"I don't dream about anyone -
She could've been Zatanna, the Mistress of Magic and Princess of Prestidigitation, daughter of world famous performer Zatara, the Master Magician. She would've been a star, traveled the world, followed her dreams. Date movie stars, sign autographs, retire somewhere in Beverly Hills, write her memoirs.
If only magic wasn't real.
She had spent the first decade of her life having no idea this was true, of course. Her Pureblood mother, Sindella, had faked her own death and disappeared shortly after her birth, leaving Giana to be raised by her No-Maj father, Giovanni. A famous European witch, Sindella had no desire to become entangled in the Muggle world after one misguided dalliance left her pregnant, and returned to her home across the ocean to escape scandal. She would spend the next several years preparing for Giana's eventual need for magical education while simultaneously avoiding claiming the child herself and ruining her reputation.
But, until then, the child was left in the care of Giovanni, raised at his family's estate. Shadowcrest had been his father's home, and his father's before him. Giana's great-uncle, the first Zatara to call himself the Master Magician, had lived there as well. Training Giovanni to succeed him in what they now hoped would be the family business. She was delighted by their tricks and illusions, fascinated by the props and tools that were found across the estate. Giana even picked up their signature 'backwards talking' act.
As an eager learner with an outgoing personality, she excelled at school early on. Giana learned to read faster, her script was tidier, her memory keener than most of of the other children. But with a bright smile and contagious laughter, along with a few card tricks, she could befriend her fellow students and avoid alienating them. Repeating entire sentences backwards was a surefire way to draw attention, not to mention giggles.
Soon she was performing as Zatanna at talent shows, bringing props to show and tell, even joining her father on short road trips as his pint-sized assistant. Giana was talkative and friendly, a natural for show business even at this age. Her father and great-uncle even considered attempting to further incorporate her into the act and begin her career in earnest. She wanted nothing more.
And then, her mother returned from the dead.
"What difference does it make?
Oh, it makes none.
But now you have gone
And your prejudice won't keep you warm tonight."
They were all shocked. Sindella - or Sindy, as Giovanni had known her - swept back into their lives, revealing the truth to Giana and her father. Magic was real. It was nothing like their tricks and illusions. It was powerful. Dangerous. And secret. Not even her great-uncle was allowed to know what they had learned. Sindella had reappeared as late as she dared, not wanting to share the information with Giovanni until absolutely necessary. Giana's training was the only reason she'd shown her face again, and it needed to begin immediately.
While the Zataras were caught off guard, Sindella had been planning for this very occasion for years now. All of the arrangements had been made, all of the paperwork was in order, and all of the proper people had been alerted, the necessary favors exchanged. While Hogwarts or Beauxbatons were out of the question - Sindella still had no desire to be that directly connected to her Half-Blood child - Giana was soon whisked away to Ilvermorny for proper training. Forced to leave all of her 'silly toys' behind, along with her friends and family.
"I could have been wild
And I could have been free
But nature played this trick on me."
Things did not go well. Raised among the No-Maj, a Half-Blood, and with all the cornerstones of her young life pulled out from under her, Giana unsurprisingly crumbled under the pressure. She was inconsolable, not that many of her teachers or classmates tried to console her. None were sure why she'd been selected for Thunderbird, as the House did not seem to fit her personality at all, as far as they were concerned.
She became withdrawn, emotional, irritable. Giana had first attempted some simple tricks in an attempt to gain friends, which had always worked before. The other children's laughter - at her, not with her - sent her fleeing, crying. After a few months, she'd completely pulled in on herself, disappearing into the corners and back rows of classes. She didn't bother talking or sharing. It took everything she had just to make it through.
"What she said was sad
But then, all the rejection she's had.
To pretend to be happy
Could only be idiocy."
Back home, her father wasn't doing much better.
He stopped touring, stopped performing, and began drinking. Her great-uncle could not understand what had happened. Giana had been swept away, and Giovanni was a wreck. He muttered about witches and wizards, real magic, dark magic. When her great-uncle died, Giana wasn't even notified, her mother's influence isolating her from the Zataras still. Giovanni was too far gone by now, acting irrationally. Magic had torn their family apart, so perhaps magic could be used to reunite them. He just had to find some of his own, first.
The search took years. Years Giana spent at Ilvermorny, summers and vacations with her mother in Europe. She was always told her father and great-uncle were fine. Just busy. Until Giovanni's activities finally made enough of a stir, and required a response. He attempted to acquire something dark and powerful. She wasn't allowed to know what. Just that he'd lost his life in the attempt. Or had it taken from him by the agents trying to stop him.
"There's more to life than books,
But not much more."
The rest of her school years took place in something of a haze. She was good at magic, as they'd expected of Sindella's child. She excelled at Charmwork in particular. In her final year at Ilvermorny, she even brought the Charms Chalice home to Thunderbird House. While this finally caused a small burst of acceptance within her classmates, Giana found it hard to care. It made the rest of her last year easier to live through, at least, and she managed to graduate with honors. Her record, after those early hurdles, was even impressive enough to attract some attention within the government (likely with some words from her mother in the right ears, of course).
After graduation, she returned to Shadowcrest, only to find Sindella had already put it up for sale, having no use for the Muggle estate in America. Scrounging what props and tools she could recover, Giana attempted to restart her career as an illusionist, only to be immediately met with resistance. She was told in no uncertain terms that MACUSA (and the European Ministry) would have an extremely close eye on her, to the point where even a simple ‘lumos' spell in a No-Maj or Muggle town would result in her being arrested quickly.
In the end, she was made an offer she couldn't refuse. Her mother made very certain of that.
"I was looking for a job,
And then I found a job
And heaven knows I'm miserable now."
Giana spent the next decade or so in service to MACUSA, slowly working her way up the ranks of the Department for Magical Security. While she was incredibly skilled, she had no particular drive to excel. She showed up when and where she was ordered, preformed admirably, then returned home. She had no desire to amass magical wealth or fame, much to her mother's chagrin, continuing to interact more with No-Maj society. When she interacted with any society at all.
The only small disturbance in this pattern involved the case of a Half-Blood boy whose parents, a witch mother and No-Maj father, were brutally murdered. The familiar situation caught her eye, briefly awakening some actual interest. The fact that she remembered meeting the Waynes once or twice when she was a child also attracted her attention, as the wealthy family had been a patron of her father and great-uncle for years. Giana only briefly joined the investigation, touching the case long enough to at least meet their orphaned son before she was pulled away. Her skills as an Obliviator weren't considered incredibly applicable, and she was quickly reassigned.
"I need advice, I need advice
Nobody ever looks at me twice."
More recently, her mother's passing (legitimate this time, she made sure to check herself) has again roused her out of her usual, dreary routine. Although Shadowcrest was taken from her, as the only child she was allowed to inherit Sindella's estate in Europe. Deciding to take the chance to possibly reinvent herself, Giana requested a job transfer to the newly integrated Ministry of Europe. She has come highly recommended to the Department of Magical Accidents and Catastrophes, and hopes that being surrounded by new faces will allow her a fresh start, as her previous position amongst dozens of other Ilvermorny graduates had not exactly made it easy to break out of the shell, and reputation, she'd firmly established at school.
Giana is attempting to look on the bright side of things for a change. New home, job with the Ministry, new attitude. Most of the time. She's smiling more, joking more, even carrying a pack of playing cards again. But she's still quick to clam up and retreat to her corner, her cubicle, her home. While she may never have the life she dreamed of as a child, she's at least decided to take this chance to enjoy what she does have, and make the most of it.
"I decree today that life
Is simply taking and not giving.
England is mine
It owes me a living."
Her patronus is a white rabbit.
Aspen is supposed to work well with Charms. Unicorn Hair fits someone who is known for consistency over power or flamboyance.
A major event in the comics revolved around her being able to alter the memories of other characters, so I thought focusing on Obliviation fit her well.
I included both of her parents, and great-uncle, and tried to keep their backgrounds similar to the comics and shows. Her mother is a Pureblood European and traditional witch, to give her some of the same flavor as her very magical self in the comics. She also fakes her own death to return to her magical people. Her father is the same backwards talking performer, taught by his uncle, who meets an unfortunate fate.
Giana herself is an official government employee, to represent her being a major JLA member and more official, modern super-hero.
Shadowcrest is also mentioned as the Zatara family estate.
I highlighted her love for stage magic as well as how this might affect her life in a world where magic is real, commonplace, and highly policed.
I included a fear of turning to the Dark Arts to represent the fate her father, and Zatanna herself, have sometimes met in the various comics and shows.