. But even with him dead, she wasn’t finished. The attack had woken something inside of her. She wouldn’t be happy until every werewolf was dead, until no mother had to suffer the loss she did.
Even after Basira passed, her cause was not forgotten. The family heads after her, her children and grandchildren, took it up as their own. They formed groups of hunters with powerful animagi forms and travelled across Africa, following rumors of attacks to the sources. When wizarding villages caught wind of the hunting parties, they were thrilled and offered payment in exchange for dealing with their lycanthrope problem.
For years, their business flourished. Towns with lycanthropes were often so frightened that they would pay almost anything to be rid of them. To avoid being tricked into hurting innocent people, hunters agreed to only kill after the werewolf transformed, making their fights all the fiercer. Hunting only declined after Damocles invented the wolfsbane potion and has continued to lose momentum as more people become supportive of werewolf rights. Today, there are just six werewolf hunters in the extended Zidane family, well below the numbers of previous generations. However, their services are still sought. In areas where the stigma never waned, they are hired to kill recent bite victims and those who can't or won't take the potion. Given that it can be difficult to find a skilled potionmaker or afford their services in rural Africa, many werewolves are forced to go without, which means continued business for the few who choose it.
The hunting style used by the Zidane family is distinct. Since werewolves are less interested in attacking animals, they use their animagi forms to track and destroy their target. Each party travels in groups of three, with two animagi capable of dealing heavy damage and one who serves as a scout. Once the werewolf is identified, they stalk their target ahead of the full moon in both human and animal forms, watching them and gaining an understanding of the area they live in. As soon as the moon rises and their target transforms, they chase it away from populated areas and into the wilderness, then kill it. Those which attempt to flee are chased by the lighter, faster scout, who tracks their target until it turns back into a human, then finishes it off.
Many children in the family still eagerly await the day they're old enough to begin the process of becoming an animagus, hoping that their form is strong or fast enough that they could hunt. Even if they don’t want to go into that line of work, it’s a point of pride to have a form which could take out a werewolf. Many tears have been shed by the family’s teenagers upon discovering, after years of anticipation, that their form is a mouse or a fish.
Amenzu and Tatbirt
With their position towards the southern edge of Algeria, the Zidane family has attended Uagadou for as long as any of them can remember. Amenzu Zidane was no exception, doing incredibly well in school and becoming a star on the transfiguration team. In his fifth year, he fell in love with another member of the team, Tatbirt Zbiri. She came from a strict, traditional family and was far more reserved than he was. They shared a love of fashion, with Amenzu dreaming of opening his own boutique in Algiers and Tatbirt wanting to see her designs walk down the runways in Paris. It wasn't long before they were making plans for what to do after school. Then, Tatbirt's family struck, arranging a marriage and promising to wed her to one of her cousins after she graduated. They wouldn't tolerate their daughter running off abroad instead of raising a family at home.
Desperately in love, they hatched a scheme, with Amenzu spiriting his love away as soon as they were done with school. After a week, her family came calling and a fight broke out. When the dust had settled, Tatbirt was disowned by her family. She would never see them again. The pair married that year and immediately went to work on their dreams. On a trip to Oran, they met a British wizard who extolled the virtues of fashion and living in Britain, and they stayed in communication with him. Soon, instead of looking to move to Paris or Algiers, they set sights on London. By the fall of 1997, they were nearly ready to move into a London home. Before they could though, the second wizarding war broke out. Even though they were pureblood and unlikely to be targeted by Voledemort's forces, Amenzu called everything off.
Instead, the couple moved to Algiers as they had originally planned, renting a small shop there and getting their clothing brand going. Over the next eleven years, they earned acclaim from African wizarding fashion magazines. Yet, in the back of their minds, they were always waiting to move on. Africa just didn't have the same level of international acclaim as Europe, and they would never truly take off until they reached London. With the war long gone and peace mostly reigning, the couple finally made their move in late 2009 and set up shop in an east London boutique.
Amira's Early Life
Born two years after the move to London, Amira was the first member of her paternal family to be born outside of Algeria in over 300 years. Despite that, she spent much of her first five years in her parent's native land at the behest of her grandparents. They feared that if their eldest son's child didn't experience their culture, she would be lost entirely. As a result, she learned their native Tamahaq and Arabic before English, but intensive speech training ensured she didn't develop the same accent as her parents. Once she grew into a proper child, Amira helped around her parent's shop between doing lessons, learning to sew, knit, dye, and crochet.
As she approached 10 years old, her grandmother traveled to London with a mission: To ensure that their family maintained their proud tradition of Uagadou graduates, and to keep her granddaughter from being tainted by Britain's sub-par wizardry. The fight that erupted could be heard streets away, and no one came out on top. Her parents argued that as a British citizen, she should go to Hogwarts with other British children and make important connections there, while her grandmother felt that Hogwarts' schooling was insufficient and feared Amira would come out a dunce. The fighting continued through a series of howlers for her entire 10th year, culminating in a botched kidnapping only two days before her 11th birthday. Eventually, they reached an agreement: Amira would attend her first year at Hogwarts. If her schooling was not up to the standards of an impartial judge, her grandmother could petition Uagadou to accept her the next year. With an incredible amount of pressure sitting on her shoulders, she set off on the Hogwarts Express.
Life at Hogwarts
With all the pressure of her family's expectations on top of her, Amira did very little in terms of socializing or extracurricular activities for her first year. She focused on studying and making high enough marks to please her grandmother, who mailed her extra assignments and tests each week. She ended that year with incredibly high grades, but without many friends or memories. It took all summer to recover from her exhaustion and she didn't look forward to going back to school, knowing it would be more of the same.
The first part of second year continued much the same as the first, with incredible pressure. Her grandmother had relented when the judge decided Amira's schooling was more than up to standards but continued to bombard her with increasingly difficult homework assignments. Towards the end of winter, the work finally pushed her over the edge and she landed in the hospital wing with a panic attack. It took several sternly-worded letters from her parents to convince her grandmother to back off a bit. That spring, Amira finally managed to enjoy school a bit, becoming friends with Raven Stormborn and Thana Izumi.
Starting third year with a Slytherin Head Boy and Girl was a dream come true. Frustrated with her house constantly losing the cup, she felt like this was finally the year to win. Amira immediately took on the role of unofficial enforcer, trying to keep the house's fist years in line and earn as many points as possible for them. She liked being a bit older and knowing the school better, and became protective of some of the first years in her house.
Perhaps they should have paid attention to the banshee's wail when it descended on them. After the courtyard fountain exploded early in the year, students quickly fell victim to a mysterious assailant and fear gripped the school while they grappled with who or what was attacking them. When she saw how afraid her friends were, Amira knew something had to be done. She spent hours reading about self-defense in the library, then invited everyone she could to the dueling room. The first meeting of the self defense club was an encouraging success. She found that she enjoyed teaching others and being in command of a room.
Outside of the club, the mood around the castle grew increasingly dark with every attack. Suspecting a vampire or dhampir, students took to wearing scarves and carrying around garlic. Though she was skeptical of how effective a bit of wool would be against a blood-sucking attacker, Amira wore one constantly. She couldn't help but be influenced by the fear surrounding her, particularly when attacks closed their dungeon home, and expressed her emotions through knitting a bizzare array of squid-shaped hats.
Finally, everything came to a head when Lucille Brónach, a vampire investigator, was attacked. Soon, crammed into a pitch-black great hall, they learned the name and nature of their foe. Afraid of not being able to see over the heads of taller students, Amira climbed onto a table but became paralyzed with fear when Miles, the vampire who had been attacking them, appeared to threaten them one final time. It was during that terrifying night that she gained a deep respect for Persephone Vitrac, who climbed up on the table and stood with her throughout the entire ordeal, keeping her safe. Miles died that night by Lucille's hand, ending months of fright.
Slowly, things relaxed into winter break. Amira joined the Owl Post after being inspired to write an article. From her success with the self defense club, she re-founded Slytherin's dueling club in early 2025. While she didn't consider herself a great duelist, being able to provide a practice space and help her house made her proud. Even more importantly, the club gave her practice defending against a new enemy who had emerged, Abbie Peyroux. The older girl had taken insult at Amira's defense of Brynhilde Mclachlan and had begun to target her.
Relative peace, unfortunately, would not last long at Hogwarts. The February full moon brought tragedy with it when several students went missing and one was attacked. Amira immediately began speaking out against werewolves to her classmates, only to be shut down repeatedly by nearly every person she came across. No one seemed to care about the dangers that werewolves posed. Instead, they saw them as innocent victims, something which she couldn't abide by. The lessons about how evil every werewolf was had been deeply impressed upon her from before she could speak, making her hatred of them fierce and instinctive. No amount of reasoning by anyone, even Essa Nazari, could shake her belief that every werewolf deserved death.
Only a handful of people listened and agreed, one quite unexpectedly: the Ouroboros. The previous year's boogeyman delivered a letter which emboldened the Snake and drove her to seek out more information about everything which had been happening at Hogwarts in hopes of finding a link or discovering her new friend's identity. While she learned quite a bit and gained both a few of and respect for the number three, nothing brought her closer to the enigmatic serpent. On the other side of the investigation, she found herself increasingly isolated.
"To look at her, she is innocence and sweetness, but there is something wicked beneath all that. Her heart is black and hatred bubbles beneath the surface." - An anonymous writer
Amira feels a strong pull towards leadership. She wants others to follow and look up to her, but her ability to be an effective leader is still tempered by her pride and immaturity. In the right mood and when supported by the right people, she can be sensible and create well thought out plans. If her planning isn’t tainted by her vengeful streak, she aims to do the right thing and use her influence to help others. When it is tainted, she can create dark scenarios aimed at exacting her own brand of justice on whoever or whatever has wronged her. The times when she's successfully united a group and accomplished a goal are some of her fondest memories, but also an occasional source of shame.
She genuinely cares for her friends and is quite protective of them. To Amira, her friends are the people who will keep her safe and have her back, and that means she's responsible for doing the same for them, creating a strong bond of loyalty between her and those she’s closest to. For her, to betray a friend would be almost unthinkable, and to be betrayed would be one of the greatest offenses someone could commit.
It's hard to tell where her own natural studiousness ends and where her anxiety over not being good enough for her family begins. The two intermingle in a constant dance of feeling inferior and propel her forward. Her intelligence isn’t effortless and she works hard at most subjects. If she doesn't think she's doing well at a subject which is important to her future or her family, she beats herself up and laments that she'll never be good enough. For subjects which she considers less important, she takes a more relaxed stance and is far less bothered by taking her time to improve in them. This can lead to her being lax about work in some classes and doing poorly.
Amira looks up to her werewolf-hunting relatives the way many children look up to the aurors in their family. She admires their bravery and sees them as a genuine force for good. In her eyes, they're protecting innocent people from being harmed by dangerous, uncontrollable beasts. She fully believes that werewolves are disasters waiting to happen and that they should be purged for the good of everyone. Unfortunately, her views have put her at odds with more progressive-minded students and any werewolves in the school.
Currently, Amira’s greatest fear is to be seen as a failure by her family and her greatest hope is to become an animagus prior to graduation.
Rumor Has It...
All information in this section can be used IC without needing to ask if you would know it.
- She speaks several languages, including Arabic.
- Her family owns a trendy robe shop in London.
- She is the first person in her family to attend Hogwarts.
- It’s also been said, a third year slytherin is looking to push someone down the grand staircase at some point this year. It’s on her bucket list… She says it’s an experiment. (3rd year)
- Some Slytherin keeps throwing things off the stairs and claiming it’s an experiment – ouch! (3rd year)
- Harsh words were exchanged between a third-year Snake and Eagle over dinner, with the Snake accused of cursing someone behind their back and the Eagle accused of making a set of famous posters. (3rd year)
- Zidane blew up Maclodon because the professor tortured Otter. Is there love between the two? (3rd year)
- Apparently both a fight and a fire broke out in the Owl post meeting. Unrelated though. (3rd year)
- First her fit during the OP meeting, now a breakdown at dueling? Has Zidane completely lost her mind. (3rd year)
- A Slytherin was seen hopping about at their table, yelling “three” over and over again. Is this the new 59? (3rd year)
- Rumour has it a third year Slytherin wants all werewolves to be killed to solve the problem of lycanthropy (3rd year)
- With how a certain third-year is acting lately, maybe SHE is the werewolf. (3rd year)
- A certain werewolf hater was conspicuously absent during the last Hogsmeade visit. Did she finally get a ban for her hate speech? (3rd year)
- A fiery feud between Eagle and Snake has seemingly ended their friendship. At fault? Buttons, posters, and strong opinions. (3rd year)
- The head boy got into it with a third-year over some nasty remarks about his girlfriend. Fortunately, he came out the better. Would have been pretty embarrassing if he didn’t! (3rd year)
- A weird smell crept out of the third year Slytherin girls dorms on Thursday night. What were they doing in there? (3rd year)
- Amira is an Arabic given name meaning "Princess". It is the feminine form of "Amir" and is a very common name in North Africa and the Middle East.
- Tayri is a Berber Amazigh given name meaning "Love".
- Zidane is an Arabic surname meaning "Increase" or "Growth". It is a common surname in Algeria.
Amira Zidane is played by Arwyn Quandry. Her typist runs on EST and is rarely available before 4pm SLT during the week.