The Beauxbatons Academy of Magic is a luxurious castle found around the countryside of France within the Pyrenees mountain range. This particular school has a significant reputation like its sister schools, Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry and the Durmstrang Institute. The reputation is that of elegance in that students, staff and alumni see beauty within themselves and of the world.
This strive towards personal enlightenment began around the time that Beauxbatons was founded in the year 1290 within a social, political and economic “Dark Age.” This age, as told through muggle and wizarding world history, was an era of a lack of literacy and other means of education along with a lack of records. How historians today know of the origins of schools founded around this time (more specifically Durmstrang and Beauxbatons) was due to the fact that these schools pushed for literacy and development of proper recording mechanics. However, Beauxbatons Academy of Magic was a more progressive school in comparison to the Durmstrang Institute, due to their openness to all students with magical capabilities and relative lack of secrecy.
The story of Beauxbatons Academy begins, of course, with its founder Amelie Lesage. Now Madam Lesage was considered far ahead of her time, and believed that education should be available to all regardless of status. Aside from this principle of life, she was overtly persistent in trying to make her ideas a reality for all. This determination was faced with a dual reaction from the wizarding world, with one extreme being moderate support and the other being public humiliation and denunciation. Thankfully for Amelie, the moderate support was enough for her to get enough help constructing a large building that would act as her classrooms for varying ages.
As she found her students, traveling throughout French and Spanish villages around the border defined by the Pyrenees, she realized she would need a bit more room than she had originally set forth. Year after year, Amelie was forced to expand by either creating more dormitories or more classrooms. Along with the mass influx of students, there were many wizards that had grown up being educated at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry that wished to teach at Beauxbatons to spread their knowledge to the generations to follow- this became known to be the European Professor Boom of the 1300’s. Further with this sudden aid to Amelie, it created this strong bond between the two schools and even further with Durmstrang Institute in the more northeastern parts of Europe. Together, the three decided to host the first Triwizard Tournament as a form of competitive, but friendly match between the three schools to assert their magical prowess.
Nevertheless, with allies aside from the matter at hand, Amelie Lesage was leading a rather large school that set forth various curriculum to ensure that the young witches and wizards had enough knowledge to sustain themselves and to see the beauty in magic. The aspect of beauty, of course, deriving from the rather artistic ambiance that surrounded Amelie Lesage. As mentioned previously, she was a woman far beyond her time, and was a woman of the arts, more specifically in drawings and poetic lyrics. This boom of art and creativity, however, would not truly begin until after the founding of Beauxbatons- it is more famously known in the muggle world as the Renaissance.
This rather non-magical time in history had reached the doors of this school as well, as Madam Lesage even promoted her own Magical Arts class, the first of its kind at the time. Obviously, this set the precedent for many years to follow, becoming more apparent in the formulation of Beauxbatons House Melusine, which is said to be created by the Founder herself. However, as she came to realize, the Headmistress realized she couldn’t be the leader of a House and remain unbiased to other students, and decided to pass the torch to Astronomy Professor Cecile Beaulieu (who would later be given credit for founding this House). As for the other Houses, Abraxan and Reynard, they were created and head by two prominent professors at Beauxbatons, Etienne Desnuages (Charms) and Vincent Sournois (Transfiguration). Abraxan, founded by Desnuages, was a house for the determined and the willful, who would stop at nothing to achieve their goals. This was essentially a projection of who Etienne was, a steadfast intellectual that wanted nothing but to initiate a change in the (as he said) “dull world.” Meanwhile Reynard, founded by Sournois, was for the cunning and creative and was incidentally an exact opposite to the personality of the man. Vincent was a rather impulsive man himself, but Madam Lesage had given Vincent the task of creating at least one more House and to make it creative. Thus, he took the creative aspect of it too literally, and made this house to be focused amongst the innovative.
After the development of the Beauxbatons Houses, and many subsequent years to follow with vast growth of the school, Madam Lesage grew old. Although, the old woman was not afraid of what lay on the other side, nor was she fearful for what the future held. She knew that her school was going to be in good hands, unlike the mentality of various magical school founders. Madam Lesage always claimed to have something that the others at the sister schools didn’t: faith in other people. She didn’t explicitly say this until she was upon her deathbed, surrounded by those closest to her, including her three prospective Headmasters. The three prospects, clearly, were the Founders of the Houses (with the exception of Cecile Beaulieu, as her status as “founder” is continuously debated). At the note that Amelie Lesage claimed to have faith in other people, it hit the three in that she never did nor would decide who would be her successor and that they would have to figure it out themselves. They knew, however, that they were out of time and wouldn’t be able to tell their mentor who would follow in her footsteps.
The death of Amelie Lesage was felt not only at the Beauxbatons Academy, but at other schools internationally as many visited for the grand celebration of life. Each person in attendance knew it was what she would have wanted most, a grand commencement of people from different places all for one common purpose, and all at peace.
Peace, unfortunately, was not necessarily the word used to describe the events following the late Headmistress’s death. Cecile Beaulieu, Etienne Desnuages and Vincent Sournois hadn’t decided who was to take on the responsibility as Headmaster, and they were at a constant dissonance between each other as a result of it. Turmoil, they knew, was the last thing that Madam Lesage would have wanted to become of her position. This point was used rather effectively by the successor and pacifier of such dissonance and subsequent Headmaster of Beauxbatons Academy of Magic, Vincent Sournois.
Although the other two were obviously envious that their old colleague had surpassed them, in the end they decided to put their differences aside and help him in times of need. Sournois may have been a rather cunning man, but he had difficulty managing and maintaining things such as the school-wide curriculum and relationships with the other professors. Beaulieu and Desnuages, however, were experienced in both social and academic prowess, and effectively helped Sournois become more popular than he ever was as Headmaster. Yet, it felt to Vincent and to the staff of Beauxbatons that truly there were always three Headmasters from the moment Amelie Lesage had left.
This precedent for other staff members helping the current Headmaster would continue for years and even beyond into the subsequent centuries. A notable instance of this was by the time Nicholas Flamel, renowned alumnus of Beauxbatons, had become Headmaster himself. Flamel was certain in how to run a school in terms of management of the curriculum and establishing relationships within the community and beyond the region of France. However, he faced particular difficulties in diplomacy at times, as he never wished to leave Beauxbatons for summits (such as Amelie Lesage did). Therefore, he asked his wife Perenelle to essentially become the first Beauxbatons Ambassador, a role that would later become hidden but can still be filled. Together, the two ensured that Beauxbatons was at its highest display of prowess, through academic prosperity and diplomatic peace.
Unfortunately, this ideology began to fall apart, and the Headmaster role began to isolate itself by the 19th century. An example of this occurrence was with a Headmaster by the name of Marceau Moniare. Despite the rather free nature as set forth through the predecessors and foundation that the school was built upon, Monaire began to question nearly every policy set forth by the school over the years. This questioning ultimately ceased when he ended up putting forth new or revised policies and rules that enforced more strict security and secrecy from the muggle world. These policies mocked that of and were inspired by Rappaport’s Law that had been passed by Magical President Emily Rappaport in the United States of America. This came to Beauxbatons as a shock, and Monaire was faced with obvious displeasure from students, alumni and parents alike. These actions became so notable that the students of the Reynard House had deemed him Monaire the Unfair. Granted, the students were particularly upset that he interfered with their Magical Arts classes and refused to allow them to take their annual nature trip to gain inspiration and begin construction of their practical exam.
Despite his rather cruel nature and culture shock to Beauxbatons Academy, he was not a particularly bad Headmaster in terms of international diplomacy and reestablishing alliances with Hogwarts and Durmstrang. He did, however, push for a more academic education that involved little of the arts, which was something that was blasphemous to the very expressiveness of the school. Yet, like all storms, Monaire too passed along having left his impact upon a very shaken up Beauxbatons. The subsequent Headmaster and those to follow would also take on a more isolated approach, but relieved many policies that restricted the arts.
Long before then, Beauxbatons had entered the 1900’s, a time where the world was uneasy in the muggle and magical world. The current Headmaster at the time was Laurent Givenchiese who, unlike the world, was a very stable and relaxed man. He was even revered as Laurent the Lounger, for despite his rather steadfast nature, he was very lazy. This laziness, however, seemed to benefit the students in that they felt completely void of the rules that were placed by the old Monaire the Unfair. There would be occasions, certainly, that Headmaster Laurent would put his foot down and become instantaneously serious over skirmishes or other dire events. Yet, when it came to managing his school, he did so with help, breaking the hiatus implemented from the 19th century Headmasters. Instead of having a Beauxbatons Ambassador, though, he decided to make a new role that was closer to he, and instituted the first Deputy Headmaster of Beauxbatons, John Francoeur.
While many were pleased with the decision to instate a Deputy Headmaster, many were intrigued by the rather English nature and background of John as a person. At one point in time, students were beginning to call him the first English Beauxbatons (Deputy) Headmaster. This expression was true to a degree, since he was born and raised within the United Kingdom and even attended Hogwarts as a child, but chose to teach and establish an influence within Beauxbatons.
John Francoeur would eventually became the subsequent Headmaster of the Beauxbatons Academy of Magic. Although, the circumstances through which he had become Headmaster were not ideal, as it involved the Early Battle of Beauxbatons. This battle involved a Dark Forces attack upon the school where Headmaster Laurent Givenchiese was held hostage and ultimately killed. Yet, with Francoeur’s quick thinking, he managed to drive the Dark Forces out and minimize casualties. After the battle had ended and John took the reins of Beauxbatons into his hands, he had promised himself (and his late mentor) that he would watch over the school and lead it with a passion like Amelie, a cleverness like Vincent, and a sternness like Marceau. Yet, even for the heroic Headmaster, his time was rather limited in nature.
Far before the attack of the Dark Forces upon the school, there was a young and rather quiet woman who had prophesied and warned the then-Headmaster Givenchiese about his impending doom. Laurent, being the skeptic and laid-back person that he was, chose to ignore the prophecy, but Elise Bellerive had the strongest intuition of them all. Not being very prominent within the staff of Beauxbatons as Francoeur or DeLacroix, Elise Bellerive was still a woman of her own might. This might was in practicing the art of Divination as a Seer and maintaining significant accuracy throughout her years.
Elise’s story begins in a small village found within the French countryside in a small, crowded home that consisted of her mother, father, and six brothers. Being the seventh and youngest child, Elise was used to rather crazy family life and learning how to put her foot down and make a stand (primarily against her brothers, who never ceased to persist her). One particular moment within her history would be the time Elise had revealed to her mother about her imaginary friend Mathilde and how Elise could physically see her.
Naturally, her mother and father, as any parents would think, didn’t believe her and did their best to persuade Elise to let go of her alleged fictionalized friend. Yet, it was at this that the youngest Bellerive expressed not only her magical capabilities, but her Divination capabilities. In a fit of rage, Elise conjured a small rush of cool wind that brought forth the apparation of Mathilde. Her parents, shocked at this revelation, realized then the potential their daughter possessed, and sent her away to her aunt’s house in the city of Lyon. It would be here that her practice of Divination would begin, as her aunt, too, was a practiced Seer.
As time passed on, Elise became of age to attend Beauxbatons and she even knew which House she would be sorted into (it was Melusine) before even physically seeing the school grounds. Nevertheless, throughout her tenure there it was then she realized she had quite the passion for learning things, but nothing ever surmounting her love for her two favorite subjects: Divination and Care of Magical Creatures. After graduation from her elementary wizarding schooling, Elise decided to pursue higher qualifications, for she saw herself to be a Professor within her own future. Granted, in seeing her own future, it was frowned upon by her aunt and mentor considering it wasn’t always the best to see your own potential future, but Elise was pleased with it.
After completing her independent studies at Uagadou Advanced School of Magic, Elise then attempted to attain a job at her previous school as a Divination Professor. In doing so, however, she had to prove to the current Headmaster at the time (Laurent Givenchiese) that she was accurate and not a phony as they had encountered in the past. It was here that Elise predicted the fate of the Headmaster and the potential attack on Beauxbatons. Of course, Headmaster Givenchiese didn’t believe her, for it wasn’t the first death-related prophecy of his that he was to receive.
Being essentially shunned from her Professor interview, Elise knew she had to somehow make it up to the Headmaster and prove that she was in fact, a Seer. Before she could think of what to predict next, she went into a trance-like state (as some of the best Seers do) and began to give the following prophecy: The flower grows in the foreign field, surrounded by intimidation...but the farmer, dancing with the game of fate, continues ignorant...until he sees the sun, will only then he see it was the flower growing the farmer...the fear of the unknown will reap what is sown.
This prophecy, as cryptic as it sounded, alluded strongly to the growing likeness of Laurent Givenchiese to his prospective Deputy-Headmaster John Francoeur, and the Headmaster picked upon it very easily and hired Elise Bellerive on the spot once she broke her trance. Granted, Elise did not know what she said, she was pleased that she had managed to take fate into her own hands and accept it openly. Yet, she could never shake off the feeling that Laurent was in constant danger. It wasn’t until the alarms were sounded during the Early Battle of Beauxbatons did Elise know what to do. With the assistance of Jordan DeLacroix (another key Professor), the two led students into safe havens within the school along with defending against any oncoming Dark Forces.
At the conclusion of the battle, when John Francoeur became the self-proclaimed Headmaster of Beauxbatons, there was quite the unrest growing within the staff of Beauxbatons Academy. This would later develop into a power struggle and alleged coup d'etat against the Headmaster for control of the school. The term alleged in this case being untrue, as it was never Elise nor Jordan’s ambition to explicitly overthrow Francoeur, but they knew that their grievances had to have been heard. Unfortunately, this unrest resulted in the ultimate resignation of the Headmaster, with the primary reason being that the blessing of the school had been rescinded by the grounds. With this, it created an uncertainty principle of who was next, whether it would be Jordan DeLacroix or Elise Bellerive. The two, being generally pacifist in nature, decided to leave the vote up to the rest of the staff of Beauxbatons rather than proving worth over the other. Although she did not say, Elise already knew she would win the vote, because it was that day that she prophesied to Jordan that he would one day achieve a role within the government. Such a prophecy would ring true as he would later become a Magical Minister.
Nevertheless, the vote of the staff ruled in favor of Elise Bellerive, and she then became the Headmistress of Beauxbatons Academy of Magic. Even though some felt secure in the knowledge that she was a Seer, Elise decided to focus on the present affairs when dealing with school-based affairs. There was certainly a lot in store for her, but if there was something headed her way, she would know and be ready for it.