Emma was born on a Sunday to two mortal parents. She was a planned child after many years of infertility and her parents were blessed in their late age to have her. They wanted an heir, and they received one.
She grew up well-to-do as part of a prominent family in new York’s Upper east side. Her father was the executive director of an investment banking group and her mother a retired model who spent her time organizing charity events and attending galas. Her family came from very old money. Her father’s father’s father invested wisely in tenement buildings in the early 1900s and opened the family banking group. Her mother was from a very poor family in Queens, and rose to wealth thanks to her good looks. Arianna and David were a beautiful, wealthy couple, but they did not have time for their only child. They did love her, but from a distance.
As a girl, Emma was sent from boarding school to boarding school, watches over by nannies and servants. She would often get into trouble at school to try to get parent’s attention. However, the problems she caused were solved with money and donations to the schools. She was a smart girl, witty, and a troublemaker. She often failed out of school because she did not try, since she did not care.
After getting kicked out of a fifth school in five years when she was 10, her parents sent her to live in upstate New York with her father’s Aunt, Cora on a family estate. Cora was David’s mother’s sister, and the only surviving female member of direct Moore bloodline besides Emma. Emma was not happy living with Cora at first. She was rowdy, broke things, and often spent days locked in her room. However, Cora was patient and kind. Emma warmed up to Cora and she began to love her father’s aunt like her own mother.
Cora was odd. She spent her time in the country and dressed like a hippie and would walk around during the night up and down the hall and outside. She always kept the windows shut and the doors locked, and always wore an odd ring with a rose inlaid in it, even when she slept or worked in the garden.
Cora had been taught by her grandmother about the Greek gods. Her grandmother was called Elena, and she was a daughter of Aphrodite, born in in the 1800’s, and fled Prussia with her family to America when they faced persecution. It was only by sheer luck that she lived a long life, making a name for herself as writer. Her brother Adam started the family business and they became wealthy. Elena had one child, Cora’s father. Cora’s father had her and her brother Arthur. Cora did not marry or have children, but Arthur did, marrying and having twins David and a daughter called Dawn. Dawn died as a teenager, and David then married and had Emma. The bloodline was so diluted that Emma and Cora were in no real danger of attack, even living under the same roof.
The fact that the Greek gods were real was a family secret, passed on to the women of the family. How Elena shrived and how she discovered her godly parent are unknown, lost to time. However, each woman of the family was able to see through the Mist. First Elena, by nature of her parentage, then Cora, and then Dawn, and finally Emma.
The odd ring that Cora wore had been her mother’s. No one know where it came from, only that it could change into a sword that could kill monsters and other godly creatures. Elena had taught Cora everything about the gods and what she knew; about whispers of a safe place being formed in New York for children of gods. Cora believed her grandmother. Cora could see through the Mist and saw horrible monsters ever since she was a child. Cora took up residence in the family home in the country side, away from people and hopefully the monsters. When Dawn, Emma’s aunt, came to Cora about seeing odd things, Cora told her about the family secret and tried to get Dawn to stay with her, but Dawn refused. She had been seeing a boy whom she loved deeply and wanted to marry. Unknown to everyone, this boy was a child of Hecate. One night, while alone in a car, Dawn and her boyfriend were attacked. No one knew by what, but both of them were ripped to shreds. The news reported it as an animal attack, but Cora knew better. She had let Dawn ignore her warning and it had gotten her killed.
So, when Dawn’s brother called her and asked to have Emma live with her, she agreed, hoping to train her and keep her safe. She did that. When Cora told Emma this, Emma tearfully admitted she had been seeing monsters and creatures and magical things since she was a child, but was scared to say anything because she was scared that her parents would think she was crazy and put her in a hospital. Cora had not told anyone else out of fear of this also and understood.
Under Cora’s watchful eye, Emma studied about the Greek gods and legends. Cora taught her basic self-defense, along with ancient Greek. They worshipped the Greek gods as their religion, unknown to the rest of the family, their household protector being Aphrodite. Emma and Cora lived this way for many years, Emma being taught by Cora, only leaving to see the family on holidays or events. Emma stopped rebelling, feeling like she found a purpose in worshiping Aphrodite.
This went on until Emma was 17. One night, while the two sleep, a fire broke out. To this day, no one knows how or what caused the fire. But it was terrible and spread quickly in the old wooden house. Emma woke up to the smell of smoke and tried to find Cora. She ran through the smoke and heat to Cora’s room and roused the older woman, who in her age found it hard to move around as she once did. Emma helped Cora down the stairs, but before they could get to the exit, a pillar came tumbling down and separated Emma and Cora, trapping Cora in the house. Cora knew she was going to die, and although Emma tried, the pillar couldn’t be moved. Cora tossed the ring to Emma and ordered her to escape the fire. Tearfully, Emma did so, and Cora died from the smoke.
Emma stumbled out of the now burning house with tears in her eyes and cried out the best she could. She called for the one other person she trusted. Aphrodite.
Emma and Cora, over the years, had become favorites of Aphrodite. They also gave her good offerings and prayed to her regularly, which was rare to see in mortals. She heard Emma’s call. Emma passed out from the smoke and Aphrodite appeared to her in her sleep.
Aphrodite offered Emma her condolences while Emma cried for Cora. Emma asked what she would do now. With Cora gone, she had no direction her life. Cora was her everything for so long. Emma felt there was nothing left. Aphrodite had mercy and got an idea. She told Emma about Camp Half Blood and that she had an open spot for a priestess. Emma would be safe within the borders of Camp Half Blood, and she would be able to honor Aphrodite among friends and like-people. Emma agreed, and Aphrodite told her how to get to Camp Half Blood. Then Emma woke up. She was in hospital. Somehow, one of the distant neighbors saw the flames and called for help. Emma was sad, but she knew what she needed to do. When she was discharged from the hospital, she told her parents a convoluted story about attending a special school where Emma could recover and be out in nature. Her parents, ever so loving if still distant, agreed.
Emma found her way, following instructions, to Half Blood Hill and entered camp with Aphrodite’s blessing, to live her life in devotion to Aphrodite as her priestess.