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Virginia Ley is the daughter of Leander Ley and Jane Clifton Ley, and granddaughter of Aloysius Ley and Sophia Caswell Ley.

Virginia was born two months prematurely when her mother went into labor at the shock of her husband's sudden and mysterious death at age forty.

Following Leander's death, her widowed mother takes Virginia and her brother, Cecil, to her ancestral home, but several years later Virginia insists on returning to Beak's End and being with her grandmother.

Although her mother disliked Beak's End and believed it was cursed, Virginia adored the manor and had her own world within its many walls.

Virginia follows Sophia's footsteps in her spiritual gifts and is able to traverse dimensions and time. She develops a deep friendship and love for one of the djinn, Gemivijol, who lives in a parallel dimension in the manor. Her happiness at being home with her grandmother, Sophia, is tempered by the increasingly strange behavior of her brother, Cecil, and the hold that two odd children named Beulah and Lazarus have on him.

Virginia is frail her entire life but her spirit is invincible. Her last words when she passes on at age twelve were, "I shall return to finish what was started."