Anna was born Finland, daughter of Aabraham and Elisabet Hämäläinen. She had 1 sibling: her much-older sister Fredrika.
Fredrika was very good at anything she tried, it seemed, and it was very hard to be as good at her at anything. But that's what Anna's family expected. Her mother was very harsh on Anna, while her father babied "his little girl". Fredrika was in her 5th year when Anna was born, and so she was never around except for during the summer. So all her parents attention was on Anna, and Elisabet used that to push Anna to excel. And although Aabraham adored her, she never felt like he thought she'd amount to anything big or real in the world — big accomplishments were for leaders, not his little girl.
Anna attended Durmstrang, when many of the teachers pushed her just as hard, as Fredrika's sister. But she liked it there. She found a particular love for the Dark Arts — for the first time in her life was was naturally good at something. And it enthralled her, finally something where she could surpass her sister, even if only slightly. And finally, when she stood in class, wand in hand, she wasn't a shy little child, Fredrika's less bright little sister, Aabraham's little girl or someone who'd never meet Elisabet's exceptions. For once she had power and was a person of her own right.
When she graduated she didn't want to leave, and stuck around as teacher for a year, then was fired. She then got a job from a uncle of a friend, as owner of a shop. Sure, he had left because the shop was failing, but a job's a job, right?
Anna is friendly and kind, and shows the world a sweet, happy face. But privately doubts herself a lot, and often questions her self-worth and purpose. She wonders if she has any value in the world, and suspects she doesn't. And she's never gotten over how her parents and teachers made her feel inferior to her sister.
Anna has a snowy owl named Höyhen: the Finnish word for Feather. She got Höyhen when she was 11, her father gave her the owl before she left for school. Höyhen has been a good messenger over the years, and Anna has become very attached to her owl.
Anna and her father have a decent bond. Growing up, Aabraham adored Anna, "the baby, the little girl", and was sort of spoiled by him. In Aabraham's eyes, Fredrika is the "big girl" and Anna is the "little girl", no matter how old she gets.
Anna and her mother have always had a immensely strained relationship. Elisabet was always very harsh and strict with Anna, and Anna feels that her mother never loved her, because she wasn't Fredrika and didn't reach the same success as her sister in anything but Dark Arts.
Fredrika is 15 years older then Anna, so by the time Anna was born, Fredrika was away at school for most of the year. She's more like a cousin or aunt to Anna than a sister. It's not exactly Fredrika's fault that Anna was always expected to achieve the same overachieving success as Fredrika's, and Anna tries to remember that, but she sometimes finds it hard to not resent her sister for that.