Clarice Barnes was the first and only child of Andrew and Martha Barnes, who could be called less than a happy couple; they were betrothed to one another, because Martha's parents wanted an esteemed hand for her daughter's suitor, and Andrew's parents wanted someone of aesthetic beauty. Both came from a long line of pure-bloods, who both conscientiously pruned their family trees of the filth that would have marred their family name had they not rid themselves of it — neither set of parents wanted their children dismissed as the selfsame filth. Andrew never thought Martha, a commonplace girl, although still pure-blood, was good enough for him, and he made sure the woman knew it, although she kept her own feelings to herself as to lack of freedom or the way that she was treated. Martha had been brought up to never have an impertinent tongue, and it was very important to her to have these values honoured by both her and any future children.
After a few years of not so happy marriage, Martha gave birth to their daughter Clarice — she could not have been more thrilled, but on the flip side of the coin Andrew didn't appear to be bothered with the child — he had offspring, and he'd kept his place in the family line; that was what really mattered to him. Martha was never the best mother to Clarice, but that was mostly due to the emotional torment Martha was still undergoing from Andrew — she couldn't show herself to be against Andrew, even if she didn't agree with him or risk the consequences. When Andrew was out at work, Martha would spend the time letting out her emotions in tears or otherwise, sometimes hitting out at the child when she approached her out of anger about how terrible her life had been since she had married. Clarice, even in adulthood has never forgotten these strikes or forgiven her mother for them, although she would lie to her father about how she got the bruises so she didn't have to watch the punishment.
As soon as she was old enough, in some kind of escape or sanctuary from her parents' ongoing troubles, Clarice developed a love for music; especially the violin. She was enchanted by its high pitched, beautiful sound and how it could convey her own sadness so well. She didn't truly enjoy playing it at this age; even if she believed she did, it was the result of at least some naivete and her wish to be at least slightly happier than she was that really caused the positive reaction. She was a natural; her parents noticed as such, and as the calculating, somewhat sadistic person Andrew was, he chose to extort his own daughter's passion. She was given a violin teacher, and she got better and better, quickly growing close to her violin teacher and a young girl who also played music. As she was homeschooled, she was given an extortionate time to play, although it was still obvious he didn't truly care, and she was somewhat hurt by that, making her grow even closer to these two, who did care.
Growing in skill, Clarice quickly became popular, probably the most popular in her birthplace; everyone entranced by her music. She played sometimes with her friend Diane, who was also a very talented violinist, and her violin teacher took much pleasure in watching her student play. She was the place's natural entertainment, and somehow her magical abilities enhanced her playing even further. She didn't appear to notice Diane, the muggle girl, quickly growing jealous of Clarice's talent — beaten out from the top spot, Clarice's former friend quickly turned sour, although she kept a friendly facade up for when the time was right to reclaim the throne for herself. It was selfish, she knew, but also necessary as she saw her betrothed quickly playing Clarice's game with her; she grew desperate. She knew Clarice was undergoing the same emotional abuse her mother had, but she couldn't find it in her to put others before herself — having always been told by her own mother to save her skin.
At the age of sixteen, she could no longer direct her uncontrolled magic into her music without some becoming more dramatic and explosive — with inadequate teaching, she snapped very quickly, yelling at her father that she wasn't just a silly schoolgirl, she was a woman. Her father yelled back twice as loudly, but her mother seemed unwilling to intervene; uncaring and submissive as always. The heated arguing continued for hours until Andrew Barnes had finally had enough of his daughter's impertinent mouth. He yelled at Martha too, accusing her of not teaching their daughter the appropriate etiquette. Still, her mother bowed her head in shame and did not argue — Clarice found that disgusting. She let out a slight snicker, not intending for her father to hear. But Andrew Barnes did hear, and he came over threateningly, overshadowing her as he brought back his hand to hit her across the face. Cowering in fear, she waited for the blow. It didn't come, and Clarice looked around in surprise.
Andrew and Martha Barnes both lay dead on the floor, and green smoke wisped from the hand she had used to attempt to shield her face, a product of the contempt she had been feeling prior. A scream came from her mouth before she could silence it, knowing that it was her that had done it. Diane came rushing in, noticing the green smoke coming from both Clarice and the bodies, she had to conceal a slight smirk, instead turning it into a look of sympathy, taking Clarice to the violin teacher to be consoled while she finally came up with a way to get rid of Clarice. By extorting this incident. She had no idea her hypotheses were actually true. Clarice played at her parents' funeral, and it was then that she finally discovered that true enjoyment she hadn't found as a child — playing multiple songs before, during and after the funeral, playing as she walked down the road towards the home that was now entirely her own to enjoy, never having married as her parents had hoped.
Diane's extortion attempts came to fruition; Clarice was accused of being a witch and taken into custody. Scared for her life, she ran away before the trials, knowing that she was dead if she didn't run — she'd heard the stories, and didn't want it to happen to her. She wound up being captured by a gang of pirates, who were also quite intent on ridding the world of her as possible. The only possession she had brought with her was her precious violin — and a bruised and battered Clarice Barnes took out the battered instrument and played her fear, horror and soul, proving herself useful as the ship's entertainment. Playing more excitable tunes as they sailed, the young violin player enchanted the pirates and raised morale. It was quickly obvious to the pirates that she was more useful to them than they realised. To Clarice, it was also obvious that the pirates' lifestyle was more for her than whatever lifestyle she could have had with the teacher and her back-stabbing "friend."