Ethel was married off to Robert Attaway at sixteen; she was part of a long line of pureblood families. She had a secret that she was forced to hide; that she was a Seer. He was offered to her - but if they found out, they'd repudiate it in favour of a non-diluted bloodline. Right from a young age she was telling her parents proudly of what she had seen - they were horrified, the first time - a Seer in their family? It must have come from somewhere. But Ethel's parents were devoted to her, and daren't disown their child. They helped to try to teach her to button her mouth, to hide it. Conceal, don't feel
failed to work, so that was the next best thing they could come up with. Suspicion was raised when Ethel was sorted into Ravenclaw rather than Slytherin, but she quickly moulded herself to be more academic to make it make more sense.
In Ethel's sixth year, she married the Attaways' son as promised, and gave no hints as to her Seer heritage. Of course, she knew that despite all her efforts, she would be discovered eventually; but after ten years, their first child was born - Maria Attaway, and then shortly after their second, William Attaway. It was heartbreaking for Ethel to know that Maria would die a few weeks after her birth, and had to make excuses as to her crying - injuries, bruises and bumps, but never dared show them to her husband on account of 'injured pride.' William married a dashing young woman, Anna Blackburn, and he had never shown any signs of the Seer gene - although she kept checking. Neither did William's only son, John Attaway, who was quickly married off to Anika Kohler. It was their daughter Esther Attaway - their second, after their daughter Elizabeth, who also hadn't - that she knew would be a Seer, like her.
Shortly after Esther's birth, Ethel confided in Anika that she knew about the death of Tristan, Anika's sister's betrothed, before it happened. Anika made many accusations, and it eventually led to Ethel's disowning from the family. She left Esther a note, in a jewelry box she left behind, with a note on top telling her to look; the first note explaining what was happening, who she was and that she must hide it at all costs, before leaving - and dying from dragonpox a few years later, not that anyone minded.
Esther found the note at the age of nine, hidden away in her father's closet. She had seen that it was there; her first vision of all, herself finding it. Cleverly, Ethel had enchanted it that only Esther could open it. Esther at first was very scared and frightened - but understood once they increased in frequency, and read what happened to Ethel. She wishes her great-grandmother was still alive to explain further. She knows what will happen if she tells anybody. Professor Cromwell, for one, will probably find out, and she's known this for a while. When she was coming to Hogwarts she was going to be sorted into Ravenclaw, but asked for Slytherin to diminish her parents' growing suspicion.