curse of the hope diamond

Muggle and Wizarding cultures alike are filled with stories of cursed jewels and jewellery. Much like another famed “cursed” gem– the Hope Diamond– the Oxford Diamond’s curse is said to have been the cause of various illnesses, extreme misfortune, fits of madness and insanity, and no less than twenty deaths.

Set in 24 carat gold and surrounded by twelve smaller diamonds, the extremely rare coal black Oxford Diamond was mined in the 12th century and immediately purchased by pureblood wizard Barberus Maddock for an undisclosed amount of Galleons. The raw stone was kept in the family vault until the 17th century, when Olaf Maddock, a descendant of Barberus, made the decision to remove the diamond and have it made into a ring for his betrothed, Alice Poole. 

Unlike his relatives, Olaf Maddock did not care about preserving the wealth of his family and within three years of his parents’ death, had run through nearly all of his inheritance and family fortune. Fearing bankruptcy and an end to his lavish lifestyle, Olaf knew that it was imperative he find a wealthy wife. The House of Poole was known as an extremely noble and wealthy house and with his charm and persona, Olaf had no trouble convincing Alice or her parents to accept his marriage proposal. 

Unfortunately for Alice– who by this time had fallen madly in love with her betrothed– Olaf did not care for her, only her money. After their marriage, Olaf’s false demeanour of charm and love had faded and left in its place bitterness and greed. Despite Alice’s advances and pleading, Olaf would barely look at her– although he had no problem burning through her fortune. Within two years, Olaf had, for the second time, bled his bank accounts dry. Once again, he resolved to replenish his wealth through marriage and he promptly told Alice that they were to be divorced and for any possessions gifted to her to be returned to him. 

By this time, Alice’s attempts to gain her husbands affection and love had very nearly driven her mad, and the news of impending divorce finally sent her over the edge. Performing dark magic that had only appeared a handful of times since the Middle Ages, Alice cursed the ring, condemning anyone who wore it to a lifetime of misfortune, illness, and madness. 

Not long after his divorce, Maddock remarried, and just as Alice had ordered, his new bride fell ill within the first few months and not even a year into the marriage, perished from an undocumented illness. Maddock, chalking it up to coincidence, was unphased by his bride’s death. He continued to marry women for money, only to have them die in various ways months later: three women died from unknown illness, one threw herself from her bedroom window and the final wife, only known as C. Maddock, was sent to an asylum after exhibiting erratic and disturbing behaviour, dying shorty thereafter.

Olaf Maddock had finally exhausted his pool of potential wives and left with an enormous amount of debt, sold the Oxford Diamond. He died at the age of 57 and while the cause of death is undocumented, it is thought to be at his own hand. Throughout the years, the Oxford Diamond circulated the country, leaving death and destruction in its wake. In 1934, it was placed in the Department of Mysteries at the British Ministry of Magic, where it resides to this very day. 

Ms. P. Merryweather, 16 September, 2014

anonymous asked:

I know you've said in the past that you like the gritty realism of Arrow, and are not a fan of "metahumans" and "powers" like in the Flash. But this upcoming season of Arrow, they are gonna talk about magic and mysticism, which you've said you're looking forward to. What's the difference between powers and magic? Just curious :) (and sorry for my English)

Hey Anon!  This is a great question.

When I first heard about Arrow I was leery for this very reason.  I am not a super powers girl.  Now, don’t get me wrong.  I’ve seen lots of super hero movies.  I’ve enjoyed them. There’s nothing “wrong” with them.  Everybody has their own personal preferences when it comes to story & entertainment. So when they assured me from the go – when they made me a story promise – that Arrow would remain gritty, grounded and “real,” I believed them and allowed myself to step into their world.  (Don’t turn into liars, Arrow.  I’m watching you.  Keep that promise with only the extremely rare exception.)

The problem with superpowers for me… I get bored of superpower driven shows so fast it’d leave The Flash in a cloud of dust in my rear view mirror.  It becomes a one-note “thing” for shows, like, Oh look.  He can run fast.  Problem?  Run.  Villain?  Run.  Run, Barry, RUN!!!!!!!!!!  *yawn*  And I don’t mean that as an insult to the Flash. I hear it’s a great show.  I’m sure it is.  It’s just not my personal thing.

I don’t find powers compelling.  If you ask me Batman or Superman? I’m saying “Batman!” before you can finish that sentence.  I find a normal human being, putting his/her life on the line, who can die every single time he goes out (but choosing to do it anyway) far more compelling and relate-able than an alien guy that essentially is immortal.  It always felt like cheating to me. LOL.

Okay, so Superpowers vs. Magic/Mysticism.

People who can shoot lasers out their eyes.  People who can trans-morph to look like anyone (or anything) else.  People who can fly.  People who can morph into rock so bullets bounce off them or stretch their limbs so they look Stretch Armstrong or turn invisible.  People who can run so fast they time travel.  All of these things “don’t exist.”  We know they don’t exist.  It’s beyond science and straight into fantasy land.  To me, those are “superpowers.”

Now, swing over to the other side of “mysticism” and magic.  Regardless of the main themes here, magic is, generally, based in something familiar to us, be it religion, folklore/legend, or even science.  Telepathy, healing springs, psychic ability, spirit animal connection, prophetic dreams, ghosts, curses, near death experiences, the paranormal, etc.  These are all elements found in our lives with just enough “truth” running through them that we think, “Ya know, you never know.  This could exist.  One day, science could even prove…”  There’s just enough of a thread of reality to them to build plausible scenarios in our own imaginations.

The Fountain of Youth.  The Curse of the Hope Diamond.  The Haunting of the Ohio State Reformatory.  Spells. Voodoo.  Vision quests.  Reiki healing.  Crystal/Rock power.  Tarot cards.  Prophecies.  Past lives.  Avoidance of the #13.  Lucky rabbit’s foot.  Lighting a candle to honor the dead.  Heck, even the Magic 8-ball and Ouija board.  Light as a feather, stiff as a board. 

All of these things are ingrained in our every day life.  A part of is even willing to accept (some, if not all) on a level.  I mean, look at Nostradamus.  Dude’s been dead 1566 and people still go back and read his prophecies and are willing to accept they hold influence and truth even today.  Our “logic” brain might scoff at these things, but deep down, a part of us still thinks, “What if….”

People check into certain spas around the world for the healing properties of their mud baths or hot springs. Entire medical facilities tie religious faith into treating real medical conditions.   All magic and mysticism (or faith depending on how you prefer to look at or label things).

Spin me a tale of a flying man in a cape and spandex who swooped out of the sky the night your house was on fire and whisked you to safety and I’m side-eying you while suggesting maybe you need to be checked out at a hospital and get a few more huffs of oxygen.  Tell me about a dream you had where your dead grandmother came to you and warned you to wake up and get out of the house, which woke you just as a fire broke out downstairs (enabling you plenty of time to get your and your family out of the house), I get goosebumps and chills.

That’s the difference for me.

I think magic and mysticism fascinate people on an entirely different level than superpowers because it contains that touch of realism.  I can dissect superpowers.  Superpowers exist because you’re an alien from another planet born with that ability or were exposed to radiation (so was Godzilla, btw, so…).  Magic?  Mysticism?  Those are earthbound.  Those are human.  Those are things you and I could actually experience.  We could have these things happen to us.  Maybe they already have.  But I’ll never be Superman.