|The Great Goddess Amaterasu|
"You can just call me 'Ammy' if you want."
Over a thousand (she lost count)
Stone Shiranui Statue
Or, just "Ammy" for short, is played by Polly. Amaterasu is a happy and ancient Japanese ghost who has, over the years, mastered most of the perks that come with being dead. She loves animals, smiling faces and being admired. You're more likely to see her wandering around the castle in her wolf form, as she's grown more accustomed to it though the years. In this form, she talks in writing (made clear through the use of bold in her tags,) even in person, she can still write her thoughts in magic ink that appear and disappear as needed. Why does she do this? probably because she still gets a kick out of people freaking out at her human form.
Amaterasu was always a good child. Benevolent, kind and just, she proudly fought for her people's honor, sacrificed everything for what she believed in and put her faith into those around her. She was the kind of person that had roles of leadership thrust upon her, and she rose to meet them at every turn. Though she possessed superior skill to most of those around her, she was always humble and always tried to include others in her endeavours. At the same time, when a mission was too dangerous or beyond someone's strength, she knew well enough to look out for their safety and go alone.
During her lifetime, Amaterasu was also stubborn. She was fiercely determined, but grew impatient after leaving the Celestial realm (then again, anyone would be after waiting 100 years for a kid to be born and fulfill a dead prophet's prophecy.) Still, during this time, it frustrated her to no end that there was still evil abound and there was nothing she could do about it. Like her people, her bias towards Muggles was great; she could barely stand to be around them, which is why she avoided the village and visited only once a year. When she finally met Izanagi, she was thrilled, but she couldn't stand his parents or his friends; she'd spent so long as a wolf that she growled at everyone and would disappear for days simply to avoid further frustration.
Being around Izanagi however, taught Amaterasu about humanity; about humility. Although he was scorned for his unintentional magic outbursts, Izanagi loved his village, from its people to its traditions. Thus, in those short years, Amaterasu was reminded again of what it was like to be a hero. To want nothing and accept everything. She died with knowing it was both her duty, and the right thing.
As a ghost, Amaterasu has seen countless generations and countless lives, but each of them is precious to her; each of them represents to her a different facet of life. Through death, Amaterasu was able to observe how difficult Muggles' lives could be, and how unfair it was for her to consider them inferior.
Thus, in a thousand years, Amaterasu's coarser traits have softened up. It's given her near-infinite patience and curiosity, along with an insatiable instinct to mother and protect those around her. Although she still remains determined and would guard anyone in trouble, she's no longer the type of person to start a fight or allow others to fight around her. Nowadays she's more intent on spreading cheer and making sure people are happy, and as a Guardian Spirit, she's practically guaranteed to make you at least get the urge to feel the same way.
In the times of ancient Japan, witches and wizards were extremely rare and were destined to either hunted as demons, or revered as gods. Faced with these options, most good magic-folk banded together and went into hiding, distancing themselves from the troubles of the rest of the populace. The witches and wizards of darkness called themselves demons, claiming their powers were born from darkness itself. Those of light called themselves Celestials, believing that their powers came from the stars, moons and planets in the sky. Amaterasu was one such witch, living in a small magic village that according to Muggle rumors, existed in the sky. They were thus known as the Sun Tribe, for their worship of the Sun, and named most, if not all of their children in some manner of reverence toward it.
The years went on and the Sun Tribe lived in peace, largely unknown to mankind and largely ignorant to any troubles of Muggles. Essentially, they had everything they needed within their magical realm and saw nothing of the outside world. However, one day they received a visitor; a Celestial named Ushiwaka of the neighboring Moon Tribe, who came riding on a ship called Yamato's Ark. The last of his people, he arrived wounded and beaten, seeking shelter, and was quickly taken in by the kind members of the Sun.
Unfortunately, hot on his heels was the dark wizard that destroyed the Moon Village, a man named Orochi, who could shift his shape into a beast of eight heads and commanded legions of monsters through the use of dark magic. Using his great numbers and superior abilities, Orochi ravished and tried to destroy the Sun Village, killing all those who came into his path.
This is where Amaterasu comes in. A prodigy from a young age, she was said to have mastered all thirteen subsets of Light magic and was called 'The Sun's Goddess,' for whenever she entered a battle, the tides would turn in her favor, like a brilliant sun after a harsh night. However, her power alone was not enough to defeat Orochi and his demons. The only hope they had lay in a prophecy, read by Ushiwaka, that stated that a child would be born among Muggles, bearing the name "Izanagi," and only he could defeat Orochi's might.
Thus, in order to alleviate the onslaught of attacks, Amaterasu volunteered to drag Orochi outside barrier of the magical realm, where he would be unable to harm the Sun Tribe or anyone else. (Sure weren't thinking about Muggles, were we?) Amaterasu could then observe and wait for this "Izanagi" to be born, and then save her people.
Unfortunately, the banishment of Orochi did not end the onslaught of evil that was attacking the Sun Tribe. Without their mightiest warrior leading on the battlefront, the Celestials soon lost the fight to the remaining dark wizards and were forced to flee in Yamato's Ark just as Ushiwaka had.
This time however, they found that waiting inside the Ark was a wizard known only as "Yami," the true mastermind behind Orochi's actions. He was the source of the dark magic powering the "demons" attacking them, and the one who taught Orochi everything. Locked inside a sinking vessel, the Celestials were no match for the dark wizard; Yami slaughtered them all, just as he had slaughtered the Moon Tribe and others before it. Only Ushiwaka escaped, and was left with no choice but to flee outside the Celestial realm and wait for the prophecy he foretold.
Meanwhile, standing no chance against him, Amaterasu was left with no choice but to observe Orochi as he terrorized a small Muggle village called Kamiki. In exchange for relative peace, every year, on the fifteenth day of the eighth month (that is, August 15th,) Orochi required the sacrifice of a maiden (possibly to maintain his powers, though we all know how that goes.) On this day, Amaterasu would wander the village in the form of a white wolf (a powerful woman traveling alone would have been even stranger back then), hoping she could stop it, but never strong enough to match Orochi's power. The white wolf soon became known as the harbinger of Orochi, and Amaterasu did not seek to clarify, knowing that a talking wolf or a strange woman would only arouse further fear within the small village.
On the hundredth year of this ritual, (and yes, Amaterasu was still waiting,) a woman named Izanami is chosen as Orochi's sacrifice. Her beloved, Izanagi (a strange but powerful young man said to be guarded by a white wolf he named "Shiranui") would not stand for it, and thus decides to confront Orochi and end his reign once and for all. Wielding a sword imbued with magic power, Izanagi defeated Orochi and sealed him away, but only after the sacrifice his beloved Shiranui's life.
And thus, Amaterasu died. Her body (still in the form of a wolf) was carried to the village and a statue was built in her honor. Her soul, however, was not at peace. For although Orochi was defeated, he was merely locked away in Izanagi's sword. If ever again a descendant of Izanagi pulled the sword from where it lay banished, Orochi's evil would spread again.
And so, she waited. And hundred years later, when Orochi was unleashed again, she rose.
Possessing her statue, she fought again, this time under her true mantle; this time finding others who, like her, had died and remained watching over the land. They came to be known as gods, could use their powers from beyond the grave, and the people then called her "Ookami Amaterasu," or, "the great august god who shines in the heaven," as they likewise named all others whose bodies had long left this earth. The people loved them, and they loved the people. And the land prospered.
Having sealed Orochi again, Amaterasu went back to waiting, and when Orochi broke free, she rose again. And again. And again. Each time, the gap between Orochi's release grew shorter, each time she came to know Muggles more, to love them more, to desire to protect them more. As a ghost, her desires grew stronger and her strength increased, whereas Orochi's power diminished and weakened with each recursion. More people came to believe in her, and less people lived in fear of Orochi until, eventually... it ended. The sword broke, and the story came to be a legend. All was well.
Finally, no more Orochi. Wizards, despite being almost completely wiped out, were abundant once again. Muggles began to forget their Gods---the days of feudal lords and peasants were gone from Japan. But Amaterasu had no spite against it. She lived in wonder of the world; of Muggles and wizards and the ways humans still needed help. By this time, the Izanagi family had become an established Wizarding bloodline. Amaterasu made herself known to them; she was their beloved Shiranui, and they loved her and cared for her, calling her their personal goddess and taking her statue wherever they went.
However, as Japan entered the nineteenth century, the Emperor, once believed to have been a wizard himself, began to employ strict regulations on all things magic, calling it an Western practice. (Ignoring the fact that it existed in Japan long before the West began to slowly invade.) The Japanese Wizarding community found itself in decline once again, and were left with two options; go back into seclusion and wait it out, or leave the country and pray for better luck in foreign lands. The Izanagi family took the second option. They moved across the sea, into the West, and established themselves in a small town in Northern England.
Generations later, we reach present day. Although the Izanagi family's numbers were not what they once were, Amaterasu still watched over them. This sometimes meant following their oldest to Hogwarts.
Needless to say, Amaterasu fell completely love. With its vibrant children, its energy and unique characters; Hogwarts was something new. It was a new world unlike any Amaterasu had seen before, and although she remained loyal to the family she was sworn to protect, it was obvious to the head of the family that their goddess was not truly their protector, but a guardian of the people. Although she did not realize it, the Izanagi family could see that she wished for someplace new.
And that's why Hogwarts is receiving a very generous donation from the Izanagi family, in the form of an ancient wolf statue that is somehow completely intact. For as long as Amaterasu exists, she will keep helping people; she will keep watching over people. For as long as the sun keeps rising, she will keep mothering people.
To be added! I'm just lazy.
- Her human form does in fact keep those wolf ears. Maybe they're a leftover from dying in wolf form? Maybe she just thinks they're cute? Who knows...
- Her magic is based on very old ideas and principles, as such Magic back then was divided into light and dark, each with thirteen abilities, and each ability in turn with its own branching skills. What is now known as a Lumos spell, for instance, would have fallen under Light, and then "Sun." However, the same levitation spell, if applied on water, would be of a different branch than if it moved move fire. Things were different back then, let's just say. For a full explanation on which abilities Ammy can use now, see here.